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Eur Cytokine Netw. 1997 Mar;8(1):29-35.

Tumor necrosis factor in Plasmodium falciparum malaria: high plasma level is associated with fever, but high production capacity is associated with rapid fever clearance.

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Research Laboratory, Albert-Schweitzer-Hospital, Lambaréné, Gabon.


In the present study, we investigated 91 patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria of different severity in a highly endemic area. Patients were examined at least twice daily until clearance of parasites and fever. Plasma cytokine concentrations without and after ex vivo PHA stimulation of whole blood were determined. On admission we found elevated plasma concentrations of TNF, IFN-gamma, and IL-10 compared to levels during and after chemotherapy. Plasma TNF levels on admission were significantly different between patients with severe and mild malaria (differentiated in schoolchildren and adults). The PHA elicited TNF production capacity of peripheral blood leucocytes was suppressed during the acute phase of malaria. High TNF production capacity was associated with faster fever clearance and parasite clearance and, in patients with severe malaria, with higher blood glucose levels. In conclusion we observed circulating TNF concentrations in malaria patients dependent on the severity of disease, which is itself dependent on age, and an association of a high TNF production capacity with parameters for accelerated cure and good prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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