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Parasitic infection of humans in the developed countries

Steve Meshnick meshnick at sph.umich.edu
Fri Apr 21 07:34:20 EST 1995


	That depends on how you define "parasite" (see other thread....).  There
has been a lot of interest, here in the U.S. in Toxoplasma gondii,
Cryptosporidium, and Pneumocystis carinii in AIDS patients (although the
latter is a fungus and not classically a parasite.  I think of parasites
as "those bugs discussed in parasitology textbooks", i.e. protozoa and
helminths).   These are three of the most common opportunistic infections
in AIDS patients.
	The only other parasite I know of that is associated with AIDS is
leishmaniasis.  People have looked for an association between AIDS and
malaria, and the only association has been that malaria during pregnancy
appears to promote verical transmission of HIV.  I think that people have
looked for an association between AIDS and Strongyloides and not found
any.
	One interesting association has been postulated.  Helminth infections
stimulate Th2-type immunity, and HIV may have a preference for Th2
T-cells.
Steve Meshnick
University of Michigan



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