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Parasitol Res. 2004 Aug;93(6):499-503. Epub 2004 Jul 24.

Duffy antigen is important for the lethal effect of the lethal strain of Plasmodium yoelii 17XL.

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  • 1Laboratory of Developmental Biochemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokyo, 3-1, 7-Chome, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, 113-0033, Japan.


We studied the potential role of the Duffy antigen and glycophorin A as receptors for rodent malaria parasite invasion of erythrocytes. Parasitemia increased exponentially after infection with Plasmodium berghei NK65, P. chabaudi, and P. vinckei in Duffy antigen knockout, glycophorin A knockout, and wild-type mice, indicating that the Duffy antigen and glycophorin A are not essential for these malaria parasites. However, parasitemia of the Duffy antigen knockout mice infected with P. yoelii 17XL remained constant from day 5 to 14 after infection, and then decreased, resulting in autotherapy. The treatment of P. yoelii 17XL-infected Duffy antigen knockout mice with anti-CD4 antibody increased the parasitemia 15 days after infection and the mice eventually died, indicating that CD-4-positive cells play an important role in the clearance of P. yoelii 17XL at the late stage of the infection.

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