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Sample records for plasmodium parasite species

  1. Anopheles gambiae immune responses to human and rodent Plasmodium parasite species.

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    Yuemei Dong

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Transmission of malaria is dependent on the successful completion of the Plasmodium lifecycle in the Anopheles vector. Major obstacles are encountered in the midgut tissue, where most parasites are killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the present study, DNA microarray analyses have been used to compare Anopheles gambiae responses to invasion of the midgut epithelium by the ookinete stage of the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent experimental model pathogen P. berghei. Invasion by P. berghei had a more profound impact on the mosquito transcriptome, including a variety of functional gene classes, while P. falciparum elicited a broader immune response at the gene transcript level. Ingestion of human malaria-infected blood lacking invasive ookinetes also induced a variety of immune genes, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Twelve selected genes were assessed for effect on infection with both parasite species and bacteria using RNAi gene silencing assays, and seven of these genes were found to influence mosquito resistance to both parasite species. An MD2-like receptor, AgMDL1, and an immunolectin, FBN39, showed specificity in regulating only resistance to P. falciparum, while the antimicrobial peptide gambicin and a novel putative short secreted peptide, IRSP5, were more specific for defense against the rodent parasite P. berghei. While all the genes that affected Plasmodium development also influenced mosquito resistance to bacterial infection, four of the antimicrobial genes had no effect on Plasmodium development. Our study shows that the impact of P. falciparum and P. berghei infection on A. gambiae biology at the gene transcript level is quite diverse, and the defense against the two Plasmodium species is mediated by antimicrobial factors with both universal and Plasmodium-species specific activities. Furthermore, our data indicate that the mosquito is capable of sensing infected blood constituents in the absence

  2. Partnering parasites: evidence of synergism between heavy Schistosoma haematobium and Plasmodium species infections in Kenyan children.

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    Lia S Florey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Residents of resource-poor tropical countries carry heavy burdens of concurrent parasitic infections, leading to high rates of morbidity and mortality. This study was undertaken to help identify the social and environmental determinants of multiple parasite infection in one such community. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Residents of Kingwede, Kenya aged 8 years and older were tested for presence and intensity of S. haematobium and Plasmodium spp. infections in a cross-sectional, household-based, community survey. Using General Estimating Equation (GEE models, social and environmental determinants associated with patterns of co-infection were identified, with age being one of the most important factors. Children had 9.3 times the odds of co-infection compared to adults (95%CI=5.3-16.3. Even after controlling for age, socio-economic position, and other correlates of co-infection, intense concomitant infections with the two parasites were found to cluster in a subset of individuals: the odds of heavy vs. light S. haematobium infection increased with increasing Plasmodium infection intensity suggesting the importance of unmeasured biological factors in determining intensity of co-infection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Children in this community are more likely to be infected with multiple parasites than are adults and should therefore be targeted for prevention and control interventions. More importantly, heavy infections with multiple parasite species appear to cluster within a subset of individuals. Further studies focusing on these most vulnerable people are warranted.

  3. Anopheles gambiae immune responses to human and rodent Plasmodium parasite species.

    OpenAIRE

    Yuemei Dong; Ruth Aguilar; Zhiyong Xi; Emma Warr; Emmanuel Mongin; George Dimopoulos

    2006-01-01

    Transmission of malaria is dependent on the successful completion of the Plasmodium lifecycle in the Anopheles vector. Major obstacles are encountered in the midgut tissue, where most parasites are killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the present study, DNA microarray analyses have been used to compare Anopheles gambiae responses to invasion of the midgut epithelium by the ookinete stage of the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent experimental model pathogen P. berghei. I...

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Population dynamics of sporogony for Plasmodium vivax parasites from western Thailand developing within three species of colonized Anopheles mosquitoes

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    Sattabongkot Jetsumon

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The population dynamics of Plasmodium sporogony within mosquitoes consists of an early phase where parasite abundance decreases during the transition from gametocyte to oocyst, an intermediate phase where parasite abundance remains static as oocysts, and a later phase where parasite abundance increases during the release of progeny sporozoites from oocysts. Sporogonic development is complete when sporozoites invade the mosquito salivary glands. The dynamics and efficiency of this developmental sequence were determined in laboratory strains of Anopheles dirus, Anopheles minimus and Anopheles sawadwongporni mosquitoes for Plasmodium vivax parasites circulating naturally in western Thailand. Methods Mosquitoes were fed blood from 20 symptomatic Thai adults via membrane feeders. Absolute densities were estimated for macrogametocytes, round stages (= female gametes/zygotes, ookinetes, oocysts, haemolymph sporozoites and salivary gland sporozoites. From these census data, five aspects of population dynamics were analysed; 1 changes in life-stage prevalence during early sporogony, 2 kinetics of life-stage formation, 3 efficiency of life-stage transitions, 4 density relationships between successive life-stages, and 5 parasite aggregation patterns. Results There was no difference among the three mosquito species tested in total losses incurred by P. vivax populations during early sporogony. Averaged across all infections, parasite populations incurred a 68-fold loss in abundance, with losses of ca. 19-fold, 2-fold and 2-fold at the first (= gametogenesis/fertilization, second (= round stage transformation, and third (= ookinete migration life-stage transitions, respectively. However, total losses varied widely among infections, ranging from 6-fold to over 2,000-fold loss. Losses during gametogenesis/fertilization accounted for most of this variability, indicating that gametocytes originating from some volunteers were more fertile than

  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. SYBR Green real-time PCR-RFLP assay targeting the plasmodium cytochrome B gene--a highly sensitive molecular tool for malaria parasite detection and species determination.

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    Xu, Weiping; Morris, Ulrika; Aydin-Schmidt, Berit; Msellem, Mwinyi I; Shakely, Delér; Petzold, Max; Björkman, Anders; Mårtensson, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    A prerequisite for reliable detection of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings is the availability of ultra-sensitive and high-throughput molecular tools. We developed a SYBR Green real-time PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism assay (cytb-qPCR) targeting the cytochrome b gene of the four major human Plasmodium species (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale) for parasite detection and species determination with DNA extracted from dried blood spots collected on filter paper. The performance of cytb-qPCR was first compared against four reference PCR methods using serially diluted Plasmodium samples. The detection limit of the cytb-qPCR was 1 parasite/μl (p/μl) for P. falciparum and P. ovale, and 2 p/μl for P. vivax and P. malariae, while the reference PCRs had detection limits of 0.5-10 p/μl. The ability of the PCR methods to detect low-density Plasmodium infections was then assessed using 2977 filter paper samples collected during a cross-sectional survey in Zanzibar, a malaria pre-elimination setting in sub-Saharan Africa. Field samples were defined as 'final positive' if positive in at least two of the five PCR methods. Cytb-qPCR preformed equal to or better than the reference PCRs with a sensitivity of 100% (65/65; 95%CI 94.5-100%) and a specificity of 99.9% (2910/2912; 95%CI 99.7-100%) when compared against 'final positive' samples. The results indicate that the cytb-qPCR may represent an opportunity for improved molecular surveillance of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings.

  8. SYBR Green Real-Time PCR-RFLP Assay Targeting the Plasmodium Cytochrome B Gene – A Highly Sensitive Molecular Tool for Malaria Parasite Detection and Species Determination

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    Xu, Weiping; Morris, Ulrika; Aydin-Schmidt, Berit; Msellem, Mwinyi I.; Shakely, Delér; Petzold, Max; Björkman, Anders; Mårtensson, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    A prerequisite for reliable detection of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings is the availability of ultra-sensitive and high-throughput molecular tools. We developed a SYBR Green real-time PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism assay (cytb-qPCR) targeting the cytochrome b gene of the four major human Plasmodium species (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale) for parasite detection and species determination with DNA extracted from dried blood spots collected on filter paper. The performance of cytb-qPCR was first compared against four reference PCR methods using serially diluted Plasmodium samples. The detection limit of the cytb-qPCR was 1 parasite/μl (p/μl) for P. falciparum and P. ovale, and 2 p/μl for P. vivax and P. malariae, while the reference PCRs had detection limits of 0.5–10 p/μl. The ability of the PCR methods to detect low-density Plasmodium infections was then assessed using 2977 filter paper samples collected during a cross-sectional survey in Zanzibar, a malaria pre-elimination setting in sub-Saharan Africa. Field samples were defined as ‘final positive’ if positive in at least two of the five PCR methods. Cytb-qPCR preformed equal to or better than the reference PCRs with a sensitivity of 100% (65/65; 95%CI 94.5–100%) and a specificity of 99.9% (2910/2912; 95%CI 99.7–100%) when compared against ‘final positive’ samples. The results indicate that the cytb-qPCR may represent an opportunity for improved molecular surveillance of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings. PMID:25774805

  9. Helminth Parasites Alter Protection against Plasmodium Infection

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    Víctor H. Salazar-Castañon

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. Helminth Parasites Alter Protection against Plasmodium Infection

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    Salazar-Castañon, Víctor H.; Legorreta-Herrera, Martha

    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. PMID:25276830

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

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    Zerka, Agata; Kaczmarek, Radosław; Jaśkiewicz, Ewa

    2015-12-31

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

  12. The SLC4A1 gene is under differential selective pressure in primates infected by Plasmodium falciparum and related parasites

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    Steiper, Michael E.; Walsh, Fiona; Zichello, Julia M.

    2012-01-01

    Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites and is responsible for high mortality in humans. This disease is caused by four different species of Plasmodium though the main source of mortality is Plasmodium falciparum. Humans have a number of genetic adaptations that act to combat Plasmodium. One adaptation is a deletion in the SLC4A1 gene that leads to Southeast Asian ovalocytosis (SAO). There is evidence that SAO erythrocytes are resistant to multiple Plasmodium species. Here we anal...

