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The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has evolved to prolong its duration of infection by antigenic variation of a major immune target on the surface of the infected red blood cell. This immune evasion strategy depends on the sequential, rather than simultaneous, appearance of immunologically distinct variants. Although the molecular mechanisms by(More)
Long-term epidemiological data reveal multi-annual fluctuations in the incidence of dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever, as well as complex cyclical behaviour in the dynamics of the four serotypes of the dengue virus. It has previously been proposed that these patterns are due to the phenomenon of the so-called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)(More)
Many pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and protozoa achieve chronic infection through an immune evasion strategy known as antigenic variation. In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, this involves transcriptional switching among members of the var gene family, causing parasites with different antigenic and phenotypic characteristics to appear at(More)
BACKGROUND Dengue has become a major concern for international public health. Frequent epidemic outbreaks are believed to be driven by a complex interplay of immunological interactions between its four co-circulating serotypes and large fluctuations in mosquito densities. Viral lineage replacement events, caused for example by different levels of(More)
The epidemiology of dengue is characterised by irregular epidemic outbreaks and desynchronised dynamics of its four co-circulating virus serotypes. Whilst infection by one serotype appears to convey life-long protection to homologous infection, it is believed to be a risk factor for severe disease manifestations upon secondary, heterologous infection due to(More)
Antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum is regulated by transcriptional switches among members of the var gene family, each expressed in a mutually exclusive manner and encoding a different variant of the surface antigens collectively named PfEMP1. Antigenic switching starts when the first merozoites egress from the liver and begin their asexual(More)
Many highly diverse pathogen populations appear to exist stably as discrete antigenic types despite evidence of genetic exchange. It has been shown that this may arise as a consequence of immune selection on pathogen populations, causing them to segregate permanently into discrete nonoverlapping subsets of antigenic variants to minimize competition for(More)
Many infectious diseases are not maintained in a state of equilibrium but exhibit significant fluctuations in prevalence over time. For pathogens that consist of multiple antigenic types or strains, such as influenza, malaria or dengue, these fluctuations often take on the form of regular or irregular epidemic outbreaks in addition to oscillatory prevalence(More)
Acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum infection causes a change from frequent, sometimes life-threatening, malaria in young children to asymptomatic, chronic infections in older children and adults. Little is known about how this transition occurs but antibodies to the extremely diverse PfEMP1 parasite antigens are thought to play a role. PfEMP1 is(More)