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1.  Impact of Anthelminthic Treatment in Pregnancy and Childhood on Immunisations, Infections and Eczema in Childhood: A Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50325.
Background
Helminth infections may modulate immune responses to unrelated pathogens and allergens; these effects may commence prenatally. We addressed the hypothesis that anthelminthic treatment in pregnancy and early childhood would improve responses to immunisation and modulate disease incidence in early childhood with both beneficial and detrimental effects.
Methods and Findings
A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in Entebbe, Uganda [ISRCTN32849447]. In three independent randomisations, 2507 pregnant women were allocated to receive single-dose albendazole or placebo, and praziquantel or placebo; 2016 of their offspring were randomised to receive quarterly single-dose albendazole or placebo from age 15 months to 5 years. Primary outcomes were post-immunisation recall responses to BCG and tetanus antigens, and incidence of malaria, diarrhoea, and pneumonia; incidence of eczema was an important secondary outcome. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. Of 2345 live births, 1622 (69%) children remained in follow-up at age 5 years. 68% of mothers at enrolment, and 11% of five-year-olds, had helminth infections. Maternal hookworm and Schistosoma mansoni were effectively treated by albendazole and praziquantel, respectively; and childhood hookworm and Ascaris by quarterly albendazole. Incidence rates of malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia, and eczema were 34, 65, 10 and 5 per 100 py, respectively. Albendazole during pregnancy caused an increased rate of eczema in the children (HR 1.58 (95% CI 1.15–2.17), p = 0.005). Quarterly albendazole during childhood was associated with reduced incidence of clinical malaria (HR 0.85 (95% CI 0.73–0.98), p = 0.03). There were no consistent effects of the interventions on any other outcome.
Conclusions
Routine use of albendazole in pregnancy may not always be beneficial, even in tropical developing countries. By contrast, regular albendazole treatment in preschool children may have an additional benefit for malaria control where helminths and malaria are co-endemic. Given the low helminth prevalence in our children, the effect of albendazole on malaria is likely to be direct.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN32849447
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050325
PMCID: PMC3517620  PMID: 23236367
2.  Effect of single-dose anthelmintic treatment during pregnancy on an infant's response to immunisation and on susceptibility to infectious diseases in infancy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial 
Lancet  2011;377(9759):52-62.
Summary
Background
Helminth infections affect the human immune response. We investigated whether prenatal exposure to and treatment of maternal helminth infections affects development of an infant's immune response to immunisations and unrelated infections.
Methods
In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we enrolled 2507 women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy who were planning to deliver in Entebbe General Hospital, Entebbe, Uganda. With a computer-generated random number sequence in blocks of 100, we assigned patients to 440 mg albendazole and 40 mg/kg praziquantel (n=628), 440 mg albendazole and a praziquantel-matching placebo (n=625), 40 mg/kg praziquantel and an albendazole-matching placebo (n=626), or an albendazole-matching placebo and praziquantel-matching placebo (n=628). All participants and hospital staff were masked to allocation. Primary outcomes were immune response at age 1 year to BCG, tetanus, and measles immunisation; incidence of infectious diseases during infancy; and vertical HIV transmission. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered, number ISRCTN32849447.
Findings
Data were available at delivery for 2356 women, with 2345 livebirths; 2115 (90%) of liveborn infants remained in follow-up at 1 year of age. Neither albendazole nor praziquantel treatments affected infant response to BCG, tetanus, or measles immunisation. However, in infants of mothers with hookworm infection, albendazole treatment reduced interleukin-5 (geometric mean ratio 0·50, 95% CI 0·30–0·81, interaction p=0·02) and interleukin-13 (0·52, 0·34–0·82, 0·0005) response to tetanus toxoid. The rate per 100 person-years of malaria was 40·9 (95% CI 38·3–43·7), of diarrhoea was 134·1 (129·2–139·2), and of pneumonia was 22·3 (20·4–24·4). We noted no effect on infectious disease incidence for albendazole treatment (malaria [hazard ratio 0·95, 95% CI 0·79–1.14], diarrhoea [1·06, 0·96–1·16], pneumonia [1·11, 0·90–1·38]) or praziquantel treatment (malaria [1·00, 0·84–1·20], diarrhoea [1·07, 0·98–1·18], pneumonia [1·00, 0·80–1·24]). In HIV-exposed infants, 39 (18%) were infected at 6 weeks; vertical transmission was not associated with albendazole (odds ratio 0·70, 95% CI 0·35–1·42) or praziquantel (0·60, 0·29–1·23) treatment.
Interpretation
These results do not accord with the recently advocated policy of routine antenatal anthelmintic treatment, and the value of such a policy may need to be reviewed.
Funding
Wellcome Trust.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61457-2
PMCID: PMC3018567  PMID: 21176950
3.  Does treatment of intestinal helminth infections influence malaria? Background and methodology of a longitudinal study of clinical, parasitological and immunological parameters in Nangapanda, Flores, Indonesia (ImmunoSPIN Study) 
Background
Given that helminth infections are thought to have strong immunomodulatory activity, the question whether helminth infections might affect responses to malaria antigens needs to be addressed. Different cross-sectional studies using diverse methodologies have reported that helminth infections might either exacerbate or reduce the severity of malaria attacks. The same discrepancies have been reported for parasitemia.
Methods/Design
To determine the effect of geohelminth infections and their treatment on malaria infection and disease outcome, as well as on immunological parameters, the area of Nangapanda on Flores Island, Indonesia, where malaria and helminth parasites are co-endemic was selected for a longitudinal study. Here a Double-blind randomized trial will be performed, incorporating repeated treatment with albendazole (400 mg) or placebo at three monthly intervals. Household characteristic data, anthropometry, the presence of intestinal helminth and Plasmodium spp infections, and the incidence of malaria episodes are recorded. In vitro cultures of whole blood, stimulated with a number of antigens, mitogens and toll like receptor ligands provide relevant immunological parameters at baseline and following 1 and 2 years of treatment rounds. The primary outcome of the study is the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax infection. The secondary outcome will be incidence and severity of malaria episodes detected via both passive and active follow-up. The tertiary outcome is the inflammatory cytokine profile in response to parasite antigens. The project also facilitates the transfer of state of the art methodologies and technologies, molecular diagnosis of parasitic diseases, immunology and epidemiology from Europe to Indonesia.
Discussion
The study will provide data on the effect of helminth infections on malaria. It will also give information on anthelminthic treatment efficacy and effectiveness and could help develop evidence-based policymaking.
Trial registration
This study was approved by The Ethical Committee of Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, ref:194/PT02.FK/Etik/2006 and has been filed by ethics committee of the Leiden University Medical Center. Clinical trial number:ISRCTN83830814. The study is reported in accordance with the CONSORT guidelines for cluster-randomized studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-77
PMCID: PMC2859773  PMID: 20338054
4.  Effects of Deworming during Pregnancy on Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes in Entebbe, Uganda: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
Background
Helminth infections during pregnancy may be associated with adverse outcomes, including maternal anemia, low birth weight, and perinatal mortality. Deworming during pregnancy has therefore been strongly advocated, but its benefits have not been rigorously evaluated.
Methods
In Entebbe, Uganda, 2507 pregnant women were recruited to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating albendazole and praziquantel in a 2 × 2 factorial design [ISRCTN32849447]. Hematinics and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine for presumptive treatment of malaria were provided routinely. Maternal and perinatal outcomes were recorded. Analyses were by intention to treat.
Results
At enrollment, 68% of women had helminths, 45% had hookworm, 18% had Schistosoma mansoni infection; 40% were anemic (hemoglobin level, <11.2 g/dL). At delivery, 35% were anaemic; there was no overall effect of albendazole (odds ratio [OR], 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79–1.15) or praziquantel (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.83–1.21) on maternal anemia, but there was a suggestion of benefit of albendazole among women with moderate to heavy hookworm (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.21–0.98; P = .15 for interaction). There was no effect of either anthelminthic treatment on mean birth weight (difference in mean associated with albendazole: −0.00 kg; 95% CI, −0.05 to 0.04 kg; difference in mean associated with praziquantel: −0.01 kg; 95% CI, −0.05 to 0.04 kg) or on proportion of low birth weight. Anthelminthic use during pregnancy showed no effect on perinatal mortality or congenital anomalies.
Conclusions
In our study area, where helminth prevalence was high but infection intensity was low, there was no overall effect of anthelminthic use during pregnancy on maternal anemia, birth weight, perinatal mortality, or congenital anomalies. The possible benefit of albendazole against anemia in pregnant women with heavy hookworm infection warrants further investigation.
doi:10.1086/649924
PMCID: PMC2857962  PMID: 20067426
5.  A longitudinal study of allergy and intestinal helminth infections in semi urban and rural areas of Flores, Indonesia (ImmunoSPIN Study) 
Background
The prevalence of asthma and atopic disease has been reported to be low in low income countries, however helminth infections are likely to be high among these communities. The question of whether helminth infections play a role in allergic diseases can best be addressed by intervention studies. None of the studies so far have been based on a large scale placebo-controlled trial.
