Evidence of endothelial inflammation, T cell activation, and T cell reallocation in uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To explain the observation that acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria is associated with a transient inability of peripheral blood cells to respond to antigenic stimulation in vitro, we have postulated the disease-induced reallocation of peripheral lymphocytes, possibly by adhesion to inflamed endothelium. We measured plasma levels of soluble markers of endothelial inflammation and T cell activation in 32 patients suffering from acute, uncomplication P. falciparum malaria, as well as in 10 healthy, aparasitemic control donors. All donors were residents of a malaria-endemic area of Eastern State Sudan. In addition, we measured the T cell surface expression of the interleukin-2 receptor (CD25) and the lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA-1; CD11a/CD18). We found that the plasma levels of all inflammation and activation markers were significantly increased in the malaria patients compared with the control donors. In addition, we found a disease-induced depletion of T cells with high expression of the LFA-1 antigen, particularly in the CD4+ subset. The results obtained provide further support for the hypothesis of T cell reallocation to inflamed endothelium in acute P. falciparum malaria.


  • I M Elhassan
  • L Hviid
  • G Satti
  • B Akerstrom
  • P H Jakobsen
  • J B Jensen
  • T G Theander
External organisations
  • Copenhagen University Hospital
  • University of Khartoum
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infectious Medicine


  • Adolescent, Adult, Animals, Cell Adhesion, Cell Adhesion Molecules/blood, Confidence Intervals, Cross-Sectional Studies, E-Selectin, Endothelium, Vascular/pathology, Female, Humans, Immunophenotyping, Inflammation, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/blood, Lymphocyte Activation, Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1/blood, Malaria, Falciparum/immunology, Male, Middle Aged, T-Lymphocytes/immunology, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-9
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Sep
Publication categoryResearch