"Plasmodium falciparum malaria has long been suspected as an important trigger to Epstein Barr Virus associated lymphoma of very young children living in Equatorial Africa," said Bethony. "Our study adds to this literature, explaining that it is not simply the presence or absence of Pf malaria infection, but the breath and complexity of the antibody response to malaria that may be the true indicating factor for who develops eBL and who does not."
The study showed a significant increase in the risk of developing eBL in young children who had a distinct pattern of antibody responses to several different recombinant Pf malaria antigens, including some antigens which are vaccine candidates. Of special note, the study also found a significant decreased risk of eBL in children with antibodies to SE36, a vaccine candidate protein that has been associated with lower risk of malaria in epidemiological studies.
These results not only confirm a strong association between Pf malaria and eBL, but provide a new perspective on the long established relationship between Pf malaria and eBL. This could pave the way for future studies that use protein arrays, containing hundreds of recombinant proteins to develop an antibody signature for children most at risk of developing eBL during Pf malaria infection.
|Contact: Lisa Anderson|
George Washington University