Modeling the development of acquired clinical immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Gatton, Michelle L. and Cheng, Qin (2004) Modeling the development of acquired clinical immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Infection and Immunity, 72 11: 6538-6545. doi:10.1128/IAI.72.11.6538-6545.2004

Author Gatton, Michelle L.
Cheng, Qin
Title Modeling the development of acquired clinical immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria
Journal name Infection and Immunity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0019-9657
Publication date 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1128/IAI.72.11.6538-6545.2004
Volume 72
Issue 11
Start page 6538
End page 6545
Total pages 8
Editor A. D. O'Brien
Place of publication United States
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject C1
321299 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
730212 Disease distribution and transmission
Abstract Individuals living in regions where malaria is endemic develop an acquired immunity to malaria which enables them to remain asymptomatic while still carrying parasites. Field studies indicate that cumulative exposure to a variety of diverse Plasmodium parasites is required for the transition from symptomatic to asymptomatic malaria. This study used a simulation model of the within-host dynamics of P. falciparum to investigate the development of acquired clinical immunity under different transmission conditions and levels of parasite diversity. Antibodies developed to P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), a clonally variant molecule, were assumed to be a key human immunological response to P. falciparum infection, along with responses to clonally conserved but polymorphic antigens. The time to the development of clinical immunity was found to be proportional to parasite diversity and inversely proportional to transmission intensity. The effect of early termination of symptomatic infections by chemotherapy was investigated and found not to inhibit the host's ability to develop acquired immunity. However, the time required to achieve this state was approximately double that compared to when no treatment was administered. This study demonstrates that an immune response primarily targeted against PfEMP1 has the ability to reduce clinical symptoms of infections irrespective of whether treatment is administered, supporting its role in the development of acquired clinical immunity. The results also illustrate a novel use for simulation models of P. falciparum infections, investigation of the influence of intervention strategies on the development of naturally acquired clinical immunity.
Keyword Immunology
Infectious Diseases
Erythrocyte Surface-antigens
Febrile Illness
Endemic Area
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Australian Centre for International & Tropical Health
2005 Higher Education Research Data Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 25 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 23 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 05:19:52 EST