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Sample records for falciparum asexual blood

  1. Induction of cell death on Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stages by Solanum nudum steroids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    López, Mary Luz; Vommaro, Rossiane; Zalis, Mariano

    2010-01-01

    . The Mitochondria presented no morphological alterations and the nuclei showed no abnormal chromatin condensation. By the use of S. nudum compounds, cell death in P. falciparum was evident by a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA fragmentation and cytoplasmic acidification. The asexual blood stages......-87 μM. However, their mode of action is unknown. Steroids regulate important cellular functions including cell growth, differentiation and death. Thus, the aim of this work was to determine the effects of S. nudum compounds on P. falciparum asexual blood stages and their association with cell death. We...... of P. falciparum showed some apoptotic-like and autophagic-like cell death characteristics induced by SNs treatment....

  2. Mechanisms of immune protection in the asexual blood stage infection by Plasmodium falciparum: analysis by in vitro and ex-vivo assays

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    Jurg Gysin

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms of immune protection against the asexual blood stage infection by Plasmodium falciparum are reviewed. Recent studies of two independent lines of research developed at the Institute Pasteur, in humans and primate infections clearly indicate an obligatory interaction of antibodies and effector cells to express the anti-parasitic effect.

  3. Mechanisms of protective immunity against asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum in the experimental host Saimiri

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    J. Gysin

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available In the Saimiri monkey, an experimental host for human malaria, acquired protection against Plasmodium falciparum blood stages depends on the IgG antibody populations developed. In vivo protective anti-falciparum activity of IgG antibodies is correlated with the in vivo opsonizing activity promoting phagocytosis of parasited red bloood cells. In contrast, non protective antibodies inhibit this mechanism by competing at the target level. A similar phenomenon can be and human infection. Anti-cytoadherent and anti-rosette antibodies developed by Saimiri and humans prevent the development of physiopathological events like cerebral malaria which can also occur in this experimental host. Furthermore, transfer to protective human anti-falciparum IgG antibodies into infected Saimiri monkeys exerts an anti parasite activity as efficient as that observed when it is transfered into acute falciparum malaria patients, making the Saimiri an even more attractive host. Studies on the role of immunocompetent cells in the protective immune reponse are still in their infancy, however the existance of a restricted polymorphism of MHC II class molecules in the Saimiri confers additional theoretical and practical importance to this model.

  4. Enhancement of neutrophil-mediated killing of Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood forms by fatty acids: importance of fatty acid structure.

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    Kumaratilake, L M; Ferrante, A; Robinson, B S; Jaeger, T; Poulos, A

    1997-10-01

    Effects of fatty acids on human neutrophil-mediated killing of Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood forms were investigated by using a quantitative radiometric assay. The results showed that the antiparasitic activity of neutrophils can be greatly increased (>threefold) by short-term treatment with fatty acids with 20 to 24 carbon atoms and at least three double bonds. In particular, the n-3 polyenoic fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, and the n-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid, significantly enhanced neutrophil antiparasitic activity. This effect was >1.5-fold higher than that induced by an optical concentration of the known agonist cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). At suboptimal concentrations, the combination of arachidonic acid and TNF-alpha caused a synergistic increase in neutrophil-mediated parasite killing. The fatty acid-induced effect was independent of the availability of serum opsonins but dependent on the structure of the fatty acids. The length of the carbon chain, degree of unsaturation, and availability of a free carboxyl group were important determinants of fatty acid activity. The fatty acids which increased neutrophil-mediated killing primed the enhanced superoxide radical generation of neutrophils in response to P. falciparum as detected by chemiluminescence. Scavengers of oxygen radicals significantly reduced the fatty acid-enhanced parasite killing, but cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase inhibitors had no effect. These findings have identified a new class of immunoenhancers that could be exploited to increase resistance against Plasmodium species.

  5. The multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum infections is associated with acquired immunity to asexual blood stage antigens.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayengue, P.I.; Luty, A.J.F.; Rogier, C.; Baragatti, M.; Kremsner, P.G.; Ntoumi, F.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated the relationship between immune response markers and the multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum infections in order to assess the validity of the latter as an indicator of the acquisition of anti-malarial immunity. Parasite populations present during malaria episodes of 64 Gabonese child

  6. CRISPR-Cas9-modified pfmdr1 protects Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stages and gametocytes against a class of piperazine-containing compounds but potentiates artemisinin-based combination therapy partner drugs.

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    Ng, Caroline L; Siciliano, Giulia; Lee, Marcus C S; de Almeida, Mariana J; Corey, Victoria C; Bopp, Selina E; Bertuccini, Lucia; Wittlin, Sergio; Kasdin, Rachel G; Le Bihan, Amélie; Clozel, Martine; Winzeler, Elizabeth A; Alano, Pietro; Fidock, David A

    2016-08-01

    Emerging resistance to first-line antimalarial combination therapies threatens malaria treatment and the global elimination campaign. Improved therapeutic strategies are required to protect existing drugs and enhance treatment efficacy. We report that the piperazine-containing compound ACT-451840 exhibits single-digit nanomolar inhibition of the Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stages and transmissible gametocyte forms. Genome sequence analyses of in vitro-derived ACT-451840-resistant parasites revealed single nucleotide polymorphisms in pfmdr1, which encodes a digestive vacuole membrane-bound ATP-binding cassette transporter known to alter P. falciparum susceptibility to multiple first-line antimalarials. CRISPR-Cas9 based gene editing confirmed that PfMDR1 point mutations mediated ACT-451840 resistance. Resistant parasites demonstrated increased susceptibility to the clinical drugs lumefantrine, mefloquine, quinine and amodiaquine. Stage V gametocytes harboring Cas9-introduced pfmdr1 mutations also acquired ACT-451840 resistance. These findings reveal that PfMDR1 mutations can impart resistance to compounds active against asexual blood stages and mature gametocytes. Exploiting PfMDR1 resistance mechanisms provides new opportunities for developing disease-relieving and transmission-blocking antimalarials.

  7. Amino acid efflux by asexual blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum and its utility in interrogating the kinetics of hemoglobin endocytosis and catabolism in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalal, Seema; Klemba, Michael

    2015-06-01

    The endocytosis and catabolism of large quantities of host cell hemoglobin is a hallmark of the intraerythrocytic asexual stage of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. It is known that the parasite's production of amino acids from hemoglobin far exceeds its metabolic needs. Here, we show that P. falciparum effluxes large quantities of certain non-polar (Ala, Leu, Val, Pro, Phe, Gly) and polar (Ser, Thr, His) amino acids to the external medium. That these amino acids originate from hemoglobin catabolism is indicated by the strong correlation between individual amino acid efflux rates and their abundances in hemoglobin, and the ability of the food vacuole falcipain inhibitor E-64d to greatly suppress efflux rates. We then developed a rapid, sensitive and precise method for quantifying flux through the hemoglobin endocytic-catabolic pathway that is based on leucine efflux. Optimization of the method involved the generation of a novel amino acid-restricted RPMI formulation as well as the validation of D-norvaline as an internal standard. The utility of this method was demonstrated by characterizing the effects of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase inhibitors wortmannin and dihydroartemisinin on the kinetics of Leu efflux. Both compounds rapidly inhibited Leu efflux, which is consistent with a role for phosphtidylinositol-3-phosphate production in the delivery of hemoglobin to the food vacuole; however, wortmannin inhibition was transient, which was likely due to the instability of this compound in culture medium. The simplicity, convenience and non-invasive nature of the Leu efflux assay described here makes it ideal for characterizing the in vivo kinetics of hemoglobin endocytosis and catabolism, for inhibitor target validation studies, and for medium-throughput screens to identify novel inhibitors of cytostomal endocytosis.

  8. "In vitro" activity of gentian violet against asexual Plasmodium falciparum parasites

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    Shen Lin Yang

    1988-02-01

    Full Text Available In order to investigate whether gentian violet exhibited "in vitro" inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum, the Authors have carried out 20 sensitivity tests according to the microtechnique described by RIECK MANN et al.5. Results have shown inhibition of schizonts'maturation at the following concentration: 1/1000; 1/1500; 1/2000; 1/2500; 1/3000 and 1/4000, thus demonstrating inhibitory activity of the tested dye against asexual blood parasites. The present data suggest gentain violet may be possibly used in the prophylaxis of transfusion-acquired malaria.

  9. The influence of Maloprim chemoprophylaxis on cellular and humoral immune responses to Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stage antigens in schoolchildren living in a malaria endemic area of Mozambique

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hogh, B; Thompson, R; Lobo, V;

    1994-01-01

    antigens. The study was carried out in the Escola Primária de Lingamo, a primary school in a suburban area of Maputo, Mozambique. A cohort of 392 schoolchildren (aged 7-12 years) was randomly allocated to two equal groups, one receiving chemoprophylaxis with dapsone/pyrimethamine (Maloprim), the other...... assays in vitro. Anti-GLURP and anti-Pf155/RESA antibodies were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and erythrocyte membrane immunofluorescence (EMIF), and total anti-P. falciparum antibodies were measured by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Immunological reactivities were...

  10. Implication of a Plasmodium falciparum gene in the switch between asexual reproduction and gametocytogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, Donald L; Dixon, Matthew W A; Spielmann, Tobias; Skinner-Adams, Tina S; Hawthorne, Paula L; Ortega, Maria R; Kemp, David J; Trenholme, Katharine R

    2005-04-01

    Gametocytogenesis is fundamental for transmission of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from the human host to the mosquito vector, yet very little is understood about what triggers the switch between asexual reproduction and gametocytogenesis. Arresting the progression through the sexual cycle would block transmission of this disease. Here we identify a novel gene in P. falciparum that when genetically silenced reduces gametocyte production by a factor of 6, and when complemented up-regulates gametocyte-specific gene transcription.

  11. The Plasmodium falciparum, Nima-related kinase Pfnek-4: a marker for asexual parasites committed to sexual differentiation

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    Reininger Luc

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria parasites undergo, in the vertebrate host, a developmental switch from asexual replication to sexual differentiation leading to the formation of gametocytes, the only form able to survive in the mosquito vector. Regulation of the onset of the sexual phase remains largely unknown and represents an important gap in the understanding of the parasite’s complex biology. Methods The expression and function of the Nima-related kinase Pfnek-4 during the early sexual development of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum were investigated, using three types of transgenic Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 lines: (i episomally expressing a Pfnek-4-GFP fusion protein under the control of its cognate pfnek-4 promoter; (ii episomally expressing negative or positive selectable markers, yeast cytosine deaminase-uridyl phosphoribosyl transferase, or human dihydrofolate reductase, under the control of the pfnek-4 promoter; and (iii lacking a functional pfnek-4 gene. Parasite transfectants were analysed by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. In vitro growth rate and gametocyte formation were determined by Giemsa-stained blood smears. Results The Pfnek-4-GFP protein was found to be expressed in stage II to V gametocytes and, unexpectedly, in a subset of asexual-stage parasites undergoing schizogony. Culture conditions stimulating gametocyte formation resulted in significant increase of this schizont subpopulation. Moreover, sorted asexual parasites expressing the Pfnek-4-GFP protein displayed elevated gametocyte formation when returned to in vitro culture in presence of fresh red blood cells, when compared to GFP- parasites from the same initial population. Negative selection of asexual parasites expressing pfnek-4 showed a marginal reduction in growth rate, whereas positive selection caused a marked reduction in parasitaemia, but was not sufficient to completely abolish proliferation. Pfnek-4- clones are not affected in their

  12. Phase 1 Trial of AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel plus CPG 7909: An Asexual Blood-Stage Vaccine for Plasmodium falciparum Malaria

    OpenAIRE

    Mullen, Gregory E. D.; Ellis, Ruth D; Kazutoyo Miura; Elissa Malkin; Caroline Nolan; Mhorag Hay; Michael P Fay; Allan Saul; Daming Zhu; Kelly Rausch; Samuel Moretz; Hong Zhou; Long, Carole A.; Miller, Louis H.; John Treanor

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1), a polymorphic merozoite surface protein, is a leading blood-stage malaria vaccine candidate. This is the first reported use in humans of an investigational vaccine, AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel, with the novel adjuvant CPG 7909. METHODS: A phase 1 trial was conducted at the University of Rochester with 75 malaria-naive volunteers to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel+CPG 7909 malaria vaccine. Participants were sequentially enroll...

  13. Phase 1 trial of AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel plus CPG 7909: an asexual blood-stage vaccine for Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

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    Gregory E D Mullen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1, a polymorphic merozoite surface protein, is a leading blood-stage malaria vaccine candidate. This is the first reported use in humans of an investigational vaccine, AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel, with the novel adjuvant CPG 7909. METHODS: A phase 1 trial was conducted at the University of Rochester with 75 malaria-naive volunteers to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel+CPG 7909 malaria vaccine. Participants were sequentially enrolled and randomized within dose escalating cohorts to receive three vaccinations on days 0, 28 and 56 of either 20 microg of AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel+564 microg CPG 7909 (n = 15, 80 microg of AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel (n = 30, or 80 microg of AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel+564 microg CPG 7909 (n = 30. RESULTS: Local and systemic adverse events were significantly more likely to be of higher severity with the addition of CPG 7909. Anti-AMA1 immunoglobulin G (IgG were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, and the immune sera of volunteers that received 20 microg or 80 microg of AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel+CPG 7909 had up to 14 fold significant increases in anti-AMA1 antibody concentration compared to 80 microg of AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel alone. The addition of CPG 7909 to the AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel vaccine in humans also elicited AMA1 specific immune IgG that significantly and dramatically increased the in vitro growth inhibition of homologous parasites to levels as high as 96% inhibition. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The safety profile of the AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel+CPG 7909 malaria vaccine is acceptable, given the significant increase in immunogenicity observed. Further clinical development is ongoing. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00344539.

  14. Robust inducible Cre recombinase activity in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum enables efficient gene deletion within a single asexual erythrocytic growth cycle.

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    Collins, Christine R; Das, Sujaan; Wong, Eleanor H; Andenmatten, Nicole; Stallmach, Robert; Hackett, Fiona; Herman, Jean-Paul; Müller, Sylke; Meissner, Markus; Blackman, Michael J

    2013-05-01

    Asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite, which cause all the pathology associated with malaria, can readily be genetically modified by homologous recombination, enabling the functional study of parasite genes that are not essential in this part of the life cycle. However, no widely applicable method for conditional mutagenesis of essential asexual blood-stage malarial genes is available, hindering their functional analysis. We report the application of the DiCre conditional recombinase system to Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most dangerous form of malaria. We show that DiCre can be used to obtain rapid, highly regulated site-specific recombination in P. falciparum, capable of excising loxP-flanked sequences from a genomic locus with close to 100% efficiency within the time-span of a single erythrocytic growth cycle. DiCre-mediated deletion of the SERA5 3' UTR failed to reduce expression of the gene due to the existence of alternative cryptic polyadenylation sites within the modified locus. However, we successfully used the system to recycle the most widely used drug resistance marker for P. falciparum, human dihydrofolate reductase, in the process producing constitutively DiCre-expressing P. falciparum clones that have broad utility for the functional analysis of essential asexual blood-stage parasite genes.

  15. Changes in Plasmodium falciparum gametocytaemia in children with chloroquine-sensitive asexual infections

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    Sowunmi A.

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available A non-compartmental pharmacokinetic model was used to describe the changes in gametocytaemia in nine children with chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium falciparum malaria in whom asexual parasitaemia cleared within 72 h of chloroquine treatment. Peak gametocytaemia was 74 ± 19.9 (se, range 24-198, géométrie mean 58 sf (sexual forms/ul. Time to peak gametocytaemia was 43.2 ± 14.4, range 0-120 h. Following peak gametocytaemia, gametocytes persisted in blood for a period of 168-504 h. The décline from peak gametocytaemia was exponential with a half-life of gametocytaemia of 43.2 ± 20.4, range 1 3.1-206 h. The mean pre-treatment sex ratio was male-biased and remained so til! complete elimination of gametocytaemia. Peak microgametocytaemia, area under the curve of microgametocytaemia versus time, and the half-life of microgametocytaemia were significantly higher than those of macrogametocytaemia. The volume of blood completely cleared of macrogametocytaemia per unit time was significantly higher than that of microgametocytaemia. Macrogametocytes are cleared from the circulation faster than microgametocytes but chloroquine treatment of chloroquine-sensitive infections has little or no significant effect on gametocyte sex ratios in this group of children.

  16. Plasmodium falciparum malaria associated with ABO blood ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria associated with ABO blood phenotypes and ... out to investigate the relationship between blood group types and P. falciparum ... of long lasting treated (LLT) mosquito bed nets and the prevalence of infection.

  17. Hepatitis C Virus Infection May Lead to Slower Emergence of P. falciparum in Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollomo, Benjamin; Mezui-Me-Ndong, Jérome; Noulin, Florian; Lachard, Isabelle; Ndong-Atome, Guy-Roger; Makuwa, Maria; Roques, Pierre; Branger, Michel; Preux, Pierre-Marie; Mazier, Dominique; Bisser, Sylvie

    2011-01-01

    Background Areas endemic for Plasmodium falciparum, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) overlap in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. HBV and HCV infections develop in the liver, where takes place the first development stage of P. falciparum before its further spread in blood. The complex mechanisms involved in the development of hepatitis may potentially influence the development of the liver stage of malaria parasites. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of these interactions could provide new pathophysiological insights for treatment strategies in Malaria. Methodology We studied a cohort of 319 individuals living in a village where the three infections are prevalent. The patients were initially given a curative antimalarial treatment and were then monitored for the emergence of asexual P. falciparum forms in blood, fortnightly for one year, by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction. Principal Findings At inclusion, 65 (20.4%) subjects had detectable malaria parasites in blood, 36 (11.3%) were HBV chronic carriers, and 61 (18.9%) were HCV chronic carriers. During follow-up, asexual P. falciparum forms were detected in the blood of 203 patients. The median time to P. falciparum emergence in blood was respectively 140 and 120 days in HBV- and HBV+ individuals, and 135 and 224 days in HCV- and HCV+ individuals. HCV carriage was associated with delayed emergence of asexual P. falciparum forms in blood relative to patients without HCV infection. Conclusions This pilot study represents first tentative evidence of a potential epidemiological interaction between HBV, HCV and P. falciparum infections. Age is an important confounding factor in this setting however multivariate analysis points to an interaction between P. falciparum and HCV at the hepatic level with a slower emergence of P. falciparum in HCV chronic carriers. More in depth analysis are necessary to unravel the basis of hepatic interactions between these two pathogens, which could help in

  18. Hepatitis C virus infection may lead to slower emergence of P. falciparum in blood.

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    Odile Ouwe-Missi-Oukem-Boyer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Areas endemic for Plasmodium falciparum, hepatitis B virus (HBV and hepatitis C virus (HCV overlap in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. HBV and HCV infections develop in the liver, where takes place the first development stage of P. falciparum before its further spread in blood. The complex mechanisms involved in the development of hepatitis may potentially influence the development of the liver stage of malaria parasites. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of these interactions could provide new pathophysiological insights for treatment strategies in Malaria. METHODOLOGY: We studied a cohort of 319 individuals living in a village where the three infections are prevalent. The patients were initially given a curative antimalarial treatment and were then monitored for the emergence of asexual P. falciparum forms in blood, fortnightly for one year, by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: At inclusion, 65 (20.4% subjects had detectable malaria parasites in blood, 36 (11.3% were HBV chronic carriers, and 61 (18.9% were HCV chronic carriers. During follow-up, asexual P. falciparum forms were detected in the blood of 203 patients. The median time to P. falciparum emergence in blood was respectively 140 and 120 days in HBV- and HBV+ individuals, and 135 and 224 days in HCV- and HCV+ individuals. HCV carriage was associated with delayed emergence of asexual P. falciparum forms in blood relative to patients without HCV infection. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study represents first tentative evidence of a potential epidemiological interaction between HBV, HCV and P. falciparum infections. Age is an important confounding factor in this setting however multivariate analysis points to an interaction between P. falciparum and HCV at the hepatic level with a slower emergence of P. falciparum in HCV chronic carriers. More in depth analysis are necessary to unravel the basis of hepatic interactions between these two pathogens

  19. Carriage of sub-microscopic sexual and asexual Plasmodium falciparum stages in the dry season at Navrongo, Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atelu, Geoffrey R; Duah, Nancy O; Wilson, Michael D

    2016-12-01

    We investigated the prevalence of sub-microscopic Plasmodium falciparum infections and gametocyte carriage in asymptomatic individuals in Navrongo in northern Ghana, an area of seasonal malaria transmission. A cross sectional study of 209 randomly selected participants of all age-groups was conducted in February and March, 2015. Capillary blood samples collected from these individuals were used for the detection of both asexual and gametocyte stage parasites by microscopy, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and conventional nested PCR methods. The prevalence data as determined by microscopy and molecular methods were compared using chi-square tests. Parasitaemia from these asymptomatic infections ranged from 40 to 3,520 parasites/µl of blood (geometric mean parasitaemia = 732 parasites/µl). The prevalence of asymptomatic P. falciparum carriage was 4.8% (10/209) and 13.9% (29/209) using microscopy and RT-PCR respectively. The overall prevalence of sub-microscopic infections in the total number of samples analysed was 9.1% (19/209) and 66% (19/29) of the asymptomatic infections. P. falciparum gametocytemia detected by microscopy was 1% (2/209) and 3.8% (8/209) by PCR. This is the first report of sub-microscopic asexual and gametocytes infections in the dry season in a seasonal malaria transmission area in Ghana. It has established that persistent latent malaria infections occur and that these could supply the source of parasites for the next transmission season. The findings highlight the presence of sub-microscopic infections and therefore the need for active case detection surveillance to eliminate "asymptomatic reservoir" parasites and consequently break the transmission of the disease in Ghana. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant awarded to Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research Postdoctoral and Postgraduate Training in Infectious Diseases Research (Global Health Grant # OPP52155); National Institutes of Health grant (NIH

  20. The homeostasis of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.

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    Jakob M A Mauritz

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The asexual reproduction cycle of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for severe malaria, occurs within red blood cells. A merozoite invades a red cell in the circulation, develops and multiplies, and after about 48 hours ruptures the host cell, releasing 15-32 merozoites ready to invade new red blood cells. During this cycle, the parasite increases the host cell permeability so much that when similar permeabilization was simulated on uninfected red cells, lysis occurred before approximately 48 h. So how could infected cells, with a growing parasite inside, prevent lysis before the parasite has completed its developmental cycle? A mathematical model of the homeostasis of infected red cells suggested that it is the wasteful consumption of host cell hemoglobin that prevents early lysis by the progressive reduction in the colloid-osmotic pressure within the host (the colloid-osmotic hypothesis. However, two critical model predictions, that infected cells would swell to near prelytic sphericity and that the hemoglobin concentration would become progressively reduced, remained controversial. In this paper, we are able for the first time to correlate model predictions with recent experimental data in the literature and explore the fine details of the homeostasis of infected red blood cells during five model-defined periods of parasite development. The conclusions suggest that infected red cells do reach proximity to lytic rupture regardless of their actual volume, thus requiring a progressive reduction in their hemoglobin concentration to prevent premature lysis.

  1. Antibody responses to a panel of Plasmodium falciparum malaria blood-stage antigens in relation to clinical disease outcome in Sudan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iriemenam, Nnaemeka C; Khirelsied, Atif H; Nasr, Amre

    2009-01-01

    Despite many intervention programmes aimed at curtailing the scourge, malaria remains a formidable problem of human health. Immunity to asexual blood-stage of Plasmodium falciparum malaria is thought to be associated with protective antibodies of certain immunoglobulin classes and subclasses. We...

  2. Flow cytometric readout based on Mitotracker Red CMXRos staining of live asexual blood stage malarial parasites reliably assesses antibody dependent cellular inhibition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jogdand, Prajakta S; Singh, Susheel K; Christiansen, Michael;

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Functional in vitro assays could provide insights into the efficacy of malaria vaccine candidates. For estimating the anti-parasite effect induced by a vaccine candidate, an accurate determination of live parasite count is an essential component of most in vitro bioassays...... asynchronous and tightly synchronized asexual blood stage cultures of Plasmodium falciparum were stained with CMXRos and subjected to detection by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. The parasite counts obtained by flow cytometry were compared to standard microscopic counts obtained through examination...

  3. Survival strategies of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Ramya, TNC; Surolia, Namita; Surolia, Avadhesha

    2002-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the protozoan parasite causing falciparum malaria, is undoubtedly highly versatile when it comes to survival and defence strategies. Strategies adopted by the asexual blood stages of Plasmodium range from unique pathways of nutrient uptake to immune evasion strategies and multiple drug resistance. Studying the survival strategies of Plasmodium could help us envisage strategies of tackling one of the worst scourges of mankind.

  4. Positive blood culture with Plasmodium falciparum : Case report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vries, Jutte J. C.; Van Assen, Sander; Mulder, André B.; Kampinga, Greetje A.

    2007-01-01

    An adult traveler presented with fever and malaise after returning from Sierra Leone. Young trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparum were seen in a blood smear, with parasitemia being 10%. Moreover, blood cultures drawn on admission signaled as "positive" after 1 day of incubation, but no bacteria were

  5. Positive blood culture with Plasmodium falciparum: Case report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vries, Jutte J. C.; Van Assen, Sander; Mulder, André B.; Kampinga, Greetje A.

    2007-01-01

    An adult traveler presented with fever and malaise after returning from Sierra Leone. Young trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparum were seen in a blood smear, with parasitemia being 10%. Moreover, blood cultures drawn on admission signaled as "positive" after 1 day of incubation, but no bacteria were

  6. Positive blood culture with Plasmodium falciparum : Case report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vries, Jutte J. C.; Van Assen, Sander; Mulder, André B.; Kampinga, Greetje A.

    2007-01-01

    An adult traveler presented with fever and malaise after returning from Sierra Leone. Young trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparum were seen in a blood smear, with parasitemia being 10%. Moreover, blood cultures drawn on admission signaled as "positive" after 1 day of incubation, but no bacteria were

  7. Phosphorylated and Nonphosphorylated PfMAP2 Are Localized in the Nucleus, Dependent on the Stage of Plasmodium falciparum Asexual Maturation

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    Farah Aida Dahalan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum mitogen-activated protein (MAP kinases, a family of enzymes central to signal transduction processes including inflammatory responses, are a promising target for antimalarial drug development. Our study shows for the first time that the P. falciparum specific MAP kinase 2 (PfMAP2 is colocalized in the nucleus of all of the asexual erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum and is particularly elevated in its phosphorylated form. It was also discovered that PfMAP2 is expressed in its highest quantity during the early trophozoite (ring form stage and significantly reduced in the mature trophozoite and schizont stages. Although the phosphorylated form of the kinase is always more prevalent, its ratio relative to the nonphosphorylated form remained constant irrespective of the parasites’ developmental stage. We have also shown that the TSH motif specifically renders PfMAP2 genetically divergent from the other plasmodial MAP kinase activation sites using Neighbour Joining analysis. Furthermore, TSH motif-specific designed antibody is crucial in determining the location of the expression of the PfMAP2 protein. However, by using immunoelectron microscopy, PPfMAP2 were detected ubiquitously in the parasitized erythrocytes. In summary, PfMAP2 may play a far more important role than previously thought and is a worthy candidate for research as an antimalarial.

  8. Phosphorylated and Nonphosphorylated PfMAP2 Are Localized in the Nucleus, Dependent on the Stage of Plasmodium falciparum Asexual Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahalan, Farah Aida; Sidek, Hasidah Mohd; Murtey, Mogana Das; Embi, Mohammed Noor; Ibrahim, Jamaiah; Fei Tieng, Lim; Zakaria, Nurul Aiezzah

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, a family of enzymes central to signal transduction processes including inflammatory responses, are a promising target for antimalarial drug development. Our study shows for the first time that the P. falciparum specific MAP kinase 2 (PfMAP2) is colocalized in the nucleus of all of the asexual erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum and is particularly elevated in its phosphorylated form. It was also discovered that PfMAP2 is expressed in its highest quantity during the early trophozoite (ring form) stage and significantly reduced in the mature trophozoite and schizont stages. Although the phosphorylated form of the kinase is always more prevalent, its ratio relative to the nonphosphorylated form remained constant irrespective of the parasites' developmental stage. We have also shown that the TSH motif specifically renders PfMAP2 genetically divergent from the other plasmodial MAP kinase activation sites using Neighbour Joining analysis. Furthermore, TSH motif-specific designed antibody is crucial in determining the location of the expression of the PfMAP2 protein. However, by using immunoelectron microscopy, PPfMAP2 were detected ubiquitously in the parasitized erythrocytes. In summary, PfMAP2 may play a far more important role than previously thought and is a worthy candidate for research as an antimalarial. PMID:27525262

  9. Identification and Localization of Minimal MHC-restricted CD8+ T Cell Epitopes within the Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-24

    Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the...A, Muratova O, Awkal M, et al: Phase 1 clinical trial of apical membrane antigen 1: an asexual blood-stage vaccine for Plasmodium falciparum malaria...PfCP-2.9, an asexual blood-stage vaccine candidate of Plasmodium falciparum. Malar J 2010, 9(1):94. 40. Senger T, Becker MR, Schadlich L, Waterboer T

  10. Correlation between 'H' blood group antigen and Plasmodium falciparum invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Vrushali; Colah, Roshan; Ghosh, Kanjaksha

    2016-06-01

    The ABO blood group system is the most important blood group system in clinical practice. The relationship between Plasmodium falciparum and ABO blood groups has been studied for many years. This study was undertaken to investigate the abilities of different blood group erythrocytes to support in vitro growth of P. falciparum parasites. P. falciparum parasites of four different strains (3D7, 7G8, Dd2 and RKL9) were co-cultured with erythrocytes of blood group 'A', 'B', 'O' (n = 10 for each) and 'O(h)' (Bombay group) (n = 7) for 5 days. Statistically significant differences were observed on the fourth day among the mean percent parasitemias of 'O', non-'O' ('A' and 'B') and 'O(h)' group cultures. The parasitemias of four strains ranged from 12.23 to 14.66, 11.68 to 13.24, 16.89 to 22.3, and 7.37 to 11.27 % in 'A', 'B', 'O' and Bombay group cultures, respectively. As the expression of H antigen decreased from 'O' blood group to 'A' and 'B' and then to Bombay blood group, parasite invasion (percent parasitemia) also decreased significantly (p group erythrocytes were virtually converted to Bombay group-like erythrocytes by the treatment of anti-H lectins extracted from Ulex europaeus seeds. Mean percent parasitemia of lectin-treated cultures on the fourth day was significantly lower (p Bombay group erythrocyte cultures, thus further strengthening the hypothesis.

  11. Signaling transcript profile of the asexual intraerythrocytic development cycle of Plasmodium falciparum induced by melatonin and cAMP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanski, Andrei; Parreira, Kleber S.; Moraes, Miriam S.; Martins, David C.; Hashimoto, Ronaldo F.; Galante, Pedro A.F.; Garcia, Célia R.S.

    2016-01-01

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Plasmodium falciparum is the deadliest parasite among all species. This parasite possesses the ability to sense molecules, including melatonin (MEL) and cAMP, and modulate its cell cycle accordingly. MEL synchronizes the development of this malaria parasite by activating several cascades, including the generation of the second messenger cAMP. Therefore, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis in P. falciparum erythrocytic stages (ring, trophozoite and schizont) treated with MEL and cAMP. To investigate the expression profile of P. falciparum genes regulated by MEL and cAMP, we performed RNA-Seq analysis in three P. falciparum strains (control, 3D7; protein kinase 7 knockout, PfPK7-; and PfPK7 complement, PfPK7C). In the 3D7 strain, 38 genes were differentially expressed upon MEL treatment; however, none of the genes in the trophozoite (T) stage PfPK7- knockout parasites were differentially expressed upon MEL treatment for 5 hours compared to untreated controls, suggesting that PfPK7 may be involved in the signaling leading to differential gene expression. Moreover, we found that MEL modified the mRNA expression of genes encoding membrane proteins, zinc ion-binding proteins and nucleic acid-binding proteins, which might influence numerous functions in the parasite. The RNA-Seq data following treatment with cAMP show that this molecule modulates different genes throughout the intraerythrocytic cycle, namely, 75, 101 and 141 genes, respectively, in the ring (R), T and schizont (S) stages. Our results highlight P. falciparum's perception of the external milieu through the signaling molecules MEL and cAMP, which are able to drive to changes in gene expression in the parasite. PMID:28050233

  12. Quantitative Imaging of Human Red Blood Cells Infected with Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Alessandro; Choimet, Jean-Baptiste; Skepper, Jeremy N.; Mauritz, Jakob M.A.; Lew, Virgilio L.; Kaminski, Clemens F.; Tiffert, Teresa

    2010-01-01

    During its 48 h asexual reproduction cycle, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum ingests and digests hemoglobin in excess of its metabolic requirements and causes major changes in the homeostasis of the host red blood cell (RBC). A numerical model suggested that this puzzling excess consumption of hemoglobin is necessary for the parasite to reduce the colloidosmotic pressure within the host RBC, thus preventing lysis before completion of its reproduction cycle. However, the validity of the colloidosmotic hypothesis appeared to be compromised by initial conflicts between model volume predictions and experimental observations. Here, we investigated volume and membrane area changes in infected RBCs (IRBCs) using fluorescence confocal microscopy on calcein-loaded RBCs. Substantial effort was devoted to developing and testing a new threshold-independent algorithm for the precise estimation of cell volumes and surface areas to overcome the shortfalls of traditional methods. We confirm that the volume of IRBCs remains almost constant during parasite maturation, suggesting that the reported increase in IRBCs' osmotic fragility results from a reduction in surface area and increased lytic propensity on volume expansion. These results support the general validity of the colloidosmotic hypothesis, settle the IRBC volume debate, and help to constrain the range of parameter values in the numerical model. PMID:20682274

  13. The disruption of GDP-fucose de novo biosynthesis suggests the presence of a novel fucose-containing glycoconjugate in Plasmodium asexual blood stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz, Sílvia; López-Gutiérrez, Borja; Bandini, Giulia; Damerow, Sebastian; Absalon, Sabrina; Dinglasan, Rhoel R; Samuelson, John; Izquierdo, Luis

    2016-11-16

    Glycosylation is an important posttranslational protein modification in all eukaryotes. Besides glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors and N-glycosylation, O-fucosylation has been recently reported in key sporozoite proteins of the malaria parasite. Previous analyses showed the presence of GDP-fucose (GDP-Fuc), the precursor for all fucosylation reactions, in the blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum. The GDP-Fuc de novo pathway, which requires the action of GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase (GMD) and GDP-L-fucose synthase (FS), is conserved in the parasite genome, but the importance of fucose metabolism for the parasite is unknown. To functionally characterize the pathway we generated a PfGMD mutant and analyzed its phenotype. Although the labelling by the fucose-binding Ulex europaeus agglutinin I (UEA-I) was completely abrogated, GDP-Fuc was still detected in the mutant. This unexpected result suggests the presence of an alternative mechanism for maintaining GDP-Fuc in the parasite. Furthermore, PfGMD null mutant exhibited normal growth and invasion rates, revealing that the GDP-Fuc de novo metabolic pathway is not essential for the development in culture of the malaria parasite during the asexual blood stages. Nonetheless, the function of this metabolic route and the GDP-Fuc pool that is generated during this stage may be important for gametocytogenesis and sporogonic development in the mosquito.

  14. Plasmodium falciparum Field Isolates from South America Use an Atypical Red Blood Cell Invasion Pathway Associated with Invasion Ligand Polymorphisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Perez, Mary; Villasis, Elizabeth; Machado, Ricardo L. D.; Póvoa, Marinete M.; Vinetz, Joseph M.; Blair, Silvia; Gamboa, Dionicia; Lustigman, Sara

    2012-01-01

    Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC) invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1) and five members of the PfRh (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4, PfRh5) families were determined. We found that most P. falciparum field isolates from Colombia and Peru invade RBCs through an atypical invasion pathway phenotypically characterized as resistant to all enzyme treatments (NrTrCr). Moreover, the invasion pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P. falciparum field isolates in terms of their invasion profiles and ligand polymorphisms, and present a unique opportunity for studying the ability of P. falciparum parasites to expand their invasion repertoire after being reintroduced to human populations. The present study is directly relevant to asexual blood stage vaccine design focused on invasion pathway proteins, suggesting that regional invasion variants and global geographical variation are likely to preclude a simple

  15. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from South America use an atypical red blood cell invasion pathway associated with invasion ligand polymorphisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Lopez-Perez

    Full Text Available Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1 and five members of the PfRh (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4, PfRh5 families were determined. We found that most P. falciparum field isolates from Colombia and Peru invade RBCs through an atypical invasion pathway phenotypically characterized as resistant to all enzyme treatments (NrTrCr. Moreover, the invasion pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P. falciparum field isolates in terms of their invasion profiles and ligand polymorphisms, and present a unique opportunity for studying the ability of P. falciparum parasites to expand their invasion repertoire after being reintroduced to human populations. The present study is directly relevant to asexual blood stage vaccine design focused on invasion pathway proteins, suggesting that regional invasion variants and global geographical variation are likely to

  16. Cord blood dendritic cell subsets in African newborns exposed to Plasmodium falciparum in utero.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breitling, L.P.; Fendel, R.; Mordmueller, B.; Adegnika, A.A.; Kremsner, P.G.; Luty, A.J.F.

    2006-01-01

    Placental Plasmodium falciparum infection affects birth outcomes and sensitizes fetal lymphocytes to parasite antigens. We assessed the influence of maternal P. falciparum infection on fetal myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), analyzing the cord blood of offspring o

  17. Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriage, sex ratios and asexual parasite rates in Nigerian children before and after a treatment protocol policy change instituting the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace Olusola Gbotosho

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The effects of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs on transmission of Plasmodium falciparum were evaluated after a policy change instituting the use of ACTs in an endemic area. P. falciparum gametocyte carriage, sex ratios and inbreeding rates were examined in 2,585 children at presentation with acute falciparum malaria during a 10-year period from 2001-2010. Asexual parasite rates were also evaluated from 2003-2010 in 10,615 children before and after the policy change. Gametocyte carriage declined significantly from 12.4% in 2001 to 3.6% in 2010 (@@χ2 for trend = 44.3, p < 0.0001, but sex ratios and inbreeding rates remained unchanged. Additionally, overall parasite rates remained unchanged before and after the policy change (47.2% vs. 45.4%, but these rates declined significantly from 2003-2010 (@@χ2 for trend 35.4, p < 0.0001. Chloroquine (CQ and artemether-lumefantrine (AL were used as prototype drugs before and after the policy change, respectively. AL significantly shortened the duration of male gametocyte carriage in individual patients after treatment began compared with CQ (log rank statistic = 7.92, p = 0.005. ACTs reduced the rate of gametocyte carriage in children with acute falciparum infections at presentation and shortened the duration of male gametocyte carriage after treatment. However, parasite population sex ratios, inbreeding rates and overall parasite rate were unaffected.

  18. Asexual populations of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, use a two-step genomic strategy to acquire accurate, beneficial DNA amplifications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Guler

    Full Text Available Malaria drug resistance contributes to up to a million annual deaths. Judicious deployment of new antimalarials and vaccines could benefit from an understanding of early molecular events that promote the evolution of parasites. Continuous in vitro challenge of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with a novel dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH inhibitor reproducibly selected for resistant parasites. Genome-wide analysis of independently-derived resistant clones revealed a two-step strategy to evolutionary success. Some haploid blood-stage parasites first survive antimalarial pressure through fortuitous DNA duplications that always included the DHODH gene. Independently-selected parasites had different sized amplification units but they were always flanked by distant A/T tracks. Higher level amplification and resistance was attained using a second, more efficient and more accurate, mechanism for head-to-tail expansion of the founder unit. This second homology-based process could faithfully tune DNA copy numbers in either direction, always retaining the unique DNA amplification sequence from the original A/T-mediated duplication for that parasite line. Pseudo-polyploidy at relevant genomic loci sets the stage for gaining additional mutations at the locus of interest. Overall, we reveal a population-based genomic strategy for mutagenesis that operates in human stages of P. falciparum to efficiently yield resistance-causing genetic changes at the correct locus in a successful parasite. Importantly, these founding events arise with precision; no other new amplifications are seen in the resistant haploid blood stage parasite. This minimizes the need for meiotic genetic cleansing that can only occur in sexual stage development of the parasite in mosquitoes.

  19. Plasmodium falciparum malaria in children aged 0-2 years: the role of foetal haemoglobin and maternal antibodies to two asexual malaria vaccine candidates (MSP3 and GLURP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kangoye, David Tiga; Nebie, Issa; Yaro, Jean-Baptiste; Debe, Siaka; Traore, Safiatou; Ouedraogo, Oumarou; Sanou, Guillaume; Soulama, Issiaka; Diarra, Amidou; Tiono, Alfred; Marsh, Kevin; Sirima, Sodiomon Bienvenu; Bejon, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Children below six months are reported to be less susceptible to clinical malaria. Maternally derived antibodies and foetal haemoglobin are important putative protective factors. We examined antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 3 (MSP3) and glutamate-rich protein (GLURP), in children in their first two years of life in Burkina Faso and their risk of malaria. A cohort of 140 infants aged between four and six weeks was recruited in a stable transmission area of south-western Burkina Faso and monitored for 24 months by active and passive surveillance. Malaria infections were detected by examining blood smears using light microscopy. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to quantify total Immunoglobulin G to Plasmodium falciparum antigens MSP3 and two regions of GLURP (R0 and R2) on blood samples collected at baseline, three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months. Foetal haemoglobin and variant haemoglobin fractions were measured at the baseline visit using high pressure liquid chromatography. A total of 79.6% of children experienced one or more episodes of febrile malaria during monitoring. Antibody titres to MSP3 were prospectively associated with an increased risk of malaria while antibody responses to GLURP (R0 and R2) did not alter the risk. Antibody titres to MSP3 were higher among children in areas of high malaria risk. Foetal haemoglobin was associated with delayed first episode of febrile malaria and haemoglobin CC type was associated with reduced incidence of febrile malaria. We did not find any evidence of association between titres of antibodies to MSP3, GLURP-R0 or GLURP-R2 as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and early protection against malaria, although anti-MSP3 antibody titres may reflect increased exposure to malaria and therefore greater risk. Foetal haemoglobin was associated with protection against febrile malaria despite the study limitations and its role is therefore worthy further investigation.

  20. Plasmodium falciparum malaria in children aged 0-2 years: the role of foetal haemoglobin and maternal antibodies to two asexual malaria vaccine candidates (MSP3 and GLURP.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Tiga Kangoye

    Full Text Available Children below six months are reported to be less susceptible to clinical malaria. Maternally derived antibodies and foetal haemoglobin are important putative protective factors. We examined antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 3 (MSP3 and glutamate-rich protein (GLURP, in children in their first two years of life in Burkina Faso and their risk of malaria.A cohort of 140 infants aged between four and six weeks was recruited in a stable transmission area of south-western Burkina Faso and monitored for 24 months by active and passive surveillance. Malaria infections were detected by examining blood smears using light microscopy. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to quantify total Immunoglobulin G to Plasmodium falciparum antigens MSP3 and two regions of GLURP (R0 and R2 on blood samples collected at baseline, three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months. Foetal haemoglobin and variant haemoglobin fractions were measured at the baseline visit using high pressure liquid chromatography.A total of 79.6% of children experienced one or more episodes of febrile malaria during monitoring. Antibody titres to MSP3 were prospectively associated with an increased risk of malaria while antibody responses to GLURP (R0 and R2 did not alter the risk. Antibody titres to MSP3 were higher among children in areas of high malaria risk. Foetal haemoglobin was associated with delayed first episode of febrile malaria and haemoglobin CC type was associated with reduced incidence of febrile malaria.We did not find any evidence of association between titres of antibodies to MSP3, GLURP-R0 or GLURP-R2 as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and early protection against malaria, although anti-MSP3 antibody titres may reflect increased exposure to malaria and therefore greater risk. Foetal haemoglobin was associated with protection against febrile malaria despite the study limitations and its role is therefore worthy further investigation.

  1. Peripheral blood cell signatures of Plasmodium falciparum infection during pregnancy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibitokou, Samad; Oesterholt, Mayke; Brutus, Laurent;

    2012-01-01

    Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in placental intervillous spaces causes inflammation and pathology. Knowledge of the profiles of immune cells associated with the physiopathology of pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) is scarce. We conducted a longitudinal, prospective...

  2. Flow cytometric readout based on Mitotracker Red CMXRos staining of live asexual blood stage malarial parasites reliably assesses antibody dependent cellular inhibition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jogdand Prajakta S

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Functional in vitro assays could provide insights into the efficacy of malaria vaccine candidates. For estimating the anti-parasite effect induced by a vaccine candidate, an accurate determination of live parasite count is an essential component of most in vitro bioassays. Although traditionally parasites are counted microscopically, a faster, more accurate and less subjective method for counting parasites is desirable. In this study mitochondrial dye (Mitotracker Red CMXRos was used for obtaining reliable live parasite counts through flow cytometry. Methods Both asynchronous and tightly synchronized asexual blood stage cultures of Plasmodium falciparum were stained with CMXRos and subjected to detection by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. The parasite counts obtained by flow cytometry were compared to standard microscopic counts obtained through examination of Giemsa-stained thin smears. A comparison of the ability of CMXRos to stain live and compromised parasites (induced by either medium starvation or by anti-malarial drug treatment was carried out. Finally, parasite counts obtained by CMXRos staining through flow cytometry were used to determine specific growth inhibition index (SGI in an antibody-dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI assay. Results Mitotracker Red CMXRos can reliably detect live intra-erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum. Comparison between staining of live with compromised parasites shows that CMXRos predominantly stains live parasites with functional mitochondria. Parasite counts obtained by CMXRos staining and flow cytometry were highly reproducible and can reliably determine the ability of IgG from hyper-immune individuals to inhibit parasite growth in presence of monocytes in ADCI assay. Further, a dose-dependent parasite growth inhibitory effect could be detected for both total IgG purified from hyper-immune sera and affinity purified IgGs against the N-terminal non-repeat region of GLURP

  3. Plasmodium falciparum SERA5 plays a non-enzymatic role in the malarial asexual blood-stage lifecycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stallmach, Robert; Kavishwar, Manoli; Withers-Martinez, Chrislaine; Hackett, Fiona; Collins, Christine R; Howell, Steven A; Yeoh, Sharon; Knuepfer, Ellen; Atid, Avshalom J; Holder, Anthony A; Blackman, Michael J

    2015-04-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum replicates in an intraerythrocytic parasitophorous vacuole (PV). The most abundant P. falciparum PV protein, called SERA5, is essential in blood stages and possesses a papain-like domain, prompting speculation that it functions as a proteolytic enzyme. Unusually however, SERA5 possesses a Ser residue (Ser596) at the position of the canonical catalytic Cys of papain-like proteases, and the function of SERA5 or whether it performs an enzymatic role is unknown. In this study, we failed to detect proteolytic activity associated with the Ser596-containing parasite-derived or recombinant protein. However, substitution of Ser596 with a Cys residue produced an active recombinant enzyme with characteristics of a cysteine protease, demonstrating that SERA5 can bind peptides. Using targeted homologous recombination in P. falciparum, we substituted Ser596 with Ala with no phenotypic consequences, proving that SERA5 does not perform an essential enzymatic role in the parasite. We could also replace an internal segment of SERA5 with an affinity-purification tag. In contrast, using almost identical targeting constructs, we could not truncate or C-terminally tag the SERA5 gene, or replace Ser596 with a bulky Arg residue. Our findings show that SERA5 plays an indispensable but non-enzymatic role in the P. falciparum blood-stage life cycle.

  4. Peripheral blood cell signatures of Plasmodium falciparum infection during pregnancy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samad Ibitokou

    Full Text Available Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in placental intervillous spaces causes inflammation and pathology. Knowledge of the profiles of immune cells associated with the physiopathology of pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM is scarce. We conducted a longitudinal, prospective study, both in Benin and Tanzania, including ∼1000 pregnant women in each site with systematic follow-up at scheduled antenatal visits until delivery. We used ex vivo flow cytometry to identify peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC profiles that are associated with PAM and anaemia, determining the phenotypic composition and activation status of PBMC in selected sub-groups with and without PAM both at inclusion and at delivery in a total of 302 women. Both at inclusion and at delivery PAM was associated with significantly increased frequencies both of B cells overall and of activated B cells. Infection-related profiles were otherwise quite distinct at the two different time-points. At inclusion, PAM was associated with anaemia, with an increased frequency of immature monocytes and with a decreased frequency of regulatory T cells (Treg. At delivery, infected women presented with significantly fewer plasmacytoid dendritic cells (DC, more myeloid DC expressing low levels of HLA-DR, and more effector T cells (Teff compared to uninfected women. Independent associations with an increased risk of anaemia were found for altered antigen-presenting cell frequencies at inclusion, but for an increased frequency of Teff at delivery. Our findings emphasize the prominent role played by B cells during PAM whenever it arises during pregnancy, whilst also revealing signature changes in other circulating cell types that, we conclude, primarily reflect the relative duration of the infections. Thus, the acute, recently-acquired infections present at delivery were marked by changes in DC and Teff frequencies, contrasting with infections at inclusion, considered chronic in

  5. Pf155/RESA protein influences the dynamic microcirculatory behavior of ring-stage Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diez-Silva, Monica; Park, Yongkeun; Huang, Sha; Bow, Hansen; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Deplaine, Guillaume; Lavazec, Catherine; Perrot, Sylvie; Bonnefoy, Serge; Feld, Michael S.; Han, Jongyoon; Dao, Ming; Suresh, Subra

    2012-08-01

    Proteins exported by Plasmodium falciparum to the red blood cell (RBC) membrane modify the structural properties of the parasitized RBC (Pf-RBC). Although quasi-static single cell assays show reduced ring-stage Pf-RBCs deformability, the parameters influencing their microcirculatory behavior remain unexplored. Here, we study the dynamic properties of ring-stage Pf-RBCs and the role of the parasite protein Pf155/Ring-Infected Erythrocyte Surface Antigen (RESA). Diffraction phase microscopy revealed RESA-driven decreased Pf-RBCs membrane fluctuations. Microfluidic experiments showed a RESA-dependent reduction in the Pf-RBCs transit velocity, which was potentiated at febrile temperature. In a microspheres filtration system, incubation at febrile temperature impaired traversal of RESA-expressing Pf-RBCs. These results show that RESA influences ring-stage Pf-RBCs microcirculation, an effect that is fever-enhanced. This is the first identification of a parasite factor influencing the dynamic circulation of young asexual Pf-RBCs in physiologically relevant conditions, offering novel possibilities for interventions to reduce parasite survival and pathogenesis in its human host.

  6. Inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum oocyst production by membrane-permeant cysteine protease inhibitor E64d.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eksi, S.; Czesny, B.; Gemert, G.J.A. van; Sauerwein, R.W.; Eling, W.M.C.; Williamson, K.C.

    2007-01-01

    During asexual intraerythrocytic growth, Plasmodium falciparum utilizes hemoglobin obtained from the host red blood cell (RBC) as a nutrient source. Papain-like cysteine proteases, falcipains 2 and 3, have been reported to be involved in hemoglobin digestion and are targets of current antimalarial d

  7. Observations on the periodicity of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in natural human infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magesa, S M; Mdira, Y K; Akida, J A

    2000-01-01

    The circadian periodicity of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in peripheral blood was analysed in a group of children from an holoendemic community of north-eastern Tanzania. No periodicity was observed with asexual stage parasites. Gametocytes were shown to display a diurnal subperiodic pattern...

  8. Soluble Plasmodium falciparum antigens contain carbohydrate moieties important for immune reactivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, P H; Theander, T G; Jensen, J B

    1987-01-01

    The importance of carbohydrate moieties for the antigenicity of purified soluble Plasmodium falciparum antigens from the asexual blood stage was tested. Digestion of the soluble antigens with alpha-D-galactosidase clearly affected the ability of the antigen to react with malaria-immune sera from ...

  9. Analysis of the plasmodium falciparum proteome by high-accuracy mass spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lasonder, Edwin; Ishihama, Yasushi; Andersen, Jens S;

    2002-01-01

    -accuracy (average deviation less than 0.02 Da at 1,000 Da) mass spectrometric proteome analysis of selected stages of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The analysis revealed 1,289 proteins of which 714 proteins were identified in asexual blood stages, 931 in gametocytes and 645 in gametes. The last...

  10. Cellulose filtration of blood from malaria patients for improving ex vivo growth of Plasmodium falciparum parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mkumbaye, Sixbert I; Minja, Daniel T R; Jespersen, Jakob S;

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Establishing in vitro Plasmodium falciparum culture lines from patient parasite isolates can offer deeper understanding of geographic variations of drug sensitivity and mechanisms of malaria pathogenesis and immunity. Cellulose column filtration of blood is an inexpensive, rapid...... and effective method for the removal of host factors, such as leucocytes and platelets, significantly improving the purification of parasite DNA in a blood sample. METHODS: In this study, the effect of cellulose column filtration of venous blood on the initial in vitro growth of P. falciparum parasite isolates....... falciparum merozoite surface protein 2 genotyping was performed using nested PCR on extracted genomic DNA, and the var gene transcript levels were investigated, using quantitative PCR on extracted RNA, at admission and 4 days of culture. RESULTS: The cellulose-filtered parasites grew to higher parasitaemia...

  11. X-Ray Microanalysis Investigation of the Changes in Na, K, and Hemoglobin Concentration in Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Red Blood Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritz, Jakob M.A.; Seear, Rachel; Esposito, Alessandro; Kaminski, Clemens F.; Skepper, Jeremy N.; Warley, Alice; Lew, Virgilio L.; Tiffert, Teresa

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for severe malaria. During the ∼48 h duration of its asexual reproduction cycle in human red blood cells, the parasite causes profound alterations in the homeostasis of the host red cell, with reversal of the normal Na and K gradients across the host cell membrane, and a drastic fall in hemoglobin content. A question critical to our understanding of how the host cell retains its integrity for the duration of the cycle had been previously addressed by modeling the homeostasis of infected cells. The model predicted a critical contribution of excess hemoglobin consumption to cell integrity (the colloidosmotic hypothesis). Here we tested this prediction with the use of electron-probe x-ray microanalysis to measure the stage-related changes in Na, K, and Fe contents in single infected red cells and in uninfected controls. The results document a decrease in Fe signal with increased Na/K ratio. Interpreted in terms of concentrations, the results point to a sustained fall in host cell hemoglobin concentration with parasite maturation, supporting a colloidosmotic role of excess hemoglobin digestion. The results also provide, for the first time to our knowledge, comprehensive maps of the elemental distributions of Na, K, and Fe in falciparum-infected red blood cells. PMID:21402025

  12. Cord blood dendritic cell subsets in African newborns exposed to Plasmodium falciparum in utero.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitling, Lutz P; Fendel, Rolf; Mordmueller, Benjamin; Adegnika, Ayola A; Kremsner, Peter G; Luty, Adrian J F

    2006-10-01

    Placental Plasmodium falciparum infection affects birth outcomes and sensitizes fetal lymphocytes to parasite antigens. We assessed the influence of maternal P. falciparum infection on fetal myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), analyzing the cord blood of offspring of Gabonese mothers with different infection histories. Cord blood from newborns of mothers with malarial infection at delivery had significantly more mDC than that from nonexposed newborns (P = 0.028) but mDC and pDC HLA-DR expression was unrelated to maternal infection history. Independently of these findings, cord blood mDC and pDC numbers declined significantly as a function of increasing maternal age (P = 0.029 and P = 0.033, respectively). The inducible antigen-specific interleukin-10-producing regulatory-type T-cell population that we have previously detected in cord blood of newborns with prolonged in utero exposure to P. falciparum may directly reflect the altered DC numbers in such neonates, while the maintenance of cord blood DC HLA-DR expression contrasts with that of DC from P. falciparum malaria patients.

  13. Blood monocyte oxidative burst activity in acute P. falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, H; Theander, T G

    1989-01-01

    The release of superoxide anion from blood monocytes was studied in eight patients with acute primary attack P. falciparum malaria. Before treatment a significant enhancement of the oxidative burst prevailed, which contrasts with previous findings of a depressed monocyte chemotactic responsiveness....... During treatment and after clinical recovery the activity of superoxide anion release normalized in all patients....

  14. Association of ABO blood group and Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Dore Bafeno Area, Southern Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerihun, Tewodros; Degarege, Abraham; Erko, Berhanu

    2011-08-01

    To assess the distribution of ABO blood group and their relationship with Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria among febrile outpatients who sought medical attention at Dore Bafeno Health Center, Southern Ethiopia. A total of 269 febrile outpatients who visited Dore Bafeno Health Center, Southern Ethiopia, were examined for malaria and also tested for ABO blood groups in January 2010. The blood specimens were collected by finger pricking, stained with Geimsa, and examined microscopically. Positive cases of the parasitemia were counted. CareStart™ Malaria Pf/Pv Combo was also used to test the blood specimens for malaria. ABO blood groups were determined by agglutination test using ERYCLONE(®) antisera. Data on socio-demographic characteristics and treatment status of the participants were also collected. Chi-square and ANOVA tests were used to assess the difference between frequencies and means, respectively. Out of a total of 269 participants, 178 (66.2%) febrile patients were found to be infected with Plasmodium parasites, among which 146 (54.3%), 28 (10.4%), and 4 (1.5%) belonged to P. falciparum, P. vivax, and mixed infections, respectively. All febrile patients were also tested for ABO blood groups and 51.3%, 23.5%, 21.9% and 3.3% were found to be blood types of O, A, B and AB, respectively. Both total malaria infection and P. falciparum infection showed significant association with blood types (Pfalciparum malaria parasitaemia for blood groups A, B, AB, and O were 3 744/µL, 1 805/µL, 5 331/µL, and 1 515/µL, respectively (Pfalciparum malaria.

  15. Infants' Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte Composition Reflects Both Maternal and Post-Natal Infection with Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Odilon Nouatin

    Full Text Available Maternal parasitoses modulate fetal immune development, manifesting as altered cellular immunological activity in cord blood that may be linked to enhanced susceptibility to infections in early life. Plasmodium falciparum typifies such infections, with distinct placental infection-related changes in cord blood exemplified by expanded populations of parasite antigen-specific regulatory T cells. Here we addressed whether such early-onset cellular immunological alterations persist through infancy. Specifically, in order to assess the potential impacts of P. falciparum infections either during pregnancy or during infancy, we quantified lymphocyte subsets in cord blood and in infants' peripheral blood during the first year of life. The principal age-related changes observed, independent of infection status, concerned decreases in the frequencies of CD4+, NKdim and NKT cells, whilst CD8+, Treg and Teff cells' frequencies increased from birth to 12 months of age. P. falciparum infections present at delivery, but not those earlier in gestation, were associated with increased frequencies of Treg and CD8+ T cells but fewer CD4+ and NKT cells during infancy, thus accentuating the observed age-related patterns. Overall, P. falciparum infections arising during infancy were associated with a reversal of the trends associated with maternal infection i.e. with more CD4+ cells, with fewer Treg and CD8+ cells. We conclude that maternal P. falciparum infection at delivery has significant and, in some cases, year-long effects on the composition of infants' peripheral blood lymphocyte populations. Those effects are superimposed on separate and independent age- as well as infant infection-related alterations that, respectively, either match or run counter to them.

  16. Theoretical models for near forward light scattering by a Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, S. K.

    2012-12-01

    A number of experimental elastic light scattering studies have been performed in the past few years with the aim of developing automated in vivo tools for differentiating a healthy red blood cell from a Plasmodium falciparum infected cell. This paper examines some theoretical aspects of the problem. An attempt has been made to simulate the scattering patterns of healthy as well as infected individual red blood cells. Two models, namely, a homogeneous sphere model and a coated sphere model have been considered. The scattering patterns predicted by these models are examined. A possible method for discriminating infected red blood cells from healthy ones has been suggested.

  17. Detection of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells by optical stretching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritz, Jakob M. A.; Tiffert, Teresa; Seear, Rachel; Lautenschläger, Franziska; Esposito, Alessandro; Lew, Virgilio L.; Guck, Jochen; Kaminski, Clemens F.

    2010-05-01

    We present the application of a microfluidic optical cell stretcher to measure the elasticity of malaria-infected red blood cells. The measurements confirm an increase in host cell rigidity during the maturation of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The device combines the selectivity and sensitivity of single-cell elasticity measurements with a throughput that is higher than conventional single-cell techniques. The method has potential to detect early stages of infection with excellent sensitivity and high speed.

  18. The quantity and quality of African children's IgG responses to merozoite surface antigens reflect protection against Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Courtin, D.; Oesterholt, M.J.A.M.; Huismans, H.; Kusi, K.; Milet, J.; Badaut, C.; Gaye, O.; Roeffen, W.F.G.; Remarque, E.J.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Garcia, A.; Luty, A.J.F.

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Antibodies, particularly cytophilic IgG subclasses, with specificity for asexual blood stage antigens of Plasmodium falciparum, are thought to play an important role in acquired immunity to malaria. Evaluating such responses in longitudinal sero-epidemiological field studies, allied to i

  19. Malaria resistance genes are associated with the levels of IgG subclasses directed against Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage antigens in Burkina Faso

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    Afridi Sarwat

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background HBB, IL4, IL12, TNF, LTA, NCR3 and FCGR2A polymorphisms have been associated with malaria resistance in humans, whereas cytophilic immunoglobulin G (IgG antibodies are thought to play a critical role in immune protection against asexual blood stages of the parasite. Furthermore, HBB, IL4, TNF, and FCGR2A have been associated with both malaria resistance and IgG levels. This suggests that some malaria resistance genes influence the levels of IgG subclass antibodies. Methods In this study, the effect of HBB, IL4, IL12, TNF, LTA, NCR3 and FCGR2A polymorphisms on the levels of IgG responses against Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage extract was investigated in 220 individuals living in Burkina Faso. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient among IgG subclasses was determined. A family-based approach was used to assess the association of polymorphisms with anti-P. falciparum IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 levels. Results After applying a multiple test correction, several polymorphisms were associated with IgG subclass or IgG levels. There was an association of i haemoglobin C with IgG levels; ii the FcγRIIa H/R131 with IgG2 and IgG3 levels; iii TNF-863 with IgG3 levels; iv TNF-857 with IgG levels; and, v TNF1304 with IgG3, IgG4, and IgG levels. Conclusion Taken together, the results support the hypothesis that some polymorphisms affect malaria resistance through their effect on the acquired immune response, and pave the way towards further comprehension of genetic control of an individual’s humoral response against malaria.

  20. Antimalarial iron chelator, FBS0701, shows asexual and gametocyte Plasmodium falciparum activity and single oral dose cure in a murine malaria model.

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    Patricia Ferrer

    Full Text Available Iron chelators for the treatment of malaria have proven therapeutic activity in vitro and in vivo in both humans and mice, but their clinical use is limited by the unsuitable absorption and pharmacokinetic properties of the few available iron chelators. FBS0701, (S3"-(HO-desazadesferrithiocin-polyether [DADFT-PE], is an oral iron chelator currently in Phase 2 human studies for the treatment of transfusional iron overload. The drug has very favorable absorption and pharmacokinetic properties allowing for once-daily use to deplete circulating free iron with human plasma concentrations in the high µM range. Here we show that FBS0701 has inhibition concentration 50% (IC(50 of 6 µM for Plasmodium falciparum in contrast to the IC(50 for deferiprone and deferoxamine at 15 and 30 µM respectively. In combination, FBS0701 interfered with artemisinin parasite inhibition and was additive with chloroquine or quinine parasite inhibition. FBS0701 killed early stage P. falciparum gametocytes. In the P. berghei Thompson suppression test, a single dose of 100 mg/kg reduced day three parasitemia and prolonged survival, but did not cure mice. Treatment with a single oral dose of 100 mg/kg one day after infection with 10 million lethal P. yoelii 17XL cured all the mice. Pretreatment of mice with a single oral dose of FBS0701 seven days or one day before resulted in the cure of some mice. Plasma exposures and other pharmacokinetics parameters in mice of the 100 mg/kg dose are similar to a 3 mg/kg dose in humans. In conclusion, FBS0701 demonstrates a single oral dose cure of the lethal P. yoelii model. Significantly, this effect persists after the chelator has cleared from plasma. FBS0701 was demonstrated to remove labile iron from erythrocytes as well as enter erythrocytes to chelate iron. FBS0701 may find clinically utility as monotherapy, a malarial prophylactic or, more likely, in combination with other antimalarials.

  1. Acquisition of growth-inhibitory antibodies against blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Fiona J McCallum

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Antibodies that inhibit the growth of blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum may play an important role in acquired and vaccine-induced immunity in humans. However, the acquisition and activity of these antibodies is not well understood. METHODS: We tested dialysed serum and purified immunoglobulins from Kenyan children and adults for inhibition of P. falciparum blood-stage growth in vitro using different parasite lines. Serum antibodies were measured by ELISA to blood-stage parasite antigens, extracted from P. falciparum schizonts, and to recombinant merozoite surface protein 1 (42 kDa C-terminal fragment, MSP1-42. RESULTS: Antibodies to blood-stage antigens present in schizont protein extract and to recombinant MSP1-42 significantly increased with age and were highly correlated. In contrast, growth-inhibitory activity was not strongly associated with age and tended to decline marginally with increasing age and exposure, with young children demonstrating the highest inhibitory activity. Comparison of growth-inhibitory activity among samples collected from the same population at different time points suggested that malaria transmission intensity influenced the level of growth-inhibitory antibodies. Antibodies to recombinant MSP1-42 were not associated with growth inhibition and high immunoglobulin G levels were poorly predictive of inhibitory activity. The level of inhibitory activity against different isolates varied. CONCLUSIONS: Children can acquire growth-inhibitory antibodies at a young age, but once they are acquired they do not appear to be boosted by on-going exposure. Inhibitory antibodies may play a role in protection from early childhood malaria.

  2. Type I Interferons Regulate Immune Responses in Humans with Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes de Oca, Marcela; Kumar, Rajiv; de Labastida Rivera, Fabian; Amante, Fiona H.; Sheel, Meru; Faleiro, Rebecca J.; Bunn, Patrick T.; Best, Shannon E.; Beattie, Lynette; Ng, Susanna S.; Edwards, Chelsea L.; Boyle, Glen M.; Price, Ric N.; Anstey, Nicholas M.; Loughland, Jessica R.; Burel, Julie; Doolan, Denise L.; Haque, Ashraful; McCarthy, James S.; Engwerda, Christian R.

    2016-01-01

    Summary The development of immunoregulatory networks is important to prevent disease. However, these same networks allow pathogens to persist and reduce vaccine efficacy. Here, we identify type I interferons (IFNs) as important regulators in developing anti-parasitic immunity in healthy volunteers infected for the first time with Plasmodium falciparum. Type I IFNs suppressed innate immune cell function and parasitic-specific CD4+ T cell IFNγ production, and they promoted the development of parasitic-specific IL-10-producing Th1 (Tr1) cells. Type I IFN-dependent, parasite-specific IL-10 production was also observed in P. falciparum malaria patients in the field following chemoprophylaxis. Parasite-induced IL-10 suppressed inflammatory cytokine production, and IL-10 levels after drug treatment were positively associated with parasite burdens before anti-parasitic drug administration. These findings have important implications for understanding the development of host immune responses following blood-stage P. falciparum infection, and they identify type I IFNs and related signaling pathways as potential targets for therapies or vaccine efficacy improvement. PMID:27705789

  3. A longitudinal study of human antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum rhoptry-associated protein 1 in a region of seasonal and unstable malaria transmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fonjungo, P N; Elhassan, I M; Cavanagh, D R

    1999-01-01

    . falciparum-derived RAP1 were used to analyze antibody responses to RAP1 over a period of 4 years (1991 to 1995) of 53 individuals naturally exposed to P. falciparum malaria. In any 1 year during the study, between 23 and 39% of individuals who had malaria developed immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies......Rhoptry-associated protein 1 (RAP1) of Plasmodium falciparum is a nonpolymorphic merozoite antigen that is considered a potential candidate for a malaria vaccine against asexual blood stages. In this longitudinal study, recombinant RAP1 (rRAP1) proteins with antigenicity similar to that of P...

  4. An innovative shape equation to quantify the morphological characteristics of parasitized red blood cells by Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, Alireza; Navidbakhsh, Mahdi; Motevalli Haghi, Afsaneh; Faghihi, Shahab

    2013-04-01

    The morphology of red blood cells is affected significantly during maturation of malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A novel shape equation is presented that defines shape of parasitized red blood cells by P. falciparum (Pf-red blood cells) and P. vivax (Pv-red blood cells) at four stages of infection. The Giemsa-stained thin blood films are prepared using blood samples collected from healthy donors, patients having P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria. The diameter and thickness of healthy red blood cells plus Pf-red blood cells and Pv-red blood cells at each stage of infection are measured from their optical images using Olysia and Scanning Probe Image Processor softwares, respectively. Using diameters and thicknesses of parasitized red blood cells, a shape equation is fitted and relative two-dimensional shapes are plotted using MATHEMATICA. The shape of Pf-red blood cell drastically changes at ring stage as its thickness increases by 82%, while Pv-red blood cell remains biconcave (30% increase in thickness). By trophozoite and subsequent schizont stage, the Pf-red blood cell entirely loses its biconcave shape and becomes near spherical (diameter and thickness of ~8 µm). The Pv-red blood cell remains biconcave throughout the parasite development even though its volume increases. These results could have practical use for faster diagnosis, prediction, and treatment of human malaria and sickle-cell diseases.

