Parasitol Res. 2020 Aug 4. doi: 10.1007/s00436-020-06804-2. Online ahead of print.
Parasites and bacteria have co-evolved with humankind, and they interact all the time in a myriad of ways. For example, some bacterial infections result from parasite-dwelling bacteria as in the case of Salmonella infection during schistosomiasis. Other bacteria synergize with parasites in the evolution of human disease as in the case of the interplay between Wolbachia endosymbiont bacteria and filarial nematodes as well as the interaction between Gram-negative bacteria and Schistosoma
haematobium in the pathogenesis of urinary bladder cancer. Moreover, secondary bacterial infections may complicate several parasitic diseases such as visceral leishmaniasis and malaria, due to immunosuppression of the host during parasitic infections. Also, bacteria may colonize the parasitic lesions; for example, hydatid cysts and skin lesions of ectoparasites. Remarkably, some parasitic helminths and arthropods exhibit antibacterial activity usually by the release of specific antimicrobial products. Lastly, some parasite-bacteria interactions are induced as when using probiotic bacteria to modulate the outcome of a variety of parasitic infections. In sum, parasite-bacteria interactions involve intricate processes that never cease to intrigue the researchers. However, understanding and exploiting these interactions could have prophylactic and curative potential for infections by both types of pathogens.