Publications & Reports

V beta profiles in African children with acute cerebral or uncomplicated malaria: very focused changes among a remarkable global stability.

Severine Loizon, Philippe Boeuf, John K A Tetteh, Bamenla Goka, George Obeng-Adjei, Jorgen A L Kurtzhals, Christophe Rogier, Bartholomew D Akanmori, Odile Mercereau-Puijalon, Lars Hviid, Charlotte Behr
Unite d'Immunologie Moleculaire des Parasites, CNRS URA 2581, Departement de Parasitologie, Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris cedex 15, France.


T cells are thought to play a critical role in cerebral malaria pathogenesis. However, available evidences are restricted to rodent models in which V beta specific T cell expansion has been associated with neurological syndrome suggesting involvement of superantigens or dominant antigens. Using flow cytometry, we studied the peripheral V beta T cell repertoire of Ghanaian children with cerebral malaria, uncomplicated malaria and asymptomatic control children, to look for either expansion or deletion of specific V beta associated with cerebral malaria. At admission, the general pattern of the repertoire of the patients was very similar, with no major distortion compared to the control group a part a significant increase of the frequency of the V beta 21.3 subset correlating with disease severity and attributed to the CD4 subset. During convalescence very limited fluctuations were observed including a significant decrease of the V beta 21.3 subset and increase of the V beta 20 subset, a subset not detected at admission. The remarkable stability of the V beta repertoire observed in acute malaria either cerebral or uncomplicated argues against the idea that cerebral malaria would result from a T cell-mediated inflammatory shock syndrome driven by some dominant super-antigenic activity(ies). The significance of the reproducible increase of the CD4+V beta 21.3T cell subset deserves further investigations.


  • Journal: Microbes and infection / Institut Pasteur
  • Published: 01/09/2007
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 11
  • Pagination: 1252-1259


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