WorldWideScience

Sample records for monkey malaria parasites

  1. 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.

  2. Monkey Malaria in a European Traveler Returning from Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marti, Hanspeter; Felger, Ingrid; Müller, Dania; Jokiranta, T. Sakari

    2008-01-01

    In 2007, a Finnish traveler was infected in Peninsular Malaysia with Plasmodium knowlesi, a parasite that usually causes malaria in monkeys. P. knowlesi has established itself as the fifth Plasmodium species that can cause human malaria. The disease is potentially life-threatening in humans; clinicians and laboratory personnel should become more aware of this pathogen in travelers. PMID:18760013

  3. Monkey malaria in a European traveler returning from Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantele, Anu; Marti, Hanspeter; Felger, Ingrid; Müller, Dania; Jokiranta, T Sakari

    2008-09-01

    In 2007, a Finnish traveler was infected in Peninsular Malaysia with Plasmodium knowlesi, a parasite that usually causes malaria in monkeys. P. knowlesi has established itself as the fifth Plasmodium species that can cause human malaria. The disease is potentially life-threatening in humans; clinicians and laboratory personnel should become more aware of this pathogen in travelers.

  4. Transfection of malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, A P; Thomas, A W; van Dijk, M R; Janse, C J

    1997-10-01

    The stable genetic transformation of three phylogenetically diverse species of Plasmodium, the parasitic etiological agent of malaria, is now possible. The parasite is haploid throughout the vast majority of its life cycle. Therefore with the single selectable marker activity and protocols currently available, it is possible not only to express introduced transgenes but also to study the effects of site-specific homologous recombination such as gene knockout. Transgene expression will allow the detailed study of many aspects of the cellular biology of malaria parasites, for example, the mechanisms underlying drug resistance and protein trafficking. We describe here the methods for propagation of the two animal models (Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium knowlesi) and for transfection of these two species and the human parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Examples of transgene expression are given.

  5. Ungulate malaria parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templeton, Thomas J.; Asada, Masahito; Jiratanh, Montakan; Ishikawa, Sohta A.; Tiawsirisup, Sonthaya; Sivakumar, Thillaiampalam; Namangala, Boniface; Takeda, Mika; Mohkaew, Kingdao; Ngamjituea, Supawan; Inoue, Noboru; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Inagaki, Yuji; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Kaneko, Osamu

    2016-01-01

    Haemosporida parasites of even-toed ungulates are diverse and globally distributed, but since their discovery in 1913 their characterization has relied exclusively on microscopy-based descriptions. In order to bring molecular approaches to bear on the identity and evolutionary relationships of ungulate malaria parasites, we conducted Plasmodium cytb-specific nested PCR surveys using blood from water buffalo in Vietnam and Thailand, and goats in Zambia. We found that Plasmodium is readily detectable from water buffalo in these countries, indicating that buffalo Plasmodium is distributed in a wider region than India, which is the only area in which buffalo Plasmodium has been reported. Two types (I and II) of Plasmodium sequences were identified from water buffalo and a third type (III) was isolated from goat. Morphology of the parasite was confirmed in Giemsa-reagent stained blood smears for the Type I sample. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequences were isolated and used to infer a phylogeny in which ungulate malaria parasites form a monophyletic clade within the Haemosporida, and branch prior to the clade containing bird, lizard and other mammalian Plasmodium. Thus it is likely that host switching of Plasmodium from birds to mammals occurred multiple times, with a switch to ungulates independently from other mammalian Plasmodium. PMID:26996979

  6. 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 ...

  7. Prevalence and Parasite Density of Asymptomatic Malaria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prevalence and Parasite Density of Asymptomatic Malaria Parasitemia among Unbooked .... of two experienced laboratory scientists dedicated to the study to ensure quality control. .... Roll Back Malaria Annual Report. Abuja: Malaria Control.

  8. Monkey malaria kills four humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galinski, Mary R; Barnwell, John W

    2009-05-01

    Four human deaths caused by Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria species, are stimulating a surge of public health interest and clinical vigilance in vulnerable areas of Southeast Asia. We, and other colleagues, emphasize that these cases, identified in Malaysia, are a clear warning that health facilities and clinicians must rethink the diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases presumed to be caused by a less virulent human malaria species, Plasmodium malariae.

  9. Gene targeting in malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ménard, R; Janse, C

    1997-10-01

    Gene targeting, which permits alteration of a chosen gene in a predetermined way by homologous recombination, is an emerging technology in malaria research. Soon after the development of techniques for stable transformation of red blood cell stages of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei, genes of interest were disrupted in the two species. The main limitations of gene targeting in malaria parasites result from the intracellular growth and slow replication of these parasites. On the other hand, the technology is facilitated by the very high rate of homologous recombination following transformation with targeting constructs (approximately 100%). Here, we describe (i) the vector design and the type of mutation that may be generated in a target locus, (ii) the selection and screening strategies that can be used to identify clones with the desired modification, and (iii) the protocol that was used for disrupting the circumsporozoite protein (CS) and thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) genes of P. berghei.

  10. [Monkey malaria (Plasmodium knowlesi infection) after travelling to Thailand].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroidl, Inge; Seilmaier, Michael; Berens-Riha, Nicole; Bretzel, Gisela; Wendtner, Clemens; Löscher, Thomas

    2015-05-01

    A case of malaria caused by Plasmodium knowlesi is described in a 52-year-old female German traveler after returning from Thailand. P. knowlesi is a parasite of macaques in Southeast Asia and has been recognized in recent years as an important and probably increasing cause of human malaria in some areas. At least 16 cases in international travelers have been published so far. This includes four cases imported to Germany. All German patients visited forested areas in Southern Thailand inhabited by the natural monkey host prior to their illness. Most cases diagnosed in endemic areas present as mild disease. However in some patients P. knowlesi may take a severe and life-threatening course. Diagnosis is usually is based on microscopy whereas rapid tests are not reliable. However, microscopic differentiation of P. knowlesi from other plasmodium species (eg, P. malariae, P. falciparum) is difficult, especially when parasitemia is low. Thus PCR methods are required for definite species determination. Changing endemicity as well as changing tourism patterns such as the trend towards eco-tourism might increase the risk of infection for travelers even in areas which are considered as low endemic for malaria. Malaria has to be considered in all febrile patients returning from endemic areas. In Southeast Asia this has to include Plasmodium knowlesi infection. Especially if microscopy suggests P. falciparum/P. malariae double infection, or when results indicate P. malariae but the clinical presentation differs from that of quartan malaria (eg, daily fever), diagnostic procedures for P. knowlesi should be initiated. Currently available rapid diagnostic tests are not reliable for the detection of P. knowlesi. The definite diagnosis of P. knowlesi infection usually requires PCR techniques Changing tourism patterns such as the trend towards eco-tourism might increase the risk of infection for travelers even in low prevalence areas. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  11. Rodent malaria parasites : genome organization & comparative genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the studies described in this thesis was to investigate the genome organization of rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) and compare the organization and gene content of the genomes of RMPs and the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. The release of the complete genome sequence of P. falciparu

  12. Rodent malaria parasites : genome organization & comparative genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the studies described in this thesis was to investigate the genome organization of rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) and compare the organization and gene content of the genomes of RMPs and the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. The release of the complete genome sequence of P.

  13. Malaria in cynomolgus monkeys used in toxicity studies in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohta, Etsuko; Nagayama, Yuko; Koyama, Naoki; Kakiuchi, Dai; Hosokawa, Satoru

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium spp. protozoa cause malaria and are known to infect humans and a variety of animal species including macaque monkeys. Here we report both our experience with malaria recrudescence in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) in a toxicity study and the results of a survey on Plasmodium infection in cynomolgus monkeys imported to Japan for laboratory use. A cynomolgus monkey from the toxicity study presented with severe anemia and Plasmodium protozoa in erythrocytes on a thin blood smear and was subsequently diagnosed with symptomatic malaria. In this animal, congestion and accumulation of hemozoin (malaria pigment) in macrophages were noted in the enlarged and darkly discolored spleen. As a follow-up for the experience, spleen sections from 800 cynomolgus monkeys in toxicity studies conducted between 2003 and 2013 were retrospectively examined for hemozoin deposition as a marker of Plasmodium infection. The origin of the animals included Cambodia, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Hemozoin deposition was confirmed in 44% of all examined monkeys. Monkeys from Indonesia showed the highest incidence of hemozoin deposition (approx. 80%). A high prevalence of Plasmodium infection in laboratory monkeys was also confirmed with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by using Plasmodium genus-specific primers. Although Japan is not a country with endemic malaria, it is important to be aware of the prevalence and potential impact of background infection with Plasmodium spp. and recrudescence of symptomatic malaria in imported laboratory monkeys on pharmaceutical toxicity studies.

  14. Vacuolar proton pumps in malaria parasite cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriyama, Yoshinori; Hayashi, Mitsuko; Yatsushiro, Shouki; Yamamoto, Akitsugu

    2003-08-01

    The malaria parasite is a unicellular protozoan parasite of the genus Plasmodium that causes one of the most serious infectious diseases for human beings. Like other protozoa, the malaria parasite possesses acidic organelles, which may play an essential role(s) in energy acquisition, resistance to antimalarial agents, and vesicular trafficking. Recent evidence has indicated that two types of vacuolar proton pumps, vacuolar H+-ATPase and vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase, are responsible for their acidification. In this mini-review, we discuss the recent progress on vacuolar proton pumps in the malaria parasite.

  15. The rediscovery of malaria parasites of ungulates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templeton, Thomas J; Martinsen, Ellen; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Kaneko, Osamu

    2016-10-01

    Over a hundred years since their first description in 1913, the sparsely described malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) of ungulates have been rediscovered using molecular typing techniques. In the span of weeks, three studies have appeared describing the genetic characterization and phylogenetic analyses of malaria parasites from African antelope (Cephalophus spp.) and goat (Capra aegagrus hircus), Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), and North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Here we unify the contributions from those studies with the literature on pre-molecular characterizations of ungulate malaria parasites, which are largely based on surveys of Giemsa-reagent stained blood smears. We present a phylogenetic tree generated from all available ungulate malaria parasite sequence data, and show that parasites from African duiker antelope and goat, Asian water buffalo and New World white-tailed deer group together in a clade, which branches early in Plasmodium evolution. Anopheline mosquitoes appear to be the dominant, if not sole vectors for parasite transmission. We pose questions for future phylogenetic studies, and discuss topics that we hope will spur further molecular and cellular studies of ungulate malaria parasites.

  16. Plasmodium cynomolgi genome sequences provide insight into Plasmodium vivax and the monkey malaria clade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Sullivan, Steven A; Kawai, Satoru; Nakamura, Shota; Kim, Hyunjae R; Goto, Naohisa; Arisue, Nobuko; Palacpac, Nirianne M Q; Honma, Hajime; Yagi, Masanori; Tougan, Takahiro; Katakai, Yuko; Kaneko, Osamu; Mita, Toshihiro; Kita, Kiyoshi; Yasutomi, Yasuhiro; Sutton, Patrick L; Shakhbatyan, Rimma; Horii, Toshihiro; Yasunaga, Teruo; Barnwell, John W; Escalante, Ananias A; Carlton, Jane M; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2012-09-01

    P. cynomolgi, a malaria-causing parasite of Asian Old World monkeys, is the sister taxon of P. vivax, the most prevalent malaria-causing species in humans outside of Africa. Because P. cynomolgi shares many phenotypic, biological and genetic characteristics with P. vivax, we generated draft genome sequences for three P. cynomolgi strains and performed genomic analysis comparing them with the P. vivax genome, as well as with the genome of a third previously sequenced simian parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi. Here, we show that genomes of the monkey malaria clade can be characterized by copy-number variants (CNVs) in multigene families involved in evasion of the human immune system and invasion of host erythrocytes. We identify genome-wide SNPs, microsatellites and CNVs in the P. cynomolgi genome, providing a map of genetic variation that can be used to map parasite traits and study parasite populations. The sequencing of the P. cynomolgi genome is a critical step in developing a model system for P. vivax research and in counteracting the neglect of P. vivax.

  17. Immune Escape Strategies of Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Pollyanna S.; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Rivera-Correa, Juan; Freire-De-Lima, Celio G.; Morrot, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins, and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission. PMID:27799922

  18. 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.

  19. Big bang in the evolution of extant malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Toshiyuki; Culleton, Richard; Otani, Hiroto; Horii, Toshihiro; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2008-10-01

    Malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) infect all classes of terrestrial vertebrates and display host specificity in their infections. It is therefore assumed that malaria parasites coevolved intimately with their hosts. Here, we propose a novel scenario of malaria parasite-host coevolution. A phylogenetic tree constructed using the malaria parasite mitochondrial genome reveals that the extant primate, rodent, bird, and reptile parasite lineages rapidly diverged from a common ancestor during an evolutionary short time period. This rapid diversification occurred long after the establishment of the primate, rodent, bird, and reptile host lineages, which implies that host-switch events contributed to the rapid diversification of extant malaria parasite lineages. Interestingly, the rapid diversification coincides with the radiation of the mammalian genera, suggesting that adaptive radiation to new mammalian hosts triggered the rapid diversification of extant malaria parasite lineages.

  20. Using infective mosquitoes to challenge monkeys with Plasmodium knowlesi in malaria vaccine studies

    OpenAIRE

    Murphy, Jittawadee R.; Walter R Weiss; Fryauff, David; Dowler, Megan; Savransky, Tatyana; Stoyanov, Cristina; Muratova, Olga; Lambert, Lynn; Orr-Gonzalez, Sachy; Zeleski, Katie Lynn; Hinderer, Jessica; Fay, Michael P.; Joshi, Gyan; Gwadz, Robert W; Richie, Thomas L

    2014-01-01

    Background When rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are used to test malaria vaccines, animals are often challenged by the intravenous injection of sporozoites. However, natural exposure to malaria comes via mosquito bite, and antibodies can neutralize sporozoites as they traverse the skin. Thus, intravenous injection may not fairly assess humoral immunity from anti-sporozoite malaria vaccines. To better assess malaria vaccines in rhesus, a method to challenge large numbers of monkeys by mosquito...

  1. Analysis of Antibodies Directed against Merozoite Surface Protein 1 of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woehlbier, Ute; Epp, Christian; Kauth, Christian W.; Lutz, Rolf; Long, Carole A.; Coulibaly, Boubacar; Kouyaté, Bocar; Arevalo-Herrera, Myriam; Herrera, Sócrates; Bujard, Hermann

    2006-01-01

    The 190-kDa merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum, an essential component in the parasite's life cycle, is a primary candidate for a malaria vaccine. Rabbit antibodies elicited by the heterologously produced MSP-1 processing products p83, p30, p38, and p42, derived from strain 3D7, were analyzed for the potential to inhibit in vitro erythrocyte invasion by the parasite and parasite growth. Our data show that (i) epitopes recognized by antibodies, which inhibit parasite replication, are distributed throughout the entire MSP-1 molecule; (ii) when combined, antibodies specific for different regions of MSP-1 inhibit in a strictly additive manner; (iii) anti-MSP-1 antibodies interfere with erythrocyte invasion as well as with the intraerythrocytic growth of the parasite; and (iv) antibodies raised against MSP-1 of strain 3D7 strongly cross-inhibit replication of the heterologous strain FCB-1. Accordingly, anti-MSP-1 antibodies appear to be capable of interfering with parasite multiplication at more than one level. Since the overall immunogenicity profile of MSP-1 in rabbits closely resembles that found in sera of Aotus monkeys immunized with parasite-derived MSP-1 and of humans semi-immune to malaria from whom highly inhibiting antigen-specific antibodies were recovered, we consider the findings reported here to be relevant for the development of MSP-1-based vaccines against malaria. PMID:16428781

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. The distinct proteome of placental malaria parasites.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fried, Michal; Hixson, Kim K.; Anderson, Lori; Ogata, Yuko; Mutabingwa, Theonest K.; Duffy, Patrick E.

    2007-09-01

    Malaria proteins expressed on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes (IE) mediate adhesion and are targeted by protective immune responses. During pregnancy, IE sequester in the placenta. Placental IE bind to the molecule chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) and preferentially transcribe the gene that encodes VAR2CSA, a member of the PfEMP1 variant surface antigen family. Over successive pregnancies women develop specific immunity to CSA-binding IE and antibodies to VAR2CSA. We used tandem mass spectrometry together with accurate mass and time tag technology to study IE membrane fractions of placental parasites. VAR2CSA peptides were detected in placental IE and in IE from children, but the MC variant of VAR2CSA was specifically associated with placental IE. We identified six conserved hypothetical proteins with putative TM or signal peptides that were exclusively expressed by the placental IE, and 11 such proteins that were significantly more abundant in placental IE. One of these hypothetical proteins, PFI1785w, is a 42kDa molecule detected by Western blot in parasites infecting pregnant women but not those infecting children.

  5. 135 Prevalence of Malaria Parasites among Nnamdi Azikwe ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    2011-07-21

    Jul 21, 2011 ... females ensure better immunity to malaria and a variety of other parasitic diseases ... The acquisition of immunity by age may be due to gradual build up of immunological memory covering .... The human immune response to ...

  6. Efficience of human Plasmodium falciparum malaria vaccine candidates in Aotus lemurinus monkeys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Socrates Herrera

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available The protective efficacy of several recombinat and a synthetic Plasmodium falciparum protein was assessed in Aoutus monkeys. The rp41 aldolase, the 190L fragment of the MSA-1 protein and fusion 190L-CS. T3 protein containg the CS. T3 helper "universal epitope were emulsified in Freund's adjuvants and injected 3 times in groups of 4-5 monkeys each one. The synthetic polymer Spf (6630 also emulsified in Freund's adjuvants was injected 6 times. Control groups for both experiments were immunized with saline solution in the same adjuvant following the same schedules. Serology for malaria specific antibodies showed seroconversion in monkeys immunized with the recombinant proteins but not in those immunized with the polymer nor in the controls. Challenge was performed with the 10 (elevado a quinta potência parasites from the P. falciparum FVO isolate. Neither rp41 nor SPf (6630 induced protection, whereas 190L induced significant delay of parasitemia. The fusion of the CS. T3 epitope to 190L significantly increased is protective capacity.

  7. Parasites and vectors of malaria on Rusinga Island, Western Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olanga, Evelyn A; Okombo, Lawrence; Irungu, Lucy W; Mukabana, Wolfgang R

    2015-04-28

    There is a dearth of information on malaria endemicity in the islands of Lake Victoria in western Kenya. In this study malaria prevalence and Plasmodium sporozoite rates on Rusinga Island were investigated. The contribution of different Anopheles species to indoor and outdoor transmission of malaria was also determined. Active case detection through microscopy was used to diagnose malaria in a 10% random sample of the human population on Rusinga Island and a longitudinal entomological survey conducted in Gunda village in 2012. Nocturnally active host-seeking mosquitoes were captured indoors and outdoors using odour-baited traps. Anopheles species were tested for the presence of Plasmodium parasites using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. All data were analyzed using generalized linear models. Single infections of Plasmodium falciparum (88.1%), P. malariae (3.96%) and P. ovale (0.79%) as well as multiple infections (7.14%) of these parasites were found on Rusinga Island. The overall malaria prevalence was 10.9%. The risk of contracting malaria was higher among dwellers of Rusinga West than Rusinga East locations (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.5, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.14 - 1.97, P = 0.003). Parasite positivity was significantly associated with individuals who did not use malaria protective measures (OR = 2.65, 95% CI 1.76 - 3.91, p malaria mosquitoes tested, 4, including 2 indoor and 2 outdoor-collected individuals had Plasmodium. The rather significant and unexpected contribution of P. malariae and P. ovale to the overall malaria prevalence on Rusinga Island underscores the epidemiological importance of these species in the big push towards eliminating malaria. Although current entomological interventions mainly target indoor environments, additional strategies should be considered to prevent outdoor transmission of malaria.

  8. How can we determine the molecular clock of malaria parasites?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensch, Staffan; Hellgren, Olof; Križanauskienė, Asta; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Outlaw, Diana; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2013-08-01

    The association of contemporary hosts and their parasites might reflect either cospeciation or more recent shifts among existing hosts. Cospeciation implies that lineages of hosts and parasites diverge in parallel at the same time, but testing this prediction requires time-calibrated phylogenies, which are particularly difficult to obtain in organisms that leave few fossils. It has successively become clear that host shifts have been frequent in the evolutionary history of malaria parasites, but dating these host shifts cannot be done without calibrated phylogenies. Hence, it remains unresolved how long contemporary hosts and vectors have been coevolving with their malaria parasites. This review addresses conflicting rate estimates of molecular evolution and suggests research directions to aid dating diversification events in malaria parasites.

  9. The immunological balance between host and parasite in malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deroost, Katrien; Pham, Thao-Thy; Opdenakker, Ghislain; Van den Steen, Philippe E

    2016-03-01

    Coevolution of humans and malaria parasites has generated an intricate balance between the immune system of the host and virulence factors of the parasite, equilibrating maximal parasite transmission with limited host damage. Focusing on the blood stage of the disease, we discuss how the balance between anti-parasite immunity versus immunomodulatory and evasion mechanisms of the parasite may result in parasite clearance or chronic infection without major symptoms, whereas imbalances characterized by excessive parasite growth, exaggerated immune reactions or a combination of both cause severe pathology and death, which is detrimental for both parasite and host. A thorough understanding of the immunological balance of malaria and its relation to other physiological balances in the body is of crucial importance for developing effective interventions to reduce malaria-related morbidity and to diminish fatal outcomes due to severe complications. Therefore, we discuss in this review the detailed mechanisms of anti-malarial immunity, parasite virulence factors including immune evasion mechanisms and pathogenesis. Furthermore, we propose a comprehensive classification of malaria complications according to the different types of imbalances.

  10. Plasmodium interspersed repeats: the major multigene superfamily of malaria parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssen, Christoph S.; Phillips, R. Stephen; Turner, C. Michael R.; Barrett, Michael P.

    2004-01-01

    Functionally related homologues of known genes can be difficult to identify in divergent species. In this paper, we show how multi-character analysis can be used to elucidate the relationships among divergent members of gene superfamilies. We used probabilistic modelling in conjunction with protein structural predictions and gene-structure analyses on a whole-genome scale to find gene homologies that are missed by conventional similarity-search strategies and identified a variant gene superfamily in six species of malaria (Plasmodium interspersed repeats, pir). The superfamily includes rif in P.falciparum, vir in P.vivax, a novel family kir in P.knowlesi and the cir/bir/yir family in three rodent malarias. Our data indicate that this is the major multi-gene family in malaria parasites. Protein localization of products from pir members to the infected erythrocyte membrane in the rodent malaria parasite P.chabaudi, demonstrates phenotypic similarity to the products of pir in other malaria species. The results give critical insight into the evolutionary adaptation of malaria parasites to their host and provide important data for comparative immunology between malaria parasites obtained from laboratory models and their human counterparts. PMID:15507685

  11. Immune Evasion Strategies of Pre-Erythrocytic Malaria Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans. It begins with a bite from an infected female Anopheles mosquito and leads to the development of the pre-erythrocytic and blood stages. Blood-stage infection is the exclusive cause of clinical symptoms of malaria. In contrast, the pre-erythrocytic stage is clinically asymptomatic and could be an excellent target for preventive therapies. Although the robust host immune responses limit the development of the liver stage, malaria parasites have also evolved strategies to suppress host defenses at the pre-erythrocytic stage. This paper reviews the immune evasion strategies of malaria parasites at the pre-erythrocytic stage, which could provide us with potential targets to design prophylactic strategies against malaria.

  12. Sickle cell microRNAs inhibit the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duraisingh, Manoj T; Lodish, Harvey F

    2012-08-16

    Sickle cell hemoglobin conveys resistance to malaria. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, LaMonte et al. (2012) demonstrate a surprising mechanism for this innate immunity. A microRNA enriched in sickle red blood cells is translocated into the parasite, incorporated covalently into P. falciparum mRNAs and inhibits parasite growth.

  13. Malaria parasite epigenetics: when virulence and romance collide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flueck, Christian; Baker, David A

    2014-08-13

    Blood-stage malaria parasites evade the immune system by switching the protein exposed at the surface of the infected erythrocyte. A small proportion of these parasites commits to sexual development to mediate mosquito transmission. Two studies in this issue (Brancucci et al., 2014; Coleman et al., 2014) shed light on shared epigenetic machinery underlying both of these events.

  14. [Variations in human parasitic diseases: malaria and schistosomiasis (author's transl)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garin, J P

    1981-01-01

    Until now, not any human vaccine against parasites can't be prepared. However, experimental researches are more and more numerous, with two major aims: Malaria and Schistosomiasis. Three vaccines are considered in Malaria: --sporozoite-vaccine, --merozoite-vaccine, --gametocyte-vaccine. Important advances were realized after the control of new techniques: --in vitro cultivation of malaria parasites, --production of monoclonal antibodies, --industrial breeding of anopheles. But the applications in men still remain a remote object. The vaccines against schistosomiasis can be killed vaccines or live vaccines; the use of radio-vaccines is full of promise. The difficulties of vaccination against protozoal or helminthic parasites are due in part to the misappreciation of real defensive means in the parasited host. A serious progress would be to devise artificial systems drawing near of physiological phenomenons.

  15. Simian malaria in the Brazilian Atlantic forest: first description of natural infection of capuchin monkeys (Cebinae subfamily) by Plasmodium simium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Alvarenga, Denise Anete Madureira; de Pina-Costa, Anielle; de Sousa, Taís Nóbrega; Pissinatti, Alcides; Zalis, Mariano G; Suaréz-Mutis, Martha C; Lourenço-de-Oliveira, Ricardo; Brasil, Patrícia; Daniel-Ribeiro, Cláudio Tadeu; de Brito, Cristiana Ferreira Alves

    2015-02-18

    In Brazil, two species of Plasmodium have been described infecting non-human primates, Plasmodium brasilianum and Plasmodium simium. These species are morphologically, genetically and immunologically indistinguishable from the human Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium vivax parasites, respectively. Plasmodium simium has been observed naturally infecting monkeys of the genera Alouatta and Brachyteles in a restricted area of the Atlantic Forest in the south and southeast regions of Brazil. However, its reported geographical distribution and the diversity of its vertebrate hosts may be underestimated, since available data were largely based on analyses by microscopic examination of peripheral blood, a method with limited sensitivity, considering the potential sub-patent feature of these infections. The present study describes, for the first time, the natural infection of P. simium in capuchin monkeys from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Blood samples from 30 non-human primates belonging to nine species kept in the Primate Centre of Rio de Janeiro were collected. Fragments of spleen and liver from one dead monkey found in the neighborhoods of the Primate Centre were also analysed. Molecular diagnosis was performed by nested PCR (18SSU rRNA) and the amplified fragment was sequenced. Thirty per cent of the captive animals were infected with P. simium and/or P. brasilianum. The dead monkey tested positive for DNA of P. simium. For the first time, Cebinae primates (two specimens of genus Cebus and two of genus Sapajos) were found naturally infected by P. simium. The infection was confirmed by sequencing a small fragment of 18SSU rRNA. The results highlight the possibility of infection by P. simium in other species of non-human primates whose impact could be significant for the malaria epidemiology among non-human primates and, if it becomes clear that this P. simium is able to infect monkeys and, eventually, man, also for the maintenance of transmission of human malaria in

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Defining species specific genome differences in malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liew, Kingsley J L; Hu, Guangan; Bozdech, Zbynek; Peter, Preiser R

    2010-02-23

    In recent years a number of genome sequences for different plasmodium species have become available. This has allowed the identification of numerous conserved genes across the different species and has significantly enhanced our understanding of parasite biology. In contrast little is known about species specific differences between the different genomes partly due to the lower sequence coverage and therefore relatively poor annotation of some of the draft genomes particularly the rodent malarias parasite species. To improve the current annotation and gene identification status of the draft genomes of P. berghei, P. chabaudi and P. yoelii, we performed genome-wide comparisons between these three species. Through analyses via comparative genome hybridizations using a newly designed pan-rodent array as well as in depth bioinformatics analysis, we were able to improve on the coverage of the draft rodent parasite genomes by detecting orthologous genes between these related rodent parasite species. More than 1,000 orthologs for P. yoelii were now newly associated with a P. falciparum gene. In addition to extending the current core gene set for all plasmodium species this analysis also for the first time identifies a relatively small number of genes that are unique to the primate malaria parasites while a larger gene set is uniquely conserved amongst the rodent malaria parasites. These findings allow a more thorough investigation of the genes that are important for host specificity in malaria.

  19. The emerging of the fifth malaria parasite (Plasmodium knowlesi: a public health concern?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Sabbatani

    Full Text Available After examining the most recent scientific evidences, which assessed the role of some malaria plasmodia that have monkeys as natural reservoirs, the authors focus their attention on Plasmodium knowlesi. The infective foci attributable to this last Plasmodium species have been identified during the last decade in Malaysia, in particular in the states of Sarawak and Sabah (Malaysian Borneo, and in the Pahang region (peninsular Malaysia. The significant relevance of molecular biology assays (polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, performed with specific primers for P. knowlesi, is underlined, since the traditional microscopic examination does not offer distinguishing features, especially when the differential diagnosis with Plasmodium malariae is of concern. Furthermore, Plasmodium knowlesi disease may be responsible of fatal cases, since its clinical presentation and course is more severe compared with those caused by P. malariae, paralleling a more elevated parasitemia. The most effective mosquito vector is represented by Anopheles latens; this mosquito is a parasite of both humans and monkeys. Among primates, the natural hosts are Macaca fascicularis, M. nemestina, M. inus, and Saimiri scirea. When remarking the possible severe evolution of P. knowlesi malaria, we underline the importance of an early recognition and a timely management, especially in patients who have their first onset in Western Hospitals, after journeys in Southeast Asian countries, and eventually participated in trekking excursions in the tropical forest. When malaria-like signs and symptoms are present, a timely diagnosis and treatment become crucial. In the light of its emerging epidemiological features, P. knowlesi may be added to the reknown human malaria parasites, whith includes P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. falciparum, as the fifth potential ethiologic agent of human malaria. Over the next few years, it will be mandatory to support an adequate surveillance and

  20. Enrichment of malaria parasites by antibody immobilized magnetic nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tangchaikeeree, Tienrat; Jangpatarapongsa, Kulachart; Polpanich, Duangporn; Thiramanas, Raweewan; Pornjarone, Atcharavalai; Udnaen, Somkiat; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Tangboriboonrat, Pramuan

    2013-10-01

    The simple and less expensive technique based on magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) was developed for separation of malaria parasites containing specific antigens. The carboxylated MNPs were chemically bound with anti-P. falciparum IgG antibodies (Ab-MNPs) purified from the plasma of malaria patients and then used for removal of P. falciparum malaria-infected erythrocytes from other non-infected blood cells in malaria culture at a given percent parasitemia. The results from optical microscope showed that all blood stages parasites, i.e., ring, trophozoite and schizont, could be separated from other blood components with high purity (> or = 95%) and yield of 33.5% (the early stages of ring and trophozoite:the schizont stage were 1:1.34). Highly specific interaction between Ab-MNPs and the P. falciparum malaria infected erythrocytes was confirmed by scanning electron microscope. When compared to the centrifugation with Percoll gradient and depletion by sorbitol lysis which are specific to the mature and the ring stages, respectively, our technique would be more useful for production of high quality of parasites to use in malaria pathogenesis or immunological studies, and in detection techniques.

  1. Blocking malaria parasite invasion of mosquito salivary glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Anthony A

    2003-11-01

    Release of genetically engineered mosquitoes resistant to parasite infections has been proposed as a novel way to control malaria transmission, and several important advances have been made in anticipation of testing this approach. In particular, the development of synthetic effector genes that block parasite development in mosquito hosts has exploited a number of different mechanisms that result in parasite-resistant phenotypes, and those that target specifically the sporozoites are reviewed here. The use of a number of synthetic genes based on different mechanisms in transgenic mosquitoes will make the selection of resistant parasites unlikely.

  2. Species formation by host shifting in avian malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricklefs, Robert E; Outlaw, Diana C; Svensson-Coelho, Maria; Medeiros, Matthew C I; Ellis, Vincenzo A; Latta, Steven

    2014-10-14

    The malaria parasites (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) of birds are believed to have diversified across the avian host phylogeny well after the origin of most major host lineages. Although many symbionts with direct transmission codiversify with their hosts, mechanisms of species formation in vector-borne parasites, including the role of host shifting, are poorly understood. Here, we examine the hosts of sister lineages in a phylogeny of 181 putative species of malaria parasites of New World terrestrial birds to determine the role of shifts between host taxa in the formation of new parasite species. We find that host shifting, often across host genera and families, is the rule. Sympatric speciation by host shifting would require local reproductive isolation as a prerequisite to divergent selection, but this mechanism is not supported by the generalized host-biting behavior of most vectors of avian malaria parasites. Instead, the geographic distribution of individual parasite lineages in diverse hosts suggests that species formation is predominantly allopatric and involves host expansion followed by local host-pathogen coevolution and secondary sympatry, resulting in local shifting of parasite lineages across hosts.

  3. Using infective mosquitoes to challenge monkeys with Plasmodium knowlesi in malaria vaccine studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background When rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are used to test malaria vaccines, animals are often challenged by the intravenous injection of sporozoites. However, natural exposure to malaria comes via mosquito bite, and antibodies can neutralize sporozoites as they traverse the skin. Thus, intravenous injection may not fairly assess humoral immunity from anti-sporozoite malaria vaccines. To better assess malaria vaccines in rhesus, a method to challenge large numbers of monkeys by mosquito bite was developed. Methods Several species and strains of mosquitoes were tested for their ability to produce Plasmodium knowlesi sporozoites. Donor monkey parasitaemia effects on oocyst and sporozoite numbers and mosquito mortality were documented. Methylparaben added to mosquito feed was tested to improve mosquito survival. To determine the number of bites needed to infect a monkey, animals were exposed to various numbers of P. knowlesi-infected mosquitoes. Finally, P. knowlesi-infected mosquitoes were used to challenge 17 monkeys in a malaria vaccine trial, and the effect of number of infectious bites on monkey parasitaemia was documented. Results Anopheles dirus, Anopheles crascens, and Anopheles dirus X (a cross between the two species) produced large numbers of P. knowlesi sporozoites. Mosquito survival to day 14, when sporozoites fill the salivary glands, averaged only 32% when donor monkeys had a parasitaemia above 2%. However, when donor monkey parasitaemia was below 2%, mosquitoes survived twice as well and contained ample sporozoites in their salivary glands. Adding methylparaben to sugar solutions did not improve survival of infected mosquitoes. Plasmodium knowlesi was very infectious, with all monkeys developing blood stage infections if one or more infected mosquitoes successfully fed. There was also a dose-response, with monkeys that received higher numbers of infected mosquito bites developing malaria sooner. Conclusions Anopheles dirus, An. crascens and a

  4. Parasite virulence and disease severity in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    OpenAIRE

    Ribacke, Ulf

    2009-01-01

    Malaria stands out as one of the most important infectious diseases and one of the world s leading causes of death. Plasmodium falciparum is the parasite responsible for the great majority of severe disease syndromes and mortality, and affects mainly children and pregnant women. Despite intensive research efforts, the understanding of P. falciparum virulence is limited. Infections with the parasite cause everything from asymptomatic parasitemia to severe disease and death, a...

  5. Core genome components and lineage specific expansions in malaria parasites Plasmodium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gu Jianying

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The increasing resistance of Plasmodium, the malaria parasites, to multiple commonly used drugs has underscored the urgent need to develop effective antimalarial drugs and vaccines. The new direction of genomics-driven target discovery has become possible with the completion of parasite genome sequencing, which can lead us to a better understanding of how the parasites develop the genetic variability that is associated with their response to environmental challenges and other adaptive phenotypes. Results We present the results of a comprehensive analysis of the genomes of six Plasmodium species, including two species that infect humans, one that infects monkeys, and three that infect rodents. The core genome shared by all six species is composed of 3,351 genes, which make up about 22%-65% of the genome repertoire. These components play important roles in fundamental functions as well as in parasite-specific activities. We further investigated the distribution and features of genes that have been expanded in specific Plasmodium lineage(s. Abundant duplicate genes are present in the six species, with 5%-9% of the whole genomes composed lineage specific radiations. The majority of these gene families are hypothetical proteins with unknown functions; a few may have predicted roles such as antigenic variation. Conclusions The core genome components in the malaria parasites have functions ranging from fundamental biological processes to roles in the complex networks that sustain the parasite-specific lifestyles appropriate to different hosts. They represent the minimum requirement to maintain a successful life cycle that spans vertebrate hosts and mosquito vectors. Lineage specific expansions (LSEs have given rise to abundant gene families in Plasmodium. Although the functions of most families remain unknown, these LSEs could reveal components in parasite networks that, by their enhanced genetic variability, can contribute to

  6. Visualization of Malaria Parasites in the Skin Using the Luciferase Transgenic Parasite, Plasmodium berghei

    OpenAIRE

    Matsuoka, Hiroyuki; TOMITA, HIROYUKI; Hattori, Ryuta; Arai,Meiji; Hirai, Makoto

    2014-01-01

    We produced a transgenic rodent malaria parasite (Plasmodium berghei) that contained the luciferase gene under a promoter region of elongation factor-1α. These transgenic (TG) parasites expressed luciferase in all stages of their life cycle, as previously reported. However, we were the first to succeed in observing sporozoites as a mass in mouse skin following their deposition by the probing of infective mosquitoes. Our transgenic parasites may have emitted stronger bioluminescence than previ...

  7. 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

  8. Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) Upgraded with Targeted Chemical Compounds

    KAUST Repository

    Ginsburg, Hagai

    2015-10-31

    Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) is the website for the functional genomics of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum. All the published information about targeted chemical compounds has now been added. Users can find the drug target and publication details linked to a drug database for further information about the medicinal properties of each compound.

  9. Effects of lime juice on malaria parasite clearance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adegoke, S A; Oyelami, O A; Olatunya, O S; Adeyemi, L A

    2011-10-01

    One hundred and twenty children with acute uncomplicated malaria who were managed at the children's outpatient department of the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa (a unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals' Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria) were recruited into the study to determine the effects of lime juice on malaria parasite clearance. These children were randomized into treatment with World Health Organization recommended antimalarials (artemisinin combination therapy, ACT) either alone or with lime juice. Nine of them were lost to follow-up, four were in the group that were managed with ACT and lime, and five in the group that were managed on ACT alone. The average (SD) time to achieve >75% reduction in parasite load was significantly lower in patients on ACT and lime; 30.5 ± 2.4 h against 38.6 ± 3.3 h for those on ACT alone (p lime juice achieved complete parasite clearance by 72 h of therapy (p = 0.007), ten (18.2%) patients without lime had early treatment failure (p = 0.003). There were no side effects with the use of lime juice. It may therefore be inferred, from this preliminary work, that lime juice when used with the appropriate antimalarial may enhance malaria parasite clearance especially in those with uncomplicated malaria.

  10. Inferring malaria parasite population structure from serological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckee, Caroline O; Bull, Peter C; Gupta, Sunetra

    2009-02-07

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is characterized by high levels of genetic diversity at antigenic loci involved in virulence and immune evasion. Knowledge of the population structure and dynamics of these genes is important for designing control programmes and understanding the acquisition of immunity to malaria; however, high rates of homologous and non-homologous recombination as well as complex patterns of expression within hosts have hindered attempts to elucidate these structures experimentally. Here, we analyse serological data from Kenya using a novel network technique to deconstruct the relationships between patients' immune responses to different parasite isolates. We show that particular population structures and expression patterns produce distinctive signatures within serological networks of parasite recognition, which can be used to discriminate between competing hypotheses regarding the organization of these genes. Our analysis suggests that different levels of immune selection occur within different groups of the same multigene family leading to mixed population structures.

  11. Innate immunity against malaria parasites in Anopheles gambiae

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Chenand; Zhi-Hui Weng; Liangbiao Zheng

    2008-01-01

    Malaria continues to exert a huge toll in the world today, causing approximately 400 million cases and killing between 1-2 million people annually. Most of the malaria burden is borne by countries in Africa. For this reason, the major vector for malaria in this continent, Anopheles gambiae, is under intense study. With the completion of the draft sequence of this important vector, efforts are underway to develop novel control strategies.One promising area is to harness the power of the innate immunity of this mosquito species to block the transmission of the malaria parasites. Recent studies have demonstrated that Toll and Imd signaling pathways and other immunity-related genes (encoding proteins possibly function in recognition or as effector molecules) play significant roles in two different arms of innate immunity: level of infection intensity and melanization of Plasmodium oocysts.The challenges in the future are to understand how the functions of these different genes are coordinated in defense against malaria parasites, and if different arms of innate immunity are cross-regulated or coordinated.

  12. Erythrocyte Features for Malaria Parasite Detection in Microscopic Images of Thin Blood Smear: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salam Shuleenda Devi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Microscopic image analysis of blood smear plays a very important role in characterization of erythrocytes in screening of malaria parasites. The characteristics feature of erythrocyte changes due to malaria parasite infection. The microscopic features of the erythrocyte include morphology, intensity and texture. In this paper, the different features used to differentiate the non- infected and malaria infected erythrocyte have been reviewed.

  13. Regulatory hotspots in the malaria parasite genome dictate transcriptional variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M Gonzales

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The determinants of transcriptional regulation in malaria parasites remain elusive. The presence of a well-characterized gene expression cascade shared by different Plasmodium falciparum strains could imply that transcriptional regulation and its natural variation do not contribute significantly to the evolution of parasite drug resistance. To clarify the role of transcriptional variation as a source of stain-specific diversity in the most deadly malaria species and to find genetic loci that dictate variations in gene expression, we examined genome-wide expression level polymorphisms (ELPs in a genetic cross between phenotypically distinct parasite clones. Significant variation in gene expression is observed through direct co-hybridizations of RNA from different P. falciparum clones. Nearly 18% of genes were regulated by a significant expression quantitative trait locus. The genetic determinants of most of these ELPs resided in hotspots that are physically distant from their targets. The most prominent regulatory locus, influencing 269 transcripts, coincided with a Chromosome 5 amplification event carrying the drug resistance gene, pfmdr1, and 13 other genes. Drug selection pressure in the Dd2 parental clone lineage led not only to a copy number change in the pfmdr1 gene but also to an increased copy number of putative neighboring regulatory factors that, in turn, broadly influence the transcriptional network. Previously unrecognized transcriptional variation, controlled by polymorphic regulatory genes and possibly master regulators within large copy number variants, contributes to sweeping phenotypic evolution in drug-resistant malaria parasites.

  14. Molecular genetics of mosquito resistance to malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernick, K D; Oduol, F; Lazzaro, B P; Glazebrook, J; Xu, J; Riehle, M; Li, J

    2005-01-01

    Malaria parasites are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, but even efficient vector species possess multiple mechanisms that together destroy most of the parasites present in an infection. Variation between individual mosquitoes has allowed genetic analysis and mapping of loci controlling several resistance traits, and the underlying mechanisms of mosquito response to infection are being described using genomic tools such as transcriptional and proteomic analysis. Malaria infection imposes fitness costs on the vector, but various forms of resistance inflict their own costs, likely leading to an evolutionary tradeoff between infection and resistance. Plasmodium development can be successfully completed onlyin compatible mosquito-parasite species combinations, and resistance also appears to have parasite specificity. Studies of Drosophila, where genetic variation in immunocompetence is pervasive in wild populations, offer a comparative context for understanding coevolution of the mosquito-malaria relationship. More broadly, plants also possess systems of pathogen resistance with features that are structurally conserved in animal innate immunity, including insects, and genomic datasets now permit useful comparisons of resistance models even between such diverse organisms.

  15. Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlton, Jane M.; Adams, John H.; Silva, Joana C.; Bidwell, Shelby L.; Lorenzi, Hernan; Caler, Elisabet; Crabtree, Jonathan; Angiuoli, Samuel V.; Merino, Emilio F.; Amedeo, Paolo; Cheng, Qin; Coulson, Richard M. R.; Crabb, Brendan S.; del Portillo, Hernando A.; Essien, Kobby; Feldblyum, Tamara V.; Fernandez-Becerra, Carmen; Gilson, Paul R.; Gueye, Amy H.; Guo, Xiang; Kang’a, Simon; Kooij, Taco W. A.; Korsinczky, Michael; Meyer, Esmeralda V.-S.; Nene, Vish; Paulsen, Ian; White, Owen; Ralph, Stuart A.; Ren, Qinghu; Sargeant, Tobias J.; Salzberg, Steven L.; Stoeckert, Christian J.; Sullivan, Steven A.; Yamamoto, Marcio Massao; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Wortman, Jennifer R.; Gardner, Malcolm J.; Galinski, Mary R.; Barnwell, John W.; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.

    2008-01-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 25-40% of the ~515 million annual cases of malaria worldwide. Although seldom fatal, the parasite elicits severe and incapacitating clinical symptoms and often relapses months after a primary infection has cleared. Despite its importance as a major human pathogen, P. vivax is little studied because it cannot be propagated in the laboratory except in non-human primates. We determined the genome sequence of P. vivax in order to shed light on its distinctive biologic features, and as a means to drive development of new drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the synteny and isochore structure of P. vivax chromosomes, and show that the parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, but possesses novel gene families and potential alternate invasion pathways not recognized previously. Completion of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance scientific investigation into this neglected species. PMID:18843361

  16. Prevalence of malaria parasites in adults and its determinants in malaria endemic area of Kisumu County, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Rachel; Omollo, Raymond; Ongecha, Michael; Sifuna, Peter; Othieno, Caleb; Ongeri, Linnet; Kingora, James; Ogutu, Bernhards

    2015-07-08

    The prevalence of malaria parasites in adults in Africa is less well researched than in children. Therefore, a demographic surveillance site was used to conduct a household survey of adults in the malaria endemic area of Maseno division in Kisumu County near Lake Victoria. A random survey of 1,190 adults living in a demographic health surveillance site in a malaria endemic area of 70,805 population size was conducted, measuring presence of malaria parasites by slide microscopy. Data were analysed using STATA to calculate the prevalence of malaria and associated risk factors. The adult prevalence of presence of malaria parasites in Maseno was 28% (95% CI: 25.4-31.0%). Gender was a significant sociodemographic risk factor in both univariate (OR 1.5, p = 0.005) and multivariate (OR 1.4, p = 0.019) analyses. Females were 50% more likely to have malaria than men. Presence of malaria parasites is common in the adult population of this endemic area, and the rate is greatly increased in women. The presence of such an adult pool of malaria parasites represents a key reservoir factor in transmission of parasites to children, and is relevant for plans to eradicate malaria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerka, Agata; Kaczmarek, Radosław; Jaśkiewicz, Ewa

    2015-12-31

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

  18. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 contributing factor for their pathogenesis in the host. As with other eukaryotes, successful mitosis is an essential requirement for Plasmodium reproduction; however, some aspects of Plasmodium mitosis are quite distinct and not fully understood. In this review, we will discuss the current understanding of the architecture and key events of mitosis in Plasmodium falciparum and related parasites and compare them with the traditional mitotic events described for other eukaryotes. PMID:21317311

  19. Mosquitoes as potential bridge vectors of malaria parasites from non-human primates to humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhulst, N.O.; Smallegange, R.C.; Takken, W.

    2012-01-01

    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites which are transmitted by mosquitoes. Until recently, human malaria was considered to be caused by human-specific Plasmodium species. Studies on Plasmodium parasites in non-human primates (NHPs), however, have identified parasite species in gorillas and

  20. Ontology-based Malaria Parasite Stage and Species Identification from Peripheral Blood Smear Images

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Makkapati, V.; Rao, R.

    2011-01-01

    The diagnosis and treatment of malaria infection requires detectingthe presence of malaria parasite in the patient as well as identification of the parasite species. We present an image processing-basedapproach to detect parasites in microscope images of blood smear andan ontology-based classificati

  1. A coprological survey of parasites of wild mantled howling monkeys, Alouatta palliata palliata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, M D; Greenspan, L L; Glander, K E; Clarke, M R

    1990-10-01

    Fecal samples from 155 mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata palliata) examined at Centro Ecologico La Pacifica, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, revealed 75 (48%) had parasitic infections. A sampling of nine howling monkeys from Santa Rosa National Park. Costa Rica indicated only one infected animal (11%). Only three of 19 (16%) spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) also from Santa Rosa were infected. Controrchis biliophilus, Trypanoxyuris minutus, unidentified strongylid eggs and Isospora sp. oocysts were found. Three monkeys from La Pacifica died and were examined for adult helminths. They were infected with Ascaris lumbricoides, C. biliophilus and T. minutus.

  2. Electrophysiological studies of malaria parasite-infected erythrocytes: Current status

    OpenAIRE

    Staines, Henry M.; Alkhalil, Abdulnaser; Allen, Richard J.; De Jonge, Hugo R.; Derbyshire, Elvira; Egée, Stéphane; Ginsburg, Hagai; Hill, David A.; Huber, Stephan M.; Kirk, Kiaran; Lang, Florian; Lisk, Godfrey; Oteng, Eugene; Pillai, Ajay D.; Rayavara, Kempaiah

    2007-01-01

    The altered permeability characteristics of erythrocytes infected with malaria parasites have been a source of interest for over 30 years. Recent electrophysiological studies have provided strong evidence that these changes reflect transmembrane transport through ion channels in the host erythrocyte plasma membrane. However, conflicting results and differing interpretations of the data have led to confusion in this field. In an effort to unravel these issues, the groups involved recently came...

  3. Adaptive copy number evolution in malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shalini Nair

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Copy number polymorphism (CNP is ubiquitous in eukaryotic genomes, but the degree to which this reflects the action of positive selection is poorly understood. The first gene in the Plasmodium folate biosynthesis pathway, GTP-cyclohydrolase I (gch1, shows extensive CNP. We provide compelling evidence that gch1 CNP is an adaptive consequence of selection by antifolate drugs, which target enzymes downstream in this pathway. (1 We compared gch1 CNP in parasites from Thailand (strong historical antifolate selection with those from neighboring Laos (weak antifolate selection. Two percent of chromosomes had amplified copy number in Laos, while 72% carried multiple (2-11 copies in Thailand, and differentiation exceeded that observed at 73 synonymous SNPs. (2 We found five amplicon types containing one to greater than six genes and spanning 1 to >11 kb, consistent with parallel evolution and strong selection for this gene amplification. gch1 was the only gene occurring in all amplicons suggesting that this locus is the target of selection. (3 We observed reduced microsatellite variation and increased linkage disequilibrium (LD in a 900-kb region flanking gch1 in parasites from Thailand, consistent with rapid recent spread of chromosomes carrying multiple copies of gch1. (4 We found that parasites bearing dhfr-164L, which causes high-level resistance to antifolate drugs, carry significantly (p = 0.00003 higher copy numbers of gch1 than parasites bearing 164I, indicating functional association between genes located on different chromosomes but linked in the same biochemical pathway. These results demonstrate that CNP at gch1 is adaptive and the associations with dhfr-164L strongly suggest a compensatory function. More generally, these data demonstrate how selection affects multiple enzymes in a single biochemical pathway, and suggest that investigation of structural variation may provide a fast-track to locating genes underlying adaptation.

  4. Release of sequestered malaria parasites upon injection of a glycosaminoglycan.

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    Anna M Vogt

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Severe human malaria is attributable to an excessive sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected and uninfected erythrocytes in vital organs. Strains of P. falciparum that form rosettes and employ heparan sulfate as a host receptor are associated with development of severe forms of malaria. Heparin, which is similar to heparan sulfate in that it is composed of the same building blocks, was previously used in the treatment of severe malaria, but it was discontinued due to the occurrence of serious side effects such as intracranial bleedings. Here we report to have depolymerized heparin by periodate treatment to generate novel glycans (dGAG that lack anticoagulant-activity. The dGAGs disrupt rosettes, inhibit merozoite invasion of erythrocytes and endothelial binding of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes in vitro, and reduce sequestration in in vivo models of severe malaria. An intravenous injection of dGAGs blocks up to 80% of infected erythrocytes from binding in the micro-vasculature of the rat and releases already sequestered parasites into circulation. P. falciparum-infected human erythrocytes that sequester in the non-human primate Macaca fascicularis were similarly found to be released in to the circulation upon a single injection of 500 mug of dGAG. We suggest dGAGs to be promising candidates for adjunct therapy in severe malaria.

  5. Antibody responses to a novel Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein vaccine correlate with protection against experimental malaria infection in Aotus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanagh, David R; Kocken, Clemens H M; White, John H; Cowan, Graeme J M; Samuel, Kay; Dubbeld, Martin A; Voorberg-van der Wel, Annemarie; Thomas, Alan W; McBride, Jana S; Arnot, David E

    2014-01-01

    The Block 2 region of the merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum has been identified as a target of protective immunity by a combination of seroepidemiology and parasite population genetics. Immunogenicity studies in small animals and Aotus monkeys were used to determine the efficacy of recombinant antigens derived from this region of MSP-1 as a potential vaccine antigen. Aotus lemurinus griseimembra monkeys were immunized three times with a recombinant antigen derived from the Block 2 region of MSP-1 of the monkey-adapted challenge strain, FVO of Plasmodium falciparum, using an adjuvant suitable for use in humans. Immunofluorescent antibody assays (IFA) against erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum using sera from the immunized monkeys showed that the MSP-1 Block 2 antigen induced significant antibody responses to whole malaria parasites. MSP-1 Block 2 antigen-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) showed no significant differences in antibody titers between immunized animals. Immunized animals were challenged with the virulent P. falciparum FVO isolate and monitored for 21 days. Two out of four immunized animals were able to control their parasitaemia during the follow-up period, whereas two out of two controls developed fulminating parasitemia. Parasite-specific serum antibody titers measured by IFA were four-fold higher in protected animals than in unprotected animals. In addition, peptide-based epitope mapping of serum antibodies from immunized Aotus showed distinct differences in epitope specificities between protected and unprotected animals.

  6. Visualization of Malaria Parasites in the Skin Using the Luciferase Transgenic Parasite, Plasmodium berghei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuoka, Hiroyuki; Tomita, Hiroyuki; Hattori, Ryuta; Arai, Meiji; Hirai, Makoto

    2015-03-01

    We produced a transgenic rodent malaria parasite (Plasmodium berghei) that contained the luciferase gene under a promoter region of elongation factor-1α. These transgenic (TG) parasites expressed luciferase in all stages of their life cycle, as previously reported. However, we were the first to succeed in observing sporozoites as a mass in mouse skin following their deposition by the probing of infective mosquitoes. Our transgenic parasites may have emitted stronger bioluminescence than previous TG parasites. The estimated number of injected sporozoites by mosquitoes was between 34 and 775 (median 80). Since luciferase activity diminished immediately after the death of the parasites, luciferase activity could be an indicator of the existence of live parasites. Our results indicated that sporozoites survived at the probed site for more than 42 hours. We also detected sporozoites in the liver within 15 min of the intravenous injection. Bioluminescence was not observed in the lung, kidney or spleen. We confirmed the observation that the liver was the first organ in which malaria parasites entered and increased in number.

  7. Assembling a global database of malaria parasite prevalence for the Malaria Atlas Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gikandi Priscilla W

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Open access to databases of information generated by the research community can synergize individual efforts and are epitomized by the genome mapping projects. Open source models for outputs of scientific research funded by tax-payers and charities are becoming the norm. This has yet to be extended to malaria epidemiology and control. Methods The exhaustive searches and assembly process for a global database of malaria parasite prevalence as part of the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP are described. The different data sources visited and how productive these were in terms of availability of parasite rate (PR data are presented, followed by a description of the methods used to assemble a relational database and an associated geographic information system. The challenges facing spatial data assembly from varied sources are described in an effort to help inform similar future applications. Results At the time of writing, the MAP database held 3,351 spatially independent PR estimates from community surveys conducted since 1985. These include 3,036 Plasmodium falciparum and 1,347 Plasmodium vivax estimates in 74 countries derived from 671 primary sources. More than half of these data represent malaria prevalence after the year 2000. Conclusion This database will help refine maps of the global spatial limits of malaria and be the foundation for the development of global malaria endemicity models as part of MAP. A widespread application of these maps is envisaged. The data compiled and the products generated by MAP are planned to be released in June 2009 to facilitate a more informed approach to global malaria control.

  8. Evaluation of the NOW Malaria Immunochromatographic Test for Quantitative Diagnosis of Falciparum and Vivax Malaria Parasite Density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katakai, Yuko; Komaki-Yasuda, Kanako; Tangpukdee, Noppadon; Wilairatana, Polrat; Krudsood, Srivicha; Kano, Shigeyuki

    2011-12-01

    The NOW® Malaria Test, an immunochromatographic test (ICT), was evaluated to determine its ability to quantitatively detect malaria parasites using 100 blood samples from Thailand, including 50 Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infections and 50 P. vivax (Pv) infections. Intensities of the thickness of the visible bands of the positive ICT were compared with the parasite densities. In cases of Pf infection, the intensities of both HRP-2 bands (T1 bands: Pf specific bands) and aldolase bands (T2 bands: pan-Plasmodium bands) correlated with the parasite densities. The intensities of T2 bands in Pf positive samples showed better correlation with the parasite densities than the T1 bands. In the cases of Pv infection, the intensities of T2 bands were also well correlated with parasite density. These results suggest that the ICT is useful not only for rapid detection of malaria parasites but also for estimating parasite density.

  9. Parasite Sequestration in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria: Spleen and Antibody Modulation of Cytoadherence of Infected Erythrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Peter H.; Hommel, Marcel; Miller, Louis H.; Udeinya, Iroka J.; Oligino, Lynette D.

    1983-08-01

    Sequestration, the adherence of infected erythrocytes containing late developmental stages of the parasite (trophozoites and schizonts) to the endothelium of capillaries and venules, is characteristic of Plasmodium falciparum infections. We have studied two host factors, the spleen and antibody, that influence sequestration of P. falciparum in the squirrel monkey. Sequestration of trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes that occurs in intact animals is reduced in splenectomized animals; in vitro, when infected blood is incubated with monolayers of human melanoma cells, trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes from intact animals but not from splenectomized animals bind to the melanoma cells. The switch in cytoadherence characteristics of the infected erythrocytes from nonbinding to binding occurs with a cloned parasite. Immune serum can inhibit and reverse in vitro binding to melanoma cells of infected erythrocytes from intact animals. Similarly, antibody can reverse in vivo sequestration as shown by the appearance of trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes in the peripheral blood of an intact animal after inoculation with immune serum. These results indicate that the spleen modulates the expression of parasite alterations of the infected erythrocyte membrane responsible for sequestration and suggest that the prevention and reversal of sequestration could be one of the effector mechanisms involved in antibody-mediated protection against P. falciparum malaria.

  10. 3D analysis of the TCR/pMHCII complex formation in monkeys vaccinated with the first peptide inducing sterilizing immunity against human malaria.

