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Co-infection and Syndemics

Edited by: Professor Pascale Allotey, Prof. Xiao-Nong Zhou

Poverty has been established as the driver for many diseases, both infectious and non-infectious. The major focus of research in prevention and management has taken a single disease focus. The increasing occurrence of multiple infections and diseases, however, cannot be ignored. Co-infection is the simultaneous infection of a host by multiple pathogen species, for instance multi-parasite infections. Co-infection also occurs as simultaneous infection of a single cell by two or more virus particles, which can arise incrementally by initial infection followed by superinfection. Co-infection is of particular human health importance because pathogen species can interact within the host. Interactions within the host can have either positive or negative effects on each of the co-infecting parasite species. Under positive parasite interactions, disease transmission and progression are enhanced. Syndemics refers to the aggregation of two or more diseases or afflictions in a population where there is a synergistic relationship which enhances and exacerbates the negative health effects of any or all of the diseases.

The notion of syndemics can be expanded further to situate the occurrence of multiple diseases within the context of poverty and other mitigating factors that support and perpetuate poor health. Syndemics tend to develop under conditions of health disparity, caused by poverty, stress, or structural violence, and contribute to a significant burden of disease in affected populations. Given that social conditions can contribute to the clustering, form and progression of disease at the individual and population level, it poses a great challenge in understanding the processes that generate these patterns of co-infection and syndemics.

In this special issue, we present a series of papers that explicitly address the importance of co-infection and syndemics in order to trigger more research on and a better understanding of how a suite of co-infections within or between host as well as syndemics among populations will respond to better medical and public health interventions.

  1. A delay presentation for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patient’s care (that is late engagement to HIV care due to delayed HIV testing or delayed linkage for HIV care after the diagnosis of HIV positive) i...

    Authors: Hailay Gesesew, Birtukan Tsehaineh, Desalegn Massa, Amanuel Tesfay, Hafte Kahsay and Lillian Mwanri
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2016 5:96
  2. There is growing evidence suggesting that diabetes mellitus (DM) affects disease presentation and treatment outcome in tuberculosis (TB) patients. This study aimed at investigating the role of DM on clinical p...

    Authors: Mahteme Haile Workneh, Gunnar Aksel Bjune and Solomon Abebe Yimer
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2016 5:22
  3. The prevalence of infection with Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) in humans has been increasing in China due to the growing number of cats in the country. Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a serious public heal...

    Authors: Shuai Wang, Chunwei Lan, Luwen Zhang, Haizhu Zhang, Zhijun Yao, Dong Wang, Jingbo Ma, Jiarong Deng and Shiguo Liu
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:53
  4. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of coinfection with malaria and intestinal parasites, as well as to determine its association with anaemia in children aged 10 years and below in Muyuk...

    Authors: Anna Longdoh Njunda, Shuri Ghasarah Fon, Jules Clement Nguedia Assob, Dickson Shey Nsagha, Tayong Dizzle Bita Kwenti and Tebit Emmanuel Kwenti
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:43
  5. Mechanisms and outcomes of host-parasite interactions during malaria co-infections with gastrointestinal helminths are reasonably understood. In contrast, very little is known about such mechanisms in cases of...

    Authors: Nyamongo W. Onkoba, Moses J. Chimbari and Samson Mukaratirwa
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:35
  6. Humoral and cellular immune responses play protective roles against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection. However, hookworm infection decreases the immune response to hookworm and bystander antigens. Curren...

    Authors: Xin-Xu Li, Jia-Xu Chen, Li-Xia Wang, Jun Sun, Shao-Hong Chen, Jun-Hu Chen, Xiao-Yan Zhang and Xiao-Nong Zhou
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:20
  7. Animal studies have demonstrated that functional immune responses, as determined by the levels of CD4+ cell counts and anti-schistosome antibodies responses, determine the efficacy of praziquantel. Based on this ...

    Authors: Humphrey D Mazigo, David W Dunne, Safari M Kinung’hi and Fred Nuwaha
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:47
  8. Lymphatic filariasis (LF), a vector-borne parasitic disease, is endemic in several parts of India and mostly affects the poor or those with a low-income. The disease results in huge numbers of morbidities, dis...

    Authors: Suprabhat Mukherjee, Niladri Mukherjee, Prasanta Saini, Prajna Gayen, Priya Roy and Santi P Sinha Babu
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:13
  9. Vector-borne protozoan diseases represent a serious public health challenge, especially in the tropics where poverty together with vector-favorable climates are the aggravating factors. Each of the various str...

    Authors: Denis Zofou, Raymond B Nyasa, Dickson S Nsagha, Fidele Ntie-Kang, Henry D Meriki, Jules Clement N Assob and Victor Kuete
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:1
  10. Babesiosis is an emerging health risk in several parts of the world. However, little is known about the prevalence of Babesia in malaria-endemic countries. The area along the China-Myanmar border in Yunnan is a m...

    Authors: Xia Zhou, Sheng-Guo Li, Shen-Bo Chen, Jia-Zhi Wang, Bin Xu, He-Jun Zhou, Hong-Xiang Zhu Ge, Jun-Hu Chen and Wei Hu
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2013 2:24
  11. Parasite infections often result in a switch of the human body’s predominant immune reaction from T-helper 1 (Th1)-type to Th2-type. Hence, parasite infections are widely expected to accelerate the progression...

    Authors: Li-Guang Tian, Tian-Ping Wang, Shan Lv, Feng-Feng Wang, Jian Guo, Xiao-Mei Yin, Yu-Chun Cai, Mary Kathryn Dickey, Peter Steinmann and Jia-Xu Chen
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2013 2:18
  12. Most natural host populations are exposed to a diversity of parasite communities and co-infection of hosts by multiple parasites is commonplace across a diverse range of systems. Co-infection with Leishmania majo...

    Authors: Christopher Khayeka–Wandabwa, Helen Lydiah Kutima, Venny C S Nyambati, Johnstone Ingonga, Elijah Oyoo–Okoth, Lucy Wanja Karani, Bernard Jumba, Kiige Samuel Githuku and Christopher O Anjili
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:244
  13. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease which is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. People with diabetes mellitus (DM) have a three times higher risk of developing active T...

    Authors: Hiwot Amare, Aschalew Gelaw, Belay Anagaw and Baye Gelaw
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2013 2:6
  14. Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1/AIDS and Schistosoma mansoni are widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and co-infection occurs commonly. Since the early 1990s, it has been suggested that the two infections may interact...

    Authors: Humphrey D Mazigo, Fred Nuwaha, Shona Wilson, Safari M Kinung'hi, Domenica Morona, Rebecca Waihenya, Jorg Heukelbach and David W Dunne
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2013 2:2
  15. The impact of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on tuberculosis (TB), and the implications for TB and HIV control, is a public health challenge in Ghana – almost a quarter (23%) of all TB cases were HIV p...

    Authors: Gloria Akosua Ansa, John D Walley, Kamran Siddiqi and Xiaolin Wei
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2012 1:13
  16. This paper reviews the epidemiological status and characteristics of clonorchiasis at global level and the etiological relationship between Clonorchis sinensis infection and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). A conservati...

    Authors: Men-Bao Qian, Ying-Dan Chen, Song Liang, Guo-Jing Yang and Xiao-Nong Zhou
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2012 1:4