Parasitic infections and human immunodeficiency virus HIV

The spread of HIV has had a major impact on parasitic infections and is responsible for more severe parasitic infections, the recrudescence of latent infections and even the occurrence of previously unknown parasites. The impact is greatest among the protozoan parasites and leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis, Chagas disease, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, micro-sporidiosis and pneumocystosis arc among the parasitic infections now associated with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Of these, leishmaniasis—AIDS has emerged as a particularly formidable combination and pneumocystosis is a frequent cause of death in AIDS patients. Several species of microsporidians have only been identified from AIDS patients. Virtually nothing is known about the immune responses to these more unusual parasites. There is no evidence of any interactions between HIV and malaria. Hyperinfections of the nematode worm Strongyloides stercoralis occurs in immuno-suppressed patients but there is no evidence that this infection is a serious concomitant of AIDS.

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