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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Mar;99(3):171-4.

High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein: possible amplification signal in the pathogenesis of falciparum malaria.

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School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.


High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein, a DNA-binding protein that can also act as a pro-inflammatory cytokine if released from cells, is an important amplification signal in various forms of inflammation. The concentration of HMGB1 in serum taken at admission was increased in falciparum malaria in sixteen African children, more so in fatal cases than in those who subsequently recovered (P<0.001). Serum from both non-fatal (P=0.0048) and fatal (P<0.001) cases contained significantly more circulating HMGB1 than did serum from healthy Caucasian adults. These data provide an additional argument that malaria is fundamentally a systemic inflammatory state. In keeping with its developing role in sepsis, HMGB1 may enhance and prolong the inflammatory processes, and thus illness, in malaria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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