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.
Assessing genetic relatedness of Plasmodium falciparum genotypes is a key component of antimalarial efficacy trials. Previous methods have focused on determining a priori definitions of the level of genetic similarity sufficient to classify two infections as sharing the same strain. However, factors such as mixed-strain infections, allelic suppression, imprecise typing methods, and heterozygosity complicate comparisons of apicomplexan genotypes. Here, we introduce a novel method for nonparametric statistical testing of relatedness for P. falciparum parasites.
In areas where malaria remains entrenched, novel transmission-reducing interventions are essential for malaria elimination. We report the impact screening-and-treatment of asymptomatic Malawian schoolchildren (n = 364 in the rainy season and 341 in the dry season) had on gametocyte-the parasite stage responsible for human-to-mosquito transmission-carriage.
Human erythrocytes are indispensable for Plasmodium falciparum development. Unlike other eukaryotic cells, there is no existing erythroid cell line capable of supporting long-term P. falciparum in vitro experiments. Consequently, invasion phenotyping experiments rely on erythrocytes of different individuals. However, the contribution of the erythrocytes variation in influencing invasion rates remains unknown, which represents a challenge for conducting large-scale comparative studies.
Plasmodium falciparum harbors group 1 and group 2 chaperonin systems to mediate the folding of cellular proteins in different cellular locations. Two distinct group 1 chaperonins operate in the organelles of mitochondria and apicoplasts, while group 2 chaperonins function in the cytosol. No structural information has been reported for any chaperonin from plasmodium.
Targeting Falcipain-2 (FP2) for the development of antimalarials is a promising and established concept in antimalarial drug discovery and development. FP2, a member of papain-family cysteine protease of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum holds an important role in hemoglobin degradation pathway. A new series of quinoline carboxamide-based compounds was designed, synthesized and evaluated for antimalarial activity.
The most advanced P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein-based malaria vaccine, RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S), confers partial protection but with antibody titers that wane relatively rapidly, highlighting the need to elicit more potent and durable antibody responses. Here, we elucidate crystal structures, binding affinities and kinetics, and in vivo protection of eight anti-NANP antibodies derived from an RTS,S phase 2a trial and encoded by three different heavy-chain germline genes.
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum relies on lipids to survive; this makes its lipid metabolism an attractive drug target. The lipid phosphatidylserine (PS) is usually confined to the inner leaflet of the red blood cell membrane (RBC) bilayer; however, some studies suggest that infection with the intracellular parasite results in the presence of this lipid in the RBC membrane outer leaflet, where it could act as a recognition signal to phagocytes. Here, we used fluorescent lipid analogues and probes to investigate the enzymatic reactions responsible for maintaining asymmetry between membrane leaflets, and found that in parasitised RBCs the maintenance of membrane asymmetry was partly disrupted, and PS was increased in the outer leaflet.
Newly emerged mutations within the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) can confer piperaquine resistance in the absence of amplified plasmepsin II (pfpm2). In this study, we estimated the prevalence of co-circulating piperaquine resistance mutations in P. falciparum isolates collected in northern Cambodia from 2009-2017.