Different strategies for improvement of malaria control and elimination are based on the blockage of malaria parasite transmission to the mosquito vector. These strategies include the drugs that target the plasmodial sexual stages in humans and the early developmental stages inside mosquitoes.
Malaria parasites develop as oocysts in the mosquito for several days before they are able to infect a human host. During this time, mosquitoes take bloodmeals to replenish their nutrient and energy reserves needed for flight and reproduction. We hypothesized that these bloodmeals are critical for oocyst growth and that experimental infection protocols, typically involving a single bloodmeal at the time of infection, cause nutritional stress to the developing oocysts. Therefore, enumerating oocysts disregarding their growth and differentiation state may lead to erroneous conclusions about the efficacy of transmission blocking interventions.
Sporozoites of the malaria parasite Plasmodium are transmitted by mosquitoes and infect the liver for an initial and obligatory round of replication, before exponential multiplication in the blood and onset of the disease. Sporozoites and liver stages provide attractive targets for malaria vaccines and prophylactic drugs. In this context, defining the parasite proteome is important to explore the parasite biology and to identify potential targets for antimalarial strategies. Previous studies have determined the total proteome of sporozoites from the two main human malaria parasites, P. falciparum and P. vivax, as well as P. yoelii, which infects rodents.
The high burden of malaria and HIV/AIDS prevents economic and social progress in developing countries. A continuing need exists for development of novel drugs and treatment regimens for both diseases in order to address the tolerability and long-term safety concerns associated with current treatment options and the emergence of drug resistance.
Gametogenesis, the formation of gametes from gametocytes, an essential step for malaria parasite transmission, is targeted by transmission-blocking drugs and vaccines. We identified a conserved protein (PBANKA_0305900) in Plasmodium berghei, which encodes a protein of 22 kDa (thus named Pb22) and is expressed in both asexual stages and gametocytes. Its homologs are present in all Plasmodium species and its closely related Hepatocystis, but not in other apicomplexans. Pb22 protein was localized in the cytosols of schizonts, as well as male and female gametocytes.
8-aminoquinoline compounds have long been the only therapeutic agents against latent hepatic malaria parasites. These have poor activity against the blood stage plasmodia causing acute malaria and must be used in conjunction with partner blood schizontocidal agents. We examined the impacts of one such agent, chloroquine, upon the activity of primaquine, an 8-aminoquinoline, against hepatic stages of Plasmodium cynomolgi, Plasmodium yoelii, Plasmodium berghei, and Plasmodium falciparum within several ex vivo systems: primary hepatocytes of Macaca fascicularis; primary human hepatocytes; and stably transformed human hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2.
Earlier studies indicate that either the canonical or non-canonical pathways of inflammasome activation have a limited role on malaria pathogenesis. Here, we report that caspase-8 is a central mediator of systemic inflammation, septic shock in the Plasmodium chabaudi-infected mice and the P. berghei-induced experimental cerebral malaria (ECM).
Cerebral malaria (CM) is one of the most severe pathologies of malaria; it induces neuro-cognitive sequelae and has a high mortality rate. Although many factors involved in the development of CM have been discovered, its pathogenic mechanisms are still not completely understood. Most studies on CM have focused on the blood-brain barrier (BBB), despite the importance of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB), which protects the brain from peripheral inflammation.
Antimalarial candidates possessing novel mechanisms of action are needed to control drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum. We were drawn to Malaria Box compound 1 (MMV665831) by virtue of its excellent in vitro potency, and twelve analogs were prepared to probe its structure–activity relationship. Modulation of the diethyl amino group was fruitful, producing compound 25, which was twice as potent as 1 against cultured parasites.
A small library of "half-sandwich" cyclopentadienylruthenium(II) compounds of the general formula [(η5-C5R5)Ru(PPh3)(N-N)][PF6], a scaffold hitherto absent from the toolbox of antiplasmodials, was screened for activity against the blood stage of CQ-sensitive 3D7-GFP, CQ-resistant Dd2, and artemisinin-resistant IPC5202 Plasmodium falciparum strains and the liver stage of Plasmodium berghei.