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Malaria and helminth coinfection: new insights for malaria control

Objective

Malaria and helminth infections often coincide geographically in tropical regions. The implications of concomitant malaria and helminth infections have been mainly explored in animal models indicating that their interaction can alter the course of malaria infection and disease. In recent years it has become clear that chronic helminth infections alter the immune system both at the innate and the adaptive level affecting responses to third party antigens.

Few studies in human populations have so far shown contradictory results; helminth co-infections seem to either exacerbate or curtail severity of malarial disease. It is important to gain in-depth knowledge of the interaction between these parasites in humans in the context of controlling malarial parasites and clinical disease. Much effort is going into developing vaccines; these have to be delivered to populations living in areas endemic for helminths. If there are strong interactions, then vaccine efficacy will be affected.

It is important to plan ahead and aim to build up strong teams in endemic regions that are able to do research in the area of co-infection both diagnostically and immunologically. Although there are experts in endemic areas, they are often segregated into "malaria team" or "helminth team" with often little interaction. The present proposal aims to bring together a group of Dutch, German, Indonesian and Malaysian experts in the area of malaria and helminth parasitology/diagnosis, epidemiology and immunology, to train a number of medical doctors, nurses and scientists by organising workshops and laboratory based courses.

With the view to the future this will stimulate Regional as well as International Cooperation, will disseminate knowledge and will allow new grant applications to be prepared that will answer the question of whether and how helminths affect the course of malaria infection and disease with important implications for future malaria control programs.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pharmacology and pharmacy/pharmaceutical drug/vaccines
  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/parasitology
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/immunology
  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/infectious disease/malaria

Call for proposal

FP6-2002-INCO-DEV/SSA-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SSA - Specific Support Action

Coordinator

Leiden University Medical Center
Address
Albinusdreef 2
Leiden
Netherlands

Participants (3)

EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAT TUEBINGEN
Germany
Address
Wilhelmstrasse 7
Tuebingen
UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA
Malaysia
Address

Pulau Pinang
UNIVERSITY OF INDONESIA, FACULTY OF MEDICINE
Indonesia
Address
Salemba Raya 6
Jakarta