WorldWideScience

Sample records for plasmodium parasite species

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-02

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

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

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    Maurice Marcel Sandeu

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

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

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    Kanako Komaki-Yasuda

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

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    Linda Duval

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

  7. Helminth parasites alter protection against Plasmodium infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Agata Zerka

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-23

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Siciliano, Giulia; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Translational Control in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Translational control in Plasmodium and toxoplasma parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

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    Christophe Paupy

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

  15. Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  16. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

    OpenAIRE

    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Genome-scale comparison of expanded gene families in Plasmodium ovale wallikeri and Plasmodium ovale curtisi with Plasmodium malariae and with other Plasmodium species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansari, Hifzur Rahman; Templeton, Thomas J; Subudhi, Amit Kumar; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Tang, Jianxia; Lu, Feng; Naeem, Raeece; Hashish, Yasmeen; Oguike, Mary C; Benavente, Ernest Diez; Clark, Taane G; Sutherland, Colin J; Barnwell, John W; Culleton, Richard; Cao, Jun; Pain, Arnab

    2016-10-01

    Malaria in humans is caused by six species of Plasmodium parasites, of which the nuclear genome sequences for the two Plasmodium ovale spp., P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri, and Plasmodium malariae have not yet been analyzed. Here we present an analysis of the nuclear genome sequences of these three parasites, and describe gene family expansions therein. Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri are genetically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable and have sympatric ranges through the tropics of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Both P. ovale spp. show expansion of the surfin variant gene family, and an amplification of the Plasmodium interspersed repeat (pir) superfamily which results in an approximately 30% increase in genome size. For comparison, we have also analyzed the draft nuclear genome of P. malariae, a malaria parasite causing mild malaria symptoms with a quartan life cycle, long-term chronic infections, and wide geographic distribution. Plasmodium malariae shows only a moderate level of expansion of pir genes, and unique expansions of a highly diverged transmembrane protein family with over 550 members and the gamete P25/27 gene family. The observed diversity in the P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi surface antigens, combined with their phylogenetic separation, supports consideration that the two parasites be given species status. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Genome-scale comparison of expanded gene families in Plasmodium ovale wallikeri and Plasmodium ovale curtisi with Plasmodium malariae and with other Plasmodium species

    KAUST Repository

    Ansari, Hifzur Rahman; Templeton, Thomas J.; Subudhi, Amit; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Tang, Jianxia; Lu, Feng; Naeem, Raeece; Hashish, Yasmeen; Oguike, Mary C.; Benavente, Ernest Diez; Clark, Taane G.; Sutherland, Colin J.; Barnwell, John W.; Culleton, Richard; Cao, Jun; Pain, Arnab

    2016-01-01

    Malaria in humans is caused by six species of Plasmodium parasites, of which the nuclear genome sequences for the two Plasmodium ovale spp., P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri, and Plasmodium malariae have not yet been analyzed. Here we present an analysis of the nuclear genome sequences of these three parasites, and describe gene family expansions therein. Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri are genetically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable and have sympatric ranges through the tropics of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Both P. ovale spp. show expansion of the surfin variant gene family, and an amplification of the Plasmodium interspersed repeat (pir) superfamily which results in an approximately 30% increase in genome size. For comparison, we have also analyzed the draft nuclear genome of P. malariae, a malaria parasite causing mild malaria symptoms with a quartan life cycle, long-term chronic infections, and wide geographic distribution. Plasmodium malariae shows only a moderate level of expansion of pir genes, and unique expansions of a highly diverged transmembrane protein family with over 550 members and the gamete P25/27 gene family. The observed diversity in the P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi surface antigens, combined with their phylogenetic separation, supports consideration that the two parasites be given species status.

  19. Genome-scale comparison of expanded gene families in Plasmodium ovale wallikeri and Plasmodium ovale curtisi with Plasmodium malariae and with other Plasmodium species

    KAUST Repository

    Ansari, Hifzur Rahman

    2016-07-05

    Malaria in humans is caused by six species of Plasmodium parasites, of which the nuclear genome sequences for the two Plasmodium ovale spp., P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri, and Plasmodium malariae have not yet been analyzed. Here we present an analysis of the nuclear genome sequences of these three parasites, and describe gene family expansions therein. Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri are genetically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable and have sympatric ranges through the tropics of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Both P. ovale spp. show expansion of the surfin variant gene family, and an amplification of the Plasmodium interspersed repeat (pir) superfamily which results in an approximately 30% increase in genome size. For comparison, we have also analyzed the draft nuclear genome of P. malariae, a malaria parasite causing mild malaria symptoms with a quartan life cycle, long-term chronic infections, and wide geographic distribution. Plasmodium malariae shows only a moderate level of expansion of pir genes, and unique expansions of a highly diverged transmembrane protein family with over 550 members and the gamete P25/27 gene family. The observed diversity in the P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi surface antigens, combined with their phylogenetic separation, supports consideration that the two parasites be given species status.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pain, A; Böhme, U; Berry, A E

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia eSiciliano

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan C Smith

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siciliano, Giulia; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Mosquito transmission of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spence Philip J

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  7. Comparative Genomics and Systems Biology of Malaria Parasites Plasmodium

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bejon, Philip; Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Plasmodium species differentiation by non-expert on-line volunteers for remote malaria field diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Ruiz, Alejandra; Postigo, María; Gil-Casanova, Sara; Cuadrado, Daniel; Bautista, José M; Rubio, José Miguel; Luengo-Oroz, Miguel; Linares, María

    2018-01-30

    Routine field diagnosis of malaria is a considerable challenge in rural and low resources endemic areas mainly due to lack of personnel, training and sample processing capacity. In addition, differential diagnosis of Plasmodium species has a high level of misdiagnosis. Real time remote microscopical diagnosis through on-line crowdsourcing platforms could be converted into an agile network to support diagnosis-based treatment and malaria control in low resources areas. This study explores whether accurate Plasmodium species identification-a critical step during the diagnosis protocol in order to choose the appropriate medication-is possible through the information provided by non-trained on-line volunteers. 88 volunteers have performed a series of questionnaires over 110 images to differentiate species (Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium knowlesi) and parasite staging from thin blood smear images digitalized with a smartphone camera adapted to the ocular of a conventional light microscope. Visual cues evaluated in the surveys include texture and colour, parasite shape and red blood size. On-line volunteers are able to discriminate Plasmodium species (P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. knowlesi) and stages in thin-blood smears according to visual cues observed on digitalized images of parasitized red blood cells. Friendly textual descriptions of the visual cues and specialized malaria terminology is key for volunteers learning and efficiency. On-line volunteers with short-training are able to differentiate malaria parasite species and parasite stages from digitalized thin smears based on simple visual cues (shape, size, texture and colour). While the accuracy of a single on-line expert is far from perfect, a single parasite classification obtained by combining the opinions of multiple on-line volunteers over the same smear, could improve accuracy and reliability of Plasmodium species

  10. Protease-associated cellular networks in malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilburn Timothy G

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria continues to be one of the most severe global infectious diseases, responsible for 1-2 million deaths yearly. The rapid evolution and spread of drug resistance in parasites has led to an urgent need for the development of novel antimalarial targets. Proteases are a group of enzymes that play essential roles in parasite growth and invasion. The possibility of designing specific inhibitors for proteases makes them promising drug targets. Previously, combining a comparative genomics approach and a machine learning approach, we identified the complement of proteases (degradome in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its sibling species 123, providing a catalog of targets for functional characterization and rational inhibitor design. Network analysis represents another route to revealing the role of proteins in the biology of parasites and we use this approach here to expand our understanding of the systems involving the proteases of P. falciparum. Results We investigated the roles of proteases in the parasite life cycle by constructing a network using protein-protein association data from the STRING database 4, and analyzing these data, in conjunction with the data from protein-protein interaction assays using the yeast 2-hybrid (Y2H system 5, blood stage microarray experiments 678, proteomics 9101112, literature text mining, and sequence homology analysis. Seventy-seven (77 out of 124 predicted proteases were associated with at least one other protein, constituting 2,431 protein-protein interactions (PPIs. These proteases appear to play diverse roles in metabolism, cell cycle regulation, invasion and infection. Their degrees of connectivity (i.e., connections to other proteins, range from one to 143. The largest protease-associated sub-network is the ubiquitin-proteasome system which is crucial for protein recycling and stress response. Proteases are also implicated in heat shock response, signal peptide

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica K O'Hara

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiannong Xu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taeko Moriyasu

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Pain, Arnab; Ravasi, Timothy

    2012-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Assefa, Samuel

    2015-10-06

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. frequency and seasonal variation of plasmodium species in southern districts of Khyber pakhtunkhwa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, N.U.

    2014-01-01

    To determine the frequency of malaria and seasonal variation of Plasmodium species in southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Study Design: Descriptive study. Place and Duration of study: Department of Pathology Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Bannu, from 1st January 2010 to 31st December 2011. Patients and Methods: Five thousand eight hundred and seventy eight (5878) patients with symptoms of fever, nausea, malaise and body aches irrespective of age and gender were included in the study. Samples were collected, thin and thick smears of the samples were prepared and stained with Giemsa's stain. Thick film was used for screening for malaria parasites and species identification was done on thin smears. Results: Out of 5878 patients, 1962 (28.8%) were found to be positive for malaria. Of them 1524 (90%) had plasmodium vivax infection, while 119 (7.0%) patients were infected with plasmodium falciparum, 49 (3.0%) of the patients were infected with both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodium vivax was most common in the months of August 203 (12.3%) patients, September 235 (14.3%) patients and October 317 (20%), whereas plasmodium falciparum infection was most common in the months of October 34 (28.6%) patients, November 19 (16%) patients and December 30 (25.2%) patients. Conclusion: Malaria is an endemic infectious disease in Pakistan, in the Southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhaw and tribal areas of North and South Waziristan. It is prevalent throughout the year and most noticeably from May to November. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert Lalremruata

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schall, Jos J

    2011-11-01

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

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

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    Susanne Helm

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

  13. Standardizing estimates of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate

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    Smith David L

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telis, Natalie; Petrov, Dmitri A.

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Limitations of microscopy to differentiate Plasmodium species in a region co-endemic for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    OpenAIRE

    Barber, Bridget E; William, Timothy; Grigg, Matthew J; Yeo, Tsin W; Anstey, Nicholas M

    2013-01-01

    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...

  16. Hemoparasites in a wild primate: Infection patterns suggest interaction of Plasmodium and Babesia in a lemur species

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    Andrea Springer

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Hemoparasites can cause serious morbidity in humans and animals and often involve wildlife reservoirs. Understanding patterns of hemoparasite infections in natural populations can therefore inform about emerging disease risks, especially in the light of climate change and human disruption of natural ecosystems. We investigated the effects of host age, sex, host group size and season on infection patterns of Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp. and filarial nematodes in a population of wild Malagasy primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi, as well as the effects of these infections on hematological variables. We tested 45 blood samples from 36 individuals and identified two species of Plasmodium, one species of Babesia and two species of filarial nematodes. Plasmodium spp. and Babesia sp. infections showed opposite patterns of age-dependency, with babesiosis being prevalent among young animals, while older animals were infected with Plasmodium sp. In addition, Babesia sp. infection was a statistically significant negative predictor of Plasmodium sp. infection. These results suggest that Plasmodium and Babesia parasites may interact within the host, either through cross-immunity or via resource competition, so that Plasmodium infections can only establish after babesiosis has resolved. We found no effects of host sex, host group size and season on hemoparasite infections. Infections showed high prevalences and did not influence hematological variables. This preliminary evidence supports the impression that the hosts and parasites considered in this study appear to be well-adapted to each other, resulting in persistent infections with low pathogenic and probably low zoonotic potential. Our results illustrate the crucial role of biodiversity in host-parasite relationships, specifically how within-host pathogen diversity may regulate the abundance of parasites.

  17. Hemoparasites in a wild primate: Infection patterns suggest interaction of Plasmodium and Babesia in a lemur species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Andrea; Fichtel, Claudia; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Leendertz, Fabian H; Kappeler, Peter M

    2015-12-01

    Hemoparasites can cause serious morbidity in humans and animals and often involve wildlife reservoirs. Understanding patterns of hemoparasite infections in natural populations can therefore inform about emerging disease risks, especially in the light of climate change and human disruption of natural ecosystems. We investigated the effects of host age, sex, host group size and season on infection patterns of Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp. and filarial nematodes in a population of wild Malagasy primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), as well as the effects of these infections on hematological variables. We tested 45 blood samples from 36 individuals and identified two species of Plasmodium, one species of Babesia and two species of filarial nematodes. Plasmodium spp. and Babesia sp. infections showed opposite patterns of age-dependency, with babesiosis being prevalent among young animals, while older animals were infected with Plasmodium sp. In addition, Babesia sp. infection was a statistically significant negative predictor of Plasmodium sp. infection. These results suggest that Plasmodium and Babesia parasites may interact within the host, either through cross-immunity or via resource competition, so that Plasmodium infections can only establish after babesiosis has resolved. We found no effects of host sex, host group size and season on hemoparasite infections. Infections showed high prevalences and did not influence hematological variables. This preliminary evidence supports the impression that the hosts and parasites considered in this study appear to be well-adapted to each other, resulting in persistent infections with low pathogenic and probably low zoonotic potential. Our results illustrate the crucial role of biodiversity in host-parasite relationships, specifically how within-host pathogen diversity may regulate the abundance of parasites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion Hliscs

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Esbroeck Marjan

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-24

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hommel, Marcel

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussein M Abkallo

    2015-02-01

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

  12. Parasites of mammals species abundance near zone Chernobyl

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pen'kevich, V.A.

    2014-01-01

    In wildlife reserve parasitize various types of parasites: arachnids (mites) parasitic insects (horseflies, keds, mosquitoes, gnats, midges), helminths (trematodes, cestodes, nematodes and acanthocephalans) and parasitic protozoa. In quantity: 3 (beaver) to 25 species (wolf). (authors)

  13. Blood parasites from California ducks and geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.

    1951-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kriti Tyagi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva-Maria Patzewitz

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-14

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Mailu, Boniface M.

    2015-08-28

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongaerts, Ger

    2005-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kawai Satoru

    2010-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soundara Raghavan Pavithra

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur M Talman

    2010-02-01

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

  14. Rapid diagnostic tests as a source of DNA for Plasmodium species-specific real-time PCR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Esbroeck Marjan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study describes the use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs as a source of DNA for Plasmodium species-specific real-time PCR. Methods First, the best method to recover DNA from RDTs was investigated and then the applicability of this DNA extraction method was assessed on 12 different RDT brands. Finally, two RDT brands (OptiMAL Rapid Malaria Test and SDFK60 malaria Ag Plasmodium falciparum/Pan test were comprehensively evaluated on a panel of clinical samples submitted for routine malaria diagnosis at ITM. DNA amplification was done with the 18S rRNA real-time PCR targeting the four Plasmodium species. Results of PCR on RDT were compared to those obtained by PCR on whole blood samples. Results Best results were obtained by isolating DNA from the proximal part of the nitrocellulose component of the RDT strip with a simple DNA elution method. The PCR on RDT showed a detection limit of 0.02 asexual parasites/μl, which was identical to the same PCR on whole blood. For all 12 RDT brands tested, DNA was detected except for one brand when a low parasite density sample was applied. In RDTs with a plastic seal covering the nitrocellulose strip, DNA extraction was hampered. PCR analysis on clinical RDT samples demonstrated correct identification for single species infections for all RDT samples with asexual parasites of P. falciparum (n = 60, Plasmodium vivax (n = 10, Plasmodium ovale (n = 10 and Plasmodium malariae (n = 10. Samples with only gametocytes were detected in all OptiMAL and in 10 of the 11 SDFK60 tests. None of the negative samples (n = 20 gave a signal by PCR on RDT. With PCR on RDT, higher Ct-values were observed than with PCR on whole blood, with a mean difference of 2.68 for OptiMAL and 3.53 for SDFK60. Mixed infections were correctly identified with PCR on RDT in 4/5 OptiMAL tests and 2/5 SDFK60 tests. Conclusions RDTs are a reliable source of DNA for Plasmodium real-time PCR. This study demonstrates the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1982-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Rao, Pavitra N.

    2016-06-14

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kei Kitamura

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-06

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amélie eVantaux

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Jang Chua

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Guttery, David S.

    2014-07-09

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert W.

    2016-06-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah C Charnaud

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-02-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Honglei

    2012-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-25

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thales Kronenberger

    2014-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogunjumo Oluwasanmi

    2004-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi W Lucchi

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

  5. Rapid and sensitive multiplex single-tube nested PCR for the identification of five human Plasmodium species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Takahiro; Kikuchi, Aoi; Kaneko, Akira; Isozumi, Rie; Teramoto, Isao; Kimura, Masatsugu; Hirasawa, Noriyasu; Hiratsuka, Masahiro

    2018-06-01

    Malaria is caused by five species of Plasmodium in humans. Microscopy is currently used for pathogen detection, requiring considerable training and technical expertise as the parasites are often difficult to differentiate morphologically. Rapid diagnostic tests are as reliable as microscopy and offer faster diagnoses but possess lower detection limits and are incapable of distinguishing among the parasitic species. To improve global health efforts towards malaria control, a rapid, sensitive, species-specific, and economically viable diagnostic method is needed. In this study, we designed a malaria diagnostic method involving a multiplex single-tube nested PCR targeting Plasmodium mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase III and single-stranded tag hybridization chromatographic printed-array strip. The detection sensitivity was found to be at least 40 times higher than that of agarose gel electrophoresis with ethidium bromide. This system also enables the identification of both single- and mixed-species malaria infections. The assay was validated with 152 Kenyan samples; using nested PCR as the standard, the assay's sensitivity and specificity were 88.7% and 100.0%, respectively. The turnaround time required, from PCR preparation to signal detection, is 90min. Our method should improve the diagnostic speed, treatment efficacy, and control of malaria, in addition to facilitating surveillance within global malaria eradication programs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alves Ana C

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mota Maria M

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Ferreira de Azevedo

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reece Sarah E

    2008-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the pathogenic agent of the most lethal of human malarias. Transgenic P. falciparum parasites expressing luciferase have been created to study drug interventions of both asexual and sexual blood stages but luciferase-expressing mosquito stage and liver stage parasites have not been created which has prevented the easy quantification of mosquito stage development (e.g. for transmission blocking interventions) and liver stage development (for interventions that prevent infection). To overcome this obstacle, we have created a transgenic P. falciparum NF54 parasite that expresses a GFP-luciferase transgene throughout the life cycle. Luciferase expression is robust and measurable at all life cycle stages, including midgut oocyst, salivary gland sporozoites and liver stages, where in vivo development is easily measurable using humanized mouse infections in conjunction with an in vivo imaging system. This parasite reporter strain will accelerate testing of interventions against pre-erythrocytic life cycle stages. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-26

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tibúrcio, Marta; Silvestrini, Francesco; Bertuccini, Lucia

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thompson Joanne

    2007-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Life cycle studies of the hexose transporter of Plasmodium species and genetic validation of their essentiality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavic, Ksenija; Straschil, Ursula; Reininger, Luc; Doerig, Christian; Morin, Christophe; Tewari, Rita; Krishna, Sanjeev

    2010-03-01

    A Plasmodium falciparum hexose transporter (PfHT) has previously been shown to be a facilitative glucose and fructose transporter. Its expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes and the use of a glucose analogue inhibitor permitted chemical validation of PfHT as a novel drug target. Following recent re-annotations of the P. falciparum genome, other putative sugar transporters have been identified. To investigate further if PfHT is the key supplier of hexose to P. falciparum and to extend studies to different stages of Plasmodium spp., we functionally analysed the hexose transporters of both the human parasite P. falciparum and the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei using gene targeting strategies. We show here the essential function of pfht for the erythrocytic parasite growth as it was not possible to knockout pfht unless the gene was complemented by an episomal construct. Also, we show that parasites are rescued from the toxic effect of a glucose analogue inhibitor when pfht is overexpressed in these transfectants. We found that the rodent malaria parasite orthologue, P. berghei hexose transporter (PbHT) gene, was similarly refractory to knockout attempts. However, using a single cross-over transfection strategy, we generated transgenic P. berghei parasites expressing a PbHT-GFP fusion protein suggesting that locus is amenable for gene targeting. Analysis of pbht-gfp transgenic parasites showed that PbHT is constitutively expressed through all the stages in the mosquito host in addition to asexual stages. These results provide genetic support for prioritizing PfHT as a target for novel antimalarials that can inhibit glucose uptake and kill parasites, as well as unveiling the expression of this hexose transporter in mosquito stages of the parasite, where it is also likely to be critical for survival.

  17. How Many Parasites Species a Frog Might Have? Determinants of Parasite Diversity in South American Anurans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla Magalhães Campião

    Full Text Available There is an increasing interest in unveiling the dynamics of parasite infection. Understanding the interaction patterns, and determinants of host-parasite association contributes to filling knowledge gaps in both community and disease ecology. Despite being targeted as a relevant group for conservation efforts, determinants of the association of amphibians and their parasites in broad scales are poorly understood. Here we describe parasite biodiversity in South American amphibians, testing the influence of host body size and geographic range in helminth parasites species richness (PSR. We also test whether parasite diversity is related to hosts' phylogenetic diversity. Results showed that nematodes are the most common anuran parasites. Host-parasite network has a nested pattern, with specialist helminth taxa generally associated with hosts that harbour the richest parasite faunas. Host size is positively correlated with helminth fauna richness, but we found no support for the association of host geographic range and PSR. These results remained consistent after correcting for uneven study effort and hosts' phylogenic correlation. However, we found no association between host and parasite diversity, indicating that more diversified anuran clades not necessarily support higher parasite diversity. Overall, considering both the structure and the determinants of PRS in anurans, we conclude that specialist parasites are more likely to be associated with large anurans, which are the ones harbouring higher PSR, and that the lack of association of PSR with hosts' clade diversification suggests it is strongly influenced by ecological and contemporary constrains.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-03

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongaerts, G.P.A.

    2005-01-01

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

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

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    Adams Brian

    2001-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brett, S J; Cox, F E

    1982-08-01

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

  5. (macro- Evolutionary ecology of parasite diversity: From determinants of parasite species richness to host diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Morand

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The present review summarized the factors or determinants that may explain parasite diversity among host species and the consequences of this parasite diversity on the evolution of host-life history traits. As host–parasite interactions are asymmetrical exploited–exploiter relationships, ecological and epidemiological theories produce hypotheses to find the potential determinants of parasite species richness, while life-history theory helps for testing potential consequences on parasite diversity on the evolution of hosts. This review referred only to studies that have specifically controlled or took into account phylogenetic information illustrated with parasites of mammals. Several points needing more investigation were identified with a special emphasis to develop the metabolic theory of epidemiology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ghorbal

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

  10. Rare species of fungi parasiting on algae. II. Parasites of Desmidiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Z. Kadłubowska

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Investigations carried out on the Desmidiaceae revealed the following species of fungi parasitizing on desmids: Myzocytium megastomum, Lagenidium closterii, Ancylistes closterii and Rhizophydium globosum. Legenidium closterii is new in Poland. It is the first information of this species as a parasite on the algae from the genus Tetmemorus. Figures of sporangia of Rhizophydium globosum on Euastrum ansatum, Cosmarium botrytis, C. pseudamoenum and a resting spore on Staurastrum punctulatum are the first graphic documentation of this species.

  11. A Feast of Malaria Parasite Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlton, Jane M; Sullivan, Steven A

    2017-03-08

    The Plasmodium genus has evolved over time and across hosts, complexifying our understanding of malaria. In a recent Nature paper, Rutledge et al. (2017) describe the genome sequences of three major human malaria parasite species, providing insight into Plasmodium evolution and raising the question of how many species there are. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Gajendra M. Jogdand

    2018-05-01

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

  13. Rare species of fungi parasiting on algae I. Parasites of Spirogyra and Mougeotia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Z. Kadłubowska

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Investigations carried out on the genus Spirogyra Link and Mougeotia Agardh revealed the following species of fungi parasiting in the Spirogyra and Mougeotia cells: Olpidium endogenum, Blyttiomyces helicus, B. spinulosus, Micromyces zygogonii and Rhizophydium ampullaceum. First information on B. helicus as parasitic on algae is presented.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Expression of human CD81 differently affects host cell susceptibility to malaria sporozoites depending on the Plasmodium species.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvie, O.; Greco, C.; Franetich, J.F.; Dubart-Kupperschmitt, A.; Hannoun, L.; Gemert, G.J.A. van; Sauerwein, R.W.; Levy, S.; Boucheix, C.; Rubinstein, E.; Mazier, D.

    2006-01-01

    Plasmodium sporozoites can enter host cells by two distinct pathways, either through disruption of the plasma membrane followed by parasite transmigration through cells, or by formation of a parasitophorous vacuole (PV) where the parasite further differentiates into a replicative exo-erythrocytic

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Archna P Gupta

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Echeverry Diego F

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-07

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

  2. Rare species of fungi parasiting on algae. III.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Z. Kadłubowska

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The investigations csrried out on algae revealed the following species of fungi from the order of Chytridialis Hawksworth et al. (1995 parasitizing on algae: Rhizophydium subgulosum, R. ganlosporum, R. planctonicum, Entophlyctis rhizina and Harpochytrium hedinii. These species arc new to Poland. The figure of resting spore of Entophlyctis rhizina is the fint graphic documentation of this species.

  3. Rare species of fungi parasiting on algae. III.

    OpenAIRE

    Joanna Z. Kadłubowska

    2014-01-01

    The investigations csrried out on algae revealed the following species of fungi from the order of Chytridialis Hawksworth et al. (1995) parasitizing on algae: Rhizophydium subgulosum, R. ganlosporum, R. planctonicum, Entophlyctis rhizina and Harpochytrium hedinii. These species arc new to Poland. The figure of resting spore of Entophlyctis rhizina is the fint graphic documentation of this species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  5. Population genomics diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in malaria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous malaria parasite species to humans remains an important public health concern in Okelele, a rural community in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. There is however little information about the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in Nigeria. Objective: To determine ...

  6. Socially-parasitic Myrmica species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Himalaya, with the description of a new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bharti, Himender; Radchenko, Alexander; Sasi, Sishal

    2016-01-01

    A new socially-parasitic species, Myrmica latra sp. n. is described based on a queen and male from Indian Himalaya. Its queen differs from other species by the distinctly narrower petiole and postpetiole, blunt and non-divergent propodeal spines, and a darker body colour. The taxonomic position of the three known Himalayan socially-parasitic Myrmica species is discussed, and Myrmica ereptrix Bolton 1988 is transferred to the smythiesii species-group. It is supposed that Myrmica nefaria Bharti 2012 is a temporary social parasite, but Myrmica ereptrix and Myrmica latra sp. n. are permanent social parasites, and a key for their identification is provided.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine R Collins

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica A. Engel

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Immunization with Pre-Erythrocytic Antigen CelTOS from Plasmodium falciparum Elicits Cross-Species Protection against Heterologous Challenge with Plasmodium berghei

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-01

    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

  12. Rare species of fungi parasitizing on algae. IV

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Z. Kadłubowska

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The following parasites of the genera Spirogyra Link, Mougeotia Agardh and Oedogonium Link are desribed: Myzocyutium irregulare, Woroninu glomerata, Harpochytrium tenuissimum, Woronina polycystis, Chytridium acuminatu, Myzocytium irregulare and Chytridumm acuminatum are new to Poland. Also, the first information on Woronina polycystis as a parasite on algae is presented. The figure of cystosori in a cell of Mougeotia mysorensis is the first graphic documentation of this species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-13

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

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

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    Rajesh Prasad

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

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

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    Stacey A Lapp

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

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

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    Lobato Paraense

    1943-06-01

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

  17. Absence of Plasmodium inui and Plasmodium cynomolgi, but detection of Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium vivax infections in asymptomatic humans in the Betong division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siner, Angela; Liew, Sze-Tze; Kadir, Khamisah Abdul; Mohamad, Dayang Shuaisah Awang; Thomas, Felicia Kavita; Zulkarnaen, Mohammad; Singh, Balbir

    2017-10-17

    Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite, has become the main cause of malaria in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Epidemiological data on malaria for Sarawak has been derived solely from hospitalized patients, and more accurate epidemiological data on malaria is necessary. Therefore, a longitudinal study of communities affected by knowlesi malaria was undertaken. A total of 3002 blood samples on filter paper were collected from 555 inhabitants of 8 longhouses with recently reported knowlesi malaria cases in the Betong Division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Each longhouse was visited bimonthly for a total of 10 times during a 21-month study period (Jan 2014-Oct 2015). DNA extracted from blood spots were examined by a nested PCR assay for Plasmodium and positive samples were then examined by nested PCR assays for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium cynomolgi and Plasmodium inui. Blood films of samples positive by PCR were also examined by microscopy. Genus-specific PCR assay detected Plasmodium DNA in 9 out of 3002 samples. Species-specific PCR identified 7 P. knowlesi and one P. vivax. Malaria parasites were observed in 5 thick blood films of the PCR positive samples. No parasites were observed in blood films from one knowlesi-, one vivax- and the genus-positive samples. Only one of 7 P. knowlesi-infected individual was febrile and had sought medical treatment at Betong Hospital the day after sampling. The 6 knowlesi-, one vivax- and one Plasmodium-infected individuals were afebrile and did not seek any medical treatment. Asymptomatic human P. knowlesi and P. vivax malaria infections, but not P. cynomolgi and P. inui infections, are occurring within communities affected with malaria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Introduced cryptic species of parasites exhibit different invasion pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miura, Osamu; Torchin, Mark E; Kuris, Armand M; Hechinger, Ryan F; Chiba, Satoshi

    2006-12-26

    Sometimes infectious agents invade and become established in new geographic regions. Others may be introduced yet never become established because of the absence of suitable hosts in the new region. This phenomenon may be particularly true for the many parasites with complex life cycles, where various life stages require different host species. Homogenization of the world's biota through human-mediated invasions may reunite hosts and parasites, resulting in disease outbreaks in novel regions. Here we use molecular genetics to differentiate invasion pathways for two digenean trematode parasites and their exotic host, the Asian mud snail, Batillaria attramentaria. All of the snail haplotypes found in introduced populations in North America were identical to haplotypes common in the areas of Japan that provided oysters for cultivation in North America, supporting the hypothesis that the snails were introduced from Japan with seed oysters. Two cryptic trematode species were introduced to North American populations in high frequencies. We found a marked reduction of genetic variation in one of these species, suggesting it experienced a bottleneck or founder event comparable to that of the host snail. In contrast, no genetic variation was lost in the other parasite species. We hypothesize that this parasite was and is dispersed naturally by migratory shorebirds and was able to establish only after the host snail, B. attramentaria, was introduced to North America. Evaluation of the nature of invasion pathways and postinvasion consequences will aid mitigation of spreading diseases of humans, livestock, and wildlife in an increasingly globalized world.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. A large proportion of asymptomatic Plasmodium infections with low and sub-microscopic parasite densities in the low transmission setting of Temotu Province, Solomon Islands: challenges for malaria diagnostics in an elimination setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harris Ivor

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many countries are scaling up malaria interventions towards elimination. This transition changes demands on malaria diagnostics from diagnosing ill patients to detecting parasites in all carriers including asymptomatic infections and infections with low parasite densities. Detection methods suitable to local malaria epidemiology must be selected prior to transitioning a malaria control programme to elimination. A baseline malaria survey conducted in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands in late 2008, as the first step in a provincial malaria elimination programme, provided malaria epidemiology data and an opportunity to assess how well different diagnostic methods performed in this setting. Methods During the survey, 9,491 blood samples were collected and examined by microscopy for Plasmodium species and density, with a subset also examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs. The performances of these diagnostic methods were compared. Results A total of 256 samples were positive by microscopy, giving a point prevalence of 2.7%. The species distribution was 17.5% Plasmodium falciparum and 82.4% Plasmodium vivax. In this low transmission setting, only 17.8% of the P. falciparum and 2.9% of P. vivax infected subjects were febrile (≥38°C at the time of the survey. A significant proportion of infections detected by microscopy, 40% and 65.6% for P. falciparum and P. vivax respectively, had parasite density below 100/μL. There was an age correlation for the proportion of parasite density below 100/μL for P. vivax infections, but not for P. falciparum infections. PCR detected substantially more infections than microscopy (point prevalence of 8.71%, indicating a large number of subjects had sub-microscopic parasitemia. The concordance between PCR and microscopy in detecting single species was greater for P. vivax (135/162 compared to P. falciparum (36/118. The malaria RDT detected the 12 microscopy and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

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    Matusop Asmad

    2008-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Occurrence of avian Plasmodium and West Nile virus in culex species in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, T.; Irwin, P.; Hofmeister, E.; Paskewitz, S.M.

