Antibodies play a critical protective role in the host response to blood-stage malaria infection. The role of cytokines in shaping the antibody response to blood-stage malaria is unclear. Interferon lambda (IFNλ), a type III interferon, is a cytokine produced early during blood-stage malaria infection that has an unknown physiological role during malaria infection.
Cerebral malaria (CM) is one of the most severe pathologies of malaria; it induces neuro-cognitive sequelae and has a high mortality rate. Although many factors involved in the development of CM have been discovered, its pathogenic mechanisms are still not completely understood. Most studies on CM have focused on the blood-brain barrier (BBB), despite the importance of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB), which protects the brain from peripheral inflammation.
Cerebral malaria (CM) is the deadliest form of severe Plasmodium infections. Currently, we have limited understanding of the mechanisms by which Plasmodium parasites induce CM. The mouse model of CM, experimental CM (ECM), induced by infection with the rodent parasite, Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbANKA) has been extensively used to study the pathophysiology of CM. Recent genomic analyses revealed that the coding regions of PbANKA and the closely related Plasmodium berghei NK65 (PbNK65), that does not cause ECM, differ in only 21 single nucleotide polymorphysims (SNPs).
Malaria is an infectious disease of major worldwide clinical importance that causes a variety of severe, or complicated, syndromes including cerebral malaria, which is often fatal. Leukocyte integrins are essential for host defense but also mediate physiologic responses of the innate and adaptive immune systems. We previously showed that targeted deletion of the αD subunit (αD-/-) of the αDβ2 integrin, which is expressed on key leukocyte subsets in mice and humans, leads to absent expression of the integrin heterodimer on murine macrophages and reduces mortality in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA (P. berghei ANKA).