During its intraerythrocytic life cycle, the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum supplements its nutritional requirements by scavenging substrates from the plasma through the new permeability pathways (NPPs) installed in the red blood cell (RBC) membrane. Parasite proteins of the RhopH complex: CLAG3, RhopH2, RhopH3, have been implicated in NPP activity.
red blood cell
Accurate and early diagnosis is critical to proper malaria treatment and hence death prevention. Several computer vision technologies have emerged in recent years as alternatives to traditional microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests. In this work, we used a deep learning model called Mask R-CNN that is trained on uninfected and Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.
Malaria becomes very dangerous when it affects the brain. Cerebral malaria is caused when red blood cells, infected by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, accumulate within tiny brain blood vessels, blocking blood flow (White et al., 2013).
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum relies on lipids to survive; this makes its lipid metabolism an attractive drug target. The lipid phosphatidylserine (PS) is usually confined to the inner leaflet of the red blood cell membrane (RBC) bilayer; however, some studies suggest that infection with the intracellular parasite results in the presence of this lipid in the RBC membrane outer leaflet, where it could act as a recognition signal to phagocytes. Here, we used fluorescent lipid analogues and probes to investigate the enzymatic reactions responsible for maintaining asymmetry between membrane leaflets, and found that in parasitised RBCs the maintenance of membrane asymmetry was partly disrupted, and PS was increased in the outer leaflet.
Red blood cell (RBC) invasion by malaria merozoites involves formation of a parasitophorous vacuole into which the parasite moves. The vacuole membrane seals and pinches off behind the parasite through an unknown mechanism, enclosing the parasite within the RBC.
Malaria elimination is still pending on the development of novel tools that rely on a deep understanding of parasite biology. Proteins of all living cells undergo a myriad number of posttranslational modifications (PTMs) that are critical to multifarious life processes. An extensive proteome-wide dissection revealed a fine PTM map of most proteins in both Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of severe malaria, and the infected red blood cells.
Invasion of human red blood cells (RBCs) by Plasmodium parasites is a crucial yet poorly characterised phenotype. Two-color flow cytometry (2cFCM) promises to be a very sensitive and high throughput method for phenotyping parasite invasion. However, current protocols require high (~1.0%) parasitemia for assay set-up and need to be adapted for low parasitemia samples, which are becoming increasingly common in low transmission settings.
All symptoms of malaria disease are associated with the asexual blood stages of development, involving cycles of red blood cell (RBC) invasion and egress by the Plasmodium spp. merozoite. Merozoite invasion is rapid and is actively powered by a parasite actomyosin motor. The current accepted model for actomyosin force generation envisages arrays of parasite myosins, pushing against short actin filaments connected to the external milieu that drive the merozoite forwards into the RBC.
We present two conundra in the biology of intraerythrocytic malaria parasite: how an apparent open parasitophorous duct provide direct access of only a select set of serum proteins to the parasitophorous vacuole, and how proteases mediate membrane lysis to allow merozoite egress.
Malaria has had a major effect on the human genome, with many protective polymorphisms-such as the sickle-cell trait-having been selected to high frequencies in malaria-endemic regions1,2. The blood group variant Dantu provides 74% protection against all forms of severe malaria in homozygous individuals3-5, a similar degree of protection to that afforded by the sickle-cell trait and considerably greater than that offered by the best malaria vaccine.