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The nature and consequences of coinfection in humans

Griffiths, E.C., Pedersen, A.B., Fenton, A. and Petchey, O.L. (2011) The nature and consequences of coinfection in humans. Journal of Infection, 63 (3). pp. 200-206. ISSN 0163-4453


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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. (C) 2011 The British Infection Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2011 Elsevier. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Journal of Infection. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Coinfection; Concomitant disease; Host health; Integrated control; Parasite infracommunity; Pathogen abundance; Pathogen-host interactions; Pathogen diversity; Polymicrobial infection; Within-host parasite ecology
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2011 08:52
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:34
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2011.06.005
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jinf.2011.06.005
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43292

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