How does immunity interact with resource limitation to control parasite replication?
Parasite-killing immune responses form only one part of the within-host ecosystem. Parasite population size can also be controlled by resource-based mechanisms. Malaria, for example, requires red blood cells (RBCs) in order to proliferate. To explore the potential for helminth-induced anaemia to restrict malaria replication, we are testing whether RBC limitation may outweigh immunological control of acute co-infection. We have also used meta-analysis of data on a broad taxonomic spectrum of helminth-microparasite pairings, to assess the generality of resource-based versus immunological control mechanisms during co-infection.
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