Elevated IL-17 levels in semi-immune anaemic mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA

Malar J. 2018 Apr 17;17(1):169. doi: 10.1186/s12936-018-2257-x.


Background: Alterations in inflammatory cytokines and genetic background of the host contribute to the outcome of malaria infection. Despite the promising protective role of IL-17 in infections, little attention is given to further understand its importance in the pathogenesis of severe malaria anaemia in chronic/endemic situations. The objective of this study, therefore, was to evaluate IL-17 levels in anaemic condition and its association with host genetic factors.

Methods: Two mice strains (Balb/c and CBA) were crossed to get the F1 progeny, and were (F1, Balb/c, CBA) taken through 6 cycles of Plasmodium berghei (ANKA strain) infection and chloroquine/pyrimethamine treatment to generate semi-immune status. Cytokine levels and kinetics of antibody production, CD4+CD25+T regulatory cells were evaluated by bead-based multiplex assay kit, ELISA and FACs, respectively.

Results: High survival with high Hb loss at significantly low parasitaemia was observed in Balb/c and F1. Furthermore, IgG levels were two times higher in Balb/c, F1 than CBA. While CD4+CD25+ Treg cells were lower in CBA; IL-4, IFN-γ, IL-12α and IL-17 were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in Balb/c, F1.

Conclusions: In conclusion, elevated IL-17 levels together with high IL-4, IL-12α and IFN-γ levels may be a marker of protection, and the mechanism may be controlled by host factor (s). Further studies of F2 between the F1 and Balb/c will be informative in evaluating if these genes are segregated or further apart.

Keywords: Anaemia; IL-17; Plasmodium berghei ANKA; Semi-immune mice.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / genetics
  • Adaptive Immunity / immunology*
  • Anemia / genetics
  • Anemia / immunology*
  • Anemia / parasitology
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism
  • Malaria / complications
  • Malaria / genetics
  • Malaria / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Plasmodium berghei / physiology*


  • Il17a protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-17