Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Multi-species interactions can often have non-intuitive consequences. However, the study of parasite interactions has rarely gone beyond the effects of pairwise combinations of species, and the outcomes of multi-parasite interactions are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of co-infection by four gastrointestinal helminth species on the development of cerebral malaria among Plasmodium falciparum-infected patients. We characterized associations among the helminth parasite infra-community, and then tested for independent (direct) and co-infection dependent (indirect) effects of helminths on cerebral malaria risk. We found that infection by Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura were both associated with direct reductions in cerebral malaria risk. However, the benefit of T. trichiura infection was halved in the presence of hookworm, revealing a strong indirect effect. Our study suggests that the outcome of interactions between two parasite species can be significantly modified by a third, emphasizing the critical role that parasite community interactions play in shaping infection outcomes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pntd.0006483

Type

Journal

PLoS neglected tropical diseases

Publication Date

10/05/2018

Volume

12

Addresses

UMMISCO, IRD / Sorbonne Université, Bondy, France.

Keywords

Animals, Humans, Trichuris, Ascaris lumbricoides, Plasmodium falciparum, Malaria, Cerebral, Trichuriasis, Ascariasis, Adult, Female, Male, Young Adult, Coinfection