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IMMUNE RESPONSES IN TOXOPLASMOSIS AND MALARIA CO-INFECTIONS AMONG RESIDENTS OF RURAL COMMUNITIES IN SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA
  • Efenovwe, M,
  • CHIAKA ANUMUDU,
  • H.O Awobode
Efenovwe, M
University of Ibadan Department of Zoology
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CHIAKA ANUMUDU
University of Ibadan Department of Zoology
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H.O Awobode
University of Ibadan Department of Zoology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Malaria and toxoplasmosis utilize similar known cellular and biochemical pathways to modulate immune responses. Co-infections with malaria and toxoplasmosis occur in malaria endemic regions but not much is known about immune response modulation in these co-infections. Cytokine profiles in response to malaria and toxoplasmosis co-infections were determined in Akinyele, southwest Nigeria. Blood from 192 volunteers were screened for Plasmodium falciparum, Toxoplasma gondii antibodies (IgG and IgM) and cytokine (IL2, IL6, IL10 and IL12) levels. PCV and epidemiological factors associated with toxoplasmosis and malaria were also determined. Prevalence of co-infection was 20.4%, Toxoplasma IgG and IgM was 27.5% and 8.98%, respectively, while 2.6% had high levels of both Toxoplasma IgG and IgM. Malaria prevalence was 72.9% and was highest in individuals below 20 years of age, while toxoplasmosis was most prevalent in 51-60year olds. Toxoplasma sero-positivity, malaria prevalence and Plasmodium intensity were significantly higher (P<0.05) in females. High Toxoplasma IgG was associated (P<0.05) with increased Plasmodium intensity and high IgM with decreased intensity (P>0.05). IL-2 was higher (59.02±0.19pg/ml) in malaria and Toxoplasma IgG co-infection. IL-10 was significantly (P<0.05) elevated with IgM positivity and malaria co-infection. IL-6 increased (P<0.05) with malaria severity while IL-2 was lowest in severe malaria infections. Anaemia was observed in 12.4% of participants, 13.6% of which were seropositive. Active Toxoplasma gondii co-infection with malaria may suppress malaria pathology while Plasmodium and chronic T. gondii co-infection may lead to increased production of IL-2 which may facilitate malaria parasite clearance. Malaria co-infection did not have any effect on anaemia severity.