Method/Design
This study was designed to assess how intestinal helminth infections can influence the immune response and atopic and allergic disorders in children in Indonesia. The relations between allergic outcomes and infection and lifestyle factors will be addressed. This study was set up among school-age children in semi urban and rural areas, located in Ende District of Flores Island, Indonesia. A randomized placebo-controlled anthelmintic treatment trial to elucidate the impact of helminth infections on the prevalence of skin prick test (SPT) reactivity and symptoms of allergic diseases will be performed. The children living in these semi-urban and rural areas will be assessed for SPT to allergens before and after 1 and 2 years of treatment as the primary outcome of the study; the secondary outcome is symptoms (asthma and atopic dermatitis); while the tertiary outcome is immune responses (both antibody levels to allergens and cellular immune responses).
Discussion
The study will provide information on the influence of helminth infections and anthelmintic treatment on immune response, atopy and allergic disorders.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN: ISRCTN83830814
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-83
PMCID: PMC3090332  PMID: 21457539
6.  Effect of Sanitation on Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(1):e1001162.
A systematic review and meta-analysis by Kathrin Ziegelbauer and colleagues finds that sanitation is associated with a reduced risk of transmission of helminthiases to humans.
Background
In countries of high endemicity of the soil-transmitted helminth parasites Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm, preventive chemotherapy (i.e., repeated administration of anthelmintic drugs to at-risk populations) is the main strategy to control morbidity. However, rapid reinfection of humans occurs after successful deworming, and therefore effective preventive measures are required to achieve public health goals with optimal efficiency and sustainability.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effect of sanitation (i.e., access and use of facilities for the safe disposal of human urine and feces) on infection with soil-transmitted helminths. PubMed, Embase, ISI Web of Science, and the World Health Organization Library Database were searched without language restrictions and year of publication (search performed until December 31, 2010). Bibliographies of identified articles were hand-searched. All types of studies reporting data on sanitation availability (i.e., having access at own household or living in close proximity to sanitation facility), or usage, and soil-transmitted helminth infections at the individual level were considered. Reported odds ratios (ORs) of the protective effect of sanitation on soil-transmitted helminth infections were extracted from the papers or calculated from reported numbers. The quality of published studies was assessed with a panel of criteria developed by the authors. Random effects meta-analyses were used to account for observed heterogeneity. Thirty-six publications, consisting of 39 datasets, met our inclusion criteria. Availability of sanitation facilities was associated with significant protection against infection with soil-transmitted helminths (OR  =  0.46 to 0.58). Regarding the use of sanitation, ORs of 0.54 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.28–1.02), 0.63 (95% CI 0.37–1.05), and 0.78 (95% CI 0.60–1.00) were determined for T. trichiura, hookworm, and A. lumbricoides, respectively. The overall ORs, combining sanitation availability and use, were 0.51 (95% CI 0.44–0.61) for the three soil-transmitted helminths combined, 0.54 (95% CI 0.43–0.69) for A. lumbricoides, 0.58 (95% CI 0.45–0.75) for T. trichiura, and 0.60 (95% CI 0.48–0.75) for hookworm.
Conclusions
Despite a number of limitations (e.g., most studies used a cross-sectional design and were of low quality, with potential biases and considerable heterogeneity), our results reveal that sanitation is associated with a reduced risk of transmission of helminthiases to humans. Access to improved sanitation should be prioritized alongside preventive chemotherapy and health education to achieve a durable reduction of the burden of helminthiases.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than a billion people are infected with soil-transmitted helminths, parasitic worms that live in the human intestine (gut). Roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm infections mainly occur in tropical and subtropical regions and are most common in developing countries, where personal hygiene is poor, there is insufficient access to clean water, and sanitation (disposal of human feces and urine) is inadequate or absent. Because infected individuals excrete helminth eggs in their feces, in regions where people regularly defecate in the open, the soil becomes contaminated with eggs. People pick up roundworm or whipworm infections when they ingest these eggs after they have matured in the environment by eating raw, unwashed vegetables or by not washing their hands after handling contaminated soil (a common transmission route for children). In the case of hookworm, the immature, infective stages of the worms, which hatch in the soil, can penetrate human skin, and people usually become infected by walking barefoot on contaminated soil. Mild infections with soil-transmitted helminths rarely have symptoms, but severe infections can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea, weakness, and malnutrition that can impair physical and mental development. Many soil-transmitted helminth infections can be safely and effectively treated with anthelmintic drugs, but there is rapid reinfection after successful treatment.
Why Was This Study Done?
In 2001, the World Health Organization endorsed preventative chemotherapy as the global strategy to control soil-transmitted helminthiasis. The key component of this strategy is regular administration of anthelmintic drugs to at-risk groups—children, women of childbearing age, and adults in high-risk occupations such as nightsoil reuse and farming. Although this strategy reduces illness caused by soil-transmitted helminths, it does not prevent rapid reinfection. To interrupt transmission and to achieve local elimination of helminthiasis, integrated control approaches that include access to sanitation and other complementary interventions of a primary prevention nature are needed. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers investigate whether the availability and/or use of sanitation facilities (latrines or toilets) lowers the risk of soil-transmitted helminth infections. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic; a meta-analysis is a statistical method that combines the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 36 publications that included data on sanitation availability and/or use and the number of people in the study population infected with one or more of three types of soil-transmitted helminths. Meta-analysis of the data from these publications indicates that, compared to people with no access to sanitation facilities, people with access to sanitation facilities were half as likely to be infected with soil-transmitted helminths. Specifically, the odds ratios (ORs; chances) of infection with soil-transmitted helminths among people with access to latrines compared to people without access to latrines were 0.46, 0.56, and 0.58 for roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm, respectively; for all three helminths combined, the OR was 0.49. Use of (as opposed to access to) sanitation facilities also protected against soil-transmitted helminth infection (ORs of 0.78, 0.54, and 0.63 for roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm infections, respectively). Finally, combining the data for both access and use, people who either had or used a latrine were half as likely to be infected with a soil-transmitted helminth as people who neither had or used a latrine (OR 0.51).
What Do These Findings Mean?
The studies included in this systematic review and meta-analysis have several shortcomings. For example, most were cross-sectional surveys—studies that examined the effect of the availability/use of sanitation on helminth infections in a population at a single time point. Given this study design, people who had latrines may have shared other characteristics that were actually responsible for the observed reductions in the risk of soil-transmitted helminth infections. Moreover, the data on latrine availability and use was derived from questionnaires and may, therefore, be inaccurate because people are often ashamed to admit that they defecate outside. Finally, the overall quality of the included studies was low. Nevertheless, these findings confirm that providing access to, and promoting use of, sanitation facilities is an effective control measure for soil-transmitted helminthiasis. Thus, there should be more emphasis on expanding access to adequate sanitation in control strategies for soil-transmitted helminths. This change in emphasis would reinforce the effects of preventative chemotherapy and ongoing health education on helminthiasis, in an economic, sustainability, and public health sense. Importantly, it would also improve the control of other neglected tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis and trachoma and would reduce the incidence of diarrhea, and thus child mortality, in developing countries.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001162.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease provides information on infections caused by soil-transmitted helminths
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides detailed information on roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm infections
The World Health Organization provides information on soil-transmitted helminths, including a description of the current control strategy; the Partners for Parasite Control newsletter Action Against Worms focuses on specific areas of worm control; a teacher's resource book entitled A Lively and Healthy Me that deals with educating children about worm infections is also available
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, an advocacy initiative dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases, provides information on infections with roundworm (ascariasis), whipworm (trichuriasis), and hookworm
Two international programs promoting water sanitation are the World Health Organization Water Sanitation and Health program and the World Health Organization/United Nations Childrens Fund Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and Practical Action have information about approaches and technologies for sanitation
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001162
PMCID: PMC3265535  PMID: 22291577
7.  Tuberculin Skin-Test Reactions Are Unaffected by the Severity of Hyperendemic Intestinal Helminth Infections and Co-Infections 
The tuberculin skin test (TST) quantifies cell-mediated immunity to tuberculosis antigens. Helminths suppress cell-mediated immunity, so we studied the effect of helminth infection and deworming on the TST in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in an indigenous Amazon community (N = 195). Stool microscopy diagnosed helminths in 98% and co-infection with multiple species in 24% of study subjects. The TST was positive (≥ 10 mm) for 49%, and responses increased with age (P < 0.001), Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccination (P = 0.01), and tuberculosis contact (P = 0.05). TST results had no association with helminth-egg concentrations, species, or co-infections (all P > 0.1). One month after deworming with albendazole (three daily 400-mg doses), helminths were reduced, but 63% remained infected with helminths. Albendazole did not cause a change in TST size (P = 0.8) or positivity (P = 0.9) relative to placebo. Thus, TST reactions were unaffected by albendazole therapy that partially cured intestinal helminth infections, and TST interpretation was unaffected by high-burden helminth infections and co-infection with multiple helminth species.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.10-0073
PMCID: PMC2911178  PMID: 20682875
8.  Risk Factors for Helminth, Malaria, and HIV Infection in Pregnancy in Entebbe, Uganda 
Background
Infections during pregnancy may have serious consequences for both mother and baby. Assessment of risk factors for infections informs planning of interventions and analysis of the impact of infections on health outcomes.
