Protection against murine cerebral malaria by dietary-induced oxidative stress

O. A. Levander, R. Fontela, V. C. Morris, A. L. Ager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Feeding 20% (w/w) menhaden-fish oil in a standard laboratory chow diet for 4 wk partially protected CBA/CaJ mice from the central nervous system consequences of infection with Plasmodium berghei (ANKA). Full protection (complete survival for 14 days postinfection) could be obtained by feeding a purified pro-oxidant vitamin E-deficient diet containing 4% (w/w) menhaden oil (MO - VE diet). The purified pro-oxidant MO - VE diet also exerted a pronounced suppressive effect against the parasite (depressed 6-day parasitemias). The antimalarial effect of the MO - VE diet could be prevented by supplementing the diet with vitamin E or with either of 2 synthetic antioxidants, N,N'-diphenyl-p-phenylenediamine or probucol. These results suggest that the fish oil exerts its antimalarial effect by imposing a dietary-induced oxidative stress on the infected host erythrocyte, the parasite, or both. Nutritional manipulation of host oxidative stress status may be a useful adjunct therapy in patients undergoing treatment with pro- oxidant antimalarials such as drugs of the qinghaosu family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 6 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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