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

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

    2012-09-01

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

  14. Survival strategies of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

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    Ramya, TNC; Surolia, Namita; Surolia, Avadhesha

    2002-01-01

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

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

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    Paupy, Christophe; Makanga, Boris; Ollomo, Benjamin; Rahola, Nil; Durand, Patrick; Magnus, Julie; Willaume, Eric; Renaud, François; Fontenille, Didier; Prugnolle, Franck

    2013-01-01

    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.

  16. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

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    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

    Malaria is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites belonging to Plasmodium spp. (phylum Apicomplexa) that produce significant morbidity and mortality, mostly in developing countries. Plasmodium parasites have a complex life cycle that includes multiple stages in anopheline mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts. During the life cycle, the parasites undergo several cycles of extreme population growth within a brief span, and this is critical for their continued transmission and a contributing factor for their pathogenesis in the host. As with other eukaryotes, successful mitosis is an essential requirement for Plasmodium reproduction; however, some aspects of Plasmodium mitosis are quite distinct and not fully understood. In this review, we will discuss the current understanding of the architecture and key events of mitosis in Plasmodium falciparum and related parasites and compare them with the traditional mitotic events described for other eukaryotes. PMID:21317311

  17. Combining parasite lactate dehydrogenase-based and histidine-rich protein 2-based rapid tests to improve specificity for diagnosis of malaria Due to Plasmodium knowlesi and other Plasmodium species in Sabah, Malaysia.

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    Grigg, Matthew J; William, Timothy; Barber, Bridget E; Parameswaran, Uma; Bird, Elspeth; Piera, Kim; Aziz, Ammar; Dhanaraj, Prabakaran; Yeo, Tsin W; Anstey, Nicholas M

    2014-06-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi causes severe and fatal malaria in Malaysia. Microscopic misdiagnosis is common and may delay appropriate treatment. P. knowlesi can cross-react with "species-specific" parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) monoclonal antibodies used in rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) to detect P. falciparum and P. vivax. At one tertiary-care hospital and two district hospitals in Sabah, we prospectively evaluated two combination RDTs for malaria diagnosis by using both a pan-Plasmodium-pLDH (pan-pLDH)/P. falciparum-specific-pLDH (Pf-pLDH) RDT (OptiMAL-IT) and a non-P. falciparum VOM-pLDH/Pf-HRP2 RDT (CareStart). Differential cross-reactivity among these combinations was hypothesized to differentiate P. knowlesi from other Plasmodium monoinfections. Among 323 patients with PCR-confirmed P. knowlesi (n = 193), P. falciparum (n = 93), and P. vivax (n = 37) monoinfections, the VOM-pLDH individual component had the highest sensitivity for nonsevere (35%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 27 to 43%) and severe (92%; CI, 81 to 100%) P. knowlesi malaria. CareStart demonstrated a P. knowlesi sensitivity of 42% (CI, 34 to 49%) and specificity of 74% (CI, 65 to 82%), a P. vivax sensitivity of 83% (CI, 66 to 93%) and specificity of 71% (CI, 65 to 76%), and a P. falciparum sensitivity of 97% (CI, 90 to 99%) and specificity of 99% (CI, 97 to 100%). OptiMAL-IT demonstrated a P. knowlesi sensitivity of 32% (CI, 25 to 39%) and specificity of 21% (CI, 15 to 29%), a P. vivax sensitivity of 60% (CI, 42 to 75%) and specificity of 97% (CI, 94 to 99%), and a P. falciparum sensitivity of 82% (CI, 72 to 89%) and specificity of 39% (CI, 33 to 46%). The combination of CareStart plus OptiMAL-IT for P. knowlesi using predefined criteria gave a sensitivity of 25% (CI, 19 to 32%) and specificity of 97% (CI, 92 to 99%). Combining two RDT combinations was highly specific for P. knowlesi malaria diagnosis; however, sensitivity was poor. The specificity of pLDH RDTs was decreased for P. vivax and P

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

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    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.

  19. Prevalence patterns of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites and the influence of host relative abundance in southern China.

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    Zhang, Yanhua; Wu, Yuchun; Zhang, Qiang; Su, Dongdong; Zou, Fasheng

    2014-01-01

    Infectious diseases threaten the health and survival of wildlife populations. Consequently, relationships between host diversity, host abundance, and parasite infection are important aspects of disease ecology and conservation research. Here, we report on the prevalence patterns of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infections and host relative abundance influence based on sampling 728 wild-caught birds representing 124 species at seven geographically widespread sites in southern China. The overall prevalence of two haemoprotozoan parasites, Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, was 29.5%, with 22.0% attributable to Haemoproteus and 7.8% to Plasmodium. Haemoproteus prevalence differed significantly among different avian host families, with the highest prevalence in Nectariniidae, Pycnonotidae and Muscicapidae, whereas Plasmodium prevalence varied significantly among host species. Seventy-nine mitochondrial lineages including 25 from Plasmodium and 54 from Haemoproteus were identified, 80% of which were described here for the first time. The phylogenetic relationships among these parasites indicated stronger host-species specificity for Haemoproteus than Plasmodium. Well-supported host-family (Timaliidae) specific clades were found in both Plasmodium and Haemoproteus. The Haemoproteus tree shows regional subclades, whereas the Plasmodium clades are "scattered" among different geographical regions. Interestingly, there were statistically significant variations in the prevalence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus among the geographical regions. Furthermore, the prevalence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were not significantly correlated with host relative abundance. Further efforts will focus on exploring the relationships between parasite prevalence and sex, age, and immune defense of the host.

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

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

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Host compatibility rather than vector-host-encounter rate determines the host range of avian Plasmodium parasites.

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    Medeiros, Matthew C I; Hamer, Gabriel L; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2013-06-07

    Blood-feeding arthropod vectors are responsible for transmitting many parasites between vertebrate hosts. While arthropod vectors often feed on limited subsets of potential host species, little is known about the extent to which this influences the distribution of vector-borne parasites in some systems. Here, we test the hypothesis that different vector species structure parasite-host relationships by restricting access of certain parasites to a subset of available hosts. Specifically, we investigate how the feeding patterns of Culex mosquito vectors relate to distributions of avian malaria parasites among hosts in suburban Chicago, IL, USA. We show that Plasmodium lineages, defined by cytochrome b haplotypes, are heterogeneously distributed across avian hosts. However, the feeding patterns of the dominant vectors (Culex restuans and Culex pipiens) are similar across these hosts, and do not explain the distributions of Plasmodium parasites. Phylogenetic similarity of avian hosts predicts similarity in their Plasmodium parasites. This effect was driven primarily by the general association of Plasmodium parasites with particular host superfamilies. Our results suggest that a mosquito-imposed encounter rate does not limit the distribution of avian Plasmodium parasites across hosts. This implies that compatibility between parasites and their avian hosts structure Plasmodium host range.

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

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    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. Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 21 CFR 866.3402 - Plasmodium species antigen detection assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Plasmodium species antigen detection assays. 866... Plasmodium species antigen detection assays. (a) Identification. A Plasmodium species antigen detection assay... malaria caused by the four malaria species capable of infecting humans: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blanquart Samuel

    2011-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gu Jianying

    2010-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ribacke, Ulf

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Genomes of cryptic chimpanzee Plasmodium species reveal key evolutionary events leading to human malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaman, Sesh A; Plenderleith, Lindsey J; Liu, Weimin; Loy, Dorothy E; Learn, Gerald H; Li, Yingying; Shaw, Katharina S; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Peeters, Martine; Speede, Sheri; Shaw, George M; Bushman, Frederic D; Brisson, Dustin; Rayner, Julian C; Sharp, Paul M; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2016-03-22

    African apes harbour at least six Plasmodium species of the subgenus Laverania, one of which gave rise to human Plasmodium falciparum. Here we use a selective amplification strategy to sequence the genome of chimpanzee parasites classified as Plasmodium reichenowi and Plasmodium gaboni based on the subgenomic fragments. Genome-wide analyses show that these parasites indeed represent distinct species, with no evidence of cross-species mating. Both P. reichenowi and P. gaboni are 10-fold more diverse than P. falciparum, indicating a very recent origin of the human parasite. We also find a remarkable Laverania-specific expansion of a multigene family involved in erythrocyte remodelling, and show that a short region on chromosome 4, which encodes two essential invasion genes, was horizontally transferred into a recent P. falciparum ancestor. Our results validate the selective amplification strategy for characterizing cryptic pathogen species, and reveal evolutionary events that likely predisposed the precursor of P. falciparum to colonize humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  12. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum are Common Malaria Species in Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tauseef Ahmad

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The microbes have a diverse nature, it makes human laugh and cry. Some microbes are fruitful for humans while others are harmful. Infectious diseases are a key problem in the modern world. In the last few decades, million of peoples have died from different diseases, including bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, etc. Among these diseases, malaria is one of the major health problems for developing countries including Pakistan. This study was undertaken to provide baseline information about the prevalence of malaria, species distribution and to contribute to the data regarding epidemiology in Pakistan. For a collection of literature, the electronic search engine was used, using different key words i.e. prevalence, species distribution, epidemiology of malaria in Pakistan, etc. The time frame of the obtained articles was from 2000 to 2014. The two species of malaria Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum are common in Pakistan. [Biomed Res Ther 2016; 3(6.000: 666-672

  15. Sexual development in Plasmodium parasites: knowing when it's time to commit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josling, Gabrielle A; Llinás, Manuel