Objectives
To describe risk factors for helminths, malaria and HIV in pregnant Ugandan women before intervention in a trial of de-worming in pregnancy.
Methods
The trial recruited 2,507 pregnant women between April 2003 and November 2005. Participants were interviewed and blood and stool samples obtained; location of residence at enrolment was mapped. Demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral and other risk factors were modelled using logistic regression.
Results
There was a high prevalence of helminth, malaria and HIV infection, as previously reported. All helminths and malaria parasitemia were more common in younger women, and education was protective against every infection. Place of birth and/or tribe affected all helminths in a pattern consistent with the geographical distribution of helminth infections in Uganda. Four different geohelminths (hookworm, Trichuris, Ascaris and Trichostrongylus) showed a downwards trend in prevalence during the enrolment period. There was a negative association between hookworm and HIV, and between hookworm and low CD4 count among HIV-positive women. Locally, high prevalence of schistosomiasis and HIV occurred in lakeshore communities.
Conclusions
Interventions for helminths, malaria and HIV need to target young women both in and out of school. Antenatal interventions for malaria and HIV infection must continue to be promoted. Women originating from a high risk area for a helminth infection remain at high risk after migration to a lower-risk area, and vice versa, but overall, geohelminths seem to be becoming less common in this population. High risk populations, such as fishing communities, require directed effort against schistosomiasis and HIV infection.
Author Summary
Infections in pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, maternal mortality, and low birth weight and have other long-term complications for mother and baby, although the full impact of many infections, particularly worm infections, is not yet fully understood. There is a high burden of infectious disease in many developing countries. In this analysis, we identified which factors put pregnant women in Entebbe, Uganda, at particular risk for worm infections, malaria, HIV, and, where possible, rarer infections including syphilis. The women in this study, and their children, will be followed up to determine the long-term effects of exposure of the fetus to these maternal infections on health during childhood. The findings of this baseline analysis will help in the interpretation of the long-term outcomes. The findings also highlight which groups are most at risk of each infection, and this may help in targeting interventions to prevent, treat, or mitigate the impact of infections in pregnancy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000473
PMCID: PMC2696595  PMID: 19564904
9.  Albendazole treatment of HIV-1 and helminth co-infection: A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(13):1601-1609.
OBJECTIVE
Several co-infections have been shown to impact the progression of HIV-1 infection. We sought to determine if treatment of helminth co-infection in HIV-1 infected adults impacted markers of HIV-1 disease progression.
DESIGN
To date there have been no randomized trials to examine the effects of soil-transmitted helminth eradication on markers of HIV-1 progression.
METHODS
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of albendazole (400mg daily for three days) in antiretroviral-naïve HIV-1 infected adults (CD4 >200 cells/mm3) with soil-transmitted helminth infection was conducted at ten sites in Kenya (Clinical Trials.gov NCT00130910). CD4 and plasma HIV-1 RNA levels at 12 weeks following randomization were compared in the trial arms using linear regression, adjusting for baseline values.
RESULTS
Of 1,551 HIV-1 infected individuals screened for helminth-infection, 299 were helminth-infected. 234 adults were enrolled and underwent randomization and 208 individuals were included in intent-to-treat analyses. Mean CD4 count was 557 cells/mm3 and mean plasma viral load was 4.75 log10 copies/mL at enrolment. Albendazole therapy resulted in significantly higher CD4 counts among individuals with Ascaris lumbricoides infection after 12 weeks of follow up (+109 cells/mm3; 95% CI +38.9 to +179.0, p=0.003) and a trend for 0.54 log10 lower HIV-1 RNA levels (p=0.09). These effects were not seen with treatment of other species of soil-transmitted helminths.
CONCLUSIONS
Treatment of A. lumbricoides with albendazole in HIV-1 co-infected adults resulted in significantly increased CD4 counts during 3-month follow-up. Given the high prevalence of A. lumbricoides infection worldwide, deworming may be an important potential strategy to delay HIV-1 progression.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32830a502e
PMCID: PMC2637615  PMID: 18670219
HIV-1 progression; helminth; co-infection
10.  The effect of anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy on HIV plasma viral load; results from a randomised, double blinded, placebo-controlled trial in Uganda 
Background
To investigate the effect of helminth infections and their treatment during pregnancy on HIV load, we conducted a 2×2 factorial randomised controlled trial of albendazole versus placebo and praziquantel versus placebo in pregnant women in Entebbe, Uganda
Methods
Two hundred and sixty-four HIV-infected women from the Entebbe Mother and Baby Study (ISRCTN32849447) were included in this analysis. Women were tested for helminth infections at enrolment and mean HIV load was compared between infected and uninfected groups. The effect of anthelminthic treatment on HIV load was evaluated at six weeks post-treatment and at delivery using linear regression and adjusting for enrolment viral load.
Results
Hookworm and Trichuris infections were associated with higher mean viral load at enrolment (adjusted mean difference 0.24log10 copies/ml, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.01 to 0.47, p=0.03 and 0.37log10 copies/ml, 95%CI: 0.00 to 0.74, p=0.05, respectively). There were no associations between viral load and other helminth species. There was some evidence that albendazole reduced viral load at six weeks post-treatment (adjusted mean difference −0.17, 95% CI: −0.36 to 0.01, p=0.07), however this effect did not differ according to mother’s hookworm infection status and had diminished at delivery (adjusted mean difference −0.11, 95% CI: −0.28 to 0.07, p=0.23). There was no effect of praziquantel treatment on HIV load at any time point.
Conclusions
Infection with some soil-transmitted helminth species is associated with increased HIV load in pregnancy. Treatment with albendazole causes a small decrease in HIV load, however this may not represent a direct effect of worm removal.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182511e42
PMCID: PMC3383620  PMID: 22728750
HIV; viral load; helminths; anthelminthic treatment; clinical trial
11.  Safety of anti-immunoglobulin E therapy with omalizumab in allergic patients at risk of geohelminth infection 
Background
Although the role of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in immunity against helminth parasites is unclear, there is concern that therapeutic antibodies that neutralize IgE (anti-IgE) may be unsafe in subjects at risk of helminth infection.
Objective
We conducted an exploratory study to investigate the safety of omalizumab (anti-IgE) in subjects with allergic asthma and/or perennial allergic rhinitis at high risk of intestinal helminth infection. The primary safety outcome was risk of infections with intestinal helminths during anti-IgE therapy.
Methods
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 137 subjects (12–30 years) at high risk of geohelminth infection. All subjects received pre-study anthelmintic treatment, followed by 52 weeks' treatment with omalizumab or placebo.
Results
Of the omalizumab subjects 50% (34/68) experienced at least one intestinal geohelminth infection compared with 41% (28/69) of placebo subjects [odds ratio (OR) 1.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74–2.95, one-sided P = 0.14; OR (adjusted for study visit, baseline infection status, gender and age) 2.2 (0.94–5.15); one-sided P = 0.035], providing some evidence for a potential increased incidence of geohelminth infection in subjects receiving omalizumab. Omalizumab therapy was well tolerated, and did not appear to be associated with increased morbidity attributable to intestinal helminths as assessed by clinical and laboratory adverse events, maximal helminth infection intensities and additional anthelmintic requirements. Time to first infection (OR 1.30, 95% CI 0.79–2.15, one-sided P = 0.15) was similar between treatment groups. Infection severity and response to anthelmintics appeared to be unaffected by omalizumab therapy.
Conclusions
In this exploratory study of allergic subjects at high risk of helminth infections, omalizumab therapy appeared to be safe and well tolerated, but may be associated with a modest increase in the incidence of geohelminth infection.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2007.02650.x
PMCID: PMC1859973  PMID: 17250692
allergic rhinitis; asthma; geohelminth infections; immunoglobulin E; monoclonal antibody; omalizumab
12.  Helminth Infections Coincident with Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis Inhibit Mono- and Multifunctional CD4+ and CD8+ T Cell Responses in a Process Dependent on IL-10 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(9):e1004375.
