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PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26266. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026266. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Effect of acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria on reactivation and shedding of the eight human herpes viruses.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

Human herpes viruses (HHVs) are widely distributed pathogens. In immuno-competent individuals their clinical outcomes are generally benign but in immuno-compromised hosts, primary infection or extensive viral reactivation can lead to critical diseases. Plasmodium falciparum malaria profoundly affects the host immune system. In this retrospective study, we evaluated the direct effect of acute P. falciparum infection on reactivation and shedding of all known human herpes viruses (HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, EBV, CMV, HHV-6, HHV-7, HHV-8). We monitored their presence by real time PCR in plasma and saliva of Ugandan children with malaria at the day of admission to the hospital (day-0) and 14 days later (after treatment), or in children with mild infections unrelated to malaria. For each child screened in this study, at least one type of HHV was detected in the saliva. HHV-7 and HHV-6 were detected in more than 70% of the samples and CMV in approximately half. HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV and HHV-8 were detected at lower frequency. During salivary shedding the highest mean viral load was observed for HSV-1 followed by EBV, HHV-7, HHV-6, CMV and HHV-8. After anti-malarial treatment the salivary HSV-1 levels were profoundly diminished or totally cleared. Similarly, four children with malaria had high levels of circulating EBV at day-0, levels that were cleared after anti-malarial treatment confirming the association between P. falciparum infection and EBV reactivation. This study shows that acute P. falciparum infection can contribute to EBV reactivation in the blood and HSV-1 reactivation in the oral cavity. Taken together our results call for further studies investigating the potential clinical implications of HHVs reactivation in children suffering from malaria.

PMID:
22039454
PMCID:
PMC3200318
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0026266
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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