Species-specific treatment effects of helminth/HIV-1 co-infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis


In sub-Saharan Africa, over 22 million people are estimated to be co-infected with both helminths and HIV-1. Several studies have suggested that de-worming individuals with HIV-1 may delay HIV-1 disease progression, and that the benefit of de-worming may vary by individual helminth species. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published literature to determine the effect of treatment of individual helminth infections on markers of HIV-1 progression (CD4 count and HIV viral load). There was a trend towards an association between treatment for Schistosoma mansoni and a decrease in HIV viral load (Weighted mean difference (WMD)=0.10; 95% Confidence interval (CI): 0.24, 0.03), although this association was not seen for Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm or Trichuris trichiura. Treatment of A. lumbricoides, S. mansoni, hookworm or T. trichiura was not associated with a change in CD4 count. While pooled data from randomized trials suggested clinical benefit of de-worming for individual helminth species, these effects decreased when observational data were included in the pooled analysis. While further trials are needed to confirm the role of anthelmintic treatment in HIV-1 co-infected individuals, providing anthelmintics to individuals with HIV-1 may be a safe, inexpensive and practical intervention to slow progression of HIV-1.


Sangaré LR, Herrin BR, John-Stewart G, Walson JL.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Other


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