    2015-09-01

    Malaria is a devastating infectious disease that is caused by blood-borne apicomplexan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. These pathogens have a complex lifecycle, which includes development in the anopheline mosquito vector and in the liver and red blood cells of mammalian hosts, a process which takes days to weeks, depending on the Plasmodium species. Productive transmission between the mammalian host and the mosquito requires transitioning between asexual and sexual forms of the parasite. Blood- stage parasites replicate cyclically and are mostly asexual, although a small fraction of these convert into male and female sexual forms (gametocytes) in each reproductive cycle. Despite many years of investigation, the molecular processes that elicit sexual differentiation have remained largely unknown. In this Review, we highlight several important recent discoveries that have identified epigenetic factors and specific transcriptional regulators of gametocyte commitment and development, providing crucial insights into this obligate cellular differentiation process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. The SLC4A1 gene is under differential selective pressure in primates infected by Plasmodium falciparum and related parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiper, Michael E; Walsh, Fiona; Zichello, Julia M

    2012-07-01

    Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites and is responsible for high mortality in humans. This disease is caused by four different species of Plasmodium though the main source of mortality is Plasmodium falciparum. Humans have a number of genetic adaptations that act to combat Plasmodium. One adaptation is a deletion in the SLC4A1 gene that leads to Southeast Asian ovalocytosis (SAO). There is evidence that SAO erythrocytes are resistant to multiple Plasmodium species. Here we analyze SLC4A1 in 23 primates and mammals to test for differential selective pressures among different primate lineages. Because primates are infected with both human Plasmodium parasites and their relatives, this analysis can be used to test which human Plasmodium parasite is the likely target of SAO. A significantly different pattern of molecular evolution was found in humans and African apes, species that are infected by P. falciparum and its relatives. This effect was restricted to the cytosolic domain of the SLC4A1 gene. The evidence is consistent with a different selective regime operating on this gene domain in humans and African apes, when compared to other primates and mammals. Alternatively, this pattern is consistent with a relaxation of selection or weak adaptive evolution operating on a small number of amino acids. The adaptive interpretation of the results is consistent with the SAO allele of the SLC4A1 gene interacting with P. falciparum in humans, rather than other Plasmodium parasites. However, additional investigation of the relationship between SLC4A1 variants and Plasmodium in humans and African apes is required to test whether the different selective regime in humans and African apes is due to natural selection or relaxed constraint. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  20. 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 ...... 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro Molina-Cruz

    2014-08-01

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

  3. Plasmodium prevalence across avian host species is positively associated with exposure to mosquito vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Matthew C I; Ricklefs, Robert E; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Hamer, Gabriel L

    2015-11-01

    The prevalence of vector-borne parasites varies greatly across host species, and this heterogeneity has been used to relate infectious disease susceptibility to host species traits. However, a few empirical studies have directly associated vector-borne parasite prevalence with exposure to vectors across hosts. Here, we use DNA sequencing of blood meals to estimate utilization of different avian host species by Culex mosquitoes, and relate utilization by these malaria vectors to avian Plasmodium prevalence. We found that avian host species that are highly utilized as hosts by avian malaria vectors are significantly more likely to have Plasmodium infections. However, the effect was not consistent among individual Plasmodium taxa. Exposure to vector bites may therefore influence the relative number of all avian Plasmodium infections among host species, while other processes, such as parasite competition and host-parasite coevolution, delimit the host distributions of individual Plasmodium species. We demonstrate that links between avian malaria susceptibility and host traits can be conditioned by patterns of exposure to vectors. Linking vector utilization rates to host traits may be a key area of future research to understand mechanisms that produce variation in the prevalence of vector-borne pathogens among host species.

  4. Malarial parasite diversity in chimpanzees: the value of comparative approaches to ascertain the evolution of Plasmodium falciparum antigens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, M Andreína; Cranfield, Michael; Cameron, Kenneth; Escalante, Ananias A

    2013-09-17

    Plasmodium falciparum shares its most recent common ancestor with parasites found in African apes; these species constitute the so-called Laverania clade. In this investigation, the evolutionary history of Plasmodium lineages found in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) was explored. Here, the remainders of 74 blood samples collected as part of the chimpanzees' routine health examinations were studied. For all positive samples with parasite lineages belonging to the Laverania clade, the complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA), the gene encoding dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (dhfr-ts), the chloroquine resistance transporter (Pfcrt), the circumsporozoite protein (csp), merozoite surface protein 2 (msp2), and the DBL-1 domain from var2CSA were amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Other Plasmodium species were included in the mtDNA, dhfr-ts, and csp analyses. Phylogenetic and evolutionary genetic analyses were performed, including molecular clock analyses on the mtDNA. Nine chimpanzees were malaria positive (12.2%); four of those infections were identified as P. falciparum, two as a Plasmodium reichenowi-like parasite or Plasmodium sp., one as Plasmodium gaboni, and two as Plasmodium malariae. All P. falciparum isolates were resistant to chloroquine indicating that the chimpanzees acquired such infections from humans in recent times. Such findings, however, are not sufficient for implicating chimpanzees as an animal reservoir for P. falciparum.Timing estimates support that the Laverania clade has co-existed with hominids for a long-period of time. The proposed species P. gaboni, Plasmodium billbrayi, and Plasmodium billcollinsi are monophyletic groups supporting that they are indeed different species.An expanded CSP phylogeny is presented, including all the Laverania species and other malarial parasites. Contrasting with other Plasmodium, the Laverania csp exhibits great conservation at the central tandem repeat region. Msp2 and var2CSA, however, show extended

  5. Plasmodium falciparum-like parasites infecting wild apes in southern Cameroon do not represent a recurrent source of human malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaman, Sesh A; Liu, Weimin; Keele, Brandon F; Learn, Gerald H; Bittinger, Kyle; Mouacha, Fatima; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Manske, Magnus; Sherrill-Mix, Scott; Li, Yingying; Malenke, Jordan A; Delaporte, Eric; Laurent, Christian; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Shaw, George M; Rayner, Julian C; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M; Bushman, Frederic D; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2013-04-23

    Wild-living chimpanzees and gorillas harbor a multitude of Plasmodium species, including six of the subgenus Laverania, one of which served as the progenitor of Plasmodium falciparum. Despite the magnitude of this reservoir, it is unknown whether apes represent a source of human infections. Here, we used Plasmodium species-specific PCR, single-genome amplification, and 454 sequencing to screen humans from remote areas of southern Cameroon for ape Laverania infections. Among 1,402 blood samples, we found 1,000 to be Plasmodium mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) positive, all of which contained human parasites as determined by sequencing and/or restriction enzyme digestion. To exclude low-abundance infections, we subjected 514 of these samples to 454 sequencing, targeting a region of the mtDNA genome that distinguishes ape from human Laverania species. Using algorithms specifically developed to differentiate rare Plasmodium variants from 454-sequencing error, we identified single and mixed-species infections with P. falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, and/or Plasmodium ovale. However, none of the human samples contained ape Laverania parasites, including the gorilla precursor of P. falciparum. To characterize further the diversity of P. falciparum in Cameroon, we used single-genome amplification to amplify 3.4-kb mtDNA fragments from 229 infected humans. Phylogenetic analysis identified 62 new variants, all of which clustered with extant P. falciparum, providing further evidence that P. falciparum emerged following a single gorilla-to-human transmission. Thus, unlike Plasmodium knowlesi-infected macaques in southeast Asia, African apes harboring Laverania parasites do not seem to serve as a recurrent source of human malaria, a finding of import to ongoing control and eradication measures.

  6. Consistent and contrasting properties of lineage-specific genes in the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium and Theileria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kissinger Jessica C

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lineage-specific genes, the genes that are restricted to a limited subset of related organisms, may be important in adaptation. In parasitic organisms, lineage-specific gene products are possible targets for vaccine development or therapeutics when these genes are absent from the host genome. Results In this study, we utilized comparative approaches based on a phylogenetic framework to characterize lineage-specific genes in the parasitic protozoan phylum Apicomplexa. Genes from species in two major apicomplexan genera, Plasmodium and Theileria, were categorized into six levels of lineage specificity based on a nine-species phylogeny. In both genera, lineage-specific genes tend to have a higher level of sequence divergence among sister species. In addition, species-specific genes possess a strong codon usage bias compared to other genes in the genome. We found that a large number of genus- or species-specific genes are putative surface antigens that may be involved in host-parasite interactions. Interestingly, the two parasite lineages exhibit several notable differences. In Plasmodium, the (G + C content at the third codon position increases with lineage specificity while Theileria shows the opposite trend. Surface antigens in Plasmodium are species-specific and mainly located in sub-telomeric regions. In contrast, surface antigens in Theileria are conserved at the genus level and distributed across the entire lengths of chromosomes. Conclusion Our results provide further support for the model that gene duplication followed by rapid divergence is a major mechanism for generating lineage-specific genes. The result that many lineage-specific genes are putative surface antigens supports the hypothesis that lineage-specific genes could be important in parasite adaptation. The contrasting properties between the lineage-specific genes in two major apicomplexan genera indicate that the mechanisms of generating lineage-specific genes

  7. Defining species specific genome differences in malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-23

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

  8. 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 ...