    2010-01-01

    The occurrence of multiple pathogens in mosquitoes and birds could affect the dynamics of disease transmission. We collected adult Culex pipiens and Cx. restuans (Cx. pipiens/restuans hereafter) from sites in Wisconsin and tested them for West Nile virus (WNV) and for avian malaria (Plasmodium). Gravid Cx. pipiens/restuans were tested for WNV using a commercial immunoassay, the RAMP?? WNV test, and positive results were verified by reverse transcriptasepolymerase chain reaction. There were 2 WNV-positive pools of Cx. pipiens/restuans in 2006 and 1 in 2007. Using a bias-corrected maximum likelihood estimation, the WNV infection rate for Cx. pipiens/restuans was 5.48/1,000 mosquitoes in 2006 and 1.08/1,000 mosquitoes in 2007. Gravid Cx. pipiens or Cx. restuans were tested individually for avian Plasmodium by a restriction enzymebased assay. Twelve mosquitoes were positive for avian Plasmodium (10.0), 2 were positive for Haemoproteus, and 3 were positive for Leucocytozoon. There were 4 mixed infections, with mosquitoes positive for >1 of the hemosporidian parasites. This work documents a high rate of hemosporidian infection in Culex spp. and illustrates the potential for co-infections with other arboviruses in bird-feeding mosquitoes and their avian hosts. In addition, hemosporidian infection rates may be a useful tool for investigating the ecological dynamics of Culex/avian interactions. ?? 2010 by The American Mosquito Control Association, Inc.

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

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    Valeria Messina

    2018-03-01

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

  13. Population genomics diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in malaria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous malaria parasite species to ... tigen for subunit malaria vaccine.10 It comprises highly ... were also prepared for Giemsa staining as described by ... parasites with different alleles at a given locus and ranges ..... surface protein 1, immune evasion and vaccines against.

  14. Improving N-terminal protein annotation of Plasmodium species based on signal peptide prediction of orthologous proteins

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    Neto Armando

    2012-11-01

    targets and proteins involved in host/parasite interactions, as demonstrated for five Plasmodium species.

  15. Characterisation and expression of a PP1 serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PfPP1 from the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum: demonstration of its essential role using RNA interference

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    Musiyenko Alla

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reversible protein phosphorylation is relatively unexplored in the intracellular protozoa of the Apicomplexa family that includes the genus Plasmodium, to which belong the causative agents of malaria. Members of the PP1 family represent the most highly conserved protein phosphatase sequences in phylogeny and play essential regulatory roles in various cellular pathways. Previous evidence suggested a PP1-like activity in Plasmodium falciparum, not yet identified at the molecular level. Results We have identified a PP1 catalytic subunit from P. falciparum and named it PfPP1. The predicted primary structure of the 304-amino acid long protein was highly similar to PP1 sequences of other species, and showed conservation of all the signature motifs. The purified recombinant protein exhibited potent phosphatase activity in vitro. Its sensitivity to specific phosphatase inhibitors was characteristic of the PP1 class. The authenticity of the PfPP1 cDNA was further confirmed by mutational analysis of strategic amino acid residues important in catalysis. The protein was expressed in all erythrocytic stages of the parasite. Abrogation of PP1 expression by synthetic short interfering RNA (siRNA led to inhibition of parasite DNA synthesis. Conclusions The high sequence similarity of PfPP1 with other PP1 members suggests conservation of function. Phenotypic gene knockdown studies using siRNA confirmed its essential role in the parasite. Detailed studies of PfPP1 and its regulation may unravel the role of reversible protein phosphorylation in the signalling pathways of the parasite, including glucose metabolism and parasitic cell division. The use of siRNA could be an important tool in the functional analysis of Apicomplexan genes.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

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    Amy K Bei

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

  18. Avian Plasmodium in Eastern Austrian mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoener, Ellen; Uebleis, Sarah Susanne; Butter, Julia; Nawratil, Michaela; Cuk, Claudia; Flechl, Eva; Kothmayer, Michael; Obwaller, Adelheid G; Zechmeister, Thomas; Rubel, Franz; Lebl, Karin; Zittra, Carina; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter

    2017-09-29

    Insect vectors, namely mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae), are compulsory for malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) to complete their life cycle. Despite this, little is known about vector competence of different mosquito species for the transmission of avian malaria parasites. In this study, nested PCR was used to determine Plasmodium spp. occurrence in pools of whole individuals, as well as the diversity of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences in wild-caught mosquitoes sampled across Eastern Austria in 2013-2015. A total of 45,749 mosquitoes in 2628 pools were collected, of which 169 pools (6.43%) comprising 9 mosquito species were positive for avian Plasmodium, with the majority of positives in mosquitoes of Culex pipiens s.l./Culex torrentium. Six different avian Plasmodium lineages were found, the most common were Plasmodium vaughani SYAT05, Plasmodium sp. Linn1 and Plasmodium relictum SGS1. In 2014, mosquitoes of the Culex pipiens complex were genetically identified and Culex pipiens f. pipiens presented with the highest number of avian Plasmodium positives (n = 37; 16.74%). Despite this, the minimum infection rate (MIR) was highest in Culex torrentium (5.36%) and Culex pipiens f. pipiens/f. molestus hybrids (5.26%). During 2014 and 2015, seasonal and annual changes in Plasmodium lineage distribution were also observed. In both years P. vaughani SYAT05 dominated at the beginning of the sampling period to be replaced later in the year by P. relictum SGS1 (2014) and Plasmodium sp. Linn1 (2015). This is the first large-scale study of avian Plasmodium parasites in Austrian mosquitoes. These results are of special interest, because molecular identification of the taxa of the Cx. pipiens complex and Cx. torrentium enabled the determination of Plasmodium prevalence in the different mosquito taxa and hybrids of this complex. Since pools of whole insects were used, it is not possible to assert any vector competence in any of the examined mosquitoes, but the results

  19. Malaria diagnosis by PCR revealed differential distribution of mono and mixed species infections by Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siwal, Nisha; Singh, Upasana Shyamsunder; Dash, Manoswini; Kar, Sonalika; Rani, Swati; Rawal, Charu; Singh, Rajkumar; Anvikar, Anupkumar R; Pande, Veena; Das, Aparup

    2018-01-01

    Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease, caused by five different species of the genus Plasmodium, and is endemic to many tropical and sub-tropical countries of the globe. At present, malaria diagnosis at the primary health care level in India is conducted by either microscopy or rapid diagnostic test (RDT). In recent years, molecular diagnosis (by PCR assay), has emerged as the most sensitive method for malaria diagnosis. India is highly endemic to malaria and shoulders the burden of two major malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax. Previous studies using PCR diagnostic assay had unraveled several interesting facts on distribution of malaria parasites in India. However, these studies had several limitations from small sample size to limited geographical areas of sampling. In order to mitigate these limitations, we have collected finger-prick blood samples from 2,333 malaria symptomatic individuals in nine states from 11 geographic locations, covering almost the entire malaria endemic regions of India and performed all the three diagnostic tests (microscopy, RDT and PCR assay) and also have conducted comparative assessment on the performance of the three diagnostic tests. Since PCR assay turned out to be highly sensitive (827 malaria positive cases) among the three types of tests, we have utilized data from PCR diagnostic assay for analyses and inferences. The results indicate varied distributional prevalence of P. vivax and P. falciparum according to locations in India, and also the mixed species infection due to these two species. The proportion of P. falciparum to P. vivax was found to be 49:51, and percentage of mixed species infections due to these two parasites was found to be 13% of total infections. Considering India is set for malaria elimination by 2030, the present malaria epidemiological information is of high importance.

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

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    Thais C de Oliveira

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gallo Valentina

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, G; Jakobsen, P H

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Faust

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Plasmodium immunomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolan, Denise L

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Plasmodium vivax Tryptophan Rich Antigen PvTRAg36.6 Interacts with PvETRAMP and PvTRAg56.6 Interacts with PvMSP7 during Erythrocytic Stages of the Parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kriti Tyagi

    Full Text Available Plasmodium vivax is most wide spread and a neglected malaria parasite. There is a lack of information on parasite biology of this species. Genome of this parasite encodes for the largest number of tryptophan-rich proteins belonging to 'Pv-fam-a' family and some of them are potential drug/vaccine targets but their functional role(s largely remains unexplored. Using bacterial and yeast two hybrid systems, we have identified the interacting partners for two of the P. vivax tryptophan-rich antigens called PvTRAg36.6 and PvTRAg56.2. The PvTRAg36.6 interacts with early transcribed membrane protein (ETRAMP of P.vivax. It is apically localized in merozoites but in early stages it is seen in parasite periphery suggesting its likely involvement in parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM development or maintenance. On the other hand, PvTRAg56.2 interacts with P.vivax merozoite surface protein7 (PvMSP7 and is localized on merozoite surface. Co-localization of PvTRAg56.2 with PvMSP1 and its molecular interaction with PvMSP7 probably suggest that, PvTRAg56.2 is part of MSP-complex, and might assist or stabilize the protein complex at the merozoite surface. In conclusion, the PvTRAg proteins have different sub cellular localizations and specific associated functions during intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle.

  13. Plasmodium vivax Tryptophan Rich Antigen PvTRAg36.6 Interacts with PvETRAMP and PvTRAg56.6 Interacts with PvMSP7 during Erythrocytic Stages of the Parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyagi, Kriti; Hossain, Mohammad Enayet; Thakur, Vandana; Aggarwal, Praveen; Malhotra, Pawan; Mohmmed, Asif; Sharma, Yagya Dutta

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is most wide spread and a neglected malaria parasite. There is a lack of information on parasite biology of this species. Genome of this parasite encodes for the largest number of tryptophan-rich proteins belonging to ‘Pv-fam-a’ family and some of them are potential drug/vaccine targets but their functional role(s) largely remains unexplored. Using bacterial and yeast two hybrid systems, we have identified the interacting partners for two of the P. vivax tryptophan-rich antigens called PvTRAg36.6 and PvTRAg56.2. The PvTRAg36.6 interacts with early transcribed membrane protein (ETRAMP) of P.vivax. It is apically localized in merozoites but in early stages it is seen in parasite periphery suggesting its likely involvement in parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) development or maintenance. On the other hand, PvTRAg56.2 interacts with P.vivax merozoite surface protein7 (PvMSP7) and is localized on merozoite surface. Co-localization of PvTRAg56.2 with PvMSP1 and its molecular interaction with PvMSP7 probably suggest that, PvTRAg56.2 is part of MSP-complex, and might assist or stabilize the protein complex at the merozoite surface. In conclusion, the PvTRAg proteins have different sub cellular localizations and specific associated functions during intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle. PMID:26954579

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-15

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

  16. Increased detection of Plasmodium knowlesi in Sandakan division, Sabah as revealed by PlasmoNex?

    OpenAIRE

    Goh, Xiang Ting; Lim, Yvonne AL; Vythilingam, Indra; Chew, Ching Hoong; Lee, Ping Chin; Ngui, Romano; Tan, Tian Chye; Yap, Nan Jiun; Nissapatorn, Veeranoot; Chua, Kek Heng

    2013-01-01

    Background Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian malaria parasite that is widespread in humans in Malaysian Borneo. However, little is known about the incidence and distribution of this parasite in the Sandakan division, Malaysian Borneo. Therefore, the aim of the present epidemiological study was to investigate the incidence and distribution of P. knowlesi as well as other Plasmodium species in this division based on a most recent developed hexaplex PCR system (PlasmoNex?). Methods A total of 189 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Brizuela

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bell Angus

    2003-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-26

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gouagna Louis C

    2007-04-01

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

  5. Close relationship of Plasmodium sequences detected from South American pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus to Plasmodium spp. in North American white-tailed deer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahito Asada

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We report, for the first time, the presence of ungulate malaria parasites in South America. We conducted PCR-based surveys of blood samples of multiple deer species and water buffalo from Brazil and detected Plasmodium sequences from pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus samples. Phylogenic analysis revealed that the obtained sequences are closely related to the Plasmodium odocoilei clade 2 sequence from North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus. Nucleotide differences suggest that malaria parasites in South American pampas deer and North American P. odocoilei clade 2 branched more recently than the Great American Interchange. Keywords: Malaria, Pampas deer, South America, Plasmodium odocoilei, Brazil

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

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D; Bö hme, Ulrike; Jackson, Andrew P; Hunt, Martin; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Hoeijmakers, Wieteke A M; Religa, Agnieszka A; Robertson, Lauren; Sanders, Mandy; Ogun, Solabomi A; Cunningham, Deirdre; Erhart, Annette; Billker, Oliver; Khan, Shahid M; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G; Langhorne, Jean; Holder, Anthony A; Waters, Andrew P; Newbold, Chris I; Pain, Arnab; Berriman, Matthew; Janse, Chris J

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium biology. Genotypic diversity between P. chabaudi isolates makes this species an excellent parasite to study genotype-phenotype relationships. The improved classification of multigene families will enhance studies on the role of (variant) exported

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Famin O.

    2003-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Tipsuwan, Wachiraporn; Srichairatanakool, Somdet; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Uthaipibull, Chairat

    2011-01-01

    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...

  9. Metazoan parasite species richness in Neotropical fishes: hotspots and the geography of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque, J L; Poulin, R

    2007-06-01

    Although research on parasite biodiversity has intensified recently, there are signs that parasites remain an underestimated component of total biodiversity in many regions of the planet. To identify geographical hotspots of parasite diversity, we performed qualitative and quantitative analyses of the parasite-host associations in fishes from Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that includes known hotspots of plant and animal biodiversity. The database included 10,904 metazoan parasite-host associations involving 1660 fish species. The number of host species with at least 1 parasite record was less than 10% of the total known fish species in the majority of countries. Associations involving adult endoparasites in actinopterygian fish hosts dominated the database. Across the whole region, no significant difference in parasite species richness was detected between marine and freshwater fishes. As a rule, host body size and study effort (number of studies per fish species) were good predictors of parasite species richness. Some interesting patterns emerged when we included only the regions with highest fish species biodiversity and study effort (Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands). Independently of differences in study effort or host body sizes, Mexico stands out as a hotspot of parasite diversity for freshwater fishes, as does Brasil for marine fishes. However, among 57 marine fish species common to all 3 regions, populations from the Caribbean consistently harboured more parasite species. These differences may reflect true biological patterns, or regional discrepancies in study effort and local priorities for fish parasitology research.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Filarial worms reduce Plasmodium infectivity in mosquitoes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew T Aliota

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Co-occurrence of malaria and filarial worm parasites has been reported, but little is known about the interaction between filarial worm and malaria parasites with the same Anopheles vector. Herein, we present data evaluating the interaction between Wuchereria bancrofti and Anopheles punctulatus in Papua New Guinea (PNG. Our field studies in PNG demonstrated that An. punctulatus utilizes the melanization immune response as a natural mechanism of filarial worm resistance against invading W. bancrofti microfilariae. We then conducted laboratory studies utilizing the mosquitoes Armigeres subalbatus and Aedes aegypti and the parasites Brugia malayi, Brugia pahangi, Dirofilaria immitis, and Plasmodium gallinaceum to evaluate the hypothesis that immune activation and/or development by filarial worms negatively impact Plasmodium development in co-infected mosquitoes. Ar. subalbatus used in this study are natural vectors of P. gallinaceum and B. pahangi and they are naturally refractory to B. malayi (melanization-based refractoriness.Mosquitoes were dissected and Plasmodium development was analyzed six days after blood feeding on either P. gallinaceum alone or after taking a bloodmeal containing both P. gallinaceum and B. malayi or a bloodmeal containing both P. gallinaceum and B. pahangi. There was a significant reduction in the prevalence and mean intensity of Plasmodium infections in two species of mosquito that had dual infections as compared to those mosquitoes that were infected with Plasmodium alone, and was independent of whether the mosquito had a melanization immune response to the filarial worm or not. However, there was no reduction in Plasmodium development when filarial worms were present in the bloodmeal (D. immitis but midgut penetration was absent, suggesting that factors associated with penetration of the midgut by filarial worms likely are responsible for the observed reduction in malaria parasite infections.These results could have an

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

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    Jennifer L Guler

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Saleh; Karunamoorthi, Kaliyaperumal

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Snow Robert W

    2009-08-01

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

  17. Variation of parasite load and immune parameters in two species of New Zealand shore crabs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittmer, Jessica; Koehler, Anson V; Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulin, Robert; Sicard, Mathieu

    2011-09-01

    While parasites are likely to encounter several potential intermediate hosts in natural communities, a parasite's actual range of compatible hosts is limited by numerous biological factors ranging from behaviour to immunology. In crustaceans, two major components of immunity are haemocytes and the prophenoloxidase system involved in the melanisation of foreign particles. Here, we analysed metazoan parasite prevalence and loads in the two sympatric crab species Hemigrapsus crenulatus and Macrophthalmus hirtipes at two sites. In parallel, we analysed the variation in haemocyte concentration and amount of circulating phenoloxidase (PO) in the haemolymph of the same individuals in an attempt to (a) explain differences in parasite prevalence and loads in the two species at two sites and (b) assess the impact of parasites on these immune parameters. M. hirtipes harboured more parasites but also exhibited higher haemocyte concentrations than H. crenulatus independent of the study site. Thus, higher investment in haemocyte production for M. hirtipes does not seem to result in higher resistance to parasites. Analyses of variation in immune parameters for the two crab species between the two sites that differed in parasite prevalence showed common trends. (a) In general, haemocyte concentrations were higher at the site experiencing higher parasitic pressure while circulating PO activity was lower and (b) haemocyte concentrations were influenced by microphallid trematode metacercariae in individuals from the site with higher parasitic pressure. We suggest that the higher haemocyte concentrations observed in both crab species exposed to higher parasitic pressure may represent an adaptive response to the impact of parasites on this immune parameter.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Lamb Tracey J

    2008-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Do parasitic trematode cercariae demonstrate a preference for susceptible host species?

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    Brittany F Sears

    Full Text Available Many parasites are motile and exhibit behavioural preferences for certain host species. Because hosts can vary in their susceptibility to infections, parasites might benefit from preferentially detecting and infecting the most susceptible host, but this mechanistic hypothesis for host-choice has rarely been tested. We evaluated whether cercariae (larval trematode parasites prefer the most susceptible host species by simultaneously presenting cercariae with four species of tadpole hosts. Cercariae consistently preferred hosts in the following order: Anaxyrus ( = Bufo terrestris (southern toad, Hyla squirella (squirrel tree frog, Lithobates ( = Rana sphenocephala (southern leopard frog, and Osteopilus septentrionalis (Cuban tree frog. These host species varied in susceptibility to cercariae in an order similar to their attractiveness with a correlation that approached significance. Host attractiveness to parasites also varied consistently and significantly among individuals within a host species. If heritable, this individual-level host variation would represent the raw material upon which selection could act, which could promote a Red Queen "arms race" between host cues and parasite detection of those cues. If, in general, motile parasites prefer to infect the most susceptible host species, this phenomenon could explain aggregated distributions of parasites among hosts and contribute to parasite transmission rates and the evolution of virulence. Parasite preferences for hosts belie the common assumption of disease models that parasites seek and infect hosts at random.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuthavong Yongyuth

    2011-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda C. Koyama

    2014-12-01

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

  6. The functional domain of GCS1-based gamete fusion resides in the amino terminus in plant and parasite species.

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    Toshiyuki Mori

    Full Text Available Fertilization is one of the most important processes in all organisms utilizing sexual reproduction. In a previous study, we succeeded in identifying a novel male gametic transmembrane protein GCS1 (GENERATIVE CELL SPECIFIC 1, also called HAP2 (HAPLESS 2 in the male-sterile Arabidopsis thaliana mutants, as a factor critical to gamete fusion in flowering plants. Interestingly, GCS1 is highly conserved among various eukaryotes covering plants, protists and invertebrates. Of these organisms, Chlamydomonas (green alga and Plasmodium (malaria parasite GCS1s similarly show male gametic expression and gamete fusion function. Since it is generally believed that protein factors controlling gamete fusion have rapidly evolved and different organisms utilize species-specific gamete fusion factors, GCS1 may be an ancient fertilization factor derived from the common ancestor of those organisms above. And therefore, its molecular structure and function are important to understanding the common molecular mechanics of eukaryotic fertilization. In this study, we tried to detect the central functional domain(s of GCS1, using complementation assay of Arabidopsis GCS1 mutant lines expressing modified GCS1. As a result, the positively-charged C-terminal sequence of this protein is dispensable for gamete fusion, while the highly conserved N-terminal domain is critical to GCS1 function. In addition, in vitro fertilization assay of Plasmodium berghei (mouse malaria parasite knock-in lines expressing partly truncated GCS1 showed similar results. Those findings above indicate that the extracellular N-terminus alone is sufficient for GCS1-based gamete fusion.

  7. Plasmodium and mononuclear phagocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mac-Daniel, Laura; Ménard, Robert

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Sandra; Avery, Vicky M

    2017-12-01

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

  9. Outbreak of avian malaria associated to multiple species of Plasmodium in magellanic penguins undergoing rehabilitation in southern Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralph Eric Thijl Vanstreels

    Full Text Available Avian malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium spp. Avian plasmodia are recognized conservation-threatening pathogens due to their potential to cause severe epizootics when introduced to bird populations with which they did not co-evolve. Penguins are considered particularly susceptible, as outbreaks in captive populations will often lead to high morbidity and rapid mortality. We used a multidisciplinary approach to investigate an outbreak of avian malaria in 28 Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus at a rehabilitation center during summer 2009 in Florianópolis, Brazil. Hemosporidian infections were identified by microscopic and molecular characterization in 64% (18/28 of the penguins, including Plasmodium (Haemamoeba tejerai, Plasmodium (Huffia elongatum, a Plasmodium (Haemamoeba sp. lineage closely related to Plasmodium cathemerium, and a Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus sp. lineage closely related to Haemoproteus syrnii. P. tejerai played a predominant role in the studied outbreak and was identified in 72% (13/18 of the hemosporidian-infected penguins, and in 89% (8/9 of the penguins that died, suggesting that this is a highly pathogenic parasite for penguins; a detailed description of tissue meronts and lesions is provided. Mixed infections were identified in three penguins, and involved P. elongatum and either P. tejerai or P. (Haemamoeba sp. that were compatible with P. tejerai but could not be confirmed. In total, 32% (9/28 penguins died over the course of 16 days despite oral treatment with chloroquine followed by sulfadiazine-trimethoprim. Hemosporidian infections were considered likely to have occurred during rehabilitation, probably from mosquitoes infected while feeding on local native birds, whereas penguin-mosquito-penguin transmission may have played a role in later stages of the outbreak. Considering the seasonality of the infection, rehabilitation centers would benefit from narrowing their efforts to

  10. Natural variation in long-term memory formation among Nasonia parasitic wasp species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoedjes, K.M.; Smid, H.M.

    2014-01-01

    Closely related species of parasitic wasps can differ substantially in memory dynamics. In this study we demonstrate differences in the number of conditioning trials required to form long-term memory between the closely related parasitic wasp species Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti

  11. Functional interrogation of Plasmodium genus metabolism identifies species- and stage-specific differences in nutrient essentiality and drug targeting.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyaa M Abdel-Haleem

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Several antimalarial drugs exist, but differences between life cycle stages among malaria species pose challenges for developing more effective therapies. To understand the diversity among stages and species, we reconstructed genome-scale metabolic models (GeMMs of metabolism for five life cycle stages and five species of Plasmodium spanning the blood, transmission, and mosquito stages. The stage-specific models of Plasmodium falciparum uncovered stage-dependent changes in central carbon metabolism and predicted potential targets that could affect several life cycle stages. The species-specific models further highlight differences between experimental animal models and the human-infecting species. Comparisons between human- and rodent-infecting species revealed differences in thiamine (vitamin B1, choline, and pantothenate (vitamin B5 metabolism. Thus, we show that genome-scale analysis of multiple stages and species of Plasmodium can prioritize potential drug targets that could be both anti-malarials and transmission blocking agents, in addition to guiding translation from non-human experimental disease models.

  12. Functional interrogation of Plasmodium genus metabolism identifies species- and stage-specific differences in nutrient essentiality and drug targeting

    KAUST Repository

    Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M.

    2018-01-04

    Several antimalarial drugs exist, but differences between life cycle stages among malaria species pose challenges for developing more effective therapies. To understand the diversity among stages and species, we reconstructed genome-scale models (GEMs) of metabolism for five life cycle stages and five species of Plasmodium spanning the blood, transmission, and mosquito stages. The stage-specific models of Plasmodium falciparum uncovered stage-dependent changes in central carbon metabolism and predicted potential targets that could affect several life cycle stages. The species-specific models further highlight differences between experimental animal models and the human-infecting species. Comparisons between human- and rodent-infecting species revealed differences in thiamine (vitamin B1), choline, and pantothenate (vitamin B5) metabolism. Thus, we show that genome-scale analysis of multiple stages and species of Plasmodium can prioritize potential drug targets that could be both anti-malarials and transmission blocking agents, in addition to guiding translation from non-human experimental disease models.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G. Kane

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-02

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

  16. Molecular detection of Plasmodium in free-ranging birds and captive flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) in Chicago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Mary Irene; Gamble, Kathryn C; Krebs, Bethany; Goldberg, Tony L

    2014-12-01

    Frozen blood samples from 13 species of free-ranging birds (n = 65) and captive Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) (n = 46) housed outdoors in the Chicago area were screened for Plasmodium. With the use of a modified polymerase chain reaction, 20/65 (30.8%) of free-ranging birds and 26/46 (56.5%) of flamingos were classified as positive for this parasite genus. DNA sequencing of the parasite cytochrome b gene in positive samples demonstrated that eight species of free-ranging birds were infected with five different Plasmodium spp. cytochrome b lineages, and all positive Chilean flamingos were infected with Plasmodium spp. cytochrome b lineages most closely related to organisms in the Novyella subgenus. These results show that Chilean flamingos may harbor subclinical malaria infections more frequently than previously estimated, and that they may have increased susceptibility to some Plasmodium species.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Molecular identification of the chitinase genes in Plasmodium relictum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Longoria, Luz; Hellgren, Olof; Bensch, Staffan

    2014-06-18

    Malaria parasites need to synthesize chitinase in order to go through the peritrophic membrane, which is created around the mosquito midgut, to complete its life cycle. In mammalian malaria species, the chitinase gene comprises either a large or a short copy. In the avian malaria parasites Plasmodium gallinaceum both copies are present, suggesting that a gene duplication in the ancestor to these extant species preceded the loss of either the long or the short copy in Plasmodium parasites of mammals. Plasmodium gallinaceum is not the most widespread and harmful parasite of birds. This study is the first to search for and identify the chitinase gene in one of the most prevalent avian malaria parasites, Plasmodium relictum. Both copies of P. gallinaceum chitinase were used as reference sequences for primer design. Different sequences of Plasmodium spp. were used to build the phylogenetic tree of chitinase gene. The gene encoding for chitinase was identified in isolates of two mitochondrial lineages of P. relictum (SGS1 and GRW4). The chitinase found in these two lineages consists both of the long (PrCHT1) and the short (PrCHT2) copy. The genetic differences found in the long copy of the chitinase gene between SGS1 and GRW4 were higher than the difference observed for the cytochrome b gene. The identification of both copies in P. relictum sheds light on the phylogenetic relationship of the chitinase gene in the genus Plasmodium. Due to its high variability, the chitinase gene could be used to study the genetic population structure in isolates from different host species and geographic regions.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In endemic regions naturally acquired immunity against Plasmodium falciparum develops as a function of age and exposure to parasite infections and is known to be mediated by IgG. The targets of protective antibodies remain to be fully defined. Several immunoepidemiological s...

