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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
4 days ago
The consumption of red and processed meats does not seem to affect the likelihood of symptom relapse among Crohn’s disease (CD) patients in relapse, reports a recent study.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 10 Jul 2019

Women who receive a single dose of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid within 6 hours of operative vaginal delivery could significantly reduce their postpartum infection risk, according to the UK-based ANODE* trial.

Pearl Toh, 2 days ago
In addition to the known evils of maternal smoking during pregnancy on the son’s semen quality, prenatal exposure to paternal smoking can also be harmful, according to data from a large Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) presented at the ESHRE 2019 Meeting.
4 days ago
Treatment with metformin may improve whole-body and peripheral insulin resistance (IR) in youth who are overweight/obese with type 1 diabetes (T1D), according to a study.