Alterations on peripheral B cell subsets following an acute uncomplicated clinical malaria infection in children

Malar J. 2008 Nov 18;7:238. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-7-238.


Background: The effects of Plasmodium falciparum on B-cell homeostasis have not been well characterized. This study investigated whether an episode of acute malaria in young children results in changes in the peripheral B cell phenotype.

Methods: Using flow-cytofluorimetric analysis, the B cell phenotypes found in the peripheral blood of children aged 2-5 years were characterized during an episode of acute uncomplicated clinical malaria and four weeks post-recovery and in healthy age-matched controls.

Results: There was a significant decrease in CD19+ B lymphocytes during acute malaria. Characterization of the CD19+ B cell subsets in the peripheral blood based on expression of IgD and CD38 revealed a significant decrease in the numbers of naive 1 CD38-IgD+ B cells while there was an increase in CD38+IgD- memory 3 B cells during acute malaria. Further analysis of the peripheral B cell phenotype also identified an expansion of transitional CD10+CD19+ B cells in children following an episode of acute malaria with up to 25% of total CD19+ B cell pool residing in this subset.

Conclusion: Children experiencing an episode of acute uncomplicated clinical malaria experienced profound disturbances in B cell homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1 / analysis
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD19 / analysis
  • B-Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin D / analysis
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology*
  • Neprilysin / analysis
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology


  • Antigens, CD19
  • Immunoglobulin D
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1
  • Neprilysin