A better understanding of disease-specific biomarker profiles during acute infections could guide the development of innovative diagnostic methods to differentiate between malaria and alternative causes of fever. We investigated autoantibody (AAb) profiles in febrile children (≤ 5 years) admitted to a hospital in rural Ghana.
Malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax is a highly prevalent infection world-wide, that was previously considered mild, but complications such as anemia have been highly reported in the past years. In mice models of malaria, anti-phosphatidylserine (anti-PS) autoantibodies, produced by atypical B-cells, bind to uninfected erythrocytes and contribute to anemia. In human patients with P. falciparum malaria, the levels of anti-PS, atypical B-cells and anemia are strongly correlated to each other.
Autoantibodies play an important role in the destruction of non-infected red blood cells (nRBCs) during malaria. However, the relationship between this clearance and ABO blood groups is yet to be fully enlightened, especially for Plasmodium vivax infections. Here we show that anti-RBC IgG and IgM are increased in anemic patients with acute vivax malaria.