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    Manuel A Patarroyo

    Full Text Available T-cell receptor gene rearrangements were studied in Aotus monkeys developing high antibody titers and sterilizing immunity against the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite upon vaccination with the modified synthetic peptide 24112, which was identified in the Merozoite Surface Protein 2 (MSP-2 and is known to bind to HLA-DRbeta1*0403 molecules with high capacity. Spectratyping analysis showed a preferential usage of Vbeta12 and Vbeta6 TCR gene families in 67% of HLA-DRbeta1*0403-like genotyped monkeys. Docking of peptide 24112 into the HLA-DRbeta1*0401-HA peptide-HA1.7TCR complex containing the VDJ rearrangements identified in fully protected monkeys showed a different structural signature compared to nonprotected monkeys. These striking results show the exquisite specificity of the TCR/pMHCII complex formation needed for inducing sterilizing immunity and provide important hints for a logical and rational methodology to develop multiepitopic, minimal subunit-based synthetic vaccines against infectious diseases, among them malaria.

  11. Gene Silencing and Antigenic Variation in Malaria Parasites

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    Kirk W. Deitsch

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria remains one of the most important infectious diseases in the world today, infecting 300 to 500 million people yearly and resulting in 1 to 2 million deaths, primarily of young African children[1]. The most severe form of this disease is caused by infection with the mosquito borne protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. This parasite lives by invading and multiplying within the red blood cells of its host, causing disease through anemia resulting from red cell destruction, and also through modifications made to the surface of infected red cells. These modifications make infected cells cytoadherent or “sticky”, allowing them to adhere to the walls of blood vessels, leading to obstruction of blood flow and such clinical manifestations as the often fatal syndrome of cerebral malaria[2]. In addition, parasites are capable of undergoing antigenic variation, a process of continually changing the identity of proteins on the surface of infected cells and thus avoiding the immune response mounted by the host[3]. This process promotes a long term, persistent infection that is difficult to clear.

  12. Motility precedes egress of malaria parasites from oocysts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Dennis; Frischknecht, Friedrich

    2017-01-01

    Malaria is transmitted when an infected Anopheles mosquito deposits Plasmodium sporozoites in the skin during a bite. Sporozoites are formed within oocysts at the mosquito midgut wall and are released into the hemolymph, from where they invade the salivary glands and are subsequently transmitted to the vertebrate host. We found that a thrombospondin-repeat containing sporozoite-specific protein named thrombospondin-releated protein 1 (TRP1) is important for oocyst egress and salivary gland invasion, and hence for the transmission of malaria. We imaged the release of sporozoites from oocysts in situ, which was preceded by active motility. Parasites lacking TRP1 failed to migrate within oocysts and did not egress, suggesting that TRP1 is a vital component of the events that precede intra-oocyst motility and subsequently sporozoite egress and salivary gland invasion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19157.001 PMID:28115054

  13. Aspidosperma (Apocynaceae plant cytotoxicity and activity towards malaria parasites. Part I: Aspidosperma nitidum (Benth used as a remedy to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Penna Coutinho

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Infusions of Aspidosperma nitidum (Apocynaceae wood bark are used to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon Region. Several species of this family are known to possess indole alkaloids and other classes of secondary metabolites, whereas terpenoids, an inositol and the indole alkaloids harmane-3 acid and braznitidumine have been described in A. nitidum . In the present study, extracts from the wood bark, leaves and branches of this species were prepared for assays against malaria parasites and cytotoxicity testing using human hepatoma and normal monkey kidney cells. The wood bark extracts were active against Plasmodium falciparum and showed a low cytotoxicity in vitro, whereas the leaf and branch extracts and the pure alkaloid braznitidumine were inactive. A crude methanol extract was subjected to acid-base fractionation aimed at obtaining alkaloid-rich fractions, which were active at low concentrations against P. falciparum and in mice infected with and sensitive Plasmodium berghei parasites. Our data validate the antimalarial usefulness of A. nitidum wood bark, a remedy that can most likely help to control malaria. However, the molecules responsible for this antimalarial activity have not yet been identified. Considering their high selectivity index, the alkaloid-rich fractions from the plant bark might be useful in the development of new antimalarials.

  14. Aspidosperma (Apocynaceae) plant cytotoxicity and activity towards malaria parasites. Part I: Aspidosperma nitidum (Benth) used as a remedy to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho, Julia Penna; Aguiar, Anna Caroline Campos; dos Santos, Pierre Alexandre; Lima, Joaquim Corsino; Rocha, Maria Gabrielle Lima; Zani, Carlos Leomar; Alves, Tânia Maria Almeida; Santana, Antônio Euzébio Goulart; Pereira, Maria de Meneses; Krettli, Antoniana Ursine

    2013-12-01

    Infusions of Aspidosperma nitidum (Apocynaceae) wood bark are used to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon Region. Several species of this family are known to possess indole alkaloids and other classes of secondary metabolites, whereas terpenoids, an inositol and the indole alkaloids harmane-3 acid and braznitidumine have been described in A. nitidum . In the present study, extracts from the wood bark, leaves and branches of this species were prepared for assays against malaria parasites and cytotoxicity testing using human hepatoma and normal monkey kidney cells. The wood bark extracts were active against Plasmodium falciparum and showed a low cytotoxicity in vitro, whereas the leaf and branch extracts and the pure alkaloid braznitidumine were inactive. A crude methanol extract was subjected to acid-base fractionation aimed at obtaining alkaloid-rich fractions, which were active at low concentrations against P. falciparum and in mice infected with and sensitive Plasmodium berghei parasites. Our data validate the antimalarial usefulness of A. nitidum wood bark, a remedy that can most likely help to control malaria. However, the molecules responsible for this antimalarial activity have not yet been identified. Considering their high selectivity index, the alkaloid-rich fractions from the plant bark might be useful in the development of new antimalarials.

  15. 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.

  16. Electrophysiological studies of malaria parasite-infected erythrocytes: Current status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staines, Henry M.; Alkhalil, Abdulnaser; Allen, Richard J.; De Jonge, Hugo R.; Derbyshire, Elvira; Egée, Stéphane; Ginsburg, Hagai; Hill, David A.; Huber, Stephan M.; Kirk, Kiaran; Lang, Florian; Lisk, Godfrey; Oteng, Eugene; Pillai, Ajay D.; Rayavara, Kempaiah; Rouhani, Sherin; Saliba, Kevin J.; Shen, Crystal; Solomon, Tsione; Thomas, Serge L. Y.; Verloo, Patrick; Desai, Sanjay A.

    2009-01-01

    The altered permeability characteristics of erythrocytes infected with malaria parasites have been a source of interest for over 30 years. Recent electrophysiological studies have provided strong evidence that these changes reflect transmembrane transport through ion channels in the host erythrocyte plasma membrane. However, conflicting results and differing interpretations of the data have led to confusion in this field. In an effort to unravel these issues, the groups involved recently came together for a week of discussion and experimentation. In this article, the various models for altered transport are reviewed, together with the areas of consensus in the field and those that require a better understanding. PMID:17292372

  17. Taxonomy Icon Data: malaria parasite P. falciparum [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available malaria parasite P. falciparum Plasmodium falciparum Plasmodium_falciparum_L.png Plasmodium_falci...parum_NL.png Plasmodium_falciparum_S.png Plasmodium_falciparum_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/...taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Plasmodium+falciparum&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Plasmodium+falci...parum&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Plasmodium+falci...parum&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Plasmodium+falciparum&t=NS http://togodb.biosciencedbc.jp/togodb/view/taxonomy_icon_comment_en?species_id=218 ...

  18. On the current existence of a coccidial line of development in the malaria parasites: a theory

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    Filiberto Malagon

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Most opinion favors the origin of the malaria parasites from a coccidial ancestor. It is assumed that whatever the process through which the coccidia differentiated into a Plasmodium this phenomenon very probably occured millions of year ago, and during that differentiation process the original coccidia vanished. Therefore it has never repeated. At the light of some experiments the existence, at the present time, of a coccidial cycle of development in the malaria parasites, is proposed. The conection routes and mechanisms through which the malaria parasite changes to a coccidial life, and the routes in reverse are exposed. Transmission of the malaria-coccidial forms is suggested.

  19. Can Mixed Parasite Infections Thwart Targeted Malaria Elimination Program in India?

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    Upasana Shyamsunder Singh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available India is highly endemic to malaria with prevalence of all five species of human malaria parasites of Plasmodium genus. India is set for malaria elimination by 2030. Since cases of mixed Plasmodium species infections remain usually undetected but cause huge disease burden, in order to understand the distributional prevalence of both monospecies infections and mixed species infections in India, we collated published data on the differential infection incidences of the five different malaria parasites based on PCR diagnostic assay. About 11% of total cases were due to mixed species infection. Among several interesting observations on both single and mixed parasitic infections, incidences of Plasmodium falciparum monoinfection were found to be significantly higher than P. vivax monoinfection. Also, P. malariae seems to be emerging as a potential malaria threat in India. Putting all the facts together, it appears that the dream of achieving malaria elimination in India will not be completely successful without dealing with mixed species infection.

  20. Laminin and the malaria parasite's journey through the mosquito midgut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrighi, Romanico B G; Lycett, Gareth; Mahairaki, Vassiliki; Siden-Kiamos, Inga; Louis, Christos

    2005-07-01

    During the invasion of the mosquito midgut epithelium, Plasmodium ookinetes come to rest on the basal lamina, where they transform into the sporozoite-producing oocysts. Laminin, one of the basal lamina's major components, has previously been shown to bind several surface proteins of Plasmodium ookinetes. Here, using the recently developed RNAi technique in mosquitoes, we used a specific dsRNA construct targeted against the LANB2 gene (laminin gamma1) of Anopheles gambiae to reduce its mRNA levels, leading to a substantial reduction in the number of successfully developed oocysts in the mosquito midgut. Moreover, this molecular relationship is corroborated by the intimate association of developing P. berghei parasites and laminin in the gut, as observed using confocal microscopy. Our data support the notion of laminin playing a functional role in the development of the malaria parasite within the mosquito midgut.

  1. Plant Hormone Salicylic Acid Produced by a Malaria Parasite Controls Host Immunity and Cerebral Malaria Outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsubara, Ryuma; Aonuma, Hiroka; Kojima, Mikiko; Tahara, Michiru; Andrabi, Syed Bilal Ahmad; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; Nagamune, Kisaburo

    2015-01-01

    The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii produces the plant hormone abscisic acid, but it is unclear if phytohormones are produced by the malaria parasite Plasmodium spp., the most important parasite of this phylum. Here, we report detection of salicylic acid, an immune-related phytohormone of land plants, in P. berghei ANKA and T. gondii cell lysates. However, addition of salicylic acid to P. falciparum and T. gondii culture had no effect. We transfected P. falciparum 3D7 with the nahG gene, which encodes a salicylic acid-degrading enzyme isolated from plant-infecting Pseudomonas sp., and established a salicylic acid-deficient mutant. The mutant had a significantly decreased concentration of parasite-synthesized prostaglandin E2, which potentially modulates host immunity as an adaptive evolution of Plasmodium spp. To investigate the function of salicylic acid and prostaglandin E2 on host immunity, we established P. berghei ANKA mutants expressing nahG. C57BL/6 mice infected with nahG transfectants developed enhanced cerebral malaria, as assessed by Evans blue leakage and brain histological observation. The nahG-transfectant also significantly increased the mortality rate of mice. Prostaglandin E2 reduced the brain symptoms by induction of T helper-2 cytokines. As expected, T helper-1 cytokines including interferon-γ and interleukin-2 were significantly elevated by infection with the nahG transfectant. Thus, salicylic acid of Plasmodium spp. may be a new pathogenic factor of this threatening parasite and may modulate immune function via parasite-produced prostaglandin E2.

  2. Plant Hormone Salicylic Acid Produced by a Malaria Parasite Controls Host Immunity and Cerebral Malaria Outcome.

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    Ryuma Matsubara

    Full Text Available The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii produces the plant hormone abscisic acid, but it is unclear if phytohormones are produced by the malaria parasite Plasmodium spp., the most important parasite of this phylum. Here, we report detection of salicylic acid, an immune-related phytohormone of land plants, in P. berghei ANKA and T. gondii cell lysates. However, addition of salicylic acid to P. falciparum and T. gondii culture had no effect. We transfected P. falciparum 3D7 with the nahG gene, which encodes a salicylic acid-degrading enzyme isolated from plant-infecting Pseudomonas sp., and established a salicylic acid-deficient mutant. The mutant had a significantly decreased concentration of parasite-synthesized prostaglandin E2, which potentially modulates host immunity as an adaptive evolution of Plasmodium spp. To investigate the function of salicylic acid and prostaglandin E2 on host immunity, we established P. berghei ANKA mutants expressing nahG. C57BL/6 mice infected with nahG transfectants developed enhanced cerebral malaria, as assessed by Evans blue leakage and brain histological observation. The nahG-transfectant also significantly increased the mortality rate of mice. Prostaglandin E2 reduced the brain symptoms by induction of T helper-2 cytokines. As expected, T helper-1 cytokines including interferon-γ and interleukin-2 were significantly elevated by infection with the nahG transfectant. Thus, salicylic acid of Plasmodium spp. may be a new pathogenic factor of this threatening parasite and may modulate immune function via parasite-produced prostaglandin E2.

  3. Emerging Functions of Transcription Factors in Malaria Parasite

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    Renu Tuteja

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Transcription is a process by which the genetic information stored in DNA is converted into mRNA by enzymes known as RNA polymerase. Bacteria use only one RNA polymerase to transcribe all of its genes while eukaryotes contain three RNA polymerases to transcribe the variety of eukaryotic genes. RNA polymerase also requires other factors/proteins to produce the transcript. These factors generally termed as transcription factors (TFs are either associated directly with RNA polymerase or add in building the actual transcription apparatus. TFs are the most common tools that our cells use to control gene expression. Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for causing the most lethal form of malaria in humans. It shows most of its characteristics common to eukaryotic transcription but it is assumed that mechanisms of transcriptional control in P. falciparum somehow differ from those of other eukaryotes. In this article we describe the studies on the main TFs such as myb protein, high mobility group protein and ApiA2 family proteins from malaria parasite. These studies show that these TFs are slowly emerging to have defined roles in the regulation of gene expression in the parasite.

  4. 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

  5. Botfly parasitism and tourism on the endangered black howler monkey of Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treves, Adrian; Carlson, Ann E

    2012-08-01

    Tourism imposes costs and benefits on wild primates. Endangered black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) troops with high exposure to tourism had higher levels of botfly (Alouattamyia baeri) parasitism. Edge habitat and juvenile numbers did not seem to confound the observed relationship. To improve the cost/benefit ratio of tourism, we recommend further investigation. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  6. Cerebral malaria: insights from host-parasite protein-protein interactions

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    Bulusu Gopalakrishnan

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cerebral malaria is a form of human malaria wherein Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells adhere to the blood capillaries in the brain, potentially leading to coma and death. Interactions between parasite and host proteins are important in understanding the pathogenesis of this deadly form of malaria. It is, therefore, necessary to study available protein-protein interactions to identify lesser known interactions that could throw light on key events of cerebral malaria. Methods Sequestration, haemostasis dysfunction, systemic inflammation and neuronal damage are key processes of cerebral malaria. Key events were identified from literature as being crucial to these processes. An integrated interactome was created using available experimental and predicted datasets as well as from literature. Interactions from this interactome were filtered based on Gene Ontology and tissue-specific annotations, and further analysed for relevance to the key events. Results PfEMP1 presentation, platelet activation and astrocyte dysfunction were identified as the key events influencing the disease. 48896 host-parasite along with other host-parasite, host-host and parasite-parasite protein-protein interactions obtained from a disease-specific corpus were combined to form an integrated interactome. Filtering of the interactome resulted in five host-parasite PPI, six parasite-parasite and two host-host PPI. The analysis of these interactions revealed the potential significance of apolipoproteins and temperature/Hsp expression on efficient PfEMP1 presentation; role of MSP-1 in platelet activation; effect of parasite proteins in TGF-β regulation and the role of albumin in astrocyte dysfunction. Conclusions This work links key host-parasite, parasite-parasite and host-host protein-protein interactions to key processes of cerebral malaria and generates hypotheses for disease pathogenesis based on a filtered interaction dataset. These

  7. HUBUNGAN KEPADATAN PARASIT DENGAN MANIFESTASI KLINIS PADA MALARIA Plasmodium FALCIPARUM DAN Plasmodium VIVAX

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    Rossa Avrina

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is still a public health problem in Indonesia. The clinical manifestation of malaria is varied, and many factors may influence its clinical manifestation. Despite the species of malaria, density of parasitemia is known related to the severity or malignancy of malaria. It is worth to analyse the clinical and laboratory data of malaria cases in monitoring dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHP treatment. The extended analysed was done to assess the relationship between density of parasitemia and clinical manifestations. A subset data of monitoring DHP treatment in subjects with uncomplicated falciparum and vivax malaria in Kalimantan and Sulawesi which were consist of clinical and laboratory day-0 data was used in analysing. Clinical data were recorded through anamnesis and physical examination. Parasite density was counted by health centre microscopist and then cross-checked by certified microscopists of the Natiional Institute of Health Reseach and Development. Haemoglobin level was also measured  by health centre analyst using the existing Sahli hemoglobinmeter. For parasite density category, median is used for cut off point. In P.falciparum malaria, the cut off point is 5588/µl  and in P.vivax malaria is 3375/µl.  The relationship between parasite density and clinical manifestation in falciparum and vivax malaria was determined by bivariate and multivariate analysis with logistic regression using SPSS 17 software. The most of subject with P.falciparum and P.vivax malaria are children (<15 yeras old, male, and non indigenous. From analysis bivariate, variabels that can be analyzed by multivariate in P.falciparum malaria (p<0,25 are children under 15 years old (p=0,0 12 and Sulawesi island where subject live(p=0,163 and In P.vivax malaria is children under 15 years old (p=0,218. Because of other variables are considered biologicaly related to parasite density, therefore all variabel are analyzed with multivariate. From multivariate

  8. Parasite threshold associated with clinical malaria in areas of different transmission intensities in north eastern Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mmbando, Bruno P; Lusingu, John P; Vestergaard, Lasse S

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In Sub-Sahara Africa, malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum is the main cause of ill health. Evaluation of malaria interventions, such as drugs and vaccines depends on clinical definition of the disease, which is still a challenge due to lack of distinct malaria specific clinical...... features. Parasite threshold is used in definition of clinical malaria in evaluation of interventions. This however, is likely to be influenced by other factors such as transmission intensity as well as individual level of immunity against malaria. METHODS: This paper describes step function and dose...

  9. Entomological study on transmission of avian malaria parasites in a zoological garden in Japan: bloodmeal identification and detection of avian malaria parasite DNA from blood-fed mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejiri, Hiroko; Sato, Yukita; Kim, Kyeong-Soon; Hara, Tatsuko; Tsuda, Yoshio; Imura, Takayuki; Murata, Koichi; Yukawa, Masayoshi

    2011-05-01

    Several species of captive and wild birds have been found to be infected with various avian blood protozoa in Japan. We investigated the prevalence and transmission of avian malaria parasite and determined the bloodmeal hosts of mosquitoes collected in a zoological garden in Tokyo, Japan, by using the polymerase chain reaction. In total, 310 unfed and 140 blood-fed mosquitoes of seven species were collected by using sweep nets and CDC traps. Bloodmeal identification indicated that mosquitoes had fed on 17 avian and five mammalian species, including captive animals. The results of avian malaria parasite detection from mosquitoes with avian bloodmeals indicated that Culex pipiens pallens Coquillet is a main vector of avian Plasmodium in the current study site and that some captive and wild birds could be infected with avian malaria parasites. Furthermore, the distances between the collection site of blood-fed mosquitoes and the locations of their blood-source captive animals were estimated. Most females with fresh bloodmeals were found within 40 m of caged animals, whereas half-gravid and gravid females were found between 10 and 350 m from caged host animals. We demonstrated that blood-fed mosquitoes can provide useful information regarding the mosquito vector species of avian malaria parasites and allows for noninvasive detection of the presence of avian malaria parasites in bird populations.

  10. Sterile protection against Plasmodium knowlesi in rhesus monkeys from a malaria vaccine: comparison of heterologous prime boost strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, George; Shi, Meng; Conteh, Solomon; Richie, Nancy; Banania, Glenna; Geneshan, Harini; Valencia, Anais; Singh, Priti; Aguiar, Joao; Limbach, Keith; Kamrud, Kurt I; Rayner, Jonathan; Smith, Jonathan; Bruder, Joseph T; King, C Richter; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Takeo, Satoru; Endo, Yaeta; Doolan, Denise L; Richie, Thomas L; Weiss, Walter R

    2009-08-10

    Using newer vaccine platforms which have been effective against malaria in rodent models, we tested five immunization regimens against Plasmodium knowlesi in rhesus monkeys. All vaccines included the same four P. knowlesi antigens: the pre-erythrocytic antigens CSP, SSP2, and erythrocytic antigens AMA1, MSP1. We used four vaccine platforms for prime or boost vaccinations: plasmids (DNA), alphavirus replicons (VRP), attenuated adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad), or attenuated poxvirus (Pox). These four platforms combined to produce five different prime/boost vaccine regimens: Pox alone, VRP/Pox, VRP/Ad, Ad/Pox, and DNA/Pox. Five rhesus monkeys were immunized with each regimen, and five Control monkeys received a mock vaccination. The time to complete vaccinations was 420 days. All monkeys were challenged twice with 100 P. knowlesi sporozoites given IV. The first challenge was given 12 days after the last vaccination, and the monkeys receiving the DNA/Pox vaccine were the best protected, with 3/5 monkeys sterilely protected and 1/5 monkeys that self-cured its parasitemia. There was no protection in monkeys that received Pox malaria vaccine alone without previous priming. The second sporozoite challenge was given 4 months after the first. All 4 monkeys that were protected in the first challenge developed malaria in the second challenge. DNA, VRP and Ad5 vaccines all primed monkeys for strong immune responses after the Pox boost. We discuss the high level but short duration of protection in this experiment and the possible benefits of the long interval between prime and boost.

  11. Sterile protection against Plasmodium knowlesi in rhesus monkeys from a malaria vaccine: comparison of heterologous prime boost strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Jiang

    Full Text Available Using newer vaccine platforms which have been effective against malaria in rodent models, we tested five immunization regimens against Plasmodium knowlesi in rhesus monkeys. All vaccines included the same four P. knowlesi antigens: the pre-erythrocytic antigens CSP, SSP2, and erythrocytic antigens AMA1, MSP1. We used four vaccine platforms for prime or boost vaccinations: plasmids (DNA, alphavirus replicons (VRP, attenuated adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad, or attenuated poxvirus (Pox. These four platforms combined to produce five different prime/boost vaccine regimens: Pox alone, VRP/Pox, VRP/Ad, Ad/Pox, and DNA/Pox. Five rhesus monkeys were immunized with each regimen, and five Control monkeys received a mock vaccination. The time to complete vaccinations was 420 days. All monkeys were challenged twice with 100 P. knowlesi sporozoites given IV. The first challenge was given 12 days after the last vaccination, and the monkeys receiving the DNA/Pox vaccine were the best protected, with 3/5 monkeys sterilely protected and 1/5 monkeys that self-cured its parasitemia. There was no protection in monkeys that received Pox malaria vaccine alone without previous priming. The second sporozoite challenge was given 4 months after the first. All 4 monkeys that were protected in the first challenge developed malaria in the second challenge. DNA, VRP and Ad5 vaccines all primed monkeys for strong immune responses after the Pox boost. We discuss the high level but short duration of protection in this experiment and the possible benefits of the long interval between prime and boost.

  12. Imaging movement of malaria parasites during transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frischknecht, Friedrich; Baldacci, Patricia; Martin, Béatrice; Zimmer, Christophe; Thiberge, Sabine; Olivo-Marin, Jean-Christophe; Shorte, Spencer L; Ménard, Robert

    2004-07-01

    Malaria is contracted when Plasmodium sporozoites are inoculated into the vertebrate host during the blood meal of a mosquito. In infected mosquitoes, sporozoites are present in large numbers in the secretory cavities of the salivary glands at the most distal site of the salivary system. However, how sporozoites move through the salivary system of the mosquito, both in resting and feeding mosquitoes, is unknown. Here, we observed fluorescent Plasmodium berghei sporozoites within live Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and their salivary glands and ducts. We show that sporozoites move in the mosquito by gliding, a type of motility associated with their capacity to invade host cells. Unlike in vitro, sporozoite gliding inside salivary cavities and ducts is modulated in speed and motion pattern. Imaging of sporozoite discharge through the proboscis of salivating mosquitoes indicates that sporozoites need to locomote from cavities into ducts to be ejected and that their progression inside ducts favours their early ejection. These observations suggest that sporozoite gliding allows not only for cell invasion but also for parasite locomotion in host tissues, and that it may control parasite transmission.

  13. Targeting glycolysis in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Niekerk, David D; Penkler, Gerald P; du Toit, Francois; Snoep, Jacky L

    2016-02-01

    Glycolysis is the main pathway for ATP production in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and essential for its survival. Following a sensitivity analysis of a detailed kinetic model for glycolysis in the parasite, the glucose transport reaction was identified as the step whose activity needed to be inhibited to the least extent to result in a 50% reduction in glycolytic flux. In a subsequent inhibitor titration with cytochalasin B, we confirmed the model analysis experimentally and measured a flux control coefficient of 0.3 for the glucose transporter. In addition to the glucose transporter, the glucokinase and phosphofructokinase had high flux control coefficients, while for the ATPase a small negative flux control coefficient was predicted. In a broader comparative analysis of glycolytic models, we identified a weakness in the P. falciparum pathway design with respect to stability towards perturbations in the ATP demand. The mathematical model described here has been submitted to the JWS Online Cellular Systems Modelling Database and can be accessed at http://jjj.bio.vu.nl/database/vanniekerk1. The SEEK-study including the experimental data set is available at DOI 10.15490/seek.1. 56 (http://dx.doi.org/10.15490/seek.1. 56). © 2015 FEBS.

  14. Inferring host range dynamics from comparative data: the protozoan parasites of new world monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waxman, David; Weinert, Lucy A; Welch, John J

    2014-07-01

    Uncovering the ecological determinants of parasite host range is a central goal of comparative parasitology and infectious disease ecology. But while parasites are often distributed nonrandomly across the host phylogeny, such patterns are difficult to interpret without a genealogy for the parasite samples and without knowing what sorts of ecological dynamics might lead to what sorts of nonrandomness. We investigated inferences from comparative data, using presence/absence records from protozoan parasites of the New World monkeys. We first demonstrate several distinct types of phylogenetic signal in these data, showing, for example, that parasite species are clustered on the host tree and that closely related host species harbor similar numbers of parasite species. We then show that all of these patterns can be generated by a single, simple dynamical model, in which parasite host range changes more rapidly than host speciation/extinction and parasites preferentially colonize uninfected host species that are closely related to their existing hosts. Fitting this model to data, we then estimate its parameters. Finally, we caution that quite different ecological processes can lead to similar signatures but show how phylogenetic variation in host susceptibility can be distinguished from a tendency for parasites to colonize closely related hosts. Our new process-based analyses, which estimate meaningful parameters, should be useful for inferring the determinants of parasite host range and transmission success.

  15. Efficient editing of malaria parasite genome using the CRISPR/Cas9 system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Cui; Xiao, Bo; Jiang, Yuanyuan; Zhao, Yihua; Li, Zhenkui; Gao, Han; Ling, Yuan; Wei, Jun; Li, Shaoneng; Lu, Mingke; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Cui, Huiting; Yuan, Jing

    2014-07-01

    Malaria parasites are unicellular organisms residing inside the red blood cells, and current methods for editing the parasite genes have been inefficient. The CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and Cas9 endonuclease-mediated genome editing) system is a new powerful technique for genome editing and has been widely employed to study gene function in various organisms. However, whether this technique can be applied to modify the genomes of malaria parasites has not been determined. In this paper, we demonstrated that Cas9 is able to introduce site-specific DNA double-strand breaks in the Plasmodium yoelii genome that can be repaired through homologous recombination. By supplying engineered homologous repair templates, we generated targeted deletion, reporter knock-in, and nucleotide replacement in multiple parasite genes, achieving up to 100% efficiency in gene deletion and 22 to 45% efficiencies in knock-in and allelic replacement. Our results establish methodologies for introducing desired modifications in the P. yoelii genome with high efficiency and accuracy, which will greatly improve our ability to study gene function of malaria parasites. Importance: Malaria, caused by infection of Plasmodium parasites, remains a world-wide public health burden. Although the genomes of many malaria parasites have been sequenced, we still do not know the functions of approximately half of the genes in the genomes. Studying gene function has become the focus of many studies; however, editing genes in malaria parasite genomes is still inefficient. Here we designed several efficient approaches, based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system, to introduce site-specific DNA double-strand breaks in the Plasmodium yoelii genome that can be repaired through homologous recombination. Using this system, we achieved high efficiencies in gene deletion, reporter tagging, and allelic replacement in multiple parasite genes. This technique for editing the malaria parasite

  16. Identification of mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite using analysis of variance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Hui; Li, Dongmei

    2015-02-01

    As a parasitic protozoan, Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) can cause malaria. The mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite play important roles in the discovery of anti-malarial drug targets. Thus, accurate identification of mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite is a key step for understanding their functions and finding potential drug targets. In this work, we developed a sequence-based method to identify the mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite. At first, we extended adjoining dipeptide composition to g-gap dipeptide composition for discretely formulating the protein sequences. Subsequently, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) combined with incremental feature selection (IFS) was used to pick out the optimal features. Finally, the jackknife cross-validation was used to evaluate the performance of the proposed model. Evaluation results showed that the maximum accuracy of 97.1% could be achieved by using 101 optimal 5-gap dipeptides. The comparison with previous methods demonstrated that our method was accurate and efficient.

  17. Do malaria parasites manipulate the escape behaviour of their avian hosts? An experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Longoria, Luz; Møller, Anders P; Balbontín, Javier; de Lope, Florentino; Marzal, Alfonso

    2015-12-01

    Escape behaviour is the behaviour that birds and other animals display when already caught by a predator. An individual exhibiting higher intensity of such anti-predator behaviour could have greater probabilities of escape from predators. Parasites are known to affect different aspects of host behaviour to increase their own fitness. Vector-transmitted parasites such as malaria parasites should gain by manipulating their hosts to enhance the probability of transmission. Several studies have shown that malaria parasites can manipulate their vectors leading to increased transmission success. However, little is known about whether malaria parasites can manipulate escape behaviour of their avian hosts thereby increasing the spread of the parasite. Here we used an experimental approach to explore if Plasmodium relictum can manipulate the escape behaviour of one of its most common avian hosts, the house sparrow Passer domesticus. We experimentally tested whether malaria parasites manipulate the escape behaviour of their avian host. We showed a decrease in the intensity of biting and tonic immobility after removal of infection with anti-malaria medication compared to pre-experimental behaviour. These outcomes suggest that infected sparrows performed more intense escape behaviour, which would increase the likelihood of individuals escaping from predators, but also benefit the parasite by increasing its transmission opportunities.

  18. Experimental investigation of avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium, Haemosporida): linkage of traditional and molecular data

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Avian malaria parasites are responsible for severe diseases in some domestic and wild birds. These parasites are cosmopolitan in distribution; they are widespread in Europe, including the Baltic region. A peculiarity of current studies of avian Plasmodium species is that information about ecology, distribution, prevalence and other aspects of their biology has been accumulated using free-living birds. To elucidate the significance of malaria infections and their impact on host fitness, behavi...

  19. Type II fatty acid synthesis is essential only for malaria parasite late liver stage development

    OpenAIRE

    Vaughan, Ashley M.; O'Neill, Matthew T.; Tarun, Alice S.; Camargo, Nelly; Phuong, Thuan M; Aly, Ahmed S I; Cowman, Alan F.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2008-01-01

    Intracellular malaria parasites require lipids for growth and replication. They possess a prokaryotic type II fatty acid synthesis (FAS II) pathway that localizes to the apicoplast plastid organelle and is assumed to be necessary for pathogenic blood stage replication. However, the importance of FAS II throughout the complex parasite life cycle remains unknown. We show in a rodent malaria model that FAS II enzymes localize to the sporozoite and liver stage apicoplast. Targeted deletion of Fab...

  20. Efficient Editing of Malaria Parasite Genome Using the CRISPR/Cas9 System

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Malaria parasites are unicellular organisms residing inside the red blood cells, and current methods for editing the parasite genes have been inefficient. The CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and Cas9 endonuclease-mediated genome editing) system is a new powerful technique for genome editing and has been widely employed to study gene function in various organisms. However, whether this technique can be applied to modify the genomes of malaria par...

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey A Lapp

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  3. Spleen-Dependent Regulation of Antigenic Variation in Malaria Parasites: Plasmodium knowlesi SICAvar Expression Profiles in Splenic and Asplenic Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapp, Stacey A.; Korir-Morrison, Cindy; Jiang, Jianlin; Bai, Yaohui; Corredor, Vladimir; Galinski, Mary R.

    2013-01-01

    Background 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. Principal Findings 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. Significance 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

  4. A multi-stage malaria vaccine candidate targeting both transmission and asexual parasite life-cycle stages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Theisen, Michael; Roeffen, Will; Singh, Susheel K

    2014-01-01

    Effective control and eventual eradication of malaria drives the imperative need for clinical development of a malaria vaccine. Asexual parasite forms are responsible for clinical disease and death while apathogenic gametocytes are responsible for transmission from man to mosquito. Vaccines...

  5. Ecotope-Based Entomological Surveillance and Molecular Xenomonitoring of Multidrug Resistant Malaria Parasites in Anopheles Vectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prapa Sorosjinda-Nunthawarasilp

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The emergence and spread of multidrug resistant (MDR malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax have become increasingly important in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS. MDR malaria is the heritable and hypermutable property of human malarial parasite populations that can decrease in vitro and in vivo susceptibility to proven antimalarial drugs as they exhibit dose-dependent drug resistance and delayed parasite clearance time in treated patients. MDR malaria risk situations reflect consequences of the national policy and strategy as this influences the ongoing national-level or subnational-level implementation of malaria control strategies in endemic GMS countries. Based on our experience along with current literature review, the design of ecotope-based entomological surveillance (EES and molecular xenomonitoring of MDR falciparum and vivax malaria parasites in Anopheles vectors is proposed to monitor infection pockets in transmission control areas of forest and forest fringe-related malaria, so as to bridge malaria landscape ecology (ecotope and ecotone and epidemiology. Malaria ecotope and ecotone are confined to a malaria transmission area geographically associated with the infestation of Anopheles vectors and particular environments to which human activities are related. This enables the EES to encompass mosquito collection and identification, salivary gland DNA extraction, Plasmodium- and species-specific identification, molecular marker-based PCR detection methods for putative drug resistance genes, and data management. The EES establishes strong evidence of Anopheles vectors carrying MDR P. vivax in infection pockets epidemiologically linked with other data obtained during which a course of follow-up treatment of the notified P. vivax patients receiving the first-line treatment was conducted. For regional and global perspectives, the EES would augment the epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of MDR falciparum and

  6. Intestinal parasites in howler monkeys Alouatta palliata (Primates: Cebidae) of Costa Rica

    OpenAIRE

    Chinchilla Carmona, Misael; Guerrero Bermúdez, Olga; Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Gustavo A.; Sánchez Porras, Ronald; Rodríguez Ortiz, Beatriz

    2014-01-01

    Fecal samples of 102 howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) from several sites of Costa Rica were studied for intestinal parasites. The zones studied were: Central Valley (San Ramón, Alajuela), Central Pacific (Chomes and Manuel Antonio National Park, Puntarenas), North Pacific (Palo Verde Park and Playa Potrero, Guanacaste), Chira Island in the Nicoya Gulf and Caribean area (Cahuita, Limón). Animals were anesthetized with dards containing Telazol in order to collect the fecal material; some monk...

  7. Influence of host factors and parasite biomass on the severity of imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argy, Nicolas; Kendjo, Eric; Augé-Courtoi, Claire; Cojean, Sandrine; Clain, Jérôme; Houzé, Pascal; Thellier, Marc; Hubert, Veronique; Deloron, Philippe; Houzé, Sandrine

    2017-01-01

    Imported malaria in France is characterized by various clinical manifestations observed in a heterogeneous population of patients such as travelers/expatriates and African migrants. In this population, host factors and parasite biomass associated with severe imported malaria are poorly known. From data collected by the Centre National de Référence du Paludisme, we identified epidemiological, demographic and biological features including parasite biomass and anti-plasmodial antibody levels (negative, positive and strongly positive serology) associated with different disease severity groups (very severe, moderately severe, and uncomplicated malaria) in 3 epidemiological groups (travelers/expatriates, first- and second-generation migrants). Age, ethnicity, absence of prior infection with P. falciparum, antibody levels, plasma PfHRP2 levels, total and circulating parasite biomass were related to severe malaria onset. Sequestered parasite biomass tended to be increased in very severe malaria, and was strongly correlated to the antibody level of the host. Prior exposure to P. falciparum is associated with high anti-plasmodial antibody levels which influence clinical presentation of imported malaria and its correlated circulating and sequestered parasite burden.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Reliable enumeration of malaria parasites in thick blood films using digital image analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frean John A

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quantitation of malaria parasite density is an important component of laboratory diagnosis of malaria. Microscopy of Giemsa-stained thick blood films is the conventional method for parasite enumeration. Accurate and reproducible parasite counts are difficult to achieve, because of inherent technical limitations and human inconsistency. Inaccurate parasite density estimation may have adverse clinical and therapeutic implications for patients, and for endpoints of clinical trials of anti-malarial vaccines or drugs. Digital image analysis provides an opportunity to improve performance of parasite density quantitation. Methods Accurate manual parasite counts were done on 497 images of a range of thick blood films with varying densities of malaria parasites, to establish a uniformly reliable standard against which to assess the digital technique. By utilizing descriptive statistical parameters of parasite size frequency distributions, particle counting algorithms of the digital image analysis programme were semi-automatically adapted to variations in parasite size, shape and staining characteristics, to produce optimum signal/noise ratios. Results A reliable counting process was developed that requires no operator decisions that might bias the outcome. Digital counts were highly correlated with manual counts for medium to high parasite densities, and slightly less well correlated with conventional counts. At low densities (fewer than 6 parasites per analysed image signal/noise ratios were compromised and correlation between digital and manual counts was poor. Conventional counts were consistently lower than both digital and manual counts. Conclusion Using open-access software and avoiding custom programming or any special operator intervention, accurate digital counts were obtained, particularly at high parasite densities that are difficult to count conventionally. The technique is potentially useful for laboratories that

  10. Malaria parasite status and cholesterol level of malaria patients in parts of the IMO River Basin of Nigeria

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chukwuocha UM; Eke KN

    2011-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the relationship between malaria parasite status and cholesterol level of 110consenting subjects (55patients and55controls) in parts of the Imo River Basin of Nigeria. Methods:Giemsa staining was used for malaria parasite examination while Randox cholesterol kit was used for cholesterol level estimation.Results:About49 persons (90%) with malaria had low cholesterol (<180mg/dL). Highest mean cholesterol levels were274 mg/dL for study patients and220 mg/dL for controls respectively; Lowest mean cholesterol levels were168mg/dL (patients) and138 mg/dL (controls) respectively. Low cholesterol levels (<180 mg/dL) were found in patients(84%)and controls(6%) respectively. However, 16.4% of controls and 6% of patients had borderline cholesterol level (200-239mg/dL). This study establishes a significant correlation (12.9%,P<0.01) between malaria parasite status and cholesterol level.Conclusions:These findings imply that cholesterol level estimation may be a potential concurrent and valuable diagnosis for malaria status.

  11. INTESTINAL PARASITES AND MALARIA IN SUKOMENANTI PASAMAN REGENCY, WEST SUMATRA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Patrick Carney

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Survey parasit darah dan usus telah diselenggarakan di Kecamatan Sukomenanti, Kabupaten Pasaman, Sumatra Barat. Bahan pemeriksaan berasal dari 168 penduduk lakidaki dan 196 wanita umur antara 2-87 tahun. Di Sumatra Barat cacing yang umumnya terdapat ialah pertama Ascaris lumbricoides, kedua cacing tambang dan ketiga Trichuris trichiura. Survey didaerah Boyolali dan Kresek, Jawa, menemukan lebih banyak T. trichiura daripada cacing tambang. Di daerah Yogyakarta T. trichiura menduduki tempat yang pertama. Angka infeksi yang rendah untuk desa Pasir Tampang (11 percent dan Tongar (3 percent adalah tidak umum untuk Indonesia, tetapi keadaan demikian juga dilaporkan di lembah Lindu dan Napu, Sulawesi Tengah. Enterobius vermicularis terdapat hanya pada 2 per cent diantara penduduk yang diperiksa, sesuai dengan keadaan di daerah2 lain di Indonesia. Species dari cacing tambang pada survey ini belum dapat ditentukan. Infeksi Ascaris lumbricoides terdapat lebih banyak pada penduduk golongan muda, sesuai dengan hasil autopsi oleh Liedan Tan di Jakarta. Di Jawa Tengah dan Jawa Barat infeksi A. lumbricoides tampak merata pada semua umur. Entamoeba coli selalu terdapat pada survey di desa2 di pulau Jawa. Tetapi, infeksi E. histolytica (24 percent adalah berlainan dengan keadaan di Kresek, Boyolali dan Yogyakarta yang menunjukkan ■ infeksi 12 per cent atau kurang. Infeksi malaria di Sukomenanti adalah sangat rendah sebagaimana terdapat di Kresek dan Yogya­karta. Keadaan demikian sangat berlainan dengan daerah Margolimbo di Sulawesi Selatan dimana angka dnfeksi malarianya tinggi.

  12. Vaccination-induced variation in the 140 kD merozoite surface antigen of Plasmodium knowlesi malaria

    OpenAIRE

    1987-01-01

    Immunity to 143/140 kD schizont antigens of a monkey malaria, Plasmodium knowlesi, provides partial protection to lethal malaria infection in rhesus monkeys challenged with uncloned parasites. To determine the capacity of a cloned parasite to generate variants of the 143/140 kD antigens, immunized monkeys were challenged with a clone of P. knowlesi. Parasites recovered 8 d after inoculation with a cloned parasite retained the 143/140 kD antigens. Parasites recovered 30 d after challenge had u...

  13. Spatial localisation of actin filaments across developmental stages of the malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona Angrisano

    Full Text Available Actin dynamics have been implicated in a variety of developmental processes during the malaria parasite lifecycle. Parasite motility, in particular, is thought to critically depend on an actomyosin motor located in the outer pellicle of the parasite cell. Efforts to understand the diverse roles actin plays have, however, been hampered by an inability to detect microfilaments under native conditions. To visualise the spatial dynamics of actin we generated a parasite-specific actin antibody that shows preferential recognition of filamentous actin and applied this tool to different lifecycle stages (merozoites, sporozoites and ookinetes of the human and mouse malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei along with tachyzoites from the related apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Actin filament distribution was found associated with three core compartments: the nuclear periphery, pellicular membranes of motile or invasive parasite forms and in a ring-like distribution at the tight junction during merozoite invasion of erythrocytes in both human and mouse malaria parasites. Localisation at the nuclear periphery is consistent with an emerging role of actin in facilitating parasite gene regulation. During invasion, we show that the actin ring at the parasite-host cell tight junction is dependent on dynamic filament turnover. Super-resolution imaging places this ring posterior to, and not concentric with, the junction marker rhoptry neck protein 4. This implies motor force relies on the engagement of dynamic microfilaments at zones of traction, though not necessarily directly through receptor-ligand interactions at sites of adhesion during invasion. Combined, these observations extend current understanding of the diverse roles actin plays in malaria parasite development and apicomplexan cell motility, in particular refining understanding on the linkage of the internal parasite gliding motor with the extra-cellular milieu.

  14. Analysis of malaria parasite phenotypes using experimental genetic crosses of Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa C; Mwangi, Jonathan M.

    2012-01-01

    We review the principles of linkage analysis of experimental genetic crosses and their application to Plasmodium falciparum. Three experimental genetic crosses have been performed using the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. Linkage analysis of the progeny of these crosses has been used to identify parasite genes important in phenotypes such as drug resistance, parasite growth and virulence, and transmission to mosquitoes. The construction and analysis of genetic maps has been used to char...

  15. [Intestinal parasites in howler monkeys Alouatta palliata (Primates: Cebidae) of Costa Rica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmona, Misael Chinchilla; Bermúdez, Olga Guerrero; Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Gustavo A; Porras, Ronald Sánchez; Ortiz, Beatriz Rodríguez

    2005-01-01

    Fecal samples of 102 howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) from several sites of Costa Rica were studied for intestinal parasites. The zones studied were: Central Valley (San Ramón, Alajuela), Central Pacific (Chomes and Manuel Antonio National Park. Puntarenas), North Pacific (Palo Verde Park and Playa Potrero, Guanacaste). Chira Island in the Nicoya Gulf and Caribean area (Cahuita. Limón). Animals were anesthetized with dards containing Telazol in order to collect the fecal material; some monkeys defecated spontaneously and others by direct stimulation. Samples were studied in saline solution (0.85%) and a Iodine solution, or stained with Haematoxylin. The material was also cultured in Dobell culture medium to determine the presence of amoeba and flagellates. Strongvloides. Controrchis. Trypanoxyuris genera were found in 3.4% of the samples. In addition 16.7% to 80% of the animals showed protozoa infection with Endolimax, Entamoeba, Trichomonas and Giardia. It is discussed the relationships of parasite infection with environmental conditions, animal population and human presence, specially in the monkey conservation programs point of view.

  16. On the effects of malaria treatment on parasite drug resistance--probability modelling of genotyped malaria infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kum, Cletus Kwa; Thorburn, Daniel; Ghilagaber, Gebrenegus; Gil, Pedro; Björkman, Anders

    2013-10-12

    We compare the frequency of resistant genes of malaria parasites before treatment and at first malaria incidence after treatment. The data come from a clinical trial at two health facilities in Tanzania and concerns single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at three positions believed to be related to resistance to malaria treatment. A problem is that mixed infections are common, which both obscures the underlying frequency of alleles at each locus as well as the associations between loci in samples where alleles are mixed. We use combinatorics and quite involved probability methods to handle multiple infections and multiple haplotypes. The infection with the different haplotypes seemed to be independent of each other. We showed that at two of the three studied SNPs, the proportion of resistant genes had increased after treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine alone but when treated in combination with artesunate, no effect was noticed. First recurrences of malaria associated more with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine alone as treatment than when in combination with artesunate. We also found that the recruited children had two different ongoing malaria infections where the parasites had different gene types.

  17. Rapid identification of genes controlling virulence and immunity in malaria parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Abkallo, Hussein M.

    2017-07-13

    Identifying the genetic determinants of phenotypes that impact disease severity is of fundamental importance for the design of new interventions against malaria. Here we present a rapid genome-wide approach capable of identifying multiple genetic drivers of medically relevant phenotypes within malaria parasites via a single experiment at single gene or allele resolution. In a proof of principle study, we found that a previously undescribed single nucleotide polymorphism in the binding domain of the erythrocyte binding like protein (EBL) conferred a dramatic change in red blood cell invasion in mutant rodent malaria parasites Plasmodium yoelii. In the same experiment, we implicated merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) and other polymorphic proteins, as the major targets of strain-specific immunity. Using allelic replacement, we provide functional validation of the substitution in the EBL gene controlling the growth rate in the blood stages of the parasites.

  18. Rapid identification of genes controlling virulence and immunity in malaria parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xangsayarath, Phonepadith; Tang, Jianxia; Yahata, Kazuhide; Zoungrana, Augustin; Mitaka, Hayato; Acharjee, Arita; Datta, Partha P.; Hunt, Paul; Carter, Richard; Kaneko, Osamu; Mustonen, Ville; Pain, Arnab

    2017-01-01

    Identifying the genetic determinants of phenotypes that impact disease severity is of fundamental importance for the design of new interventions against malaria. Here we present a rapid genome-wide approach capable of identifying multiple genetic drivers of medically relevant phenotypes within malaria parasites via a single experiment at single gene or allele resolution. In a proof of principle study, we found that a previously undescribed single nucleotide polymorphism in the binding domain of the erythrocyte binding like protein (EBL) conferred a dramatic change in red blood cell invasion in mutant rodent malaria parasites Plasmodium yoelii. In the same experiment, we implicated merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) and other polymorphic proteins, as the major targets of strain-specific immunity. Using allelic replacement, we provide functional validation of the substitution in the EBL gene controlling the growth rate in the blood stages of the parasites. PMID:28704525

  19. Phospholipid organization in monkey erythrocytes upon Plasmodium knowlesi infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaft, P.H. van der; Beaumelle, B.; Vial, H.; Roelofsen, B.; Kamp, J.A.F. op den; Deenen, L.L.M. van

    1987-01-01

    The phospholipid organization in monkey erythrocytes upon Plasmodium knowlesi infection has been studied. Parasitized and nonparasitized erythrocytes from malaria-infected blood were separated and pure erythrocyte membranes from parasitized cells were isolated using Affi-Gel beads. In this way, the

  20. Social Behaviours and Networks of Vervet Monkeys Are Influenced by Gastrointestinal Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friant, Sagan; Godfrey, Kathleen; Liu, Cynthia; Sakar, Dipto; Schoof, Valérie A. M.; Sengupta, Raja; Twinomugisha, Dennis; Valenta, Kim; Goldberg, Tony L.

    2016-01-01

    Substantial research has shown that while some parasite infections can be fatal to hosts, most infections are sub-clinical and non-lethal. Such sub-clinical infections can nonetheless have negative consequences for the long-term fitness of the host such as reducing juvenile growth and the host’s ability to compete for food and mates. With such effects, infected individuals are expected to exhibit behavioural changes. Here we use a parasite removal experiment to quantify how gastrointestinal parasite infections affect the behaviour of vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) at Lake Nabugabo, Uganda. Behavioural profiles and the structure of nearest neighbour relationships varied significantly. As predicted, after deworming the duration of the resting events decreased, which is consistent with the idea that parasite infections are energetically costly. In contrast to what was predicted, we could not reject the null hypothesis and we observed no change in either the frequency or duration of grooming, but we found that the duration of travel events increased. A network analysis revealed that after deworming, individuals tended to have more nearest neighbours and hence probably more frequent interactions, with this effect being particularly marked for juveniles. The heightened response by juveniles may indicate that they are avoiding infected individuals more than other age classes because it is too costly to move energy away from growth. We consider that populations with high parasite burden may have difficulties developing social networks and behaviours that could have cascading effects that impact the population in general. PMID:27580121

  1. In vivo transmission blocking activities of artesunate on the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumnuan, Rapeeporn; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Chumpolbanchorn, Kamlang; Pimnon, Suntorn; Narkpinit, Somphong; Harnyuttanakorn, Pongchai; Saiwichai, Tawee

    2013-11-08

    Infection and transmission of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum in domestic chickens is associated with high economic burden and presents a major challenge to poultry industry in South East Asia. Development of drugs targeting both asexual blood stage parasites and sexual stages of the avian malarias will be beneficial for malaria treatment and eradication. However, current drugs recommended for treatment of the avian malaria parasites target specifically the asexual blood stage parasites, but have little or no impact to the gametocytes, the major target for development of transmission-blocking strategies. In the present work, we established a simple procedure to evaluate gametocytocidal and transmission blocking activities in a P. gallinaceum-avian model. The assays involved administration of seven consecutive daily doses of test compounds into P. gallinaceum-infected chickens with 10% parasitaemia and 1% gametocytaemia. Our studies indicated that intramuscular injection with seven daily low doses (the minimum effective dose of 10mg/kg) of artesunate blocked the gametocyte production and transmission to the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti. This assay can be further applicable for testing new compounds against P. gallinaceum and for other parasitic protozoa infecting birds.

  2. A new malaria parasite Plasmodium (Sauramoeba) heischi in skinks (Mabuya striata) from Nairobi, with a brief discussion of the distribution of malaria parasites in the family Scincidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garnham, P C; Telford, S R

    1984-11-01

    A new species of malaria parasite, Plasmodium (Sauramoeba) heischi, is described from African skinks (Mabuya striata). Eleven individuals of 90 specimens collected in Nairobi were found to be infected. The new parasite is a large species, characterized by spindle-shaped gametocytes, the female often with a subterminal nucleus. The schizonts produce up to 65 nuclei and cause great hypertrophy and distortion of the host cell. Although similar to P. (Sauramoeba) giganteum in dimensions and merozoite numbers, P. heischi is easily distinguished by gametocyte and schizont shapes.

  3. A rapid and robust tri-color flow cytometry assay for monitoring malaria parasite development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malleret, Benoît; Claser, Carla; Ong, Alice Soh Meoy; Suwanarusk, Rossarin; Sriprawat, Kanlaya; Howland, Shanshan Wu; Russell, Bruce; Nosten, Francois; Rénia, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    Microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained thin blood smears remains the gold standard method used to quantify and stage malaria parasites. However, this technique is tedious, and requires trained microscopists. We have developed a fast and simple flow cytometry method to quantify and stage, various malaria parasites in red blood cells in whole blood or in vitro cultured Plasmodium falciparum. The parasites were stained with dihydroethidium and Hoechst 33342 or SYBR Green I and leukocytes were identified with an antibody against CD45. Depending on the DNA stains used, samples were analyzed using different models of flow cytometers. This protocol, which does not require any washing steps, allows infected red blood cells to be distinguished from leukocytes, as well as allowing non-infected reticulocytes and normocytes to be identified. It also allows assessing the proportion of parasites at different developmental stages. Lastly, we demonstrate how this technique can be applied to antimalarial drug testing.

  4. The Plasmodium apicoplast genome: conserved structure and close relationship of P. ovale to rodent malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arisue, Nobuko; Hashimoto, Tetsuo; Mitsui, Hideya; Palacpac, Nirianne M Q; Kaneko, Akira; Kawai, Satoru; Hasegawa, Masami; Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Horii, Toshihiro

    2012-09-01

    Apicoplast, a nonphotosynthetic plastid derived from secondary symbiotic origin, is essential for the survival of malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Elucidation of the evolution of the apicoplast genome in Plasmodium species is important to better understand the functions of the organelle. However, the complete apicoplast genome is available for only the most virulent human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Here, we obtained the near-complete apicoplast genome sequences from eight Plasmodium species that infect a wide variety of vertebrate hosts and performed structural and phylogenetic analyses. We found that gene repertoire, gene arrangement, and other structural attributes were highly conserved. Phylogenetic reconstruction using 30 protein-coding genes of the apicoplast genome inferred, for the first time, a close relationship between P. ovale and rodent parasites. This close relatedness was robustly supported using multiple evolutionary assumptions and models. The finding suggests that an ancestral host switch occurred between rodent and human Plasmodium parasites.

  5. [The first monkey malaria in Turkey: a case of Plasmodium knowlesi].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özbilgin, Ahmet; Çavuş, İbrahim; Yıldırım, Ahmet; Gündüz, Cumhur

    2016-07-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi is now added to the known four Plasmodium species (P.vivax, P.falciparum, P.malariae, P.ovale) as a cause of malaria in humans because of the recent increasing rate of cases reported from countries of southeastern Asia. P.knowlesi which infects macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis and M.nemestrina) is transmitted to humans especially by Anopheles leucosphyrus and An.hackeri mosquitos. First human cases of P.knowlesi malaria have been detected in Malaysia which have reached high numbers in recent years and also have been reported from countries of Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. However the number of cases reported from western countries are rare and limited only within voyagers. This report is the first presentation of an imported case of P.knowlesi malaria in Turkey and aims to draw attention to the point that it could also be detected in future. A 33-year-old male patient from Myanmar who has migrated to Turkey as a refugee, was admitted to a health center with the complaints of fever with a periodicity of 24 hours, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, anorexia, myalgia and arthralgia. He was prediagnosed as upper respiratory tract infection, however because of his periodical fever and background in Myanmar, thick and thin blood films were prepared and sent to our laboratory for further examinations. Microscopic examination of the thin blood films revealed erythrocytic stages compatible with P.knowlesi (three large early trophozoites in an erythrocyte, three late trophozoites with compact view, and three late band-form trophozoites). Upon this, both real-time polymerase chain reaction (Rt-PCR) targeting the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) genes of Plasmodium genus and DNA sequence analysis targeting P.knowlesi rRNA gene were performed. As a result, the suspected identification of P.knowlesi by microscopy was confirmed by Rt-PCR and DNA sequencing. The patient was treated with chloroquine

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carvalho Leonardo JM

    2000-01-01

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

  7. The Survival Strategies of Malaria Parasite in the Red Blood Cell and Host Cell Polymorphisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunanidhi Dhangadamajhi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasite growth within the erythrocyte causes dramatic alterations of host cell which on one hand facilitates nutrients acquisition from extracellular environment and on other hand contributes to the symptoms of severe malaria. The current paper focuses on interactions between the Plasmodium parasite and its metabolically highly reduced host cell, the natural selection of numerous polymorphisms in the genes encoding hemoglobin and other erythrocyte proteins.

  8. Malaria parasites utilize both homologous recombination and alternative end joining pathways to maintain genome integrity

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Malaria parasites replicate asexually within their mammalian hosts as haploid cells and are subject to DNA damage from the immune response and chemotherapeutic agents that can significantly disrupt genomic integrity. Examination of the annotated genome of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum identified genes encoding core proteins required for the homologous recombination (HR) pathway for repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), but surprisingly none of the components of the canonical non-hom...

  9. Serine Proteases of Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum: Potential as Antimalarial Drug Targets

    OpenAIRE

    Asrar Alam

    2014-01-01

    Malaria is a major global parasitic disease and a cause of enormous mortality and morbidity. Widespread drug resistance against currently available antimalarials warrants the identification of novel drug targets and development of new drugs. Malarial proteases are a group of molecules that serve as potential drug targets because of their essentiality for parasite life cycle stages and feasibility of designing specific inhibitors against them. Proteases belonging to various mechanistic classes...

  10. 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.

  11. Enhanced transmission of malaria parasites to mosquitoes in a murine model of type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakpour, Nazzy; Cheung, Kong Wai; Luckhart, Shirley

    2016-04-21

    More than half of the world's population is at risk of malaria and simultaneously, many malaria-endemic regions are facing dramatic increases in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Studies in murine malaria models have examined the impact of malaria infection on type 2 diabetes pathology, it remains unclear how this chronic metabolic disorder impacts the transmission of malaria. In this report, the ability type 2 diabetic rodents infected with malaria to transmit parasites to Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes is quantified. The infection prevalence and intensity of An. stephensi mosquitoes that fed upon control or type 2 diabetic C57BL/6 db/db mice infected with either lethal Plasmodium berghei NK65 or non-lethal Plasmodium yoelii 17XNL murine malaria strains were determined. Daily parasitaemias were also recorded. A higher percentage of mosquitoes (87.5 vs 61.5 % for P. yoelii and 76.9 vs 50 % for P. berghei) became infected following blood feeding on Plasmodium-infected type 2 diabetic mice compared to mosquitoes that fed on infected control animals, despite no significant differences in circulating gametocyte levels. These results suggest that type 2 diabetic mice infected with malaria are more efficient at infecting mosquitoes, raising the question of whether a similar synergy exists in humans.

