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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The influence of different helminth infection phenotypes on immune responses against HIV in co-infected adults in South Africa

Zilungile L Mkhize-Kwitshana*, Myra Taylor, Pieter Jooste, Musawenkosi LH Mabaso and Gerhard Walzl

BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:273  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-273

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Helminth Egg Detection and Immunological Data

Miles Markus   (2012-07-16 13:38)  University of Witwatersrand email

The authors are to be congratulated on their interpretation of the results of this study. Around the time that Dr John Fincham (now retired) co-conceived the investigation, he suggested that where helminthiasis is endemic, egg negative status does not necessarily reflect the immunological situation which is relevant to co-infection. This was largely a theoretical idea. He then reported South African research results that support the hypothesis [1]. They showed that people with no detectable Ascaris eggs in faeces were frequently seropositive for this helminth. In addition, the whole subject was elaborated upon elsewhere [2]. It is good to see that the article by Mkhize-Kwitshana et al. reflects the validity of the concept. The attention of readers of BMC Infectious Diseases is drawn to the main, previously published analysis and information concerning it [1, 2].

REFERENCES: 1. Fincham JE, Markus MB, van der Merwe L, Adams VJ, van Stuijvenberg ME, Dhansay MA: Ascaris, co-infection and allergy: the importance of analysis based on immunological variables rather than egg excretion. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2007, 101:680-682; 2. Markus MB, Fincham JE: Helminthiasis, bystander diseases and vaccines: analysis of interaction. Trends in Parasitology 2007, 23:517-519.

Competing interests

No competing interests.

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