Low birth weight in Papua New Guinea is a killer. Help us research what is causing low birth weight in PNG so that we can stop it.
We examined the formation of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte rosettes using parasite isolates from placental or peripheral blood of pregnant Malawian women and from peripheral blood of children. Five of 23 placental isolates, 23 of 38 maternal peripheral isolates, and 136 of 139 child peripheral isolates formed rosettes. Placental isolates formed fewer rosettes than maternal isolates (range, 0 to 7. 5% versus 0 to 33.5%; P = 0.002), and both formed fewer rosettes than isolates cultured from children (range, 0 to 56%; P < 0.0001). Rosette formation is common in infections of children but uncommon in pregnancy and rarely detected in placental isolates.