The human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Plasmodium species that infect human are responsible for two of the most prevalent and important infectious diseases on the planet. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 219 million cases of malaria developed in the year 2010 alone and the 90% of these cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa where 67% of the worldâs HIV infections take place. This has led to significant geographical intersection of the two diseases with a negative impact on both malaria and AIDS-related illnesses.
The immunosuppression caused by HIV infection has a negative effect on the immune response against the parasite leading to distinct disease outcomes between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals. At late stages of HIV infection or AIDS, the reduction of CD4+ T-cells results in decreased CD8+ T-cell counts and function, leading to severe alterations of the immune response against other pathogens, including Plasmodium. HIV infection increases the risks of severe malaria and death from Plasmodium infection while malaria leads to increased illness in HIV-infected individuals under treatment. Indeed, co-infection has been shown to increase HIV viral load 10-fold in patients with malaria. HIV infections have been associated with increased prevalence and severity of malaria causing severe morbidity in malaria patients in Ivory Coast.
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Last date updated on June, 2014