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: Prevalence of HSV type 2 decreases among pregnant women in the Pacific Northwest

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Progress in the fight against harmful fungi

7 hours ago

A group of researchers at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories has created one of the three world's largest gene libraries for the Candida glabrata yeast, which is harmful to humans. Molecular analysis of the Candida ...

Bees from the inside out

Jul 08, 2014

It is 1,825 miles from New Haven, Conn., to Austin, Tex., which typically means 30 hours of driving and three nights in motels, not an easy trip for anyone. But for researchers moving from Yale University ...

Parasite-free honey bees enable study of bee health

Jul 01, 2014

An international team of researchers has discovered honey bee colonies in Newfoundland, Canada, that are free of the invasive parasites that affect honey bees elsewhere in the world. The populations offer ...

Bloodsucking mite threatens UK honeybees

Jun 26, 2014

Scientists have discovered how a bloodsucking parasite has transformed Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) into one of the biggest threats facing UK honeybees.

Recommended for you

New analysis questions use of acute hemodialysis treatment

27 minutes ago

A common approach to treating kidney failure by removing waste products from the blood did not improve survival chances for people who suddenly developed the condition, in an analysis led by experts at the University of Pittsburgh ...

WHO: West Africa Ebola death toll rises to 1,350

38 minutes ago

Security forces acting on the president's orders used scrap wood and barbed wire to seal off 50,000 people inside their crowded slum Wednesday in an attempt to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has killed ...

User comments : 0