Neutrophil alterations in pregnancy-associated malaria and induction of neutrophil chemotaxis by Plasmodium falciparum

S Boström, C Schmiegelow, U Abu Abed, D T R Minja, J Lusingu, V Brinkmann, Y J Honkpehedji, M M Loembe, A A Adegnika, B Mordmüller, M Troye-Blomberg, Borko Amulic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) is a severe form of the disease caused by sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (iRBCs) in the developing placenta. Pathogenesis of PAM is partially based on immunopathology, with frequent monocyte infiltration into the placenta. Neutrophils are abundant blood cells that are essential for immune defence but may also cause inflammatory pathology. Their role in PAM remains unclear. We analysed neutrophil alterations in the context of PAM to better understand their contribution to disease development. Pregnant women exposed to Plasmodium falciparum had decreased numbers of circulating neutrophils. Placental-like BeWo cells stimulated with malaria parasites produced the neutrophil chemoattractant IL-8 and recruited neutrophils in a trans-well assay. Finally, immunostaining of a PAM placenta confirmed neutrophil accumulation in the intervillous space. Our data indicate neutrophils may play a role in placental malaria and should be more closely examined as an etiological agent in the pathophysiology of disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12433
Number of pages6
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number6
Early online date15 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Chemotaxis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum
  • Neutrophils
  • Placenta
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic
  • Tanzania
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article


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