  5. Plasmodium falciparum: growth response to potassium channel blocking compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waller, Karena L; Kim, Kami; McDonald, Thomas V

    2008-11-01

    Potassium channels are essential for cell survival and regulate the cell membrane potential and electrochemical gradient. During its lifecycle, Plasmodium falciparum parasites must rapidly adapt to dramatically variant ionic conditions within the mosquito mid-gut, the hepatocyte and red blood cell (RBC) cytosols, and the human circulatory system. To probe the participation of K(+) channels in parasite viability, growth response assays were performed in which asexual stage P. falciparum parasites were cultured in the presence of various Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel blocking compounds. These data describe the novel anti-malarial effects of bicuculline methiodide and tubocurarine chloride and the novel lack of effect of apamine and verruculogen. Taken together, the data herein imply the presence of K(+) channels, or other parasite-specific targets, in P. falciparum-infected RBCs that are sensitive to blockade with Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel blocking compounds.

  6. P. falciparum and P. vivax Epitope-Focused VLPs Elicit Sterile Immunity to Blood Stage Infections.

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    David C Whitacre

    Full Text Available In order to design P. falciparum preerythrocytic vaccine candidates, a library of circumsporozoite (CS T and B cell epitopes displayed on the woodchuck hepatitis virus core antigen (WHcAg VLP platform was produced. To test the protective efficacy of the WHcAg-CS VLPs, hybrid CS P. berghei/P. falciparum (Pb/Pf sporozoites were used to challenge immunized mice. VLPs carrying 1 or 2 different CS repeat B cell epitopes and 3 VLPs carrying different CS non-repeat B cell epitopes elicited high levels of anti-insert antibodies (Abs. Whereas, VLPs carrying CS repeat B cell epitopes conferred 98% protection of the liver against a 10,000 Pb/Pf sporozoite challenge, VLPs carrying the CS non-repeat B cell eptiopes were minimally-to-non-protective. One-to-three CS-specific CD4/CD8 T cell sites were also fused to VLPs, which primed CS-specific as well as WHcAg-specific T cells. However, a VLP carrying only the 3 T cell domains failed to protect against a sporozoite challenge, indicating a requirement for anti-CS repeat Abs. A VLP carrying 2 CS repeat B cell epitopes and 3 CS T cell sites in alum adjuvant elicited high titer anti-CS Abs (endpoint dilution titer >1x10(6 and provided 80-100% protection against blood stage malaria. Using a similar strategy, VLPs were constructed carrying P. vivax CS repeat B cell epitopes (WHc-Pv-78, which elicited high levels of anti-CS Abs and conferred 99% protection of the liver against a 10,000 Pb/Pv sporozoite challenge and elicited sterile immunity to blood stage infection. These results indicate that immunization with epitope-focused VLPs carrying selected B and T cell epitopes from the P. falciparum and P. vivax CS proteins can elicit sterile immunity against blood stage malaria. Hybrid WHcAg-CS VLPs could provide the basis for a bivalent P. falciparum/P. vivax malaria vaccine.

  7. Membrane rigidity of red blood cells parasitized by different strains of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulitschke, M; Nash, G B

    1993-11-01

    Changes in the structure of parasitized red blood cells may influence their ability to circulate. We have used a micropipette technique to examine the effects of invasion and maturation of Plasmodium falciparum on the membrane rigidity of red blood cells. In the presence of immature, ring form parasites from different laboratory strains, membrane rigidity remained unchanged as compared with uninfected red cells. However, development of more mature pigmented trophozoites caused a marked increase in membrane rigidity. Parasites from knobless strains caused a less-pronounced increase than parasites from knob-positive strains. Using closely synchronized cultures, the dependence of membrane rigidity on parasite maturation was studied in more detail for selected knob-positive and knobless strains. Over a period of 12 hours, while trophozoites developed into schizonts, no further rigidification of the red cell membrane occurred. The increase in membrane rigidity, occurring with the initial development of pigmented trophozoites, may be related to insertion of neoantigens into the red cell surface or modification of native membrane proteins that also occur at this time. In contrast to others, we found no effect of parasite-culture supernatant, harvested at different stages, on the rigidity of uninfected cells exposed to it. Interstrain variation of membrane rigidity could influence pathophysiology in several ways: by promoting margination and cytoadherence of knob-positive strains in the microcirculation, by modulating clearance of parasitized cells by the reticuloendothelial system, and by influencing ischemic complications of severe falciparum malaria.

  8. Changes in white blood cells and platelets in children with falciparum malaria: relationship to disease outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladhani, Shamez; Lowe, Brett; Cole, Andrew O; Kowuondo, Ken; Newton, Charles R J C

    2002-12-01

    Little is known about the changes in white blood cells and platelets in children with falciparum malaria in endemic areas. We measured the white cell count (WCC) and platelets of 230 healthy children from the community, 1369 children admitted to hospital with symptomatic malaria, and 1461 children with other medical conditions. Children with malaria had a higher WCC compared with community controls, and leucocytosis was strongly associated with younger age, deep breathing, severe anaemia, thrombocytopenia and death. The WCC was not associated with a positive blood culture. In children with malaria, high lymphocyte and low monocyte counts were independently associated with mortality. A platelet count of less than 150 x 109/l was found in 56.7% of children with malaria, and was associated with age, prostration and parasite density, but not with bleeding problems or mortality. The mean platelet volume was also higher in children with malaria compared with other medical conditions. This may reflect early release from the bone marrow in response to peripheral platelet destruction. Thus, leucocytosis was associated with both severity and mortality in children with falciparum malaria, irrespective of bacteraemia, whereas thrombocytopenia, although very common, was not associated with adverse outcome.

  9. Plasmodium Falciparum Versus Plasmodium Vivax: Which Is a Lesser Evil?

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    Rathod Chirag C, Deshpande Shubhangi V, Rana Himanshu M, Godbole Varsha Y, Patel Amul, Patel Vaibhav, Darad Dimple, Panchal Maulik

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: With changing spectrum, different grades of biochemical & haematological changes generally found to be more severe with p. falciparum, now frequently seen with p. vivax. Present study intends to find species specific differences in diseases progression & complications. Methodology: A retrospective study of Malaria-patients admitted at GMERS Medical College & Hospital, Vadodara from january-2011to december-2011 was done. p. falciparum, P. Vivax were diagnosed by demonstrating asexual forms of parasites in peripheral blood smear, haematological & biochemical tests were analyzed. Results: Out of 1093 cases, 781 were slide positive, remaining 312 were treated on clinical-ground .Of 781 cases, 443 (56% p. falciparum, 327 (42% P. Vivax and 11(2% were mixed Infection. Male to female ratio was 1.8:1&0.8:1 in p. falciparum & P. vivax, respectively. Fever, Prodroms, GI symptoms, Liver -dysfunction (51%vs47%, Renal- dysfunction (52%vs48% were equally frequent; whereas Hemolysis, Bleeding tendency, Breathlessness and altered sensorium were more in p. falciparum. Anemia (56%, Thrombocytopenia (60%, Pancytopenia (54%, Hemolysis (65% was more frequent in p. falciparum. Leucopenia (54% was more frequent in p. Vivax. Conclusion: In contrast to earlier studies, which have proven p. falciparum to be more fatal & complicated, it was noted in present study that P. Vivax species was frequent cause of overall slide-positive cases causing complications head to head with p. falciparum. Anemia, Hepato-renal dysfunctions were equally frequent, nonfatal leucopenia more in p. Vivax, while hemolysis and thrombocytopenia was more in p. falciparum. If ignored complications can alter clinical course & be equally fatal in p. vivax malaria. Hence p. vivax can no more be considered as benign infection and can be equally lethal.

  10. The Plasmodium falciparum blood stages acquire factor H family proteins to evade destruction by human complement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Thiago F A; Flammersfeld, Ansgar; Ngwa, Che J; Kiesow, Meike; Fischer, Rainer; Zipfel, Peter F; Skerka, Christine; Pradel, Gabriele

    2016-04-01

    The acquisition of regulatory proteins is a means of blood-borne pathogens to avoid destruction by the human complement. We recently showed that the gametes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum bind factor H (FH) from the blood meal of the mosquito vector to assure successful sexual reproduction, which takes places in the mosquito midgut. While these findings provided a first glimpse of a complex mechanism used by Plasmodium to control the host immune attack, it is hitherto not known, how the pathogenic blood stages of the malaria parasite evade destruction by the human complement. We now show that the human complement system represents a severe threat for the replicating blood stages, particularly for the reinvading merozoites, with complement factor C3b accumulating on the surfaces of the intraerythrocytic schizonts as well as of free merozoites. C3b accumulation initiates terminal complement complex formation, in consequence resulting in blood stage lysis. To inactivate C3b, the parasites bind FH as well as related proteins FHL-1 and CFHR-1 to their surface, and FH binding is trypsin-resistant. Schizonts acquire FH via two contact sites, which involve CCP modules 5 and 20. Blockage of FH-mediated protection via anti-FH antibodies results in significantly impaired blood stage replication, pointing to the plasmodial complement evasion machinery as a promising malaria vaccine target.

  11. The Effect of Storage and Extraction Methods on Amplification of Plasmodium falciparum DNA from Dried Blood Spots

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwartz, A.; Baidjoe, A.Y.; Rosenthal, P.J.; Dorsey, G.; Bousema, T.; Greenhouse, B.

    2015-01-01

    Extraction and amplification of DNA from dried blood spots (DBS) collected in field studies is commonly used for detection of Plasmodium falciparum. However, there have been few systematic efforts to determine the effects of storage and extraction methods on the sensitivity of DNA amplification. We

  12. Characterization of the Duffy-Binding-Like Domain of Plasmodium falciparum Blood-Stage Antigen 332

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    Sandra Nilsson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies on Pf332, a major Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage antigen, have largely been hampered by the cross-reactive nature of antibodies generated against the molecule due to its high content of repeats, which are present in other malaria antigens. We previously reported the identification of a conserved domain in Pf332 with a high degree of similarity to the Duffy-binding-like (DBL domains of the erythrocyte-binding-like (EBL family. We here describe that antibodies towards Pf332-DBL are induced after repeated exposure to P. falciparum and that they are acquired early in life in areas of intense malaria transmission. Furthermore, a homology model of Pf332-DBL was found to be similar to the structure of the EBL-DBLs. Despite their similarities, antibodies towards Pf332-DBL did not display any cross-reactivity with EBL-proteins as demonstrated by immunofluorescence microscopy, Western blotting, and peptide microarray. Thus the DBL domain is an attractive region to use in further studies on the giant Pf332 molecule.

  13. Survey of in vivo sensitivity to chloroquine by Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax in Lombok, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fryauff, D J; Baird, J K; Candradikusuma, D; Masbar, S; Sutamihardja, M A; Leksana, B; Tuti, S; Marwoto, H; Richie, T; Romzan, A

    1997-02-01

    A malariometric survey was conducted in 14 villages of Sekotong district, in Lombok, Indonesia during October 1994. Point prevalence of malaria ranged from 0% to 15% in the surveyed villages, averaging 6% overall, and Plasmodium falciparum accounted for 63% of the infections. Forty-nine patients with uncomplicated malaria and parasite counts ranging from 40 to 10,800 asexual forms/microliter were enrolled in a 28-day in vivo test of chloroquine sensitivity. All subjects received a supervised therapeutic regimen of chloroquine (25 mg base/kg over a 48-hr period) and parasitemia and symptoms were closely monitored for 28 days. Asexual parasites were eliminated within four days in the 29 P. falciparum and 20 P. vivax study patients enrolled. The cumulative incidence of therapeutic failure (recurrent symptomatic parasitemia) among P. falciparum cases at days 7, 14, and 28 was 7%, 10%, and 14% (4 of 29), respectively. However in all four cases, parasitemias recurred against chloroquine blood levels below the minimally effective concentration (MEC) of 200 ng/ml and do not confirm chloroquine resistance. All 20 P. vivax parasitemias were sensitive to chloroquine and the blood remained clear, with the exception of one case in which an asymptomatic parasitemia appeared on day 28. Parasitemias by P. falciparum and P. vivax that were observed before supervised therapy, but in the presence of whole blood chloroquine above normally suppressive MEC levels, suggest resistance to suppressive or prophylactic regimens of chloroquine.

  14. [Identification of blood donors capable of transmitting P. falciparum. Use of homologous antigenic preparations ready for use].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deroff, P; Reguer, M; Simitzis, A M; Boudon, A; Saleun, J P

    1982-09-01

    The smears of P. falciparum parasited blood ready to be employed, that we have tested in indirect immunofluorescence to detect blood donors who can be at the origin of post transfusional paludism, seem to offer a very important progress to us for the improvement of transfusion security. Their routine use can be recommended because their easy way of using allows their adoption by very many transfusion centers.

  15. The effects of hemoglobin genotype and ABO blood group on the formation of rosettes by Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udomsangpetch, R; Todd, J; Carlson, J; Greenwood, B M

    1993-02-01

    The mechanisms by which the hemoglobin genotype AS protect against severe malaria are not fully understood. We have investigated the possibility that protection might be achieved through an inability of red blood cells (RBC) with the AS genotype to form rosettes with RBC infected by Plasmodium falciparum. No evidence was obtained to support this hypothesis because RBC with the AS genotype formed rosettes with wild isolates of P. falciparum as readily as RBC with the AA genotype. However, the previous finding that parasitized RBC form rosettes more readily with RBC belonging to group A or B than with RBC belonging to group O was confirmed even in fresh clinical isolates.

  16. Asexual Reproduction in Holothurians

    OpenAIRE

    Igor Yu. Dolmatov

    2014-01-01

    Aspects of asexual reproduction in holothurians are discussed. Holothurians are significant as fishery and aquaculture items and have high commercial value. The last review on holothurian asexual reproduction was published 18 years ago and included only 8 species. An analysis of the available literature shows that asexual reproduction has now been confirmed in 16 holothurian species. Five additional species are also most likely capable of fission. The recent discovery of new fissiparous holot...

  17. Synthetic TLR4 agonists enhance functional antibodies and CD4+ T-cell responses against the Plasmodium falciparum GMZ2.6C multi-stage vaccine antigen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baldwin, Susan L; Roeffen, Will; Singh, Susheel K;

    2016-01-01

    of the sexual-stage protein Pfs48/45-6C genetically fused to GMZ2, an asexual vaccine antigen in advanced clinical development. To select the most suitable vaccine formulation for downstream clinical studies, GMZ2.6C was tested with various immune modulators in different adjuvant formulations (stable emulsions......A subunit vaccine targeting both transmission and pathogenic asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum, i.e., a multi-stage vaccine, could be a powerful tool to combat malaria. Here, we report production and characterization of the recombinant protein GMZ2.6C, which contains a fragment...

  18. Antibody recognition of Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells by symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in the Brazilian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratus, Alessandra Sampaio Bassi; Cabral, Fernanda Janku; Fotoran, Wesley Luzetti; Medeiros, Márcia Melo; Carlos, Bianca Cechetto; Martha, Rosimeire dalla; da Silva, Luiz Hildebrando Pereira; Lopes, Stefanie Costa Pinto; Costa, Fabio Trindade Maranhão; Wunderlich, Gerhard

    2014-01-01

    In the Amazon Region, there is a virtual absence of severe malaria and few fatal cases of naturally occurring Plasmodium falciparum infections; this presents an intriguing and underexplored area of research. In addition to the rapid access of infected persons to effective treatment, one cause of this phenomenon might be the recognition of cytoadherent variant proteins on the infected red blood cell (IRBC) surface, including the var gene encoded P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1. In order to establish a link between cytoadherence, IRBC surface antibody recognition and the presence or absence of malaria symptoms, we phenotype-selected four Amazonian P. falciparum isolates and the laboratory strain 3D7 for their cytoadherence to CD36 and ICAM1 expressed on CHO cells. We then mapped the dominantly expressed var transcripts and tested whether antibodies from symptomatic or asymptomatic infections showed a differential recognition of the IRBC surface. As controls, the 3D7 lineages expressing severe disease-associated phenotypes were used. We showed that there was no profound difference between the frequency and intensity of antibody recognition of the IRBC-exposed P. falciparum proteins in symptomatic vs. asymptomatic infections. The 3D7 lineages, which expressed severe malaria-associated phenotypes, were strongly recognised by most, but not all plasmas, meaning that the recognition of these phenotypes is frequent in asymptomatic carriers, but is not necessarily a prerequisite to staying free of symptoms. PMID:25099336

  19. Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriage is common in an area of low and seasonal transmission in Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shekalaghe, Seif A; Bousema, J Teun; Kunei, Karaine K

    2007-01-01

    . In this study, we investigated submicroscopic asexual parasitaemia and gametocytaemia in inhabitants of an area of hypoendemic and seasonal malaria in Tanzania. METHODS: Two cross-sectional malariometric surveys were conducted in the dry and wet seasons of 2005 in villages in lower Moshi, Tanzania. Finger prick...... blood samples were taken to determine the prevalence of P. falciparum parasites by microscopy, rapid diagnostic test and real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (QT-NASBA). RESULTS: 2752 individuals participated in the surveys, of whom 1.9% (51/2721) had microscopically confirmed asexual...... reveal that carriage of submicroscopic asexual parasite and gametocyte densities is relatively common in this low transmission area. Submicroscopic gametocytaemia is likely to be responsible for maintaining malarial transmission in the study area....

  20. Characterization of a Plasmodium falciparum macrophage-migration inhibitory factor homologue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordery, Damien V; Kishore, Uday; Kyes, Sue; Shafi, Mohammed J; Watkins, Katherine R; Williams, Thomas N; Marsh, Kevin; Urban, Britta C

    2007-03-15

    Macrophage-migration inhibitory factor (MIF), one of the first cytokines described, has a broad range of proinflammatory properties. The genome sequencing project of Plasmodium falciparum identified a parasite homologue of MIF. The protein is expressed during the asexual blood stages of the parasite life cycle that cause malarial disease. The identification of a parasite homologue of MIF raised the question of whether it affects monocyte function in a manner similar to its human counterpart. Recombinant P. falciparum MIF (PfMIF) was generated and used in vitro to assess its influence on monocyte function. Antibodies generated against PfMIF were used to determine the expression profile and localization of the protein in blood-stage parasites. Antibody responses to PfMIF were determined in Kenyan children with acute malaria and in control subjects. PfMIF protein was expressed in asexual blood-stage parasites, localized to the Maurer's cleft. In vitro treatment of monocytes with PfMIF inhibited random migration and reduced the surface expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, TLR4, and CD86. These results indicate that PfMIF is released during blood-stage malaria and potentially modulates the function of monocytes during acute P. falciparum infection.

  1. Using CF11 cellulose columns to inexpensively and effectively remove human DNA from Plasmodium falciparum-infected whole blood samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkatesan Meera

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genome and transcriptome studies of Plasmodium nucleic acids obtained from parasitized whole blood are greatly improved by depletion of human DNA or enrichment of parasite DNA prior to next-generation sequencing and microarray hybridization. The most effective method currently used is a two-step procedure to deplete leukocytes: centrifugation using density gradient media followed by filtration through expensive, commercially available columns. This method is not easily implemented in field studies that collect hundreds of samples and simultaneously process samples for multiple laboratory analyses. Inexpensive syringes, hand-packed with CF11 cellulose powder, were recently shown to improve ex vivo cultivation of Plasmodium vivax obtained from parasitized whole blood. This study was undertaken to determine whether CF11 columns could be adapted to isolate Plasmodium falciparum DNA from parasitized whole blood and achieve current quantity and purity requirements for Illumina sequencing. Methods The CF11 procedure was compared with the current two-step standard of leukocyte depletion using parasitized red blood cells cultured in vitro and parasitized blood obtained ex vivo from Cambodian patients with malaria. Procedural variations in centrifugation and column size were tested, along with a range of blood volumes and parasite densities. Results CF11 filtration reliably produces 500 nanograms of DNA with less than 50% human DNA contamination, which is comparable to that obtained by the two-step method and falls within the current quality control requirements for Illumina sequencing. In addition, a centrifuge-free version of the CF11 filtration method to isolate P. falciparum DNA at remote and minimally equipped field sites in malaria-endemic areas was validated. Conclusions CF11 filtration is a cost-effective, scalable, one-step approach to remove human DNA from P. falciparum-infected whole blood samples.

  2. Identifying New Chemical Entities that Treat and Prevent Relapsing Vivax and Drug-Resistant Falciparum Malaria in U.S. Military Personnel

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific, and both Central and South America . The project combines expertise from the Walter Reed Army...falciparum, P. cynomolgi, asexual blood stages, liver stages, high-throughput screen, drug assays, cell culture , transfection, green fluorescent...by the end of 2016. Active compounds have also been screened against P. berghei liver stages cultured in vitro, using a parasite line expressing

  3. The Plasmodium falciparum var gene transcription strategy at the onset of blood stage infection in a human volunteer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Christian W; Hermsen, Cornelus C; Sauerwein, Robert W;

    2009-01-01

    The var genes encode a family of adhesion receptor proteins, Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), which profoundly influence malaria pathogenesis. Only a single var gene is transcribed and one PfEMP1 expressed per P.falciparum parasite. Here we present the in vivo...... transcript distribution of var genes in a P. falciparum-infected non-immune individual and show that the initial expression of PfEMP1 is based on a strategy that allows all or most variants of PfEMP1s to be expressed by the parasite population at the onset of the blood stage infection....

  4. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from South America use an atypical red blood cell invasion pathway associated with invasion ligand polymorphisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lopez-Perez, Mary; Villasis, Elizabeth; Machado, Ricardo L D

    2012-01-01

    Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC) invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully...... characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1) and five......, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P...

  5. Discovery of GAMA, a Plasmodium falciparum merozoite micronemal protein, as a novel blood-stage vaccine candidate antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arumugam, Thangavelu U; Takeo, Satoru; Yamasaki, Tsutomu; Thonkukiatkul, Amporn; Miura, Kazutoyo; Otsuki, Hitoshi; Zhou, Hong; Long, Carole A; Sattabongkot, Jetsumon; Thompson, Jennifer; Wilson, Danny W; Beeson, James G; Healer, Julie; Crabb, Brendan S; Cowman, Alan F; Torii, Motomi; Tsuboi, Takafumi

    2011-11-01

    One of the solutions for reducing the global mortality and morbidity due to malaria is multivalent vaccines comprising antigens of several life cycle stages of the malarial parasite. Hence, there is a need for supplementing the current set of malaria vaccine candidate antigens. Here, we aimed to characterize glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored micronemal antigen (GAMA) encoded by the PF08_0008 gene in Plasmodium falciparum. Antibodies were raised against recombinant GAMA synthesized by using a wheat germ cell-free system. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated for the first time that GAMA is a microneme protein of the merozoite. Erythrocyte binding assays revealed that GAMA possesses an erythrocyte binding epitope in the C-terminal region and it binds a nonsialylated protein receptor on human erythrocytes. Growth inhibition assays revealed that anti-GAMA antibodies can inhibit P. falciparum invasion in a dose-dependent manner and GAMA plays a role in the sialic acid (SA)-independent invasion pathway. Anti-GAMA antibodies in combination with anti-erythrocyte binding antigen 175 exhibited a significantly higher level of invasion inhibition, supporting the rationale that targeting of both SA-dependent and SA-independent ligands/pathways is better than targeting either of them alone. Human sera collected from areas of malaria endemicity in Mali and Thailand recognized GAMA. Since GAMA in P. falciparum is refractory to gene knockout attempts, it is essential to parasite invasion. Overall, our study indicates that GAMA is a novel blood-stage vaccine candidate antigen.

  6. Use of Blood Smears and Dried Blood Spots for Polymerase Chain Reaction-Based Detection and Quantification of Bacterial Infection and Plasmodium falciparum in Severely Ill Febrile African Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wihokhoen, Benchawan; Dondorp, Arjen M; Turner, Paul; Woodrow, Charles J; Imwong, Mallika

    2016-02-01

    Molecular approaches offer a means of testing archived samples stored as dried blood spots in settings where standard blood cultures are not possible. Peripheral blood films are one suggested source of material, although the sensitivity of this approach has not been well defined. Thin blood smears and dried blood spots from a severe pediatric malaria study were assessed using specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers to detect non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS; MisL gene), Streptococcus pneumoniae (lytA), and Plasmodium falciparum (18S rRNA). Of 16 cases of NTS and S. pneumoniae confirmed on blood culture, none were positive by PCR using DNA extracts from blood films or dried blood spots. In contrast, four of 36 dried blood spots and two of 178 plasma samples were PCR positive for S. pneumoniae, despite negative bacterial blood cultures, suggesting false positives. Quantitative assessment revealed that the effective concentration of P. falciparum DNA in blood films was three log orders of magnitude lower than for dried blood spots. The P. falciparum kelch13 gene could not be amplified from blood films. These findings question the value of blood PCR-based approaches for detection of NTS and S. pneumoniae, and show that stored blood films are an inefficient method of studying P. falciparum.

  7. Evaluation of a rapid whole blood immunochromatographic assay for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernando, S D; Karunaweera, N D; Fernando, W P

    2004-03-01

    Microscopic examination of blood smears is the 'gold standard' for malaria diagnosis, but is labour intensive and requires skilled operators. Plasmodium vivax malaria accounts for up to 70% of infections in Sri Lanka. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an immunochromatographic test which can detect both the species of Plasmodium, P. vivax and P. falciparum, present in Sri Lanka. Prospective study from May 2001 to March 2002. All persons above 5 years of age who presented to the Malaria Research Station, Kataragama or the Anti-malaria Clinic, Kurunegala, with a history of fever were recruited to the study. Thick and thin blood smears were examined for malarial parasites. The rapid diagnostic test (RDT), ICT Malaria P.f/P.v (AMRAD ICT, Australia) was performed simultaneously by an independent investigator. The severity of clinical disease of all patients was evaluated. The study sample comprised 328 individuals of whom 126 (38%) were infected, 102 with P. vivax (31.1%) and 24 with P. falciparum (7.3%). The RDT was found to be highly sensitive (100%) and specific (100%) for the diagnosis of P. falciparum when compared with field microscopy. The sensitivity for the diagnosis of P. vivax malaria was only 70%. When P. vivax parasitaemia was greater than 5000 parasites/microL the RDT was 96.2% sensitive. A significant association was noted between the band intensity on the dipstick and both peripheral blood parasitaemia (p ICT Malaria P.f/P.v test can be used in Sri Lanka in the absence of microscopists.

  8. A transgenic Plasmodium falciparum NF54 strain that expresses GFP-luciferase throughout the parasite life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Ashley M; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Camargo, Nelly; Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Kennedy, Mark; Lindner, Scott E; Miller, Jessica L; Hume, Jen C C; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2012-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the pathogenic agent of the most lethal of human malarias. Transgenic P. falciparum parasites expressing luciferase have been created to study drug interventions of both asexual and sexual blood stages but luciferase-expressing mosquito stage and liver stage parasites have not been created which has prevented the easy quantification of mosquito stage development (e.g. for transmission blocking interventions) and liver stage development (for interventions that prevent infection). To overcome this obstacle, we have created a transgenic P. falciparum NF54 parasite that expresses a GFP-luciferase transgene throughout the life cycle. Luciferase expression is robust and measurable at all life cycle stages, including midgut oocyst, salivary gland sporozoites and liver stages, where in vivo development is easily measurable using humanized mouse infections in conjunction with an in vivo imaging system. This parasite reporter strain will accelerate testing of interventions against pre-erythrocytic life cycle stages.

  9. Biosynthesis of GDP-fucose and Other Sugar Nucleotides in the Blood Stages of Plasmodium falciparum*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz, Sílvia; Bandini, Giulia; Ospina, Diego; Bernabeu, Maria; Mariño, Karina; Fernández-Becerra, Carmen; Izquierdo, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Carbohydrate structures play important roles in many biological processes, including cell adhesion, cell-cell communication, and host-pathogen interactions. Sugar nucleotides are activated forms of sugars used by the cell as donors for most glycosylation reactions. Using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based method, we identified and quantified the pools of UDP-glucose, UDP-galactose, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, GDP-mannose, and GDP-fucose in Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic life stages. We assembled these data with the in silico functional reconstruction of the parasite metabolic pathways obtained from the P. falciparum annotated genome, exposing new active biosynthetic routes crucial for further glycosylation reactions. Fucose is a sugar present in glycoconjugates often associated with recognition and adhesion events. Thus, the GDP-fucose precursor is essential in a wide variety of organisms. P. falciparum presents homologues of GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-l-fucose synthase enzymes that are active in vitro, indicating that most GDP-fucose is formed by a de novo pathway that involves the bioconversion of GDP-mannose. Homologues for enzymes involved in a fucose salvage pathway are apparently absent in the P. falciparum genome. This is in agreement with in vivo metabolic labeling experiments showing that fucose is not significantly incorporated by the parasite. Fluorescence microscopy of epitope-tagged versions of P. falciparum GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-l-fucose synthase expressed in transgenic 3D7 parasites shows that these enzymes localize in the cytoplasm of P. falciparum during the intraerythrocytic developmental cycle. Although the function of fucose in the parasite is not known, the presence of GDP-fucose suggests that the metabolite may be used for further fucosylation reactions. PMID:23615908

  10. Biosynthesis of GDP-fucose and other sugar nucleotides in the blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz, Sílvia; Bandini, Giulia; Ospina, Diego; Bernabeu, Maria; Mariño, Karina; Fernández-Becerra, Carmen; Izquierdo, Luis

    2013-06-07

    Carbohydrate structures play important roles in many biological processes, including cell adhesion, cell-cell communication, and host-pathogen interactions. Sugar nucleotides are activated forms of sugars used by the cell as donors for most glycosylation reactions. Using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based method, we identified and quantified the pools of UDP-glucose, UDP-galactose, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, GDP-mannose, and GDP-fucose in Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic life stages. We assembled these data with the in silico functional reconstruction of the parasite metabolic pathways obtained from the P. falciparum annotated genome, exposing new active biosynthetic routes crucial for further glycosylation reactions. Fucose is a sugar present in glycoconjugates often associated with recognition and adhesion events. Thus, the GDP-fucose precursor is essential in a wide variety of organisms. P. falciparum presents homologues of GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-L-fucose synthase enzymes that are active in vitro, indicating that most GDP-fucose is formed by a de novo pathway that involves the bioconversion of GDP-mannose. Homologues for enzymes involved in a fucose salvage pathway are apparently absent in the P. falciparum genome. This is in agreement with in vivo metabolic labeling experiments showing that fucose is not significantly incorporated by the parasite. Fluorescence microscopy of epitope-tagged versions of P. falciparum GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-L-fucose synthase expressed in transgenic 3D7 parasites shows that these enzymes localize in the cytoplasm of P. falciparum during the intraerythrocytic developmental cycle. Although the function of fucose in the parasite is not known, the presence of GDP-fucose suggests that the metabolite may be used for further fucosylation reactions.

  11. Expression, Purification and Characterization of GMZ2'.10C, a Complex Disulphide-Bonded Fusion Protein Vaccine Candidate against the Asexual and Sexual Life-Stages of the Malaria-Causing Plasmodium falciparum Parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mistarz, Ulrik H; Singh, Susheel K; Nguyen, Tam T T N

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Production and characterization of a chimeric fusion protein (GMZ2'.10C) which combines epitopes of key malaria parasite antigens: glutamate-rich protein (GLURP), merozoite surface protein 3 (MSP3), and the highly disulphide bonded Pfs48/45 (10C). GMZ2'.10C is a potential candidate...... for a multi-stage malaria vaccine that targets both transmission and asexual life-cycle stages of the parasite. METHODS: GMZ2'.10C was produced in Lactococcus lactis and purified using either an immunoaffinity purification (IP) or a conventional purification (CP) method. Protein purity and stability...

  12. Asexual reproduction in holothurians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolmatov, Igor Yu

    2014-01-01

    Aspects of asexual reproduction in holothurians are discussed. Holothurians are significant as fishery and aquaculture items and have high commercial value. The last review on holothurian asexual reproduction was published 18 years ago and included only 8 species. An analysis of the available literature shows that asexual reproduction has now been confirmed in 16 holothurian species. Five additional species are also most likely capable of fission. The recent discovery of new fissiparous holothurian species indicates that this reproduction mode is more widespread in Holothuroidea than previously believed. New data about the history of the discovery of asexual reproduction in holothurians, features of fission, and regeneration of anterior and posterior fragments are described here. Asexual reproduction is obviously controlled by the integrated systems of the organism, primarily the nervous system. Special molecular mechanisms appear to determine the location where fission occurs along the anterior-posterior axis of the body. Alteration of the connective tissue strength of the body wall may play an important role during fission of holothurians. The basic mechanism of fission is the interaction of matrix metalloproteinases, their inhibitors, and enzymes forming cross-link complexes between fibrils of collagen. The population dynamics of fissiparous holothurians are discussed.

  13. Plasmodium falciparum is dependent on de novo myo-inositol biosynthesis for assembly of GPI glycolipids and infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macrae, James I; Lopaticki, Sash; Maier, Alexander G; Rupasinghe, Thusitha; Nahid, Amsha; Cowman, Alan F; McConville, Malcolm J

    2014-02-01

    Intra-erythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, are thought to be dependent on de novo synthesis of phosphatidylinositol, as red blood cells (RBC) lack the capacity to synthesize this phospholipid. The myo-inositol headgroup of PI can either be synthesized de novo or scavenged from the RBC. An untargeted metabolite profiling of P. falciparum infected RBC showed that trophozoite and schizont stages accumulate high levels of myo-inositol-3-phosphate, indicating increased de novo biosynthesis of myo-inositol from glucose 6-phosphate. Metabolic labelling studies with (13) C-U-glucose in the presence and absence of exogenous inositol confirmed that de novo myo-inositol synthesis occurs in parallel with myo-inositol salvage pathways. Unexpectedly, while both endogenous and scavenged myo-inositol was used to synthesize bulk PI, only de novo-synthesized myo-inositol was incorporated into GPI glycolipids. Moreover, gene disruption studies suggested that the INO1 gene, encoding myo-inositol 3-phosphate synthase, is essential in asexual parasite stages. Together these findings suggest that P. falciparum asexual stages are critically dependent on de novo myo-inositol biosynthesis for assembly of a sub-pool of PI species and GPI biosynthesis. These findings highlight unexpected complexity in phospholipid biosynthesis in P. falciparum and a lack of redundancy in some nutrient salvage versus endogenous biosynthesis pathways.

  14. Blood shizonticidal activities of phenazines and naphthoquinoidal compounds against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro and in mice malaria studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolli Bellotti de Souza

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Due to the recent advances of atovaquone, a naphthoquinone, through clinical trials as treatment for malarial infection, 19 quinone derivatives with previously reported structures were also evaluated for blood schizonticide activity against the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. These compounds include 2-hydroxy-3-methylamino naphthoquinones (2-9, lapachol (10, nor-lapachol (11, iso-lapachol (12, phthiocol (13 and phenazines (12-20. Their cytotoxicities were also evaluated against human hepatoma and normal monkey kidney cell lines. Compounds 2 and 5 showed the highest activity against P. falciparum chloroquine-resistant blood-stage parasites (clone W2, indicated by their low inhibitory concentration for 50% (IC50 of parasite growth. The therapeutic potential of the active compounds was evaluated according to the selectivity index, which is a ratio of the cytotoxicity minimum lethal dose which eliminates 50% of cells and the in vitro IC50. Naphthoquinones 2 and 5, with activities similar to the reference antimalarial chloroquine, were also active against malaria in mice and suppressed parasitaemia by more than 60% in contrast to compound 11 which was inactive. Based on their in vitro and in vivo activities, compounds 2 and 5 are considered promising molecules for antimalarial treatment and warrant further study.

  15. A malaria diagnostic tool based on computer vision screening and visualization of Plasmodium falciparum candidate areas in digitized blood smears.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Linder

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Microscopy is the gold standard for diagnosis of malaria, however, manual evaluation of blood films is highly dependent on skilled personnel in a time-consuming, error-prone and repetitive process. In this study we propose a method using computer vision detection and visualization of only the diagnostically most relevant sample regions in digitized blood smears. METHODS: Giemsa-stained thin blood films with P. falciparum ring-stage trophozoites (n = 27 and uninfected controls (n = 20 were digitally scanned with an oil immersion objective (0.1 µm/pixel to capture approximately 50,000 erythrocytes per sample. Parasite candidate regions were identified based on color and object size, followed by extraction of image features (local binary patterns, local contrast and Scale-invariant feature transform descriptors used as input to a support vector machine classifier. The classifier was trained on digital slides from ten patients and validated on six samples. RESULTS: The diagnostic accuracy was tested on 31 samples (19 infected and 12 controls. From each digitized area of a blood smear, a panel with the 128 most probable parasite candidate regions was generated. Two expert microscopists were asked to visually inspect the panel on a tablet computer and to judge whether the patient was infected with P. falciparum. The method achieved a diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 95% and 100% as well as 90% and 100% for the two readers respectively using the diagnostic tool. Parasitemia was separately calculated by the automated system and the correlation coefficient between manual and automated parasitemia counts was 0.97. CONCLUSION: We developed a decision support system for detecting malaria parasites using a computer vision algorithm combined with visualization of sample areas with the highest probability of malaria infection. The system provides a novel method for blood smear screening with a significantly reduced need for

  16. Distinct patterns of blood-stage parasite antigens detected by plasma IgG subclasses from individuals with different level of exposure to Plasmodium falciparum infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Cathrine Holm; Brahimi, Karima; Vandahl, Brian;

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In endemic regions naturally acquired immunity against Plasmodium falciparum develops as a function of age and exposure to parasite infections and is known to be mediated by IgG. The targets of protective antibodies remain to be fully defined. Several immunoepidemiological...... then gradually develop into protective response dominated by cytophilic IgG1 and IgG3 antibodies. METHODS: Naturally occurring IgG antibodies against P. falciparum blood-stage antigens were analysed from plasma samples collected from four groups of individuals differing in age and level of exposure to P....... falciparum infections. Western Blot profiling of blood-stage parasite antigens displaying reactivity with individual plasma samples in terms of their subclass specificities was conducted. Parasite antigens detected by IgG were grouped based on their apparent molecular sizes resolved by SDS-PAGE as high...

  17. Evidence for a Golgi-to-endosome protein sorting pathway in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscilla Krai

    Full Text Available During the asexual intraerythrocytic stage, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum must traffic newly-synthesized proteins to a broad array of destinations within and beyond the parasite's plasma membrane. In this study, we have localized two well-conserved protein components of eukaryotic endosomes, the retromer complex and the small GTPase Rab7, to define a previously-undescribed endosomal compartment in P. falciparum. Retromer and Rab7 co-localized to a small number of punctate structures within parasites. These structures, which we refer to as endosomes, lie in close proximity to the Golgi apparatus and, like the Golgi apparatus, are inherited by daughter merozoites. However, the endosome is clearly distinct from the Golgi apparatus as neither retromer nor Rab7 redistributed to the endoplasmic reticulum upon brefeldin A treatment. Nascent rhoptries (specialized secretory organelles required for invasion developed adjacent to endosomes, an observation that suggests a role for the endosome in rhoptry biogenesis. A P. falciparum homolog of the sortilin family of protein sorting receptors (PfSortilin was localized to the Golgi apparatus. Together, these results elaborate a putative Golgi-to-endosome protein sorting pathway in asexual blood stage parasites and suggest that one role of retromer is to mediate the retrograde transport of PfSortilin from the endosome to the Golgi apparatus.

  18. Blood Stage Plasmodium falciparum Exhibits Biological Responses to Direct Current Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coronado, Lorena M.; Montealegre, Stephania; Chaverra, Zumara; Mojica, Luis; Espinosa, Carlos; Almanza, Alejandro; Correa, Ricardo; Stoute, José A.; Gittens, Rolando A.

    2016-01-01

    The development of resistance to insecticides by the vector of malaria and the increasingly faster appearance of resistance to antimalarial drugs by the parasite can dangerously hamper efforts to control and eradicate the disease. Alternative ways to treat this disease are urgently needed. Here we evaluate the in vitro effect of direct current (DC) capacitive coupling electrical stimulation on the biology and viability of Plasmodium falciparum. We designed a system that exposes infected erythrocytes to different capacitively coupled electric fields in order to evaluate their effect on P. falciparum. The effect on growth of the parasite, replication of DNA, mitochondrial membrane potential and level of reactive oxygen species after exposure to electric fields demonstrate that the parasite is biologically able to respond to stimuli from DC electric fields involving calcium signaling pathways. PMID:27537497

  19. Human genetic polymorphisms in the Knops blood group are not associated with a protective advantage against Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Southern Ghana

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansson, Helle Holm; Kurtzhals, Jørgen A; Goka, Bamenla Q;

    2013-01-01

    The complex interactions between the human host and the Plasmodium falciparum parasite and the factors influencing severity of disease are still not fully understood. Human single nucleotide polymorphisms SNPs associated with Knops blood group system; carried by complement receptor 1 may...

  20. Study of some parameters affecting the in vitro cultivation of Plasmodium falciparum within saimiri sciureus red blood cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Fandeur

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available The in vitro growth and multiplication of the erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum within Saimiri sciureus (squirrel monkey red blood cells have been studied. Various parameters, such as the origin of the red blood cells and serum supplement, nature of the buffer, influence of the final pH of the medium, role of proteose peptone and glucose addition, were investigated. The selection of the best culture conditions led to the obtention of a reproducible in vitro growth of two parasite cycles in Saimiri erythrocytes, which is an useful achievement for in vitro studies. Our failure to establish a continuous culture line for longer than 19 days, could be explained by a dramatic increasing of osmotic fragility of the Saimiri red blood cells related to their small size.O crescimento e a multiplicação dos estágios eritrocíticos do Plasmodium falciparum in vitro foi estudado em cultivos com hemácias do Saimiri sciureus (macaco de cheiro. Foram investigados vários parâmetros tais como, origem das hemácias e suplementação de soro, tipo de tampão, influência do pH final do meio, papel da proteose-peptona e da glicose adicionados. A seleção das condições ideais de cultivo permitiram, de maneira reprodutível, a obtenção de crescimento do parasita durante dois ciclos nas hemácias do Saimiri. Nosso fracasso em estabelecer uma linhagem contínua de cultivo por mais de 19 dias poderia ser explicado pelo aumento dramático da fragilidade osmótica das hemácias do Saimiri relacionado com seu pequeno tamanho.

  1. Cord blood IgG and the risk of severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the first year of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murungi, Linda M; Sondén, Klara; Odera, Dennis; Oduor, Loureen B; Guleid, Fatuma; Nkumama, Irene N; Otiende, Mark; Kangoye, David T; Fegan, Greg; Färnert, Anna; Marsh, Kevin; Osier, Faith H A

    2017-02-01

    Young infants are less susceptible to severe episodes of malaria but the targets and mechanisms of protection are not clear. Cord blood antibodies may play an important role in mediating protection but many studies have examined their association with the outcome of infection or non-severe malaria. Here, we investigated whether cord blood IgG to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite antigens and antibody-mediated effector functions were associated with reduced odds of developing severe malaria at different time points during the first year of life. We conducted a case-control study of well-defined severe falciparum malaria nested within a longitudinal birth cohort of Kenyan children. We measured cord blood total IgG levels against five recombinant merozoite antigens and antibody function in the growth inhibition activity and neutrophil antibody-dependent respiratory burst assays. We also assessed the decay of maternal antibodies during the first 6months of life. The mean antibody half-life range was 2.51months (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.19-2.92) to 4.91months (95% CI: 4.47-6.07). The rate of decline of maternal antibodies was inversely proportional to the starting concentration. The functional assay of antibody-dependent respiratory burst activity predicted significantly reduced odds of developing severe malaria during the first 6months of life (Odds ratio (OR) 0.07, 95% CI: 0.007-0.74, P=0.007). Identification of the targets of antibodies mediating antibody-dependent respiratory burst activity could contribute to the development of malaria vaccines that protect against severe episodes of malaria in early infancy. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Gene-gene interaction and functional impact of polymorphisms on innate immune genes in controlling Plasmodium falciparum blood infection level.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhumita Basu

    Full Text Available Genetic variations in toll-like receptors and cytokine genes of the innate immune pathways have been implicated in controlling parasite growth and the pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum mediated malaria. We previously published genetic association of TLR4 non-synonymous and TNF-α promoter polymorphisms with P.falciparum blood infection level and here we extend the study considerably by (i investigating genetic dependence of parasite-load on interleukin-12B polymorphisms, (ii reconstructing gene-gene interactions among candidate TLRs and cytokine loci, (iii exploring genetic and functional impact of epistatic models and (iv providing mechanistic insights into functionality of disease-associated regulatory polymorphisms. Our data revealed that carriage of AA (P = 0.0001 and AC (P = 0.01 genotypes of IL12B 3'UTR polymorphism was associated with a significant increase of mean log-parasitemia relative to rare homozygous genotype CC. Presence of IL12B+1188 polymorphism in five of six multifactor models reinforced its strong genetic impact on malaria phenotype. Elevation of genetic risk in two-component models compared to the corresponding single locus and reduction of IL12B (2.2 fold and lymphotoxin-α (1.7 fold expressions in patients'peripheral-blood-mononuclear-cells under TLR4Thr399Ile risk genotype background substantiated the role of Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction derived models. Marked reduction of promoter activity of TNF-α risk haplotype (C-C-G-G compared to wild-type haplotype (T-C-G-G with (84% and without (78% LPS stimulation and the loss of binding of transcription factors detected in-silico supported a causal role of TNF-1031. Significantly lower expression of IL12B+1188 AA (5 fold and AC (9 fold genotypes compared to CC and under-representation (P = 0.0048 of allele A in transcripts of patients' PBMCs suggested an Allele-Expression-Imbalance. Allele (A+1188C dependent differential stability (2 fold of IL12B-transcripts upon

  3. Gametocytogenesis : the puberty of Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariey Frédéric

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The protozoan Plasmodium falciparum has a complex life cycle in which asexual multiplication in the vertebrate host alternates with an obligate sexual reproduction in the anopheline mosquito. Apart from the apparent recombination advantages conferred by sex, P. falciparum has evolved a remarkable biology and adaptive phenotypes to insure its transmission despite the dangers of sex. This review mainly focuses on the current knowledge on commitment to sexual development, gametocytogenesis and the evolutionary significance of various aspects of gametocyte biology. It goes further than pure biology to look at the strategies used to improve successful transmission. Although gametocytes are inevitable stages for transmission and provide a potential target to fight malaria, they have received less attention than the pathogenic asexual stages. There is a need for research on gametocytes, which are a fascinating stage, responsible to a large extent for the success of P. falciparum.

  4. Modulation of Whole-Cell Currents in Plasmodium Falciparum-Infected Human Red Blood Cells by Holding Potential and Serum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staines, Henry M; Powell, Trevor; Clive Ellory, J; Egée, Stéphane; Lapaix, Franck; Decherf, Gaëtan; Thomas, Serge L Y; Duranton, Christophe; Lang, Florian; Huber, Stephan M

    2003-01-01

    Recent electrophysiological studies have identified novel ion channel activity in the host plasma membrane of Plasmodium falciparum-infected human red blood cells (RBCs). However, conflicting data have been published with regard to the characteristics of induced channel activity measured in the whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique. In an effort to establish the reasons for these discrepancies, we demonstrate here two factors that have been found to modulate whole-cell recordings in malaria-infected RBCs. Firstly, negative holding potentials reduced inward currents (i.e. at negative potentials), although this result was highly complex. Secondly, the addition of human serum increased outward currents (i.e. at positive potentials) by approximately 4-fold and inward currents by approximately 2-fold. These two effects may help to resolve the conflicting data in the literature, although further investigation is required to understand the underlying mechanisms and their physiological relevance in detail. PMID:12937282

  5. Identification of pyrimethamine- and chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Africa between 1984 and 1998: genotyping of archive blood samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saito-Nakano Yumiko

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the geographical distribution of drug resistance of Plasmodium falciparum is important for the effective treatment of malaria. Drug resistance has previously been inferred mainly from records of clinical resistance. However, clinical resistance is not always consistent with the parasite's genetic resistance. Thus, molecular identification of the parasite's drug resistance is required. In Africa, clinical resistance to pyrimethamine (Pyr and chloroquine (CQ was evident before 1980 but few studies investigating the genetic resistance to these drugs were conducted before the late 1990s. In this study, genotyping of genes involved in resistance to Pyr and CQ was performed using archive blood samples from Africa between 1984 and 1998. Methods Parasite DNA was extracted from P. falciparum-infected blood smears collected from travellers returning to Japan from Africa between 1984 and 1998. Genotypes of the dihydrofolate reductase gene (dhfr and CQ-resistance transporter gene (pfcrt were determined by polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing. Results Genotyping of dhfr and pfcrt was successful in 59 and 80 samples, respectively. One wild-type and seven mutant dhfr genotypes were identified. Three dhfr genotypes lacking the S108N mutation (NRSI, ICSI, IRSI; amino acids at positions 51, 59, 108, and 164 with mutations underlined were highly prevalent before 1994 but reduced after 1995, accompanied by an increase in genotypes with the S108N mutation. The dhfr IRNI genotype was first identified in Nigeria in 1991 in the present samples, and its frequency gradually increased. However, two double mutants (ICNI and NRNI, the latter of which was exclusively found in West Africa, were more frequent than the IRNI genotype. Only two pfcrt genotypes were found, the wild-type and a Southeast Asian type (CVIET; amino acids at positions 72-76 with mutations underlined. The CVIET genotype was already present as early as

  6. An exported kinase (FIKK4.2) that mediates virulence-associated changes in Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kats, Lev M; Fernandez, Kate M; Glenister, Fiona K; Herrmann, Susann; Buckingham, Donna W; Siddiqui, Ghizal; Sharma, Laveena; Bamert, Rebecca; Lucet, Isabelle; Guillotte, Micheline; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Cooke, Brian M

    2014-04-01

    Alteration of the adhesive and mechanical properties of red blood cells caused by infection with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum underpin both its survival and extreme pathogenicity. A unique family of parasite putative exported kinases, collectively called FIKK (Phenylalanine (F) - Isoleucine (I) - Lysine (K) - Lysine (K)), has recently been implicated in these pathophysiological processes, however, their precise function in P. falciparum-infected red blood cells or their likely role in malaria pathogenesis remain unknown. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate that one member of the FIKK family, FIKK4.2, can function as an active kinase and is localised in a novel and distinct compartment of the parasite-infected red blood cell which we have called K-dots. Notably, targeted disruption of the gene encoding FIKK4.2 (fikk4.2) dramatically alters the parasite's ability to modify and remodel the red blood cells in which it multiplies. Specifically, red blood cells infected with fikk4.2 knockout parasites were significantly less rigid and less adhesive when compared with red blood cells infected with normal parasites from which the transgenic clones had been derived, despite expressing similar levels of the major cytoadhesion ligand, PfEMP1, on the red blood cell surface. Notably, these changes were accompanied by dramatically altered knob-structures on infected red blood cells that play a key role in cytoadhesion which is responsible for much of the pathogenesis associated with falciparum malaria. Taken together, our data identifies FIKK4.2 as an important kinase in the pathogenesis of P. falciparum malaria and strengthens the attractiveness of FIKK kinases as targets for the development of novel next-generation anti-malaria drugs.

  7. No effect of human serum and erythrocytes enriched in n-3 fatty acids by oral intake on Plasmodium falciparum blood stage parasites in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abu-Zeid, Y A; Hansen, H S; Jakobsen, P H;

    1993-01-01

    To examine the effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) on the erythrocytic growth of Plasmodium falciparum, serum and erythrocytes were separated from blood of a healthy donor before and after he had taken fish oil capsules for 8 days. Such intake supplied an amount of eicosapentaenoic...... acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) of 3.5 g/d and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) of 2.5 g/d and 24 mg/d of total tocopherol. Post-intake fish oil serum (post-s) and erythrocytes (post-e) were tested in vitro for inhibitory activity against blood stages of P. falciparum compared with pre-intake serum (pre......-s) and pre-intake erythrocyte (pre-e). Also the effect of EPA and arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6) on the erythrocytic growth of P. falciparum was tested using in vitro assays. The results show that both post-s and post-e had no antimalarial activity on P. falciparum. No differential antimalarial effect...

  8. Rapid Generation of Marker-Free P. falciparum Fluorescent Reporter Lines Using Modified CRISPR/Cas9 Constructs and Selection Protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogollon, Catherin Marin; van Pul, Fiona J. A.; Imai, Takashi; Ramesar, Jai; Chevalley-Maurel, Séverine; de Roo, Guido M.; Veld, Sabrina A. J.; Kroeze, Hans; Franke-Fayard, Blandine M. D.; Janse, Chris J.

    2016-01-01

    The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful genome editing technique employed in a wide variety of organisms including recently the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum. Here we report on further improvements to the CRISPR/Cas9 transfection constructs and selection protocol to more rapidly modify the P. falciparum genome and to introduce transgenes into the parasite genome without the inclusion of drug-selectable marker genes. This method was used to stably integrate the gene encoding GFP into the P. falciparum genome under the control of promoters of three different Plasmodium genes (calmodulin, gapdh and hsp70). These genes were selected as they are highly transcribed in blood stages. We show that the three reporter parasite lines generated in this study (GFP@cam, GFP@gapdh and GFP@hsp70) have in vitro blood stage growth kinetics and drug-sensitivity profiles comparable to the parental P. falciparum (NF54) wild-type line. Both asexual and sexual blood stages of the three reporter lines expressed GFP-fluorescence with GFP@hsp70 having the highest fluorescent intensity in schizont stages as shown by flow cytometry analysis of GFP-fluorescence intensity. The improved CRISPR/Cas9 constructs/protocol will aid in the rapid generation of transgenic and modified P. falciparum parasites, including those expressing different reporters proteins under different (stage specific) promoters. PMID:27997583

  9. A multiscale Cauchy-Born meshfree model for deformability of red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L. W.; Ademiloye, A. S.; Liew, K. M.

    In normal physiological and healthy conditions, red blood cells (RBCs) deform readily as they pass through the microcapillaries and the spleen, however, upon invasion by the malaria parasite, the host RBC membrane begins to lose their deformability. In spite of the progress in understanding malaria pathogenesis, the primary mechanism responsible for the loss of deformability remains unclear. In this paper, we examine the effects of Plasmodium falciparum infection and maturation on the deformability of parasitized or infected red blood cells (iRBCs) by means of a three-dimensional (3D) multiscale red blood cell (RBC) framework. This multiscale framework is developed based on the Cauchy-Born rule and the meshfree IMLS-Ritz method. The atomistic scale strain energy density function of the RBC membrane was computed using a selected representative cell based on the membrane spectrin network. The results obtained from our numerical simulations affirm that the presence of malaria infection significantly increases the rigidity of RBC membrane. It was observed that in the trophozoite and schizont infection stages, biconcave cell geometry leads to better prediction than nearly spherical geometry in comparison with experimental studies. Furthermore, we confirm that increase in temperature also results to increased stiffening of the cell membrane. Lastly, the observed decrease in the deformability of iRBC membrane may be primarily due to the structural remodeling and changes in the microstructure of the membrane rather than the change in cell shape.

  10. Transgenic mosquitoes expressing a phospholipase A(2 gene have a fitness advantage when fed Plasmodium falciparum-infected blood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan C Smith

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Genetically modified mosquitoes have been proposed as an alternative strategy to reduce the heavy burden of malaria. In recent years, several proof-of-principle experiments have been performed that validate the idea that mosquitoes can be genetically modified to become refractory to malaria parasite development. RESULTS: We have created two transgenic lines of Anophelesstephensi, a natural vector of Plasmodium falciparum, which constitutively secrete a catalytically inactive phospholipase A2 (mPLA2 into the midgut lumen to interfere with Plasmodium ookinete invasion. Our experiments show that both transgenic lines expressing mPLA2 significantly impair the development of rodent malaria parasites, but only one line impairs the development of human malaria parasites. In addition, when fed on malaria-infected blood, mosquitoes from both transgenic lines are more fecund than non-transgenic mosquitoes. Consistent with these observations, cage experiments with mixed populations of transgenic and non-transgenic mosquitoes show that the percentage of transgenic mosquitoes increases when maintained on Plasmodium-infected blood. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the expression of an anti-Plasmodium effector gene gives transgenic mosquitoes a fitness advantage when fed malaria-infected blood. These findings have important implications for future applications of transgenic mosquito technology in malaria control.

  11. Type II fatty acid biosynthesis is essential for Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite development in the midgut of Anopheles mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schaijk, Ben C L; Kumar, T R Santha; Vos, Martijn W; Richman, Adam; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; Li, Tao; Eappen, Abraham G; Williamson, Kim C; Morahan, Belinda J; Fishbaugher, Matt; Kennedy, Mark; Camargo, Nelly; Khan, Shahid M; Janse, Chris J; Sim, Kim Lee; Hoffman, Stephen L; Kappe, Stefan H I; Sauerwein, Robert W; Fidock, David A; Vaughan, Ashley M

    2014-05-01

    The prodigious rate at which malaria parasites proliferate during asexual blood-stage replication, midgut sporozoite production, and intrahepatic development creates a substantial requirement for essential nutrients, including fatty acids that likely are necessary for parasite membrane formation. Plasmodium parasites obtain fatty acids either by scavenging from the vertebrate host and mosquito vector or by producing fatty acids de novo via the type two fatty acid biosynthesis pathway (FAS-II). Here, we study the FAS-II pathway in Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for the most lethal form of human malaria. Using antibodies, we find that the FAS-II enzyme FabI is expressed in mosquito midgut oocysts and sporozoites as well as liver-stage parasites but not during the blood stages. As expected, FabI colocalizes with the apicoplast-targeted acyl carrier protein, indicating that FabI functions in the apicoplast. We further analyze the FAS-II pathway in Plasmodium falciparum by assessing the functional consequences of deleting fabI and fabB/F. Targeted deletion or disruption of these genes in P. falciparum did not affect asexual blood-stage replication or the generation of midgut oocysts; however, subsequent sporozoite development was abolished. We conclude that the P. falciparum FAS-II pathway is essential for sporozoite development within the midgut oocyst. These findings reveal an important distinction from the rodent Plasmodium parasites P. berghei and P. yoelii, where the FAS-II pathway is known to be required for normal parasite progression through the liver stage but is not required for oocyst development in the Anopheles mosquito midgut.

  12. Immunogenicity and in vitro Protective Efficacy of a Recombinant Multistage Plasmodium falciparum Candidate Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Ya Ping; Hasnain, Seyed E.; Sacci, John B.; Holloway, Brian P.; Fujioka, Hisashi; Kumar, Nirbhay; Wohlhueter, Robert; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Collins, William E.; Lal, Altaf A.

    1999-02-01

    Compared with a single-stage antigen-based vaccine, a multistage and multivalent Plasmodium falciparum vaccine would be more efficacious by inducing "multiple layers" of immunity. We have constructed a synthetic gene that encodes for 12 B cell, 6 T cell proliferative, and 3 cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes derived from 9 stage-specific P. falciparum antigens corresponding to the sporozoite, liver, erythrocytic asexual, and sexual stages. The gene was expressed in the baculovirus system, and a 41-kDa antigen, termed CDC/NIIMALVAC-1, was purified. Immunization in rabbits with the purified protein in the presence of different adjuvants generated antibody responses that recognized vaccine antigen, linear peptides contained in the vaccine, and all stages of P. falciparum. In vitro assays of protection revealed that the vaccine-elicited antibodies strongly inhibited sporozoite invasion of hepatoma cells and growth of blood-stage parasites in the presence of monocytes. These observations demonstrate that a multicomponent, multistage malaria vaccine can induce immune responses that inhibit parasite development at multiple stages. The rationale and approach used in the development of a multicomponent P. falciparum vaccine will be useful in the development of a multispecies human malaria vaccine and vaccines against other infectious diseases.

  13. Expression of variant surface antigens by Plasmodium falciparum parasites in the peripheral blood of clinically immune pregnant women indicates ongoing placental infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ofori, Michael F; Staalsoe, Trine; Bam, Victoria

    2003-01-01

    Placenta-sequestered Plasmodium falciparum parasites that cause pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) in otherwise clinically immune women express distinct variant surface antigens (VSA(PAM)) not expressed by parasites in nonpregnant individuals. We report here that parasites from the peripheral blood...... of clinically immune pregnant women also express VSA(PAM), making them a convenient source of VSA(PAM) expressors for PAM vaccine research....

  14. Red Blood Cell Immune Complex Binding Capacity in Children with Sickle Cell Trait (HbAS) Living in P. falciparum Malaria Holoendemic Region of Western Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-08

    Children with Sickle Cell Trait (HbAS) Living in P. falciparum Malaria Holoendemic Region of Western Kenya Walter Otieno1,2, Benson BA Estambale1...anemia. Children with sickle cell trait (HbAS) are less predisposed to getting severe manifestations of malaria. We carried out a study to determine the...2012 to 00-00-2012 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Red Blood Cell Immune Complex Binding Capacity in Children with Sickle Cell Trait (HbAS) Living in P

  15. Male sterility in triploid dandelions: asexual females vs. asexual hermaphrodites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirmans, P G; Den Nijs, J C M; Van Tienderen, P H

    2006-01-01

    Male reproductive output, pollen in plants and sperm in animals has been shown to constitute a substantial cost for many organisms. In parthenogenetic hermaphrodites, selection is therefore expected to reduce the allocation of resources to male reproductive output. However, sustained production of pollen or sperm has been observed in numerous asexual hermaphrodites. We studied the widespread production of pollen by triploid asexual dandelions, Taraxacum sect. Ruderalia, comparing rare male sterile individuals with pollen producing asexuals. We found that individuals can show plasticity in the production of pollen, but that it is nevertheless possible to distinguish between (facultatively) male sterile asexuals and male fertile asexuals. Based on evidence from genetic markers and crosses, we conclude that the male sterility in asexual dandelions is caused by nuclear genes, in contrast to the cytoplasmically inherited male sterility previously found in sexual dandelions. Male sterile lineages did not produce more seeds per flower head, heavier seeds or seeds that were more viable. However, male sterile plants did produce more seed heads and hence more seeds than pollen producing ones, indicating that they were able to reallocate resources toward seed production. Considering the difference in seed production, it remains puzzling that not more asexual dandelions are male sterile.

  16. Infants' Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte Composition Reflects Both Maternal and Post-Natal Infection with Plasmodium falciparum

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nouatin, Odilon; Gbédandé, Komi; Ibitokou, Samad; Vianou, Bertin; Houngbegnon, Parfait; Ezinmegnon, Sem; Borgella, Sophie; Akplogan, Carine; Cottrell, Gilles; Varani, Stefania; Massougbodji, Achille; Moutairou, Kabirou; Troye-Blomberg, Marita; Deloron, Philippe; Luty, Adrian J F; Fievet, Nadine

    2015-01-01

    Maternal parasitoses modulate fetal immune development, manifesting as altered cellular immunological activity in cord blood that may be linked to enhanced susceptibility to infections in early life...

  17. A Plasmodium falciparum histone deacetylase regulates antigenic variation and gametocyte conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Bradley I; Skillman, Kristen M; Jiang, Rays H Y; Childs, Lauren M; Altenhofen, Lindsey M; Ganter, Markus; Leung, Yvette; Goldowitz, Ilana; Kafsack, Björn F C; Marti, Matthias; Llinás, Manuel; Buckee, Caroline O; Duraisingh, Manoj T

    2014-08-13

    The asexual forms of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are adapted for chronic persistence in human red blood cells, continuously evading host immunity using epigenetically regulated antigenic variation of virulence-associated genes. Parasite survival on a population level also requires differentiation into sexual forms, an obligatory step for further human transmission. We reveal that the essential nuclear gene, P. falciparum histone deacetylase 2 (PfHda2), is a global silencer of virulence gene expression and controls the frequency of switching from the asexual cycle to sexual development. PfHda2 depletion leads to dysregulated expression of both virulence-associated var genes and PfAP2-g, a transcription factor controlling sexual conversion, and is accompanied by increases in gametocytogenesis. Mathematical modeling further indicates that PfHda2 has likely evolved to optimize the parasite's infectious period by achieving low frequencies of virulence gene expression switching and sexual conversion. This common regulation of cellular transcriptional programs mechanistically links parasite transmissibility and virulence.

  18. The presence of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in human blood increases the gravidity of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferguson, H.M.; Gouagna, L.C.; Obare, P.; Read, A.F.; Babiker, H.; Githure, J.I.; Beier, J.C.

    2005-01-01

    We conducted a field study in an area of endemic malaria transmission in western Kenya to determine whether mosquitoes that feed on gametocyte-infected blood but do not become infected have reduced or enhanced fecundity in comparison to mosquitoes fed on uninfected blood. Fifteen paired membrane-fee

  19. Comparison of the antibody responses to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum antigens in residents of Mandalay, Myanmar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Yeon-Joo

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of this study was to investigate the profile of antibodies against several antigens of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Mandalay, Myanmar. Methods Malaria parasites were identified by microscopic examination. To test the antibodies against P. vivax and P. falciparum in sera, an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT was performed using asexual blood parasite antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA was performed with circumsporozoite protein (CSP, Pvs25 and Pvs28 recombinant proteins of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates for P. vivax, and liver stage specific antigen-1 and -3 (PfLSA-1, PfLSA-3 for P. falciparum. Results Fourteen patients among 112 were found to be infected with P. vivax and 26 with P. falciparum by thick smear examination. Twenty-three patients were found to be infected with P. vivax, 19 with P. falciparum and five with both by thin smear examination. Blood samples were divided into two groups: Group I consisted of patients who were positive for infection by microscopic examination, and Group II consisted of those who showed symptoms, but were negative in microscopic examination. In P. falciparum, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (80.8% was higher than in Group II (70.0%. In P. vivax, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (53.8% was higher than in Group II (41.7%. However, the positivity rate of the PvCSP VK210 subtype in Group II (40.0% was higher than in Group I (23.1%. Similarly for the PvCSP VK247 subtype, Group II (21.7% was higher than that for Group I (9.6%. A similar pattern was observed in the ELISA using Pvs25 and Pvs28: positive rates of Group II were higher than those for Group I. However, those differences were not shown significant in statistics. Conclusions The positive rates for blood stage antigens of P. falciparum were higher in Group I than in Group II, but the positive rates for antigens of other stages (PfLSA-1 and -3

  20. Comparison of the antibody responses to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum antigens in residents of Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tong-Soo; Kim, Hyung-Hwan; Kim, Jung-Yeon; Kong, Yoon; Na, Byoung-Kuk; Lin, Khin; Moon, Sung-Ung; Kim, Yeon-Joo; Kwon, Myoung-Hee; Sohn, Youngjoo; Kim, Hyuck; Lee, Hyeong-Woo

    2011-08-06

    The aim of this study was to investigate the profile of antibodies against several antigens of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Mandalay, Myanmar. Malaria parasites were identified by microscopic examination. To test the antibodies against P. vivax and P. falciparum in sera, an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was performed using asexual blood parasite antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed with circumsporozoite protein (CSP), Pvs25 and Pvs28 recombinant proteins of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates for P. vivax, and liver stage specific antigen-1 and -3 (PfLSA-1, PfLSA-3) for P. falciparum. Fourteen patients among 112 were found to be infected with P. vivax and 26 with P. falciparum by thick smear examination. Twenty-three patients were found to be infected with P. vivax, 19 with P. falciparum and five with both by thin smear examination. Blood samples were divided into two groups: Group I consisted of patients who were positive for infection by microscopic examination, and Group II consisted of those who showed symptoms, but were negative in microscopic examination. In P. falciparum, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (80.8%) was higher than in Group II (70.0%). In P. vivax, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (53.8%) was higher than in Group II (41.7%). However, the positivity rate of the PvCSP VK210 subtype in Group II (40.0%) was higher than in Group I (23.1%). Similarly for the PvCSP VK247 subtype, Group II (21.7%) was higher than that for Group I (9.6%). A similar pattern was observed in the ELISA using Pvs25 and Pvs28: positive rates of Group II were higher than those for Group I. However, those differences were not shown significant in statistics. The positive rates for blood stage antigens of P. falciparum were higher in Group I than in Group II, but the positive rates for antigens of other stages (PfLSA-1 and -3) showed opposite results. Similar to P. falciparum, the

  1. The Lipid Moiety of Haemozoin (Malaria Pigment and P. falciparum Parasitised Red Blood Cells Bind Synthetic and Native Endothelin-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoletta Basilico

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Endothelin1 (ET-1 is a 21-amino acid peptide produced by the vascular endothelium under hypoxia, that acts locally as regulator of vascular tone and inflammation. The role of ET-1 in Plasmodium falciparum malaria is unknown, although tissue hypoxia is frequent as a result of the cytoadherence of parasitized red blood cell (pRBC to the microvasculature. Here, we show that both synthetic and endothelial-derived ET-1 are removed by parasitized RBC (D10 and W2 strains, chloroquine sensitive, and resistant, resp. and native haemozoin (HZ, malaria pigment, but not by normal RBC, delipidized HZ, or synthetic beta-haematin (BH. The effect is dose dependent, selective for ET-1, but not for its precursor, big ET-1, and not due to the proteolysis of ET-1. The results indicate that ET-1 binds to the lipids moiety of HZ and membranes of infected RBCs. These findings may help understanding the consequences of parasite sequestration in severe malaria.