  1. The Robust and Modulated Biomarker Network Elicited by the Plasmodium vivax Infection Is Mainly Mediated by the IL-6/IL-10 Axis and Is Associated with the Parasite Load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allyson Guimarães da Costa

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Recent studies have shown that the inflammatory process, including the biomarker production, and the intense activation of innate immune responses are greater in the malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax than other species. Here, we examined the levels of serum biomarkers and their interaction during acute malaria. Material and Methods. Blood samples were collected from P. vivax-infected patients at admission and from healthy donors. Levels of serum biomarkers were measured by Cytometric Bead Assay or ELISA. Results. P. vivax infection triggered the production of both inflammatory and regulatory biomarkers. Levels of IL-6, CXCL-8, IFN-γ, IL-5, and IL-10 were higher in P. vivax-infected patients than in healthy donors. On the other hand, malaria patients produced lower levels of TNF-α, IL-12p70, and IL-2 than healthy individuals. While the levels of IL-10 and IL-6 were found independent on the number of malaria episodes, higher levels of these cytokines were seen in patients with higher parasite load. Conclusion. A mixed pattern of proinflammatory and regulatory biomarkers is produced in P. vivax malaria. Analysis of biomarker network suggests that IL-10 and IL-6 are a robust axis in malaria patients and that this interaction seems to be associated with the parasite load.

  2. Fish population studies using parasites from the Southeastern Pacific Ocean: considering host population changes and species body size as sources of variability of parasite communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George-Nascimento, Mario; Oliva, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Research using parasites in fish population studies in the South Eastern Pacific (SEP) is summarized. There are 27 such studies (snapshots mainly) in single host species sampled at different geographic localities and at somewhat similar times. They have been devoted mainly to economically important species, though others on coastal and intertidal fish or on less- or non-commercial species provide insights on scales of temporal and spatial variation of parasite infracommunities. Later, we assess whether the probability of harbouring parasites depends on the host species body size. Our results indicate that a stronger tool for fish population studies may be developed under regular (long term) scrutiny of parasite communities, especially of small fish host species, due to their larger variability in richness, abundance and total biomass, than in large fish species. Finally, it might also be necessary to consider the effects of fishing on parasite communities as well as the natural oscillations (coupled or not) of host and parasite populations.

  3. Plasmodium falciparum full life cycle and Plasmodium ovale liver stages in humanized mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-07-24

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-26

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

  5. Genome content analysis yields new insights into the relationship between the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its anopheline vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppenheim, Sara J; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey A; DeSalle, Rob

    2017-02-27

    The persistent and growing gap between the availability of sequenced genomes and the ability to assign functions to sequenced genes led us to explore ways to maximize the information content of automated annotation for studies of anopheline mosquitos. Specifically, we use genome content analysis of a large number of previously sequenced anopheline mosquitos to follow the loss and gain of protein families over the evolutionary history of this group. The importance of this endeavor lies in the potential for comparative genomic studies between Anopheles and closely related non-vector species to reveal ancestral genome content dynamics involved in vector competence. In addition, comparisons within Anopheles could identify genome content changes responsible for variation in the vectorial capacity of this family of important parasite vectors. The competence and capacity of P. falciparum vectors do not appear to be phylogenetically constrained within the Anophelinae. Instead, using ancestral reconstruction methods, we suggest that a previously unexamined component of vector biology, anopheline nucleotide metabolism, may contribute to the unique status of anophelines as P. falciparum vectors. While the fitness effects of nucleotide co-option by P. falciparum parasites on their anopheline hosts are not yet known, our results suggest that anopheline genome content may be responding to selection pressure from P. falciparum. Whether this response is defensive, in an attempt to redress improper nucleotide balance resulting from P. falciparum infection, or perhaps symbiotic, resulting from an as-yet-unknown mutualism between anophelines and P. falciparum, is an open question that deserves further study. Clearly, there is a wealth of functional information to be gained from detailed manual genome annotation, yet the rapid increase in the number of available sequences means that most researchers will not have the time or resources to manually annotate all the sequence data they

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    Asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite, which cause all the pathology associated with malaria, can readily be genetically modified by homologous recombination, enabling the functional study of parasite genes that are not essential in this part of the life cycle. However, no widely applicable method for conditional mutagenesis of essential asexual blood-stage malarial genes is available, hindering their functional analysis. We report the application of the DiCre conditional recombinase system to Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most dangerous form of malaria. We show that DiCre can be used to obtain rapid, highly regulated site-specific recombination in P. falciparum, capable of excising loxP-flanked sequences from a genomic locus with close to 100% efficiency within the time-span of a single erythrocytic growth cycle. DiCre-mediated deletion of the SERA5 3' UTR failed to reduce expression of the gene due to the existence of alternative cryptic polyadenylation sites within the modified locus. However, we successfully used the system to recycle the most widely used drug resistance marker for P. falciparum, human dihydrofolate reductase, in the process producing constitutively DiCre-expressing P. falciparum clones that have broad utility for the functional analysis of essential asexual blood-stage parasite genes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  8. Parasites

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2010-05-06

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

  9. Simplified Pan-species Real-time PCR-based Detection of Plasmodium Spp. in Blood Smear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanpour, Gholamreza; Mirhendi, Hossein; Mohebali, Mehdi; Raeisi, Ahmad; Zeraati, Hojjat; Keshavarz, Hossein

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to quicken and simplify the detection of Plasmodium in blood samples by developing and testing a pan- Plasmodium real-time PCR for accurate screening of individuals suspected of malaria. A single primer/probe set for pan-species Plasmodium -specific real time PCR targeting a conserved region of the small subunit 18S ribosomal DNA was designed and evaluated for rapid diagnosis and screening of malaria infections using dried blood smears. FTA cards were used for rapid and simple DNA extraction. The primers and probes showed a positive response with the DNA extracted from bloods infected with P. falciparum and P. vivax but not with DNA extracted from various smears from uninfected blood samples. Seven positive cases positive by both microscopy and nested PCR were found among 280 blood samples taken from in South and Southeast Iran. Five samples were identified as positive for P. vivax and two as positive for P. falciparum . All positive samples were positive by real-time PCR. Furthermore, all 38-blood samples positive by microscopy were positive by real-time PCR. No microscopy-negative samples were positive by real-time PCR. By using a simple FTA card for DNA extraction and by application of the real-time PCR developed in this study, sensitivity similar to nested-PCR and microscopy was achieved. This format simplifies the detection of Plasmodium in large numbers of samples.

  10. Simplified Pan-species Real-time PCR-based Detection of Plasmodium Spp. in Blood Smear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gholamreza HASSANPOUR

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: We aimed to quicken and simplify the detection of Plasmodium in blood samples by developing and testing a pan-Plasmodium real-time PCR for accurate screening of individuals suspected of malaria.Methods: A single primer/probe set for pan-species Plasmodium-specific real time PCR targeting a conserved region of the small subunit 18S ribosomal DNA was designed and evaluated for rapid diagnosis and screening of malaria infections using dried blood smears. FTA cards were used for rapid and simple DNA extraction.Results: The primers and probes showed a positive response with the DNA extracted from bloods infected with P. falciparum and P. vivax but not with DNA extracted from various smears from uninfected blood samples. Seven positive cases positive by both microscopy and nested PCR were found among 280 blood samples taken from in South and Southeast Iran. Five samples were identified as positive for P. vivax and two as positive for P. falciparum. All positive samples were positive by real-time PCR. Furthermore, all 38-blood samples positive by microscopy were positive by real-time PCR. No microscopy-negative samples were positive by real-time PCR.Conclusion: By using a simple FTA card for DNA extraction and by application of the real-time PCR developed in this study, sensitivity similar to nested-PCR and microscopy was achieved. This format simplifies the detection of Plasmodium in large numbers of samples.

  11. A few good reasons why species-area relationships do not work for parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Fattorini, Simone

    2014-01-01

    Several studies failed to find strong relationships between the biological and ecological features of a host and the number of parasite species it harbours. In particular, host body size and geographical range are generally only weak predictors of parasite species richness, especially when host phylogeny and sampling effort are taken into account. These results, however, have been recently challenged by a meta-analytic study that suggested a prominent role of host body size and range extent in determining parasite species richness (species-area relationships). Here we argue that, in general, results from meta-analyses should not discourage researchers from investigating the reasons for the lack of clear patterns, thus proposing a few tentative explanations to the fact that species-area relationships are infrequent or at least difficult to be detected in most host-parasite systems. The peculiar structure of host-parasite networks, the enemy release hypothesis, the possible discrepancy between host and parasite ranges, and the evolutionary tendency of parasites towards specialization may explain why the observed patterns often do not fit those predicted by species-area relationships.

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rossouw, C

    2010-02-01

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

  13. Plasmodium vivax Malaria in Cambodia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siv, Sovannaroth; Roca-Feltrer, Arantxa; Vinjamuri, Seshu Babu; Bouth, Denis Mey; Lek, Dysoley; Rashid, Mohammad Abdur; By, Ngau Peng; Popovici, Jean; Huy, Rekol; Menard, Didier

    2016-01-01

    The Cambodian National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria aims to move step by step toward elimination of malaria across Cambodia with an initial focus on Plasmodium falciparum malaria before achieving elimination of all forms of malaria, including Plasmodium vivax in 2025. The emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum in western Cambodia over the last decade has drawn global attention to support the ultimate goal of P. falciparum elimination, whereas the control of P. vivax lags much behind, making the 2025 target gradually less achievable unless greater attention is given to P. vivax elimination in the country. The following review presents in detail the past and current situation regarding P. vivax malaria, activities of the National Malaria Control Program, and interventional measures applied. Constraints and obstacles that can jeopardize our efforts to eliminate this parasite species are discussed. PMID:27708187

  14. Genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Ana Cecilia; Ortiz, Andres; Coello, Jorge; Sosa-Ochoa, Wilfredo; Torres, Rosa E Mejia; Banegas, Engels I; Jovel, Irina; Fontecha, Gustavo A

    2012-11-26

    Understanding the population structure of Plasmodium species through genetic diversity studies can assist in the design of more effective malaria control strategies, particularly in vaccine development. Central America is an area where malaria is a public health problem, but little is known about the genetic diversity of the parasite's circulating species. This study aimed to investigate the allelic frequency and molecular diversity of five surface antigens in field isolates from Honduras. Five molecular markers were analysed to determine the genotypes of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum from endemic areas in Honduras. Genetic diversity of ama-1, msp-1 and csp was investigated for P. vivax, and msp-1 and msp-2 for P. falciparum. Allelic frequencies were calculated and sequence analysis performed. A high genetic diversity was observed within Plasmodium isolates from Honduras. A different number of genotypes were elucidated: 41 (n = 77) for pvama-1; 23 (n = 84) for pvcsp; and 23 (n = 35) for pfmsp-1. Pvcsp sequences showed VK210 as the only subtype present in Honduran isolates. Pvmsp-1 (F2) was the most polymorphic marker for P. vivax isolates while pvama-1 was least variable. All three allelic families described for pfmsp-1 (n = 30) block 2 (K1, MAD20, and RO33), and both allelic families described for the central domain of pfmsp-2 (n = 11) (3D7 and FC27) were detected. However, K1 and 3D7 allelic families were predominant. All markers were randomly distributed across the country and no geographic correlation was found. To date, this is the most complete report on molecular characterization of P. vivax and P. falciparum field isolates in Honduras with regards to genetic diversity. These results indicate that P. vivax and P. falciparum parasite populations are highly diverse in Honduras despite the low level of transmission.

  15. Predicting what helminth parasites a fish species should have using Parasite Co-occurrence Modeler (PaCo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    Fish pathologists are often interested in which parasites would likely be present in a particular host. Parasite Co-occurrence Modeler (PaCo) is a tool for identifying a list of parasites known from fish species that are similar ecologically, phylogenetically, and geographically to the host of interest. PaCo uses data from FishBase (maximum length, growth rate, life span, age at maturity, trophic level, phylogeny, and biogeography) to estimate compatibility between a target host and parasite species–genera from the major helminth groups (Acanthocephala, Cestoda, Monogenea, Nematoda, and Trematoda). Users can include any combination of host attributes in a model. These unique features make PaCo an innovative tool for addressing both theoretical and applied questions in parasitology. In addition to predicting the occurrence of parasites, PaCo can be used to investigate how host characteristics shape parasite communities. To test the performance of the PaCo algorithm, we created 12,400 parasite lists by applying any possible combination of model parameters (248) to 50 fish hosts. We then measured the relative importance of each parameter by assessing their frequency in the best models for each host. Host phylogeny and host geography were identified as the most important factors, with both present in 88% of the best models. Habitat (64%) was identified in more than half of the best models. Among ecological parameters, trophic level (41%) was the most relevant while life span (34%), growth rate (32%), maximum length (28%), and age at maturity (20%) were less commonly linked to best models. PaCo is free to use at www.purl.oclc.org/fishpest.

  16. Distribution of Plasmodium species on the island of Grande Comore on the basis of DNA extracted from rapid diagnostic tests

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    Papa Mze Nasserdine

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the Union of Comoros, interventions for combating malaria have contributed to a spectacular decrease in the prevalence of the disease. We studied the current distribution of Plasmodium species on the island of Grande Comore using nested PCR. The rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs currently used in the Comoros are able to identify Plasmodium falciparum but no other Plasmodium species. In this study, we tested 211 RDTs (158 positive and 53 negative. Among the 158 positive RDTs, 22 were positive for HRP2, 3 were positive only for pLDH, and 133 were positive for HRP2 and pLDH. DNA was extracted from a proximal part of the nitrocellulose membrane of RDTs. A total of 159 samples were positive by nested PCR. Of those, 156 (98.11% were positive for P. falciparum, 2 (1.25% were positive for P. vivaxI, and 1 (0.62% was positive for P. malariae. None of the samples were positive for P. ovale. Our results show that P. falciparum is still the most dominant species on the island of Grande Comore, but P. vivax and P. malariae are present at a low prevalence.

  17. Host social organization and mating system shape parasite transmission opportunities in three European bat species.

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    van Schaik, J; Kerth, G

    2017-02-01

    For non-mobile parasites living on social hosts, infection dynamics are strongly influenced by host life history and social system. We explore the impact of host social systems on parasite population dynamics by comparing the infection intensity and transmission opportunities of three mite species of the genus Spinturnix across their three European bat hosts (Myotis daubentonii, Myotis myotis, Myotis nattereri) during the bats' autumn mating season. Mites mainly reproduce in host maternity colonies in summer, but as these colonies are closed, opportunities for inter-colony transmission are limited to host interactions during the autumn mating season. The three investigated hosts differ considerably in their social system, most notably in maternity colony size, mating system, and degree of male summer aggregation. We observed marked differences in parasite infection during the autumn mating period between the species, closely mirroring the predictions made based on the social systems of the hosts. Increased host aggregation sizes in summer yielded higher overall parasite prevalence and intensity, both in male and female hosts. Moreover, parasite levels in male hosts differentially increased throughout the autumn mating season in concordance with the degree of contact with female hosts afforded by the different mating systems of the hosts. Critically, the observed host-specific differences have important consequences for parasite population structure and will thus affect the coevolutionary dynamics between the interacting species. Therefore, in order to accurately characterize host-parasite dynamics in hosts with complex social systems, a holistic approach that investigates parasite infection and transmission across all periods is warranted.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Climate driven range divergence among host species affects range-wide patterns of parasitism

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    Richard E. Feldman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Species interactions like parasitism influence the outcome of climate-driven shifts in species ranges. For some host species, parasitism can only occur in that part of its range that overlaps with a second host species. Thus, predicting future parasitism may depend on how the ranges of the two hosts change in relation to each other. In this study, we tested whether the climate driven species range shift of Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer accounts for predicted changes in parasitism of two other species from the family Cervidae, Alces alces (moose and Rangifer tarandus (caribou, in North America. We used MaxEnt models to predict the recent (2000 and future (2050 ranges (probabilities of occurrence of the cervids and a parasite Parelaphostrongylus tenuis (brainworm taking into account range shifts of the parasite’s intermediate gastropod hosts. Our models predicted that range overlap between A. alces/R. tarandus and P. tenuis will decrease between 2000 and 2050, an outcome that reflects decreased overlap between A. alces/R. tarandus and O. virginianus and not the parasites, themselves. Geographically, our models predicted increasing potential occurrence of P. tenuis where A. alces/R. tarandus are likely to decline, but minimal spatial overlap where A. alces/R. tarandus are likely to increase. Thus, parasitism may exacerbate climate-mediated southern contraction of A. alces and R. tarandus ranges but will have limited influence on northward range expansion. Our results suggest that the spatial dynamics of one host species may be the driving force behind future rates of parasitism for another host species.

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

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    Ranford-Cartwright Lisa

    2009-05-01

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

  1. Use of fish parasite species richness indices in analyzing anthropogenically impacted coastal marine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzikowski, R.; Paperna, I.; Diamant, A.

    2003-10-01

    The diversity of fish parasite life history strategies makes these species sensitive bioindicators of aquatic ecosystem health. While monoxenous (single-host) species may persist in highly perturbed, extreme environments, this is not necessarily true for heteroxenous (multiple-host) species. As many parasites possess complex life cycles and are transmitted through a chain of host species, their dependency on the latter to complete their life cycles renders them sensitive to perturbed environments. In the present study, parasite communities of grey mullet Liza aurata and Liza ramada (Mugilidae) were investigated at two Mediterranean coastal sites in northern Israel: the highly polluted Kishon Harbor (KH) and the relatively unspoiled reference site, Ma'agan Michael (MM). Both are estuarine sites in which grey mullet are one of the most common fish species. The results indicate that fish at the polluted site had significantly less trematode metacercariae than fish at the reference site. Heteroxenous gut helminths were completely absent at the polluted sampling site. Consequently, KH fish displayed lower mean parasite species richness. At the same time, KH fish mean monoxenous parasite richness was higher, although the prevalence of different monoxenous taxa was variable. Copepods had an increased prevalence while monogenean prevalence was significantly reduced at the polluted site. This variability may be attributed to the differential susceptibility of the parasites to the toxicity of different pollutants, their concentration, the exposure time and possible synergistic effects. In this study, we used the cumulative species curve model that extrapolates "true" species richness of a given habitat as a function of increasing sample size. We considered the heteroxenous and monoxenous species separately for each site, and comparison of curves yielded significant results. It is proposed to employ this approach, originally developed for estimating the "true" parasite

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-13

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

  3. Cross-species infection trials reveal cryptic parasite varieties and a putative polymorphism shared among host species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luijckx, Pepijn; Duneau, David; Andras, Jason P; Ebert, Dieter

    2014-02-01

    A parasite's host range can have important consequences for ecological and evolutionary processes but can be difficult to infer. Successful infection depends on the outcome of multiple steps and only some steps of the infection process may be critical in determining a parasites host range. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the host range of the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa, a Daphnia parasite, and determined the parasites success in different stages of the infection process. Multiple genotypes of Daphnia pulex, Daphnia longispina and Daphnia magna were tested with four Pasteuria genotypes using infection trials and an assay that determines the ability of the parasite to attach to the hosts esophagus. We find that attachment is not specific to host species but is specific to host genotype. This may suggest that alleles on the locus controlling attachment are shared among different host species that diverged 100 million year. However, in our trials, Pasteuria was never able to reproduce in nonnative host species, suggesting that Pasteuria infecting different host species are different varieties, each with a narrow host range. Our approach highlights the explanatory power of dissecting the steps of the infection process and resolves potentially conflicting reports on parasite host ranges. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and a sympatric widespread carnivore

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    Ana Figueiredo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes, in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina, and a protozoa (Balantidium coli were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species.

  5. Parasite prevalence in Worthen’s Sparrow (Spizella wortheni: Mexican endemic and endangered species

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    Ricardo Canales-del-Castillo

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Worthen’s sparrow is an endemic bird of the Mexican Plateau that due to its limited distribution and population size is considered to be endangered, both nationally and globally. In general, species at risk have been, at least historically, under population size and genetic diversity reductions, which are factors that can act together to increase infections risk and susceptibility. Therefore, with the purpose to determine such propensity in this species, we analyzed the intestinal parasitic infection through fecal samples from 11 individuals, and hemoparasites, hematocrit and differential leukocyte quantification from one sample. Results indicated that 91% of the samples had one parasite taxon, with genus Cryptosporidium showing the highest prevalence (64%, followed by Eimeria (55%, and Ascaridia (9%. However, mean values of oocysts/eggs per gram indicated a low parasitic infection. We found no blood parasites, and the white blood cell counts were among reference values for other sparrow species.

  6. Immune escape strategies of malaria parasites

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    Pollyanna Stephanie Gomes

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  8. Effects of intra- and interpatch host density on egg parasitism by three species of Trichogramma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grieshop, Matthew J; Flinn, Paul W; Nechols, James R

    2010-01-01

    Host-foraging responses to different intra- and interpatch densities were used to assess three Trichogramma spp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) Trichogramma deion Pinto and Oatman, T. ostriniae Pang and Chen, and T. pretiosum Riley - as potential biological control agents for the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Single naïve females were allowed 6 h to forage in Plexiglas arenas with four different spatial arrangements of host eggs, nine single-egg patches), nine four-egg patches, 36 single-egg patches, and 36 four-egg patches. No significant differences were found among species in the number of patches parasitized. As expected, all three species parasitized the most eggs in the 36 four-egg patch treatment and the least in the nine single-egg patch treatment. T. deion parasitized significantly more eggs than T. pretiosum on the nine four-egg patches. T. ostriniae parasitized significantly more patches when intrapatch density was greater, regardless of interpatch density. In contrast, T. deion only parasitized more patches at the greater intrapatch density when the interpatch density was low. Patch density had no effect on T. pretiosum. The spatial pattern of parasitism was more aggregated for T. deion and T. ostriniae in the 36 four-egg patches treatment compared to the 36 single-egg patches treatment. Therefore, intrapatch density was more important than interpatch density for T. ostriniae, and potentially for T. deion, but not for T. pretiosum. T. deion may be the best candidate for augmentative biological control because it parasitized either slightly or significantly more eggs than the other two species in all four treatments. Furthermore, the pattern of parasitism by T. deion in the 36 four-egg patches treatment was the most aggregated among the three species, suggesting a more thorough searching pattern. In contrast, T. pretiosum had the least aggregated pattern of parasitism and therefore may have used a more

  9. Protozoan parasites of four species of wild anurans from a local zoo in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammad, K N; Badrul, M M; Mohamad, N; Zainal-Abidin, A H

    2013-12-01

    The parasitic protozoan fauna in sixty-six anurans comprising of Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Phrynoidis juxtaspera, Hylarana erythraea and Polypedates leucomystax collected from Zoo Negara Malaysia was investigated. The distribution and prevalence rate of parasitic species in the digestive tract and blood were examined. Seven species of intestinal protozoa (Opalina ranarum, Cepedea dimidiata, Nycthetorus cordiformis, Entamoeba ranarum, Iodamoeba butschlii, Endamoeba blattae, and Tritrichomonas sp.) and two species of blood protozoa (Lankesterella sp. and Trypanosoma sp.) were recorded. Opalina ranarum was the most common protozoan found in the rectum and intestine (prevalence rate: 34.8%) infecting all host species, with P. juxtaspera heavily infected with the parasite, whereas Tritrichomonas sp. was the least prevalent intestinal species infecting only D. melanostictus. Both Lankesterella sp. and Trypanosoma sp. were found in the blood of H. erythraea.

  10. Estimation of the species richness of fish parasite fauna: an ecological approach

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    Ieshko Evgeny Pavlovich

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the biological diversity of the parasite fauna in pike from four habitats found in northern lakes of Karelia. The curves of the expected species richness versus sampling effort (the number of examined specimens dependency were plotted. A universal approach to the description of the new species replenishment dynamics is proposed – including finding (through combinatorial analysis the median value between the fastest and the slowest paths of the species richness growth followed by approximation using logistic function . Our analysis showed that the leading ecological factors controlling the formation of the parasite species richness in a specific waterbody are the richness of infracommunities and the age composition of the host sample. The sample of 15 host specimens contains at least 80% of all species in the parasite community.

  11. Discussion to several tapeworm species from the families Hymenolepididae, Anoplocephalidae and Davaineidae parasitizing rodents and man

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    František Tenora

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available With the more recent knowledge, the hypothesis by Joyeux and Baer (1929 is consulted: “... most of rarer species of tapeworms occurring in man are probably parasites of other mammals, specially of Rodentia .....“. In connection with that, the host specificity in several species from the families Hymenolepididae, Anoplocephalidae and Davaineidae is discussed. So far parasites of rodents are concerned, they are the species Rodentolepis straminea, R. fraterna, Hymenolepis diminuta, H. pseudodiminuta, H. hibernia and Inermicapsifer arvicanthidis. So far parasites of man are concerned, they are the species Rodentolepis nana, Hymenolepis flavopunctata and Inermicapsifer madagascariensis. Attention is drawn also to discrepancies in the opinions published on the views of hosts’ specificity or of zoogeographical distribution of several species from the family Davaineidae.

  12. High sensitivity detection of Plasmodium species reveals positive correlations between infections of different species, shifts in age distribution and reduced local variation in Papua New Guinea

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    Smith Thomas A

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When diagnosed by standard light microscopy (LM, malaria prevalence can vary significantly between sites, even at local scale, and mixed species infections are consistently less common than expect in areas co-endemic for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae. The development of a high-throughput molecular species diagnostic assay now enables routine PCR-based surveillance of malaria infections in large field and intervention studies, and improves resolution of species distribution within and between communities. Methods This study reports differences in the prevalence of infections with all four human malarial species and of mixed infections as diagnosed by LM and post-PCR ligase detection reaction – fluorescent microsphere (LDR-FMA assay in 15 villages in the central Sepik area of Papua New Guinea. Results Significantly higher rates of infection by P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae and Plasmodium ovale were observed in LDR-FMA compared to LM diagnosis (p P. malariae (3.9% vs 13.4% and P. ovale (0.0% vs 4.8%. In contrast to LM diagnosis, which suggested a significant deficit of mixed species infections, a significant excess of mixed infections over expectation was detected by LDR-FMA (p P. falciparum (LM: 7–9 yrs 47.5%, LDR-FMA: 10–19 yrs 74.2% and P. vivax (LM: 4–6 yrs 24.2%, LDR-FMA: 7–9 yrs 50.9% but not P. malariae infections (10–19 yrs, LM: 7.7% LDR-FMA: 21.6%. Significant geographical variation in prevalence was found for all species (except for LM-diagnosed P. falciparum, with the extent of this variation greater in LDR-FMA than LM diagnosed infections (overall, 84.4% vs. 37.6%. Insecticide-treated bednet (ITN coverage was also the dominant factor linked to geographical differences in Plasmodium species infection prevalence explaining between 60.6% – 74.5% of this variation for LDR-FMA and 81.8% – 90.0% for LM (except P. falciparum, respectively. Conclusion The present study

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Ecological multiplex interactions determine the role of species for parasite spread amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, Massimo; Selakovic, Sanja; Antonioni, Alberto; Andreazzi, Cecilia

    2018-04-23

    Despite their potential interplay, multiple routes of many disease transmissions are often investigated separately. As an unifying framework for understanding parasite spread through interdependent transmission paths, we present the 'ecomultiplex' model, where the multiple transmission paths among a diverse community of interacting hosts are represented as a spatially explicit multiplex network. We adopt this framework for designing and testing potential control strategies for T. cruzi spread in two empirical host communities. We show that the ecomultiplex model is an efficient and low data-demanding method to identify which species enhances parasite spread and should thus be a target for control strategies. We also find that the interplay between predator-prey and host-parasite interactions leads to a phenomenon of parasite amplification, in which top predators facilitate T. cruzi spread, offering a mechanistic interpretation of previous empirical findings. Our approach can provide novel insights in understanding and controlling parasite spreading in real-world complex systems. © 2018, Stella et al.

  15. The sub-genera of Avian Plasmodium

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    Landau I.

