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Infect Immun. 1981 Jun;32(3):1058-66.

Possible importance of macrophage-derived mediators in acute malaria.


Tumor necrosis factor, lymphocyte-activating factor, and enhanced levels of type I interferon were found in serum samples taken 2 h after mice infected with Plasmodium vinckei subsp. petteri received a small intravenous injection of endotoxin. These three mediators are among those released when mice receive an endotoxin injection 2 weeks after Mycobacterium bovis BCG or Corynebacterium parvum have been administered. There is indirect evidence that this wider range of mediators is also released in P. vinckei subsp. petteri-infected mice given parenteral endotoxin. A recent report that endotoxin is detectable in the plasma of malaria-infected mice and children implies that these mediators may also be released in the acute phase of the natural infection. We propose that these macrophage-derived mediators may be important in the glucocorticoid antagonism, bone marrow depression, fever, hypergammaglobulinemia, splenomegaly, elevation of serum amyloid A, consumptive coagulopathy, and shock syndrome with associated organ damage which can accompany malaria. The intraerythrocytic parasite death seen at crisis in some malarias, as well as the subsequent development of specific protective immunity, may also depend on these mediators.

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