  2. Thermodynamic concepts in the study of microbial populations: age structure in Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Ferrer

    Full Text Available Variability is a hallmark of microbial systems. On the one hand, microbes are subject to environmental heterogeneity and undergo changeable conditions in their immediate surroundings. On the other hand, microbial populations exhibit high cellular diversity. The relation between microbial diversity and variability of population dynamics is difficult to assess. This connection can be quantitatively studied from a perspective that combines in silico models and thermodynamic methods and interpretations. The infection process of Plasmodium falciparum parasitizing human red blood cells under laboratory cultivation conditions is used to illustrate the potential of Individual-based models in the context of predictive microbiology and parasitology. Experimental data from several in vitro cultures are compared to the outcome of an individual-based model and analysed from a thermodynamic perspective. This approach allows distinguishing between intrinsic and external constraints that give rise to the diversity in the infection forms, and it provides a criterion to quantitatively define transient and stationary regimes in the culture. Increasing the ability of models to discriminate between different states of microbial populations enhances their predictive capability which finally leads to a better the control over culture systems. The strategy here presented is of general application and it can substantially improve modelling of other types of microbial communities.

  3. Thermodynamic concepts in the study of microbial populations: age structure in Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrer, Jordi; Prats, Clara; López, Daniel; Vidal-Mas, Jaume; Gargallo-Viola, Domingo; Guglietta, Antonio; Giró, Antoni

    2011-01-01

    Variability is a hallmark of microbial systems. On the one hand, microbes are subject to environmental heterogeneity and undergo changeable conditions in their immediate surroundings. On the other hand, microbial populations exhibit high cellular diversity. The relation between microbial diversity and variability of population dynamics is difficult to assess. This connection can be quantitatively studied from a perspective that combines in silico models and thermodynamic methods and interpretations. The infection process of Plasmodium falciparum parasitizing human red blood cells under laboratory cultivation conditions is used to illustrate the potential of Individual-based models in the context of predictive microbiology and parasitology. Experimental data from several in vitro cultures are compared to the outcome of an individual-based model and analysed from a thermodynamic perspective. This approach allows distinguishing between intrinsic and external constraints that give rise to the diversity in the infection forms, and it provides a criterion to quantitatively define transient and stationary regimes in the culture. Increasing the ability of models to discriminate between different states of microbial populations enhances their predictive capability which finally leads to a better the control over culture systems. The strategy here presented is of general application and it can substantially improve modelling of other types of microbial communities.

  4. The epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes: weapons of mass dispersion.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drakeley, C.; Sutherland, C.; Bousema, J.T.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Targett, G.A.T.

    2006-01-01

    Much of the epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum in Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on the prevalence patterns of asexual parasites in people of different ages, whereas the gametocytes that propagate the disease are often neglected. One expected benefit of the widespread introduction of artemisinin-base

  5. A PfRH5-Based Vaccine Is Efficacious against Heterologous Strain Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection in Aotus Monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Alexander D.; Baldeviano, G. Christian; Lucas, Carmen M.; Lugo-Roman, Luis A.; Crosnier, Cécile; Bartholdson, S. Josefin; Diouf, Ababacar; Miura, Kazutoyo; Lambert, Lynn E.; Ventocilla, Julio A.; Leiva, Karina P.; Milne, Kathryn H.; Illingworth, Joseph J.; Spencer, Alexandra J.; Hjerrild, Kathryn A.; Alanine, Daniel G.W.; Turner, Alison V.; Moorhead, Jeromy T.; Edgel, Kimberly A.; Wu, Yimin; Long, Carole A.; Wright, Gavin J.; Lescano, Andrés G.; Draper, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Antigenic diversity has posed a critical barrier to vaccine development against the pathogenic blood-stage infection of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. To date, only strain-specific protection has been reported by trials of such vaccines in nonhuman primates. We recently showed that P. falciparum reticulocyte binding protein homolog 5 (PfRH5), a merozoite adhesin required for erythrocyte invasion, is highly susceptible to vaccine-inducible strain-transcending parasite-neutralizing antibody. In vivo efficacy of PfRH5-based vaccines has not previously been evaluated. Here, we demonstrate that PfRH5-based vaccines can protect Aotus monkeys against a virulent vaccine-heterologous P. falciparum challenge and show that such protection can be achieved by a human-compatible vaccine formulation. Protection was associated with anti-PfRH5 antibody concentration and in vitro parasite-neutralizing activity, supporting the use of this in vitro assay to predict the in vivo efficacy of future vaccine candidates. These data suggest that PfRH5-based vaccines have potential to achieve strain-transcending efficacy in humans. PMID:25590760

  6. Humoral and cellular immunity to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 and protection from infection with blood-stage parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moormann, Ann M; Sumba, Peter Odada; Chelimo, Kiprotich; Fang, Hua; Tisch, Daniel J; Dent, Arlene E; John, Chandy C; Long, Carole A; Vulule, John; Kazura, James W

    2013-07-01

     Acquired immunity to malaria develops with increasing age and repeated infections. Understanding immune correlates of protection from malaria would facilitate vaccine development and identification of biomarkers that reflect changes in susceptibility resulting from ongoing malaria control efforts.  The relationship between immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody and both interferon γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin 10 (IL-10) responses to the 42-kD C-terminal fragment of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP142) and the risk of (re)infection were examined following drug-mediated clearance of parasitemia in 94 adults and 95 children in an area of holoendemicity of western Kenya.  Positive IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISPOT) responses to MSP142 3D7 were associated with delayed time to (re)infection, whereas high-titer IgG antibodies to MSP142 3D7 or FVO alleles were not independently predictive of the risk of (re)infection. When IFN-γ and IL-10 responses were both present, the protective effect of IFN-γ was abrogated. A Cox proportional hazard model including IFN-γ, IL-10, MSP142 3D7 IgG antibody responses, hemoglobin S genotype, age, and infection status at baseline showed that the time to blood-stage infection correlated positively with IFN-γ responses and negatively with IL-10 responses, younger age, and asymptomatic parasitemia.  Evaluating combined allele-specific cellular and humoral immunity elicited by malaria provides a more informative measure of protection relative to evaluation of either measure alone.

  7. Stories about asexuality: a qualitative study on asexual women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Houdenhove, Ellen; Gijs, Luk; T'Sjoen, Guy; Enzlin, Paul

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to explore how asexual women experience their asexual identity, sexuality, and relationships. The authors recruited participants through the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network's website and posts on several health- and lifestyle-related websites. Interviewees were 9 women between 20 and 42 years of age. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The authors discuss 3 main themes that arose from the data: coming to an (a)sexual identity, experiencing physical intimacy and sexuality, and experiencing love and relationships. Participants described how they have always felt different and how they experienced their process of coming out. The authors found a great variation in the experience of (a) sex and physical intimacy and (b) love and relationships. Engaging in sexual behavior was mainly based on a willingness to comply with partner wishes. Whereas some longed for a relationship, aromantic asexual women did not. Some participants separated love from sex. Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

  8. Identification of a major rif transcript common to gametocytes and sporozoites of Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Christian W; Mwakalinga, Steven B; Sutherland, Colin J

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The Plasmodium falciparum parasite is transmitted in its sexual gametocyte stage from man to mosquito and as asexual sporozoites from mosquito to man. Developing gametocytes sequester preferentially in the bone marrow, but mature stage gametocytes are released...

  9. Combinatorial Genetic Modeling of pfcrt-Mediated Drug Resistance Evolution in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabryszewski, Stanislaw J; Modchang, Charin; Musset, Lise; Chookajorn, Thanat; Fidock, David A

    2016-06-01

    The emergence of drug resistance continuously threatens global control of infectious diseases, including malaria caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum A critical parasite determinant is the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT), the primary mediator of chloroquine (CQ) resistance (CQR), and a pleiotropic modulator of susceptibility to several first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy partner drugs. Aside from the validated CQR molecular marker K76T, P. falciparum parasites have acquired at least three additional pfcrt mutations, whose contributions to resistance and fitness have been heretofore unclear. Focusing on the quadruple-mutant Ecuadorian PfCRT haplotype Ecu1110 (K76T/A220S/N326D/I356L), we genetically modified the pfcrt locus of isogenic, asexual blood stage P. falciparum parasites using zinc-finger nucleases, producing all possible combinations of intermediate pfcrt alleles. Our analysis included the related quintuple-mutant PfCRT haplotype 7G8 (Ecu1110 + C72S) that is widespread throughout South America and the Western Pacific. Drug susceptibilities and in vitro growth profiles of our combinatorial pfcrt-modified parasites were used to simulate the mutational trajectories accessible to parasites as they evolved CQR. Our results uncover unique contributions to parasite drug resistance and growth for mutations beyond K76T and predict critical roles for the CQ metabolite monodesethyl-CQ and the related quinoline-type drug amodiaquine in driving mutant pfcrt evolution. Modeling outputs further highlight the influence of parasite proliferation rates alongside gains in drug resistance in dictating successful trajectories. Our findings suggest that P. falciparum parasites have navigated constrained pfcrt adaptive landscapes by means of probabilistically rare mutational bursts that led to the infrequent emergence of pfcrt alleles in the field.

  10. Anaemia in a phase 2 study of a blood stage falciparum malaria vaccine

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    Guindo Aldiouma

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A Phase 1-2b study of the blood stage malaria vaccine AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel was conducted in 336 children in Donéguébougou and Bancoumana, Mali. In the Phase 2 portion of the study (n = 300, no impact on parasite density or clinical malaria was seen; however, children who received the study vaccine had a higher frequency of anaemia (defined as haemoglobin Methods To further investigate the possible impact of vaccination on anaemia, additional analyses were conducted including patients from the Phase 1 portion of the study and controlling for baseline haemoglobin, haemoglobin types S or C, alpha-thalassaemia, G6PD deficiency, and age. A multiplicative intensity model was used, which generalizes Cox regression to allow for multiple events. Frailty effects for each subject were used to account for correlation of multiple anaemia events within the same subject. Intensity rates were calculated with reference to calendar time instead of time after randomization in order to account for staggered enrollment and seasonal effects of malaria incidence. Associations of anaemia with anti-AMA1 antibody were further explored using a similar analysis. Results A strong effect of vaccine on the incidence of anaemia (risk ratio [AMA1-C1 to comparator (Hiberix]= 2.01, 95% confidence interval [1.26,3.20] was demonstrated even after adjusting for baseline haemoglobin, haemoglobinopathies, and age, and using more sophisticated statistical models. Anti-AMA1 antibody levels were not associated with this effect. Conclusions While these additional analyses show a robust effect of vaccination on anaemia, this is an intensive exploration of secondary results and should, therefore, be interpreted with caution. Possible mechanisms of the apparent adverse effect on haemoglobin of vaccination with AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel and implications for blood stage vaccine development are discussed. The potential impact on malaria-associated anaemia should be closely

  11. Demonstration of specific binding of heparin to Plasmodium falciparum-infected vs. non-infected red blood cells by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valle-Delgado, Juan José; Urbán, Patricia; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier

    2013-04-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) play an important role in the sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (pRBCs) in the microvascular endothelium of different tissues, as well as in the formation of small clusters (rosettes) between infected and non-infected red blood cells (RBCs). Both sequestration and rosetting have been recognized as characteristic events in severe malaria. Here we have used heparin and pRBCs infected by the 3D7 strain of P. falciparum as a model to study GAG-pRBC interactions. Fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-assisted cell sorting assays have shown that exogenously added heparin has binding specificity for pRBCs (preferentially for those infected with late forms of the parasite) vs. RBCs. Heparin-pRBC adhesion has been probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy, obtaining an average binding force ranging between 28 and 46 pN depending on the loading rate. No significant binding of heparin to non-infected RBCs has been observed in control experiments. This work represents the first approach to quantitatively evaluate GAG-pRBC molecular interactions at the individual molecule level.Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) play an important role in the sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (pRBCs) in the microvascular endothelium of different tissues, as well as in the formation of small clusters (rosettes) between infected and non-infected red blood cells (RBCs). Both sequestration and rosetting have been recognized as characteristic events in severe malaria. Here we have used heparin and pRBCs infected by the 3D7 strain of P. falciparum as a model to study GAG-pRBC interactions. Fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-assisted cell sorting assays have shown that exogenously added heparin has binding specificity for pRBCs (preferentially for those infected with late forms of the parasite) vs. RBCs. Heparin-pRBC adhesion has been probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy, obtaining an average binding force

  12. Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum Cyclic Amine Resistance Locus (PfCARL Confer Multidrug Resistance

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    Gregory LaMonte

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum cyclic amine resistance locus (PfCARL are associated with parasite resistance to the imidazolopiperazines, a potent class of novel antimalarial compounds that display both prophylactic and transmission-blocking activity, in addition to activity against blood-stage parasites. Here, we show that pfcarl encodes a protein, with a predicted molecular weight of 153 kDa, that localizes to the cis-Golgi apparatus of the parasite in both asexual and sexual blood stages. Utilizing clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR-mediated gene introduction of 5 variants (L830V, S1076N/I, V1103L, and I1139K, we demonstrate that mutations in pfcarl are sufficient to generate resistance against the imidazolopiperazines in both asexual and sexual blood-stage parasites. We further determined that the mutant PfCARL protein confers resistance to several structurally unrelated compounds. These data suggest that PfCARL modulates the levels of small-molecule inhibitors that affect Golgi-related processes, such as protein sorting or membrane trafficking, and is therefore an important mechanism of resistance in malaria parasites.

  13. The pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in humans: insights from splenic physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safeukui, Innocent; Deplaine, Guillaume; Brousse, Valentine; Prendki, Virginie; Thellier, Marc; Turner, Gareth D.; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile

    2011-01-01

    Clinical manifestations of Plasmodium falciparum infection are induced by the asexual stages of the parasite that develop inside red blood cells (RBCs). Because splenic microcirculatory beds filter out altered RBCs, the spleen can innately clear subpopulations of infected or uninfected RBC modified during falciparum malaria. The spleen appears more protective against severe manifestations of malaria in naïve than in immune subjects. The spleen-specific pitting function accounts for a large fraction of parasite clearance in artemisinin-treated patients. RBC loss contributes to malarial anemia, a clinical form associated with subacute progression, frequent splenomegaly, and relatively low parasitemia. Stringent splenic clearance of ring-infected RBCs and uninfected, but parasite-altered, RBCs, may altogether exacerbate anemia and reduce the risks of severe complications associated with high parasite loads, such as cerebral malaria. The age of the patient directly influences the risk of severe manifestations. We hypothesize that coevolution resulting in increased splenic clearance of P. falciparum–altered RBCs in children favors the survival of the host and, ultimately, sustained parasite transmission. This analysis of the RBC–spleen dynamic interactions during P falciparum infection reflects both data and hypotheses, and provides a framework on which a more complete immunologic understanding of malaria pathogenesis may be elaborated. PMID:20852127

  14. Plasmodium falciparum mitochondria import tRNAs along with an active phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Arvind; Sharma, Amit

    2015-02-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum protein translation enzymes aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are an emergent family of drug targets. The aaRS ensemble catalyses transfer of amino acids to cognate tRNAs, thus providing charged tRNAs for ribosomal consumption. P. falciparum proteome expression relies on a total of 36 aaRSs for the three translationally independent compartments of cytoplasm, apicoplast and mitochondria. In the present study, we show that, of this set of 36, a single genomic copy of mitochondrial phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase (mFRS) is targeted to the parasite mitochondria, and that the mFRS gene is exclusive to malaria parasites within the apicomplexan phyla. Our protein cellular localization studies based on immunofluorescence data show that, along with mFRS, P. falciparum harbours two more phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase (FRS) assemblies that are localized to its apicoplast and cytoplasm. The 'extra' mFRS is found in mitochondria of all asexual blood stage parasites and is competent in aminoacylation. We show further that the parasite mitochondria import tRNAs from the cytoplasmic tRNA pool. Hence drug targeting of FRSs presents a unique opportunity to potentially stall protein production in all three parasite translational compartments.

  15. Reconsideration of Anopheles rivulorum as a vector of Plasmodium falciparum in western Kenya: some evidence from biting time, blood preference, sporozoite positive rate, and pyrethroid resistance

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    Kawada Hitoshi

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anopheles gambiae, An. arabiensis, and An. funestus are widespread malaria vectors in Africa. Anopheles rivulorum is the next most widespread species in the An. funestus group. The role of An. rivulorum as a malaria vector has not been fully studied, although it has been found to be a minor or opportunistic transmitter of Plasmodium falciparum. Methods Mosquitoes were collected indoors over a 12-hour period using a light source attached to a rotating bottle collector in order to determine peak activity times and to provide DNA for meal source identification. Gravid female mosquitoes were collected indoors via an aspirator to generate F1 progeny for testing insecticidal susceptibility. Blood meal sources were identified using a multiplexed PCR assay for human and bovine cytochrome-B, and by matching sequences generated with primers targeting vertebrate and mammalian cytochrome-B segments to the Genbank database. Results Anopheles rivulorum fed on human blood in the early evening between 18:00 and 20:00, when insecticide-treated bed nets are not in use, and the presence of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites in 0.70% of the An. rivulorum individuals tested was demonstrated. Susceptibility to permethrin, deltamethrin, and DDT is higher in An. rivulorum (84.8%, 91.4%, and 100%, respectively than in An. funestus s.s. (36.8%, 36.4%, and 70%, respectively, whereas mortality rates for propoxur and fenitrothion were 100% for both species. Resistance to pyrethroids was very high in An. funestus s.s. and the potential of the development of high resistance was suspected in An. rivulorum. Conclusion Given the tendency for An. rivulorum to be active early in the evening, the presence of P. falciparum in the species, and the potential for the development of pyrethroid resistance, we strongly advocate reconsideration of the latent ability of this species as an epidemiologically important malaria vector.

  16. Drug-resistant genotypes and multi-clonality in Plasmodium falciparum analysed by direct genome sequencing from peripheral blood of malaria patients.

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    Timothy Robinson

    Full Text Available Naturally acquired blood-stage infections of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum typically harbour multiple haploid clones. The apparent number of clones observed in any single infection depends on the diversity of the polymorphic markers used for the analysis, and the relative abundance of rare clones, which frequently fail to be detected among PCR products derived from numerically dominant clones. However, minority clones are of clinical interest as they may harbour genes conferring drug resistance, leading to enhanced survival after treatment and the possibility of subsequent therapeutic failure. We deployed new generation sequencing to derive genome data for five non-propagated parasite isolates taken directly from 4 different patients treated for clinical malaria in a UK hospital. Analysis of depth of coverage and length of sequence intervals between paired reads identified both previously described and novel gene deletions and amplifications. Full-length sequence data was extracted for 6 loci considered to be under selection by antimalarial drugs, and both known and previously unknown amino acid substitutions were identified. Full mitochondrial genomes were extracted from the sequencing data for each isolate, and these are compared against a panel of polymorphic sites derived from published or unpublished but publicly available data. Finally, genome-wide analysis of clone multiplicity was performed, and the number of infecting parasite clones estimated for each isolate. Each patient harboured at least 3 clones of P. falciparum by this analysis, consistent with results obtained with conventional PCR analysis of polymorphic merozoite antigen loci. We conclude that genome sequencing of peripheral blood P. falciparum taken directly from malaria patients provides high quality data useful for drug resistance studies, genomic structural analyses and population genetics, and also robustly represents clonal multiplicity.

  17. Simultaneous determination of phagocytosis of Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized and non-parasitized red blood cells by flow cytometry

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    Gallo Valentina

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Severe falciparum malaria anaemia (SMA is a frequent cause of mortality in children and pregnant women. The most important determinant of SMA appears to be the loss of non-parasitized red blood cells (np-RBCs in excess of loss of parasitized (p- RBCs at schizogony. Based on data from acute SMA where excretion of haemoglobin in urine and increased plasma haemoglobin represented respectively less than 1% and 0.5% of total Hb loss, phagocytosis appears to be the predominant mechanism of removal of np- and p-RBC. Estimates indicate that np-RBCs are cleared in approximately 10-fold excess compared to p-RBCs. An even larger removal of np-RBCs has been described in vivax malaria anaemia. Estimates were based on two single studies both performed on neurosyphilitic patients who underwent malaria therapy. As the share of np-RBC removal is likely to vary between wide limits, it is important to assess the contribution of both np- and p-RBC populations to overall RBC loss, and disclose the mechanism of such variability. As available methods do not discriminate between the removal of np- vs p-RBCs, the purpose of this study was to set up a system allowing the simultaneous determination of phagocytosis of p- and np-RBC in the same sample. Methods and Results Phagocytosis of p- and np-RBCs was quantified in the same sample using double-labelled target cells and the human phagocytic cell-line THP-1, pre-activated by TNF and IFNγ to enhance their phagocytic activity. Target RBCs were double-labelled with fluorescent carboxyfluorescein-succinimidyl ester (CF-SE and the DNA label ethidium bromide (EB. EB, a DNA label, allowed to discriminate p-RBCs that contain parasitic DNA from the np-RBCs devoid of DNA. FACS analysis of THP-1 cells fed with double-labelled RBCs showed that p- and np-RBCs were phagocytosed in different proportions in relation to parasitaemia. Conclusions The assay allowed the analysis of phagocytosis rapidly and with low

  18. Epigenetic variation in asexually reproducing organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Preite, V.

    2014-01-01

    The role that epigenetic inheritance can play in adaptation may differ between sexuals and asexuals because (1) the dynamics of adaptation differ under sexual and asexual reproduction and the opportunities offered by epigenetic inheritance may affect these dynamics differently; and (2) in asexual re

  19. The Exported Chaperone PfHsp70x Is Dispensable for the Plasmodium falciparum Intraerythrocytic Life Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, David W; Florentin, Anat; Fierro, Manuel A; Krakowiak, Michelle; Moore, Julie M; Muralidharan, Vasant

    2017-01-01

    Export of parasite proteins into the host erythrocyte is essential for survival of Plasmodium falciparum during its asexual life cycle. While several studies described key factors within the parasite that are involved in protein export, the mechanisms employed to traffic exported proteins within the host cell are currently unknown. Members of the Hsp70 family of chaperones, together with their Hsp40 cochaperones, facilitate protein trafficking in other organisms, and are thus likely used by P. falciparum in the trafficking of its exported proteins. A large group of Hsp40 proteins is encoded by the parasite and exported to the host cell, but only one Hsp70, P. falciparum Hsp70x (PfHsp70x), is exported with them. PfHsp70x is absent in most Plasmodium species and is found only in P. falciparum and closely related species that infect apes. Herein, we have utilized clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9 genome editing in P. falciparum to investigate the essentiality of PfHsp70x. We show that parasitic growth was unaffected by knockdown of PfHsp70x using both the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR)-based destabilization domain and the glmS ribozyme system. Similarly, a complete gene knockout of PfHsp70x did not affect the ability of P. falciparum to proceed through its intraerythrocytic life cycle. The effect of PfHsp70x knockdown/knockout on the export of proteins to the host red blood cell (RBC), including the critical virulence factor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), was tested, and we found that this process was unaffected. These data show that although PfHsp70x is the sole exported Hsp70, it is not essential for the asexual development of P. falciparum. IMPORTANCE Half of the world's population lives at risk for malaria. The intraerythrocytic life cycle of Plasmodium spp. is responsible for clinical manifestations of malaria; therefore, knowledge of the parasite's ability to survive within the erythrocyte is

  20. Recruitment of Factor H as a Novel Complement Evasion Strategy for Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Alexander T; Schmidt, Christoph Q; Thompson, Jennifer K; Weiss, Greta E; Taechalertpaisarn, Tana; Gilson, Paul R; Barlow, Paul N; Crabb, Brendan S; Cowman, Alan F; Tham, Wai-Hong

    2016-02-01

    The human complement system is the frontline defense mechanism against invading pathogens. The coexistence of humans and microbes throughout evolution has produced ingenious molecular mechanisms by which microorganisms escape complement attack. A common evasion strategy used by diverse pathogens is the hijacking of soluble human complement regulators to their surfaces to afford protection from complement activation. One such host regulator is factor H (FH), which acts as a negative regulator of complement to protect host tissues from aberrant complement activation. In this report, we show that Plasmodium falciparum merozoites, the invasive form of the malaria parasites, actively recruit FH and its alternative spliced form FH-like protein 1 when exposed to human serum. We have mapped the binding site in FH that recognizes merozoites and identified Pf92, a member of the six-cysteine family of Plasmodium surface proteins, as its direct interaction partner. When bound to merozoites, FH retains cofactor activity, a key function that allows it to downregulate the alternative pathway of complement. In P. falciparum parasites that lack Pf92, we observed changes in the pattern of C3b cleavage that are consistent with decreased regulation of complement activation. These results also show that recruitment of FH affords P. falciparum merozoites protection from complement-mediated lysis. Our study provides new insights on mechanisms of immune evasion of malaria parasites and highlights the important function of surface coat proteins in the interplay between complement regulation and successful infection of the host.

  1. Spatiotemporal and functional characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum cGMP-dependent protein kinase.

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    Christine S Hopp

    Full Text Available Signalling by 3'-5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP exists in virtually all eukaryotes. In the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium, the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG has previously been reported to play a critical role in four key stages of the life cycle. The Plasmodium falciparum isoform (PfPKG is essential for the initiation of gametogenesis and for blood stage schizont rupture and work on the orthologue from the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei (PbPKG has shown additional roles in ookinete differentiation and motility as well as liver stage schizont development. In the present study, PfPKG expression and subcellular location in asexual blood stages was investigated using transgenic epitope-tagged PfPKG-expressing P. falciparum parasites. In Western blotting experiments and immunofluorescence analysis (IFA, maximal PfPKG expression was detected at the late schizont stage. While IFA suggested a cytosolic location, a degree of overlap with markers of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER was found and subcellular fractionation showed some association with the peripheral membrane fraction. This broad localisation is consistent with the notion that PfPKG, as with the mammalian orthologue, has numerous cellular substrates. This idea is further supported by the global protein phosphorylation pattern of schizonts which was substantially changed following PfPKG inhibition, suggesting a complex role for PfPKG during schizogony.

  2. Evidence that the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Putative Rhoptry Protein 2 Localizes to the Golgi Apparatus throughout the Erythrocytic Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

    Invasion of a red blood cell by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites is an essential step in the malaria lifecycle. Several of the proteins involved in this process are stored in the apical complex of the merozoite, a structure containing secretory organelles that are released at specific times during invasion. The molecular players involved in erythrocyte invasion thus represent potential key targets for both therapeutic and vaccine-based strategies to block parasite development. In our quest to identify and characterize new effectors of invasion, we investigated the P. falciparum homologue of a P. berghei protein putatively localized to the rhoptries, the Putative rhoptry protein 2 (PbPRP2). We show that in P. falciparum, the protein colocalizes extensively with the Golgi apparatus across the asexual erythrocytic cycle. Furthermore, imaging of merozoites caught at different times during invasion show that PfPRP2 is not secreted during the process instead staying associated with the Golgi apparatus. Our evidence therefore suggests that PfPRP2 is a Golgi protein and that it is likely not a direct effector in the process of merozoite invasion.

  3. Suppression of parasite-specific response in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. A longitudinal study of blood mononuclear cell proliferation and subset composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Theander, T G; Bygbjerg, I C; Andersen, B J

    1986-01-01

    -specific proliferative response. The subset composition of BMNC isolated from non-immune patients was studied in a FACS analyser. The mean cell volumes of both Leu 2+ and Leu 3+ cells were increased during the acute phase of the infection, indicating that malaria infection results in activation of both T-helper and T......The present longitudinal study was designed to characterize immunosuppression during acute Plasmodium falciparum infection, during the treatment and up to 1 month after the acute stage. The proliferative responses of blood mononuclear cells (BMNC) isolated from non-immune and semi-immune malaria......-suppressor cells. There was no overall reduction of the response to mitogens on day 0. However, 3 days after initiation of the treatment the mitogen response was decreased. This finding indicates that it is important to distinguish between the effects of malaria infection and of drug treatment....

  4. Identification and characterization of a novel Plasmodium falciparum adhesin involved in erythrocyte invasion.

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    Nidhi Hans

    Full Text Available Malaria remains a major health problem worldwide. All clinical symptoms of malaria are attributed to the asexual blood stages of the parasite life cycle. Proteins resident in apical organelles and present on the surface of P. falciparum merozoites are considered promising candidates for the development of blood stage malaria vaccines. In the present study, we have identified and characterized a microneme associated antigen, PfMA [PlasmoDB Gene ID: PF3D7_0316000, PFC0700c]. The gene was selected by applying a set of screening criteria such as transcriptional upregulation at late schizogony, inter-species conservation and the presence of signal sequence or transmembrane domains. The gene sequence of PfMA was found to be conserved amongst various Plasmodium species. We experimentally demonstrated that the transcript for PfMA was expressed only in the late blood stages of parasite consistent with a putative role in erythrocyte invasion. PfMA was localized by immunofluorescence and immuno-electron microscopy to be in the micronemes, an apical organelle of merozoites. The functional role of the PfMA protein in erythrocyte invasion was identified as a parasite adhesin involved in direct attachment with the target erythrocyte. PfMA was demonstrated to bind erythrocytes in a sialic acid independent, chymotrypsin and trypsin resistant manner and its antibodies inhibited P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion. Invasion of erythrocytes is a complex multistep process that involves a number of redundant ligand-receptor interactions many of which still remain unknown and even uncharacterized. Our work has identified and characterized a novel P. falciparum adhesin involved in erythrocyte invasion.

  5. A nanovector with complete discrimination for targeted delivery to Plasmodium falciparum-infected versus non-infected red blood cells in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbán, Patricia; Estelrich, Joan; Cortés, Alfred; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier

    2011-04-30

    Current administration methods of antimalarial drugs deliver the free compound in the blood stream, where it can be unspecifically taken up by all cells, and not only by Plasmodium-infected red blood cells (pRBCs). Nanosized carriers have been receiving special attention with the aim of minimizing the side effects of malaria therapy by increasing drug bioavailability and selectivity. Liposome encapsulation has been assayed for the delivery of compounds against murine malaria, but there is a lack of cellular studies on the performance of targeted liposomes in specific cell recognition and on the efficacy of cargo delivery, and very little data on liposome-driven antimalarial drug targeting to human-infecting parasites. We have used fluorescence microscopy to assess in vitro the efficiency of liposomal nanocarriers for the targeted delivery of their contents to pRBCs. 200-nm liposomes loaded with quantum dots were covalently functionalized with oriented, specific half-antibodies against P. falciparum late form-infected pRBCs. In less than 90min, liposomes dock to pRBC plasma membranes and release their cargo to the cell. 100.0% of late form-containing pRBCs and 0.0% of non-infected RBCs in P. falciparum cultures are recognized and permeated by the content of targeted immunoliposomes. Liposomes not functionalized with antibodies are also specifically directed to pRBCs, although with less affinity than immunoliposomes. In preliminary assays, the antimalarial drug chloroquine at a concentration of 2nM, ≥10 times below its IC(50) in solution, cleared 26.7±1.8% of pRBCs when delivered inside targeted immunoliposomes.

  6. Identification of a specific region of Plasmodium falciparum EBL-1 that binds to host receptor glycophorin B and inhibits merozoite invasion in human red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuerong; Marinkovic, Marina; Russo, Crystal; McKnight, C James; Coetzer, Theresa L; Chishti, Athar H

    2012-05-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum invades human erythrocytes through multiple pathways utilizing several ligand-receptor interactions. These interactions are broadly classified in two groups according to their dependency on sialic acid residues. Here, we focus on the sialic acid-dependent pathway by using purified glycophorins and red blood cells (RBCs) to screen a cDNA phage display library derived from P. falciparum FCR3 strain, a sialic acid-dependent strain. This screen identified several parasite proteins including the erythrocyte-binding ligand-1, EBL-1. The phage cDNA insert encoded the 69-amino acid peptide, termed F2i, which is located within the F2 region of the DBL domain, designated here as D2, of EBL-1. Recombinant D2 and F2i polypeptides bound to purified glycophorins and RBCs, and the F2i peptide was found to interfere with binding of D2 domain to its receptor. Both D2 and F2i polypeptides bound to trypsin-treated but not neuraminidase or chymotrypsin-treated erythrocytes, consistent with known glycophorin B resistance to trypsin, and neither the D2 nor F2i polypeptide bound to glycophorin B-deficient erythrocytes. Importantly, purified D2 and F2i polypeptides partially inhibited merozoite reinvasion in human erythrocytes. Our results show that the host erythrocyte receptor glycophorin B directly interacts with the DBL domain of parasite EBL-1, and the core binding site is contained within the 69 amino acid F2i region (residues 601-669) of the DBL domain. Together, these findings suggest that a recombinant F2i peptide with stabilized structure could provide a protective function at blood stage infection and represents a valuable addition to a multi-subunit vaccine against malaria. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Asexual reproduction: genetics and evolutionary aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Meeûs, T; Prugnolle, F; Agnew, P

    2007-06-01

    Reproduction is essential to all organisms if they are to contribute to the next generation. There are various means and ways of achieving this goal. This review focuses on the role of asexual reproduction for eukaryotic organisms and how its integration in a life cycle can influence their population genetics and evolution. An important question for evolutionary biologists as to why some organisms reproduce sexually, as opposed to asexually, is addressed. We also discuss the economic and medical importance of asexual organisms.

  8. Global distribution of polymorphisms associated with delayed Plasmodium falciparum parasite clearance following artemisinin treatment: genotyping of archive blood samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murai, Kenji; Culleton, Richard; Hisaoka, Teruhiko; Endo, Hiroyoshi; Mita, Toshihiro

    2015-06-01

    The recent emergence and spread of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum isolates is a growing concern for global malaria-control efforts. A recent genome-wide analysis study identified two SNPs at genomic positions MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319, which are linked to delayed clearance of parasites following artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). It is expected that continuous artemisinin pressure will affect the distribution of these SNPs. Here, we investigate the worldwide distribution of these SNPs using a large number of archived samples in order to generate baseline data from the period before the emergence of ACT resistance. The presence of SNPs in MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 was assessed by nested PCR RFLP and direct DNA sequencing using 653 global P. falciparum samples obtained before the reported emergence of ACT resistance. SNPs at MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 associated with delayed parasite clearance following ACT administration were observed in 8% and 3% of parasites, respectively, mostly in Cambodia and Thailand. Parasites harbouring both SNPs were found in only eight (1%) isolates, all of which were from Cambodia and Thailand. Linkage disequilibrium was detected between MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319, suggesting that this SNP combination may have been selected by ACT drug pressure. Neither of the SNPs associated with delayed parasite clearance were observed in samples from Africa or South America. Baseline information of the geographical difference of MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 SNPs provides a solid basis for assessing whether these SNPs are selected by artemisinin-based combination therapies.

  9. A pilot randomised trial of induced blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum infections in healthy volunteers for testing efficacy of new antimalarial drugs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James S McCarthy

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Critical to the development of new drugs for treatment of malaria is the capacity to safely evaluate their activity in human subjects. The approach that has been most commonly used is testing in subjects with natural malaria infection, a methodology that may expose symptomatic subjects to the risk of ineffective treatment. Here we describe the development and pilot testing of a system to undertake experimental infection using blood stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites (BSP. The objectives of the study were to assess the feasibility and safety of induced BSP infection as a method for assessment of efficacy of new drug candidates for the treatment of P. falciparum infection. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A prospective, unblinded, Phase IIa trial was undertaken in 19 healthy, malaria-naïve, male adult volunteers who were infected with BSP and followed with careful clinical and laboratory observation, including a sensitive, quantitative malaria PCR assay. Volunteers were randomly allocated to treatment with either of two licensed antimalarial drug combinations, artemether-lumefantrine (A/L or atovaquone-proguanil (A/P. In the first cohort (n = 6 where volunteers received ∼360 BSP, none reached the target parasitemia of 1,000 before the day designated for antimalarial treatment (day 6. In the second and third cohorts, 13 volunteers received 1,800 BSP, with all reaching the target parasitemia before receiving treatment (A/L, n = 6; A/P, n = 7 The study demonstrated safety in the 19 volunteers tested, and a significant difference in the clearance kinetics of parasitemia between the drugs in the 13 evaluable subjects, with mean parasite reduction ratios of 759 for A/L and 17 for A/P (95% CI 120-4786 and 7-40 respectively; p<0.01. CONCLUSIONS: This system offers a flexible and safe approach to testing the in vivo activity of novel antimalarials. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01055002.

  10. Phase I Clinical Trial of a Recombinant Blood Stage Vaccine Candidate for Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Based on MSP1 and EBA175.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitnis, Chetan E; Mukherjee, Paushali; Mehta, Shantanu; Yazdani, Syed Shams; Dhawan, Shikha; Shakri, Ahmad Rushdi; Bhardwaj, Rukmini; Bharadwaj, Rukmini; Gupta, Puneet Kumar; Hans, Dhiraj; Mazumdar, Suman; Singh, Bijender; Kumar, Sanjeev; Pandey, Gaurav; Parulekar, Varsha; Imbault, Nathalie; Shivyogi, Preethi; Godbole, Girish; Mohan, Krishna; Leroy, Odile; Singh, Kavita; Chauhan, Virander S

    2015-01-01

    A phase I randomised, controlled, single blind, dose escalation trial was conducted to evaluate safety and immunogenicity of JAIVAC-1, a recombinant blood stage vaccine candidate against Plasmodium falciparum malaria, composed of a physical mixture of two recombinant proteins, PfMSP-1(19), the 19 kD conserved, C-terminal region of PfMSP-1 and PfF2 the receptor-binding F2 domain of EBA175. Healthy malaria naïve Indian male subjects aged 18-45 years were recruited from the volunteer database of study site. Fifteen subjects in each cohort, randomised in a ratio of 2:1 and meeting the protocol specific eligibility criteria, were vaccinated either with three doses (10 μg, 25 μg and 50 μg of each antigen) of JAIVAC-1 formulated with adjuvant Montanide ISA 720 or with standard dosage of Hepatitis B vaccine. Each subject received the assigned vaccine in the deltoid muscle of the upper arms on Day 0, Day 28 and Day 180. JAIVAC-1 was well tolerated and no serious adverse event was observed. All JAIVAC-1 subjects sero-converted for PfF2 but elicited poor immune response to PfMSP-1(19). Dose-response relationship was observed between vaccine dose of PfF2 and antibody response. The antibodies against PfF2 were predominantly of IgG1 and IgG3 isotype. Sera from JAIVAC-1 subjects reacted with late schizonts in a punctate pattern in immunofluorescence assays. Purified IgG from JAIVAC-1 sera displayed significant growth inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum CAMP strain. Antigen PfF2 should be retained as a component of a recombinant malaria vaccine but PfMSP-1(19) construct needs to be optimised to improve its immunogenicity. Clinical Trial Registry, India CTRI/2010/091/000301.

  11. The evaluation of a dipstick test for Plasmodium falciparum in mining areas of Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraballo, A; Ache, A

    1996-11-01

    A field trial comparing a dipstick test, an antigen-capture test detecting trophozoite-derived histidine-rich protein-II, and the quantitative buffer coat (QBC) (acridine orange staining technique) assay for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum was carried out on a population of 1,398 suspected malaria patients in gold mining areas of Venezuela. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive values were higher for the dipstick test than for the acridine orange staining compared with the thick blood smear. The sensitivity for the dipstick method was 86.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 82-90%), the specificity was 99.3% (95% CI = 98.5-99.7%), and the positive predictive value was 97.1% (95% CI = 94-98%) as compared with the thick blood smear. The sensitivity for acridine orange staining was 82.2% (95% CI = 77-86%), the specificity was 98.5% (95% CI = 97.6-99.1%), and the positive predictive value was 94.1% (95% CI = 90-97%); with a P. falciparum asexual parasitemia higher than 21 parasites/microliter, the dipstick was 100% sensitive, when parasitemia was 10-20/microliter, sensitivity was 88%, and when parasitemia was less than 10/microliter, it was only 13.4%. The dipstick assay meets the criteria for an appropriate, rapid, and reliable test for the diagnosis of P. falciparum and has advantages over the acridine orange staining method. Nonetheless, its effectiveness seems limited in areas with low prevalence and among patients with low levels of parasitemia.

  12. Inhibitory monoclonal antibody against a (myristylated) small-molecular-weight antigen from Plasmodium falciparum associated with the parasitophorous vacuole membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kara, U A; Stenzel, D J; Ingram, L T; Bushell, G R; Lopez, J A; Kidson, C

    1988-04-01

    A small-molecular-weight antigen that occurs in asexual blood stages in synchronized cultures of Plasmodium falciparum was detected by a monoclonal antibody which inhibits parasite growth in vitro. This antigen, QF116, showed a molecular weight of 15,000 in parasite strain FCR-3K+ from The Gambia and 19,000 in strain FCQ-27 from Papua New Guinea. The protein did not show significant glycosylation by galactose or glucosamine labeling but was found to be acylated by myristic acid. By using immunogold labeling and electron microscopy, the location of the antigen could be attributed to the parasitophorous vacuole membrane and to inclusions and vesicles residing within the cytoplasm of the erythrocyte host cell.

  13. Dynamic histone H3 epigenome marking during the intraerythrocytic cycle of Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salcedo-Amaya, Adriana M; van Driel, Marc A; Alako, Blaise T

    2009-01-01

    Epigenome profiling has led to the paradigm that promoters of active genes are decorated with H3K4me3 and H3K9ac marks. To explore the epigenome of Plasmodium falciparum asexual stages, we performed MS analysis of histone modifications and found a general preponderance of H3/H4 acetylation and H3K4...

  14. Asexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on asexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about asexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: plant reproduction methods,…

  15. Effect of nutrient deficiencies on in vitro Th1 and Th2 cytokine response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to Plasmodium falciparum infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McCall Matthew

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An appropriate balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines that mediate innate and adaptive immune responses is required for effective protection against human malaria and to avoid immunopathology. In malaria endemic countries, this immunological balance may be influenced by micronutrient deficiencies. Methods Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from Tanzanian preschool children were stimulated in vitro with Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized red blood cells to determine T-cell responses to malaria under different conditions of nutrient deficiencies and malaria status. Results The data obtained indicate that zinc deficiency is associated with an increase in TNF response by 37%; 95% CI: 14% to 118% and IFN-γ response by 74%; 95% CI: 24% to 297%. Magnesium deficiency, on the other hand, was associated with an increase in production of IL-13 by 80%; 95% CI: 31% to 371% and a reduction in IFN-γ production. These results reflect a shift in cytokine profile to a more type I cytokine profile and cell-cell mediated responses in zinc deficiency and a type II response in magnesium deficiency. The data also reveal a non-specific decrease in cytokine production in children due to iron deficiency anaemia that is largely associated with malaria infection status. Conclusions The pathological sequels of malaria potentially depend more on the balance between type I and type II cytokine responses than on absolute suppression of these cytokines and this balance may be influenced by a combination of micronutrient deficiencies and malaria status.

  16. Refrigeration provides a simple means to synchronize in vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Lili; Hao, Mingming; Wu, Lanou; Zhao, Zhen; Rosenthal, Benjamin M; Li, Xiaomei; He, Yongshu; Sun, Ling; Feng, Guohua; Xiang, Zheng; Cui, Liwang; Yang, Zhaoqing

    2014-05-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is usually asynchronous during in vitro culture. Highly synchronized cultures of P. falciparum are routinely used in malaria research. Here, we describe a simple synchronization procedure for P. falciparum asexual erythrocytic culture, which involves storage at 4°C for 8-24 h followed by routine culture. When cultures with 27-60% of ring stage were synchronized using this procedure, 70-93% ring stages were obtained after 48 h of culture and relative growth synchrony remained for at least two erythrocytic cycles. To test the suitability of this procedure for subsequent work, drug sensitivity assays were performed using four laboratory strains and four freshly adapted clinical P. falciparum isolates. Parasites synchronized by sorbitol treatment or refrigeration showed similar dose-response curves and comparable IC50 values to four antimalarial drugs. The refrigeration synchronization method is simple, inexpensive, time-saving, and should be especially useful when large numbers of P. falciparum culture are handled.

  17. Blood-stage challenge for malaria vaccine efficacy trials: a pilot study with discussion of safety and potential value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanderson, Frances; Andrews, Laura; Douglas, Alexander D; Hunt-Cooke, Angela; Bejon, Philip; Hill, Adrian V S

    2008-06-01

    There is increasing interest in malaria vaccines targeting the asexual blood stage of Plasmodium falciparum. Without accepted immunologic correlates of clinical protection, challenge studies are useful for assessing the efficacy of candidate vaccines in vivo in healthy volunteers. We report a pilot study of a safe and robust challenge protocol using a blood-stage inoculum. We have applied well-validated trial endpoints and twice daily real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction monitoring of parasitemia to blood-stage challenge, which enabled direct comparison with sporozoite challenge. We found that greater accuracy in quantification of blood-stage growth rates can be achieved with blood-stage challenge. This finding may provide greater power to detect partial efficacy of many blood-stage candidate vaccines. We discuss the potential utility of blood-stage challenge studies in accelerating malaria vaccine development.

  18. Infants' Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte Composition Reflects Both Maternal and Post-Natal Infection with Plasmodium falciparum: e0139606

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Odilon Nouatin; Komi Gbédandé; Samad Ibitokou; Bertin Vianou; Parfait Houngbegnon; Sem Ezinmegnon; Sophie Borgella; Carine Akplogan; Gilles Cottrell; Stefania Varani; Achille Massougbodji; Kabirou Moutairou; Marita Troye-Blomberg; Philippe Deloron; Adrian J F Luty

    2015-01-01

      Maternal parasitoses modulate fetal immune development, manifesting as altered cellular immunological activity in cord blood that may be linked to enhanced susceptibility to infections in early life...

  19. Manufacture and Testing of a High Field Gradient Magnetic Fractionation System for Quantitative Detection of Plasmodium falciparum Gametocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl, Stephan; Woodward, Robert C.; Davis, Timothy M. E.; St. Pierre, Tim G.

    2010-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most dangerous of the human malaria parasite species and accounts for millions of clinical episodes of malaria each year in tropical countries. The pathogenicity of Plasmodium falciparum is a result of its ability to infect erythrocytes where it multiplies asexually over 48 h or develops into sexual forms known as gametocytes. If sufficient male and female gametocytes are taken up by a mosquito vector, it becomes infectious. Therefore, the presence and density of gametocytes in human blood is an important indicator of human-to-mosquito transmission of malaria. Recently, we have shown that high field gradient magnetic fractionation improves gametocyte detection in human blood samples. Here we present two important new developments. Firstly we introduce a quantitative approach to replace the previous qualitative method and, secondly, we describe a novel method that enables cost-effective production of the magnetic fractionation equipment required to carry out gametocyte quantification. We show that our custom-made magnetic fractionation equipment can deliver results with similar sensitivity and convenience but for a small fraction of the cost.

  20. Statistical estimation of cell-cycle progression and lineage commitment in Plasmodium falciparum reveals a homogeneous pattern of transcription in ex vivo culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemieux, Jacob E; Gomez-Escobar, Natalia; Feller, Avi; Carret, Celine; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Pinches, Robert; Day, Felix; Kyes, Sue A; Conway, David J; Holmes, Chris C; Newbold, Chris I

    2009-05-05

    We have cultured Plasmodium falciparum directly from the blood of infected individuals to examine patterns of mature-stage gene expression in patient isolates. Analysis of the transcriptome of P. falciparum is complicated by the highly periodic nature of gene expression because small variations in the stage of parasite development between samples can lead to an apparent difference in gene expression values. To address this issue, we have developed statistical likelihood-based methods to estimate cell cycle progression and commitment to asexual or sexual development lineages in our samples based on microscopy and gene expression patterns. In cases subsequently matched for temporal development, we find that transcriptional patterns in ex vivo culture display little variation across patients with diverse clinical profiles and closely resemble transcriptional profiles that occur in vitro. These statistical methods, available to the research community, assist in the design and interpretation of P. falciparum expression profiling experiments where it is difficult to separate true differential expression from cell-cycle dependent expression. We reanalyze an existing dataset of in vivo patient expression profiles and conclude that previously observed discrete variation is consistent with the commitment of a varying proportion of the parasite population to the sexual development lineage.

  1. Identification of MMV malaria box inhibitors of plasmodium falciparum early-stage gametocytes using a luciferase-based high-throughput assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucantoni, Leonardo; Duffy, Sandra; Adjalley, Sophie H; Fidock, David A; Avery, Vicky M

    2013-12-01

    The design of new antimalarial combinations to treat Plasmodium falciparum infections requires drugs that, in addition to resolving disease symptoms caused by asexual blood stage parasites, can also interrupt transmission to the mosquito vector. Gametocytes, which are essential for transmission, develop as sexual blood stage parasites in the human host over 8 to 12 days and are the most accessible developmental stage for transmission-blocking drugs. Considerable effort is currently being devoted to identifying compounds active against mature gametocytes. However, investigations on the drug sensitivity of developing gametocytes, as well as screening methods for identifying inhibitors of early gametocytogenesis, remain scarce. We have developed a luciferase-based high-throughput screening (HTS) assay using tightly synchronous stage I to III gametocytes from a recombinant P. falciparum line expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-luciferase. The assay has been used to evaluate the early-stage gametocytocidal activity of the MMV Malaria Box, a collection of 400 compounds with known antimalarial (asexual blood stage) activity. Screening this collection against early-stage (I to III) gametocytes yielded 64 gametocytocidal compounds with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) below 2.5 μM. This assay is reproducible and suitable for the screening of large compound libraries, with an average percent coefficient of variance (%CV) of ≤5%, an average signal-to-noise ratio (S:N) of >30, and a Z' of ∼0.8. Our findings highlight the need for screening efforts directed specifically against early gametocytogenesis and indicate the importance of experimental verification of early-stage gametocytocidal activity in the development of new antimalarial candidates for combination therapy.

  2. Asexual reproduction : genetics and evolutionary aspects

    OpenAIRE

    DE Meeûs, Thierry; Prugnolle, Franck; Agnew, Philip

    2007-01-01

    Reproduction is essential to all organisms if they are to contribute to the next generation. There are various means and ways of achieving this goal. This review focuses on the role of asexual reproduction for eukaryotic organisms and how its integration in a life cycle can influence their population genetics and evolution. An important question for evolutionary biologists as to why some organisms reproduce sexually, as opposed to asexually, is addressed. We also discuss the economic and medi...

  3. Human recombinant antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 3 cloned from peripheral blood leukocytes of individuals with immunity to malaria demonstrate antiparasitic properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundquist, Rasmus; Nielsen, Leif Kofoed; Jafarshad, Ali

    2006-01-01

    Immunoglobulins from individuals with immunity to malaria have a strong antiparasitic effect when transferred to Plasmodium falciparum malaria infected patients. One prominent target of antiparasitic antibodies is the merozoite surface antigen 3 (MSP-3). We have investigated the antibody response...

  4. Natural selection and population genetic structure of domain-I of Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Madhumita; Maji, Ardhendu Kumar; Mitra, Mitashree; Sengupta, Sanghamitra

    2013-08-01

    Development of a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum infection is an urgent priority particularly because of widespread resistance to most traditionally used drugs. Multiple evidences point to apical membrane antigen-1(AMA-1) as a prime vaccine candidate directed against P. falciparum asexual blood-stages. To gain understanding of the genetic and demographic forces shaping the parasite sequence diversity in Kolkata, a part of Pfama-1 gene covering domain-I was sequenced from 100 blood samples of malaria patients. Statistical and phylogenetic analyses of the sequences were performed using DnaSP and MEGA. Very high haplotype diversity was detected both at nucleotide (0.998±0.002) and amino-acid (0.996±0.001) levels. An abundance of low frequency polymorphisms (Tajima's D=-1.190, Fu & Li's D(∗) and F(∗)=-3.068 and -2.722), unimodal mismatch distribution and a star-like median-joining network of ama-1 haplotypes indicated a recent population expansion among Kolkata parasites. The high minimum number of recombination events (Rm=26) and a significantly high dN/dS of 3.705 (PIgNAR. Alterations in the desolvation and global energies of PfAMA-1-PfRON2 interaction complexes at the hotspot contact residues were observed together with redistribution of surface electrostatic potentials at the variant alleles with respect to referent Pf3D7 sequence. Finally, a comparison of P. falciparum subpopulations in five Indian regional isolates retrieved from GenBank revealed a significant level of genetic differentiation (FST=0.084-0.129) with respect to Kolkata sequences. Collectively, our results indicated a very high allelic and haplotype diversity, a high recombination rate and a signature of natural selection favoring accumulation of non-synonymous substitutions that facilitated PfAMA-1-PfRON2 interaction and hence parasite growth in Kolkata clinical isolates.

  5. A distinct peripheral blood monocyte phenotype is associated with parasite inhibitory activity in acute uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pattamawan Chimma

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Monocyte (MO subpopulations display distinct phenotypes and functions which can drastically change during inflammatory states. We hypothesized that discrete MO subpopulations are induced during malaria infection and associated with anti-parasitic activity. We characterized the phenotype of blood MO from healthy malaria-exposed individuals and that of patients with acute uncomplicated malaria by flow cytometry. In addition, MO defense function was evaluated by an in vitro antibody dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI assay. At the time of admission, the percentages and absolute numbers of CD16+ MO, and CCR2+CX3CR1+ MO, were high in a majority of patients. Remarkably, expression of CCR2 and CX3CR1 on the CD14(high (hi MO subset defined two subgroups of patients that also differed significantly in their functional ability to limit the parasite growth, through the ADCI mechanism. In the group of patients with the highest percentages and absolute numbers of CD14(hiCCR2+CX3CR1+ MO and the highest mean levels of ADCI activity, blood parasitemias were lower (0.14+/-0.34% than in the second group (1.30+/-3.34%; p = 0.0053. Data showed that, during a malaria attack, some patients' MO can exert a strong ADCI activity. These results bring new insight into the complex relationships between the phenotype and the functional activity of blood MO from patients and healthy malaria-exposed individuals and suggest discrete MO subpopulations are induced during malaria infection and are associated with anti-parasitic activity.

  6. Risk factors for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax gametocyte carriage in Papua New Guinean children with uncomplicated malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl, Stephan; Laman, Moses; Moore, Brioni R; Benjamin, John M; Salib, Mary; Lorry, Lina; Maripal, Samuel; Siba, Peter; Robinson, Leanne J; Mueller, Ivo; Davis, Timothy M E

    2016-08-01

    There are limited data on gametocytaemia risk factors before/after treatment with artemisinin combination therapy in children from areas with transmission of multiple Plasmodium species. We utilised data from a randomised trial comparing artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and artemisinin-naphthoquine (AN) in 230 Papua New Guinean children aged 0.5-5 years with uncomplicated malaria in whom determinants of gametocytaemia by light microscopy were assessed at baseline using logistic regression and during follow-up using multilevel mixed effects modelling. Seventy-four (32%) and 18 (8%) children presented with P. falciparum and P. vivax gametocytaemia, respectively. Baseline P. falciparum gametocytaemia was associated with Hackett spleen grade 1 (odds ratio (95% CI) 4.01 (1.60-10.05) vs grade 0; P<0.001) and haemoglobin (0.95 (0.92-0.97) per 1g/L increase; P<0.001), and P. falciparum asexual parasitaemia in slide-positive cases (0.36 (0.19-0.68) for a 10-fold increase; P=0.002). Baseline P. vivax gametocytaemia was associated with Hackett grade 2 (12.66 (1.31-122.56); P=0.028), mixed P. falciparum/vivax infection (0.16 (0.03-1.00); P=0.050), P. vivax asexual parasitaemia (5.68 (0.98-33.04); P=0.053) and haemoglobin (0.94 (0.88-1.00); P=0.056). For post-treatment P. falciparum gametocytaemia, independent predictors were AN vs AL treatment (4.09 (1.43-11.65)), haemoglobin (0.95 (0.93-0.97)), presence/absence of P. falciparum asexual forms (3.40 (1.66-0.68)) and day post-treatment (0.086 (0.82-0.90)) (P<0.001). Post-treatment P. vivax gametocytaemia was predicted by presence of P. vivax asexual forms (596 (12-28,433); P<0.001). Consistent with slow P. falciparum gametocyte maturation, low haemoglobin, low asexual parasite density and higher spleen grading, markers of increased prior infection exposure/immunity, were strong associates of pre-treatment gametocyte positivity. The persistent inverse association between P. falciparum gametocytaemia and haemoglobin during follow

  7. The Severity of Plasmodium falciparum infection is associated with transcript levels of var genes encoding endothelial protein C receptor-binding P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mkumbaye, Sixbert I; Wang, Christian W; Lyimo, Eric

    2017-01-01

    By attaching infected erythrocytes to the vascular lining, Plasmodium falciparum parasites leave blood circulation and avoid splenic clearance. This sequestration is central to pathogenesis. Severe malaria is associated with parasites expressing an antigenically distinct P. falciparum erythrocyte...

  8. A novel semi-automatic image processing approach to determine Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia in Giemsa-stained thin blood smears

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuss Claudia

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria parasitemia is commonly used as a measurement of the amount of parasites in the patient's blood and a crucial indicator for the degree of infection. Manual evaluation of Giemsa-stained thin blood smears under the microscope is onerous, time consuming and subject to human error. Although automatic assessments can overcome some of these problems the available methods are currently limited by their inability to evaluate cases that deviate from a chosen "standard" model. Results In this study reliable parasitemia counts were achieved even for sub-standard smear and image quality. The outcome was assessed through comparisons with manual evaluations of more than 200 sample smears and related to the complexity of cell overlaps. On average an estimation error of less than 1% with respect to the average of manually obtained parasitemia counts was achieved. In particular the results from the proposed approach are generally within one standard deviation of the counts provided by a comparison group of malariologists yielding a correlation of 0.97. Variations occur mainly for blurred out-of-focus imagery exhibiting larger degrees of cell overlaps in clusters of erythrocytes. The assessment was also carried out in terms of precision and recall and combined in the F-measure providing results generally in the range of 92% to 97% for a variety of smears. In this context the observed trade-off relation between precision and recall guaranteed stable results. Finally, relating the F-measure with the degree of cell overlaps, showed that up to 50% total cell overlap can be tolerated if the smear image is well-focused and the smear itself adequately stained. Conclusion The automatic analysis has proven to be comparable with manual evaluations in terms of accuracy. Moreover, the test results have shown that the proposed comparison-based approach, by exploiting the interrelation between different images and color channels, has successfully

  9. A cohort study of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in pregnancy and associations with uteroplacental blood flow and fetal anthropometrics in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClure, Elizabeth M; Meshnick, Steven R; Lazebnik, Noam; Mungai, Peter; King, Christopher L; Hudgens, Michael; Goldenberg, Robert L; Siega-Riz, Anna-Maria; Dent, Arlene E

    2014-07-01

    To use ultrasound to explore the impact of malaria in pregnancy on fetal growth and newborn outcomes among a cohort of women enrolled in an intermittent presumptive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) program in coastal Kenya. Enrolled women were tested for malaria at first prenatal care visit, and physical and ultrasound examinations were performed. In total, 477 women who had term, live births had malaria tested at delivery and their birth outcomes assessed, and were included in the study. Peripheral malaria was detected via polymerase chain reaction among 10.9% (n=87) at first prenatal care visit and 8.8% (n=36) at delivery. Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) were used by 73.6% (n=583) and were associated with decreased malaria risk. There was a trend for impaired fetal growth and placental blood flow in malaria-infected women in the second trimester, but not later in pregnancy. Among women with low body mass index (BMI), malaria was associated with reduced birth weight (P=0.04); anthropometric measures were similar otherwise. With IPTp-SP and ITNs, malaria in pregnancy was associated with transient differences in utero, and reduced birth weight was restricted to those with low BMI. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Queen succession through asexual reproduction in termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kenji; Vargo, Edward L; Kawatsu, Kazutaka; Labadie, Paul E; Nakano, Hiroko; Yashiro, Toshihisa; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2009-03-27

    The evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction may involve important tradeoffs because asexual reproduction can double an individual's contribution to the gene pool but reduces diversity. Moreover, in social insects the maintenance of genetic diversity among workers may be important for colony growth and survival. We identified a previously unknown termite breeding system in which both parthenogenesis and sexual reproduction are conditionally used. Queens produce their replacements asexually but use normal sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. These findings show how eusociality can lead to extraordinary reproductive systems and provide important insights into the advantages and disadvantages of sex.

  11. Environmental factors influencing asexual reproductive processes in echinoderms

    OpenAIRE

    Mladenov, Pv

    1996-01-01

    This review provides a brief update of the occurrence and adaptive significance of asexual reproduction in echinoderms. It then focuses on the state of knowledge of biotic and abiotic factors that influence asexual processes in this group, particularly factors that may play a role in regulating the expression and relative proportion of asexual versus sexual phenotypes within populations of species, as well as factors modulating and triggering asexual processes. The information presented in th...

  12. Efficacy of OZ439 (artefenomel) against early Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage malaria infection in healthy volunteers

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, James S.; Baker, Mark; O'Rourke, Peter; Marquart, Louise; Griffin, Paul; Hooft van Huijsduijnen, Rob; Möhrle, Jörg J.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives OZ439, or artefenomel, is an investigational synthetic ozonide antimalarial with similar potency, but a significantly improved pharmacokinetic profile, compared with artemisinins. We wished to measure key pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters and the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship of artefenomel in humans to guide the drug's further development as combination therapy in patients. Patients and methods We tested artefenomel in the human induced blood-stage malaria (IBSM) model. Plasmodium infection was monitored by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and upon reaching 1000 parasites/mL single doses of 100, 200 and 500 mg of artefenomel were administered orally with evaluation of drug exposure and parasitaemia until rescue treatment after 16 days or earlier, if required. Results A single 100 mg dose had only a transient effect, while the 200 mg dose resulted in a significant reduction in parasitaemia before early recrudescence. At the highest (500 mg) dose, initial clearance of parasites below the limit of detection of qPCR was observed, with a 48 h parasite reduction ratio (PRR48) >10 000 and a parasite clearance half-life of 3.6 h (95% CI 3.4–3.8 h). However, at this dose, recrudescence was seen in four of eight subjects 6–10 days after treatment. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modelling predicted an MIC of 4.1 ng/mL. Conclusions These results confirm the antimalarial potential of artefenomel for use in a single-exposure combination therapy. The observations from this study support and will assist further clinical development of artefenomel. PMID:27272721

  13. Mitochondrial localization of the threonine peptidase PfHslV, a ClpQ ortholog in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschan, Serena; Kreidenweiss, Andrea; Stierhof, York-Dieter; Sessler, Nicole; Fendel, Rolf; Mordmüller, Benjamin

    2010-11-01

    Plasmodium falciparum belongs to a group of eukaryotes expressing an ortholog of the prokaryotic T1-threonine peptidase, heat shock locus V (HslV). Bacterial HslV is a particularly well studied protease, due to its structural and biochemical similarity to the eukaryotic proteasome. Plasmodium falciparum HslV (PfHslV) is expressed in schizonts and merozoites of the asexual blood stage. Strong sequence conservation between plasmodial species, absence of HslV homologs in the human genome, and availability of specific inhibitors led us to explore its function and potential use as a drug target. In a first step, we investigated localization of PfHslV, using a bioinformatics approach and a transgenic P. falciparum line expressing a PfHslV-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) fusion protein from the endogenous pfhslV locus. PfHslV-EYFP was found in the mitochondrial matrix under fluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy. Endogenous, non-modified PfHslV was present in purified mitochondria and interference with mitochondrial membrane potential by drug treatment led to impairment of PfHslV processing. Import of heterologous EYFP into the plasmodial mitochondrion is mediated by the N-terminal 37 amino acids of PfHslV. PfHslV's targeting sequence is also functional in human cells, demonstrating strong conservation of mitochondrial targeting in eukaryotes. In conclusion, our data shows that PfHslV is located to the plasmodial mitochondrion and presumably has vital function within this organelle which makes it an attractive target for interventions.

  14. Production, characterization, and immunogenicity of a secreted form of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 4 produced in Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chittibabu, G; Ma, Charles; Netter, Hans J; Noronha, Santosh B; Coppel, Ross L

    2014-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the most serious form of malaria. Although a combination of control measures has significantly limited malaria morbidity and mortality in the last few years, it is generally agreed that sustained control or even eradication will require additional tools including an effective malaria vaccine. Merozoite surface protein 4, MSP4, which is present during the asexual stage of P. falciparum, is a recognized target that would be useful in a subunit vaccine against blood stages of malaria. Falciparum malaria is most prevalent in developing countries, and this in turn leads to a requirement for safe, low-cost vaccines. We have attempted to utilize the nonpathogenic, gram-positive organism Bacillus subtilis to produce PfMSP4. PfMSP4 was secreted into the culture medium at a yield of 4.5 mg/L. Characterization studies including SDS-PAGE, mass spectrometry, and N-terminal sequencing indicated that the B. subtilis expression system secreted a full length PfMSP4 protein compared to a truncated version in Escherichia coli. Equivalent amounts of purified B. subtilis and E. coli-derived PfMSP4 were used for immunization studies, resulting in statistically significant higher mean titer values for the B. subtilis-derived immunogen. The mouse antibodies raised against B. subtilis produced PfMSP4 that were reactive to parasite proteins as evidenced by immunoblotting on parasite lysate and indirect immunofluorescence assays of fixed parasites. The B. subtilis expression system, in contrast to E. coli, expresses higher amounts of full length PfMSP4 products, decreased levels of aggregates, and allows the development of simplified downstream processing procedures.

  15. Molecular Evidence for Ancient Asexuality in Timema Stick Insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J.

    2011-01-01

    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual

  16. Molecular Evidence for Ancient Asexuality in Timema Stick Insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J.

    2011-01-01

    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual

  17. Low density parasitaemia, red blood cell polymorphisms and Plasmodium falciparum specific immune responses in a low endemic area in northern Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shekalaghe, Seif; Alifrangis, Michael; Mwanziva, Charles;

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Low density Plasmodium falciparum infections, below the microscopic detection limit, may play an important role in maintaining malaria transmission in low endemic areas as well as contribute to the maintenance of acquired immunity. Little is known about factors influencing the occurre...

  18. Protection of aouts monkeys after immunization with recombinant antigens of Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burhard Enders

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available The genus Aotus spp. (owl monkey is one of the WHO recommended experimental models for Plasmodium falciparum blood stage infection, especially relevant for vaccination studies with asexual blood stage antigens of this parasite. For several immunization trials with purified recombinant merozoite/schizont antigens, the susceptible Aouts kenotypes II, III, IV and VI were immunized with Escherichia coli derived fusion proteins containg partial sequences of the proteins MSAI (merozoite surface antigen I, SERP (serine-strech protein and HRPII (histidine alanine rich protein II as well as with a group of recombinant antigens obtained by an antiserum raised against a protective 41 kD protein band. The subcutaneous application (3x of the antigen preparations was carried out in intact animals followed by splenectomy prior to challange, in order to increase the susceptibility of the experimental hosts to the parasite. A partial sequence of HRPII, the combination of three different fusion proteins of the 41 kD group and mixture of two sequences of SERP in the presence of the modified Al(OH3 adjuvant conferred significant protection against a challange infection with P. falciparum blood stages (2-5 x 10 (elevado a sexta potência i. RBC. Monkey immunized with the MS2-fusion protein carrying the N-terminal part of the 195 kD precursor of the major merozoite surface antigens induced only marginal protection showing some correlation between antibody titer and degree of parasitaemia. Based on the protective capacity of these recombinant antigens we have expressed two hybrid proteins (MS2/SERP/HRPII and SERP/MSAI/HRPII in E. coli containing selected partial sequences of SERP, HRPII and MSAI. Antibodies raised against both hybrid proteins in rabbits and Aotus monkeys recognize the corresponding schizont polypeptides. In two independent immunization trials using 13 animals (age 7 months to 3 years we could show that immunization of Aotus monkeys with either of the

  19. Independently evolving species in asexual bdelloid rotifers.

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    Diego Fontaneto

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Asexuals are an important test case for theories of why species exist. If asexual clades displayed the same pattern of discrete variation as sexual clades, this would challenge the traditional view that sex is necessary for diversification into species. However, critical evidence has been lacking: all putative examples have involved organisms with recent or ongoing histories of recombination and have relied on visual interpretation of patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation rather than on formal tests of alternative evolutionary scenarios. Here we show that a classic asexual clade, the bdelloid rotifers, has diversified into distinct evolutionary species. Intensive sampling of the genus Rotaria reveals the presence of well-separated genetic clusters indicative of independent evolution. Moreover, combined genetic and morphological analyses reveal divergent selection in feeding morphology, indicative of niche divergence. Some of the morphologically coherent groups experiencing divergent selection contain several genetic clusters, in common with findings of cryptic species in sexual organisms. Our results show that the main causes of speciation in sexual organisms, population isolation and divergent selection, have the same qualitative effects in an asexual clade. The study also demonstrates how combined molecular and morphological analyses can shed new light on the evolutionary nature of species.