Tissue invasive helminth infections and tuberculosis (TB) are co-endemic in many parts of the world and can trigger immune responses that might antagonize each other. We have previously shown that helminth infections modulate the Th1 and Th17 responses to mycobacterial-antigens in latent TB. To determine whether helminth infections modulate antigen-specific and non-specific immune responses in active pulmonary TB, we examined CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses as well as the systemic (plasma) cytokine levels in individuals with pulmonary TB with or without two distinct helminth infections—Wuchereria bancrofti and Strongyloides stercoralis infection. By analyzing the frequencies of Th1 and Th17 CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and their component subsets (including multifunctional cells), we report a significant diminution in the mycobacterial–specific frequencies of mono- and multi–functional CD4+ Th1 and (to a lesser extent) Th17 cells when concomitant filarial or Strongyloides infection occurs. The impairment in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell cytokine responses was antigen-specific as polyclonal activated T cell frequencies were equivalent irrespective of helminth infection status. This diminution in T cell responses was also reflected in diminished circulating levels of Th1 (IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-2)- and Th17 (IL-17A and IL-17F)-associated cytokines. Finally, we demonstrate that for the filarial co-infections at least, this diminished frequency of multifunctional CD4+ T cell responses was partially dependent on IL-10 as IL-10 blockade significantly increased the frequencies of CD4+ Th1 cells. Thus, co-existent helminth infection is associated with an IL-10 mediated (for filarial infection) profound inhibition of antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses as well as protective systemic cytokine responses in active pulmonary TB.
Author Summary
While it has long been recognized that helminth infections alter the pathophysiology of allergic and autoimmune disease, data suggest that helminth infections also exert an important immunological effect on concomitant infections and vaccine responses. In particular, helminth coinfection can modulate the severity, pathogenesis and transmission of other infectious diseases. In this study, we examine the mechanism by which helminth infections modulate the immunological responses to tuberculosis antigens in individuals with active pulmonary tuberculosis. Our data suggest that two different helminth infections, with different life cycles, tissue localization and modes of transmission essentially exert very similar effects on the adaptive immune response to tuberculosis antigens in pulmonary tuberculosis. This includes a compromised induction of protective cytokine-expressing T cells as well as inhibitory effects on systemic cytokines that are potentially protective in tuberculosis. The strength of this study lies in the fact that this is the first study to demonstrate that two different helminth infections essentially impair cytokine responses in a similar manner in pulmonary tuberculosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004375
PMCID: PMC4161445  PMID: 25211342
13.  Chronic Filarial Infection Provides Protection against Bacterial Sepsis by Functionally Reprogramming Macrophages 
PLoS Pathogens  2015;11(1):e1004616.
Helminths immunomodulate their hosts and induce a regulatory, anti-inflammatory milieu that prevents allergies and autoimmune diseases. Helminth immunomodulation may benefit sepsis outcome by preventing exacerbated inflammation and severe pathology, but the influence on bacterial clearance remains unclear. To address this, mice were chronically infected with the filarial nematode Litomosoides sigmodontis (L.s.) and the outcome of acute systemic inflammation caused by i.p. Escherichia coli injection was determined. L.s. infection significantly improved E. coli-induced hypothermia, bacterial clearance and sepsis survival and correlated with reduced concentrations of associated pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines and a less pronounced pro-inflammatory macrophage gene expression profile. Improved sepsis outcome in L.s.-infected animals was mediated by macrophages, but independent of the alternatively activated macrophage subset. Endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria that are present in most human pathogenic filariae, as well as L.s., signal via TLR2 and modulate macrophage function. Here, gene expression profiles of peritoneal macrophages from L.s.-infected mice revealed a downregulation of genes involved in TLR signaling, and pulsing of macrophages in vitro with L.s. extract reduced LPS-triggered activation. Subsequent transfer improved sepsis outcome in naïve mice in a Wolbachia- and TLR2-dependent manner. In vivo, phagocytosis was increased in macrophages from L.s.-infected wild type, but not TLR2-deficient animals. In association, L.s. infection neither improved bacterial clearance in TLR2-deficient animals nor ameliorated E. coli-induced hypothermia and sepsis survival. These results indicate that chronic L.s. infection has a dual beneficial effect on bacterial sepsis, reducing pro-inflammatory immune responses and improving bacterial control. Thus, helminths and their antigens may not only improve the outcome of autoimmune and allergic diseases, but may also present new therapeutic approaches for acute inflammatory diseases that do not impair bacterial control.
Author Summary
As the human immune system evolved in the presence of helminth infections, it is postulated that improved hygiene and subsequent loss of helminth infections and their immunomodulatory functions contributed to the sharp increase of autoimmune diseases and allergies over the last decades. Accordingly, helminth-induced anti-inflammatory, regulatory immune responses ameliorate allergy and autoimmune diseases and are likely to impact other immunological disorders including sepsis. Sepsis is an exacerbated, systemic inflammatory disease that occurs when pathogens cannot be locally confined and spread via the blood stream. Thus, efficient sepsis therapies should reduce excessive inflammation without impairing protective immune responses. In the present study we demonstrate that chronic filarial infection modulates macrophages to a less pro-inflammatory phenotype with improved phagocytic capacity. This immunomodulation reduces sepsis-induced inflammation and hypothermia and clears bacteria more efficiently thus improving sepsis survival. Moreover, we found that Wolbachia, the endosymbiotic bacteria of filariae, play a crucial role in triggering the correct macrophage response via TLR2. Thus, our observations suggest that helminths and helminth-derived antigens may not only present new treatment options for allergies and autoimmune diseases, but may also allow treatment of sepsis caused inflammation without impairing bacterial control.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004616
PMCID: PMC4303312  PMID: 25611587
14.  Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy with Mefloquine in HIV-Infected Women Receiving Cotrimoxazole Prophylaxis: A Multicenter Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(9):e1001735.
Clara Menéndez and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial among HIV-positive pregnant women in Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania to investigate the safety and efficacy of mefloquine as intermittent preventative therapy for malaria in women receiving cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and long-lasting insecticide treated nets.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is recommended for malaria prevention in HIV-negative pregnant women, but it is contraindicated in HIV-infected women taking daily cotrimoxazole prophylaxis (CTXp) because of potential added risk of adverse effects associated with taking two antifolate drugs simultaneously. We studied the safety and efficacy of mefloquine (MQ) in women receiving CTXp and long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLITNs).
Methods and Findings
A total of 1,071 HIV-infected women from Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania were randomized to receive either three doses of IPTp-MQ (15 mg/kg) or placebo given at least one month apart; all received CTXp and a LLITN. IPTp-MQ was associated with reduced rates of maternal parasitemia (risk ratio [RR], 0.47 [95% CI 0.27–0.82]; p = 0.008), placental malaria (RR, 0.52 [95% CI 0.29–0.90]; p = 0.021), and reduced incidence of non-obstetric hospital admissions (RR, 0.59 [95% CI 0.37–0.95]; p = 0.031) in the intention to treat (ITT) analysis. There were no differences in the prevalence of adverse pregnancy outcomes between groups. Drug tolerability was poorer in the MQ group compared to the control group (29.6% referred dizziness and 23.9% vomiting after the first IPTp-MQ administration). HIV viral load at delivery was higher in the MQ group compared to the control group (p = 0.048) in the ATP analysis. The frequency of perinatal mother to child transmission of HIV was increased in women who received MQ (RR, 1.95 [95% CI 1.14–3.33]; p = 0.015). The main limitation of the latter finding relates to the exploratory nature of this part of the analysis.
Conclusions
An effective antimalarial added to CTXp and LLITNs in HIV-infected pregnant women can improve malaria prevention, as well as maternal health through reduction in hospital admissions. However, MQ was not well tolerated, limiting its potential for IPTp and indicating the need to find alternatives with better tolerability to reduce malaria in this particularly vulnerable group. MQ was associated with an increased risk of mother to child transmission of HIV, which warrants a better understanding of the pharmacological interactions between antimalarials and antiretroviral drugs.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT 00811421; Pan African Clinical Trials Registry PACTR 2010020001813440
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, kills about 600,000 people every year. Most of these deaths occur among young children living in sub-Saharan Africa but pregnant women living in Africa are also very vulnerable to malaria. Infection with malaria during pregnancy can cause severe maternal anemia (reduced red blood cell numbers), stillbirths, and pre-term and low-birthweight babies, and is responsible for the deaths of many African women and their babies. To reduce the loss of life from malaria in pregnancy, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that pregnant women living in Africa receive the antimalarial drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) at each scheduled antenatal care visit given at least a month apart (intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy [IPTp]). In addition, WHO advises pregnant women to sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets to protect themselves from the bites of infected mosquitoes and recommends effective case management of pregnant women with malarial illness.
