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Sample records for malarial parasite plasmodium

  1. Systems analysis of chaperone networks in the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soundara Raghavan Pavithra

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Molecular chaperones participate in the maintenance of cellular protein homeostasis, cell growth and differentiation, signal transduction, and development. Although a vast body of information is available regarding individual chaperones, few studies have attempted a systems level analysis of chaperone function. In this paper, we have constructed a chaperone interaction network for the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. P. falciparum is responsible for several million deaths every year, and understanding the biology of the parasite is a top priority. The parasite regularly experiences heat shock as part of its life cycle, and chaperones have often been implicated in parasite survival and growth. To better understand the participation of chaperones in cellular processes, we created a parasite chaperone network by combining experimental interactome data with in silico analysis. We used interolog mapping to predict protein-protein interactions for parasite chaperones based on the interactions of corresponding human chaperones. This data was then combined with information derived from existing high-throughput yeast two-hybrid assays. Analysis of the network reveals the broad range of functions regulated by chaperones. The network predicts involvement of chaperones in chromatin remodeling, protein trafficking, and cytoadherence. Importantly, it allows us to make predictions regarding the functions of hypothetical proteins based on their interactions. It allows us to make specific predictions about Hsp70-Hsp40 interactions in the parasite and assign functions to members of the Hsp90 and Hsp100 families. Analysis of the network provides a rational basis for the anti-malarial activity of geldanamycin, a well-known Hsp90 inhibitor. Finally, analysis of the network provides a theoretical basis for further experiments designed toward understanding the involvement of this important class of molecules in parasite biology.

  2. Species-specific escape of Plasmodium sporozoites from oocysts of avian, rodent, and human malarial parasites.

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    Orfano, Alessandra S; Nacif-Pimenta, Rafael; Duarte, Ana P M; Villegas, Luis M; Rodrigues, Nilton B; Pinto, Luciana C; Campos, Keillen M M; Pinilla, Yudi T; Chaves, Bárbara; Barbosa Guerra, Maria G V; Monteiro, Wuelton M; Smith, Ryan C; Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Lacerda, Marcus V G; Secundino, Nágila F C; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Barillas-Mury, Carolina; Pimenta, Paulo F P

    2016-08-02

    Malaria is transmitted when an infected mosquito delivers Plasmodium sporozoites into a vertebrate host. There are many species of Plasmodium and, in general, the infection is host-specific. For example, Plasmodium gallinaceum is an avian parasite, while Plasmodium berghei infects mice. These two parasites have been extensively used as experimental models of malaria transmission. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the most important agents of human malaria, a life-threatening disease of global importance. To complete their life cycle, Plasmodium parasites must traverse the mosquito midgut and form an oocyst that will divide continuously. Mature oocysts release thousands of sporozoites into the mosquito haemolymph that must reach the salivary gland to infect a new vertebrate host. The current understanding of the biology of oocyst formation and sporozoite release is mostly based on experimental infections with P. berghei, and the conclusions are generalized to other Plasmodium species that infect humans without further morphological analyses. Here, it is described the microanatomy of sporozoite escape from oocysts of four Plasmodium species: the two laboratory models, P. gallinaceum and P. berghei, and the two main species that cause malaria in humans, P. vivax and P. falciparum. It was found that sporozoites have species-specific mechanisms of escape from the oocyst. The two model species of Plasmodium had a common mechanism, in which the oocyst wall breaks down before sporozoites emerge. In contrast, P. vivax and P. falciparum sporozoites show a dynamic escape mechanism from the oocyst via polarized propulsion. This study demonstrated that Plasmodium species do not share a common mechanism of sporozoite escape, as previously thought, but show complex and species-specific mechanisms. In addition, the knowledge of this phenomenon in human Plasmodium can facilitate transmission-blocking studies and not those ones only based on the murine and avian models.

  3. Structure and interactions of a malarial vaccine candidate, AMA1, form the parasite plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miles, L.A.; Keizer, D.W.; Hodder, A.N.; Nair, M.; Hinds, M.G.; Norton, R.S.; Li, F.; Foley, M.; Coley, A.; Anders, R.F.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: Apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1), a merozoite surface protein found in all species of Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites, is a strong candidate for inclusion in a malarial vaccine. Recombinant AMA1 protected against P. fragile in monkeys and P. chabaudi adami in mice. P. falciparum AMA1 which has a 62-kDa ectodomain consisting of three disulphide-stabilised domains, is a target of antibodies that inhibit merozoite invasion in vitro. Here we describe the solution structure of domain III (14 kDa), determined by NMR on 15 N- and 13 C/ 15 N-labelled samples. It has a well-defined disulphide-stabilised core interrupted by a disordered loop, and both the N- and C-terminal regions of the molecule are unstructured. The structured region includes all three disulphide bonds. Naturally-occurring mutations across 11 different P falciparum strains that are located far apart in the sequence cluster around the disulphide core in the 3D structure of domain III, suggesting that this region contains the major epitopes recognised by neutralising antibodies. Consistent with this, the disulphide-bond stabilised conformation of the ectodomain was essential for protection, as the antigen was not an effective vaccine after reduction and alkylation. Peptides have been found by phage display that bind to AMA1 and block merozoite invasion of erythrocytes. We have investigated their solution structures and interaction with full-length AMA1 ectodomain in an effort to understand the structure-function relationships of this important vaccine candidate

  4. Radioimmunoassay for detecting antibodies against murine malarial parasite antigens: monoclonal antibodies recognizing Plasmodium yoelii antigens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, K.J.; Taylor, D.W.; Evans, C.B.; Asofsky, R.

    1980-01-01

    A solid-phase radioimmunoassay (SPRIA) in microtiter wells was established for detecting antibodies against Plasmodium yoelii Ag. The SPRIA was found (1) to require as little as 5 μg of crude parasite Ag per well, (2) to be able to detect 0.5 ng of monoclonal Ab, and (3) to be 10 4 times more sensitive than the indirect fluorescent Ab staining technique. In a modification of the above assay using intact RBC as an Ag, hyperimmune serum showed significant binding to the surface of erythrocytes of mice infected with P. yoelii parasites but not to RBC of normal mice. Hybridomas were prepared by fusing infected mouse spleen cells with myeloma cells. Using the SPRIA, hybrids secreting Ab against P. yoelii 17XL Ag were detected

  5. prevalence of malarial parasites in pregnant women attending sir

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. AMINU

    Keyword: Prevalence, Malarial Parasite, Pregnant Women, Kano. INTRODUCTION ... protective semi-immunity against plasmodium falciparum is acquired during the first 10-. 15 years of life and .... hiding place for the mosquito? It is therefore ...

  6. The severity of malarial anaemia in Plasmodium chabaudi infections of BALB/c mice is determined independently of the number of circulating parasites

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    Lamb Tracey J

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Severe malarial anaemia is a major complication of malaria infection and is multi-factorial resulting from loss of circulating red blood cells (RBCs from parasite replication, as well as immune-mediated mechanisms. An understanding of the causes of severe malarial anaemia is necessary to develop and implement new therapeutic strategies to tackle this syndrome of malaria infection. Methods Using analysis of variance, this work investigated whether parasite-destruction of RBCs always accounts for the severity of malarial anaemia during infections of the rodent malaria model Plasmodium chabaudi in mice of a BALB/c background. Differences in anaemia between two different clones of P. chabaudi were also examined. Results Circulating parasite numbers were not correlated with the severity of anaemia in either BALB/c mice or under more severe conditions of anaemia in BALB/c RAG2 deficient mice (lacking T and B cells. Mice infected with P. chabaudi clone CB suffered more severe anaemia than mice infected with clone AS, but this was not correlated with the number of parasites in the circulation. Instead, the peak percentage of parasitized RBCs was higher in CB-infected animals than in AS-infected animals, and was correlated with the severity of anaemia, suggesting that the availability of uninfected RBCs was impaired in CB-infected animals. Conclusion This work shows that parasite numbers are a more relevant measure of parasite levels in P. chabaudi infection than % parasitaemia, a measure that does not take anaemia into account. The lack of correlation between parasite numbers and the drop in circulating RBCs in this experimental model of malaria support a role for the host response in the impairment or destruction of uninfected RBC in P. chabaudi infections, and thus development of acute anaemia in this malaria model.

  7. The origin of malarial parasites in orangutans.

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    M Andreína Pacheco

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent findings of Plasmodium in African apes have changed our perspectives on the evolution of malarial parasites in hominids. However, phylogenetic analyses of primate malarias are still missing information from Southeast Asian apes. In this study, we report molecular data for a malaria parasite lineage found in orangutans. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We screened twenty-four blood samples from Pongo pygmaeus (Kalimantan, Indonesia for Plasmodium parasites by PCR. For all the malaria positive orangutan samples, parasite mitochondrial genomes (mtDNA and two antigens: merozoite surface protein 1 42 kDa (MSP-1(42 and circumsporozoite protein gene (CSP were amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Fifteen orangutans tested positive and yielded 5 distinct mitochondrial haplotypes not previously found. The haplotypes detected exhibited low genetic divergence among them, indicating that they belong to one species. We report phylogenetic analyses using mitochondrial genomes, MSP-1(42 and CSP. We found that the orangutan malaria parasite lineage was part of a monophyletic group that includes all the known non-human primate malaria parasites found in Southeast Asia; specifically, it shares a recent common ancestor with P. inui (a macaque parasite and P. hylobati (a gibbon parasite suggesting that this lineage originated as a result of a host switch. The genetic diversity of MSP-1(42 in orangutans seems to be under negative selection. This result is similar to previous findings in non-human primate malarias closely related to P. vivax. As has been previously observed in the other Plasmodium species found in non-human primates, the CSP shows high polymorphism in the number of repeats. However, it has clearly distinctive motifs from those previously found in other malarial parasites. CONCLUSION: The evidence available from Asian apes indicates that these parasites originated independently from those found in Africa, likely as the result of host

  8. A rodent malarial model of Plasmodium berghei for the development ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A rodent malarial model of Plasmodium berghei for the development of pyrimethamine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine resistant malaria in mice. ... course approach with 125/6.25mg/kg S/P. The stability of resistance phenotypes, parasite pathogenic disposition and host leukocyte response were also investigated.

  9. Plasmodium falciparum in vitro continuous culture conditions: A comparison of parasite susceptibility and tolerance to anti-malarial drugs throughout the asexual intra-erythrocytic life cycle.

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    Duffy, Sandra; Avery, Vicky M

    2017-12-01

    The continuous culture of Plasmodium falciparum is often seen as a means to an end, that end being to probe the biology of the parasite in question, and ultimately for many in the malaria drug discovery arena, to identify means of killing the parasite in order to treat malaria. In vitro continuous culture of Plasmodium falciparum is a fundamental requirement when undertaking malaria research where the primary objectives utilise viable parasites of a desired lifecycle stage. This investigation, and resulting data, compared the impact culturing Plasmodium falciparum long term (4 months) in different environmental conditions had on experimental outcomes and thus conclusions. The example presented here focused specifically on the effect culture conditions had on the in vitro tolerance of Plasmodium falciparum to standard anti-malarial drugs, including artemisinin and lumefantrine. Historical data from an independent experiment for 3D7-ALB (5% O 2 ) was also compared with that obtained from this study. We concluded that parasites cultured for several months in media supplemented with a serum substitute such as Albumax II ® or within hyperoxic conditions (21% O 2 ), demonstrate highly variable responses to artemisinin and lumefantrine but not all anti-malarial drugs, when compared to those cultured in human serum in combination with Albumax II ® under normoxic conditions (5% O 2 ) for the parasite. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Sir Ronald Ross and the Malarial Parasite

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 11; Issue 7. Sir Ronald Ross and the Malarial Parasite - Discovery of its Route - From Man to Mosquito and Back. Shobhona Sharma. General Article Volume 11 Issue 7 July 2006 pp 4-13 ...

  11. Identifying rapidly parasiticidal anti-malarial drugs using a simple and reliable in vitro parasite viability fast assay.

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    Linares, María; Viera, Sara; Crespo, Benigno; Franco, Virginia; Gómez-Lorenzo, María G; Jiménez-Díaz, María Belén; Angulo-Barturen, Íñigo; Sanz, Laura María; Gamo, Francisco-Javier

    2015-11-05

    The emergence of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins threatens to undermine the effectiveness of artemisinin-based combination anti-malarial therapy. Developing suitable drugs to replace artemisinins requires the identification of new compounds that display rapid parasite killing kinetics. However, no current methods fully meet the requirements to screen large compound libraries for candidates with such properties. This study describes the development and validation of an in vitro parasite viability fast assay for identifying rapidly parasiticidal anti-malarial drugs. Parasite killing kinetics were determined by first culturing unlabelled erythrocytes with P. falciparum in the presence of anti-malarial drugs for 24 or 48 h. After removing the drug, samples were added to erythrocytes pre-labelled with intracellular dye to allow their subsequent identification. The ability of viable parasites to re-establish infection in labelled erythrocytes could then be detected by two-colour flow cytometry after tagging of parasite DNA. Thus, double-stained erythrocytes (with the pre-labelled intracellular dye and the parasite DNA dye) result only after establishment of new infections by surviving parasites. The capacity of the test anti-malarial drugs to eliminate viable parasites within 24 or 48 h could, therefore, be determined. The parasite viability fast assay could be completed within 48 h following drug treatment and distinguished between rapidly parasiticidal anti-malarial drugs versus those acting more slowly. The assay was validated against ten standard anti-malarial agents with known properties and results correlated well with established methods. An abbreviated assay, suitable for adaption to medium-high throughput screening, was validated and applied against a set of 20 compounds retrieved from the publically available Medicines for Malaria Venture 'Malaria Box'. The quantification of new infections to determine parasite viability offers important

  12. Helminth parasites alter protection against Plasmodium infection.

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    Salazar-Castañon, Víctor H; Legorreta-Herrera, Martha; Rodriguez-Sosa, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    More than one-third of the world's population is infected with one or more helminthic parasites. Helminth infections are prevalent throughout tropical and subtropical regions where malaria pathogens are transmitted. Malaria is the most widespread and deadliest parasitic disease. The severity of the disease is strongly related to parasite density and the host's immune responses. Furthermore, coinfections between both parasites occur frequently. However, little is known regarding how concomitant infection with helminths and Plasmodium affects the host's immune response. Helminthic infections are frequently massive, chronic, and strong inductors of a Th2-type response. This implies that infection by such parasites could alter the host's susceptibility to subsequent infections by Plasmodium. There are a number of reports on the interactions between helminths and Plasmodium; in some, the burden of Plasmodium parasites increased, but others reported a reduction in the parasite. This review focuses on explaining many of these discrepancies regarding helminth-Plasmodium coinfections in terms of the effects that helminths have on the immune system. In particular, it focuses on helminth-induced immunosuppression and the effects of cytokines controlling polarization toward the Th1 or Th2 arms of the immune response.

  13. In vitro studies on the sensitivity pattern of Plasmodium falciparum to anti-malarial drugs and local herbal extracts.

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    Olasehinde, Grace I; Ojurongbe, Olusola; Adeyeba, Adegboyega O; Fagade, Obasola E; Valecha, Neena; Ayanda, Isaac O; Ajayi, Adesola A; Egwari, Louis O

    2014-02-20

    The resistance of human malaria parasites to anti-malarial compounds has become considerable concern, particularly in view of the shortage of novel classes of anti-malarial drugs. One way to prevent resistance is by using new compounds that are not based on existing synthetic antimicrobial agents. Sensitivity of 100 Plasmodium falciparum isolates to chloroquine, quinine, amodiaquine, mefloquine, sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine, artemisinin, Momordica charantia ('Ejirin') Diospyros monbuttensis ('Egun eja') and Morinda lucida ('Oruwo') was determined using the in vitro microtest (Mark III) technique to determine the IC50 of the drugs. All the isolates tested were sensitive to quinine, mefloquine and artesunate. Fifty-one percent of the isolates were resistant to chloroquine, 13% to amodiaquine and 5% to sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine. Highest resistance to chloroquine (68.9%) was recorded among isolates from Yewa zone while highest resistance to amodiaquine (30%) was observed in Ijebu zone. Highest resistance to sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine was recorded in Yewa and Egba zones, respectively. A positive correlation was observed between the responses to artemisinin and mefloquine (P0.05). Highest anti-plasmodial activity was obtained with the ethanolic extract of D. monbuttensis (IC50 = 3.2 nM) while the lowest was obtained from M. lucida (IC50 = 25 nM). Natural products isolated from plants used in traditional medicine, which have potent anti-plasmodial action in vitro, represent potential sources of new anti-malarial drugs.

  14. Expression profiling of Plasmodium berghei HSP70 genes for generation of bright red fluorescent parasites.

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    Marion Hliscs

    Full Text Available Live cell imaging of recombinant malarial parasites encoding fluorescent probes provides critical insights into parasite-host interactions and life cycle progression. In this study, we generated a red fluorescent line of the murine malarial parasite Plasmodium berghei. To allow constitutive and abundant expression of the mCherry protein we profiled expression of all members of the P. berghei heat shock protein 70 (HSP70 family. We identified PbHSP70/1, an invariant ortholog of Plasmodium falciparum HSP70-1, as the protein with the highest expression levels during Plasmodium blood, mosquito, and liver infection. Stable allelic insertion of a mCherry expression cassette into the PbHsp70/1 locus created constitutive red fluorescent P. berghei lines, termed Pbred. We show that these parasites can be used for live imaging of infected host cells and organs, including hepatocytes, erythrocytes, and whole Anopheles mosquitoes. Quantification of the fluorescence intensity of several Pbred parasite stages revealed significantly enhanced signal intensities in comparison to GFP expressed under the control of the constitutive EF1alpha promoter. We propose that systematic transcript profiling permits generation of reporter parasites, such as the Pbred lines described herein.

  15. Partial Sequence Analysis of Merozoite Surface Proteine-3α Gene in Plasmodium vivax Isolates from Malarious Areas of Iran

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    H Mirhendi

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Approximately 85-90% of malaria infections in Iran are attributed to Plasmodium vivax, while little is known about the genetic of the parasite and its strain types in this region. This study was designed and performed for describing genetic characteristics of Plasmodium vivax population of Iran based on the merozoite surface protein-3α gene sequence. Methods: Through a descriptive study we analyzed partial P. vivax merozoite surface protein-3α gene sequences from 17 clinical P. vivax isolates collected from malarious areas of Iran. Genomic DNA was extracted by Q1Aamp® DNA blood mini kit, amplified through nested PCR for a partial nucleotide sequence of PvMSP-3 gene in P. vivax. PCR-amplified products were sequenced with an ABI Prism Perkin-Elmer 310 sequencer machine and the data were analyzed with clustal W software. Results: Analysis of PvMSP-3 gene sequences demonstrated extensive polymorphisms, but the sequence identity between isolates of same types was relatively high. We identified specific insertions and deletions for the types A, B and C variants of P. vivax in our isolates. In phylogenetic comparison of geographically separated isolates, there was not a significant geo­graphical branching of the parasite populations. Conclusion: The highly polymorphic nature of isolates suggests that more investigations of the PvMSP-3 gene are needed to explore its vaccine potential.

  16. Translational Control in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma Parasites

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    Joyce, Bradley R.; Sullivan, William J.; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2013-01-01

    The life cycles of apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii are complex, consisting of proliferative and latent stages within multiple hosts. Dramatic transformations take place during the cycles, and they demand precise control of gene expression at all levels, including translation. This review focuses on the mechanisms that regulate translational control in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, with a particular emphasis on the phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). Phosphorylation of eIF2α (eIF2α∼P) is a conserved mechanism that eukaryotic cells use to repress global protein synthesis while enhancing gene-specific translation of a subset of mRNAs. Elevated levels of eIF2α∼P have been observed during latent stages in both Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, indicating that translational control plays a role in maintaining dormancy. Parasite-specific eIF2α kinases and phosphatases are also required for proper developmental transitions and adaptation to cellular stresses encountered during the life cycle. Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of apicomplexan eIF2α kinases may selectively interfere with parasite translational control and lead to the development of new therapies to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis. PMID:23243065

  17. Translational control in Plasmodium and toxoplasma parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Min; Joyce, Bradley R; Sullivan, William J; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2013-02-01

    The life cycles of apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii are complex, consisting of proliferative and latent stages within multiple hosts. Dramatic transformations take place during the cycles, and they demand precise control of gene expression at all levels, including translation. This review focuses on the mechanisms that regulate translational control in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, with a particular emphasis on the phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). Phosphorylation of eIF2α (eIF2α∼P) is a conserved mechanism that eukaryotic cells use to repress global protein synthesis while enhancing gene-specific translation of a subset of mRNAs. Elevated levels of eIF2α∼P have been observed during latent stages in both Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, indicating that translational control plays a role in maintaining dormancy. Parasite-specific eIF2α kinases and phosphatases are also required for proper developmental transitions and adaptation to cellular stresses encountered during the life cycle. Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of apicomplexan eIF2α kinases may selectively interfere with parasite translational control and lead to the development of new therapies to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis.

  18. In vitro efficacy, resistance selection, and structural modeling studies implicate the malarial parasite apicoplast as the target of azithromycin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Amar Bir Singh; Sun, Qingan; Nkrumah, Louis J; Dunne, Michael W; Sacchettini, James C; Fidock, David A

    2007-01-26

    Azithromycin (AZ), a broad-spectrum antibacterial macrolide that inhibits protein synthesis, also manifests reasonable efficacy as an antimalarial. Its mode of action against malarial parasites, however, has remained undefined. Our in vitro investigations with the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum document a remarkable increase in AZ potency when exposure is prolonged from one to two generations of intraerythrocytic growth, with AZ producing 50% inhibition of parasite growth at concentrations in the mid to low nanomolar range. In our culture-adapted lines, AZ displayed no synergy with chloroquine (CQ), amodiaquine, or artesunate. AZ activity was also unaffected by mutations in the pfcrt (P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter) or pfmdr1 (P. falciparum multidrug resistance-1) drug resistance loci, as determined using transgenic lines. We have selected mutant, AZ-resistant 7G8 and Dd2 parasite lines. In the AZ-resistant 7G8 line, the bacterial-like apicoplast large subunit ribosomal RNA harbored a U438C mutation in domain I. Both AZ-resistant lines revealed a G76V mutation in a conserved region of the apicoplast-encoded P. falciparum ribosomal protein L4 (PfRpl4). This protein is predicted to associate with the nuclear genome-encoded P. falciparum ribosomal protein L22 (PfRpl22) and the large subunit rRNA to form the 50 S ribosome polypeptide exit tunnel that can be occupied by AZ. The PfRpl22 sequence remained unchanged. Molecular modeling of mutant PfRpl4 with AZ suggests an altered orientation of the L75 side chain that could preclude AZ binding. These data imply that AZ acts on the apicoplast bacterial-like translation machinery and identify Pfrpl4 as a potential marker of resistance.

  19. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

    OpenAIRE

    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

    Malaria is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites belonging to Plasmodium spp. (phylum Apicomplexa) that produce significant morbidity and mortality, mostly in developing countries. Plasmodium parasites have a complex life cycle that includes multiple stages in anopheline mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts. During the life cycle, the parasites undergo several cycles of extreme population growth within a brief span, and this is critical for their continued transmission and a contri...

  20. [Hyper-reactive malarial splenomegaly].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maazoun, F; Deschamps, O; Barros-Kogel, E; Ngwem, E; Fauchet, N; Buffet, P; Froissart, A

    2015-11-01

    Hyper-reactive malarial splenomegaly is a rare and severe form of chronic malaria. This condition is a common cause of splenomegaly in endemic areas. The pathophysiology of hyper-reactive malarial splenomegaly involves an intense immune reaction (predominantly B cell-driven) to repeated/chronic infections with Plasmodium sp. The diagnosis may be difficult, due to a poorly specific clinical presentation (splenomegaly, fatigue, cytopenias), a long delay between residence in a malaria-endemic area and onset of symptoms, and a frequent absence of parasites on conventional thin and thick blood smears. A strongly contributive laboratory parameter is the presence of high levels of total immunoglobulin M. When the diagnostic of hyper-reactive malarial splenomegaly is considered, search for anti-Plasmodium antibodies and Plasmodium nucleic acids (genus and species) by PCR is useful. Diagnosis of hyper-reactive malarial splenomegaly relies on the simultaneous presence of epidemiological, clinical, biological and follow-up findings. Regression of both splenomegaly and hypersplenism following antimalarial therapy allows the differential diagnosis with splenic lymphoma, a common complication of hyper-reactive malarial splenomegaly. Although rare in Western countries, hyper-reactive malarial splenomegaly deserves increased medical awareness to reduce the incidence of incorrect diagnosis, to prevent progression to splenic lymphoma and to avoid splenectomy. Copyright © 2015 Société nationale française de médecine interne (SNFMI). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Comparative genome-wide analysis and evolutionary history of haemoglobin-processing and haem detoxification enzymes in malarial parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponsuwanna, Patrath; Kochakarn, Theerarat; Bunditvorapoom, Duangkamon; Kümpornsin, Krittikorn; Otto, Thomas D; Ridenour, Chase; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Wilairat, Prapon; White, Nicholas J; Miotto, Olivo; Chookajorn, Thanat

    2016-01-29

    Malaria parasites have evolved a series of intricate mechanisms to survive and propagate within host red blood cells. Intra-erythrocytic parasitism requires these organisms to digest haemoglobin and detoxify iron-bound haem. These tasks are executed by haemoglobin-specific proteases and haem biocrystallization factors that are components of a large multi-subunit complex. Since haemoglobin processing machineries are functionally and genetically linked to the modes of action and resistance mechanisms of several anti-malarial drugs, an understanding of their evolutionary history is important for drug development and drug resistance prevention. Maximum likelihood trees of genetic repertoires encoding haemoglobin processing machineries within Plasmodium species, and with the representatives of Apicomplexan species with various host tropisms, were created. Genetic variants were mapped onto existing three-dimensional structures. Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data were used to analyse the selective pressure and the effect of these mutations at the structural level. Recent expansions in the falcipain and plasmepsin repertoires are unique to human malaria parasites especially in the Plasmodium falciparum and P. reichenowi lineage. Expansion of haemoglobin-specific plasmepsins occurred after the separation event of Plasmodium species, but the other members of the plasmepsin family were evolutionarily conserved with one copy for each sub-group in every Apicomplexan species. Haemoglobin-specific falcipains are separated from invasion-related falcipain, and their expansions within one specific locus arose independently in both P. falciparum and P. vivax lineages. Gene conversion between P. falciparum falcipain 2A and 2B was observed in artemisinin-resistant strains. Comparison between the numbers of non-synonymous and synonymous mutations suggests a strong selective pressure at falcipain and plasmepsin genes. The locations of amino acid changes from non

  2. Specific Stereoisomeric Conformations Determine the Drug Potency of Cladosporin Scaffold against Malarial Parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Pronay; Babbar, Palak; Malhotra, Nipun; Sharma, Manmohan; Jachak, Gorakhnath R; Gonnade, Rajesh G; Shanmugam, Dhanasekaran; Harlos, Karl; Yogavel, Manickam; Sharma, Amit; Reddy, D Srinivasa

    2018-05-21

    The dependence of drug potency on diastereomeric configurations is a key facet. Using a novel general divergent synthetic route for a three-chiral centre anti-malarial natural product cladosporin, we built its complete library of stereoisomers (cladologs) and assessed their inhibitory potential using parasite-, enzyme- and structure-based assays. We show that potency is manifest via tetrahyropyran ring conformations that are housed in the ribose binding pocket of parasite lysyl tRNA synthetase (KRS). Strikingly, drug potency between top and worst enantiomers varied 500-fold, and structures of KRS-cladolog complexes reveal that alterations at C3 and C10 are detrimental to drug potency where changes at C3 are sensed by rotameric flipping of Glutamate332. Given that scores of anti-malarial and anti-infective drugs contain chiral centers, this work provides a new foundation for focusing on inhibitor stereochemistry as a facet of anti-microbial drug development.

  3. Chimpanzee malaria parasites related to Plasmodium ovale in Africa.

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    Linda Duval

    Full Text Available Since the 1970's, the diversity of Plasmodium parasites in African great apes has been neglected. Surprisingly, P. reichenowi, a chimpanzee parasite, is the only such parasite to have been molecularly characterized. This parasite is closely phylogenetically related to P. falciparum, the principal cause of the greatest malaria burden in humans. Studies of malaria parasites from anthropoid primates may provide relevant phylogenetic information, improving our understanding of the origin and evolutionary history of human malaria species. In this study, we screened 130 DNA samples from chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla from Cameroon for Plasmodium infection, using cytochrome b molecular tools. Two chimpanzees from the subspecies Pan t. troglodytes presented single infections with Plasmodium strains molecularly related to the human malaria parasite P. ovale. These chimpanzee parasites and 13 human strains of P. ovale originated from a various sites in Africa and Asia were characterized using cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase 1 mitochondrial partial genes and nuclear ldh partial gene. Consistent with previous findings, two genetically distinct types of P. ovale, classical and variant, were observed in the human population from a variety of geographical locations. One chimpanzee Plasmodium strain was genetically identical, on all three markers tested, to variant P. ovale type. The other chimpanzee Plasmodium strain was different from P. ovale strains isolated from humans. This study provides the first evidence of possibility of natural cross-species exchange of P. ovale between humans and chimpanzees of the subspecies Pan t. troglodytes.

  4. The Plasmodium bottleneck: malaria parasite losses in the mosquito vector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ryan C; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Nearly one million people are killed every year by the malaria parasite Plasmodium. Although the disease-causing forms of the parasite exist only in the human blood, mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are the obligate vector for transmission. Here, we review the parasite life cycle in the vector and highlight the human and mosquito contributions that limit malaria parasite development in the mosquito host. We address parasite killing in its mosquito host and bottlenecks in parasite numbers that might guide intervention strategies to prevent transmission. PMID:25185005

  5. The Plasmodium bottleneck: malaria parasite losses in the mosquito vector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan C Smith

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Nearly one million people are killed every year by the malaria parasite Plasmodium. Although the disease-causing forms of the parasite exist only in the human blood, mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are the obligate vector for transmission. Here, we review the parasite life cycle in the vector and highlight the human and mosquito contributions that limit malaria parasite development in the mosquito host. We address parasite killing in its mosquito host and bottlenecks in parasite numbers that might guide intervention strategies to prevent transmission.

  6. Biophysics of malarial parasite exit from infected erythrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandramohanadas, Rajesh; Park, YongKeun; Lui, Lena; Li, Ang; Quinn, David; Liew, Kingsley; Diez-Silva, Monica; Sung, Yongjin; Dao, Ming; Lim, Chwee Teck; Preiser, Peter Rainer; Suresh, Subra

    2011-01-01

    Upon infection and development within human erythrocytes, P. falciparum induces alterations to the infected RBC morphology and bio-mechanical properties to eventually rupture the host cells through parasitic and host derived proteases of cysteine and serine families. We used previously reported broad-spectrum inhibitors (E64d, EGTA-AM and chymostatin) to inhibit these proteases and impede rupture to analyze mechanical signatures associated with parasite escape. Treatment of late-stage iRBCs with E64d and EGTA-AM prevented rupture, resulted in no major RBC cytoskeletal reconfiguration but altered schizont morphology followed by dramatic re-distribution of three-dimensional refractive index (3D-RI) within the iRBC. These phenotypes demonstrated several-fold increased iRBC membrane flickering. In contrast, chymostatin treatment showed no 3D-RI changes and caused elevated fluctuations solely within the parasitophorous vacuole. We show that E64d and EGTA-AM supported PV breakdown and the resulting elevated fluctuations followed non-Gaussian pattern that resulted from direct merozoite impingement against the iRBC membrane. Optical trapping experiments highlighted reduced deformability of the iRBC membranes upon rupture-arrest, more specifically in the treatments that facilitated PV breakdown. Taken together, our experiments provide novel mechanistic interpretations on the role of parasitophorous vacuole in maintaining the spherical schizont morphology, the impact of PV breakdown on iRBC membrane fluctuations leading to eventual parasite escape and the evolution of membrane stiffness properties of host cells in which merozoites were irreversibly trapped, recourse to protease inhibitors. These findings provide a comprehensive, previously unavailable, body of information on the combined effects of biochemical and biophysical factors on parasite egress from iRBCs.

  7. Song sparrows Melospiza melodia have a home-field advantage in defending against sympatric malarial parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarquis-Adamson, Yanina

    2016-01-01

    Hosts and parasites interact on both evolutionary and ecological timescales. The outcome of these interactions, specifically whether hosts are more resistant to their local parasites (sympatric) than to parasites from another location (allopatric), is likely to affect the spread of infectious disease and the fitness consequences of host dispersal. We conducted a cross-infection experiment to determine whether song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) have an advantage in dealing with sympatric parasites. We captured birds from two breeding sites 437 km apart, and inoculated them with avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) cultured either from their capture site or from the other site. Infection risk was lower for birds exposed to sympatric than to allopatric Plasmodium lineages, suggesting that song sparrows may have a home-field advantage in defending against local parasite strains. This pattern was more pronounced at one capture site than at the other, consistent with mosaic models of host–parasite interactions. Home-field advantage may arise from evolutionary processes, whereby host populations become adapted to their local parasites, and/or from ecological interactions, whereby host individuals develop resistance to the local parasites through previous immune exposure. Our findings suggest that greater susceptibility to novel parasites may represent a fitness consequence of natal dispersal. PMID:27853596

  8. Mosquito transmission of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi

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    Spence Philip J

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Serial blood passage of Plasmodium increases virulence, whilst mosquito transmission inherently regulates parasite virulence within the mammalian host. It is, therefore, imperative that all aspects of experimental malaria research are studied in the context of the complete Plasmodium life cycle. Methods Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi displays many characteristics associated with human Plasmodium infection of natural mosquito vectors and the mammalian host, and thus provides a unique opportunity to study the pathogenesis of malaria in a single infection setting. An optimized protocol that permits efficient and reproducible vector transmission of P. c. chabaudi via Anopheles stephensi was developed. Results and conclusions This protocol was utilized for mosquito transmission of genetically distinct P. c. chabaudi isolates, highlighting differential parasite virulence within the mosquito vector and the spectrum of host susceptibility to infection initiated via the natural route, mosquito bite. An apposite experimental system in which to delineate the pathogenesis of malaria is described in detail.

  9. Automated and unsupervised detection of malarial parasites in microscopic images

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    Purwar Yashasvi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria is a serious infectious disease. According to the World Health Organization, it is responsible for nearly one million deaths each year. There are various techniques to diagnose malaria of which manual microscopy is considered to be the gold standard. However due to the number of steps required in manual assessment, this diagnostic method is time consuming (leading to late diagnosis and prone to human error (leading to erroneous diagnosis, even in experienced hands. The focus of this study is to develop a robust, unsupervised and sensitive malaria screening technique with low material cost and one that has an advantage over other techniques in that it minimizes human reliance and is, therefore, more consistent in applying diagnostic criteria. Method A method based on digital image processing of Giemsa-stained thin smear image is developed to facilitate the diagnostic process. The diagnosis procedure is divided into two parts; enumeration and identification. The image-based method presented here is designed to automate the process of enumeration and identification; with the main advantage being its ability to carry out the diagnosis in an unsupervised manner and yet have high sensitivity and thus reducing cases of false negatives. Results The image based method is tested over more than 500 images from two independent laboratories. The aim is to distinguish between positive and negative cases of malaria using thin smear blood slide images. Due to the unsupervised nature of method it requires minimal human intervention thus speeding up the whole process of diagnosis. Overall sensitivity to capture cases of malaria is 100% and specificity ranges from 50-88% for all species of malaria parasites. Conclusion Image based screening method will speed up the whole process of diagnosis and is more advantageous over laboratory procedures that are prone to errors and where pathological expertise is minimal. Further this method

  10. Comparative Genomics and Systems Biology of Malaria Parasites Plasmodium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Hong; Zhou, Zhan; Gu, Jianying; Wang, Yufeng

    2013-01-01

    Malaria is a serious infectious disease that causes over one million deaths yearly. It is caused by a group of protozoan parasites in the genus Plasmodium. No effective vaccine is currently available and the elevated levels of resistance to drugs in use underscore the pressing need for novel antimalarial targets. In this review, we survey omics centered developments in Plasmodium biology, which have set the stage for a quantum leap in our understanding of the fundamental processes of the parasite life cycle and mechanisms of drug resistance and immune evasion. PMID:24298232

  11. From malaria parasite point of view – Plasmodium falciparum evolution

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    Agata Zerka

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi

    OpenAIRE

    Spence, Philip J; Cunningham, Deirdre; Jarra, William; Lawton, Jennifer; Langhorne, Jean; Thompson, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi shares many features with human malaria species, including P. falciparum, and is the in vivo model of choice for many aspects of malaria research in the mammalian host, from sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes, to antigenic variation and host immunity and immunopathology. this protocol describes an optimized method for the transformation of mature blood-stage P.c. chabaudi and a description of a vector that targets efficient, sing...

  13. Serological evidence of discrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bejon, Philip; Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Malaria transmission may be considered to be homogenous with well-mixed parasite populations (as in the classic Ross/Macdonald models). Marked fine-scale heterogeneity of transmission has been observed in the field (i.e., over a few kilometres), but there are relatively few data on the degree...... of mixing. Since the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) is highly polymorphic, the host's serological responses may be used to infer exposure to parasite sub-populations....

  14. Factors contributing to the development of anaemia in Plasmodium falciparum malaria: what about drug-resistant parasites?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quashie, Neils Ben; Akanmori, Bartholomew D; Ofori-Adjei, David

    2006-01-01

    implicated in its pathogenesis. Since resolution of malaria restores erythropoiesis, we hypothesized that drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum would increase the risk of severe anaemia developing from initially uncomplicated malaria. Using both in vivo and in vitro drug-sensitivity tests we...... compared the prevalence of drug-resistant malaria between severe malarial anaemia SA and non-anaemic malaria NAM patients. Assessment of treatment outcome using the WHO in vivo criteria showed no significant difference in parasite resistance between the two groups. The mean parasite clearance time was also......-treatment blood levels of chloroquine did not differ much between the two groups. Findings from this study could not therefore implicate drug-resistant parasites in the pathogenesis of severe malarial anaemia....

  15. Hyperreactive malarial splenomegaly is associated with low levels of antibodies against red blood cell and Plasmodium falciparum derived glycolipids in Yanomami Amerindians from Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivas, Livia; O'Dea, Kieran P; Noya, Oscar; Pabon, Rosalba; Magris, Magda; Botto, Carlos; Holder, Anthony A; Brown, K Neil

    2008-03-01

    The immunological basis of the aberrant immune response in hyperreactive malarial splenomegaly (HMS) is poorly understood, but believed to be associated with polyclonal B cell activation by an unidentified malaria mitogen, leading to unregulated immunoglobulin and autoantibody production. HMS has been previously reported in Yanomami communities in the Upper Orinoco region of the Venezuelan Amazon. To investigate a possible association between antibody responses against Plasmodium falciparum and uninfected red blood cell (URBC) glycolipids and splenomegaly, a direct comparison of the parasite versus host anti-glycolipid antibody responses was made in an isolated community of this area. The anti-P. falciparum glycolipid (Pfglp) response was IgG3 dominated, whereas the uninfected red blood cell glycolipid (URBCglp) response showed a predominance of IgG1. The levels of IgG1 against Pfglp, and of IgG4 and IgM against URBCglp were significantly higher in women, while the anti-Pfglp or URBCglp IgM levels were inversely correlated with the degree of splenomegaly. Overall, these results suggest differential regulation of anti-parasite and autoreactive responses and that these responses may be linked to the development and evolution of HMS in this population exposed to endemic malaria. The high mortality rates associated with HMS point out that its early diagnosis together with the implementation of malaria control measures in these isolated Amerindian communities are a priority.

  16. Origin of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in gorillas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Learn, Gerald H; Rudicell, Rebecca S; Robertson, Joel D; Keele, Brandon F; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N; Sanz, Crickette M; Morgan, David B; Locatelli, Sabrina; Gonder, Mary K; Kranzusch, Philip J; Walsh, Peter D; Delaporte, Eric; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Georgiev, Alexander V; Muller, Martin N; Shaw, George M; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M; Rayner, Julian C; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2010-09-23

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent and lethal of the malaria parasites infecting humans, yet the origin and evolutionary history of this important pathogen remain controversial. Here we develop a single-genome amplification strategy to identify and characterize Plasmodium spp. DNA sequences in faecal samples from wild-living apes. Among nearly 3,000 specimens collected from field sites throughout central Africa, we found Plasmodium infection in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), but not in eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei) or bonobos (Pan paniscus). Ape plasmodial infections were highly prevalent, widely distributed and almost always made up of mixed parasite species. Analysis of more than 1,100 mitochondrial, apicoplast and nuclear gene sequences from chimpanzees and gorillas revealed that 99% grouped within one of six host-specific lineages representing distinct Plasmodium species within the subgenus Laverania. One of these from western gorillas comprised parasites that were nearly identical to P. falciparum. In phylogenetic analyses of full-length mitochondrial sequences, human P. falciparum formed a monophyletic lineage within the gorilla parasite radiation. These findings indicate that P. falciparum is of gorilla origin and not of chimpanzee, bonobo or ancient human origin.

  17. Polyamine uptake by the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemand, J; Louw, A I; Birkholtz, L; Kirk, K

    2012-09-01

    Polyamines and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis are present at high levels in rapidly proliferating cells, including cancer cells and protozoan parasites. Inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis in asexual blood-stage malaria parasites causes cytostatic arrest of parasite development under in vitro conditions, but does not cure infections in vivo. This may be due to replenishment of the parasite's intracellular polyamine pool via salvage of exogenous polyamines from the host. However, the mechanism(s) of polyamine uptake by the intraerythrocytic parasite are not well understood. In this study, the uptake of the polyamines, putrescine and spermidine, into Plasmodium falciparum parasites functionally isolated from their host erythrocyte was investigated using radioisotope flux techniques. Both putrescine and spermidine were taken up into isolated parasites via a temperature-dependent process that showed cross-competition between different polyamines. There was also some inhibition of polyamine uptake by basic amino acids. Inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis led to an increase in the total amount of putrescine and spermidine taken up from the extracellular medium. The uptake of putrescine and spermidine by isolated parasites was independent of extracellular Na(+) but increased with increasing external pH. Uptake also showed a marked dependence on the parasite's membrane potential, decreasing with membrane depolarization and increasing with membrane hyperpolarization. The data are consistent with polyamines being taken up into the parasite via an electrogenic uptake process, energised by the parasite's inwardly negative membrane potential. Copyright © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Shaw, Katharina S; Learn, Gerald H; Plenderleith, Lindsey J; Malenke, Jordan A; Sundararaman, Sesh A; Ramirez, Miguel A; Crystal, Patricia A; Smith, Andrew G; Bibollet-Ruche, Frederic; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Locatelli, Sabrina; Esteban, Amandine; Mouacha, Fatima; Guichet, Emilande; Butel, Christelle; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N; Speede, Sheri; Sanz, Crickette M; Morgan, David B; Gonder, Mary K; Kranzusch, Philip J; Walsh, Peter D; Georgiev, Alexander V; Muller, Martin N; Piel, Alex K; Stewart, Fiona A; Wilson, Michael L; Pusey, Anne E; Cui, Liwang; Wang, Zenglei; Färnert, Anna; Sutherland, Colin J; Nolder, Debbie; Hart, John A; Hart, Terese B; Bertolani, Paco; Gillis, Amethyst; LeBreton, Matthew; Tafon, Babila; Kiyang, John; Djoko, Cyrille F; Schneider, Bradley S; Wolfe, Nathan D; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Delaporte, Eric; Carter, Richard; Culleton, Richard L; Shaw, George M; Rayner, Julian C; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H; Sharp, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the leading cause of human malaria in Asia and Latin America but is absent from most of central Africa due to the near fixation of a mutation that inhibits the expression of its receptor, the Duffy antigen, on human erythrocytes. The emergence of this protective allele is not understood because P. vivax is believed to have originated in Asia. Here we show, using a non-invasive approach, that wild chimpanzees and gorillas throughout central Africa are endemically infected with parasites that are closely related to human P. vivax. Sequence analyses reveal that ape parasites lack host specificity and are much more diverse than human parasites, which form a monophyletic lineage within the ape parasite radiation. These findings indicate that human P. vivax is of African origin and likely selected for the Duffy-negative mutation. All extant human P. vivax parasites are derived from a single ancestor that escaped out of Africa.

  19. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Shaw, Katharina S.; Learn, Gerald H.; Plenderleith, Lindsey J.; Malenke, Jordan A.; Sundararaman, Sesh A.; Ramirez, Miguel A.; Crystal, Patricia A.; Smith, Andrew G.; Bibollet-Ruche, Frederic; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Locatelli, Sabrina; Esteban, Amandine; Mouacha, Fatima; Guichet, Emilande; Butel, Christelle; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N.; Speede, Sheri; Sanz, Crickette M.; Morgan, David B.; Gonder, Mary K.; Kranzusch, Philip J.; Walsh, Peter D.; Georgiev, Alexander V.; Muller, Martin N.; Piel, Alex K.; Stewart, Fiona A.; Wilson, Michael L.; Pusey, Anne E.; Cui, Liwang; Wang, Zenglei; Färnert, Anna; Sutherland, Colin J.; Nolder, Debbie; Hart, John A.; Hart, Terese B.; Bertolani, Paco; Gillis, Amethyst; LeBreton, Matthew; Tafon, Babila; Kiyang, John; Djoko, Cyrille F.; Schneider, Bradley S.; Wolfe, Nathan D.; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Delaporte, Eric; Carter, Richard; Culleton, Richard L.; Shaw, George M.; Rayner, Julian C.; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Sharp, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the leading cause of human malaria in Asia and Latin America but is absent from most of central Africa due to the near fixation of a mutation that inhibits the expression of its receptor, the Duffy antigen, on human erythrocytes. The emergence of this protective allele is not understood because P. vivax is believed to have originated in Asia. Here we show, using a non-invasive approach, that wild chimpanzees and gorillas throughout central Africa are endemically infected with parasites that are closely related to human P. vivax. Sequence analyses reveal that ape parasites lack host specificity and are much more diverse than human parasites, which form a monophyletic lineage within the ape parasite radiation. These findings indicate that human P. vivax is of African origin and likely selected for the Duffy-negative mutation. All extant human P. vivax parasites are derived from a single ancestor that escaped out of Africa. PMID:24557500

  20. Traffic pathways of Plasmodium vivax antigens during intraerythrocytic parasite development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracho, Carmen; Dunia, Irene; De, La Rosa Mercedes; Benedetti, Ennio-Lucio; Perez, Hilda A

    2002-03-01

    We investigated the secretory traffic of a Plasmodium vivax antigen (Pv-148) synthesised by the parasite during the blood cycle, exported into the host cell cytosol and then transported to the surface membrane of the infected erythrocyte. Studies of the ultrastructure of erythrocytes infected with P. vivax showed that intracellular schizogony is accompanied by the generation of parasite-induced membrane profiles in the erythrocyte cytoplasm. These structures are detectable soon after the parasite invades the erythrocyte and develop an elaborate organisation, leading to a tubovesicular membrane (TVM) network, in erythrocytes infected with mature trophozoites. Interestingly, the clefts formed stacked, flattened cisternae resembling a classical Golgi apparatus. The TVM network stained with the fluorescent Golgi marker Bodipy-ceramide. Specific immunolabelling showed that Pv-148 was transferred from the parasite to the erythrocyte surface membrane via the clefts and the TVM network. These findings suggest that the TVM network is part of the secretory pathways involved in parasite protein transport across the Plasmodium-infected erythrocyte and that Pv- 148 may represent a marker that links the parasite with the host cell cytoplasm and, in turn, with the extracellular milieu.

  1. Plasmodium falciparum resistance to anti-malarial drugs in Papua New Guinea: evaluation of a community-based approach for the molecular monitoring of resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reeder John C

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular monitoring of parasite resistance has become an important complementary tool in establishing rational anti-malarial drug policies. Community surveys provide a representative sample of the parasite population and can be carried out more rapidly than accrual of samples from clinical cases, but it is not known whether the frequencies of genetic resistance markers in clinical cases differ from those in the overall population, or whether such community surveys can provide good predictions of treatment failure rates. Methods Between 2003 and 2005, in vivo drug efficacy of amodiaquine or chloroquine plus sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine was determined at three sites in Papua New Guinea. The genetic drug resistance profile (i.e., 33 single nucleotide polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum crt, mdr1, dhfr, dhps, and ATPase6 was concurrently assessed in 639 community samples collected in the catchment areas of the respective health facilities by using a DNA microarray-based method. Mutant allele and haplotype frequencies were determined and their relationship with treatment failure rates at each site in each year was investigated. Results PCR-corrected in vivo treatment failure rates were between 12% and 28% and varied by site and year with variable longitudinal trends. In the community samples, the frequencies of mutations in pfcrt and pfmdr1 were high and did not show significant changes over time. Mutant allele frequencies in pfdhfr were moderate and those in pfdhps were low. No mutations were detected in pfATPase6. There was much more variation between sites than temporal, within-site, variation in allele and haplotype frequencies. This variation did not correlate well with treatment failure rates. Allele and haplotype frequencies were very similar in clinical and community samples from the same site. Conclusions The relationship between parasite genetics and in vivo treatment failure rate is not straightforward. The

  2. A novel tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR containing PP5 serine/threonine protein phosphatase in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

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    Adams Brian

    2001-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf, is responsible for nearly 2 million deaths worldwide. However, the mechanisms of cellular signaling in the parasite remain largely unknown. Recent discovery of a few protein kinases and phosphatases point to a thriving reversible phosphorylation system in the parasite, although their function and regulation need to be determined. Results We provide biochemical and sequence evidence for a protein serine/threonine phosphatase type PP5 in Plasmodium falciparum, and named it PfPP5. The 594-amino acid polypeptide was encoded by a 1785 nucleotide long intronless gene in the parasite. The recombinant protein, expressed in bacteria, was indistinguishable from native PfPP5. Sequencing comparison indicated that the extra-long N-terminus of PfPP5 outside the catalytic core contained four tetratricopeptide repeats (TPRs, compared to three such repeats in other PP5 phosphatases. The PfPP5 N-terminus was required for stimulation of the phosphatase activity by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated an interaction between native PfPP5 and Pf heat shock protein 90 (hsp90. PfPP5 was expressed in all the asexual erythrocytic stages of the parasite, and was moderately sensitive to okadaic acid. Conclusions This is the first example of a TPR-domain protein in the Apicomplexa family of parasites. Since TPR domains play important roles in protein-protein interaction, especially relevant to the regulation of PP5 phosphatases, PfPP5 is destined to have a definitive role in parasitic growth and signaling pathways. This is exemplified by the interaction between PfPP5 and the cognate chaperone hsp90.

  3. Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, Philip J; Cunningham, Deirdre; Jarra, William; Lawton, Jennifer; Langhorne, Jean; Thompson, Joanne

    2011-04-01

    The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi shares many features with human malaria species, including P. falciparum, and is the in vivo model of choice for many aspects of malaria research in the mammalian host, from sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes, to antigenic variation and host immunity and immunopathology. This protocol describes an optimized method for the transformation of mature blood-stage P.c. chabaudi and a description of a vector that targets efficient, single crossover integration into the P.c. chabaudi genome. Transformed lines are reproducibly generated and selected within 14-20 d, and show stable long-term protein expression even in the absence of drug selection. This protocol, therefore, provides the scientific community with a robust and reproducible method to generate transformed P.c. chabaudi parasites expressing fluorescent, bioluminescent and model antigens that can be used in vivo to dissect many of the fundamental principles of malaria infection.

  4. Genotyping of Plasmodium falciparum using antigenic polymorphic markers and to study anti-malarial drug resistance markers in malaria endemic areas of Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akter Jasmin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the past many regions of Bangladesh were hyperendemic for malaria. Malaria control in the 1960s to 1970s eliminated malaria from the plains but in the Chittagong Hill Tracts remained a difficult to control reservoir. The Chittagong Hill Tracts have areas with between 1 and 10% annual malaria rates, predominately 90-95% Plasmodium falciparum. In Southeast Asia, multiplicity of infection for hypo-endemic regions has been approximately 1.5. Few studies on the genetic diversity of P. falciparum have been performed in Bangladesh. Anderson et al. performed a study in Khagrachari, northern Chittagong Hill Tracts in 2002 on 203 patients and found that parasites had a multiplicity of infection of 1.3 by MSP-1, MSP-2 and GLURP genotyping. A total of 94% of the isolates had the K76T Pfcrt chloroquine resistant genotype, and 70% showed the N86Y Pfmdr1 genotype. Antifolate drug resistant genotypes were high with 99% and 73% of parasites having two or more mutations at the dhfr or dhps loci. Methods Nested and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR methods were used to genotype P. falciparum using antigenic polymorphic markers and to study anti-malarial drug resistance markers in malaria endemic areas of Bangladesh. Results The analysis of polymorphic and drug resistant genotype on 33 paired recrudescent infections after drug treatment in the period 2004 to 2008 in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, which is just prior to countrywide provision of artemisinin combination therapy. Overall the multiplicity of infection for MSP-1 was 2.7 with a slightly smaller parasite diversity post-treatment. The 13 monoclonal infections by both GLURP and MSP-1 were evenly divided between pre- and post-treatment. The MSP-1 MAD block was most frequent in 66 of the samples. The prevalence of the K76T PfCRT chloroquine resistant allele was approximately 82% of the samples, while the resistant Pfmdr1 N86Y was present in 33% of the samples. Interestingly, the post

  5. Acquired resistance of malarial parasites against artemisinin-based drugs: social and economic impacts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna M Porter-Kelley

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Johanna M Porter-Kelley1, Joann Cofie2, Sophonie Jean2, Mark E Brooks1, Mia Lassiter1, DC Ghislaine Mayer21Life Sciences Department, ­Winston-Salem State University, Winston Salem, NC, USA; 2Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USAAbstract: Malaria, a disease of poverty and high morbidity and mortality in the tropical world, has led to a worldwide search for control measures. To that end, good antimalarial chemotherapies have been difficult to find in the global market and those that seem to be most effective are rapidly becoming ineffective due to the emergence and spread of drug resistance. Artemisinin, a very effective yet expensive antimalarial, has quickly become the recommended drug of choice when all other possibilities fail. However, for all its promise as the next great antimalarial, the outlook is bleak. Resistance is developing to artemisinin while another effective antimalarial is not in sight. Malaria endemic areas which are mostly in developing countries must deal with the multifaceted process of changing and implementing new national malaria treatment guidelines. This requires complex interactions between several sectors of the affected society which in some cases take place within the context of political instability. Moreover, the cost associated with preventing and containing the spread of antimalarial resistance is detrimental to economic progress. This review addresses the impact of artemisinin resistance on the socioeconomic structure of malaria endemic countries.Keywords: artemisinin-based drugs, social, economic, malarial parasite resistance

  6. 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.

  7. Enlightening the malaria parasite life cycle: bioluminescent Plasmodium in fundamental and applied research

    OpenAIRE

    Siciliano, Giulia; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The unicellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium impose on human health worldwide the enormous burden of malaria. The possibility to genetically modify several species of malaria parasites represented a major advance in the possibility to elucidate their biology and is now turning laboratory lines of transgenic Plasmodium into precious weapons to fight malaria. Amongst the various genetically modified plasmodia, transgenic parasite lines expressing bioluminescent reporters have bee...

  8. Melatonin and N-acetyl-serotonin cross the red blood cell membrane and evoke calcium mobilization in malarial parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hotta C.T.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The duration of the intraerythrocytic cycle of Plasmodium is a key factor in the pathogenicity of this parasite. The simultaneous attack of the host red blood cells by the parasites depends on the synchronicity of their development. Unraveling the signals at the basis of this synchronicity represents a challenging biological question and may be very important to develop alternative strategies for therapeutic approaches. Recently, we reported that the synchrony of Plasmodium is modulated by melatonin, a host hormone that is synthesized only during the dark phases. Here we report that N-acetyl-serotonin, a melatonin precursor, also releases Ca2+ from isolated P. chabaudi parasites at micro- and nanomolar concentrations and that the release is blocked by 250 mM luzindole, an antagonist of melatonin receptors, and 20 mM U73122, a phospholipase C inhibitor. On the basis of confocal microscopy, we also report the ability of 0.1 µM melatonin and 0.1 µM N-acetyl-serotonin to cross the red blood cell membrane and to mobilize intracellular calcium in parasites previously loaded with the fluorescent calcium indicator Fluo-3 AM. The present data represent a step forward into the understanding of the signal transduction process in the host-parasite relationship by supporting the idea that the host hormone melatonin and N-acetyl-serotonin generate IP3 and therefore mobilize intracellular Ca2+ in Plasmodium inside red blood cells.

  9. Improved negative selection protocol for Plasmodium berghei in the rodent malarial model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orr Rachael Y

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract An improved methodology is presented here for transgenic Plasmodium berghei lines that express the negative selectable marker yFCU (a bifunctional protein that combines yeast cytosine deaminase and uridyl phosphoribosyl transferase (UPRT and substitutes delivery of selection drug 5-fluorocytosine (5FC by intraperitoneal injection for administration via the drinking water of the mice. The improved methodology is shown to be as effective, less labour-intensive, reduces animal handling and animal numbers required for successful selection thereby contributing to two of the "three Rs" of animal experimentation, namely refinement and reduction.

  10. Properties of the malarial proteins Pf2, Pf9 and PfP0, which support ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Properties of the malarial proteins Pf2, Pf9 and PfP0, which support their roles as immune targets. Antibodies raised to each of these proteins (or purified from immune adults) inhibit the growth of Plasmodium falciparum at the red cell invasion step. The proteins are localized on the parasite cell surface. Each protein is ...

  11. Chloroquine transport in Plasmodium falciparum. 1. Influx and efflux kinetics for live trophozoite parasites using a novel fluorescent chloroquine probe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrera, Mynthia; Natarajan, Jayakumar; Paguio, Michelle F; Wolf, Christian; Urbach, Jeffrey S; Roepe, Paul D

    2009-10-13

    Several models for how amino acid substitutions in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) confer resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and other antimalarial drugs have been proposed. Distinguishing between these models requires detailed analysis of high-resolution CQ transport data that is unfortunately impossible to obtain with traditional radio-tracer methods. Thus, we have designed and synthesized fluorescent CQ analogues for drug transport studies. One probe places a NBD (6-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino)hexanoic acid) group at the tertiary aliphatic N of CQ, via a flexible 6 C amide linker. This probe localizes to the malarial parasite digestive vacuole (DV) during initial perfusion under physiologic conditions and exhibits similar pharmacology relative to CQ, vs both CQ-sensitive (CQS) and CQ-resistant (CQR) parasites. Using live, synchronized intraerythrocytic parasites under continuous perfusion, we define NBD-CQ influx and efflux kinetics for CQS vs CQR parasites. Since this fluorescence approach provides data at much higher kinetic resolution relative to fast-filtration methods using (3)H-CQ, rate constants vs linear initial rates for CQ probe flux can be analyzed in detail. Importantly, we find that CQR parasites have a decreased rate constant for CQ influx into the DV and that this is due to mutation of PfCRT. Analysis of zero trans efflux for CQS and CQR parasites suggests that distinguishing between bound vs free pools of intra-DV drug probe is essential for proper kinetic analysis of efflux. The accompanying paper (DOI 10.1021/bi901035j ) further probes efflux kinetics for proteoliposomes containing purified, reconstituted PfCRT.

  12. Defining the protein interaction network of human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Pain, Arnab; Ravasi, Timothy

    2012-01-01

    Malaria, caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, affects around 225. million people yearly and a huge international effort is directed towards combating this grave threat to world health and economic development. Considerable

  13. 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

  14. Ned-19 inhibition of parasite growth and multiplication suggests a role for NAADP mediated signalling in the asexual development of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Cortés, Pablo; Gambara, Guido; Favia, Annarita; Palombi, Fioretta; Alano, Pietro; Filippini, Antonio

    2017-09-12

    Although malaria is a preventable and curable human disease, millions of people risk to be infected by the Plasmodium parasites and to develop this illness. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify new anti-malarial drugs. Ca 2+ signalling regulates different processes in the life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum, representing a suitable target for the development of new drugs. This study investigated for the first time the effect of a highly specific inhibitor of nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP)-induced Ca 2+ release (Ned-19) on P. falciparum, revealing the inhibitory effect of this compound on the blood stage development of this parasite. Ned-19 inhibits both the transition of the parasite from the early to the late trophozoite stage and the ability of the late trophozoite to develop to the multinucleated schizont stage. In addition, Ned-19 affects spontaneous intracellular Ca 2+ oscillations in ring and trophozoite stage parasites, suggesting that the observed inhibitory effects may be associated to regulation of intracellular Ca 2+ levels. This study highlights the inhibitory effect of Ned-19 on progression of the asexual life cycle of P. falciparum. The observation that Ned-19 inhibits spontaneous Ca 2+ oscillations suggests a potential role of NAADP in regulating Ca 2+ signalling of P. falciparum.

  15. Treatment of erythrocytes with the 2-cys peroxiredoxin inhibitor, Conoidin A, prevents the growth of Plasmodium falciparum and enhances parasite sensitivity to chloroquine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Brizuela

    Full Text Available The human erythrocyte contains an abundance of the thiol-dependant peroxidase Peroxiredoxin-2 (Prx2, which protects the cell from the pro-oxidant environment it encounters during its 120 days of life in the blood stream. In malarial infections, the Plasmodium parasite invades red cells and imports Prx2 during intraerythrocytic development, presumably to supplement in its own degradation of peroxides generated during cell metabolism, especially hemoglobin (Hb digestion. Here we demonstrate that an irreversible Prx2 inhibitor, Conoidin A (2,3-bis(bromomethyl-1,4-dioxide-quinoxaline; BBMQ, has potent cytocidal activity against cultured P. falciparum. Parasite growth was also inhibited in red cells that were treated with BBMQ and then washed prior to parasite infection. These cells remained susceptible to merozoite invasion, but failed to support normal intraerythrocytic development. In addition the potency of chloroquine (CQ, an antimalarial drug that prevents the detoxification of Hb-derived heme, was significantly enhanced in the presence of BBMQ. CQ IC50 values decreased an order of magnitude when parasites were either co-incubated with BBMQ, or introduced into BBMQ-pretreated cells; these effects were equivalent for both drug-resistant and drug-sensitive parasite lines. Together these results indicate that treatment of red cells with BBMQ renders them incapable of supporting parasite growth and increases parasite sensitivity to CQ. We also propose that molecules such as BBMQ that target host cell proteins may constitute a novel host-directed therapeutic approach for treating malaria.

  16. Anopheles moucheti and Anopheles vinckei are candidate vectors of ape Plasmodium parasites, including Plasmodium praefalciparum in Gabon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Paupy

    Full Text Available During the last four years, knowledge about the diversity of Plasmodium species in African great apes has considerably increased. Several new species were described in chimpanzees and gorillas, and some species that were previously considered as strictly of human interest were found to be infecting African apes. The description in gorillas of P. praefalciparum, the closest relative of P. falciparum which is the main malignant agent of human malaria, definitively changed the way we understand the evolution and origin of P. falciparum. This parasite is now considered to have appeared recently, following a cross-species transfer from gorillas to humans. However, the Plasmodium vector mosquito species that have served as bridge between these two host species remain unknown. In order to identify the vectors that ensure ape Plasmodium transmission and evaluate the risk of transfer of these parasites to humans, we carried out a field study in Gabon to capture Anopheles in areas where wild and semi-wild ape populations live. We collected 1070 Anopheles females belonging to 15 species, among which An. carnevalei, An. moucheti and An. marshallii were the most common species. Using mtDNA-based PCR tools, we discovered that An. moucheti, a major human malaria vector in Central Africa, could also ensure the natural transmission of P. praefalciparum among great apes. We also showed that, together with An. vinckei, An. moucheti was infected with P. vivax-like parasites. An. moucheti constitutes, therefore, a major candidate for the transfer of Plasmodium parasites from apes to humans.

  17. Enlightening the malaria parasite life cycle: bioluminescent Plasmodium in fundamental and applied research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia eSiciliano

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The unicellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium impose on human health worldwide the enormous burden of malaria. The possibility to genetically modify several species of malaria parasites represented a major advance in the possibility to elucidate their biology and is now turning laboratory lines of transgenic Plasmodium into precious weapons to fight malaria. Amongst the various genetically modified plasmodia, transgenic parasite lines expressing bioluminescent reporters have been essential to unveil mechanisms of parasite gene expression and to develop in vivo imaging approaches in mouse malaria models. Mainly the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei have been engineered to express bioluminescent reporters in almost all the developmental stages of the parasite along its complex life cycle between the insect and the vertebrate hosts. Plasmodium lines expressing conventional and improved luciferase reporters are now gaining a central role to develop cell based assays in the much needed search of new antimalarial drugs and to open innovative approaches for both fundamental and applied research in malaria.

  18. The Development and Evaluation of a Teleprocessed Computer-Assisted Instruction Course in the Recognition of Malarial Parasites. Final Report; May 1, 1967 - June 30, 1968.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitzel, Harold E.

    A computer-assisted instruction course in the recognition of malarial parasites was developed and evaluated. The course includes stage discrimination, species discrimination, and case histories. Segments developed use COURSEWRITER as an author language and are presented via a display terminal that permits two-way communication with an IBM computer…

  19. The genome of the simian and human malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pain, A; Böhme, U; Berry, A E

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi is an intracellular malaria parasite whose natural vertebrate host is Macaca fascicularis (the 'kra' monkey); however, it is now increasingly recognized as a significant cause of human malaria, particularly in southeast Asia. Plasmodium knowlesi was the first malaria parasite...... species in which antigenic variation was demonstrated, and it has a close phylogenetic relationship to Plasmodium vivax, the second most important species of human malaria parasite (reviewed in ref. 4). Despite their relatedness, there are important phenotypic differences between them, such as host blood...... cell preference, absence of a dormant liver stage or 'hypnozoite' in P. knowlesi, and length of the asexual cycle (reviewed in ref. 4). Here we present an analysis of the P. knowlesi (H strain, Pk1(A+) clone) nuclear genome sequence. This is the first monkey malaria parasite genome to be described...

