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plasmodium parasites

CaaX-Like Protease of Cyanobacterial Origin Is Required for Complex Plastid Biogenesis in Malaria Parasites

October 7, 2020 - 15:58 -- Open Access
Meister TR, Tang Y, Pulkoski-Gross MJ, Yeh E
mBio. 2020 Oct 6;11(5):e01492-20

Plasmodium parasites and related apicomplexans contain an essential "complex plastid" organelle of secondary endosymbiotic origin, the apicoplast. Biogenesis of this complex plastid poses a unique challenge requiring evolution of new cellular machinery. We previously conducted a mutagenesis screen for essential apicoplast biogenesis genes to discover organellar pathways with evolutionary and biomedical significance.

Natural Products: A Potential Source of Malaria Transmission Blocking Drugs

September 23, 2020 - 09:00 -- Open Access
Moyo P, Mugumbate G, Eloff JN, Louw AI, Maharaj VJ, Birkholtz LM
Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020 Sep 17;13(9):E251

The ability to block human-to-mosquito and mosquito-to-human transmission of Plasmodium parasites is fundamental to accomplish the ambitious goal of malaria elimination. The WHO currently recommends only primaquine as a transmission-blocking drug but its use is severely restricted by toxicity in some populations. New, safe and clinically effective transmission-blocking drugs therefore need to be discovered.

3D imaging of undissected optically cleared Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and midguts infected with Plasmodium parasites

September 17, 2020 - 13:47 -- Open Access
De Niz M, Kehrer J, Brancucci NMB, Moalli F, Reynaud EG, Stein JV, Frischknecht F
PLoS One. 2020 Sep 16;15(9):e0238134

Malaria is a life-threatening disease, caused by Apicomplexan parasites of the Plasmodium genus. The Anopheles mosquito is necessary for the sexual replication of these parasites and for their transmission to vertebrate hosts, including humans. Imaging of the parasite within the insect vector has been attempted using multiple microscopy methods, most of which are hampered by the presence of the light scattering opaque cuticle of the mosquito.

Implementing parasite genotyping into national surveillance frameworks: feedback from control programmes and researchers in the Asia–Pacific region

July 28, 2020 - 14:12 -- Open Access
Rintis Noviyanti, Olivo Miotto, Fatema Tuj Johora, et al.
Malaria Journal 2020 19:271, 27 July 2020

The Asia–Pacific region faces formidable challenges in achieving malaria elimination by the proposed target in 2030. Molecular surveillance of Plasmodium parasites can provide important information on malaria transmission and adaptation, which can inform national malaria control programmes (NMCPs) in decision-making processes. In November 2019 a parasite genotyping workshop was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, to review molecular approaches for parasite surveillance and explore ways in which these tools can be integrated into public health systems and inform policy.

Progress in the Development of Subunit Vaccines against Malaria

July 15, 2020 - 14:55 -- Open Access
Skwarczynski M, Chandrudu S, Rigau-Planella B, Islam MT, Cheong YS, Liu G, Wang X, Toth I, Hussein WM
Vaccines (Basel). 2020 Jul 10;8(3):E373

Malaria is a life-threatening disease and one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in the human population. The disease also results in a major socio-economic burden. The rapid spread of malaria epidemics in developing countries is exacerbated by the rise in drug-resistant parasites and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. At present, malaria research is focused mainly on the development of drugs with increased therapeutic effects against Plasmodium parasites.

NOT Open Access | Molecular and pathological investigations of Plasmodium parasites infecting striped forest whiptail lizards (Kentropyx calcarata) in Brazil

June 23, 2020 - 15:23 -- NOT Open Access
Ferreira FC, Alves LGM, Jager GB, Franzini LD, Mesquita DO, Díaz-Delgado J, Catão-Dias JL, Braga ÉM
Parasitol Res. 2020 Jun 17

The genus Plasmodium (Plasmodiidae) ranks among the most widespread intracellular protozoan parasites affecting a wide range of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Little information is available about lizard malaria parasites in South America, and the pathological features of the resulting parasitoses remain unknown or poorly understood. To partially fill in these gaps, we conducted blood smear analysis, molecular detection, and phylogenetic and pathological investigations in lizards inhabiting an Atlantic Forest fragment in Paraiba, Brazil.

Deep Learning Based Automatic Malaria Parasite Detection from Blood Smear and its Smartphone Based Application

May 25, 2020 - 07:58 -- Open Access
Fuhad KMF, Tuba JF, Sarker MRA, Momen S, Mohammed N, Rahman T
Diagnostics (Basel). 2020 May 20; 10(5):E329

Malaria is a life-threatening disease that is spread by the Plasmodium parasites. It is detected by trained microscopists who analyze microscopic blood smear images. Modern deep learning techniques may be used to do this analysis automatically. The need for the trained personnel can be greatly reduced with the development of an automatic accurate and efficient model.

Cholesterol-dependent enrichment of understudied erythrocytic stages of human Plasmodium parasites

March 18, 2020 - 14:34 -- Open Access
Brown AC, Moore CC, Guler JL
Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 12;10(1):4591

For intracellular pathogens, the host cell provides needed protection and nutrients. A major challenge of intracellular parasite research is collection of high parasite numbers separated from host contamination. This situation is exemplified by the malaria parasite, which spends a substantial part of its life cycle inside erythrocytes as rings, trophozoites, and schizonts, before egress and reinvasion.

NOT Open Access | Molecular Design and Synthesis of Ivermectin Hybrids Targeting Hepatic and Erythrocytic Stages of Plasmodium Parasites

February 17, 2020 - 12:07 -- NOT Open Access
Singh L, Fontinha D, Francisco D, Mendes AM, Prudêncio M, Singh K
J Med Chem. 2020 Feb 3.

Ivermectin is a powerful endectocide, which reduces the incidence of vector-borne diseases. Besides its strong insecticidal effect on mosquito vectors of the disease, ivermectin inhibits Plasmodium falciparum sporogonic and blood stage development and impairs Plasmodium berghei development inside hepatocytes, both in vitro and in vivo.

Nedd8 hydrolysis by UCH proteases in Plasmodium parasites

November 5, 2019 - 12:51 -- Open Access
Maryia Karpiyevich, Sophie Adjalley, Marco Mol, David B. Ascher, Bethany Mason, Gerbrand J. van der Heden van Noort, Heike Laman, Huib Ovaa, Marcus C. S. Lee, Katerina Artavanis-Tsakonas
PLoS Pathog 15(10): e1008086.

Plasmodium parasites are the causative agents of malaria, a disease with wide public health repercussions. Increasing drug resistance and the absence of a vaccine make finding new chemotherapeutic strategies imperative.

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