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Development of immunity against Plasmodium falciparum malaria: clinical and parasitologic immunity cannot be separated

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A total of 1622 individuals of all ages living under conditions of continuous malarial transmission in Liberia were enrolled in a cross-sectional study of parasite rates, positive parasite densities, and body temperatures. The age-specific Plasmodium falciparum-positive parasite densities were greatest at ages 0.5-1.0 year, then slowly declined into adulthood. The age-specific mean body temperature at parasite isodensity showed a steady decline even in the oldest age group. The results do not support the hypothesis that adults have higher body temperatures at a given parasite density than do children with the same parasite density. The age-specific P. falciparum parasite density for specific isotemperatures showed that a subgroup of children in the age group 0.5-1.0 year had low temperatures (less than 36.5 degrees C) despite high parasite densities. This indicates that low body temperature should be investigated further as a possible indicator of serious malaria in young children. Parasitologic and clinical immunity develops concomitantly and cannot be separated. The findings do not support the hypothesis that a special "anti-disease" immunity exists independently of parasitologic immunity.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol/bind164
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)949-53
Antal sider5
ISSN0022-1899
StatusUdgivet - nov. 1991

ID: 203012059