Combined measurement of soluble and cellular ICAM-1 among children with Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Uganda.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is a cytoadhesion molecule implicated in the pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Elevated levels of soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) have previously been reported with increased malaria disease severity. However, studies have not yet examined both sICAM-1 concentrations and monocyte ICAM-1 expression in the same cohort of patients. To better understand the relationship of soluble and cellular ICAM-1 measurements in malaria, both monocyte ICAM-1 expression and sICAM-1 concentration were measured in children with P. falciparum infection exhibiting a spectrum of clinical severity. METHODS: Samples were analysed from 160 children, aged 0.5 to 10.8 years, with documented P. falciparum malaria in Kampala, Uganda. The patients belonged to one of three pre-study defined groups: uncomplicated malaria (UM), severe non-fatal malaria (SM-s), and fatal malaria (SM-f). Subset analysis was done on those with cerebral malaria (CM) or severe malaria anaemia (SMA). Monocyte ICAM-1 was measured by flow cytometry. sICAM-1 was measured by enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: Both sICAM-1 and monocyte cell-surface ICAM-1 followed a log-normal distribution. Median sICAM-1 concentrations increased with greater severity-of-illness: 279 ng/mL (UM), 462 ng/mL (SM-s), and 586 ng/mL (SM-f), p < 0.0001. sICAM-1 levels were not statistically different among children with CM compared to SMA. Monocyte ICAM-1 expression was significantly higher in cases of UM compared with SM-s or SM-f (p < 0.001) and was higher among the subset of patients with CM compared with SMA, p < 0.0014. The combination of sICAM-1 and cellular ICAM-1 identified distinct categories of patients (UM with low sICAM-1 and higher monocyte ICAM-1, CM with both sICAM-1 and monocyte ICAM-1 high, and SMA with sICAM-1 high but monocyte ICAM-1 low). CONCLUSION: In this cohort of children with P. falciparum malaria, sICAM-1 levels were associated with severity-of-illness. Patients with UM had higher monocyte ICAM-1 expression consistent with a role for monocyte ICAM-1 in immune clearance during non-severe malaria. Among the subsets of patients with either SMA or CM, monocyte ICAM-1 levels were higher in CM, consistent with the role of ICAM-1 as a marker of cytoadhesion. Categories of disease in pediatric malaria may exhibit specific combinations of soluble and cellular ICAM-1 expression.
Project description:Parasite-encoded variant surface antigens (VSAs) like the var gene-encoded Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family are responsible for antigenic variation and infected red blood cell (RBC) cytoadhesion in P. falciparum malaria. Parasites causing severe malaria in nonimmune patients tend to express a restricted subset of VSA (VSA(SM)) that differs from VSA associated with uncomplicated malaria and asymptomatic infection (VSA(UM)). We compared var gene transcription in unselected P. falciparum clone 3D7 expressing VSA(UM) to in vitro-selected sublines expressing VSA(SM) to identify PfEMP1 responsible for the VSA(SM) phenotype. Expression of VSA(SM) was accompanied by up-regulation of Group A var genes. The most prominently up-regulated Group A gene (PFD1235w/MAL7P1.1) was translated into a protein expressed on the infected RBC surface. The proteins encoded by Group A var genes, such as PFD1235w/MAL7P1.1, appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of severe disease and are thus attractive candidates for a vaccine against life-threatening P. falciparum malaria.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Differentiating cerebral malaria (CM) from other causes of serious illness in African children is problematic, owing to the non-specific nature of the clinical presentation and the high prevalence of incidental parasitaemia. CM is associated with endothelial activation. In this study we tested the hypothesis that endothelium-derived biomarkers are associated with the pathophysiology of severe malaria and may help identify children with CM. METHODS AND FINDINGS:Plasma samples were tested from children recruited with uncomplicated malaria (UM; n?=?32), cerebral malaria with retinopathy (CM-R; n?=?38), clinically defined CM without retinopathy (CM-N; n?=?29), or non-malaria febrile illness with decreased consciousness (CNS; n?=?24). Admission levels of angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), Ang-1, soluble Tie-2 (sTie-2), von Willebrand factor (VWF), its propeptide (VWFpp), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) and interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) were measured by ELISA. Children with CM-R had significantly higher median levels of Ang-2, Ang-2:Ang-1, sTie-2, VWFpp and sICAM-1 compared to children with CM-N. Children with CM-R had significantly lower median levels of Ang-1 and higher median concentrations of Ang-2:Ang-1, sTie-2, VWF, VWFpp, VEGF and sICAM-1 compared to UM, and significantly lower median levels of Ang-1 and higher median levels of Ang-2, Ang-2:Ang-1, VWF and VWFpp compared to children with fever and altered consciousness due to other causes. Ang-1 was the best discriminator between UM and CM-R and between CNS and CM-R (areas under the ROC curve of 0.96 and 0.93, respectively). A comparison of biomarker levels in CM-R between admission and recovery showed uniform increases in Ang-1 levels, suggesting this biomarker may have utility in monitoring clinical response. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that endothelial proteins are informative biomarkers of malarial disease severity. These results require validation in prospective studies to confirm that this group of biomarkers improves the diagnostic accuracy of CM from similar conditions causing fever and altered consciousness.
