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Parasitol Today. 1988 Aug;4(8):214-8.

Immunopathophysiology of Babesia bovis and Plasmodium falciparum infections.

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  • 1CSIRO, Division of Tropical Animal Production, Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia, 4068.


Babesia bovis and Plasmodium falciparum are both vector-borne parasites primarily infecting the erythrocytes of their respective hosts. They have obvious differences, yet the diseases caused by these parasites share many common features. Both have generated a considerable body of research but, perhaps because of the classical distinction between veterinary and medical parasitology, many of the similarities between the two have been neglected. As this review shows however, many of the pathophysiological changes in B. bovis infections are poorly described for P. falciparum - and vice versa. Examples are the roles of lipid peroxidation, neutrophil adhesion and production of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) in malaria, which have been largely unstudied in babesiosis, or conversely the roles of fibronectin, immune complexes, cryofibrinogen and the complement cascade in babesiosis, which have been little studied (partly for ethical reasons) in human malaria. To clarify such questions, it may be that each of these diseases may serve as a partial model for the other.

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