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Malar J. 2013 Mar 19;12:105. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-12-105.

Systemic release of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein is associated with severe and fatal Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Author information

1
Sandra A Rotman Laboratory, McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, University Health Network/University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Severe falciparum malaria (SM) pathogenesis has been attributed, in part, to deleterious systemic host inflammatory responses to infection. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein is an important mediator of inflammation implicated in sepsis pathophysiology.

METHODS:

Plasma levels of HMGB1 were quantified in a cohort of febrile Ugandan children with Plasmodium falciparum infection, enrolled in a prospective observational case-controlled study, using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The utility of HMGB1 to distinguish severe malaria (SM; n = 70) from uncomplicated malaria (UM; n = 33) patients and fatal (n = 21) versus non-fatal (n = 82) malaria, at presentation, was examined. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to assess the prognostic accuracy of HMGB1. The ability of P. falciparum-parasitized erythrocytes to induce HMGB1 from peripheral blood mononuclear cells was assessed in vitro. The effect of an anti-HMGB1 neutralizing antibody on disease outcome was assessed in the experimental Plasmodium berghei ANKA rodent parasite model of SM. Mortality and parasitaemia was assessed daily and compared to isotype antibody-treated controls.

RESULTS:

Elevated plasma HMGB1 levels at presentation were significantly associated with SM and a subsequent fatal outcome in paediatric patients with P. falciparum infection. In vitro, parasitized erythrocytes induced HMGB1 release from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Antibody-mediated neutralization of HMGB1 in the experimental murine model of severe malaria failed to reduce mortality.

CONCLUSION:

These data suggest that elevated HMGB1 is an informative prognostic marker of disease severity in human SM, but do not support HMGB1 as a viable target for therapeutic intervention in experimental murine SM.

PMID:
23506269
PMCID:
PMC3606128
DOI:
10.1186/1475-2875-12-105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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