Changes in antigen-specific cytokine and chemokine responses to Plasmodium falciparum antigens in a highland area of kenya after a prolonged absence of malaria exposure

  • Ochola L
  • Ayieko C
  • Kisia L
 et al. 
  • 17


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 3


    Citations of this article.


Individuals naturally exposed to Plasmodium falciparum lose clinical immunity after a prolonged lack of exposure. P. falciparum antigen-specific cytokine responses have been associated with protection from clinical malaria, but the longevity of P. falciparum antigen-specific cytokine responses in the absence of exposure is not well characterized. A highland area of Kenya with low and unstable malaria transmission provided an opportunity to study this question. The levels of antigen-specific cytokines and chemokines associated in previous studies with protection from clinical malaria (gamma interferon [IFN-gamma], interleukin-10 [IL-10], and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-alpha]), with increased risk of clinical malaria (IL-6), or with pathogenesis of severe disease in malaria (IL-5 and RANTES) were assessed by cytometric bead assay in April 2008, October 2008, and April 2009 in 100 children and adults. During the 1-year study period, none had an episode of clinical P. falciparum malaria. Two patterns of cytokine responses emerged, with some variation by antigen: a decrease at 6 months (IFN-gamma and IL-5) or at both 6 and 12 months (IL-10 and TNF-alpha) or no change over time (IL-6 and RANTES). These findings document that P. falciparum antigen-specific cytokine responses associated in prior studies with protection from malaria (IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and IL-10) decrease significantly in the absence of P. falciparum exposure, whereas those associated with increased risk of malaria (IL-6) do not. The study findings provide a strong rationale for future studies of antigen-specific IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and IL-10 responses as biomarkers of increased population-level susceptibility to malaria after prolonged lack of P. falciparum exposure.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Lyticia A. Ochola

  • Cyrus Ayieko

  • Lily Kisia

  • Ng'wena G. Magak

  • Estela Shabani

  • Collins Ouma

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free