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Overlaying COVID-19 mitigation plans on malaria control infrastructures

October 13, 2020 - 13:05 -- Open Access
Rahi M, Baharia RK, Das P, Chhibber-Goel J, Sharma A
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Oct 12:traa108

To counter the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, each country must design sustainable control plans given the inherent disparities in wealth and healthcare systems.

The CLIP-domain serine protease CLIPC9 regulates melanization downstream of SPCLIP1, CLIPA8, and CLIPA28 in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae

October 13, 2020 - 13:03 -- Open Access
Sousa GL, Bishnoi R, Baxter RHG, Povelones M
PLoS Pathog. 2020 Oct 12;16(10):e1008985

The arthropod melanization immune response is activated by extracellular protease cascades predominantly comprised of CLIP-domain serine proteases (CLIP-SPs) and serine protease homologs (CLIP-SPHs). In the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae, the CLIP-SPHs SPCLIP1, CLIPA8, and CLIPA28 form the core of a hierarchical cascade downstream of mosquito complement that is required for microbial melanization. However, our understanding of the regulatory relationship of the CLIP-SPH cascade with the catalytic CLIP-SPs driving melanization is incomplete.

Whole genome sequencing of Plasmodium vivax isolates reveals frequent sequence and structural polymorphisms in erythrocyte binding genes

October 13, 2020 - 13:01 -- Open Access
Ford A, Kepple D, Lo E, et al.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Oct 12;14(10):e0008234

Plasmodium vivax malaria is much less common in Africa than the rest of the world because the parasite relies primarily on the Duffy antigen/chemokine receptor (DARC) to invade human erythrocytes, and the majority of Africans are Duffy negative. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the reporting of P. vivax cases in Africa, with a high number of them being in Duffy negative individuals, potentially indicating P. vivax has evolved an alternative invasion mechanism that can overcome Duffy negativity.

The dimerisable Cre recombinase allows conditional genome editing in the mosquito stages of Plasmodium berghei

October 13, 2020 - 13:00 -- Open Access
Fernandes P, Briquet S, Patarot D, Loubens M, Hoareau-Coudert B, Silvie O
PLoS One. 2020 Oct 12;15(10):e0236616

Asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite are readily amenable to genetic modification via homologous recombination, allowing functional studies of parasite genes that are not essential in this part of the life cycle. However, conventional reverse genetics cannot be applied for the functional analysis of genes that are essential during asexual blood-stage replication.

Not Open Access | Plasmodium falciparum Replication factor C subunit 1 is involved in genotoxic stress response

October 13, 2020 - 12:53 -- NOT Open Access
Sheriff O, Aniweh Y, Lai SK, Loo HL, Sze SK, Preiser PR
Cell Microbiol. 2020 Oct 11:e13277

About half the world's population is at risk of malaria, with Plasmodium falciparum malaria being responsible for the most malaria related deaths globally. Antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine and artemisinin are directed towards the proliferating intra-erythrocytic stages of the parasite, which is responsible for all the clinical symptoms of the disease.

Integrative genomic analysis reveals mechanisms of immune evasion in P. falciparum malaria

October 13, 2020 - 12:48 -- Open Access
Dieng MM, Diawara A, Idaghdour Y, et al.
Nat Commun. 2020 Oct 9;11(1):5093

The mechanisms behind the ability of Plasmodium falciparum to evade host immune system are poorly understood and are a major roadblock in achieving malaria elimination. Here, we use integrative genomic profiling and a longitudinal pediatric cohort in Burkina Faso to demonstrate the role of post-transcriptional regulation in host immune response in malaria.

High prevalence of asymptomatic malaria infections in adults, Ashanti Region, Ghana, 2018

October 13, 2020 - 12:43 -- Open Access
Melina Heinemann, Richard O. Phillips, Christof D. Vinnemeier, Christina C. Rolling, Egbert Tannich and Thierry Rolling
Malaria Journal 2020 19:366, 12 October 2020

Ghana is among the high-burden countries for malaria infections and recently reported a notable increase in malaria cases. While asymptomatic parasitaemia is increasingly recognized as a hurdle for malaria elimination, studies on asymptomatic malaria are scarce, and usually focus on children and on non-falciparum species. The present study aims to assess the prevalence of asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum and non-falciparum infections in Ghanaian adults in the Ashanti region during the high transmission season.

Discovery of FNDR-20123, a histone deacetylase inhibitor for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria

October 13, 2020 - 12:41 -- Open Access
Vijay Potluri, Radha K. Shandil, R. Gavara, Ganesh Sambasivam, Brice Campo, Sergio Wittlin and Shridhar Narayanan
Malaria Journal 2020 19:365, 12 October 2020

Emergence of anti-malarial drug resistance and perpetual increase in malaria incidence necessitates the development of novel anti-malarials. Histone deacetylases (HDAC) has been shown to be a promising target for malaria, despite this, there are no HDAC inhibitors in clinical trials for malaria treatment. This can be attributed to the poor pharmacokinetics, bioavailability and selectivity of the HDAC inhibitors.

Comparison of leucocyte profiles between healthy children and those with asymptomatic and symptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infections

October 13, 2020 - 12:39 -- Open Access
Diana Ahu Prah, Linda Eva Amoah, Matthew P. Gibbins, Yaw Bediako, Aubrey J. Cunnington, Gordon A. Awandare and Julius Clemence R. Hafalla
Malaria Journal 2020 19:364, 9 October 2020

The immune mechanisms that determine whether a Plasmodium falciparum infection would be symptomatic or asymptomatic are not fully understood. Several studies have been carried out to characterize the associations between disease outcomes and leucocyte numbers. However, the majority of these studies have been conducted in adults with acute uncomplicated malaria, despite children being the most vulnerable group.

A comprehensive RNA handling and transcriptomics guide for high-throughput processing of Plasmodium blood-stage samples

October 13, 2020 - 12:36 -- Open Access
Michal Kucharski, Jaishree Tripathi, Sourav Nayak, Lei Zhu, Grennady Wirjanata, Rob W. van der Pluijm, Mehul Dhorda, Arjen Dondorp and Zbynek Bozdech
Malaria Journal 2020 19:363, 9 October 2020

Sequencing technology advancements opened new opportunities to use transcriptomics for studying malaria pathology and epidemiology. Even though in recent years the study of whole parasite transcriptome proved to be essential in understanding parasite biology there is no compiled up-to-date reference protocol for the efficient generation of transcriptome data from growing number of samples. Here, a comprehensive methodology on how to preserve, extract, amplify, and sequence full-length mRNA transcripts from Plasmodium-infected blood samples is presented that can be fully streamlined for high-throughput studies.


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