Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Malaria severity not determined solely by parasite levels in blood


NIH-funded study in tanzanian infants tracked risk of severe malaria over time


Although malaria kills some 600,000 African children each year, most cases of the mosquito-borne parasitic disease in children are mild. Repeated infection does generate some immunity, and episodes of severe malaria are unusual once a child reaches age 5. However, the relative contributions of such factors as the level of malaria-causing parasites in a person's blood—parasite density—to disease severity and to development of protective immunity are not well understood.

To clarify these issues, researchers from the United States and Tanzania regularly examined 882 Tanzanian children beginning at birth and continuing for an average of two years. No simple relationship between parasite density and malaria severity emerged.

... more about:
»Allergy »Health »Malaria »NEJM »NIAID »NIH »diseases »immunity »infections »levels »parasite

For example, 253 children had a total of 444 infections characterized by high parasite density and mild symptoms. Of the 102 children who did develop severe malaria at least once while enrolled in the study, almost two-thirds (67) had high parasite density but only mild disease either before or after the episode of severe malaria. Moreover, data from this study suggest that one or two mild episodes of malaria are not sufficient to eliminate the risk of severe malaria; a finding contrary to predictions made by some mathematical models.

The researchers note that this prospective study is the first to provide direct evidence that severe malaria risk is stable over several infections. The findings suggest a new approach to malaria vaccine development based on naturally acquired immunity. Such a vaccine would prevent severe disease and death in children, without necessarily reducing exposure to the malaria parasite.

The research team was led by Patrick E. Duffy, M.D., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.


BP Gonçalves et al. Parasite burden and severity of malaria in Tanzanian children. NEJM DOI: 10.1056/NEJM 10.1056/NEJMoa1303944 (2014).


NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is available to provide comment on this research. Dr. Duffy, Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology, NIAID, and corresponding author, is also available.



To schedule interviews, please contact Anne A. Oplinger, (301) 402-1663,

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Anne A. Oplinger | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Allergy Health Malaria NEJM NIAID NIH diseases immunity infections levels parasite

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Older patients recover more slowly from concussion
06.10.2015 | Radiological Society of North America

nachricht Fatty liver disease and scarring have strong genetic component
02.10.2015 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists shrink particle accelerator

Prototype demonstrates feasibility of building terahertz accelerators

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has built the first prototype of a miniature particle accelerator that uses terahertz radiation instead of radio...

Im Focus: Simple detection of magnetic skyrmions

New physical effect: researchers discover a change of electrical resistance in magnetic whirls

At present, tiny magnetic whirls – so called skyrmions – are discussed as promising candidates for bits in future robust and compact data storage devices. At...

Im Focus: High-speed march through a layer of graphene

In cooperation with the Center for Nano-Optics of Georgia State University in Atlanta (USA), scientists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität have made simulations of the processes that happen when a layer of carbon atoms is irradiated with strong laser light.

Electrons hit by strong laser pulses change their location on ultrashort timescales, i.e. within a couple of attoseconds (1 as = 10 to the minus 18 sec). In...

Im Focus: Battery Production: Laser Light instead of Oven-Drying and Vacuum Technology

At the exhibition BATTERY + STORAGE as part of WORLD OF ENERGY SOLUTIONS 2015 in Stuttgart, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT and for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS will be showing how laser technology can be used to manufacture batteries both cost- and energy-efficiently.

In the truest sense, it’s all about watts at the Dresden-based Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS and the Aachen-based Fraunhofer...

Im Focus: New Sinumerik features improve productivity and precision

EMO 2015, Hall 3, Booth E06/F03

  • Drive optimization called automatically by the part program boosts productivity
  • Automatically switching the dynamic values to rapid traverse and interpolation...
All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing healthcare and sustainably strengthening healthcare systems

01.10.2015 | Event News

Conference in Brussels: Tracking and Tracing the Smallest Marine Life Forms

30.09.2015 | Event News

World Alzheimer`s Day – Professor Willnow: Clearer Insights into the Development of the Disease

17.09.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Graphene teams up with two-dimensional crystals for faster data communications

06.10.2015 | Information Technology

Laser-wielding physicists seize control of atoms' behavior

06.10.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

Flipping molecular attachments amps up activity of CO2 catalyst

06.10.2015 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>