Why Was This Study Done?
Pregnant women living in Africa are often infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV infection increases both the risk and severity of malaria infection during pregnancy, and at least one million pregnancies are complicated by co-infection with malaria and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa every year. WHO recommends that HIV-positive pregnant women take cotrimoxazole (CTX) daily to prevent opportunistic infections (CTX prophylaxis [CTXp]). Unfortunately, both CTX and SP are antifolate drugs and taking two drugs of this type increases a woman's risk of developing a severe skin reaction. Moreover, although CTXp protects children and HIV-infected adults against malaria, it is not known whether CTXp alone protects HIV-infected pregnant women adequately against malaria. Thus, evaluations of alternative drugs for use in IPTp in HIV-positive pregnant women are needed. In this randomized placebo-controlled trial, the researchers study the safety and efficacy of the antimalarial drug mefloquine (MQ) in HIV-infected women receiving CTXp. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial compares outcomes among people chosen through the play of chance to receive either the drug under investigation or a “dummy” (placebo) drug.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers allocated 1,071 HIV-infected pregnant women from Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania to receive three doses of MQ (IPTp-MQ), given at least one month apart, or three doses of placebo. All the women received CTXp and were given an insecticide-treated bed net. In an intention-to-treat analysis (an analysis that considers the outcomes of all trial participants irrespective of whether they receive their allocated treatment), the prevalence of parasitemia (parasites in the blood) at delivery among women given IPTp-MQ was 3.5% whereas the prevalence among women given the placebo was 6.9%. In other words, compared to placebo, IPTp-MQ was associated with a reduced risk of maternal parasitemia. IPTp-MQ was also associated with a reduced rate of placental malaria (parasites in the placenta) and a reduced incidence of hospital admissions for non-pregnancy related causes. There was no difference in adverse pregnancy outcomes such as stillbirth between the intervention groups but drug tolerability was poorer in the MQ group than in the placebo group. Finally, in an exploratory (unplanned) according-to-protocol analysis (an analysis that only considers outcomes in trial participants who receive their allocated intervention), women in the MQ group had a higher HIV viral load at delivery than women in the control group and were nearly twice as likely to transmit HIV to their child around the time of birth.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the addition of IPTp-MQ to CTXp and the use of insecticide-treated bed nets can improve malaria prevention and maternal health in HIV-infected pregnant women in Africa. However, the poor tolerability of MQ and the association of MQ treatment with both an increased HIV viral load at delivery and a higher frequency of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV when compared to placebo raise concerns about the use of MQ in IPTp. Because these last two findings came from an exploratory analysis, which is more likely to throw up a chance finding than a pre-planned analysis further studies are needed to confirm these unexpected but potentially important findings. Nevertheless, overall, the findings of this study suggest that MQ should not be recommended for IPTp in HIV-infected pregnant women in Africa and highlight the need to find alternative drugs for malaria prevention in this group of women who are particularly vulnerable to malaria.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001735.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Richard Steketee.
A related PLOS Medicine Research Article by González et al. compares the efficacy of IPTp-MQ and IPTp-SP in HIV-negative women
Information is available from the World Health Organization on malaria (in several languages) and on malaria in pregnancy; information on IPTp and the current WHO policy recommendation on IPTp with SP are available; the 2013 World Malaria Report provides details of the current global malaria situation
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides information on malaria; a personal story about malaria in pregnancy is available
Information is available from the Roll Back Malaria Partnership on all aspects of global malaria control, including information on malaria in pregnancy
The Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium is undertaking research into the prevention and treatment of malaria in pregnancy
MedlinePlus provides links to additional information on malaria (in English and Spanish)
More information about the trial protocol is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001735
PMCID: PMC4172537  PMID: 25247995
15.  Impact of helminth infection on childhood allergic diseases in an area in transition from high to low infection burden 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2012;2(2):122-128.
Background
The effect of helminth infections on allergic diseases is still inconclusive. Furthermore, the effect of helminth infections on childhood allergic diseases in a tropical area where prevalence of helminth infections has undergone dramatic changes is not well documented.
Objective
To investigate the relationship between allergic diseases and helminth infection in a cohort of schoolchildren in an area that has undergone dramatic changes in intensity of helminth infections.
Methods
Children attending grade 5 were recruited from 17 schools in Western Province of Sri Lanka. They were assessed for allergic diseases using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire. Their serum total IgE (tIgE) and allergen-specific IgE (sIgE) for five common aeroallergens were measured by ImmunoCAP® method and stools were examined for the presence of helminth infections.
Results
A total of 640 children (mean age 10 years) were recruited to the study. Of them, 33.7% had evidence of allergic disease and 15.5% had helminth infections. Majority of infections (68.9%) were of low intensity. A significant relationship between allergic disease and helminth infections was not observed, however, a trend toward protective role of helminth infections against allergic diseases was noted. Multivariate analysis showed helminth infections to be an independent predictor of high tIgE levels whereas allergic disease was not. Allergic sensitization (atopy) was a significant risk factor for allergic disease only among non-infected children (odds ratio 3.025, p = 0.022) but not in infected children. The ratio of sIgE to tIgE was higher in non-infected children.
Conclusion
Though not significant, a reduced risk of allergy in helminth-infected children was observed in this population. A Decrease in intensity of helminth infections may have contributed to the reduced capacity of immune-modulation by helminths in this paediatric population.
doi:10.5415/apallergy.2012.2.2.122
PMCID: PMC3345325  PMID: 22701862
Allergy; Atopy; Children; IgE; Helminth infections
16.  Factors affecting the infant antibody response to measles immunisation in Entebbe-Uganda 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:619.
Background
Vaccine failure is an important concern in the tropics with many contributing elements. Among them, it has been suggested that exposure to natural infections might contribute to vaccine failure and recurrent disease outbreaks. We tested this hypothesis by examining the influence of co-infections on maternal and infant measles-specific IgG levels.
Methods
We conducted an observational analysis using samples and data that had been collected during a larger randomised controlled trial, the Entebbe Mother and Baby Study (ISRCTN32849447). For the present study, 711 pregnant women and their offspring were considered. Helminth infections including hookworm, Schistosoma mansoni and Mansonella perstans, along with HIV, malaria, and other potential confounding factors were determined in mothers during pregnancy and in their infants at age one year. Infants received their measles immunisation at age nine months. Levels of total IgG against measles were measured in mothers during pregnancy and at delivery, as well as in cord blood and from infants at age one year.
Results
Among the 711 pregnant women studied, 66% had at least one helminth infection at enrolment, 41% had hookworm, 20% M. perstans and 19% S. mansoni. Asymptomatic malaria and HIV prevalence was 8% and 10% respectively. At enrolment, 96% of the women had measles-specific IgG levels considered protective (median 4274 mIU/ml (IQR 1784, 7767)). IgG levels in cord blood were positively correlated to maternal measles-specific IgG levels at delivery (r = 0.81, p < 0.0001). Among the infants at one year of age, median measles-specific IgG levels were markedly lower than in maternal and cord blood (median 370 mIU/ml (IQR 198, 656) p < 0.0001). In addition, only 75% of the infants had measles-specific IgG levels considered to be protective. In a multivariate regression analysis, factors associated with reduced measles-specific antibody levels in infancy were maternal malaria infection, infant malaria parasitaemia, infant HIV and infant wasting. There was no association with maternal helminth infection.
Conclusion
Malaria and HIV infection in mothers during pregnancy, and in their infants, along with infant malnutrition, may result in reduction of the antibody response to measles immunisation in infancy. This re-emphasises the importance of malaria and HIV control, and support for infant nutrition, as these interventions may have benefits for vaccine efficacy in tropical settings.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-619
PMCID: PMC3733798  PMID: 23816281
Infections; Co-infections; Measles; Helminth; Malaria; HIV; Maternal; Infants; Pregnancy; Immunisation
17.  Safety and Immunogenicity of Tetanus Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) Immunization During Pregnancy in Mothers and Infants: A Randomized Clinical Trial 
JAMA  2014;311(17):1760-1769.
Importance
Maternal immunization with tetanus toxoid and reduced diphtheria toxoid acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine could prevent infant pertussis. The effect of vaccine-induced maternal antibodies on infant responses to diphtheria and tetanus toxoids acellular pertussis (DTaP) immunization is unknown.
Objective
To evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of Tdap immunization during pregnancy and its effect on infant responses to DTaP.
Design, Setting and Participants
Phase I, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in private (Houston) and academic (Durham, Seattle) obstetric practices from 2008 to 2012. Forty eight healthy 18–45 year-old pregnant women received Tdap (n=33) or placebo (n=15) at 30–32 weeks’ gestation with cross-over Tdap immunization postpartum.
