Parasites of Health revives Louis Pasteur’s “germ theory of disease” and contends that taeniid and Toxocara larval tissue infections are the actual causes of so-called non-communicable diseases—including psychiatric diseases. These diseases may develop when humans accidentally ingest infectious taeniid and Toxocara helminth eggs from adult helminths that inhabit the intestine of canids and felines such as dogs and cats. The book presents a pathophysiological model of taeniid and Toxocara larval tissue infections that explains how diseases may result from the larvae’s exploitation and manipulation of the immune system and the hormonal environment, from their acidic fermentation products, from their excretory/secretory products, and from mechanical space occupation. The larvae may also act as a vector for gluten protein and poliovirus from the intestine to the tissues of the body. Furthermore, disturbances of the immune system by these and other helminth infections may also cause an increased burden of disease from viral, bacterial, and protozoan co-infections such as HIV, respiratory syncytial virus, Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, Ebola virus, tuberculosis, malaria, and toxoplasmosis.
“The handle of the Broad Street pump” of so-called non-communicable diseases is the transmission of infectious taeniid and Toxocara eggs to humans by contaminated drinking water, food, and fingers. Hence, drinking water should be filtered, food should be boiled or fried, and dogs and cats should be replaced by teddy bears as comforters for children.
Torgeir Landvik is a family physician who has been working as a clinical doctor and chief municipal medical officer for 34 years in Enebakk, a rural municipality outside Oslo in Norway. Driven by curiosity and an urge to alleviate the suffering of the patients with the least prestigious diseases, he has endeavoured to rule out the biomedical aetiology of medically unexplained symptoms, illnesses, and diseases.