T cell control of malaria pathogenesis
Transmission of Plasmodium from mosquito to the mammalian host leads to a clinically silent pre-erythrocytic stage of malaria infection, and subsequent cyclical erythrocytic invasion associated with disease. Recent evidence demonstrates that it is the interplay between CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and the regulation of their response, throughout infection that dictates immunity and the pathogenesis of malaria. The elicited T cell response is context dependent, influenced by diverse host and parasite factors, necessitating the development of a unifying model of T cell potential during Plasmodium infection. Only then can we predict their capacity to dictate the outcome of human disease.