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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Jul;101(7):680-2. Epub 2007 Jan 24.

Ascaris, co-infection and allergy: the importance of analysis based on immunological variables rather than egg excretion.

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South African Medical Research Council, Nutritional Intervention Research Unit, P.O. Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa.


The ratio of Ascaris seropositivity to the presence of eggs in the faeces was 2.44 in children residing near Cape Town, South Africa. Similar and larger ratios have previously been described for children and women living in the city. The new finding strengthens the concept that when helminthic infections occur together with non-helminthic diseases, an analysis of the interaction must include the use of disease-related immunological variables and not be based only on egg excretion status. One of the reasons is that many egg-negative people who live where helminthiasis is highly endemic are immunologically activated as a result of transitory non-patent or intermittent patent infection by Ascaris and/or other worms.

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