The current projects in immuno-haematology have been built on our expertise in the study of host-pathogen interactions in malaria by functional and genetic approaches. The unique virulence of falciparum malaria among the species of human parasites appears to be related to the ability of the parasitised erythrocytes to adhere to specific molecules expressed on vascular endothelium. There has therefore been considerable interest in defining the cellular and molecular adhesive phenotypes of malaria infected erythrocytes. In particular it has been suggested that some adhesive phenotypes may be associated with certain syndromes of severe disease for example coma or cerebral malaria. Until recently it has been thought that sequestration of infected erythrocytes in the peripheral circulation enabled these cells to simply avoid passage through and destruction in the spleen. We have studied the functional and pathological significance of the adhesive phenotypes of malaria infected erythrocytes.