Jiang, Lubin; Mu, Jianbing; Zhang, Qingfeng
The variant antigen Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), which is expressed on the surface of P. falciparum-infected red blood cells, is a critical virulence factor for malaria. Each parasite has 60 antigenically distinct var genes that each code for a different PfEMP1...... parasite nuclei and their expression as proteins on the surface of individual infected red blood cells. PfSETvs-dependent H3K36me3 is present along the entire gene body, including the transcription start site, to silence var genes. With low occupancy of PfSETvs at both the transcription start site of var...... protein. During infection the clonal parasite population expresses only one gene at a time before switching to the expression of a new variant antigen as an immune-evasion mechanism to avoid the host antibody response. The mechanism by which 59 of the 60 var genes are silenced remains largely unknown...
Callaghan, Paul S.; Siriwardana, Amila; Hassett, Matthew R.; Roepe, Paul D.
Background Recent work has perfected yeast-based methods for measuring drug transport by the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine (CQ) resistance transporter (PfCRT). Methods The approach relies on inducible heterologous expression of PfCRT in Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. In these experiments selecting drug concentrations are not toxic to the yeast, nor is expression of PfCRT alone toxic. Only when PfCRT is expressed in the presence of CQ is the growth of yeast impaired, due to inward transpo...
NARUM, DL; WELLING, GW; THOMAS, AW
A two-step purification regime has been developed for a quantitatively minor, putatively transmembrane, M(r) 83 000, apical membrane blood stage vaccine candidate antigen of Plasmodium falciparum (PF83/AMA-1), that has been expressed as a full-length baculovirus recombinant protein, PF83-FG8-1. The
Hou, X; Chen, X; Zhang, M; Yan, A
Plasmodium falciparum, the most fatal parasite that causes malaria, is responsible for over one million deaths per year. P. falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (PfDHODH) has been validated as a promising drug development target for antimalarial therapy since it catalyzes the rate-limiting step for DNA and RNA biosynthesis. In this study, we investigated the quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) of the antimalarial activity of PfDHODH inhibitors by generating four computational models using a multilinear regression (MLR) and a support vector machine (SVM) based on a dataset of 255 PfDHODH inhibitors. All the models display good prediction quality with a leave-one-out q(2) >0.66, a correlation coefficient (r) >0.85 on both training sets and test sets, and a mean square error (MSE) antimalarial activity. The models are capable of predicting inhibitors' antimalarial activity and the molecular descriptors for building the models could be helpful in the development of new antimalarial drugs.
Arnot, David E; Jensen, Anja T R
. Sterile immunity is not achieved and chronic parasitization of apparently healthy adults is the norm. In this article, we analyse the best understood malaria "antigenic variation" system, that based on Plasmodium falciparum's PfEMP1-type cytoadhesion antigens, and critically review recent literature...
Andrew R Williams
Full Text Available No vaccine has yet proven effective against the blood-stages of Plasmodium falciparum, which cause the symptoms and severe manifestations of malaria. We recently found that PfRH5, a P. falciparum-specific protein expressed in merozoites, is efficiently targeted by broadly-neutralizing, vaccine-induced antibodies. Here we show that antibodies against PfRH5 efficiently inhibit the in vitro growth of short-term-adapted parasite isolates from Cambodia, and that the EC(50 values of antigen-specific antibodies against PfRH5 are lower than those against PfAMA1. Since antibody responses elicited by multiple antigens are speculated to improve the efficacy of blood-stage vaccines, we conducted detailed assessments of parasite growth inhibition by antibodies against PfRH5 in combination with antibodies against seven other merozoite antigens. We found that antibodies against PfRH5 act synergistically with antibodies against certain other merozoite antigens, most notably with antibodies against other erythrocyte-binding antigens such as PfRH4, to inhibit the growth of a homologous P. falciparum clone. A combination of antibodies against PfRH4 and basigin, the erythrocyte receptor for PfRH5, also potently inhibited parasite growth. This methodology provides the first quantitative evidence that polyclonal vaccine-induced antibodies can act synergistically against P. falciparum antigens and should help to guide the rational development of future multi-antigen vaccines.
Full Text Available Genetic variation is an essential means of evolution and adaptation in many organisms in response to environmental change. Certain DNA alterations can be carried out by site-specific recombinases (SSRs that fall into two families: the serine and the tyrosine recombinases. SSRs are seldom found in eukaryotes. A gene homologous to a tyrosine site-specific recombinase has been identified in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum. The sequence is highly conserved among five other members of Plasmodia.The predicted open reading frame encodes for a ∼57 kDa protein containing a C-terminal domain including the putative tyrosine recombinase conserved active site residues R-H-R-(H/W-Y. The N-terminus has the typical alpha-helical bundle and potentially a mixed alpha-beta domain resembling that of λ-Int. Pf-Int mRNA is expressed differentially during the P. falciparum erythrocytic life stages, peaking in the schizont stage. Recombinant Pf-Int and affinity chromatography of DNA from genomic or synthetic origin were used to identify potential DNA targets after sequencing or micro-array hybridization. Interestingly, the sequences captured also included highly variable subtelomeric genes such as var, rif, and stevor sequences. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays with DNA were carried out to verify Pf-Int/DNA binding. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasites were created in order to investigate the biological role of Pf-Int.Our data identify for the first time a malaria parasite gene with structural and functional features of recombinases. Pf-Int may bind to and alter DNA, either in a sequence specific or in a non-specific fashion, and may contribute to programmed or random DNA rearrangements. Pf-Int is the first molecular player identified with a potential role in genome plasticity in this pathogen. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasite is viable showing no detectable impact on blood stage development, which is compatible with such function.
Full Text Available Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum cyclic amine resistance locus (PfCARL are associated with parasite resistance to the imidazolopiperazines, a potent class of novel antimalarial compounds that display both prophylactic and transmission-blocking activity, in addition to activity against blood-stage parasites. Here, we show that pfcarl encodes a protein, with a predicted molecular weight of 153 kDa, that localizes to the cis-Golgi apparatus of the parasite in both asexual and sexual blood stages. Utilizing clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR-mediated gene introduction of 5 variants (L830V, S1076N/I, V1103L, and I1139K, we demonstrate that mutations in pfcarl are sufficient to generate resistance against the imidazolopiperazines in both asexual and sexual blood-stage parasites. We further determined that the mutant PfCARL protein confers resistance to several structurally unrelated compounds. These data suggest that PfCARL modulates the levels of small-molecule inhibitors that affect Golgi-related processes, such as protein sorting or membrane trafficking, and is therefore an important mechanism of resistance in malaria parasites.
Callaghan, Paul S; Siriwardana, Amila; Hassett, Matthew R; Roepe, Paul D
Recent work has perfected yeast-based methods for measuring drug transport by the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine (CQ) resistance transporter (PfCRT). The approach relies on inducible heterologous expression of PfCRT in Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. In these experiments selecting drug concentrations are not toxic to the yeast, nor is expression of PfCRT alone toxic. Only when PfCRT is expressed in the presence of CQ is the growth of yeast impaired, due to inward transport of chloroquine (CQ) via the transporter. During analysis of all 53 known naturally occurring PfCRT isoforms, two isoforms (PH1 and PH2 PfCRT) were found to be intrinsically toxic to yeast, even in the absence of CQ. Additional analysis of six very recently identified PfCRT isoforms from Malaysia also showed some toxicity. In this paper the nature of this yeast toxicity is examined. Data also show that PH1 and PH2 isoforms of PfCRT transport CQ with an efficiency intermediate to that catalyzed by previously studied CQR conferring isoforms. Mutation of PfCRT at position 160 is found to perturb vacuolar physiology, suggesting a fitness cost to position 160 amino acid substitutions. These data further define the wide range of activities that exist for PfCRT isoforms found in P. falciparum isolates from around the globe.
Michelle L Parker
Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum is an apicomplexan parasite and the etiological agent of severe human malaria. The complex P. falciparum life cycle is supported by a diverse repertoire of surface proteins including the family of 6-Cys s48/45 antigens. Of these, Pf41 is localized to the surface of the blood-stage merozoite through its interaction with the glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored Pf12. Our recent structural characterization of Pf12 revealed two juxtaposed 6-Cys domains (D1 and D2. Pf41, however, contains an additional segment of 120 residues predicted to form a large spacer separating its two 6-Cys domains. To gain insight into the assembly mechanism and overall architecture of the Pf12-Pf41 complex, we first determined the 2.45 Å resolution crystal structure of Pf41 using zinc single-wavelength anomalous dispersion. Structural analysis revealed an unexpected domain organization where the Pf41 6-Cys domains are, in fact, intimately associated and the additional residues instead map predominately to an inserted domain-like region (ID located between two β-strands in D1. Notably, the ID is largely proteolyzed in the final structure suggesting inherent flexibility. To assess the contribution of the ID to complex formation, we engineered a form of Pf41 where the ID was replaced by a short glycine-serine linker and showed by isothermal titration calorimetry that binding to Pf12 was abrogated. Finally, protease protection assays showed that the proteolytic susceptibility of the ID was significantly reduced in the complex, consistent with the Pf41 ID directly engaging Pf12. Collectively, these data establish the architectural organization of Pf41 and define an essential role for the Pf41 ID in promoting assembly of the Pf12-Pf41 heterodimeric complex.
Cobb, David W; Florentin, Anat; Fierro, Manuel A; Krakowiak, Michelle; Moore, Julie M; Muralidharan, Vasant
Export of parasite proteins into the host erythrocyte is essential for survival of Plasmodium falciparum during its asexual life cycle. While several studies described key factors within the parasite that are involved in protein export, the mechanisms employed to traffic exported proteins within the host cell are currently unknown. Members of the Hsp70 family of chaperones, together with their Hsp40 cochaperones, facilitate protein trafficking in other organisms, and are thus likely used by P. falciparum in the trafficking of its exported proteins. A large group of Hsp40 proteins is encoded by the parasite and exported to the host cell, but only one Hsp70, P. falciparum Hsp70x (PfHsp70x), is exported with them. PfHsp70x is absent in most Plasmodium species and is found only in P. falciparum and closely related species that infect apes. Herein, we have utilized clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9 genome editing in P. falciparum to investigate the essentiality of PfHsp70x. We show that parasitic growth was unaffected by knockdown of PfHsp70x using both the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR)-based destabilization domain and the glmS ribozyme system. Similarly, a complete gene knockout of PfHsp70x did not affect the ability of P. falciparum to proceed through its intraerythrocytic life cycle. The effect of PfHsp70x knockdown/knockout on the export of proteins to the host red blood cell (RBC), including the critical virulence factor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), was tested, and we found that this process was unaffected. These data show that although PfHsp70x is the sole exported Hsp70, it is not essential for the asexual development of P. falciparum . IMPORTANCE Half of the world's population lives at risk for malaria. The intraerythrocytic life cycle of Plasmodium spp. is responsible for clinical manifestations of malaria; therefore, knowledge of the parasite's ability to survive within the erythrocyte is
Full Text Available Summary: The deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains a nonphotosynthetic plastid, known as the apicoplast, that functions to produce essential metabolites, and drugs that target the apicoplast are clinically effective. Several prokaryotic caseinolytic protease (Clp genes have been identified in the Plasmodium genome. Using phylogenetic analysis, we focused on the Clp members that may form a regulated proteolytic complex in the apicoplast. We genetically targeted members of this complex and generated conditional mutants of the apicoplast-localized PfClpC chaperone and PfClpP protease. Conditional inhibition of the PfClpC chaperone resulted in growth arrest and apicoplast loss and was rescued by addition of the essential apicoplast-derived metabolite IPP. Using a double-conditional mutant parasite line, we discovered that the chaperone activity is required to stabilize the mature protease, revealing functional interactions. These data demonstrate the essential function of PfClpC in maintaining apicoplast integrity and its role in regulating the proteolytic activity of the Clp complex. : Plasmodium falciparum contains a unique organelle, the apicoplast. Using genetic and phenotypic assays, Florentin et al. characterize the apicoplast Clp chaperone and protease. They find that the chaperone is essential for protease stability and that together they function to maintain organelle integrity and segregation into daughter cells. Keywords: malaria, Plasmodium, apicoplast, IPP, Clp, chaperone, caseinolytic protease
Bakouh, Naziha; Bellanca, Sebastiano; Nyboer, Britta; Moliner Cubel, Sonia; Karim, Zoubida; Sanchez, Cecilia P; Stein, Wilfred D; Planelles, Gabrielle; Lanzer, Michael
The chloroquine resistance transporter of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum , PfCRT, is an important determinant of resistance to several quinoline and quinoline-like antimalarial drugs. PfCRT also plays an essential role in the physiology of the parasite during development inside erythrocytes. However, the function of this transporter besides its role in drug resistance is still unclear. Using electrophysiological and flux experiments conducted on PfCRT-expressing Xenopus laevis oocytes, we show here that both wild-type PfCRT and a PfCRT variant associated with chloroquine resistance transport both ferrous and ferric iron, albeit with different kinetics. In particular, we found that the ability to transport ferrous iron is reduced by the specific polymorphisms acquired by the PfCRT variant as a result of chloroquine selection. We further show that iron and chloroquine transport via PfCRT is electrogenic. If these findings in the Xenopus model extend to P. falciparum in vivo , our data suggest that PfCRT might play a role in iron homeostasis, which is essential for the parasite's development in erythrocytes. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Schlarman Maggie S
Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a significant problem around the world today, thus there is still a need for new control methods to be developed. Because the sporozoite displays dual infectivity for both the mosquito salivary glands and vertebrate host tissue, it is a good target for vaccine development. Methods The P. falciparum gene, PF11_0394, was chosen as a candidate for study due to its potential role in the invasion of host tissues. This gene, which was selected using a data mining approach from PlasmoDB, is expressed both at the transcriptional and protein levels in sporozoites and likely encodes a putative surface protein. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and green fluorescent protein (GFP-trafficking studies, a transcript and protein expression profile of PF11_0394 was determined. Results The PF11_0394 protein has orthologs in other Plasmodium species and Apicomplexans, but none outside of the group Apicomplexa. PF11_0394 transcript was found to be present during both the sporozoite and erythrocytic stages of the parasite life cycle, but no transcript was detected during axenic exoerythrocytic stages. Despite the presence of transcript throughout several life cycle stages, the PF11_0394 protein was only detected in salivary gland sporozoites. Conclusions PF11_0394 appears to be a protein uniquely detected in salivary gland sporozoites. Even though a specific function of PF11_0394 has not been determined in P. falciparum biology, it could be another candidate for a new vaccine.
Patel, Saumya K; Khedkar, Vijay M; Jha, Prakash C; Jasrai, Yogesh T; Pandya, Himanshu A; George, Linz-Buoy; Highland, Hyacinth N; Skelton, Adam A
Phytochemicals of Catharanthus roseus Linn. and Tylophora indica have been known for their inhibition of malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum in cell culture. Resistance to chloroquine (CQ), a widely used antimalarial drug, is due to the CQ resistance transporter (CRT) system. The present study deals with computational modeling of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) protein and development of charged environment to mimic a condition of resistance. The model of PfCRT was developed using Protein homology/analogy engine (PHYRE ver 0.2) and was validated based on the results obtained using PSI-PRED. Subsequently, molecular interactions of selected phytochemicals extracted from C. roseus Linn. and T. indica were studied using multiple-iterated genetic algorithm-based docking protocol in order to investigate the translocation of these legends across the PfCRT protein. Further, molecular dynamics studies exhibiting interaction energy estimates of these compounds within the active site of the protein showed that compounds are more selective toward PfCRT. Clusters of conformations with the free energy of binding were estimated which clearly demonstrated the potential channel and by this means the translocation across the PfCRT is anticipated.
Full Text Available Abstract Background With the increasing resistance of malaria parasites to available drugs, there is an urgent demand to develop new anti-malarial drugs. Calpain inhibitor, ALLN, is proposed to inhibit parasite proliferation by suppressing haemoglobin degradation. This provides Plasmodium calpain as a potential target for drug development. Pf-calpain, a cysteine protease of Plasmodium falciparum, belongs to calpain-7 family, which is an atypical calpain not harboring Ca2+-binding regulatory motifs. In this present study, in order to establish the screening system for Pf-calpain specific inhibitors, the active form of Pf-calpain was first identified. Methods Recombinant Pf-calpain including catalytic subdomain IIa (rPfcal-IIa was heterologously expressed and purified. Enzymatic activity was determined by both fluorogenic substrate assay and gelatin zymography. Molecular homology modeling was carried out to address the activation mode of Pf-calpain in the aspect of structural moiety. Results Based on the measurement of enzymatic activity and protease inhibitor assay, it was found that the active form of Pf-calpain only contains the catalytic subdomain IIa, suggesting that Pf-calpain may function as a monomeric form. The sequence prediction indicates that the catalytic subdomain IIa contains all amino acid residues necessary for catalytic triad (Cys-His-Asn formation. Molecular modeling suggests that the Pf-calpain subdomain IIa makes an active site, holding the catalytic triad residues in their appropriate orientation for catalysis. The mutation analysis further supports that those amino acid residues are functional and have enzymatic activity. Conclusion The identified active form of Pf-calpain could be utilized to establish high-throughput screening system for Pf-calpain inhibitors. Due to its unique monomeric structural property, Pf-calpain could be served as a novel anti-malarial drug target, which has a high specificity for malaria parasite
Lennartz, Frank; Bengtsson, Anja; Olsen, Rebecca W
The virulence of Plasmodium falciparum is linked to the ability of infected erythrocytes (IE) to adhere to the vascular endothelium, mediated by P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). In this article, we report the functional characterization of an mAb that recognizes a panel of P...
Full Text Available largely unexplored. Our present studies suggest that PfPI3K, a novel phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) in Plasmodium falciparum, is exported to the host erythrocyte by the parasite in an active form. PfPI3K is a versatile enzyme as it can generate...
Shakya, Bikash; Penn, Wesley D.; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Lacount, Douglas J.
Plasmodium falciparum extensively modifies the infected red blood cell (RBC), resulting in changes in deformability, shape and surface properties. These alterations suggest that the RBC cytoskeleton is a major target for modification during infection. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to these changes are largely unknown. To begin to address this question, we screened for exported P. falciparum proteins that bound to the erythrocyte cytoskeleton proteins ankyrin 1 (ANK1) and band 4.1 (4.1R), which form critical interactions with other cytoskeletal proteins that contribute to the deformability and stability of RBCs. Yeast two-hybrid screens with ANK1 and 4.1R identified eight interactions with P. falciparum exported proteins, including an interaction between 4.1R and PF3D7_0402000 (PFD0090c). This interaction was first identified in a large-scale screen (Vignali et al., Malaria J, 7:211, 2008), which also reported an interaction between PF3D7_0402000 and ANK1. We confirmed the interactions of PF3D7_0402000 with 4.1R and ANK1 in pair-wise yeast two-hybrid and co-precipitation assays. In both cases, an intact PHIST domain in PF3D7_0402000 was required for binding. Complex purification followed by mass spectrometry analysis provided additional support for the interaction of PF3D7_0402000 with ANK1 and 4.1R. RBC ghost cells loaded with maltose-binding protein (MBP)-PF3D7_0402000 passed through a metal microsphere column less efficiently than mock- or MBP-loaded controls, consistent with an effect of PF3D7_0402000 on RBC rigidity or membrane stability. This study confirmed the interaction of PF3D7_0402000 with 4.1R in multiple independent assays, provided the first evidence that PF3D7_0402000 also binds to ANK1, and suggested that PF3D7_0402000 affects deformability or membrane stability of uninfected RBC ghosts.
Arnot David E
Full Text Available Abstract Background The insertion of parasite antigens into the host erythrocyte membrane and the structure and distribution of Plasmodium falciparum adhesion receptors on that membrane are poorly understood. Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM and a novel labelling and fixation method have been used to obtain high resolution immuno-fluorescent images of erythrocyte surface PfEMP1 and internal antigens which allow analysis of the accumulation of PfEMP1 on the erythrocyte membrane during asexual development. Methods A novel staining technique has been developed which permits distinction between erythrocyte surface PfEMP1 and intracellular PfEMP1, in parasites whose nuclear material is exceptionally well resolved. Primary antibody detection by fluorescence is carried out on the live parasitized erythrocyte. The surface labelled cells are then fixed using paraformaldehyde and permeabilized with a non-ionic detergent to permit access of antibodies to internal parasite antigens. Differentiation between surface and internal antigens is achieved using antibodies labelled with different fluorochromes and confocal microscopy Results Surface exposed PfEMP1 is first detectable by antibodies at the trophozoite stage of intracellular parasite development although the improved detection method indicates that there are differences between different laboratory isolates in the kinetics of accumulation of surface-exposed PfEMP1. Conclusion A sensitive method for labelling surface and internal PfEMP1 with up to three different fluorochromes has been developed for laser scanning confocal optical microscopy and the analysis of the developmental expression of malaria adhesion antigens.
Mohamed A. Abdallah Elbadawi
Full Text Available A new Plasmodium falciparum histone deacetylase1 (PfHDAC1 homology model was built based on the highest sequence identity available template human histone deacetylase 2 structure. The generated model was carefully evaluated for stereochemical accuracy, folding correctness and overall structure quality. All evaluations were acceptable and consistent. Docking a group of hydroxamic acid histone deacetylase inhibitors and valproic acid has shown binding poses that agree well with inhibitor-bound histone deacetylase-solved structural interactions. Docking affinity dG scores were in agreement with available experimental binding affinities. Further, enzyme-ligand complex stability and reliability were investigated by running 5-nanosecond molecular dynamics simulations. Thorough analysis of the simulation trajectories has shown that enzyme-ligand complexes were stable during the simulation period. Interestingly, the calculated theoretical binding energies of the docked hydroxamic acid inhibitors have shown that the model can discriminate between strong and weaker inhibitors and agrees well with the experimental affinities reported in the literature. The model and the docking methodology can be used in screening virtual libraries for PfHDAC1 inhibitors, since the docking scores have ranked ligands in accordance with experimental binding affinities. Valproic acid calculated theoretical binding energy suggests that it may inhibit PfHDAC1.
Saul, A.; Maloy, W.L.; Howard, R.J.; Rock, E.P.
An investigation of antigens accessible to lactoperoxidase-catalysed cell surface iodination on intact Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (RBC) has identified a 125 I-labelled antigen with an apparent size of about 155 kD. This labelled protein was specifically immunoprecipitated by the following antibodies: a rabbit antiserum and a mouse monoclonal antibody raised against a synthetic peptide comprising the 3',8-mer repeat EENVEHDA of the Pf155/RESA protein; a rabbit antiserum raised against a synthetic octapeptide comprising two copies of the 3',4-mer repeat EENV of the Pf155/RESA protein; and rabbit antisera against another synthetic peptide C(MYSNNNVED) 2 . The last antibody shows a strong reaction in asexual blood state parasites with the Pf155/RESA antigen. While this antigen has been described previously as a submembrane component of the outer membrane of infected RBC, this report shows that at least part of it is accessible to the surface of both ring and late trophozoite-infected erythrocytes. 21 refs., 4 figs
Jensen, Anja T R; Magistrado, Pamela; Sharp, Sarah
Parasite-encoded variant surface antigens (VSAs) like the var gene-encoded Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family are responsible for antigenic variation and infected red blood cell (RBC) cytoadhesion in P. falciparum malaria. Parasites causing severe malaria in noni...... genes, such as PFD1235w/MAL7P1.1, appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of severe disease and are thus attractive candidates for a vaccine against life-threatening P. falciparum malaria....
Robbins, Jonathan A; Absalon, Sabrina; Streva, Vincent A; Dvorin, Jeffrey D
All well-studied eukaryotic cell cycles are driven by cyclins, which activate cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), and these protein kinase complexes are viable drug targets. The regulatory control of the Plasmodium falciparum cell division cycle remains poorly understood, and the roles of the various CDKs and cyclins remain unclear. The P. falciparum genome contains multiple CDKs, but surprisingly, it does not contain any sequence-identifiable G 1 -, S-, or M-phase cyclins. We demonstrate that P. falciparum Cyc1 (PfCyc1) complements a G 1 cyclin-depleted Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain and confirm that other identified malaria parasite cyclins do not complement this strain. PfCyc1, which has the highest sequence similarity to the conserved cyclin H, cannot complement a temperature-sensitive yeast cyclin H mutant. Coimmunoprecipitation of PfCyc1 from P. falciparum parasites identifies PfMAT1 and PfMRK as specific interaction partners and does not identify PfPK5 or other CDKs. We then generate an endogenous conditional allele of PfCyc1 in blood-stage P. falciparum using a destabilization domain (DD) approach and find that PfCyc1 is essential for blood-stage proliferation. PfCyc1 knockdown does not impede nuclear division, but it prevents proper cytokinesis. Thus, we demonstrate that PfCyc1 has a functional divergence from bioinformatic predictions, suggesting that the malaria parasite cell division cycle has evolved to use evolutionarily conserved proteins in functionally novel ways. IMPORTANCE Human infection by the eukaryotic parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes malaria. Most well-studied eukaryotic cell cycles are driven by cyclins, which activate cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) to promote essential cell division processes. Remarkably, there are no identifiable cyclins that are predicted to control the cell cycle in the malaria parasite genome. Thus, our knowledge regarding the basic mechanisms of the malaria parasite cell cycle remains unsatisfactory. We
Satish K. Dhingra
Full Text Available Current efforts to reduce the global burden of malaria are threatened by the rapid spread throughout Asia of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies, which includes increasing rates of clinical failure with dihydroartemisinin plus piperaquine (PPQ in Cambodia. Using zinc finger nuclease-based gene editing, we report that addition of the C101F mutation to the chloroquine (CQ resistance-conferring PfCRT Dd2 isoform common to Asia can confer PPQ resistance to cultured parasites. Resistance was demonstrated as significantly higher PPQ concentrations causing 90% inhibition of parasite growth (IC90 or 50% parasite killing (50% lethal dose [LD50]. This mutation also reversed Dd2-mediated CQ resistance, sensitized parasites to amodiaquine, quinine, and artemisinin, and conferred amantadine and blasticidin resistance. Using heme fractionation assays, we demonstrate that PPQ causes a buildup of reactive free heme and inhibits the formation of chemically inert hemozoin crystals. Our data evoke inhibition of heme detoxification in the parasite’s acidic digestive vacuole as the primary mode of both the bis-aminoquinoline PPQ and the related 4-aminoquinoline CQ. Both drugs also inhibit hemoglobin proteolysis at elevated concentrations, suggesting an additional mode of action. Isogenic lines differing in their pfmdr1 copy number showed equivalent PPQ susceptibilities. We propose that mutations in PfCRT could contribute to a multifactorial basis of PPQ resistance in field isolates.
Daria Van Tyne
Full Text Available The Plasmodium falciparum parasite's ability to adapt to environmental pressures, such as the human immune system and antimalarial drugs, makes malaria an enduring burden to public health. Understanding the genetic basis of these adaptations is critical to intervening successfully against malaria. To that end, we created a high-density genotyping array that assays over 17,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (∼ 1 SNP/kb, and applied it to 57 culture-adapted parasites from three continents. We characterized genome-wide genetic diversity within and between populations and identified numerous loci with signals of natural selection, suggesting their role in recent adaptation. In addition, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS, searching for loci correlated with resistance to thirteen antimalarials; we detected both known and novel resistance loci, including a new halofantrine resistance locus, PF10_0355. Through functional testing we demonstrated that PF10_0355 overexpression decreases sensitivity to halofantrine, mefloquine, and lumefantrine, but not to structurally unrelated antimalarials, and that increased gene copy number mediates resistance. Our GWAS and follow-on functional validation demonstrate the potential of genome-wide studies to elucidate functionally important loci in the malaria parasite genome.
Rhea J Longley
Full Text Available Malaria, caused by the Plasmodium parasite, remains a serious global public health concern. A vaccine could have a substantial impact on eliminating this disease, alongside other preventative measures. We recently described the development of three novel, viral vectored vaccines expressing either of the antigens PfUIS3, PfLSA1 and PfLSAP2. Each vaccination regimen provided high levels of protection against chimeric parasite challenge in a mouse model, largely dependent on CD8+ T cells. In this study we aimed to further characterize the induced cellular immune response to these vaccines. We utilized both the IFNγ enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay and intracellular cytokine staining to achieve this aim. We identified immunodominant peptide responses for CD4+ and CD8+ T cells for each of the antigens in BALB/c, C57BL/6 and HLA-A2 transgenic mice, creating a useful tool for researchers for subsequent study of these antigens. We also compared these immunodominant peptides with those generated from epitope prediction software, and found that only a small proportion of the large number of epitopes predicted by the software were identifiable experimentally. Furthermore, we characterized the polyfunctionality of the induced CD8+ T cell responses. These findings contribute to our understanding of the immunological mechanisms underlying these protective vaccines, and provide a useful basis for the assessment of these and related vaccines as clinical constructs.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Host innate immunity contributes to malaria clinical outcome by providing protective inflammatory cytokines such as interferon-gamma, and by shaping the adaptive immune response. Plasmodium falciparum (Pf is the etiologic agent of the most severe forms of human malaria. Natural Killer (NK cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system that are the first effectors to produce interferon-gamma in response to Pf. However, the molecular bases of Pf-NK cell recognition events are unknown. Our study focuses on the role of Pf erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1, a major Pf virulence factor. PfEMP1 is expressed on parasitized-erythrocytes and participates to vascular obstruction through the binding to several host receptors. PfEMP1 is also a pivotal target for host antibody response to Pf infection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using genetically-engineered parasite mutant strains, a human genetic deficiency, and blocking antibodies, we identified two receptor-ligand pairs involved in two uncoupled events occurring during the sensing of Pf infection by NK cells. First, PfEMP1 interaction with one of its host receptor, chondroitin sulfate A, mediates the cytoadhesion of Pf-infected erythrocytes to human NK cell lines, but is not required for primary NK cell activation. Second, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, another host receptor for PfEMP1, is mandatory for NK cell interferon-gamma response. In this case, ICAM-1 acts via its engagement with its host ligand, LFA-1, and not with PfEMP1, consistent with the obligatory cross-talk of NK cells with macrophages for their production of interferon-gamma. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: PfEMP1-independent but ICAM-1/LFA-1-dependent events occurring during NK cell activation by Pf highlight the fundamental role of cellular cooperation during innate immune response to malaria.
Full Text Available Artemisinin, a thapsigargin-like sesquiterpene has been shown to inhibit the Plasmodium falciparum sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium-ATPase PfSERCA. To collect baseline pfserca sequence information before field deployment of Artemisinin-based Combination therapies that may select mutant parasites, we conducted a sequence analysis of 100 isolates from multiple sites in Africa, Asia and South America. Coding sequence diversity was large, with 29 mutated codons, including 32 SNPs (average of one SNP/115 bp, of which 19 were novel mutations. Most SNP detected in this study were clustered within a region in the cytosolic head of the protein. The PfSERCA functional domains were very well conserved, with non synonymous mutations located outside the functional domains, except for the S769N mutation associated in French Guiana with elevated IC(50 for artemether. The S769N mutation is located close to the hinge of the headpiece, which in other species modulates calcium affinity and in consequence efficacy of inhibitors, possibly linking calcium homeostasis to drug resistance. Genetic diversity was highest in Senegal, Brazil and French Guiana, and few mutations were identified in Asia. Population genetic analysis was conducted for a partial fragment of the gene encompassing nucleotide coordinates 87-2862 (unambiguous sequence available for 96 isolates. This supported a geographic clustering, with a separation between Old and New World samples and one dominant ancestral haplotype. Genetic drift alone cannot explain the observed polymorphism, suggesting that other evolutionary mechanisms are operating. One possible contributor could be the frequency of haemoglobinopathies that are associated with calcium dysregulation in the erythrocyte.
David O Nyakundi
Full Text Available The majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded in the nucleus and need to be imported from the cytosol into the mitochondria, and molecular chaperones play a key role in the efficient translocation and proper folding of these proteins in the matrix. One such molecular chaperone is the eukaryotic mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70; however, it is prone to self-aggregation and requires the presence of an essential zinc-finger protein, Hsp70-escort protein 1 (Hep1, to maintain its structure and function. PfHsp70-3, the only Hsp70 predicted to localize in the mitochondria of P. falciparum, may also rely on a Hep1 orthologue to prevent self-aggregation. In this study, we identified a putative Hep1 orthologue in P. falciparum and co-expression of PfHsp70-3 and PfHep1 enhanced the solubility of PfHsp70-3. PfHep1 suppressed the thermally induced aggregation of PfHsp70-3 but not the aggregation of malate dehydrogenase or citrate synthase, thus showing specificity for PfHsp70-3. Zinc ions were indeed essential for maintaining the function of PfHep1, as EDTA chelation abrogated its abilities to suppress the aggregation of PfHsp70-3. Soluble and functional PfHsp70-3, acquired by co-expression with PfHep-1, will facilitate the biochemical characterisation of this particular Hsp70 protein and its evaluation as a drug target for the treatment of malaria.
Chemistry (App I) . VAR2CSA binds specifically to CSA in the placental tissue of pregnant women hereby causing severe malaria symptoms endangering both mother and child. The minimal VAR2CSA region required to effectively bind CSA was determined to be the N-terminal DBL domain, DBL2X which we locate......Infection with the pathogenic Plasmodium falciparum parasite causes the potentially deadly Malaria disease which leads to over 1 million fatalities each year according to the WHO (World Health Organization). Individuals subjected to multiple infections gradually become immune to the disease...... symptoms and vaccine research is focused on trying to mimic or advance this immune acquisition. Immunity is primarily caused by acquisition of antibodies directed against a family of Plasmodium protein antigens called PfEMP1s located on the surface of infected erythrocytes. The PfEMP1 proteins are adhesive...
Joergensen, Louise; Bengtsson, Dominique C; Bengtsson, Anja
The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens play a major role in cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes (IE), antigenic variation, and immunity to malaria. The current consensus on control of variant surface antigen expression is that only one PfEMP1 encoded by one var...
Full Text Available Activation of proteolytic cell death pathways may circumvent drug resistance in deadly protozoan parasites such as Plasmodium falciparum and Leishmania. To this end, it is important to define the cell death pathway(s in parasites and thus characterize proteases such as metacaspases (MCA, which have been reported to induce cell death in plants and Leishmania parasites. We, therefore, investigated whether the cell death function of MCA is conserved in different protozoan parasite species such as Plasmodium falciparum and Leishmania major, focusing on the substrate specificity and functional role in cell survival as compared to Saccharomyces cerevisae. Our results show that, similarly to Leishmania, Plasmodium MCA exhibits a calcium-dependent, arginine-specific protease activity and its expression in yeast induced growth inhibition as well as an 82% increase in cell death under oxidative stress, a situation encountered by parasites during the host or when exposed to drugs such as artemisins. Furthermore, we show that MCA cell death pathways in both Plasmodium and Leishmania, involve a z-VAD-fmk inhibitable protease. Our data provide evidence that MCA from both Leishmania and Plasmodium falciparum is able to induce cell death in stress conditions, where it specifically activates a downstream enzyme as part of a cell death pathway. This enzymatic activity is also induced by the antimalarial drug chloroquine in erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Interestingly, we found that blocking parasite cell death influences their drug sensitivity, a result which could be used to create therapeutic strategies that by-pass drug resistance mechanisms by acting directly on the innate pathways of protozoan cell death.
Célia R. S. Garcia
Full Text Available Malaria is one of the most severe tropical infectious diseases. More than 220 million people around the world have a clinical malaria infection and about one million die because of Plasmodium annually. This parasitic pathogen replicates efficiently in its human host making it difficult to eradicate. It is transmitted by mosquito vectors and so far mosquito control programs have not effectively eliminated this transmission. Because of malaria’s enormous health and economic impact and the need to develop new control and eventual elimination strategies, a big research effort has been made to better understand the biology of this parasite and its interactions with its vertebrate host. Determination of the genome sequence and organization, the elucidation of the role of key proteins, and cell signaling studies have helped to develop an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that provide the parasite’s versatility. The parasite can sense its environment and adapt to benefit its survival, indeed this is essential for it to complete its life cycle. For many years we have studied how the Plasmodium parasite is able to sense melatonin. In this review we discuss the melatonin signaling pathway and its role in the control of Plasmodium replication and development.
Deane, Karen J; Summers, Robert L; Lehane, Adele M; Martin, Rowena E; Barrow, Russell A
The emergence and spread of malaria parasites that are resistant to chloroquine (CQ) has been a disaster for world health. The antihistamine chlorpheniramine (CP) partially resensitizes CQ-resistant (CQR) parasites to CQ but possesses little intrinsic antiplasmodial activity. Mutations in the parasite's CQ resistance transporter (PfCRT) confer resistance to CQ by enabling the protein to transport the drug away from its site of action, and it is thought that resistance-reversers such as CP exert their effect by blocking this CQ transport activity. Here, a series of new structural analogues and homologues of CP have been synthesized. We show that these compounds (along with other in vitro CQ resistance-reversers) inhibit the transport of CQ via a resistance-conferring form of PfCRT expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Furthermore, the level of PfCRT-inhibition was found to correlate well with both the restoration of CQ accumulation and the level of CQ resensitization in CQR parasites.
Moll, Kirsten; Palmkvist, Mia; Ch'ng, Junhong; Kiwuwa, Mpungu Steven; Wahlgren, Mats
The ABO blood group antigens are expressed on erythrocytes but also on endothelial cells, platelets and serum proteins. Notably, the ABO blood group of a malaria patient determines the development of the disease given that blood group O reduces the probability to succumb in severe malaria, compared to individuals of groups A, B or AB. P. falciparum rosetting and sequestration are mediated by PfEMP1, RIFIN and STEVOR, expressed at the surface of the parasitized red blood cell (pRBC). Antibodies to these antigens consequently modify the course of a malaria infection by preventing sequestration and promoting phagocytosis of pRBC. Here we have studied rosetting P. falciparum and present evidence of an immune evasion mechanism not previously recognized. We find the accessibility of antibodies to PfEMP1 at the surface of the pRBC to be reduced when P. falciparum forms rosettes in blood group A RBC, as compared to group O RBC. The pRBC surrounds itself with tightly bound normal RBC that makes PfEMP1 inaccessible to antibodies and clearance by the immune system. Accordingly, pRBC of in vitro cloned P. falciparum devoid of ABO blood group dependent rosetting were equally well detected by anti-PfEMP1 antibodies, independent of the blood group utilized for their propagation. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying the severe forms of malaria may in patients of blood group A depend on the ability of the parasite to mask PfEMP1 from antibody recognition, in so doing evading immune clearance. PMID:26714011
Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium falciparum chimeric protein PfCP-2.9 is a promising asexual-stage malaria vaccine evaluated in clinical trials. This chimeric protein consists of two cysteine-rich domains: domain III of the apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA-1 [III] and the C-terminal region of the merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1-19. It has been reported that the fusion of these two antigens enhanced their immunogenicity and antibody-mediated inhibition of parasite growth in vitro. Methods The 15N-labeled and 13C/15N-labeled PfCP-2.9 was produced in Pichia pastoris for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR structure analysis. The chemical shift assignments of PfCP-2.9 were compared with those previously reported for the individual domains (i.e., PfAMA-1(III or PfMSP 1-19. The two-dimensional spectra and transverse relaxation rates (R2 of the PfMSP1-19 alone were compared with that of the PfCP-2.9. Results Confident backbone assignments were obtained for 122 out of 241 residues of PfCP-2.9. The assigned residues in PfCP-2.9 were very similar to those previously reported for the individual domains. The conformation of the PfMSP1-19 in different constructs is essentially the same. Comparison of transverse relaxation rates (R2 strongly suggests no weak interaction between the domains. Conclusions These data indicate that the fusion of AMA-1(III and MSP1-19 as chimeric protein did not change their structures, supporting the use of the chimeric protein as a potential malaria vaccine.
Abdi, Abdirahman; Eschenlauer, Sylvain; Reininger, Luc; Doerig, Christian
Over the last decade, several protein kinases inhibitors have reached the market for cancer chemotherapy. The kinomes of pathogens represent potentially attractive targets in infectious diseases. The functions of the majority of protein kinases of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasitic protist responsible for the most virulent form of human malaria, remain unknown. Here we present a thorough characterisation of PfTKL3 (PF13_0258), an enzyme that belongs to the tyrosine kinase-like kinase (TKL) group. We demonstrate by reverse genetics that PfTKL3 is essential for asexual parasite proliferation in human erythrocytes. PfTKL3 is expressed in both asexual and gametocytes stages, and in the latter the protein co-localises with cytoskeleton microtubules. Recombinant PfTKL3 displays in vitro autophosphorylation activity and is able to phosphorylate exogenous substrates, and both activities are dramatically dependent on the presence of an N-terminal "sterile alpha-motif" domain. This study identifies PfTKL3 as a validated drug target amenable to high-throughput screening.
Full Text Available Development of resistance against current antimalarial drugs necessitates the search for novel drugs that interact with different targets and have distinct mechanisms of action. Malaria parasites depend upon high levels of glucose uptake followed by inefficient metabolic utilization via the glycolytic pathway, and the Plasmodium falciparum hexose transporter PfHT, which mediates uptake of glucose, has thus been recognized as a promising drug target. This transporter is highly divergent from mammalian hexose transporters, and it appears to be a permease that is essential for parasite viability in intra-erythrocytic, mosquito, and liver stages of the parasite life cycle. An assay was developed that is appropriate for high throughput screening against PfHT based upon heterologous expression of PfHT in Leishmania mexicana parasites that are null mutants for their endogenous hexose transporters. Screening of two focused libraries of antimalarial compounds identified two such compounds that are high potency selective inhibitors of PfHT compared to human GLUT1. Additionally, 7 other compounds were identified that are lower potency and lower specificity PfHT inhibitors but might nonetheless serve as starting points for identification of analogs with more selective properties. These results further support the potential of PfHT as a novel drug target.
Full Text Available Heat shock proteins (Hsps play an important role in the development and pathogenicity of malaria parasites. One of the most prominent functions of Hsps is to facilitate the folding of other proteins. Hsps are thought to play a crucial role when malaria parasites invade their host cells and during their subsequent development in hepatocytes and red blood cells. It is thought that Hsps maintain proteostasis under the unfavourable conditions that malaria parasites encounter in the host environment. Although heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70 is capable of independent folding of some proteins, its functional cooperation with heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90 facilitates folding of some proteins such as kinases and steroid hormone receptors into their fully functional forms. The cooperation of Hsp70 and Hsp90 occurs through an adaptor protein called Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (Hop. We previously characterised the Hop protein from Plasmodium falciparum (PfHop. We observed that the protein co-localised with the cytosol-localised chaperones, PfHsp70-1 and PfHsp90 at the blood stages of the malaria parasite. In the current study, we demonstrated that PfHop is a stress-inducible protein. We further explored the direct interaction between PfHop and PfHsp70-1 using far Western and surface plasmon resonance (SPR analyses. The interaction of the two proteins was further validated by co-immunoprecipitation studies. We observed that PfHop and PfHsp70-1 associate in the absence and presence of either ATP or ADP. However, ADP appears to promote the association of the two proteins better than ATP. In addition, we investigated the specific interaction between PfHop TPR subdomains and PfHsp70-1/ PfHsp90, using a split-GFP approach. This method allowed us to observe that TPR1 and TPR2B subdomains of PfHop bind preferentially to the C-terminus of PfHsp70-1 compared to PfHsp90. Conversely, the TPR2A motif preferentially interacted with the C-terminus of PfHsp90. Finally, we
Higgins, Matthew K.
A chondroitin sulfate A-binding DBL important in placental malaria has been overproduced, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 1.9 Å resolution. The PfEMP1 proteins of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are inserted into the membrane of infected red blood cells, where they mediate adhesion to a variety of human receptors. The DBL domains of the var2csa-encoded PfEMP1 protein play a critical role in malaria of pregnancy, tethering infected cells to the surface of the placenta through interactions with the glycosaminoglycan carbohydrate chondroitin sulfate A (CSA). A CSA-binding DBL domain has been overproduced in a bacterial expression system, purified and crystallized. Native data sets extending to 1.9 Å resolution have been collected and phasing is under way
Higgins, Matthew K., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, 80 Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1GA (United Kingdom)
A chondroitin sulfate A-binding DBL important in placental malaria has been overproduced, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 1.9 Å resolution. The PfEMP1 proteins of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are inserted into the membrane of infected red blood cells, where they mediate adhesion to a variety of human receptors. The DBL domains of the var2csa-encoded PfEMP1 protein play a critical role in malaria of pregnancy, tethering infected cells to the surface of the placenta through interactions with the glycosaminoglycan carbohydrate chondroitin sulfate A (CSA). A CSA-binding DBL domain has been overproduced in a bacterial expression system, purified and crystallized. Native data sets extending to 1.9 Å resolution have been collected and phasing is under way.
Subramani, Ramesh; Quadt, Katharina; Jeppesen, Anine Engholm
expression increased knob density approximately 3-fold, whereas IEs selected for IT4VAR60 expression were essentially knobless. When IT4VAR60(+) IEs were subsequently selected to express IT4VAR04 or IT4VAR32b, they again displayed low and high knob densities, respectively. All sublines expressed KAHRP...... responsible for many deaths, especially among children and pregnant women. New interventions are needed to reduce severe illness and deaths caused by this malaria parasite. Thus, a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the pathogenesis is essential. A main reason why Plasmodium falciparum malaria...
Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R
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...
Full Text Available Los telómeros son estructuras complejas de ADN y proteína localizadas en el extremo de los cromosomas eucariotes. Su principal función es proteger el extremo cromosomal de ser reconocido y procesado como ADNs fracturado, evitando así eventos de recombinación y fusión que conducen a inestabilidad cromosomal. El ADN telomérico consta de secuencias cortas, repetidas una tras otra, ricas en guanina; la cadena rica en guanina se extiende formando una región de cadena sencilla denominada extremo 3´ protuberante. Las proteínas por su parte, se pueden clasificar en: dsBPs, o proteínas de unión a la cadena doble, GBPs aquellas que reconocen específicamente el extremo protuberante y, proteínas que las interconectan mediante interacciones proteína-proteína. El gen PF3D7_1006800 de Plasmodium falciparum codifica para una proteína putativa similar a una GBP de Criptosporidium parvum, con el fin de establecer si esta proteína de P. falciparum presenta la capacidad de unión al ADN telomérico del parásito, se produjo una proteína recombinante a partir de la región codificante del gen, se purificó y se utilizó en ensayos de unión a ADN, y en la generación de anticuerpos policlonales específicos contra PfGBP. Nuestros resultados indican que la proteína de P. falciparum es una proteína nuclear con capacidad de unión al ADN telomérico in vitro, por lo que podría ser parte del complejo proteico encargado de proteger y/o mantener el telómero in vivo.
Durrheim, Karen Barnes. Objectives. To assess the therapeutic efficacy of sulfadoxine- pyrimethamine (SP) after 5 years of use as first-line treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria, and thus guide the selection of artemisinin-based combination therapy in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Design. An open-label ...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fully efficient vaccines against malaria pre-erythrocytic stage are still lacking. The objective of this dose/adjuvant-finding study was to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of a vaccine candidate based on a peptide spanning the C-terminal region of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCS102 in malaria naive adults. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Thirty-six healthy malaria-naive adults were randomly distributed into three dose blocks (10, 30 and 100 microg and vaccinated with PfCS102 in combination with either Montanide ISA 720 or GSK proprietary Adjuvant System AS02A at days 0, 60, and 180. Primary end-point (safety and reactogenicity was based on the frequency of adverse events (AE and of abnormal biological safety tests; secondary-end point (immunogenicity on P. falciparum specific cell-mediated immunity and antibody response before and after immunization. The two adjuvant formulations were well tolerated and their safety profile was good. Most AEs were local and, when systemic, involved mainly fatigue and headache. Half the volunteers in AS02A groups experienced severe AEs (mainly erythema. After the third injection, 34 of 35 volunteers developed anti-PfCS102 and anti-sporozoite antibodies, and 28 of 35 demonstrated T-cell proliferative responses and IFN-gamma production. Five of 22 HLA-A2 and HLA-A3 volunteers displayed PfCS102 specific IFN-gamma secreting CD8(+ T cell responses. Responses were only marginally boosted after the 3(rd vaccination and remained stable for 6 months. For both adjuvants, the dose of 10 microg was less immunogenic in comparison to 30 and 100 microg that induced similar responses. AS02A formulations with 30 microg or 100 microg PfCS102 induced about 10-folds higher antibody and IFN-gamma responses than Montanide formulations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: PfCS102 peptide was safe and highly immunogenic, allowing the design of more advanced trials to test its potential
Barfod, Lea; Dalgaard, Michael B; Pleman, Suzan T
1 (PfEMP1) family is central to both. Here, we present evidence of a P. falciparum evasion mechanism not previously documented: the masking of PfEMP1-specific IgG epitopes by nonspecific IgM. Nonspecific IgM binding to erythrocytes infected by parasites expressing the PfEMP1 protein VAR2CSA...
Salanti, Ali; Lavstsen, Thomas; Nielsen, Morten A.; Theander, Thor G.; Leke, Rose G. F.; Lo, Yeung Y.; Bobbili, Naveen; Arnot, David E.; Taylor, Diane W.
Placental malaria infections are caused by Plasmodium falciparum–infected red blood cells sequestering in the placenta by binding to chondroitin sulfate A, mediated by VAR2CSA, a variant of the PfEMP1 family of adhesion antigens. Recent studies have shown that many P. falciparum genomes have multiple genes coding for different VAR2CSA proteins, and parasites with >1 var2csa gene appear to be more common in pregnant women with placental malaria than in nonpregnant individuals. We present evidence that, in pregnant women, parasites containing multiple var2csa-type genes possess a selective advantage over parasites with a single var2csa gene. Accumulation of parasites with multiple copies of the var2csa gene during the course of pregnancy was also correlated with the development of antibodies involved in blocking VAR2CSA adhesion. The data suggest that multiplicity of var2csa-type genes enables P. falciparum parasites to persist for a longer period of time during placental infections, probably because of their greater capacity for antigenic variation and evasion of variant-specific immune responses. PMID:21592998
Pillai, Dylan R; Lau, Rachel; Khairnar, Krishna; Lepore, Rosalba; Via, Allegra; Staines, Henry M; Krishna, Sanjeev
BACKGROUND: Monitoring resistance phenotypes for Plasmodium falciparum, using in vitro growth assays, and relating findings to parasite genotype has proved particularly challenging for the study of resistance to artemisinins. METHODS: Plasmodium falciparum isolates cultured from 28 returning travellers diagnosed with malaria were assessed for sensitivity to artemisinin, artemether, dihydroartemisinin and artesunate and findings related to mutations in pfatp6 and pfmdr1. RESULTS: Resistance to artemether in vitro was significantly associated with a pfatp6 haplotype encoding two amino acid substitutions (pfatp6 A623E and S769N; (mean IC50 (95% CI) values of 8.2 (5.7 - 10.7) for A623/S769 versus 623E/769 N 13.5 (9.8 - 17.3) nM with a mean increase of 65%; p = 0.012). Increased copy number of pfmdr1 was not itself associated with increased IC50 values for artemether, but when interactions between the pfatp6 haplotype and increased copy number of pfmdr1 were examined together, a highly significant association was noted with IC50 values for artemether (mean IC50 (95% CI) values of 8.7 (5.9 - 11.6) versus 16.3 (10.7 - 21.8) nM with a mean increase of 87%; p = 0.0068). Previously described SNPs in pfmdr1 are also associated with differences in sensitivity to some artemisinins. CONCLUSIONS: These findings were further explored in molecular modelling experiments that suggest mutations in pfatp6 are unlikely to affect differential binding of artemisinins at their proposed site, whereas there may be differences in such binding associated with mutations in pfmdr1. Implications for a hypothesis that artemisinin resistance may be exacerbated by interactions between PfATP6 and PfMDR1 and for epidemiological studies to monitor emerging resistance are discussed.
Pillai, Dylan R
BACKGROUND: Monitoring resistance phenotypes for Plasmodium falciparum, using in vitro growth assays, and relating findings to parasite genotype has proved particularly challenging for the study of resistance to artemisinins. METHODS: Plasmodium falciparum isolates cultured from 28 returning travellers diagnosed with malaria were assessed for sensitivity to artemisinin, artemether, dihydroartemisinin and artesunate and findings related to mutations in pfatp6 and pfmdr1. RESULTS: Resistance to artemether in vitro was significantly associated with a pfatp6 haplotype encoding two amino acid substitutions (pfatp6 A623E and S769N; (mean IC50 (95% CI) values of 8.2 (5.7 - 10.7) for A623/S769 versus 623E/769 N 13.5 (9.8 - 17.3) nM with a mean increase of 65%; p = 0.012). Increased copy number of pfmdr1 was not itself associated with increased IC50 values for artemether, but when interactions between the pfatp6 haplotype and increased copy number of pfmdr1 were examined together, a highly significant association was noted with IC50 values for artemether (mean IC50 (95% CI) values of 8.7 (5.9 - 11.6) versus 16.3 (10.7 - 21.8) nM with a mean increase of 87%; p = 0.0068). Previously described SNPs in pfmdr1 are also associated with differences in sensitivity to some artemisinins. CONCLUSIONS: These findings were further explored in molecular modelling experiments that suggest mutations in pfatp6 are unlikely to affect differential binding of artemisinins at their proposed site, whereas there may be differences in such binding associated with mutations in pfmdr1. Implications for a hypothesis that artemisinin resistance may be exacerbated by interactions between PfATP6 and PfMDR1 and for epidemiological studies to monitor emerging resistance are discussed.
Bengtsson, Anja; Jørgensen, Louise; Rask, Thomas Salhøj
Cerebral Plasmodium falciparum malaria is characterized by adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs) to the cerebral microvasculature. This has been linked to parasites expressing the structurally related group A subset of the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of IE...... to ICAM-1. The ICAM-1-binding capacity of DC4 was mapped to the C-terminal third of its Duffy-binding-like beta 3 domain. DC4 was the target of broadly cross-reactive and adhesion-inhibitory IgG Abs, and levels of DC4-specific and adhesion-inhibitory IgG increased with age among P. falciparum......-exposed children. Our study challenges earlier conclusions that group A PfEMP1 proteins are not central to ICAM-1-specific IE adhesion and support the feasibility of developing a vaccine preventing cerebral malaria by inhibiting cerebral IE sequestration. The Journal of Immunology, 2013, 190: 240-249....
Immunization with the Malaria Diversity-Covering Blood-Stage Vaccine Candidate Plasmodium falciparum Apical Membrane Antigen 1 DiCo in Complex with Its Natural Ligand PfRon2 Does Not Improve the In Vitro Efficacy
Full Text Available The blood-stage malaria vaccine candidate Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (PfAMA1 can induce strong parasite growth-inhibitory antibody responses in animals but has not achieved the anticipated efficacy in clinical trials. Possible explanations in humans are the insufficient potency of the elicited antibody responses, as well as the high degree of sequence polymorphisms found in the field. Several strategies have been developed to improve the cross-strain coverage of PfAMA1-based vaccines, whereas innovative concepts to increase the potency of PfAMA1-specific IgG responses have received little attention even though this may be an essential requirement for protective efficacy. A previous study has demonstrated that immunization with a complex of PyAMA1 and PyRON2, a ligand with an essential functional role in erythrocyte invasion, leads to protection from lethal Plasmodium yoelli challenge in an animal model and suggested to extend this strategy toward improved strain coverage by using multiple PfAMA1 alleles in combination with PfRon2L. As an alternative approach along this line, we decided to use PfRon2L in combination with three PfAMA1 diversity covering variants (DiCo to investigate the potential of this complex to induce more potent parasite growth inhibitory immune response in combination with better cross-strain-specific efficacy. Within the limits of the study design, the ability of the PfAMA1 DiCo-Mix to induce cross-strain-specific antibodies was not affected in all immunization groups, but the DiCo–PfRon2L complexes did not improve the potency of PfAMA1-specific IgG responses.
Bengtsson, Dominique; Sowa, Kordai M; Salanti, Ali
BACKGROUND: The insertion of parasite antigens into the host erythrocyte membrane and the structure and distribution of Plasmodium falciparum adhesion receptors on that membrane are poorly understood. Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and a novel labelling and fixation method have been used...... fluorochromes has been developed for laser scanning confocal optical microscopy and the analysis of the developmental expression of malaria adhesion antigens....
Turner, Louise; Wang, Christian W; Lavstsen, Thomas
Antibodies to polymorphic antigens expressed during the parasites erythrocytic stages are important mediators of protective immunity against P. falciparum malaria. Therefore, polymorphic blood stage antigens like MSP3, EBA-175 and GLURP and variant surface antigens PfEMP1 and RIFIN are considered...
, as well as knowledge regarding the protective immune response that is acquired in response to placental P. falciparum infection. Nevertheless, it remains controversial in some quarters whether such a vaccine would have the desired impact, or indeed whether the strategy is meaningful. This article......Vaccines are very cost-effective tools in combating infectious disease mortality and morbidity. Unfortunately, vaccines efficiently protecting against infection with malaria parasites are not available and are not likely to appear in the near future. An alternative strategy would be vaccines...... protecting against the disease and its consequences rather than against infection per se, by accelerating the development of the protective immunity that is normally acquired after years of exposure to malaria parasites in areas of stable transmission. This latter strategy is being energetically pursued...
Malaria is one of the biggest current global health problems, and with the increasing occurance of drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains, there is an urgent need for new antimalarial drugs. Given the important role of carbonic anhydrase in Plasmodium falciparum (PfCA), it is a potential novel drug target. Heterologous expression of malaria proteins is problematic due to the unusual codon usage of the Plasmodium genome, so to overcome this problem a synthetic PfCA gene was designed, opt...
Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J
-macroglobulin (α2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the α2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that α2M can bind at least four HB3VAR06 proteins, plausibly....... Together, our results are evidence that P. falciparum parasites exploit α2M (and IgM) to expand the repertoire of host receptors available for PfEMP1-mediated IE adhesion, such as the erythrocyte carbohydrate moieties that lead to formation of rosettes. It is likely that this mechanism also affects IE...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Reversible protein phosphorylation is relatively unexplored in the intracellular protozoa of the Apicomplexa family that includes the genus Plasmodium, to which belong the causative agents of malaria. Members of the PP1 family represent the most highly conserved protein phosphatase sequences in phylogeny and play essential regulatory roles in various cellular pathways. Previous evidence suggested a PP1-like activity in Plasmodium falciparum, not yet identified at the molecular level. Results We have identified a PP1 catalytic subunit from P. falciparum and named it PfPP1. The predicted primary structure of the 304-amino acid long protein was highly similar to PP1 sequences of other species, and showed conservation of all the signature motifs. The purified recombinant protein exhibited potent phosphatase activity in vitro. Its sensitivity to specific phosphatase inhibitors was characteristic of the PP1 class. The authenticity of the PfPP1 cDNA was further confirmed by mutational analysis of strategic amino acid residues important in catalysis. The protein was expressed in all erythrocytic stages of the parasite. Abrogation of PP1 expression by synthetic short interfering RNA (siRNA led to inhibition of parasite DNA synthesis. Conclusions The high sequence similarity of PfPP1 with other PP1 members suggests conservation of function. Phenotypic gene knockdown studies using siRNA confirmed its essential role in the parasite. Detailed studies of PfPP1 and its regulation may unravel the role of reversible protein phosphorylation in the signalling pathways of the parasite, including glucose metabolism and parasitic cell division. The use of siRNA could be an important tool in the functional analysis of Apicomplexan genes.
Li, Fengwu; Bounkeua, Viengngeun; Pettersen, Kenneth; Vinetz, Joseph M
Plasmodium invasion of the mosquito midgut is a population bottleneck in the parasite lifecycle. Interference with molecular mechanisms by which the ookinete invades the mosquito midgut is one potential approach to developing malaria transmission-blocking strategies. Plasmodium aspartic proteases are one such class of potential targets: plasmepsin IV (known to be present in the asexual stage food vacuole) was previously shown to be involved in Plasmodium gallinaceum infection of the mosquito midgut, and plasmepsins VII and plasmepsin X (not known to be present in the asexual stage food vacuole) are upregulated in Plasmodium falciparum mosquito stages. These (and other) parasite-derived enzymes that play essential roles during ookinete midgut invasion are prime candidates for transmission-blocking vaccines. Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) was used to determine timing of P. falciparum plasmepsin VII (PfPM VII) and plasmepsin X (PfPM X) mRNA transcripts in parasite mosquito midgut stages. Protein expression was confirmed by western immunoblot and immunofluorescence assays (IFA) using anti-peptide monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against immunogenic regions of PfPM VII and PfPM X. These antibodies were also used in standard membrane feeding assays (SMFA) to determine whether inhibition of these proteases would affect parasite transmission to mosquitoes. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyse mosquito transmission assay results. RT-PCR, western immunoblot and immunofluorescence assay confirmed expression of PfPM VII and PfPM X in mosquito stages. Whereas PfPM VII was expressed in zygotes and ookinetes, PfPM X was expressed in gametes, zygotes, and ookinetes. Antibodies against PfPM VII and PfPM X decreased P. falciparum invasion of the mosquito midgut when used at high concentrations, indicating that these proteases play a role in Plasmodium mosquito midgut invasion. Failure to generate genetic knockouts of these genes limited determination of the precise role of
Tuikue Ndam, Nicaise; Moussiliou, Azizath; Lavstsen, Thomas
Background: Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) mediates the binding and accumulation of infected erythrocytes (IE) to blood vessels and tissues. Specific interactions have been described between PfEMP1 and human endothelial proteins CD36, intercellular adhesion molecule-1...
Bejon, Philip; Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas
Malaria transmission may be considered to be homogenous with well-mixed parasite populations (as in the classic Ross/Macdonald models). Marked fine-scale heterogeneity of transmission has been observed in the field (i.e., over a few kilometres), but there are relatively few data on the degree...... of mixing. Since the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) is highly polymorphic, the host's serological responses may be used to infer exposure to parasite sub-populations....
