METHODS: Plasmodium berghei infection in male ICR mice was used as the rodent model of choice. The time course of IL-35 expression in the systemic circulation and tissues of P. berghei infected mice as well as their healthy control counterparts was assessed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and immunohistochemistry respectively. The effect of modulating IL-35 by recombinant IL-35 protein or neutralizing anti-Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3 antibody on the cytokine environment during P. berghei infection was assessed by flow cytometry. Furthermore, the influence of modulating IL-35 on histopathological hallmarks of malaria and disease progression was evaluated.
RESULTS: Interleukin-35 was significantly up regulated in serum and tissues of P. berghei infected mice and correlated with parasitaemia. Neutralization of IL-35 significantly enhanced the release of IFN-γ, decreased the expression of IL-6 and decreased parasitaemia patency. Neutralization of IL-35 was also associated with a tendency towards increased survival as well as the absence of pathological features associated with malaria infection unlike recombinant IL-35 protein administration which sustained a normal course of infection and unfavourable malaria associated histological outcomes in P. berghei infected mice.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate the involvement of IL-35 in P. berghei induced malaria infection. IL-35 neutralization strategies may represent viable therapeutic modalities beneficial for the resolution of malaria infection.
Methods: Ten RDTs were evaluated: nine to detect clinical P. knowlesi infections from Malaysia, and nine assessing limit of detection (LoD) for P. knowlesi (PkA1-H.1) and P. falciparum (Pf3D7) cultures. Targets included Plasmodium-genus parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pan-pLDH) and P. vivax (Pv)-pLDH.
Results: Samples were collected prior to antimalarial treatment from 127 patients with microscopy-positive PCR-confirmed P. knowlesi mono-infections. Median parasitaemia was 788/µL (IQR 247-5,565/µL). Pan-pLDH sensitivities ranged from 50.6% (95% CI 39.6-61.5) (SD BIOLINE) to 87.0% (95% CI 75.1-94.6) (First Response® and CareStart™ PAN) compared to reference PCR. Pv-pLDH RDTs detected P. knowlesi with up to 92.0% (95% CI 84.3-96.7%) sensitivity (Biocredit™). For parasite counts ≥200/µL, pan-pLDH (Standard Q) and Pv-pLDH RDTs exceeded 95% sensitivity. Specificity of RDTs against 26 PCR-confirmed negative controls was 100%. Sensitivity of six highest performing RDTs were not significantly different when comparing samples taken before and after (median 3 hours) antimalarial treatment. Parasite ring stages were present in 30% of pre-treatment samples, with ring stage proportions (mean 1.9%) demonstrating inverse correlation with test positivity of Biocredit™ and two CareStart™ RDTs.For cultured P. knowlesi, CareStart™ PAN demonstrated the lowest LoD at 25 parasites/µL; LoDs of other pan-pLDH ranged from 98 to >2000 parasites/µL. Pv-pLDH LoD for P. knowlesi was 49 parasites/µL. No false-positive results were observed in either P. falciparum-pLDH or histidine-rich-protein-2 channels.
Conclusion: Selected RDTs demonstrate sufficient performance for detection of major human malaria species including P. knowlesi in co-endemic areas where microscopy is not available, particularly for higher parasite counts, although cannot reliably differentiate among non-falciparum malaria.