Interventions
Tdap vaccination at 30–32 weeks’ gestation or post-partum.
Outcome Measures
Primary: Maternal and infant adverse events, pertussis illness and infant growth and development (Bayley-III screening test) until 13 months of age. Secondary: Antibody concentrations in pregnant women before and 4 weeks after Tdap immunization or placebo, at delivery and 2 months postpartum, and in infants at birth, 2 months, and after the third (7 months) and fourth (13 months) doses of DTaP.
Results
All participants delivered healthy newborns. No Tdap-associated serious adverse events occurred in women or infants. Injection site reactions after Tdap immunization were reported in 78.8% (95% CI: 61.1%, 91.0%) and 80% (CI: 51.9%, 95.7%) pregnant and postpartum women, respectively. Injection site pain was the predominant symptom. Systemic symptoms were reported in 36.4% (CI: 20.4%, 54.9%) and 73.3% (CI: 44.9%, 92.2%) pregnant and postpartum women, respectively. Malaise and myalgia were most common. Growth and development were similar in both infant groups. No cases of pertussis occurred. Significantly higher concentrations of pertussis antibodies were measured at delivery in women who received Tdap during pregnancy and in their infants at birth and at age 2 months when compared to infants of women immunized postpartum. Antibody responses in infants of Tdap recipients during pregnancy were modestly lower after 3 DTaP doses, but not different following the fourth dose.
Conclusions and Relevance
This preliminary safety assessment did not find an increased risk of adverse events among women who received Tdap vaccine at 30–32 weeks’ gestation or their infants. Maternal immunization with Tdap resulted in high concentrations of pertussis antibodies in infants during the first 2 months of life and did not substantially alter infant responses to DTaP. Further research is needed to provide definitive evidence of the safety and efficacy of Tdap vaccination during pregnancy.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov, study identifier: NCT00707148. URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov
doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3633
PMCID: PMC4333147  PMID: 24794369
Maternal immunization; Pertussis; infants; maternal antibodies; response to active immunization
18.  Trichuris suis ova in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome (TRIOMS): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:112.
Background
Trichuris suis ova is a probiotic treatment based on the hygiene hypothesis. It has been demonstrated as safe and effective in autoimmune inflammatory bowel diseases and clinical trials indicate that helminth infections also have an immunomodulatory effect in multiple sclerosis.
We hypothesize that administering 2,500 Trichuris suis ova eggs orally every two weeks for 12 months is - due to its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effect - significantly more effective than oral placebo in preventing new T2 and Gd+ lesions, as quantified by cerebral MRI and clinical examination, in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome.
Methods/Design
Fifty patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis or clinically isolated syndrome with clinical activity, not undergoing any standard therapies, will be randomized 1:1 to Trichuris suis ova 2,500 eggs every two weeks or matching placebo. The safety, tolerability and effect on disease activity and in vivo mechanisms of action of Trichuris suis ova in MS will be assessed by neurological, laboratory and immunological exams and magnetic resonance imaging throughout the 12-month treatment period and over a follow-up period of 6 months. Various immunological analyses will be used to assess the overall patient immune response prior to and at varying time points following treatment with Trichuris suis ova.
Discussion
We anticipate that Trichuris suis ova will be well tolerated and more effective than the placebo in preventing new T2 and Gd+ lesions, as quantified by MRI. We also expect the Th1/Th17 proinflammatory response to shift towards the more anti-inflammatory Th2 response. This study has important clinical implications and will involve extensive research on the immunology of helminth therapy.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01413243
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-112
PMCID: PMC3680966  PMID: 23782752
Multiple sclerosis; Trichuris suis ova; Clinical trial; Intervention; Immmunomodulation; Hygiene hypothesis
19.  Treatment of Helminth Co-Infection in Individuals with HIV-1: A Systematic Review of the Literature 
Background and Objectives
The HIV-1 pandemic has disproportionately affected individuals in resource-constrained settings. It is important to determine if other prevalent infections affect the progression of HIV-1 in co-infected individuals in these settings. Some observational studies suggest that helminth infection may adversely affect HIV-1 progression. We sought to evaluate existing evidence on whether treatment of helminth infection impacts HIV-1 progression.
Review Methods
This review was conducted using the HIV/AIDS Cochrane Review Group (CRG) search strategy and guidelines. Published and unpublished studies were obtained from The Cochrane Library (Issue 3, 2006), MEDLINE (November 2006), EMBASE (November 2006), CENTRAL (July 2006), and AIDSEARCH (August 2006). Databases listing conference abstracts and scanned reference lists were searched, and authors of included studies were contacted. Data regarding changes in CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA levels, clinical staging and/or mortality were extracted and compared between helminth-treated and helminth-untreated or helminth-uninfected individuals.
Results
Of 6,384 abstracts identified, 15 met criteria for potential inclusion, of which 5 were eligible for inclusion. In the single randomized controlled trial (RCT) identified, HIV-1 and schistosomiasis co-infected individuals receiving treatment for schistosomiasis had a significantly lower change in plasma HIV-1 RNA over three months (−0.001 log10 copies/mL) compared to those receiving no treatment (+0.21 log10 copies/mL), (p = 0.03). Four observational studies met inclusion criteria, and all of these suggested a possible beneficial effect of helminth eradication on plasma HIV-1 RNA levels when compared to plasma HIV-1 RNA changes prior to helminth treatment or to helminth-uninfected or persistently helminth-infected individuals. The follow-up duration in these studies ranged from three to six months. The reported magnitude of effect on HIV-1 RNA was variable, ranging from 0.07–1.05 log10 copies/mL. None of the included studies showed a significant benefit of helminth treatment on CD4 decline, clinical staging, or mortality.
Conclusion
There are insufficient data available to determine the potential benefit of helminth eradication in HIV-1 and helminth co-infected adults. Data from a single RCT and multiple observational studies suggest possible benefit in reducing plasma viral load. The impact of de-worming on markers of HIV-1 progression should be addressed in larger randomized studies evaluating species-specific effects and with a sufficient duration of follow-up to document potential differences on clinical outcomes and CD4 decline.
Author Summary
Many people living in areas of the world most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic are also exposed to other common infections. Parasitic infections with helminths (intestinal worms) are common in Africa and affect over half of the population in some areas. There are plausible biological reasons why treating helminth infections in people with HIV may slow down the progression of HIV to AIDS. Thus, treating people with HIV for helminths in areas with a high prevalence of both HIV and helminth infections may be a feasible strategy to help people with HIV delay progression of their disease or initiation of antiretroviral therapy. After a comprehensive review of the available literature, we conclude that there is not enough evidence to determine whether treating helminth infections in people with HIV is beneficial.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000102
PMCID: PMC2154389  PMID: 18160978
20.  Prevalence and Correlates of Helminth Co-infection in Kenyan HIV-1 Infected Adults 
Background
Deworming HIV-1 infected individuals may delay HIV-1 disease progression. It is important to determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV-1/helminth co-infection in helminth-endemic areas.
Methods
HIV-1 infected individuals (CD4>250 cells/ul) were screened for helminth infection at ten sites in Kenya. Prevalence and correlates of helminth infection were determined. A subset of individuals with soil-transmitted helminth infection was re-evaluated 12 weeks following albendazole therapy.
Results
Of 1,541 HIV-1 seropositive individuals screened, 298 (19.3%) had detectable helminth infections. Among individuals with helminth infection, hookworm species were the most prevalent (56.3%), followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (17.1%), Trichuris trichiura (8.7%), Schistosoma mansoni (7.1%), and Stongyloides stercoralis (1.3%). Infection with multiple species occurred in 9.4% of infections. After CD4 count was controlled for, rural residence (RR 1.40, 95% CI: 1.08–1.81), having no education (RR 1.57, 95% CI: 1.07–2.30), and higher CD4 count (RR 1.36, 95% CI: 1.07–1.73) remained independently associated with risk of helminth infection. Twelve weeks following treatment with albendazole, 32% of helminth-infected individuals had detectable helminths on examination. Residence, education, and CD4 count were not associated with persistent helminth infection.
