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TNF-α may mediate link between psychotic symptoms and malaria

03 Feb 2019
Only certain species of mosquitoes of the Anopheles genus – and only females of those species – can transmit malaria.

Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α plays a role in the pathogenesis of malaria and psychotic symptoms, independently, and may potentially mediate a link between the two, a recent study has shown.

The study included 1,158 adults (mean age 40.3±17.7 years; 50.6 percent female), in whom the mean log of the CD4-to-CD3 ratio was 0.18±0.04. This value was slightly elevated in patients infected with malaria, but were not significantly changed in those with any common mental disorders (CMD) or psychotic symptoms.

In addition, participants with malaria also showed elevated levels of interleukin (IL)-10 and reduced concentrations of TNF-α. Unadjusted bivariate analysis identified high vs low log10TNF-α as the only marker marginally correlated with the risk of malaria (odds ratio [OR], 0.3; 0.06–1.27; p=0.097).

In comparison, levels of IL-6, 8 and 10 were raised in participants with one or more psychotic symptoms, while concentrations of IL-1β were reduced, relative to individuals without. Participants with vs without CMD, on the other hand, showed higher levels of IL-8 and 10.

Fully-adjusted multivariate models showed that log10TNF-α was significantly associated with the risk of psychotic symptoms (adjusted OR, 1.3; 1.09–1.51; p=0.003), but not with that of CMD (adjusted OR, 2.9; 2.36–3.77; p=0.566).

“Our findings support the key role of TNF-α in the pathogenesis of both CMD and psychotic symptoms, and suggest that TNF-α may mediate the association between malaria and CMD. Further community studies should be longitudinal, use [polymerase chain reaction], measure anaemia and extend the range of immune markers used,” said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
19 Jun 2019
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) remains as one of the world’s leading causes of mortality in global public health. Dr Charles Hicks shared his insights into the increasing role of dolutegravir (DTG; Tivicay, GSK) – an integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI) – in HIV therapy during the 4th National AIDS Conference 2018 at Swiss Garden International Hotel and Residences, Kuala Lumpur.
2 days ago
Monotherapy with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate increases virologic response for up to 240 weeks in pretreated patients with hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) who are resistant to entecavir and/or adefovir, a new study has found.
Elvira Manzano, 3 days ago
Long-term treatment with the interleukin-5 receptor alpha-directed cytolytic monoclonal antibody benralizumab led to long-term control of asthma, improvement in pulmonary function, and was safe in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma in the 2-year integrated analysis of the SIROCCO, CALIMA, and ZONDA pivotal studies plus the BORA extension study reported at ATS 2019.
Pearl Toh, 11 hours ago
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who maintained their disease remission had a significantly reduced risk of clinical and subclinical atherosclerosis, according to the 3-year follow-up data of the GIRRCS* study presented at EULAR 2019.