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Blood. 2013 Aug 1;122(5):629-35. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-12-475665. Epub 2013 May 3.

Endemic Burkitt lymphoma is associated with strength and diversity of Plasmodium falciparum malaria stage-specific antigen antibody response.

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Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Endemic Burkitt lymphoma (eBL) is linked to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection geographically, but evidence from individual-level studies is limited. We investigated this issue among 354 childhood eBL cases and 384 age-, sex-, and location-matched controls enrolled in Ghana from 1965 to 1994. Immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) antibodies to antigens diagnostic of recent infection Pf histidine-rich protein-II (HRP-II) and 6NANP, Pf-vaccine candidates SE36 and 42-kDa region of the 3D7 Pf merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1), and tetanus toxoid were measured by indirect enzyme-linked immunoassay. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for association with eBL were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. After adjustments, eBL was positively associated with HRP-IIIgG3 seropositivity (adjusted OR: 1.60; 95% CI 1.08-2.36) and inversely associated with SE36IgG1 seropositivity (adjusted OR: 0.37; 95% CI 0.21-0.64) and with tetanus toxoidIgG3 levels equal or higher than the mean (adjusted OR: 0.46; 95% CI 0.32-0.66). Anti-MSP-1IgG3 and anti-6NANPIgG3 were indeterminate. eBL risk was potentially 21 times higher (95% CI 5.8-74) in HRP-IIIgG3-seropositive and SE36IgG1-seronegative responders compared with HRP-IIIgG3-seronegative and SE36IgG1-seropositive responders. Our results suggest that recent malaria may be associated with risk of eBL but long-term infection may be protective.

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