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Study Examines Relationship Between Malaria, Salmonella Infection

People with malaria are more prone to developing bacterial infections, particularly from salmonella, and “researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine [LSHTM] have discovered that the increased vulnerability to salmonella infections is a side effect of the body’s attempts to protect itself from the damaging effects of the malaria infection,” according to an LSHTM press release. In attempting to protect itself from a toxic biological byproduct produced by red blood cells that periodically explode when infected with malaria parasites, the body inadvertently destroys white blood cells, which are then unable to destroy bacteria such as salmonella, according to the study, which is published in Nature Medicine (12/19).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.