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Free Content Review: HIV infection and tropical parasitic diseases – deleterious interactions in both directions?

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HIV and parasitic infections interact and affect each other mutually. Whereas HIV infection may alter the natural history of parasitic diseases, impede rapid diagnosis or reduce the efficacy of antiparasitic treatment, parasitoses may facilitate the infection with HIV as well as the progression from asymptomatic infection to AIDS. We review data on known interactions for malaria, leishmaniasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis, Chagas' disease, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and intestinal helminthiases. The common immunopathogenetic basis for the deleterious effects parasitic diseases may have on the natural history of HIV infection seems to be a particular type of chronic immune activation and a preferential activation of the T helper (Th)2 type of help. Control of parasitic diseases should complement the tools currently used in combating the HIV pandemic.

Keywords: HIV; interaction; tropical parasitic diseases

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Tropical Medicine Berlin and Medical Faculty Charité, Humboldt-University Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 2: Centre for Health Sciences and Humanities, Institute of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Publication date: 2002-06-01

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