  20. Extreme genetic diversity in asexual grass thrips populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontcuberta García-Cuenca, A; Dumas, Z; Schwander, T

    2016-05-01

    The continuous generation of genetic variation has been proposed as one of the main factors explaining the maintenance of sexual reproduction in nature. However, populations of asexual individuals may attain high levels of genetic diversity through within-lineage diversification, replicate transitions to asexuality from sexual ancestors and migration. How these mechanisms affect genetic variation in populations of closely related sexual and asexual taxa can therefore provide insights into the role of genetic diversity for the maintenance of sexual reproduction. Here, we evaluate patterns of intra- and interpopulation genetic diversity in sexual and asexual populations of Aptinothrips rufus grass thrips. Asexual A. rufus populations are found throughout the world, whereas sexual populations appear to be confined to few locations in the Mediterranean region. We found that asexual A. rufus populations are characterized by extremely high levels of genetic diversity, both in comparison with their sexual relatives and in comparison with other asexual species. Migration is extensive among asexual populations over large geographic distances, whereas close sexual populations are strongly isolated from each other. The combination of extensive migration with replicate evolution of asexual lineages, and a past demographic expansion in at least one of them, generated high local clone diversities in A. rufus. These high clone diversities in asexual populations may mimic certain benefits conferred by sex via genetic diversity and could help explain the extreme success of asexual A. rufus populations.

  1. Haemoglobin C and S role in acquired immunity against Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

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    Federica Verra

    Full Text Available A recently proposed mechanism of protection for haemoglobin C (HbC; beta6Glu-->Lys links an abnormal display of PfEMP1, an antigen involved in malaria pathogenesis, on the surface of HbC infected erythrocytes together with the observation of reduced cytoadhesion of parasitized erythrocytes and impaired rosetting in vitro. We investigated the impact of this hypothesis on the development of acquired immunity against Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens (VSA encoding PfEMP1 in HbC in comparison with HbA and HbS carriers of Burkina Faso. We measured: i total IgG against a single VSA, A4U, and against a panel of VSA from severe malaria cases in human sera from urban and rural areas of Burkina Faso of different haemoglobin genotypes (CC, AC, AS, SC, SS; ii total IgG against recombinant proteins of P. falciparum asexual sporozoite, blood stage antigens, and parasite schizont extract; iii total IgG against tetanus toxoid. Results showed that the reported abnormal cell-surface display of PfEMP1 on HbC infected erythrocytes observed in vitro is not associated to lower anti- PfEMP1 response in vivo. Higher immune response against the VSA panel and malaria antigens were observed in all adaptive genotypes containing at least one allelic variant HbC or HbS in the low transmission urban area whereas no differences were detected in the high transmission rural area. In both contexts the response against tetanus toxoid was not influenced by the beta-globin genotype. These findings suggest that both HbC and HbS affect the early development of naturally acquired immunity against malaria. The enhanced immune reactivity in both HbC and HbS carriers supports the hypothesis that the protection against malaria of these adaptive genotypes might be at least partially mediated by acquired immunity against malaria.

  2. FRET imaging of hemoglobin concentration in Plasmodium falciparum-infected red cells.

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    Alessandro Esposito

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: During its intraerythrocytic asexual reproduction cycle Plasmodium falciparum consumes up to 80% of the host cell hemoglobin, in large excess over its metabolic needs. A model of the homeostasis of falciparum-infected red blood cells suggested an explanation based on the need to reduce the colloid-osmotic pressure within the host cell to prevent its premature lysis. Critical for this hypothesis was that the hemoglobin concentration within the host cell be progressively reduced from the trophozoite stage onwards. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The experiments reported here were designed to test this hypothesis by direct measurements of the hemoglobin concentration in live, infected red cells. We developed a novel, non-invasive method to quantify the hemoglobin concentration in single cells, based on Förster resonance energy transfer between hemoglobin molecules and the fluorophore calcein. Fluorescence lifetime imaging allowed the quantitative mapping of the hemoglobin concentration within the cells. The average fluorescence lifetimes of uninfected cohorts was 270+/-30 ps (mean+/-SD; N = 45. In the cytoplasm of infected cells the fluorescence lifetime of calcein ranged from 290+/-20 ps for cells with ring stage parasites to 590+/-13 ps and 1050+/-60 ps for cells with young trophozoites and late stage trophozoite/early schizonts, respectively. This was equivalent to reductions in hemoglobin concentration spanning the range from 7.3 to 2.3 mM, in line with the model predictions. An unexpected ancillary finding was the existence of a microdomain under the host cell membrane with reduced calcein quenching by hemoglobin in cells with mature trophozoite stage parasites. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results support the predictions of the colloid-osmotic hypothesis and provide a better understanding of the homeostasis of malaria-infected red cells. In addition, they revealed the existence of a distinct peripheral microdomain in the host

  3. Oleic acid biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum: characterization of the stearoyl-CoA desaturase and investigation as a potential therapeutic target.

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    Paul Gratraud

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plasmodium falciparum parasitization of erythrocytes causes a substantial increase in the levels of intracellular fatty acids, notably oleic acid. How parasites acquire this monounsaturated fatty acid has remained enigmatic. Here, we report on the biochemical and enzymatic characterization of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD in P. falciparum. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Metabolic labeling experiments allowed us to demonstrate the production of oleic acid from stearic acid both in lysates of parasites incubated with [(14C]-stearoyl-CoA and in parasite-infected erythrocytes labeled with [(14C]-stearic acid. Optimal SCD activity was detected in schizonts, the stage of maximal membrane synthesis. This activity correlated with a late trophozoite stage-specific induction of PFE0555w transcripts. PFE0555w harbors a typical SCD signature. Similar to mammalian SCDs, this protein was found to be associated with the endoplasmic reticulum, as determined with PFE0555w-GFP tagged transgenic P. falciparum. Importantly, these parasites exhibited increased rates of stearic to oleic acid conversion, providing additional evidence that PFE0555w encodes the plasmodial SCD (PfSCD. These findings prompted us to assess the activity of sterculic acid analogues, known to be specific Delta9-desaturase inhibitors. Methyl sterculate inhibited the synthesis of oleic acid both with parasite lysates and infected erythrocytes, most likely by targeting PfSCD. This compound exhibited significant, rapid and irreversible antimalarial activity against asexual blood stages. This parasiticidal effect was antagonized by oleic acid. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study provides evidence that parasite-mediated fatty acid modification is important for blood-stage survival and provides a new strategy to develop a novel antimalarial therapeutic based on the inhibition of PfSCD.

  4. Optimally timing primaquine treatment to reduce Plasmodium falciparum transmission in low endemicity Thai-Myanmar border populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hungerford Laura L

    2009-07-01

    mature gametocytes emerged eight days after the appearance of asexual blood-stage parasites. A model of optimal timing suggests that primaquine follow-up approximately eight days after a clinical episode could further reduce the duration of infectiousness from two to four weeks down to a few days. The prospects of malaria elimination would be substantially improved by changing the timing of primaquine administration and combining this with effective detection and management of imported malaria cases. The value of using primaquine to reduce residual gametocyte densities and to reduce malaria transmission was considered in the context of a malaria transmission model; the added benefit of the primaquine follow-up treatment would be relatively large only if a high fraction of patients (>95% are initially treated with schizonticidal agents. Conclusion Mathematical models have previously identified the long duration of P. falciparum asexual blood-stage infections as a critical point in maintaining malaria transmission, but infectiousness can persist for two to four weeks because of residual populations of mature gametocytes. Simulations from new models suggest that, in areas where a large fraction of malaria cases are treated, curing the asexual parasitaemia in a primary infection, and curing mature gametocyte infections with an eight-day follow-up treatment with primaquine have approximately the same proportional effects on reducing the infectious period. Changing the timing of primaquine administration would, in all likelihood, interrupt transmission in this area with very good health systems and with very low endemicity.

  5. Odours of Plasmodium falciparum-infected participants influence mosquito-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Jetske G; Robinson, Ailie; Powers, Stephen J; Burgers, Saskia L G E; Caulfield, John C; Birkett, Michael A; Smallegange, Renate C; van Genderen, Perry J J; Bousema, Teun; Sauerwein, Robert W; Pickett, John A; Takken, Willem; Logan, James G

    2017-08-24

    Malaria parasites are thought to influence mosquito attraction to human hosts, a phenomenon that may enhance parasite transmission. This is likely mediated by alterations in host odour because of its importance in mosquito host-searching behaviour. Here, we report that the human skin odour profile is affected by malaria infection. We compared the chemical composition and attractiveness to Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes of skin odours from participants that were infected by Controlled Human Malaria Infection with Plasmodium falciparum. Skin odour composition differed between parasitologically negative and positive samples, with positive samples collected on average two days after parasites emerged from the liver into the blood, being associated with low densities of asexual parasites and the absence of gametocytes. We found a significant reduction in mosquito attraction to skin odour during infection for one experiment, but not in a second experiment, possibly due to differences in parasite strain. However, it does raise the possibility that infection can affect mosquito behaviour. Indeed, several volatile compounds were identified that can influence mosquito behaviour, including 2- and 3-methylbutanal, 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. To better understand the impact of our findings on Plasmodium transmission, controlled studies are needed in participants with gametocytes and higher parasite densities.

  6. Targeting sialic acid dependent and independent pathways of invasion in Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Rosalynn Louise Ord

    Full Text Available The pathology of malaria is a consequence of the parasitaemia which develops through the cyclical asexual replication of parasites in a patient's red blood cells. Multiple parasite ligand-erythrocyte receptor interactions must occur for successful Plasmodium invasion of the human red cell. Two major malaria ligand families have been implicated in these variable ligand-receptor interactions used by Plasmodium falciparum to invade human red cells: the micronemal proteins from the Erythrocyte Binding Ligands (EBL family and the rhoptry proteins from the Reticulocyte binding Homolog (PfRH family. Ligands from the EBL family largely govern the sialic acid (SA dependent pathways of invasion and the RH family ligands (except for RH1 mediate SA independent invasion. In an attempt to dissect out the invasion inhibitory effects of antibodies against ligands from both pathways, we have used EBA-175 and RH5 as model members of each pathway. Mice were immunized with either region II of EBA-175 produced in Pichia pastoris or full-length RH5 produced by the wheat germ cell-free system, or a combination of the two antigens to look for synergistic inhibitory effects of the induced antibodies. Sera obtained from these immunizations were tested for native antigen recognition and for efficacy in invasion inhibition assays. Results obtained show promise for the potential use of such hybrid vaccines to induce antibodies that can block multiple parasite ligand-red cell receptor interactions and thus inhibit parasite invasion.

  7. A novel DBL-domain of the P. falciparum 332 molecule possibly involved in erythrocyte adhesion.

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    Kirsten Moll

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum malaria is brought about by the asexual stages of the parasite residing in human red blood cells (RBC. Contact between the erythrocyte surface and the merozoite is the first step for successful invasion and proliferation of the parasite. A number of different pathways utilised by the parasite to adhere and invade the host RBC have been characterized, but the complete biology of this process remains elusive. We here report the identification of an open reading frame (ORF representing a hitherto unknown second exon of the Pf332 gene that encodes a cysteine-rich polypeptide with a high degree of similarity to the Duffy-binding-like (DBL domain of the erythrocyte-binding-ligand (EBL family. The sequence of this DBL-domain is conserved and expressed in all parasite clones/strains investigated. In addition, the expression level of Pf332 correlates with proliferation efficiency of the parasites in vitro. Antibodies raised against the DBL-domain are able to reduce the invasion efficiency of different parasite clones/strains. Analysis of the DBL-domain revealed its ability to bind to uninfected human RBC, and moreover demonstrated association with the iRBC surface. Thus, Pf332 is a molecule with a potential role to support merozoite invasion. Due to the high level of conservation in sequence, the novel DBL-domain of Pf332 is of possible importance for development of novel anti-malaria drugs and vaccines.

  8. Dynamics of asexual reproduction in flatworms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoetz, Eva-Maria; Talbot, Jared; Dunkel, Joern

    2010-03-01

    Planarians (flatworms) are one of the simplest bilaterally symmetric organisms and famous for their extraordinary regenerative capabilities. One can cut a worm in 100 pieces and after a few weeks one obtains 100 new worms that have reconstructed their entire body, including a central nervous system. This amazing regenerative capability is due to a population of stem cells distributed throughout the planarian body. These stem cells do not only allow the worms to heal without scarring after wounding, they also allow for asexual reproduction: Planarians can split themselves in two, and then regenerate the missing body parts within about a week. Naively, one would think that this kind of asexual reproduction could be captured by simple models that describe cell growth in bacteria or other lower organisms. However, we find that there is much more to the story by monitoring >15 generations of many individuals, as well as the long-term behavior (> 9 months) of worm populations under different environmental conditions, such as population density, temperature, and feeding frequency. Surprisingly, we observe that reproduction decreases with increasing food supply, opposite to the relationship between food and reproduction in other asexually reproducing organisms (e.g. bacteria, yeast), and causing obese worms. Finally, our data allows us to address the question of aging in an organism that is thought to be ``forever young''.

  9. On the Genealogy of Asexual Diploids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Fumei; Langley, Charles H.; Song, Yun S.

    Given molecular genetic data from diploid individuals that, at present, reproduce mostly or exclusively asexually without recombination, an important problem in evolutionary biology is detecting evidence of past sexual reproduction (i.e., meiosis and mating) and recombination (both meiotic and mitotic). However, currently there is a lack of computational tools for carrying out such a study. In this paper, we formulate a new problem of reconstructing diploid genealogies under the assumption of no sexual reproduction or recombination, with the ultimate goal being to devise genealogy-based tools for testing deviation from these assumptions. We first consider the infinite-sites model of mutation and develop linear-time algorithms to test the existence of an asexual diploid genealogy compatible with the infinite-sites model of mutation, and to construct one if it exists. Then, we relax the infinite-sites assumption and develop an integer linear programming formulation to reconstruct asexual diploid genealogies with the minimum number of homoplasy (back or recurrent mutation) events. We apply our algorithms on simulated data sets with sizes of biological interest.

  10. Assessment of therapeutic efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem®) in the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria patients in Bahir Dar district, Northwest Ethiopia: an observational cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebstie, Yehenew A; Zeynudin, Ahmed; Belachew, Tefera; Desalegn, Zelalem; Suleman, Sultan

    2015-06-05

    Malaria is a complex disease, which varies in its epidemiology and clinical manifestation. Although artemether-lumefantrine has been used as first-line drug for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Bahir Dar district since 2004, its efficacy has not yet been assessed. The main objective of this study was to quantify the proportion of patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria who were prescribed artemether-lumefantrine and who failed treatment after a 28-day follow-up. The research team attempted to conduct an observational cohort study on the assessment of therapeutic efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine in falciparum malaria patients aged over five years in Bahir Dar district from March to July 2012. Among 130 participants in the study, 60% were males with 1:5 male to female ratio. The mean of asexual parasitaemia load was 8675 parasites/μL and 96.1% participants were free from parasitaemia at day 3. At the end of the study, 98.5% of participants showed adequate clinical and parasitological response of the drug. In the study, only 1.5% of participants were shown late parasitological failure between seventh and 14th day follow-up and 1.3% of participants were free from anaemia at the end of follow-up. According to the research findings, artemether-lumefantrine fulfilled the inclusion criteria of WHO as first-line drug and continues to be the drug of choice for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Outputs from this study should be supported through advanced molecular techniques and blood concentration and pharmaco-vigilance of the drug.

  11. Origins of asexuality in Bryobia mites (Acari: Tetranychidae

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    Menken Steph BJ

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Obligate asexual reproduction is rare in the animal kingdom. Generally, asexuals are considered evolutionary dead ends that are unable to radiate. The phytophagous mite genus Bryobia contains a large number of asexual species. In this study, we investigate the origin and evolution of asexuality using samples from 111 populations in Europe, South Africa and the United States, belonging to eleven Bryobia species. We also examine intraspecific clonal diversity for one species, B. kissophila, by genotyping individuals from 61 different populations. Knowledge on the origin of asexuality and on clonal diversity can contribute to our understanding of the paradox of sex. Results The majority (94% of 111 sampled populations reproduces asexually. Analysis of part of nuclear 28S rDNA shows that these asexuals do not form a monophyletic clade. Analysis of the mitochondrial COI region shows that intraspecific variation is extensive (up to 8.8%. Within B. kissophila, distinct clades are found, which are absent at the nuclear 28S rDNA level. Moreover, paraphyletic patterns are found at the mitochondrial DNA. Conclusion Asexuality is widespread in the genus Bryobia, signifying that some animal taxa do contain a high number of asexuals. We argue that asexuality originated multiple times within Bryobia. Wolbachia bacteria cause asexuality in at least two Bryobia species and may have infected different species independently. The high intraspecific clonal diversity and the patterns of paraphyly at the mitochondrial DNA in B. kissophila might be explained by a high mutation fixation rate and past hybridization events. Reproductive parasites like Wolbachia and Cardinium might influence these processes. We discuss the role these bacteria could play in the evolutionary success of asexual species.

  12. Non-falciparum malaria infections in pregnant women in West Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williams, John; Njie, Fanta; Cairns, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Non-Plasmodium falciparum malaria infections are found in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa but little is known about their importance in pregnancy. METHODS: Blood samples were collected at first antenatal clinic attendance from 2526 women enrolled in a trial of intermittent screening...... for a non-falciparum malaria infection were investigated and the influence of these infections on the outcome of pregnancy was determined. RESULTS: P. falciparum infection was detected frequently (overall prevalence by PCR: 38.8 %, [95 % CI 37.0, 40.8]), with a prevalence ranging from 10.8 % in The Gambia...... to 56.1 % in Ghana. Non-falciparum malaria infections were found only rarely (overall prevalence 1.39 % [95 % CI 1.00, 1.92]), ranging from 0.17 % in the Gambia to 3.81 % in Mali. Ten non-falciparum mono-infections and 25 mixed falciparum and non-falciparum infections were found. P. malariae...

  13. Implicit and Explicit Attitudes Toward Sex and Romance in Asexuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulmer, Maria; Izuma, Keise

    2017-03-31

    Despite the recent surge of interest in sexuality, asexuality has remained relatively underresearched. Distinct from abstinence or chastity, asexuality refers to a lack of sexual attraction toward others. Past research suggests asexuals have negative attitudes toward sex, though no research has examined implicit attitudes. While preliminary evidence suggests that many asexuals are interested in engaging in romantic relationships, these attitudes have yet to be examined thoroughly, implicitly, or compared with a control group. This study investigated explicit and implicit attitudes toward sex and romance in a group of asexuals (N = 18, age M = 21.11) and a group of controls (N = 27, age M = 21.81), using the Asexuality Identification Scale (AIS), the Triangular Love Scale (TLS), semantic differentials, an Implicit Association Task (IAT), and two Single Category IATs. It was found that asexuals exhibited more negative explicit and implicit attitudes toward sex, as well as more negative explicit attitudes toward romance, relative to controls. There was no significant difference between groups on implicit romantic attitudes. Moreover, aromantic asexuals demonstrated significantly more negative explicit attitudes toward romance than romantic asexuals, though there was no significant difference between groups on implicit measures. Explanations and implications of these findings are discussed.

  14. Longevity and composition of cellular immune responses following experimental Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne C Teirlinck

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Cellular responses to Plasmodium falciparum parasites, in particular interferon-gamma (IFNγ production, play an important role in anti-malarial immunity. However, clinical immunity to malaria develops slowly amongst naturally exposed populations, the dynamics of cellular responses in relation to exposure are difficult to study and data about the persistence of such responses are controversial. Here we assess the longevity and composition of cellular immune responses following experimental malaria infection in human volunteers. We conducted a longitudinal study of cellular immunological responses to sporozoites (PfSpz and asexual blood-stage (PfRBC malaria parasites in naïve human volunteers undergoing single (n = 5 or multiple (n = 10 experimental P. falciparum infections under highly controlled conditions. IFNγ and interleukin-2 (IL-2 responses following in vitro re-stimulation were measured by flow-cytometry prior to, during and more than one year post infection. We show that cellular responses to both PfSpz and PfRBC are induced and remain almost undiminished up to 14 months after even a single malaria episode. Remarkably, not only 'adaptive' but also 'innate' lymphocyte subsets contribute to the increased IFNγ response, including αβT cells, γδT cells and NK cells. Furthermore, results from depletion and autologous recombination experiments of lymphocyte subsets suggest that immunological memory for PfRBC is carried within both the αβT cells and γδT compartments. Indeed, the majority of cytokine producing T lymphocytes express an CD45RO(+ CD62L(- effector memory (EM phenotype both early and late post infection. Finally, we demonstrate that malaria infection induces and maintains polyfunctional (IFNγ(+IL-2(+ EM responses against both PfRBC and PfSpz, previously found to be associated with protection. These data demonstrate that cellular responses can be readily induced and are long-lived following infection with P

  15. Pseudomonas aeruginosa septicaemia in a patient with severe Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kharazmi, A; Høiby, N; Theander, T G

    1987-01-01

    presented with severe form of malaria, progressing rapidly into coma and died within a short time. P. aeruginosa was isolated from his blood taken on the day of admission. His neutrophils were all occupied by P. falciparum. The unusual combination of severe falciparum malaria infection and P. aeruginosa......This report describes a Danish patient with severe Plasmodium falciparum infection and Pseudomonas aeruginosa septicaemia. The patient had been sailing along the coast of West Africa for ten years without taking any antimalaria prophylaxis and without any apparent previous history of malaria. He...

  16. [Asexual reproduction of planarians: metric studies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheĭman, I M; Sedel'nikov, Z V; Shkutin, M F; Kreshchenko, N D

    2006-01-01

    A relationship was studied between fission and restoration of body and its individual parts under different experimental conditions in planarians of the Dugesia tigrina asexual race. The body and its fragments were studied morphomterically. After fission, the growth of planarians demonstrated topographic differences. The separated tail fragments and postpharyngeal area, in which the zone of fission is formed, were growing at the highest rate. More active growth was also noted over the long body axis. Fission and growth were more active in isolated planarians, as compared to those kept in groups.

  17. Mutation-selection balance and mixed mating with asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marriage, Tara N; Orive, Maria E

    2012-09-07

    The effects of asexual reproduction on both the number of deleterious mutations per gamete and the mean fitness under mutation-selection balance are investigated. We use two simulation models, considering both finite and infinite populations. The two models incorporate asexual reproduction with varying levels of outcrossing and selfing, degrees of dominance and selection coefficients. The values for mean fitness and number of deleterious mutations per gamete are compared within and among finite and infinite populations to identify the effect of asexual reproduction on levels of load, and how asexual reproduction may interact with genetic drift (population size). Increasing asexual reproduction resulted in an increase in mean fitness and a decrease in the average number of deleterious mutations per gamete for both nearly recessive and additive alleles in both the infinite and finite simulations. Increased mean fitness with increasing asexuality is possibly due to two interacting forces: a greater opportunity for selection to act on heterozygous versus homozygous mutations and the shielding of a proportion of the population from meiotic mutations due to asexual reproduction. The results found here highlight the need to consider asexual reproduction along with mixed mating in models of genetic load and mutation-selection balance.

  18. On the asexual reproduction of Plagiochila pluma Steph.

    OpenAIRE

    Piippo, Sinikka

    1992-01-01

    Four types of asexual reproduction in Plagiochila and the Plagiochilaceae are known: propagules, caducous leaves, gemmae and cladia. Plagiochila pluma Steph. has caducous leaves and teeth with regenerants. The terms for asexual reproduction modes in liverworts are briefly discussed and new definitions proposed.

  19. Deleterious mutation accumulation in asexual Timema stick insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lee; Schwander, Tanja; Crespi, Bernard J

    2012-01-01

    Sexual reproduction is extremely widespread in spite of its presumed costs relative to asexual reproduction, indicating that it must provide significant advantages. One postulated benefit of sex and recombination is that they facilitate the purging of mildly deleterious mutations, which would accumulate in asexual lineages and contribute to their short evolutionary life span. To test this prediction, we estimated the accumulation rate of coding (nonsynonymous) mutations, which are expected to be deleterious, in parts of one mitochondrial (COI) and two nuclear (Actin and Hsp70) genes in six independently derived asexual lineages and related sexual species of Timema stick insects. We found signatures of increased coding mutation accumulation in all six asexual Timema and for each of the three analyzed genes, with 3.6- to 13.4-fold higher rates in the asexuals as compared with the sexuals. In addition, because coding mutations in the asexuals often resulted in considerable hydrophobicity changes at the concerned amino acid positions, coding mutations in the asexuals are likely associated with more strongly deleterious effects than in the sexuals. Our results demonstrate that deleterious mutation accumulation can differentially affect sexual and asexual lineages and support the idea that deleterious mutation accumulation plays an important role in limiting the long-term persistence of all-female lineages.

  20. Molecular evidence for ancient asexuality in timema stick insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J

    2011-07-12

    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual taxa that have evolved and adapted without sex would be "scandalous" exceptions to this rule, but it is often difficult to exclude the possibility that putative asexuals deploy some form of "cryptic" sex, or have abandoned sex more recently than estimated from divergence times to sexual relatives [10]. Here we provide evidence, from high intraspecific divergence of mitochondrial sequence and nuclear allele divergence patterns, that several independently derived Timema stick-insect lineages have persisted without recombination for more than a million generations. Nuclear alleles in the asexual lineages displayed significantly higher intraindividual divergences than in related sexual species. In addition, within two asexuals, nuclear allele phylogenies suggested the presence of two clades, with sequences from the same individual appearing in both clades. These data strongly support ancient asexuality in Timema and validate the genus as an exceptional opportunity to attack the question of how asexual reproduction can be maintained over long periods of evolutionary time.

  1. Constraints on the evolution of asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelstädter, Jan

    2008-11-01

    Sexual reproduction is almost ubiquitous among multicellular organisms even though it entails severe fitness costs. To resolve this apparent paradox, an extensive body of research has been devoted to identifying the selective advantages of recombination that counteract these costs. Yet, how easy is it to make the transition to asexual reproduction once sexual reproduction has been established for a long time? The present review approaches this question by considering factors that impede the evolution of parthenogenesis in animals. Most importantly, eggs need a diploid chromosome set in most species in order to develop normally. Next, eggs may need to be activated by sperm, and sperm may also contribute centrioles and other paternal factors to the zygote. Depending on how diploidy is achieved mechanistically, further problems may arise in offspring that stem from 'inbreeding depression' or inappropriate sex determination systems. Finally, genomic imprinting is another well-known barrier to the evolution of asexuality in mammals. Studies on species with occasional, deficient parthenogenesis indicate that the relative importance of these constraints may vary widely. The intimate evolutionary relations between haplodiploidy and parthenogenesis as well as implications for the clade selection hypothesis of the maintenance of sexual reproduction are also discussed.

  2. Habitat heterogeneity favors asexual reproduction in natural populations of grassthrips.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavanchy, Guillaume; Strehler, Marie; Llanos Roman, Maria Noemi; Lessard-Therrien, Malie; Humbert, Jean-Yves; Dumas, Zoé; Jalvingh, Kirsten; Ghali, Karim; Fontcuberta García-Cuenca, Amaranta; Zijlstra, Bart; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Schwander, Tanja

    2016-08-01

    Explaining the overwhelming success of sex among eukaryotes is difficult given the obvious costs of sex relative to asexuality. Different studies have shown that sex can provide benefits in spatially heterogeneous environments under specific conditions, but whether spatial heterogeneity commonly contributes to the maintenance of sex in natural populations remains unknown. We experimentally manipulated habitat heterogeneity for sexual and asexual thrips lineages in natural populations and under seminatural mesocosm conditions by varying the number of hostplants available to these herbivorous insects. Asexual lineages rapidly replaced the sexual ones, independently of the level of habitat heterogeneity in mesocosms. In natural populations, the success of sexual thrips decreased with increasing habitat heterogeneity, with sexual thrips apparently only persisting in certain types of hostplant communities. Our results illustrate how genetic diversity-based mechanisms can favor asexuality instead of sex when sexual lineages co-occur with genetically variable asexual lineages.

  3. Asexuality development among middle aged and older men.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-Ping Huang

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To assess erectile function in middle-aged and older men with asexuality status and further analyze their specific reasons for this condition. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Men who had regular sexual intercourse attempts (sex frequency ≥ 1 time per month were classified into mild erectile dysfunction (ED, moderate to severe ED and non-ED according to International Index of Erectile Function-5, and men having no sexual intercourse attempts for at least 6 months were defined as having an asexuality status. The risk factors associated with ED were collected in a sample of 1,531 Chinese men aged 40 to 80 years, and the self-report reasons for asexuality were recorded in asexual cohort individually. Comparative analyses and multivariate regression models were conducted among these groups. RESULTS: The prevalence rates of ED and asexuality status were 49.9% and 37.2%. The asexuality status group had higher risk factors than the moderate to severe ED group in terms of old age (age ≥ 65, adjusted odds ratio (OR 17.69 versus (Vs. 7.19, diabetes (crude OR: 2.40 Vs. 2.36 and hypertension (crude OR: 1.78 Vs. 1.72. The specific reasons for the asexuality status were "erectile difficulty" (52.9%, "do not care about sexuality" (53.5%", "no longer necessary to have sexuality at this age" (47.7%, "severe stress" (44.4%, "severe fatigue" (26.3% and "masturbation" (26.9%. CONCLUSIONS: Men with an asexual status suffer from higher risk factors for ED than men with moderate to severe ED. The majority of this asexual status could be attributed to a full ED, although the reasons for this transient asexuality also involved sexual attitudes and interests, sexual partners and masturbation.

  4. Type II fatty acid biosynthesis is essential for Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite development in the midgut of Anopheles mosquitoes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaijk, B.C.L. van; Kumar, T.R.; Vos, M.W.; Richman, A.; Gemert, G.J.A. van; Li, T.; Eappen, A.G.; Williamson, K.C.; Morahan, B.J.; Fishbaugher, M.; Kennedy, M.; Camargo, N.; Khan, S.M.; Janse, C.J.; Sim, K.L.; Hoffman, S.L.; Kappe, S.H.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Fidock, D.A.; Vaughan, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    The prodigious rate at which malaria parasites proliferate during asexual blood-stage replication, midgut sporozoite production, and intrahepatic development creates a substantial requirement for essential nutrients, including fatty acids that likely are necessary for parasite membrane formation.

  5. Type II fatty acid biosynthesis is essential for Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite development in the midgut of Anopheles mosquitoes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaijk, B.C.L. van; Kumar, T.R.; Vos, M.W.; Richman, A.; Gemert, G.J.A. van; Li, T.; Eappen, A.G.; Williamson, K.C.; Morahan, B.J.; Fishbaugher, M.; Kennedy, M.; Camargo, N.; Khan, S.M.; Janse, C.J.; Sim, K.L.; Hoffman, S.L.; Kappe, S.H.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Fidock, D.A.; Vaughan, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    The prodigious rate at which malaria parasites proliferate during asexual blood-stage replication, midgut sporozoite production, and intrahepatic development creates a substantial requirement for essential nutrients, including fatty acids that likely are necessary for parasite membrane formation. Pl

  6. A Patient with G6PD Deficiency and Falciparum Malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y Fagani

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available A 20 year old male patient from Afghanistan with a history of G6PD deficiency and clinical manifestations of malaria referred to Bou-Ali Hospital in Tehran, capital of Iran. Giemsa stained thick blood films revealed an infection of Plasmodium falciparum with 33700 parasite/μL of blood. The patient was successfully treated according to malaria treatment guideline.

  7. Origination of asexual plantlets in three species of Crassulaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jiansheng; Liu, Hailiang; He, Yangyang; Cui, Xianghuan; Du, Xiling; Zhu, Jian

    2015-03-01

    During asexual plant reproduction, cells from different organs can be reprogrammed to produce new individuals, a process that requires the coordination of cell cycle reactivation with the acquisition of other cellular morphological characteristics. However, the factors that influence the variety of asexual reproduction have not yet been determined. Here, we report on plantlet formation in Kalanchoe daigremontiana, Graptopetalum paraguayense, and Crassula portulacea (Crassulaceae) and analyse the effect of initiating cells on asexual reproduction in these three species. Additionally, the roles of WUSCHEL (WUS) and CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON 1 (CUC1) in the asexual reproduction of these species were analysed through qRT-PCR. Our results indicated that pre-existing stem cell-like cells at the sites of asexual reproduction were responsible for the formation of plantlets. These cells were arrested in different phases of the cell cycle and showed different cell morphological characteristics and cell counts. The accumulation of auxin and cytokinin at the sites of asexual plantlet formation indicated their important functions, particularly for cell cycle reactivation. These differences may influence the pattern and complexity of asexual reproduction in these Crassulaceae species. Additionally, the dynamic expression levels of CUC1 and WUS may indicate that CUC1 functions in the formation of callus and shoot meristems; whereas, WUS was only associated with shoot induction.

  8. Generation of antigenic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum by structured rearrangement of Var genes during mitosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine Claessens

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The most polymorphic gene family in P. falciparum is the ∼60 var genes distributed across parasite chromosomes, both in the subtelomeres and in internal regions. They encode hypervariable surface proteins known as P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 that are critical for pathogenesis and immune evasion in Plasmodium falciparum. How var gene sequence diversity is generated is not currently completely understood. To address this, we constructed large clone trees and performed whole genome sequence analysis to study the generation of novel var gene sequences in asexually replicating parasites. While single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were scattered across the genome, structural variants (deletions, duplications, translocations were focused in and around var genes, with considerable variation in frequency between strains. Analysis of more than 100 recombination events involving var exon 1 revealed that the average nucleotide sequence identity of two recombining exons was only 63% (range: 52.7-72.4% yet the crossovers were error-free and occurred in such a way that the resulting sequence was in frame and domain architecture was preserved. Var exon 1, which encodes the immunologically exposed part of the protein, recombined in up to 0.2% of infected erythrocytes in vitro per life cycle. The high rate of var exon 1 recombination indicates that millions of new antigenic structures could potentially be generated each day in a single infected individual. We propose a model whereby var gene sequence polymorphism is mainly generated during the asexual part of the life cycle.

  9. Relationship between immunoglobulin isotype response to Plasmodium falciparum blood stage antigens and parasitological indexes as well as splenomegaly in sympatric ethnic groups living in Mali.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vafa, Manijeh; Israelsson, Elisabeth; Maiga, Bakary; Dolo, Amagana; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Troye-Blomberg, Marita

    2009-01-01

    This study aimed to assess correlations between anti-malarial antibody levels and differences in malariometric characteristics, seen between two sympatric ethnic groups, the Fulani and the Dogon, living in Mali. Plasma levels of anti-malarial IgE, IgG, IgG1-4 and total IgE were determined in asymptomatic individuals, of the above mentioned groups, and were correlated to malariometric indexes. Significantly higher levels of anti-malarial IgE, IgG, IgG1-3 and total IgE were detected in the Fulani individuals as compared to the Dogon. No difference in plasma levels of malaria specific IgG4 was noted between the two groups. Within the Fulani, an increase in total IgE levels was associated with the presence of infection. As the IgG4 level increased, the number of clones decreased in the Fulani individuals. A positive correlation between elevated levels of anti-malarial IgG and IgG3 and splenomegaly was noted only within the Fulani group. No other correlations between antibody levels and parasite prevalence, clone numbers or spleen rates were observed in any of the communities. These results suggest that the magnitude of antibody response against Plasmodium falciparum may not be as important as it is believed to be. Instead, the fine specificity or function of the response might be more critical in protection against malaria disease.

  10. Genetic causes of transitions from sexual reproduction to asexuality in plants and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neiman, M; Sharbel, T F; Schwander, T

    2014-07-01

    The persistence of sexual reproduction in the face of competition from asexual invaders is more likely if asexual lineages are produced infrequently or have low fitness. The generation rate and success of new asexual lineages will be influenced by the proximate mechanisms underlying transitions to asexuality. As such, characterization of these mechanisms can help explain the distribution of reproductive modes among natural populations. Here, we synthesize the literature addressing proximate causes of transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction in plants and animals. In cyclical and facultatively asexual taxa, individual mutations can cause obligate asexuality. The evolution of asexuality in obligately sexual groups is more complex, requiring the simultaneous acquisition of two traits generally controlled by different genetic factors: unreduced gamete formation and spontaneous development of unfertilized gametes. At least three 'pre-adaptations' could favour transitions to obligate asexuality in obligate sexuals. First, linkage among loci affecting separate key components of asexuality facilitates its spread, with evidence for these linkage blocks in plants. Second, asexuality should evolve more readily in haplodiploids; support for this hypothesis comes from two examples where a single locus causes transitions to asexuality. Third, standing genetic variation for the production of unreduced gametes could facilitate transitions to asexuality, but whether the ability to produce unreduced gametes contributes to the evolution of obligate asexuality remains unclear. We close by reviewing the associations between asexuality, hybridization and polyploidy, and argue that current data suggest that hybridization is more likely to play a causal role in transitions to asexuality than polyploidy.

  11. PfSETvs methylation of histone H3K36 represses virulence genes in Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jiang, Lubin; Mu, Jianbing; Zhang, Qingfeng

    2013-01-01

    The variant antigen Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), which is expressed on the surface of P. falciparum-infected red blood cells, is a critical virulence factor for malaria. Each parasite has 60 antigenically distinct var genes that each code for a different PfEMP1...

  12. Lymphocyte response to purified Plasmodium falciparum antigens during and after malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bygbjerg, I C; Jepsen, S; Theander, T G

    1986-01-01

    The peripheral blood lymphocyte response to affinity purified soluble Plasmodium falciparum antigens from in vitro cultures was studied in seven patients with acute falciparum malaria, on eight occasions, and in 15 persons having had malaria, at various times post infection, on 24 occasions. During...

  13. New synchronization method for Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mwangi Jonathan M

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum is usually asynchronous during in vitro culture. Although various synchronization methods are available, they are not able to narrow the range of ages of parasites. A newly developed method is described that allows synchronization of parasites to produce cultures with an age range as low as 30 minutes. Methods Trophozoites and schizonts are enriched using Plasmion. The enriched late stage parasites are immobilized as a monolayer onto plastic Petri dishes using concanavalin A. Uninfected erythrocytes are placed onto the monolayer for a limited time period, during which time schizonts on the monolayer rupture and the released merozoites invade the fresh erythrocytes. The overlay is then taken off into a culture flask, resulting in a highly synchronized population of parasites. Results Plasmion treatment results in a 10- to 13-fold enrichment of late stage parasites. The monolayer method results in highly synchronized cultures of parasites where invasion has occurred within a very limited time window, which can be as low as 30 minutes. The method is simple, requiring no specialized equipment and relatively cheap reagents. Conclusions The new method for parasite synchronization results in highly synchronized populations of parasites, which will be useful for studies of the parasite asexual cell cycle.

  14. 4-Nitro styrylquinoline is an antimalarial inhibiting multiple stages of Plasmodium falciparum asexual life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Bracken F; Zheng, Yongsheng; Cleaveleand, Jacob; Lee, Sukjun; Lee, Eunyoung; Ayong, Lawrence; Yuan, Yu; Chakrabarti, Debopam

    2017-04-01

    Drugs against malaria are losing their effectiveness because of emerging drug resistance. This underscores the need for novel therapeutic options for malaria with mechanism of actions distinct from current antimalarials. To identify novel pharmacophores against malaria we have screened compounds containing structural features of natural products that are pharmacologically relevant. This screening has identified a 4-nitro styrylquinoline (SQ) compound with submicromolar antiplasmodial activity and excellent selectivity. SQ exhibits a cellular action distinct from current antimalarials, acting early on malaria parasite's intraerythrocytic life cycle including merozoite invasion. The compound is a fast-acting parasitocidal agent and also exhibits curative property in the rodent malaria model when administered orally. In this report, we describe the synthesis, preliminary structure-function analysis, and the parasite developmental stage specific action of the SQ scaffold. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. 4-Nitro styrylquinoline is an antimalarial inhibiting multiple stages of Plasmodium falciparum asexual life cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bracken F. Roberts

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Drugs against malaria are losing their effectiveness because of emerging drug resistance. This underscores the need for novel therapeutic options for malaria with mechanism of actions distinct from current antimalarials. To identify novel pharmacophores against malaria we have screened compounds containing structural features of natural products that are pharmacologically relevant. This screening has identified a 4-nitro styrylquinoline (SQ compound with submicromolar antiplasmodial activity and excellent selectivity. SQ exhibits a cellular action distinct from current antimalarials, acting early on malaria parasite's intraerythrocytic life cycle including merozoite invasion. The compound is a fast-acting parasitocidal agent and also exhibits curative property in the rodent malaria model when administered orally. In this report, we describe the synthesis, preliminary structure-function analysis, and the parasite developmental stage specific action of the SQ scaffold.

  16. Gonad establishment during asexual reproduction in the annelid Pristina leidyi

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Özpolat, B Duygu; Bely, Alexandra E

    2015-01-01

    .... We investigated germ line development in the annelid Pristina leidyi, a species that typically reproduces asexually by paratomic fission, intercalating a new tail and head in the middle of the body...

  17. Loss of cellular immune reactivity during acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, L; Theander, T G; Abu-Zeid, Y A;

    1991-01-01

    Sixteen patients suffering from acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria were studied. All were residents of an area of unstable malaria-transmission in Eastern Sudan. Blood-samples were drawn at diagnosis, and 7 and 30 days later. Blood-samples from thirteen donors, drawn outside the malaria...... convalescence. Five donors examined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) showed no increase in surface expression of IL-2 receptor on peripheral lymphocytes. The data indicate that acute P. falciparum malaria causes a depletion of antigen-reactive T-cells from the peripheral circulation, probably due...

  18. Loss of cellular immune reactivity during acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, L; Theander, T G; Abu-Zeid, Y A

    1991-01-01

    Sixteen patients suffering from acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria were studied. All were residents of an area of unstable malaria-transmission in Eastern Sudan. Blood-samples were drawn at diagnosis, and 7 and 30 days later. Blood-samples from thirteen donors, drawn outside the malaria...... convalescence. Five donors examined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) showed no increase in surface expression of IL-2 receptor on peripheral lymphocytes. The data indicate that acute P. falciparum malaria causes a depletion of antigen-reactive T-cells from the peripheral circulation, probably due...

  19. Development of fluorescent Plasmodium falciparum for in vitro growth inhibition assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crabb Brendan S

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum in vitro growth inhibition assays are widely used to evaluate and quantify the functional activity of acquired and vaccine-induced antibodies and the anti-malarial activity of known drugs and novel compounds. However, several constraints have limited the use of these assays in large-scale population studies, vaccine trials and compound screening for drug discovery and development. Methods The D10 P. falciparum line was transfected to express green fluorescent protein (GFP. In vitro growth inhibition assays were performed over one or two cycles of P. falciparum asexual replication using inhibitory polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits, an inhibitory monoclonal antibody, human serum samples, and anti-malarials. Parasitaemia was evaluated by microscopy and flow cytometry. Results Transfected parasites expressed GFP throughout all asexual stages and were clearly detectable by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Measurement of parasite growth inhibition was the same when determined by detection of GFP fluorescence or staining with ethidium bromide. There was no difference in the inhibitory activity of samples when tested against the transfected parasites compared to the parental line. The level of fluorescence of GFP-expressing parasites increased throughout the course of asexual development. Among ring-stages, GFP-fluorescent parasites were readily separated from uninfected erythrocytes by flow cytometry, whereas this was less clear using ethidium bromide staining. Inhibition by serum and antibody samples was consistently higher when tested over two cycles of growth compared to one, and when using a 1 in 10 sample dilution compared to 1 in 20, but there was no difference detected when using a different starting parasitaemia to set-up growth assays. Flow cytometry based measurements of parasitaemia proved more reproducible than microscopy counts. Conclusions Flow cytometry based assays using GFP

  20. Hybridization and the Origin of Contagious Asexuality in Daphnia pulex

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Sen; Spitze, Ken; Ackerman, Matthew S.; Ye, Zhiqiang; Bright, Lydia; Keith, Nathan; Jackson, Craig E.; Shaw, Joseph R.; Lynch, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization plays a potentially important role in the origin of obligate parthenogenesis (OP) in many organisms. However, it remains controversial whether hybridization directly triggers the transition from sexual reproduction to obligate asexuality or a hybrid genetic background enables asexual species to persist. Furthermore, we know little about the specific genetic elements from the divergent, yet still hybridizing lineages responsible for this transition and how these elements are furt...

  1. Hemoglobinopathies: slicing the Gordian knot of Plasmodium falciparum malaria pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Steve M; Cerami, Carla; Fairhurst, Rick M

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria kills over 500,000 children every year and has been a scourge of humans for millennia. Owing to the co-evolution of humans and P. falciparum parasites, the human genome is imprinted with polymorphisms that not only confer innate resistance to falciparum malaria, but also cause hemoglobinopathies. These genetic traits--including hemoglobin S (HbS), hemoglobin C (HbC), and α-thalassemia--are the most common monogenic human disorders and can confer remarkable degrees of protection from severe, life-threatening falciparum malaria in African children: the risk is reduced 70% by homozygous HbC and 90% by heterozygous HbS (sickle-cell trait). Importantly, this protection is principally present for severe disease and largely absent for P. falciparum infection, suggesting that these hemoglobinopathies specifically neutralize the parasite's in vivo mechanisms of pathogenesis. These hemoglobin variants thus represent a "natural experiment" to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which P. falciparum produces clinical morbidity, which remain partially obscured due to the complexity of interactions between this parasite and its human host. Multiple lines of evidence support a restriction of parasite growth by various hemoglobinopathies, and recent data suggest this phenomenon may result from host microRNA interference with parasite metabolism. Multiple hemoglobinopathies mitigate the pathogenic potential of parasites by interfering with the export of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) to the surface of the host red blood cell. Few studies have investigated their effects upon the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, although recent murine studies suggest a role for heme oxygenase-1 in protection. Ultimately, the identification of mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis can inform future therapeutics and preventive measures. Hemoglobinopathies slice the "Gordian knot" of host and parasite

  2. Hemoglobinopathies: Slicing the Gordian Knot of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Steve M.; Cerami, Carla; Fairhurst, Rick M.

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria kills over 500,000 children every year and has been a scourge of humans for millennia. Owing to the co-evolution of humans and P. falciparum parasites, the human genome is imprinted with polymorphisms that not only confer innate resistance to falciparum malaria, but also cause hemoglobinopathies. These genetic traits—including hemoglobin S (HbS), hemoglobin C (HbC), and α-thalassemia—are the most common monogenic human disorders and can confer remarkable degrees of protection from severe, life-threatening falciparum malaria in African children: the risk is reduced 70% by homozygous HbC and 90% by heterozygous HbS (sickle-cell trait). Importantly, this protection is principally present for severe disease and largely absent for P. falciparum infection, suggesting that these hemoglobinopathies specifically neutralize the parasite's in vivo mechanisms of pathogenesis. These hemoglobin variants thus represent a “natural experiment” to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which P. falciparum produces clinical morbidity, which remain partially obscured due to the complexity of interactions between this parasite and its human host. Multiple lines of evidence support a restriction of parasite growth by various hemoglobinopathies, and recent data suggest this phenomenon may result from host microRNA interference with parasite metabolism. Multiple hemoglobinopathies mitigate the pathogenic potential of parasites by interfering with the export of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) to the surface of the host red blood cell. Few studies have investigated their effects upon the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, although recent murine studies suggest a role for heme oxygenase-1 in protection. Ultimately, the identification of mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis can inform future therapeutics and preventive measures. Hemoglobinopathies slice the “Gordian knot” of host and parasite

  3. Hemoglobinopathies: slicing the Gordian knot of Plasmodium falciparum malaria pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve M Taylor

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum malaria kills over 500,000 children every year and has been a scourge of humans for millennia. Owing to the co-evolution of humans and P. falciparum parasites, the human genome is imprinted with polymorphisms that not only confer innate resistance to falciparum malaria, but also cause hemoglobinopathies. These genetic traits--including hemoglobin S (HbS, hemoglobin C (HbC, and α-thalassemia--are the most common monogenic human disorders and can confer remarkable degrees of protection from severe, life-threatening falciparum malaria in African children: the risk is reduced 70% by homozygous HbC and 90% by heterozygous HbS (sickle-cell trait. Importantly, this protection is principally present for severe disease and largely absent for P. falciparum infection, suggesting that these hemoglobinopathies specifically neutralize the parasite's in vivo mechanisms of pathogenesis. These hemoglobin variants thus represent a "natural experiment" to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which P. falciparum produces clinical morbidity, which remain partially obscured due to the complexity of interactions between this parasite and its human host. Multiple lines of evidence support a restriction of parasite growth by various hemoglobinopathies, and recent data suggest this phenomenon may result from host microRNA interference with parasite metabolism. Multiple hemoglobinopathies mitigate the pathogenic potential of parasites by interfering with the export of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 to the surface of the host red blood cell. Few studies have investigated their effects upon the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, although recent murine studies suggest a role for heme oxygenase-1 in protection. Ultimately, the identification of mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis can inform future therapeutics and preventive measures. Hemoglobinopathies slice the "Gordian knot" of host and

  4. Expression of a type B RIFIN in Plasmodium falciparum merozoites and gametes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mwakalinga, Steven B; Wang, Christian W; Bengtsson, Dominique C

    2012-01-01

    were used in immunofluorescence and confocal imaging of 3D7 parasites throughout the asexual reproduction and sexual development to examine the expression of PF13_0006. Furthermore, reactivity to recombinant PF13_0006 was measured in plasma samples collected from individuals from both East and West......ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The ability of Plasmodium falciparum to undergo antigenic variation, by switching expression among protein variants encoded by multigene families, such as var, rif and stevor, is key to the survival of this parasite in the human host. The RIFIN protein family can be divided...

  5. Public goods dilemma in asexual ant societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobata, Shigeto; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2013-10-01

    Cooperation in biological, social, and economic groups is underpinned by public goods that are generated by group members at some personal cost. Theory predicts that public goods will be exploited by cheaters who benefit from the goods by not paying for them, thereby leading to the collapse of cooperation. This situation, described as the "public goods dilemma" in game theory, makes the ubiquity of cooperation a major evolutionary puzzle. Despite this generalization, the demonstration of genetic background and fitness effects of the public goods dilemma has been limited to interactions between viruses and between cells, and thus its relevance at higher levels of organismal complexity is still largely unexplored. Here we provide experimental evidence for the public goods dilemma in a social insect, the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus. In this species, all workers are involved in both asexual reproduction and cooperative tasks. Genetic cheaters infiltrate field colonies, reproducing more than the workers but shunning cooperative tasks. In laboratory experiments, cheaters outcompeted coexisting workers in both survival and reproduction, although a group composed only of cheaters failed to produce offspring. The operations of the public goods dilemma in P. punctatus showed a remarkable convergence with those in microbial societies, not only in fitness consequences but also in behavioral mechanisms. Our study reinforces the evolutionary impact of cheaters on diverse cooperative systems in the laboratory and in the field.

  6. Chromosome length scaling in haploid, asexual reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, P. M. C.

    2007-02-01

    We study the genetic behaviour of a population formed by haploid individuals which reproduce asexually. The genetic information for each individual is stored along a bit-string (or chromosome) with L bits, where 0-bits represent the wild allele and 1-bits correspond to harmful mutations. Each newborn inherits this chromosome from its parent with a few random mutations: on average a fixed number m of bits are flipped. Selection is implemented according to the number N of 1-bits counted along the individual's chromosome: the smaller N the higher the probability an individual has to survive a new time step. Such a population evolves, with births and deaths, and its genetic distribution becomes stabilized after sufficiently many generations have passed. The question we pose concerns the procedure of increasing L. The aim is to get the same distribution of genetic loads N/L among the equilibrated population, in spite of a larger L. Should we keep the same mutation rate m/L for different values of L? The answer is yes, which intuitively seems to be plausible. However, this conclusion is not trivial, according to our simulation results: the question also involves the population size.

  7. Chromosome length scaling in haploid, asexual reproduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliveira, P M C de [Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal Fluminense, avenida Litoranea s/n, Boa Viagem, Niteroi 24210-340 (Brazil)

    2007-02-14

    We study the genetic behaviour of a population formed by haploid individuals which reproduce asexually. The genetic information for each individual is stored along a bit-string (or chromosome) with L bits, where 0-bits represent the wild allele and 1-bits correspond to harmful mutations. Each newborn inherits this chromosome from its parent with a few random mutations: on average a fixed number m of bits are flipped. Selection is implemented according to the number N of 1-bits counted along the individual's chromosome: the smaller N the higher the probability an individual has to survive a new time step. Such a population evolves, with births and deaths, and its genetic distribution becomes stabilized after sufficiently many generations have passed. The question we pose concerns the procedure of increasing L. The aim is to get the same distribution of genetic loads N/L among the equilibrated population, in spite of a larger L. Should we keep the same mutation rate m/L for different values of L? The answer is yes, which intuitively seems to be plausible. However, this conclusion is not trivial, according to our simulation results: the question also involves the population size.

  8. Transcriptomic evidence for modulation of host inflammatory responses during febrile Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tran, T.M.; Jones, M.B.; Ongoiba, A.; Bijker, E.M.; Schats, R.; Venepally, P.; Skinner, J.; Doumbo, S.; Quinten, E.; Visser, L.G.; Whalen, E.; Presnell, S.; O'Connell, E.M.; Kayentao, K.; Doumbo, O.K.; Chaussabel, D.; Lorenzi, H.; Nutman, T.B.; Ottenhoff, T.H.; Haks, M.C.; Traore, B.; Kirkness, E.F.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Crompton, P.D.

    2016-01-01

    Identifying molecular predictors and mechanisms of malaria disease is important for understanding how Plasmodium falciparum malaria is controlled. Transcriptomic studies in humans have so far been limited to retrospective analysis of blood samples from clinical cases. In this prospective,

  9. Biological markers of asexuality: Handedness, birth order, and finger length ratios in self-identified asexual men and women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yule, Morag A; Brotto, Lori A; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2014-02-01

    Human asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction to anyone or anything and it has been suggested that it may be best conceptualized as a sexual orientation. Non-right-handedness, fraternal birth order, and finger length ratio (2D:4D) are early neurodevelopmental markers associated with sexual orientation. We conducted an Internet study investigating the relationship between self-identification as asexual, handedness, number of older siblings, and self-measured finger-lengths in comparison to individuals of other sexual orientation groups. A total of 325 asexuals (60 men and 265 women; M age, 24.8 years), 690 heterosexuals (190 men and 500 women; M age, 23.5 years), and 268 non-heterosexuals (homosexual and bisexual; 64 men and 204 women; M age, 29.0 years) completed online questionnaires. Asexual men and women were 2.4 and 2.5 times, respectively, more likely to be non-right-handed than their heterosexual counterparts and there were significant differences between sexual orientation groups in number of older brothers and older sisters, and this depended on handedness. Asexual and non-heterosexual men were more likely to be later-born than heterosexual men, and asexual women were more likely to be earlier-born than non-heterosexual women. We found no significant differences between sexual orientation groups on measurements of 2D:4D ratio. This is one of the first studies to test and provide preliminary empirical support for an underlying neurodevelopmental basis to account for the lack of sexual attraction characteristic of asexuality.

  10. In-vitro antimalarial activity of azithromycin against chloroquine sensitive and chloroquine resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biswas S

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available BAKGROUND: The spread of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has made the situation essential to look into new effective therapeutic agents like antibiotics. Azithromycin is a potential, chemotherapeutic agent which possesses antimalarial activity and favourable pharmacokinetic properties. It is an azalide microbiocide derived semi-synthetically from macrolide erythromycin. Like other antibiotics, the azalide azithromycin has ability to inhibit protein synthesis on 70S ribosomes. SETTINGS: Experimental study. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The parasiticidal profile was studied in five chloroquine sensitive and five chloroquine resistant P. falciparum isolates obtained from various places of India. The antimalarial activity was evaluated in P. falciparum schizont maturation by short term culture for 24 hours and by exposing the parasites to the drug for 96 hours. Parasites synchronized at ring stage were put for culture with various concentrations of azithromycin dihydrate (0.01-40 micro/ml. RESULTS: At highest concentration (40 micro/ml, parasite growth was inhibited totally in all 10 isolates. Antimalarial activity at 96 hours was greater than at 24 hours in both chloroquine sensitive and resistant parasites, which may indicate that the inhibition of parasite growth may occur at clinically achievable concentration of the drug when parasites were exposed for several asexual cycles. CONCLUSION: Azithromycin shows a potential for eventual use alone or in combination in the treatment of chloroquine sensitive and resistant P. falciparum malaria.

  11. Hybridization and the Origin of Contagious Asexuality in Daphnia pulex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Sen; Spitze, Ken; Ackerman, Matthew S.; Ye, Zhiqiang; Bright, Lydia; Keith, Nathan; Jackson, Craig E.; Shaw, Joseph R.; Lynch, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization plays a potentially important role in the origin of obligate parthenogenesis (OP) in many organisms. However, it remains controversial whether hybridization directly triggers the transition from sexual reproduction to obligate asexuality or a hybrid genetic background enables asexual species to persist. Furthermore, we know little about the specific genetic elements from the divergent, yet still hybridizing lineages responsible for this transition and how these elements are further spread to create other OP lineages. In this study, we address these questions in Daphnia pulex, where cyclically parthenogenetic (CP) and OP lineages coexist. Ancestry estimates and whole-genome association mapping using 32 OP isolates suggest that a complex hybridization history between the parental species D. pulex and D. pulicaria is responsible for the introgression of a set of 647 D. pulicaria single nucleotide polymorphism alleles that show perfect association with OP. Crossing experiments using males of OP lineages and females of CP lineages strongly support a polygenic basis for OP. Single-sperm analyses show that although normal meiotic recombination occurs in the production of haploid sperm by males of OP lineages, a significant proportion of such sperm are polyploid, suggesting that the spread of asexual elements through these males (i.e., contagious asexuality) is much less efficient than previously envisioned. Although the current Daphnia genome annotation does not provide mechanistic insight into the nature of the asexuality-associated alleles, these alleles should be considered as candidates for future investigations on the genetic underpinnings of OP. PMID:26351296

  12. Coevolution of robustness, epistasis, and recombination favors asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCarthy, Thomas; Bergman, Aviv

    2007-07-31

    The prevalence of sexual reproduction remains one of the most perplexing phenomena in evolutionary biology. The deterministic mutation hypothesis postulates that sexual reproduction will be advantageous under synergistic epistasis, a condition in which mutations cause a greater reduction in fitness when combined than would be expected from their individual effects. The inverse condition, antagonistic epistasis, correspondingly is predicted to favor asexual reproduction. To assess this hypothesis, we introduce a finite population evolutionary process that combines a recombination modifier formalism with a gene-regulatory network model. We demonstrate that when reproductive mode and epistasis are allowed to coevolve, asexual reproduction outcompetes sexual reproduction. In addition, no correlation is found between the level of synergistic epistasis and the fixation time of the asexual mode. However, a significant correlation is found between the level of antagonistic epistasis and asexual mode fixation time. This asymmetry can be explained by the greater reduction in fitness imposed by sexual reproduction as compared with asexual reproduction. Our findings present evidence and suggest plausible explanations that challenge both the deterministic mutation hypothesis and recent arguments asserting the importance of emergent synergistic epistasis in the maintenance of sexual reproduction.

  13. Temporal association of acute hepatitis A and Plasmodium falciparum malaria in children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Klein Klouwenberg

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, Plasmodium falciparum and hepatitis A (HAV infections are common, especially in children. Co-infections with these two pathogens may therefore occur, but it is unknown if temporal clustering exists. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We studied the pattern of co-infection of P. falciparum malaria and acute HAV in Kenyan children under the age of 5 years in a cohort of children presenting with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. HAV status was determined during a 3-month follow-up period. DISCUSSION: Among 222 cases of uncomplicated malaria, 10 patients were anti-HAV IgM positive. The incidence of HAV infections during P. falciparum malaria was 1.7 (95% CI 0.81-3.1 infections/person-year while the cumulative incidence of HAV over the 3-month follow-up period was 0.27 (95% CI 0.14-0.50 infections/person-year. Children with or without HAV co-infections had similar mean P. falciparum asexual parasite densities at presentation (31,000/µL vs. 34,000/µL, respectively, largely exceeding the pyrogenic threshold of 2,500 parasites/µL in this population and minimizing risk of over-diagnosis of malaria as an explanation. CONCLUSION: The observed temporal association between acute HAV and P. falciparum malaria suggests that co-infections of these two hepatotrophic human pathogens may result from changes in host susceptibility. Testing this hypothesis will require larger prospective studies.

  14. A validated measure of no sexual attraction: the Asexuality Identification Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yule, Morag A; Brotto, Lori A; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2015-03-01

    Human asexuality has been described as a lack of sexual attraction toward anyone or anything. One percent of the adult population is thought to be asexual, and research suggests that asexuality is best conceptualized as a sexual orientation. A serious limitation in past research on asexuality has been the complete lack of a validated tool to measure asexuality. Due to limitations in recruiting sufficiently powered local samples, most studies have relied on recruiting via online web-based asexual communities. This is problematic because it limits the sample to individuals who have been recruited through established asexuality networks/communities. The present study aimed to develop and validate a self-report questionnaire to assess asexuality. The questionnaire was intended to provide a valid measure independent of whether the individual self-identified as asexual and was developed in several stages, including: development and administration of open-ended questions (209 participants: 139 asexual and 70 sexual); administration and analysis of resulting 111 items (917 participants: 165 asexual and 752 sexual); administration and analysis of 37 retained items (1,242 participants: 316 asexual and 926 sexual); and validity analysis of the final items. The resulting Asexuality Identification Scale (AIS), a 12-item questionnaire, is a brief, valid, and reliable self-report instrument for assessing asexuality. It is psychometrically sound, easy to administer, and has demonstrated ability to discriminate between sexual and asexual individuals. It should prove useful to allow researchers to recruit more representative samples of the asexual population, permitting for an increased understanding of asexuality.

  15. Immunoglobulin G antibody reactivity to a group A Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 and protection from em>P. falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magistrado, Pamela A; Lusingu, John; Vestergaard, Lasse S;

    2007-01-01

    Variant surface antigens (VSA) on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells play a major role in the pathogenesis of malaria and are key targets for acquired immunity. The best-characterized VSA belong to the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family. In areas...... where P. falciparum is endemic, parasites causing severe malaria and malaria in young children with limited immunity tend to express semiconserved PfEMP1 molecules encoded by group A var genes. Here we investigated antibody responses of Tanzanians who were 0 to 19 years old to PF11_0008, a group A PfEMP...

  16. Exitoso cultivo in vitro de gametocitos de Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Blair

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Introducción. Los estadios sexuales de Plasmodium falciparum han sido menos estudiados que los estadios asexuales. Al parecer, esto se debe a la carencia de cultivos estandarizados in vitro y a la dificultad de reconocer sus estadios de desarrollo. Estos hechos no permiten el estudio de aspectos biológicos, aspectos metabólicos, expresión de genes y síntesis de proteínas durante los estadios sexuales, temas de interés en la investigación de nuevos medicamentos antipalúdicos, principalmente los aislados de plantas, y la identificación de un potencial blanco contra Plasmodium. Objetivos. Establecer un cultivo in vitro de gametocitos, con la identificación de sus cinco estadios de desarrollo, y asegurar su continua producción. Materiales y métodos. El cultivo in vitro de gametocitos se realizó a partir de la cepa NF54 de P. falciparum en medio RPMI, con determinación de la parasitemia asexual y sexual, adición de glóbulos rojos A-Rh+ sólo el primer día de cultivo y cambio diario del medio con adición de mezcla de gases (90% N2, 5% O2; 5% CO2, asegurándose que el cultivo se mantuviera a 37 °C. Cuando la parasitemia asexual estuvo entre 3% y 5%, se comenzó a agregar el doble de volumen de medio. Resultados. Se obtuvieron gametocitos en estadios I, II y III a partir del día 11 de cultivo y estadios IV y V a partir del día 14 de cultivo. Conclusiones. Se estandarizó un cultivo in vitro para estadios sexuales de P. falciparum que puede usarse para futuros estudios de evaluación de compuestos, naturales o sintéticos, que actúen sobre los gametocitos, lo cual podría permitir el desarrollo de nuevas estrategias de control contra el paludismo.

  17. Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in the first half of pregnancy, uterine and umbilical artery blood flow, and foetal growth: a longitudinal Doppler ultrasound study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Griffin Jennifer B

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During early pregnancy, the placenta develops to meet the metabolic demands of the foetus. The objective of this analysis was to examine the effect of malaria parasitaemia prior to 20 weeks’ gestation on subsequent changes in uterine and umbilical artery blood flow and intrauterine growth restriction. Methods Data were analysed from 548 antenatal visits after 20 weeks’ gestation of 128 women, which included foetal biometric measures and interrogation of uterine and umbilical artery blood flow. Linear mixed effect models estimated the effect of early pregnancy malaria parasitaemia on uterine and umbilical artery resistance indices. Log-binomial models with generalized estimating equations estimated the effect of early pregnancy malaria parasitaemia on the risk of intrauterine growth restriction. Results There were differential effects of early pregnancy malaria parasitaemia on uterine artery resistance by nutritional status, with decreased uterine artery resistance among nourished women with early pregnancy malaria and increased uterine artery resistance among undernourished women with early pregnancy malaria. Among primigravidae, early pregnancy malaria parasitaemia decreased umbilical artery resistance in the late third trimester, likely reflecting adaptive villous angiogenesis. In fully adjusted models, primigravidae with early pregnancy malaria parasitaemia had 3.6 times the risk of subsequent intrauterine growth restriction (95% CI: 2.1, 6.2 compared to the referent group of multigravidae with no early pregnancy malaria parasitaemia. Conclusions Early pregnancy malaria parasitaemia affects uterine and umbilical artery blood flow, possibly due to alterations in placentation and angiogenesis, respectively. Among primigravidae, early pregnancy malaria parasitaemia increases the risk of intrauterine growth restriction. The findings support the initiation of malaria parasitaemia prevention and control efforts earlier in

  18. [Erythrocytes infected by Plasmodium falciparum activate human platelets].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polack, B; Peyron, F; Sheick Zadiuddin, I; Kolodié, L; Ambroise-Thomas, P

    1990-01-01

    Blood platelets are involved in Plasmodium falciparum malaria pathology as shown by thrombocytopenia and increased plasma level of two alpha granule proteins: beta thromboglobulin (beta TG) and platelet factor 4 (PF4). In this study we demonstrate that Plasmodium falciparum parasitized erythrocytes activate directly the secretion of beta TG and PF4 by human platelets. This secretion is related to parasitemia and occurs immediately after contact. Treatment of parasited erythrocytes by trypsin and diffusion chamber experiments suggest that platelet activation is triggered by parasitic substances shed on erythrocyte membrane and released in the culture medium.

  19. Soluble haemoglobin is a marker of recent Plasmodium falciparum infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, P H; Bygbjerg, I C; Theander, T G;

    1997-01-01

    . falciparum malaria compared to the levels during acute disease. Thus, both soluble Hb and haptoglobin appear to be markers of recent P. falciparum infections. Very high levels of CRP protein were measured in some of the malaria patients at the day of treatment while lower levels were recorded 7 and 30 days...... after treatment. Soluble Hb levels were associated with malariometric parameters in a similar fashion to haptoglobin. The new Mab-based assay for measuring soluble Hb in the peripheral blood of malaria patients may be useful for future epidemiological studies of malaria....

  20. What Asexuality Contributes to the Same-Sex Marriage Discussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherrer, Kristin S

    2010-01-01

    While same-sex marriage debates have captured public attention, it is but one component of a broader discussion regarding the role of marriage in a changing society. To inform this discussion, I draw on qualitative, Internet survey data from 102 self-identified asexual individuals. I find that asexual relationships are complicated and nuanced in ways that have implications for a GLBTQ political agenda, including same-sex marriage recognition. In addition, findings indicate that assumptions of sex and sexuality in relationships are problematic and that present language for describing relationships is limiting. Findings suggest a social justice agenda for marginalized sexualities should be broader in scope than same-sex marriage.

  1. Coexistence of sexual individuals and genetically isolated asexual counterparts in a thrips.

    OpenAIRE

    Kazuya Kobayashi; Jin Yoshimura; Eisuke Hasegawa

    2013-01-01

    Sex is a paradoxical phenomenon because it is less efficient compared with asexual reproduction. To resolve this paradox we need a direct comparison between sexual and asexual forms. In many organisms, however, sexual and asexual forms do not occur in the same habitat, or at the same time. In a few cases where sexual and asexual forms are found in a single population, some (though rare) genetic exchange is usually detected between the two forms. When genetic exchange occurs a direct compariso...

