HIV infection drives IgM and IgG3 subclass bias in Plasmodium falciparum-specific and total immunoglobulin concentration in Western Kenya

Eliud O. Odhiambo, Dibyadyuti Datta, Bernard Guyah, George Ayodo, Bartholomew N. Ondigo, Benard O. Abong'O, Chandy C. John, Anne E.P. Frosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: HIV infection is associated with more frequent and severe episodes of malaria and may be the result of altered malaria-specific B cell responses. However, it is poorly understood how HIV and the associated lymphopenia and immune activation affect malaria-specific antibody responses. Methods: HIV infected and uninfected adults were recruited from Bondo subcounty hospital in Western Kenya at the time of HIV testing (antiretroviral and co-trimoxazole prophylaxis naïve). Total and Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA1) and glutamate rich protein-R0 (GLURP-R0) specific IgM, IgG and IgG subclass concentrations was measured in 129 and 52 of recruited HIV-infected and uninfected individuals, respectively. In addition, HIV-1 viral load (VL), CD4+ T cell count, and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration was quantified in study participants. Antibody levels were compared based on HIV status and the associations of antibody concentration with HIV-1 VL, CD4+ count, and CRP levels was measured using Spearman correlation testing. Results: Among study participants, concentrations of IgM, IgG1 and IgG3 antibodies to AMA1 and GLURP-R0 were higher in HIV infected individuals compared to uninfected individuals (all p < 0.001). The IgG3 to IgG1 ratio to both AMA1 and GLURP-R0 was also significantly higher in HIV-infected individuals (p = 0.02). In HIV-infected participants, HIV-1 VL and CRP were weakly correlated with AMA1 and GLURP-R0 specific IgM and IgG1 concentrations and total (not antigen specific) IgM, IgG, IgG1, and IgG3 concentrations (all p < 0.05), suggesting that these changes are related in part to viral load and inflammation. Conclusions: Overall, HIV infection leads to a total and malaria antigen-specific immunoglobulin production bias towards higher levels of IgM, IgG1, and IgG3, and HIV-1 viraemia and systemic inflammation are weakly correlated with these changes. Further assessments of antibody affinity and function and correlation with risk of clinical malaria, will help to better define the effects of HIV infection on clinical and biological immunity to malaria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number297
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 30 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research in this publication was supported by (1) the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Centennial Award, (2) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number UL1TR000114 and the (3) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Award Numbers 2T32AI055433-06A1 and F32 AI109808-01. This research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of NIAID, NIH. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Antibodies
  • B cells
  • CRP
  • HIV
  • Immune activation
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Viral load

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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