Mechanisms of interaction between protozoan parasites and HIV.

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OBJECTIVEThis review summarizes the current knowledge on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (hereinafter called HIV)/protozoan co-infections in the case of three important, although neglected, tropical diseases: malaria, trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) and leishmaniasis. The HIV pandemic has modified the immunopathogenic, epidemiological and therapeutic aspects of these human diseases.RESULTSIn-vitro data suggests that HIV favors Leishmania infection, whereas different parasites have contrasting effects on HIV. However, many of the previous models are a limited representation of the complex interactions within the host; this situation is particularly the case when microbial products are used in place of live parasites.CONCLUSIONSIn the host, protozoan parasites generally enhance HIV replication and accelerate AIDS progression. HIV alters parasite pathogenesis, often worsening disease outcome. These aspects bring significant complications for the treatment of co-infected individuals.

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