Studies on concomitant schistosomiasis and human and experimental malaria have shown a variation in the immunospecific response, as well as an increase in the severity of both parasitoses. In the present study, a murine co-infection model was used to determine the effects of a co-infection with Schistosoma mansoni
and Plasmodium berghei
on the protective immunity acquired by repeated malarial infections and subsequent curative treatment with chloroquine. Our results have demonstrated that, compared to an infection with P. berghei
only, the co-infection increases the malarial parasitaemia and decreases the survival rate. Indeed, mice that were immunized by infection and treatment with drug displayed no mortality whereas co-infected mice showed a reduced protective efficacy of immunization against P. berghei
(mortality > 60%). Interestingly, this high mortality rate was not associated with high levels of parasitaemia. Our findings support the idea of a suppressive effect of a Schistosoma co-infection on the anti-malarial protection by immunization. This result reveals a possible drawback of the development of anti-malarial vaccines, especially considering the wide endemic areas for both parasitoses.