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In malaria, rosetting is a phenomenon involving the cytoadherence of uninfected erythrocytes to infected erythrocytes (IRBC) harboring the late erythrocytic stage of Plasmodium spp. Recently, artesunate-stimulated rosetting has been demonstrated to confer a survival advantage to P. falciparum late-stage IRBC. This study investigated the rosetting response of P. falciparum and P. vivax clinical isolates to ex vivo antimalarial treatments. Brief exposure of IRBC to chloroquine, mefloquine, amodiaquine, quinine, and lumefantrine increased the rosetting rates of P. falciparum and P. vivax. Furthermore, the ex vivo combination of artesunate with mefloquine and piperaquine also resulted in increased the rosetting rates. Drug-mediated rosette-stimulation has important implications for the therapeutic failure of rapidly cleared drugs such as artesunate. However, further work is needed to establish the ramifications of increased rosetting rates by drugs with longer half-lifves, such as chloroquine, mefloquine, and piperaquine.

Original publication





The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene

Publication Date



Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.