Trichuris Suis Ova (TSO) in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Aug 5 2013
America/New York
Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center; Bronx, NY


Our TSO study was born out of the Hygiene Hypothesis, which posits that as societies have developed and advanced, populations have become cleaner and more hygienic. While this can be a good thing, it also means that our exposure to bacteria that might actually be helpful in protecting our immune systems, is limited. We see a higher rate of auto immune disorders in more developed countries than we do in third-world countries, perhaps as a consequence of our limited exposure to different kinds of potentially helpful bacteria.

This study builds off of this idea by using Trichuris Suis Ova (TSO) - the eggs of a whipworm. These worms do not multiply in humans and cannot be easily transmitted to other people. Introducing the worms seems to regulate the immune system in humans, which in turn can potentially affect behaviors.

Specifically, we are interested in investigating whether these worms are helpful in alleviating repetitive and disruptive behaviors, as well as rigidity in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The study is a 28 week study that requires visits to our site every two weeks. The study is a double blind, placebo controlled study. What this means is that patients will be on either placebo or treatment in the first phase of the study, and then in the second phase of the study will be on whatever they were not on in the first phase. Neither the patient nor the researchers will know whether the patient is on placebo or treatment. We will be able to reveal which treatment the patient was on in which phase at the end of the study. Patients will be compensated $40 dollars for each visit.



Participants must be between 18 and 35 years old and have an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis. If patients are currently on medication, they must be on a stable dose for three months before participating in the study. Patients must also have a personal or family history of allergies.

Participants cannot have a history of Bipolar or Psychotic Disorders, Seizure Disorder (or seizures in the last six months). Some medications are also excluded. 


Contact Information

Emma Racine
Study Supervisor
718-653-4859 x 223