  12. Disrupting Mosquito Reproduction and Parasite Development for Malaria Control.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren M Childs

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The control of mosquito populations with insecticide treated bed nets and indoor residual sprays remains the cornerstone of malaria reduction and elimination programs. In light of widespread insecticide resistance in mosquitoes, however, alternative strategies for reducing transmission by the mosquito vector are urgently needed, including the identification of safe compounds that affect vectorial capacity via mechanisms that differ from fast-acting insecticides. Here, we show that compounds targeting steroid hormone signaling disrupt multiple biological processes that are key to the ability of mosquitoes to transmit malaria. When an agonist of the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E is applied to Anopheles gambiae females, which are the dominant malaria mosquito vector in Sub Saharan Africa, it substantially shortens lifespan, prevents insemination and egg production, and significantly blocks Plasmodium falciparum development, three components that are crucial to malaria transmission. Modeling the impact of these effects on Anopheles population dynamics and Plasmodium transmission predicts that disrupting steroid hormone signaling using 20E agonists would affect malaria transmission to a similar extent as insecticides. Manipulating 20E pathways therefore provides a powerful new approach to tackle malaria transmission by the mosquito vector, particularly in areas affected by the spread of insecticide resistance.

  13. Nanomimics of host cell membranes block invasion and expose invasive malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najer, Adrian; Wu, Dalin; Bieri, Andrej; Brand, Françoise; Palivan, Cornelia G; Beck, Hans-Peter; Meier, Wolfgang

    2014-12-23

    The fight against most infectious diseases, including malaria, is often hampered by the emergence of drug resistance and lack or limited efficacies of vaccines. Therefore, new drugs, vaccines, or other strategies to control these diseases are needed. Here, we present an innovative nanotechnological strategy in which the nanostructure itself represents the active substance with no necessity to release compounds to attain therapeutic effect and which might act in a drug- and vaccine-like dual function. Invasion of Plasmodium falciparum parasites into red blood cells was selected as a biological model for the initial validation of this approach. Stable nanomimics-polymersomes presenting receptors required for parasite attachment to host cells-were designed to efficiently interrupt the life cycle of the parasite by inhibiting invasion. A simple way to build nanomimics without postformation modifications was established. First, a block copolymer of the receptor with a hydrophobic polymer was synthesized and then mixed with a polymersome-forming block copolymer. The resulting nanomimics bound parasite-derived ligands involved in the initial attachment to host cells and they efficiently blocked reinvasion of malaria parasites after their egress from host cells in vitro. They exhibited efficacies of more than 2 orders of magnitude higher than the soluble form of the receptor, which can be explained by multivalent interactions of several receptors on one nanomimic with multiple ligands on the infective parasite. In the future, our strategy might offer interesting treatment options for severe malaria or a way to modulate the immune response.

  14. Malaria parasites utilize both homologous recombination and alternative end joining pathways to maintain genome integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkman, Laura A; Lawrence, Elizabeth A; Deitsch, Kirk W

    2014-01-01

    Malaria parasites replicate asexually within their mammalian hosts as haploid cells and are subject to DNA damage from the immune response and chemotherapeutic agents that can significantly disrupt genomic integrity. Examination of the annotated genome of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum identified genes encoding core proteins required for the homologous recombination (HR) pathway for repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), but surprisingly none of the components of the canonical non-homologous end joining (C-NHEJ) pathway were identified. To better understand how malaria parasites repair DSBs and maintain genome integrity, we modified the yeast I-SceI endonuclease system to generate inducible, site-specific DSBs within the parasite's genome. Analysis of repaired genomic DNA showed that parasites possess both a typical HR pathway resulting in gene conversion events as well as an end joining (EJ) pathway for repair of DSBs when no homologous sequence is available. The products of EJ were limited in number and identical products were observed in multiple independent experiments. The repair junctions frequently contained short insertions also found in the surrounding sequences, suggesting the possibility of a templated repair process. We propose that an alternative end-joining pathway rather than C-NHEJ, serves as a primary method for repairing DSBs in malaria parasites.

  15. Protection from experimental cerebral malaria with a single dose of radiation-attenuated, blood-stage Plasmodium berghei parasites.

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    Noel J Gerald

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Whole malaria parasites are highly effective in inducing immunity against malaria. Due to the limited success of subunit based vaccines in clinical studies, there has been a renewed interest in whole parasite-based malaria vaccines. Apart from attenuated sporozoites, there have also been efforts to use live asexual stage parasites as vaccine immunogens. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: We used radiation exposure to attenuate the highly virulent asexual blood stages of the murine malaria parasite P. berghei to a non-replicable, avirulent form. We tested the ability of the attenuated blood stage parasites to induce immunity to parasitemia and the symptoms of severe malaria disease. Depending on the mouse genetic background, a single high dose immunization without adjuvant protected mice from parasitemia and severe disease (CD1 mice or from experimental cerebral malaria (ECM (C57BL/6 mice. A low dose immunization did not protect against parasitemia or severe disease in either model after one or two immunizations. The protection from ECM was associated with a parasite specific antibody response and also with a lower level of splenic parasite-specific IFN-γ production, which is a mediator of ECM pathology in C57BL/6 mice. Surprisingly, there was no difference in the sequestration of CD8+ T cells and CD45+ CD11b+ macrophages in the brains of immunized, ECM-protected mice. CONCLUSIONS: This report further demonstrates the effectiveness of a whole parasite blood-stage vaccine in inducing immunity to malaria and explicitly demonstrates its effectiveness against ECM, the most pathogenic consequence of malaria infection. This experimental model will be important to explore the formulation of whole parasite blood-stage vaccines against malaria and to investigate the immune mechanisms that mediate protection against parasitemia and cerebral malaria.

  16. Marine actinomycetes: a new source of compounds against the human malaria parasite.

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    Jacques Prudhomme

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Malaria continues to be a devastating parasitic disease that causes the death of 2 million individuals annually. The increase in multi-drug resistance together with the absence of an efficient vaccine hastens the need for speedy and comprehensive antimalarial drug discovery and development. Throughout history, traditional herbal remedies or natural products have been a reliable source of antimalarial agents, e.g. quinine and artemisinin. Today, one emerging source of small molecule drug leads is the world's oceans. Included among the source of marine natural products are marine microorganisms such as the recently described actinomycete. Members of the genus Salinispora have yielded a wealth of new secondary metabolites including salinosporamide A, a molecule currently advancing through clinical trials as an anticancer agent. Because of the biological activity of metabolites being isolated from marine microorganisms, our group became interested in exploring the potential efficacy of these compounds against the malaria parasite. METHODS: We screened 80 bacterial crude extracts for their activity against malaria growth. We established that the pure compound, salinosporamide A, produced by the marine actinomycete, Salinispora tropica, shows strong inhibitory activity against the erythrocytic stages of the parasite cycle. Biochemical experiments support the likely inhibition of the parasite 20S proteasome. Crystal structure modeling of salinosporamide A and the parasite catalytic 20S subunit further confirm this hypothesis. Ultimately we showed that salinosporamide A protected mice against deadly malaria infection when administered at an extremely low dosage. CONCLUSION: These findings underline the potential of secondary metabolites, derived from marine microorganisms, to inhibit Plasmodium growth. More specifically, we highlight the effect of proteasome inhibitors such as salinosporamide A on in vitro and in vivo parasite development

  17. Intestinal parasites coinfection does not alter plasma cytokines profile elicited in acute malaria in subjects from endemic area of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Arcila, Juan Camilo; Perce-da-Silva, Daiana de Souza; Vasconcelos, Mariana Pinheiro Alves; Rodrigues-da-Silva, Rodrigo Nunes; Pereira, Virginia Araujo; Aprígio, Cesarino Junior Lima; Lima, Cleoni Alves Mendes; Fonseca e Fonseca, Bruna de Paula; Banic, Dalma Maria; Lima-Junior, Josué da Costa; Oliveira-Ferreira, Joseli

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, malaria is prevalent in the Amazon region and these regions coincide with high prevalence of intestinal parasites but few studies explore the interaction between malaria and other parasites. Therefore, the present study evaluates changes in cytokine, chemokine, C-reactive protein, and nitric oxide (NO) concentrations in 264 individuals, comparing plasma from infected individuals with concurrent malaria and intestinal parasites to individuals with either malaria infection alone and uninfected. In the studied population 24% of the individuals were infected with Plasmodium and 18% coinfected with intestinal parasites. Protozoan parasites comprised the bulk of the intestinal parasites infections and subjects infected with intestinal parasites were more likely to have malaria. The use of principal component analysis and cluster analysis associated increased levels of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, and CRP and low levels of IL-17A predominantly with individuals with malaria alone and coinfected individuals. In contrast, low levels of almost all inflammatory mediators were associated predominantly with individuals uninfected while increased levels of IL-17A were associated predominantly with individuals with intestinal parasites only. In conclusion, our data suggest that, in our population, the infection with intestinal parasites (mainly protozoan) does not modify the pattern of cytokine production in individuals infected with P. falciparum and P. vivax.

  18. Intestinal Parasites Coinfection Does Not Alter Plasma Cytokines Profile Elicited in Acute Malaria in Subjects from Endemic Area of Brazil

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    Juan Camilo Sánchez-Arcila

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In Brazil, malaria is prevalent in the Amazon region and these regions coincide with high prevalence of intestinal parasites but few studies explore the interaction between malaria and other parasites. Therefore, the present study evaluates changes in cytokine, chemokine, C-reactive protein, and nitric oxide (NO concentrations in 264 individuals, comparing plasma from infected individuals with concurrent malaria and intestinal parasites to individuals with either malaria infection alone and uninfected. In the studied population 24% of the individuals were infected with Plasmodium and 18% coinfected with intestinal parasites. Protozoan parasites comprised the bulk of the intestinal parasites infections and subjects infected with intestinal parasites were more likely to have malaria. The use of principal component analysis and cluster analysis associated increased levels of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, and CRP and low levels of IL-17A predominantly with individuals with malaria alone and coinfected individuals. In contrast, low levels of almost all inflammatory mediators were associated predominantly with individuals uninfected while increased levels of IL-17A were associated predominantly with individuals with intestinal parasites only. In conclusion, our data suggest that, in our population, the infection with intestinal parasites (mainly protozoan does not modify the pattern of cytokine production in individuals infected with P. falciparum and P. vivax.

  19. Coinfection with malaria and intestinal parasites, and its association with anaemia in children in Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njunda, Anna Longdoh; Fon, Shuri Ghasarah; Assob, Jules Clement Nguedia; Nsagha, Dickson Shey; Kwenti, Tayong Dizzle Bita; Kwenti, Tebit Emmanuel

    2015-10-06

    The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of coinfection with malaria and intestinal parasites, as well as to determine its association with anaemia in children aged 10 years and below in Muyuka, Cameroon. This was a cross-sectional study. Participants were febrile children who were admitted to the Muyuka district hospital between April and October 2012. Blood and stool samples were collected from those participants who gave consent to take part in the study. Haemoglobin concentration (Hb) and complete blood count (CBC) were performed using an automated haematology analyser (Mindray®, BC-2800). Giemsa-stained blood film was examined to detect malaria parasites, while the formol-ether concentration technique was used to detect intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs). The Pearson's chi-square, Student's T-test and correlation analysis were all performed as part of the statistical analyses. Four hundred and eleven (411) children successfully took part in this study. The prevalence of malaria, IPIs, malaria and IPI coinfection, and anaemia observed were 98.5 %, 11.9 %, 11.9 % and 44.8 %, respectively. Anaemia and IPIs were significantly associated with age; anaemia was more prevalent in children under five years of age (p = 0.000), whereas IPIs were more prevalent in children aged between five and 10 years (p = 0.006). The parasite species isolated included Ascaris lumbricoides (36 [73.5 %]), Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (9 [18.4 %]) and hookworm (4 [8.2 %]). The mean Hb observed was 10.64 g/dl (±1.82). A significant negative correlation was observed between malaria parasite density and Hb. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of anaemia among children infected with malaria, IPIs, or malaria and IPI coinfection, or among non-infected children. Similarly, the mean Hb did not differ among infected and non-infected children. This study showed that malaria and IPIs still constitute a major public health problem in the study area despite a

  20. Hidden in plain sight: Cryptic and endemic malaria parasites in North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinsen, Ellen S; McInerney, Nancy; Brightman, Heidi; Ferebee, Ken; Walsh, Tim; McShea, William J; Forrester, Tavis D; Ware, Lisa; Joyner, Priscilla H; Perkins, Susan L; Latch, Emily K; Yabsley, Michael J; Schall, Joseph J; Fleischer, Robert C

    2016-02-01

    Malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium are diverse in mammal hosts, infecting five mammalian orders in the Old World, but were long considered absent from the diverse deer family (Cervidae) and from New World mammals. There was a description of a Plasmodium parasite infecting a single splenectomized white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus) in 1967 but none have been reported since, which has proven a challenge to our understanding of malaria parasite biogeography. Using both microscopy and polymerase chain reaction, we screened a large sample of native and captive ungulate species from across the United States for malaria parasites. We found a surprisingly high prevalence (up to 25%) and extremely low parasitemia of Plasmodium parasites in WTD throughout the eastern United States. We did not detect infections in the other ungulate species nor in western WTD. We also isolated the parasites from the mosquito Anopheles punctipennis. Morphologically, the parasites resemble the parasite described in 1967, Plasmodium odocoilei. Our analysis of the cytochrome b gene revealed two divergent Plasmodium clades in WTD representative of species that likely diverged 2.3 to 6 million years ago, concurrent with the arrival of the WTD ancestor into North America across Beringia. Multigene phylogenetic analysis placed these clades within the larger malaria parasite clade. We document Plasmodium parasites to be common in WTD, endemic to the New World, and as the only known malaria parasites from deer (Cervidae). These findings reshape our knowledge of the phylogeography of the malaria parasites and suggest that other mammal taxa may harbor infection by endemic and occult malaria parasites.

  1. Direct and indirect immunosuppression by a malaria parasite in its mosquito vector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boëte, C.H.J.J.; Paul, R.E.L.; Koëlla, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    Malaria parasites develop as oocysts within the haemocoel of their mosquito vector during a period that is longer than the average lifespan of many of their vectors. How can they escape from the mosquito's immune responses during their long development? Whereas older oocysts might camouflage themsel

  2. The structural basis for CD36 binding by the malaria parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hsieh, Fu-Lien; Turner, Louise; Bolla, Jani Reddy;

    2016-01-01

    CD36 is a scavenger receptor involved in fatty acid metabolism, innate immunity and angiogenesis. It interacts with lipoprotein particles and facilitates uptake of long chain fatty acids. It is also the most common target of the PfEMP1 proteins of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum...

  3. The structural basis for CD36 binding by the malaria parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hsieh, Fu-Lien; Turner, Louise; Bolla, Jani Reddy

    2016-01-01

    CD36 is a scavenger receptor involved in fatty acid metabolism, innate immunity and angiogenesis. It interacts with lipoprotein particles and facilitates uptake of long chain fatty acids. It is also the most common target of the PfEMP1 proteins of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, teth...

  4. PfAlba1: master regulator of translation in the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunnik, Evelien M; Le Roch, Karine G

    2015-10-08

    During the asexual replication cycle of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the RNA-binding protein PfAlba1 binds and stabilizes a subset of transcripts for translation at a later time point.Please see related Research article: http://www.genomebiology.com/2015/16/1/212.

  5. Direct and indirect immunosuppression by a malaria parasite in its mosquito vector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boëte, C.H.J.J.; Paul, R.E.L.; Koëlla, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    Malaria parasites develop as oocysts within the haemocoel of their mosquito vector during a period that is longer than the average lifespan of many of their vectors. How can they escape from the mosquito's immune responses during their long development? Whereas older oocysts might camouflage

  6. Polyamidoamine nanoparticles as nanocarriers for the drug delivery to malaria parasite stages in the mosquito vector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbán, Patricia; Ranucci, Elisabetta; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier

    2015-11-01

    Malaria is arguably one of the main medical concerns worldwide because of the numbers of people affected, the severity of the disease and the complexity of the life cycle of its causative agent, the protist Plasmodium spp. With the advent of nanoscience, renewed hopes have appeared of finally obtaining the long sought-after magic bullet against malaria in the form of a nanovector for the targeted delivery of antimalarial compounds exclusively to Plasmodium-infected cells, thus increasing drug efficacy and minimizing the induction of resistance to newly developed therapeutic agents. Polyamidoamine-derived nanovectors combine into a single chemical structure drug encapsulating capacity, antimalarial activity, low unspecific toxicity, specific targeting to Plasmodium, optimal in vivo activity and affordable synthesis cost. After having shown their efficacy in targeting drugs to intraerythrocytic parasites, now polyamidoamines face the challenge of spearheading a new generation of nanocarriers aiming at the malaria parasite stages in the mosquito vector.

  7. Glycerol: An unexpected major metabolite of energy metabolism by the human malaria parasite

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    Bray Patrick G

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria is a global health emergency, and yet our understanding of the energy metabolism of the principle causative agent of this devastating disease, Plasmodium falciparum, remains rather basic. Glucose was shown to be an essential nutritional requirement nearly 100 years ago and since this original observation, much of the current knowledge of Plasmodium energy metabolism is based on early biochemical work, performed using basic analytical techniques (e.g. paper chromatography, carried out almost exclusively on avian and rodent malaria. Data derived from malaria parasite genome and transcriptome studies suggest that the energy metabolism of the parasite may be more complex than hitherto anticipated. This study was undertaken in order to further characterize the fate of glucose catabolism in the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum. Methods Products of glucose catabolism were determined by incubating erythrocyte-freed parasites with D-[1-13C] glucose under controlled conditions and metabolites were identified using 13C-NMR spectroscopy. Results Following a 2 h incubation of freed-P. falciparum parasites with 25 mM D-[1-13C] glucose (n = 4, the major metabolites identified included; [3-13C] lactate, [1,3-13C] glycerol, [3-13C] pyruvate, [3-13C] alanine and [3-13C] glycerol-3-phosphate. Control experiments performed with uninfected erythrocytes incubated under identical conditions did not show any metabolism of D-[1-13C] glucose to glycerol or glycerol-3-phosphate. Discussion The identification of glycerol as a major glucose metabolite confirms the view that energy metabolism in this parasite is more complex than previously proposed. It is hypothesized here that glycerol production by the malaria parasite is the result of a metabolic adaptation to growth in O2-limited (and CO2 elevated conditions by the operation of a glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle for the re-oxidation of assimilatory NADH. Similar metabolic adaptations have

  8. 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.

  9. Plasmodium simium/Plasmodium vivax infections in southern brown howler monkeys from the Atlantic Forest

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    Daniela Camargos Costa

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Blood infection by the simian parasite, Plasmodium simium, was identified in captive (n = 45, 4.4% and in wild Alouatta clamitans monkeys (n = 20, 35% from the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil. A single malaria infection was symptomatic and the monkey presented clinical and haematological alterations. A high frequency of Plasmodium vivax-specific antibodies was detected among these monkeys, with 87% of the monkeys testing positive against P. vivax antigens. These findings highlight the possibility of malaria as a zoonosis in the remaining Atlantic Forest and its impact on the epidemiology of the disease.

  10. Enzymatic Characterization of Recombinant Food Vacuole Plasmepsin 4 from the Rodent Malaria Parasite Plasmodium berghei.

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    Peng Liu

    Full Text Available The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei is a practical model organism for experimental studies of human malaria. Plasmepsins are a class of aspartic proteinase isoforms that exert multiple pathological effects in malaria parasites. Plasmepsins residing in the food vacuole (FV of the parasite hydrolyze hemoglobin in red blood cells. In this study, we cloned PbPM4, the FV plasmepsin gene of P. berghei that encoded an N-terminally truncated pro-segment and the mature enzyme from genomic DNA. We over-expressed this PbPM4 zymogen as inclusion bodies (IB in Escherichia coli, and purified the protein following in vitro IB refolding. Auto-maturation of the PbPM4 zymogen to mature enzyme was carried out at pH 4.5, 5.0, and 5.5. Interestingly, we found that the PbPM4 zymogen exhibited catalytic activity regardless of the presence of the pro-segment. We determined the optimal catalytic conditions for PbPM4 and studied enzyme kinetics on substrates and inhibitors of aspartic proteinases. Using combinatorial chemistry-based peptide libraries, we studied the active site preferences of PbPM4 at subsites S1, S2, S3, S1', S2' and S3'. Based on these results, we designed and synthesized a selective peptidomimetic compound and tested its inhibition of PbPM4, seven FV plasmepsins from human malaria parasites, and human cathepsin D (hcatD. We showed that this compound exhibited a >10-fold selectivity to PbPM4 and human malaria parasite plasmepsin 4 orthologs versus hcatD. Data from this study furthesr our understanding of enzymatic characteristics of the plasmepsin family and provides leads for anti-malarial drug design.

  11. Functional characterization of malaria parasites deficient in the K(+) channel Kch2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellekvist, Peter; Mlambo, Godfree; Kumar, Nirbhay; Klaerke, Dan A

    2017-08-29

    K(+) channels are integral membrane proteins, which contribute to maintain vital parameters such as the cellular membrane potential and cell volume. Malaria parasites encode two K(+) channel homologues, Kch1 and Kch2, which are well-conserved among members of the Plasmodium genus. In the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei, the functional significance of K(+) channel homologue PbKch2 was studied using targeted gene knock-out. The knockout parasites were characterized in a mouse model in terms of growth-kinetics and infectivity in the mosquito vector. Furthermore, using a tracer-uptake technique with (86)Rb(+) as a K(+) congener, the K(+) transporting properties of the knockout parasites were assessed. Genetic disruption of Kch2 did not grossly affect the phenotype in terms of asexual replication and pathogenicity in a mouse model. In contrast to Kch1-null parasites, Kch2-null parasites were fully capable of forming oocysts in female Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. (86)Rb(+) uptake in Kch2-deficient blood-stage P. berghei parasites (Kch2-null) did not differ from that of wild-type (WT) parasites. About two-third of the (86)Rb(+) uptake in WT and in Kch2-null parasites could be inhibited by K(+) channel blockers and could be inferred to the presence of functional Kch1 in Kch2 knockout parasites. Kch2 is therefore not required for transport of K(+) in P. berghei and is not essential to mosquito-stage sporogonic development of the parasite. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Parasite-based malaria diagnosis: Are Health Systems in Uganda equipped enough to implement the policy?

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    Kyabayinze Daniel J

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria case management is a key strategy for malaria control. Effective coverage of parasite-based malaria diagnosis (PMD remains limited in malaria endemic countries. This study assessed the health system's capacity to absorb PMD at primary health care facilities in Uganda. Methods In a cross sectional survey, using multi-stage cluster sampling, lower level health facilities (LLHF in 11 districts in Uganda were assessed for 1 tools, 2 skills, 3 staff and infrastructure, and 4 structures, systems and roles necessary for the implementing of PMD. Results Tools for PMD (microscopy and/or RDTs were available at 30 (24% of the 125 LLHF. All LLHF had patient registers and 15% had functional in-patient facilities. Three months’ long stock-out periods were reported for oral and parenteral quinine at 39% and 47% of LLHF respectively. Out of 131 health workers interviewed, 86 (66% were nursing assistants; 56 (43% had received on-job training on malaria case management and 47 (36% had adequate knowledge in malaria case management. Overall, only 18% (131/730 Ministry of Health approved staff positions were filled by qualified personnel and 12% were recruited or transferred within six months preceding the survey. Of 186 patients that received referrals from LLHF, 130(70% had received pre-referral anti-malarial drugs, none received pre-referral rectal artesunate and 35% had been referred due to poor response to antimalarial drugs. Conclusion Primary health care facilities had inadequate human and infrastructural capacity to effectively implement universal parasite-based malaria diagnosis. The priority capacity building needs identified were: 1 recruitment and retention of qualified staff, 2 comprehensive training of health workers in fever management, 3 malaria diagnosis quality control systems and 4 strengthening of supply chain, stock management and referral systems.

  13. Investigating the evolution of apoptosis in malaria parasites: the importance of ecology

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    Pollitt Laura C

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Apoptosis is a precisely regulated process of cell death which occurs widely in multicellular organisms and is essential for normal development and immune defences. In recent years, interest has grown in the occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular organisms. In particular, as apoptosis has been reported in a wide range of species, including protozoan malaria parasites and trypanosomes, it may provide a novel target for intervention. However, it is important to understand when and why parasites employ an apoptosis strategy before the likely long- and short-term success of such an intervention can be evaluated. The occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular parasites provides a challenge for evolutionary theory to explain as organisms are expected to have evolved to maximise their own proliferation, not death. One possible explanation is that protozoan parasites undergo apoptosis in order to gain a group benefit from controlling their density as this prevents premature vector mortality. However, experimental manipulations to examine the ultimate causes behind apoptosis in parasites are lacking. In this review, we focus on malaria parasites to outline how an evolutionary framework can help make predictions about the ecological circumstances under which apoptosis could evolve. We then highlight the ecological considerations that should be taken into account when designing evolutionary experiments involving markers of cell death, and we call for collaboration between researchers in different fields to identify and develop appropriate markers in reference to parasite ecology and to resolve debates on terminology.

  14. Paradoxical sleep deprivation impairs mouse survival after infection with malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lungato, Lisandro; Gazarini, Marcos L; Paredes-Gamero, Edgar J; Tufik, Sergio; D'Almeida, Vânia

    2015-04-28

    Parasitic diseases like malaria are a major public health problem in many countries and disrupted sleep patterns are an increasingly common part of modern life. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) and sleep rebound (RB) on malarial parasite infection in mice. After PSD, one group was immediately infected with parasites (PSD). The two other PSD rebound groups were allowed to sleep normally for either 24 h (24 h RB) or 48 h (48 h RB). After the recovery periods, mice were inoculated with parasites. The PSD group was the most affected by parasites presenting the higher death rate (0.02), higher number of infected cells (p weight (p weight (p sleep rebound animals were allowed to restore their response to parasitic infection similar to normal sleep animals. These results suggest that PSD is damaging to the immune system and leads to an increased infection severity of malaria parasites; only 48 hours of recovery sleep was sufficient to return the mice infection response to baseline values.

  15. Large-scale growth of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite in a wave bioreactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, John P; Demanga, Corine G; Reiling, Sarah J; Wunderlich, Juliane; Eng, Jenny W L; Rohrbach, Petra

    2012-01-01

    We describe methods for the large-scale in vitro culturing of synchronous and asynchronous blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites in sterile disposable plastic bioreactors controlled by wave-induced motion (wave bioreactor). These cultures perform better than static flask cultures in terms of preserving parasite cell cycle synchronicity and reducing the number of multiple-infected erythrocytes. The straight-forward methods described here will facilitate the large scale production of malaria parasites for antigen and organelle isolation and characterisation, for the high throughput screening of compound libraries with whole cells or extracts, and the development of live- or whole-cell malaria vaccines under good manufacturing practice compliant standards. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Targeting of a Transporter to the Outer Apicoplast Membrane in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Christopher D.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2016-01-01

    Apicoplasts are vestigial plastids in apicomplexan parasites like Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria. Apicomplexan parasites are dependant on their apicoplasts for synthesis of various molecules that they are unable to scavenge in sufficient quantity from their host, which makes apicoplasts attractive drug targets. Proteins known as plastid phosphate translocators (pPTs) are embedded in the outer apicoplast membrane and are responsible for the import of carbon, energy and reducing power to drive anabolic synthesis in the organelle. We investigated how a pPT is targeted into the outer apicoplast membrane of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. We showed that a transmembrane domain is likely to act as a recessed signal anchor to direct the protein into the endomembrane system, and that a tyrosine in the cytosolic N-terminus of the protein is essential for targeting, but one or more, as yet unidentified, factors are also essential to direct the protein into the outer apicoplast membrane. PMID:27442138

  17. Targeting of a Transporter to the Outer Apicoplast Membrane in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liting Lim

    Full Text Available Apicoplasts are vestigial plastids in apicomplexan parasites like Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria. Apicomplexan parasites are dependant on their apicoplasts for synthesis of various molecules that they are unable to scavenge in sufficient quantity from their host, which makes apicoplasts attractive drug targets. Proteins known as plastid phosphate translocators (pPTs are embedded in the outer apicoplast membrane and are responsible for the import of carbon, energy and reducing power to drive anabolic synthesis in the organelle. We investigated how a pPT is targeted into the outer apicoplast membrane of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. We showed that a transmembrane domain is likely to act as a recessed signal anchor to direct the protein into the endomembrane system, and that a tyrosine in the cytosolic N-terminus of the protein is essential for targeting, but one or more, as yet unidentified, factors are also essential to direct the protein into the outer apicoplast membrane.

  18. The human malaria parasite Pfs47 gene mediates evasion of the mosquito immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Garver, Lindsey S; Alabaster, Amy; Bangiolo, Lois; Haile, Ashley; Winikor, Jared; Ortega, Corrie; van Schaijk, Ben C L; Sauerwein, Robert W; Taylor-Salmon, Emma; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2013-05-24

    Plasmodium falciparum transmission by Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes is remarkably efficient, resulting in a very high prevalence of human malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa. A combination of genetic mapping, linkage group selection, and functional genomics was used to identify Pfs47 as a P. falciparum gene that allows the parasite to infect A. gambiae without activating the mosquito immune system. Disruption of Pfs47 greatly reduced parasite survival in the mosquito, and this phenotype could be reverted by genetic complementation of the parasite or by disruption of the mosquito complement-like system. Pfs47 suppresses midgut nitration responses that are critical to activate the complement-like system. We provide direct experimental evidence that immune evasion mediated by Pfs47 is critical for efficient human malaria transmission by A. gambiae.

  19. Transgenic Expression of the Anti-parasitic Factor TEP1 in the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles gambiae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopp, Ann-Katrin; Saenger, Mélanie; Soichot, Julien; Scholze, Heidi; Boch, Jens; Blandin, Stéphanie A.; Marois, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Mosquitoes genetically engineered to be resistant to Plasmodium parasites represent a promising novel approach in the fight against malaria. The insect immune system itself is a source of anti-parasitic genes potentially exploitable for transgenic designs. The Anopheles gambiae thioester containing protein 1 (TEP1) is a potent anti-parasitic protein. TEP1 is secreted and circulates in the mosquito hemolymph, where its activated cleaved form binds and eliminates malaria parasites. Here we investigated whether TEP1 can be used to create malaria resistant mosquitoes. Using a GFP reporter transgene, we determined that the fat body is the main site of TEP1 expression. We generated transgenic mosquitoes that express TEP1r, a potent refractory allele of TEP1, in the fat body and examined the activity of the transgenic protein in wild-type or TEP1 mutant genetic backgrounds. Transgenic TEP1r rescued loss-of-function mutations, but did not increase parasite resistance in the presence of a wild-type susceptible allele. Consistent with previous reports, TEP1 protein expressed from the transgene in the fat body was taken up by hemocytes upon a challenge with injected bacteria. Furthermore, although maturation of transgenic TEP1 into the cleaved form was impaired in one of the TEP1 mutant lines, it was still sufficient to reduce parasite numbers and induce parasite melanization. We also report here the first use of Transcription Activator Like Effectors (TALEs) in Anopheles gambiae to stimulate expression of endogenous TEP1. We found that artificial elevation of TEP1 expression remains moderate in vivo and that enhancement of endogenous TEP1 expression did not result in increased resistance to Plasmodium. Taken together, our results reveal the difficulty of artificially influencing TEP1-mediated Plasmodium resistance, and contribute to further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying mosquito resistance to Plasmodium parasites. PMID:28095489

  20. PCR detection of malaria parasites in desiccated Anopheles mosquitoes is uninhibited by storage time and temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rider Mark A

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reliable methods to preserve mosquito vectors for malaria studies are necessary for detecting Plasmodium parasites. In field settings, however, maintaining a cold chain of storage from the time of collection until laboratory processing, or accessing other reliable means of sample preservation is often logistically impractical or cost prohibitive. As the Plasmodium infection rate of Anopheles mosquitoes is a central component of the entomological inoculation rate and other indicators of transmission intensity, storage conditions that affect pathogen detection may bias malaria surveillance indicators. This study investigated the effect of storage time and temperature on the ability to detect Plasmodium parasites in desiccated Anopheles mosquitoes by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR. Methods Laboratory-infected Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes were chloroform-killed and stored over desiccant for 0, 1, 3, and 6 months while being held at four different temperatures: 28, 37, -20 and -80°C. The detection of Plasmodium DNA was evaluated by real-time PCR amplification of a 111 base pair region of block 4 of the merozoite surface protein. Results Varying the storage time and temperature of desiccated mosquitoes did not impact the sensitivity of parasite detection. A two-way factorial analysis of variance suggested that storage time and temperature were not associated with a loss in the ability to detect parasites. Storage of samples at 28°C resulted in a significant increase in the ability to detect parasite DNA, though no other positive associations were observed between the experimental storage treatments and PCR amplification. Conclusions Cold chain maintenance of desiccated mosquito samples is not necessary for real-time PCR detection of parasite DNA. Though field-collected mosquitoes may be subjected to variable conditions prior to molecular processing, the storage of samples over an inexpensive and logistically

  1. Host cell phosphatidylcholine is a key mediator of malaria parasite survival during liver stage infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itoe, Maurice A; Sampaio, Júlio L; Cabal, Ghislain G; Real, Eliana; Zuzarte-Luis, Vanessa; March, Sandra; Bhatia, Sangeeta N; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Thiele, Christoph; Shevchenko, Andrej; Mota, Maria M

    2014-12-10

    During invasion, Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, wraps itself in a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), which constitutes a critical interface between the parasite and its host cell. Within hepatocytes, each Plasmodium sporozoite generates thousands of new parasites, creating high demand for lipids to support this replication and enlarge the PVM. Here, a global analysis of the total lipid repertoire of Plasmodium-infected hepatocytes reveals an enrichment of neutral lipids and the major membrane phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine (PC). While infection is unaffected in mice deficient in key enzymes involved in neutral lipid synthesis and lipolysis, ablation of rate-limiting enzymes in hepatic PC biosynthetic pathways significantly decreases parasite numbers. Host PC is taken up by both P. berghei and P. falciparum and is necessary for correct localization of parasite proteins to the PVM, which is essential for parasite survival. Thus, Plasmodium relies on the abundance of these lipids within hepatocytes to support infection.

  2. Plasmodium simium, a Plasmodium vivax-related malaria parasite: genetic variability of Duffy binding protein II and the Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camargos Costa, Daniela; Pereira de Assis, Gabriela Maíra; de Souza Silva, Flávia Alessandra; Araújo, Flávia Carolina; de Souza Junior, Júlio César; Braga Hirano, Zelinda Maria; Satiko Kano, Flora; Nóbrega de Sousa, Taís; Carvalho, Luzia Helena; Ferreira Alves de Brito, Cristiana

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium simium is a parasite from New World monkeys that is most closely related to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax; it also naturally infects humans. The blood-stage infection of P. vivax depends on Duffy binding protein II (PvDBPII) and its cognate receptor on erythrocytes, the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (hDARC), but there is no information on the P. simium erythrocytic invasion pathway. The genes encoding P. simium DBP (PsDBPII) and simian DARC (sDARC) were sequenced from Southern brown howler monkeys (Alouatta guariba clamitans) naturally infected with P. simium because P. simium may also depend on the DBPII/DARC interaction. The sequences of DBP binding domains from P. vivax and P. simium were highly similar. However, the genetic variability of PsDBPII was lower than that of PvDBPII. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that these genes were strictly related and clustered in the same clade of the evolutionary tree. DARC from A. clamitans was also sequenced and contained three new non-synonymous substitutions. None of these substitutions were located in the N-terminal domain of DARC, which interacts directly with DBPII. The interaction between sDARC and PvDBPII was evaluated using a cytoadherence assay of COS7 cells expressing PvDBPII on their surfaces. Inhibitory binding assays in vitro demonstrated that antibodies from monkey sera blocked the interaction between COS-7 cells expressing PvDBPII and hDARC-positive erythrocytes. Taken together, phylogenetic analyses reinforced the hypothesis that the host switch from humans to monkeys may have occurred very recently in evolution, which sheds light on the evolutionary history of new world plasmodia. Further invasion studies would confirm whether P. simium depends on DBP/DARC to trigger internalization into red blood cells.

  3. Comparative gene expression profiling of P. falciparum malaria parasites exposed to three different histone deacetylase inhibitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine T Andrews

    Full Text Available Histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitors are being intensively pursued as potential new drugs for a range of diseases, including malaria. HDAC inhibitors are also important tools for the study of epigenetic mechanisms, transcriptional control, and other important cellular processes. In this study the effects of three structurally related antimalarial HDAC inhibitors on P. falciparum malaria parasite gene expression were compared. The three hydroxamate-based compounds, trichostatin A (TSA, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; Vorinostat® and a 2-aminosuberic acid derivative (2-ASA-9, all caused profound transcriptional effects, with ~2-21% of genes having >2-fold altered expression following 2 h exposure to the compounds. Only two genes, alpha tubulin II and a hydrolase, were up-regulated by all three compounds after 2 h exposure in all biological replicates examined. The transcriptional changes observed after 2 h exposure to HDAC inhibitors were found to be largely transitory, with only 1-5% of genes being regulated after removing the compounds and culturing for a further 2 h. Despite some structural similarity, the three inhibitors caused quite diverse transcriptional effects, possibly reflecting subtle differences in mode of action or cellular distribution. This dataset represents an important contribution to our understanding of how HDAC inhibitors act on malaria parasites and identifies alpha tubulin II as a potential transcriptional marker of HDAC inhibition in malaria parasites that may be able to be exploited for future development of HDAC inhibitors as new antimalarial agents.

  4. Submicroscopic malaria parasite carriage: how reproducible are polymerase chain reaction-based methods?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Camargos Costa

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The polymerase chain reaction (PCR-based methods for the diagnosis of malaria infection are expected to accurately identify submicroscopic parasite carriers. Although a significant number of PCR protocols have been described, few studies have addressed the performance of PCR amplification in cases of field samples with submicroscopic malaria infection. Here, the reproducibility of two well-established PCR protocols (nested-PCR and real-time PCR for the Plasmodium 18 small subunit rRNA gene were evaluated in a panel of 34 blood field samples from individuals that are potential reservoirs of malaria infection, but were negative for malaria by optical microscopy. Regardless of the PCR protocol, a large variation between the PCR replicates was observed, leading to alternating positive and negative results in 38% (13 out of 34 of the samples. These findings were quite different from those obtained from the microscopy-positive patients or the unexposed individuals; the diagnosis of these individuals could be confirmed based on the high reproducibility and specificity of the PCR-based protocols. The limitation of PCR amplification was restricted to the field samples with very low levels of parasitaemia because titrations of the DNA templates were able to detect < 3 parasites/µL in the blood. In conclusion, conventional PCR protocols require careful interpretation in cases of submicroscopic malaria infection, as inconsistent and false-negative results can occur.

  5. Submicroscopic malaria parasite carriage: how reproducible are polymerase chain reaction-based methods?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Daniela Camargos; Madureira, Ana Paula; Amaral, Lara Cotta; Sanchez, Bruno Antônio Marinho; Gomes, Luciano Teixeira; Fontes, Cor Jésus Fernandes; Limongi, Jean Ezequiel; Brito, Cristiana Ferreira Alves de; Carvalho, Luzia Helena

    2014-02-01

    The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods for the diagnosis of malaria infection are expected to accurately identify submicroscopic parasite carriers. Although a significant number of PCR protocols have been described, few studies have addressed the performance of PCR amplification in cases of field samples with submicroscopic malaria infection. Here, the reproducibility of two well-established PCR protocols (nested-PCR and real-time PCR for the Plasmodium 18 small subunit rRNA gene) were evaluated in a panel of 34 blood field samples from individuals that are potential reservoirs of malaria infection, but were negative for malaria by optical microscopy. Regardless of the PCR protocol, a large variation between the PCR replicates was observed, leading to alternating positive and negative results in 38% (13 out of 34) of the samples. These findings were quite different from those obtained from the microscopy-positive patients or the unexposed individuals; the diagnosis of these individuals could be confirmed based on the high reproducibility and specificity of the PCR-based protocols. The limitation of PCR amplification was restricted to the field samples with very low levels of parasitaemia because titrations of the DNA templates were able to detect < 3 parasites/µL in the blood. In conclusion, conventional PCR protocols require careful interpretation in cases of submicroscopic malaria infection, as inconsistent and false-negative results can occur.

  6. Identification of Compounds with Efficacy against Malaria Parasites from Common North American Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Shengxin; Risinger, April L; Nair, Shalini; Peng, Jiangnan; Anderson, Timothy J C; Du, Lin; Powell, Douglas R; Mooberry, Susan L; Cichewicz, Robert H

    2016-03-25

    Some of the most valuable antimalarial compounds, including quinine and artemisinin, originated from plants. While these drugs have served important roles over many years for the treatment of malaria, drug resistance has become a widespread problem. Therefore, a critical need exists to identify new compounds that have efficacy against drug-resistant malaria strains. In the current study, extracts prepared from plants readily obtained from local sources were screened for activity against Plasmodium falciparum. Bioassay-guided fractionation was used to identify 18 compounds from five plant species. These compounds included eight lupane triterpenes (1-8), four kaempferol 3-O-rhamnosides (10-13), four kaempferol 3-O-glucosides (14-17), and the known compounds amentoflavone and knipholone. These compounds were tested for their efficacy against multi-drug-resistant malaria parasites and counterscreened against HeLa cells to measure their antimalarial selectivity. Most notably, one of the new lupane triterpenes (3) isolated from the supercritical extract of Buxus sempervirens, the common boxwood, showed activity against both drug-sensitive and -resistant malaria strains at a concentration that was 75-fold more selective for the drug-resistant malaria parasites as compared to HeLa cells. This study demonstrates that new antimalarial compounds with efficacy against drug-resistant strains can be identified from native and introduced plant species in the United States, which traditionally have received scant investigation compared to more heavily explored tropical and semitropical botanical resources from around the world.

  7. A Plasmodium vivax plasmid DNA- and adenovirus-vectored malaria vaccine encoding blood stage antigens AMA1 and MSP142 in a prime/boost heterologous immunization regimen partially protects Aotus monkeys against blood stage challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obaldia, Nicanor; Stockelman, Michael G; Otero, William; Cockrill, Jennifer A; Ganeshan, Harini; Abot, Esteban N; Zhang, Jianfeng; Limbach, Keith; Charoenvit, Yupin; Doolan, Denise L; Tang, De-Chu C; Richie, Thomas L

    2017-02-08

    Malaria is caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium that are transmitted to humans by the bites of Anopheles mosquitoes. After the elimination of P. falciparum it is predicted that Plasmodium vivax will remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality outside of Africa, stressing the importance of developing a vaccine against malaria. In this study we assess the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of two P. vivax antigens, AMA1 and MSP142 in a recombinant DNA plasmid prime/adenoviral vector (Ad) boost regimen in Aotus monkeys. Groups of 4 to 5 monkeys were immunized with DNA alone, Ad alone, prime/boost regimens of each antigen, prime/boost with both antigens, and empty vector controls, and then subjected to blood stage challenge. The heterologous immunization regimen with the antigen pair was more protective than either antigen alone or both antigens delivered with a single vaccine platform, based on their ability to induced the longest pre-patent period and time to peak parasitemia; the lowest peak and mean parasitemia; the smallest area under the parasitemia curve and the highest self-cured rate. Overall, pre-challenge MSP1 antibody titers strongly correlated with decreased parasite burden. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of immunized animals developed anemia. In conclusion, P. vivax plasmid DNA/Ad5 vaccine encoding blood stage parasite antigens AMA1 and MSP142 in a heterologous prime/boost immunization regimen, provided significant protection against blood-stage challenge in Aotus monkeys, indicating the suitability of these antigens and regimen for further development.

  8. New Entamoeba group in howler monkeys (Alouatta spp.) associated with parasites of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva-García, Claudia; Gordillo-Chávez, Elías José; Baños-Ojeda, Carlos; Rendón-Franco, Emilio; Muñoz-García, Claudia Irais; Carrero, Julio César; Córdoba-Aguilar, Alex; Maravilla, Pablo; Galian, José; Martínez-Hernández, Fernando; Villalobos, Guiehdani

    2017-08-01

    Our knowledge of the parasite species present in wildlife hosts is incomplete. Protozoans such as amoebae of the genus Entamoeba infect a large variety of vertebrate species, including NHPs. However, traditionally, their identification has been accomplished through microscopic evaluation; therefore, amoeba species have not always been identified correctly. We searched for Entamoeba spp. using a fragment of the small subunit rDNA in free-ranging howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata and A. pigra) from southeast Mexico. One hundred fifty five samples were collected, with 46 from A. palliata and 109 from A. pigra and 8 of the total samples were positive. We detected a new clade of Entamoeba, which was separated from other described species but closer to E. insolita, as well as an unnamed sequence typically found in iguana species with low shared identity values (<90%). We designated this new clade as conditional lineage 8 (CL8) and we have shown that members of this group are not exclusive to reptiles.

  9. Malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-01

    ceived the Nobel prize in 1902. Grassi et al later proved that anopheline mosquitoes transmit malaria to humans.2 In 2002, researchers sequenced the...Malarial pigment is the end product of hemoglobin diges- tion into a porphyrin conjugated with a protein derived from the globin portion of...location, parasite strain, and the patient’s age, immune status, and treatment.27 Investigating the patient’s travel history may provide clues to the spe

  10. High diversity of West African bat malaria parasites and a tight link with rodent Plasmodium taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaer, Juliane; Perkins, Susan L; Decher, Jan; Leendertz, Fabian H; Fahr, Jakob; Weber, Natalie; Matuschewski, Kai

    2013-10-22

    As the only volant mammals, bats are captivating for their high taxonomic diversity, for their vital roles in ecosystems--particularly as pollinators and insectivores--and, more recently, for their important roles in the maintenance and transmission of zoonotic viral diseases. Genome sequences have identified evidence for a striking expansion of and positive selection in gene families associated with immunity. Bats have also been known to be hosts of malaria parasites for over a century, and as hosts, they possess perhaps the most phylogenetically diverse set of hemosporidian genera and species. To provide a molecular framework for the study of these parasites, we surveyed bats in three remote areas of the Upper Guinean forest ecosystem. We detected four distinct genera of hemosporidian parasites: Plasmodium, Polychromophilus, Nycteria, and Hepatocystis. Intriguingly, the two species of Plasmodium in bats fall within the clade of rodent malaria parasites, indicative of multiple host switches across mammalian orders. We show that Nycteria species form a very distinct phylogenetic group and that Hepatocystis parasites display an unusually high diversity and prevalence in epauletted fruit bats. The diversity and high prevalence of novel lineages of chiropteran hemosporidians underscore the exceptional position of bats among all other mammalian hosts of hemosporidian parasites and support hypotheses of pathogen tolerance consistent with the exceptional immunology of bats.

  11. High diversity of West African bat malaria parasites and a tight link with rodent Plasmodium taxa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaer, Juliane; Perkins, Susan L.; Decher, Jan; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Fahr, Jakob; Weber, Natalie; Matuschewski, Kai

    2013-01-01

    As the only volant mammals, bats are captivating for their high taxonomic diversity, for their vital roles in ecosystems—particularly as pollinators and insectivores—and, more recently, for their important roles in the maintenance and transmission of zoonotic viral diseases. Genome sequences have identified evidence for a striking expansion of and positive selection in gene families associated with immunity. Bats have also been known to be hosts of malaria parasites for over a century, and as hosts, they possess perhaps the most phylogenetically diverse set of hemosporidian genera and species. To provide a molecular framework for the study of these parasites, we surveyed bats in three remote areas of the Upper Guinean forest ecosystem. We detected four distinct genera of hemosporidian parasites: Plasmodium, Polychromophilus, Nycteria, and Hepatocystis. Intriguingly, the two species of Plasmodium in bats fall within the clade of rodent malaria parasites, indicative of multiple host switches across mammalian orders. We show that Nycteria species form a very distinct phylogenetic group and that Hepatocystis parasites display an unusually high diversity and prevalence in epauletted fruit bats. The diversity and high prevalence of novel lineages of chiropteran hemosporidians underscore the exceptional position of bats among all other mammalian hosts of hemosporidian parasites and support hypotheses of pathogen tolerance consistent with the exceptional immunology of bats. PMID:24101466

  12. H2O2 dynamics in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahbari, Mahsa; Bogeski, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Hydrogen peroxide is an important antimicrobial agent but is also crucially involved in redox signaling and pathogen-host cell interactions. As a basis for systematically investigating intracellular H2O2 dynamics and regulation in living malaria parasites, we established the genetically encoded fluorescent H2O2 sensors roGFP2-Orp1 and HyPer-3 in Plasmodium falciparum. Both ratiometric redox probes as well as the pH control SypHer were expressed in the cytosol of blood-stage parasites. Both redox sensors showed reproducible sensitivity towards H2O2 in the lower micromolar range in vitro and in the parasites. Due to the pH sensitivity of HyPer-3, we used parasites expressing roGFP2-Orp1 for evaluation of short-, medium-, and long-term effects of antimalarial drugs on H2O2 levels and detoxification in Plasmodium. None of the quinolines or artemisinins tested had detectable direct effects on the H2O2 homeostasis at pharmacologically relevant concentrations. However, pre-treatment of the cells with antimalarial drugs or heat shock led to a higher tolerance towards exogenous H2O2. The systematic evaluation and comparison of the two genetically encoded cytosolic H2O2 probes in malaria parasites provides a basis for studying parasite-host cell interactions or drug effects with spatio-temporal resolution while preserving cell integrity. PMID:28369083

  13. Malaria parasite colonisation of the mosquito midgut--placing the Plasmodium ookinete centre stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angrisano, Fiona; Tan, Yan-Hong; Sturm, Angelika; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Baum, Jake

    2012-05-15

    Vector-borne diseases constitute an enormous burden on public health across the world. However, despite the importance of interactions between infectious pathogens and their respective vector for disease transmission, the biology of the pathogen in the insect is often less well understood than the forms that cause human infections. Even with the global impact of Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malarial disease, no vaccine exists to prevent infection and resistance to all frontline drugs is emerging. Malaria parasite migration through the mosquito host constitutes a major population bottleneck of the lifecycle and therefore represents a powerful, although as yet relatively untapped, target for therapeutic intervention. The understanding of parasite-mosquito interactions has increased in recent years with developments in genome-wide approaches, genomics and proteomics. Each development has shed significant light on the biology of the malaria parasite during the mosquito phase of the lifecycle. Less well understood, however, is the process of midgut colonisation and oocyst formation, the precursor to parasite re-infection from the next mosquito bite. Here, we review the current understanding of cellular and molecular events underlying midgut colonisation centred on the role of the motile ookinete. Further insight into the major interactions between the parasite and the mosquito will help support the broader goal to identify targets for transmission-blocking therapies against malarial disease. Copyright © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Long- and short-term selective forces on malaria parasite genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Braunstein, Alexander; Malsen, Gareth

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites, the causal agents of malaria, result in more than 1 million deaths annually. Plasmodium are unicellular eukaryotes with small ~23 Mb genomes encoding ~5200 protein-coding genes. The protein-coding genes comprise about half of these genomes. Although evolutionary processes have...... a significant impact on malaria control, the selective pressures within Plasmodium genomes are poorly understood, particularly in the non-protein-coding portion of the genome. We use evolutionary methods to describe selective processes in both the coding and non-coding regions of these genomes. Based on genome...

  15. Patterns of inflammatory responses and parasite tolerance vary with malaria transmission intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ademolue, Temitope W; Aniweh, Yaw; Kusi, Kwadwo A; Awandare, Gordon A

    2017-04-11

    In individuals living in malaria-endemic regions, parasitaemia thresholds for the onset of clinical symptoms vary with transmission intensity. The mechanisms that mediate this relationship are however, unclear. Since inflammatory responses to parasite infection contribute to the clinical manifestation of malaria, this study investigated inflammatory cytokine responses in children with malaria from areas of different transmission intensities (ranging from low to high). Blood samples were obtained from children confirmed with malaria at community hospitals in three areas with differing transmission intensities. Cytokine levels were assessed using the Luminex(®)-based magnetic bead array system, and levels were compared across sites using appropriate statistical tests. The relative contributions of age, gender, parasitaemia and transmission intensity on cytokine levels were investigated using multivariate regression analysis. Parasite density increased with increasing transmission intensity in children presenting to hospital with symptomatic malaria, indicating that the parasitaemia threshold for clinical malaria increases with increasing transmission intensity. Furthermore, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-12, decreased with increasing transmission intensity, and correlated significantly with parasitaemia levels in the low transmission area but not in high transmission areas. Similarly, levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-4, IL-7, IL-10 and IL-13, decreased with increasing transmission intensity, with IL-10 showing strong correlation with parasitaemia levels in the low transmission area. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that transmission intensity was a stronger predictor of cytokine levels than age, gender and parasitaemia. Taken together, the data demonstrate a strong relationship between the prevailing

  16. Malaria parasites form filamentous cell-to-cell connections during reproduction in the mosquito midgut

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ingrid Rupp; Gabriele Pradel; Ludmilla Sologub; Kim C Williamson; Matthias Scheuermayer; Luc Reininger; Christian Doerig; Saliha Eksi; Davy U Kombilaa; Matthias Frank

    2011-01-01

    Physical contact is important for the interaction between animal cells, but it can represent a major challenge for protists like malaria parasites. Recently, novel filamentous cell-cell contacts have been identified in different types of eukaryotic cells and termed nanotubes due to their morphological appearance. Nanotubes represent small dynamic membranous extensions that consist of F-actin and are considered an ancient feature evolved by eukaryotic cells to establish contact for communication. We here describe similar tubular structures in the malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum, which emerge from the surfaces of the forming gametes upon gametocyte activation in the mosquito midgut. The filaments can exhibit a length of>100 μm and contain the F-actin isoform actin 2. They actively form within a few minutes after gametocyte activation and persist until the zygote transforms into the ookinete. The filaments originate from the parasite plasma membrane, are close ended and express adhesion proteins on their surfaces that are typically found in gametes, like Pfs230, Pfs48/45 or Pfs25, but not the zygote surface protein Pfs28. We show that these tubular structures represent long-distance cell-to-cell connections between sexual stage parasites and demonstrate that they meet the characteristics of nanotubes. We propose that malaria parasites utilize these adhesive "nanotubes" in order to facilitate intercellular contact between gametes during reproduction in the mosquito midgut.

  17. Gametogenesis in malaria parasites is mediated by the cGMP-dependent protein kinase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa McRobert

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Malaria parasite transmission requires differentiation of male and female gametocytes into gametes within a mosquito following a blood meal. A mosquito-derived molecule, xanthurenic acid (XA, can trigger gametogenesis, but the signalling events controlling this process in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remain unknown. A role for cGMP was revealed by our observation that zaprinast (an inhibitor of phosphodiesterases that hydrolyse cGMP stimulates gametogenesis in the absence of XA. Using cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG inhibitors in conjunction with transgenic parasites expressing an inhibitor-insensitive mutant PKG enzyme, we demonstrate that PKG is essential for XA- and zaprinast-induced gametogenesis. Furthermore, we show that intracellular calcium (Ca2+ is required for differentiation and acts downstream of or in parallel with PKG activation. This work defines a key role for PKG in gametogenesis, elucidates the hierarchy of signalling events governing this process in P. falciparum, and demonstrates the feasibility of selective inhibition of a crucial regulator of the malaria parasite life cycle.

  18. CRISPR-mediated genome editing of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Marcus Cs; Fidock, David A

    2014-01-01

    The development of the CRISPR-Cas system is revolutionizing genome editing in a variety of organisms. The system has now been used to manipulate the genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malaria-causing species. The ability to generate gene deletions or nucleotide substitutions rapidly and economically promises to accelerate the analysis of novel drug targets and to help elucidate the function of specific genes or gene families, while complementing genome-wide association studies.

  19. CRISPR-mediated genome editing of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Marcus CS; David A Fidock

    2014-01-01

    The development of the CRISPR-Cas system is revolutionizing genome editing in a variety of organisms. The system has now been used to manipulate the genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malaria-causing species. The ability to generate gene deletions or nucleotide substitutions rapidly and economically promises to accelerate the analysis of novel drug targets and to help elucidate the function of specific genes or gene families, while complementing genome-wide association studies.

  20. Evidence-based annotation of the malaria parasite's genome using comparative expression profiling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingyao Zhou

    Full Text Available A fundamental problem in systems biology and whole genome sequence analysis is how to infer functions for the many uncharacterized proteins that are identified, whether they are conserved across organisms of different phyla or are phylum-specific. This problem is especially acute in pathogens, such as malaria parasites, where genetic and biochemical investigations are likely to be more difficult. Here we perform comparative expression analysis on Plasmodium parasite life cycle data derived from P. falciparum blood, sporozoite, zygote and ookinete stages, and P. yoelii mosquito oocyst and salivary gland sporozoites, blood and liver stages and show that type II fatty acid biosynthesis genes are upregulated in liver and insect stages relative to asexual blood stages. We also show that some universally uncharacterized genes with orthologs in Plasmodium species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and humans show coordinated transcription patterns in large collections of human and yeast expression data and that the function of the uncharacterized genes can sometimes be predicted based on the expression patterns across these diverse organisms. We also use a comprehensive and unbiased literature mining method to predict which uncharacterized parasite-specific genes are likely to have roles in processes such as gliding motility, host-cell interactions, sporozoite stage, or rhoptry function. These analyses, together with protein-protein interaction data, provide probabilistic models that predict the function of 926 uncharacterized malaria genes and also suggest that malaria parasites may provide a simple model system for the study of some human processes. These data also provide a foundation for further studies of transcriptional regulation in malaria parasites.

  1. Usefulness of quantitative buffy coat blood parasite detection system in diagnosis of malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, M J; Rodrigues, S R; Desouza, R; Verenkar, M P

    2001-01-01

    A rapid test for diagnosis of malaria based on acridine orange staining of centrifuged blood samples in a microhematocrit tube (QBC) was compared with thick and thin peripheral blood smears in 2274 samples. Malaria was diagnosed in 239 (10.5%) patients by Leishman's staining technique and QBC method. The QBC method allowed detection of an additional 89 (3.9%) cases. Thus the prevalence rate of malaria during the study was 14.4%. In 1946 patients who were negative by the QBC technique, the Leishman's stained smears did not provide any help in malaria diagnosis. Analysis of the relative quantity of parasites in the specimens, in the QBC method, revealed that 80 out of 89 QBC positive but smear negative cases, had a very low parasite number (less than 10 parasites per QBC field). Although QBC method was superior to the smear for malarial parasite detection, species identification was not possible in 26 (7.9%) cases by this technique. In 95.7% (n = 314) QBC positive cases, the buffy coat in the QBC tube appeared pigmented (gray to black). The colour of the buffy coat was therefore considered by us as a predictor of positivity and could be taken as an indicator for a careful and more prolonged search for the parasites. Thus, the QBC technique has its advantages in terms of speed, sensitivity and ease, especially in an endemic area as ours, where the level of parasitaemia is low and more than 70 to 80 smears need to be examined per day. However, the age old Romanowsky stains still appear superior for species identification.

