In Vitro Inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum Rosette Formation by Curdlan Sulfate
Kyriacou HM., Steen KE., Raza A., Arman M., Warimwe G., Bull PC., Havlik I., Rowe JA.
ABSTRACT Spontaneous binding of infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes to form rosettes is a property of some strains of Plasmodium falciparum that is linked to severe complications of malaria. Curdlan sulfate (CRDS) is a sulfated glycoconjugate compound that is chemically similar to known rosette-inhibiting drugs such as heparin. CRDS has previously been shown to have antimalarial activity in vitro and is safe for clinical use. Here we show that CRDS at therapeutic levels (10 to 100 μg/ml) significantly reduces rosette formation in vitro in seven P. falciparum laboratory strains and in a group of 18 African clinical isolates. The strong ability to inhibit rosetting suggests that CRDS has the potential to reduce the severe complications and mortality rates from P. falciparum malaria among African children. Our data support further clinical trials of CRDS.