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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2848-2856
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this