  2. RIFINs are adhesins implicated in severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goel, Suchi; Palmkvist, Mia; Moll, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting is a virulent Plasmodium falciparum phenomenon associated with severe malaria. Here we demonstrate that P. falciparum–encoded repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) are expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells (iRBCs), where they bind to RBCs—preferentiall......Rosetting is a virulent Plasmodium falciparum phenomenon associated with severe malaria. Here we demonstrate that P. falciparum–encoded repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) are expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells (iRBCs), where they bind to RBCs......—preferentially of blood group A—to form large rosettes and mediate microvascular binding of iRBCs. We suggest that RIFINs have a fundamental role in the development of severe malaria and thereby contribute to the varying global distribution of ABO blood groups in the human population....

  3. What can asexual lineage age tell us about the maintenance of sex?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neiman, Maurine; Meirmans, Stephanie; Meirmans, Patrick G

    2009-06-01

    Sexual reproduction is both extremely costly and extremely common relative to asexuality, indicating that it must confer profound benefits. This in turn points to major disadvantages of asexual reproduction, which is usually given as an explanation for why almost all asexual lineages are apparently quite short-lived. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that some asexual lineages are actually quite old. Insight into why sex is so common may come from understanding why asexual lineages persist in some places or taxa but not others. Here, we review the distribution of asexual lineage ages estimated from a diverse array of taxa, and we discuss our results in light of the main mutational and environmental hypotheses for sex. Along with strengthening the case for wide variation in asexual lineage age and the existence of many old asexual taxa, we also found that the distribution of asexual lineage age estimates follows a surprisingly regular distribution, to the extent that asexual taxa viewed as "scandalously" ancient merely fall on the high end of this distribution. We interpret this result to mean that similar mechanisms may determine asexual lineage age across eukaryotic taxa. We also derive some qualitative predictions for asexual lineage age under different theories for sex and discuss empirical evidence for these predictions. Ultimately, we were limited in the extent to which we could use these data to make inferences about the maintenance of sex by the absence of both clear theoretical expectations and estimates of key parameters.

  4. Phase 1 trial of the Plasmodium falciparum blood stage vaccine MSP1(42-C1/Alhydrogel with and without CPG 7909 in malaria naive adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth D Ellis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Merozoite surface protein 1(42 (MSP1(42 is a leading blood stage malaria vaccine candidate. In order to induce immune responses that cover the major antigenic polymorphisms, FVO and 3D7 recombinant proteins of MSP1(42 were mixed (MSP1(42-C1. To improve the level of antibody response, MSP1(42-C1 was formulated with Alhydrogel plus the novel adjuvant CPG 7909. METHODS: A Phase 1 clinical trial was conducted in healthy malaria-naïve adults at the Center for Immunization Research in Washington, D.C., to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of MSP1(42-C1/Alhydrogel +/- CPG 7909. Sixty volunteers were enrolled in dose escalating cohorts and randomized to receive three vaccinations of either 40 or 160 microg protein adsorbed to Alhydrogel +/- 560 microg CPG 7909 at 0, 1 and 2 months. RESULTS: Vaccinations were well tolerated, with only one related adverse event graded as severe (Grade 3 injection site erythema and all other vaccine related adverse events graded as either mild or moderate. Local adverse events were more frequent and severe in the groups receiving CPG. The addition of CPG enhanced anti-MSP1(42 antibody responses following vaccination by up to 49-fold two weeks after second immunization and 8-fold two weeks after the third immunization when compared to MSP1(42-C1/Alhydrogel alone (p<0.0001. After the third immunization, functionality of the antibody was tested by an in vitro growth inhibition assay. Inhibition was a function of antibody titer, with an average of 3% (range -2 to 10% in the non CPG groups versus 14% (3 to 32% in the CPG groups. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The favorable safety profile and high antibody responses induced with MSP1(42-C1/Alhydrogel + CPG 7909 are encouraging. MSP1(42-C1/Alhydrogel is being combined with other blood stage antigens and will be taken forward in a formulation adjuvanted with CPG 7909. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00320658.

  5. Surface antigens and virulence in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    OpenAIRE

    Normark, Johan

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is an intracellular protozoan that may cause severe forms of malaria. It is a major world health hazard and reaps the highest toll among the children and pregnant mothers of the developing world. An Anopheles mosquito vector injects the pathogen when taking a blood meal. After multiplication in cells of the liver, the parasite escapes and infects red blood cells in a cyclic manner and this is when the clinical manifestations of malaria as a disease beco...

  6. Phase 1 study in malaria naive adults of BSAM2/Alhydrogel®+CPG 7909, a blood stage vaccine against P. falciparum malaria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth D Ellis

    Full Text Available A Phase 1 dose escalating study was conducted in malaria naïve adults to assess the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of the blood stage malaria vaccine BSAM2/Alhydrogel®+ CPG 7909. BSAM2 is a combination of the FVO and 3D7 alleles of recombinant AMA1 and MSP1(42, with equal amounts by weight of each of the four proteins mixed, bound to Alhydrogel®, and administered with the adjuvant CPG 7909. Thirty (30 volunteers were enrolled in two dose groups, with 15 volunteers receiving up to three doses of 40 µg total protein at Days 0, 56, and 180, and 15 volunteers receiving up to three doses of 160 µg protein on the same schedule. Most related adverse events were mild or moderate, but 4 volunteers experienced severe systemic reactions and two were withdrawn from vaccinations due to adverse events. Geometric mean antibody levels after two vaccinations with the high dose formulation were 136 µg/ml for AMA1 and 78 µg/ml for MSP1(42. Antibody responses were not significantly different in the high dose versus low dose groups and did not further increase after third vaccination. In vitro growth inhibition was demonstrated and was closely correlated with anti-AMA1 antibody responses. A Phase 1b trial in malaria-exposed adults is being conducted.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00889616.

  7. [Treatment of fulminant falciparum malaria with erythrapheresis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouvier, B; Maudan, P; Debue, J F; Joussemet, M; Roué, R

    1988-01-01

    Ten days after his return from Cameroon, a twenty-six year old Frenchman, serving on voluntary service overseas, presented with fulminant falciparum malaria: shock, altered consciousness, haemolytic anaemia, threatening disseminated coagulation (platelets less than 150 X 10(-6).l-1; prothrombin time and Stuart factor less than 50%; fibrinogen less than 1.5 g.l-1). In spite of quinine therapy, parasitaemia increased from 4 to 35% within 24 h. Using an Haemonetics V50, the exchange of one and a half red blood cell masses was carried out with 17 red blood cell packs. Calcium gluconate was used to prevent the hypocalcaemia induced by the anticoagulant solution. The patient's platelets and plasma were completely reinjected. The result was very satisfactory. This kind of exchange, well tolerated clinically and biologically, would seem better than the classical exchange transfusion. When 10% of the red blood cells are infected by Plasmodium falciparum, it is necessary to exchange from one and a half to two blood masses. Lesser exchanges are always associated with important relapses and quinine therapy must be carried on during and after the exchange. Restricting this exchange only to red blood cells enabled the patient to benefit from his own coagulation factors, antibodies and platelets, and consequently to reduce the number of blood donors involved. However, metabolites (especially bilirubin and circulating immune complexes) were not eliminated. Partial plasmapheresis may be associated with erythropheresis using human albumin as plasma substitute. This technique needs to be assessed, in order to optimize immediate efficiency and post-transfusion infectious risk.

  8. Deleterious Mutation Accumulation in Asexual Timema Stick Insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Henry, Lee; Schwander, Tanja; Crespi, Bernard J.

    2012-01-01

    Sexual reproduction is extremely widespread in spite of its presumed costs relative to asexual reproduction, indicating that it must provide significant advantages. One postulated benefit of sex and recombination is that they facilitate the purging of mildly deleterious mutations, which would accumu

  9. Quantifying the importance of MSP1-19 as a target of growth-inhibitory and protective antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny W Wilson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Antibodies targeting blood stage antigens are important in protection against malaria, but the key targets and mechanisms of immunity are not well understood. Merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1 is an abundant and essential protein. The C-terminal 19 kDa region (MSP1-19 is regarded as a promising vaccine candidate and may also be an important target of immunity. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: Growth inhibitory antibodies against asexual-stage parasites and IgG to recombinant MSP1-19 were measured in plasma samples from a longitudinal cohort of 206 children in Papua New Guinea. Differential inhibition by samples of mutant P. falciparum lines that expressed either the P. falciparum or P. chabaudi form of MSP1-19 were used to quantify MSP1-19 specific growth-inhibitory antibodies. The great majority of children had detectable IgG to MSP1-19, and high levels of IgG were significantly associated with a reduced risk of symptomatic P. falciparum malaria during the 6-month follow-up period. However, there was little evidence of PfMSP1-19 specific growth inhibition by plasma samples from children. Similar results were found when testing non-dialysed or dialysed plasma, or purified antibodies, or when measuring growth inhibition in flow cytometry or microscopy-based assays. Rabbit antisera generated by immunization with recombinant MSP1-19 demonstrated strong MSP1-19 specific growth-inhibitory activity, which appeared to be due to much higher antibody levels than human samples; antibody avidity was similar between rabbit antisera and human plasma. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data suggest that MSP1-19 is not a major target of growth inhibitory antibodies and that the protective effects of antibodies to MSP1-19 are not due to growth inhibitory activity, but may instead be mediated by other mechanisms. Alternatively, antibodies to MSP1-19 may act as a marker of protective immunity.

  10. Cryptic species in putative ancient asexual darwinulids (Crustacea, Ostracoda.

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    Isa Schön

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fully asexually reproducing taxa lack outcrossing. Hence, the classic Biological Species Concept cannot be applied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used DNA sequences from the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS2 region to check species boundaries according to the evolutionary genetic (EG species concept in five morphospecies in the putative ancient asexual ostracod genera, Penthesilenula and Darwinula, from different continents. We applied two methods for detecting cryptic species, namely the K/θ method and the General Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC. We could confirm the existence of species in all five darwinulid morphospecies and additional cryptic diversity in three morphospecies, namely in Penthesilenula brasiliensis, Darwinula stevensoni and in P. aotearoa. The number of cryptic species within one morphospecies varied between seven (P. brasiliensis, five to six (D. stevensoni and two (P. aotearoa, respectively, depending on the method used. Cryptic species mainly followed continental distributions. We also found evidence for coexistence at the local scale for Brazilian cryptic species of P. brasiliensis and P. aotearoa. Our ITS2 data confirmed that species exist in darwinulids but detected far less EG species, namely two to three cryptic species in P. brasiliensis and no cryptic species at all in the other darwinulid morphospecies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results clearly demonstrate that both species and cryptic diversity can be recognized in putative ancient asexual ostracods using the EG species concept, and that COI data are more suitable than ITS2 for this purpose. The discovery of up to eight cryptic species within a single morphospecies will significantly increase estimates of biodiversity in this asexual ostracod group. Which factors, other than long-term geographic isolation, are important for speciation processes in these ancient asexuals remains to be investigated.

  11. Hybridization and the Origin of Contagious Asexuality in Daphnia pulex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Sen; Spitze, Ken; Ackerman, Matthew S; Ye, Zhiqiang; Bright, Lydia; Keith, Nathan; Jackson, Craig E; Shaw, Joseph R; Lynch, Michael

    2015-12-01

    Hybridization plays a potentially important role in the origin of obligate parthenogenesis (OP) in many organisms. However, it remains controversial whether hybridization directly triggers the transition from sexual reproduction to obligate asexuality or a hybrid genetic background enables asexual species to persist. Furthermore, we know little about the specific genetic elements from the divergent, yet still hybridizing lineages responsible for this transition and how these elements are further spread to create other OP lineages. In this study, we address these questions in Daphnia pulex, where cyclically parthenogenetic (CP) and OP lineages coexist. Ancestry estimates and whole-genome association mapping using 32 OP isolates suggest that a complex hybridization history between the parental species D. pulex and D. pulicaria is responsible for the introgression of a set of 647 D. pulicaria single nucleotide polymorphism alleles that show perfect association with OP. Crossing experiments using males of OP lineages and females of CP lineages strongly support a polygenic basis for OP. Single-sperm analyses show that although normal meiotic recombination occurs in the production of haploid sperm by males of OP lineages, a significant proportion of such sperm are polyploid, suggesting that the spread of asexual elements through these males (i.e., contagious asexuality) is much less efficient than previously envisioned. Although the current Daphnia genome annotation does not provide mechanistic insight into the nature of the asexuality-associated alleles, these alleles should be considered as candidates for future investigations on the genetic underpinnings of OP. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Mitotic evolution of Plasmodium falciparum shows a stable core genome but recombination in antigen families.

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    Selina E R Bopp

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites elude eradication attempts both within the human host and across nations. At the individual level, parasites evade the host immune responses through antigenic variation. At the global level, parasites escape drug pressure through single nucleotide variants and gene copy amplification events conferring drug resistance. Despite their importance to global health, the rates at which these genomic alterations emerge have not been determined. We studied the complete genomes of different Plasmodium falciparum clones that had been propagated asexually over one year in the presence and absence of drug pressure. A combination of whole-genome microarray analysis and next-generation deep resequencing (totaling 14 terabases revealed a stable core genome with only 38 novel single nucleotide variants appearing in seventeen evolved clones (avg. 5.4 per clone. In clones exposed to atovaquone, we found cytochrome b mutations as well as an amplification event encompassing the P. falciparum multidrug resistance associated protein (mrp1 on chromosome 1. We observed 18 large-scale (>1 kb on average deletions of telomere-proximal regions encoding multigene families, involved in immune evasion (9.5×10(-6 structural variants per base pair per generation. Six of these deletions were associated with chromosomal crossovers generated during mitosis. We found only minor differences in rates between genetically distinct strains and between parasites cultured in the presence or absence of drug. Using these derived mutation rates for P. falciparum (1.0-9.7×10(-9 mutations per base pair per generation, we can now model the frequency at which drug or immune resistance alleles will emerge under a well-defined set of assumptions. Further, the detection of mitotic recombination events in var gene families illustrates how multigene families can arise and change over time in P. falciparum. These results will help improve our understanding of how P. falciparum

  13. Asexuality: Sexual Orientation, Paraphilia, Sexual Dysfunction, or None of the Above?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brotto, Lori A; Yule, Morag

    2017-04-01

    Although lack of sexual attraction was first quantified by Kinsey, large-scale and systematic research on the prevalence and correlates of asexuality has only emerged over the past decade. Several theories have been posited to account for the nature of asexuality. The goal of this review was to consider the evidence for whether asexuality is best classified as a psychiatric syndrome (or a symptom of one), a sexual dysfunction, or a paraphilia. Based on the available science, we believe there is not sufficient evidence to support the categorization of asexuality as a psychiatric condition (or symptom of one) or as a disorder of sexual desire. There is some evidence that a subset of self-identified asexuals have a paraphilia. We also considered evidence supporting the classification of asexuality as a unique sexual orientation. We conclude that asexuality is a heterogeneous entity that likely meets conditions for a sexual orientation, and that researchers should further explore evidence for such a categorization.

  14. Ultrastructure and function of mitochondria in gametocytic stage of Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krungkrai J.

    2000-03-01

    Full Text Available Morphological properties of the mitochondrial organelles in the asexual and sexual gametocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum have been analyzed and found to be markedly different. From in vitro cultures of both stages in human erythrocytes, it has been demonstrated that the asexual stages contained a defined double-membrane organelle having a few tubular-like cristae. The numbers of mitochondria in the gametocytes were found to be ~ 6 organelles per parasite, and they showed a greater density of the cristae than that of the asexual stage parasite. The organelles of the gametocytes were successfully purified by differential centrifugation following Percoll density gradient separation with the results of ~ 7 % yields and ~ 5 folds. The gametocytic organelles contained much more activities of mitochondrial electron transporting enzymes (i.e., cytochrome c reductase, cytochrome c oxidase than the asexual stage organelles. Mitochondrial function as measured by oxygen consumption were found to be different between these two stages organelles. Their rates of oxygen consumption were relatively low, as compared to those of human leukocyte and mouse liver mitochondria. In contrast to the coupled mammalian mitochondria, the gametocytic organelles were in the uncoupling state between oxidation and phosphorylation reactions during their respiration. However, they were sensitive to inhibitors of the electron transport system, e.g., antimycin A, cyanide. Our results suggest that the mitochondria of the gametocytic stages are metabolically active and still underdeveloped, although their inner membranes are extensively folded. The biochemical significance of the unique structure of the mitochondria in these developing stages in host erythrocytes remains to be elucidated.

  15. Human IGF1 regulates midgut oxidative stress and epithelial homeostasis to balance lifespan and Plasmodium falciparum resistance in Anopheles stephensi

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Drexler, Anna L; Pietri, Jose E; Pakpour, Nazzy; Hauck, Eric; Wang, Bo; Glennon, Elizabeth K K; Georgis, Martha; Riehle, Michael A; Luckhart, Shirley

    2014-01-01

    ...) within a physiologically relevant range (0.013-0.13 µM) in human blood reduced development of the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum in the Indian malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi. Low IGF1 (0.013 µM...

  16. Plasmodium falciparum associated with severe childhood malaria preferentially expresses PfEMP1 encoded by group A var genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Anja T R; Magistrado, Pamela; Sharp, Sarah;

    2004-01-01

    Parasite-encoded variant surface antigens (VSAs) like the var gene-encoded Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family are responsible for antigenic variation and infected red blood cell (RBC) cytoadhesion in P. falciparum malaria. Parasites causing severe malaria...... genes, such as PFD1235w/MAL7P1.1, appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of severe disease and are thus attractive candidates for a vaccine against life-threatening P. falciparum malaria....

  17. A bicomponent Plasmodium falciparum investigational vaccine composed of protein-peptide conjugates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Majadly, Fathy; Biesova, Zuzana; Mocca, Christopher P; Guo, Chunyan; Nussenzweig, Ruth; Nussenzweig, Victor; Mishra, Satish; Wu, Yimin; Miller, Louis H; Keith, Jerry M; Liu, Teh-Yung; Robbins, John B; Schneerson, Rachel

    2010-01-19

    There is yet no licensed vaccine against malaria, a serious human disease affecting mostly children, with an annual death rate of about one million. Plasmodia, the malaria-causing parasites, have two obligatory hosts: mammals or birds, in which they multiply asexually, and mosquitoes with sexual multiplication. The most common and serious type of malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum. The circumsporozoite protein (CSP), a major surface antigen of sporozoites, is a protective antigen. A unique feature of P. falciparum CSP is its large central domain composed of over 30 tetrapeptide repeats of Asn-Ala-Asn-Pro (NANP). Several NANP peptide-protein conjugates were tested clinically but elicited a low level of CSP antibodies for a short duration. To provide a CSP-based candidate vaccine, we investigated recombinant CSP and NANP conjugates of various peptide lengths, with different N-terminal amino acids, bound at different ratios to various carrier proteins. Injected into mice, CSP alone and CSP or NANP conjugates induced antibodies with booster responses and were positive by the sporozoite immunofluorescent assay. The use of the mosquito stage P. falciparum ookinete surface protein, Pfs25, cross-linked onto itself as a carrier for NANP, induced in mice high levels of uniquely long-lasting antibodies to both vaccine components with secondary biological activities, that will provide immunity to liver infection by sporozoites and block transmission by mosquitoes.

  18. Competitive endothelial adhesion between Plasmodium falciparum isolates under physiological flow conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molyneux Malcolm

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sequestration of parasitized red blood cells in the microvasculature of major organs involves a sequence of events that is believed to contribute to the pathogenesis of severe falciparum malaria. Plasmodium falciparum infections are commonly composed of multiple subpopulations of parasites with varied adhesive properties. A key question is: do these subpopulations compete for adhesion to endothelium? This study investigated whether, in a laboratory model of cytoadherence, there is competition in binding to endothelium between pRBC infected with P. falciparum of variant adhesive phenotypes, particularly under flow conditions. Methods Four different P. falciparum isolates, of known adherence phenotypes, were matched in pairs, mixed in different proportions and allowed to bind to cultured human endothelium. Using in vitro competitive static and flow-based adhesion assays, that allow simultaneous testing of the adhesive properties of two different parasite lines, adherence levels of paired P. falciparum isolates were quantified and analysed using either non-parametric Wilcoxon's paired signed rank test or Student paired test. Results Study findings show that P. falciparum parasite lines show marked differences in the efficiency of adhesion to endothelium. Conclusion Plasmodium falciparum variants will compete for adhesion to endothelia and variants can be ranked by their efficiency of binding. These findings suggest that variants from a mixed infection will not show uniform cytoadherence and so may vary in their ability to cause disease.

  19. Congenital Plasmodium falciparum infection in neonates in Muheza District, Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimera Sharadhuli I

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although recent reports on congenital malaria suggest that the incidence is increasing, it is difficult to determine whether the clinical disease is due to parasites acquired before delivery or as a result of contamination by maternal blood at birth. Understanding of the method of parasite acquisition is important for estimating the time incidence of congenital malaria and design of preventive measures. The aim of this study was to determine whether the first Plasmodium falciparum malaria disease in infants is due to same parasites present on the placenta at birth. Methods Babies born to mothers with P. falciparum parasites on the placenta detected by PCR were followed up to two years and observed for malaria episodes. Paired placental and infant peripheral blood samples at first malaria episode within first three months of life were genotyped (msp2 to determine genetic relatedness. Selected amplifications from nested PCR were sequenced and compared between pairs. Results Eighteen (19.1% out of 95 infants who were followed up developed clinical malaria within the first three months of age. Eight pairs (60% out of 14 pairs of sequenced placental and cord samples were genetically related while six (40% were genetically unrelated. One pair (14.3% out of seven pairs of sequenced placental and infants samples were genetically related. In addition, infants born from primigravidae mothers were more likely to be infected with P. falciparum (P P. falciparum infection earlier than those from secundigravidae and primigravidae mothers (RR = 1.43. Conclusion Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites present on the placenta as detected by PCR are more likely to result in clinical disease (congenital malaria in the infant during the first three months of life. However, sequencing data seem to question the validity of this likelihood. Therefore, the relationship between placental parasites and first clinical disease need to be confirmed in

  20. Do asexual polyploid lineages lead short evolutionary lives? A case study from the fern genus Astrolepis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, James B; Windham, Michael D; Pryer, Kathleen M

    2011-11-01

    A life-history transition to asexuality is typically viewed as leading to a heightened extinction risk, and a number of studies have evaluated this claim by examining the relative ages of asexual versus closely related sexual lineages. Surprisingly, a rigorous assessment of the age of an asexual plant lineage has never been published, although asexuality is extraordinarily common among plants. Here, we estimate the ages of sexual diploids and asexual polyploids in the fern genus Astrolepis using a well-supported plastid phylogeny and a relaxed-clock dating approach. The 50 asexual polyploid samples we included were conservatively estimated to comprise 19 distinct lineages, including a variety of auto- and allopolyploid genomic combinations. All were either the same age or younger than the crown group comprising their maternal sexual-diploid parents based simply on their phylogenetic position. Node ages estimated with the relaxed-clock approach indicated that the average maximum age of asexual lineages was 0.4 My, and individual lineages were on average 7 to 47 times younger than the crown- and total-ages of their sexual parents. Although the confounding association between asexuality and polyploidy precludes definite conclusions regarding the effect of asexuality, our results suggest that asexuality limits evolutionary potential in Astrolepis.

  1. Physiological and subjective sexual arousal in self-identified asexual women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brotto, Lori A; Yule, Morag A

    2011-08-01

    Asexuality can be defined as a lifelong lack of sexual attraction. Empirical research on asexuality reveals significantly lower self-reported sexual desire and arousal and lower rates of sexual activity; however, the speculation that there may also be an impaired psychophysiological sexual arousal response has never been tested. The aim of this study was to compare genital (vaginal pulse amplitude; VPA) and subjective sexual arousal in asexual and non-asexual women. Thirty-eight women between the ages of 19 and 55 years (10 heterosexual, 10 bisexual, 11 homosexual, and 7 asexual) viewed neutral and erotic audiovisual stimuli while VPA and self-reported sexual arousal and affect were measured. There were no significant group differences in the increased VPA and self-reported sexual arousal response to the erotic film between the groups. Asexuals showed significantly less positive affect, sensuality-sexual attraction, and self-reported autonomic arousal to the erotic film compared to the other groups; however, there were no group differences in negative affect or anxiety. Genital-subjective sexual arousal concordance was significantly positive for the asexual women and non-significant for the other three groups, suggesting higher levels of interoceptive awareness among asexuals. Taken together, the findings suggest normal subjective and physiological sexual arousal capacity in asexual women and challenge the view that asexuality should be characterized as a sexual dysfunction.

  2. Insertion Polymorphisms of Mobile Genetic Elements in Sexual and Asexual Populations of Daphnia pulex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Zhiqiang; Lynch, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) constitute a substantial portion of many eukaryotic genomes, and can in principle contribute to evolutionary innovation as well as genomic deterioration. Daphnia pulex serves as a useful model for studying TE dynamics as a potential cause and/or consequence of asexuality. We analyzed insertion polymorphisms of TEs in 20 sexual and 20 asexual isolates of D. pulex across North American from their available whole-genome sequencing data. Our results show that the total fraction of the derived sequences of TEs is not substantially different between asexual and sexual D. pulex isolates. However, in general, sexual clones contain fewer fixed TE insertions but more total insertion polymorphisms than asexual clones, supporting the hypothesis that sexual reproduction facilitates the spread and elimination of TEs. We identified nine asexual-specific fixed TE insertions, eight long terminal repeat retrotransposons, and one DNA transposon. By comparison, no sexual-specific fixed TE insertions were observed in our analysis. Furthermore, except one TE insertion located on a contig from chromosome 7, the other eight asexual-specific insertion sites are located on contigs from chromosome 9 that is known to be associated with obligate asexuality in D. pulex. We found that all nine asexual-specific fixed TE insertions can also be detected in some Daphnia pulicaria isolates, indicating that a substantial number of TE insertions in asexual D. pulex have been directly inherited from D. pulicaria during the origin of obligate asexuals. PMID:28057730

  3. Insertion polymorphisms of mobile genetic elements in sexual and asexual populations of Daphnia pulex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xiaoqian; Tang, Haixu; Ye, Zhiqiang; Lynch, Michael

    2017-01-04

    Transposable elements (TEs) constitute a substantial portion of many eukaryotic genomes, and can in principle contribute to evolutionary innovation as well as genomic deterioration. Daphnia pulex serves as a useful model for studying TE dynamics as a potential cause and/or consequence of asexuality. We analyzed insertion polymorphisms of TEs in 20 sexual and 20 asexual isolates of D. pulex across North American from their available whole-genome sequencing data. Our results show that the total fraction of the derived sequences of TEs is not substantially different between asexual and sexual D. pulex isolates. However, in general, sexual clones contain fewer fixed TE insertions but more total insertion polymorphisms than asexual clones, supporting the hypothesis that sexual reproduction facilitates the spread and elimination of TEs. We identified 9 asexual-specific fixed TE insertions, 8 LTR retrotransposons and 1 DNA transposon. By comparison, no sexual-specific fixed TE insertions were observed in our analysis. Furthermore, except 1 TE insertion located on a contig from chromosome 7, the other 8 asexual-specific insertion sites are located on contigs from chromosome 9 that is known to be associated with obligate asexuality in D. pulex. We found that all 9 asexual-specific fixed TE insertions can also be detected in some D. pulicaria isolates, indicating that a substantial number of TE insertions in asexual D. pulex have been directly inherited from D. pulicaria during the origin of obligate asexuals.

  4. Sexual Fantasy and Masturbation Among Asexual Individuals: An In-Depth Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yule, Morag A; Brotto, Lori A; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2017-01-01

    Human asexuality is generally defined as a lack of sexual attraction. We used online questionnaires to investigate reasons for masturbation, and explored and compared the contents of sexual fantasies of asexual individuals (identified using the Asexual Identification Scale) with those of sexual individuals. A total of 351 asexual participants (292 women, 59 men) and 388 sexual participants (221 women, 167 men) participated. Asexual women were significantly less likely to masturbate than sexual women, sexual men, and asexual men. Asexual women were less likely to report masturbating for sexual pleasure or fun than their sexual counterparts, and asexual men were less likely to report masturbating for sexual pleasure than sexual men. Both asexual women and men were significantly more likely than sexual women and men to report that they had never had a sexual fantasy. Of those who have had a sexual fantasy, asexual women and men were significantly more likely to endorse the response "my fantasies do not involve other people" compared to sexual participants, and consistently scored each sexual fantasy on a questionnaire as being less sexually exciting than did sexual participants. When using an open-ended format, asexual participants were more likely to report having fantasies about sexual activities that did not involve themselves, and were less likely to fantasize about topics such as group sex, public sex, and having an affair. Interestingly, there was a large amount of overlap between sexual fantasies of asexual and sexual participants. Notably, both asexual and sexual participants (both men and women) were equally likely to fantasize about topics such as fetishes and BDSM.

  5. Sharing of antigens between Plasmodium falciparum and Anopheles albimanus Antígenos compartidos entre Plasmodium falciparum y Anopheles albimanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albina Wide

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The presence of common antigens between Plasmodium falciparum and Anopheles albimanus was demonstrated. Different groups of rabbits were immunized with: crude extract from female An. albimanus (EAaF, red blood cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum (EPfs, and the SPf66 synthetic malaria vaccine. The rabbit's polyclonal antibodies were evaluated by ELISA, Multiple Antigen Blot Assay (MABA, and immunoblotting. All extracts were immunogenic in rabbits according to these three techniques, when they were evaluated against the homologous antigens. Ten molecules were identified in female mosquitoes and also in P. falciparum antigens by the autologous sera. The electrophoretic pattern by SDS-PAGE was different for the three antigens evaluated. Cross-reactions between An. albimanus and P. falciparum were found by ELISA, MABA, and immunoblotting. Anti-P. falciparum and anti-SPf66 antibodies recognized ten and five components in the EAaF crude extract, respectively. Likewise, immune sera against female An. albimanus identified four molecules in the P. falciparum extract antigen. As far as we know, this is the first work that demonstrates shared antigens between anophelines and malaria parasites. This finding could be useful for diagnosis, vaccines, and the study of physiology of the immune response to malaria.Epítopes de antígenos compartidos entre Plasmodium falciparum y Anopheles albimanus fueron identificados. Diferentes grupos de conejos fueron inmunizados con: extracto crudo de mosquito hembra de An. albimanus (EAaH, glóbulos rojos infectados con P. falciparum (EPfs y la vacuna antimalárica sintética SPf66. Los anticuerpos policlonales producidos en conejos fueron evaluados por ELISA, inmunoensayo simultáneo de múltiples antígenos (MABA e Immunoblotting. Todos los extractos resultaron inmunogénicos cuando se evaluaron por ELISA, MABA e Immunoblotting. Diez moléculas fueron identificadas en los mosquitos hembras y diez en los antígenos de

  6. Gonad establishment during asexual reproduction in the annelid Pristina leidyi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özpolat, B Duygu; Bely, Alexandra E

    2015-09-01

    Animals that can reproduce by both asexual agametic reproduction and sexual reproduction must transmit or re-establish their germ line post-embryonically. Although such a dual reproductive mode has evolved repeatedly among animals, how asexually produced individuals establish their germ line remains poorly understood in most groups. We investigated germ line development in the annelid Pristina leidyi, a species that typically reproduces asexually by paratomic fission, intercalating a new tail and head in the middle of the body followed by splitting. We found that in fissioning individuals, gonads occur in anterior segments in the anterior-most individual as well as in new heads forming within fission zones. Homologs of the germ line/multipotency genes piwi, vasa, and nanos are expressed in the gonads, as well as in proliferative tissues including the posterior growth zone, fission zone, and regeneration blastema. In fissioning animals, certain cells on the ventral nerve cord express a homolog of piwi, are abundant near fission zones, and sometimes make contact with gonads. Such cells are typically undetectable near the blastema and posterior growth zone. Time-lapse imaging provides direct evidence that cells on the ventral nerve cord migrate preferentially towards fission zones. Our findings indicate that gonads form routinely in fissioning individuals, that a population of piwi-positive cells on the ventral nerve cord is associated with fission and gonads, and that cells resembling these piwi-positive cells migrate along the ventral nerve cord. We suggest that the piwi-positive ventral cells are germ cells that transmit the germ line across asexually produced individuals via migration along the ventral nerve cord. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Coevolution of robustness, epistasis, and recombination favors asexual reproduction

    OpenAIRE

    MacCarthy, Thomas; Bergman, Aviv

    2007-01-01

    The prevalence of sexual reproduction remains one of the most perplexing phenomena in evolutionary biology. The deterministic mutation hypothesis postulates that sexual reproduction will be advantageous under synergistic epistasis, a condition in which mutations cause a greater reduction in fitness when combined than would be expected from their individual effects. The inverse condition, antagonistic epistasis, correspondingly is predicted to favor asexual reproduction. To assess this hypothe...

  8. The Genetic Control of Apomixis: Asexual Seed Formation

    OpenAIRE

    Hand, Melanie L; Koltunow, Anna M. G.

    2014-01-01

    Apomixis (asexual seed formation) is the result of a plant gaining the ability to bypass the most fundamental aspects of sexual reproduction: meiosis and fertilization. Without the need for male fertilization, the resulting seed germinates a plant that develops as a maternal clone. This dramatic shift in reproductive process has been documented in many flowering plant species, although no major seed crops have been shown to be capable of apomixis. The ability to generate maternal clones and t...

  9. Analysis of the Clinical Profile in Patients with Plasmodium falciparum Malaria and Its Association with Parasite Density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangal, Praveen; Mittal, Shilpa; Kachhawa, Kamal; Agrawal, Divya; Rath, Bhabagrahi; Kumar, Sanjay

    2017-01-01

    Malaria remains a major health hazard in the modern world, particularly in developing countries. In Plasmodium falciparum malaria, there is a direct correlation between asexual erythrocytic stage parasite density and disease severity. Accordingly, the correlations between parasite density and various clinical presentations, severity, and outcome were examined in falciparum malaria in India. The study was conducted in a tertiary health-care center in North India. Of 100 cases of falciparum malaria, 65 patients were male and 35 were female. A total of 54 patients were in the uncomplicated group and 46 patients were in the complicated malaria group. Fever, anemia, icterus, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, and hepatosplenomegaly were common clinical findings. All clinical findings were significantly more common in the complicated malaria group and patients with a high parasite density than in the uncomplicated group and those with a low parasite density. All patients in the uncomplicated malaria group had a parasite density of 5%, and the difference between groups was statistically significant. The incidence of cerebral malaria was significantly higher in cases with a high parasite density; 58.33% mortality was observed in these cases. Cerebral malaria and hyperbilirubinemia was the most frequently encountered combination of complications. In P. falciparum malaria, parasite density was associated with complications and poor clinical outcomes. These results may inform treatment decisions and suggest that a threshold parasite density of 5% is informative.

  10. Morphogenesis during asexual reproduction in Pygospio elegans Claparede (Annelida, Polychaeta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, G D; Harvey, J M

    2000-08-01

    The spionid Pygospio elegans reproduces both asexually and sexually. Using scanning electron and bright field microscopy, we examined morphogenesis following asexual reproduction to determine how "lost" body regions were regenerated after a worm spontaneously divided. Asexual reproduction occurred through transverse fission and divided the parent worm into 2 to 6 fragments (architomy). All fragments retained their original anterior-posterior polarity. Regeneration in all fragments followed a specific series of events: wound healing (day 1); extension of the blastema to generate lost body regions-specifically, the head and thorax for posterior fragments and the tail and pygidium for anterior fragments (days 2-3); segmentation (days 3-6); and differentiation of segment- or region-specific structures (days 4-8). This pattern occurred regardless of where the original division took place. Subsequent growth occurred through addition of terminal setigers anterior to the pygidium followed by differentiation of tail setigers into abdominal setigers, leaving the tail region about 6 to 10 setigers in size. Division rates were compared in worms from three populations in Nova Scotia, Canada. Worms from two populations (Conrad's Beach, Starr's Point) divided more frequently (about 1.2 and 1.3 weeks between divisions, respectively) than worms from Bon Portage Island (3.5 weeks between divisions). Fragments containing the original head (original mouth intact, generally much larger fragment) had a higher survivorship than fragments containing the original tail.

  11. Genetic variation in organisms with sexual and asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtsson, B O

    2003-03-01

    The genetic variation in a partially asexual organism is investigated by two models suited for different time scales. Only selectively neutral variation is considered. Model 1 shows, by the use of a coalescence argument, that three sexually derived individuals per generation are sufficient to give a population the same pattern of allelic variation as found in fully sexually reproducing organisms. With less than one sexual event every third generation, the characteristic pattern expected for asexual organisms appear, with strong allelic divergence between the gene copies in individuals. At intermediary levels of sexuality, a complex situation reigns. The pair-wise allelic divergence under partial sexuality exceeds, however, always the corresponding value under full sexuality. These results apply to large populations with stable reproductive systems. In a more general framework, Model 2 shows that a small number of sexual individuals per generation is sufficient to make an apparently asexual population highly genotypically variable. The time scale in terms of generations needed to produce this effect is given by the population size and the inverse of the rate of sexuality.

  12. Malaria in pregnancy in rural Mozambique: the role of parity, submicroscopic and multiple Plasmodium falciparum infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saute, Francisco; Menendez, Clara; Mayor, Alfredo; Aponte, John; Gomez-Olive, Xavier; Dgedge, Martinho; Alonso, Pedro

    2002-01-01

    Falciparum malaria affects pregnant women, especially primigravidae, but before malaria control programmes targeted to them can be designed, a description of the frequency and parity pattern of the infection is needed. There is little information on the frequency and effect of submicroscopic malaria infection, as well as on multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum genotypes in pregnancy. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia and anaemia and their relation to parity and age in pregnant women, during two malaria transmission seasons in a rural area of southern Mozambique. It also tried to assess the frequency and effect on anaemia of submicroscopic and multiple falciparum infections. A total of 686 pregnant women were enrolled in three cross-sectional community-based surveys during different transmission seasons in rural southern Mozambique. In each survey a questionnaire was administered on previous parity history, the gestational age was assessed, the axillary temperature recorded and both haematocrit and malaria parasitaemia were determined. We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis to determine submicroscopic and multiple P. falciparum infections in a subsample of women. A total of 156 women (23%) had microscopic parasitaemia, of which 144 (92%) were asexual forms of P. falciparum. The prevalence of clinical malaria was 18 of 534 (3%), that of anaemia, 382 of 649 (59%). In a multivariate analysis age but not parity was associated with an increased risk of microscopic parasitaemia. Anaemia was associated with microscopic P. falciparum parasitaemia. Both malaria parasitaemia and anaemia were more frequent during the rainy season. Although not statistically significant, submicroscopic infections tended to be more frequent among grand-multiparous pregnant women. Subpatent infections were not associated with increased anaemia. Multiplicity of infection was not associated with either

  13. Asymptomatic malaria and associated factors among blood donors ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr.Mirambo

    falciparum which poses a risk for transmission to blood recipients including ... to an infected person's blood via blood transfusion, sharing needles or syringes .... in agreement with a previous report in Nakuru, Kenya, which had a similar ...

  14. Functional characterization of a SUMO deconjugating protease of Plasmodium falciparum using newly identified small molecule inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponder, Elizabeth L; Albrow, Victoria E; Leader, Brittany A; Békés, Miklós; Mikolajczyk, Jowita; Fonović, Urša Pečar; Shen, Aimee; Drag, Marcin; Xiao, Junpeng; Deu, Edgar; Campbell, Amy J; Powers, James C; Salvesen, Guy S; Bogyo, Matthew

    2011-06-24

    Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) is implicated in the regulation of numerous biological processes including transcription, protein localization, and cell cycle control. Protein modification by SUMO is found in Plasmodium falciparum; however, its role in the regulation of the parasite life cycle is poorly understood. Here we describe functional studies of a SUMO-specific protease (SENP) of P. falciparum, PfSENP1 (PFL1635w). Expression of the catalytic domain of PfSENP1 and biochemical profiling using a positional scanning substrate library demonstrated that this protease has unique cleavage sequence preference relative to the human SENPs. In addition, we describe a class of small molecule inhibitors of this protease. The most potent lead compound inhibited both recombinant PfSENP1 activity and P. falciparum replication in infected human blood. These studies provide valuable new tools for the study of SUMOylation in P. falciparum. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Coexistence of sexual individuals and genetically isolated asexual counterparts in a thrips.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Yoshimura, Jin; Hasegawa, Eisuke

    2013-11-21

    Sex is a paradoxical phenomenon because it is less efficient compared with asexual reproduction. To resolve this paradox we need a direct comparison between sexual and asexual forms. In many organisms, however, sexual and asexual forms do not occur in the same habitat, or at the same time. In a few cases where sexual and asexual forms are found in a single population, some (though rare) genetic exchange is usually detected between the two forms. When genetic exchange occurs a direct comparison is impossible. Here we investigate a thrips exhibiting both sexual and asexual forms (lineages) that are morphologically indistinguishable. We examine if the two forms are genetically isolated. Phylogeny based on nuclear genes confirms that the sexual and asexual lineages are genetically differentiated. Thus we demonstrate that the current system has certain advantages over existing and previously used model systems in the evolution of sexual reproduction.

  16. Morphological characterization of the asexual reproduction in the acorn worm Balanoglossus simodensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, Norio; Saito, Yasunori

    2010-09-01

    The acorn worm Balanoglossus simodensis reproduces asexually by fragmentation and subsequent regeneration from the body fragments. We examined the morphogenesis of its asexual reproduction. At first, we collected asexually reproducing specimens and observed their morphogenesis. Then, we succeeded in inducing the asexual reproduction artificially by cutting the worm at the end of the genital region. The process of morphogenesis is completely the same between naturally collected and artificially induced specimens. The stages during morphogenesis were established on the basis of the external features of the asexually reproducing fragments. The internal features of the fragments were also examined at each stage. In a separate phase of the study, the capacity for regeneration of some body parts was also examined by dividing intact worms into about 10 fragments. Although the capacity for regeneration varied among the different body parts, some fragments regenerated into complete individuals in 1 month. The process of regeneration was the same as that in the asexually produced fragments.

  17. Lymphoproliferative responses to Plasmodium falciparum antigens in children with and without the sickle cell trait

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abu-Zeid, Y A; Abdulhadi, N H; Hviid, L

    1991-01-01

    Blood mononuclear cells (BMNC) were isolated from sickle cell trait (HbAS) healthy donors and normal haemoglobin (HbAA) healthy donors resident in a P. falciparum endemic area of eastern Sudan. Blood samples were collected during the malaria season. BMNC were tested for their proliferative...

  18. Role of heat-labile serum factor or host complement in the inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum sporogonic stages in Anopheles stephensi by gametocyte carriers' serological factors.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gouagna, L.C.; Kolk, M. van der; Roeffen, W.; Verhave, J.P.; Eling, W.M.C.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Boudin, C.

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the significance of serum complement on transmission-reducing activity (TRA) of field sera from 24 infected Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriers (from Cameroon) against cultured NF54 P. falciparum. Laboratory-reared Anopheles stephensi were given infectious blood meals

  19. Effects of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) inhibitor SU5416 on in vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hempel, Casper; Hoyer, Nils; Staalsø, Trine

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is taken up by parasitized red blood cells during malaria and stimulates intra-erythrocytic growth of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. The cause and consequence of this uptake is not understood. METHODS: Plasmodium falciparum was cultured in vi...

  20. Single-locus recessive inheritance of asexual reproduction in a parasitoid wasp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandrock, Christoph; Vorburger, Christoph

    2011-03-08

    The evolutionary maintenance of sex is one of the big unresolved puzzles in biology. All else being equal, all-female asexual populations should enjoy a two-fold reproductive advantage over sexual relatives consisting of male and female individuals. However, the "all else being equal" assumption rarely holds in real organisms because asexuality tends to be confounded with altered genomic constitutions such as hybridization and polyploidization or to be associated with parthenogenesis-inducing microbes. This limits the ability to draw general conclusions from any particular system. Here we describe a new system that permits unbiased comparisons of sexual and asexual reproduction: the parasitic wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum. Crossing experiments demonstrated that asexual reproduction has a simple genetic basis in this species and is consistently inherited as a single-locus recessive trait. We further show that the asexuality-inducing allele exhibits complete linkage to a specific allele at a microsatellite marker: all asexual lines in the field were homozygous for this allele, and the allele cosegregated perfectly with asexual reproduction in our experimental crossings. This novel system of contagious asexuality allows the production of closely related individuals with different reproductive modes, as well as the monitoring of the asexuality-inducing allele in natural and experimental populations.

  1. Existence of two sexual races in the planarian species switching between asexual and sexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Maezawa, Takanobu; Nakagawa, Haruka; Hoshi, Motonori

    2012-04-01

    In certain planarian species that are able to switch between asexual and sexual reproduction, determining whether a sexual has the ability to switch to the asexual state is problematic, which renders the definition of sexuals controversial. We experimentally show the existence of two sexual races, acquired and innate, in the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis. Acquired sexuals used in this study were experimentally switched from asexuals. Inbreeding of acquired sexuals produced both innate sexuals and asexuals, but inbreeding of innate sexuals produced innate sexuals only and no asexuals. Acquired sexuals, but not innate sexuals, were forced to become asexuals by ablation and regeneration (asexual induction). This suggests that acquired sexuals somehow retain asexual potential, while innate sexuals do not. We also found that acquired sexuals have the potential to develop hyperplastic and supernumerary ovaries, while innate sexuals do not. In this regard, acquired sexuals were more prolific than innate sexuals. The differences between acquired and innate sexuals will provide a structure for examining the mechanism underlying asexual and sexual reproduction in planarians.

  2. Development and evaluation of a multiplex screening assay for Plasmodium falciparum exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jepsen, Micha Phill Grønholm; Röser, Dennis; Christiansen, Michael

    2012-01-01

    . falciparum malaria was calculated by comparing travelers with clinical malaria (n=52) and non-exposed blood donors (n=119). The index was evaluated on blood donors with suspected malaria exposure (n=249) and compared to the diagnostic performance of IFAT. At a specificity of 95.8 %, the MPA discrimination...... from the MPA exhibits similar diagnostic performance as IFAT for detection of P. falciparum malaria. Combining the antibody response against multiple antigens in a discrimination index increased the sensitivity of the MPA and reduced the readout to a single value....... performance of a multiplex assay for detection of antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum in donor blood using IFAT as a comparator. A multiplex assay (MPA) containing the antigens GLURP-R0, GLURP-R2, MSP3, MSP1 hybrid and AMA1 was constructed using xMAP® technology. A discrimination index for exposure to P...

  3. [From malaria parasite point of view--Plasmodium falciparum evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerka, Agata; Kaczmarek, Radosław; Jaśkiewicz, Ewa

    2015-12-31

    Malaria is caused by infection with protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium, which have arguably exerted the greatest selection pressure on humans in the history of our species. Besides humans, different Plasmodium parasites infect a wide range of animal hosts, from marine invertebrates to primates. On the other hand, individual Plasmodium species show high host specificity. The extraordinary evolution of Plasmodium probably began when a free-living red algae turned parasitic, and culminated with its ability to thrive inside a human red blood cell. Studies on the African apes generated new data on the evolution of malaria parasites in general and the deadliest human-specific species, Plasmodium falciparum, in particular. Initially, it was hypothesized that P. falciparum descended from the chimpanzee malaria parasite P. reichenowi, after the human and the chimp lineage diverged about 6 million years ago. However, a recently identified new species infecting gorillas, unexpectedly showed similarity to P. falciparum and was therefore named P. praefalciparum. That finding spurred an alternative hypothesis, which proposes that P. falciparum descended from its gorilla rather than chimp counterpart. In addition, the gorilla-to-human host shift may have occurred more recently (about 10 thousand years ago) than the theoretical P. falciparum-P. reichenowi split. One of the key aims of the studies on Plasmodium evolution is to elucidate the mechanisms that allow the incessant host shifting and retaining the host specificity, especially in the case of human-specific species. Thorough understanding of these phenomena will be necessary to design effective malaria treatment and prevention strategies.

  4. Artesunate-induced hemoglobinuria in falciparum malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avik Karak

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A 26-year-old male got admitted with fever of 103°F with chills and rigor for 6 days. He was diagnosed with Plasmodium falciparum infection by peripheral blood smear examination, later confirmed by polymerase chain reaction analysis. Blood smear showed 2% parasitemia. As the patient was hypotensive, intravenous artesunate was started. Two days later, he reported passing "Coca-Cola"-colored urine. Examination revealed tachycardia, anemia, and mild icterus. Serum free hemoglobin and lactate dehydrogenase was elevated whereas haptoglobin was very low. Urine showed the presence of hemoglobin without red blood cells. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase assay was normal. Chloroquine, primaquine, and quinine levels in blood were undetectable. There was no evidence of any coinfection. Artesunate was stopped suspecting a causal relationship. Intravenous quinine was started. The urine showed progressive clearance over 3 days, and the patient recovered. The strong temporal association of initiating artesunate and occurrence of hemoglobinuria suggested the possible etiological implication which is not documented before.

  5. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Endemicity in Indonesia in 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elyazar, Iqbal R. F.; Gething, Peter W.; Patil, Anand P.; Rogayah, Hanifah; Kusriastuti, Rita; Wismarini, Desak M.; Tarmizi, Siti N.; Baird, J. Kevin; Hay, Simon I.

    2011-01-01

    Background Malaria control programs require a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of infection risk to efficiently allocate resources. We used model based geostatistics (MBG) techniques to generate a contemporary map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria risk in Indonesia in 2010. Methods Plasmodium falciparum Annual Parasite Incidence (PfAPI) data (2006–2008) were used to map limits of P. falciparum transmission. A total of 2,581 community blood surveys of P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) were identified (1985–2009). After quality control, 2,516 were included into a national database of age-standardized 2–10 year old PfPR data (PfPR2–10) for endemicity mapping. A Bayesian MBG procedure was used to create a predicted surface of PfPR2–10 endemicity with uncertainty estimates. Population at risk estimates were derived with reference to a 2010 human population count surface. Results We estimate 132.8 million people in Indonesia, lived at risk of P. falciparum transmission in 2010. Of these, 70.3% inhabited areas of unstable transmission and 29.7% in stable transmission. Among those exposed to stable risk, the vast majority were at low risk (93.39%) with the reminder at intermediate (6.6%) and high risk (0.01%). More people in western Indonesia lived in unstable rather than stable transmission zones. In contrast, fewer people in eastern Indonesia lived in unstable versus stable transmission areas. Conclusion While further feasibility assessments will be required, the immediate prospects for sustained control are good across much of the archipelago and medium term plans to transition to the pre-elimination phase are not unrealistic for P. falciparum. Endemicity in areas of Papua will clearly present the greatest challenge. This P. falciparum endemicity map allows malaria control agencies and their partners to comprehensively assess the region-specific prospects for reaching pre-elimination, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of

  6. Antibodies and Plasmodium falciparum merozoites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramasamy, R; Ramasamy, M; Yasawardena, S

    There is considerable interest in using merozoite proteins in a vaccine against falciparum malaria. Observations that antibodies to merozoite surface proteins block invasion are a basis for optimism. This article draws attention to important and varied aspects of how antibodies to Plasmodium

  7. Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Also, blood is either Rh-positive or Rh-negative. So if you have type A blood, it's either A positive or A negative. Which type you are is important if you need a blood transfusion. And your Rh factor could be important ...

  8. Evaluation of elevated ploidy and asexual reproduction as alternative explanations for geographic parthenogenesis in Eucypris virens ostracods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adolfsson, Sofia; Michalakis, Yannis; Paczesniak, Dorota; Bode, Saskia N S; Butlin, Roger K; Lamatsch, Dunja K; Martins, Maria J F; Schmit, Olivier; Vandekerkhove, Jochen; Jokela, Jukka

    2010-04-01

    Transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction are often coupled with elevations in ploidy. As a consequence, the importance of ploidy per se for the maintenance and spread of asexual populations is unclear. To examine the effects of ploidy and asexual reproduction as independent determinants of the success of asexual lineages, we sampled diploid sexual, diploid asexual, and triploid asexual Eucypris virens ostracods across a European wide range. Applying nuclear and mitochondrial markers, we found that E. virens consists of genetically highly differentiated diploid sexual populations, to the extent that these sexual clades could be considered as cryptic species. All sexual populations were found in southern Europe and North Africa and we found that both diploid asexual and triploid asexual lineages have originated multiple times from several sexual lineages. Therefore, the asexual lineages show a wide variety of genetic backgrounds and very strong population genetic structure across the wide geographic range. Finally, we found that triploid, but not diploid, asexual clones dominate habitats in northern Europe. The limited distribution of diploid asexual lineages, despite their shared ancestry with triploid asexual lineages, strongly suggests that the wider geographic distribution of triploids is due to elevated ploidy rather than to asexuality.

  9. Evaluation of the genetic polymorphism of Plasmodium falciparum P126 protein (SERA or SERP and its influence on naturally acquired specific antibody responses in malaria-infected individuals living in the Brazilian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel-Ribeiro Cláudio T

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium falciparum P126 protein is an asexual blood-stage malaria vaccine candidate antigen. Antibodies against P126 are able to inhibit parasite growth in vitro, and a major parasite-inhibitory epitope has been recently mapped to its 47 kDa N-terminal extremity (octamer repeat domain – OR domain. The OR domain basically consists of six octamer units, but variation in the sequence and number of repeat units may appear in different alleles. The aim of the present study was to investigate the polymorphism of P126 N-terminal region OR domain in P. falciparum isolates from two Brazilian malaria endemic areas and its impact on anti-OR naturally acquired antibodies. Methods The study was carried out in two villages, Candeias do Jamari (Rondonia state and Peixoto de Azevedo (Mato Grosso state, both located in the south-western part of the Amazon region. The repetitive region of the gene encoding the P126 antigen was PCR amplified and sequenced with the di-deoxy chain termination procedure. The antibody response was evaluated by ELISA with the Nt47 synthetic peptide corresponding to the P126 OR-II domain. Results Only two types of OR fragments were identified in the studied areas, one of 175 bp (OR-I and other of 199 bp (OR-II. A predominance of the OR-II fragment was observed in Candeias do Jamari whereas in Peixoto de Azevedo both fragments OR-I and OR-II were frequent as well as mixed infection (both fragments simultaneously reported here for the first time. Comparing the DNA sequencing of OR-I and OR-II fragments, there was a high conservation among predicted amino acid sequences of the P126 N-terminal extremity. Data of immune response demonstrated that the OR domain is highly immunogenic in natural conditions of exposure and that the polymorphism of the OR domain does not apparently influence the specific immune response. Conclusion These findings confirm a limited genetic polymorphism of the P126 OR domain in P

  10. Biomarkers of Plasmodium falciparum infection during pregnancy in women living in northeastern Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Boström

    Full Text Available In pregnant women, Plasmodium falciparum infections are an important cause of maternal morbidity as well as fetal and neonatal mortality. Erythrocytes infected by these malaria-causing parasites accumulate through adhesive interactions in placental intervillous spaces, thus evading detection in peripheral blood smears. Sequestered infected erythrocytes induce inflammation, offering the possibility of detecting inflammatory mediators in peripheral blood that could act as biomarkers of placental infection. In a longitudinal, prospective study in Tanzania, we quantified a range of different cytokines, chemokines and angiogenic factors in peripheral plasma samples, taken on multiple sequential occasions during pregnancy up to and including delivery, from P. falciparum-infected women and matched uninfected controls. The results show that during healthy, uninfected pregnancies the levels of most of the panel of molecules we measured were largely unchanged except at delivery. In women with P. falciparum, however, both comparative and longitudinal assessments consistently showed that the levels of IL-10 and IP-10 increased significantly whilst that of RANTES decreased significantly, regardless of gestational age at the time the infection was detected. ROC curve analysis indicated that a combination of increased IL-10 and IP-10 levels and decreased RANTES levels might be predictive of P. falciparum infections. In conclusion, our data suggest that host biomarkers in peripheral blood may represent useful diagnostic markers of P. falciparum infection during pregnancy, but placental histology results would need to be included to verify these findings.

  11. An extracellular inducer of asexual plasmodium formation in Physarum polycephalum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngman, P J; Adler, P N; Shinnick, T M; Holt, C E

    1977-01-01

    Asexual conversion of amoebae to plasmodia was studied in the Colonia isolate of the myxomycete, Physarum polycephalum. When a culture of Colonia amoebae is grown on a bacterial lawn, a period of amoebic growth precedes the appearance of cells committed to the plasmodial state. The onset of plasmodium production appears to be related to amoebic nutrition since cultures supplied with fewer bacteria display earlier differentiation. For a period of time after differentiation is initiated, conversion of amoebae to plasmodia is rapid and proceeds as an exponential function of time. A filter-transmissible substance, apparently released by differentiating cells, is implicated in the control of this rapid conversion. Images PMID:265558

  12. Simulated emergence of cyclic sexual-asexual reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sá Martins, J. S.; Racco, A.

    2001-08-01

    Motivated by the cyclic pattern of reproductive regimes observed in some species of green flies (“ aphids”), we simulate the evolution of a population enduring harsh seasonal conditions for survival. The reproductive regime of each female is also seasonal in principle and genetically acquired, and can mutate for each newborn with some small probability. The results show a sharp transition at a critical value of the survival probability in the winter, between a reproductive regime in the fall that is predominantly sexual, for low values of this probability, or asexual, for high values.

  13. [Regulation of asexual reproduction in the planarian Dugesia tigrina].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheĭman, I M; Sakharova, N Iu; Tiras, Kh P; Shkutin, M F; Isaeva, V V

    2003-01-01

    We studied asexual reproduction of planarians under the natural and artificial photoperiodic conditions. It was shown that light inhibits the fission of planarians, while darkness stimulates it. The diurnal dynamics of the fission of planarians demonstrated a circadian rhythm. This rhythm is stable, which is expressed when the conditions are experimentally changed: constant darkness, unnatural rhythm of light-darkness succession). However, this stability is affected at the time zone change. The planarians are adapted to new conditions and begin to fission at once in correspondence with the new diurnal regime.

  14. Aotus infulatus monkey is susceptible to Plasmodium falciparum infection and may constitute an alternative experimental model for malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carvalho Leonardo JM

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Aotus is one of the WHO-recommended primate models for studies in malaria, and several species can be infected with Plasmodium falciparum or P. vivax. Here we describe the successful infection of the species A. infulatus from eastern Amazon with blood stages of P. falciparum. Both intact and splenectomized animals were susceptible to infection; the intact ones were able to keep parasitemias at lower levels for several days, but developed complications such as severe anemia; splenectomized monkeys developed higher parasitemias but no major complications. We conclude that A. infulatus is susceptible to P. falciparum infection and may represent an alternative model for studies in malaria.

  15. Transient depletion of T cells with high LFA-1 expression from peripheral circulation during acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, L; Theander, T G; Abdulhadi, N H

    1991-01-01

    Acute P. falciparum malaria is associated with loss of in vitro T cell responsiveness to antigenic stimulation, and with high plasma levels of soluble interleukin 2 receptor (IL 2R). In the present study peripheral T cells from acute P. falciparum malaria patients from a malaria-endemic area......-bound IL 2R (CD25) and ICAM-1 (CD54) did not reveal in vivo activated T cells in the peripheral blood of the patients. Taken together, these data suggest that circulating T cells recognizing parasite antigens are temporarily withdrawn from peripheral circulation during P. falciparum malaria....

  16. Polymorphism of the merozoite surface protein-1 block 2 region in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Mauritania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmedou Salem, Mohamed Salem O; Ndiaye, Magatte; OuldAbdallahi, Mohamed; Lekweiry, Khadijetou M; Bogreau, Hervé; Konaté, Lassana; Faye, Babacar; Gaye, Oumar; Faye, Ousmane; Mohamed Salem O Boukhary, Ali O

    2014-01-23

    The genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum has been extensively studied in various parts of the world. However, limited data are available from Mauritania. The present study examined and compared the genetic diversity of P. falciparum isolates in Mauritania. Plasmodium falciparum isolates blood samples were collected from 113 patients attending health facilities in Nouakchott and Hodh El Gharbi regions. K1, Mad20 and RO33 allelic family of msp-1 gene were determined by nested PCR amplification. K1 family was the predominant allelic type carried alone or in association with Ro33 and Mad20 types (90%; 102/113). Out of the 113 P. falciparum samples, 93(82.3%) harboured more than one parasite genotype. The overall multiplicity of infection was 3.2 genotypes per infection. There was no significant correlation between multiplicity of infection and age of patients. A significant increase of multiplicity of infection was correlated with parasite densities. The polymorphism of P. falciparum populations from Mauritania was high. Infection with multiple P. falciparum clones was observed, as well as a high multiplicity of infection reflecting both the high endemicity level and malaria transmission in Mauritania.

  17. J-dot targeting of an exported HSP40 in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Wiebke; Külzer, Simone; Engels, Sonja; Zhang, Qi; Ingmundson, Alyssa; Rug, Melanie; Maier, Alexander G; Przyborski, Jude M

    2016-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum exports a large number of proteins to its host cell, the mature human erythrocyte, where they are involved in host cell modification. Amongst the proteins trafficked to the host cell, many are heat shock protein (HSP)40 homologues. We previously demonstrated that at least two exported PfHSP40s (referred to as PFE55 and PFA660) localise to mobile structures in the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte (Kulzer et al., 2010), termed J-dots. The complete molecular content of these structures has not yet been completely resolved, however it is known that they also contain an exported HSP70, PfHSP70x, and are potentially involved in transport of the major cytoadherance ligand, PfEMP1, through the host cell. To understand more about the nature of the association of exported HSP40s with J-dots, here we have studied the signal requirements for recruitment of the proteins to these structures. By expressing various exported GFP chimeras, we can demonstrate that the predicted substrate binding domain is necessary and sufficient for J-dot targeting. This targeting only occurs in human erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum, as it is not conserved when expressing a P. falciparum HSP40 in Plasmodium berghei-infected murine red blood cells, suggesting that J-dots are P. falciparum-specific. This data reveals a new mechanism for targeting of exported proteins to intracellular structures in the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte.

  18. Reduced erythrocyte deformability associated with hypoargininemia during Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Juliana; Buffet, Pierre A; Ciceron, Liliane; Milon, Geneviève; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Safeukui, Innocent

    2014-01-20

    The mechanisms underlying reduced red blood cell (RBC) deformability during Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria remain poorly understood. Here, we explore the possible involvement of the L-arginine and nitric oxide (NO) pathway on RBC deformability in Pf-infected patients and parasite cultures. RBC deformability was reduced during the acute attack (day0) and returned to normal values upon convalescence (day28). Day0 values correlated with plasma L-arginine levels (r = 0.69; p = 0.01) and weakly with parasitemia (r = -0.38; p = 0.006). In vitro, day0 patient's plasma incubated with ring-stage cultures at 41°C reduced RBC deformability, and this effect correlated strongly with plasma L-arginine levels (r = 0.89; p falciparum malaria may altogether impair NO production and reduce RBC deformability, particularly at febrile temperature.

  19. Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro Resistance to Monodesethylamodiaquine, Dakar, Senegal, 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fall, Bécaye; Madamet, Marylin; Camara, Cheikhou; Amalvict, Rémy; Fall, Mansour; Nakoulima, Aminata; Diatta, Bakary; Diémé, Yaya; Wade, Boubacar; Pradines, Bruno

    2016-05-01

    We successfully cultured 36 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from blood samples of 44 malaria patients admitted to the Hôpital Principal de Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) during August-December 2014. The prevalence of isolates with in vitro reduced susceptibility was 30.6% for monodesethylamodiaquine, 52.8% for chloroquine, 44.1% for mefloquine, 16.7% for doxycycline, 11.8% for piperaquine, 8.3% for artesunate, 5.9% for pyronaridine, 2.8% for quinine and dihydroartemisinin, and 0.0% for lumefantrine. The prevalence of isolates with reduced in vitro susceptibility to the artemisinin-based combination therapy partner monodesethylamodiaquine increased from 5.6% in 2013 to 30.6% in 2014. Because of the increased prevalence of P. falciparum parasites with impaired in vitro susceptibility to monodesethylamodiaquine, the implementation of in vitro and in vivo surveillance of all artemisinin-based combination therapy partners is warranted.

  20. Engineered resistance to Plasmodium falciparum development in transgenic Anopheles stephensi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison T Isaacs

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Transposon-mediated transformation was used to produce Anopheles stephensi that express single-chain antibodies (scFvs designed to target the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The scFvs, m1C3, m4B7, and m2A10, are derived from mouse monoclonal antibodies that inhibit either ookinete invasion of the midgut or sporozoite invasion of salivary glands. The scFvs that target the parasite surface, m4B7 and m2A10, were fused to an Anopheles gambiae antimicrobial peptide, Cecropin A. Previously-characterized Anopheles cis-acting DNA regulatory elements were included in the transgenes to coordinate scFv production with parasite development. Gene amplification and immunoblot analyses showed promoter-specific increases in transgene expression in blood-fed females. Transgenic mosquito lines expressing each of the scFv genes had significantly lower infection levels than controls when challenged with P. falciparum.

  1. Expression of a type B RIFIN in Plasmodium falciparum merozoites and gametes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mwakalinga Steven B

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability of Plasmodium falciparum to undergo antigenic variation, by switching expression among protein variants encoded by multigene families, such as var, rif and stevor, is key to the survival of this parasite in the human host. The RIFIN protein family can be divided into A and B types based on the presence or absence of a 25 amino acid motif in the semi-conserved domain. A particular type B RIFIN, PF13_0006, has previously been shown to be strongly transcribed in the asexual and sexual stages of P. falciparum in vitro. Methods Antibodies to recombinant PF13_0006 RIFIN were used in immunofluorescence and confocal imaging of 3D7 parasites throughout the asexual reproduction and sexual development to examine the expression of PF13_0006. Furthermore, reactivity to recombinant PF13_0006 was measured in plasma samples collected from individuals from both East and West African endemic areas. Results The PF13_0006 RIFIN variant appeared expressed by both released merozoites and gametes after emergence. 7.4% and 12.1% of individuals from East and West African endemic areas, respectively, carry plasma antibodies that recognize recombinant PF13_0006, where the antibody responses were more common among older children. Conclusions The stage specificity of PF13_0006 suggests that the diversity of RIFIN variants has evolved to provide multiple specialized functions in different stages of the parasite life cycle. These data also suggest that RIFIN variants antigenically similar to PF13_0006 occur in African parasite populations.

  2. On the origin of asexual species by means of hybridization and drift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartfield, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Several species of asexuals appear to have existed for millions of years. This is despite the prevalent view that natural selection is weakened without gene exchange, which should cause these organisms to rapidly go extinct. In theory, one can identify evolutionary long-lived asexuals from...

  3. The exact distributions of F(IS under partial asexuality in small finite populations with mutation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solenn Stoeckel

    Full Text Available Reproductive systems like partial asexuality participate to shape the evolution of genetic diversity within populations, which is often quantified by the inbreeding coefficient F IS. Understanding how those mating systems impact the possible distributions of F IS values in theoretical populations helps to unravel forces shaping the evolution of real populations. We proposed a population genetics model based on genotypic states in a finite population with mutation. For populations with less than 400 individuals, we assessed the impact of the rates of asexuality on the full exact distributions of F IS, the probabilities of positive and negative F IS, the probabilities of fixation and the probabilities to observe changes in the sign of F IS over one generation. After an infinite number of generations, we distinguished three main patterns of effects of the rates of asexuality on genetic diversity that also varied according to the interactions of mutation and genetic drift. Even rare asexual events in mainly sexual populations impacted the balance between negative and positive F IS and the occurrence of extreme values. It also drastically modified the probability to change the sign of F IS value at one locus over one generation. When mutation prevailed over genetic drift, increasing rates of asexuality continuously increased the variance of F IS that reached its highest value in fully asexual populations. In consequence, even ancient asexual populations showed the entire F IS spectrum, including strong positive F IS. The prevalence of heterozygous loci only occurred in full asexual populations when genetic drift dominated.

  4. Evolution of asexuality via different mechanisms in grass thrips (Thysanoptra: Aptinothrips)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kooi, Casper J.; Schwander, Tanja

    2014-01-01

    Asexual lineages can derive from sexual ancestors via different mechanisms and at variable rates, which affects the diversity of the asexual population and thereby its ecological success. We investigated the variation and evolution of reproductive systems in Aptinothrips, a genus of grass thrips com

  5. Comparative toxicant sensitivity of sexual and asexual reproduction in the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Snell, T.W. [Georgia Inst. of Tech., Atlanta, GA (United States). School of Biology; Carmona, M.J. [Univ. de Valencia (Spain). Area de Ecologia

    1995-03-01

    Cyclically parthenogenetic zooplankters like rotifers are important tools for assessing toxicity in aquatic environments. Sexual reproduction is an essential component of rotifer life cycles, but current toxicity tests utilize only asexual reproduction. The authors compared the effects of four toxicants on asexual and sexual reproduction of the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus. Toxicants had a differential effect on sexual and asexual reproduction, with sexual reproduction consistently the most sensitive. Concentrations of 0.2 {mu}g/ml PCP (sodium pentachlorophenate) had no effect on the asexual reproductive rate, but significantly reduced sexual reproduction. Likewise, chlorpyrifos concentrations of 0.3 {mu}g/ml had no significant effect on asexual reproduction, but sexual reproduction was significantly reduced. There was no difference in NOECs, LOECs, and chronic values for asexual and sexual reproduction for cadmium and naphthol tests. However, comparison of toxicant effect levels revealed that sexual reproduction was more strongly reduced at each toxicant concentration. The four toxicants tested inhibited sexual reproduction 2 to 68 times more than asexual reproduction at the lowest observed effect concentrations. Toxicants inhibited sexual reproduction in its initial step: sexual female production. Because sexual reproduction is more sensitive, toxicity tests based exclusively on asexual reproduction may not be protective of rotifer life cycles.