  2. Usefulness of quantitative buffy coat blood parasite detection system in diagnosis of malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinto M

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available A rapid test for diagnosis of malaria based on acridine orange staining of centrifuged blood samples in a microhematocrit tube (QBC was compared with thick and thin peripheral blood smears in 2274 samples. Malaria was diagnosed in 239 (10.5% patients by Leishman′s staining technique and QBC method. The QBC method allowed detection of an additional 89 (3.9% cases. Thus the prevalence rate of malaria during the study was 14.4%. In 1946 patients who were negative by the QBC technique, the Leishman′s stained smears did not provide any help in malaria diagnosis. Analysis of the relative quantity of parasites in the specimens, in the QBC method, revealed that 80 out of 89 QBC positive but smear negative cases, had a very low parasite number (less than 10 parasites per QBC field. Although QBC method was superior to the smear for malarial parasite detection, species identification was not possible in 26 (7.9% cases by this technique. In 95.7% (n = 314 QBC positive cases, the buffy coat in the QBC tube appeared pigmented (gray to black. The colour of the buffy coat was therefore considered by us as a predictor of positivity and could be taken as an indicator for a careful and more prolonged search for the parasites. Thus, the QBC technique has its advantages in terms of speed, sensitivity and ease, especially in an endemic area as ours, where the level of parasitaemia is low and more than 70 to 80 smears need to be examined per day. However, the age old Romanowsky stains still appear superior for species identification.

  3. Mechanism-based model of parasite growth and dihydroartemisinin pharmacodynamics in murine malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Kashyap; Batty, Kevin T; Moore, Brioni R; Gibbons, Peter L; Bulitta, Jürgen B; Kirkpatrick, Carl M

    2013-01-01

    Murine models are used to study erythrocytic stages of malaria infection, because parasite morphology and development are comparable to those in human malaria infections. Mechanism-based pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) models for antimalarials are scarce, despite their potential to optimize antimalarial combination therapy. The aim of this study was to develop a mechanism-based growth model (MBGM) for Plasmodium berghei and then characterize the parasiticidal effect of dihydroartemisinin (DHA) in murine malaria (MBGM-PK-PD). Stage-specific (ring, early trophozoite, late trophozoite, and schizont) parasite density data from Swiss mice inoculated with Plasmodium berghei were used for model development in S-ADAPT. A single dose of intraperitoneal DHA (10 to 100 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered 56 h postinoculation. The MBGM explicitly reflected all four erythrocytic stages of the 24-hour P. berghei life cycle. Merozoite invasion of erythrocytes was described by a first-order process that declined with increasing parasitemia. An efflux pathway with subsequent return was additionally required to describe the schizont data, thus representing parasite sequestration or trapping in the microvasculature, with a return to circulation. A 1-compartment model with zero-order absorption described the PK of DHA, with an estimated clearance and distribution volume of 1.95 liters h(-1) and 0.851 liter, respectively. Parasite killing was described by a turnover model, with DHA inhibiting the production of physiological intermediates (IC(50), 1.46 ng/ml). Overall, the MBGM-PK-PD described the rise in parasitemia, the nadir following DHA dosing, and subsequent parasite resurgence. This novel model is a promising tool for studying malaria infections, identifying the stage specificity of antimalarials, and providing insight into antimalarial treatment strategies.

  4. Proteins involved in invasion of human red blood cells by malaria parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Jaśkiewicz

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a disease caused by parasites of Plasmodium species. It is responsible for around 1-2 million deaths annually, mainly children under the age of 5. It occurs mainly in tropical and subtropical areas.Malaria is caused by five Plasmodium species:[i] P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. vivax, P. knowlesi[/i] and [i]P. ovale[/i]. Mosquitoes spread the disease by biting humans. The malaria parasite has two stages of development: the human stage and the mosquito stage. The first stage occurs in the human body and is divided into two phases: the liver phase and the blood phase.The invasion of erythrocytes by [i]Plasmodium[/i] merozoites is a multistep process of specific protein interactions between the parasite and red blood cell. The first step is the reversible merozoite attachment to the erythrocyte followed by its apical reorientation, then formation of an irreversible “tight” junction and finally entry into the red cell in a parasitophorous vacuole.The blood phase is supported by a number of proteins produced by the parasite. The merozoite surface GPI-anchored proteins (MSP-1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10 assist in the process of recognition of susceptible erythrocytes, apical membrane antigen (AMA-1 may be directly responsible for apical reorientation of the merozoite and apical proteins which function in tight junction formation. These ligands are members of two families: Duffy binding-like (DBL and reticulocyte binding-like (RBL proteins. In [i]Plasmodium[/i] [i]falciparum[/i] the DBL family includes: EBA-175, EBA-140 (BAEBL, EBA-181 (JESEBL, EBA-165 (PEBL and EBL-1 ligands.To date, no effective antimalarial vaccine has been developed, but there are several studies for this purpose. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the molecular basis of host cells invasion by parasites. Major efforts are focused on developing a multiantigenic and multiepitope vaccine preventing all steps of [i]Plasmodium[/i] invasion.

  5. Towards A Malaria Vaccine?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B S GARG

    1990-12-01

    Full Text Available The last few years have seen a marked change in the understanding of malaria mmunology.We have very little knowledge on immunity of Malaria based on experiments in humanbeings due to ethical reasons. Whatsoever our knowledge exists at present is based onexperimentas in mice and monkey. However it is clear that it is sporzoite or merozoitewhich is directly exposed to our immune system in the life cycle of Malaria parasite. On thebasis of human experiments we can draw inference that immunity to malaria is species.specific (on cross immunity, stage specific and strain specific as well acquired in the response to surface antigen and relapsed antigen although the parasite also demonstrates escape machanism to immune system.So the host system kills or elimi nate the parasite by means of (a Antbody to extracell~ular form of parasite with the help of mechanism of Block invasion, Agglutination or opsonization and/or (b Cellular machanism-either by phago-cytosis of parasite or by antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity ABCC (? or by effects of mediators like tumor necrosis fJ.ctor (TNF in cerebaral malaria or crisis forming factor as found in sudan or by possible role of lysis mechanism.However, inspite of all these theories the parasite has been able to invade the immunesystem by virtue of its intracellular development stage specificity, sequestration in capillaries and also by its unusual characteristics of antigenic diversity and antigenic variation.

  6. Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutledge, Gavin G.; Böhme, Ulrike; Sanders, Mandy; Reid, Adam J.; Cotton, James A.; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A.; Apinjoh, Tobias O.; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Manske, Magnus; Barnwell, John W.; Renaud, François; Ollomo, Benjamin; Prugnolle, Franck; Anstey, Nicholas M.; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N.; McCarthy, James S.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; Otto, Thomas D.

    2017-01-01

    Elucidation of the evolutionary history and interrelatedness of Plasmodium species that infect humans has been hampered by a lack of genetic information for three human-infective species: P. malariae and two P. ovale species (P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri)1. These species are prevalent across most regions in which malaria is endemic2,3 and are often undetectable by light microscopy4, rendering their study in human populations difficult5. The exact evolutionary relationship of these species to the other human-infective species has been contested6,7. Using a new reference genome for P. malariae and a manually curated draft P. o. curtisi genome, we are now able to accurately place these species within the Plasmodium phylogeny. Sequencing of a P. malariae relative that infects chimpanzees reveals similar signatures of selection in the P. malariae lineage to another Plasmodium lineage shown to be capable of colonization of both human and chimpanzee hosts. Molecular dating suggests that these host adaptations occurred over similar evolutionary timescales. In addition to the core genome that is conserved between species, differences in gene content can be linked to their specific biology. The genome suggests that P. malariae expresses a family of heterodimeric proteins on its surface that have structural similarities to a protein crucial for invasion of red blood cells. The data presented here provide insight into the evolution of the Plasmodium genus as a whole. PMID:28117441

  7. Sex and death: the effects of innate immune factors on the sexual reproduction of malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo S Ramiro

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites must undergo a round of sexual reproduction in the blood meal of a mosquito vector to be transmitted between hosts. Developing a transmission-blocking intervention to prevent parasites from mating is a major goal of biomedicine, but its effectiveness could be compromised if parasites can compensate by simply adjusting their sex allocation strategies. Recently, the application of evolutionary theory for sex allocation has been supported by experiments demonstrating that malaria parasites adjust their sex ratios in response to infection genetic diversity, precisely as predicted. Theory also predicts that parasites should adjust sex allocation in response to host immunity. Whilst data are supportive, the assumptions underlying this prediction - that host immune responses have differential effects on the mating ability of males and females - have not yet been tested. Here, we combine experimental work with theoretical models in order to investigate whether the development and fertility of male and female parasites is affected by innate immune factors and develop new theory to predict how parasites' sex allocation strategies should evolve in response to the observed effects. Specifically, we demonstrate that reactive nitrogen species impair gametogenesis of males only, but reduce the fertility of both male and female gametes. In contrast, tumour necrosis factor-α does not influence gametogenesis in either sex but impairs zygote development. Therefore, our experiments demonstrate that immune factors have complex effects on each sex, ranging from reducing the ability of gametocytes to develop into gametes, to affecting the viability of offspring. We incorporate these results into theory to predict how the evolutionary trajectories of parasite sex ratio strategies are shaped by sex differences in gamete production, fertility and offspring development. We show that medical interventions targeting offspring development are more likely

  8. Gastrointestinal parasites of Howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) inhabiting the fragmented landscape of the Santa Marta mountain range, Veracruz, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdespino, Carolina; Rico-Hernández, Guillermo; Mandujano, Salvador

    2010-06-01

    In recent years populations of howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in southeastern Mexico have decreased substantially due to the transformation and loss of natural habitats. This is especially evident in the Santa Marta mountain range, Veracruz, Mexico where several studies have evaluated the impact of fragmentation on howler monkey populations in order to propose management programs for their conservation. The conditions generated by fragmentation likely change the rates of parasitic infection and could decrease howler survival. In this study, gastrointestinal parasite species richness, prevalence, and egg density of infection were determined in howler groups inhabiting five forest fragments at the Santa Marta mountain range. Two hundred and seventy-eight fresh fecal samples were collected between October 2002 and April 2003. Three parasite species were found during the dry and the wet season in all forest fragments sampled: one unidentified species of Eimeriidae; Trypanoxyuris minutus (Oxyuridae); and Controrchis biliophilus (Dicrocoeliidae). Both the prevalence of T. minutus and infection density for all parasites differed between seasons and fragments (the largest fragment consistently differed from other fragments). Host density, distance to the nearest town, fragment size, fragment shape, and total basal area of food trees explained parasite prevalence, but each species had a different pattern. Although parasite richness was lower, prevalence and density were higher than values reported for howlers in conserved forests. These results suggest that the establishment of biological corridors and animal translocation programs must take into account the parasite ecology of each fragment to avoid higher infection rates and preclude potential consequent mortality.

  9. Intravenous artesunate reduces parasite clearance time, duration of intensive care, and hospital treatment in patients with severe malaria in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kurth, Florian; Develoux, Michel; Mechain, Matthieu;

    2015-01-01

    Intravenous artesunate improves survival in severe malaria, but clinical trial data from nonendemic countries are scarce. The TropNet severe malaria database was analyzed to compare outcomes of artesunate vs quinine treatment. Artesunate reduced parasite clearance time and duration of intensive...

  10. Mitochondrial genes support a common origin of rodent malaria parasites and Plasmodium falciparum's relatives infecting great apes

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    Blanquart Samuel

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most acute form of human malaria. Most recent studies demonstrate that it belongs to a monophyletic lineage specialized in the infection of great ape hosts. Several other Plasmodium species cause human malaria. They all belong to another distinct lineage of parasites which infect a wider range of primate species. All known mammalian malaria parasites appear to be monophyletic. Their clade includes the two previous distinct lineages of parasites of primates and great apes, one lineage of rodent parasites, and presumably Hepatocystis species. Plasmodium falciparum and great ape parasites are commonly thought to be the sister-group of all other mammal-infecting malaria parasites. However, some studies supported contradictory origins and found parasites of great apes to be closer to those of rodents, or to those of other primates. Results To distinguish between these mutually exclusive hypotheses on the origin of Plasmodium falciparum and its great ape infecting relatives, we performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis based on a data set of three mitochondrial genes from 33 to 84 malaria parasites. We showed that malarial mitochondrial genes have evolved slowly and are compositionally homogeneous. We estimated their phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian and maximum-likelihood methods. Inferred trees were checked for their robustness to the (i site selection, (ii assumptions of various probabilistic models, and (iii taxon sampling. Our results robustly support a common ancestry of rodent parasites and Plasmodium falciparum's relatives infecting great apes. Conclusions Our results refute the most common view of the origin of great ape malaria parasites, and instead demonstrate the robustness of a less well-established phylogenetic hypothesis, under which Plasmodium falciparum and its relatives infecting great apes are closely related to rodent parasites. This study sheds light

  11. Quantification of malaria parasite release from infected erythrocytes: inhibition by protein-free media

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    Zimmerberg Joshua

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Intracellular malaria parasites leave their host erythrocytes to infect neighbouring cells after each cycle of asexual replication. No method is currently available for the direct quantification of parasite release. Method and results To quantify parasite release process, human erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum were injected into sealed chambers at optimal density, where they progressed through the end of the erythrocyte cycle. Each event of parasite release inside the chamber at the site of erythrocyte rupture leaves on the chamber wall a footprint, composed of 1 separated parasites, 2 a digestive vacuole with haemozoin, and 3 fragments of the ruptured membranes. These footprints are stable for hours, allowing precise identification using differential interference contrast (DIC microscopy. The relative rate of parasite release is defined as the percent of such footprints out of all schizonts injected and incubated into chamber at 37°C for two hours. The method is highly reproducible, easy to perform, and does not require expensive equipment. Additionally, this method allows one to analyse cell and release site morphology, which adds information about the release process and the quality of the culture. The method is used here to show that swelling of schizonts caused by protein-free media inhibits parasite release. Conclusion In this study, a novel method is described to count sites of parasite release by microscopy. Besides the direct estimation of parasite release from infected erythrocytes, this method provides a morphological evaluation of normal infected cells approaching the end of the plasmodial life cycle, or pathological forms accumulated as the result of experimental intervention in the parasite release process. One may now accurately estimate the relative parasite release rate at the time of cycle transition, without any obligatory coupling to parasite invasion.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D.

    2014-09-09

    Plasmodium falciparum causes most human malaria deaths, having prehistorically evolved from parasites of African Great Apes. Here we explore the genomic basis of P. falciparum adaptation to human hosts by fully sequencing the genome of the closely related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete conservation of genomic synteny, but against this strikingly conserved background we observe major differences at loci involved in erythrocyte invasion. The organization of most virulence-associated multigene families, including the hypervariable var genes, is broadly conserved, but P. falciparum has a smaller subset of rif and stevor genes whose products are expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface. Genome-wide analysis identifies other loci under recent positive selection, but a limited number of changes at the host–parasite interface may have mediated host switching.

  14. Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Thomas D; Rayner, Julian C; Böhme, Ulrike; Pain, Arnab; Spottiswoode, Natasha; Sanders, Mandy; Quail, Michael; Ollomo, Benjamin; Renaud, François; Thomas, Alan W; Prugnolle, Franck; Conway, David J; Newbold, Chris; Berriman, Matthew

    2014-09-09

    Plasmodium falciparum causes most human malaria deaths, having prehistorically evolved from parasites of African Great Apes. Here we explore the genomic basis of P. falciparum adaptation to human hosts by fully sequencing the genome of the closely related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete conservation of genomic synteny, but against this strikingly conserved background we observe major differences at loci involved in erythrocyte invasion. The organization of most virulence-associated multigene families, including the hypervariable var genes, is broadly conserved, but P. falciparum has a smaller subset of rif and stevor genes whose products are expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface. Genome-wide analysis identifies other loci under recent positive selection, but a limited number of changes at the host-parasite interface may have mediated host switching.

  15. Relationship between the intensity of exposure to malaria parasites and infection in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bødker, Rene; Msangeni, H.A.; Kisinza, W.

    2006-01-01

    The relationship between exposure to Plasmodium falciparum malaria and parasite density and prevalence was studied in six communities along an attitude transect. Prevalence of parasitemia in children decreased by 5% for every 100 meter increase in altitude from 82% in the lowlands at 300 meters...... to 12% in the highlands at 1,700 meters. This decrease in prevalence corresponded to a 1,000-fold reduction in transmission intensity. The ability to suppress parasite density and prevalence with age increased proportionally with increasing transmission intensity when transmission rates were higher than......-dependent acquired immunity regulate parasite prevalence and density and suggest that transmission control will not hinder the development of protective anti-parasite immunity....

  16. Horizontal gene transfer of epigenetic machinery and evolution of parasitism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishore, Sandeep P; Stiller, John W; Deitsch, Kirk W

    2013-02-11

    The acquisition of complex transcriptional regulatory abilities and epigenetic machinery facilitated the transition of the ancestor of apicomplexans from a free-living organism to an obligate parasite. The ability to control sophisticated gene expression patterns enabled these ancient organisms to evolve several differentiated forms, invade multiple hosts and evade host immunity. How these abilities were acquired remains an outstanding question in protistan biology. In this work, we study SET domain bearing genes that are implicated in mediating immune evasion, invasion and cytoadhesion pathways of modern apicomplexans, including malaria parasites. We provide the first conclusive evidence of a horizontal gene transfer of a Histone H4 Lysine 20 (H4K20) modifier, Set8, from an animal host to the ancestor of apicomplexans. Set8 is known to contribute to the coordinated expression of genes involved in immune evasion in modern apicomplexans. We also show the likely transfer of a H3K36 methyltransferase (Ashr3 from plants), possibly derived from algal endosymbionts. These transfers appear to date to the transition from free-living organisms to parasitism and coincide with the proposed horizontal acquisition of cytoadhesion domains, the O-glycosyltransferase that modifies these domains, and the primary family of transcription factors found in apicomplexan parasites. Notably, phylogenetic support for these conclusions is robust and the genes clearly are dissimilar to SET sequences found in the closely related parasite Perkinsus marinus, and in ciliates, the nearest free-living organisms with complete genome sequences available. Animal and plant sources of epigenetic machinery provide new insights into the evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. Along with the horizontal transfer of cytoadhesive domains, O-linked glycosylation and key transcription factors, the acquisition of SET domain methyltransferases marks a key transitional event in the evolution to parasitism in

  17. Plasmodium falciparum kelch 13: a potential molecular marker for tackling artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mita, Toshihiro; Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Hashimoto, Muneaki; Hirai, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Although artemisinin combination therapies have been deployed as a first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in almost all endemic countries, artemisinin-resistant parasites have emerged and have gradually spread across the Greater Mekong subregions. There is growing concern that the resistant parasites may migrate to or emerge indigenously in sub-Saharan Africa, which might provoke a global increase in malaria-associated morbidity and mortality. Therefore, development of molecular markers that enable identification of artemisinin resistance with high sensitivity is urgently required to combat this issue. In 2014, a potential artemisinin-resistance responsible gene, Plasmodium falciparum kelch13, was discovered. Here, we review the genetic features of P. falciparum kelch13 and discuss its related resistant mechanisms and potential as a molecular marker.

  18. Gibberellin biosynthetic inhibitors make human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum cells swell and rupture to death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Toyama

    Full Text Available Malaria remains as one of the most devastating infectious disease, and continues to exact an enormous toll in medical cost and days of labor lost especially in the tropics. Effective malaria control and eventual eradication remain a huge challenge, with efficacious antimalarials as important intervention/management tool. Clearly new alternative drugs that are more affordable and with fewer side effects are desirable. After preliminary in vitro assays with plant growth regulators and inhibitors, here, we focus on biosynthetic inhibitors of gibberellin, a plant hormone with many important roles in plant growth, and show their inhibitory effect on the growth of both apicomplexa, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii. Treatment of P. falciparum cultures with the gibberellin biosynthetic inhibitors resulted in marked morphological changes that can be reversed to a certain degree under hyperosmotic environment. These unique observations suggest that changes in the parasite membrane permeability may explain the pleiotropic effects observed within the intracellular parasites.

  19. The impact of HIV-1 on the malaria parasite biomass in adults in sub-Saharan Africa contributes to the emergence of antimalarial drug resistance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.P. van Geertruyden (Jean Pierre); J. Menten (Joris); R. Colebunders (Robert); E.L. Korenromp (Eline); U. D'Alessandro (Umberto)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractBackground. HIV-related immune-suppression increases the risk of malaria (infection, disease and treatment failure) and probably the circulating parasite biomass, favoring the emergence of drug resistance parasites. Methods. The additional malaria parasite biomass related to HIV-1 co-inf

  20. Virulence of lizard malaria: the evolutionary ecology of an ancient parasite-host association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schall, J J

    1990-01-01

    The negative consequences of parasitic infection (virulence) were examined for two lizard malaria parasite-host associations: Plasmodium agamae and P. giganteum, parasites of the rainbow lizard, Agama agama, in Sierra Leone, West Africa; and P. mexicanum in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, in northern California. These malaria species vary greatly in their reproductive characteristics: P. agamae produces only 8 merozoites per schizont, P. giganteum yields over 100, and P. mexicanum an intermediate number. All three parasites appear to have had an ancient association with their host. In fence lizards, infection with malaria is associated with increased numbers of immature erythrocytes, decreased haemoglobin levels, decreased maximal oxygen consumption, and decreased running stamina. Not affected were numbers of erythrocytes, resting metabolic rate, and sprint running speed which is supported by anaerobic means in lizards. Infected male fence lizards had smaller testes, stored less fat in preparation for winter dormancy, were more often socially submissive and, unexpectedly, were more extravagantly coloured on the ventral surface (a sexually dimorphic trait) than non-infected males. Females also stored less fat and produced smaller clutches of eggs, a directly observed reduction in fitness. Infected fence lizards do not develop behavioural fevers. P. mexicanum appears to have broad thermal buffering abilities and thermal tolerance; the parasite's population growth was unaffected by experimental alterations in the lizard's body temperature. The data are less complete for A. agama, but infected lizards suffered similar haematological and physiological effects. Infected animals may be socially submissive because they appear to gather less insect prey, possibly a result of being forced into inferior territories. Infection does not reduce clutch size in rainbow lizards, but may lengthen the time between clutches. These results are compared with

  1. A comprehensive evaluation of rodent malaria parasite genomes and gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D

    2014-10-30

    Background: Rodent malaria parasites (RMP) are used extensively as models of human malaria. Draft RMP genomes have been published for Plasmodium yoelii, P. berghei ANKA (PbA) and P. chabaudi AS (PcAS). Although availability of these genomes made a significant impact on recent malaria research, these genomes were highly fragmented and were annotated with little manual curation. The fragmented nature of the genomes has hampered genome wide analysis of Plasmodium gene regulation and function. Results: We have greatly improved the genome assemblies of PbA and PcAS, newly sequenced the virulent parasite P. yoelii YM genome, sequenced additional RMP isolates/lines and have characterized genotypic diversity within RMP species. We have produced RNA-seq data and utilized it to improve gene-model prediction and to provide quantitative, genome-wide, data on gene expression. Comparison of the RMP genomes with the genome of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum and RNA-seq mapping permitted gene annotation at base-pair resolution. Full-length chromosomal annotation permitted a comprehensive classification of all subtelomeric multigene families including the `Plasmodium interspersed repeat genes\\' (pir). Phylogenetic classification of the pir family, combined with pir expression patterns, indicates functional diversification within this family. Conclusions: Complete RMP genomes, RNA-seq and genotypic diversity data are excellent and important resources for gene-function and post-genomic analyses and to better interrogate Plasmodium biology. Genotypic diversity between P. chabaudi isolates makes this species an excellent parasite to study genotype-phenotype relationships. The improved classification of multigene families will enhance studies on the role of (variant) exported proteins in virulence and immune evasion/modulation.

  2. An evolving picture of the interactions between malaria parasites and their host erythrocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Thomas E Wellems; Rick M Fairhurst

    2012-01-01

    In patients with malaria,Plasmodium falciparum parasites multiply to enormous numbers in the bloodstream,initiating processes of erythrocyte destruction,endothelial activation and microvascular inflammation that cause devastating pathological effects on host tissues and organs.Recent research casts new Iight on a mechanism by which hemoglobin mutations may protect against these effects,and on a critical receptor-ligand interaction that provides fresh opportunities for the development of vaccines against blood-stage infection.

  3. Insights into the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway of human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum as chemotherapeutic target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

    Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. Artemisinins remain as the first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria although drug resistance has already emerged and spread in Southeast Asia. Thus, to fight this disease, there is an urgent need to develop new antimalarial drugs for malaria chemotherapy. Unlike human host cells, P. falciparum cannot salvage preformed pyrimidine bases or nucleosides from the extracellular environment and relies solely on nucleotides synthesized through the de novo biosynthetic pathway. This review presents significant progress on understanding the de novo pyrimidine pathway and the functional enzymes in the human parasite P. falciparum. Current knowledge in genomics and metabolomics are described, particularly focusing on the parasite purine and pyrimidine nucleotide metabolism. These include gene annotation, characterization and molecular mechanism of the enzymes that are different from the human host pathway. Recent elucidation of the three-dimensional crystal structures and the catalytic reactions of three enzymes: dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, and orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase, as well as their inhibitors are reviewed in the context of their therapeutic potential against malaria.

  4. 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; pmalaria has been on the decline. The presence of significant LD suggests that there is occurrence of inbreeding in the parasite population. Parasite populations from Kisii showed the strongest evidence for epidemic population structure whereas the rest of the regions showed panmixia. Defining the genetic diversity of the parasites in different ecological regions of Kenya 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

  5. Reduced erythrocyte susceptibility and increased host clearance of young parasites slows Plasmodium growth in a murine model of severe malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoury, David S.; Cromer, Deborah; Best, Shannon E.; James, Kylie R.; Sebina, Ismail; Haque, Ashraful; Davenport, Miles P.

    2015-05-01

    The best correlate of malaria severity in human Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection is the total parasite load. Pf-infected humans could control parasite loads by two mechanisms, either decreasing parasite multiplication, or increasing parasite clearance. However, few studies have directly measured these two mechanisms in vivo. Here, we have directly quantified host clearance of parasites during Plasmodium infection in mice. We transferred labelled red blood cells (RBCs) from Plasmodium infected donors into uninfected and infected recipients, and tracked the fate of donor parasites by frequent blood sampling. We then applied age-based mathematical models to characterise parasite clearance in the recipient mice. Our analyses revealed an increased clearance of parasites in infected animals, particularly parasites of a younger developmental stage. However, the major decrease in parasite multiplication in infected mice was not mediated by increased clearance alone, but was accompanied by a significant reduction in the susceptibility of RBCs to parasitisation.

  6. 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.

  7. Laser capture microdissection microscopy and genome sequencing of the avian malaria parasite, Plasmodium relictum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Holly L; Marra, Nicholas J; Grewe, Felix; Carlson, Jenny S; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Stanhope, Michael J

    2016-12-01

    Acquiring genomic material from avian malaria parasites for genome sequencing has proven problematic due to the nucleation of avian erythrocytes, which produces a large ratio of host to parasite DNA (∼1 million to 1 bp). We tested the ability of laser capture microdissection microscopy to isolate parasite cells from individual avian erythrocytes for four avian Plasmodium species, and subsequently applied whole genome amplification and Illumina sequencing methods to Plasmodium relictum (lineage pSGS1) to produce sequence reads of the P. relictum genome. We assembled ∼335 kbp of parasite DNA from this species, but were unable to completely avoid contamination by host DNA and other sources. However, it is clear that laser capture microdissection holds promise for the isolation of genomic material from haemosporidian parasites in intracellular life stages. In particular, laser capture microdissection may prove useful for isolating individual parasite species from co-infected hosts. Although not explicitly tested in this study, laser capture microdissection may also have important applications for isolation of rare parasite lineages and museum specimens for which no fresh material exists.

  8. Geographic genetic differentiation of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J

    2010-04-01

    Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern.

  9. A transcriptional switch underlies commitment to sexual development in malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafsack, Björn F C; Rovira-Graells, Núria; Clark, Taane G; Bancells, Cristina; Crowley, Valerie M; Campino, Susana G; Williams, April E; Drought, Laura G; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Baker, David A; Cortés, Alfred; Llinás, Manuel

    2014-03-13

    The life cycles of many parasites involve transitions between disparate host species, requiring these parasites to go through multiple developmental stages adapted to each of these specialized niches. Transmission of malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) from humans to the mosquito vector requires differentiation from asexual stages replicating within red blood cells into non-dividing male and female gametocytes. Although gametocytes were first described in 1880, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in commitment to gametocyte formation is extremely limited, and disrupting this critical developmental transition remains a long-standing goal. Here we show that expression levels of the DNA-binding protein PfAP2-G correlate strongly with levels of gametocyte formation. Using independent forward and reverse genetics approaches, we demonstrate that PfAP2-G function is essential for parasite sexual differentiation. By combining genome-wide PfAP2-G cognate motif occurrence with global transcriptional changes resulting from PfAP2-G ablation, we identify early gametocyte genes as probable targets of PfAP2-G and show that their regulation by PfAP2-G is critical for their wild-type level expression. In the asexual blood-stage parasites pfap2-g appears to be among a set of epigenetically silenced loci prone to spontaneous activation. Stochastic activation presents a simple mechanism for a low baseline of gametocyte production. Overall, these findings identify PfAP2-G as a master regulator of sexual-stage development in malaria parasites and mark the first discovery of a transcriptional switch controlling a differentiation decision in protozoan parasites.

  10. Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, J E

    1991-03-01

    Human malaria is caused by four species of the genus plasmodium. The sexual stage of the parasite occurs in the mosquito and asexual reproduction occurs in man. Symptoms of fever, chills, headache, and myalgia result from the invasion and rupture of erythrocytes. Merozoites are released from erythrocytes and invade other cells, thus propagating the infection. The most vulnerable hosts are nonimmune travelers, young children living in the tropics, and pregnant women. P. falciparum causes the most severe infections because it infects RBCs of all ages and has the propensity to develop resistance to antimalarials. Rapid diagnosis can be made with a malarial smear, and treatment should be initiated promptly. In some regions (Mexico, Central America except Panama, and North Africa) chloroquine phosphate is effective therapy. In subsaharan Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia, chloroquine resistance has become widespread, and other antimalarials are necessary. The primary care physician should have a high index of suspicion for malaria in the traveler returning from the tropics. Malaria should also be suspected in the febrile transfusion recipient and newborns of mothers with malaria.

  11. In silico multiple-targets identification for heme detoxification in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phaiphinit, Suthat; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Lursinsap, Chidchanok; Plaimas, Kitiporn

    2016-01-01

    Detoxification of hemoglobin byproducts or free heme is an essential step and considered potential targets for anti-malaria drug development. However, most of anti-malaria drugs are no longer effective due to the emergence and spread of the drug resistant malaria parasites. Therefore, it is an urgent need to identify potential new targets and even for target combinations for effective malaria drug design. In this work, we reconstructed the metabolic networks of Plasmodium falciparum and human red blood cells for the simulation of steady mass and flux flows of the parasite's metabolites under the blood environment by flux balance analysis (FBA). The integrated model, namely iPF-RBC-713, was then adjusted into two stage-specific metabolic models, which first was for the pathological stage metabolic model of the parasite when invaded the red blood cell without any treatment and second was for the treatment stage of the parasite when a drug acted by inhibiting the hemozoin formation and caused high production rate of heme toxicity. The process of identifying target combinations consisted of two main steps. Firstly, the optimal fluxes of reactions in both the pathological and treatment stages were computed and compared to determine the change of fluxes. Corresponding enzymes of the reactions with zero fluxes in the treatment stage but non-zero fluxes in the pathological stage were predicted as a preliminary list of potential targets in inhibiting heme detoxification. Secondly, the combinations of all possible targets listed in the first step were examined to search for the best promising target combinations resulting in more effective inhibition of the detoxification to kill the malaria parasites. Finally, twenty-three enzymes were identified as a preliminary list of candidate targets which mostly were in pyruvate metabolism and citrate cycle. The optimal set of multiple targets for blocking the detoxification was a set of heme ligase, adenosine transporter, myo

  12. Cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is essential for multiple steps in malaria parasite egress from infected erythrocytes

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    Glushakova Svetlana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Egress of Plasmodium falciparum, from erythrocytes at the end of its asexual cycle and subsequent parasite invasion into new host cells, is responsible for parasite dissemination in the human body. The egress pathway is emerging as a coordinated multistep programme that extends in time for tens of minutes, ending with rapid parasite extrusion from erythrocytes. While the Ca2+ regulation of the invasion of P. falciparum in erythrocytes is well established, the role of Ca2+ in parasite egress is poorly understood. This study analysed the involvement of cytoplasmic free Ca2+ in infected erythrocytes during the multistep egress programme of malaria parasites. Methods Live-cell fluorescence microscopy was used to image parasite egress from infected erythrocytes, assessing the effect of drugs modulating Ca2+ homeostasis on the egress programme. Results A steady increase in cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is found to precede parasite egress. This increase is independent of extracellular Ca2+ for at least the last two hours of the cycle, but is dependent upon Ca2+ release from internal stores. Intracellular BAPTA chelation of Ca2+ within the last 45 minutes of the cycle inhibits egress prior to parasitophorous vacuole swelling and erythrocyte membrane poration, two characteristic morphological transformations preceding parasite egress. Inhibitors of the parasite endoplasmic reticulum (ER Ca2+-ATPase accelerate parasite egress, indicating that Ca2+ stores within the ER are sufficient in supporting egress. Markedly accelerated egress of apparently viable parasites was achieved in mature schizonts using Ca2+ ionophore A23187. Ionophore treatment overcomes the BAPTA-induced block of parasite egress, confirming that free Ca2+ is essential in egress initiation. Ionophore treatment of immature schizonts had an adverse effect inducing parasitophorous vacuole swelling and killing the parasites within the host cell. Conclusions The parasite egress

  13. DNA Repair Mechanisms and Their Biological Roles in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Andrew H.; Symington, Lorraine S.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Research into the complex genetic underpinnings of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is entering a new era with the arrival of site-specific genome engineering. Previously restricted only to model systems but now expanded to most laboratory organisms, and even to humans for experimental gene therapy studies, this technology allows researchers to rapidly generate previously unattainable genetic modifications. This technological advance is dependent on DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR), specifically homologous recombination in the case of Plasmodium. Our understanding of DSBR in malaria parasites, however, is based largely on assumptions and knowledge taken from other model systems, which do not always hold true in Plasmodium. Here we describe the causes of double-strand breaks, the mechanisms of DSBR, and the differences between model systems and P. falciparum. These mechanisms drive basic parasite functions, such as meiosis, antigen diversification, and copy number variation, and allow the parasite to continually evolve in the contexts of host immune pressure and drug selection. Finally, we discuss the new technologies that leverage DSBR mechanisms to accelerate genetic investigations into this global infectious pathogen. PMID:25184562

  14. Culture adaptation of malaria parasites selects for convergent loss-of-function mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claessens, Antoine; Affara, Muna; Assefa, Samuel A.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Conway, David J.

    2017-01-01

    Cultured human pathogens may differ significantly from source populations. To investigate the genetic basis of laboratory adaptation in malaria parasites, clinical Plasmodium falciparum isolates were sampled from patients and cultured in vitro for up to three months. Genome sequence analysis was performed on multiple culture time point samples from six monoclonal isolates, and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variants emerging over time were detected. Out of a total of five positively selected SNPs, four represented nonsense mutations resulting in stop codons, three of these in a single ApiAP2 transcription factor gene, and one in SRPK1. To survey further for nonsense mutants associated with culture, genome sequences of eleven long-term laboratory-adapted parasite strains were examined, revealing four independently acquired nonsense mutations in two other ApiAP2 genes, and five in Epac. No mutants of these genes exist in a large database of parasite sequences from uncultured clinical samples. This implicates putative master regulator genes in which multiple independent stop codon mutations have convergently led to culture adaptation, affecting most laboratory lines of P. falciparum. Understanding the adaptive processes should guide development of experimental models, which could include targeted gene disruption to adapt fastidious malaria parasite species to culture. PMID:28117431

  15. DNA repair mechanisms and their biological roles in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Andrew H; Symington, Lorraine S; Fidock, David A

    2014-09-01

    Research into the complex genetic underpinnings of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is entering a new era with the arrival of site-specific genome engineering. Previously restricted only to model systems but now expanded to most laboratory organisms, and even to humans for experimental gene therapy studies, this technology allows researchers to rapidly generate previously unattainable genetic modifications. This technological advance is dependent on DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR), specifically homologous recombination in the case of Plasmodium. Our understanding of DSBR in malaria parasites, however, is based largely on assumptions and knowledge taken from other model systems, which do not always hold true in Plasmodium. Here we describe the causes of double-strand breaks, the mechanisms of DSBR, and the differences between model systems and P. falciparum. These mechanisms drive basic parasite functions, such as meiosis, antigen diversification, and copy number variation, and allow the parasite to continually evolve in the contexts of host immune pressure and drug selection. Finally, we discuss the new technologies that leverage DSBR mechanisms to accelerate genetic investigations into this global infectious pathogen.

  16. Existing Infection Facilitates Establishment and Density of Malaria Parasites in Their Mosquito Vector.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura C Pollitt

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Very little is known about how vector-borne pathogens interact within their vector and how this impacts transmission. Here we show that mosquitoes can accumulate mixed strain malaria infections after feeding on multiple hosts. We found that parasites have a greater chance of establishing and reach higher densities if another strain is already present in a mosquito. Mixed infections contained more parasites but these larger populations did not have a detectable impact on vector survival. Together these results suggest that mosquitoes taking multiple infective bites may disproportionally contribute to malaria transmission. This will increase rates of mixed infections in vertebrate hosts, with implications for the evolution of parasite virulence and the spread of drug-resistant strains. Moreover, control measures that reduce parasite prevalence in vertebrate hosts will reduce the likelihood of mosquitoes taking multiple infective feeds, and thus disproportionally reduce transmission. More generally, our study shows that the types of strain interactions detected in vertebrate hosts cannot necessarily be extrapolated to vectors.

  17. Microbial hara-kiri: Exploiting lysosomal cell death in malaria parasites

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    Jun-Hong Ch’ng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The antimalarial drug chloroquine (CQ has been sidelined in the fight against falciparum malaria due to wide-spread CQ resistance. Replacement drugs like sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine and mefloquine have also since been surpassed with the evolution of multi-drug resistant parasites. Even the currently recommended artemisinin-based combination therapies show signs of compromise due to the recent spread of artemisinin delayed-clearance parasites. Though there have been promising breakthroughs in the pursuit of new effective antimalarials, the development and strategic deployment of such novel chemical entities takes time. We therefore argue that there is a crucial need to re-examine the usefulness of ‘outdated’ drugs like chloroquine, and explore if they might be effective alternative therapies in the interim. We suggest that a novel parasite cell death (pCD pathway may be exploited through the reformulation of CQ to address this need.

  18. Serine Proteases of Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum: Potential as Antimalarial Drug Targets

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    Asrar Alam

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a major global parasitic disease and a cause of enormous mortality and morbidity. Widespread drug resistance against currently available antimalarials warrants the identification of novel drug targets and development of new drugs. Malarial proteases are a group of molecules that serve as potential drug targets because of their essentiality for parasite life cycle stages and feasibility of designing specific inhibitors against them. Proteases belonging to various mechanistic classes are found in P. falciparum, of which serine proteases are of particular interest due to their involvement in parasite-specific processes of egress and invasion. In P. falciparum, a number of serine proteases belonging to chymotrypsin, subtilisin, and rhomboid clans are found. This review focuses on the potential of P. falciparum serine proteases as antimalarial drug targets.

  19. Vitamin B1 and B6 in the malaria parasite: requisite or dispensable?

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    C. Wrenger

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Vitamins are essential compounds mainly involved in acting as enzyme co-factors or in response to oxidative stress. In the last two years it became apparent that apicomplexan parasites are able to generate B vitamers such as vitamin B1 and B6 de novo. The biosynthesis pathways responsible for vitamin generation are considered as drug targets, since both provide a high degree of selectivity due to their absence in the human host. This report updates the current knowledge about vitamin B1 and B6 biosynthesis in malaria and other apicomplexan parasites. Owing to the urgent need for novel antimalarials, the significance of the biosynthesis and salvage of these vitamins is critically discussed in terms of parasite survival and their exploitation for drug development.

  20. A unique profilin-actin interface is important for malaria parasite motility.

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    Catherine A Moreau

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Profilin is an actin monomer binding protein that provides ATP-actin for incorporation into actin filaments. In contrast to higher eukaryotic cells with their large filamentous actin structures, apicomplexan parasites typically contain only short and highly dynamic microfilaments. In apicomplexans, profilin appears to be the main monomer-sequestering protein. Compared to classical profilins, apicomplexan profilins contain an additional arm-like β-hairpin motif, which we show here to be critically involved in actin binding. Through comparative analysis using two profilin mutants, we reveal this motif to be implicated in gliding motility of Plasmodium berghei sporozoites, the rapidly migrating forms of a rodent malaria parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. Force measurements on migrating sporozoites and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the interaction between actin and profilin fine-tunes gliding motility. Our data suggest that evolutionary pressure to achieve efficient high-speed gliding has resulted in a unique profilin-actin interface in these parasites.

  1. 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.

  2. Glutathione Reductase-null Malaria Parasites Have Normal Blood Stage Growth but Arrest during Development in the Mosquito*

    OpenAIRE

    Pastrana-Mena, Rebecca; Dinglasan, Rhoel R.; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Fuentes-Caraballo, Mariela; Baerga-Ortiz, Abel; Coppens, Isabelle; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Janse, Chris J.; Serrano, Adelfa E.

    2010-01-01

    Malaria parasites contain a complete glutathione (GSH) redox system, and several enzymes of this system are considered potential targets for antimalarial drugs. Through generation of a γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS)-null mutant of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei, we previously showed that de novo GSH synthesis is not critical for blood stage multiplication but is essential for oocyst development. In this study, phenotype analyses of mutant parasites lacking expression of glutath...

  3. A rapid and robust selection procedure for generating drug-selectable marker-free recombinant malaria parasites

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    International audience; Experimental genetics have been widely used to explore the biology of the malaria parasites. The rodent parasites Plasmodium berghei and less frequently P. yoelii are commonly utilised, as their complete life cycle can be reproduced in the laboratory and because they are genetically tractable via homologous recombination. However, due to the limited number of drug-selectable markers, multiple modifications of the parasite genome are difficult to achieve and require lar...

  4. Hierarchical phosphorylation of apical membrane antigen 1 is required for efficient red blood cell invasion by malaria parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Boris Prinz; Katherine L. Harvey; Louisa Wilcke; Ulrike Ruch; Klemens Engelberg; Laura Biller; Isabelle Lucet; Steffen Erkelenz; Dorothee Heincke; Tobias Spielmann; Christian Doerig; Conrad Kunick; Brendan S Crabb; Gilson, Paul R.; Gilberger, Tim W

    2016-01-01

    Central to the pathogenesis of malaria is the proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites within human erythrocytes. Parasites invade erythrocytes via a coordinated sequence of receptor-ligand interactions between the parasite and host cell. One key ligand, Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1), is a leading blood-stage vaccine and previous work indicates that phosphorylation of its cytoplasmic domain (CPD) is important to its function during invasion. Here we investigate the significance of ...

  5. The Strategy to Survive Primary Malaria Infection: An Experimental Study on Behavioural Changes in Parasitized Birds.

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    Andrey Mukhin

    Full Text Available Avian malaria parasites (Haemosporida, Plasmodium are of cosmopolitan distribution, and they have a significant impact on vertebrate host fitness. Experimental studies show that high parasitemia often develops during primary malaria infections. However, field studies only occasionally reveal high parasitemia in free-living birds sampled using the traditional methods of mist-netting or trapping, and light chronic infections predominate. The reason for this discrepancy between field observation and experimental data remains insufficiently understood. Since mist-netting is a passive capture method, two main parameters determine its success in sampling infected birds in wildlife, i. e. the presence of parasitized birds at a study site and their mobility. In other words, the trapping probability depends on the survival rate of birds and their locomotor activity during infection. Here we test (1 the mortality rate of wild birds infected with Plasmodium relictum (the lineage pSGS1, (2 the changes in their behaviour during presence of an aerial predator, and (3 the changes in their locomotor activity at the stage of high primary parasitemia.We show that some behavioural features which might affect a bird's survival during a predator attack (time of reaction, speed of flush flight and take off angle did not change significantly during primary infection. However, the locomotor activity of infected birds was almost halved compared to control (non-infected birds during the peak of parasitemia. We report (1 the markedly reduced mobility and (2 the 20% mortality rate caused by P. relictum and conclude that these factors are responsible for the underrepresentation of birds in mist nets and traps during the stage of high primary parasitemia in wildlife. This study indicates that the widespread parasite, P. relictum (pSGS1 influences the behaviour of birds during primary parasitemia. Experimental studies combined with field observations are needed to better

  6. Phenylalanine metabolism regulates reproduction and parasite melanization in the malaria mosquito.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Silke; Behrends, Volker; Bundy, Jacob G; Crisanti, Andrea; Nolan, Tony

    2014-01-01

    The blood meal of the female malaria mosquito is a pre-requisite to egg production and also represents the transmission route for the malaria parasite. The proper and rapid assimilation of proteins and nutrients in the blood meal creates a significant metabolic challenge for the mosquito. To better understand this process we generated a global profile of metabolite changes in response to blood meal of Anopheles gambiae, using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). To disrupt a key pathway of amino acid metabolism we silenced the gene phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) involved in the conversion of the amino acid phenylalanine into tyrosine. We observed increased levels of phenylalanine and the potentially toxic metabolites phenylpyruvate and phenyllactate as well as a reduction in the amount of tyrosine available for melanin synthesis. This in turn resulted in a significant impairment of the melanotic encapsulation response against the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Furthermore silencing of PAH resulted in a significant impairment of mosquito fertility associated with reduction of laid eggs, retarded vitellogenesis and impaired melanisation of the chorion. Carbidopa, an inhibitor of the downstream enzyme DOPA decarboxylase that coverts DOPA into dopamine, produced similar effects on egg melanization and hatching rate suggesting that egg chorion maturation is mainly regulated via dopamine. This study sheds new light on the role of amino acid metabolism in regulating reproduction and immunity.

  7. Phenylalanine metabolism regulates reproduction and parasite melanization in the malaria mosquito.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Fuchs

    Full Text Available The blood meal of the female malaria mosquito is a pre-requisite to egg production and also represents the transmission route for the malaria parasite. The proper and rapid assimilation of proteins and nutrients in the blood meal creates a significant metabolic challenge for the mosquito. To better understand this process we generated a global profile of metabolite changes in response to blood meal of Anopheles gambiae, using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS. To disrupt a key pathway of amino acid metabolism we silenced the gene phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH involved in the conversion of the amino acid phenylalanine into tyrosine. We observed increased levels of phenylalanine and the potentially toxic metabolites phenylpyruvate and phenyllactate as well as a reduction in the amount of tyrosine available for melanin synthesis. This in turn resulted in a significant impairment of the melanotic encapsulation response against the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Furthermore silencing of PAH resulted in a significant impairment of mosquito fertility associated with reduction of laid eggs, retarded vitellogenesis and impaired melanisation of the chorion. Carbidopa, an inhibitor of the downstream enzyme DOPA decarboxylase that coverts DOPA into dopamine, produced similar effects on egg melanization and hatching rate suggesting that egg chorion maturation is mainly regulated via dopamine. This study sheds new light on the role of amino acid metabolism in regulating reproduction and immunity.

  8. Within-host competition and drug resistance in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushman, Mary; Morton, Lindsay; Duah, Nancy; Quashie, Neils; Abuaku, Benjamin; Koram, Kwadwo A; Dimbu, Pedro Rafael; Plucinski, Mateusz; Gutman, Julie; Lyaruu, Peter; Kachur, S Patrick; de Roode, Jacobus C; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-03-16

    Infections with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum typically comprise multiple strains, especially in high-transmission areas where infectious mosquito bites occur frequently. However, little is known about the dynamics of mixed-strain infections, particularly whether strains sharing a host compete or grow independently. Competition between drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains, if it occurs, could be a crucial determinant of the spread of resistance. We analysed 1341 P. falciparum infections in children from Angola, Ghana and Tanzania and found compelling evidence for competition in mixed-strain infections: overall parasite density did not increase with additional strains, and densities of individual chloroquine-sensitive (CQS) and chloroquine-resistant (CQR) strains were reduced in the presence of competitors. We also found that CQR strains exhibited low densities compared with CQS strains (in the absence of chloroquine), which may underlie observed declines of chloroquine resistance in many countries following retirement of chloroquine as a first-line therapy. Our observations support a key role for within-host competition in the evolution of drug-resistant malaria. Malaria control and resistance-management efforts in high-transmission regions may be significantly aided or hindered by the effects of competition in mixed-strain infections. Consideration of within-host dynamics may spur development of novel strategies to minimize resistance while maximizing the benefits of control measures.

  9. Antitumor effect of malaria parasite infection in a murine Lewis lung cancer model through induction of innate and adaptive immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lili; He, Zhengxiang; Qin, Li; Li, Qinyan; Shi, Xibao; Zhao, Siting; Chen, Ling; Zhong, Nanshan; Chen, Xiaoping

    2011-01-01

    Lung cancer is the most common malignancy in humans and its high fatality means that no effective treatment is available. Developing new therapeutic strategies for lung cancer is urgently needed. Malaria has been reported to stimulate host immune responses, which are believed to be efficacious for combating some clinical cancers. This study is aimed to provide evidence that malaria parasite infection is therapeutic for lung cancer. Antitumor effect of malaria infection was examined in both subcutaneously and intravenously implanted murine Lewis lung cancer (LLC) model. The results showed that malaria infection inhibited LLC growth and metastasis and prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice. Histological analysis of tumors from mice infected with malaria revealed that angiogenesis was inhibited, which correlated with increased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated (TUNEL) staining and decreased Ki-67 expression in tumors. Through natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity activity, cytokine assays, enzyme-linked immunospot assay, lymphocyte proliferation, and flow cytometry, we demonstrated that malaria infection provided anti-tumor effects by inducing both a potent anti-tumor innate immune response, including the secretion of IFN-γ and TNF-α and the activation of NK cells as well as adaptive anti-tumor immunity with increasing tumor-specific T-cell proliferation and cytolytic activity of CD8(+) T cells. Notably, tumor-bearing mice infected with the parasite developed long-lasting and effective tumor-specific immunity. Consequently, we found that malaria parasite infection could enhance the immune response of lung cancer DNA vaccine pcDNA3.1-hMUC1 and the combination produced a synergistic antitumor effect. Malaria infection significantly suppresses LLC growth via induction of innate and adaptive antitumor responses in a mouse model. These data suggest that the malaria parasite may provide a novel strategy or therapeutic vaccine vector for anti-lung cancer

  10. Antitumor effect of malaria parasite infection in a murine Lewis lung cancer model through induction of innate and adaptive immunity.

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    Lili Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is the most common malignancy in humans and its high fatality means that no effective treatment is available. Developing new therapeutic strategies for lung cancer is urgently needed. Malaria has been reported to stimulate host immune responses, which are believed to be efficacious for combating some clinical cancers. This study is aimed to provide evidence that malaria parasite infection is therapeutic for lung cancer. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Antitumor effect of malaria infection was examined in both subcutaneously and intravenously implanted murine Lewis lung cancer (LLC model. The results showed that malaria infection inhibited LLC growth and metastasis and prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice. Histological analysis of tumors from mice infected with malaria revealed that angiogenesis was inhibited, which correlated with increased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated (TUNEL staining and decreased Ki-67 expression in tumors. Through natural killer (NK cell cytotoxicity activity, cytokine assays, enzyme-linked immunospot assay, lymphocyte proliferation, and flow cytometry, we demonstrated that malaria infection provided anti-tumor effects by inducing both a potent anti-tumor innate immune response, including the secretion of IFN-γ and TNF-α and the activation of NK cells as well as adaptive anti-tumor immunity with increasing tumor-specific T-cell proliferation and cytolytic activity of CD8(+ T cells. Notably, tumor-bearing mice infected with the parasite developed long-lasting and effective tumor-specific immunity. Consequently, we found that malaria parasite infection could enhance the immune response of lung cancer DNA vaccine pcDNA3.1-hMUC1 and the combination produced a synergistic antitumor effect. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Malaria infection significantly suppresses LLC growth via induction of innate and adaptive antitumor responses in a mouse model. These data suggest that the malaria

  11. Malaria Parasite Proteins and Their Role in Alteration of the Structure and Function of Red Blood Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proellocks, Nicholas I; Coppel, Ross L; Mohandas, Narla; Cooke, Brian M

    2016-01-01

    Malaria, caused by Plasmodium spp., continues to be a major threat to human health and a significant cause of socioeconomic hardship in many countries. Almost half of the world's population live in malaria-endemic regions and many of them suffer one or more, often life-threatening episodes of malaria every year, the symptoms of which are attributable to replication of the parasite within red blood cells (RBCs). In the case of Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for most malaria-related deaths, parasite replication within RBCs is accompanied by striking alterations to the morphological, biochemical and biophysical properties of the host cell that are essential for the parasites' survival. To achieve this, the parasite establishes a unique and extensive protein export network in the infected RBC, dedicating at least 6% of its genome to the process. Understanding the full gamut of proteins involved in this process and the mechanisms by which P. falciparum alters the structure and function of RBCs is important both for a more complete understanding of the pathogenesis of malaria and for development of new therapeutic strategies to prevent or treat this devastating disease. This review focuses on what is currently known about exported parasite proteins, their interactions with the RBC and their likely pathophysiological consequences.

  12. Severe malaria is associated with parasite binding to endothelial protein C receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas; Berger, Sanne S;

    2013-01-01

    . falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family and receptors on the endothelial lining. Severe childhood malaria is associated with expression of specific PfEMP1 subtypes containing domain cassettes (DCs) 8 and 13 (ref. 3), but the endothelial receptor for parasites expressing these proteins...... was unknown. Here we identify endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR), which mediates the cytoprotective effects of activated protein C, as the endothelial receptor for DC8 and DC13 PfEMP1. We show that EPCR binding is mediated through the amino-terminal cysteine-rich interdomain region (CIDRα1) of DC8...... and group A PfEMP1 subfamilies, and that CIDRα1 interferes with protein C binding to EPCR. This PfEMP1 adhesive property links P. falciparum cytoadhesion to a host receptor involved in anticoagulation and endothelial cytoprotective pathways, and has implications for understanding malaria pathology...

  13. A more appropriate white blood cell count for estimating malaria parasite density in Plasmodium vivax patients in northeastern Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huaie; Feng, Guohua; Zeng, Weilin; Li, Xiaomei; Bai, Yao; Deng, Shuang; Ruan, Yonghua; Morris, James; Li, Siman; Yang, Zhaoqing; Cui, Liwang

    2016-04-01

    The conventional method of estimating parasite densities employ an assumption of 8000 white blood cells (WBCs)/μl. However, due to leucopenia in malaria patients, this number appears to overestimate parasite densities. In this study, we assessed the accuracy of parasite density estimated using this assumed WBC count in eastern Myanmar, where Plasmodium vivax has become increasingly prevalent. From 256 patients with uncomplicated P. vivax malaria, we estimated parasite density and counted WBCs by using an automated blood cell counter. It was found that WBC counts were not significantly different between patients of different gender, axillary temperature, and body mass index levels, whereas they were significantly different between age groups of patients and the time points of measurement. The median parasite densities calculated with the actual WBC counts (1903/μl) and the assumed WBC count of 8000/μl (2570/μl) were significantly different. We demonstrated that using the assumed WBC count of 8000 cells/μl to estimate parasite densities of P. vivax malaria patients in this area would lead to an overestimation. For P. vivax patients aged five years and older, an assumed WBC count of 5500/μl best estimated parasite densities. This study provides more realistic assumed WBC counts for estimating parasite densities in P. vivax patients from low-endemicity areas of Southeast Asia.

  14. Malaria parasite carbonic anhydrase:inhibition of aromatic/heterocyclic sulfonamides and its therapeutic potential

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sudaratana R Krungkrai; Jerapan Krungkrai

    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 an α-carbonic anhydrase, a Zn 2+-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.

  15. Malaria parasite carbonic anhydrase: inhibition of aromatic/heterocyclic sulfonamides and its therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2011-06-01

    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 Zn(2+)-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.

  16. Reciprocal specialization in multihost malaria parasite communities of birds: a temperate-tropical comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson-Coelho, Maria; Ellis, Vincenzo A; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2014-11-01

    How specialization of consumers with respect to resources varies with respect to latitude is poorly understood. Coexistence of many species in the tropics might be possible only if specialization also increases. Alternatively, lower average abundance of more diverse biotic resources in the tropics might force consumers to become more generalized foragers. We examine levels of reciprocal specialization in an antagonistic system-avian malaria-to determine whether the number of host species used and/or parasite lineages harbored differ between a temperate and a tropical assemblage. We evaluate the results of network analysis, which can incorporate both bird and parasite perspectives on specialization in one quantitative index, in comparison to null models. Specialization was significantly greater in both sample sites than predicted from null models. We found evidence for lower per-host species parasite diversity in temperate compared to tropical birds. However, specialization did not differ between the tropical and temperate sites from the parasite perspective. We supplemented the network analysis with estimates of specialization that incorporate phylogenetic relationships of associates and found no differences between sites. Thus, our analyses indicate that specialization within an antagonistic host-parasite (resource-consumer) system varies little between tropical and temperate localities.

  17. Solute restriction reveals an essential role for clag3-associated channels in malaria parasite nutrient acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Ajay D; Nguitragool, Wang; Lyko, Brian; Dolinta, Keithlee; Butler, Michelle M; Nguyen, Son T; Peet, Norton P; Bowlin, Terry L; Desai, Sanjay A

    2012-12-01

    The plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC) increases erythrocyte permeability to many solutes in malaria but has uncertain physiological significance. We used a PSAC inhibitor with different efficacies against channels from two Plasmodium falciparum parasite lines and found concordant effects on transport and in vitro parasite growth when external nutrient concentrations were reduced. Linkage analysis using this growth inhibition phenotype in the Dd2 × HB3 genetic cross mapped the clag3 genomic locus, consistent with a role for two clag3 genes in PSAC-mediated transport. Altered inhibitor efficacy, achieved through allelic exchange or expression switching between the clag3 genes, indicated that the inhibitor kills parasites through direct action on PSAC. In a parasite unable to undergo expression switching, the inhibitor selected for ectopic homologous recombination between the clag3 genes to increase the diversity of available channel isoforms. Broad-spectrum inhibitors, which presumably interact with conserved sites on the channel, also exhibited improved efficacy with nutrient restriction. These findings indicate that PSAC functions in nutrient acquisition for intracellular parasites. Although key questions regarding the channel and its biological role remain, antimalarial drug development targeting PSAC should be pursued.

  18. Interruption of the blood-stage cycle of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi, by protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.L. Gazarini

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a devastating disease caused by a unicellular protozoan, Plasmodium, which affects 3.7 million people every year. Resistance of the parasite to classical treatments such as chloroquine requires the development of new drugs. To gain insight into the mechanisms that control Plasmodium cell cycle, we have examined the effects of kinase inhibitors on the blood-stage cycle of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi. In vitro incubation of red blood cells for 17 h at 37ºC with the inhibitors led to a decrease in the percent of infected cells, compared to control treatment, as follows: genistein (200 µM - 75%, staurosporine (1 µM - 58%, R03 (1 µM - 75%, and tyrphostins B44 (100 µM - 66% and B46 (100 µM - 68%. All these treatments were shown to retard or prevent maturation of the intraerythrocytic parasites. The diverse concentration ranges at which these inhibitors exert their effects give a clue as to the types of signals that initiate the transitions between the different developmental stages of the parasite. The present data support our hypothesis that the maturation of the intraerythrocytic cycle of malaria parasites requires phosphorylation. In this respect, we have recently reported a high Ca2+ microenvironment surrounding the parasite within red blood cells. Several kinase activities are modulated by Ca2+. The molecular identification of the targets of these kinases could provide new strategies against malaria.

