Five cases of severe hydrops and erythroblastosis fetalis in association with a large amount of Hb “Bart’s,” all of Chinese origin, are described. The following characteristic clinical and hematologic symptoms were found. There were generalized hydrops, ascites and gross enlargement of the liver. The spleen, however, was not ahvays enlarged. The placenta was large and friable. Severe erythroblastosis of the blood was always found, with reticulocytosis, many target cells and thin cells. The MCV of the red cells was very high. The cells showed an interesting sickling phenomenon. No evidence of isoimmunization was found. In eight parents examined, no abnormal hemoglobin was detected, and alkali-resistant hemoglobin and hemoglobin A2 were not found to be increased. Their blood showed microcytosis of the red cells cxcept in one father and one mother. In this mother, however, the blood was examimied after a blood transfusion. It is thought probable that these were cases of homozygous alpha-chain thalassemia.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) cures the T-lymphocyte, B-lymphocyte, and natural killer (NK)-cell differentiation defect in interleukin-2 γ-chain receptor (IL2RG)/JAK3 severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). We evaluated long-term clinical features, longitudinal immunoreconstitution, donor chimerism, and quality of life (QoL) of IL2RG/JAK3 SCID patients >2 years post-HSCT at our center. Clinical data were collated and patients/families answered PedsQL Generic Core Scale v4.0 questionnaires. We performed longitudinal analyses of CD3+, CD4+ naive T-lymphocyte, CD19+, and NK-cell numbers from pretransplant until 15 years posttransplant. Thirty-one of 43 patients (72%) survived. Median age at last follow-up was 10 years (range, 2-25 years). Twenty-one (68%) had persistent medical issues, mainly ongoing immunoglobulin replacement (14; 45%), cutaneous viral warts (7; 24%), short stature (4; 14%), limb lymphoedema (3; 10%), and bronchiectasis (2; 7%). Lung function was available and normal for 6 patients. Longitudinal analysis demonstrated sustained CD3+, CD19+, and NK-cell output 15 years post-HSCT. CD4+ naive lymphocyte numbers were better in conditioned vs unconditioned recipients (P, .06). B-lymphocyte and myeloid chimerism were highly correlated (ρ, 0.98; P < .001). Low-toxicity myeloablative conditioning recipients have better B-lymphocyte/myeloid chimerism and are free from immunoglobulin replacement therapy. IL2RG/JAK3 SCID survivors free from immunoglobulin replacement have normal QoL.
Prolonged exposure to thiopurines (eg, mercaptopurine [MP]) is essential for curative therapy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but is also associated with frequent dose-limiting hematopoietic toxicities, which is partly explained by inherited genetic polymorphisms in drug metabolizing enzymes (eg, TPMT). Recently, our group and others identified germ line genetic variants in NUDT15 as another major cause of thiopurine-related myelosuppression, particularly in Asian and Hispanic people. In this article, we describe 3 novel NUDT15 coding variants (p.R34T, p.K35E, and p.G17_V18del) in 5 children with ALL enrolled in frontline protocols in Singapore, Taiwan, and at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Patients carrying these variants experienced significant toxicity and reduced tolerance to MP across treatment protocols. Functionally, all 3 variants led to partial to complete loss of NUDT15 nucleotide diphosphatase activity and negatively influenced protein stability. In particular, the p.G17_V18del variant protein showed extremely low thermostability and was completely void of catalytic activity, thus likely to confer a high risk of thiopurine intolerance. This in-frame deletion was only seen in African and European patients, and is the first NUDT15 risk variant identified in non-Asian, non-Hispanic populations. In conclusion, we discovered 3 novel loss-of-function variants in NUDT15 associated with MP toxicity, enabling more comprehensive pharmacogenetics-based thiopurine dose adjustments across diverse populations.
