Severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum infection causes nearly half a million deaths per year. The different symptomatology and disease manifestations among patients have hampered understanding of severe malaria pathology and complicated efforts to develop targeted disease interventions. Infected erythrocyte sequestration in the microvasculature plays a critical role in the development of severe disease, and there is increasing evidence that cytoadherent parasites interact with host factors to enhance the damage caused by the parasite. The recent discovery that parasite binding to endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) is associated with severe disease has suggested new mechanisms of pathology and provided new avenues for severe malaria adjunctive therapy research.
Keywords: EPCR; PfEMP1; Plasmodium; cytoadhesion; malaria; protein C.
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