Co-Infection: A Global Challenge for Disease Control
March 15—20, 2015 Ouro Preto, MG, Brazil
Organized in collaboration with the Minas Gerais State Agency for Research Development (FAPEMIG) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) - Brazil. Part of the Keystone Symposia Global Health Series, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Multi-species co-infections impose one of the greatest challenges to global health and to our efforts to develop effective methods of infectious disease control. Populations living in rural areas of many low-income countries are exposed to both chronic and acute infection with multiple pathogens. In such conditions co-infection is common and the cause of additive or synergistic morbidities. Studying co-infections is difficult and complex as different pathogens may interact in many different ways, either directly or via the host immune response. Indeed, in some contexts, a community of organisms within a host may promote defense against other organisms. This Keystone Symposia meeting will focus on our current understanding of synergism/antagonism among pathogens causing common co-infections. In doing so it will bring together leading researchers and their knowledge of immune responses in co-infected individuals, co-infection immunoepidemiology, modeling of co-infections to predict disease and infection outcomes, and the specific challenges that co-infection presents to vaccine design strategies, and effective application of chemotherapy. This diversity of scientific disciplines will together address the impacts of co-infection, particularly in the context of the Neglected Tropical Diseases that are prevalent in many low- and middle-income countries. For example, in some of the poorest parts of the world, HIV, TB, leprosy, HTLV, malaria, dengue, and chronic helminth infections are co-endemic. To find the understanding and the means to effectively tackle the diverse clinical and public health problems of co-infection, we need to combine information derived from basic hypothesis-lead research, descriptive epidemiology and new computational modeling techniques. The goal of this symposium will be to broaden and deepen our understanding of within-host and population level interactions between different co-infecting pathogens and propose appropriate multidisciplinary strategies to move towards clinical and public health solutions, including the delivery of effective vaccination and chemotherapy.