Parasite co-infection: An ecological, molecular and experimental perspective

Frank Venter, Keith R. Matthews, Eleanor Silvester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Laboratory studies of pathogens aim to limit complexity in order to disentangle the important parameters contributing to an infection. However, pathogens rarely exist in isolation, and hosts may sustain co-infections with multiple disease agents. These interact with each other and with the host immune system dynamically, with disease outcomes affected by the composition of the community of infecting pathogens, their order of colonization, competition for niches and nutrients, and immune modulation. While pathogen-immune interactions have been detailed elsewhere, here we examine the use of ecological and experimental studies of trypanosome and malaria infections to discuss the interactions between pathogens in mammal hosts and arthropod vectors, including recently developed laboratory models for co-infection. The implications of pathogen co-infection for disease therapy are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume289
Issue number1967
Early online date19 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • parasite
  • co-infection
  • trypanosoma
  • plasmodium

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