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J Infect Dis. 2000 Sep;182(3):960-4. Epub 2000 Aug 14.

Immunity to placental malaria. II. Placental antigen-specific cytokine responses are impaired in human immunodeficiency virus-infected women.

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Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, and Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.


An association was demonstrated recently between elevated in vitro production of interferon (IFN)-gamma by intervillous blood mononuclear cells (IVBMCs) and protection against placental malaria (PM). Because human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected pregnant women have increased susceptibility to PM, loss of the IFN-gamma response in these women may impair their ability to control PM. Measurement of cytokines in culture supernatants by ELISA revealed that IFN-gamma responses by HIV-positive IVBMCs were impaired, especially after malarial antigen stimulation. Interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 responses also were reduced in HIV-positive persons, the latter more so in HIV-positive, PM-positive persons. In contrast, tumor necrosis factor-alpha production generally was enhanced in PM-positive and HIV-positive persons. Overall, cytokine production was reduced in HIV-positive persons with CD4 T cell counts <500/microL, particularly in response to malarial antigen. Thus, HIV-mediated cytokine dysregulation and impairment of the protective IFN-gamma response may contribute to the increased susceptibility of HIV-positive pregnant women to malaria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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