  19. The Puf-family RNA-binding protein Puf2 controls sporozoite conversion to liver stages in the malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Müller

    Full Text Available Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by unicellular, obligate intracellular parasites of the genus Plasmodium. During host switch the malaria parasite employs specialized latent stages that colonize the new host environment. Previous work has established that gametocytes, sexually differentiated stages that are taken up by the mosquito vector, control expression of genes required for mosquito colonization by translational repression. Sexual parasite development is controlled by a DEAD-box RNA helicase of the DDX6 family, termed DOZI. Latency of sporozoites, the transmission stage injected during an infectious blood meal, is controlled by the eIF2alpha kinase IK2, a general inhibitor of protein synthesis. Whether RNA-binding proteins participate in translational regulation in sporozoites remains to be studied. Here, we investigated the roles of two RNA-binding proteins of the Puf-family, Plasmodium Puf1 and Puf2, during sporozoite stage conversion. Our data reveal that, in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei, Puf2 participates in the regulation of IK2 and inhibits premature sporozoite transformation. Inside mosquito salivary glands puf2⁻ sporozoites transform over time to round forms resembling early intra-hepatic stages. As a result, mutant parasites display strong defects in initiating a malaria infection. In contrast, Puf1 is dispensable in vivo throughout the entire Plasmodium life cycle. Our findings support the notion of a central role for Puf2 in parasite latency during switch between the insect and mammalian hosts.

  20. Primate malarias: Diversity, distribution and insights for zoonotic Plasmodium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Faust

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Protozoans within the genus Plasmodium are well-known as the causative agents of malaria in humans. Numerous Plasmodium species parasites also infect a wide range of non-human primate hosts in tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide. Studying this diversity can provide critical insight into our understanding of human malarias, as several human malaria species are a result of host switches from non-human primates. Current spillover of a monkey malaria, Plasmodium knowlesi, in Southeast Asia highlights the permeability of species barriers in Plasmodium. Also recently, surveys of apes in Africa uncovered a previously undescribed diversity of Plasmodium in chimpanzees and gorillas. Therefore, we carried out a meta-analysis to quantify the global distribution, host range, and diversity of known non-human primate malaria species. We used published records of Plasmodium parasites found in non-human primates to estimate the total diversity of non-human primate malarias globally. We estimate that at least three undescribed primate malaria species exist in sampled primates, and many more likely exist in unstudied species. The diversity of malaria parasites is especially uncertain in regions of low sampling such as Madagascar, and taxonomic groups such as African Old World Monkeys and gibbons. Presence–absence data of malaria across primates enables us to highlight the close association of forested regions and non-human primate malarias. This distribution potentially reflects a long coevolution of primates, forest-adapted mosquitoes, and malaria parasites. The diversity and distribution of primate malaria are an essential prerequisite to understanding the mechanisms and circumstances that allow Plasmodium to jump species barriers, both in the evolution of malaria parasites and current cases of spillover into humans.

  1. Newly incriminated anopheline vectors of human malaria parasites in Junin Department, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, J; Calderon, G; Falcon, R; Zambrano, V

    1987-09-01

    Sporozoite data from salivary gland dissections are presented that clearly incriminate Anopheles trinkae, An. pseudopunctipennis, An. sp. near fluminensis, An. oswaldoi, An. nuneztovari and An. rangeli as vectors of malaria parasites in the Rio Ene Valley, a hyperendemic malarious area in Junin Department, eastern Peru. Anopheles trinkae is considered the most important vector based on dissections, abundance and man-vector contact. Other notes are presented on the relative abundance, bionomics and previous records of these species in Peru and in the study sites.

  2. 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

  3. Diversity, loss, and gain of malaria parasites in a globally invasive bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Marzal

    Full Text Available Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infecting house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820 from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

  4. Evidence of a Mild Mutator Phenotype in Cambodian Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Andrew H; Fidock, David A

    2016-01-01

    Malaria control efforts have been continuously stymied by drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum, which typically originate in Southeast Asia prior to spreading into high-transmission settings in Africa. One earlier proposed explanation for Southeast Asia being a hotbed of resistance has been the hypermutability or "Accelerated Resistance to Multiple Drugs" (ARMD) phenotype, whereby multidrug-resistant Southeast Asian parasites were reported to exhibit 1,000-fold higher rates of resistance to unrelated antimalarial agents when compared to drug-sensitive parasites. However, three recent studies do not recapitulate this hypermutability phenotype. Intriguingly, genome sequencing of recently derived multidrug-resistant Cambodian isolates has identified a high proportion of DNA repair gene mutations in multidrug-resistant parasites, suggesting their potential role in shaping local parasite evolution. By adapting fluctuation assays for use in P. falciparum, we have examined the in vitro mutation rates of five recent Cambodian isolates and three reference laboratory strains. For these studies we also generated a knockout parasite line lacking the DNA repair factor Exonuclease I. In these assays, parasites were typed for their ability to acquire resistance to KAE609, currently in advanced clinical trials, yielding 13 novel mutations in the Na+/H+-ATPase PfATP4, the primary resistance determinant. We observed no evidence of hypermutability. Instead, we found evidence of a mild mutator (up to a 3.4-fold increase in mutation rate) phenotype in two artemisinin-resistant Cambodian isolates, which carry DNA repair gene mutations. We observed that one such mutation in the Mismatch Repair protein Mlh1 contributes to the mild mutator phenotype when modeled in yeast (scmlh1-P157S). Compared to basal rates of mutation, a mild mutator phenotype may provide a greater overall benefit for parasites in Southeast Asia in terms of generating drug resistance without incurring

  5. Landscape and Dynamics of Transcription Initiation in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie H. Adjalley

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive map of transcription start sites (TSSs across the highly AT-rich genome of P. falciparum would aid progress toward deciphering the molecular mechanisms that underlie the timely regulation of gene expression in this malaria parasite. Using high-throughput sequencing technologies, we generated a comprehensive atlas of transcription initiation events at single-nucleotide resolution during the parasite intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle. This detailed analysis of TSS usage enabled us to define architectural features of plasmodial promoters. We demonstrate that TSS selection and strength are constrained by local nucleotide composition. Furthermore, we provide evidence for coordinate and stage-specific TSS usage from distinct sites within the same transcription unit, thereby producing transcript isoforms, a subset of which are developmentally regulated. This work offers a framework for further investigations into the interactions between genomic sequences and regulatory factors governing the complex transcriptional program of this major human pathogen.

  6. Effects of Aging on Parasite Biomass, Inflammation, Endothelial Activation, Microvascular Dysfunction and Disease Severity in Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Bridget E; Grigg, Matthew J; William, Timothy; Piera, Kim A; Boyle, Michelle J; Yeo, Tsin W; Anstey, Nicholas M

    2017-06-15

    In populations pauci-immune to malaria, risk of severe malaria increases with age. This is particularly apparent in Plasmodium knowlesi malaria. However, pathophysiological mechanisms underlying knowlesi malaria, and of the age-related increase in risk of severe malaria in general, are poorly understood. In Malaysian patients aged ≥12 years with severe (n = 47) and nonsevere (n = 99) knowlesi malaria, severe (n = 21) and nonsevere (n = 109) falciparum malaria, and healthy controls (n = 50), we measured parasite biomass, systemic inflammation (interleukin 6 [IL-6]), endothelial activation (angiopoietin-2), and microvascular function, and evaluated the effects of age. Plasmodium knowlesi parasitemia correlated with age (Spearman's correlation coefficient [rs] = 0.36; P falciparum malaria, angiopoietin-2 increased with age, independent of parasite biomass (histidine-rich protein 2 [HRP2]). Independent risk factors for severe malaria included parasitemia and angiopoietin-2 in knowlesi malaria, and HRP2, angiopoietin-2, and microvascular dysfunction in falciparum malaria. Parasite biomass, endothelial activation, and microvascular dysfunction are associated with severe disease in knowlesi malaria and likely contribute to pathogenesis. The association of each of these processes with aging may account for the greater severity of malaria observed in older adults in low-endemic regions.

  7. Individual genetic diversity and probability of infection by avian malaria parasites in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrer, E S; García-Navas, V; Sanz, J J; Ortego, J

    2014-11-01

    Understanding the importance of host genetic diversity for coping with parasites and infectious diseases is a long-standing goal in evolutionary biology. Here, we study the association between probability of infection by avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and individual genetic diversity in three blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) populations that strongly differ in prevalence of this parasite. For this purpose, we screened avian malaria infections and genotyped 789 blue tits across 26 microsatellite markers. We used two different arrays of markers: 14 loci classified as neutral and 12 loci classified as putatively functional. We found a significant relationship between probability of infection and host genetic diversity estimated at the subset of neutral markers that was not explained by strong local effects and did not differ among the studied populations. This relationship was not linear, and probability of infection increased up to values of homozygosity by locus (HL) around 0.15, reached a plateau at values of HL from 0.15 to 0.40 and finally declined among a small proportion of highly homozygous individuals (HL > 0.4). We did not find evidence for significant identity disequilibrium, which may have resulted from a low variance of inbreeding in the study populations and/or the small power of our set of markers to detect it. A combination of subtle positive and negative local effects and/or a saturation threshold in the association between probability of infection and host genetic diversity in combination with increased resistance to parasites in highly homozygous individuals may explain the observed negative quadratic relationship. Overall, our study highlights that parasites play an important role in shaping host genetic variation and suggests that the use of large sets of neutral markers may be more appropriate for the study of heterozygosity-fitness correlations.

  8. 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 scaffold and harvesting cells via the temperature change is currently being scaled up and a prototype bioreactor has been developed. Optimization of an in vitro system to study the exo-erythrocytic stage of the human Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium... hepatocyte line that supports in vitro development of the exo-erythrocytic stages of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygeine 74:708-715. [4] Shor L, Güçeri S, Wen X, Gandhi M, Sun W. 2007...

  9. The impact of HIV-1 on the malaria parasite biomass in adults in sub-Saharan Africa contributes to the emergence of antimalarial drug resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korenromp Eline

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV-related immune-suppression increases the risk of malaria (infection, disease and treatment failure and probably the circulating parasite biomass, favoring the emergence of drug resistance parasites. Methods The additional malaria parasite biomass related to HIV-1 co-infection in sub-Saharan Africa was estimated by a mathematical model. Parasite biomass was computed as the incidence rate of clinical malaria episodes multiplied by the number of parasites circulating in the peripheral blood of patients at the time symptoms appear. A mathematical model estimated the influence of HIV-1 infection on parasite density in clinical malaria by country and by age group, malaria transmission intensity and urban/rural area. In a multivariate sensitivity analysis, 95% confidence intervals (CIs were calculated using the Monte Carlo simulation. Results The model shows that in 2005 HIV-1 increased the overall malaria parasite biomass by 18.0% (95%CI: 11.6–26.9. The largest relative increase (134.9–243.9% was found in southern Africa where HIV-1 prevalence is the highest and malaria transmission unstable. The largest absolute increase was found in Zambia, Malawi, the Central African Republic and Mozambique, where both malaria and HIV are highly endemic. A univariate sensitivity analysis shows that estimates are sensitive to the magnitude of the impact of HIV-1 infection on the malaria incidence rates and associated parasite densities. Conclusion The HIV-1 epidemic by increasing the malaria parasite biomass in sub-Saharan Africa may also increase the emergence of antimalarial drug resistance, potentially affecting the health of the whole population in countries endemic for both HIV-1 and malaria.

  10. The role of palmitoylation for protein recruitment to the inner membrane complex of the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetzel, Johanna; Herrmann, Susann; Swapna, Lakshmipuram Seshadri; Prusty, Dhaneswar; John Peter, Arun T; Kono, Maya; Saini, Sidharth; Nellimarla, Srinivas; Wong, Tatianna Wai Ying; Wilcke, Louisa; Ramsay, Olivia; Cabrera, Ana; Biller, Laura; Heincke, Dorothee; Mossman, Karen; Spielmann, Tobias; Ungermann, Christian; Parkinson, John; Gilberger, Tim W

    2015-01-16

    To survive and persist within its human host, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum utilizes a battery of lineage-specific innovations to invade and multiply in human erythrocytes. With central roles in invasion and cytokinesis, the inner membrane complex, a Golgi-derived double membrane structure underlying the plasma membrane of the parasite, represents a unique and unifying structure characteristic to all organisms belonging to a large phylogenetic group called Alveolata. More than 30 structurally and phylogenetically distinct proteins are embedded in the IMC, where a portion of these proteins displays N-terminal acylation motifs. Although N-terminal myristoylation is catalyzed co-translationally within the cytoplasm of the parasite, palmitoylation takes place at membranes and is mediated by palmitoyl acyltransferases (PATs). Here, we identify a PAT (PfDHHC1) that is exclusively localized to the IMC. Systematic phylogenetic analysis of the alveolate PAT family reveals PfDHHC1 to be a member of a highly conserved, apicomplexan-specific clade of PATs. We show that during schizogony this enzyme has an identical distribution like two dual-acylated, IMC-localized proteins (PfISP1 and PfISP3). We used these proteins to probe into specific sequence requirements for IMC-specific membrane recruitment and their interaction with differentially localized PATs of the parasite.

  11. Selective killing of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum by a benzylthiazolium dye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Jane X; Winter, Rolf W; Braun, Theodore P; Osei-Agyemang, Myralyn; Hinrichs, David J; Riscoe, Michael K

    2007-06-01

    Malaria is an infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. The most virulent form of the disease is caused by Plasmodium falciparum which infects hundreds of millions of people and is responsible for the deaths of 1-2 million individuals each year. An essential part of the parasitic process is the remodeling of the red blood cell membrane and its protein constituents to permit a higher flux of nutrients and waste products into or away from the intracellular parasite. Much of this increased permeability is due to a single type of broad specificity channel variously called the new permeation pathway (NPP), the nutrient channel, and the Plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC). This channel is permeable to a range of low molecular weight solutes both charged and uncharged, with a strong preference for anions. Drugs such as furosemide that are known to block anion-selective channels inhibit PSAC. In this study, we have investigated a dye known as benzothiocarboxypurine, BCP, which had been studied as a possible diagnostic aid given its selective uptake by P. falciparum infected red cells. We found that the dye enters parasitized red cells via the furosemide-inhibitable PSAC, forms a brightly fluorescent complex with parasite nucleic acids, and is selectively toxic to infected cells. Our study describes an antimalarial agent that exploits the altered permeability of Plasmodium-infected red cells as a means to killing the parasite and highlights a chemical reagent that may prove useful in high throughput screening of compounds for inhibitors of the channel.

  12. Impaired fitness of drug-resistant malaria parasites: evidence and implication on drug-deployment policies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babiker, Hamza A; Hastings, Ian M; Swedberg, Göte

    2009-06-01

    Malaria, a leading parasitic disease, inflicts an enormous toll on human lives and is caused by protozoal parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium. Antimalarial drugs targeting essential biochemical processes in the parasite are the primary resources for management and control. However, the parasite has established mutations, substantially reducing the efficacy of these drugs. First-line therapy is faced the with the consistent evolution of drug-resistant genotypes carrying these mutations. However, drug-resistant genotypes are likely to be less fit than the wild-type, suggesting that they might disappear by reducing the volume of drug pressure. A substantial body of epidemiological evidence confirmed that the frequency of resistant genotypes wanes when active drug selection declines. Drug selection on the parasite genome that removes genetic variation in the vicinity of drug-resistant genes (hitch-hiking) is common among resistant parasites in the field. This can further disadvantage drug-resistant strains and limit their variability in the face of a mounting immune response. Attempts to provide unequivocal evidence for the fitness cost of drug resistance have monitored the outcomes of laboratory competition experiments of deliberate mixtures of sensitive and resistant strains, in the absence of drug pressure, using isogenic clones produced either by drug selection or gene manipulation. Some of these experiments provided inconclusive results, but they all suggested reduced fitness of drug-resistant clones in the absence of drug pressure. In addition, biochemical analyses provided clearer information demonstrating that the mutation of some antimalarial-targeted enzymes lowers their activity compared with the wild-type enzyme. Here, we review current evidences for the disadvantage of drug-resistance mutations, and discuss some strategies of drug deployment to maximize the cost of resistance and limit its spread.

  13. cAMP-Signalling Regulates Gametocyte-Infected Erythrocyte Deformability Required for Malaria Parasite Transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghania Ramdani

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Blocking Plasmodium falciparum transmission to mosquitoes has been designated a strategic objective in the global agenda of malaria elimination. Transmission is ensured by gametocyte-infected erythrocytes (GIE that sequester in the bone marrow and at maturation are released into peripheral blood from where they are taken up during a mosquito blood meal. Release into the blood circulation is accompanied by an increase in GIE deformability that allows them to pass through the spleen. Here, we used a microsphere matrix to mimic splenic filtration and investigated the role of cAMP-signalling in regulating GIE deformability. We demonstrated that mature GIE deformability is dependent on reduced cAMP-signalling and on increased phosphodiesterase expression in stage V gametocytes, and that parasite cAMP-dependent kinase activity contributes to the stiffness of immature gametocytes. Importantly, pharmacological agents that raise cAMP levels in transmissible stage V gametocytes render them less deformable and hence less likely to circulate through the spleen. Therefore, phosphodiesterase inhibitors that raise cAMP levels in P. falciparum infected erythrocytes, such as sildenafil, represent new candidate drugs to block transmission of malaria parasites.

  14. Microbial control of malaria: biological warfare against the parasite and its vector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul-Ghani, Rashad; Al-Mekhlafi, Abdulsalam M; Alabsi, Mogeeb S

    2012-02-01

    Microbial applications in malaria transmission control have drawn global attention. Mosquito midgut microbiota can modulate vector immunity and block Plasmodium development. Paratransgenic manipulation of bacterial symbionts and Wolbachia can affect reproductive characteristics of mosquitoes. Bacillus-based biolarvicides can control mosquito larvae in different breeding habitats, but their effectiveness differs according to the type of formulation applied, and the physical and ecological conditions of the environment. Entomopathogenic fungi show promise as effective and evolution-proof agents against adult mosquitoes. In addition, transgenic fungi can express anti-plasmodial effector molecules that can target the parasite inside its vector. Despite showing effectiveness in domestic environments as well as against insecticide-resistant mosquitoes, claims towards their deployability in the field and their possible use in integrated vector management programmes have yet to be investigated. Viral pathogens show efficacy in the interruption of sporogonic development of the parasite, and protozoal pathogens exert direct pathogenic potential on larvae and adults with substantial effects on mosquito longevity and fecundity. However, the technology required for their isolation and maintenance impedes their field application. Many agents show promising findings; however, the question remains about the epidemiologic reality of these approaches because even those that have been tried under field conditions still have certain limitations. This review addresses aspects of the microbial control of malaria between proof-of-concept and epidemiologic reality.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Parasite burden and CD36-mediated sequestration are determinants of acute lung injury in an experimental malaria model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona E Lovegrove

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Although acute lung injury (ALI is a common complication of severe malaria, little is known about the underlying molecular basis of lung dysfunction. Animal models have provided powerful insights into the pathogenesis of severe malaria syndromes such as cerebral malaria (CM; however, no model of malaria-induced lung injury has been definitively established. This study used bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL, histopathology and gene expression analysis to examine the development of ALI in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA. BAL fluid of PbA-infected C57BL/6 mice revealed a significant increase in IgM and total protein prior to the development of CM, indicating disruption of the alveolar-capillary membrane barrier-the physiological hallmark of ALI. In contrast to sepsis-induced ALI, BAL fluid cell counts remained constant with no infiltration of neutrophils. Histopathology showed septal inflammation without cellular transmigration into the alveolar spaces. Microarray analysis of lung tissue from PbA-infected mice identified a significant up-regulation of expressed genes associated with the gene ontology categories of defense and immune response. Severity of malaria-induced ALI varied in a panel of inbred mouse strains, and development of ALI correlated with peripheral parasite burden but not CM susceptibility. Cd36(-/- mice, which have decreased parasite lung sequestration, were relatively protected from ALI. In summary, parasite burden and CD36-mediated sequestration in the lung are primary determinants of ALI in experimental murine malaria. Furthermore, differential susceptibility of mouse strains to malaria-induced ALI and CM suggests that distinct genetic determinants may regulate susceptibility to these two important causes of malaria-associated morbidity and mortality.

  18. Evaluation of a loop-mediated isothermal amplification method as a tool for diagnosis of infection by the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iseki, Hiroshi; Kawai, Satoru; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Hirai, Makoto; Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Igarashi, Ikuo

    2010-07-01

    Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a novel method that rapidly amplifies target DNA with high specificity under isothermal conditions. It has been applied as a diagnostic tool for several infectious diseases, including viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. In the present study, we developed a LAMP method for the molecular diagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi infection (PkLAMP) and evaluated its sensitivity, specificity, and clinical applicability. We designed three sets of PkLAMP primers for the species-specific beta-tubulin gene. The primer sets for PkLAMP specifically amplified the autologous DNA extracts of P. knowlesi, and the sensitivity of the test was 100-fold that of single-PCR assay. These results indicate that our PkLAMP method can be used to efficiently distinguish between P. knowlesi and other malaria parasites. To evaluate the feasibility of using in vivo materials, comparisons of PkLAMP and the conventional nested PCR (nPCR) method and microscopic examination were made with blood samples from two experimentally infected monkeys. These studies showed that P. knowlesi infection can be identified much earlier with PkLAMP than with nPCR and microscopy. Moreover, the detection performance of PkLAMP using whole blood as the template was identical to that of PkLAMP when genomic DNA extracts were used. These results suggest that the PkLAMP method is a promising tool for molecular diagnosis of P. knowlesi infection in areas of endemicity.

  19. Evaluation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method as a Tool for Diagnosis of Infection by the Zoonotic Simian Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iseki, Hiroshi; Kawai, Satoru; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Hirai, Makoto; Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Igarashi, Ikuo

    2010-01-01

    Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a novel method that rapidly amplifies target DNA with high specificity under isothermal conditions. It has been applied as a diagnostic tool for several infectious diseases, including viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. In the present study, we developed a LAMP method for the molecular diagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi infection (PkLAMP) and evaluated its sensitivity, specificity, and clinical applicability. We designed three sets of PkLAMP primers for the species-specific β-tubulin gene. The primer sets for PkLAMP specifically amplified the autologous DNA extracts of P. knowlesi, and the sensitivity of the test was 100-fold that of single-PCR assay. These results indicate that our PkLAMP method can be used to efficiently distinguish between P. knowlesi and other malaria parasites. To evaluate the feasibility of using in vivo materials, comparisons of PkLAMP and the conventional nested PCR (nPCR) method and microscopic examination were made with blood samples from two experimentally infected monkeys. These studies showed that P. knowlesi infection can be identified much earlier with PkLAMP than with nPCR and microscopy. Moreover, the detection performance of PkLAMP using whole blood as the template was identical to that of PkLAMP when genomic DNA extracts were used. These results suggest that the PkLAMP method is a promising tool for molecular diagnosis of P. knowlesi infection in areas of endemicity. PMID:20444968

  20. Non-specific Patterns of Vector, Host, and Avian Malaria Parasite Associations in a Central African Rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njabo, Kevin Y; Cornel, Anthony J.; Bonneaud, Camille; Toffelmier, Erin; Sehgal, R.N.M.; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Russell, Andrew F.; Smith, Thomas B.

    2010-01-01

    Malaria parasites use vertebrate hosts for asexual multiplication and Culicidae mosquitoes for sexual and asexual development, yet the literature on avian malaria remains biased towards examining the asexual stages of the life cycle in birds. To fully understand parasite evolution and mechanism of malaria transmission, knowledge of all three components of the vector-host-parasite system is essential. Little is known about avian parasite-vector associations in African rainforests where numerous species of birds are infected with avian haemosporidians of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus. Here we applied high resolution melt qPCR-based techniques and nested PCR to examine the occurrence and diversity of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences of haemosporidian parasites in wild-caught mosquitoes sampled across 12 sites in Cameroon. In all, 3134 mosquitoes representing 27 species were screened. Mosquitoes belonging to four genera (Aedes, Coquillettidia, Culex, and Mansonia) were infected with twenty-two parasite lineages (18 Plasmodium spp. and 4 Haemoproteus spp.). Presence of Plasmodium sporozoites in salivary glands of Coquillettidia aurites further established these mosquitoes as likely vectors. Occurrence of parasite lineages differed significantly among genera, as well as their probability of being infected with malaria across species and sites. Approximately one-third of these lineages were previously detected in other avian host species from the region, indicating that vertebrate host sharing is a common feature and that avian Plasmodium spp. vector breadth does not always accompany vertebrate-host breadth. This study suggests extensive invertebrate host shifts in mosquito-parasite interactions and that avian Plasmodium species are most likely not tightly coevolved with vector species. PMID:21134011

  1. Do mosquitoes transmit the avian malaria-like parasite Haemoproteus? An experimental test of vector competence using mosquito saliva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-López, Rafael; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Gangoso, Laura; Yan, Jiayue; Soriguer, Ramón C; Figuerola, Jordi

    2016-11-28

    The life-cycle of many vector-borne pathogens includes an asexual replication phase in the vertebrate host and sexual reproduction in the insect vector. However, as only a small array of parasites can successfully develop infective phases inside an insect, few insect species are competent vectors for these pathogens. Molecular approaches have identified the potential insect vectors of blood parasites under natural conditions. However, the effectiveness of this methodology for verifying mosquito competence in the transmission of avian malaria parasites and related haemosporidians is still under debate. This is mainly because positive amplifications of parasite DNA in mosquitoes can be obtained not only from sporozoites, the infective phase of the malaria parasites that migrate to salivary glands, but also from different non-infective parasite forms in the body of the vector. Here, we assessed the vectorial capacity of the common mosquito Culex pipiens in the transmission of two parasite genera. A total of 1,560 mosquitoes were allowed to feed on five house sparrows Passer domesticus naturally infected by Haemoproteus or co-infected by Haemoproteus/Plasmodium. A saliva sample of the mosquitoes that survived after 13 days post-exposure was taken to determine the presence of parasite DNA by PCR. Overall, 31.2% mosquito's head-thorax and 5.8% saliva samples analysed showed positive amplifications for avian malaria parasites. In contrast to Haemoproteus DNA, which was not found in either the body parts or the saliva, Plasmodium DNA was detected in both the head-thorax and the saliva of mosquitoes. Parasites isolated from mosquitoes feeding on the same bird corresponded to the same Plasmodium lineage. Our experiment provides good evidence for the competence of Cx. pipiens in the transmission of Plasmodium but not of Haemoproteus. Molecular analyses of saliva are an effective method for testing the vector competence of mosquitoes and other insects in the transmission of

  2. Use of buffy coat thick films in detecting malaria parasites in patients with negative conventional thick films

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chatnapa Duangdee; Noppadon Tangpukdee; Srivicha Krudsood; Polrat Wilairatana

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To determine the frequency of malaria parasite detection from the buffy coat blood ilms by using capillary tube in falciparum malaria patients with negative conventional thick ilms. Methods: 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.Results: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. Conclusions: 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.

  3. Identification of malaria parasite-infected red blood cell surface aptamers by inertial microfluidic SELEX (I-SELEX)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birch, Christina M.; Hou, Han Wei; Han, Jongyoon; Niles, Jacquin C.

    2015-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites invade and remodel human red blood cells (RBCs) by trafficking parasite-synthesized proteins to the RBC surface. While these proteins mediate interactions with host cells that contribute to disease pathogenesis, the infected RBC surface proteome remains poorly characterized. Here we use a novel strategy (I-SELEX) to discover high affinity aptamers that selectively recognize distinct epitopes uniquely present on parasite-infected RBCs. Based on inertial focusing in spiral microfluidic channels, I-SELEX enables stringent partitioning of cells (efficiency ≥ 106) from unbound oligonucleotides at high volume throughput (~2 × 106 cells min-1). Using an RBC model displaying a single, non-native antigen and live malaria parasite-infected RBCs as targets, we establish suitability of this strategy for de novo aptamer selections. We demonstrate recovery of a diverse set of aptamers that recognize distinct, surface-displayed epitopes on parasite-infected RBCs with nanomolar affinity, including an aptamer against the protein responsible for placental sequestration, var2CSA. These findings validate I-SELEX as a broadly applicable aptamer discovery platform that enables identification of new reagents for mapping the parasite-infected RBC surface proteome at higher molecular resolution to potentially contribute to malaria diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine efforts.

  4. 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.

  5. A rapid and robust selection procedure for generating drug-selectable marker-free recombinant malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzoni, Giulia; Briquet, Sylvie; Risco-Castillo, Veronica; Gaultier, Charlotte; Topçu, Selma; Ivănescu, Maria Larisa; Franetich, Jean-François; Hoareau-Coudert, Bénédicte; Mazier, Dominique; Silvie, Olivier

    2014-04-23

    Experimental genetics have been widely used to explore the biology of the malaria parasites. The rodent parasites Plasmodium berghei and less frequently P. yoelii are commonly utilised, as their complete life cycle can be reproduced in the laboratory and because they are genetically tractable via homologous recombination. However, due to the limited number of drug-selectable markers, multiple modifications of the parasite genome are difficult to achieve and require large numbers of mice. Here we describe a novel strategy that combines positive-negative drug selection and flow cytometry-assisted sorting of fluorescent parasites for the rapid generation of drug-selectable marker-free P. berghei and P. yoelii mutant parasites expressing a GFP or a GFP-luciferase cassette, using minimal numbers of mice. We further illustrate how this new strategy facilitates phenotypic analysis of genetically modified parasites by fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging of P. berghei mutants arrested during liver stage development.

  6. Hemolytic C-type lectin CEL-III from sea cucumber expressed in transgenic mosquitoes impairs malaria parasite development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeto Yoshida

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The midgut environment of anopheline mosquitoes plays an important role in the development of the malaria parasite. Using genetic manipulation of anopheline mosquitoes to change the environment in the mosquito midgut may inhibit development of the malaria parasite, thus blocking malaria transmission. Here we generate transgenic Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes that express the C-type lectin CEL-III from the sea cucumber, Cucumaria echinata, in a midgut-specific manner. CEL-III has strong and rapid hemolytic activity toward human and rat erythrocytes in the presence of serum. Importantly, CEL-III binds to ookinetes, leading to strong inhibition of ookinete formation in vitro with an IC(50 of 15 nM. Thus, CEL-III exhibits not only hemolytic activity but also cytotoxicity toward ookinetes. In these transgenic mosquitoes, sporogonic development of Plasmodium berghei is severely impaired. Moderate, but significant inhibition was found against Plasmodium falciparum. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of stably engineered anophelines that affect the Plasmodium transmission dynamics of human malaria. Although our laboratory-based research does not have immediate applications to block natural malaria transmission, these findings have significant implications for the generation of refractory mosquitoes to all species of human Plasmodium and elucidation of mosquito-parasite interactions.

  7. Malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quartan malaria; Falciparum malaria; Biduoterian fever; Blackwater fever; Tertian malaria; Plasmodium ... now only suggested for use in areas where Plasmodium vivax , P. ... is becoming increasingly resistant to anti-malarial medications ...

  8. Transcriptional profiling defines dynamics of parasite tissue sequestration during malaria infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelle, Karell G; Oh, Keunyoung; Buchholz, Kathrin; Narasimhan, Vagheesh; Joice, Regina; Milner, Danny A; Brancucci, Nicolas Mb; Ma, Siyuan; Voss, Till S; Ketman, Ken; Seydel, Karl B; Taylor, Terrie E; Barteneva, Natasha S; Huttenhower, Curtis; Marti, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    During intra-erythrocytic development, late asexually replicating Plasmodium falciparum parasites sequester from peripheral circulation. This facilitates chronic infection and is linked to severe disease and organ-specific pathology including cerebral and placental malaria. Immature gametocytes - sexual stage precursor cells - likewise disappear from circulation. Recent work has demonstrated that these sexual stage parasites are located in the hematopoietic system of the bone marrow before mature gametocytes are released into the bloodstream to facilitate mosquito transmission. However, as sequestration occurs only in vivo and not during in vitro culture, the mechanisms by which it is regulated and enacted (particularly by the gametocyte stage) remain poorly understood. We generated the most comprehensive P. falciparum functional gene network to date by integrating global transcriptional data from a large set of asexual and sexual in vitro samples, patient-derived in vivo samples, and a new set of in vitro samples profiling sexual commitment. We defined more than 250 functional modules (clusters) of genes that are co-expressed primarily during the intra-erythrocytic parasite cycle, including 35 during sexual commitment and gametocyte development. Comparing the in vivo and in vitro datasets allowed us, for the first time, to map the time point of asexual parasite sequestration in patients to 22 hours post-invasion, confirming previous in vitro observations on the dynamics of host cell modification and cytoadherence. Moreover, we were able to define the properties of gametocyte sequestration, demonstrating the presence of two circulating gametocyte populations: gametocyte rings between 0 and approximately 30 hours post-invasion and mature gametocytes after around 7 days post-invasion. This study provides a bioinformatics resource for the functional elucidation of parasite life cycle dynamics and specifically demonstrates the presence of the gametocyte ring stages

  9. Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles from Botanical Sources and Their Use for Control of Medical Insects and Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of "green" processes for the synthesis of nanoparticles is a new branch of nanotechnology. However, knowledge of the bioactivity of nanoparticles against mosquitoes and malaria parasites is limited. We tested silver nanoparticles (average size 450 nm) bio-reduced in 5% Cassia occidentalis ...

  10. Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 and Haemozoin: Wedding Rings for Human Host and Plasmodium falciparum Parasite in Complicated Malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Prato

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available It is generally accepted that the combination of both Plasmodium falciparum parasite and human host factors is involved in the pathogenesis of complicated severe malaria, including cerebral malaria (CM. Among parasite products, the malarial pigment haemozoin (HZ has been shown to impair the functions of mononuclear and endothelial cells. Different CM models were associated with enhanced levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs, a family of proteolytic enzymes able to disrupt subendothelial basement membrane and tight junctions and shed, activate, or inactivate cytokines, chemokines, and other MMPs through cleavage from their precursors. Among MMPs, a good candidate for targeted therapy might be MMP-9, whose mRNA and protein expression enhancement as well as direct proenzyme activation by HZ have been recently investigated in a series of studies by our group and others. In the present paper the role of HZ and MMP-9 in complicated malaria, as well as their interactions, will be discussed.

  11. Pre-elimination stage of malaria in Sri Lanka: assessing the level of hidden parasites in the population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rajakaruna, Rupika S; Alifrangis, Michael; Amerasinghe, Priyanie H

    2010-01-01

    to the process of complete elimination. The existence of a parasite reservoir in a population free from clinical manifestations, would influence the strategy for surveillance and control towards complete elimination. METHODS: The prevalence of hidden parasite reservoirs in two historically malaria endemic...... districts, Anuradhapura and Kurunegala, previously considered as high malaria transmission areas in Sri Lanka, where peaks of transmission follow the rainy seasons was assessed. Blood samples of non-febrile individuals aged five to 55 years were collected from randomly selected areas in the two districts...... participated from both districts comprising mostly adults between the ages 19-55 years. Out of these, only about 1.4% of them (n = 19) could recall having had malaria during the past five years. Analysis of a subset of samples (n = 1322) from the two districts using PCR showed that none of the participants had...

  12. Local mate competition and transmission bottlenecks: a new model for understanding malaria parasite and other sex ratios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, Allison T; Taylor, Peter D

    2014-12-21

    The local mate competition model from sex ratio theory predicts female-biased sex ratios in populations that are highly subdivided during mating, and is thought to accord well with the population structure of malaria parasites. However, the selective advantage of female-biased sex ratios comes from the resulting increase in total reproductive output, an advantage the transmission biology of malaria parasite likely reduces. We develop a mathematical model to determine how bottlenecks in transmission that cause diminishing fitness returns from female production affect sex ratio evolution. We develop four variations of this model that incorporate whether or not parasite clones have the ability to detect others that occupy the same host and whether or not the number of clones affects the total mating population size. Our model indicates that transmission bottlenecks favor less female-biased sex ratios than those predicted under LMC. This effect is particularly pronounced if clones have no information about the presence of coexisting clones and the number of mating individuals per patch is fixed. The model could extend our understanding of malaria parasite sex ratios in three main ways. First, it identifies inconsistencies between the theoretical predictions and the data presented in a previous study, and proposes revised predictions that are more consistent with underlying biology of the parasite. Second, it may account for the positive association between parasite density and sex ratio observed within and between some species. Third, it predicts a relationship between mortality rates in the vector and sex ratios, which appears to be supported by the little existing data we have. While the inspiration for this model came from malaria parasites, it should apply to any system in which per capita dispersal success diminishes with increasing numbers of females in a patch.

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular cloning and biochemical characterization of iron superoxide dismutase from the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium vinckei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Kirtika; Goyal, Manish; Soni, Awakash; Siddiqui, Arif Jamal; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Puri, Sunil K

    2014-12-01

    Plasmodium parasite utilizes superoxide dismutase family proteins to limit the toxicity of reactive oxygen species, such as produced through hemoglobin degradation. These proteins play an important role in parasite survival during intra-erythrocytic phase. We have identified, and biochemically characterized a putative iron dependent superoxide dismutase from rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium vinckei (PvSOD1). The recombinant PvSOD1 protein was purified to homogeneity through a combination of affinity and gel filtration chromatography. Crosslinking, Native-PAGE and FPLC gel filtration analyses documented that PvSOD1 exists as a dimer in solution, a common feature shared by other Fe-SODs. PvSOD1 is cytosolic in localization and its expression is comparatively higher during trophozoite as compared to that of ring and schizont stages. Enzymatic activity of recombinant PvSOD1 was validated using conventional zymogram analyses and xanthine-xanthine oxidase system. Under optimal conditions, PvSOD1 was highly active and catalyzed the dismutation of superoxide radicals. Furthermore, PvSOD1 showed activity over a broad range of pH and temperature. Inhibition studies suggested that PvSOD1 was inactivated by hydrogen peroxide, and peroxynitrite, but not by cyanide and azide. Since, PvSOD1 plays a central role in oxidative defense mechanism, therefore, characterization of PvSOD1 will be exploited in the screening of new superoxide dismutase inhibitors for their antimalarial activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Analysis of short RNAs in the malaria parasite and its red blood cell host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathjen, Tina; Nicol, Clare; McConkey, Glenn; Dalmay, Tamas

    2006-10-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is an RNA degradation process that involves short, double-stranded RNAs (dsRNA) as sequence specificity factors. The natural function of the RNAi machinery is to generate endogenous short double-stranded RNAs to regulate gene expression. It has been shown that treatment of Plasmodium falciparum, the etiologic agent of malaria, with dsRNA induces degradation of the corresponding microRNA (miRNA), yet typical RNAi-associated genes have not been identifiable in the parasite genome. To clarify this discrepancy we set out to clone short RNAs from P. falciparum-infected red blood cells and from purified parasites. We did not find any short RNA that was not a rRNA or tRNA fragment. Indeed, only known human miRNAs were isolated in parasite preparations indicating that very few if any short RNAs exist in P. falciparum. This suggests a different mechanism than classical RNAi in observations of dsRNA-mediated degradation. Of the human miRNAs identified, the human miRNA mir-451 accumulates at a very high level in both infected and healthy red blood cells. Interestingly, mir-451 was not detectable in a series of immortalised cell lines representing progenitor stages of all major blood lineages, suggesting that mir-451 may play a role in the differentiation of erythroid cells.

  16. A subset of group A-like var genes encodes the malaria parasite ligands for binding to human brain endothelial cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Claessens, Antoine; Adams, Yvonne; Ghumra, Ashfaq

    2012-01-01

    of these variants. The clinical in vivo relevance of the HBEC-selected parasites was supported by significantly higher surface recognition of HBEC-selected parasites compared with unselected parasites by antibodies from young African children suffering cerebral malaria (Mann-Whitney test, P = 0...

  17. Genetic Characterization of Plasmodium Putative Pantothenate Kinase Genes Reveals Their Essential Role in Malaria Parasite Transmission to the Mosquito.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Robert J; Cornillot, Emmanuel; Abraham, Amanah; Molina, Emily; Nation, Catherine S; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Aly, Ahmed S I

    2016-09-20

    The metabolic machinery for the biosynthesis of Coenzyme A (CoA) from exogenous pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) has long been considered as an excellent target for the development of selective antimicrobials. Earlier studies in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that pantothenate analogs interfere with pantothenate phosphorylation and block asexual blood stage development. Although two eukaryotic-type putative pantothenate kinase genes (PanK1 and PanK2) have been identified in all malaria parasite species, their role in the development of Plasmodium life cycle stages remains unknown. Here we report on the genetic characterization of PanK1 and PanK2 in P. yoelii. We show that P. yoelii parasites lacking either PanK1 or PanK2 undergo normal asexual stages development and sexual stages differentiation, however they are severely deficient in ookinete, oocyst and sporozoite formation inside the mosquito vector. Quantitative transcriptional analyses in wild-type and knockout parasites demonstrate an important role for these genes in the regulation of expression of other CoA biosynthesis genes. Together, our data provide the first genetic evidence for the importance of the early steps of pantothenate utilization in the regulation of CoA biosynthesis and malaria parasite transmission to Anopheles mosquitoes.

  18. Genetic Characterization of Plasmodium Putative Pantothenate Kinase Genes Reveals Their Essential Role in Malaria Parasite Transmission to the Mosquito

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Robert J.; Cornillot, Emmanuel; Abraham, Amanah; Molina, Emily; Nation, Catherine S.; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Aly, Ahmed S. I.

    2016-01-01

    The metabolic machinery for the biosynthesis of Coenzyme A (CoA) from exogenous pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) has long been considered as an excellent target for the development of selective antimicrobials. Earlier studies in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that pantothenate analogs interfere with pantothenate phosphorylation and block asexual blood stage development. Although two eukaryotic-type putative pantothenate kinase genes (PanK1 and PanK2) have been identified in all malaria parasite species, their role in the development of Plasmodium life cycle stages remains unknown. Here we report on the genetic characterization of PanK1 and PanK2 in P. yoelii. We show that P. yoelii parasites lacking either PanK1 or PanK2 undergo normal asexual stages development and sexual stages differentiation, however they are severely deficient in ookinete, oocyst and sporozoite formation inside the mosquito vector. Quantitative transcriptional analyses in wild-type and knockout parasites demonstrate an important role for these genes in the regulation of expression of other CoA biosynthesis genes. Together, our data provide the first genetic evidence for the importance of the early steps of pantothenate utilization in the regulation of CoA biosynthesis and malaria parasite transmission to Anopheles mosquitoes. PMID:27644319

  19. Exo-erythrocytic development of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A

    2017-03-03

    Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and related haemosporidians (Haemosporida) are responsible for diseases which can be severe and even lethal in avian hosts. These parasites cause not only blood pathology, but also damage various organs due to extensive exo-erythrocytic development all over the body, which is not the case during Plasmodium infections in mammals. However, exo-erythrocytic development (tissue merogony or schizogony) remains the most poorly investigated part of life cycle in all groups of wildlife haemosporidian parasites. In spite of remarkable progress in studies of genetic diversity, ecology and evolutionary biology of avian haemosporidians during the past 20 years, there is not much progress in understanding patterns of exo-erythrocytic development in these parasites. The purpose of this review is to overview the main information on exo-erythrocytic development of avian Plasmodium species and related haemosporidian parasites as a baseline for assisting academic and veterinary medicine researchers in morphological identification of these parasites using tissue stages, and to define future research priorities in this field of avian malariology. The data were considered from peer-reviewed articles and histological material that was accessed in zoological collections in museums of Australia, Europe and the USA. Articles describing tissue stages of avian haemosporidians were included from 1908 to the present. Histological preparations of various organs infected with the exo-erythrocytic stages of different haemosporidian parasites were examined. In all, 229 published articles were included in this review. Exo-erythrocytic stages of avian Plasmodium, Fallisia, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, and Akiba species were analysed, compared and illustrated. Morphological characters of tissue stages that can be used for diagnostic purposes were specified. Recent molecular studies combined with histological research show that avian haemosporidians are more

  20. Glutathione reductase-null malaria parasites have normal blood stage growth but arrest during development in the mosquito.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastrana-Mena, Rebecca; Dinglasan, Rhoel R; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Fuentes-Caraballo, Mariela; Baerga-Ortiz, Abel; Coppens, Isabelle; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Janse, Chris J; Serrano, Adelfa E

    2010-08-27

    Malaria parasites contain a complete glutathione (GSH) redox system, and several enzymes of this system are considered potential targets for antimalarial drugs. Through generation of a gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS)-null mutant of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei, we previously showed that de novo GSH synthesis is not critical for blood stage multiplication but is essential for oocyst development. In this study, phenotype analyses of mutant parasites lacking expression of glutathione reductase (GR) confirmed that GSH metabolism is critical for the mosquito oocyst stage. Similar to what was found for gamma-GCS, GR is not essential for blood stage growth. GR-null parasites showed the same sensitivity to methylene blue and eosin B as wild type parasites, demonstrating that these compounds target molecules other than GR in Plasmodium. Attempts to generate parasites lacking both GR and gamma-GCS by simultaneous disruption of gr and gamma-gcs were unsuccessful. This demonstrates that the maintenance of total GSH levels required for blood stage survival is dependent on either de novo GSH synthesis or glutathione disulfide (GSSG) reduction by Plasmodium GR. Our studies provide new insights into the role of the GSH system in malaria parasites with implications for the development of drugs targeting GSH metabolism.

  1. Towards a noninvasive approach to malaria diagnosis: detection of parasite DNA in body secretions and surface mucosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    A-Elgayoum, Salwa M E; El-Rayah, El-Amin; Giha, Hayder A

    2010-01-01

    Invasive procedures for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes bear a relative risk of transmission of serious blood-borne infectious disease. In this study, a noninvasive approach to malaria diagnosis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of parasite DNA in saliva, buccal mucosa and urine (alternative samples) was examined. Saliva, buccal mucosa and urine samples were collected simultaneously with blood samples from 93 patients with microscopically confirmed Plasmodium falciparum infection. Species-specific primers detected the parasite DNA only in blood samples. However, when the PCR analysis was repeated using MSP1 and MSP2 primers in a subgroup of 21 complete sets of samples, the parasite DNA was detected in all except 3 samples, which were found to be negative with the MSP2 primers. Parasite density, body temperature or patient age did not influence the PCR results. In conclusion, P. falciparum parasite DNA was detected equally in saliva, buccal mucosa and urine of malaria patients, regardless of their ages, body temperatures or parasite density. Surprisingly, the parasite DNA was not amplified by species-specific primers in the alternative samples whereas it was in the blood samples.

  2. The Malaria Parasite's Lactate Transporter PfFNT Is the Target of Antiplasmodial Compounds Identified in Whole Cell Phenotypic Screens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hapuarachchi, Sanduni V.; McConville, Malcolm J.; Martin, Rowena E.; Lehane, Adele M.

    2017-01-01

    In this study the ‘Malaria Box’ chemical library comprising 400 compounds with antiplasmodial activity was screened for compounds that perturb the internal pH of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Fifteen compounds induced an acidification of the parasite cytosol. Two of these did so by inhibiting the parasite’s formate nitrite transporter (PfFNT), which mediates the H+-coupled efflux from the parasite of lactate generated by glycolysis. Both compounds were shown to inhibit lactate transport across the parasite plasma membrane, and the transport of lactate by PfFNT expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. PfFNT inhibition caused accumulation of lactate in parasitised erythrocytes, and swelling of both the parasite and parasitised erythrocyte. Long-term exposure of parasites to one of the inhibitors gave rise to resistant parasites with a mutant form of PfFNT that showed reduced inhibitor sensitivity. This study provides the first evidence that PfFNT is a druggable antimalarial target. PMID:28178359

  3. Malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and can even be fatal. SymptomsWhat are the symptoms of malaria?The symptoms of malaria include:High fever (can often be 104° F ... give someone else malaria?If I do get malaria, should I travel while I have symptoms? Other organizationsInternational Society of Travel MedicineCenters for Disease ...

  4. ANTIOXIDANT VITAMINS LEVELS IN MALARIA PARASITEMIC PREGNANT WOMEN MAY INFLUENCE THE VIRULENCE OF THE PARASITES: RE-APPRAISING SUPPLEMENTATIONS IN MALARIA-ENDEMIC AREAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Some biochemical and haematological changes have been reported in malaria parasitemic pregnant women in urban and rural malaria-endemic areas, indicating different oxidative status of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of some antioxidant vitamins in symptomatic malaria parasitemic pregnant women to re-appraise the need and extent of vitamin supplementations in this condition. It is a cross-sectional study done between September, 2011 and March, 2012. The study involved 119 pregnant women aged between 24 and 36years, who presented in antenatal clinics with full symptoms of malaria infection. They were within the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Malaria density was determined by absolute malaria parasite count while the vitamins (A, C and E were estimated by spectrophotometric methods. Our results showed that vitamin A concentrations in controls, mild and moderate malaria densities were 16.48 and plusmn; 0.75 and micro;g/ml, 15.72 and plusmn; 0.58 and micro;g/ml and 16.19 and plusmn; 1.40 and micro;g/ml respectively, vitamin C were 31.31 and plusmn; 0.97mg/dL; 38.33 and plusmn; 2.73mg/dL and 52.17mg/dL respectively while vitamin E were 0.89 and plusmn; 0.09mg/dL; 2.05 and plusmn; 0.27mg/dL and 3.32 and plusmn; 0.23mg/dL respectively. The results indicated that there were no significant changes in vitamin A while vitamins C and E increased significantly as malaria density increased. The changes in these vitamins are indications of increased endogenous mobilization to fight oxidative stress. We opine that the results are suggestive of extra oxidative stress in symptomatic malaria parasitemia, and that inadequate concentrations of these antioxidants can potentiate the virulence of these parasites.

  5. The remarkable journey of adaptation of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite to New World anopheline mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2014-08-01

    Plasmodium falciparum originated in Africa, dispersed around the world as a result of human migration and had to adapt to several different indigenous anopheline mosquitoes. Anophelines from the New World are evolutionary distant form African ones and this probably resulted in a more stringent selection of Plasmodium as it adapted to these vectors. It is thought that Plasmodium has been genetically selected by some anopheline species through unknown mechanisms. The mosquito immune system can greatly limit infection and P. falciparum evolved a strategy to evade these responses, at least in part mediated by Pfs47, a highly polymorphic gene. We propose that adaptation of P. falciparum to new vectors may require evasion of their immune system. Parasites with a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with the indigenous mosquito vector would be able to survive and be transmitted. The mosquito antiplasmodial response could be an important determinant of P. falciparum population structure and could affect malaria transmission in the Americas.

  6. The remarkable journey of adaptation of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite to New World anopheline mosquitoes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro Molina-Cruz

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum originated in Africa, dispersed around the world as a result of human migration and had to adapt to several different indigenous anopheline mosquitoes. Anophelines from the New World are evolutionary distant form African ones and this probably resulted in a more stringent selection of Plasmodium as it adapted to these vectors. It is thought that Plasmodium has been genetically selected by some anopheline species through unknown mechanisms. The mosquito immune system can greatly limit infection and P. falciparum evolved a strategy to evade these responses, at least in part mediated by Pfs47, a highly polymorphic gene. We propose that adaptation of P. falciparum to new vectors may require evasion of their immune system. Parasites with a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with the indigenous mosquito vector would be able to survive and be transmitted. The mosquito antiplasmodial response could be an important determinant of P. falciparum population structure and could affect malaria transmission in the Americas.

  7. A scalable pipeline for highly effective genetic modification of a malaria parasite

    KAUST Repository

    Pfander, Claudia

    2011-10-23

    In malaria parasites, the systematic experimental validation of drug and vaccine targets by reverse genetics is constrained by the inefficiency of homologous recombination and by the difficulty of manipulating adenine and thymine (A+T)-rich DNA of most Plasmodium species in Escherichia coli. We overcame these roadblocks by creating a high-integrity library of Plasmodium berghei genomic DNA (>77% A+T content) in a bacteriophage N15-based vector that can be modified efficiently using the lambda Red method of recombineering. We built a pipeline for generating P. berghei genetic modification vectors at genome scale in serial liquid cultures on 96-well plates. Vectors have long homology arms, which increase recombination frequency up to tenfold over conventional designs. The feasibility of efficient genetic modification at scale will stimulate collaborative, genome-wide knockout and tagging programs for P. berghei. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Comparative Study on Schizontocidal Activity of Recrystallized or Crude Daphnetin Against Malaria Parasites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QIN-MEI WANG; YI-CHANG NI; JIAN GUO; JIA-TONG WU; YING-JUN QIAN

    2004-01-01

    To compare the schizontocidal activity of recrystallized or crude daphnetin against malaria parasites in vivo. Methods Schizontocidal activity of recrystallized or crude daphnetin at various dosages was assessed in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA using a "4-day suppress assay". Results The comparison of the reduction rate of parasitemia caused by either recrystallized or crude dephnetin showed that ED50 of crude daphnetin was 18.36 mg/kg, with 95% confidence limit of 5.96-56.54 mg/kg while ED50 of recrystallized daphnetin was 11.46 mg/kg, with 95% confidence limit of 8.63-15.22 mg/kg. Conclution The results indicate that the efficacy of recrystallized daphnetin is 37.6% higher than that of crude daphnetin.

  9. A scalable pipeline for highly effective genetic modification of a malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfander, Claudia; Anar, Burcu; Schwach, Frank; Otto, Thomas D; Brochet, Mathieu; Volkmann, Katrin; Quail, Michael A; Pain, Arnab; Rosen, Barry; Skarnes, William; Rayner, Julian C; Billker, Oliver

    2011-10-23

    In malaria parasites, the systematic experimental validation of drug and vaccine targets by reverse genetics is constrained by the inefficiency of homologous recombination and by the difficulty of manipulating adenine and thymine (A+T)-rich DNA of most Plasmodium species in Escherichia coli. We overcame these roadblocks by creating a high-integrity library of Plasmodium berghei genomic DNA (>77% A+T content) in a bacteriophage N15-based vector that can be modified efficiently using the lambda Red method of recombineering. We built a pipeline for generating P. berghei genetic modification vectors at genome scale in serial liquid cultures on 96-well plates. Vectors have long homology arms, which increase recombination frequency up to tenfold over conventional designs. The feasibility of efficient genetic modification at scale will stimulate collaborative, genome-wide knockout and tagging programs for P. berghei.

  10. 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

  11. Plasma concentration of parasite DNA as a measure of disease severity in falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Imwong, M.; Woodrow, C.; Hendriksen, I.C.E.; Veenemans, J.; Verhoef, J.C.M.

    2015-01-01

    In endemic areas malaria parasitemia is common in apparently healthy children and severe malaria is commonly misdiagnosed in patients with incidental parasitemia. We assessed the performance of plasma P. falciparum DNA concentration measurement in distinguishing uncomplicated from severe malaria in

  12. Biochemical characterization of Anopheles gambiae SRPN6, a malaria parasite invasion marker in mosquitoes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunju An

    Full Text Available Serine proteinase inhibitors of the serpin family are well known as negative regulators of hemostasis, thrombolysis and innate immune responses. Additionally, non-inhibitory serpins serve functions as chaperones, hormone transporters, or anti-angiogenic factors. In the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae s.s., at least three serpins (SRPNs are implicated in the innate immune response against malaria parasites. Based on reverse genetic and cell biological analyses, AgSRPN6 limits parasite numbers and transmission and has been postulated to control melanization and complement function in mosquitoes. This study aimed to characterize AgSRPN6 biophysically and determine its biochemical mode of action. The structure model of AgSRPN6, as predicted by I-Tasser showed the protein in the native serpin fold, with three central β-sheets, nine surrounding α-helices, and a protruding reactive center loop. This structure is in agreement with biophysical and functional data obtained from recombinant (r AgSRPN6, produced in Escherichia coli. The physical properties of purified rAgSRPN6 were investigated by means of analytical ultracentrifugation, circular dichroism, and differential scanning calorimetry tools. The recombinant protein exists predominantly as a monomer in solution, is composed of a mixture of α-helices and β-sheets, and has a mid-point unfolding temperature of 56°C. Recombinant AgSRPN6 strongly inhibited porcine pancreatic kallikrein and to a lesser extent bovine pancreatic trypsin in vitro. Furthermore, rAgSRPN6 formed inhibitory, SDS-stable, higher molecular weight complexes with prophenoloxidase-activating proteinase (PAP1, PAP3, and Hemolymph protein (HP6, which are required for melanization in the lepidopteran model organism, Manduca sexta. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that AgSRPN6 takes on a native serpin fold and is an inhibitor of trypsin-like serine proteinases.

  13. Evolutionary implications for the determination of gametocyte sex ratios under fecundity variation for the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teboh-Ewungkem, Miranda I; Yuster, Thomas

    2016-11-07

    We investigate sex ratio determination strategies for the Malaria parasite based on putative changes in its male fecundity over the lifetime of an infection, and how such strategies might have evolved. We model fitness using the incomplete fertilization limit developed in Teboh-Ewungkem and Yuster (2010). We divide the infection lifetime of a strain into two periods, assume each human is infected by two different strains, and assume that there are two different strategies present among the many strains in the general malaria parasite population. A unique parameter dependent ESS exists for all parameter values in both of our main models, with many such strategies unbeatable. These strategies produce both male and female biased population sex ratios with female bias predominating over most of the parameter space. The first model (SKM) suggests that strains without the ability to detect characteristics of other strains present could still have evolved strategies to vary sex ratio over their lifetimes, and the second model (DKM) suggests strains with detection abilities might have evolved after that. Our analysis suggests that once the ability to detect the population sizes and fecundities of other strains has developed, detection of their sex ratio choices confers no additional selective advantage in that a DKM ESS is still an ESS among sex ratio detecting strategies. The sex ratio choices for each DKM ESS are given by the equilibrium values of the parameter equivalent sex ratio detecting strategy described in Teboh-Ewungkem and Wang (2012), in the case where two strains employing that strategy encounter each other.