  20. Therapeutic efficacy of artesunate in the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria and anti-malarial, drug-resistance marker polymorphisms in populations near the China-Myanmar border

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Fang

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome after seven-day artesunate monotherapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Yingjiang County along the China-Myanmar border and investigate genetic polymorphisms in the P. falciparum chloroquine-resistance transporter (pfcrt, multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1, dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr, dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps and ATPase (pfatp6 genes. Methods Patients ≥ one year of age with fever (axillary temperature ≥37.5°C or history of fever and P. falciparum mono-infection were included. Patients received anti-malarial treatment with artesunate (total dose of 16 mg/kg over seven days by directly observed therapy. After a 28-day follow-up, treatment efficacy and effectiveness were assessed based on clinical and parasitological outcomes. Treatment failure was defined as recrudescence of the original parasite and distinguished with new infection confirmed by PCR. Analysis of gene mutation and amplification were performed by nested polymerase chain reaction. Results Sixty-five patients were enrolled; 10 withdrew from the study, and six were lost to follow-up. All but two patients demonstrated adequate clinical and parasitological response; 12 had detectable parasitaemia on day 3. These two patients were confirmed to be new infection by PCR. The efficacy of artesunate was 95.9%. The pfcrt mutation in codon 76 was found in all isolates (100%, and mutations in codons 71 and 72 were found in 4.8% of parasite isolates. No mutation of pfmdr1 (codons 86 or 1246 was found. Among all samples, 5.1% were wild type for pfdhfr, whereas the other samples had mutations in four codons (51, 59, 108 and 164, and mutations in pfdhps (codons 436, 437, 540 and 581 were found in all isolates. No samples had mutations in pfatp6 codons 623 or 769, but two new mutations (N683K and R756K were found in 4.6% and 9.2% of parasite isolates, respectively. Conclusion Plasmodium

  1. Low-grade sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Lubango, Angola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaingona-Daniel, Elsa P S; Gomes, Larissa Rodrigues; Gama, Bianca E; Almeida-de-Oliveira, Natália K; Fortes, Filomeno; Ménard, Didier; Daniel-Ribeiro, Cláudio Tadeu; Ferreira-da-Cruz, Maria de Fátima

    2016-06-07

    Malaria is a major parasitic disease, affecting millions of people in endemic areas. Plasmodium falciparum parasites are responsible for the most severe cases and its resistance to anti-malarial drugs is notorious. This is a possible obstacle to the effectiveness of intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) based on sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) cures administrated to pregnant women (IPTp) during their pregnancy. As this intervention is recommended in Angola since 2006, it has assessed, in this country, the molecular profiles in P. falciparum dhfr and dhps, two polymorphic genes associated to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine resistance, respectively. Blood samples from 52 falciparum patients were collected in Lubango, Angola and pfdhfr and pfdhps polymorphisms were analysed using nested-PCR and DNA sequencing. In the pfdhfr gene, the 108N mutation was almost fixed (98 %), followed by 59R (63 %), 51I (46 %), 50R and 164L (2 %, respectively). No 16V/S mutations were found. The most common double mutant genotype was CNRN (59 + 108; 46 %), followed by CICN (51 + 108; 29 %) whereas IRN (51 + 59 + 108; 15 %), CNRNVL (59 + 108 + 164; 2 %) and RICN (50 + 51 + 108; 2 %) triple mutant genotypes were detected. Investigations of the pfdhps gene showed that the 437G mutation was the most prevalent (97 %). Only two and one samples disclosed the 540E (7 %) and the 436A (3 %), respectively. Single mutant SGKAA (437; 86 %) was higher than SGEAA (437 + 540; 7 %) or AGKAA (436 + 437; 3 %) double mutants genotypes. No polymorphism was detected at codons 581G and 613T/S. Combining pfdhfr and pfdhps alleles two triple mutant haplotypes (double mutant in dhfr and single mutant in dhps) were observed: the ACICNVI/SGKAA in 14 (56 %) samples and the ACNRNVI/SGKAA in five (20 %) samples. One quadruple mutant haplotype was detected (ACIRNVI/SGKAA) in six (24 %) P. falciparum samples. No quintuple pfdhfr-pfdhps mutant was noted. pfdhfr and pfdhps gene

  2. Enlightening the malaria parasite life cycle: bioluminescent Plasmodium in fundamental and applied research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siciliano, Giulia; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The unicellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium impose on human health worldwide the enormous burden of malaria. The possibility to genetically modify several species of malaria parasites represented a major advance in the possibility to elucidate their biology and is now turning laboratory lines of transgenic Plasmodium into precious weapons to fight malaria. Amongst the various genetically modified plasmodia, transgenic parasite lines expressing bioluminescent reporters have been essential to unveil mechanisms of parasite gene expression and to develop in vivo imaging approaches in mouse malaria models. Mainly the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent parasite P. berghei have been engineered to express bioluminescent reporters in almost all the developmental stages of the parasite along its complex life cycle between the insect and the vertebrate hosts. Plasmodium lines expressing conventional and improved luciferase reporters are now gaining a central role to develop cell based assays in the much needed search of new antimalarial drugs and to open innovative approaches for both fundamental and applied research in malaria.

  3. Identification and characterization of a liver stage-specific promoter region of the malaria parasite Plasmodium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Helm

    Full Text Available During the blood meal of a Plasmodium-infected mosquito, 10 to 100 parasites are inoculated into the skin and a proportion of these migrate via the bloodstream to the liver where they infect hepatocytes. The Plasmodium liver stage, despite its clinical silence, represents a highly promising target for antimalarial drug and vaccine approaches. Successfully invaded parasites undergo a massive proliferation in hepatocytes, producing thousands of merozoites that are transported into a blood vessel to infect red blood cells. To successfully develop from the liver stage into infective merozoites, a tight regulation of gene expression is needed. Although this is a very interesting aspect in the biology of Plasmodium, little is known about gene regulation in Plasmodium parasites in general and in the liver stage in particular. We have functionally analyzed a novel promoter region of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei that is exclusively active during the liver stage of the parasite. To prove stage-specific activity of the promoter, GFP and luciferase reporter assays have been successfully established, allowing both qualitative and accurate quantitative analysis. To further characterize the promoter region, the transcription start site was mapped by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (5'-RACE. Using promoter truncation experiments and site-directed mutagenesis within potential transcription factor binding sites, we suggest that the minimal promoter contains more than one binding site for the recently identified parasite-specific ApiAP2 transcription factors. The identification of a liver stage-specific promoter in P. berghei confirms that the parasite is able to tightly regulate gene expression during its life cycle. The identified promoter region might now be used to study the biology of the Plasmodium liver stage, which has thus far proven problematic on a molecular level. Stage-specific expression of dominant-negative mutant proteins and

  4. Standardizing estimates of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smith David L

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate (PfPR is a commonly reported index of malaria transmission intensity. PfPR rises after birth to a plateau before declining in older children and adults. Studies of populations with different age ranges generally report average PfPR, so age is an important source of heterogeneity in reported PfPR data. This confounds simple comparisons of PfPR surveys conducted at different times or places. Methods Several algorithms for standardizing PfPR were developed using 21 studies that stratify in detail PfPR by age. An additional 121 studies were found that recorded PfPR from the same population over at least two different age ranges; these paired estimates were used to evaluate these algorithms. The best algorithm was judged to be the one that described most of the variance when converting the PfPR pairs from one age-range to another. Results The analysis suggests that the relationship between PfPR and age is predictable across the observed range of malaria endemicity. PfPR reaches a peak after about two years and remains fairly constant in older children until age ten before declining throughout adolescence and adulthood. The PfPR pairs were poorly correlated; using one to predict the other would explain only 5% of the total variance. By contrast, the PfPR predicted by the best algorithm explained 72% of the variance. Conclusion The PfPR in older children is useful for standardization because it has good biological, epidemiological and statistical properties. It is also historically consistent with the classical categories of hypoendemic, mesoendemic and hyperendemic malaria. This algorithm provides a reliable method for standardizing PfPR for the purposes of comparing studies and mapping malaria endemicity. The scripts for doing so are freely available to all.

  5. High rate of adaptation of mammalian proteins that interact with Plasmodium and related parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telis, Natalie; Petrov, Dmitri A.

    2017-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites, along with their Piroplasm relatives, have caused malaria-like illnesses in terrestrial mammals for millions of years. Several Plasmodium-protective alleles have recently evolved in human populations, but little is known about host adaptation to blood parasites over deeper evolutionary timescales. In this work, we analyze mammalian adaptation in ~500 Plasmodium- or Piroplasm- interacting proteins (PPIPs) manually curated from the scientific literature. We show that (i) PPIPs are enriched for both immune functions and pleiotropy with other pathogens, and (ii) the rate of adaptation across mammals is significantly elevated in PPIPs, compared to carefully matched control proteins. PPIPs with high pathogen pleiotropy show the strongest signatures of adaptation, but this pattern is fully explained by their immune enrichment. Several pieces of evidence suggest that blood parasites specifically have imposed selection on PPIPs. First, even non-immune PPIPs that lack interactions with other pathogens have adapted at twice the rate of matched controls. Second, PPIP adaptation is linked to high expression in the liver, a critical organ in the parasite life cycle. Finally, our detailed investigation of alpha-spectrin, a major red blood cell membrane protein, shows that domains with particularly high rates of adaptation are those known to interact specifically with P. falciparum. Overall, we show that host proteins that interact with Plasmodium and Piroplasm parasites have experienced elevated rates of adaptation across mammals, and provide evidence that some of this adaptation has likely been driven by blood parasites. PMID:28957326

  6. The Fatty Acid Biosynthesis Enzyme FabI Plays a Key Role In the Development of Liver Stage Malarial Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Min; Santha Kumar, T. R.; Nkrumah, Louis J.; Coppi, Alida; Retzlaff, Silke; Li, Celeste D.; Kelly, Brendan J.; Moura, Pedro A.; Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Freundlich, Joel S.; Valderramos, Juan-Carlos; Vilcheze, Catherine; Siedner, Mark; Tsai, Jennifer H.-C.; Falkard, Brie; Sidhu, Amar bir Singh; Purcell, Lisa A.; Gratraud, Paul; Kremer, Laurent; Waters, Andy P.; Schiehser, Guy; Jacobus, David P.; Janse, Chris J.; Ager, Arba; Jacobs, William R.; Sacchettini, James C.; Heussler, Volker; Sinnis, Photini; Fidock, David A.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Fatty acid biosynthesis has been viewed as an important biological function of and therapeutic target for Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stage infection. This apicoplast-resident type II pathway, distinct from the mammalian type I process, includes FabI. Here, we report synthetic chemistry and transfection studies concluding that Plasmodium FabI is not the target of the antimalarial activity of the bacterial FabI inhibitor triclosan. Disruption of fabI in P. falciparum or the rodent parasite P. berghei does not impede blood stage growth. In contrast, mosquito-derived fabI-deficient P. berghei sporozoites are markedly less infective for mice and typically fail to complete liver stage development in vitro. This is characterized by an inability to form intra-hepatic merosomes that normally initiate blood stage infections. These data illuminate key differences between liver and blood stage parasites in their requirements for host versus de novo synthesized fatty acids, and create new prospects for stage-specific antimalarial interventions. PMID:19064257

  7. Fine-scale genetic characterization of Plasmodium falciparum

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    We have initiated such a study and presented herewith the results from the in silico understanding of a seventh chromosomal region of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum encompassing the antigenic var genes (coding pfemp1) and the drug-resistant gene pfcrt located at a specified region of the chromosome 7.

  8. Ameliorative antimalarial effects of the combination of rutin and swertiamarin on malarial parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Divya Shitlani

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To ameliorate the antimalarial activity via the combination of rutin (flavonoid and swertiamarin (glycoside. Methods: The antimalarial effects were assessed by in vitro and in vivo methodology. In vitro antiplasmodial activity was assessed by using Plasmodium falciparum cultured media and determined the IC 50 value of individual drugs and their combinations. In in vivo methodology, antimalarial effects of rutin, swertiamarin (200–280 mg/kg/day, p.o. and their combination in 1:1, 1:2 and 2:1 ratios were investigated early and established malaria infections using Swiss albino mice infected with Plasmodium berghei. Chloroquine phosphate (5 mg/kg/day, p.o. was used as the standard drug. Results: IC 50 values of the rutin and swertiamarin via in vitro study revealed (9.50 ± 0.29 µg/ mL and (8.17 ± 0.17 µg/mL respectively. Whereas, the combination in 1:1 ratio [IC50 of (5.51 ± 0.18 µg/mL] showed better antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum. In vivo results showed that rutin and swertiamarin had chemosuppressant effects in a dose-dependent manner, whereas, combination in 1:1 ratio possessed potential antimalarial activity similar to chloroquine phosphate. The drug interaction between rutin and swertiamarin revealed the synergistic effect on 1:1 ratio and additive effect on 1:2 and 2:1 ratios. Conclusions: The results of the in vitro and in vivo study clearly indicate that the combination (1:1 of rutin and swertiamarin showed potential antimalarial activity rather than an individual of each and their combinations 1:2 and 2:1.

  9. A Plasmodium falciparum Strain Expressing GFP throughout the Parasite's Life-Cycle

    OpenAIRE

    Talman, Arthur M.; Blagborough, Andrew M.; Sinden, Robert E.

    2010-01-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria-related deaths. Tools allowing the study of the basic biology of P. falciparum throughout the life cycle are critical to the development of new strategies to target the parasite within both human and mosquito hosts. We here present 3D7HT-GFP, a strain of P. falciparum constitutively expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) throughout the life cycle, which has retained its capacity to complete spo...

  10. Increased pfmdr1 gene copy number and the decline in pfcrt and pfmdr1 resistance alleles in Ghanaian Plasmodium falciparum isolates after the change of anti-malarial drug treatment policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duah, Nancy O; Matrevi, Sena A; de Souza, Dziedzom K; Binnah, Daniel D; Tamakloe, Mary M; Opoku, Vera S; Onwona, Christiana O; Narh, Charles A; Quashie, Neils B; Abuaku, Benjamin; Duplessis, Christopher; Kronmann, Karl C; Koram, Kwadwo A

    2013-10-30

    With the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in 2005, monitoring of anti-malarial drug efficacy, which includes the use of molecular tools to detect known genetic markers of parasite resistance, is important for first-hand information on the changes in parasite susceptibility to drugs in Ghana. This study investigated the Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance gene (pfmdr1) copy number, mutations and the chloroquine resistance transporter gene (pfcrt) mutations in Ghanaian isolates collected in seven years to detect the trends in prevalence of mutations. Archived filter paper blood blots collected from children aged below five years with uncomplicated malaria in 2003-2010 at sentinel sites were used. Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), 756 samples were assessed for pfmdr1 gene copy number. PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) were used to detect alleles of pfmdr1 86 in 1,102 samples, pfmdr1 184, 1034, 1042 and 1246 in 832 samples and pfcrt 76 in 1,063 samples. Merozoite surface protein 2 (msp2) genotyping was done to select monoclonal infections for copy number analysis. The percentage of isolates with increased pfmdr1 copy number were 4, 27, 9, and 18% for 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2010, respectively. Significant increasing trends for prevalence of pfmdr1 N86 (×(2) = 96.31, p resistance has been reported. The decreasing trend in the prevalence of chloroquine resistance markers after change of treatment policy presents the possibility for future introduction of chloroquine as prophylaxis for malaria risk groups such as children and pregnant women in Ghana.

  11. Protein export marks the early phase of gametocytogenesis of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvestrini, F.; Lasonder, E.; Olivieri, A.; Camarda, G.; Schaijk, B.C.L. van; Sanchez, M.; Younis Younis, S.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Alano, P.

    2010-01-01

    Despite over a century of study of malaria parasites, parts of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle remain virtually unknown. One of these is the early gametocyte stage, a round shaped cell morphologically similar to an asexual trophozoite in which major cellular transformations ensure subsequent

  12. Cytometric quantification of singlet oxygen in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Butzloff, Sabine; Groves, Matthew R; Wrenger, Carsten; Müller, Ingrid B

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum proliferates within human erythrocytes and is thereby exposed to a variety of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, superoxide anion, and highly reactive singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)). While most ROS are already well studied

  13. A Plasmodium falciparum screening assay for anti-gametocyte drugs based on parasite lactate dehydrogenase detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D'Alessandro, S.; Silvestrini, F.; Dechering, K.; Corbett, Y.; Parapini, S.; Timmerman, M.; Galastri, L.; Basilico, N.; Sauerwein, R.; Alano, P.; Taramelli, D.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Plasmodium gametocytes, responsible for malaria parasite transmission from humans to mosquitoes, represent a crucial target for new antimalarial drugs to achieve malaria elimination/eradication. We developed a novel colorimetric screening method for anti-gametocyte compounds based on the

  14. Proteomic profiling of Plasmodium sporozoite maturation identifies new proteins essential for parasite development and infectivity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lasonder, E.; Janse, C.J.; Gemert, G.J.A. van; Mair, G.R.; Vermunt, A.M.W.; Douradinha, B.G.; Noort, V. van; Huynen, M.A.; Luty, A.J.F.; Kroeze, H.; Khan, S.M.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Waters, A.P.; Mann, M.; Stunnenberg, H.G.

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites that develop and mature inside an Anopheles mosquito initiate a malaria infection in humans. Here we report the first proteomic comparison of different parasite stages from the mosquito -- early and late oocysts containing midgut sporozoites, and the mature,

  15. Glutathione-deficient Plasmodium berghei parasites exhibit growth delay and nuclear DNA damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padín-Irizarry, Vivian; Colón-Lorenzo, Emilee E; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Castro, María Del R; González-Méndez, Ricardo; Ayala-Peña, Sylvette; Serrano, Adelfa E

    2016-06-01

    Plasmodium parasites are exposed to endogenous and exogenous oxidative stress during their complex life cycle. To minimize oxidative damage, the parasites use glutathione (GSH) and thioredoxin (Trx) as primary antioxidants. We previously showed that disruption of the Plasmodium berghei gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (pbggcs-ko) or the glutathione reductase (pbgr-ko) genes resulted in a significant reduction of GSH in intraerythrocytic stages, and a defect in growth in the pbggcs-ko parasites. In this report, time course experiments of parasite intraerythrocytic development and morphological studies showed a growth delay during the ring to schizont progression. Morphological analysis shows a significant reduction in size (diameter) of trophozoites and schizonts with increased number of cytoplasmic vacuoles in the pbggcs-ko parasites in comparison to the wild type (WT). Furthermore, the pbggcs-ko mutants exhibited an impaired response to oxidative stress and increased levels of nuclear DNA (nDNA) damage. Reduced GSH levels did not result in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage or protein carbonylations in neither pbggcs-ko nor pbgr-ko parasites. In addition, the pbggcs-ko mutant parasites showed an increase in mRNA expression of genes involved in oxidative stress detoxification and DNA synthesis, suggesting a potential compensatory mechanism to allow for parasite proliferation. These results reveal that low GSH levels affect parasite development through the impairment of oxidative stress reduction systems and damage to the nDNA. Our studies provide new insights into the role of the GSH antioxidant system in the intraerythrocytic development of Plasmodium parasites, with potential translation into novel pharmacological interventions. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The Plasmodium PI(4)K inhibitor KDU691 selectively inhibits dihydroartemisinin-pretreated Plasmodium falciparum ring-stage parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dembele, L; Ang, X; Chavchich, M; Bonamy, G M C; Selva, J J; Lim, M Yi-Xiu; Bodenreider, C; Yeung, B K S; Nosten, F; Russell, B M; Edstein, M D; Straimer, J; Fidock, D A; Diagana, T T; Bifani, P

    2017-05-24

    Malaria control and elimination are threatened by the emergence and spread of resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). Experimental evidence suggests that when an artemisinin (ART)-sensitive (K13 wild-type) Plasmodium falciparum strain is exposed to ART derivatives such as dihydroartemisinin (DHA), a small population of the early ring-stage parasites can survive drug treatment by entering cell cycle arrest or dormancy. After drug removal, these parasites can resume growth. Dormancy has been hypothesized to be an adaptive physiological mechanism that has been linked to recrudescence of parasites after monotherapy with ART and, possibly contributes to ART resistance. Here, we evaluate the in vitro drug sensitivity profile of normally-developing P. falciparum ring stages and DHA-pretreated dormant rings (DP-rings) using a panel of antimalarial drugs, including the Plasmodium phosphatidylinositol-4-OH kinase (PI4K)-specific inhibitor KDU691. We report that while KDU691 shows no activity against rings, it is highly inhibitory against DP-rings; a drug effect opposite to that of ART. Moreover, we provide evidence that KDU691 also kills DP-rings of P. falciparum ART-resistant strains expressing mutant K13.

  17. Proteomic profiling of Plasmodium sporozoite maturation identifies new proteins essential for parasite development and infectivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lasonder, Edwin; Janse, Chris J; van Gemert, Geert-Jan

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites that develop and mature inside an Anopheles mosquito initiate a malaria infection in humans. Here we report the first proteomic comparison of different parasite stages from the mosquito -- early and late oocysts containing midgut sporozoites, and the mature...... whose annotation suggest an involvement in sporozoite maturation, motility, infection of the human host and associated metabolic adjustments. Analyses of proteins identified in the P. falciparum sporozoite proteomes by orthologous gene disruption in the rodent malaria parasite, P. berghei, revealed...... three previously uncharacterized Plasmodium proteins that appear to be essential for sporozoite development at distinct points of maturation in the mosquito. This study sheds light on the development and maturation of the malaria parasite in an Anopheles mosquito and also identifies proteins that may...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. [Morphology, biology and life-cycle of Plasmodium parasites].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hommel, Marcel

    2007-10-01

    Laveran first discovered that an infectious agent was responsible for malaria by using a simple microscope, without the assistance of specific stains. Our knowledge of the Plasmodium life cycle and cellular biology has progressed with each technological advance, from Romanovsky staining and histology to electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry, molecular methods and modern imaging techniques. The use of bird, primate and rodent models also made a major contribution, notably in the development of antimalarial drugs that are still in use today.

  20. Anti-malarial effect of 1-(N-acetyl-6-aminohexyl-3-hydroxy-2-methylpyridin-4-one and green tea extract on erythrocyte-stage Plasmodium berghei in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phitsinee Thipubon

    2015-11-01

    Conclusions: CM1 would be effective per se and synergize with PYR in inhibiting growth of murine malaria parasites, possibly by limiting iron supply from plasma transferrin and host PRBC cytoplasm, and chelating catalytic iron cstitutive in parasites’ mitochondrial cytochromes and cytoplasmic ribonucleotide reductase. CM1 would be a promising adjuvant to enhance PYR anti-malarial activity and minimize the drug resistance.

  1. A Plasmodium falciparum strain expressing GFP throughout the parasite's life-cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talman, Arthur M; Blagborough, Andrew M; Sinden, Robert E

    2010-02-10

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria-related deaths. Tools allowing the study of the basic biology of P. falciparum throughout the life cycle are critical to the development of new strategies to target the parasite within both human and mosquito hosts. We here present 3D7HT-GFP, a strain of P. falciparum constitutively expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) throughout the life cycle, which has retained its capacity to complete sporogonic development. The GFP expressing cassette was inserted in the Pf47 locus. Using this transgenic strain, parasite tracking and population dynamics studies in mosquito stages and exo-erythrocytic schizogony is greatly facilitated. The development of 3D7HT-GFP will permit a deeper understanding of the biology of parasite-host vector interactions, and facilitate the development of high-throughput malaria transmission assays and thus aid development of new intervention strategies against both parasite and mosquito.

  2. Melatonin effects on Plasmodium life cycle: new avenues for therapeutic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Venkataramanujam; Ahmad, Asma H; Mohamed, Mahaneem; Zakaria, Rahimah

    2012-05-01

    Malaria remains a global health problem affecting more than 515 million people all over the world including Malaysia. It is on the rise, even within unknown regions that previous to this were free of malaria. Although malaria eradication programs carried out by vector control programs are still effective, anti-malarial drugs are also used extensively for curtailing this disease. But resistance to the use of anti-malarial drugs is also increasing on a daily basis. With an increased understanding of mechanisms that cause growth, differentiation and development of malarial parasites in rodents and humans, new avenues of therapeutic approaches for controlling the growth, synchronization and development of malarial parasites are essential. Within this context, the recent discoveries related to IP3 interconnected signalling pathways, the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores of Plasmodium, ubiquitin protease systems as a signalling pathway, and melatonin influencing the growth and differentiation of malarial parasites by its effects on these signalling pathways have opened new therapeutic avenues for arresting the growth and differentiation of malarial parasites. Indeed, the use of melatonin antagonist, luzindole, has inhibited the melatonin's effect on these signalling pathways and thereby has effectively reduced the growth and differentiation of malarial parasites. As Plasmodium has effective sensors which detect the nocturnal plasma melatonin concentrations, suppression of plasma melatonin levels with the use of bright light during the night or by anti-melatonergic drugs and by using anti-kinase drugs will help in eradicating malaria on a global level. A number of patients have been admitted with regards to the control and management of malarial growth. Patents related to the discovery of serpentine receptors on Plasmodium, essential for modulating intra parasitic melatonin levels, procedures for effective delivery of bright light to suppress plasma melatonin

  3. Within-host competition does not select for virulence in malaria parasites; studies with Plasmodium yoelii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussein M Abkallo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In endemic areas with high transmission intensities, malaria infections are very often composed of multiple genetically distinct strains of malaria parasites. It has been hypothesised that this leads to intra-host competition, in which parasite strains compete for resources such as space and nutrients. This competition may have repercussions for the host, the parasite, and the vector in terms of disease severity, vector fitness, and parasite transmission potential and fitness. It has also been argued that within-host competition could lead to selection for more virulent parasites. Here we use the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii to assess the consequences of mixed strain infections on disease severity and parasite fitness. Three isogenic strains with dramatically different growth rates (and hence virulence were maintained in mice in single infections or in mixed strain infections with a genetically distinct strain. We compared the virulence (defined as harm to the mammalian host of mixed strain infections with that of single infections, and assessed whether competition impacted on parasite fitness, assessed by transmission potential. We found that mixed infections were associated with a higher degree of disease severity and a prolonged infection time. In the mixed infections, the strain with the slower growth rate was often responsible for the competitive exclusion of the faster growing strain, presumably through host immune-mediated mechanisms. Importantly, and in contrast to previous work conducted with Plasmodium chabaudi, we found no correlation between parasite virulence and transmission potential to mosquitoes, suggesting that within-host competition would not drive the evolution of parasite virulence in P. yoelii.

  4. 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

    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......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...

  5. Co-ordinated stage-dependent enhancement of Plasmodium falciparum antioxidant enzymes and heat shock protein expression in parasites growing in oxidatively stressed or G6PD-deficient red blood cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Müller Sylke

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized red blood cells (RBCs are equipped with protective antioxidant enzymes and heat shock proteins (HSPs. The latter are only considered to protect against thermal stress. Important issues are poorly explored: first, it is insufficiently known how both systems are expressed in relation to the parasite developmental stage; secondly, it is unknown whether P. falciparum HSPs are redox-responsive, in view of redox sensitivity of HSP in eukaryotic cells; thirdly, it is poorly known how the antioxidant defense machinery would respond to increased oxidative stress or inhibited antioxidant defense. Those issues are interesting as several antimalarials increase the oxidative stress or block antioxidant defense in the parasitized RBC. In addition, numerous inhibitors of HSPs are currently developed for cancer therapy and might be tested as anti-malarials. Thus, the joint disruption of the parasite antioxidant enzymes/HSP system would interfere with parasite growth and open new perspectives for anti-malaria therapy. Methods Stage-dependent mRNA expression of ten representative P. falciparum antioxidant enzymes and hsp60/70–2/70–3/75/90 was studied by quantitative real-time RT-PCR in parasites growing in normal RBCs, in RBCs oxidatively-stressed by moderate H2O2 generation and in G6PD-deficient RBCs. Protein expression of antioxidant enzymes was assayed by Western blotting. The pentosephosphate-pathway flux was measured in isolated parasites after Sendai-virus lysis of RBC membrane. Results In parasites growing in normal RBCs, mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes and HSPs displayed co-ordinated stage-dependent modulation, being low at ring, highest at early trophozoite and again very low at schizont stage. Additional exogenous oxidative stress or growth in antioxidant blunted G6PD-deficient RBCs indicated remarkable flexibility of both systems, manifested by enhanced, co-ordinated mRNA expression of

  6. Co-ordinated stage-dependent enhancement of Plasmodium falciparum antioxidant enzymes and heat shock protein expression in parasites growing in oxidatively stressed or G6PD-deficient red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akide-Ndunge, Oscar Bate; Tambini, Elisa; Giribaldi, Giuliana; McMillan, Paul J; Müller, Sylke; Arese, Paolo; Turrini, Francesco

    2009-05-29

    Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized red blood cells (RBCs) are equipped with protective antioxidant enzymes and heat shock proteins (HSPs). The latter are only considered to protect against thermal stress. Important issues are poorly explored: first, it is insufficiently known how both systems are expressed in relation to the parasite developmental stage; secondly, it is unknown whether P. falciparum HSPs are redox-responsive, in view of redox sensitivity of HSP in eukaryotic cells; thirdly, it is poorly known how the antioxidant defense machinery would respond to increased oxidative stress or inhibited antioxidant defense. Those issues are interesting as several antimalarials increase the oxidative stress or block antioxidant defense in the parasitized RBC. In addition, numerous inhibitors of HSPs are currently developed for cancer therapy and might be tested as anti-malarials. Thus, the joint disruption of the parasite antioxidant enzymes/HSP system would interfere with parasite growth and open new perspectives for anti-malaria therapy. Stage-dependent mRNA expression of ten representative P. falciparum antioxidant enzymes and hsp60/70-2/70-3/75/90 was studied by quantitative real-time RT-PCR in parasites growing in normal RBCs, in RBCs oxidatively-stressed by moderate H2O2 generation and in G6PD-deficient RBCs. Protein expression of antioxidant enzymes was assayed by Western blotting. The pentosephosphate-pathway flux was measured in isolated parasites after Sendai-virus lysis of RBC membrane. In parasites growing in normal RBCs, mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes and HSPs displayed co-ordinated stage-dependent modulation, being low at ring, highest at early trophozoite and again very low at schizont stage. Additional exogenous oxidative stress or growth in antioxidant blunted G6PD-deficient RBCs indicated remarkable flexibility of both systems, manifested by enhanced, co-ordinated mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes and HSPs. Protein expression of

  7. Hyperreactive malarial splenomegaly in Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, J; Noya, O; Mondolfi, A; Peceño, C; Botto, C

    1988-07-01

    A cross-sectional seroepidemiological survey seeking hyperreactive malarial splenomegaly was carried out in isolated Yanomami hamlets in Amazonas Territory in Venezuela. All 110 inhabitants greater than 1 year of age were evaluated clinically and 98 were studied immunologically. The spleen index for individuals greater than 10 years of age was 44%. Only 3 patients had Plasmodium spp. on thick blood smears. All had serological evidence of infection with Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax. Twenty-three patients were considered to show hyperreactive malarial splenomegaly. Clinical manifestations of the syndrome did not differ from those described in other parts of the world.

  8. A Cas9 transgenic Plasmodium yoelii parasite for efficient gene editing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Pengge; Wang, Xu; Yang, Zhenke; Li, Zhenkui; Gao, Han; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Cui, Huiting; Yuan, Jing

    2018-06-01

    The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 has applied as an efficient gene-editing method in malaria parasite Plasmodium. However, the size (4.2 kb) of the commonly used Cas9 from Streptococcus pyogenes (SpCas9) limits its utility for genome editing in the parasites only introduced with cas9 plasmid. To establish the endogenous and constitutive expression of Cas9 protein in the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii, we replaced the coding region of an endogenous gene sera1 with the intact SpCas9 coding sequence using the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing method, generating the cas9-knockin parasite (PyCas9ki) of the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii. The resulted PyCas9ki parasite displays normal progression during the whole life cycle and possesses the Cas9 protein expression in asexual blood stage. By introducing the plasmid (pYCs) containing only sgRNA and homologous template elements, we successfully achieved both deletion and tagging modifications for different endogenous genes in the genome of PyCas9ki parasite. This cas9-knockin PyCas9ki parasite provides a new platform facilitating gene functions study in the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Preferential transcription of conserved rif genes in two phenotypically distinct Plasmodium falciparum parasite lines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Christian W; Magistrado, Pamela A; Nielsen, Morten A

    2009-01-01

    transcribed in the VAR2CSA-expressing parasite line. In addition, two rif genes were found transcribed at early and late intra-erythrocyte stages independently of var gene transcription. Rif genes are organised in groups and inter-genomic conserved gene families, suggesting that RIFIN sub-groups may have......Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens (VSA) are targets of protective immunity to malaria. Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and repetitive interspersed family (RIFIN) proteins are encoded by the two variable multigene families, var and rif genes, respectively...... novel rif gene groups, rifA1 and rifA2, containing inter-genomic conserved rif genes, were identified. All rifA1 genes were orientated head-to-head with a neighbouring Group A var gene whereas rifA2 was present in all parasite genomes as a single copy gene with a unique 5' untranslated region. Rif...

  10. The ins and outs of phosphosignalling in Plasmodium: Parasite regulation and host cell manipulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Teresa Gil; Morahan, Belinda; John von Freyend, Simona; Boeuf, Philippe; Grau, Georges; Garcia-Bustos, Jose; Doerig, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Signal transduction and kinomics have been rapidly expanding areas of investigation within the malaria research field. Here, we provide an overview of phosphosignalling pathways that operate in all stages of the Plasmodium life cycle. We review signalling pathways in the parasite itself, in the cells it invades, and in other cells of the vertebrate host with which it interacts. We also discuss the potential of these pathways as novel targets for antimalarial intervention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. An Ancient Protein Phosphatase, SHLP1, Is Critical to Microneme Development in Plasmodium Ookinetes and Parasite Transmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva-Maria Patzewitz

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Signaling pathways controlled by reversible protein phosphorylation (catalyzed by kinases and phosphatases in the malaria parasite Plasmodium are of great interest, for both increased understanding of parasite biology and identification of novel drug targets. Here, we report a functional analysis in Plasmodium of an ancient bacterial Shewanella-like protein phosphatase (SHLP1 found only in bacteria, fungi, protists, and plants. SHLP1 is abundant in asexual blood stages and expressed at all stages of the parasite life cycle. shlp1 deletion results in a reduction in ookinete (zygote development, microneme formation, and complete ablation of oocyst formation, thereby blocking parasite transmission. This defect is carried by the female gamete and can be rescued by direct injection of mutant ookinetes into the mosquito hemocoel, where oocysts develop. This study emphasizes the varied functions of SHLP1 in Plasmodium ookinete biology and suggests that it could be a novel drug target for blocking parasite transmission.

  12. Limonene Arrests Parasite Development and Inhibits Isoprenylation of Proteins in Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Ivan Cruz; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Uhrig, Maria L.; Couto, Alicia S.; Peres, Valnice J.; Katzin, Alejandro M.; Kimura, Emília A.

    2001-01-01

    Isoprenylation is an essential protein modification in eukaryotic cells. Herein, we report that in Plasmodium falciparum, a number of proteins were labeled upon incubation of intraerythrocytic forms with either [3H]farnesyl pyrophosphate or [3H]geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. By thin-layer chromatography, we showed that attached isoprenoids are partially modified to dolichol and other, uncharacterized, residues, confirming active isoprenoid metabolism in this parasite. Incubation of blood-stage P. falciparum treated with the isoprenylation inhibitor limonene significantly decreased the parasites' progression from the ring stage to the trophozoite stage and at 1.22 mM, 50% of the parasites died after the first cycle. Using Ras- and Rap-specific monoclonal antibodies, putative Rap and Ras proteins of P. falciparum were immunoprecipitated. Upon treatment with 0.5 mM limonene, isoprenylation of these proteins was significantly decreased, possibly explaining the observed arrest of parasite development. PMID:11502528

  13. Lysophosphatidylcholine Regulates Sexual Stage Differentiation in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brancucci, Nicolas M B; Gerdt, Joseph P; Wang, ChengQi; De Niz, Mariana; Philip, Nisha; Adapa, Swamy R; Zhang, Min; Hitz, Eva; Niederwieser, Igor; Boltryk, Sylwia D; Laffitte, Marie-Claude; Clark, Martha A; Grüring, Christof; Ravel, Deepali; Blancke Soares, Alexandra; Demas, Allison; Bopp, Selina; Rubio-Ruiz, Belén; Conejo-Garcia, Ana; Wirth, Dyann F; Gendaszewska-Darmach, Edyta; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Adams, John H; Voss, Till S; Waters, Andrew P; Jiang, Rays H Y; Clardy, Jon; Marti, Matthias

    2017-12-14

    Transmission represents a population bottleneck in the Plasmodium life cycle and a key intervention target of ongoing efforts to eradicate malaria. Sexual differentiation is essential for this process, as only sexual parasites, called gametocytes, are infective to the mosquito vector. Gametocyte production rates vary depending on environmental conditions, but external stimuli remain obscure. Here, we show that the host-derived lipid lysophosphatidylcholine (LysoPC) controls P. falciparum cell fate by repressing parasite sexual differentiation. We demonstrate that exogenous LysoPC drives biosynthesis of the essential membrane component phosphatidylcholine. LysoPC restriction induces a compensatory response, linking parasite metabolism to the activation of sexual-stage-specific transcription and gametocyte formation. Our results reveal that malaria parasites can sense and process host-derived physiological signals to regulate differentiation. These data close a critical knowledge gap in parasite biology and introduce a major component of the sexual differentiation pathway in Plasmodium that may provide new approaches for blocking malaria transmission. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The evolution and diversity of a low complexity vaccine candidate, merozoite surface protein 9 (MSP-9), in Plasmodium vivax and closely related species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenet, Stella M; Pacheco, M Andreína; Bacon, David J; Collins, William E; Barnwell, John W; Escalante, Ananias A

    2013-12-01

    The merozoite surface protein-9 (MSP-9) has been considered a target for an anti-malarial vaccine since it is one of many proteins involved in the erythrocyte invasion, a critical step in the parasite life cycle. Orthologs encoding this antigen have been found in all known species of Plasmodium parasitic to primates. In order to characterize and investigate the extent and maintenance of MSP-9 genetic diversity, we analyzed DNA sequences of the following malaria parasite species: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium reichenowi, Plasmodium chabaudi, Plasmodium yoelii, Plasmodium berghei, Plasmodium coatneyi, Plasmodium gonderi, Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium inui, Plasmodium simiovale, Plasmodium fieldi, Plasmodium cynomolgi and Plasmodium vivax and evaluated the signature of natural selection in all MSP-9 orthologs. Our findings suggest that the gene encoding MSP-9 is under purifying selection in P. vivax and closely related species. We further explored how selection affected different regions of MSP-9 by comparing the polymorphisms in P. vivax and P. falciparum, and found contrasting patterns between these two species that suggest differences in functional constraints. This observation implies that the MSP-9 orthologs in human parasites may interact differently with the host immune response. Thus, studies carried out in one species cannot be directly translated into the other. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Identification of Selective Inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum Hexose Transporter PfHT by Screening Focused Libraries of Anti-Malarial Compounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Ortiz

    Full Text Available Development of resistance against current antimalarial drugs necessitates the search for novel drugs that interact with different targets and have distinct mechanisms of action. Malaria parasites depend upon high levels of glucose uptake followed by inefficient metabolic utilization via the glycolytic pathway, and the Plasmodium falciparum hexose transporter PfHT, which mediates uptake of glucose, has thus been recognized as a promising drug target. This transporter is highly divergent from mammalian hexose transporters, and it appears to be a permease that is essential for parasite viability in intra-erythrocytic, mosquito, and liver stages of the parasite life cycle. An assay was developed that is appropriate for high throughput screening against PfHT based upon heterologous expression of PfHT in Leishmania mexicana parasites that are null mutants for their endogenous hexose transporters. Screening of two focused libraries of antimalarial compounds identified two such compounds that are high potency selective inhibitors of PfHT compared to human GLUT1. Additionally, 7 other compounds were identified that are lower potency and lower specificity PfHT inhibitors but might nonetheless serve as starting points for identification of analogs with more selective properties. These results further support the potential of PfHT as a novel drug target.

  16. NSR-seq transcriptional profiling enables identification of a gene signature of Plasmodium falciparum parasites infecting children

    OpenAIRE

    Vignali, Marissa; Armour, Christopher D.; Chen, Jingyang; Morrison, Robert; Castle, John C.; Biery, Matthew C.; Bouzek, Heather; Moon, Wonjong; Babak, Tomas; Fried, Michal; Raymond, Christopher K.; Duffy, Patrick E.

    2011-01-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum results in approximately 1 million annual deaths worldwide, with young children and pregnant mothers at highest risk. Disease severity might be related to parasite virulence factors, but expression profiling studies of parasites to test this hypothesis have been hindered by extensive sequence variation in putative virulence genes and a prep...

  17. Droplet Microfluidics Platform for Highly Sensitive and Quantitative Detection of Malaria-Causing Plasmodium Parasites Based on Enzyme Activity Measurement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juul, Sissel; Nielsen, Christine Juul Fælled; Labouriau, Rodrigo

    2012-01-01

    detectable at the single-molecule level. Combined with a droplet microfluidics lab-on-a-chip platform, this design allowed for sensitive, specific, and quantitative detection of all human-malaria-causing Plasmodium species in single drops of unprocessed blood with a detection limit of less than one parasite....../μL. Moreover, the setup allowed for detection of Plasmodium parasites in noninvasive saliva samples from infected patients. During recent years malaria transmission has declined worldwide, and with this the number of patients with low-parasite density has increased. Consequently, the need for accurate...

  18. Alpha-tocopherol transfer protein disruption confers resistance to malarial infection in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeya Motohiro

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Various factors impact the severity of malaria, including the nutritional status of the host. Vitamin E, an intra and extracellular anti-oxidant, is one such nutrient whose absence was shown previously to negatively affect Plasmodium development. However, mechanisms of this Plasmodium inhibition, in addition to means by which to exploit this finding as a therapeutic strategy, remain unclear. Methods α-TTP knockout mice were infected with Plasmodium berghei NK65 or Plasmodium yoelii XL-17, parasitaemia, survival rate were monitored. In one part of the experiments mice were fed with a supplemented diet of vitamin E and then infected. In addition, parasite DNA damage was monitored by means of comet assay and 8-OHdG test. Moreover, infected mice were treated with chloroquine and parasitaemia and survival rate were monitored. Results Inhibition of α-tocopherol transfer protein (α-TTP, a determinant of vitamin E concentration in circulation, confers resistance to malarial infection as a result of oxidative damage to the parasites. Furthermore, in combination with the anti-malarial drug chloroquine results were even more dramatic. Conclusion Considering that these knockout mice lack observable negative impacts typical of vitamin E deficiency, these results suggest that inhibition of α-TTP activity in the liver may be a useful strategy in the prevention and treatment of malaria infection. Moreover, a combined strategy of α-TTP inhibition and chloroquine treatment might be effective against drug resistant parasites.

  19. Plasmodium Apicoplast Gln-tRNA Gln Biosynthesis Utilizes a Unique GatAB Amidotransferase Essential for Erythrocytic Stage Parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Mailu, Boniface M.

    2015-08-28

    © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast indirect aminoacylation pathway utilizes a non-discriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase to synthesize Glu-tRNAGln and a glutaminyl-tRNA amidotransferase to convert Glu-tRNAGln to Gln-tRNAGln. Here, we show that Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans possess a unique heterodimeric glutamyltRNA amidotransferase consisting of GatA and GatB subunits (GatAB). We localized the P. falciparum GatA and GatB subunits to the apicoplast in blood stage parasites and demonstrated that recombinant GatAB converts Glu-tRNAGln to Gln-tRNAGln in vitro. We demonstrate that the apicoplast GatAB-catalyzed reaction is essential to the parasite blood stages because we could not delete the Plasmodium berghei gene encoding GatA in blood stage parasites in vivo. A phylogenetic analysis placed the split between Plasmodium GatB, archaeal GatE, and bacterial GatB prior to the phylogenetic divide between bacteria and archaea. Moreover, Plasmodium GatA also appears to have emerged prior to the bacterial-archaeal phylogenetic divide. Thus, although GatAB is found in Plasmodium, it emerged prior to the phylogenetic separation of archaea and bacteria.

  20. Plasmodium Apicoplast Gln-tRNA Gln Biosynthesis Utilizes a Unique GatAB Amidotransferase Essential for Erythrocytic Stage Parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Mailu, Boniface M.; Li, Ling; Arthur, Jen; Nelson, Todd M.; Ramasamy, Gowthaman; Fritz-Wolf, Karin; Becker, Katja; Gardner, Malcolm J.

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast indirect aminoacylation pathway utilizes a non-discriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase to synthesize Glu-tRNAGln and a glutaminyl-tRNA amidotransferase to convert Glu-tRNAGln to Gln-tRNAGln. Here, we show that Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans possess a unique heterodimeric glutamyltRNA amidotransferase consisting of GatA and GatB subunits (GatAB). We localized the P. falciparum GatA and GatB subunits to the apicoplast in blood stage parasites and demonstrated that recombinant GatAB converts Glu-tRNAGln to Gln-tRNAGln in vitro. We demonstrate that the apicoplast GatAB-catalyzed reaction is essential to the parasite blood stages because we could not delete the Plasmodium berghei gene encoding GatA in blood stage parasites in vivo. A phylogenetic analysis placed the split between Plasmodium GatB, archaeal GatE, and bacterial GatB prior to the phylogenetic divide between bacteria and archaea. Moreover, Plasmodium GatA also appears to have emerged prior to the bacterial-archaeal phylogenetic divide. Thus, although GatAB is found in Plasmodium, it emerged prior to the phylogenetic separation of archaea and bacteria.

  1. Phylogeographic Evidence for 2 Genetically Distinct Zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi Parasites, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusof, Ruhani; Ahmed, Md Atique; Jelip, Jenarun; Ngian, Hie Ung; Mustakim, Sahlawati; Hussin, Hani Mat; Fong, Mun Yik; Mahmud, Rohela; Sitam, Frankie Anak Thomas; Japning, J Rovie-Ryan; Snounou, Georges; Escalante, Ananias A; Lau, Yee Ling

    2016-08-01

    Infections of humans with the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi occur throughout Southeast Asia, although most cases have occurred in Malaysia, where P. knowlesi is now the dominant malaria species. This apparently skewed distribution prompted an investigation of the phylogeography of this parasite in 2 geographically separated regions of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. We investigated samples collected from humans and macaques in these regions. Haplotype network analyses of sequences from 2 P. knowlesi genes, type A small subunit ribosomal 18S RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, showed 2 genetically distinct divergent clusters, 1 from each of the 2 regions of Malaysia. We propose that these parasites represent 2 distinct P. knowlesi types that independently became zoonotic. These types would have evolved after the sea-level rise at the end of the last ice age, which separated Malaysian Borneo from Peninsular Malaysia.

  2. Wild Anopheles funestus mosquito genotypes are permissive for infection with the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiannong Xu

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites undergo complex developmental transitions within the mosquito vector. A commonly used laboratory model for studies of mosquito-malaria interaction is the rodent parasite, P. berghei. Anopheles funestus is a major malaria vector in sub-Saharan Africa but has received less attention than the sympatric species, Anopheles gambiae. The imminent completion of the A. funestus genome sequence will provide currently lacking molecular tools to describe malaria parasite interactions in this mosquito, but previous reports suggested that A. funestus is not permissive for P. berghei development.An A. funestus population was generated in the laboratory by capturing female wild mosquitoes in Mali, allowing them to oviposit, and rearing the eggs to adults. These F1 progeny of wild mosquitoes were allowed to feed on mice infected with a fluorescent P. berghei strain. Fluorescence microscopy was used to track parasite development inside the mosquito, salivary gland sporozoites were tested for infectivity to mice, and parasite development in A. funestus was compared to A. gambiae.P. berghei oocysts were detectable on A. funestus midguts by 7 days post-infection. By 18-20 days post-infection, sporozoites had invaded the median and distal lateral lobes of the salivary glands, and hemocoel sporozoites were observed in the hemolymph. Mosquitoes were capable of infecting mice via bite, demonstrating that A. funestus supports the complete life cycle of P. berghei. In a random sample of wild mosquito genotypes, A. funestus prevalence of infection and the characteristics of parasite development were similar to that observed in A. gambiae-P. berghei infections.The data presented in this study establish an experimental laboratory model for Plasmodium infection of A. funestus, an important vector of human malaria. Studying A. funestus-Plasmodium interactions is now feasible in a laboratory setting. This information lays the groundwork for exploitation of the

  3. Do the mitochondria of malaria parasites behave like the phoenix after return in the mosquito? Regeneration of degenerated mitochondria is required for successful Plasmodium infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongaerts, Ger

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondria are energy generators in eukaryotic organisms like man and the pathogenic malaria parasites, the Plasmodium spp. From the moment a mosquito-mediated malaria infection occurs in man the parasite multiplies profusely, but eventually the oxygen supply becomes the limiting factor in this process. Consequently, the parasite will increasingly generate energy (and lactic acid) from sugar fermentation. Simultaneously, the cristate structure of Plasmodium mitochondria degenerates and becomes acristate. The degenerated acristate mitochondria of mammalian Plasmodium parasites seem to be able to revitalise by transforming to cristate mitochondria inside the oxygen-rich mosquito, like the rebirth of the old phoenix. In this way the infectivity of the parasite is revitalised.

  4. Vaccination of chicks against Plasmodium gallinaceum by erythrocytic and exoerythrocytic parasites attenuated by gamma irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, H.P.A.; Dixon, B.

    1980-01-01

    Plasmodium gallinaceum-infected blood which received up to 24 krad during exposure to gamma-rays from a cobalt-60 source produced infections of normal course and duration when injected into chickens. The prepatent period advanced with increasing exposure of infected blood to radiation, suggesting some degree of attenuation. At 26, 28 and 30 krad, the infections were transient and the parasites were morphologically abnormal. It is thought that the amount of radiation required to render the parasites non-viable is about 45 krad for an inoculum of 10 6 parasites. There is evidence that exoerythrocytic stages may be more susceptible to gamma-rays than are blood parasites. Chickens were inoculated three times, over a period of four weeks, with vaccines prepared from gamma-irradiated infected blood and brain tissue. Half the birds which had been inoculated with attenuated parasitized blood exhibited mild infections during vaccination, and they were the only birds to show at challenge immunity to both homologous blood and exoerythrocytic parasites. (author)

  5. Effectiveness of Gamma Rays in Attenuating Rodent Malaria Parasites of Plasmodium berghei in Blood of Mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Syaifudin, M.; Darlina; Rahardjo, T.; Tetriana, D.; Nurhayati, S.; Surniyantoro, H.N.E.; Kisnanto, T.

    2013-01-01

    Malaria is a major public health problem in Indonesia. Therefore, an effective vaccine against this disease is actively being sought by using gamma rays to attenuate the parasites. However, the safety and efficacy of the resulting vaccine are dependent on the precise irradiation dose. The aim of this research was to determine the exact time when the parasites are attenuated by gamma ray exposure. Mice blood containing Plasmodium berghei of 5,0 X 10 7 parasites/ml was irradiated with gamma rays at doses of 0, 150, 175 and 200 Gy (doses rate of 380 Gy/h) and then was injected intraperitoneally to mice at 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 h post irradiation. The parasitemia (parasite density) in mouse blood was observed starting with day 2 and repeated every 2-4 days up to 28 days. The survival of the mice was also observed during the experiment. The results showed that the pre-patent period advanced with exposing infected blood to 150 and 175 Gy irradiations, suggesting some degree of attenuation. The amount of radiation required to render the parasites non-viable is about 175 Gy for an inoculum of a number of parasites, but a delay of 4 h resulted in the death of parasites. There was no difference in the infectivity of irradiated parasite injected 1 h and 2 h post irradiation in terms of parasitemia and the survival of mouse. For a dose of 200 Gy which was injected 2 h post irradiation, no parasitemia was found in the blood and animals which died after times varying from 1 to 4 weeks. We concluded that irradiated parasites should be injected into the host within 1 h after irradiation. (author)

  6. Global histone analysis by mass spectrometry reveals a high content of acetylated lysine residues in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trelle, Morten Beck; Salcedo-Amaya, Adriana M; Cohen, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone tails play a key role in epigenetic regulation of gene expression in a range of organisms from yeast to human, however, little is known about histone proteins from the parasite that causes malaria in humans, Plasmodium falciparum. We characterize...... comprehensive map of histone modifications in Plasmodium falciparum and highlight the utility of tandem MS for detailed analysis of peptides containing multiple PTMs....

  7. Population genomic structure and adaptation in the zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Assefa, Samuel

    2015-10-06

    Malaria cases caused by the zoonotic parasite Plasmodium knowlesi are being increasingly reported throughout Southeast Asia and in travelers returning from the region. To test for evidence of signatures of selection or unusual population structure in this parasite, we surveyed genome sequence diversity in 48 clinical isolates recently sampled from Malaysian Borneo and in five lines maintained in laboratory rhesus macaques after isolation in the 1960s from Peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines. Overall genomewide nucleotide diversity (π = 6.03 × 10) was much higher than has been seen in worldwide samples of either of the major endemic malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A remarkable substructure is revealed within P. knowlesi, consisting of two major sympatric clusters of the clinical isolates and a third cluster comprising the laboratory isolates. There was deep differentiation between the two clusters of clinical isolates [mean genomewide fixation index (F) = 0.21, with 9,293 SNPs having fixed differences of F = 1.0]. This differentiation showed marked heterogeneity across the genome, with mean F values of different chromosomes ranging from 0.08 to 0.34 and with further significant variation across regions within several chromosomes. Analysis of the largest cluster (cluster 1, 38 isolates) indicated long-term population growth, with negatively skewed allele frequency distributions (genomewide average Tajima\\'s D = -1.35). Against this background there was evidence of balancing selection on particular genes, including the circumsporozoite protein (csp) gene, which had the top Tajima\\'s D value (1.57), and scans of haplotype homozygosity implicate several genomic regions as being under recent positive selection.

  8. Population genomic structure and adaptation in the zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Assefa, Samuel; Lim, Caeul; Preston, Mark D.; Duffy, Craig W.; Nair, Mridul; Adroub, Sabir; Kadir, Khamisah A.; Goldberg, Jonathan M.; Neafsey, Daniel E.; Divis, Paul; Clark, Taane G.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.; Conway, David J.; Pain, Arnab; Singh, Balbir

    2015-01-01

    Malaria cases caused by the zoonotic parasite Plasmodium knowlesi are being increasingly reported throughout Southeast Asia and in travelers returning from the region. To test for evidence of signatures of selection or unusual population structure in this parasite, we surveyed genome sequence diversity in 48 clinical isolates recently sampled from Malaysian Borneo and in five lines maintained in laboratory rhesus macaques after isolation in the 1960s from Peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines. Overall genomewide nucleotide diversity (π = 6.03 × 10) was much higher than has been seen in worldwide samples of either of the major endemic malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A remarkable substructure is revealed within P. knowlesi, consisting of two major sympatric clusters of the clinical isolates and a third cluster comprising the laboratory isolates. There was deep differentiation between the two clusters of clinical isolates [mean genomewide fixation index (F) = 0.21, with 9,293 SNPs having fixed differences of F = 1.0]. This differentiation showed marked heterogeneity across the genome, with mean F values of different chromosomes ranging from 0.08 to 0.34 and with further significant variation across regions within several chromosomes. Analysis of the largest cluster (cluster 1, 38 isolates) indicated long-term population growth, with negatively skewed allele frequency distributions (genomewide average Tajima's D = -1.35). Against this background there was evidence of balancing selection on particular genes, including the circumsporozoite protein (csp) gene, which had the top Tajima's D value (1.57), and scans of haplotype homozygosity implicate several genomic regions as being under recent positive selection.

  9. Molecular cloning of a K+ channel from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ellekvist, Peter; Ricke, Christina Høier; Litman, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    In most living cells, K(+) channels are important for the generation of the membrane potential and for volume regulation. The parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malignant malaria, must be able to deal with large variations in the ambient K(+) concentration: it is exposed to high...... concentrations of K(+) when inside the erythrocyte and low concentrations when in plasma. In the recently published genome of P. falciparum, we have identified a gene, pfkch1, encoding a potential K(+) channel, which to some extent resembles the big-conductance (BK) K(+) channel. We have cloned the approximately...

  10. A Plasmodium falciparum strain expressing GFP throughout the parasite's life-cycle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur M Talman

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria-related deaths. Tools allowing the study of the basic biology of P. falciparum throughout the life cycle are critical to the development of new strategies to target the parasite within both human and mosquito hosts. We here present 3D7HT-GFP, a strain of P. falciparum constitutively expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP throughout the life cycle, which has retained its capacity to complete sporogonic development. The GFP expressing cassette was inserted in the Pf47 locus. Using this transgenic strain, parasite tracking and population dynamics studies in mosquito stages and exo-erythrocytic schizogony is greatly facilitated. The development of 3D7HT-GFP will permit a deeper understanding of the biology of parasite-host vector interactions, and facilitate the development of high-throughput malaria transmission assays and thus aid development of new intervention strategies against both parasite and mosquito.

  11. The malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum in the endemic avifauna of eastern Cuba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Letícia; Marra, Peter; Gray, Lindsey; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2017-12-01

    Island populations are vulnerable to introduced pathogens, as evidenced by extinction or population decline of several endemic Hawaiian birds caused by the malaria parasite, Plasmodium relictum (order Haemosporida). We analyzed blood samples from 363 birds caught near Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for the presence of haemosporidian infections. We characterized parasite lineages by determining nucleotide variation of the parasite's mitochondrial cyt b gene. Fifty-nine individuals were infected, and we identified 7 lineages of haemosporidian parasites. Fifty individuals were infected by 6 Haemoproteus sp. lineages, including a newly characterized lineage of Haem. (Parahaemoproteus) sp. CUH01. Nine individuals carried the P. relictum lineage GRW4, including 5 endemic Cuban Grassquits (Tiaris canorus) and 1 migratory Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina). A sequence of the merozoite surface protein gene from one Cuban Grassquit infected with GRW4 matched that of the Hawaiian haplotype Pr9. Our results indicate that resident and migratory Cuban birds are infected with a malaria lineage that has severely affected populations of several endemic Hawaiian birds. We suggest GRW4 may be associated with the lack of several bird species on Cuba that are ubiquitous elsewhere in the West Indies. From the standpoint of avian conservation in the Caribbean Basin, it will be important to determine the distribution of haemosporidian parasites, especially P. relictum GRW4, in Cuba as well as the pathogenicity of this lineage in species that occur and are absent from Cuba. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Isolation of intracellular parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) from culture using free-flow electrophoresis: separation of the free parasites according to stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidrich, H G; Mrema, J E; Vander Jagt, D L; Reyes, P; Rieckmann, K H

    1982-06-01

    Parasitized human erythrocytes were concentrated from continuous cultures of Plasmodium falciparum from 5-7% up to 80-95% using Plasmagel. After aggregation of the cells with phythemagglutinin, the aggregated erythrocytes were fragmented by passing them, with minimal force, through successive nylon filters of decreasing pore size (100 microns-3 microns). The mixture of liberated, free parasites, intact erythrocytes and erythrocyte membrane vesicles was separated using free-flow electrophoresis. Most of the fractions containing free parasites did not show contamination with erythrocyte constituents as determined by light and electron microscopy, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and enzymatic analysis. In addition, the various stages of free parasites of Plasmodium falciparum exhibited different electrical surface charges. Rings and trophozoites were highly negatively charged whereas schizonts and, in particular, merozoites showed low negative charges. Thus, the various stages could be isolated separate from each other.

  13. Plasmodium vivax: modern strategies to study a persistent parasite's life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galinski, Mary R; Meyer, Esmeralda V S; Barnwell, John W

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax has unique attributes to support its survival in varying ecologies and climates. These include hypnozoite forms in the liver, an invasion preference for reticulocytes, caveola-vesicle complex structures in the infected erythrocyte membrane and rapidly forming and circulating gametocytes. These characteristics make this species very different from P. falciparum. Plasmodium cynomolgi and other related simian species have identical biology and can serve as informative models of P. vivax infections. Plasmodium vivax and its model parasites can be grown in non-human primates (NHP), and in short-term ex vivo cultures. For P. vivax, in the absence of in vitro culture systems, these models remain highly relevant side by side with human clinical studies. While post-genomic technologies allow for greater exploration of P. vivax-infected blood samples from humans, these come with restrictions. Two advantages of NHP models are that infections can be experimentally tailored to address hypotheses, including genetic manipulation. Also, systems biology approaches can capitalise on computational biology combined with set experimental infection periods and protocols, which may include multiple sampling times, different types of samples, and the broad use of "omics" technologies. Opportunities for research on vivax malaria are increasing with the use of existing and new methodological strategies in combination with modern technologies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Translational repression of the cpw-wpc gene family in the malaria parasite Plasmodium

    KAUST Repository

    Rao, Pavitra N.

    2016-06-14

    The technical challenges of working with the sexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium have hindered the characterization of sexual stage antigens in the quest for a successful malaria transmission-blocking vaccine. One such predicted and largely uncharacterized group of sexual stage candidate antigens is the CPW-WPC family of proteins. CPW-WPC proteins are named for a characteristic domain that contains two conserved motifs, CPxxW and WPC. Conserved across Apicomplexa, this family is also present earlier in the Alveolata in the free-living, non-parasitophorous, photosynthetic chromerids, Chromera and Vitrella. In P. falciparum and P. berghei blood stage parasites the transcripts of all nine cpw-wpc genes have been detected in gametocytes. RNA immunoprecipitation followed by reverse transcriptase-PCR reveals all P. berghei cpw-wpc transcripts to be bound by the translational repressors DOZI and CITH, and thus are likely under translational control prior to transmission from the rodent host to the mosquito vector in P. berghei. The GFP tagging of two endogenous P. berghei genes confirmed translational silencing in the gametocyte and translation in ookinetes. Establishing a luciferase transgene assay we show that the 3′ untranslated region of PF3D7_1331400 controls protein expression of this reporter in P. falciparum gametocytes. Our analyses suggest that cpw-wpc genes are translationally silenced in gametocytes across Plasmodium spp. and activated during ookinete formation and thus may have a role in transmission to the mosquito.

  15. Translational repression of the cpw-wpc gene family in the malaria parasite Plasmodium

    KAUST Repository

    Rao, Pavitra N.; Santos, Jorge M.; Pain, Arnab; Templeton, Thomas J.; Mair, Gunnar R.

    2016-01-01

    The technical challenges of working with the sexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium have hindered the characterization of sexual stage antigens in the quest for a successful malaria transmission-blocking vaccine. One such predicted and largely uncharacterized group of sexual stage candidate antigens is the CPW-WPC family of proteins. CPW-WPC proteins are named for a characteristic domain that contains two conserved motifs, CPxxW and WPC. Conserved across Apicomplexa, this family is also present earlier in the Alveolata in the free-living, non-parasitophorous, photosynthetic chromerids, Chromera and Vitrella. In P. falciparum and P. berghei blood stage parasites the transcripts of all nine cpw-wpc genes have been detected in gametocytes. RNA immunoprecipitation followed by reverse transcriptase-PCR reveals all P. berghei cpw-wpc transcripts to be bound by the translational repressors DOZI and CITH, and thus are likely under translational control prior to transmission from the rodent host to the mosquito vector in P. berghei. The GFP tagging of two endogenous P. berghei genes confirmed translational silencing in the gametocyte and translation in ookinetes. Establishing a luciferase transgene assay we show that the 3′ untranslated region of PF3D7_1331400 controls protein expression of this reporter in P. falciparum gametocytes. Our analyses suggest that cpw-wpc genes are translationally silenced in gametocytes across Plasmodium spp. and activated during ookinete formation and thus may have a role in transmission to the mosquito.

  16. Autophagy-related Atg8 localizes to the apicoplast of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kei Kitamura

    Full Text Available Autophagy is a membrane-mediated degradation process, which is governed by sequential functions of Atg proteins. Although Atg proteins are highly conserved in eukaryotes, protozoa possess only a partial set of Atg proteins. Nonetheless, almost all protozoa have the complete factors belonging to the Atg8 conjugation system, namely, Atg3, Atg4, Atg7, and Atg8. Here, we report the biochemical properties and subcellular localization of the Atg8 protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfAtg8. PfAtg8 is expressed during intra-erythrocytic development and associates with membranes likely as a lipid-conjugated form. Fluorescence microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy show that PfAtg8 localizes to the apicoplast, a four membrane-bound non-photosynthetic plastid. Autophagosome-like structures are not observed in the erythrocytic stages. These data suggest that, although Plasmodium parasites have lost most Atg proteins during evolution, they use the Atg8 conjugation system for the unique organelle, the apicoplast.

  17. Lys48 ubiquitination during the intraerythrocytic cycle of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-López, Lorena; Carballar-Lejarazú, Rebeca; Arrevillaga Boni, Gerardo; Cortés-Martínez, Leticia; Cázares-Raga, Febe Elena; Trujillo-Ocampo, Abel; Rodríguez, Mario H; James, Anthony A; Hernández-Hernández, Fidel de la Cruz

    2017-01-01

    Ubiquitination tags proteins for different functions within the cell. One of the most abundant and studied ubiquitin modification is the Lys48 polyubiquitin chain that modifies proteins for their destruction by proteasome. In Plasmodium is proposed that post-translational regulation is fundamental for parasite development during its complex life-cycle; thus, the objective of this work was to analyze the ubiquitination during Plasmodium chabaudi intraerythrocytic stages. Ubiquitinated proteins were detected during intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium chabaudi by immunofluorescent microscopy, bidimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) combined with immunoblotting and mass spectrometry. All the studied stages presented protein ubiquitination and Lys48 polyubiquitination with more abundance during the schizont stage. Three ubiquitinated proteins were identified for rings, five for trophozoites and twenty for schizonts. Only proteins detected with a specific anti- Lys48 polyubiquitin antibody were selected for Mass Spectrometry analysis and two of these identified proteins were selected in order to detect the specific amino acid residues where ubiquitin is placed. Ubiquitinated proteins during the ring and trophozoite stages were related with the invasion process and in schizont proteins were related with nucleic acid metabolism, glycolysis and protein biosynthesis. Most of the ubiquitin detection was during the schizont stage and the Lys48 polyubiquitination during this stage was related to proteins that are expected to be abundant during the trophozoite stage. The evidence that these Lys48 polyubiquitinated proteins are tagged for destruction by the proteasome complex suggests that this type of post-translational modification is important in the regulation of protein abundance during the life-cycle and may also contribute to the parasite cell-cycle progression.

  18. Changes in lipid composition during sexual development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Phuong N; Brown, Simon H J; Rug, Melanie; Ridgway, Melanie C; Mitchell, Todd W; Maier, Alexander G

    2016-02-06

    The development of differentiated sexual stages (gametocytes) within human red blood cells is essential for the propagation of the malaria parasite, since only mature gametocytes will survive in the mosquito's midgut. Hence gametocytogenesis is a pre-requisite for transmission of the disease. Physiological changes involved in sexual differentiation are still enigmatic. In particular the lipid metabolism-despite being central to cellular regulation and development-is not well explored. Here the lipid profiles of red blood cells infected with the five different sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum were analysed by mass spectrometry and compared to those from uninfected and asexual trophozoite infected erythrocytes. Fundamental differences between erythrocytes infected with the different parasite stages were revealed. In mature gametocytes many lipids that decrease in the trophozoite and early gametocyte infected red blood cells are regained. In particular, regulators of membrane fluidity, cholesterol and sphingomyelin, increased significantly during gametocyte maturation. Neutral lipids (serving mainly as caloriometric reserves) increased from 3 % of total lipids in uninfected to 27 % in stage V gametocyte infected red blood cells. The major membrane lipid class (phospholipids) decreased during gametocyte development. The lipid profiles of infected erythrocytes are characteristic for the particular parasite life cycle and maturity stages of gametocytes. The obtained lipid profiles are crucial in revealing the lipid metabolism of malaria parasites and identifying targets to interfere with this deadly disease.