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The study of the morphology of a species of Plasmodium is difficult because these organisms have relatively few characters. The size of the schizont, for example, which is easy to assess is important at the specific level but is not always of great phylogenetic significance. Factors reflecting the parasite’s metabolism provide more important evidence. Thus the position of the parasite within the host red cell (attachment to the host nucleus or its membrane, at one end or aligned with it has been shown to be constant for a given species. Another structure of essential significance that is often ignored is a globule, usually refringent in nature, that was first described in Plasmodium vaughani Novy & MacNeal, 1904 and that we consider to be characteristic of the sub-genus Novyella. Species without this structure, previously classified in this sub-genus, are now included in the new sub-genus Papernaia n. sg.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Githinji, George; Bull, Peter C

    2017-01-01

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

  17. A comprehensive survey of the Plasmodium life cycle by genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Neil; Karras, Marianna; Raine, J Dale; Carlton, Jane M; Kooij, Taco W A; Berriman, Matthew; Florens, Laurence; Janssen, Christoph S; Pain, Arnab; Christophides, Georges K; James, Keith; Rutherford, Kim; Harris, Barbara; Harris, David; Churcher, Carol; Quail, Michael A; Ormond, Doug; Doggett, Jon; Trueman, Holly E; Mendoza, Jacqui; Bidwell, Shelby L; Rajandream, Marie-Adele; Carucci, Daniel J; Yates, John R; Kafatos, Fotis C; Janse, Chris J; Barrell, Bart; Turner, C Michael R; Waters, Andrew P; Sinden, Robert E

    2005-01-07

    Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium chabaudi are widely used model malaria species. Comparison of their genomes, integrated with proteomic and microarray data, with the genomes of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium yoelii revealed a conserved core of 4500 Plasmodium genes in the central regions of the 14 chromosomes and highlighted genes evolving rapidly because of stage-specific selective pressures. Four strategies for gene expression are apparent during the parasites' life cycle: (i) housekeeping; (ii) host-related; (iii) strategy-specific related to invasion, asexual replication, and sexual development; and (iv) stage-specific. We observed posttranscriptional gene silencing through translational repression of messenger RNA during sexual development, and a 47-base 3' untranslated region motif is implicated in this process.

  18. The origin of malarial parasites in orangutans.

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    M Andreína Pacheco

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

  19. Discrimination of the Social Parasite Ectatomma parasiticum by Its Host Sibling Species (E. tuberculatum

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    Renée Fénéron

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Among social parasites, workerless inquilines entirely depend on their host for survival and reproduction. They are usually close phylogenetic relatives of their host, which raises important questions about their evolutionary history and mechanisms of speciation at play. Here we present new findings on Ectatomma parasiticum, the only inquiline ant described in the Ectatomminae subfamily. Field data confirmed its rarity and local distribution in a facultative polygynous population of E. tuberculatum in Mexico. Genetic analyses demonstrated that the parasite is a sibling species of its host, from which it may have diverged recently. Polygyny is suggested to have favored the evolution of social parasite by sympatric speciation. Nevertheless, host workers from this population were able to discriminate parasites from their conspecifics. They treated the parasitic queens either as individuals of interest or as intruders, depending on their colonial origin, probably because of the peculiar chemical profile of the parasites and/or their reproductive status. We suggest that E. parasiticum could have conserved from its host sibling species the queen-specific substances that produce attracting and settling effect on workers, which, in return, would increase the probability to be detected. This hypothesis could explain the imperfect social integration of the parasite into host colonies.

  20. Profiling mRNAs of two Cuscuta species reveals possible candidate transcripts shared by parasitic plants.

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    Linjian Jiang

    Full Text Available Dodders are among the most important parasitic plants that cause serious yield losses in crop plants. In this report, we sought to unveil the genetic basis of dodder parasitism by profiling the trancriptomes of Cuscuta pentagona and C. suaveolens, two of the most common dodder species using a next-generation RNA sequencing platform. De novo assembly of the sequence reads resulted in more than 46,000 isotigs and contigs (collectively referred to as expressed sequence tags or ESTs for each species, with more than half of them predicted to encode proteins that share significant sequence similarities with known proteins of non-parasitic plants. Comparing our datasets with transcriptomes of 12 other fully sequenced plant species confirmed a close evolutionary relationship between dodder and tomato. Using a rigorous set of filtering parameters, we were able to identify seven pairs of ESTs that appear to be shared exclusively by parasitic plants, thus providing targets for tailored management approaches. In addition, we also discovered ESTs with sequences similarities to known plant viruses, including cryptic viruses, in the dodder sequence assemblies. Together this study represents the first comprehensive transcriptome profiling of parasitic plants in the Cuscuta genus, and is expected to contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of parasitic plant-host plant interactions.

  1. Profiling mRNAs of two Cuscuta species reveals possible candidate transcripts shared by parasitic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Linjian; Wijeratne, Asela J; Wijeratne, Saranga; Fraga, Martina; Meulia, Tea; Doohan, Doug; Li, Zhaohu; Qu, Feng

    2013-01-01

    Dodders are among the most important parasitic plants that cause serious yield losses in crop plants. In this report, we sought to unveil the genetic basis of dodder parasitism by profiling the trancriptomes of Cuscuta pentagona and C. suaveolens, two of the most common dodder species using a next-generation RNA sequencing platform. De novo assembly of the sequence reads resulted in more than 46,000 isotigs and contigs (collectively referred to as expressed sequence tags or ESTs) for each species, with more than half of them predicted to encode proteins that share significant sequence similarities with known proteins of non-parasitic plants. Comparing our datasets with transcriptomes of 12 other fully sequenced plant species confirmed a close evolutionary relationship between dodder and tomato. Using a rigorous set of filtering parameters, we were able to identify seven pairs of ESTs that appear to be shared exclusively by parasitic plants, thus providing targets for tailored management approaches. In addition, we also discovered ESTs with sequences similarities to known plant viruses, including cryptic viruses, in the dodder sequence assemblies. Together this study represents the first comprehensive transcriptome profiling of parasitic plants in the Cuscuta genus, and is expected to contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of parasitic plant-host plant interactions.

  2. Prevalence of anopheline species and their Plasmodium infection status in epidemic-prone border areas of Bangladesh

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    Nazib Forida

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Information related to malaria vectors is very limited in Bangladesh. In the changing environment and various Anopheles species may be incriminated and play role in the transmission cycle. This study was designed with an intention to identify anopheline species and possible malaria vectors in the border belt areas, where the malaria is endemic in Bangladesh. Methods Anopheles mosquitoes were collected from three border belt areas (Lengura, Deorgachh and Matiranga during the peak malaria transmission season (May to August. Three different methods were used: human landing catches, resting collecting by mouth aspirator and CDC light traps. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA was done to detect Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax-210 and Plasmodium vivax-247 circumsporozoite proteins (CSP from the collected female species. Results A total of 634 female Anopheles mosquitoes belonging to 17 species were collected. Anopheles vagus (was the dominant species (18.6% followed by Anopheles nigerrimus (14.5% and Anopheles philippinensis (11.0%. Infection rate was found 2.6% within 622 mosquitoes tested with CSP-ELISA. Eight (1.3% mosquitoes belonging to five species were positive for P. falciparum, seven (1.1% mosquitoes belonging to five species were positive for P. vivax -210 and a single mosquito (0.2% identified as Anopheles maculatus was positive for P. vivax-247. No mixed infection was found. Highest infection rate was found in Anopheles karwari (22.2% followed by An. maculatus (14.3% and Anopheles barbirostris (9.5%. Other positive species were An. nigerrimus (4.4%, An. vagus (4.3%, Anopheles subpictus (1.5% and An. philippinensis (1.4%. Anopheles vagus and An. philippinensis were previously incriminated as malaria vector in Bangladesh. In contrast, An. karwari, An. maculatus, An. barbirostris, An. nigerrimus and An. subpictus had never previously been incriminated in Bangladesh. Conclusion Findings of this study suggested

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Parasite prevalence corresponds to host life history in a diverse assemblage of afrotropical birds and haemosporidian parasites.

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    Holly L Lutz

    Full Text Available Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi.

  5. Haemosporidian parasite infections in grouse and ptarmigan: Prevalence and genetic diversity of blood parasites in resident Alaskan birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Matthew M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Merizon, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Projections related to future climate warming indicate the potential for an increase in the distribution and prevalence of blood parasites in northern regions. However, baseline data are lacking for resident avian host species in Alaska. Grouse and ptarmigan occupy a diverse range of habitat types throughout the northern hemisphere and are among the most well-known and important native game birds in North America. Information regarding the prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in tetraonid species is limited, with few recent studies and an almost complete lack of genetic data. To better understand the genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites in Alaskan tetraonids and to determine current patterns of geographic range and host specificity, we used molecular methods to screen 459 tissue samples collected from grouse and ptarmigan species across multiple regions of Alaska for infection by Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium blood parasites. Infections were detected in 342 individuals, with overall apparent prevalence of 53% for Leucocytozoon, 21% for Haemoproteus, and 9% for Plasmodium. Parasite prevalence varied by region, with different patterns observed between species groups (grouse versus ptarmigan). Leucocytozoon was more common in ptarmigan, whereas Haemoproteus was more common in grouse. We detected Plasmodium infections in grouse only. Analysis of haemosporidian mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences revealed 23 unique parasite haplotypes, several of which were identical to lineages previously detected in other avian hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed close relationships between haplotypes from our study and those identified in Alaskan waterfowl for Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. In contrast, Leucocytozoon lineages were structured strongly by host family. Our results provide some of the first genetic data for haemosporidians in grouse and ptarmigan species, and provide an initial baseline on the prevalence and diversity

  6. Mosquito Vectors and the Globalization of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Zilversmit, Martine M; Neafsey, Daniel E; Hartl, Daniel L; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2016-11-23

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a devastating public health problem. Recent discoveries have shed light on the origin and evolution of Plasmodium parasites and their interactions with their vertebrate and mosquito hosts. P. falciparum malaria originated in Africa from a single horizontal transfer between an infected gorilla and a human, and became global as the result of human migration. Today, P. falciparum malaria is transmitted worldwide by more than 70 different anopheline mosquito species. Recent studies indicate that the mosquito immune system can be a barrier to malaria transmission and that the P. falciparum Pfs47 gene allows the parasite to evade mosquito immune detection. Here, we review the origin and globalization of P. falciparum and integrate this history with analysis of the biology, evolution, and dispersal of the main mosquito vectors. This new perspective broadens our understanding of P. falciparum population structure and the dispersal of important parasite genetic traits.

  7. Parasites of the raccoon dog – an invading species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Hammer, A. S.; Chriél, Mariann

    2012-01-01

    Invasive species have a marked negative influence on the biodiversity of ecosystems and may contribute to the transmission of diseases. During the 1920s until 1950s, thousands of Raccoon dogs were deliberately introduces to the eastern European countries from the Far East, in order to enrich...... the wild with this new valuable fur animal. The Raccoon dog is considered the most successful invading mammal in Europe, and in the last 20 years, it has invaded the western part of Denmark, namely Jutland. The Danish ministry of Environment reacted to the new threat by deciding to eradicate this species...... species were isolated from both hosts; however, foxes harboured more helminth species per infected animal (average 3,1 helminth species/fox) than raccoon dogs (average 1,7 helminth species/raccoon dog). Prevalences of nematodes (Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine) and cestodes...

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

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    Nicolli Bellotti de Souza

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. MALDI-TOF MS Profiling-Advances in Species Identification of Pests, Parasites, and Vectors

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    Jayaseelan Murugaiyan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Invertebrate pests and parasites of humans, animals, and plants continue to cause serious diseases and remain as a high treat to agricultural productivity and storage. The rapid and accurate species identification of the pests and parasites are needed for understanding epidemiology, monitoring outbreaks, and designing control measures. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS profiling has emerged as a rapid, cost effective, and high throughput technique of microbial species identification in modern diagnostic laboratories. The development of soft ionization techniques and the release of commercial pattern matching software platforms has resulted in the exponential growth of applications in higher organisms including parasitology. The present review discusses the proof-of-principle experiments and various methods of MALDI MS profiling in rapid species identification of both laboratory and field isolates of pests, parasites and vectors.

  11. MALDI-TOF MS Profiling-Advances in Species Identification of Pests, Parasites, and Vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murugaiyan, Jayaseelan; Roesler, Uwe

    2017-01-01

    Invertebrate pests and parasites of humans, animals, and plants continue to cause serious diseases and remain as a high treat to agricultural productivity and storage. The rapid and accurate species identification of the pests and parasites are needed for understanding epidemiology, monitoring outbreaks, and designing control measures. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) profiling has emerged as a rapid, cost effective, and high throughput technique of microbial species identification in modern diagnostic laboratories. The development of soft ionization techniques and the release of commercial pattern matching software platforms has resulted in the exponential growth of applications in higher organisms including parasitology. The present review discusses the proof-of-principle experiments and various methods of MALDI MS profiling in rapid species identification of both laboratory and field isolates of pests, parasites and vectors.

  12. The persistence and oscillations of submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections over time in Vietnam: an open cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2018-05-01

    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

  13. Differential water mite parasitism, phenoloxidase activity, and resistance to mites are unrelated across pairs of related damselfly species.

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    Julia J Mlynarek

    Full Text Available Related host species often demonstrate differences in prevalence and/or intensity of infection by particular parasite species, as well as different levels of resistance to those parasites. The mechanisms underlying this interspecific variation in parasitism and resistance expression are not well understood. Surprisingly, few researchers have assessed relations between actual levels of parasitism and resistance to parasites seen in nature across multiple host species. The main goal of this study was to determine whether interspecific variation in resistance against ectoparasitic larval water mites either was predictive of interspecific variation in parasitism for ten closely related species of damselflies (grouped into five "species pairs", or was predicted by interspecific variation in a commonly used measure of innate immunity (total Phenoloxidase or potential PO activity. Two of five species pairs had interspecific differences in proportions of individuals resisting larval Arrenurus water mites, only one of five species pairs had species differences in prevalence of larval Arrenurus water mites, and another two of five species pairs showed species differences in mean PO activity. Within the two species pairs where species differed in proportion of individuals resisting mites the species with the higher proportion did not have correspondingly higher PO activity levels. Furthermore, the proportion of individuals resisting mites mirrored prevalence of parasitism in only one species pair. There was no interspecific variation in median intensity of mite infestation within any species pair. We conclude that a species' relative ability to resist particular parasites does not explain interspecific variation in parasitism within species pairs and that neither resistance nor parasitism is reflected by interspecific variation in total PO or potential PO activity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. New records of Microbotryum species parasitizing Caryophyllaceae from Ukraine

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    Kyrylo G. Savchenko

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Four records of smut fungi belonging to the genus Microbotryum Lév.are reported. Two species were found on new hosts, namely M. dianthorum on Dianthus borbasii and D. pseudoserotinus and M. superbum on D. stenocalyx. Microbotryum lagerhemii on Lychnis viscaria is a new species for Ukraine.

  16. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Andrew J; Ruiz, Gregory M; Leung, Brian; Torchin, Mark E

    2015-01-01

    Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite abundance was negatively

  17. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Sellers

    Full Text Available Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite

  18. Molecular responses of Lotus japonicus to parasitism by the compatible species Orobanche aegyptiaca and the incompatible species Striga hermonthica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiraoka, Yukihiro; Ueda, Hiroaki; Sugimoto, Yukihiro

    2009-01-01

    Lotus japonicus genes responsive to parasitism by the compatible species Orobanche aegyptiaca and the incompatible species Striga hermonthica were isolated by using the suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) strategy. O. aegyptiaca and S. hermonthica parasitism specifically induced the expression of genes involved in jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and phytoalexin biosynthesis, respectively. Nodulation-related genes were almost exclusively found among the Orobanche-induced genes. Temporal gene expression analyses revealed that 19 out of the 48 Orobanche-induced genes and 5 out of the 48 Striga-induced genes were up-regulated at 1 dai. Four genes, including putative trypsin protease inhibitor genes, exhibited systemic up-regulation in the host plant parasitized by O. aegyptiaca. On the other hand, S. hermonthica attachment did not induce systemic gene expression.

  19. Plasmodium knowlesi: from severe zoonosis to animal model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox-Singh, Janet; Culleton, Richard

    2015-06-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi malaria is a newly described zoonosis in Southeast Asia. Similarly to Plasmodium falciparum, P. knowlesi can reach high parasitaemia in the human host and both species cause severe and fatal illness. Interpretation of host-parasite interactions in studies of P. knowlesi malaria adds a counterpoint to studies on P. falciparum. However, there is no model system for testing the resulting hypotheses on malaria pathophysiology or for developing new interventions. Plasmodium knowlesi is amenable to genetic manipulation in vitro and several nonhuman primate species are susceptible to experimental infection. Here, we make a case for drawing on P. knowlesi as both a human pathogen and an experimental model to lift the roadblock between malaria research and its translation into human health benefits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Rodent Plasmodium-infected red blood cells: imaging their fates and interactions within their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claser, Carla; Malleret, Benoit; Peng, Kaitian; Bakocevic, Nadja; Gun, Sin Yee; Russell, Bruce; Ng, Lai Guan; Rénia, Laurent

    2014-02-01

    Malaria, a disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite, remains one of the most deadly infectious diseases known to mankind. The parasite has a complex life cycle, of which only the erythrocytic stage is responsible for the diverse pathologies induced during infection. To date, the disease mechanisms that underlie these pathologies are still poorly understood. In the case of infections caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for most malaria related deaths, pathogenesis is thought to be due to the sequestration of infected red blood cells (IRBCs) in deep tissues. Other human and rodent malaria parasite species are also known to exhibit sequestration. Here, we review the different techniques that allow researchers to study how rodent malaria parasites modify their host cells, the distribution of IRBCs in vivo as well as the interactions between IRBCs and host tissues. © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Introduced species: domestic mammals are more significant transmitters of parasites to native mammals than are feral mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landaeta-Aqueveque, Carlos; Henríquez, Analía; Cattan, Pedro E

    2014-03-01

    The study of parasitism related to biological invasion has focused on attributes and impacts of parasites as invaders and the impact of introduced hosts on endemic parasitism. Thus, there is currently no study of the attributes of hosts which influence the invasiveness of parasites. We aimed to determine whether the degree of domestication of introduced mammalian species - feral introduced mammals, livestock or pets, hereafter 'D' - is important in the spillover of introduced parasites. The literature on introduced parasites of mammals in Chile was reviewed. We designed an index for estimating the relevance of the introduced host species to parasite spillover and determined whether the D of introduced mammals predicted this index. A total of 223 introduced parasite species were found. Our results indicate that domestic mammals have a higher number of introduced parasites and spillover parasites, and the index indicates that these mammals, particularly pets, are more relevant introducers than introduced feral mammals. Further analyses indicated that the higher impact is due to higher parasite richness, a longer time since introduction and wider dispersal, as well as how these mammals are maintained. The greater relevance of domestic mammals is important given that they are basically the same species distributed worldwide and can become the main transmitters of parasites to native mammals elsewhere. This finding also underlines the feasibility of management in order to reduce the transmission of parasites to native fauna through anti-parasitic treatment of domestic mammals, animal-ownership education and the prevention of importing new parasite species. Copyright © 2014 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Blood protozoan parasites of rodents in Jos, Plateau State, Nigerai ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    One hundred and thirty rodents, comprising nine different species caught from seven different locations in Jos, Nigeria, were examined for blood protozoan parasites, and 82(63.08%) were positive, with Plasmodium 63(48.46%), Trypanosoma 4(3.08%), Toxoplasma 6(4.62%), Babesia 7(5.38%) and Anaplasma 2(1.54%).

  4. Conditions Promoting Mycorrhizal Parasitism Are of Minor Importance for Competitive Interactions in Two Differentially Mycotrophic Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friede, Martina; Unger, Stephan; Hellmann, Christine; Beyschlag, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Interactions of plants with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) may range along a broad continuum from strong mutualism to parasitism, with mycorrhizal benefits received by the plant being determined by climatic and edaphic conditions affecting the balance between carbon costs vs. nutritional benefits. Thus, environmental conditions promoting either parasitism or mutualism can influence the mycorrhizal growth dependency (MGD) of a plant and in consequence may play an important role in plant-plant interactions. In a multifactorial field experiment we aimed at disentangling the effects of environmental and edaphic conditions, namely the availability of light, phosphorus and nitrogen, and the implications for competitive interactions between Hieracium pilosella and Corynephorus canescens for the outcome of the AMF symbiosis. Both species were planted in single, intraspecific and interspecific combinations using a target-neighbor approach with six treatments distributed along a gradient simulating conditions for the interaction between plants and AMF ranking from mutualistic to parasitic. Across all treatments we found mycorrhizal association of H. pilosella being consistently mutualistic, while pronounced parasitism was observed in C. canescens, indicating that environmental and edaphic conditions did not markedly affect the cost:benefit ratio of the mycorrhizal symbiosis in both species. Competitive interactions between both species were strongly affected by AMF, with the impact of AMF on competition being modulated by colonization. Biomass in both species was lowest when grown in interspecific competition, with colonization being increased in the less mycotrophic C. canescens, while decreased in the obligate mycotrophic H. pilosella. Although parasitism-promoting conditions negatively affected MGD in C. canescens, these effects were small as compared to growth decreases related to increased colonization levels in this species. Thus, the lack of plant control over

  5. Conditions Promoting Mycorrhizal Parasitism are of Minor Importance for Competitive Interactions in Two Differentially Mycotrophic Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Friede

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Interactions of plants with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF may range along a broad continuum from strong mutualism to parasitism, with mycorrhizal benefits received by the plant being determined by climatic and edaphic conditions affecting the balance between carbon costs vs. nutritional benefits. Thus, environmental conditions promoting either parasitism or mutualism can influence the mycorrhizal growth dependency (MGD of a plant and in consequence may play an important role in plant-plant interactions.In a multifactorial field experiment we aimed at disentangling the effects of environmental and edaphic conditions, namely the availability of light, phosphorus and nitrogen, and the implications for competitive interactions between Hieracium pilosella and Corynephorus canescens for the outcome of the AMF symbiosis. Both species were planted in single, intraspecific and interspecific combinations using a target-neighbor approach with six treatments distributed along a gradient simulating conditions for the interaction between plants and AMF ranking from mutualistic to parasitic.Across all treatments we found mycorrhizal association of H. pilosella being consistently mutualistic, while pronounced parasitism was observed in C. canescens, indicating that environmental and edaphic conditions did not markedly affect the cost:benefit ratio of the mycorrhizal symbiosis in both species. Competitive interactions between both species were strongly affected by AMF, with the impact of AMF on competition being modulated by colonization. Biomass in both species was lowest when grown in interspecific competition, with colonization being increased in the less mycotrophic C. canescens, while decreased in the obligate mycotrophic H. pilosella. Although parasitism-promoting conditions negatively affected MGD in C. canescens, these effects were small as compared to growth decreases related to increased colonization levels in this species. Thus, the lack of plant

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. A synoptic overview of golden jackal parasites reveals high diversity of species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherman, Călin Mircea; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2017-09-15

    The golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a species under significant and fast geographic expansion. Various parasites are known from golden jackals across their geographic range, and certain groups can be spread during their expansion, increasing the risk of cross-infection with other carnivores or even humans. The current list of the golden jackal parasites includes 194 species and was compiled on the basis of an extensive literature search published from historical times until April 2017, and is shown herein in synoptic tables followed by critical comments of the various findings. This large variety of parasites is related to the extensive geographic range, territorial mobility and a very unselective diet. The vast majority of these parasites are shared with domestic dogs or cats. The zoonotic potential is the most important aspect of species reported in the golden jackal, some of them, such as Echinococcus spp., hookworms, Toxocara spp., or Trichinella spp., having a great public health impact. Our review brings overwhelming evidence on the importance of Canis aureus as a wild reservoir of human and animal parasites.

  9. Adoption of parasitic Maculinea alcon caterpillars (Lepidoptera : Lycaenidae) by three Myrmica ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als, Thomas Damm; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, J. J.

    2001-01-01

    Maculinea butterflies are parasites of Myrmica ant nests. The Alcon blue, Maculinea alcon, is unusual in that it parasitizes the nests of several Myrmica species, using M. rubra, M. ruginodis and M. scabrinodis as hosts in different parts of Europe. In Denmark it uses M. rubra and M. ruginodis....... alcon from three populations differing in their host use to laboratory nests of all three recorded host ant species collected from each of the M. alcon populations. We measured the attractiveness of the caterpillars to their host ants as the time taken for them to be adopted by each ant colony....... Caterpillars from all populations took longer to be adopted to M. scabrinodis nests than to nests of the other two ant species. Adoption times to M. rubra and M. ruginodis colonies differed: caterpillars from each of the two populations that used a single host species were adopted most quickly by that species...

  10. Molecular convergence of the parasitic plant species Cuscuta reflexa and Phelipanche aegyptiaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehker, Jan; Lachnit, Magdalena; Kaldenhoff, Ralf

    2012-08-01

    The parasitic plant species Cuscuta reflexa and Phelipanche aegyptiaca have independently developed parasitism, the former parasitizing on shoots and the latter attaching to roots. Regardless of these differences, the two species use similar organs, termed haustoria, to attach to the host plant. In this study, we show that this morphological similarity can be extended to the molecular level. An attAGP-promoter from Solanum lycopersicum, which is activated by Cuscuta infections, was also induced after infection by P. aegyptiaca. Furthermore, we show by validation of transcriptome sequencing data that the Phelipanche orthologue of a haustorium-specific Cuscuta gene, which codes for a cysteine proteinase, was activated in the early stages of Phelipanche invasion. Inhibition of the Phelipanche cysteine proteinase was achieved by 35S- or attAGP-promoter-driven expression of its intrinsic inhibitory polypeptide. A reduction in P. aegyptiaca infection rates during experiments in flower pots and in an in vitro polybag system in comparison to controls was recorded.

  11. Ectoparasites as numerical dominant species in parasite community of Trachelyopterus striatulus (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae) from Guandu River, southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesquita, R L B; Azevedo, R K; Abdallah, V D; Luque, J L

    2011-08-01

    Sixty specimens of singing catfish Trachelyopterus striatulus (Steindachner, 1877) (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae) collected from Guandu River (22º 48' 32" S and 43º 37' 35" W), in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from October 2006 to March 2009, were necropsied to study their parasites. From the 60 specimens of T. striatulus examined 57 were parasitised by at least one parasite species. The majority of the parasite specimens collected were monogeneans followed by Nematoda, Digenea and Hirudinea. Cosmetocleithrum sp. was the numerically predominant species with highest prevalence and abundance. The parasites of T. striatulus showed the typical pattern of aggregated distribution. No parasite species showed significant correlation between the body total length of the host and their abundance. The mean parasite species richness was not correlated with the host's total body length and sex. Values of the Brillouin index of diversity had a mean of H = 0.083 ± 0.136.

  12. Parasites and pathogens of ticks ( Rhipicephalus species Acari ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The interaction of ticks with its environment as well as its natural hosts predisposes it to acquiring pathogens that could pose animal and human health risks. Identifying these pathogens could alert dog owners and others to reassess the predisposing factors and ensure control. The aim of the study was to identify the species ...

  13. Parasites of the Giant Panda: A Risk Factor in the Conservation of a Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Xie, Yue; Zheng, Youle; Wang, Chengdong; Li, Desheng; Koehler, Anson V; Gasser, Robin B

    2018-01-01

    The giant panda, with an estimated population size of 2239 in the world (in 2015), is a global symbol of wildlife conservation that is threatened by habitat loss, poor reproduction and limited resistance to some infectious diseases. Of these factors, some diseases caused by parasites are considered as the foremost threat to its conservation. However, there is surprisingly little published information on the parasites of the giant panda, most of which has been disseminated in the Chinese literature. Herein, we review all peer-reviewed publications (in English or Chinese language) and governmental documents for information on parasites of the giant pandas, with an emphasis on the intestinal nematode Baylisascaris schroederi (McIntosh, 1939) as it dominates published literature. The purpose of this chapter is to: (i) review the parasites recorded in the giant panda and describe what is known about their biology; (ii) discuss key aspects of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and control of key parasites that are reported to cause clinical problems and (iii) conclude by making some suggestions for future research. This chapter shows that we are only just 'scratching the surface' when it comes to parasites and parasitological research of the giant panda. Clearly, there needs to be a concerted research effort to support the conservation of this iconic species. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  14. Temporal effects on host-parasite associations in four naturalized goby species living in sympatry

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ondračková, Markéta; Valová, Zdenka; Hudcová, Iveta; Michálková, Veronika; Šimková, A.; Borcherding, J.; Jurajda, Pavel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 746, č. 1 (2015), s. 233-243 ISSN 0018-8158 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/12/2569 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Fish * Gobiidae * Non-native species * Parasite * Rhine Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.051, year: 2015

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Host range, host ecology, and distribution of more than 11800 fish parasite species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Palomares, Maria Lourdes D.; Bailly, Nicholas; Galli, Paolo; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    Our data set includes 38 008 fish parasite records (for Acanthocephala, Cestoda, Monogenea, Nematoda, Trematoda) compiled from the scientific literature, Internet databases, and museum collections paired to the corresponding host ecological, biogeographical, and phylogenetic traits (maximum length, growth rate, life span, age at maturity, trophic level, habitat preference, geographical range size, taxonomy). The data focus on host features, because specific parasite traits are not consistently available across records. For this reason, the data set is intended as a flexible resource able to extend the principles of ecological niche modeling to the host–parasite system, providing researchers with the data to model parasite niches based on their distribution in host species and the associated host features. In this sense, the database offers a framework for testing general ecological, biogeographical, and phylogenetic hypotheses based on the identification of hosts as parasite habitat. Potential applications of the data set are, for example, the investigation of species–area relationships or the taxonomic distribution of host-specificity. The provided host–parasite list is that currently used by Fish Parasite Ecology Software Tool (FishPEST, http://purl.oclc.org/fishpest), which is a website that allows researchers to model several aspects of the relationships between fish parasites and their hosts. The database is intended for researchers who wish to have more freedom to analyze the database than currently possible with FishPEST. However, for readers who have not seen FishPEST, we recommend using this as a starting point for interacting with the database.

