An immunohistochemical method was developed, using a polyclonal antibody, to detect the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in normal and malaria-infected tissue. Plasmodium berghei ANKA, a cerebral malaria (CM) model, and P. berghei K173, a non-cerebral malaria (NCM) model, were used. It was found that vascular endothelial cells were the primary site of IDO expression in both models of malaria infection and that this response was systemic, with the vascular endothelium of brain, heart, lung, spleen and uterus all staining positive. These results suggest that IDO is part of a systemic host response to parasite infection. Although high levels of IDO production alone may not cause pathology, it is possible that when its production is combined with other features of CM, such as breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), metabolites of the kynurenine pathway may be able to influence the otherwise tightly regulated, immunologically privileged site of the CNS and cause some of the symptoms and pathology observed.