Volume 80, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A deficiency in ADAMTS13 (a von Willebrand factor [VWF] cleaving protease) is associated with accumulation of prothrombogenic unusually large VWF multimers (UL-VWF) in plasma. We studied VWF release and proteolysis in patients with symptomatic or malaria on the Indonesian island Sumba. Malaria patients had significantly lower platelet counts and higher VWF concentrations and VWF activation factors than healthy hospital staff controls. The latter indicates that a higher amount of circulating VWF was in a conformation enabling spontaneous platelet binding. In addition, ADAMTS13 activity and antigen levels were reduced in both malaria groups, and this was associated with the appearance of UL-VWF. The mechanism behind this reduction and the role in malaria pathogenesis needs to be further elucidated. In malaria, endothelial cell activation with increased circulating amounts of active and ultra-large VWF, together with reduced VWF inactivation by ADAMTS13, may result in intravascular platelet aggregation, thrombocytopenia, and microvascular disease.


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  • Received : 03 Oct 2008
  • Accepted : 17 Nov 2008

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