Severe malaria is associated with a deficiency of von Willebrand factor cleaving protease, ADAMTS13
ABSTRACT Severe falciparum malaria remains a major killer in tropical countries. Central in the pathophysiology is mechanical obstruction in the microcirculation caused by cytoadherence and sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes. However, the pathogenesis of many features complicating severe malaria, including coma, renal failure and thrombocytopenia, remains incompletely understood. These disease manifestations are also key features of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a life-threatening disease strongly associated with a deficiency of the von Willebrand factor (VWF) cleaving protease, ADAMTS13. We measured plasma ADAMTS13 activity, VWF antigen and VWF propeptide levels in 30 patients with severe falciparum malaria, 12 patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria and 14 healthy Bangladeshi controls. In patients with severe malaria ADAMTS13 activity levels were markedly decreased in comparison to normal controls (mean [95%CI]: 23% [20-26] vs. 64% [55-72]) and VWF antigen and propeptide concentrations were significantly elevated (VWF antigen: 439% [396-481] vs. 64% [46-83]; VWF propeptide: 576% [481-671] vs. 69% [59-78]). In uncomplicated malaria VWF levels were also increased compared to healthy controls but ADAMTS13 activity was normal. The results suggest that decreased ADAMTS13 activity in combination with increased VWF concentrations may contribute to the complications in severe malaria.
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ABSTRACT: A 63-year-old Caucasian woman developed severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria when travelling back from Cameroun. No antimalarial chemoprophylaxis had been observed. The patient was immediately admitted to the intensive care unit after evidence of multiple organ failure (coma, shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute renal failure, etc.). However, initial parasitemia was less than 1%. The patient was managed by intravenous quinine and norepinephrine infusion due to refractory shock. The patient developed as an early complication ischemic lesions of both arms and feet. In addition to laboratory changes consistent with disseminated intravascular coagulation, there was also evidence for a low activity of the von Willebrand factor (VWF) cleaving protease ADAMTS13. Later complications included repeated candidemia and bacteraemia despite appropriate therapy; the origin appeared to be diffuse ischemic injury of the gastrointestinal tract. The patient ultimately recovered, but quadriamputation was necessary to treat symmetrical peripheral gangrene (SPG). In severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria, ischemic changes may be due to microvascular obstruction, but, in patients with low parasitemia, other endothelial factors may also be involved as observed in other groups of thrombotic microangiopathies.Case Reports in Medicine 04/2014; 2014:696725. DOI:10.1155/2014/696725
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ABSTRACT: Thrombocytopenia develops early in malaria, but the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. We studied the aetiology of malaria-associated thrombocytopenia in volunteers experimentally infected with Plasmodium falciparum malaria, in Indonesian malaria patients and in ex vivo studies. In experimental human malaria, the decrease in platelet counts was associated with a concurrent rise in young platelets (immature platelet fraction) and thrombopoietin. D-dimer concentrations were moderately elevated without a prolongation in the activated partial thromboplastin time or decrease in fibrinogen. There was no increase in expression of the platelet surface markers CD62P, PAC-1 and CD63 and in plasma concentrations of the platelet factors P-selectin, CXCR4, CXCL7, RANTES and CD40L. In contrast, concentrations of soluble glycoprotein-1b (sGP1b), the external domain of the platelet receptor for von Willebrand factor (VWF), increased early. Indonesian malaria patients also had elevated concentrations of sGP1b, which correlated with VWF concentrations. Finally, incubation of platelets with parasitized erythrocytes in vitro failed to induce platelet aggregation or activation. We concluded that neither compromised platelet production nor platelet activation or consumptive coagulopathy were responsible for the early thrombocytopenia in malaria. We hypothesize that the increase in sGP1b concentrations results from VWF-mediated GP1b shedding; a process that may prevent excessive adhesion of platelets and parasitized erythrocytes.British Journal of Haematology 10/2010; 151(5):495-503. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08399.x
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ABSTRACT: Residence in the human erythrocyte is essential for the lifecycle of all Plasmodium that infect man. It is also the phase of the life cycle that causes disease. Although the red blood cell (RBC) is a highly specialized cell for its function of carrying oxygen to and carbon dioxide away from tissues, it is devoid of organelles and lacks any cellular machinery to synthesize new protein. Therefore in order to be able to survive and multiply within the RBC membrane the parasite needs to make many modifications to the infected RBC (iRBC). Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) also expresses parasite-derived proteins on the surface of the iRBC that enable the parasite to cytoadhere to endothelial and other intravascular cells. These RBC modifications are at the root of malaria pathogenesis and, in this ancient disease of man, have formed the epicentre of a genetic 'battle' between parasite and host. This review discusses some of the critical modifications of the RBC by the parasite and some of the consequences of these adaptations on disease in the human host, with an emphasis on advances in understanding of the pathogenesis of severe and cerebral malaria (CM) from recent research.British Journal of Haematology 05/2011; 154(6). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08755.x