TY - JOUR T1 - Malaria Impairs T Cell Clustering and Immune Priming despite Normal Signal 1 from Dendritic Cells A1 - Millington, Owain R A1 - Gibson, Vivienne B A1 - Rush, Catherine M A1 - Zinselmeyer, Bernd H A1 - Phillips, R. Stephen A1 - Garside, Paul A1 - Brewer, James M Y1 - 2007/10/12 N2 -
Malaria is a major infectious disease, affecting 500 million people and causing 2.7 million deaths each year. The severity of malaria is, in part, due to the failure of the host immune system to effectively clear an infection and generate protective immunity. Dendritic cells (DCs) are central to the immune system; by presenting components of pathogens to circulating T cells, they are able to initiate a highly specific immune response to clear an infection. Importantly, the quality of the interaction between T cell and DCs can affect the functional outcome of the immune response. However, previous work has demonstrated that DCs are modified by malaria parasites, resulting in inefficient priming of the adaptive immune system. Here, we have visualised the interactions between DCs and T cells in the context of malaria and demonstrate that infection is able to prevent priming of immune responses by antagonising these cell–cell contacts. Importantly, the failure to form long-lasting interactions is not due to reduced presentation of antigens by the DC, suggesting that other mechanisms may be involved. These studies provide a visual insight into the mechanism by which parasites may suppress immunity and highlight the importance of early cellular interactions in the immune response.