Reduced interferon (IFN)-α conditioned by IFNA2 (-173) and IFNA8 (-884) haplotypes is associated with enhanced susceptibility to severe malarial anemia and longitudinal all-cause mortality.

Center for Global Health, Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, MSC10-5550, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA.
Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 4.63). 05/2012; 131(8):1375-91. DOI: 10.1007/s00439-012-1175-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Severe malarial anemia (SMA) is a leading cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality in holoendemic Plasmodium falciparum transmission areas. Although dysregulation in cytokine production is an important etiology of SMA, the role of IFN-α in SMA has not been reported. As such, we investigated the relationship between IFN-α promoter polymorphisms [i.e., IFNA2 (A-173T) and IFNA8 (T-884A)], SMA, and functional changes in IFN-α production in children (n = 663; <36 months) residing in a holoendemic P. falciparum transmission region of Kenya. Children with SMA had lower circulating IFN-α than malaria-infected children without severe anemia (P = 0.025). Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that heterozygosity at -884 (TA) was associated with an increased risk of SMA [OR 2.80 (95 % CI 1.22-6.43); P = 0.015] and reduced IFN-α relative to wild type (TT; P = 0.038). Additional analyses demonstrated that carriage of the -173T/-884A (TA) haplotype was associated with increased susceptibility to SMA [OR 3.98 (95 % CI 1.17-13.52); P = 0.026] and lower IFN-α (P = 0.031). Follow-up of these children for 36 months revealed that carriers of TA haplotype had greater all-cause mortality than non-carriers (P < 0.001). Generation of reporter constructs showed that the IFNA8 wild-type -884TT exhibited higher levels of luciferase expression than the variant alleles (P < 0.001). Analyses of malaria-associated inflammatory mediators demonstrated that carriers of TA haplotype had altered production of IL-1β, MIG, and IL-13 compared to non-carriers (P < 0.050). Thus, variation at IFNA2 -173 and IFNA8 -884 conditions reduced IFN-α production, and increased susceptibility to SMA and mortality.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Malaria infection triggers vigorous host immune responses; however, the parasite ligands, host receptors, and the signaling pathways responsible for these reactions remain unknown or controversial. Malaria parasites primarily reside within RBCs, thereby hiding themselves from direct contact and recognition by host immune cells. Host responses to malaria infection are very different from those elicited by bacterial and viral infections and the host receptors recognizing parasite ligands have been elusive. Here we investigated mouse genome-wide transcriptional responses to infections with two strains of Plasmodium yoelii (N67 and N67C) and discovered differences in innate response pathways corresponding to strain-specific disease phenotypes. Using in vitro RNAi-based gene knockdown and KO mice, we demonstrated that a strong type I IFN (IFN-I) response triggered by RNA polymerase III and melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5, not Toll-like receptors (TLRs), binding of parasite DNA/RNA contributed to a decline of parasitemia in N67-infected mice. We showed that conventional dendritic cells were the major sources of early IFN-I, and that surface expression of phosphatidylserine on infected RBCs might promote their phagocytic uptake, leading to the release of parasite ligands and the IFN-I response in N67 infection. In contrast, an elevated inflammatory response mediated by CD14/TLR and p38 signaling played a role in disease severity and early host death in N67C-infected mice. In addition to identifying cytosolic DNA/RNA sensors and signaling pathways previously unrecognized in malaria infection, our study demonstrates the importance of parasite genetic backgrounds in malaria pathology and provides important information for studying human malaria pathogenesis.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2014; 111(4):E511-20. · 9.81 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 1, 2014