  6. A population of sexual Daphnia pulex resists invasion by asexual clones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innes, David J; Ginn, Michael

    2014-08-07

    Asexual reproduction avoids the costs associated with sex, predicting that invading asexual clones can quickly replace sexual populations. Daphnia pulex populations in the Great Lakes area are predominately asexual, but the elimination of sexual populations by invading clones is poorly understood. Asexual clones were detected at low frequency in one rare sexual population in 1995, with some increase in frequency during 2003 and 2004. However, these clones remained at low frequency during further yearly sampling (2005-2013) with no evidence that the resident sexual population was in danger of elimination. There was evidence for hybridization between rare males produced by asexual clones and sexual females with the potential to produce new asexual genotypes and spread the genetic factors for asexuality. In a short-term laboratory competition experiment, the two most common asexual clones did not increase in frequency relative to a genetically diverse sexual population due in part to a greater investment in diapausing eggs that trades-off current population growth for increased contribution to the egg bank. Our results suggest that a successful invasion can be prolonged, requiring a combination of clonal genotypes with high fitness, persistence of clones in the egg bank and negative factors affecting the sexual population such as inbreeding depression resulting from population bottlenecks.

  7. Ycf93 (Orf105, a small apicoplast-encoded membrane protein in the relict plastid of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum that is conserved in Apicomplexa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D Goodman

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites retain a relict plastid (apicoplast from a photosynthetic ancestor shared with dinoflagellate algae. The apicoplast is a useful drug target; blocking housekeeping pathways such as genome replication and translation in the organelle kills parasites and protects against malaria. The apicoplast of Plasmodium falciparum encodes 30 proteins and a suite of rRNAs and tRNAs that facilitate their expression. orf105 is a hypothetical apicoplast gene that would encode a small protein (PfOrf105 with a predicted C-terminal transmembrane domain. We produced antisera to a predicted peptide within PfOrf105. Western blot analysis confirmed expression of orf105 and immunofluorescence localised the gene product to the apicoplast. Pforf105 encodes a membrane protein that has an apparent mass of 17.5 kDa and undergoes substantial turnover during the 48-hour asexual life cycle of the parasite in blood stages. The effect of actinonin, an antimalarial with a putative impact on post-translational modification of apicoplast proteins like PfOrf105, was examined. Unlike other drugs perturbing apicoplast housekeeping that induce delayed death, actinonin kills parasites immediately and has an identical drug exposure phenotype to the isopentenyl diphosphate synthesis blocker fosmidomycin. Open reading frames of similar size to PfOrf105, which also have predicted C-terminal trans membrane domains, occur in syntenic positions in all sequenced apicoplast genomes from Phylum Apicomplexa. We therefore propose to name these genes ycf93 (hypothetical chloroplast reading frame 93 according to plastid gene nomenclature convention for conserved proteins of unknown function.

  8. Identification of Phytophthora sojae genes involved in asexual sporogenesis

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ziying Wang; Xhaoxia Wang; Jie Shen; Guangyue Wang; Xiaoxi Zhu; Hongxia Lu

    2009-08-01

    To explore the molecular mechanisms involved in asexual spore development in Phytophthora sojae, the zoospores of strain PS26 were treated with ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. After selection, a mutant progeny, termed PS26-U03, was obtained and demonstrated to exhibit no oospore production. A suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) approach was developed to investigate differences in gene expression between PS26 and PS26-U03 during asexual sporogenesis. Of the 126 sequences chosen for examination, 39 putative unigenes were identified that exhibit high expression in PS26. These sequences are predicted to encode proteins involved in metabolism, cell cycle, protein biosynthesis, cell signalling, cell defence, and transcription regulation. Seven clones were selected for temporal expression analysis using RT-PCR based on the results of the dot-blot screens. Three of the selected genes, developmental protein DG1037 (UB88), glycoside hydrolase (UB149) and a hypothetical protein (UB145), were expressed only in PS26, whereas the transcripts of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase (UB36), FAD-dependent pyridine nucleotide-disulphide oxidoreductase (UB226) and sugar transporter (UB256) were expressed at very low levels in PS26-U03 but at high levels in PS26.

  9. Sexual and asexual reproduction in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasparini, Fabio; Manni, Lucia; Cima, Francesca; Zaniolo, Giovanna; Burighel, Paolo; Caicci, Federico; Franchi, Nicola; Schiavon, Filippo; Rigon, Francesca; Campagna, Davide; Ballarin, Loriano

    2015-01-01

    The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri is a widespread filter-feeding ascidian that lives in shallow waters and is easily reared in aquaria. Its peculiar blastogenetic cycle, characterized by the presence of three blastogenetic generations (filtering adults, buds, and budlets) and by recurrent generation changes, has resulted in over 60 years of studies aimed at understanding how sexual and asexual reproduction are coordinated and regulated in the colony. The possibility of using different methodological approaches, from classical genetics to cell transplantation, contributed to the development of this species as a valuable model organism for the study of a variety of biological processes. Here, we review the main studies detailing rearing, staging methods, reproduction and colony growth of this species, emphasizing the asymmetry in sexual and asexual reproduction potential, sexual reproduction in the field and the laboratory, and self- and cross-fertilization. These data, opportunely matched with recent tanscriptomic and genomic outcomes, can give a valuable help to the elucidation of some important steps in chordate evolution.

  10. Skeletogenesis and asexual reproduction in the earliest biomineralizing animal Cloudina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Hong; Chen, Zhe; Yuan, Xunlai; Zhang, Luyi; Xiao, Shuhai

    2005-04-01

    The tubular fossil Cloudina is emerging as an important Ediacaran index fossil. However, its morphology, skeletogenesis, reproduction, and phylogenetic affinity have not been fully resolved. New material from the Dengying Formation of south China confirms that Cloudina tubes consist of eccentrically and sometimes deeply nested funnels and that the tubes lack transverse cross-walls, inconsistent with the traditional cone-in-cone morphological reconstruction. Tube walls are composed of micrometer-sized, more or less equant crystals. A number of Cloudina tubes branch dichotomously, in which daughter funnels split within parent ones. The Cloudina animal is interpreted to have been able to initiate biomineralization of new funnels within old ones. Its skeleton was probably secreted as calcite crystals suspended in organic matrix; the crystals do not appear to have nucleated and grown on a sheeted substrate. It was clearly capable of asexual reproduction, through budding within parent funnels rather than at the apertural end. The morphology, skeletogenesis, and asexual reproduction of Cloudina are broadly similar to modern serpulid annelids, indicating possible phylogenetic relationships or morphological convergence.

  11. Operational accuracy and comparative persistent antigenicity of HRP2 rapid diagnostic tests for Plasmodium falciparum malaria in a hyperendemic region of Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Odong George W

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasite-based diagnosis of malaria by microscopy requires laboratory skills that are generally unavailable at peripheral health facilities. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs require less expertise, but accuracy under operational conditions has not been fully evaluated in Uganda. There are also concerns about RDTs that use the antigen histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2 to detect Plasmodium falciparum, because this antigen can persist after effective treatment, giving false positive test results in the absence of infection. An assessment of the accuracy of Malaria Pf™ immuno-chromatographic test (ICT and description of persistent antigenicity of HRP2 RDTs was undertaken in a hyperendemic area of Uganda. Methods Using a cross-sectional design, a total of 357 febrile patients of all ages were tested using ICT, and compared to microscopy as the gold standard reference. Two independent RDT readings were used to assess accuracy and inter-observer reliability. With a longitudinal design to describe persistent antigenicity of ICT and Paracheck, 224 children aged 6–59 months were followed up at 7-day intervals until the HRP2 antigens where undetectable by the RDTs. Results Of the 357 patients tested during the cross-sectional component, 40% (139 had positive blood smears for asexual forms of P. falciparum. ICT had an overall sensitivity of 98%, a specificity of 72%, a negative predictive value (NPV of 98% and a positive predictive value (PPV of 69%. ICT showed a high inter-observer reliability under operational conditions, with 95% of readings having assigned the same results (kappa statistics 0.921, p In children followed up after successful antimalaria treatment, the mean duration of persistent antigenicity was 32 days, and this duration varied significantly depending on pre-treatment parasitaemia. In patients with parasite density >50,000/μl, the mean duration of persistent antigenicity was 37 days compared to 26 days for parasitaemia

  12. Influence of age and previous diet of Anopheles gambiae on the infectivity of natural Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes from human volunteers

    OpenAIRE

    Okech, Bernard A.; Louis C Gouagna; Kabiru, Ephantus W; Beier, John C.; Yan, Guiyun; Githure, John I

    2004-01-01

    The effect of age and dietary factors of Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) on the infectivity of natural Plasmodium falciparum parasites was studied. Mosquitoes of various ages (1–3, 4–7 and 8–11 day old) and those fed blood (either single or double meals) and sugar meals were experimentally co-infected with P. falciparum gametocytes obtained from different naturally infected human volunteers. On day 7, midguts were examined for oocyst infection to determine whether mosquito age or diets...

  13. Bone marrow suppression and severe anaemia associated with persistent Plasmodium falciparum infection in African children with microscopically undetectable parasitaemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helleberg, Marie; Goka, Bamenla Q; Akanmori, Bartholomew D

    2005-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Severe anaemia can develop in the aftermath of Plasmodium falciparum malaria because of protracted bone marrow suppression, possibly due to residual subpatent parasites. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Blood was collected from patients with recent malaria and negative malaria microscopy....... Detection of the Plasmodium antigens, lactate dehydrogenase (Optimal), aldolase and histidine rich protein 2 (Now malaria) were used to differentiate between patients with (1) no malaria, (2) recent cleared malaria, (3) persistent P. falciparum infection. Red cell distribution width (RDW), plasma levels...

  14. The dynamics of natural Plasmodium falciparum infections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Felger

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Natural immunity to Plasmodium falciparum has been widely studied, but its effects on parasite dynamics are poorly understood. Acquisition and clearance rates of untreated infections are key elements of the dynamics of malaria, but estimating these parameters is challenging because of frequent super-infection and imperfect detectability of parasites. Consequently, information on effects of host immune status or age on infection dynamics is fragmentary. METHODS: An age-stratified cohort of 347 individuals from Northern Ghana was sampled six times at 2 month intervals. High-throughput capillary electrophoresis was used to genotype the msp-2 locus of all P. falciparum infections detected by PCR. Force of infection (FOI and duration were estimated for each age group using an immigration-death model that allows for imperfect detection of circulating parasites. RESULTS: Allowing for imperfect detection substantially increased estimates of FOI and duration. Effects of naturally acquired immunity on the FOI and duration would be reflected in age dependence in these indices, but in our cohort data FOI tended to increase with age in children. Persistence of individual parasite clones was characteristic of all age-groups. Duration peaked in 5-9 year old children (average duration 319 days, 95% confidence interval 318;320. CONCLUSIONS: The main age-dependence is on parasite densities, with only small age-variations in the FOI and persistence of infections. This supports the hypothesis that acquired immunity controls transmission mainly by limiting blood-stage parasite densities rather than changing rates of acquisition or clearance of infections.

  15. Genetic diversity and fitness in small populations of partially asexual, self-incompatible plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navascués, M; Stoeckel, S; Mariette, S

    2010-05-01

    How self-incompatibility systems are maintained in plant populations is still a debated issue. Theoretical models predict that self-incompatibility systems break down according to the intensity of inbreeding depression and number of S-alleles. Other studies have explored the function of asexual reproduction in the maintenance of self-incompatibility. However, the population genetics of partially asexual, self-incompatible populations are poorly understood and previous studies have failed to consider all possible effects of asexual reproduction or could only speculate on those effects. In this study, we investigated how partial asexuality may affect genetic diversity at the S-locus and fitness in small self-incompatible populations. A genetic model including an S-locus and a viability locus was developed to perform forward simulations of the evolution of populations of various sizes. Drift combined with partial asexuality produced a decrease in the number of alleles at the S-locus. In addition, an excess of heterozygotes was present in the population, causing an increase in mutation load. This heterozygote excess was enhanced by the self-incompatibility system in small populations. In addition, in highly asexual populations, individuals produced asexually had some fitness advantages over individuals produced sexually, because sexual reproduction produces homozygotes of the deleterious allele, contrary to asexual reproduction. Our results suggest that future research on the function of asexuality for the maintenance of self-incompatibility will need to (1) account for whole-genome fitness (mutation load generated by asexuality, self-incompatibility and drift) and (2) acknowledge that the maintenance of self-incompatibility may not be independent of the maintenance of sex itself.

  16. Telomeric Heterochromatin in Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosaura Hernandez-Rivas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Until very recently, little was known about the chromatin structure of the telomeres and subtelomeric regions in Plasmodium falciparum. In yeast and Drosophila melanogaster, chromatin structure has long been known to be an important aspect in the regulation and functioning of these regions. Telomeres and subtelomeric regions are enriched in epigenetic marks that are specific to heterochromatin, such as methylation of lysine 9 of histone H3 and lysine 20 of histone H4. In P. falciparum, histone modifications and the presence of both the heterochromatin “writing” (PfSir2, PKMT and “reading” (PfHP1 machinery at telomeric and subtelomeric regions indicate that these regions are likely to have heterochromatic structure that is epigenetically regulated. This structure may be important for telomere functions such as the silencing of the var gene family implicated in the cytoadherence and antigenic variation of these parasites.

  17. Tetany with Plasmodium falciparum infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, P S; Singh, Neha

    2012-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is a malarial infection with high morbidity and wide spectrum of atypical presentation. Here we report an unusual presentation of malaria as tetany with alteration in calcium,phosphate and magnesium metabolism Hypocalcaemia in malaria can cause prolonged Q-Tc interval which could be arisk factor for quinine cardiotoxicity and sudden death Hence monitoring of serum calcium in severe malarial infection and cautious use of quinine in such patients is very important in management

  18. Human IGF1 Regulates Midgut Oxidative Stress and Epithelial Homeostasis to Balance Lifespan and Plasmodium falciparum resistance in Anopheles stephensi: e1004231

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Anna L Drexler; Jose E Pietri; Nazzy Pakpour; Eric Hauck; Bo Wang; Elizabeth K K Glennon; Martha Georgis; Michael A Riehle; Shirley Luckhart

    2014-01-01

    ...) within a physiologically relevant range (0.013-0.13 µM) in human blood reduced development of the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum in the Indian malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi. Low IGF1 (0.013 µM...

  19. PfeIK1, a eukaryotic initiation factor 2α kinase of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, regulates stress-response to amino-acid starvation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranford-Cartwright Lisa

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Post-transcriptional control of gene expression is suspected to play an important role in malaria parasites. In yeast and metazoans, part of the stress response is mediated through phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α, which results in the selective translation of mRNAs encoding stress-response proteins. Methods The impact of starvation on the phosphorylation state of PfeIF2α was examined. Bioinformatic methods were used to identify plasmodial eIF2α kinases. The activity of one of these, PfeIK1, was investigated using recombinant protein with non-physiological substrates and recombinant PfeIF2α. Reverse genetic techniques were used to disrupt the pfeik1 gene. Results The data demonstrate that the Plasmodium falciparum eIF2α orthologue is phosphorylated in response to starvation, and provide bioinformatic evidence for the presence of three eIF2α kinases in P. falciparum, only one of which (PfPK4 had been described previously. Evidence is provided that one of the novel eIF2α kinases, PfeIK1, is able to phosphorylate the P. falciparum eIF2α orthologue in vitro. PfeIK1 is not required for asexual or sexual development of the parasite, as shown by the ability of pfeik1- parasites to develop into sporozoites. However, eIF2α phosphorylation in response to starvation is abolished in pfeik1- asexual parasites Conclusion This study strongly suggests that a mechanism for versatile regulation of translation by several kinases with a similar catalytic domain but distinct regulatory domains, is conserved in P. falciparum.

  20. Targeting NAD+ metabolism in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica K O'Hara

    Full Text Available Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ is an essential metabolite utilized as a redox cofactor and enzyme substrate in numerous cellular processes. Elevated NAD+ levels have been observed in red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, but little is known regarding how the parasite generates NAD+. Here, we employed a mass spectrometry-based metabolomic approach to confirm that P. falciparum lacks the ability to synthesize NAD+ de novo and is reliant on the uptake of exogenous niacin. We characterized several enzymes in the NAD+ pathway and demonstrate cytoplasmic localization for all except the parasite nicotinamidase, which concentrates in the nucleus. One of these enzymes, the P. falciparum nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (PfNMNAT, is essential for NAD+ metabolism and is highly diverged from the human homolog, but genetically similar to bacterial NMNATs. Our results demonstrate the enzymatic activity of PfNMNAT in vitro and demonstrate its ability to genetically complement the closely related Escherichia coli NMNAT. Due to the similarity of PfNMNAT to the bacterial enzyme, we tested a panel of previously identified bacterial NMNAT inhibitors and synthesized and screened twenty new derivatives, which demonstrate a range of potency against live parasite culture. These results highlight the importance of the parasite NAD+ metabolic pathway and provide both novel therapeutic targets and promising lead antimalarial compounds.

  1. Molecular mechanisms and biological importance of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte rosetting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mats Wahlgren

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Rosetting, i.e. the spontaneous binding of uninfected to malaria infected erythrocytes and endothelial cytoadherence may hinder the blood flow and lead to serve Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Falciparum isolates obtained from unconscious patients all form rosettes and/or express a significantly higher man rosetting rate than isolates from patients with uncomplicated malaria. Furthermore, sera of patients with cerebral malaria are devoid of anti-rosetting activity while sera from patients with mild disease carry high levels of anti-rosetting antibodies. The presence of anti-rosetting antibodies also seems important for the efficient interaction of rosetting infected rbc and leucocytes. Two parasite derived rosetting ligands of Mr 22k and Mr28K named "rosettins, have been found on the surface of rosetting infected erythrocytes. CD36 has in at least some strains of parasites been found to function as a rosetting receptor on the uninfectederythrocyte. Heparin disrupts rosettes of P. falciparum in vitro and inhibits the sequestration of rosetting cells ex vivo. In conclusion, rosetting seems a crucial factor in the development of cerebral malaria and treatment of patients with anti-rosetting substances might become an effectivew adjunct in the treatment of severe malaria.

  2. An interplay between 2 signaling pathways: Melatonin-cAMP and IP{sub 3}–Ca{sup 2+} signaling pathways control intraerythrocytic development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furuyama, Wakako [National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555 (Japan); Enomoto, Masahiro [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, M5G1L7 Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Mossaad, Ehab [National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555 (Japan); Kawai, Satoru [Laboratory of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Dokkyo Medical University, Mibu, Tochigi 321-0293 (Japan); Mikoshiba, Katsuhiko [Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Kawazu, Shin-ichiro, E-mail: skawazu@obihiro.ac.jp [National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555 (Japan)

    2014-03-28

    Highlights: • A melatonin receptor antagonist blocked Ca{sup 2+} oscillation in P. falciparum and inhibited parasite growth. • P. falciparum development is controlled by Ca{sup 2+}- and cAMP-signaling pathways. • The cAMP-signaling pathway at ring form and late trophozoite stages governs parasite growth of P. falciparum. - Abstract: Plasmodium falciparum spends most of its asexual life cycle within human erythrocytes, where proliferation and maturation occur. Development into the mature forms of P. falciparum causes severe symptoms due to its distinctive sequestration capability. However, the physiological roles and the molecular mechanisms of signaling pathways that govern development are poorly understood. Our previous study showed that P. falciparum exhibits stage-specific spontaneous Calcium (Ca{sup 2+}) oscillations in ring and early trophozoites, and the latter was essential for parasite development. In this study, we show that luzindole (LZ), a selective melatonin receptor antagonist, inhibits parasite growth. Analyses of development and morphology of LZ-treated P. falciparum revealed that LZ severely disrupted intraerythrocytic maturation, resulting in parasite death. When LZ was added at ring stage, the parasite could not undergo further development, whereas LZ added at the trophozoite stage inhibited development from early into late schizonts. Live-cell Ca{sup 2+} imaging showed that LZ treatment completely abolished Ca{sup 2+} oscillation in the ring forms while having little effect on early trophozoites. Further, the melatonin-induced cAMP increase observed at ring and late trophozoite stage was attenuated by LZ treatment. These suggest that a complex interplay between IP{sub 3}–Ca{sup 2+} and cAMP signaling pathways is involved in intraerythrocytic development of P. falciparum.

  3. Origin, divergence, and phylogeny of asexual Epichloë endophyte in Elymus species from western China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Hui; Nan, Zhibiao

    2015-01-01

    Asexual Epichloë species are likely derived directly from sexual Epichloë species that then lost their capacity for sexual reproduction or lost sexual reproduction because of interspecific hybridization between distinct lineages of sexual Epichloë and/or asexual Epichloë species. In this study we isolated asexual Epichloë endophytes from Elymus species in western China and sequenced intron-rich regions in the genes encoding β-tubulin (tubB) and translation elongation factor 1-α (tefA). Our results showed that there are no gene copies of tubB and tefA in any of the isolates. Phylogenetic analysis showed that sequences in this study formed a single clade with asexual Epichloë bromicola from Hordeum brevisubulatum, which implies asexual Epichloë endophytes that are symbionts in a western Chinese Elymus species likely share a common ancestor with asexual E. bromicola from European H. brevisubulatum. In addition, our results revealed that asexual E. bromicola isolates that are symbionts in a western Chinese Elymus species and sexual Epichloë species that are symbionts in a North American Elymus species have a different origin. Further analysis found that Epichloë species likely originated in Eurasia. In addition, the results support the hypothesis that migratory birds or humans might have aided the dispersal of these fungal endophytes to other continents.

  4. Origin, divergence, and phylogeny of asexual Epichloe endophyte in Elymus species from western China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Song

    Full Text Available Asexual Epichloë species are likely derived directly from sexual Epichloë species that then lost their capacity for sexual reproduction or lost sexual reproduction because of interspecific hybridization between distinct lineages of sexual Epichloë and/or asexual Epichloë species. In this study we isolated asexual Epichloë endophytes from Elymus species in western China and sequenced intron-rich regions in the genes encoding β-tubulin (tubB and translation elongation factor 1-α (tefA. Our results showed that there are no gene copies of tubB and tefA in any of the isolates. Phylogenetic analysis showed that sequences in this study formed a single clade with asexual Epichloë bromicola from Hordeum brevisubulatum, which implies asexual Epichloë endophytes that are symbionts in a western Chinese Elymus species likely share a common ancestor with asexual E. bromicola from European H. brevisubulatum. In addition, our results revealed that asexual E. bromicola isolates that are symbionts in a western Chinese Elymus species and sexual Epichloë species that are symbionts in a North American Elymus species have a different origin. Further analysis found that Epichloë species likely originated in Eurasia. In addition, the results support the hypothesis that migratory birds or humans might have aided the dispersal of these fungal endophytes to other continents.

  5. A simple and fast method to exclude high Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in travellers with imported malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T. van Gool (Tom); M.E. van Wolfswinkel (Marlies); R. Koelewijn (Rob); P.P.A.M. van Thiel (Pieter); J. Jacobs (Jan); J.J. van Hellemond (Jaap); P.J.J. van Genderen (Perry)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Counts of malaria parasites in peripheral blood are important to assess severity of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Thin and thick smears are routinely used for this purpose. Methods. In this study the Binax NOW® Malaria Test, an easy-to-perform rapid diagnostic test, with His

  6. A simple and fast method to exclude high Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in travellers with imported malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T. van Gool (Tom); M.E. van Wolfswinkel (Marlies); R. Koelewijn (Rob); P.P.A.M. van Thiel (Pieter); J. Jacobs (Jan); J.J. van Hellemond (Jaap); P.J.J. van Genderen (Perry)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Counts of malaria parasites in peripheral blood are important to assess severity of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Thin and thick smears are routinely used for this purpose. Methods. In this study the Binax NOW® Malaria Test, an easy-to-perform rapid diagnostic test, with

  7. A simple and fast method to exclude high Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in travellers with imported malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T. van Gool (Tom); M.E. van Wolfswinkel (Marlies); R. Koelewijn (Rob); P.P.A.M. van Thiel (Pieter); J. Jacobs (Jan); J.J. van Hellemond (Jaap); P.J.J. van Genderen (Perry)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Counts of malaria parasites in peripheral blood are important to assess severity of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Thin and thick smears are routinely used for this purpose. Methods. In this study the Binax NOW® Malaria Test, an easy-to-perform rapid diagnostic test, with His

  8. Usefulness of the recombinant liver stage antigen-3 for an early serodiagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyeong-Woo; Moon, Sung-Ung; Ryu, Hye-Sun; Kim, Yeon-Joo; Cho, Shin-Hyeong; Chung, Gyung-Tae; Lin, Khin; Na, Byoung-Kuk; Kong, Yoon; Chung, Kyung-Suk; Kim, Tong-Soo

    2006-03-01

    In order to develop tools for an early serodiagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection, we evaluated the usefulness of P. falciparum liver stage antigen-3 (LSA-3) as a serodiagnostic antigen. A portion of LSA-3 gene was cloned, and its recombinant protein (rLSA-3) was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by column chromatography. The purified rLSA-3 and 120 test blood/serum samples collected from inhabitants in malaria-endemic areas of Mandalay, Myanmar were used for this study. In microscopic examinations of blood samples, P. falciparum positive rate was 39.1% (47/120) in thin smear trials, and 33.3% (40/120) in thick smear trials. Although the positive rate associated with the rLSA-3 (30.8%) was lower than that of the blood stage antigens (70.8%), rLSA-3 based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay could detect 12 seropositive cases (10.0%), in which blood stage antigens were not detected. These results indicate that the LSA-3 is a useful antigen for an early serodiagnosis of P. falciparum infection.

  9. Non-falciparum malaria infections in pregnant women in West Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williams, John; Njie, Fanta; Cairns, Matthew;

    2016-01-01

    and treatment of malaria in pregnancy (ISTp) versus intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) conducted in Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana and Mali. DNA was extracted from blood spots and tested for P. falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale using a nested PCR test. Risk factors...

  10. Modulation of the cellular immune response during Plasmodium falciparum infections in sickle cell trait individuals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abu-Zeid, Y A; Theander, T G; Abdulhadi, N H

    1992-01-01

    Plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were obtained from P. falciparum-infected individuals with and without the sickle cell trait at diagnosis and 7 days after treatment. HbAA and HbAS patients were compared for levels of plasma soluble IL-2 receptors (IL-2R) and the in vitro...

  11. The paf gene product modulates asexual development in Penicillium chrysogenum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegedüs, Nikoletta; Sigl, Claudia; Zadra, Ivo; Pócsi, Istvan; Marx, Florentine

    2011-06-01

    Penicillium chrysogenum secretes a low molecular weight, cationic and cysteine-rich protein (PAF). It has growth inhibitory activity against the model organism Aspergillus nidulans and numerous zoo- and phytopathogenic fungi but shows only minimal conditional antifungal activity against the producing organism itself. In this study we provide evidence for an additional function of PAF which is distinct from the antifungal activity against putative ecologically concurrent microorganisms. Our data indicate that PAF enhances conidiation in P. chrysogenum by modulating the expression of brlA, the central regulatory gene for mitospore development. A paf deletion strain showed a significant impairment of mitospore formation which sustains our hypothesis that PAF plays an important role in balancing asexual differentiation in P. chrysogenum.

  12. Evaluation of chloroquine therapy for vivax and falciparum malaria in southern Sumatra, western Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laihad Ferdinand

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chloroquine was used as first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax in Indonesia before the initial launch of artemisinin combination therapy in 2004. A study to evaluate efficacies of chloroquine against P. falciparum and P. vivax was undertaken at Lampung in southern Sumatra, western Indonesia in 2002. Methods Patients infected by P. falciparum or P. vivax were treated with 25 mg/kg chloroquine base in three daily doses over 48 hr. Finger prick blood was collected on Days 0, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28 after starting drug administration. Whole blood chloroquine and its desethyl metabolite were measured on Days-0, -3 and -28, or on the day of recurrent parasitaemia. Results 42 patients infected by P. falciparum were enrolled, and 38 fullfilled criteria for per protocol analysis. Only six of 38 (16% showed a response consistent with senstivity to chloroquine. 25 of 32 failures were confirmed resistant by demonstrating chloroquine levels on day of recurrence exceeding the minimally effective concentration (200 ng/mL whole blood. The 28-day cumulative incidence of resistance in P. falciparum was 68% (95% CI: 0.5260 - 0.8306. Thirty one patients infected by P. vivax were enrolled, and 23 were evaluable for per protocol analysis. 15 out of 23 (65% subjects had persistent or recurrent parasitaemia. Measurement of chloroquine levels confirmed all treatment failures prior to Day-15 as resistant. Beyond Day-15, 4 of 7 recurrences also had drug levels above 100 ng/mL and were classified as resistant. The 28-day cumulative incidence of chloroquine resistance in P. vivax was 43% (95% CI: 0.2715 - 0.6384. Conclusion These findings confirm persistantly high levels of resistance to chloroquine by P. falciparum in southern Sumatra, and suggest that high-grade and frequent resistance to chloroquine by P. vivax may be spreading westward in the Indonesia archipelago.

  13. Asexual and sexual reproductive strategies in clonal plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yufen; ZHANG Dayong

    2007-01-01

    Most plants can reproduce both sexually and asexually (or vegetatively),and the balance between the two reproductive modes may vary widely between and within species.Extensive clonal growth may affect the evolution of life history traits in many ways.First,in some clonal species,sexual reproduction and sex ratio vary largely among populations.Variation in sexual reproduction may strongly affect plant's adaptation to local environments and the evolution of the geographic range.Second,clonal growth can increase floral display,and thus pollinator attraction,while it may impose serious constraints and evolutionary challenges on plants through geitonogamy that may strongly influence pollen dispersal.Geitonogamous pollination can bring a cost to plant fitness through both female and male functions.Some co-evolutionary interactions,therefore,may exist between the spatial structure and the mating behavior of clonal plants.Finally,a trade-off may exist between sexual reproduction and clonal growth.Resource allocation to the two reproductive modes may depend on environmental conditions,competitive dominance,life span,and genetic factors.If different reproductive modes represent adaptive strategies for plants in different environments,we expect that most of the resources should be allocated to sexual reproduction in habitats with fluctuating environmental conditions and strong competition,while clonal growth should be dominant in stable habitats.Yet we know little about the consequence of natural selection on the two reproductive modes and factors which control the balance of the two reproductive modes.Future studies should investigate the reproductive strategies of clonal plants simultaneously from both sexual and asexual perspectives.

  14. Plasmodia express two threonine-peptidase complexes during asexual development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordmüller, Benjamin; Fendel, Rolf; Kreidenweiss, Andrea; Gille, Christoph; Hurwitz, Robert; Metzger, Wolfram G; Kun, Jürgen F J; Lamkemeyer, Tobias; Nordheim, Alfred; Kremsner, Peter G

    2006-07-01

    Threonine-peptidases of the T1-family are multi-subunit complexes with broad substrate specificity. In eukaryotes, at least 14 genes encode subunits of the prototypic T1 threonine-peptidase, the proteasome. The proteasome determines the turnover of most proteins and thereby plays a fundamental role in diverse processes such as protein quality control, signal transduction, and cell cycle regulation. While eukaryotes and archaea possess a proteasome, bacteria generally express a second member of the T1-family, the proteasomal predecessor ClpQ/hslV that has a similar structure but is encoded by only one gene. The plasmodial genome is an exception because it encodes proteasomal subunits as well as a ClpQ/hslV-orthologe (Plasmodium falciparum-hslV; PfhslV). Structure, expression, and function of both types of peptidase-complex in P. falciparum are presently unknown. Our aim was to analyze both the coding sequences and derived proteins of both peptidase-complexes because highly specific and potent inhibitors can be designed against this class of enzymes. The proteasome was found expressed throughout the cell cycle, whereas PfhslV was detectable in schizonts and merozoites only. Treatment of P. falciparum with the threonine-peptidase inhibitor epoxomicin blocked two of three catalytically active proteasome subunits. This led to the accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins and, finally, to parasite death. In conclusion, we provide the first functional analysis of plasmodial threonine-peptidase-complexes and identify a lead compound for the development of a novel class of antimalarial drugs.

  15. Blood stage malaria vaccine eliciting high antigen-specific antibody concentrations confers no protection to young children in Western Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhards R Ogutu

    Full Text Available The antigen, falciparum malaria protein 1 (FMP1, represents the 42-kDa C-terminal fragment of merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1 of the 3D7 clone of P. falciparum. Formulated with AS02 (a proprietary Adjuvant System, it constitutes the FMP1/AS02 candidate malaria vaccine. We evaluated this vaccine's safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy in African children.A randomised, double-blind, Phase IIb, comparator-controlled trial.The trial was conducted in 13 field stations of one mile radii within Kombewa Division, Nyanza Province, Western Kenya, an area of holoendemic transmission of P. falciparum. We enrolled 400 children aged 12-47 months in general good health.Children were randomised in a 1ratio1 fashion to receive either FMP1/AS02 (50 microg or Rabipur(R rabies vaccine. Vaccinations were administered on a 0, 1, and 2 month schedule. The primary study endpoint was time to first clinical episode of P. falciparum malaria (temperature >/=37.5 degrees C with asexual parasitaemia of >/=50,000 parasites/microL of blood occurring between 14 days and six months after a third dose. Case detection was both active and passive. Safety and immunogenicity were evaluated for eight months after first immunisations; vaccine efficacy (VE was measured over a six-month period following third vaccinations.374 of 400 children received all three doses and completed six months of follow-up. FMP1/AS02 had a good safety profile and was well-tolerated but more reactogenic than the comparator. Geometric mean anti-MSP-1(42 antibody concentrations increased from1.3 microg/mL to 27.3 microg/mL in the FMP1/AS02 recipients, but were unchanged in controls. 97 children in the FMP1/AS02 group and 98 controls had a primary endpoint episode. Overall VE was 5.1% (95% CI: -26% to +28%; p-value = 0.7.FMP1/AS02 is not a promising candidate for further development as a monovalent malaria vaccine. Future MSP-1(42 vaccine development should focus on other formulations and antigen constructs

  16. Taxonomy Icon Data: malaria parasite P. falciparum [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available malaria parasite P. falciparum Plasmodium falciparum Plasmodium_falciparum_L.png Plasmodium_falci...parum_NL.png Plasmodium_falciparum_S.png Plasmodium_falciparum_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/...taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Plasmodium+falciparum&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Plasmodium+falci...parum&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Plasmodium+falci...parum&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Plasmodium+falciparum&t=NS http://togodb.biosciencedbc.jp/togodb/view/taxonomy_icon_comment_en?species_id=218 ...

  17. Effects of sevuparin on rosette formation and cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiwaew, Somporn; Sritabal, Juntima; Piaraksa, Nattaporn; Keayarsa, Srisuda; Ruengweerayut, Ronnatrai; Utaisin, Chirapong; Sila, Patima; Niramis, Rangsan; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Charunwatthana, Prakaykaew; Pongponratn, Emsri; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Leitgeb, Anna M.; Wahlgren, Mats; Lee, Sue J.; Day, Nicholas P. J.; White, Nicholas J.; Dondorp, Arjen M.; Chotivanich, Kesinee

    2017-01-01

    In severe falciparum malaria cytoadherence of parasitised red blood cells (PRBCs) to vascular endothelium (causing sequestration) and to uninfected red cells (causing rosette formation) contribute to microcirculatory flow obstruction in vital organs. Heparin can reverse the underlying ligand-receptor interactions, but may increase the bleeding risks. As a heparin-derived polysaccharide, sevuparin has been designed to retain anti-adhesive properties, while the antithrombin-binding domains have been eliminated, substantially diminishing its anticoagulant activity. Sevuparin has been evaluated recently in patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria, and is currently investigated in a clinical trial for sickle cell disease. The effects of sevuparin on rosette formation and cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Thailand were investigated. Trophozoite stages of P. falciparum-infected RBCs (Pf-iRBCs) were cultured from 49 patients with malaria. Pf-iRBCs were treated with sevuparin at 37°C and assessed in rosetting and in cytoadhesion assays with human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) under static and flow conditions. The proportion of Pf-iRBCs forming rosettes ranged from 6.5% to 26.0% (median = 12.2%). Rosetting was dose dependently disrupted by sevuparin (50% disruption by 250 μg/mL). Overall 57% of P. falciparum isolates bound to HDMECs under static conditions; median (interquartile range) Pf-iRBC binding was 8.5 (3.0–38.0) Pf-iRBCs/1000 HDMECs. Sevuparin in concentrations ≥ 100 μg/mL inhibited cytoadherence. Sevuparin disrupts P. falciparum rosette formation in a dose dependent manner and inhibits cytoadherence to endothelial cells. The data support assessment of sevuparin as an adjunctive treatment to the standard therapy in severe falciparum malaria. PMID:28249043

  18. Blockage of spontaneous Ca2+ oscillation causes cell death in intraerythrocitic Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Enomoto

    Full Text Available Malaria remains one of the world's most important infectious diseases and is responsible for enormous mortality and morbidity. Resistance to antimalarial drugs is a challenging problem in malaria control. Clinical malaria is associated with the proliferation and development of Plasmodium parasites in human erythrocytes. Especially, the development into the mature forms (trophozoite and schizont of Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum causes severe malaria symptoms due to a distinctive property, sequestration which is not shared by any other human malaria. Ca(2+ is well known to be a highly versatile intracellular messenger that regulates many different cellular processes. Cytosolic Ca(2+ increases evoked by extracellular stimuli are often observed in the form of oscillating Ca(2+ spikes (Ca(2+ oscillation in eukaryotic cells. However, in lower eukaryotic and plant cells the physiological roles and the molecular mechanisms of Ca(2+ oscillation are poorly understood. Here, we showed the observation of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphospate (IP(3-dependent spontaneous Ca(2+ oscillation in P. falciparum without any exogenous extracellular stimulation by using live cell fluorescence Ca(2+ imaging. Intraerythrocytic P. falciparum exhibited stage-specific Ca(2+ oscillations in ring form and trophozoite stages which were blocked by IP(3 receptor inhibitor, 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate (2-APB. Analyses of parasitaemia and parasite size and electron micrograph of 2-APB-treated P. falciparum revealed that 2-APB severely obstructed the intraerythrocytic maturation, resulting in cell death of the parasites. Furthermore, we confirmed the similar lethal effect of 2-APB on the chloroquine-resistant strain of P. falciparum. To our best knowledge, we for the first time showed the existence of the spontaneous Ca(2+ oscillation in Plasmodium species and clearly demonstrated that IP(3-dependent spontaneous Ca(2+ oscillation in P. falciparum is critical for the development

  19. Prevalence of molecular markers of anti-malarial drug resistance in Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in two districts of Nepal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ranjitkar, Samir; Schousboe, Mette L; Thomsen, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and chloroquine (CQ) have been used in treatment of falciparum and vivax malaria in Nepal. Recently, resistance to both drugs have necessitated a change towards artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) against Plasmodium falciparum in highly...... endemic areas. However, SP is still used against P. falciparum infections in low endemic areas while CQ is used in suspected cases in areas with lack of diagnostic facilities. This study examines the prevalence of molecular markers of P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax CQ and SP resistance to determine...... if high levels of in vivo resistance are reflected at molecular level as well. METHODS: Finger prick blood samples (n=189) were collected from malaria positive patients from two high endemic districts and analysed for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the resistance related genes of P. falciparum...

  20. Cell-penetrating peptide TP10 shows broad-spectrum activity against both Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma brucei brucei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrighi, Romanico B G; Ebikeme, Charles; Jiang, Yang; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa; Barrett, Michael P; Langel, Ulo; Faye, Ingrid

    2008-09-01

    Malaria and trypanosomiasis are diseases which afflict millions and for which novel therapies are urgently required. We have tested two well-characterized cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) for antiparasitic activity. One CPP, designated TP10, has broad-spectrum antiparasitic activity against Plasmodium falciparum, both blood and mosquito stages, and against blood-stage Trypanosoma brucei brucei.

  1. Allelic Diversity at the Merozoite Surface Protein-1 (MSP-1 Locus in Natural Plasmodium falciparum Populations: a Brief Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferreira Marcelo U

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available The merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1 locus of Plasmodium falciparum codes for a major asexual blood-stage antigen currently proposed as a major malaria vaccine candidate. The protein, however, shows extensive polymorphism, which may compromise its use in sub-unit vaccines. Here we compare the patterns of allelic diversity at the MSP-1 locus in wild isolates from three epidemiologically distinct malaria-endemic areas: the hypoendemic southwestern Brazilian Amazon (n = 54, the mesoendemic southern Vietnam (n = 238 and the holoendemic northern Tanzania (n = 79. Fragments of the variable blocks 2, 4a, 4b and 6 or 10 of this single-copy gene were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction, and 24 MSP-1 gene types were defined as unique combinations of allelic types in each variable block. Ten different MSP-1 types were identified in Brazil, 23 in Vietnam and 13 in Tanzania. The proportion of genetically mixed infections (isolates with parasites carrying more than one MSP-1 version ranged from 39% in Brazil to 44% in Vietnam and 60% in Tanzania. The vast majority (90% of the typed parasite populations from Brazil and Tanzania belonged to the same seven most frequent MSP-1 gene types. In contrast, these seven gene types corresponded to only 61% of the typed parasite populations from Vietnam. Non-random associations were found between allelic types in blocks 4a and 6 among Vietnamese isolates, the same pattern being observed in independent studies performed in 1994, 1995 and 1996. These results suggest that MSP-1 is under selective pressure in the local parasite population. Nevertheless, the finding that similar MSP-1 type frequencies were found in 1994 and 1996 argues against the prominence of short-term frequency-dependent immune selection of MSP-1 polymorphisms. Non-random associations between MSP-1 allelic types, however, were not detected among isolates from Brazil and Tanzania. A preliminary analysis of the distribution of MSP-1 gene types per

  2. Evidence of endothelial inflammation, T cell activation, and T cell reallocation in uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elhassan, I M; Hviid, L; Satti, G

    1994-01-01

    To explain the observation that acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria is associated with a transient inability of peripheral blood cells to respond to antigenic stimulation in vitro, we have postulated the disease-induced reallocation of peripheral lymphocytes, possibly by adhesion to inflamed...... endothelium. We measured plasma levels of soluble markers of endothelial inflammation and T cell activation in 32 patients suffering from acute, uncomplication P. falciparum malaria, as well as in 10 healthy, aparasitemic control donors. All donors were residents of a malaria-endemic area of Eastern State...... with the control donors. In addition, we found a disease-induced depletion of T cells with high expression of the LFA-1 antigen, particularly in the CD4+ subset. The results obtained provide further support for the hypothesis of T cell reallocation to inflamed endothelium in acute P. falciparum malaria....

  3. Malaria-induced acquisition of antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ofori, Michael F; Dodoo, Daniel; Staalsoe, Trine

    2002-01-01

    antibody responses to other parasite isolates are relatively unaffected. However, the detailed kinetics of this VSA antibody acquisition are unknown and hence were the aim of this study. We show that P. falciparum malaria in Ghanaian children generally caused a rapid and sustained increase in variant...... donors (the malaria patient). The data from this first detailed longitudinal study of acquisition of VSA antibodies support the hypothesis that naturally acquired protective immunity to P. falciparum malaria is mediated, at least in part, by VSA-specific antibodies.......In areas of intense Plasmodium falciparum transmission, protective immunity is acquired during childhood in parallel with acquisition of agglutinating antibodies to parasite-encoded variant surface antigens (VSA) expressed on parasitized red blood cells. In a semi-immune child in such an area...

  4. RELATIONSHIP OF HEPATIC AND RENAL DYSFUNCTION WITH HAEMORRHEOLOGICAL PARAMETERS IN PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM MALARIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valluri Satya

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The clinical pattern of malaria has changed worldwide including India in last decade. Earlier cerebral malaria was the predominant manifestation of severe malaria, whereas now the combination of jaundice and renal failure are more common. Severe haemorrhage is seen in upto 5% of patients with severe malaria. Studies on renal and hepatic dys function in Plasmodium falciparum malaria are a plenty, but there is a paucity of studies correlating haemorrheological abnormalities with hepatic and renal dysfunction in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. METHODS : 100 patients of malaria with positive periph eral blood smear for plasmodium falciparum , out of which 50 cases with AKI and Hepatic failure during the period January 2012 - June 2013. I n department of general medicine, Government General Hospital, Kakinada. GROUP A : Comprising 50 consecutive adult pat ients of all age groups and both genders who had jaundice or renal failure or both at the time of admission. GROUP B: comprising 50 consecutive cases of plasmodium falciparum malaria and had no complications. RESULTS: In group A patients all parameters are significantly raised as compared to group B patients. CONCLUSION: 10% of patients had clinically overt bleeding manifestations, this indicates subclinical haemorrheological dysfunction in patients suffering from falciparum malaria with hepatic and renal d ysfunction, high incidence of subclinical DIC, evidenced by prolonged aPTT (56%, low total platelet count (58%, and PT (20%. An observational, screening, analytical prospective study. 100 cases of PF positive complicated and uncomplicated cases during t he period - January 2012 - June 2013

  5. Natural epigenetic variation contributes to heritable flowering divergence in a widespread asexual dandelion lineage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilschut, Rutger; Oplaat, C.; Snoek, L.B.; Kirschner, J.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic variation has been proposed to contribute to the success of asexual plants, either as a contributor to phenotypic plasticity or by enabling transient adaptation via selection on transgenerationally stable, but reversible, epialleles. While recent studies in experimental plant populations

  6. Development of Monoclonal Antibodies That Target 1-Cys Peroxiredoxin and Differentiate Plasmodium falciparum from P. vivax and P. knowlesi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakimi, Hassan; Nguyen, Thu-Thuy; Suganuma, Keisuke; Masuda-Suganuma, Hirono; Angeles, Jose Ma M; Inoue, Noboru; Kawazu, Shin-Ichiro

    2013-06-01

    Prompt and accurate diagnosis of malarial patients is a crucial factor in controlling the morbidity and mortality of the disease. Effective treatment decisions require a correct diagnosis among mixed-species malarial patients. Differential diagnosis is particularly important in cases of Plasmodium vivax, a species that shares endemicity with P. falciparum in most endemic areas. Moreover, it is difficult to identify P. knowlesi on the basis of morphology alone, and rapid diagnostic tests are still not available for this malaria species. Therefore, the development of diagnostic tests applicable to the field is urgently needed. 1-Cys peroxiredoxin (1-Cys-Prx) in P. falciparum is abundantly expressed in the mature asexual stages, making it a promising candidate as a diagnostic antigen. In this study, we produced five monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against P. falciparum 1-Cys-Prx (Pf1-Cys-Prx) by immunizing BALB/c mice with recombinant Pf1-Cys-Prx and subsequent hybridoma production. Cross reactivity of established mAbs with the orthologous molecule of Pf1-Cys-Prx in P. vivax (Pv1-Cys-Prx) and P. knowlesi (Pk1-Cys-Prx) was examined. Western blot analyses showed that three mAbs reacted with Pv1-Cys-Prx and Pk1-Cys-Prx but two mAbs did not. These results indicate that the two mAbs were effective in differentiating P. falciparum from P. vivax and P. knowlesi and could be used in differential diagnosis as well as comparative molecular studies of human Plasmodium species.

  7. Sexual versus Asexual Reproduction: Distinct Outcomes in Relative Abundance of Parthenogenetic Mealybugs following Recent Colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabata, Jun; Ichiki, Ryoko T; Tanaka, Hirotaka; Kageyama, Daisuke

    2016-01-01

    Asexual reproduction, including parthenogenesis in which embryos develop within a female without fertilization, is assumed to confer advantages over sexual reproduction, which includes a "cost of males." Sexual reproduction largely predominates in animals, however, indicating that this cost is outweighed by the genetic and/or ecological benefits of sexuality, including the acquisition of advantageous mutations occurring in different individuals and the elimination of deleterious mutations. But the evolution of sexual reproduction remains unclear, because we have limited examples that demonstrate the relative success of sexual lineages in the face of competition from asexual lineages in the same environment. Here we investigated a sympatric occurrence of sexual and asexual reproduction in the pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus brevipes. This pest invaded southwestern Japan, including Okinawa and Ishigaki Islands, in the 1930s in association with imported pineapple plants. Our recent censuses demonstrated that on Okinawa sexually reproducing individuals can coexist with and even dominate asexual individuals in the presence of habitat and resource competition, which is considered to be severe for this nearly immobile insect. Molecular phylogeny based on partial DNA sequences in the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, as well as the endosymbiotic bacterial genome, revealed that the asexual lineage diverged from a common sexual ancestor in the relatively recent past. In contrast, only the asexual lineage exhibiting obligate apomictic thelytoky was discovered on Ishigaki. Co-existence of the two lineages cannot be explained by the results of laboratory experiments, which showed that the intrinsic rate of increase in the sexual lineage was not obviously superior to that of the asexual lineage. Differences in biotic and/or abiotic selective forces operating on the two islands might be the cause of this discrepancy. This biological system offers a unique opportunity to assess

  8. Sexual versus Asexual Reproduction: Distinct Outcomes in Relative Abundance of Parthenogenetic Mealybugs following Recent Colonization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Tabata

    Full Text Available Asexual reproduction, including parthenogenesis in which embryos develop within a female without fertilization, is assumed to confer advantages over sexual reproduction, which includes a "cost of males." Sexual reproduction largely predominates in animals, however, indicating that this cost is outweighed by the genetic and/or ecological benefits of sexuality, including the acquisition of advantageous mutations occurring in different individuals and the elimination of deleterious mutations. But the evolution of sexual reproduction remains unclear, because we have limited examples that demonstrate the relative success of sexual lineages in the face of competition from asexual lineages in the same environment. Here we investigated a sympatric occurrence of sexual and asexual reproduction in the pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus brevipes. This pest invaded southwestern Japan, including Okinawa and Ishigaki Islands, in the 1930s in association with imported pineapple plants. Our recent censuses demonstrated that on Okinawa sexually reproducing individuals can coexist with and even dominate asexual individuals in the presence of habitat and resource competition, which is considered to be severe for this nearly immobile insect. Molecular phylogeny based on partial DNA sequences in the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, as well as the endosymbiotic bacterial genome, revealed that the asexual lineage diverged from a common sexual ancestor in the relatively recent past. In contrast, only the asexual lineage exhibiting obligate apomictic thelytoky was discovered on Ishigaki. Co-existence of the two lineages cannot be explained by the results of laboratory experiments, which showed that the intrinsic rate of increase in the sexual lineage was not obviously superior to that of the asexual lineage. Differences in biotic and/or abiotic selective forces operating on the two islands might be the cause of this discrepancy. This biological system offers a unique

  9. Caspar controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in diverse anopheline species.

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    Lindsey S Garver

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Immune responses mounted by the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae are largely regulated by the Toll and Imd (immune deficiency pathways via the NF-kappaB transcription factors Rel1 and Rel2, which are controlled by the negative regulators Cactus and Caspar, respectively. Rel1- and Rel2-dependent transcription in A. gambiae has been shown to be particularly critical to the mosquito's ability to manage infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Using RNA interference to deplete the negative regulators of these pathways, we found that Rel2 controls resistance of A. gambiae to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, whereas Rel 1 activation reduced infection levels. The universal relevance of this defense system across Anopheles species was established by showing that caspar silencing also prevents the development of P. falciparum in the major malaria vectors of Asia and South America, A. stephensi and A. albimanus, respectively. Parallel studies suggest that while Imd pathway activation is most effective against P. falciparum, the Toll pathway is most efficient against P. berghei, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the human pathogen and its rodent model. High throughput gene expression analyses identified a plethora of genes regulated by the activation of the two Rel factors and revealed that the Toll pathway played a more diverse role in mosquito biology than the Imd pathway, which was more immunity-specific. Further analyses of key anti-Plasmodium factors suggest they may be responsible for the Imd pathway-mediated resistance phenotype. Additionally, we found that the fitness cost caused by Rel2 activation through caspar gene silencing was undetectable in sugar-fed, blood-fed, and P. falciparum-infected female A. gambiae, while activation of the Toll pathway's Rel1 had a major impact. This study describes for the first time a single gene that influences an immune mechanism that is able to abort

  10. Caspar controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in diverse anopheline species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garver, Lindsey S; Dong, Yuemei; Dimopoulos, George

    2009-03-01

    Immune responses mounted by the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae are largely regulated by the Toll and Imd (immune deficiency) pathways via the NF-kappaB transcription factors Rel1 and Rel2, which are controlled by the negative regulators Cactus and Caspar, respectively. Rel1- and Rel2-dependent transcription in A. gambiae has been shown to be particularly critical to the mosquito's ability to manage infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Using RNA interference to deplete the negative regulators of these pathways, we found that Rel2 controls resistance of A. gambiae to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, whereas Rel 1 activation reduced infection levels. The universal relevance of this defense system across Anopheles species was established by showing that caspar silencing also prevents the development of P. falciparum in the major malaria vectors of Asia and South America, A. stephensi and A. albimanus, respectively. Parallel studies suggest that while Imd pathway activation is most effective against P. falciparum, the Toll pathway is most efficient against P. berghei, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the human pathogen and its rodent model. High throughput gene expression analyses identified a plethora of genes regulated by the activation of the two Rel factors and revealed that the Toll pathway played a more diverse role in mosquito biology than the Imd pathway, which was more immunity-specific. Further analyses of key anti-Plasmodium factors suggest they may be responsible for the Imd pathway-mediated resistance phenotype. Additionally, we found that the fitness cost caused by Rel2 activation through caspar gene silencing was undetectable in sugar-fed, blood-fed, and P. falciparum-infected female A. gambiae, while activation of the Toll pathway's Rel1 had a major impact. This study describes for the first time a single gene that influences an immune mechanism that is able to abort development of P. falciparum

  11. Sexual reproduction with variable mating systems can resist asexuality in a rock-paper-scissors dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carranza, Juan; Polo, Vicente

    2015-07-01

    While sex can be advantageous for a lineage in the long term, we still lack an explanation for its maintenance with the twofold cost per generation. Here we model an infinite diploid population where two autosomal loci determine, respectively, the reproductive mode, sexual versus asexual and the mating system, polygynous (costly sex) versus monogamous (assuming equal contribution of parents to offspring, i.e. non-costly sex). We show that alleles for costly sex can spread when non-costly sexual modes buffer the interaction between asexual and costly sexual strategies, even without twofold benefit of recombination with respect to asexuality. The three interacting strategies have intransitive fitness relationships leading to a rock-paper-scissors dynamics, so that alleles for costly sex cannot be eliminated by asexuals in most situations throughout the parameter space. Our results indicate that sexual lineages with variable mating systems can resist the invasion of asexuals and allow for long-term effects to accumulate, thus providing a solution to the persisting theoretical question of why sex was not displaced by asexuality along evolution.

  12. Sexual reproduction with variable mating systems can resist asexuality in a rock–paper–scissors dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carranza, Juan; Polo, Vicente

    2015-01-01

    While sex can be advantageous for a lineage in the long term, we still lack an explanation for its maintenance with the twofold cost per generation. Here we model an infinite diploid population where two autosomal loci determine, respectively, the reproductive mode, sexual versus asexual and the mating system, polygynous (costly sex) versus monogamous (assuming equal contribution of parents to offspring, i.e. non-costly sex). We show that alleles for costly sex can spread when non-costly sexual modes buffer the interaction between asexual and costly sexual strategies, even without twofold benefit of recombination with respect to asexuality. The three interacting strategies have intransitive fitness relationships leading to a rock–paper–scissors dynamics, so that alleles for costly sex cannot be eliminated by asexuals in most situations throughout the parameter space. Our results indicate that sexual lineages with variable mating systems can resist the invasion of asexuals and allow for long-term effects to accumulate, thus providing a solution to the persisting theoretical question of why sex was not displaced by asexuality along evolution. PMID:26587254

  13. Toxic effects of bisphenol A on sexual and asexual reproduction in Hydra oligactis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuhori, N; Kitano, M; Kimura, H

    2005-05-01

    Hydra oligactis, an evolutionarily primitive invertebrate, produced eggs or testes (sexual reproduction) when starved at 10 degrees C, and produced buds (asexual reproduction) when fed at 20 degrees C. Bisphenol A (BPA) at 2-4 mg/L given to male or female hydra had adverse effects on both sexual and asexual reproduction. Despite the estrogenic nature of BPA, testis formation and egg formation were similarly affected. The doses causing these acute toxicities were comparable to those reported earlier in aquatic invertebrates and were much higher than environmentally detected doses, at which the disruption of the endocrine system has been reported in fishes. All these facts indicate that the adverse effects are the results of general toxicity and may not be due to the estrogenic function of the compound. On the other hand, we found that BPA at 1 mg/L (a dose still much higher than environmental doses) stimulated asexual reproduction. No such stimulation of sexual reproduction was seen. When male hydras were fed at 10 degrees C, they produced both buds and testes simultaneously. BPA at 0.5 and 1 mg/L under this condition also stimulated asexual reproduction, whereas it suppressed sexual reproduction more severely than BPA at 2-3 mg/L. There may be some interaction between processes involved in sexual and asexual reproduction under this condition, and the stimulation of asexual reproduction by BPA may cause suppression of sexual reproduction.

  14. Prevalence of Dihydrofolate reductase gene mutations in Plasmodium falciparum isolate from pregnant women in Nigeria

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    Olusola Ojurongbe

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum and the frequency of the dhfr triple mutation that is associated with antifolate drug resistance among P. falciparumisolates obtained from pregnant women in Ilorin, Nigeria. The study included 179 women in the second and third trimester of pregnancy who have been exposed to intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp with sulfadoxinepyrimethamine. Thick and thin blood films and PCR were used for malaria parasite detection. Blood group and hemoglobin concentration were also determined. Mutations in P. falciparum dhfr were analyzed by sequencing DNA obtained from blood spots on filter paper. Prevalence of P. falciparum in the population (PCR corrected was 44.1% (79/179 with 66.7% and 33.3% in the second and third trimester, respectively. Primigravide (51.3% were more infected than multigravide (48.7% but the difference was not statistically significant. Women in blood group A had the highest P. falciparum malaria infection (30.8%. The mean hemoglobin concentration was lower among those infected with malaria parasite. Also, more women with the malaria parasite (38.4% had anemia compare to those without (21.4%. The prevalence of the P. falciparum dhfr mutant alleles was 64.1%, 61.5%, 38.5%, and 12.8% for I51, R59, N108 and T108, respectively. None of the samples had the L164 mutation. The combined triple dhfr mutation (51 + 59 + 108 in the population was 17.9% (7 of 39. Also, the prevalence of the triple mutant alleles was not significantly associated to the number of doses of SP taken by the women. These findings highlight the need for a regular assessment of IPTp/SP efficacy, and evaluation of possible alternative drugs.

  15. A method for visualizing surface-exposed and internal PfEMP1 adhesion antigens in Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bengtsson, Dominique; Sowa, Kordai M; Salanti, Ali;

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The insertion of parasite antigens into the host erythrocyte membrane and the structure and distribution of Plasmodium falciparum adhesion receptors on that membrane are poorly understood. Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and a novel labelling and fixation method have been used...... to obtain high resolution immuno-fluorescent images of erythrocyte surface PfEMP1 and internal antigens which allow analysis of the accumulation of PfEMP1 on the erythrocyte membrane during asexual development. METHODS: A novel staining technique has been developed which permits distinction between...... erythrocyte surface PfEMP1 and intracellular PfEMP1, in parasites whose nuclear material is exceptionally well resolved. Primary antibody detection by fluorescence is carried out on the live parasitized erythrocyte. The surface labelled cells are then fixed using paraformaldehyde and permeabilized with a non...

  16. A murine model of falciparum-malaria by in vivo selection of competent strains in non-myelodepleted mice engrafted with human erythrocytes.

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    Iñigo Angulo-Barturen

    Full Text Available To counter the global threat caused by Plasmodium falciparum malaria, new drugs and vaccines are urgently needed. However, there are no practical animal models because P. falciparum infects human erythrocytes almost exclusively. Here we describe a reliable falciparum murine model of malaria by generating strains of P. falciparum in vivo that can infect immunodeficient mice engrafted with human erythrocytes. We infected NOD(scid/beta2m-/- mice engrafted with human erythrocytes with P. falciparum obtained from in vitro cultures. After apparent clearance, we obtained isolates of P. falciparum able to grow in peripheral blood of engrafted NOD(scid/beta2m-/- mice. Of the isolates obtained, we expanded in vivo and established the isolate Pf3D7(0087/N9 as a reference strain for model development. Pf3D7(0087/N9 caused productive persistent infections in 100% of engrafted mice infected intravenously. The infection caused a relative anemia due to selective elimination of human erythrocytes by a mechanism dependent on parasite density in peripheral blood. Using this model, we implemented and validated a reproducible assay of antimalarial activity useful for drug discovery. Thus, our results demonstrate that P. falciparum contains clones able to grow reproducibly in mice engrafted with human erythrocytes without the use of myeloablative methods.

  17. Griseofulvin impairs intraerythrocytic growth of Plasmodium falciparum through ferrochelatase inhibition but lacks activity in an experimental human infection study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Clare M.; Jerkovic, Ante; Truong, Thy Thuc; Foote, Simon J.; McCarthy, James S.; McMorran, Brendan J.

    2017-01-01

    Griseofulvin, an orally active antifungal drug used to treat dermatophyte infections, has a secondary effect of inducing cytochrome P450-mediated production of N-methyl protoporphyrin IX (N-MPP). N-MPP is a potent competitive inhibitor of the heme biosynthetic-enzyme ferrochelatase, and inhibits the growth of cultured erythrocyte stage Plasmodium falciparum. Novel drugs against Plasmodium are needed to achieve malaria elimination. Thus, we investigated whether griseofulvin shows anti-plasmodial activity. We observed that the intraerythrocytic growth of P. falciparum is inhibited in red blood cells pretreated with griseofulvin in vitro. Treatment with 100 μM griseofulvin was sufficient to prevent parasite growth and induce the production of N-MPP. Inclusion of the ferrochelatase substrate PPIX blocked the inhibitory activity of griseofulvin, suggesting that griseofulvin exerts its activity through the N-MPP-dependent inhibition of ferrochelatase. In an ex-vivo study, red blood cells from griseofulvin-treated subjects were refractory to the growth of cultured P. falciparum. However, in a clinical trial griseofulvin failed to show either therapeutic or prophylactic effect in subjects infected with blood stage P. falciparum. Although the development of griseofulvin as an antimalarial is not warranted, it represents a novel inhibitor of P. falciparum growth and acts via the N-MPP-dependent inhibition of ferrochelatase. PMID:28176804

  18. Molecular phylogenetics and asexuality in the brine shrimp Artemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxevanis, Athanasios D; Kappas, Ilias; Abatzopoulos, Theodore J

    2006-09-01

    Explaining cases of long-term persistence of parthenogenesis has proven an arduous task for evolutionary biologists. Interpreting sexual-asexual interactions though has recently advanced owing to methodological design, increased taxon sampling and choice of model organisms. We inferred the phylogeny of Artemia, a halophilic branchiopod genus of sexual and parthenogenetic forms with cosmopolitan distribution, marked geographic patterns and ecological partitioning. Joint analysis of newly derived ITS1 sequences and 16S RFLP markers from global isolates indicates significant interspecific divergence as well as pronounced diversity for parthenogens, matching that of sexual ancestors. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods were largely congruent in reconstructing the phylogeny of the genus. Given the current sampling, at least four independent origins of parthenogenesis are deduced. Molecular clock calibrations based on biogeographic landmarks indicate that the lineage leading to A. persimilis diverged from the common ancestor of all Artemia species between 80 and 90 MYA at the time of separation of Africa from South America, whereas parthenogenesis first appeared at least 3 MYA. Common mitochondrial DNA haplotypes delineate A. urmiana and A. tibetiana as possible maternal parents of several clonal lineages. A novel topological placement of A. franciscana as a sister clade to all Asian Artemia and parthenogenetic forms is proposed and also supported by ITS1 length and other existing data.

  19. The genetic control of apomixis: asexual seed formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hand, Melanie L; Koltunow, Anna M G

    2014-06-01

    Apomixis (asexual seed formation) is the result of a plant gaining the ability to bypass the most fundamental aspects of sexual reproduction: meiosis and fertilization. Without the need for male fertilization, the resulting seed germinates a plant that develops as a maternal clone. This dramatic shift in reproductive process has been documented in many flowering plant species, although no major seed crops have been shown to be capable of apomixis. The ability to generate maternal clones and therefore rapidly fix desirable genotypes in crop species could accelerate agricultural breeding strategies. The potential of apomixis as a next-generation breeding technology has contributed to increasing interest in the mechanisms controlling apomixis. In this review, we discuss the progress made toward understanding the genetic and molecular control of apomixis. Research is currently focused on two fronts. One aims to identify and characterize genes causing apomixis in apomictic species that have been developed as model species. The other aims to engineer or switch the sexual seed formation pathway in non-apomictic species, to one that mimics apomixis. Here we describe the major apomictic mechanisms and update knowledge concerning the loci that control them, in addition to presenting candidate genes that may be used as tools for switching the sexual pathway to an apomictic mode of reproduction in crops.

  20. Ultrastructural changes during asexual multiple reproduction in Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusof, A; Kumar, S

    2012-05-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis, a flagellated protozoan parasite, is commonly found in the genitourinary tract of humans. Its mode of reproduction has always been reported to be binary fission. The high parasite numbers seen in a relatively short period in in vitro cultures led us to believe that there must be other modes of reproduction. The present study for the first time provides transformational evidence at the ultrastructural level seen in tropohozoites of T. vaginalis undergoing a multiple asexual mode of reproduction. The findings show that the single cell with a nucleus is capable of dividing to as many as eight nuclei within the cytoplasmic body. Before the commencement of division, the nucleus remained round or ovoid in shape with condensed chromatin masses and only a few endoplasmic reticula surrounding the nucleus. During the division, the nucleus started to elongate and become irregular in shape with visible chromatin masses condensing with the accumulation of numerous endoplasmic reticula. Nuclear division gave rise to as many as eight nuclei within a cell, which could be seen to be connected by numerous endoplasmic reticula. In addition, a high number of hydrogenosomes and vacuoles can be seen in multinucleated T. vaginalis compared with single nucleated T. vaginalis. This study confirms that multiple modes of nuclear division do exist in T. vaginalis and are a precursor to progeny formation.

  1. Epidemiological and clinical features of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in united nations personnel in Western Bahr el Ghazal State, South Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Dengming; Zhang, Yuqi; Liu, Xiaofeng; Guo, Shimin; Zhao, Donghong; Zhu, Yunjie; Li, Huaidong; Kong, Li

    2013-01-01

    Western Bahr el Ghazal State is located in northwestern South Sudan, which is a tropical area subject to Plasmodium falciparum malaria epidemics. The aim of this study is to explore the epidemiological and clinical features of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in United Nations personnel stationed in this area. From July 2006 to June 2009, epidemiological data and medical records of 678 patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria at the U.N. level 2 hospital were analyzed. The U.N. personnel were divided into individuals not immune to Plasmodium falciparum and individuals semi-immune to Plasmodium falciparum. The patients were divided into a chemoprophylaxis group (non-immune individuals who complied with the chemoprophylaxis regimen, 582 cases) and a no/incomplete chemoprophylaxis group (non-immune individuals who either did not fully comply with chemoprophylaxis or did not use it at all and semi-immune individuals who did not use chemoprophylaxis, 96 cases). Overall morbidity was about 11.3%. There was a significant difference in the morbidity of semi-immune and non-immune individuals (1.3% vs. 15.1%, PPlasmodium falciparum malaria mainly occurred in rainy season. Gastrointestinal symptoms are an important precursor of malaria. Blood smears and rapid diagnostic tests should be performed after the onset of gastrointestinal symptoms. Appropriate chemoprophylaxis is necessary for reducing the severity of malaria.

  2. Thrombocytopenia in pregnant women with Plasmodium falciparum malaria in an area of unstable malaria transmission in eastern Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Mayyada B

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Blood platelet levels are being evaluated as predictive and prognostic indicators of the severity of malaria infections in humans. However, there are few studies on platelets and Plasmodium falciparum malaria during pregnancy. Methods A case–control study was conducted at Gadarif Hospital in Eastern Sudan, an area characterized by unstable malaria transmission. The aim of the study was to investigate thrombocytopenia in pregnant women with P. falciparum malaria (cases and healthy pregnant women (controls. Results The median (interquartile platelet counts were significantly lower in patients with malaria (N = 60 than in the controls (N = 60, 61, 000 (43,000–85,000 vs. 249,000 (204,000–300,000/μL, respectively, p P. falciparum malaria (N = 12 compared with those patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria (N = 48, 68, 000 (33,000-88,000/μL vs. 61, 000 (45,000–85,000/μL, respectively, p = 0.8. While none of the control group had thrombocytopenia (platelet count p P. falciparum malaria, compared with the pregnant healthy control group, were at higher risk (OR = 10.1, 95% CI = 4.1–25.18; p  Conclusion P. falciparum malaria is associated with thrombocytopenia in pregnant women in this setting. More research is needed.