  9. Multiple lineages of Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium) in the Galapagos Islands and evidence for arrival via migratory birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, I I; Zwiers, P; Deem, S L; Geest, E A; Higashiguchi, J M; Iezhova, T A; Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G; Kim, D H; Morton, J P; Perlut, N G; Renfrew, R B; Sari, E H R; Valkiunas, G; Parker, P G

    2013-12-01

    Haemosporidian parasites in the genus Plasmodium were recently detected through molecular screening in the Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus). We summarized results of an archipelago-wide screen of 3726 endemic birds representing 22 species for Plasmodium spp. through a combination of molecular and microscopy techniques. Three additional Plasmodium lineages were present in Galapagos. Lineage A-infected penguins, Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia aureola), and one Medium Ground Finch (Geospiza fortis) and was detected at multiple sites in multiple years [corrected]. The other 3 lineages were each detected at one site and at one time; apparently, they were transient infections of parasites not established on the archipelago. No gametocytes were found in blood smears of infected individuals; thus, endemic Galapagos birds may be dead-end hosts for these Plasmodium lineages. Determining when and how parasites and pathogens arrive in Galapagos is key to developing conservation strategies to prevent and mitigate the effects of introduced diseases. To assess the potential for Plasmodium parasites to arrive via migratory birds, we analyzed blood samples from 438 North American breeding Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), the only songbird that regularly migrates through Galapagos. Two of the ephemeral Plasmodium lineages (B and C) found in Galapagos birds matched parasite sequences from Bobolinks. Although this is not confirmation that Bobolinks are responsible for introducing these lineages, evidence points to higher potential arrival rates of avian pathogens than previously thought. Linajes Múltiples de Parásitos de Malaria Aviar (Plasmodium) en las Islas Galápagos y Evidencia de su Arribo por Medio de Aves Migratorias. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Plasmodium species: master renovators of their host cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Koning-Ward, Tania F; Dixon, Matthew W A; Tilley, Leann; Gilson, Paul R

    2016-08-01

    Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malaria, have developed elaborate strategies that they use to survive and thrive within different intracellular environments. During the blood stage of infection, the parasite is a master renovator of its erythrocyte host cell, and the changes in cell morphology and function that are induced by the parasite promote survival and contribute to the pathogenesis of severe malaria. In this Review, we discuss how Plasmodium parasites use the protein trafficking motif Plasmodium export element (PEXEL), protease-mediated polypeptide processing, a novel translocon termed the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins (PTEX) and exomembranous structures to export hundreds of proteins to discrete subcellular locations in the host erythrocytes, which enables the parasite to gain access to vital nutrients and to evade the immune defence mechanisms of the host.

  11. 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.

  12. Misclassification of Plasmodium infections by conventional microscopy and the impact of remedial training on the proficiency of laboratory technicians in species identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obare, Peter; Ogutu, Bernhards; Adams, Mohammed; Odera, James Sande; Lilley, Ken; Dosoo, David; Adhiambo, Christine; Owusu-Agyei, Seth; Binka, Fred; Wanja, Elizabeth; Johnson, Jacob

    2013-03-27

    Malaria diagnosis is largely dependent on the demonstration of parasites in stained blood films by conventional microscopy. Accurate identification of the infecting Plasmodium species relies on detailed examination of parasite morphological characteristics, such as size, shape, pigment granules, besides the size and shape of the parasitized red blood cells and presence of cell inclusions. This work explores misclassifications of four Plasmodium species by conventional microscopy relative to the proficiency of microscopists and morphological characteristics of the parasites on Giemsa-stained blood films. Ten-day malaria microscopy remedial courses on parasite detection, species identification and parasite counting were conducted for public health and research laboratory personnel. Proficiency in species identification was assessed at the start (pre) and the end (post) of each course using known blood films of Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium vivax infections with densities ranging from 1,000 to 30,000 parasites/μL. Outcomes were categorized as false negative, positive without speciation, P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale, P. vivax and mixed infections. Reported findings are based on 1,878 P. falciparum, 483 P. malariae, 581 P. ovale and 438 P. vivax cumulative results collated from 2008 to 2010 remedial courses. Pre-training false negative and positive misclassifications without speciation were significantly lower on P. falciparum infections compared to non-falciparum infections (p Plasmodium species. Remedial training might improve reliability of conventional light microscopy with respect to differentiation of Plasmodium infections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Marcus Cs; Fidock, David A

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Marcus CS; David A Fidock

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Plasmodium in the postgenomic era: new insights into the molecular cell biology of malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Celia R S; de Azevedo, Mauro F; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Budu, Alexandre; Young, Jason A; Bannister, Lawrence

    2008-01-01

    In this review, we bring together some of the approaches toward understanding the cellular and molecular biology of Plasmodium species and their interaction with their host red blood cells. Considerable impetus has come from the development of new methods of molecular genetics and bioinformatics, and it is important to evaluate the wealth of these novel data in the context of basic cell biology. We describe how these approaches are gaining valuable insights into the parasite-host cell interaction, including (1) the multistep process of red blood cell invasion by the merozoite; (2) the mechanisms by which the intracellular parasite feeds on the red blood cell and exports parasite proteins to modify its cytoadherent properties; (3) the modulation of the cell cycle by sensing the environmental tryptophan-related molecules; (4) the mechanism used to survive in a low Ca(2+) concentration inside red blood cells; (5) the activation of signal transduction machinery and the regulation of intracellular calcium; (6) transfection technology; and (7) transcriptional regulation and genome-wide mRNA studies in Plasmodium falciparum.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garnham, P C; Telford, S R

    1984-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Targeting glycolysis in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Rediscovery and redescription of Plasmodium pifanoi and description of two additional Plasmodium parasites of Venezuelan lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telford, Sam R; Telford, Sam R

    2003-04-01

    Plasmodium pifanoi Scorza and Dagert B., known only from the type host, Ameiva ameiva, is redescribed from Kentropyx calcarata collected in Territorio Amazonas, Venezuela. Schizonts, 6.2 x 4.5 (4-8 x 3-6), produce on average 11.9 (7-16) merozoites. Gametocytes average 12.4 x 6.0 (8-16 x 4-10), with length x width (LW) 72.9 (52-112) and L/W 2.18 (1.1-3.3), and always contain 1-5 prominent vacuoles. Macrogametocytes in active infection are longer than microgametocytes, with greater LW, but gametocytes in chronic infection are not sexually dimorphic in dimension and are slightly smaller. Two additional malarial parasites are described from K. calcarata. Plasmodium lepidoptiformis has small schizonts, 4.6 x 3.2 (3-6 x 2.5-3), that produce 5.1 (4-8) merozoites and commonly resemble a butterfly in appearance. Gametocytes are elongate, 9.0 x 4.3 (7-10 x 3-6), with LW 38.3 (24-51) and L/W 2.2 (1.3-3.3), and sexually dimorphic, with macrogametocytes longer than microgametocytes, with greater LW. Plasmodium minasense calcaratae is characterized by very small, usually fan-shaped, schizonts. 3.4 x 2.6 (2.5-4.5 x 2.0-3.0), that produce 3.9 (3-4) merozoites. Gametocytes are spherical or ovoid, 6.7 x 5.0 (4.5-9.0 x 3.0-7.0), with LW 33.7 (15-54) and L/W 1.4 (1.0-2.3), with no sexual dimorphism in dimensions.

  5. Changing trends in prevalence of different Plasmodium species with dominance of Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection in Aligarh (India).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Haris M; Shujatullah, Fatima; Ashfaq, Mohammad; Raza, Adil

    2011-01-01

    To determine the prevalence of malaria in Aligarh and analyze species dominance in different years over a decade. Diagnosis of malaria was done using microscopy as gold standard, rapid antigen detection assays and quantitative buffy coat (QBC) assays. Giemsa stained blood smear examination was done, thick and thin films were examined for presence of different Plasmodium spp. Rapid antigen detection assays employing detection of HRP-2 and parasite lactate dehydrogenase antigen (pLDH) by immunochromatography was done in patients whose blood smear found to be negative by conventional Giemsa slide examination. QBC was done in cases where there is strong clinical suspicion of malaria with blood smear negative, in patients with chronic malaria, splenomegaly, or in those patients who had inadequate treatment and for post-treatment follow up. Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum were only species detected in our hospital. Overall prevalence of malaria in Aligarh was found to be 8.8%. The maximum prevalence of 20.1% was observed in year 2008 and lowest 2.3% in 2002. High prevalence of malaria is observed in this part of country with dominance of both species particularly Plasmodium falciparum should be monitored and factors accounting for occurrence should be studied to employ effective control measures. Copyright © 2011 Hainan Medical College. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Changing trends in prevalence of different Plasmodium species with dominance of Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection in Aligarh (India)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Haris M Khan; Fatima Shujatullah; Mohammad Ashfaq; Adil Raza

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To determine the prevalence of malaria in Aligarh and analyze species dominance in different years over a decade. Methods: Diagnosis of malaria was done using microscopy as gold standard, rapid antigen detection assays and quantitative buffy coat (QBC) assays. Giemsa stained blood smear examination was done, thick and thin films were examined for presence of different Plasmodium spp. Rapid antigen detection assays employing detection of HRP-2 and parasite lactate dehydrogenase antigen (pLDH) by immunochromatography was done in patients whose blood smear found to be negative by conventional Giemsa slide examination. QBC was done in cases where there is strong clinical suspicion of malaria with blood smear negative, in patients with chronic malaria, splenomegaly, or in those patients who had inadequate treatment and for post-treatment follow up. Results: Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum were only species detected in our hospital. Overall prevalence of malaria in Aligarh was found to be 8.8%. The maximum prevalence of 20.1% was observed in year 2008 and lowest 2.3% in 2002.Conclusions:High prevalence of malaria is observed in this part of country with dominance of both species particularly Plasmodium falciparum should be monitored and factors accounting for occurrence should be studied to employ effective control measures.

  7. Conserved mosquito/parasite interactions affect development of Plasmodium falciparum in Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio M Mendes

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available In much of sub-Saharan Africa, the mosquito Anopheles gambiae is the main vector of the major human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Convenient laboratory studies have identified mosquito genes that affect positively or negatively the developmental cycle of the model rodent parasite, P. berghei. Here, we use transcription profiling and reverse genetics to explore whether five disparate mosquito gene regulators of P. berghei development are also pertinent to A. gambiae/P. falciparum interactions in semi-natural conditions, using field isolates of this parasite and geographically related mosquitoes. We detected broadly similar albeit not identical transcriptional responses of these genes to the two parasite species. Gene silencing established that two genes affect similarly both parasites: infections are hindered by the intracellular local activator of actin cytoskeleton dynamics, WASP, but promoted by the hemolymph lipid transporter, ApoII/I. Since P. berghei is not a natural parasite of A. gambiae, these data suggest that the effects of these genes have not been drastically altered by constant interaction and co-evolution of A. gambiae and P. falciparum; this conclusion allowed us to investigate further the mode of action of these two genes in the laboratory model system using a suite of genetic tools and infection assays. We showed that both genes act at the level of midgut invasion during the parasite's developmental transition from ookinete to oocyst. ApoII/I also affects the early stages of oocyst development. These are the first mosquito genes whose significant effects on P. falciparum field isolates have been established by direct experimentation. Importantly, they validate for semi-field human malaria transmission the concept of parasite antagonists and agonists.