Two malaria parasites of Southeast Asian macaques, Plasmodium knowlesi and P cynomolgi, can infect humans experimentally. In Malaysia, where both species are common, zoonotic knowlesi malaria has recently become dominant, and cases are recorded throughout the region. By contrast, to date, only a single case of naturally acquired P cynomolgi has been found in humans. In this study, we show that whereas P cynomolgi merozoites invade monkey red blood cells indiscriminately in vitro, in humans, they are restricted to reticulocytes expressing both transferrin receptor 1 (Trf1 or CD71) and the Duffy antigen/chemokine receptor (DARC or CD234). This likely contributes to the paucity of detectable zoonotic cynomolgi malaria. We further describe postinvasion morphologic and rheologic alterations in P cynomolgi-infected human reticulocytes that are strikingly similar to those observed for P vivax These observations stress the value of P cynomolgi as a model in the development of blood stage vaccines against vivax malaria.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) causes various diseases in the elderly, including B-cell lymphoma such as Hodgkin's lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Here, we show that EBV acts in trans on noninfected macrophages in the tumor through exosome secretion and augments the development of lymphomas. In a humanized mouse model, the different formation of lymphoproliferative disease (LPD) between 2 EBV strains (Akata and B95-8) was evident. Furthermore, injection of Akata-derived exosomes affected LPD severity, possibly through the regulation of macrophage phenotype in vivo. Exosomes collected from Akata-lymphoblastoid cell lines reportedly contain EBV-derived noncoding RNAs such as BamHI fragment A rightward transcript (BART) micro-RNAs (miRNAs) and EBV-encoded RNA. We focused on the exosome-mediated delivery of BART miRNAs. In vitro, BART miRNAs could induce the immune regulatory phenotype in macrophages characterized by the gene expressions of interleukin 10, tumor necrosis factor-α, and arginase 1, suggesting the immune regulatory role of BART miRNAs. The expression level of an EBV-encoded miRNA was strongly linked to the clinical outcomes in elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These results implicate BART miRNAs as 1 of the factors regulating the severity of lymphoproliferative disease and as a diagnostic marker for EBV+ B-cell lymphoma.
Ravulizumab (ALXN1210), a new complement C5 inhibitor, provides immediate, complete, and sustained C5 inhibition. This phase 3, open-label study assessed the noninferiority of ravulizumab to eculizumab in complement inhibitor-naive adults with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). Patients with lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) ≥1.5 times the upper limit of normal and at least 1 PNH symptom were randomized 1:1 to receive ravulizumab or eculizumab for 183 days (N = 246). Coprimary efficacy end points were proportion of patients remaining transfusion-free and LDH normalization. Secondary end points were percent change from baseline in LDH, change from baseline in Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-Fatigue score, proportion of patients with breakthrough hemolysis, stabilized hemoglobin, and change in serum free C5. Ravulizumab was noninferior to eculizumab for both coprimary and all key secondary end points (Pinf < .0001): transfusion avoidance (73.6% vs 66.1%; difference of 6.8% [95% confidence interval (CI), -4.66, 18.14]), LDH normalization (53.6% vs 49.4%; odds ratio, 1.19 [0.80, 1.77]), percent reduction in LDH (-76.8% vs -76.0%; difference [95% CI], -0.83% [-5.21, 3.56]), change in FACIT-Fatigue score (7.07 vs 6.40; difference [95% CI], 0.67 [-1.21, 2.55]), breakthrough hemolysis (4.0% vs 10.7%; difference [95% CI], -6.7% [-14.21, 0.18]), and stabilized hemoglobin (68.0% vs 64.5%; difference [95% CI], 2.9 [-8.80, 14.64]). The safety and tolerability of ravulizumab and eculizumab were similar; no meningococcal infections occurred. In conclusion, ravulizumab given every 8 weeks achieved noninferiority compared with eculizumab given every 2 weeks for all efficacy end points, with a similar safety profile. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02946463.
Recombinant VIII (rVIII)-SingleChain is a novel B-domain-truncated recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII), comprised of covalently bonded factor VIII (FVIII) heavy and light chains. It was designed to have a higher binding affinity for von Willebrand factor (VWF). This phase 1/3 study investigated the efficacy and safety of rVIII-SingleChain in the treatment of bleeding episodes, routine prophylaxis, and surgical prophylaxis. Participants were ≥12 years of age, with severe hemophilia A (endogenous FVIII <1%). The participants were allocated by the investigator to receive rVIII-SingleChain in either an on-demand or prophylaxis regimen. Of the 175 patients meeting study eligibility criteria, 173 were treated with rVIII-SingleChain, prophylactically (N = 146) or on-demand (N = 27). The total cumulative exposure was 14 306 exposure days (EDs), with 120 participants reaching ≥50 EDs and 52 participants having ≥100 EDs. Hemostatic efficacy was rated by the investigator as excellent or good in 93.8% of the 835 bleeds treated and assessed. Across all prophylaxis regimens, the median annualized spontaneous bleeding rate was 0.00 (Q1, Q3: 0.0, 2.4) and the median overall annualized bleeding rate (ABR) was 1.14 (Q1, Q3: 0.0, 4.2). Surgical hemostasis was rated as excellent/good in 100% of major surgeries by the investigator. No participant developed FVIII inhibitors. In conclusion, rVIII-SingleChain is a novel rFVIII molecule showing excellent hemostatic efficacy in surgery and in the control of bleeding events, low ABR in patients on prophylaxis, and a favorable safety profile in this large clinical study. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01486927.
