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Clin Exp Immunol. 1994 Apr;96(1):98-103.

Increased plasma levels of soluble IL-2R are associated with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital (Righospitalet), Copenhagen, Denmark.


Plasma samples from children with mild and severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria and from children with unrelated diseases were collected to investigate whether the clinical outcome of infection was associated with plasma factors which reflected the activity of different cells of the immune system. Children with severe P. falciparum malaria had significantly higher plasma levels of soluble IL-2R than children with mild malaria. Plasma levels of IL-2R and levels of parasitaemia were significantly correlated. Neither parasitaemia nor plasma levels of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), IL-6, lymphotoxin (LT), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), IL-4, soluble IL-4R or soluble CD8 differed significantly between the two groups of children with malaria. High plasma levels of soluble CD8 were associated with failure of lymphocytes to produce IFN-gamma in vitro following stimulation with P. falciparum antigen. We conclude that soluble IL-2R is a useful marker of disease severity independently of the association with levels of parasitaemia, and that functional regulation of different lymphocyte subsets occurs during acute malaria episodes.

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