Parasitic worm infections increase susceptibility to AIDS viruses

Jul 23, 2008

Persons infected with schistosomes, and possibly other parasitic worm infections, may be more likely to become infected with HIV than persons without worm infections, according to a study published July 23rd in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, United States) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School (Boston, United States) found that the infectious dose of an HIV-like virus necessary to infect rhesus macaques was 17-fold lower in animals with acute schistosomiasis than in controls.

The study represents a novel in vivo demonstration that parasitic worms increase a host's susceptibility to becoming infected with an AIDS-causing virus. The macaques co-infected with Schistosoma mansoni also demonstrated higher peak viral loads and higher memory cell concentrations of virus, both predictors of more rapid progression to AIDS. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that persons living in areas highly endemic for parasitic worms may also have a higher risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS.

Previous studies by this and other research groups have demonstrated that presence of schistosome infections increases viral replication in animal or human hosts with established immunodeficiency virus infections. The earlier findings, combined with the increased susceptibility to AIDS virus transmission shown in this study, may have profound public health implications for areas of the world where both parasitic worms and HIV-1 are endemic.

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate conditions help forecast meningitis outbreaks

Mar 18, 2014

Determining the role of climate in the spread of certain diseases can assist health officials in "forecasting" epidemics. New research on meningitis incidence in sub-Saharan Africa pinpoints wind and dust ...

Managed honeybees linked to new diseases in wild bees

Feb 19, 2014

Diseases that are common in managed honeybee colonies are now widespread in the UK's wild bumblebees, according to research published in Nature. The study suggests that some diseases are being driven into w ...

Recommended for you

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

8 hours ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

Apr 18, 2014

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

Apr 18, 2014

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Apr 18, 2014

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

Apr 18, 2014

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.