Project description:Cerebral malaria (CM) and severe malarial anemia (SMA) are the most serious life-threatening clinical syndromes of Plasmodium falciparum infection in childhood. Therefore, it is important to understand the pathology underlying the development of CM and SMA as opposed to uncomplicated malaria (UM). Increased levels of hepcidin have been associated with UM, but its level and role in severe malarial disease remains to be investigated. Plasma and clinical data were obtained as part of a prospective case-control study of severe childhood malaria at the main tertiary hospital of the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. Here, we report that hepcidin levels are lower in children with SMA or CM than in those with milder outcome (UM). While different profiles of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines were observed between the malaria syndromes, circulatory hepcidin levels remained associated with the levels of its regulatory cytokine interleukin-6 and of the anti-inflammatory cytokine inerleukin-10, irrespective of iron status, anemic status, and general acute-phase response. We propose a role for hepcidin in anti-inflammatory processes in childhood malaria.
Project description:Malaria in malaria-naïve adults is associated with an inflammatory response characterized by expression of specific activation markers on innate immune cells. Here, we investigate activation and adhesion marker expression, and cytokine production in monocytes from children presenting with cerebral malaria (CM, n = 36), severe malarial anaemia (SMA, n = 42) or uncomplicated malaria (UM, n = 66), and healthy aparasitemic children (n = 52) in Blantyre, Malawi. In all malaria groups, but particularly in the two severe malaria groups, monocyte expression of CD11b, CD11c, CD18, HLA-DR and CD86, and percentages of TNF-?- and IL-6-producing monocytes were lower than in healthy controls, while expression of CD11a, TLR2 and TLR4 was lower in children with severe malaria compared with controls. These levels mostly normalized during convalescence, but percentages of cytokine-producing monocytes remained suppressed in children with SMA. In all malaria groups, especially the SMA group, a greater proportion of monocytes were loaded with haemozoin than among controls. In a P. falciparum hyperendemic area, monocytes in children with acute symptomatic malaria have reduced expression of adhesion molecules and activation markers and reduced inflammatory cytokine production. This immune suppression could be due to accumulation of haemozoin and/or previous exposure to P. falciparum.
Project description:Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes (IE) within the brain microvasculature is a hallmark of cerebral malaria (CM). Using a micro-channel flow adhesion assay with TNF-activated primary human microvascular endothelial cells, we demonstrate that IE isolated from Malawian paediatric CM cases showed increased binding to brain microvascular endothelial cells compared to IE from uncomplicated malaria (UM) cases. Further, UM isolates showed significantly greater adhesion to dermal than to brain microvascular endothelial cells. The major mediator of parasite adhesion is P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1, encoded by var genes. Higher levels of var gene transcripts predicted to bind host endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) and ICAM-1 were detected in CM isolates. These data provide further evidence for differential tissue binding in severe and uncomplicated malaria syndromes, and give additional support to the hypothesis that CM pathology is based on increased cytoadherence of IE in the brain microvasculature.
