The Oriental liver fluke infects people who eat raw fish, but it could help heal wounds if used in a certain way.
Scientists have discovered that a parasitic worm found in Australia could provide a miracle treatment for people with diabetes.
Known as the Oriental liver fluke, it’s a dangerous parasite that causes cancer of the liver when it infects those who eat raw fish — but it may have a tremendous medical upside if used correctly, according to a UPI report.
Not only could scientists possibly create a vaccine that could be used against this cancer, but it could also potentially be used to heal diabetic ulcer, which are very difficult wounds to treat.
A new study from James Cook University spearheaded by Dr. Michael Smouth has found that the growth factor in the worm could be used to heal wounds, specifically diabetic ulcers, which could be an important medical breakthrough considering how fast diabetes is growing as a medical ailment worldwide.
“There are increasing numbers of inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and associated non-healing wounds. A powerful wound healing agent designed by millennia of host-parasite co-evolution may accelerate the impaired healing processes that plague diabetic and elderly patients,” he said in a press release.
The Oriental liver fluke has a growth factor that boosts how fast wounds heal in the skin of mice in recent tests. As long as scientists can keep the parasite under control — it causes liver cancer if it stays in the body too long, and it can live there for decades — it will start healing difficult to treat wounds.
More research will be needed to apply this treatment to humans, but it’s an exciting new development in what has been a growing field of diabetes research. It may be years before this treatment is used in a clinical setting, but it could be a groundbreaking new treatment.
A news release was put out on the findings, which is found here.