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Acta Trop. 2008 Nov-Dec;108(2-3):118-23. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2008.05.012. Epub 2008 May 24.

Immuno-epidemiology of Schistosoma mansoni infections in endemic populations co-infected with soil-transmitted helminths: present knowledge, challenges, and the need for further studies.

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  • 1Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Instituto René Rachou, Avenida Augusto de Lima 1715, CEP 30190-002, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


This article reviews studies on epidemiological and immunological interactions between Schistosoma mansoni and soil-transmitted helminths (STH) in co-infected patients from endemic areas. In Brazil, co-infections with schistosomes and intestinal nematodes, such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and the hookworms, are still common, especially in poor rural areas. Important factors in the co-occurrence of different helminth species are favorable environmental conditions supporting intermediate hosts and the survival of larval stages outside the human host, widespread poverty, and low levels of hygiene and sanitation. The few existing epidemiological surveys on helminth co-infections in humans indicate positive associations between schistosomes and STH, which means high prevalences of mixed infections, as well as higher intensities of infection in co-infected patients. However, these positive interactions appear to depend on the number of different helminth species present and on the intensity of infection in each individual. For the humoral immune response in co-infected patients, much cross-reactivity in antibody responses against antigenic preparations from schistosomes and STH is observed. Data on cellular immune responses in multiply infected patients are still scarce and additive effects on the cellular reactivity and the down-modulation of cytokines are proposed.

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