  8. Vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Sylke; Kappes, Barbara

    2007-03-01

    Vitamins are essential components of the human diet. By contrast, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan parasites synthesize certain vitamins de novo, either completely or in parts. The various biosynthesis pathways are specific to different apicomplexan parasites and emphasize the distinct requirements of these parasites for nutrients and growth factors. The absence of vitamin biosynthesis in humans implies that inhibition of the parasite pathways might be a way to interfere specifically with parasite development. However, the roles of biosynthesis and uptake of vitamins in the regulation of vitamin homeostasis in parasites needs to be established first. In this article, the procurement of vitamins B(1), B(5) and B(6) by Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites is discussed.

  9. Hexaplex PCR detection system for identification of five human Plasmodium species with an internal control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chew, Ching Hoong; Lim, Yvonne Ai Lian; Lee, Ping Chin; Mahmud, Rohela; Chua, Kek Heng

    2012-12-01

    Malaria remains one of the major killers of humankind and persists to threaten the lives of more than one-third of the world's population. Given that human malaria can now be caused by five species of Plasmodium, i.e., Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, and the recently included Plasmodium knowlesi, there is a critical need not only to augment global health efforts in malaria control but also, more importantly, to develop a rapid, accurate, species-sensitive/species-specific, and economically effective diagnostic method for malaria caused by these five species. Therefore, in the present study, a straightforward single-step hexaplex PCR system targeting five human Plasmodium 18S small-subunit rRNAs (ssu rRNAs) was designed, and the system successfully detected all five human malaria parasites. In addition, this system enables the differentiation of single infection as well as mixed infections up to the two-species level. This assay was validated with 50 randomly blinded test and 184 clinical samples suspected to indicate malaria. This hexaplex PCR system is not only an ideal alternative for routine malaria diagnosis in laboratories with conventional PCR machines but also adds value to diagnoses when there is a lack of an experienced microscopist or/and when the parasite morphology is confusing. Indeed, this system will definitely enhance the accuracy and accelerate the speed in the diagnosis of malaria, as well as improve the efficacy of malaria treatment and control, in addition to providing reliable data from epidemiological surveillance studies.

  10. Molecular investigation of sub-microscopic and mixed Plasmodium species infection in North-Central Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Segun Isaac Oyedeji

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To assess the level of sub-microscopic and mixed Plasmodium species infection in children in North-Central Nigeria. Methods: Blood sample was obtained from 960 apparently healthy children aged 2–18 years. Plasmodial parasites were identified by Giemsa-stained light microscopy and by DNA amplification of the 18S rRNA gene. Results: A total of 126 out of 960 samples (13.1% were positive for plasmodial parasites by microscopy while 284 of the 960 samples (29.6% were positive by the nested PCR assay. The prevalence of sub-microscopic infection was 16.5% (158/960. The proportion of microscopic asymptomatic infections was found to be significantly higher in younger children than in older children (χ2 = 16.86; df= 2; P = 0.014, while sub-microscopic infections were more frequent in older children than in younger ones. Mono-infections of Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, and Plasmodium ovale were 96.1%, 1.1%, and 0.7%, respectively while 2.1% of the samples had mixed infections. Conclusions: Our results showed that sub-microscopic infections were more prevalent in the study region and this has consequences for sustaining malaria transmission in the area. The inability of microscopy to correctly identify non-falciparum species and mixed Plasmodium species infection in this study clearly shows the importance of molecular screening tools for active field surveillance.

  11. Three different Plasmodium species show similar patterns of clinical tolerance of malaria infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zimmerman Peter

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In areas where malaria endemicity is high, many people harbour blood stage parasites without acute febrile illness, complicating the estimation of disease burden from infection data. For Plasmodium falciparum the density of parasitaemia that can be tolerated is low in the youngest children, but reaches a maximum in the age groups at highest risk of infection. There is little data on the age dependence of tolerance in other species of human malaria. Methods Parasite densities measured in 24,386 presumptive malaria cases at two local health centres in the Wosera area of Papua New Guinea were compared with the distributions of parasite densities recorded in community surveys in the same area. We then analyse the proportions of cases attributable to each of Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, and P. malariae as functions of parasite density and age using a latent class model. These attributable fractions are then used to compute the incidence of attributable disease. Results Overall 33.3%, 6.1%, and 0.1% of the presumptive cases were attributable to P. falciparum, P. vivax, and P. malariae respectively. The incidence of attributable disease and parasite density broadly follow similar age patterns. The logarithm of the incidence of acute illness is approximately proportion to the logarithm of the parasite density for all three malaria species, with little age variation in the relationship for P. vivax or P. malariae. P. falciparum shows more age variation in disease incidence at given levels of parasitaemia than the other species. Conclusion The similarities between Plasmodium species in the relationships between parasite density and risk of attributable disease are compatible with the hypothesis that pan-specific mechanisms may regulate tolerance to different human Plasmodia. A straightforward mathematical expression might be used to project disease burden from parasite density distributions assessed in community

  12. Vitamin and co-factor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Sylke; Kappes, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    Vitamins are essential components of the human diet. By contrast, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan parasites synthesise certain vitamins, de novo, either completely or in parts. The occurrence of the various biosynthesis pathways is specific to different apicomplexan parasites, emphasising their distinct requirements for nutrients and growth factors. The absence of vitamin biosynthesis from the human host implies that inhibition of the parasite pathways may be a way to interfere specifically with parasite development. However, the precise role of biosynthesis and potential uptake of vitamins for the overall regulation of vitamin homeostasis in the parasites needs to be established first. In this review Sylke Müller and Barbara Kappes focus mainly on the procurement of vitamin B1, B5 and B6 by Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites. PMID:17276140

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Sabbatani

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

  14. Clues to evolution of the SERA multigene family in 18 Plasmodium species.

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    Nobuko Arisue

    Full Text Available SERA gene sequences were newly determined from 11 primate Plasmodium species including two human parasites, P. ovale and P. malariae, and the evolutionary history of SERA genes was analyzed together with 7 known species. All have one each of Group I to III cysteine-type SERA genes and varying number of Group IV serine-type SERA genes in tandem cluster. Notably, Group IV SERA genes were ascertained in all mammalian parasite lineages; and in two primate parasite lineages gene events such as duplication, truncation, fragmentation and gene loss occurred at high frequency in a manner that mimics the birth-and-death evolution model. Transcription profile of individual SERA genes varied greatly among rodent and monkey parasites. Results support the lineage-specific evolution of the Plasmodium SERA gene family. These findings provide further impetus for studies that could clarify/provide proof-of-concept that duplications of SERA genes were associated with the parasites' expansion of host range and the evolutionary conundrums of multigene families in Plasmodium.

  15. Caspar controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in diverse anopheline species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsey S Garver

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Immune responses mounted by the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae are largely regulated by the Toll and Imd (immune deficiency pathways via the NF-kappaB transcription factors Rel1 and Rel2, which are controlled by the negative regulators Cactus and Caspar, respectively. Rel1- and Rel2-dependent transcription in A. gambiae has been shown to be particularly critical to the mosquito's ability to manage infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Using RNA interference to deplete the negative regulators of these pathways, we found that Rel2 controls resistance of A. gambiae to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, whereas Rel 1 activation reduced infection levels. The universal relevance of this defense system across Anopheles species was established by showing that caspar silencing also prevents the development of P. falciparum in the major malaria vectors of Asia and South America, A. stephensi and A. albimanus, respectively. Parallel studies suggest that while Imd pathway activation is most effective against P. falciparum, the Toll pathway is most efficient against P. berghei, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the human pathogen and its rodent model. High throughput gene expression analyses identified a plethora of genes regulated by the activation of the two Rel factors and revealed that the Toll pathway played a more diverse role in mosquito biology than the Imd pathway, which was more immunity-specific. Further analyses of key anti-Plasmodium factors suggest they may be responsible for the Imd pathway-mediated resistance phenotype. Additionally, we found that the fitness cost caused by Rel2 activation through caspar gene silencing was undetectable in sugar-fed, blood-fed, and P. falciparum-infected female A. gambiae, while activation of the Toll pathway's Rel1 had a major impact. This study describes for the first time a single gene that influences an immune mechanism that is able to abort

  16. Caspar controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in diverse anopheline species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garver, Lindsey S; Dong, Yuemei; Dimopoulos, George

