The role of the spleen in malaria


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The spleen is a complex organ that is perfectly adapted to selectively filtering and destroying senescent red blood cells (RBCs), infectious microorganisms and Plasmodium-parasitized RBCs. Infection by malaria is the most common cause of spleen rupture and splenomegaly, albeit variably, a landmark of malaria infection. Here, the role of the spleen in malaria is reviewed with special emphasis in lessons learned from human infections and mouse models.