PUBLICATION

Abdrabou, W., Dieng, M.M., Diawara, A. et al. Metabolome modulation of the host adaptive immunity in human malaria. Nat Metab 3, 1001–1016 (2021).

Host responses to infection with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum vary among individuals for reasons that are poorly understood. Here we reveal metabolic perturbations as a consequence of malaria infection in children and identify an immunosuppressive role of endogenous steroid production in the context of P. falciparum infection. We perform metabolomics on matched samples from children from two ethnic groups in West Africa, before and after infection with seasonal malaria. Analysing 306 global metabolomes, we identify 92 parasitaemia-associated metabolites with impact on the host adaptive immune response. Integrative metabolomic and transcriptomic analyses, and causal mediation and moderation analyses, reveal an infection-driven immunosuppressive role of parasitaemia-associated pregnenolone steroids on lymphocyte function and the expression of key immunoregulatory lymphocyte genes in the Gouin ethnic group. In children from the less malaria-susceptible Fulani ethnic group, we observe opposing responses following infection, consistent with the immunosuppressive role of endogenous steroids in malaria. These findings advance our understanding of P. falciparum pathogenesis in humans and identify potential new targets for antimalarial therapeutic interventions.

    Metabolon PUBLICATION

    Contact Us

    Talk with an expert

    Request a quote for our services or more information on sample types and handling procedures, need a letter of support, or simply have questions about how metabolomics can advance your research.

    Corporate Headquarters

    617 Davis Drive, Suite 100
    Morrisville, NC 27560

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 110407
    Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

    +1 (919) 572-1711

    +1 (919) 572-1721

    International Headquarters

    Metabolon GmbH

    Zeppelinstraße 3
    85399 Hallbergmoos
    Germany

    +49 89 99017752