Conclusions
Among HIV-1 seropositive adults with CD4 counts above 250 cells/mm3 in Kenya, traditional risk factors for helminth infection, including rural residence and lack of education, were associated with co-infection, while lower CD4 counts were not.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00130910
Author Summary
Over one-third of people worldwide are currently infected with parasitic worms. The majority of these infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where over half of the population may be infected with at least one type of parasitic worm. HIV infection is also common in many of these countries, and there is significant geographic overlap in the presence of HIV and worm infection. Several studies have suggested that treatment of worm infections in people with HIV may delay the progression of HIV disease. Treatment has been shown to both decrease levels of the HIV virus in the blood of people with HIV and to increase the number of immune cells (CD4 cells) targeted by HIV. It is important to determine which populations of HIV-infected individuals are at greatest risk of worm infection in order to develop potential interventions for the treatment and prevention of worm infection in HIV-infected individuals. We report findings from a large study examining the prevalence and associated co-factors for worm infection among individuals at ten sites in Kenya.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000644
PMCID: PMC2846937  PMID: 20361031
21.  Treatment of helminth co-infection in HIV-1 infected individuals in resource-limited settings 
Background
The HIV-1 pandemic has disproportionately affected individuals in resource-constrained settings. These areas often also have high prevalence of other infectious diseases, such as helminth infections. It is important to determine if helminth infection affects the progression of HIV-1 in these co-infected individuals. There are biologically plausible reasons for possible effects of helminth infection in HIV-1 infected individuals and findings from some observational studies suggest that helminth infection may adversely affect HIV-1 progression. We sought to evaluate the available evidence from published and unpublished studies to determine if treatment of helminth infection in HIV-1 co-infected individuals impacts HIV-1 progression.
Objectives
Our objective was to determine if treating helminth infection in individuals with HIV-1 can reduce the progression of HIV-1 as determined by changes in CD4 count, viral load, or clinical disease progression (including mortality).
Search strategy
We searched online for published and unpublished studies in The Cochrane Library (Issue 3, 2006), MEDLINE (November 2006), EMBASE (November 2006), CENTRAL (July 2006), AIDSEARCH (August 2006). We also searched databases listing conference abstracts, scanned reference lists of articles, and contacted authors of included studies.
Selection criteria
We searched for randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials that compared HIV-1 progression as measured by changes in CD4 count, viral load, or clinical disease progression in HIV-1 infected individuals receiving anti-helminth therapy. Observational studies with relevant data were also included.
Data collection and analysis
Data regarding changes in CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA levels, clinical staging and/or mortality after treatment of helminth co-infection were extracted from the reports of the studies.
Main results
Of 6,384 abstracts identified, 15 met criteria for potential inclusion, of which five were eligible for inclusion. In the single randomized controlled trial (RCT) identified, HIV-1 and schistosomiasis co-infected individuals receiving treatment for schistosomiasis had a significantly lower change in plasma HIV-1 RNA over three months (−0.001 log10 copies/mL) compared to those receiving no treatment (+0.21 log10 copies/mL), (p=0.03). Four observational studies met inclusion criteria and all of these suggested a possible beneficial effect of helminth eradication on plasma HIV-1 RNA levels when compared to plasma HIV-1 RNA changes prior to helminth treatment or to helminth-uninfected or persistently helminth-infected individuals. Follow-up duration in these studies ranged from three to six months. The reported magnitude of effect on HIV-1 RNA was variable, ranging from 0.07–1.05 log10 copies/mL. None of the included studies showed a significant benefit of helminth treatment on CD4 decline, clinical staging, or mortality.
Authors' conclusions
There are insufficient data available to determine the potential benefit of helminth eradication in HIV-1 and helminth co-infected adults. Data from a single RCT and multiple observational studies suggest possible benefit in reducing plasma viral load. The impact of de-worming on markers of HIV-1 progression should be addressed in larger randomized studies evaluating species-specific effects and with a sufficient duration of follow-up to document potential differences on clinical outcomes and CD4 decline.
doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006419.pub2
PMCID: PMC3372409  PMID: 18254104
CD4 Lymphocyte Count; Disease Progression; *Health Resources; Helminthiasis [complications; *drug therapy]; *HIV-1 [genetics]; HIV Infections [*complications;parasitology;virology]; Poverty Areas; RNA, Viral [analysis]; Schistosomiasis [drug therapy]; Viral Load; Humans
22.  Deworming helminth co-infected individuals for delaying HIV disease progression 
Background
The HIV-1 pandemic has disproportionately affected individuals in resource-constrained settings where other infectious diseases, such as helminth infections, also are highly prevalent. There are biologically plausible reasons for possible effects of helminth infection in HIV-1-infected individuals, and findings from multiple studies suggest that helminth infection may adversely affect HIV-1 progression. Since initial publication of this review (Walson 2007), additional data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has become available. We sought to evaluate all currently available evidence to determine if treatment of helminth infection in HIV-1 co-infected individuals impacts HIV-1 progression.
Objectives
To determine if treating helminth infection in individuals with HIV-1 can reduce the progression of HIV-1 as determined by changes in CD4 count, viral load, or clinical disease progression.
Search strategy
In this 2008 update, we searched online for published and unpublished studies in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and AIDSEARCH. We also searched databases listing conference abstracts, scanned reference lists of articles, and contacted authors of included studies.
Selection criteria
We searched for RCTs and quasi-RCTs that compared HIV-1 progression as measured by changes in CD4 count, viral load, or clinical disease progression in HIV-1 infected individuals receiving anti-helminthic therapy.
Data collection and analysis
Data regarding changes in CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA levels, and/or clinical staging after treatment of helminth co-infection were extracted from identified studies.
Main results
Of 7,019 abstracts identified (6,384 from original searches plus 635 from updated searches), 17 abstracts were identified as meeting criteria for potential inclusion (15 from previous review plus an additional two RCTs). After restricting inclusion to RCTs, a total of three studies were eligible for inclusion in this updated review.
All three trials showed individual beneficial effects of helminth eradication on markers of HIV-1 disease progression (HIV-1 RNA and/or CD4 counts). When data from these trials were pooled, the analysis demonstrated significant benefit of deworming on both plasma HIV-1 RNA and CD4 counts.
Authors’ conclusions
To date, three RCTs have evaluated the effects of deworming on markers of HIV-1 disease progression in helminth and HIV-1 co-infected individuals. All trials demonstrate benefit in attenuating or reducing plasma viral load and/or increasing CD4 counts. When taken together, there is evidence of benefit for deworming HIV-1 co-infected adults. Given that these studies evaluated different helminth species and different interventions, further trials are warranted to evaluate species-specific effects and to document long-term clinical outcomes following deworming.
doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006419.pub3
PMCID: PMC2871762  PMID: 19588389
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH); *Health Resources; *HIV-1 [genetics]; CD4 Lymphocyte Count; Disease Progression; Helminthiasis [complications; *drug therapy]; HIV Infections [*complications; parasitology; virology]; Poverty Areas; RNA; Viral [analysis]; Schistosomiasis [drug therapy]; Viral Load; MeSH check words; Humans
23.  The Effect of Maternal Helminth Infection on Maternal and Neonatal Immune Function and Immunity to Tuberculosis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93429.
Background
M. tuberculosis and helminth infection each affects one third of the world population. Helminth infections down regulate cell mediated immune responses and this may contribute to lower efficacy of BCG vaccination and higher prevalence of tuberculosis.
Objective
To determine the effect of maternal helminth infection on maternal and neonatal immune function and immunity to TB.
Methods
In this cross sectional study, eighty five pregnant women were screened for parasitic and latent TB infections using Kato-Katz and QFT-GIT tests, respectively. IFN-γ and IL-4 ELISpot on Cord blood Mononuclear Cells, and total IgE and TB specific IgG ELISA on cord blood plasma was performed to investigate the possible effect of maternal helminth and/or latent TB co-infection on maternal and neonatal immune function and immunity to TB.
Result
The prevalence of helminth infections in pregnant women was 27% (n = 23), with Schistosoma mansoni the most common helminth species observed (20% of women were infected). Among the total of 85 study participants 25.8% were QFT-GIT positive and 17% had an indeterminate result. The mean total IgE value of cord blood was significantly higher in helminth positive than negative women (0.76 vs 0.47, p = 0.042). Cross placental transfer of TB specific IgG was significantly higher in helminth positive (21.9±7.9) than negative (12.3±5.1), p = 0.002) Latent TB Infection positive participants. The IFN-γ response of CBMCs to ESAT-6/CFP-10 cocktail (50 vs 116, p = 0.018) and PPD (58 vs 123, p = 0.02) was significantly lower in helminth positive than negative participants. There was no significant difference in IL-4 response of CBMCs between helminth negative and positive participants.
Conclusions
Maternal helminth infection had a significant association with the IFN-γ response of CBMCs, total IgE and cross placental transfer of TB specific IgG. Therefore, further studies should be conducted to determine the effect of these factors on neonatal immune response to BCG vaccination.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093429
PMCID: PMC3977838  PMID: 24710174
24.  Effect of Supplementation with Zinc and Other Micronutrients on Malaria in Tanzanian Children: A Randomised Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(11):e1001125.