  14. Implication of the Mosquito Midgut Microbiota in the Defense against Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yuemei; Manfredini, Fabio; Dimopoulos, George

    2009-01-01

    Malaria-transmitting mosquitoes are continuously exposed to microbes, including their midgut microbiota. This naturally acquired microbial flora can modulate the mosquito's vectorial capacity by inhibiting the development of Plasmodium and other human pathogens through an unknown mechanism. We have undertaken a comprehensive functional genomic approach to elucidate the molecular interplay between the bacterial co-infection and the development of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in its natural vector Anopheles gambiae. Global transcription profiling of septic and aseptic mosquitoes identified a significant subset of immune genes that were mostly up-regulated by the mosquito's microbial flora, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Microbe-free aseptic mosquitoes displayed an increased susceptibility to Plasmodium infection while co-feeding mosquitoes with bacteria and P. falciparum gametocytes resulted in lower than normal infection levels. Infection analyses suggest the bacteria-mediated anti-Plasmodium effect is mediated by the mosquitoes' antimicrobial immune responses, plausibly through activation of basal immunity. We show that the microbiota can modulate the anti-Plasmodium effects of some immune genes. In sum, the microbiota plays an essential role in modulating the mosquito's capacity to sustain Plasmodium infection. PMID:19424427

  15. Long- and short-term selective forces on malaria parasite genomes

    KAUST Repository

    Nygaard, Sanne

    2010-09-09

    Plasmodium parasites, the causal agents of malaria, result in more than 1 million deaths annually. Plasmodium are unicellular eukaryotes with small ~23 Mb genomes encoding ~5200 protein-coding genes. The protein-coding genes comprise about half of these genomes. Although evolutionary processes have a significant impact on malaria control, the selective pressures within Plasmodium genomes are poorly understood, particularly in the non-protein-coding portion of the genome. We use evolutionary methods to describe selective processes in both the coding and non-coding regions of these genomes. Based on genome alignments of seven Plasmodium species, we show that protein-coding, intergenic and intronic regions are all subject to purifying selection and we identify 670 conserved non-genic elements. We then use genome-wide polymorphism data from P. falciparum to describe short-term selective processes in this species and identify some candidate genes for balancing (diversifying) selection. Our analyses suggest that there are many functional elements in the non-genic regions of these genomes and that adaptive evolution has occurred more frequently in the protein-coding regions of the genome. © 2010 Nygaard et al.

  16. Implication of the mosquito midgut microbiota in the defense against malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuemei Dong

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Malaria-transmitting mosquitoes are continuously exposed to microbes, including their midgut microbiota. This naturally acquired microbial flora can modulate the mosquito's vectorial capacity by inhibiting the development of Plasmodium and other human pathogens through an unknown mechanism. We have undertaken a comprehensive functional genomic approach to elucidate the molecular interplay between the bacterial co-infection and the development of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in its natural vector Anopheles gambiae. Global transcription profiling of septic and aseptic mosquitoes identified a significant subset of immune genes that were mostly up-regulated by the mosquito's microbial flora, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Microbe-free aseptic mosquitoes displayed an increased susceptibility to Plasmodium infection while co-feeding mosquitoes with bacteria and P. falciparum gametocytes resulted in lower than normal infection levels. Infection analyses suggest the bacteria-mediated anti-Plasmodium effect is mediated by the mosquitoes' antimicrobial immune responses, plausibly through activation of basal immunity. We show that the microbiota can modulate the anti-Plasmodium effects of some immune genes. In sum, the microbiota plays an essential role in modulating the mosquito's capacity to sustain Plasmodium infection.

  17. Quantitation of malaria parasite-erythrocyte cell-cell interactions using optical tweezers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crick, Alex J; Theron, Michel; Tiffert, Teresa; Lew, Virgilio L; Cicuta, Pietro; Rayner, Julian C

    2014-08-19

    Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites is an essential step for parasite survival and hence the pathogenesis of malaria. Invasion has been studied intensively, but our cellular understanding has been limited by the fact that it occurs very rapidly: invasion is generally complete within 1 min, and shortly thereafter the merozoites, at least in in vitro culture, lose their invasive capacity. The rapid nature of the process, and hence the narrow time window in which measurements can be taken, have limited the tools available to quantitate invasion. Here we employ optical tweezers to study individual invasion events for what we believe is the first time, showing that newly released P. falciparum merozoites, delivered via optical tweezers to a target erythrocyte, retain their ability to invade. Even spent merozoites, which had lost the ability to invade, retain the ability to adhere to erythrocytes, and furthermore can still induce transient local membrane deformations in the erythrocyte membrane. We use this technology to measure the strength of the adhesive force between merozoites and erythrocytes, and to probe the cellular mode of action of known invasion inhibitory treatments. These data add to our understanding of the erythrocyte-merozoite interactions that occur during invasion, and demonstrate the power of optical tweezers technologies in unraveling the blood-stage biology of malaria. Copyright © 2014 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Active case surveillance, passive case surveillance and asymptomatic malaria parasite screening illustrate different age distribution, spatial clustering and seasonality in western Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Guofa; Afrane, Yaw A; Malla, Sameer; Githeko, Andrew K; Yan, Guiyun

    2015-01-28

    Epidemiological characteristics of clinical malaria may differ from asymptomatic infections, thus both cross-sectional parasite screening and longitudinal clinical case surveillance are necessary for malaria transmission monitoring and control. In order to monitor malaria transmission, surveillance of clinical malaria from two years of active case surveillance in three cohorts of 6,750 individuals, asymptomatic parasitaemia cases of 5,300 individuals and clinical cases in three study areas were carried out in the western Kenyan highlands in 2009 and 2010. Age distribution, seasonality and spatial clustering were analysed. The results revealed a significant difference in the age distribution of clinical cases between passive and active case surveillance, and between clinical case rate and asymptomatic parasite rate. The number of reported cases from health facilities significantly underestimated clinical malaria incidence. The increase in asymptomatic parasite prevalence from low to high transmission seasons was significantly higher for infants (malaria cases emerged in the uphill areas during the peak season. Different surveillance methods revealed different characteristics of malaria infections. The new transmission hotspots identified during the peak season with only active case surveillance is an important observation with clear implications in the context of malaria elimination. Both mass parasite screening and active case surveillance are essential for malaria transmission monitoring and control.

  19. Malaria, desnutrición y parasitosis intestinal en los niños colombianos: interrelaciones interrrelations between malaria, malnutrition and intestinal parasitism in colombian children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Carmona Fonseca

    2004-09-01

    . lamblia (20%; 9 el estrés oxidativo se ha encontrado en los pacientes adultos de Turbo con malaria no complicada, ya sea vivax o falciparum, sin diferencia por especie. This paper reviews Colombian data as well as Grupo Malaria (Universidad de Antioquia findings on the relationship between malaria, malnutrition and immune response, observed in children (4-11 year old of Turbo, El Bagre and Zaragoza. These results and interpretations articulate with other studies about such relationships, including intestinal parasites. Emphasis is made on the association of malaria, intestinal parasites and malnutrition (chronic malnutrition, vitamin A deficit, that is explored through its articulation with the immune system. Clinical application (individual and epidemiological (collective recommendations are formulated towards vitamin A supplementation and use of wide spectrum antihelmintic therapy. In Turbo and El Bagre-Zaragoza: 1 malaria frequency during 1996-2000 registered annual parasite indexes of 39 (Turbo and 156 (El Bagre- Zaragoza; 2 chronic malnutrition risk (height/ age index was 63% in children aged 3-11; 3 anemia was observed in 26% of malaric children and in 17% of the non-malaric ones; 4 retinol was low (<0,3 µg/ml in 65% of children with malaria and in 35% of children without malaria; 5 apoprotein A-1 values were abnormally low in non-malaric children but they were lower in malaric children; 6 interleukin 10 levels were significantly higher in 96% of the malaric children (4-9 year old when compared to non-malaric children and to normal values; 7 total and specific anti-Plasmodium IgE and TNF-α were abnormally high in children of both municipalities; 8 among healthy teachers and nursing students aged 18-44, intestinal parasites were observed in 97%, while intestinal pathogenic parasites were detected in 42%. In 5 year old children of Turbo presence of pathogenic intestinal parasites was detected in 30-35%, with predominance of G. lamblia (20%; 9 oxidative stress was

  20. Optimized Pan-species and Speciation Duplex Real-time PCR Assays for Plasmodium Parasites Detection in Malaria Vectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandeu, Maurice Marcel; Moussiliou, Azizath; Moiroux, Nicolas; Padonou, Gilles G.; Massougbodji, Achille; Corbel, Vincent; Tuikue Ndam, Nicaise

    2012-01-01

    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, PPlasmodium 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 utility of employing an accurate

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pattamawan Chimma

    2009-10-01

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

  2. Experimental evaluation of the relationship between lethal or non-lethal virulence and transmission success in malaria parasite infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nithiuthai S

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary theory suggests that the selection pressure on parasites to maximize their transmission determines their optimal host exploitation strategies and thus their virulence. Establishing the adaptive basis to parasite life history traits has important consequences for predicting parasite responses to public health interventions. In this study we examine the extent to which malaria parasites conform to the predicted adaptive trade-off between transmission and virulence, as defined by mortality. The majority of natural infections, however, result in sub-lethal virulent effects (e.g. anaemia and are often composed of many strains. Both sub-lethal effects and pathogen population structure have been theoretically shown to have important consequences for virulence evolution. Thus, we additionally examine the relationship between anaemia and transmission in single and mixed clone infections. Results Whereas there was a trade-off between transmission success and virulence as defined by host mortality, contradictory clone-specific patterns occurred when defining virulence by anaemia. A negative relationship between anaemia and transmission success was found for one of the parasite clones, whereas there was no relationship for the other. Notably the two parasite clones also differed in a transmission phenotype (gametocyte sex ratio that has previously been shown to respond adaptively to a changing blood environment. In addition, as predicted by evolutionary theory, mixed infections resulted in increased anaemia. The increased anaemia was, however, not correlated with any discernable parasite trait (e.g. parasite density or with increased transmission. Conclusions We found some evidence supporting the hypothesis that there is an adaptive basis correlating virulence (as defined by host mortality and transmission success in malaria parasites. This confirms the validity of applying evolutionary virulence theory to biomedical

  3. Unique apicomplexan IMC sub-compartment proteins are early markers for apical polarity in the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulin, Benoit; Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Brady, Declan; Silvie, Olivier; Wright, Megan H; Ferguson, David J P; Wall, Richard J; Whipple, Sarah; Guttery, David S; Tate, Edward W; Wickstead, Bill; Holder, Anthony A; Tewari, Rita

    2013-01-01

    The phylum Apicomplexa comprises over 5000 intracellular protozoan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, that are clinically important pathogens affecting humans and livestock. Malaria parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium possess a pellicle comprised of a plasmalemma and inner membrane complex (IMC), which is implicated in parasite motility and invasion. Using live cell imaging and reverse genetics in the rodent malaria model P. berghei, we localise two unique IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs) and examine their role in defining apical polarity during zygote (ookinete) development. We show that these proteins localise to the anterior apical end of the parasite where IMC organisation is initiated, and are expressed at all developmental stages, especially those that are invasive. Both ISP proteins are N-myristoylated, phosphorylated and membrane-bound. Gene disruption studies suggest that ISP1 is likely essential for parasite development, whereas ISP3 is not. However, an absence of ISP3 alters the apical localisation of ISP1 in all invasive stages including ookinetes and sporozoites, suggesting a coordinated function for these proteins in the organisation of apical polarity in the parasite.

  4. Unique apicomplexan IMC sub-compartment proteins are early markers for apical polarity in the malaria parasite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit Poulin

    2013-09-01

    The phylum Apicomplexa comprises over 5000 intracellular protozoan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, that are clinically important pathogens affecting humans and livestock. Malaria parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium possess a pellicle comprised of a plasmalemma and inner membrane complex (IMC, which is implicated in parasite motility and invasion. Using live cell imaging and reverse genetics in the rodent malaria model P. berghei, we localise two unique IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs and examine their role in defining apical polarity during zygote (ookinete development. We show that these proteins localise to the anterior apical end of the parasite where IMC organisation is initiated, and are expressed at all developmental stages, especially those that are invasive. Both ISP proteins are N-myristoylated, phosphorylated and membrane-bound. Gene disruption studies suggest that ISP1 is likely essential for parasite development, whereas ISP3 is not. However, an absence of ISP3 alters the apical localisation of ISP1 in all invasive stages including ookinetes and sporozoites, suggesting a coordinated function for these proteins in the organisation of apical polarity in the parasite.

  5. Multivariable analysis of host amino acids in plasma and liver during infection of malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii

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    Saiki Erisha

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria is the most significant human parasitic disease, and yet understanding of the energy metabolism of the principle pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum, remains to be fully elucidated. Amino acids were shown to be essential nutritional requirements since early times and much of the current knowledge of Plasmodium energy metabolism is based on early biochemical work, performed using basic analytical techniques, carried out almost exclusively on human plasma with considerable inter-individual variability. Methods In order to further characterize the fate of amino acid metabolism in malaria parasite, multivariate analysis using statistical modelling of amino acid concentrations (aminogram of plasma and liver were determined in host infected with rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii. Results and conclusion Comprehensive and statistical aminogram analysis revealed that P. yoelii infection caused drastic change of plasma and liver aminogram, and altered intra- and inter-correlation of amino acid concentration in plasma and liver. These findings of the interactions between amino acids and Plasmodium infection may provide insight to reveal the interaction between nutrients and parasites.

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

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    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.

  7. Distribution, prevalence and host specificity of avian malaria parasites across the breeding range of the migratory lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, Bethany L; Lyons, Amanda C; Bouzat, Juan L

    2014-06-01

    The lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) is a ground-nesting passerine that breeds across much of the central North American steppe and sand barrens. Through genotyping and sequencing of avian malaria parasites we examined levels of malaria prevalence and determined the distribution of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium lineages across the breeding range of the lark sparrow. Analysis of 365 birds collected from five breeding locations revealed relatively high levels of malaria prevalence in adults (80 %) and juveniles (46 %), with infections being primarily of Haemoproteus (91 % of sequenced samples). Levels of genetic diversity and genetic structure of malaria parasites with respect to the avian host populations revealed distinct patterns for Haemoproteus and Plasmodium, most likely as a result of their distinct life histories, host specificity, and transmission vectors. With the exception of one common Haemoproteus haplotype detected in all populations, all other haplotypes were either population-specific or shared by two to three populations. A hierarchical analysis of molecular variance of Haemoproteus sequences revealed that 15-18 % of the genetic variation can be explained by differences among host populations/locations (p < 0.001). In contrast to the regional patterns of genetic differentiation detected for the lark sparrow populations, Haemoproteus parasites showed high levels of population-specific variation and no significant differences among regions, which suggests that the population dynamics of the parasites may be driven by evolutionary processes operating at small spatial scales (e.g., at the level of host populations). These results highlight the potential effects of host population structure on the demographic and evolutionary dynamics of parasites.

  8. Risk factors connected to gastrointestinal parasites in mantled Alouatta palliata mexicana and black howler monkeys Alouatta pigra living in continuous and in fragmented rainforests in Mexico

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    Genoveva TREJO-MACÍAS, Alejandro ESTRADA

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study we document the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites (helminths and protozoans found in fecal samples of populations of Alouatta palliata mexicana and of A. pigra in Los Tuxtlas and in Palenque, southeast Mexico, and its relation to habitat condition, sex/age and season. Nineteen parasite morphotypes were detected in the fecal samples from populations of the two howler monkeys, of which 58% were shared by both species. When considering all parasite species, populations of the two howler species were more likely to be parasitized in fragmented habitat compared to continuous habitat. Individuals of both howler monkey species that lived in fragmented habitat had a higher prevalence of Controrchis biliophilus. A. p. mexicana individuals had a higher prevalence of Trypanoxyuris minutus than A. pigra, probably the result of the larger group sizes found in the former species, and T. minutus was more likely to be found in A. palliata individuals that lived in fragmented habitat. Adult A. p. mexicana males had a higher risk of being parasitized compared to adult females, but these differences were not detected in A. pigra. Parasite species such as Entamoeba sp., Nematoda sp. 28, Nematoda sp. B and Parabronema sp. where only found during the wet season in both howler monkey species. Populations of both howler monkey species had a higher prevalence of Nematoda sp. A in the wet season and Ascaridae eggs were only detected during the wet season in A. pigra. Other parasites detected displayed no clear seasonal pattern [Current Zoology 58 (3: 375-383, 2012].

  9. Risk factors connected to gastrointestinal parasites in mantled Alouatta palliata mexicana and black howler monkeys Alouatta pigra living in continuous and in fragmented rainforests in Mexico

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Genoveva TREJO-MAC(I)AS; Alejandro ESTRADA

    2012-01-01

    In this study we document the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites (helminths and protozoans) found in fecal samples of populations of Alouatta palliata mexicana and of A.pigra in Los Tuxtlas and in Palenque,southeast Mexico,and its relation to habitat condition,sex/age and season.Nineteen parasite morphotypes were detected in the fecal samples from populations of the two howler monkeys,of which 58% were shared by both species.When considering all parasite species,populations of the two howler species were more likely to be parasitized in fragmented habitat compared to continuous habitat.Individuals of both howler monkey species that lived in fragmented habitat had a higher prevalence of Controrchis biliophilus.A.p.mexicana individuals had a higher prevalence of Trypanoxyuris minutus than A.pigra,probably the result of the larger group sizes found in the former species,and T.minutus was more likely to be found in A.palliata individuals that lived in fragmented habitat.Adult A.p.mexicana males had a higher risk of being parasitized compared to adult females,but these differences were not detected in A.pigra.Parasite species such as Entamoeba sp.,Nematoda sp.28.Nematoda sp.B and Parabronema sp.where only found during the wet season m both howler monkey species.Populations of both howler monkey species had a higher prevalence of Nematoda sp.A in the wet season and Ascaridae eggs were only detected during the wet season in A.pigra.Other parasites detected displayed no clear seasonal pattern.

  10. The transmission potential of malaria-infected mosquitoes (An.gambiae-Keele, An.arabiensis-Ifakara) is altered by the vertebrate blood type they consume during parasite development

    OpenAIRE

    Emami, S Noushin; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa C; Ferguson, Heather M

    2017-01-01

    The efficiency of malaria parasite development within mosquito vectors (sporogony) is a critical determinant of transmission. Sporogony is thought to be controlled by environmental conditions and mosquito/parasite genetic factors, with minimal contribution from mosquito behaviour during the period of parasite development. We tested this assumption by investigating whether successful sporogony of Plasmodium falciparum parasites through to human-infectious transmission stages is influenced by t...

  11. 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

  12. Structural and functional insights into the malaria parasite moving junction complex.

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    Brigitte Vulliez-Le Normand

    Full Text Available Members of the phylum Apicomplexa, which include the malaria parasite Plasmodium, share many features in their invasion mechanism in spite of their diverse host cell specificities and life cycle characteristics. The formation of a moving junction (MJ between the membranes of the invading apicomplexan parasite and the host cell is common to these intracellular pathogens. The MJ contains two key parasite components: the surface protein Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1 and its receptor, the Rhoptry Neck Protein (RON complex, which is targeted to the host cell membrane during invasion. In particular, RON2, a transmembrane component of the RON complex, interacts directly with AMA1. Here, we report the crystal structure of AMA1 from Plasmodium falciparum in complex with a peptide derived from the extracellular region of PfRON2, highlighting clear specificities of the P. falciparum RON2-AMA1 interaction. The receptor-binding site of PfAMA1 comprises the hydrophobic groove and a region that becomes exposed by displacement of the flexible Domain II loop. Mutations of key contact residues of PfRON2 and PfAMA1 abrogate binding between the recombinant proteins. Although PfRON2 contacts some polymorphic residues, binding studies with PfAMA1 from different strains show that these have little effect on affinity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the PfRON2 peptide inhibits erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum merozoites and that this strong inhibitory potency is not affected by AMA1 polymorphisms. In parallel, we have determined the crystal structure of PfAMA1 in complex with the invasion-inhibitory peptide R1 derived by phage display, revealing an unexpected structural mimicry of the PfRON2 peptide. These results identify the key residues governing the interactions between AMA1 and RON2 in P. falciparum and suggest novel approaches to antimalarial therapeutics.

  13. Population genomic scan for candidate signatures of balancing selection to guide antigen characterization in malaria parasites.

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    Alfred Amambua-Ngwa

    Full Text Available Acquired immunity in vertebrates maintains polymorphisms in endemic pathogens, leading to identifiable signatures of balancing selection. To comprehensively survey for genes under such selection in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, we generated paired-end short-read sequences of parasites in clinical isolates from an endemic Gambian population, which were mapped to the 3D7 strain reference genome to yield high-quality genome-wide coding sequence data for 65 isolates. A minority of genes did not map reliably, including the hypervariable var, rifin, and stevor families, but 5,056 genes (90.9% of all in the genome had >70% sequence coverage with minimum read depth of 5 for at least 50 isolates, of which 2,853 genes contained 3 or more single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs for analysis of polymorphic site frequency spectra. Against an overall background of negatively skewed frequencies, as expected from historical population expansion combined with purifying selection, the outlying minority of genes with signatures indicating exceptionally intermediate frequencies were identified. Comparing genes with different stage-specificity, such signatures were most common in those with peak expression at the merozoite stage that invades erythrocytes. Members of clag, PfMC-2TM, surfin, and msp3-like gene families were highly represented, the strongest signature being in the msp3-like gene PF10_0355. Analysis of msp3-like transcripts in 45 clinical and 11 laboratory adapted isolates grown to merozoite-containing schizont stages revealed surprisingly low expression of PF10_0355. In diverse clonal parasite lines the protein product was expressed in a minority of mature schizonts (<1% in most lines and ∼10% in clone HB3, and eight sub-clones of HB3 cultured separately had an intermediate spectrum of positive frequencies (0.9 to 7.5%, indicating phase variable expression of this polymorphic antigen. This and other identified targets of balancing

  14. High-Throughput Testing of Antibody-Dependent Binding Inhibition of Placental Malaria Parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Morten A; Salanti, Ali

    2015-01-01

    The particular virulence of Plasmodium falciparum manifests in diverse severe malaria syndromes as cerebral malaria, severe anemia and placental malaria. The cause of both the severity and the diversity of infection outcome, is the ability of the infected erythrocyte (IE) to bind a range......-throughput assay used in the preclinical and clinical development of a VAR2CSA based vaccine against placental malaria....

  15. Resistance of a rodent malaria parasite to a thymidylate synthase inhibitor induces an apoptotic parasite death and imposes a huge cost of fitness.

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    Francis W Muregi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The greatest impediment to effective malaria control is drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum, and thus understanding how resistance impacts on the parasite's fitness and pathogenicity may aid in malaria control strategy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To generate resistance, P. berghei NK65 was subjected to 5-fluoroorotate (FOA, an inhibitor of thymidylate synthase, TS pressure in mice. After 15 generations of drug pressure, the 2% DT (the delay time for proliferation of parasites to 2% parasitaemia, relative to untreated wild-type controls reduced from 8 days to 4, equalling the controls. Drug sensitivity studies confirmed that FOA-resistance was stable. During serial passaging in the absence of drug, resistant parasite maintained low growth rates (parasitaemia, 15.5%±2.9, 7 dpi relative to the wild-type (45.6%±8.4, translating into resistance cost of fitness of 66.0%. The resistant parasite showed an apoptosis-like death, as confirmed by light and transmission electron microscopy and corroborated by oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The resistant parasite was less fit than the wild-type, which implies that in the absence of drug pressure in the field, the wild-type alleles may expand and allow drugs withdrawn due to resistance to be reintroduced. FOA resistance led to depleted dTTP pools, causing thymineless parasite death via apoptosis. This supports the tenet that unicellular eukaryotes, like metazoans, also undergo apoptosis. This is the first report where resistance to a chemical stimulus and not the stimulus itself is shown to induce apoptosis in a unicellular parasite. This finding is relevant in cancer therapy, since thymineless cell death induced by resistance to TS-inhibitors can further be optimized via inhibition of pyrimidine salvage enzymes, thus providing a synergistic impact. We conclude that since apoptosis is a process that can be pharmacologically modulated, the parasite

  16. A conserved region in the EBL proteins is implicated in microneme targeting of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treeck, Moritz; Struck, Nicole S; Haase, Silvia; Langer, Christine; Herrmann, Susann; Healer, Julie; Cowman, Alan F; Gilberger, Tim W

    2006-10-20

    The proliferation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum within the human host is dependent upon invasion of erythrocytes. This process is accomplished by the merozoite, a highly specialized form of the parasite. Secretory organelles including micronemes and rhoptries play a pivotal role in the invasion process by storing and releasing parasite proteins. The mechanism of protein sorting to these compartments is unclear. Using a transgenic approach we show that trafficking of the most abundant micronemal proteins (members of the EBL-family: EBA-175, EBA-140/BAEBL, and EBA-181/JSEBL) is independent of their cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains, respectively. To identify the minimal sequence requirements for microneme trafficking, we generated parasites expressing EBA-GFP chimeric proteins and analyzed their distribution within the infected erythrocyte. This revealed that: (i) a conserved cysteine-rich region in the ectodomain is necessary for protein trafficking to the micronemes and (ii) correct sorting is dependent on accurate timing of expression.

  17. Cloning, expression and functional characterization of heme detoxification protein (HDP) from the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium vinckei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soni, Awakash; Goyal, Manish; Prakash, Kirtika; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Siddiqui, Arif Jamal; Puri, Sunil K

    2015-07-15

    Malaria parasite resides within the host red blood cells, where it degrades vast amount of haemoglobin. During haemoglobin degradation, toxic free heme is liberated which subsequently gets converted into hemozoin. This process is facilitated by action of various proteins viz. heme detoxification protein (HDP), and histidine rich proteins II and III (HRP II & III). Out of these, HDP is the most potent in hemozoin formation and plays indispensible role for parasite survival. Despite this, the detailed study of HDP from rodent and simian parasite has not been performed till date. Here, we have cloned and sequenced hdp gene from different malaria parasites Plasmodium vinckei, Plasmodium yoelii, Plasmodium knowlesi, and Plasmodium cynomolgi. Furthermore, HDP from P. vinckei (PvHDP) was over-expressed and purified for detailed characterization. The PvHDP is cytosolic, expressed throughout the intra erythrocytic stages and its expression is higher in late trophozoite and schizont stages of parasite. The PvHDP interacts with free heme (KD=89 nM) and efficiently converts heme into hemozoin in a time and concentration dependent manner. Moreover, PvHDP showed activity in acidic pH and over a broad range of temperature. Histidine modification of PvHDP using DEPC showed reduction in heme binding and hemozoin formation, thus emphasizing the importance of histidine residues in heme binding and subsequent hemozoin production. Furthermore, applicability of PvHDP to screen anti-plasmodial agents (targeting heme to hemozoin conversion) was also determined using chloroquine, and mefloquine as reference antimalarials. Results showed that these drugs inhibit heme polymerization effectively in a concentration dependent manner. In conclusion, our study identified and biochemically characterized HDP from rodent malaria parasite P. vinckei and this will help to develop a high throughput assay to evaluate new antimalarials targeting hemozoin pathway. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All

  18. Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupasquier, Isabelle

    1989-01-01

    Malaria, the greatest pandemia in the world, claims an estimated one million lives each year in Africa alone. While it may still be said that for the most part malaria is found in what is known as the world's poverty belt, cases are now frequently diagnosed in western countries. Due to resistant strains of malaria which have developed because of…

  19. Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupasquier, Isabelle

    1989-01-01

    Malaria, the greatest pandemia in the world, claims an estimated one million lives each year in Africa alone. While it may still be said that for the most part malaria is found in what is known as the world's poverty belt, cases are now frequently diagnosed in western countries. Due to resistant strains of malaria which have developed because of…

  20. 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...... detection of even a few parasites is becoming increasingly important for the continued combat against the disease. We believe that the presented droplet microfluidics platform, which has a high potential for adaptation to point-of-care setups suitable for low-resource settings, may contribute significantly...

  1. 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.

  2. A PCR method based on 18S rRNA gene for detection of malaria parasite in Balochistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahwani, Zubeda; Aleem, Abdul; Ahmed, Nazeer; Mushtaq, Muhammad; Afridi, Sarwat

    2016-12-01

    To establish a polymerase chain reaction method based on 18S ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene for the detection of plasmodium deoxyribonucleic acid in patients suffering from malaria symptoms. This cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2013 to October 2014 in district Quetta of Pakistan's Balochistan province. Blood samples were collected from patients suffering from general symptoms of malaria. A polymerase chain reaction-based technique was applied for the diagnosis of malaria and detection of responsible species in the patients who were suspected to carry the parasite. Performance of this polymerase chain reaction method was compared against the microscopy results. Parasite number was also calculated for microscopy positive samples.All samples after the genomic deoxyribonucleic acid isolation were subjected to polymerase chain reaction amplification and agarose gel electrophoresis. Of the 200 samples, 114(57%) were confirmed as positive and 86(43%) as negative for malaria by microscopy. Polymerase chain reaction identified 124(62%) samples as positive and 76(38%) as negative for malaria. The comparative analysis of both diagnostic methods confirmed 109(54.5%) samples as positive by both techniques. Besides, 5(6.58%) samples were identified as false positive and 15(12.1%) samples as false negative by polymerase chain reaction. Sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive values for polymerase chain reaction in comparison to microscopy were 87.98%, 93.42% and 96%, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction-based methods in malaria diagnosis and species identification were found to be more effective than other techniques.

  3. Protein kinase C-dependent signaling controls the midgut epithelial barrier to malaria parasite infection in anopheline mosquitoes.

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    Nazzy Pakpour

    Full Text Available Anopheline mosquitoes are the primary vectors of parasites in the genus Plasmodium, the causative agents of malaria. Malaria parasites undergo a series of complex transformations upon ingestion by the mosquito host. During this process, the physical barrier of the midgut epithelium, along with innate immune defenses, functionally restrict parasite development. Although these defenses have been studied for some time, the regulatory factors that control them are poorly understood. The protein kinase C (PKC gene family consists of serine/threonine kinases that serve as central signaling molecules and regulators of a broad spectrum of cellular processes including epithelial barrier function and immunity. Indeed, PKCs are highly conserved, ranging from 7 isoforms in Drosophila to 16 isoforms in mammals, yet none have been identified in mosquitoes. Despite conservation of the PKC gene family and their potential as targets for transmission-blocking strategies for malaria, no direct connections between PKCs, the mosquito immune response or epithelial barrier integrity are known. Here, we identify and characterize six PKC gene family members--PKCδ, PKCε, PKCζ, PKD, PKN, and an indeterminate conventional PKC--in Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the anopheline PKCs support most subfamily assignments. All six PKCs are expressed in the midgut epithelia of A. gambiae and A. stephensi post-blood feeding, indicating availability for signaling in a tissue that is critical for malaria parasite development. Although inhibition of PKC enzymatic activity decreased NF-κB-regulated anti-microbial peptide expression in mosquito cells in vitro, PKC inhibition had no effect on expression of a panel of immune genes in the midgut epithelium in vivo. PKC inhibition did, however, significantly increase midgut barrier integrity and decrease development of P. falciparum oocysts in A. stephensi, suggesting that PKC

  4. MHC-I affects infection intensity but not infection status with a frequent avian malaria parasite in blue tits.

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    Helena Westerdahl

    Full Text Available Host resistance against parasites depends on three aspects: the ability to prevent, control and clear infections. In vertebrates the immune system consists of innate and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is particularly important for preventing infection and eradicating established infections at an early stage while adaptive immunity is slow, but powerful, and essential for controlling infection intensities and eventually clearing infections. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC molecules are central in adaptive immunity, and studies on parasite resistance and MHC in wild animals have found effects on both infection intensity (parasite load and infection status (infected or not. It seems MHC can affect both the ability to control infection intensities and the ability to clear infections. However, these two aspects have rarely been considered simultaneously, and their relative importance in natural populations is therefore unclear. Here we investigate if MHC class I genotype affects infection intensity and infection status with a frequent avian malaria infection Haemoproteus majoris in a natural population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. We found a significant negative association between a single MHC allele and infection intensity but no association with infection status. Blue tits that carry a specific MHC allele seem able to suppress H. majoris infection intensity, while we have no evidence that this allele also has an effect on clearance of the H. majoris infection, a result that is in contrast with some previous studies of MHC and avian malaria. A likely explanation could be that the clearance rate of avian malaria parasites differs between avian malaria lineages and/or between avian hosts.

  5. MHC-I affects infection intensity but not infection status with a frequent avian malaria parasite in blue tits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerdahl, Helena; Stjernman, Martin; Råberg, Lars; Lannefors, Mimi; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2013-01-01

    Host resistance against parasites depends on three aspects: the ability to prevent, control and clear infections. In vertebrates the immune system consists of innate and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is particularly important for preventing infection and eradicating established infections at an early stage while adaptive immunity is slow, but powerful, and essential for controlling infection intensities and eventually clearing infections. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules are central in adaptive immunity, and studies on parasite resistance and MHC in wild animals have found effects on both infection intensity (parasite load) and infection status (infected or not). It seems MHC can affect both the ability to control infection intensities and the ability to clear infections. However, these two aspects have rarely been considered simultaneously, and their relative importance in natural populations is therefore unclear. Here we investigate if MHC class I genotype affects infection intensity and infection status with a frequent avian malaria infection Haemoproteus majoris in a natural population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. We found a significant negative association between a single MHC allele and infection intensity but no association with infection status. Blue tits that carry a specific MHC allele seem able to suppress H. majoris infection intensity, while we have no evidence that this allele also has an effect on clearance of the H. majoris infection, a result that is in contrast with some previous studies of MHC and avian malaria. A likely explanation could be that the clearance rate of avian malaria parasites differs between avian malaria lineages and/or between avian hosts.

  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. Two-stage sample-to-answer system based on nucleic acid amplification approach for detection of malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qing; Nam, Jeonghun; Kim, Sangho; Lim, Chwee Teck; Park, Mi Kyoung; Shin, Yong

    2016-08-15

    Rapid, early, and accurate diagnosis of malaria is essential for effective disease management and surveillance, and can reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. Although significant advances have been achieved for the diagnosis of malaria, these technologies are still far from ideal, being time consuming, complex and poorly sensitive as well as requiring separate assays for sample processing and detection. Therefore, the development of a fast and sensitive method that can integrate sample processing with detection of malarial infection is desirable. Here, we report a two-stage sample-to-answer system based on nucleic acid amplification approach for detection of malaria parasites. It combines the Dimethyl adipimidate (DMA)/Thin film Sample processing (DTS) technique as a first stage and the Mach-Zehnder Interferometer-Isothermal solid-phase DNA Amplification (MZI-IDA) sensing technique as a second stage. The system can extract DNA from malarial parasites using DTS technique in a closed system, not only reducing sample loss and contamination, but also facilitating the multiplexed malarial DNA detection using the fast and accurate MZI-IDA technique. Here, we demonstrated that this system can deliver results within 60min (including sample processing, amplification and detection) with high sensitivity (malaria in low-resource settings.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R

    2015-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria and is responsible for essentially all malaria-related deaths. The accumulation in various tissues of erythrocytes infected by mature P. falciparum parasites can lead to circulatory disturbances and inflammation, and is thought 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 surface, and how the var genes encoding them are regulated. The role of PfEMP1 in the pathogenesis of malaria, PfEMP1-specific immune responses, and the prospect of PfEMP1-specific vaccination against malaria are also covered briefly. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Malaria Induces Anemia through CD8+ T Cell-Dependent Parasite Clearance and Erythrocyte Removal in the Spleen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safeukui, Innocent; Gomez, Noé D.; Adelani, Aanuoluwa A.; Burte, Florence; Afolabi, Nathaniel K.; Akondy, Rama; Velazquez, Peter; Tewari, Rita; Buffet, Pierre; Brown, Biobele J.; Shokunbi, Wuraola A.; Olaleye, David; Sodeinde, Olugbemiro; Kazura, James; Ahmed, Rafi; Mohandas, Narla; Fernandez-Reyes, Delmiro

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT  Severe malarial anemia (SMA) in semi-immune individuals eliminates both infected and uninfected erythrocytes and is a frequent fatal complication. It is proportional not to circulating parasitemia but total parasite mass (sequestered) in the organs. Thus, immune responses that clear parasites in organs may trigger changes leading to anemia. Here, we use an outbred-rat model where increasing parasite removal in the spleen escalated uninfected-erythrocyte removal. Splenic parasite clearance was associated with activated CD8+ T cells, immunodepletion of which prevented parasite clearance. CD8+ T cell repletion and concomitant reduction of the parasite load was associated with exacerbated (40 to 60%) hemoglobin loss and changes in properties of uninfected erythrocytes. Together, these data suggest that CD8+ T cell-dependent parasite clearance causes erythrocyte removal in the spleen and thus anemia. In children infected with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, elevation of parasite biomass (not the number of circulating parasites) increased the odds ratio for SMA by 3.5-fold (95% confidence intervals [CI95%], 1.8- to 7.5-fold). CD8+ T cell expansion/activation independently increased the odds ratio by 2.4-fold (CI95%, 1.0- to 5.7-fold). Concomitant increases in both conferred a 7-fold (CI95%, 1.9- to 27.4-fold)-greater risk for SMA. Together, these data suggest that CD8+-dependent parasite clearance may predispose individuals to uninfected-erythrocyte loss and SMA, thus informing severe disease diagnosis and strategies for vaccine development. PMID:25604792

  10. The evolution and putative function of phosducin-like proteins in the malaria parasite Plasmodium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putonti, Catherine; Quach, Bryan; Kooistra, Rachel L; Kanzok, Stefan M

    2013-01-01

    Ubiquitous to the proteomes of all living species is the presence of proteins containing the thioredoxin (Trx)-domain. The best characterized Trx-domain containing proteins include the enzymes involved in cellular redox metabolism facilitated by their cysteine-containing active site. But not all members of the Trx-fold superfamily exhibit this catalytic motif, e.g., the phosducin-like (PhLP) family of proteins. Genome sequencing efforts have uncovered new Trx-domain containing proteins, and their redox activity and cellular functions have yet to be determined. The genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium contains multiple thioredoxins and thioredoxin-like proteins which are of considerable interest given their role in the parasite's antioxidant defense. While adaptations within the Trx-domain have been studied, primarily with respect to redox active structures, PhLP proteins have not been examined. Using the uncharacterized phosducin-like protein from Plasmodium berghei PhLP-1, we investigated the evolution of PhLP proteins across all branches of the tree of life. As a result of our analysis, we have discovered the presence of two additional PhLP proteins in Plasmodium, PhLP-2 and PhLP-3. Sequence homology with annotated PhLP proteins in other species confirms that the Plasmodium PhLP-2 and PhLP-3 belong to the PhLP family of proteins. Furthermore, as a result of our analysis we hypothesize that the PhLP-2 thioredoxin was lost over time given its absence from higher-order eukaryotes. Probing deeper into the putative function of these proteins, inspection of the active sites indicate that PbPhLP-1 and PbPhLP-2 may be redox active while PbPhLP-3 is very likely not. The results of this phylogenetic study provide insight into the emergence of this family of Trx-domain containing proteins.

  11. Structure and Reaction Mechanism of Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferase from the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soon Goo; Kim, Youngchang; Alpert, Tara D.; Nagata, Akina; Jez, Joseph M.

    2012-01-01

    In the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a multifunctional phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase (PfPMT) catalyzes the methylation of phosphoethanolamine (pEA) to phosphocholine for membrane biogenesis. This pathway is also found in plant and nematodes, but PMT from these organisms use multiple methyltransferase domains for the S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) reactions. Because PfPMT is essential for normal growth and survival of Plasmodium and is not found in humans, it is an antiparasitic target. Here we describe the 1.55 Å resolution crystal structure of PfPMT in complex with AdoMet by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion phasing. In addition, 1.19–1.52 Å resolution structures of PfPMT with pEA (substrate), phosphocholine (product), sinefungin (inhibitor), and both pEA and S-adenosylhomocysteine bound were determined. These structures suggest that domain rearrangements occur upon ligand binding and provide insight on active site architecture defining the AdoMet and phosphobase binding sites. Functional characterization of 27 site-directed mutants identifies critical active site residues and suggests that Tyr-19 and His-132 form a catalytic dyad. Kinetic analysis, isothermal titration calorimetry, and protein crystallography of the Y19F and H132A mutants suggest a reaction mechanism for the PMT. Not only are Tyr-19 and His-132 required for phosphobase methylation, but they also form a “catalytic” latch that locks ligands in the active site and orders the site for catalysis. This study provides the first insight on this antiparasitic target enzyme essential for survival of the malaria parasite; however, further studies of the multidomain PMT from plants and nematodes are needed to understand the evolutionary division of metabolic function in the phosphobase pathway of these organisms. PMID:22117061

  12. Inhibition of Plasmepsin V activity demonstrates its essential role in protein export, PfEMP1 display, and survival of malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sleebs, Brad E; Lopaticki, Sash; Marapana, Danushka S

    2014-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports several hundred proteins into the infected erythrocyte that are involved in cellular remodeling and severe virulence. The export mechanism involves the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL), which is a cleavage site for the parasite protease, Plasmep...

  13. An epidemiological study to assess Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence and malaria control measures in Burkina Faso and Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diallo, Aldiouma; Sié, Ali; Sirima, Sodiomon; Sylla, Khadime; Ndiaye, Mahmadou; Bountogo, Mamadou; Ouedraogo, Espérance; Tine, Roger; Ndiaye, Assane; Coulibaly, Boubacar; Ouedraogo, Alphonse; Faye, Babacar; Ba, El Hadji; Compaore, Guillaume; Tiono, Alfred; Sokhna, Cheikh; Yé, Maurice; Diarra, Amidou; Bahmanyar, Edith Roset; De Boer, Melanie; Pirçon, Jean-Yves; Usuf, Effua Abigail

    2017-02-06

    Malariometric information is needed to decide how to introduce malaria vaccines and evaluate their impact in sub-Saharan African countries. This cross-sectional study (NCT01954264) was conducted between October and November, 2013, corresponding to the high malaria transmission season, in four sites with Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (DSS) [two sites with moderate-to-high malaria endemicity in Burkina Faso (Nouna and Saponé) and two sites with low malaria endemicity in Senegal (Keur Socé and Niakhar)]. Children (N = 2421) were randomly selected from the DSS lists of the study sites and were stratified into two age groups (6 months-4 years and 5-9 years). A blood sample was collected from each child to evaluate parasite prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum and other Plasmodium species and gametocyte density by microscopy, and rapid diagnosis test in the event of fever within 24 h. Case report forms were used to evaluate malaria control measures and other factors. Plasmodium falciparum was identified in 707 (29.2%) children, with a higher prevalence in Burkina Faso than Senegal (57.5 vs 0.9% of children). In Burkina Faso, prevalence was 57.7% in Nouna and 41.9% in Saponé in the 6 months-4 years age group, and 75.4% in Nouna and 70.1% in Saponé in the 5-9 years age group. Infections with other Plasmodium species were rare and only detected in Burkina Faso. While mosquito nets were used by 88.6-97.0 and 64.7-80.2% of children in Burkina Faso and Senegal, other malaria control measures evaluated at individual level were uncommon. In Burkina Faso, exploratory analyses suggested that use of malaria treatment or any other medication within 14 days, and use of insecticide spray within 7 days decreased the prevalence of malaria infection; older age, rural residence, natural floor, grass/palm roof, and unavailability of electricity in the house were factors associated with increased malaria occurrence. Plasmodium falciparum infection prevalence in children

  14. 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

  15. The effect of anti-rosetting agents against malaria parasites under physiological flow conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne Adams

    Full Text Available Rosetting remains the dominant malaria parasite adhesion phenotype associated with severe disease and pathogenicity in Africa. The formation of rosettes, whereby a Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocyte (IE adheres to two or more non-IEs, is thought to facilitate the occlusion of microvascular blood vessels by adhering to host endothelial cells and other bound IEs. Current methods of determining the rosette-disrupting capabilities of antibodies/drugs have focused on static assays. As IEs in vivo are exposed to shear stresses within the microvasculature, the effect of flow conditions on rosetting requires further examination. This study establishes a new rosetting flow assay using a closed perfusion system together with inverted fluorescence microscopy and image analysis, and confirms previous reports that rosettes exist under shear stresses equivalent to those present in the microvasculature (0.5-1.0 dyn/cm(2. Furthermore, we tested the effectiveness of rosette-disrupting PfEMP1 antibodies, heparin and fucoidan over a range of concentrations on two P. falciparum strains, and found no statistically significant differences between the results of static and flow assays. The new flow assay is a valuable addition to the tools available to study rosetting. However, the static assay has good predictive value and remains useful as the standard screening test for rosette-disrupting interventions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Puf mediates translation repression of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates in malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Miao

    Full Text Available Translational control of gene expression plays an essential role in development. In malaria parasites, translational regulation is critical during the development of specialized transition stages between the vertebrate host and mosquito vector. Here we show that a Pumilio/FBF (Puf family RNA-binding protein, PfPuf2, is required for the translation repression of a number of transcripts in gametocytes including two genes encoding the transmission-blocking vaccine candidates Pfs25 and Pfs28. Whereas studies to date support a paradigm of Puf-mediated translation regulation through 3' untranslated regions (UTRs of target mRNAs, this study, for the first time, identifies a functional Puf-binding element (PBE in the 5'UTR of pfs25. We provide both in vitro and in vivo evidence to demonstrate that PfPuf2 binds to the PBEs in pfs25 and pfs28 to mediate translation repression. This finding provides a renewed view of Pufs as versatile translation regulators and sheds light on their functions in the development of lower branches of eukaryotes.

  19. Malaria proteases mediate inside-out egress of gametocytes from red blood cells following parasite transmission to the mosquito.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sologub, Ludmilla; Kuehn, Andrea; Kern, Selina; Przyborski, Jude; Schillig, Rebecca; Pradel, Gabriele

    2011-06-01

    Malaria parasites reside in human erythrocytes within a parasitophorous vacuole. The parasites are transmitted from the human to the mosquito by the uptake of intraerythrocytic gametocytes during a blood meal, which in the midgut become activated by external stimuli and subsequently egress from the enveloping erythrocyte. Gametocyte egress is a crucial step for the parasite to prepare for fertilization, but the molecular mechanisms of egress are not well understood. Via electron microscopy, we show that Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes exit the erythrocyte by an inside-out type of egress. The parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) ruptures at multiple sites within less than a minute following activation, a process that requires a temperature drop and parasite contact with xanthurenic acid. PVM rupture can also be triggered by the ionophore nigericin and is sensitive to the cysteine protease inhibitor E-64d. Following PVM rupture the subpellicular membrane begins to disintegrate. This membrane is specific to malaria gametocytes, and disintegration is impaired by the aspartic protease inhibitor EPNP and the cysteine/serine protease inhibitor TLCK. Approximately 15 min post activation, the erythrocyte membrane ruptures at a single breaking point, which can be inhibited by inhibitors TLCK and TPCK. In all cases inhibitor treatment results in interrupted gametogenesis. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Translocation of sickle cell erythrocyte microRNAs into Plasmodium falciparum inhibits parasite translation and contributes to malaria resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaMonte, Gregory; Philip, Nisha; Reardon, Joseph; Lacsina, Joshua R; Majoros, William; Chapman, Lesley; Thornburg, Courtney D; Telen, Marilyn J; Ohler, Uwe; Nicchitta, Christopher V; Haystead, Timothy; Chi, Jen-Tsan

    2012-08-16

    Erythrocytes carrying a variant hemoglobin allele (HbS), which causes sickle cell disease and resists infection by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The molecular basis of this resistance, which has long been recognized as multifactorial, remains incompletely understood. Here we show that the dysregulated microRNA (miRNA) composition, of either heterozygous HbAS or homozygous HbSS erythrocytes, contributes to resistance against P. falciparum. During the intraerythrocytic life cycle of P. falciparum, a subset of erythrocyte miRNAs translocate into the parasite. Two miRNAs, miR-451 and let-7i, were highly enriched in HbAS and HbSS erythrocytes, and these miRNAs, along with miR-223, negatively regulated parasite growth. Surprisingly, we found that miR-451 and let-7i integrated into essential parasite messenger RNAs and, via impaired ribosomal loading, resulted in translational inhibition. Hence, sickle cell erythrocytes exhibit cell-intrinsic resistance to malaria in part through an atypical miRNA activity, which may represent a unique host defense strategy against complex eukaryotic pathogens.

  1. Identification of pre-erythrocytic malaria antigens that target hepatocytes for killing in vivo and contribute to protection elicited by whole-parasite vaccination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Chen

    Full Text Available Pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccines, including those based on whole-parasite approaches, have shown protective efficacy in animal and human studies. However few pre-erythocytic antigens other than the immunodominant circumsporozoite protein (CSP have been studied in depth with the goal of developing potent subunit malaria vaccines that are suited for use in endemic areas. Here we describe a novel technique to identify pre-erythrocytic malaria antigens that contribute to protection elicited by whole-parasite vaccination in the mouse model. Our approach combines immunization with genetically attenuated parasites and challenge with DNA plasmids encoding for potential protective pre-erythrocytic malaria antigens as luciferase fusions by hydrodynamic tail vein injection. After optimizing the technique, we first showed that immunization with Pyfabb/f-, a P. yoelii genetically attenuated parasite, induces killing of CSP-presenting hepatocytes. Depletion of CD8+ but not CD4+ T cells diminished the killing of CSP-expressing hepatocytes, indicating that killing is CD8+ T cell-dependent. Finally we showed that the use of heterologous prime/boost immunization strategies that use genetically attenuated parasites and DNA vaccines enabled the characterization of a novel pre-erythrocytic antigen, Tmp21, as a contributor to Pyfabb/f- induced protection. This technique will be valuable for identification of potentially protective liver stage antigens and has the potential to contribute to the understanding of immunity elicited by whole parasite vaccination, as well as the development of effective subunit malaria vaccines.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ghorbal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  3. [Intestinal parasites in white-faced capuchin monkeys Cebus capucinus (Primates: Cebidae) inhabiting a protected area in the Limón province of Northeastern Costa Rica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinchilla, Misael; Urbani, Bernardo; Valerio, Idalia; Vanegas, Juan Carlos

    2010-12-01

    Deforestation of tropical forests is threatening monkey biodiversity and their health status, dependent of an ecologically undisturbed area. To asses this relationship, we analyzed parasite occurrence in their intestines. The study was conducted at the Estación Biológica La Suerte (EBLS), Limón, Costa Rica. The group of white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) was observed between March and December of 2006. A total of 75 feces samples were obtained. Once a sample was collected, the eaten plant type was identified to family and species level, and feces were processed in the laboratory to determine parasite incidence. Results showed that Moraceae was the most represented family in the samples. Among parasites, Strongyloides spp. and Acanthocephala were the most common. Positive prevalence of parasites was found similar and independent of sex and age of capuchin individuals. Microsporids were mainly reported in feces associated with Piperaceae. A low presence of these parasites was found in samples associated with Myrtaceae, with possible anti-parasite active components. The occurrence of parasites was relatively high in EBLS, when compared to other regions in Costa Rica. The higher occurrence of parasites observed in capuchins at EBLS may be due to the fact that this rain forest is surrounded by areas affected by human activities. We suggest the promotion of research in neotropical primates parasitology, for a better comprehension of the parasite-host relationship, and in a long term, being able to understand the ecosystems where they coexist, and consequently, preserve the biodiversity of the whole region.

  4. Malaria parasite cGMP-dependent protein kinase regulates blood stage merozoite secretory organelle discharge and egress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine R Collins

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The malaria parasite replicates within an intraerythrocytic parasitophorous vacuole (PV. Eventually, in a tightly regulated process called egress, proteins of the PV and intracellular merozoite surface are modified by an essential parasite serine protease called PfSUB1, whilst the enclosing PV and erythrocyte membranes rupture, releasing merozoites to invade fresh erythrocytes. Inhibition of the Plasmodium falciparum cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PfPKG prevents egress, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here we show that PfPKG activity is required for PfSUB1 discharge into the PV, as well as for release of distinct merozoite organelles called micronemes. Stimulation of PfPKG by inhibiting parasite phosphodiesterase activity induces premature PfSUB1 discharge and egress of developmentally immature, non-invasive parasites. Our findings identify the signalling pathway that regulates PfSUB1 function and egress, and raise the possibility of targeting PfPKG or parasite phosphodiesterases in therapeutic approaches to dysregulate critical protease-mediated steps in the parasite life cycle.

  5. Competitive release and facilitation of drug-resistant parasites after therapeutic chemotherapy in a rodent malaria model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wargo, A.R.; Huijben, S.; De Roode, J. C.; Shepherd, J.; Read, A.F.

    2007-01-01

    Malaria infections frequently consist of mixtures of drug-resistant and drug-sensitive parasites. If crowding occurs, where clonal population densities are suppressed by the presence of coinfecting clones, removal of susceptible clones by drug treatment could allow resistant clones to expand into the newly vacated niche space within a host. Theoretical models show that, if such competitive release occurs, it can be a potent contributor to the strength of selection, greatly accelerating the rate at which resistance spreads in a population. A variety of correlational field data suggest that competitive release could occur in human malaria populations, but direct evidence cannot be ethically obtained from human infections. Here we show competitive release after pyrimethamine curative chemotherapy of acute infections of the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi in laboratory mice. The expansion of resistant parasite numbers after treatment resulted in enhanced transmission-stage densities. After the elimination or near-elimination of sensitive parasites, the number of resistant parasites increased beyond that achieved when a competitor had never been present. Thus, a substantial competitive release occurred, markedly elevating the fitness advantages of drug resistance above those arising from survival alone. This finding may explain the rapid spread of drug resistance and the subsequently brief useful lifespans of some antimalarial drugs. In a second experiment, where subcurative chemotherapy was administered, the resistant clone was only partly released from competitive suppression and experienced a restriction in the size of its expansion after treatment. This finding raises the prospect of harnessing in-host ecology to slow the spread of drug resistance. ?? 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

  6. Malaria-related anaemia: a Latin American perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Pablo Quintero

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is the most important parasitic disease worldwide, responsible for an estimated 225 million clinical cases each year. It mainly affects children, pregnant women and non-immune adults who frequently die victims of cerebral manifestations and anaemia. Although the contribution of the American continent to the global malaria burden is only around 1.2 million clinical cases annually, there are 170 million inhabitants living at risk of malaria transmission in this region. On the African continent, where Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent human malaria parasite, anaemia is responsible for about half of the malaria-related deaths. Conversely, in Latin America (LA, malaria-related anaemia appears to be uncommon, though there is a limited knowledge about its real prevalence. This may be partially explained by several factors, including that the overall malaria burden in LA is significantly lower than that of Africa, that Plasmodium vivax, the predominant Plasmodium species in the region, appears to display a different clinical spectrus and most likely because better health services in LA prevent the development of severe malaria cases. With the aim of contributing to the understanding of the real importance of malaria-related anaemia in LA, we discuss here a revision of the available literature on the subject and the usefulness of experimental animal models, including New World monkeys, particularly for the study of the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of malaria.

  7. Prolonged antigen presentation is required for optimal CD8+ T cell responses against malaria liver stage parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian A Cockburn

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Immunization with irradiated sporozoites is currently the most effective vaccination strategy against liver stages of malaria parasites, yet the mechanisms underpinning the success of this approach are unknown. Here we show that the complete development of protective CD8+ T cell responses requires prolonged antigen presentation. Using TCR transgenic cells specific for the malaria circumsporozoite protein, a leading vaccine candidate, we found that sporozoite antigen persists for over 8 weeks after immunization--a remarkable finding since irradiated sporozoites are incapable of replication and do not differentiate beyond early liver stages. Persisting antigen was detected in lymphoid organs and depends on the presence of CD11c+ cells. Prolonged antigen presentation enhanced the magnitude of the CD8+ T cell response in a number of ways. Firstly, reducing the time primed CD8+ T cells were exposed to antigen in vivo severely reduced the final size of the developing memory population. Secondly, fully developed memory cells expanded in previously immunized mice but not when transferred to naïve animals. Finally, persisting antigen was able to prime naïve cells, including recent thymic emigrants, to become functional effector cells capable of eliminating parasites in the liver. Together these data show that the optimal development of protective CD8+ T cell immunity against malaria liver stages is dependent upon the prolonged presentation of sporozoite-derived antigen.

  8. Malaria parasite infection compromises control of concurrent systemic non-typhoidal Salmonella infection via IL-10-mediated alteration of myeloid cell function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lokken, Kristen L; Mooney, Jason P; Butler, Brian P; Xavier, Mariana N; Chau, Jennifer Y; Schaltenberg, Nicola; Begum, Ramie H; Müller, Werner; Luckhart, Shirley; Tsolis, Renée M

    2014-05-01

    Non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes (NTS) cause a self-limited gastroenteritis in immunocompetent individuals, while children with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria can develop a life-threatening disseminated infection. This co-infection is a major source of child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the mechanisms by which malaria contributes to increased risk of NTS bacteremia are incompletely understood. Here, we report that in a mouse co-infection model, malaria parasite infection blunts inflammatory responses to NTS, leading to decreased inflammatory pathology and increased systemic bacterial colonization. Blunting of NTS-induced inflammatory responses required induction of IL-10 by the parasites. In the absence of malaria parasite infection, administration of recombinant IL-10 together with induction of anemia had an additive effect on systemic bacterial colonization. Mice that were conditionally deficient for either myeloid cell IL-10 production or myeloid cell expression of IL-10 receptor were better able to control systemic Salmonella infection, suggesting that phagocytic cells are both producers and targets of malaria parasite-induced IL-10. Thus, IL-10 produced during the immune response to malaria increases susceptibility to disseminated NTS infection by suppressing the ability of myeloid cells, most likely macrophages, to control bacterial infection.

  9. A novel ENU-induced ankyrin-1 mutation impairs parasite invasion and increases erythrocyte clearance during malaria infection in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hong Ming; Bauer, Denis C.; Lelliott, Patrick M.; Greth, Andreas; McMorran, Brendan J.; Foote, Simon J.; Burgio, Gaetan

    2016-01-01

    Genetic defects in various red blood cell (RBC) cytoskeletal proteins have been long associated with changes in susceptibility towards malaria infection. In particular, while ankyrin (Ank-1) mutations account for approximately 50% of hereditary spherocytosis (HS) cases, an association with malaria is not well-established, and conflicting evidence has been reported. We describe a novel N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced ankyrin mutation MRI61689 that gives rise to two different ankyrin transcripts: one with an introduced splice acceptor site resulting a frameshift, the other with a skipped exon. Ank-1(MRI61689/+) mice exhibit an HS-like phenotype including reduction in mean corpuscular volume (MCV), increased osmotic fragility and reduced RBC deformability. They were also found to be resistant to rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi infection. Parasites in Ank-1(MRI61689/+) erythrocytes grew normally, but red cells showed resistance to merozoite invasion. Uninfected Ank-1(MRI61689/+) erythrocytes were also more likely to be cleared from circulation during infection; the “bystander effect”. This increased clearance is a novel resistance mechanism which was not observed in previous ankyrin mouse models. We propose that this bystander effect is due to reduced deformability of Ank-1(MRI61689/+) erythrocytes. This paper highlights the complex roles ankyrin plays in mediating malaria resistance. PMID:27848995

  10. Molecular Detection of Plasmodium malariae/Plasmodium brasilianum in Non-Human Primates in Captivity in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes-Ramírez, Alicia; Jiménez-Soto, Mauricio; Castro, Ruth; Romero-Zuñiga, Juan José; Dolz, Gaby

    2017-01-01

    One hundred and fifty-two blood samples of non-human primates of thirteen rescue centers in Costa Rica were analyzed to determine the presence of species of Plasmodium using thick blood smears, semi-nested multiplex polymerase chain reaction (SnM-PCR) for species differentiation, cloning and sequencing for confirmation. Using thick blood smears, two samples were determined to contain the Plasmodium malariae parasite, with SnM-PCR, a total of five (3.3%) samples were positive to P. malariae, cloning and sequencing confirmed both smear samples as P. malariae. One sample amplified a larger and conserved region of 18S rDNA for the genus Plasmodium and sequencing confirmed the results obtained microscopically and through SnM-PCR tests. Sequencing and construction of a phylogenetic tree of this sample revealed that the P. malariae/P. brasilianum parasite (GenBank KU999995) found in a howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) is identical to that recently reported in humans in Costa Rica. The SnM-PCR detected P. malariae/P. brasilianum parasite in different non-human primate species in captivity and in various regions of the southern Atlantic and Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The similarity of the sequences of parasites found in humans and a monkey suggests that monkeys may be acting as reservoirs of P.malariae/P. brasilianum, for which reason it is important, to include them in control and eradication programs.