Project description:Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE) within the brain microvasculature is a hallmark of cerebral malaria (CM). Using a microchannel flow adhesion assay with TNF-activated primary human microvascular endothelial cells, we demonstrate that IE isolated from Malawian paediatric CM cases showed increased binding to brain microvascular endothelial cells compared to IE from uncomplicated malaria (UM) cases. Further, UM isolates showed significantly greater adhesion to dermal than to brain microvascular endothelial cells. The major mediator of parasite adhesion is P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1, encoded by var genes. Higher levels of var gene transcripts predicted to bind host endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) and ICAM-1 were detected in CM isolates. These data provide further evidence for differential tissue binding in severe and uncomplicated malaria syndromes, and give additional support to the hypothesis that CM pathology is based on increased cytoadherence of IE in the brain microvasculature.
Project description:Cerebral malaria (CM) and severe malarial anemia (SMA) are the most serious life-threatening clinical syndromes of Plasmodium falciparum infection in childhood. Therefore it is important to understand the pathology underlying the development of CM and SMA, as opposed to uncomplicated malaria (UM). Different host responses to infection are likely to be reflected in plasma proteome-patterns that associate with clinical status and therefore provide indicators of the pathogenesis of these syndromes.Plasma and comprehensive clinical data for discovery and validation cohorts were obtained as part of a prospective case-control study of severe childhood malaria at the main tertiary hospital of the city of Ibadan, an urban and densely populated holoendemic malaria area in Nigeria. A total of 946 children participated in this study. Plasma was subjected to high-throughput proteomic profiling. Statistical pattern-recognition methods were used to find proteome-patterns that defined disease groups. Plasma proteome-patterns accurately distinguished children with CM and with SMA from those with UM, and from healthy or severely ill malaria-negative children.We report that an accurate definition of the major childhood malaria syndromes can be achieved using plasma proteome-patterns. Our proteomic data can be exploited to understand the pathogenesis of the different childhood severe malaria syndromes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Delay in receiving treatment for uncomplicated malaria (UM) is often reported to increase the risk of developing severe malaria (SM), but access to treatment remains low in most high-burden areas. Understanding the contribution of treatment delay on progression to severe disease is critical to determine how quickly patients need to receive treatment and to quantify the impact of widely implemented treatment interventions, such as 'test-and-treat' policies administered by community health workers (CHWs). We conducted a pooled individual-participant meta-analysis to estimate the association between treatment delay and presenting with SM. METHODS AND FINDINGS:A search using Ovid MEDLINE and Embase was initially conducted to identify studies on severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria that included information on treatment delay, such as fever duration (inception to 22nd September 2017). Studies identified included 5 case-control and 8 other observational clinical studies of SM and UM cases. Risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale, and all studies were ranked as 'Good', scoring ?7/10. Individual-patient data (IPD) were pooled from 13 studies of 3,989 (94.1% aged <15 years) SM patients and 5,780 (79.6% aged <15 years) UM cases in Benin, Malaysia, Mozambique, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Yemen, and Zambia. Definitions of SM were standardised across studies to compare treatment delay in patients with UM and different SM phenotypes using age-adjusted mixed-effects regression. The odds of any SM phenotype were significantly higher in children with longer delays between initial symptoms and arrival at the health facility (odds ratio [OR] = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.07-1.64 for a delay of >24 hours versus ?24 hours; p = 0.009). Reported illness duration was a strong predictor of presenting with severe malarial anaemia (SMA) in children, with an OR of 2.79 (95% CI:1.92-4.06; p < 0.001) for a delay of 2-3 days and 5.46 (95% CI: 3.49-8.53; p < 0.001) for a delay of >7 days, compared with receiving treatment within 24 hours from symptom onset. We estimate that 42.8% of childhood SMA cases and 48.5% of adult SMA cases in the study areas would have been averted if all individuals were able to access treatment within the first day of symptom onset, if the association is fully causal. In studies specifically