Plasmodium falciparum is the main causative agent of human malaria. During the intraerythrocytic development cycle, the P. falciparum morphology changes dramatically from circulating young rings to sequestered mature trophozoites and schizonts. Sequestered forms contribute to the pathophysiology of severe malaria as the infected erythrocytes obstruct the microvascular flow in deep organs and induce local inflammation. However, the sequestration mechanism limits the access to the corresponding parasitic form in the clinical samples from patients infected with P. falciparum. To complement this deficiency, we aimed to evaluate the relevance of mRNA study as a proxy of protein expression in sequestered parasites.
In the absence of a method to culture Plasmodium vivax, the only way to source parasites is ex vivo. This hampers many aspects of P. vivax research. This study aimed to assess the safety of apheresis, a method for selective removal of specific components of blood as a means of extracting and concentrating P. vivax parasites.
Haem is a key metabolic factor in the life cycle of the malaria parasite. In the blood stage, the parasite acquires host haemoglobin to generate amino acids for protein synthesis and the by-product haem for metabolic use. The malaria parasite can also synthesize haem de novo on its own. Plasmodium falciparum-specific histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) has a haem-binding site to mediate the formation of haemozoin, a biocrystallized form of haem aggregates. Notably, the gene regulates the mechanism of haemoglobin-derived haem metabolism and the de novo haem biosynthetic pathway in the Pfhrp2-disrupted parasite line during the intraerythrocytic stages.
The spiroindolone cipargamin, a new antimalarial compound that inhibits Plasmodium ATP4, is currently in clinical development. This study aimed to characterize the antimalarial activity of cipargamin in healthy volunteers experimentally infected with blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum Eight subjects were intravenously inoculated with parasite-infected erythrocytes and received a single oral dose of 10 mg cipargamin 7 days later. Blood samples were collected to monitor the development and clearance of parasitemia, and plasma cipargamin concentrations.
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.