World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Immunology of Parasitic Diseases, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Infectious Diseases Service, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Barros Barreto Hospital, Evandro Chagas Hospital, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
To study the polyclonal B-lymphocyte stimulation or activation (PBA) phenomenon in human malaria, the numbers of immunoglobulin (G, A, and M)-secreting cells in the peripheral blood, serum levels of immunoglobulins, and the presence of antibodies directed against the DNA-autoantigen were evaluated in Plasmodium falciparum- and P. vivax-infected individuals. Individuals chronically exposed to the risk of infection or non-immune subjects who contracted malaria during first visits to endemic areas were studied. Numbers of immunoglobulin-secreting cells (IgSC) were increased dependent upon ongoing parasitemia. Levels of IgG and the anti-DNA activity were also augmented in malarious individuals from the endemic area. Study of the kinetics of PBA done in treated patients showed that PBA decreased during treatment and disappeared 5–15 days after the start of chemotherapy.