Time course of coagulation parameters, cytokines and adhesion molecules in Plasmodium falciparum malaria
We studied 38 patients with malaria tropica over a period of 5 days during antiparasitic therapy. Serum or plasma levels of interleukin (IL) 1β, IL-6, IL-10, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), the soluble vascular adhesion molecule (sVCAM) and the soluble intracellular adhesion molecule (sICAM) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Protein C and antithrombin III activity were analysed by chromogenic tests and protein S activity by a clotting test. Antithrombin III, protein C and protein S activity was significantly lower in patients with severe malaria and displayed a highly significant increase in activity over the time of evaluation. Levels of sVCAM and sICAM were increased for the whole study period, but no significant differences were found between severe and mild malaria cases. Serum IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 levels were significantly higher in patients with severe malaria, whereas no significant differences were found for TNF-α. IL-6 and IL-10 decreased significantly over 5 days during schizontocidal therapy. Our data show an impairment of the coagulation system which correlates with pro-inflammatory cytokines and therefore with the severity of the disease.