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Platelets Kill Intraerythrocytic Malarial Parasites and Mediate Survival to Infection


McMorran, BJ and Marshall, VM and de Graaf, C and Drysdale, KE and Shabbar, M and Smyth, GK and Corbin, JE and Alexander, WS and Foote, SJ, Platelets Kill Intraerythrocytic Malarial Parasites and Mediate Survival to Infection, Science, 323, (5915) pp. 797-800. ISSN 0036-8075 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.1166296


Platelets play a critical role in the pathogenesis of malarial infections by encouraging the sequestration of infected red blood cells within the cerebral vasculature. But platelets also have well-established roles in innate protection against microbial infections. We found that purified human platelets killed Plasmodium falciparum parasites cultured in red blood cells. Inhibition of platelet function by aspirin and other platelet inhibitors abrogated the lethal effect human platelets exert on P. falciparum parasites. Likewise, platelet-deficient and aspirin-treated mice were more susceptible to death during erythrocytic infection with Plasmodium chabaudi. Both mouse and human platelets bind malarial-infected red cells and kill the parasite within. These results indicate a protective function for platelets in the early stages of erythrocytic infection distinct from their role in cerebral malaria.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Infectious diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:McMorran, BJ (Associate Professor Brendan McMorran)
UTAS Author:Drysdale, KE (Ms Karen Drysdale)
UTAS Author:Shabbar, M (Ms Meriam Shabbar)
UTAS Author:Foote, SJ (Professor Simon Foote)
ID Code:58998
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:188
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2009-11-12
Last Modified:2011-08-24

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