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J Infect Dis. 1998 Feb;177(2):437-45.

Plasmodium falciparum antigen-induced human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication is mediated through induction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

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  • 1Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Because malaria-stimulated cytokine production may have deleterious effects on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication, the effects of Plasmodium falciparum antigens on HIV-1 replication were studied. Stimulation with malarial antigens significantly enhanced HIV-1 replication of HIV-1LAV and primary HIV-1 isolates (subtype A) in CD8-depleted peripheral blood mononuclear cells from naive donors. The malarial antigen-induced activation of HIV-1 was due to cellular activation as judged by the expression of cell activation markers and proliferative responses. While malarial antigen stimulation increased expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), only monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to TNF-alpha inhibited malarial antigen-induced HIV-1 replication, whereas MAb to IL-6 had no effect. Malarial antigen increased HIV-1 replication by increasing viral mRNA expression and by activating long terminal repeat-directed viral transcription. These data suggest that P. falciparum infection can modulate HIV-1 pathogenesis by activating lymphocytes and stimulating viral replication through the production of cytokines.

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