Plasmodium, the causative agents of malaria, are obligate intracellular organisms. In humans, pathogenesis is caused by the blood stage parasite, which multiplies within erythrocytes, thus erythrocyte invasion is an essential developmental step. Merozoite form parasites released into the blood stream coordinately secrets a panel of proteins from the microneme secretory organelles for gliding motility, establishment of a tight junction with a target naive erythrocyte, and subsequent internalization. A protein identified in Toxoplasma gondii facilitates microneme fusion with the plasma membrane for exocytosis; namely, acylated pleckstrin homology domain-containing protein (APH). To obtain insight into the differential microneme discharge by malaria parasites, in this study we analyzed the consequences of APH deletion in the rodent malaria model, Plasmodium yoelii, using a DiCre-based inducible knockout method.
Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite causing malaria, affects populations in many endemic countries threatening mainly individuals with low malaria immunity, especially children. Despite the approval of the first malaria vaccine Mosquirix™ and very promising data using cryopreserved P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ), further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms of humoral immunity for the development of next-generation vaccines and alternative malaria therapies including antibody therapy. A high prevalence of antibodies against AMA1 in immune individuals has made this antigen one of the major blood-stage vaccine candidates.
Plasmodium falciparum responsible for the most virulent form of malaria invades human erythrocytes through multiple ligand‐receptor interactions. The P. falciparum reticulocyte binding protein homologues (PfRHs) are expressed at the apical end of merozoites and form interactions with distinct erythrocyte surface receptors that are important for invasion. Here using a range of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against different regions of PfRH1 we have investigated the role of PfRH processing during merozoite invasion.