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Cell Microbiol. 2012 Mar;14(3):343-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01741.x. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

The role of the spleen in malaria.

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Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB, Hospital Clinic-Universitat de Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain.


The spleen is a complex organ that is perfectly adapted to selectively filtering and destroying senescent red blood cells (RBCs), infectious microorganisms and Plasmodium-parasitized RBCs. Infection by malaria is the most common cause of spleen rupture and splenomegaly, albeit variably, a landmark of malaria infection. Here, the role of the spleen in malaria is reviewed with special emphasis in lessons learned from human infections and mouse models.

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