Worm treatment during pregnancy raises moral dilemma

Worm treatment during pregnancy raises moral dilemma

Esther Nakkazi, Science and Development Network

[KAMPALA] Treating infectious diseases in developing countries might lead to an increase in allergies, according to scientists in Uganda, raising moral issues about the treatment.

A study in Uganda has found that when pregnant women were treated for Schistosoma mansoni worm infections, which can cause anaemia, their children were more likely to develop skin allergies. The findings, based on more than 2,500 women, were published in the Journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology last month (23 January).

“It is thought that the decrease in infectious illnesses is somehow associated with the increase in allergy,” said the study’s lead author, Harriet Mpairwe, a senior medical officer with the Uganda Research Unit on AIDS.

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