    2009-03-01

    Immune responses mounted by the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae are largely regulated by the Toll and Imd (immune deficiency) pathways via the NF-kappaB transcription factors Rel1 and Rel2, which are controlled by the negative regulators Cactus and Caspar, respectively. Rel1- and Rel2-dependent transcription in A. gambiae has been shown to be particularly critical to the mosquito's ability to manage infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Using RNA interference to deplete the negative regulators of these pathways, we found that Rel2 controls resistance of A. gambiae to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, whereas Rel 1 activation reduced infection levels. The universal relevance of this defense system across Anopheles species was established by showing that caspar silencing also prevents the development of P. falciparum in the major malaria vectors of Asia and South America, A. stephensi and A. albimanus, respectively. Parallel studies suggest that while Imd pathway activation is most effective against P. falciparum, the Toll pathway is most efficient against P. berghei, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the human pathogen and its rodent model. High throughput gene expression analyses identified a plethora of genes regulated by the activation of the two Rel factors and revealed that the Toll pathway played a more diverse role in mosquito biology than the Imd pathway, which was more immunity-specific. Further analyses of key anti-Plasmodium factors suggest they may be responsible for the Imd pathway-mediated resistance phenotype. Additionally, we found that the fitness cost caused by Rel2 activation through caspar gene silencing was undetectable in sugar-fed, blood-fed, and P. falciparum-infected female A. gambiae, while activation of the Toll pathway's Rel1 had a major impact. This study describes for the first time a single gene that influences an immune mechanism that is able to abort development of P. falciparum

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    detectable at the single-molecule level. Combined with a droplet microfluidics lab-on-a-chip platform, this design allowed for sensitive, specific, and quantitative detection of all human-malaria-causing Plasmodium species in single drops of unprocessed blood with a detection limit of less than one parasite...... detection of even a few parasites is becoming increasingly important for the continued combat against the disease. We believe that the presented droplet microfluidics platform, which has a high potential for adaptation to point-of-care setups suitable for low-resource settings, may contribute significantly...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Helm

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Plasmodium falciparum Choline Kinase Inhibition Leads to a Major Decrease in Phosphatidylethanolamine Causing Parasite Death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrán-Aguilera, Lucía; Denton, Helen; Rubio-Ruiz, Belén; López-Gutiérrez, Borja; Entrena, Antonio; Izquierdo, Luis; Smith, Terry K.; Conejo-García, Ana; Hurtado-Guerrero, Ramon

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by different species of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium, with P. falciparum being the deadliest. Increasing parasitic resistance to existing antimalarials makes the necessity of novel avenues to treat this disease an urgent priority. The enzymes responsible for the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine are attractive drug targets to treat malaria as their selective inhibition leads to an arrest of the parasite’s growth and cures malaria in a mouse model. We present here a detailed study that reveals a mode of action for two P. falciparum choline kinase inhibitors both in vitro and in vivo. The compounds present distinct binding modes to the choline/ethanolamine-binding site of P. falciparum choline kinase, reflecting different types of inhibition. Strikingly, these compounds primarily inhibit the ethanolamine kinase activity of the P. falciparum choline kinase, leading to a severe decrease in the phosphatidylethanolamine levels within P. falciparum, which explains the resulting growth phenotype and the parasites death. These studies provide an understanding of the mode of action, and act as a springboard for continued antimalarial development efforts selectively targeting P. falciparum choline kinase. PMID:27616047

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rossa Avrina

    2012-07-01

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

  5. 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...... 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...

  6. 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...

  7. The origin and diversification of the merozoite surface protein 3 (msp3) multi-gene family in Plasmodium vivax and related parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Benjamin L; Acosta, Mónica M; Pacheco, M Andreína; Carlton, Jane M; Barnwell, John W; Escalante, Ananias A

    2014-09-01

    The genus Plasmodium is a diversified group of parasites with more than 200 known species that includes those causing malaria in humans. These parasites use numerous proteins in a complex process that allows them to invade the red blood cells of their vertebrate hosts. Many of those proteins are part of multi-gene families; one of which is the merozoite surface protein-3 (msp3) family. The msp3 multi-gene family is considered important in the two main human parasites, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum, as its paralogs are simultaneously expressed in the blood stage (merozoite) and are immunogenic. There are large differences among Plasmodium species in the number of paralogs in this family. Such differences have been previously explained, in part, as adaptations that allow the different Plasmodium species to invade their hosts. To investigate this, we characterized the array containing msp3 genes among several Plasmodium species, including P. falciparum and P. vivax. We first found no evidence indicating that the msp3 family of P. falciparum was homologous to that of P. vivax. Subsequently, by focusing on the diverse clade of nonhuman primate parasites to which P. vivax is closely related, where homology was evident, we found no evidence indicating that the interspecies variation in the number of paralogs was an adaptation related to changes in host range or host switches. Overall, we hypothesize that the evolution of the msp3 family in P. vivax is consistent with a model of multi-allelic diversifying selection where the paralogs may have functionally redundant roles in terms of increasing antigenic diversity. Thus, we suggest that the expressed MSP3 proteins could serve as "decoys", via antigenic diversity, during the critical process of invading the host red blood cells. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Features of autophagic cell death in Plasmodium liver-stage parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eickel, Nina; Kaiser, Gesine; Prado, Monica; Burda, Paul-Christian; Roelli, Matthias; Stanway, Rebecca R; Heussler, Volker T

    2013-04-01

    Analyzing molecular determinants of Plasmodium parasite cell death is a promising approach for exploring new avenues in the fight against malaria. Three major forms of cell death (apoptosis, necrosis and autophagic cell death) have been described in multicellular organisms but which cell death processes exist in protozoa is still a matter of debate. Here we suggest that all three types of cell death occur in Plasmodium liver-stage parasites. Whereas typical molecular markers for apoptosis and necrosis have not been found in the genome of Plasmodium parasites, we identified genes coding for putative autophagy-marker proteins and thus concentrated on autophagic cell death. We characterized the Plasmodium berghei homolog of the prominent autophagy marker protein Atg8/LC3 and found that it localized to the apicoplast. A relocalization of PbAtg8 to autophagosome-like vesicles or vacuoles that appear in dying parasites was not, however, observed. This strongly suggests that the function of this protein in liver-stage parasites is restricted to apicoplast biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein promotes the development of the liver stages of the parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Agam Prasad; Buscaglia, Carlos A; Wang, Qian; Levay, Agata; Nussenzweig, Daniel R; Walker, John R; Winzeler, Elizabeth A; Fujii, Hodaka; Fontoura, Beatriz M A; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2007-11-01

    The liver stages of malaria are clinically silent but have a central role in the Plasmodium life cycle. Liver stages of the parasite containing thousands of merozoites grow inside hepatocytes for several days without triggering an inflammatory response. We show here that Plasmodium uses a PEXEL/VTS motif to introduce the circumsporozoite (CS) protein into the hepatocyte cytoplasm and a nuclear localization signal (NLS) to enter its nucleus. CS outcompetes NFkappaB nuclear import, thus downregulating the expression of many genes controlled by NFkappaB, including those involved in inflammation. CS also influences the expression of over one thousand host genes involved in diverse metabolic processes to create a favorable niche for the parasite growth. The presence of CS in the hepatocyte enhances parasite growth of the liver stages in vitro and in vivo. These findings have far reaching implications for drug and vaccine development against the liver stages of the malaria parasite.

  11. Detection and identification of human Plasmodium species with real-time quantitative nucleic acid sequence-based amplification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.F. Mens; G.J. Schoone; P.A. Kager; H.D.F.H. Schallig

    2006-01-01

    Background: Decisions concerning malaria treatment depend on species identification causing disease. Microscopy is most frequently used, but at low parasitaemia (< 20 parasites/mu l) the technique becomes less sensitive and time consuming. Rapid diagnostic tests based on Plasmodium antigen detection

  12. Genetically Determined Response to Artemisinin Treatment in Western Kenyan Plasmodium falciparum Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chebon, Lorna J.; Ngalah, Bidii S.; Ingasia, Luicer A.; Juma, Dennis W.; Muiruri, Peninah; Cheruiyot, Jelagat; Opot, Benjamin; Mbuba, Emmanuel; Imbuga, Mabel; Akala, Hoseah M.; Bulimo, Wallace; Andagalu, Ben; Kamau, Edwin

    2016-01-01

    Genetically determined artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has been described in Southeast Asia. The relevance of recently described Kelch 13-propeller mutations for artemisinin resistance in Sub-Saharan Africa parasites is still unknown. Southeast Asia parasites have low genetic diversity compared to Sub-Saharan Africa, where parasites are highly genetically diverse. This study attempted to elucidate whether genetics provides a basis for discovering molecular markers in response to artemisinin drug treatment in P. falciparum in Kenya. The genetic diversity of parasites collected pre- and post- introduction of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) in western Kenya was determined. A panel of 12 microsatellites and 91 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed across the P. falciparum genome were genotyped. Parasite clearance rates were obtained for the post-ACT parasites. The 12 microsatellites were highly polymorphic with post-ACT parasites being significantly more diverse compared to pre-ACT (p resistance in Kenya. PMID:27611315

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Caspar controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in diverse anopheline species.

    OpenAIRE

    Garver, Lindsey S.; Yuemei Dong; George Dimopoulos

    2009-01-01

    Immune responses mounted by the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae are largely regulated by the Toll and Imd (immune deficiency) pathways via the NF-kappaB transcription factors Rel1 and Rel2, which are controlled by the negative regulators Cactus and Caspar, respectively. Rel1- and Rel2-dependent transcription in A. gambiae has been shown to be particularly critical to the mosquito's ability to manage infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Using RNA interference to depl...

  15. Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man: detection of parasite antigens by ELISA*

    OpenAIRE

    Mackey, L. J.; McGregor, I. A.; Paounova, N.; Lambert, P. H.

    1982-01-01

    An ELISA method has been developed for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man. Parasites from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum were used as source of antigen for the solid phase and the source of specific antibody was immune Gambian sera; binding of antibody in antigen-coated wells was registered by means of alkaline phosphatase-conjugated anti-human IgG. Parasites were detected on the basis of inhibition of antibody-binding. The test was applied to the detection of parasit...

