Malaria and tuberculosis are endemic in many regions of the world, and coinfection with the two pathogens is common. In this study, we examined the effects of long- and short-term infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis on the course of a lethal form of murine malaria in resistant (C57BL/6) and susceptible (BALB/c) mice. C57BL/6 mice coinfected with M. tuberculosis CDC1551 and Plasmodium yoelii 17XL had a lower peak parasitemia and increased survival compared to mice infected with P. yoelii 17XL alone. Splenic microarray analysis demonstrated potentiation of type 1 immune responses in coinfected C57BL/6 mice, which was especially prominent 5 days after infection with P. yoelii 17XL. Splenocytes from coinfected C57BL/6 mice produced higher levels of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha than splenocytes from mice infected with either pathogen alone. Interestingly, mycobacterium-induced protection against lethal P. yoelii is mouse strain specific. BALB/c mice were significantly more susceptible than C57BL/6 mice to infection with P. yoelii 17XL and were not protected against lethal malaria by coinfection with M. tuberculosis. In addition, M. tuberculosis did not augment IFN-γ responses in BALB/c mice subsequently infected with P. yoelii 17KL. These data indicate that M. tuberculosis-induced potentiation of type 1 immune responses is associated with protection against lethal murine malaria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases