A comparison of the in vivo kinetics of Plasmodium falciparum ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen-positive and -negative erythrocytes.
Newton PN., Chotivanich K., Chierakul W., Ruangveerayuth R., Teerapong P., Silamut K., Looareesuwan S., White NJ.
Ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (RESA)-positive, Plasmodium falciparum-negative red blood cells (RBCs) are cells from which the malaria parasite has been removed by the host without the destruction of the erythrocyte ("pitting"). The survival of RESA-RBCs in vivo was assessed in 14 severe and 6 uncomplicated falciparum malaria patients. The mean RESA-RBC life of 183 hours (95% confidence interval [CI], 136-246) was longer than the median parasite clearance time of 66 hours (range, 30-108 hours) but shorter than the mean red cell life of 1027 hours (95% CI, 840-1213) (P =.0004), with a median ratio of 0.2:1.0 (range, 0.1-0.7). The estimated median percentage of parasites pitted/body transit was 0.003% (range, 0.001%-0.05%). The rate of rise of the RESA-RBC count during the first 24 hours after antimalarial treatment was significantly faster (P =.036) and the subsequent RESA-RBC survival significantly shorter (P =.017) after treatment with an artemisinin derivative than after treatment with quinine. Parasitization of red cells leads to changes in the erythrocyte that shorten their survival even if the parasite is removed subsequently.