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Alterations in inflammatory cytokines and genetic background of the host contribute to the outcome of malaria infection. Despite the promising protective role of IL-17 in infections, little attention is given to further understand its importance in the pathogenesis of severe malaria anaemia in chronic/endemic situations. The objective of this study, therefore, was to evaluate IL-17 levels in anaemic condition and its association with host genetic factors.
Two mice strains (Balb/c and CBA) were crossed to get the F1 progeny, and were (F1, Balb/c, CBA) taken through 6 cycles of Plasmodium berghei (ANKA strain) infection and chloroquine/pyrimethamine treatment to generate semi-immune status. Cytokine levels and kinetics of antibody production, CD4+CD25+T regulatory cells were evaluated by bead-based multiplex assay kit, ELISA and FACs, respectively.
High survival with high Hb loss at significantly low parasitaemia was observed in Balb/c and F1. Furthermore, IgG levels were two times higher in Balb/c, F1 than CBA. While CD4+CD25+ Treg cells were lower in CBA; IL-4, IFN-γ, IL-12α and IL-17 were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in Balb/c, F1.
In conclusion, elevated IL-17 levels together with high IL-4, IL-12α and IFN-γ levels may be a marker of protection, and the mechanism may be controlled by host factor (s). Further studies of F2 between the F1 and Balb/c will be informative in evaluating if these genes are segregated or further apart.