Role of Nonimmune IgG Bound to PfEMP1 in Placental Malaria

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Science  14 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5537, pp. 2098-2100
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062891

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Infections with Plasmodium falciparum during pregnancy lead to the accumulation of parasitized red blood cells (infected erythrocytes, IEs) in the placenta. IEs of P. falciparumisolates that infect the human placenta were found to bind immunoglobulin G (IgG). A strain of P. falciparum cloned for IgG binding adhered massively to placental syncytiotrophoblasts in a pattern similar to that of natural infections. Adherence was inhibited by IgG-binding proteins, but not by glycosaminoglycans or enzymatic digestion of chondroitin sulfate A or hyaluronic acid. Normal, nonimmune IgG that is bound to a duffy binding–like domain β of the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) might at the IE surface act as a bridge to neonatal Fc receptors of the placenta.

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