Plasmodium knowlesi is recognized as the fifth Plasmodium species causing malaria in humans. It is morphologically similar to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium malariae, so molecular detection should be used to clearly discriminate between these Plasmodium species. This study aimed to quantify the rate at which P. knowlesi is misidentified as P. malariae by microscopy in endemic and non-endemic areas.
Asf1 is a highly-conserved histone chaperone that regulates tightly-coupled nucleosome assembly/disassembly process. We observed that Plasmodium falciparum Asf1 (PfAsf1) is ubiquitously expressed in different stages of the life cycle of the parasite. To gain further insight into its biological activity, we solved the structure of N-terminal histone chaperone domain of PfAsf1(1-159 amino acids) by X-ray crystallography to a resolution of 2.4 Å. The structure is composed of two beta-sheet to form a beta-sandwich, which resembles an immunoglobulin-like fold.
Vector surveillance provides critical data for decision-making to ensure that malaria control programmes remain effective and responsive to any threats to a successful control and elimination programme. The quality and quantity of data collected is dependent on the sampling tools and laboratory techniques used which may lack the sensitivity required to collect relevant data for decision-making. Here, 40 vector control experts were interviewed to assess the benefits and limitations of the current vector surveillance tools and techniques. In addition, experts shared ideas on “blue sky” indicators which encompassed ideas for novel methods to monitor presently used indicators, or to measure novel vector behaviours not presently measured. Algorithms for deploying surveillance tools and priorities for understanding vector behaviours are also needed for collecting and interpreting vector data.
The value of malaria eradication, the permanent reduction to zero of the worldwide incidence of malaria infection caused by human malaria parasites, would be enormous. However, the expected value of an investment in an intended, but uncertain, outcome hinges on the probability of, and time until, its fulfilment. Though the long-term benefits of global malaria eradication promise to be large, the upfront costs and uncertainty regarding feasibility and timeframe make it difficult for policymakers and researchers to forecast the return on investment.
The sensitivity to volatile carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by humans and other animals is a critical component in the host preference behaviors of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles coluzzii. The molecular receptors responsible for the ability to sense CO2 are encoded by three putative gustatory receptor (Gr) genes (Gr22,23,24) which are expressed in a distinctive array of sensory neurons housed in maxillary palp capitate peg sensilla of An. coluzzii.
In order for Plasmodium falciparum to grow and survive in its host, membrane biogenesis, fueled by host cholesterol, is essential for these processes. Consistent with this essential role, more insights into the cholesterol pathway would enhance the current understanding of the pathophysiology of malaria infection. To explore its broader potential, we conducted a cross-sectional study and assayed for the serum levels of cholesterol, vitamin D, progesterone, testosterone, estradiol and bile acid in both P. falciparum-infected patients and apparently healthy sex-matched participants.
Plasmodium parasites manipulate the interaction between their mosquito and human hosts. Patients infected with gametocytes attract anopheline mosquitoes differentially compared to healthy individuals, an effect associated with an increased release of attractive volatile cues. This odour-driven manipulation is partly mediated by the gametocyte-specific metabolite, (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enyl pyrophosphate (HMBPP), which induces increased release of select aldehydes and terpenes from red blood cells and results in the enhanced attraction of host-seeking mosquitoes, which are vectors of malaria. This study investigates the effect of the HMBPP-induced volatiles on the attraction of wild Anopheles mosquitoes to humans under field conditions.