Nkrumah, Louis J; Riegelhaupt, Paul M; Moura, Pedro; Johnson, David J; Patel, Jigar; Hayton, Karen; Ferdig, Michael T; Wellems, Thomas E; Akabas, Myles H; Fidock, David A
Quinine (QN) continues to be an important treatment option for severe malaria, however resistance to this drug has emerged in field isolates of the etiologic agent Plasmodium falciparum. Quantitative trait loci investigations of QN resistance have mapped three loci of this complex trait. Two coincide with pfcrt and pfmdr1, involved in resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and other quinoline-based antimalarials. A third locus on chromosome 13 contains the sodium-proton exchanger (pfnhe) gene. Previous studies have associated pfnhe polymorphisms with reduced QN sensitivity in culture-adapted field isolates. Here, we provide direct evidence supporting the hypothesis that pfnhe contributes to QN resistance. Using allelic exchange, we reduced pfnhe expression by introducing a truncated 3' untranslated region (UTR) from pfcrt into the endogenous pfnhe 3'UTR. Transfections were performed with 1BB5 and 3BA6 (both CQ- and QN-resistant) as well as GC03 (CQ- and QN-sensitive), all progenies of the HB3xDd2 genetic cross. RNA and protein analyses of the ensuing recombinant clones demonstrated a approximately 50% decrease in pfnhe expression levels. A statistically significant 30% decrease in QN IC(50) values was associated with these decreased expression levels in 1BB5 and 3BA6 but not in GC03. CQ, mefloquine and lumefantrine IC(50) values were unaltered. Cytosolic pH values were similar in all parental lines and recombinant clones. Our observations support a role for pfnhe in QN resistance in a strain-dependent manner, which might be contingent on pre-existing resistance to CQ and/or QN. These data bolster observations that QN resistance is a complex trait requiring the contribution of multiple transporter proteins.
Gupta, Kirti; Gupta, Ankit; Haider, Afreen; Habib, Saman
Ribosome assembly is critical for translation and regulating the response to cellular events and requires a complex interplay of ribosomal RNA and proteins with assembly factors. We investigated putative participants in the biogenesis of the reduced organellar ribosomes of Plasmodium falciparum and identified homologues of two assembly GTPases - EngA and Obg that were found in mitochondria. Both are indispensable in bacteria and P. berghei EngA is among the 'essential' parasite blood stage proteins identified recently. PfEngA and PfObg1 interacted with parasite mitoribosomes in vivo. GTP stimulated PfEngA interaction with the 50S subunit of Escherichia coli surrogate ribosomes. Although PfObg1-ribosome interaction was independent of nucleotide binding, GTP hydrolysis by PfObg1 was enhanced upon ribosomal association. An additional function for PfObg1 in mitochondrial DNA transactions was suggested by its specific interaction with the parasite mitochondrial genome in vivo. Deletion analysis revealed that the positively-charged OBG (spoOB-associated GTP-binding protein) domain mediates DNA-binding. A role for PfEngA in mitochondrial genotoxic stress response was indicated by its over-expression upon methyl methanesulfonate-induced DNA damage. PfEngA had lower sensitivity to an E. coli EngA inhibitor suggesting differences with bacterial counterparts. Our results show the involvement of two important GTPases in P. falciparum mitochondrial function, with the first confirmed localization of an EngA homologue in eukaryotic mitochondria.
Full Text Available Abstract Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs are recommended for use against uncomplicated malaria in areas of multi-drug resistant malaria, such as sub-Saharan Africa. However, their long-term usefulness in these high transmission areas remains unclear. It has been suggested that documentation of the S769N PfATPase6 mutations may indicate an emergence of artemisinin resistance of Plasmodium falciparum in the field. The present study assessed PfATPase6 mutations (S769N and A623E in 615 asymptomatic P. falciparum infections in Tanzania but no mutant genotype was detected. This observation suggests that resistance to artemisinin has not yet been selected in Tanzania, supporting the Ministry of Health's decision to adopt artemether+lumefantrine as first-line malaria treatment. The findings recommend further studies to assess PfATPase6 mutations in sentinel sites and verify their usefulness in monitoring emergency of ACT resistance.
Gething, Peter W; Patil, Anand P; Smith, David L; Guerra, Carlos A; Elyazar, Iqbal R F; Johnston, Geoffrey L; Tatem, Andrew J; Hay, Simon I
Transmission intensity affects almost all aspects of malaria epidemiology and the impact of malaria on human populations. Maps of transmission intensity are necessary to identify populations at different levels of risk and to evaluate objectively options for disease control. To remain relevant operationally, such maps must be updated frequently. Following the first global effort to map Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity in 2007, this paper describes the generation of a new world map for the year 2010. This analysis is extended to provide the first global estimates of two other metrics of transmission intensity for P. falciparum that underpin contemporary questions in malaria control: the entomological inoculation rate (PfEIR) and the basic reproductive number (PfR). Annual parasite incidence data for 13,449 administrative units in 43 endemic countries were sourced to define the spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission in 2010 and 22,212 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) surveys were used in a model-based geostatistical (MBG) prediction to create a continuous contemporary surface of malaria endemicity within these limits. A suite of transmission models were developed that link PfPR to PfEIR and PfR and these were fitted to field data. These models were combined with the PfPR map to create new global predictions of PfEIR and PfR. All output maps included measured uncertainty. An estimated 1.13 and 1.44 billion people worldwide were at risk of unstable and stable P. falciparum malaria, respectively. The majority of the endemic world was predicted with a median PfEIR of less than one and a median PfRc of less than two. Values of either metric exceeding 10 were almost exclusive to Africa. The uncertainty described in both PfEIR and PfR was substantial in regions of intense transmission. The year 2010 has a particular significance as an evaluation milestone for malaria global health policy. The maps presented here contribute to a rational basis for control and
Gething Peter W
Full Text Available Abstract Background Transmission intensity affects almost all aspects of malaria epidemiology and the impact of malaria on human populations. Maps of transmission intensity are necessary to identify populations at different levels of risk and to evaluate objectively options for disease control. To remain relevant operationally, such maps must be updated frequently. Following the first global effort to map Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity in 2007, this paper describes the generation of a new world map for the year 2010. This analysis is extended to provide the first global estimates of two other metrics of transmission intensity for P. falciparum that underpin contemporary questions in malaria control: the entomological inoculation rate (PfEIR and the basic reproductive number (PfR. Methods Annual parasite incidence data for 13,449 administrative units in 43 endemic countries were sourced to define the spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission in 2010 and 22,212 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR surveys were used in a model-based geostatistical (MBG prediction to create a continuous contemporary surface of malaria endemicity within these limits. A suite of transmission models were developed that link PfPR to PfEIR and PfR and these were fitted to field data. These models were combined with the PfPR map to create new global predictions of PfEIR and PfR. All output maps included measured uncertainty. Results An estimated 1.13 and 1.44 billion people worldwide were at risk of unstable and stable P. falciparum malaria, respectively. The majority of the endemic world was predicted with a median PfEIR of less than one and a median PfRc of less than two. Values of either metric exceeding 10 were almost exclusive to Africa. The uncertainty described in both PfEIR and PfR was substantial in regions of intense transmission. Conclusions The year 2010 has a particular significance as an evaluation milestone for malaria global health policy. The
Noort, V. van; Huynen, M.A.
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has a complicated life cycle with large variations in its gene expression pattern, but it contains relatively few specific transcriptional regulators. To elucidate this paradox, we identified regulatory sequences, using an approach that integrates the
Smith David L
Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate (PfPR is a commonly reported index of malaria transmission intensity. PfPR rises after birth to a plateau before declining in older children and adults. Studies of populations with different age ranges generally report average PfPR, so age is an important source of heterogeneity in reported PfPR data. This confounds simple comparisons of PfPR surveys conducted at different times or places. Methods Several algorithms for standardizing PfPR were developed using 21 studies that stratify in detail PfPR by age. An additional 121 studies were found that recorded PfPR from the same population over at least two different age ranges; these paired estimates were used to evaluate these algorithms. The best algorithm was judged to be the one that described most of the variance when converting the PfPR pairs from one age-range to another. Results The analysis suggests that the relationship between PfPR and age is predictable across the observed range of malaria endemicity. PfPR reaches a peak after about two years and remains fairly constant in older children until age ten before declining throughout adolescence and adulthood. The PfPR pairs were poorly correlated; using one to predict the other would explain only 5% of the total variance. By contrast, the PfPR predicted by the best algorithm explained 72% of the variance. Conclusion The PfPR in older children is useful for standardization because it has good biological, epidemiological and statistical properties. It is also historically consistent with the classical categories of hypoendemic, mesoendemic and hyperendemic malaria. This algorithm provides a reliable method for standardizing PfPR for the purposes of comparing studies and mapping malaria endemicity. The scripts for doing so are freely available to all.
Waki, S.; Yonome, I.; Suzuki, M.
The effect of irradiation on the in vitro growth of Plasmodium falciparum was investigated. The cultured malarial parasites at selected stages of development were exposed to gamma rays and the sensitivity of each stage was determined. The stages most sensitive to irradiation were the ring forms and the early trophozoites; late trophozoites were relatively insensitive. The greatest resistance was shown when parasites were irradiated at a time of transition from the late trophozoite and schizont stages to young ring forms. The characteristics of radiosensitive variation in the parasite cycle resembled that of mammalian cells. Growth curves of parasites exposed to doses of irradiation upto 150 gray had the same slope as nonirradiated controls but parasites which were exposed to 200 gray exhibited a growth curve which was less steep than that for parasites in other groups. Less than 10 organisms survived from the 10(6) parasites exposed to this high dose of irradiation; the possibility exists of obtaining radiation-attenuated P. falciparum
Hogh, B; Petersen, E; Dziegiel, Morten Hanefeld
A Plasmodium falciparum antigen gene coding for a 220-kD glutamate-rich protein (GLURP) has been cloned, and the 783 C-terminal amino acids of this protein (GLURP489-1271) have been expressed as a beta-galactosidase fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The encoded 783 amino acid residues contain two...... areas of repeated amino acid sequences. Antibodies against recombinant GLURP489-1271, as well as against a synthetic peptide corresponding to GLURP899-916, and against a synthetic peptide representing the major glutamate rich repeat sequence from the P. falciparum ring erythrocyte surface antigen (Pf155...... between the anti-GLURP489-1271 and anti-(EENV)6 antibody responses. The data provide indirect evidence for a protective role of antibodies reacting with recombinant GLURP489-1271 as well as with the synthetic peptide (EENV)6 from the Pf155/RESA....
The emergence of possible resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria to artemisinin known for its immense benefit in malaria chemotherapy is worrisome. We report a case of unresolving Plasmodium falciparum malaria to Artesunate treatment in a 29- year old man in Enugu Nigeria. Plasmodium falciparum count of Giemsa ...
Staalsø, T; Khalil, E A; Elhassan, I M
recognising the conserved regions of PfEMP1 arise upon exposure to the parasite, and that these may be involved in the development of protection against malaria. Antibodies to the Pfalhesin peptide of the human aniontransporter, band3, were measured by the same method. The magnitude of this antibody response...
Tipsuwan, Wachiraporn; Srichairatanakool, Somdet; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Uthaipibull, Chairat
Abstract Background The prevalence of drug resistance amongst the human malaria Plasmodium species has most commonly been associated with genomic mutation within the parasites. This phenomenon necessitates evolutionary predictive studies of possible resistance mutations, which may occur when a new drug is introduced. Therefore, identification of possible new Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (PfDHFR) mutants that confer resistance to antifolate drugs is essential in the process of...
Cassera, María B.; Hazleton, Keith Z.; Riegelhaupt, Paul M.; Merino, Emilio F.; Luo, Minkui; Akabas, Myles H.; Schramm, Vern L.
Plasmodium falciparum is a purine auxotroph, salvaging purines from erythrocytes for synthesis of RNA and DNA. Hypoxanthine is the key precursor for purine metabolism in Plasmodium. Inhibition of hypoxanthine-forming reactions in both erythrocytes and parasites is lethal to cultured P. falciparum. We observed that high concentrations of adenosine can rescue cultured parasites from purine nucleoside phosphorylase and adenosine deaminase blockade but not when erythrocyte adenosine kinase is also inhibited. P. falciparum lacks adenosine kinase but can salvage AMP synthesized in the erythrocyte cytoplasm to provide purines when both human and Plasmodium purine nucleoside phosphorylases and adenosine deaminases are inhibited. Transport studies in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing the P. falciparum nucleoside transporter PfNT1 established that this transporter does not transport AMP. These metabolic patterns establish the existence of a novel nucleoside monophosphate transport pathway in P. falciparum. PMID:18799466
Guerra, Ángela Patricia; Calvo, Eliana Patricia; Wasserman, Moisés; Chaparro-Olaya, Jacqueline
The production of recombinant proteins is essential for the characterization and functional study of proteins from Plasmodium falciparum. However, the proteins of P. falciparum are among the most challenging to express, and when expression is achieved, the recombinant proteins usually fold incorrectly and lead to the formation of inclusion bodies. To obtain and purify four recombinant proteins and to use them as antigens to produce polyclonal antibodies. The production efficiency and solubility were evaluated as the proteins were expressed in two genetically modified strains of Escherichia coli to favor the production of heterologous proteins (BL21-CodonPlus (DE3)-RIL and BL21-pG-KJE8). The four recombinant P. falciparum proteins corresponding to partial sequences of PfMyoA (Myosin A) and PfGAP50 (gliding associated protein 50), and the complete sequences of PfMTIP (myosin tail interacting protein) and PfGAP45 (gliding associated protein 45), were produced as glutathione S-transferase-fusion proteins, purified and used for immunizing mice. The protein expression was much more efficient in BL21-CodonPlus, the strain that contains tRNAs that are rare in wild-type E. coli, compared to the expression in BL21-pG-KJE8. In spite of the fact that BL21-pG-KJE8 overexpresses chaperones, this strain did not minimize the formation of inclusion bodies. The use of genetically modified strains of E. coli was essential to achieve high expression levels of the four evaluated P. falciparum proteins and lead to improved solubility of two of them. The approach used here allowed us to obtain and purify four P. falciparum proteins in enough quantity to produce polyclonal antibodies in mice, and a fair amount of two pure and soluble recombinant proteins for future assays.
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.
Inoue, Juliana; Silva, Miguel; Fofana, Bakary; Sanogo, Kassim; Mårtensson, Andreas; Sagara, Issaka; Björkman, Anders; Veiga, Maria Isabel; Ferreira, Pedro Eduardo; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Gil, José Pedro
Dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (DHA/PPQ) is increasingly deployed as antimalaria drug in Africa. We report the detection in Mali of Plasmodium falciparum infections carrying plasmepsin 2 duplications (associated with piperaquine resistance) in 7/65 recurrent infections within 2 months after DHA/PPQ treatment. These findings raise concerns about the long-term efficacy of DHA/PPQ treatment in Africa.
Plasmodium falciparum malaria is one of the most important parasitic diseases affecting sub-Saharan Africa, despite the availability of interventions. It exerts tremendous socio-economic and medical burden on the continent, particularly in under five children and pregnant women. In this review, we have attempted to ...
Shekalaghe, S.; Rutaihwa, M.; Billingsley, P.F.; Chemba, M.; Daubenberger, C.A.; James, E.R.; Mpina, M.; Juma, O. Ali; Schindler, T.; Huber, E.; Gunasekera, A.; Manoj, A.; Simon, B.; Saverino, E.; Church, L.W.; Hermsen, C.C.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Plowe, C.; Venkatesan, M.; Sasi, P.; Lweno, O.; Mutani, P.; Hamad, A.; Mohammed, A.; Urassa, A.; Mzee, T.; Padilla, D.; Ruben, A.; Sim, B.K.; Tanner, M.; Abdulla, S.; Hoffman, S.L.
Controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) by mosquito bite has been used to assess anti-malaria interventions in > 1,500 volunteers since development of methods for infecting mosquitoes by feeding on Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) gametocyte cultures. Such CHMIs have never been used in Africa. Aseptic,
Villasis, Elizabeth; Lopez-Perez, Mary; Torres, Katherine
Background: Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum is a complex process that involves two families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins. Antibodies that inhibit merozoite attachment and invasion are believed to be important in mediating naturall...
Fan, Zhigang; Zhang, Lingmin; Yan, Guogang; Wu, Qiang; Gan, Xiufeng; Zhong, Saifeng; Lin, Guifen
To analyse the structure and function of NADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase (CYPOR or CPR) from Plasmodium falciparum (Pf), and to predict its' drug target and vaccine target. The structure, function, drug target and vaccine target of CPR from Plasmodium falciparum were analyzed and predicted by bioinformatics methods. PfCPR, which was older CPR, had close relationship with the CPR from other Plasmodium species, but it was distant from its hosts, such as Homo sapiens and Anopheles. PfCPR was located in the cellular nucleus of Plasmodium falciparum. 335aa-352aa and 591aa - 608aa were inserted the interior side of the nuclear membrane, while 151aa-265aa was located in the nucleolus organizer regions. PfCPR had 40 function sites and 44 protein-protein binding sites in amino acid sequence. The teriary structure of 1aa-700aa was forcep-shaped with wings. 15 segments of PfCPR had no homology with Homo sapien CPR and most were exposed on the surface of the protein. These segments had 25 protein-protein binding sites. While 13 other segments all possessed function sites. The evolution or genesis of Plasmodium falciparum is earlier than those of Homo sapiens. PfCPR is a possible resistance site of antimalarial drug and may involve immune evasion, which is associated with parasite of sporozoite in hepatocytes. PfCPR is unsuitable as vaccine target, but it has at least 13 ideal drug targets. Copyright © 2011 Hainan Medical College. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Cham, Gerald K K; Turner, Louise; Kurtis, Jonathan D
Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is a variant antigen expressed on the surface of malaria-infected erythrocytes. PfEMP1 attaches to the vascular lining and allows infected erythrocytes to avoid filtration through the spleen. Each parasite genome encodes about 60 diffe...... and play a major role in limiting parasite multiplication in the blood.......Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is a variant antigen expressed on the surface of malaria-infected erythrocytes. PfEMP1 attaches to the vascular lining and allows infected erythrocytes to avoid filtration through the spleen. Each parasite genome encodes about 60...... different PfEMP1 variants, each PfEMP1 comprises several domains in its extracellular region, and the PfEMP1 repertoire in different parasites contains domain types that are serologically cross-reactive. In this longitudinal study, we followed 672 children living in an area of high malaria transmission...
Goel, Suchi; Muthusamy, Arivalagan; Miao, Jun
The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family proteins mediate the adherence of infected erythrocytes to microvascular endothelia of various organs, including the placenta, thereby contributing to cerebral, placental, and other severe malaria pathogenesis. Several paras...
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)
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.
Bracchi-Ricard, V; Nguyen, K T; Zhou, Y; Rajagopalan, P T; Chakrabarti, D; Pei, D
Ribosomal protein synthesis in eubacteria and eukaryotic organelles initiates with an N-formylmethionyl-tRNA(i), resulting in N-terminal formylation of all nascent polypeptides. Peptide deformylase (PDF) catalyzes the subsequent removal of the N-terminal formyl group from the majority of bacterial proteins. Until recently, PDF has been thought as an enzyme unique to the bacterial kingdom. Searches of the genomic DNA databases identified several genes that encode proteins of high sequence homology to bacterial PDF from eukaryotic organisms. The cDNA encoding Plasmodium falciparum PDF (PfPDF) has been cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein is catalytically active in deformylating N-formylated peptides, shares many of the properties of bacterial PDF, and is inhibited by specific PDF inhibitors. Western blot analysis indicated expression of mature PfPDF in trophozoite, schizont, and segmenter stages of intraerythrocytic development. These results provide strong evidence that a functional PDF is present in P. falciparum. In addition, PDF inhibitors inhibited the growth of P. falciparum in the intraerythrocytic culture. (c)2001 Elsevier Science.
Mar 8, 2010 ... antigenic polymorphism, shedding of parts of parasite proteins, cross-reactive epitopes of antigens of ... Due to the lack of HLA molecules on the surface of the .... Susceptibility and death rates in P. falciparum malaria are.
Duffy, Michael F; Reeder, John C; Brown, Graham V
Plasmodium falciparum employs a strategy of clonal antigenic variation to evade the host immune response during the intraerythrocytic stage of its life cycle. The major variant parasite molecule is the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein (PfEMP)1, which is encoded by the var multigene family. The parasite switches between different PfEMP1 molecules through regulation of var transcription. Recent studies have shed considerable light on this process, but much remains unknown. However, striking parallels between transcriptional control of var and genes in other organisms provide direction for future studies.
Costa, Joana D'Arc Neves; Zanchi, Fernando Berton; Rodrigues, Francisco Lurdevanhe da Silva; Honda, Eduardo Rezende; Katsuragawa, Tony Hiroschi; Pereira, Dhélio Batista; Taborda, Roger Lafontaine Mesquita; Tada, Mauro Shugiro; Ferreira, Ricardo de Godoi Mattos; Pereira-da-Silva, Luiz Hildebrando
The PfCLAG9 has been extensively studied because their immunogenicity. Thereby, the gene product is important for therapeutics interventions and a potential vaccine candidate. Antibodies against synthetic peptides corresponding to selected sequences of the Plasmodium falciparum antigen PfCLAG9 were found in sera of falciparum malaria patients from Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon. Much higher antibody titres were found in semi-immune and immune asymptomatic parasite carriers than in subjects suffering clinical infections, corroborating original findings in Papua Guinea. However, sera of Plasmodium vivax patients from the same Amazon area, in particular from asymptomatic vivax parasite carriers, reacted strongly with the same peptides. Bioinformatic analyses revealed regions of similarity between P. falciparum Pfclag9 and the P. vivax ortholog Pvclag7. Indirect fluorescent microscopy analysis showed that antibodies against PfCLAG9 peptides elicited in BALB/c mice react with human red blood cells (RBCs) infected with both P. falciparum and P. vivax parasites. The patterns of reactivity on the surface of the parasitised RBCs are very similar. The present observations support previous findings that PfCLAG9 may be a target of protective immune responses and raises the possibility that the cross reactive antibodies to PvCLAG7 in mixed infections play a role in regulate the fate of Plasmodium mixed infections. PMID:23440122
Happi, C. T.; Gbotosho, G. O.; Folarin, O. A.; Sowunmi, A.; Hudson, T.; O'Neil, M.; Milhous, W.; Wirth, D. F.; Oduola, A. M. J.
We assessed Plasmodium falciparum mdr1 (Pfmdr1) gene polymorphisms and copy numbers as well as P. falciparum Ca2+ ATPase (PfATPase6) gene polymorphisms in 90 Nigerian children presenting with uncomplicated falciparum malaria and enrolled in a study of the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine (AL). The nested PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and the quantitative real-time PCR methodologies were used to determine the alleles of the Pfmdr1 and PfATPase6 genes and the Pfmdr1 copy numbe...
Lopez, Ana Cecilia; Ortiz, Andres; Coello, Jorge; Sosa-Ochoa, Wilfredo; Torres, Rosa E Mejia; Banegas, Engels I; Jovel, Irina; Fontecha, Gustavo A
Understanding the population structure of Plasmodium species through genetic diversity studies can assist in the design of more effective malaria control strategies, particularly in vaccine development. Central America is an area where malaria is a public health problem, but little is known about the genetic diversity of the parasite's circulating species. This study aimed to investigate the allelic frequency and molecular diversity of five surface antigens in field isolates from Honduras. Five molecular markers were analysed to determine the genotypes of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum from endemic areas in Honduras. Genetic diversity of ama-1, msp-1 and csp was investigated for P. vivax, and msp-1 and msp-2 for P. falciparum. Allelic frequencies were calculated and sequence analysis performed. A high genetic diversity was observed within Plasmodium isolates from Honduras. A different number of genotypes were elucidated: 41 (n = 77) for pvama-1; 23 (n = 84) for pvcsp; and 23 (n = 35) for pfmsp-1. Pvcsp sequences showed VK210 as the only subtype present in Honduran isolates. Pvmsp-1 (F2) was the most polymorphic marker for P. vivax isolates while pvama-1 was least variable. All three allelic families described for pfmsp-1 (n = 30) block 2 (K1, MAD20, and RO33), and both allelic families described for the central domain of pfmsp-2 (n = 11) (3D7 and FC27) were detected. However, K1 and 3D7 allelic families were predominant. All markers were randomly distributed across the country and no geographic correlation was found. To date, this is the most complete report on molecular characterization of P. vivax and P. falciparum field isolates in Honduras with regards to genetic diversity. These results indicate that P. vivax and P. falciparum parasite populations are highly diverse in Honduras despite the low level of transmission.
Full Text Available Abstract The protozoan Plasmodium falciparum has a complex life cycle in which asexual multiplication in the vertebrate host alternates with an obligate sexual reproduction in the anopheline mosquito. Apart from the apparent recombination advantages conferred by sex, P. falciparum has evolved a remarkable biology and adaptive phenotypes to insure its transmission despite the dangers of sex. This review mainly focuses on the current knowledge on commitment to sexual development, gametocytogenesis and the evolutionary significance of various aspects of gametocyte biology. It goes further than pure biology to look at the strategies used to improve successful transmission. Although gametocytes are inevitable stages for transmission and provide a potential target to fight malaria, they have received less attention than the pathogenic asexual stages. There is a need for research on gametocytes, which are a fascinating stage, responsible to a large extent for the success of P. falciparum.
Kang, Jung-Mi; Lee, Jinyoung; Moe, Mya; Jun, Hojong; Lê, Hương Giang; Kim, Tae Im; Thái, Thị Lam; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Myint, Moe Kyaw; Lin, Khin; Shin, Ho-Joon; Kim, Tong-Soo; Na, Byoung-Kuk
Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 (PfAMA-1) is one of leading blood stage malaria vaccine candidates. However, genetic variation and antigenic diversity identified in global PfAMA-1 are major hurdles in the development of an effective vaccine based on this antigen. In this study, genetic structure and the effect of natural selection of PfAMA-1 among Myanmar P. falciparum isolates were analysed. Blood samples were collected from 58 Myanmar patients with falciparum malaria. Full-length PfAMA-1 gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and cloned into a TA cloning vector. PfAMA-1 sequence of each isolate was sequenced. Polymorphic characteristics and effect of natural selection were analysed with using DNASTAR, MEGA4, and DnaSP programs. Polymorphic nature and natural selection in 459 global PfAMA-1 were also analysed. Thirty-seven different haplotypes of PfAMA-1 were identified in 58 Myanmar P. falciparum isolates. Most amino acid changes identified in Myanmar PfAMA-1 were found in domains I and III. Overall patterns of amino acid changes in Myanmar PfAMA-1 were similar to those in global PfAMA-1. However, frequencies of amino acid changes differed by country. Novel amino acid changes in Myanmar PfAMA-1 were also identified. Evidences for natural selection and recombination event were observed in global PfAMA-1. Among 51 commonly identified amino acid changes in global PfAMA-1 sequences, 43 were found in predicted RBC-binding sites, B-cell epitopes, or IUR regions. Myanmar PfAMA-1 showed similar patterns of nucleotide diversity and amino acid polymorphisms compared to those of global PfAMA-1. Balancing natural selection and intragenic recombination across PfAMA-1 are likely to play major roles in generating genetic diversity in global PfAMA-1. Most common amino acid changes in global PfAMA-1 were located in predicted B-cell epitopes where high levels of nucleotide diversity and balancing natural selection were found. These results highlight the
Oyelade, Jelili; Ewejobi, Itunu; Brors, Benedikt; Eils, Roland; Adebiyi, Ezekiel
Malaria is one of the world's most common and serious diseases causing death of about 3 million people each year. Its most severe occurrence is caused by the protozoan Plasmodium falciparum. Reports have shown that the resistance of the parasite to existing drugs is increasing. Therefore, there is a huge and urgent need to discover and validate new drug or vaccine targets to enable the development of new treatments for malaria. The ability to discover these drug or vaccine targets can only be enhanced from our deep understanding of the detailed biology of the parasite, for example how cells function and how proteins organize into modules such as metabolic, regulatory and signal transduction pathways. It has been noted that the knowledge of signalling transduction pathways in Plasmodium is fundamental to aid the design of new strategies against malaria. This work uses a linear-time algorithm for finding paths in a network under modified biologically motivated constraints. We predicted several important signalling transduction pathways in Plasmodium falciparum. We have predicted a viable signalling pathway characterized in terms of the genes responsible that may be the PfPKB pathway recently elucidated in Plasmodium falciparum. We obtained from the FIKK family, a signal transduction pathway that ends up on a chloroquine resistance marker protein, which indicates that interference with FIKK proteins might reverse Plasmodium falciparum from resistant to sensitive phenotype. We also proposed a hypothesis that showed the FIKK proteins in this pathway as enabling the resistance parasite to have a mechanism for releasing chloroquine (via an efflux process). Furthermore, we also predicted a signalling pathway that may have been responsible for signalling the start of the invasion process of Red Blood Cell (RBC) by the merozoites. It has been noted that the understanding of this pathway will give insight into the parasite virulence and will facilitate rational vaccine design
Full Text Available The two organelles, apicoplast and mitochondrion, of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have unique morphology in liver and blood stages; they undergo complex branching and looping prior to division and segregation into daughter merozoites. Little is known about the molecular processes and proteins involved in organelle biogenesis in the parasite. We report the identification of an AAA+/FtsH protease homolog (PfFtsH1 that exhibits ATP- and Zn(2+-dependent protease activity. PfFtsH1 undergoes processing, forms oligomeric assemblies, and is associated with the membrane fraction of the parasite cell. Generation of a transfectant parasite line with hemagglutinin-tagged PfFtsH1, and immunofluorescence assay with anti-PfFtsH1 Ab demonstrated that the protein localises to P. falciparum mitochondria. Phylogenetic analysis and the single transmembrane region identifiable in PfFtsH1 suggest that it is an i-AAA like inner mitochondrial membrane protein. Expression of PfFtsH1 in Escherichia coli converted a fraction of bacterial cells into division-defective filamentous forms implying a sequestering effect of the Plasmodium factor on the bacterial homolog, indicative of functional conservation with EcFtsH. These results identify a membrane-associated mitochondrial AAA+/FtsH protease as a candidate regulatory protein for organelle biogenesis in P. falciparum.
Simon I Hay
Full Text Available Efficient allocation of resources to intervene against malaria requires a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of malaria risk. It is exactly 40 y since the last global map of malaria endemicity was published. This paper describes the generation of a new world map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity for the year 2007.A total of 8,938 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR surveys were identified using a variety of exhaustive search strategies. Of these, 7,953 passed strict data fidelity tests for inclusion into a global database of PfPR data, age-standardized to 2-10 y for endemicity mapping. A model-based geostatistical procedure was used to create a continuous surface of malaria endemicity within previously defined stable spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission. These procedures were implemented within a Bayesian statistical framework so that the uncertainty of these predictions could be evaluated robustly. The uncertainty was expressed as the probability of predicting correctly one of three endemicity classes; previously stratified to be an informative guide for malaria control. Population at risk estimates, adjusted for the transmission modifying effects of urbanization in Africa, were then derived with reference to human population surfaces in 2007. Of the 1.38 billion people at risk of stable P. falciparum malaria, 0.69 billion were found in Central and South East Asia (CSE Asia, 0.66 billion in Africa, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia (Africa+, and 0.04 billion in the Americas. All those exposed to stable risk in the Americas were in the lowest endemicity class (PfPR2-10 5 to or = 40% areas. High endemicity was widespread in the Africa+ region, where 0.35 billion people are at this level of risk. Most of the rest live at intermediate risk (0.20 billion, with a smaller number (0.11 billion at low stable risk.High levels of P. falciparum malaria endemicity are common in Africa. Uniformly low endemic levels are
Hay, Simon I; Guerra, Carlos A; Gething, Peter W; Patil, Anand P; Tatem, Andrew J; Noor, Abdisalan M; Kabaria, Caroline W; Manh, Bui H; Elyazar, Iqbal R F; Brooker, Simon; Smith, David L; Moyeed, Rana A; Snow, Robert W
Efficient allocation of resources to intervene against malaria requires a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of malaria risk. It is exactly 40 y since the last global map of malaria endemicity was published. This paper describes the generation of a new world map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity for the year 2007. A total of 8,938 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) surveys were identified using a variety of exhaustive search strategies. Of these, 7,953 passed strict data fidelity tests for inclusion into a global database of PfPR data, age-standardized to 2-10 y for endemicity mapping. A model-based geostatistical procedure was used to create a continuous surface of malaria endemicity within previously defined stable spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission. These procedures were implemented within a Bayesian statistical framework so that the uncertainty of these predictions could be evaluated robustly. The uncertainty was expressed as the probability of predicting correctly one of three endemicity classes; previously stratified to be an informative guide for malaria control. Population at risk estimates, adjusted for the transmission modifying effects of urbanization in Africa, were then derived with reference to human population surfaces in 2007. Of the 1.38 billion people at risk of stable P. falciparum malaria, 0.69 billion were found in Central and South East Asia (CSE Asia), 0.66 billion in Africa, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia (Africa+), and 0.04 billion in the Americas. All those exposed to stable risk in the Americas were in the lowest endemicity class (PfPR2-10 5 to or = 40%) areas. High endemicity was widespread in the Africa+ region, where 0.35 billion people are at this level of risk. Most of the rest live at intermediate risk (0.20 billion), with a smaller number (0.11 billion) at low stable risk. High levels of P. falciparum malaria endemicity are common in Africa. Uniformly low endemic levels are found in the
Artemisinin derivatives constitute a key component of the present-day treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Resistance with artemisinins is generally associated with S769N point mutation in the sarco-endoplasmic reticulumdependant ATPase6 (SERCA ATPase6) gene of Plasmodium falciparum, few studies have ...
Background: Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous malaria parasite species to humans remains an important public health concern in Okelele, a rural community in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. There is however little information about the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in Nigeria. Objective: To determine ...
Mwakalinga, Steven B; Wang, Christian W; Bengtsson, Dominique C
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The ability of Plasmodium falciparum to undergo antigenic variation, by switching expression among protein variants encoded by multigene families, such as var, rif and stevor, is key to the survival of this parasite in the human host. The RIFIN protein family can be divided...... into A and B types based on the presence or absence of a 25 amino acid motif in the semi-conserved domain. A particular type B RIFIN, PF13_0006, has previously been shown to be strongly transcribed in the asexual and sexual stages of P. falciparum in vitro. METHODS: Antibodies to recombinant PF13_0006 RIFIN...... were used in immunofluorescence and confocal imaging of 3D7 parasites throughout the asexual reproduction and sexual development to examine the expression of PF13_0006. Furthermore, reactivity to recombinant PF13_0006 was measured in plasma samples collected from individuals from both East and West...
Kondrashin, Anatoly V; Sharipov, Azizullo S; Kadamov, Dilshod S; Karimov, Saifuddin S; Gasimov, Elkhan; Baranova, Alla M; Morozova, Lola F; Stepanova, Ekaterina V; Turbabina, Natalia A; Maksimova, Maria S; Morozov, Evgeny N
Malaria was eliminated in Tajikistan by the beginning of the 1960s. However, sporadic introduced cases of malaria occurred subsequently probably as a result of transmission from infected mosquito Anopheles flying over river the Punj from the border areas of Afghanistan. During the 1970s and 1980s local outbreaks of malaria were reported in the southern districts bordering Afghanistan. The malaria situation dramatically changed during the 1990s following armed conflict and civil unrest in the newly independent Tajikistan, which paralyzed health services including the malaria control activities and a large-scale malaria epidemic occurred with more than 400,000 malaria cases. The malaria epidemic was contained by 1999 as a result of considerable financial input from the Government and the international community. Although Plasmodium falciparum constituted only about 5% of total malaria cases, reduction of its incidence was slower than that of Plasmodium vivax. To prevent increase in P. falciparum malaria both in terms of incidence and territory, a P. falciparum elimination programme in the Republic was launched in 200, jointly supported by the Government and the Global Fund for control of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The main activities included the use of pyrethroids for the IRS with determined periodicity, deployment of mosquito nets, impregnated with insecticides, use of larvivorous fishes as a biological larvicide, implementation of small-scale environmental management, and use of personal protection methods by population under malaria risk. The malaria surveillance system was strengthened by the use of ACD, PCD, RCD and selective use of mass blood surveys. All detected cases were timely epidemiologically investigated and treated based on the results of laboratory diagnosis. As a result, by 2009, P. falciparum malaria was eliminated from all of Tajikistan, one year ahead of the originally targeted date. Elimination of P. falciparum also contributed towards
Christine S Hopp
Full Text Available Signalling by 3'-5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP exists in virtually all eukaryotes. In the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium, the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG has previously been reported to play a critical role in four key stages of the life cycle. The Plasmodium falciparum isoform (PfPKG is essential for the initiation of gametogenesis and for blood stage schizont rupture and work on the orthologue from the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei (PbPKG has shown additional roles in ookinete differentiation and motility as well as liver stage schizont development. In the present study, PfPKG expression and subcellular location in asexual blood stages was investigated using transgenic epitope-tagged PfPKG-expressing P. falciparum parasites. In Western blotting experiments and immunofluorescence analysis (IFA, maximal PfPKG expression was detected at the late schizont stage. While IFA suggested a cytosolic location, a degree of overlap with markers of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER was found and subcellular fractionation showed some association with the peripheral membrane fraction. This broad localisation is consistent with the notion that PfPKG, as with the mammalian orthologue, has numerous cellular substrates. This idea is further supported by the global protein phosphorylation pattern of schizonts which was substantially changed following PfPKG inhibition, suggesting a complex role for PfPKG during schizogony.
Magallón-Tejada, Ariel; Machevo, Sónia; Cisteró, Pau
Cytoadhesion of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes to gC1qR has been associated with severe malaria, but the parasite ligand involved is currently unknown. To assess if binding to gC1qR is mediated through the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family, we analyzed...
IgG antibodies to endothelial protein C receptor-binding Cysteine-rich interdomain region domains of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 are acquired early in life in individuals exposed to malaria
Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas; Mmbando, Bruno P
Severe malaria syndromes are precipitated by Plasmodium falciparum parasites binding to endothelial receptors on the vascular lining. This binding is mediated by members of the highly variant P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family. We have previously identified a subset of Pf...
Jespersen, Jakob S.; Wang, Christian W.; Mkumbaye, Sixbert I.
Most severe Plasmodium falciparum infections are experienced by young children. Severe symptoms are precipitated by vascular sequestration of parasites expressing a particular subset of the polymorphic P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesion molecules. Parasites binding hum...... the hypothesis that the CIDRα1-EPCR interaction is key to the pathogenesis of severe malaria and strengthen the rationale for pursuing a vaccine or adjunctive treatment aiming at inhibiting or reducing the damaging effects of this interaction....
Zanghì, Gigliola; Vembar, Shruthi S; Baumgarten, Sebastian
Heterochromatin plays a central role in the process of immune evasion, pathogenesis, and transmission of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum during blood stage infection. Here, we use ChIP sequencing to demonstrate that sporozoites from mosquito salivary glands expand heterochromatin......_SpzPfEMP1. Overall, we show that the epigenetic signature of var genes is reset in mosquito stages. Moreover, the identification of a strain-specific sporozoite PfEMP1 is highly relevant for vaccine design based on sporozoites....
Baldwin, Michael; Russo, Crystal; Li, Xuerong; Chishti, Athar H.
Highlights: • PfSPP is an ER resident protease. • PfSPP is expressed both as a monomer and dimer. • The signal peptide of HSP101 is the first known substrate of PfSPP. • Reduced PfSPP activity may significantly affect ER homeostasis. - Abstract: Previously we described the identification of a Plasmodium falciparum signal peptide peptidase (PfSPP) functioning at the blood stage of malaria infection. Our studies also demonstrated that mammalian SPP inhibitors prevent malaria parasite growth at the late-ring/early trophozoite stage of intra-erythrocytic development. Consistent with its role in development, we tested the hypothesis that PfSPP functions at the endoplasmic reticulum of P.falciparum where it cleaves membrane-bound signal peptides generated following the enzyme activity of signal peptidase. The localization of PfSPP to the endoplasmic reticulum was confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy and immunogold electron microscopy. Biochemical analysis indicated the existence of monomer and dimer forms of PfSPP in the parasite lysate. A comprehensive bioinformatics screen identified several candidate PfSPP substrates in the parasite genome. Using an established transfection based in vivo luminescence assay, malaria heat shock protein 101 (HSP101) was identified as a substrate of PfSPP, and partial inhibition of PfSPP correlated with the emergence of gametocytes. This finding unveils the first known substrate of PfSPP, and provides new perspectives for the function of intra-membrane proteolysis at the erythrocyte stage of malaria parasite life cycle
Baldwin, Michael; Russo, Crystal; Li, Xuerong [Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111 (United States); Chishti, Athar H., E-mail: email@example.com [Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111 (United States); Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Programs in Physiology, Pharmacology, and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111 (United States)
Highlights: • PfSPP is an ER resident protease. • PfSPP is expressed both as a monomer and dimer. • The signal peptide of HSP101 is the first known substrate of PfSPP. • Reduced PfSPP activity may significantly affect ER homeostasis. - Abstract: Previously we described the identification of a Plasmodium falciparum signal peptide peptidase (PfSPP) functioning at the blood stage of malaria infection. Our studies also demonstrated that mammalian SPP inhibitors prevent malaria parasite growth at the late-ring/early trophozoite stage of intra-erythrocytic development. Consistent with its role in development, we tested the hypothesis that PfSPP functions at the endoplasmic reticulum of P.falciparum where it cleaves membrane-bound signal peptides generated following the enzyme activity of signal peptidase. The localization of PfSPP to the endoplasmic reticulum was confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy and immunogold electron microscopy. Biochemical analysis indicated the existence of monomer and dimer forms of PfSPP in the parasite lysate. A comprehensive bioinformatics screen identified several candidate PfSPP substrates in the parasite genome. Using an established transfection based in vivo luminescence assay, malaria heat shock protein 101 (HSP101) was identified as a substrate of PfSPP, and partial inhibition of PfSPP correlated with the emergence of gametocytes. This finding unveils the first known substrate of PfSPP, and provides new perspectives for the function of intra-membrane proteolysis at the erythrocyte stage of malaria parasite life cycle.
Plasmodium falciparum invades erythrocytes as an essential part of their life cycle. While living inside erythrocytes, the parasite remodels the cell's intracellular organization as well as its outer surface. Late trophozoite-stage parasites and schizonts introduce numerous small protrusions...
Saharan Africa and they increase the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy with resultant poor pregnancy outcomes. This study was carried out to assess the impact of Plasmodium falciparum and hookworm infections on.
Ibitokou, Samad; Oesterholt, Mayke; Brutus, Laurent
Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in placental intervillous spaces causes inflammation and pathology. Knowledge of the profiles of immune cells associated with the physiopathology of pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) is scarce. We conducted a longitudinal, prospective ...
RESEARCH ARTICLE. Fine-scale genetic characterization of Plasmodium falciparum .... Materials and methods. The DNA ... the order and location of genes (as per the PlasmoDB data resources, available at ... There is currently an. Figure 5.
Branch OraLee H
Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein-6 (PfMSP6 is a component of the complex proteinacious coat that surrounds P. falciparum merozoites. This location, and the presence of anti-PfMSP6 antibodies in P. falciparum-exposed individuals, makes PfMSP6 a potential blood stage vaccine target. However, genetic diversity has proven to be a major hurdle for vaccines targeting other blood stage P. falciparum antigens, and few endemic field studies assessing PfMSP6 gene diversity have been conducted. This study follows PfMSP6 diversity in the Peruvian Amazon from 2003 to 2006 and is the first longitudinal assessment of PfMSP6 sequence dynamics. Methods Parasite DNA was extracted from 506 distinct P. falciparum infections spanning the transmission seasons from 2003 to 2006 as part of the Malaria Immunology and Genetics in the Amazon (MIGIA cohort study near Iquitos, Peru. PfMSP6 was amplified from each sample using a nested PCR protocol, genotyped for allele class by agarose gel electrophoresis, and sequenced to detect diversity. Allele frequencies were analysed using JMP v.22.214.171.124 and correlated with clinical and epidemiological data collected as part of the MIGIA project. Results Both PfMSP6 allele classes, K1-like and 3D7-like, were detected at the study site, confirming that both are globally distributed. Allele frequencies varied significantly between transmission seasons, with 3D7-class alleles dominating and K1-class alleles nearly disappearing in 2005 and 2006. There was a significant association between allele class and village location (p-value = 0.0008, but no statistically significant association between allele class and age, sex, or symptom status. No intra-allele class sequence diversity was detected. Conclusions Both PfMSP6 allele classes are globally distributed, and this study shows that allele frequencies can fluctuate significantly between communities separated by only a few kilometres, and over time in the
Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Zilversmit, Martine M; Neafsey, Daniel E; Hartl, Daniel L; Barillas-Mury, Carolina
Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a devastating public health problem. Recent discoveries have shed light on the origin and evolution of Plasmodium parasites and their interactions with their vertebrate and mosquito hosts. P. falciparum malaria originated in Africa from a single horizontal transfer between an infected gorilla and a human, and became global as the result of human migration. Today, P. falciparum malaria is transmitted worldwide by more than 70 different anopheline mosquito species. Recent studies indicate that the mosquito immune system can be a barrier to malaria transmission and that the P. falciparum Pfs47 gene allows the parasite to evade mosquito immune detection. Here, we review the origin and globalization of P. falciparum and integrate this history with analysis of the biology, evolution, and dispersal of the main mosquito vectors. This new perspective broadens our understanding of P. falciparum population structure and the dispersal of important parasite genetic traits.
Kumar, Shiva; Krishnamoorthy, Kalyanaraman; Mudeppa, Devaraja G.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K.
P. falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, a potential target for antimalarial drugs and a conduit for prodrugs, crystallized as a structure with eight molecules per asymmetric unit that included some unique parasite-specific auto-inhibitory interactions between catalytic dimers. The most severe form of malaria is caused by the obligate parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRTase) is the fifth enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine-synthesis pathway in the parasite, which lacks salvage pathways. Among all of the malaria de novo pyrimidine-biosynthesis enzymes, the structure of P. falciparum OPRTase (PfOPRTase) was the only one unavailable until now. PfOPRTase that could be crystallized was obtained after some low-complexity sequences were removed. Four catalytic dimers were seen in the asymmetic unit (a total of eight polypeptides). In addition to revealing unique amino acids in the PfOPRTase active sites, asymmetric dimers in the larger structure pointed to novel parasite-specific protein–protein interactions that occlude the catalytic active sites. The latter could potentially modulate PfOPRTase activity in parasites and possibly provide new insights for blocking PfOPRTase functions
Kumar, Shiva; Krishnamoorthy, Kalyanaraman; Mudeppa, Devaraja G.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)
P. falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, a potential target for antimalarial drugs and a conduit for prodrugs, crystallized as a structure with eight molecules per asymmetric unit that included some unique parasite-specific auto-inhibitory interactions between catalytic dimers. The most severe form of malaria is caused by the obligate parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRTase) is the fifth enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine-synthesis pathway in the parasite, which lacks salvage pathways. Among all of the malaria de novo pyrimidine-biosynthesis enzymes, the structure of P. falciparum OPRTase (PfOPRTase) was the only one unavailable until now. PfOPRTase that could be crystallized was obtained after some low-complexity sequences were removed. Four catalytic dimers were seen in the asymmetic unit (a total of eight polypeptides). In addition to revealing unique amino acids in the PfOPRTase active sites, asymmetric dimers in the larger structure pointed to novel parasite-specific protein–protein interactions that occlude the catalytic active sites. The latter could potentially modulate PfOPRTase activity in parasites and possibly provide new insights for blocking PfOPRTase functions.
Huang, Honglei; Lamikanra, Abigail A.; Alkaitis, Matthew S.; Thé zé nas, Marie L.; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Moussa, Ehab; Roberts, David J.; Casals-Pascual, Climent
. falciparum malaria. Methods: We have measured secretion of hepcidin by primary macrophages and the hepatoma cell line HepG2 stimulated with IL-10, IL-6 and Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Findings: We have observed that IL-10 and IL-6 production
Lavstsen, Thomas; Magistrado, Pamela; Hermsen, Cornelus C
-encoded Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family, which is expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes where it mediates binding to endothelial receptors. Thus, severe malaria may be caused by parasites expressing PfEMP1 variants that afford parasites optimal sequestration...... in immunologically naive individuals and high effective multiplication rates. METHODS: var gene transcription was analysed using real time PCR and PfEMP1 expression by western blots as well as immune plasma recognition of parasite cultures established from non-immune volunteers shortly after infection with NF54...... compared to parasites expressing other var genes. The differential expression of PfEMP1 was confirmed at the protein level by immunoblot analysis. In addition, serological typing showed that immune sera more often recognized second and third generation parasites than first generation parasites. CONCLUSION...
Howard, Brittany L.; Thompson, Philip E.; Manallack, David T.
The similarity between Plasmodium falciparum phosphodiesterase enzymes ( PfPDEs) and their human counterparts have been examined and human PDE9A was found to be a suitable template for the construction of homology models for each of the four PfPDE isoforms. In contrast, the architecture of the active sites of each model was most similar to human PDE1. Molecular docking was able to model cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) substrate binding in each case but a docking mode supporting cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) binding could not be found. Anticipating the potential of PfPDE inhibitors as anti-malarial drugs, a range of reported PDE inhibitors including zaprinast and sildenafil were docked into the model of PfPDEα. The results were consistent with their reported biological activities, and the potential of PDE1/9 inhibitor analogues was also supported by docking.
Cuesta Astroz, Yesid; Segura Latorre, Cesar
Malaria is a parasitic disease that has a high impact on public health in developing countries. The sequencing of the plasmodium falciparum genome and the development of proteomics have enabled a breakthrough in understanding the biology of the parasite. Proteomics have allowed to characterize qualitatively and quantitatively the parasite s expression of proteins and has provided information on protein expression under conditions of stress induced by antimalarial. Given the complexity of their life cycle, this takes place in the vertebrate host and mosquito vector. It has proven difficult to characterize the protein expression during each stage throughout the infection process in order to determine the proteome that mediates several metabolic, physiological and energetic processes. Two dimensional electrophoresis, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry have been useful to assess the effects of antimalarial on parasite protein expression and to characterize the proteomic profile of different p. falciparum stages and organelles. The purpose of this review is to present state of the art tools and advances in proteomics applied to the study of malaria, and to present different experimental strategies used to study the parasite's proteome in order to show the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The prevalence of drug resistance amongst the human malaria Plasmodium species has most commonly been associated with genomic mutation within the parasites. This phenomenon necessitates evolutionary predictive studies of possible resistance mutations, which may occur when a new drug is introduced. Therefore, identification of possible new Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (PfDHFR mutants that confer resistance to antifolate drugs is essential in the process of antifolate anti-malarial drug development. Methods A system to identify mutations in Pfdhfr gene that confer antifolate drug resistance using an animal Plasmodium parasite model was developed. By using error-prone PCR and Plasmodium transfection technologies, libraries of Pfdhfr mutant were generated and then episomally transfected to Plasmodium berghei parasites, from which pyrimethamine-resistant PfDHFR mutants were selected. Results The principal mutation found from this experiment was S108N, coincident with the first pyrimethamine-resistance mutation isolated from the field. A transgenic P. berghei, in which endogenous Pbdhfr allele was replaced with the mutant PfdhfrS108N, was generated and confirmed to have normal growth rate comparing to parental non-transgenic parasite and also confer resistance to pyrimethamine. Conclusion This study demonstrated the power of the transgenic P. berghei system to predict drug-resistant Pfdhfr mutations in an in vivo parasite/host setting. The system could be utilized for identification of possible novel drug-resistant mutants that could arise against new antifolate compounds and for prediction the evolution of resistance mutations.
Zenz, W; Trop, M; Kollaritsch, H; Reinthaler, F
Increasing tourism and growing numbers of immigrants from malaria-endemic countries are leading to a higher importation rate of rare tropical disorders in European countries. We describe, to the best of our knowledge, the first case of connatal malaria in Austria. The patient is the first child of a 24 year old mother who was born in Ghana and immigrated to Austria one and a half years before delivery. She did not stay in an endemic region during this period and did not show fever or any other signs of malaria. The boy was healthy for the first six weeks of his life. In the 8th week of life he was admitted to our hospital due to persistent fever of unknown origin. On physical examination he showed only mild splenomegaly. Routine laboratory testing revealed mild hemolytic anemia with a hemoglobin value of 8.3 g/l. In the blood smear Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium malariae were detected. Oral therapy with quinine hydrochloride was successful and blood smears became negative for Plasmodia within 6 days. This case shows that congenital malaria can occur in children of clinically healthy women who were born in malaria-endemic areas even one and a half year after they have immigrated to non-endemic regions.
Grillet, María-Eugenia; El Souki, Mayida; Laguna, Francisco; León, José Rafael
We investigated the periodicity of Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum incidence in time-series of malaria data (1990-2010) from three endemic regions in Venezuela. In particular, we determined whether disease epidemics were related to local climate variability and regional climate anomalies such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Malaria periodicity was found to exhibit unique features in each studied region. Significant multi-annual cycles of 2- to about 6-year periods were identified. The inter-annual variability of malaria cases was coherent with that of SSTs (ENSO), mainly at temporal scales within the 3-6 year periods. Additionally, malaria cases were intensified approximately 1 year after an El Niño event, a pattern that highlights the role of climate inter-annual variability in the epidemic patterns. Rainfall mediated the effect of ENSO on malaria locally. Particularly, rains from the last phase of the season had a critical role in the temporal dynamics of Plasmodium. The malaria-climate relationship was complex and transient, varying in strength with the region and species. By identifying temporal cycles of malaria we have made a first step in predicting high-risk years in Venezuela. Our findings emphasize the importance of analyzing high-resolution spatial-temporal data to better understand malaria transmission dynamics. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Hoeijmakers, Wieteke A M; Flueck, Christian; Françoijs, Kees-Jan; Smits, Arne H; Wetzel, Johanna; Volz, Jennifer C; Cowman, Alan F; Voss, Till; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G; Bártfai, Richárd
Centromeres are essential for the faithful transmission of chromosomes to the next generation, therefore being essential in all eukaryotic organisms. The centromeres of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most severe form of malaria, have been broadly mapped on most chromosomes, but their epigenetic composition remained undefined. Here, we reveal that the centromeric histone variant PfCENH3 occupies a 4-4.5 kb region on each P. falciparum chromosome, which is devoid of pericentric heterochromatin but harbours another histone variant, PfH2A.Z. These CENH3 covered regions pinpoint the exact position of the centromere on all chromosomes and revealed that all centromeric regions have similar size and sequence composition. Immunofluorescence assay of PfCENH3 strongly suggests that P. falciparum centromeres cluster to a single nuclear location prior to and during mitosis and cytokinesis but dissociate soon after invasion. In summary, we reveal a dynamic association of Plasmodium centromeres, which bear a unique epigenetic signature and conform to a strict structure. These findings suggest that DNA-associated and epigenetic elements play an important role in centromere establishment in this important human pathogen. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Full Text Available The most severe form of malaria in humans is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The invasive form of malaria parasites is termed a merozoite and it employs an array of parasite proteins that bind to the host cell to mediate invasion. In Plasmodium falciparum, the erythrocyte binding-like (EBL and reticulocyte binding-like (Rh protein families are responsible for binding to specific erythrocyte receptors for invasion and mediating signalling events that initiate active entry of the malaria parasite. Here we have addressed the role of the cytoplasmic tails of these proteins in activating merozoite invasion after receptor engagement. We show that the cytoplasmic domains of these type 1 membrane proteins are phosphorylated in vitro. Depletion of PfCK2, a kinase implicated to phosphorylate these cytoplasmic tails, blocks P. falciparum invasion of red blood cells. We identify the crucial residues within the PfRh4 cytoplasmic domain that are required for successful parasite invasion. Live cell imaging of merozoites from these transgenic mutants show they attach but do not penetrate erythrocytes implying the PfRh4 cytoplasmic tail conveys signals important for the successful completion of the invasion process.
de Medeiros, Patrícia Soares de Maria; Ducati, Rodrigo Gay; Basso, Luiz Augusto; Santos, Diógenes Santiago; da Silva, Luiz Hildebrando Pereira
Malaria continues to be a major cause of children's morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing nearly one million deaths annually. The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, synthesizes fatty acids employing the Type II fatty acid biosynthesis system (FAS II), unlike humans that rely on the Type I (FAS I) pathway. The FAS II system elongates acyl fatty acid precursors of the cell membrane in Plasmodium. Enoyl reductase (ENR) enzyme is a member of the FAS II system. Here we present steady-state kinetics, pre-steady-state kinetics, and equilibrium fluorescence spectroscopy data that allowed proposal of P. falciparum ENR (PfENR) enzyme mechanism. Moreover, building on previous results, the present study also evaluates the PfENR inhibition by the pentacyano(isoniazid)ferrateII compound. This inorganic complex represents a new class of lead compounds for the development of antimalarial agents focused on the inhibition of PfENR. PMID:21603269
Wang, Christian W; Magistrado, Pamela A; Nielsen, Morten A
transcribed in the VAR2CSA-expressing parasite line. In addition, two rif genes were found transcribed at early and late intra-erythrocyte stages independently of var gene transcription. Rif genes are organised in groups and inter-genomic conserved gene families, suggesting that RIFIN sub-groups may have......Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens (VSA) are targets of protective immunity to malaria. Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and repetitive interspersed family (RIFIN) proteins are encoded by the two variable multigene families, var and rif genes, respectively...... novel rif gene groups, rifA1 and rifA2, containing inter-genomic conserved rif genes, were identified. All rifA1 genes were orientated head-to-head with a neighbouring Group A var gene whereas rifA2 was present in all parasite genomes as a single copy gene with a unique 5' untranslated region. Rif...
Holmes, Margaret A.; Buckner, Frederick S.; Van Voorhis, Wesley C.; Mehlin, Christopher; Boni, Erica; Earnest, Thomas N.; DeTitta, George; Luft, Joseph; Lauricella, Angela; Anderson, Lori; Kalyuzhniy, Oleksandr; Zucker, Frank; Schoenfeld, Lori W.; Hol, Wim G. J.; Merritt, Ethan A.
The crystal structure of a conserved hypothetical protein, MAL13P1.257 from P. falciparum, has been determined at 2.17 Å resolution. The structure represents a new protein fold and is the first structural representative for Pfam sequence family PF05907. The structure of a conserved hypothetical protein, PlasmoDB sequence MAL13P1.257 from Plasmodium falciparum, Pfam sequence family PF05907, has been determined as part of the structural genomics effort of the Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa consortium. The structure was determined by multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion at 2.17 Å resolution. The structure is almost entirely β-sheet; it consists of 15 β-strands and one short 3 10 -helix and represents a new protein fold. The packing of the two monomers in the asymmetric unit indicates that the biological unit may be a dimer.
Lin, Benjamin C; Harris, Darcy R; Kirkman, Lucy M D; Perez, Astrid M; Qian, Yiwen; Schermerhorn, Janse T; Hong, Min Y; Winston, Dennis S; Xu, Lingyin; Lieber, Alexander M; Hamilton, Matthew; Brandt, Gabriel S
The FIKK family of kinases is unique to parasites of the Apicomplexan order, which includes all malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum, the most virulent form of human malaria, has a family of 19 FIKK kinases, most of which are exported into the host red blood cell during malaria infection. Here, we confirm that FIKK 8 is a non-exported member of the FIKK kinase family. Through expression and purification of the recombinant kinase domain, we establish that emodin is a relatively high-affinity (IC 50 =2μM) inhibitor of PfFk8. Closely related anthraquinones do not inhibit PfFk8, suggesting that the particular substitution pattern of emodin is critical to the inhibitory pharmacophore. This first report of a P. falciparum FIKK kinase inhibitor lays the groundwork for developing specific inhibitors of the various members of the FIKK kinase family in order to probe their physiological function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cham, Gerald K K; Turner, Louise; Lusingu, John
The binding of erythrocytes infected with mature blood stage parasites to the vascular bed is key to the pathogenesis of malignant malaria. The binding is mediated by members of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family. PfEMP1s can be divided into groups, and it has pr....... The identification of PfEMP1 domains expressed by parasites causing disease in infants and young children is important for development of vaccines protecting against severe malaria.......The binding of erythrocytes infected with mature blood stage parasites to the vascular bed is key to the pathogenesis of malignant malaria. The binding is mediated by members of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family. PfEMP1s can be divided into groups, and it has...... previously been suggested that parasites expressing group A or B/A PfEMP1s are most pathogenic. To test the hypothesis that the first malaria infections in infants and young children are dominated by parasites expressing A and B/A PfEMP1s, we measured the plasma Ab level against 48 recombinant PfEMP1 domains...
Sarah C Charnaud
Full Text Available Malaria is caused by five different Plasmodium spp. in humans each of which modifies the host erythrocyte to survive and replicate. The two main causes of malaria, P. falciparum and P. vivax, differ in their ability to cause severe disease, mainly due to differences in the cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes (IE in the microvasculature. Cytoadhesion of P. falciparum in the brain leads to a large number of deaths each year and is a consequence of exported parasite proteins, some of which modify the erythrocyte cytoskeleton while others such as PfEMP1 project onto the erythrocyte surface where they bind to endothelial cells. Here we investigate the effects of knocking out an exported Hsp70-type chaperone termed Hsp70-x that is present in P. falciparum but not P. vivax. Although the growth of Δhsp70-x parasites was unaffected, the export of PfEMP1 cytoadherence proteins was delayed and Δhsp70-x IE had reduced adhesion. The Δhsp70-x IE were also more rigid than wild-type controls indicating changes in the way the parasites modified their host erythrocyte. To investigate the cause of this, transcriptional and translational changes in exported and chaperone proteins were monitored and some changes were observed. We propose that PfHsp70-x is not essential for survival in vitro, but may be required for the efficient export and functioning of some P. falciparum exported proteins.
Charnaud, Sarah C.; Dixon, Matthew W. A.; Nie, Catherine Q.; Chappell, Lia; Sanders, Paul R.; Nebl, Thomas; Hanssen, Eric; Berriman, Matthew; Chan, Jo-Anne; Blanch, Adam J.; Beeson, James G.; Rayner, Julian C.; Przyborski, Jude M.; Tilley, Leann; Crabb, Brendan S.