  17. Rickettsia species in human-parasitizing ticks in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papa, Anna; Xanthopoulou, Kyriaki; Kotriotsiou, Tzimoula; Papaioakim, Miltiadis; Sotiraki, Smaragda; Chaligiannis, Ilias; Maltezos, Efstratios

    2016-05-01

    Ticks serve as vectors and reservoirs for a variety of bacterial, viral and protozoan pathogens affecting humans and animals. Unusual increased tick aggressiveness was observed in 2008-2009 in northeastern Greece. The aim of the study was to check ticks removed from persons during 2009 for infection with Rickettsia species. A total of 159 ticks were removed from 147 persons who sought medical advice in a hospital. Tick identification was performed morphologically using taxonomic keys. DNA was extracted from each individual tick and a PCR assay targeting the rickettsial outer membrane protein A gene of Rickettsia spp. was applied. Most of the adult ticks (132/153, 86.3%) were Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Rickettsiae were detected in 23 of the 153 (15.0%) adult ticks. Five Rickettsiae species were identified: R. aeschlimannii, R. africae (n=6), R. massilae (4), R. monacensis (1), and Candidatus R. barbariae (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of R. africae, R. monacensis, and Candidatus R. barbariae in Greece. Several Rickettsia species were identified in ticks removed from humans in Greece, including those that are prevalent in northern and southern latitudes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Parasitization of commercially available parasitoid species against the lettuce aphid, Nasonovia ribisnigri (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, G; Skovgård, H; Enkegaard, A

    2014-12-01

    The lettuce aphid, Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosley), is an economically important pest of lettuce worldwide. Little documentation exists for the control efficacy of aphid parasitoids against N. ribisnigri. This laboratory study evaluated three commercially available parasitoid species: Aphidius colemani (Viereck), Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson), and Aphelinus abdominalis (Dalman) for their mortality impact on N. ribisnigri. The green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) was included as a reference aphid. The study showed that A. abdominalis successfully parasitized 39 and 13% of the offered N. ribisnigri and M. persicae, respectively, within a 24-h exposure period. In contrast, none of the lettuce aphids exposed to Ap. colemani or L. testaceipes were successfully parasitized, whereas 60 and 3.5% of M. persicae, respectively, were successfully parasitized within a 6-h exposure period. Lettuce aphid mortality due to incomplete parasitization was 26 and 31% when exposed to Ap. colemani and L. testaceipes, respectively, with corresponding values for M. persicae being 5 and 10%, respectively. Mortality as a result of incomplete parasitization when aphids were exposed to A. abdominalis was low for both aphid species. The total mortality inflicted by A. abdominalis within a 24-h exposure period was 51% for the lettuce aphids and significantly less (19%) for green peach aphids. In contrast, Ap. colemani inflicted a higher mortality in M. persicae (65%) compared with N. ribisnigri (26%) within a 6-h exposure period. L. testaceipes caused a greater mortality in N. ribisnigri as compared with M. persicae. This study concludes that A. abdominalis has the potential to be used against N. ribisnigri in inoculative biocontrol programs as compared with the other parasitoid species based on successful parasitization.

  19. of Plasmodium cynomolgi

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2007-11-19

    Nov 19, 2007 ... AMA-1 sequences implies a conserved function for this molecule across different species of. Plasmodium. ... knowledge of detailed structural organization is crucial in ... sional (3D) structure of a protein are of great assistance.

  20. Alien species of fish parasites in the coastal lakes and lagoons of the southern Baltic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolanta Morozińska-Gogol

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Alien species are now found all over the world. New fish parasites have been unintentionally introduced with infected alien fish imported for aquaculture or have sometimes spread with their intermediate invertebrate hosts transported in the ballast waters of ships. Four alien fish parasites have been recorded in Polish coastal lakes and lagoons, all parasitising eels. Three were introduced with the final host - the Japanese eel - introduced for aquaculture (Anguillicola crassus, Pseudodactylogyrus anguillae and Pseudodactylogyrus bini and one (Paratenuisentis ambiguus with its sole intermediate host (Gammarus tigrinus.

  1. Vaccine Containing the Three Allelic Variants of the Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Antigen Induces Protection in Mice after Challenge with a Transgenic Rodent Malaria Parasite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Marina Gimenez

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium vivax is the most common species that cause malaria outside of the African continent. The development of an efficacious vaccine would contribute greatly to control malaria. Recently, using bacterial and adenoviral recombinant proteins based on the P. vivax circumsporozoite protein (CSP, we demonstrated the possibility of eliciting strong antibody-mediated immune responses to each of the three allelic forms of P. vivax CSP (PvCSP. In the present study, recombinant proteins representing the PvCSP alleles (VK210, VK247, and P. vivax-like, as well as a hybrid polypeptide, named PvCSP-All epitopes, were generated. This hybrid containing the conserved C-terminal of the PvCSP and the three variant repeat domains in tandem were successfully produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris. After purification and biochemical characterization, they were used for the experimental immunization of C57BL/6 mice in a vaccine formulation containing the adjuvant Poly(I:C. Immunization with a recombinant protein expressing all three different allelic forms in fusion elicited high IgG antibody titers reacting with all three different allelic variants of PvCSP. The antibodies targeted both the C-terminal and repeat domains of PvCSP and recognized the native protein on the surface of P. vivax sporozoites. More importantly, mice that received the vaccine formulation were protected after challenge with chimeric Plasmodium berghei sporozoites expressing CSP repeats of P. vivax sporozoites (Pb/PvVK210. Our results suggest that it is possible to elicit protective immunity against one of the most common PvCSP alleles using soluble recombinant proteins expressed by P. pastoris. These recombinant proteins are promising candidates for clinical trials aiming to develop a multiallele vaccine against P. vivax malaria.

  2. Global and local genetic diversity at two microsatellite loci in Plasmodium vivax parasites from Asia, Africa and South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Mette L; Ranjitkar, Samir; Rajakaruna, Rupika S

    2014-01-01

    diversity are vital to the evaluation of drug and vaccine efficacy, tracking of P. vivax outbreaks, and assessing geographical differentiation between parasite populations. METHODS: The genetic diversity of eight P. vivax populations (n = 543) was investigated by using two microsatellites (MS), m1501 and m......3502, chosen because of their seven and eight base-pair (bp) repeat lengths, respectively. These were compared with published data of the same loci from six other P. vivax populations. RESULTS: In total, 1,440 P. vivax samples from 14 countries on three continents were compared. There was highest...... heterozygosity within Asian populations, where expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.92-0.98, and alleles with a high repeat number were more common. Pairwise FST revealed significant differentiation between most P. vivax populations, with the highest divergence found between Asian and South American populations...

  3. Alternative polymerase chain reaction method to identify Plasmodium species in human blood samples: the semi-nested multiplex malaria PCR (SnM-PCR)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rubio, J.M.; Post, R.J.; Docters van Leeuwen, W.M.; Henry, M.C.; Lindergard, G.; Hommel, M.

    2002-01-01

    A simplified protocol for the identification of Plasmodium species by semi-nested multiplex polymerase chain reaction (SnM-PCR) in human blood samples is compared with microscopical examination of thin and thick blood films in 2 field trials in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. Also, dried blood spots or

  4. Molecular characterization of misidentified Plasmodium ovale imported cases in Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavatte, Jean-Marc; Tan, Sarah Bee Hui; Snounou, Georges; Lin, Raymond Tzer Pin Valentine

    2015-11-14

    Plasmodium ovale, considered the rarest of the malaria parasites of humans, consists of two morphologically identical but genetically distinct sympatric species, Plasmodium ovale curtisi and Plasmodium ovale wallikeri. These parasites resemble morphologically to Plasmodium vivax with which they also share a tertian periodicity and the ability to cause relapses, making them easily misidentified as P. vivax. Plasmodium ovale infections are rarely reported, but given the likelihood of misidentification, their prevalence might be underestimated. Morphological and molecular analysis of confirmed malaria cases admitted in Singapore in 2012-2014 detected nine imported P. ovale cases that had been misidentified as P. vivax. Since P. ovale had not been previously officially reported in Singapore, a retrospective analysis of available, frozen, archival blood samples was performed and returned two additional misidentified P. ovale cases in 2003 and 2006. These eleven P. ovale samples were characterized with respect to seven molecular markers (ssrRNA, Potra, Porbp2, Pog3p, dhfr-ts, cytb, cox1) used in recent studies to distinguish between the two sympatric species, and to a further three genes (tufa, clpC and asl). The morphological features of P. ovale and the differential diagnosis with P. vivax were reviewed and illustrated by microphotographs. The genetic dimorphism between P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri was assessed by ten molecular markers distributed across the three genomes of the parasite (Genbank KP050361-KP050470). The data obtained for seven of these markers were compared with those published and confirmed that both P. ovale species were present. This dimorphism was also confirmed for the first time on: (1) two genes from the apicoplast genome (tufA and clpC genes); and, (2) the asl gene that was used for phylogenetic analyses of other Plasmodium species, and that was found to harbour the highest number of dimorphic loci between the two P. ovale species

  5. Infection by Haemoproteus parasites in four species of frigatebirds and the description of a new species of Haemoproteus (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Santiago; Hennicke, Janos; Martinez, Javier; Ludynia, Katrin; Torres, Roxana; Work, Thierry M.; Stroud, Stedson; Masello, Juan F.; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2012-01-01

    Among seabirds, the fregatids stand out with a high prevalence of blood parasites. Four of 5 species in this family have been found to be infected with Haemoproteus; however, complete species descriptions with molecular phylogeny are lacking. Seventy-five samples from 4 species of frigatebirds, i.e., Fregata andrewsi, Fregata minor, Fregata magnificens, and Fregata aquila, were screened for infections caused by species of Haemoproteus. Four different parasite haplotypes were found infecting frigatebirds based on the sequencing of a fragment of the cytochrome b gene. Two haplotypes belong to the subgenus Parahaemoproteus, and the other 2 correspond to haplotypes within the subgenus Haemoproteus. The more prevalent and cosmopolitan Parahaemoproteus haplotype (FregPHae1) was phylogenetically grouped with other Haemoproteus parasites infecting non-passerine birds, but it could not be detected from the single sample from F. aquila. The other Parahaemoproteus haplotype (FregPHae2) was not phylogenetically clustered with parasites infecting non-passerine birds, and it was sequenced from a single (1 each) F. andrewsi and F. minor. Blood smears from F. andrewsi infected only by FregPHae1 haplotype showed sufficient gametocytes to allow description of a new species, Haemoproteus valkiūnasi sp. nov. In contrast to Haemoproteus iwa, the only previously known blood parasite infecting frigatebirds and described from F. minor from Galapagos Islands, parasites from F. andrewsi (1) are shorter with no contact of gametocyte with host cell membrane, (2) have fewer pigment granules, and (3) have wider microgametocytes, with a smaller host nuclear displacement. In contrast, patent single infections corresponding to the cosmopolitan haplotype of the subgenus Haemoproteus (FregHae1) were also found in samples from 1 F. andrewsi, 1 F. minor, and 1 F. aquila. In all these cases, the number of microgametocytes was very low, resembling H. iwa, which lacks microgametocytes in the original

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Malaria remains a public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa with Plasmodium falciparum being the principal cause of malaria disease morbidity and mortality. Plasmodium falciparum virulence is attributed, in part, to its population-level genetic diversity-a characteristic that has yet to be

  7. Acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute renal failure from Plasmodium ovale infection with fatal outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Yee-Ling; Lee, Wenn-Chyau; Tan, Lian-Huat; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Syed Omar, Sharifah Faridah; Fong, Mun-Yik; Cheong, Fei-Wen; Mahmud, Rohela

    2013-11-04

    Plasmodium ovale is one of the causative agents of human malaria. Plasmodium ovale infection has long been thought to be non-fatal. Due to its lower morbidity, P. ovale receives little attention in malaria research. Two Malaysians went to Nigeria for two weeks. After returning to Malaysia, they fell sick and were admitted to different hospitals. Plasmodium ovale parasites were identified from blood smears of these patients. The species identification was further confirmed with nested PCR. One of them was successfully treated with no incident of relapse within 12-month medical follow-up. The other patient came down with malaria-induced respiratory complication during the course of treatment. Although parasites were cleared off the circulation, the patient's condition worsened. He succumbed to multiple complications including acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute renal failure. Sequencing of the malaria parasite DNA from both cases, followed by multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic tree construction suggested that the causative agent for both malaria cases was P. ovale curtisi. In this report, the differences between both cases were discussed, and the potential capability of P. ovale in causing severe complications and death as seen in this case report was highlighted. Plasmodium ovale is potentially capable of causing severe complications, if not death. Complete travel and clinical history of malaria patient are vital for successful diagnoses and treatment. Monitoring of respiratory and renal function of malaria patients, regardless of the species of malaria parasites involved is crucial during the course of hospital admission.

  8. Blood parasites in Owls with conservation implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, H.D.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Anderson, N.L.; Keane, J.J.; Valkiunas, G.; Haig, S.M.; Tell, L.A.; Sehgal, R.N.M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis courina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n=17) and unique lineages (n=12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. ?? 2008 Ishak et al.

  9. Hemoparasites in a wild primate: Infection patterns suggest interaction of Plasmodium and Babesia in a lemur species☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Andrea; Fichtel, Claudia; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Kappeler, Peter M.

    2015-01-01

    Hemoparasites can cause serious morbidity in humans and animals and often involve wildlife reservoirs. Understanding patterns of hemoparasite infections in natural populations can therefore inform about emerging disease risks, especially in the light of climate change and human disruption of natural ecosystems. We investigated the effects of host age, sex, host group size and season on infection patterns of Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp. and filarial nematodes in a population of wild Malagasy primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), as well as the effects of these infections on hematological variables. We tested 45 blood samples from 36 individuals and identified two species of Plasmodium, one species of Babesia and two species of filarial nematodes. Plasmodium spp. and Babesia sp. infections showed opposite patterns of age-dependency, with babesiosis being prevalent among young animals, while older animals were infected with Plasmodium sp. In addition, Babesia sp. infection was a statistically significant negative predictor of Plasmodium sp. infection. These results suggest that Plasmodium and Babesia parasites may interact within the host, either through cross-immunity or via resource competition, so that Plasmodium infections can only establish after babesiosis has resolved. We found no effects of host sex, host group size and season on hemoparasite infections. Infections showed high prevalences and did not influence hematological variables. This preliminary evidence supports the impression that the hosts and parasites considered in this study appear to be well-adapted to each other, resulting in persistent infections with low pathogenic and probably low zoonotic potential. Our results illustrate the crucial role of biodiversity in host-parasite relationships, specifically how within-host pathogen diversity may regulate the abundance of parasites. PMID:26767166

  10. Intra-specific diversity of Serratia marcescens in Anopheles mosquito midgut defines Plasmodium transmission capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bando, Hironori; Okado, Kiyoshi; Guelbeogo, Wamdaogo M.; Badolo, Athanase; Aonuma, Hiroka; Nelson, Bryce; Fukumoto, Shinya; Xuan, Xuenan; Sagnon, N'Fale; Kanuka, Hirotaka

    2013-01-01

    A critical stage in malaria transmission occurs in the Anopheles mosquito midgut, when the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, ingested with blood, first makes contact with the gut epithelial surface. To understand the response mechanisms within the midgut environment, including those influenced by resident microbiota against Plasmodium, we focus on a midgut bacteria species' intra-specific variation that confers diversity to the mosquito's competency for malaria transmission. Serratia marcescens isolated from either laboratory-reared mosquitoes or wild populations in Burkina Faso shows great phenotypic variation in its cellular and structural features. Importantly, this variation is directly correlated with its ability to inhibit Plasmodium development within the mosquito midgut. Furthermore, this anti-Plasmodium function conferred by Serratia marcescens requires increased expression of the flagellum biosynthetic pathway that is modulated by the motility master regulatory operon, flhDC. These findings point to new strategies for controlling malaria through genetic manipulation of midgut bacteria within the mosquito. PMID:23571408

  11. [Application of Nested PCR in the Diagnosis of Imported Plasmodium Ovale Infection].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bing-cheng; Xu, Chao; Li, Jin; Xiao, Ting; Yin, Kun; Liu, Gong-zhen; Wang, Wei-yan; Zhao, Gui-hua; Wei, Yan-bin; Wang, Yong-bin; Zhao, Chang-lei; Wei, Qing-kuan

    2015-02-01

    To identity Plasmodium ovale infection by 18S rRNA gene nested PCR. Whole blood and filter paper blood samples of malaria patients in Shandong Province were collected during 2012-2013. The parasites were observed under a microscope with Giemsa staining. The genome DNA of blood samples were extracted as PCR templates. Genus- and species-specific primers were designed according to the Plasmodium 18S rRNA gene sequences. Plasmodium ovale-positive specimens were identified by nested PCR as well as verified by sequencing. There were 7 imported cases of P. ovale infection in the province during 2012-2013. Nested PCR results showed that the P. ovale specific band (800 bp) was amplified in all the 7 specimens. Blast results indicated that the PCR products were consistent with the Plasmodium ovale reference sequence in GenBank. Seven imported cases of ovale malaria in Shandong Province in 2012-2013 are confirmed by nested PCR.

  12. Plasmodium vivax Transmission in Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalind E Howes

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa has historically been almost exclusively attributed to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf. Current diagnostic and surveillance systems in much of sub-Saharan Africa are not designed to identify or report non-Pf human malaria infections accurately, resulting in a dearth of routine epidemiological data about their significance. The high prevalence of Duffy negativity provided a rationale for excluding the possibility of Plasmodium vivax (Pv transmission. However, review of varied evidence sources including traveller infections, community prevalence surveys, local clinical case reports, entomological and serological studies contradicts this viewpoint. Here, these data reports are weighted in a unified framework to reflect the strength of evidence of indigenous Pv transmission in terms of diagnostic specificity, size of individual reports and corroboration between evidence sources. Direct evidence was reported from 21 of the 47 malaria-endemic countries studied, while 42 countries were attributed with infections of visiting travellers. Overall, moderate to conclusive evidence of transmission was available from 18 countries, distributed across all parts of the continent. Approximately 86.6 million Duffy positive hosts were at risk of infection in Africa in 2015. Analysis of the mechanisms sustaining Pv transmission across this continent of low frequency of susceptible hosts found that reports of Pv prevalence were consistent with transmission being potentially limited to Duffy positive populations. Finally, reports of apparent Duffy-independent transmission are discussed. While Pv is evidently not a major malaria parasite across most of sub-Saharan Africa, the evidence presented here highlights its widespread low-level endemicity. An increased awareness of Pv as a potential malaria parasite, coupled with policy shifts towards species-specific diagnostics and reporting, will allow a robust assessment of the public health

  13. P. berghei telomerase subunit TERT is essential for parasite survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka A Religa

    Full Text Available Telomeres define the ends of chromosomes protecting eukaryotic cells from chromosome instability and eventual cell death. The complex regulation of telomeres involves various proteins including telomerase, which is a specialized ribonucleoprotein responsible for telomere maintenance. Telomeres of chromosomes of malaria parasites are kept at a constant length during blood stage proliferation. The 7-bp telomere repeat sequence is universal across different Plasmodium species (GGGTTT/CA, though the average telomere length varies. The catalytic subunit of telomerase, telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT, is present in all sequenced Plasmodium species and is approximately three times larger than other eukaryotic TERTs. The Plasmodium RNA component of TERT has recently been identified in silico. A strategy to delete the gene encoding TERT via double cross-over (DXO homologous recombination was undertaken to study the telomerase function in P. berghei. Expression of both TERT and the RNA component (TR in P. berghei blood stages was analysed by Western blotting and Northern analysis. Average telomere length was measured in several Plasmodium species using Telomere Restriction Fragment (TRF analysis. TERT and TR were detected in blood stages and an average telomere length of ∼ 950 bp established. Deletion of the tert gene was performed using standard transfection methodologies and we show the presence of tert- mutants in the transfected parasite populations. Cloning of tert- mutants has been attempted multiple times without success. Thorough analysis of the transfected parasite populations and the parasite obtained from extensive parasite cloning from these populations provide evidence for a so called delayed death phenotype as observed in different organisms lacking TERT. The findings indicate that TERT is essential for P. berghei cell survival. The study extends our current knowledge on telomere biology in malaria parasites and validates further

  14. Plasmodium durae Herman from the introduced common peafowl in northern Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, M

    1978-02-01

    Plasmodium (Giovannolaia) durae Herman was originally described from Kenya, the type host being the common turkey, Meleagris gallopavo Linnaeus. There are no field records of this association outside of Africa, where the parasite, herein reported from another introduced and domesticated bird (the common peafowl, Pavo cristatus Linnaeus), was recently listed from 2 native Phasianidae of the genus Francolinus. The justification for the present identification is submitted against background data concerning malaria parasites from turkeys and other Galliformes in Africa and elsewhere, and restraint is urged in describing yet more "new species" of avian Plasmodium belonging to morphologically close taxa within Novyella and Giovannolaia. A near relative of P. durae, Plasmodium dissanaikei de Jong, is transferred from the former subgenus to the latter one.

  15. Antibody-independent mechanisms regulate the establishment of chronic Plasmodium infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jingwen; Cunningham, Deirdre; Tumwine, Irene; Kushinga, Garikai; McLaughlin, Sarah; Spence, Philip; Böhme, Ulrike; Sanders, Mandy; Conteh, Solomon; Bushell, Ellen; Metcalf, Tom; Billker, Oliver; Duffy, Patrick E.; Newbold, Chris; Berriman, Matthew; Langhorne, Jean

    2017-01-01

    Malaria is caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium. All human-infecting Plasmodium species can establish long-lasting chronic infections1–5, creating an infectious reservoir to sustain transmission1,6. It is widely accepted that maintenance of chronic infection involves evasion of adaptive immunity by antigenic variation7. However, genes involved in this process have been identified in only two of five human-infecting species: P. falciparum and P. knowlesi. Furthermore, little is understood about the early events in establishment of chronic infection in these species. Using a rodent model we demonstrate that only a minority of parasites from among the infecting population, expressing one of several clusters of virulence-associated pir genes, establishes a chronic infection. This process occurs in different species of parasite and in different hosts. Establishment of chronicity is independent of adaptive immunity and therefore different from the mechanism proposed for maintainance of chronic P. falciparum infections7–9. Furthermore, we show that the proportions of parasites expressing different types of pir genes regulate the time taken to establish a chronic infection. Since pir genes are common to most, if not all, species of Plasmodium10, this process may be a common way of regulating the establishment of chronic infections. PMID:28165471

  16. Long-term pathogenic response to Plasmodium relictum infection in Culex pipiens mosquito.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigeault, Romain; Villa, Manon

    2018-01-01

    The transmission of Plasmodium within a vertebrate host population is strongly associated with the life history traits of its vector. Therefore the effect of malaria infection on mosquito fecundity and longevity has traditionally received a lot of attention. Several species of malaria parasites reduce mosquito fecundity, nevertheless almost all of the studies have focused only on the first gonotrophic cycle. Yet, during their lifetime, female mosquitoes go through several gonotrophic cycles, which raises the question of whether they are able to compensate the fecundity costs induced by the parasite. The impact of Plasmodium infection on female longevity is not so clear and has produced conflicting results. Here we measured the impact of Plasmodium relictum on its vector's longevity and fecundity during three consecutive gonotrophic cycles. In accordance with previous studies, we observed a negative impact of Plasmodium infection on mosquito (Culex pipiens) fecundity in the first gonotrophic cycle. Interestingly, despite having taken two subsequent uninfected blood meals, the negative impact of malaria parasite persisted. Nevertheless no impact of infection on mosquito longevity was observed. Our results are not in line with the hypothesis that the reduction of fecundity observed in infected mosquitoes is an adaptive strategy of Plasmodium to increase the longevity of its vector. We discuss the different underlying mechanisms that may explain our results.

  17. Babesia spp. in European wild ruminant species: parasite diversity and risk factors for infection

    OpenAIRE

    Michel , Adam O; Mathis , Alexander; Ryser-Degiorgis , Marie-Pierre

    2014-01-01

    International audience; Babesia are tick-borne parasites that are increasingly considered as a threat to animal and public health. We aimed to assess the role of European free-ranging wild ruminants as maintenance mammalian hosts for Babesia species and to determine risk factors for infection. EDTA blood was collected from 222 roe deer (Capreolus c. capreolus), 231 red deer (Cervus e. elaphus), 267 Alpine chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra) and 264 Alpine ibex (Capra i. ibex) from all over Switz...

  18. Malaria parasites: the great escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Rénia

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Parasites of the genus Plasmodium have a complex life cycle. They alternate between their final mosquito host and their intermediate hosts. The parasite can be either extra- or intracellular, depending on the stage of development. By modifying their shape, motility, and metabolic requirements, the parasite adapts to the different environments in their different hosts. The parasite has evolved to escape the multiple immune mechanisms in the host that try to block parasite development at the different stages of their development. In this article, we describe the mechanisms reported thus far that allow the Plasmodium parasite to evade innate and adaptive immune responses.

  19. Sexual imprinting misguides species recognition in a facultative interspecific brood parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorenson, Michael D; Hauber, Mark E; Derrickson, Scott R

    2010-10-22

    Sexual reproduction relies on the recognition of conspecifics for breeding. Most experiments in birds have implicated a critical role for early social learning in directing subsequent courtship behaviours and mating decisions. This classical view of avian sexual imprinting is challenged, however, by studies of megapodes and obligate brood parasites, species in which reliable recognition is achieved despite the lack of early experience with conspecifics. By rearing males with either conspecific or heterospecific brood mates, we experimentally tested the effect of early social experience on the association preferences and courtship behaviours of two sympatrically breeding ducks. We predicted that redheads (Aythya americana), which are facultative interspecific brood parasites, would show a diminished effect of early social environment on subsequent courtship preferences when compared with their host and congener, the canvasback (Aythya valisineria). Contrary to expectations, cross-fostered males of both species courted heterospecific females and preferred them in spatial association tests, whereas control males courted and associated with conspecific females. These results imply that ontogenetic constraints on species recognition may be a general impediment to the initial evolution of interspecific brood parasitism in birds. Under more natural conditions, a variety of mechanisms may mitigate or counteract the effects of early imprinting for redheads reared in canvasback broods.

  20. Functional Identification of the Plasmodium Centromere and Generation of a Plasmodium Artificial Chromosome

    OpenAIRE

    Iwanaga, Shiroh; Khan, Shahid M.; Kaneko, Izumi; Christodoulou, Zoe; Newbold, Chris; Yuda, Masao; Janse, Chris J.; Waters, Andrew P.

    2010-01-01

    Summary The artificial chromosome represents a useful tool for gene transfer, both as cloning vectors and in chromosome biology research. To generate a Plasmodium artificial chromosome (PAC), we had to first functionally identify and characterize the parasite's centromere. A putative centromere (pbcen5) was cloned from chromosome 5 of the rodent parasite P. berghei based on a Plasmodium gene-synteny map. Plasmids containing pbcen5 were stably maintained in parasites during a blood-stage infec...

  1. Local host specialization, host-switching, and dispersal shape the regional distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Vincenzo A; Collins, Michael D; Medeiros, Matthew C I; Sari, Eloisa H R; Coffey, Elyse D; Dickerson, Rebecca C; Lugarini, Camile; Stratford, Jeffrey A; Henry, Donata R; Merrill, Loren; Matthews, Alix E; Hanson, Alison A; Roberts, Jackson R; Joyce, Michael; Kunkel, Melanie R; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2015-09-08

    The drivers of regional parasite distributions are poorly understood, especially in comparison with those of free-living species. For vector-transmitted parasites, in particular, distributions might be influenced by host-switching and by parasite dispersal with primary hosts and vectors. We surveyed haemosporidian blood parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) of small land birds in eastern North America to characterize a regional parasite community. Distributions of parasite populations generally reflected distributions of their hosts across the region. However, when the interdependence between hosts and parasites was controlled statistically, local host assemblages were related to regional climatic gradients, but parasite assemblages were not. Moreover, because parasite assemblage similarity does not decrease with distance when controlling for host assemblages and climate, parasites evidently disperse readily within the distributions of their hosts. The degree of specialization on hosts varied in some parasite lineages over short periods and small geographic distances independently of the diversity of available hosts and potentially competing parasite lineages. Nonrandom spatial turnover was apparent in parasite lineages infecting one host species that was well-sampled within a single year across its range, plausibly reflecting localized adaptations of hosts and parasites. Overall, populations of avian hosts generally determine the geographic distributions of haemosporidian parasites. However, parasites are not dispersal-limited within their host distributions, and they may switch hosts readily.

  2. Cross-species comparison of parasite richness, prevalence, and intensity in a native compared to two invasive brachyuran crabs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Havermans, J.; Waser, A.M.; Luttikhuizen, P.C.; Velilla, E.; Camphuysen, C.J.; Van der Meer, J.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2017-01-01

    An introduced species’ invasion success may be facilitated by the release of natural enemies, like parasites, which may provide an invader with a competitive advantage over native species (enemy release hypothesis). Lower parasite infection levels in introduced versus native populations have

  3. Effect of acanthocephalan parasites on hiding behaviour in two species of shore crabs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latham, A D M; Poulin, R

    2002-12-01

    The effect of acanthocephalan parasites (Profilicollis spp.) on the hiding behaviour during low tide of two species of shore crabs (intermediate hosts), Macrophthalmus hirtipes (Brachyura: Ocypodidae) and Hemigrapsus crenulatus (Brachyura: Grapsidae), was examined at Blueskin Bay, South Island, New Zealand. Exposed M. hirtipes were found to have significantly higher infection levels than did hidden conspecifics. This pattern was not observed for H. crenulatus. Mean cystacanth numbers were found to be considerably higher in M. hirtipes than H. crenulatus. Crabs exposed at low tide are at a greater risk of predation by definitive shorebird hosts than are hidden conspecifics. Preferential manipulation of one intermediate host species over another could influence diversity within ecosystems.

