The transitions between developmental stages are critical points in the Plasmodium life cycle. The development of Plasmodium in the livers of their mammalian hosts bridges malaria transmission and the onset of clinical symptoms elicited by red blood cell infection. The egress of Plasmodium parasites from the liver must be a carefully orchestrated process to ensure a successful switch to the blood stage of infection.
Passage of malaria parasites through mosquitoes involves multiple developmental transitions, from gametocytes that are ingested with the blood meal, through to sporozoites that are transmitted by insect bite to the host. During the transformation from gametocyte to oocyst, the parasite forms a unique transient organelle named the crystalloid, which is involved in sporozoite formation. In Plasmodium berghei, a complex of six LCCL domain-containing proteins (LAPs) reside in the crystalloid and are required for its biogenesis.
Although Plasmodium parasites and intestinal helminths share common endemic areas, the mechanisms of these co-infections on the host immune response remain not fully understood. Liver involvement in severe Plasmodium falciparum infections is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. However, the effect of pre-existing Trichinella spiralis infection on the immune response and liver immune-pathogenesis in P. berghei ANKA (PbANKA)-infected mice needs to be elucidated.
Plasmodium, the malaria parasite, undergoes a complex life cycle alternating between a vertebrate host and a mosquito vector of the genus Anopheles. In red blood cells of the vertebrate host, Plasmodium multiplies asexually or differentiates into gamete precursors, the male and female gametocytes, responsible for parasite transmission. Sexual stage maturation occurs in the midgut of the mosquito vector, where male and female gametes egress from the host erythrocytes to fuse and form a zygote.
Invasion of hepatocytes by Plasmodium sporozoites initiates the pre-erythrocytic step of a malaria infection. Subsequent development of the parasite within hepatocytes and exit from them is essential for starting the disease-causing erythrocytic cycle. Identification of signaling pathways that operate in pre-erythrocytic stages provides insight into a critical step of infection and potential targets for chemoprotection from malaria.
Malaria is one of the most critical global infectious diseases. Severe systemic inflammatory diseases, such as cerebral malaria, lead to the development of cognitive and behavioral alterations, such as learning disabilities and loss of memory capacity, as well as increased anxiety and depression. The consequences are profound and usually contribute to reduce the patient's quality of life. There are no therapies to treat the neurological sequelae of cerebral malaria. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) may be an alternative, since they have been used as therapy for neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic lesions of the central nervous system. So far, no study has investigated the effects of MSC therapy on the blood-brain barrier, leukocyte rolling and adherence in the brain, and depression like-behavior in experimental cerebral malaria.
Cerebral malaria (CM) is the deadliest form of severe Plasmodium infections. Currently, we have limited understanding of the mechanisms by which Plasmodium parasites induce CM. The mouse model of CM, experimental CM (ECM), induced by infection with the rodent parasite, Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbANKA) has been extensively used to study the pathophysiology of CM. Recent genomic analyses revealed that the coding regions of PbANKA and the closely related Plasmodium berghei NK65 (PbNK65), that does not cause ECM, differ in only 21 single nucleotide polymorphysims (SNPs).
Malaria is caused by infection with Plasmodium parasites and is a major public health concern. The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a promising technology, but still has technical problems, such as low efficiency and unexpected recombination. Here, we solved these problems by transfecting Cas9-expressing parasites with linear donor templates.
Emerging evidence started to delineate multiple layers of memory B cells, with distinct effector functions during recall responses. Whereas most studies examining long-lived memory B cell responses have focussed on the IgG+ memory B cell compartment, IgM+ memory B cells have only recently started to receive attention. It has been proposed that unlike IgG+ memory B cells, which differentiate into antibody-secreting plasma cells upon antigen re-encounter, IgM+ memory B cells might have the additional capacity to establish secondary germinal centre (GC) responses.
The circumsporozoite protein (CSP) builds up the surface coat of sporozoites and is the leading malaria pre-erythrocytic-stage vaccine candidate. CSP has been shown to induce robust CD8+ T cell responses that are capable of eliminating developing parasites in hepatocytes resulting in protective immunity. In this study, we characterised the importance of the immunodominant CSP-derived epitope, SYIPSAEKI, of Plasmodium berghei in both sporozoite- and vaccine-induced protection in murine infection models.