Malaria is caused by five different Plasmodium spp. in humans each of which modifies the host erythrocyte to survive and replicate. The two main causes of malaria, P. falciparum and P. vivax, differ in their ability to cause severe disease, mainly due to differences in the cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes (IE) in the microvasculature. Cytoadhesion of P. falciparum in the brain leads to a large number of deaths each year and is a consequence of exported parasite proteins, some of which modify the erythrocyte cytoskeleton while others such as PfEMP1 project onto the erythrocyte surface where they bind to endothelial cells. Here we investigate the effects of knocking out an exported Hsp70-type chaperone termed Hsp70-x that is present in P. falciparum but not P. vivax. Although the growth of Δhsp70-x parasites was unaffected, the export of PfEMP1 cytoadherence proteins was delayed and Δhsp70-x IE had reduced adhesion. The Δhsp70-x IE were also more rigid than wild-type controls indicating changes in the way the parasites modified their host erythrocyte. To investigate the cause of this, transcriptional and translational changes in exported and chaperone proteins were monitored and some changes were observed. We propose that PfHsp70-x is not essential for survival in vitro, but may be required for the efficient export and functioning of some P. falciparum exported proteins. PMID:28732045
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Natural immunity to Plasmodium falciparum has been widely studied, but its effects on parasite dynamics are poorly understood. Acquisition and clearance rates of untreated infections are key elements of the dynamics of malaria, but estimating these parameters is challenging because of frequent super-infection and imperfect detectability of parasites. Consequently, information on effects of host immune status or age on infection dynamics is fragmentary. METHODS: An age-stratified cohort of 347 individuals from Northern Ghana was sampled six times at 2 month intervals. High-throughput capillary electrophoresis was used to genotype the msp-2 locus of all P. falciparum infections detected by PCR. Force of infection (FOI and duration were estimated for each age group using an immigration-death model that allows for imperfect detection of circulating parasites. RESULTS: Allowing for imperfect detection substantially increased estimates of FOI and duration. Effects of naturally acquired immunity on the FOI and duration would be reflected in age dependence in these indices, but in our cohort data FOI tended to increase with age in children. Persistence of individual parasite clones was characteristic of all age-groups. Duration peaked in 5-9 year old children (average duration 319 days, 95% confidence interval 318;320. CONCLUSIONS: The main age-dependence is on parasite densities, with only small age-variations in the FOI and persistence of infections. This supports the hypothesis that acquired immunity controls transmission mainly by limiting blood-stage parasite densities rather than changing rates of acquisition or clearance of infections.
Carlos, Bianca C; Fotoran, Wesley L; Menezes, Maria J; Cabral, Fernanda J; Bastos, Marcele F; Costa, Fabio T M; Sousa-Neto, Jayme A; Ribolla, Paulo E M; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Ferreira, Marcelo U
The var gene-encoded erythrocyte membrane protein-1 of Plasmodium falciparum (PfEMP-1) is the main variant surface antigen (VSA) expressed on infected erythrocytes. The rate at which antibody responses to VSA expressed by circulating parasites are acquired depends on the size of the local VSA repertoire and the frequency of exposure to new VSA. Because parasites from areas with declining malaria endemicity, such as the Amazon, typically express a restricted PfEMP-1 repertoire, we hypothesized that Amazonians would rapidly acquire antibodies to most locally circulating VSA. Consistent with our expectations, the analysis of 5878 sequence tags expressed by 10 local P. falciparum samples revealed little PfEMP-1 DBL1α domain diversity. Among the most commonly expressed DBL1α types, 45% were shared by two or more independent parasite lines. Nevertheless, Amazonians displayed major gaps in their repertoire of anti-VSA antibodies, although the breadth of anti-VSA antibody responses correlated positively with their cumulative exposure to malaria. We found little antibody cross-reactivity even when testing VSA from related parasites expressing the same dominant DBL1α types. We conclude that variant-specific immunity to P. falciparum VSAs develops slowly despite the relatively restricted PfEMP-1 repertoire found in low-endemicity settings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Talman, Arthur M; Blagborough, Andrew M; Sinden, Robert E
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria-related deaths. Tools allowing the study of the basic biology of P. falciparum throughout the life cycle are critical to the development of new strategies to target the parasite within both human and mosquito hosts. We here present 3D7HT-GFP, a strain of P. falciparum constitutively expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) throughout the life cycle, which has retained its capacity to complete sporogonic development. The GFP expressing cassette was inserted in the Pf47 locus. Using this transgenic strain, parasite tracking and population dynamics studies in mosquito stages and exo-erythrocytic schizogony is greatly facilitated. The development of 3D7HT-GFP will permit a deeper understanding of the biology of parasite-host vector interactions, and facilitate the development of high-throughput malaria transmission assays and thus aid development of new intervention strategies against both parasite and mosquito.
Full Text Available Malaria remains a major health problem worldwide. All clinical symptoms of malaria are attributed to the asexual blood stages of the parasite life cycle. Proteins resident in apical organelles and present on the surface of P. falciparum merozoites are considered promising candidates for the development of blood stage malaria vaccines. In the present study, we have identified and characterized a microneme associated antigen, PfMA [PlasmoDB Gene ID: PF3D7_0316000, PFC0700c]. The gene was selected by applying a set of screening criteria such as transcriptional upregulation at late schizogony, inter-species conservation and the presence of signal sequence or transmembrane domains. The gene sequence of PfMA was found to be conserved amongst various Plasmodium species. We experimentally demonstrated that the transcript for PfMA was expressed only in the late blood stages of parasite consistent with a putative role in erythrocyte invasion. PfMA was localized by immunofluorescence and immuno-electron microscopy to be in the micronemes, an apical organelle of merozoites. The functional role of the PfMA protein in erythrocyte invasion was identified as a parasite adhesin involved in direct attachment with the target erythrocyte. PfMA was demonstrated to bind erythrocytes in a sialic acid independent, chymotrypsin and trypsin resistant manner and its antibodies inhibited P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion. Invasion of erythrocytes is a complex multistep process that involves a number of redundant ligand-receptor interactions many of which still remain unknown and even uncharacterized. Our work has identified and characterized a novel P. falciparum adhesin involved in erythrocyte invasion.
Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of deadly malaria disease. It is an intracellular eukaryote and completes its multi-stage life cycle spanning the two hosts viz, mosquito and human. In order to habituate within host environment, parasite conform several strategies to evade host immune responses such as surface antigen polymorphism or modulation of host immune system and it is mediated by secretion of proteins from parasite to the host erythrocyte and beyond, collectively known as, malaria secretome. In this review, we will discuss about the deployment of parasitic secretory protein in mechanism implicated for immune evasion, protein trafficking, providing virulence, changing permeability and cyto-adherence of infected erythrocyte. We will be covering the possibilities of developing malaria secretome as a drug/vaccine target. This gathered information will be worthwhile in depicting a well-organized picture for host-pathogen interplay during the malaria infection and may also provide some clues for development of novel anti-malarial therapies.
Aher, Rahul Balasaheb; Wanare, Gajanan; Kawathekar, Neha; Kumar, Ravi Ranjan; Kaushik, Naveen Kumar; Sahal, Dinkar; Chauhan, Virander Singh
A series of dibenzylideneacetones (A1-A12) and some of their pyrazolines (B1-B4) were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for blood stage antiplasmodial properties in Plasmodium falciparum culture using SYBR-green-I fluorescence assay. The compound (1E, 4E)-1,5-bis(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)penta-1,4-dien-3-one (A9) was found to be the most active with IC(50) of 1.97 μM against chloroquine-sensitive strain (3D7) and 1.69 μM against chloroquine-resistant field isolate (RKL9). The MTT based cytotoxicity assay on HeLa cell line has confirmed that A9 is selective in its action against malaria parasite (with a therapeutic index of 166). Our results revealed that these compounds exhibited promising antiplasmodial activities which can be further explored as potential leads for the development of cheaper, safe, effective and potent drugs against chloroquine-resistant malarial parasites. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Miotto, Olivo; Amato, Roberto; Ashley, Elizabeth A; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Lim, Pharath; Mead, Daniel; Oyola, Samuel O; Dhorda, Mehul; Imwong, Mallika; Woodrow, Charles; Manske, Magnus; Stalker, Jim; Drury, Eleanor; Campino, Susana; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Thanh, Thuy-Nhien Nguyen; Tran, Hien Tinh; Ringwald, Pascal; Bethell, Delia; Nosten, Francois; Phyo, Aung Pyae; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Chuor, Char Meng; Nguon, Chea; Suon, Seila; Sreng, Sokunthea; Newton, Paul N; Mayxay, Mayfong; Khanthavong, Maniphone; Hongvanthong, Bouasy; Htut, Ye; Han, Kay Thwe; Kyaw, Myat Phone; Faiz, Md Abul; Fanello, Caterina I; Onyamboko, Marie; Mokuolu, Olugbenga A; Jacob, Christopher G; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V; Day, Nicholas P; Dondorp, Arjen M; Spencer, Chris C A; McVean, Gilean; Fairhurst, Rick M; White, Nicholas J; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P
We report a large multicenter genome-wide association study of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin, the frontline antimalarial drug. Across 15 locations in Southeast Asia, we identified at least 20 mutations in kelch13 (PF3D7_1343700) affecting the encoded propeller and BTB/POZ domains, which were associated with a slow parasite clearance rate after treatment with artemisinin derivatives. Nonsynonymous polymorphisms in fd (ferredoxin), arps10 (apicoplast ribosomal protein S10), mdr2 (multidrug resistance protein 2) and crt (chloroquine resistance transporter) also showed strong associations with artemisinin resistance. Analysis of the fine structure of the parasite population showed that the fd, arps10, mdr2 and crt polymorphisms are markers of a genetic background on which kelch13 mutations are particularly likely to arise and that they correlate with the contemporary geographical boundaries and population frequencies of artemisinin resistance. These findings indicate that the risk of new resistance-causing mutations emerging is determined by specific predisposing genetic factors in the underlying parasite population. PMID:25599401
Muellenbeck, Matthias F; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Amulic, Borko
signs of active antibody secretion. AtM and CM were also different in their IgG gene repertoire, suggesting that they develop from different precursors. The findings provide direct evidence that natural Pf infection leads to the development of protective memory B cell antibody responses and suggest......Antibodies can protect from Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection and clinical malaria disease. However, in the absence of constant reexposure, serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels rapidly decline and full protection from clinical symptoms is lost, suggesting that B cell memory is functionally impaired...... that constant immune activation rather than impaired memory function leads to the accumulation of AtM in malaria. Understanding the memory B cell response to natural Pf infection may be key to the development of a malaria vaccine that induces long-lived protection....
Knudson-Ospina, Angélica; Sánchez-Pedraza, Ricardo; Pérez-Mazorra, Manuel Alberto; Cortés-Cortés, Liliana Jazmín; Guerra-Vega, Ángela Patricia; Nicholls-Orejuela, Rubén Santiago
Antecedentes. En Colombia existen pocos estudios que buscan encontrar diferencias clínicas y parasitológicas en la malaria causada por Plasmodium falciparum y Plasmodium vivax. Objetivo. Describir el perfil clínico y parasitológico de las malarias por Plasmodium falciparum y Plasmodium vivax no complicadas en Tierralta, Córdoba, Colombia. Materiales y métodos. Se evaluaron pacientes con paludismo no complicado por Plasmodium falciparum y Plasmodium vivax según los protocolos estandarizados po...
Properties of the malarial proteins Pf2, Pf9 and PfP0, which support their roles as immune targets. Antibodies raised to each of these proteins (or purified from immune adults) inhibit the growth of Plasmodium falciparum at the red cell invasion step. The proteins are localized on the parasite cell surface. Each protein is ...
Sander, Adam F; Salanti, Ali; Lavstsen, Thomas
in the VAR2CSA protein, sequence variation in the DBL2X region of var2csa genes in 54 P.falciparum samples was analyzed. Chromosome mapping of var2csa loci was carried out and a quantitative PCR assay was developed to estimate the number of var2csa genes in P.falciparum isolates from the placenta of pregnant....... falciparum isolates. One gene is on chromosome 12 but additional var2csa-type genes are on different chromosomes in different isolates. Multiplicity of var2csa genes appears more common in infected placentae than in samples from non-pregnant donors indicating a possible advantage of this genotype...
Mwakalinga Steven B
Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability of Plasmodium falciparum to undergo antigenic variation, by switching expression among protein variants encoded by multigene families, such as var, rif and stevor, is key to the survival of this parasite in the human host. The RIFIN protein family can be divided into A and B types based on the presence or absence of a 25 amino acid motif in the semi-conserved domain. A particular type B RIFIN, PF13_0006, has previously been shown to be strongly transcribed in the asexual and sexual stages of P. falciparum in vitro. Methods Antibodies to recombinant PF13_0006 RIFIN were used in immunofluorescence and confocal imaging of 3D7 parasites throughout the asexual reproduction and sexual development to examine the expression of PF13_0006. Furthermore, reactivity to recombinant PF13_0006 was measured in plasma samples collected from individuals from both East and West African endemic areas. Results The PF13_0006 RIFIN variant appeared expressed by both released merozoites and gametes after emergence. 7.4% and 12.1% of individuals from East and West African endemic areas, respectively, carry plasma antibodies that recognize recombinant PF13_0006, where the antibody responses were more common among older children. Conclusions The stage specificity of PF13_0006 suggests that the diversity of RIFIN variants has evolved to provide multiple specialized functions in different stages of the parasite life cycle. These data also suggest that RIFIN variants antigenically similar to PF13_0006 occur in African parasite populations.
Sussmann, Rodrigo A. C.; Fotoran, Wesley L.; Kimura, Emilia A.; Katzin, Alejandro M.
Background Plasmodium falciparum is sensitive to oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo, and many drugs such as artemisinin, chloroquine and cercosporin interfere in the parasite’s redox system. To minimize the damage caused by reactive radicals, antioxidant enzymes and their substrates found in parasites and in erythrocytes must be functionally active. It was shown that P. falciparum synthesizes vitamin E and that usnic acid acts as an inhibitor of its biosynthesis. Vitamin E is a potent anti...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acquired antibodies are important in human immunity to malaria, but key targets remain largely unknown. Plasmodium falciparum reticulocyte-binding-homologue-4 (PfRh4 is important for invasion of human erythrocytes and may therefore be a target of protective immunity. METHODS: IgG and IgG subclass-specific responses against different regions of PfRh4 were determined in a longitudinal cohort of 206 children in Papua New Guinea (PNG. Human PfRh4 antibodies were tested for functional invasion-inhibitory activity, and expression of PfRh4 by P. falciparum isolates and sequence polymorphisms were determined. RESULTS: Antibodies to PfRh4 were acquired by children exposed to P. falciparum malaria, were predominantly comprised of IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses, and were associated with increasing age and active parasitemia. High levels of antibodies, particularly IgG3, were strongly predictive of protection against clinical malaria and high-density parasitemia. Human affinity-purified antibodies to the binding region of PfRh4 effectively inhibited erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum merozoites and antibody levels in protected children were at functionally-active concentrations. Although expression of PfRh4 can vary, PfRh4 protein was expressed by most isolates derived from the cohort and showed limited sequence polymorphism. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence suggests that PfRh4 is a target of antibodies that contribute to protective immunity to malaria by inhibiting erythrocyte invasion and preventing high density parasitemia. These findings advance our understanding of the targets and mechanisms of human immunity and evaluating the potential of PfRh4 as a component of candidate malaria vaccines.
Yeoman, Jeffrey A; Hanssen, Eric; Maier, Alexander G; Klonis, Nectarios; Maco, Bohumil; Baum, Jake; Turnbull, Lynne; Whitchurch, Cynthia B; Dixon, Matthew W A; Tilley, Leann
The most deadly of the human malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum, has different stages specialized for invasion of hepatocytes, erythrocytes, and the mosquito gut wall. In each case, host cell invasion is powered by an actin-myosin motor complex that is linked to an inner membrane complex (IMC) via a membrane anchor called the glideosome-associated protein 50 (PfGAP50). We generated P. falciparum transfectants expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) chimeras of PfGAP50 (PfGAP50-GFP). Using immunoprecipitation and fluorescence photobleaching, we show that C-terminally tagged PfGAP50-GFP can form a complex with endogenous copies of the linker protein PfGAP45 and the myosin A tail domain-interacting protein (MTIP). Full-length PfGAP50-GFP is located in the endoplasmic reticulum in early-stage parasites and then redistributes to apical caps during the formation of daughter merozoites. In the final stage of schizogony, the PfGAP50-GFP profile extends further around the merozoite surface. Three-dimensional (3D) structured illumination microscopy reveals the early-stage IMC as a doubly punctured flat ellipsoid that separates to form claw-shaped apposed structures. A GFP fusion of PfGAP50 lacking the C-terminal membrane anchor is misdirected to the parasitophorous vacuole. Replacement of the acid phosphatase homology domain of PfGAP50 with GFP appears to allow correct trafficking of the chimera but confers a growth disadvantage.
Lekostaj, Jacqueline K.; Natarajan, Jayakumar K.; Paguio, Michelle F.; Wolf, Christian; Roepe, Paul D.
Several models describing how amino acid substitutions in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) confer resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and other antimalarial drugs have been proposed. Further progress requires molecular analysis of interactions between purified reconstituted PfCRT protein and these drugs. We have thus designed and synthesized several perfluorophenyl azido (pfpa) CQ analogues for PfCRT photolabeling studies. One particularly useful probe (AzBCQ) places the pfpa group at the terminal aliphatic N of CQ via a flexible four-carbon ester linker and includes a convenient biotin tag. This probe photolabels PfCRT in situ with high specificity. Using reconstituted proteoliposomes harboring partially purified recombinant PfCRT, we analyze AzBCQ photolabeling versus competition with CQ and other drugs to probe the nature of the CQ binding site. We also inspect how pH, the chemoreversal agent verapamil (VPL), and various amino acid mutations in PfCRT that cause CQ resistance (CQR) affect the efficiency of AzBCQ photolabeling. Upon gel isolation of AzBCQ-labeled PfCRT followed by trypsin digestion and mass spectrometry analysis, we are able to define a single AzBCQ covalent attachment site lying within the digestive vacuolar-disposed loop between putative helices 9 and 10 of PfCRT. Taken together, the data provide important new insight into PfCRT function and, along with previous results, allow us to propose a model for a single CQ binding site in the PfCRT protein. PMID:18767816
Lekostaj, Jacqueline K; Natarajan, Jayakumar K; Paguio, Michelle F; Wolf, Christian; Roepe, Paul D
Several models describing how amino acid substitutions in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) confer resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and other antimalarial drugs have been proposed. Further progress requires molecular analysis of interactions between purified reconstituted PfCRT protein and these drugs. We have thus designed and synthesized several perfluorophenyl azido (pfpa) CQ analogues for PfCRT photolabeling studies. One particularly useful probe (AzBCQ) places the pfpa group at the terminal aliphatic N of CQ via a flexible four-carbon ester linker and includes a convenient biotin tag. This probe photolabels PfCRT in situ with high specificity. Using reconstituted proteoliposomes harboring partially purified recombinant PfCRT, we analyze AzBCQ photolabeling versus competition with CQ and other drugs to probe the nature of the CQ binding site. We also inspect how pH, the chemoreversal agent verapamil (VPL), and various amino acid mutations in PfCRT that cause CQ resistance (CQR) affect the efficiency of AzBCQ photolabeling. Upon gel isolation of AzBCQ-labeled PfCRT followed by trypsin digestion and mass spectrometry analysis, we are able to define a single AzBCQ covalent attachment site lying within the digestive vacuolar-disposed loop between putative helices 9 and 10 of PfCRT. Taken together, the data provide important new insight into PfCRT function and, along with previous results, allow us to propose a model for a single CQ binding site in the PfCRT protein.
Full Text Available Malaria is caused by infection with protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium, which have arguably exerted the greatest selection pressure on humans in the history of our species. Besides humans, different Plasmodium parasites infect a wide range of animal hosts, from marine invertebrates to primates. On the other hand, individual Plasmodium species show high host specificity. The extraordinary evolution of Plasmodium probably began when a free-living red algae turned parasitic, and culminated with its ability to thrive inside a human red blood cell. Studies on the African apes generated new data on the evolution of malaria parasites in general and the deadliest human-specific species, Plasmodium falciparum, in particular. Initially, it was hypothesized that P. falciparum descended from the chimpanzee malaria parasite P. reichenowi, after the human and the chimp lineage diverged about 6 million years ago. However, a recently identified new species infecting gorillas, unexpectedly showed similarity to P. falciparum and was therefore named P. praefalciparum. That finding spurred an alternative hypothesis, which proposes that P. falciparum descended from its gorilla rather than chimp counterpart. In addition, the gorilla-to-human host shift may have occurred more recently (about 10 thousand years ago than the theoretical P. falciparum-P. reichenowi split. One of the key aims of the studies on Plasmodium evolution is to elucidate the mechanisms that allow the incessant host shifting and retaining the host specificity, especially in the case of human-specific species. Thorough understanding of these phenomena will be necessary to design effective malaria treatment and prevention strategies.
Palma, Christopher; Overstreet, Michael G.; Guedon, Jean-Marc; Hoiczyk, Egbert; Ward, Cameron; Karen, Kasey A.; Zavala, Fidel; Ketner, Gary
Adenovirus particles can be engineered to display exogenous peptides on their surfaces by modification of viral capsid proteins, and particles that display pathogen-derived peptides can induce protective immunity. We constructed viable recombinant adenoviruses that display B-cell epitopes from the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP) in the major adenovirus capsid protein, hexon. Recombinants induced high-titer antibodies against CSP when injected intraperitoneally into mice...
Cham, Gerald K K; Kurtis, Jonathan; Lusingu, John
-based assay was sensitive, accurate and reproducible. Four recombinant PfEMP1 proteins C17, D5, D9 and D12, selected on the basis that they showed a spread of median fluorescent intensity (MFI) values from low to high when analysed by the bead-based assay were analysed by ELISA and the results from both...... reactivity levels to twenty eight different recombinant PfEMP1 proteins were simultaneously measured using a single microliter of plasma. Thus, the assay reported here provides a useful tool for rapid and efficient quantification of antibody reactivity against PfEMP1 variants in human plasma....... of twenty nine PfEMP1 domains were PCR amplified from 3D7 genomic DNA, expressed in the Baculovirus system and purified by metal-affinity chromatography. The antibody reactivity level to the recombinant PfEMP1 proteins in human hyper-immune plasma was measured by ELISA. In parallel, these recombinant PfEMP1...
Ilse C E Hendriksen
Full Text Available In African children, distinguishing severe falciparum malaria from other severe febrile illnesses with coincidental Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia is a major challenge. P. falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2 is released by mature sequestered parasites and can be used to estimate the total parasite burden. We investigated the prognostic significance of plasma PfHRP2 and used it to estimate the malaria-attributable fraction in African children diagnosed with severe malaria.Admission plasma PfHRP2 was measured prospectively in African children (from Mozambique, The Gambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo aged 1 month to 15 years with severe febrile illness and a positive P. falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH-based rapid test in a clinical trial comparing parenteral artesunate versus quinine (the AQUAMAT trial, ISRCTN 50258054. In 3,826 severely ill children, Plasmadium falciparum PfHRP2 was higher in patients with coma (p = 0.0209, acidosis (p<0.0001, and severe anaemia (p<0.0001. Admission geometric mean (95%CI plasma PfHRP2 was 1,611 (1,350-1,922 ng/mL in fatal cases (n = 381 versus 1,046 (991-1,104 ng/mL in survivors (n = 3,445, p<0.0001, without differences in parasitaemia as assessed by microscopy. There was a U-shaped association between log(10 plasma PfHRP2 and risk of death. Mortality increased 20% per log(10 increase in PfHRP2 above 174 ng/mL (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.21, 95%CI 1.05-1.39, p = 0.009. A mechanistic model assuming a PfHRP2-independent risk of death in non-malaria illness closely fitted the observed data and showed malaria-attributable mortality less than 50% with plasma PfHRP2≤174 ng/mL. The odds ratio (OR for death in artesunate versus quinine-treated patients was 0.61 (95%CI 0.44-0.83, p = 0.0018 in the highest PfHRP2 tertile, whereas there was no difference in the lowest tertile (OR 1.05; 95%CI 0.69-1.61; p = 0.82. A limitation of the study is that some
Full Text Available Since 1984, DNA tests based on the highly repeated subtelomeric sequences of Plasmodium falciparum (rep 20 have been frequently used in malaria diagnosis. Rep 20 is very specific for this parasite, and is made of 21 bp units, organized in repeated blocks with direct and inverted orientation. Based in this particular organization, we selected a unique consensus oligonucleotide (pf-21 to drive a PCR reaction coupled to hybridization to non-radioactive labeled probes. The pf-21 unique oligo PCR (pf-21-I assay produced DNA amplification fingerprints when was applied on purified P. falciparum DNA samples (Brazil and Colombia, as well as in patient's blood samples from a large area of Venezuela. The performance of the Pf-21-I assay was compared against Giemsa stained thick blood smears from samples collected at a malaria endemic area of the Bolívar State, Venezuela, at the field station of Malariología in Tumeremo. Coupled to non-radioactive hybridization the pf-21-I performed better than the traditional microscopic method with a r=1.7:1. In the case of mixed infections the r value of P. falciparum detection increased to 2.5:1. The increased diagnostic sensitivity of the test produced with this homologous oligonucleotide could provide an alternative to the epidemiological diagnosis of P. falciparum being currently used in Venezuela endemic areas, where low parasitemia levels and asymptomatic malaria are frequent. In addition, the DNA fingerprint could be tested in molecular population studies
Graves, Patricia M; Gelband, Hellen; Garner, Paul
Mosquitoes become infected with malaria when they ingest gametocyte stages of the parasite from the blood of a human host. Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are sensitive to the drug primaquine (PQ). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends giving a single dose or short course of PQ alongside primary treatment for people ill with P. falciparum infection to reduce malaria transmission. Gametocytes themselves cause no symptoms, so this intervention does not directly benefit individuals. PQ causes haemolysis in some people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency so may not be safe. To assess whether a single dose or short course of PQ added to treatments for malaria caused by P. falciparum infection reduces malaria transmission and is safe. We searched the following databases up to 10 April 2012 for studies: the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS; metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) and the WHO trials search portal using 'malaria*', 'falciparum', and 'primaquine' as search terms. In addition, we searched conference proceedings and reference lists of included studies, and we contacted likely researchers and organizations for relevant trials. Trials of mass treatment of whole populations (or actively detected fever or malaria cases within such populations) with antimalarial drugs, compared to treatment with the same drug plus PQ; or patients with clinical malaria being treated for malaria at health facilities randomized to short course/single dose PQ versus no PQ. Two authors (PMG and HG) independently screened all abstracts, applied inclusion criteria, and abstracted data. We sought data on the effect of PQ on malaria transmission intensity, participant infectiousness, the number of participants with gametocytes, and gametocyte density over time. We stratified results by primary treatment drug as
Palma, Christopher; Overstreet, Michael G.; Guedon, Jean-Marc; Hoiczyk, Egbert; Ward, Cameron; Karen, Kasey A.; Zavala, Fidel; Ketner, Gary
Adenovirus particles can be engineered to display exogenous peptides on their surfaces by modification of viral capsid proteins, and particles that display pathogen-derived peptides can induce protective immunity. We constructed viable recombinant adenoviruses that display B-cell epitopes from the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP) in the major adenovirus capsid protein, hexon. Recombinants induced high-titer antibodies against CSP when injected intraperitoneally into mice. Serum obtained from immunized mice recognized both recombinant PfCSP protein and P. falciparum sporozoites, and neutralized P. falciparum sporozoites in vitro. Replicating adenovirus vaccines have provided economical protection against adenovirus disease for over three decades. The recombinants described here may provide a path to an affordable malaria vaccine in the developing world. PMID:21199707
Das, Sujaan; Lemgruber, Leandro; Tay, Chwen L; Baum, Jake; Meissner, Markus
The phylum Apicomplexa includes intracellular parasites causing immense global disease burden, the deadliest of them being the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which invades and replicates within erythrocytes. The cytoskeletal protein actin is well conserved within apicomplexans but divergent from mammalian actins, and was primarily reported to function during host cell invasion. However, novel invasion mechanisms have been described for several apicomplexans, and specific functions of the acto-myosin system are being reinvestigated. Of the two actin genes in P. falciparum, actin-1 (pfact1) is ubiquitously expressed in all life-cycle stages and is thought to be required for erythrocyte invasion, although its functions during parasite development are unknown, and definitive in vivo characterisation during invasion is lacking. Here we have used a conditional Cre-lox system to investigate the functions of PfACT1 during P. falciparum blood-stage development and host cell invasion. We demonstrate that PfACT1 is crucially required for segregation of the plastid-like organelle, the apicoplast, and for efficient daughter cell separation during the final stages of cytokinesis. Surprisingly, we observe that egress from the host cell is not an actin-dependent process. Finally, we show that parasites lacking PfACT1 are capable of microneme secretion, attachment and formation of a junction with the erythrocyte, but are incapable of host cell invasion. This study provides important mechanistic insights into the definitive essential functions of PfACT1 in P. falciparum, which are not only of biological interest, but owing to functional divergence from mammalian actins, could also form the basis for the development of novel therapeutics against apicomplexans.
Full Text Available The Plasmodium falciparum lactate dehydrogenase enzyme (PfLDH has been considered as a potential molecular target for antimalarials due to this parasite's dependence on glycolysis for energy production. Because the LDH enzymes found in P. vivax, P. malariae and P. ovale (pLDH all exhibit ∼90% identity to PfLDH, it would be desirable to have new anti-pLDH drugs, particularly ones that are effective against P. falciparum, the most virulent species of human malaria. Our present work used docking studies to select potential inhibitors of pLDH, which were then tested for antimalarial activity against P. falciparum in vitro and P. berghei malaria in mice. A virtual screening in DrugBank for analogs of NADH (an essential cofactor to pLDH and computational studies were undertaken, and the potential binding of the selected compounds to the PfLDH active site was analyzed using Molegro Virtual Docker software. Fifty compounds were selected based on their similarity to NADH. The compounds with the best binding energies (itraconazole, atorvastatin and posaconazole were tested against P. falciparum chloroquine-resistant blood parasites. All three compounds proved to be active in two immunoenzymatic assays performed in parallel using monoclonals specific to PfLDH or a histidine rich protein (HRP2. The IC(50 values for each drug in both tests were similar, were lowest for posaconazole (<5 µM and were 40- and 100-fold less active than chloroquine. The compounds reduced P. berghei parasitemia in treated mice, in comparison to untreated controls; itraconazole was the least active compound. The results of these activity trials confirmed that molecular docking studies are an important strategy for discovering new antimalarial drugs. This approach is more practical and less expensive than discovering novel compounds that require studies on human toxicology, since these compounds are already commercially available and thus approved for human use.
Mar 18, 2008 ... ISSN 1684–5315 © 2008 Academic Journals. Full Length Research Paper. Variation of nitric oxide levels in imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria episodes. De Sousa, Karina*, Silva, Marcelo S. and Tavira, Luís T. Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Centro de Malária e outras Doenças Tropicais, ...
De Vries, Jutte J. C.; Van Assen, Sander; Mulder, André B.; Kampinga, Greetje A.
An adult traveler presented with fever and malaise after returning from Sierra Leone. Young trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparum were seen in a blood smear, with parasitemia being 10%. Moreover, blood cultures drawn on admission signaled as "positive" after 1 day of incubation, but no bacteria were
Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Learn, Gerald H; Rudicell, Rebecca S; Robertson, Joel D; Keele, Brandon F; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N; Sanz, Crickette M; Morgan, David B; Locatelli, Sabrina; Gonder, Mary K; Kranzusch, Philip J; Walsh, Peter D; Delaporte, Eric; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Georgiev, Alexander V; Muller, Martin N; Shaw, George M; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M; Rayner, Julian C; Hahn, Beatrice H
Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent and lethal of the malaria parasites infecting humans, yet the origin and evolutionary history of this important pathogen remain controversial. Here we develop a single-genome amplification strategy to identify and characterize Plasmodium spp. DNA sequences in faecal samples from wild-living apes. Among nearly 3,000 specimens collected from field sites throughout central Africa, we found Plasmodium infection in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), but not in eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei) or bonobos (Pan paniscus). Ape plasmodial infections were highly prevalent, widely distributed and almost always made up of mixed parasite species. Analysis of more than 1,100 mitochondrial, apicoplast and nuclear gene sequences from chimpanzees and gorillas revealed that 99% grouped within one of six host-specific lineages representing distinct Plasmodium species within the subgenus Laverania. One of these from western gorillas comprised parasites that were nearly identical to P. falciparum. In phylogenetic analyses of full-length mitochondrial sequences, human P. falciparum formed a monophyletic lineage within the gorilla parasite radiation. These findings indicate that P. falciparum is of gorilla origin and not of chimpanzee, bonobo or ancient human origin.
Tuikue Ndam, Nicaise; Bischoff, Emmanuel; Proux, Caroline
BACKGROUND: Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) causing maternal anemia and low birth weight is among the multiple manifestations of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Infected erythrocytes (iEs) can acquire various adhesive properties that mediate the clinical severity of malaria. Recent advances...
Vareil, Marc-Olivier; Tandonnet, Olivier; Chemoul, Audrey; Bogreau, Hervé; Saint-Léger, Mélanie; Micheau, Maguy; Millet, Pascal; Koeck, Jean-Louis; Boyer, Alexandre; Rogier, Christophe
Plasmodium falciparum malaria is usually transmitted by mosquitoes. We report 2 cases in France transmitted by other modes: occupational blood exposure and blood transfusion. Even where malaria is not endemic, it should be considered as a cause of unexplained acute fever. PMID:21291597
Background Malaria parasites are frequently trans- mitted by unscreened blood transfusions in Africa. Pathogen reduction methods in whole blood would thus greatly improve blood safety. We aimed to determine the efficacy of riboflavin plus irradiation for treatment of whole blood infected with Plasmodium falciparum.
Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), the current first line antimalarial drug in Tanzania, is compromised by evolution and spread of mutations in the parasite's dhfr and dhps genes. In the present study we established the baseline frequencies of Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate ...
Background: Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous malaria parasite species to ... tigen for subunit malaria vaccine.10 It comprises highly ... were also prepared for Giemsa staining as described by ... parasites with different alleles at a given locus and ranges ..... surface protein 1, immune evasion and vaccines against.
We have initiated such a study and presented herewith the results from the in silico understanding of a seventh chromosomal region of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum encompassing the antigenic var genes (coding pfemp1) and the drug-resistant gene pfcrt located at a specified region of the chromosome 7.
Mockenhaupt, F. P.; Rong, B.; Till, H.; Eggelte, T. A.; Beck, S.; Gyasi-Sarpong, C.; Thompson, W. N.; Bienzle, U.
Malarial parasitaemia below the threshold of microscopy but detectable by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays is common in endemic regions. This study was conducted to examine prevalence, predictors, and effects of submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum infections in pregnancy. In a cross-sectional
Malaria and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections are major public health problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their overlapping geographical distribution and co-existence often result into high morbidity and mortality. This study was designed to establish the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria among HIV ...
Mockenhaupt, Frank P.; Ehrhardt, Stephan; Eggelte, Teunis A.; Markert, Miriam; Anemana, Sylvester; Otchwemah, Rowland; Bienzle, Ulrich
In 366 Ghanaian children with symptomatic Plasmodium falciparum malaria, low haemoglobin levels and severe anaemia were associated with a high multiplicity of infection (MOI) and with distinct merozoite surface protein alleles. High MOI not only reflects premunition but may also contribute to
Full Text Available Abstract Background The malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf, is responsible for nearly 2 million deaths worldwide. However, the mechanisms of cellular signaling in the parasite remain largely unknown. Recent discovery of a few protein kinases and phosphatases point to a thriving reversible phosphorylation system in the parasite, although their function and regulation need to be determined. Results We provide biochemical and sequence evidence for a protein serine/threonine phosphatase type PP5 in Plasmodium falciparum, and named it PfPP5. The 594-amino acid polypeptide was encoded by a 1785 nucleotide long intronless gene in the parasite. The recombinant protein, expressed in bacteria, was indistinguishable from native PfPP5. Sequencing comparison indicated that the extra-long N-terminus of PfPP5 outside the catalytic core contained four tetratricopeptide repeats (TPRs, compared to three such repeats in other PP5 phosphatases. The PfPP5 N-terminus was required for stimulation of the phosphatase activity by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated an interaction between native PfPP5 and Pf heat shock protein 90 (hsp90. PfPP5 was expressed in all the asexual erythrocytic stages of the parasite, and was moderately sensitive to okadaic acid. Conclusions This is the first example of a TPR-domain protein in the Apicomplexa family of parasites. Since TPR domains play important roles in protein-protein interaction, especially relevant to the regulation of PP5 phosphatases, PfPP5 is destined to have a definitive role in parasitic growth and signaling pathways. This is exemplified by the interaction between PfPP5 and the cognate chaperone hsp90.
Joergensen, Louise; Turner, Louise; Magistrado, Pamela
The var gene-encoded Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family is responsible for antigenic variation and sequestration of infected erythrocytes during malaria. We have previously grouped the 60 PfEMP1 variants of P. falciparum clone 3D7 into groups A and B/A (category A......) and groups B, B/C, and C (category non-A). Expression of category A molecules is associated with severe malaria, and that of category non-A molecules is associated with uncomplicated malaria and asymptomatic infection. Here we assessed cross-reactivity among 60 different recombinant PfEMP1 domains derived...... from clone 3D7 by using a competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a pool of plasma from 63 malaria-exposed Tanzanian individuals. We conclude that naturally acquired antibodies are largely directed toward epitopes varying between different domains with a few, mainly category A, domains...
Palacpac, Nirianne Marie Q.; Hiramine, Yasushi; Seto, Shintaro; Hiramatsu, Ryuji; Horii, Toshihiro; Mitamura, Toshihide
In triacylglycerol (TAG)-accumulating organisms, the physiological roles of diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT), a principal enzyme in the major biosynthetic pathway for TAG, appear to be diverse. Apicomplexan parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, shows unique features in TAG metabolism and trafficking during intraerythrocytic development, and unlike most eukaryotes, only one open reading frame (ORF) encoding a candidate DGAT could be found in its genome. However, whether this candidate ORF encodes P. falciparum DGAT and its physiological relevance have not been assessed. Here, we demonstrate that the ORF is transcribed as a ∼3.6 kb single mRNA throughout intraerythrocytic development, markedly elevated at trophozoite, schizont, and segmented schizont, and indeed encodes a protein exhibiting DGAT activity. Further, we provide evidence that the parasite in which the ORF was disrupted via double crossover recombination cannot be enriched, implying a fundamental role of PfDGAT in intraerythrocytic proliferation
Bachmann, Anna; Petter, Michaela; Krumkamp, Ralf; Esen, Meral; Held, Jana; Scholz, Judith A M; Li, Tao; Sim, B Kim Lee; Hoffman, Stephen L; Kremsner, Peter G; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Duffy, Michael F; Tannich, Egbert
Virulence of the most deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is linked to the variant surface antigen PfEMP1, which is encoded by about 60 var genes per parasite genome. Although the expression of particular variants has been associated with different clinical outcomes, little is known about var gene expression at the onset of infection. By analyzing controlled human malaria infections via quantitative real-time PCR, we show that parasite populations from 18 volunteers expressed virtually identical transcript patterns that were dominated by the subtelomeric var gene group B and, to a lesser extent, group A. Furthermore, major changes in composition and frequency of var gene transcripts were detected between the parental parasite culture that was used to infect mosquitoes and Plasmodia recovered from infected volunteers, suggesting that P. falciparum resets its var gene expression during mosquito passage and starts with the broad expression of a specific subset of var genes when entering the human blood phase.
Full Text Available The mechanisms of stage-specific gene regulation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are largely unclear, with only a small number of specific regulatory transcription factors (AP2 family having been identified. In particular, the transcription factors that function in the intraerythrocytic stage remain to be elucidated. Previously, as a model case for stage-specific transcription in the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic stage, we analyzed the transcriptional regulation of pf1-cys-prx, a trophozoite/schizont-specific gene, and suggested that some nuclear factors bind specifically to the cis-element of pf1-cys-prx and enhance transcription. In the present study, we purified nuclear factors from parasite nuclear extract by 5 steps of chromatography, and identified a factor termed PREBP. PREBP is not included in the AP2 family, and is a novel protein with four K-homology (KH domains. The KH domain is known to be found in RNA-binding or single-stranded DNA-binding proteins. PREBP is well conserved in Plasmodium species and partially conserved in phylum Apicomplexa. To evaluate the effects of PREBP overexpression, we used a transient overexpression and luciferase assay combined approach. Overexpression of PREBP markedly enhanced luciferase expression under the control of the pf1-cys-prx cis-element. These results provide the first evidence of a novel transcription factor that activates the gene expression in the malaria parasite intraerythrocytic stage. These findings enhance our understanding of the evolution of specific transcription machinery in Plasmodium and other eukaryotes.
Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Chenet, Stella M.; Arrospide, Nancy; Gutierrez, Sonia; Cabezas, Cesar; Matta, Jose Antonio; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam
In November 2013, a Plasmodium falciparum malaria outbreak of 11 cases occurred in Cusco, southern Peru, where falciparum malaria had not been reported since 1946. Although initial microscopic diagnosis reported only Plasmodium vivax infection in each of the specimens, subsequent examination by the national reference laboratory confirmed P. falciparum infection in all samples. Molecular typing of four available isolates revealed identity as the B-variant (BV1) strain that was responsible for a malaria outbreak in Tumbes, northern Peru, between 2010 and 2012. The P. falciparum BV1 strain is multidrug resistant, can escape detection by PfHRP2-based rapid diagnostic tests, and has contributed to two malaria outbreaks in Peru. This investigation highlights the importance of accurate species diagnosis given the potential for P. falciparum to be reintroduced to regions where it may have been absent. Similar molecular epidemiological investigations can track the probable source(s) of outbreak parasite strains for malaria surveillance and control purposes. PMID:26483121
Alan Kang-Wai Mu
Full Text Available Malaria is caused by parasitic protozoans of the genus Plasmodium and is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in tropical and subtropical regions. For this reason, effective and practical diagnostic methods are urgently needed to control the spread of malaria. The aim of the current study was to identify a panel of new malarial markers, which could be used to diagnose patients infected with various Plasmodium species, including P. knowlesi, P. vivax and P. falciparum. Sera from malaria-infected patients were pooled and compared to control sera obtained from healthy individuals using the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ technique. Mass spectrometry was used to identify serum proteins and quantify their relative abundance. We found that the levels of several proteins were increased in pooled serum from infected patients, including cell adhesion molecule-4 and C-reactive protein. In contrast, the serum concentration of haptoglobin was reduced in malaria-infected individuals, which we verified by western blot assay. Therefore, these proteins might represent infectious markers of malaria, which could be used to develop novel diagnostic tools for detecting P. knowlesi, P. vivax and P. falciparum. However, these potential malarial markers will need to be validated in a larger population of infected individuals.
Full Text Available Abstract Background In Ethiopia, malaria is caused by both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Drug resistance of P. falciparum to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP and chloroquine (CQ is frequent and intense in some areas. Methods In 100 patients with uncomplicated malaria from Dilla, southern Ethiopia, P. falciparum dhfr and dhps mutations as well as P. vivax dhfr polymorphisms associated with resistance to SP and P. falciparum pfcrt and pfmdr1 mutations conferring CQ resistance were assessed. Results P. falciparum and P. vivax were observed in 69% and 31% of the patients, respectively. Pfdhfr triple mutations and pfdhfr/pfdhps quintuple mutations occurred in 87% and 86% of P. falciparum isolates, respectively. Pfcrt T76 was seen in all and pfmdr1 Y86 in 81% of P. falciparum. The P. vivax dhfr core mutations N117 and R58 were present in 94% and 74%, respectively. Conclusion These data point to an extraordinarily high frequency of drug-resistance mutations in both P. falciparum and P. vivax in southern Ethiopia, and strongly support that both SP and CQ are inadequate drugs for this region.
Full Text Available Conflicting arguments and results exist regarding the occurrence and phenotype of programmed cell death (PCD in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Inconsistencies relate mainly to the number and type of PCD markers assessed and the different methodologies used in the studies. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge and empirical evidence for PCD in the intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum. We consider possible reasons for discrepancies in the data and offer suggestions towards more standardised investigation methods in this field. Furthermore, we present genomic evidence for PCD machinery in P. falciparum. We discuss the potential adaptive or nonadaptive role of PCD in the parasite life cycle and its possible exploitation in the development of novel drug targets. Lastly, we pose pertinent unanswered questions concerning the PCD phenomenon in P. falciparum to provide future direction.
Engelbrecht, Dewaldt; Durand, Pierre Marcel; Coetzer, Thérèsa Louise
Conflicting arguments and results exist regarding the occurrence and phenotype of programmed cell death (PCD) in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Inconsistencies relate mainly to the number and type of PCD markers assessed and the different methodologies used in the studies. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge and empirical evidence for PCD in the intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum. We consider possible reasons for discrepancies in the data and offer suggestions towards more standardised investigation methods in this field. Furthermore, we present genomic evidence for PCD machinery in P. falciparum. We discuss the potential adaptive or nonadaptive role of PCD in the parasite life cycle and its possible exploitation in the development of novel drug targets. Lastly, we pose pertinent unanswered questions concerning the PCD phenomenon in P. falciparum to provide future direction. PMID:22287973
Hijar, Gisely; Padilla, Carlos; Marquiño, Wilmer; Falconi, Eduardo; Montoya, Ysabel
Eight genotypes of Plasmodium falciparum were detected after analysing blood samples obtained from 30 Peruvian jungle-dwelling patients in Loreto, a high transmission area for P. falciparum, using amplification of the polymorphic marker gene GLURP (glutamate-rich protein). Genotypes I (GLURP450) and VIII (GLURP800) were the most common (15/30 and 13/30, respectively). This single copy gene showed 15 patients to be infected with a single genotype of P. falciparum; the other 15 were infected with mixed genotypes, one of them with 4 genotypes. These findings are compatible with a high genetic complexity of P. falciparum. Further investigations are needed, using this and other markers, in order to design malaria control measures in Peru.
Cletus A. Wezena
Full Text Available The enzymes glyoxalase 1 and 2 (Glo1 and Glo2 are found in most eukaryotes and catalyze the glutathione-dependent conversion of 2-oxoaldehydes to 2-hydroxycarboxylic acids. Four glyoxalases are encoded in the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the cytosolic enzymes PfGlo1 and PfcGlo2, the apicoplast enzyme PftGlo2, and an inactive Glo1-like protein that also carries an apicoplast-targeting sequence. Inhibition or knockout of the Plasmodium glyoxalases was hypothesized to lead to an accumulation of 2-oxoaldehydes and advanced glycation end-products (AGE in the host-parasite unit and to result in parasite death. Here, we generated clonal P. falciparum strain 3D7 knockout lines for PFGLO1 and PFcGLO2 using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Although 3D7Δglo1 knockout clones had an increased susceptibility to external glyoxal, all 3D7Δglo1 and 3D7Δcglo2 knockout lines were viable and showed no significant growth phenotype under standard growth conditions. Furthermore, the lack of PfcGlo2, but not PfGlo1, increased gametocyte commitment in the knockout lines. In summary, PfGlo1 and PfcGlo2 are dispensable during asexual blood-stage development while the loss of PfcGlo2 may induce the formation of transmissible gametocytes. These combined data show that PfGlo1 and PfcGlo2 are most likely not suited as targets for selective drug development.
Background: Acute malarial anemia remains a major public health problem. Hepcidin, the major hormone controlling the availability of iron, is raised during acute and asymptomatic parasitemia. Understanding the role and mechanism of raised hepcidin and so reduced iron availability during infection is critical to establish evidence-based guidelines for management of malaria anemia. Our recent clinical evidence suggests a potential role of IL-10 in the regulation of hepcidin in patients with acute P. falciparum malaria. Methods: We have measured secretion of hepcidin by primary macrophages and the hepatoma cell line HepG2 stimulated with IL-10, IL-6 and Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Findings: We have observed that IL-10 and IL-6 production increased in primary macrophages when these cells were co-cultured with Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. We found that IL-10 induced hepcidin secretion in primary macrophages in a dose-dependent manner but not in HepG2 cells. These effects were mediated through signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3-phosphorylation and completely abrogated by a specific STAT3 inhibitor. Conclusion: IL-10 can directly regulate hepcidin in primary macrophages but not in HepG2 cells. This effect can be modulated by Plasmodium falciparum. The results are consistent with a role for IL-10 in modulating iron metabolism during acute phase of infection. 2014 Huang et al.
Happi, C. T.; Gbotosho, G. O.; Folarin, O. A.; Sowunmi, A.; Hudson, T.; O'Neil, M.; Milhous, W.; Wirth, D. F.; Oduola, A. M. J.
We assessed Plasmodium falciparum mdr1 (Pfmdr1) gene polymorphisms and copy numbers as well as P. falciparum Ca2+ ATPase (PfATPase6) gene polymorphisms in 90 Nigerian children presenting with uncomplicated falciparum malaria and enrolled in a study of the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine (AL). The nested PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and the quantitative real-time PCR methodologies were used to determine the alleles of the Pfmdr1 and PfATPase6 genes and the Pfmdr1 copy number variation, respectively, in patients samples collected prior to treatment and at the reoccurrence of parasites during a 42-day follow-up. The Pfmdr1 haplotype 86N-184F-1246D was significantly associated (P copy of the Pfmdr1 gene and the wild-type allele (L89) at codon 89 of the PfATPase6 gene. These findings suggest that polymorphisms in the Pfmdr1 gene are under AL selection pressure. Pfmdr1 polymorphisms may result in reduction in the therapeutic efficacy of this newly adopted combination treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Saharan countries of Africa. PMID:19075074
Happi, C T; Gbotosho, G O; Folarin, O A; Sowunmi, A; Hudson, T; O'Neil, M; Milhous, W; Wirth, D F; Oduola, A M J
We assessed Plasmodium falciparum mdr1 (Pfmdr1) gene polymorphisms and copy numbers as well as P. falciparum Ca(2+) ATPase (PfATPase6) gene polymorphisms in 90 Nigerian children presenting with uncomplicated falciparum malaria and enrolled in a study of the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine (AL). The nested PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and the quantitative real-time PCR methodologies were used to determine the alleles of the Pfmdr1 and PfATPase6 genes and the Pfmdr1 copy number variation, respectively, in patients samples collected prior to treatment and at the reoccurrence of parasites during a 42-day follow-up. The Pfmdr1 haplotype 86N-184F-1246D was significantly associated (P copy of the Pfmdr1 gene and the wild-type allele (L89) at codon 89 of the PfATPase6 gene. These findings suggest that polymorphisms in the Pfmdr1 gene are under AL selection pressure. Pfmdr1 polymorphisms may result in reduction in the therapeutic efficacy of this newly adopted combination treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Saharan countries of Africa.
Sulistyaningsih, E.; Romadhon, B. D.; Palupi, I.; Hidayah, F.; Dewi, R.; Prasetyo, A.
Malaria is a major health problem in tropical countries including Indonesia. The most deadly agent is Plasmodium falciparum. In P. falciparum infection, PfEMP1 is supposed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of malaria. PfEMP1 is encoded by var gene family, it is a polymorphic protein where the extra-cellular portion contains of three distinct binding domains: Duffy binding-like (DBL), Cysteine-rich interdomain regions (CIDR) and C2. PfEMP1 varies in domain composition and binding specificity. The study explored the characteristic of Indonesian DBL2β-var genes and investigated its role to the malaria outcome. Twenty blood samples from clinically mild to severe malaria patients in Jember, East Java were collected for DNA extraction. Diagnosis was confirmed by Giemsa-stained thick blood smear. PCR was conducted using specific primer targeting on the full-length of DBL2ß and resulted approximately single band of 1,7 kb in a sample. This band was observed only from severe malaria sample. Sequence analysis directly from PCR product showed 74-99% similarities with previous sequences in Gene Bank. In conclusion, the DBL2β domain of vargene of Indonesian isolates was 1603 nucleotides in length and there was a possible association of the existence of DBL2β domain with the severity of malaria outcome.
Wang, Christian W; Lavstsen, Thomas; Bengtsson, Dominique C
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Members of the Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesion antigen family are major contributors to the pathogenesis of P. falciparum malaria infections. The PfEMP1-encoding var genes are among the most diverse sequences in nature, but three genes......, var1, var2csa and var3 are found conserved in most parasite genomes. The most severe forms of malaria disease are caused by parasites expressing a subset of antigenically conserved PfEMP1 variants. Thus the ubiquitous and conserved VAR3 PfEMP1 is of particular interest to the research field. Evidence...... of VAR3 expression on the infected erythrocyte surface has never been presented, and var3 genes have been proposed to be transcribed and expressed differently from the rest of the var gene family members. METHODS: In this study, parasites expressing VAR3 PfEMP1 were generated using anti-VAR3 antibodies...
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.
Full Text Available Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1 and five members of the PfRh (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4, PfRh5 families were determined. We found that most P. falciparum field isolates from Colombia and Peru invade RBCs through an atypical invasion pathway phenotypically characterized as resistant to all enzyme treatments (NrTrCr. Moreover, the invasion pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P. falciparum field isolates in terms of their invasion profiles and ligand polymorphisms, and present a unique opportunity for studying the ability of P. falciparum parasites to expand their invasion repertoire after being reintroduced to human populations. The present study is directly relevant to asexual blood stage vaccine design focused on invasion pathway proteins, suggesting that regional invasion variants and global geographical variation are likely to
Goel, Suchi; Palmkvist, Mia; Moll, Kirsten
Rosetting is a virulent Plasmodium falciparum phenomenon associated with severe malaria. Here we demonstrate that P. falciparum–encoded repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) are expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells (iRBCs), where they bind to RBCs—preferentiall......Rosetting is a virulent Plasmodium falciparum phenomenon associated with severe malaria. Here we demonstrate that P. falciparum–encoded repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) are expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells (iRBCs), where they bind to RBCs......—preferentially of blood group A—to form large rosettes and mediate microvascular binding of iRBCs. We suggest that RIFINs have a fundamental role in the development of severe malaria and thereby contribute to the varying global distribution of ABO blood groups in the human population....
Chitnumsub, Penchit; Ittarat, Wanwipa; Jaruwat, Aritsara; Noytanom, Krittikar [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand); Amornwatcharapong, Watcharee [Mahidol University, Bangkok (Thailand); Pornthanakasem, Wichai [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand); Chaiyen, Pimchai [Mahidol University, Bangkok (Thailand); Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Leartsakulpanich, Ubolsree [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand)
The crystal structure of P. falciparum SHMT revealed snapshots of an intriguing disulfide/sulfhydryl switch controlling the functional activity. Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase (PfSHMT), an enzyme in the dTMP synthesis cycle, is an antimalarial target because inhibition of its expression or function has been shown to be lethal to the parasite. As the wild-type enzyme could not be crystallized, protein engineering of residues on the surface was carried out. The surface-engineered mutant PfSHMT-F292E was successfully crystallized and its structure was determined at 3 Å resolution. The PfSHMT-F292E structure is a good representation of PfSHMT as this variant revealed biochemical properties similar to those of the wild type. Although the overall structure of PfSHMT is similar to those of other SHMTs, unique features including the presence of two loops and a distinctive cysteine pair formed by Cys125 and Cys364 in the tetrahydrofolate (THF) substrate binding pocket were identified. These structural characteristics have never been reported in other SHMTs. Biochemical characterization and mutation analysis of these two residues confirm that they act as a disulfide/sulfhydryl switch to regulate the THF-dependent catalytic function of the enzyme. This redox switch is not present in the human enzyme, in which the cysteine pair is absent. The data reported here can be further exploited as a new strategy to specifically disrupt the activity of the parasite enzyme without interfering with the function of the human enzyme.
Chitnumsub, Penchit; Ittarat, Wanwipa; Jaruwat, Aritsara; Noytanom, Krittikar; Amornwatcharapong, Watcharee; Pornthanakasem, Wichai; Chaiyen, Pimchai; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Leartsakulpanich, Ubolsree
The crystal structure of P. falciparum SHMT revealed snapshots of an intriguing disulfide/sulfhydryl switch controlling the functional activity. Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase (PfSHMT), an enzyme in the dTMP synthesis cycle, is an antimalarial target because inhibition of its expression or function has been shown to be lethal to the parasite. As the wild-type enzyme could not be crystallized, protein engineering of residues on the surface was carried out. The surface-engineered mutant PfSHMT-F292E was successfully crystallized and its structure was determined at 3 Å resolution. The PfSHMT-F292E structure is a good representation of PfSHMT as this variant revealed biochemical properties similar to those of the wild type. Although the overall structure of PfSHMT is similar to those of other SHMTs, unique features including the presence of two loops and a distinctive cysteine pair formed by Cys125 and Cys364 in the tetrahydrofolate (THF) substrate binding pocket were identified. These structural characteristics have never been reported in other SHMTs. Biochemical characterization and mutation analysis of these two residues confirm that they act as a disulfide/sulfhydryl switch to regulate the THF-dependent catalytic function of the enzyme. This redox switch is not present in the human enzyme, in which the cysteine pair is absent. The data reported here can be further exploited as a new strategy to specifically disrupt the activity of the parasite enzyme without interfering with the function of the human enzyme
Magistrado, Pamela A; Lusingu, John; Vestergaard, Lasse S
where P. falciparum is endemic, parasites causing severe malaria and malaria in young children with limited immunity tend to express semiconserved PfEMP1 molecules encoded by group A var genes. Here we investigated antibody responses of Tanzanians who were 0 to 19 years old to PF11_0008, a group A Pf...
Gatton, Michelle L.; Martin, Laura B; Cheng, Qin
The development of resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine by Plasmodium parasites is a major problem for the effective treatment of malaria, especially P. falciparum malaria. Although the molecular basis for parasite resistance is known, the factors promoting the development and transmission of these resistant parasites are less clear. This paper reports the results of a quantitative comparison of factors previously hypothesized as important for the development of drug resistance, drug dosag...
White, John; Mascarenhas, Anjali; Pereira, Ligia; Dash, Rashmi; Walke, Jayashri T.; Gawas, Pooja; Sharma, Ambika; Manoharan, Suresh Kumar; Guler, Jennifer L.; Maki, Jennifer N.; Kumar, Ashwani; Mahanta, Jagadish; Valecha, Neena; Dubhashi, Nagesh; Vaz, Marina
Background Culture-adapted Plasmodium falciparum parasites can offer deeper understanding of geographic variations in drug resistance, pathogenesis and immune evasion. To help ground population-based calculations and inferences from culture-adapted parasites, the complete range of parasites from a study area must be well represented in any collection. To this end, standardized adaptation methods and determinants of successful in vitro adaption were sought. Methods Venous blood was collected f...
Samuel Tassi Yunga
Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum (Pf-specific T- and B-cell responses may be present at birth; however, when during fetal development antibodies are produced is unknown. Accordingly, cord blood samples from 232 preterm (20-37 weeks of gestation and 450 term (≥37 weeks babies were screened for IgM to Pf blood-stage antigens MSP1, MSP2, AMA1, EBA175 and RESA. Overall, 25% [95% CI = 22-28%] of the 682 newborns were positive for IgM to ≥1 Pf antigens with the earliest response occurring at 22 weeks. Interestingly, the odds of being positive for cord blood Pf IgM decreased with gestational age (adjusted OR [95% CI] at 20-31 weeks = 2.55 [1.14-5.85] and at 32-36 weeks = 1.97 [0.92-4.29], with ≥37 weeks as reference; however, preterm and term newborns had similar levels of Pf IgM and recognized a comparable breadth of antigens. Having cord blood Pf IgM was associated with placental malaria (adjusted OR [95% CI] = 2.37 [1.25-4.54]. To determine if in utero exposure occurred via transplacental transfer of Pf-IgG immune complexes (IC, IC containing MSP1 and MSP2 were measured in plasma of 242 mother-newborn pairs. Among newborns of IC-positive mothers (77/242, the proportion of cord samples with Pf IC increased with gestational age but was not associated with Pf IgM, suggesting that fetal B cells early in gestation had not been primed by IC. Finally, when cord mononuclear cells from 64 term newborns were cultured in vitro, only 11% (7/64 of supernatants had Pf IgM; whereas, 95% (61/64 contained secreted Pf IgG. These data suggest fetal B cells are capable of making Pf-specific IgM from early in the second trimester and undergo isotype switching to IgG towards term.
Bengtsson, Anja; Joergensen, Louise; Barbati, Zachary R
Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) is a membrane-bound glycoprotein expressed on endothelial cells and cells of the immune system. Human ICAM-1 mediates adhesion and migration of leucocytes, and is implicated in inflammatory pathologies, autoimmune diseases and in many cancer processes....... Additionally, ICAM-1 acts as receptor for pathogens like human rhinovirus and Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. A group of related P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) domains, the DBLβ, mediates ICAM-1 binding of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. This ICAM‑1-binding phenotype has...
The present study was carried out to investigate the relationship between blood group types and P. falciparum malaria, as well as malaria preventive measures. The venous blood specimens were collected, processed, Giemsa-stained and examined microscopically. ABO groups were determined by agglutination test using ...
Kaur, Inderjeet; Zeeshan, Mohammad; Saini, Ekta; Kaushik, Abhinav; Mohmmed, Asif; Gupta, Dinesh; Malhotra, Pawan
Post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications play a major role in Plasmodium life cycle regulation. Lysine methylation of histone proteins is well documented in several organisms, however in recent years lysine methylation of proteins outside histone code is emerging out as an important post-translational modification (PTM). In the present study we have performed global analysis of lysine methylation of proteins in asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum development. We immunoprecipitated stage specific Plasmodium lysates using anti-methyl lysine specific antibodies that immunostained the asexual blood stage parasites. Using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry analysis, 570 lysine methylated proteins at three different blood stages were identified. Analysis of the peptide sequences identified 605 methylated sites within 422 proteins. Functional classification of the methylated proteins revealed that the proteins are mainly involved in nucleotide metabolic processes, chromatin organization, transport, homeostatic processes and protein folding. The motif analysis of the methylated lysine peptides reveals novel motifs. Many of the identified lysine methylated proteins are also interacting partners/substrates of PfSET domain proteins as revealed by STRING database analysis. Our findings suggest that the protein methylation at lysine residues is widespread in Plasmodium and plays an important regulatory role in diverse set of the parasite pathways.
