Publications & Reports

Frequent malaria drives progressive Vdelta2 T cell loss, dysfunction, and CD16 upregulation during early childhood.

Farrington LA, Jagannathan P, McIntyre TI, Vance HM, Bowen K, Boyle MJ, Nankya F, Wamala S, Auma A, Nalubega M, Sikyomu E, Naluwu K, Bigira V, Kapisi J, Dorsey G, Kamya MR, Feeney ME
Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94110 United States.


gammadelta T cells expressing Vdelta2 may be instrumental in the control of malaria, as they inhibit the replication of blood-stage parasites in vitro and expand during acute malaria infection. However, Vdelta2 T cell frequencies and function are lower among children with heavy prior malaria exposure. It remains unclear whether malaria itself is driving this loss. Here we measure Vdelta2 T cell frequency, cytokine production, and degranulation longitudinally in Ugandan children enrolled in a malaria chemoprevention trial from 6 to 36 months of age. We observed a progressive attenuation of the Vdelta2 response only among children incurring high rates of malaria. Unresponsive Vdelta2 T-cells were marked by expression of CD16, which was elevated in the setting of high malaria transmission. Moreover, chemoprevention during early childhood prevented the development of dysfunctional Vdelta2 T cells. These observations provide insight into the role of Vdelta2 T cells in the immune response to chronic malaria.

Link to PubMed Central

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: The Journal of infectious diseases
  • Published: 01/01/2016
  • Volume: 213
  • Issue: 9
  • Pagination: 1483-1490

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