  3. Atorvastatin prevents Plasmodium falciparum cytoadherence and endothelial damage

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    Soubrier Florent

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum parasitized red blood cell (PRBC to human endothelial cells (EC induces inflammatory processes, coagulation cascades, oxidative stress and apoptosis. These pathological processes are suspected to be responsible for the blood-brain-barrier and other organs' endothelial dysfunctions observed in fatal cases of malaria. Atorvastatin, a drug that belongs to the lowering cholesterol molecule family of statins, has been shown to ameliorate endothelial functions and is widely used in patients with cardiovascular disorders. Methods The effect of this compound on PRBC induced endothelial impairments was assessed using endothelial co-culture models. Results Atorvastatin pre-treatment of EC was found to reduce the expression of adhesion molecules and P. falciparum cytoadherence, to protect cells against PRBC-induced apoptosis and to enhance endothelial monolayer integrity during co-incubation with parasites. Conclusions These results might suggest a potential interest use of atorvastatin as a protective treatment to interfere with the pathophysiological cascades leading to severe malaria.

  4. Rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosing uncomplicated non-falciparum or Plasmodium vivax malaria in endemic countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abba, Katharine; Kirkham, Amanda J; Olliaro, Piero L; Deeks, Jonathan J; Donegan, Sarah; Garner, Paul; Takwoingi, Yemisi

    2014-01-01

    Background In settings where both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum infection cause malaria, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) need to distinguish which species is causing the patients' symptoms, as different treatments are required. Older RDTs incorporated two test lines to distinguish malaria due to P. falciparum, from malaria due to any other Plasmodium species (non-falciparum). These RDTs can be classified according to which antibodies they use: Type 2 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and aldolase (all species); Type 3 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and pLDH (all species); Type 4 use pLDH (fromP. falciparum) and pLDH (all species). More recently, RDTs have been developed to distinguish P. vivax parasitaemia by utilizing a pLDH antibody specific to P. vivax. Objectives To assess the diagnostic accuracy of RDTs for detecting non-falciparum or P. vivax parasitaemia in people living in malaria-endemic areas who present to ambulatory healthcare facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria, and to identify which types and brands of commercial test best detect non-falciparum and P. vivax malaria. Search methods We undertook a comprehensive search of the following databases up to 31 December 2013: Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; MEDLINE; EMBASE; MEDION; Science Citation Index; Web of Knowledge; African Index Medicus; LILACS; and IndMED. Selection criteria Studies comparing RDTs with a reference standard (microscopy or polymerase chain reaction) in blood samples from a random or consecutive series of patients attending ambulatory health facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria in non-falciparum endemic areas. Data collection and analysis For each study, two review authors independently extracted a standard set of data using a tailored data extraction form. We grouped comparisons by type of RDT (defined by the combinations of antibodies used), and combined in meta-analysis where appropriate. Average sensitivities and

  5. A nuclear targeting system in Plasmodium falciparum

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    Kochakarn Theerarat

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The distinct differences in gene control mechanisms acting in the nucleus between Plasmodium falciparum and the human host could lead to new potential drug targets for anti-malarial development. New molecular toolkits are required for dissecting molecular machineries in the P. falciparum nucleus. One valuable tool commonly used in model organisms is protein targeting to specific sub-cellular locations. Targeting proteins to specified locations allows labeling of organelles for microscopy, or testing of how the protein of interest modulates organelle function. In recent years, this approach has been developed for various malaria organelles, such as the mitochondrion and the apicoplast. A tool for targeting a protein of choice to the P. falciparum nucleus using an exogenous nuclear localization sequence is reported here. Methods To develop a nuclear targeting system, a putative nuclear localization sequence was fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP. The nuclear localization sequence from the yeast transcription factor Gal4 was chosen because of its well-defined nuclear localization signal. A series of truncated Gal4 constructs was also created to narrow down the nuclear localization sequence necessary for P. falciparum nuclear import. Transfected parasites were analysed by fluorescent and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. Results The nuclear localization sequence of Gal4 is functional in P. falciparum. It effectively transported GFP into the nucleus, and the first 74 amino acid residues were sufficient for nuclear localization. Conclusions The Gal4 fusion technique enables specific transport of a protein of choice into the P. falciparum nucleus, and thus provides a tool for labeling nuclei without using DNA-staining dyes. The finding also indicates similarities between the nuclear transport mechanisms of yeast and P. falciparum. Since the nuclear transport system has been thoroughly studied in yeast, this could give clues

  6. Hemoglobin consumption by P. falciparum in individual erythrocytes imaged via quantitative phase spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinehart, Matthew T.; Park, Han Sang; Walzer, Katelyn A.; Chi, Jen-Tsan Ashley; Wax, Adam

    2016-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum infection causes structural and biochemical changes in red blood cells (RBCs). To quantify these changes, we apply a novel optical technique, quantitative phase spectroscopy (QPS) to characterize individual red blood cells (RBCs) during the intraerythrocytic life cycle of P. falciparum. QPS captures hyperspectral holograms of individual RBCs to measure spectroscopic changes across the visible wavelength range (475-700 nm), providing complex information, i.e. amplitude and phase, about the light field which has interacted with the cell. The complex field provides complimentary information on hemoglobin content and cell mass, which are both found to dramatically change upon infection by P. falciparum. Hb content progressively decreases with parasite life cycle, with an average 72.2% reduction observed for RBCs infected by schizont-stage P. falciparum compared to uninfected cells. Infection also resulted in a 33.1% reduction in RBC’s optical volume, a measure of the cells’ non-aqueous components. Notably, optical volume is only partially correlated with hemoglobin content, suggesting that changes in other dry mass components such as parasite mass may also be assessed using this technique. The unique ability of QPS to discriminate individual healthy and infected cells using spectroscopic changes indicates that the approach can be used to detect disease.

  7. Rapid recombination among transfected plasmids, chimeric episome formation and trans gene expression in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadekoppala, M; Cheresh, P; Catron, D; Ji, D D; Deitsch, K; Wellems, T E; Seifert, H S; Haldar, K

    2001-02-01

    Although recombination is known to be important to generating diversity in the human malaria parasite P. falciparum, the low efficiencies of transfection and the fact that integration of transfected DNA into chromosomes is observed only after long periods (typically 12 weeks or more) have made it difficult to genetically manipulate the blood stages of this major human pathogen. Here we show that co-transfection of a P. falciparum line with two plasmids, one expressing a green fluorescent protein (gfp) reporter and the other expressing a drug resistance marker (Tgdhfr-ts M23), allowed selection of a population in which about approximately 30% of the parasites produce GFP. In these GFP-producing parasites, the transfected plasmids had recombined into chimeric episomes as large as 20 kb and could be maintained under drug pressure for at least 16 weeks. Our data suggest that chimera formation occurs early (detected by 7--14 days) and that it involves homologous recombination favored by presence of the same P. falciparum 5'hrp3 UTR promoting transcription from each plasmid. This indicates the presence of high levels of homologous recombination activity in blood stage parasites that can be used to drive rapid recombination of newly introduced DNA, study mechanisms of recombination, and introduce genes for trans expression in P. falciparum.

  8. Sexual and asexual oogenesis require the expression of unique and shared sets of genes in the insect Acyrthosiphon pisum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gallot Aurore

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although sexual reproduction is dominant within eukaryotes, asexual reproduction is widespread and has evolved independently as a derived trait in almost all major taxa. How asexuality evolved in sexual organisms is unclear. Aphids, such as Acyrthosiphon pisum, alternate between asexual and sexual reproductive means, as the production of parthenogenetic viviparous females or sexual oviparous females and males varies in response to seasonal photoperiodism. Consequently, sexual and asexual development in aphids can be analyzed simultaneously in genetically identical individuals. Results We compared the transcriptomes of aphid embryos in the stages of development during which the trajectory of oogenesis is determined for producing sexual or asexual gametes. This study design aimed at identifying genes involved in the onset of the divergent mechanisms that result in the sexual or asexual phenotype. We detected 33 genes that were differentially transcribed in sexual and asexual embryos. Functional annotation by gene ontology (GO showed a biological signature of oogenesis, cell cycle regulation, epigenetic regulation and RNA maturation. In situ hybridizations demonstrated that 16 of the differentially-transcribed genes were specifically expressed in germ cells and/or oocytes of asexual and/or sexual ovaries, and therefore may contribute to aphid oogenesis. We categorized these 16 genes by their transcription patterns in the two types of ovaries; they were: i expressed during sexual and asexual oogenesis; ii expressed during sexual and asexual oogenesis but with different localizations; or iii expressed only during sexual or asexual oogenesis. Conclusions Our results show that asexual and sexual oogenesis in aphids share common genetic programs but diverge by adapting specificities in their respective gene expression profiles in germ cells and oocytes.

  9. Sexual and Asexual Reproduction of Salix sitchensis and the Influence of Beaver (Castor canadensis) Herbivory on Reproductive Success

    OpenAIRE

    Travis G. Gerwing; Alyssa M. Allen Gerwing; Rapaport, Eric; Alström-Rapaport, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    The influence of beaver (Castor canadensis Kuhl) herbivory on Salix reproduction, specifically the stimulation of asexual reproduction via browsed stem fragments, is relatively unknown. This study aimed to determine if beaver herbivory stimulates asexual reproduction of riparian willows and results in mature populations dominated by clones. The survival of seedlings and asexual propagules produced by beaver browse in populations of the riparian willow Salix sitchensis (Sanson in Bongard) were...

  10. Advantage or Disadvantage: Is Asexual Reproduction Beneficial to Survival of the Tunicate, Polyandrocarpa misakiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamura, K; Fujiwara, S

    2000-04-01

    It has been believed that clonal propagation by asexual reproduction has serious disadvantages for long-term survival, because asexual reproduction seems not to remove harmful mutations, it seems not to give rise to genetic variations upon which evolution depends and it seems not to reset cell aging. In this article, we re-consider those arguments, by reviewing asexual reproduction of the tunicate, Polyandrocarpa misakiensis. Tracer experiments of bud formation and growth using morphological and chimeric phenotypes showed that the parental epithelial tissues surrounding the bud primordium do not enter the growing bud. It is possible, therefore, to assume that budding involves the purge of a large number of parental somatic cells and tissues. Unlike sexuals, asexuals do not carry out meiotic recombination nor gene shuffling that are two major sources of genetic variation, but we can show that in P. misakiensis at least two genes have significant redundancy and genetic variation even in a clonal colony. Telomerase expressed in germlines is thought to reset the molecular clock executed by telomere shortening. In our Polyandrocarpa cDNA projects, four out of about 2,000 cDNAs examined were matched with retroviral reverse transcriptase that is the catalytic subunit of telomerase, suggesting that telomerase might work in asexual reproduction. In P. misakiensis, dedifferentiation system is used to make new asexual generations. TC14 lectin plays an important role in the maintenance of multipotent but differentiated state of the formative tissue. It is antagonized by tunicate serine protease (TRAMP) that has striking mitogenic and dedifferentiation-inducing activities on the multipotent cells. This system would serve to delay aging of somatic cells. In conclusion, empirical arguments that asexual reproduction is disadvantageous to long-term life do not appear to be tenable to budding of P. misakiensis.

  11. Discordance between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes in sexual and asexual lineages of the freshwater snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paczesniak, Dorota; Jokela, Jukka; Larkin, Katelyn; Neiman, Maurine

    2013-09-01

    The presence and extent of mitonuclear discordance in coexisting sexual and asexual lineages provides insight into 1) how and when asexual lineages emerged, and 2) the spatial and temporal scales at which the ecological and evolutionary processes influencing the evolution of sexual and asexual reproduction occur. Here, we used nuclear single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and a mitochondrial gene to characterize phylogeographic structure and the extent of mitonuclear discordance in Potamopyrgus antipodarum. This New Zealand freshwater snail is often used to study the evolution and maintenance of sex because obligately sexual and obligately asexual individuals often coexist. While our data indicate that sexual and asexual P. antipodarum sampled from the same lake population are often genetically similar, suggesting recent origin of these asexuals from sympatric sexual P. antipodarum, we also found significantly more population structure in sexuals vs. asexuals. This latter result suggests that some asexual lineages originated in other lakes and/or in the relatively distant past. When comparing mitochondrial and nuclear population genetic structure, we discovered that one mitochondrial haplotype ('1A') was rare in sexuals, but common and widespread in asexuals. Haplotype 1A frequency and nuclear genetic diversity were not associated, suggesting that the commonness of this haplotype cannot be attributed entirely to genetic drift and pointing instead to a role for selection.

  12. Seasonal changes in cell mediated immune responses to soluble Plasmodium falciparum antigens in children with haemoglobin AA and haemoglobin AS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abu-Zeid, Y A; Abdulhadi, N H; Theander, T G

    1992-01-01

    In this longitudinal study peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were obtained before and during the malaria season from healthy HbAA and HbAS children. Cells were compared for proliferation in response to stimulation by soluble Plasmodium falciparum antigens (SPAg) or purified derivative of ......AS children during the malaria season. No distinct seasonal change in the response to PPD was found in relation to the haemoglobin phenotype. The study points to the role of the sickle cell trait in modulating the cellular immune responses to falciparum malaria.......In this longitudinal study peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were obtained before and during the malaria season from healthy HbAA and HbAS children. Cells were compared for proliferation in response to stimulation by soluble Plasmodium falciparum antigens (SPAg) or purified derivative...

  13. Schistosoma haematobium and Plasmodium falciparum co-infection with protection against Plasmodium falciparum ma-laria in Nigerian children

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nmorsi OPG; Isaac C; Ukwandu NCD; Ekundayo AO; Ekozien MI

    2009-01-01

    Objective:Malaria remains the single leading killer of children in sub -Sahara Africa and Schistosomiasis is considered to be second to malaria in global importance.Co -infection of malaria and urinary schistosomiasis has been reported to exacerbate disease morbidity such as anaemia.In different part of the globe,the co -in-fection between malaria and schistosomiasis provides some protections on the infected persons.The protective effect of this co -infection elucidated immunologically using cytokines is lacking in our locality.Methods:U-rine and blood samples obtained from the 160 volunteers were subjected to standard parasitological techniques for diagnosis of urinary schistosomiasis and malaria respectively.Blood samples collected from these volunteers comprising 80 children with schistosomiasis and malaria and the 80 children who had malaria only were subjec-ted to cytokines concentration determination using commercial standard enzyme linked immunosorbent assay kits (Abcam,UK).Results:Eighty participants with co -infection had a mean malarial parasitaemia of 662 ±201.1 μL while the 80 participants with only P.falciparum malaria had a mean malarial parasiteamia of 5943 ±3270.7μL.Also the volunteers had mean haemoglobin of 11.2 g/dL for co -infected individuals and 5.7 g/dL for participants with single infection of malaria.The serum cytokine levels of the children with S. haematobium and P.falciparum and only P.falciparum infection are as follows;interleukin -4 (16.6 pg/mL versus 5.2 pg/mL),IL -5 (501.3 pg/mL versus 357.5 pg/mL);IL -8 (2 550 pg/mL versus 309 pg/mL),IL -10 (273 pg/mL versus 290 pg/mL),TNF -α(25 pg/mL versus 290 pg/mL)and IFN -γ(21.9 pg/mL versus 2.5 pg/mL).The TNF -α/IL -10 ratio is 7 for the children with co -infection while those with only P.falciparum malaria infection had a TNF -α/IL -10 ratio of 0.9.Conclusion:We con-clude that the elevated IL -4,IL -5,IL -8 and IFN -γconcentration induced by schistosomiasis altered the Th1 /Th 2

  14. Horizontal transfer generates genetic variation in an asexual pathogen

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    Xiaoqiu Huang

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available There are major gaps in the understanding of how genetic variation is generated in the asexual pathogen Verticillium dahliae. On the one hand, V. dahliae is a haploid organism that reproduces clonally. On the other hand, single-nucleotide polymorphisms and chromosomal rearrangements were found between V. dahliae strains. Lineage-specific (LS regions comprising about 5% of the genome are highly variable between V. dahliae strains. Nonetheless, it is unknown whether horizontal gene transfer plays a major role in generating genetic variation in V. dahliae. Here, we analyzed a previously sequenced V. dahliae population of nine strains from various geographical locations and hosts. We found highly homologous elements in LS regions of each strain; LS regions of V. dahliae strain JR2 are much richer in highly homologous elements than the core genome. In addition, we discovered, in LS regions of JR2, several structural forms of nonhomologous recombination, and two or three homologous sequence types of each form, with almost each sequence type present in an LS region of another strain. A large section of one of the forms is known to be horizontally transferred between V. dahliae strains. We unexpectedly found that 350 kilobases of dynamic LS regions were much more conserved than the core genome between V. dahliae and a closely related species (V. albo-atrum, suggesting that these LS regions were horizontally transferred recently. Our results support the view that genetic variation in LS regions is generated by horizontal transfer between strains, and by chromosomal reshuffling reported previously.

  15. Light-regulated asexual reproduction in Paecilomyces fumosoroseus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Murillo, Rosa Icela; de la Torre-Martínez, Mayra; Aguirre-Linares, Jesús; Herrera-Estrella, Alfredo

    2004-02-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Paecilomyces fumosoroseus has been successfully used in the control of several insect pests. Asexually produced spores (conidia) are the means for dispersal and transmission of the entomopathogen; upon contact with the insect cuticle they germinate and penetrate the host. In model fungal systems it has been found that phototropism, resetting of the circadian rhythm, the induction of carotenogenesis and the development of reproductive structures are controlled by blue light. The effect of light quality on conidial yield of P. fumosoroseus was investigated. Incubation in total darkness resulted in continued vegetative growth and lack of reproductive structures. In contrast, growth of the fungus in continuous illumination or under a night-day regime resulted in prolific formation of conidiophores bearing abundant mature conidia. Conidiation was photoinduced in competent mycelia by a single pulse of blue light and colonies were competent only after they had grown at least 72 h under total darkness. The fluence-response curves generated with blue light indicated that the minimal fluence required for the photomorphogenetic response was 180 micro mol m(-2) and the half-maximal response was at 400 micro mol m(-2). A fluence of 540 micro mol m(-2) was enough to saturate the system, inducing the maximum production of 2.12x10(8) conidia per colony. Higher light intensities markedly decreased conidiation, suggesting the occurrence of a process of adaptation. The authors propose the existence of a dual light-perception system with at least two photoreceptors in P. fumosoroseus, one promoting and one inhibiting conidiation.

  16. Infection dynamics in coexisting sexual and asexual host populations: support for the Red Queen hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergara, Daniela; Jokela, Jukka; Lively, Curtis M

    2014-08-01

    The persistence of sexual reproduction is a classic problem in evolutionary biology. The problem stems from the fact that, all else equal, asexual lineages should rapidly replace coexisting sexual individuals due to the cost of producing males in sexual populations. One possible countervailing advantage to sexual reproduction is that, on average, outcrossed offspring are more resistant than common clones to coevolving parasites, as predicted under the Red Queen hypothesis. In this study, we evaluated the prevalence of infection by a sterilizing trematode (Microphallus sp.) in a natural population of freshwater snails that was composed of both sexual and asexual individuals (Potamopyrgus antipodarum). More specifically, we compared the frequency of infection in sexual and asexual individuals over a 5-year period at four sites at a natural glacial lake (Lake Alexandrina, South Island, New Zealand). We found that at most sites and over most years, the sexual population was less infected than the coexisting asexual population. Moreover, the frequency of uninfected sexual females was periodically greater than two times the frequency of uninfected asexual females. These results give clear support for a fluctuating parasite-mediated advantage to sexual reproduction in a natural population.

  17. Exploring the role of asexual multiplication in poplar rust epidemics: impact on diversity and genetic structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrès, Benoît; Dutech, Cyril; Andrieux, Axelle; Halkett, Fabien; Frey, Pascal

    2012-10-01

    Fungal plant pathogens, especially rust fungi (Pucciniales), are well known for their complex life cycles, which include phases of sexual and asexual reproduction. The effect of asexual multiplication on population genetic diversity has been investigated in the poplar rust fungus Melampsora larici-populina using a nested hierarchical sampling scheme. Four hierarchical levels were considered: leaf, twig, tree and site. Both cultivated and wild poplar stands were sampled at two time points at the start and end of rust epidemics. A total of 641 fungal isolates was analysed using nine microsatellite markers. This study revealed that the genetic signature of asexual multiplication in the wild poplar stand was seen only at lower hierarchical levels (leaf and twig). Moreover, we observed an erosion of clonal structure through time, with an increase in both gene and genotypic diversity. New genotypes contributed to host infection over time, which demonstrates the importance of allo-infection in the epidemic process in this host-pathogen system. Compared with the wild stands, the nearly lack of detection of clonal structure in the cultivated stands reflects the higher infection level on cultivated poplars. More generally, this genetic analysis illustrates the utility of population genetics approach for elucidating the proportion of asexual reproduction in the multiplication of isolates during an epidemic, and for proper quantification of asexual dispersal in plant pathogens.

  18. Environmental challenges improve resource utilization for asexual reproduction and maintenance in hydra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaible, Ralf; Ringelhan, Felix; Kramer, Boris H; Miethe, Tanja

    2011-10-01

    Variation in life history can reflect genetic differences, and may be caused by environmental effects on phenotypes. Understanding how these two sources of life history variation interact to express an optimal allocation of resources in a changing environment is central to life history theory. This study addresses variation in the allocation of resources to asexual reproduction and to maintenance of Hydra magnipapillata in relation to differences in temperature and food availability. Hydra is a non-senescent, persistent species with primarily clonal reproduction. We recorded changes in budding rate and mean survival under starvation, which indicate changes in the allocation of resources to asexual reproduction and maintenance. In constant conditions we observed a clear trade-off between asexual reproduction and maintenance, where budding increased linearly with food intake while starvation survival stayed rather constant. In contrast, an environment with fluctuations in temperature or food availability promotes maintenance and increases the survival chances of hydra under starvation. Surprisingly, asexual reproduction also tends to be positively affected by fluctuating environmental conditions, which suggests that in this case there is no clear trade-off between asexual reproduction and maintenance in hydra. Environmental stresses have a beneficial impact on the fitness-related phenotypical traits of the basal metazoan hydra. The results indicate that, if the stress occurs in hormetic doses, variable stressful and fluctuating environments can be salutary for hydra. A closer examination of this dynamic can therefore enable us to develop a deeper understanding of the evolution of aging and longevity.

  19. Adaptive molecular evolution of a defence gene in sexual but not functionally asexual evening primroses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hersch-Green, E I; Myburg, H; Johnson, M T J

    2012-08-01

    Theory predicts that sexual reproduction provides evolutionary advantages over asexual reproduction by reducing mutational load and increasing adaptive potential. Here, we test the latter prediction in the context of plant defences against pathogens because pathogens frequently reduce plant fitness and drive the evolution of plant defences. Specifically, we ask whether sexual evening primrose plant lineages (Onagraceae) have faster rates of adaptive molecular evolution and altered gene expression of a class I chitinase, a gene implicated in defence against pathogens, than functionally asexual evening primrose lineages. We found that the ratio of amino acid to silent substitutions (K(a) /K(s) = 0.19 vs. 0.11 for sexual and asexual lineages, respectively), the number of sites identified to be under positive selection (four vs. zero for sexual and asexual lineages, respectively) and the expression of chitinase were all higher in sexual than in asexual lineages. Our results are congruent with the conclusion that a loss of sexual recombination and segregation in the Onagraceae negatively affects adaptive structural and potentially regulatory evolution of a plant defence protein.

  20. Neutral and selection-driven decay of sexual traits in asexual stick insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwander, Tanja; Crespi, Bernard J; Gries, Regine; Gries, Gerhard

    2013-08-07

    Environmental shifts and lifestyle changes may result in formerly adaptive traits becoming non-functional or maladaptive. The subsequent decay of such traits highlights the importance of natural selection for adaptations, yet its causes have rarely been investigated. To study the fate of formerly adaptive traits after lifestyle changes, we evaluated sexual traits in five independently derived asexual lineages, including traits that are specific to males and therefore not exposed to selection. At least four of the asexual lineages retained the capacity to produce males that display normal courtship behaviours and are able to fertilize eggs of females from related sexual species. The maintenance of male traits may stem from pleiotropy, or from these traits only regressing via drift, which may require millions of years to generate phenotypic effects. By contrast, we found parallel decay of sexual traits in females. Asexual females produced altered airborne and contact signals, had modified sperm storage organs, and lost the ability to fertilize their eggs, impeding reversals to sexual reproduction. Female sexual traits were decayed even in recently derived asexuals, suggesting that trait changes following the evolution of asexuality, when they occur, proceed rapidly and are driven by selective processes rather than drift.

  1. Guillain-Barré syndrome in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    OpenAIRE

    Wijesundere, A.

    1992-01-01

    A patient with Plasmodium falciparum malaria developed peripheral neuropathy. Clinical, cerebro-spinal fluid examination and nerve conduction studies confirmed Guillain-Barré syndrome, not previously reported in P. falciparum malaria.

  2. Localization of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC transport proteins PfMRP1, PfMRP2, and PfMDR5 at the Plasmodium falciparum plasma membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luty Adrian JF

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The spread of drug resistance has been a major obstacle to the control of malaria. The mechanisms underlying drug resistance in malaria seem to be complex and multigenic. The current literature on multiple drug resistance against anti-malarials has documented PfMDR1, an ATP-binding cassette (ABC protein, as an important determinant of resistance. In the Plasmodium falciparum genome, there are several ABC transporters some of which could be putative drug transporting proteins. In order to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance, characterization of these transporters is essential. The aim of this study was to characterize and localize putative ABC transporters. Methods In the plasmoDB database, 16 members of the P. falciparum ABC family can be identified, 11 of which are putative transport proteins. A phylogenetic analysis of the aligned NBDs of the PfABC genes was performed. Antibodies against PfMRP1 (PfABCC1, PfMRP2 (PfABCC2, and PfMDR5 (PfABCB5 were generated, affinity purified and used in immunocytochemistry to localize the proteins in the asexual stages of the parasite. Results The ABC family members of P. falciparum were categorized into subfamilies. The ABC B subfamily was the largest and contained seven members. Other family members that could be involved in drug transport are PfABCC1, PfABCC2, PfABCG1, and PfABCI3. The expression and localization of three ABC transport proteins was determined. PfMRP1, PfMRP2, and PfMDR5 are localized to the plasma membrane in all asexual stages of the parasite. Conclusion In conclusion, 11 of the 16 ABC proteins in the P. falciparum genome are putative transport proteins, some of which might be involved in drug resistance. Moreover, it was demonstrated that three of these proteins are expressed on the parasite's plasma membrane.

  3. Infecção tripla por Trypanosoma cruzi, Plasmodium vivax e P. falciparum: relato de caso Triple infection by Trypanosoma cruzi, Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum: case report

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    Andrea Silvestre Lobão Costa

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available O presente registro acerca da identificação de infecção aguda de dois plasmódios e um Trypanosoma constitui evento raro. Pré-escolar, sexo feminino, 5 anos de idade, apresentou síndrome febril; foi submetida a exame de gota espessa no qual foram identificadas formas assexuadas e sexuadas de Plasmodium vivax e P. falciparum, respectivamente, além de tripomastigotas sanguíneos de Trypanosoma cruzi. No peridomicílio, foram encontrados insetos da espécie Rhodnius sp. Os autores reforçam a importância dos estudos dos ciclos peridomiciliares de T. cruzi em ambientes silvestres na Amazônia e discutem a importância da estratégia de vigilância continuada de Trypanosomas spp. nos exames de gota espessa.This report describes a rare case of acute infection caused by two Plasmodia and one Trypanosoma. 5 year-old female patient attending kindergarten presented persistent fever syndrome. She was submitted to thick smear exam, in which asexual and sexual forms of Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum were detected, respectively, as well as trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi. Rhodnius sp. triatomines were found in the vicinity. The authors reinforce the importance of investigating the domiciliary cycles of T. cruzi in the Amazon region. Moreover, we discuss the importance of continuous monitoring of Trypanosomas spp. in thick smear exams.

  4. Early interferon-gamma response against Plasmodium falciparum correlates with interethnic differences in susceptibility to parasitemia between sympatric Fulani and Dogon in Mali.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCall, Matthew B B; Hopman, Joost; Daou, Modibo; Maiga, Boubacar; Dara, Victor; Ploemen, Ivo; Nganou-Makamdop, Krystelle; Niangaly, Amadou; Tolo, Youssouf; Arama, Charles; Bousema, J Teun; van der Meer, Jos W; van der Ven, André J A M; Troye-Blomberg, Marita; Dolo, Amagana; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Sauerwein, Robert W

    2010-01-01

    Interethnic differences in susceptibility to malaria provide a unique opportunity to explore immunological correlates of protection. The Fulani of Sahelian Africa are known for their reduced susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum, compared with surrounding tribes, yet the immunology underlying this is still poorly understood. Here, we show that mononuclear cells from Fulani elicit >10-fold stronger interferon (IFN)-gamma production following a 24-h in vitro coincubation with asexual parasites than cells from sympatric Dogon. This response appears to be specific for P. falciparum among a panel of other human pathogens and is independent of the lower number of regulatory T cell counts present in Fulani. IFN-gamma responses in both tribes were inversely correlated with peripheral parasite density as quantified by nucleic acid sequenced-based amplification, but responses of Fulani remained significantly stronger than those of Dogon after adjustment for concurrent parasitemia, suggesting that hard-wired immunological differences underlie the observed protection. These results underscore the value of early IFN-gamma responses to P. falciparum as a correlate of anti-parasite immunity, not only in this setting but also in the wider context of malaria, and support the development of malaria vaccines aimed at inducing such responses.

  5. Five-year surveillance of molecular markers of Plasmodium falciparum antimalarial drug resistance in Korogwe District, Tanzania: accumulation of the 581G mutation in the em>P. falciparum dihydropteroate synthase gene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alifrangis, Michael; Lusingu, John P; Mmbando, Bruno;

    2009-01-01

    In January 2007, Tanzania replaced sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) with artemether-lumefantrine for treatment of uncomplicated malaria. This study examined the impact of widespread SP use on molecular markers of Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance in blood samples from persons living in two vill...

  6. Cytokine balance in human malaria: does Plasmodium vivax elicit more inflammatory responses than Plasmodium falciparum?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raquel M Gonçalves

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mechanisms by which humans regulate pro- and anti-inflammatory responses on exposure to different malaria parasites remains unclear. Although Plasmodium vivax usually causes a relatively benign disease, this parasite has been suggested to elicit more host inflammation per parasitized red blood cell than P. falciparum. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured plasma concentrations of seven cytokines and two soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α receptors, and evaluated clinical and laboratory outcomes, in Brazilians with acute uncomplicated infections with P. vivax (n = 85, P. falciparum (n = 30, or both species (n = 12, and in 45 asymptomatic carriers of low-density P. vivax infection. Symptomatic vivax malaria patients, compared to those infected with P. falciparum or both species, had more intense paroxysms, but they had no clear association with a pro-inflammatory imbalance. To the contrary, these patients had higher levels of the regulatory cytokine interleukin (IL-10, which correlated positively with parasite density, and elevated IL-10/TNF-α, IL-10/interferon (IFN-γ, IL-10/IL-6 and sTNFRII/TNF-α ratios, compared to falciparum or mixed-species malaria patient groups. Vivax malaria patients had the highest levels of circulating soluble TNF-α receptor sTNFRII. Levels of regulatory cytokines returned to normal values 28 days after P. vivax clearance following chemotherapy. Finally, asymptomatic carriers of low P. vivax parasitemias had substantially lower levels of both inflammatory and regulatory cytokines than did patients with clinical malaria due to either species. CONCLUSIONS: Controlling fast-multiplying P. falciparum blood stages requires a strong inflammatory response to prevent fulminant infections, while reducing inflammation-related tissue damage with early regulatory cytokine responses may be a more cost-effective strategy in infections with the less virulent P. vivax parasite. The early induction

  7. Prevalence of resistance associated polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from southern Pakistan

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    Beg Mohammad A

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Scarce data are available on Plasmodium falciparum anti-malarial drug resistance in Pakistan. The aim of this study was, therefore, to determine the prevalence of P. falciparum resistance associated polymorphisms in field isolates from southern Pakistan. Methods Blood samples from 244 patients with blood-slide confirmed P. falciparum mono-infections were collected between 2005-2007. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt K76T, multi drug resistance (pfmdr1 N86Y, dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr A16V, N51I, C59R, S108N, I164L and dihydropteroate synthetase (pfdhps A436S, G437A and E540K genes and pfmdr1 gene copy numbers were determined using PCR based methods. Results The prevalence of pfcrt 76T and pfmdr1 86Y was 93% and 57%, respectively. The prevalence of pfdhfr double mutations 59R + 108N/51R + 108N was 92%. The pfdhfr triple mutation (51I, 59R, 108N occurred in 3% of samples. The pfdhfr (51I, 59R, 108N and pfdhps (437G, 540E quintuple mutation was found in one isolate. Pfdhps 437G was observed in 51% and 540E in 1% of the isolates. One isolate had two pfmdr1 copies and carried the pfmdr1 86Y and pfcrt 76T alleles. Conclusions The results indicate high prevalence of in vivo resistance to chloroquine, whereas high grade resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine does not appear to be widespread among P. falciparum in southern Pakistan.

  8. Reduced susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to artesunate in southern Myanmar.

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    Myat P Kyaw

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins, the first line treatment for malaria worldwide, has been reported in western Cambodia. Resistance is characterized by significantly delayed clearance of parasites following artemisinin treatment. Artemisinin resistance has not previously been reported in Myanmar, which has the highest falciparum malaria burden among Southeast Asian countries. METHODS: A non-randomized, single-arm, open-label clinical trial of artesunate monotherapy (4 mg/kg daily for seven days was conducted in adults with acute blood-smear positive P. falciparum malaria in Kawthaung, southern Myanmar. Parasite density was measured every 12 hours until two consecutive negative smears were obtained. Participants were followed weekly at the study clinic for three additional weeks. Co-primary endpoints included parasite clearance time (the time required for complete clearance of initial parasitemia, parasite clearance half-life (the time required for parasitemia to decrease by 50% based on the linear portion of the parasite clearance slope, and detectable parasitemia 72 hours after commencement of artesunate treatment. Drug pharmacokinetics were measured to rule out delayed clearance due to suboptimal drug levels. RESULTS: The median (range parasite clearance half-life and time were 4.8 (2.1-9.7 and 60 (24-96 hours, respectively. The frequency distributions of parasite clearance half-life and time were bimodal, with very slow parasite clearance characteristic of the slowest-clearing Cambodian parasites (half-life longer than 6.2 hours in approximately 1/3 of infections. Fourteen of 52 participants (26.9% had a measurable parasitemia 72 hours after initiating artesunate treatment. Parasite clearance was not associated with drug pharmacokinetics. CONCLUSIONS: A subset of P. falciparum infections in southern Myanmar displayed markedly delayed clearance following artemisinin treatment, suggesting either emergence of

  9. Reduced Susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to Artesunate in Southern Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyaw, Myat P.; Nyunt, Myat H.; Chit, Khin; Aye, Moe M.; Aye, Kyin H.; Aye, Moe M.; Tarning, Joel; Imwong, Mallika; Jacob, Christopher G.; Rasmussen, Charlotte; Perin, Jamie; Ringwald, Pascal; Nyunt, Myaing M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins, the first line treatment for malaria worldwide, has been reported in western Cambodia. Resistance is characterized by significantly delayed clearance of parasites following artemisinin treatment. Artemisinin resistance has not previously been reported in Myanmar, which has the highest falciparum malaria burden among Southeast Asian countries. Methods A non-randomized, single-arm, open-label clinical trial of artesunate monotherapy (4 mg/kg daily for seven days) was conducted in adults with acute blood-smear positive P. falciparum malaria in Kawthaung, southern Myanmar. Parasite density was measured every 12 hours until two consecutive negative smears were obtained. Participants were followed weekly at the study clinic for three additional weeks. Co-primary endpoints included parasite clearance time (the time required for complete clearance of initial parasitemia), parasite clearance half-life (the time required for parasitemia to decrease by 50% based on the linear portion of the parasite clearance slope), and detectable parasitemia 72 hours after commencement of artesunate treatment. Drug pharmacokinetics were measured to rule out delayed clearance due to suboptimal drug levels. Results The median (range) parasite clearance half-life and time were 4.8 (2.1–9.7) and 60 (24–96) hours, respectively. The frequency distributions of parasite clearance half-life and time were bimodal, with very slow parasite clearance characteristic of the slowest-clearing Cambodian parasites (half-life longer than 6.2 hours) in approximately 1/3 of infections. Fourteen of 52 participants (26.9%) had a measurable parasitemia 72 hours after initiating artesunate treatment. Parasite clearance was not associated with drug pharmacokinetics. Conclusions A subset of P. falciparum infections in southern Myanmar displayed markedly delayed clearance following artemisinin treatment, suggesting either emergence of artemisinin

  10. The Key Role of Epigenetics in the Persistence of Asexual Lineages

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    Emilie Castonguay

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Asexual organisms, often perceived as evolutionary dead ends, can be long-lived and geographically widespread. We propose that epigenetic mechanisms could play a crucial role in the evolutionary persistence of these lineages. Genetically identical organisms could rely on phenotypic plasticity to face environmental variation. Epigenetic modifications could be the molecular mechanism enabling such phenotypic plasticity; they can be influenced by the environment and act at shorter timescales than mutation. Recent work on the asexual vertebrate Chrosomus eos-neogaeus (Pisces: Cyprinidae provides broad insights into the contribution of epigenetics in genetically identical individuals. We discuss the extension of these results to other asexual organisms, in particular those resulting from interspecific hybridizations. We finally develop on the evolutionary relevance of epigenetic variation in the context of heritability.

  11. Oxidative Stress Promotes Asexual Reproduction and Apogamy in the Red Seaweed Pyropia yezoensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Megumu; Mikami, Koji

    2017-01-01

    The marine red seaweed Pyropia yezoensis has a haploid-diploid life cycle wherein two heteromorphic generations, a haploid gametophyte and a diploid sporophyte, are reciprocally generated from conchospores and carpospores, respectively. When we treated gametophytic blades of P. yezoensis with H2O2, discharge of asexual monospores was accelerated, resulting in increased numbers of gametophytic clones. Production of sporophytes without fertilization of male and female gametes was also observed. These findings indicate that oxidative stress can induce vegetative cells to develop into monospores that produce gametophytes asexually and can sometimes prompt carpospores to develop into sporophytes. The discovery of oxidative stress-triggered asexual reproduction and -apogamy will stimulate progress in studies of life-cycle regulation in P. yezoensis.

  12. [Morphofunctional organization of reserve stem cells providing for asexual and sexual reproduction of invertebrates].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaeva, V V; Akhmadieva, A V; Aleksandriova, Ia N; Shukaliuk, A I

    2009-01-01

    Published and original data indicating evolutionary conservation of the morphofunctional organization of reserve stem cells providing for asexual and sexual reproduction of invertebrates are reviewed. Stem cells were studied in representatives of five animal types: archeocytes in sponge Oscarella malakhovi (Porifera), large interstitial cells in colonial hydroid Obelia longissima (Cnidaria), neoblasts in an asexual race of planarian Girardia tigrina (Platyhelmintes), stem cells in colonial rhizocephalans Peltogasterella gracilis, Polyascus polygenea, and Thylacoplethus isaevae (Arthropoda), and colonial ascidian Botryllus tuberatus (Chordata). Stem cells in animals of such diverse taxa feature the presence of germinal granules, are positive for proliferating cell nuclear antigen, demonstrate alkaline phosphatase activity (at marker of embryonic stem cells and primary germ cells in vertebrates), and rhizocephalan stem cells express the vasa-like gene (such genes are expressed in germline cells of different metazoans). The self-renewing pool of stem cells is the cellular basis of the reproductive strategy including sexual and asexual reproduction.

  13. Molecular Aspects of Plasmodium falciparum Infection during Pregnancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicaise Tuikue Ndam

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Cytoadherence of Plasmodium-falciparum-parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs to host receptors is the key phenomenon in the pathological process of the malaria disease. Some of these interactions can originate poor outcomes responsible for 1 to 3 million annual deaths mostly occurring among children in sub-Saharan Africa. Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM represents an important exception of the disease occurring at adulthood in malaria endemic settings. Consequences of this are shared between the mother (maternal anemia and the baby (low birth weight and infant mortality. Demonstrating that parasites causing PAM express specific variant surface antigens (VSAPAM, including the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 variant VAR2CSA, that are targets for protective immunity has strengthened the possibility for the development of PAM-specific vaccine. In this paper, we review the molecular basis of malaria pathogenesis attributable to the erythrocyte stages of the parasites, and findings supporting potential anti-PAM vaccine components evidenced in PAM.

  14. 3-Halo Chloroquine Derivatives Overcome Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Resistance Transporter-Mediated Drug Resistance in P. falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edaye, Sonia; Tazoo, Dagobert; Bohle, D Scott; Georges, Elias

    2015-12-01

    Polymorphism in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) was shown to cause chloroquine resistance. In this report, we examined the antimalarial potential of novel 3-halo chloroquine derivatives (3-chloro, 3-bromo, and 3-iodo) against chloroquine-susceptible and -resistant P. falciparum. All three derivatives inhibited the proliferation of P. falciparum; with 3-iodo chloroquine being most effective. Moreover, 3-iodo chloroquine was highly effective at potentiating and reversing chloroquine toxicity of drug-susceptible and -resistant P. falciparum.

  15. Anti-CD81 but not anti-SR-BI blocks Plasmodium falciparum liver infection in a humanized mouse model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foquet, L.; Hermsen, C.C.; Verhoye, L.; Gemert, G.J.A. van; Cortese, R.; Nicosia, A.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Leroux-Roels, G.; Meuleman, P.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites, deposited in the skin by infected Anopheles mosquitoes taking a blood meal, cross the endothelium of skin capillaries and travel to the liver where they traverse Kupffer cells and hepatocytes to finally invade a small number of the latter. In

  16. Serum levels of soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor is associated with parasitemia in children with acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perch, M; Kofoed, Pe; Fischer, Torge

    2004-01-01

    days after treatment. Children younger than 6 years who presented with fever or other symptoms compatible with malaria were enrolled. Blood films and samples were collected on day 0 and day 7. Twenty-five children were allocated to each of three groups according to the amount of Plasmodium falciparum...

  17. Parasites causing cerebral falciparum malaria bind multiple endothelial receptors and express EPCR and ICAM-1-binding PfEMP1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuikue Ndam, Nicaise; Moussiliou, Azizath; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Background: Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) mediates the binding and accumulation of infected erythrocytes (IE) to blood vessels and tissues. Specific interactions have been described between PfEMP1 and human endothelial proteins CD36, intercellular adhesion molecule-1...

  18. Persistent Epstein-Barr viral reactivation in young African children with a history of severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yone, C.L.; Kube, D.; Kremsner, P.G.; Luty, A.J.F.

    2006-01-01

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Plasmodium falciparum have overlapping distributions and are thought to have causal interactions, particularly with regard to the aetiology of endemic Burkitt's lymphoma. Using real-time PCR, we quantified and compared EBV DNA levels in the blood before and after

  19. Neutrophil alterations in pregnancy-associated malaria and induction of neutrophil chemotaxis by Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boström, S.; Schmiegelow, C; Abu Abed, U

    2017-01-01

    Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) is a severe form of the disease caused by sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (iRBCs) in the developing placenta. Pathogenesis of PAM is partially based on immunopathology, with frequent monocyte infiltration into the placenta. Neutro...

  20. ION-EXCHANGE IMMUNOAFFINITY PURIFICATION OF A RECOMBINANT BACULOVIRUS PLASMODIUM-FALCIPARUM APICAL MEMBRANE ANTIGEN, PF83/AMA-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    NARUM, DL; WELLING, GW; THOMAS, AW

    1993-01-01

    A two-step purification regime has been developed for a quantitatively minor, putatively transmembrane, M(r) 83 000, apical membrane blood stage vaccine candidate antigen of Plasmodium falciparum (PF83/AMA-1), that has been expressed as a full-length baculovirus recombinant protein, PF83-FG8-1. The

  1. Complement Activation Correlates With Disease Severity and Contributes to Cytokine Responses in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Aase; Otterdal, Kari; Patel, Sam; Gonca, Miguel; David, Catarina; Dalen, Ingvild; Nymo, Stig; Nilsson, Margareta; Nordling, Sofia; Magnusson, Peetra U; Ueland, Thor; Prato, Mauro; Giribaldi, Giuliana; Mollnes, Tom Eirik; Aukrust, Pål; Langeland, Nina; Nilsson, Per H

    2015-12-01

    The impact of complement activation and its possible relation to cytokine responses during malaria pathology was investigated in plasma samples from patients with confirmed Plasmodium falciparum malaria and in human whole-blood specimens stimulated with malaria-relevant agents ex vivo. Complement was significantly activated in the malaria cohort, compared with healthy controls, and was positively correlated with disease severity and with certain cytokines, in particular interleukin 8 (IL-8)/CXCL8. This was confirmed in ex vivo-stimulated blood specimens, in which complement inhibition significantly reduced IL-8/CXCL8 release. P. falciparum malaria is associated with systemic complement activation and complement-dependent release of inflammatory cytokines, of which IL-8/CXCL8 is particularly prominent. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. How is childhood development of immunity to Plasmodium falciparum enhanced by certain antimalarial interventions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schellenberg David

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The development of acquired protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum infection in young African children is considered in the context of three current strategies for malaria prevention: insecticide-impregnated bed nets or curtains, anti-sporozoite vaccines and intermittent preventive therapy. Evidence is presented that each of these measures may permit attenuated P. falciparum blood-stage infections, which do not cause clinical malaria but can act as an effective blood-stage "vaccine". It is proposed that the extended serum half-life, and rarely considered liver-stage prophylaxis provided by the anti-folate combination sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine frequently lead to such attenuated infections in high transmission areas, and thus contribute to the sustained protection from malaria observed among children receiving the combination as intermittent preventative therapy or for parasite clearance in vaccine trials.

  3. The mechanism of erythrocyte invasion by the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrow, Rachel E; Green, Judith; Katsimitsoulia, Zoe; Taylor, William R; Holder, Anthony A; Molloy, Justin E

    2011-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent causative agent of malaria in man accounting for 80% of all malarial infections and 90% of the one million annual deaths attributed to malaria. P. falciparum is a unicellular, Apicomplexan parasite, that spends part of its lifecycle in the mosquito and part in man and it has evolved a special form of motility that enables it to burrow into animal cells, a process termed "host cell invasion". The acute, life threatening, phase of malarial infection arises when the merozoite form of the parasite undergoes multiple cycles of red blood cell invasion and rapid proliferation. Here, we discuss the molecular machinery that enables malarial parasites to invade red blood cells and we focus particularly on the ATP-driven acto-myosin motor that powers invasion.

  4. The prognostic value of schizontaemia in imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background In Plasmodium falciparum infection, peripheral parasite counts do not always correlate well with the sequestered parasite burden. As erythrocytes parasitized with mature trophozoites and schizonts have a high tendency to adhere to the microvascular endothelium, they are often absent in peripheral blood samples. The appearance of schizonts in peripheral blood smears is thought to be a marker of high sequestered parasite burden and severe disease. In the present study, the value of schizontaemia as an early marker for severe disease in non-immune individuals with imported malaria was evaluated. Methods All patients in the Rotterdam Malaria Cohort diagnosed with P. falciparum malaria between 1 January 1999 and 1 January 2012 were included. Thick and thin blood films were examined for the presence of schizontaemia. The occurrence of WHO defined severe malaria was the primary endpoint. The diagnostic performance of schizontaemia was compared with previously evaluated biomarkers C-reactive protein and lactate. Results Schizonts were present on admission in 49 of 401 (12.2%) patients. Patients with schizontaemia were more likely to present with severe malaria, a more complicated course and had longer duration of admission in hospital. Schizontaemia had a specificity of 0.95, a sensitivity of 0.53, a negative predictive value of 0.92 and a positive predictive value of 0.67 for severe malaria. The presence of schizonts was an independent predictor for severe malaria. Conclusion Absence of schizonts was found to be a specific marker for exclusion of severe malaria. Presence of schizonts on admission was associated with a high positive predictive value for severe malaria. This may be of help to identify patients who are at risk of a more severe course than would be expected when considering peripheral parasitaemia alone. PMID:22929647

  5. In vivo resistance to chloroquine by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum at Nabire, Irian Jaya, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, J K; Wiady, I; Fryauff, D J; Sutanihardja, M A; Leksana, B; Widjaya, H; Kysdarmanto; Subianto, B

    1997-06-01

    A survey of resistance to chloroquine by Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum was conducted during May 1995 at three mesoendemic villages 30 km southeast of Nabire, near the central northern coast of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. The prevalence of malaria at Urusumu (n = 157), Margajaya (n = 573), and Topo (n = 199) was 18%. 9%, and 9%, respectively, with spleen rates among children of 79%, 10%, and 27%. Infected patients among those screened formed a study population of 64 subjects eligible for a 28-day in vivo test of resistance to chloroquine. Sixty-three patients successfully completed the test; 45 males and 18 females 1-60 years of age, of whom 29 were Javanese transmigrants of five years residence in Irian Jaya and 34 were native to Irian Jaya. The seven-day day cumulative incidence of therapeutic failure for P. vivax and P. falciparum was 15% (n = 34) and 30% (n = 37). The 14- and 28-day estimates of cumulative incidence were 45% and 64% for P. vivax and 58% and 89% for P. falciparum. Almost all recurrences appeared in the face of ordinarily effective levels of chloroquine and its major metabolite, desethylchloroquine, in whole blood (> or = 100 ng/ml). Four infections by P. malariae in subjects enrolled in this study cleared by day 2 and none reappeared within 28 days. Chloroquine no longer provides effective therapy for falciparum or vivax malaria along the northern coast of Irian Jaya, Indonesia.

  6. MOLECULAR SURVEILLANCE OF Plasmodium vivax AND Plasmodium falciparum DHFR MUTATIONS IN ISOLATES FROM SOUTHERN IRAN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharifi-Sarasiabi, Khojasteh; Haghighi, Ali; Kazemi, Bahram; Taghipour, Niloofar; Mojarad, Ehsan Nazemalhosseini; Gachkar, Latif

    2016-01-01

    In Iran, both Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum malaria have been detected, but P. vivax is the predominant species. Point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene in both Plasmodia are the major mechanisms of pyrimethamine resistance. From April 2007 to June 2009, a total of 134 blood samples in two endemic areas of southern Iran were collected from patients infected with P. vivax and P. falciparum. The isolates were analyzed for P. vivax dihydrofolate reductase (pvdhfr) and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) point mutations using various PCR-based methods. The majority of the isolates (72.9%) had wild type amino acids at five codons of pvdhfr. Amongst mutant isolates, the most common pvdhfr alleles were double mutant in 58 and 117 amino acids (58R-117N). Triple mutation in 57, 58, and 117 amino acids (57L/58R/117N) was identified for the first time in the pvdhfr gene of Iranian P. vivax isolates. All the P. falciparumsamples analyzed (n = 16) possessed a double mutant pfdhfrallele (59R/108N) and retained a wild-type mutation at position 51. This may be attributed to the fact that the falciparum malaria patients were treated using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Iran. The presence of mutant haplotypes in P. vivax is worrying, but has not yet reached an alarming threshold regarding drugs such as SP. The results of this study reinforce the importance of performing a molecular surveillance by means of a continuous chemoresistance assessment.

  7. Genetic tests of ancient asexuality in Root Knot Nematodes reveal recent hybrid origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lunt David H

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The existence of "ancient asexuals", taxa that have persisted for long periods of evolutionary history without sexual recombination, is both controversial and important for our understanding of the evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction. A lack of sex has consequences not only for the ecology of the asexual organism but also for its genome. Several genetic signatures are predicted from long-term asexual (apomictic reproduction including (i large "allelic" sequence divergence (ii lack of phylogenetic clustering of "alleles" within morphological species and (iii decay and loss of genes specific to meiosis and sexual reproduction. These genetic signatures can be hard to assess since it is difficult to demonstrate the allelic nature of very divergent sequences, divergence levels may be complicated by processes such as inter-specific hybridization, and genes may have secondary roles unrelated to sexual reproduction. Apomictic species of Meloidogyne root knot nematodes have been suggested previously to be ancient asexuals. Their relatives reproduce by meiotic parthenogenesis or facultative sexuality, which in combination with the abundance of nematode genomic sequence data, makes them a powerful system in which to study the consequences of reproductive mode on genomic divergence. Results Here, sequences from nuclear protein-coding genes are used to demonstrate that the first two predictions of ancient asexuality are found within the apomictic root knot nematodes. Alleles are more divergent in the apomictic taxa than in those species exhibiting recombination and do not group phylogenetically according to recognized species. In contrast some nuclear alleles, and mtDNA, are almost identical across species. Sequencing of Major Sperm Protein, a gamete-specific gene, from both meiotic and ameiotic species reveals no increase in evolutionary rate nor change in substitution pattern in the apomictic taxa, indicating that the locus

  8. Different Responses of Sexual and Asexual Reproduction of Arundinella hirta to Flooding

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zeng Bo; Fu Tianfei; Ulrich Schurr; Arnd J.Kuhn

    2006-01-01

    The sexual and asexual reproductive features of the graminoid species Arundinella hirta growing at riversides of the Jialing River were analyzed.It was found that the total seed mass,seed number per plant,and sexual reproductive allocation of A.hirta decreased with decreasing bank elevation,and plants growing at the lowest elevations of banks subjected to intense flooding did not show sexual reproduction.The total plant biomass and the number of ramifications per plant increased with flooding intensity,which implies that,contrary to sexual reproduction,asexual reproduction of A.hirta was enhanced by flooding.

  9. Common variation in the ABO glycosyltransferase is associated with susceptibility to severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    OpenAIRE

    Fry, Andrew E.; Griffiths, Michael J.; Auburn, Sarah; Diakite, Mahamadou; Forton, Julian T.; Green, Angela; Richardson, Anna; Wilson, Jonathan; Jallow, Muminatou; Sisay-Joof, Fatou; Pinder, Margaret; Peshu, Norbert; Williams, Thomas N.; Marsh, Kevin; Malcolm E Molyneux

    2007-01-01

    There is growing epidemiological and molecular evidence that ABO blood group affects host susceptibility to severe Plasmodium falciparum infection. The high frequency of common ABO alleles means that even modest differences in susceptibility could have a significant impact on the health of people living in malaria endemic regions. We performed an association study, the first to utilize key molecular genetic variation underlying the ABO system, genotyping >9000 individuals across 3 African pop...

  10. High Yield Purification of Plasmodium falciparum Merozoites For Use in Opsonizing Antibody Assays

    OpenAIRE

    Hill, Danika L.; Eriksson, Emily M.; Schofield, Louis

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum merozoite antigens are under development as potential malaria vaccines. One aspect of immunity against malaria is the removal of free merozoites from the blood by phagocytic cells. However assessing the functional efficacy of merozoite specific opsonizing antibodies is challenging due to the short half-life of merozoites and the variability of primary phagocytic cells. Described in detail herein is a method for generating viable merozoites using the E64 protease inhibito...

  11. "And Now I'm Just Different, but There's Nothing Actually Wrong With Me": Asexual Marginalization and Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Kristina

    2017-01-01

    This article explores the relationship between contemporary asexual lives and compulsory sexuality, or the privileging of sexuality and the marginalizing of nonsexuality. Drawing on 30 in-depth interviews, I identify four ways the asexually identified individuals in this study saw themselves as affected by compulsory sexuality: pathologization, isolation, unwanted sex and relationship conflict, and the denial of epistemic authority. I also identify five ways these asexually identified individuals disrupted compulsory sexuality: adopting a language of difference and a capacity to describe asexuality; deemphasizing the importance of sexuality in human life; developing new types of nonsexual relationships; constituting asexuality as a sexual orientation or identity; and engaging in community building and outreach. I argue that some of these practices offer only a limited disruption of compulsory sexuality, but some of these practices pose a radical challenge to sexual norms by calling into question the widespread assumption that sexuality is a necessary part of human flourishing.

  12. Field performance of malaria rapid diagnostic test for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum infection in Odisha State, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S S Sahu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs have become an essential surveillance tool in the malaria control programme in India. The current study aimed to assess the performance of ParaHIT-f, a rapid test in diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection through detecting its specific antigen, histidine rich protein 2 (PfHRP-2, in Odisha State, India. Methods: The study was undertaken in eight falciparum malaria endemic southern districts of Odisha State. Febrile patients included through active case detection, were diagnosed by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs for P. falciparum infection using the RDT, ParaHIT-f. The performance of ParaHIT-f was evaluated using microscopy as the gold standard. Results: A total of 1030 febrile patients were screened by both microscopy and the RDT for P. falciparum infection. The sensitivity of ParaHIT-f was 63.6% (95% CI: 56.0-70.6 and specificity was 98.9% (95% CI: 97.9-99.5, with positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV of 92.6% (95% CI: 86.0-96.3 and 93.0% (95% CI: 91.0-94.5, respectively. When related to parasitaemia, the RDT sensitivity was 47.8% at the low parasitaemia of 4 to 40 parasites/µl of blood. Interpretation & conclusions: The results showed that the performance of the RDT, ParaHIT-f, was not as sensitive as microscopy in detecting true falciparum infections; a high specificity presented a low frequency of false-positive RDT results. t0 he sensitivity of ParaHIT-f was around 60 per cent. It is, therefore, essential to improve the efficiency (sensitivity of the kit so that the true falciparum infections will not be missed especially in areas where P. falciparum has been the predominant species causing cerebral malaria.

  13. Therapeutic Efficacy and Safety of Compound Dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine for Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Infection in Laiza City of Myanmar Bordering on China%双氢青蒿素哌喹片治疗缅甸拉咱市恶性疟的疗效和安全性评价

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙晓东; 张再兴; 王剑; 邓艳; 杨沅川; LasiJa-hkawn; 孙晓英; 王恒

    2011-01-01

    Objective To assess the efficacy and safety of compound dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (DHAPIP) for treating uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Laiza city of Myanmar at the China-Myanmar border area. Methods A clinical trial was conducted in Laiza City and its four suburban natural villages bordering with China from September to December in 2008. Patients (aged 2-60 years) infected by Plasnwdium falciparum without clinical complications (≥ 250 asexual parasite . Μl-1of whole blood) were recruited for the assessment. The cases were given a 2-day course with DHAPIP tablets each containing 40 mg of dihydroartemisinin and 320 mg of piperaquine phosphate, and the total dosage varied with the body weight. For example, a patient with 50 kg body weight was given 8 tablets divided into 4 times at an interval of 8-10 h. The cases were then followed-up at DO, Dl, D2, D3, D7, D14, D21 and D28 for observing their symptoms, the density of parasite, body temperature and side reaction. The therapeutic efficacy was assessed by using WHO classification of therapeutic response to the treatment of antimalarial drugs, including the time of fever subsidence, the clearance time of asexual parasites and the clearance rate of gametocytes. Results Among the 74 cases enrolled, 64 completed 28-day follow-up. The therapeutic efficacy reached 100% with adequate clinical and parasito-logical responses. The mean fever subsidence time was (22.5+8.2) h. The median of clearance time of asexual parasites in blood was 30.0 h [(17.1~168.2) h]. The rate of eliminating asexual parasites and fever subsidence in D3 and D7 was (93.8% and 100%) and (100% and 100%), respectively. The clearance rate of gametocytes in day-28 was 75.0%. Itshowed 9.9% of side reaction with 7 cases suffering from mild adverse responses among 71 of full-course medication. Conclusion DHAPIP is efficacious and safe for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Laiza city of Myan-mar in the border area.%目的 评价

  14. Cell-mediated immune responses to Plasmodium falciparum purified soluble antigens in sickle-cell trait subjects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bayoumi, R A; Abu-Zeid, Y A; Abdulhadi, N H

    1990-01-01

    To determine the possible differences in the immune response to Plasmodium falciparum between sickle-cell trait (Hb AS) and normal haemoglobin (Hb AA) individuals, we examined 35 Hb AS and 24 Hb AA subjects matched for age and microenvironment. Their age was 2-55 years and all lived in a malaria...... individuals (P less than 0.025). Responses of BMNCs to PPD and PHA were also higher among Hb AS individuals and correlated positively with responses to SPAg. These findings support the hypotheses that the sickle-cell trait protects individuals from P. falciparum infections, at least in part, by modulating...... endemic area 300 km south of Khartoum. Antibodies to ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (Pf155/RESA) and to circumsporozoite (CS) protein (anti-NANP40) indicated equal exposure to falciparum malaria. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (BMNCs) from 20/35 (57%) Hb AS subjects compared with 10/24 (42...

  15. Molecular analysis of chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance-associated alleles in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Nicaragua.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridaran, Sankar; Rodriguez, Betzabe; Soto, Aida Mercedes; Macedo De Oliveira, Alexandre; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2014-05-01

    Chloroquine (CQ) is used as a first-line therapy for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Nicaragua. We investigated the prevalence of molecular markers associated with CQ and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance in P. falciparum isolates obtained from the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua. Blood spots for this study were made available from a CQ and SP drug efficacy trial conducted in 2005 and also from a surveillance study performed in 2011. Polymorphisms in P. falciparum CQ resistance transporter, dihydrofolate reductase, and dihydropteroate synthase gene loci that are associated with resistance to CQ, pyrimethamine, and sulfadoxine, respectively, were detected by DNA sequencing. In the 2005 dataset, only 2 of 53 isolates had a CQ resistance allele (CVIET), 2 of 52 had a pyrimethamine resistance allele, and 1 of 49 had a sulfadoxine resistance allele. In the 2011 dataset, none of 45 isolates analyzed had CQ or SP resistance alleles.

  16. Effects of untreated bed nets on the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax and Wuchereria bancrofti in Papua New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkot, T R; Garner, P; Paru, R; Dagoro, H; Barnes, A; McDougall, S; Wirtz, R A; Campbell, G; Spark, R

    1990-01-01

    The impact of untreated bed nets on the transmission of human malaria and filariasis in a village in a hyperendemic area of Papua New Guinea was studied. In anopheline mosquitoes, the Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite antigen positivity rate, filarial infection rates and human blood indices dropped significantly after bed nets were introduced. This reduction in human-vector contact did not affect mosquito density as no significant difference in either landing rates or indoor resting catches was found. The number of bed nets in a house and ownership of dogs were factors significantly associated with a reduction in the number of indoor resting mosquitoes. However, the reduction in the P. falciparum sporozoite antigen rate in mosquitoes was not accompanied by a reduction in either malaria parasite or antibody prevalences or titres against the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein.

  17. Polymorphic patterns of pfcrt and pfmdr1 in Plasmodium falciparum isolates along the Thai-Myanmar border

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Phunuch Muhamad; Wanna Chaijaroenkul; Papichaya Phompradit; Ronnatrai Rueangweerayut; Pongsri Tippawangkosol; Kesara Na-Bangchang

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the distribution and patterns of pfcrt and pfmdr1 polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) isolates collected from the malaria endemic area of Thailand along Thai-Myanmar border. Methods: Dried blood spot samples were collected from 172 falciparum malaria patients prior received treatment. The samples were extracted using chelex to obtain parasite DNA. PCR-RFLP was employed to detect pfcrt mutation at codons 76, 220, 271, 326, 356 and 371, and the pfmdr1 mutation at codon 86. Pfmdr1 gene copy number was determined by SYBR Green I real-time PCR. Results:Mutant alleles of pfcrt and wild type allele of pfmdr1 were found in almost all samples. Pfmdr1 gene copy number in isolates collected from all areas ranged from 1.0 to 5.0 copies and proportion of isolates carrying>1 gene copies was 38.1%. The distribution and patterns of pfcrt and pfmdr1 mutations were similar in P. falciparum isolates from all areas. However, significant differences in both number of pfmdr1 copies and prevalence of isolates carrying>1 gene copies were observed among isolates collected from different areas. The median pfmdr1 copy number in P. falciparum collected from Kanchanaburi and Mae Hongson were 2.5 and 2.0, respectively and more than half of the isolates carried>1 gene copies.

  18. Oral clindamycin in the treatment of acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, N P; Saniel, M C; Estoque, M H; Talao, F A; Bustos, D G; Palogan, L P; Gabriel, A I

    1990-09-01

    Clinical trials on oral clindamycin as an antimalarial in hospitalized patients and residents of endemic communities were conducted in the Philippines between May 1984 and December 1985. Seven and 9 qualified subjects in hospital were treated with 300 mg (regimen A) and 600 mg (regimen B) respectively, twice daily for 5 days. Eighteen patients seen at a rural health unit were given the lower dosage. On the basis of the 28-day extended in vivo test of WHO, P. falciparum in all but one patient showed susceptibility to the drug as a blood schizontocide hence, the clinical cure of malaria. Side effects were few and self-limiting. Ten other patients on regimen A were cured within the 7- and/or 28-day extended test period. Clindamycin per se is currently one of the few alternatives in the treatment of clinically moderate drug-resistant malaria.

  19. "Asexual propagation of a virulent clone complex in human and feline outbreak of sporotrichosis"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teixeira, Marcus de Melo; Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; Tsui, Clement K M; de Almeida, Luiz Gonzaga Paulo; Van Diepeningen, Anne D; Gerrits van den Ende, Bert; Fernandes, Geisa Ferreira; Kano, Rui; Hamelin, Richard C; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila Maria; Ribeiro Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza; de Hoog, Sybren; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires; Felipe, Maria Sueli Soares

    2014-01-01

    Sporotrichosis is one of the most frequent subcutaneous fungal infections to human and animals caused by members of the plant-associated, dimorphic genus Sporothrix. Three of the four medically important Sporothrix species found in Brazil have been considered asexual, as no sexual stage has ever bee

  20. Vegetative Compatibility and Asexual Recombination in Magnaporthe grisea from Jiangsu Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Yan-li; ZHANG Zheng-guang; ZHENG Xiao-bo

    2003-01-01

    Vegetative compatibility among isolates of different races in Magnaporthe grisea collectedfrom Jiangsu Province and asexual recombination among compatible isolates by anastomosis were tested.Twenty isolates involving seven races from diseased rice plants were paired on polished rice rose bengal mediumand incubated at 25℃ in darkness for 18 days. Among 173 pairings tested, solid hyphai fusion lines formed byanastomosis between 124 pairings, indicated that these isolates were vegetative compatible with each other.The result showed that most M. grisea isolates were vegetative compatible. Furthermore, 17 vegetative com-patible pairings between monoconidial isolates with MBCsIPTr marker and isolates with MBCrIPTs markerwere selected to detect the asexual recombination between the compatible isolates of different races. The asexu-al recombinants with MBCrIPTr marker were detected in single hyphal fragment progenies in thirteen of theseventeen pairings. The percentage of recombinants was about 0.6 - 11.3%. Results showed that vegetative com-patibility was prevailing among isolates of M. grisea in Jiangsu Province in vitro. These results also suggested thatasexual recombination may be an important mechanism for M. grisea to maintain genetic diversity in nature.

  1. Comparative studies of jaw morphology and ontogeny in two species of asexually reproducing Dorvilleidae (Annelida)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Macnaughton, Martin Oliver; Eibye-Jacobsen, Danny; Worsaae, Katrine

    2011-01-01

    The jaw ontogeny of Dorvillea albomaculata and D. bermudensis was studied in cultured specimens, reproducing asexually by transverse fission. Mandibular growth was found to occur by lateral apposition. Maxillary development exhibited a gradual growth pattern, as opposed to the maxillary moults fo...

  2. Ontology for the asexual development and anatomy of the colonial chordate Botryllus schlosseri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Manni

    Full Text Available Ontologies provide an important resource to integrate information. For developmental biology and comparative anatomy studies, ontologies of a species are used to formalize and annotate data that are related to anatomical structures, their lineage and timing of development. Here, we have constructed the first ontology for anatomy and asexual development (blastogenesis of a bilaterian, the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri. Tunicates, like Botryllus schlosseri, are non-vertebrates and the only chordate taxon species that reproduce both sexually and asexually. Their tadpole larval stage possesses structures characteristic of all chordates, i.e. a notochord, a dorsal neural tube, and gill slits. Larvae settle and metamorphose into individuals that are either solitary or colonial. The latter reproduce both sexually and asexually and these two reproductive modes lead to essentially the same adult body plan. The Botryllus schlosseri Ontology of Development and Anatomy (BODA will facilitate the comparison between both types of development. BODA uses the rules defined by the Open Biomedical Ontologies Foundry. It is based on studies that investigate the anatomy, blastogenesis and regeneration of this organism. BODA features allow the users to easily search and identify anatomical structures in the colony, to define the developmental stage, and to follow the morphogenetic events of a tissue and/or organ of interest throughout asexual development. We invite the scientific community to use this resource as a reference for the anatomy and developmental ontology of B. schlosseri and encourage recommendations for updates and improvements.

