Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes in the microvasculature of vital organs is central to the pathogenesis of severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria. This process is mediated by specific interactions between parasite adherence ligands and host receptors on vascular endothelium such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and CD36. Using immunohistochemistry we have examined the distribution of putative sequestration receptors in different organs from fatal cases of P. falciparum malaria and noninfected controls. Receptor expression and parasite sequestration in the brain were quantified and correlated. Fatal malaria was associated with widespread induction of endothelial activation markers, with significantly higher levels of ICAM-1 and E-selectin expression on vessels in the brain. In contrast, cerebral endothelial CD36 and thrombospondin staining were sparse, with no evidence for increased expression in malaria. There was highly significant co-localization of sequestration with the expression of ICAM-1, CD36, and E-selectin in cerebral vessels but no cellular inflammatory response. These results suggest that these receptors have a role in sequestration in vivo and indicate that systemic endothelial activation is a feature of fatal malaria.


Journal article


Am J Pathol

Publication Date





1057 - 1069


Adult, Aged, Animals, Antigens, CD, Brain, CD36 Antigens, Cell Adhesion Molecules, E-Selectin, Endothelium, Vascular, Erythrocytes, Female, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Malaria, Cerebral, Male, Middle Aged, Plasmodium falciparum