Human neutrophil lipocalin: a specific marker for neutrophil activation in severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Acta Trop. 2003 Jul;87(2):279-85. doi: 10.1016/s0001-706x(03)00116-5.


We have earlier indicated neutrophil activation in severe malaria by measuring myeloperoxidase (MPO) and lysozyme, leukocyte granule proteins secreted by neutrophils as well as by other blood cells (monocytes/macrophages). In this study we evaluated the plasma levels of human neutrophil lipocalin (HNL), a specific neutrophil granule protein, in relation to previously reported markers MPO and lysozyme, for clinical significance in indicating severe malaria. For this purpose, plasma samples were analyzed from 65 individuals with severe malaria, mild malaria or malaria negative, all living in the Gedarif area of Sudan. The plasma levels of HNL were significantly higher in the group of patients with severe malaria as compared with the other two groups. Plasma levels of HNL correlated significantly to those of MPO and lysozyme, as well as to body temperature, degree of parasitaemia and pulse rate. These results confirm our previous findings that neutrophils are activated in-patients with severe malaria and the level of HNL is a good marker in this context.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Carrier Proteins / blood
  • Carrier Proteins / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins
  • Malaria, Falciparum / blood
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology*
  • Male
  • Muramidase / blood
  • Muramidase / immunology
  • Neutrophil Activation / immunology*
  • Oncogene Proteins*
  • Peroxidase / blood
  • Peroxidase / immunology
  • Plasmodium falciparum*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • Carrier Proteins
  • LCN2 protein, human
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Peroxidase
  • Muramidase