Stephen A Kaba
Full Text Available The worldwide burden of malaria remains a major public health problem due, in part, to the lack of an effective vaccine against the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. An effective vaccine will most likely require the induction of antigen specific CD8(+ and CD4(+ T-cells as well as long-lasting antibody responses all working in concert to eliminate the infection. We report here the effective modification of a self-assembling protein nanoparticle (SAPN vaccine previously proven effective in control of a P. berghei infection in a rodent model to now present B- and T-cell epitopes of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum in a platform capable of being used in human subjects.To establish the basis for a SAPN-based vaccine, B- and CD8(+ T-cell epitopes from the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP and the universal CD4 T-helper epitope PADRE were engineered into a versatile small protein (∼125 amino acids that self-assembles into a spherical nanoparticle repetitively displaying the selected epitopes. P. falciparum epitope specific immune responses were evaluated in mice using a transgenic P. berghei malaria parasite of mice expressing the human malaria full-length P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (Tg-Pb/PfCSP. We show that SAPN constructs, delivered in saline, can induce high-titer, long-lasting (1 year protective antibody and poly-functional (IFNγ(+, IL-2(+ long-lived central memory CD8(+ T-cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that these Ab or CD8(+ T-cells can independently provide sterile protection against a lethal challenge of the transgenic parasites.The SAPN construct induces long-lasting antibody and cellular immune responses to epitope specific sequences of the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP and prevents infection in mice by a transgenic P. berghei parasite displaying the full length PfCSP.
Lopez-Perez, Mary; Villasis, Elizabeth; Machado, Ricardo L D
Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC) invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully...... characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1) and five...... pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant...
Tibúrcio, Marta; Silvestrini, Francesco; Bertuccini, Lucia
to ultrastructurally and biochemically analyse parasite-induced modifications on the red blood cell surface and to measure their functional consequences on adhesion to human endothelial cells. This work revealed that stage I gametocytes are able to deform the infected erythrocytes like asexual parasites, but do...... not modify its surface with adhesive 'knob' structures and associated proteins. Reduced levels of the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesins are exposed on the red blood cell surface bythese parasites, and the expression of the var gene family, which encodes 50-60 variants of PfEMP1......In Plasmodium falciparum infections the parasite transmission stages, the gametocytes, mature in 10 days sequestered in internal organs. Recent studies suggest that cell mechanical properties rather than adhesive interactions play a role in sequestration during gametocyte maturation. It remains...
Jovel, Irina T; Mejía, Rosa E; Banegas, Engels; Piedade, Rita; Alger, Jackeline; Fontecha, Gustavo; Ferreira, Pedro E; Veiga, Maria I; Enamorado, Irma G; Bjorkman, Anders; Ursing, Johan
In Honduras, chloroquine and primaquine are recommended and still appear to be effective for treatment of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of resistance associated genetic polymorphisms in P. falciparum and P. vivax collected in Honduras. Blood samples were collected from patients seeking medical attention at the Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa from 2004 to 2006 as well as three regional hospitals, two health centres and one regional laboratory during 2009. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt), multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1), dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps) genes and in P. vivax multidrug resistance 1 (pvmdr1) and dihydrofolate reductase (pvdhfr) genes were detected using PCR based methods. Thirty seven P. falciparum and 64 P. vivax samples were collected. All P. falciparum infections acquired in Honduras carried pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfdhps and pfdhfr alleles associated with chloroquine, amodiaquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine sensitivity only. One patient with parasites acquired on a Pacific Island had pfcrt 76 T and pfmdr1 86Y alleles. That patient and a patient infected in West Africa had pfdhfr 51I, 59 R and 108 N alleles. Pvmdr1 976 F was found in 7/37 and two copies of pvmdr1 were found in 1/37 samples. Pvdhfr 57 L + 58 R was observed in 2/57 samples. The results indicate that P. falciparum from Honduras remain sensitive to chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. This suggests that chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine should be efficacious for treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, supporting current national treatment guidelines. However, genetic polymorphisms associated with chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine tolerance were detected in local P. vivax and imported P. falciparum infections. Continuous monitoring of the prevalence of drug resistant/tolerant P
Full Text Available Objective: To characterize the sequence diversity of blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum serine repeat antigen-5 (PfSERA5 which is lacking in a malaria-endemic country like India. Methods: In this study, parasitic DNA was obtained from field isolates collected from various geographic regions. Subsequently, PfSERA5 gene sequence was PCR amplified and DNA sequenced. Results: We reported the existence of unique repeat polymorphisms and novel haplotypes for both the octamer repeat (OR and serine repeat (SR regions of the N-terminal fragment of PfSERA5 from Indian isolates. Several isolates from India were identical to low-frequency African haplotypes. Unique finding of our study was an Indian isolate showing deletion in a perfectly conserved 14 mer sequence within octamer repeat. Indian haplotypes reported in this study were found to be distributed into the three earlier classified allelic clusters of FCR3, K1 and Honduras showcasing broad diversity as compared to worldwide haplotypes. Conclusions: This study is the first report on genetic diversity of PfSERA5 antigen from India. Further evaluation of these haplotypes by serotyping would provide useful information for investigating variant-specific immunity and aid in malaria vaccine research.
Full Text Available Malaria, caused by Plasmodium falciparum is a very common disease that causes 2.5 million deaths worldwide. This makes designing of lead molecules for malaria very exigent. DHFR has been known to be one of the major targets of antimalarial drug therapy which functions as a fundamental cofactor in the synthesis of histidine and methionine as well as purine nucleotides. Inhibition of this DHFR blocks the reduction of Dihydrofolate (DHF to Tetrahydrofolate (THF and hence prevents the synthesis of DNA, resulting in death of Plasmodium falciparum. Pyrimethamine is a Diaminopyrimidine that inhibits pfDHFR (Plasmodium falciparum DHFR at a concentration that is 1000 times less than that required to inhibit the mammalian DHFR. Virtual screening is performed to find Pyrimethamine analogs from PubChem database. Docking studies are performed on DHFR (PDB ID: 3QGT with Pyrimethamine and its 193 derivatives and the differences in their binding modes are investigated. The binding score suggests 53 derivatives to be more potent than Pyrimethamine which has a score of -24.7 showing interaction with Ile14, Asp54 and Ile164. The compound with best binding score (-35 showed interaction with Ile14, Cys15, Asp54, Phe58, Ser108, Ser111, Ile164 and Tyr170. The compounds are screened based on hydrogen bonding, π-π interactions, halogen bonding and orientation within the binding site with high binding score using Maestro (v.11.0.014, Schrodinger. The best screened compound is selected for Molecular Dynamic Simulation analysis up to 20ns using Desmond (v.4.8, Schrodinger which represents a good starting point for further in vivo experimentation and can probably serve as an ideal lead compound for the treatment of Malaria.
Dodoo, D; Theander, T G; Kurtzhals, J A
malaria season in April and after the season in November. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we measured antibody responses to recombinant gluthathione S-transferase-PfMSP119 fusion proteins corresponding to the Wellcome and MAD20 allelic variants in these samples. Prevalence of antibodies......The 19-kDa conserved C-terminal part of the Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (PfMSP119) is a malaria vaccine candidate antigen, and human antibody responses to PfMSP119 have been associated with protection against clinical malaria. In this longitudinal study carried out in an area...
Die Protozoen des Genus Plasmodium verursachen weltweit rund 247 Millionen Malariafälle jedes Jahr. Da der Malariaparasit schnell und effektiv Resistenzen gegen neue Antimalaria-Medikamente entwickelt, ist es notwendig, stets innovative Wirkstoffe zu finden. Dabei spielen das Verständnis der grundlegenden Stoffwechselfunktionen und die Entdeckung neuer potenzieller drug targets wichtige Rollen in der präklinischen Forschung. Während ihrer Lebensphasen in menschlichen Erythrozyten und dem ...
Full Text Available A recently proposed mechanism of protection for haemoglobin C (HbC; beta6Glu-->Lys links an abnormal display of PfEMP1, an antigen involved in malaria pathogenesis, on the surface of HbC infected erythrocytes together with the observation of reduced cytoadhesion of parasitized erythrocytes and impaired rosetting in vitro. We investigated the impact of this hypothesis on the development of acquired immunity against Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens (VSA encoding PfEMP1 in HbC in comparison with HbA and HbS carriers of Burkina Faso. We measured: i total IgG against a single VSA, A4U, and against a panel of VSA from severe malaria cases in human sera from urban and rural areas of Burkina Faso of different haemoglobin genotypes (CC, AC, AS, SC, SS; ii total IgG against recombinant proteins of P. falciparum asexual sporozoite, blood stage antigens, and parasite schizont extract; iii total IgG against tetanus toxoid. Results showed that the reported abnormal cell-surface display of PfEMP1 on HbC infected erythrocytes observed in vitro is not associated to lower anti- PfEMP1 response in vivo. Higher immune response against the VSA panel and malaria antigens were observed in all adaptive genotypes containing at least one allelic variant HbC or HbS in the low transmission urban area whereas no differences were detected in the high transmission rural area. In both contexts the response against tetanus toxoid was not influenced by the beta-globin genotype. These findings suggest that both HbC and HbS affect the early development of naturally acquired immunity against malaria. The enhanced immune reactivity in both HbC and HbS carriers supports the hypothesis that the protection against malaria of these adaptive genotypes might be at least partially mediated by acquired immunity against malaria.
Hoffman, Stephen L; Billingsley, Peter F; James, Eric; Richman, Adam; Loyevsky, Mark; Li, Tao; Chakravarty, Sumana; Gunasekera, Anusha; Chattopadhyay, Rana; Li, Minglin; Stafford, Richard; Ahumada, Adriana; Epstein, Judith E; Sedegah, Martha; Reyes, Sharina; Richie, Thomas L; Lyke, Kirsten E; Edelman, Robert; Laurens, Matthew B; Plowe, Christopher V; Sim, B Kim Lee
Immunization of volunteers by the bite of mosquitoes carrying radiation-attenuated Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites protects greater than 90% of such volunteers against malaria, if adequate numbers of immunizing biting sessions and sporozoite-infected mosquitoes are used. Nonetheless, until recently it was considered impossible to develop, license and commercialize a live, whole parasite P. falciparum sporozoite (PfSPZ) vaccine. In 2003 Sanaria scientists reappraised the potential impact of a metabolically active, non-replicating PfSPZ vaccine, and outlined the challenges to producing such a vaccine. Six years later, significant progress has been made in overcoming these challenges. This progress has enabled the manufacture and release of multiple clinical lots of a 1(st) generation metabolically active, non-replicating PfSPZ vaccine, the Sanaria PfSPZ Vaccine, submission of a successful Investigational New Drug application to the US Food and Drug Administration, and initiation of safety, immunogenicity and protective efficacy studies in volunteers in MD, US. Efforts are now focused on how best to achieve submission of a successful Biologics License Application and introduce the vaccine to the primary target population of African children in the shortest possible period of time. This will require implementation of a systematic, efficient clinical development plan. Short term challenges include optimizing the (1) efficiency and scale up of the manufacturing process and quality control assays, (2) dosage regimen and method of administration, (3) potency of the vaccine, and (4) logistics of delivering the vaccine to those who need it most, and finalizing the methods for vaccine stabilization and attenuation. A medium term goal is to design and build a facility for manufacturing highly potent and stable vaccine for pivotal Phase 3 studies and commercial launch.
Full Text Available The aminopropyltransferase spermidine synthase (SpdS is a promising drug target in cancer and in protozoan diseases including malaria. Plasmodium falciparum SpdS (PfSpdS transfers the aminopropyl group of decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine (dcAdoMet to putrescine or to spermidine to form spermidine or spermine, respectively. In an effort to understand why efficient inhibitors of PfSpdS have been elusive, the present study uses enzyme activity assays and isothermal titration calorimetry with verified or predicted inhibitors of PfSpdS to analyze the relationship between binding affinity as assessed by KD and inhibitory activity as assessed by IC50. The results show that some predicted inhibitors bind to the enzyme with high affinity but are poor inhibitors. Binding studies with PfSpdS substrates and products strongly support an ordered sequential mechanism in which the aminopropyl donor (dcAdoMet site must be occupied before the aminopropyl acceptor (putrescine site can be occupied. Analysis of the results also shows that the ordered sequential mechanism adequately accounts for the complex relationship between IC50 and KD and may explain the limited success of previous efforts at structure-based inhibitor design for PfSpdS. Based on PfSpdS active-site occupancy, we suggest a classification of ligands that can help to predict the KD-IC50 relations in future design of new inhibitors. The present findings may be relevant for other drug targets that follow an ordered sequential mechanism.
Helb, Danica A; Tetteh, Kevin K A; Felgner, Philip L; Skinner, Jeff; Hubbard, Alan; Arinaitwe, Emmanuel; Mayanja-Kizza, Harriet; Ssewanyana, Isaac; Kamya, Moses R; Beeson, James G; Tappero, Jordan; Smith, David L; Crompton, Peter D; Rosenthal, Philip J; Dorsey, Grant; Drakeley, Christopher J; Greenhouse, Bryan
Tools to reliably measure Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) exposure in individuals and communities are needed to guide and evaluate malaria control interventions. Serologic assays can potentially produce precise exposure estimates at low cost; however, current approaches based on responses to a few characterized antigens are not designed to estimate exposure in individuals. Pf-specific antibody responses differ by antigen, suggesting that selection of antigens with defined kinetic profiles will improve estimates of Pf exposure. To identify novel serologic biomarkers of malaria exposure, we evaluated responses to 856 Pf antigens by protein microarray in 186 Ugandan children, for whom detailed Pf exposure data were available. Using data-adaptive statistical methods, we identified combinations of antibody responses that maximized information on an individual's recent exposure. Responses to three novel Pf antigens accurately classified whether an individual had been infected within the last 30, 90, or 365 d (cross-validated area under the curve = 0.86-0.93), whereas responses to six antigens accurately estimated an individual's malaria incidence in the prior year. Cross-validated incidence predictions for individuals in different communities provided accurate stratification of exposure between populations and suggest that precise estimates of community exposure can be obtained from sampling a small subset of that community. In addition, serologic incidence predictions from cross-sectional samples characterized heterogeneity within a community similarly to 1 y of continuous passive surveillance. Development of simple ELISA-based assays derived from the successful selection strategy outlined here offers the potential to generate rich epidemiologic surveillance data that will be widely accessible to malaria control programs.
Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the most burdensome form of human malaria, affecting 200-300 million individuals per year worldwide. The recently sequenced genome of P. falciparum revealed over 5,400 genes, of which 60% encode proteins of unknown function. Insights into the biochemical function and regulation of these genes will provide the foundation for future drug and vaccine development efforts toward eradication of this disease. By analyzing the complete asexual intraerythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC transcriptome of the HB3 strain of P. falciparum, we demonstrate that at least 60% of the genome is transcriptionally active during this stage. Our data demonstrate that this parasite has evolved an extremely specialized mode of transcriptional regulation that produces a continuous cascade of gene expression, beginning with genes corresponding to general cellular processes, such as protein synthesis, and ending with Plasmodium-specific functionalities, such as genes involved in erythrocyte invasion. The data reveal that genes contiguous along the chromosomes are rarely coregulated, while transcription from the plastid genome is highly coregulated and likely polycistronic. Comparative genomic hybridization between HB3 and the reference genome strain (3D7 was used to distinguish between genes not expressed during the IDC and genes not detected because of possible sequence variations. Genomic differences between these strains were found almost exclusively in the highly antigenic subtelomeric regions of chromosomes. The simple cascade of gene regulation that directs the asexual development of P. falciparum is unprecedented in eukaryotic biology. The transcriptome of the IDC resembles a "just-in-time" manufacturing process whereby induction of any given gene occurs once per cycle and only at a time when it is required. These data provide to our knowledge the first comprehensive view of the timing of transcription throughout the
Price, Ric N; Uhlemann, Anne-Catrin; Brockman, Alan; McGready, Rose; Ashley, Elizabeth; Phaipun, Lucy; Patel, Rina; Laing, Kenneth; Looareesuwan, Sornchai; White, Nicholas J; Nosten, François; Krishna, Sanjeev
The borders of Thailand harbour the world's most multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites. In 1984 mefloquine was introduced as treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria, but substantial resistance developed within 6 years. A combination of artesunate with mefloquine now cures more than 95% of acute infections. For both treatment regimens, the underlying mechanisms of resistance are not known. The relation between polymorphisms in the P falciparum multidrug resistant gene 1 (pfmdr1) and the in-vitro and in-vivo responses to mefloquine were assessed in 618 samples from patients with falciparum malaria studied prospectively over 12 years. pfmdr1 copy number was assessed by a robust real-time PCR assay. Single nucleotide polymorphisms of pfmdr1, P falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene (pfcrt) and P falciparum Ca2+ ATPase gene (pfATP6) were assessed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Increased copy number of pfmdr1 was the most important determinant of in-vitro and in-vivo resistance to mefloquine, and also to reduced artesunate sensitivity in vitro. In a Cox regression model with control for known confounders, increased pfmdr1 copy number was associated with an attributable hazard ratio (AHR) for treatment failure of 6.3 (95% CI 2.9-13.8, p<0.001) after mefloquine monotherapy and 5.4 (2.0-14.6, p=0.001) after artesunate-mefloquine therapy. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in pfmdr1 were associated with increased mefloquine susceptibility in vitro, but not in vivo. Amplification in pfmdr1 is the main cause of resistance to mefloquine in falciparum malaria. Multidrug resistant P falciparum malaria is common in southeast Asia, but difficult to identify and treat. Genes that encode parasite transport proteins maybe involved in export of drugs and so cause resistance. In this study we show that increase in copy number of pfmdr1, a gene encoding a parasite transport protein, is the best overall predictor of treatment failure with
Full Text Available Drug development efforts have focused mostly on the asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Except for primaquine, which has its own limitations, there are no available drugs that target the transmission of the parasite to mosquitoes. Therefore, there is a need to validate new parasite proteins that can be targeted for blocking transmission. P. falciparum calcium-dependent protein kinases (PfCDPKs play critical roles at various stages of the parasite life cycle and, importantly, are absent in the human host. These features mark them as attractive drug targets. In this study, using CRISPR/Cas9 we successfully knocked out PfCDPK2 from blood-stage parasites, which was previously thought to be an indispensable protein. The growth rate of the PfCDPK2 knockout (KO parasites was similar to that of wild-type parasites, confirming that PfCDPK2 function is not essential for the asexual proliferation of the parasite in vitro. The mature male and female gametocytes of PfCDPK2 KO parasites become round after induction. However, they fail to infect female Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes due to a defect(s in male gametocyte exflagellation and possibly in female gametes.
Full Text Available The presence of common antigens between Plasmodium falciparum and Anopheles albimanus was demonstrated. Different groups of rabbits were immunized with: crude extract from female An. albimanus (EAaF, red blood cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum (EPfs, and the SPf66 synthetic malaria vaccine. The rabbit's polyclonal antibodies were evaluated by ELISA, Multiple Antigen Blot Assay (MABA, and immunoblotting. All extracts were immunogenic in rabbits according to these three techniques, when they were evaluated against the homologous antigens. Ten molecules were identified in female mosquitoes and also in P. falciparum antigens by the autologous sera. The electrophoretic pattern by SDS-PAGE was different for the three antigens evaluated. Cross-reactions between An. albimanus and P. falciparum were found by ELISA, MABA, and immunoblotting. Anti-P. falciparum and anti-SPf66 antibodies recognized ten and five components in the EAaF crude extract, respectively. Likewise, immune sera against female An. albimanus identified four molecules in the P. falciparum extract antigen. As far as we know, this is the first work that demonstrates shared antigens between anophelines and malaria parasites. This finding could be useful for diagnosis, vaccines, and the study of physiology of the immune response to malaria.Epítopes de antígenos compartidos entre Plasmodium falciparum y Anopheles albimanus fueron identificados. Diferentes grupos de conejos fueron inmunizados con: extracto crudo de mosquito hembra de An. albimanus (EAaH, glóbulos rojos infectados con P. falciparum (EPfs y la vacuna antimalárica sintética SPf66. Los anticuerpos policlonales producidos en conejos fueron evaluados por ELISA, inmunoensayo simultáneo de múltiples antígenos (MABA e Immunoblotting. Todos los extractos resultaron inmunogénicos cuando se evaluaron por ELISA, MABA e Immunoblotting. Diez moléculas fueron identificadas en los mosquitos hembras y diez en los antígenos de
Stewart Lindsay B
Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene copy number variation (CNV is responsible for several important phenotypes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, including drug resistance, loss of infected erythrocyte cytoadherence and alteration of receptor usage for erythrocyte invasion. Despite the known effects of CNV, little is known about its extent throughout the genome. Results We performed a whole-genome survey of CNV genes in P. falciparum using comparative genome hybridisation of a diverse set of 16 laboratory culture-adapted isolates to a custom designed high density Affymetrix GeneChip array. Overall, 186 genes showed hybridisation signals consistent with deletion or amplification in one or more isolate. There is a strong association of CNV with gene length, genomic location, and low orthology to genes in other Plasmodium species. Sub-telomeric regions of all chromosomes are strongly associated with CNV genes independent from members of previously described multigene families. However, ~40% of CNV genes were located in more central regions of the chromosomes. Among the previously undescribed CNV genes, several that are of potential phenotypic relevance are identified. Conclusion CNV represents a major form of genetic variation within the P. falciparum genome; the distribution of gene features indicates the involvement of highly non-random mutational and selective processes. Additional studies should be directed at examining CNV in natural parasite populations to extend conclusions to clinical settings.
Arthur M Talman
Full Text Available The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria-related deaths. Tools allowing the study of the basic biology of P. falciparum throughout the life cycle are critical to the development of new strategies to target the parasite within both human and mosquito hosts. We here present 3D7HT-GFP, a strain of P. falciparum constitutively expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP throughout the life cycle, which has retained its capacity to complete sporogonic development. The GFP expressing cassette was inserted in the Pf47 locus. Using this transgenic strain, parasite tracking and population dynamics studies in mosquito stages and exo-erythrocytic schizogony is greatly facilitated. The development of 3D7HT-GFP will permit a deeper understanding of the biology of parasite-host vector interactions, and facilitate the development of high-throughput malaria transmission assays and thus aid development of new intervention strategies against both parasite and mosquito.
Full Text Available The most polymorphic gene family in P. falciparum is the ∼60 var genes distributed across parasite chromosomes, both in the subtelomeres and in internal regions. They encode hypervariable surface proteins known as P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 that are critical for pathogenesis and immune evasion in Plasmodium falciparum. How var gene sequence diversity is generated is not currently completely understood. To address this, we constructed large clone trees and performed whole genome sequence analysis to study the generation of novel var gene sequences in asexually replicating parasites. While single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were scattered across the genome, structural variants (deletions, duplications, translocations were focused in and around var genes, with considerable variation in frequency between strains. Analysis of more than 100 recombination events involving var exon 1 revealed that the average nucleotide sequence identity of two recombining exons was only 63% (range: 52.7-72.4% yet the crossovers were error-free and occurred in such a way that the resulting sequence was in frame and domain architecture was preserved. Var exon 1, which encodes the immunologically exposed part of the protein, recombined in up to 0.2% of infected erythrocytes in vitro per life cycle. The high rate of var exon 1 recombination indicates that millions of new antigenic structures could potentially be generated each day in a single infected individual. We propose a model whereby var gene sequence polymorphism is mainly generated during the asexual part of the life cycle.
Claessens, Antoine; Hamilton, William L; Kekre, Mihir; Otto, Thomas D; Faizullabhoy, Adnan; Rayner, Julian C; Kwiatkowski, Dominic
The most polymorphic gene family in P. falciparum is the ∼60 var genes distributed across parasite chromosomes, both in the subtelomeres and in internal regions. They encode hypervariable surface proteins known as P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) that are critical for pathogenesis and immune evasion in Plasmodium falciparum. How var gene sequence diversity is generated is not currently completely understood. To address this, we constructed large clone trees and performed whole genome sequence analysis to study the generation of novel var gene sequences in asexually replicating parasites. While single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were scattered across the genome, structural variants (deletions, duplications, translocations) were focused in and around var genes, with considerable variation in frequency between strains. Analysis of more than 100 recombination events involving var exon 1 revealed that the average nucleotide sequence identity of two recombining exons was only 63% (range: 52.7-72.4%) yet the crossovers were error-free and occurred in such a way that the resulting sequence was in frame and domain architecture was preserved. Var exon 1, which encodes the immunologically exposed part of the protein, recombined in up to 0.2% of infected erythrocytes in vitro per life cycle. The high rate of var exon 1 recombination indicates that millions of new antigenic structures could potentially be generated each day in a single infected individual. We propose a model whereby var gene sequence polymorphism is mainly generated during the asexual part of the life cycle.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Guanine-rich nucleic acid sequences are capable of folding into an intramolecular four-stranded structure called a G-quadruplex. When found in gene promoter regions, G-quadruplexes can downregulate gene expression, possibly by blocking the transcriptional machinery. Here we have used a genome-wide bioinformatic approach to identify Putative G-Quadruplex Sequences (PQS in the Plasmodium falciparum genome, along with biophysical techniques to examine the physiological stability of P. falciparum PQS in vitro. Results We identified 63 PQS in the non-telomeric regions of the P. falciparum clone 3D7. Interestingly, 16 of these PQS occurred in the upstream region of a subset of the P. falciparum var genes (group B var genes. The var gene family encodes PfEMP1, the parasite's major variant antigen and adhesin expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes, that plays a key role in malaria pathogenesis and immune evasion. The ability of the PQS found in the upstream regions of group B var genes (UpsB-Q to form stable G-quadruplex structures in vitro was confirmed using 1H NMR, circular dichroism, UV spectroscopy, and thermal denaturation experiments. Moreover, the synthetic compound BOQ1 that shows a higher affinity for DNA forming quadruplex rather than duplex structures was found to bind with high affinity to the UpsB-Q. Conclusion This is the first demonstration of non-telomeric PQS in the genome of P. falciparum that form stable G-quadruplexes under physiological conditions in vitro. These results allow the generation of a novel hypothesis that the G-quadruplex sequences in the upstream regions of var genes have the potential to play a role in the transcriptional control of this major virulence-associated multi-gene family.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs for Plasmodium falciparum infection that target histidine rich protein 2 (PfHRP2 are generally sensitive, their performance has been reported to be variable. One possible explanation for variable test performance is differences in expression level of PfHRP in different parasite isolates. METHODS: Total RNA and protein were extracted from synchronised cultures of 7 P. falciparum lines over 5 time points of the life cycle, and from synchronised ring stages of 10 falciparum lines. Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis and ELISA we investigated variations in the transcription and protein levels of pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and PfHRP respectively in the different parasite lines, over the parasite intraerythrocytic life cycle. RESULTS: Transcription of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 in different parasite lines over the parasite life cycle was observed to vary relative to the control parasite K1. In some parasite lines very low transcription of these genes was observed. The peak transcription was observed in ring-stage parasites. Pfhrp2 transcription was observed to be consistently higher than pfhrp3 transcription within parasite lines. The intraerythrocytic lifecycle stage at which the peak level of protein was present varied across strains. Total protein levels were more constant relative to total mRNA transcription, however a maximum 24 fold difference in expression at ring-stage parasites relative to the K1 strain was observed. CONCLUSIONS: The levels of transcription of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3, and protein expression of PfHRP varied between different P. falciparum strains. This variation may impact on the detection sensitivity of PfHRP2-detecting RDTs.
Sherman, Irwin W; Eda, Shigetoshi; Winograd, Enrique
Infected erythrocytes containing the more mature stages of the human malaria Plasmodium falciparum may adhere to endothelial cells and uninfected red cells. These phenomena, called sequestration and rosetting, respectively, are involved in both host pathogenesis and parasite survival. This review provides a critical summary of recent advances in the characterization of the molecules of the infected red blood cell involved in adhesion, i.e. parasite-encoded molecules (PfEMP1, MESA, rifins, stevor, clag 9, histidine-rich protein), a modified host membrane protein (band 3) and exofacial exposure of phosphatidylserine, as well as receptors on the endothelium, i.e. thrombospondin, CD36, ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule), and chondroitin sulfate.
Full Text Available The malarial life cycle involves repeated rounds of intraerythrocytic replication interspersed by host cell rupture which releases merozoites that rapidly invade fresh erythrocytes. Apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA1 is a merozoite protein that plays a critical role in invasion. Antibodies against AMA1 prevent invasion and can protect against malaria in vivo, so AMA1 is of interest as a malaria vaccine candidate. AMA1 is efficiently shed from the invading parasite surface, predominantly through juxtamembrane cleavage by a membrane-bound protease called SUB2, but also by limited intramembrane cleavage. We have investigated the structural requirements for shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 (PfAMA1, and the consequences of its inhibition. Mutagenesis of the intramembrane cleavage site by targeted homologous recombination abolished intramembrane cleavage with no effect on parasite viability in vitro. Examination of PfSUB2-mediated shedding of episomally-expressed PfAMA1 revealed that the position of cleavage is determined primarily by its distance from the parasite membrane. Certain mutations at the PfSUB2 cleavage site block shedding, and parasites expressing these non-cleavable forms of PfAMA1 on a background of expression of the wild type gene invade and replicate normally in vitro. The non-cleavable PfAMA1 is also functional in invasion. However - in contrast to the intramembrane cleavage site - mutations that block PfSUB2-mediated shedding could not be stably introduced into the genomic pfama1 locus, indicating that some shedding of PfAMA1 by PfSUB2 is essential. Remarkably, parasites expressing shedding-resistant forms of PfAMA1 exhibit enhanced sensitivity to antibody-mediated inhibition of invasion. Drugs that inhibit PfSUB2 activity should block parasite replication and may also enhance the efficacy of vaccines based on AMA1 and other merozoite surface proteins.
Le Roch Karine G
Full Text Available Abstract Background With the sequence of the Plasmodium falciparum genome and several global mRNA and protein life cycle expression profiling projects now completed, elucidating the underlying networks of transcriptional control important for the progression of the parasite life cycle is highly pertinent to the development of new anti-malarials. To date, relatively little is known regarding the specific mechanisms the parasite employs to regulate gene expression at the mRNA level, with studies of the P. falciparum genome sequence having revealed few cis-regulatory elements and associated transcription factors. Although it is possible the parasite may evoke mechanisms of transcriptional control drastically different from those used by other eukaryotic organisms, the extreme AT-rich nature of P. falciparum intergenic regions (~90% AT presents significant challenges to in silico cis-regulatory element discovery. Results We have developed an algorithm called Gene Enrichment Motif Searching (GEMS that uses a hypergeometric-based scoring function and a position-weight matrix optimization routine to identify with high-confidence regulatory elements in the nucleotide-biased and repeat sequence-rich P. falciparum genome. When applied to promoter regions of genes contained within 21 co-expression gene clusters generated from P. falciparum life cycle microarray data using the semi-supervised clustering algorithm Ontology-based Pattern Identification, GEMS identified 34 putative cis-regulatory elements associated with a variety of parasite processes including sexual development, cell invasion, antigenic variation and protein biosynthesis. Among these candidates were novel motifs, as well as many of the elements for which biological experimental evidence already exists in the Plasmodium literature. To provide evidence for the biological relevance of a cell invasion-related element predicted by GEMS, reporter gene and electrophoretic mobility shift assays
Infection by Plasmodium falciparum parasites can lead to substantial protective immunity to malaria, and available evidence suggest that acquisition of protection against some severe malaria syndromes can be fairly rapid. Although these facts have raised hopes that the development of effective...... protective immunity to P. falciparum malaria is acquired following natural exposure to the parasites is beginning to emerge, not least thanks to studies that have combined clinical and epidemiological data with basic immunological research. This framework involves IgG with specificity for clonally variant...... antigens on the surface of the infected erythrocytes, can explain some of the difficulties in relating particular immune responses with specificity for well-defined antigenic targets to clinical protection, and suggests a radically new approach to controlling malaria-related morbidity and mortality...
Schmidt, Christoph Q; Kennedy, Alexander T; Tham, Wai-Hong
Malaria remains one of the world's deadliest diseases. Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most severe and lethal form of human malaria. P. falciparum's life cycle involves two obligate hosts: human and mosquito. From initial entry into these hosts, malaria parasites face the onslaught of the first line of host defence, the complement system. In this review, we discuss the complex interaction between complement and malaria infection in terms of hosts immune responses, parasite survival and pathogenesis of severe forms of malaria. We will focus on the role of complement receptor 1 and its associated polymorphisms in malaria immune complex clearance, as a mediator of parasite rosetting and as an entry receptor for P. falciparum invasion. Complement evasion strategies of P. falciparum parasites will also be highlighted. The sexual forms of the malaria parasites recruit the soluble human complement regulator Factor H to evade complement-mediated killing within the mosquito host. A novel evasion strategy is the deployment of parasite organelles to divert complement attack from infective blood stage parasites. Finally we outline the future challenge to understand the implications of these exploitation mechanisms in the interplay between successful infection of the host and pathogenesis observed in severe malaria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sussmann, Rodrigo A C; Fotoran, Wesley L; Kimura, Emilia A; Katzin, Alejandro M
Plasmodium falciparum is sensitive to oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo, and many drugs such as artemisinin, chloroquine and cercosporin interfere in the parasite's redox system. To minimize the damage caused by reactive radicals, antioxidant enzymes and their substrates found in parasites and in erythrocytes must be functionally active. It was shown that P. falciparum synthesizes vitamin E and that usnic acid acts as an inhibitor of its biosynthesis. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects polyunsaturated fatty acids from lipid peroxidation, and this activity can be measured by detecting its oxidized product and by evaluating reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Here, we demonstrated that ROS levels increased in P. falciparum when vitamin E biosynthesis was inhibited by usnic acid treatment and decreased to basal levels if exogenous vitamin E was added. Furthermore, we used metabolic labelling to demonstrate that vitamin E biosynthesized by the parasite acts as an antioxidant since we could detect its radiolabeled oxidized product. The treatment with chloroquine or cercosporin of the parasites increased the ratio between α-tocopherolquinone and α-tocopherol. Our findings demonstrate that vitamin E produced endogenously by P. falciparum is active as an antioxidant, probably protecting the parasite from the radicals generated by drugs.
Fançony, Cláudia; Brito, Miguel; Gil, Jose Pedro
Facing chloroquine drug resistance, Angola promptly adopted artemisinin-based combination therapy as the first-line to treat malaria. Currently, the country aims to consolidate malaria control, while preparing for the elimination of the disease, along with others African countries in the region. However, the remarkable capacity of Plasmodium to develop drug resistance represents an alarming threat for those achievements. Herein, the available, but relatively scarce and dispersed, information on malaria drug resistance in Angola, is reviewed and discussed. The review aims to inform but also to encourage future research studies that monitor and update the information on anti-malarial drug efficacy and prevalence of molecular markers of drug resistance, key fields in the context and objectives of elimination.
Full Text Available Mechanisms of cell death in unicellular parasites have been subjects of debate for the last decade, with studies demonstrating evidence of apoptosis or non-apoptosis like mechanisms, including necrosis, and autophagy. Recent clarifications on the definition of regulated or accidental cell death by The Nomenclature Committee on Cell Death provides an opportunity to reanalyze some data, re-evaluate conclusions in the light of parasite diversity, and to propose alternative arguments in the context of malaria drug resistance, considering lack of really new drugs in the pipeline. Deciphering the mechanisms of death may help in detection of new drug targets and the design of innovative drugs. However, classifications have been evolving rapidly since initial description of “programmed cell death”, leading to some uncertainty as to whether Plasmodium cell death is accidental or regulated.
Full Text Available Host cell remodelling is a hallmark of malaria pathogenesis. It involves protein folding, unfolding and trafficking events and thus participation of chaperones such as Hsp70s and Hsp40s is well speculated. Until recently, only Hsp40s were thought to be the sole representative of the parasite chaperones in the exportome. However, based on the re-annotated Plasmodium falciparum genome sequence, a putative candidate for exported Hsp70 has been reported, which otherwise was known to be a pseudogene. We raised a specific antiserum against a C-terminal peptide uniquely present in PfHsp70-x. Immunoblotting and immunofluorescence-based approaches in combination with sub-cellular fractionation by saponin and streptolysin-O have been taken to determine the expression and localization of PfHsp70-x in infected erythrocyte. The re-annotated sequence of PfHsp70-x reveals it to be a functional protein with an endoplasmic reticulum signal peptide. It gets maximally expressed at the schizont stage of intra-erythrocytic life cycle. Majority of the protein localizes to the parasitophorous vacuole and some of it gets exported to the erythrocyte compartment where it associates with Maurer’s clefts. The identification of an exported parasite Hsp70 chaperone presents us with the fact that the parasite has evolved customized chaperones which might be playing crucial roles in aspects of trafficking and host cell remodelling.
Tschan, Serena; Flötenmeyer, Matthias; Koch, Iris; Berger, Jürgen; Kremsner, Peter; Frank, Matthias
Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is considered to be the main variant surface antigen (VSA) of Plasmodium falciparum and is mainly localized on electron-dense knobs in the membrane of the infected erythrocyte. Switches in PfEMP1 expression provide the basis for antigenic variation and are thought to be critical for parasite persistence during chronic infections. Recently, strain transcending anti-PfEMP1 immunity has been shown to develop early in life, challenging the role of PfEMP1 in antigenic variation during chronic infections. In this work we investigate how P. falciparum achieves persistence during a chronic asymptomatic infection. The infected individual (MOA) was parasitemic for 42 days and multilocus var gene genotyping showed persistence of the same parasite population throughout the infection. Parasites from the beginning of the infection were adapted to tissue culture and cloned by limiting dilution. Flow cytometry using convalescent serum detected a variable surface recognition signal on isogenic clonal parasites. Quantitative real-time PCR with a field isolate specific var gene primer set showed that the surface recognition signal was not correlated with transcription of individual var genes. Strain transcending anti-PfEMP1 immunity of the convalescent serum was demonstrated with CD36 selected and PfEMP1 knock-down NF54 clones. In contrast, knock-down of PfEMP1 did not have an effect on the antibody recognition signal in MOA clones. Trypsinisation of the membrane surface proteins abolished the surface recognition signal and immune electron microscopy revealed that antibodies from the convalescent serum bound to membrane areas without knobs and with knobs. Together the data indicate that PfEMP1 is not the main variable surface antigen during a chronic infection and suggest a role for trypsin sensitive non-PfEMP1 VSAs for parasite persistence in chronic infections. PMID:27907004
Mohon, Abu Naser; Alam, Mohammad Shafiul; Bayih, Abebe Genetu; Folefoc, Asongna; Shahinas, Dea; Haque, Rashidul; Pillai, Dylan R
Bangladesh is a malaria hypo-endemic country sharing borders with India and Myanmar. Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) remains successful in Bangladesh. An increase of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites on the Thai-Cambodia and Thai-Myanmar borders is worrisome. K13 propeller gene (PF3D7_1343700 or PF13_0238) mutations have been linked to both in vitro artemisinin resistance and in vivo slow parasite clearance rates. This group undertook to evaluate if mutations seen in Cambodia have emerged in Bangladesh where ACT use is now standard for a decade. Samples were obtained from Plasmodium falciparum-infected malaria patients from Upazila health complexes (UHC) between 2009 and 2013 in seven endemic districts of Bangladesh. These districts included Khagrachari (Matiranga UHC), Rangamati (Rajasthali UHC), Cox's Bazar (Ramu and Ukhia UHC), Bandarban (Lama UHC), Mymensingh (Haluaghat UHC), Netrokona (Durgapur and Kalmakanda UHC), and Moulvibazar (Sreemangal and Kamalganj UHC). Out of 296 microscopically positive P. falciparum samples, 271 (91.6%) were confirmed as mono-infections by both real-time PCR and nested PCR. The K13 propeller gene from 253 (93.4%) samples was sequenced bi-directionally. One non-synonymous mutation (A578S) was found in Bangladeshi clinical isolates. The A578S mutation was confirmed and lies adjacent to the C580Y mutation, the major mutation causing delayed parasite clearance in Cambodia. Based on computational modeling A578S should have a significant effect on tertiary structure of the protein. The data suggest that P. falciparum in Bangladesh remains free of the C580Y mutation linked to delayed parasite clearance. However, the mutation A578S is present and based on structural analysis could affect K13 gene function. Further in vivo clinical studies are required to validate the effect of this mutation.
Sauerzopf, Ulrich; Honkpehedji, Yabo J; Adgenika, Ayôla A; Feugap, Elianne N; Ngoma, Ghyslain Mombo; Mackanga, Jean-Rodolphe; Lötsch, Felix; Loembe, Marguerite M; Kremsner, Peter G; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Ramharter, Michael
Children below the age of six months suffer less often from malaria than older children in sub-Saharan Africa. This observation is commonly attributed to the persistence of foetal haemoglobin (HbF), which is considered not to permit growth of Plasmodium falciparum and therefore providing protection against malaria. Since this concept has recently been challenged, this study evaluated the effect of HbF erythrocytes and maternal plasma on in vitro parasite growth of P. falciparum in Central African Gabon. Umbilical cord blood and peripheral maternal blood were collected at delivery at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon. Respective erythrocyte suspension and plasma were used in parallel for in vitro culture. In vitro growth rates were compared between cultures supplemented with either maternal or cord erythrocytes. Plasma of maternal blood and cord blood was evaluated. Parasite growth rates were assessed by the standard HRP2-assay evaluating the increase of HRP2 concentration in Plasmodium culture. Culture of P. falciparum using foetal erythrocytes led to comparable growth rates (mean growth rate = 4.2, 95% CI: 3.5 - 5.0) as cultures with maternal red blood cells (mean growth rate =4.2, 95% CI: 3.4 - 5.0) and those from non-malaria exposed individuals (mean growth rate = 4.6, 95% CI: 3.8 - 5.5). Standard in vitro culture of P. falciparum supplemented with either maternal or foetal plasma showed both significantly lower growth rates than a positive control using non-malaria exposed donor plasma. These data challenge the concept of HbF serving as intrinsic inhibitor of P. falciparum growth in the first months of life. Erythrocytes containing HbF are equally permissive to P. falciparum growth in vitro. However, addition of maternal and cord plasma led to reduced in vitro growth which may translate to protection against clinical disease or show synergistic effects with HbF in vivo. Further studies are needed to elucidate the pathophysiology of innate and acquired
Kupferschmid, Mattis; Aquino-Gil, Moyira Osny; Shams-Eldin, Hosam; Schmidt, Jörg; Yamakawa, Nao; Krzewinski, Frédéric; Schwarz, Ralph T; Lefebvre, Tony
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) constitute a huge group of chemical modifications increasing the complexity of the proteomes of living beings. PTMs have been discussed as potential anti-malarial drug targets due to their involvement in many cell processes. O-GlcNAcylation is a widespread PTM found in different organisms including Plasmodium falciparum. The aim of this study was to identify O-GlcNAcylated proteins of P. falciparum, to learn more about the modification process and to understand its eventual functions in the Apicomplexans. The P. falciparum strain 3D7 was amplified in erythrocytes and purified. The proteome was checked for O-GlcNAcylation using different methods. The level of UDP-GlcNAc, the donor of the sugar moiety for O-GlcNAcylation processes, was measured using high-pH anion exchange chromatography. O-GlcNAcylated proteins were enriched and purified utilizing either click chemistry labelling or adsorption on succinyl-wheat germ agglutinin beads. Proteins were then identified by mass-spectrometry (nano-LC MS/MS). While low when compared to MRC5 control cells, P. falciparum disposes of its own pool of UDP-GlcNAc. By using proteomics methods, 13 O-GlcNAcylated proteins were unambiguously identified (11 by click-chemistry and 6 by sWGA-beads enrichment; 4 being identified by the 2 approaches) in late trophozoites. These proteins are all part of pathways, functions and structures important for the parasite survival. By probing clicked-proteins with specific antibodies, Hsp70 and α-tubulin were identified as P. falciparum O-GlcNAc-bearing proteins. This study is the first report on the identity of P. falciparum O-GlcNAcylated proteins. While the parasite O-GlcNAcome seems close to those of other species, the structural differences exhibited by the proteomes provides a glimpse of innovative therapeutic paths to fight malaria. Blocking biosynthesis of UDP-GlcNAc in the parasites is another promising option to reduce Plasmodium life cycle.
Mukherjee, Angana; Bopp, Selina; Magistrado, Pamela; Wong, Wesley; Daniels, Rachel; Demas, Allison; Schaffner, Stephen; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Lim, Pharath; Dhorda, Mehul; Miotto, Olivo; Woodrow, Charles; Ashley, Elizabeth A; Dondorp, Arjen M; White, Nicholas J; Wirth, Dyann; Fairhurst, Rick; Volkman, Sarah K
Artemisinin resistance is associated with delayed parasite clearance half-life in vivo and correlates with ring-stage survival under dihydroartemisinin in vitro. Both phenotypes are associated with mutations in the PF3D7_1343700 pfkelch13 gene. Recent spread of artemisinin resistance and emerging piperaquine resistance in Southeast Asia show that artemisinin combination therapy, such as dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, are losing clinical effectiveness, prompting investigation of drug resistance mechanisms and development of strategies to surmount emerging anti-malarial resistance. Sixty-eight parasites isolates with in vivo clearance data were obtained from two Tracking Resistance to Artemisinin Collaboration study sites in Cambodia, culture-adapted, and genotyped for pfkelch13 and other mutations including pfmdr1 copy number; and the RSA 0-3h survival rates and response to antimalarial drugs in vitro were measured for 36 of these isolates. Among these 36 parasites one isolate demonstrated increased ring-stage survival for a PfKelch13 mutation (D584V, RSA 0-3h = 8%), previously associated with slow clearance but not yet tested in vitro. Several parasites exhibited increased ring-stage survival, yet lack pfkelch13 mutations, and one isolate showed evidence for piperaquine resistance. This study of 68 culture-adapted Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates from Cambodia with known clearance values, associated the D584V PfKelch13 mutation with increased ring-stage survival and identified parasites that lack pfkelch13 mutations yet exhibit increased ring-stage survival. These data suggest mutations other than those found in pfkelch13 may be involved in conferring artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum. Piperaquine resistance was also detected among the same Cambodian samples, consistent with reports of emerging piperaquine resistance in the field. These culture-adapted parasites permit further investigation of mechanisms of both artemisinin and piperaquine
Full Text Available Malaria is a parasitic disease that remains a global health burden. The ability of the parasite to rapidly develop resistance to therapeutics drives an urgent need for the delivery of new drugs. The Medicines for Malaria Venture have compounds known for their antimalarial activity, but not necessarily the molecular targets. In this study, we assess the ability of the "MMV 400" compounds to inhibit the activity of three metalloaminopeptidases from Plasmodium falciparum, PfA-M1, PfA-M17 and PfM18 AAP. We have developed a multiplex assay system to allow rapid primary screening of compounds against all three metalloaminopeptidases, followed by detailed analysis of promising compounds. Our results show that there were no PfM18AAP inhibitors, whereas two moderate inhibitors of the neutral aminopeptidases PfA-M1 and PfA-M17 were identified. Further investigation through structure-activity relationship studies and molecular docking suggest that these compounds are competitive inhibitors with novel binding mechanisms, acting through either non-classical zinc coordination or independently of zinc binding altogether. Although it is unlikely that inhibition of PfA-M1 and/or PfA-M17 is the primary mechanism responsible for the antiplasmodial activity reported for these compounds, their detailed characterization, as presented in this work, pave the way for their further optimization as a novel class of dual PfA-M1/PfA-M17 inhibitors utilising non-classical zinc binding groups.
Full Text Available Hoseah M Akala, Angela O Achieng, Fredrick L Eyase, Dennis W Juma, Luiser Ingasia, Agnes C Cheruiyot, Charles Okello, Duke Omariba, Eunice A Owiti, Catherine Muriuki, Redemptah Yeda, Ben Andagalu, Jacob D Johnson, Edwin Kamau Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Program, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Walter Reed Project, Kisumu and Nairobi, Kenya Background: The renewed malaria eradication efforts require an understanding of the seasonal patterns of frequency of polymorphic variants in order to focus limited funds productively. Although cross-sectional studies in holoendemic areas spanning a single year could be useful in describing parasite genotype status at a given point, such information is inadequate in describing temporal trends in genotype polymorphisms. For Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Kisumu District Hospital, Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine-resistance transporter gene (Pfcrt-K76T and P. falciparum multidrug resistance gene 1 (PfMDR1-N86Y, were analyzed for polymorphisms and parasitemia changes in the 53 months from March 2008 to August 2012. Observations were compared with prevailing climatic factors, including humidity, rainfall, and temperature. Methods: Parasitemia (the percentage of infected red blood cells per total red blood cells was established by microscopy for P. falciparum malaria-positive samples. P. falciparum DNA was extracted from whole blood using a Qiagen DNA Blood Mini Kit. Single nucleotide polymorphism identification at positions Pfcrt-K76T and PfMDR1-N86Y was performed using real-time polymerase chain reaction and/or sequencing. Data on climatic variables were obtained from http://www.tutiempo.net/en/. Results: A total of 895 field isolates from 2008 (n=169, 2009 (n=161, 2010 (n=216, 2011 (n=223, and 2012 (n=126 showed large variations in monthly frequency of PfMDR1-N86Y and Pfcrt-K76T as the mutant genotypes decreased from 68.4%±15% and 38.1%±13% to
Sylla, Khadime; Tine, Roger Clément Kouly; Ndiaye, Magatte; Sow, Doudou; Sarr, Aïssatou; Mbuyi, Marie Louise Tshibola; Diouf, Ibrahima; Lô, Amy Colé; Abiola, Annie; Seck, Mame Cheikh; Ndiaye, Mouhamadou; Badiane, Aïda Sadikh; N'Diaye, Jean Louis A; Ndiaye, Daouda; Faye, Oumar; Dieng, Thérèse; Dieng, Yémou; Ndir, Oumar; Gaye, Oumar; Faye, Babacar
In Senegal, a significant decrease of malaria transmission intensity has been noted the last years. Parasitaemia has become lower and, therefore, more difficult to detect by microscopy. In the context of submicroscopic parasitaemia, it has become relevant to rely on relevant malaria surveillance tools to better document malaria epidemiology in such settings. Serological markers have been proposed as an essential tool for malaria surveillance. This study aimed to evaluate the sero-epidemiological situation of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in two sentinel sites in Senegal. Cross-sectional surveys were carried out in Velingara (south Senegal) and Keur Soce (central Senegal) between September and October 2010. Children under 10 years old, living in these areas, were enrolled using two-level, random sampling methods. P. falciparum infection was diagnosed using microscopy. P. falciparum antibodies against circumsporozoite protein (CSP), apical membrane protein (AMA1) and merozoite surface protein 1_42 (MSP1_42) were measured by ELISA method. A stepwise logistic regression analysis was done to assess factors associated with P. falciparum antibodies carriage. A total of 1,865 children under 10 years old were enrolled. The overall falciparum malaria prevalence was 4.99% with high prevalence in Velingara of 10.03% compared to Keur Soce of 0.3%. Symptomatic malaria cases (fever associated with parasitaemia) represented 17.37%. Seroprevalence of anti-AMA1, anti-MSP1_42 and anti-CSP antibody was 38.12, 41.55 and 40.38%, respectively. The seroprevalence was more important in Velingara and increased with age, active malaria infection and area of residence. The use of serological markers can contribute to improved malaria surveillance in areas with declining malaria transmission. This study provided useful baseline information about the sero-epidemiological situation of malaria in Senegal and can contribute to the identification of malaria hot spots in order to concentrate
Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to establish a successful infection in the human host, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum must establish interactions with a variety of human proteins on the surface of different cell types, as well as with proteins inside the host cells. To better understand this aspect of malaria pathogenesis, a study was conducted with the goal of identifying interactions between proteins of the parasite and those of its human host. Methods A modified yeast two-hybrid methodology that preferentially selects protein fragments that can be expressed in yeast was used to conduct high-throughput screens with P. falciparum protein fragments against human liver and cerebellum libraries. The resulting dataset was analyzed to exclude interactions that are not likely to occur in the human host during infection. Results An initial set of 2,200 interactions was curated to remove proteins that are unlikely to play a role in pathogenesis based on their annotation or localization, and proteins that behave promiscuously in the two-hybrid assay, resulting in a final dataset of 456 interactions. A cluster that implicates binding between P. falciparum PFE1590w/ETRAMP5, a putative parasitophorous vacuole membrane protein, and human apolipoproteins ApoA, ApoB and ApoE was selected for further analysis. Different isoforms of ApoE, which are associated with different outcomes of malaria infection, were shown to display differential interactions with PFE1590w. Conclusion A dataset of interactions between proteins of P. falciparum and those of its human host was generated. The preferential interaction of the P. falciparum PFE1590w protein with the human ApoE ε3 and ApoE ε4 isoforms, but not the ApoE ε2 isoform, supports the hypothesis that ApoE genotype affects risk of malaria infection. The dataset contains other interactions of potential relevance to disease that may identify possible vaccine candidates and drug targets.
Angélica Knudson Ospina; Ricardo Sánchez Pedraza; Manuel Alberto Pérez Mazorra; Liliana Jazmín Cortés Cortés; Ángela Patricia Guerra Vega; Rubén Santiago Nicholls Orejuela
Antecedentes. En Colombia existen pocos estudios que buscan encontrar diferencias clínicas y parasitológicas en la malaria causada por Plasmodium falciparum y Plasmodium vivax. Objetivo. Describir el perfil clínico y parasitológico de las malarias por Plasmodium falciparum y Plasmodium vivax no complicadas en Tierralta, Córdoba, Colombia. Materiales y métodos. Se evaluaron pacientes con paludismo no complicado por Plasmodium falciparum y Plasmodium vivax según los protocolos estandariz...
Barber, Bridget E; William, Timothy; Grigg, Matthew J; Yeo, Tsin W; Anstey, Nicholas M
Abstract Background In areas co-endemic for multiple Plasmodium species, correct diagnosis is crucial for appropriate treatment and surveillance. Species misidentification by microscopy has been reported in areas co-endemic for vivax and falciparum malaria, and may be more frequent in regions where Plasmodium knowlesi also commonly occurs. Methods This prospective study in Sabah, Malaysia, evaluated the accuracy of routine district and referral hospital-based microscopy, and microscopy perfor...
Grimberg, Brian T; Erickson, John J; Sramkoski, R Michael; Jacobberger, James W; Zimmerman, Peter A
The complex life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) makes it difficult to limit infections and reduce the risk of severe malaria. Improved understanding of Pf blood-stage growth and development would provide new opportunities to evaluate and interfere with successful completion of the parasite's life cycle. Cultured blood stage Pf was incubated with Hoechst 33342 (HO) and thiazole orange (TO) to stain DNA and total nucleic acids, respectively. Correlated HO and TO fluorescence emissions were then measured by flow cytometry. Complex bivariate data patterns were analyzed by manual cluster gating to quantify parasite life cycle stages. The permutations of viable staining with both reagents were tested for optimal detection of parasitized RBC (pRBC). Pf cultures were exposed to HO and TO simultaneously to achieve optimal staining of pRBC and consistent quantification of early and late stages of the replicative cycle (rings through schizonts). Staining of Pf nucleic acids allows for analysis of parasite development in the absence of fixatives, lysis, or radioactivity to enable examination of erythrocytes from parasite invasion through schizont rupture using sensitive and rapid assay procedures. Investigation of the mechanisms by which anti-malarial drugs and antibodies act against different Pf lifecycle stages will be aided by this cytometric strategy. (c) 2008 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
Schistosoma mansoni and Plasmodium falciparum are pathogen parasites that spend part of their lives in the blood stream of the human host and are therefore heavily exposed to fluxes of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). SmTGR, an essential enzyme of the S. mansoni ROS detoxification machinery, is known to be inhibited by Auranofin although the inhibition mechanism has not been completely clarified. Auranofin also kills P. falciparum, even if its molecular targets are unknown. Here, we used computational and docking techniques to investigate the molecular mechanism of interaction between SmTGR and Auranofin. Furthermore, we took advantage of the homology relationship and of docking studies to assess if PfTR, the SmTGR malaria parasite homologue, can be a putative target for Auranofin. Our findings support a recently hypothesized molecular mechanism of inhibition for SmTGR and suggest that PfTR is indeed a possible and attractive drug target in P. falciparum. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To avoid spleen-dependent killing mechanisms parasite-infected erythrocytes (IE of Plasmodium falciparum malaria patients have the capacity to bind to endothelial receptors. This binding also known as sequestration, is mediated by parasite proteins, which are targeted to the erythrocyte surface. Candidate proteins are those encoded by P. falciparum multicopy gene families, such as var, rif, stevor or PfMC-2TM. However, a direct in vivo proof of IE sequestration and expression of multicopy gene families is still lacking. Here, we report on the analysis of IE from a black African immigrant, who received the diagnosis of a malignant lymphoproliferative disorder and subsequently underwent splenectomy. Three weeks after surgery, the patient experienced clinical falciparum malaria with high parasitemia and circulating developmental parasite stages usually sequestered to the vascular endothelium such as late trophozoites, schizonts or immature gametocytes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Initially, when isolated from the patient, the infected erythrocytes were incapable to bind to various endothelial receptors in vitro. Moreover, the parasites failed to express the multicopy gene families var, A-type rif and stevor but expression of B-type rif and PfMC-2TM genes were detected. In the course of in vitro cultivation, the parasites started to express all investigated multicopy gene families and concomitantly developed the ability to adhere to endothelial receptors such as CD36 and ICAM-1, respectively. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: This case strongly supports the hypothesis that parasite surface proteins such as PfEMP1, A-type RIFIN or STEVOR are involved in interactions of infected erythrocytes with endothelial receptors mediating sequestration of mature asexual and immature sexual stages of P. falciparum. In contrast, multicopy gene families coding for B-type RIFIN and PfMC-2TM proteins may not be involved in sequestration, as these genes were
Stanley, H.A.; Reese, R.T.
A system has been developed that allows efficient production of monkey monoclonal antibodies from owl monkeys. Splenocytes or peripheral blood lymphocytes from monkeys immune to the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, were fused with P3X63 Ag8.653 mouse myelomas. The resulting hybridomas were screened by an indirect fluorescent antibody test for the production of monkey monoclonal antibodies (mAb) reactive with P. falciparum. Most of the mAb reacted with the P. falciparum merozoites and immunoprecipitated a parasite-derived glycoprotein having a relative molecular weight of 185,000. These mAb gave a minimum of five different immunoprecipitation patterns, thus demonstrating that a large number of polypeptides obtained when parasitized erythrocytes are solubilized share epitopes with this large glycoprotein. In addition, mAb were obtained that reacted with antigens associated with the infected erythrocyte membrane. One of these mAb bound a M/sub r/ 95,000 antigen. Radioimmunoprecipitation assays using 125 T-antibodies were done
Khunrae, Pongsak; Dahlbäck, Madeleine; Nielsen, Morten A
in the pathogenesis of severe P. falciparum infection. In pregnant women the parasites express a single and unique member of the PfEMP1 family named VAR2CSA, which is associated with the ability of the infected erythrocytes to adhere specifically to chondroitin sulphate A (CSA) in the placenta. Several DBL domains......Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains one of the world's leading causes of human suffering and poverty. Each year, the disease takes 1-3 million lives, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. The adhesion of parasite-infected erythrocytes to the vascular endothelium or the placenta is the key event...
Dziegiel, M; Borre, Mette; Petersen, E
This report describes a novel mu chain capture ELISA for the detection of IgM antibodies against a Plasmodium falciparum antigen. A fragment of the 220 kDa P. falciparum glutamate rich protein containing amino acid residues 489-1271 was expressed in E. coli as a recombinant chimeric beta-galactos......This report describes a novel mu chain capture ELISA for the detection of IgM antibodies against a Plasmodium falciparum antigen. A fragment of the 220 kDa P. falciparum glutamate rich protein containing amino acid residues 489-1271 was expressed in E. coli as a recombinant chimeric beta...
Alegana, Victor A; Wright, Jim A; Nahzat, Sami M; Butt, Waqar; Sediqi, Amad W; Habib, Naeem; Snow, Robert W; Atkinson, Peter M; Noor, Abdisalan M
Identifying areas that support high malaria risks and where populations lack access to health care is central to reducing the burden in Afghanistan. This study investigated the incidence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum using routine data to help focus malaria interventions. To estimate incidence, the study modelled utilisation of the public health sector using fever treatment data from the 2012 national Malaria Indicator Survey. A probabilistic measure of attendance was applied to population density metrics to define the proportion of the population within catchment of a public health facility. Malaria data were used in a Bayesian spatio-temporal conditional-autoregressive model with ecological or environmental covariates, to examine the spatial and temporal variation of incidence. From the analysis of healthcare utilisation, over 80% of the population was within 2 hours' travel of the nearest public health facility, while 64.4% were within 30 minutes' travel. The mean incidence of P. vivax in 2009 was 5.4 (95% Crl 3.2-9.2) cases per 1000 population compared to 1.2 (95% Crl 0.4-2.9) cases per 1000 population for P. falciparum. P. vivax peaked in August while P. falciparum peaked in November. 32% of the estimated 30.5 million people lived in regions where annual incidence was at least 1 case per 1,000 population of P. vivax; 23.7% of the population lived in areas where annual P. falciparum case incidence was at least 1 per 1000. This study showed how routine data can be combined with household survey data to model malaria incidence. The incidence of both P. vivax and P. falciparum in Afghanistan remain low but the co-distribution of both parasites and the lag in their peak season provides challenges to malaria control in Afghanistan. Future improved case definition to determine levels of imported risks may be useful for the elimination ambitions in Afghanistan.
