Parasite brood gets help from nearby microbes | Science News

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Parasite brood gets help from nearby microbes

Study suggests new way to battle common intestinal infection

1:37pm, June 10, 2010

The question of which came first, the whipworm or the whipworm egg, leaves out a key player: bacteria.

Eggs of the parasitic whipworm, whose potential hosts include humans, won’t hatch in their host’s intestine until they get the go-ahead from nearby gut bacteria, researchers report June 10 in Science.

The work reveals how the parasite avoids hatching in the wrong place. It also highlights that parasite-host interactions don’t occur in isolation.

“This is a very nice illustration of the interdependence of things,” says Rick Maizels, an immunologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland who was not involved in the work. The findin

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