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Archived Comments for: The influence of different helminth infection phenotypes on immune responses against HIV in co-infected adults in South Africa

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  1. Helminth Egg Detection and Immunological Data

    Miles Markus, University of Witwatersrand

    16 July 2012

    The authors are to be congratulated on their interpretation of the results of this study. Around the time that Dr John Fincham (now retired) co-conceived the investigation, he suggested that where helminthiasis is endemic, egg negative status does not necessarily reflect the immunological situation which is relevant to co-infection. This was largely a theoretical idea. He then reported South African research results that support the hypothesis [1]. They showed that people with no detectable Ascaris eggs in faeces were frequently seropositive for this helminth. In addition, the whole subject was elaborated upon elsewhere [2]. It is good to see that the article by Mkhize-Kwitshana et al. reflects the validity of the concept. The attention of readers of BMC Infectious Diseases is drawn to the main, previously published analysis and information concerning it [1, 2].

    REFERENCES: 1. Fincham JE, Markus MB, van der Merwe L, Adams VJ, van Stuijvenberg ME, Dhansay MA: Ascaris, co-infection and allergy: the importance of analysis based on immunological variables rather than egg excretion. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2007, 101:680-682; 2. Markus MB, Fincham JE: Helminthiasis, bystander diseases and vaccines: analysis of interaction. Trends in Parasitology 2007, 23:517-519.

    Competing interests

    No competing interests.