Turncoat Antibodies

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Science  14 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5537, pp. 2009-2010
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065302

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Women pregnant for the first time are particularly susceptible to malaria. This finding has been attributed to the ability of some malaria-infected red cells to bind to and become sequestered within the placenta. In a Perspective, Duffy and Fried describe new findings ( Flick et al.) showing that malaria-infected red cells are coated in nonimmune immunoglobin G that enables them to bind to the Fc receptors expressed by the placental lining.