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© Artur Scherf
Scanning Electron Microscopy of Red Blood Cell infected by Plasmodium falciparum.
Publication : EMBO reports

A single member of the Plasmodium falciparum var multigene family determines cytoadhesion to the placental receptor chondroitin sulphate A

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in EMBO reports - 01 Aug 2005

Viebig NK, Gamain B, Scheidig C, Lépolard C, Przyborski J, Lanzer M, Gysin J, Scherf A

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16025132

EMBO Rep. 2005 Aug;6(8):775-81

In high-transmission regions, protective clinical immunity to Plasmodium falciparum develops during the early years of life, limiting serious complications of malaria in young children. Pregnant women are an exception and are especially susceptible to severe P. falciparum infections resulting from the massive adhesion of parasitized erythrocytes to chondroitin sulphate A (CSA) present on placental syncytiotrophoblasts. Epidemiological studies strongly support the feasibility of an intervention strategy to protect pregnant women from disease. However, different parasite molecules have been associated with adhesion to CSA. In this work, we show that disruption of the var2csa gene of P. falciparum results in the inability of parasites to recover the CSA-binding phenotype. This gene is a member of the var multigene family and was previously shown to be composed of domains that mediate binding to CSA. Our results show the central role of var2CSA in CSA adhesion and support var2CSA as a leading vaccine candidate aimed at protecting pregnant women and their fetuses.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16025132