UCI News

COVID-19-helminth syndemic may curb vaccine efficacy in tropical areas

M.D./alert (Reuters Health), June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

COVID-19-helminth syndemic may curb vaccine efficacy in tropical areas

Dr. Daniel Parker, assistant professor in the Program in Public Health at the University of California, Irvine, told Reuters Health, “As COVID-19 makes its way through (tropical and subtropical) parts of the world, there will definitely be co-infections with both SARS-CoV-2 and helminths.” “Co-infections can lead to complicated disease outcomes,” he said by email. Helminths are macroparasites, and the immune system can’t deal with them the way it deals with microparasites – i.e., through ingestion by phagocytic cells, he explained.