Immunity that controls parasitemia and inflammation during Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria can be acquired with repeated infections. A limited understanding of this complex immune response impedes the development of vaccines and adjunctive therapies. We conducted a prospective systems biology study of children who differed in their ability to control parasitemia and fever following Pf infection. By integrating whole-blood transcriptomics, flow-cytometric analysis, and plasma cytokine and antibody profiles, we demonstrate that a pre-infection signature of B cell enrichment, upregulation of T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cell-associated pathways, including interferon responses, and p53 activation associated with control of malarial fever and coordinated with Pf-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Fc receptor activation to control parasitemia. Our hypothesis-generating approach identified host molecules that may contribute to differential clinical outcomes during Pf infection. As a proof of concept, we have shown that enhanced p53 expression in monocytes attenuated Plasmodium-induced inflammation and predicted protection from fever.