B cell sub-types following acute malaria and associations with clinical immunity

Richard T Sullivan, Isaac Ssewanyana, Samuel Wamala, Felistas Nankya, Prasanna Jagannathan, Jordan W Tappero, Harriet Mayanja-Kizza, Mary K Muhindo, Emmanuel Arinaitwe, Moses Kamya, Grant Dorsey, Margaret E Feeney, Eleanor M Riley, Chris J Drakeley, Bryan Greenhouse, Richard Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Repeated exposure to Plasmodium falciparum is associated with perturbations in B cell sub-set homeostasis, including expansion atypical memory B cells. However, B cell perturbations immediately following acute malaria infection have been poorly characterized, especially with regard to their relationship with immunity to malaria.

METHODS: To better understand the kinetics of B cell sub-sets following malaria, the proportions of six B cell sub-sets were assessed at five time points following acute malaria in four to 5 years old children living in a high transmission region of Uganda. B cell sub-set kinetics were compared with measures of clinical immunity to malaria-lower parasite density at the time of malaria diagnosis and recent asymptomatic parasitaemia.

RESULTS: Atypical memory B cell and transitional B cell proportions increased following malaria. In contrast, plasmablast proportions were highest at the time of malaria diagnosis and rapidly declined following treatment. Increased proportions of atypical memory B cells were associated with greater immunity to malaria, whereas increased proportions of transitional B cells were associated with evidence of less immunity to malaria.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the dynamic changes in multiple B cell sub-sets following acute, uncomplicated malaria, and how these sub-sets are associated with developing immunity to malaria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139
JournalMalaria Journal
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2016


  • Acute Disease
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Recurrence
  • Uganda
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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