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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2006 Aug;75(2):199-204.

Serum antibody levels to glycosylphosphatidylinositols in specimens derived from matched Malian children with severe or uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria and healthy controls.

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  • 1Bandiagara Malaria Project, Department of Epidemiology of Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Malaria Research and Training Center, University of Bamako, Bamako, Mali.


Neutralizing antibodies to glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs), which are Plasmodium falciparum surface protein anchor molecules implicated in malaria pathogenesis, are thought to protect against symptomatic malaria. Index cases of severe malaria in Malian children 3 months to 14 years of age were matched by age and residence to uncomplicated malaria and healthy controls. Serum antibodies to GPI (IgM and IgG) were measured at the time of severe malaria and after the malaria transmission season. The mean optical density values for IgM and IgG antibodies were higher in children with severe or uncomplicated malaria compared with healthy controls. Similarly, higher percentages of children with IgM and IgG antibodies to GPI were observed in the severe malaria group compared with matched healthy controls. IgG antibody levels to GPI were highest among children with cerebral malaria and children who died. The IgG antibody levels to GPI peaked during periods of malaria transmission and decreased after malaria transmission ended. A direct correlation between age and parasitemia and IgG antibodies to GPI was observed. In summary, higher levels of IgM and IgG antibodies to GPI in young children were associated with disease severity and were short-lived.

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