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The eye as a window to investigate the CNS microvasculature during a dynamic malaria infection.
Severe malaria, including cerebral malaria (CM), results in the deaths of nearly a million children each year in Africa and at present there are no effective adjunctive therapies to treat CM. Clearly the development of such therapies would benefit from a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying CM. The eye provides a window to visualize important mechanisms in the brain microvasculature, as the retina is an extension of the optic nerve. For the first time, we used high resolution fundoscopy (HRF) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to view the course of a Plasmodium berghei ANKA infection in mice, an experimental model of CM.