  11. Molecular Detection of Plasmodium malariae/Plasmodium brasilianum in Non-Human Primates in Captivity in Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes-Ramírez, Alicia; Jiménez-Soto, Mauricio; Castro, Ruth; Romero-Zuñiga, Juan José

    2017-01-01

    One hundred and fifty-two blood samples of non-human primates of thirteen rescue centers in Costa Rica were analyzed to determine the presence of species of Plasmodium using thick blood smears, semi-nested multiplex polymerase chain reaction (SnM-PCR) for species differentiation, cloning and sequencing for confirmation. Using thick blood smears, two samples were determined to contain the Plasmodium malariae parasite, with SnM-PCR, a total of five (3.3%) samples were positive to P. malariae, cloning and sequencing confirmed both smear samples as P. malariae. One sample amplified a larger and conserved region of 18S rDNA for the genus Plasmodium and sequencing confirmed the results obtained microscopically and through SnM-PCR tests. Sequencing and construction of a phylogenetic tree of this sample revealed that the P. malariae/P. brasilianum parasite (GenBank KU999995) found in a howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) is identical to that recently reported in humans in Costa Rica. The SnM-PCR detected P. malariae/P. brasilianum parasite in different non-human primate species in captivity and in various regions of the southern Atlantic and Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The similarity of the sequences of parasites found in humans and a monkey suggests that monkeys may be acting as reservoirs of P.malariae/P. brasilianum, for which reason it is important, to include them in control and eradication programs. PMID:28125696

  12. Using rapid diagnostic tests as source of malaria parasite DNA for molecular analyses in the era of declining malaria prevalence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ishengoma, Deus S; Lwitiho, Sudi; Madebe, Rashid A

    2011-01-01

    Malaria prevalence has recently declined markedly in many parts of Tanzania and other sub-Saharan African countries due to scaling-up of control interventions including more efficient treatment regimens (e.g. artemisinin-based combination therapy) and insecticide-treated bed nets. Although contin...

  13. HIV impairs opsonic phagocytic clearance of pregnancy-associated malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Keen

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Primigravid (PG women are at risk for pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM. Multigravid (MG women acquire protection against PAM; however, HIV infection impairs this protective response. Protection against PAM is associated with the production of IgG specific for variant surface antigens (VSA-PAM expressed by chondroitin sulfate A (CSA-adhering parasitized erythrocytes (PEs. We hypothesized that VSA-PAM-specific IgG confers protection by promoting opsonic phagocytosis of PAM isolates and that HIV infection impairs this response. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We assessed the ability of VSA-PAM-specific IgG to promote opsonic phagocytosis of CSA-adhering PEs and the impact of HIV infection on this process. Opsonic phagocytosis assays were performed using the CSA-adherent parasite line CS2 and human and murine macrophages. CS2 PEs were opsonized with plasma or purified IgG subclasses from HIV-negative or HIV-infected PG and MG Kenyan women or sympatric men. Levels of IgG subclasses specific for VSA-PAM were compared in HIV-negative and HIV-infected women by flow cytometry. Plasma from HIV-negative MG women, but not PG women or men, promoted the opsonic phagocytosis of CSA-binding PEs (p < 0.001. This function depended on VSA-PAM-specific plasma IgG1 and IgG3. HIV-infected MG women had significantly lower plasma opsonizing activity (median phagocytic index 46 [interquartile range (IQR 18-195] versus 251 [IQR 93-397], p = 0.006 and levels of VSA-PAM-specific IgG1 (mean fluorescence intensity [MFI] 13 [IQR 11-20] versus 30 [IQR 23-41], p < 0.001 and IgG3 (MFI 17 [IQR 14-23] versus 28 [IQR 23-37], p < 0.001 than their HIV-negative MG counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: Opsonic phagocytosis may represent a novel correlate of protection against PAM. HIV infection may increase the susceptibility of multigravid women to PAM by impairing this clearance mechanism.

  14. The separate and combined effects of MHC genotype, parasite clone, and host gender on the course of malaria in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walker Mirjam

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The link between host MHC (major histocompatibility complex genotype and malaria is largely based on correlative data with little or no experimental control of potential confounding factors. We used an experimental mouse model to test for main effects of MHC-haplotypes, MHC heterozygosity, and MHC × parasite clone interactions. We experimentally infected MHC-congenic mice (F2 segregants, homo- and heterozygotes, males and females with one of two clones of Plasmodium chabaudi and recorded disease progression. Results We found that MHC haplotype and parasite clone each have a significant influence on the course of the disease, but there was no significant host genotype by parasite genotype interaction. We found no evidence for overdominance nor any other sort of heterozygote advantage or disadvantage. Conclusion When tested under experimental conditions, variation in the MHC can significantly influence the course of malaria. However, MHC heterozygote advantage through overdominance or dominance of resistance cannot be assumed in the case of single-strain infections. Future studies might focus on the interaction between MHC heterozygosity and multiple-clone infections.

  15. Quantitative Seq-LGS: Genome-Wide Identification of Genetic Drivers of Multiple Phenotypes in Malaria Parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Abkallo, Hussein M.

    2016-10-01

    Identifying the genetic determinants of phenotypes that impact on disease severity is of fundamental importance for the design of new interventions against malaria. Traditionally, such discovery has relied on labor-intensive approaches that require significant investments of time and resources. By combining Linkage Group Selection (LGS), quantitative whole genome population sequencing and a novel mathematical modeling approach (qSeq-LGS), we simultaneously identified multiple genes underlying two distinct phenotypes, identifying novel alleles for growth rate and strain specific immunity (SSI), while removing the need for traditionally required steps such as cloning, individual progeny phenotyping and marker generation. The detection of novel variants, verified by experimental phenotyping methods, demonstrates the remarkable potential of this approach for the identification of genes controlling selectable phenotypes in malaria and other apicomplexan parasites for which experimental genetic crosses are amenable.

  16. Chemotherapy and drug resistance status of malaria parasite in northeast India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Diganta Goswami; Indra Baruah; Sunil Dhiman; Bipul Rabha; Vijay Veer; Lokendra Singh; Dhirendra Kumar Sharma

    2013-01-01

    India reports the highest number of malaria cases in Southeast Asia, of which Plasmodiumfalciparum contribute more than half of the cases every year. North eastern states of India contribute only 3.96% of country’s population but account for >10% of total reported malaria cases, 11% of Plasmodium falciparum cases and 20% of malaria related deaths annually. In India, chloroquine resistance was reported for the first time from northeast region and since then chloroquine treatment failure is being reported from many parts of the region. Increased chloroquine treatment failure has led to change of the drug policy to artemisinin combination therapy as first line of malaria treatment in the region. However, replacing chloroquine to artemisinin combination therapy has not shown significant difference in the overall malaria incidence in the region. The present review addresses the current malaria situation of northeastern region of India in the light of antimalarials drug resistance.

  17. Ivermectin mass drug administration to humans disrupts malaria parasite transmission in Senegalese villages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobylinski, Kevin C; Sylla, Massamba; Chapman, Phillip L; Sarr, Moussa D; Foy, Brian D

    2011-07-01

    Ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) to humans is used to control onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. Recent field studies have shown an added killing effect of ivermectin MDA against malaria vectors. We report that ivermectin MDA reduced the proportion of Plasmodium falciparum infectious Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) in treated villages in southeastern Senegal. Ivermectin MDA is a different delivery method and has a different mode of action from current malaria control agents. It could be a powerful and synergistic new tool to reduce malaria transmission in regions with epidemic or seasonal malaria transmission, and the prevalence and intensity of neglected tropical diseases.

  18. Identification of Hepatocystis species in a macaque monkey in northern Myanmar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang Q

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Qiaocheng Chang1,*, Xiaodong Sun2,*, Jian Wang2,*, Jigang Yin1, Junpeng Song1, Shuai Peng1, Huijun Lu1, Hongning Zhou2, Ning Jiang1, Qijun Chen1,31Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Jilin University, Changchun; 2Institute for Parasitic Disease Control of Yunnan Province, Puer City, Yunnan; 3Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China *These authors contributed equally to this workBackground: Long-tailed and pig-tailed macaque monkeys are natural hosts of Plasmodium knowlesi, which has been identified as a fifth malaria parasite infecting humans. In this study, we investigated possible infection by this Plasmodium parasite in macaque monkeys using a combination of polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing.Methods: Forty-five blood samples were obtained in 2010 from macaques in northern Myanmar near Yunnan Province of China and investigated for possible infection with Plasmodium species using a nested polymerase chain reaction method for amplification of 18S SSU rRNA genes.Results: Positive amplification was obtained from one monkey, and both sequence and phylogenetic analysis indicated that the parasite was of the Hepatocystis species lineage.Conclusion: The results suggest that a combination of polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequence identification would be necessary for detection of Plasmodium knowlesi infection in both humans and its natural hosts.Keywords: Plasmodium knowlesi, monkey, parasite, malaria

  19. Local constraints to access appropriate malaria treatment in the context of parasite resistance in Cambodia: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verschuere, Jesse; Decroo, Tom; Lim, Dara; Kindermans, Jean-Marie; Nguon, Chea; Huy, Rekol; Alkourdi, Yasmine; Peeters Grietens, Koen; Gryseels, Charlotte

    2017-02-17

    Despite emerging drug resistance in Cambodia, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is still the most efficacious therapy. ACT is available free of charge in the Cambodian public sector and at a subsidized rate in the private sector. However, un- and mistreated cases in combination with population movements may lead to the further spread of resistant parasites, stressing the importance of understanding how the perceived aetiology of malaria and associated health-seeking behaviour may delay access to appropriate treatment. A qualitative study explored these factors after an epidemiological survey confirmed parasite resistance in Preah Vihear province. In Cambodian cosmology, illnesses can be inflicted by supernatural beings or originate from 'natural' causes because of disorder in the social, domestic or outdoor environment. Initial treatment options consist of cheap and accessible home-based care (manual therapy, herbs and biomedical medication) targeting single symptoms. If there is no steady recovery or if the condition quickly aggravates, care will be sought from 'village doctors', public health facilities, private pharmacies or, in case of suspicion of a supernatural cause, from a specialized indigenous healer. The choice of provider is mostly based on the family's financial situation, access to and trust in the provider, and the congruence between the suspected aetiology of the illness and the treatment offered by the provider. Different treatment options are often combined during the same illness episode through a serial process of trial and error guided by the observable improvements in the patient's condition. Cambodian perceptions of illness that focus on single symptoms and their perceived severity may lead to the identification of one or multiple illnesses at the same time, rarely suspecting malaria from the start and implying different patterns of health seeking behaviour and treatment choice. However, decisions to self-diagnose and treat at home

  20. Gastro-intestinal parasites of the Samango monkey, Cercopithecus mitis, in Natal, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appleton, C C; Krecek, R C; Verster, A; Bruorton, M R; Lawes, M J

    1994-01-01

    Eight gastro-intestinal tracts of Cercopithecus mitis labiatus from Karkloof, Natal, and 121 fecal samples from C. m. erythrarchus from Cape Vidal, Natal, were examined for helminth parasites and/or their eggs. Fecal samples from six of the C. m. labiatus were examined for protozoan cysts. Five protozoon and six helminth species were identified from C. m labiatus. Most adult worms occurred in the caecum and colon, gut regions which also contained the highest volatile fatty acid levels. The eggs of nine helminth species were recovered from C. m. erythrarchus fecal samples; protozoans were not looked for in these samples.

  1. Malaria Transmission Risk Factor In West Java (Epidemiology Study About Vector, Plasmodium parasite and Environmental Risk Factors For Malaria Cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukman Hakim

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the territory is divided with the province of Banten, in West Java there are five regencies that defined as malaria endemic area, there are Ciamis, Tasikmalaya, Garut, Cianjur and Sukabumi. Sufferer, concentrated in southern coastal areas (Indonesian Ocean starting from the beach of Kalipucang at Ciamis up to coast of Cikakak at Sukabumi which borders the province of Banten and also mountain and plantations areas. Malaria morbidity incidence risk factors is differ in each of these endemic areas. In general is the presence of malaria patients without symptoms who can be a source of infection that so difficult to know its existence. Still the number of standing water that can become mosqui-to breeding places of Anopheles spp, such as fish pond, small puddle on the riverside, shrimp pond, mangrove forests that potentially at the beginning of the rainy season, the fields during rice that potential when the rice growing and the river that potential in the dry season. The existence of high population mobility and also the number of vegetation in the surrounding residential population and the existence of cattle are placed close to settle-ments.

  2. Polyamidoamine nanoparticles as nanocarriers for the drug delivery to malaria parasite stages in the mosquito vector

    OpenAIRE

    Urbán, Patricia; Ranucci, Elisabetta; Fernàndez Busquets, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    Malaria is arguably one of the main medical concerns worldwide because of the numbers of people affected, the severity of the disease and the complexity of the life cycle of its causative agent, the protist Plasmodium spp. With the advent of nanoscience, renewed hopes have appeared of finally obtaining the long sought-after magic bullet against malaria in the form of a nanovector ...

  3. Polyamidoamine nanoparticles as nanocarriers for the drug delivery to malaria parasite stages in the mosquito vector

    OpenAIRE

    Urbán, Patricia; Ranucci, Elisabetta; Fernàndez Busquets, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    Malaria is arguably one of the main medical concerns worldwide because of the numbers of people affected, the severity of the disease and the complexity of the life cycle of its causative agent, the protist Plasmodium spp. With the advent of nanoscience, renewed hopes have appeared of finally obtaining the long sought-after magic bullet against malaria in the form of a nanovector ...

  4. Kinetics of B cell responses to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F;

    2014-01-01

    Naturally acquired protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria takes years to develop. It relies mainly on Abs, particularly IgG specific for Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface. It is only partially understood why...... acquisition of clinical protection takes years to develop, but it probably involves a range of immune-evasive parasite features, not least of which are PfEMP1 polymorphism and clonal variation. Parasite-induced subversion of immunological memory and expansion of "atypical" memory B cells may also contribute....... In this first, to our knowledge, longitudinal study of its kind, we measured B cell subset composition, as well as PfEMP1-specific Ab levels and memory B cell frequencies, in Ghanaian women followed from early pregnancy up to 1 y after delivery. Cell phenotypes and Ag-specific B cell function were assessed...

  5. Development of a multiplex PCR-ligase detection reaction assay for diagnosis of infection by the four parasite species causing malaria in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, David T; Thomson, Jodi M; Kasehagen, Laurin J; Zimmerman, Peter A

    2004-06-01

    The diagnosis of infections caused by Plasmodium species is critical for understanding the nature of malarial disease, treatment efficacy, malaria control, and public health. The demands of field-based epidemiological studies of malaria will require faster and more sensitive diagnostic methods as new antimalarial drugs and vaccines are explored. We have developed a multiplex PCR-ligase detection reaction (LDR) assay that allows the simultaneous diagnosis of infection by all four parasite species causing malaria in humans. This assay exhibits sensitivity and specificity equal to those of other PCR-based assays, identifying all four human malaria parasite species at levels of parasitemias equal to 1 parasitized erythrocyte/microl of blood. The multiplex PCR-LDR assay goes beyond other PCR-based assays by reducing technical procedures and by detecting intraindividual differences in species-specific levels of parasitemia. Application of the multiplex PCR-LDR assay will provide the sensitivity and specificity expected of PCR-based diagnostic assays and will contribute new insight regarding relationships between the human malaria parasite species and the human host in future epidemiological studies.

  6. Evaluation of three parasite lactate dehydrogenase-based rapid diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of falciparum and vivax malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leimanis Mara

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In areas where non-falciparum malaria is common rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs capable of distinguishing malaria species reliably are needed. Such tests are often based on the detection of parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH. Methods In Dawei, southern Myanmar, three pLDH based RDTs (CareStart™ Malaria pLDH (Pan, CareStart™ Malaria pLDH (Pan, Pf and OptiMAL-IT®were evaluated in patients presenting with clinically suspected malaria. Each RDT was read independently by two readers. A subset of patients with microscopically confirmed malaria had their RDTs repeated on days 2, 7 and then weekly until negative. At the end of the study, samples of study batches were sent for heat stability testing. Results Between August and November 2007, 1004 patients aged between 1 and 93 years were enrolled in the study. Slide microscopy (the reference standard diagnosed 213 Plasmodium vivax (Pv monoinfections, 98 Plasmodium falciparum (Pf mono-infections and no malaria in 650 cases. The sensitivities (sens and specificities (spec, of the RDTs for the detection of malaria were- CareStart Malaria™ pLDH (Pan test: sens 89.1% [CI95 84.2-92.6], spec 97.6% [CI95 96.5-98.4] OptiMal-IT®: Pf+/- other species detection: sens 95.2% [CI95 87.5-98.2], spec 94.7% [CI95 93.3-95.8]; non-Pf detection alone: sens 89.6% [CI95 83.6-93.6], spec 96.5% [CI95 94.8-97.7] CareStart Malaria™ pLDH (Pan, Pf: Pf+/- other species: sens 93.5% [CI9585.4-97.3], spec 97.4% [95.9-98.3]; non-Pf: sens 78.5% [CI9571.1-84.4], spec 97.8% [CI95 96.3-98.7] Inter-observer agreement was excellent for all tests (kappa > 0.9. The median time for the RDTs to become negative was two days for the CareStart™ Malaria tests and seven days for OptiMAL-IT®. Tests were heat stable up to 90 days except for OptiMAL-IT® (Pf specific pLDH stable to day 20 at 35°C. Conclusion None of the pLDH-based RDTs evaluated was able to detect non-falciparum malaria with high sensitivity, particularly

  7. CpG Oligodeoxynucleotide and Montanide ISA 51 Adjuvant Combination Enhanced the Protective Efficacy of a Subunit Malaria Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-02-01

    resistance by the parasite and mosquito resistance to commonly used insecticides. A vaccine that would reduce malaria-related mortality and morbidity of- fers...2002. A recombinant vaccine expressed in the milk of transgenic mice pro- tects Aotus monkeys from a lethal challenge with Plasmodium falciparum. Proc

  8. Do malaria ookinete surface proteins P25 and P28 mediate parasite entry into mosquito midgut epithelial cells?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranford-Cartwright Lisa C

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background P25 and P28 are related ookinete surface proteins highly conserved throughout the Plasmodium genus that are under consideration as candidates for inclusion in transmission-blocking vaccines. Previous research using transgenic rodent malaria parasites lacking P25 and P28 has demonstrated that these proteins have multiple partially redundant functions during parasite infection of the mosquito vector, including an undefined role in ookinete traversal of the mosquito midgut epithelium, and it has been suggested that, unlike wild-type parasites, Dko P25/P28 parasites migrate across the midgut epithelium via an intercellular, rather than intracellular, route. Presentation of the hypothesis This paper presents an alternative interpretation for the previous observations of Dko P25/P28 parasites, based upon a recently published model of the route of ookinete invasion across the midgut epithelium. This model claims ookinete invasion is intracellular, with entry occurring through the lateral apical plasma membrane of midgut epithelial cells, and is associated with significant invagination of the midgut epithelium localised at the site of parasite penetration. Following this model, it is hypothesized that: (1 a sub-population of Dko P25/P28 ookinetes invaginate, but do not penetrate, the apical surface of the midgut epithelium and thus remain within the midgut lumen; and (2 another sub-population of Dko P25/P28 parasites successfully enters and migrates across the midgut epithelium via an intracellular route similar to wild-type parasites and subsequently develops into oocysts. Testing the hypothesis These hypotheses are tested by showing how they can account for previously published observations and incorporate them into a coherent and consistent explanatory framework. Based upon these hypotheses, several quantitative predictions are made, which can be experimentally tested, about the relationship between the densities of invading Dko P

  9. Assumed white blood cell count of 8,000 cells/μL overestimates malaria parasite density in the Brazilian Amazon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo R Alves-Junior

    Full Text Available Quantification of parasite density is an important component in the diagnosis of malaria infection. The accuracy of this estimation varies according to the method used. The aim of this study was to assess the agreement between the parasite density values obtained with the assumed value of 8,000 cells/μL and the automated WBC count. Moreover, the same comparative analysis was carried out for other assumed values of WBCs. The study was carried out in Brazil with 403 malaria patients who were infected in different endemic areas of the Brazilian Amazon. The use of a fixed WBC count of 8,000 cells/μL to quantify parasite density in malaria patients led to overestimated parasitemia and resulted in low reliability when compared to the automated WBC count. Assumed values ranging between 5,000 and 6,000 cells/μL, and 5,500 cells/μL in particular, showed higher reliability and more similar values of parasite density when compared between the 2 methods. The findings show that assumed WBC count of 5,500 cells/μL could lead to a more accurate estimation of parasite density for malaria patients in this endemic region.

  10. 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

    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......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...

  11. Proteolytic Activation of the Essential Parasitophorous Vacuole Cysteine Protease SERA6 Accompanies Malaria Parasite Egress from Its Host Erythrocyte*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruecker, Andrea; Shea, Michael; Hackett, Fiona; Suarez, Catherine; Hirst, Elizabeth M. A.; Milutinovic, Katarina; Withers-Martinez, Chrislaine; Blackman, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    The malaria parasite replicates within an intraerythrocytic parasitophorous vacuole (PV). The PV and host cell membranes eventually rupture, releasing merozoites in a process called egress. Certain inhibitors of serine and cysteine proteases block egress, indicating a crucial role for proteases. The Plasmodium falciparum genome encodes nine serine-repeat antigens (SERAs), each of which contains a central domain homologous to the papain-like (clan CA, family C1) protease family. SERA5 and SERA6 are indispensable in blood-stage parasites, but the function of neither is known. Here we show that SERA6 localizes to the PV where it is precisely cleaved just prior to egress by an essential serine protease called PfSUB1. Mutations that replace the predicted catalytic Cys of SERA6, or that block SERA6 processing by PfSUB1, could not be stably introduced into the parasite genomic sera6 locus, indicating that SERA6 is an essential enzyme and that processing is important for its function. We demonstrate that cleavage of SERA6 by PfSUB1 converts it to an active cysteine protease. Our observations reveal a proteolytic activation step in the malarial PV that may be required for release of the parasite from its host erythrocyte. PMID:22984267

  12. Subcompartmentalisation of proteins in the rhoptries correlates with ordered events of erythrocyte invasion by the blood stage malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth S Zuccala

    Full Text Available Host cell infection by apicomplexan parasites plays an essential role in lifecycle progression for these obligate intracellular pathogens. For most species, including the etiological agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, infection requires active host-cell invasion dependent on formation of a tight junction - the organising interface between parasite and host cell during entry. Formation of this structure is not, however, shared across all Apicomplexa or indeed all parasite lifecycle stages. Here, using an in silico integrative genomic search and endogenous gene-tagging strategy, we sought to characterise proteins that function specifically during junction-dependent invasion, a class of proteins we term invasins to distinguish them from adhesins that function in species specific host-cell recognition. High-definition imaging of tagged Plasmodium falciparum invasins localised proteins to multiple cellular compartments of the blood stage merozoite. This includes several that localise to distinct subcompartments within the rhoptries. While originating from the same organelle, however, each has very different dynamics during invasion. Apical Sushi Protein and Rhoptry Neck protein 2 release early, following the junction, whilst a novel rhoptry protein PFF0645c releases only after invasion is complete. This supports the idea that organisation of proteins within a secretory organelle determines the order and destination of protein secretion and provides a localisation-based classification strategy for predicting invasin function during apicomplexan parasite invasion.

  13. Mast cells and histamine alter intestinal permeability during malaria parasite infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Rashaun A; Tiffany, Caitlin M; Pakpour, Nazzy; Lokken, Kristen L; Tiffany, Connor R; Cheung, Kong; Tsolis, Renée M; Luckhart, Shirley

    2016-03-01

    Co-infections with malaria and non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes (NTS) can present as life-threatening bacteremia, in contrast to self-resolving NTS diarrhea in healthy individuals. In previous work with our mouse model of malaria/NTS co-infection, we showed increased gut mastocytosis and increased ileal and plasma histamine levels that were temporally associated with increased gut permeability and bacterial translocation. Here, we report that gut mastocytosis and elevated plasma histamine are also associated with malaria in an animal model of falciparum malaria, suggesting a broader host distribution of this biology. In support of mast cell function in this phenotype, malaria/NTS co-infection in mast cell-deficient mice was associated with a reduction in gut permeability and bacteremia. Further, antihistamine treatment reduced bacterial translocation and gut permeability in mice with malaria, suggesting a contribution of mast cell-derived histamine to GI pathology and enhanced risk of bacteremia during malaria/NTS co-infection.

  14. [Is Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for tropical malaria, resistant to fansidar?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzer, B; Keller, H; Frossard, E; Stürchler, D

    1980-03-01

    A world-wide increase of malaria infections is observed. Malaria is imported into Switzerland mainly by tourists and recently by refugees from South East Asia. The strains of P. falciparum resistant to treatment are of increasing importance. A patient with P. falciparum infection from Cambodia is reported, who suffered from three episodes of malaria recrudescence within ten weeks, in spite of adequate therapy with quinine and Fansidar. The definition, the significance and the geographical distribution of resistances and the possible cause for a P. falciparum recrudescence are discussed. For the treatment of repeating recrudescence quinine and Fansidar are recommended, followed by a suppressive Fansidar prophylaxy for 4--8 weeks.

  15. Anopheles gambiae PGRPLC-mediated defense against bacteria modulates infections with malaria parasites

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Meister, Stephan; Agianian, Bogos; Turlure, Fanny; Relógio, Angela; Morlais, Isabelle; Kafatos, Fotis C; Christophides, George K

    2009-01-01

    ... (Gram-). Here we demonstrate that bacterial infections of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae are sensed by the orthologous PGRPLC protein which then activates a signaling pathway that involves the Rel/NF...

  16. Simultaneous host and parasite expression profiling identifies tissue-specific transcriptional programs associated with susceptibility or resistance to experimental cerebral malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liles W Conrad

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The development and outcome of cerebral malaria (CM reflects a complex interplay between parasite-expressed virulence factors and host response to infection. The murine CM model, Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA, which simulates many of the features of human CM, provides an excellent system to study this host/parasite interface. We designed "combination" microarrays that concurrently detect genome-wide transcripts of both PbA and mouse, and examined parasite and host transcriptional programs during infection of CM-susceptible (C57BL/6 and CM-resistant (BALB/c mice. Results Analysis of expression data from brain, lung, liver, and spleen of PbA infected mice showed that both host and parasite gene expression can be examined using a single microarray, and parasite transcripts can be detected within whole organs at a time when peripheral blood parasitemia is low. Parasites display a unique transcriptional signature in each tissue, and lung appears to be a large reservoir for metabolically active parasites. In comparisons of susceptible versus resistant animals, both host and parasite display distinct, organ-specific transcriptional profiles. Differentially expressed mouse genes were related to humoral immune response, complement activation, or cell-cell interactions. PbA displayed differential expression of genes related to biosynthetic activities. Conclusion These data show that host and parasite gene expression profiles can be simultaneously analysed using a single "combination" microarray, and that both the mouse and malaria parasite display distinct tissue- and strain-specific responses during infection. This technology facilitates the dissection of host-pathogen interactions in experimental cerebral malaria and could be extended to other disease models.

  17. Studies of the Interaction of Human Malaria Parasites with the Metabolism of the Host Red Cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-06-15

    theme was the development of a treatment of malaria involving hyperooia which was effective in suppressing P vinckei in rats, but not P. berghei•.,-X...conditions in rodent malaries (Section D). A related study to this general theme was the development of a treatment of malaria involving hyperoxia which... thalassemia trait have significantly lower levels of ATP per red cell than individuals who do not have thalassemia trait. We confirmed this in Sardinia and

  18. Ivermectin Mass Drug Administration to Humans Disrupts Malaria Parasite Transmission in Senegalese Villages

    OpenAIRE

    Kobylinski, Kevin C; Sylla, Massamba; Chapman, Phillip L.; Sarr, Moussa D.; Foy, Brian D

    2011-01-01

    Ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) to humans is used to control onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. Recent field studies have shown an added killing effect of ivermectin MDA against malaria vectors. We report that ivermectin MDA reduced the proportion of Plasmodium falciparum infectious Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) in treated villages in southeastern Senegal. Ivermectin MDA is a different delivery method and has a different mode of action from current malaria control age...

  19. Western blot diagnosis of vivax malaria with multiple stage-specific antigens of the parasite

    OpenAIRE

    Son, Eui-Sun; Kim, Tong Soo; Nam, Ho-Woo

    2001-01-01

    Western blot analysis was performed to diagnose vivax malaria using stage-specific recombinant antigens. Genomic DNA from the whole blood of a malaria patient was used as templates to amplify the coding regions for the antigenic domains of circumsporozoite protein (CSP-1), merozoite surface protein (MSP-1), apical merozoite antigen (AMA-1), serine repeat antigen (SERA), and exported antigen (EXP-1) of Plasmodium vivax. Each amplified DNA fragment was inserted into a pGEX-4T plasmid to induce ...

  20. Plasmodium falciparum-like parasites infecting wild apes in southern Cameroon do not represent a recurrent source of human malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaman, Sesh A; Liu, Weimin; Keele, Brandon F; Learn, Gerald H; Bittinger, Kyle; Mouacha, Fatima; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Manske, Magnus; Sherrill-Mix, Scott; Li, Yingying; Malenke, Jordan A; Delaporte, Eric; Laurent, Christian; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Shaw, George M; Rayner, Julian C; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M; Bushman, Frederic D; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2013-04-23

    Wild-living chimpanzees and gorillas harbor a multitude of Plasmodium species, including six of the subgenus Laverania, one of which served as the progenitor of Plasmodium falciparum. Despite the magnitude of this reservoir, it is unknown whether apes represent a source of human infections. Here, we used Plasmodium species-specific PCR, single-genome amplification, and 454 sequencing to screen humans from remote areas of southern Cameroon for ape Laverania infections. Among 1,402 blood samples, we found 1,000 to be Plasmodium mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) positive, all of which contained human parasites as determined by sequencing and/or restriction enzyme digestion. To exclude low-abundance infections, we subjected 514 of these samples to 454 sequencing, targeting a region of the mtDNA genome that distinguishes ape from human Laverania species. Using algorithms specifically developed to differentiate rare Plasmodium variants from 454-sequencing error, we identified single and mixed-species infections with P. falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, and/or Plasmodium ovale. However, none of the human samples contained ape Laverania parasites, including the gorilla precursor of P. falciparum. To characterize further the diversity of P. falciparum in Cameroon, we used single-genome amplification to amplify 3.4-kb mtDNA fragments from 229 infected humans. Phylogenetic analysis identified 62 new variants, all of which clustered with extant P. falciparum, providing further evidence that P. falciparum emerged following a single gorilla-to-human transmission. Thus, unlike Plasmodium knowlesi-infected macaques in southeast Asia, African apes harboring Laverania parasites do not seem to serve as a recurrent source of human malaria, a finding of import to ongoing control and eradication measures.

  1. Construction of a human functional single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody recognizing the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wajanarogana, Sumet; Prasomrothanakul, Teerawat; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Tungpradabkul, Sumalee

    2006-04-01

    Falciparum malaria is one of the most deadly and profound human health problems around the tropical world. Antimalarial drugs are now considered to be a powerful treatment; however, there are drugs currently being used that are resistant to Plasmodium falciparum parasites spreading in different parts of the world. Although the protective immune response against intraerythrocytic stages of the falciparum malaria parasite is still not fully understood, immune antibodies have been shown to be associated with reduced parasite prevalence. Therefore antibodies of the right specificity present in adequate concentrations and affinity are reasonably effective in providing protection. In the present study, VH (variable domain of heavy chain) and VL (variable domain of light chain) were isolated from human blood lymphocytes of P. falciparum in one person who had high serum titre to RESA (ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen). Equal amounts of VH and VL were assembled together with universal linker (G4S)3 to generate scFvs (single-chain variable fragments). The scFv antibodies were expressed with a phage system for the selection process. Exclusively, an expressed scFv against asynchronous culture of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes was selected and characterized. Sequence analysis of selected scFv revealed that this clone could be classified into a VH family-derived germline gene (VH1) and Vkappa family segment (Vkappa1). Using an indirect immunofluorescence assay, we could show that soluble expressed scFv reacted with falciparum-infected erythrocytes. The results encourage the further study of scFvs for development as a potential immunotherapeutic agent.

  2. Retinol levels, iron status, malaria and intestinal parasites: TH1/TH2 cytokines relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana Taylor

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Introducción: La malaria, la anemia y la parasitosis intestinal coexisten y constituyen problemas de salud pública en Colombia. Datos disponibles en la literatura biomédica llevan a pensar que estos problemas no son aislados sino que están interrelacionados. Por otra parte, los suplementos de retinol han sido efectivos para reducir la mortalidad infantil, con disminución de complicaciones en niños palúdicos, posiblemente por efectos del retinol sobre la función inmune, desviando la respuesta de citocinas hacia un patrón TH2, que también protege de desarrollar anemia grave. Esta revisión tiene como objetivo describir parte de las relaciones vistas en la literatura biomédica mundial, entre retinol y malaria, retinol y anemia, retinol, malaria y parasitosis intestinal, anemia y malaria y mostrar la mediación de estas interrelaciones por el patrón de citocinas TH1/TH2 en sujetos con malaria. Metodología: Se consultaron las siguientes bases de literatura biomédica: Medline, Lilacs, Spingerlik, Md Consultant, Web of Science, Ovid, Scient Direct, Ebsco y Cochrane. También se buscó información para documentar la prevalencia de desnutrición, deficiencia subclínica de retinol, anemia y malaria en niños colombianos, lo mismo que sobre el papel antinfeccioso del retinol. Resultados: Existe asociación entre parasitosis intestinal y malaria; algunos estudios indican que los helmintos predisponen a contraer malaria en niños. De otro lado, los parásitos mencionados, también se han relacionado con anemia y bajas concentraciones plasmáticas de retinol, que a la vez se asocian con malaria. Sin embargo, no se encontró información que relacione simultáneamente todos estos tópicos y que muestre la respuesta de citocinas TH1/TH2 como la articulación de todos ellos. Conclusiones: Aclarar las múltiples interacciones entre malaria, anemia, parasitosis intestinal y deficiencia subclínica de retinol, teniendo como eje central la respuesta

  3. Chemokine levels and parasite- and allergen-specific antibody responses in children and adults with severe or uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wangala, B.; Vovor, A.; Gantin, R. G.; Agbeko, Y. F.; Lechner, C. J.; Huang, X.; Köhler, C.

    2015-01-01

    Chemokine and antibody response profiles were investigated in children and adults with severe or uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria; the aim was to reveal which profiles are associated with severe disease, as often seen in nonimmune children, or with mild and uncomplicated disease, as seen in semi-immune adults. Blood samples were obtained from children under 5 years of age as well as adults with falciparum malaria. Classification of malaria was performed according to parasite densities and hemoglobin concentrations. Plasma levels of chemokines (IL-8, IP-10, MCP-4, TARC, PARC, MIP-1δ, eotaxins) were quantified, and antibody responses (IgE, IgG1, and IgG4) to P. falciparum, Entamoeba histolytica-specific antigen, and mite allergen extracts were determined. In children with severe malaria proinflammatory, IL-8, IP10, MIP-1δ, and LARC were at highly elevated levels, suggesting an association with severe disease. In contrast, the Th2-type chemokines TARC, PARC, and eotaxin-2 attained in children the same levels as in adults suggesting the evolution of immune regulatory components. In children with severe malaria, an elevated IgG1 and IgE reactivity to mite allergens and intestinal protozoan parasites was observed. In conclusion, exacerbated proinflammatory chemokines together with IgE responses to mite allergens or E. histolytica-specific antigen extract were observed in children with severe falciparum malaria. PMID:25883801

  4. Multiple lineages of Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium) in the Galapagos Islands and evidence for arrival via migratory birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, I I; Zwiers, P; Deem, S L; Geest, E A; Higashiguchi, J M; Iezhova, T A; Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G; Kim, D H; Morton, J P; Perlut, N G; Renfrew, R B; Sari, E H R; Valkiunas, G; Parker, P G

    2013-12-01

    Haemosporidian parasites in the genus Plasmodium were recently detected through molecular screening in the Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus). We summarized results of an archipelago-wide screen of 3726 endemic birds representing 22 species for Plasmodium spp. through a combination of molecular and microscopy techniques. Three additional Plasmodium lineages were present in Galapagos. Lineage A-infected penguins, Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia aureola), and one Medium Ground Finch (Geospiza fortis) and was detected at multiple sites in multiple years [corrected]. The other 3 lineages were each detected at one site and at one time; apparently, they were transient infections of parasites not established on the archipelago. No gametocytes were found in blood smears of infected individuals; thus, endemic Galapagos birds may be dead-end hosts for these Plasmodium lineages. Determining when and how parasites and pathogens arrive in Galapagos is key to developing conservation strategies to prevent and mitigate the effects of introduced diseases. To assess the potential for Plasmodium parasites to arrive via migratory birds, we analyzed blood samples from 438 North American breeding Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), the only songbird that regularly migrates through Galapagos. Two of the ephemeral Plasmodium lineages (B and C) found in Galapagos birds matched parasite sequences from Bobolinks. Although this is not confirmation that Bobolinks are responsible for introducing these lineages, evidence points to higher potential arrival rates of avian pathogens than previously thought. Linajes Múltiples de Parásitos de Malaria Aviar (Plasmodium) en las Islas Galápagos y Evidencia de su Arribo por Medio de Aves Migratorias. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Western blot diagnosis of vivax malaria with multiple stage-specific antigens of the parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Son, E S; Kim, T S; Nam, H W

    2001-06-01

    Western blot analysis was performed to diagnose vivax malaria using stage-specific recombinant antigens. Genomic DNA from the whole blood of a malaria patient was used as templates to amplify the coding regions for the antigenic domains of circumsporozoite protein (CSP-1), merozoite surface protein (MSP-1), apical merozoite antigen (AMA-1), serine repeat antigen (SERA), and exported antigen (EXP-1) of Plasmodium vivax. Each amplified DNA fragment was inserted into a pGEX-4T plasmid to induce the expression of GST fusion protein in Escherichia coli by IPTG. The bacterial cell extracts were separated on 10% SDS-PAGE followed by western blot analysis with patient sera which was confirmed by blood smear examination. When applied with patient sera, 147 (91.9%) out of 160 vivax malaria, 12 (92.3%) out of 13 falciparum malaria, and all 9 vivax/falciparum mixed malaria reacted with at least one antigen, while no reactions occurred with 20 normal uninfected sera. In the case of vivax malaria, CSP-1 reacted with 128 (80.0%) sera, MSP-1 with 102 (63.8%), AMA-1 with 128 (80.0%), SERA with 115 (71.9%), and EXP-1 with 89 (55.6%), respectively. We obtained higher detection rates when using 5 antigens (91.9%) rather than using each antigen solely (55.6-80%), a combination of 2 (76.3-87.5%), 3 (85.6-90.6%), or 4 antigens (89.4-91.3%). This method can be applied to serological diagnosis, mass screening in endemic regions, or safety test in transfusion of prevalent vivax malaria.

  6. Assembly and expression of a synthetic gene encoding the antigen Pfs48/45 of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in yeast.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Milek, R.L.B.; Stunnenberg, H.G.; Konings, R.N.H.

    2000-01-01

    Pfs48/45 is an important transmission-blocking vaccine candidate antigen of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. This study was aimed at synthesis of recombinant Pfs48/45 containing conformation-constrained epitopes of the native antigen in yeast. Since in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevi

  7. 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

  8. Prevalence and diversity of avian malaria parasites in migratory Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger, Laridae, Charadriiformes) from the Brazilian Amazon Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roos, F L; Belo, N O; Silveira, P; Braga, E M

    2015-10-01

    The Medium Solimões River region in the Brazilian Amazon Basin is an area utilized for reproduction and nesting by a variety of species of migratory aquatic birds such as Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger). These migratory birds form mixed-species reproductive colonies with high population densities and exhibit a large range of migration routes. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and diversity of the avian malaria parasites Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in Black Skimmers, on the basis of the association between microscopic observation of blood smears and amplification of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (mtDNA cyt-b). The overall prevalence rates of the parasites for juvenile and adult bird specimens were 16% (5/31) and 22% (15/68), respectively. Sequencing the mtDNA cyt-b marker revealed two Plasmodium lineages, which had been previously described in different regions of the American continent, including a Neotropical region in Southeast Brazil, and one Haemoproteus lineage. The fact that avian malarial parasites have been found infecting the Black Skimmers in the Brazilian Amazon ecosystem, which exhibits considerable diversity, highlights the importance of these migratory birds as a potential source of infection and dispersion of pathogens to other susceptible birds of the Nearctic and Neotropical regions.

  9. Evolution and architecture of the inner membrane complex in asexual and sexual stages of the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kono, Maya; Herrmann, Susann; Loughran, Noeleen B; Cabrera, Ana; Engelberg, Klemens; Lehmann, Christine; Sinha, Dipto; Prinz, Boris; Ruch, Ulrike; Heussler, Volker; Spielmann, Tobias; Parkinson, John; Gilberger, Tim W

    2012-09-01

    The inner membrane complex (IMC) is a unifying morphological feature of all alveolate organisms. It consists of flattened vesicles underlying the plasma membrane and is interconnected with the cytoskeleton. Depending on the ecological niche of the organisms, the function of the IMC ranges from a fundamental role as reinforcement system to more specialized roles in motility and cytokinesis. In this article, we present a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of IMC components, which exemplifies the adaptive nature of the IMCs' protein composition. Focusing on eight structurally distinct proteins in the most prominent "genus" of the Alveolata-the malaria parasite Plasmodium-we demonstrate that the level of conservation is reflected in phenotypic characteristics, accentuated in differential spatial-temporal patterns of these proteins in the motile stages of the parasite's life cycle. Colocalization studies with the centromere and the spindle apparatus reveal their discriminative biogenesis. We also reveal that the IMC is an essential structural compartment for the development of the sexual stages of Plasmodium, as it seems to drive the morphological changes of the parasite during the long and multistaged process of sexual differentiation. We further found a Plasmodium-specific IMC membrane matrix protein that highlights transversal structures in gametocytes, which could represent a genus-specific structural innovation required by Plasmodium. We conclude that the IMC has an additional role during sexual development supporting morphogenesis of the cell, which in addition to its functions in the asexual stages highlights the multifunctional nature of the IMC in the Plasmodium life cycle.

  10. Protein C system defects inflicted by the malaria parasite protein PfEMP1 can be overcome by a soluble EPCR variant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Jens E V; Bouwens, Eveline A M; Tamayo, Ibai;

    2015-01-01

    The Endothelial Protein C receptor (EPCR) is essential for the anticoagulant and cytoprotective functions of the Protein C (PC) system. Selected variants of the malaria parasite protein, Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) associated with severe malaria, including cerebral...... malaria, specifically target EPCR on vascular endothelial cells. Here, we examine the cellular response to PfEMP1 engagement to elucidate its role in malaria pathogenesis. Binding of the CIDRα1.1 domain of PfEMP1 to EPCR obstructed activated PC (APC) binding to EPCR and induced a loss of cellular EPCR...... not interfere with (A)PC binding to cellular EPCR. E86A-sEPCR used as a decoy to capture PfEMP1, permitted normal PC activation on endothelial cells, normal barrier protective effects of APC, and greatly reduced cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes to brain endothelial cells. These data imply important...

  11. Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum cytochrome b gene are associated with delayed parasite recrudescence in malaria patients treated with atovaquone-proguanil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fivelman Quinton L

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fixed-dose combination antimalarial drugs have played an increasingly important role in the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of falciparum malaria since the worldwide failure of monotherapy with chloroquine. Atovaquone-proguanil is one such combination drug used both for prophylaxis in travellers, and for treatment of acute malaria cases in European hospitals and clinics. Methods A series of eight atovaquone-proguanil treatment failures and two prophylaxis breakthroughs from four UK hospitals from 2004–2008 were analysed for evidence of mutations in the pfcyt-b gene, previously found to be associated with failure of the atovaquone component. Results Parasites carrying pfcyt-b mutations were found in five falciparum malaria patients with recrudescent parasitaemia occurring weeks after apparently successful treatment of a primary infection with atovaquone-proguanil. Four of these cases carried parasites with the Tyr268Cys mutation in pfcyt-b, previously reported in two French patients with malaria. In contrast, mutations in pfcyt-b were not found in three patients treated with atovaquone-proguanil who exhibited delayed clearance of the primary infection, nor in two returning travellers with malaria who had used the combination for prophylaxis. Using current and previously published data, mean time to recrudescence of parasites carrying pfcytb codon 268 mutations was estimated as 28.0 days after treatment (95% C.I. 23.0 – 33.0 days, whereas treatment failures without codon 268 mutations received rescue treatment an average of 4.71 days after initial AP treatment (95% C.I. 1.76 – 7.67 days. Conclusion Genetically-determined parasite resistance to atovaquone is associated with delayed recrudescence of resistant parasites three weeks or more after initial clearance of parasitaemia by atovaquone/proguanil therapy. The 268-Cys allele of pfcyt-b may have been overlooked in previous studies of atovaquone-proguanil treatment failure

  12. Malaria parasite-synthesized heme is essential in the mosquito and liver stages and complements host heme in the blood stages of infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viswanathan Arun Nagaraj

    Full Text Available Heme metabolism is central to malaria parasite biology. The parasite acquires heme from host hemoglobin in the intraerythrocytic stages and stores it as hemozoin to prevent free heme toxicity. The parasite can also synthesize heme de novo, and all the enzymes in the pathway are characterized. To study the role of the dual heme sources in malaria parasite growth and development, we knocked out the first enzyme, δ-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS, and the last enzyme, ferrochelatase (FC, in the heme-biosynthetic pathway of Plasmodium berghei (Pb. The wild-type and knockout (KO parasites had similar intraerythrocytic growth patterns in mice. We carried out in vitro radiolabeling of heme in Pb-infected mouse reticulocytes and Plasmodium falciparum-infected human RBCs using [4-(14C] aminolevulinic acid (ALA. We found that the parasites incorporated both host hemoglobin-heme and parasite-synthesized heme into hemozoin and mitochondrial cytochromes. The similar fates of the two heme sources suggest that they may serve as backup mechanisms to provide heme in the intraerythrocytic stages. Nevertheless, the de novo pathway is absolutely essential for parasite development in the mosquito and liver stages. PbKO parasites formed drastically reduced oocysts and did not form sporozoites in the salivary glands. Oocyst production in PbALASKO parasites recovered when mosquitoes received an ALA supplement. PbALASKO sporozoites could infect mice only when the mice received an ALA supplement. Our results indicate the potential for new therapeutic interventions targeting the heme-biosynthetic pathway in the parasite during the mosquito and liver stages.

  13. Malaria parasite-synthesized heme is essential in the mosquito and liver stages and complements host heme in the blood stages of infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaraj, Viswanathan Arun; Sundaram, Balamurugan; Varadarajan, Nandan Mysore; Subramani, Pradeep Annamalai; Kalappa, Devaiah Monnanda; Ghosh, Susanta Kumar; Padmanaban, Govindarajan

    2013-01-01

    Heme metabolism is central to malaria parasite biology. The parasite acquires heme from host hemoglobin in the intraerythrocytic stages and stores it as hemozoin to prevent free heme toxicity. The parasite can also synthesize heme de novo, and all the enzymes in the pathway are characterized. To study the role of the dual heme sources in malaria parasite growth and development, we knocked out the first enzyme, δ-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS), and the last enzyme, ferrochelatase (FC), in the heme-biosynthetic pathway of Plasmodium berghei (Pb). The wild-type and knockout (KO) parasites had similar intraerythrocytic growth patterns in mice. We carried out in vitro radiolabeling of heme in Pb-infected mouse reticulocytes and Plasmodium falciparum-infected human RBCs using [4-(14)C] aminolevulinic acid (ALA). We found that the parasites incorporated both host hemoglobin-heme and parasite-synthesized heme into hemozoin and mitochondrial cytochromes. The similar fates of the two heme sources suggest that they may serve as backup mechanisms to provide heme in the intraerythrocytic stages. Nevertheless, the de novo pathway is absolutely essential for parasite development in the mosquito and liver stages. PbKO parasites formed drastically reduced oocysts and did not form sporozoites in the salivary glands. Oocyst production in PbALASKO parasites recovered when mosquitoes received an ALA supplement. PbALASKO sporozoites could infect mice only when the mice received an ALA supplement. Our results indicate the potential for new therapeutic interventions targeting the heme-biosynthetic pathway in the parasite during the mosquito and liver stages.

  14. Application of in-situ hybridization for the detection and identification of avian malaria parasites in paraffin wax-embedded tissues from captive penguins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinhopl, Nora; Mostegl, Meike M; Richter, Barbara; Nedorost, Nora; Maderner, Anton; Fragner, Karin; Weissenböck, Herbert

    2011-06-01

    In captive penguins, avian malaria due to Plasmodium parasites is a well-recognized disease problem as these protozoa may cause severe losses among valuable collections of zoo birds. In blood films from naturally infected birds, identification and differentiation of malaria parasites based on morphological criteria are difficult because parasitaemia is frequently light and blood stages, which are necessary for identification of parasites, are often absent. Post-mortem diagnosis by histological examination of tissue samples is sometimes inconclusive due to the difficulties in differentiating protozoal tissue stages from fragmented nuclei in necrotic tissue. The diagnosis of avian malaria would be facilitated by a technique with the ability to specifically identify developmental stages of Plasmodium in tissue samples. Thus, a chromogenic in-situ hybridization (ISH) procedure with a digoxigenin-labelled probe, targeting a fragment of the 18S rRNA, was developed for the detection of Plasmodium parasites in paraffin wax-embedded tissues. This method was validated in comparison with traditional techniques (histology, polymerase chain reaction), on various tissues from 48 captive penguins that died at the zoological garden Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria. Meronts of Plasmodium gave clear signals and were easily identified using ISH. Potential cross-reactivity of the probe was ruled out by the negative outcome of the ISH against a number of protozoa and fungi. Thus, ISH proved to be a powerful, specific and sensitive tool for unambiguous detection of Plasmodium parasites in paraffin wax-embedded tissue samples.

  15. Diversity and distribution of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in captive birds from a Brazilian megalopolis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chagas, Carolina Romeiro Fernandes; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; de Oliveira Guimarães, Lilian; Monteiro, Eliana Ferreira; Guida, Fernanda Junqueira Vaz; Simões, Roseli França; Rodrigues, Priscila Thihara; de Albuquerque Luna, Expedito José; Kirchgatter, Karin

    2017-02-17

    The role of zoos in conservation programmes has increased significantly in last decades, and the health of captive animals is essential to guarantee success of such programmes. However, zoo birds suffer from parasitic infections, which often are caused by malaria parasites and related haemosporidians. Studies determining the occurrence and diversity of these parasites, aiming better understanding infection influence on fitness of captive birds, are limited. In 2011-2015, the prevalence and diversity of Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. was examined in blood samples of 677 captive birds from the São Paulo Zoo, the largest zoo in Latin America. Molecular and microscopic diagnostic methods were used in parallel to detect and identify these infections. The overall prevalence of haemosporidians was 12.6%. Parasites were mostly detected by the molecular diagnosis, indicating that many birds harbour subclinical or abortive infections. In this project, birds of 17 orders (almost half of all the orders currently accepted in taxonomy of birds), 29 families, and 122 species, were tested, detecting positive individuals in 27% of bird species. Birds from the Anatidae were the most prevalently infected (64.7% of all infected animals). In all, infections with parasites of the genus Plasmodium (overall prevalence 97.6%) predominated when compared to those of the genus Haemoproteus (2.4%). In total, 14 cytochrome b (cytb) lineages of Plasmodium spp. and 2 cytb lineages of Haemoproteus spp. were recorded. Eight lineages were new. One of the reported lineages was broad generalist while others were reported in single or a few species of birds. Molecular characterization of Haemoproteus ortalidum was developed. This study shows that many species of birds are at risk in captivity. It is difficult to stop haemosporidian parasite transmission in zoos, but is possible to reduce the infection rate by treating the infected animals or/and while keeping them in facilities free from

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  17. Parasite sources and sinks in a patched Ross-Macdonald malaria model with human and mosquito movement: Implications for control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruktanonchai, Nick W; Smith, David L; De Leenheer, Patrick

    2016-09-01

    We consider the dynamics of a mosquito-transmitted pathogen in a multi-patch Ross-Macdonald malaria model with mobile human hosts, mobile vectors, and a heterogeneous environment. We show the existence of a globally stable steady state, and a threshold that determines whether a pathogen is either absent from all patches, or endemic and present at some level in all patches. Each patch is characterized by a local basic reproduction number, whose value predicts whether the disease is cleared or not when the patch is isolated: patches are known as "demographic sinks" if they have a local basic reproduction number less than one, and hence would clear the disease if isolated; patches with a basic reproduction number above one would sustain endemic infection in isolation, and become "demographic sources" of parasites when connected to other patches. Sources are also considered focal areas of transmission for the larger landscape, as they export excess parasites to other areas and can sustain parasite populations. We show how to determine the various basic reproduction numbers from steady state estimates in the patched network and knowledge of additional model parameters, hereby identifying parasite sources in the process. This is useful in the context of control of the infection on natural landscapes, because a commonly suggested strategy is to target focal areas, in order to make their corresponding basic reproduction numbers less than one, effectively turning them into sinks. We show that this is indeed a successful control strategy-albeit a conservative and possibly expensive one-in case either the human host, or the vector does not move. However, we also show that when both humans and vectors move, this strategy may fail, depending on the specific movement patterns exhibited by hosts and vectors.

  18. Long- and short-term selective forces on malaria parasite genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Braunstein, Alexander; Malsen, Gareth;

    2010-01-01

    a significant impact on malaria control, the selective pressures within Plasmodium genomes are poorly understood, particularly in the non-protein-coding portion of the genome. We use evolutionary methods to describe selective processes in both the coding and non-coding regions of these genomes. Based on genome...

  19. Assessment of three new parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pan-pLDH) tests for diagnosis of uncomplicated malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogg, Carole; Twesigye, Rogers; Batwala, Vincent; Piola, Patrice; Nabasumba, Carolyn; Kiguli, James; Mutebi, Frederick; Hook, Christa; Guillerm, Martine; Moody, Anthony; Guthmann, Jean-Paul

    2008-01-01

    A study to assess the diagnostic capabilities of three parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pan-pLDH) tests, Vistapan), Carestart and Parabank), was conducted in Uganda. An HRP2 test, Paracheck-Pf), and a Giemsa-stained blood film were performed with the pLDH tests for outpatients with suspected malaria. In total, 460 subjects were recruited: 248 with positive blood films and 212 with negative blood films. Plasmodium falciparum was present in 95% of infections. Sensitivity above 90% was shown by two pLDH tests, Carestart (95.6%) and Vistapan (91.9%), and specificity above 90% by Parabank (94.3%) and Carestart (91.5%). Sensitivity decreased with low parasitaemia (chi(2) trend, P90% with parasitaemia > or =100/microl. All tests had good inter-reader reliability (kappa>0.95). Two weeks after diagnosis, 4-10% of pLDH tests were still positive compared with 69.7% of the HRP2 tests. All tests had similar ease of use. In conclusion, two pLDH tests performed well in diagnosing P. falciparum malaria, and all pLDH tests became negative after treatment more quickly than the HRP2. Therefore the rapid test of choice for use with artemisinin-combination therapies in this area would be one of these new pLDH tests.

  20. Cerebral malaria Malaria cerebral

    OpenAIRE

    Silvia Blair Trujillo; Carlos Hugo Zapata Zapata

    2003-01-01

    Is the most common complication of P. falciparum malaria; nearly 90% of people who have suffered CM can recover without neurological problems. Currently there are four hypotheses that explain pathogenesis of CM: cytoadherence and sequestering of parasitized red blood cells to cerebral capillaries; rosette formation and parasitized red blood cells agglutination; production of cytokines and activation of second messengers and opening of the blood-brain barrier. However the main question remains...

  1. Malaria infection of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae activates immune-responsive genes during critical transition stages of the parasite life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimopoulos, G; Seeley, D; Wolf, A; Kafatos, F C

    1998-01-01

    Six gene markers have been used to map the progress of the innate immune response of the mosquito vector, Anopheles gambiae, upon infection by the malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei. In addition to four previously reported genes, the set of markers included NOS (a nitric oxide synthase gene fragment) and ICHIT (a gene encoding two putative chitin-binding domains separated by a polythreonine-rich mucin region). In the midgut, a robust response occurs at 24 h post-infection, at a time when malaria ookinetes traverse the midgut epithelium, but subsides at later phases of malaria development. In contrast, the salivary glands show no significant response at 24 h, but are activated in a prolonged late phase when sporozoites are released from the midgut into the haemolymph and invade the glands, between 10 and 25 days after blood feeding. Furthermore, the abdomen of the mosquito minus the midgut shows significant activation of immune markers, with complex kinetics that are distinct from those of both midgut and salivary glands. The parasite evidently elicits immune responses in multiple tissues of the mosquito, two of which are epithelia that the parasite must traverse to complete its development. The mechanisms of these responses and their significance for malaria transmission are discussed. PMID:9799221

  2. [Malaria websites].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genton, B

    2007-05-16

    One click on google.com, key-word "Malaria", 24,900,000 entries. How to choose among this jungle of websites? Ten sites are proposed to meet the needs of the general practitioner They are categorized by focus of interest, namely 1) detailed information on pre- and post-travel advice and management of travelers with illness upon return, 2) the essential on the parasite, the diagnosis and the treatment, 3) the malaria problem worldwide and 4) malaria maps.

  3. Other vector-borne parasitic diseases: animal helminthiases, bovine besnoitiosis and malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvallet, G; Boireau, P

    2015-08-01

    The parasitic diseases discussed elsewhere in this issue of the Scientific and Technical Review are not the only ones to make use of biological vectors (such as mosquitoes or ticks) or mechanical vectors (such as horse flies or Stomoxys flies). The authors discuss two major groups of vector-borne parasitic diseases: firstly, helminthiasis, along with animal filariasis and onchocerciasis, which are parasitic diseases that often take a heavytoll on artiodactylsthroughoutthe world; secondly, parasitic diseases caused by vector-borne protists, foremost of which is bovine besnoitiosis (or anasarca of cattle), which has recently spread through Europe by a dual mode of transmission (direct and by vector). Other protists, such as Plasmodium and Hepatozoon, are also described briefly.

