Challenges in the Determination of Early Predictors of Cerebral Malaria: Lessons from the Human Disease and the Experimental Murine ModelsMartins Y.C.a · Carvalho L.J.M.b · Daniel-Ribeiro C.T.a
aLaboratory of Malaria Research, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; bLa Jolla Bioengineering Institute, La Jolla, Calif., USA
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Cerebral malaria (CM) is a life-threatening complication of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum, and it claims around two million lives a year, mainly those of children in sub-Saharan Africa. A number of works, particularly in murine models of CM, showed that several mediators are involved in the development of the disease, including monocytes, T lymphocytes, cytokines, chemokines, platelets, nitric oxide scavengers and heme, among others, but a comprehensive understanding of the pathogenesis of this complication is still lacking. This overview critically analyzes and discusses the definition, clinical features, neurocognitive outcomes and pathogenesis of human CM. We focused on the relationship between clinical and laboratory features and the diagnosis and prognosis of the complication showing indicators of poor prognosis and emphasizing the need of establishing predictive scores to estimate, on admission, the likelihood of any malarial patient to develop neurological complications. The potential development of a mathematical model for early prediction of CM through neurological assessment using the SHIRPA protocol in Plasmodium berghei ANKA-infected susceptible mice is shown. High positive predictive values (>89%) on days 5 and 6 of infection, observed for some generated SHIRPA scores, indicate the possibility of early detection of mice with a high probability of developing CM.
© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel
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