Alegana, Victor A.; Wright, Jim A.; Nahzat, Sami M.; Butt, Waqar; Sediqi, Amad W.; Habib, Naeem; Snow, Robert W.; Atkinson, Peter M.; Noor, Abdisalan M.
Background Identifying areas that support high malaria risks and where populations lack access to health care is central to reducing the burden in Afghanistan. This study investigated the incidence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum using routine data to help focus malaria interventions. Methods To estimate incidence, the study modelled utilisation of the public health sector using fever treatment data from the 2012 national Malaria Indicator Survey. A probabilistic measure of attendance was applied to population density metrics to define the proportion of the population within catchment of a public health facility. Malaria data were used in a Bayesian spatio-temporal conditional-autoregressive model with ecological or environmental covariates, to examine the spatial and temporal variation of incidence. Findings From the analysis of healthcare utilisation, over 80% of the population was within 2 hours’ travel of the nearest public health facility, while 64.4% were within 30 minutes’ travel. The mean incidence of P. vivax in 2009 was 5.4 (95% Crl 3.2–9.2) cases per 1000 population compared to 1.2 (95% Crl 0.4–2.9) cases per 1000 population for P. falciparum. P. vivax peaked in August while P. falciparum peaked in November. 32% of the estimated 30.5 million people lived in regions where annual incidence was at least 1 case per 1,000 population of P. vivax; 23.7% of the population lived in areas where annual P. falciparum case incidence was at least 1 per 1000. Conclusion This study showed how routine data can be combined with household survey data to model malaria incidence. The incidence of both P. vivax and P. falciparum in Afghanistan remain low but the co-distribution of both parasites and the lag in their peak season provides challenges to malaria control in Afghanistan. Future improved case definition to determine levels of imported risks may be useful for the elimination ambitions in Afghanistan. PMID:25033452
Molyneux Malcolm E
Full Text Available Abstract Background Described here is the first population genetic study of Plasmodium malariae, the causative agent of quartan malaria. Although not as deadly as Plasmodium falciparum, P. malariae is more common than previously thought, and is frequently in sympatry and co-infection with P. falciparum, making its study increasingly important. This study compares the population parameters of the two species in two districts of Malawi with different malaria transmission patterns - one seasonal, one perennial - to explore the effects of transmission on population structures. Methods Six species-specific microsatellite markers were used to analyse 257 P. malariae samples and 257 P. falciparum samples matched for age, gender and village of residence. Allele sizes were scored to within 2 bp for each locus and haplotypes were constructed from dominant alleles in multiple infections. Analysis of multiplicity of infection (MOI, population differentiation, clustering of haplotypes and linkage disequilibrium was performed for both species. Regression analyses were used to determine association of MOI measurements with clinical malaria parameters. Results Multiple-genotype infections within each species were common in both districts, accounting for 86.0% of P. falciparum and 73.2% of P. malariae infections and did not differ significantly with transmission setting. Mean MOI of P. falciparum was increased under perennial transmission compared with seasonal (3.14 vs 2.59, p = 0.008 and was greater in children compared with adults. In contrast, P. malariae mean MOI was similar between transmission settings (2.12 vs 2.11 and there was no difference between children and adults. Population differentiation showed no significant differences between villages or districts for either species. There was no evidence of geographical clustering of haplotypes. Linkage disequilibrium amongst loci was found only for P. falciparum samples from the seasonal transmission
Mitchell Sarah L
Full Text Available Abstract Background The folate pathway enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT converts serine to glycine and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate and is essential for the acquisition of one-carbon units for subsequent transfer reactions. 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate is used by thymidylate synthase to convert dUMP to dTMP for DNA synthesis. In Plasmodium falciparum an enzymatically functional SHMT (PfSHMTc and a related, apparently inactive isoform (PfSHMTm are found, encoded by different genes. Here, patterns of localization of the two isoforms during the parasite erythrocytic cycle are investigated. Methods Polyclonal antibodies were raised to PfSHMTc and PfSHMTm, and, together with specific markers for the mitochondrion and apicoplast, were employed in quantitative confocal fluorescence microscopy of blood-stage parasites. Results As well as the expected cytoplasmic occupancy of PfSHMTc during all stages, localization into the mitochondrion and apicoplast occurred in a stage-specific manner. Although early trophozoites lacked visible organellar PfSHMTc, a significant percentage of parasites showed such fluorescence during the mid-to-late trophozoite and schizont stages. In the case of the mitochondrion, the majority of parasites in these stages at any given time showed no marked PfSHMTc fluorescence, suggesting that its occupancy of this organelle is of limited duration. PfSHMTm showed a distinctly more pronounced mitochondrial location through most of the erythrocytic cycle and GFP-tagging of its N-terminal region confirmed the predicted presence of a mitochondrial signal sequence. Within the apicoplast, a majority of mitotic schizonts showed a marked concentration of PfSHMTc, whose localization in this organelle was less restricted than for the mitochondrion and persisted from the late trophozoite to the post-mitotic stages. PfSHMTm showed a broadly similar distribution across the cycle, but with a distinctive punctate accumulation towards
Myat P Kyaw
Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins, the first line treatment for malaria worldwide, has been reported in western Cambodia. Resistance is characterized by significantly delayed clearance of parasites following artemisinin treatment. Artemisinin resistance has not previously been reported in Myanmar, which has the highest falciparum malaria burden among Southeast Asian countries.A non-randomized, single-arm, open-label clinical trial of artesunate monotherapy (4 mg/kg daily for seven days was conducted in adults with acute blood-smear positive P. falciparum malaria in Kawthaung, southern Myanmar. Parasite density was measured every 12 hours until two consecutive negative smears were obtained. Participants were followed weekly at the study clinic for three additional weeks. Co-primary endpoints included parasite clearance time (the time required for complete clearance of initial parasitemia, parasite clearance half-life (the time required for parasitemia to decrease by 50% based on the linear portion of the parasite clearance slope, and detectable parasitemia 72 hours after commencement of artesunate treatment. Drug pharmacokinetics were measured to rule out delayed clearance due to suboptimal drug levels.The median (range parasite clearance half-life and time were 4.8 (2.1-9.7 and 60 (24-96 hours, respectively. The frequency distributions of parasite clearance half-life and time were bimodal, with very slow parasite clearance characteristic of the slowest-clearing Cambodian parasites (half-life longer than 6.2 hours in approximately 1/3 of infections. Fourteen of 52 participants (26.9% had a measurable parasitemia 72 hours after initiating artesunate treatment. Parasite clearance was not associated with drug pharmacokinetics.A subset of P. falciparum infections in southern Myanmar displayed markedly delayed clearance following artemisinin treatment, suggesting either emergence of artemisinin resistance in southern Myanmar or spread
Ofori Michael F
Full Text Available Abstract Background Severe anaemia (SA, intravascular haemolysis (IVH and respiratory distress (RD are severe forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, with RD reported to be of prognostic importance in African children with malarial anaemia. Complement factors have been implicated in the mechanism leading to excess anaemia in acute P. falciparum infection. Methods The direct Coombs test (DCT and flow cytometry were used to investigate the mean levels of RBC-bound complement fragments (C3d and C3bαβ and the regulatory proteins [complement receptor 1 (CD35 and decay accelerating factor (CD55] in children with discrete clinical forms of P. falciparum malaria. The relationship between the findings and clinical parameters including coma, haemoglobin (Hb levels and RD were investigated. Results Of the 484 samples tested, 131(27% were positive in DCT, out of which 115/131 (87.8% were positive for C3d alone while 16/131 (12.2% were positive for either IgG alone or both. 67.4% of the study population were below 5 years of age and DCT positivity was more common in this age group relative to children who were 5 years or older (Odds ratio, OR = 3.8; 95%CI, 2.2–6.7, p Conclusion These results suggest that complement activation contributed to anaemia in acute childhood P. falciparum malaria, possibly through induction of erythrophagocytosis and haemolysis. In contrast to other studies, this study did not find association between levels of the complement regulatory proteins, CD35 and CD55 and malarial anaemia. These findings suggest that complement activation could also be involved in the pathogenesis of RD but larger studies are needed to confirm this finding.
Full Text Available Sterile protection in >90% of volunteers against homologous Plasmodium falciparum infection has been achieved only using the controlled human malaria infection (CHMI model. This efficient model involves whole parasite immunizations under chloroquine prophylaxis (CPS-immunization, requiring only 30-45 mosquitoes bites infected with P. falciparum-sporozoites. Given the large diversity of P. falciparum parasites, it is essential to assess protection against heterologous parasite strains.In an open-label follow-up study, 16 volunteers previously CPS-immunized and challenged with P. falciparum NF54 (West-Africa in a dose de-escalation and challenge trial were re-challenged with clone NF135.C10 (Cambodia at 14 months after the last immunization (NCT01660854.Two out of thirteen NF54 protected volunteers previously fully protected against NF54 were also fully protected against NF135.C10, while 11/13 showed a delayed patency (median prepatent period of 10.5 days (range 9.0-15.5 versus 8.5 days in 5 malaria-naïve controls (p = 0.0005. Analysis of patency by qPCR indicated a 91 to >99% estimated reduction of liver parasite load in 7/11 partially protected subjects. Three volunteers previously not protected against NF54, were also not protected against NF135.C10.This study shows that CPS-immunization can induce heterologous protection for a period of more than one year, which is a further impetus for clinical development of whole parasite vaccines.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01660854.
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.
Duffy, Michael F; Tang, Jingyi; Sumardy, Fransisca; Nguyen, Hanh H T; Selvarajah, Shamista A; Josling, Gabrielle A; Day, Karen P; Petter, Michaela; Brown, Graham V
The Plasmodium falciparum var multigene family encodes the cytoadhesive, variant antigen PfEMP1. P. falciparum antigenic variation and cytoadhesion specificity are controlled by epigenetic switching between the single, or few, simultaneously expressed var genes. Most var genes are maintained in perinuclear clusters of heterochromatic telomeres. The active var gene(s) occupy a single, perinuclear var expression site. It is unresolved whether the var expression site forms in situ at a telomeric cluster or whether it is an extant compartment to which single chromosomes travel, thus controlling var switching. Here we show that transcription of a var gene did not require decreased colocalisation with clusters of telomeres, supporting var expression site formation in situ. However following recombination within adjacent subtelomeric sequences, the same var gene was persistently activated and did colocalise less with telomeric clusters. Thus, participation in stable, heterochromatic, telomere clusters and var switching are independent but are both affected by subtelomeric sequences. The var expression site colocalised with the euchromatic mark H3K27ac to a greater extent than it did with heterochromatic H3K9me3. H3K27ac was enriched within the active var gene promoter even when the var gene was transiently repressed in mature parasites and thus H3K27ac may contribute to var gene epigenetic memory. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
Zhu, Xiaotong; Zhao, Zhenjun; Feng, Yonghui; Li, Peipei; Liu, Fei; Liu, Jun; Yang, Zhaoqing; Yan, Guiyun; Fan, Qi; Cao, Yaming; Cui, Liwang
To investigate the genetic diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (PfAMA1) gene in Southeast Asia, we determined PfAMA1 sequences from 135 field isolates collected from the China-Myanmar border area and compared them with 956 publically available PfAMA1 sequences from seven global P. falciparum populations. This analysis revealed high genetic diversity of PfAMA1 in global P. falciparum populations with a total of 229 haplotypes identified. The genetic diversity of PfAMA1 gene from the China-Myanmar border is not evenly distributed in the different domains of this gene. Sequence diversity in PfAMA1 from the China-Myanmar border is lower than that observed in Thai, African and Oceanian populations, but higher than that in the South American population. This appeared to correlate well with the levels of endemicity of different malaria-endemic regions, where hyperendemic regions favor genetic cross of the parasite isolates and generation of higher genetic diversity. Neutrality tests show significant departure from neutrality in the entire ectodomain and Domain I of PfAMA1 in the China-Myanmar border parasite population. We found evidence supporting a substantial continent-wise genetic structure among P. falciparum populations, with the highest genetic differentiation detected between the China-Myanmar border and the South American populations. Whereas no alleles were unique to a specific region, there were considerable geographical differences in major alleles and their frequencies, highlighting further necessity to include more PfAMA1 alleles in vaccine designs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Angélica Knudson Ospina
Conclusión. Se identificaron algunas diferencias clínicas entre los enfermos con Plasmodium vivax y los enfermos con Plasmodium falciparum, y las variables estudiadas se agruparon en cuatro perfiles que permiten una variedad de interpretaciones.
Tadesse, F.G.; Hoogen, L. van den; Lanke, K.H.; Schildkraut, J.; Tetteh, K.; Aseffa, A.; Mamo, H.; Sauerwein, R.; Felger, I.; Drakeley, C.; Gadissa, E.; Bousema, T.
BACKGROUND: The widespread presence of low-density asymptomatic infections with concurrent gametocytes may be a stumbling block for malaria elimination. This study investigated the asymptomatic reservoir of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections in schoolchildren from five settings in
Calhoun, Susannah F; Reed, Jake; Alexander, Noah; Mason, Christopher E; Deitsch, Kirk W; Kirkman, Laura A
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum replicates within circulating red blood cells, where it is subjected to conditions that frequently cause DNA damage. The repair of DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) is thought to rely almost exclusively on homologous recombination (HR), due to a lack of efficient nonhomologous end joining. However, given that the parasite is haploid during this stage of its life cycle, the mechanisms involved in maintaining genome stability are poorly understood. Of particular interest are the subtelomeric regions of the chromosomes, which contain the majority of the multicopy variant antigen-encoding genes responsible for virulence and disease severity. Here, we show that parasites utilize a competitive balance between de novo telomere addition, also called "telomere healing," and HR to stabilize chromosome ends. Products of both repair pathways were observed in response to DSBs that occurred spontaneously during routine in vitro culture or resulted from experimentally induced DSBs, demonstrating that both pathways are active in repairing DSBs within subtelomeric regions and that the pathway utilized was determined by the DNA sequences immediately surrounding the break. In combination, these two repair pathways enable parasites to efficiently maintain chromosome stability while also contributing to the generation of genetic diversity. IMPORTANCE Malaria is a major global health threat, causing approximately 430,000 deaths annually. This mosquito-transmitted disease is caused by Plasmodium parasites, with infection with the species Plasmodium falciparum being the most lethal. Mechanisms underlying DNA repair and maintenance of genome integrity in P. falciparum are not well understood and represent a gap in our understanding of how parasites survive the hostile environment of their vertebrate and insect hosts. Our work examines DNA repair in real time by using single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing focused on the subtelomeric
Nahrendorf, W.; Scholzen, A.; Bijker, E.M.; Teirlinck, A.C.; Bastiaens, G.J.H.; Schats, R.; Hermsen, C.C.; Visser, L.G.; Langhorne, J.; Sauerwein, R.W.
BACKGROUND: Immunization of healthy volunteers during receipt of chemoprophylaxis with Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites (CPS-immunization) induces sterile protection from malaria. Antibody responses have long been known to contribute to naturally acquired immunity against malaria, but their
Ziegler, Hanne L; Staalsø, Trine; Jaroszewski, Jerzy W
Lupeol and betulinic acid inhibit the proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites by inhibition of the invasion of merozoites into erythrocytes. This conclusion is based on experiments employing parasite cultures synchronized by magnetic cell sorting (MACS). Identical inhibitory effects were...
Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Pain, Arnab; Ravasi, Timothy
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
Guitard, Juliette; Andersen, Pernille; Ermont, Caroline
Background: Pregnant women acquire protective antibodies that cross-react with geographically diverse placental Plasmodium falciparum isolates, suggesting that surface molecules expressed on infected erythrocytes by pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) parasites have conserved epitopes and, that de...
Buchholz, Ulrike; Kobbe, Robin; Danquah, Ina; Zanger, Philipp; Reither, Klaus; Abruquah, Harry H.; Grobusch, Martin P.; Ziniel, Peter; May, Jürgen; Mockenhaupt, Frank P.
Intermittent preventive treatment in infants with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTi-SP) reduces malaria morbidity by 20% to 33%. Potentially, however, this intervention may compromise the acquisition of immunity, including the tolerance towards multiple infections with Plasmodium falciparum.
McGowan, Sheena; Porter, Corrine J; Lowther, Jonathan; Stack, Colin M; Golding, Sarah J; Skinner-Adams, Tina S; Trenholme, Katharine R; Teuscher, Franka; Donnelly, Sheila M; Grembecka, Jolanta; Mucha, Artur; Kafarski, Pawel; Degori, Ross; Buckle, Ashley M; Gardiner, Donald L; Whisstock, James C; Dalton, John P
Plasmodium falciparum parasites are responsible for the major global disease malaria, which results in >2 million deaths each year. With the rise of drug-resistant malarial parasites, novel drug targets and lead compounds are urgently required for the development of new therapeutic strategies. Here, we address this important problem by targeting the malarial neutral aminopeptidases that are involved in the terminal stages of hemoglobin digestion and essential for the provision of amino acids used for parasite growth and development within the erythrocyte. We characterize the structure and substrate specificity of one such aminopeptidase, PfA-M1, a validated drug target. The X-ray crystal structure of PfA-M1 alone and in complex with the generic inhibitor, bestatin, and a phosphinate dipeptide analogue with potent in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activity, hPheP[CH(2)]Phe, reveals features within the protease active site that are critical to its function as an aminopeptidase and can be exploited for drug development. These results set the groundwork for the development of antimalarial therapeutics that target the neutral aminopeptidases of the parasite.
McGowan, Sheena; Porter, Corrine J.; Lowther, Jonathan; Stack, Colin M.; Golding, Sarah J.; Skinner-Adams, Tina S.; Trenholme, Katharine R.; Teuscher, Franka; Donnelly, Sheila M.; Grembecka, Jolanta; Mucha, Artur; Kafarski, Pawel; DeGori, Ross; Buckle, Ashley M.; Gardiner, Donald L.; Whisstock, James C.; Dalton, John P.
Plasmodium falciparum parasites are responsible for the major global disease malaria, which results in >2 million deaths each year. With the rise of drug-resistant malarial parasites, novel drug targets and lead compounds are urgently required for the development of new therapeutic strategies. Here, we address this important problem by targeting the malarial neutral aminopeptidases that are involved in the terminal stages of hemoglobin digestion and essential for the provision of amino acids used for parasite growth and development within the erythrocyte. We characterize the structure and substrate specificity of one such aminopeptidase, PfA-M1, a validated drug target. The X-ray crystal structure of PfA-M1 alone and in complex with the generic inhibitor, bestatin, and a phosphinate dipeptide analogue with potent in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activity, hPheP[CH2]Phe, reveals features within the protease active site that are critical to its function as an aminopeptidase and can be exploited for drug development. These results set the groundwork for the development of antimalarial therapeutics that target the neutral aminopeptidases of the parasite. PMID:19196988
Vaidya, Akhil B.; Morrisey, Joanne M.; Zhang, Zhongsheng; Das, Sudipta; Daly, Thomas M.; Otto, Thomas D.; Spillman, Natalie J.; Wyvratt, Matthew; Siegl, Peter; Marfurt, Jutta; Wirjanata, Grennady; Sebayang, Boni F.; Price, Ric N.; Chatterjee, Arnab; Nagle, Advait; Stasiak, Marcin; Charman, Susan A.; Angulo-Barturen, Iñigo; Ferrer, Santiago; Belén Jiménez-Díaz, María; Martínez, María Santos; Gamo, Francisco Javier; Avery, Vicky M.; Ruecker, Andrea; Delves, Michael; Kirk, Kiaran; Berriman, Matthew; Kortagere, Sandhya; Burrows, Jeremy; Fan, Erkang; Bergman, Lawrence W.
The quest for new antimalarial drugs, especially those with novel modes of action, is essential in the face of emerging drug-resistant parasites. Here we describe a new chemical class of molecules, pyrazoleamides, with potent activity against human malaria parasites and showing remarkably rapid parasite clearance in an in vivo model. Investigations involving pyrazoleamide-resistant parasites, whole-genome sequencing and gene transfers reveal that mutations in two proteins, a calcium-dependent protein kinase (PfCDPK5) and a P-type cation-ATPase (PfATP4), are necessary to impart full resistance to these compounds. A pyrazoleamide compound causes a rapid disruption of Na+ regulation in blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Similar effect on Na+ homeostasis was recently reported for spiroindolones, which are antimalarials of a chemical class quite distinct from pyrazoleamides. Our results reveal that disruption of Na+ homeostasis in malaria parasites is a promising mode of antimalarial action mediated by at least two distinct chemical classes. PMID:25422853
Sprenger, Janina; Svensson, Bo; Hålander, Jenny; Carey, Jannette; Persson, Lo; Al-Karadaghi, Salam
In this work, X-ray crystallography was used to examine ligand complexes of spermidine synthase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSpdS). The enzymes of the polyamine-biosynthesis pathway have been proposed to be promising drug targets in the treatment of malaria. Spermidine synthase (SpdS; putrescine aminopropyltransferase) catalyzes the transfer of the aminopropyl moiety from decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine to putrescine, leading to the formation of spermidine and 5′-methylthioadenosine (MTA). In this work, X-ray crystallography was used to examine ligand complexes of SpdS from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSpdS). Five crystal structures were determined of PfSpdS in complex with MTA and the substrate putrescine, with MTA and spermidine, which was obtained as a result of the enzymatic reaction taking place within the crystals, with dcAdoMet and the inhibitor 4-methylaniline, with MTA and 4-aminomethylaniline, and with a compound predicted in earlier in silico screening to bind to the active site of the enzyme, benzimidazol-(2-yl)pentan-1-amine (BIPA). In contrast to the other inhibitors tested, the complex with BIPA was obtained without any ligand bound to the dcAdoMet-binding site of the enzyme. The complexes with the aniline compounds and BIPA revealed a new mode of ligand binding to PfSpdS. The observed binding mode of the ligands, and the interplay between the two substrate-binding sites and the flexible gatekeeper loop, can be used in the design of new approaches in the search for new inhibitors of SpdS
Sprenger, Janina [Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Lund University, SE-221 84 Lund (Sweden); Svensson, Bo [Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); SARomics Biostructures AB, Box 724, SE-220 07 Lund (Sweden); Hålander, Jenny [Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Carey, Jannette [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (United States); Persson, Lo [Lund University, SE-221 84 Lund (Sweden); Al-Karadaghi, Salam, E-mail: email@example.com [Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden)
In this work, X-ray crystallography was used to examine ligand complexes of spermidine synthase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSpdS). The enzymes of the polyamine-biosynthesis pathway have been proposed to be promising drug targets in the treatment of malaria. Spermidine synthase (SpdS; putrescine aminopropyltransferase) catalyzes the transfer of the aminopropyl moiety from decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine to putrescine, leading to the formation of spermidine and 5′-methylthioadenosine (MTA). In this work, X-ray crystallography was used to examine ligand complexes of SpdS from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSpdS). Five crystal structures were determined of PfSpdS in complex with MTA and the substrate putrescine, with MTA and spermidine, which was obtained as a result of the enzymatic reaction taking place within the crystals, with dcAdoMet and the inhibitor 4-methylaniline, with MTA and 4-aminomethylaniline, and with a compound predicted in earlier in silico screening to bind to the active site of the enzyme, benzimidazol-(2-yl)pentan-1-amine (BIPA). In contrast to the other inhibitors tested, the complex with BIPA was obtained without any ligand bound to the dcAdoMet-binding site of the enzyme. The complexes with the aniline compounds and BIPA revealed a new mode of ligand binding to PfSpdS. The observed binding mode of the ligands, and the interplay between the two substrate-binding sites and the flexible gatekeeper loop, can be used in the design of new approaches in the search for new inhibitors of SpdS.
Sciences, Bethesda, MD, ...... 14. ABSTRACT Plasmodium falciparum is a highly lethal malaria parasite of humans. A major portion of its life cycle is...parasite of humans. A major portion of its life cycle is dedicated to invading and multiplying inside erythrocytes. The molecular mechanisms of...Complement Receptor 1 Is a Sialic Acid-Independent Erythrocyte Receptor of Plasmodium falciparum Carmenza Spadafora1,2,3, Gordon A. Awandare4
Gupta, Sangeeta; Gunter, James T; Novak, Robert J; Regens, James L
This study describes patterns of falciparum and vivax malaria in a private comprehensive-care, multi-specialty hospital in New Delhi from July 2006 to July 2008. Malarial morbidity by Plasmodium species (Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, or Plasmodium sp.) was confirmed using microscopy and antigen tests. The influence of seasonal factors and selected patient demographics on morbidity was evaluated. The proportions of malaria cases caused by P. falciparum at the private facility were compared to data from India's National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) during the same period for the Delhi region. In New Delhi, P. faciparum was the dominant cause of cases requiring treatment in the private hospital during the period examined. The national data reported a smaller proportion of malaria cases caused by P. falciparum in the national capital region than was observed in a private facility within the region. Plasmodium vivax also caused a large proportion of the cases presenting clinically at the private hospital during the summer and monsoon seasons. The proportion of P. falciparum malaria cases tends to be greatest during the post-monsoon season while the proportion of P. vivax malaria cases tends to be greatest in the monsoon season. Private hospital data demonstrate an under-reporting of malaria case incidences in the data from India's national surveillance programme during the same period for the national capital region.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exploits antigenic diversity and within-host antigenic variation to evade the host's immune system. Of particular importance are the highly polymorphic var genes that encode the family of cell surface antigens PfEMP1 (Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1. It has recently been shown that in spite of their extreme diversity, however, these genes fall into distinct groups according to chromosomal location or sequence similarity, and that recombination may be confined within these groups. Methods This study presents a mathematical analysis of how recombination hierarchies affect diversity, and, by using simple stochastic simulations, investigates how intra- and inter-genic diversity influence the rate at which individuals acquire clinical immunity. Results The analysis demonstrates that the partitioning of the var gene repertoire has a limiting effect on the total diversity attainable through recombination and that the limiting effect is strongly influenced by the respective sizes of each of the partitions. Furthermore, by associating expression of one of the groups with severe malaria it is demonstrated how a small number of infections can be sufficient to protect against disease despite a seemingly limitless number of possible non-identical repertoires. Conclusion Recombination hierarchies within the var gene repertoire of P. falciparum have a severe effect on strain diversity and the process of acquiring immunity against clinical malaria. Future studies will show how the existence of these recombining groups can offer an evolutionary advantage in spite of their restriction on diversity.
Soulard, Valérie; Bosson-Vanga, Henriette; Lorthiois, Audrey; Roucher, Clémentine; Franetich, Jean-François; Zanghi, Gigliola; Bordessoulles, Mallaury; Tefit, Maurel; Thellier, Marc; Morosan, Serban; Le Naour, Gilles; Capron, Frédérique; Suemizu, Hiroshi; Snounou, Georges; Moreno-Sabater, Alicia; Mazier, Dominique
Experimental studies of Plasmodium parasites that infect humans are restricted by their host specificity. Humanized mice offer a means to overcome this and further provide the opportunity to observe the parasites in vivo. Here we improve on previous protocols to achieve efficient double engraftment of TK-NOG mice by human primary hepatocytes and red blood cells. Thus, we obtain the complete hepatic development of P. falciparum, the transition to the erythrocytic stages, their subsequent multiplication, and the appearance of mature gametocytes over an extended period of observation. Furthermore, using sporozoites derived from two P. ovale-infected patients, we show that human hepatocytes engrafted in TK-NOG mice sustain maturation of the liver stages, and the presence of late-developing schizonts indicate the eventual activation of quiescent parasites. Thus, TK-NOG mice are highly suited for in vivo observations on the Plasmodium species of humans.
Jakobsen, P H; Morris-Jones, S D; Hviid, L
Plasma levels of antibodies against phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylcholine (PC) and cardiolipin (CL) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in patients from malaria endemic area of Sudan and The Gambia. Some Sudanese adults produced IgM antibodies against all three types...... of phospholipids (PL) during an acute Plasmodium falciparum infection. The anti-PL antibody titre returned to preinfection levels in most of the donors 30 days after the disease episode. IgG titres against PI, PC and CL were low. In Gambian children with malaria, IgM antibody titres against PI and PC were...... significantly higher in those with severe malaria than in those with mild malaria. These results show that a proportion of malaria patients produce anti-PL antibodies during infection and that titres of these antibodies are associated with the severity of disease....
Miotto, Olivo; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Manske, Magnus; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Campino, Susana; Rockett, Kirk A; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Lim, Pharath; Suon, Seila; Sreng, Sokunthea; Anderson, Jennifer M; Duong, Socheat; Nguon, Chea; Chuor, Char Meng; Saunders, David; Se, Youry; Lon, Chantap; Fukuda, Mark M; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Hodgson, Abraham VO; Asoala, Victor; Imwong, Mallika; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Nosten, Francois; Su, Xin-zhuan; Ringwald, Pascal; Ariey, Frédéric; Dolecek, Christiane; Hien, Tran Tinh; Boni, Maciej F; Thai, Cao Quang; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Alcock, Daniel; Drury, Eleanor; Auburn, Sarah; Koch, Oliver; Sanders, Mandy; Hubbart, Christina; Maslen, Gareth; Ruano-Rubio, Valentin; Jyothi, Dushyanth; Miles, Alistair; O’Brien, John; Gamble, Chris; Oyola, Samuel O; Rayner, Julian C; Newbold, Chris I; Berriman, Matthew; Spencer, Chris CA; McVean, Gilean; Day, Nicholas P; White, Nicholas J; Bethell, Delia; Dondorp, Arjen M; Plowe, Christopher V; Fairhurst, Rick M; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P
We describe an analysis of genome variation in 825 Plasmodium falciparum samples from Asia and Africa that reveals an unusual pattern of parasite population structure at the epicentre of artemisinin resistance in western Cambodia. Within this relatively small geographical area we have discovered several distinct but apparently sympatric parasite subpopulations with extremely high levels of genetic differentiation. Of particular interest are three subpopulations, all associated with clinical resistance to artemisinin, which have skewed allele frequency spectra and remarkably high levels of haplotype homozygosity, indicative of founder effects and recent population expansion. We provide a catalogue of SNPs that show high levels of differentiation in the artemisinin-resistant subpopulations, including codon variants in various transporter proteins and DNA mismatch repair proteins. These data provide a population genetic framework for investigating the biological origins of artemisinin resistance and for defining molecular markers to assist its elimination. PMID:23624527
Guizetti, Julien; Martins, Rafael Miyazawa; Guadagnini, Stéphanie; Claes, Aurélie; Scherf, Artur
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum modifies the erythrocyte it infects by exporting variant proteins to the host cell surface. The var gene family that codes for a large, variant adhesive surface protein called P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) plays a particular role in this process, which is linked to pathogenesis and immune evasion. A single member of this gene family is highly transcribed while the other 59 members remain silenced. Importantly, var gene transcription occurs at a spatially restricted, but yet undefined, perinuclear site that is distinct from repressed var gene clusters. To advance our understanding of monoallelic expression, we investigated whether nuclear pores associate with the var gene expression site. To this end, we studied the nuclear pore organization during the asexual blood stage using a specific antibody directed against a subunit of the nuclear pore, P. falciparum Nup116 (PfNup116). Ring and schizont stage parasites showed highly polarized nuclear pore foci, whereas in trophozoite stage nuclear pores redistributed over the entire nuclear surface. Colocalization studies of var transcripts and anti-PfNup116 antibodies showed clear dissociation between nuclear pores and the var gene expression site in ring stage. Similar results were obtained for another differentially transcribed perinuclear gene family, the ribosomal DNA units. Furthermore, we show that in the poised state, the var gene locus is not physically linked to nuclear pores. Our results indicate that P. falciparum does form compartments of high transcriptional activity at the nuclear periphery which are, unlike the case in yeast, devoid of nuclear pores.
Full Text Available Conventional autophagy is a lysosome-dependent degradation process that has crucial homeostatic and regulatory functions in eukaryotic organisms. As malaria parasites must dispose a number of self and host cellular contents, we investigated if autophagy in malaria parasites is similar to the conventional autophagy. Genome wide analysis revealed a partial autophagy repertoire in Plasmodium, as homologs for only 15 of the 33 yeast autophagy proteins could be identified, including the autophagy marker Atg8. To gain insights into autophagy in malaria parasites, we investigated Plasmodium falciparum Atg8 (PfAtg8 employing techniques and conditions that are routinely used to study autophagy. Atg8 was similarly expressed and showed punctate localization throughout the parasite in both asexual and sexual stages; it was exclusively found in the pellet fraction as an integral membrane protein, which is in contrast to the yeast or mammalian Atg8 that is distributed among cytosolic and membrane fractions, and suggests for a constitutive autophagy. Starvation, the best known autophagy inducer, decreased PfAtg8 level by almost 3-fold compared to the normally growing parasites. Neither the Atg8-associated puncta nor the Atg8 expression level was significantly altered by treatment of parasites with routinely used autophagy inhibitors (cysteine (E64 and aspartic (pepstatin protease inhibitors, the kinase inhibitor 3-methyladenine, and the lysosomotropic agent chloroquine, indicating an atypical feature of autophagy. Furthermore, prolonged inhibition of the major food vacuole protease activity by E64 and pepstatin did not cause accumulation of the Atg8-associated puncta in the food vacuole, suggesting that autophagy is primarily not meant for degradative function in malaria parasites. Atg8 showed partial colocalization with the apicoplast; doxycycline treatment, which disrupts apicoplast, did not affect Atg8 localization, suggesting a role, but not exclusive, in
Farrance, C.E.; Rhee, A.; Jones, R.M.; Musiychuk, K.; Shamloul, M.; Sharma, S.; Mett, V.; Chichester, J.A.; Streatfield, S.J.; Roeffen, W.F.G.; Vegte-Bolmer, M.G. van de; Sauerwein, R.W.; Tsuboi, T.; Muratova, O.V.; Wu, Y.; Yusibov, V.
Plasmodium falciparum is transmitted to a new host after completing its sexual cycle within a mosquito. Developing vaccines against the parasite sexual stages is a critical component in the fight against malaria. We are targeting multiple proteins of P. falciparum which are found only on the
Peek, Ron; van Gool, Tom; Panchoe, Daynand; Greve, Sophie; Bus, Ellen; Resida, Lesley
Plasmodium falciparum in Suriname was studied for the presence of drug resistance and genetic variation in blood samples of 86 patients with symptomatic malaria. Drug resistance was predicted by determining point mutations in the chloroquine resistance marker of the P. falciparum chloroquine
Feldmann, A.M.; Gemert, Geert-Jan van; Vegte-Bolmer, Marga G. van de; Jansen, Ritsert C.
We previously selected a line of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles stephensi refractory (resistant) to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, using in vitro infections with P. falciparum gametocytes. This report presents data on the genetic background of refractoriness. The results of
Schmid, Christoph D.; Bühlmann, Tobias; Louis, Edward J.; Beck, Hans-Peter
One of the major virulence factors of the malaria causing parasite is the Plasmodium falciparum encoded erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). It is translocated to It the membrane of infected erythrocytes and expressed from approximately 60 var genes in a mutually exclusive manner. Switching of var genes allows the parasite to alter functional and antigenic properties of infected erythrocytes, to escape the immune defense and to establish chronic infections. We have developed an efficient method for isolating VAR genes from telomeric and other genome locations by adapting transformation-associated recombination (TAR) cloning, which can then be analyzed and sequenced. For this purpose, three plasmids each containing a homologous sequence representing the upstream regions of the group A, B, and C var genes and a sequence homologous to the conserved acidic terminal segment (ATS) of var genes were generated. Co-transfection with P. falciparum strain ITG2F6 genomic DNA in yeast cells yielded 200 TAR clones. The relative frequencies of clones from each group were not biased. Clones were screened by PCR, as well as Southern blotting, which revealed clones missed by PCR due to sequence mismatches with the primers. Selected clones were transformed into E. coli and further analyzed by RFLP and end sequencing. Physical analysis of 36 clones revealed 27 distinct types potentially representing 50% of the var gene repertoire. Three clones were selected for sequencing and assembled into single var gene containing contigs. This study demonstrates that it is possible to rapidly obtain the repertoire of var genes from P. falciparum within a single set of cloning experiments. This technique can be applied to individual isolates which will provide a detailed picture of the diversity of var genes in the field. This is a powerful tool to overcome the obstacles with cloning and assembly of multi-gene families by simultaneously cloning each member. PMID:21408186
Miao, Jun; Li, Xiaolian; Cui, Liwang
Malaria parasite cloning is traditionally carried out mainly by using the limiting dilution method, which is laborious, imprecise, and unable to distinguish multiply-infected RBCs. In this study, we used a parasite engineered to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) to evaluate a single-cell sorting method for rapidly cloning Plasmodium falciparum. By dividing a two-dimensional scattergram from a cell sorter into 17 gates, we determined the parameters for isolating singly-infected erythrocytes and sorted them into individual cultures. Pre-gating of the engineered parasites for GFP allowed the isolation of almost 100% GFP-positive clones. Compared with the limiting dilution method, the number of parasite clones obtained by single-cell sorting was much higher. Molecular analyses showed that parasite isolates obtained by single-cell sorting were highly homogenous. This highly efficient single-cell sorting method should prove very useful for cloning both P. falciparum laboratory populations from genetic manipulation experiments and clinical samples. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Margaret J Mackinnon
Full Text Available Mechanisms for differential regulation of gene expression may underlie much of the phenotypic variation and adaptability of malaria parasites. Here we describe transcriptional variation among culture-adapted field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for most malarial disease. It was found that genes coding for parasite protein export into the red cell cytosol and onto its surface, and genes coding for sexual stage proteins involved in parasite transmission are up-regulated in field isolates compared with long-term laboratory isolates. Much of this variability was associated with the loss of small or large chromosomal segments, or other forms of gene copy number variation that are prevalent in the P. falciparum genome (copy number variants, CNVs. Expression levels of genes inside these segments were correlated to that of genes outside and adjacent to the segment boundaries, and this association declined with distance from the CNV boundary. This observation could not be explained by copy number variation in these adjacent genes. This suggests a local-acting regulatory role for CNVs in transcription of neighboring genes and helps explain the chromosomal clustering that we observed here. Transcriptional co-regulation of physical clusters of adaptive genes may provide a way for the parasite to readily adapt to its highly heterogeneous and strongly selective environment.
Kumar, Shiva; Mudeppa, Devaraja G; Sharma, Ambika; Mascarenhas, Anjali; Dash, Rashmi; Pereira, Ligia; Shaik, Riaz Basha; Maki, Jennifer N; White, John; Zuo, Wenyun; Tuljapurkar, Shripad; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Gomes, Edwin; Chery, Laura; Rathod, Pradipsinh K
Previous whole genome comparisons of Plasmodium falciparum populations have not included collections from the Indian subcontinent, even though two million Indians contract malaria and about 50,000 die from the disease every year. Stratification of global parasites has revealed spatial relatedness of parasite genotypes on different continents. Here, genomic analysis was further improved to obtain country-level resolution by removing var genes and intergenic regions from distance calculations. P. falciparum genomes from India were found to be most closely related to each other. Their nearest neighbors were from Bangladesh and Myanmar, followed by Thailand. Samples from the rest of Southeast Asia, Africa and South America were increasingly more distant, demonstrating a high-resolution genomic-geographic continuum. Such genome stratification approaches will help monitor variations of malaria parasites within South Asia and future changes in parasite populations that may arise from in-country and cross-border migrations. Copyright Â© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Miao, Jun; Li, Xiaolian; Cui, Liwang
Malaria parasite cloning is traditionally carried out mainly by using the limiting dilution method, which is laborious, imprecise, and unable to distinguish multiply-infected RBCs. In this study, we used a parasite engineered to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) to evaluate a single-cell sorting method for rapidly cloning Plasmodium falciparum. By dividing a two dimensional scattergram from a cell sorter into 17 gates, we determined the parameters for isolating singly-infected erythrocytes and sorted them into individual cultures. Pre-gating of the engineered parasites for GFP allowed the isolation of almost 100% GFP-positive clones. Compared with the limiting dilution method, the number of parasite clones obtained by single-cell sorting was much higher. Molecular analyses showed that parasite isolates obtained by single-cell sorting were highly homogenous. This highly efficient single-cell sorting method should prove very useful for cloning both P. falciparum laboratory populations from genetic manipulation experiments and clinical samples. PMID:20435038
Plaimas, Kitiporn; Wang, Yulin; Rotimi, Solomon O; Olasehinde, Grace; Fatumo, Segun; Lanzer, Michael; Adebiyi, Ezekiel; König, Rainer
Plasmodium falciparum (PF) is the most severe malaria parasite. It is developing resistance quickly to existing drugs making it indispensable to discover new drugs. Effective drugs have been discovered targeting metabolic enzymes of the parasite. In order to predict new drug targets, computational methods can be used employing database information of metabolism. Using this data, we performed recently a computational network analysis of metabolism of PF. We analyzed the topology of the network to find reactions which are sensitive against perturbations, i.e., when a single enzyme is blocked by drugs. We now used a refined network comprising also the host enzymes which led to a refined set of the five targets glutamyl-tRNA (gln) amidotransferase, hydroxyethylthiazole kinase, deoxyribose-phophate aldolase, pseudouridylate synthase, and deoxyhypusine synthase. It was shown elsewhere that glutamyl-tRNA (gln) amidotransferase of other microorganisms can be inhibited by 6-diazo-5-oxonorleucine. Performing a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) assay, we showed, that 6-diazo-5-oxonorleucine is also severely affecting viability of PF in blood plasma of the human host. We confirmed this by an in vivo study observing Plasmodium berghei infected mice. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Pathak, Vrushali; Colah, Roshan; Ghosh, Kanjaksha
The ABO blood group system is the most important blood group system in clinical practice. The relationship between Plasmodium falciparum and ABO blood groups has been studied for many years. This study was undertaken to investigate the abilities of different blood group erythrocytes to support in vitro growth of P. falciparum parasites. P. falciparum parasites of four different strains (3D7, 7G8, Dd2 and RKL9) were co-cultured with erythrocytes of blood group 'A', 'B', 'O' (n = 10 for each) and 'O(h)' (Bombay group) (n = 7) for 5 days. Statistically significant differences were observed on the fourth day among the mean percent parasitemias of 'O', non-'O' ('A' and 'B') and 'O(h)' group cultures. The parasitemias of four strains ranged from 12.23 to 14.66, 11.68 to 13.24, 16.89 to 22.3, and 7.37 to 11.27 % in 'A', 'B', 'O' and Bombay group cultures, respectively. As the expression of H antigen decreased from 'O' blood group to 'A' and 'B' and then to Bombay blood group, parasite invasion (percent parasitemia) also decreased significantly (p Ulex europaeus seeds. Mean percent parasitemia of lectin-treated cultures on the fourth day was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than that of non-treated cultures and was found to be similar with the mean percent parasitemia demonstrated by the Bombay group erythrocyte cultures, thus further strengthening the hypothesis.
Talman, Arthur M.; Blagborough, Andrew M.; Sinden, Robert E.
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria-related deaths. Tools allowing the study of the basic biology of P. falciparum throughout the life cycle are critical to the development of new strategies to target the parasite within both human and mosquito hosts. We here present 3D7HT-GFP, a strain of P. falciparum constitutively expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) throughout the life cycle, which has retained its capacity to complete spo...
Gavin J Wright
Full Text Available All the symptoms and pathology of malaria are caused by the intraerythrocytic stages of the Plasmodium parasite life cycle. Because Plasmodium parasites cannot replicate outside a host cell, their ability to recognize and invade erythrocytes is an essential step for both parasite survival and malaria pathogenesis. This makes invasion a conceptually attractive vaccine target, especially because it is one of the few stages when the parasite is directly exposed to the host humoral immune system. This apparent vulnerability, however, has been countered by the parasite, which has evolved sophisticated molecular mechanisms to evade the host immune response so that parasites asymptomatically replicate within immune individuals. These mechanisms include the expansion of parasite invasion ligands, resulting in multiple and apparently redundant invasion "pathways", highly polymorphic parasite surface proteins that are immunologically distinct, and parasite proteins which are poorly immunogenic. These formidable defences have so far thwarted attempts to develop an effective blood-stage vaccine, leading many to question whether there really is an exploitable chink in the parasite's immune evasion defences. Here, we review recent advances in the molecular understanding of the P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion field, discuss some of the challenges that have so far prevented the development of blood-stage vaccines, and conclude that the parasite invasion ligand RH5 represents an essential pinch point that might be vulnerable to vaccination.
Raquel M Gonçalves
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mechanisms by which humans regulate pro- and anti-inflammatory responses on exposure to different malaria parasites remains unclear. Although Plasmodium vivax usually causes a relatively benign disease, this parasite has been suggested to elicit more host inflammation per parasitized red blood cell than P. falciparum. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured plasma concentrations of seven cytokines and two soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α receptors, and evaluated clinical and laboratory outcomes, in Brazilians with acute uncomplicated infections with P. vivax (n = 85, P. falciparum (n = 30, or both species (n = 12, and in 45 asymptomatic carriers of low-density P. vivax infection. Symptomatic vivax malaria patients, compared to those infected with P. falciparum or both species, had more intense paroxysms, but they had no clear association with a pro-inflammatory imbalance. To the contrary, these patients had higher levels of the regulatory cytokine interleukin (IL-10, which correlated positively with parasite density, and elevated IL-10/TNF-α, IL-10/interferon (IFN-γ, IL-10/IL-6 and sTNFRII/TNF-α ratios, compared to falciparum or mixed-species malaria patient groups. Vivax malaria patients had the highest levels of circulating soluble TNF-α receptor sTNFRII. Levels of regulatory cytokines returned to normal values 28 days after P. vivax clearance following chemotherapy. Finally, asymptomatic carriers of low P. vivax parasitemias had substantially lower levels of both inflammatory and regulatory cytokines than did patients with clinical malaria due to either species. CONCLUSIONS: Controlling fast-multiplying P. falciparum blood stages requires a strong inflammatory response to prevent fulminant infections, while reducing inflammation-related tissue damage with early regulatory cytokine responses may be a more cost-effective strategy in infections with the less virulent P. vivax parasite. The early induction
Full Text Available Introducción. Los estadios sexuales de Plasmodium falciparum han sido menos estudiados que los estadios asexuales. Al parecer, esto se debe a la carencia de cultivos estandarizados in vitro y a la dificultad de reconocer sus estadios de desarrollo. Estos hechos no permiten el estudio de aspectos biológicos, aspectos metabólicos, expresión de genes y síntesis de proteínas durante los estadios sexuales, temas de interés en la investigación de nuevos medicamentos antipalúdicos, principalmente los aislados de plantas, y la identificación de un potencial blanco contra Plasmodium. Objetivos. Establecer un cultivo in vitro de gametocitos, con la identificación de sus cinco estadios de desarrollo, y asegurar su continua producción. Materiales y métodos. El cultivo in vitro de gametocitos se realizó a partir de la cepa NF54 de P. falciparum en medio RPMI, con determinación de la parasitemia asexual y sexual, adición de glóbulos rojos A-Rh+ sólo el primer día de cultivo y cambio diario del medio con adición de mezcla de gases (90% N2, 5% O2; 5% CO2, asegurándose que el cultivo se mantuviera a 37 °C. Cuando la parasitemia asexual estuvo entre 3% y 5%, se comenzó a agregar el doble de volumen de medio. Resultados. Se obtuvieron gametocitos en estadios I, II y III a partir del día 11 de cultivo y estadios IV y V a partir del día 14 de cultivo. Conclusiones. Se estandarizó un cultivo in vitro para estadios sexuales de P. falciparum que puede usarse para futuros estudios de evaluación de compuestos, naturales o sintéticos, que actúen sobre los gametocitos, lo cual podría permitir el desarrollo de nuevas estrategias de control contra el paludismo.
Chinappi, Mauro; Via, Allegra; Marcatili, Paolo; Tramontano, Anna
Resistance to chloroquine of malaria strains is known to be associated with a parasite protein named PfCRT, the mutated form of which is able to reduce chloroquine accumulation in the digestive vacuole of the pathogen. Whether the protein mediates extrusion of the drug acting as a channel or as a carrier and which is the protonation state of its chloroquine substrate is the subject of a scientific debate. We present here an analytical approach that explores which combination of hypotheses on the mechanism of transport and the protonation state of chloroquine are consistent with available equilibrium experimental data. We show that the available experimental data are not, by themselves, sufficient to conclude whether the protein acts as a channel or as a transporter, which explains the origin of their different interpretation by different authors. Interestingly, though, each of the two models is only consistent with a subset of hypotheses on the protonation state of the transported molecule. The combination of these results with a sequence and structure analysis of PfCRT, which strongly suggests that the molecule is a carrier, indicates that the transported species is either or both the mono and di-protonated forms of chloroquine. We believe that our results, besides shedding light on the mechanism of chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum, have implications for the development of novel therapies against resistant malaria strains and demonstrate the usefulness of an approach combining systems biology strategies with structural bioinformatics and experimental data.
Resistance to chloroquine of malaria strains is known to be associated with a parasite protein named PfCRT, the mutated form of which is able to reduce chloroquine accumulation in the digestive vacuole of the pathogen. Whether the protein mediates extrusion of the drug acting as a channel or as a carrier and which is the protonation state of its chloroquine substrate is the subject of a scientific debate. We present here an analytical approach that explores which combination of hypotheses on the mechanism of transport and the protonation state of chloroquine are consistent with available equilibrium experimental data. We show that the available experimental data are not, by themselves, sufficient to conclude whether the protein acts as a channel or as a transporter, which explains the origin of their different interpretation by different authors. Interestingly, though, each of the two models is only consistent with a subset of hypotheses on the protonation state of the transported molecule. The combination of these results with a sequence and structure analysis of PfCRT, which strongly suggests that the molecule is a carrier, indicates that the transported species is either or both the mono and di-protonated forms of chloroquine. We believe that our results, besides shedding light on the mechanism of chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum, have implications for the development of novel therapies against resistant malaria strains and demonstrate the usefulness of an approach combining systems biology strategies with structural bioinformatics and experimental data.
Marcatili, Paolo; Tramontano, Anna
Resistance to chloroquine of malaria strains is known to be associated with a parasite protein named PfCRT, the mutated form of which is able to reduce chloroquine accumulation in the digestive vacuole of the pathogen. Whether the protein mediates extrusion of the drug acting as a channel or as a carrier and which is the protonation state of its chloroquine substrate is the subject of a scientific debate. We present here an analytical approach that explores which combination of hypotheses on the mechanism of transport and the protonation state of chloroquine are consistent with available equilibrium experimental data. We show that the available experimental data are not, by themselves, sufficient to conclude whether the protein acts as a channel or as a transporter, which explains the origin of their different interpretation by different authors. Interestingly, though, each of the two models is only consistent with a subset of hypotheses on the protonation state of the transported molecule. The combination of these results with a sequence and structure analysis of PfCRT, which strongly suggests that the molecule is a carrier, indicates that the transported species is either or both the mono and di-protonated forms of chloroquine. We believe that our results, besides shedding light on the mechanism of chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum, have implications for the development of novel therapies against resistant malaria strains and demonstrate the usefulness of an approach combining systems biology strategies with structural bioinformatics and experimental data. PMID:21124966
Gupta, Mohit Kumar; Agarawal, Meetu; Banu, Khadija; Reddy, K Sony; Gaur, Deepak; Dhar, Suman Kumar
Nucleosome assembly in P. falciparum could be the key process in maintaining its genomic integrity as DNA replicates more than once per cell cycle during several stages of its life cycle. Here, we report the functional characterization of P. falciparum chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF1), which interacts with several proteins namely PfCAF2, Histones, PfHP1 and others. Consistent with the above findings, we demonstrate the presence of PfCAF1 at the telomeric repeat regions, central and subtelomeric var genes of multiple var gene family along with PfHP1. Further, we report the upregulation of PfCAF1 after treatment with genotoxic agents like MMS and HU. Together, these findings establish role of PfCAF1 in heterochromatin maintenance and as histone chaperone in nucleosome assembly and DNA damage repair. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
González-Bacerio, Jorge; Maluf, Sarah El Chamy; Méndez, Yanira; Pascual, Isel; Florent, Isabelle; Melo, Pollyana M S; Budu, Alexandre; Ferreira, Juliana C; Moreno, Ernesto; Carmona, Adriana K; Rivera, Daniel G; Alonso Del Rivero, Maday; Gazarini, Marcos L
Malaria is a global human parasitic disease mainly caused by the protozoon Plasmodium falciparum. Increased parasite resistance to current drugs determines the relevance of finding new treatments against new targets. A novel target is the M1 alanyl-aminopeptidase from P. falciparum (PfA-M1), which is essential for parasite development in human erythrocytes and is inhibited by the pseudo-peptide bestatin. In this work, we used a combinatorial multicomponent approach to produce a library of peptidomimetics and screened it for the inhibition of recombinant PfA-M1 (rPfA-M1) and the in vitro growth of P. falciparum erythrocytic stages (3D7 and FcB1 strains). Dose-response studies with selected compounds allowed identifying the bestatin-based peptidomimetic KBE009 as a submicromolar rPfA-M1 inhibitor (K i =0.4μM) and an in vitro antimalarial compound as potent as bestatin (IC 50 =18μM; without promoting erythrocyte lysis). At therapeutic-relevant concentrations, KBE009 is selective for rPfA-M1 over porcine APN (a model of these enzymes from mammals), and is not cytotoxic against HUVEC cells. Docking simulations indicate that this compound binds PfA-M1 without Zn 2+ coordination, establishing mainly hydrophobic interactions and showing a remarkable shape complementarity with the active site of the enzyme. Moreover, KBE009 inhibits the M1-type aminopeptidase activity (Ala-7-amido-4-methylcoumarin substrate) in isolated live parasites with a potency similar to that of the antimalarial activity (IC 50 =82μM), strongly suggesting that the antimalarial effect is directly related to the inhibition of the endogenous PfA-M1. These results support the value of this multicomponent strategy to identify PfA-M1 inhibitors, and make KBE009 a promising hit for drug development against malaria. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Farcas, Gabriella A; Soeller, Rainer; Zhong, Kathleen; Zahirieh, Alireza; Kain, Kevin C
Imported drug-resistant malaria is a growing problem in industrialized countries. Rapid and accurate diagnosis is essential to prevent malaria-associated mortality in returned travelers. However, outside of a limited number of specialized centers, the microscopic diagnosis of malaria is slow, unreliable, and provides little information about drug resistance. Molecular diagnostics have the potential to overcome these limitations. We developed and evaluated a rapid, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect Plasmodium falciparum malaria and chloroquine (CQ)-resistance determinants in returned travelers who are febrile. A real-time PCR assay based on detection of the K76T mutation in PfCRT (K76T) of P. falciparum was developed on a LightCycler platform (Roche). The performance characteristics of the real-time assay were compared with those of the nested PCR-restriction fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP) and the sequence analyses of samples obtained from 200 febrile returned travelers, who included 125 infected with P. falciparum (48 of whom were infected CQ-susceptible [K76] and 77 of whom were CQ-resistant [T76] P. falciparum), 22 infected with Plasmodium vivax, 10 infected with Plasmodium ovale, 3 infected with Plasmodium malariae malaria, and 40 infected with other febrile syndromes. All patient samples were coded, and all analyses were performed blindly. The real-time PCR assay detected multiple pfcrt haplotypes associated with CQ resistance in geographically diverse malaria isolates acquired by travelers. Compared with nested-PCR RFLP (the reference standard), the real-time assay was 100% sensitive and 96.2% specific for detection of the P. falciparum K76T mutation. This assay is rapid, sensitive, and specific for the detection and characterization of CQ-resistant P. falciparum malaria in returned travelers. This assay is automated, standardized, and suitable for routine use in clinical diagnostic laboratories.
Sanjay Kumar Singh
Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum, the deadly protozoan parasite, causes malaria. Malaria remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world. The RNA-Seq data sets were downloaded from NCBI Short Read Archive under accession number SRP009370 for our analysis. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs between Ring (R and early trophozoite (ET, late trophozoite (LT, schizont (Sc, gametocyte stages (GII, gametocyte stages (GV, ookinete (Oo stages are 2442, 2796, 2935, 2807, 2180, 2895 respectively. There are total 4594 unique DEGs in the samples. DAVID was used to categorize enriched biological themes in the list of DEGs. It can be seen that main functions related to GO term ‘Biological Process’ are antigenic variation, pathogenesis, single organismal cell-cell adhesion, GO term ‘Cellular Component’ are host cell plasma membrane, infected host cell surface knob and GO term ‘Molecular Function’ are cell adhesion molecule binding, ATP-dependent RNA helicase activity. We found that PF3D7_1000400, PF3D7_1000600, PF3D7_0900500, PF3D7_0901500, PF3D7_0937400 were most up regulated and PF3D7_0632800, PF3D7_0711700, PF3D7_0712400, PF3D7_0712600, PF3D7_0712900, PF3D7_0808600 and PF3D7_0808700 were most down regulated genes involved in antigenic variation. Also PF3D7_0930300 was most up-regulated in Sc, LT and Oo stages and PF3D7_0936500 was most up-regulated in GV stage and PF3D7_0632800, PF3D7_0711700, PF3D7_0712400, PF3D7_0712600, PF3D7_0712900, PF3D7_0808600, PF3D7_0808700 were most down regulated genes involved in pathogenesis. A total of 300 pathways were predicted using KAAS server. Majority of the DEGs were found to be associated with important biological pathways such as metabolic pathways, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, ribosome, spliceosome, biosynthesis of antibiotics, purine metabolism.
Price Ric N
Full Text Available Abstract Background Accurate diagnosis of Plasmodium spp. is essential for the rational treatment of malaria. Despite its many disadvantages, microscopic examination of blood smears remains the current "gold standard" for malaria detection and speciation. PCR assays offer an alternative to microscopy which has been shown to have superior sensitivity and specificity. Unfortunately few comparative studies have been done on the various molecular based speciation methods. Methods The sensitivity, specificity and cost effectiveness of three molecular techniques were compared for the detection and speciation of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax from dried blood spots collected from 136 patients in western Thailand. The results from the three molecular speciation techniques (nested PCR, multiplex PCR, and real-time PCR were used to develop a molecular consensus (two or more identical PCR results as an alternative gold standard. Results According to the molecular consensus, 9.6% (13/136 of microscopic diagnoses yielded false negative results. Multiplex PCR failed to detect P. vivax in three mixed isolates, and the nested PCR gave a false positive P. falciparum result in one case. Although the real-time PCR melting curve analysis was the most expensive method, it was 100% sensitive and specific and least time consuming of the three molecular techniques investigated. Conclusion Although microscopy remains the most appropriate method for clinical diagnosis in a field setting, its use as a gold standard may result in apparent false positive results by superior techniques. Future studies should consider using more than one established molecular methods as a new gold standard to assess novel malaria diagnostic kits and PCR assays.
Sriwilaijaroen, N.; Boonma, S.; Attasart, P.; Pothikasikorn, J.; Panyim, S.; Noonpakdee, W.
Acetylation and deacetylation of histones play important roles in transcription regulation, cell cycle progression and development events. The steady state status of histone acetylation is controlled by a dynamic equilibrium between competing histone acetylase and deacetylase (HDAC). We have used long PfHDAC-1 double-stranded (ds)RNA to interfere with its cognate mRNA expression and determined the effect on malaria parasite growth and development. Chloroquine- and pyrimethamine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum K1 strain was exposed to 1-25 μg of dsRNA/ml of culture for 48 h and growth was determined by [ 3 H]-hypoxanthine incorporation and microscopic examination. Parasite culture treated with 10 μg/ml pfHDAC-1 dsRNA exhibited 47% growth inhibition when compared with either untreated control or culture treated with an unrelated dsRNA. PfHDAC-1 dsRNA specifically blocked maturation of trophozoite to schizont stages and decreased PfHDAC-1 transcript 44% in treated trophozoites. These results indicate the potential of HDAC-1 as a target for development of novel antimalarials.
Ursing, Johan; Rombo, Lars; Bergqvist, Yngve
BACKGROUND: Due to development of multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum new antimalarial therapies are needed. In Guinea-Bissau, routinely used triple standard-dose chloroquine remained effective for decades despite the existence of "chloroquine-resistant" P. falciparum. This study aimed...... to determine the in vivo efficacy of higher chloroquine concentrations against P. falciparum with resistance-conferring genotypes. METHODS: Standard or double-dose chloroquine was given to 892 children aged ...-up. The P. falciparum resistance-conferring genotype (pfcrt 76T) and day 7 chloroquine concentrations were determined. Data were divided into age groups (chloroquine is prescribed according to body weight. RESULTS: Adequate clinical...
Noor, Abdisalan M; Clements, Archie C A; Gething, Peter W; Moloney, Grainne; Borle, Mohammed; Shewchuk, Tanya; Hay, Simon I; Snow, Robert W
Maps of malaria distribution are vital for optimal allocation of resources for anti-malarial activities. There is a lack of reliable contemporary malaria maps in endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This problem is particularly acute in low malaria transmission countries such as those located in the horn of Africa. Data from a national malaria cluster sample survey in 2005 and routine cluster surveys in 2007 were assembled for Somalia. Rapid diagnostic tests were used to examine the presence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in finger-prick blood samples obtained from individuals across all age-groups. Bayesian geostatistical models, with environmental and survey covariates, were used to predict continuous maps of malaria prevalence across Somalia and to define the uncertainty associated with the predictions. For analyses the country was divided into north and south. In the north, the month of survey, distance to water, precipitation and temperature had no significant association with P. falciparum prevalence when spatial correlation was taken into account. In contrast, all the covariates, except distance to water, were significantly associated with parasite prevalence in the south. The inclusion of covariates improved model fit for the south but not for the north. Model precision was highest in the south. The majority of the country had a predicted prevalence of or = 5% prevalence were predominantly in the south. The maps showed that malaria transmission in Somalia varied from hypo- to meso-endemic. However, even after including the selected covariates in the model, there still remained a considerable amount of unexplained spatial variation in parasite prevalence, indicating effects of other factors not captured in the study. Nonetheless the maps presented here provide the best contemporary information on malaria prevalence in Somalia.
