Diverse outcomes of controlled human malaria infection originate from host intrinsic immune variation and not var gene switching

Study ID Alternative Stable ID Type
EGAS00001003766 Transcriptome Analysis

Study Description

Falciparum malaria is clinically heterogeneous and the relative contribution of parasite and host factors in shaping disease severity remains unclear. We set out to explore the interaction between host inflammation and parasite variant surface antigen (VSA) expression, asking whether this relationship underpins the variation observed in controlled human malaria infection. We uncovered marked heterogeneity in the response of naive hosts to blood challenge with some volunteers maintaining a state of immune quiescence, others triggering interferon-stimulated inflammation and a small group showing transcriptional evidence of myeloid cell suppression. Significantly, only inflammatory volunteers experienced hallmark symptoms of clinical malaria. When we then tracked temporal changes in parasite VSA expression to ask whether variants associated with severe disease preferentially expand in naive hosts (as predicted by current theory) we found that var gene profiles were essentially unchanged after 10-days of blood-stage infection. These data therefore show that the diverse clinical outcomes ... (Show More)

Study Datasets 1 dataset.

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
Falciparum malaria is clinically heterogeneous and yet in most cases the risk of life-threatening disease dramatically declines after the first few infections of life because children rapidly acquire disease tolerance (resistance to severe malaria without improved control of parasite burden). Identifying the factors that determine clinical outcome in a malaria-naive host is therefore paramount to reduce malaria mortality. However, the relative contribution of disease-causing variants of the ... (Show More)
Illumina HiSeq 2500 30

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