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cover of the September 20, 2014 Science News

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Parasites hinder immunity against cholera

Intestinal hitchhikers may render people more vulnerable to the microbe and might lessen vaccines’ effectiveness

Harboring intestinal parasites seems to limit a person’s ability to fend off cholera, a study conducted in Bangladesh shows. The finding might explain why vaccines against cholera have shown only spotty effectiveness and also suggests that vaccination campaigns should be preceded by programs to wipe out parasites, particularly intestinal worms. The study appears in the March PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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