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The pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms underlying cerebral malaria (CM) are still poorly understood. Recent neuroimaging studies demonstrated that brain swelling is a common feature in CM and a major contributor to death in pediatric patients. Consequently, determining the precise mechanisms responsible for this swelling could open new adjunct therapeutic avenues in CM patients. Using an MRI scanner with a higher resolution than the ones used in previous reports, we identified two distinct origins of brain swelling in both adult and pediatric patients from India, occurring in distinct parts of the brain. Our results support the hypothesis that both endothelial dysfunction and microvascular obstruction by Plasmodium falciparum -infected erythrocytes make independent contributions to the pathogenesis of CM, providing opportunities for novel therapeutic interventions.

Original publication

DOI

10.1128/msphere.00193-17

Type

Journal article

Journal

mSphere

Publisher

American Society for Microbiology

Publication Date

28/06/2017

Volume

2