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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.