Malaria impairs T cell clustering and immune priming despite normal signal 1 from dendritic cells

Owain R. Millington, Vivienne B. Gibson, Catherine M. Rush, Bernd H. Zinselmeyer, R. Stephen Phillips, Paul Garside, James M. Brewer

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Interactions between antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells are essential for the induction of an immune response. However, during malaria infection, DC function is compromised and immune responses against parasite and heterologous antigens are reduced. Here, we demonstrate that malaria infection or the parasite pigment hemozoin inhibits T cell and DC interactions both in vitro and in vivo, while signal 1 intensity remains unaltered. This altered cellular behaviour is associated with the suppression of DC costimulatory activity and functional T cell responses, potentially explaining why immunity is reduced during malaria infection.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere143
Number of pages8
JournalPLOS Pathogens
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2007


  • malaria
  • T cell clustering
  • immune priming
  • dendritic cells
  • biophotonics

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