Article Abstract

γδ T cells and immunity to human malaria in endemic regions

Authors: Samarchith P. Kurup, John T. Harty


Malaria, caused by the mosquito borne parasite Plasmodium spp is responsible for around 200 million cases each year, resulting in over 600,000 deaths, with nearly half of the world population at risk. The lack of our proper understanding of the immunology of clinical malaria has been damaging to the attempts to make reliable vaccines against this disease. Severe clinical manifestations of malaria are often observed in young children or adults experiencing their first exposure to the malaria parasite. In endemic areas, antibody mediated protection from clinical malaria (but not sterile immunity against infection) is acquired only after repeated exposures to the parasite over many years. Though various components of the innate and adaptive immune system likely contribute, the core mechanisms behind development of clinical immunity to severe malaria still remain unknown.