IL-22 Protects Against Liver Pathology and Lethality of an Experimental Blood-Stage Malaria Infection
BACKGROUND Malaria and AIDS represent 2 leading causes of death from infectious diseases worldwide, and their high geographic overlap means coinfection is prevalent. It remains unknown whether distinct immune responses during coinfection with malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affect clinical outcomes. METHODS We tested this hypothesis by employing macaque models of coinfection with malaria and simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV). RESULTS Plasmodium fragile malaria coinfection of acutely SHIV-infected macaques induced hyperimmune activation and remarkable expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ T effector cells de novo producing interferon γ or tumor necrosis factor α. Malaria-driven cellular hyperactivation/expansion and high-level Th1-cytokines enhanced SHIV disease characterized by increasing CD4+ T-cell depletion, profound lymphoid depletion or destruction, and even necrosis in lymph nodes and spleens. Importantly, malaria/SHIV-mediated depletion, destruction, and necrosis in lymphoid tissues led to bursting parasite replication and fatal virus-associated malaria. Surprisingly, chronically SHIV-infected macaques without AIDS employed different defense mechanisms during malaria coinfection, and mounted unique ∼200-fold expansion of interleukin 17+/interleukin 22+ T effectors with profound Th1 suppression. Such remarkable expansion of Th17/Th22 cells and inhibition of Th1 response coincided with development of immunity against fatal virus-associated malaria without accelerating SHIV disease. CONCLUSIONS These novel findings suggest that virus infection status and selected Th1 or Th17/Th22 responses after malaria/AIDS-virus coinfection correlate with distinct outcomes of virus infection and malaria.