Malaria infection has been shown to induce alterations in immune reactivity. This report describes the effect of serum obtained from Plasmodium falciparum infected patients on in vitro proliferation of human blood mononuclear cells (BMNC) isolated from healthy individuals. Serum obtained before initiation of treatment suppressed the in vitro lymphocyte proliferative response to both Plasmodium-derived antigens and an unrelated antigen (PPD-tuberculin). The suppressive effect was lost if the serum was incubated at 56 degrees C for 30 min, and the effect was not HLA-restricted since the inhibition was seen on both autologous and heterologous BMNC. The degree of suppression was not correlated to the duration of the disease, the degree of parasitemia, or the use of chemoprophylaxis. Sera from 7 patients before and from 3 patients 30 days after initiation of treatment were pooled and fractionated. It was found that the strongest suppressive activity was in the serum fraction containing molecules from 30-100 kD.
Apmis : Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica Et Immunologica Scandinavica. Supplementum, 1987, Vol 95, Issue 6, p. 257-63