Genomewide analysis of the host response to malaria in Kenyan children

J Infect Dis. 2005 May 15;191(10):1599-611. doi: 10.1086/429297. Epub 2005 Apr 14.


Malaria is a global problem, and there is a critical need for further understanding of the disease process. When malarial parasites invade and develop within the bloodstream, they stimulate a profound host response whose main clinical sign is fever. To explore this response, we measured host gene expression in whole blood from Kenyan children hospitalized with either acute malaria or other febrile illnesses. Genomewide analysis of expression identified 2 principal gene-expression profiles related to neutrophil and erythroid activity. In addition to these general acute responses, a third gene-expression profile was associated with host parasitemia; mediators of erythrophagocytosis and cellular stress were notable components of this response. The delineation of subjects on the basis of patterns of gene expression provides a molecular perspective of the host response to malaria and further functional insight into the underlying processes of pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kenya
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Malaria / blood*
  • Malaria / immunology
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Parasitemia
  • Phenotype