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Bull Soc Pathol Exot Filiales. 1983 Nov;76(5):463-9.

Merozoites of P. falciparum require glycophorin for invasion into red cells.


The importance of the red cell membrane sialoglycoproteins in the invasion of P. falciparum merozoites has been assessed. Human erythrocytes deficient in glycophorin A (En(a-)cells) or B (S-s-U-, S-s-U+ cells) showed significant resistance to invasion. Treatment of normal erythrocytes with trypsin and chymotrypsin also reduced invasion. These results indicate that determinants carried on glycophorins A, B and C play an essential role in the successful invasion into human red cells. Sugar components present on glycophorin, in particular N-acetyl glucosamine and N-acetyl galactosamine, as shown by specific sugar and antibody inhibition studies, appear to act as important determinants for attachment to the erythrocyte. This implicates a protein(s) on the merozoite surface membrane which has the properties of a lectin.

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