Helminth infections are prevalent in malaria-endemic areas, yet the potential for helminths to alter malaria transmission has not been closely examined. We used the Echinostoma caproni-Plasmodium yoelii murine model of co-infection to assess the impact of helminth co-infection on malaria transmission. In four replicate experiments, Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes exposed to co-infected mice five days post-malaria infection had a higher rate of infectivity (80.1%, n = 241) than those exposed to malaria only-infected mice (72.0%, n = 232, P = 0.039). Intensity of malaria parasite transmission was also greater, with approximately two-fold more oocysts (geometric mean = 19.2 versus 10.5, P = 0.004) and an increase in sporozoite burden observed in mosquitoes exposed to co-infected mice. Malaria parasite prevalence and anemia were similar between co-infected and malaria only-infected mice, which suggested that enhanced malaria parasite transmission was due to helminth-induced modulation of host responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases