RBCs are an important target in the life cycle of all human Plasmodium parasites, and blood group polymorphism distribution between different populations in endemic and non–endemic regions is often an indicator that a glycoprotein is a potential ligand on the RBC surface. This research will focus on blood group polymorphism in less well–studied regions in South East Asia, where malaria is endemic. We will investigate what RBC surface molecules are used by P.vivax and P. knowlesi other than those which have already been described (Duffy and Glycophorin A).
Aim 1: To investigate the blood group antigen polymorphism in individuals in Thailand.
Aim 2: To culture P. vivax and P. knowlesi and to test RBCs of different blood group phenotypes for their invasion susceptibility.
Aim 3: To investigate the RBC specificity of autoantibodies made in patients with, or recovering from, malaria.