The role of PfEMP1 is to enable adhesion of infected erythrocyte to various host receptors to avoid splenic clearance, and clonal antigenic variation allows infected erythrocyte to evade immune recognition.
VAR2CSA, a member of the PfEMP1 variant surface antigen family.
The total number of functionally characterized PfEMP1
domains are still very limited and it is clear that the binding functionality of PfEMP1
can not be completely known by sequence analysis alone (15).
In 2012, three groups of researchers, including the teams at the University of Copenhagen and Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, showed that a specific type of PfEMP1
protein was responsible for cerebral binding and other severe forms of malaria infection.
is not found in other forms of malaria or in older people.
To hone in on specific PfEMP1
types associated with severe malaria, Thomas Lavstsen, Ph.
brucei Malaria Plasmodium falciparum Babesiosis Babesia bovis Disease Vector Relapsing fever Soft (argasid) ticks Anaplasmosis Hard (ixodid) ticks African trypanosomiasis Tsetse fly Malaria Mosquitoes Babesiosis Hard (ixodid) ticks Disease Variable antigens(a) Relapsing fever VIp & Vsp Anaplasmosis MSP2 African trypanosomiasis VSG Malaria PfEMP1
This is the first protein that has been found at what we call the 'active' site, where control of the genes that produce PfEMP1
These findings provide us with a platform to further investigate not only the biological functions of PfEMP1
but also immune responses against it and their implications on severe malaria.
We know that one protein, called PfEMP1
, that is particularly important for the host immune response can be produced in many different varieties, and these can be altered by the parasite to avoid detection by the immune system," she stated.
The one exception may be Var1CSA and Var2CSA members of PfEMP1
family that are being considered as candidates for use in a vaccine for pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) (55).
falciparum parasite generates a family of molecules, known as PfEMP1
, that are inserted into the surface of the infected red blood cells.