  19. Depletion of Plasmodium berghei Plasmoredoxin Reveals a Non-Essential Role for Life Cycle Progression of the Malaria Parasite

    OpenAIRE

    Buchholz, Kathrin; Rahlfs, Stefan; Schirmer, R. Heiner; Becker, Katja; Matuschewski, Kai

    2008-01-01

    Proliferation of the pathogenic Plasmodium asexual blood stages in host erythrocytes requires an exquisite capacity to protect the malaria parasite against oxidative stress. This function is achieved by a complex antioxidant defence system composed of redox-active proteins and low MW antioxidants. Here, we disrupted the P. berghei plasmoredoxin gene that encodes a parasite-specific 22 kDa member of the thioredoxin superfamily. The successful generation of plasmoredoxin knockout mutants in the...

  20. Effect of clinically approved HDAC inhibitors on Plasmodium, Leishmania and Schistosoma parasite growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Ming Jang; Arnold, Megan S J; Xu, Weijun; Lancelot, Julien; Lamotte, Suzanne; Späth, Gerald F; Prina, Eric; Pierce, Raymond J; Fairlie, David P; Skinner-Adams, Tina S; Andrews, Katherine T

    2017-04-01

    Malaria, schistosomiasis and leishmaniases are among the most prevalent tropical parasitic diseases and each requires new innovative treatments. Targeting essential parasite pathways, such as those that regulate gene expression and cell cycle progression, is a key strategy for discovering new drug leads. In this study, four clinically approved anti-cancer drugs (Vorinostat, Belinostat, Panobinostat and Romidepsin) that target histone/lysine deacetylase enzymes were examined for in vitro activity against Plasmodium knowlesi, Schistosoma mansoni, Leishmania amazonensis and L. donovani parasites and two for in vivo activity in a mouse malaria model. All four compounds were potent inhibitors of P. knowlesi malaria parasites (IC 50 9-370 nM), with belinostat, panobinostat and vorinostat having 8-45 fold selectivity for the parasite over human neonatal foreskin fibroblast (NFF) or human embryonic kidney (HEK 293) cells, while romidepsin was not selective. Each of the HDAC inhibitor drugs caused hyperacetylation of P. knowlesi histone H4. None of the drugs was active against Leishmania amastigote or promastigote parasites (IC 50  > 20 μM) or S. mansoni schistosomula (IC 50  > 10 μM), however romidepsin inhibited S. mansoni adult worm parings and egg production (IC 50 ∼10 μM). Modest in vivo activity was observed in P. berghei infected mice dosed orally with vorinostat or panobinostat (25 mg/kg twice daily for four days), with a significant reduction in parasitemia observed on days 4-7 and 4-10 after infection (P < 0.05), respectively. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Effect of clinically approved HDAC inhibitors on Plasmodium, Leishmania and Schistosoma parasite growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Jang Chua

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Malaria, schistosomiasis and leishmaniases are among the most prevalent tropical parasitic diseases and each requires new innovative treatments. Targeting essential parasite pathways, such as those that regulate gene expression and cell cycle progression, is a key strategy for discovering new drug leads. In this study, four clinically approved anti-cancer drugs (Vorinostat, Belinostat, Panobinostat and Romidepsin that target histone/lysine deacetylase enzymes were examined for in vitro activity against Plasmodium knowlesi, Schistosoma mansoni, Leishmania amazonensis and L. donovani parasites and two for in vivo activity in a mouse malaria model. All four compounds were potent inhibitors of P. knowlesi malaria parasites (IC50 9–370 nM, with belinostat, panobinostat and vorinostat having 8–45 fold selectivity for the parasite over human neonatal foreskin fibroblast (NFF or human embryonic kidney (HEK 293 cells, while romidepsin was not selective. Each of the HDAC inhibitor drugs caused hyperacetylation of P. knowlesi histone H4. None of the drugs was active against Leishmania amastigote or promastigote parasites (IC50 > 20 μM or S. mansoni schistosomula (IC50 > 10 μM, however romidepsin inhibited S. mansoni adult worm parings and egg production (IC50 ∼10 μM. Modest in vivo activity was observed in P. berghei infected mice dosed orally with vorinostat or panobinostat (25 mg/kg twice daily for four days, with a significant reduction in parasitemia observed on days 4–7 and 4–10 after infection (P < 0.05, respectively.

  2. Calcium signaling in closely related protozoan groups (Alveolata): non-parasitic ciliates (Paramecium, Tetrahymena) vs. parasitic Apicomplexa (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plattner, H; Sehring, I M; Mohamed, I K; Miranda, K; De Souza, W; Billington, R; Genazzani, A; Ladenburger, E-M

    2012-05-01

    The importance of Ca2+-signaling for many subcellular processes is well established in higher eukaryotes, whereas information about protozoa is restricted. Recent genome analyses have stimulated such work also with Alveolates, such as ciliates (Paramecium, Tetrahymena) and their pathogenic close relatives, the Apicomplexa (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma). Here we compare Ca2+ signaling in the two closely related groups. Acidic Ca2+ stores have been characterized in detail in Apicomplexa, but hardly in ciliates. Two-pore channels engaged in Ca2+-release from acidic stores in higher eukaryotes have not been stingently characterized in either group. Both groups are endowed with plasma membrane- and endoplasmic reticulum-type Ca2+-ATPases (PMCA, SERCA), respectively. Only recently was it possible to identify in Paramecium a number of homologs of ryanodine and inositol 1,3,4-trisphosphate receptors (RyR, IP3R) and to localize them to widely different organelles participating in vesicle trafficking. For Apicomplexa, physiological experiments suggest the presence of related channels although their identity remains elusive. In Paramecium, IP3Rs are constitutively active in the contractile vacuole complex; RyR-related channels in alveolar sacs are activated during exocytosis stimulation, whereas in the parasites the homologous structure (inner membrane complex) may no longer function as a Ca2+ store. Scrutinized comparison of the two closely related protozoan phyla may stimulate further work and elucidate adaptation to parasitic life. See also "Conclusions" section. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Genome-wide functional analysis of plasmodium protein phosphatases reveals key regulators of parasite development and differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Guttery, David S.

    2014-07-09

    Reversible protein phosphorylation regulated by kinases and phosphatases controls many cellular processes. Although essential functions for the malaria parasite kinome have been reported, the roles of most protein phosphatases (PPs) during Plasmodium development are unknown. We report a functional analysis of the Plasmodium berghei protein phosphatome, which exhibits high conservation with the P. falciparum phosphatome and comprises 30 predicted PPs with differential and distinct expression patterns during various stages of the life cycle. Gene disruption analysis of P. berghei PPs reveals that half of the genes are likely essential for asexual blood stage development, whereas six are required for sexual development/sporogony in mosquitoes. Phenotypic screening coupled with transcriptome sequencing unveiled morphological changes and altered gene expression in deletion mutants of two N-myristoylated PPs. These findings provide systematic functional analyses of PPs in Plasmodium, identify how phosphatases regulate parasite development and differentiation, and can inform the identification of drug targets for malaria. © 2014 The Authors.

  4. Genome-wide functional analysis of plasmodium protein phosphatases reveals key regulators of parasite development and differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Guttery, David  S.; Poulin, Benoit; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Wall, Richard  J.; Ferguson, David  J.P.; Brady, Declan; Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Whipple, Sarah; Straschil, Ursula; Wright, Megan  H.; Mohamed, Alyaa  M.A.H.; Radhakrishnan, Anand; Arold, Stefan T.; Tate, Edward  W.; Holder, Anthony  A.; Wickstead, Bill; Pain, Arnab; Tewari, Rita

    2014-01-01

    Reversible protein phosphorylation regulated by kinases and phosphatases controls many cellular processes. Although essential functions for the malaria parasite kinome have been reported, the roles of most protein phosphatases (PPs) during Plasmodium development are unknown. We report a functional analysis of the Plasmodium berghei protein phosphatome, which exhibits high conservation with the P. falciparum phosphatome and comprises 30 predicted PPs with differential and distinct expression patterns during various stages of the life cycle. Gene disruption analysis of P. berghei PPs reveals that half of the genes are likely essential for asexual blood stage development, whereas six are required for sexual development/sporogony in mosquitoes. Phenotypic screening coupled with transcriptome sequencing unveiled morphological changes and altered gene expression in deletion mutants of two N-myristoylated PPs. These findings provide systematic functional analyses of PPs in Plasmodium, identify how phosphatases regulate parasite development and differentiation, and can inform the identification of drug targets for malaria. © 2014 The Authors.

  5. Normocyte-binding protein required for human erythrocyte invasion by the zoonotic malaria parasitePlasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert W.; Sharaf, Hazem; Hastings, Claire H.; Ho, Yung Shwen; Nair, Mridul; Rchiad, ‍ Zineb; Knuepfer, Ellen; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Mohring, Franziska; Amir, Amirah; Yusuf, Noor A.; Hall, Joanna; Almond, Neil; Lau, Yee Ling; Pain, Arnab; Blackman, Michael J.; Holder, Anthony A.

    2016-01-01

    The dominant cause of malaria in Malaysia is now Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic parasite of cynomolgus macaque monkeys found throughout South East Asia. Comparative genomic analysis of parasites adapted to in vitro growth in either cynomolgus or human RBCs identified a genomic deletion that includes the gene encoding normocyte-binding protein Xa (NBPXa) in parasites growing in cynomolgus RBCs but not in human RBCs. Experimental deletion of the NBPXa gene in parasites adapted to growth in human RBCs (which retain the ability to grow in cynomolgus RBCs) restricted them to cynomolgus RBCs, demonstrating that this gene is selectively required for parasite multiplication and growth in human RBCs. NBPXa-null parasites could bind to human RBCs, but invasion of these cells was severely impaired. Therefore, NBPXa is identified as a key mediator of P. knowlesi human infection and may be a target for vaccine development against this emerging pathogen.

  6. Normocyte-binding protein required for human erythrocyte invasion by the zoonotic malaria parasitePlasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert W.

    2016-06-15

    The dominant cause of malaria in Malaysia is now Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic parasite of cynomolgus macaque monkeys found throughout South East Asia. Comparative genomic analysis of parasites adapted to in vitro growth in either cynomolgus or human RBCs identified a genomic deletion that includes the gene encoding normocyte-binding protein Xa (NBPXa) in parasites growing in cynomolgus RBCs but not in human RBCs. Experimental deletion of the NBPXa gene in parasites adapted to growth in human RBCs (which retain the ability to grow in cynomolgus RBCs) restricted them to cynomolgus RBCs, demonstrating that this gene is selectively required for parasite multiplication and growth in human RBCs. NBPXa-null parasites could bind to human RBCs, but invasion of these cells was severely impaired. Therefore, NBPXa is identified as a key mediator of P. knowlesi human infection and may be a target for vaccine development against this emerging pathogen.

  7. The exported chaperone Hsp70-x supports virulence functions for Plasmodium falciparum blood stage parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah C Charnaud

    Full Text Available Malaria is caused by five different Plasmodium spp. in humans each of which modifies the host erythrocyte to survive and replicate. The two main causes of malaria, P. falciparum and P. vivax, differ in their ability to cause severe disease, mainly due to differences in the cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes (IE in the microvasculature. Cytoadhesion of P. falciparum in the brain leads to a large number of deaths each year and is a consequence of exported parasite proteins, some of which modify the erythrocyte cytoskeleton while others such as PfEMP1 project onto the erythrocyte surface where they bind to endothelial cells. Here we investigate the effects of knocking out an exported Hsp70-type chaperone termed Hsp70-x that is present in P. falciparum but not P. vivax. Although the growth of Δhsp70-x parasites was unaffected, the export of PfEMP1 cytoadherence proteins was delayed and Δhsp70-x IE had reduced adhesion. The Δhsp70-x IE were also more rigid than wild-type controls indicating changes in the way the parasites modified their host erythrocyte. To investigate the cause of this, transcriptional and translational changes in exported and chaperone proteins were monitored and some changes were observed. We propose that PfHsp70-x is not essential for survival in vitro, but may be required for the efficient export and functioning of some P. falciparum exported proteins.

  8. The Clp Chaperones and Proteases of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bakkouri, Majida El; Pow, Andre; Mulichak, Anne; Cheung, Kevin L.Y.; Artz, Jennifer D.; Amani, Mehrnaz; Fell, Stuart; de Koning-Ward, Tania F.; Goodman, C. Dean; McFadden, Geoffrey I.; Ortega, Joaquin; Hui, Raymond; Houry, Walid A. (McMaster U.); (Melbourne); (Toronto); (Deakin); (HWMRI)

    2015-02-09

    The Clp chaperones and proteases play an important role in protein homeostasis in the cell. They are highly conserved across prokaryotes and found also in the mitochondria of eukaryotes and the chloroplasts of plants. They function mainly in the disaggregation, unfolding and degradation of native as well as misfolded proteins. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the Clp chaperones and proteases in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The parasite contains four Clp ATPases, which we term PfClpB1, PfClpB2, PfClpC and PfClpM. One PfClpP, the proteolytic subunit, and one PfClpR, which is an inactive version of the protease, were also identified. Expression of all Clp chaperones and proteases was confirmed in blood-stage parasites. The proteins were localized to the apicoplast, a non-photosynthetic organelle that accommodates several important metabolic pathways in P. falciparum, with the exception of PfClpB2 (also known as Hsp101), which was found in the parasitophorous vacuole. Both PfClpP and PfClpR form mostly homoheptameric rings as observed by size-exclusion chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy. The X-ray structure of PfClpP showed the protein as a compacted tetradecamer similar to that observed for Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis ClpPs. Our data suggest the presence of a ClpCRP complex in the apicoplast of P. falciparum.

  9. Leukocyte profiles for western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, naturally infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motz, Victoria L; Lewis, William D; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M

    2014-10-01

    Plasmodium mexicanum is a malaria parasite that naturally infects the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis , in northern California. We set out to determine whether lizards naturally infected with this malaria parasite have different leukocyte profiles, indicating an immune response to infection. We used 29 naturally infected western fence lizards paired with uninfected lizards based on sex, snout-to-vent length, tail status, and the presence-absence of ectoparasites such as ticks and mites, as well as the presence-absence of another hemoparasite, Schellackia occidentalis. Complete white blood cell (WBC) counts were conducted on blood smears stained with Giemsa, and the proportion of granulocytes per microliter of blood was estimated using the Avian Leukopet method. The abundance of each WBC class (lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, eosinophils, and basophils) in infected and uninfected lizards was compared to determine whether leukocyte densities varied with infection status. We found that the numbers of WBCs and lymphocytes per microliter of blood significantly differed (P lizard's immune response to increase the levels of circulating WBCs, but what effect this has on the biology of the parasite remains unclear.

  10. The exported chaperone Hsp70-x supports virulence functions for Plasmodium falciparum blood stage parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charnaud, Sarah C.; Dixon, Matthew W. A.; Nie, Catherine Q.; Chappell, Lia; Sanders, Paul R.; Nebl, Thomas; Hanssen, Eric; Berriman, Matthew; Chan, Jo-Anne; Blanch, Adam J.; Beeson, James G.; Rayner, Julian C.; Przyborski, Jude M.; Tilley, Leann; Crabb, Brendan S.

    2017-01-01

    Malaria is caused by five different Plasmodium spp. in humans each of which modifies the host erythrocyte to survive and replicate. The two main causes of malaria, P. falciparum and P. vivax, differ in their ability to cause severe disease, mainly due to differences in the cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes (IE) in the microvasculature. Cytoadhesion of P. falciparum in the brain leads to a large number of deaths each year and is a consequence of exported parasite proteins, some of which modify the erythrocyte cytoskeleton while others such as PfEMP1 project onto the erythrocyte surface where they bind to endothelial cells. Here we investigate the effects of knocking out an exported Hsp70-type chaperone termed Hsp70-x that is present in P. falciparum but not P. vivax. Although the growth of Δhsp70-x parasites was unaffected, the export of PfEMP1 cytoadherence proteins was delayed and Δhsp70-x IE had reduced adhesion. The Δhsp70-x IE were also more rigid than wild-type controls indicating changes in the way the parasites modified their host erythrocyte. To investigate the cause of this, transcriptional and translational changes in exported and chaperone proteins were monitored and some changes were observed. We propose that PfHsp70-x is not essential for survival in vitro, but may be required for the efficient export and functioning of some P. falciparum exported proteins. PMID:28732045

  11. Proteomic identification of host and parasite biomarkers in saliva from patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Honglei

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria cases attributed to Plasmodium falciparum account for approximately 600,000 deaths yearly, mainly in African children. The gold standard method to diagnose malaria requires the visualization of the parasite in blood. The role of non-invasive diagnostic methods to diagnose malaria remains unclear. Methods A protocol was optimized to deplete highly abundant proteins from saliva to improve the dynamic range of the proteins identified and assess their suitability as candidate biomarkers of malaria infection. A starch-based amylase depletion strategy was used in combination with four different lectins to deplete glycoproteins (Concanavalin A and Aleuria aurantia for N-linked glycoproteins; jacalin and peanut agglutinin for O-linked glycoproteins. A proteomic analysis of depleted saliva samples was performed in 17 children with fever and a positive–malaria slide and compared with that of 17 malaria-negative children with fever. Results The proteomic signature of malaria-positive patients revealed a strong up-regulation of erythrocyte-derived and inflammatory proteins. Three P. falciparum proteins, PFL0480w, PF08_0054 and PFI0875w, were identified in malaria patients and not in controls. Aleuria aurantia and jacalin showed the best results for parasite protein identification. Conclusions This study shows that saliva is a suitable clinical specimen for biomarker discovery. Parasite proteins and several potential biomarkers were identified in patients with malaria but not in patients with other causes of fever. The diagnostic performance of these markers should be addressed prospectively.

  12. The fatty acid biosynthesis enzyme FabI plays a key role in the development of liver-stage malarial parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Min; Kumar, T R Santha; Nkrumah, Louis J; Coppi, Alida; Retzlaff, Silke; Li, Celeste D; Kelly, Brendan J; Moura, Pedro A; Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Freundlich, Joel S; Valderramos, Juan-Carlos; Vilcheze, Catherine; Siedner, Mark; Tsai, Jennifer H-C; Falkard, Brie; Sidhu, Amar Bir Singh; Purcell, Lisa A; Gratraud, Paul; Kremer, Laurent; Waters, Andrew P; Schiehser, Guy; Jacobus, David P; Janse, Chris J; Ager, Arba; Jacobs, William R; Sacchettini, James C; Heussler, Volker; Sinnis, Photini; Fidock, David A

    2008-12-11

    The fatty acid synthesis type II pathway has received considerable interest as a candidate therapeutic target in Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood-stage infections. This apicoplast-resident pathway, distinct from the mammalian type I process, includes FabI. Here, we report synthetic chemistry and transfection studies concluding that Plasmodium FabI is not the target of the antimalarial activity of triclosan, an inhibitor of bacterial FabI. Disruption of fabI in P. falciparum or the rodent parasite P. berghei does not impede blood-stage growth. In contrast, mosquito-derived, FabI-deficient P. berghei sporozoites are markedly less infective for mice and typically fail to complete liver-stage development in vitro. This defect is characterized by an inability to form intrahepatic merosomes that normally initiate blood-stage infections. These data illuminate key differences between liver- and blood-stage parasites in their requirements for host versus de novo synthesized fatty acids, and create new prospects for stage-specific antimalarial interventions.

  13. Depletion of Plasmodium berghei plasmoredoxin reveals a non-essential role for life cycle progression of the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Kathrin; Rahlfs, Stefan; Schirmer, R Heiner; Becker, Katja; Matuschewski, Kai

    2008-06-25

    Proliferation of the pathogenic Plasmodium asexual blood stages in host erythrocytes requires an exquisite capacity to protect the malaria parasite against oxidative stress. This function is achieved by a complex antioxidant defence system composed of redox-active proteins and low MW antioxidants. Here, we disrupted the P. berghei plasmoredoxin gene that encodes a parasite-specific 22 kDa member of the thioredoxin superfamily. The successful generation of plasmoredoxin knockout mutants in the rodent model malaria parasite and phenotypic analysis during life cycle progression revealed a non-vital role in vivo. Our findings suggest that plasmoredoxin fulfils a specialized and dispensable role for Plasmodium and highlights the need for target validation to inform drug development strategies.

  14. Schistosoma mansoni infection suppresses the growth of Plasmodium yoelii parasites in the liver and reduces gametocyte infectivity to mosquitoes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taeko Moriyasu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria and schistosomiasis are major parasitic diseases causing morbidity and mortality in the tropics. Epidemiological surveys have revealed coinfection rates of up to 30% among children in Sub-Saharan Africa. To investigate the impact of coinfection of these two parasites on disease epidemiology and pathology, we carried out coinfection studies using Plasmodium yoelii and Schistosoma mansoni in mice. Malaria parasite growth in the liver following sporozoite inoculation is significantly inhibited in mice infected with S. mansoni, so that when low numbers of sporozoites are inoculated, there is a large reduction in the percentage of mice that go on to develop blood stage malaria. Furthermore, gametocyte infectivity is much reduced in mice with S. mansoni infections. These results have profound implications for understanding the interactions between Plasmodium and Schistosoma species, and have implications for the control of malaria in schistosome endemic areas.

  15. Vitamin B6-Dependent Enzymes in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum: A Druggable Target?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thales Kronenberger

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a deadly infectious disease which affects millions of people each year in tropical regions. There is no effective vaccine available and the treatment is based on drugs which are currently facing an emergence of drug resistance and in this sense the search for new drug targets is indispensable. It is well established that vitamin biosynthetic pathways, such as the vitamin B6 de novo synthesis present in Plasmodium, are excellent drug targets. The active form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5-phosphate, is, besides its antioxidative properties, a cofactor for a variety of essential enzymes present in the malaria parasite which includes the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC, synthesis of polyamines, the aspartate aminotransferase (AspAT, involved in the protein biosynthesis, and the serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT, a key enzyme within the folate metabolism.

  16. Defining the protein interaction network of human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay

    2012-02-01

    Malaria, caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, affects around 225. million people yearly and a huge international effort is directed towards combating this grave threat to world health and economic development. Considerable advances have been made in malaria research triggered by the sequencing of its genome in 2002, followed by several high-throughput studies defining the malaria transcriptome and proteome. A protein-protein interaction (PPI) network seeks to trace the dynamic interactions between proteins, thereby elucidating their local and global functional relationships. Experimentally derived PPI network from high-throughput methods such as yeast two hybrid (Y2H) screens are inherently noisy, but combining these independent datasets by computational methods tends to give a greater accuracy and coverage. This review aims to discuss the computational approaches used till date to construct a malaria protein interaction network and to catalog the functional predictions and biological inferences made from analysis of the PPI network. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

  17. Optimized Pan-species and speciation duplex real-time PCR assays for Plasmodium parasites detection in malaria vectors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurice Marcel Sandeu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: An accurate method for detecting malaria parasites in the mosquito's vector remains an essential component in the vector control. The Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay specific for circumsporozoite protein (ELISA-CSP is the gold standard method for the detection of malaria parasites in the vector even if it presents some limitations. Here, we optimized multiplex real-time PCR assays to accurately detect minor populations in mixed infection with multiple Plasmodium species in the African malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus. METHODS: Complementary TaqMan-based real-time PCR assays that detect Plasmodium species using specific primers and probes were first evaluated on artificial mixtures of different targets inserted in plasmid constructs. The assays were further validated in comparison with the ELISA-CSP on 200 field caught Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus mosquitoes collected in two localities in southern Benin. RESULTS: The validation of the duplex real-time PCR assays on the plasmid mixtures demonstrated robust specificity and sensitivity for detecting distinct targets. Using a panel of mosquito specimen, the real-time PCR showed a relatively high sensitivity (88.6% and specificity (98%, compared to ELISA-CSP as the referent standard. The agreement between both methods was "excellent" (κ=0.8, P<0.05. The relative quantification of Plasmodium DNA between the two Anopheles species analyzed showed no significant difference (P=0, 2. All infected mosquito samples contained Plasmodium falciparum DNA and mixed infections with P. malariae and/or P. ovale were observed in 18.6% and 13.6% of An. gambiae and An. funestus respectively. Plasmodium vivax was found in none of the mosquito samples analyzed. CONCLUSION: This study presents an optimized method for detecting the four Plasmodium species in the African malaria vectors. The study highlights substantial discordance with traditional ELISA-CSP pointing out the

  18. A high parasite density environment induces transcriptional changes and cell death in Plasmodium falciparum blood stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Evelyn S; Abidi, Sabia Z; Teye, Marian; Leliwa-Sytek, Aleksandra; Rask, Thomas S; Cobbold, Simon A; Tonkin-Hill, Gerry Q; Subramaniam, Krishanthi S; Sexton, Anna E; Creek, Darren J; Daily, Johanna P; Duffy, Michael F; Day, Karen P

    2018-03-01

    Transient regulation of Plasmodium numbers below the density that induces fever has been observed in chronic malaria infections in humans. This species transcending control cannot be explained by immunity alone. Using an in vitro system we have observed density dependent regulation of malaria population size as a mechanism to possibly explain these in vivo observations. Specifically, Plasmodium falciparum blood stages from a high but not low-density environment exhibited unique phenotypic changes during the late trophozoite (LT) and schizont stages of the intraerythrocytic cycle. These included in order of appearance: failure of schizonts to mature and merozoites to replicate, apoptotic-like morphological changes including shrinking, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and blebbing with eventual release of aberrant parasites from infected erythrocytes. This unique death phenotype was triggered in a stage-specific manner by sensing of a high-density culture environment. Conditions of glucose starvation, nutrient depletion, and high lactate could not induce the phenotype. A high-density culture environment induced rapid global changes in the parasite transcriptome including differential expression of genes involved in cell remodeling, clonal antigenic variation, metabolism, and cell death pathways including an apoptosis-associated metacaspase gene. This transcriptional profile was also characterized by concomitant expression of asexual and sexual stage-specific genes. The data show strong evidence to support our hypothesis that density sensing exists in P. falciparum. They indicate that an apoptotic-like mechanism may play a role in P. falciparum density regulation, which, as in yeast, has features quite distinguishable from mammalian apoptosis. Gene expression data are available in the GEO databases under the accession number GSE91188. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  19. Flow cytometry-assisted rapid isolation of recombinant Plasmodium berghei parasites exemplified by functional analysis of aquaglyceroporin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenthirapalan, Sanketha; Waters, Andrew P.; Matuschewski, Kai; Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2012-01-01

    The most critical bottleneck in the generation of recombinant Plasmodium berghei parasites is the mandatory in vivo cloning step following successful genetic manipulation. This study describes a new technique for rapid selection of recombinant P. berghei parasites. The method is based on flow cytometry to isolate isogenic parasite lines and represents a major advance for the field, in that it will speed the generation of recombinant parasites as well as cut down on animal use significantly. High expression of GFP during blood infection, a prerequisite for robust separation of transgenic lines by flow cytometry, was achieved. Isogenic recombinant parasite populations were isolated even in the presence of a 100-fold excess of wild-type (WT) parasites. Aquaglyceroporin (AQP) loss-of-function mutants and parasites expressing a tagged AQP were generated to validate this approach. aqp− parasites grow normally within the WT phenotypic range during blood infection of NMRI mice. Similarly, colonization of the insect vector and establishment of an infection after mosquito transmission were unaffected, indicating that AQP is dispensable for life cycle progression in vivo under physiological conditions, refuting its use as a suitable drug target. Tagged AQP localized to perinuclear structures and not the parasite plasma membrane. We suggest that flow-cytometric isolation of isogenic parasites overcomes the major roadblock towards a genome-scale repository of mutant and transgenic malaria parasite lines. PMID:23137753

  20. Natural infection of Plasmodium brasilianum in humans: Man and monkey share quartan malaria parasites in the Venezuelan Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalremruata, Albert; Magris, Magda; Vivas-Martínez, Sarai; Koehler, Maike; Esen, Meral; Kempaiah, Prakasha; Jeyaraj, Sankarganesh; Perkins, Douglas Jay; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Metzger, Wolfram G

    2015-09-01

    The quartan malaria parasite Plasmodium malariae is the widest spread and best adapted human malaria parasite. The simian Plasmodium brasilianum causes quartan fever in New World monkeys and resembles P. malariae morphologically. Since the genetics of the two parasites are nearly identical, differing only in a range of mutations expected within a species, it has long been speculated that the two are the same. However, no naturally acquired infection with parasites termed as P. brasilianum has been found in humans until now. We investigated malaria cases from remote Yanomami indigenous communities of the Venezuelan Amazon and analyzed the genes coding for the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and the small subunit of ribosomes (18S) by species-specific PCR and capillary based-DNA sequencing. Based on 18S rRNA gene sequencing, we identified 12 patients harboring malaria parasites which were 100% identical with P. brasilianum isolated from the monkey, Alouatta seniculus. Translated amino acid sequences of the CS protein gene showed identical immunodominant repeat units between quartan malaria parasites isolated from both humans and monkeys. This study reports, for the first time, naturally acquired infections in humans with parasites termed as P. brasilianum. We conclude that quartan malaria parasites are easily exchanged between humans and monkeys in Latin America. We hypothesize a lack of host specificity in mammalian hosts and consider quartan malaria to be a true anthropozoonosis. Since the name P. brasilianum suggests a malaria species distinct from P. malariae, we propose that P. brasilianum should have a nomenclatorial revision in case further research confirms our findings. The expansive reservoir of mammalian hosts discriminates quartan malaria from other Plasmodium spp. and requires particular research efforts.

  1. Use of Malachite Green-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification for Detection of Plasmodium spp. Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucchi, Naomi W.; Ljolje, Dragan; Silva-Flannery, Luciana; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-01-01

    Malaria elimination efforts are hampered by the lack of sensitive tools to detect infections with low-level parasitemia, usually below the threshold of standard diagnostic methods, microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests. Isothermal nucleic acid amplification assays such as the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), are well suited for field use as they do not require thermal cyclers to run the test. However, the use of specialized equipment, as described by many groups, reduces the versatility of the LAMP technique as a simple tool for use in endemic countries. In this study, the use of the malachite green (MG) dye, as a visual endpoint readout, together with a simple mini heat block was evaluated for the detection of malaria parasites. The assay was performed for 1 hour at 63°C and the results scored by 3 independent human readers. The limit of detection of the assay was determined using well-quantified Plasmodium spp. infected reference samples and its utility in testing clinical samples was determined using 190 pre-treatment specimens submitted for reference diagnosis of imported malaria in the United States. Use of a simplified boil and spin methods of DNA extraction from whole blood and filter paper was also investigated. We demonstrate the accurate and sensitive detection of malaria parasites using this assay with a detection limit ranging between 1–8 parasites/μL, supporting its applicability for the detection of infections with low parasite burden. This assay is compatible with the use of a simple boil and spin sample preparation method from both whole blood and filter papers without a loss of sensitivity. The MG-LAMP assay described here has great potential to extend the reach of molecular tools to settings where they are needed. PMID:26967908

  2. Use of Malachite Green-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification for Detection of Plasmodium spp. Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi W Lucchi

    Full Text Available Malaria elimination efforts are hampered by the lack of sensitive tools to detect infections with low-level parasitemia, usually below the threshold of standard diagnostic methods, microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests. Isothermal nucleic acid amplification assays such as the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP, are well suited for field use as they do not require thermal cyclers to run the test. However, the use of specialized equipment, as described by many groups, reduces the versatility of the LAMP technique as a simple tool for use in endemic countries. In this study, the use of the malachite green (MG dye, as a visual endpoint readout, together with a simple mini heat block was evaluated for the detection of malaria parasites. The assay was performed for 1 hour at 63°C and the results scored by 3 independent human readers. The limit of detection of the assay was determined using well-quantified Plasmodium spp. infected reference samples and its utility in testing clinical samples was determined using 190 pre-treatment specimens submitted for reference diagnosis of imported malaria in the United States. Use of a simplified boil and spin methods of DNA extraction from whole blood and filter paper was also investigated. We demonstrate the accurate and sensitive detection of malaria parasites using this assay with a detection limit ranging between 1-8 parasites/μL, supporting its applicability for the detection of infections with low parasite burden. This assay is compatible with the use of a simple boil and spin sample preparation method from both whole blood and filter papers without a loss of sensitivity. The MG-LAMP assay described here has great potential to extend the reach of molecular tools to settings where they are needed.

  3. Selection of drug resistant mutants from random library of Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase in Plasmodium berghei model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuthavong Yongyuth

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The prevalence of drug resistance amongst the human malaria Plasmodium species has most commonly been associated with genomic mutation within the parasites. This phenomenon necessitates evolutionary predictive studies of possible resistance mutations, which may occur when a new drug is introduced. Therefore, identification of possible new Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (PfDHFR mutants that confer resistance to antifolate drugs is essential in the process of antifolate anti-malarial drug development. Methods A system to identify mutations in Pfdhfr gene that confer antifolate drug resistance using an animal Plasmodium parasite model was developed. By using error-prone PCR and Plasmodium transfection technologies, libraries of Pfdhfr mutant were generated and then episomally transfected to Plasmodium berghei parasites, from which pyrimethamine-resistant PfDHFR mutants were selected. Results The principal mutation found from this experiment was S108N, coincident with the first pyrimethamine-resistance mutation isolated from the field. A transgenic P. berghei, in which endogenous Pbdhfr allele was replaced with the mutant PfdhfrS108N, was generated and confirmed to have normal growth rate comparing to parental non-transgenic parasite and also confer resistance to pyrimethamine. Conclusion This study demonstrated the power of the transgenic P. berghei system to predict drug-resistant Pfdhfr mutations in an in vivo parasite/host setting. The system could be utilized for identification of possible novel drug-resistant mutants that could arise against new antifolate compounds and for prediction the evolution of resistance mutations.

  4. The Plasmodium PHIST and RESA-Like Protein Families of Human and Rodent Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Cristina K.; Naissant, Bernina; Coppi, Alida; Bennett, Brandy L.; Aime, Elena; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Janse, Chris J.; Coppens, Isabelle; Sinnis, Photini; Templeton, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    The phist gene family has members identified across the Plasmodium genus, defined by the presence of a domain of roughly 150 amino acids having conserved aromatic residues and an all alpha-helical structure. The family is highly amplified in P. falciparum, with 65 predicted genes in the genome of the 3D7 isolate. In contrast, in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei 3 genes are identified, one of which is an apparent pseudogene. Transcripts of the P. berghei phist genes are predominant in schizonts, whereas in P. falciparum transcript profiles span different asexual blood stages and gametocytes. We pursued targeted disruption of P. berghei phist genes in order to characterize a simplistic model for the expanded phist gene repertoire in P. falciparum. Unsuccessful attempts to disrupt P. berghei PBANKA_114540 suggest that this phist gene is essential, while knockout of phist PBANKA_122900 shows an apparent normal progression and non-essential function throughout the life cycle. Epitope-tagging of P. falciparum and P. berghei phist genes confirmed protein export to the erythrocyte cytoplasm and localization with a punctate pattern. Three P. berghei PEXEL/HT-positive exported proteins exhibit at least partial co-localization, in support of a common vesicular compartment in the cytoplasm of erythrocytes infected with rodent malaria parasites. PMID:27022937

  5. Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi malaria parasites can develop stable resistance to atovaquone with a mutation in the cytochrome b gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alves Ana C

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum, has developed resistance to many of the drugs in use. The recommended treatment policy is now to use drug combinations. The atovaquone-proguanil (AP drug combination, is one of the treatment and prophylaxis options. Atovaquone (ATQ exerts its action by inhibiting plasmodial mitochondria electron transport at the level of the cytochrome bc1 complex. Plasmodium falciparum in vitro resistance to ATQ has been associated with specific point mutations in the region spanning codons 271-284 of the cytochrome b gene. ATQ -resistant Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium berghei lines have been obtained and resistant lines have amino acid mutations in their CYT b protein sequences. Plasmodium chabaudi model for studying drug-responses and drug-resistance selection is a very useful rodent malaria model but no ATQ resistant parasites have been reported so far. The aim of this study was to determine the ATQ sensitivity of the P. chabaudi clones, to select a resistant parasite line and to perform genotypic characterization of the cytb gene of these clones. Methods To select for ATQ resistance, Plasmodium. chabaudi chabaudi clones were exposed to gradually increasing concentrations of ATQ during several consecutive passages in mice. Plasmodium chabaudi cytb gene was amplified and sequenced. Results ATQ resistance was selected from the clone AS-3CQ. In order to confirm whether an heritable genetic mutation underlies the response of AS-ATQ to ATQ, the stability of the drug resistance phenotype in this clone was evaluated by measuring drug responses after (i multiple blood passages in the absence of the drug, (ii freeze/thawing of parasites in liquid nitrogen and (iii transmission through a mosquito host, Anopheles stephensi. ATQ resistance phenotype of the drug-selected parasite clone kept unaltered. Therefore, ATQ resistance in clone AS-ATQ is genetically encoded. The Minimum Curative Dose of AS-ATQ showed a six

  6. Plasmodium Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins 3 and 4 are essential for malaria parasite transmission from the mosquito to the host

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    Mota Maria M

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins (PCRMP are a family of four conserved proteins of malaria parasites, that contain a number of motifs implicated in host-parasite interactions. Analysis of mutants of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei lacking expression of PCRMP1 or 2 showed that these proteins are essential for targeting of P. berghei sporozoites to the mosquito salivary gland and, hence, for transmission from the mosquito to the mouse. Methods In this work, the role of the remaining PCRMP family members, PCRMP3 and 4, has been investigated throughout the Plasmodium life cycle by generation and analysis of P. berghei gene deletion mutants, Δpcrmp3 and Δpcrmp4. The role of PCRMP members during the transmission and hepatic stages of the Plasmodium lifecycle has been evaluated by light- and electron microscopy and by analysis of liver stage development in HEPG2 cells in vitro and by infecting mice with mutant sporozoites. In addition, mice were immunized with live Δpcrmp3 and Δpcrmp4 sporozoites to evaluate their immunization potential as a genetically-attenuated parasite-based vaccine. Results Disruption of pcrmp3 and pcrmp4 in P. berghei revealed that they are also essential for transmission of the parasite through the mosquito vector, although acting in a distinct way to pbcrmp1 and 2. Mutants lacking expression of PCRMP3 or PCRMP4 show normal blood stage development and oocyst formation in the mosquito and develop into morphologically normal sporozoites, but these have a defect in egress from oocysts and do not enter the salivary glands. Sporozoites extracted from oocysts perform gliding motility and invade and infect hepatocytes but do not undergo further development and proliferation. Furthermore, the study shows that immunization with Δcrmp3 and Δcrmp4 sporozoites does not confer protective immunity upon subsequent challenge. Conclusions PCRMP3 and 4 play multiple roles during the Plasmodium life

  7. Systematic analysis of FKBP inducible degradation domain tagging strategies for the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Mauro Ferreira de Azevedo

    Full Text Available Targeted regulation of protein levels is an important tool to gain insights into the role of proteins essential to cell function and development. In recent years, a method based on mutated forms of the human FKBP12 has been established and used to great effect in various cell types to explore protein function. The mutated FKBP protein, referred to as destabilization domain (DD tag when fused with a native protein at the N- or C-terminus targets the protein for proteosomal degradation. Regulated expression is achieved via addition of a compound, Shld-1, that stabilizes the protein and prevents degradation. A limited number of studies have used this system to provide powerful insight into protein function in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In order to better understand the DD inducible system in P. falciparum, we studied the effect of Shld-1 on parasite growth, demonstrating that although development is not impaired, it is delayed, requiring the appropriate controls for phenotype interpretation. We explored the quantified regulation of reporter Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP and luciferase constructs fused to three DD variants in parasite cells either via transient or stable transfection. The regulation obtained with the original FKBP derived DD domain was compared to two triple mutants DD24 and DD29, which had been described to provide better regulation for C-terminal tagging in other cell types. When cloned to the C-terminal of reporter proteins, DD24 provided the strongest regulation allowing reporter activity to be reduced to lower levels than DD and to restore the activity of stabilised proteins to higher levels than DD29. Importantly, DD24 has not previously been applied to regulate proteins in P. falciparum. The possibility of regulating an exported protein was addressed by targeting the Ring-Infected Erythrocyte Surface Antigen (RESA at its C-terminus. The tagged protein demonstrated an important modulation of its

  8. Malaria and blood transfusion: major issues of blood safety in malaria-endemic countries and strategies for mitigating the risk of Plasmodium parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Saleh; Karunamoorthi, Kaliyaperumal

    2016-01-01

    Malaria inflicts humankind over centuries, and it remains as a major threat to both clinical medicine and public health worldwide. Though hemotherapy is a life-sustaining modality, it continues to be a possible source of disease transmission. Hence, hemovigilance is a matter of grave concern in the malaria-prone third-world countries. In order to pursue an effective research on hemovigilance, a comprehensive search has been conducted by using the premier academic-scientific databases, WHO documents, and English-language search engines. One hundred two appropriate articles were chosen for data extraction, with a particular reference to emerging pathogens transmitted through blood transfusion, specifically malaria. Blood donation screening is done through microscopic examination and immunological assays to improve the safety of blood products by detection major blood-borne pathogens, viz., HIV, HBV, HCV, syphilis, and malarial parasites. Transfusion therapy significantly dwindles the preventable morbidity and mortality attributed to various illnesses and diseases, particularly AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Examination of thick and thin blood smears are performed to detect positivity and to identify the Plasmodium species, respectively. However, all of these existing diagnostic tools have their own limitations in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost-effectiveness, and lack of resources and skilled personnel. Globally, despite the mandate need of screening blood and its components according to the blood-establishment protocols, it is seldom practiced in the low-income/poverty-stricken settings. In addition, each and every single phase of transfusion chain carries sizable inherent risks from donors to recipients. Interestingly, opportunities also lie ahead to enhance the safety of blood-supply chain and patients. It can be achieved through sustainable blood-management strategies like (1) appropriate usage of precise diagnostic tools/techniques, (2) promoting

  9. Natural infection of Plasmodium brasilianum in humans: Man and monkey share quartan malaria parasites in the Venezuelan Amazon

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    Albert Lalremruata

    2015-09-01

    Interpretation: This study reports, for the first time, naturally acquired infections in humans with parasites termed as P. brasilianum. We conclude that quartan malaria parasites are easily exchanged between humans and monkeys in Latin America. We hypothesize a lack of host specificity in mammalian hosts and consider quartan malaria to be a true anthropozoonosis. Since the name P. brasilianum suggests a malaria species distinct from P. malariae, we propose that P. brasilianum should have a nomenclatorial revision in case further research confirms our findings. The expansive reservoir of mammalian hosts discriminates quartan malaria from other Plasmodium spp. and requires particular research efforts.

  10. Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi and generation of a stable fluorescent line PcGFPCON

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    Reece Sarah E

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi has proven of great value in the analysis of fundamental aspects of host-parasite-vector interactions implicated in disease pathology and parasite evolutionary ecology. However, the lack of gene modification technologies for this model has precluded more direct functional studies. Methods The development of in vitro culture methods to yield P. chabaudi schizonts for transfection and conditions for genetic modification of this rodent malaria model are reported. Results Independent P. chabaudi gene-integrant lines that constitutively express high levels of green fluorescent protein throughout their life cycle have been generated. Conclusion Genetic modification of P. chabaudi is now possible. The production of genetically distinct reference lines offers substantial advances to our understanding of malaria parasite biology, especially interactions with the immune system during chronic infection.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Identification of a Golgi apparatus protein complex important for the asexual erythrocytic cycle of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Thériault, Catherine; Gagnon, Dominic; Kehrer, Jessica; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Mair, Gunnar R; Richard, Dave

    2018-03-26

    Compared with other eukaryotic cell types, malaria parasites appear to possess a more rudimentary Golgi apparatus being composed of dispersed, unstacked cis and trans-cisternae. Despite playing a central role in the secretory pathway of the parasite, few Plasmodium Golgi resident proteins have been characterised. We had previously identified a new Golgi resident protein of unknown function, which we had named Golgi Protein 1, and now show that it forms a complex with a previously uncharacterised transmembrane protein (Golgi Protein 2, GP2). The Golgi Protein complex localises to the cis-Golgi throughout the erythrocytic cycle and potentially also during the mosquito stages. Analysis of parasite strains where GP1 expression is conditionally repressed and/or the GP2 gene is inactivated reveals that though the Golgi protein complex is not essential at any stage of the parasite life cycle, it is important for optimal asexual development in the blood stages. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Early gametocytes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum specifically remodel the adhesive properties of infected erythrocyte surface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tibúrcio, Marta; Silvestrini, Francesco; Bertuccini, Lucia

    2013-01-01

    to ultrastructurally and biochemically analyse parasite-induced modifications on the red blood cell surface and to measure their functional consequences on adhesion to human endothelial cells. This work revealed that stage I gametocytes are able to deform the infected erythrocytes like asexual parasites, but do...... not modify its surface with adhesive 'knob' structures and associated proteins. Reduced levels of the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesins are exposed on the red blood cell surface bythese parasites, and the expression of the var gene family, which encodes 50-60 variants of PfEMP1......In Plasmodium falciparum infections the parasite transmission stages, the gametocytes, mature in 10 days sequestered in internal organs. Recent studies suggest that cell mechanical properties rather than adhesive interactions play a role in sequestration during gametocyte maturation. It remains...

  14. Rapid and specific biotin labelling of the erythrocyte surface antigens of both cultured and ex-vivo Plasmodium parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thompson Joanne

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sensitive detection of parasite surface antigens expressed on erythrocyte membranes is necessary to further analyse the molecular pathology of malaria. This study describes a modified biotin labelling/osmotic lysis method which rapidly produces membrane extracts enriched for labelled surface antigens and also improves the efficiency of antigen recovery compared with traditional detergent extraction and surface radio-iodination. The method can also be used with ex-vivo parasites. Methods After surface labelling with biotin in the presence of the inhibitor furosemide, detergent extraction and osmotic lysis methods of enriching for the membrane fractions were compared to determine the efficiency of purification and recovery. Biotin-labelled proteins were identified on silver-stained SDS-polyacrylamide gels. Results Detergent extraction and osmotic lysis were compared for their capacity to purify biotin-labelled Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium chabaudi erythrocyte surface antigens. The pellet fraction formed after osmotic lysis of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes is notably enriched in suface antigens, including PfEMP1, when compared to detergent extraction. There is also reduced co-extraction of host proteins such as spectrin and Band 3. Conclusion Biotinylation and osmotic lysis provides an improved method to label and purify parasitised erythrocyte surface antigen extracts from both in vitro and ex vivo Plasmodium parasite preparations.

  15. Cross-reactive anti-PfCLAG9 antibodies in the sera of asymptomatic parasite carriers of Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Joana D'Arc Neves; Zanchi, Fernando Berton; Rodrigues, Francisco Lurdevanhe da Silva; Honda, Eduardo Rezende; Katsuragawa, Tony Hiroschi; Pereira, Dhélio Batista; Taborda, Roger Lafontaine Mesquita; Tada, Mauro Shugiro; Ferreira, Ricardo de Godoi Mattos; Pereira-da-Silva, Luiz Hildebrando

    2013-01-01

    The PfCLAG9 has been extensively studied because their immunogenicity. Thereby, the gene product is important for therapeutics interventions and a potential vaccine candidate. Antibodies against synthetic peptides corresponding to selected sequences of the Plasmodium falciparum antigen PfCLAG9 were found in sera of falciparum malaria patients from Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon. Much higher antibody titres were found in semi-immune and immune asymptomatic parasite carriers than in subjects suffering clinical infections, corroborating original findings in Papua Guinea. However, sera of Plasmodium vivax patients from the same Amazon area, in particular from asymptomatic vivax parasite carriers, reacted strongly with the same peptides. Bioinformatic analyses revealed regions of similarity between P. falciparum Pfclag9 and the P. vivax ortholog Pvclag7. Indirect fluorescent microscopy analysis showed that antibodies against PfCLAG9 peptides elicited in BALB/c mice react with human red blood cells (RBCs) infected with both P. falciparum and P. vivax parasites. The patterns of reactivity on the surface of the parasitised RBCs are very similar. The present observations support previous findings that PfCLAG9 may be a target of protective immune responses and raises the possibility that the cross reactive antibodies to PvCLAG7 in mixed infections play a role in regulate the fate of Plasmodium mixed infections. PMID:23440122

  16. Anti-malarial activities of Andrographis paniculata and Hedyotis corymbosa extracts and their combination with curcumin

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    Swain Bijay K

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Herbal extracts of Andrographis paniculata (AP and Hedyotis corymbosa (HC are known as hepato-protective and fever-reducing drugs since ancient time and they have been used regularly by the people in the south Asian sub-continent. Methanolic extracts of these two plants were tested in vitro on choloroquine sensitive (MRC-pf-20 and resistant (MRC-pf-303 strains of Plasmodium falciparum for their anti-malarial activity. Methods Growth inhibition was determined using different concentrations of these plant extracts on synchronized P. falciparum cultures at the ring stage. The interactions between these two plant extracts and individually with curcumin were studied in vitro. The performance of these two herbal extracts in isolation and combination were further evaluated in vivo on Balb/c mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA and their efficacy was compared with that of curcumin. The in vivo toxicity of the plant derived compounds as well as their parasite stage-specificity was studied. Results The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50 of AP (7.2 μg/ml was found better than HC (10.8 μg/ml. Combination of these two herbal drugs showed substantial enhancement in their anti-malarial activity. Combinatorial effect of each of these with curcumin also revealed anti-malarial effect. Additive interaction between the plant extracts (AP + HC and their individual synergism with curcumin (AP+CUR, HC+CUR were evident from this study. Increased in vivo potency was also observed with the combination of plant extracts over the individual extracts and curcumin. Both the plant extracts were found to inhibit the ring stage of the parasite and did not show any in vivo toxicity, whether used in isolation or in combination. Conclusion Both these two plant extracts in combination with curcumin could be an effective, alternative source of herbal anti-malarial drugs.

  17. Anti-malarial activities of Andrographis paniculata and Hedyotis corymbosa extracts and their combination with curcumin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Kirti; Dash, Aditya P; Swain, Bijay K; Dey, Nrisingha

    2009-01-01

    Background Herbal extracts of Andrographis paniculata (AP) and Hedyotis corymbosa (HC) are known as hepato-protective and fever-reducing drugs since ancient time and they have been used regularly by the people in the south Asian sub-continent. Methanolic extracts of these two plants were tested in vitro on choloroquine sensitive (MRC-pf-20) and resistant (MRC-pf-303) strains of Plasmodium falciparum for their anti-malarial activity. Methods Growth inhibition was determined using different concentrations of these plant extracts on synchronized P. falciparum cultures at the ring stage. The interactions between these two plant extracts and individually with curcumin were studied in vitro. The performance of these two herbal extracts in isolation and combination were further evaluated in vivo on Balb/c mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA and their efficacy was compared with that of curcumin. The in vivo toxicity of the plant derived compounds as well as their parasite stage-specificity was studied. Results The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of AP (7.2 μg/ml) was found better than HC (10.8 μg/ml). Combination of these two herbal drugs showed substantial enhancement in their anti-malarial activity. Combinatorial effect of each of these with curcumin also revealed anti-malarial effect. Additive interaction between the plant extracts (AP + HC) and their individual synergism with curcumin (AP+CUR, HC+CUR) were evident from this study. Increased in vivo potency was also observed with the combination of plant extracts over the individual extracts and curcumin. Both the plant extracts were found to inhibit the ring stage of the parasite and did not show any in vivo toxicity, whether used in isolation or in combination. Conclusion Both these two plant extracts in combination with curcumin could be an effective, alternative source of herbal anti-malarial drugs. PMID:19216765

  18. Malaria rapid diagnostic tests: Plasmodium falciparum infections with high parasite densities may generate false positive Plasmodium vivax pLDH lines

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    van Esbroeck Marjan

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs detect Plasmodium falciparum and an antigen common to the four species. Plasmodium vivax-specific RDTs target P. vivax-specific parasite lactate dehydrogenase (Pv-pLDH. Previous observations of false positive Pv-pLDH test lines in P. falciparum samples incited to the present study, which assessed P. vivax-specific RDTs for the occurrence of false positive Pv-pLDH lines in P. falciparum samples. Methods Nine P. vivax-specific RDTs were tested with 85 P. falciparum samples of high (≥2% parasite density. Mixed P. falciparum/P. vivax infections were ruled out by real-time PCR. The RDTs included two-band (detecting Pv-pLDH, three-band (detecting P. falciparum-antigen and Pv-pLDH and four-band RDTs (detecting P. falciparum, Pv-pLDH and pan-pLDH. Results False positive Pv-pLDH lines were observed in 6/9 RDTs (including two- three- and four-band RDTs. They occurred in the individual RDT brands at frequencies ranging from 8.2% to 29.1%. For 19/85 samples, at least two RDT brands generated a false positive Pv-pLDH line. Sixteen of 85 (18.8% false positive lines were of medium or strong line intensity. There was no significant relation between false positive results and parasite density or geographic origin of the samples. Conclusion False positive Pv-pLDH lines in P. falciparum samples with high parasite density occurred in 6/9 P. vivax-specific RDTs. This is of concern as P. falciparum and P. vivax are co-circulating in many regions. The diagnosis of life-threatening P. falciparum malaria may be missed (two-band Pv-pLDH RDT, or the patient may be treated incorrectly with primaquine (three- or four-band RDTs.

  19. Plasmodium falciparum: attenuation by irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waki, S.; Yonome, I.; Suzuki, M.

    1983-01-01

    The effect of irradiation on the in vitro growth of Plasmodium falciparum was investigated. The cultured malarial parasites at selected stages of development were exposed to gamma rays and the sensitivity of each stage was determined. The stages most sensitive to irradiation were the ring forms and the early trophozoites; late trophozoites were relatively insensitive. The greatest resistance was shown when parasites were irradiated at a time of transition from the late trophozoite and schizont stages to young ring forms. The characteristics of radiosensitive variation in the parasite cycle resembled that of mammalian cells. Growth curves of parasites exposed to doses of irradiation upto 150 gray had the same slope as nonirradiated controls but parasites which were exposed to 200 gray exhibited a growth curve which was less steep than that for parasites in other groups. Less than 10 organisms survived from the 10(6) parasites exposed to this high dose of irradiation; the possibility exists of obtaining radiation-attenuated P. falciparum

  20. Rapid, low dose X-ray diffractive imaging of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, Michael W.M.; Dearnley, Megan K.; Riessen, Grant A. van; Abbey, Brian; Putkunz, Corey T.; Junker, Mark D.; Vine, David J.; McNulty, Ian; Nugent, Keith A.; Peele, Andrew G.; Tilley, Leann

    2014-01-01

    Phase-diverse X-ray coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) provides a route to high sensitivity and spatial resolution with moderate radiation dose. It also provides a robust solution to the well-known phase-problem, making on-line image reconstruction feasible. Here we apply phase-diverse CDI to a cellular sample, obtaining images of an erythrocyte infected by the sexual stage of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, with a radiation dose significantly lower than the lowest dose previously reported for cellular imaging using CDI. The high sensitivity and resolution allow key biological features to be identified within intact cells, providing complementary information to optical and electron microscopy. This high throughput method could be used for fast tomographic imaging, or to generate multiple replicates in two-dimensions of hydrated biological systems without freezing or fixing. This work demonstrates that phase-diverse CDI is a valuable complementary imaging method for the biological sciences and ready for immediate application. - Highlights: • Phase-diverse coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy provides high-resolution and high-contrast images of intact biological samples. • Rapid nanoscale resolution imaging is demonstrated at orders of magnitude lower dose than previously possible. • Phase-diverse coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy is a robust technique for rapid, quantitative, and correlative X-ray phase imaging

  1. Rapid, low dose X-ray diffractive imaging of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, Michael W.M., E-mail: michael.jones@latrobe.edu.au [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Dearnley, Megan K. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia); Riessen, Grant A. van [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Abbey, Brian [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, Victoria 3168 (Australia); Putkunz, Corey T. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, School of Physics, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia); Junker, Mark D. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Vine, David J. [Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States); McNulty, Ian [Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States); Centre for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439 (United States); Nugent, Keith A. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Peele, Andrew G. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Australian Synchrotron, 800 Blackburn Road, Clayton 3168 (Australia); Tilley, Leann [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia)

    2014-08-01

    Phase-diverse X-ray coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) provides a route to high sensitivity and spatial resolution with moderate radiation dose. It also provides a robust solution to the well-known phase-problem, making on-line image reconstruction feasible. Here we apply phase-diverse CDI to a cellular sample, obtaining images of an erythrocyte infected by the sexual stage of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, with a radiation dose significantly lower than the lowest dose previously reported for cellular imaging using CDI. The high sensitivity and resolution allow key biological features to be identified within intact cells, providing complementary information to optical and electron microscopy. This high throughput method could be used for fast tomographic imaging, or to generate multiple replicates in two-dimensions of hydrated biological systems without freezing or fixing. This work demonstrates that phase-diverse CDI is a valuable complementary imaging method for the biological sciences and ready for immediate application. - Highlights: • Phase-diverse coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy provides high-resolution and high-contrast images of intact biological samples. • Rapid nanoscale resolution imaging is demonstrated at orders of magnitude lower dose than previously possible. • Phase-diverse coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy is a robust technique for rapid, quantitative, and correlative X-ray phase imaging.

  2. Antisense long noncoding RNAs regulate var gene activation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amit-Avraham, Inbar; Pozner, Guy; Eshar, Shiri; Fastman, Yair; Kolevzon, Netanel; Yavin, Eylon; Dzikowski, Ron

    2015-03-03

    The virulence of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the deadliest form of human malaria, is attributed to its ability to evade human immunity through antigenic variation. These parasites alternate between expression of variable antigens, encoded by members of a multicopy gene family named var. Immune evasion through antigenic variation depends on tight regulation of var gene expression, ensuring that only a single var gene is expressed at a time while the rest of the family is maintained transcriptionally silent. Understanding how a single gene is chosen for activation is critical for understanding mutually exclusive expression but remains a mystery. Here, we show that antisense long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) initiating from var introns are associated with the single active var gene at the time in the cell cycle when the single var upstream promoter is active. We demonstrate that these antisense transcripts are incorporated into chromatin, and that expression of these antisense lncRNAs in trans triggers activation of a silent var gene in a sequence- and dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, interference with these lncRNAs using complement peptide nucleic acid molecules down-regulated the active var gene, erased the epigenetic memory, and induced expression switching. Altogether, our data provide evidence that these antisense lncRNAs play a key role in regulating var gene activation and mutually exclusive expression.

  3. Antibodies against the Plasmodium falciparum glutamate-rich protein from naturally exposed individuals living in a Brazilian malaria-endemic area can inhibit in vitro parasite growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pratt-Riccio, Lilian Rose; Bianco, Cesare; Totino, Paulo Renato Rivas

    2011-01-01

    The glutamate-rich protein (GLURP) is an exoantigen expressed in all stages of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle in humans. Anti-GLURP antibodies can inhibit parasite growth in the presence of monocytes via antibody-dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI), and a major parasite-inhibitory region h...

  4. Do the mitochondria of malaria parasites behave like the phoenix after return in the mosquito? Regeneration of degenerated mitochondria is required for successful Plasmodium infection.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongaerts, G.P.A.

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondria are energy generators in eukaryotic organisms like man and the pathogenic malaria parasites, the Plasmodium spp. From the moment a mosquito-mediated malaria infection occurs in man the parasite multiplies profusely, but eventually the oxygen supply becomes the limiting factor in this

  5. Virulence of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, for its sand fly vectors, Lutzomyia vexator and Lutzomyia stewarti (Diptera: Psychodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schall, Jos J

    2011-11-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that virulence of parasites for mobile vector insects will be low for natural parasite-host associations that have coevolved. I determined virulence of the malaria parasite of lizards, Plasmodium mexicanum, for its vectors, two species of sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae), Lutzomyia vexator (Coquillett 1907) and Lutzomyia stewarti (Mangabeira Fo & Galindo 1944), by measuring several life history traits. Developmental rate from egg to eclosion differed for the two species when noninfected. For both sand fly species, developmental rate for each stage (egg to larval hatching, larval period, pupal period) and life span were not altered by infection. Infected sand flies, however, produced fewer eggs. This reduction in fecundity may be a result of lower quality of the blood meal taken from infected lizards (lower concentration of hemoglobin). This report is the first measure of virulence of Plasmodium for an insect vector other than a mosquito and concords with both expectations of theory and previous studies on natural parasite-host associations that revealed low virulence.

  6. Current trends in malarial chemotherapy | Ibezim | African Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Malaria is a tropical disease caused by the genus Plasmodium. The sexual stage of the plasmodium is carried by mosquito while the asexual stage is carried by man. Transmission from the mosquito to man is through mosquito bite. Commonly presented symptoms of malarial attack include fever, weakness, anorexia, and ...

  7. Interactions between the intestinal flagellates Giardia muris and Spironucleus muris and the blood parasites Babesia microti, Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium berghei in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brett, S J; Cox, F E

    1982-08-01

    In mice infected with the intestinal flagellates Giardia muris or Spironucleus muris, together with the blood parasites Babesia microti or Plasmodium yoelii, there is a temporary decrease of flagellate cyst output coincident with the peak of the blood parasite infections, followed by a rapid return to normal levels. This decrease in cyst output is correlated with decreased numbers of trophozoites in the small intestine. The effect on S. muris is more marked than that on G. muris. Neither blood parasites has any effect on the total duration of the flagellate infection and the flagellates do not affect the blood parasites. In mice infected with G. muris or S. muris and P. berghei there is also a decrease in cyst output but this is less apparent than in infections with B. microti or P. yoelii because of the fatal nature of the P. berghei infection. It is suggested that the decrease in cyst output is probably due to changes in the contents of the small intestine or to non-specific immunological factors rather than to specific immunological changes.

  8. Genetic variability and population structure of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations from different malaria ecological regions of Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingasia, Luicer A; Cheruiyot, Jelagat; Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Andagalu, Ben; Kamau, Edwin

    2016-04-01

    Transmission intensity, movement of human and vector hosts, biogeographical features, and malaria control measures are some of the important factors that determine Plasmodium falciparum parasite genetic variability and population structure. Kenya has different malaria ecologies which might require different disease intervention methods. Refined parasite population genetic studies are critical for informing malaria control and elimination strategies. This study describes the genetic diversity and population structure of P. falciparum parasites from the different malaria ecological zones in Kenya. Twelve multi-locus microsatellite (MS) loci previously described were genotyped in 225 P. falciparum isolates collected between 2012 and 2013 from five sites; three in lowland endemic regions (Kisumu, Kombewa, and Malindi) and two in highland, epidemic regions (Kisii and Kericho). Parasites from the lowland endemic and highland epidemic regions of western Kenya had high genetic diversity compared to coastal lowland endemic region of Kenya [Malindi]. The Kenyan parasites had a mean genetic differentiation index (FST) of 0.072 (p=0.011). The multi-locus genetic analysis of the 12 MS revealed all the parasites had unique haplotypes. Significant linkage disequilibrium (LD) was observed in all the five parasite populations. Kisumu had the most significant index of association values (0.16; pKenya after introduction of the artemether-lumefantrine is important in refining the spread of drug resistant strains and malaria transmission for more effective control and eventual elimination of malaria in Kenya. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. NSR-seq transcriptional profiling enables identification of a gene signature of Plasmodium falciparum parasites infecting children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vignali, Marissa; Armour, Christopher D.; Chen, Jingyang; Morrison, Robert; Castle, John C.; Biery, Matthew C.; Bouzek, Heather; Moon, Wonjong; Babak, Tomas; Fried, Michal; Raymond, Christopher K.; Duffy, Patrick E.

    2011-01-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum results in approximately 1 million annual deaths worldwide, with young children and pregnant mothers at highest risk. Disease severity might be related to parasite virulence factors, but expression profiling studies of parasites to test this hypothesis have been hindered by extensive sequence variation in putative virulence genes and a preponderance of host RNA in clinical samples. We report here the application of RNA sequencing to clinical isolates of P. falciparum, using not-so-random (NSR) primers to successfully exclude human ribosomal RNA and globin transcripts and enrich for parasite transcripts. Using NSR-seq, we confirmed earlier microarray studies showing upregulation of a distinct subset of genes in parasites infecting pregnant women, including that encoding the well-established pregnancy malaria vaccine candidate var2csa. We also describe a subset of parasite transcripts that distinguished parasites infecting children from those infecting pregnant women and confirmed this observation using quantitative real-time PCR and mass spectrometry proteomic analyses. Based on their putative functional properties, we propose that these proteins could have a role in childhood malaria pathogenesis. Our study provides proof of principle that NSR-seq represents an approach that can be used to study clinical isolates of parasites causing severe malaria syndromes as well other blood-borne pathogens and blood-related diseases. PMID:21317536

  10. NSR-seq transcriptional profiling enables identification of a gene signature of Plasmodium falciparum parasites infecting children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vignali, Marissa; Armour, Christopher D; Chen, Jingyang; Morrison, Robert; Castle, John C; Biery, Matthew C; Bouzek, Heather; Moon, Wonjong; Babak, Tomas; Fried, Michal; Raymond, Christopher K; Duffy, Patrick E

    2011-03-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum results in approximately 1 million annual deaths worldwide, with young children and pregnant mothers at highest risk. Disease severity might be related to parasite virulence factors, but expression profiling studies of parasites to test this hypothesis have been hindered by extensive sequence variation in putative virulence genes and a preponderance of host RNA in clinical samples. We report here the application of RNA sequencing to clinical isolates of P. falciparum, using not-so-random (NSR) primers to successfully exclude human ribosomal RNA and globin transcripts and enrich for parasite transcripts. Using NSR-seq, we confirmed earlier microarray studies showing upregulation of a distinct subset of genes in parasites infecting pregnant women, including that encoding the well-established pregnancy malaria vaccine candidate var2csa. We also describe a subset of parasite transcripts that distinguished parasites infecting children from those infecting pregnant women and confirmed this observation using quantitative real-time PCR and mass spectrometry proteomic analyses. Based on their putative functional properties, we propose that these proteins could have a role in childhood malaria pathogenesis. Our study provides proof of principle that NSR-seq represents an approach that can be used to study clinical isolates of parasites causing severe malaria syndromes as well other blood-borne pathogens and blood-related diseases.

  11. A novel PCR-based system for the detection of four species of human malaria parasites and Plasmodium knowlesi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanako Komaki-Yasuda

    Full Text Available A microscopy-based diagnosis is the gold standard for the detection and identification of malaria parasites in a patient's blood. However, the detection of cases involving a low number of parasites and the differentiation of species sometimes requires a skilled microscopist. Although PCR-based diagnostic methods are already known to be very powerful tools, the time required to apply such methods is still much longer in comparison to traditional microscopic observation. Thus, improvements to PCR systems are sought to facilitate the more rapid and accurate detection of human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae, as well as P. knowlesi, which is a simian malaria parasite that is currently widely distributed in Southeast Asia. A nested PCR that targets the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes of malaria parasites was performed using a "fast PCR enzyme". In the first PCR, universal primers for all parasite species were used. In the second PCR, inner-specific primers, which targeted sequences from P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. knowlesi, were used. The PCR reaction time was reduced with the use of the "fast PCR enzyme", with only 65 minutes required to perform the first and second PCRs. The specific primers only reacted with the sequences of their targeted parasite species and never cross-reacted with sequences from other species under the defined PCR conditions. The diagnoses of 36 clinical samples that were obtained using this new PCR system were highly consistent with the microscopic diagnoses.

