Protective and pathogenic roles of CD8+ T cells during malaria infection

J. C.R. Hafalla, I. A. Cockburn, F. Zavala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


CD8+ T cells play a key role in protection against pre-erythrocytic stages of malaria infection. Many vaccine strategies are based on the idea of inducing a strong infection-blocking CD8+ T cell response. Here, we summarize what is known about the development, specificity and protective effect of malaria-specific CD8+ T cells and report on recent developments in the field. Although work in mouse models continues to make progress in our understanding of the basic biology of these cells, many questions remain to be answered - particularly on the roles of these cells in human infections. Increasing evidence is also emerging of a harmful role for CD8+ T cells in the pathology of cerebral malaria in rodent systems. Once again, the relevance of these results to human disease is one of the primary questions facing workers in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • CD8+ T cell
  • Cerebral malaria
  • Liver stages
  • Plasmodium
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology


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