CD4+ T cell functional inhibition (exhaustion) is a hallmark of malaria and correlates with impaired parasite control and infection chronicity. However, the mechanisms of CD4+ T cell exhaustion are still poorly understood. In this study, we show that Ag-experienced (Ag-exp) CD4+ T cell exhaustion during Plasmodium yoelii nonlethal infection occurs alongside the reduction in mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity and restriction in CD4+ T cell glycolytic capacity. We demonstrate that the loss of glycolytic metabolism and mTOR activity within the exhausted Ag-expCD4+ T cell population during infection coincides with reduction in T-bet expression.
Vector control with Bacillus sphaericus (Bs) is an effective way to block the transmission of malaria. However, in practical application of Bs agents, a sublethal dose effect was often caused by insufficient dosing, and it is little known whether the Bs exposure would affect the surviving mosquitoes’ vector capacity to malaria.
To better understand anti-malaria protective immune responses, we examined the cellular mechanisms that govern protective immunity in a murine Plasmodium yoelii 17X NL (PyNL) re-infection model. Initially, we confirmed that immune B cells generated during a primary PyNL infection were largely responsible for protection from a second PyNL infection.
Human malaria vaccine trials have revealed vaccine efficacy but improvement is still needed. In this study, we aimed to re-evaluate vaccination with blood-stage naturally attenuated parasites, as a whole-organism vaccine model against cross-strain and cross-species malaria, to establish a better vaccination strategy. C57BL/6 mice controlled blood-stage Plasmodium yoelii 17XNL (PyNL) within 1 month of infection, while mice with a variety of immunodeficiencies demonstrated different susceptibilities to PyNL, including succumbing to hyperparasitemia.
When confronted with a new pathogen, the humoral immune system works to clear the pathogen and prevent a future infection. How pathogen clearance and memory formation are balanced when Plasmodium yoelii infects mice, a model of human malaria, is unclear. In this issue of Nature Immunology, Vijay et al. suggest that plasmablasts may act as a competitive sink for l-glutamine, thereby constraining the germinal center (GC) response1.
Malaria infection induces complex and diverse immune responses. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying host–parasite interaction, we performed a genetic screen during early (24 h) Plasmodium yoelii infection in mice and identified a large number of interacting host and parasite genes/loci after transspecies expression quantitative trait locus (Ts-eQTL) analysis.
Only a small fraction of the antigens expressed by malaria parasites have been evaluated as vaccine candidates. A successful malaria subunit vaccine will likely require multiple antigenic targets to achieve broad protection with high protective efficacy. Here we describe protective efficacy of a novel antigen, Plasmodium yoelii (Py) E140 (PyE140), evaluated against P. yoelii challenge of mice.
Studies of Plasmodium sporozoites and liver stages require dissection of Anopheles mosquitoes to obtain sporozoites for experiments. Sporozoites from the rodent parasite P. yoelii are routinely used to infect hepatocytes for liver stage culture, but sometimes these cultures become contaminated. Using standard microbiological techniques, a single colony type of Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria was isolated from contaminated cultures.
Emerging data has suggested that Tregs, Th17, Th1 and Th2 are correlated with early immune mechanisms by controlling Plasmodium infection. Plasmodium infection appeared to impair the antigen presentation and maturation of DCs, leading to attenuation of specific cellular immune response ultimately. Hence, in this study, we aim to evaluate the relevance between DCs and Tregs/Th17 populations in the process and outcomes of infection with Plasmodium yoelii 17XL (P.y17XL).
Malaria transmission-blocking vaccines (TBVs) aim to inhibit parasite fertilization or further development within the mosquito midgut. Because TBV-immunized individuals reduce the transmission of malaria parasites to mosquito vectors, TBVs could serve as a promising strategy to eliminate malaria.