  12. Plasmodium parasites in reptiles from the Colombia Orinoco-Amazon basin: a re-description of Plasmodium kentropyxi Lainson R, Landau I, Paperna I, 2001 and Plasmodium carmelinoi Lainson R, Franco CM, da Matta R, 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matta, Nubia E; González, Leydy P; Pacheco, M Andreína; Escalante, Ananías A; Moreno, Andrea M; González, Angie D; Calderón-Espinosa, Martha L

    2018-05-01

    Colombia is a megadiverse country with about 600 species of reptiles; however, there are few studies on species of hemoparasites found in this taxonomic group. Here, we document the presence of Plasmodium spp. in four species of reptiles from the northern part of the Orinoco-Amazon region in Colombia. Individuals analyzed in this study were captured in localities between 200 and 500 m altitude, in the department of Guaviare. Each sample was screened for haemosporidian parasites by using morphology and a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol that targets the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb) gene. Four morphotypes of the genus Plasmodium were found; two of these species are re-described using morphological and molecular data (cytb). For the other two morphotypes, it was not possible to assign a described species. Among those, Plasmodium screened one species was only detected by microscopy. Considering the potential species diversity, it is possible that commonly used primers may not detect all species, reinforcing the importance of using microscopy in haematozoa surveys. There was no correspondence between the morphological traits associated with the subgenera and the phylogenetic relationships that we found in our analyses. Additionally, we found an expansion in the geographical distribution of these two species, and a new host for P. kentropyxi, demonstrating that studies of tropical herpetofauna and their parasites deserve more attention.

  13. Initial characterization of the Pf-Int recombinase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ghorbal

    Full Text Available Genetic variation is an essential means of evolution and adaptation in many organisms in response to environmental change. Certain DNA alterations can be carried out by site-specific recombinases (SSRs that fall into two families: the serine and the tyrosine recombinases. SSRs are seldom found in eukaryotes. A gene homologous to a tyrosine site-specific recombinase has been identified in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum. The sequence is highly conserved among five other members of Plasmodia.The predicted open reading frame encodes for a ∼57 kDa protein containing a C-terminal domain including the putative tyrosine recombinase conserved active site residues R-H-R-(H/W-Y. The N-terminus has the typical alpha-helical bundle and potentially a mixed alpha-beta domain resembling that of λ-Int. Pf-Int mRNA is expressed differentially during the P. falciparum erythrocytic life stages, peaking in the schizont stage. Recombinant Pf-Int and affinity chromatography of DNA from genomic or synthetic origin were used to identify potential DNA targets after sequencing or micro-array hybridization. Interestingly, the sequences captured also included highly variable subtelomeric genes such as var, rif, and stevor sequences. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays with DNA were carried out to verify Pf-Int/DNA binding. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasites were created in order to investigate the biological role of Pf-Int.Our data identify for the first time a malaria parasite gene with structural and functional features of recombinases. Pf-Int may bind to and alter DNA, either in a sequence specific or in a non-specific fashion, and may contribute to programmed or random DNA rearrangements. Pf-Int is the first molecular player identified with a potential role in genome plasticity in this pathogen. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasite is viable showing no detectable impact on blood stage development, which is compatible with such function.

  14. Identification of Protein Markers in Patients Infected with Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Kang-Wai Mu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is caused by parasitic protozoans of the genus Plasmodium and is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in tropical and subtropical regions. For this reason, effective and practical diagnostic methods are urgently needed to control the spread of malaria. The aim of the current study was to identify a panel of new malarial markers, which could be used to diagnose patients infected with various Plasmodium species, including P. knowlesi, P. vivax and P. falciparum. Sera from malaria-infected patients were pooled and compared to control sera obtained from healthy individuals using the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ technique. Mass spectrometry was used to identify serum proteins and quantify their relative abundance. We found that the levels of several proteins were increased in pooled serum from infected patients, including cell adhesion molecule-4 and C-reactive protein. In contrast, the serum concentration of haptoglobin was reduced in malaria-infected individuals, which we verified by western blot assay. Therefore, these proteins might represent infectious markers of malaria, which could be used to develop novel diagnostic tools for detecting P. knowlesi, P. vivax and P. falciparum. However, these potential malarial markers will need to be validated in a larger population of infected individuals.

  15. Inducible Costimulator Expressing T Cells Promote Parasitic Growth During Blood Stage Plasmodium berghei ANKA Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gajendra M. Jogdand

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The lethality of blood stage Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA infection is associated with the expression of T-bet and production of cytokine IFN-γ. Expression of inducible costimulator (ICOS and its downstream signaling has been shown to play a critical role in the T-bet expression and IFN-γ production. Although earlier studies have examined the role of ICOS in the control of acute blood-stage infection of Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi AS (a non-lethal model of malaria infection, its significance in the lethal blood-stage of PbA infection remains unclear. Thus, to address the seminal role of ICOS in lethal blood-stage of PbA infection, we treated PbA-infected mice with anti-ICOS antibody and observed that these mice survived longer than their infected counterparts with significantly lower parasitemia. Anti-ICOS treatment notably depleted ICOS expressing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with a concurrent reduction in plasma IFN-γ, which strongly indicated that ICOS expressing T cells are major IFN-γ producers. Interestingly, we observed that while ICOS expressing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells produced IFN-γ, ICOS−CD8+ T cells were also found to be producers of IFN-γ. However, we report that ICOS+CD8+ T cells were higher producers of IFN-γ than ICOS−CD8+ T cells. Moreover, correlation of ICOS expression with IFN-γ production in ICOS+IFN-γ+ T cell population (CD4+ and CD8+ T cells suggested that ICOS and IFN-γ could positively regulate each other. Further, master transcription factor T-bet importantly involved in regulating IFN-γ production was also found to be expressed by ICOS expressing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during PbA infection. As noted above with IFN-γ and ICOS, a positive correlation of expression of ICOS with the transcription factor T-bet suggested that both of them could regulate each other. Taken together, our results depicted the importance of ICOS expressing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in malaria parasite growth and lethality through IFN

  16. Examining the Reticulocyte Preference of Two Plasmodium berghei Strains during Blood-Stage Malaria Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Thakre

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The blood-stage of the Plasmodium parasite is one of the key phases within its life cycle that influences disease progression during a malaria infection. The efficiency of the parasite in infecting red blood cells (RBC determines parasite load and parasite-induced hemolysis that is responsible for the development of anemia and potentially drives severe disease progression. However, the molecular factors defining the infectivity of Plasmodium parasites have not been completely identified so far. Using the Plasmodium berghei mouse model for malaria, we characterized and compared the blood-stage infection dynamics of PbANKA WT and a mutant parasite strain lacking a novel Plasmodium antigen, PbmaLS_05, that is well conserved in both human and animal Plasmodium parasite strains. Infection of mice with parasites lacking PbmaLS_05 leads to lower parasitemia levels and less severe disease progression in contrast to mice infected with the wildtype PbANKA strain. To specifically determine the effect of deleting PbmaLS_05 on parasite infectivity we developed a mathematical model describing erythropoiesis and malarial infection of RBC. By applying our model to experimental data studying infection dynamics under normal and drug-induced altered erythropoietic conditions, we found that both PbANKA and PbmaLS_05 (- parasite strains differed in their infectivity potential during the early intra-erythrocytic stage of infection. Parasites lacking PbmaLS_05 showed a decreased ability to infect RBC, and immature reticulocytes in particular that are usually a preferential target of the parasite. These altered infectivity characteristics limit parasite burden and affect disease progression. Our integrative analysis combining mathematical models and experimental data suggests that deletion of PbmaLS_05 affects productive infection of reticulocytes, which makes this antigen a useful target to analyze the actual processes relating RBC preferences to the development of

  17. 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....

  18. Detection of the Malaria causing Plasmodium Parasite in Saliva from Infected Patients using Topoisomerase I Activity as a Biomarker

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hede, Marianne Smedegaard; Fjelstrup, Søren; Lötsch, Felix

    2018-01-01

    that may be adapted for low-resource settings. Moreover, we demonstrate the exploitation of this assay for detection of malaria in saliva. The setup relies on pump-free microfluidics enabled extraction combined with a DNA sensor substrate that is converted to a single-stranded DNA circle specifically...... (HRP) and addition of 3,3',5,5'-Tetramethylbenzidine that was converted to a blue colored product by HRP. The assay was directly quantitative, specific for Plasmodium parasites, and allowed detection of Plasmodium infection in a single drop of saliva from 35 out of 35 infected individuals tested....... The results could be determined directly by the naked eye and documented by quantifying the color intensity using a standard paper scanner....

  19. In vitro and in vivo anti-malarial activity of Boerhavia elegans and Solanum surattense

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khodakarim Nastaran

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is an urgent need to identify new anti-malarial drug targets for both prophylaxis and chemotherapy, due to the increasing problem of drug resistance to malaria parasites. In the present study, the aim was to discover novel, effective plant-based extracts for the activity against malaria. Methods Ten plants found in Iran were selected by ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants. The crude ethanolic extracts were tested for in vitro anti-plasmodial activity against two strains of Plasmodium falciparum: K1 (chloroquine-resistant strain and CY27 (chloroquine-sensitive strain, using the parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH assay. The anti-plasmodial activity of the extracts was also assessed in the 4-day suppressive anti-malarial assay in mice inoculated with Plasmodium berghei (ANKA strain. Crude ethanolic extracts showed good anti-plasmodial activity were further fractionated by partitioning in water and dichloromethane. Results Of 10 plant species assayed, three species: Boerhavia elegans (Choisy, Solanum surattense (Burm.f. and Prosopis juliflora (Sw. showed promising anti-plasmodial activity in vitro (IC50 ≤ 50 μg/ml and in vivo with no toxicity. The dichloromethane fraction of three extracts revealed stronger anti-plasmodial activity than the total extracts. Conclusion Anti-plasmodial activities of extracts of B. elegans and S. surattense are reported for the first time.

  20. In vitro and in vivo anti-malarial activity of Boerhavia elegans and Solanum surattense

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background There is an urgent need to identify new anti-malarial drug targets for both prophylaxis and chemotherapy, due to the increasing problem of drug resistance to malaria parasites. In the present study, the aim was to discover novel, effective plant-based extracts for the activity against malaria. Methods Ten plants found in Iran were selected by ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants. The crude ethanolic extracts were tested for in vitro anti-plasmodial activity against two strains of Plasmodium falciparum: K1 (chloroquine-resistant strain) and CY27 (chloroquine-sensitive strain), using the parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) assay. The anti-plasmodial activity of the extracts was also assessed in the 4-day suppressive anti-malarial assay in mice inoculated with Plasmodium berghei (ANKA strain). Crude ethanolic extracts showed good anti-plasmodial activity were further fractionated by partitioning in water and dichloromethane. Results Of 10 plant species assayed, three species: Boerhavia elegans (Choisy), Solanum surattense (Burm.f.) and Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) showed promising anti-plasmodial activity in vitro (IC50 ≤ 50 μg/ml) and in vivo with no toxicity. The dichloromethane fraction of three extracts revealed stronger anti-plasmodial activity than the total extracts. Conclusion Anti-plasmodial activities of extracts of B. elegans and S. surattense are reported for the first time. PMID:20462416

  1. [New concepts in hyperactive malarial splenomegaly].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moraes, M F; Soares, M; Arroz, M J; Do Rosário, V E; Da Graça, J Pimenta; Abecasis, P

    2003-01-01

    Hyperreactive malarial splenomegaly is thought to represent an immunological dysfunction due to recurrent episodes of malaria. The authors present a case of hyperreactive malarial splenomegaly in a patient from São Tomé e Príncipe and discuss aspects of its differential diagnosis and treatment. A revision is made of recent concepts related to its pathogenesis and relationship with lymphoproliferative disorders. Malarial DNA was found in the absence of parasite forms in the peripheral blood. This may indicate that latent infection plays a role in its pathogenesis.

  2. Description of the first cryptic avian malaria parasite, Plasmodium homocircumflexum n. sp., with experimental data on its virulence and development in avian hosts and mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palinauskas, Vaidas; Žiegytė, Rita; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Bernotienė, Rasa; Bolshakov, Casimir; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2015-01-01

    For over 100 years studies on avian haemosporidian parasite species have relied on similarities in their morphology to establish a species concept. Some exceptional cases have also included information about the life cycle and sporogonic development. More than 50 avian Plasmodium spp. have now been described. However, PCR-based studies show a much broader diversity of haemosporidian parasites, indicating the possible existence of a diverse group of cryptic species. In the present study, using both similarity and phylogenetic species definition concepts, we believe that we report the first characterised cryptic speciation case of an avian Plasmodium parasite. We used sequence information on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and constructed phylogenies of identified Plasmodium spp. to define their position in the phylogenetic tree. After analysis of blood stages, the morphology of the parasite was shown to be identical to Plasmodium circumflexum. However, the geographic distribution of the new parasite, the phylogenetic information, as well as patterns of development of infection, indicate that this parasite differs from P. circumflexum. Plasmodium homocircumflexum n. sp. was described based on information about genetic differences from described lineages, phylogenetic position and biological characters. This parasite develops parasitemia in experimentally infected birds - the domestic canary Serinus canaria domestica, siskin Carduelis spinus and crossbill Loxia curvirostra. Anaemia caused by high parasitemia, as well as cerebral paralysis caused by exoerythrocytic stages in the brain, are the main reasons for mortality. Exoerythrocytic stages also form in other organs (heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, intestines and pectoral muscles). DNA amplification was unsuccessful from faecal samples of heavily infected birds. The sporogonic development initiates, but is abortive, at the oocyst stage in two common European mosquito species, Culex pipiens pipiens (forms

  3. Development of a TaqMan Allelic Discrimination Assay for detection of Single Nucleotides Polymorphisms associated with anti-malarial drug resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamau Edwin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anti-malarial drug resistance poses a threat to current global efforts towards control and elimination of malaria. Several methods are used in monitoring anti-malarial drug resistance. Molecular markers such as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP for example are increasingly being used to identify genetic mutations related to anti-malarial drug resistance. Several methods are currently being used in analysis of SNP associated with anti-malarial drug resistance and although each one of these methods has unique strengths and shortcoming, there is still need to improve and/or develop new methods that will close the gap found in the current methods. Methods TaqMan Allelic Discrimination assays for detection of SNPs associated with anti-malarial drug resistance were designed for analysis on Applied Biosystems PCR platform. These assays were designed by submitting SNP sequences associated with anti-malarial drug resistance to Applied Biosystems website. Eleven SNPs associated with resistance to anti-malarial drugs were selected and tested. The performance of each SNP assay was tested by creating plasmid DNAs carrying codons of interests and analysing them for analysis. To test the sensitivity and specificity of each SNP assay, 12 clinical samples were sequenced at codons of interest and used in the analysis. Plasmid DNAs were used to establish the Limit of Detection (LoD for each assay. Results Data from genetic profiles of the Plasmodium falciparum laboratory strains and sequence data from 12 clinical samples was used as the reference method with which the performance of the SNP assays were compared to. The sensitivity and specificity of each SNP assay was establish at 100%. LoD for each assay was established at 2 GE, equivalent to less than 1 parasite/μL. SNP assays performed well in detecting mixed infection and analysis of clinical samples. Conclusion TaqMan Allelic Discrimination assay provides a good alternative tool in

  4. Dynamic epigenetic regulation of gene expression during the life cycle of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Archna P Gupta

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms are emerging as one of the major factors of the dynamics of gene expression in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. To elucidate the role of chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation associated with the progression of the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic development cycle (IDC, we mapped the temporal pattern of chromosomal association with histone H3 and H4 modifications using ChIP-on-chip. Here, we have generated a broad integrative epigenomic map of twelve histone modifications during the P. falciparum IDC including H4K5ac, H4K8ac, H4K12ac, H4K16ac, H3K9ac, H3K14ac, H3K56ac, H4K20me1, H4K20me3, H3K4me3, H3K79me3 and H4R3me2. While some modifications were found to be associated with the vast majority of the genome and their occupancy was constant, others showed more specific and highly dynamic distribution. Importantly, eight modifications displaying tight correlations with transcript levels showed differential affinity to distinct genomic regions with H4K8ac occupying predominantly promoter regions while others occurred at the 5' ends of coding sequences. The promoter occupancy of H4K8ac remained unchanged when ectopically inserted at a different locus, indicating the presence of specific DNA elements that recruit histone modifying enzymes regardless of their broad chromatin environment. In addition, we showed the presence of multivalent domains on the genome carrying more than one histone mark, highlighting the importance of combinatorial effects on transcription. Overall, our work portrays a substantial association between chromosomal locations of various epigenetic markers, transcriptional activity and global stage-specific transitions in the epigenome.

  5. Dynamic epigenetic regulation of gene expression during the life cycle of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Archna P; Chin, Wai Hoe; Zhu, Lei; Mok, Sachel; Luah, Yen-Hoon; Lim, Eng-How; Bozdech, Zbynek

    2013-02-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are emerging as one of the major factors of the dynamics of gene expression in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. To elucidate the role of chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation associated with the progression of the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic development cycle (IDC), we mapped the temporal pattern of chromosomal association with histone H3 and H4 modifications using ChIP-on-chip. Here, we have generated a broad integrative epigenomic map of twelve histone modifications during the P. falciparum IDC including H4K5ac, H4K8ac, H4K12ac, H4K16ac, H3K9ac, H3K14ac, H3K56ac, H4K20me1, H4K20me3, H3K4me3, H3K79me3 and H4R3me2. While some modifications were found to be associated with the vast majority of the genome and their occupancy was constant, others showed more specific and highly dynamic distribution. Importantly, eight modifications displaying tight correlations with transcript levels showed differential affinity to distinct genomic regions with H4K8ac occupying predominantly promoter regions while others occurred at the 5' ends of coding sequences. The promoter occupancy of H4K8ac remained unchanged when ectopically inserted at a different locus, indicating the presence of specific DNA elements that recruit histone modifying enzymes regardless of their broad chromatin environment. In addition, we showed the presence of multivalent domains on the genome carrying more than one histone mark, highlighting the importance of combinatorial effects on transcription. Overall, our work portrays a substantial association between chromosomal locations of various epigenetic markers, transcriptional activity and global stage-specific transitions in the epigenome.

  6. Long term persistence of clonal malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum lineages in the Colombian Pacific region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeverry, Diego F; Nair, Shalini; Osorio, Lyda; Menon, Sanjay; Murillo, Claribel; Anderson, Tim J C

    2013-01-07

    Resistance to chloroquine and antifolate drugs has evolved independently in South America, suggesting that genotype - phenotype studies aimed at understanding the genetic basis of resistance to these and other drugs should be conducted in this continent. This research was conducted to better understand the population structure of Colombian Plasmodium falciparum in preparation for such studies. A set of 384 SNPs were genotyped in blood spot DNA samples from 447 P. falciparum infected subjects collected over a ten year period from four provinces of the Colombian Pacific coast to evaluate clonality, population structure and linkage disequilibrium (LD). Most infections (81%) contained a single predominant clone. These clustered into 136 multilocus genotypes (MLGs), with 32% of MLGs recovered from multiple (2 - 28) independent subjects. We observed extremely low genotypic richness (R = 0.42) and long persistence of MLGs through time (median = 537 days, range = 1 - 2,997 days). There was a high probability (>5%) of sampling parasites from the same MLG in different subjects within 28 days, suggesting caution is needed when using genotyping methods to assess treatment success in clinical drug trials. Panmixia was rejected as four well differentiated subpopulations (FST = 0.084 - 0.279) were identified. These occurred sympatrically but varied in frequency within the four provinces. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) decayed more rapidly (r2 = 0.17 for markers Colombian populations have several advantages for association studies, because multiple clone infections are uncommon and LD decays over the scale of one or a few genes. However, the extensive population structure and low genotype richness will need to be accounted for when designing and analyzing association studies.

  7. Long term persistence of clonal malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum lineages in the Colombian Pacific region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Echeverry Diego F

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Resistance to chloroquine and antifolate drugs has evolved independently in South America, suggesting that genotype - phenotype studies aimed at understanding the genetic basis of resistance to these and other drugs should be conducted in this continent. This research was conducted to better understand the population structure of Colombian Plasmodium falciparum in preparation for such studies. Results A set of 384 SNPs were genotyped in blood spot DNA samples from 447 P. falciparum infected subjects collected over a ten year period from four provinces of the Colombian Pacific coast to evaluate clonality, population structure and linkage disequilibrium (LD. Most infections (81% contained a single predominant clone. These clustered into 136 multilocus genotypes (MLGs, with 32% of MLGs recovered from multiple (2 – 28 independent subjects. We observed extremely low genotypic richness (R = 0.42 and long persistence of MLGs through time (median = 537 days, range = 1 – 2,997 days. There was a high probability (>5% of sampling parasites from the same MLG in different subjects within 28 days, suggesting caution is needed when using genotyping methods to assess treatment success in clinical drug trials. Panmixia was rejected as four well differentiated subpopulations (FST = 0.084 - 0.279 were identified. These occurred sympatrically but varied in frequency within the four provinces. Linkage disequilibrium (LD decayed more rapidly (r2 = 0.17 for markers Conclusions We conclude that Colombian populations have several advantages for association studies, because multiple clone infections are uncommon and LD decays over the scale of one or a few genes. However, the extensive population structure and low genotype richness will need to be accounted for when designing and analyzing association studies.

  8. Within-host selection of drug resistance in a mouse model of repeated interrupted treatment of Plasmodium yoelii infection

    OpenAIRE

    Nuralitha, Suci; Siregar, Josephine E; Syafruddin, Din; Hoepelman, Andy I M; Marzuki, Sangkot

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To study within-host selection of resistant parasites, an important factor in the development of resistance to anti-malarial drugs, a mouse model of repeated interrupted malaria treatment (RIT) has been developed. The characteristics of within host selection of resistance to atovaquone and pyrimethamine in Plasmodium yoelii was examined in such a model. METHODS: Treatment of P. yoelii infected mice, with atovaquone or pyrimethamine, was started at parasitaemia level of 3-5%, inter...

  9. Molecular markers of anti-malarial drug resistance in Central, West and East African children with severe malaria

    OpenAIRE

    Nguetse, Christian N.; Adegnika, Ayola Akim; Agbenyega, Tsiri; Ogutu, Bernhards R.; Krishna, Sanjeev; Kremsner, Peter G.; Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P.

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (PfMDR1), P. falciparum Ca(2+)-ATPase (PfATP6) and Kelch-13 propeller domain (PfK13) loci are molecular markers of parasite susceptibility to anti-malarial drugs. Their frequency distributions were determined in the isolates collected from children with severe malaria originating from three African countries. METHODS: Samples from 287 children with severe malaria [(Gabon: n = 114); (Ghana: n = 89); (Kenya: n = 84)] were genotyped fo...

  10. Recognition of Human Erythrocyte Receptors by the Tryptophan-Rich Antigens of Monkey Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

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    Kriti Tyagi

    Full Text Available The monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi also infect humans. There is a lack of information on the molecular mechanisms that take place between this simian parasite and its heterologous human host erythrocytes leading to this zoonotic disease. Therefore, we investigated here the binding ability of P. knowlesi tryptophan-rich antigens (PkTRAgs to the human erythrocytes and sharing of the erythrocyte receptors between them as well as with other commonly occurring human malaria parasites.Six PkTRAgs were cloned and expressed in E.coli as well as in mammalian CHO-K1 cell to determine their human erythrocyte binding activity by cell-ELISA, and in-vitro rosetting assay, respectively.Three of six PkTRAgs (PkTRAg38.3, PkTRAg40.1, and PkTRAg67.1 showed binding to human erythrocytes. Two of them (PkTRAg40.1 and PkTRAg38.3 showed cross-competition with each other as well as with the previously described P.vivax tryptophan-rich antigens (PvTRAgs for human erythrocyte receptors. However, the third protein (PkTRAg67.1 utilized the additional but different human erythrocyte receptor(s as it did not cross-compete for erythrocyte binding with either of these two PkTRAgs as well as with any of the PvTRAgs. These three PkTRAgs also inhibited the P.falciparum parasite growth in in-vitro culture, further indicating the sharing of human erythrocyte receptors by these parasite species and the biological significance of this receptor-ligand interaction between heterologous host and simian parasite.Recognition and sharing of human erythrocyte receptor(s by PkTRAgs with human parasite ligands could be part of the strategy adopted by the monkey malaria parasite to establish inside the heterologous human host.

  11. Recognition of Human Erythrocyte Receptors by the Tryptophan-Rich Antigens of Monkey Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyagi, Kriti; Gupta, Deepali; Saini, Ekta; Choudhary, Shilpa; Jamwal, Abhishek; Alam, Mohd Shoeb; Zeeshan, Mohammad; Tyagi, Rupesh K; Sharma, Yagya D

    2015-01-01

    The monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi also infect humans. There is a lack of information on the molecular mechanisms that take place between this simian parasite and its heterologous human host erythrocytes leading to this zoonotic disease. Therefore, we investigated here the binding ability of P. knowlesi tryptophan-rich antigens (PkTRAgs) to the human erythrocytes and sharing of the erythrocyte receptors between them as well as with other commonly occurring human malaria parasites. Six PkTRAgs were cloned and expressed in E.coli as well as in mammalian CHO-K1 cell to determine their human erythrocyte binding activity by cell-ELISA, and in-vitro rosetting assay, respectively. Three of six PkTRAgs (PkTRAg38.3, PkTRAg40.1, and PkTRAg67.1) showed binding to human erythrocytes. Two of them (PkTRAg40.1 and PkTRAg38.3) showed cross-competition with each other as well as with the previously described P.vivax tryptophan-rich antigens (PvTRAgs) for human erythrocyte receptors. However, the third protein (PkTRAg67.1) utilized the additional but different human erythrocyte receptor(s) as it did not cross-compete for erythrocyte binding with either of these two PkTRAgs as well as with any of the PvTRAgs. These three PkTRAgs also inhibited the P.falciparum parasite growth in in-vitro culture, further indicating the sharing of human erythrocyte receptors by these parasite species and the biological significance of this receptor-ligand interaction between heterologous host and simian parasite. Recognition and sharing of human erythrocyte receptor(s) by PkTRAgs with human parasite ligands could be part of the strategy adopted by the monkey malaria parasite to establish inside the heterologous human host.

  12. Plasmodium cysteine repeat modular proteins 1-4: complex proteins with roles throughout the malaria parasite life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Joanne; Fernandez-Reyes, Delmiro; Sharling, Lisa; Moore, Sally G; Eling, Wijnand M; Kyes, Sue A; Newbold, Christopher I; Kafatos, Fotis C; Janse, Chris J; Waters, Andrew P

    2007-06-01

    The Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins (PCRMP1-4) of Plasmodium, are encoded by a small gene family that is conserved in malaria and other Apicomplexan parasites. They are very large, predicted surface proteins with multipass transmembrane domains containing motifs that are conserved within families of cysteine-rich, predicted surface proteins in a range of unicellular eukaryotes, and a unique combination of protein-binding motifs, including a >100 kDa cysteine-rich modular region, an epidermal growth factor-like domain and a Kringle domain. PCRMP1 and 2 are expressed in life cycle stages in both the mosquito and vertebrate. They colocalize with PfEMP1 (P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Antigen-1) during its export from P. falciparum blood-stage parasites and are exposed on the surface of haemolymph- and salivary gland-sporozoites in the mosquito, consistent with a role in host tissue targeting and invasion. Gene disruption of pcrmp1 and 2 in the rodent malaria model, P. berghei, demonstrated that both are essential for transmission of the parasite from the mosquito to the mouse and has established their discrete and important roles in sporozoite targeting to the mosquito salivary gland. The unprecedented expression pattern and structural features of the PCRMPs thus suggest a variety of roles mediating host-parasite interactions throughout the parasite life cycle.

  13. A novel PCR-based system for the detection of four species of human malaria parasites and Plasmodium knowlesi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komaki-Yasuda, Kanako; Vincent, Jeanne Perpétue; Nakatsu, Masami; Kato, Yasuyuki; Ohmagari, Norio

    2018-01-01

    A microscopy-based diagnosis is the gold standard for the detection and identification of malaria parasites in a patient’s blood. However, the detection of cases involving a low number of parasites and the differentiation of species sometimes requires a skilled microscopist. Although PCR-based diagnostic methods are already known to be very powerful tools, the time required to apply such methods is still much longer in comparison to traditional microscopic observation. Thus, improvements to PCR systems are sought to facilitate the more rapid and accurate detection of human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae, as well as P. knowlesi, which is a simian malaria parasite that is currently widely distributed in Southeast Asia. A nested PCR that targets the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes of malaria parasites was performed using a “fast PCR enzyme”. In the first PCR, universal primers for all parasite species were used. In the second PCR, inner-specific primers, which targeted sequences from P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. knowlesi, were used. The PCR reaction time was reduced with the use of the “fast PCR enzyme”, with only 65 minutes required to perform the first and second PCRs. The specific primers only reacted with the sequences of their targeted parasite species and never cross-reacted with sequences from other species under the defined PCR conditions. The diagnoses of 36 clinical samples that were obtained using this new PCR system were highly consistent with the microscopic diagnoses. PMID:29370297

  14. The Plasmodium falciparum pseudoprotease SERA5 regulates the kinetics and efficiency of malaria parasite egress from host erythrocytes.

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    Christine R Collins

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Egress of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from its host red blood cell is a rapid, highly regulated event that is essential for maintenance and completion of the parasite life cycle. Egress is protease-dependent and is temporally associated with extensive proteolytic modification of parasite proteins, including a family of papain-like proteins called SERA that are expressed in the parasite parasitophorous vacuole. Previous work has shown that the most abundant SERA, SERA5, plays an important but non-enzymatic role in asexual blood stages. SERA5 is extensively proteolytically processed by a parasite serine protease called SUB1 as well as an unidentified cysteine protease just prior to egress. However, neither the function of SERA5 nor the role of its processing is known. Here we show that conditional disruption of the SERA5 gene, or of both the SERA5 and related SERA4 genes simultaneously, results in a dramatic egress and replication defect characterised by premature host cell rupture and the failure of daughter merozoites to efficiently disseminate, instead being transiently retained within residual bounding membranes. SERA5 is not required for poration (permeabilization or vesiculation of the host cell membrane at egress, but the premature rupture phenotype requires the activity of a parasite or host cell cysteine protease. Complementation of SERA5 null parasites by ectopic expression of wild-type SERA5 reversed the egress defect, whereas expression of a SERA5 mutant refractory to processing failed to rescue the phenotype. Our findings implicate SERA5 as an important regulator of the kinetics and efficiency of egress and suggest that proteolytic modification is required for SERA5 function. In addition, our study reveals that efficient egress requires tight control of the timing of membrane rupture.

  15. Profiling the anti-protozoal activity of anti-cancer HDAC inhibitors against Plasmodium and Trypanosoma parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Jessica A; Jones, Amy J; Avery, Vicky M; Sumanadasa, Subathdrage D M; Ng, Susanna S; Fairlie, David P; Skinner-Adams, Tina; Andrews, Katherine T

    2015-12-01

    Histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes work together with histone acetyltransferases (HATs) to reversibly acetylate both histone and non-histone proteins. As a result, these enzymes are involved in regulating chromatin structure and gene expression as well as other important cellular processes. HDACs are validated drug targets for some types of cancer, with four HDAC inhibitors clinically approved. However, they are also showing promise as novel drug targets for other indications, including malaria and other parasitic diseases. In this study the in vitro activity of four anti-cancer HDAC inhibitors was examined against parasites that cause malaria and trypanosomiasis. Three of these inhibitors, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; vorinostat(®)), romidepsin (Istodax(®)) and belinostat (Beleodaq(®)), are clinically approved for the treatment of T-cell lymphoma, while the fourth, panobinostat, has recently been approved for combination therapy use in certain patients with multiple myeloma. All HDAC inhibitors were found to inhibit the growth of asexual-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in the nanomolar range (IC50 10-200 nM), while only romidepsin was active at sub-μM concentrations against bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei brucei parasites (IC50 35 nM). The compounds were found to have some selectivity for malaria parasites compared with mammalian cells, but were not selective for trypanosome parasites versus mammalian cells. All compounds caused hyperacetylation of histone and non-histone proteins in P. falciparum asexual stage parasites and inhibited deacetylase activity in P. falciparum nuclear extracts in addition to recombinant PfHDAC1 activity. P. falciparum histone hyperacetylation data indicate that HDAC inhibitors may differentially affect the acetylation profiles of histone H3 and H4.

  16. Profiling the anti-protozoal activity of anti-cancer HDAC inhibitors against Plasmodium and Trypanosoma parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica A. Engel

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Histone deacetylase (HDAC enzymes work together with histone acetyltransferases (HATs to reversibly acetylate both histone and non-histone proteins. As a result, these enzymes are involved in regulating chromatin structure and gene expression as well as other important cellular processes. HDACs are validated drug targets for some types of cancer, with four HDAC inhibitors clinically approved. However, they are also showing promise as novel drug targets for other indications, including malaria and other parasitic diseases. In this study the in vitro activity of four anti-cancer HDAC inhibitors was examined against parasites that cause malaria and trypanosomiasis. Three of these inhibitors, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; vorinostat®, romidepsin (Istodax® and belinostat (Beleodaq®, are clinically approved for the treatment of T-cell lymphoma, while the fourth, panobinostat, has recently been approved for combination therapy use in certain patients with multiple myeloma. All HDAC inhibitors were found to inhibit the growth of asexual-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in the nanomolar range (IC50 10–200 nM, while only romidepsin was active at sub-μM concentrations against bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei brucei parasites (IC50 35 nM. The compounds were found to have some selectivity for malaria parasites compared with mammalian cells, but were not selective for trypanosome parasites versus mammalian cells. All compounds caused hyperacetylation of histone and non-histone proteins in P. falciparum asexual stage parasites and inhibited deacetylase activity in P. falciparum nuclear extracts in addition to recombinant PfHDAC1 activity. P. falciparum histone hyperacetylation data indicate that HDAC inhibitors may differentially affect the acetylation profiles of histone H3 and H4.

  17. Structure and function based design of Plasmodium-selective proteasome inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hao; O'Donoghue, Anthony J.; van der Linden, Wouter A.; Xie, Stanley C.; Yoo, Euna; Foe, Ian T.; Tilley, Leann; Craik, Charles S.; da Fonseca, Paula C. A.; Bogyo, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    The proteasome is a multi-component protease complex responsible for regulating key processes such as the cell cycle and antigen presentation1. Compounds that target the proteasome are potentially valuable tools for the treatment of pathogens that depend on proteasome function for survival and replication. In particular, proteasome inhibitors have been shown to be toxic for the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum at all stages of its life cycle2-5. Most compounds that have been tested against the parasite also inhibit the mammalian proteasome resulting in toxicity that precludes their use as therapeutic agents2,6. Therefore, better definition of the substrate specificity and structural properties of the Plasmodium proteasome could enable the development of compounds with sufficient selectivity to allow their use as anti-malarial agents. To accomplish this goal, we used a substrate profiling method to uncover differences in the specificities of the human and P. falciparum proteasome. We designed inhibitors based on amino acid preferences specific to the parasite proteasome, and found that they preferentially inhibit the β 2 subunit. We determined the structure of the P. falciparum 20S proteasome bound to the inhibitor using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and single particle analysis, to a resolution of 3.6 Å. These data reveal the unusually open P. falciparum β2 active site and provide valuable information regarding active site architecture that can be used to further refine inhibitor design. Furthermore, consistent with the recent finding that the proteasome is important for stress pathways associated with resistance of artemisinin (ART) family anti-malarials7,8, we observed growth inhibition synergism with low doses of this β 2 selective inhibitor in ART sensitive and resistant parasites. Finally, we demonstrated that a parasite selective inhibitor could be used to attenuate parasite growth in vivo without significant toxicity to the host. Thus, the

  18. Structure- and function-based design of Plasmodium-selective proteasome inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hao; O'Donoghue, Anthony J; van der Linden, Wouter A; Xie, Stanley C; Yoo, Euna; Foe, Ian T; Tilley, Leann; Craik, Charles S; da Fonseca, Paula C A; Bogyo, Matthew

    2016-02-11

    The proteasome is a multi-component protease complex responsible for regulating key processes such as the cell cycle and antigen presentation. Compounds that target the proteasome are potentially valuable tools for the treatment of pathogens that depend on proteasome function for survival and replication. In particular, proteasome inhibitors have been shown to be toxic for the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum at all stages of its life cycle. Most compounds that have been tested against the parasite also inhibit the mammalian proteasome, resulting in toxicity that precludes their use as therapeutic agents. Therefore, better definition of the substrate specificity and structural properties of the Plasmodium proteasome could enable the development of compounds with sufficient selectivity to allow their use as anti-malarial agents. To accomplish this goal, here we use a substrate profiling method to uncover differences in the specificities of the human and P. falciparum proteasome. We design inhibitors based on amino-acid preferences specific to the parasite proteasome, and find that they preferentially inhibit the β2-subunit. We determine the structure of the P. falciparum 20S proteasome bound to the inhibitor using cryo-electron microscopy and single-particle analysis, to a resolution of 3.6 Å. These data reveal the unusually open P. falciparum β2 active site and provide valuable information about active-site architecture that can be used to further refine inhibitor design. Furthermore, consistent with the recent finding that the proteasome is important for stress pathways associated with resistance of artemisinin family anti-malarials, we observe growth inhibition synergism with low doses of this β2-selective inhibitor in artemisinin-sensitive and -resistant parasites. Finally, we demonstrate that a parasite-selective inhibitor could be used to attenuate parasite growth in vivo without appreciable toxicity to the host. Thus, the Plasmodium proteasome is a

  19. Intravenous ferric carboxymaltose accelerates erythropoietic recovery from experimental malarial anemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maretty, Lasse; Sharp, Rebecca Emilie; Andersson, Mikael

    2012-01-01

    Iron restriction has been proposed as a cause of erythropoietic suppression in malarial anemia; however, the role of iron in malaria remains controversial, because it may increase parasitemia. To investigate the role of iron-restricted erythropoiesis, A/J mice were infected with Plasmodium chabaudi...... use of iron therapy in malaria and show the need for trials of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose as an adjunctive treatment for severe malarial anemia....

  20. Mapping the genome of Plasmodium falciparum on the drug-like chemical space reveals novel anti-malarial targets and potential drug leads

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kasper; Plichta, Damian Rafal; Panagiotou, Gianni

    2012-01-01

    , in order to uncover the weak links in the proteome of the parasite. We predicted 293 proteins of P. falciparum, including the six out of the seven verified targets for P. falciparum malaria treatment, as targets of 4645 GSK active compounds. Furthermore, we prioritized druggable targets, based on a number...... of factors, such as essentiality for growth, lack of homology with human proteins, and availability of experimental data on ligand activity with a non-human homologue of a parasite protein. We have additionally prioritized predicted ligands based on their polypharmacology profile, with focus on validated...

  1. A three-genome phylogeny of malaria parasites (Plasmodium and closely related genera): evolution of life-history traits and host switches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinsen, Ellen S; Perkins, Susan L; Schall, Jos J

    2008-04-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of genomic data allows insights into the evolutionary history of pathogens, especially the events leading to host switching and diversification, as well as alterations of the life cycle (life-history traits). Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of malaria parasite species exploit squamate reptiles, birds, and mammals as vertebrate hosts as well as many genera of dipteran vectors, but the evolutionary and ecological events that led to this diversification and success remain unresolved. For a century, systematic parasitologists classified malaria parasites into genera based on morphology, life cycle, and vertebrate and insect host taxa. Molecular systematic studies based on single genes challenged the phylogenetic significance of these characters, but several significant nodes were not well supported. We recovered the first well resolved large phylogeny of Plasmodium and related haemosporidian parasites using sequence data for four genes from the parasites' three genomes by combining all data, correcting for variable rates of substitution by gene and site, and using both Bayesian and maximum parsimony analyses. Major clades are associated with vector shifts into different dipteran families, with other characters used in traditional parasitological studies, such as morphology and life-history traits, having variable phylogenetic significance. The common parasites of birds now placed into the genus Haemoproteus are found in two divergent clades, and the genus Plasmodium is paraphyletic with respect to Hepatocystis, a group of species with very different life history and morphology. The Plasmodium of mammal hosts form a well supported clade (including Plasmodium falciparum, the most important human malaria parasite), and this clade is associated with specialization to Anopheles mosquito vectors. The Plasmodium of birds and squamate reptiles all fall within a single clade, with evidence for repeated switching between birds and squamate hosts.

  2. Expression, characterization, and cellular localization of knowpains, papain-like cysteine proteases of the Plasmodium knowlesi malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajesh Prasad

    Full Text Available Papain-like cysteine proteases of malaria parasites degrade haemoglobin in an acidic food vacuole to provide amino acids for intraerythrocytic parasites. These proteases are potential drug targets because their inhibitors block parasite development, and efforts are underway to develop chemotherapeutic inhibitors of these proteases as the treatments for malaria. Plasmodium knowlesi has recently been shown to be an important human pathogen in parts of Asia. We report expression and characterization of three P. knowlesi papain-like proteases, termed knowpains (KP2-4. Recombinant knowpains were produced using a bacterial expression system, and tested for various biochemical properties. Antibodies against recombinant knowpains were generated and used to determine their cellular localization in parasites. Inhibitory effects of the cysteine protease inhibitor E64 were assessed on P. knowlesi culture to validate drug target potential of knowpains. All three knowpains were present in the food vacuole, active in acidic pH, and capable of degrading haemoglobin at the food vacuolar pH (≈5.5, suggesting roles in haemoglobin degradation. The proteases showed absolute (KP2 and KP3 to moderate (KP4 preference for peptide substrates containing leucine at the P2 position; KP4 preferred arginine at the P2 position. While the three knowpains appear to have redundant roles in haemoglobin degradation, KP4 may also have a role in degradation of erythrocyte cytoskeleton during merozoite egress, as it displayed broad substrate specificity and was primarily localized at the parasite periphery. Importantly, E64 blocked erythrocytic development of P. knowlesi, with enlargement of food vacuoles, indicating inhibition of haemoglobin hydrolysis and supporting the potential for inhibition of knowpains as a strategy for the treatment of malaria. Functional expression and characterization of knowpains should enable simultaneous screening of available cysteine protease

  3. Spleen-dependent regulation of antigenic variation in malaria parasites: Plasmodium knowlesi SICAvar expression profiles in splenic and asplenic hosts.

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    Stacey A Lapp

    Full Text Available Antigenic variation by malaria parasites was first described in Plasmodium knowlesi, which infects humans and macaque monkeys, and subsequently in P. falciparum, the most virulent human parasite. The schizont-infected cell agglutination (SICA variant proteins encoded by the SICAvar multigene family in P. knowlesi, and Erythrocyte Membrane Protein-1 (EMP-1 antigens encoded by the var multigene family in P. falciparum, are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes, are associated with virulence, and serve as determinants of naturally acquired immunity. A parental P. knowlesi clone, Pk1(A+, and a related progeny clone, Pk1(B+1+, derived by an in vivo induced variant antigen switch, were defined by the expression of distinct SICA variant protein doublets of 210/190 and 205/200 kDa, respectively. Passage of SICA[+] infected erythrocytes through splenectomized rhesus monkeys results in the SICA[-] phenotype, defined by the lack of surface expression and agglutination with variant specific antisera.We have investigated SICAvar RNA and protein expression in Pk1(A+, Pk1(B+1+, and SICA[-] parasites. The Pk1(A+ and Pk1(B+1+ parasites express different distinct SICAvar transcript and protein repertoires. By comparison, SICA[-] parasites are characterized by a vast reduction in SICAvar RNA expression, the lack of full-length SICAvar transcript signals on northern blots, and correspondingly, the absence of any SICA protein detected by mass spectrometry.SICA protein expression may be under transcriptional as well as post-transcriptional control, and we show for the first time that the spleen, an organ central to blood-stage immunity in malaria, exerts an influence on these processes. Furthermore, proteomics has enabled the first in-depth characterization of SICA[+] protein phenotypes and we show that the in vivo switch from Pk1(A+ to Pk1(B+1+ parasites resulted in a complete change in SICA profiles. These results emphasize the importance of studying

  4. Aspectos parasitários observados no local inoculado com esporozoitos de Plasmodium Gallinaceum

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    Lobato Paraense

    1943-06-01

    Full Text Available The following is a summary of the studies made on the development of Plasmodium gallinaceum sporozoites inoculated into normal chicks. Initially large numbers of laboratory reared Aëdes aegypti were fed on pullets heavily infected with gametocytes. Following the infectious meal the mosquitoes were kept on a diet of sugar and water syrup until the appearance of the sporozoites in the salivary glands. Normal chicks kept in hematophagous arthropod proof cages were then inoculated either by bite of the infected mosquitoes or by subcutaneous inoculations of salivary gland suspensions. By the first method ten mosquitoes fed to engorgement on each normal chick and were then sacrificed immediately afterwards to determine the sporozoite count. By the second method five pairs of salivary glands were dissected out at room temperature, triturated in physiological saline and inoculated subcutaneously. The epidermis and dermis at the site of inoculation were excised from six hours after inoculation to forty eight hours after appearance of the parasites in the blood stream and stretched out on filter paper with the epithelial surface downward. The dermis was then curretted. Slides were made of the scrapings consisting of connective tissue and epithelial cells of the basal layers which were fixed by metyl alcohol and stained with Giemsa for examination under the oil immersion lens. Skin fragments removed from normal chicks and from regions other than the site of inoculation in the infected chicks were used as controls. In these, only the normal histological aspect was ever encountered. In the biopsy made at the earliest period following inoculation clearly defined elongated forms with eight or more chromatin granules arranged in rosary formation were found. The author believes these to be products of the sporozoite evolution. Search for transition stages between these forms and sporozoites is planned in biopsies to be taken immediately following inoculation

  5. The Plasmodium serine-type SERA proteases display distinct expression patterns and non-essential in vivo roles during life cycle progression of the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putrianti, Elyzana D; Schmidt-Christensen, Anja; Arnold, Iris; Heussler, Volker T; Matuschewski, Kai; Silvie, Olivier

    2010-06-01

    Parasite proteases play key roles in several fundamental steps of the Plasmodium life cycle, including haemoglobin degradation, host cell invasion and parasite egress. Plasmodium exit from infected host cells appears to be mediated by a class of papain-like cysteine proteases called 'serine repeat antigens' (SERAs). A SERA subfamily, represented by Plasmodium falciparum SERA5, contains an atypical active site serine residue instead of a catalytic cysteine. Members of this SERAser subfamily are abundantly expressed in asexual blood stages, rendering them attractive drug and vaccine targets. In this study, we show by antibody localization and in vivo fluorescent tagging with the red fluorescent protein mCherry that the two P. berghei serine-type family members, PbSERA1 and PbSERA2, display differential expression towards the final stages of merozoite formation. Via targeted gene replacement, we generated single and double gene knockouts of the P. berghei SERAser genes. These loss-of-function lines progressed normally through the parasite life cycle, suggesting a specialized, non-vital role for serine-type SERAs in vivo. Parasites lacking PbSERAser showed increased expression of the cysteine-type PbSERA3. Compensatory mechanisms between distinct SERA subfamilies may thus explain the absence of phenotypical defect in SERAser disruptants, and challenge the suitability to develop potent antimalarial drugs based on specific inhibitors of Plasmodium serine-type SERAs.

  6. Plasmodium falciparum parasites expressing pregnancy-specific variant surface antigens adhere strongly to the choriocarcinoma cell line BeWo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haase, Rikke N; Megnekou, Rosette; Lundquist, Maja

    2006-01-01

    Placenta-sequestering Plasmodium falciparum parasites causing pregnancy-associated malaria express pregnancy-specific variant surface antigens (VSA(PAM)). We report here that VSA(PAM)-expressing patient isolates adhere strongly to the choriocarcinoma cell line BeWo and that the BeWo line can...... be used to efficiently select for VSA(PAM) expression in vitro....

  7. 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...... and P. vivax for CQ (Pfcrt, Pfmdr1, Pvmdr1) and SP (Pfdhfr, Pfdhps, Pvdhfr), using various PCR-based methods. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Positive P. vivax and P. falciparum infections were identified by PCR in 92 and 41 samples respectively. However, some of these were negative in subsequent PCRs. Based...

  8. Malaria's Missing Number: Calculating the Human Component of R0 by a Within-Host Mechanistic Model of Plasmodium falciparum Infection and Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    Johnston, Geoffrey L.; Smith, David L.; Fidock, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Human infection by malarial parasites of the genus Plasmodium begins with the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Current estimates place malaria mortality at over 650,000 individuals each year, mostly in African children. Efforts to reduce disease burden can benefit from the development of mathematical models of disease transmission. To date, however, comprehensive modeling of the parameters defining human infectivity to mosquitoes has remained elusive. Here, we describe a mechanistic wi...

  9. Cross-talk between malarial cysteine proteases and falstatin: the BC loop as a hot-spot target.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivasan Sundararaj

    Full Text Available Cysteine proteases play a crucial role in the development of the human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Our earlier studies demonstrated that these enzymes are equipped with specific domains for defined functions and further suggested the mechanism of activation of cysteine proteases. The activities of these proteases are regulated by a new class of endogenous inhibitors of cysteine proteases (ICPs. Structural studies of the ICPs of Trypanosoma cruzi (chagasin and Plasmodium berghei (PbICP indicated that three loops (termed BC, DE, and FG are crucial for binding to target proteases. Falstatin, an ICP of P. falciparum, appears to play a crucial role in invasion of erythrocytes and hepatocytes. However, the mechanism of inhibition of cysteine proteases by falstatin has not been established. Our study suggests that falstatin is the first known ICP to function as a multimeric protein. Using site-directed mutagenesis, hemoglobin hydrolysis assays and peptide inhibition studies, we demonstrate that the BC loop, but not the DE or FG loops, inhibits cysteine proteases of P. falciparum and P. vivax via hydrogen bonds. These results suggest that the BC loop of falstatin acts as a hot-spot target for inhibiting malarial cysteine proteases. This finding suggests new strategies for the development of anti-malarial agents based on protease-inhibitor interactions.

  10. In vitro activity of wALADin benzimidazoles against different life cycle stages of Plasmodium parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentz, Christian S; Sattler, Julia M; Fendler, Martina; Gottwalt, Simon; Halls, Victoria S; Strassel, Silke; Arriens, Sandra; Hannam, Jeffrey S; Specht, Sabine; Famulok, Michael; Mueller, Ann-Kristin; Hoerauf, Achim; Pfarr, Kenneth M

    2015-01-01

    wALADin1 benzimidazoles are specific inhibitors of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase from Wolbachia endobacteria of filarial nematodes. We report that wALADin1 and two derivatives killed blood stage Plasmodium falciparum in vitro (50% inhibitory concentrations, 39, 7.7, and 12.8 μM, respectively). One of these derivatives inhibited gliding motility of Plasmodium berghei ANKA infectious sporozoites with nanomolar affinity and blocked invasion into hepatocytes but did not affect intrahepatocytic replication. Hence, wALADin1 benzimidazoles are tools to study gliding motility and potential antiplasmodial drug candidates. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  11. Adaptation of the genetically tractable malaria pathogen Plasmodium knowlesi to continuous culture in human erythrocytes

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert

    2012-12-24

    Research into the aetiological agent of the most widespread form of severe malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, has benefitted enormously from the ability to culture and genetically manipulate blood-stage forms of the parasite in vitro. However, most malaria outside Africa is caused by a distinct Plasmodium species, Plasmodium vivax, and it has become increasingly apparent that zoonotic infection by the closely related simian parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is a frequent cause of life-threatening malaria in regions of southeast Asia. Neither of these important malarial species can be cultured in human cells in vitro, requiring access to primates with the associated ethical and practical constraints. We report the successful adaptation of P. knowlesi to continuous culture in human erythrocytes. Human-adapted P. knowlesi clones maintain their capacity to replicate in monkey erythrocytes and can be genetically modified with unprecedented efficiency, providing an important and unique model for studying conserved aspects of malarial biology as well as species-specific features of an emerging pathogen.

  12. Adaptation of the genetically tractable malaria pathogen Plasmodium knowlesi to continuous culture in human erythrocytes

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert; Hall, Joanna M.; Rangkuti, Farania; Ho, YungShwen; Almond, Neil M.; Mitchell, Graham Howard; Pain, Arnab; Holder, Anthony A.; Blackman, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Research into the aetiological agent of the most widespread form of severe malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, has benefitted enormously from the ability to culture and genetically manipulate blood-stage forms of the parasite in vitro. However, most malaria outside Africa is caused by a distinct Plasmodium species, Plasmodium vivax, and it has become increasingly apparent that zoonotic infection by the closely related simian parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is a frequent cause of life-threatening malaria in regions of southeast Asia. Neither of these important malarial species can be cultured in human cells in vitro, requiring access to primates with the associated ethical and practical constraints. We report the successful adaptation of P. knowlesi to continuous culture in human erythrocytes. Human-adapted P. knowlesi clones maintain their capacity to replicate in monkey erythrocytes and can be genetically modified with unprecedented efficiency, providing an important and unique model for studying conserved aspects of malarial biology as well as species-specific features of an emerging pathogen.

  13. Earthworm-mediated synthesis of silver nanoparticles: A potent tool against hepatocellular carcinoma, Plasmodium falciparum parasites and malaria mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaganathan, Anitha; Murugan, Kadarkarai; Panneerselvam, Chellasamy; Madhiyazhagan, Pari; Dinesh, Devakumar; Vadivalagan, Chithravel; Aziz, Al Thabiani; Chandramohan, Balamurugan; Suresh, Udaiyan; Rajaganesh, Rajapandian; Subramaniam, Jayapal; Nicoletti, Marcello; Higuchi, Akon; Alarfaj, Abdullah A; Munusamy, Murugan A; Kumar, Suresh; Benelli, Giovanni

    2016-06-01

    The development of parasites and pathogens resistant to synthetic drugs highlighted the needing of novel, eco-friendly and effective control approaches. Recently, metal nanoparticles have been proposed as highly effective tools towards cancer cells and Plasmodium parasites. In this study, we synthesized silver nanoparticles (EW-AgNP) using Eudrilus eugeniae earthworms as reducing and stabilizing agents. EW-AgNP showed plasmon resonance reduction in UV-vis spectrophotometry, the functional groups involved in the reduction were studied by FTIR spectroscopy, while particle size and shape was analyzed by FESEM. The effect of EW-AgNP on in vitro HepG2 cell proliferation was measured using MTT assays. Apoptosis assessed by flow cytometry showed diminished endurance of HepG2 cells and cytotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner. EW-AgNP were toxic to Anopheles stephensi larvae and pupae, LC(50) were 4.8 ppm (I), 5.8 ppm (II), 6.9 ppm (III), 8.5 ppm (IV), and 15.5 ppm (pupae). The antiplasmodial activity of EW-AgNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. EW-AgNP IC(50) were 49.3 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 55.5 μg/ml (CQ-r), while chloroquine IC(50) were 81.5 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 86.5 μg/ml (CQ-r). EW-AgNP showed a valuable antibiotic potential against important pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Concerning non-target effects of EW-AgNP against mosquito natural enemies, the predation efficiency of the mosquitofish Gambusia affinis towards the II and II instar larvae of A. stephensi was 68.50% (II) and 47.00% (III), respectively. In EW-AgNP-contaminated environments, predation was boosted to 89.25% (II) and 70.75% (III), respectively. Overall, this research highlighted the EW-AgNP potential against hepatocellular carcinoma, Plasmodium parasites and mosquito vectors, with little detrimental effects on mosquito natural enemies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The novel oxygenated chalcone, 2,4-dimethoxy-4'-butoxychalcone, exhibits potent activity against human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in vitro and rodent parasites Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, M; Brøgger Christensen, S; Zhai, L

    1997-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that licochalcone A, an oxygenated chalcone, exhibits antileishmanial and antimalarial activities. The present study was designed to examine the antimalarial activity of an analog of licochalcone A, 2,4-dimethoxy-4'-butoxychalcone (2,4mbc). 2,4mbc inhibited the in vitro...... activity and might be developed into a new antimalarial drug....... growth of both a chloroquine-susceptible (3D7) and a chloroquine-resistant (Dd2) strain of Plasmodium falciparum in a [3H]hypoxanthine uptake assay. The in vivo activity of 2,4mbc was tested in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei or Plasmodium yoelii and in rats infected with P. berghei. 2,4mbc...

  15. Multiple genetic origins of histidine-rich protein 2 gene deletion in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akinyi, Sheila; Hayden, Tonya; Gamboa, Dionicia; Torres, Katherine; Bendezu, Jorge; Abdallah, Joseph F.; Griffing, Sean M.; Quezada, Wilmer Marquiño; Arrospide, Nancy; De Oliveira, Alexandre Macedo; Lucas, Carmen; Magill, Alan J.; Bacon, David J.; Barnwell, John W.; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2013-01-01

    The majority of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) detect Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2), encoded by the pfhrp2 gene. Recently, P. falciparum isolates from Peru were found to lack pfhrp2 leading to false-negative RDT results. We hypothesized that pfhrp2-deleted parasites in Peru derived from a single genetic event. We evaluated the parasite population structure and pfhrp2 haplotype of samples collected between 1998 and 2005 using seven neutral and seven chromosome 8 microsatellite markers, respectively. Five distinct pfhrp2 haplotypes, corresponding to five neutral microsatellite-based clonal lineages, were detected in 1998-2001; pfhrp2 deletions occurred within four haplotypes. In 2003-2005, outcrossing among the parasite lineages resulted in eight population clusters that inherited the five pfhrp2 haplotypes seen previously and a new haplotype; pfhrp2 deletions occurred within four of these haplotypes. These findings indicate that the genetic origin of pfhrp2 deletion in Peru was not a single event, but likely occurred multiple times. PMID:24077522

  16. Expression of senescent antigen on erythrocytes infected with a knobby variant of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winograd, E.; Greenan, J.R.T.; Sherman, I.W.

    1987-01-01

    Erythrocytes infected with a knobby variant of Plasmodium falciparum selectively bind IgG autoantibodies in normal human serum. Quantification of membrane-bound IgG, by use of 125 I-labeled protein A, revealed that erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant bound 30 times more protein A than did noninfected erythrocytes; infection with a knobless variant resulted in less than a 2-fold difference compared with noninfected erythrocytes. IgG binding to knobby erythrocytes appeared to be related to parasite development, since binding of 125 I-labeled protein A to cells bearing young trophozoites (less than 20 hr after parasite invasion) was similar to binding to uninfected erythrocytes. By immunoelectron microscopy, the membrane-bound IgG on erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant was found to be preferentially associated with the protuberances (knobs) of the plasma membrane. The removal of aged or senescent erythrocytes from the peripheral circulation is reported to involve the binding of specific antibodies to an antigen (senescent antigen) related to the major erythrocyte membrane protein band 3. Since affinity-purified autoantibodies against band 3 specifically bound to the plasma membrane of erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant of P. falciparum, it is clear that the malaria parasite induces expression of senescent antigen

  17. Targeting the Conserved Fusion Loop of HAP2 Inhibits the Transmission of Plasmodium berghei and falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona Angrisano

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Inhibiting transmission of Plasmodium is a central strategy in malarial eradication, and the biological process of gamete fusion during fertilization is a proven target for this approach. The lack of a structure or known molecular function of current anti-malarial vaccine targets has previously been a hindrance in the development of transmission-blocking vaccines. Structure/function studies have indicated that the conserved gamete membrane fusion protein HAP2 is a class II viral fusion protein. Here, we demonstrate that targeting a function-critical site of the fusion/cd loop with species-specific antibodies reduces Plasmodium berghei transmission in vivo by 58.9% and in vitro fertilization by up to 89.9%. A corresponding reduction in P. falciparum transmission (75.5%/36.4% reductions in intensity/prevalence is observed in complimentary field studies. These results emphasize conserved mechanisms of fusion in Apicomplexa, while highlighting an approach to design future anti-malarial transmission-blocking vaccines. : Angrisano et al. find that the HAP2 cd-loop can be targeted as an anti-malarial intervention, is immunogenic across multiple plasmodial species, can induce antibodies that specifically recognize the sexual stages of the parasitic life cycle, and can mediate transmission-blocking immunity in the lab and the field. Keywords: HAP2, malaria, transmission, fusion, vaccine

  18. Drug resistance and genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Suriname

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peek, Ron; van Gool, Tom; Panchoe, Daynand; Greve, Sophie; Bus, Ellen; Resida, Lesley

    2005-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum in Suriname was studied for the presence of drug resistance and genetic variation in blood samples of 86 patients with symptomatic malaria. Drug resistance was predicted by determining point mutations in the chloroquine resistance marker of the P. falciparum chloroquine

  19. Antioxidant vitamin levels among preschool children with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Sokoto, Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aghedo FI

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Festus I Aghedo,1 Resqua A Shehu,2 Rabiu A Umar,2 Mohammed N Jiya,3 Osaro Erhabor4 1Department of Haematology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria; 2Department of Biochemistry, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria; 3Department of Paediatrics, College of Health Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria; 4Department of Haematology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria Objective: To assess antioxidant vitamin levels among preschool children with plasmodium malarial infection. Methods: We assessed antioxidant vitamin levels by using a standard procedure in 130 malaria-parasitized preschool children. Packed cell volume and parasite density were also evaluated. Forty healthy age- and gender-matched nonparasitized children were included as controls. Results: Plasmodium falciparum was the causative species in all subjects. The mean malaria parasitemia was 4529.45 ± 1237.5/µL. The mean antioxidant concentrations for vitamins A, C, and E among plasmodium-parasitized subjects were 33.15 ± 1.79 µg/dL, 0.51 ± 0.02 mg/dL, and 0.61 ± 0.02 mg/dL, respectively. The mean concentrations of vitamins A, C, and E among the non-malaria-parasitized controls were 69.72 ± 1.71 µg/dL, 1.25 ± 0.04 mg/dL, and 1.31 ± 0.04 mg/dL respectively. We observed that the mean antioxidant concentrations of vitamins A, C, and E were significantly lower among plasmodium-parasitized subjects compared with non-parasitized controls (P = 0.01. Malaria parasitemia correlated negatively with antioxidant concentrations and packed cell volume (r = -0.736 and -0.723, P = 0.001. We observed that the higher the level of parasitemia, the lower the antioxidant concentration. Conclusion: Our study has shown that the antioxidant levels in plasmodium-parasitized children in the North-West of Nigeria are low and that the more severe the malarial infection, the lower the antioxidant level and the

  20. Mechanochemical Synthesis, In vivo Anti-malarial and Safety Evaluation of Amodiaquine-zinc Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arise Rotimi Olusanya

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available So far, some prospective metal-based anti-malarial drugs have been developed. The mechanochemical synthesis and characterization of Zn (II complex with amodiaquine and its anti-malarial efficacy on Plasmodium berghei-infected mice and safety evaluation were described in this study.

  1. Co-incidental Plasmodium Knowlesi and Mucormycosis infections presenting with acute kidney injury and lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramaswami, Arunachalam; Pisharam, Jayakrishnan K; Aung, Hla; Ghazala, Kafeel; Maboud, Khalil; Chong, Vui Heng; Tan, Jackson

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi is frequently reported in Southeast Asian countries and is now widely regarded as the fifth malarial parasite. Mucormycosis is a rare fungal infection that can occur in patients with a weakened immune system. We report a case of acute kidney injury secondary to Plasmodium knowlesi malaria infection and mucormycosis fungal infection. In addition, the patient also had lower gastrointestinal bleeding from invasive gastrointestinal mucormycosis. P. knowlesi infection was diagnosed by blood film and mucormycosis was diagnosed by histopathological examination of biopsy specimen of the colon. The patient recovered with antimalarial treatment (Quinine), antifungal treatment (Lipophilic Amphotericin), and supportive hemodialysis treatment. We hypothesize that P. knowlesi malarial infection can lower the immunologic threshold and predisposes vulnerable individuals to rare disseminated fungal infections. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first P. Knowlesi malaria-associated invasive fungal infection reported in the literature.

  2. Encapsulation of metalloporphyrins improves their capacity to block the viability of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Eduardo; Iglesias, Bernardo A; Deda, Daiana K; Budu, Alexandre; Matias, Tiago A; Bueno, Vânia B; Maluf, Fernando V; Guido, Rafael V C; Oliva, Glaucius; Catalani, Luiz H; Araki, Koiti; Garcia, Celia R S

    2015-02-01

    Several synthetic metallated protoporphyrins (M-PPIX) were tested for their ability to block the cell cycle of the lethal human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. After encapsulating the porphyrin derivatives in micro- and nanocapsules of marine atelocollagen, their effects on cultures of red blood cells infected (RBC) with P. falciparum were verified. RBCs infected with synchronized P. falciparum incubated for 48 h showed a toxic effect over a micromolar range. Strikingly, the IC50 of encapsulated metalloporphyrins reached nanomolar concentrations, where Zn-PPIX showed the best antimalarial effect, with an IC50=330 nM. This value is an 80-fold increase in the antimalarial activity compared to the antimalarial effect of non-encapsulated Zn-PPIX. These findings reveal that the incubation of P. falciparum infected-RBCs with 20 μM Zn-PPIX reduced the size of hemozoin crystal by 34%, whereas a 28% reduction was noticed with chloroquine, confirming the importance of heme detoxification pathway in drug therapy. In this study, synthetic metalloporphyrins were tested as therapeutics that target Plasmodium falciparum. The IC50 of encapsulated metalloporphyrins was found to be in the nanomolar concentration range, with encapsulated Zn-PPIX showing an 80-fold increase in its antimalarial activity compared to the non-encapsulated form. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. An Unusual Prohibitin Regulates Malaria Parasite Mitochondrial Membrane Potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim Michael Matz

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Proteins of the stomatin/prohibitin/flotillin/HfIK/C (SPFH family are membrane-anchored and perform diverse cellular functions in different organelles. Here, we investigate the SPFH proteins of the murine malaria model parasite Plasmodium berghei, the conserved prohibitin 1, prohibitin 2, and stomatin-like protein and an unusual prohibitin-like protein (PHBL. The SPFH proteins localize to the parasite mitochondrion. While the conserved family members could not be deleted from the Plasmodium genome, PHBL was successfully ablated, resulting in impaired parasite fitness and attenuated virulence in the mammalian host. Strikingly, PHBL-deficient parasites fail to colonize the Anopheles vector because of complete arrest during ookinete development in vivo. We show that this arrest correlates with depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨmt. Our results underline the importance of SPFH proteins in the regulation of core mitochondrial functions and suggest that fine-tuning of ΔΨmt in malarial parasites is critical for colonization of the definitive host. : Matz et al. present an experimental genetics study of an unusual prohibitin-like protein in the malaria parasite and find that it regulates mitochondrial membrane polarity. Ablation of this protein causes almost complete mitochondrial depolarization in the mosquito vector, which, in turn, leads to a block in malaria parasite transmission. Keywords: Plasmodium berghei, malaria, SPFH, prohibitin, stomatin-like protein, mitochondrion, membrane potential, ookinete, transmission

  4. Immunoglobulin profile of Nigerian children with Plasmodium ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2008-01-18

    Jan 18, 2008 ... IgG correlated positively with the level of malarial parasitaemia (r = 0.99). We deduce that ... stages of Plasmodium falciparum and attempts have con- sequently been ... analysis using Microsoft Excel package. RESULTS.

