Publications & Reports

Cross-reactive surface epitopes on chondroitin sulfate A-adherent Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes are associated with transcription of var2csa.

Salenna R Elliott, Michael F Duffy, Timothy J Byrne, James G Beeson, Emily J Mann, Danny W Wilson, Stephen J Rogerson, Graham V Brown
Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria 3050 Australia. [email protected]


Malaria in pregnancy is associated with placental accumulation of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE) that adhere to chondroitin sulfate A (CSA). Adhesion is mediated by P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), a variant parasite protein expressed on the surface of IE and encoded by var genes.

Rabbit antiserum was generated against the CSA-adherent P. falciparum line CS2, in which the dominant var transcribed is var2csa, a relatively conserved var gene that has been associated with CSA adhesion.

Anti-CS2 recognized genetically distinct CSA-adherent P. falciparum lines but not CD36-adherent parent lines. Reactivity with anti-CS2 correlated with the level of adhesion to CSA.

Fluorescence-activated cell sorting according to binding of anti-CS2 showed reactivity was associated with CSA adhesion and transcription of var2csa.

These data are consistent with the hypothesis that var2csa encodes a PfEMP1 expressed on the surface of IE, which mediates adhesion to CSA and is relatively conserved between genetically distinct strains of P. falciparum.


  • Journal: Infection and immunity
  • Published: 01/05/2005
  • Volume: 73
  • Issue: 5
  • Pagination: 2848-2856


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