Full Text Available Abstract Background In areas where malaria is endemic, pregnancy is associated with increased susceptibility to malaria. It is generally agreed that this risk ends with delivery and decreases with the number of pregnancies. Our study aimed to demonstrate relationships between malarial parasitaemia and age, gravidity and anaemia in pregnant women in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon. Methods Peripheral blood was collected from 311 primigravidae and women in their second pregnancy. Thick blood smears were checked, as were the results of haemoglobin electrophoresis. We also looked for the presence of anaemia, fever, and checked whether the volunteers had had chemoprophylaxis. The study was performed in Gabon where malaria transmission is intense and perennial. Results A total of 177 women (57% had microscopic parasitaemia; 139 (64%of them were primigravidae, 38 (40% in their second pregnancy and 180 (64% were teenagers. The parasites densities were also higher in primigravidae and teenagers. The prevalence of anaemia was 71% and was associated with microscopic Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia: women with moderate or severe anaemia had higher parasite prevalences and densities. However, the sickle cell trait, fever and the use of chemoprophylaxis did not have a significant association with the presence of P. falciparum. Conclusions These results suggest that the prevalence of malaria and the prevalence of anaemia, whether associated with malaria or not, are higher in pregnant women in Gabon. Primigravidae and young pregnant women are the most susceptible to infection. It is, therefore, urgent to design an effective regimen of malaria prophylaxis for this high risk population.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Maps of malaria distribution are vital for optimal allocation of resources for anti-malarial activities. There is a lack of reliable contemporary malaria maps in endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This problem is particularly acute in low malaria transmission countries such as those located in the horn of Africa. Methods Data from a national malaria cluster sample survey in 2005 and routine cluster surveys in 2007 were assembled for Somalia. Rapid diagnostic tests were used to examine the presence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in finger-prick blood samples obtained from individuals across all age-groups. Bayesian geostatistical models, with environmental and survey covariates, were used to predict continuous maps of malaria prevalence across Somalia and to define the uncertainty associated with the predictions. Results For analyses the country was divided into north and south. In the north, the month of survey, distance to water, precipitation and temperature had no significant association with P. falciparum prevalence when spatial correlation was taken into account. In contrast, all the covariates, except distance to water, were significantly associated with parasite prevalence in the south. The inclusion of covariates improved model fit for the south but not for the north. Model precision was highest in the south. The majority of the country had a predicted prevalence of Conclusion The maps showed that malaria transmission in Somalia varied from hypo- to meso-endemic. However, even after including the selected covariates in the model, there still remained a considerable amount of unexplained spatial variation in parasite prevalence, indicating effects of other factors not captured in the study. Nonetheless the maps presented here provide the best contemporary information on malaria prevalence in Somalia.
White, John; Mascarenhas, Anjali; Pereira, Ligia; Dash, Rashmi; Walke, Jayashri T; Gawas, Pooja; Sharma, Ambika; Manoharan, Suresh Kumar; Guler, Jennifer L; Maki, Jennifer N; Kumar, Ashwani; Mahanta, Jagadish; Valecha, Neena; Dubhashi, Nagesh; Vaz, Marina; Gomes, Edwin; Chery, Laura; Rathod, Pradipsinh K
Culture-adapted Plasmodium falciparum parasites can offer deeper understanding of geographic variations in drug resistance, pathogenesis and immune evasion. To help ground population-based calculations and inferences from culture-adapted parasites, the complete range of parasites from a study area must be well represented in any collection. To this end, standardized adaptation methods and determinants of successful in vitro adaption were sought. Venous blood was collected from 33 P. falciparum-infected individuals at Goa Medical College and Hospital (Bambolim, Goa, India). Culture variables such as whole blood versus washed blood, heat-inactivated plasma versus Albumax, and different starting haematocrit levels were tested on fresh blood samples from patients. In vitro adaptation was considered successful when two four-fold or greater increases in parasitaemia were observed within, at most, 33 days of attempted culture. Subsequently, parasites from the same patients, which were originally cryopreserved following blood draw, were retested for adaptability for 45 days using identical host red blood cells (RBCs) and culture media. At a new endemic area research site, ~65% of tested patient samples, with varied patient history and clinical presentation, were successfully culture-adapted immediately after blood collection. Cultures set up at 1% haematocrit and 0.5% Albumax adapted most rapidly, but no single test condition was uniformly fatal to culture adaptation. Success was not limited by low patient parasitaemia nor by patient age. Some parasites emerged even after significant delays in sample processing and even after initiation of treatment with anti-malarials. When 'day 0' cryopreserved samples were retested in parallel many months later using identical host RBCs and media, speed to adaptation appeared to be an intrinsic property of the parasites collected from individual patients. Culture adaptation of P. falciparum in a field setting is formally shown to be
Lilburn Timothy G
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
Zininga, Tawanda; Achilonu, Ikechukwu; Hoppe, Heinrich; Prinsloo, Earl; Dirr, Heini W; Shonhai, Addmore
The role of molecular chaperones, among them heat shock proteins (Hsps), in the development of malaria parasites has been well documented. Hsp70s are molecular chaperones that facilitate protein folding. Hsp70 proteins are composed of an N-terminal nucleotide binding domain (NBD), which confers them with ATPase activity and a C-terminal substrate binding domain (SBD). In the ADP-bound state, Hsp70 possesses high affinity for substrate and releases the folded substrate when it is bound to ATP. The two domains are connected by a conserved linker segment. Hsp110 proteins possess an extended lid segment, a feature that distinguishes them from canonical Hsp70s. Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-z (PfHsp70-z) is a member of the Hsp110 family of Hsp70-like proteins. PfHsp70-z is essential for survival of malaria parasites and is thought to play an important role as a molecular chaperone and nucleotide exchange factor of its cytosolic canonical Hsp70 counterpart, PfHsp70-1. Unlike PfHsp70-1 whose functions are fairly well established, the structure-function features of PfHsp70-z remain to be fully elucidated. In the current study, we established that PfHsp70-z possesses independent chaperone activity. In fact, PfHsp70-z appears to be marginally more effective in suppressing protein aggregation than its cytosol-localized partner, PfHsp70-1. Furthermore, based on coimmunoaffinity chromatography and surface plasmon resonance analyses, PfHsp70-z associated with PfHsp70-1 in a nucleotide-dependent fashion. Our findings suggest that besides serving as a molecular chaperone, PfHsp70-z could facilitate the nucleotide exchange function of PfHsp70-1. These dual functions explain why it is essential for parasite survival.
Full Text Available Immunity to severe malaria is the first level of immunity acquired to Plasmodium falciparum. Antibodies to the variant antigen PfEMP1 (P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 present at the surface of the parasitized red blood cell (pRBC confer protection by blocking microvascular sequestration. Here we have generated antibodies to peptide sequences of subdomain 2 of PfEMP1-DBL1α previously identified to be associated with severe or mild malaria. A set of sera generated to the amino acid sequence KLQTLTLHQVREYWWALNRKEVWKA, containing the motif ALNRKE, stained the live pRBC. 50% of parasites tested (7/14 were positive both in flow cytometry and immunofluorescence assays with live pRBCs including both laboratory strains and in vitro adapted clinical isolates. Antibodies that reacted selectively with the sequence REYWWALNRKEVWKA in a 15-mer peptide array of DBL1α-domains were also found to react with the pRBC surface. By utilizing a peptide array to map the binding properties of the elicited anti-DBL1α antibodies, the amino acids WxxNRx were found essential for antibody binding. Complementary experiments using 135 degenerate RDSM peptide sequences obtained from 93 Ugandan patient-isolates showed that antibody binding occurred when the amino acids WxLNRKE/D were present in the peptide. The data suggests that the ALNRKE sequence motif, associated with severe malaria, induces strain-transcending antibodies that react with the pRBC surface.
Guech-Ongey, Mercy; Yagi, Masanori; Palacpac, Nirianne Marie Q; Emmanuel, Benjamin; Talisuna, Ambrose O; Bhatia, Kishor; Stefan, D Cristina; Biggar, Robert J; Nkrumah, Francis; Neequaye, Janet; Tougan, Takahiro; Horii, Toshihiro; Mbulaiteye, Sam M
The role of protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria in Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is unknown. We investigated the association between BL and antibodies reactive to SE36 antigen, a recombinant protein based on P. falciparum serine repeat antigen 5 gene, targeted by protective malaria immune responses. Cases were children (0-14 years) enrolled at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana, during 1965-1994 with BL confirmed by histology or cytology (92% of cases). Controls were apparently healthy children enrolled contemporaneous to the cases from the nearest neighbor house to the case house and were age,- sex-frequency-matched to the cases. Anti-SE36 IgG antibodies were measured using enzyme-linked absorbent immunoassays (ELISAs). SE36 titers were estimated by extrapolating ELISA optical density readings to a standard fitting curve. Anti-SE36 titers were log-transformed for analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) and two-sided 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. The mean log endpoint dilution titers were 0.63 logs lower in cases than in controls (8.26 [SD 1.68] vs. 8.89 [SD 1.75], Student's t-test, p = 0.019). Lower titers were observed in cases than controls aged 0-4 years (p = 0.05) and in those aged 5-14 years (p = 0.06). Low and medium tertiles of anti-SE36 IgG antibodies were associated with increased OR for BL ([OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.21-2.31] and [OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.96-1.86], respectively, p(trend) = 0.002) in analyses adjusting for age, sex, calendar period and test plate. Our findings suggest that compared to similarly aged children enrolled from the same community, children with BL in Ghana have lower antibodies to SE36 antigen. Copyright © 2011 UICC.
Susannah F. Calhoun
Full Text Available The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum replicates within circulating red blood cells, where it is subjected to conditions that frequently cause DNA damage. The repair of DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs is thought to rely almost exclusively on homologous recombination (HR, due to a lack of efficient nonhomologous end joining. However, given that the parasite is haploid during this stage of its life cycle, the mechanisms involved in maintaining genome stability are poorly understood. Of particular interest are the subtelomeric regions of the chromosomes, which contain the majority of the multicopy variant antigen-encoding genes responsible for virulence and disease severity. Here, we show that parasites utilize a competitive balance between de novo telomere addition, also called “telomere healing,” and HR to stabilize chromosome ends. Products of both repair pathways were observed in response to DSBs that occurred spontaneously during routine in vitro culture or resulted from experimentally induced DSBs, demonstrating that both pathways are active in repairing DSBs within subtelomeric regions and that the pathway utilized was determined by the DNA sequences immediately surrounding the break. In combination, these two repair pathways enable parasites to efficiently maintain chromosome stability while also contributing to the generation of genetic diversity.
Full Text Available Severe malaria occurs predominantly in young children and immunity to clinical disease is associated with cumulative exposure in holoendemic settings. The relative contribution of immunity against various stages of the parasite life cycle that results in controlling infection and limiting disease is not well understood. Here we analyse the dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection after treatment in a cohort of 197 healthy study participants of different ages in order to model naturally acquired immunity. We find that both delayed time-to-infection and reductions in asymptomatic parasitaemias in older age groups can be explained by immunity that reduces the growth of blood stage as opposed to liver stage parasites. We found that this mechanism would require at least two components - a rapidly acting strain-specific component, as well as a slowly acquired cross-reactive or general immunity to all strains. Analysis and modelling of malaria infection dynamics and naturally acquired immunity with age provides important insights into what mechanisms of immune control may be harnessed by malaria vaccine strategists.
Rono, Martin K; Nyonda, Mary A; Simam, Joan J; Ngoi, Joyce M; Mok, Sachel; Kortok, Moses M; Abdullah, Abdullah S; Elfaki, Mohammed M; Waitumbi, John N; El-Hassan, Ibrahim M; Marsh, Kevin; Bozdech, Zbynek; Mackinnon, Margaret J
Success in eliminating malaria will depend on whether parasite evolution outpaces control efforts. Here, we show that Plasmodium falciparum parasites (the deadliest of the species causing human malaria) found in low-transmission-intensity areas have evolved to invest more in transmission to new hosts (reproduction) and less in within-host replication (growth) than parasites found in high-transmission areas. At the cellular level, this adaptation manifests as increased production of reproductive forms (gametocytes) early in the infection at the expense of processes associated with multiplication inside red blood cells, especially membrane transport and protein trafficking. At the molecular level, this manifests as changes in the expression levels of genes encoding epigenetic and translational machinery. Specifically, expression levels of the gene encoding AP2-G-the transcription factor that initiates reproduction-increase as transmission intensity decreases. This is accompanied by downregulation and upregulation of genes encoding HDAC1 and HDA1-two histone deacetylases that epigenetically regulate the parasite's replicative and reproductive life-stage programmes, respectively. Parasites in reproductive mode show increased reliance on the prokaryotic translation machinery found inside the plastid-derived organelles. Thus, our dissection of the parasite's adaptive regulatory architecture has identified new potential molecular targets for malaria control.
Mrema, J E; Campbell, G H; Jaramillo, A L; Miranda, R; Rieckmann, K H
Spontaneously released merozoites were harvested from cultures in which 42-90% of the erythrocytes had been infected with mature forms of Plasmodium falciparum at the start of incubation. The mature forms had been extracted from asynchronous cultures by the use of Ficoll and Plasmagel gradients. As the mature forms consisted of both trophozoites and schizonts, merozoites were released into the culture medium over a long period of time. The synchrony of merozoite release did not appear to be improved by prior exposure of parasites to sorbitol. Over this prolonged period of incubation, the yield of merozoites was disappointingly low in cultures containing 2.5% of erythrocytes. At erythrocyte concentrations of 0.01-0.25%, 3-10 times more merozoites were released into the medium; 0.4-2.3 merozoites per initial mature form were harvested over a 15-19-hour period. In addition to merozoites, contents of the culture medium included intact erythrocytes, ghost cells, and other cellular fragments. Only intact erythrocytes were effectively removed from the medium by simple or Ficoll gradient centrifugation. Merozoite preparations that are free from host cellular material are important in the development of a human malaria vaccine.
Niemand, J; Louw, A I; Birkholtz, L; Kirk, K
Polyamines and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis are present at high levels in rapidly proliferating cells, including cancer cells and protozoan parasites. Inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis in asexual blood-stage malaria parasites causes cytostatic arrest of parasite development under in vitro conditions, but does not cure infections in vivo. This may be due to replenishment of the parasite's intracellular polyamine pool via salvage of exogenous polyamines from the host. However, the mechanism(s) of polyamine uptake by the intraerythrocytic parasite are not well understood. In this study, the uptake of the polyamines, putrescine and spermidine, into Plasmodium falciparum parasites functionally isolated from their host erythrocyte was investigated using radioisotope flux techniques. Both putrescine and spermidine were taken up into isolated parasites via a temperature-dependent process that showed cross-competition between different polyamines. There was also some inhibition of polyamine uptake by basic amino acids. Inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis led to an increase in the total amount of putrescine and spermidine taken up from the extracellular medium. The uptake of putrescine and spermidine by isolated parasites was independent of extracellular Na(+) but increased with increasing external pH. Uptake also showed a marked dependence on the parasite's membrane potential, decreasing with membrane depolarization and increasing with membrane hyperpolarization. The data are consistent with polyamines being taken up into the parasite via an electrogenic uptake process, energised by the parasite's inwardly negative membrane potential. Copyright © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shams-Eldin, Hosam; Santos de Macedo, Cristiana; Niehus, Sebastian; Dorn, Caroline; Kimmel, Juergen; Azzouz, Nahid; Schwarz, Ralph T.
Dolichol phosphate mannose synthase (DPM) catalyzes the reaction between dolichol phosphate (Dol-P) and guanosine diphosphate mannose (GDP-Man) to form dolichol-phosphate-mannose (Dol-P-Man). This molecule acts as mannose donor for N-glycosylation and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) biosynthesis. The Plasmodium falciparum DPM1 (Pfdpm1) possesses a single predicted transmembrane region near the N-, but not the C-terminus. Here we show that the cloned Pfdpm1 gene failed to complement a Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant indicating that the parasite gene does not belong to the baker's yeast group, as was previously assumed. Furthermore, Pfdpm1 was unable to complement a mouse mutant deficient in DPM but efficiently complements the Schizosaccharomyces pombe fission yeast mutant, indicating a difference between fission yeast and mammalian DPM genes. Therefore, we reanalyzed the hydrophobicity scales of all known DPMs and consequently reclassify the DPM clade into six major novel subgroups. Furthermore, we show that Pfdpm1 represents a unique enzyme among these subgroups
Jakob M A Mauritz
Full Text Available The asexual reproduction cycle of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for severe malaria, occurs within red blood cells. A merozoite invades a red cell in the circulation, develops and multiplies, and after about 48 hours ruptures the host cell, releasing 15-32 merozoites ready to invade new red blood cells. During this cycle, the parasite increases the host cell permeability so much that when similar permeabilization was simulated on uninfected red cells, lysis occurred before approximately 48 h. So how could infected cells, with a growing parasite inside, prevent lysis before the parasite has completed its developmental cycle? A mathematical model of the homeostasis of infected red cells suggested that it is the wasteful consumption of host cell hemoglobin that prevents early lysis by the progressive reduction in the colloid-osmotic pressure within the host (the colloid-osmotic hypothesis. However, two critical model predictions, that infected cells would swell to near prelytic sphericity and that the hemoglobin concentration would become progressively reduced, remained controversial. In this paper, we are able for the first time to correlate model predictions with recent experimental data in the literature and explore the fine details of the homeostasis of infected red blood cells during five model-defined periods of parasite development. The conclusions suggest that infected red cells do reach proximity to lytic rupture regardless of their actual volume, thus requiring a progressive reduction in their hemoglobin concentration to prevent premature lysis.
BACKGROUND: Achieving adequate antimalarial drug exposure is essential for curing malaria. Day 7 blood or plasma lumefantrine concentrations provide a simple measure of drug exposure that correlates well with artemether-lumefantrine efficacy. However, the 'therapeutic' day 7 lumefantrine concentr......BACKGROUND: Achieving adequate antimalarial drug exposure is essential for curing malaria. Day 7 blood or plasma lumefantrine concentrations provide a simple measure of drug exposure that correlates well with artemether-lumefantrine efficacy. However, the 'therapeutic' day 7 lumefantrine......-lumefantrine for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria, to define therapeutic day 7 lumefantrine concentrations and identify patient factors that substantially alter these concentrations. A systematic review of PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, ClinicalTrials.gov and conference proceedings identified all relevant studies...... lumefantrine concentrations ≥200 ng/ml and high cure rates in most uncomplicated malaria patients. Three groups are at increased risk of treatment failure: very young children (particularly those underweight-for-age); patients with high parasitemias; and patients in very low transmission intensity areas...
Alyssa E Barry
Full Text Available Var genes encode the major surface antigen (PfEMP1 of the blood stages of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Differential expression of up to 60 diverse var genes in each parasite genome underlies immune evasion. We compared the diversity of the DBLalpha domain of var genes sampled from 30 parasite isolates from a malaria endemic area of Papua New Guinea (PNG and 59 from widespread geographic origins (global. Overall, we obtained over 8,000 quality-controlled DBLalpha sequences. Within our sampling frame, the global population had a total of 895 distinct DBLalpha "types" and negligible overlap among repertoires. This indicated that var gene diversity on a global scale is so immense that many genomes would need to be sequenced to capture its true extent. In contrast, we found a much lower diversity in PNG of 185 DBLalpha types, with an average of approximately 7% overlap among repertoires. While we identify marked geographic structuring, nearly 40% of types identified in PNG were also found in samples from different countries showing a cosmopolitan distribution for much of the diversity. We also present evidence to suggest that recombination plays a key role in maintaining the unprecedented levels of polymorphism found in these immune evasion genes. This population genomic framework provides a cost effective molecular epidemiological tool to rapidly explore the geographic diversity of var genes.
Day, Karen P; Artzy-Randrup, Yael; Tiedje, Kathryn E; Rougeron, Virginie; Chen, Donald S; Rask, Thomas S; Rorick, Mary M; Migot-Nabias, Florence; Deloron, Philippe; Luty, Adrian J F; Pascual, Mercedes
Existing theory on competition for hosts between pathogen strains has proposed that immune selection can lead to the maintenance of strain structure consisting of discrete, weakly overlapping antigenic repertoires. This prediction of strain theory has conceptual overlap with fundamental ideas in ecology on niche partitioning and limiting similarity between coexisting species in an ecosystem, which oppose the hypothesis of neutral coexistence. For Plasmodium falciparum , strain theory has been specifically proposed in relation to the major surface antigen of the blood stage, known as Pf EMP1 and encoded by the multicopy multigene family known as the var genes. Deep sampling of the DBLα domain of var genes in the local population of Bakoumba, West Africa, was completed to define whether patterns of repertoire overlap support a role of immune selection under the opposing force of high outcrossing, a characteristic of areas of intense malaria transmission. Using a 454 high-throughput sequencing protocol, we report extremely high diversity of the DBLα domain and a large parasite population with DBLα repertoires structured into nonrandom patterns of overlap. Such population structure, significant for the high diversity of var genes that compose it at a local level, supports the existence of "strains" characterized by distinct var gene repertoires. Nonneutral, frequency-dependent competition would be at play and could underlie these patterns. With a computational experiment that simulates an intervention similar to mass drug administration, we argue that the observed repertoire structure matters for the antigenic var diversity of the parasite population remaining after intervention.
Arróspide, Nancy; Hijar-Guerra, Gisely; de Mora, Doménica; Diaz-Cortéz, César Eduardo; Veloz-Perez, Raúl; Gutierrez, Sonia; Cabezas-Sánchez, César
The frequency of mutations in pfCRT and DHFR/DHPS genes of Plasmodium falciparum associated with resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine was evaluated in 83 strains from the districts of Esmeralda and Machala, located on the borders of Ecuador-Peru and Ecuador-Colombia in 2002. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), conventional and its variants, was used. Mutations in the pfCRT gene were found in more than 90% of the samples from Esmeralda and Machala. For the DHFR gene, 90% of the strains were mutant samples from Esmeralda, 3 were double mutations and 1 was a triple mutation. In Machala, 25% were simple mutant forms and 75% mixed mutant forms (wild forms/mutant). In conclusion, resistance to chloroquine has been fixed in strains carrying K76T pfCRT mutation, whereas genetic imprinting for resistance to pyrimethamine is evolving, particularly in the district of Esmeralda.
Krungkrai, Sudaratana R.; Tokuoka, Keiji; Kusakari, Yukiko; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Adachi, Hiroaki; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Kai, Yasushi; Krungkrai, Jerapan; Horii, Toshihiro
Orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase of human malaria parasite P. falciparum was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation. Orotidine 5′-monophosphate (OMP) decarboxylase (OMPDC; EC 126.96.36.199) catalyzes the final step in the de novo synthesis of uridine 5′-monophosphate (UMP) and defects in the enzyme are lethal in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Active recombinant P. falciparum OMPDC (PfOMPDC) was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation at the Swiss Light Source. The crystal exhibits trigonal symmetry (space group R3), with hexagonal unit-cell parameters a = b = 201.81, c = 44.03 Å. With a dimer in the asymmetric unit, the solvent content is 46% (V M = 2.3 Å 3 Da −1 )
Simpalipan, Phumin; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Harnyuttanakorn, Pongchai
Antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have been recommended by the World Health Organization for use in remote areas to improve malaria case management. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) of Plasmodium falciparum is one of the main parasite antigens employed by various commercial RDTs. It has been hypothesized that the poor detection of LDH-based RDTs is attributed in part to the sequence diversity of the gene. To test this, the present study aimed to investigate the genetic diversity of the P. falciparum ldh gene in Thailand and to construct the map of LDH sequence diversity in P. falciparum populations worldwide. The ldh gene was sequenced for 50 P. falciparum isolates in Thailand and compared with hundreds of sequences from P. falciparum populations worldwide. Several indices of molecular variation were calculated, including the proportion of polymorphic sites, the average nucleotide diversity index (π), and the haplotype diversity index (H). Tests of positive selection and neutrality tests were performed to determine signatures of natural selection on the gene. Mean genetic distance within and between species of Plasmodium ldh was analysed to infer evolutionary relationships. Nucleotide sequences of P. falciparum ldh could be classified into 9 alleles, encoding 5 isoforms of LDH. L1a was the most common allelic type and was distributed in P. falciparum populations worldwide. Plasmodium falciparum ldh sequences were highly conserved, with haplotype and nucleotide diversity values of 0.203 and 0.0004, respectively. The extremely low genetic diversity was maintained by purifying selection, likely due to functional constraints. Phylogenetic analysis inferred the close genetic relationship of P. falciparum to malaria parasites of great apes, rather than to other human malaria parasites. This study revealed the global genetic variation of the ldh gene in P. falciparum, providing knowledge for improving detection of LDH-based RDTs and supporting the candidacy of
Laporta, Gabriel Zorello; Burattini, Marcelo Nascimento; Levy, Debora; Fukuya, Linah Akemi; de Oliveira, Tatiane Marques Porangaba; Maselli, Luciana Morganti Ferreira; Conn, Jan Evelyn; Massad, Eduardo; Bydlowski, Sergio Paulo; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb
Recently an unexpectedly high prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum was found in asymptomatic blood donors living in the southeastern Brazilian Atlantic forest. The bromeliad-malaria paradigm assumes that transmission of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae involves species of the subgenus Kerteszia of Anopheles and only a few cases of P. vivax malaria are reported annually in this region. The expectations of this paradigm are a low prevalence of P. vivax and a null prevalence of P. falciparum. Therefore, the aim of this study was to verify if P. falciparum is actively circulating in the southeastern Brazilian Atlantic forest remains. In this study, anophelines were collected with Shannon and CDC-light traps in seven distinct Atlantic forest landscapes over a 4-month period. Field-collected Anopheles mosquitoes were tested by real-time PCR assay in pools of ten, and then each mosquito from every positive pool, separately for P. falciparum and P. vivax. Genomic DNA of P. falciparum or P. vivax from positive anophelines was then amplified by traditional PCR for sequencing of the 18S ribosomal DNA to confirm Plasmodium species. Binomial probabilities were calculated to identify non-random results of the P. falciparum-infected anopheline findings. The overall proportion of anophelines naturally infected with P. falciparum was 4.4% (21/480) and only 0.8% (4/480) with P. vivax. All of the infected mosquitoes were found in intermixed natural and human-modified environments and most were Anopheles cruzii (22/25 = 88%, 18 P. falciparum plus 4 P. vivax). Plasmodium falciparum was confirmed by sequencing in 76% (16/21) of positive mosquitoes, whereas P. vivax was confirmed in only 25% (1/4). Binomial probabilities suggest that P. falciparum actively circulates throughout the region and that there may be a threshold of the forested over human-modified environment ratio upon which the proportion of P. falciparum-infected anophelines increases significantly. These results
Freundlich, Joel S; Wang, Feng; Tsai, Han-Chun; Kuo, Mack; Shieh, Hong-Ming; Anderson, John W; Nkrumah, Louis J; Valderramos, Juan-Carlos; Yu, Min; Kumar, T R Santha; Valderramos, Stephanie G; Jacobs, William R; Schiehser, Guy A; Jacobus, David P; Fidock, David A; Sacchettini, James C
The x-ray crystal structures of five triclosan analogs, in addition to that of the isoniazid-NAD adduct, are described in relation to their integral role in the design of potent inhibitors of the malarial enzyme Plasmodium falciparum enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase (PfENR). Many of the novel 5-substituted analogs exhibit low micromolar potency against in vitro cultures of drug-resistant and drug-sensitive strains of the P. falciparum parasite and inhibit purified PfENR enzyme with IC50 values of <200 nM. This study has significantly expanded the knowledge base with regard to the structure-activity relationship of triclosan while affording gains against cultured parasites and purified PfENR enzyme. In contrast to a recent report in the literature, these results demonstrate the ability to improve the in vitro potency of triclosan significantly by replacing the suboptimal 5-chloro group with larger hydrophobic moieties. The biological and x-ray crystallographic data thus demonstrate the flexibility of the active site and point to future rounds of optimization to improve compound potency against purified enzyme and intracellular Plasmodium parasites.
Nguyen, Thuy-Nhien; von Seidlein, Lorenz; Nguyen, Tuong-Vy; Truong, Phuc-Nhi; Hung, Son Do; Pham, Huong-Thu; Nguyen, Tam-Uyen; Le, Thanh Dong; Dao, Van Hue; Mukaka, Mavuto; Day, Nicholas Pj; White, Nicholas J; Dondorp, Arjen M; Thwaites, Guy E; Hien, Tran Tinh
A substantial proportion of Plasmodium species infections are asymptomatic with densities too low to be detectable with standard diagnostic techniques. The importance of such asymptomatic plasmodium infections in malaria transmission is probably related to their duration and density. To explore the duration of asymptomatic plasmodium infections and changes in parasite densities over time, a cohort of participants who were infected with Plasmodium parasites was observed over a 2-year follow-up period. In this open cohort study, inhabitants of four villages in Vietnam were invited to participate in baseline and subsequent 3-monthly surveys up to 24 months, which included the collection of venous blood samples. Samples were batch-screened using ultra-sensitive (u)PCR (lower limit of detection of 22 parasites per mL). Participants found to be infected by uPCR during any of these surveys were invited to join a prospective cohort and provide monthly blood samples. We estimated the persistence of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections and changes in parasite densities over a study period of 24 months. Between Dec 1, 2013, and Jan 8, 2016, 356 villagers participated in between one and 22 surveys. These study participants underwent 4248 uPCR evaluations (11·9 tests per participant). 1874 (32%) of 4248 uPCR tests indicated a plasmodium infection; 679 (36%) of 1874 tests were P falciparum monoinfections, 507 (27%) were P vivax monoinfections, 463 (25%) were co-infections with P falciparum and P vivax, and 225 (12%) were indeterminate species of Plasmodium. The median duration of P falciparum infection was 2 months (IQR 1-3); after accounting for censoring, participants had a 20% chance of having parasitaemia for 4 months or longer. The median duration of P vivax infection was 6 months (3-9), and participants had a 59% chance of having parasitaemia for 4 months or longer. The parasite densities of persistent infections oscillated; following ultralow
Venkatesan, Meera; Gadalla, Nahla B; Stepniewska, Kasia
Adequate clinical and parasitologic cure by artemisinin combination therapies relies on the artemisinin component and the partner drug. Polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) genes are associated...... with decreased sensitivity to amodiaquine and lumefantrine, but effects of these polymorphisms on therapeutic responses to artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) have not been clearly defined. Individual patient data from 31 clinical trials were harmonized and pooled by using standardized...
Nguyen-Dinh, P; Magloire, R; Chin, W
A field kit has been developed which greatly simplifies the performance of the 48-hour in vitro test for drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. The kit uses an easily reconstituted lyophilized culture medium, and requires only a fingerprick blood sample. In parallel tests with 13 isolates of P. falciparum in Haiti, the new technique had a success rate equal to that of the previously described method, with comparable results in terms of parasite susceptibility in vitro to chloroquine and pyrimethamine.
Benoit-Vical, Françoise; Robert, Anne; Meunier, Bernard
The influence of different metalloporphyrin derivatives on the antimalarial activity of artemisinin was studied with two chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum (FcB1-Colombia and FcM29-Cameroon) cultured in human erythrocytes. This potentiation study indicates that the manganese complex of meso-tetrakis(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin has a significant synergistic effect on the activity of artemisinin against both Plasmodium strains. PMID:10508044
Uchechi E Ukaegbu
Full Text Available Histone modifications are important regulators of gene expression in all eukaryotes. In Plasmodium falciparum, these epigenetic marks regulate expression of genes involved in several aspects of host-parasite interactions, including antigenic variation. While the identities and genomic positions of many histone modifications have now been cataloged, how they are targeted to defined genomic regions remains poorly understood. For example, how variant antigen encoding loci (var are targeted for deposition of unique histone marks is a mystery that continues to perplex the field. Here we describe the recruitment of an ortholog of the histone modifier SET2 to var genes through direct interactions with the C-terminal domain (CTD of RNA polymerase II. In higher eukaryotes, SET2 is a histone methyltransferase recruited by RNA pol II during mRNA transcription; however, the ortholog in P. falciparum (PfSET2 has an atypical architecture and its role in regulating transcription is unknown. Here we show that PfSET2 binds to the unphosphorylated form of the CTD, a property inconsistent with its recruitment during mRNA synthesis. Further, we show that H3K36me3, the epigenetic mark deposited by PfSET2, is enriched at both active and silent var gene loci, providing additional evidence that its recruitment is not associated with mRNA production. Over-expression of a dominant negative form of PfSET2 designed to disrupt binding to RNA pol II induced rapid var gene expression switching, confirming both the importance of PfSET2 in var gene regulation and a role for RNA pol II in its recruitment. RNA pol II is known to transcribe non-coding RNAs from both active and silent var genes, providing a possible mechanism by which it could recruit PfSET2 to var loci. This work unifies previous reports of histone modifications, the production of ncRNAs, and the promoter activity of var introns into a mechanism that contributes to antigenic variation by malaria parasites.
Full Text Available Abstract Background In Plasmodium falciparum, resistance to chloroquine (CQ is conferred by a K to T mutation at amino acid position 76 (K76T in the P. falciparum CQ transporter (PfCRT. To date, at least 15 pfcrt genotypes, which are represented by combinations of five amino acids at positions 72-76, have been described in field isolates from various endemic regions. To identify novel mutant pfcrt genotypes and to reveal the genetic relatedness of pfcrt genotypes, a large-scale survey over a wide geographic area was performed. Methods Sequences for exon 2 in pfcrt, including known polymorphic sites at amino acid positions 72, 74, 75 and 76, were obtained from 256 P. falciparum isolates collected from eight endemic countries in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao P.D.R., the Philippines and Thailand, Melanesia (Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu and Africa (Ghana. A haplotype network was constructed based on six microsatellite markers located -29 kb to 24 kb from pfcrt in order to examine the genetic relatedness among mutant pfcrt genotypes. Results In addition to wild type (CVMNK at positions 72-76, four mutant pfcrt were identified; CVIET, CVIDT, SVMNT and CVMNT (mutated amino acids underlined. Haplotype network revealed that there were only three mutant pfcrt lineages, originating in Indochina, Philippines and Melanesia. Importantly, the Indochina lineage contained two mutant pfcrt genotypes, CVIET (n = 95 and CVIDT (n = 14, indicating that CVIDT shares a common origin with CVIET. Similarly, one major haplotype in the Melanesian lineage contained two pfcrt genotypes; SVMNT (n = 71 and CVMNT (n = 3. In Africa, all mutant pfcrt genotypes were the CVIET of the Indochina lineage, probably resulting from the intercontinental migration of CQ resistance from Southeast Asia. Conclusions The number of CQ-mutant lineages observed in this study was identical to that found in previous studies. This supports the hypothesis that the emergence of novel CQ resistance
Zakai, Haytham A; Khan, Wajihullah; Asma, Umme
Therapeutic efficacy of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), which is commonly used to treat falciparum malaria, was assessed in isolates of Plasmodium falciparum (Welch, 1897) and Plasmodium vivax (Grassi et Feletti, 1890) ofAligarh, Uttar Pradesh, North India and Taif, Saudi Arabia during 2011-2012. Both the species showed mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme as they have common biochemical drug targets. Mutation rate for pfdhfr was higher compared to pvdhfr because the drug was mainly given to treat falciparum malaria. Since both the species coexist, P. vivax was also exposed to SP due to faulty species diagnosis or medication without specific diagnosis. Low level of mutations against SP in P. falciparum of Saudi isolates indicates that the SP combination is still effective for the treatment of falciparum malaria. Since SP is used as first-line of treatment because of high level of resistance against chloroquine (CQ), it may result in spread of higher level of mutations resulting in drug resistance and treatment failure in near future. Therefore, to avoid further higher mutations in the parasite, use of better treatment regimens such as artesunate combination therapy must be introduced against SP combination.
Tsekoa, Tsepo L
Full Text Available eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) as defined in model organisms. A novel family of phylogenetically distinct ePK-related genes in P. falciparum has been identified. These kinases (up to 20 in number , designated the FIKK family due to a conserved amino...]. The protein kinase complement of Plasmodium falciparum, the main infectious agent of lethal malaria in humans, has been analysed in detail [2, 3]. These analyses revealed that the P. falciparum kinome comprises as many as 65 sequences related to typical...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Sequestration of parasitized red blood cells in the microvasculature of major organs involves a sequence of events that is believed to contribute to the pathogenesis of severe falciparum malaria. Plasmodium falciparum infections are commonly composed of multiple subpopulations of parasites with varied adhesive properties. A key question is: do these subpopulations compete for adhesion to endothelium? This study investigated whether, in a laboratory model of cytoadherence, there is competition in binding to endothelium between pRBC infected with P. falciparum of variant adhesive phenotypes, particularly under flow conditions. Methods Four different P. falciparum isolates, of known adherence phenotypes, were matched in pairs, mixed in different proportions and allowed to bind to cultured human endothelium. Using in vitro competitive static and flow-based adhesion assays, that allow simultaneous testing of the adhesive properties of two different parasite lines, adherence levels of paired P. falciparum isolates were quantified and analysed using either non-parametric Wilcoxon's paired signed rank test or Student paired test. Results Study findings show that P. falciparum parasite lines show marked differences in the efficiency of adhesion to endothelium. Conclusion Plasmodium falciparum variants will compete for adhesion to endothelia and variants can be ranked by their efficiency of binding. These findings suggest that variants from a mixed infection will not show uniform cytoadherence and so may vary in their ability to cause disease.
Mejia Torres, Rosa Elena; Banegas, Engels Ilich; Mendoza, Meisy; Diaz, Cesar; Bucheli, Sandra Tamara Mancero; Fontecha, Gustavo A; Alam, Md Tauqeer; Goldman, Ira; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Zambrano, Jose Orlinder Nicolas
Chloroquine (CQ) is officially used for the primary treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Honduras. In this study, the therapeutic efficacy of CQ for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in the municipality of Puerto Lempira, Gracias a Dios, Honduras was evaluated using the Pan American Health Organization-World Health Organization protocol with a follow-up of 28 days. Sixty-eight patients from 6 months to 60 years of age microscopically diagnosed with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria were included in the final analysis. All patients who were treated with CQ (25 mg/kg over 3 days) cleared parasitemia by day 3 and acquired no new P. falciparum infection within 28 days of follow-up. All the parasite samples sequenced for CQ resistance mutations (pfcrt) showed only the CQ-sensitive genotype (CVMNK). This finding shows that CQ remains highly efficacious for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Gracias a Dios, Honduras.
Full Text Available El objetivo de este trabajo es presentar los casos de paludismo por Plasmodium falciparum ocurridos en viajeros provenientes del África tropical, atendidos en el Hospital Alemán. Se definió paludismo de origen africano como la infección adquirida en un país del África subsahariana, diagnosticado y tratado en la Argentina. El diagnóstico se realizó por la clínica y la microscopía óptica en frotis de sangre periférica coloreados con Giemsa. Se revieron las historias clínicas de 11 pacientes adultos -cinco turistas y seis marineros mercantes- no oriundos de área endémica, sin condición inmunosupresora, ni morbilidad asociada, internados entre 1993 y 2007. El rango de edad fue de 21 a 48 años; nueve hombres y dos mujeres. Los pacientes fueron clasificados retrospectivamente en malaria grave (seis o no grave (cinco según cumplieran con uno o más de los criterios de gravedad de la Organización Mundial de la Salud. Todos presentaron fiebre como signo más significativo. Como complicaciones graves se observaron casos de insuficiencia renal, epistaxis, hemoglobinuria, hipoglucemia, edema pulmonar, acidosis y coma. Tres pacientes requirieron internación en la unidad de terapia intensiva. Todos sobrevivieron y solamente tres habían recibido la quimioprofilaxis correcta antes de viajar. El tratamiento se realizó con una o más de las siguientes drogas: mefloquina, quinidina, clindamicina y cotrimoxazol.The purpose of this paper is to present the cases of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum in travelers coming from tropical Africa, who were treated at the Hospital Alemán (Buenos Aires. African malaria was defined as an infection acquired in any country within Africa, diagnosed and treated in Argentina. Diagnostic tools included clinical features and optic microscopy with Giemsa stained peripheral blood films. We reviewed the medical records of 11 adult patients -five tourists and six sailors- with no history of malaria
The study found that Acon-Pf is suitable along side microscopy in the accurate diagnosis of malaria in Enugu State. The use of Acon- Pf and thick smear tests in parallel, first collecting the Acon-Pf results, as it contributes in reading the thin smear result for confirmation of species, diagnosis and assessment of parasitaemia.
Louw Abraham I
Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of severe human malaria, has evolved to become resistant to previously successful antimalarial chemotherapies, most notably chloroquine and the antifolates. The prevalence of resistant strains has necessitated the discovery and development of new chemical entities with novel modes-of-action. Although much effort has been invested in the creation of analogues based on existing drugs and the screening of chemical and natural compound libraries, a crucial shortcoming in current Plasmodial drug discovery efforts remains the lack of an extensive set of novel, validated drug targets. A requirement of these targets (or the pathways in which they function is that they prove essential for parasite survival. The polyamine biosynthetic pathway, responsible for the metabolism of highly abundant amines crucial for parasite growth, proliferation and differentiation, is currently under investigation as an antimalarial target. Chemotherapeutic strategies targeting this pathway have been successfully utilized for the treatment of Trypanosomes causing West African sleeping sickness. In order to further evaluate polyamine depletion as possible antimalarial intervention, the consequences of inhibiting P. falciparum spermidine synthase (PfSpdSyn were examined on a morphological, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolic level. Results Morphological analysis of P. falciparum 3D7 following application of the PfSpdSyn inhibitor cyclohexylamine confirmed that parasite development was completely arrested at the early trophozoite stage. This is in contrast to untreated parasites which progressed to late trophozoites at comparable time points. Global gene expression analyses confirmed a transcriptional arrest in the parasite. Several of the differentially expressed genes mapped to the polyamine biosynthetic and associated metabolic pathways. Differential expression of corresponding parasite proteins involved in
Amoah, L. E.; Nuvor, S. V.; Obboh, E. K.
Background: Plasmodium falciparum genetic diversity and multiplicity of infection (MOI) are parasite features that have been suggested to influence the acquisition of protective immunity against malaria. This study sought to assess the relationship between MOI and parasite density (PD) in malaria...... and adults diagnosed with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Microscopy was used to estimate P. falciparum parasite density and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the polymorphic regions of msp1 (PF3D7-0930300) and msp2 (PF3D7-0206800) was used for parasite genotyping and MOI determination....... The geometric mean (GM) for MOI determined by both msp1 and msp2 genotyping was 1.3 for the entire population and was generally higher in children than in adults. Seropositivity was estimated at 67 and 63% for GLURP(R0) and MSP3 antibodies, respectively, and antibody titers were negatively correlated...
Kabaria Caroline W
Full Text Available Abstract Background The efficient allocation of financial resources for malaria control and the optimal distribution of appropriate interventions require accurate information on the geographic distribution of malaria risk and of the human populations it affects. Low population densities in rural areas and high population densities in urban areas can influence malaria transmission substantially. Here, the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP global database of Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate (PfPR surveys, medical intelligence and contemporary population surfaces are utilized to explore these relationships and other issues involved in combining malaria risk maps with those of human population distribution in order to define populations at risk more accurately. Methods First, an existing population surface was examined to determine if it was sufficiently detailed to be used reliably as a mask to identify areas of very low and very high population density as malaria free regions. Second, the potential of international travel and health guidelines (ITHGs for identifying malaria free cities was examined. Third, the differences in PfPR values between surveys conducted in author-defined rural and urban areas were examined. Fourth, the ability of various global urban extent maps to reliably discriminate these author-based classifications of urban and rural in the PfPR database was investigated. Finally, the urban map that most accurately replicated the author-based classifications was analysed to examine the effects of urban classifications on PfPR values across the entire MAP database. Results Masks of zero population density excluded many non-zero PfPR surveys, indicating that the population surface was not detailed enough to define areas of zero transmission resulting from low population densities. In contrast, the ITHGs enabled the identification and mapping of 53 malaria free urban areas within endemic countries. Comparison of PfPR survey results showed
Oberli, Alexander; Zurbrügg, Laura; Rusch, Sebastian
is anchored to the cytoskeleton, and the Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric (PHIST) gene family plays a role in many host cell modifications including binding the intracellular domain of PfEMP1. Here, we show that conditional reduction of the PHIST protein PFE1605w strongly reduces adhesion...... interacts with both the intracellular segment of PfEMP1 and with cytoskeletal components. This is the first report of a PHIST protein interacting with key molecules of the cytoadherence complex and the host cytoskeleton, and this functional role seems to play an essential role in the pathology of P...
Silvestrini, F.; Lasonder, E.; Olivieri, A.; Camarda, G.; Schaijk, B.C.L. van; Sanchez, M.; Younis Younis, S.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Alano, P.
Despite over a century of study of malaria parasites, parts of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle remain virtually unknown. One of these is the early gametocyte stage, a round shaped cell morphologically similar to an asexual trophozoite in which major cellular transformations ensure subsequent
Butzloff, Sabine; Groves, Matthew R; Wrenger, Carsten; Müller, Ingrid B
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum proliferates within human erythrocytes and is thereby exposed to a variety of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, superoxide anion, and highly reactive singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)). While most ROS are already well studied
Lasonder, Edwin; Ishihama, Yasushi; Andersen, Jens S
-accuracy (average deviation less than 0.02 Da at 1,000 Da) mass spectrometric proteome analysis of selected stages of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The analysis revealed 1,289 proteins of which 714 proteins were identified in asexual blood stages, 931 in gametocytes and 645 in gametes. The last...
Minja, Daniel T R; Schmiegelow, Christentze; Mmbando, Bruno
Intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) is a key strategy in the control of pregnancy-associated malaria. However, this strategy is compromised by widespread drug resistance from single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum...
Elhassan, I M; Satti, G H; Ali, A E
The efficacy of artemether (a qinghaosu derivative) administered intramuscularly for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria was compared to quinine in an open randomized trial including 54 patients in eastern Sudan, where chloroquine resistance is common. The artemether treatment (5 d...
López, Mary Luz; Vommaro, Rossiane; Zalis, Mariano
Solanum nudum Dunal (Solanaceae) is a plant used in traditional medicine in Colombian Pacific Coast, from which five steroids denominated SNs have been isolated. The SNs compounds have antiplasmodial activity against asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum strain 7G8 with an IC50 between 20...
Helegbe, Gideon K; Goka, Bamenla Q; Kurtzhals, Jørgen
BACKGROUND: Severe anaemia (SA), intravascular haemolysis (IVH) and respiratory distress (RD) are severe forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, with RD reported to be of prognostic importance in African children with malarial anaemia. Complement factors have been implicated in the mechanism lead...
Rønn, A M; Msangeni, H A; Mhina, J
In many areas of tropical Africa affected by chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum, a combination of sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine (S-P) is used for alternative medication, especially in young children. In Magoda village in Muheza District, north-eastern Tanzania, 38 children 1-10 years...
Resende, Mafalda; Nielsen, Morten A.; Dahlbaeck, Madeleine
Background: Pregnancy malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes binding the placental receptor chondroitin sulfate A (CSA). This results in accumulation of parasites in the placenta with severe clinical consequences for the mother and her unborn child. Women become resistan...
Jones, S.; Sutherland, C.J.; Hermsen, C.C.; Arens, T.; Teelen, K.A.E.M.; Hallett, R.; Corran, P.; van der Vegte-Bolmer, M.; Sauerwein, R.; Drakeley, C.; Bousema, J.T.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Accurate sampling of sub-microscopic gametocytes is necessary for epidemiological studies to identify the infectious reservoir of Plasmodium falciparum. Detection of gametocyte mRNA achieves sensitive detection, but requires careful handling of samples. Filter papers can be
Zhang, Qian; Lai, Shengjie; Zheng, Canjun; Zhang, Honglong; Zhou, Sheng; Hu, Wenbiao; Clements, Archie C A; Zhou, Xiao-Nong; Yang, Weizhong; Hay, Simon I; Yu, Hongjie; Li, Zhongjie
In China, the national malaria elimination programme has been operating since 2010. This study aimed to explore the epidemiological changes in patterns of malaria in China from intensified control to elimination stages. Data on nationwide malaria cases from 2004 to 2012 were extracted from the Chinese national malaria surveillance system. The secular trend, gender and age features, seasonality, and spatial distribution by Plasmodium species were analysed. In total, 238,443 malaria cases were reported, and the proportion of Plasmodium falciparum increased drastically from population. The areas affected by Plasmodium vivax malaria shrunk, while areas affected by P. falciparum malaria expanded from 294 counties in 2004 to 600 counties in 2012. This study demonstrated that malaria has decreased dramatically in the last five years, especially since the Chinese government launched a malaria elimination programme in 2010, and areas with reported falciparum malaria cases have expanded over recent years. These findings suggest that elimination efforts should be improved to meet these changes, so as to achieve the nationwide malaria elimination goal in China in 2020.
Aka, Peter; Vila, Maria Candida; Jariwala, Amar; Nkrumah, Francis; Emmanuel, Benjamin; Yagi, Masanori; Palacpac, Nirianne Marie Q; Periago, Maria V; Neequaye, Janet; Kiruthu, Christine; Tougan, Takahiro; Levine, Paul H; Biggar, Robert J; Pfeiffer, Ruth M; Bhatia, Kishor; Horii, Toshihiro; Bethony, Jeffrey M; Mbulaiteye, Sam M
Endemic Burkitt lymphoma (eBL) is linked to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection geographically, but evidence from individual-level studies is limited. We investigated this issue among 354 childhood eBL cases and 384 age-, sex-, and location-matched controls enrolled in Ghana from 1965 to 1994. Immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) antibodies to antigens diagnostic of recent infection Pf histidine-rich protein-II (HRP-II) and 6NANP, Pf-vaccine candidates SE36 and 42-kDa region of the 3D7 Pf merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1), and tetanus toxoid were measured by indirect enzyme-linked immunoassay. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for association with eBL were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. After adjustments, eBL was positively associated with HRP-IIIgG3 seropositivity (adjusted OR: 1.60; 95% CI 1.08-2.36) and inversely associated with SE36IgG1 seropositivity (adjusted OR: 0.37; 95% CI 0.21-0.64) and with tetanus toxoidIgG3 levels equal or higher than the mean (adjusted OR: 0.46; 95% CI 0.32-0.66). Anti-MSP-1IgG3 and anti-6NANPIgG3 were indeterminate. eBL risk was potentially 21 times higher (95% CI 5.8-74) in HRP-IIIgG3-seropositive and SE36IgG1-seronegative responders compared with HRP-IIIgG3-seronegative and SE36IgG1-seropositive responders. Our results suggest that recent malaria may be associated with risk of eBL but long-term infection may be protective.
Saito, Fumiji; Hirayasu, Kouyuki; Satoh, Takeshi
, but the immune regulatory mechanisms used by P. falciparum remain largely unknown. Here we show that P. falciparum uses immune inhibitory receptors to achieve immune evasion. RIFIN proteins are products of a polymorphic multigene family comprising approximately 150-200 genes per parasite genome...
Attemene, Serge David Dago; Beourou, Sylvain; Tuo, Karim; Gnondjui, Albert Alloh; Konate, Abibatou; Toure, Andre Offianan; Kati-Coulibaly, Seraphin; Djaman, Joseph Alico
Malaria is an infectious and deadly parasitic disease, associated with fever, anaemia and other ailments. Unfortunately the upsurge of plasmodium multidrug resistant constrained researchers to look for new effective drugs. Medicinal plants seem to be an unquenchable source of bioactive principles in the treatment of various diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the antiplasmodial activity of two Ivorian medicinal plants. The in vitro activity was evaluated against clinical isolates and Plasmodium falciparum K1 multidrug resistant strain using the fluorescence based SYBR green I assay. The in vivo bioassay was carried out using the classical 4 day suppressive and curative tests on Plasmodium berghei infected mice. Results showed that the in vitro bioassay of both plant extracts were found to exhibit a promising and moderate antiparasitic effects on clinical isolates (5 µg/mL plant extracts need to be investigated.
Full Text Available Malaria remains one of the world's most important infectious diseases and is responsible for enormous mortality and morbidity. Resistance to antimalarial drugs is a challenging problem in malaria control. Clinical malaria is associated with the proliferation and development of Plasmodium parasites in human erythrocytes. Especially, the development into the mature forms (trophozoite and schizont of Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum causes severe malaria symptoms due to a distinctive property, sequestration which is not shared by any other human malaria. Ca(2+ is well known to be a highly versatile intracellular messenger that regulates many different cellular processes. Cytosolic Ca(2+ increases evoked by extracellular stimuli are often observed in the form of oscillating Ca(2+ spikes (Ca(2+ oscillation in eukaryotic cells. However, in lower eukaryotic and plant cells the physiological roles and the molecular mechanisms of Ca(2+ oscillation are poorly understood. Here, we showed the observation of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphospate (IP(3-dependent spontaneous Ca(2+ oscillation in P. falciparum without any exogenous extracellular stimulation by using live cell fluorescence Ca(2+ imaging. Intraerythrocytic P. falciparum exhibited stage-specific Ca(2+ oscillations in ring form and trophozoite stages which were blocked by IP(3 receptor inhibitor, 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate (2-APB. Analyses of parasitaemia and parasite size and electron micrograph of 2-APB-treated P. falciparum revealed that 2-APB severely obstructed the intraerythrocytic maturation, resulting in cell death of the parasites. Furthermore, we confirmed the similar lethal effect of 2-APB on the chloroquine-resistant strain of P. falciparum. To our best knowledge, we for the first time showed the existence of the spontaneous Ca(2+ oscillation in Plasmodium species and clearly demonstrated that IP(3-dependent spontaneous Ca(2+ oscillation in P. falciparum is critical for the development
Akinyi, Sheila; Hayden, Tonya; Gamboa, Dionicia; Torres, Katherine; Bendezu, Jorge; Abdallah, Joseph F.; Griffing, Sean M.; Quezada, Wilmer Marquiño; Arrospide, Nancy; De Oliveira, Alexandre Macedo; Lucas, Carmen; Magill, Alan J.; Bacon, David J.; Barnwell, John W.; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam
The majority of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) detect Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2), encoded by the pfhrp2 gene. Recently, P. falciparum isolates from Peru were found to lack pfhrp2 leading to false-negative RDT results. We hypothesized that pfhrp2-deleted parasites in Peru derived from a single genetic event. We evaluated the parasite population structure and pfhrp2 haplotype of samples collected between 1998 and 2005 using seven neutral and seven chromosome 8 microsatellite markers, respectively. Five distinct pfhrp2 haplotypes, corresponding to five neutral microsatellite-based clonal lineages, were detected in 1998-2001; pfhrp2 deletions occurred within four haplotypes. In 2003-2005, outcrossing among the parasite lineages resulted in eight population clusters that inherited the five pfhrp2 haplotypes seen previously and a new haplotype; pfhrp2 deletions occurred within four of these haplotypes. These findings indicate that the genetic origin of pfhrp2 deletion in Peru was not a single event, but likely occurred multiple times. PMID:24077522
Dimonte, Sandra; Bruske, Ellen I; Hass, Johanna; Supan, Christian; Salazar, Carmen L; Held, Jana; Tschan, Serena; Esen, Meral; Flötenmeyer, Matthias; Koch, Iris; Berger, Jürgen; Bachmann, Anna; Sim, Betty K L; Hoffman, Stephen L; Kremsner, Peter G; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Frank, Matthias
Antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum is mediated by the multicopy var gene family. Each parasite possesses about 60 var genes, and switching between active var loci results in antigenic variation. In the current study, the effect of mosquito and host passage on in vitro var gene transcription was investigated. Thirty malaria-naive individuals were inoculated by intradermal or intravenous injection with cryopreserved, isogenic NF54 P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ) generated from 1 premosquito culture. Microscopic parasitemia developed in 22 individuals, and 21 in vitro cultures were established. The var gene transcript levels were determined in early and late postpatient cultures and in the premosquito culture. At the early time point, all cultures preferentially transcribed 8 subtelomeric var genes. Intradermal infections had higher var gene transcript levels than intravenous infections and a significantly longer intrahost replication time (P = .03). At the late time point, 9 subtelomeric and 8 central var genes were transcribed at the same levels in almost all cultures. Premosquito and late postpatient cultures transcribed the same subtelomeric and central var genes, except for var2csa The duration of intrahost replication influences in vitro var gene transcript patterns. Differences between premosquito and postpatient cultures decrease with prolonged in vitro growth. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carol J. Palmer
Full Text Available We report on our investigation of a malaria outbreak in Honduras, Central America, in January 1997. We tested 202 patients with fever and chills using thin and thick blood film microscopy. Sixteen patients lived in the city and the rest lived in rural areas. A total of 95 samples (47% were positive for malaria parasites. Seventy-nine percent (63/80 of the rural patients were infected with Plasmodium vivax and 21% (17/80 were infected with P. falciparum. In the urban area, all 15 infected patients had P. vivax malaria and none showed evidence of P. falciparum. Since previous reports indicate that falciparum malaria accounts for only 2% of the overall malaria infections in Honduras, the results reported here suggest that there is a dramatic increase in falciparum malaria in the area of Honduras investigated in this study.Notificamos los resultados de un estudio de un brote de malaria que se produjo en Honduras, Centroamérica, en enero de 1997. Sometimos a examen microscópico frotis delgados y frotis gruesos de la sangre de 202 pacientes con fiebre y escalofríos. Dieciséis pacientes eran habitantes de la zona urbana y el resto de la zona rural. Un total de 95 especímenes (47% fueron positivos a parásitos de la malaria. Setenta y ocho por ciento (62/80 de los pacientes del área rural estaban infestados con Plasmodium vivax y 22% (17/80 con P. falciparum. En la zona urbana, todos los 15 pacientes que estaban infestados tenían P. vivax y en ninguno se detectó P. falciparum. Ya que según informes previos la malaria de tipo falciparum representa solamente 2% de todos los casos de malaria en Honduras, nuestros resultados sugieren que hay un gran incremento del número de casos de malaria falciparum en la zona de Honduras en que se llevó a cabo esta investigación.
Bukirwa, Hasifa; Unnikrishnan, B; Kramer, Christine V; Sinclair, David; Nair, Suma; Tharyan, Prathap
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria are treated using Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT). ACT combines three-days of a short-acting artemisinin derivative with a longer-acting antimalarial which has a different mode of action. Pyronaridine has been reported as an effective antimalarial over two decades of use in parts of Asia, and is currently being evaluated as a partner drug for artesunate. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of artesunate-pyronaridine compared to alternative ACTs for treating people with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS; ClinicalTrials.gov; the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT); and the WHO International Clinical Trials Search Portal up to 16 January 2014. We searched reference lists and conference abstracts, and contacted experts for information about ongoing and unpublished trials. Randomized controlled trials of artesunate-pyronaridine versus other ACTs in adults and children with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria.For the safety analysis, we also included adverse events data from trials comparing any treatment regimen containing pyronaridine with regimens not containing pyronaridine. Two authors independently assessed trial eligibility and risk of bias, and extracted data. We combined dichotomous data using risk ratios (RR) and continuous data using mean differences (MD), and presented all results with a 95% confidence interval (CI). We used the GRADE approach to assess the quality of evidence. We included six randomized controlled trials enrolling 3718 children and adults. Artesunate-pyronaridine versus artemether-lumefantrineIn two multicentre trials, enrolling mainly older children and adults from west and south-central Africa, both artesunate-pyronaridine and
Khalil, Insaf; Rønn, Anita M; Alifrangis, Michael
A total of 70 Plasmodium falciparum isolates were tested in vitro against pyrimethamine (PYR), trimethoprim (TRM), sulfadoxine (SDX), and sulfamethoxazole (SMX), and their dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genotypes were determined. dhfr genotypes correlated...
Price, Ric N.; Uhlemann, Anne-Catrin; van Vugt, Michele; Brockman, Al; Hutagalung, Robert; Nair, Shalini; Nash, Denae; Singhasivanon, Pratap; Anderson, Tim J. C.; Krishna, Sanjeev; White, Nicholas J.; Nosten, François
Our study examined the relative contributions of host, pharmacokinetic, and parasitological factors in determining the therapeutic response to artemether-lumefantrine (AL). On the northwest border of Thailand, patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria were enrolled in prospective
Tiburcio, M.; Niang, M.; Deplaine, G.; Perrot, S.; Bischoff, E.; Ndour, P.A.; Silvestrini, F.; Khattab, A.; Milon, G.; David, P.H.; Hardeman, M.; Vernick, K.D.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Preiser, P.R.; Mercereau-Puijalon, O.; Buffet, P.; Alano, P.; Lavazec, C.
Achievement of malaria elimination requires development of novel strategies interfering with parasite transmission, including targeting the parasite sexual stages (gametocytes). The formation of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in the human host takes several days during which immature
Tibúrcio, Marta; Niang, Makhtar; Deplaine, Guillaume; Perrot, Sylvie; Bischoff, Emmanuel; Ndour, Papa Alioune; Silvestrini, Francesco; Khattab, Ayman; Milon, Geneviève; David, Peter H.; Hardeman, Max; Vernick, Kenneth D.; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Preiser, Peter R.; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Buffet, Pierre; Alano, Pietro; Lavazec, Catherine
Achievement of malaria elimination requires development of novel strategies interfering with parasite transmission, including targeting the parasite sexual stages (gametocytes). The formation of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in the human host takes several days during which immature
Ting, L; Shi, W; Lewandowicz, A; Singh, V; Mwakingwe, A; Birck, M R; Taylor Ringia, E A; Bench, G; Madrid, D C; Tyler, P C; Evans, G B; Furneaux, R H; Schramm, V L; Kim, K.
