Clinical Studies

Much of our knowledge of the impact of parasitism on host nutrition (Table 2) comes from hospital studies of heavily parasitized patients. Irrespective of the organism involved, nutritional status and anthropometric indices of such severely ill patients are invariably poor on admission but quickly improve following treatment. Such data must however be interpreted with caution. In developing countries, malnourished individuals admitted to hospital rarely suffer from a single parasitic infection;

viral and bacterial pathogens and other parasitoses are frequently present as are frank dietary deficiencies. Patients are routinely dosed with wide-range antibiotics and anthelmintics and given high-quality rehabilitation diets, so, in general, neither the cause of their symptoms nor the basis for recovery can be established with certainty.

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