Our wonderful, wormy world!

Geographical distribution of schools we have worked with from 2009-2011.

Geographical distribution of schools we have worked with from 2009-2011.

Do you know what parasitic worms are? Are parasitic worms common and do they cause health issues? Three billion people in the world have parasitic worm infections, with pregnant women and children worst affected. Affected people are often malnourished, tired, have stomach pain, diarrhea and can suffer from stunted growth. Globally, worm infections are a major issue trapping whole communities in poverty. Parasitic worms also infect animals and are a significant issue for farming and even zoos and household pets!

The Manchester Immunology Group’s research is all about the body’s defence system (immune system) and how it tackles infections like parasitic worms.

We have developed a mobile workshop called “The Worm Wagon” which uses fun interactive activities to teach people all about our wormy research. Our goal is to educate people about the global impact of parasitic infections, the role of the immune system and our research.

Take a look at our Resources

We work with all ages and sectors of the community and since 2009 have run over 25 events with more than 5000 people attending! Collected here are images of events we have run, examples of participant learning, feedback we have received and education resources.

Links to Faculty to Biology, Medicine and Health: Teachers and advisors | Social responsibility

Adam in Africa

The right to live disease free

Our research focuses on understanding how our body defends itself against “Neglected Tropical Diseases”, specifically parasitic infections. The photo shows Adam in Africa. To stay healthy in the UK, Adam has regular vaccinations to protect him from infection. To visit Africa he has had special vaccinations and is taking drugs to prevent parasitic infection. Adam is in a maths class with children just like him: they share a love of football and toys. But unlike Adam, they have no protection against the parasites they are exposed to simply as a consequence of where they live, and which make it difficult for them to sustain their culture and way of life. The World Health Organisation states that “In the 21st century, every child has the right to live free from vaccine-preventable diseases”. The work of the Immunology group provides a stepping stone towards the development of vaccines against parasitic diseases.