Malaria Immunology Research

Principal Investigators: Margaret Feeney, Grant Dorsey, Moses Kamya

Co-Investigators: Prasanna Jagannathan

Coordinators: Ann Auma, Matthew Kaunya, Felistas Nankya

Location Tororo, Uganda

Funded By: National Institutes of Health

Impact of Chemoprevention on the Cellular Immune Response to Malaria.

This is an NIH-funded prospective study of the development of malaria-specific cellular immune responses in children receiving malaria chemoprevention. The proposed study will utilize samples to be collected as part of a randomized clinical trial (PROMOTE Chemoprevention) that compares the efficacy and safety of 3 promising malaria chemopreventive strategies with the current standard of no chemoprevention. This trial provides a unique opportunity to study the impact of chemoprevention, which uncouples liver-stage and blood-stage malaria, on the malaria-specific immune response to natural infection among infants in a high transmission setting. This immunology study is designed to test the hypothesis that selective suppression of erythrocytic stage malaria by chemoprevention will enhance the development of highly functional T cell responses targeting pre-erythrocytic antigens and limit the induction of immunosuppressive mechanisms, and will thus foster the development of protective antimalarial immunity.

Immune protection from malaria: age, exposure intensity, and the T cell response (ICEMR Supplement)

This is an NIH-funded study of the development of protective antimalarial immunity among children enrolled in a prospective malaria cohort study. Using samples and data collected through the ongoing ICEMR study, we are performing detailed analyses of malaria-specific T cell responses in a large cohort of children who will be followed longitudinally with careful measures of both malaria incidence and household-level exposure intensity. This cohort includes children 6 mos to 10 yrs of age, spanning the developmental period during which the natural acquisition of clinical immunity is normally observed. These studies utilize multiparameter flow cytometry, gene expression microarrays, and multiplex cytokine analysis to characterize the immune response to malaria and determine the relationship between this response and malaria incidence, controlling for both age and household-level exposure intensity.