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.

Severe malaria is a major cause of childhood mortality in sub-Saharan Africa but the factors predisposing children to severe forms of malaria have not been fully elucidated. In a case-control study of over 1,200 Gambian children hepatitis B virus carriage was significantly increased amongst cases of severe malaria compared to matched controls. We suggest that this association may relate to impaired clearance of liver stage parasites in the presence of the reduced level of HLA class I antigen expression on hepatocytes infected by hepatitis B virus. If this association is causal and viral carriage predisposes to severe malaria, widespread vaccination against hepatitis B virus may reduce mortality from severe malaria.


Journal article


Nat Med

Publication Date





374 - 375