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Effect of malaria parasite shape on its alignment at erythrocyte membrane

July 21, 2021 - 18:10 -- Open Access
Dasanna AK, Hillringhaus S, Gompper G, Fedosov DA
Elife. 2021 Jul 21;10:e68818

During the blood stage of malaria pathogenesis, parasites invade healthy red blood cells (RBC) to multiply inside the host and evade the immune response. When attached to RBC, the parasite first has to align its apex with the membrane for a successful invasion. Since the parasite's apex sits at the pointed end of an oval (egg-like) shape with a large local curvature, apical alignment is in general an energetically un-favorable process.

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
Ana Villegas-Mendez, Nicholas Stafford, Delvac Oceandy, et al.
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.

Analysis of spleen histopathology, splenocyte composition and haematological parameters in four strains of mice infected with Plasmodium berghei K173

June 9, 2021 - 07:42 -- Open Access
Huajing Wang, Shuo Li, Zhao Cui, Tingting Qin, Hang Shi, Ji Ma, Lanfang Li, Guihua Yu, Tingliang Jiang and Canghai Li
Malaria Journal 2021 20:249, 6 June 2021

Malaria is a fatal disease that presents clinically as a continuum of symptoms and severity, which are determined by complex host-parasite interactions. Clearance of infection is believed to be accomplished by the spleen and mononuclear phagocytic system (MPS), independent of artemisinin treatment. The spleen filters infected red blood cells (RBCs) from circulation through immune-mediated recognition of the infected RBCs followed by phagocytosis. This study evaluated the tolerance of four different strains of mice to Plasmodium berghei strain K173 (P. berghei K173), and the differences in the role of the spleen in controlling P. berghei K173 infection.

Hematological indices and abnormalities among patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Kosti city of the White Nile state, Sudan: a comparative study

June 1, 2021 - 15:47 -- Open Access
Elkhalifa AME, Abdul-Ghani R, Tamomh AG, Eltaher NE, Ali NY, Ali MM, Bazie EA, KhirAlla A, DfaAlla FA, Alhasan OAM
BMC Infect Dis. 2021 May 31;21(1):507

Hematological abnormalities are common features in falciparum malaria but vary among different populations across countries. Therefore, we compared hematological indices and abnormalities between Plasmodium falciparum-infected patients and malaria-negative subjects in Kosti city of the White Nile State, Sudan.

NOT Open Access | Defining the Essential Exportome of the Malaria Parasite

May 19, 2021 - 15:27 -- NOT Open Access
Jonsdottir TK, Gabriela M, Crabb BS, F de Koning-Ward T, Gilson PR
Trends Parasitol. 2021 May 10:S1471-4922(21)00089-1

To survive inside red blood cells (RBCs), malaria parasites export many proteins to alter their host cell's physiological properties. Although most proteins of this exportome are involved in immune avoidance or in the trafficking of exported proteins to the host membrane, about 20% are essential for parasite survival in culture but little is known about their biological functions.

Peptidic boronic acids are potent cell-permeable inhibitors of the malaria parasite egress serine protease SUB1

May 18, 2021 - 13:23 -- Open Access
Lidumniece E, Withers-Martinez C, Hackett F, Collins CR, Perrin AJ, Koussis K, Bisson C, Blackman MJ, Jirgensons A
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 May 18;118(20):e2022696118

Malaria is a devastating infectious disease, which causes over 400,000 deaths per annum and impacts the lives of nearly half the world's population. The causative agent, a protozoan parasite, replicates within red blood cells (RBCs), eventually destroying the cells in a lytic process called egress to release a new generation of parasites. These invade fresh RBCs to repeat the cycle.

NOT Open Access | Development of a novel multiplex PCR assay for the detection and differentiation of Plasmodium caprae from Theileria luwenshuni and Babesia spp. in goats

May 13, 2021 - 12:33 -- NOT Open Access
Tu HLC, Nugraheni YR, Tiawsirisup S, Saiwichai T, Thiptara A, Kaewthamasorn M
Acta Trop. 2021 May 9:105957

Intraerythrocytic parasites are traditionally identified by the microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained blood smears. However, this method does not always allow for the identification of individual species in goat's RBCs. Moreover, its unreliability in detecting low levels of parasitemia makes it unsuitable for epidemiological investigations and leaves goat farms vulnerable to potential outbreaks. In the present study, a novel multiplex PCR (mPCR) targeting the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene was developed to detect and subsequently differentiate Plasmodium caprae, Theileria luwenshuni, and Babesia spp.

Not Open Access | The RNA Structurome in the Asexual Blood Stages of Malaria Pathogen Plasmodium falciparum

May 12, 2021 - 09:32 -- NOT Open Access
Alvarez DR, Ospina A, Barwell T, Zheng B, Dey A, Li C, Basu S, Shi X, Kadri S, Chakrabarti K
RNA Biol. 2021 May 7

Plasmodium falciparum is a deadly human pathogen responsible for the devastating disease called malaria. In this study, we measured the differential accumulation of RNA secondary structures in coding and noncoding transcripts from the asexual developmental cycle in P. falciparum in human red blood cells. Our comprehensive analysis that combined high-throughput nuclease mapping of RNA structures by duplex RNA-seq, SHAPE-directed RNA structure validation, immunoaffinity purification and characterization of antisense RNAs collectively measured differentially base-paired RNA regions throughout the parasite's asexual RBC cycle. Our mapping data not only aligned to a diverse pool of RNAs with known structures but also enabled us to identify new structural RNA regions in the malaria genome.

Autocatalytic activation of a malarial egress protease is druggable and requires a protein cofactor

May 5, 2021 - 08:14 -- Open Access
Tan MSY, Koussis K, Blackman MJ, et al.
EMBO J. 2021 May 1:e107226

Malaria parasite egress from host erythrocytes (RBCs) is regulated by discharge of a parasite serine protease called SUB1 into the parasitophorous vacuole (PV). There, SUB1 activates a PV-resident cysteine protease called SERA6, enabling host RBC rupture through SERA6-mediated degradation of the RBC cytoskeleton protein β-spectrin. Here, we show that the activation of Plasmodium falciparum SERA6 involves a second, autocatalytic step that is triggered by SUB1 cleavage.

NOT Open Access | A Near-Infrared "Matchbox Size" Spectrometer to Detect and Quantify Malaria Parasitemia

March 26, 2021 - 16:02 -- NOT Open Access
Adegoke JA, Kochan K, Heraud P, Wood BR
Anal Chem. 2021 Mar 24

New point-of-care diagnostic approaches for malaria that are sensitive to low parasitemia, easy to use in a field setting, and affordable are urgently required to meet the World Health Organization's objective of reducing malaria cases and related life losses by 90% globally on or before 2030. In this study, an inexpensive "matchbox size" near-infrared (NIR) spectrophotometer was used for the first time to detect and quantify malaria infection in vitro from isolated dried red blood cells using a fingerpick volume of blood. This the first study to apply a miniaturized NIR device to diagnose a parasitic infection and identify marker bands indicative of malaria infection in the NIR region.


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