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Malar J. 2012 Apr 3;11:107. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-11-107.

A histopathologic study of fatal paediatric cerebral malaria caused by mixed Plasmodium falciparum/Plasmodium vivax infections.

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  • 1School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Fremantle Hospital, PO Box 480, Fremantle 6959, Western Australia, Australia.


Microvascular sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum underlies cerebral malaria. Despite suggestive ex vivo evidence, this phenomenon has not been convincingly demonstrated in coma complicating Plasmodium vivax malaria. Severely-ill Papua New Guinean children with mixed P. falciparum/P. vivax infections are more likely to develop cerebral malaria and die than those with P. falciparum alone, possibly reflecting P. vivax sequestration. Nested PCR was performed on post mortem brain tissue from three such children dying from cerebral malaria due to mixed-species infections. No P. vivax DNA was detected. These findings do not support the hypothesis that P. vivax sequestration occurs in human brain.

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