Circulating levels of the adipokine leptin are linked to neuropathology in experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), but its source and regulation mechanism remain unknown. Here, we show that sequestration of infected red blood cells (iRBCs) in white adipose tissue (WAT) microvasculature increased local vascular permeability and leptin production. Mice infected with parasite strains that fail to sequester in WAT displayed reduced leptin production and protection from ECM.
Malaria infection starts with the injection of Plasmodium sporozoites into the host's skin. Sporozoites are motile and move in the skin to find and enter blood vessels to be carried to the liver. Here, we present the first characterization of P. falciparum sporozoites in vivo, analyzing their motility in mouse skin and human skin xenografts and comparing their motility to two rodent malaria species.
Plasmodium cynomolgi is a simian malaria parasite that has been reported as a naturally acquired human infection. The present study aims to systematically review reports on naturally acquired P. cynomolgi in humans, mosquitoes, and macaques to provide relevant data for pre-emptive surveillance and preparation in the event of an outbreak of zoonotic malaria in Southeast Asia.
As a partner antimalarial with an extremely long elimination half-life (~30 days), piperaquine (PQ) is mainly metabolized into a pharmacologically active N-oxide metabolite (PN1) in humans. In the present work, the metabolic retroversion of PQ and PN1, potentially associated with decreased clearance of PQ, was studied. The results showed that interconversion existed for PQ and its metabolite PN1. The N-oxidation of PQ to PN1 was mainly mediated by CYP3A4, and PN1 can rapidly reduce back to PQ via CYP/FMO enzymes. In accordance with these findings, the CYP non-selective inhibitor (1-ABT) or CYP3A4 inhibitor (ketoconazole) inhibited the N-oxidation pathway in liver microsomes (>90%), and the reduction metabolism was inhibited by 1-ABT (>90%) or methimazole (~50%).
Falciparum malaria is clinically heterogeneous and the relative contribution of parasite and host in shaping disease severity remains unclear. We explored the interaction between inflammation and parasite variant surface antigen (VSA) expression, asking whether this relationship underpins the variation observed in controlled human malaria infection (CHMI).
In vector control, it is widely accepted that killing adult mosquitoes would sharply reduce the proportion of old mosquitoes and cause the greatest changes to malaria transmission. The principle is based on a mathematical model of the sporozoite rate (the proportion of infective mosquitoes) that emphasized changes in mosquito age.
Diverse vaccination outcomes and protection levels among different populations pose a serious challenge to the development of an effective malaria vaccine. Co-infections are among many factors associated with immune dysfunction and sub-optimal vaccination outcomes. Chronic, asymptomatic viral infections can contribute to the modulation of vaccine efficacy through various mechanisms. Human Pegivirus-1 (HPgV-1) persists in immune cells thereby potentially modulating immune responses. We investigated whether Pegivirus infection influences vaccine-induced responses and protection in African volunteers undergoing whole P. falciparum sporozoites-based malaria vaccination and controlled human malaria infections (CHMI).
Infections and inflammation lead to a downregulation of drug metabolism and kinetics in experimental animals. These changes in the expression and activities of drug-metabolizing enzymes may affect the effectiveness and safety of pharmacotherapy of infections and inflammatory conditions.
Humans have undergone large migrations over the past hundreds to thousands of years, exposing ourselves to new environments and selective pressures. Yet, evidence of ongoing or recent selection in humans is difficult to detect. Many of these migrations also resulted in gene flow between previously separated populations. These recently admixed populations provide unique opportunities to study rapid evolution in humans.
A thorough understanding of malaria vector species composition and their bionomic characteristics is crucial to devise effective and efficient vector control interventions to reduce malaria transmission. It has been well documented in Africa that malaria interventions in the past decade have resulted in major changes in species composition from endophilic Anopheles gambiae to exophilic An. arabiensis.