Plasmodium falciparum is unable to synthesize purine bases and relies upon purine salvage and purine recycling to meet its purine needs. We report that purines formed as products of the polyamine pathway are recycled in a novel pathway in which 5'-methylthioinosine is generated by adenosine deaminase. The action of P. falciparum purine nucleoside phosphorylase is a convergent step of purine salvage, converting both 5'-methylthioinosine and inosine to hypoxanthine. We used accelerator mass spectrometry to verify that 5'-methylthioinosine is an active nucleic acid precursor in P. falciparum. Prior studies have shown that inhibitors of purine salvage enzymes kill malaria, but potent malaria-specific inhibitors of these enzymes have not previously been described. 5'-methylthio-Immucillin-H, a transition state analogue inhibitor that is selective for malarial over human purine nucleoside phosphorylase, kills P. falciparum in culture. Immucillins are currently in clinical trials for other indications and may have application as antimalarials
Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum exports proteins that remodel the erythrocyte membrane. One such protein, called Pf155/RESA (RESA1 contributes to parasite fitness, optimizing parasite survival during febrile episodes. Resa1 gene is a member of a small family comprising three highly related genes. Preliminary evidence led to a search for clues indicating the involvement of RESA2 protein in the pathophysiology of malaria. In the present study, cDNA sequence of resa2 gene was obtained from two different strains. The proportion of P. falciparum isolates having a non-stop T1526C mutation in resa2 gene was evaluated and the association of this genotype with severity of malaria was investigated. Methods Resa2 cDNAs of two different strains (a patient isolate and K1 culture adapted strain was obtained by RT-PCR and DNA sequencing was performed to confirm its gene structure. The proportion of isolates having a T1526C mutation was evaluated using a PCR-RFLP methodology on groups of severe malaria and uncomplicated patients recruited in 1991–1994 in Senegal and in 2009 in Benin. Results A unique ORF with an internal translation stop was found in the patient isolate (Genbank access number : JN183870, while the K1 strain harboured the T1526C mutation (Genbank access number : JN183869 which affects the internal stop codon and restores a full length coding sequence. About 14% of isolates obtained from Senegal and Benin harboured mutant T1526C parasites. Some isolates had both wild and mutant resa alleles. The analysis excluding those mixed isolates showed that the resa2 T1526C mutation was found more frequently in severe malaria cases than in uncomplicated cases (p = 0.008. The association of the presence of the mutant allele and parasitaemia >4% was shown in multivariate analysis (p = 0.03 in the group of Beninese children. Conclusions All T1526C mutant parasites theoretically have the ability to give rise to a full-length RESA2 protein
Greta E Weiss
Full Text Available During blood stage Plasmodium falciparum infection, merozoites invade uninfected erythrocytes via a complex, multistep process involving a series of distinct receptor-ligand binding events. Understanding each element in this process increases the potential to block the parasite's life cycle via drugs or vaccines. To investigate specific receptor-ligand interactions, they were systematically blocked using a combination of genetic deletion, enzymatic receptor cleavage and inhibition of binding via antibodies, peptides and small molecules, and the resulting temporal changes in invasion and morphological effects on erythrocytes were filmed using live cell imaging. Analysis of the videos have shown receptor-ligand interactions occur in the following sequence with the following cellular morphologies; 1 an early heparin-blockable interaction which weakly deforms the erythrocyte, 2 EBA and PfRh ligands which strongly deform the erythrocyte, a process dependant on the merozoite's actin-myosin motor, 3 a PfRh5-basigin binding step which results in a pore or opening between parasite and host through which it appears small molecules and possibly invasion components can flow and 4 an AMA1-RON2 interaction that mediates tight junction formation, which acts as an anchor point for internalization. In addition to enhancing general knowledge of apicomplexan biology, this work provides a rational basis to combine sequentially acting merozoite vaccine candidates in a single multi-receptor-blocking vaccine.
Ortega, Corrie; Frando, Andrew; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo; Anderson, Lindsey N.; Fleck, Neil; Flannery, Erika L.; Fishbaugher, Matthew; Murphree, Taylor A.; Hansen, Joshua R.; Smith, Richard D.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.; Wright, Aaron T.; Grundner, Christoph
Effective malaria control and elimination in hyperendemic areas of the world will require treatment of disease-causing Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) blood stage infection but also blocking parasite transmission from humans to mosquito to prevent disease spread. Numerous antimalarial drugs have become ineffective due to parasite drug resistance and many currently used therapies do not kill gametocytes, highly specialized sexual parasite stages with distinct physiology that are necessary for transmission from the human host to the mosquito vector. Further confounding next generation drug development against Pf is the lack of known biochemical activity for most parasite gene products as well as the unknown metabolic needs of non-replicating gametocyte. Here, we take a systematic activity-based proteomics approach to survey the large and druggable ATPase family that is associated with replicating blood stage asexual parasites and transmissible gametocytes. We experimentally confirm existing annotation and predict ATPase function for 38 uncharacterized proteins. ATPase activity broadly changes during the transition from asexual schizonts to gametocytes, indicating altered metabolism and regulatory roles of ATPases specific for each lifecycle stage. By mapping the activity of ATPases associated with gametocytogenesis, we assign biochemical activity to a large number of uncharacterized proteins and identify new candidate transmission blocking targets.
Kaba, Stephen A; Karch, Christopher P; Seth, Labdhi; Ferlez, Karen M B; Storme, Casey K; Pesavento, Danielle M; Laughlin, Paige Y; Bergmann-Leitner, Elke S; Burkhard, Peter; Lanar, David E
To eliminate the problems associated with the use of extraneous adjuvants we have designed a Self-Assembling Protein Nanoparticle (SAPN) containing epitopes from the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP) (designated FMP014) and portions of the TLR5 agonist flagellin (designated FMP014 D0D1 ) as an intrinsic adjuvant. By combining different molar ratios of FMP014 to FMP014 D0D1 monomers before self-assembly, we generated multiple nanoparticles and investigated their biophysical characteristics, immunogenicity and protective efficacy. Immunization with the construct formulated with the ratio 58:2 of FMP014 to FMP014 D0D1 had the highest protective efficacy against a challenge with a transgenic P. berghei sporozoite expressing PfCSP. Increasing the proportion of flagellin per particle resulted in an inverse relationship with levels of both antibody titers and protection. The cytokine profiles of the various immunization groups were evaluated and quantitative amounts of the cytokines IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-12/p70 (Th1); IL4, IL5 (Th2); TNF-α, IL1β, IL-6, KC/GRO (pro-inflammatory), and IL-10 (immunomodulatory) were measured. The relationship of the cytokines to each other revealed a strong immunomodulatory effect depending on the proportion of flagellin in the construct. Our results demonstrate that SAPNs with flagellin may be a promising strategy for the development and delivery of a safe vaccine for infectious diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Mkumbaye, Sixbert I; Wang, Christian W; Lyimo, Eric
By attaching infected erythrocytes to the vascular lining, Plasmodium falciparum parasites leave blood circulation and avoid splenic clearance. This sequestration is central to pathogenesis. Severe malaria is associated with parasites expressing an antigenically distinct P. falciparum erythrocyte...
Trelle, Morten Beck; Salcedo-Amaya, Adriana M; Cohen, Adrian
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....
Finney, Olivia C; Lawrence, Emma; Gray, Alice P; Njie, Madi; Riley, Eleanor M; Walther, Michael
In addition to naturally occurring regulatory T (nTreg) cells derived from the thymus, functionally competent Treg cells can be induced in vitro from peripheral blood lymphocytes in response to TCR stimulation with cytokine costimulation. Using these artificial stimulation conditions, both naïve as well as memory CD4(+) T cells can be converted into induced Treg (iTreg) cells, but the cellular origin of such iTreg cells in vivo or in response to more physiologic stimulation with pathogen-derived antigens is less clear. Here, we demonstrate that a freeze/thaw lysate of Plasmodium falciparum schizont extract (PfSE) can induce functionally competent Treg cells from peripheral lymphocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner without the addition of exogenous costimulatory factors. The PfSE-mediated induction of Treg cells required the presence of nTreg cells in the starting culture. Further experiments mixing either memory or naïve T cells with antigen presenting cells and CFSE-labeled Treg cells identified CD4(+) CD45RO(+) CD25(-) memory T cells rather than Treg cells as the primary source of PfSE-induced Treg cells. Taken together, these data suggest that in the presence of nTreg cells, PfSE induces memory T cells to convert into iTreg cells that subsequently expand alongside PfSE-induced effector T cells. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Cynthia J Snider
Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum malaria (Pf-malaria and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV infections coexist in children at risk for endemic Burkitt's lymphoma (eBL; yet studies have only glimpsed the cumulative effect of Pf-malaria on EBV-specific immunity. Using pooled EBV lytic and latent CD8+ T-cell epitope-peptides, IFN-γ ELISPOT responses were surveyed three times among children (10 months to 15 years in Kenya from 2002-2004. Prevalence ratios (PR and 95% confidence intervals (CI were estimated in association with Pf-malaria exposure, defined at the district-level (Kisumu: holoendemic; Nandi: hypoendemic and the individual-level. We observed a 46% decrease in positive EBV lytic antigen IFN-γ responses among 5-9 year olds residing in Kisumu compared to Nandi (PR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.30-0.99. Individual-level analysis in Kisumu revealed further impairment of EBV lytic antigen responses among 5-9 year olds consistently infected with Pf-malaria compared to those never infected. There were no observed district- or individual-level differences between Pf-malaria exposure and EBV latent antigen IFN-γ response. The gradual decrease of EBV lytic antigen but not latent antigen IFN-γ responses after primary infection suggests a specific loss in immunological control over the lytic cycle in children residing in malaria holoendemic areas, further refining our understanding of eBL etiology.
Tonkin-Hill, Gerry Q.; Trianty, Leily; Noviyanti, Rintis; Nguyen, Hanh H. T.; Sebayang, Boni F.; Lampah, Daniel A.; Marfurt, Jutta; Cobbold, Simon A.; Rambhatla, Janavi S.; McConville, Malcolm J.; Rogerson, Stephen J.; Brown, Graham V.; Day, Karen P.; Price, Ric N.; Anstey, Nicholas M.
Within the human host, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is exposed to multiple selection pressures. The host environment changes dramatically in severe malaria, but the extent to which the parasite responds to—or is selected by—this environment remains unclear. From previous studies, the parasites that cause severe malaria appear to increase expression of a restricted but poorly defined subset of the PfEMP1 variant, surface antigens. PfEMP1s are major targets of protective immunity. Here, we used RNA sequencing (RNAseq) to analyse gene expression in 44 parasite isolates that caused severe and uncomplicated malaria in Papuan patients. The transcriptomes of 19 parasite isolates associated with severe malaria indicated that these parasites had decreased glycolysis without activation of compensatory pathways; altered chromatin structure and probably transcriptional regulation through decreased histone methylation; reduced surface expression of PfEMP1; and down-regulated expression of multiple chaperone proteins. Our RNAseq also identified novel associations between disease severity and PfEMP1 transcripts, domains, and smaller sequence segments and also confirmed all previously reported associations between expressed PfEMP1 sequences and severe disease. These findings will inform efforts to identify vaccine targets for severe malaria and also indicate how parasites adapt to—or are selected by—the host environment in severe malaria. PMID:29529020
Graves, Patricia M; Choi, Leslie; Gelband, Hellen; Garner, Paul
Background The 8-aminoquinoline (8AQ) drugs act on Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes, which transmit malaria from infected people to mosquitoes. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a single dose of 0.25 mg/kg primaquine (PQ) be added to malaria treatment schedules in low-transmission areas or those with artemisinin resistance. This replaced the previous recommendation of 0.75 mg/kg, aiming to reduce haemolysis risk in people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, common in people living in malarious areas. Whether this approach, and at this dose, is effective in reducing transmission is not clear. Objectives To assess the effects of single dose or short-course PQ (or an alternative 8AQ) alongside treatment for people with P. falciparum malaria. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in the Cochrane Library; and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICRTP) portal using ‘malaria*', ‘falciparum', ‘primaquine', ‘8-aminoquinoline', and eight 8AQ drug names as search terms. We checked reference lists of included trials, and contacted researchers and organizations. Date of last search: 21 July 2017. Selection criteria Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs in children or adults, adding PQ (or alternative 8AQ) as a single dose or short course alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria. Data collection and analysis Two authors screened abstracts, applied inclusion criteria, and extracted data. We sought evidence on transmission (community incidence), infectiousness (people infectious and mosquitoes infected), and potential infectiousness (gametocyte measures assessed by microscopy or polymerase chain reaction [PCR]). We grouped trials into artemisinin and non-artemisinin treatments, and stratified by PQ dose (low, 0.2 to 0.25 mg/kg; moderate, 0.4 to 0.5 mg/kg; high, 0.75 mg/kg). We
Atroosh, Wahib M; Al-Mekhlafi, Hesham M; Al-Jasari, Adel; Sady, Hany; Al-Delaimy, Ahmed K; Nasr, Nabil A; Dawaki, Salwa; Abdulsalam, Awatif M; Ithoi, Init; Lau, Yee Ling; Fong, Mun Yik; Surin, Johari
The genetic variation in the Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (pfhrp2) gene that may compromise the use of pfhrp2-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for the diagnosis of malaria was assessed in P. falciparum isolates from Yemen. This study was conducted in Hodeidah and Al-Mahwit governorates, Yemen. A total of 622 individuals with fever were examined for malaria by CareStart malaria HRP2-RDT and Giemsa-stained thin and thick blood films. The Pfhrp2 gene was amplified and sequenced from 180 isolates, and subjected to amino acid repeat types analysis. A total of 188 (30.2%) participants were found positive for P. falciparum by the RDT. Overall, 12 different amino acid repeat types were identified in Yemeni isolates. Six repeat types were detected in all the isolates (100%) namely types 1, 2, 6, 7, 10 and 12 while types 9 and 11 were not detected in any of the isolates. Moreover, the sensitivity and specificity of the used PfHRP2-based RDTs were high (90.5% and 96.1%, respectively). The present study provides data on the genetic variation within the pfhrp2 gene, and its potential impact on the PfHRP2-based RDTs commonly used in Yemen. CareStart Malaria HRP2-based RDT showed high sensitivity and specificity in endemic areas of Yemen.
May 16, 2008 ... compared to saponin lysed samples when such whole blood ... infected blood intended for extraction of P. falciparum RNA for DNA microarrays and other sensitive ... TaqMan® and LightCycler® technology, and other.
Chan, Jo-Anne; Howell, Katherine B; Langer, Christine; Maier, Alexander G; Hasang, Wina; Rogerson, Stephen J; Petter, Michaela; Chesson, Joanne; Stanisic, Danielle I; Duffy, Michael F; Cooke, Brian M; Siba, Peter M; Mueller, Ivo; Bull, Peter C; Marsh, Kevin; Fowkes, Freya J I; Beeson, James G
Antibodies to blood-stage antigens of Plasmodium falciparum play a pivotal role in human immunity to malaria. During parasite development, multiple proteins are trafficked from the intracellular parasite to the surface of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IEs). However, the relative importance of different proteins as targets of acquired antibodies, and key pathways involved in trafficking major antigens remain to be clearly defined. We quantified antibodies to surface antigens among children, adults, and pregnant women from different malaria-exposed regions. We quantified the importance of antigens as antibody targets using genetically engineered P. falciparum with modified surface antigen expression. Genetic deletion of the trafficking protein skeleton-binding protein-1 (SBP1), which is involved in trafficking the surface antigen PfEMP1, led to a dramatic reduction in antibody recognition of IEs and the ability of human antibodies to promote opsonic phagocytosis of IEs, a key mechanism of parasite clearance. The great majority of antibody epitopes on the IE surface were SBP1-dependent. This was demonstrated using parasite isolates with different genetic or phenotypic backgrounds, and among antibodies from children, adults, and pregnant women in different populations. Comparisons of antibody reactivity to parasite isolates with SBP1 deletion or inhibited PfEMP1 expression suggest that PfEMP1 is the dominant target of acquired human antibodies, and that other P. falciparum IE surface proteins are minor targets. These results establish SBP1 as part of a critical pathway for the trafficking of major surface antigens targeted by human immunity, and have key implications for vaccine development, and quantifying immunity in populations.
Khaireh, Bouh Abdi; Briolant, Sébastien; Pascual, Aurélie; Mokrane, Madjid; Machault, Vanessa; Travaillé, Christelle; Khaireh, Mohamed Abdi; Farah, Ismail Hassan; Ali, Habib Moussa; Abdi, Abdul-Ilah Ahmed; Ayeh, Souleiman Nour; Darar, Houssein Youssouf; Ollivier, Lénaïck; Waiss, Mohamed Killeh; Bogreau, Hervé; Rogier, Christophe; Pradines, Bruno
Formerly known as a hypoendemic malaria country, the Republic of Djibouti declared the goal of pre-eliminating malaria in 2006. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and mixed infections in the Djiboutian population by using serological tools and to identify potential determinants of the disease and hotspots of malaria transmission within the country. The prevalence of P. falciparum and P. vivax within the districts of the capital city and the rest of the Republic of Djibouti were assessed using 13 and 2 serological markers, respectively. The relationship between the immune humeral response to P. falciparum and P. vivax and variables such as age, gender, wealth status, urbanism, educational level, distance to rivers/lakes, living area, having fever in the last month, and staying in a malaria-endemic country more than one year was estimated and analysed by questionnaires administered to 1910 Djiboutians. Multivariate ordinal logistic regression models of the immune humeral response were obtained for P. falciparum and P. vivax. The P. falciparum and P. vivax seroprevalence rates were 31.5%, CI95% [29.4-33.7] and 17.5%, CI95% [15.8-19.3], respectively. Protective effects against P. falciparum and P. vivax were female gender, educational level, and never having visited a malaria-endemic area for more than one year. For P. falciparum only, a protective effect was observed for not having a fever in the last month, living more than 1.5 km away from lakes and rivers, and younger ages. This is the first study that assessed the seroprevalence of P. vivax in the Republic of Djibouti. It is necessary to improve knowledge of this pathogen in order to create an effective elimination programme. As supported by recent observations on the subject, the Republic of Djibouti has probably demonstrated a real decrease in the transmission of P. falciparum in the past seven years, which should encourage authorities to
Khaireh Bouh Abdi
Full Text Available Abstract Background Formerly known as a hypoendemic malaria country, the Republic of Djibouti declared the goal of pre-eliminating malaria in 2006. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and mixed infections in the Djiboutian population by using serological tools and to identify potential determinants of the disease and hotspots of malaria transmission within the country. Methods The prevalence of P. falciparum and P. vivax within the districts of the capital city and the rest of the Republic of Djibouti were assessed using 13 and 2 serological markers, respectively. The relationship between the immune humeral response to P. falciparum and P. vivax and variables such as age, gender, wealth status, urbanism, educational level, distance to rivers/lakes, living area, having fever in the last month, and staying in a malaria-endemic country more than one year was estimated and analysed by questionnaires administered to 1910 Djiboutians. Multivariate ordinal logistic regression models of the immune humeral response were obtained for P. falciparum and P. vivax. Results The P. falciparum and P. vivax seroprevalence rates were 31.5%, CI95% [29.4-33.7] and 17.5%, CI95% [15.8-19.3], respectively. Protective effects against P. falciparum and P. vivax were female gender, educational level, and never having visited a malaria-endemic area for more than one year. For P. falciparum only, a protective effect was observed for not having a fever in the last month, living more than 1.5 km away from lakes and rivers, and younger ages. Conclusions This is the first study that assessed the seroprevalence of P. vivax in the Republic of Djibouti. It is necessary to improve knowledge of this pathogen in order to create an effective elimination programme. As supported by recent observations on the subject, the Republic of Djibouti has probably demonstrated a real decrease in the transmission of P. falciparum
Makhoba, Xolani Henry; Burger, Adélle; Coertzen, Dina; Zininga, Tawanda; Birkholtz, Lyn-Marie; Shonhai, Addmore
S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (PfAdoMetDC) from Plasmodium falciparum is a prospective antimalarial drug target. The production of recombinant PfAdoMetDC for biochemical validation as a drug target is important. The production of PfAdoMetDC in Escherichia coli has been reported to result in unsatisfactory yields and poor quality product. The co-expression of recombinant proteins with molecular chaperones has been proposed as one way to improve the production of the former in E. coli. E. coli heat shock proteins DnaK, GroEL-GroES and DnaJ have previously been used to enhance production of some recombinant proteins. However, the outcomes were inconsistent. An Hsp70 chimeric protein, KPf, which is made up of the ATPase domain of E. coli DnaK and the substrate binding domain of P. falciparum Hsp70 (PfHsp70) has been previously shown to exhibit chaperone function when it was expressed in E. coli cells whose resident Hsp70 (DnaK) function was impaired. We proposed that because of its domain constitution, KPf would most likely be recognised by E. coli Hsp70 co-chaperones. Furthermore, because it possesses a substrate binding domain of plasmodial origin, KPf would be primed to recognise recombinant PfAdoMetDC expressed in E. coli. First, using site-directed mutagenesis, followed by complementation assays, we established that KPf with a mutation in the hydrophobic residue located in its substrate binding cavity was functionally compromised. We further co-expressed PfAdoMetDC with KPf, PfHsp70 and DnaK in E. coli cells either in the absence or presence of over-expressed GroEL-GroES chaperonin. The folded and functional status of the produced PfAdoMetDC was assessed using limited proteolysis and enzyme assays. PfAdoMetDC co-expressed with KPf and PfHsp70 exhibited improved activity compared to protein co-expressed with over-expressed DnaK. Our findings suggest that chimeric KPf may be an ideal Hsp70 co-expression partner for the production of recombinant plasmodial
3D7-derived Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 is a frequent target of naturally acquired antibodies recognizing protein domains in a particular pattern independent of malaria transmission intensity
Joergensen, Louise; Vestergaard, Lasse S; Turner, Louise
Protection against Plasmodium falciparum malaria is largely mediated by IgG against surface Ags such as the erythrocyte membrane protein 1 family (PfEMP1) responsible for antigenic variation and sequestration of infected erythrocytes. PfEMP1 molecules can be divided into groups A, B/A, B, C, and B......, the sequence by which individuals acquired Abs to particular constructs was largely the same in the three villages. This indicates that the pattern of PfEMP1 expression by parasites transmitted at the different sites was similar, suggesting that PfEMP1 expression is nonrandom and shaped by host......-parasite relationship factors operating at all transmission intensities....
Lloyd, Yukie M.; Ngati, Elise P.; Salanti, Ali
Antibody-mediated phagocytosis is an important immune effector mechanism against Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE); however, current phagocytosis assays use IE collected from infected individuals or from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum, making them prone to high variation....... A simple, high-throughput flow cytometric assay was developed that uses THP-1 cells and fluorescent beads covalently-coupled with the malarial antigen VAR2CSA. The assay is highly repeatable, provides both the overall percent phagocytosis and semi-quantitates the number of antigen-coupled beads...
Jungery, M.; Pasvol, G.; Newbold, C. I.; Weatherall, D. J.
Glycophorin both in solution and inserted into liposomes blocks invasion of erythrocytes by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Furthermore, one sugar, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc), completely blocks invasion of the erythrocyte by this parasite. GlcNAc coupled to bovine serum albumin to prevent the sugar entering infected erythrocytes was at least 100,000 times more effective than GlcNAc alone. Bovine serum albumin coupled to lactose or bovine serum albumin alone had no effect on invasion. These results suggest that the binding of P. falciparum to erythrocytes is lectin-like and is determined by carbohydrates on glycophorin.
Ellekvist, Peter; Ricke, Christina Høier; Litman, Thomas
In most living cells, K(+) channels are important for the generation of the membrane potential and for volume regulation. The parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malignant malaria, must be able to deal with large variations in the ambient K(+) concentration: it is exposed to high...... concentrations of K(+) when inside the erythrocyte and low concentrations when in plasma. In the recently published genome of P. falciparum, we have identified a gene, pfkch1, encoding a potential K(+) channel, which to some extent resembles the big-conductance (BK) K(+) channel. We have cloned the approximately...
Nielsen, Morten A; Vestergaard, Lasse S; Lusingu, John
The slow acquisition of protection against Plasmodium falciparum malaria probably reflects the extensive diversity of important antigens. The variant surface antigens (VSA) that mediate parasite adhesion to a range of host molecules are regarded as important targets of acquired protective immunity......, but their diversity makes them questionable vaccine candidates. We determined levels of VSA-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) in human plasma collected at four geographically distant and epidemiologically distinct localities with specificity for VSA expressed by P. falciparum isolates from three African countries...
Hamad, A A; El Hassan, I M; El Khalifa, A A
Chronic Plasmodium falciparum malaria infections in a Sudanese village, in an area of seasonal and unstable malaria transmission, were monitored and genetically characterized to study the influence of persistent infection on the immunology and epidemiology of low endemicity malaria. During...... the October-December malaria season of 1996, 51 individuals out of a population of 420 had confirmed and treated P. falciparum malaria in the village of Daraweesh in eastern Sudan. In a cross-sectional survey carried out in December 1996, an additional 6 individuals were found to harbour a microscopically...
Ravenhall, Matt; Benavente, Ernest Diez; Mipando, Mwapatsa
BACKGROUND: Malawi experienced prolonged use of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) as the front-line anti-malarial drug, with early replacement of chloroquine and delayed introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy. Extended use of SP, and its continued application in pregnancy is impacting...... the genomic variation of the Plasmodium falciparum population. METHODS: Whole genome sequence data of P. falciparum isolates covering 2 years of transmission within Malawi, alongside global datasets, were used. More than 745,000 SNPs were identified, and differences in allele frequencies between countries...
Stocks, Paul A; Raynes, Kaylene J; Bray, Patrick G; Park, B Kevin; O'Neill, Paul M; Ward, Stephen A
A series of short chain chloroquine (CQ) derivatives have been synthesized in one step from readily available starting materials. The diethylamine function of CQ is replaced by shorter alkylamine groups (4-9) containing secondary or tertiary terminal nitrogens. Some of these derivatives are significantly more potent than CQ against a CQ resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. We conclude that the ability to accumulate at higher concentrations within the food vacuole of the parasite is an important parameter that dictates their potency against CQ sensitive and the chloroquine resistant K1 P. falciparum.
Full Text Available In Africa, infant susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum malaria increases substantially as fetal hemoglobin (HbF and maternal immune IgG disappear from circulation. During the first few months of life, however, resistance to malaria is evidenced by extremely low parasitemias, the absence of fever, and the almost complete lack of severe disease. This resistance has previously been attributed in part to poor parasite growth in HbF-containing red blood cells (RBCs. A specific role for maternal immune IgG in infant resistance to malaria has been hypothesized but not yet identified.We found that P. falciparum parasites invade and develop normally in fetal (cord blood, CB RBCs, which contain up to 95% HbF. However, these parasitized CB RBCs are impaired in their binding to human microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs, monocytes, and nonparasitized RBCs--cytoadherence interactions that have been implicated in the development of high parasite densities and the symptoms of malaria. Abnormal display of the parasite's cytoadherence antigen P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein-1 (PfEMP-1 on CB RBCs accounts for these findings and is reminiscent of that on HbC and HbS RBCs. IgG purified from the plasma of immune Malian adults almost completely abolishes the adherence of parasitized CB RBCs to MVECs.Our data suggest a model of malaria protection in which HbF and maternal IgG act cooperatively to impair the cytoadherence of parasitized RBCs in the first few months of life. In highly malarious areas of Africa, an infant's contemporaneous expression of HbC or HbS and development of an immune IgG repertoire may effectively reconstitute the waning protective effects of HbF and maternal immune IgG, thereby extending the malaria resistance of infancy into early childhood.
Dembele, L; Ang, X; Chavchich, M; Bonamy, G M C; Selva, J J; Lim, M Yi-Xiu; Bodenreider, C; Yeung, B K S; Nosten, F; Russell, B M; Edstein, M D; Straimer, J; Fidock, D A; Diagana, T T; Bifani, P
Malaria control and elimination are threatened by the emergence and spread of resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). Experimental evidence suggests that when an artemisinin (ART)-sensitive (K13 wild-type) Plasmodium falciparum strain is exposed to ART derivatives such as dihydroartemisinin (DHA), a small population of the early ring-stage parasites can survive drug treatment by entering cell cycle arrest or dormancy. After drug removal, these parasites can resume growth. Dormancy has been hypothesized to be an adaptive physiological mechanism that has been linked to recrudescence of parasites after monotherapy with ART and, possibly contributes to ART resistance. Here, we evaluate the in vitro drug sensitivity profile of normally-developing P. falciparum ring stages and DHA-pretreated dormant rings (DP-rings) using a panel of antimalarial drugs, including the Plasmodium phosphatidylinositol-4-OH kinase (PI4K)-specific inhibitor KDU691. We report that while KDU691 shows no activity against rings, it is highly inhibitory against DP-rings; a drug effect opposite to that of ART. Moreover, we provide evidence that KDU691 also kills DP-rings of P. falciparum ART-resistant strains expressing mutant K13.
Full Text Available The clonally variant Plasmodium falciparum PfEMP1 adhesin is a virulence factor and a prime target of humoral immunity. It is encoded by a repertoire of functionally differentiated var genes, which display architectural diversity and allelic polymorphism. Their serological relationship is key to understanding the evolutionary constraints on this gene family and rational vaccine design. Here, we investigated the Palo Alto/VarO and IT4/R29 and 3D7/PF13_003 parasites lines. VarO and R29 form rosettes with uninfected erythrocytes, a phenotype associated with severe malaria. They express an allelic Cys2/group A NTS-DBL1α(1 PfEMP1 domain implicated in rosetting, whose 3D7 ortholog is encoded by PF13_0003. Using these three recombinant NTS-DBL1α(1 domains, we elicited antibodies in mice that were used to develop monovariant cultures by panning selection. The 3D7/PF13_0003 parasites formed rosettes, revealing a correlation between sequence identity and virulence phenotype. The antibodies cross-reacted with the allelic domains in ELISA but only minimally with the Cys4/group B/C PFL1955w NTS-DBL1α. By contrast, they were variant-specific in surface seroreactivity of the monovariant-infected red cells by FACS analysis and in rosette-disruption assays. Thus, while ELISA can differentiate serogroups, surface reactivity assays define the more restrictive serotypes. Irrespective of cumulated exposure to infection, antibodies acquired by humans living in a malaria-endemic area also displayed a variant-specific surface reactivity. Although seroprevalence exceeded 90% for each rosetting line, the kinetics of acquisition of surface-reactive antibodies differed in the younger age groups. These data indicate that humans acquire an antibody repertoire to non-overlapping serotypes within a serogroup, consistent with an antibody-driven diversification pressure at the population level. In addition, the data provide important information for vaccine design, as
Abba, Katharine; Kirkham, Amanda J; Olliaro, Piero L; Deeks, Jonathan J; Donegan, Sarah; Garner, Paul; Takwoingi, Yemisi
Background In settings where both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum infection cause malaria, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) need to distinguish which species is causing the patients' symptoms, as different treatments are required. Older RDTs incorporated two test lines to distinguish malaria due to P. falciparum, from malaria due to any other Plasmodium species (non-falciparum). These RDTs can be classified according to which antibodies they use: Type 2 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and aldolase (all species); Type 3 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and pLDH (all species); Type 4 use pLDH (fromP. falciparum) and pLDH (all species). More recently, RDTs have been developed to distinguish P. vivax parasitaemia by utilizing a pLDH antibody specific to P. vivax. Objectives To assess the diagnostic accuracy of RDTs for detecting non-falciparum or P. vivax parasitaemia in people living in malaria-endemic areas who present to ambulatory healthcare facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria, and to identify which types and brands of commercial test best detect non-falciparum and P. vivax malaria. Search methods We undertook a comprehensive search of the following databases up to 31 December 2013: Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; MEDLINE; EMBASE; MEDION; Science Citation Index; Web of Knowledge; African Index Medicus; LILACS; and IndMED. Selection criteria Studies comparing RDTs with a reference standard (microscopy or polymerase chain reaction) in blood samples from a random or consecutive series of patients attending ambulatory health facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria in non-falciparum endemic areas. Data collection and analysis For each study, two review authors independently extracted a standard set of data using a tailored data extraction form. We grouped comparisons by type of RDT (defined by the combinations of antibodies used), and combined in meta-analysis where appropriate. Average sensitivities and
Happi, Christian T; Gbotosho, Grace O; Folarin, Onikepe A; Milner, Danny; Sarr, Ousmane; Sowunmi, Akintunde; Kyle, Dennis E; Milhous, Wilbur K; Wirth, Dyann F; Oduola, Ayoade MJ
Abstract Background In vitro and in vivo resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to atovaquone or atovaquone-proguanil hydrochloride combination has been associated to two point mutations in the parasite cytochrome b (cytb) gene (Tyr268Ser and Tyr268Asn). However, little is known about the prevalence of codon-268 mutations in natural populations of P. falciparum without previous exposure to the drug in Africa. Methods The prevalence of codon-268 mutations in the cytb gene of African P. falciparum...
Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai
Malaria is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites belonging to Plasmodium spp. (phylum Apicomplexa) that produce significant morbidity and mortality, mostly in developing countries. Plasmodium parasites have a complex life cycle that includes multiple stages in anopheline mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts. During the life cycle, the parasites undergo several cycles of extreme population growth within a brief span, and this is critical for their continued transmission and a contri...
Pumpaibool, Tepanata; Arnathau, Céline; Durand, Patrick; Kanchanakhan, Naowarat; Siripoon, Napaporn; Suegorn, Aree; Sitthi-Amorn, Chitr; Renaud, François; Harnyuttanakorn, Pongchai
The population structure of the causative agents of human malaria, Plasmodium sp., including the most serious agent Plasmodium falciparum, depends on the local epidemiological and demographic situations, such as the incidence of infected people, the vector transmission intensity and migration of inhabitants (i.e. exchange between sites). Analysing the structure of P. falciparum populations at a large scale, such as continents, or with markers that are subject to non-neutral selection, can lead to a masking and misunderstanding of the effective process of transmission. Thus, knowledge of the genetic structure and organization of P. falciparum populations in a particular area with neutral genetic markers is needed to understand which epidemiological factors should be targeted for disease control. Limited reports are available on the population genetic diversity and structure of P. falciparum in Thailand, and this is of particular concern at the Thai-Myanmar and Thai-Cambodian borders, where there is a reported high resistance to anti-malarial drugs, for example mefloquine, with little understanding of its potential gene flow. The diversity and genetic differentiation of P. falciparum populations were analysed using 12 polymorphic apparently neutral microsatellite loci distributed on eight of the 14 different chromosomes. Samples were collected from seven provinces in the western, eastern and southern parts of Thailand. A strong difference in the nuclear genetic structure was observed between most of the assayed populations. The genetic diversity was comparable to the intermediate level observed in low P. falciparum transmission areas (average HS = 0.65 +/- 0.17), where the lowest is observed in South America and the highest in Africa. However, uniquely the Yala province, had only a single multilocus genotype present in all samples, leading to a strong geographic differentiation when compared to the other Thai populations during this study. Comparison of the genetic
Full Text Available Abstract Background Regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium falciparum (Pf remains poorly understood. While over half the genes are estimated to be regulated at the transcriptional level, few regulatory motifs and transcription regulators have been found. Results The study seeks to identify putative regulatory motifs in the upstream regions of 13 functional groups of genes expressed in the intraerythrocytic developmental cycle of Pf. Three motif-discovery programs were used for the purpose, and motifs were searched for only on the gene coding strand. Four motifs – the 'G-rich', the 'C-rich', the 'TGTG' and the 'CACA' motifs – were identified, and zero to all four of these occur in the 13 sets of upstream regions. The 'CACA motif' was absent in functional groups expressed during the ring to early trophozoite transition. For functional groups expressed in each transition, the motifs tended to be similar. Upstream motifs in some functional groups showed 'positional conservation' by occurring at similar positions relative to the translational start site (TLS; this increases their significance as regulatory motifs. In the ribonucleotide synthesis, mitochondrial, proteasome and organellar translation machinery genes, G-rich, C-rich, CACA and TGTG motifs, respectively, occur with striking positional conservation. In the organellar translation machinery group, G-rich motifs occur close to the TLS. The same motifs were sometimes identified for multiple functional groups; differences in location and abundance of the motifs appear to ensure different modes of action. Conclusion The identification of positionally conserved over-represented upstream motifs throws light on putative regulatory elements for transcription in Pf.
Cabrera, Mynthia; Natarajan, Jayakumar; Paguio, Michelle F; Wolf, Christian; Urbach, Jeffrey S; Roepe, Paul D
Several models for how amino acid substitutions in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) confer resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and other antimalarial drugs have been proposed. Distinguishing between these models requires detailed analysis of high-resolution CQ transport data that is unfortunately impossible to obtain with traditional radio-tracer methods. Thus, we have designed and synthesized fluorescent CQ analogues for drug transport studies. One probe places a NBD (6-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino)hexanoic acid) group at the tertiary aliphatic N of CQ, via a flexible 6 C amide linker. This probe localizes to the malarial parasite digestive vacuole (DV) during initial perfusion under physiologic conditions and exhibits similar pharmacology relative to CQ, vs both CQ-sensitive (CQS) and CQ-resistant (CQR) parasites. Using live, synchronized intraerythrocytic parasites under continuous perfusion, we define NBD-CQ influx and efflux kinetics for CQS vs CQR parasites. Since this fluorescence approach provides data at much higher kinetic resolution relative to fast-filtration methods using (3)H-CQ, rate constants vs linear initial rates for CQ probe flux can be analyzed in detail. Importantly, we find that CQR parasites have a decreased rate constant for CQ influx into the DV and that this is due to mutation of PfCRT. Analysis of zero trans efflux for CQS and CQR parasites suggests that distinguishing between bound vs free pools of intra-DV drug probe is essential for proper kinetic analysis of efflux. The accompanying paper (DOI 10.1021/bi901035j ) further probes efflux kinetics for proteoliposomes containing purified, reconstituted PfCRT.
Manske, Magnus; Miotto, Olivo; Campino, Susana; Auburn, Sarah; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Maslen, Gareth; O?Brien, Jack; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Doumbo, Ogobara; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Michon, Pascal; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter; Nzila, Alexis
: Malaria elimination strategies require surveillance of the parasite population for genetic changes that demand a public health response, such as new forms of drug resistance. Here we describe methods for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum by deep sequencing of parasite DNA obtained from the blood of patients with malaria, either directly or after short-term culture. Analysis of 86,158 exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms that passed genotyping quality c...
Huthmacher, Carola; Hoppe, Andreas; Bulik, Sascha; Holzh?tter, Hermann-Georg
Abstract Background Despite enormous efforts to combat malaria the disease still afflicts up to half a billion people each year of which more than one million die. Currently no approved vaccine is available and resistances to antimalarials are widely spread. Hence, new antimalarial drugs are urgently needed. Results Here, we present a computational analysis of the metabolism of Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria pathogen. We assembled a compartmentalized metabolic model and predicte...
Fivelman, Quinton L; Butcher, Geoffrey A; Adagu, Ipemida S; Warhurst, David C; Pasvol, Geoffrey
Abstract We report the first in vitro and genetic confirmation of Malarone® (GlaxoSmithKline; atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride) resistance in Plasmodium falciparum acquired in Africa. On presenting with malaria two weeks after returning from a 4-week visit to Lagos, Nigeria without prophylaxis, a male patient was given a standard 3-day treatment course of Malarone®. Twenty-eight days later the parasitaemia recrudesced. Parasites were cultured from the blood and the isolate (NGATV01) was...
Jones, Sophie; Sutherland, Colin J.; Hermsen, Cornelus; Arens, Theo; Teelen, Karina; Hallett, Rachel; Corran, Patrick; van der Vegte-Bolmer, Marga; Sauerwein, Robert; Drakeley, Chris J.; Bousema, Teun
Abstract Background Accurate sampling of sub-microscopic gametocytes is necessary for epidemiological studies to identify the infectious reservoir of Plasmodium falciparum. Detection of gametocyte mRNA achieves sensitive detection, but requires careful handling of samples. Filter papers can be used for collecting RNA samples, but rigorous testing of their capacity to withstand adverse storage conditions has not been fully explored. Methods Three gametocyte dilutions: 10/μL, 1.0/μL and 0.1/μL ...
Rubiano Claudia C
Full Text Available A simple, quick and sensitive method was used to detect telomerase activity in Plasmodium falciparum. The telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP assay was modified using electrophoresis and staining with SYBR-green I to detect telomerase activity in a range of 10² to 10(7 parasites. This might be a useful way to ascertain telomerase activity in different types of nontumor cells.
Reteng, Patrick; Vrisca, Visia; Sukarno, Inka; Djarkoni, Ilham Habib; Kalangi, Jane Angela; Jacobs, George Eduardo; Runtuwene, Lucky Ronald; Eshita, Yuki; Maeda, Ryuichiro; Suzuki, Yutaka; Mongan, Arthur Elia; Warouw, Sarah Maria; Yamagishi, Junya; Tuda, Josef
Background Malaria still poses one of the major threats to human health. Development of effective antimalarial drugs has decreased this threat; however, the emergence of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum, a cause of Malaria, is disconcerting. The antimalarial drug chloroquine has been effectively used, but resistant parasites have spread worldwide. Interestingly, the withdrawal of the drug reportedly leads to an increased population of susceptible parasites in some cases. We examined the p...
Rieger, Harden; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y; Quadt, Katharina
Infections with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum during pregnancy can lead to severe complications for both mother and child, resulting from the cytoadhesion of parasitized erythrocytes in the intervillous space of the placenta. Cytoadherence is conferred by the specific interacti...... was cooperative and shear stress induced. These findings suggest that the CSA density, together with allosteric effects in VAR2CSA, aid in discriminating between different CSA milieus....
Warhurst David C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Chloroquine accumulates in the acidic digestive vacuole of the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, and prevents the detoxication of haematin released during haemoglobin digestion. Changes in protein PfCRT in the digestive vacuole membrane of growing intra-erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum are crucial for resistance. Expressed in yeast, PfCRT resembles an anion channel. Depressed anion channel function could increase intralysosomal pH to reduce entry of basic drug, or enhanced function could reduce drug interaction with target haematin. The most important resistance-associated change is from positively-charged lysine-76 to neutral threonine which could facilitate drug efflux through a putative channel. It has been proposed that the resistance-reversing effect of verapamil is due to hydrophobic binding to the mutated PfCRT protein, and replacement of the lost positive charge, which repels the access of 4-aminoquinoline cations, thus partially restoring sensitivity. Desethylamodiaquine, the active metabolite of amodiaquine, which has significant activity in chloroquine-resistance, may also act similarly on its own. Methods Changes in physicochemical parameters in different CQ-resistant PfCRT sequences are analysed, and correlations with drug activity on lines transfected with different alleles of the pfcrt gene are examined. Results and conclusions The results support the idea that PfCRT is a channel which, in resistant parasites, can allow efflux of chloroquine from the digestive vacuole. Activity of the chloroquine/verapamil combination and of desethylamodiaquine both correlate with the mean hydrophobicity of PfCRT residues 72-76. This may partly explain clinical-resistance to amodiaquine found in the first chloroquine-resistant malaria cases from South America and enables tentative prediction of amodiaquine's clinical activity against novel haplotypes of PfCRT.
Boyle, Michelle J; Jagannathan, Prasanna; Bowen, Katherine; McIntyre, Tara I; Vance, Hilary M; Farrington, Lila A; Schwartz, Alanna; Nankya, Felistas; Naluwu, Kate; Wamala, Samuel; Sikyomu, Esther; Rek, John; Greenhouse, Bryan; Arinaitwe, Emmanuel; Dorsey, Grant; Kamya, Moses R; Feeney, Margaret E
Cytokine-producing CD4 T cells have important roles in immunity against Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria. However, the factors influencing functional differentiation of Pf- specific CD4 T cells in naturally exposed children are not well understood. Moreover, it is not known which CD4 T-cell cytokine-producing subsets are most critical for protection. We measured Pf- specific IFNγ-, IL10-, and TNFα-producing CD4 T-cell responses by multi-parametric flow cytometry in 265 children aged 6 months to 10 years enrolled in a longitudinal observational cohort in a high malaria transmission site in Uganda. We found that both age and parasite burden were independently associated with cytokine production by CD4 T cells. IL10 production by IFNγ + CD4 T cells was higher in younger children and in those with high-parasite burden during recent infection. To investigate the role of CD4 T cells in immunity to malaria, we measured associations of Pf -specific CD4 cytokine-producing cells with the prospective risk of Pf infection and clinical malaria, adjusting for household exposure to Pf -infected mosquitos. Overall, the prospective risk of infection was not associated with the total frequency of Pf- specific CD4 T cells, nor of any cytokine-producing CD4 subset. However, the frequency of CD4 cells producing IL10 but not inflammatory cytokines (IFNγ and TNFα) was associated with a decreased risk of clinical malaria once infected. These data suggest that functional polarization of the CD4 T-cell response may modulate the clinical manifestations of malaria and play a role in naturally acquired immunity.
There is substantial immuno-epidemiological evidence that the parasite-encoded, so-called variant surface antigens (VSAs) such as PfEMP1 on the surface of infected erythrocytes (IEs) are important-in some cases probably decisive-determinants of clinical outcome of P. falciparum malaria. The evide...... of VSAs, and how vaccines based on this type of antigens fit into the current global strategy to reduce, eliminate and eventually eradicate the burden of malaria....
Full Text Available An in vitro sensitivity test was conducted to study the sensitivity of Plasmodium falciparum against chloroquine and pyrimethamine/sulphadoxine combination. The relationship between sensitivity of the parasite to the two drugs was also studied. A total of 72 patients from five localities were examined during 1984-1985. Test against chloroquine was conducted according to WHO method, while against pyrimethamine/sulphadoxine combination, a modified method of Nguyen Dinh and Payne and Eastham and Rieckmann was used. The results showed that there is no relationship between the sensitivity of P. falciparum against pyrimethamine/ sulphadoxine combination and chloroquine. It can be concluded that in case of chloroquine resistant P. falciparum, pyrimethamine/sulphadoxine combination could be applied as an alternative chemotherapy.
Moura, Ivan Cruz; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Uhrig, Maria L.; Couto, Alicia S.; Peres, Valnice J.; Katzin, Alejandro M.; Kimura, Emília A.
Isoprenylation is an essential protein modification in eukaryotic cells. Herein, we report that in Plasmodium falciparum, a number of proteins were labeled upon incubation of intraerythrocytic forms with either [3H]farnesyl pyrophosphate or [3H]geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. By thin-layer chromatography, we showed that attached isoprenoids are partially modified to dolichol and other, uncharacterized, residues, confirming active isoprenoid metabolism in this parasite. Incubation of blood-stage P. falciparum treated with the isoprenylation inhibitor limonene significantly decreased the parasites' progression from the ring stage to the trophozoite stage and at 1.22 mM, 50% of the parasites died after the first cycle. Using Ras- and Rap-specific monoclonal antibodies, putative Rap and Ras proteins of P. falciparum were immunoprecipitated. Upon treatment with 0.5 mM limonene, isoprenylation of these proteins was significantly decreased, possibly explaining the observed arrest of parasite development. PMID:11502528
Laserson, K F; Petralanda, I; Almera, R; Barker, R H; Spielman, A; Maguire, J H; Wirth, D F
Malaria parasites are genetically diverse at all levels of endemicity. In contrast, the merozoite surface protein (MSP) alleles in samples from 2 isolated populations of Yanomami Amerindians during an epidemic of Plasmodium falciparum were identical. The nonvariable restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns further suggested that the sequential outbreak comprised only a single P. falciparum genotype. By examination of serial samples from single human infections, the MSP characteristics were found to remain constant throughout the course of infection. An apparent clonal population structure of parasites seemed to cause outbreaks in small isolated villages. The use of standard molecular epidemiologic methods to measure genetic diversity in malaria revealed the occurrence of a genetically monomorphic population of P. falciparum within a human community.
Background Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a leading health problem in Africa and its control is seriously challenged by drug resistance. Although resistance to the sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is widespread, this combination remains an important component of malaria control programmes as intermittent preventive therapy (IPT) for pregnant women and children. In Angola, resistance patterns have been poorly characterized, and IPT has been employed for pregnant women since 2006. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of key antifolate resistance mediating polymorphisms in the pfdhfr and pfdhps genes in P. falciparum samples from Angola. Methods Plasmodium falciparum samples collected in Luanda, in 2007, were genotyped by amplification and DNA forward and reverse sequencing of the pfdhfr and pfdhps genes. Results The most prevalent polymorphisms identified were pfdhfr 108N (100%), 51I (93%), 59R (57%) and pfdhps 437G (93%). Resistance-mediating polymorphisms in pfdhps less commonly observed in West Africa were also identified (540E in 10%, 581G in 7% of samples). Conclusion This study documents an important prevalence of 4 P. falciparum polymorphisms that predicts an antifolate resistance in Luanda. Further, some samples presented additional mutations associated to high-level resistance. These results suggest that the use of SP for IPT may no longer be warranted in Angola. PMID:21864379
Thita, Thunyapit; Jadsri, Pimrat; Thamkhantho, Jarupatr; Ruang-Areerate, Toon; Suwandittakul, Nantana; Sitthichot, Naruemon; Mahotorn, Kittiya; Tan-Ariya, Peerapan; Mungthin, Mathirut
In Thailand, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has been used to treat uncomplicated falciparum malaria since 1995. Unfortunately, artemisinin resistance has been reported from Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries since 2003. Malarone ® , a combination of atovaquone-proguanil (ATQ-PG), has been used to cease artemisinin pressure in some areas along Thai-Cambodia border, as part of an artemisinin resistance containment project since 2009. This study aimed to determine genotypes and phenotypes of Plasmodium falciparum isolates collected from the Thai-Cambodia border after the artemisinin resistance containment project compared with those collected before. One hundred and nine of P. falciparum isolates collected from Thai-Cambodia border from Chanthaburi and Trat provinces during 1988-2016 were used in this study. Of these, 58 isolates were collected after the containment. These parasite isolates were characterized for in vitro antimalarial sensitivities including chloroquine (CQ), quinine (QN), mefloquine (MQ), piperaquine (PPQ), artesunate (AS), dihydroartemisinin (DHA), ATQ and PG and genetic markers for drug resistance including the Kelch13 (k13), Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt), P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) and cytochrome b (cytb) genes. Mean CQ, QN, MQ, PPQ and AS IC 50 s of the parasite isolates collected from 2009 to 2016 exhibited significantly higher than those of parasites collected before 2009. Approximately 57% exhibited in vitro MQ resistance. Approximately 94% of the isolates collected from 2009 to 2016 contained the pfmdr1 184F allele. Mutations of the k13 gene were detected in approximately 90% of the parasites collected from 2009 to 2016 which were significantly higher than the parasite isolates collected before. No ATQ-resistant genotype and phenotype of P. falciparum were found among the isolates collected after the containment project. Although the containment project had been
Full Text Available Background: Cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum- infected erythrocytes to host cells is an important trait for parasite survival and has a major role in pathology of malaria disease. Infections with P. falciparum usually consist of several subpopulations of parasites with different adhesive properties. This study aimed to compare relative sizes of various binding subpopulations of different P. falciparum isolates. It also investigated the adhesive phenotype of a laboratory P. falciparum line, A4, using different binding techniques.Methods: Seven different P. falciparum isolates (ITG, A4, 3D7 and four field isolates were cultivated to late trophozoite and schizont and then cytoadherence to cell differentiation 36 (CD36, intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule (V-CAM and E-selectin were examined. The relative binding sizes of parasite subpopulations to human receptors were measured by mini-column cytoadherence method. The adhesion phenotype of P. falciparum-A4 line was evaluated by in vitro static, flow-based and mini-column binding assays.Results: The relative binding size of ITG, A4 and 3D7 clones to a column made with CHO/ICAM-1 was 68%, 54% and 0%, respectively. The relative binding sizes of these lines to CHO/CD36 were 59.7%, 28.7% and 0%, respectively. Different field isolates had variable sizes of respective CD36 and ICAM1-binding subpopulations. A4 line had five different subpopulations each with different binding sizes.Conclusion: This study provided further evidence that P. falciparum isolates have different binding subpopulations sizes in an infection. Furthermore, measurement of ICAM-1 or CD36 binding subpopulations may practical to study the cytoadherence phenotypes of P. falciparum field isolates at the molecular level.
Jeanette T Beaudry
Full Text Available Sickle hemoglobin (Hb S and HbC may protect against malaria by reducing the expression of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 on the surface of parasitized red blood cells (RBCs, thereby weakening their cytoadherence to microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs and impairing their activation of MVECs to produce pathological responses. Therefore, we hypothesized that parasites causing malaria in HbAS or HbAC heterozygotes have overcome this protective mechanism by expressing PfEMP1 variants which mediate relatively strong binding to MVECs. To test this hypothesis, we performed 31 cytoadherence comparisons between parasites from HbAA and HbAS (or HbAC Malian children with malaria. Ring-stage parasites from HbAA and HbAS (or HbAC children were cultivated to trophozoites, purified, and then inoculated in parallel into the same wildtype uninfected RBCs. After one cycle of invasion and maturation to the trophozoite stage expressing PfEMP1, parasite strains were compared for binding to MVECs. In this assay, there were no significant differences in the binding of parasites from HbAS and HbAC children to MVECs compared to those from HbAA children (HbAS, fold-change = 1.46, 95% CI 0.97-2.19, p = 0.07; HbAC, fold-change = 1.19, 95% CI 0.77-1.84, p = 0.43. These data suggest that in-vitro reductions in cytoadherence by HbS and HbC may not be selecting for expression of high-avidity PfEMP1 variants in vivo. Future studies that identify PfEMP1 domains or amino-acid motifs which are selectively expressed in parasites from HbAS children may provide further insights into the mechanism of malaria protection by the sickle-cell trait.
Malarial parasite P. falciparum, an apicomplexan protozoan has a 23.3 MB nuclear genome and encodes ~ 5600 transcripts. The genetic diversity of the parasite within and across geographical zones is a challenge to gene expression studies which are essential for understanding of disease process, outcome and developing markers for diagnostics and prognostics. Here, we describe the strategy involved in designing a custom P. falciparum 15K array using the Agilent platform and Genotypic\\'s Right Design methodology to study the transcriptome of Indian field isolates for which genome sequence information is limited. The array contains probes representing genome sequences of two distinct geographical isolates (i.e. 3D7 and HB3) and sub-telomeric var gene sequences of a third isolate (IT4) known to adhere in culture condition. Probes in the array have been selected based on their efficiency to detect transcripts through a 244K array experimentation. Array performance for the 15K array, was evaluated and validated using RNA materials from P. falciparum clinical isolates. A large percentage (91%) of the represented transcripts was detected from Indian P. falciparum patient isolates. Replicated probes and multiple probes representing the same gene showed perfect correlation between them suggesting good probe performance. Additional transcripts could be detected due to inclusion of unique probes representing HB3 strain transcripts. Variant surface antigen (VSA) transcripts were detected by optimized probes representing the VSA genes of three geographically distinct strains. The 15K cross strain P. falciparum array has shown good efficiency in detecting transcripts from P. falciparum parasite samples isolated from patients. The low parasite loads and presence of host RNA makes arrays a preferred platform for gene expression studies over RNA-Seq.
Subudhi, Amit; Boopathi, P.A.; Middha, Sheetal; Acharya, Jyoti; Rao, Sudha Narayana; Mugasimangalam, Raja C.; Sirohi, Paramendra; Kochar, Sanjay K.; Kochar, Dhanpat K.; Das, Ashis
Malarial parasite P. falciparum, an apicomplexan protozoan has a 23.3 MB nuclear genome and encodes ~ 5600 transcripts. The genetic diversity of the parasite within and across geographical zones is a challenge to gene expression studies which are essential for understanding of disease process, outcome and developing markers for diagnostics and prognostics. Here, we describe the strategy involved in designing a custom P. falciparum 15K array using the Agilent platform and Genotypic's Right Design methodology to study the transcriptome of Indian field isolates for which genome sequence information is limited. The array contains probes representing genome sequences of two distinct geographical isolates (i.e. 3D7 and HB3) and sub-telomeric var gene sequences of a third isolate (IT4) known to adhere in culture condition. Probes in the array have been selected based on their efficiency to detect transcripts through a 244K array experimentation. Array performance for the 15K array, was evaluated and validated using RNA materials from P. falciparum clinical isolates. A large percentage (91%) of the represented transcripts was detected from Indian P. falciparum patient isolates. Replicated probes and multiple probes representing the same gene showed perfect correlation between them suggesting good probe performance. Additional transcripts could be detected due to inclusion of unique probes representing HB3 strain transcripts. Variant surface antigen (VSA) transcripts were detected by optimized probes representing the VSA genes of three geographically distinct strains. The 15K cross strain P. falciparum array has shown good efficiency in detecting transcripts from P. falciparum parasite samples isolated from patients. The low parasite loads and presence of host RNA makes arrays a preferred platform for gene expression studies over RNA-Seq.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The naturally occurring benzoquinone ansamycin compound, geldanamycin (GA, is a specific inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90 and is a potential anticancer agent. Since Plasmodium falciparum has been reported to have an Hsp90 ortholog, we tested the possibility that GA might inhibit it and thereby display antiparasitic activity. Results We provide direct recombinant DNA evidence for the Hsp90 protein of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of fatal malaria. While the mRNA of Hsp90 was mainly expressed in ring and trophozoite stages, the protein was found in all stages, although schizonts contained relatively lower amounts. In vitro the parasitic Hsp90 exhibited an ATP-binding activity that could be specifically inhibited by GA. Plasmodium growth in human erythrocyte culture was strongly inhibited by GA with an IC50 of 20 nM, compared to the IC50 of 15 nM for chloroquine (CQ under identical conditions. When used in combination, the two drugs acted synergistically. GA was equally effective against CQ-sensitive and CQ-resistant strains (3D7 and W2, respectively and on all erythrocytic stages of the parasite. Conclusions Together, these results suggest that an active and essential Hsp90 chaperone cycle exists in Plasmodium and that the ansamycin antibiotics will be an important tool to dissect its role in the parasite. Additionally, the favorable pharmacology of GA, reported in human trials, makes it a promising antimalarial drug.
Kuamsab, Napaporn; Putaporntip, Chaturong; Pattanawong, Urassaya; Jongwutiwes, Somchai
Gametocyte carriage is essential for malaria transmission and endemicity of disease; thereby it is a target for malaria control strategies. Malaria-infected individuals may harbour gametocytes below the microscopic detection threshold that can be detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) targeting gametocyte-specific mRNA. To date, RT-PCR has mainly been applied to the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes but very limited for that of Plasmodium vivax. A multiplex-nested RT-PCR targeting Pfs25 and Pvs25 mRNA specific to mature gametocytes of P. falciparum and P. vivax, respectively, was developed. The assay was evaluated using blood samples collected in rainy and dry seasons from febrile patients,in a malaria-endemic area in Thailand. Malaria diagnosis was performed by Giemsa-stained blood smears and 18S rRNA PCR. The multiplex-nested RT-PCR detected Pfs25 mRNA in 75 of 86 (87.2%) P. falciparum-infected individuals and Pvs25 mRNA in 82 of 90 (91.1%) P. vivax malaria patients diagnosed by 18S rRNA PCR. Gametocytes were detected in 38 (eight P. falciparum and 30 P. vivax) of 157 microscopy positive samples, implying that a large number of patients harbour sub-microscopic gametocytaemia. No seasonal differences in gametocyte carriage were observed for both malaria species diagnosed by multiplex-nested RT-PCR. With single-nested RT-PCR targeting Pfs25 or Pvs25 mRNA as standard, the multiplex-nested RT-PCR offered sensitivities of 97.4% and 98.9% and specificities of 100% and 98.8% for diagnosing mature gametocytes of P. falciparum and P. vivax, respectively. The minimum detection limit of the multiplex-nested PCR was 10 copies of templates. The multiplex-nested RT-PCR developed herein is useful for simultaneous assessment of both P. falciparum and P. vivax gametocyte carriage that is prevalent and generally sympatric in several malaria-endemic areas outside Africa.
Susanne Helena Hodgson
Full Text Available Background: Controlled human malaria infection (CHMI studies are a vital tool to accelerate vaccine and drug development. As CHMI trials are performed in a controlled environment, they allow unprecedented, detailed evaluation of parasite growth dynamics (PGD and immunological responses. However, CHMI studies have not been routinely performed in malaria-endemic countries or used to investigate mechanisms of naturally-acquired immunity (NAI to Plasmodium falciparum. Methods: We conducted an open-label, randomized CHMI pilot-study using aseptic, cryopreserved P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ Challenge to evaluate safety, infectivity and PGD in Kenyan adults with low to moderate prior exposure to P. falciparum (Pan African Clinical Trial Registry: PACTR20121100033272. Results: All participants developed blood-stage infection confirmed by qPCR. However one volunteer (110 remained asymptomatic and blood-film negative until day 21 post-injection of PfSPZ Challenge. This volunteer had a reduced parasite multiplication rate (PMR (1.3 in comparison to the other 27 volunteers (median 11.1. A significant correlation was seen between PMR and screening anti-schizont ELISA OD (p=0.044, R=-0.384 but not when volunteer 110 was excluded from the analysis (p=0.112, R=-0.313. Conclusions: PfSPZ Challenge is safe and infectious in malaria-endemic populations and could be used to assess the efficacy of malaria vaccines and drugs in African populations. Whilst our findings are limited by sample size, our pilot study has demonstrated for the first time that NAI may impact on PMR post-CHMI in a detectable fashion, an important finding that should be evaluated in further CHMI studies.
Maltha, Jessica; Guiraud, Issa; Lompo, Palpouguini; Kaboré, Bérenger; Gillet, Philippe; Van Geet, Chris; Tinto, Halidou; Jacobs, Jan
Background In most sub-Saharan African countries malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are now used for the diagnosis of malaria. Most RDTs used detect Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein-2 (PfHRP2), though P. falciparum-specific parasite lactate dehydrogenase (Pf-pLDH)-detecting RDTs may have advantages over PfHRP2-detecting RDTs. Only few data are available on the use of RDTs in severe illness and the present study compared Pf-pLDH to PfHRP2-detection. Methods Hospitalized children...
Estimated higher ratios of IFN-γ/IL-10 and IFN-γ/IL-12 were also observed in the symptomatic children while the asymptomatic controls had higher IL-12/IL-10 ratio. The mean concentration levels of anti-P. falciparum IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 antibodies were statistically significantly higher in the individuals >5 years of age than <5 ...
