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Dr. Hawdon's response to the study showing helminths have bacteria inside them

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  • Renee Johnson
    Forwarded conversation Subject: another questions ... From: *Renee Johnson* Date: Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 9:09 AM To: John Hawdon
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 13, 2010
      Forwarded conversation
      Subject: another questions

      From: Renee Johnson <renee.johnson239@...>
      Date: Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 9:09 AM
      To: John Hawdon <mtmjmh@...>

      Hi again Dr. Hawdon,

      Sorry to bother you again.  I shared your response with some friends,
      and one of them sent me this article.  What do you think about this


      Bacteria isolated from parasitic nematodes - a potential novel vector
      of pathogens?

      Renee Johnson

      From: John Hawdon <mtmjmh@...>
      Date: Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 10:37 AM
      To: Renee Johnson <renee.johnson239@...>

      Hi Renee
      A couple of things:
      1. This is a poorly controlled study. They pre-treated the L3 for only 1 hr with antibiotics prior to grinding them. We routinely treat with 1% HCl to surface sterilize L3, followed by incubation with antibiotics in the medium.  Others have used 1% bleach. The authors could have done a control in which they plate out the final wash to see if any  bacteria grew. Also, notice where this was published. This is not a parasitology journal. I looked at the peer review that was included, and it was not well done. So I am personally highly skeptical of these particular results.
      2. With that said, I can't rule out that bacteria are not carried inside an infective stage L3. In fact, its probably likely. Whether they are important in transmitting disease is the question, and I don't have an informed answer (this paper didn't provide any evidence for transmission). These bacteria are undoubtedly fecal in origin. We have never looked, but hookworm L3 may also contain similar bacteria. They are acquired by the developing stages as they feed in the environment. Whether or not this represents a risk is impossible to say. I can only say that to my knowledge, no disease has ever been transferred by hookworms. And in my opinion, the disease caused BY the hookworms is much worse than any of the possible fecal pathogens it might transmit.
      Maybe I'll repeat this study properly with hookworms just for fun :)
      JM Hawdon

      >>> Renee Johnson <renee.johnson239@...> 10/13/2010 12:09 PM >>>

      From: Renee Johnson <renee.johnson239@...>
      Date: Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 7:12 PM
      To: John Hawdon <mtmjmh@...>

      Hi Dr. Hawdon,

      It would be wonderful if you redid the study properly because there
      are a lot of people out there who want to try hookworms and we need to
      know what risks we're taking.

      I'm going to share your info with my friends at the incubating
      hookworms yahoo group.  We are rather frustrated that the powers that
      be are severely restricting human trials involving hookworms.  So, if
      you redo the study, please let the folks at incubating hookworms what
      you find out.

      Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge!


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