  16. A Next-generation Genetically Attenuated Plasmodium falciparum Parasite Created by Triple Gene Deletion

    OpenAIRE

    Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.; Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Fishbaugher, Matthew; Camargo, Nelly; Harupa, Anke; Kaushansky, Alexis; Douglass, Alyse N.; Baldwin, Michael; Healer, Julie; O'Neill, Matthew; Phuong, Thuan; Cowman, Alan; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2014-01-01

    Immunization with live-attenuated Plasmodium sporozoites completely protects against malaria infection. Genetic engineering offers a versatile platform to create live-attenuated sporozoite vaccine candidates. We previously generated a genetically attenuated parasite (GAP) by deleting the P52 and P36 genes in the NF54 wild-type (WT) strain of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf p52−/p36− GAP). Preclinical assessment of p52−/p36− GAP in a humanized mouse model indicated an early and severe liver stage gr...

  17. Description, molecular characterization, and patterns of distribution of a widespread New World avian malaria parasite (Haemosporida: Plasmodiidae), Plasmodium (Novyella) homopolare sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walther, Erika L; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; González, Angie D; Matta, Nubia E; Ricklefs, Robert E; Cornel, Anthony; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2014-09-01

    Plasmodium (Novyella) homopolare, a newly described Plasmodium species, was found in a wide range of Passeriformes species in California, USA, and Colombia. This parasite infected more than 20% of the sampled bird community (N = 399) in California and was found in 3.6% of birds sampled (N = 493) in Colombia. Thus far, it has been confirmed in North and South America where it is present in numerous species of migratory and resident birds from six families. Based on 100% matches, or near-100% matches (i.e., ≤2-nucleotide difference), to DNA sequences previously deposited in GenBank, this parasite is likely also distributed in the Eastern USA, Central America, and the Caribbean. Here, we describe the blood stages of P. homopolare and its mtDNA cytochrome b sequence. P. homopolare belongs to the subgenus Novyella and can be readily distinguished from the majority of other Novyella species, primarily, by the strictly polar or subpolar position of meronts and advanced trophozoites in infected erythrocytes. We explore possible reasons why this widespread parasite has not been described in earlier studies. Natural malarial parasitemias are usually light and co-infections predominate, making the parasites difficult to detect and identify to species when relying exclusively on microscopic examination of blood films. The combined application of sequence data and digital microscopy techniques, such as those used in this study, provides identifying markers that will facilitate the diagnosis of this parasite in natural avian populations. We also address the evolutionary relationship of this parasite to other species of Plasmodium using phylogenetic reconstruction.

  18. 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

    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 i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Andrew H.; Symington, Lorraine S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  1. Detection and identification of human Plasmodium species with real-time quantitative nucleic acid sequence-based amplification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kager Piet A

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Decisions concerning malaria treatment depend on species identification causing disease. Microscopy is most frequently used, but at low parasitaemia (Plasmodium antigen detection do often not allow for species discrimination as microscopy does, but also become insensitive at Methods This paper reports the development of a sensitive and specific real-time Quantitative Nucleic Acid Sequence Based Amplification (real-time QT-NASBA assays, based on the small-subunit 18S rRNA gene, to identify the four human Plasmodium species. Results The lower detection limit of the assay is 100 – 1000 molecules in vitro RNA for all species, which corresponds to 0.01 – 0.1 parasite per diagnostic sample (i.e. 50 μl of processed blood. The real-time QT-NASBA was further evaluated using 79 clinical samples from malaria patients: i.e. 11 Plasmodium. falciparum, 37 Plasmodium vivax, seven Plasmodium malariae, four Plasmodium ovale and 20 mixed infections. The initial diagnosis of 69 out of the 79 samples was confirmed with the developed real-time QT-NASBA. Re-analysis of seven available original slides resolved five mismatches. Three of those were initially identified as P. malariae mono-infection, but after re-reading the slides P. falciparum was found, confirming the real-time QT-NASBA result. The other two slides were of poor quality not allowing true species identification. The remaining five discordant results could not be explained by microscopy, but may be due to extreme low numbers of parasites present in the samples. In addition, 12 Plasmodium berghei isolates from mice and 20 blood samples from healthy donors did not show any reaction in the assay. Conclusion Real-time QT-NASBA is a very sensitive and specific technique with a detection limit of 0.1 Plasmodium parasite per diagnostic sample (50 μl of blood and can be used for the detection, identification and quantitative measurement of low parasitaemia of Plasmodium species, thus

  2. 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.

  3. Plasmodium yoelii vitamin B5 pantothenate transporter candidate is essential for parasite transmission to the mosquito.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Robert J; Lawres, Lauren; Fritzen, Emma; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Aly, Ahmed S I

    2014-07-11

    In nearly all non-photosynthetic cells, pantothenate (vitamin B5) transport and utilization are prerequisites for the synthesis of the universal essential cofactor Coenzyme A (CoA). Early studies showed that human malaria parasites rely on the uptake of pantothenate across the parasite plasma membrane for survival within erythrocytes. Recently, a P. falciparum candidate pantothenate transporter (PAT) was characterized by functional complementation in yeast. These studies revealed that PfPAT mediated survival of yeast cells in low pantothenate concentrations and restored sensitivity of yeast cells lacking pantothenate uptake to fenpropimorph. In addition, PfPAT was refractory to deletion in P. falciparum in vitro, but nothing is known about the in vivo functions of PAT in Plasmodium life cycle stages. Herein, we used gene-targeting techniques to delete PAT in Plasmodium yoelii. Parasites lacking PAT displayed normal asexual and sexual blood stage development compared to wild-type (WT) and WT-like p230p(-) parasites. However, progression from the ookinete to the oocyst stage and sporozoite formation were completely abolished in pat(-) parasites. These studies provide the first evidence for an essential role of a candidate pantothenate transport in malaria transmission to Anopheles mosquitoes. This will set the stage for the development of PAT inhibitors against multiple parasite life cycle stages.

  4. H2O2 dynamics in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahbari, Mahsa; Bogeski, Ivan

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. The calcium signaling toolkit of the Apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N J

    2015-03-01

    Apicomplexan parasites have complex life cycles, frequently split between different hosts and reliant on rapid responses as the parasites react to changing environmental conditions. Calcium ion (Ca(2+)) signaling is consequently essential for the cellular and developmental changes that support Apicomplexan parasitism. Apicomplexan genomes reveal a rich repertoire of genes involved in calcium signaling, although many of the genes responsible for observed physiological changes remain unknown. There is evidence, for example, for the presence of a nifedipine-sensitive calcium entry mechanism in Toxoplasma, but the molecular components involved in Ca(2+) entry in both Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, have not been identified. The major calcium stores are the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the acidocalcisomes, and the plant-like vacuole in Toxoplasma, or the food vacuole in Plasmodium spp. Pharmacological evidence suggests that Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores may be mediated by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) or cyclic ADP ribose (cADPR) although there is no molecular evidence for the presence of receptors for these second messengers in the parasites. Several Ca(2+)-ATPases are present in Apicomplexans and a putative mitochondrial Ca(2+)/H(+) exchanger has been identified. Apicomplexan genomes contain numerous genes encoding Ca(2+)-binding proteins, with the notable expansion of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), whose study has revealed roles in gliding motility, microneme secretion, host cell invasion and egress, and parasite differentiation. Microneme secretion has also been shown to depend on the C2 domain containing protein DOC2 in both Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma, providing further evidence for the complex transduction of Ca(2+) signals in these organisms. The characterization of these pathways could lead to the discovery of novel drug targets and to a better understanding of the role of Ca(2+) in these parasites. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Apoptosis of erythrocytic stage parasites of Plasmodium berghei chloroquine-resistant strain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Ke-qiang; SONG Guan-hong

    2002-01-01

    Objective: To explore the characteristics of crisis state at erythrocytic stage of Plasmodium berghei chloroquine-resistant (RC) strain. Methods: Agarose electrophoresis, optical and transmission electron microscopes were used. Patterns of genomic DNA structures and ultra-structures of the erythrocytic parasites were observed in ICA mice (infected with the RC strain) during rising and declining of parasitemia. Results: During the declining parasitemia, the erythrocytic stage parasites of the RC strain showed round or oval appearance with intact plasma membrane and shrank nuclei with no metabolic window, mitochondria or other membranaceous structures. Their DNA electrophoretogram revealed a ladder pattern which evidently differed from the parasites of the RC strain in the rising parasitemia and the chloroquine-sensitive (N) strain.Conclusion: The crisis state of the erythrocytic stage parasites of the P. berghei chloroquine-resistant (RC)strain is characterized by apoptosis.

