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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Apr 15;89(8):3200-3.

Dynamics of fever and serum levels of tumor necrosis factor are closely associated during clinical paroxysms in Plasmodium vivax malaria.

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  • 1Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.


Paroxysms are sharp episodes of high fever accompanied by chills and rigors that occur periodically, once in every 48 hr in Plasmodium vivax infections. We have measured the changing levels of serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF) during paroxysms in non-immune patients infected with P. vivax malaria. The changes in TNF levels closely paralleled the rise and fall in temperature during the paroxysms but tended to precede them by 30-60 min. These observations suggest that the rise and fall in temperature during P. vivax paroxysm may be directly related to the periodic changes in TNF levels induced during these infections. The peak TNF levels reached during P. vivax infections were much higher than even those which have been recorded during severe and fatal P. falciparum infections in which TNF has been postulated to contribute to the severe manifestations of this disease.

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