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Dr. William Parker, Associate Professor of Surgery and Global Health at Duke University, will discuss the biome depletion theory and how our cleanliness is disrupting normal immune function. These processes can have profound downstream effects on maternal and child health. From the Duke Medical School: What is widely known as the “hygiene hypothesis” is more appropriately described as the biota alteration or biome depletion theory: Changes in symbiont composition in the ecosystem of the human body in Western culture has led to immune dysfunction and subsequent disease. We are working on several aspects of this theory. Our earlier studies probe the immunological differences between laboratory-raised and wild-raised animals as a means of assessing differences between humans with and without Western culture, respectively. Other studies probe the role of biome enrichment, in particular the addition of helminths, in the treatment of disease. Studies are ongoing in both humans and in animals, with particular attention to the role of biome depletion in cognitive dysfunction.
We discuss the future of human health with a specific focus on our macrobiome friends, parasites, with whom we have co evolved. They are now missing and we are not better off because of it.
Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. William Parker,