Parasites to the rescue: Study suggests dual infections may help control livestock and human infectious diseases

I have given this view 10 years back and many times at different forums.

ILRI Clippings

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In Ethiopia’s Ghibe valley, an ILRI control herd waits for monthly parasitology tests (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

‘Herds of African cattle may hold the secret to new ways of fighting parasitic diseases like malaria, which kills some 600,000 people a year, scientists said on Friday.

‘The researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that cows are protected from a parasite that causes a deadly disease called East Coast [f]ever if they have previously been infected with a closely-related but milder species of the parasite.

‘This discovery, they said, suggests that “fighting fire with fire” is a strategy that might work against a range of parasitic diseases, including severe malarial infection in people.

‘”Our results suggest seeking a simple vaccine that could protect cows from East Coast fever by inoculating them with a related but far less harmful parasite,” said Mark Woolhouse, who led the study with a team from…

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