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Transfus Clin Biol. 2010 Sep;17(3):176-83. doi: 10.1016/j.tracli.2010.06.005. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

Plasmodium vivax and the Duffy antigen: a paradigm revisited.

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Institut Pasteur, unité d'immunologie moléculaire des parasites, 28, rue du Dr-Roux, 75724 Paris cedex 15, France.


The Duffy blood group antigen is the portal of entry of the Plasmodiumvivax malaria parasite into human red blood cells and the receptor for a number of CXC and CC chemokines. We review here epidemiological data and evidence derived from therapeutic or experimental human infections associating P. vivax and the Duffy glycoprotein and laboratory studies indicating that P. vivax uses the Duffy antigen as a receptor to invade the red cell. We then review recent field observations indicating that the conclusion of the absolute dependence on the presence of Duffy on the red cell for P. vivax infection and development into the red cell no longer holds true and that in some parts of the world, P. vivax infects and causes disease in Duffy-negative people.

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