Immune responses during helminth-malaria co-infection: a pilot study in Ghanaian school children

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Abstract

SUMMARY

Malaria and helminth infections have a shared geographical distribution and therefore co-infections are frequent in tropical areas of the world. Human populations of helminth and malaria co-infection have shown contradictory results for the course of malarial infection and disease, possibly depending on the type of helminth studied, the intensity of helminth infection and the age of the study population. Although immunological studies might clarify the underlying mechanisms of protection or increased susceptibility, there are very few studies that have looked at immunological parameters in helminth and malaria co-infection. After discussing the available immunological data on co-infection, we describe a pilot study performed in Ghanaian school children where we compare anti-malarial responses in children living in an urban area, where the prevalence of helminth and Plasmodium falciparum infections was low, with that of children living in a rural area with high prevalence of helminth and Plasmodium falciparum infections.

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