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Duffy Blood Group System and the malaria adaptation process in humans.

Malaria is an acute infectious disease caused by the protozoa of the genus Plasmodium. The antigens of the Duffy Blood Group System, in addition to incompatibilities in transfusions and hemolytic disease of the newborn, are of great interest in medicine due to their association with the invasion of red blood cells by the parasite Plasmodium vivax. For invasions to occur an interaction between the parasites and antigens of the Duffy Blood Group System is necessary. In Caucasians six antigens are produced by the Duffy locus (Fya, Fyb, F3, F4, F5 and F6). It has been observed that Fy(a-b-) individuals are resistant to Plasmodium knowlesi and P. vivax infection, because the invasion requires at least one of these antigens. The P. vivax Duffy Binding Protein (PvDBP) is functionally important in the invasion process of these parasites in Duffy / DARC positive humans. The proteins or fractions may be considered, therefore, an important and potential inoculum to be used in immunization against malaria.

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