Worms can worsen malaria: towards a new means to roll back malaria?

Trends Parasitol. 2005 Aug;21(8):359-62. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2005.06.011.


Recent studies in Africa and Asia indicate that different helminthic infections adversely affect the clinical outcome of malaria infections. This suggests that helminths can influence the acquisition of immunity against Plasmodium. Worms could constitute a confounding factor in the assessment of efficacy of malaria-control intervention, including vaccine prototypes in clinical trials. These observations have fundamental and practical consequences; if the deleterious effect of worms on malaria is confirmed, treatment of helminths would offer an affordable, strongly effective and novel means to roll back malaria. With this article, we hope to induce others to conduct similar studies in different regions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use
  • Helminthiasis / complications*
  • Helminthiasis / drug therapy
  • Helminthiasis / immunology
  • Helminths / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / immunology
  • Malaria / complications
  • Malaria / immunology
  • Malaria / parasitology*
  • Malaria / prevention & control
  • Plasmodium / immunology*


  • Anthelmintics
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes