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Association of Severe Malaria with a Specific Plasmodium falciparum Genotype in French Guiana

Abstract : Why severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurs in only a small percentage of patients is unclear. The possibility that specific parasite characteristics contribute to severity has been investigated in French Guiana, a hypoendemic area, where parasite diversity is low and all patients with severe cases are referred to a single intensive care unit. Parasite genotyping in geographically and temporally matched patients with mild and severe disease showed that the association of a specific msp-1 allele (B-K1) with a specific var gene (var-D) was over-represented among patients with severe versus mild disease (47% vs. 3%, respectively; P < .001). Moreover, this genotype combination was consistently observed in the most severe clinical cases. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction demonstrated programmed expression of var-D in vivo, which is consistent with its potential implication in severe disease. These results provide field evidence of an association of severe malaria with specific genetic characteristics of parasites and open the way for intervention strategies targeting key virulence factors of parasites.
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Frédéric Ariey, Didier Hommel, Cécile Le Scanf, Jean-Bernard Duchemin, Christian Peneau, et al.. Association of Severe Malaria with a Specific Plasmodium falciparum Genotype in French Guiana. Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2001, 184 (2), pp.237 - 241. ⟨10.1086/322012⟩. ⟨pasteur-01836949⟩

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