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plasmodium parasites

Anthropogenic landscape decreases mosquito biodiversity and drives malaria vector proliferation in the Amazon rainforest

January 20, 2021 - 07:14 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Chaves LSM, Bergo ES, Conn JE, Laporta GZ, Prist PR, Sallum MAM
Reference: 
PLoS One. 2021 Jan 14;16(1):e0245087

Inter-relationships among mosquito vectors, Plasmodium parasites, human ecology, and biotic and abiotic factors, drive malaria risk. Specifically, rural landscapes shaped by human activities have a great potential to increase the abundance of malaria vectors, putting many vulnerable people at risk. Understanding at which point the abundance of vectors increases in the landscape can help to design policies and interventions for effective and sustainable control. Using a dataset of adult female mosquitoes collected at 79 sites in malaria endemic areas in the Brazilian Amazon, this study aimed to (1) verify the association among forest cover percentage (PLAND), forest edge density (ED), and variation in mosquito diversity; and to (2) test the hypothesis of an association between landscape structure (i.e., PLAND and ED) and Nyssorhynchus darlingi (Root) dominance.

Control of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes using gene drives

December 30, 2020 - 13:35 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Nolan T
Reference: 
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2021 Feb 15;376(1818):20190803

Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that can be re-designed to invade a population and they hold tremendous potential for the control of mosquitoes that transmit disease. Much progress has been made recently in demonstrating proof of principle for gene drives able to suppress populations of malarial mosquitoes, or to make them refractory to the Plasmodium parasites they transmit.

Mammalian malaria: Remembering the Alamo

December 2, 2020 - 08:51 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Sutherland CJ
Reference: 
Virulence. 2020 Dec;11(1):945-946

Much attention has been directed toward a recent slowing of progress in malaria control worldwide, with particular emphasis on growing evidence which suggests that the twin pillars of malaria reduction – chemotherapy and anti-mosquito measures – are both less effective than previously. This special issue of Virulence gathers papers with a different perspective – understanding the response of the mammalian host to infection with the Plasmodium parasite.

Balancing in a black box: Potential immunomodulatory roles for TGF-beta signaling during blood-stage malaria

December 2, 2020 - 08:04 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Drewry LL, Harty JT
Reference: 
Virulence. 2020 Dec;11(1):159-169

Malarial disease caused by Plasmodium parasites challenges the mammalian immune system with a delicate balancing act. Robust inflammatory responses are required to control parasite replication within red blood cells, which if unchecked, can lead to severe anemia and fatality. However, the same inflammatory response that controls parasite replication is also associated with immunopathology and severe disease, as is exemplified by cerebral malaria.

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

October 7, 2020 - 15:58 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Meister TR, Tang Y, Pulkoski-Gross MJ, Yeh E
Reference: 
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
Author(s): 
Moyo P, Mugumbate G, Eloff JN, Louw AI, Maharaj VJ, Birkholtz LM
Reference: 
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
Author(s): 
De Niz M, Kehrer J, Brancucci NMB, Moalli F, Reynaud EG, Stein JV, Frischknecht F
Reference: 
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
Author(s): 
Rintis Noviyanti, Olivo Miotto, Fatema Tuj Johora, et al.
Reference: 
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
Author(s): 
Skwarczynski M, Chandrudu S, Rigau-Planella B, Islam MT, Cheong YS, Liu G, Wang X, Toth I, Hussein WM
Reference: 
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.

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