  5. Gametocytes of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Interact With and Stimulate Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Cells to Secrete Angiogenetic Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Messina

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for the transmission of this malaria parasite from humans to mosquitoes, accumulate and mature preferentially in the human bone marrow. In the 10 day long sexual development of P. falciparum, the immature gametocytes reach and localize in the extravascular compartment of this organ, in contact with several bone marrow stroma cell types, prior to traversing the endothelial lining and re-entering in circulation at maturity. To investigate the host parasite interplay underlying this still obscure process, we developed an in vitro tridimensional co-culture system in a Matrigel scaffold with P. falciparum gametocytes and self-assembling spheroids of human bone marrow mesenchymal cells (hBM-MSCs. Here we show that this co-culture system sustains the full maturation of the gametocytes and that the immature, but not the mature, gametocytes adhere to hBM-MSCs via trypsin-sensitive parasite ligands exposed on the erythrocyte surface. Analysis of a time course of gametocytogenesis in the co-culture system revealed that gametocyte maturation is accompanied by the parasite induced stimulation of hBM-MSCs to secrete a panel of 14 cytokines and growth factors, 13 of which have been described to play a role in angiogenesis. Functional in vitro assays on human bone marrow endothelial cells showed that supernatants from the gametocyte mesenchymal cell co-culture system enhance ability of endothelial cells to form vascular tubes. These results altogether suggest that the interplay between immature gametocytes and hBM-MSCs may induce functional and structural alterations in the endothelial lining of the human bone marrow hosting the P. falciparum transmission stages.

  6. Anti-malarial Drug Design by Targeting Apicoplasts: New Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avinaba Mukherjee

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Malaria has been a major global health problem in recent times with increasing mortality. Current treatment methods include parasiticidal drugs and vaccinations. However, resistance among malarial parasites to the existing drugs has emerged as a significant area of concern in anti-malarial drug design. Researchers are now desperately looking for new targets to develop anti-malarials drug which is more target specific. Malarial parasites harbor a plastid-like organelle known as the ‘apicoplast’, which is thought to provide an exciting new outlook for the development of drugs to be used against the parasite. This review elaborates on the current state of development of novel compounds targeted againstemerging malaria parasites. Methods: The apicoplast, originates by an endosymbiotic process, contains a range of metabolic pathways and housekeeping processes that differ from the host body and thereby presents ideal strategies for anti-malarial drug therapy. Drugs are designed by targeting the unique mechanism of the apicoplasts genetic machinery. Several anabolic and catabolic processes, like fatty acid, isopenetyl diphosphate and heme synthess in this organelle, have also been targeted by drugs. Results: Apicoplasts offer exciting opportunities for the development of malarial treatment specific drugs have been found to act by disrupting this organelle’s function, which wouldimpede the survival of the parasite. Conclusion: Recent advanced drugs, their modes of action, and their advantages in the treatment of malaria by using apicoplasts as a target are discussed in this review which thought to be very useful in desigining anti-malarial drugs. Targetting the genetic machinery of apicoplast shows a great advantange regarding anti-malarial drug design. Critical knowledge of these new drugs would give a healthier understanding for deciphering the mechanism of action of anti-malarial drugs when targeting apicoplasts to overcome drug

  7. Unnatural amino acids increase activity and specificity of synthetic substrates for human and malarial cathepsin C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poreba, Marcin; Mihelic, Marko; Krai, Priscilla; Rajkovic, Jelena; Krezel, Artur; Pawelczak, Malgorzata; Klemba, Michael; Turk, Dusan; Turk, Boris; Latajka, Rafal; Drag, Marcin

    2014-04-01

    Mammalian cathepsin C is primarily responsible for the removal of N-terminal dipeptides and activation of several serine proteases in inflammatory or immune cells, while its malarial parasite ortholog dipeptidyl aminopeptidase 1 plays a crucial role in catabolizing the hemoglobin of its host erythrocyte. In this report, we describe the systematic substrate specificity analysis of three cathepsin C orthologs from Homo sapiens (human), Bos taurus (bovine) and Plasmodium falciparum (malaria parasite). Here, we present a new approach with a tailored fluorogenic substrate library designed and synthesized to probe the S1 and S2 pocket preferences of these enzymes with both natural and a broad range of unnatural amino acids. Our approach identified very efficiently hydrolyzed substrates containing unnatural amino acids, which resulted in the design of significantly better substrates than those previously known. Additionally, in this study significant differences in terms of the structures of optimal substrates for human and malarial orthologs are important from the therapeutic point of view. These data can be also used for the design of specific inhibitors or activity-based probes.

  8. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R.; Tokuoka, Keiji; Kusakari, Yukiko; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Adachi, Hiroaki; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Kai, Yasushi; Krungkrai, Jerapan; Horii, Toshihiro

    2006-01-01

    Orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase of human malaria parasite P. falciparum was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation. Orotidine 5′-monophosphate (OMP) decarboxylase (OMPDC; EC 4.1.1.23) catalyzes the final step in the de novo synthesis of uridine 5′-monophosphate (UMP) and defects in the enzyme are lethal in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Active recombinant P. falciparum OMPDC (PfOMPDC) was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation at the Swiss Light Source. The crystal exhibits trigonal symmetry (space group R3), with hexagonal unit-cell parameters a = b = 201.81, c = 44.03 Å. With a dimer in the asymmetric unit, the solvent content is 46% (V M = 2.3 Å 3 Da −1 )

  9. An adjustable gas-mixing device to increase feasibility of in vitro culture of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in the field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy K Bei

    Full Text Available A challenge to conducting high-impact and reproducible studies of the mechanisms of P. falciparum drug resistance, invasion, virulence, and immunity is the lack of robust and sustainable in vitro culture in the field. While the technology exists and is routinely utilized in developed countries, various factors-from cost, to supply, to quality-make it hard to implement in malaria endemic countries. Here, we design and rigorously evaluate an adjustable gas-mixing device for the in vitro culture of P. falciparum parasites in the field to circumvent this challenge. The device accurately replicates the gas concentrations needed to culture laboratory isolates, short-term adapted field isolates, cryopreserved previously non-adapted isolates, as well as to adapt ex vivo isolates to in vitro culture in the field. We also show an advantage over existing alternatives both in cost and in supply. Furthermore, the adjustable nature of the device makes it an ideal tool for many applications in which varied gas concentrations could be critical to culture success. This adjustable gas-mixing device will dramatically improve the feasibility of in vitro culture of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in malaria endemic countries given its numerous advantages.

  10. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thais C de Oliveira

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax.We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences, Peru (PER, n = 23, Colombia (COL, n = 31, and Mexico (MEX, n = 19.We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10-4 and 6.2 × 10-4 as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092. Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between parasite lineages from geographically

  11. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Thais C; Rodrigues, Priscila T; Menezes, Maria José; Gonçalves-Lopes, Raquel M; Bastos, Melissa S; Lima, Nathália F; Barbosa, Susana; Gerber, Alexandra L; Loss de Morais, Guilherme; Berná, Luisa; Phelan, Jody; Robello, Carlos; de Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R; Alves, João Marcelo P; Ferreira, Marcelo U

    2017-07-01

    The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax. We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences), Peru (PER, n = 23), Colombia (COL, n = 31), and Mexico (MEX, n = 19). We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10-4 and 6.2 × 10-4) as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed) in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o) gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092). Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between parasite lineages from geographically diverse sites

  12. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Thais C.; Rodrigues, Priscila T.; Menezes, Maria José; Gonçalves-Lopes, Raquel M.; Bastos, Melissa S.; Lima, Nathália F.; Barbosa, Susana; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Loss de Morais, Guilherme; Berná, Luisa; Phelan, Jody; Robello, Carlos; de Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2017-01-01

    Background The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax. Methods We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences), Peru (PER, n = 23), Colombia (COL, n = 31), and Mexico (MEX, n = 19). Principal findings/Conclusions We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10−4 and 6.2 × 10−4) as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed) in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o) gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092). Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between

  13. Description, molecular characterisation, diagnostics and life cycle of Plasmodium elongatum (lineage pERIRUB01), the virulent avian malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palinauskas, Vaidas; Žiegytė, Rita; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Bernotienė, Rasa; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-10-01

    Plasmodium elongatum causes severe avian malaria and is distributed worldwide. This parasite is of particular importance due to its ability to develop and cause lethal malaria not only in natural hosts, but also in non-adapted endemic birds such as the brown kiwi and different species of penguins. Information on vectors of this infection is available but is contradictory. PCR-based analysis indicated the possible existence of a cluster of closely related P. elongatum lineages which might differ in their ability to develop in certain mosquitoes and birds. This experimental study provides information about molecular and morphological characterisation of a virulent P. elongatum strain (lineage pERIRUB01) isolated from a naturally infected European robin, Erithacus rubecula. Phylogenetic analysis based on partial cytochrome b gene sequences showed that this parasite lineage is closely related to P. elongatum (lineage pGRW6). Blood stages of both parasite lineages are indistinguishable, indicating that they belong to the same species. Both pathogens develop in experimentally infected canaries, Serinus canaria, causing death of the hosts. In both these lineages, trophozoites and erythrocytic meronts develop in polychromatic erythrocytes and erythroblasts, gametocytes parasitize mature erythrocytes, exoerythrocytic stages develop in cells of the erythrocytic series in bone marrow and are occasionally reported in spleen and liver. Massive infestation of bone marrow cells is the main reason for bird mortality. We report here on syncytium-like remnants of tissue meronts, which slip out of the bone marrow into the peripheral circulation, providing evidence that the syncytia can be a template for PCR amplification. This finding contributes to better understanding positive PCR amplifications in birds when parasitemia is invisible and improved diagnostics of abortive haemosporidian infections. Sporogony of P. elongatum (pERIRUB01) completes the cycle and sporozoites develop in

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  15. Full-length recombinant Plasmodium falciparum VAR2CSA binds specifically to CSPG and induces potent parasite adhesion blocking antibodies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khunrae, Pongsak; Dahlbäck, Madeleine; Nielsen, Morten A

    2010-01-01

    in the pathogenesis of severe P. falciparum infection. In pregnant women the parasites express a single and unique member of the PfEMP1 family named VAR2CSA, which is associated with the ability of the infected erythrocytes to adhere specifically to chondroitin sulphate A (CSA) in the placenta. Several DBL domains......Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains one of the world's leading causes of human suffering and poverty. Each year, the disease takes 1-3 million lives, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. The adhesion of parasite-infected erythrocytes to the vascular endothelium or the placenta is the key event...

  16. Plasmodium falciparum: characterization of toxin-associated proteins and identification of a hemoglobin containing parasite cytokine stimulator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, G; Jakobsen, P H

    1996-01-01

    ]-methionine and immunoprecipitated the labeled antigens with an antiserum against IMP which blocks malaria parasite-induced TNF production. We detected four proteins associated with IMP when the immunoprecipitates were separated by SDS-PAGE and analyzed by autoradiography. To evaluate the capacity of different P. falciparum......Previous studies have indicated the inositol monophosphate (IMP) is a component of the malaria parasite toxin that induces cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor (TNF). To further characterize the toxin we have labeled Plasmodium falciparum in vitro cultures with [14C]inositol or [35S...

  17. New molecular settings to support in vivo anti-malarial assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahamontes-Rosa, Noemí; Alejandre, Ane Rodriguez; Gomez, Vanesa; Viera, Sara; Gomez-Lorenzo, María G; Sanz-Alonso, Laura María; Mendoza-Losana, Alfonso

    2016-03-08

    Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is now commonly used as a method to confirm diagnosis of malaria and to differentiate recrudescence from re-infection, especially in clinical trials and in reference laboratories where precise quantification is critical. Although anti-malarial drug discovery is based on in vivo murine efficacy models, use of molecular analysis has been limited. The aim of this study was to develop qPCR as a valid methodology to support pre-clinical anti-malarial models by using filter papers to maintain material for qPCR and to compare this with traditional methods. FTA technology (Whatman) is a rapid and safe method for extracting nucleic acids from blood. Peripheral blood samples from mice infected with Plasmodium berghei, P. yoelii, or P. falciparum were kept as frozen samples or as spots on FTA cards. The extracted genetic material from both types of samples was assessed for quantification by qPCR using sets of specific primers specifically designed for Plasmodium 18S rRNA, LDH, and CytB genes. The optimal conditions for nucleic acid extraction from FTA cards and qPCR amplification were set up, and were confirmed to be suitable for parasite quantification using DNA as template after storage at room temperature for as long as 26 months in the case of P. berghei samples and 52 months for P. falciparum and P. yoelii. The quality of DNA extracted from the FTA cards for gene sequencing and microsatellite amplification was also assessed. This is the first study to report the suitability of FTA cards and qPCR assay to quantify parasite load in samples from in vivo efficacy models to support the drug discovery process.

  18. Parasite density and the spectrum of clinical illness in falciparum malaria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ali, H.; Mahmood, T.; Ahmed, N.

    2008-01-01

    To determine the impact of percentage parasitemia and clinical features on morbidity and mortality in patients with P. falciparum malaria. Seventy-six adult patients of smear positive P. falciparum malaria were selected for the study. Parasite density was estimated on thin blood film and expressed as percentage of red blood cells parasitized. Patients were divided into three groups on the basis of parasite density. The data was analyzed on SPSS version 12. Results were expressed as percentages, mean and standard deviations. P-value 10%. Comparative analysis of the groups showed that pallor, impaired consciousness, jaundice or malarial hepatitis, thrombocytopenia, acute renal failure, DIC, and mortality were all strongly associated with the density of Plasmodium falciparum malaria (p=0.001). Parasite density was not related to age, gender and hepatosplenomegaly. High parasite density was associated with severe clinical illness, complications and mortality. Parasite counts of > 5% may be considered as hyperparasitaemia in this population of the world. (author)

  19. Vaccination with a Plasmodium chabaudi adami multivalent DNA vaccine cross-protects A/J mice against challenge with P. c. adami DK and virulent Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi AS parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scorza, T; Grubb, K; Cambos, M; Santamaria, C; Tshikudi Malu, D; Spithill, T W

    2008-06-01

    A current goal of malaria vaccine research is the development of vaccines that will cross-protect against multiple strains of malaria. In the present study, the breadth of cross-reactivity induced by a 30K multivalent DNA vaccine has been evaluated in susceptible A/J mice (H-2a) against infection with the Plasmodium chabaudi adami DK strain and a virulent parasite subspecies, Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi AS. Immunized A/J mice were significantly protected against infection with both P. c. adami DK (31-40% reduction in cumulative parasitemia) and P. c. chabaudi AS parasites, where a 30-39% reduction in cumulative parasitemia as well as enhanced survival was observed. The 30K vaccine-induced specific IFN-gamma production by splenocytes in response to native antigens from both P. c. chabaudi AS and P. c. adami DK. Specific antibodies reacting with surface antigens expressed on P. c. adami DS and P. c. chabaudi AS infected red blood cells, and with opsonizing properties, were detected. These results suggest that multivalent vaccines encoding conserved antigens can feasibly induce immune cross-reactivity that span Plasmodium strains and subspecies and can protect hosts of distinct major histocompatibility complex haplotypes.

  20. Geographic structure of Plasmodium vivax: microsatellite analysis of parasite populations from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunawardena, Sharmini; Karunaweera, Nadira D; Ferreira, Marcelo U

    2010-01-01

    , Myanmar, and Ethiopia using 12 trinucleotide and tetranucleotide microsatellite markers. All three parasite populations were highly polymorphic with 3-44 alleles per locus. Approximately 65% were multiple-clone infections. Mean genetic diversity (H(E)) was 0.7517 in Ethiopia, 0.8450 in Myanmar, and 0...

  1. Plasmodium immunomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolan, Denise L

    2011-01-01

    The Plasmodium parasite, the causative agent of malaria, is an excellent model for immunomic-based approaches to vaccine development. The Plasmodium parasite has a complex life cycle with multiple stages and stage-specific expression of ∼5300 putative proteins. No malaria vaccine has yet been licensed. Many believe that an effective vaccine will need to target several antigens and multiple stages, and will require the generation of both antibody and cellular immune responses. Vaccine efforts to date have been stage-specific and based on only a very limited number of proteins representing Plasmodium parasite life cycle with immune responses implicated in parasite elimination and control. Immunomic approaches which enable the selection of the best possible targets by prioritising antigens according to clinically relevant criteria may overcome the problem of poorly immunogenic, poorly protective vaccines that has plagued malaria vaccine developers for the past 25 years. Herein, current progress and perspectives regarding Plasmodium immunomics are reviewed. Copyright © 2010 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Host-parasite interactions and ecology of the malaria parasite-a bioinformatics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izak, Dariusz; Klim, Joanna; Kaczanowski, Szymon

    2018-04-25

    Malaria remains one of the highest mortality infectious diseases. Malaria is caused by parasites from the genus Plasmodium. Most deaths are caused by infections involving Plasmodium falciparum, which has a complex life cycle. Malaria parasites are extremely well adapted for interactions with their host and their host's immune system and are able to suppress the human immune system, erase immunological memory and rapidly alter exposed antigens. Owing to this rapid evolution, parasites develop drug resistance and express novel forms of antigenic proteins that are not recognized by the host immune system. There is an emerging need for novel interventions, including novel drugs and vaccines. Designing novel therapies requires knowledge about host-parasite interactions, which is still limited. However, significant progress has recently been achieved in this field through the application of bioinformatics analysis of parasite genome sequences. In this review, we describe the main achievements in 'malarial' bioinformatics and provide examples of successful applications of protein sequence analysis. These examples include the prediction of protein functions based on homology and the prediction of protein surface localization via domain and motif analysis. Additionally, we describe PlasmoDB, a database that stores accumulated experimental data. This tool allows data mining of the stored information and will play an important role in the development of malaria science. Finally, we illustrate the application of bioinformatics in the development of population genetics research on malaria parasites, an approach referred to as reverse ecology.

  3. Simultaneous capture and sequential detection of two malarial biomarkers on magnetic microparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markwalter, Christine F; Ricks, Keersten M; Bitting, Anna L; Mudenda, Lwiindi; Wright, David W

    2016-12-01

    We have developed a rapid magnetic microparticle-based detection strategy for malarial biomarkers Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) and Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein II (PfHRPII). In this assay, magnetic particles functionalized with antibodies specific for pLDH and PfHRPII as well as detection antibodies with distinct enzymes for each biomarker are added to parasitized lysed blood samples. Sandwich complexes for pLDH and PfHRPII form on the surface of the magnetic beads, which are washed and sequentially re-suspended in detection enzyme substrate for each antigen. The developed simultaneous capture and sequential detection (SCSD) assay detects both biomarkers in samples as low as 2.0parasites/µl, an order of magnitude below commercially available ELISA kits, has a total incubation time of 35min, and was found to be reproducible between users over time. This assay provides a simple and efficient alternative to traditional 96-well plate ELISAs, which take 5-8h to complete and are limited to one analyte. Further, the modularity of the magnetic bead-based SCSD ELISA format could serve as a platform for application to other diseases for which multi-biomarker detection is advantageous. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 1H NMR metabonomics indicates continued metabolic changes and sexual dimorphism post-parasite clearance in self-limiting murine malaria model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjun Sengupta

    Full Text Available Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium spp. is considered to be a global threat, specifically for the developing countries. In human subjects considerable information exists regarding post-malarial physiology. However, most murine malarial models are lethal, and most studies deal with acute phases occurring as disease progresses. Much less is known regarding physiological status post-parasite clearance. We have assessed the physiological changes at the organ levels using (1H NMR based metabonomics in a non lethal self-clearing murine malarial model of P. chabaudi parasites and Balb/C, far beyond the parasite clearance point. The results showed distinct metabolic states between uninfected and infected mice at the peak parasitemia, as well as three weeks post-parasite clearance. Our data also suggests that the response at the peak infection as well as recovery exhibited distinct sexual dimorphism. Specifically, we observed accumulation of acetylcholine in the brain metabolic profile of both the sexes. This might have important implication in understanding the pathophysiology of the post malarial neurological syndromes. In addition, the female liver showed high levels of glucose, dimethylglycine, methylacetoacetate and histidine after three weeks post-parasite clearance, while the males showed accumulation of branched chain amino acids, lysine, glutamine and bile acids.

  5. Malaria, Moderate to Severe Anaemia, and Malarial Anaemia in Children at Presentation to Hospital in the Mount Cameroon Area: A Cross-Sectional Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taiwe, Germain Sotoing

    2016-01-01

    Background. Malaria remains a major killer of children in Sub-Saharan Africa, while anaemia is a public health problem with significant morbidity and mortality. Examining the factors associated with moderate to severe anaemia (MdSA) and malarial anaemia as well as the haematological characteristics is essential. Methodology. Children (1–14 years) at presentation at the Regional Hospital Annex-Buea were examined clinically and blood samples were collected for malaria parasite detection and full blood count evaluation. Results. Plasmodium falciparum, anaemia, and malarial anaemia occurred in 33.8%, 62.0%, and 23.6% of the 216 children, respectively. Anaemia prevalence was significantly higher in malaria parasite positive children and those with fever than their respective counterparts. MdSA and moderate to severe malarial anaemia (MdSMA) were detected in 38.0% and 15.3% of the participants, respectively. The prevalence of MdSA was significantly higher in children whose household head had no formal education, resided in the lowland, or was febrile, while MdSMA was significantly higher in febrile children only. Children with MdSMA had significantly lower mean white blood cell, lymphocyte, and platelet counts while the mean granulocyte count was significantly higher. Conclusion. Being febrile was the only predictor of both MdSA and MdSMA. More haematological insult occurred in children with MdSMA compared to MdSA. PMID:27895939

  6. Expression of Plasmodium vivax crt-o Is Related to Parasite Stage but Not Ex Vivo Chloroquine Susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pava, Zuleima; Handayuni, Irene; Wirjanata, Grennady; To, Sheren; Trianty, Leily; Noviyanti, Rintis; Poespoprodjo, Jeanne Rini; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N; Marfurt, Jutta

    2016-01-01

    Chloroquine (CQ)-resistant Plasmodium vivax is present in most countries where P. vivax infection is endemic, but the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible remain unknown. Increased expression of P. vivax crt-o (pvcrt-o) has been correlated with in vivo CQ resistance in an area with low-grade resistance. We assessed pvcrt-o expression in isolates from Papua (Indonesia), where P. vivax is highly CQ resistant. Ex vivo drug susceptibilities to CQ, amodiaquine, piperaquine, mefloquine, and artesunate were determined using a modified schizont maturation assay. Expression levels of pvcrt-o were measured using a novel real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR method. Large variations in pvcrt-o expression were observed across the 51 isolates evaluated, with the fold change in expression level ranging from 0.01 to 59 relative to that seen with the P. vivax β-tubulin gene and from 0.01 to 24 relative to that seen with the P. vivax aldolase gene. Expression was significantly higher in isolates with the majority of parasites at the ring stage of development (median fold change, 1.7) compared to those at the trophozoite stage (median fold change, 0.5; P determinant of ex vivo drug susceptibility. A comprehensive transcriptomic approach is warranted for an in-depth investigation of the role of gene expression levels and P. vivax drug resistance. Copyright © 2015 Pava et al.

  7. Sporozoite Route of Infection Influences In Vitro var Gene Transcription of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites From Controlled Human Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimonte, Sandra; Bruske, Ellen I; Hass, Johanna; Supan, Christian; Salazar, Carmen L; Held, Jana; Tschan, Serena; Esen, Meral; Flötenmeyer, Matthias; Koch, Iris; Berger, Jürgen; Bachmann, Anna; Sim, Betty K L; Hoffman, Stephen L; Kremsner, Peter G; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Frank, Matthias

    2016-09-15

    Antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum is mediated by the multicopy var gene family. Each parasite possesses about 60 var genes, and switching between active var loci results in antigenic variation. In the current study, the effect of mosquito and host passage on in vitro var gene transcription was investigated. Thirty malaria-naive individuals were inoculated by intradermal or intravenous injection with cryopreserved, isogenic NF54 P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ) generated from 1 premosquito culture. Microscopic parasitemia developed in 22 individuals, and 21 in vitro cultures were established. The var gene transcript levels were determined in early and late postpatient cultures and in the premosquito culture. At the early time point, all cultures preferentially transcribed 8 subtelomeric var genes. Intradermal infections had higher var gene transcript levels than intravenous infections and a significantly longer intrahost replication time (P = .03). At the late time point, 9 subtelomeric and 8 central var genes were transcribed at the same levels in almost all cultures. Premosquito and late postpatient cultures transcribed the same subtelomeric and central var genes, except for var2csa  The duration of intrahost replication influences in vitro var gene transcript patterns. Differences between premosquito and postpatient cultures decrease with prolonged in vitro growth. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Host-seeking behaviors of mosquitoes experimentally infected with sympatric field isolates of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: no evidence for host manipulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amélie eVantaux

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that Plasmodium parasites can manipulate mosquito feeding behaviours such as motivation and avidity to feed on vertebrate hosts, in ways that increase the probability of parasite transmission. These studies, however, have been mainly carried out on non-natural and/or laboratory based model systems and hence may not reflect what occurs in the field. We now need to move closer to the natural setting, if we are to fully capture the ecological and evolutionary consequences of these parasite-induced behavioral changes. As part of this effort, we conducted a series of experiments to investigate the long and short-range behavioural responses to human stimuli in the mosquito Anopheles coluzzii during different stages of infection with sympatric field isolates of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in Burkina Faso. First, we used a dual-port olfactometer designed to take advantage of the whole body odor to gauge mosquito long-range host-seeking behaviors. Second, we used a locomotor activity monitor system to assess mosquito short-range behaviors. Compared to control uninfected mosquitoes, P. falciparum infection had no significant effect neither on long-range nor on short-range behaviors both at the immature and mature stages. This study, using a natural mosquito-malaria parasite association, indicates that manipulation of vector behavior may not be a general phenomenon. We speculate that the observed contrasting phenotypes with model systems might result from coevolution of the human parasite and its natural vector. Future experiments, using other sympatric malaria mosquito populations or species are required to test this hypothesis. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of following up discoveries in laboratory model systems with studies on natural parasite–mosquito interactions to accurately predict the epidemiological, ecological and evolutionary consequences of parasite manipulation of vector

  9. Generation of an antibody that recognizes Plasmodium chabaudi cysteine protease (chabaupain-1) in both sexual and asexual parasite life cycle and evaluation of chabaupain-1 vaccine potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armada, Ana; Gazarini, Marcos L; Gonçalves, Lídia M; Antunes, Sandra; Custódio, Ana; Rodrigues, Armanda; Almeida, António J; Silveira, Henrique; Rosário, Virgílio do; Santos-Gomes, Gabriela; Domingos, Ana

    2013-09-01

    Malaria cysteine proteases have been shown to be immunogenic and are being exploited as serodiagnostic markers, drug and vaccine targets. Several Plasmodium spp. cysteine proteases have been described and the best characterized of these are the falcipains, a family of papain-family enzymes. Falcipain-2 and falcipain-3 act in concert with other proteases to hydrolyze host erythrocyte hemoglobin in the parasite food vacuole. Falcipain-1 has less similarity to the other falcipains and its physiological role in parasite asexual blood stage still remains uncertain. Immunolocalization studies using an antibody developed against the Plasmodium chabaudi recombinant chabaupain-1, the falcipain-1 ortholog, were performed confirming its cellular localization in both erythrocyte and mosquito ookinete stage. Immunostaining of chabaupain-1 preferentially in apical portion of parasite ookinete suggests that this protease may be related with parasite egression from mosquito midgut. Immune responses to chabaupain-1 were evaluated using two different adjuvants, chitosan nanoparticles and hydroxide aluminum. Mice immunized with the recombinant protein alone or in association with nanoparticles were challenged with P. chabaudi showing that immunization with the recombinant protein confers partial protection to blood stage infection in BALB/c animal model. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Plasmodium berghei Δp52&p36 parasites develop independent of a parasitophorous vacuole membrane in Huh-7 liver cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploemen, Ivo H J; Croes, Huib J; van Gemert, Geert-Jan J; Wijers-Rouw, Mietske; Hermsen, Cornelus C; Sauerwein, Robert W

    2012-01-01

    The proteins P52 and P36 are expressed in the sporozoite stage of the murine malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Δp52&p36 sporozoites lacking expression of both proteins are severely compromised in their capability to develop into liver stage parasites and abort development soon after invasion; presumably due to the absence of a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM). However, a small proportion of P. berghei Δp52&p36 parasites is capable to fully mature in hepatocytes causing breakthrough blood stage infections. We have studied the maturation of replicating Δp52&p36 parasites in cultured Huh-7 hepatocytes. Approximately 50% of Δp52&p36 parasites developed inside the nucleus of the hepatocyte but did not complete maturation and failed to produce merosomes. In contrast cytosolic Δp52&p36 parasites were able to fully mature and produced infectious merozoites. These Δp52&p36 parasites developed into mature schizonts in the absence of an apparent parasitophorous vacuole membrane as shown by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Merozoites derived from these maturing Δp52&p36 liver stages were infectious for C57BL/6 mice.

  11. PEST sequences in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: a genomic study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bell Angus

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inhibitors of the protease calpain are known to have selectively toxic effects on Plasmodium falciparum. The enzyme has a natural inhibitor calpastatin and in eukaryotes is responsible for turnover of proteins containing short sequences enriched in certain amino acids (PEST sequences. The genome of P. falciparum was searched for this protease, its natural inhibitor and putative substrates. Methods The publicly available P. falciparum genome was found to have too many errors to permit reliable analysis. An earlier annotation of chromosome 2 was instead examined. PEST scores were determined for all annotated proteins. The published genome was searched for calpain and calpastatin homologs. Results Typical PEST sequences were found in 13% of the proteins on chromosome 2, including a surprising number of cell-surface proteins. The annotated calpain gene has a non-biological "intron" that appears to have been created to avoid an unrecognized frameshift. Only the catalytic domain has significant similarity with the vertebrate calpains. No calpastatin homologs were found in the published annotation. Conclusion A calpain gene is present in the genome and many putative substrates of this enzyme have been found. Calpastatin homologs may be found once the re-annotation is completed. Given the selective toxicity of calpain inhibitors, this enzyme may be worth exploring further as a potential drug target.

  12. Identification of vital and dispensable sulfur utilization factors in the Plasmodium apicoplast.

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    Joana M Haussig

    Full Text Available Iron-sulfur [Fe-S] clusters are ubiquitous and critical cofactors in diverse biochemical processes. They are assembled by distinct [Fe-S] cluster biosynthesis pathways, typically in organelles of endosymbiotic origin. Apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, harbor two separate [Fe-S] cluster biosynthesis pathways in the their mitochondrion and apicoplast. In this study, we systematically targeted the five nuclear-encoded sulfur utilization factors (SUF of the apicoplast [Fe-S] cluster biosynthesis pathway by experimental genetics in the murine malaria model parasite Plasmodium berghei. We show that four SUFs, namely SUFC, D, E, and S are refractory to targeted gene deletion, validating them as potential targets for antimalarial drug development. We achieved targeted deletion of SUFA, which encodes a potential [Fe-S] transfer protein, indicative of a dispensable role during asexual blood stage growth in vivo. Furthermore, no abnormalities were observed during Plasmodium life cycle progression in the insect and mammalian hosts. Fusion of a fluorescent tag to the endogenous P. berghei SUFs demonstrated that all loci were accessible to genetic modification and that all five tagged SUFs localize to the apicoplast. Together, our experimental genetics analysis identifies the key components of the SUF [Fe-S] cluster biosynthesis pathway in the apicoplast of a malarial parasite and shows that absence of SUFC, D, E, or S is incompatible with Plasmodium blood infection in vivo.

  13. Implications of Glutathione Levels in the Plasmodium berghei Response to Chloroquine and Artemisinin.

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    Joel Vega-Rodríguez

    Full Text Available Malaria is one of the most devastating parasitic diseases worldwide. Plasmodium drug resistance remains a major challenge to malaria control and has led to the re-emergence of the disease. Chloroquine (CQ and artemisinin (ART are thought to exert their anti-malarial activity inducing cytotoxicity in the parasite by blocking heme degradation (for CQ and increasing oxidative stress. Besides the contribution of the CQ resistance transporter (PfCRT and the multidrug resistant gene (pfmdr, CQ resistance has also been associated with increased parasite glutathione (GSH levels. ART resistance was recently shown to be associated with mutations in the K13-propeller protein. To analyze the role of GSH levels in CQ and ART resistance, we generated transgenic Plasmodium berghei parasites either deficient in or overexpressing the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase gene (pbggcs encoding the rate-limiting enzyme in GSH biosynthesis. These lines produce either lower (pbggcs-ko or higher (pbggcs-oe levels of GSH than wild type parasites. In addition, GSH levels were determined in P. berghei parasites resistant to CQ and mefloquine (MQ. Increased GSH levels were detected in both, CQ and MQ resistant parasites, when compared to the parental sensitive clone. Sensitivity to CQ and ART remained unaltered in both pgggcs-ko and pbggcs-oe parasites when tested in a 4 days drug suppressive assay. However, recrudescence assays after the parasites have been exposed to a sub-lethal dose of ART showed that parasites with low levels of GSH are more sensitive to ART treatment. These results suggest that GSH levels influence Plasmodium berghei response to ART treatment.

  14. The impact of urbanization and population density on childhood Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence rates in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabaria, Caroline W; Gilbert, Marius; Noor, Abdisalan M; Snow, Robert W; Linard, Catherine

    2017-01-26

    Although malaria has been traditionally regarded as less of a problem in urban areas compared to neighbouring rural areas, the risk of malaria infection continues to exist in densely populated, urban areas of Africa. Despite the recognition that urbanization influences the epidemiology of malaria, there is little consensus on urbanization relevant for malaria parasite mapping. Previous studies examining the relationship between urbanization and malaria transmission have used products defining urbanization at global/continental scales developed in the early 2000s, that overestimate actual urban extents while the population estimates are over 15 years old and estimated at administrative unit level. This study sought to discriminate an urbanization definition that is most relevant for malaria parasite mapping using individual level malaria infection data obtained from nationally representative household-based surveys. Boosted regression tree (BRT) modelling was used to determine the effect of urbanization on malaria transmission and if this effect varied with urbanization definition. In addition, the most recent high resolution population distribution data was used to determine whether population density had significant effect on malaria parasite prevalence and if so, could population density replace urban classifications in modelling malaria transmission patterns. The risk of malaria infection was shown to decline from rural areas through peri-urban settlements to urban central areas. Population density was found to be an important predictor of malaria risk. The final boosted regression trees (BRT) model with urbanization and population density gave the best model fit (Tukey test p value <0.05) compared to the models with urbanization only. Given the challenges in uniformly classifying urban areas across different countries, population density provides a reliable metric to adjust for the patterns of malaria risk in densely populated urban areas. Future malaria risk

  15. Larval habitats of Anopheles gambiae s.s. (Diptera: Culicidae influences vector competence to Plasmodium falciparum parasites

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    Gouagna Louis C

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The origin of highly competent malaria vectors has been linked to productive larval habitats in the field, but there isn't solid quantitative or qualitative data to support it. To test this, the effect of larval habitat soil substrates on larval development time, pupation rates and vector competence of Anopheles gambiae to Plasmodium falciparum were examined. Methods Soils were collected from active larval habitats with sandy and clay substrates from field sites and their total organic matter estimated. An. gambiae larvae were reared on these soil substrates and the larval development time and pupation rates monitored. The emerging adult mosquitoes were then artificially fed blood with infectious P. falciparum gametocytes from human volunteers and their midguts examined for oocyst infection after seven days. The wing sizes of the mosquitoes were also measured. The effect of autoclaving the soil substrates was also evaluated. Results The total organic matter was significantly different between clay and sandy soils after autoclaving (P = 0.022. A generalized liner model (GLM analysis identified habitat type (clay soil, sandy soil, or lake water and autoclaving (that reduces presence of microbes as significant factors affecting larval development time and oocyst infection intensities in adults. Autoclaving the soils resulted in the production of significantly smaller sized mosquitoes (P = 0.008. Autoclaving clay soils resulted in a significant reduction in Plasmodium falciparum oocyst intensities (P = 0.041 in clay soils (unautoclaved clay soils (4.28 ± 0.18 oocysts/midgut; autoclaved clay soils = 1.17 ± 0.55 oocysts/midgut although no difference (P = 0.480 in infection rates was observed between clay soils (10.4%, sandy soils (5.3% or lake water (7.9%. Conclusion This study suggests an important nutritional role for organic matter and microbial fauna on mosquito fitness and vector competence. It shows that the quality of

  16. The treatment of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes with chloroquine leads to accumulation of ferriprotoporphyrin IX bound to particular parasite proteins and to the inhibition of the parasite's 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase

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    Famin O.

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Ferriprotoporphyrin IX (FPIX is a potentially toxic product of hemoglobin digestion by intra-erythrocytic malaria parasites. It is detoxified by biomineralization or through degradation by glutathione. Both processes are inhibited by the antimalarial drug chloroquine, leading to the accumulation of FPIX in the membranes of the infected cell and their consequent permeabilization. It is shown here that treatment of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes with chloroquine also leads to the binding of FPIX to a subset of parasite proteins. Parasite enzymes such as aldolase, pyrimidine nucleoside monophosphate kinase and pyrimidine 5'- nucleotidase were inhibited by FPIX in vitro, but only the activity of 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase was reduced significantly in cells after drug treatment. Additional proteins were extracted from parasite cytosol by their ability to bind FPIX. Sequencing of these proteins identified heat shock proteins 90 and 70, enolase, elongation factor 1-α, phoshoglycerate kinase, glyceraldehyde 3- phosphate dehydrogenase, L-lactate dehydrogenase and gametocytogenesis onset-specific protein. The possible involvement of these proteins in the antimalarial mode of action of chloroquine is discussed. It is concluded that drug-induced binding of FPIX to parasite glycolytic enzymes could underlie the demonstrable inhibition of glycolysis by chloroquine. The inhibition of 6- phosphogluconate dehydrogenase could explain the reduction of the activity of the hexose monophosphate shunt by the drug. Inhibition of both processes is deleterious to parasite survival. Binding of FPIX to other proteins is probably inconsequential to the rapid killing of the parasite by chloroquine.

  17. Lineage-specific positive selection at the merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1 locus of Plasmodium vivax and related simian malaria parasites

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    Kawai Satoru

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The 200 kDa merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1 of malaria parasites, a strong vaccine candidate, plays a key role during erythrocyte invasion and is a target of host protective immune response. Plasmodium vivax, the most widespread human malaria parasite, is closely related to parasites that infect Asian Old World monkeys, and has been considered to have become a parasite of man by host switch from a macaque malaria parasite. Several Asian monkey parasites have a range of natural hosts. The same parasite species shows different disease manifestations among host species. This suggests that host immune responses to P. vivax-related malaria parasites greatly differ among host species (albeit other factors. It is thus tempting to invoke that a major immune target parasite protein such as MSP-1 underwent unique evolution, depending on parasite species that exhibit difference in host range and host specificity. Results We performed comparative phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of the gene encoding MSP-1 (msp1 from P. vivax and nine P. vivax-related simian malaria parasites. The inferred phylogenetic tree of msp1 significantly differed from that of the mitochondrial genome, with a striking displacement of P. vivax from a position close to P. cynomolgi in the mitochondrial genome tree to an outlier of Asian monkey parasites. Importantly, positive selection was inferred for two ancestral branches, one leading to P. inui and P. hylobati and the other leading to P. vivax, P. fieldi and P. cynomolgi. This ancestral positive selection was estimated to have occurred three to six million years ago, coinciding with the period of radiation of Asian macaques. Comparisons of msp1 polymorphisms between P. vivax, P. inui and P. cynomolgi revealed that while some positively selected amino acid sites or regions are shared by these parasites, amino acid changes greatly differ, suggesting that diversifying selection is acting species

  18. In vitro Plasmodium falciparum drug sensitivity assay: inhibition of parasite growth by incorporation of stomatocytogenic amphiphiles into the erythrocyte membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ziegler, Hanne L; Staerk, Dan; Christensen, Jette

    2002-01-01

    Lupeol, which shows in vitro inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 strain with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 27.7 +/- 0.5 microM, was shown to cause a transformation of the human erythrocyte shape toward that of stomatocytes. Good correlation between the IC50 value...... culture continued to grow well in untreated erythrocytes. Thus, the antiplasmodial activity of lupeol appears to be indirect, being due to stomatocytic transformation of the host cell membrane and not to toxic effects via action on a drug target within the parasite. A number of amphiphiles that cause...... for development of new antimalarial drugs, care must be exercised in the interpretation of results of screening of plant extracts and natural product libraries by an in vitro Plasmodium toxicity assay....

  19. PfMDR2 and PfMDR5 are dispensable for Plasmodium falciparum asexual parasite multiplication but change in vitro susceptibility to anti-malarial drugs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velden, M. van der; Rijpma, S.R.; Russel, F.G.M.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Koenderink, J.B.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Membrane-associated ATP binding cassette (ABC) transport proteins hydrolyze ATP in order to translocate a broad spectrum of substrates, from single ions to macromolecules across membranes. In humans, members from this transport family have been linked to drug resistance phenotypes, e.g.,

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

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    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.

  1. Transgenic Parasites Stably Expressing Full-Length Plasmodium falciparum Circumsporozoite Protein as a Model for Vaccine Down-Selection in Mice Using Sterile Protection as an Endpoint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Michael D.; Nicki, Jennifer; Pool, Christopher D.; DeBot, Margot; Illam, Ratish M.; Brando, Clara; Bozick, Brooke; De La Vega, Patricia; Angra, Divya; Spaccapelo, Roberta; Crisanti, Andrea; Murphy, Jittawadee R.; Bennett, Jason W.; Schwenk, Robert J.; Ockenhouse, Christian F.

    2013-01-01

    Circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of Plasmodium falciparum is a protective human malaria vaccine candidate. There is an urgent need for models that can rapidly down-select novel CSP-based vaccine candidates. In the present study, the mouse-mosquito transmission cycle of a transgenic Plasmodium berghei malaria parasite stably expressing a functional full-length P. falciparum CSP was optimized to consistently produce infective sporozoites for protection studies. A minimal sporozoite challenge dose was established, and protection was defined as the absence of blood-stage parasites 14 days after intravenous challenge. The specificity of protection was confirmed by vaccinating mice with multiple CSP constructs of differing lengths and compositions. Constructs that induced high NANP repeat-specific antibody titers in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were protective, and the degree of protection was dependent on the antigen dose. There was a positive correlation between antibody avidity and protection. The antibodies in the protected mice recognized the native CSP on the parasites and showed sporozoite invasion inhibitory activity. Passive transfer of anti-CSP antibodies into naive mice also induced protection. Thus, we have demonstrated the utility of a mouse efficacy model to down-select human CSP-based vaccine formulations. PMID:23536694

  2. Chloroquine efficacy for Plasmodium vivax in Myanmar in populations with high genetic diversity and moderate parasite gene flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Htun, Myo Win; Mon, Nan Cho Nwe; Aye, Khin Myo; Hlaing, Chan Myae; Kyaw, Myat Phone; Handayuni, Irene; Trimarsanto, Hidayat; Bustos, Dorina; Ringwald, Pascal; Price, Ric N; Auburn, Sarah; Thriemer, Kamala

    2017-07-10

    Plasmodium vivax malaria remains a major public health burden in Myanmar. Resistance to chloroquine (CQ), the first-line treatment for P. vivax, has been reported in the country and has potential to undermine local control efforts. Patients over 6 years of age with uncomplicated P. vivax mono-infection were enrolled into clinical efficacy studies in Myawaddy in 2014 and Kawthoung in 2012. Study participants received a standard dose of CQ (25 mg/kg over 3 days) followed by weekly review until day 28. Pvmdr1 copy number (CN) and microsatellite diversity were assessed on samples from the patients enrolled in the clinical study and additional cross-sectional surveys undertaken in Myawaddy and Shwegyin in 2012. A total of 85 patients were enrolled in the CQ clinical studies, 25 in Myawaddy and 60 in Kawthoung. One patient in Myawaddy (1.2%) had an early treatment failure and two patients (2.3%) in Kawthoung presented with late treatment failures on day 28. The day 28 efficacy was 92.0% (95% CI 71.6-97.9) in Myawaddy and 98.3% (95% CI 88.7-99.8) in Kawthoung. By day 2, 92.2% (23/25) in Myawaddy and 85.0% (51/60) in Kawthoung were aparasitaemic. Genotyping and pvmdr1 CN assessment was undertaken on 43, 52 and 46 clinical isolates from Myawaddy, Kawthoung and Shwegyin respectively. Pvmdr1 amplification was observed in 3.2% (1/31) of isolates in Myawaddy, 0% (0/49) in Kawthoung and 2.5% (1/40) in Shwegyin. Diversity was high in all sites (H E 0.855-0.876), with low inter-population differentiation (F ST 0.016-0.026, P Myanmar, particularly given the potential connectivity between parasite population at different sites.

  3. Defining the relationship between Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate and clinical disease: statistical models for disease burden estimation

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    Snow Robert W

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical malaria has proven an elusive burden to enumerate. Many cases go undetected by routine disease recording systems. Epidemiologists have, therefore, frequently defaulted to actively measuring malaria in population cohorts through time. Measuring the clinical incidence of malaria longitudinally is labour-intensive and impossible to undertake universally. There is a need, therefore, to define a relationship between clinical incidence and the easier and more commonly measured index of infection prevalence: the "parasite rate". This relationship can help provide an informed basis to define malaria burdens in areas where health statistics are inadequate. Methods Formal literature searches were conducted for Plasmodium falciparum malaria incidence surveys undertaken prospectively through active case detection at least every 14 days. The data were abstracted, standardized and geo-referenced. Incidence surveys were time-space matched with modelled estimates of infection prevalence derived from a larger database of parasite prevalence surveys and modelling procedures developed for a global malaria endemicity map. Several potential relationships between clinical incidence and infection prevalence were then specified in a non-parametric Gaussian process model with minimal, biologically informed, prior constraints. Bayesian inference was then used to choose between the candidate models. Results The suggested relationships with credible intervals are shown for the Africa and a combined America and Central and South East Asia regions. In both regions clinical incidence increased slowly and smoothly as a function of infection prevalence. In Africa, when infection prevalence exceeded 40%, clinical incidence reached a plateau of 500 cases per thousand of the population per annum. In the combined America and Central and South East Asia regions, this plateau was reached at 250 cases per thousand of the population per annum. A temporal

  4. Global host metabolic response to Plasmodium vivax infection: a 1H NMR based urinary metabonomic study

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    Sengupta Arjun

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium vivax is responsible for the majority of malarial infection in the Indian subcontinent. This species of the parasite is generally believed to cause a relatively benign form of the disease. However, recent reports from different parts of the world indicate that vivax malaria can also have severe manifestation. Host response to the parasite invasion is thought to be an important factor in determining the severity of manifestation. In this paper, attempt was made to determine the host metabolic response associated with P. vivax infection by means of NMR spectroscopy-based metabonomic techniques in an attempt to better understand the disease pathology. Methods NMR spectroscopy of urine samples from P. vivax-infected patients, healthy individuals and non-malarial fever patients were carried out followed by multivariate statistical analysis. Two data analysis techniques were employed, namely, Principal Component Analysis [PCA] and Orthogonal Projection to Latent Structure Discriminant Analysis [OPLS-DA]. Several NMR signals from the urinary metabolites were further selected for univariate comparison among the classes. Results The urine metabolic profiles of P. vivax-infected patients were distinct from those of healthy individuals as well as of non-malarial fever patients. A highly predictive model was constructed from urine profile of malarial and non-malarial fever patients. Several metabolites were found to be varying significantly across these cohorts. Urinary ornithine seems to have the potential to be used as biomarkers of vivax malaria. An increasing trend in pipecolic acid was also observed. The results suggest impairment in the functioning of liver as well as impairment in urea cycle. Conclusions The results open up a possibility of non-invasive analysis and diagnosis of P. vivax using urine metabolic profile. Distinct variations in certain metabolites were recorded, and amongst these, ornithine may have the

  5. In-Silico detection of chokepoints enzymes in four plasmodium species

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Of the over 156 species of Plasmodium that infect vertebrates, only four infect man: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae. Other species infect other animals including birds, reptiles and rodents. The rodent malaria parasites are Plasmodium berghei, Plasmodium yoelii, ...

  6. In Vitro Variant Surface Antigen Expression in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites from a Semi-Immune Individual Is Not Correlated with Var Gene Transcription

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschan, Serena; Flötenmeyer, Matthias; Koch, Iris; Berger, Jürgen; Kremsner, Peter; Frank, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is considered to be the main variant surface antigen (VSA) of Plasmodium falciparum and is mainly localized on electron-dense knobs in the membrane of the infected erythrocyte. Switches in PfEMP1 expression provide the basis for antigenic variation and are thought to be critical for parasite persistence during chronic infections. Recently, strain transcending anti-PfEMP1 immunity has been shown to develop early in life, challenging the role of PfEMP1 in antigenic variation during chronic infections. In this work we investigate how P. falciparum achieves persistence during a chronic asymptomatic infection. The infected individual (MOA) was parasitemic for 42 days and multilocus var gene genotyping showed persistence of the same parasite population throughout the infection. Parasites from the beginning of the infection were adapted to tissue culture and cloned by limiting dilution. Flow cytometry using convalescent serum detected a variable surface recognition signal on isogenic clonal parasites. Quantitative real-time PCR with a field isolate specific var gene primer set showed that the surface recognition signal was not correlated with transcription of individual var genes. Strain transcending anti-PfEMP1 immunity of the convalescent serum was demonstrated with CD36 selected and PfEMP1 knock-down NF54 clones. In contrast, knock-down of PfEMP1 did not have an effect on the antibody recognition signal in MOA clones. Trypsinisation of the membrane surface proteins abolished the surface recognition signal and immune electron microscopy revealed that antibodies from the convalescent serum bound to membrane areas without knobs and with knobs. Together the data indicate that PfEMP1 is not the main variable surface antigen during a chronic infection and suggest a role for trypsin sensitive non-PfEMP1 VSAs for parasite persistence in chronic infections. PMID:27907004

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

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    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

  8. Positive Selection of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites With Multiple var2csa-Type PfEMP1 Genes During the Course of Infection in Pregnant Women

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salanti, Ali; Lavstsen, Thomas; Nielsen, Morten A.; Theander, Thor G.; Leke, Rose G. F.; Lo, Yeung Y.; Bobbili, Naveen; Arnot, David E.; Taylor, Diane W.

    2011-01-01

    Placental malaria infections are caused by Plasmodium falciparum–infected red blood cells sequestering in the placenta by binding to chondroitin sulfate A, mediated by VAR2CSA, a variant of the PfEMP1 family of adhesion antigens. Recent studies have shown that many P. falciparum genomes have multiple genes coding for different VAR2CSA proteins, and parasites with >1 var2csa gene appear to be more common in pregnant women with placental malaria than in nonpregnant individuals. We present evidence that, in pregnant women, parasites containing multiple var2csa-type genes possess a selective advantage over parasites with a single var2csa gene. Accumulation of parasites with multiple copies of the var2csa gene during the course of pregnancy was also correlated with the development of antibodies involved in blocking VAR2CSA adhesion. The data suggest that multiplicity of var2csa-type genes enables P. falciparum parasites to persist for a longer period of time during placental infections, probably because of their greater capacity for antigenic variation and evasion of variant-specific immune responses. PMID:21592998

  9. A novel ENU-mutation in ankyrin-1 disrupts malaria parasite maturation in red blood cells of mice.

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    Andreas Greth

    Full Text Available The blood stage of the plasmodium parasite life cycle is responsible for the clinical symptoms of malaria. Epidemiological studies have identified coincidental malarial endemicity and multiple red blood cell (RBC disorders. Many RBC disorders result from mutations in genes encoding cytoskeletal proteins and these are associated with increased protection against malarial infections. However the mechanisms underpinning these genetic, host responses remain obscure. We have performed an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU mutagenesis screen and have identified a novel dominant (haploinsufficient mutation in the Ank-1 gene (Ank1(MRI23420 of mice displaying hereditary spherocytosis (HS. Female mice, heterozygous for the Ank-1 mutation showed increased survival to infection by Plasmodium chabaudi adami DS with a concomitant 30% decrease in parasitemia compared to wild-type, isogenic mice (wt. A comparative in vivo red cell invasion and parasite growth assay showed a RBC-autonomous effect characterised by decreased proportion of infected heterozygous RBCs. Within approximately 6-8 hours post-invasion, TUNEL staining of intraerythrocytic parasites, showed a significant increase in dead parasites in heterozygotes. This was especially notable at the ring and trophozoite stages in the blood of infected heterozygous mutant mice compared to wt (p<0.05. We conclude that increased malaria resistance due to ankyrin-1 deficiency is caused by the intraerythrocytic death of P. chabaudi parasites.

  10. Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 - Glycosylation and localization to low-density, detergent-resistant membranes in the parasitized erythrocyte

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoessli, D.C.; Poincelet, M.; Gupta, Ramneek

    2003-01-01

    In addition to the major carbohydrate moieties of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, we report that Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) bears O-GlcNAc modifications predominantly in beta-anomeric configuration, in both the C- and N-terminal portions of the protein....... Subcellular fractionation of parasitized erythrocytes in the late trophozoite/schizont stage reveals that GPI-anchored C-terminal fragments of MSP-1 are recovered in Triton X-100 resistant, low-density membrane fractions. Our results suggest that O -GlcNAc-modified MSP-1 N-terminal fragments tend to localize...... within the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane while GPI-anchored MSP-1 C-terminal fragments associate with low-density, Triton X-100 resistant membrane domains (rafts), redistribute in the parasitized erythrocyte and are eventually shed as membrane vesicles that also contain the endogenous, GPI-linked CD...

  11. Licochalcone A, a new antimalarial agent, inhibits in vitro growth of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and protects mice from P. yoelii infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, M; Theander, T G; Christensen, S B

    1994-01-01

    Licochalcone A, isolated from Chinese licorice roots, inhibited the in vitro growth of both chloroquine-susceptible (3D7) and chloroquine-resistant (Dd2) Plasmodium falciparum strains in a [3H]hypoxanthine uptake assay. The growth inhibition of the chloroquine-resistant strain by licochalcone A w...... that licochalcone A exhibits potent antimalarial activity and might be developed into a new antimalarial drug....... A was similar to that of the chloroquine-susceptible strain. To examine the activity of licochalcone A on the different asexual blood stages of the parasite, licochalcone A was added to highly synchronized cultures containing rings, trophozoites, and schizonts. The growth of the parasites at all stages...... was inhibited by licochalcone A. The in vivo activity of licochalcone A was tested in a mouse model of infection with P. yoelii. Licochalcone A administered either intraperitoneally or orally for 3 to 6 days protected the mice from the otherwise lethal P. yoelii infection. These results demonstrate...

  12. Melatonin-Induced Temporal Up-Regulation of Gene Expression Related to Ubiquitin/Proteasome System (UPS in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda C. Koyama

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing understanding that melatonin and the ubiquitin/ proteasome system (UPS interact to regulate multiple cellular functions. Post-translational modifications such as ubiquitination are important modulators of signaling processes, cell cycle and many other cellular functions. Previously, we reported a melatonin-induced upregulation of gene expression related to ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS in Plasmodium falciparum, the human malaria parasite, and that P. falciparum protein kinase 7 influences this process. This implies a role of melatonin, an indolamine, in modulating intraerythrocytic development of the parasite. In this report we demonstrate by qPCR analysis, that melatonin induces gene upregulation in nine out of fourteen genes of the UPS, consisting of the same set of genes previously reported, between 4 to 5 h after melatonin treatment. We demonstrate that melatonin causes a temporally controlled gene expression of UPS members.

  13. Plasmodium falciparum secretome in erythrocyte and beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rani eSoni

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of deadly malaria disease. It is an intracellular eukaryote and completes its multi-stage life cycle spanning the two hosts viz, mosquito and human. In order to habituate within host environment, parasite conform several strategies to evade host immune responses such as surface antigen polymorphism or modulation of host immune system and it is mediated by secretion of proteins from parasite to the host erythrocyte and beyond, collectively known as, malaria secretome. In this review, we will discuss about the deployment of parasitic secretory protein in mechanism implicated for immune evasion, protein trafficking, providing virulence, changing permeability and cyto-adherence of infected erythrocyte. We will be covering the possibilities of developing malaria secretome as a drug/vaccine target. This gathered information will be worthwhile in depicting a well-organized picture for host-pathogen interplay during the malaria infection and may also provide some clues for development of novel anti-malarial therapies.

  14. Frequency of thrombocytopenia in plasmodium vivax malaria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nadeem, A.; Malik, T.M.; Malik, H.S.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To determine the frequency of thrombocytopenia in Plasmodium vivax (P.vivax) malaria cases at two hospitals. Study Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the departments of Pathology, Combined Military Hospitals Malir and Sibi, Pakistan from Jul 2011 to Mar 2012. Patients and Methods: A total of 2709 samples were collected from febrile patients for detection of malaria parasite (944 from CMH Malir and 1765 from CMH Sibi). Cases having infection with P. falciparum alone or having mixed infection with P. Vivax and P. falciparum were excluded from the study. Both thick and thin film microscopy and immunochromatographic method (OptiMA L-IT) were used for detection of malarial parasite. Platelet counts were done using automated haematology analyser (Sysmex KX 21) with re-evaluation of low counts with manual methods. Results: Total of 170 patients were found positive for P. vivax malaria (44 from CMH Malir and 126 from CMH Sibi). Platelet counts ranged from 21 - 457 * 10/sub 9/ with a mean of 134 * 10/sub 9/. Ninety five (2.1%) from CMH Malir and 4.2% from CMH Sibi out of 170 patients had thrombocytopenia, and the difference in thrombocytopenia at the two hospitals was insignificant (0.017). Conclusion: Thrombocytopenia in patients with P. vivax infection is equally prevalent in the two hospitals, representing a widely different geographical area and should prompt a more thorough search for malaria parasite. (author)

  15. Plasmodium and mononuclear phagocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mac-Daniel, Laura; Ménard, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, initially multiplies inside liver cells and then in successive cycles inside erythrocytes, causing the symptoms of the disease. In this review, we discuss interactions between the extracellular and intracellular forms of the Plasmodium parasite and innate immune cells in the mammalian host, with a special emphasis on mononuclear phagocytes. We overview here what is known about the innate immune cells that interact with parasites, mechanisms used by the parasite to evade them, and the protective or detrimental contribution of these interactions on parasite progression through its life cycle and pathology in the host. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Structural basis for the inhibition of the essential Plasmodium falciparum M1 neutral aminopeptidase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Sheena; Porter, Corrine J; Lowther, Jonathan; Stack, Colin M; Golding, Sarah J; Skinner-Adams, Tina S; Trenholme, Katharine R; Teuscher, Franka; Donnelly, Sheila M; Grembecka, Jolanta; Mucha, Artur; Kafarski, Pawel; Degori, Ross; Buckle, Ashley M; Gardiner, Donald L; Whisstock, James C; Dalton, John P

    2009-02-24

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites are responsible for the major global disease malaria, which results in >2 million deaths each year. With the rise of drug-resistant malarial parasites, novel drug targets and lead compounds are urgently required for the development of new therapeutic strategies. Here, we address this important problem by targeting the malarial neutral aminopeptidases that are involved in the terminal stages of hemoglobin digestion and essential for the provision of amino acids used for parasite growth and development within the erythrocyte. We characterize the structure and substrate specificity of one such aminopeptidase, PfA-M1, a validated drug target. The X-ray crystal structure of PfA-M1 alone and in complex with the generic inhibitor, bestatin, and a phosphinate dipeptide analogue with potent in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activity, hPheP[CH(2)]Phe, reveals features within the protease active site that are critical to its function as an aminopeptidase and can be exploited for drug development. These results set the groundwork for the development of antimalarial therapeutics that target the neutral aminopeptidases of the parasite.

  17. Structural basis for the inhibition of the essential Plasmodium falciparum M1 neutral aminopeptidase

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Sheena; Porter, Corrine J.; Lowther, Jonathan; Stack, Colin M.; Golding, Sarah J.; Skinner-Adams, Tina S.; Trenholme, Katharine R.; Teuscher, Franka; Donnelly, Sheila M.; Grembecka, Jolanta; Mucha, Artur; Kafarski, Pawel; DeGori, Ross; Buckle, Ashley M.; Gardiner, Donald L.; Whisstock, James C.; Dalton, John P.

    2009-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites are responsible for the major global disease malaria, which results in >2 million deaths each year. With the rise of drug-resistant malarial parasites, novel drug targets and lead compounds are urgently required for the development of new therapeutic strategies. Here, we address this important problem by targeting the malarial neutral aminopeptidases that are involved in the terminal stages of hemoglobin digestion and essential for the provision of amino acids used for parasite growth and development within the erythrocyte. We characterize the structure and substrate specificity of one such aminopeptidase, PfA-M1, a validated drug target. The X-ray crystal structure of PfA-M1 alone and in complex with the generic inhibitor, bestatin, and a phosphinate dipeptide analogue with potent in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activity, hPheP[CH2]Phe, reveals features within the protease active site that are critical to its function as an aminopeptidase and can be exploited for drug development. These results set the groundwork for the development of antimalarial therapeutics that target the neutral aminopeptidases of the parasite. PMID:19196988

  18. Prospects and Pitfalls of Pregnancy-Associated Malaria Vaccination Based on the Natural Immune Response to Plasmodium falciparum VAR2CSA-Expressing Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G. Kane

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Pregnancy-associated malaria, a manifestation of severe malaria, is the cause of up to 200,000 infant deaths a year, through the effects of placental insufficiency leading to growth restriction and preterm delivery. Development of a vaccine is one strategy for control. Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells accumulate in the placenta through specific binding of pregnancy-associated parasite variants that express the VAR2CSA antigen to chondroitin sulphate A on the surface of syncytiotrophoblast cells. Parasite accumulation, accompanied by an inflammatory infiltrate, disrupts the cytokine balance of pregnancy with the potential to cause placental damage and compromise foetal growth. Multigravid women develop immunity towards VAR2CSA-expressing parasites in a gravidity-dependent manner which prevents unfavourable pregnancy outcomes. Although current vaccine design, targeting VAR2CSA antigens, has succeeded in inducing antibodies artificially, this candidate may not provide protection during the first trimester and may only protect those women living in areas endemic for malaria. It is concluded that while insufficient information about placental-parasite interactions is presently available to produce an effective vaccine, incremental progress is being made towards achieving this goal.

  19. Quantitative analysis of Plasmodium ookinete motion in three dimensions suggests a critical role for cell shape in the biomechanics of malaria parasite gliding motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Andrey; Tan, Yan-Hong; Angrisano, Fiona; Hanssen, Eric; Rogers, Kelly L; Whitehead, Lachlan; Mollard, Vanessa P; Cozijnsen, Anton; Delves, Michael J; Crawford, Simon; Sinden, Robert E; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Leckie, Christopher; Bailey, James; Baum, Jake

    2014-05-01

    Motility is a fundamental part of cellular life and survival, including for Plasmodium parasites--single-celled protozoan pathogens responsible for human malaria. The motile life cycle forms achieve motility, called gliding, via the activity of an internal actomyosin motor. Although gliding is based on the well-studied system of actin and myosin, its core biomechanics are not completely understood. Currently accepted models suggest it results from a specifically organized cellular motor that produces a rearward directional force. When linked to surface-bound adhesins, this force is passaged to the cell posterior, propelling the parasite forwards. Gliding motility is observed in all three life cycle stages of Plasmodium: sporozoites, merozoites and ookinetes. However, it is only the ookinetes--formed inside the midgut of infected mosquitoes--that display continuous gliding without the necessity of host cell entry. This makes them ideal candidates for invasion-free biomechanical analysis. Here we apply a plate-based imaging approach to study ookinete motion in three-dimensional (3D) space to understand Plasmodium cell motility and how movement facilitates midgut colonization. Using single-cell tracking and numerical analysis of parasite motion in 3D, our analysis demonstrates that ookinetes move with a conserved left-handed helical trajectory. Investigation of cell morphology suggests this trajectory may be based on the ookinete subpellicular cytoskeleton, with complementary whole and subcellular electron microscopy showing that, like their motion paths, ookinetes share a conserved left-handed corkscrew shape and underlying twisted microtubular architecture. Through comparisons of 3D movement between wild-type ookinetes and a cytoskeleton-knockout mutant we demonstrate that perturbation of cell shape changes motion from helical to broadly linear. Therefore, while the precise linkages between cellular architecture and actomyosin motor organization remain unknown, our

  20. In-depth comparative analysis of malaria parasite genomes reveals protein-coding genes linked to human disease in Plasmodium falciparum genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xuewu; Wang, Yuanyuan; Liang, Jiao; Wang, Luojun; Qin, Na; Zhao, Ya; Zhao, Gang

    2018-05-02

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent malaria parasite capable of parasitizing human erythrocytes. The identification of genes related to this capability can enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human malaria and lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for malaria control. With the availability of several malaria parasite genome sequences, performing computational analysis is now a practical strategy to identify genes contributing to this disease. Here, we developed and used a virtual genome method to assign 33,314 genes from three human malaria parasites, namely, P. falciparum, P. knowlesi and P. vivax, and three rodent malaria parasites, namely, P. berghei, P. chabaudi and P. yoelii, to 4605 clusters. Each cluster consisted of genes whose protein sequences were significantly similar and was considered as a virtual gene. Comparing the enriched values of all clusters in human malaria parasites with those in rodent malaria parasites revealed 115 P. falciparum genes putatively responsible for parasitizing human erythrocytes. These genes are mainly located in the chromosome internal regions and participate in many biological processes, including membrane protein trafficking and thiamine biosynthesis. Meanwhile, 289 P. berghei genes were included in the rodent parasite-enriched clusters. Most are located in subtelomeric regions and encode erythrocyte surface proteins. Comparing cluster values in P. falciparum with those in P. vivax and P. knowlesi revealed 493 candidate genes linked to virulence. Some of them encode proteins present on the erythrocyte surface and participate in cytoadhesion, virulence factor trafficking, or erythrocyte invasion, but many genes with unknown function were also identified. Cerebral malaria is characterized by accumulation of infected erythrocytes at trophozoite stage in brain microvascular. To discover cerebral malaria-related genes, fast Fourier transformation (FFT) was introduced to extract

  1. An interplay between 2 signaling pathways: Melatonin-cAMP and IP3–Ca2+ signaling pathways control intraerythrocytic development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Furuyama, Wakako; Enomoto, Masahiro; Mossaad, Ehab; Kawai, Satoru; Mikoshiba, Katsuhiko; Kawazu, Shin-ichiro

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • A melatonin receptor antagonist blocked Ca 2+ oscillation in P. falciparum and inhibited parasite growth. • P. falciparum development is controlled by Ca 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 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 2+ imaging showed that LZ treatment completely abolished Ca 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 3 –Ca 2+ and cAMP signaling pathways is involved in intraerythrocytic development of P. falciparum

  2. Micro-epidemiological structuring of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations in regions with varying transmission intensities in Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Omedo, I.; Mogeni, P.; Bousema, T.; Rockett, K.; Amambua-Ngwa, A.; Oyier, I.; Baidjoe, A.Y.; Villiers, E.P. de; Fegan, G.; Ross, A.; Hubbart, C.; Jeffreys, A.; Kwiatkowski, D.; Bejon, P.

