Malaria-filaria coinfection in mice makes malarial disease more severe unless filarial infection achieves patency

Andrea L. Graham, Tracey J. Lamb, Andrew F. Read, Judith E. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

Coinfections are common in natural populations, and the literature suggests that helminth coinfection readily affects how the immune system manages malaria. For example, type 1-dependent control of malaria parasitemia might be impaired by the type 2 milieu of preexisting helminth infection. Alternatively, immunomodulatory effects of helminths might affect the likelihood of malarial immunopathology. Using rodent models of lymphatic filariasis (Litomosoides sigmodontis) and noncerebral malaria (clone AS Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi), we quantified disease severity, parasitemia, and polyclonal splenic immune responses in BALB/c mice. We found that coinfected mice, particularly those that did not have microfilaremia (Mf-), had more severe anemia and loss of body mass than did mice with malaria alone. Even when controlling for parasitemia, malaria was most severe in Mf- coinfected mice, and this was associated with increased interferon-γ responsiveness. Thus, in Mf- mice, filariasis upset a delicate immunological balance in malaria infection and exacerbated malaria-induced immunopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-421
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume191
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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