The knob-associated histidine-rich protein (KAHRP) plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of Plasmodium falciparum malaria by forming membrane protrusions in infected erythrocytes, which anchor parasite-encoded adhesins to the membrane skeleton. The resulting sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes in the microvasculature leads to severe disease. Despite KAHRP being an important virulence factor, its physical location within the membrane skeleton is still debated, as is its function in knob formation.
Plasmodium falciparum malaria causes morbidity and mortality in African children with sickle cell anemia (SCA), but comparisons of host responses to P. falciparum between children with SCA (HbSS) and HbAA are limited. We assessed parasite biomass and plasma markers of inflammation and endothelial activation in children with HbAA (n=208) or HbSS (n=22) who presented with severe anemia and P. falciparum parasitemia to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Genotyping was performed at study completion.
The spread of Plasmodium falciparum resistant parasites remains one of the major challenges for malaria control and elimination in Sub Saharan Africa. Monitoring of molecular markers conferring resistance to different antimalarials is important to track the spread of resistant parasites and to optimize the therapeutic lifespan of current drugs. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of known mutations in the drug resistance genes Pfcrt, Pfmdr1, Pfdhfr and Pfdhps in two different epidemiological settings in Cameroon. Dried blood spots collected in 2018 and 2019 from asymptomatic individuals were used for DNA extraction and then the Plasmodium infection status was determined byPCR.
Antibody-mediated opsonic phagocytosis (OP) of Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage merozoites has been associated with protection against malaria. However, the precise contribution of different peripheral blood phagocytes in the OP mechanism remains unknown. Here, we developed an in vitro OP assay using peripheral blood leukocytes that allowed us to quantify the contribution of each phagocytic cell type in the OP of merozoites.
Manual microscopic inspection of fixed and stained blood smears has remained the gold standard for Plasmodium parasitemia analysis for over a century. Unfortunately, smear preparation consumes time and reagents, while manual microscopy is skill-dependent and labor-intensive.
The pathology of Plasmodium falciparum malaria is largely defined by the cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes to the microvascular endothelial lining. The complexity of the endothelial surface and the large range of interactions available for the infected erythrocyte via parasite-encoded adhesins makes analysis of critical contributions during cytoadherence challenging to define.
In Southeast Asia, mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum k13 gene have led to delayed parasite clearance and treatment failures in malaria patients receiving artemisinin combination therapies. Until recently, relevant k13 mutations had been mostly absent from Africa.
Immunoglobulin (Ig)A antibodies play a critical role in protection against mucosal pathogens. However, the role of serum IgA in immunity to nonmucosal pathogens, such as Plasmodium falciparum, is poorly characterized, despite being the second most abundant isotype in blood after IgG. Here, we investigated the circulating IgA response in humans to P. falciparum sporozoites that are injected into the skin by mosquitoes and migrate to the liver via the bloodstream to initiate malaria infection. We found that circulating IgA was induced in three independent sporozoite-exposed cohorts: individuals living in an endemic region in Mali, malaria-naïve individuals immunized intravenously with three large doses of irradiated sporozoites, and malaria-naïve individuals exposed to a single controlled mosquito bite infection.
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), the World Health Organization-recommended first-line therapy for uncomplicated falciparum malaria, has led to significant decreases in malaria-associated morbidity and mortality in the past two decades. Decreased therapeutic efficacy of artemisinins, the cornerstone of ACTs, is threatening the gains made against this disease.
Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) is a leading causative agent of malaria, an infectious disease that can be fatal. Unfortunately, control measures are becoming less effective over time. A vaccine is needed to effectively control malaria and lead towards the total elimination of the disease. There have been multiple attempts to develop a vaccine, but to date, none have been certified as appropriate for wide-scale use. In this study, an immunoinformatics method is presented to design a multi-epitope vaccine construct predicted to be effective against P. falciparum malaria.