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.
Malaria control in sub-Saharan Africa relies upon prompt case management with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Ring-stage parasite mRNA, measured by sbp1 quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR), was previously reported to persist after ACT treatment and hypothesized to reflect temporary arrest of the growth of ring-stage parasites (dormancy) following exposure to artemisinins. Here, the persistence of ring-stage parasitaemia following ACT and non-ACT treatment was examined.
Over the past few years only, next-generation sequencing technologies became accessible and many applications were rapidly derived, such as the development of RNA-seq, a technique that uses deep sequencing to profile whole transcriptomes. RNA-seq has the power to discover new transcripts and splicing variants, single nucleotide variations, fusion genes, and mRNA levels-based expression profiles. Preparing RNA-seq libraries can be delicate and usually obligates buying expensive kits that require large amounts of stating materials.
Heterogeneity and high plasticity are common features of cells from the mononuclear phagocyte system: monocytes (MOs), macrophages, and dendritic cells (DCs). Upon activation by microbial agents, MO can differentiate into MO‐derived DCs (MODCs). In previous work, we have shown that during acute infection with Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA), MODCs become, transiently, the main CD11b+ myeloid population in the spleen (SP) and once recruited to the brain play an important role in the development of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM).