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J Infect Dis. 2003 Apr 15;187(8):1272-82. Epub 2003 Apr 2.

Serological responses among individuals in areas where both schistosomiasis and malaria are endemic: cross-reactivity between Schistosoma mansoni and Plasmodium falciparum.

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Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


We examined specific immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG3 responses to Plasmodium falciparum schizont and Schistosoma mansoni egg and worm antigens in individuals from Kenya, Uganda, and the Sudan who had been exposed to malaria and schistosomiasis. A strong correlation between malaria- and schistosome-specific IgG3 responses was observed. This association appears to result from the presence of cross-reactive components of the 2 parasites that bind IgG3 antibodies, rather than to be mediated by immunological cross-regulation or specific regulatory mechanisms induced by either parasite. Cross-reactivity of IgG3 antibodies was confirmed in a Brazilian cohort of individuals living in an area where schistosomiasis is endemic but no malaria occurs and in a Pakistani cohort from an area where malaria is endemic but no schistosomiasis occurs. An IgG3 interaction with antigens from both parasites was observed in individuals from both cohorts, but not in uninfected European control subjects. The immunological and biological implications of this observation require further exploration.

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