Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Plasma levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) were significantly higher in 178 Gambian children with uncomplicated malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum than in 178 children with other illnesses. 110 children with cerebral malaria were studied shortly after admission to hospital; 28 subsequently died. Compared with the children with uncomplicated malaria, mean plasma TNF levels were twice as high in cerebral malaria survivors and ten times as high in the fatal cases. Although high TNF levels were associated with high parasitaemia and with hypoglycaemia, they predicted fatal outcome in cerebral malaria independently of parasitaemia and glucose concentrations. Concentrations of interleukin- 1 alpha, but not interferon gamma, were also related to the severity of malaria. We conclude that increased TNF production is a normal host response to P falciparum infection, but that excessive levels of production may predispose to cerebral malaria and a fatal outcome.


Journal article



Publication Date





1201 - 1204