Serpentine receptors (SRs) are transmembrane proteins generally acting as mediators to facilitate the communication between a cell and its environment. At least six putative SR-like proteins are encoded in the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
P. vivax-infected Retics (iRetics) express human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I), are recognized by CD8+ T cells and killed by granulysin (GNLY) and granzymes. However, how Plasmodium infection induces MHC-I expression on Retics is unknown. In addition, whether GNLY helps control Plasmodium infection in vivo has not been studied. Here, we examine these questions using rodent infection with the P. yoelii 17XNL strain, which has tropism for Retics.
Complex experimental studies of vertebrate host, vector, and parasite interactions are essential in understanding virulence, but are difficult or impossible to conduct if vector species are unknown. Subinoculation of erythrocytic meronts of avian malarial parasites into susceptible hosts can avoid this problem, but this approach omits early exoerythrocytic stages, e.g. cryptozoites and metacryptozoites, that normally develop from sporozoites.
The search for antimalarial chemotypes with modes of action unrelated to existing drugs has intensified with the recent failure of first-line therapies across Southeast Asia. Here, we show that the trisubstituted imidazole MMV030084 potently inhibits hepatocyte invasion by Plasmodium sporozoites, merozoite egress from asexual blood stage schizonts, and male gamete exflagellation.
Due to the lack of efficiency to control malaria elicited by sub-unit vaccine preparations, vaccination with live-attenuated Plasmodium parasite as reported 70 years ago with irradiated sporozoites regained recently a significant interest. The complex life cycle of the parasite and the different stages of development between mammal host and anopheles do not help to propose an easy vaccine strategy.
Eradication of Plasmodium falciparum malaria will likely require a multivalent vaccine, but the development of a highly efficacious subunit-based formulation has been challenging. We previously showed that production and immunogenicity of two leading vaccine targets, PfMSP119 (blood-stage) and Pfs25 (sexual stage), could be enhanced upon genetic fusion to merozoite surface protein 8 (PfMSP8). Here, we sought to optimize a Pfs25-based formulation for use in combination with rPfMSP1/8 with the goal of maintaining the immunogenicity of each subunit.
With emerging resistance to frontline treatments, it is vital that new drugs are identified to target Plasmodium falciparum. One of the most critical processes during the parasites’ asexual lifecycle is the invasion and subsequent egress of red blood cells (RBCs). Many unique parasite ligands, receptors and enzymes are employed during egress and invasion that are essential for parasite proliferation and survival, therefore making these processes druggable targets.