Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundCumulative malaria parasite exposure in endemic regions often results in the acquisition of partial immunity and asymptomatic infections. There is limited information on how host-parasite interactions mediate the maintenance of chronic symptomless infections that sustain malaria transmission.MethodsHere, we determined the gene expression profiles of the parasite population and the corresponding host peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 21 children (ResultsChildren with asymptomatic infections had a parasite transcriptional profile characterized by a bias toward trophozoite stage (~ 12 h-post invasion) parasites and low parasite levels, while early ring stage parasites were characteristic of febrile malaria. The host response of asymptomatic children was characterized by downregulated transcription of genes associated with inflammatory responses, compared with children with febrile malaria,. Interestingly, the host responses during febrile infections that followed an asymptomatic infection featured stronger inflammatory responses, whereas the febrile host responses from previously uninfected children featured increased humoral immune responses.ConclusionsThe priming effect of prior asymptomatic infection may explain the blunted acquisition of antibody responses seen to malaria antigens following natural exposure or vaccination in malaria endemic areas.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC infectious diseases

Publication Date





KEMRI‑Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya.


Leukocytes, Mononuclear, Humans, Plasmodium falciparum, Malaria, Malaria, Falciparum, Fever, Gene Expression Profiling, Child, Asymptomatic Infections, Transcriptome