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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan 16

Brain Behav Immun

Immunomodulation through vaccination as a promising therapeutic strategy to mitigate malaria-related neurocognitive sequelae.


Rosa-Gonçalves P, Pereira de Sousa L, Ribeiro-Gomes F L, José de Moura Carvalho L, Daniel-Ribeiro C T
Brain Behav Immun. 2023 Jan 16.
PMID: 36657622.


Malaria, an ancient infectious parasitic disease, is caused by protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, whose erythrocytic cycle is accompanied by fever, headache, sweating and chills and a systemic inflammation that can progress to severe forms of disease, including cerebral malaria. Approximately 25% of survivors of this syndrome develop sequelae that may include neurological, neurocognitive, behavioral alterations and poor school performance. Furthermore, some outcomes have also been recorded following episodes of non-severe malaria, which correspond to the most common clinical form of the disease worldwide. There is a body of evidence that neuroinflammation, due to systemic inflammation, plays an important role in the neuropathogenesis of malaria culminating in these cognitive dysfunctions. Preclinical studies suggest that vaccination with type 2 immune response elicitors, such as the tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine, may exert a beneficial immunomodulatory effect by alleviating neuroinflammation. In this viewpoint article, vaccination is proposed as a therapy approach to revert or mitigate neurocognitive deficits associated with malaria.