    2017-01-01

    Background: The first models of malaria transmission assumed a completely mixed and homogeneous population of parasites. Recent models include spatial heterogeneity and variably mixed populations. However, there are few empiric estimates of parasite mixing with which to parametize such models.

  3. 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 s...

  4. [Therapeutic response of Plasmodium vivax to chloroquine in Bolivia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Añez, Arletta; Navarro-Costa, Dennis; Yucra, Omar; Garnica, Cecilia; Melgar, Viviana; Moscoso, Manuel; Arteaga, Ricardo; Nakao, Gladys

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of the therapeutic efficacy of chloroquine for Plasmodium vivax infections improves the capacity for surveillance of anti-malarial drug resistance. The therapeutic efficacy of chloroquine as treatment was evaluated for uncomplicated Plasmodium vivax malaria in Bolivia. An in vivo efficacy study of chloroquine was undertaken in three regions of Bolivia--Riberalta, Guayaramerín and Yacuiba. Two hundred and twenty-three patients (84, 80, and 59 in the three regions, respectively) aged over 5 years old were administered with chloroquine (25 mg/kg/three days) and followed for 28 days. Blood levels of chloroquine and desethylchloroquine were measured on day 2 and on the day of reappearance of parasitemia. The cumulative incidence of treatment failure was calculated using the Kaplan and Meier survival analysis. The mean parasitemias (asexual) on day 0 were 6,147 parasites/μl of blood in the Riberalta population, 4,251 in Guayaramerín and 5,214 in Yacuiba. The average blood concentrations of chloroquine-desethylchloroquine during day 2 were 783, 817, and 815 ng/ml, respectively. No treatment failures were observed in Yacuiba, whereas in Riberalta and Guayaramerín, the frequencies of treatment failures were 6.2% and 10%. Blood levels of chloroquine and desethylchloroquine in patients with treatment failure showed values below 70 ng/ml on the day of reappearance of parasitemia. Resistance of Plasmodium vivax to chloroquine was not demonstrated in three regions of Bolivia.

  5. Effects of the anti-malarial compound cryptolepine and its analogues in human lymphocytes and sperm in the Comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalan, Rajendran C; Emerce, Esra; Wright, Colin W; Karahalil, Bensu; Karakaya, Ali E; Anderson, Diana

    2011-12-15

    Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by the genus Plasmodium. It causes one million deaths per year in African children under the age of 5 years. There is an increasing development of resistance of malarial parasites to chloroquine and other currently used anti-malarial drugs. Some plant products such as the indoloquinoline alkaloid cryptolepine have been shown to have potent activity against P. falciparum in vitro. On account of its toxicity, cryptolepine is not suitable for use as an antimalarial drug but a number of analogues of cryptolepine have been synthesised in an attempt to find compounds that have reduced cytotoxicity and these have been investigated in the present study in human sperm and lymphocytes using the Comet assay. The results suggest that cryptolepine and the analogues cause DNA damage in lymphocytes, but appear to have no effect on human sperm at the assessed doses. In the context of antimalarial drug development, the data suggest that all cryptolepine compounds and in particular 2,7-dibromocryptolepine cause DNA damage and therefore may not be suitable for pre clinical development as antimalarial agents. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Pathogenicity, serological responses, and diagnosis of experimental and natural malarial infections in native Hawaiian thrushes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, C.T.; Lease, J.K.; Drake, B.M.; Shema, N.P.

    2001-01-01

    Omao (Myadestes obscurus) from the Hawaiian Islands typically have very low prevalences of infection with avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and it is not clear whether they share the same high susceptibility to this parasite that has been documented in native Hawaiian honeycreepers. We exposed four captive Omao to single infective mosquito bites and measured parasitemia, serological responses, and mortality over time. All four birds experienced transient infections with low parasitemias and were immune when rechallenged with multiple infective mosquito bites. By contrast, three of four honeycreepers (Maui Alauahio, Paroreomyza montana) that were exposed to the same dose and parasite isolate succumbed to infection. All four Omao developed antibodies to a common suite of malarial antigens that were detectable on immunoblots of a crude red blood cell extract of P. relictum. We used this technique to screen plasma samples from wild Omao and endangered Puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri) that were captured at elevations between 900 and 1300 m on the islands of Hawaii and Kauai. We found that the true prevalence of infection at elevations where active malaria transmission occurs is much higher than estimates based on blood smears alone. Hawaiian thrushes appear to have a high tolerance for malaria, with most individuals developing chronic, low-level infections after exposure that cannot be diagnosed accurately by blood smears.

  7. Malaria case clinical profiles and Plasmodium falciparum parasite genetic diversity: a cross sectional survey at two sites of different malaria transmission intensities in Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kateera, Fredrick; Nsobya, Sam L; Tukwasibwe, Stephen; Mens, Petra F; Hakizimana, Emmanuel; Grobusch, Martin P; Mutesa, Leon; Kumar, Nirbhay; van Vugt, Michele

    2016-04-26

    Malaria remains a public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa with Plasmodium falciparum being the principal cause of malaria disease morbidity and mortality. Plasmodium falciparum virulence is attributed, in part, to its population-level genetic diversity-a characteristic that has yet to be studied in Rwanda. Characterizing P. falciparum molecular epidemiology in an area is needed for a better understand of malaria transmission and to inform choice of malaria control strategies. In this health-facility based survey, malaria case clinical profiles and parasite densities as well as parasite genetic diversity were compared among P. falciparum-infected patients identified at two sites of different malaria transmission intensities in Rwanda. Data on demographics and clinical features and finger-prick blood samples for microscopy and parasite genotyping were collected(.) Nested PCR was used to genotype msp-2 alleles of FC27 and 3D7. Patients' variables of age group, sex, fever (both by patient report and by measured tympanic temperatures), parasite density, and bed net use were found differentially distributed between the higher endemic (Ruhuha) and lower endemic (Mubuga) sites. Overall multiplicity of P. falciparum infection (MOI) was 1.73 but with mean MOI found to vary significantly between 2.13 at Ruhuha and 1.29 at Mubuga (p < 0.0001). At Ruhuha, expected heterozygosity (EH) for FC27 and 3D7 alleles were 0.62 and 0.49, respectively, whilst at Mubuga, EH for FC27 and 3D7 were 0.26 and 0.28, respectively. In this study, a higher geometrical mean parasite counts, more polyclonal infections, higher MOI, and higher allelic frequency were observed at the higher malaria-endemic (Ruhuha) compared to the lower malaria-endemic (Mubuga) area. These differences in malaria risk and MOI should be considered when choosing setting-specific malaria control strategies, assessing p. falciparum associated parameters such as drug resistance, immunity and impact of used

  8. Antiplasmodial activity of flavonol quercetin and its analogues in Plasmodium falciparum: evidence from clinical isolates in Bangladesh and standardized parasite clones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesh, Deepa; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter; Starzengrüber, Peter; Swoboda, Paul; Khan, Wasif Ali; Reismann, Johannes A B; Mueller, Milena S K; Chiba, Peter; Noedl, Harald

    2012-06-01

    Malaria is still a major threat in many parts of the world with resistance spreading to almost all classes of antimalarials. The limited arsenal of available antimalarial drugs emphasizes the urgent need for novel antimalarial compounds. Owing to the fact that novel leads from nature have traditionally played a pivotal role in the development of various classes of antimalarials, we investigated a set of eight naturally occurring dietary flavonoids and their analogues for their antiplasmodial activity on clinical field isolates in southeastern Bangladesh and culture-adapted chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant parasite clones. Except for taxifolin, all the other flavonoids had 50% inhibitory concentrations below 14 μM, both in the field and laboratory-adapted parasites. Neither of the flavonoids showed any activity correlation with chloroquine. The quercetin analogue rutin (7.10 ± 10.32 μM) was the most active substance in field isolates as well as laboratory-adapted cultures (3.53 ± 13.34 μM in 3D7 and 10.38 ± 15.08 μM in K1), providing the first evidence of its activity against Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Thus, our results provide important evidence of the antimalarial activity of flavonoids in traditional use and thus warrant further investigation of these compounds as potential antiplasmodial agents.

  9. Maternally transmitted antibodies to pregnancy-associated variant antigens on the surface of erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum: relation to child susceptibility to malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cot, Michel; Le Hesran, Jean Yves; Staalsoe, Trine

    2003-01-01

    The consequences of pregnancy-associated malaria on a child's health have been poorly investigated. Malarial infection of the placenta seems to result in a higher susceptibility of children to the parasite during their first year of life. In 1993-1995, the authors investigated the role of antibod......The consequences of pregnancy-associated malaria on a child's health have been poorly investigated. Malarial infection of the placenta seems to result in a higher susceptibility of children to the parasite during their first year of life. In 1993-1995, the authors investigated the role......, Cameroon. These newborns were subsequently followed up for 2 years to determine the date of first occurrence of blood parasites and mean parasite density during follow-up. Maternally transmitted antibodies to VSA expressed by CSA-binding parasites, but not antibodies to any other specificity, were...... negatively related to time of first appearance of Plasmodium falciparum in a child's blood and were positively related to mean parasite density during the first 2 years of life. If maternal infection is thought to be the main mechanism influencing susceptibility of the newborn to malaria, antibodies to VSA...

  10. Parasites

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2010-05-06

    In this podcast, a listener wants to know what to do if he thinks he has a parasite or parasitic disease.  Created: 5/6/2010 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 5/6/2010.

  11. Optimization of an in vitro system to study the exo-erythrocytic stage of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rossouw, C

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Much research remains to be done in order to understand the Plasmodium-liver interaction process. While previous in vitro studies have focused on two-dimensional (2D) cell culture, it is becoming more evident to researchers that the context in which...

  12. The MB2 gene family of Plasmodium species has a unique combination of S1 and GTP-binding domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogunjumo Oluwasanmi

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Identification and characterization of novel Plasmodium gene families is necessary for developing new anti-malarial therapeutics. The products of the Plasmodium falciparum gene, MB2, were shown previously to have a stage-specific pattern of subcellular localization and proteolytic processing. Results Genes homologous to MB2 were identified in five additional parasite species, P. knowlesi, P. gallinaceum, P. berghei, P. yoelii, and P. chabaudi. Sequence comparisons among the MB2 gene products reveal amino acid conservation of structural features, including putative S1 and GTP-binding domains, and putative signal peptides and nuclear localization signals. Conclusions The combination of domains is unique to this gene family and indicates that MB2 genes comprise a novel family and therefore may be a good target for drug development.

  13. The MB2 gene family of Plasmodium species has a unique combination of S1 and GTP-binding domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Lisa C; Nguyen, Thanh V; Deville, Benoit; Ogunjumo, Oluwasanmi; James, Anthony A

    2004-01-01

    Background Identification and characterization of novel Plasmodium gene families is necessary for developing new anti-malarial therapeutics. The products of the Plasmodium falciparum gene, MB2, were shown previously to have a stage-specific pattern of subcellular localization and proteolytic processing. Results Genes homologous to MB2 were identified in five additional parasite species, P. knowlesi, P. gallinaceum, P. berghei, P. yoelii, and P. chabaudi. Sequence comparisons among the MB2 gene products reveal amino acid conservation of structural features, including putative S1 and GTP-binding domains, and putative signal peptides and nuclear localization signals. Conclusions The combination of domains is unique to this gene family and indicates that MB2 genes comprise a novel family and therefore may be a good target for drug development. PMID:15222903

  14. Cell based assays for anti-Plasmodium activity evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokgethi-Morule, Thabang; N'Da, David D

    2016-03-10

    Malaria remains one of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide. The severity of this global public health challenge is reflected by the approximately 198 million people, who were reportedly infected in 2013 and by the more than 584,000 related deaths in that same year. The rising emergence of drug resistance towards the once effective artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) has become a serious concern and warrants more robust drug development strategies, with the objective of eradicating malaria infections. The intricate biology and life cycle of Plasmodium parasites complicate the understanding of the disease in such a way that would enhance the development of more effective chemotherapies that would achieve radical clinical cure and that would prevent disease relapse. Phenotypic cell based assays have for long been a valuable approach and involve the screening and analysis of diverse compounds with regards to their activities towards whole Plasmodium parasites in vitro. To achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of malaria eradication by 2020, new generation drugs that are active against all parasite stages (erythrocytic (blood), exo-erythrocytic (liver stages and gametocytes)) are needed. Significant advances are being made in assay development to overcome some of the practical challenges of assessing drug efficacy, particularly in the liver and transmission stage Plasmodium models. This review discusses primary screening models and the fundamental progress being made in whole cell based efficacy screens of anti-malarial activity. Ongoing challenges and some opportunities for improvements in assay development that would assist in the discovery of effective, safe and affordable drugs for malaria treatments are also discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Dibenzylideneacetone analogues as novel Plasmodium falciparum inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aher, Rahul Balasaheb; Wanare, Gajanan; Kawathekar, Neha; Kumar, Ravi Ranjan; Kaushik, Naveen Kumar; Sahal, Dinkar; Chauhan, Virander Singh

    2011-05-15

    A series of dibenzylideneacetones (A1-A12) and some of their pyrazolines (B1-B4) were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for blood stage antiplasmodial properties in Plasmodium falciparum culture using SYBR-green-I fluorescence assay. The compound (1E, 4E)-1,5-bis(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)penta-1,4-dien-3-one (A9) was found to be the most active with IC(50) of 1.97 μM against chloroquine-sensitive strain (3D7) and 1.69 μM against chloroquine-resistant field isolate (RKL9). The MTT based cytotoxicity assay on HeLa cell line has confirmed that A9 is selective in its action against malaria parasite (with a therapeutic index of 166). Our results revealed that these compounds exhibited promising antiplasmodial activities which can be further explored as potential leads for the development of cheaper, safe, effective and potent drugs against chloroquine-resistant malarial parasites. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Distinct Prominent Roles for Enzymes of Plasmodium berghei Heme Biosynthesis in Sporozoite and Liver Stage Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matuschewski, Kai; Haussig, Joana M.

    2016-01-01

    Malarial parasites have evolved complex regulation of heme supply and disposal to adjust to heme-rich and -deprived host environments. In addition to its own pathway for heme biosynthesis, Plasmodium likely harbors mechanisms for heme scavenging from host erythrocytes. Elaborate compartmentalization of de novo heme synthesis into three subcellular locations, including the vestigial plastid organelle, indicates critical roles in life cycle progression. In this study, we systematically profile the essentiality of heme biosynthesis by targeted gene deletion of enzymes in early steps of this pathway. We show that disruption of endogenous heme biosynthesis leads to a first detectable defect in oocyst maturation and sporogony in the Anopheles vector, whereas blood stage propagation, colonization of mosquito midguts, or initiation of oocyst development occurs indistinguishably from that of wild-type parasites. Although sporozoites are produced by parasites lacking an intact pathway for heme biosynthesis, they are absent from mosquito salivary glands, indicative of a vital role for heme biosynthesis only in sporozoite maturation. Rescue of the first defect in sporogony permitted analysis of potential roles in liver stages. We show that liver stage parasites benefit from but do not strictly depend upon their own aminolevulinic acid synthase and that they can scavenge aminolevulinic acid from the host environment. Together, our experimental genetics analysis of Plasmodium enzymes for heme biosynthesis exemplifies remarkable shifts between the use of endogenous and host resources during life cycle progression. PMID:27600503

  17. Host-parasite interaction: selective Pv-fam-a family proteins of Plasmodium vivax bind to a restricted number of human erythrocyte receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeeshan, Mohammad; Tyagi, Rupesh Kumar; Tyagi, Kriti; Alam, Mohd Shoeb; Sharma, Yagya Dutta

    2015-04-01

    Plasmodium vivax synthesizes the largest number of 36 tryptophan-rich proteins belonging to the Pv-fam-a family. These parasite proteins need to be characterized for their biological function because tryptophan-rich proteins from other Plasmodium species have been proposed as vaccine candidates. Recombinant P. vivax tryptophan-rich antigens (PvTRAgs) were used to determine their erythrocyte-binding activity by a cell-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, flow cytometry, and a rosetting assay. Only 4 (PvTRAg26.3, PvTRAg34, PvTRAg36, and PvTRAg36.6) of 21 PvTRAgs bind to host erythrocytes. The cross-competition data indicated that PvTRAg36 and PvTRAg34 share their erythrocyte receptors with previously described proteins PvTRAg38 and PvTRAg33.5, respectively. On the other hand, PvTRAg26.3 and PvTRAg36.6 cross-compete with each other and not with any other PvTRAg, indicating that these 2 proteins bind to the same but yet another set of erythrocyte receptor(s). Together, 10 of 36 PvTRAgs possess erythrocyte-binding activity in which each protein recognizes >1 erythrocyte receptor. Further, each erythrocyte receptor is shared by >1 PvTRAg. This redundancy may be useful for the parasite to invade red blood cells and cause disease pathogenesis, and it can be exploited to develop therapeutics against P. vivax malaria. © The Author 2014. 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.

  18. PCR diagnostics underestimate the prevalence of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) in experimentally-infected passerines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvi, Susan I.; Schultz, Jeffrey J.; Atkinson, Carter T.

    2002-01-01

    Several polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods have recently been developed for diagnosing malarial infections in both birds and reptiles, but a critical evaluation of their sensitivity in experimentally-infected hosts has not been done. This study compares the sensitivity of several PCR-based methods for diagnosing avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) in captive Hawaiian honeycreepers using microscopy and a recently developed immunoblotting technique. Sequential blood samples were collected over periods of up to 4.4 yr after experimental infection and rechallenge to determine both the duration and detectability of chronic infections. Two new nested PCR approaches for detecting circulating parasites based on P. relictum 18S rRNA genes and the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) gene are described. The blood smear and the PCR tests were less sensitive than serological methods for detecting chronic malarial infections. Individually, none of the diagnostic methods was 100% accurate in detecting subpatent infections, although serological methods were significantly more sensitive (97%) than either nested PCR (61–84%) or microscopy (27%). Circulating parasites in chronically infected birds either disappear completely from circulation or to drop to intensities below detectability by nested PCR. Thus, the use of PCR as a sole means of detection of circulating parasites may significantly underestimate true prevalence.

  19. Comparative transcriptional and genomic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum field isolates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret J Mackinnon

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms for differential regulation of gene expression may underlie much of the phenotypic variation and adaptability of malaria parasites. Here we describe transcriptional variation among culture-adapted field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for most malarial disease. It was found that genes coding for parasite protein export into the red cell cytosol and onto its surface, and genes coding for sexual stage proteins involved in parasite transmission are up-regulated in field isolates compared with long-term laboratory isolates. Much of this variability was associated with the loss of small or large chromosomal segments, or other forms of gene copy number variation that are prevalent in the P. falciparum genome (copy number variants, CNVs. Expression levels of genes inside these segments were correlated to that of genes outside and adjacent to the segment boundaries, and this association declined with distance from the CNV boundary. This observation could not be explained by copy number variation in these adjacent genes. This suggests a local-acting regulatory role for CNVs in transcription of neighboring genes and helps explain the chromosomal clustering that we observed here. Transcriptional co-regulation of physical clusters of adaptive genes may provide a way for the parasite to readily adapt to its highly heterogeneous and strongly selective environment.

  20. Deletion of Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 2 (pfhrp2) and Histidine-Rich Protein 3 (pfhrp3) Genes in Colombian Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murillo Solano, Claribel; Akinyi Okoth, Sheila; Abdallah, Joseph F; Pava, Zuleima; Dorado, Erika; Incardona, Sandra; Huber, Curtis S; Macedo de Oliveira, Alexandre; Bell, David; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Barnwell, John W

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have analyzed the performance of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in Colombia with discrepancies in performance being attributed to a combination of factors such as parasite levels, interpretation of RDT results and/or the handling and storage of RDT kits. However, some of the inconsistencies observed with results from Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2)-based RDTs could also be explained by the deletion of the gene that encodes the protein, pfhrp2, and its structural homolog, pfhrp3, in some parasite isolates. Given that pfhrp2- and pfhrp3-negative P. falciparum isolates have been detected in the neighboring Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon regions, we hypothesized that parasites with deletions of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 may also be present in Colombia. In this study we tested 100 historical samples collected between 1999 and 2009 from six Departments in Colombia for the presence of pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and their flanking genes. Seven neutral microsatellites were also used to determine the genetic background of these parasites. In total 18 of 100 parasite isolates were found to have deleted pfhrp2, a majority of which (14 of 18) were collected from Amazonas Department, which borders Peru and Brazil. pfhrp3 deletions were found in 52 of the 100 samples collected from all regions of the country. pfhrp2 flanking genes PF3D7_0831900 and PF3D7_0831700 were deleted in 22 of 100 and in 1 of 100 samples, respectively. pfhrp3 flanking genes PF3D7_1372100 and PF3D7_1372400 were missing in 55 of 100 and in 57 of 100 samples. Structure analysis of microsatellite data indicated that Colombian samples tested in this study belonged to four clusters and they segregated mostly based on their geographic region. Most of the pfhrp2-deleted parasites were assigned to a single cluster and originated from Amazonas Department although a few pfhrp2-negative parasites originated from the other three clusters. The presence of a high proportion of pfhrp2

  1. 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.

  2. Mechanisms Involved in Immunity to Malarial Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-07-01

    period of peak trans ission, to have patent perasitaeomaA although rarely shoving clin.cal symptoms of the diasese. Even In individuals living all...either women mttand1n ante-noatal clnis or a seually-tronsmitted diseases (Sin) *4nio. The merm were stored at -25 0 C uwtil required. Xn. the first...red 2. -Course cell j t ifcin nceirated with *t~ nihmct *u (iTS) (0-) or normal rabbit serust (NmS) (0-0n), 2.45 x 10 6 inam B- celia , treated with

  3. Sir Ronald Ross and the Malarial Parasite

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    1997-08-20

    Aug 20, 1997 ... In 1857, a General in the Indian Army, Sir C C G Ross and his wife Matilda .... generally low-caste Indians who required a fee before drinking the water and ... nary demand being made upon their systems, as by fatigue, chill,.

  4. Postpartum Aplastic Anemia Presenting as Pancytopenia Due to Malarial Infection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shah, M. U.; Sundhu, M. A.; Hussain, M. Z.

    2013-01-01

    Pancytopenia is a condition with decreased numbers of all cell lines. Aplastic anemia is a common cause although malarial infection causing lysis of RBCs may also partly mimic this condition. The infection may also damage the patient's bone marrow resulting in pancytopenia as well. We present the case of a post-partum female patient who reported with fever, body aches and shortness of breath one month after the delivery of her baby. All blood cell counts were decreased and peripheral blood smear showed malarial parasites. Anti-malarial treatment was initiated following which the fever subsided but, despite regular transfusions, the blood counts remained low. Bone marrow biopsy report revealed P. falciparum pigments along with hypocellularity characteristic of severe aplastic anemia. Consequently, bone marrow transplantation was advised as a therapeutic measure. This case report highlights the increased susceptibility of pregnant women to malaria in endemic areas and subsequent aplastic anemia. (author)

  5. The Malaria Parasite Cyclin H Homolog PfCyc1 Is Required for Efficient Cytokinesis in Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Jonathan A; Absalon, Sabrina; Streva, Vincent A; Dvorin, Jeffrey D

    2017-06-13

    All well-studied eukaryotic cell cycles are driven by cyclins, which activate cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), and these protein kinase complexes are viable drug targets. The regulatory control of the Plasmodium falciparum cell division cycle remains poorly understood, and the roles of the various CDKs and cyclins remain unclear. The P. falciparum genome contains multiple CDKs, but surprisingly, it does not contain any sequence-identifiable G 1 -, S-, or M-phase cyclins. We demonstrate that P. falciparum Cyc1 (PfCyc1) complements a G 1 cyclin-depleted Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain and confirm that other identified malaria parasite cyclins do not complement this strain. PfCyc1, which has the highest sequence similarity to the conserved cyclin H, cannot complement a temperature-sensitive yeast cyclin H mutant. Coimmunoprecipitation of PfCyc1 from P. falciparum parasites identifies PfMAT1 and PfMRK as specific interaction partners and does not identify PfPK5 or other CDKs. We then generate an endogenous conditional allele of PfCyc1 in blood-stage P. falciparum using a destabilization domain (DD) approach and find that PfCyc1 is essential for blood-stage proliferation. PfCyc1 knockdown does not impede nuclear division, but it prevents proper cytokinesis. Thus, we demonstrate that PfCyc1 has a functional divergence from bioinformatic predictions, suggesting that the malaria parasite cell division cycle has evolved to use evolutionarily conserved proteins in functionally novel ways. IMPORTANCE Human infection by the eukaryotic parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes malaria. Most well-studied eukaryotic cell cycles are driven by cyclins, which activate cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) to promote essential cell division processes. Remarkably, there are no identifiable cyclins that are predicted to control the cell cycle in the malaria parasite genome. Thus, our knowledge regarding the basic mechanisms of the malaria parasite cell cycle remains unsatisfactory. We

  6. A potent series targeting the malarial cGMP-dependent protein kinase clears infection and blocks transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, David A; Stewart, Lindsay B; Large, Jonathan M; Bowyer, Paul W; Ansell, Keith H; Jiménez-Díaz, María B; El Bakkouri, Majida; Birchall, Kristian; Dechering, Koen J; Bouloc, Nathalie S; Coombs, Peter J; Whalley, David; Harding, Denise J; Smiljanic-Hurley, Ela; Wheldon, Mary C; Walker, Eloise M; Dessens, Johannes T; Lafuente, María José; Sanz, Laura M; Gamo, Francisco-Javier; Ferrer, Santiago B; Hui, Raymond; Bousema, Teun; Angulo-Barturén, Iñigo; Merritt, Andy T; Croft, Simon L; Gutteridge, Winston E; Kettleborough, Catherine A; Osborne, Simon A

    2017-09-05

    To combat drug resistance, new chemical entities are urgently required for use in next generation anti-malarial combinations. We report here the results of a medicinal chemistry programme focused on an imidazopyridine series targeting the Plasmodium falciparum cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (PfPKG). The most potent compound (ML10) has an IC 50 of 160 pM in a PfPKG kinase assay and inhibits P. falciparum blood stage proliferation in vitro with an EC 50 of 2.1 nM. Oral dosing renders blood stage parasitaemia undetectable in vivo using a P. falciparum SCID mouse model. The series targets both merozoite egress and erythrocyte invasion, but crucially, also blocks transmission of mature P. falciparum gametocytes to Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. A co-crystal structure of PvPKG bound to ML10, reveals intimate molecular contacts that explain the high levels of potency and selectivity we have measured. The properties of this series warrant consideration for further development to produce an antimalarial drug.Protein kinases are promising drug targets for treatment of malaria. Here, starting with a medicinal chemistry approach, Baker et al. generate an imidazopyridine that selectively targets Plasmodium falciparum PKG, inhibits blood stage parasite growth in vitro and in mice and blocks transmission to mosquitoes.

  7. The malarial impact on the nutritional status of Amazonian adult subjects Impacto da malaria no estado nutricional de doentes adultos da Amazônia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo C. M. Pereira

    1995-02-01

    Full Text Available The anthropometric (body weight, height, upper arm circumference, triceps and subescapular skinfolds; Quetelet index and arm muscle circunference and blood biochemistry (proteins and lipids parameters were evaluated in 93 males and 27 females, 17-72 years old voluntaries living in the malarial endemic area of Humaita city (southwest Amazon. According to their malarial history they were assembled in four different groups: G1-controls without malarial history (n:30; G2 - controls with malarial history but without actual manifestation of the disease (n:40; G3 - patients with Plasmodium vivax (n:19 and G4 - patients with Plasmodium falciparum (n:31. The malarial status was stablished by clinical and laboratory findings. The overall data of anthropometry and blood biochemistry discriminated the groups differently. The anthropometric data were low sensitive and contrasted only the two extremes (G1>G4 whereas the biochemistry differentiated two big groups, the healthy (G1+G2 and the patients (G3+G4. The nutritional status of the P. falciparum patients was highly depressed for most of the studied indices but none was sensitive enough to differentiate this group from the P. vivax group (G3. On the other hand the two healthy groups could be differentiated through the levels of ceruloplasmin (G1G2. Thus it seems that the malaria-malnourishment state exists and the results could be framed either as a consequence of nutrient sink and/or the infection stress both motivated by the parasite.A avaliação antropométrica (pêso, altura, circunferência branquial, prega cutânea tricipital, prega cutânea subescapular, índice de Quetelet e circunferência muscular do braço e bioquímica (proteínas e lipides foi realizado em 120 indivíduos (93 masculinos e 27 do sexo feminino, de 17 a 72 anos de idade, moradores de área endêmica de malária (Humaitá -AM. De acordo com a história da doença (malária eles foram divididos em 4 grupos: G1 - controle (n = 30

  8. SAM domain-dependent activity of PfTKL3, an essential tyrosine kinase-like kinase of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdi, Abdirahman; Eschenlauer, Sylvain; Reininger, Luc; Doerig, Christian

    2010-10-01

    Over the last decade, several protein kinases inhibitors have reached the market for cancer chemotherapy. The kinomes of pathogens represent potentially attractive targets in infectious diseases. The functions of the majority of protein kinases of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasitic protist responsible for the most virulent form of human malaria, remain unknown. Here we present a thorough characterisation of PfTKL3 (PF13_0258), an enzyme that belongs to the tyrosine kinase-like kinase (TKL) group. We demonstrate by reverse genetics that PfTKL3 is essential for asexual parasite proliferation in human erythrocytes. PfTKL3 is expressed in both asexual and gametocytes stages, and in the latter the protein co-localises with cytoskeleton microtubules. Recombinant PfTKL3 displays in vitro autophosphorylation activity and is able to phosphorylate exogenous substrates, and both activities are dramatically dependent on the presence of an N-terminal "sterile alpha-motif" domain. This study identifies PfTKL3 as a validated drug target amenable to high-throughput screening.

  9. Pitting of malaria parasites and spherocyte formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gichuki Charity W

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A high prevalence of spherocytes was detected in blood smears of children enrolled in a case control study conducted in the malaria holoendemic Lake Victoria basin. It was speculated that the spherocytes reflect intraerythrocytic removal of malarial parasites with a concurrent removal of RBC membrane through a process analogous to pitting of intraerythrocytic inclusion bodies. Pitting and re-circulation of RBCs devoid of malaria parasites could be a host mechanism for parasite clearance while minimizing the anaemia that would occur were the entire parasitized RBC removed. The prior demonstration of RBCs containing ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (pf 155 or RESA but no intracellular parasites, support the idea of pitting. Methods An in vitro model was developed to examine the phenomenon of pitting and spherocyte formation in Plasmodium falciparum infected RBCs (iRBC co-incubated with human macrophages. In vivo application of this model was evaluated using blood specimens from patients attending Kisumu Ditrict Hospital. RBCs were probed with anti-RESA monoclonal antibody and a DNA stain (propidium iodide. Flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy was used to compare RBCs containing both the antigen and the parasites to those that were only RESA positive. Results Co-incubation of iRBC and tumor necrosis factor-alpha activated macrophages led to pitting (14% ± 1.31% macrophages with engulfed trophozoites as opposed to erythrophagocytosis (5.33% ± 0.95% (P Conclusion It is proposed that in malaria holoendemic areas where prevalence of asexual stage parasites approaches 100% in children, RBCs with pitted parasites are re-circulated and pitting may produce spherocytes.

  10. Induction of adhesion-inhibitory antibodies against placental Plasmodium falciparum parasites by using single domains of VAR2CSA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Morten A; Pinto, Vera V; Resende, Mafalda

    2009-01-01

    between a parasite protein expressed on erythrocytes named variant surface antigen 2-chondroitin sulfate A (VAR2CSA) and CSA on syncytiotrophoblasts. VAR2CSA is a large polymorphic protein consisting of six Duffy binding-like (DBL), domains and with current constraints on recombinant protein production...... which induce antibodies that inhibit CSA binding of different parasite strains. In this study, we produced a large panel of VAR2CSA proteins and raised antibodies against these antigens. We show that antibodies against the DBL4 domain effectively inhibit parasite binding. As the inhibition...... was not limited to homologous parasite strains, it seems feasible to base a protective malaria vaccine on a single VAR2CSA DBL domain....

  11. Crystal structures from the Plasmodium peroxiredoxins: new insights into oligomerization and product binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Wei; Dong, Aiping; Pizarro, Juan C; Botchkarsev, Alexei; Min, Jinrong; Wernimont, Amy K; Hills, Tanya; Hui, Raymond; Artz, Jennifer D

    2012-03-19

    Plasmodium falciparum is the protozoan parasite primarily responsible for more than one million malarial deaths, annually, and is developing resistance to current therapies. Throughout its lifespan, the parasite is subjected to oxidative attack, so Plasmodium antioxidant defences are essential for its survival and are targets for disease control. To further understand the molecular aspects of the Plasmodium redox system, we solved 4 structures of Plasmodium peroxiredoxins (Prx). Our study has confirmed PvTrx-Px1 to be a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-sensitive peroxiredoxin. We have identified and characterized the novel toroid octameric oligomer of PyTrx-Px1, which may be attributed to the interplay of several factors including: (1) the orientation of the conserved surface/buried arginine of the NNLA(I/L)GRS-loop; and (2) the C-terminal tail positioning (also associated with the aforementioned conserved loop) which facilitates the intermolecular hydrogen bond between dimers (in an A-C fashion). In addition, a notable feature of the disulfide bonds in some of the Prx crystal structures is discussed. Finally, insight into the latter stages of the peroxiredoxin reaction coordinate is gained. Our structure of PyPrx6 is not only in the sulfinic acid (RSO2H) form, but it is also with glycerol bound in a way (not previously observed) indicative of product binding. The structural characterization of Plasmodium peroxiredoxins provided herein provides insight into their oligomerization and product binding which may facilitate the targeting of these antioxidant defences. Although the structural basis for the octameric oligomerization is further understood, the results yield more questions about the biological implications of the peroxiredoxin oligomerization, as multiple toroid configurations are now known. The crystal structure depicting the product bound active site gives insight into the overoxidation of the active site and allows further characterization of the leaving group

  12. Artemisinin resistance without pfkelch13 mutations in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Cambodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Angana; Bopp, Selina; Magistrado, Pamela; Wong, Wesley; Daniels, Rachel; Demas, Allison; Schaffner, Stephen; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Lim, Pharath; Dhorda, Mehul; Miotto, Olivo; Woodrow, Charles; Ashley, Elizabeth A; Dondorp, Arjen M; White, Nicholas J; Wirth, Dyann; Fairhurst, Rick; Volkman, Sarah K

    2017-05-12

    Artemisinin resistance is associated with delayed parasite clearance half-life in vivo and correlates with ring-stage survival under dihydroartemisinin in vitro. Both phenotypes are associated with mutations in the PF3D7_1343700 pfkelch13 gene. Recent spread of artemisinin resistance and emerging piperaquine resistance in Southeast Asia show that artemisinin combination therapy, such as dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, are losing clinical effectiveness, prompting investigation of drug resistance mechanisms and development of strategies to surmount emerging anti-malarial resistance. Sixty-eight parasites isolates with in vivo clearance data were obtained from two Tracking Resistance to Artemisinin Collaboration study sites in Cambodia, culture-adapted, and genotyped for pfkelch13 and other mutations including pfmdr1 copy number; and the RSA 0-3h survival rates and response to antimalarial drugs in vitro were measured for 36 of these isolates. Among these 36 parasites one isolate demonstrated increased ring-stage survival for a PfKelch13 mutation (D584V, RSA 0-3h  = 8%), previously associated with slow clearance but not yet tested in vitro. Several parasites exhibited increased ring-stage survival, yet lack pfkelch13 mutations, and one isolate showed evidence for piperaquine resistance. This study of 68 culture-adapted Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates from Cambodia with known clearance values, associated the D584V PfKelch13 mutation with increased ring-stage survival and identified parasites that lack pfkelch13 mutations yet exhibit increased ring-stage survival. These data suggest mutations other than those found in pfkelch13 may be involved in conferring artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum. Piperaquine resistance was also detected among the same Cambodian samples, consistent with reports of emerging piperaquine resistance in the field. These culture-adapted parasites permit further investigation of mechanisms of both artemisinin and piperaquine

  13. A re-assessment of gene-tag classification approaches for describing var gene expression patterns during human Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Githinji, George; Bull, Peter C

    2017-01-01

    PfEMP1 are variant parasite antigens that are inserted on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes (IE). Through interactions with various host molecules, PfEMP1 mediate IE sequestration in tissues and play a key role in the pathology of severe malaria. PfEMP1 is encoded by a diverse multi-gene family called var . Previous studies have shown that that expression of specific subsets of var genes are associated with low levels of host immunity and severe malaria. However, in most clinical studies to date, full-length var gene sequences were unavailable and various approaches have been used to make comparisons between var gene expression profiles in different parasite isolates using limited information. Several studies have relied on the classification of a 300 - 500 base-pair "DBLα tag" region in the DBLα domain located at the 5' end of most var genes. We assessed the relationship between various DBLα tag classification methods, and sequence features that are only fully assessable through full-length var gene sequences. We compared these different sequence features in full-length var gene from six fully sequenced laboratory isolates. These comparisons show that despite a long history of recombination,   DBLα sequence tag classification can provide functional information on important features of full-length var genes. Notably, a specific subset of DBLα tags previously defined as "group A-like" is associated with CIDRα1 domains proposed to bind to endothelial protein C receptor. This analysis helps to bring together different sources of data that have been used to assess var gene expression in clinical parasite isolates.

  14. The guanylhydrazone CNI-1493: an inhibitor with dual activity against malaria-inhibition of host cell pro-inflammatory cytokine release and parasitic deoxyhypusine synthase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Specht, Sabine; Sarite, Salem Ramadan; Hauber, Ilona; Hauber, Joachim; Görbig, Ulf F; Meier, Chris; Bevec, Dorian; Hoerauf, Achim; Kaiser, Annette

    2008-05-01

    Malaria is still a major cause of death in the tropics. There is an urgent need for new anti-malarial drugs because drug-resistant plasmodia frequently occur. Over recent years, we elucidated the biosynthesis of hypusine, a novel amino acid contained in eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A) in Plasmodium. Hypusine biosynthesis involves catalysis of deoxyhypusine synthase (DHS) in the first step of post-translational modification. In a screen for new inhibitors of purified plasmodium DHS, CNI-1493, a novel selective pro-inflammatory cytokine inhibitor used in clinical phase II for the treatment of Crohn's disease, inhibited the enzyme of the parasite 3-fold at a concentration of 2 microM. In vitro experiments with 200 microM CNI-1493 in Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes, which lack nuclei and DHS protein, showed a parasite clearance within 2 days. This can presumably be attributed to an anti-proliferating effect because of the inhibition of DHS by the parasite. The determined IC50 of CNI-1493 was 135.79 microM after 72 h. In vivo application of this substance in Plasmodium berghei ANKA-infected C57BL/6 mice significantly reduced parasitemia after dosage of 1 mg/kg or 4 mg/kg/body weight and prevented death of mice with cerebral malaria. This effect was paralleled by a decrease in serum TNF levels of the mice. We suggest that the new mechanism of CNI-1493 is caused by a decrease in modified eIF-5A biosynthesis with a downstream effect on the TNF synthesis of the host. From the current data, we consider CNI-1493 to be a promising drug for anti-malarial therapy because of its combined action, i.e., the decrease in eIF-5A biosynthesis of the parasite and host cell TNF biosynthesis.

  15. Natural antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum MSP3 and GLURP(R0) antigens are associated with low parasite densities in malaria patients living in the Central Region of Ghana

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amoah, L. E.; Nuvor, S. V.; Obboh, E. K.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Plasmodium falciparum genetic diversity and multiplicity of infection (MOI) are parasite features that have been suggested to influence the acquisition of protective immunity against malaria. This study sought to assess the relationship between MOI and parasite density (PD) in malaria...... and adults diagnosed with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Microscopy was used to estimate P. falciparum parasite density and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the polymorphic regions of msp1 (PF3D7-0930300) and msp2 (PF3D7-0206800) was used for parasite genotyping and MOI determination....... The geometric mean (GM) for MOI determined by both msp1 and msp2 genotyping was 1.3 for the entire population and was generally higher in children than in adults. Seropositivity was estimated at 67 and 63% for GLURP(R0) and MSP3 antibodies, respectively, and antibody titers were negatively correlated...

  16. Monkey-derived monoclonal antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley, H.A.; Reese, R.T.

    1985-01-01

    A system has been developed that allows efficient production of monkey monoclonal antibodies from owl monkeys. Splenocytes or peripheral blood lymphocytes from monkeys immune to the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, were fused with P3X63 Ag8.653 mouse myelomas. The resulting hybridomas were screened by an indirect fluorescent antibody test for the production of monkey monoclonal antibodies (mAb) reactive with P. falciparum. Most of the mAb reacted with the P. falciparum merozoites and immunoprecipitated a parasite-derived glycoprotein having a relative molecular weight of 185,000. These mAb gave a minimum of five different immunoprecipitation patterns, thus demonstrating that a large number of polypeptides obtained when parasitized erythrocytes are solubilized share epitopes with this large glycoprotein. In addition, mAb were obtained that reacted with antigens associated with the infected erythrocyte membrane. One of these mAb bound a M/sub r/ 95,000 antigen. Radioimmunoprecipitation assays using 125 T-antibodies were done

  17. X-ray microanalysis of Plasmodium falciparum and infected red blood cells: effects of qinghaosu and chloroquine on potassium, sodium, and phosphorus composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, P.; Ye, Z.; Van Dyke, K.; Kirk, R.G.

    1988-01-01

    Cryosections of human red blood cells infected by Plasmodium falciparum were analyzed by energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis to determine the elemental composition of the parasites and their red cell hosts separately. The effects of two antimalarial drugs, qinghaosu and chloroquine, on potassium, sodium, and phosphorus concentrations were studied. Malarial infection causes a decrease in potassium concentration and an increase in sodium concentration in the host red cells. The drastic change in the cation composition, however, occurs only in red cells infected by late stage parasites (late trophozoite and schizont). Red cells infected by early stage parasites (ring stage) show only small changes in sodium concentration. Furthermore, the noninfected red cells in parasitized cultures show no difference in composition from those of normal red cells. Treatment of the parasitized cultures with qinghaosu (10(-6) M) or chloroquine (10(-6) M) for 8 hr causes phosphorus concentration of both early and late parasites to decrease. An 8 hr treatment with qinghaosu also produces a reduction in potassium and an increase in sodium concentrations in early and late parasites. In contrast, 8 hr treatment with chloroquine only causes a change in the sodium and potassium concentrations of the late stage parasites and does not affect the early stage parasites

  18. Plasmodium subtilisin-like protease 1 (SUB1): insights into the active-site structure, specificity and function of a pan-malaria drug target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withers-Martinez, Chrislaine; Suarez, Catherine; Fulle, Simone; Kher, Samir; Penzo, Maria; Ebejer, Jean-Paul; Koussis, Kostas; Hackett, Fiona; Jirgensons, Aigars; Finn, Paul; Blackman, Michael J

    2012-05-15

    Release of the malaria merozoite from its host erythrocyte (egress) and invasion of a fresh cell are crucial steps in the life cycle of the malaria pathogen. Subtilisin-like protease 1 (SUB1) is a parasite serine protease implicated in both processes. In the most dangerous human malarial species, Plasmodium falciparum, SUB1 has previously been shown to have several parasite-derived substrates, proteolytic cleavage of which is important both for egress and maturation of the merozoite surface to enable invasion. Here we have used molecular modelling, existing knowledge of SUB1 substrates, and recombinant expression and characterisation of additional Plasmodium SUB1 orthologues, to examine the active site architecture and substrate specificity of P. falciparum SUB1 and its orthologues from the two other major human malaria pathogens Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi, as well as from the rodent malaria species, Plasmodium berghei. Our results reveal a number of unusual features of the SUB1 substrate binding cleft, including a requirement to interact with both prime and non-prime side residues of the substrate recognition motif. Cleavage of conserved parasite substrates is mediated by SUB1 in all parasite species examined, and the importance of this is supported by evidence for species-specific co-evolution of protease and substrates. Two peptidyl alpha-ketoamides based on an authentic PfSUB1 substrate inhibit all SUB1 orthologues examined, with inhibitory potency enhanced by the presence of a carboxyl moiety designed to introduce prime side interactions with the protease. Our findings demonstrate that it should be possible to develop 'pan-reactive' drug-like compounds that inhibit SUB1 in all three major human malaria pathogens, enabling production of broad-spectrum antimalarial drugs targeting SUB1. Copyright © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Increased microerythrocyte count in homozygous alpha(+-thalassaemia contributes to protection against severe malarial anaemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freya J I Fowkes

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The heritable haemoglobinopathy alpha(+-thalassaemia is caused by the reduced synthesis of alpha-globin chains that form part of normal adult haemoglobin (Hb. Individuals homozygous for alpha(+-thalassaemia have microcytosis and an increased erythrocyte count. Alpha(+-thalassaemia homozygosity confers considerable protection against severe malaria, including severe malarial anaemia (SMA (Hb concentration 1.1 x 10(12/l as a result of the reduced mean cell Hb in homozygous alpha(+-thalassaemia. In addition, children homozygous for alpha(+-thalassaemia require a 10% greater reduction in erythrocyte count than children of normal genotype (p = 0.02 for Hb concentration to fall to 50 g/l, the cutoff for SMA. We estimated that the haematological profile in children homozygous for alpha(+-thalassaemia reduces the risk of SMA during acute malaria compared to children of normal genotype (relative risk 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.24-1.12, p = 0.09.The increased erythrocyte count and microcytosis in children homozygous for alpha(+-thalassaemia may contribute substantially to their protection against SMA. A lower concentration of Hb per erythrocyte and a larger population of erythrocytes may be a biologically advantageous strategy against the significant reduction in erythrocyte count that occurs during acute infection with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. This haematological profile may reduce the risk of anaemia by other Plasmodium species, as well as other causes of anaemia. Other host polymorphisms that induce an increased erythrocyte count and microcytosis may confer a similar advantage.

  20. Molecular insights into the interaction between Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 and an invasion-inhibitory peptide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geqing Wang

    Full Text Available Apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1 of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has been implicated in invasion of the host erythrocyte. It interacts with malarial rhoptry neck (RON proteins in the moving junction that forms between the host cell and the invading parasite. Agents that block this interaction inhibit invasion and may serve as promising leads for anti-malarial drug development. The invasion-inhibitory peptide R1 binds to a hydrophobic cleft on AMA1, which is an attractive target site for small molecules that block parasite invasion. In this work, truncation and mutational analyses show that Phe5-Phe9, Phe12 and Arg15 in R1 are the most important residues for high affinity binding to AMA1. These residues interact with two well-defined binding hot spots on AMA1. Computational solvent mapping reveals that one of these hot spots is suitable for small molecule targeting. We also confirm that R1 in solution binds to AMA1 with 1:1 stoichiometry and adopts a secondary structure consistent with the major form of R1 observed in the crystal structure of the complex. Our results provide a basis for designing high affinity inhibitors of the AMA1-RON2 interaction.

  1. Antiplasmodial activity of iron(II and ruthenium(II organometallic complexes against Plasmodium falciparum blood parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolli Bellotti de Souza

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This work reports the in vitro activity against Plasmodium falciparumblood forms (W2 clone, chloroquine-resistant of tamoxifen-based compounds and their ferrocenyl (ferrocifens and ruthenocenyl (ruthenocifens derivatives, as well as their cytotoxicity against HepG2 human hepatoma cells. Surprisingly with these series, results indicate that the biological activity of ruthenocifens is better than that of ferrocifens and other tamoxifen-like compounds. The synthesis of a new metal-based compound is also described. It was shown, for the first time, that ruthenocifens are good antiplasmodial prototypes. Further studies will be conducted aiming at a better understanding of their mechanism of action and at obtaining new compounds with better therapeutic profile.

  2. Dual fluorescence labeling of surface-exposed and internal proteins in erythrocytes infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bengtsson, Dominique C; Sowa, Kordai M P; Arnot, David E

    2008-01-01

    There is a need for improved methods for in situ localization of surface proteins on Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to help understand how these antigens are trafficked to, and positioned within, the host cell membrane. This protocol for confocal immunofluorescence microscopy combines...... and permeabilization; indirect labeling of the internal antigen using a secondary antibody tagged with a spectrally distinct fluorescent dye; and detection of the differentially labeled antigens using a laser scanning confocal microscope. The protocol can be completed in approximately 7 h. Although the protocol...... surface antigen labeling on live cells with subsequent fixation and permeabilization, which enables antibodies to penetrate the cell and label internal antigens. The key steps of the protocol are as follows: indirect labeling of the surface antigen using a fluorescently tagged secondary antibody; fixation...

  3. Bionomics of Anopheles latens in Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo in relation to the transmission of zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matusop Asmad

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A large focus of human infections with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques was discovered in the Kapit Division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. A study was initiated to identify the vectors of malaria, to elucidate where transmission is taking place and to understand the bionomics of the vectors in Kapit. Methods Three different ecological sites in the forest, farm and longhouse in the Kapit district were selected for the study. Mosquitoes were collected by human landing collection at all sites and at the forest also by monkey-baited-traps situated on three different levels. All mosquitoes were identified and salivary glands and midguts of anopheline mosquitoes were dissected to determine the presence of malaria parasites. Results and Discussions Over an 11-month period, a total of 2,504 Anopheles mosquitoes comprising 12 species were caught; 1,035 at the farm, 774 at the forest and 425 at the longhouse. Anopheles latens (62.3% and Anopheles watsonii (30.6% were the predominant species caught in the forested ecotypes, while in the farm Anopheles donaldi (49.9% and An. latens (35.6% predominated. In the long house, An. latens (29.6% and An. donaldi (22.8% were the major Anopheline species. However, An. latens was the only mosquito positive for sporozoites and it was found to be attracted to both human and monkey hosts. In monkey-baited net traps, it preferred to bite monkeys at the canopy level than at ground level. An. latens was found biting early as 18.00 hours. Conclusion Anopheles latens is the main vector for P. knowlesi malaria parasites in the Kapit District of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The study underscores the relationship between ecology, abundance and bionomics of anopheline fauna. The simio-anthropophagic and acrodendrophilic behaviour of An. latens makes it an efficient vector for the transmission of P. knowlesi parasites to both human and monkey hosts.

  4. Bionomics of Anopheles latens in Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo in relation to the transmission of zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Cheong H; Vythilingam, Indra; Matusop, Asmad; Chan, Seng T; Singh, Balbir

    2008-01-01

    Background A large focus of human infections with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques was discovered in the Kapit Division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. A study was initiated to identify the vectors of malaria, to elucidate where transmission is taking place and to understand the bionomics of the vectors in Kapit. Methods Three different ecological sites in the forest, farm and longhouse in the Kapit district were selected for the study. Mosquitoes were collected by human landing collection at all sites and at the forest also by monkey-baited-traps situated on three different levels. All mosquitoes were identified and salivary glands and midguts of anopheline mosquitoes were dissected to determine the presence of malaria parasites. Results and Discussions Over an 11-month period, a total of 2,504 Anopheles mosquitoes comprising 12 species were caught; 1,035 at the farm, 774 at the forest and 425 at the longhouse. Anopheles latens (62.3%) and Anopheles watsonii (30.6%) were the predominant species caught in the forested ecotypes, while in the farm Anopheles donaldi (49.9%) and An. latens (35.6%) predominated. In the long house, An. latens (29.6%) and An. donaldi (22.8%) were the major Anopheline species. However, An. latens was the only mosquito positive for sporozoites and it was found to be attracted to both human and monkey hosts. In monkey-baited net traps, it preferred to bite monkeys at the canopy level than at ground level. An. latens was found biting early as 18.00 hours. Conclusion Anopheles latens is the main vector for P. knowlesi malaria parasites in the Kapit District of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The study underscores the relationship between ecology, abundance and bionomics of anopheline fauna. The simio-anthropophagic and acrodendrophilic behaviour of An. latens makes it an efficient vector for the transmission of P. knowlesi parasites to both human and monkey hosts. PMID:18377652

  5. Human T cell recognition of the blood stage antigen Plasmodium hypoxanthine guanine xanthine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGXPRT in acute malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woodberry Tonia

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium purine salvage enzyme, hypoxanthine guanine xanthine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGXPRT can protect mice against Plasmodium yoelii pRBC challenge in a T cell-dependent manner and has, therefore, been proposed as a novel vaccine candidate. It is not known whether natural exposure to Plasmodium falciparum stimulates HGXPRT T cell reactivity in humans. Methods PBMC and plasma collected from malaria-exposed Indonesians during infection and 7–28 days after anti-malarial therapy, were assessed for HGXPRT recognition using CFSE proliferation, IFNγ ELISPOT assay and ELISA. Results HGXPRT-specific T cell proliferation was found in 44% of patients during acute infection; in 80% of responders both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets proliferated. Antigen-specific T cell proliferation was largely lost within 28 days of parasite clearance. HGXPRT-specific IFN-γ production was more frequent 28 days after treatment than during acute infection. HGXPRT-specific plasma IgG was undetectable even in individuals exposed to malaria for at least two years. Conclusion The prevalence of acute proliferative and convalescent IFNγ responses to HGXPRT demonstrates cellular immunogenicity in humans. Further studies to determine minimal HGXPRT epitopes, the specificity of responses for Plasmodia and associations with protection are required. Frequent and robust T cell proliferation, high sequence conservation among Plasmodium species and absent IgG responses distinguish HGXPRT from other malaria antigens.

  6. Blood parasites from California ducks and geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.

    1951-01-01

    Blood smears were procured from 1,011 geese and ducks of 19 species from various locations in California. Parasites were found in 28 individuals. The parasites observed included Haemoproteus hermani, Leucocytozoon simondi, microfilaria, Plasmodium relictum (=P. biziurae), and Plasmodium sp. with elongate gametocytes. This is the first report of a natural infection with a Plasmodium in North American wild ducks.

  7. The activities of current antimalarial drugs on the life cycle stages of Plasmodium: a comparative study with human and rodent parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delves, Michael; Plouffe, David; Scheurer, Christian; Meister, Stephan; Wittlin, Sergio; Winzeler, Elizabeth A; Sinden, Robert E; Leroy, Didier

    2012-02-01

    Malaria remains a disease of devastating global impact, killing more than 800,000 people every year-the vast majority being children under the age of 5. While effective therapies are available, if malaria is to be eradicated a broader range of small molecule therapeutics that are able to target the liver and the transmissible sexual stages are required. These new medicines are needed both to meet the challenge of malaria eradication and to circumvent resistance. Little is known about the wider stage-specific activities of current antimalarials that were primarily designed to alleviate symptoms of malaria in the blood stage. To overcome this critical gap, we developed assays to measure activity of antimalarials against all life stages of malaria parasites, using a diverse set of human and nonhuman parasite species, including male gamete production (exflagellation) in Plasmodium falciparum, ookinete development in P. berghei, oocyst development in P. berghei and P. falciparum, and the liver stage of P. yoelii. We then compared 50 current and experimental antimalarials in these assays. We show that endoperoxides such as OZ439, a stable synthetic molecule currently in clinical phase IIa trials, are strong inhibitors of gametocyte maturation/gamete formation and impact sporogony; lumefantrine impairs development in the vector; and NPC-1161B, a new 8-aminoquinoline, inhibits sporogony. These data enable objective comparisons of the strengths and weaknesses of each chemical class at targeting each stage of the lifecycle. Noting that the activities of many compounds lie within achievable blood concentrations, these results offer an invaluable guide to decisions regarding which drugs to combine in the next-generation of antimalarial drugs. This study might reveal the potential of life-cycle-wide analyses of drugs for other pathogens with complex life cycles.

  8. The Activities of Current Antimalarial Drugs on the Life Cycle Stages of Plasmodium: A Comparative Study with Human and Rodent Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delves, Michael; Plouffe, David; Scheurer, Christian; Meister, Stephan; Wittlin, Sergio; Winzeler, Elizabeth A.; Sinden, Robert E.; Leroy, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Background Malaria remains a disease of devastating global impact, killing more than 800,000 people every year—the vast majority being children under the age of 5. While effective therapies are available, if malaria is to be eradicated a broader range of small molecule therapeutics that are able to target the liver and the transmissible sexual stages are required. These new medicines are needed both to meet the challenge of malaria eradication and to circumvent resistance. Methods and Findings Little is known about the wider stage-specific activities of current antimalarials that were primarily designed to alleviate symptoms of malaria in the blood stage. To overcome this critical gap, we developed assays to measure activity of antimalarials against all life stages of malaria parasites, using a diverse set of human and nonhuman parasite species, including male gamete production (exflagellation) in Plasmodium falciparum, ookinete development in P. berghei, oocyst development in P. berghei and P. falciparum, and the liver stage of P. yoelii. We then compared 50 current and experimental antimalarials in these assays. We show that endoperoxides such as OZ439, a stable synthetic molecule currently in clinical phase IIa trials, are strong inhibitors of gametocyte maturation/gamete formation and impact sporogony; lumefantrine impairs development in the vector; and NPC-1161B, a new 8-aminoquinoline, inhibits sporogony. Conclusions These data enable objective comparisons of the strengths and weaknesses of each chemical class at targeting each stage of the lifecycle. Noting that the activities of many compounds lie within achievable blood concentrations, these results offer an invaluable guide to decisions regarding which drugs to combine in the next-generation of antimalarial drugs. This study might reveal the potential of life-cycle–wide analyses of drugs for other pathogens with complex life cycles. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary PMID

  9. Genetic diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen I gene in parasite population from the China-Myanmar border area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaotong; Zhao, Zhenjun; Feng, Yonghui; Li, Peipei; Liu, Fei; Liu, Jun; Yang, Zhaoqing; Yan, Guiyun; Fan, Qi; Cao, Yaming; Cui, Liwang

    2016-04-01

    To investigate the genetic diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (PfAMA1) gene in Southeast Asia, we determined PfAMA1 sequences from 135 field isolates collected from the China-Myanmar border area and compared them with 956 publically available PfAMA1 sequences from seven global P. falciparum populations. This analysis revealed high genetic diversity of PfAMA1 in global P. falciparum populations with a total of 229 haplotypes identified. The genetic diversity of PfAMA1 gene from the China-Myanmar border is not evenly distributed in the different domains of this gene. Sequence diversity in PfAMA1 from the China-Myanmar border is lower than that observed in Thai, African and Oceanian populations, but higher than that in the South American population. This appeared to correlate well with the levels of endemicity of different malaria-endemic regions, where hyperendemic regions favor genetic cross of the parasite isolates and generation of higher genetic diversity. Neutrality tests show significant departure from neutrality in the entire ectodomain and Domain I of PfAMA1 in the China-Myanmar border parasite population. We found evidence supporting a substantial continent-wise genetic structure among P. falciparum populations, with the highest genetic differentiation detected between the China-Myanmar border and the South American populations. Whereas no alleles were unique to a specific region, there were considerable geographical differences in major alleles and their frequencies, highlighting further necessity to include more PfAMA1 alleles in vaccine designs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Molecular inference of sources and spreading patterns of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in internally displaced persons settlements in Myanmar-China border area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Eugenia; Zhou, Guofa; Oo, Winny; Lee, Ming-Chieh; Baum, Elisabeth; Felgner, Philip L; Yang, Zhaoqing; Cui, Liwang; Yan, Guiyun

    2015-07-01

    In Myanmar, civil unrest and establishment of internally displaced persons (IDP) settlement along the Myanmar-China border have impacted malaria transmission. The growing IDP populations raise deep concerns about health impact on local communities. Microsatellite markers were used to examine the source and spreading patterns of Plasmodium falciparum between IDP settlement and surrounding villages in Myanmar along the China border. Genotypic structure of P. falciparum was compared over the past three years from the same area and the demographic history was inferred to determine the source of recent infections. In addition, we examined if border migration is a factor of P. falciparum infections in China by determining gene flow patterns across borders. Compared to local community, the IDP samples showed a reduced and consistently lower genetic diversity over the past three years. A strong signature of genetic bottleneck was detected in the IDP samples. P. falciparum infections from the border regions in China were genetically similar to Myanmar and parasite gene flow was not constrained by geographical distance. Reduced genetic diversity of P. falciparum suggested intense malaria control within the IDP settlement. Human movement was a key factor to the spread of malaria both locally in Myanmar and across the international border. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The structurally related auxin and melatonin tryptophan-derivatives and their roles in Arabidopsis thaliana and in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Fernanda C; Carvalho, Thais L G; Alves, Eduardo; da Silva, Henrique B; de Azevedo, Mauro F; Hemerly, Adriana S; Garcia, Célia R S

    2013-01-01

    Indole compounds are involved in a range of functions in many organisms. In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, melatonin and other tryptophan derivatives are able to modulate its intraerythrocytic cycle, increasing the schizont population as well as parasitemia, likely through ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) gene regulation. In plants, melatonin regulates root development, in a similar way to that described for indoleacetic acid, suggesting that melatonin and indoleacetic acid could co-participate in some physiological processes due to structural similarities. In the present work, we evaluate whether the chemical structure similarity found in indoleacetic acid and melatonin can lead to similar effects in Arabidopsis thaliana lateral root formation and P. falciparum cell cycle modulation, as well as in the UPS of gene regulation, by qRT-PCR. Our data show that P. falciparum is not able to respond to indoleacetic acid either in the modulation of the intraerythrocytic cycle or in the gene regulation mediated by the UPS as observed for melatonin. The similarities of these indole compounds are not sufficient to confer synergistic functions in P. falciparum cell cycle modulation, but could interplay in A. thaliana lateral root formation. © 2013 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2013 International Society of Protistologists.

  12. 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

  13. Availability and quality of anti-malarials among private sector outlets in Myanmar in 2012: results from a large, community-based, cross-sectional survey before a large-scale intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khin, Hnin Su Su; Chen, Ingrid; White, Chris; Sudhinaraset, May; McFarland, Willi; Littrell, Megan; Montagu, Dominic; Aung, Tin

    2015-07-14

    Global malaria control efforts are threatened by the spread and emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites. In 2012, the widespread sale of partial courses of artemisinin-based monotherapy was suspected to take place in the highly accessed, weakly regulated private sector in Myanmar, posing potentially major threats to drug resistance. This study investigated the presence of artemisinin-based monotherapies in the Myanmar private sector, particularly as partial courses of therapy, to inform the targeting of future interventions to stop artemisinin resistance. A large cross-sectional survey comprised of a screening questionnaire was conducted across 26 townships in Myanmar between March and May, 2012. For outlets that stocked anti-malarials at the time of survey, a stock audit was conducted, and for outlets that stocked anti-malarials within 3 months of the survey, a provider survey was conducted. A total of 3,658 outlets were screened, 83% were retailers (pharmacies, itinerant drug vendors and general retailers) and 17% were healthcare providers (private facilities and health workers). Of the 3,658 outlets screened, 1,359 outlets (32%) stocked at least one anti-malarial at the time of study. Oral artemisinin-based monotherapy comprised of 33% of self-reported anti-malarials dispensing volumes found. The vast majority of artemisinin-based monotherapy was sold by retailers, where 63% confirmed that they sold partial courses of therapy by cutting blister packets. Very few retailers (5%) had malaria rapid diagnostic tests available, and quality-assured artemisinin-based combination therapy was virtually nonexistent among retailers. Informal private pharmacies, itinerant drug vendors and general retailers should be targeted for interventions to improve malaria treatment practices in Myanmar, particularly those that threaten the emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance.

  14. Investigating the activity of quinine analogues versus chloroquine resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinio, Theresa; Gorka, Alexander P; McGinniss, Andrew; Roepe, Paul D; Morgan, Jeremy B

    2012-05-15

    Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malarial parasite species, has developed resistance against nearly all man-made antimalarial drugs within the past century. However, quinine (QN), the first antimalarial drug, remains efficacious worldwide. Some chloroquine resistant (CQR) P. falciparum strains or isolates show mild cross resistance to QN, but many do not. Further optimization of QN may provide a well-tolerated therapy with improved activity versus CQR malaria. Thus, using the Heck reaction, we have pursued a structure-activity relationship study, including vinyl group modifications of QN. Certain derivatives show good antiplasmodial activity in QN-resistant and QN-sensitive strains, with lower IC(50) values relative to QN. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. PfEMP1 – A Parasite Protein Family of Key Importance in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Immunity and Pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R

    2015-01-01

    to be a central element in the pathogenesis of the disease. It is mediated by the interaction of parasite ligands on the erythrocyte surface and a range of host receptor molecules in many organs and tissues. Among several proteins and protein families implicated in this process, the P. falciparum erythrocyte...... membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of high-molecular weight and highly variable antigens appears to be the most prominent. In this chapter, we aim to provide a systematic overview of the current knowledge about these proteins, their structure, their function, how they are presented on the erythrocyte...

  16. A potent series targeting the malarial cGMP-dependent protein kinase clears infection and blocks transmission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baker, D.A.; Stewart, L.B.; Large, J.M.; Bowyer, P.W.; Ansell, K.H.; Jimenez-Diaz, M.B.; Bakkouri, M. El; Birchall, K.; Dechering, K.J.; Bouloc, N.S.; Coombs, P.J.; Whalley, D.; Harding, D.J.; Smiljanic-Hurley, E.; Wheldon, M.C.; Walker, E.M.; Dessens, J.T.; Lafuente, M.J.; Sanz, L.M.; Gamo, F.J.; Ferrer, S.B.; Hui, R.; Bousema, T.; Angulo-Barturen, I.; Merritt, A.T.; Croft, S.L.; Gutteridge, W.E.; Kettleborough, C.A.; Osborne, S.A.

    2017-01-01

    To combat drug resistance, new chemical entities are urgently required for use in next generation anti-malarial combinations. We report here the results of a medicinal chemistry programme focused on an imidazopyridine series targeting the Plasmodium falciparum cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase

  17. Identification of active Plasmodium falciparum calpain to establish screening system for Pf-calpain-based drug development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soh Byoung

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the increasing resistance of malaria parasites to available drugs, there is an urgent demand to develop new anti-malarial drugs. Calpain inhibitor, ALLN, is proposed to inhibit parasite proliferation by suppressing haemoglobin degradation. This provides Plasmodium calpain as a potential target for drug development. Pf-calpain, a cysteine protease of Plasmodium falciparum, belongs to calpain-7 family, which is an atypical calpain not harboring Ca2+-binding regulatory motifs. In this present study, in order to establish the screening system for Pf-calpain specific inhibitors, the active form of Pf-calpain was first identified. Methods Recombinant Pf-calpain including catalytic subdomain IIa (rPfcal-IIa was heterologously expressed and purified. Enzymatic activity was determined by both fluorogenic substrate assay and gelatin zymography. Molecular homology modeling was carried out to address the activation mode of Pf-calpain in the aspect of structural moiety. Results Based on the measurement of enzymatic activity and protease inhibitor assay, it was found that the active form of Pf-calpain only contains the catalytic subdomain IIa, suggesting that Pf-calpain may function as a monomeric form. The sequence prediction indicates that the catalytic subdomain IIa contains all amino acid residues necessary for catalytic triad (Cys-His-Asn formation. Molecular modeling suggests that the Pf-calpain subdomain IIa makes an active site, holding the catalytic triad residues in their appropriate orientation for catalysis. The mutation analysis further supports that those amino acid residues are functional and have enzymatic activity. Conclusion The identified active form of Pf-calpain could be utilized to establish high-throughput screening system for Pf-calpain inhibitors. Due to its unique monomeric structural property, Pf-calpain could be served as a novel anti-malarial drug target, which has a high specificity for malaria parasite

  18. Global and local genetic diversity at two microsatellite loci in Plasmodium vivax parasites from Asia, Africa and South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Mette L; Ranjitkar, Samir; Rajakaruna, Rupika S

    2014-01-01

    diversity are vital to the evaluation of drug and vaccine efficacy, tracking of P. vivax outbreaks, and assessing geographical differentiation between parasite populations. METHODS: The genetic diversity of eight P. vivax populations (n = 543) was investigated by using two microsatellites (MS), m1501 and m......3502, chosen because of their seven and eight base-pair (bp) repeat lengths, respectively. These were compared with published data of the same loci from six other P. vivax populations. RESULTS: In total, 1,440 P. vivax samples from 14 countries on three continents were compared. There was highest...... heterozygosity within Asian populations, where expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.92-0.98, and alleles with a high repeat number were more common. Pairwise FST revealed significant differentiation between most P. vivax populations, with the highest divergence found between Asian and South American populations...