In platelets, splicing and translation occur in the absence of a nucleus. However, the integrity and stability of mRNAs derived from megakaryocyte progenitor cells remain poorly quantified on a transcriptome-wide level. As circular RNAs (circRNAs) are resistant to degradation by exonucleases, their abundance relative to linear RNAs can be used as a surrogate marker for mRNA stability in the absence of transcription. Here we show that circRNAs are enriched in human platelets 17- to 188-fold relative to nucleated tissues and 14- to 26-fold relative to samples digested with RNAse R to selectively remove linear RNA. We compare RNAseq read depths inside and outside circRNAs to provide in silico evidence of transcript circularity, show that exons within circRNAs are enriched on average 12.7 times in platelets relative to nucleated tissues and identify 3162 genes significantly enriched for circRNAs, including some where all RNAseq reads appear to be derived from circular molecules. We also confirm that this is a feature of other anucleate cells through transcriptome sequencing of mature erythrocytes, demonstrate that circRNAs are not enriched in cultured megakaryocytes, and demonstrate that linear RNAs decay more rapidly than circRNAs in platelet preparations. Collectively, these results suggest that circulating platelets have lost >90% of their progenitor mRNAs and that translation in platelets occurs against the backdrop of a highly degraded transcriptome. Finally, we find that transcripts previously classified as products of reverse transcriptase template switching are both enriched in platelets and resistant to decay, countering the recent suggestion that up to 50% of rearranged RNAs are artifacts.
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) and related diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by impaired telomere maintenance, known collectively as the telomeropathies. Disease-causing variants have been identified in 10 telomere-related genes including the reverse transcriptase (TERT) and the RNA component (TERC) of the telomerase complex. Variants in TERC and TERT can impede telomere elongation causing stem cells to enter premature replicative senescence and/or apoptosis as telomeres become critically short. This explains the major impact of the disease on highly proliferative tissues such as the bone marrow and skin. However, telomerase variants are not always fully penetrant and in some families disease-causing variants are seen in asymptomatic family members. As a result, determining the pathogenic status of newly identified variants in TERC or TERT can be quite challenging. Over a 3-year period, we have identified 26 telomerase variants (16 of which are novel) in 23 families. Additional investigations (including family segregation and functional studies) enabled these to be categorized into 3 groups: (1) disease-causing (n = 15), (2) uncertain status (n = 6), and (3) bystanders (n = 5). Remarkably, this process has also enabled us to identify families with novel mechanisms of inheriting human telomeropathies. These include triallelic mutations, involving 2 different telomerase genes, and an epigenetic-like inheritance of short telomeres in the absence of a telomerase mutation. This study therefore highlights that telomerase variants have highly variable functional and clinical manifestations and require thorough investigation to assess their pathogenic contribution.
This multinational, randomized, single-blind trial investigated the safety and efficacy of nonacog beta pegol, a recombinant glycoPEGylated factor IX (FIX) with extended half-life, in 74 previously treated patients with hemophilia B (FIX activity ≤2 IU/dL). Patients received prophylaxis for 52 weeks, randomized to either 10 IU/kg or 40 IU/kg once weekly or to on-demand treatment of 28 weeks. No patients developed inhibitors, and no safety concerns were identified. Three hundred forty-five bleeding episodes were treated, with an estimated success rate of 92.2%. The median annualized bleeding rates (ABRs) were 1.04 in the 40 IU/kg prophylaxis group, 2.93 in the 10 IU/kg prophylaxis group, and 15.58 in the on-demand treatment group. In the 40 IU/kg group, 10 (66.7%) of 15 patients experienced no bleeding episodes into target joints compared with 1 (7.7%) of 13 patients in the 10 IU/kg group. Health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) assessed with the EuroQoL-5 Dimensions visual analog scale score improved from a median of 75 to 90 in the 40 IU/kg prophylaxis group. Nonacog beta pegol was well tolerated and efficacious for the treatment of bleeding episodes and was associated with low ABRs in patients receiving prophylaxis. Once-weekly prophylaxis with 40 IU/kg resolved target joint bleeds in 66.7% of the affected patients and improved HR-QoL. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01333111.