  3. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) greenhouse tuber production as an assay for asexual reproduction effects from herbicides

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present study determined whether young potato plants can be used as an assay to indicate potential effects of pesticides on asexual reproduction. Solanum tuberosum (Russet Burbank) plants were grown from seed pieces in a mineral soil in pots under greenhouse conditions. Plant...

  4. Spatial and temporal escape from fungal parasitism in natural communities of anciently asexual bdelloid rotifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Christopher G; Sherman, Paul W

    2013-08-22

    Sexual reproduction is costly, but it is nearly ubiquitous among plants and animals, whereas obligately asexual taxa are rare and almost always short-lived. The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that sex overcomes its costs by enabling organisms to keep pace with coevolving parasites and pathogens. If so, the few cases of stable long-term asexuality ought to be found in groups whose coevolutionary interactions with parasites are unusually weak. In theory, antagonistic coevolution will be attenuated if hosts disperse among patches within a metapopulation separately from parasites and more rapidly. We examined whether these conditions are met in natural communities of bdelloid rotifers, one of the longest-lived asexual lineages. At any life stage, these microscopic invertebrates can tolerate the complete desiccation of their ephemeral freshwater habitats, surviving as dormant propagules that are readily carried by the wind. In our field experiments, desiccation and wind transport enabled bdelloids to disperse independently of multiple fungal parasites, in both time and space. Surveys of bdelloid communities in unmanipulated moss patches confirmed that fungal parasitism was negatively correlated with extended drought and increasing height (exposure to wind). Bdelloid ecology therefore matches a key condition of models in which asexuals persist through spatio-temporal decoupling from coevolving enemies.

  5. Detection of Gene Flow from Sexual to Asexual Lineages in Thrips tabaci (Thysanoptera: Thripidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Wei; Wang, Ping; Fail, Jozsef; Shelton, Anthony M

    2015-01-01

    Populations of Thrips tabaci are known to have two sympatric but genetically isolated reproductive modes, arrhenotoky (sexual reproduction) and thelytoky (asexual reproduction). Herein, we report behavioral, ecological and genetic studies to determine whether there is gene flow between arrhenotokous and thelytokous T. tabaci. We did not detect significant preference by arrhenotokous males to mate with females of a particular reproductive mode, nor did we detect significant behavioral differences between arrhenotokous males mated with arrhenotokous or thelytokous females in their pre-copulation, copulation duration and mating frequency. Productive gene transfer resulting from the mating between the two modes was experimentally confirmed. Gene transfer from arrhenotokous T. tabaci to thelytokous T. tabaci was further validated by confirmation of the passage of the arrhenotokous male-originated nuclear gene (histone H3 gene) allele to the F2 generation. These behavioral, ecological and genetic studies confirmed gene transfer from the sexual arrhenotokous mode to the asexual thelytokous mode of T. tabaci in the laboratory. These results demonstrate that asexual T. tabaci populations may acquire genetic variability from sexual populations, which could offset the long-term disadvantage of asexual reproduction.

  6. Characterization of oxylipins and dioxygenase genes in the asexual fungus Aspergillus niger

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wadman, Mayken W; de Vries, Ronald P; Kalkhove, Stefanie I C; Veldink, Gerrit A; Vliegenthart, Johannes F G

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Aspergillus niger is an ascomycetous fungus that is known to reproduce through asexual spores, only. Interestingly, recent genome analysis of A. niger has revealed the presence of a full complement of functional genes related to sexual reproduction 1. An example of such genes are the dio

  7. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) greenhouse tuber production as an assay for asexual reproduction effects from herbicides

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present study determined whether young potato plants can be used as an assay to indicate potential effects of pesticides on asexual reproduction. Solanum tuberosum (Russet Burbank) plants were grown from seed pieces in a mineral soil in pots under greenhouse conditions. Plant...

  8. Sexual vs. asexual reproduction in an ecosystem engineer: the massive coral Montastraea annularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Nicola L; Baums, Iliana B; Mumby, Peter J

    2007-03-01

    1. Long-lived sedentary organisms with a massive morphology are often assumed to utilize a storage effect whereby the persistence of a small group of adults can maintain the population when sexual recruitment fails. However, employing storage effects could prove catastrophic if, under changing climatic conditions, the time period between favourable conditions becomes so prolonged that the population cannot be sustained solely be sexual recruitment. When a species has multiple reproductive options, a rapidly changing environment may favour alternative asexual means of propagation. 2. Here, we revisit the importance of asexual dispersal in a massive coral subject to severe climate-induced disturbance. Montastraea annularis is a major framework-builder of Caribbean coral reefs but its survival is threatened by the increasing cover of macroalgae that prevents settlement of coral larvae. 3. To estimate levels of asexual recruitment within populations of M. annularis, samples from three sites in Honduras were genotyped using four, polymorphic microsatellite loci. 4. A total of 114 unique genets were identified with 8% consisting of two or more colonies and an exceptionally large genet at the third site comprising 14 colonies. 5. At least 70% of multicolony genets observed were formed by physical breakage, consistent with storm damage. 6. Our results reveal that long-lived massive corals can propagate using asexual methods even though sexual strategies predominate.

  9. Detection of Gene Flow from Sexual to Asexual Lineages in Thrips tabaci (Thysanoptera: Thripidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Wei Li

    Full Text Available Populations of Thrips tabaci are known to have two sympatric but genetically isolated reproductive modes, arrhenotoky (sexual reproduction and thelytoky (asexual reproduction. Herein, we report behavioral, ecological and genetic studies to determine whether there is gene flow between arrhenotokous and thelytokous T. tabaci. We did not detect significant preference by arrhenotokous males to mate with females of a particular reproductive mode, nor did we detect significant behavioral differences between arrhenotokous males mated with arrhenotokous or thelytokous females in their pre-copulation, copulation duration and mating frequency. Productive gene transfer resulting from the mating between the two modes was experimentally confirmed. Gene transfer from arrhenotokous T. tabaci to thelytokous T. tabaci was further validated by confirmation of the passage of the arrhenotokous male-originated nuclear gene (histone H3 gene allele to the F2 generation. These behavioral, ecological and genetic studies confirmed gene transfer from the sexual arrhenotokous mode to the asexual thelytokous mode of T. tabaci in the laboratory. These results demonstrate that asexual T. tabaci populations may acquire genetic variability from sexual populations, which could offset the long-term disadvantage of asexual reproduction.

  10. Extensive chromosomal reshuffling drives evolution of virulence in an asexual pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathogen populations that undergo regular sexual reproduction are thought to pose a greater risk to plant breeders than pathogens limited to asexual reproduction because they can recombine alleles that contribute to virulence in the face of dynamic environmental conditions. Despite this, many devas...

  11. Evolution of the asexual queen succession system and its underlying mechanisms in termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kenji

    2017-01-01

    One major advantage of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction is its promotion of genetic variation, although it reduces the genetic contribution to offspring. Queens of social insects double their contribution to the gene pool, while overuse of asexual reproduction may reduce the ability of the colony to adapt to environmental stress because of the loss of genetic diversity. Recent studies have revealed that queens of some termite species can solve this tradeoff by using parthenogenesis to produce the next generation of queens and sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. This reproductive system, known as asexual queen succession (AQS), has been identified in the subterranean termites Reticulitermes speratus, Reticulitermes virginicus and Reticulitermes lucifugus and in the Neotropical higher termites Embiratermes neotenicus and Cavitermes tuberosus The studies presented here have uncovered the unusual modes of reproduction in termites and have aimed to identify their underlying mechanisms. The study of AQS, the mixed use of sexual and asexual reproduction, is of fundamental importance as it may provide a key to solve the evolutionary paradox of sex.

  12. Asexual reproduction in a close relative of Arabidopsis: a genetic investigation of apomixis in Boechera ( Brassicaceae).

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schranz, M.E.; Kantama, L.; Jong, de J.H.S.G.M.; Mitchell-Olds, T.

    2006-01-01

    Understanding apomixis (asexual reproduction through seeds) is of great interest to both plant breeders and evolutionary biologists. The genus Boechera is an excellent system for studying apomixis because of its close relationship to Arabidopsis, the occurrence of apomixis at the diploid level, and

  13. Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection in pregnant women in Gabon

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    Kendjo Eric

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In areas where malaria is endemic, pregnancy is associated with increased susceptibility to malaria. It is generally agreed that this risk ends with delivery and decreases with the number of pregnancies. Our study aimed to demonstrate relationships between malarial parasitaemia and age, gravidity and anaemia in pregnant women in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon. Methods Peripheral blood was collected from 311 primigravidae and women in their second pregnancy. Thick blood smears were checked, as were the results of haemoglobin electrophoresis. We also looked for the presence of anaemia, fever, and checked whether the volunteers had had chemoprophylaxis. The study was performed in Gabon where malaria transmission is intense and perennial. Results A total of 177 women (57% had microscopic parasitaemia; 139 (64%of them were primigravidae, 38 (40% in their second pregnancy and 180 (64% were teenagers. The parasites densities were also higher in primigravidae and teenagers. The prevalence of anaemia was 71% and was associated with microscopic Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia: women with moderate or severe anaemia had higher parasite prevalences and densities. However, the sickle cell trait, fever and the use of chemoprophylaxis did not have a significant association with the presence of P. falciparum. Conclusions These results suggest that the prevalence of malaria and the prevalence of anaemia, whether associated with malaria or not, are higher in pregnant women in Gabon. Primigravidae and young pregnant women are the most susceptible to infection. It is, therefore, urgent to design an effective regimen of malaria prophylaxis for this high risk population.

  14. Do clones degenerate over time? Explaining the genetic variability of asexuals through population genetic models

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    Drozd Pavel

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quest for understanding the nature of mechanisms governing the life span of clonal organisms lasts for several decades. Phylogenetic evidence for recent origins of most clones is usually interpreted as proof that clones suffer from gradual age-dependent fitness decay (e.g. Muller's ratchet. However, we have shown that a neutral drift can also qualitatively explain the observed distribution of clonal ages. This finding was followed by several attempts to distinguish the effects of neutral and non-neutral processes. Most recently, Neiman et al. 2009 (Ann N Y Acad Sci.:1168:185-200. reviewed the distribution of asexual lineage ages estimated from a diverse array of taxa and concluded that neutral processes alone may not explain the observed data. Moreover, the authors inferred that similar types of mechanisms determine maximum asexual lineage ages in all asexual taxa. In this paper we review recent methods for distinguishing the effects of neutral and non-neutral processes and point at methodological problems related with them. Results and Discussion We found that contemporary analyses based on phylogenetic data are inadequate to provide any clear-cut answer about the nature and generality of processes affecting evolution of clones. As an alternative approach, we demonstrate that sequence variability in asexual populations is suitable to detect age-dependent selection against clonal lineages. We found that asexual taxa with relatively old clonal lineages are characterised by progressively stronger deviations from neutrality. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that some type of age-dependent selection against clones is generally operational in asexual animals, which cover a wide taxonomic range spanning from flatworms to vertebrates. However, we also found a notable difference between the data distribution predicted by available models of sequence evolution and those observed in empirical data. These findings point at the

  15. Anti-Plasmodium falciparum invasion ligand antibodies in a low malaria transmission region, Loreto, Peru

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    Villasis Elizabeth

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum is a complex process that involves two families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh proteins. Antibodies that inhibit merozoite attachment and invasion are believed to be important in mediating naturally acquired immunity and immunity generated by parasite blood stage vaccine candidates. The hypotheses tested in this study were 1 that antibody responses against specific P. falciparum invasion ligands (EBL and PfRh differ between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals living in the low-transmission region of the Peruvian Amazon and 2, such antibody responses might have an association, either direct or indirect, with clinical immunity observed in asymptomatically parasitaemic individuals. Methods ELISA was used to assess antibody responses (IgG, IgG1 and IgG3 against recombinant P. falciparum invasion ligands of the EBL (EBA-175, EBA-181, EBA-140 and PfRh families (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4 and PfRh5 in 45 individuals infected with P. falciparum from Peruvian Amazon. Individuals were classified as having symptomatic malaria (N=37 or asymptomatic infection (N=8. Results Antibody responses against both EBL and PfRh family proteins were significantly higher in asymptomatic compared to symptomatic individuals, demonstrating an association with clinical immunity. Significant differences in the total IgG responses were observed with EBA-175, EBA-181, PfRh2b, and MSP119 (as a control. IgG1 responses against EBA-181, PfRh2a and PfRh2b were significantly higher in the asymptomatic individuals. Total IgG antibody responses against PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh5, EBA-175, EBA-181 and MSP119 proteins were negatively correlated with level of parasitaemia. IgG1 responses against EBA-181, PfRh2a and PfRh2b and IgG3 response for PfRh2a were also negatively correlated with parasitaemia. Conclusions These data suggest that falciparum malaria patients who develop

  16. Results from tandem Phase 1 studies evaluating the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate antigen Plasmodium falciparum FVO merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP142 administered intramuscularly with adjuvant system AS01

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otsyula Nekoye

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The development of an asexual blood stage vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria based on the major merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP1 antigen is founded on the protective efficacy observed in preclinical studies and induction of invasion and growth inhibitory antibody responses. The 42 kDa C-terminus of MSP1 has been developed as the recombinant protein vaccine antigen, and the 3D7 allotype, formulated with the Adjuvant System AS02A, has been evaluated extensively in human clinical trials. In preclinical rabbit studies, the FVO allele of MSP142 has been shown to have improved immunogenicity over the 3D7 allele, in terms of antibody titres as well as growth inhibitory activity of antibodies against both the heterologous 3D7 and homologous FVO parasites. Methods Two Phase 1 clinical studies were conducted to examine the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of the FVO allele of MSP142 in the adjuvant system AS01 administered intramuscularly at 0-, 1-, and 2-months: one in the USA and, after evaluation of safety data results, one in Western Kenya. The US study was an open-label, dose escalation study of 10 and 50 μg doses of MSP142 in 26 adults, while the Kenya study, evaluating 30 volunteers, was a double-blind, randomized study of only the 50 μg dose with a rabies vaccine comparator. Results In these studies it was demonstrated that this vaccine formulation has an acceptable safety profile and is immunogenic in malaria-naïve and malaria-experienced populations. High titres of anti-MSP1 antibodies were induced in both study populations, although there was a limited number of volunteers whose serum demonstrated significant inhibition of blood-stage parasites as measured by growth inhibition assay. In the US volunteers, the antibodies generated exhibited better cross-reactivity to heterologous MSP1 alleles than a MSP1-based vaccine (3D7 allele previously tested at both study sites. Conclusions Given that the primary

  17. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria, Southern Algeria, 2007

    OpenAIRE

    Boubidi, Saïd C; Gassen, Ibrahim; Khechache, Yacine; Lamali, Karima; Tchicha, Boualem; Brengues, Cécile; Menegon, Michela; Severini, Carlo; Fontenille, Didier; Harrat, Zoubir

    2010-01-01

    An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurred in Tinzaouatine in southern Algeria in 2007. The likely vector, Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, had not been detected in Algeria. Genes for resistance to chloroquine were detected in the parasite. The outbreak shows the potential for an increase in malaria vectors in Algeria.

  18. Congenital Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Washington, DC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Castillo, Melissa; Szymanski, Ann Marie; Slovin, Ariella; Wong, Edward C C; DeBiasi, Roberta L

    2017-01-11

    Congenital malaria is rare in the United States, but is an important diagnosis to consider when evaluating febrile infants. Herein, we describe a case of congenital Plasmodium falciparum malaria in a 2-week-old infant born in the United States to a mother who had emigrated from Nigeria 3 months before delivery. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  19. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria, Southern Algeria, 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gassen, Ibrahim; Khechache, Yacine; Lamali, Karima; Tchicha, Boualem; Brengues, Cécile; Menegon, Michela; Severini, Carlo; Fontenille, Didier; Harrat, Zoubir

    2010-01-01

    An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurred in Tinzaouatine in southern Algeria in 2007. The likely vector, Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, had not been detected in Algeria. Genes for resistance to chloroquine were detected in the parasite. The outbreak shows the potential for an increase in malaria vectors in Algeria. PMID:20113565

  20. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria, Southern Algeria, 2007

    OpenAIRE

    Boubidi, Saïd C; Gassen, Ibrahim; Khechache, Yacine; Lamali, Karima; Tchicha, Boualem; Brengues, Cécile; Menegon, Michela; Severini, Carlo; Fontenille, Didier; Harrat, Zoubir

    2010-01-01

    An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurred in Tinzaouatine in southern Algeria in 2007. The likely vector, Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, had not been detected in Algeria. Genes for resistance to chloroquine were detected in the parasite. The outbreak shows the potential for an increase in malaria vectors in Algeria.

  1. Coalescence with Background and Balancing Selection in Systems with Bi- and Uniparental Reproduction: Contrasting Partial Asexuality and Selfing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Aneil F; Hartfield, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Uniparental reproduction in diploids, via asexual reproduction or selfing, reduces the independence with which separate loci are transmitted across generations. This is expected to increase the extent to which a neutral marker is affected by selection elsewhere in the genome. Such effects have previously been quantified in coalescent models involving selfing. Here we examine the effects of background selection and balancing selection in diploids capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction (i.e., partial asexuality). We find that the effect of background selection on reducing coalescent time (and effective population size) can be orders of magnitude greater when rates of sex are low than when sex is common. This is because asexuality enhances the effects of background selection through both a recombination effect and a segregation effect. We show that there are several reasons that the strength of background selection differs between systems with partial asexuality and those with comparable levels of uniparental reproduction via selfing. Expectations for reductions in Ne via background selection have been verified using stochastic simulations. In contrast to background selection, balancing selection increases the coalescence time for a linked neutral site. With partial asexuality, the effect of balancing selection is somewhat dependent upon the mode of selection (e.g., heterozygote advantage vs. negative frequency-dependent selection) in a manner that does not apply to selfing. This is because the frequency of heterozygotes, which are required for recombination onto alternative genetic backgrounds, is more dependent on the pattern of selection with partial asexuality than with selfing.

  2. The maintenance of sex, clonal dynamics, and host-parasite coevolution in a mixed population of sexual and asexual snails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokela, Jukka; Dybdahl, Mark F; Lively, Curtis M

    2009-07-01

    Sexual populations should be vulnerable to invasion and replacement by ecologically similar asexual females because asexual lineages have higher per capita growth rates. However, as asexual genotypes become common, they may also become disproportionately infected by parasites. The Red Queen hypothesis postulates that high infection rates in the common asexual clones could periodically favor the genetically diverse sexual individuals and promote the short-term coexistence of sexual and asexual populations. Testing this idea requires comparison of competing sexual and asexual lineages that are attacked by natural parasites. To date no such data have been available. Here, we report on long-term dynamics and parasite coevolution in a "mixed" (sexual and asexual) population of snails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum). We found that, within 7-10 years, the most common clones were almost completely replaced by initially rare clones in two different habitats, while sexuals persisted throughout the study period. The common clones, which were initially more resistant to infection, also became more susceptible to infection by sympatric (but not allopatric) parasites over the course of the study. These results are consistent with the Red Queen hypothesis and show that the coevolutionary dynamics predicted by the theory may also favor sexual reproduction in natural populations.

  3. Persistent Copulation in Asexual Female   Potamopyrgus antipodarum: Evidence for Male Control with Size-Based Preferences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda E. Nelson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction provide a useful context for investigating the evolutionary loss of nonfunctional traits. It is often assumed that useless behaviors or structures will degrade, but this process is poorly understood. Potamopyrgus antipodarum is an ancestrally sexual New Zealand freshwater snail characterized by numerous independent transitions to asexual all-female lineages. The availability of multiple independently-derived asexual lineages of various time since derivation from sexual ancestors means that the P. antipodarum system is well-suited for the study of trait loss related to mating behavior and copulation. Here, we asked whether mating behavior in asexual female P. antipodarum degrades with increasing asexual lineage age. While copulation frequency did not differ in females from old versus young asexual lineages, post hoc analyses indicated that it was instead positively associated with mean lineage female size. We observed that female P. antipodarum take a passive physical role in copulatory interactions, indicating that female behavior may not be a useful variable for detection of sex-related vestigialization in this system. Instead, males seem to be in proximate control of copulation frequencies, meaning that male mating behavior may be a primary determinant of the expression of mating behavior in asexual female P. antipodarum.

  4. Cryptic sexual populations account for genetic diversity and ecological success in a widely distributed, asexual fungus-growing ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabeling, Christian; Gonzales, Omar; Schultz, Ted R; Bacci, Maurício; Garcia, Marcos V B; Verhaagh, Manfred; Ishak, Heather D; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-07-26

    Sex and recombination are central processes in life generating genetic diversity. Organisms that rely on asexual propagation risk extinction due to the loss of genetic diversity and the inability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The fungus-growing ant species Mycocepurus smithii was thought to be obligately asexual because only parthenogenetic populations have been collected from widely separated geographic localities. Nonetheless, M. smithii is ecologically successful, with the most extensive distribution and the highest population densities of any fungus-growing ant. Here we report that M. smithii actually consists of a mosaic of asexual and sexual populations that are nonrandomly distributed geographically. The sexual populations cluster along the Rio Amazonas and the Rio Negro and appear to be the source of independently evolved and widely distributed asexual lineages, or clones. Either apomixis or automixis with central fusion and low recombination rates is inferred to be the cytogenetic mechanism underlying parthenogenesis in M. smithii. Males appear to be entirely absent from asexual populations, but their existence in sexual populations is indicated by the presence of sperm in the reproductive tracts of queens. A phylogenetic analysis of the genus suggests that M. smithii is monophyletic, rendering a hybrid origin of asexuality unlikely. Instead, a mitochondrial phylogeny of sexual and asexual populations suggests multiple independent origins of asexual reproduction, and a divergence-dating analysis indicates that M. smithii evolved 0.5-1.65 million years ago. Understanding the evolutionary origin and maintenance of asexual reproduction in this species contributes to a general understanding of the adaptive significance of sex.

  5. Selective upregulation of a single distinctly structured var gene in chondroitin sulphate A-adhering Plasmodium falciparum involved in pregnancy-associated malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salanti, Ali; Staalsoe, Trine; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2003-01-01

    Cytoadhesion of infected red blood cells (iRBC) is mediated through parasite-encoded, clonally variant surface antigens (VSA) and is a central process in the pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) has been linked to VSA-mediated adhesion of i...... implicated in PfEMP1-mediated adhesion to CD36 and CSA. We also show that var2csa was transcribed at higher levels in three placental parasite isolates compared with transcription in parasites from peripheral blood of two children with P. falciparum malaria. This var gene thus has the properties expected...

  6. Characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (PfHop).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitau, Grace W; Mandal, Pradipta; Blatch, Gregory L; Przyborski, Jude; Shonhai, Addmore

    2012-03-01

    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium species, whose transmission to vertebrate hosts is facilitated by mosquito vectors. The transition from the cold blooded mosquito vector to the host represents physiological stress to the parasite, and additionally malaria blood stage infection is characterised by intense fever periods. In recent years, it has become clear that heat shock proteins play an essential role during the parasite's life cycle. Plasmodium falciparum expresses two prominent heat shock proteins: heat shock protein 70 (PfHsp70) and heat shock protein 90 (PfHsp90). Both of these proteins have been implicated in the development and pathogenesis of malaria. In eukaryotes, Hsp70 and Hsp90 proteins are functionally linked by an essential adaptor protein known as the Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (Hop). In this study, recombinant P. falciparum Hop (PfHop) was heterologously produced in E. coli and purified by nickel affinity chromatography. Using specific anti-PfHop antisera, the expression and localisation of PfHop in P. falciparum was investigated. PfHop was shown to co-localise with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 in parasites at the trophozoite stage. Gel filtration and co-immunoprecipitation experiments suggested that PfHop was present in a complex together with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90. The association of PfHop with both PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 suggests that this protein may mediate the functional interaction between the two chaperones.

  7. Acute Kidney Injury in Children with Plasmodium falciparum Malaria: Determinants for Mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Rajniti; Mishra, Om P

    2016-01-01

    ♦ Acute kidney injury (AKI) in P. falciparum malaria infection is an important morbidity in children. The purpose of the present study was done to observe the renal involvement, associated morbidities and outcome. ♦ Out of 156 patients with severe P. falciparum malaria, diagnosed on the basis of compatible clinical presentations and positive malarial parasites in the peripheral blood smear and/or histidine rich protein 2 antigen, 31 had AKI at presentation and were analyzed. ♦ Of 31 (19.9%) patients with AKI, 4 were classified at risk, 11 injury, and 16 failure stage, as per pRIFLE criteria (pediatric version of RIFLE [R = risk, I = injury, F = failure, L = loss E = end-stage kidney disease]). Mean age of children with AKI was 7.7 ± 3.2 years. A significantly higher proportion of patients with AKI had hypoglycemia (41.9%), pulmonary edema (32.2%), and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) (29.0%) compared to those without AKI (18.4%, 4.8%, and 3.2%, respectively). Twelve patients (38.7%) required peritoneal dialysis (PD), 8 (25.8%) died, and all were in failure stage. The non-survivors had significantly higher blood urea (p = 0.005) and serum creatinine levels (p = 0.042), lower glomerular filtration rate (p falciparum malaria is one of the severe systemic complications. Duration of illness and presence of comorbidities adversely affected the outcome. Copyright © 2016 International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis.

  8. Parasite Sequestration in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria: Spleen and Antibody Modulation of Cytoadherence of Infected Erythrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Peter H.; Hommel, Marcel; Miller, Louis H.; Udeinya, Iroka J.; Oligino, Lynette D.

    1983-08-01

    Sequestration, the adherence of infected erythrocytes containing late developmental stages of the parasite (trophozoites and schizonts) to the endothelium of capillaries and venules, is characteristic of Plasmodium falciparum infections. We have studied two host factors, the spleen and antibody, that influence sequestration of P. falciparum in the squirrel monkey. Sequestration of trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes that occurs in intact animals is reduced in splenectomized animals; in vitro, when infected blood is incubated with monolayers of human melanoma cells, trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes from intact animals but not from splenectomized animals bind to the melanoma cells. The switch in cytoadherence characteristics of the infected erythrocytes from nonbinding to binding occurs with a cloned parasite. Immune serum can inhibit and reverse in vitro binding to melanoma cells of infected erythrocytes from intact animals. Similarly, antibody can reverse in vivo sequestration as shown by the appearance of trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes in the peripheral blood of an intact animal after inoculation with immune serum. These results indicate that the spleen modulates the expression of parasite alterations of the infected erythrocyte membrane responsible for sequestration and suggest that the prevention and reversal of sequestration could be one of the effector mechanisms involved in antibody-mediated protection against P. falciparum malaria.

  9. Host erythrocyte polymorphisms and exposure to Plasmodium falciparum in Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowkes, Freya JI; Michon, Pascal; Pilling, Lynn; Ripley, Ruth M; Tavul, Livingstone; Imrie, Heather J; Woods, Caira M; Mgone, Charles S; Luty, Adrian JF; Day, Karen P

    2008-01-01

    Background The protection afforded by human erythrocyte polymorphisms against the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has been proposed to be due to reduced ability of the parasite to invade or develop in erythrocytes. If this were the case, variable levels of parasitaemia and rates of seroconversion to infected-erythrocyte variant surface antigens (VSA) should be seen in different host genotypes. Methods To test this hypothesis, P. falciparum parasitaemia and anti-VSA antibody levels were measured in a cohort of 555 asymptomatic children from an area of intense malaria transmission in Papua New Guinea. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the effect of α+-thalassaemia, complement receptor-1 and south-east Asian ovalocytosis, as well as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and ABO blood group on parasitaemia and age-specific seroconversion to VSA. Results No host polymorphism showed a significant association with both parasite prevalence/density and age-specific seroconversion to VSA. Conclusion Host erythrocyte polymorphisms commonly found in Papua New Guinea do not effect exposure to blood stage P. falciparum infection. This contrasts with data for sickle cell trait and highlights that the above-mentioned polymorphisms may confer protection against malaria via distinct mechanisms. PMID:18173836

  10. Host erythrocyte polymorphisms and exposure to Plasmodium falciparum in Papua New Guinea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imrie Heather J

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The protection afforded by human erythrocyte polymorphisms against the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has been proposed to be due to reduced ability of the parasite to invade or develop in erythrocytes. If this were the case, variable levels of parasitaemia and rates of seroconversion to infected-erythrocyte variant surface antigens (VSA should be seen in different host genotypes. Methods To test this hypothesis, P. falciparum parasitaemia and anti-VSA antibody levels were measured in a cohort of 555 asymptomatic children from an area of intense malaria transmission in Papua New Guinea. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the effect of α+-thalassaemia, complement receptor-1 and south-east Asian ovalocytosis, as well as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and ABO blood group on parasitaemia and age-specific seroconversion to VSA. Results No host polymorphism showed a significant association with both parasite prevalence/density and age-specific seroconversion to VSA. Conclusion Host erythrocyte polymorphisms commonly found in Papua New Guinea do not effect exposure to blood stage P. falciparum infection. This contrasts with data for sickle cell trait and highlights that the above-mentioned polymorphisms may confer protection against malaria via distinct mechanisms.

  11. MRP1 mediates folate transport and antifolate sensitivity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijpma, Sanna R; van der Velden, Maarten; Bilos, Albert; Jansen, Robert S; Mahakena, Sunny; Russel, Frans G M; Sauerwein, Robert W; van de Wetering, Koen; Koenderink, Jan B

    2016-02-01

    Multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRP) of Plasmodium falciparum have been associated with altered drug sensitivity. Knowledge on MRP substrate specificity is indispensible for the characterization of resistance mechanisms and identifying its physiological roles. An untargeted metabolomics approach detected decreased folate concentrations in red blood cells infected with schizont stage parasites lacking expression of MRP1. Furthermore, a tenfold decrease in sensitivity toward the folate analog methotrexate was detected for parasites lacking MRP1. PfMRP1 is involved in the export of folate from parasites into red blood cells and is therefore a relevant factor for efficient malaria treatment through the folate pathway.

  12. Brain endothelial cells increase the proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum through production of soluble factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaw, L T; Ball, H J; Mitchell, A J; Grau, G E; Stocker, R; Golenser, J; Hunt, N H

    2014-10-01

    We here describe the novel finding that brain endothelial cells in vitro can stimulate the growth of Plasmodium falciparum through the production of low molecular weight growth factors. By using a conditioned medium approach, we show that the brain endothelial cells continued to release these factors over time. If this mirrors the in vivo situation, these growth factors potentially would provide an advantage, in terms of enhanced growth, for sequestered parasitised red blood cells in the brain microvasculature. We observed this phenomenon with brain endothelial cells from several sources as well as a second P. falciparum strain. The characteristics of the growth factors included: heat stable, and in part chloroform soluble. Future efforts should be directed at identifying these growth factors, since blocking their production or actions might be of benefit for reducing parasite load and, hence, malaria pathology.

  13. Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manske, Magnus; Miotto, Olivo; Campino, Susana; Auburn, Sarah; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Maslen, Gareth; O’Brien, Jack; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Doumbo, Ogobara; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Michon, Pascal; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter; Nzila, Alexis; Borrmann, Steffen; Kiara, Steven M.; Marsh, Kevin; Jiang, Hongying; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Fairhurst, Rick; Socheat, Duong; Nosten, Francois; Imwong, Mallika; White, Nicholas J.; Sanders, Mandy; Anastasi, Elisa; Alcock, Dan; Drury, Eleanor; Oyola, Samuel; Quail, Michael A.; Turner, Daniel J.; Rubio, Valentin Ruano; Jyothi, Dushyanth; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Hubbart, Christina; Jeffreys, Anna; Rowlands, Kate; Sutherland, Colin; Roper, Cally; Mangano, Valentina; Modiano, David; Tan, John C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J.; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V.; Rayner, Julian C.; Rockett, Kirk A.; Clark, Taane G.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.

    2013-01-01

    Malaria elimination strategies require surveillance of the parasite population for genetic changes that demand a public health response, such as new forms of drug resistance. 1,2 Here we describe methods for large-scale analysis of genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum by deep sequencing of parasite DNA obtained from the blood of patients with malaria, either directly or after short term culture. Analysis of 86,158 exonic SNPs that passed genotyping quality control in 227 samples from Africa, Asia and Oceania provides genome-wide estimates of allele frequency distribution, population structure and linkage disequilibrium. By comparing the genetic diversity of individual infections with that of the local parasite population, we derive a metric of within-host diversity that is related to the level of inbreeding in the population. An open-access web application has been established for exploration of regional differences in allele frequency and of highly differentiated loci in the P. falciparum genome. PMID:22722859

  14. In silico screening for Plasmodium falciparum enoyl-ACP reductase inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindert, Steffen; Tallorin, Lorillee; Nguyen, Quynh G.; Burkart, Michael D.; McCammon, J. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The need for novel therapeutics against Plasmodium falciparum is urgent due to recent emergence of multi-drug resistant malaria parasites. Since fatty acids are essential for both the liver and blood stages of the malarial parasite, targeting fatty acid biosynthesis is a promising strategy for combatting P. falciparum. We present a combined computational and experimental study to identify novel inhibitors of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase ( PfENR) in the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway. A small-molecule database from ChemBridge was docked into three distinct PfENR crystal structures that provide multiple receptor conformations. Two different docking algorithms were used to generate a consensus score in order to rank possible small molecule hits. Our studies led to the identification of five low-micromolar pyrimidine dione inhibitors of PfENR.

  15. TRALI Syndrome During the Treatment of a Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çaşkurlu, Hülya; Nurmuhammedov, Rahman; Htway, Zarni

    2016-12-01

    Malaria, which is one of the three most important infectious diseases globally, is endemic in many areas of the world. Plasmodium falciparum is not endemic to Turkey but can be seen after travel to epidemic countries. Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) syndrome is a rare disease, which may develop following the transfusion of all types of blood products, including plasma. Here we describe a case of TRALI syndrome in a 29-year-old male, who presented with fever after 15 days of returning from a business trip to Burkina Faso. It developed immediately after the infusion of fresh frozen plasma during the treatment of P. falciparum malaria. The patient's condition improved on respiratory support treatment in the intensive care unit for 48 hours without the need of mechanical ventilation. This case indicated that TRALI syndrome has to be considered in the differential diagnosis as an emerging acute lung disease during the treatment of malaria.

  16. Mosquito Passage Dramatically Changes var Gene Expression in Controlled Human Plasmodium falciparum Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, Anna; Petter, Michaela; Krumkamp, Ralf; Esen, Meral; Held, Jana; Scholz, Judith A M; Li, Tao; Sim, B Kim Lee; Hoffman, Stephen L; Kremsner, Peter G; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Duffy, Michael F; Tannich, Egbert

    2016-04-01

    Virulence of the most deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is linked to the variant surface antigen PfEMP1, which is encoded by about 60 var genes per parasite genome. Although the expression of particular variants has been associated with different clinical outcomes, little is known about var gene expression at the onset of infection. By analyzing controlled human malaria infections via quantitative real-time PCR, we show that parasite populations from 18 volunteers expressed virtually identical transcript patterns that were dominated by the subtelomeric var gene group B and, to a lesser extent, group A. Furthermore, major changes in composition and frequency of var gene transcripts were detected between the parental parasite culture that was used to infect mosquitoes and Plasmodia recovered from infected volunteers, suggesting that P. falciparum resets its var gene expression during mosquito passage and starts with the broad expression of a specific subset of var genes when entering the human blood phase.

  17. Enhancing blockade of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion: assessing combinations of antibodies against PfRH5 and other merozoite antigens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew R Williams

    Full Text Available No vaccine has yet proven effective against the blood-stages of Plasmodium falciparum, which cause the symptoms and severe manifestations of malaria. We recently found that PfRH5, a P. falciparum-specific protein expressed in merozoites, is efficiently targeted by broadly-neutralizing, vaccine-induced antibodies. Here we show that antibodies against PfRH5 efficiently inhibit the in vitro growth of short-term-adapted parasite isolates from Cambodia, and that the EC(50 values of antigen-specific antibodies against PfRH5 are lower than those against PfAMA1. Since antibody responses elicited by multiple antigens are speculated to improve the efficacy of blood-stage vaccines, we conducted detailed assessments of parasite growth inhibition by antibodies against PfRH5 in combination with antibodies against seven other merozoite antigens. We found that antibodies against PfRH5 act synergistically with antibodies against certain other merozoite antigens, most notably with antibodies against other erythrocyte-binding antigens such as PfRH4, to inhibit the growth of a homologous P. falciparum clone. A combination of antibodies against PfRH4 and basigin, the erythrocyte receptor for PfRH5, also potently inhibited parasite growth. This methodology provides the first quantitative evidence that polyclonal vaccine-induced antibodies can act synergistically against P. falciparum antigens and should help to guide the rational development of future multi-antigen vaccines.

  18. An imported case of severe falciparum malaria with prolonged hemolytic anemia clinically mimicking a coinfection with babesiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, Young Ju; Chai, Jong-Yil; Jung, Bong-Kwang; Lee, Hyun Jung; Song, Ji Young; Je, Ji Hye; Seo, Ji Hye; Park, Sung Hun; Choi, Ji Seon; Kim, Min Ja

    2014-12-01

    While imported falciparum malaria has been increasingly reported in recent years in Korea, clinicians have difficulties in making a clinical diagnosis as well as in having accessibility to effective anti-malarial agents. Here we describe an unusual case of imported falciparum malaria with severe hemolytic anemia lasting over 2 weeks, clinically mimicking a coinfection with babesiosis. A 48-year old Korean man was diagnosed with severe falciparum malaria in France after traveling to the Republic of Benin, West Africa. He received a 1-day course of intravenous artesunate and a 7-day course of Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) with supportive hemodialysis. Coming back to Korea 5 days after discharge, he was readmitted due to recurrent fever, and further treated with Malarone for 3 days. Both the peripheral blood smears and PCR test were positive for Plasmodium falciparum. However, he had prolonged severe hemolytic anemia (Hb 5.6 g/dl). Therefore, 10 days after the hospitalization, Babesia was considered to be potentially coinfected. A 7-day course of Malarone and azithromycin was empirically started. He became afebrile within 3 days of this babesiosis treatment, and hemolytic anemia profiles began to improve at the completion of the treatment. He has remained stable since his discharge. Unexpectedly, the PCR assays failed to detect DNA of Babesia spp. from blood. In addition, during the retrospective review of the case, the artesunate-induced delayed hemolytic anemia was considered as an alternative cause of the unexplained hemolytic anemia.

  19. Evaluation of DNA Recombinant Methodologies for the Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum and their Comparison with the Microscopy Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Urdaneta

    1998-09-01

    Full Text Available Since 1984, DNA tests based on the highly repeated subtelomeric sequences of Plasmodium falciparum (rep 20 have been frequently used in malaria diagnosis. Rep 20 is very specific for this parasite, and is made of 21 bp units, organized in repeated blocks with direct and inverted orientation. Based in this particular organization, we selected a unique consensus oligonucleotide (pf-21 to drive a PCR reaction coupled to hybridization to non-radioactive labeled probes. The pf-21 unique oligo PCR (pf-21-I assay produced DNA amplification fingerprints when was applied on purified P. falciparum DNA samples (Brazil and Colombia, as well as in patient's blood samples from a large area of Venezuela. The performance of the Pf-21-I assay was compared against Giemsa stained thick blood smears from samples collected at a malaria endemic area of the Bolívar State, Venezuela, at the field station of Malariología in Tumeremo. Coupled to non-radioactive hybridization the pf-21-I performed better than the traditional microscopic method with a r=1.7:1. In the case of mixed infections the r value of P. falciparum detection increased to 2.5:1. The increased diagnostic sensitivity of the test produced with this homologous oligonucleotide could provide an alternative to the epidemiological diagnosis of P. falciparum being currently used in Venezuela endemic areas, where low parasitemia levels and asymptomatic malaria are frequent. In addition, the DNA fingerprint could be tested in molecular population studies

  20. Protease-associated cellular networks in malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilburn Timothy G

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria continues to be one of the most severe global infectious diseases, responsible for 1-2 million deaths yearly. The rapid evolution and spread of drug resistance in parasites has led to an urgent need for the development of novel antimalarial targets. Proteases are a group of enzymes that play essential roles in parasite growth and invasion. The possibility of designing specific inhibitors for proteases makes them promising drug targets. Previously, combining a comparative genomics approach and a machine learning approach, we identified the complement of proteases (degradome in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its sibling species 123, providing a catalog of targets for functional characterization and rational inhibitor design. Network analysis represents another route to revealing the role of proteins in the biology of parasites and we use this approach here to expand our understanding of the systems involving the proteases of P. falciparum. Results We investigated the roles of proteases in the parasite life cycle by constructing a network using protein-protein association data from the STRING database 4, and analyzing these data, in conjunction with the data from protein-protein interaction assays using the yeast 2-hybrid (Y2H system 5, blood stage microarray experiments 678, proteomics 9101112, literature text mining, and sequence homology analysis. Seventy-seven (77 out of 124 predicted proteases were associated with at least one other protein, constituting 2,431 protein-protein interactions (PPIs. These proteases appear to play diverse roles in metabolism, cell cycle regulation, invasion and infection. Their degrees of connectivity (i.e., connections to other proteins, range from one to 143. The largest protease-associated sub-network is the ubiquitin-proteasome system which is crucial for protein recycling and stress response. Proteases are also implicated in heat shock response, signal peptide

  1. Asymptomatic falciparum malaria and intestinal helminths co-infection among school children in Osogbo, Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olusola Ojurongbe

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Malaria and intestinal helminths are parasitic diseases causing high morbidity and mortality in most tropical parts of the world, where climatic conditions and sanitation practices favor their prevalence. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and possible impact of falciparum malaria and intestinal helminths co-infection among school children in Kajola, Osun state, Nigeria. Methods: Fresh stool and blood samples were collected from 117 primary school children age range 4-15 years. The stool samples were processed using both Kato-Katz and formol-ether concentration techniques and microscopically examined for intestinal parasitic infections. Blood was collected by finger prick to determine malaria parasitemia using thick film method; and packed cell volume (PCV was determined by hematocrit. Univariate analysis and chi-square statistical tests were used to analyze the data. Results: The prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum, intestinal helminth infections, and co-infection of malaria and helminth in the study were 25.6%, 40.2% and 4.3%, respectively. Five species of intestinal helminths were recovered from the stool samples and these were Ascaris lumbricoides (34.2%, hookworm (5.1%, Trichuris trichiura (2.6%, Diphyllobothrium latum (0.9% and Trichostrongylus species (0.9%. For the co-infection of both malaria and intestinal helminths, females (5.9% were more infected than males (2.0% but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.3978. Children who were infected with helminths were equally likely to be infected with malaria as children without intestinal helminths [Risk Ratio (RR = 0.7295]. Children with A. lumbricoides (RR = 1.359 were also likely to be infected with P. falciparum as compared with uninfected children. Conclusions: Asymptomatic falciparum malaria and intestinal helminth infections do co-exist without clinical symp-toms in school children in Nigeria.

  2. Mosquito Vectors and the Globalization of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Zilversmit, Martine M; Neafsey, Daniel E; Hartl, Daniel L; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2016-11-23

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a devastating public health problem. Recent discoveries have shed light on the origin and evolution of Plasmodium parasites and their interactions with their vertebrate and mosquito hosts. P. falciparum malaria originated in Africa from a single horizontal transfer between an infected gorilla and a human, and became global as the result of human migration. Today, P. falciparum malaria is transmitted worldwide by more than 70 different anopheline mosquito species. Recent studies indicate that the mosquito immune system can be a barrier to malaria transmission and that the P. falciparum Pfs47 gene allows the parasite to evade mosquito immune detection. Here, we review the origin and globalization of P. falciparum and integrate this history with analysis of the biology, evolution, and dispersal of the main mosquito vectors. This new perspective broadens our understanding of P. falciparum population structure and the dispersal of important parasite genetic traits.

  3. The conservation of redundancy in genetic systems: effects of sexual and asexual reproduction

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    J A Morris; R D Morris

    2003-12-01

    The relationship between probability of survival and the number of deleterious mutations in the genome is investigated using three different models of highly redundant systems that interact with a threatening environment. Model one is a system that counters a potentially lethal infection; it has multiple identical components that act in sequence and in parallel. Model two has many different overlapping components that provide threefold coverage of a large number of vital functions. The third model is based on statistical decision theory: an ideal detector, following an optimum decision strategy, makes crucial decisions in an uncertain world. The probability of a fatal error is reduced by a redundant sampling system, but the chance of error rises as the system is impaired by deleterious mutations. In all three cases the survival profile shows a synergistic pattern in that the probability of survival falls slowly and then more rapidly. This is different than the multiplicative or independent survival profile that is often used in mathematical models. It is suggested that a synergistic profile is a property of redundant systems. Model one is then used to study the conservation of redundancy during sexual and asexual reproduction. A unicellular haploid organism reproducing asexually retains redundancy when the mutation rate is very low (0.001 per cell division), but tends to lose high levels of redundancy if the mutation rate is increased (0.01 to 0.1 per cell division). If a similar unicellular haploid organism has a sexual phase then redundancy is retained for mutation rates between 0.001 and 0.1 per cell division. The sexual organism outgrows the asexual organism when the above mutation rates apply. If they compete for finite resources the asexual organism will be extinguished. Variants of the sexual organism with increased redundancy will outgrow those with lower levels of redundancy and the sexual process facilitates the evolution of more complex forms. There is a

  4. The conservation of redundancy in genetic systems: effects of sexual and asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, J A; Morris, R D

    2003-12-01

    The relationship between probability of survival and the number of deleterious mutations in the genome is investigated using three different models of highly redundant systems that interact with a threatening environment. Model one is a system that counters a potentially lethal infection; it has multiple identical components that act in sequence and in parallel. Model two has many different overlapping components that provide threefold coverage of a large number of vital functions. The third model is based on statistical decision theory: an ideal detector, following an optimum decision strategy, makes crucial decisions in an uncertain world. The probability of a fatal error is reduced by a redundant sampling system, but the chance of error rises as the system is impaired by deleterious mutations. In all three cases the survival profile shows a synergistic pattern in that the probability of survival falls slowly and then more rapidly. This is different than the multiplicative or independent survival profile that is often used in mathematical models. It is suggested that a synergistic profile is a property of redundant systems. Model one is then used to study the conservation of redundancy during sexual and asexual reproduction. A unicellular haploid organism reproducing asexually retains redundancy when the mutation rate is very low (0.001 per cell division), but tends to lose high levels of redundancy if the mutation rate is increased (0.01 to 0.1 per cell division). If a similar unicellular haploid organism has a sexual phase then redundancy is retained for mutation rates between 0.001 and 0.1 per cell division. The sexual organism outgrows the asexual organism when the above mutation rates apply. If they compete for finite resources the asexual organism will be extinguished. Variants of the sexual organism with increased redundancy will outgrow those with lower levels of redundancy and the sexual process facilitates the evolution of more complex forms. There is a

  5. Dual fluorescent labelling of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum for the analysis of the ABC type transporter pfmdr2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosental, Benyamin; Hadad, Uzi; Sinay, Rosa; Braiman, Alex; Porgador, Angel; Pollack, Yaakov

    2012-11-08

    The study of the Plasmodium falciparum heavy metal transporter gene pfmdr2 employed radioactive labelled heavy metal. As the use of radioactive isotopes shrank considerably during the last few years, resulting in the cessation of the production of some isotopes, amongst them Cadmium109 which was used for that purpose, a different approach had to be developed. Herein, a dual fluorescent labelling of heavy metals accumulation in the P. falciparum parasite is proposed as an alternative to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metals. Plasmodium falciparum Cd resistant and sensitive strains at the trophozoite stage were used in this study. The cells were cultured at different CdCl2 concentrations and for different time periods followed by staining of the infected red blood cells with Fluo-3/AM for Cd detection and Hoechst 33342 for parasite DNA labelling. The fluorescent analysis was done by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. The results show that the sensitive strain has a higher Fluo-3/AM fluorescence in a Cd concentration and time dependent manner, whereas in the resistant strain Fluo-3/AM fluorescence levels were negligible and increased only at high concentrations of Cd and at long incubation periods, but to a much lesser extent than the sensitive strain. No Cd uptake is observed in uninfected red blood cells populations originating from cultures infected with either sensitive or resistant strain. In addition, confocal microscopy overlay of Fluo-3/AM and Hoechst staining shows that the Cd metal accumulates in the parasite itself. The dual fluorescent labelling is a valid method for detecting heavy metal accumulation in P. falciparum. Furthermore, in contrast to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metal, the fluorescent labelling enables us to differentiate between the different populations existing in a P. falciparum infected red blood cells cultures and thus actually study a phenomenon at the level of a single cell.

  6. Dual fluorescent labelling of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum for the analysis of the ABC type transporter pfmdr2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosental Benyamin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The study of the Plasmodium falciparum heavy metal transporter gene pfmdr2 employed radioactive labelled heavy metal. As the use of radioactive isotopes shrank considerably during the last few years, resulting in the cessation of the production of some isotopes, amongst them Cadmium109 which was used for that purpose, a different approach had to be developed. Herein, a dual fluorescent labelling of heavy metals accumulation in the P. falciparum parasite is proposed as an alternative to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metals. Methods Plasmodium falciparum Cd resistant and sensitive strains at the trophozoite stage were used in this study. The cells were cultured at different CdCl2 concentrations and for different time periods followed by staining of the infected red blood cells with Fluo-3/AM for Cd detection and Hoechst 33342 for parasite DNA labelling. The fluorescent analysis was done by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Results The results show that the sensitive strain has a higher Fluo-3/AM fluorescence in a Cd concentration and time dependent manner, whereas in the resistant strain Fluo-3/AM fluorescence levels were negligible and increased only at high concentrations of Cd and at long incubation periods, but to a much lesser extent than the sensitive strain. No Cd uptake is observed in uninfected red blood cells populations originating from cultures infected with either sensitive or resistant strain. In addition, confocal microscopy overlay of Fluo-3/AM and Hoechst staining shows that the Cd metal accumulates in the parasite itself. Conclusions The dual fluorescent labelling is a valid method for detecting heavy metal accumulation in P. falciparum. Furthermore, in contrast to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metal, the fluorescent labelling enables us to differentiate between the different populations existing in a P. falciparum infected red blood cells cultures and thus actually study a phenomenon at

  7. Expression of P. falciparum var genes involves exchange of the histone variant H2A.Z at the promoter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaela Petter

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum employs antigenic variation to evade the human immune response by switching the expression of different variant surface antigens encoded by the var gene family. Epigenetic mechanisms including histone modifications and sub-nuclear compartmentalization contribute to transcriptional regulation in the malaria parasite, in particular to control antigenic variation. Another mechanism of epigenetic control is the exchange of canonical histones with alternative variants to generate functionally specialized chromatin domains. Here we demonstrate that the alternative histone PfH2A.Z is associated with the epigenetic regulation of var genes. In many eukaryotic organisms the histone variant H2A.Z mediates an open chromatin structure at promoters and facilitates diverse levels of regulation, including transcriptional activation. Throughout the asexual, intraerythrocytic lifecycle of P. falciparum we found that the P. falciparum ortholog of H2A.Z (PfH2A.Z colocalizes with histone modifications that are characteristic of transcriptionally-permissive euchromatin, but not with markers of heterochromatin. Consistent with this finding, antibodies to PfH2A.Z co-precipitate the permissive modification H3K4me3. By chromatin-immunoprecipitation we show that PfH2A.Z is enriched in nucleosomes around the transcription start site (TSS in both transcriptionally active and silent stage-specific genes. In var genes, however, PfH2A.Z is enriched at the TSS only during active transcription in ring stage parasites. Thus, in contrast to other genes, temporal var gene regulation involves histone variant exchange at promoter nucleosomes. Sir2 histone deacetylases are important for var gene silencing and their yeast ortholog antagonises H2A.Z function in subtelomeric yeast genes. In immature P. falciparum parasites lacking Sir2A or Sir2B high var transcription levels correlate with enrichment of PfH2A.Z at the TSS. As Sir2A knock out parasites mature the var

  8. Plasmodium falciparum-like parasites infecting wild apes in southern Cameroon do not represent a recurrent source of human malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaman, Sesh A; Liu, Weimin; Keele, Brandon F; Learn, Gerald H; Bittinger, Kyle; Mouacha, Fatima; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Manske, Magnus; Sherrill-Mix, Scott; Li, Yingying; Malenke, Jordan A; Delaporte, Eric; Laurent, Christian; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Shaw, George M; Rayner, Julian C; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M; Bushman, Frederic D; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2013-04-23

    Wild-living chimpanzees and gorillas harbor a multitude of Plasmodium species, including six of the subgenus Laverania, one of which served as the progenitor of Plasmodium falciparum. Despite the magnitude of this reservoir, it is unknown whether apes represent a source of human infections. Here, we used Plasmodium species-specific PCR, single-genome amplification, and 454 sequencing to screen humans from remote areas of southern Cameroon for ape Laverania infections. Among 1,402 blood samples, we found 1,000 to be Plasmodium mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) positive, all of which contained human parasites as determined by sequencing and/or restriction enzyme digestion. To exclude low-abundance infections, we subjected 514 of these samples to 454 sequencing, targeting a region of the mtDNA genome that distinguishes ape from human Laverania species. Using algorithms specifically developed to differentiate rare Plasmodium variants from 454-sequencing error, we identified single and mixed-species infections with P. falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, and/or Plasmodium ovale. However, none of the human samples contained ape Laverania parasites, including the gorilla precursor of P. falciparum. To characterize further the diversity of P. falciparum in Cameroon, we used single-genome amplification to amplify 3.4-kb mtDNA fragments from 229 infected humans. Phylogenetic analysis identified 62 new variants, all of which clustered with extant P. falciparum, providing further evidence that P. falciparum emerged following a single gorilla-to-human transmission. Thus, unlike Plasmodium knowlesi-infected macaques in southeast Asia, African apes harboring Laverania parasites do not seem to serve as a recurrent source of human malaria, a finding of import to ongoing control and eradication measures.

  9. Morbidity and mortality associated with Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum infection in a tertiary care kidney hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salman Imtiaz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a disease of tropical regions and both types of plasmodia, i.e. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, cause significant morbidity and mortality. P. vivax was thought to be benign and cause less morbidity and mortality. Many reports showed the devastating effect of vivax malaria too. We compared the clinical symptoms, laboratory markers, treatment and outcome of both the plasmodia. This is a retrospective analysis of 95 patients admitted to The Kidney Center, Karachi in a duration of 15 years (1997-2012; 45 patients with falciparum malaria and 50 patients with vivax malaria, and compared the clinical presentation, laboratory workup, treatment and outcome in both groups. The two groups constitute a mixed population of diabetes, chronic kidney disease (CKD and hemodialysis patients. Both plasmodia have an equal clinical impact in terms of fever and rigors, anorexia, nausea, feeling of dyspnea, change in the mental status, changes in the urine color, diarrhea, volume depletion and pedal edema. However, patients with falciparum had significantly more vomiting (P = 0.02, oliguria (P = 0.003 and jaundice (P = 0.003. Laboratory parameters also showed a severe impact of falciparum, as there was more severe anemia and kidney and liver dysfunction. More patients were treated with dialysis and blood transfusion in the falciparum group. The outcome in the two groups was not significantly different in terms of death and days of hospitalization. Falciparum malaria has a higher clinical impact than the vivax malaria, but vivax is not as benign as it was once thought to be. It also has devastating effects on vulnerable populations like patients with CKD and diabetes.

  10. Construction of a human functional single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody recognizing the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wajanarogana, Sumet; Prasomrothanakul, Teerawat; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Tungpradabkul, Sumalee

    2006-04-01

    Falciparum malaria is one of the most deadly and profound human health problems around the tropical world. Antimalarial drugs are now considered to be a powerful treatment; however, there are drugs currently being used that are resistant to Plasmodium falciparum parasites spreading in different parts of the world. Although the protective immune response against intraerythrocytic stages of the falciparum malaria parasite is still not fully understood, immune antibodies have been shown to be associated with reduced parasite prevalence. Therefore antibodies of the right specificity present in adequate concentrations and affinity are reasonably effective in providing protection. In the present study, VH (variable domain of heavy chain) and VL (variable domain of light chain) were isolated from human blood lymphocytes of P. falciparum in one person who had high serum titre to RESA (ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen). Equal amounts of VH and VL were assembled together with universal linker (G4S)3 to generate scFvs (single-chain variable fragments). The scFv antibodies were expressed with a phage system for the selection process. Exclusively, an expressed scFv against asynchronous culture of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes was selected and characterized. Sequence analysis of selected scFv revealed that this clone could be classified into a VH family-derived germline gene (VH1) and Vkappa family segment (Vkappa1). Using an indirect immunofluorescence assay, we could show that soluble expressed scFv reacted with falciparum-infected erythrocytes. The results encourage the further study of scFvs for development as a potential immunotherapeutic agent.

  11. Genetic polymorphism of merozoite surface protein-1 and merozoite surface protein-2 in Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jung-Mi; Moon, Sung-Ung; Kim, Jung-Yeon; Cho, Shin-Hyeong; Lin, Khin; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Kim, Tong-Soo; Na, Byoung-Kuk

    2010-05-17

    Merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1) and MSP-2 of Plasmodium falciparum are potential vaccine candidate antigens for malaria vaccine development. However, extensive genetic polymorphism of the antigens in field isolates of P. falciparum represents a major obstacle for the development of an effective vaccine. In this study, genetic polymorphism of MSP-1 and MSP-2 among P. falciparum field isolates from Myanmar was analysed. A total of 63 P. falciparum infected blood samples, which were collected from patients attending a regional hospital in Mandalay Division, Myanmar, were used in this study. The regions flanking the highly polymorphic characters, block 2 for MSP-1 and block 3 for MSP-2, were genotyped by allele-specific nested-PCR to analyse the population diversity of the parasite. Sequence analysis of the polymorphic regions of MSP-1 and MSP-2 was also conducted to identify allelic diversity in the parasite population. Diverse allelic polymorphism of MSP-1 and MSP-2 was identified in P. falciparum isolates from Myanmar and most of the infections were determined to be mixed infections. Sequence analysis of MSP-1 block 2 revealed that 14 different alleles for MSP-1 (5 for K1 type and 9 for MAD20 type) were identified. For MSP-2 block 3, a total of 22 alleles (7 for FC27 type and 15 for 3D7 type) were identified. Extensive genetic polymorphism with diverse allele types was identified in MSP-1 and MSP-2 in P. falciparum field isolates from Myanmar. A high level of mixed infections was also observed, as was a high degree of multiplicity of infection.

  12. Genetic polymorphism of merozoite surface protein-1 and merozoite surface protein-2 in Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from Myanmar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Tong-Soo

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1 and MSP-2 of Plasmodium falciparum are potential vaccine candidate antigens for malaria vaccine development. However, extensive genetic polymorphism of the antigens in field isolates of P. falciparum represents a major obstacle for the development of an effective vaccine. In this study, genetic polymorphism of MSP-1 and MSP-2 among P. falciparum field isolates from Myanmar was analysed. Methods A total of 63 P. falciparum infected blood samples, which were collected from patients attending a regional hospital in Mandalay Division, Myanmar, were used in this study. The regions flanking the highly polymorphic characters, block 2 for MSP-1 and block 3 for MSP-2, were genotyped by allele-specific nested-PCR to analyse the population diversity of the parasite. Sequence analysis of the polymorphic regions of MSP-1 and MSP-2 was also conducted to identify allelic diversity in the parasite population. Results Diverse allelic polymorphism of MSP-1 and MSP-2 was identified in P. falciparum isolates from Myanmar and most of the infections were determined to be mixed infections. Sequence analysis of MSP-1 block 2 revealed that 14 different alleles for MSP-1 (5 for K1 type and 9 for MAD20 type were identified. For MSP-2 block 3, a total of 22 alleles (7 for FC27 type and 15 for 3D7 type were identified. Conclusion Extensive genetic polymorphism with diverse allele types was identified in MSP-1 and MSP-2 in P. falciparum field isolates from Myanmar. A high level of mixed infections was also observed, as was a high degree of multiplicity of infection.

  13. Spatial prediction of Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in Somalia

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    Shewchuk Tanya

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Maps of malaria distribution are vital for optimal allocation of resources for anti-malarial activities. There is a lack of reliable contemporary malaria maps in endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This problem is particularly acute in low malaria transmission countries such as those located in the horn of Africa. Methods Data from a national malaria cluster sample survey in 2005 and routine cluster surveys in 2007 were assembled for Somalia. Rapid diagnostic tests were used to examine the presence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in finger-prick blood samples obtained from individuals across all age-groups. Bayesian geostatistical models, with environmental and survey covariates, were used to predict continuous maps of malaria prevalence across Somalia and to define the uncertainty associated with the predictions. Results For analyses the country was divided into north and south. In the north, the month of survey, distance to water, precipitation and temperature had no significant association with P. falciparum prevalence when spatial correlation was taken into account. In contrast, all the covariates, except distance to water, were significantly associated with parasite prevalence in the south. The inclusion of covariates improved model fit for the south but not for the north. Model precision was highest in the south. The majority of the country had a predicted prevalence of Conclusion The maps showed that malaria transmission in Somalia varied from hypo- to meso-endemic. However, even after including the selected covariates in the model, there still remained a considerable amount of unexplained spatial variation in parasite prevalence, indicating effects of other factors not captured in the study. Nonetheless the maps presented here provide the best contemporary information on malaria prevalence in Somalia.

  14. Humoral immune response to Plasmodium falciparum vaccine candidate GMZ2 and its components in populations naturally exposed to seasonal malaria in Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mamo, Hassen; Esen, Meral; Ajua, Anthony;

    2013-01-01

    for malaria infection microscopically and by the rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Sera were tested by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for total immunoglobulin (Ig) G against P. falciparum blood-stage vaccine candidate GMZ2 and its subunits (Glutamate-rich protein (GLURP-R0), merozoite surface...... protein 3 (MSP3); as well as IgG subclasses against GLURP-R0 and MSP3. RESULTS: Whereas 23(8.6%) blood smear-positive cases for P. falciparum were detected in Boditi, all Shewa Robit study participants had no detectable P. falciparum infection. In both localities, total IgG prevalence and levels to GMZ2...... were significantly higher than the response to the component domains indicating the strong recognition of GMZ2 by antibodies acquired through natural exposure. Total IgG and subclass prevalence and levels were higher in Shewa Robit than Boditi, suggesting difference in the intensity of malaria...

  15. A multi-stage malaria vaccine candidate targeting both transmission and asexual parasite life-cycle stages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Theisen, Michael; Roeffen, Will; Singh, Susheel K

    2014-01-01

    Effective control and eventual eradication of malaria drives the imperative need for clinical development of a malaria vaccine. Asexual parasite forms are responsible for clinical disease and death while apathogenic gametocytes are responsible for transmission from man to mosquito. Vaccines...

  16. Backward elastic light scattering of malaria infected red blood cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seungjun; Lu, Wei

    2011-08-01

    We investigated the backward light scattering pattern of healthy and malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) parasitized red blood cells. The spectrum could clearly distinguish between predominant ring stage infected blood cells and healthy blood cells. Further, we found that infected samples mixed with different stages of P. falciparum showed different signals, suggesting that even variance in parasite stages could also be detected by the spectrum. These results together with the backward scattering technique suggest the potential of non-invasive diagnosis of malaria through light scattering of blood cells near the surface of human body, such as using eyes or skin surface.

  17. Desferrioxamine suppresses Plasmodium falciparum in Aotus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, S; Rossan, R N; Davidson, D E; Escajadillo, A

    1987-02-01

    Clinical observation has suggested that iron deficiency may be protective in malaria, and we have found that desferrioxamine (DF), an iron-specific chelating agent, inhibited Plasmodium falciparum growth in vitro. It was difficult to be confident that DF would be effective in an intact animal, however, because continuous exposure to DF was required in vitro and, in vivo, DF is rapidly excreted. Also, the in vitro effect of DF was overcome by addition of iron to the culture and in vivo there are potentially high local iron concentrations when iron is absorbed from the diet or released from reticuloendothelial cells. We now show that DF given by constant subcutaneous infusion does suppress parasitemia in P. falciparum-infected Aotus monkeys.

  18. Plasma cytokines, chemokines and cellular immune responses in pre-school Nigerian children infected with Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noone Cariosa

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide with over one million deaths annually, particularly in children under five years. This study was the first to examine plasma cytokines, chemokines and cellular immune responses in pre-school Nigerian children infected with Plasmodium falciparum from four semi-urban villages near Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. Methods Blood was obtained from 231 children (aged 39–73 months who were classified according to mean P. falciparum density per μl of blood (uninfected (n = 89, low density (10,000, n = 22. IL-12p70, IL-10, Nitric oxide, IFN-γ, TNF, IL-17, IL-4 and TGF-β, C-C chemokine RANTES, MMP-8 and TIMP-1 were measured in plasma. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were obtained and examined markers of innate immune cells (CD14, CD36, CD56, CD54, CD11c AND HLA-DR. T-cell sub-populations (CD4, CD3 and γδTCR were intracellularly stained for IL-10, IFN-γ and TNF following polyclonal stimulation or stimulated with malaria parasites. Ascaris lumbricoides was endemic in these villages and all data were analysed taking into account the potential impact of bystander helminth infection. All data were analysed using SPSS 15 for windows and in all tests, p Results The level of P. falciparum parasitaemia was positively associated with plasma IL-10 and negatively associated with IL-12p70. The percentage of monocytes was significantly decreased in malaria-infected individuals while malaria parasitaemia was positively associated with increasing percentages of CD54+, CD11c+ and CD56+ cell populations. No association was observed in cytokine expression in mitogen-activated T-cell populations between groups and no malaria specific immune responses were detected. Although A. lumbricoides is endemic in these villages, an analysis of the data showed no impact of this helminth infection on P. falciparum parasitaemia or on immune responses associated with P. falciparum infection

  19. Using a meiosis detection toolkit to investigate ancient asexual "scandals" and the evolution of sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schurko, Andrew M; Logsdon, John M

    2008-06-01

    Sexual reproduction is the dominant reproductive mode in eukaryotes but, in many taxa, it has never been observed. Molecular methods that detect evidence of sex are largely based on the genetic consequences of sexual reproduction. Here we describe a powerful new approach to directly search genomes for genes that function in meiosis. We describe a "meiosis detection toolkit", a set of meiotic genes that represent the best markers for the presence of meiosis. These genes are widely present in eukaryotes, function only in meiosis and can be isolated by degenerate PCR. The presence of most, or all, of these genes in a genome would suggest they have been maintained for meiosis and, implicitly, sexual reproduction. In contrast, their absence would be consistent with the loss of meiosis and asexuality. This approach will help to understand both meiotic gene evolution and the capacity for meiosis and sex in putative obligate asexuals.

  20. Evolution of Population with Sexual and Asexual Reproduction in Changing Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Mingfeng; Yu, Changliang; Ruan, Hongbo; Yao, Lei

    Using a lattice model based on Monte Carlo simulations, we study the role of the reproduction pattern on the fate of an evolving population. Each individual is under the selection pressure from the environment and random mutations. The habitat ("climate") is changing periodically. Evolutions of populations following two reproduction patterns are compared, asexual and sexual. We show, via Monte Carlo simulations, that sexual reproduction by keeping more diversified populations gives them better chances to adapt themselves to the changing environment. However, in order to obtain a greater chance to mate, the birth rate should be high. In the case of low birth rate and high mutation probability there is a preference for the asexual reproduction.

  1. Profiling the repertoire of phenotypes influenced by environmental cues that occur during asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dombrovsky, Aviv; Arthaud, Laury; Ledger, Terence N; Tares, Sophie; Robichon, Alain

    2009-11-01

    The aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum population is composed of different morphs, such as winged and wingless parthenogens, males, and sexual females. The combined effect of reduced photoperiodicity and cold in fall triggers the apparition of sexual morphs. In contrast they reproduce asexually in spring and summer. In our current study, we provide evidence that clonal individuals display phenotypic variability within asexual morph categories. We describe that clones sharing the same morphological features, which arose from the same founder mother, constitute a repertoire of variants with distinct behavioral and physiological traits. Our results suggest that the prevailing environmental conditions influence the recruitment of adaptive phenotypes from a cohort of clonal individuals exhibiting considerable molecular diversity. However, we observed that the variability might be reduced or enhanced by external factors, but is never abolished in accordance with a model of stochastically produced phenotypes. This overall mechanism allows the renewal of colonies from a few adapted individuals that survive drastic episodic changes in a fluctuating environment.

  2. Exploring the folate pathway in Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Hyde, John E.

    2005-01-01

    As in centuries past, the main weapon against human malaria infections continues to be intervention with drugs, despite the widespread and increasing frequency of parasite populations that are resistant to one or more of the available compounds. This is a particular problem with the lethal species of parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, which claims some two million lives per year as well as causing enormous social and economic problems. Amongst the antimalarial drugs currently in clinical use, t...

  3. Plasma glutamine levels and falciparum malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, G; Planche, T; Agbenyega, T; Bedu-Addo, G; Owusu-Ofori, A; Adebe-Appiah, J; Agranoff, D; Woodrow, C; Castell, L; Elford, B; Krishna, S

    1999-01-01

    Glutamine deficiency is associated with increased rat