Adaptive immunity to Plasmodium blood stages

Michelle N. Wykes, Robin Stephens, Ian A. Cockburn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Adaptive immune responses to Plasmodium infection develop over many years in malaria-exposed individuals. Natural immunity is capable of reducing the severity of infection and lowering overall parasitemia but does not block infection. Moreover, there is some evidence that clinical immunity is short-lived as individuals who leave endemic areas become susceptible to disease once more. A proper understanding of the adaptive immune response is important to the pathology-causing blood-stage infection, not least because the induction of anti-disease immunity is one possible Plasmodium vaccination strategy. Nonetheless, the correlates of protective immunity are incompletely understood, and the reasons for the slow and incomplete development of immunity are unclear. Here we briefly review what is known about the roles of antibodies, B cells and T cells, in mediating protection. We examine which parasite antigens are likely to be the targets of protective antibodies. Finally we discuss why better, sterilizing, immunity to malaria does not develop with an emphasis on the fate of memory B and T cell populations in infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMalaria
Subtitle of host publicationImmune Response to Infection and Vaccination
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783319452104
ISBN (Print)9783319452081
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Antibodies
  • B cells
  • Blood-stages
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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