Rosetting phenomenon has been linked to malaria pathogenesis. Although rosetting occurs in all causes of human malaria, most data on this subject has been derived from Plasmodium falciparum. Here, we investigate the function and factors affecting rosette formation in Plasmodium vivax. To achieve this, we used a range of novel ex vivo protocols to study fresh and cryopreserved P vivax (n = 135) and P falciparum (n = 77) isolates from Thailand. Rosetting is more common in vivax than falciparum malaria, both in terms of incidence in patient samples and percentage of infected erythrocytes forming rosettes. Rosetting to P vivax asexual and sexual stages was evident 20 hours postreticulocyte invasion, reaching a plateau after 30 hours. Host ABO blood group, reticulocyte count, and parasitemia were not correlated with P vivax rosetting. Importantly, mature erythrocytes (normocytes), rather than reticulocytes, preferentially form rosetting complexes, indicating that this process is unlikely to directly facilitate merozoite invasion. Although antibodies against host erythrocyte receptors CD235a and CD35 had no effect, Ag-binding fragment against the BRIC 4 region of CD236R significantly inhibited rosette formation. Rosetting assays using CD236R knockdown normocytes derived from hematopoietic stem cells further supports the role of glycophorin C as a receptor in P vivax rosette formation.
In this study, we have sequenced the C-terminal part of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-BNLF-1 gene encoding for the latent membrane protein-1 from tissues of EBV-positive Danish Hodgkin's disease (HD) and of Danish and Malaysian peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTLs) and from tonsils of Danish infectious mononucleosis (IM). Our study showed that some of the 7 single-base mutations and the 30-bp deletion previously detected between codons of amino acid 322 and 366 in the BNLF-1 gene of the nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line CAO were present in all Malaysian PTLs and in 60% of the Danish PTLs. In HD and the IM cases, the mutations were present in about 30%. The 30-bp deletion and the single base mutations occurred independently, and mutations were detectable in the majority of EBV type B-positive cases. These findings suggest that the 30-bp deletion and the 7 single-base mutations in the C-terminal part of the CAO-BNLF-1 gene do not characterize a new EBV type A substrain. Rather, some of the positions of single base mutations and the 30-bp deletion are hot spots that may have mutated independently through the evolution of EBV strains.
A high frequency of nonhemolytic hereditary ovalocytosis in Malayan aborigines is thought to result from reduced susceptibility of affected individuals to malaria. Indeed, Kidson et al. recently showed that ovalocytes from Melanesians in Papua New Guinea are resistant to infection in culture by the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In order to determine if protection against parasitic invasion in these ovalocytes might be the result of some altered membrane material property in these unusual cells, we measured their membrane and cellular deformability characteristics using an ektacytometer . Ovalocytic red cells were found to be much less deformable in comparison to normal discoid red cells. Similar measurements on isolated membrane preparations revealed a marked reduction in ovalocytic membrane deformability. To produce equal deformation of ovalocytic and normal membranes, ovalocytes required an 8-10-fold increase in applied shear stress, indicating that their membrane was capable of deforming under sufficient stress. To test the possibility that this increased membrane rigidity might confer resistance to parasitic invasion, we performed an in vitro invasion assay using Plasmodium falciparum merozoites and Malayan ovalocytes of varying deformability from seven different donors. The level of infection of the ovalocytes ranged from 1% to 35% of that in control cells, and the extent of inhibition appeared to be closely related to the reduction in membrane deformability. Moreover, we were able to induce similar resistance to parasitic invasion in nonovalocytic normal red cells by increasing their membrane rigidity with graded exposure to a protein crosslinking agent. Our findings suggest that resistance to parasite invasion of Malayan ovalocytes is the result of a genetic mutation that causes increased membrane rigidity.
