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Platelet-Induced Clumping of Plasmodium falciparum–Infected Erythrocytes from Malawian Patients with Cerebral Malaria—Possible Modulation In Vivo by Thrombocytopenia

Wassmer, Samuel C and Taylor, Terrie and MacLennan, Calman A. and Kanjala, Maxwell and Mukaka, Mavuto and Molyneux, Malcolm E. and Grau, Georges Emile (2008) Platelet-Induced Clumping of Plasmodium falciparum–Infected Erythrocytes from Malawian Patients with Cerebral Malaria—Possible Modulation In Vivo by Thrombocytopenia. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 197. pp. 72-78. ISSN 0022-1899

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URL of Published Version: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/523761

Identification Number/DOI: 10.1086/523761

Platelets may play a role in the pathogenesis of human cerebral malaria (CM), and they have been shown to induce clumping of Plasmodium falciparum–parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs) in vitro. Both thrombocytopenia and platelet-inducedPRBCclumping are associated with severe malaria and, especially, withCM.In the present study, we investigated the occurrence of the clumping phenomenon in patients with CM by isolating and coincubating their plasma and PRBCs ex vivo. Malawian children with CM all had low platelet counts, with the degree of thrombocytopenia directly proportional to the density of parasitemia. Plasma samples obtained from these patients subsequently induced weak PRBC clumping. When the assays were repeated, with the plasma platelet concentrations adjusted to within the physiological range considered to be normal, massive clumping occurred. The results of this study suggest that thrombocytopenia may, through reduction of platelet-mediated clumping of PRBCs, provide a protective mechanism for the host during CM.

Type of Work:Article
Date:01 January 2008 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Medicine
Department:Division of Immunity and Infection
Subjects:R Medicine (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:University of Chicago Press
ID Code:84
Refereed:YES
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