  4. Experimental evolution, genetic analysis and genome re-sequencing reveal the mutation conferring artemisinin resistance in an isogenic lineage of malaria parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Hunt, Paul

    2010-09-16

    Background: Classical and quantitative linkage analyses of genetic crosses have traditionally been used to map genes of interest, such as those conferring chloroquine or quinine resistance in malaria parasites. Next-generation sequencing technologies now present the possibility of determining genome-wide genetic variation at single base-pair resolution. Here, we combine in vivo experimental evolution, a rapid genetic strategy and whole genome re-sequencing to identify the precise genetic basis of artemisinin resistance in a lineage of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi. Such genetic markers will further the investigation of resistance and its control in natural infections of the human malaria, P. falciparum.Results: A lineage of isogenic in vivo drug-selected mutant P. chabaudi parasites was investigated. By measuring the artemisinin responses of these clones, the appearance of an in vivo artemisinin resistance phenotype within the lineage was defined. The underlying genetic locus was mapped to a region of chromosome 2 by Linkage Group Selection in two different genetic crosses. Whole-genome deep coverage short-read re-sequencing (IlluminaSolexa) defined the point mutations, insertions, deletions and copy-number variations arising in the lineage. Eight point mutations arise within the mutant lineage, only one of which appears on chromosome 2. This missense mutation arises contemporaneously with artemisinin resistance and maps to a gene encoding a de-ubiquitinating enzyme.Conclusions: This integrated approach facilitates the rapid identification of mutations conferring selectable phenotypes, without prior knowledge of biological and molecular mechanisms. For malaria, this model can identify candidate genes before resistant parasites are commonly observed in natural human malaria populations. 2010 Hunt et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  5. Impact on malaria parasite multiplication rates in infected volunteers of the protein-in-adjuvant vaccine AMA1-C1/Alhydrogel+CPG 7909.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J A Duncan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Inhibition of parasite growth is a major objective of blood-stage malaria vaccines. The in vitro assay of parasite growth inhibitory activity (GIA is widely used as a surrogate marker for malaria vaccine efficacy in the down-selection of candidate blood-stage vaccines. Here we report the first study to examine the relationship between in vivo Plasmodium falciparum growth rates and in vitro GIA in humans experimentally infected with blood-stage malaria. METHODS: In this phase I/IIa open-label clinical trial five healthy malaria-naive volunteers were immunised with AMA1/C1-Alhydrogel+CPG 7909, and together with three unvaccinated controls were challenged by intravenous inoculation of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes. RESULTS: A significant correlation was observed between parasite multiplication rate in 48 hours (PMR and both vaccine-induced growth-inhibitory activity (Pearson r = -0.93 [95% CI: -1.0, -0.27] P = 0.02 and AMA1 antibody titres in the vaccine group (Pearson r = -0.93 [95% CI: -0.99, -0.25] P = 0.02. However immunisation failed to reduce overall mean PMR in the vaccine group in comparison to the controls (vaccinee 16 fold [95% CI: 12, 22], control 17 fold [CI: 0, 65] P = 0.70. Therefore no impact on pre-patent period was observed (vaccine group median 8.5 days [range 7.5-9], control group median 9 days [range 7-9]. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the first observation in human experimental malaria infection of a significant association between vaccine-induced in vitro growth inhibitory activity and in vivo parasite multiplication rate, this did not translate into any observable clinically relevant vaccine effect in this small group of volunteers. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov [NCT00984763].

  6. 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

  7. Probability of Transmission of Malaria from Mosquito to Human Is Regulated by Mosquito Parasite Density in Naïve and Vaccinated Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas S Churcher

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Over a century since Ronald Ross discovered that malaria is caused by the bite of an infectious mosquito it is still unclear how the number of parasites injected influences disease transmission. Currently it is assumed that all mosquitoes with salivary gland sporozoites are equally infectious irrespective of the number of parasites they harbour, though this has never been rigorously tested. Here we analyse >1000 experimental infections of humans and mice and demonstrate a dose-dependency for probability of infection and the length of the host pre-patent period. Mosquitoes with a higher numbers of sporozoites in their salivary glands following blood-feeding are more likely to have caused infection (and have done so quicker than mosquitoes with fewer parasites. A similar dose response for the probability of infection was seen for humans given a pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate targeting circumsporozoite protein (CSP, and in mice with and without transfusion of anti-CSP antibodies. These interventions prevented infection more efficiently from bites made by mosquitoes with fewer parasites. The importance of parasite number has widespread implications across malariology, ranging from our basic understanding of the parasite, how vaccines are evaluated and the way in which transmission should be measured in the field. It also provides direct evidence for why the only registered malaria vaccine RTS,S was partially effective in recent clinical trials.

  8. Probability of Transmission of Malaria from Mosquito to Human Is Regulated by Mosquito Parasite Density in Naïve and Vaccinated Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinden, Robert E.; Poulton, Ian D.; Griffin, Jamie T.; Upton, Leanna M.; Sala, Katarzyna A.; Angrisano, Fiona; Hill, Adrian V. S.; Blagborough, Andrew M.

    2017-01-01

    Over a century since Ronald Ross discovered that malaria is caused by the bite of an infectious mosquito it is still unclear how the number of parasites injected influences disease transmission. Currently it is assumed that all mosquitoes with salivary gland sporozoites are equally infectious irrespective of the number of parasites they harbour, though this has never been rigorously tested. Here we analyse >1000 experimental infections of humans and mice and demonstrate a dose-dependency for probability of infection and the length of the host pre-patent period. Mosquitoes with a higher numbers of sporozoites in their salivary glands following blood-feeding are more likely to have caused infection (and have done so quicker) than mosquitoes with fewer parasites. A similar dose response for the probability of infection was seen for humans given a pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate targeting circumsporozoite protein (CSP), and in mice with and without transfusion of anti-CSP antibodies. These interventions prevented infection more efficiently from bites made by mosquitoes with fewer parasites. The importance of parasite number has widespread implications across malariology, ranging from our basic understanding of the parasite, how vaccines are evaluated and the way in which transmission should be measured in the field. It also provides direct evidence for why the only registered malaria vaccine RTS,S was partially effective in recent clinical trials. PMID:28081253

  9. Regulatory elements within the prodomain of Falcipain-2, a cysteine protease of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kailash C Pandey

    Full Text Available Falcipain-2, a papain family cysteine protease of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, plays a key role in parasite hydrolysis of hemoglobin and is a potential chemotherapeutic target. As with many proteases, falcipain-2 is synthesized as a zymogen, and the prodomain inhibits activity of the mature enzyme. To investigate the mechanism of regulation of falcipain-2 by its prodomain, we expressed constructs encoding different portions of the prodomain and tested their ability to inhibit recombinant mature falcipain-2. We identified a C-terminal segment (Leu(155-Asp(243 of the prodomain, including two motifs (ERFNIN and GNFD that are conserved in cathepsin L sub-family papain family proteases, as the mediator of prodomain inhibitory activity. Circular dichroism analysis showed that the prodomain including the C-terminal segment, but not constructs lacking this segment, was rich in secondary structure, suggesting that the segment plays a crucial role in protein folding. The falcipain-2 prodomain also efficiently inhibited other papain family proteases, including cathepsin K, cathepsin L, cathepsin B, and cruzain, but it did not inhibit cathepsin C or tested proteases of other classes. A structural model of pro-falcipain-2 was constructed by homology modeling based on crystallographic structures of mature falcipain-2, procathepsin K, procathepsin L, and procaricain, offering insights into the nature of the interaction between the prodomain and mature domain of falcipain-2 as well as into the broad specificity of inhibitory activity of the falcipain-2 prodomain.

  10. Hematin−Hematin Self-Association States Involved in the Formation and Reactivity of the Malaria Parasite Pigment, Hemozoin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klonis, Nectarios; Dilanian, Ruben; Hanssen, Eric; Darmanin, Connie; Streltsov, Victor; Deed, Samantha; Quiney, Harry; Tilley, Leann (La Trobe); (Melbourne)

    2010-10-22

    The malaria parasite pigment, hemozoin, is a crystal of ferriprotoporphyrin IX (FP-Fe(III)), a product of hemoglobin digestion. Hemozoin formation is essential for FP-Fe(III) detoxification in the parasite; it is the main target of quinoline antimalarials and can modulate immune and inflammation responses. To gain further insight into the likely mechanisms of crystal formation and hemozoin reactivity, we have reanalyzed the crystal structure data for {beta}-hematin and solved the crystal structure of Plasmodium falciparum hemozoin. The analysis reveals that the structures are very similar and highlights two previously unexplored modes of FP-Fe(III) self-association involving {pi}-{pi} interactions that may initiate crystal formation and help to stabilize the extended structure. Hemozoin can be considered to be a crystal composed of {pi}-{pi} dimers stabilized by iron-carboxylate linkages. As a result, it is predicted that two surfaces of the crystal would consist of {pi}-{pi} dimers with Fe(III) partly exposed to solvent and capable of undergoing redox reactions. Accordingly, we demonstrate that the crystal possesses both general peroxidase activity and the ability to cause lipid oxidation.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Mammalian and malaria parasite cyclase-associated proteins catalyze nucleotide exchange on G-actin through a conserved mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makkonen, Maarit; Bertling, Enni; Chebotareva, Natalia A; Baum, Jake; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2013-01-11

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are among the most highly conserved regulators of actin dynamics, being present in organisms from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Yeast, plant, and mammalian CAPs are large multidomain proteins, which catalyze nucleotide exchange on actin monomers from ADP to ATP and recycle actin monomers from actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin for new rounds of filament assembly. However, the mechanism by which CAPs promote nucleotide exchange is not known. Furthermore, how apicomplexan CAPs, which lack many domains present in yeast and mammalian CAPs, contribute to actin dynamics is not understood. We show that, like yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 interacts with ADF/cofilin and ADP-G-actin through its N-terminal α-helical and C-terminal β-strand domains, respectively. However, in the variation to yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 has two adjacent profilin-binding sites, and it interacts with ATP-actin monomers with high affinity through its WH2 domain. Importantly, we revealed that the C-terminal β-sheet domain of mouse CAP1 is essential and sufficient for catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers, although the adjacent WH2 domain is not required for this function. Supporting these data, we show that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum CAP, which is entirely composed of the β-sheet domain, efficiently promotes nucleotide exchange on actin monomers. Collectively, this study provides evidence that catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers via the β-sheet domain is the most highly conserved function of CAPs from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Other functions, including interactions with profilin and ADF/cofilin, evolved in more complex organisms to adjust the specific role of CAPs in actin dynamics.

  14. Malaria parasites in mosquitoes: laboratory models, evolutionary temptation and the real world

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boëte, C.H.J.J.

    2005-01-01

    A recent study describing the effect of Plasmodium berghei infection on some Anopheles gambiae immune genes demonstrates that P. berghei is responsible for the upregulation of several genes involved in the immune response that affect parasitic development differently during the ookinete-to-oocyst de

  15. INTESTINAL PARASITES AND MALARIA IN MUSI BANYU ASIN AND OGAN KOMERING ULU REGENCIES, SOUTH SUMATRA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Patrick Carney

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Pada bulan Mei 1973 diadakan survey tinja dan darah di lima desa di Sumatra Selatan untuk mengetahui aspek-aspek penyakit parasit pada penduduk asli dan para transmigran yang datang antara tahun 1935 dan 1955. Desa-desa Tanjung Kerang, Simpang Langkap dan Biuku di Kabupaten Musi Banyu Asin yang terletak di sebelah barat laut kota Palembang merupakan daerah hutan-ladang-huma dan perkebunan karet rakyat dikelilingi oleh rawa-rawa, yang di diami oleh penduduk asli. Desa-desa Sidomulyo dan Tanjung Raya di Kabupaten Ogan Komering Ulu, terletak di sebelah tenggara' kota Palembang, adalah tempat transmigrasi yang merupakan daerah persawahan." Dari 358 orang yang diperiksa tinjanya yang terdiri dari 193 laki-laki dan 165 wanita, di keiemukan 97 per cent terinfeksi oleh sedikitnya satu macam parasit, 87 per cent oleh 2 macam parasit atau lebih dan 55 per cent oleh 3 macam parasit atau lebih. Telur-telur cacing yang di temukan antara lain ialah: Trichuris trichiura. (83 per cent, Ascaris lumbricoides (78 per cent dan cacing tambang (59 per cent. Enterobius vermicularis (1 per cent dan Strongyloides stercoralis (0,3 per cent jarang di jumpai. Entamoeba coli (29 per cent merupakan parasit protozoa yang biasa di temukan. Jumlah rata-rata protozoa yang ada dalam usus ialah: Entamoeba histofytica (4 per cent, Entamoeba hartmanni (1 per cent, Endolimax nona (5 per cent, Iodamoeba butschlii (5 per cent, Giardia lamblia (3 per cent dan Chilomastbc mesnili (4 per cent. Distribusi dari parasit usus hampir sama di antara golongan laki-laki dan wanita; meskipun tanah memegang peranan yang sama dalam pemindahan cacing-cacing, tetapi A. lumbricoides dan T. trichiura lebih banyak di jumpai pada wanita, sedangkan cacing tambang lebih banyak pada laki-laki. Prevalensi parasit usus menurut golongan umur adalah sebagai berikut: A. lumbricoides lebih banyak pada golongan muda, T. trichiura merata pada semua golongan umur, tetapi yang terbanyak pada golongan umur antara 30

  16. INTESTINAL PARASITES AND MALARIA IN MUSI BANYU ASIN AND OGAN KOMERING ULU REGENCIES, SOUTH SUMATRA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Patrick Carney

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Pada bulan Mei 1973 diadakan survey tinja dan darah di lima desa di Sumatra Selatan untuk mengetahui aspek-aspek penyakit parasit pada penduduk asli dan para transmigran yang datang antara tahun 1935 dan 1955. Desa-desa Tanjung Kerang, Simpang Langkap dan Biuku di Kabupaten Musi Banyu Asin yang terletak di sebelah barat laut kota Palembang merupakan daerah hutan-ladang-huma dan perkebunan karet rakyat dikelilingi oleh rawa-rawa, yang di diami oleh penduduk asli. Desa-desa Sidomulyo dan Tanjung Raya di Kabupaten Ogan Komering Ulu, terletak di sebelah tenggara' kota Palembang, adalah tempat transmigrasi yang merupakan daerah persawahan." Dari 358 orang yang diperiksa tinjanya yang terdiri dari 193 laki-laki dan 165 wanita, di keiemukan 97 per cent terinfeksi oleh sedikitnya satu macam parasit, 87 per cent oleh 2 macam parasit atau lebih dan 55 per cent oleh 3 macam parasit atau lebih. Telur-telur cacing yang di temukan antara lain ialah: Trichuris trichiura. (83 per cent, Ascaris lumbricoides (78 per cent dan cacing tambang (59 per cent. Enterobius vermicularis (1 per cent dan Strongyloides stercoralis (0,3 per cent jarang di jumpai. Entamoeba coli (29 per cent merupakan parasit protozoa yang biasa di temukan. Jumlah rata-rata protozoa yang ada dalam usus ialah: Entamoeba histofytica (4 per cent, Entamoeba hartmanni (1 per cent, Endolimax nona (5 per cent, Iodamoeba butschlii (5 per cent, Giardia lamblia (3 per cent dan Chilomastbc mesnili (4 per cent. Distribusi dari parasit usus hampir sama di antara golongan laki-laki dan wanita; meskipun tanah memegang peranan yang sama dalam pemindahan cacing-cacing, tetapi A. lumbricoides dan T. trichiura lebih banyak di jumpai pada wanita, sedangkan cacing tambang lebih banyak pada laki-laki. Prevalensi parasit usus menurut golongan umur adalah sebagai berikut: A. lumbricoides lebih banyak pada golongan muda, T. trichiura merata pada semua golongan umur, tetapi yang terbanyak pada golongan umur antara 30

  17. A cyclic GMP signalling module that regulates gliding motility in a malaria parasite.

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    Robert W Moon

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The ookinete is a motile stage in the malaria life cycle which forms in the mosquito blood meal from the zygote. Ookinetes use an acto-myosin motor to glide towards and penetrate the midgut wall to establish infection in the vector. The regulation of gliding motility is poorly understood. Through genetic interaction studies we here describe a signalling module that identifies guanosine 3', 5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP as an important second messenger regulating ookinete differentiation and motility. In ookinetes lacking the cyclic nucleotide degrading phosphodiesterase delta (PDEdelta, unregulated signalling through cGMP results in rounding up of the normally banana-shaped cells. This phenotype is suppressed in a double mutant additionally lacking guanylyl cyclase beta (GCbeta, showing that in ookinetes GCbeta is an important source for cGMP, and that PDEdelta is the relevant cGMP degrading enzyme. Inhibition of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase, PKG, blocks gliding, whereas enhanced signalling through cGMP restores normal gliding speed in a mutant lacking calcium dependent protein kinase 3, suggesting at least a partial overlap between calcium and cGMP dependent pathways. These data demonstrate an important function for signalling through cGMP, and most likely PKG, in dynamically regulating ookinete gliding during the transmission of malaria to the mosquito.

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

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    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

  19. The malaria parasite cation ATPase PfATP4 and its role in the mechanism of action of a new arsenal of antimalarial drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spillman, Natalie Jane; Kirk, Kiaran

    2015-12-01

    The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, maintains a low cytosolic Na(+) concentration and the plasma membrane P-type cation translocating ATPase 'PfATP4' has been implicated as playing a key role in this process. PfATP4 has been the subject of significant attention in recent years as mutations in this protein confer resistance to a growing number of new antimalarial compounds, including the spiroindolones, the pyrazoles, the dihydroisoquinolones, and a number of the antimalarial agents in the Medicines for Malaria Venture's 'Malaria Box'. On exposure of parasites to these compounds there is a rapid disruption of cytosolic Na(+). Whether, and if so how, such chemically distinct compounds interact with PfATP4, and how such interactions lead to parasite death, is not yet clear. The fact that multiple different chemical classes have converged upon PfATP4 highlights its significance as a potential target for new generation antimalarial agents. A spiroindolone (KAE609, now known as cipargamin) has progressed through Phase I and IIa clinical trials with favourable results. In this review we consider the physiological role of PfATP4, summarise the current repertoire of antimalarial compounds for which PfATP4 is implicated in their mechanism of action, and provide an outlook on translation from target identification in the laboratory to patient treatment in the field.

  20. 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.

  1. The malaria parasite cation ATPase PfATP4 and its role in the mechanism of action of a new arsenal of antimalarial drugs

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    Natalie Jane Spillman

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, maintains a low cytosolic Na+ concentration and the plasma membrane P-type cation translocating ATPase ‘PfATP4’ has been implicated as playing a key role in this process. PfATP4 has been the subject of significant attention in recent years as mutations in this protein confer resistance to a growing number of new antimalarial compounds, including the spiroindolones, the pyrazoles, the dihydroisoquinolones, and a number of the antimalarial agents in the Medicines for Malaria Venture's ‘Malaria Box’. On exposure of parasites to these compounds there is a rapid disruption of cytosolic Na+. Whether, and if so how, such chemically distinct compounds interact with PfATP4, and how such interactions lead to parasite death, is not yet clear. The fact that multiple different chemical classes have converged upon PfATP4 highlights its significance as a potential target for new generation antimalarial agents. A spiroindolone (KAE609, now known as cipargamin has progressed through Phase I and IIa clinical trials with favourable results. In this review we consider the physiological role of PfATP4, summarise the current repertoire of antimalarial compounds for which PfATP4 is implicated in their mechanism of action, and provide an outlook on translation from target identification in the laboratory to patient treatment in the field.

  2. Modeling the Effects of Relapse in the Transmission Dynamics of Malaria Parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo Águas; Marcelo U. Ferreira; Gomes, M. Gabriela M.

    2012-01-01

    Often regarded as “benign,” Plasmodium vivax infections lay in the shadows of the much more virulent P. falciparum infections. However, about 1.98 billion people are at risk of both parasites worldwide, stressing the need to understand the epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax, particularly under the scope of decreasing P. falciparum prevalence and ecological interactions between both species. Two epidemiological observations put the dynamics of both species into perspective: (1) ACT campaigns hav...

  3. Inhibition of malaria parasite growth by quinomycin A and its derivatives through DNA-intercalating activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayase, Hiroki; Watanabe, Nobumoto; Lim, Chung Liang; Nogawa, Toshihiko; Komatsuya, Keisuke; Kita, Kiyoshi; Osada, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    Quinomycin A and its derivatives were identified as potent antimalarial (Plasmodium falciparum) agents in a screen of the RIKEN NPDepo chemical library. IC50 values of quinomycin A and UK-63,598 were approximately 100 times lower than that of the antimalarial drug chloroquine. This activity was mitigated by the addition of plasmid DNA, suggesting that these compounds act against parasites by intercalating into their DNA.

  4. Plasmodium in the postgenomic era: new insights into the molecular cell biology of malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Celia R S; de Azevedo, Mauro F; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Budu, Alexandre; Young, Jason A; Bannister, Lawrence

    2008-01-01

    In this review, we bring together some of the approaches toward understanding the cellular and molecular biology of Plasmodium species and their interaction with their host red blood cells. Considerable impetus has come from the development of new methods of molecular genetics and bioinformatics, and it is important to evaluate the wealth of these novel data in the context of basic cell biology. We describe how these approaches are gaining valuable insights into the parasite-host cell interaction, including (1) the multistep process of red blood cell invasion by the merozoite; (2) the mechanisms by which the intracellular parasite feeds on the red blood cell and exports parasite proteins to modify its cytoadherent properties; (3) the modulation of the cell cycle by sensing the environmental tryptophan-related molecules; (4) the mechanism used to survive in a low Ca(2+) concentration inside red blood cells; (5) the activation of signal transduction machinery and the regulation of intracellular calcium; (6) transfection technology; and (7) transcriptional regulation and genome-wide mRNA studies in Plasmodium falciparum.

  5. Dependence of malaria detection and species diagnosis by microscopy on parasite density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, F Ellis; Sirichaisinthop, Jeeraphat; Miller, R Scott; Gasser, Robert A; Wongsrichanalai, Chansuda

    2003-10-01

    Giemsa-stained blood smears from each of 2,190 patients from Thai government-operated clinics on the Thailand-Myanmar border were independently examined by the on-duty microscopists at the clinics and by 2-3 research microscopists, each blinded to the clinics' and each other's reports. Using a strictly defined protocol, a consensus reference-standard blood smear interpretation for each sample was produced by the research microscopists. This result was compared with the clinic's diagnostic interpretation for the corresponding sample with respect to detection of parasitemia and diagnosis of infecting species. Reference-standard results reported parasitemia in 13.2% of the samples reported negative by the clinic. Reference-standard results were negative in 24.3% of the samples reported parasite-positive by the clinic. For samples in which both the reference-standard result and the clinic result reported parasitemia, species identification differed for 13.7% of the samples. The likelihood of parasite detection and correct diagnosis at the clinic varied in accordance with the reference-standard estimates of parasite density.

  6. Protein kinase a dependent phosphorylation of apical membrane antigen 1 plays an important role in erythrocyte invasion by the malaria parasite.

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    Kerstin Leykauf

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Apicomplexan parasites are obligate intracellular parasites that infect a variety of hosts, causing significant diseases in livestock and humans. The invasive forms of the parasites invade their host cells by gliding motility, an active process driven by parasite adhesion proteins and molecular motors. A crucial point during host cell invasion is the formation of a ring-shaped area of intimate contact between the parasite and the host known as a tight junction. As the invasive zoite propels itself into the host-cell, the junction moves down the length of the parasite. This process must be tightly regulated and signalling is likely to play a role in this event. One crucial protein for tight-junction formation is the apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1. Here we have investigated the phosphorylation status of this key player in the invasion process in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We show that the cytoplasmic tail of P. falciparum AMA1 is phosphorylated at serine 610. We provide evidence that the enzyme responsible for serine 610 phosphorylation is the cAMP regulated protein kinase A (PfPKA. Importantly, mutation of AMA1 serine 610 to alanine abrogates phosphorylation of AMA1 in vivo and dramatically impedes invasion. In addition to shedding unexpected new light on AMA1 function, this work represents the first time PKA has been implicated in merozoite invasion.

  7. Antimalarial potential of China 30 and Chelidonium 30 in combination therapy against lethal rodent malaria parasite: Plasmodium berghei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Aswathy; Bagai, Upma

    2013-05-07

    Homeopathy is a therapeutic method based on the application of similia principle, utilizing ultra-low doses of medicinal substances made from natural products. The present study has been designed to evaluate the efficacy of Cinchona officinalis (Chin.) 30C and Chelidonium majus (Chel.) 30C in combination therapy against lethal murine malaria. Five groups having twelve BALB/c mice each were administered orally with 0.2 ml/mouse/day of different drugs, and their antimalarial potential was evaluated by Peter's 4-day test. The combination of Chin. 30 and Chel. 30 exhibited complete parasite clearance by the 28th day post-inoculation which was similar to the positive control [artesunate (4 mg/kg)+sulphadoxine-primethamine (1.2 mg/kg)] group. Both the groups exhibited enhanced mean survival time (MST) 28±0 days,whereas, the mice of infected control group survived up to 7.6±0.4 days only. The preventive and curative activities of the combination in comparison to the positive controls [pyrimethamine (1.2 mg/Kg) and chloroquine (20 mg/Kg), respectively] were also evaluated. The combination had a significant preventive activity (p<0.0005), with 89.2% chemosuppression which was higher than the standard drug, pyrimethamine (83.8%). It also showed a moderate curative activity with complete clearance of parasite in 50% of surviving mice, and enhancing the MST of mice up to 26.8±2.8 days. These findings point to the significant antiplasmodial efficacy of the combination of these homeopathic drugs against Plasmodium berghei.

  8. Adaptive evolution of malaria parasites in French Guiana: Reversal of chloroquine resistance by acquisition of a mutation in pfcrt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelleau, Stéphane; Moss, Eli L; Dhingra, Satish K; Volney, Béatrice; Casteras, Jessica; Gabryszewski, Stanislaw J; Volkman, Sarah K; Wirth, Dyann F; Legrand, Eric; Fidock, David A; Neafsey, Daniel E; Musset, Lise

    2015-09-15

    In regions with high malaria endemicity, the withdrawal of chloroquine (CQ) as first-line treatment of Plasmodium falciparum infections has typically led to the restoration of CQ susceptibility through the reexpansion of the wild-type (WT) allele K76 of the chloroquine resistance transporter gene (pfcrt) at the expense of less fit mutant alleles carrying the CQ resistance (CQR) marker K76T. In low-transmission settings, such as South America, drug resistance mutations can attain 100% prevalence, thereby precluding the return of WT parasites after the complete removal of drug pressure. In French Guiana, despite the fixation of the K76T allele, the prevalence of CQR isolates progressively dropped from >90% to <30% during 17 y after CQ withdrawal in 1995. Using a genome-wide association study with CQ-sensitive (CQS) and CQR isolates, we have identified a single mutation in pfcrt encoding a C350R substitution that is associated with the restoration of CQ susceptibility. Genome editing of the CQR reference strain 7G8 to incorporate PfCRT C350R caused a complete loss of CQR. A retrospective molecular survey on 580 isolates collected from 1997 to 2012 identified all C350R mutant parasites as being CQS. This mutation emerged in 2002 and rapidly spread throughout the P. falciparum population. The C350R allele is also associated with a significant decrease in piperaquine susceptibility in vitro, suggesting that piperaquine pressure in addition to potential fitness costs associated with the 7G8-type CQR pfcrt allele may have selected for this mutation. These findings have important implications for understanding the evolutionary dynamics of antimalarial drug resistance.

  9. Structure and reaction mechanism of phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: an antiparasitic drug target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soon Goo; Kim, Youngchang; Alpert, Tara D; Nagata, Akina; Jez, Joseph M

    2012-01-06

    In the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a multifunctional phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase (PfPMT) catalyzes the methylation of phosphoethanolamine (pEA) to phosphocholine for membrane biogenesis. This pathway is also found in plant and nematodes, but PMT from these organisms use multiple methyltransferase domains for the S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) reactions. Because PfPMT is essential for normal growth and survival of Plasmodium and is not found in humans, it is an antiparasitic target. Here we describe the 1.55 Å resolution crystal structure of PfPMT in complex with AdoMet by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion phasing. In addition, 1.19-1.52 Å resolution structures of PfPMT with pEA (substrate), phosphocholine (product), sinefungin (inhibitor), and both pEA and S-adenosylhomocysteine bound were determined. These structures suggest that domain rearrangements occur upon ligand binding and provide insight on active site architecture defining the AdoMet and phosphobase binding sites. Functional characterization of 27 site-directed mutants identifies critical active site residues and suggests that Tyr-19 and His-132 form a catalytic dyad. Kinetic analysis, isothermal titration calorimetry, and protein crystallography of the Y19F and H132A mutants suggest a reaction mechanism for the PMT. Not only are Tyr-19 and His-132 required for phosphobase methylation, but they also form a "catalytic" latch that locks ligands in the active site and orders the site for catalysis. This study provides the first insight on this antiparasitic target enzyme essential for survival of the malaria parasite; however, further studies of the multidomain PMT from plants and nematodes are needed to understand the evolutionary division of metabolic function in the phosphobase pathway of these organisms.

  10. Optimising Controlled Human Malaria Infection Studies Using Cryopreserved P. falciparum Parasites Administered by Needle and Syringe.

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    Susanne H Sheehy

    Full Text Available Controlled human malaria infection (CHMI studies have become a routine tool to evaluate efficacy of candidate anti-malarial drugs and vaccines. To date, CHMI trials have mostly been conducted using the bite of infected mosquitoes, restricting the number of trial sites that can perform CHMI studies. Aseptic, cryopreserved P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ Challenge provide a potentially more accurate, reproducible and practical alternative, allowing a known number of sporozoites to be administered simply by injection.We sought to assess the infectivity of PfSPZ Challenge administered in different dosing regimens to malaria-naive healthy adults (n = 18. Six participants received 2,500 sporozoites intradermally (ID, six received 2,500 sporozoites intramuscularly (IM and six received 25,000 sporozoites IM.Five out of six participants receiving 2,500 sporozoites ID, 3/6 participants receiving 2,500 sporozoites IM and 6/6 participants receiving 25,000 sporozoites IM were successfully infected. The median time to diagnosis was 13.2, 17.8 and 12.7 days for 2,500 sporozoites ID, 2,500 sporozoites IM and 25,000 sporozoites IM respectively (Kaplan Meier method; p = 0.024 log rank test.2,500 sporozoites ID and 25,000 sporozoites IM have similar infectivities. Given the dose response in infectivity seen with IM administration, further work should evaluate increasing doses of PfSPZ Challenge IM to identify a dosing regimen that reliably infects 100% of participants.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01465048.

  11. Imputation-based population genetics analysis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samad, Hanif; Coll, Francesc; Preston, Mark D; Ocholla, Harold; Fairhurst, Rick M; Clark, Taane G

    2015-04-01

    Whole-genome sequencing technologies are being increasingly applied to Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates to identify genetic determinants of malaria pathogenesis. However, genome-wide discovery methods, such as haplotype scans for signatures of natural selection, are hindered by missing genotypes in sequence data. Poor correlation between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the P. falciparum genome complicates efforts to apply established missing-genotype imputation methods that leverage off patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD). The accuracy of state-of-the-art, LD-based imputation methods (IMPUTE, Beagle) was assessed by measuring allelic r2 for 459 P. falciparum samples from malaria patients in 4 countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Gambia, and Malawi. In restricting our analysis to 86 k high-quality SNPs across the populations, we found that the complete-case analysis was restricted to 21k SNPs (24.5%), despite no single SNP having more than 10% missing genotypes. The accuracy of Beagle in filling in missing genotypes was consistently high across all populations (allelic r2, 0.87-0.96), but the performance of IMPUTE was mixed (allelic r2, 0.34-0.99) depending on reference haplotypes and population. Positive selection analysis using Beagle-imputed haplotypes identified loci involved in resistance to chloroquine (crt) in Thailand, Cambodia, and Gambia, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (dhfr, dhps) in Cambodia, and artemisinin (kelch13) in Cambodia. Tajima's D-based analysis identified genes under balancing selection that encode well-characterized vaccine candidates: apical merozoite antigen 1 (ama1) and merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1). In contrast, the complete-case analysis failed to identify any well-validated drug resistance or candidate vaccine loci, except kelch13. In a setting of low LD and modest levels of missing genotypes, using Beagle to impute P. falciparum genotypes is a viable strategy for conducting accurate large-scale population genetics and

  12. Finding parasites and finding challenges: improved diagnostic access and trends in reported malaria and anti-malarial drug use in Livingstone district, Zambia

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    Masaninga Freddie

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the impact of malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT use on management of acute febrile disease at a community level, and on the consumption of anti-malarial medicines, is critical to the planning and success of scale-up to universal parasite-based diagnosis by health systems in malaria-endemic countries. Methods A retrospective study of district-wide community-level RDT introduction was conducted in Livingstone District, Zambia, to assess the impact of this programmed on malaria reporting, incidence of mortality and on district anti-malarial consumption. Results Reported malaria declined from 12,186 cases in the quarter prior to RDT introduction in 2007 to an average of 12.25 confirmed and 294 unconfirmed malaria cases per quarter over the year to September 2009. Reported malaria-like fever also declined, with only 4,381 RDTs being consumed per quarter over the same year. Reported malaria mortality declined to zero in the year to September 2009, and all-cause mortality declined. Consumption of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT dropped dramatically, but remained above reported malaria, declining from 12,550 courses dispensed by the district office in the quarter prior to RDT implementation to an average of 822 per quarter over the last year. Quinine consumption in health centres also declined, with the district office ceasing to supply due to low usage, but requests for sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP rose to well above previous levels, suggesting substitution of ACT with this drug in RDT-negative cases. Conclusions RDT introduction led to a large decline in reported malaria cases and in ACT consumption in Livingstone district. Reported malaria mortality declined to zero, indicating safety of the new diagnostic regime, although adherence and/or use of RDTs was still incomplete. However, a deficiency is apparent in management of non-malarial fever, with inappropriate use of a low-cost single dose drug, SP

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Expanding access to parasite-based malaria diagnosis through retail drug shops in Tanzania: evidence from a randomized trial and implications for treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maloney, Kathleen; Ward, Abigail; Krenz, Bonnie; Petty, Nora; Bryson, Lindsay; Dolkart, Caitlin; Visser, Theodoor; Le Menach, Arnaud; Scott, Valerie K; Cohen, Justin M; Mtumbuka, Esther; Mkude, Sigsbert

    2017-01-03

    Tanzania has seen a reduction in the fraction of fevers caused by malaria, likely due in part to scale-up of control measures. While national guidelines require parasite-based diagnosis prior to treatment, it is estimated that more than half of suspected malaria treatment-seeking in Tanzania initiates in the private retail sector, where diagnosis by malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) or microscopy is illegal. This pilot study investigated whether the introduction of RDTs into Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs) under realistic market conditions would improve case management practices. Dispensers from ADDOs in two intervention districts in Tanzania were trained to stock and perform RDTs and monitored quarterly. Each district was assigned a different recommended retail price to evaluate the need for a subsidy. Malaria RDT and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) uptake and availability were measured pre-intervention and 1 year post-intervention through structured surveys of ADDO owners and exiting customers in both intervention districts and one contiguous control district. Descriptive analysis and logistic regression were used to compare the three districts and identify predictive variables for testing. A total of 310 dispensers from 262 ADDOs were trained to stock and perform RDTs. RDT availability in intervention ADDOs increased from 1% (n = 172) to 73% (n = 163) during the study; ACT medicines were available in 75% of 260 pre-intervention and 68% of 254 post-intervention ADDOs. Pre-treatment testing performed within the ADDO increased from 0 to 65% of suspected malaria patients who visited a shop (95% CI 60.8-69.6%) with no difference between intervention districts. Overall parasite-based diagnosis increased from 19 to 74% in intervention districts and from 3 to 18% in the control district. Prior knowledge of RDT availability (aOR = 1.9, p = 0.03) and RDT experience (aOR = 1.9, p = 0.01) were predictors for testing. Adherence data

  15. Experimental evolution of resistance to artemisinin combination therapy results in amplification of the mdr1 gene in a rodent malaria parasite.

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    Louise A Rodrigues

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Lacking suitable alternatives, the control of malaria increasingly depends upon Artemisinin Combination Treatments (ACT: resistance to these drugs would therefore be disastrous. For ACTs, the biology of resistance to the individual components has been investigated, but experimentally induced resistance to component drugs in combination has not been generated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have used the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi to select in vivo resistance to the artesunate (ATN+mefloquine (MF version of ACT, through prolonged exposure of parasites to both drugs over many generations. The selection procedure was carried out over twenty-seven consecutive sub-inoculations under increasing ATN+MF doses, after which a genetically stable resistant parasite, AS-ATNMF1, was cloned. AS-ATNMF1 showed increased resistance to ATN+MF treatment and to artesunate or mefloquine administered separately. Investigation of candidate genes revealed an mdr1 duplication in the resistant parasites and increased levels of mdr1 transcripts and protein. There were no point mutations in the atpase6 or ubp1genes. CONCLUSION: Resistance to ACTs may evolve even when the two drugs within the combination are taken simultaneously and amplification of the mdr1 gene may contribute to this phenotype. However, we propose that other gene(s, as yet unidentified, are likely to be involved.

  16. Identification of phosphorylated proteins in erythrocytes infected by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

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    Xia Dong

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous comparative proteomic analysis on Plasmodium falciparum isolates of different adhesion properties suggested that protein phosphorylation varies between isolates with different cytoadherence properties. But the extent and dynamic changes in phosphorylation have not been systematically studied. As a baseline for these future studies, this paper examined changes in the phosphoproteome of parasitized red blood cells (pRBC. Methods Metabolic labelling with [35S] methionine on pRBC and 2D gel electrophoresis (2-DE has previously been used to show the expression of parasite proteins and changes in protein iso-electric point (PI. 2-DE of different parasite strains was combined with immunoblotting using monoclonal antibodies specifically to phosphorylated serine/threonine and tyrosine, to obtain the phosphorylation profiles throughout the erythrocytic lifecycle. Affinity chromatography was used to purify/enrich phosphorylated proteins and these proteins from mature trophozoite stages which were identified using high-accuracy mass spectrometry and MASCOT search. Results 2D-immunoblots showed that P. falciparum infection greatly increased phosphorylation of a set of proteins in pRBC, the dominant size classes for phosphorylated tyrosine proteins were 95, 60, 50 and 30 kDa and for phosphorylated serine/threonine were 120, 95, 60, 50, 43, 40 and 30 kDa. The most abundant molecules from 2D-gel mapping of phosphorylated proteins in ItG infected RBCs were identified by MALDI-TOF. A proteomic overview of phosphorylated proteins in pRBC was achieved by using complementary phosphorylated protein enrichment techniques combined with nano-flow LC/MS/MS analysis and MASCOT MS/MS ions search with phosphorylation as variable modifications. The definite phosphoproteins of pRBC are reported and discussed. Conclusion Protein phosphorylation is a major process in P. falciparum-parasitized erythrocytes. Preliminary screens identified 170 P

  17. SYBR Green real-time PCR-RFLP assay targeting the plasmodium cytochrome B gene--a highly sensitive molecular tool for malaria parasite detection and species determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Weiping; Morris, Ulrika; Aydin-Schmidt, Berit; Msellem, Mwinyi I; Shakely, Delér; Petzold, Max; Björkman, Anders; Mårtensson, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    A prerequisite for reliable detection of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings is the availability of ultra-sensitive and high-throughput molecular tools. We developed a SYBR Green real-time PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism assay (cytb-qPCR) targeting the cytochrome b gene of the four major human Plasmodium species (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale) for parasite detection and species determination with DNA extracted from dried blood spots collected on filter paper. The performance of cytb-qPCR was first compared against four reference PCR methods using serially diluted Plasmodium samples. The detection limit of the cytb-qPCR was 1 parasite/μl (p/μl) for P. falciparum and P. ovale, and 2 p/μl for P. vivax and P. malariae, while the reference PCRs had detection limits of 0.5-10 p/μl. The ability of the PCR methods to detect low-density Plasmodium infections was then assessed using 2977 filter paper samples collected during a cross-sectional survey in Zanzibar, a malaria pre-elimination setting in sub-Saharan Africa. Field samples were defined as 'final positive' if positive in at least two of the five PCR methods. Cytb-qPCR preformed equal to or better than the reference PCRs with a sensitivity of 100% (65/65; 95%CI 94.5-100%) and a specificity of 99.9% (2910/2912; 95%CI 99.7-100%) when compared against 'final positive' samples. The results indicate that the cytb-qPCR may represent an opportunity for improved molecular surveillance of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings.

  18. SYBR Green Real-Time PCR-RFLP Assay Targeting the Plasmodium Cytochrome B Gene – A Highly Sensitive Molecular Tool for Malaria Parasite Detection and Species Determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Weiping; Morris, Ulrika; Aydin-Schmidt, Berit; Msellem, Mwinyi I.; Shakely, Delér; Petzold, Max; Björkman, Anders; Mårtensson, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    A prerequisite for reliable detection of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings is the availability of ultra-sensitive and high-throughput molecular tools. We developed a SYBR Green real-time PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism assay (cytb-qPCR) targeting the cytochrome b gene of the four major human Plasmodium species (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale) for parasite detection and species determination with DNA extracted from dried blood spots collected on filter paper. The performance of cytb-qPCR was first compared against four reference PCR methods using serially diluted Plasmodium samples. The detection limit of the cytb-qPCR was 1 parasite/μl (p/μl) for P. falciparum and P. ovale, and 2 p/μl for P. vivax and P. malariae, while the reference PCRs had detection limits of 0.5–10 p/μl. The ability of the PCR methods to detect low-density Plasmodium infections was then assessed using 2977 filter paper samples collected during a cross-sectional survey in Zanzibar, a malaria pre-elimination setting in sub-Saharan Africa. Field samples were defined as ‘final positive’ if positive in at least two of the five PCR methods. Cytb-qPCR preformed equal to or better than the reference PCRs with a sensitivity of 100% (65/65; 95%CI 94.5–100%) and a specificity of 99.9% (2910/2912; 95%CI 99.7–100%) when compared against ‘final positive’ samples. The results indicate that the cytb-qPCR may represent an opportunity for improved molecular surveillance of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings. PMID:25774805

  19. Inhibition of Plasmepsin V activity demonstrates its essential role in protein export, PfEMP1 display, and survival of malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sleebs, Brad E; Lopaticki, Sash; Marapana, Danushka S;

    2014-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports several hundred proteins into the infected erythrocyte that are involved in cellular remodeling and severe virulence. The export mechanism involves the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL), which is a cleavage site for the parasite protease......, Plasmepsin V (PMV). The PMV gene is refractory to deletion, suggesting it is essential, but definitive proof is lacking. Here, we generated a PEXEL-mimetic inhibitor that potently blocks the activity of PMV isolated from P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Assessment of PMV activity in P. falciparum revealed...... surface, and cytoadherence. The inhibitor killed parasites at the trophozoite stage and knockdown of PMV enhanced sensitivity to the inhibitor, while overexpression of PMV increased resistance. This provides the first direct evidence that PMV activity is essential for protein export in Plasmodium spp...

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

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    M El Bakkouri; A Pow; A Mulichak; K Cheung; J Artz; M Amani; S Fell; T de Koning-Ward; C Goodman; et al.

    2011-12-31

    The Clpchaperones 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 Clpchaperones and proteases in the humanmalariaparasitePlasmodiumfalciparum. 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 Clpchaperones 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.

  1. Biochemical and genetic analysis of the phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Jennifer M; Takebe, Sachiko; Choi, Jae-Yeon; El Bissati, Kamal; Witola, William H; Bobenchik, April M; Hoch, Jeffrey C; Voelker, Dennis R; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2008-03-21

    The PfPMT enzyme of Plasmodium falciparum, the agent of severe human malaria, is a member of a large family of known and predicted phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) recently identified in plants, worms, and protozoa. Functional studies in P. falciparum revealed that PfPMT plays a critical role in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine via a plant-like pathway involving serine decarboxylation and phosphoethanolamine methylation. Despite their important biological functions, PMT structures have not yet been solved, and nothing is known about which amino acids in these enzymes are critical for catalysis and binding to S-adenosyl-methionine and phosphoethanolamine substrates. Here we have performed a mutational analysis of PfPMT focused on 24 residues within and outside the predicted catalytic motif. The ability of PfPMT to complement the choline auxotrophy of a yeast mutant defective in phospholipid methylation enabled us to characterize the activity of the PfPMT mutants. Mutations in residues Asp-61, Gly-83 and Asp-128 dramatically altered PfPMT activity and its complementation of the yeast mutant. Our analyses identify the importance of these residues in PfPMT activity and set the stage for advanced structural understanding of this class of enzymes.

  2. 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.

  3. The inhibitory effect of 2-halo derivatives of D-glucose on glycolysis and on the proliferation of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schalkwyk, Donelly A; Priebe, Waldemar; Saliba, Kevin J

    2008-11-01

    The intraerythrocytic stage of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum relies on glycolysis for ATP generation, and because it has no energy stores, a constant supply of glucose is necessary for the parasite to grow and multiply. The 2-substituted glucose analogs 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) and 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-FG) have been previously shown to inhibit the in vitro growth of P. falciparum and have been suggested to do so by inhibiting glycosylation in the parasite. In this study, we have investigated the antiplasmodial mechanism of action of 2-DG and 2-FG and compared it with that of other 2-substituted-glucose analogs. The compounds tested inhibited parasite growth to varying degrees, with 2-FG being the most effective. The antiplasmodial activity of some, but not all, of the analogs could be altered by varying the glucose concentration in the culture medium, increasing the antiplasmodial activity of the analogs as the glucose concentration is reduced. A trend was observed between the antiplasmodial activity of these analogs and their ability to inhibit glucose accumulation, glucose phosphorylation by hexokinase, and cytosolic pH regulation within the intraerythrocytic stage of the parasite. Our data are consistent with inhibition of glycolysis being a primary mechanism by which 2-DG and 2-FG inhibit parasite growth, and they validate the early steps in glycolysis as viable drug targets.

  4. A yeast expression system for functional and pharmacological studies of the malaria parasite Ca2+/H+ antiporter

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    Salcedo-Sora J

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Calcium (Ca2+ signalling is fundamental for host cell invasion, motility, in vivo synchronicity and sexual differentiation of the malaria parasite. Consequently, cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is tightly regulated through the co-ordinated action of primary and secondary Ca2+ transporters. Identifying selective inhibitors of Ca2+ transporters is key towards understanding their physiological role as well as having therapeutic potential, therefore screening systems to facilitate the search for potential inhibitors are a priority. Here, the methodology for the expression of a Calcium membrane transporter that can be scaled to high throughputs in yeast is presented. Methods The Plasmodium falciparum Ca2+/H+ antiporter (PfCHA was expressed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its activity monitored by the bioluminescence from apoaequorin triggered by divalent cations, such as calcium, magnesium and manganese. Results Bioluminescence assays demonstrated that PfCHA effectively suppressed induced cytoplasmic peaks of Ca2+, Mg2+ and Mn2+ in yeast mutants lacking the homologue yeast antiporter Vcx1p. In the scalable format of 96-well culture plates pharmacological assays with a cation antiporter inhibitor allowed the measurement of inhibition of the Ca2+ transport activity of PfCHA conveniently translated to the familiar concept of fractional inhibitory concentrations. Furthermore, the cytolocalization of this antiporter in the yeast cells showed that whilst PfCHA seems to locate to the mitochondrion of P. falciparum, in yeast PfCHA is sorted to the vacuole. This facilitates the real-time Ca2+-loading assays for further functional and pharmacological studies. Discussion The functional expression of PfCHA in S. cerevisiae and luminescence-based detection of cytoplasmic cations as presented here offer a tractable system that facilitates functional and pharmacological studies in a high-throughput format. PfCHA is shown to behave as a divalent

  5. The antimicrobial molecule trappin-2/elafin has anti-parasitic properties and is protective in vivo in a murine model of cerebral malaria

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    Roussilhon, Christian; Bang, Gilles; Bastaert, Fabien; Solhonne, Brigitte; Garcia-Verdugo, Ignacio; Peronet, Roger; Druilhe, Pierre; Sakuntabhai, Anavaj; Mecheri, Salaheddine; Sallenave, Jean-Michel

    2017-01-01

    According to the WHO, and despite reduction in mortality rates, there were an estimated 438 000 malaria deaths in 2015. Therefore new antimalarials capable of limiting organ damage are still required. We show that systemic and lung adenovirus (Ad)-mediated over-expression of trappin-2 (T-2) an antibacterial molecule with anti-inflammatory activity, increased mice survival following infection with the cerebral malaria-inducing Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbANKA) strain. Systemically, T-2 reduced PbANKA sequestration in spleen, lung, liver and brain, associated with a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines (eg TNF-α in spleen and lung) and an increase in IL-10 production in the lung. Similarly, local lung instillation of Ad-T-2 resulted in a reduced organ parasite sequestration and a shift towards an anti-inflammatory/repair response, potentially implicating monocytes in the protective phenotype. Relatedly, we demonstrated in vitro that human monocytes incubated with Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (Pf-iRBCs) and IgGs from hyper-immune African human sera produced T-2 and that the latter colocalized with merozoites and inhibited Pf multiplication. This array of data argues for the first time for the potential therapeutic usefulness of this host defense peptide in human malaria patients, with the aim to limit acute lung injury and respiratory distress syndrom often observed during malaria episodes. PMID:28181563

  6. [Physiopathology of cerebral malaria].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringwald, P

    1995-01-01

    Physiopathology of severe malaria is extremely complex and misappreciated. Sequestration of parasited red cells and role of cytokines are now accepted but we still have to discover why only a few people develop a severe malaria. A better knowledge of that physiopathology would allow the conception of new therapeutic strategies to reduce malaria mortality.

  7. Cytoadherence of the malaria-infected erythrocyte membrane to C32 melanoma cells after merozoites are released from parasitized infected cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winograd, E; Robles, W M; Caldas, M L; Cortes, G T

    2001-04-01

    Infections with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are characterized by cytoadherence of infected erythrocytes to the venular endothelium of several organs. Video microscopy studies have shown that at the end of the asexual life of P. falciparum, the residual body containing haemozoin is released to the extracellular environment along with merozoites, leaving behind an infected erythrocyte "ghost". It is possible that these infected erythrocyte "ghosts" could remain sequestered within the blood vessels of patients infected with P. falciparum even after merozoites have been released from infected erythrocytes. In this study an in vitro cytoadherence assay was developed to show that infected erythrocyte "ghosts" can interact with C32 melanoma cells. Adherent infected erythrocyte "ghosts" contain some of the subcellular compartments of the malaria-infected red blood cell such as the tubo-vesicular membrane network and remnants of the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane, but lack haemozoin.

  8. A replicating adenovirus capsid display recombinant elicits antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites in Aotus nancymaae monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen, Kasey A; Deal, Cailin; Adams, Robert J; Nielsen, Carolyn; Ward, Cameron; Espinosa, Diego A; Xie, Jane; Zavala, Fidel; Ketner, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Decades of success with live adenovirus vaccines suggest that replication-competent recombinant adenoviruses (rAds) could serve as effective vectors for immunization against other pathogens. To explore the potential of a live rAd vaccine against malaria, we prepared a viable adenovirus 5 (Ad5) recombinant that displays a B-cell epitope from the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of Plasmodium falciparum on the virion surface. The recombinant induced P. falciparum sporozoite-neutralizing antibodies in mice. Human adenoviruses do not replicate in mice. Therefore, to examine immunogenicity in a system in which, as in humans, the recombinant replicates, we constructed a similar recombinant in an adenovirus mutant that replicates in monkey cells and immunized four Aotus nancymaae monkeys. The recombinant replicated in the monkeys after intratracheal instillation, the first demonstration of replication of human adenoviruses in New World monkeys. Immunization elicited antibodies both to the Plasmodium epitope and the Ad5 vector. Antibodies from all four monkeys recognized CSP on intact parasites, and plasma from one monkey neutralized sporozoites in vitro and conferred partial protection against P. falciparum sporozoite infection after passive transfer to mice. Prior enteric inoculation of two animals with antigenically wild-type adenovirus primed a response to the subsequent intratracheal inoculation, suggesting a route to optimizing performance. A vaccine is not yet available against P. falciparum, which induces the deadliest form of malaria and kills approximately one million children each year. The live capsid display recombinant described here may constitute an early step in a critically needed novel approach to malaria immunization. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  9. Infection dynamics of endemic malaria in a wild bird population: parasite species-dependent drivers of spatial and temporal variation in transmission rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachish, Shelly; Knowles, Sarah C L; Alves, Ricardo; Wood, Matthew J; Sheldon, Ben C

    2011-11-01

    1. Investigating the ecological context in which host-parasite interactions occur and the roles of biotic and abiotic factors in forcing infection dynamics is essential to understanding disease transmission, spread and maintenance. 2. Despite their prominence as model host-pathogen systems, the relative influence of environmental heterogeneity and host characteristics in influencing the infection dynamics of avian blood parasites has rarely been assessed in the wild, particularly at a within-population scale. 3. We used a novel multievent modelling framework (an extension of multistate mark-recapture modelling) that allows for uncertainty in disease state, to estimate transmission parameters and assess variation in the infection dynamics of avian malaria in a large, longitudinally sampled data set of breeding blue tits infected with two divergent species of Plasmodium parasites. 4. We found striking temporal and spatial heterogeneity in the disease incidence rate and the likelihood of recovery within this single population and demonstrate marked differences in the relative influence of environmental and host factors in forcing the infection dynamics of the two Plasmodium species. 5. Proximity to a permanent water source greatly influenced the transmission rates of P. circumflexum, but not of P. relictum, suggesting that these parasites are transmitted by different vectors. 6. Host characteristics (age/sex) were found to influence infection rates but not recovery rates, and their influence on infection rates was also dependent on parasite species: P. relictum infection rates varied with host age, whilst P. circumflexum infection rates varied with host sex. 7. Our analyses reveal that transmission of endemic avian malaria is a result of complex interactions between biotic and abiotic components that can operate on small spatial scales and demonstrate that knowledge of the drivers of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in disease transmission will be

  10. Post-translational generation of constitutively active cores from larger phosphatases in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum: implications for proteomics

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    Adams Brian

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although the complete genome sequences of a large number of organisms have been determined, the exact proteomes need to be characterized. More specifically, the extent to which post-translational processes such as proteolysis affect the synthesized proteins has remained unappreciated. We examined this issue in selected protein phosphatases of the protease-rich malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Results P. falciparum encodes a number of Ser/Thr protein phosphatases (PP whose catalytic subunits are composed of a catalytic core and accessory domains essential for regulation of the catalytic activity. Two examples of such regulatory domains are found in the Ca+2-regulated phosphatases, PP7 and PP2B (calcineurin. The EF-hand domains of PP7 and the calmodulin-binding domain of PP2B are essential for stimulation of the phosphatase activity by Ca+2. We present biochemical evidence that P. falciparum generates these full-length phosphatases as well as their catalytic cores, most likely as intermediates of a proteolytic degradation pathway. While the full-length phosphatases are activated by Ca+2, the processed cores are constitutively active and either less responsive or unresponsive to Ca+2. The processing is extremely rapid, specific, and occurs in vivo. Conclusions Post-translational cleavage efficiently degrades complex full-length phosphatases in P. falciparum. In the course of such degradation, enzymatically active catalytic cores are produced as relatively stable intermediates. The universality of such proteolysis in other phosphatases or other multi-domain proteins and its potential impact on the overall proteome of a cell merits further investigation.

  11. New targets for drug discovery against malaria.

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    Guido Santos

    Full Text Available A mathematical model which predicts the intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum infection was developed using data from malaria-infected mice. Variables selected accounted for levels of healthy red blood cells, merozoite (Plasmodium asexual phase infected red blood cells, gametocyte (Plasmodium sexual phase infected red blood cells and a phenomenological variable which accounts for the mean activity of the immune system of the host. The model built was able to reproduce the behavior of three different scenarios of malaria. It predicts the later dynamics of malaria-infected humans well after the first peak of parasitemia, the qualitative response of malaria-infected monkeys to vaccination and the changes observed in malaria-infected mice when they are treated with antimalarial drugs. The mathematical model was used to identify new targets to be focused on drug design. Optimization methodologies were applied to identify five targets for minimizing the parasite load; four of the targets thus identified have never before been taken into account in drug design. The potential targets include: 1 increasing the death rate of the gametocytes, 2 decreasing the invasion rate of the red blood cells by the merozoites, 3 increasing the transformation of merozoites into gametocytes, 4 decreasing the activation of the immune system by the gametocytes, and finally 5 a combination of the previous target with decreasing the recycling rate of the red blood cells. The first target is already used in current therapies, whereas the remainders are proposals for potential new targets. Furthermore, the combined target (the simultaneous decrease of the activation of IS by gRBC and the decrease of the influence of IS on the recycling of hRBC is interesting, since this combination does not affect the parasite directly. Thus, it is not expected to generate selective pressure on the parasites, which means that it would not produce resistance in Plasmodium.

  12. 1H NMR metabonomics indicates continued metabolic changes and sexual dimorphism post-parasite clearance in self-limiting murine malaria model.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  14. A new morphologically distinct avian malaria parasite that fails detection by established polymerase chain reaction-based protocols for amplification of the cytochrome B gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehtindjiev, Pavel; Križanauskienė, Asta; Bensch, Staffan; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Asghar, Muhammad; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Scebba, Sergio; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2012-06-01

    Plasmodium polymorphum n. sp. (Haemosporida, Plasmodiidae) was found in the skylark, Alauda arvensis (Passeriformes: Alaudidae), during autumnal migration in southern Italy. This organism is illustrated and described based on the morphology of its blood stages. The most distinctive feature of this malaria parasite is the clear preference of its blood stages (trophozoites, meronts, and gametocytes) for immature red blood cells, including erythroblasts. Based on preference of erythrocytic meronts for immature red blood cells, P. polymorphum is most similar to species of the subgenus Huffia . This parasite can be readily distinguished from all other bird malaria parasites, including Plasmodium ( Huffia ) spp., due to preferential development and maturation of its gametocytes in immature red blood cells, a unique character for avian Plasmodium spp. In addition, the margins of nuclei in blood stages of P. polymorphum are markedly smooth and distinct; this is also a distinct diagnostic feature of this parasite. Plasmodium polymorphum has been recorded only in the skylark; it is probably a rare parasite, whose host range and geographical distribution remain unclear. Microscopic examination detected a light infection of Plasmodium relictum (lineage GRW11, parasitemia of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cyt b ) of P. polymorphum from the microscopically positive sample by using published and newly designed primers for DNA amplification of avian Plasmodium spp. The light parasitemia of P. relictum was easily detectable using several polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assays, but P. polymorphum was undetectable in all applied assays. Quantitative PCR also showed the presence of light parasitemia (0.06%) of the lineage GRW11 in this sample. This supports the conclusion that the morphologically distinct parasite observed along with P. relictum and predominant in the sample is genetically dissimilar from the lineage GRW11 based on cyt b sequence. In samples with co

  15. Malaria infection of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae activates immune-responsive genes during critical transition stages of the parasite life cycle.

    OpenAIRE

    Dimopoulos, G; Seeley, D; Wolf, A.; Kafatos, F C

    1998-01-01

    Six gene markers have been used to map the progress of the innate immune response of the mosquito vector, Anopheles gambiae, upon infection by the malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei. In addition to four previously reported genes, the set of markers included NOS (a nitric oxide synthase gene fragment) and ICHIT (a gene encoding two putative chitin-binding domains separated by a polythreonine-rich mucin region). In the midgut, a robust response occurs at 24 h post-infection, at a time when ma...

  16. THE REAL McCOIL: A method for the concurrent estimation of the complexity of infection and SNP allele frequency for malaria parasites