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Retinal Microcirculation Dynamics During an Active Malarial Infection [Poster].
A better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cerebral malaria (CM) can lead to improved therapies and vaccines affecting millions of children in endemic regions. Microcirculation in the retinal vasculature provides a window to image dynamic changes taking place in the central nervous system during CM disease progression. We have introduced a new video microscopy imaging modality using high resolution fundoscopy (HRF) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to visualize the course of a Plasmodium berghei infection in a murine model of CM. Using brightfield fundoscopy reveals flowing hyperreflective clumps that are confined to the retinal vasculature. Infected mice are distinguished from uninfected controls based on presence of hyperreflective clumps. Fundoscopy shows a CMspecific increase in the number of GFP positive immune cells (monocytes, macrophages, granulocytes) in the retina of LysMGFP mice as the infection progressed.