20 January 2019
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Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(13):1449-1457. doi:10.7150/ijms.27350
Plasmodium falciparum Treated with Artemisinin-based Combined Therapy Exhibits Enhanced Mutation, Heightened Cortisol and TNF-α Induction
1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee WI 53211 USA
The artemisinin-based combined therapy (ACT) post-treatment illness in Plasmodium falciparum-endemic areas is characterized by vague malaria-like symptoms. The roles of treatment modality, persistence of parasites and host proinflammatory response in disease course are unknown. We investigated the hypothesis that ACT post-treatment syndrome is driven by parasite genetic polymorphisms and proinflammatory response to persisting mutant parasites. Patients were categorized as treated, untreated and malaria-negative. Malaria positive samples were analyzed for Pfcrt, Pfmdr1, K13 kelch gene polymorphisms, while all samples were evaluated for cytokines (TNF-α, IL-12p70, IL-10, TGF-β, IFN-γ) and corticosteroids (cortisol and dexamethasone) levels. The treated patients exhibited higher levels of parasitemia, TNF-α, and cortisol, increased incidence of parasite genetic mutations, and greater number of mutant alleles per patient. In addition, corticosteroid levels declined with increasing number of mutant alleles. TGF-β levels were negatively correlated with parasitemia, while IL-10 and TGF-β were negatively correlated with increasing number of mutant alleles. However, IL-12 displayed slight positive correlation and TNF-α exhibited moderate positive correlation with increasing number of mutant alleles. Since post-treatment management ultimately results in patient recovery, the high parasite gene polymorphism may act in concert with induced cortisol and TNF-α to account for ACT post-treatment syndrome.
Keywords: Proinflammation, corticosteroids, cortisol, dexamethasone, gene polymorphism, persistent malaria, ACT.
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How to cite this article:
Idowu AO, Bhattacharyya S, Gradus S, Oyibo W, George Z, Black C, Igietseme J, Azenabor AA. Plasmodium falciparum Treated with Artemisinin-based Combined Therapy Exhibits Enhanced Mutation, Heightened Cortisol and TNF-α Induction. Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(13):1449-1457. doi:10.7150/ijms.27350. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v15p1449.htm