Praveen Kumar Bharti
Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum encoded histidine rich protein (HRP2 based malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs are used in India. Deletion of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 genes contributes to false negative test results, and large numbers of such deletions have been reported from South America, highlighting the importance of surveillance to detect such deletions.This is the first prospective field study carried out at 16 sites located in eight endemic states of India to assess the performance of PfHRP2 based RDT kits used in the national malaria control programme. In this study, microscopically confirmed P. falciparum but RDT negative samples were assessed for presence of pfhrp2, pfhrp3, and their flanking genes using PCR.Among 1521 microscopically positive P. falciparum samples screened, 50 were negative by HRP2 based RDT test. Molecular testing was carried out using these 50 RDT negative samples by assuming that 1471 RDT positive samples carried pfhrp2 gene. It was found that 2.4% (36/1521 and 1.8% (27/1521 of samples were negative for pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 genes, respectively. However, the frequency of pfhrp2 deletions varied between the sites ranging from 0-25% (2.4, 95% CI; 1.6-3.3. The frequency of both pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletion varied from 0-8% (1.6, 95% CI; 1.0-2.4.This study provides evidence for low level presence of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 deleted P. falciparum parasites in different endemic regions of India, and periodic surveillance is warranted for reliable use of PfHRP2 based RDTs.
Silvie, O.; Rubinstein, E.; Franetich, J.F.; Prenant, M.; Belnoue, E.; Renia, L.; Hannoun, L.; Eling, W.M.C.; Levy, S.; Boucheix, C.; Mazier, D.
Plasmodium sporozoites are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes and first invade the liver of the mammalian host, as an obligatory step of the life cycle of the malaria parasite. Within hepatocytes, Plasmodium sporozoites reside in a membrane-bound vacuole, where they differentiate
Branch, Donald R.; Hult, Annika K.; Olsson, Martin L.; Liles, W. Conrad; Cserti-Gazdewich, Christine M.; Kain, Kevin C.
Erythrocyte polymorphisms associated with a survival advantage to Plasmodium falciparum infection have undergone positive selection. There is a predominance of blood group O in malaria-endemic regions, and several lines of evidence suggest that ABO blood groups may influence the outcome of P. falciparum infection. Based on the hypothesis that enhanced innate clearance of infected polymorphic erythrocytes is associated with protection from severe malaria, we investigated whether P. falciparum-infected O erythrocytes are more efficiently cleared by macrophages than infected A and B erythrocytes. We show that human macrophages in vitro and mouse monocytes in vivo phagocytose P. falciparum-infected O erythrocytes more avidly than infected A and B erythrocytes and that uptake is associated with increased hemichrome deposition and high molecular weight band 3 aggregates in infected O erythrocytes. Using infected A1, A2, and O erythrocytes, we demonstrate an inverse association of phagocytic capacity with the amount of A antigen on the surface of infected erythrocytes. Finally, we report that enzymatic conversion of B erythrocytes to type as O before infection significantly enhances their uptake by macrophages to observed level comparable to that with infected O wild-type erythrocytes. These data provide the first evidence that ABO blood group antigens influence macrophage clearance of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes and suggest an additional mechanism by which blood group O may confer resistance to severe malaria. PMID:23071435
Full Text Available In pregnant women, Plasmodium falciparum infections are an important cause of maternal morbidity as well as fetal and neonatal mortality. Erythrocytes infected by these malaria-causing parasites accumulate through adhesive interactions in placental intervillous spaces, thus evading detection in peripheral blood smears. Sequestered infected erythrocytes induce inflammation, offering the possibility of detecting inflammatory mediators in peripheral blood that could act as biomarkers of placental infection. In a longitudinal, prospective study in Tanzania, we quantified a range of different cytokines, chemokines and angiogenic factors in peripheral plasma samples, taken on multiple sequential occasions during pregnancy up to and including delivery, from P. falciparum-infected women and matched uninfected controls. The results show that during healthy, uninfected pregnancies the levels of most of the panel of molecules we measured were largely unchanged except at delivery. In women with P. falciparum, however, both comparative and longitudinal assessments consistently showed that the levels of IL-10 and IP-10 increased significantly whilst that of RANTES decreased significantly, regardless of gestational age at the time the infection was detected. ROC curve analysis indicated that a combination of increased IL-10 and IP-10 levels and decreased RANTES levels might be predictive of P. falciparum infections. In conclusion, our data suggest that host biomarkers in peripheral blood may represent useful diagnostic markers of P. falciparum infection during pregnancy, but placental histology results would need to be included to verify these findings.
Balbir K Chaal
Full Text Available The apparent paucity of molecular factors of transcriptional control in the genomes of Plasmodium parasites raises many questions about the mechanisms of life cycle regulation in these malaria parasites. Epigenetic regulation has been suggested to play a major role in the stage specific gene expression during the Plasmodium life cycle. To address some of these questions, we analyzed global transcriptional responses of Plasmodium falciparum to a potent inhibitor of histone deacetylase activities (HDAC. The inhibitor apicidin induced profound transcriptional changes in multiple stages of the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC that were characterized by rapid activation and repression of a large percentage of the genome. A major component of this response was induction of genes that are otherwise suppressed during that particular stage of the IDC or specific for the exo-erythrocytic stages. In the schizont stage, apicidin induced hyperacetylation of histone lysine residues H3K9, H4K8 and the tetra-acetyl H4 (H4Ac4 and demethylation of H3K4me3. Interestingly, we observed overlapping patterns of chromosomal distributions between H4K8Ac and H3K4me3 and between H3K9Ac and H4Ac4. There was a significant but partial association between the apicidin-induced gene expression and histone modifications, which included a number of stage specific transcription factors. Taken together, inhibition of HDAC activities leads to dramatic de-regulation of the IDC transcriptional cascade, which is a result of both disruption of histone modifications and up-regulation of stage specific transcription factors. These findings suggest an important role of histone modification and chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation of the Plasmodium life cycle. This also emphasizes the potential of P. falciparum HDACs as drug targets for malaria chemotherapy.
Chaal, Balbir K; Gupta, Archna P; Wastuwidyaningtyas, Brigitta D; Luah, Yen-Hoon; Bozdech, Zbynek
The apparent paucity of molecular factors of transcriptional control in the genomes of Plasmodium parasites raises many questions about the mechanisms of life cycle regulation in these malaria parasites. Epigenetic regulation has been suggested to play a major role in the stage specific gene expression during the Plasmodium life cycle. To address some of these questions, we analyzed global transcriptional responses of Plasmodium falciparum to a potent inhibitor of histone deacetylase activities (HDAC). The inhibitor apicidin induced profound transcriptional changes in multiple stages of the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC) that were characterized by rapid activation and repression of a large percentage of the genome. A major component of this response was induction of genes that are otherwise suppressed during that particular stage of the IDC or specific for the exo-erythrocytic stages. In the schizont stage, apicidin induced hyperacetylation of histone lysine residues H3K9, H4K8 and the tetra-acetyl H4 (H4Ac4) and demethylation of H3K4me3. Interestingly, we observed overlapping patterns of chromosomal distributions between H4K8Ac and H3K4me3 and between H3K9Ac and H4Ac4. There was a significant but partial association between the apicidin-induced gene expression and histone modifications, which included a number of stage specific transcription factors. Taken together, inhibition of HDAC activities leads to dramatic de-regulation of the IDC transcriptional cascade, which is a result of both disruption of histone modifications and up-regulation of stage specific transcription factors. These findings suggest an important role of histone modification and chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation of the Plasmodium life cycle. This also emphasizes the potential of P. falciparum HDACs as drug targets for malaria chemotherapy.
Full Text Available Avoidance of antibody-mediated immune recognition allows parasites to establish chronic infections and enhances opportunities for transmission. The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum possesses a number of multi-copy gene families, including var, rif, stevor and pfmc-2tm, which encode variant antigens believed to be expressed on the surfaces of infected erythrocytes. However, most studies of these antigens are based on in vitro analyses of culture-adapted isolates, most commonly the laboratory strain 3D7, and thus may not be representative of the unique challenges encountered by P. falciparum in the human host. To investigate the expression of the var, rif-A, rif-B, stevor and pfmc-2tm family genes under conditions that mimic more closely the natural course of infection, ex vivo clinical P. falciparum isolates were analyzed using a novel quantitative real-time PCR approach. Expression patterns in the clinical isolates at various time points during the first intraerythrocytic developmental cycle in vitro were compared to those of strain 3D7. In the clinical isolates, in contrast to strain 3D7, there was a peak of expression of the multi-copy gene families rif-A, stevor and pfmc-2tm at the young ring stage, in addition to the already known expression peak in trophozoites. Furthermore, most of the variant surface antigen families were overexpressed in the clinical isolates relative to 3D7, with the exception of the pfmc-2tm family, expression of which was higher in 3D7 parasites. Immunofluorescence analyses performed in parallel revealed two stage-dependent localization patterns of RIFIN, STEVOR and PfMC-2TM. Proteins were exported into the infected erythrocyte at the young trophozoite stage, whereas they remained inside the parasite membrane during schizont stage and were subsequently observed in different compartments in the merozoite. These results reveal a complex pattern of expression of P. falciparum multi-copy gene families during
Kateera, Fredrick; Nsobya, Sam L.; Tukwasibwe, Stephen; Mens, Petra F.; Hakizimana, Emmanuel; Grobusch, Martin P.; Mutesa, Leon; Kumar, Nirbhay; van Vugt, Michele
Malaria remains a public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa with Plasmodium falciparum being the principal cause of malaria disease morbidity and mortality. Plasmodium falciparum virulence is attributed, in part, to its population-level genetic diversity-a characteristic that has yet to be
Pratt-Riccio, Lilian Rose; Perce-da-Silva, Daiana de Souza; Lima-Junior, Josué da Costa
The genetic diversity displayed by Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly Plasmodium species, is a significant obstacle for effective malaria vaccine development. In this study, we identified genetic polymorphisms in P. falciparum glutamate-rich protein (GLURP), which is currently being tested in...
Full Text Available Abstract Background In Cambodia, malaria transmission is low and most cases occur in forested areas. Sero-epidemiological techniques can be used to identify both areas of ongoing transmission and high-risk groups to be targeted by control interventions. This study utilizes repeated cross-sectional data to assess the risk of being malaria sero-positive at two consecutive time points during the rainy season and investigates who is most likely to sero-convert over the transmission season. Methods In 2005, two cross-sectional surveys, one in the middle and the other at the end of the malaria transmission season, were carried out in two ecologically distinct regions in Cambodia. Parasitological and serological data were collected in four districts. Antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum Glutamate Rich Protein (GLURP and Plasmodium vivax Merozoite Surface Protein-119 (MSP-119 were detected using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA. The force of infection was estimated using a simple catalytic model fitted using maximum likelihood methods. Risks for sero-converting during the rainy season were analysed using the Classification and Regression Tree (CART method. Results A total of 804 individuals participating in both surveys were analysed. The overall parasite prevalence was low (4.6% and 2.0% for P. falciparum and 7.9% and 6.0% for P. vivax in August and November respectively. P. falciparum force of infection was higher in the eastern region and increased between August and November, whilst P. vivax force of infection was higher in the western region and remained similar in both surveys. In the western region, malaria transmission changed very little across the season (for both species. CART analysis for P. falciparum in the east highlighted age, ethnicity, village of residence and forest work as important predictors for malaria exposure during the rainy season. Adults were more likely to increase their antibody responses to P. falciparum during the
or the early liver-stages of the mammalian life cycle . One of these antigens is the cell-traversal protein for ookinetes and sporozoites (CelTOS...Immunization with Pre-Erythrocytic Antigen CelTOS from Plasmodium falciparum Elicits Cross-Species Protection against Heterologous Challenge with... Plasmodium berghei Elke S. Bergmann-Leitner1*, Ryan M. Mease1, Patricia De La Vega1, Tatyana Savranskaya2, Mark Polhemus1, Christian Ockenhouse1, Evelina
Chauhan Virander S
Full Text Available Abstract Background The P-loop NTPases constitute one of the largest groups of globular protein domains that play highly diverse functional roles in most of the organisms. Even with the availability of nearly 300 different Hidden Markov Models representing the P-loop NTPase superfamily, not many P-loop NTPases are known in Plasmodium falciparum. A number of characteristic attributes of the genome have resulted into the lack of knowledge about this functionally diverse, but important class of proteins. Method In the study, protein sequences with characteristic motifs of NTPase domain (Walker A and Walker B are computationally extracted from the P. falciparum database. A detailed secondary structure analysis, functional classification, phylogenetic and orthology studies of the NTPase domain of repertoire of 97 P. falciparum P-loop NTPases is carried out. Results Based upon distinct sequence features and secondary structure profile of the P-loop domain of obtained sequences, a cladistic classification is also conceded: nucleotide kinases and GTPases, ABC and SMC family, SF1/2 helicases, AAA+ and AAA protein families. Attempts are made to identify any ortholog(s for each of these proteins in other Plasmodium sp. as well as its vertebrate host, Homo sapiens. A number of P. falciparum P-loop NTPases that have no homologue in the host, as well as those annotated as hypothetical proteins and lack any characteristic functional domain are identified. Conclusion The study suggests a strong correlation between sequence and secondary structure profile of P-loop domains and functional roles of these proteins and thus provides an opportunity to speculate the role of many hypothetical proteins. The study provides a methodical framework for the characterization of biologically diverse NTPases in the P. falciparum genome. The efforts made in the analysis are first of its kind; and the results augment to explore the functional role of many of these proteins from
Weng, Haibo; Guo, Xinhua; Papoin, Julien; Wang, Jie; Coppel, Ross; Mohandas, Narla; An, Xiuli
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports a large number of proteins into the erythrocyte cytoplasm during the asexual intraerythrocytic stage of its life cycle. A subset of these proteins interacts with erythrocyte membrane skeletal proteins and grossly alters the structure and function of the membrane. Several of the exported proteins, such as PfEMP1, PfEMP3, RESA and KAHRP, interact with the preponderant erythrocyte skeleton protein, spectrin. Here we have searched for possible interaction of these four malaria proteins with another major erythrocyte skeleton protein, ankyrin R. We have shown that KAHRP, but none of the other three, binds to ankyrin R. We have mapped the binding site for ankyrin R to a 79-residue segment of the KAHRP sequence, and the reciprocal binding site for KAHRP in ankyrin R to a subdomain (D3) of the 89kDa ankyrin R membrane-binding domain. Interaction of intact ankyrin R with KAHRP was inhibited by the free D3 subdomain. When, moreover, red cells loaded with the soluble D3 subdomain were infected with P. falciparum, KAHRP secreted by the intraerythrocytic parasite no longer migrated to the host cell membrane, but remained diffusely distributed throughout the cytosol. Our findings suggest a potentially important role for interaction of KAHRP with red cell membrane skeleton in promoting the adhesion of malaria-infected red cells to endothelial surfaces, a central element in the pathophysiology of malaria. © 2013.
Travassos, Mark A; Coulibaly, Drissa; Bailey, Jason A; Niangaly, Amadou; Adams, Matthew; Nyunt, Myaing M; Ouattara, Amed; Lyke, Kirsten E; Laurens, Matthew B; Pablo, Jozelyn; Jasinskas, Algis; Nakajima, Rie; Berry, Andrea A; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Kone, Abdoulaye K; Kouriba, Bourema; Rowe, J Alexandra; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Thera, Mahamadou A; Laufer, Miriam K; Felgner, Philip L; Plowe, Christopher V
The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family mediates parasite sequestration in small capillaries through tissue-specific cytoadherence. The best characterized of these proteins is VAR2CSA, which is expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes that bind to chondroitin sulfate in the placental matrix. Antibodies to VAR2CSA prevent placental cytoadherence and protect against placental malaria. The size and complexity of the VAR2CSA protein pose challenges for vaccine development, but smaller constitutive domains may be suitable for subunit vaccine development. A protein microarray was printed to include five overlapping fragments of the 3D7 VAR2CSA extracellular region. Malian women with a history of at least one pregnancy had antibody recognition of four of these fragments and had stronger reactivity against the two distal fragments than did nulliparous women, children, and men from Mali, suggesting that the C-terminal extracellular VAR2CSA domains are a potential focus of protective immunity. With carefully chosen sera from longitudinal studies of pregnant women, this approach has the potential to identify seroreactive VAR2CSA domains associated with protective immunity against pregnancy-associated malaria. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Fastman, Yair; Noble, Robert; Recker, Mario; Dzikowski, Ron
Antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum is regulated by transcriptional switches among members of the var gene family, each expressed in a mutually exclusive manner and encoding a different variant of the surface antigens collectively named PfEMP1. Antigenic switching starts when the first merozoites egress from the liver and begin their asexual proliferation within red blood cells. By erasing the epigenetic memory we created parasites with no var background, similar to merozoites that egress from the liver where no var gene is expressed. Creating a null-var background enabled us to investigate the onset of antigenic switches at the early phase of infection. At the onset of switching, var transcription pattern is heterogeneous with numerous genes transcribed at low levels including upsA vars, a subtype that was implicated in severe malaria, which are rarely activated in growing cultures. Analysis of subsequent in vitro switches shows that the probability of a gene to turn on or off is not associated with its chromosomal position or promoter type per se but on intrinsic properties of each gene. We concluded that var switching is determined by gene specific associated switch rates rather than general promoter type or locus associated switch rates. In addition, we show that fine tuned reduction in var transcription increases their switch rate, indicating that transcriptional perturbation can alter antigenic switching. PMID:22461905
Lopaticki, Sash; Yang, Annie S P; John, Alan; Scott, Nichollas E; Lingford, James P; O'Neill, Matthew T; Erickson, Sara M; McKenzie, Nicole C; Jennison, Charlie; Whitehead, Lachlan W; Douglas, Donna N; Kneteman, Norman M; Goddard-Borger, Ethan D; Boddey, Justin A
O-glycosylation of the Plasmodium sporozoite surface proteins CSP and TRAP was recently identified, but the role of this modification in the parasite life cycle and its relevance to vaccine design remain unclear. Here, we identify the Plasmodium protein O-fucosyltransferase (POFUT2) responsible for O-glycosylating CSP and TRAP. Genetic disruption of POFUT2 in Plasmodium falciparum results in ookinetes that are attenuated for colonizing the mosquito midgut, an essential step in malaria transmission. Some POFUT2-deficient parasites mature into salivary gland sporozoites although they are impaired for gliding motility, cell traversal, hepatocyte invasion, and production of exoerythrocytic forms in humanized chimeric liver mice. These defects can be attributed to destabilization and incorrect trafficking of proteins bearing thrombospondin repeats (TSRs). Therefore, POFUT2 plays a similar role in malaria parasites to that in metazoans: it ensures the trafficking of Plasmodium TSR proteins as part of a non-canonical glycosylation-dependent endoplasmic reticulum protein quality control mechanism.The role of O-glycosylation in the malaria life cycle is largely unknown. Here, the authors identify a Plasmodium protein O-fucosyltransferase and show that it is important for normal trafficking of a subset of surface proteins, particularly CSP and TRAP, and efficient infection of mosquito and vertebrate hosts.
Weiss, Greta E.; Clark, Eva H.; Li, Shanping; Traore, Boubacar; Kayentao, Kassoum; Ongoiba, Aissata; Hernandez, Jean N.; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Pierce, Susan K.; Branch, OraLee H.; Crompton, Peter D.
Background Antibodies that protect against Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria are only acquired after years of repeated infections. The B cell biology that underlies this observation is poorly understood. We previously reported that “atypical” memory B cells are increased in children and adults exposed to intense Pf transmission in Mali, similar to what has been observed in individuals infected with HIV. In this study we examined B cell subsets of Pf -infected adults in Peru and Mali to determine if Pf transmission intensity correlates with atypical memory B cell expansion. Methodology/Principal Findings In this cross-sectional study venous blood was collected from adults in areas of zero (U.S., n = 10), low (Peru, n = 18) and high (Mali, n = 12) Pf transmission. Adults in Peru and Mali were infected with Pf at the time of blood collection. Thawed lymphocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry to quantify B cell subsets, including atypical memory B cells, defined by the cell surface markers CD19+ CD20+ CD21− CD27− CD10−. In Peru, the mean level of atypical memory B cells, as a percent of total B cells, was higher than U.S. adults (Peru mean: 5.4% [95% CI: 3.61–7.28]; U.S. mean: 1.4% [95% CI: 0.92–1.81]; p<0.0001) but lower than Malian adults (Mali mean 13.1% [95% CI: 10.68–15.57]; p = 0.0001). In Peru, individuals self-reporting ≥1 prior malaria episodes had a higher percentage of atypical memory B cells compared to those reporting no prior episodes (≥1 prior episodes mean: 6.6% [95% CI: 4.09–9.11]; no prior episodes mean: 3.1% [95% CI: 1.52–4.73]; p = 0.028). Conclusions/Significance Compared to Pf-naive controls, atypical memory B cells were increased in Peruvian adults exposed to low Pf transmission, and further increased in Malian adults exposed to intense Pf transmission. Understanding the origin, function and antigen specificity of atypical memory B cells in the context of Pf infection could contribute to our
Full Text Available Abstract Background Aggregated haemozoin crystals within malaria-infected erythrocytes confer susceptibility of parasitized cells to a magnetic field. Here the utility of this method for diagnosis of human malaria is evaluated in a malaria-endemic region of Papua New Guinea (PNG. Methods and findings Individuals with Plasmodium falciparum malaria symptoms (n = 55 provided samples for conventional blood smear (CBS and magnetic deposition microscopy (MDM diagnosis. Standard Giemsa staining and light microscopy was performed to evaluate all preparations. Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia observed on MDM slides was consistently higher than parasitaemia observed by (CBS for ring (CBS = 2.6 vs. MDM = 3.4%; t-test P-value = 0.13, trophozoite (CBS = 0.5 vs. MDM = 1.6%; t-test P-value = 0.01, schizont (CBS = 0.003 vs. MDM = 0.1%; t-test P-value = 0.08 and gametocyte (CBS = 0.001 vs. MDM = 0.4%; t-test P-value = 0.0002 parasitaemias. Gametocyte prevalence determined by CBS compared to MDM increased from 7.3% to 45%, respectively. Conclusion MDM increased detection sensitivity of P. falciparum-infected, haemozoin-containing erythrocytes from infected humans while maintaining detection of ring-stage parasites. Gametocyte prevalence five-fold higher than observed by CBS suggests higher malaria transmission potential in PNG endemic sites compared to previous estimates.
van de Hoef, Diana L.; Coppens, Isabelle; Holowka, Thomas; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Branch, OraLee; Rodriguez, Ana
Malaria is characterized by cyclical fevers and high levels of inflammation, and while an early inflammatory response contributes to parasite clearance, excessive and persistent inflammation can lead to severe forms of the disease. Here, we show that Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes contain uric acid precipitates in the cytoplasm of the parasitophorous vacuole, which are released when erythrocytes rupture. Uric acid precipitates are highly inflammatory molecules that are considered a danger signal for innate immunity and are the causative agent in gout. We determined that P. falciparum-derived uric acid precipitates induce maturation of human dendritic cells, increasing the expression of cell surface co-stimulatory molecules such as CD80 and CD86, while decreasing human leukocyte antigen-DR expression. In accordance with this, uric acid accounts for a significant proportion of the total stimulatory activity induced by parasite-infected erythrocytes. Moreover, the identification of uric acid precipitates in P. falciparum- and P. vivax-infected erythrocytes obtained directly from malaria patients underscores the in vivo and clinical relevance of our findings. Altogether, our data implicate uric acid precipitates as a potentially important contributor to the innate immune response to Plasmodium infection and may provide a novel target for adjunct therapies. PMID:23405174
Babbitt, Shalon E; Altenhofen, Lindsey; Cobbold, Simon A; Istvan, Eva S; Fennell, Clare; Doerig, Christian; Llinás, Manuel; Goldberg, Daniel E
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is auxotrophic for most amino acids. Its amino acid needs are met largely through the degradation of host erythrocyte hemoglobin; however the parasite must acquire isoleucine exogenously, because this amino acid is not present in adult human hemoglobin. We report that when isoleucine is withdrawn from the culture medium of intraerythrocytic P. falciparum, the parasite slows its metabolism and progresses through its developmental cycle at a reduced rate. Isoleucine-starved parasites remain viable for 72 h and resume rapid growth upon resupplementation. Protein degradation during starvation is important for maintenance of this hibernatory state. Microarray analysis of starved parasites revealed a 60% decrease in the rate of progression through the normal transcriptional program but no other apparent stress response. Plasmodium parasites do not possess a TOR nutrient-sensing pathway and have only a rudimentary amino acid starvation-sensing eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) stress response. Isoleucine deprivation results in GCN2-mediated phosphorylation of eIF2α, but kinase-knockout clones still are able to hibernate and recover, indicating that this pathway does not directly promote survival during isoleucine starvation. We conclude that P. falciparum, in the absence of canonical eukaryotic nutrient stress-response pathways, can cope with an inconsistent bloodstream amino acid supply by hibernating and waiting for more nutrient to be provided.
March, Sandra; Ng, Shengyong; Velmurugan, Soundarapandian; Galstian, Ani; Shan, Jing; Logan, David J; Carpenter, Anne E; Thomas, David; Sim, B Kim Lee; Mota, Maria M; Hoffman, Stephen L; Bhatia, Sangeeta N
The Plasmodium liver stage is an attractive target for the development of antimalarial drugs and vaccines, as it provides an opportunity to interrupt the life cycle of the parasite at a critical early stage. However, targeting the liver stage has been difficult. Undoubtedly, a major barrier has been the lack of robust, reliable, and reproducible in vitro liver-stage cultures. Here, we establish the liver stages for both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in a microscale human liver platform composed of cryopreserved, micropatterned human primary hepatocytes surrounded by supportive stromal cells. Using this system, we have successfully recapitulated the full liver stage of P. falciparum, including the release of infected merozoites and infection of overlaid erythrocytes, as well as the establishment of small forms in late liver stages of P. vivax. Finally, we validate the potential of this platform as a tool for medium-throughput antimalarial drug screening and vaccine development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Emily D Crawford
Full Text Available Genetic manipulation of the deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remains challenging, but the rise of CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing tools is increasing the feasibility of altering this parasite's genome in order to study its biology. Of particular interest is the investigation of drug targets and drug resistance mechanisms, which have major implications for fighting malaria. We present a new method for introducing drug resistance mutations in P. falciparum without the use of plasmids or the need for cloning homologous recombination templates. We demonstrate this method by introducing edits into the sodium efflux channel PfATP4 by transfection of a purified CRISPR/Cas9-guide RNA ribonucleoprotein complex and a 200-nucleotide single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide (ssODN repair template. Analysis of whole genome sequencing data with the variant-finding program MinorityReport confirmed that only the intended edits were made, and growth inhibition assays confirmed that these mutations confer resistance to the antimalarial SJ733. The method described here is ideally suited for the introduction of mutations that confer a fitness advantage under selection conditions, and the novel finding that an ssODN can function as a repair template in P. falciparum could greatly simplify future editing attempts regardless of the nuclease used or the delivery method.
Murillo Solano, Claribel; Akinyi Okoth, Sheila; Abdallah, Joseph F; Pava, Zuleima; Dorado, Erika; Incardona, Sandra; Huber, Curtis S; Macedo de Oliveira, Alexandre; Bell, David; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Barnwell, John W
A number of studies have analyzed the performance of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in Colombia with discrepancies in performance being attributed to a combination of factors such as parasite levels, interpretation of RDT results and/or the handling and storage of RDT kits. However, some of the inconsistencies observed with results from Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2)-based RDTs could also be explained by the deletion of the gene that encodes the protein, pfhrp2, and its structural homolog, pfhrp3, in some parasite isolates. Given that pfhrp2- and pfhrp3-negative P. falciparum isolates have been detected in the neighboring Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon regions, we hypothesized that parasites with deletions of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 may also be present in Colombia. In this study we tested 100 historical samples collected between 1999 and 2009 from six Departments in Colombia for the presence of pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and their flanking genes. Seven neutral microsatellites were also used to determine the genetic background of these parasites. In total 18 of 100 parasite isolates were found to have deleted pfhrp2, a majority of which (14 of 18) were collected from Amazonas Department, which borders Peru and Brazil. pfhrp3 deletions were found in 52 of the 100 samples collected from all regions of the country. pfhrp2 flanking genes PF3D7_0831900 and PF3D7_0831700 were deleted in 22 of 100 and in 1 of 100 samples, respectively. pfhrp3 flanking genes PF3D7_1372100 and PF3D7_1372400 were missing in 55 of 100 and in 57 of 100 samples. Structure analysis of microsatellite data indicated that Colombian samples tested in this study belonged to four clusters and they segregated mostly based on their geographic region. Most of the pfhrp2-deleted parasites were assigned to a single cluster and originated from Amazonas Department although a few pfhrp2-negative parasites originated from the other three clusters. The presence of a high proportion of pfhrp2
Full Text Available Abstract Background The capacity of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to bind uninfected erythrocytes (rosetting is associated with severe malaria in African children. Rosetting is mediated by a subset of the variant surface antigens PfEMP1 targeted by protective antibody responses. Analysis of the response to rosette-forming parasites and their PfEMP1 adhesive domains is essential for understanding the acquisition of protection against severe malaria. To this end, the antibody response to a rosetting variant was analysed in children recruited with severe or uncomplicated malaria or asymptomatic P. falciparum infection. Methods Serum was collected from Beninese children with severe malaria, uncomplicated malaria or P. falciparum asymptomatic infection (N = 65, 37 and 52, respectively and from immune adults (N = 30 living in the area. Infected erythrocyte surface-reactive IgG, rosette disrupting antibodies and IgG to the parasite crude extract were analysed using the single variant Palo Alto VarO-infected line. IgG, IgG1 and IgG3 to PfEMP1-varO-derived NTS-DBL1α1, CIDRγ and DBL2βC2 recombinant domains were analysed by ELISA. Antibody responses were compared in the clinical groups. Stability of the response was studied using a blood sampling collected 14 months later from asymptomatic children. Results Seroprevalence of erythrocyte surface-reactive IgG was high in adults (100% and asymptomatic children (92.3% but low in children with severe or uncomplicated malaria (26.1% and 37.8%, respectively. The IgG, IgG1 and IgG3 antibody responses to the varO-derived PfEMP1 domains were significantly higher in asymptomatic children than in children with clinical malaria in a multivariate analysis correcting for age and parasite density at enrolment. They were essentially stable, although levels tended to decrease with time. VarO-surface reactivity correlated positively with IgG reactivity to the rosetting domain varO-NTS-DBL1α1. None of the
van Noort, Sander P; Nunes, Marta C; Weedall, Gareth D
BACKGROUND: The evolutionary mechanisms structuring the expression pattern of variant surface antigen (VSA) families that allow pathogens to evade immune responses and establish chronic and repeated infections pose major challenges to theoretical research. In Plasmodium falciparum, the best...... subset of PfEMP1 variants tends to dominate in non-immune patients and in patients with severe malaria, while more diverse subsets relate to uncomplicated infection and higher levels of pre-existing protective immunity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we use the available molecular and serological......-host and diverse blocks that are favoured by immune selection at the population level. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The application of a monotonic dominance profile to VSAs encoded by a gene family generates two opposing selective forces and, consequently, two distinct clusters of genes emerge in adaptation to naïve...
van Esbroeck Marjan
Full Text Available Abstract Background Most malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs detect Plasmodium falciparum and an antigen common to the four species. Plasmodium vivax-specific RDTs target P. vivax-specific parasite lactate dehydrogenase (Pv-pLDH. Previous observations of false positive Pv-pLDH test lines in P. falciparum samples incited to the present study, which assessed P. vivax-specific RDTs for the occurrence of false positive Pv-pLDH lines in P. falciparum samples. Methods Nine P. vivax-specific RDTs were tested with 85 P. falciparum samples of high (≥2% parasite density. Mixed P. falciparum/P. vivax infections were ruled out by real-time PCR. The RDTs included two-band (detecting Pv-pLDH, three-band (detecting P. falciparum-antigen and Pv-pLDH and four-band RDTs (detecting P. falciparum, Pv-pLDH and pan-pLDH. Results False positive Pv-pLDH lines were observed in 6/9 RDTs (including two- three- and four-band RDTs. They occurred in the individual RDT brands at frequencies ranging from 8.2% to 29.1%. For 19/85 samples, at least two RDT brands generated a false positive Pv-pLDH line. Sixteen of 85 (18.8% false positive lines were of medium or strong line intensity. There was no significant relation between false positive results and parasite density or geographic origin of the samples. Conclusion False positive Pv-pLDH lines in P. falciparum samples with high parasite density occurred in 6/9 P. vivax-specific RDTs. This is of concern as P. falciparum and P. vivax are co-circulating in many regions. The diagnosis of life-threatening P. falciparum malaria may be missed (two-band Pv-pLDH RDT, or the patient may be treated incorrectly with primaquine (three- or four-band RDTs.
Full Text Available Marylin Torrentino-Madamet1, Lionel Almeras2, Christelle Travaillé1, Véronique Sinou1, Matthieu Pophillat3, Maya Belghazi4, Patrick Fourquet3, Yves Jammes5, Daniel Parzy11UMR-MD3, Université de la Méditerranée, Antenne IRBA de Marseille (IMTSSA, Le Pharo, 2Unité de Recherche en Biologie et Epidémiologie Parasitaires, Antenne IRBA de Marseille (IMTSSA, Le Pharo, 3Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille Luminy, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de la Méditerranée, 4Centre d'Analyse Protéomique de Marseille, Institut Fédératif de Recherche Jean Roche, Faculté de Médecine Nord, 5UMR-MD2, Physiologie et Physiopathologie en Conditions d'Oxygénations Extrêmes, Institut Fédératif de Recherche Jean Roche, Faculté de Médecine Nord, Marseille, FranceObjectives: Although human respiratory metabolism is characterized by the mitochondrial electron transport chain, some organisms present a “branched respiratory chain.” This branched pathway includes both a classical and an alternative respiratory chain. The latter involves an alternative oxidase. Though the Plasmodium falciparum alternative oxidase is not yet identified, a specific inhibitor of this enzyme, salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM, showed a drug effect on P. falciparum respiratory function using oxygen consumption measurements. The present study aimed to highlight the metabolic pathways that are affected in P. falciparum following SHAM exposure.Design: A proteomic approach was used to analyze the P. falciparum proteome and determine the metabolic pathways altered following SHAM treatment. To evaluate the SHAM effect on parasite growth, the phenotypic alterations of P. falciparum after SHAM or/and hyperoxia exposure were observed.Results: After SHAM exposure, 26 proteins were significantly deregulated using a fluorescent two dimensional-differential gel electrophoresis. Among these deregulated proteins
Full Text Available Curcumin has been widely investigated for its myriad cellular effects resulting in reduced proliferation of various eukaryotic cells including cancer cells and the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Studies with human cancer cell lines HT-29, Caco-2, and MCF-7 suggest that curcumin can bind to tubulin and induce alterations in microtubule structure. Based on this finding, we investigated whether curcumin has any effect on P. falciparum microtubules, considering that mammalian and parasite tubulin are 83% identical. IC50 of curcumin was found to be 5 µM as compared to 20 µM reported before. Immunofluorescence images of parasites treated with 5 or 20 µM curcumin showed a concentration-dependent effect on parasite microtubules resulting in diffuse staining contrasting with the discrete hemispindles and subpellicular microtubules observed in untreated parasites. The effect on P. falciparum microtubules was evident only in the second cycle for both concentrations tested. This diffuse pattern of tubulin fluorescence in curcumin treated parasites was similar to the effect of a microtubule destabilizing drug vinblastine on P. falciparum. Molecular docking predicted the binding site of curcumin at the interface of alpha and beta tubulin, similar to another destabilizing drug colchicine. Data from predicted drug binding is supported by results from drug combination assays showing antagonistic interactions between curcumin and colchicine, sharing a similar binding site, and additive/synergistic interactions of curcumin with paclitaxel and vinblastine, having different binding sites. This evidence suggests that cellular effects of curcumin are at least, in part, due to its perturbing effect on P. falciparum microtubules. The action of curcumin, both direct and indirect, on P. falciparum microtubules is discussed.
Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Sawaswong, Vorthon; Simpalipan, Phumin; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Siripoon, Napaporn; Harnyuttanakorn, Pongchai
An effective malaria vaccine is an urgently needed tool to fight against human malaria, the most deadly parasitic disease of humans. One promising candidate is the merozoite surface protein-3 (MSP-3) of Plasmodium falciparum. This antigenic protein, encoded by the merozoite surface protein (msp-3) gene, is polymorphic and classified according to size into the two allelic types of K1 and 3D7. A recent study revealed that both the K1 and 3D7 alleles co-circulated within P. falciparum populations in Thailand, but the extent of the sequence diversity and variation within each allelic type remains largely unknown. The msp-3 gene was sequenced from 59 P. falciparum samples collected from five endemic areas (Mae Hong Son, Kanchanaburi, Ranong, Trat and Ubon Ratchathani) in Thailand and analysed for nucleotide sequence diversity, haplotype diversity and deduced amino acid sequence diversity. The gene was also subject to population genetic analysis (F st ) and neutrality tests (Tajima's D, Fu and Li D* and Fu and Li' F* tests) to determine any signature of selection. The sequence analyses revealed eight unique DNA haplotypes and seven amino acid sequence variants, with a haplotype and nucleotide diversity of 0.828 and 0.049, respectively. Neutrality tests indicated that the polymorphism detected in the alanine heptad repeat region of MSP-3 was maintained by positive diversifying selection, suggesting its role as a potential target of protective immune responses and supporting its role as a vaccine candidate. Comparison of MSP-3 variants among parasite populations in Thailand, India and Nigeria also inferred a close genetic relationship between P. falciparum populations in Asia. This study revealed the extent of the msp-3 gene diversity in P. falciparum in Thailand, providing the fundamental basis for the better design of future blood stage malaria vaccines against P. falciparum.
Sanz, Sílvia; Bandini, Giulia; Ospina, Diego; Bernabeu, Maria; Mariño, Karina; Fernández-Becerra, Carmen; Izquierdo, Luis
Carbohydrate structures play important roles in many biological processes, including cell adhesion, cell-cell communication, and host-pathogen interactions. Sugar nucleotides are activated forms of sugars used by the cell as donors for most glycosylation reactions. Using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based method, we identified and quantified the pools of UDP-glucose, UDP-galactose, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, GDP-mannose, and GDP-fucose in Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic life stages. We assembled these data with the in silico functional reconstruction of the parasite metabolic pathways obtained from the P. falciparum annotated genome, exposing new active biosynthetic routes crucial for further glycosylation reactions. Fucose is a sugar present in glycoconjugates often associated with recognition and adhesion events. Thus, the GDP-fucose precursor is essential in a wide variety of organisms. P. falciparum presents homologues of GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-L-fucose synthase enzymes that are active in vitro, indicating that most GDP-fucose is formed by a de novo pathway that involves the bioconversion of GDP-mannose. Homologues for enzymes involved in a fucose salvage pathway are apparently absent in the P. falciparum genome. This is in agreement with in vivo metabolic labeling experiments showing that fucose is not significantly incorporated by the parasite. Fluorescence microscopy of epitope-tagged versions of P. falciparum GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-L-fucose synthase expressed in transgenic 3D7 parasites shows that these enzymes localize in the cytoplasm of P. falciparum during the intraerythrocytic developmental cycle. Although the function of fucose in the parasite is not known, the presence of GDP-fucose suggests that the metabolite may be used for further fucosylation reactions.
Sanz, Sílvia; Bandini, Giulia; Ospina, Diego; Bernabeu, Maria; Mariño, Karina; Fernández-Becerra, Carmen; Izquierdo, Luis
Carbohydrate structures play important roles in many biological processes, including cell adhesion, cell-cell communication, and host-pathogen interactions. Sugar nucleotides are activated forms of sugars used by the cell as donors for most glycosylation reactions. Using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based method, we identified and quantified the pools of UDP-glucose, UDP-galactose, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, GDP-mannose, and GDP-fucose in Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic life stages. We assembled these data with the in silico functional reconstruction of the parasite metabolic pathways obtained from the P. falciparum annotated genome, exposing new active biosynthetic routes crucial for further glycosylation reactions. Fucose is a sugar present in glycoconjugates often associated with recognition and adhesion events. Thus, the GDP-fucose precursor is essential in a wide variety of organisms. P. falciparum presents homologues of GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-l-fucose synthase enzymes that are active in vitro, indicating that most GDP-fucose is formed by a de novo pathway that involves the bioconversion of GDP-mannose. Homologues for enzymes involved in a fucose salvage pathway are apparently absent in the P. falciparum genome. This is in agreement with in vivo metabolic labeling experiments showing that fucose is not significantly incorporated by the parasite. Fluorescence microscopy of epitope-tagged versions of P. falciparum GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-l-fucose synthase expressed in transgenic 3D7 parasites shows that these enzymes localize in the cytoplasm of P. falciparum during the intraerythrocytic developmental cycle. Although the function of fucose in the parasite is not known, the presence of GDP-fucose suggests that the metabolite may be used for further fucosylation reactions. PMID:23615908
Theander, T G; Bygbjerg, I C; Jepsen, S
Affinity-purified Plasmodium falciparum soluble antigens (SPAg) isolated from in vitro cultures of the parasite were shown to be relatively free of nonspecific polyclonal activators. To determine the presence of lymphocytes with specificity against SPAg in the peripheral blood of malaria-immune i......Affinity-purified Plasmodium falciparum soluble antigens (SPAg) isolated from in vitro cultures of the parasite were shown to be relatively free of nonspecific polyclonal activators. To determine the presence of lymphocytes with specificity against SPAg in the peripheral blood of malaria...
Manske, Magnus; Miotto, Olivo; Campino, Susana; Auburn, Sarah; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Maslen, Gareth; O’Brien, Jack; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Doumbo, Ogobara; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Michon, Pascal; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter; Nzila, Alexis; Borrmann, Steffen; Kiara, Steven M.; Marsh, Kevin; Jiang, Hongying; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Fairhurst, Rick; Socheat, Duong; Nosten, Francois; Imwong, Mallika; White, Nicholas J.; Sanders, Mandy; Anastasi, Elisa; Alcock, Dan; Drury, Eleanor; Oyola, Samuel; Quail, Michael A.; Turner, Daniel J.; Rubio, Valentin Ruano; Jyothi, Dushyanth; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Hubbart, Christina; Jeffreys, Anna; Rowlands, Kate; Sutherland, Colin; Roper, Cally; Mangano, Valentina; Modiano, David; Tan, John C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J.; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V.; Rayner, Julian C.; Rockett, Kirk A.; Clark, Taane G.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.
Malaria elimination strategies require surveillance of the parasite population for genetic changes that demand a public health response, such as new forms of drug resistance. 1,2 Here we describe methods for large-scale analysis of genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum by deep sequencing of parasite DNA obtained from the blood of patients with malaria, either directly or after short term culture. Analysis of 86,158 exonic SNPs that passed genotyping quality control in 227 samples from Africa, Asia and Oceania provides genome-wide estimates of allele frequency distribution, population structure and linkage disequilibrium. By comparing the genetic diversity of individual infections with that of the local parasite population, we derive a metric of within-host diversity that is related to the level of inbreeding in the population. An open-access web application has been established for exploration of regional differences in allele frequency and of highly differentiated loci in the P. falciparum genome. PMID:22722859
Ocholla, Harold; Preston, Mark D; Mipando, Mwapatsa
BACKGROUND: Selection by host immunity and antimalarial drugs has driven extensive adaptive evolution in Plasmodium falciparum and continues to produce ever-changing landscapes of genetic variation. METHODS: We performed whole-genome sequencing of 69 P. falciparum isolates from Malawi and used......, an area of high malaria transmission. Allele frequency-based tests provided evidence of recent population growth in Malawi and detected potential targets of host immunity and candidate vaccine antigens. Comparison of the sequence variation between isolates from Malawi and those from 5 geographically...... dispersed countries (Kenya, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cambodia, and Thailand) detected population genetic differences between Africa and Asia, within Southeast Asia, and within Africa. Haplotype-based tests of selection to sequence data from all 6 populations identified signals of directional selection at known...
Full Text Available New antimalarial drugs are urgently needed to control drug-resistant forms of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Mitochondrial electron transport is the target of both existing and new antimalarials. Herein, we describe 11 genetic knockout (KO lines that delete six of the eight mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA cycle enzymes. Although all TCA KOs grew normally in asexual blood stages, these metabolic deficiencies halted life-cycle progression in later stages. Specifically, aconitase KO parasites arrested as late gametocytes, whereas α-ketoglutarate-dehydrogenase-deficient parasites failed to develop oocysts in the mosquitoes. Mass spectrometry analysis of 13C-isotope-labeled TCA mutant parasites showed that P. falciparum has significant flexibility in TCA metabolism. This flexibility manifested itself through changes in pathway fluxes and through altered exchange of substrates between cytosolic and mitochondrial pools. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial metabolic plasticity is essential for parasite development.
Ke, Hangjun; Lewis, Ian A; Morrisey, Joanne M; McLean, Kyle J; Ganesan, Suresh M; Painter, Heather J; Mather, Michael W; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Llinás, Manuel; Vaidya, Akhil B
New antimalarial drugs are urgently needed to control drug-resistant forms of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Mitochondrial electron transport is the target of both existing and new antimalarials. Herein, we describe 11 genetic knockout (KO) lines that delete six of the eight mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes. Although all TCA KOs grew normally in asexual blood stages, these metabolic deficiencies halted life-cycle progression in later stages. Specifically, aconitase KO parasites arrested as late gametocytes, whereas α-ketoglutarate-dehydrogenase-deficient parasites failed to develop oocysts in the mosquitoes. Mass spectrometry analysis of (13)C-isotope-labeled TCA mutant parasites showed that P. falciparum has significant flexibility in TCA metabolism. This flexibility manifested itself through changes in pathway fluxes and through altered exchange of substrates between cytosolic and mitochondrial pools. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial metabolic plasticity is essential for parasite development. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lorena M Coronado
Full Text Available The development of resistance to insecticides by the vector of malaria and the increasingly faster appearance of resistance to antimalarial drugs by the parasite can dangerously hamper efforts to control and eradicate the disease. Alternative ways to treat this disease are urgently needed. Here we evaluate the in vitro effect of direct current (DC capacitive coupling electrical stimulation on the biology and viability of Plasmodium falciparum. We designed a system that exposes infected erythrocytes to different capacitively coupled electric fields in order to evaluate their effect on P. falciparum. The effect on growth of the parasite, replication of DNA, mitochondrial membrane potential and level of reactive oxygen species after exposure to electric fields demonstrate that the parasite is biologically able to respond to stimuli from DC electric fields involving calcium signaling pathways.
Chulay, J.D.; Haynes, J.D.; Diggs, C.L.
To evaluate rapidly Plasmodium falciparum growth in Vitro, [ 3 H]hypoxanthine was added to parasite microcultures and radioisotope incorporation was measured. When culture parameters were carefully controlled, [ 3 H]hypoxanthine incorporation was proportional to the number of parasitized erythrocytes present. Factors affecting [ 3 H]hypoxanthine incorporation included initial parasitemia, duration of culture, duration of radioisotope pulse, parasite stage, concentration of uninfected erythrocytes, the use of serum or plasma to supplement growth, and the concentration of a variety of purines in the culture medium. The method described can be used to measure inhibition of P. falciparum growth by immune serum and has previously been used to study antimalarial drug activity in vitro
Dinio, Theresa; Gorka, Alexander P; McGinniss, Andrew; Roepe, Paul D; Morgan, Jeremy B
Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malarial parasite species, has developed resistance against nearly all man-made antimalarial drugs within the past century. However, quinine (QN), the first antimalarial drug, remains efficacious worldwide. Some chloroquine resistant (CQR) P. falciparum strains or isolates show mild cross resistance to QN, but many do not. Further optimization of QN may provide a well-tolerated therapy with improved activity versus CQR malaria. Thus, using the Heck reaction, we have pursued a structure-activity relationship study, including vinyl group modifications of QN. Certain derivatives show good antiplasmodial activity in QN-resistant and QN-sensitive strains, with lower IC(50) values relative to QN. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kurtzhals, J A; Reimert, C M; Tette, E
To assess the eosinophil response to Plasmodium falciparum infection a cohort of initially parasite-free Ghanaian children was followed for 3 months. Seven of nine children who acquired an asymptomatic P. falciparum infection showed increase in eosinophil counts, while a decrease was found in seven...... of nine children with symptomatic malaria, and no change was observed in 14 children who remained parasite-free. In a hospital-based study, paediatric patients with cerebral malaria (CM), severe anaemia (SA), or uncomplicated malaria (UM) had uniformly low eosinophil counts during the acute illness...... followed by eosinophilia 30 days after cure. Plasma levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and eosinophil protein X (EPX) were measured as indicators of eosinophil activation. In spite of the low eosinophil counts, ECP levels were increased on day 0 and significantly higher in patients with CM...
Anabwani, G; Canfield, C J; Hutchinson, D B
Malaria is a major cause of pediatric mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide estimates of mortality among children with Plasmodium falciparum malaria range from 1 to 2 million deaths per year. Management of malaria is increasingly difficult because of the global spread of drug-resistant strains of P. falciparum. There is an urgent need for safe and effective new therapies to treat multidrug-resistant malaria. This open label, randomized trial compared atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride with halofantrine for treatment of acute, uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in children age 3 to 12 years (84 patients per group). Study drug dosages were adjusted by weight (approximately 20 and 8 mg/kg daily for three doses for atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride and 8 mg/kg every 6 h for three doses for halofantrine). Patients were monitored by serial clinical and laboratory assessments for 28 days after starting treatment. Both regimens were effective (cure rate, 93.8% for atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride and 90.4% for halofantrine) and produced prompt defervescence. Mean parasite clearance times were 50.2 h for halofantrine and 64.9 h for atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride. More adverse experiences were reported in children treated with halofantrine (119) than with atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride (73). In Kenyan children the combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride has efficacy comparable with that of halofantrine for treatment of acute uncomplicated multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria and is associated with a lower rate of adverse events.
Shi, Ya Ping; Hasnain, Seyed E.; Sacci, John B.; Holloway, Brian P.; Fujioka, Hisashi; Kumar, Nirbhay; Wohlhueter, Robert; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Collins, William E.; Lal, Altaf A.
Compared with a single-stage antigen-based vaccine, a multistage and multivalent Plasmodium falciparum vaccine would be more efficacious by inducing "multiple layers" of immunity. We have constructed a synthetic gene that encodes for 12 B cell, 6 T cell proliferative, and 3 cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes derived from 9 stage-specific P. falciparum antigens corresponding to the sporozoite, liver, erythrocytic asexual, and sexual stages. The gene was expressed in the baculovirus system, and a 41-kDa antigen, termed CDC/NIIMALVAC-1, was purified. Immunization in rabbits with the purified protein in the presence of different adjuvants generated antibody responses that recognized vaccine antigen, linear peptides contained in the vaccine, and all stages of P. falciparum. In vitro assays of protection revealed that the vaccine-elicited antibodies strongly inhibited sporozoite invasion of hepatoma cells and growth of blood-stage parasites in the presence of monocytes. These observations demonstrate that a multicomponent, multistage malaria vaccine can induce immune responses that inhibit parasite development at multiple stages. The rationale and approach used in the development of a multicomponent P. falciparum vaccine will be useful in the development of a multispecies human malaria vaccine and vaccines against other infectious diseases.
Vaughan, Ashley M.; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.; Wilson, Elizabeth M.; Grompe, Markus; Kaushansky, Alexis; Camargo, Nelly; Bial, John; Ploss, Alexander; Kappe, Stefan H.I.
Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most lethal form of human malaria, replicates in the host liver during the initial stage of infection. However, in vivo malaria liver-stage (LS) studies in humans are virtually impossible, and in vitro models of LS development do not reconstitute relevant parasite growth conditions. To overcome these obstacles, we have adopted a robust mouse model for the study of P. falciparum LS in vivo: the immunocompromised and fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase–deficient mouse (Fah–/–, Rag2–/–, Il2rg–/–, termed the FRG mouse) engrafted with human hepatocytes (FRG huHep). FRG huHep mice supported vigorous, quantifiable P. falciparum LS development that culminated in complete maturation of LS at approximately 7 days after infection, providing a relevant model for LS development in humans. The infections allowed observations of previously unknown expression of proteins in LS, including P. falciparum translocon of exported proteins 150 (PTEX150) and exported protein-2 (EXP-2), components of a known parasite protein export machinery. LS schizonts exhibited exoerythrocytic merozoite formation and merosome release. Furthermore, FRG mice backcrossed to the NOD background and repopulated with huHeps and human red blood cells supported reproducible transition from LS infection to blood-stage infection. Thus, these mice constitute reliable models to study human LS directly in vivo and demonstrate utility for studies of LS–to–blood-stage transition of a human malaria parasite. PMID:22996664
Govindaraju, Gayathri; Jabeena, C A; Sethumadhavan, Devadathan Valiyamangalath; Rajaram, Nivethika; Rajavelu, Arumugam
In eukaryotes, cytosine methylation regulates diverse biological processes such as gene expression, development and maintenance of genomic integrity. However, cytosine methylation and its functions in pathogenic apicomplexan protozoans remain enigmatic. To address this, here we investigated the presence of cytosine methylation in the nucleic acids of the protozoan Plasmodium falciparum. Interestingly, P. falciparum has TRDMT1, a conserved homologue of DNA methyltransferase DNMT2. However, we found that TRDMT1 did not methylate DNA, in vitro. We demonstrate that TRDMT1 methylates cytosine in the endogenous aspartic acid tRNA of P. falciparum. Through RNA bisulfite sequencing, we mapped the position of 5-methyl cytosine in aspartic acid tRNA and found methylation only at C38 position. P. falciparum proteome has significantly higher aspartic acid content and a higher proportion of proteins with poly aspartic acid repeats than other apicomplexan pathogenic protozoans. Proteins with such repeats are functionally important, with significant roles in host-pathogen interactions. Therefore, TRDMT1 mediated C38 methylation of aspartic acid tRNA might play a critical role by translational regulation of important proteins and modulate the pathogenicity of the malarial parasite. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Larrañaga, Nerea; Mejía, Rosa E; Hormaza, José I; Montoya, Alberto; Soto, Aida; Fontecha, Gustavo A
The Caribbean coast of Central America remains an area of malaria transmission caused by Plasmodium falciparum despite the fact that morbidity has been reduced in recent years. Parasite populations in that region show interesting characteristics such as chloroquine susceptibility and low mortality rates. Genetic structure and diversity of P. falciparum populations in the Honduras-Nicaragua border were analysed in this study. Seven neutral microsatellite loci were analysed in 110 P. falciparum isolates from endemic areas of Honduras (n = 77) and Nicaragua (n = 33), mostly from the border region called the Moskitia. Several analyses concerning the genetic diversity, linkage disequilibrium, population structure, molecular variance, and haplotype clustering were conducted. There was a low level of genetic diversity in P. falciparum populations from Honduras and Nicaragua. Expected heterozigosity (H(e)) results were similarly low for both populations. A moderate differentiation was revealed by the F(ST) index between both populations, and two putative clusters were defined through a structure analysis. The main cluster grouped most of samples from Honduras and Nicaragua, while the second cluster was smaller and included all the samples from the Siuna community in Nicaragua. This result could partially explain the stronger linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the parasite population from that country. These findings are congruent with the decreasing rates of malaria endemicity in Central America.
Full Text Available Se evaluó la frecuencia de mutaciones en los genes pfCRT y DHFR/DHPS del Plasmodium falciparum asociados a la resistencia a cloroquina y sulfadoxina-pirimetamina en 83 cepas provenientes de los distritos Esmeralda y Machala ubicados en las fronteras entre Ecuador-Perú y Ecuador-Colombia durante el año 2002. Se empleó la reacción en cadena de polimerasa (PCR convencional y sus variantes. El gen pfCRT presentó más de 90% de muestras mutantes en Esmeralda y Machala. Para el gen DHFR, el 90% de las cepas fueron muestras mutantes en Esmeralda, tres fueron mutaciones dobles y una triple; en Machala se encontró 25% de formas mutantes simples y 75% de formas mixtas (formas silvestres/mutantes. En conclusión, la resistencia a cloroquina se ha fijado en las cepas portadoras de la mutación K76T pfCRT, mientras que la impronta genética a la resistencia a pirimetamina está en evolución, principalmente en el distrito de Esmeralda
Background Effective treatment remains a mainstay of malaria control, but it is unfortunately strongly compromised by drug resistance, particularly in Plasmodium falciparum, the most important human malaria parasite. Although P. falciparum chemoresistance is well recognized all over the world, limited data are available on the distribution and prevalence of pfcrt and pfmdr1 haplotypes that mediate resistance to commonly used drugs and that show distinct geographic differences. Methods Plasmodium falciparum-infected blood samples collected in 2007 at four municipalities of Luanda, Angola, were genotyped using PCR and direct DNA sequencing. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the P. falciparum pfcrt and pfmdr1 genes were assessed and haplotype prevalences were determined. Results and Discussion The most prevalent pfcrt haplotype was StctVMNT (representing amino acids at codons 72-76). This result was unexpected, since the StctVMNT haplotype has previously been seen mainly in parasites from South America and India. The CVIET, CVMNT and CVINT drug-resistance haplotypes were also found, and one previously undescribed haplotype (CVMDT) was detected. Regarding pfmdr1, the most prevalent haplotype was YEYSNVD (representing amino acids at codons 86, 130, 184, 1034, 1042, 1109 and 1246). Wild haplotypes for pfcrt and pfmdr1 were uncommon; 3% of field isolates harbored wild type pfcrt (CVMNK), whereas 21% had wild type pfmdr1 (NEYSNVD). The observed predominance of the StctVMNT haplotype in Angola could be a result of frequent travel between Brazil and Angola citizens in the context of selective pressure of heavy CQ use. Conclusions The high prevalence of the pfcrt SVMNT haplotype and the pfmdr1 86Y mutation confirm high-level chloroquine resistance and might suggest reduced efficacy of amodiaquine in Angola. Further studies must be encouraged to examine the in vitro sensitivity of pfcrt SVMNT parasites to artesunate and amodiaquine for better conclusive data. PMID:20565881
Jakobsen, P H; Bygbjerg, I C; Theander, T G
Monoclonal antibodies (Mab) were raised against haemoglobin (Hb) associated with Plasmodium falciparum protein and used to develop an ELISA, measuring circulating levels of released Hb. This assay was evaluated in different malaria patients in parallel with ELISA assays for C-reactive protein (CR...... after treatment. Soluble Hb levels were associated with malariometric parameters in a similar fashion to haptoglobin. The new Mab-based assay for measuring soluble Hb in the peripheral blood of malaria patients may be useful for future epidemiological studies of malaria....
Theander, T G; Pedersen, B K; Bygbjerg, I C
Mononuclear cells (MNC) isolated from malaria immune donors and from donors never exposed to malaria were stimulated in vitro with soluble purified Plasmodium falciparum antigens (SPag) or PPD. After 7 days of culture the proliferative response and the cytotoxic activity against the natural killer...... were preincubated with interleukin 2 (IL-2) for one hour before the start of the cytotoxic assay. SPag activation did not enhance the cytotoxic activity of MNC which did not respond to the antigen in the proliferation assay, and preincubation of these cells with IL-2 did not increase the activity. PPD...
Fivelman, Quinton L; Butcher, Geoffrey A; Adagu, Ipemida S; Warhurst, David C; Pasvol, Geoffrey
We report the first in vitro and genetic confirmation of Malarone (GlaxoSmithKline; atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride) resistance in Plasmodium falciparum acquired in Africa. On presenting with malaria two weeks after returning from a 4-week visit to Lagos, Nigeria without prophylaxis, a male patient was given a standard 3-day treatment course of Malarone. Twenty-eight days later the parasitaemia recrudesced. Parasites were cultured from the blood and the isolate (NGATV01) was shown to be resistant to atovaquone and the antifolate pyrimethamine. The cytochrome b gene of isolate NGATV01 showed a single mutation, Tyr268Asn which has not been seen previously.
Tomescu, Oana A; Mattanovich, Diethard; Thallinger, Gerhard G
Technological improvements have shifted the focus from data generation to data analysis. The availability of large amounts of data from transcriptomics, protemics and metabolomics experiments raise new questions concerning suitable integrative analysis methods. We compare three integrative analysis techniques (co-inertia analysis, generalized singular value decomposition and integrative biclustering) by applying them to gene and protein abundance data from the six life cycle stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Co-inertia analysis is an analysis method used to visualize and explore gene and protein data. The generalized singular value decomposition has shown its potential in the analysis of two transcriptome data sets. Integrative Biclustering applies biclustering to gene and protein data. Using CIA, we visualize the six life cycle stages of Plasmodium falciparum, as well as GO terms in a 2D plane and interpret the spatial configuration. With GSVD, we decompose the transcriptomic and proteomic data sets into matrices with biologically meaningful interpretations and explore the processes captured by the data sets. IBC identifies groups of genes, proteins, GO Terms and life cycle stages of Plasmodium falciparum. We show method-specific results as well as a network view of the life cycle stages based on the results common to all three methods. Additionally, by combining the results of the three methods, we create a three-fold validated network of life cycle stage specific GO terms: Sporozoites are associated with transcription and transport; merozoites with entry into host cell as well as biosynthetic and metabolic processes; rings with oxidation-reduction processes; trophozoites with glycolysis and energy production; schizonts with antigenic variation and immune response; gametocyctes with DNA packaging and mitochondrial transport. Furthermore, the network connectivity underlines the separation of the intraerythrocytic cycle from the gametocyte and sporozoite stages
Full Text Available An in vitro translation system has been prepared from Plasmodium falciparum by saponin lysis of infected-erythrocytes to free parasites which were homogeneized with glass beads, centrifuged to obtain a S-30 fraction followed by Sephadex G-25 gel filtration. This treatment produced a system with very low contamination of host proteins (<1%. The system, optimized for Mg2+ and K+, translates endogenous mRNA and is active for 80 min which suggests that their protein factors and mRNA are quite stable.