Immunity to Malaria in Plasmodium vivax Infection: A Study in Central China

Kulachart Jangpatarapongsa, Hui Xia, Qiang Fang, Kaiming Hu, Yuanying Yuan, Meiyu Peng, Qi Gao, Jetsumon Sattabongkot, Liwang Cui, Baiqing Li, Rachanee Udomsangpetch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: P. vivax infection is characterised by relapsing fever, indicating reinfection by previously hidden parasites in the host. Relapsed infection can lead to the activation of the memory T cell pool, which may lead to protective immunity. This study aims to characterise immune responses in acute P. vivax-infected patients living in an area of central China characterised by only P. vivax infection. Methodology/Principal Findings: We conducted a cross-sectional immune-phenotypic analysis of adults using the following inclusion criteria: acute P. vivax infection (N = 37), a history of P. vivax infection (N = 17), and no known history of P. vivax infection (N = 21). We also conducted a 2-week longitudinal analysis following acute P. vivax infection, in which PBMC proliferation was measured in response to P. vivax and P. falciparum blood stage lysates. Using flow cytometry, we showed elevated memory T cells in the blood during acute P. vivax infection. The levels of γδ T cells were two-fold higher than those measured in naive controls. This result suggested that in the two populations, memory and γδ T cells promptly responded to P. vivax parasites. Interestingly, P. falciparum antigens stimulated T cells obtained from P. vivax-infected patients during a day 14-convalescence, whereas lymphocytes from the naïve control group responded to a lower degree of convalescence. Conclusions/Significance: Cell-mediated immunity during the convalescent period of the P. vivax-infected hosts was comprised of T cells that were specifically able to recognise P. falciparum antigens. Although the magnitude of the response was only half that measured after stimulation with P. vivax antigens, the matter of cross-antigenic stimulation is of great interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere45971
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 25 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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