Concomitant infections occur at high frequencies in sub-Saharan Africa. Bacteraemic co-infection together with malaria aggravates disease and significantly raises both mortality and morbidity. Our previous work suggest that bacterial infection together with malaria unbalances the sensitive chain of events that takes place in the immune system during these infections.
We have chosen two important examples of pathogenic bacteria for the purpose of exploring the phenomenon; Streptococcus pneumonieae and relapsing fever Borrelia, which employ different infection routes and carry singular pathogenic properties.
As a result of the funding from MIMS, we have been able to start a study in pediatric centers in eastern Rwanda where P. falciparum, S. peumoniae and B. duttonii are endemic. At present we screen patients seeking care for malaria. The patients are between six months and five years of age in acute stages of the disease. The project is at present in patient recruitment phase where patients are being sampled and clinical data is collected. The goal of the project is a more comprehensive treatment regime for this patient group, which includes immunotherapeutic components.