Direct contact between Plasmodium falciparum and human B-cells in a novel co-culture increases parasite growth and affects B-cell growth

Sreenivasulu B. Reddy, Noemi Nagy, Caroline Rönnberg, Francesca Chiodi, Allan Lugaajju, Frank Heuts, Laszlo Szekely, Mats Wahlgren, Kristina E.M. Persson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

Background: Plasmodium falciparum parasites cause malaria and co-exist in humans together with B-cells for long periods of time. Immunity is only achieved after repeated exposure. There has been a lack of methods to mimic the in vivo co-occurrence, where cells and parasites can be grown together for many days, and it has been difficult with long time in vitro studies. Methods and results: A new method for growing P. falciparum in 5% CO2 with a specially formulated culture medium is described. This knowledge was used to establish the co-culture of live P. falciparum together with human B-cells in vitro for 10 days. The presence of B-cells clearly enhanced parasite growth, but less so when Transwell inserts were used (not allowing passage of cells or merozoites), showing that direct contact is advantageous. B-cells also proliferated more in presence of parasites. Symbiotic parasitic growth was verified using CESS cell-line and it showed similar results, indicating that B-cells are indeed the cells responsible for the effect. In malaria endemic areas, people often have increased levels of atypical memory B-cells in the blood, and in this assay it was demonstrated that when parasites were present there was an increase in the proportion of CD19 + CD20 + CD27 − FCRL4 + B-cells, and a contraction of classical memory B-cells. This effect was most clearly seen when direct contact between B-cells and parasites was allowed. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that P. falciparum and B-cells undoubtedly can affect each other when allowed to multiply together, which is valuable information for future vaccine studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number303
JournalMalaria Journal
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Immunology in the medical area

Keywords

  • B-cell
  • Culture
  • Human
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Direct contact between Plasmodium falciparum and human B-cells in a novel co-culture increases parasite growth and affects B-cell growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this