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The nature and consequences of coinfection in humans


Griffiths, E C; Pedersen, A B; Fenton, A; Petchey, O L (2011). The nature and consequences of coinfection in humans. Journal of Infection, 63(3):200-206.

Abstract

Objective: Many fundamental patterns of coinfection (multi-species infections) are undescribed, including the relative frequency of coinfection by various pathogens, differences
between single-species infections and coinfection, and the burden of coinfection on human health. We aimed to address the paucity of general knowledge on coinfection by systematically collating and analysing data from recent publications to understand the types of coinfection and their effects.
Methods: From an electronic search to find all publications from 2009 on coinfection and its synonyms in humans we recorded data on i) coinfecting pathogens and their effect on ii) host health and iii) intensity of infection.
Results: The most commonly reported coinfections differ from infections causing highest global mortality, with a notable lack of serious childhood infections in reported coinfections. We found that coinfection is generally reported to worsen human health (76% publications) and
exacerbate infections (57% publications). Reported coinfections included all kinds of pathogens, but were most likely to contain bacteria.
Conclusions: These results suggest differences between coinfected patients and those with single infections, with coinfection having serious health effects. There is a pressing need to quantify the tendency towards negative effects and to evaluate any sampling biases in the coverage
of coinfection research.

Abstract

Objective: Many fundamental patterns of coinfection (multi-species infections) are undescribed, including the relative frequency of coinfection by various pathogens, differences
between single-species infections and coinfection, and the burden of coinfection on human health. We aimed to address the paucity of general knowledge on coinfection by systematically collating and analysing data from recent publications to understand the types of coinfection and their effects.
Methods: From an electronic search to find all publications from 2009 on coinfection and its synonyms in humans we recorded data on i) coinfecting pathogens and their effect on ii) host health and iii) intensity of infection.
Results: The most commonly reported coinfections differ from infections causing highest global mortality, with a notable lack of serious childhood infections in reported coinfections. We found that coinfection is generally reported to worsen human health (76% publications) and
exacerbate infections (57% publications). Reported coinfections included all kinds of pathogens, but were most likely to contain bacteria.
Conclusions: These results suggest differences between coinfected patients and those with single infections, with coinfection having serious health effects. There is a pressing need to quantify the tendency towards negative effects and to evaluate any sampling biases in the coverage
of coinfection research.

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54 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:25 Nov 2011 11:38
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:07
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0163-4453
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2011.06.005
PubMed ID:21704071

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