Impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Pregnant Women on Variant-Specific Immunity to Malaria

Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi.
Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI (Impact Factor: 2.47). 04/2008; 15(4):617-21. DOI: 10.1128/CVI.00378-07
Source: PubMed


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) increases susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum infection, and this has most clearly been demonstrated in pregnant women. Variant surface antigens on the surfaces of erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum are major targets of protective immunity. We studied the impact of HIV infection on pregnant women's humoral immunity to variant surface antigens expressed by placental and pediatric isolates of P. falciparum. By flow cytometry, sera from HIV-infected women more frequently lacked antibodies to these antigens than sera from HIV-uninfected women. This difference was similar in magnitude for pediatric isolates (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] = 6.36; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.14, 35.32; P < 0.05) and placental isolates (unadjusted OR = 6.47; 95% CI = 0.75, 55.64; P < 0.10). We divided women into high and low responders on the basis of their antibody levels. After adjustment for CD4 count, maternal age, and gravidity, we found that HIV-infected women more frequently had low responses to both pediatric isolates (OR = 5.34; 95% CI = 1.23, 23.16; P = 0.025) and placental isolates (OR = 4.14; 95% CI = 1.71, 10.02; P = 0.002). The relative quantity of antibodies to both pediatric isolates (P = 0.035) and placental isolates (P = 0.005) was lower in HIV-infected women than in HIV-uninfected women. HIV infection has a broad impact on variant-specific immunity, which may explain the susceptibility of infected individuals to clinical malaria episodes.

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Available from: Alister Craig, Jul 04, 2014
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