  4. A novel genetic technique in Plasmodium berghei allows liver stage analysis of genes required for mosquito stage development and demonstrates that de novo heme synthesis is essential for liver stage development in the malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Upeksha L Rathnapala

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The combination of drug resistance, lack of an effective vaccine, and ongoing conflict and poverty means that malaria remains a major global health crisis. Understanding metabolic pathways at all parasite life stages is important in prioritising and targeting novel anti-parasitic compounds. The unusual heme synthesis pathway of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, requires eight enzymes distributed across the mitochondrion, apicoplast and cytoplasm. Deletion of the ferrochelatase (FC gene, the final enzyme in the pathway, confirms that heme synthesis is not essential in the red blood cell stages of the life cycle but is required to complete oocyst development in mosquitoes. The lethality of FC deletions in the mosquito stage makes it difficult to study the impact of these mutations in the subsequent liver stage. To overcome this, we combined locus-specific fluorophore expression with a genetic complementation approach to generate viable, heterozygous oocysts able to produce a mix of FC expressing and FC deficient sporozoites. These sporozoites show normal motility and can invade liver cells, where FC deficient parasites can be distinguished by fluorescence and phenotyped. Parasites lacking FC exhibit a severe growth defect within liver cells, with development failure detectable in the early to mid stages of liver development in vitro. FC deficient parasites could not complete liver stage development in vitro nor infect naïve mice, confirming liver stage arrest. These results validate the heme pathway as a potential target for prophylactic drugs targeting liver stage parasites. In addition, we demonstrate that our simple genetic approach can extend the phenotyping window beyond the insect stages, opening considerable scope for straightforward reverse genetic analysis of genes that are dispensable in blood stages but essential for completing mosquito development.

  5. A novel genetic technique in Plasmodium berghei allows liver stage analysis of genes required for mosquito stage development and demonstrates that de novo heme synthesis is essential for liver stage development in the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathnapala, Upeksha L; Goodman, Christopher D; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2017-06-01

    The combination of drug resistance, lack of an effective vaccine, and ongoing conflict and poverty means that malaria remains a major global health crisis. Understanding metabolic pathways at all parasite life stages is important in prioritising and targeting novel anti-parasitic compounds. The unusual heme synthesis pathway of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, requires eight enzymes distributed across the mitochondrion, apicoplast and cytoplasm. Deletion of the ferrochelatase (FC) gene, the final enzyme in the pathway, confirms that heme synthesis is not essential in the red blood cell stages of the life cycle but is required to complete oocyst development in mosquitoes. The lethality of FC deletions in the mosquito stage makes it difficult to study the impact of these mutations in the subsequent liver stage. To overcome this, we combined locus-specific fluorophore expression with a genetic complementation approach to generate viable, heterozygous oocysts able to produce a mix of FC expressing and FC deficient sporozoites. These sporozoites show normal motility and can invade liver cells, where FC deficient parasites can be distinguished by fluorescence and phenotyped. Parasites lacking FC exhibit a severe growth defect within liver cells, with development failure detectable in the early to mid stages of liver development in vitro. FC deficient parasites could not complete liver stage development in vitro nor infect naïve mice, confirming liver stage arrest. These results validate the heme pathway as a potential target for prophylactic drugs targeting liver stage parasites. In addition, we demonstrate that our simple genetic approach can extend the phenotyping window beyond the insect stages, opening considerable scope for straightforward reverse genetic analysis of genes that are dispensable in blood stages but essential for completing mosquito development.

  6. Cryo scanning electron microscopy of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hempel, Casper

    2017-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum invades erythrocytes as an essential part of their life cycle. While living inside erythrocytes, the parasite remodels the cell's intracellular organization as well as its outer surface. Late trophozoite-stage parasites and schizonts introduce numerous small protrusions...

  7. An impossible journey? The development of Plasmodium falciparum NF54 in Culex quinquefasciatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Knöckel

    Full Text Available Although Anopheles mosquitoes are the vectors for human Plasmodium spp., there are also other mosquito species-among them culicines (Culex spp., Aedes spp.-present in malaria-endemic areas. Culicine mosquitoes transmit arboviruses and filarial worms to humans and are vectors for avian Plasmodium spp., but have never been observed to transmit human Plasmodium spp. When ingested by a culicine mosquito, parasites could either face an environment that does not allow development due to biologic incompatibility or be actively killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the latter case, the molecular mechanism of killing must be sufficiently powerful that Plasmodium is not able to overcome it. To investigate how human malaria parasites develop in culicine mosquitoes, we infected Culex quinquefasciatus with Plasmodium falciparum NF54 and monitored development of parasites in the blood bolus and midgut epithelium at different time points. Our results reveal that ookinetes develop in the midgut lumen of C. quinquefasciatus in slightly lower numbers than in Anopheles gambiae G3. After 30 hours, parasites have invaded the midgut and can be observed on the basal side of the midgut epithelium by confocal and transmission electron microscopy. Very few of the parasites in C. quinquefasciatus are alive, most of them are lysed. Eight days after the mosquito's blood meal, no oocysts can be found in C. quinquefasciatus. Our results suggest that the mosquito immune system could be involved in parasite killing early in development after ookinetes have crossed the midgut epithelium and come in contact with the mosquito hemolymph.

  8. In vitro activity of the beta-carboline alkaloids harmane, harmine, and harmaline toward parasites of the species Leishmania infantum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giorgio, C; Delmas, F; Ollivier, E; Elias, R; Balansard, G; Timon-David, P

    2004-01-01

    Harmane, harmine, and harmaline were investigated for their in vitro antileishmanial activity toward parasites of the species Leishmania infantum. Harmane and Harmine displayed a moderate antiproliferative activity toward human monocytes and exerted a weak antileishmanial activity toward both the promastigote and the amastigote forms of the parasite. Their mechanism of action on the promastigote form of the parasite involved interactions with DNA metabolism leading to an accumulation of parasites in the S-G(2)M phases of the cell-cycle. Harmaline, at the contrary, was deprived from toxicity toward human cells and Leishmania promastigotes, however it exerted a strong antileishmanial activity toward the intracellular amastigote form of the parasite. This property was shown to partly result from the capacity of the molecule to prevent parasite internalization within macrophages by inhibiting Leishmania PKC activity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Müller Sylke

    2009-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-29

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

  11. Searching Before It Is Too Late: A Survey of Blood Parasites in Ctenosaura melanosterna, a Critically Endangered Reptile of Honduras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Andrew K.; Benz, Andrew C.; Ruyle, Leslie E.; Kistler, Whitney M.; Shock, Barbara C.; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    For species at risk of extinction, any parasites they have would be expected to face a similar fate. In such cases, time is running out for efforts to identify and study their parasitic fauna before they are gone. We surveyed the hemoparasite fauna of 50 black-chested, spiny-tailed iguanas (Ctenosaura melanosterna), a critically-endangered species, on an island off the coast of Honduras. Blood samples from captured animals were tested for hemoparasites by thin blood smear and molecular analyses. Based on microscopy, two parasites were identified, a Plasmodium sp. in 14% of iguanas and a Hepatozoon sp. in 32%. For both parasites, parasitemia levels were iguanas with microscopy-confirmed Plasmodium infections, sequence analysis of 454 bp of the cytochrome b gene indicated that the Plasmodium species was distinct from known Plasmodium and was most closely related to P. chiricahuae (96.5% similarity) followed by P. mexicanum (95.8% similarity). Efforts to amplify the Hepatozoon parasite using PCR were not successful. Additional surveys and studies of this host-parasite system would be valuable, both to science and to the management of this endangered animal. PMID:27335849

  12. Plasmodium falciparum metacaspase PfMCA-1 triggers a z-VAD-fmk inhibitable protease to promote cell death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoît Meslin

    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.

  13. The systematic functional analysis of plasmodium protein kinases identifies essential regulators of mosquito transmission

    KAUST Repository

    Tewari, Rita; Straschil, Ursula; Bateman, Alex; Bö hme, Ulrike; Cherevach, Inna; Gong, Peng; Pain, Arnab; Billker, Oliver

    2010-01-01

    Although eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) contribute to many cellular processes, only three Plasmodium falciparum ePKs have thus far been identified as essential for parasite asexual blood stage development. To identify pathways essential for parasite transmission between their mammalian host and mosquito vector, we undertook a systematic functional analysis of ePKs in the genetically tractable rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei. Modeling domain signatures of conventional ePKs identified 66 putative Plasmodium ePKs. Kinomes are highly conserved between Plasmodium species. Using reverse genetics, we show that 23 ePKs are redundant for asexual erythrocytic parasite development in mice. Phenotyping mutants at four life cycle stages in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes revealed functional clusters of kinases required for sexual development and sporogony. Roles for a putative SR protein kinase (SRPK) in microgamete formation, a conserved regulator of clathrin uncoating (GAK) in ookinete formation, and a likely regulator of energy metabolism (SNF1/KIN) in sporozoite development were identified. 2010 Elsevier Inc.

  14. The systematic functional analysis of plasmodium protein kinases identifies essential regulators of mosquito transmission

    KAUST Repository

    Tewari, Rita

    2010-10-21

    Although eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) contribute to many cellular processes, only three Plasmodium falciparum ePKs have thus far been identified as essential for parasite asexual blood stage development. To identify pathways essential for parasite transmission between their mammalian host and mosquito vector, we undertook a systematic functional analysis of ePKs in the genetically tractable rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei. Modeling domain signatures of conventional ePKs identified 66 putative Plasmodium ePKs. Kinomes are highly conserved between Plasmodium species. Using reverse genetics, we show that 23 ePKs are redundant for asexual erythrocytic parasite development in mice. Phenotyping mutants at four life cycle stages in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes revealed functional clusters of kinases required for sexual development and sporogony. Roles for a putative SR protein kinase (SRPK) in microgamete formation, a conserved regulator of clathrin uncoating (GAK) in ookinete formation, and a likely regulator of energy metabolism (SNF1/KIN) in sporozoite development were identified. 2010 Elsevier Inc.

  15. Size, time, and asynchrony matter: the species-area relationship for parasites of freshwater fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelmer, Derek A

    2014-10-01

    The tendency to attribute species-area relationships to "island biogeography" effectively bypasses the examination of specific mechanisms that act to structure parasite communities. Positive covariation between fish size and infrapopulation richness should not be examined within the typical extinction-based paradigm, but rather should be addressed from the standpoint of differences in colonization potential among individual hosts. Although most mechanisms producing the aforementioned pattern constitute some variation of passive sampling, the deterministic aspects of the accumulation of parasite individuals by fish hosts makes untenable the suggestion that infracommunities of freshwater fishes are stochastic assemblages. At the component community level, application of extinction-dependent mechanisms might be appropriate, given sufficient time for colonization, but these structuring forces likely act indirectly through their effects on the host community to increase the probability of parasite persistence. At all levels, the passive sampling hypothesis is a relevant null model. The tendency for mechanisms that produce species-area relationships to produce nested subset patterns means that for most systems, the passive sampling hypothesis can be addressed through the application of appropriate null models of nested subset structure.

  16. The sixth mass coextinction: are most endangered species parasites and mutualists?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Robert R; Harris, Nyeema C; Colwell, Robert K; Koh, Lian Pin; Sodhi, Navjot S

    2009-09-07

    The effects of species declines and extinction on biotic interactions remain poorly understood. The loss of a species is expected to result in the loss of other species that depend on it (coextinction), leading to cascading effects across trophic levels. Such effects are likely to be most severe in mutualistic and parasitic interactions. Indeed, models suggest that coextinction may be the most common form of biodiversity loss. Paradoxically, few historical or contemporary coextinction events have actually been recorded. We review the current knowledge of coextinction by: (i) considering plausible explanations for the discrepancy between predicted and observed coextinction rates; (ii) exploring the potential consequences of coextinctions; (iii) discussing the interactions and synergies between coextinction and other drivers of species loss, particularly climate change; and (iv) suggesting the way forward for understanding the phenomenon of coextinction, which may well be the most insidious threat to global biodiversity.

  17. Prevalence of blood parasites in seabirds - a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quillfeldt Petra

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction While blood parasites are common in many birds in the wild, some groups seem to be much less affected. Seabirds, in particular, have often been reported free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. Results From a literature review of hemosporidian prevalence in seabirds, we collated a dataset of 60 species, in which at least 15 individuals had been examined. These data were included in phylogenetically controlled statistical analyses of hemosporidian prevalence in relation to ecological and life-history parameters. Haemoproteus parasites were common in frigatebirds and gulls, while Hepatozoon occurred in albatrosses and storm petrels, and Plasmodium mainly in penguins. The prevalence of Haemoproteus showed a geographical signal, being lower in species with distribution towards polar environments. Interspecific differences in Plasmodium prevalence were explained by variables that relate to the exposure to parasites, suggesting that prevalence is higher in burrow nesters with long fledgling periods. Measures of Plasmodium, but not Haemoproteus prevalences were influenced by the method, with PCR-based data resulting in higher prevalence estimates. Conclusions Our analyses suggest that, as in other avian taxa, phylogenetic, ecological and life-history parameters determine the prevalence of hemosporidian parasites in seabirds. We discuss how these relationships should be further explored in future studies.

  18. Combinatorial gene regulation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noort, V. van; Huynen, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has a complicated life cycle with large variations in its gene expression pattern, but it contains relatively few specific transcriptional regulators. To elucidate this paradox, we identified regulatory sequences, using an approach that integrates the

  19. Description and identification of four species of plant parasitic nematodes associated with grassland, fruit trees and maize in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badi, M; Geraert, E

    2002-01-01

    Three species of plant parasitic nematodes present in two romanian soil samples were described and identified in the present study. The species belong to order tylenchida and to taxonomical families Tylenchidae (Basiria aberrans) and Belonolaimidae (Tylenchorhynchus georgiensis and Merlinius brevidens). The identification of the present specimens was based on the classical taxonomy, following morphological and morphometrical characters in the species specific identification keys.

  20. Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bekker, Charissa; Quevillon, Lauren E; Smith, Philip B; Fleming, Kimberly R; Ghosh, Debashis; Patterson, Andrew D; Hughes, David P

    2014-08-29

    A compelling demonstration of adaptation by natural selection is the ability of parasites to manipulate host behavior. One dramatic example involves fungal species from the genus Ophiocordyceps that control their ant hosts by inducing a biting behavior. Intensive sampling across the globe of ants that died after being manipulated by Ophiocordyceps suggests that this phenomenon is highly species-specific. We advance our understanding of this system by reconstructing host manipulation by Ophiocordyceps parasites under controlled laboratory conditions and combining this with field observations of infection rates and a metabolomics survey. We report on a newly discovered species of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato from North America that we use to address the species-specificity of Ophiocordyceps-induced manipulation of ant behavior. We show that the fungus can kill all ant species tested, but only manipulates the behavior of those it infects in nature. To investigate if this could be explained at the molecular level, we used ex vivo culturing assays to measure the metabolites that are secreted by the fungus to mediate fungus-ant tissue interactions. We show the fungus reacts heterogeneously to brains of different ant species by secreting a different array of metabolites. By determining which ion peaks are significantly enriched when the fungus is grown alongside brains of its naturally occurring host, we discovered candidate compounds that could be involved in behavioral manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l.. Two of these candidates are known to be involved in neurological diseases and cancer. The integrative work presented here shows that ant brain manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l. is species-specific seemingly because the fungus produces a specific array of compounds as a reaction to the presence of the host brain it has evolved to manipulate. These studies have resulted in the discovery of candidate compounds involved in establishing behavioral manipulation

  1. Malaria and intestinal parasites in pregnant and non-pregnant women

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In sub-Sahara African countries, both malaria and intestinal helminth infections are endemic and co-infection commonly occurs. It is estimated that over a third of the world's population, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics are infected with parasitic helminths and Plasmodium species thus often leading to co-infections.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Kang-Wai Mu

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-03-28

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

  4. Phenomics, Genomics and Genetics in Plasmodium vinckei

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay

    2017-11-01

    Rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) serve as tractable models for experimental genetics, and as valuable tools to study malaria parasite biology and host-parasitevector interactions. Plasmodium vinckei, one of four RMPs adapted to laboratory mice, is the most geographically widespread species and displays considerable phenotypic and genotypic diversity amongst its subspecies and strains. The phenotypes and genotypes of P. vinckei isolates have been relatively less characterized compared to other RMPs, hampering its use as an experimental model for malaria. Here, we have studied the phenotypes and sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of ten P. vinckei isolates including representatives of all five subspecies, all of which were collected from wild thicket rats (Thamnomys rutilans) in sub-Saharan Central Africa between the late 1940s and mid 1960s. We have generated a comprehensive resource for P. vinckei comprising of five high-quality reference genomes, growth profiles and genotypes of P. vinckei isolates, and expression profiles of genes across the intra-erythrocytic developmental stages of the parasite. We observe significant phenotypic and genotypic diversity among P. vinckei isolates, making them particularly suitable for classical genetics and genomics-driven studies on malaria parasite biology. As part of a proof of concept study, we have shown that experimental genetic crosses can be performed between P. vinckei parasites to potentially identify genotype-phenotype relationships. We have also shown that they are amenable to genetic manipulation in the laboratory.

  5. Compartmentation of redox metabolism in malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Kehr

    Full Text Available Malaria, caused by the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium, still represents a major threat to human health and welfare and leads to about one million human deaths annually. Plasmodium is a rapidly multiplying unicellular organism undergoing a complex developmental cycle in man and mosquito - a life style that requires rapid adaptation to various environments. In order to deal with high fluxes of reactive oxygen species and maintain redox regulatory processes and pathogenicity, Plasmodium depends upon an adequate redox balance. By systematically studying the subcellular localization of the major antioxidant and redox regulatory proteins, we obtained the first complete map of redox compartmentation in Plasmodium falciparum. We demonstrate the targeting of two plasmodial peroxiredoxins and a putative glyoxalase system to the apicoplast, a non-photosynthetic plastid. We furthermore obtained a complete picture of the compartmentation of thioredoxin- and glutaredoxin-like proteins. Notably, for the two major antioxidant redox-enzymes--glutathione reductase and thioredoxin reductase--Plasmodium makes use of alternative-translation-initiation (ATI to achieve differential targeting. Dual localization of proteins effected by ATI is likely to occur also in other Apicomplexa and might open new avenues for therapeutic intervention.

  6. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings.

  7. A new morphologically distinct avian malaria parasite that fails detection by established polymerase chain reaction-based protocols for amplification of the cytochrome B gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehtindjiev, Pavel; Križanauskienė, Asta; Bensch, Staffan; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Asghar, Muhammad; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Scebba, Sergio; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2012-06-01

    Plasmodium polymorphum n. sp. (Haemosporida, Plasmodiidae) was found in the skylark, Alauda arvensis (Passeriformes: Alaudidae), during autumnal migration in southern Italy. This organism is illustrated and described based on the morphology of its blood stages. The most distinctive feature of this malaria parasite is the clear preference of its blood stages (trophozoites, meronts, and gametocytes) for immature red blood cells, including erythroblasts. Based on preference of erythrocytic meronts for immature red blood cells, P. polymorphum is most similar to species of the subgenus Huffia . This parasite can be readily distinguished from all other bird malaria parasites, including Plasmodium ( Huffia ) spp., due to preferential development and maturation of its gametocytes in immature red blood cells, a unique character for avian Plasmodium spp. In addition, the margins of nuclei in blood stages of P. polymorphum are markedly smooth and distinct; this is also a distinct diagnostic feature of this parasite. Plasmodium polymorphum has been recorded only in the skylark; it is probably a rare parasite, whose host range and geographical distribution remain unclear. Microscopic examination detected a light infection of Plasmodium relictum (lineage GRW11, parasitemia of 50-fold higher than that of P. relictum and several different primers were tested, we suggest that the failure to amplify P. polymorphum is a more complex problem than why co-infections are commonly overlooked in PCR-based studies. We suggest possible explanations of these results and call for additional research on evolution of mitochondrial genome of hemosporidian parasites.

  8. Parasite prevalence and community diversity in sympatric and allopatric populations of two woodrat species (Sigmodontinae: Neotoma) in central California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechtel, Molly J; Teglas, Michael B; Murphy, Peter J; Matocq, Marjorie D

    2015-04-01

    Patterns of host-parasite association may vary across the landscape in part because of host and parasite diversity, divergence, local ecology, or interactions among these factors. In central coastal California, we quantified parasite prevalence, infection intensity, and diversity in two sister species of woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes and Neotoma macrotis) where the species co-occur (sympatry) and where each species exists alone (allopatry). In feces from 50 adults we identified seven taxa: the protozoans Eimeria, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium, the nematodes Trichuris, Aspicularis, and Eucoleus, and a cestode in the family Anoplocephalidae. Gastrointestinal parasite infection intensity and diversity were higher in males than in females, a difference that was most pronounced in the more aggressive N. fuscipes. Both species had lower infection intensity in sympatry than in allopatry and in sympatry the two species did not differ in infection intensity in total but did maintain distinct parasite communities. Taken together, our findings suggest that host evolutionary differences, including perhaps species-specific patterns of aggressive behavior, as well as local ecology, influence the likelihood of infection by these endoparasite taxa.

  9. Occurrence of neoxanthin and lutein epoxide cycle in parasitic Cuscuta species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruk, Jerzy; Szymańska, Renata

    2008-01-01

    In the present study, xanthophyll composition of eight parasitic Cuscuta species under different light conditions was investigated. Neoxanthin was not detected in four of the eight species examined, while in others it occurred at the level of several percent of total xanthophylls. In C. gronovii and C. lupuliformis it was additionally found that the neoxanthin content was considerably stimulated by strong light. In dark-adapted plants, lutein epoxide level amounted to 10-22% of total xanthophylls in only three species, the highest being for C. lupuliformis, while in others it was below 3%, indicating that the lutein epoxide cycle is limited to only certain Cuscuta species. The obtained data also indicate that the presence of the lutein epoxide cycle and of neoxanthin is independent and variable among the Cuscuta species. The xanthophyll cycle carotenoids violaxanthin, antheraxanthin and zeaxanthin were identified in all the examined species and occurred at the level found in other higher plants. The xanthophyll and lutein epoxide cycle pigments showed typical response to high light stress. The obtained results also suggest that the ability of higher plants to synthesize lutein epoxide probably does not depend on the substrate specificity of zeaxanthin epoxidase but on the availability of lutein for the enzyme.

  10. Diversity within diversity: Parasite species richness in poison frogs assessed by transcriptomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Juan C; Tarvin, Rebecca D; O'Connell, Lauren A; Blackburn, David C; Coloma, Luis A

    2018-08-01

    Symbionts (e.g., endoparasites and commensals) play an integral role in their host's ecology, yet in many cases their diversity is likely underestimated. Although endoparasites are traditionally characterized using morphology, sequences of conserved genes, and shotgun metagenomics, host transcriptomes constitute an underused resource to identify these organisms' diversity. By isolating non-host transcripts from host transcriptomes, individual host tissues can now simultaneously reveal their endoparasite species richness (i.e., number of different taxa) and provide insights into parasite gene expression. These approaches can be used in host taxa whose endoparasites are mostly unknown, such as those of tropical amphibians. Here, we focus on the poison frogs (Dendrobatidae) as hosts, which are a Neotropical clade known for their bright coloration and defensive alkaloids. These toxins are an effective protection against vertebrate predators (e.g., snakes and birds), bacteria, and skin-biting ectoparasites (e.g., mosquitoes); however, little is known about their deterrence against eukaryotic endoparasites. With de novo transcriptomes of dendrobatids, we developed a bioinformatics pipeline for endoparasite identification that uses host annotated RNA-seq data and set of a priori parasite taxonomic terms, which are used to mine for specific endoparasites. We found a large community of helminths and protozoans that were mostly restricted to the digestive tract and a few systemic parasites (e.g., Trypanosoma). Contrary to our expectations, all dendrobatid frogs regardless of the presence of alkaloid defenses have endoparasites, with their highest species richness located in the frog digestive tract. Some of these organisms (e.g., roundworms) might prove to be generalists, as they were not found to be co-diversifying with their frog hosts. We propose that endoparasites may escape poison frogs' chemical defenses by colonizing tissues with fewer alkaloids than the frog's skin

  11. Investigation of a potential mechanism for the inhibition of SmTGR by Auranofin and its implications for Plasmodium falciparum inhibition

    KAUST Repository

    Caroli, Antonia; Simeoni, Silvia; Lepore, Rosalba; Tramontano, Anna; Via, Allegra

    2012-01-01

    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

  12. A molecular survey of acute febrile illnesses reveals Plasmodium vivax infections in Kedougou, southeastern Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niang, Makhtar; Thiam, Laty Gaye; Sow, Abdourahmane; Loucoubar, Cheikh; Bob, Ndeye Sakha; Diop, Fode; Diouf, Babacar; Niass, Oumy; Mansourou, Annick; Varela, Marie Louise; Perraut, Ronald; Sall, Amadou A; Toure-Balde, Aissatou

    2015-07-19

    Control efforts towards malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum significantly decreased the incidence of the disease in many endemic countries including Senegal. Surprisingly, in Kedougou (southeastern Senegal) P. falciparum malaria remains highly prevalent and the relative contribution of other Plasmodium species to the global malaria burden is very poorly documented, partly due to the low sensitivity of routine diagnostic tools. Molecular methods offer better estimate of circulating Plasmodium species in a given area. A molecular survey was carried out to document circulating malaria parasites in Kedougou region. A total of 263 long-term stored sera obtained from patients presenting with acute febrile illness in Kedougou between July 2009 and July 2013 were used for malaria parasite determination. Sera were withdrawn from a collection established as part of a surveillance programme of arboviruses infections in the region. Plasmodium species were characterized by a nested PCR-based approach targeting the 18S small sub-unit ribosomal RNA genes of Plasmodium spp. Of the 263 sera screened in this study, Plasmodium genomic DNA was amplifiable by nested PCR from 62.35% (164/263) of samples. P. falciparum accounted for the majority of infections either as single in 85.97% (141/164) of Plasmodium-positive samples or mixed with Plasmodium ovale (11.58%, 19/164) or Plasmodium vivax (1.21%, 2/164). All 19 (11.58%) P. ovale-infected patients were mixed with P. falciparum, while no Plasmodium malariae was detected in this survey. Four patients (2.43%) were found to be infected by P. vivax, two of whom were mixed with P. falciparum. P. vivax infections originated from Bandafassi and Ninefesha villages and concerned patients aged 4, 9, 10, and 15 years old, respectively. DNA sequences alignment and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that sequences from Kedougou corresponded to P. vivax, therefore confirming the presence of P. vivax infections in Senegal. The results confirm the

  13. Morphological and molecular characteristics of a new species of Pasteuria parasitic on Meloidogyne ardenensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Alistair H; Gowen, Simon R; Pembroke, Barbara; Trotter, James R

    2007-09-01

    A species of the hyper-parasitic bacterium Pasteuria was isolated from the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne ardenensis infecting the roots of ash (Fraxinus excelsior). It is morphologically different from some other Pasteuria pathogens of nematodes in that the spores lack a basal ring on the ventral side of the spore and have a unique clumping nature. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that the clumps of spores are not random aggregates but result from the disintegration of the suicide cells of the thalli. Sporulation within each vegetative mycelium was shown to be asynchronous. In addition to the novel morphological features 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed this to be a new species of Pasteuria which we have called P. hartismeri. Spores of P. hartismeri attach to juveniles of root-knot nematodes infecting a wide range of plants such as mint (Meloidogyne hapla), rye grass (unidentified Meloidogyne sp.) and potato (Meloidogyne fallax).

  14. Hepatocyte CD81 is required for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium yoelii sporozoite infectivity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvie, O.; Rubinstein, E.; Franetich, J.F.; Prenant, M.; Belnoue, E.; Renia, L.; Hannoun, L.; Eling, W.M.C.; Levy, S.; Boucheix, C.; Mazier, D.

    2003-01-01

    Plasmodium sporozoites are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes and first invade the liver of the mammalian host, as an obligatory step of the life cycle of the malaria parasite. Within hepatocytes, Plasmodium sporozoites reside in a membrane-bound vacuole, where they differentiate

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

    In addition to the major carbohydrate moieties of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, we report that Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) bears O-GlcNAc modifications predominantly in beta-anomeric configuration, in both the C- and N-terminal portions of the protei...

