Plasmodium parasites, the causal agents of malaria, result in more than 1 million deaths annually. Plasmodium are unicellular eukaryotes with small ~23 Mb genomes encoding ~5200 protein-coding genes.
Malaria, caused by the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium, threatens 40% of the world's population. Transmission between vertebrate and insect hosts depends on the sexual stages of the life-cycle.
Host macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of malaria infections. Several Plasmodium parasite-derived MIFs were identified to have the potential to regulate host immune response.
The extracts and 12 sesquiterpenes obtained from the East African medicinal plant Warburgia ugandensis Sprague (Canellaceae) were assessed for their antiplasmodial activity against the chloroquine-sensitive (3D7) and chloroquine-resistant (K1) strains of Plasmodium falciparum and antitrypanosomal activity against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense.
Malaria parasites contain a complete glutathione (GSH) redox system, and several enzymes of this system are considered potential targets for antimalarial drugs.
During its 48 h asexual reproduction cycle, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum ingests and digests hemoglobin in excess of its metabolic requirements and causes major changes in the homeostasis of the host red blood cell (RBC).
A central hub of carbon metabolism is the tricarboxylic acid cycle1, which serves to connect the processes of glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, respiration, amino acid synthesis and other biosynthetic pathways.
Apicomplexan parasites are obligate intracellular parasites that infect a variety of hosts, causing significant diseases in livestock and humans. The invasive forms of the parasites invade their host cells by gliding motility, an active process driven by parasite adhesion proteins and molecular motors.
These studies indicate that current vector control methods alone cannot ultimately eradicate malaria because no intervention sustained an annual EIR less than one. While researchers develop new tools, integrated vector management may make the greatest impact on malaria transmission. There are many gaps in the entomological malaria literature and recommendations for future research are provided.
The molecular biology of the clinically silent pre-erythrocytic stages of mammalian Plasmodium spp, composed of both the sporozoite and liver stages, has remained largely uncharacterized. Improved understanding of the biological processes required for progression through the pre-erythrocytic stages could lead to the identification of novel drug and vaccine targets.