chapter  Chapter 14
9 Pages

Psychoimmunology and Psychobiology of Parasitic Infestation

WithBéla Bohus, Jaap M. Koolhaas

The immunological complexity may explain why knowledge about the psychoimmunology of parasite infestation is less understood than the relationship between brain, behavior and immunity during microbial or viral infection. The effect of exercise on a parasitic infection was studied on Trichinella spiralis infested Fischer inbred rats. In addition, parasite infestation is playing an important role in affecting survival of the individual. Although a wealth of evidence support the view that stress, including psychosocial factors, profoundly and differentially affect the onset and course of bacterial and viral infections, surprisingly less is known about parasite infestation and stress. Whereas an individual benefits from high testosterone levels both for the development of secondary sexual characteristics and the actual mating success, it causes immunosuppression and thereby increases the incidence of parasites infestation. Parasite infestation is a complex issue in both animals and humans, and the biomedical aspect represents only one of many important factors.