Malaria parasites are fast replicating unicellular organisms and require substantial amounts of folate for DNA synthesis. Despite the central role of this critical co-factor for parasite survival, only little is known about intraparasitic folate trafficking in Plasmodium.
As malaria transmission declines, sensitive diagnostics are needed to evaluate interventions and monitor transmission. Serological assays measuring malaria antibody responses offer a cost-effective detection method to supplement existing surveillance tools.
Primaquine continues to remain the gold standard molecule with an incumbent toxicity profile, as far as radical treatment of malaria is concerned. Better molecules are available at experimental level but their targeted delivery is a challenge. The present work identifies 'Decoquinate (DQN)' as a repurposed, safer drug molecule with a potential to function as an appealing replacement for primaquine active against liver-stage malaria.
The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and an ongoing severe pandemic. Curative drugs specific for COVID-19 are currently lacking. Chloroquine phosphate and its derivative hydroxychloroquine, which have been used in the treatment and prevention of malaria and autoimmune diseases for decades, were found to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection with high potency in vitro and have shown clinical and virologic benefits in COVID-19 patients.
Artemisinins have revolutionized the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria; however, resistance threatens to undermine global control efforts. To broadly explore artemisinin susceptibility in apicomplexan parasites, we employ genome-scale CRISPR screens recently developed for Toxoplasma gondii to discover sensitizing and desensitizing mutations.
Malaria remains a huge global health burden, and control of this disease has run into a severe bottleneck. To defeat malaria and reach the goal of eradication, a deep understanding of the parasite biology is urgently needed. The mitochondrion of the malaria parasite is essential throughout the parasite's life cycle and has been validated as a clinical drug target. In the asexual development of Plasmodium spp., the single mitochondrion grows from a small tubular structure to a complex branched network.
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.
The replication cycle and pathogenesis of the Plasmodium malarial parasite involves rapid expansion in red blood cells (RBCs), and variants of certain RBC-specific proteins protect against malaria in humans. In RBCs, bisphosphoglycerate mutase (BPGM) acts as a key allosteric regulator of hemoglobin/oxyhemoglobin. We demonstrate here that a loss-of-function mutation in the murine Bpgm (BpgmL166P) gene confers protection against both Plasmodium-induced cerebral malaria and blood-stage malaria.
Infection with malarial parasites renders hosts more mosquito attractive than their uninfected, healthy, counterparts. One volatile organic compound, α-pinene, is associated with <I>Plasmodium</i> spp. infection in multiple studies and is a known mosquito attractant.
Plasmodium falciparum phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase (PfPI4K) has emerged as a promising new drug target for novel antimalarial therapeutics. In the absence of a reliable high-resolution three-dimensional structure, a homology model of PfPI4K was built as a tool for structure-based drug design.