Erythrocyte invasion phenotypes of Plasmodium falciparum in The Gambia

Baum, J; Pinder, M; Conway, DJ; (2003) Erythrocyte invasion phenotypes of Plasmodium falciparum in The Gambia. Infection and immunity, 71 (4). pp. 1856-63. ISSN 0019-9567 DOI:

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In vitro experimentation with Plasmodium falciparum has determined that a number of different receptor-ligand interactions are involved in the invasion of erythrocytes. Most culture-adapted parasite isolates use a mechanism of invasion that depends primarily on the erythrocyte sialoglycoprotein glycophorin A (GYPA) and erythrocyte-binding antigen 175 (EBA-175) of the parasite blood-stage merozoite. However, a minority of culture-adapted parasites and a majority of Indian field isolates can apparently invade by other means. Here, erythrocyte invasion phenotypes of P. falciparum field isolates in Africa were studied. For 38 Gambian isolates, invasion of neuraminidase-treated and trypsin-treated erythrocytes was inhibited, on average, by more than 60 and 85%, respectively, indicating a high level of dependence on sialic acid and trypsin-sensitive proteins on the erythrocyte surface. These results support the hypothesis that African P. falciparum parasites use GYPA as a primary receptor for invasion. However, the considerable variation among isolates confirms the idea that alternative receptors are also used by many parasites. Three amino acid polymorphisms in the GYPA-binding region of EBA-175 (region II) were not significantly associated with invasion phenotype. There was variation among isolates in the selectivity index (i.e., a statistical tendency toward aggregation or multiple invasions of host erythrocytes), but this variation did not correlate with enzyme-determined invasion phenotype or with eba-175 alleles. Overall, these invasion phenotypes in Africa support a vaccine strategy of inhibiting EBA-175 binding to GYPA but suggest that parasites with alternative phenotypes would be selected for if this strategy were used alone.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Animal, Carrier Proteins/genetics/metabolism, Child, Child, Preschool, Erythrocytes/microbiology, Female, Gambia, Human, Infant, Malaria, Falciparum/microbiology/physiopathology, Male, Membrane Proteins/genetics/metabolism, Molecular Sequence Data, Neuraminidase/metabolism, Phenotype, Plasmodium falciparum/*classification/genetics/*pathogenicity, Protozoan Proteins/genetics/metabolism, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Trypsin/metabolism, Adolescent, Adult, Animal, Carrier Proteins, genetics, metabolism, Child, Child, Preschool, Erythrocytes, microbiology, Female, Gambia, Human, Infant, Malaria, Falciparum, microbiology, physiopathology, Male, Membrane Proteins, genetics, metabolism, Molecular Sequence Data, Neuraminidase, metabolism, Phenotype, Plasmodium falciparum, classification, genetics, pathogenicity, Protozoan Proteins, genetics, metabolism, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Trypsin, metabolism
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 12654801
Web of Science ID: 181926200030


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