Alterations in cytokines and haematological parameters during the acute and convalescent phases of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections


Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz




Haematological and cytokine alterations in malaria are a broad and controversial subject in the literature. However, few studies have simultaneously evaluated various cytokines in a single patient group during the acute and convalescent phases of infection. The aim of this study was to sequentially characterise alterations in haematological patters and circulating plasma cytokine and chemokine levels in patients infected with Plasmodium vivax or Plasmodium falciparum from a Brazilian endemic area during the acute and convalescent phases of infection. During the acute phase, thrombocytopaenia, eosinopaenia, lymphopaenia and an increased number of band cells were observed in the majority of the patients. During the convalescent phase, the haematologic parameters returned to normal. During the acute phase, P. vivax and P. falciparum patients had significantly higher interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-17, interferon-γ, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, macrophage inflammatory protein-1β and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor levels than controls and maintained high levels during the convalescent phase. IL-10 was detected at high concentrations during the acute phase, but returned to normal levels during the convalescent phase. Plasma IL-10 concentration was positively correlated with parasitaemia in P. vivax and P. falciparum-infected patients. The same was true for the TNF-α concentration in P. falciparum-infected patients. Finally, the haematological and cytokine profiles were similar between uncomplicated P. falciparum and P. vivax infections.

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