Contrasting functions of IgG and IgE antimalarial antibodies in uncomplicated and severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

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  • 1 Department of Immunology, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Plasmodial infection results in a significant elevation of the blood concentrations of immunoglobulins including IgE. Two well-characterized groups of adult Thai patients with either uncomplicated or severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria were studied over a period of four weeks. The mean parasitemias were approximately three-fold higher in patients with severe malaria than in those with uncomplicated disease. The mean concentrations of both total IgG and IgG antiplasmodial antibodies tended to be highest in the group with uncomplicated disease while total IgE and IgE antibodies were higher in the group with severe disease. The IgE antibodies detected in approximately 65% of the patients were positively correlated to parasitemia. These results suggest that antiplasmodial IgG antibodies are involved in reducing the severity of P. falciparum malaria, while IgE antibodies may contribute to the pathogenesis of this infection.