Endothelial activation and microvascular dysfunction are key pathogenic processes in severe malaria. We evaluated the early role of these processes in experimentally induced Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax infection. Participants were enrolled in induced blood-stage malaria clinical trials. Plasma osteoprotegerin, angiopoietin-2, and von Willebrand Factor (vWF) levels were measured as biomarkers of endothelial activation. Microvascular function was assessed using peripheral arterial tonometry and near-infrared spectroscopy, and the endothelial glycocalyx was assessed by sublingual videomicroscopy and measurement of biomarkers of degradation. Forty-five healthy, malaria-naive participants were recruited from 5 studies. Osteoprotegerin and vWF levels increased in participants following inoculation with P. vivax (n = 16) or P. falciparum (n = 15), with the angiopoietin-2 level also increasing in participants following inoculation with P. falciparum For both species, the most pronounced increase was seen in osteoprotegerin. This was particularly marked in participants inoculated with P. vivax, where the osteoprotegerin level correlated with the levels of parasitemia and the malaria clinical score. There were no changes in measures of endothelial glycocalyx or microvascular function. Plasma biomarkers of endothelial activation increased in early P. falciparum and P. vivax infection and preceded changes in the endothelial glycocalyx or microvascular function. The more pronounced increase in osteoprotegerin suggests that this biomarker may play a role in disease pathogenesis.