Infection against infection: parasite antagonism against parasites, viruses and bacteria.


Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, ZhuHai, Guangdong, China. [Email]


BACKGROUND : Infectious diseases encompass a large spectrum of diseases that threaten human health, and coinfection is of particular importance because pathogen species can interact within the host. Currently, the antagonistic relationship between different pathogens during concurrent coinfections is defined as one in which one pathogen either manages to inhibit the invasion, development and reproduction of the other pathogen or biologically modulates the vector density. In this review, we provide an overview of the phenomenon and mechanisms of antagonism of coinfecting pathogens involving parasites.
UNASSIGNED : This review summarizes the antagonistic interaction between parasites and parasites, parasites and viruses, and parasites and bacteria. At present, relatively clear mechanisms explaining polyparasitism include apparent competition, exploitation competition, interference competition, biological control of intermediate hosts or vectors and suppressive effect on transmission. In particular, immunomodulation, including the suppression of dendritic cell (DC) responses, activation of basophils and mononuclear macrophages and adjuvant effects of the complement system, is described in detail.
CONCLUSIONS : In this review, we summarize antagonistic concurrent infections involving parasites and provide a functional framework for in-depth studies of the underlying mechanisms of coinfection with different microorganisms, which will hasten the development of promising antimicrobial alternatives, such as novel antibacterial vaccines or biological methods of controlling infectious diseases, thus relieving the overwhelming burden of ever-increasing antimicrobial resistance.