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J Trop Pediatr. 2009 Aug;55(4):233-7. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmn062. Epub 2008 Jul 9.

Cytokine profiles in peripheral, placental and cord blood in an area of unstable malaria transmission in eastern Sudan.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan.



Understanding the cytokine interactions that underlie both control and disease should be helpful when investigating the pathogenesis of malaria during pregnancy. Few data exists concerning pathogenesis of malaria during pregnancy in areas of unstable malaria transmission.


The study was conducted in New Halfa hospital, eastern Sudan, which is characterized by unstable malaria transmission to investigate the cytokine profiles in peripheral, placental and cord blood in parturient women.


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure the concentrations of three cytokines, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-10, in sera from peripheral, placental and cord blood of 87 Sudanese women.


The concentrations of these cytokines were significantly higher in peripheral, placental sera from uninfected women than in sera from infected women. IFN-gamma concentrations were significantly lower in the cord sera from uninfected women in comparison to the infected ones. The levels of these cytokines were not significantly different between the primiparae and multipare. Cord sera in all groups showed lower levels of these cytokines. Strong positive correlations were observed between peripheral and placental cytokines.


The immune responses that occur in placental, peripheral and cord blood were influenced by the malaria infections, irrespective of the parity. The immune response during Plasmodium falciparum infection is not different in the peripheral and placental compartments, further studies are required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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