In recent times, Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) has become a serious threat to public health due to its ability to cause severe infection with fatal outcomes. Its unique biology makes it resilient to control measures that are otherwise effective against P. falciparum. A deeper understanding of P. vivax biology and pathogenesis is, therefore, essential for developing the right control strategies.
Antibodies can be produced as polyclonal (pAb) or monoclonal (mAb) liquid formulations with limited shelf-life. For pAbs, unlike mAbs, only little is known about excipients and lyophilization affecting antibody stability upon reconstitution. We used a model pAb directed against Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) pyridoxal 5′-phosphate synthase 2 (Pdx2) to systemically study effects of bulking agents (amino acids, phosphate buffers, salt solutions), sugar(alcohols), surfactants and protein additions (bovine serum albumin, BSA) in liquid pAb formulations (isolated or in combinations) on the activity to detect the antigen in Pf extracts by Western blots.
After many decades of research, an effective vaccine for malaria is still not available. Most research efforts have focused on identifying a key target antigen and then using powerful adjuvants to generate specific antibodies that can block parasites from entering host cells (hepatocytes, red blood cells). However, the inability to generate sufficiently potent antibody responses has led to significant disappointment with current vaccine programs.
The development of a blood-stage malaria vaccine has largely focused on the subunit approach. However, the limited success of this strategy, mainly due to antigenic polymorphism and the failure to maintain potent parasite-specific immune responses, indicates that other approaches must be considered. Whole parasite (WP) vaccines offer many advantages over sub-units; they represent every antigen on the organism, thus limiting the effects of antigenic polymorphism, and similarly they compensate for individual Immune-Response (Ir) gene-regulated non-responsiveness to any particular antigen. From a development perspective, they negate the need to identify and compare the relative efficacies of individual candidate antigens. WP vaccines induce protective immunity that is largely cell-mediated.
Approximately 120 years ago the link between mosquito and the malaria transmission was discovered. However, even today it remains an open question whether the parasite is able to direct the blood-seeking and feeding behavior of its mosquito vector to maximize the probability of transmission. If the parasite has this ability, could it occur only through the alteration of the vertebrate host’s volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and/or the parasite alteration of the behavior of the infected vector in a manner that favors its transmission?
The scaling-up of malaria control interventions in northern Tanzania has resulted in a decline in malaria prevalence and vector species composition. Despite this achievement, residual malaria transmission remains a concern in the area. The main aim of this study was to investigate malaria vector species composition, parasite infectivity rates, and the presence of insecticide knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations in three sites that have experienced a significant decline in malaria in northern Tanzania. Adult mosquitoes were sampled using light traps in houses and hand-aspirators in cowsheds, whereas the standard dipping method was used for sampling mosquito larvae.
Plasmodium species feature only four to eight nuclear ribosomal units on different chromosomes, which are assumed to evolve independently according to a birth-and-death model, in which new variants originate by duplication and others are deleted throughout time. Moreover, distinct ribosomal units were shown to be expressed during different developmental stages in the vertebrate and mosquito hosts. Here, the 18S rDNA sequences of 32 species of avian haemosporidian parasites are reported and compared to those of simian and rodent Plasmodium species.
This detailed analysis of TSS usage enabled us to define architectural features of plasmodial promoters. We demonstrate that TSS selection and strength are constrained by local nucleotide composition.
Polychromophilus murinus, a malaria-like blood parasite, specialised on temperate-zone bats is a species that is being ‘rediscovered’. This study describes the infection dynamics over time and between host sex and age classes.
The recombinant PvLDH was reactive in lateral flow immunochromatographic assays detecting pan- and vivax-specific LDH. The soluble recombinant PvLDH purified using heterologous expression system can facilitate the generation of vivax LDH-specific monoclonals and the screening of chemical compound libraries for PvLDH inhibitors.