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During acute falciparum malaria infection, red blood cells (RBC) containing abundant ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (Pf 155 or RESA), but no intracellular parasites, are present in the circulation. These RESA-positive parasite negative RBC are not seen in parasite cultures in vitro. This indicates that in acute falciparum malaria there is active removal of intraerythrocytic parasites by a host mechanism in vivo (probably the spleen) without destruction of the parasitized RBC. This may explain the observed disparity between the drop in hematocrit and decrease in parasite count in some hyperparasitemic patients. The fate of these "once-parasitized" RBC in vivo is not known.


Journal article



Publication Date





2037 - 2040


Faculty of Tropical Medicine and Faculty of Science, Department of Pathobiology, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Erythrocytes, Animals, Humans, Plasmodium falciparum, Malaria, Falciparum, Acute Disease, Protozoan Proteins, Antigens, Protozoan, Hematocrit