  16. Gastrointestinal parasitic infection in diverse species of domestic ruminants inhabiting tribal rural areas of southern Rajasthan, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choubisa, S L; Jaroli, V J

    2013-10-01

    A total of 415 adult domesticated ruminants, 130 cattle (Bos taurus), 108 buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis), 94 goats (Capra hircus) and 83 sheep (Ovis aries) inhabiting tribal rural areas of southern Rajasthan, India were investigated for evidence of gastrointestinal protozoan and helminthic infections. In southern Rajasthan humid ecosystem is predominant and has number of perennial freshwater bodies. Fresh faecal samples of these animals were examined microscopically by direct wet smear with saline and 1 % Lugol's iodine and formalin ether concentration. Of these 296 (71.32 %) were found to be infected with different species of gastrointestinal parasites. The highest (93.84 %) prevalence of these parasitic infections was found in cattle followed by goats (82.97 %), sheep (55.42 %) and buffaloes (46.29 %). Except cattle no other ruminants revealed protozoan infection. A total 8 species of gastrointestinal parasites were encountered. Among these parasites Fasciola hepatica was the commonest (15.18 %) followed by Haemonchus contortus (11.32 %), Ancylostoma duodenale (10.36 %), Trichuris trichiura (9.15 %), Amphistome species (7.95 %), Moniezia expansa (6.98 %), Strongyloides stercoralis (4.57 %) and Balantidium coli (3.37 %). The prevalence rate of these parasitic infections also varied seasonally. The highest prevalence rate was found in rainy season (84.21 %) followed by winter (73.9 %) and summer (52.8 %). The possible causes for variation in prevalence of parasitic infections are also discussed.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert

    2012-12-24

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Anatomical confirmation of root parasitism in Brazilian Agalinis Raf. species (Scrophulariaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samira Ismael Elias

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available Agalinis Raf. consists approximately of 60 species, 14 of which occur in Brazil. The genus presents predominantly american distribution and the Brazilian species appears mainly in high areas of Minas Gerais. The North-American species are refered as hemiparasites, but there is no anatomical data about it in relation to the Brazilian species. Anatomical studies were conducted to verify whether the Agalinis species from Brazil were root parasites or not. The eight species analysed were presented haustoria which varied in shape, arrangement and size. They were generally elliptic or globose structures and mostly were tightly sticked to other roots in a solitary or clustered manner. The seriate sections of haustoria showed that there was a xylem connection between them and the roots in which they were attached. This fact has confirmed for the first time the occurrence of parasitism in the Brazilian species of Agalinis.Agalinis Raf. (Scrophulariaceae consiste de aproximadamente 60 espécies, das quais 14 ocorrem no Brasil. O gênero apresenta distribuição predominantemente americana, e as espécies brasileiras ocorrem principalmente em áreas de altitude de Minas Gerais. As espécies Norte-Americanas de Agalinis são referidas como hemiparasitas, mas não há dados anatômicos sobre este fato em relação às espécies brasileiras. Neste sentido, este trabalho apresenta estudos anatômicos com a finalidade de verificar se as espécies de Agalinis do Brasil são parasitas ou não. As oito espécies analisadas aqui apresentam haustórios que variam em forma, arranjo e tamanho. Geralmente são estruturas elípticas ou globosas e na maioria das vezes encontram-se firmemente aderidas a outras raízes de maneira solitária ou agrupada. Os cortes seriados dos haustórios revelam que há uma conexão xilemática entre eles e as raízes às quais estão conectados. Este fato confirma pela primeira vez a ocorrência de parasitismo nas espécies brasileiras de

  20. Effect of L-arginine on the growth of Plasmodium falciparum and immune modulation of host cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awasthi, Vikky; Chauhan, Rubika; Chattopadhyay, Debprasad; Das, Jyoti

    2017-01-01

    Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. The life-cycle of Plasmodium species involves several stages both in mosquito and the vertebrate host. In the erythrocytic stage, Plasmodium resides inside the red blood cells (RBCs), where it meets most of its nutritional requirement by degrad- ing host's haemoglobin. L-arginine is required for growth and division of cells. The present study was aimed to demonstrate the effect of supplementation of different concentrations of L-arginine and L-citrulline on the growth of parasite, and effect of the culture supernatant on the host's peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). To examine the effect of supplementation of L-arginine and L-citrulline, Plasmodium falciparum (3D7 strain) was cultured in RPMI 1640, L-arginine deficient RPMI 1640, and in different concentrations of L-arginine, and L-citrulline supplemented in arginine deficient RPMI 1640 medium. To have a holistic view of in vivo cell activation, the PBMCs isolated from healthy human host were cultured in the supernatant collected from P. falciparum culture. Growth of the parasite was greatly enhanced in L-arginine supplemented media and was found to be concentration dependent. However, parasite growth was compromised in L-citrulline supplemented and L-arginine deficient media. The supernatant collected from L-arginine supplemented parasite media (sArg) showed increased FOXP3 and interleukin-10 (IL-10) expression as compared to the supernatant collected from L-citrulline supple- mented parasite media (sCit). The in vitro culture results showed, decreased parasite growth, and decreased expression of programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) (a coinhibitory molecule) and IL-10 in the L-citrulline supplemented media as compared to L-arginine supplemented media. Hence, it was concluded that L-citrulline supplementation would be a better alternative than L-arginine to inhibit the parasite growth.

  1. Positive selection of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with multiple var2csa-type PfEMP1 genes during the course of infection in pregnant women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sander, Adam F; Salanti, Ali; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    multiple genes coding for different VAR2CSA proteins, and parasites with >1 var2csa gene appear to be more common in pregnant women with placental malaria than in nonpregnant individuals. We present evidence that, in pregnant women, parasites containing multiple var2csa-type genes possess a selective...... advantage over parasites with a single var2csa gene. Accumulation of parasites with multiple copies of the var2csa gene during the course of pregnancy was also correlated with the development of antibodies involved in blocking VAR2CSA adhesion. The data suggest that multiplicity of var2csa-type genes...

  2. A bioinformatic survey of RNA-binding proteins in Plasmodium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, B P Niranjan; Shrestha, Sony; Hart, Kevin J; Liang, Xiaoying; Kemirembe, Karen; Cui, Liwang; Lindner, Scott E

    2015-11-02

    The malaria parasites in the genus Plasmodium have a very complicated life cycle involving an invertebrate vector and a vertebrate host. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are critical factors involved in every aspect of the development of these parasites. However, very few RBPs have been functionally characterized to date in the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Using different bioinformatic methods and tools we searched P. falciparum genome to list and annotate RBPs. A representative 3D models for each of the RBD domain identified in P. falciparum was created using I-TESSAR and SWISS-MODEL. Microarray and RNAseq data analysis pertaining PfRBPs was performed using MeV software. Finally, Cytoscape was used to create protein-protein interaction network for CITH-Dozi and Caf1-CCR4-Not complexes. We report the identification of 189 putative RBP genes belonging to 13 different families in Plasmodium, which comprise 3.5% of all annotated genes. Almost 90% (169/189) of these genes belong to six prominent RBP classes, namely RNA recognition motifs, DEAD/H-box RNA helicases, K homology, Zinc finger, Puf and Alba gene families. Interestingly, almost all of the identified RNA-binding helicases and KH genes have cognate homologs in model species, suggesting their evolutionary conservation. Exploration of the existing P. falciparum blood-stage transcriptomes revealed that most RBPs have peak mRNA expression levels early during the intraerythrocytic development cycle, which taper off in later stages. Nearly 27% of RBPs have elevated expression in gametocytes, while 47 and 24% have elevated mRNA expression in ookinete and asexual stages. Comparative interactome analyses using human and Plasmodium protein-protein interaction datasets suggest extensive conservation of the PfCITH/PfDOZI and PfCaf1-CCR4-NOT complexes. The Plasmodium parasites possess a large number of putative RBPs belonging to most of RBP families identified so far, suggesting the presence of extensive post

  3. A new species of Moennigia (Trichostrongylina: Molineidae) a parasite of Chaetophractus spp. (Xenarthra: Dasypodidae) from Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezquiaga, María C; Navone, Graciela T

    2014-08-01

    Moennigia celinae n. sp. collected from the small intestine of Chaetophractus vellerosus and Chaetophractus villosus (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae) from Argentina is herein described. This new species belongs to the genus Moennigia because it possesses a short uterus with few eggs, atrophied distal branch of the ovejector, vulva near the anus, and a conical tail. The new species has a synlophe with 17 symmetrical ridges and slight ventro-dorsal orientation. The spicule length:body length ratio is similar to that of the other species parasitic of Dasypodidae; however, Moennigia celinae n. sp. differs from Moennigia pintoi and Moennigia lutzi because the latter lack a gubernaculum, and from Moennigia complexus, Moennigia moennigi, Moennigia filamentosus, Moennigia intrusa, Moennigia littlei, Moennigia pulchra and Moennigia dessetae by the latter having very complex spicules with 2 or 3 points at the distal extremity. Moreover, Moennigia celinae n. sp. differs from Moennigia virilis by the length and shape of its spicules. Moennigia celinae n. sp. can be distinguished from Moennigia travassosi by the shape of the dorsal ray of the caudal bursa. Moennigia celinae n. sp. resembles Moennigia pseudopulchra but the gubernaculum of the latter is V-shaped. This is the second report of a species of Moennigia in Argentina and the first for the genus Chaetophractus.

  4. Species spectrum, diversity profile and infection indices of helminth parasite fauna of Chirruh snowtrout, Schizothorax esocinus (Heckel) in lake ecosystems of Kashmir Himalayas-Do similarity and host-parasite associations arise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zargar, U R; Chishti, M Z; Yousuf, A R; Ahmad, Fayaz

    2013-09-01

    In order to assess the species richness and diversity profile of helminth parasite fauna in an endemic fish, an investigation was carried out in two urban and two rural lakes of Kashmir. Overall nine species of helminth parasites were observed in four lakes. Of these three were autogenic and six were allogenic. Heteroxenous parasite species were more in number than monoxenous species. Results showed significant differences in heteroxenous / monoxenous ratio between different lakes. Core species (Prevalence > 20) were only found in hypertrophic lake (Anchar Lake). Overall, majority of helminth species were either secondary or satellite species. Prevalence of some helminth parasites showed significant differences in different lakes. In addition mean intensity showed significant differences between autogenic and allogenic parasites (P Diversity indices showed significant variation between different lakes. Maximum helminth species per host was in Anchar Lake. Finally we concluded that helminth parasite fauna showed significant differences in species richness and infection indices between different lakes. Diversity profile was higher in Anchar Lake in comparison to other three lakes. The results clearly show that environmental features of lake ecosystems have got an impact on distribution pattern of helminth parasites in S. esocinus. We suggest comparative parasitological study should be taken between different species of fish in order to have a clear picture regarding the species composition of helminth species in this region. Also we need to characterize the species spectrum of parasitic worms in fish of freshwater bodies of this region as well as other similar type of climatic zones because parasite fauna is an integral part of the inventory of biodiversity and as possible regulators of host populations in aquatic ecosystems.

  5. Development of lymphatic filarial parasite Wuchereria bancrofti (Spirurida: Onchocercidae) in mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae) fed artificially on microfilaremic blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paily, K P; Hoti, S L; Balaraman, K

    2006-11-01

    The efficiency of laboratory colonies of mosquitoes such as Anopheles stephensi Liston, Aedes aegypti (L.) Liverpool strain, Ae. aegypti wild type, Aedes albopictus (Skuse), Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles, Culex sitiens Wiedemann, and Armigeres subalbatus Coquillett in supporting the development of Wuchereria bancrofti (Cobbold) (Spirurida: Onchocercidae) microfilariae to infective larvae was investigated. The mosquitoes were fed on heparinized microfilaremic human blood by using a membrane-feeding unit with Parafilm as membrane. The rate of infection, parasite development, and parasite burden were compared with that in the known vector mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus Say. Cx. quinquefasciatus showed the highest percentage of infection, followed by Ae. aegypti Liverpool strain and An. stephensi. The rate of development of the parasite was more or less similar in all the three species, and infective larvae were found on day 13. When the larvae were harvested on day 17, Cx. quinquefasciatus yielded the highest numbers, followed by Ae. aegypti Liverpool strain and An. stephensi. The percentage of infection was low, and the development was slow in Cx. tritaeniorhynchus compared with the other susceptible species. The parasite developed to second-stage larvae only by day 22 and to infective larvae by day 28. When 2-wk-old Cx. tritaeniorhynchus were fed on microfilaremic blood, they could develop the parasite to infective larvae by day 13 postfeeding. All other species of mosquitoes tested were found to be refractory to parasite development. It is shown that Cx. quinquefasciatus is the most suitable mosquito host for the production of infective larvae. However, Ae. aegypti Liverpool strain, which is commonly used for Brugia malayi filarial parasite, also can be used for generation of W. bancrofti infective larvae to circumvent the problem of maintaining two mosquito species.

  6. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLIV. Fleas (Insecta : Siphonaptera : Pulicidae collected from 15 carnivore species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.G. Horak

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Fleas were collected from 61 wild carnivores belonging to 13 species in various nature reserves and on farms, two feral domestic cats in a nature reserve and a domestic dog in the city of Johannesburg. Eleven flea species, including two subspecies of one of these, belonging to six genera were recovered. Amongst these only Ctenocephalides felis felis and Ctenocephalides felis strongylus are considered specific parasites of carnivores. The remaining ten species normally infest the prey animals of the various carnivores.

  7. Differential Sharing of Chemical Cues by Social Parasites Versus Social Mutualists in a Three-Species Symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Virginia J; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-04-01

    Chemical recognition systems are crucial for maintaining the unity of social insect colonies. It has been proposed that colonies form a common chemical signature, called the gestalt odor, which is used to distinguish colony members and non-members. This chemical integration is achieved actively through social interactions such as trophallaxis and allogrooming, or passively such as through exposure to common nest material. When colonies are infiltrated by social parasites, the intruders often use some form of chemical mimicry. However, it is not always clear how this chemical mimicry is accomplished. Here, we used a three-species nesting symbiosis to test the differences in chemical integration of mutualistic (parabiotic) and parasitic ant species. We found that the parasite (Solenopsis picea) obtains chemical cues from both of the two parabiotic host ant species. However, the two parabiotic species (Crematogaster levior and Camponotus femoratus) maintain species-specific cues, and do not acquire compounds from the other species. Our findings suggest that there is a fundamental difference in how social mutualists and social parasites use chemicals to integrate themselves into colonies.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    faster than non-filtered parasites seemingly due to a higher development ratio of ring stage parasites progressing into the late stages. Cellulose filtration had no apparent effect on clonality or var gene expression; however, evident differences were observed after only 4 days of culture in both...

  9. Babesia spp. in European wild ruminant species: parasite diversity and risk factors for infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Adam O; Mathis, Alexander; Ryser-Degiorgis, Marie-Pierre

    2014-06-13

    Babesia are tick-borne parasites that are increasingly considered as a threat to animal and public health. We aimed to assess the role of European free-ranging wild ruminants as maintenance mammalian hosts for Babesia species and to determine risk factors for infection. EDTA blood was collected from 222 roe deer (Capreolus c. capreolus), 231 red deer (Cervus e. elaphus), 267 Alpine chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra) and 264 Alpine ibex (Capra i. ibex) from all over Switzerland and analysed by PCR with pan-Babesia primers targeting the 18S rRNA gene, primers specific for B. capreoli and Babesia sp. EU1, and by sequencing. Babesia species, including B. divergens, B. capreoli, Babesia sp. EU1, Babesia sp. CH1 and B. motasi, were detected in 10.7% of all samples. Five individuals were co-infected with two Babesia species. Infection with specific Babesia varied widely between host species. Cervidae were significantly more infected with Babesia spp. than Caprinae. Babesia capreoli and Babesia sp. EU1 were mostly found in roe deer (prevalences 17.1% and 7.7%, respectively) and B. divergens and Babesia sp. CH1 only in red deer. Factors significantly associated with infection were low altitude and young age. Identification of Babesia sp. CH1 in red deer, co-infection with multiple Babesia species and infection of wild Caprinae with B. motasi and Babesia sp. EU1 are novel findings. We propose wild Caprinae as spillover or accidental hosts for Babesia species but wild Cervidae as mammalian reservoir hosts for B. capreoli, possibly Babesia sp. EU1 and Babesia sp. CH1, whereas their role regarding B. divergens is more elusive.

  10. First evidence and predictions of Plasmodium transmission in Alaskan bird populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Loiseau

    Full Text Available The unprecedented rate of change in the Arctic climate is expected to have major impacts on the emergence of infectious diseases and host susceptibility to these diseases. It is predicted that malaria parasites will spread to both higher altitudes and latitudes with global warming. Here we show for the first time that avian Plasmodium transmission occurs in the North American Arctic. Over a latitudinal gradient in Alaska, from 61°N to 67°N, we collected blood samples of resident and migratory bird species. We found both residents and hatch year birds infected with Plasmodium as far north as 64°N, providing clear evidence that malaria transmission occurs in these climates. Based on our empirical data, we make the first projections of the habitat suitability for Plasmodium under a future-warming scenario in Alaska. These findings raise new concerns about the spread of malaria to naïve host populations.

  11. Using green fluorescent malaria parasites to screen for permissive vector mosquitoes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Beatrice

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium species that infect rodents, particularly Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii, are useful to investigate host-parasite interactions. The mosquito species that act as vectors of human plasmodia in South East Asia, Africa and South America show different susceptibilities to infection by rodent Plasmodium species. P. berghei and P. yoelii infect both Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi, which are found mainly in Africa and Asia, respectively. However, it was reported that P. yoelii can infect the South American mosquito, Anopheles albimanus, while P. berghei cannot. Methods P. berghei lines that express the green fluorescent protein were used to screen for mosquitoes that are susceptible to infection by P. berghei. Live mosquitoes were examined and screened for the presence of a fluorescent signal in the abdomen. Infected mosquitoes were then examined by time-lapse microscopy to reveal the dynamic behaviour of sporozoites in haemolymph and extracted salivary glands. Results A single fluorescent oocyst can be detected in live mosquitoes and P. berghei can infect A. albimanus. As in other mosquitoes, P. berghei sporozoites can float through the haemolymph and invade A. albimanus salivary glands and they are infectious in mice after subcutaneous injection. Conclusion Fluorescent Plasmodium parasites can be used to rapidly screen susceptible mosquitoes. These results open the way to develop a laboratory model in countries where importation of A. gambiae and A. stephensi is not allowed.

  12. Dual RNAseq shows the human mucosal immunity protein, MUC13, is a hallmark of Plasmodium exoerythrocytic infection

    KAUST Repository

    LaMonte, Gregory; Orjuela-Sanchez, Pamela; Wang, Lawrence; Li, Shangzhong; Swann, Justine; Cowell, Annie; Zou, Bing Yu; Abdel- Haleem Mohamed, Alyaa; Villa-Galarce, Zaira; Moreno, Marta; Tong-Rios, Carlos; Vinetz, Joseph; Lewis, Nathan; Winzeler, Elizabeth A

    2017-01-01

    The exoerythrocytic stage of Plasmodium malaria infection is a critical window for prophylactic intervention. Using a genome-wide dual RNA sequencing of flow-sorted infected and uninfected hepatoma cells we identify the human mucosal immunity gene, Mucin13 (MUC13), as strongly upregulated during Plasmodium exoerythrocytic hepatic-stage infection. We confirm that MUC13 expression is upregulated in hepatoma cell lines and primary hepatocytes. In immunofluorescence assays, host MUC13 protein expression distinguishes infected cells from adjacent uninfected cells and shows similar colocalization with parasite biomarkers such as UIS4 and HSP70. We further show that localization patterns are species independent, distinguishing both P. berghei and P. vivax infected cells, and that MUC13 can be used to identify compounds that inhibit parasite replication in hepatocytes across all Human-infecting Plasmodium species. This data presents a novel interface of host-parasite interactions in Plasmodium, in that a component of host mucosal immunity is reprogrammed to assist the progression of infection.

  13. Dual RNAseq shows the human mucosal immunity protein, MUC13, is a hallmark of Plasmodium exoerythrocytic infection

    KAUST Repository

    LaMonte, Gregory

    2017-10-03

    The exoerythrocytic stage of Plasmodium malaria infection is a critical window for prophylactic intervention. Using a genome-wide dual RNA sequencing of flow-sorted infected and uninfected hepatoma cells we identify the human mucosal immunity gene, Mucin13 (MUC13), as strongly upregulated during Plasmodium exoerythrocytic hepatic-stage infection. We confirm that MUC13 expression is upregulated in hepatoma cell lines and primary hepatocytes. In immunofluorescence assays, host MUC13 protein expression distinguishes infected cells from adjacent uninfected cells and shows similar colocalization with parasite biomarkers such as UIS4 and HSP70. We further show that localization patterns are species independent, distinguishing both P. berghei and P. vivax infected cells, and that MUC13 can be used to identify compounds that inhibit parasite replication in hepatocytes across all Human-infecting Plasmodium species. This data presents a novel interface of host-parasite interactions in Plasmodium, in that a component of host mucosal immunity is reprogrammed to assist the progression of infection.

  14. Three new species of the genus Oswaldocruzia Travassos, 1917 (Nematoda, Trichostrongylina, Molineoidea parasites of Enyalius spp. (Iguanidae from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Durette-Desset M.C.

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Three new species of the genus Oswaldocruzia Travassos, 1917 belonging to the sub-family Molineinae are described from the stomach and/or the small intestine of Enyalius spp. from Brazil. They belong to group 6 of Ben Slimane, Chabaud & Durette- Desset (1996. In this group they share along with O. peruensis Ben Slimane, Verhaag & Durette-Desset, 1995, a parasite of Iguanidae from Peru the followings linked characters: (i a caudal bursa of type II; (ii cervical alae present; (iii undulated cuticular ridges. The Peruvian species differs from the Brasilian species by the absence of a strut in the cervical alae, by a small number of cuticular ridges at mid-body and by a spicular fork with a ramified inner twig. Oswaldocruzia fredi n. sp., a parasite of the stomach and the small intestine of Enyalius iheringii, mainly differs from the two other species by the absence of the oesophageal ventral cuticular ridges. Oswaldocruzia benslimanei n. sp., a parasite of the small intestine of Enyalius bilineatus, differs from Oswaldocruzia burseyi n. sp., a parasite of the stomach of Enyalius perditus, by the division of the fork at 23.4 % of spicule length (versus 32 %, and the length of the blade longer than the fork. Oswaldocruzia subauricularis sensu Freitas, 1955 nec Rudolphi, 1819 and O. mazzai sensu Vicente, 1981 nec Travassos, 1935 should be considered as species inquirendae.

  15. Transmission blocking activity of a standardized neem (Azadirachta indica) seed extract on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in its vector Anopheles stephensi

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background The wide use of gametocytocidal artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) lead to a reduction of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in several African endemic settings. An increased impact on malaria burden may be achieved through the development of improved transmission-blocking formulations, including molecules complementing the gametocytocidal effects of artemisinin derivatives and/or acting on Plasmodium stages developing in the vector. Azadirachtin, a limonoid (tetranortriterpenoid) abundant in neem (Azadirachta indica, Meliaceae) seeds, is a promising candidate, inhibiting Plasmodium exflagellation in vitro at low concentrations. This work aimed at assessing the transmission-blocking potential of NeemAzal®, an azadirachtin-enriched extract of neem seeds, using the rodent malaria in vivo model Plasmodium berghei/Anopheles stephensi. Methods Anopheles stephensi females were offered a blood-meal on P. berghei infected, gametocytaemic BALB/c mice, treated intraperitoneally with NeemAzal, one hour before feeding. The transmission-blocking activity of the product was evaluated by assessing oocyst prevalence, oocyst density and capacity to infect healthy mice. To characterize the anti-plasmodial effects of NeemAzal® on early midgut stages, i.e. zygotes and ookinetes, Giemsa-stained mosquito midgut smears were examined. Results NeemAzal® completely blocked P. berghei development in the vector, at an azadirachtin dose of 50 mg/kg mouse body weight. The totally 138 examined, treated mosquitoes (three experimental replications) did not reveal any oocyst and none of the healthy mice exposed to their bites developed parasitaemia. The examination of midgut content smears revealed a reduced number of zygotes and post-zygotic forms and the absence of mature ookinetes in treated mosquitoes. Post-zygotic forms showed several morphological alterations, compatible with the hypothesis of an azadirachtin interference with the functionality of the microtubule

  16. Transmission blocking activity of a standardized neem (Azadirachta indica seed extract on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in its vector Anopheles stephensi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esposito Fulvio

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The wide use of gametocytocidal artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT lead to a reduction of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in several African endemic settings. An increased impact on malaria burden may be achieved through the development of improved transmission-blocking formulations, including molecules complementing the gametocytocidal effects of artemisinin derivatives and/or acting on Plasmodium stages developing in the vector. Azadirachtin, a limonoid (tetranortriterpenoid abundant in neem (Azadirachta indica, Meliaceae seeds, is a promising candidate, inhibiting Plasmodium exflagellation in vitro at low concentrations. This work aimed at assessing the transmission-blocking potential of NeemAzal®, an azadirachtin-enriched extract of neem seeds, using the rodent malaria in vivo model Plasmodium berghei/Anopheles stephensi. Methods Anopheles stephensi females were offered a blood-meal on P. berghei infected, gametocytaemic BALB/c mice, treated intraperitoneally with NeemAzal, one hour before feeding. The transmission-blocking activity of the product was evaluated by assessing oocyst prevalence, oocyst density and capacity to infect healthy mice. To characterize the anti-plasmodial effects of NeemAzal® on early midgut stages, i.e. zygotes and ookinetes, Giemsa-stained mosquito midgut smears were examined. Results NeemAzal® completely blocked P. berghei development in the vector, at an azadirachtin dose of 50 mg/kg mouse body weight. The totally 138 examined, treated mosquitoes (three experimental replications did not reveal any oocyst and none of the healthy mice exposed to their bites developed parasitaemia. The examination of midgut content smears revealed a reduced number of zygotes and post-zygotic forms and the absence of mature ookinetes in treated mosquitoes. Post-zygotic forms showed several morphological alterations, compatible with the hypothesis of an azadirachtin interference with the functionality

  17. Micro-epidemiological structuring of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations in regions with varying transmission intensities in Africa. [version 2; referees: 4 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Omedo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The first models of malaria transmission assumed a completely mixed and homogeneous population of parasites.  Recent models include spatial heterogeneity and variably mixed populations. However, there are few empiric estimates of parasite mixing with which to parametize such models. Methods: Here we genotype 276 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in 5199 P. falciparum isolates from two Kenyan sites (Kilifi county and Rachuonyo South district and one Gambian site (Kombo coastal districts to determine the spatio-temporal extent of parasite mixing, and use Principal Component Analysis (PCA and linear regression to examine the relationship between genetic relatedness and distance in space and time for parasite pairs. Results: Using 107, 177 and 82 SNPs that were successfully genotyped in 133, 1602, and 1034 parasite isolates from The Gambia, Kilifi and Rachuonyo South district, respectively, we show that there are no discrete geographically restricted parasite sub-populations, but instead we see a diffuse spatio-temporal structure to parasite genotypes.  Genetic relatedness of sample pairs is predicted by relatedness in space and time. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that targeted malaria control will benefit the surrounding community, but unfortunately also that emerging drug resistance will spread rapidly through the population.

  18. In Vivo Susceptibility of Plasmodium Vivax to Chloroquine in Southeastern Iran

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    S Dittrich

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Plasmodium vivax is the predominant species causes of malaria with about 90% total annual reported malaria in Iran. This study conducted to determine the susceptibility of Plasmodium vivax isolates to chloroquine in Sistan and Balochistan Province, southeastern Iran.Methods: A total 270 subjects with symptomatic malaria and confirmed P. vivax infection completed the designed 28-day in vivo study. The thick and thin film blood smears were screened for malaria parasites by microscopy. The nested PCR was applied using the Plasmodium 18 subunit ribosomal ribonu­cleic (Ssr RNA genes for detecting mixed infections and diagnosis of parasites in the samples with low parasite on days 0, 5, 6, 7, and 28. Results: P. vivax was cleared in 15%, 50%, 95%, and 100% of patients on days 1, 2, 3, 4 respectively by microscopy assessment. Six patients were exhibited specific P. vivax band in nested PCR on day 5. No recurrence was observed on days 7, 14 and 28. Mean (±standard deviation parasite clearance time was 2.41 (±0.8 days. Conclusion: P. vivax is still susceptible to chloroquine in Southeatern Iran. This finding is compati­ble with results of neighboring countries Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  19. Mechanisms of cellular invasion by intracellular parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Dawn M; Oghumu, Steve; Gupta, Gaurav; McGwire, Bradford S; Drew, Mark E; Satoskar, Abhay R

    2014-04-01

    Numerous disease-causing parasites must invade host cells in order to prosper. Collectively, such pathogens are responsible for a staggering amount of human sickness and death throughout the world. Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, toxoplasmosis, and malaria are neglected diseases and therefore are linked to socio-economical and geographical factors, affecting well-over half the world's population. Such obligate intracellular parasites have co-evolved with humans to establish a complexity of specific molecular parasite-host cell interactions, forming the basis of the parasite's cellular tropism. They make use of such interactions to invade host cells as a means to migrate through various tissues, to evade the host immune system, and to undergo intracellular replication. These cellular migration and invasion events are absolutely essential for the completion of the lifecycles of these parasites and lead to their for disease pathogenesis. This review is an overview of the molecular mechanisms of protozoan parasite invasion of host cells and discussion of therapeutic strategies, which could be developed by targeting these invasion pathways. Specifically, we focus on four species of protozoan parasites Leishmania, Trypanosoma cruzi, Plasmodium, and Toxoplasma, which are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality.

