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NOT Open Access | Plasmodium asexual growth and sexual development in the haematopoietic niche of the host

January 14, 2020 - 09:39 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Venugopal K, Hentzschel F, Valkiūnas G, Marti M
Reference: 
Nature Reviews Microbiology (2020), Jan 9

Plasmodium spp. parasites are the causative agents of malaria in humans and animals, and they are exceptionally diverse in their morphology and life cycles. They grow and develop in a wide range of host environments, both within blood-feeding mosquitoes, their definitive hosts, and in vertebrates, which are intermediate hosts. This diversity is testament to their exceptional adaptability and poses a major challenge for developing effective strategies to reduce the disease burden and transmission. Following one asexual amplification cycle in the liver, parasites reach high burdens by rounds of asexual replication within red blood cells. A few of these blood-stage parasites make a developmental switch into the sexual stage (or gametocyte), which is essential for transmission.

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