• Long-term Maintenance of CD4 T Cell Memory Responses to Malaria Antigens in Malian Children Coinfected with Schistosoma haematobium

      Lyke, Kirsten E.; Dabo, Abdoulaye; Arama, Charles; Diarra, Issa; Plowe, Christopher V.; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Sztein, Marcelo B. (Lausanne, Switzerland: Frontiers, 2018-02-01)
      Polyparasitism is common in the developing world. We have previously demonstrated that schistosomiasis-positive (SP) Malian children, aged 4–8 years, are protected from malaria compared to matched schistosomiasis-negative (SN) children. The effect of concomitant schistosomiasis upon acquisition of T cell memory is unknown. We examined antigen-specific T cell frequencies in 48 Malian children aged 4–14 to a pool of malaria blood stage antigens, and a pool of schistosomal antigens, at a time point during a malaria episode and at a convalescent time point ~6 months later, following cessation of malaria transmission. CD4+ T cell-derived memory responses, defined as one or more significant cytokine (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, and/or IL-17A) responses, was measured to schistoma antigens in 18/23 SP children at one or both time points, compared to 4/23 SN children (P < 0.0001). At the time of malaria infection, 12/24 SN children and 15/23 SP children (P = 0.29) stimulated with malaria antigens demonstrated memory recall as defined by CD4-derived cytokine production. This compares to 7/23 SN children and 16/23 SP children (P = 0.009) at the convalescent timepoint. 46.2% of cytokine-producing CD4+ T cells expressed a single cytokine after stimulation with malaria antigen during the malaria episode. This fell to 40.9% at follow-up with a compensatory rise of multifunctional cytokine secretion over time, a phenomenon consistent with memory maturation. The majority (53.2–59.5%) of responses derived from CD45RA−CD62L− effector memory T cells with little variation in the phenotype depending upon the time point or the study cohort. We conclude that detectable T cell memory responses can be measured against both malaria and schistosoma antigens and that the presence of Schistosoma haematobium may be associated with long-term maintenance of T memory to malaria.