The white blood cell DNA of 36 cord blood samples with Hb Bart's in the red blood cells was studied for alpha-globin gene deletions by hybridization of DNA fragments digested by the restriction endonucleases Eco RI, Hpa I, Bam HI, and Bgl II. All 16 DNA samples from cord blood with Hb Bart's below 3% and no other abnormal hemoglobin had one alpha-globin gene deletion (alpha thal2), except one which had two alpha-globin gene deletions (alpha thal1). Most of the alpha thal2 were of the rightward deletion alpha thal2 genotype. Two new types of alpha thal2 variation was found, probably due to a polymorphism somewhere in an area outside the alpha-globin gene. All 14 cases with Hb Bart's between 3.5% and 8.5% and no other abnormal hemoglobin had two alpha-globin gene deletions (alpha thal1), except one that did not have any alpha-globin gene deletion and one that had one alpha-globin gene deletion. Three DNA samples of cord blood with Hb Bart's accompanied by Hb CoSp did not have any alpha-globin gene deletion. Sixty-five DNA samples from cord blood without Hb Bart's or other abnormal hemoglobin had no alpha-globin gene deletions, except one that had one alpha-globin gene deletion (alpha thal2). Two of the 65 DNA samples were found to have triplicated alpha-globin gene loci.
LMP-1, an Epstein-Barr viral (EBV) latency protein, is considered a viral oncogene because of its ability to transform rodent fibroblasts in vivo and render them tumorigenic in nude mice. In human B cells, EBV LMP-1 induces DNA synthesis and abrogates apoptosis. LMP-1 is expressed in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), a subset of Hodgkin's disease (HD), and in EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorders (EBV-LPDs). Recently, focused deletions near the 3' end of the LMP-1 gene (del-LMP-1, amino acids 346-355), in a region functionally related to the half-life to the LMP-1 protein, have been reported frequently in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated HD (100%) and EBV+ Malaysian and Danish peripheral T-cell lymphomas (100%, 61% respectively), but less frequently in cases of HD not associated with HIV (28%, 33%) and infectious mononucleosis (33%). To further investigate the potential relationship of del-LMP-1 to EBV-LPDs associated with immunosuppression or immunodeficiency, we studied 39 EBV-associated lymphoproliferations (10 benign, 29 malignant) from four distinct clinical settings: posttransplant (4 malignant, 1 reactive); HIV+ (18 malignant, 2 reactive); nonimmunodeficiency malignant lymphoma (ML) (7 cases); and sporadic EBV infection with lymphoid hyperplasia (7 cases). The presence of EBV within lymphoid cells was confirmed by EBV EBER1 RNA in situ hybridization or by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. EBV strain type and LMP-1 deletion status were determined by PCR. EBV strain types segregated into two distinct distributions: HIV+ (9 A; 11 B) and non-HIV (19 A, 0 B), consistent with previous reports. Overall, del-LMP-1 were found in 1 of 5 (20%) Burkitt lymphomas (BL); 17 of 24 (71%) aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (agg-NHL), and 2 of 10 (20%) reactive lymphoid proliferations. Of the agg-NHLs, del-LMP-1 were present in 4 of 4 PT-ML (100%); 10 of 15 HIV+ ML (67%); and 3 of 5 nonimmunodeficiency malignant lymphoma (ML, 60%). A total of 2 of 7 (28%) sporadic EBV-associated lymphoid hyperplasias contained a del-LMP-1. All del-LMP-1 were identical by DNA sequence analysis. No correlation was identified between the presence of del-LMP-1 and the EBV strain type observed. The high incidence of del-LMP-1 observed in agg-NHLs (71%), in contrast to the relatively low incidence observed in reactive lymphoid proliferations (28%), suggests that the deleted form may be preferentially selected in lymphomatous processes. All posttransplant agg-NHLs contained a del-LMP-1, and a similar frequency of del-LMP-1 was observed in both HIV-associated ML (66%) and nonimmunodeficiency ML (60%), suggesting that impairment of immune function alone is not a requirement for the expansion of malignant cells infected by EBV stains containing the deleted LMP-1 gene.
