Parasitic infections are common in many tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and concomitant infection, polyparasitism, is the rule rather than the exception in such areas. At the immunological level, different parasites induce quite different responses characterised, for example, by protozoa that polarise responses towards Th1, whilst helminths are strong Th2 and regulatory T cell inducers. The question of how the co-existence of such parasites within the same host might influence the immunological responses to each species and, more importantly, whether such interactions affect resistance, susceptibility or clinical outcome, needs to be addressed in well-designed studies of sufficient power. The current paper discusses what we know as well as the gaps in our knowledge of polyparasitism.
Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.