Identifying the targets of protective immunity to malaria in pregnancy

Grant number: 406647 | Funding period: 2006 - 2008



Malaria in pregnancy is a major cause of disease across many countries. Pregnant women have a high risk of malaria, and large numbers of malaria parasites accumulate in the placenta, which may lead to infant or maternal death. Malaria parasites infect the placenta by producing proteins that enable them to stick to the placenta. These malaria strains causing placental infection generally do not cause disease in non-pregnant individuals. Antibodies to the parasite proteins are produced in response to placental infection, which may help control the infection and protect against further malaria in pregnancy. However, placental malaria parasites are able to vary the proteins they produce to avoid..

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