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The impact of complement activation and its possible relation to cytokine responses during malaria pathology was investigated in plasma samples from patients with confirmed Plasmodium falciparum malaria and in human whole-blood specimens stimulated with malaria-relevant agents ex vivo. Complement was significantly activated in the malaria cohort, compared with healthy controls, and was positively correlated with disease severity and with certain cytokines, in particular interleukin 8 (IL-8)/CXCL8. This was confirmed in ex vivo-stimulated blood specimens, in which complement inhibition significantly reduced IL-8/CXCL8 release. P. falciparum malaria is associated with systemic complement activation and complement-dependent release of inflammatory cytokines, of which IL-8/CXCL8 is particularly prominent.