TSO is an abbreviation for Trichuris suis ova; the scientific name for the eggs produced by the porcine whipworm. The whipworm is a common intestinal helminth of organic, free-ranging, or wild pigs, and as such, an organism which has always been found in the intermediate environment of many humans.
In pigs, T. suis complete their full lifecycle: They reach maturity in the gut and excrete fertilized eggs. These eggs have to mature in soil for several months before they become infective to a new pig host.
In man, who is not the natural host, T. suis do not reach maturity and do not excrete fertilized eggs. On the other hand, TSO may colonize the intestinal lining for a short period of time, known to generate a favourable immune response.
Thus, the repeated exposure to TSO may sustain a stimulation of the immune system and a modulation of the gut microbiota that has been linked to alleviation of inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis.
The concept of using TSO for the treatment of immune diseases is to stimulate the immune system by a substance that is not provoking disease, but brings the defense system of the body back in balance.
The Trichuris suis life cycle: When the helminth deposit eggs in the intestine, these are excreted with the intestinal contents as raw, un-developed (non-embryonated) eggs. In the natural situation, the eggs mature in the soil within 2-4 months, during which process a larva develops inside the egg. Thereafter the eggs are biological active.
In the GMP production, the natural life cycle is mimicked. This is done under high containment level. Thus, the raw material is a natural substance to which humans has been in contact over the course of evolution.
"Helminths and the IBD hygiene hypothesis", Weinstock & Elliott, Inflammatory bowel diseases, 2009