Malaria immunity in man and mosquito: Insights into unsolved mysteries of a deadly infectious disease

Peter D. Crompton, Jacqueline Moebius, Silvia Portugal, Michael Waisberg, Geoffrey Hart, Lindsey S. Garver, Louis H. Miller, Carolina Barillas, Susan K. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by parasites of the obligate intracellular Apicomplexa phylum the most deadly of which, Plasmodium falciparum, prevails in Africa. Malaria imposes a huge health burden on the world's most vulnerable populations, claiming the lives of nearly one million children and pregnant women each year. Although there is keen interest in eradicating malaria, we do not yet have the necessary tools to meet this challenge, including an effective malaria vaccine and adequate vector control strategies. Here we review what is known about the mechanisms at play in immune resistance to malaria in both the human and mosquito hosts at each step in the parasite's complex life cycle with a view toward developing the tools that will contribute to the prevention of disease and death and, ultimately, to the goal of malaria eradication. In so doing, we hope to inspire immunologists to participate in defeating this devastating disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-187
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual Review of Immunology
StatePublished - 2014


  • Human adaptive immunity
  • Human immunity
  • Human innate immunity
  • Malaria
  • Mosquito immunity


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