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Malaria pigment paralyzes dendritic cells

Britta C Urban* and Stephen Todryk

Author Affiliations

Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK

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Journal of Biology 2006, 5:4  doi:10.1186/jbiol37

Published: 12 April 2006


The capacity of malarial infection to suppress the patient's immune responses both to the parasite and to other antigens has long puzzled researchers. A prime suspect, the parasite-produced pigment hemozoin, has now been clearly shown to mediate immunosuppression by inhibiting dendritic cell activity.