Molecular dissection of inborn errors of immunity can help to elucidate the nonredundant functions of individual genes. We studied 3 children with an immune dysregulation syndrome of susceptibility to infection, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, developmental delay, autoimmunity, and lymphoma of B-cell (n = 2) or T-cell (n = 1) origin. All 3 showed early autologous T-cell reconstitution following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. By whole-exome sequencing, we identified rare homozygous germline missense or nonsense variants in a known epigenetic regulator of gene expression: ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenase 2 (TET2). Mutated TET2 protein was absent or enzymatically defective for 5-hydroxymethylating activity, resulting in whole-blood DNA hypermethylation. Circulating T cells showed an abnormal immunophenotype including expanded double-negative, but depleted follicular helper, T-cell compartments and impaired Fas-dependent apoptosis in 2 of 3 patients. Moreover, TET2-deficient B cells showed defective class-switch recombination. The hematopoietic potential of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells was skewed toward the myeloid lineage. These are the first reported cases of autosomal-recessive germline TET2 deficiency in humans, causing clinically significant immunodeficiency and an autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome with marked predisposition to lymphoma. This disease phenotype demonstrates the broad role of TET2 within the human immune system.
Rurioctocog alfa pegol prophylaxis targeting factor VIII (FVIII) troughs ≥1% has shown to be efficacious with an acceptable safety profile in people with hemophilia A (PwHA). The PROPEL trial compared safety and efficacy of 2 target FVIII troughs in PwHA aged 12 to 65 years, with severe disease, annualized bleeding rate ≥2, and previous FVIII treatment. PwHA were randomized to 12 months' pharmacokinetic (PK)-guided rurioctocog alfa pegol prophylaxis targeting FVIII troughs of 1% to 3% (reference arm) or 8% to 12% (elevated arm); first 6 months was treatment-adjustment period. The primary endpoint was absence of bleeds during the second 6 months, analyzed using multiple imputations (full analysis set [FAS]). In the 1% to 3% and 8% to 12% arms, respectively, point estimates (95% confidence interval) of proportions of PwHA with zero total bleeds were 42% (29% to 55%) and 62% (49% to 75%) in FAS (N = 115; P = .055) and 40% (27% to 55%) and 67% (52% to 81%) in per-protocol analysis set (N = 95; P = .015). Dosing frequency and consumption varied in each arm. Adverse events (AEs) occurred in 70/115 (60.9%) PwHA; serious AEs in 7/115 (6%) PwHA, including 1 treatment-related in 8% to 12% arm (transient anti-FVIII inhibitor). There were no deaths, serious thrombotic events, or AE-related discontinuations. PK-guided prophylaxis was achievable and efficacious in both arms. No new safety signals were observed in the 8% to 12% arm. These results demonstrate elevated FVIII troughs can increase the proportion of PwHA with zero bleeds and emphasize the importance of personalized treatment. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02585960.
Platelets are understood to assist host innate immune responses against infection, although direct evidence of this function in any human disease, including malaria, is unknown. Here we characterized platelet-erythrocyte interactions by microscopy and flow cytometry in patients with malaria naturally infected with Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, or Plasmodium knowlesi Blood samples from 376 participants were collected from malaria-endemic areas of Papua, Indonesia, and Sabah, Malaysia. Platelets were observed binding directly with and killing intraerythrocytic parasites of each of the Plasmodium species studied, particularly mature stages, and was greatest in P vivax patients. Platelets preferentially bound to the infected more than to the uninfected erythrocytes in the bloodstream. Analysis of intraerythrocytic parasites indicated the frequent occurrence of platelet-associated parasite killing, characterized by the intraerythrocytic accumulation of platelet factor-4 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling of parasite nuclei (PF4+TUNEL+ parasites). These PF4+TUNEL+ parasites were not associated with measures of systemic platelet activation. Importantly, patient platelet counts, infected erythrocyte-platelet complexes, and platelet-associated parasite killing correlated inversely with patient parasite loads. These relationships, taken together with the frequency of platelet-associated parasite killing observed among the different patients and Plasmodium species, suggest that platelets may control the growth of between 5% and 60% of circulating parasites. Platelet-erythrocyte complexes made up a major proportion of the total platelet pool in patients with malaria and may therefore contribute considerably to malarial thrombocytopenia. Parasite killing was demonstrated to be platelet factor-4-mediated in P knowlesi culture. Collectively, our results indicate that platelets directly contribute to innate control of Plasmodium infection in human malaria.