Mixed Plasmodium malaria infections can lead to severe malaria. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to explore the prevalence of severe mixed Plasmodium malaria infection and to compare it with the prevalence of severe P. falciparum malaria mono-infection across the included studies. Original English-language research articles from PubMed, Scopus, and ISI Web of Science were identified and screened.
Widespread resistance against antimalarial drugs thwarts current efforts for controlling the disease and urges the discovery of new effective treatments. Drug repositioning is increasingly becoming an attractive strategy since it can reduce costs, risks and time-to-market. Herein we have used this strategy to identify novel antimalarial hits. We performed a comparative in silico chemogenomics approach to select Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax proteins as potential drug targets and analyzed these using a computer-assisted drug repositioning pipeline to identify approved drugs with potential antimalarial activity. Among seven drugs identified as promising antimalarial candidates, the anthracycline epirubicin was selected for further experimental validation.
The current context of malaria elimination requires urgent development and implementation of highly sensitive and specific methods for prompt detection and treatment of malaria parasites. Such methods should overcome current delays in diagnosis, allow the detection of low-density infections and address the difficulties in accessing remote endemic communities. In this study, we assessed the performance of the RealAmp and malachite-green loop mediated isothermal amplification (MG-LAMP) methodologies, using microscopy and conventional nested-PCR as reference techniques.
The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, contains an essential plastid called the apicoplast. Most apicoplast proteins are encoded by the nuclear genome and it is unclear how the plastid proteome is regulated. Here, we study an apicoplast-localized caseinolytic-protease (Clp) system and how it regulates organelle proteostasis. Using null and conditional mutants, we demonstrate that the P. falciparum Clp protease (PfClpP) has robust enzymatic activity that is essential for apicoplast biogenesis.
Upon Plasmodium falciparum merozoites exposure to low [K+] environment in blood plasma, there is escalation of cytosolic [Ca2+] which activates Ca2+-Dependent Protein Kinase 1 (CDPK1), a signaling hub of intra-erythrocytic proliferative stages of parasite. Given its high abundance and multidimensional attributes in parasite life-cycle, this is a lucrative target for desiging antimalarials.
Quinoline-based scaffolds have been the mainstay of antimalarial drugs, including many artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), over the history of modern drug development. Although much progress has been made in the search for novel antimalarial scaffolds, it may be that quinolines will remain useful, especially if very potent compounds from this class are discovered.
Resistance to the current first-line antimalarials threatens the control of malaria caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum and underscores the urgent need for new drugs with novel modes of action.
Despite a significant decline in morbidity and mortality over the last two decades, in 2018 there were 228 million reported cases of malaria and 405,000 malaria-related deaths. Artemisinin, the cornerstone of artemisinin-based combination therapies, is the most potent drug in the antimalarial armamentarium against falciparum malaria. Heme-mediated activation of artemisinin and its derivatives results in widespread parasite protein alkylation, which is thought to lead to parasite death.
Multiplicity of infection (MOI) and genetic diversity of P. falciparum infections are important surrogate indicators for assessing malaria transmission intensity in different regions of endemicity. Determination of MOI and diversity of P. falciparum among asymptomatic carriers will enhance our understanding of parasite biology and transmission to mosquito vectors.
For malaria elimination efforts it is important to better understand parasite transmission to mosquitoes and develop models for early-clinical evaluation of transmission-blocking interventions.