OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of platelet:erythrocyte (P:E) ratios on Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion.

BACKGROUND: Recent reports have shown that platelets are directly involved in the immune response towards P. falciparum during erythrocyte invasion. However, the literature both supports and conflicts with a role for platelets in limiting invasion. Also, the effect of platelet numbers on invasion (parasitemia) has not been thoroughly investigated.

METHODS/MATERIALS: The P. falciparum strains FCR3S1.2 and W2mef were cultured with group O erythrocytes. The cultures were synchronised and supplemented with pooled platelets at P:E ratios ranging from 1:100 to 1:2. Parasitemia was measured at 40 h by flow cytometry and by microscopy of blood smears.

RESULTS: A linear relationship was observed between reduced invasion and increased platelet numbers at P:E ratios ranging from 1:100 to 1:20. However, this effect was reversed at lower ratios (1:10-1:2). Microscopic evaluation revealed aggregation and attachment of platelets to erythrocytes, but not specifically to parasitised erythrocytes.

CONCLUSION: We have shown that under physiological P:E ratios (approx. 1:10-1:40), platelets inhibited P. falciparum invasion in a dose-dependent manner. At ratios of 1:10 and below, platelets did not further increase the inhibitory effect and, although the trend was reversed, inhibition was still maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-174
JournalTransfusion Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date2021 May 13
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


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