Studies of co-infections with pathogens that impact humans have provided the most comprehensive exploration of the impacts of co-infecting pathogens to date. HIV/AIDS disease dynamics have specifically been documented to be sensitive to co-infections. Increases in viral load as a result of recurrent or persistent co-infections, such as malaria, tuberculosis (TB), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and helminths, may facilitate increases in HIV transmission at both individual and population levels. Furthermore, recent theoretical analyses indicate that HIV prevalence decreases to extinction without the amplification effect caused by co-infection.
The feedback relationship between HIV and malaria is particularly concerning because of the geographic overlap between these two diseases in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. Since both diseases are endemic to this region and the time scale of infection for both diseases can be several years, the issue of co-infection is a matter of increasing concern. Through the MASAMU program I have am part of an international team creating theoretical models to examine these interactions.
Collaborators: Farai Nyabadza (Stellenbosch), David Malonza (Kenyetta),
Nyabadza, F. Bekele, B.T., Rúa, M.A., Malonza, D., Chiduku, N., Kgosimore, M., 2015. The implications of HIV treatment on the HIV-malaria coinfection dynamics: a modeling perspective. BioMed Research International. Article ID 659651: doi:10.1155/2015/659651.
The Masamu (masamu means mathematics in Southern Africa) Program is designed to enhance research in mathematical sciences within institutions of the Southern Africa Mathematical Sciences Association (SAMSA) by promoting of international research collaboration.
Watch a video about the project: