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About the Immune Profiling Team

FACS data from immune profiling
The Immune Profiling Team determines the frequency and functionality of the white blood cells in the peripheral blood and progenitors in the bone marrow as well as the levels of pro-inflammatory mediators in plasma.  The phenotype of the immune response generated in primate malaria models is studied using a multiplex panel that has been validated to characterize 18 soluble factors in plasma from macaques. Using fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis on an LSR-II analyser, the composition and activation of white blood cells can be quantified. Some of the immune cell types that we analyse are known to be involved in mounting immune responses to malaria and include innate immune cells such as dendritic cells, monocytes, NK cells and gd T cells, as well as CD4+ T helper cells, cytotoxic CD8+T cells and B cells from the adaptive immune response. Malaria infection is known to induce inflammatory immune responses that result from the interplay of several types of immune cells. This inflammation promotes cellular and humoral immune responses that synergise to control malaria parasitaemia, but when excessive can contribute to the pathogenesis of malaria infection.  The level of inflammation in malaria infection is balanced by anti-inflammatory immune responses and the pathogenesis of infection is determined by the ability of the host to mount an inflammatory immune response of sufficient magnitude to control parasitaemia without exacerbating symptoms of malaria. There is a change in the composition of white blood cells in both the peripheral blood and bone marrow as infection progresses. As immune cells become activated they proliferate and secrete factors to mobilise immune effector mechanisms for malaria parasite clearance. 

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