UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Immunity | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Immunology of Infectious Disease | Infectious Disease | Microbiology | Parasitic Diseases


Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocyte population in the bloodstream, the primary compartment of Plasmodium sp. infection. However, the role of these polymorphonuclear cells in mediating either the resistance or the pathogenesis of malaria is poorly understood. We report that circulating neutrophils from malaria patients are highly activated, as indicated by a strong type I interferon transcriptional signature, increased expression of surface activation markers, enhanced release of reactive oxygen species and myeloperoxidase, and a high frequency of low-density granulocytes. The activation of neutrophils was associated with increased levels of serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferases, indicating liver damage. In a rodent malaria model, we observed intense recruitment of neutrophils to liver sinusoids. Neutrophil migration and IL-1beta and chemokine expression as well as liver damage were all dependent on type I interferon signaling. The data suggest that type I interferon signaling has a central role in neutrophil activation and malaria pathogenesis.


neutrophils, malaria, type I interferon signaling

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Copyright 2015 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

DOI of Published Version



Cell Rep. 2015 Dec 29;13(12):2829-2841. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.11.055. Epub 2015 Dec 17. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cell reports

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PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.