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In the developing world co-infections and polyparasitism within humans appear to be the rule rather than the exception, be it any combination of inter-specific and/or inter- and intra-Genera mixed infections. Mixed infections might generate synergistic or antagonistic interactions and thereby clinically affect individuals and/or impact parasite epidemiology.The current study uniquely assesses both Schistosoma mansoni- and Schistosoma haematobium-related morbidity of the liver and the bladder as assessed by ultrasound as well as spleen and liver morbidity through clinical exams. The impact of praziquantel (PZQ) treatment on such potential inter-specific schistosome interactions and resulting morbidity using uniquely detailed longitudinal data (pre- and one year post-PZQ treatment) arising from the National Schistosomiasis Control Program in three areas of Mali: Ségou, Koulikoro and Bamako, is also evaluated. At baseline, data were collected from up to 2196 children (aged 7-14 years), 844 of which were infected with S. haematobium only, 124 with S. mansoni only and 477 with both. Follow-up data were collected from up to 1265 children.Results suggested lower liver morbidity in mixed compared to single S. mansoni infections and higher bladder morbidity in mixed compared to single S. haematobium infections. Single S. haematobium or S. mansoni infections were also associated with liver and spleen morbidity whilst only single S. haematobium infections were associated with bladder morbidity in these children (light S. haematobium infection OR: 4.3, p < 0.001 and heavy S. haematobium infection OR: 19, p < 0.001). PZQ treatment contributed to the regression of some of the forms of such morbidities.Whilst the precise biological mechanisms for these observations remain to be ascertained, the results illustrate the importance of considering mixed species infections in any analyses of parasite-induced morbidity, including that for the proposed Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) revised estimates of schistosomiasis morbidity.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/1471-2334-10-227

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMC infectious diseases

Publication Date

29/07/2010

Volume

10

Addresses

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK. artemis.koukounari@imperial.ac.uk

Keywords

Liver, Spleen, Animals, Humans, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosomiasis, Praziquantel, Anthelmintics, Comorbidity, Adolescent, Child, Mali, Female, Male, Urinary Bladder