  19. Genome content analysis yields new insights into the relationship between the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its anopheline vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppenheim, Sara J; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey A; DeSalle, Rob

    2017-02-27

    The persistent and growing gap between the availability of sequenced genomes and the ability to assign functions to sequenced genes led us to explore ways to maximize the information content of automated annotation for studies of anopheline mosquitos. Specifically, we use genome content analysis of a large number of previously sequenced anopheline mosquitos to follow the loss and gain of protein families over the evolutionary history of this group. The importance of this endeavor lies in the potential for comparative genomic studies between Anopheles and closely related non-vector species to reveal ancestral genome content dynamics involved in vector competence. In addition, comparisons within Anopheles could identify genome content changes responsible for variation in the vectorial capacity of this family of important parasite vectors. The competence and capacity of P. falciparum vectors do not appear to be phylogenetically constrained within the Anophelinae. Instead, using ancestral reconstruction methods, we suggest that a previously unexamined component of vector biology, anopheline nucleotide metabolism, may contribute to the unique status of anophelines as P. falciparum vectors. While the fitness effects of nucleotide co-option by P. falciparum parasites on their anopheline hosts are not yet known, our results suggest that anopheline genome content may be responding to selection pressure from P. falciparum. Whether this response is defensive, in an attempt to redress improper nucleotide balance resulting from P. falciparum infection, or perhaps symbiotic, resulting from an as-yet-unknown mutualism between anophelines and P. falciparum, is an open question that deserves further study. Clearly, there is a wealth of functional information to be gained from detailed manual genome annotation, yet the rapid increase in the number of available sequences means that most researchers will not have the time or resources to manually annotate all the sequence data they

  20. In vitro and in vivo assessment of the anti-malarial activity of Caesalpinia pluviosa

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    Eberlin Marcos N

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To overcome the problem of increasing drug resistance, traditional medicines are an important source for potential new anti-malarials. Caesalpinia pluviosa, commonly named "sibipiruna", originates from Brazil and possess multiple therapeutic properties, including anti-malarial activity. Methods Crude extract (CE was obtained from stem bark by purification using different solvents, resulting in seven fractions. An MTT assay was performed to evaluate cytotoxicity in MCF-7 cells. The CE and its fractions were tested in vitro against chloroquine-sensitive (3D7 and -resistant (S20 strains of Plasmodium falciparum and in vivo in Plasmodium chabaudi-infected mice. In vitro interaction with artesunate and the active C. pluviosa fractions was assessed, and mass spectrometry analyses were conducted. Results At non-toxic concentrations, the 100% ethanolic (F4 and 50% methanolic (F5 fractions possessed significant anti-malarial activity against both 3D7 and S20 strains. Drug interaction assays with artesunate showed a synergistic interaction with the F4. Four days of treatment with this fraction significantly inhibited parasitaemia in mice in a dose-dependent manner. Mass spectrometry analyses revealed the presence of an ion corresponding to m/z 303.0450, suggesting the presence of quercetin. However, a second set of analyses, with a quercetin standard, showed distinct ions of m/z 137 and 153. Conclusions The findings show that the F4 fraction of C. pluviosa exhibits anti-malarial activity in vitro at non-toxic concentrations, which was potentiated in the presence of artesunate. Moreover, this anti-malarial activity was also sustained in vivo after treatment of infected mice. Finally, mass spectrometry analyses suggest that a new compound, most likely an isomer of quercetin, is responsible for the anti-malarial activity of the F4.

  1. Malaria case clinical profiles and Plasmodium falciparum parasite genetic diversity: a cross sectional survey at two sites of different malaria transmission intensities in Rwanda

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kateera, Fredrick; Nsobya, Sam L.; Tukwasibwe, Stephen; Mens, Petra F.; Hakizimana, Emmanuel; Grobusch, Martin P.; Mutesa, Leon; Kumar, Nirbhay; van Vugt, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Malaria remains a public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa with Plasmodium falciparum being the principal cause of malaria disease morbidity and mortality. Plasmodium falciparum virulence is attributed, in part, to its population-level genetic diversity-a characteristic that has yet to be

  2. Efficacy of chloroquine for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax in the Saharan zone in Mauritania

    OpenAIRE

    Ould Ahmedou Salem, Mohamed Salem; Mohamed Lemine, Yeslim Ould; Deida, Jemila Mint; Lemrabott, Mohamed Aly Ould; Ouldabdallahi, Mohamed; Ba, Mamadou dit Dialaw; Boukhary, Ali Ould Mohamed Salem; Khairy, Mohamed Lemine Ould; Abdel Aziz, Mohamed Boubacar; Ringwald, Pascal; Basco, Leonardo K; Niang, Saidou Doro; Lebatt, Sidi Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Background: In 2006, the Mauritanian Ministry of Health adopted a new therapeutic strategy based on the systematic use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), artesunate-amodiaquine and artemether-lumefantrine, for the first-and second-line treatment of uncomplicated malaria, respectively, regardless of Plasmodium spp. In the Saharan zone of the country, recent studies have shown that Plasmodium vivax largely predominates over Plasmodium falciparum. Anti-malarial drug response of P. v...

  3. Characterisation and expression of a PP1 serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PfPP1 from the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum: demonstration of its essential role using RNA interference

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    Musiyenko Alla

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reversible protein phosphorylation is relatively unexplored in the intracellular protozoa of the Apicomplexa family that includes the genus Plasmodium, to which belong the causative agents of malaria. Members of the PP1 family represent the most highly conserved protein phosphatase sequences in phylogeny and play essential regulatory roles in various cellular pathways. Previous evidence suggested a PP1-like activity in Plasmodium falciparum, not yet identified at the molecular level. Results We have identified a PP1 catalytic subunit from P. falciparum and named it PfPP1. The predicted primary structure of the 304-amino acid long protein was highly similar to PP1 sequences of other species, and showed conservation of all the signature motifs. The purified recombinant protein exhibited potent phosphatase activity in vitro. Its sensitivity to specific phosphatase inhibitors was characteristic of the PP1 class. The authenticity of the PfPP1 cDNA was further confirmed by mutational analysis of strategic amino acid residues important in catalysis. The protein was expressed in all erythrocytic stages of the parasite. Abrogation of PP1 expression by synthetic short interfering RNA (siRNA led to inhibition of parasite DNA synthesis. Conclusions The high sequence similarity of PfPP1 with other PP1 members suggests conservation of function. Phenotypic gene knockdown studies using siRNA confirmed its essential role in the parasite. Detailed studies of PfPP1 and its regulation may unravel the role of reversible protein phosphorylation in the signalling pathways of the parasite, including glucose metabolism and parasitic cell division. The use of siRNA could be an important tool in the functional analysis of Apicomplexan genes.

  4. A large proportion of asymptomatic Plasmodium infections with low and sub-microscopic parasite densities in the low transmission setting of Temotu Province, Solomon Islands: challenges for malaria diagnostics in an elimination setting

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    Harris Ivor

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many countries are scaling up malaria interventions towards elimination. This transition changes demands on malaria diagnostics from diagnosing ill patients to detecting parasites in all carriers including asymptomatic infections and infections with low parasite densities. Detection methods suitable to local malaria epidemiology must be selected prior to transitioning a malaria control programme to elimination. A baseline malaria survey conducted in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands in late 2008, as the first step in a provincial malaria elimination programme, provided malaria epidemiology data and an opportunity to assess how well different diagnostic methods performed in this setting. Methods During the survey, 9,491 blood samples were collected and examined by microscopy for Plasmodium species and density, with a subset also examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs. The performances of these diagnostic methods were compared. Results A total of 256 samples were positive by microscopy, giving a point prevalence of 2.7%. The species distribution was 17.5% Plasmodium falciparum and 82.4% Plasmodium vivax. In this low transmission setting, only 17.8% of the P. falciparum and 2.9% of P. vivax infected subjects were febrile (≥38°C at the time of the survey. A significant proportion of infections detected by microscopy, 40% and 65.6% for P. falciparum and P. vivax respectively, had parasite density below 100/μL. There was an age correlation for the proportion of parasite density below 100/μL for P. vivax infections, but not for P. falciparum infections. PCR detected substantially more infections than microscopy (point prevalence of 8.71%, indicating a large number of subjects had sub-microscopic parasitemia. The concordance between PCR and microscopy in detecting single species was greater for P. vivax (135/162 compared to P. falciparum (36/118. The malaria RDT detected the 12 microscopy and

  5. In vitro synergistic effect of fluoroquinolone analogues in combination with artemisinin against Plasmodium falciparum; their antiplasmodial action in rodent malaria model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Drishti; Sharma, Manish; Dixit, Sandeep K; Dutta, Roshan K; Singh, Ashok K; Gupta, Rinkoo D; Awasthi, Satish K

    2015-02-05

    Emergence of drug-resistant parasite strains has surfaced as a major obstacle in attempts to ameliorate malaria. Current treatment regimen of malaria relies on the concept of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Fluoroquinolone analogues, compounds 10, 12 and 18 were investigated for their anti-malarial interaction in combination with artemisinin in vitro, against Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 strain, employing fixed-ratio combination isobologram method. In addition, the efficacy of these compounds was evaluated intraperitoneally in BALB/c mice infected with chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium berghei ANKA strain in the Peters' four-day suppressive test. Promising results were obtained in the form of synergistic or additive interactions. Compounds 10 and 12 were found to have highly synergistic interactions with artemisinin. Antiplasmodial effect was further verified by the convincing ED50 values of these compounds, which ranged between 2.31 and 3.09 (mg/kg BW). In vivo studies substantiated the potential of the fluoroquinolone derivatives to be developed as synergistic partners for anti-malarial drug combinations.

  6. In vitro adaptation of Plasmodium falciparum reveal variations in cultivability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, John; Mascarenhas, Anjali; Pereira, Ligia; Dash, Rashmi; Walke, Jayashri T; Gawas, Pooja; Sharma, Ambika; Manoharan, Suresh Kumar; Guler, Jennifer L; Maki, Jennifer N; Kumar, Ashwani; Mahanta, Jagadish; Valecha, Neena; Dubhashi, Nagesh; Vaz, Marina; Gomes, Edwin; Chery, Laura; Rathod, Pradipsinh K

    2016-01-22

    Culture-adapted Plasmodium falciparum parasites can offer deeper understanding of geographic variations in drug resistance, pathogenesis and immune evasion. To help ground population-based calculations and inferences from culture-adapted parasites, the complete range of parasites from a study area must be well represented in any collection. To this end, standardized adaptation methods and determinants of successful in vitro adaption were sought. Venous blood was collected from 33 P. falciparum-infected individuals at Goa Medical College and Hospital (Bambolim, Goa, India). Culture variables such as whole blood versus washed blood, heat-inactivated plasma versus Albumax, and different starting haematocrit levels were tested on fresh blood samples from patients. In vitro adaptation was considered successful when two four-fold or greater increases in parasitaemia were observed within, at most, 33 days of attempted culture. Subsequently, parasites from the same patients, which were originally cryopreserved following blood draw, were retested for adaptability for 45 days using identical host red blood cells (RBCs) and culture media. At a new endemic area research site, ~65% of tested patient samples, with varied patient history and clinical presentation, were successfully culture-adapted immediately after blood collection. Cultures set up at 1% haematocrit and 0.5% Albumax adapted most rapidly, but no single test condition was uniformly fatal to culture adaptation. Success was not limited by low patient parasitaemia nor by patient age. Some parasites emerged even after significant delays in sample processing and even after initiation of treatment with anti-malarials. When 'day 0' cryopreserved samples were retested in parallel many months later using identical host RBCs and media, speed to adaptation appeared to be an intrinsic property of the parasites collected from individual patients. Culture adaptation of P. falciparum in a field setting is formally shown to be

  7. Monitoring Plasmodium falciparum growth and development by UV flow cytometry using an optimized Hoechst-thiazole orange staining strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimberg, Brian T; Erickson, John J; Sramkoski, R Michael; Jacobberger, James W; Zimmerman, Peter A

    2008-06-01

    The complex life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) makes it difficult to limit infections and reduce the risk of severe malaria. Improved understanding of Pf blood-stage growth and development would provide new opportunities to evaluate and interfere with successful completion of the parasite's life cycle. Cultured blood stage Pf was incubated with Hoechst 33342 (HO) and thiazole orange (TO) to stain DNA and total nucleic acids, respectively. Correlated HO and TO fluorescence emissions were then measured by flow cytometry. Complex bivariate data patterns were analyzed by manual cluster gating to quantify parasite life cycle stages. The permutations of viable staining with both reagents were tested for optimal detection of parasitized RBC (pRBC). Pf cultures were exposed to HO and TO simultaneously to achieve optimal staining of pRBC and consistent quantification of early and late stages of the replicative cycle (rings through schizonts). Staining of Pf nucleic acids allows for analysis of parasite development in the absence of fixatives, lysis, or radioactivity to enable examination of erythrocytes from parasite invasion through schizont rupture using sensitive and rapid assay procedures. Investigation of the mechanisms by which anti-malarial drugs and antibodies act against different Pf lifecycle stages will be aided by this cytometric strategy. (c) 2008 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

  8. Malaria parasites: the great escape

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    Laurent Rénia

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Parasites of the genus Plasmodium have a complex life cycle. They alternate between their final mosquito host and their intermediate hosts. The parasite can be either extra- or intracellular, depending on the stage of development. By modifying their shape, motility, and metabolic requirements, the parasite adapts to the different environments in their different hosts. The parasite has evolved to escape the multiple immune mechanisms in the host that try to block parasite development at the different stages of their development. In this article, we describe the mechanisms reported thus far that allow the Plasmodium parasite to evade innate and adaptive immune responses.

  9. Sub-microscopic infections and long-term recrudescence of Plasmodium falciparum in Mozambican pregnant women

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    Mandomando Inacio

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Control of malaria in pregnancy remains a public health challenge. Improvements in its correct diagnosis and the adequacy of protocols to evaluate anti-malarial drug efficacy in pregnancy, are essential to achieve this goal. Methods The presence of Plasmodium falciparum was assessed by real-time (RT PCR in 284 blood samples from pregnant women with clinical complaints suggestive of malaria, attending the maternity clinic of a Mozambican rural hospital. Parasite recrudescences in 33 consecutive paired episodes during the same pregnancy were identified by msp1 and msp2 genotyping. Results Prevalence of parasitaemia by microscopy was 5.3% (15/284 and 23.2% (66/284 by RT-PCR. Sensitivity of microscopy, compared to RT-PCR detection, was 22.7%. Risk of maternal anaemia was higher in PCR-positive women than in PCR-negative women (odds ratio [OR] = 1.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09–3.36. Genotyping confirmed that recrudescence after malaria treatment occurred in 7 (21% out of 33 pregnant women with consecutive episodes during the same pregnancy (time range between recrudescent episodes: 14 to 187 days. Conclusion More accurate and sensitive diagnostic indicators of malaria infection in pregnancy are needed to improve malaria control. Longer follow-up periods than the standard in vivo drug efficacy protocol should be used to assess anti-malarial drug efficacy in pregnancy.

  10. Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum infections in pregnancy in Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mockenhaupt, F. P.; Rong, B.; Till, H.; Eggelte, T. A.; Beck, S.; Gyasi-Sarpong, C.; Thompson, W. N.; Bienzle, U.

    2000-01-01

    Malarial parasitaemia below the threshold of microscopy but detectable by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays is common in endemic regions. This study was conducted to examine prevalence, predictors, and effects of submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum infections in pregnancy. In a cross-sectional

  11. Functional Identification of the Plasmodium Centromere and Generation of a Plasmodium Artificial Chromosome

    OpenAIRE

    Iwanaga, Shiroh; Khan, Shahid M.; Kaneko, Izumi; Christodoulou, Zoe; Newbold, Chris; Yuda, Masao; Janse, Chris J.; Waters, Andrew P.

    2010-01-01

    Summary The artificial chromosome represents a useful tool for gene transfer, both as cloning vectors and in chromosome biology research. To generate a Plasmodium artificial chromosome (PAC), we had to first functionally identify and characterize the parasite's centromere. A putative centromere (pbcen5) was cloned from chromosome 5 of the rodent parasite P. berghei based on a Plasmodium gene-synteny map. Plasmids containing pbcen5 were stably maintained in parasites during a blood-stage infec...

  12. Phylogenetic profiles of all membrane transport proteins of the malaria parasite highlight new drug targets

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    January Weiner 3rd

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In order to combat the on-going malaria epidemic, discovery of new drug targets remains vital. Proteins that are essential to survival and specific to malaria parasites are key candidates. To survive within host cells, the parasites need to acquire nutrients and dispose of waste products across multiple membranes. Additionally, like all eukaryotes, they must redistribute ions and organic molecules between their various internal membrane bound compartments. Membrane transport proteins mediate all of these processes and are considered important mediators of drug resistance as well as drug targets in their own right. Recently, using advanced experimental genetic approaches and streamlined life cycle profiling, we generated a large collection of Plasmodium berghei gene deletion mutants and assigned essential gene functions, highlighting potential targets for prophylactic, therapeutic, and transmission-blocking anti-malarial drugs. Here, we present a comprehensive orthology assignment of all Plasmodium falciparum putative membrane transport proteins and provide a detailed overview of the associated essential gene functions obtained through experimental genetics studies in human and murine model parasites. Furthermore, we discuss the phylogeny of selected potential drug targets identified in our functional screen. We extensively discuss the results in the context of the functional assignments obtained using gene targeting available to date.

  13. In silico discovery of transcription regulatory elements in Plasmodium falciparum

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    Le Roch Karine G

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the sequence of the Plasmodium falciparum genome and several global mRNA and protein life cycle expression profiling projects now completed, elucidating the underlying networks of transcriptional control important for the progression of the parasite life cycle is highly pertinent to the development of new anti-malarials. To date, relatively little is known regarding the specific mechanisms the parasite employs to regulate gene expression at the mRNA level, with studies of the P. falciparum genome sequence having revealed few cis-regulatory elements and associated transcription factors. Although it is possible the parasite may evoke mechanisms of transcriptional control drastically different from those used by other eukaryotic organisms, the extreme AT-rich nature of P. falciparum intergenic regions (~90% AT presents significant challenges to in silico cis-regulatory element discovery. Results We have developed an algorithm called Gene Enrichment Motif Searching (GEMS that uses a hypergeometric-based scoring function and a position-weight matrix optimization routine to identify with high-confidence regulatory elements in the nucleotide-biased and repeat sequence-rich P. falciparum genome. When applied to promoter regions of genes contained within 21 co-expression gene clusters generated from P. falciparum life cycle microarray data using the semi-supervised clustering algorithm Ontology-based Pattern Identification, GEMS identified 34 putative cis-regulatory elements associated with a variety of parasite processes including sexual development, cell invasion, antigenic variation and protein biosynthesis. Among these candidates were novel motifs, as well as many of the elements for which biological experimental evidence already exists in the Plasmodium literature. To provide evidence for the biological relevance of a cell invasion-related element predicted by GEMS, reporter gene and electrophoretic mobility shift assays

  14. Molecular markers of anti-malarial drug resistance in Lahj Governorate, Yemen: baseline data and implications

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    Chance Michael L

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This is an investigation of anti-malarial molecular markers coupled with a therapeutic efficacy test of chloroquine (CQ against falciparum malaria in an area of unstable malaria in Lahj Governorate, Yemen. The study was aimed at assessment of therapeutic response to CQ and elucidation of baseline information on molecular markers for Plasmodium falciparum resistance against CQ and sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP. Methods Between 2002 and 2003 the field test was conducted according to the standard WHO protocol to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of CQ in 124 patients with falciparum malaria in an endemic area in Lahj Governorate in Yemen. Blood samples collected during this study were analysed for P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene (pfcrt-76 polymorphisms, mutation pfcrt-S163R and the antifolate resistance-associated mutations dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr-C59R and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps-K540E. Direct DNA sequencing of the pfcrt gene from three representative field samples was carried out after DNA amplification of the 13 exons of the pfcrt gene. Results Treatment failure was detected in 61% of the 122 cases that completed the 14-day follow-up. The prevalence of mutant pfcrt T76 was 98% in 112 amplified pre-treatment samples. The presence of pfcrt T76 was poorly predictive of in vivo CQ resistance (PPV = 61.8%, 95% CI = 52.7-70.9. The prevalence of dhfr Arg-59 mutation in 99 amplified samples was 5%, while the dhps Glu-540 was not detected in any of 119 amplified samples. Sequencing the pfcrt gene confirmed that Yemeni CQ resistant P. falciparum carry the old world (Asian and African CQ resistant haplotype CVIETSESI at positions 72,73,74,75,76,220,271, 326 and 371. Conclusion This is the first study to report baseline information on the characteristics and implications of anti-malarial drug resistance markers in Yemen. It is also the first report of the haplotype associated with CQR P. falciparum

  15. Molecular markers of anti-malarial drug resistance in Lahj Governorate, Yemen: baseline data and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mubjer, Reem A; Adeel, Ahmed A; Chance, Michael L; Hassan, Amir A

    2011-08-21

    This is an investigation of anti-malarial molecular markers coupled with a therapeutic efficacy test of chloroquine (CQ) against falciparum malaria in an area of unstable malaria in Lahj Governorate, Yemen. The study was aimed at assessment of therapeutic response to CQ and elucidation of baseline information on molecular markers for Plasmodium falciparum resistance against CQ and sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP). Between 2002 and 2003 the field test was conducted according to the standard WHO protocol to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of CQ in 124 patients with falciparum malaria in an endemic area in Lahj Governorate in Yemen. Blood samples collected during this study were analysed for P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene (pfcrt)-76 polymorphisms, mutation pfcrt-S163R and the antifolate resistance-associated mutations dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr)-C59R and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps)-K540E. Direct DNA sequencing of the pfcrt gene from three representative field samples was carried out after DNA amplification of the 13 exons of the pfcrt gene. Treatment failure was detected in 61% of the 122 cases that completed the 14-day follow-up. The prevalence of mutant pfcrt T76 was 98% in 112 amplified pre-treatment samples. The presence of pfcrt T76 was poorly predictive of in vivo CQ resistance (PPV = 61.8%, 95% CI = 52.7-70.9). The prevalence of dhfr Arg-59 mutation in 99 amplified samples was 5%, while the dhps Glu-540 was not detected in any of 119 amplified samples. Sequencing the pfcrt gene confirmed that Yemeni CQ resistant P. falciparum carry the old world (Asian and African) CQ resistant haplotype CVIETSESI at positions 72,73,74,75,76,220,271, 326 and 371. This is the first study to report baseline information on the characteristics and implications of anti-malarial drug resistance markers in Yemen. It is also the first report of the haplotype associated with CQR P. falciparum parasites from Yemen. Mutant pfcrtT76 is highly prevalent but it

  16. A novel genetic technique in Plasmodium berghei allows liver stage analysis of genes required for mosquito stage development and demonstrates that de novo heme synthesis is essential for liver stage development in the malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Upeksha L Rathnapala

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The combination of drug resistance, lack of an effective vaccine, and ongoing conflict and poverty means that malaria remains a major global health crisis. Understanding metabolic pathways at all parasite life stages is important in prioritising and targeting novel anti-parasitic compounds. The unusual heme synthesis pathway of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, requires eight enzymes distributed across the mitochondrion, apicoplast and cytoplasm. Deletion of the ferrochelatase (FC gene, the final enzyme in the pathway, confirms that heme synthesis is not essential in the red blood cell stages of the life cycle but is required to complete oocyst development in mosquitoes. The lethality of FC deletions in the mosquito stage makes it difficult to study the impact of these mutations in the subsequent liver stage. To overcome this, we combined locus-specific fluorophore expression with a genetic complementation approach to generate viable, heterozygous oocysts able to produce a mix of FC expressing and FC deficient sporozoites. These sporozoites show normal motility and can invade liver cells, where FC deficient parasites can be distinguished by fluorescence and phenotyped. Parasites lacking FC exhibit a severe growth defect within liver cells, with development failure detectable in the early to mid stages of liver development in vitro. FC deficient parasites could not complete liver stage development in vitro nor infect naïve mice, confirming liver stage arrest. These results validate the heme pathway as a potential target for prophylactic drugs targeting liver stage parasites. In addition, we demonstrate that our simple genetic approach can extend the phenotyping window beyond the insect stages, opening considerable scope for straightforward reverse genetic analysis of genes that are dispensable in blood stages but essential for completing mosquito development.

  17. A novel genetic technique in Plasmodium berghei allows liver stage analysis of genes required for mosquito stage development and demonstrates that de novo heme synthesis is essential for liver stage development in the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathnapala, Upeksha L; Goodman, Christopher D; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2017-06-01

    The combination of drug resistance, lack of an effective vaccine, and ongoing conflict and poverty means that malaria remains a major global health crisis. Understanding metabolic pathways at all parasite life stages is important in prioritising and targeting novel anti-parasitic compounds. The unusual heme synthesis pathway of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, requires eight enzymes distributed across the mitochondrion, apicoplast and cytoplasm. Deletion of the ferrochelatase (FC) gene, the final enzyme in the pathway, confirms that heme synthesis is not essential in the red blood cell stages of the life cycle but is required to complete oocyst development in mosquitoes. The lethality of FC deletions in the mosquito stage makes it difficult to study the impact of these mutations in the subsequent liver stage. To overcome this, we combined locus-specific fluorophore expression with a genetic complementation approach to generate viable, heterozygous oocysts able to produce a mix of FC expressing and FC deficient sporozoites. These sporozoites show normal motility and can invade liver cells, where FC deficient parasites can be distinguished by fluorescence and phenotyped. Parasites lacking FC exhibit a severe growth defect within liver cells, with development failure detectable in the early to mid stages of liver development in vitro. FC deficient parasites could not complete liver stage development in vitro nor infect naïve mice, confirming liver stage arrest. These results validate the heme pathway as a potential target for prophylactic drugs targeting liver stage parasites. In addition, we demonstrate that our simple genetic approach can extend the phenotyping window beyond the insect stages, opening considerable scope for straightforward reverse genetic analysis of genes that are dispensable in blood stages but essential for completing mosquito development.

  18. Cryo scanning electron microscopy of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hempel, Casper

    2017-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum invades erythrocytes as an essential part of their life cycle. While living inside erythrocytes, the parasite remodels the cell's intracellular organization as well as its outer surface. Late trophozoite-stage parasites and schizonts introduce numerous small protrusions...

  19. Functional memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells are generated after a single Plasmodium chabaudi infection in mice.

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    Francis Maina Ndungu

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Antibodies have long been shown to play a critical role in naturally acquired immunity to malaria, but it has been suggested that Plasmodium-specific antibodies in humans may not be long lived. The cellular mechanisms underlying B cell and antibody responses are difficult to study in human infections; therefore, we have investigated the kinetics, duration and characteristics of the Plasmodium-specific memory B cell response in an infection of P. chabaudi in mice. Memory B cells and plasma cells specific for the C-terminal region of Merozoite Surface Protein 1 were detectable for more than eight months following primary infection. Furthermore, a classical memory response comprised predominantly of the T-cell dependent isotypes IgG2c, IgG2b and IgG1 was elicited upon rechallenge with the homologous parasite, confirming the generation of functional memory B cells. Using cyclophosphamide treatment to discriminate between long-lived and short-lived plasma cells, we demonstrated long-lived cells secreting Plasmodium-specific IgG in both bone marrow and in spleens of infected mice. The presence of these long-lived cells was independent of the presence of chronic infection, as removal of parasites with anti-malarial drugs had no impact on their numbers. Thus, in this model of malaria, both functional Plasmodium-specific memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells can be generated, suggesting that defects in generating these cell populations may not be the reason for generating short-lived antibody responses.

  20. Dynamics of pfcrt alleles CVMNK and CVIET in chloroquine-treated Sudanese patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warhurst David C

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasite resistance to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine is common in eastern Sudan. Dynamic within-host changes in the relative abundance of both sensitive and resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites were examined in a cohort of chloroquine-treated patients presenting with uncomplicated falciparum malaria, using a novel allele-specific quantitative approach. Methods Treatment outcomes were determined for 93 patients of all ages in a per protocol cohort using a modified 14-day WHO protocol. Parasite DNA samples at days 0, 1, 2, 3, 7 and 14 following treatment were analysed using real-time quantitative PCR methods that distinguished resistant and sensitive genotypes at amino acids 72 - 76 of the pfcrt locus. Results Chloroquine treatment was not efficacious, and of 93 assessable patients, only 10 individuals (10.7%; 95% C.I. 4.34 - 17.2% enjoyed an adequate clinical and parasitological response. Resistant parasites with the haplotype CVIET at codons 72-76 of the pfcrt locus were dominant in the starting population. Chloroquine sensitive parasites with the haplotype CVMNK were detected in 19 individuals prior to treatment (20.43%; 95% C.I. 5.14 - 18.5%. In these patients, CQ treatment rapidly selected CVIET parasites, and this haplotype overwhelmingly dominated the parasite population in each individual by day 2 after treatment. Conclusions Such rapid intra-host selection of particular genotypes after the introduction of drug will cause frequent misidentification of parasite genotypes present in the starting population. This will have a potentially serious confounding effect on clinical trials which employ PCR-corrected estimates of treatment failure, as resistant parasites below the detection threshold in the pre-treatment sample can be erroneously classified as "new" infections during follow-up, over-estimating drug efficacy.

  1. Plasmodium falciparum transfected with ultra bright NanoLuc luciferase offers high sensitivity detection for the screening of growth and cellular trafficking inhibitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro F Azevedo

    Full Text Available Drug discovery is a key part of malaria control and eradication strategies, and could benefit from sensitive and affordable assays to quantify parasite growth and to help identify the targets of potential anti-malarial compounds. Bioluminescence, achieved through expression of exogenous luciferases, is a powerful tool that has been applied in studies of several aspects of parasite biology and high throughput growth assays. We have expressed the new reporter NanoLuc (Nluc luciferase in Plasmodium falciparum and showed it is at least 100 times brighter than the commonly used firefly luciferase. Nluc brightness was explored as a means to achieve a growth assay with higher sensitivity and lower cost. In addition we attempted to develop other screening assays that may help interrogate libraries of inhibitory compounds for their mechanism of action. To this end parasites were engineered to express Nluc in the cytoplasm, the parasitophorous vacuole that surrounds the intraerythrocytic parasite or exported to the red blood cell cytosol. As proof-of-concept, these parasites were used to develop functional screening assays for quantifying the effects of Brefeldin A, an inhibitor of protein secretion, and Furosemide, an inhibitor of new permeation pathways used by parasites to acquire plasma nutrients.

  2. Combinatorial gene regulation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noort, V. van; Huynen, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has a complicated life cycle with large variations in its gene expression pattern, but it contains relatively few specific transcriptional regulators. To elucidate this paradox, we identified regulatory sequences, using an approach that integrates the

  3. Plasmodium vivax Tryptophan Rich Antigen PvTRAg36.6 Interacts with PvETRAMP and PvTRAg56.6 Interacts with PvMSP7 during Erythrocytic Stages of the Parasite.

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    Kriti Tyagi

    Full Text Available Plasmodium vivax is most wide spread and a neglected malaria parasite. There is a lack of information on parasite biology of this species. Genome of this parasite encodes for the largest number of tryptophan-rich proteins belonging to 'Pv-fam-a' family and some of them are potential drug/vaccine targets but their functional role(s largely remains unexplored. Using bacterial and yeast two hybrid systems, we have identified the interacting partners for two of the P. vivax tryptophan-rich antigens called PvTRAg36.6 and PvTRAg56.2. The PvTRAg36.6 interacts with early transcribed membrane protein (ETRAMP of P.vivax. It is apically localized in merozoites but in early stages it is seen in parasite periphery suggesting its likely involvement in parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM development or maintenance. On the other hand, PvTRAg56.2 interacts with P.vivax merozoite surface protein7 (PvMSP7 and is localized on merozoite surface. Co-localization of PvTRAg56.2 with PvMSP1 and its molecular interaction with PvMSP7 probably suggest that, PvTRAg56.2 is part of MSP-complex, and might assist or stabilize the protein complex at the merozoite surface. In conclusion, the PvTRAg proteins have different sub cellular localizations and specific associated functions during intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle.

  4. Plasmodium vivax Tryptophan Rich Antigen PvTRAg36.6 Interacts with PvETRAMP and PvTRAg56.6 Interacts with PvMSP7 during Erythrocytic Stages of the Parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyagi, Kriti; Hossain, Mohammad Enayet; Thakur, Vandana; Aggarwal, Praveen; Malhotra, Pawan; Mohmmed, Asif; Sharma, Yagya Dutta

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is most wide spread and a neglected malaria parasite. There is a lack of information on parasite biology of this species. Genome of this parasite encodes for the largest number of tryptophan-rich proteins belonging to ‘Pv-fam-a’ family and some of them are potential drug/vaccine targets but their functional role(s) largely remains unexplored. Using bacterial and yeast two hybrid systems, we have identified the interacting partners for two of the P. vivax tryptophan-rich antigens called PvTRAg36.6 and PvTRAg56.2. The PvTRAg36.6 interacts with early transcribed membrane protein (ETRAMP) of P.vivax. It is apically localized in merozoites but in early stages it is seen in parasite periphery suggesting its likely involvement in parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) development or maintenance. On the other hand, PvTRAg56.2 interacts with P.vivax merozoite surface protein7 (PvMSP7) and is localized on merozoite surface. Co-localization of PvTRAg56.2 with PvMSP1 and its molecular interaction with PvMSP7 probably suggest that, PvTRAg56.2 is part of MSP-complex, and might assist or stabilize the protein complex at the merozoite surface. In conclusion, the PvTRAg proteins have different sub cellular localizations and specific associated functions during intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle. PMID:26954579

  5. Operational strategies of anti-malarial drug campaigns for malaria elimination in Zambia's southern province: a simulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckey, Erin M; Miller, John M; Littrell, Megan; Chitnis, Nakul; Steketee, Rick

    2016-03-09

    Malaria elimination requires reducing both the potential of mosquitoes to transmit parasites to humans and humans to transmit parasites to mosquitoes. To achieve this goal in Southern province, Zambia a mass test and treat (MTAT) campaign was conducted from 2011-2013 to complement high coverage of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLIN). To identify factors likely to increase campaign effectiveness, a modelling approach was applied to investigate the simulated effect of alternative operational strategies for parasite clearance in southern province. OpenMalaria, a discrete-time, individual-based stochastic model of malaria, was parameterized for the study area to simulate anti-malarial drug administration for interruption of transmission. Simulations were run for scenarios with a range of artemisinin-combination therapies, proportion of the population reached by the campaign, targeted age groups, time between campaign rounds, Plasmodium falciparum test protocols, and the addition of drugs aimed at preventing onward transmission. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess uncertainty of simulation results. Scenarios were evaluated based on the reduction in all-age parasite prevalence during the peak transmission month one year following the campaign, compared to the currently-implemented strategy of MTAT 19 % population coverage at pilot and 40 % coverage during the first year of implementation in the presence of 56 % LLIN use and 18 % indoor residual spray coverage. Simulation results suggest the most important determinant of success in reducing prevalence is the population coverage achieved in the campaign, which would require more than 1 year of campaign implementation for elimination. The inclusion of single low-dose primaquine, which acts as a gametocytocide, or ivermectin, which acts as an endectocide, to the drug regimen did not further reduce parasite prevalence one year following the campaign compared to the currently-implemented strategy

  6. X-ray structural analysis of Plasmodium falciparum enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase as a pathway toward the optimization of triclosan antimalarial efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freundlich, Joel S; Wang, Feng; Tsai, Han-Chun; Kuo, Mack; Shieh, Hong-Ming; Anderson, John W; Nkrumah, Louis J; Valderramos, Juan-Carlos; Yu, Min; Kumar, T R Santha; Valderramos, Stephanie G; Jacobs, William R; Schiehser, Guy A; Jacobus, David P; Fidock, David A; Sacchettini, James C

    2007-08-31

    The x-ray crystal structures of five triclosan analogs, in addition to that of the isoniazid-NAD adduct, are described in relation to their integral role in the design of potent inhibitors of the malarial enzyme Plasmodium falciparum enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase (PfENR). Many of the novel 5-substituted analogs exhibit low micromolar potency against in vitro cultures of drug-resistant and drug-sensitive strains of the P. falciparum parasite and inhibit purified PfENR enzyme with IC50 values of <200 nM. This study has significantly expanded the knowledge base with regard to the structure-activity relationship of triclosan while affording gains against cultured parasites and purified PfENR enzyme. In contrast to a recent report in the literature, these results demonstrate the ability to improve the in vitro potency of triclosan significantly by replacing the suboptimal 5-chloro group with larger hydrophobic moieties. The biological and x-ray crystallographic data thus demonstrate the flexibility of the active site and point to future rounds of optimization to improve compound potency against purified enzyme and intracellular Plasmodium parasites.

  7. Local population structure of Plasmodium: impact on malaria control and elimination

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    Chenet Stella M

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Regardless of the growing interest in detecting population structures in malarial parasites, there have been limited discussions on how to use this concept in control programmes. In such context, the effects of the parasite population structures will depend on interventions’ spatial or temporal scales. This investigation explores the problem of identifying genetic markers, in this case microsatellites, to unveil Plasmodium genetic structures that could affect decisions in the context of elimination. The study was performed in a low-transmission area, which offers a good proxy to better understand problems associated with surveillance at the final stages of malaria elimination. Methods Plasmodium vivax samples collected in Tumeremo, Venezuela, between March 2003 and November 2004 were analysed. Since Plasmodium falciparum also circulates in many low endemic areas, P. falciparum samples from the same locality and time period were included for comparison. Plasmodium vivax samples were assayed for an original set of 25 microsatellites and P. falciparum samples were assayed for 12 microsatellites. Results Not all microsatellite loci assayed offered reliable local data. A complex temporal-cluster dynamics is found in both P. vivax and P. falciparum. Such dynamics affect the numbers and the type of microsatellites required for identifying individual parasites or parasite clusters when performing cross-sectional studies. The minimum number of microsatellites required to differentiate circulating P. vivax clusters differs from the minimum number of hyper-variable microsatellites required to distinguish individuals within these clusters. Regardless the extended number of microsatellites used in P. vivax, it was not possible to separate all individual infections. Conclusions Molecular surveillance has great potential; however, it requires preliminary local studies in order to properly interpret the emerging patterns in the context of

  8. 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.

  9. Use of buffy coat thick films in detecting malaria parasites in patients with negative conventional thick films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duangdee, Chatnapa; Tangpukdee, Noppadon; Krudsood, Srivicha; Wilairatana, Polrat

    2012-04-01

    To determine the frequency of malaria parasite detection from the buffy coat blood films by using capillary tube in falciparum malaria patients with negative conventional thick films. Thirty six uncomplicated falciparum malaria patients confirmed by conventional thick and thin films were included in the study. The patients were treated with artemisinin combination therapy at Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bangkok, Thailand for 28 day. Fingerpricks for conventional blood films were conducted every 6 hours until negative parasitemia, then daily fingerpricks for parasite checks were conducted until the patients were discharged from hospital. Blood samples were also concurrently collected in 3 heparinized capillary tubes at the same time of fingerpricks for conventional blood films when the prior parasitemia was negative on thin films and parasitemia was lower than 50 parasites/200 white blood cells by thick film. The first negative conventional thick films were compared with buffy coat thick films for parasite identification. Out of 36 patients with thick films showing negative for asexual forms of parasites, buffy coat films could detect remaining 10 patients (27.8%) with asexual forms of Plasmodium falciparum. The study shows that buffy coat thick films are useful and can detect malarial parasites in 27.8% of patients whose conventional thick films show negative parasitemia.

  10. Spatial prediction of Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in Somalia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noor, Abdisalan M; Clements, Archie C A; Gething, Peter W; Moloney, Grainne; Borle, Mohammed; Shewchuk, Tanya; Hay, Simon I; Snow, Robert W

    2008-08-21

    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. 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. 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 or = 5% prevalence were predominantly in the south. 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.

  11. Spatial prediction of Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in Somalia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Hepatocyte CD81 is required for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium yoelii sporozoite infectivity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvie, O.; Rubinstein, E.; Franetich, J.F.; Prenant, M.; Belnoue, E.; Renia, L.; Hannoun, L.; Eling, W.M.C.; Levy, S.; Boucheix, C.; Mazier, D.

    2003-01-01

    Plasmodium sporozoites are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes and first invade the liver of the mammalian host, as an obligatory step of the life cycle of the malaria parasite. Within hepatocytes, Plasmodium sporozoites reside in a membrane-bound vacuole, where they differentiate

  13. Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 - Glycosylation and localization to low-density, detergent-resistant membranes in the parasitized erythrocyte

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoessli, D.C.; Poincelet, M.; Gupta, Ramneek

    2003-01-01

    In addition to the major carbohydrate moieties of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, we report that Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) bears O-GlcNAc modifications predominantly in beta-anomeric configuration, in both the C- and N-terminal portions of the protei...

  14. Synthesis and exploration of novel curcumin analogues as anti-malarial agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Satyendra; Karmodiya, Krishanpal; Surolia, Namita; Surolia, Avadhesha

    2008-03-15

    Curcumin, a major yellow pigment and active component of turmeric, has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. Recent studies have indicated that curcumin inhibits chloroquine-sensitive (CQ-S) and chloroquine-resistant (CQ-R) Plasmodium falciparum growth in culture with an IC(50) of approximately 3.25 microM (MIC=13.2 microM) and IC(50) 4.21 microM (MIC=14.4 microM), respectively. In order to expand their potential as anti-malarials a series of novel curcumin derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for their ability to inhibit P. falciparum growth in culture. Several curcumin analogues examined show more effective inhibition of P. falciparum growth than curcumin. The most potent curcumin compounds 3, 6, and 11 were inhibitory for CQ-S P. falciparum at IC(50) of 0.48, 0.87, 0.92 microM and CQ-R P. falciparum at IC(50) of 0.45 microM, 0.89, 0.75 microM, respectively. Pyrazole analogue of curcumin (3) exhibited sevenfold higher anti-malarial potency against CQ-S and ninefold higher anti-malarial potency against CQ-R. Curcumin analogues described here represent a novel class of highly selective P. falciparum inhibitors and promising candidates for the design of novel anti-malarial agents.

  15. Mannose-binding lectin is a disease modifier in clinical malaria and may function as opsonin for Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garred, Peter; Nielsen, Morten A; Kurtzhals, Jørgen

    2003-01-01

    Variant alleles in the mannose-binding lectin (MBL) gene (mbl2) causing low levels of functional MBL are associated with susceptibility to different infections and are common in areas where malaria is endemic. Therefore, we investigated whether MBL variant alleles in 551 children from Ghana were...... associated with the occurrence and outcome parameters of Plasmodium falciparum malaria and asked whether MBL may function as an opsonin for P. falciparum. No difference in MBL genotype frequency was observed between infected and noninfected children or between children with cerebral malaria and/or severe...... malarial anemia and children with uncomplicated malaria. However, patients with complicated malaria who were homozygous for MBL variant alleles had significantly higher parasite counts and lower blood glucose levels than their MBL-competent counterparts. Distinct calcium-dependent binding of MBL...

  16. Absence of Plasmodium inui and Plasmodium cynomolgi, but detection of Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium vivax infections in asymptomatic humans in the Betong division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siner, Angela; Liew, Sze-Tze; Kadir, Khamisah Abdul; Mohamad, Dayang Shuaisah Awang; Thomas, Felicia Kavita; Zulkarnaen, Mohammad; Singh, Balbir

    2017-10-17

    Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite, has become the main cause of malaria in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Epidemiological data on malaria for Sarawak has been derived solely from hospitalized patients, and more accurate epidemiological data on malaria is necessary. Therefore, a longitudinal study of communities affected by knowlesi malaria was undertaken. A total of 3002 blood samples on filter paper were collected from 555 inhabitants of 8 longhouses with recently reported knowlesi malaria cases in the Betong Division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Each longhouse was visited bimonthly for a total of 10 times during a 21-month study period (Jan 2014-Oct 2015). DNA extracted from blood spots were examined by a nested PCR assay for Plasmodium and positive samples were then examined by nested PCR assays for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium cynomolgi and Plasmodium inui. Blood films of samples positive by PCR were also examined by microscopy. Genus-specific PCR assay detected Plasmodium DNA in 9 out of 3002 samples. Species-specific PCR identified 7 P. knowlesi and one P. vivax. Malaria parasites were observed in 5 thick blood films of the PCR positive samples. No parasites were observed in blood films from one knowlesi-, one vivax- and the genus-positive samples. Only one of 7 P. knowlesi-infected individual was febrile and had sought medical treatment at Betong Hospital the day after sampling. The 6 knowlesi-, one vivax- and one Plasmodium-infected individuals were afebrile and did not seek any medical treatment. Asymptomatic human P. knowlesi and P. vivax malaria infections, but not P. cynomolgi and P. inui infections, are occurring within communities affected with malaria.

  17. Substandard anti-malarial drugs in Burkina Faso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sie Ali

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is concern about an increasing infiltration of markets by substandard and fake medications against life-threatening diseases in developing countries. This is particularly worrying with regard to the increasing resistance development of Plasmodium falciparum against affordable anti-malarial medications, which has led to a change to more expensive drugs in most endemic countries. Methods A representative sample of modern anti-malarial medications from licensed (public and private pharmacies, community health workers and illicit (market and street vendors, shops sources has been collected in the Nouna Health District in north-western Burkina Faso in 2006. All drugs were tested for their quality with the standard procedures of the German Pharma Health Fund-Minilab. Detected low standard drugs were re-tested with European Pharmacopoeia 2.9.1 standards for disintegration and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy at the laboratory of the Heidelberg University for confirmation. Results Overall, 86 anti-malarial drug samples were collected, of which 77 samples have been included in the final analysis. The sample consisted of 39/77 (50% chloroquine, 10/77 (13% pyrimethamine-sulphadoxine, 9/77 (12% quinine, 6/77 (8% amodiaquine, 9/77 (12% artesunate, and 4/77 (5% artemether-lumefantrine. 32/77 (42% drug samples were found to be of poor quality, of which 28 samples failed the visual inspection, nine samples had substandard concentrations of the active ingredient, four samples showed poor disintegration, and one sample contained non of the stated active ingredient. The licensed and the illicit market contributed 5/47 (10.6% and 27/30 (90.0% samples of substandard drugs respectively. Conclusion These findings provide further evidence for the wide-spread existence of substandard anti-malarial medications in Africa and call for strengthening of the regulatory and quality control capacity of affected countries, particularly in view of the

  18. Case management of malaria fever in Cambodia: results from national anti-malarial outlet and household surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Littrell Megan

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Continued progress towards global reduction in morbidity and mortality due to malaria requires scale-up of effective case management with artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT. The first case of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was documented in western Cambodia. Spread of artemisinin resistance would threaten recent gains in global malaria control. As such, the anti-malarial market and malaria case management practices in Cambodia have global significance. Methods Nationally-representative household and outlet surveys were conducted in 2009 among areas in Cambodia with malaria risk. An anti-malarial audit was conducted among all public and private outlets with the potential to sell anti-malarials. Indicators on availability, price and relative volumes sold/distributed were calculated across types of anti-malarials and outlets. The household survey collected information about management of recent "malaria fevers." Case management in the public versus private sector, and anti-malarial treatment based on malaria diagnostic testing were examined. Results Most public outlets (85% and nearly half of private pharmacies, clinics and drug stores stock ACT. Oral artemisinin monotherapy was found in pharmacies/clinics (9%, drug stores (14%, mobile providers (4% and grocery stores (2%. Among total anti-malarial volumes sold/distributed nationally, 6% are artemisinin monotherapies and 72% are ACT. Only 45% of people with recent "malaria fever" reportedly receive a diagnostic test, and the most common treatment acquired is a drug cocktail containing no identifiable anti-malarial. A self-reported positive diagnostic test, particularly when received in the public sector, improves likelihood of receiving anti-malarial treatment. Nonetheless, anti-malarial treatment of reportedly positive cases is low among people who seek treatment exclusively in the public (61% and private (42% sectors. Conclusions While data on the anti-malarial

  19. A role for fetal hemoglobin and maternal immune IgG in infant resistance to Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chanaki Amaratunga

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available In Africa, infant susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum malaria increases substantially as fetal hemoglobin (HbF and maternal immune IgG disappear from circulation. During the first few months of life, however, resistance to malaria is evidenced by extremely low parasitemias, the absence of fever, and the almost complete lack of severe disease. This resistance has previously been attributed in part to poor parasite growth in HbF-containing red blood cells (RBCs. A specific role for maternal immune IgG in infant resistance to malaria has been hypothesized but not yet identified.We found that P. falciparum parasites invade and develop normally in fetal (cord blood, CB RBCs, which contain up to 95% HbF. However, these parasitized CB RBCs are impaired in their binding to human microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs, monocytes, and nonparasitized RBCs--cytoadherence interactions that have been implicated in the development of high parasite densities and the symptoms of malaria. Abnormal display of the parasite's cytoadherence antigen P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein-1 (PfEMP-1 on CB RBCs accounts for these findings and is reminiscent of that on HbC and HbS RBCs. IgG purified from the plasma of immune Malian adults almost completely abolishes the adherence of parasitized CB RBCs to MVECs.Our data suggest a model of malaria protection in which HbF and maternal IgG act cooperatively to impair the cytoadherence of parasitized RBCs in the first few months of life. In highly malarious areas of Africa, an infant's contemporaneous expression of HbC or HbS and development of an immune IgG repertoire may effectively reconstitute the waning protective effects of HbF and maternal immune IgG, thereby extending the malaria resistance of infancy into early childhood.

  20. The counterfeit anti-malarial is a crime against humanity: a systematic review of the scientific evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunamoorthi, Kaliyaperumal

    2014-06-02

    The counterfeiting of anti-malarials represents a form of attack on global public health in which fake and substandard anti-malarials serve as de facto weapons of mass destruction, particularly in resource-constrained endemic settings, where malaria causes nearly 660,000 preventable deaths and threatens millions of lives annually. It has been estimated that fake anti-malarials contribute to nearly 450,000 preventable deaths every year. This crime against humanity is often underestimated or ignored. This study attempts to describe and characterize the direct and indirect effects of counterfeit anti-malarials on public health, clinical care and socio-economic conditions. A search was performed using key databases, WHO documents, and English language search engines. Of 262 potential articles that were identified using a fixed set of criteria, a convenience sample of 105 appropriate articles was selected for this review. Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is an important tool in the fight against malaria, but a sizable number of patients are unable to afford to this first-line treatment. Consequently, patients tend to procure cheaper anti-malarials, which may be fake or substandard. Forensic palynology reveals that counterfeits originate in Asia. Fragile drug regulations, ineffective law-enforcement agencies and corruption further burden ailing healthcare facilities. Substandard/fake anti-malarials can cause (a) economic sabotage; (b) therapeutic failure; (c) increased risk of the emergence and spread of resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax; (d) an undermining of trust/confidence in healthcare stakeholders/systems; and, (e) serious side effects or death. Combating counterfeit anti-malarials is a complex task due to limited resources and poor techniques for the detection and identification of fake anti-malarials. This situation calls for sustainable, global, scientific research and policy change. Further, responsible stakeholders in

  1. Positive selection of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with multiple var2csa-type PfEMP1 genes during the course of infection in pregnant women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sander, Adam F; Salanti, Ali; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    multiple genes coding for different VAR2CSA proteins, and parasites with >1 var2csa gene appear to be more common in pregnant women with placental malaria than in nonpregnant individuals. We present evidence that, in pregnant women, parasites containing multiple var2csa-type genes possess a selective...... advantage over parasites with a single var2csa gene. Accumulation of parasites with multiple copies of the var2csa gene during the course of pregnancy was also correlated with the development of antibodies involved in blocking VAR2CSA adhesion. The data suggest that multiplicity of var2csa-type genes...

  2. Identification and reconstitution of the polyketide synthases responsible for biosynthesis of the anti-malarial agent, cladosporin

    OpenAIRE

    Cochrane, Rachel V. K.; Sanichar, Randy; Lambkin, Gareth R.; Reiz, Béla; Xu, Wei; Tang, Yi; Vederas, John C.

    2015-01-01

    The anti-malarial agent cladosporin is a nanomolar inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum lysyl-tRNA synthetase, and exhibits activity against both blood and liver stage infection. Cladosporin can be isolated from the fungus Cladosporium cladosporioides, where it was believed to be biosynthesized by a highly reducing (HR) and non-reducing (NR) iterative type I polyketide synthase (PKS) pair. Genome sequencing of the host organism, and subsequent heterologous expression of these enzymes in Sacchar...

  3. Malaria's missing number: calculating the human component of R0 by a within-host mechanistic model of Plasmodium falciparum infection and transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey L Johnston

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Human infection by malarial parasites of the genus Plasmodium begins with the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Current estimates place malaria mortality at over 650,000 individuals each year, mostly in African children. Efforts to reduce disease burden can benefit from the development of mathematical models of disease transmission. To date, however, comprehensive modeling of the parameters defining human infectivity to mosquitoes has remained elusive. Here, we describe a mechanistic within-host model of Plasmodium falciparum infection in humans and pathogen transmission to the mosquito vector. Our model incorporates the entire parasite lifecycle, including the intra-erythrocytic asexual forms responsible for disease, the onset of symptoms, the development and maturation of intra-erythrocytic gametocytes that are transmissible to Anopheles mosquitoes, and human-to-mosquito infectivity. These model components were parameterized from malaria therapy data and other studies to simulate individual infections, and the ensemble of outputs was found to reproduce the full range of patient responses to infection. Using this model, we assessed human infectivity over the course of untreated infections and examined the effects in relation to transmission intensity, expressed by the basic reproduction number R0 (defined as the number of secondary cases produced by a single typical infection in a completely susceptible population. Our studies predict that net human-to-mosquito infectivity from a single non-immune individual is on average equal to 32 fully infectious days. This estimate of mean infectivity is equivalent to calculating the human component of malarial R0 . We also predict that mean daily infectivity exceeds five percent for approximately 138 days. The mechanistic framework described herein, made available as stand-alone software, will enable investigators to conduct detailed studies into theories of malaria control, including the effects of

  4. Activity of clinically relevant antimalarial drugs on Plasmodium falciparum mature gametocytes in an ATP bioluminescence "transmission blocking" assay.

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    Joël Lelièvre

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Current anti-malarial drugs have been selected on the basis of their activity against the symptom-causing asexual blood stage of the parasite. Which of these drugs also target gametocytes, in the sexual stage responsible for disease transmission, remains unknown. Blocking transmission is one of the main strategies in the eradication agenda and requires the identification of new molecules that are active against gametocytes. However, to date, the main limitation for measuring the effect of molecules against mature gametocytes on a large scale is the lack of a standardized and reliable method. Here we provide an efficient method to produce and purify mature gametocytes in vitro. Based on this new procedure, we developed a robust, affordable, and sensitive ATP bioluminescence-based assay. We then assessed the activity of 17 gold-standard anti-malarial drugs on Plasmodium late stage gametocytes. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Difficulties in producing large amounts of gametocytes have limited progress in the development of malaria transmission blocking assays. We improved the method established by Ifediba and Vanderberg to obtain viable, mature gametocytes en masse, whatever the strain used. We designed an assay to determine the activity of antimalarial drugs based on the intracellular ATP content of purified stage IV-V gametocytes after 48 h of drug exposure in 96/384-well microplates. Measurements of drug activity on asexual stages and cytotoxicity on HepG2 cells were also obtained to estimate the specificity of the active drugs. CONCLUSIONS: The work described here represents another significant step towards determination of the activity of new molecules on mature gametocytes of any strain with an automated assay suitable for medium/high-throughput screening. Considering that the biology of the forms involved in the sexual and asexual stages is very different, a screen of our 2 million-compound library may allow us to discover novel anti-malarial

  5. Access to artesunate-amodiaquine, quinine and other anti-malarials: policy and markets in Burundi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amuasi, John H; Diap, Graciela; Blay-Nguah, Samuel; Boakye, Isaac; Karikari, Patrick E; Dismas, Baza; Karenzo, Jeanne; Nsabiyumva, Lievin; Louie, Karly S; Kiechel, Jean-René

    2011-02-10

    Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in post-conflict Burundi. To counter the increasing challenge of anti-malarial drug resistance and improve highly effective treatment Burundi adopted artesunate-amodiaquine (AS-AQ) as first-line treatment for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria and oral quinine as second-line treatment in its national treatment policy in 2003. Uptake of this policy in the public, private and non-governmental (NGO) retail market sectors of Burundi is relatively unknown. This study was conducted to evaluate access to national policy recommended anti-malarials. Adapting a standardized methodology developed by Health Action International/World Health Organization (HAI/WHO), a cross-sectional survey of 70 (24 public, 36 private, and 10 NGO) medicine outlets was conducted in three regions of Burundi, representing different levels of transmission of malaria. The availability on day of the survey, the median prices, and affordability (in terms of number of days' wages to purchase treatment) of AS-AQ, quinine and other anti-malarials were calculated. Anti-malarials were stocked in all outlets surveyed. AS-AQ was available in 87.5%, 33.3%, and 90% of public, private, and NGO retail outlets, respectively. Quinine was the most common anti-malarial found in all outlet types. Non-policy recommended anti-malarials were mainly found in the private outlets (38.9%) compared to public (4.2%) and NGO (0%) outlets. The median price of a course of AS-AQ was US$0.16 (200 Burundi Francs, FBu) for the public and NGO markets, and 3.5-fold higher in the private sector (US$0.56 or 700 FBu). Quinine tablets were similarly priced in the public (US$1.53 or 1,892.50 FBu), private and NGO sectors (both US$1.61 or 2,000 FBu). Non-policy anti-malarials were priced 50-fold higher than the price of AS-AQ in the public sector. A course of AS-AQ was affordable at 0.4 of a day's wage in the public and NGO sectors, whereas, it was equivalent to 1.5 days worth

  6. Exploring the diversity and distribution of neotropical avian malaria parasites--a molecular survey from Southeast Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo A Lacorte

    Full Text Available Southeast Brazil is a neotropical region composed of a mosaic of different tropical habitats and mountain chains, which allowed for the formation of bird-rich communities with distinct ecological niches. Although this region has the potential to harbor a remarkable variety of avian parasites, there is a lack of information about the diversity of malarial parasites. We used molecular approaches to characterize the lineage diversity of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in bird communities from three different habitats in southeast Brazil based on the prevalence, richness and composition of lineages. We observed an overall prevalence of 35.3%, with a local prevalence ranging from 17.2% to 54.8%. Moreover, no significant association between prevalence and habitat type could be verified (p>0.05. We identified 89 Plasmodium and 22 Haemoproteus lineages, with 86% of them described for the first time here, including an unusual infection of a non-columbiform host by a Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus parasite. The composition analyses of the parasite communities showed that the lineage composition from Brazilian savannah and tropical dry forest was similar, but it was different from the lineage composition of Atlantic rainforest, reflecting the greater likeness of the former habitats with respect to seasonality and forest density. No significant effects of habitat type on lineage richness were observed based on GLM analyses. We also found that sites whose samples had a greater diversity of bird species showed a greater diversity of parasite lineages, providing evidence that areas with high bird richness also have high parasite richness. Our findings point to the importance of the neotropical region (southeast Brazil as a major reservoir of new haemosporidian lineages.

  7. Hemolysis is associated with low reticulocyte production index and predicts blood transfusion in severe malarial anemia.

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    Rolf Fendel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Falciparum Malaria, an infectious disease caused by the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, is among the leading causes of death and morbidity attributable to infectious diseases worldwide. In Gabon, Central Africa, one out of four inpatients have severe malarial anemia (SMA, a life-threatening complication if left untreated. Emerging drug resistant parasites might aggravate the situation. This case control study investigates biomarkers of enhanced hemolysis in hospitalized children with either SMA or mild malaria (MM. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Ninety-one children were included, thereof 39 SMA patients. Strict inclusion criteria were chosen to exclude other causes of anemia. At diagnosis, erythrophagocytosis (a direct marker for extravascular hemolysis, EVH was enhanced in SMA compared to MM patients (5.0 arbitrary units (AU (interquartile range (IR: 2.2-9.6 vs. 2.1 AU (IR: 1.3-3.9, p<0.01. Furthermore, indirect markers for EVH, (i.e. serum neopterin levels, spleen size enlargement and monocyte pigment were significantly increased in SMA patients. Markers for erythrocyte ageing, such as CD35 (complement receptor 1, CD55 (decay acceleration factor and phosphatidylserine exposure (annexin-V-binding were investigated by flow cytometry. In SMA patients, levels of CD35 and CD55 on the red blood cell surface were decreased and erythrocyte removal markers were increased when compared to MM or reconvalescent patients. Additionally, intravascular hemolysis (IVH was quantified using several indirect markers (LDH, alpha-HBDH, haptoglobin and hemopexin, which all showed elevated IVH in SMA. The presence of both IVH and EVH predicted the need for blood transfusion during antimalarial treatment (odds ratio 61.5, 95% confidence interval (CI: 8.9-427. Interestingly, this subpopulation is characterized by a significantly lowered reticulocyte production index (RPI, p<0.05. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show the multifactorial pathophysiology of SMA

  8. Identification of O-GlcNAcylated proteins in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kupferschmid, Mattis; Aquino-Gil, Moyira Osny; Shams-Eldin, Hosam; Schmidt, Jörg; Yamakawa, Nao; Krzewinski, Frédéric; Schwarz, Ralph T; Lefebvre, Tony

    2017-11-29

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) constitute a huge group of chemical modifications increasing the complexity of the proteomes of living beings. PTMs have been discussed as potential anti-malarial drug targets due to their involvement in many cell processes. O-GlcNAcylation is a widespread PTM found in different organisms including Plasmodium falciparum. The aim of this study was to identify O-GlcNAcylated proteins of P. falciparum, to learn more about the modification process and to understand its eventual functions in the Apicomplexans. The P. falciparum strain 3D7 was amplified in erythrocytes and purified. The proteome was checked for O-GlcNAcylation using different methods. The level of UDP-GlcNAc, the donor of the sugar moiety for O-GlcNAcylation processes, was measured using high-pH anion exchange chromatography. O-GlcNAcylated proteins were enriched and purified utilizing either click chemistry labelling or adsorption on succinyl-wheat germ agglutinin beads. Proteins were then identified by mass-spectrometry (nano-LC MS/MS). While low when compared to MRC5 control cells, P. falciparum disposes of its own pool of UDP-GlcNAc. By using proteomics methods, 13 O-GlcNAcylated proteins were unambiguously identified (11 by click-chemistry and 6 by sWGA-beads enrichment; 4 being identified by the 2 approaches) in late trophozoites. These proteins are all part of pathways, functions and structures important for the parasite survival. By probing clicked-proteins with specific antibodies, Hsp70 and α-tubulin were identified as P. falciparum O-GlcNAc-bearing proteins. This study is the first report on the identity of P. falciparum O-GlcNAcylated proteins. While the parasite O-GlcNAcome seems close to those of other species, the structural differences exhibited by the proteomes provides a glimpse of innovative therapeutic paths to fight malaria. Blocking biosynthesis of UDP-GlcNAc in the parasites is another promising option to reduce Plasmodium life cycle.

  9. 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

    faster than non-filtered parasites seemingly due to a higher development ratio of ring stage parasites progressing into the late stages. Cellulose filtration had no apparent effect on clonality or var gene expression; however, evident differences were observed after only 4 days of culture in both...

  10. Fitness components and natural selection: why are there different patterns on the emergence of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax?

