Cerebrospinal fluid cytokine levels and cognitive impairment in cerebral malaria

Chandy C. John, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Robert O. Opoka, Gregory S. Park, Paul J. Orchard, Anne M. Jurek, Richard Idro, Justus Byarugaba, Michael J. Boivin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum levels of 12 cytokines or chemokines important in central nervous system (CNS) infections were measured in 76 Ugandan children with cerebral malaria (CM) and 8 control children. As compared with control children, children with cerebral malaria had higher cerebrospinal fluid levels of interleukin (IL)-6, CXCL-8/IL-8, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and IL-1 receptor antagonist. There was no correlation between cerebrospinal and serum cytokine levels for any cytokine except G-CSF. Elevated cerebrospinal fluid but not serum TNF-α levels on admission were associated with an increased risk of neurologic deficits 3 months later (odds ratio 1.55, 95% CI: 1.10, 2.18, P = 0.01) and correlated negatively with age-adjusted scores for attention (Spearman rho, -0.34, P = 0.04) and working memory (Spearman rho, -0.32, P = 0.06) 6 months later. In children with cerebral malaria, central nervous system TNF-α production is associated with subsequent neurologic and cognitive morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'Cerebrospinal fluid cytokine levels and cognitive impairment in cerebral malaria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this