Hans Verhoef and colleagues report findings from a randomized trial conducted among Tanzanian children at high risk for malaria. Children in the trial received either daily oral supplementation with either zinc alone, multi-nutrients without zinc, multi-nutrients with zinc, or placebo. The investigators did not find evidence from this study that zinc or multi-nutrients protected against malaria episodes.
Background
It is uncertain to what extent oral supplementation with zinc can reduce episodes of malaria in endemic areas. Protection may depend on other nutrients. We measured the effect of supplementation with zinc and other nutrients on malaria rates.
Methods and Findings
In a 2×2 factorial trial, 612 rural Tanzanian children aged 6–60 months in an area with intense malaria transmission and with height-for-age z-score≤−1.5 SD were randomized to receive daily oral supplementation with either zinc alone (10 mg), multi-nutrients without zinc, multi-nutrients with zinc, or placebo. Intervention group was indicated by colour code, but neither participants, researchers, nor field staff knew who received what intervention. Those with Plasmodium infection at baseline were treated with artemether-lumefantrine. The primary outcome, an episode of malaria, was assessed among children reported sick at a primary care clinic, and pre-defined as current Plasmodium infection with an inflammatory response, shown by axillary temperature ≥37.5°C or whole blood C-reactive protein concentration ≥8 mg/L. Nutritional indicators were assessed at baseline and at 251 days (median; 95% reference range: 191–296 days). In the primary intention-to-treat analysis, we adjusted for pre-specified baseline factors, using Cox regression models that accounted for multiple episodes per child. 592 children completed the study. The primary analysis included 1,572 malaria episodes during 526 child-years of observation (median follow-up: 331 days). Malaria incidence in groups receiving zinc, multi-nutrients without zinc, multi-nutrients with zinc and placebo was 2.89/child-year, 2.95/child-year, 3.26/child-year, and 2.87/child-year, respectively. There was no evidence that multi-nutrients influenced the effect of zinc (or vice versa). Neither zinc nor multi-nutrients influenced malaria rates (marginal analysis; adjusted HR, 95% CI: 1.04, 0.93–1.18 and 1.10, 0.97–1.24 respectively). The prevalence of zinc deficiency (plasma zinc concentration <9.9 µmol/L) was high at baseline (67% overall; 60% in those without inflammation) and strongly reduced by zinc supplementation.
Conclusions
We found no evidence from this trial that zinc supplementation protected against malaria.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00623857
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Background
Malaria is a serious global public-health problem. Half of the world's population is at risk of this parasitic disease, which kills a million people (mainly children living in sub-Saharan Africa) every year. Malaria is transmitted to people through the bites of infected night-flying mosquitoes. Soon after entering the human body, the parasite begins to replicate in red blood cells, bursting out every 2–3 days and infecting more red blood cells. The presence of the parasite in the blood stream (parasitemia) causes malaria's characteristic recurring fever and can cause life-threatening organ damage and anemia (insufficient quantity of red blood cells). Malaria transmission can be reduced by using insecticide sprays to control the mosquitoes that spread the parasite and by avoiding mosquito bites by sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets. Effective treatment with antimalarial drugs can also reduce malaria transmission.
Why Was This Study Done?
One reason why malaria kills so many children in Africa is poverty. Many children in Africa are malnourished, and malnutrition—in particular, insufficient micronutrients in the diet—impairs the immune system, which increases the frequency and severity of many childhood diseases. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that everyone needs in small quantities for good health. Zinc is one of the micronutrients that helps to maintain a healthy immune system, but zinc deficiency is very common among African children. Zinc supplementation has been shown to reduce the burden of diarrhea in developing countries, so might it also reduce the burden of malaria? Unfortunately, the existing evidence is confusing—some trials show that zinc supplementation protects against malaria but others show no evidence of protection. One possibility for these conflicting results could be that zinc supplementation alone is not sufficient—supplementation with other micronutrients might be needed for zinc to have an effect. In this randomized trial (a study that compares the effects of different interventions in groups that initially are similar in all characteristics except for intervention), the researchers investigate the effect of supplementation with zinc alone and in combination with other micronutrients on the rate of uncomplicated (mild) malaria among children living in Tanzania.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled 612 children aged 6–60 months who were living in a rural area of Tanzania with intense malaria transmission and randomly assigned them to receive daily oral supplements containing zinc alone, multi-nutrients (including iron) without zinc, multi-nutrients with zinc, or a placebo (no micronutrients). Nutritional indicators (including zinc concentrations in blood plasma) were assessed at baseline and 6–10 months after starting the intervention. During the study period, there were 1,572 malaria episodes. The incidence of malaria in all four intervention groups was very similar (about three episodes per child-year), and there was no evidence that multi-nutrients influenced the effect of zinc (or vice versa). Moreover, none of the supplements had any effect on malaria rates when compared to the placebo, even though the occurrence of zinc deficiency was strongly reduced by zinc supplementation. In a secondary analysis in which they analyzed their data by iron status at baseline, the researchers found that multi-nutrient supplementation increased the overall number of malaria episodes in children with iron deficiency by 41%, whereas multi-nutrient supplementation had no effect on the number of malaria episodes among children who were iron-replete at baseline.
What Do These Findings Mean?
In this study, the researchers found no evidence that zinc supplementation protected against malaria among young children living in Tanzania when given alone or in combination with other multi-nutrients. However, the researchers did find some evidence that multi-nutrient supplementation may increase the risk of malaria in children with iron deficiency. Because this finding came out of a secondary analysis of the data, it needs to be confirmed in a trial specifically designed to assess the effect of multi-nutrient supplements on malaria risk in iron-deficient children. Nevertheless, it is a potentially worrying result because, on the basis of evidence from a single study, the World Health Organization currently recommends that regular iron supplements be given to iron-deficient children in settings where there is adequate access to anti-malarial treatment. This recommendation should be reconsidered, suggest the researchers, and the safety of multi-nutrient mixes that contain iron and that are dispensed in countries affected by malaria should also be carefully evaluated.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001125.
Information is available from the World Health Organization on malaria (in several languages), on micronutrients, and on zinc deficiency; the 2010 World Malaria Report provides details of the current global malaria situation
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information on malaria (in English and Spanish), including a selection of personal stories about malaria
Information is available from the Roll Back Malaria Partnership on the global control of malaria and on malaria in Africa
The Malaria Centre at the UK London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine develops tools, techniques, and knowledge about malaria, and has a strong emphasis on teaching, training, and translating research outcomes into practice
The Micronutrient Initiative, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, and the Flour Fortification Initiative are not-for-profit organizations dedicated to ensuring that people in developing countries get the minerals and vitamins they need to survive and thrive
The International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (iZiNCG) is a non-profit organization that aims to promote and assist efforts to reduce zinc deficiency worldwide, through advocacy efforts, education, and technical assistance
MedlinePlus provides links to additional information on malaria (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001125
PMCID: PMC3222646  PMID: 22131908
25.  Impact of early life exposures to geohelminth infections on the development of vaccine immunity, allergic sensitization, and allergic inflammatory diseases in children living in tropical Ecuador: the ECUAVIDA birth cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:184.
Background
Geohelminth infections are highly prevalent infectious diseases of childhood in many regions of the Tropics, and are associated with significant morbidity especially among pre-school and school-age children. There is growing concern that geohelminth infections, particularly exposures occurring during early life in utero through maternal infections or during infancy, may affect vaccine immunogenicity in populations among whom these infections are endemic. Further, the low prevalence of allergic disease in the rural Tropics has been attributed to the immune modulatory effects of these infections and there is concern that widespread use of anthelmintic treatment in high-risk groups may be associated with an increase in the prevalence of allergic diseases. Because the most widely used vaccines are administered during the first year of life and the antecedents of allergic disease are considered to occur in early childhood, the present study has been designed to investigate the impact of early exposures to geohelminths on the development of protective immunity to vaccines, allergic sensitization, and allergic disease.
Methods/Design
A cohort of 2,403 neonates followed up to 8 years of age. Primary exposures are infections with geohelminth parasites during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first 2 years of life. Primary study outcomes are the development of protective immunity to common childhood vaccines (i.e. rotavirus, Haemophilus influenzae type B, Hepatitis B, tetanus toxoid, and oral poliovirus type 3) during the first 5 years of life, the development of eczema by 3 years of age, the development of allergen skin test reactivity at 5 years of age, and the development of asthma at 5 and 8 years of age. Potential immunological mechanisms by which geohelminth infections may affect the study outcomes will be investigated also.
Discussion
The study will provide information on the potential effects of early exposures to geohelminths (during pregnancy and the first 2 years of life) on the development of vaccine immunity and allergy. The data will inform an ongoing debate of potential effects of geohelminths on child health and will contribute to policy decisions on new interventions designed to improve vaccine immunogenicity and protect against the development of allergic diseases.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN41239086.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-184
PMCID: PMC3141416  PMID: 21714922

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