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    Schneider Kristan A

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Considering the distinct biological characteristics of Plasmodium species is crucial for control and elimination efforts, in particular when facing the spread of drug resistance. Whereas the evolutionary fitness of all malarial species could be approximated by the probability of being taken by a mosquito and then infecting a new host, the actual steps in the malaria life cycle leading to a successful transmission event show differences among Plasmodium species. These “steps” are called fitness components. Differences in terms of fitness components may affect how selection imposed by interventions, e.g. drug treatments, differentially acts on each Plasmodium species. Thus, a successful malaria control or elimination programme should understand how differences in fitness components among different malaria species could affect adaptive evolution (e.g. the emergence of drug resistance. In this investigation, the interactions between some fitness components and natural selection are explored. Methods A population-genetic model is formulated that qualitatively explains how different fitness components (in particular gametocytogenesis and longevity of gametocytes affect selection acting on merozoites during the erythrocytic cycle. By comparing Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, the interplay of parasitaemia and gametocytaemia dynamics in determining fitness is modelled under circumstances that allow contrasting solely the differences between these two parasites in terms of their fitness components. Results By simulating fitness components, it is shown that selection acting on merozoites (e.g., on drug resistant mutations or malaria antigens is more efficient in P. falciparum than in P. vivax. These results could explain, at least in part, why resistance against drugs, such as chloroquine (CQ is highly prevalent in P. falciparum worldwide, while CQ is still a successful treatment for P. vivax despite its massive use

  11. Humanized HLA-DR4.RagKO.IL2RγcKO.NOD (DRAG) mice sustain the complex vertebrate life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijayalath, Wathsala; Majji, Sai; Villasante, Eileen F; Brumeanu, Teodor D; Richie, Thomas L; Casares, Sofia

    2014-09-30

    Malaria is a deadly infectious disease affecting millions of people in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Among the five species of Plasmodium parasites that infect humans, Plasmodium falciparum accounts for the highest morbidity and mortality associated with malaria. Since humans are the only natural hosts for P. falciparum, the lack of convenient animal models has hindered the understanding of disease pathogenesis and prompted the need of testing anti-malarial drugs and vaccines directly in human trials. Humanized mice hosting human cells represent new pre-clinical models for infectious diseases that affect only humans. In this study, the ability of human-immune-system humanized HLA-DR4.RagKO.IL2RγcKO.NOD (DRAG) mice to sustain infection with P. falciparum was explored. Four week-old DRAG mice were infused with HLA-matched human haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and examined for reconstitution of human liver cells and erythrocytes. Upon challenge with infectious P. falciparum sporozoites (NF54 strain) humanized DRAG mice were examined for liver stage infection, blood stage infection, and transmission to Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. Humanized DRAG mice reconstituted human hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, liver endothelial cells, and erythrocytes. Upon intravenous challenge with P. falciparum sporozoites, DRAG mice sustained liver to blood stage infection (average 3-5 parasites/microlitre blood) and allowed transmission to An. stephensi mosquitoes. Infected DRAG mice elicited antibody and cellular responses to the blood stage parasites and self-cured the infection by day 45 post-challenge. DRAG mice represent the first human-immune-system humanized mouse model that sustains the complex vertebrate life cycle of P. falciparum without the need of exogenous injection of human hepatocytes/erythrocytes or P. falciparum parasite adaptation. The ability of DRAG mice to elicit specific human immune responses to P. falciparum parasites may help deciphering immune correlates

  12. Sub-minute Phosphoregulation of Cell Cycle Systems during Plasmodium Gamete Formation

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    Brandon M. Invergo

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Summary: The transmission of malaria parasites to mosquitoes relies on the rapid induction of sexual reproduction upon their ingestion into a blood meal. Haploid female and male gametocytes become activated and emerge from their host cells, and the males enter the cell cycle to produce eight microgametes. The synchronized nature of gametogenesis allowed us to investigate phosphorylation signaling during its first minute in Plasmodium berghei via a high-resolution time course of the phosphoproteome. This revealed an unexpectedly broad response, with proteins related to distinct cell cycle events undergoing simultaneous phosphoregulation. We implicate several protein kinases in the process, and we validate our analyses on the plant-like calcium-dependent protein kinase 4 (CDPK4 and a homolog of serine/arginine-rich protein kinases (SRPK1. Mutants in these kinases displayed distinct phosphoproteomic disruptions, consistent with differences in their phenotypes. The results reveal the central role of protein phosphorylation in the atypical cell cycle regulation of a divergent eukaryote. : Invergo et al. measure a phosphoproteomic time course during a life cycle transition of a malarial parasite. They observed broad phosphoregulation on a sub-minute scale, including simultaneous regulation of replication- and mitosis-related proteins. Their analyses reveal conserved phosphorylation patterns, and they highlight functional roles of specific protein kinases during this process. Keywords: gametogenesis, proteomics, signal transduction, ARK2, CRK5

  13. Transmission blocking activity of a standardized neem (Azadirachta indica) seed extract on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in its vector Anopheles stephensi

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background The wide use of gametocytocidal artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) lead to a reduction of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in several African endemic settings. An increased impact on malaria burden may be achieved through the development of improved transmission-blocking formulations, including molecules complementing the gametocytocidal effects of artemisinin derivatives and/or acting on Plasmodium stages developing in the vector. Azadirachtin, a limonoid (tetranortriterpenoid) abundant in neem (Azadirachta indica, Meliaceae) seeds, is a promising candidate, inhibiting Plasmodium exflagellation in vitro at low concentrations. This work aimed at assessing the transmission-blocking potential of NeemAzal®, an azadirachtin-enriched extract of neem seeds, using the rodent malaria in vivo model Plasmodium berghei/Anopheles stephensi. Methods Anopheles stephensi females were offered a blood-meal on P. berghei infected, gametocytaemic BALB/c mice, treated intraperitoneally with NeemAzal, one hour before feeding. The transmission-blocking activity of the product was evaluated by assessing oocyst prevalence, oocyst density and capacity to infect healthy mice. To characterize the anti-plasmodial effects of NeemAzal® on early midgut stages, i.e. zygotes and ookinetes, Giemsa-stained mosquito midgut smears were examined. Results NeemAzal® completely blocked P. berghei development in the vector, at an azadirachtin dose of 50 mg/kg mouse body weight. The totally 138 examined, treated mosquitoes (three experimental replications) did not reveal any oocyst and none of the healthy mice exposed to their bites developed parasitaemia. The examination of midgut content smears revealed a reduced number of zygotes and post-zygotic forms and the absence of mature ookinetes in treated mosquitoes. Post-zygotic forms showed several morphological alterations, compatible with the hypothesis of an azadirachtin interference with the functionality of the microtubule

  14. Transmission blocking activity of a standardized neem (Azadirachta indica seed extract on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in its vector Anopheles stephensi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esposito Fulvio

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The wide use of gametocytocidal artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT lead to a reduction of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in several African endemic settings. An increased impact on malaria burden may be achieved through the development of improved transmission-blocking formulations, including molecules complementing the gametocytocidal effects of artemisinin derivatives and/or acting on Plasmodium stages developing in the vector. Azadirachtin, a limonoid (tetranortriterpenoid abundant in neem (Azadirachta indica, Meliaceae seeds, is a promising candidate, inhibiting Plasmodium exflagellation in vitro at low concentrations. This work aimed at assessing the transmission-blocking potential of NeemAzal®, an azadirachtin-enriched extract of neem seeds, using the rodent malaria in vivo model Plasmodium berghei/Anopheles stephensi. Methods Anopheles stephensi females were offered a blood-meal on P. berghei infected, gametocytaemic BALB/c mice, treated intraperitoneally with NeemAzal, one hour before feeding. The transmission-blocking activity of the product was evaluated by assessing oocyst prevalence, oocyst density and capacity to infect healthy mice. To characterize the anti-plasmodial effects of NeemAzal® on early midgut stages, i.e. zygotes and ookinetes, Giemsa-stained mosquito midgut smears were examined. Results NeemAzal® completely blocked P. berghei development in the vector, at an azadirachtin dose of 50 mg/kg mouse body weight. The totally 138 examined, treated mosquitoes (three experimental replications did not reveal any oocyst and none of the healthy mice exposed to their bites developed parasitaemia. The examination of midgut content smears revealed a reduced number of zygotes and post-zygotic forms and the absence of mature ookinetes in treated mosquitoes. Post-zygotic forms showed several morphological alterations, compatible with the hypothesis of an azadirachtin interference with the functionality

  15. Genome-scale comparison of expanded gene families in Plasmodium ovale wallikeri and Plasmodium ovale curtisi with Plasmodium malariae and with other Plasmodium species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansari, Hifzur Rahman; Templeton, Thomas J; Subudhi, Amit Kumar; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Tang, Jianxia; Lu, Feng; Naeem, Raeece; Hashish, Yasmeen; Oguike, Mary C; Benavente, Ernest Diez; Clark, Taane G; Sutherland, Colin J; Barnwell, John W; Culleton, Richard; Cao, Jun; Pain, Arnab

    2016-10-01

    Malaria in humans is caused by six species of Plasmodium parasites, of which the nuclear genome sequences for the two Plasmodium ovale spp., P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri, and Plasmodium malariae have not yet been analyzed. Here we present an analysis of the nuclear genome sequences of these three parasites, and describe gene family expansions therein. Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri are genetically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable and have sympatric ranges through the tropics of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Both P. ovale spp. show expansion of the surfin variant gene family, and an amplification of the Plasmodium interspersed repeat (pir) superfamily which results in an approximately 30% increase in genome size. For comparison, we have also analyzed the draft nuclear genome of P. malariae, a malaria parasite causing mild malaria symptoms with a quartan life cycle, long-term chronic infections, and wide geographic distribution. Plasmodium malariae shows only a moderate level of expansion of pir genes, and unique expansions of a highly diverged transmembrane protein family with over 550 members and the gamete P25/27 gene family. The observed diversity in the P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi surface antigens, combined with their phylogenetic separation, supports consideration that the two parasites be given species status. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Genome-scale comparison of expanded gene families in Plasmodium ovale wallikeri and Plasmodium ovale curtisi with Plasmodium malariae and with other Plasmodium species

    KAUST Repository

    Ansari, Hifzur Rahman; Templeton, Thomas J.; Subudhi, Amit; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Tang, Jianxia; Lu, Feng; Naeem, Raeece; Hashish, Yasmeen; Oguike, Mary C.; Benavente, Ernest Diez; Clark, Taane G.; Sutherland, Colin J.; Barnwell, John W.; Culleton, Richard; Cao, Jun; Pain, Arnab

    2016-01-01

    Malaria in humans is caused by six species of Plasmodium parasites, of which the nuclear genome sequences for the two Plasmodium ovale spp., P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri, and Plasmodium malariae have not yet been analyzed. Here we present an analysis of the nuclear genome sequences of these three parasites, and describe gene family expansions therein. Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri are genetically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable and have sympatric ranges through the tropics of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Both P. ovale spp. show expansion of the surfin variant gene family, and an amplification of the Plasmodium interspersed repeat (pir) superfamily which results in an approximately 30% increase in genome size. For comparison, we have also analyzed the draft nuclear genome of P. malariae, a malaria parasite causing mild malaria symptoms with a quartan life cycle, long-term chronic infections, and wide geographic distribution. Plasmodium malariae shows only a moderate level of expansion of pir genes, and unique expansions of a highly diverged transmembrane protein family with over 550 members and the gamete P25/27 gene family. The observed diversity in the P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi surface antigens, combined with their phylogenetic separation, supports consideration that the two parasites be given species status.

  17. Genome-scale comparison of expanded gene families in Plasmodium ovale wallikeri and Plasmodium ovale curtisi with Plasmodium malariae and with other Plasmodium species

    KAUST Repository

    Ansari, Hifzur Rahman

    2016-07-05

    Malaria in humans is caused by six species of Plasmodium parasites, of which the nuclear genome sequences for the two Plasmodium ovale spp., P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri, and Plasmodium malariae have not yet been analyzed. Here we present an analysis of the nuclear genome sequences of these three parasites, and describe gene family expansions therein. Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri are genetically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable and have sympatric ranges through the tropics of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Both P. ovale spp. show expansion of the surfin variant gene family, and an amplification of the Plasmodium interspersed repeat (pir) superfamily which results in an approximately 30% increase in genome size. For comparison, we have also analyzed the draft nuclear genome of P. malariae, a malaria parasite causing mild malaria symptoms with a quartan life cycle, long-term chronic infections, and wide geographic distribution. Plasmodium malariae shows only a moderate level of expansion of pir genes, and unique expansions of a highly diverged transmembrane protein family with over 550 members and the gamete P25/27 gene family. The observed diversity in the P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi surface antigens, combined with their phylogenetic separation, supports consideration that the two parasites be given species status.

  18. Micro-epidemiological structuring of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations in regions with varying transmission intensities in Africa. [version 2; referees: 4 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Omedo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The first models of malaria transmission assumed a completely mixed and homogeneous population of parasites.  Recent models include spatial heterogeneity and variably mixed populations. However, there are few empiric estimates of parasite mixing with which to parametize such models. Methods: Here we genotype 276 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in 5199 P. falciparum isolates from two Kenyan sites (Kilifi county and Rachuonyo South district and one Gambian site (Kombo coastal districts to determine the spatio-temporal extent of parasite mixing, and use Principal Component Analysis (PCA and linear regression to examine the relationship between genetic relatedness and distance in space and time for parasite pairs. Results: Using 107, 177 and 82 SNPs that were successfully genotyped in 133, 1602, and 1034 parasite isolates from The Gambia, Kilifi and Rachuonyo South district, respectively, we show that there are no discrete geographically restricted parasite sub-populations, but instead we see a diffuse spatio-temporal structure to parasite genotypes.  Genetic relatedness of sample pairs is predicted by relatedness in space and time. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that targeted malaria control will benefit the surrounding community, but unfortunately also that emerging drug resistance will spread rapidly through the population.

  19. 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.

  20. The Robust and Modulated Biomarker Network Elicited by the Plasmodium vivax Infection Is Mainly Mediated by the IL-6/IL-10 Axis and Is Associated with the Parasite Load

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    Allyson Guimarães da Costa

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Recent studies have shown that the inflammatory process, including the biomarker production, and the intense activation of innate immune responses are greater in the malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax than other species. Here, we examined the levels of serum biomarkers and their interaction during acute malaria. Material and Methods. Blood samples were collected from P. vivax-infected patients at admission and from healthy donors. Levels of serum biomarkers were measured by Cytometric Bead Assay or ELISA. Results. P. vivax infection triggered the production of both inflammatory and regulatory biomarkers. Levels of IL-6, CXCL-8, IFN-γ, IL-5, and IL-10 were higher in P. vivax-infected patients than in healthy donors. On the other hand, malaria patients produced lower levels of TNF-α, IL-12p70, and IL-2 than healthy individuals. While the levels of IL-10 and IL-6 were found independent on the number of malaria episodes, higher levels of these cytokines were seen in patients with higher parasite load. Conclusion. A mixed pattern of proinflammatory and regulatory biomarkers is produced in P. vivax malaria. Analysis of biomarker network suggests that IL-10 and IL-6 are a robust axis in malaria patients and that this interaction seems to be associated with the parasite load.

  1. Mass anti-malarial administration in western Cambodia: a qualitative study of factors affecting coverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pell, Christopher; Tripura, Rupam; Nguon, Chea; Cheah, Phaikyeong; Davoeung, Chan; Heng, Chhouen; Dara, Lim; Sareth, Ma; Dondorp, Arjen; von Seidlein, Lorenz; Peto, Thomas J

    2017-05-19

    Mass anti-malarial administration has been proposed as a key component of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria elimination strategy in the Greater Mekong sub-Region. Its effectiveness depends on high levels of coverage in the target population. This article explores the factors that influenced mass anti-malarial administration coverage within a clinical trial in Battambang Province, western Cambodia. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with villagers, in-depth interviews with study staff, trial drop-outs and refusers, and observations in the communities. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated from Khmer to English for qualitative content analysis using QSR NVivo. Malaria was an important health concern and villagers reported a demand for malaria treatment. This was in spite of a fall in incidence over the previous decade and a lack of familiarity with asymptomatic malaria. Participants generally understood the overall study aim and were familiar with study activities. Comprehension of the study rationale was however limited. After the first mass anti-malarial administration, seasonal health complaints that participants attributed to the anti-malarial as "side effects" contributed to a decrease of coverage in round two. Staff therefore adapted the community engagement approach, bringing to prominence local leaders in village meetings. This contributed to a subsequent increase in coverage. Future mass anti-malarial administration must consider seasonal disease patterns and the importance of local leaders taking prominent roles in community engagement. Further research is needed to investigate coverage in scenarios that more closely resemble implementation i.e. without participation incentives, blood sampling and free healthcare.

  2. Poor quality vital anti-malarials in Africa - an urgent neglected public health priority

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newton Paul N

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a major public health problem. A vital component of malaria control rests on the availability of good quality artemisinin-derivative based combination therapy (ACT at the correct dose. However, there are increasing reports of poor quality anti-malarials in Africa. Methods Seven collections of artemisinin derivative monotherapies, ACT and halofantrine anti-malarials of suspicious quality were collected in 2002/10 in eleven African countries and in Asia en route to Africa. Packaging, chemical composition (high performance liquid chromatography, direct ionization mass spectrometry, X-ray diffractometry, stable isotope analysis and botanical investigations were performed. Results Counterfeit artesunate containing chloroquine, counterfeit dihydroartemisinin (DHA containing paracetamol (acetaminophen, counterfeit DHA-piperaquine containing sildenafil, counterfeit artemether-lumefantrine containing pyrimethamine, counterfeit halofantrine containing artemisinin, and substandard/counterfeit or degraded artesunate and artesunate+amodiaquine in eight countries are described. Pollen analysis was consistent with manufacture of counterfeits in eastern Asia. These data do not allow estimation of the frequency of poor quality anti-malarials in Africa. Conclusions Criminals are producing diverse harmful anti-malarial counterfeits with important public health consequences. The presence of artesunate monotherapy, substandard and/or degraded and counterfeit medicines containing sub-therapeutic amounts of unexpected anti-malarials will engender drug resistance. With the threatening spread of artemisinin resistance to Africa, much greater investment is required to ensure the quality of ACTs and removal of artemisinin monotherapies. The International Health Regulations may need to be invoked to counter these serious public health problems.

  3. Epidemiological models for the spread of anti-malarial resistance

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    Antia R

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The spread of drug resistance is making malaria control increasingly difficult. Mathematical models for the transmission dynamics of drug sensitive and resistant strains can be a useful tool to help to understand the factors that influence the spread of drug resistance, and they can therefore help in the design of rational strategies for the control of drug resistance. Methods We present an epidemiological framework to investigate the spread of anti-malarial resistance. Several mathematical models, based on the familiar Macdonald-Ross model of malaria transmission, enable us to examine the processes and parameters that are critical in determining the spread of resistance. Results In our simplest model, resistance does not spread if the fraction of infected individuals treated is less than a threshold value; if drug treatment exceeds this threshold, resistance will eventually become fixed in the population. The threshold value is determined only by the rates of infection and the infectious periods of resistant and sensitive parasites in untreated and treated hosts, whereas the intensity of transmission has no influence on the threshold value. In more complex models, where hosts can be infected by multiple parasite strains or where treatment varies spatially, resistance is generally not fixed, but rather some level of sensitivity is often maintained in the population. Conclusions The models developed in this paper are a first step in understanding the epidemiology of anti-malarial resistance and evaluating strategies to reduce the spread of resistance. However, specific recommendations for the management of resistance need to wait until we have more data on the critical parameters underlying the spread of resistance: drug use, spatial variability of treatment and parasite migration among areas, and perhaps most importantly, cost of resistance.

  4. Juxtamembrane shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 is sequence independent and essential, and helps evade invasion-inhibitory antibodies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Olivieri

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The malarial life cycle involves repeated rounds of intraerythrocytic replication interspersed by host cell rupture which releases merozoites that rapidly invade fresh erythrocytes. Apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA1 is a merozoite protein that plays a critical role in invasion. Antibodies against AMA1 prevent invasion and can protect against malaria in vivo, so AMA1 is of interest as a malaria vaccine candidate. AMA1 is efficiently shed from the invading parasite surface, predominantly through juxtamembrane cleavage by a membrane-bound protease called SUB2, but also by limited intramembrane cleavage. We have investigated the structural requirements for shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 (PfAMA1, and the consequences of its inhibition. Mutagenesis of the intramembrane cleavage site by targeted homologous recombination abolished intramembrane cleavage with no effect on parasite viability in vitro. Examination of PfSUB2-mediated shedding of episomally-expressed PfAMA1 revealed that the position of cleavage is determined primarily by its distance from the parasite membrane. Certain mutations at the PfSUB2 cleavage site block shedding, and parasites expressing these non-cleavable forms of PfAMA1 on a background of expression of the wild type gene invade and replicate normally in vitro. The non-cleavable PfAMA1 is also functional in invasion. However - in contrast to the intramembrane cleavage site - mutations that block PfSUB2-mediated shedding could not be stably introduced into the genomic pfama1 locus, indicating that some shedding of PfAMA1 by PfSUB2 is essential. Remarkably, parasites expressing shedding-resistant forms of PfAMA1 exhibit enhanced sensitivity to antibody-mediated inhibition of invasion. Drugs that inhibit PfSUB2 activity should block parasite replication and may also enhance the efficacy of vaccines based on AMA1 and other merozoite surface proteins.

  5. Molecular interaction of selected phytochemicals under the charged environment of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Saumya K; Khedkar, Vijay M; Jha, Prakash C; Jasrai, Yogesh T; Pandya, Himanshu A; George, Linz-Buoy; Highland, Hyacinth N; Skelton, Adam A

    2016-01-01

    Phytochemicals of Catharanthus roseus Linn. and Tylophora indica have been known for their inhibition of malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum in cell culture. Resistance to chloroquine (CQ), a widely used antimalarial drug, is due to the CQ resistance transporter (CRT) system. The present study deals with computational modeling of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) protein and development of charged environment to mimic a condition of resistance. The model of PfCRT was developed using Protein homology/analogy engine (PHYRE ver 0.2) and was validated based on the results obtained using PSI-PRED. Subsequently, molecular interactions of selected phytochemicals extracted from C. roseus Linn. and T. indica were studied using multiple-iterated genetic algorithm-based docking protocol in order to investigate the translocation of these legends across the PfCRT protein. Further, molecular dynamics studies exhibiting interaction energy estimates of these compounds within the active site of the protein showed that compounds are more selective toward PfCRT. Clusters of conformations with the free energy of binding were estimated which clearly demonstrated the potential channel and by this means the translocation across the PfCRT is anticipated.

  6. The antimalarial drug, Ro 42-1611 (arteflene), does not affect cytoadherence and cytokine-inducing properties of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, P H; Staalsø, T; Bendtzen, K

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of the antimalarial drug, Ro 42-1611 to block parasite mediated cytokine induction in vitro as well as cytoadherence of infected erythrocytes to melanoma cells in vitro. The biological activity of Ro 42-1611 was confirmed as it blocked...... to melanoma cells. The therapeutic effect of To 42-1611 appears to be confined to its parasite killing activity....

  7. Plasmodium Sporozoite Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frischknecht, Friedrich; Matuschewski, Kai

    2017-05-01

    Plasmodium sporozoite transmission is a critical population bottleneck in parasite life-cycle progression and, hence, a target for prophylactic drugs and vaccines. The recent progress of a candidate antisporozoite subunit vaccine formulation to licensure highlights the importance of sporozoite transmission intervention in the malaria control portfolio. Sporozoites colonize mosquito salivary glands, migrate through the skin, penetrate blood vessels, breach the liver sinusoid, and invade hepatocytes. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate the remarkable sporozoite journey in the invertebrate vector and the vertebrate host can inform evidence-based next-generation drug development programs and immune intervention strategies. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  8. Analysis of polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum genes related to drug resistance: a survey over four decades under different treatment policies in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Juliana; Lopes, Dinora; do Rosário, Virgílio; Machado, Marta; Hristov, Angélica D; Lima, Giselle Fmc; Costa-Nascimento, Maria J; Segurado, Aluísio C; Di Santi, Silvia M

    2014-09-19

    Anti-malarial resistance in Plasmodium falciparum remains an obstacle for malaria control. Resistance-associated genes were analysed in Brazilian samples over four decades to evaluate the impact of different treatment regimens on the parasite genetic profile. Samples were collected on filter paper from patients infected in the Amazon region from 1984 to 2011. DNA was extracted with Chelex® 100 and monoinfection confirmed by PCR. SNPs in the pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfdhfr and pfdhps genes were assessed by PCR-RFLP. The pfmdr1 copy number was estimated using real time quantitative PCR with SYBR® Green. Parasite response was assessed ex vivo with seven concentrations of each anti-malarial. Patients were treated according to Brazilian guidelines: quinine plus tetracycline or mefloquine in period 1 and ACT in period 2. All 96 samples presented the pfcrt 76T mutant throughout the assessed periods. In addition, all isolates showed ex vivo chloroquine resistance. The pfmdr1 86Y was detected in 1.5% of samples in period 1, and in 25% in period 2. All samples presented the pfmdr1 1246Y. The analysis of pfmdr1 copy number showed amplification in 37.3% in period 1 and in 42% in period 2. Mutations in pfdhfr were shown as follows: 51I in all samples in period 1 and in 81.2% in period 2; 59R in 6.4% in period 2. The pfdhfr 108N and the pfdhps 437G were seen in all samples along time; the pfdhps 540E in 93.7% in period 1 and in 75% in period 2. The 76T mutation associated to chloroquine resistance is still present in the parasite population, although this anti-malarial was withdrawn from the chemotherapy of P. falciparum in Brazil in the mid-1980s. All isolates assayed ex vivo for chloroquine showed resistant phenotype and 76T. No association was observed between pfmdr1 mutations and resistance to quinine, mefloquine and artemisinin derivatives. Additionally, the pfdhfr 108N mutation was detected in all samples throughout the evaluated periods, demonstrating fixation of the mutant

  9. Therapeutic principles of primaquine against relapse of Plasmodium vivax malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, J. K.

    2018-03-01

    Plasmodium vivax causes tens of millions of clinical attacks annually all across the malarious globe. Unlike the other major cause of human malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax places dormant stages called hypnozoites into the human liver that later awaken and provoke multiple clinical attacks in the weeks, months, and few years following the infectious anopheline mosquito bite. The only available treatment to prevent those recurrent attacks is primaquine (hypnozoitocide), and it must be administered with the drugs applied to end the acute attack (blood schizontocides). This paper reviews the therapeutic principles of applying primaquine to achieve radical cure of acute vivax malaria.

  10. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein (CSP) Influence Parasite Burden and Cytokine Balance in a Pre-Amazon Endemic Area from Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Bruno de Paulo; Cassiano, Gustavo Capatti; de Souza, Rodrigo Medeiros; Cysne, Dalila Nunes; Grisotto, Marcos Augusto Grigolin; de Azevedo dos Santos, Ana Paula Silva; Marinho, Cláudio Romero Farias; Machado, Ricardo Luiz Dantas; Nascimento, Flávia Raquel Fernandes

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms involved in severe P. vivax malaria remain unclear. Parasite polymorphisms, parasite load and host cytokine profile may influence the course of infection. In this study, we investigated the influence of circumsporozoite protein (CSP) polymorphisms on parasite load and cytokine profile in patients with vivax malaria. A cross-sectional study was carried out in three cities: São Luís, Cedral and Buriticupu, Maranhão state, Brazil, areas of high prevalence of P. vivax. Interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-6, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α, interferon gamma (IFN-γ and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β were quantified in blood plasma of patients and in supernatants from peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures. Furthermore, the levels of cytokines and parasite load were correlated with VK210, VK247 and P. vivax-like CSP variants. Patients infected with P. vivax showed increased IL-10 and IL-6 levels, which correlated with the parasite load, however, in multiple comparisons, only IL-10 kept this association. A regulatory cytokine profile prevailed in plasma, while an inflammatory profile prevailed in PBMC culture supernatants and these patterns were related to CSP polymorphisms. VK247 infected patients showed higher parasitaemia and IL-6 concentrations, which were not associated to IL-10 anti-inflammatory effect. By contrast, in VK210 patients, these two cytokines showed a strong positive correlation and the parasite load was lower. Patients with the VK210 variant showed a regulatory cytokine profile in plasma, while those infected with the VK247 variant have a predominantly inflammatory cytokine profile and higher parasite loads, which altogether may result in more complications in infection. In conclusion, we propose that CSP polymorphisms is associated to the increase of non-regulated inflammatory immune responses, which in turn may be associated with the outcome of infection. PMID:26943639

  11. Molecular analysis demonstrates high prevalence of chloroquine resistance but no evidence of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Mohammad Shafiul; Ley, Benedikt; Nima, Maisha Khair; Johora, Fatema Tuj; Hossain, Mohammad Enayet; Thriemer, Kamala; Auburn, Sarah; Marfurt, Jutta; Price, Ric N; Khan, Wasif A

    2017-08-15

    Artemisinin resistance is present in the Greater Mekong region and poses a significant threat for current anti-malarial treatment guidelines in Bangladesh. The aim of this molecular study was to assess the current status of drug resistance in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh near the Myanmar border. Samples were obtained from patients enrolled into a Clinical Trial (NCT02389374) conducted in Alikadam, Bandarban between August 2014 and January 2015. Plasmodium falciparum infections were confirmed by PCR and all P. falciparum positive isolates genotyped for the pfcrt K76T and pfmdr1 N86Y markers. The propeller region of the kelch 13 (k13) gene was sequenced from isolates from patients with delayed parasite clearance. In total, 130 P. falciparum isolates were available for analysis. The pfcrt mutation K76T, associated with chloroquine resistance was found in 81.5% (106/130) of cases and the pfmdr1 mutation N86Y in 13.9% (18/130) cases. No single nucleotide polymorphisms were observed in the k13 propeller region. This study provides molecular evidence for the ongoing presence of chloroquine resistant P. falciparum in Bangladesh, but no evidence of mutations in the k13 propeller domain associated with artemisinin resistance. Monitoring for artemisinin susceptibility in Bangladesh is needed to ensure early detection and containment emerging anti-malarial resistance.

  12. Malaria parasite carbonic anhydrase: inhibition of aromatic/heterocyclic sulfonamides and its therapeutic potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) is responsible for the majority of life-threatening cases of human malaria, causing 1.5-2.7 million annual deaths. The global emergence of drug-resistant malaria parasites necessitates identification and characterization of novel drug targets and their potential inhibitors. We identified the carbonic anhydrase (CA) genes in P. falciparum. The pfCA gene encodes anα-carbonic anhydrase, a Zn2+-metalloenzme, possessing catalytic properties distinct from that of the human host CA enzyme. The amino acid sequence of the pfCA enzyme is different from the analogous protozoan and human enzymes. A library of aromatic/heterocyclic sulfonamides possessing a large diversity of scaffolds were found to be very good inhibitors for the malarial enzyme at moderate-low micromolar and submicromolar inhibitions. The structure of the groups substituting the aromatic-ureido- or aromatic-azomethine fragment of the molecule and the length of the parent sulfonamide were critical parameters for the inhibitory properties of the sulfonamides. One derivative, that is, 4- (3, 4-dichlorophenylureido)thioureido-benzenesulfonamide (compound 10) was the most effective in vitro Plasmodium falciparum CA inhibitor, and was also the most effective antimalarial compound on the in vitro P. falciparum growth inhibition. The compound 10 was also effective in vivo antimalarial agent in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei, an animal model of drug testing for human malaria infection. It is therefore concluded that the sulphonamide inhibitors targeting the parasite CA may have potential for the development of novel therapies against human malaria. PMID:23569766

  13. Investigation of volatile organic biomarkers derived from Plasmodium falciparum in vitro

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    Wong Rina PM

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There remains a need for techniques that improve the sensitive detection of viable Plasmodium falciparum as part of diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring in clinical studies and usual-care management of malaria infections. A non-invasive breath test based on P. falciparum-associated specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs could fill this gap and provide insights into parasite metabolism and pathogenicity. The aim of this study was to determine whether VOCs are present in the headspace above in vitro P. falciparum cultures. Methods A novel, custom-designed apparatus was developed to enable efficient headspace sampling of infected and non-infected cultures. Conditions were optimized to support cultures of high parasitaemia (>20% to improve the potential detection of parasite-specific VOCs. A number of techniques for VOC analysis were investigated including solid phase micro-extraction using two different polarity fibres, and purge and trap/thermal desorption, each coupled to gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Each experiment and analysis method was performed at least on two occasions. VOCs were identified by comparing their mass spectra against commercial mass spectral libraries. Results No unique malarial-specific VOCs could be detected relative to those in the control red blood cell cultures. This could reflect sequestration of VOCs into cell membranes and/or culture media but solvent extractions of supernatants and cell lysates using hexane, dichloromethane and ethyl acetate also showed no obvious difference compared to control non-parasitized cultures. Conclusions Future in vivo studies analysing the breath of patients with severe malaria who are harbouring a parasite biomass that is significantly greater than achievable in vitro may yet reveal specific clinically-useful volatile chemical biomarkers.

  14. Complement activation in Ghanaian children with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helegbe, Gideon K; Goka, Bamenla Q; Kurtzhals, Jørgen

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Severe anaemia (SA), intravascular haemolysis (IVH) and respiratory distress (RD) are severe forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, with RD reported to be of prognostic importance in African children with malarial anaemia. Complement factors have been implicated in the mechanism lead...

  15. Structural basis of malaria parasite lysyl-tRNA synthetase inhibition by cladosporin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Sameena; Sharma, Arvind; Belrhali, Hassan; Yogavel, Manickam; Sharma, Amit

    2014-06-01

    Malaria parasites inevitably develop drug resistance to anti-malarials over time. Hence the immediacy for discovering new chemical scaffolds to include in combination malaria drug therapy. The desirable attributes of new chemotherapeutic agents currently include activity against both liver and blood stage malaria parasites. One such recently discovered compound called cladosporin abrogates parasite growth via inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum lysyl-tRNA synthetase (PfKRS), an enzyme central to protein translation. Here, we present crystal structure of ternary PfKRS-lysine-cladosporin (PfKRS-K-C) complex that reveals cladosporin's remarkable ability to mimic the natural substrate adenosine and thereby colonize PfKRS active site. The isocoumarin fragment of cladosporin sandwiches between critical adenine-recognizing residues while its pyran ring fits snugly in the ribose-recognizing cavity. PfKRS-K-C structure highlights ample space within PfKRS active site for further chemical derivatization of cladosporin. Such derivatives may be useful against additional human pathogens that retain high conservation in cladosporin chelating residues within their lysyl-tRNA synthetase.

  16. B-cell responses to pregnancy-restricted and -unrestricted Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 antigens in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    -linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and memory B-cell frequencies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay in a cohort of P. falciparum-exposed nonpregnant Ghanaian women. The antigens used were a VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 (IT4VAR04) with expression restricted to parasites infecting the placenta, as well as two...... commonly recognized PfEMP1 proteins (HB3VAR06 and IT4VAR60) implicated in rosetting and not pregnancy restricted. This enabled, for the first time, a direct comparison in the same individuals of immune responses specific for a clinically important parasite antigen expressed only during well-defined periods...

  17. Loading of erythrocyte membrane with pentacyclic triterpenes inhibits Plasmodium falciparum invasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ziegler, Hanne L; Staalsø, Trine; Jaroszewski, Jerzy W

    2006-01-01

    Lupeol and betulinic acid inhibit the proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites by inhibition of the invasion of merozoites into erythrocytes. This conclusion is based on experiments employing parasite cultures synchronized by magnetic cell sorting (MACS). Identical inhibitory effects were...

  18. Avian Plasmodium in Eastern Austrian mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoener, Ellen; Uebleis, Sarah Susanne; Butter, Julia; Nawratil, Michaela; Cuk, Claudia; Flechl, Eva; Kothmayer, Michael; Obwaller, Adelheid G; Zechmeister, Thomas; Rubel, Franz; Lebl, Karin; Zittra, Carina; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter

    2017-09-29

    Insect vectors, namely mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae), are compulsory for malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) to complete their life cycle. Despite this, little is known about vector competence of different mosquito species for the transmission of avian malaria parasites. In this study, nested PCR was used to determine Plasmodium spp. occurrence in pools of whole individuals, as well as the diversity of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences in wild-caught mosquitoes sampled across Eastern Austria in 2013-2015. A total of 45,749 mosquitoes in 2628 pools were collected, of which 169 pools (6.43%) comprising 9 mosquito species were positive for avian Plasmodium, with the majority of positives in mosquitoes of Culex pipiens s.l./Culex torrentium. Six different avian Plasmodium lineages were found, the most common were Plasmodium vaughani SYAT05, Plasmodium sp. Linn1 and Plasmodium relictum SGS1. In 2014, mosquitoes of the Culex pipiens complex were genetically identified and Culex pipiens f. pipiens presented with the highest number of avian Plasmodium positives (n = 37; 16.74%). Despite this, the minimum infection rate (MIR) was highest in Culex torrentium (5.36%) and Culex pipiens f. pipiens/f. molestus hybrids (5.26%). During 2014 and 2015, seasonal and annual changes in Plasmodium lineage distribution were also observed. In both years P. vaughani SYAT05 dominated at the beginning of the sampling period to be replaced later in the year by P. relictum SGS1 (2014) and Plasmodium sp. Linn1 (2015). This is the first large-scale study of avian Plasmodium parasites in Austrian mosquitoes. These results are of special interest, because molecular identification of the taxa of the Cx. pipiens complex and Cx. torrentium enabled the determination of Plasmodium prevalence in the different mosquito taxa and hybrids of this complex. Since pools of whole insects were used, it is not possible to assert any vector competence in any of the examined mosquitoes, but the results

  19. Lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes activity in Plasmodium vivax malaria patients evolving with cholestatic jaundice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Plasmodium vivax infection has been considered a benign and self-limiting disease, however, recent studies highlight the association between vivax malaria and life-threatening manifestations. Increase in reactive oxygen species has already been described in vivax malaria, as a result of the increased metabolic rate triggered by the multiplying parasite, and large quantities of toxic redox-active byproducts generated. The present study aimed to study the oxidative stress responses in patients infected with P. vivax, who developed jaundice (hyperbilirubinaemia) in the course of the disease, a common clinical complication related to this species. Methods An evaluation of the lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes profile was performed in 28 healthy individuals and compared with P. vivax infected patients with jaundice, i.e., bilirubin jaundice (34 patients), on day 1 (D1) and day 14 (D14) after anti-malarial therapy. Results Hyperbilirubinaemia was more frequent among women and patients experiencing their first malarial infection, and lower haemoglobin and higher lactate dehydrogenase levels were observed in this group. Malondialdehyde levels and activity of celuroplasmin and glutathione reductase were increased in the plasma from patients with P. vivax with jaundice compared to the control group on D1. However, the activity of thioredoxin reductase was decreased. The enzymes glutathione reductase, thioredoxin reductase, thiols and malondialdehyde also differed between jaundiced versus non-jaundiced patients. On D14 jaundice and parasitaemia had resolved and oxidative stress biomarkers were very similar to the control group. Conclusion Cholestatic hyperbilirubinaemia in vivax malaria cannot be totally disassociated from malaria-related haemolysis. However, significant increase of lipid peroxidation markers and changes in antioxidant enzymes in patients with P. vivax-related jaundice was observed. These results suggest oxidative processes contributing

  20. Manual blood exchange transfusion does not significantly contribute to parasite clearance in artesunate-treated individuals with imported severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kreeftmeijer-Vegter, Annemarie R.; Melo, Mariana de Mendonça; de Vries, Peter J.; Koelewijn, Rob; van Hellemond, Jaap J.; van Genderen, Perry J. J.

    2013-01-01

    Exchange transfusion (ET) has remained a controversial adjunct therapy for the treatment of severe malaria. In order to assess the relative contribution of ET to parasite clearance in severe malaria, all patients receiving ET as an adjunct treatment to parenteral quinine or to artesunate were

  1. Manual blood exchange transfusion does not significantly contribute to parasite clearance in artesunate-treated individuals with imported severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.R. Kreeftmeijer-Vegter (Annemarie); M.M. de Melo (Mariana ); P.J. de Vries (Peter); R. Koelewijn (Rob); J.J. van Hellemond (Jaap); P.J.J. van Genderen (Perry)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Exchange transfusion (ET) has remained a controversial adjunct therapy for the treatment of severe malaria. In order to assess the relative contribution of ET to parasite clearance in severe malaria, all patients receiving ET as an adjunct treatment to parenteral quinine or

  2. Discordant patterns of genetic variation at two chloroquine resistance loci in worldwide populations of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mehlotra, Rajeev K; Mattera, Gabriel; Bockarie, Moses J

    2008-01-01

    . However, both Pfcrt and Pfmdr1 MS haplotypes showed similar levels of low diversity in South American parasite populations. Median-joining network analyses showed that the Pfcrt MS haplotypes correlated well with geography and CQR Pfcrt alleles, whereas there was no distinct Pfmdr1 MS haplotype...

  3. Placental sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites is mediated by the interaction between VAR2CSA and chondroitin sulfate A on syndecan-1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ayres Pereira, Marina; Mandel Clausen, Thomas; Pehrson, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    During placental malaria, Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes sequester in the placenta, causing health problems for both the mother and fetus. The specific adherence is mediated by the VAR2CSA protein, which binds to placental chondroitin sulfate (CS) on chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans......-down experiments using placental extracts from whole placenta or syncytiotrophoblast microvillous cell membranes showed three distinct CSPGs available for VAR2CSA adherence. Further examination of these three CSPGs by immunofluorescence and proximity ligation assays showed that syndecan-1 is the main receptor...... for VAR2CSA mediated placental adherence. We further show that the commonly used placental choriocarcinoma cell line, BeWo, express a different set of proteoglycans than those present on placental syncytiotrophoblast and may not be the most biologically relevant model to study placental malaria. Syncytial...

  4. Vaccine Containing the Three Allelic Variants of the Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Antigen Induces Protection in Mice after Challenge with a Transgenic Rodent Malaria Parasite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Marina Gimenez

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium vivax is the most common species that cause malaria outside of the African continent. The development of an efficacious vaccine would contribute greatly to control malaria. Recently, using bacterial and adenoviral recombinant proteins based on the P. vivax circumsporozoite protein (CSP, we demonstrated the possibility of eliciting strong antibody-mediated immune responses to each of the three allelic forms of P. vivax CSP (PvCSP. In the present study, recombinant proteins representing the PvCSP alleles (VK210, VK247, and P. vivax-like, as well as a hybrid polypeptide, named PvCSP-All epitopes, were generated. This hybrid containing the conserved C-terminal of the PvCSP and the three variant repeat domains in tandem were successfully produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris. After purification and biochemical characterization, they were used for the experimental immunization of C57BL/6 mice in a vaccine formulation containing the adjuvant Poly(I:C. Immunization with a recombinant protein expressing all three different allelic forms in fusion elicited high IgG antibody titers reacting with all three different allelic variants of PvCSP. The antibodies targeted both the C-terminal and repeat domains of PvCSP and recognized the native protein on the surface of P. vivax sporozoites. More importantly, mice that received the vaccine formulation were protected after challenge with chimeric Plasmodium berghei sporozoites expressing CSP repeats of P. vivax sporozoites (Pb/PvVK210. Our results suggest that it is possible to elicit protective immunity against one of the most common PvCSP alleles using soluble recombinant proteins expressed by P. pastoris. These recombinant proteins are promising candidates for clinical trials aiming to develop a multiallele vaccine against P. vivax malaria.

  5. Population genomics diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in malaria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous malaria parasite species to humans remains an important public health concern in Okelele, a rural community in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. There is however little information about the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in Nigeria. Objective: To determine ...

  6. Seasonal variations in antibody response to a Plasmodium ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), employing a recombinant peptide capture antigen (R32tet32) was used to detect antibodies against the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum in 169 ...

  7. Mathematical model of susceptibility, resistance, and resilience in the within-host dynamics between a Plasmodium parasite and the immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Yi; Adam, Brian; Galinski, Mary; C Kissinger, Jessica; Moreno, Alberto; Gutierrez, Juan B

    2015-12-01

    We developed a coupled age-structured partial differential equation model to capture the disease dynamics during blood-stage malaria. The addition of age structure for the parasite population, with respect to previous models, allows us to better characterize the interaction between the malaria parasite and red blood cells during infection. Here we prove that the system we propose is well-posed and there exist at least two global states. We further demonstrate that the numerical simulation of the system coincides with clinically observed outcomes of primary and secondary malaria infection. The well-posedness of this system guarantees that the behavior of the model remains smooth, bounded, and continuously dependent on initial conditions; calibration with clinical data will constrain domains of parameters and variables to physiological ranges. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Filarial worms reduce Plasmodium infectivity in mosquitoes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew T Aliota

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Co-occurrence of malaria and filarial worm parasites has been reported, but little is known about the interaction between filarial worm and malaria parasites with the same Anopheles vector. Herein, we present data evaluating the interaction between Wuchereria bancrofti and Anopheles punctulatus in Papua New Guinea (PNG. Our field studies in PNG demonstrated that An. punctulatus utilizes the melanization immune response as a natural mechanism of filarial worm resistance against invading W. bancrofti microfilariae. We then conducted laboratory studies utilizing the mosquitoes Armigeres subalbatus and Aedes aegypti and the parasites Brugia malayi, Brugia pahangi, Dirofilaria immitis, and Plasmodium gallinaceum to evaluate the hypothesis that immune activation and/or development by filarial worms negatively impact Plasmodium development in co-infected mosquitoes. Ar. subalbatus used in this study are natural vectors of P. gallinaceum and B. pahangi and they are naturally refractory to B. malayi (melanization-based refractoriness.Mosquitoes were dissected and Plasmodium development was analyzed six days after blood feeding on either P. gallinaceum alone or after taking a bloodmeal containing both P. gallinaceum and B. malayi or a bloodmeal containing both P. gallinaceum and B. pahangi. There was a significant reduction in the prevalence and mean intensity of Plasmodium infections in two species of mosquito that had dual infections as compared to those mosquitoes that were infected with Plasmodium alone, and was independent of whether the mosquito had a melanization immune response to the filarial worm or not. However, there was no reduction in Plasmodium development when filarial worms were present in the bloodmeal (D. immitis but midgut penetration was absent, suggesting that factors associated with penetration of the midgut by filarial worms likely are responsible for the observed reduction in malaria parasite infections.These results could have an

  9. Placental Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites Is Mediated by the Interaction Between VAR2CSA and Chondroitin Sulfate A on Syndecan-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Yang; Resende, Mafalda; Daugaard, Mads; Riis Kristensen, Anders; Damm, Peter; G. Theander, Thor; R. Hansson, Stefan; Salanti, Ali

    2016-01-01

    During placental malaria, Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes sequester in the placenta, causing health problems for both the mother and fetus. The specific adherence is mediated by the VAR2CSA protein, which binds to placental chondroitin sulfate (CS) on chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) in the placental syncytium. However, the identity of the CSPG core protein and the cellular impact of the interaction have remain elusive. In this study we identified the specific CSPG core protein to which the CS is attached, and characterized its exact placental location. VAR2CSA pull-down experiments using placental extracts from whole placenta or syncytiotrophoblast microvillous cell membranes showed three distinct CSPGs available for VAR2CSA adherence. Further examination of these three CSPGs by immunofluorescence and proximity ligation assays showed that syndecan-1 is the main receptor for VAR2CSA mediated placental adherence. We further show that the commonly used placental choriocarcinoma cell line, BeWo, express a different set of proteoglycans than those present on placental syncytiotrophoblast and may not be the most biologically relevant model to study placental malaria. Syncytial fusion of the BeWo cells, triggered by forskolin treatment, caused an increased expression of placental CS-modified syndecan-1. In line with this, we show that rVAR2 binding to placental CS impairs syndecan-1-related Src signaling in forskolin treated BeWo cells, but not in untreated cells. PMID:27556547

  10. A Feast of Malaria Parasite Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlton, Jane M; Sullivan, Steven A

    2017-03-08

    The Plasmodium genus has evolved over time and across hosts, complexifying our understanding of malaria. In a recent Nature paper, Rutledge et al. (2017) describe the genome sequences of three major human malaria parasite species, providing insight into Plasmodium evolution and raising the question of how many species there are. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. IgM, FcµRs, and malarial immune evasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Czajkowsky, Daniel M; Salanti, Ali; Ditlev, Sisse B

    2010-01-01

    IgM is an ancestral Ab class found in all jawed vertebrates, from sharks to mammals. This ancient ancestry is shared by malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) that infect all classes of terrestrial vertebrates with whom they coevolved. IgM, the least studied and most enigmatic of the vertebrate Igs...

  12. Antihemolytic Activities of Green Tea, Safflower, and Mulberry Extracts during Plasmodium berghei Infection in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suthin Audomkasok

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria-associated hemolysis is associated with mortality in adult patients. It has been speculated that oxidative stress and inflammation induced by malaria parasite are involved in its pathophysiology. Hence, we aimed to investigate the antihemolytic effect of green tea, safflower, and mulberry extracts against Plasmodium berghei infection. Aqueous crude extracts of these plants were prepared using hot water method and used for oral treatment in mice. Groups of ICR mice were infected with 6 × 106 infected red blood cells of P. berghei ANKA by intraperitoneal injection and given the extracts (500, 1500, and 3000 mg/kg twice a day for 4 consecutive days. To assess hemolysis, hematocrit levels were then evaluated. Malaria infection resulted in hemolysis. However, antihemolytic effects were observed in infected mice treated with these extracts at dose-dependent manners. In conclusion, aqueous crude extracts of green tea, safflower, and mulberry exerted antihemolysis induced by malaria infection. These plants may work as potential source in the development of variety of herbal formulations for malarial treatment.

  13. DNA methyltransferase homologue TRDMT1 in Plasmodium falciparum specifically methylates endogenous aspartic acid tRNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govindaraju, Gayathri; Jabeena, C A; Sethumadhavan, Devadathan Valiyamangalath; Rajaram, Nivethika; Rajavelu, Arumugam

    2017-10-01

    In eukaryotes, cytosine methylation regulates diverse biological processes such as gene expression, development and maintenance of genomic integrity. However, cytosine methylation and its functions in pathogenic apicomplexan protozoans remain enigmatic. To address this, here we investigated the presence of cytosine methylation in the nucleic acids of the protozoan Plasmodium falciparum. Interestingly, P. falciparum has TRDMT1, a conserved homologue of DNA methyltransferase DNMT2. However, we found that TRDMT1 did not methylate DNA, in vitro. We demonstrate that TRDMT1 methylates cytosine in the endogenous aspartic acid tRNA of P. falciparum. Through RNA bisulfite sequencing, we mapped the position of 5-methyl cytosine in aspartic acid tRNA and found methylation only at C38 position. P. falciparum proteome has significantly higher aspartic acid content and a higher proportion of proteins with poly aspartic acid repeats than other apicomplexan pathogenic protozoans. Proteins with such repeats are functionally important, with significant roles in host-pathogen interactions. Therefore, TRDMT1 mediated C38 methylation of aspartic acid tRNA might play a critical role by translational regulation of important proteins and modulate the pathogenicity of the malarial parasite. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Monitoring of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum response to chloroquine in Bandar-Abbas district, Hormozgan province, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nateghpour M M

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available "n Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE AR-SA MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1":*{behavior:url(#ieooui } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Background: Malaria is an important parasitic vector-borne disease with considerable infectivity and world-wide distribution. Since prevalence of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum at the malarious areas such as Iran and reliable reports from many countries indicating emergence of chloroquine- resistant strains of P.vivax, this study was conducted to monitor the current response of vivax and falciparum plasmodia to chloroquine in Bandar-Abbas district, a malarious area in Iran."n"nMethods: The study was conducted at the Bandar-Abbas district in Hormozgan province, Iran. 123 patients were enrolled and considered. The patients were treated with a standard 3-day regimen of chloroquine and were followed-up clinically and parasitologically. The results were interpreted as mean parasite clearance time (MPCT in P. vivax and early treatment failure (ETF, late treatment failure (LTF and adequate clinical and parasitological response (ACPR in P. falciparum."n"nResults: The patients with vivax malaria were responded to the regimen of chloroquine within 24-216 hours. Most cases of the parasite clearance time occurred at 48 hours (50.40%, and less of them at 120, 168, 192 and 216 hours

  15. Poisoning by anti-malarial drugs

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    had taken chloroquine: no other anti-malarial drugs were involved [1]. ... and angio-oedema have been described. Itching without a ... 15mg/L the risk of permanent visual damage and cardiac dysrhythmias is ... to use an alternative method.

  16. Malarial Pigment Hemozoin and the Innate Inflammatory Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin eOlivier

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a deadly infectious disease caused by the intraerythrocytic protozoan parasite Plasmodium. The four species of Plasmodium known to affect humans all produce an inorganic crystal called hemozoin (HZ during the heme detoxification process. HZ is released from the food vacuole into circulation during erythrocyte lysis, while the released parasites further infect additional naive red blood cells. Once in circulation, HZ is rapidly taken up by circulating monocytes and tissue macrophages, inducing the production of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β. Over the last few years, it has been reported that HZ, similar to uric acid crystals, asbestos and silica, is able to trigger IL-1β production via the activation of the NOD-like receptor containing pyrin domain 3 (NLRP3 inflammasome complex. Additionally, recent findings have shown that host factors, such as fibrinogen, have the ability to adhere to free HZ and modify its capacity to activate host immune cells. Although much has been discovered regarding NLRP3 inflammasome induction, the mechanism through which this intracellular multimolecular complex is activated remains unclear. In the present review, the most recent discoveries regarding the capacity of HZ to trigger this innate immune complex will be discussed, as well as the impact of HZ on several other inflammatory signalling pathways.

  17. Reduced Plasmodium Parasite Burden Associates with CD38+ CD4+ T Cells Displaying Cytolytic Potential and Impaired IFN-γ Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burel, Julie G.; Apte, Simon H.; Groves, Penny L.; Klein, Kerenaftali; McCarthy, James S.; Doolan, Denise L.

    2016-01-01

    Using a unique resource of samples from a controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) study, we identified a novel population of CD4+ T cells whose frequency in the peripheral blood was inversely correlated with parasite burden following P. falciparum infection. These CD4+ T cells expressed the multifunctional ectoenzyme CD38 and had unique features that distinguished them from other CD4+ T cells. Specifically, their phenotype was associated with proliferation, activation and cytotoxic potential as well as significantly impaired production of IFN-γ and other cytokines and reduced basal levels of activated STAT1. A CD38+ CD4+ T cell population with similar features was identified in healthy uninfected individuals, at lower frequency. CD38+ CD4+ T cells could be generated in vitro from CD38- CD4+ T cells after antigenic or mitogenic stimulation. This is the first report of a population of CD38+ CD4+ T cells with a cytotoxic phenotype and markedly impaired IFN-γ capacity in humans. The expansion of this CD38+ CD4+ T population following infection and its significant association with reduced blood-stage parasite burden is consistent with an important functional role for these cells in protective immunity to malaria in humans. Their ubiquitous presence in humans suggests that they may have a broad role in host-pathogen defense. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov clinical trial numbers ACTRN12612000814875, ACTRN12613000565741 and ACTRN12613001040752 PMID:27662621

  18. Evaluation of chloroquine as a potent anti-malarial drug: issues of public health policy and healthcare delivery in post-war Liberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massaquoi, Moses B F; Kennedy, Stephen B

    2003-02-01

    Chloroquine-resistant plasmodium falciparum malaria is a serious public health threat that is spreading rapidly across Sub-Saharan Africa. It affects over three quarters (80%) of malarial endemic countries. Of the estimated 300-500 million cases of malaria reported annually, the vast majority of malarial-related morbidities occur among young children in Africa, especially those concentrated in the remote rural areas with inadequate access to appropriate health care services. In Liberia, in vivo studies conducted between 1993 and 2000 observed varying degrees of plasmodium falciparum malaria infections that were resistant to chloroquine, including sulfadiazine-pyrimethamine. As the country emerges from a prolonged civil war, the health care delivery system may not be adequately prepared to implement an effective nation-wide malarial control strategy. As a result, the management of uncomplicated malaria in Liberia poses a significant public health challenge for the government-financed health care delivery system. Therefore, based on extensive literature review, we report the failure of chloroquine as an effective first-line drug for the treatment of uncomplicated plasmodium falciparum malaria in Liberia and recommend that national health efforts be directed at identifying alternative drug(s) to replace it.

  19. Factors contributing to delay in parasite clearance in uncomplicated falciparum malaria in children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sijuade Abayomi

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum is common in many endemic and other settings but there is no clear recommendation on when to change therapy when there is delay in parasite clearance after initiation of therapy in African children. Methods The factors contributing to delay in parasite clearance, defined as a clearance time > 2 d, in falciparum malaria were characterized in 2,752 prospectively studied children treated with anti-malarial drugs between 1996 and 2008. Results 1,237 of 2,752 children (45% had delay in parasite clearance. Overall 211 children (17% with delay in clearance subsequently failed therapy and they constituted 72% of those who had drug failure, i.e., 211 of 291 children. The following were independent risk factors for delay in parasite clearance at enrolment: age less than or equal to 2 years (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.13, 95% confidence interval [CI]1.44-3.15, P 50,000/ul (AOR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.77-2.75, P 20000/μl a day after treatment began, were independent risk factors for delay in clearance. Non-artemisinin monotherapies were associated with delay in clearance and treatment failures, and in those treated with chloroquine or amodiaquine, with pfmdr 1/pfcrt mutants. Delay in clearance significantly increased gametocyte carriage (P Conclusion Delay in parasite clearance is multifactorial, is related to drug resistance and treatment failure in uncomplicated malaria and has implications for malaria control efforts in sub-Saharan Africa.

  20. Distinct patterns of cytokine regulation in discrete clinical forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Akanmori, B D; Kurtzhals, J A; Goka, B Q

    2000-01-01

    The pathogenesis of two of the most severe complications of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, cerebral malaria (CM) and severe malarial anaemia (SA) both appear to involve dysregulation of the immune system. We have measured plasma levels of TNF and its two receptors in Ghanaian children with strict...

  1. α2-macroglobulin can crosslink multiple Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) molecules and may facilitate adhesion of parasitized erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J

    2015-01-01

    -macroglobulin (α2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the α2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that α2M can bind at least four HB3VAR06 proteins, plausibly....... Together, our results are evidence that P. falciparum parasites exploit α2M (and IgM) to expand the repertoire of host receptors available for PfEMP1-mediated IE adhesion, such as the erythrocyte carbohydrate moieties that lead to formation of rosettes. It is likely that this mechanism also affects IE...

  2. Plasmodium falciparum malaria and antimalarial interventions in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria is one of the most important parasitic diseases affecting sub-Saharan Africa, despite the availability of interventions. It exerts tremendous socio-economic and medical burden on the continent, particularly in under five children and pregnant women. In this review, we have attempted to ...

  3. Plasmodium ovale in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, J K; Purnomo; Masbar, S

    1990-12-01

    We report 34 infections by Plasmodium ovale found among 15,806 blood film examinations taken between 1973 and 1989 from several sites in Indonesia. Twenty five of the P. ovale infections occurred in a single sample of 514 people living in Owi, Irian Jaya. We detected five additional infections at 3 other sites in Irian Jaya. Other infections by P. ovale occurred at two sites in West Flores. Another infection has already been reported from East Timor. Despite relatively frequent sampling of populations on Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java and Sulawesi, P. ovale has not been found on those islands. It appears that this parasite occurs only on the easternmost islands of the Indonesian archipelago where it is nonetheless a rare finding.

  4. A switch in infected erythrocyte deformability at the maturation and blood circulation of Plasmodium falciparum transmission stages.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tiburcio, M.; Niang, M.; Deplaine, G.; Perrot, S.; Bischoff, E.; Ndour, P.A.; Silvestrini, F.; Khattab, A.; Milon, G.; David, P.H.; Hardeman, M.; Vernick, K.D.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Preiser, P.R.; Mercereau-Puijalon, O.; Buffet, P.; Alano, P.; Lavazec, C.

    2012-01-01

    Achievement of malaria elimination requires development of novel strategies interfering with parasite transmission, including targeting the parasite sexual stages (gametocytes). The formation of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in the human host takes several days during which immature

  5. A switch in infected erythrocyte deformability at the maturation and blood circulation of Plasmodium falciparum transmission stages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tibúrcio, Marta; Niang, Makhtar; Deplaine, Guillaume; Perrot, Sylvie; Bischoff, Emmanuel; Ndour, Papa Alioune; Silvestrini, Francesco; Khattab, Ayman; Milon, Geneviève; David, Peter H.; Hardeman, Max; Vernick, Kenneth D.; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Preiser, Peter R.; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Buffet, Pierre; Alano, Pietro; Lavazec, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Achievement of malaria elimination requires development of novel strategies interfering with parasite transmission, including targeting the parasite sexual stages (gametocytes). The formation of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in the human host takes several days during which immature

  6. Survival and antigenic profile of irradiated malarial sporozoites in infected liver cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suhrbier, A.; Winger, L.A.; Castellano, E.; Sinden, R.E.

    1990-01-01

    Exoerythrocytic (EE) stages of Plasmodium berghei derived from irradiated sporozoites were cultured in vitro in HepG2 cells. They synthesized several antigens, predominantly but not exclusively those expressed by normal early erythrocytic schizonts. After invasion, over half the intracellular sporozoites, both normal and irradiated, appeared to die. After 24 h, in marked contrast to the normal parasites, EE parasites derived from irradiated sporozoites continued to break open, shedding their antigens into the cytoplasm of the infected host cells. Increasing radiation dosage, which has previously been shown to reduce the ability of irradiated sporozoites to protect animals, correlated with reduced de novo antigen synthesis by EE parasites derived from irradiated sporozoites

  7. Population genomics diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in malaria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous malaria parasite species to ... tigen for subunit malaria vaccine.10 It comprises highly ... were also prepared for Giemsa staining as described by ... parasites with different alleles at a given locus and ranges ..... surface protein 1, immune evasion and vaccines against.

  8. Genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Ana Cecilia; Ortiz, Andres; Coello, Jorge; Sosa-Ochoa, Wilfredo; Torres, Rosa E Mejia; Banegas, Engels I; Jovel, Irina; Fontecha, Gustavo A

    2012-11-26

    Understanding the population structure of Plasmodium species through genetic diversity studies can assist in the design of more effective malaria control strategies, particularly in vaccine development. Central America is an area where malaria is a public health problem, but little is known about the genetic diversity of the parasite's circulating species. This study aimed to investigate the allelic frequency and molecular diversity of five surface antigens in field isolates from Honduras. Five molecular markers were analysed to determine the genotypes of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum from endemic areas in Honduras. Genetic diversity of ama-1, msp-1 and csp was investigated for P. vivax, and msp-1 and msp-2 for P. falciparum. Allelic frequencies were calculated and sequence analysis performed. A high genetic diversity was observed within Plasmodium isolates from Honduras. A different number of genotypes were elucidated: 41 (n = 77) for pvama-1; 23 (n = 84) for pvcsp; and 23 (n = 35) for pfmsp-1. Pvcsp sequences showed VK210 as the only subtype present in Honduran isolates. Pvmsp-1 (F2) was the most polymorphic marker for P. vivax isolates while pvama-1 was least variable. All three allelic families described for pfmsp-1 (n = 30) block 2 (K1, MAD20, and RO33), and both allelic families described for the central domain of pfmsp-2 (n = 11) (3D7 and FC27) were detected. However, K1 and 3D7 allelic families were predominant. All markers were randomly distributed across the country and no geographic correlation was found. To date, this is the most complete report on molecular characterization of P. vivax and P. falciparum field isolates in Honduras with regards to genetic diversity. These results indicate that P. vivax and P. falciparum parasite populations are highly diverse in Honduras despite the low level of transmission.

  9. Plasmodium vivax Malaria in Cambodia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siv, Sovannaroth; Roca-Feltrer, Arantxa; Vinjamuri, Seshu Babu; Bouth, Denis Mey; Lek, Dysoley; Rashid, Mohammad Abdur; By, Ngau Peng; Popovici, Jean; Huy, Rekol; Menard, Didier

    2016-01-01

    The Cambodian National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria aims to move step by step toward elimination of malaria across Cambodia with an initial focus on Plasmodium falciparum malaria before achieving elimination of all forms of malaria, including Plasmodium vivax in 2025. The emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum in western Cambodia over the last decade has drawn global attention to support the ultimate goal of P. falciparum elimination, whereas the control of P. vivax lags much behind, making the 2025 target gradually less achievable unless greater attention is given to P. vivax elimination in the country. The following review presents in detail the past and current situation regarding P. vivax malaria, activities of the National Malaria Control Program, and interventional measures applied. Constraints and obstacles that can jeopardize our efforts to eliminate this parasite species are discussed. PMID:27708187

  10. Gene disruption reveals a dispensable role for plasmepsin VII in the Plasmodium berghei life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastan, Babu S; Kumari, Anchala; Gupta, Dinesh; Mishra, Satish; Kumar, Kota Arun

    2014-06-01

    Plasmepsins (PM), aspartic proteases of Plasmodium, comprises a family of ten proteins that perform critical functions in Plasmodium life cycle. Except VII and VIII, functions of the remaining plasmepsin members have been well characterized. Here, we have generated a mutant parasite lacking PM VII in Plasmodium berghei using reverse genetics approach. Systematic comparison of growth kinetics and infection in both mosquito and vertebrate host revealed that PM VII depleted mutants exhibited no defects in development and progressed normally throughout the parasite life cycle. These studies suggest a dispensable role for PM VII in Plasmodium berghei life cycle. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Assessing the utility of an anti-malarial pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model for aiding drug clinical development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaloumis Sophie

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mechanistic within-host models relating blood anti-malarial drug concentrations with the parasite-time profile help in assessing dosing schedules and partner drugs for new anti-malarial treatments. A comprehensive simulation study to assess the utility of a stage-specific pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD model for predicting within-host parasite response was performed. Methods Three anti-malarial combination therapies were selected: artesunate-mefloquine, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, and artemether-lumefantrine. The PK-PD model included parameters to represent the concentration-time profiles of both drugs, the initial parasite burden and distribution across the parasite life cycle, and the parasite multiplication factor due to asexual reproduction. The model also included the maximal killing rate of each drug, and the blood drug concentration associated with half of that killing effect (in vivo EC50, derived from the in vitro IC50, the extent of binding to 0.5% Albumax present in the in vitro testing media, and the drugs plasma protein binding and whole blood to plasma partitioning ratio. All stochastic simulations were performed using a Latin-Hypercube-Sampling approach. Results The simulations demonstrated that the proportion of patients cured was highly sensitive to the in vivo EC50 and the maximal killing rate of the partner drug co-administered with the artemisinin derivative. The in vivo EC50 values that corresponded to on average 95% of patients cured were much higher than the adjusted values derived from the in vitro IC50. The proportion clinically cured was not strongly influenced by changes in the parameters defining the age distribution of the initial parasite burden (mean age of 4 to 16 hours and the parasite multiplication factor every life cycle (ranging from 8 to 12 fold/cycle. The median parasite clearance times, however, lengthened as the standard deviation of the initial parasite burden increased (i

  12. K13 mutations and pfmdr1 copy number variation in Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Win, Aye A; Imwong, Mallika; Kyaw, Myat P; Woodrow, Charles J; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Hanboonkunupakarn, Borimas; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon

    2016-02-24

    Artemisinin-based combination therapy has been first-line treatment for falciparum malaria in Myanmar since 2005. The wide extent of artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong sub-region and the presence of mefloquine resistance at the Myanmar-Thailand border raise concerns over resistance patterns in Myanmar. The availability of molecular markers for resistance to both drugs enables assessment even in remote malaria-endemic areas. A total of 250 dried blood spot samples collected from patients with Plasmodium falciparum malarial infection in five malaria-endemic areas across Myanmar were analysed for kelch 13 sequence (k13) and pfmdr1 copy number variation. K13 mutations in the region corresponding to amino acids 210-726 (including the propeller region of the protein) were detected by nested PCR amplification and sequencing, and pfmdr1 copy number variation by real-time PCR. In two sites, a sub-set of patients were prospectively followed up for assessment of day-3 parasite clearance rates after a standard course of artemether-lumefantrine. K13 mutations and pfmdr1 amplification were successfully analysed in 206 and 218 samples, respectively. Sixty-nine isolates (33.5 %) had mutations within the k13 propeller region with 53 of these (76.8 %) having mutations already known to be associated with artemisinin resistance. F446I (32 isolates) and P574L (15 isolates) were the most common examples. K13 mutation was less common in sites in western border regions (29 of 155 isolates) compared to samples from the east and north (40 of 51 isolates; p Myanmar. There is a low prevalence of parasites with multiple pfmdr1 copies across the country. The efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapy containing mefloquine and lumefantrine is, therefore, expected to be high, although regular monitoring of efficacy will be important.

  13. Nonradioactive heteroduplex tracking assay for the detection of minority-variant chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juliano, Jonathan J; Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; Ramarosandratana, Benjamin; Ariey, Frédéric; Mwapasa, Victor; Meshnick, Steven R

    2009-01-01

    Background Strains of Plasmodium falciparum genetically resistant to chloroquine (CQ) due to the presence of pfcrt 76T appear to have been recently introduced to the island of Madagascar. The prevalence of such resistant genotypes is reported to be low (chloroquine resistant parasites were described in Malawian patients using an isotopic heteroduplex tracking assay (HTA), which can detect pfcrt 76T-bearing P. falciparum minority variants in individual patients that were undetectable by conventional PCR. However, as this assay required a radiolabeled probe, it could not be used in many resource-limited settings. Methods This study describes a digoxigenin (DIG)-labeled chemiluminescent heteroduplex tracking assay (DIG-HTA) to detect pfcrt 76T-bearing minority variant P. falciparum. This assay was compared to restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and to the isotopic HTA for detection of genetically CQ-resistant parasites in clinical samples. Results Thirty one clinical P. falciparum isolates (