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Lancet: Patients co-infected with intestinal parasites had lower odds of developing severe COVID-19

Africa, Co-infection, Coronavirus, Ethiopia, Hospitalization, Infection, Symptoms

751 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with intestinal parasitic infection were enrolled. Patients co-infected with parasites had lower odds of developing severe COVID-19.

Only 27/255 (10.6%) severe COVID-19 patients were co-infected with intestinal parasites, while 257/496 (51.8%) non-severe COVID-19 patients were parasite positive (p<0.0001). Patients co-infected with parasites had lower odds of developing severe COVID-19, with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 0.23 (95% CI 0.17–0.30; p<0.0001) for all parasites, aOR 0.37 ([95% CI 0.26–0.51]; p<0.0001) for protozoa, and aOR 0.26 ([95% CI 0.19–0.35]; p<0.0001) for helminths.

Interpretation: Parasite co-infection is associated with a reduced risk of severe COVID-19 in African patients. Parasite-driven immunomodulatory responses may mute hyper-inflammation associated with severe COVID-19.

Lancet paper: Effect of co-infection with intestinal parasites on COVID-19 severity: A prospective observational cohort study

 

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Image of Trichuris trichiura by By Daniel J. Drew – https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/1571554104, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86159945