Malaria parasite interactions with the human host

D. S. Pouniotis, O. Proudfoot, G. Minigo, J. L. Hanley, Magdalena Plebanski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction between the malaria parasite and the human host involves a number of interactions that result in the parasite evading the human immune system. Since the stages of the malaria lifecycle are complex, this allows the use of various immune evasion strategies by the malaria parasite and has major implications in the development of a vaccine for malaria endemic areas. The present review highlights key host:parasite interactions. Plasmodia puts selection pressure on human gene frequencies, and studies into host genetic factors such as the Duffy blood group and sickle cell anaemia offer insight into the host- parasite relationship. In addition, parasite interactions with the different effector arms of the immune system can result in altered peptide ligand (APL) antagonism which alters the immune response from a pro- to an anti-inflammatory T cell response. Recent insights into the interaction between professional antigen presenting cells, dendritic cells (DCs), and malaria parasites is discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Postgraduate Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Altered peptide ligand antagonism
  • Dendritic cells
  • Genetics
  • Malaria
  • Vaccines

Cite this

Pouniotis, D. S., Proudfoot, O., Minigo, G., Hanley, J. L., & Plebanski, M. (2004). Malaria parasite interactions with the human host. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 50(1), 30-34.