The Germs Are Getting The Worms!

The paraprobiotic Cry5B IBaCC is an effective cure against ascarid parasites in vitro and in vivo in mice, pigs and horses.

The paraprobiotic Cry5B IBaCC is an effective cure against ascarid parasites in vitro and in vivo in mice, pigs and horses. undefined

Following is the abstract from the open access article, “An inactivated bacterium (paraprobiotic) expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Cry5B as a therapeutic for Ascaris and Parascaris spp. infections in large animals.” You can access the article here from Science Direct.

Martin Nielsen, DVM, PhD, DACVM, Schlaikjer Professor of Equine Infectious Disease at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, noted on his LinkedIn page:

“This paper is a wonderful culmination of a project with great collaborators; Joe Urban of the USDA, and Gary Ostroff and Raffi Aroian at UMASS. We launched this years ago as a crowdfunding initiative under the name of ‘Let the Germs Get the Worms.’ The project was eventually funded through the USDA,” said Nielsen.

“We have evaluated the anthelmintic efficacy of bacterial crystal proteins, Cry5B, against ascarid parasites of swine and horses,” continued Nielsen. “Yes, the germs are indeed getting the worms!”


Ascaris and Parascaris are important parasites in the family Ascarididae, large, ubiquitous intestinal-dwelling nematodes infecting all classes of vertebrates. Parasitic nematode drug resistance in veterinary medicine and drug recalcitrance in human medicine are increasing worldwide, with few if any new therapeutic classes on the horizon. Some of these parasites are zoonotic, e.g., Ascaris is passed from humans to pigs and vice versa. The development of new therapies against this family of parasites would have major implications for both human and livestock health. Here we tested the therapeutic ability of a paraprobiotic or dead probiotic that expresses the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry5B protein with known anthelmintic properties, against zoonotic Ascaris suum and Parascaris spp. This paraprobiotic, known as IBaCC, intoxicated A. suum larvae in vitro and was highly effective in vivo against intestinal A. suum infections in a new mouse model for this parasite. Fermentation was scaled up to 350 l to treat pigs and horses. Single dose Cry5B IBaCC nearly completely cleared A. suum infections in pigs. Furthermore, single dose Cry5B IBaCC drove fecal egg counts in Parascaris-infected foals to zero, showing at least parity with, and potential superiority to, current efficacy of anthelmintics used against this parasite. Cry5B IBaCC therefore represents a new, paraprobiotic One Health approach towards targeting Ascarididae that is safe, effective, massively scalable, stable, and useful in human and veterinary medicine in both the developed and developing regions of the world.”

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