Posts Tagged “bilharzia”

U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention 

A new study reveals that people infected with bilharzia, or other parasitic worms, are more likely to become infected with HIV than normal persons. This was proven through an experiment where the infectious dose of an HIV-like virus necessary to infect rhesus macaques was found to be 17 times lower in animals with acute schistosomiasis than in controls. The animals co-infected with Schistosoma mansoni also showed higher memory cell concentrations of virus casuing a more rapid progression to AIDS.

These findings prove the assumption that persons living in highly endemic areas for parasitic worms have a higher risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS.

Previous studies by other research groups have demonstrated that the presence of schistosome infections increases viral replication in animal or human hosts with established immunodeficiency virus infections.

Both findings are surely to have profound public health implications for the under-developed areas of the world where both parasitic worms and HIV virus are endemic.

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