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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 2926436, 11 pages
Review Article

Dendritic Cells and Their Multiple Roles during Malaria Infection

1Laboratory of Antigen Targeting to Dendritic Cells, Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2National Institute for Science and Technology in Vaccines, 31270-910 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 26 November 2015; Accepted 6 March 2016

Academic Editor: Jacek Tabarkiewicz

Copyright © 2016 Kelly N. S. Amorim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in the initiation of adaptive immune responses, efficiently presenting antigens to T cells. This ability relies on the presence of numerous surface and intracellular receptors capable of sensing microbial components as well as inflammation and on a very efficient machinery for antigen presentation. In this way, DCs sense the presence of a myriad of pathogens, including Plasmodium spp., the causative agent of malaria. Despite many efforts to control this infection, malaria is still responsible for high rates of morbidity and mortality. Different groups have shown that DCs act during Plasmodium infection, and data suggest that the phenotypically distinct DCs subsets are key factors in the regulation of immunity during infection. In this review, we will discuss the importance of DCs for the induction of immunity against the different stages of Plasmodium, the outcomes of DCs activation, and also what is currently known about Plasmodium components that trigger such activation.