Document Type



Pathology (East Africa)


The implications of high levels of the immune regulatory cytokine IL-10 in Plasmodium falciparum malaria are unclear. IL-10 may down-regulate pro-inflammatory responses and also exacerbate disease by inhibiting anti-parasitic immune functions. To study possible inhibiting effects on parasite clearance, IL-10 plasma levels were determined in 104 Tanzanian children, 1 to 4 years old, with acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, and analysed for association with parasite densities during 3 days of anti-malarial treatment. Higher baseline IL-10 plasma levels were associated with statistically significantly higher parasite densities after 24, 48 and 72 h of treatment. These associations could not be explained by differences in initial parasitaemia, temperature, age, sex or type of treatment. Induction of high IL-10 production might be a direct or indirect mechanism whereby the parasite evades the immune response.


This work was published prior to author’s joining Aga Khan University

Publication (Name of Journal)

Parasite Immunology

Included in

Pathology Commons