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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 373086, 9 pages
Research Article

In Vivo Hemozoin Kinetics after Clearance of Plasmodium berghei Infection in Mice

Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-028 Lisbon, Portugal

Received 30 December 2011; Accepted 14 February 2012

Academic Editor: Polrat Wilairatana

Copyright © 2012 Rosangela Frita et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hemozoin (Hz) is released into the blood stream after rupture of infected red blood cells (iRBCs) at the end of each parasite replication cycle. This free Hz is ingested by circulating and resident phagocytes. The presence of Hz in tissues after clearance of infection has been previously reported. Still, little is known about the kinetics of Hz in vivo, during and after Plasmodium infection. It is particularly important to understand Hz kinetics after malaria infections as it has been reported that Hz is associated with impairment of immune functions, including possible consequences for coinfections. Indeed, if Hz remains biologically active for prolonged periods of time inside immunocompetent cells, the potential consequences of such accumulation and presence to the immune system should be clarified. Here, using several independent methods to assess the presence of Hz, we report the long-term in vivo kinetics of Hz in diverse organs in a murine model of malaria infection.