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plasmodium parasite

NOT Open Access | Antimalarial drug discovery: from quinine to the most recent promising clinical drug candidates

August 11, 2021 - 14:55 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Tisnerat C, Dassonville-Klimpt A, Gosselet F, Sonnet P
Reference: 
Curr Med Chem. 2021 Aug 3

Malaria is a tropical threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasites, resulting in 409,000 deaths in 2019. The delay of mortality and morbidity has been compounded by the widespread of drug resistant parasites from Southeast Asia since two decades. The emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium in Africa, where most cases are accounted, highlights the urgent need for new medicines.

Non-human primate and human malaria: past, present and future

July 14, 2021 - 10:43 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Antinori S, Bonazzetti C, Giacomelli A, Corbellino M, Galli M, Parravicini C, Ridolfo AL
Reference: 
J Travel Med. 2021 Jul 7;28(5):taab036

Studies of the malaria parasites infecting various non-human primates (NHPs) have increased our understanding of the origin, biology and pathogenesis of human Plasmodium parasites.

The plasma membrane calcium ATPase 4 does not influence parasite levels but partially promotes experimental cerebral malaria during murine blood stage malaria

July 7, 2021 - 08:05 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Ana Villegas-Mendez, Nicholas Stafford, Delvac Oceandy, et al.
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:297, 2 July 2021

Recent genome wide analysis studies have identified a strong association between single nucleotide variations within the human ATP2B4 gene and susceptibility to severe malaria. The ATP2B4 gene encodes the plasma membrane calcium ATPase 4 (PMCA4), which is responsible for controlling the physiological level of intracellular calcium in many cell types, including red blood cells (RBCs). It is, therefore, postulated that genetic differences in the activity or expression level of PMCA4 alters intracellular Ca2+ levels and affects RBC hydration, modulating the invasion and growth of the Plasmodium parasite within its target host cell.

Post-mortem diagnosis of imported malaria in France: a case report

June 16, 2021 - 13:20 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Jacques Sevestre, Caroline Bernardi, Morgane Gillet, Pascal Delaunay, Youta Fanjat, Giorgio Toni, Pierre Marty, Véronique Alunni and Christelle Pomares
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:271, 14 June 2021

Malaria is a potentially lethal parasitic disease due to infection by Plasmodium parasites, transmitted by Anopheles mosquito vectors. Various preventative measures may be recommended for travellers who visit endemic areas. The diagnosis is generally evoked in the context of a febrile patient returning from an endemic zone. Nevertheless, symptoms and clinical signs may be difficult to interpret, and fatal cases may only be diagnosed retrospectively with laboratory techniques, specific pathological features and patient history. The present work reports a case of fatal cerebral malaria diagnosed post-mortem, along with the techniques that allowed identification of the causative agent.

Using deep learning to identify recent positive selection in malaria parasite sequence data

June 16, 2021 - 13:18 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Wouter Deelder, Ernest Diez Benavente, Jody Phelan, Emilia Manko, Susana Campino, Luigi Palla and Taane G. Clark
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:270, 14 June 2021

Malaria, caused by Plasmodium parasites, is a major global public health problem. To assist an understanding of malaria pathogenesis, including drug resistance, there is a need for the timely detection of underlying genetic mutations and their spread. With the increasing use of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of Plasmodium DNA, the potential of deep learning models to detect loci under recent positive selection, historically signals of drug resistance, was evaluated.

A guide to investigating immune responses elicited by whole-sporozoite pre-erythrocytic vaccines against malaria

May 18, 2021 - 13:31 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Moita D, Nunes-Cabaço H, Mendes AM, Prudêncio M
Reference: 
FEBS J. 2021 May 16

In the last few decades, considerable efforts have been made towards the development of efficient vaccines against malaria. Whole-sporozoite (Wsp) vaccines, which induce efficient immune responses against the pre-erythrocytic (PE) stages (sporozoites and liver forms) of Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malaria, are among the most promising immunization strategies tested until present.

NOT Open Access | Chemoproteomics for Plasmodium parasite drug target discovery

May 18, 2021 - 13:29 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Lu KY, Mansfield C, Fitzgerald M, Derbyshire E
Reference: 
Chembiochem. 2021 May 17

Emerging Plasmodium parasite drug resistance is threatening progress towards malaria control and elimination. While recent efforts in cell-based high-throughput drug screening have produced first-in-class drugs with promising activities against different Plasmodium life cycle stages, most of these antimalarial agents have elusive mechanisms of action.

Variation in selective constraints along the Plasmodium life cycle

May 12, 2021 - 12:34 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Tebben K, Bradwell K, Serre D
Reference: 
Infect Genet Evol. 2021 May 8:104908

Plasmodium parasites, the cause of malaria, have a complex life cycle, infecting alternatively vertebrate hosts and female Anopheles mosquitoes and going through intra- and extra-cellular development in several organs of these hosts. Most of the ~5000 protein-coding genes present in Plasmodium genomes are only expressed at specific life stages, and different genes might therefore be subject to different selective pressures depending on the biological activity of the parasite and its microenvironment at this point in development.

Motile mosquito stage malaria parasites: ready for their close-up

April 13, 2021 - 13:33 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Vaughan A
Reference: 
EMBO Mol Med. 2021 Apr 9;13(4):e13975

Many stages of the complex Plasmodium parasite life cycle, the eukaryotic pathogen that causes malaria, are extracellular and motile. This motility is essential for life cycle progression, and two studies in this issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine (Hopp et al, 2021; Ripp et al, 2021) examine the motility of two of these life cycle stages.

Anti-malarial humoral immunity: the long and short of it

March 13, 2021 - 16:39 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Rogers KJ, Vijay R, Butler NS
Reference: 
Microbes Infect. 2021 Mar 5:104807

Humoral immunity is critical for limiting Plasmodium parasite infections and the severity of malaria. Naturally acquired immunity against malaria occurs inefficiently and protection is relatively short-lived.

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