HIV and immunity to malaria

Grant number: 400090


In Africa, Plasmodium falciparum malaria and HIV infection are devastating health problems, and HIV makes malaria worse, especially in pregnancy. Recently, we showed why this may be. In pregnancy, antibodies to proteins expressed on the surface of malaria infected cells protect against malaria in the placenta. Levels of these antibodies were decreased by HIV infection, and lowest in women with AIDS. Both first-time and experienced mothers lacked antibody. Now we will investigate the function of these antibodies. They might block adhesion to placental receptors, decreasing parasite numbers in the placenta. Or they might coat infected red cells, making them targets for phagocytosis (eating) by..

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University of Melbourne Researchers