recording onset of nonsevere symptoms, long treatment delay was moderately associated with other SM phenotypes (OR [95% CI] >3 to ?4 days versus ?24 hours: cerebral malaria [CM] = 2.42 [1.24-4.72], p = 0.01; respiratory distress syndrome [RDS] = 4.09 [1.70-9.82], p = 0.002). In addition to unmeasured confounding, which is commonly present in observational studies, a key limitation is that many severe cases and deaths occur outside healthcare facilities in endemic countries, where the effect of delayed or no treatment is difficult to quantify. CONCLUSIONS:Our results quantify the relationship between rapid access to treatment and reduced risk of severe disease, which was particularly strong for SMA. There was some evidence to suggest that progression to other severe phenotypes may also be prevented by prompt treatment, though the association was not as strong, which may be explained by potential selection bias, sample size issues, or a difference in underlying pathology. These findings may help assess the impact of interventions that improve access to treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mannose binding lectin, a plasma protein protects host from virus, bacteria, and parasites. Deficiency in MBL levels has been associated with susceptibility to various infectious diseases including P. falciparum malaria. Common MBL polymorphisms in promoter and coding regions are associated with decrease in plasma MBL levels or production of deformed MBL, respectively. In the present study, we hypothesized that MBL2 variants and plasma MBL levels could be associated with different clinical phenotypes of severe P. falciparum malaria. METHODS:A hospital based study was conducted in eastern Odisha, India which is endemic to P. falciparum malaria. Common MBL-2 polymorphisms (codon 54, H-550L, and Y-221X) were typed in 336 cases of severe malaria (SM) [94 cerebral malaria (CM), 120 multi-organ dysfunction (MOD), 122 non-cerebral severe malaria (NCSM)] and 131 un-complicated malaria patients (UM). Plasma MBL levels were quantified by ELISA. RESULTS:Severe malaria patients displayed lower plasma levels of MBL compared to uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Furthermore, on categorization of severe malaria patients into various subtypes, plasma MBL levels were very low in MOD patients compared to other categories. Higher frequency of AB genotype and allele B was observed in MOD compared to UM (AB genotype: P = 0.006; B allele: P = 0.008). In addition, prevalence of YX genotype of MBL Y-221X polymorphism was also statistically more frequent in MOD case than UM (P = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS:The observations of the present study reveal that MBL-2 polymorphisms (codon 54 and Y-221X) and lower plasma MBL levels are associated with increased susceptibility to multi organ dysfunctions in P. falciparum malaria.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The factors involved in the progression from Plasmodium falciparum infection to severe malaria (SM) are still incompletely understood. Altered antibody and cellular immunity against P. falciparum might contribute to increase the risk of developing SM. METHODS: To identify immune responses associated with SM, a sex- and age-matched case-control study was carried out in 134 Mozambican children with SM (cerebral malaria, severe anaemia, acidosis and/or respiratory distress, prostration, hypoglycaemia, multiple seizures) or uncomplicated malaria (UM). IgG and IgM against P. falciparum lysate, merozoite antigens (MSP-119, AMA-1 and EBA-175), a Duffy binding like (DBL)-? rosetting domain and antigens on the surface of infected erythrocytes were measured by ELISA or flow cytometry. Plasma concentrations of IL-12p70, IL-2, IFN-?, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-8, IL-6, IL-1?, TNF, TNF-? and TGF-?1 were measured using fluorescent bead immunoassays. Data was analysed using McNemar's and Signtest. RESULTS: Compared to UM, matched children with SM had reduced levels of IgG against DBL? (P?<?0.001), IgM against MSP-119 (P?=?0.050) and AMA-1 (P?=?0.047), TGF-?1 (P < 0.001) and IL-12 (P?=?0.039). In addition, levels of IgG against P. falciparum lysate and IL-6 concentrations were increased (P?=?0.004 and P?=?0.047, respectively). Anti-DBL? IgG was the only antibody response associated to reduced parasite densities in a multivariate regression model (P?=?0.026). CONCLUSIONS: The lower levels of antibodies found in children with SM compared to children with UM were not attributable to lower exposure to P. falciparum in the SM group. IgM against P. falciparum and specific IgG against a rosetting PfEMP1 domain may play a role in the control of SM, whereas an imbalanced pro-inflammatory cytokine response may exacerbate the severity of infection. A high overlap in symptoms together with a limited sample size of different SM clinical groups reduced the power to identify immunological correlates for particular forms of SM.