Reduced T regulatory cell response during acute Plasmodium falciparum infection in Malian children co-infected with Schistosoma haematobium.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) suppress host immune responses and participate in immune homeostasis. In co-infection, secondary parasite infections may disrupt the immunologic responses induced by a pre-existing parasitic infection. We previously demonstrated that schistosomiasis-positive (SP) Malian children, aged 4-8 years, are protected against the acquisition of malaria compared to matched schistosomiasis-negative (SN) children. METHODS AND FINDINGS: To determine if Tregs contribute to this protection, we performed immunologic and Treg depletion in vitro studies using PBMC acquired from children with and without S. haematobium infection followed longitudinally for the acquisition of malaria. Levels of Tregs were lower in children with dual infections compared to children with malaria alone (0.49 versus 1.37%, respectively, P = 0.004) but were similar months later, during a period with negligible malaria transmission. The increased levels of Tregs in SN subjects were associated with suppressed serum Th1 cytokine levels, as well as elevated parasitemia compared to co-infected counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that lower levels of Tregs in helminth-infected children correlate with altered circulating cytokine and parasitologic results which may play a partial role in mediating protection against falciparum malaria.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lyke, KE; Dabo, A; Arama, C; Daou, M; Diarra, I; Wang, A; Plowe, CV; Doumbo, OK; Sztein, MB

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 2

Start / End Page

  • e31647 -

PubMed ID

  • 22348117

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22348117

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0031647


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States