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Dynamics in the cytoadherence phenotypes of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes isolated during pregnancy

, : Dynamics in the cytoadherence phenotypes of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes isolated during pregnancy. Plos One 9(6): E98577-E98577

Pregnant women become susceptible to malaria infection despite their acquired immunity to this disease from childhood. The placental sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes (IE) is the major feature of malaria during pregnancy, due to ability of these parasites to bind chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) in the placenta through the VAR2CSA protein that parasites express on the surface of IE. We collected parasites at different times of pregnancy and investigated the adhesion pattern of freshly collected isolates on the three well described host receptors (CSPG, CD36 and ICAM-1). Var genes transcription profile and VAR2CSA surface-expression were assessed in these isolates. Although adhesion of IE to CD36 and ICAM-1 was observed in some isolates, CSA-adhesion was the predominant binding feature in all isolates analyzed. Co-existence in the peripheral blood of several adhesion phenotypes in early pregnancy isolates was observed, a diversity that gradually tightens with gestational age in favour of the CSA-adhesion phenotype. Infections occurring in primigravidae were often by parasites that adhered more to CSA than those from multigravidae. Data from this study further emphasize the specificity of CSA adhesion and VAR2CSA expression by parasites responsible for pregnancy malaria, while drawing attention to the phenotypic complexity of infections occurring early in pregnancy as well as in multigravidae.


PMID: 24905223

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098577

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