Innate immunity limits protective adaptive immune responses against pre-erythrocytic malaria parasites

Nana K. Minkah, Brandon K. Wilder, Amina A. Sheikh, Thomas Martinson, Lisa Wegmair, Ashley M. Vaughan, Stefan H.I. Kappe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Immunization with attenuated whole Plasmodium sporozoites constitutes a promising vaccination strategy. Compared to replication-deficient parasites, immunization with replication-competent parasites confers better protection and also induces a type I IFN (IFN-1) response, but whether this IFN-1 response has beneficial or adverse effects on vaccine-induced adaptive immunity is not known. Here, we show that IFN-1 signaling-deficient mice immunized with replication-competent sporozoites exhibit superior protection against infection. This correlates with superior CD8 T cell memory including reduced expression of the exhaustion markers PD-1 and LAG-3 on these cells and increased numbers of memory CD8 T cells in the liver. Moreover, the adoptive transfer of memory CD8 T cells from the livers of previously immunized IFN-1 signaling-deficient mice confers greater protection against liver stage parasites. However, the detrimental role of IFN-1 signaling is not CD8 T cell intrinsic. Together, our data demonstrate that liver stage-engendered IFN-1 signaling impairs hepatic CD8 T cell memory via a CD8 T cell-extrinsic mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3950
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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