  20. Complete DNA sequences of the plastid genomes of two parasitic flowering plant species, Cuscuta reflexa and Cuscuta gronovii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Helena T; Berg, Sabine; Krupinska, Karin; Maier, Uwe G; Krause, Kirsten

    2007-08-22

    The holoparasitic plant genus Cuscuta comprises species with photosynthetic capacity and functional chloroplasts as well as achlorophyllous and intermediate forms with restricted photosynthetic activity and degenerated chloroplasts. Previous data indicated significant differences with respect to the plastid genome coding capacity in different Cuscuta species that could correlate with their photosynthetic activity. In order to shed light on the molecular changes accompanying the parasitic lifestyle, we sequenced the plastid chromosomes of the two species Cuscuta reflexa and Cuscuta gronovii. Both species are capable of performing photosynthesis, albeit with varying efficiencies. Together with the plastid genome of Epifagus virginiana, an achlorophyllous parasitic plant whose plastid genome has been sequenced, these species represent a series of progression towards total dependency on the host plant, ranging from reduced levels of photosynthesis in C. reflexa to a restricted photosynthetic activity and degenerated chloroplasts in C. gronovii to an achlorophyllous state in E. virginiana. The newly sequenced plastid genomes of C. reflexa and C. gronovii reveal that the chromosome structures are generally very similar to that of non-parasitic plants, although a number of species-specific insertions, deletions (indels) and sequence inversions were identified. However, we observed a gradual adaptation of the plastid genome to the different degrees of parasitism. The changes are particularly evident in C. gronovii and include (a) the parallel losses of genes for the subunits of the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase and the corresponding promoters from the plastid genome, (b) the first documented loss of the gene for a putative splicing factor, MatK, from the plastid genome and (c) a significant reduction of RNA editing. Overall, the comparative genomic analysis of plastid DNA from parasitic plants indicates a bias towards a simplification of the plastid gene expression

  1. Complete DNA sequences of the plastid genomes of two parasitic flowering plant species, Cuscuta reflexa and Cuscuta gronovii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maier Uwe G

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The holoparasitic plant genus Cuscuta comprises species with photosynthetic capacity and functional chloroplasts as well as achlorophyllous and intermediate forms with restricted photosynthetic activity and degenerated chloroplasts. Previous data indicated significant differences with respect to the plastid genome coding capacity in different Cuscuta species that could correlate with their photosynthetic activity. In order to shed light on the molecular changes accompanying the parasitic lifestyle, we sequenced the plastid chromosomes of the two species Cuscuta reflexa and Cuscuta gronovii. Both species are capable of performing photosynthesis, albeit with varying efficiencies. Together with the plastid genome of Epifagus virginiana, an achlorophyllous parasitic plant whose plastid genome has been sequenced, these species represent a series of progression towards total dependency on the host plant, ranging from reduced levels of photosynthesis in C. reflexa to a restricted photosynthetic activity and degenerated chloroplasts in C. gronovii to an achlorophyllous state in E. virginiana. Results The newly sequenced plastid genomes of C. reflexa and C. gronovii reveal that the chromosome structures are generally very similar to that of non-parasitic plants, although a number of species-specific insertions, deletions (indels and sequence inversions were identified. However, we observed a gradual adaptation of the plastid genome to the different degrees of parasitism. The changes are particularly evident in C. gronovii and include (a the parallel losses of genes for the subunits of the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase and the corresponding promoters from the plastid genome, (b the first documented loss of the gene for a putative splicing factor, MatK, from the plastid genome and (c a significant reduction of RNA editing. Conclusion Overall, the comparative genomic analysis of plastid DNA from parasitic plants indicates a bias towards

  2. Cytokine balance in human malaria: does Plasmodium vivax elicit more inflammatory responses than Plasmodium falciparum?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raquel M Gonçalves

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mechanisms by which humans regulate pro- and anti-inflammatory responses on exposure to different malaria parasites remains unclear. Although Plasmodium vivax usually causes a relatively benign disease, this parasite has been suggested to elicit more host inflammation per parasitized red blood cell than P. falciparum. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured plasma concentrations of seven cytokines and two soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α receptors, and evaluated clinical and laboratory outcomes, in Brazilians with acute uncomplicated infections with P. vivax (n = 85, P. falciparum (n = 30, or both species (n = 12, and in 45 asymptomatic carriers of low-density P. vivax infection. Symptomatic vivax malaria patients, compared to those infected with P. falciparum or both species, had more intense paroxysms, but they had no clear association with a pro-inflammatory imbalance. To the contrary, these patients had higher levels of the regulatory cytokine interleukin (IL-10, which correlated positively with parasite density, and elevated IL-10/TNF-α, IL-10/interferon (IFN-γ, IL-10/IL-6 and sTNFRII/TNF-α ratios, compared to falciparum or mixed-species malaria patient groups. Vivax malaria patients had the highest levels of circulating soluble TNF-α receptor sTNFRII. Levels of regulatory cytokines returned to normal values 28 days after P. vivax clearance following chemotherapy. Finally, asymptomatic carriers of low P. vivax parasitemias had substantially lower levels of both inflammatory and regulatory cytokines than did patients with clinical malaria due to either species. CONCLUSIONS: Controlling fast-multiplying P. falciparum blood stages requires a strong inflammatory response to prevent fulminant infections, while reducing inflammation-related tissue damage with early regulatory cytokine responses may be a more cost-effective strategy in infections with the less virulent P. vivax parasite. The early induction

  3. The antimalarial drug, Ro 42-1611 (arteflene), does not affect cytoadherence and cytokine-inducing properties of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, P H; Staalsø, T; Bendtzen, K

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of the antimalarial drug, Ro 42-1611 to block parasite mediated cytokine induction in vitro as well as cytoadherence of infected erythrocytes to melanoma cells in vitro. The biological activity of Ro 42-1611 was confirmed as it blocked...... to melanoma cells. The therapeutic effect of To 42-1611 appears to be confined to its parasite killing activity....

  4. CREB expression in the brains of two closely related parasitic wasp species that differ in long-term memory formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van den Berg, M.; Verbaarschot, P.; Hontelez, S.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.; Smid, H.M.

    2010-01-01

    The cAMP/PKA signalling pathway and transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) play key roles in long-term memory (LTM) formation. We used two closely related parasitic wasp species, Cotesia glomerata and Cotesia rubecula, which were previously shown to be different in LTM

  5. An invasive species reverses the roles in a host–parasite relationship between bitterling fish and unionid mussels

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reichard, Martin; Vrtílek, Milan; Douda, K.; Smith, C.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 4 (2012), s. 601-604 ISSN 1744-9561 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1163 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : species interaction * coevolution * interspecific relationship * parasitism Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.348, year: 2012

  6. Plasmodium Sporozoite Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frischknecht, Friedrich; Matuschewski, Kai

    2017-05-01

    Plasmodium sporozoite transmission is a critical population bottleneck in parasite life-cycle progression and, hence, a target for prophylactic drugs and vaccines. The recent progress of a candidate antisporozoite subunit vaccine formulation to licensure highlights the importance of sporozoite transmission intervention in the malaria control portfolio. Sporozoites colonize mosquito salivary glands, migrate through the skin, penetrate blood vessels, breach the liver sinusoid, and invade hepatocytes. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate the remarkable sporozoite journey in the invertebrate vector and the vertebrate host can inform evidence-based next-generation drug development programs and immune intervention strategies. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  7. Temporal variation in the dispersion patterns of metazoan parasites of a coastal fish species from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal-Martínez, V M; Pal, P; Aguirre-Macedo, M L; May-Tec, A L; Lewis, J W

    2014-03-01

    Global climate change (GCC) is expected to affect key environmental variables such as temperature and rainfall, which in turn influence the infection dynamics of metazoan parasites in tropical aquatic hosts. Thus, our aim was to determine how temporal patterns of temperature and rainfall influence the mean abundance and aggregation of three parasite species of the fish Cichlasoma urophthalmus from Yucatán, México. We calculated mean abundance and the aggregation parameter of the negative binomial distribution k for the larval digeneans Oligogonotylus manteri and Ascocotyle (Phagicola) nana and the ectoparasite Argulus yucatanus monthly from April 2005 to December 2010. Fourier analysis of time series and cross-correlations were used to determine potential associations between mean abundance and k for the three parasite species with water temperature and rainfall. Both O. manteri and A. (Ph.) nana exhibited their highest frequency peaks in mean abundance at 6 and 12 months, respectively, while their peak in k occurred every 24 months. For A. yucatanus the frequency peaks in mean abundance and k occurred every 12 months. We suggest that the level of aggregation at 24 months of O. manteri increases the likelihood of fish mortality. Such a scenario is less likely for A. (Ph.) nana and A. yucatanus, due to their low infection levels. Our findings suggest that under the conditions of GCC it would be reasonable to expect higher levels of parasite aggregation in tropical aquatic hosts, in turn leading to a potential increase in parasite-induced host mortality.

  8. Ultrastructural analysis of Apicomplexa-Like parasites in two conch species Laevistrombus canarium and canarium urceus from Johor Straits, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmi, Nur-Fauzana; Ghaffar, Mazlan Abd; Daud, Hassan Hj Mohd; Cob, Zaidi Che

    2018-02-01

    The tropical conch, Laevistrombus canarium (Linnaeus, 1758) and Canarium urceus (Linneaus, 1758) are ecologically and economically important shellfish species in Malaysia and neighboring region. Their populations, however are currently declining and this histopathological study investigates the aspect of parasitism and diseases that may affect their well-being. Conch samples were randomly collected from their natural habitat and histological sections (4-5 µm) of various organs and tissues were examined under light microscope. This was followed by ultrastructure analysis on infected tissues using transmission electron microscope (TEM). Based on the histological analysis, large numbers of gamonts, sporocysts and trophozoites of Apicomplexa-like parasites were observed in the vacuolated cells and pyramidal crypt cells of the digestive tubules, and in the digestive ducts. Furthermore, coccidian and oocysts-like Pseudoklossia sp. stages were also observed in the cells of the kidney. Apart from that, spores with cyst-like structure were observed in the digestive gland and kidney. Although the parasites were present in most of the organs analyzed, there was no obvious symptom, inflammatory response or mortality incurred on both species, which implies the possibility of a non-virulent relationship like commensalisms or mutualism. However, more investigations, including molecular studies, are needed to confirm the parasite identification and dynamics, and to further evaluate the nature of relationship between Apicomplexa parasites and their host. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Plasmodium evasion of mosquito immunity and global malaria transmission: The lock-and-key theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Canepa, Gaspar E; Kamath, Nitin; Pavlovic, Noelle V; Mu, Jianbing; Ramphul, Urvashi N; Ramirez, Jose Luis; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2015-12-08

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria originated in Africa and became global as humans migrated to other continents. During this journey, parasites encountered new mosquito species, some of them evolutionarily distant from African vectors. We have previously shown that the Pfs47 protein allows the parasite to evade the mosquito immune system of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. Here, we investigated the role of Pfs47-mediated immune evasion in the adaptation of P. falciparum to evolutionarily distant mosquito species. We found that P. falciparum isolates from Africa, Asia, or the Americas have low compatibility to malaria vectors from a different continent, an effect that is mediated by the mosquito immune system. We identified 42 different haplotypes of Pfs47 that have a strong geographic population structure and much lower haplotype diversity outside Africa. Replacement of the Pfs47 haplotypes in a P. falciparum isolate is sufficient to make it compatible to a different mosquito species. Those parasites that express a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with a given vector evade antiplasmodial immunity and survive. We propose that Pfs47-mediated immune evasion has been critical for the globalization of P. falciparum malaria as parasites adapted to new vector species. Our findings predict that this ongoing selective force by the mosquito immune system could influence the dispersal of Plasmodium genetic traits and point to Pfs47 as a potential target to block malaria transmission. A new model, the "lock-and-key theory" of P. falciparum globalization, is proposed, and its implications are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aghedo FI

    2013-07-01

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

  11. Adaptation of Plasmodium falciparum to its transmission environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2018-02-01

    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.

  12. Occurrence of Plasmodium in Anatidae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.; Kocan, R.M.

    1970-01-01

    Until a little over a decade ago reports of Plasrnodium in geese, ducks, and swans were the result of examination of single blood smears from wild birds. One would gather from the earlier studies that Anatidae are infrequently infected. During the past decade we have conducted studies on prevalence of Plasmodium by an isodiagnosis technique, inoculating blood from wild birds into captive young geese, ducks, and other species of birds and determining the status of infection in the donors by examination of repetitive blood smears from the recipients. Examination by this technique of a series of adult Canada geese from the Seney National Wildlife Refuge in northern Michigan uncovered a prevalence of 60% during five successive years. Domestic geese were the primary recipients but we found that several other species of geese, ducks, and gulls were also susceptible. Similar studies on Canada geese from other areas (Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and southern Michigan) uncovered infection rates from zero to 27%. Following isolation of Plasmodlum in a single canvasback duck (Aythya valisineria) in southern Michigan by inoculation into a domestic duck, a series of 88 canvasbacks from Chesapeake Bay in Maryland this winter uncovered an infection rate of 27%. The most common parasite observed in both the geese and was as P. circumflexum.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Jaśkiewicz

    2010-11-01

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

  14. Parasitism of Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) by a New Species of Hairworm (Nematomorpha: Gordiida) in Arctic Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, Crystal M; Hanelt, Ben; Buddle, Christopher M

    2016-06-01

    The host-parasite associations between ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and hairworms (Nematomorpha: Gordiida) collected from the Arctic (an understudied and ecologically important region) is described. Carabids and their parasites were collected from 12 sites spanning the 3 northernmost ecoclimatic zones of Canada (north boreal, subarctic, and high Arctic) using standardized methods. The beetles and hairworms were identified using traditional morphological approaches. Seven beetle species are recorded as hosts: Amara alpina, Pterostichus caribou, Pterostichus brevicornis, Pterostichus tareumiut, Pterostichus haematopus, Patrobus septentrionis, and Notiophilus borealis. All represent new host records (increasing the known North American host list from 14 to 21), and this is the first record of hairworm infection in the genus Notiophilus. Beetles from Banks Island, Northwest Territory, were infected in high numbers (11-19% per sampling period) and were used as an ecological case study. There was no significant relationship between infection status and host species, body size, or sex. Beetles collected in yellow pan traps and in wet habitats were more likely to be infected, likely due to water-seeking behavior induced by the parasites. Morphological examinations indicate that the hairworms collected from all locations represent a single, new species of Gordionus, making it only the sixth hairworm species and the third species of that genus found in Canada. Hosts are unknown for all other Canadian (and 1 Alaskan) Gordionus species.

  15. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein (CSP) Influence Parasite Burden and Cytokine Balance in a Pre-Amazon Endemic Area from Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Bruno de Paulo; Cassiano, Gustavo Capatti; de Souza, Rodrigo Medeiros; Cysne, Dalila Nunes; Grisotto, Marcos Augusto Grigolin; de Azevedo dos Santos, Ana Paula Silva; Marinho, Cláudio Romero Farias; Machado, Ricardo Luiz Dantas; Nascimento, Flávia Raquel Fernandes

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms involved in severe P. vivax malaria remain unclear. Parasite polymorphisms, parasite load and host cytokine profile may influence the course of infection. In this study, we investigated the influence of circumsporozoite protein (CSP) polymorphisms on parasite load and cytokine profile in patients with vivax malaria. A cross-sectional study was carried out in three cities: São Luís, Cedral and Buriticupu, Maranhão state, Brazil, areas of high prevalence of P. vivax. Interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-6, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α, interferon gamma (IFN-γ and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β were quantified in blood plasma of patients and in supernatants from peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures. Furthermore, the levels of cytokines and parasite load were correlated with VK210, VK247 and P. vivax-like CSP variants. Patients infected with P. vivax showed increased IL-10 and IL-6 levels, which correlated with the parasite load, however, in multiple comparisons, only IL-10 kept this association. A regulatory cytokine profile prevailed in plasma, while an inflammatory profile prevailed in PBMC culture supernatants and these patterns were related to CSP polymorphisms. VK247 infected patients showed higher parasitaemia and IL-6 concentrations, which were not associated to IL-10 anti-inflammatory effect. By contrast, in VK210 patients, these two cytokines showed a strong positive correlation and the parasite load was lower. Patients with the VK210 variant showed a regulatory cytokine profile in plasma, while those infected with the VK247 variant have a predominantly inflammatory cytokine profile and higher parasite loads, which altogether may result in more complications in infection. In conclusion, we propose that CSP polymorphisms is associated to the increase of non-regulated inflammatory immune responses, which in turn may be associated with the outcome of infection. PMID:26943639

  16. Homology modeling of parasite histone deacetylases to guide the structure-based design of selective inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melesina, Jelena; Robaa, Dina; Pierce, Raymond J; Romier, Christophe; Sippl, Wolfgang

    2015-11-01

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are promising epigenetic targets for the treatment of various diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. There is evidence that they can also be addressed to treat parasitic infections. Recently, the first X-ray structure of a parasite HDAC was published, Schistosoma mansoni HDAC8, giving structural insights into its inhibition. However, most of the targets from parasites of interest still lack this structural information. Therefore, we prepared homology models of relevant parasitic HDACs and compared them to human and S. mansoni HDACs. The information about known S. mansoni HDAC8 inhibitors and compounds that affect the growth of Trypanosoma, Leishmania and Plasmodium species was used to validate the models by docking and molecular dynamics studies. Our results provide analysis of structural features of parasitic HDACs and should be helpful for selecting promising candidates for biological testing and for structure-based optimisation of parasite-specific inhibitors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  18. A new oomycete species parasitic in nematodes, Chlamydomyzium dictyuchoides sp. nov.: developmental biology and phylogenetic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beakes, Gordon W; Glockling, Sally L; James, Timothy Y

    2014-07-01

    The genus Chlamydomyzium is a little studied holocarpic oomycete parasite of nematodes of uncertain phylogenetic and taxonomic position. A new holocarpic species, Chlamydomyzium dictyuchoides, is described which has usually refractile cytoplasm and a dictyuchoid pattern of spore release. This new species infects bacteriotrophic rhabditid nematodes and was isolated from diverse geographical locations. Infection was initiated by zoospore encystment on the host surface and direct penetration of the cuticle. A sparsely branched, constricted, refractile thallus was formed which eventually occupied almost the entire host body cavity, often accompanied by complete dissolution of the host cuticle. Walled primary cysts formed throughout the thallus and each cyst released a single zoospore via an individual exit papillum, leaving a characteristic dictyuchoid wall net behind. At later stages of infection some thalli formed thick-walled stellate resting spores in uniseriate rows. Resting spore formation appeared to be parthenogenetic and was not accompanied by the formation of antheridial compartments. These spores had ooplast-like vacuoles and thick multi-layered walls, both of which suggest they were oospores. The maximum likelihood tree of sequences of the small ribosomal subunit (SSU) gene placed this new isolate in a clade before the main saprolegnialean and peronosporalean lines diverge. A second undescribed Chlamydomyzium sp., which has direct spore release forms a paraphyletic clade, close to C. dictyuchoides and Sapromyces. The fine structure of other documented Chlamydomyzium species was compared, including an undescribed (but sequenced) isolate, SL02, from Japan, Chlamydomyzium anomalum and Chlamydomyzium oviparasiticum. Chlamydomyzium as currently constituted is a paraphyletic genus that is part of a group of phylogenetically problematic early diverging clades that lie close to both the Leptomitales and Rhipidiales. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier

  19. Plasmodium vivax Biology: Insights Provided by Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgard, Catarina; Albrecht, Letusa; Kayano, Ana C. A. V.; Sunnerhagen, Per; Costa, Fabio T. M.

    2018-01-01

    During the last decade, the vast omics field has revolutionized biological research, especially the genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics branches, as technological tools become available to the field researcher and allow difficult question-driven studies to be addressed. Parasitology has greatly benefited from next generation sequencing (NGS) projects, which have resulted in a broadened comprehension of basic parasite molecular biology, ecology and epidemiology. Malariology is one example where application of this technology has greatly contributed to a better understanding of Plasmodium spp. biology and host-parasite interactions. Among the several parasite species that cause human malaria, the neglected Plasmodium vivax presents great research challenges, as in vitro culturing is not yet feasible and functional assays are heavily limited. Therefore, there are gaps in our P. vivax biology knowledge that affect decisions for control policies aiming to eradicate vivax malaria in the near future. In this review, we provide a snapshot of key discoveries already achieved in P. vivax sequencing projects, focusing on developments, hurdles, and limitations currently faced by the research community, as well as perspectives on future vivax malaria research. PMID:29473024

  20. Hemoparasites in a wild primate: Infection patterns suggest interaction of Plasmodium and Babesia in a lemur species

    OpenAIRE

    Andrea Springer; Claudia Fichtel; Sébastien Calvignac-Spencer; Fabian H. Leendertz; Peter M. Kappeler

    2015-01-01

    Hemoparasites can cause serious morbidity in humans and animals and often involve wildlife reservoirs. Understanding patterns of hemoparasite infections in natural populations can therefore inform about emerging disease risks, especially in the light of climate change and human disruption of natural ecosystems. We investigated the effects of host age, sex, host group size and season on infection patterns of Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp. and filarial nematodes in a population of wild Malagasy pr...

  1. New parasites and predators follow the introduction of two fish species to a subarctic lake: implications for food-web structure and functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundsen, Per-Arne; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Knudsen, Rune; Primicerio, Raul; Kristoffersen, Roar; Klemetsen, Anders; Kuris, Armand M.

    2012-01-01

    Introduced species can alter the topology of food webs. For instance, an introduction can aid the arrival of free-living consumers using the new species as a resource, while new parasites may also arrive with the introduced species. Food-web responses to species additions can thus be far more complex than anticipated. In a subarctic pelagic food web with free-living and parasitic species, two fish species (arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus) have known histories as deliberate introductions. The effects of these introductions on the food web were explored by comparing the current pelagic web with a heuristic reconstruction of the pre-introduction web. Extinctions caused by these introductions could not be evaluated by this approach. The introduced fish species have become important hubs in the trophic network, interacting with numerous parasites, predators and prey. In particular, five parasite species and four predatory bird species depend on the two introduced species as obligate trophic resources in the pelagic web and could therefore not have been present in the pre-introduction network. The presence of the two introduced fish species and the arrival of their associated parasites and predators increased biodiversity, mean trophic level, linkage density, and nestedness; altering both the network structure and functioning of the pelagic web. Parasites, in particular trophically transmitted species, had a prominent role in the network alterations that followed the introductions.

  2. Survival and growth of parasitic Maculinea alcon caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in nests of three Myrmica ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, D. R.; Als, Thomas Damm; Boomsma, J. J.

    2011-01-01

    The Alcon blue butterfly (Maculinea alcon) parasitizes the nests of several Myrmica ant species. In Denmark, it uses M. rubra and M. ruginodis, but never M. scabrinodis. To further examine the basis of this specificity and local co-adaptation between host and parasite, the pattern of growth...... and survival of newly-adopted caterpillars of M. alcon in Myrmica subcolonies was examined in the laboratory. M. alcon caterpillars were collected from three populations differing in their host use, and reared in laboratory nests of all three ant species collected from each M. alcon population. While...... there were differences in the pattern of growth of caterpillars from different populations during the first few months after adoption, which depended on host ant species and the site from which the ants were collected, there was no evidence of major differences in final size achieved. Survival was, however...

  3. Molecular machinery of signal transduction and cell cycle regulation in Plasmodium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Fernanda C; Chakrabarti, Debopam; Garcia, Célia R S

    2009-05-01

    The regulation of the Plasmodium cell cycle is not understood. Although the Plasmodium falciparum genome is completely sequenced, about 60% of the predicted proteins share little or no sequence similarity with other eukaryotes. This feature impairs the identification of important proteins participating in the regulation of the cell cycle. There are several open questions that concern cell cycle progression in malaria parasites, including the mechanism by which multiple nuclear divisions is controlled and how the cell cycle is managed in all phases of their complex life cycle. Cell cycle synchrony of the parasite population within the host, as well as the circadian rhythm of proliferation, are striking features of some Plasmodium species, the molecular basis of which remains to be elucidated. In this review we discuss the role of indole-related molecules as signals that modulate the cell cycle in Plasmodium and other eukaryotes, and we also consider the possible role of kinases in the signal transduction and in the responses it triggers.

  4. B-cell responses to pregnancy-restricted and -unrestricted Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 antigens in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    -linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and memory B-cell frequencies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay in a cohort of P. falciparum-exposed nonpregnant Ghanaian women. The antigens used were a VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 (IT4VAR04) with expression restricted to parasites infecting the placenta, as well as two...... commonly recognized PfEMP1 proteins (HB3VAR06 and IT4VAR60) implicated in rosetting and not pregnancy restricted. This enabled, for the first time, a direct comparison in the same individuals of immune responses specific for a clinically important parasite antigen expressed only during well-defined periods...

  5. Detection of Malaria parasite species based on 18S rRNA and assessment of its resistance to the drug for DHPS gene to support the development of irradiation Malaria vaccine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukh Syaifudin; Darlina; Siti Nurhayati

    2016-01-01

    Malaria remains a major public health problem because it causes 1-2 million mortality per year. Therefore the development of its vaccine, including vaccine created by ionizing radiation, is urgently needed to control the disease. Aim of this research was to determine the species of malaria parasite infecting the blood of malaria suspected patients and its resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). The number of samples used were 10 blood specimens that obtained from Dok II Hospital in Jayapura. Microscopic examination on thin blood smear was done according to standard procedure, followed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based diagnosis to further confirm the parasite using 18S rRNA gene on deoxyribonucleic acid extract. The presence of mutation in the dhps (dihydropteroate synthetase) gene related to SP drugs was examined using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method. Results showed that 9 samples were infected with Plasmodium falciparum and 1 infected with P. vivax. Allelic mutants of dhps gene at codon K540E were detected in 3 (33.3%) samples. Even though only in very limited number of samples analyzed, the information obtained will be a great value in additional knowledge for vaccine development with irradiation. (author)

  6. Toward forward genetic screens in malaria-causing parasites using the piggyBac transposon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Koning-Ward Tania F

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The ability to analyze gene function in malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites has received a boost with a recent paper in BMC Genomics that describes a genome-wide mutagenesis system in the rodent malaria species Plasmodium berghei using the transposon piggyBac. This advance holds promise for identifying and validating new targets for intervention against malaria. But further improvements are still needed for the full power of genome-wide molecular genetic screens to be utilized in this organism. See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/12/155

  7. Towards high-throughput molecular detection of Plasmodium: new approaches and molecular markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier Christophe

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several strategies are currently deployed in many countries in the tropics to strengthen malaria control toward malaria elimination. To measure the impact of any intervention, there is a need to detect malaria properly. Mostly, decisions still rely on microscopy diagnosis. But sensitive diagnosis tools enabling to deal with a large number of samples are needed. The molecular detection approach offers a much higher sensitivity, and the flexibility to be automated and upgraded. Methods Two new molecular methods were developed: dot18S, a Plasmodium-specific nested PCR based on the 18S rRNA gene followed by dot-blot detection of species by using species-specific probes and CYTB, a Plasmodium-specific nested PCR based on cytochrome b gene followed by species detection using SNP analysis. The results were compared to those obtained with microscopic examination and the "standard" 18S rRNA gene based nested PCR using species specific primers. 337 samples were diagnosed. Results Compared to the microscopy the three molecular methods were more sensitive, greatly increasing the estimated prevalence of Plasmodium infection, including P. malariae and P. ovale. A high rate of mixed infections was uncovered with about one third of the villagers infected with more than one malaria parasite species. Dot18S and CYTB sensitivity outranged the "standard" nested PCR method, CYTB being the most sensitive. As a consequence, compared to the "standard" nested PCR method for the detection of Plasmodium spp., the sensitivity of dot18S and CYTB was respectively 95.3% and 97.3%. Consistent detection of Plasmodium spp. by the three molecular methods was obtained for 83% of tested isolates. Contradictory results were mostly related to detection of Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale in mixed infections, due to an "all-or-none" detection effect at low-level parasitaemia. Conclusion A large reservoir of asymptomatic infections was uncovered using the

  8. Chromosome End Repair and Genome Stability in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun, Susannah F; Reed, Jake; Alexander, Noah; Mason, Christopher E; Deitsch, Kirk W; Kirkman, Laura A

    2017-08-08

    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

  9. Loading of erythrocyte membrane with pentacyclic triterpenes inhibits Plasmodium falciparum invasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ziegler, Hanne L; Staalsø, Trine; Jaroszewski, Jerzy W

    2006-01-01

    Lupeol and betulinic acid inhibit the proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites by inhibition of the invasion of merozoites into erythrocytes. This conclusion is based on experiments employing parasite cultures synchronized by magnetic cell sorting (MACS). Identical inhibitory effects were...

  10. Metazoan parasites of Plagioscion squamosissimus, an invasive species in the Tietê River, São Paulo, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Moura Lapera

    Full Text Available Abstract This study focused on the characterization and analysis of communities and infra-communities of metazoan parasites of Plagioscion squamosissimus caught in Promissão Reservoir in the Tietê River in Borborema (21°39′58”S, 49°8′49”W, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Fifty adult specimens caught by professional fishermen in March 2015 were necropsied. The fish presented an average standard length of 25.2 ± 2.2 cm and average weight of 328.82 ± 89.03 g. A total of 5,227 specimens of metazoan parasites were collected: 2,880 (55.1% adult Diplectanum piscinarius (Monogenoidea: Diplectanidae and 2,347 (44.9% Austrodiplostomum compactum metacercariae (Digenea, Diplostomidae, both with 100% prevalence and mean abundance of 57.6 and 46.9, respectively. Parasite diversity was low (species richness = 2, with a Simpson index (D equal to 0.505, and low values of Brillouin (HB = 0.687 and Margalef diversity (I = 0.117 indices. Berger-Parker’s index of dominance (p = 0.551 indicated a slight dominance of the monogenean parasite D. piscinarius. There was a positive correlation, assessed by Pearson coefficient between parasite abundance of D. piscinarius and standard length (r = 0.43 and weight (r = 0.51 of hosts.