Lack of an association between antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum glycosylphosphatidylinositols and malaria-associated placental changes in Cameroonian women with preterm and full-term deliveries.
Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum parasites within the placenta often leads to an accumulation of macrophages within the intervillous space and increased production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), a cytokine associated with placental pathology and poor pregnancy outcomes. P. falciparum glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors have been shown to be the major parasite component that induces TNF-alpha production by monocytes and macrophages. Antibodies against P. falciparum GPI (anti-PfGPI), however, can inhibit the induction of TNF-alpha and inflammation. Thus, the study was undertaken to determine whether anti-PfGPI antibodies down-regulate inflammatory-type changes in the placentas of women with malaria. Anti-PfGPI immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG levels were measured in 380 pregnant women with or without placental malaria, including those who delivered prematurely and at term. Results showed that anti-PfGPI antibody levels increased with gravidity and age and that malaria infection boosted anti-PfGPI antibodies in pregnant women. However, no association was found between anti-PfGPI antibodies and placental TNF-alpha levels or the presence of acute or chronic placental malaria. Furthermore, anti-PfGPI antibody levels were similar in women with preterm and full-term deliveries and were not associated with an increase in infant birth weight. Thus, these results fail to support a strong role for anti-PfGPI antibodies in the prevention of chronic placental malaria infections and malaria-associated poor birth outcomes.
Suguitan, AL; Gowda, DC; Fouda, G; Thuita, L; Zhou, A; Djokam, R; Metenou, S; Leke, RGF; Taylor, DW
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