Carrageenans inhibit the in vitro growth of Plasmodium falciparum and cytoadhesion to CD36

Parasitol Res. 2005 Oct;97(4):290-4. doi: 10.1007/s00436-005-1426-3. Epub 2005 Jul 13.


Carbohydrates are implicated in many of the invasive and adhesive interactions that occur between Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites and human host cells, including invasion of sporozoites into hepatocytes, entry of merozoites into new host erythrocytes during asexual blood-stage replication, adhesion of infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes (rosetting) and to a number of host endothelial receptors including ICAM-1, CD36 and chondroitin-4-sulphate. In addition to increasing our understanding of host-parasite interactions, the investigation of carbohydrates with differing levels and patterns of sulphation as inhibitors may contribute to the development of novel therapeutics targeting malaria. Here we show that three polysaccharides derived from seaweed (carrageenans) with differing sulphation levels and patterns can inhibit the in vitro erythrocytic invasion and growth of both drug sensitive and drug resistant P. falciparum lines and the adhesion of parasitized erythrocytes to the human glycoprotein CD36.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD36 Antigens / metabolism*
  • Carrageenan / pharmacology*
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Erythrocytes / parasitology*
  • Humans
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development
  • Plasmodium falciparum / physiology*


  • CD36 Antigens
  • Carrageenan