  11. Molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium species prevalent in Yemen based on 18 s rRNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Azazy Ahmed

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria is an endemic disease in Yemen and is responsible for 4.9 deaths per 100,000 population per year and 43,000 disability adjusted life years lost. Although malaria in Yemen is caused mainly by Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, there are no sequence data available on the two species. This study was conducted to investigate the distribution of the Plasmodium species based on the molecular detection and to study the molecular phylogeny of these parasites. Methods Blood samples from 511 febrile patients were collected and a partial region of the 18 s ribosomal RNA (18 s rRNA gene was amplified using nested PCR. From the 86 positive blood samples, 13 Plasmodium falciparum and 4 Plasmodium vivax were selected and underwent cloning and, subsequently, sequencing and the sequences were subjected to phylogenetic analysis using the neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony methods. Results Malaria was detected by PCR in 86 samples (16.8%. The majority of the single infections were caused by P. falciparum (80.3%, followed by P. vivax (5.8%. Mixed infection rates of P. falciparum + P. vivax and P. falciparum + P. malariae were 11.6% and 2.3%, respectively. All P. falciparum isolates were grouped with the strain 3D7, while P. vivax isolates were grouped with the strain Salvador1. Phylogenetic trees based on 18 s rRNA placed the P. falciparum isolates into three sub-clusters and P. vivax into one cluster. Sequence alignment analysis showed 5-14.8% SNP in the partial sequences of the 18 s rRNA of P. falciparum. Conclusions Although P. falciparum is predominant, P. vivax, P. malariae and mixed infections are more prevalent than has been revealed by microscopy. This overlooked distribution should be considered by malaria control strategy makers. The genetic polymorphisms warrant further investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Expression of PD-1/LAG-3 and cytokine production by CD4(+) T cells during infection with Plasmodium parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doe, Henrietta T; Kimura, Daisuke; Miyakoda, Mana; Kimura, Kazumi; Akbari, Masoud; Yui, Katsuyuki

    2016-02-01

    CD4(+) T cells play critical roles in protection against the blood stage of malarial infection; however, their uncontrolled activation can be harmful to the host. In this study, in which rodent models of Plasmodium parasites were used, the expression of inhibitory receptors on activated CD4(+) T cells and their cytokine production was compared with their expression in a bacterial and another protozoan infection. CD4(+) T cells from mice infected with P. yoelii 17XL, P yoelii 17XNL, P. chabaudi, P. vinckei and P. berghei expressed the inhibitory receptors, PD-1 and LAG-3, as early as 6 days after infection, whereas those from either Listeria monocytogenes- or Leishmania major-infected mice did not. In response to T-cell receptor stimulation, CD4(+) T cells from mice infected with all the pathogens under study produced high concentrations of IFN-γ. IL-2 production was reduced in mice infected with Plasmodium species, but not in those infected with Listeria or Leishmania. In vitro blockade of the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands resulted in increased IFN-γ production in response to Plasmodium antigens, implying that PD-1 expressed on activated CD4(+) T cells actively inhibits T cell immune responses. Studies using Myd88(-/-), Trif(-/-) and Irf3(-/-) mice showed that induction of these CD4(+) T cells and their ability to produce cytokines is largely independent of TLR signaling. These studies suggest that expression of the inhibitory receptors PD-1 and LAG-3 on CD4(+) T cells and their reduced IL-2 production are common characteristic features of Plasmodium infection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulitschke, M; Nash, G B

    1993-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-04

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast indirect aminoacylation pathway utilizes a non-discriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase to synthesize Glu-tRNA(Gln) and a glutaminyl-tRNA amidotransferase to convert Glu-tRNA(Gln) to Gln-tRNA(Gln). Here, we show that Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans possess a unique heterodimeric glutamyl-tRNA 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-tRNA(Gln) to Gln-tRNA(Gln) 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.

  18. Plasmodium Apicoplast Gln-tRNAGln Biosynthesis Utilizes a Unique GatAB Amidotransferase Essential for Erythrocytic Stage Parasites*

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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 glutamyl-tRNA 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. PMID:26318454

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Christopher D.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liting Lim

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

  2. The mechanism of erythrocyte invasion by the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrow, Rachel E; Green, Judith; Katsimitsoulia, Zoe; Taylor, William R; Holder, Anthony A; Molloy, Justin E

    2011-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent causative agent of malaria in man accounting for 80% of all malarial infections and 90% of the one million annual deaths attributed to malaria. P. falciparum is a unicellular, Apicomplexan parasite, that spends part of its lifecycle in the mosquito and part in man and it has evolved a special form of motility that enables it to burrow into animal cells, a process termed "host cell invasion". The acute, life threatening, phase of malarial infection arises when the merozoite form of the parasite undergoes multiple cycles of red blood cell invasion and rapid proliferation. Here, we discuss the molecular machinery that enables malarial parasites to invade red blood cells and we focus particularly on the ATP-driven acto-myosin motor that powers invasion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-06

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

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

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

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

  5. Roles of the amino terminal region and repeat region of the Plasmodium berghei circumsporozoite protein in parasite infectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cassandra Aldrich

    Full Text Available The circumsporozoite protein (CSP plays a key role in malaria sporozoite infection of both mosquito salivary glands and the vertebrate host. The conserved Regions I and II have been well studied but little is known about the immunogenic central repeat region and the N-terminal region of the protein. Rodent malaria Plasmodium berghei parasites, in which the endogenous CS gene has been replaced with the avian Plasmodium gallinaceum CS (PgCS sequence, develop normally in the A. stephensi mosquito midgut but the sporozoites are not infectious. We therefore generated P. berghei transgenic parasites carrying the PgCS gene, in which the repeat region was replaced with the homologous region of P. berghei CS (PbCS. A further line, in which both the N-terminal region and repeat region were replaced with the homologous regions of PbCS, was also generated. Introduction of the PbCS repeat region alone, into the PgCS gene, did not rescue sporozoite species-specific infectivity. However, the introduction of both the PbCS repeat region and the N-terminal region into the PgCS gene completely rescued infectivity, in both the mosquito vector and the mammalian host. Immunofluorescence experiments and western blot analysis revealed correct localization and proteolytic processing of CSP in the chimeric parasites. The results demonstrate, in vivo, that the repeat region of P. berghei CSP, alone, is unable to mediate sporozoite infectivity in either the mosquito or the mammalian host, but suggest an important role for the N-terminal region in sporozoite host cell invasion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-15

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

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

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    Kawai Satoru

    2010-02-01

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

  8. 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

    BACKGROUND: Even though Plasmodium vivax has the widest worldwide distribution of the human malaria species and imposes a serious impact on global public health, the investigation of genetic diversity in this species has been limited in comparison to Plasmodium falciparum. Markers of genetic dive...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin Lasonder

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available 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, infectious salivary gland sporozoites. Despite the morphological similarity between midgut and salivary gland sporozoites, their proteomes are markedly different, in agreement with their increase in hepatocyte infectivity. The different sporozoite proteomes contain a large number of stage specific proteins 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 be essential for sporozoite infectivity to humans.

  10. 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....

  11. Host-parasite interactions: Marine bivalve molluscs and protozoan parasites, Perkinsus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soudant, Philippe; E Chu, Fu-Lin; Volety, Aswani

    2013-10-01

    This review assesses and examines the work conducted to date concerning host and parasite interactions between marine bivalve molluscs and protozoan parasites, belonging to Perkinsus species. The review focuses on two well-studied host-parasite interaction models: the two clam species, Ruditapes philippinarum and R. decussatus, and the parasite Perkinsus olseni, and the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, and the parasite Perkinsus marinus. Cellular and humoral defense responses of the host in combating parasitic infection, the mechanisms (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, extracellular products) employed by the parasite in evading host defenses as well as the role of environmental factors in modulating the host-parasite interactions are described.

  12. Assessing parasite clearance during uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infection treated with artesunate monotherapy in Suriname

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    Vreden SGS

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Stephen GS Vreden,1 Rakesh D Bansie,2 Jeetendra K Jitan,3 Malti R Adhin4 1Foundation for Scientific Research Suriname (SWOS, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Hospital Paramaribo, 3Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, 4Department of Biochemistry, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname Background: Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum is suspected when the day 3 parasitemia is >10% when treated with artemisinin-based combination therapy or if >10% of patients treated with artemisinin-based combination therapy or artesunate monotherapy harbored parasites with half-lives ≥5 hours. Hence, a single-arm prospective efficacy trial was conducted in Suriname for uncomplicated P. falciparum infection treated with artesunate-based monotherapy for 3 days assessing day 3 parasitemia, treatment outcome after 28 days, and parasite half-life. Methods: The study was conducted in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, from July 2013 until July 2014. Patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infection were included and received artesunate mono-therapy for three days. Day 3 parasitaemia, treatment outcome after 28 days and parasite half-life were determined. The latter was assessed with the parasite clearance estimator from the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN. Results: Thirty-nine patients were included from July 2013 until July 2014. The day 3 parasitemia was 10%. Eight patients (20.5% could be followed up until day 28 and showed adequate clinical and parasitological response. Parasite half-life could only be determined from ten data series (25.7%. The median parasite half-life was 5.16 hours, and seven of these data series had a half-life ≥5 hours, still comprising 17.9% of the total data series. Conclusion: The low follow-up rate and the limited analyzable data series preclude clear conclusions about the efficacy of artesunate monotherapy in Suriname and the parasite half

  13. Accurate and Sensitive Detection of Plasmodium Species in Humans by Use of the Dihydrofolate Reductase-Thymidylate Synthase Linker Region▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanomsing, Naowarat; Imwong, Mallika; Theppabutr, Sasikrit; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Day, Nicholas P. J.; White, Nicholas J.; Snounou, Georges

    2010-01-01

    A nested-PCR protocol based on the linker region of the Plasmodium dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase gene (dhfr-ts) was developed. This provides highly sensitive specific detection and identification of the five parasite species that infect humans. PMID:20702666

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

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    Shen Lin Yang

    1988-02-01

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

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-08

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur M Talman

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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rossouw, C

    2010-02-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Toyama

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

  2. Parasitic co-infections: does Ascaris lumbricoides protect against Plasmodium falciparum infection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brutus, Laurent; Watier, Laurence; Briand, Valérie; Hanitrasoamampionona, Virginie; Razanatsoarilala, Hélène; Cot, Michel

    2006-08-01

    A controlled randomized trial of antihelminthic treatment was undertaken in 1996-1997 in a rural area of Madagascar where populations were simultaneously infected with Ascaris lumbricoides and Plasmodium falciparum. Levamisole was administered bimonthly to 164 subjects, randomized on a family basis, whereas 186 were controls. While levamisole proved to be highly effective in reducing Ascaris egg loads in the treated group (P < 10(-3) at all bimonthly visits), subjects more than 5 years of age, treated with levamisole had a significant increase in their P. falciparum densities compared with controls (P = 0.02), whereas there was no effect of anti-helminthic treatment on children 6 months to 4 years of age. The demonstration of a clear negative interaction between Ascaris infection and malaria parasite density has important implications. Single community therapy programs to deliver treatments against several parasitic infections could avoid an increase of malaria attacks after mass treatment of ascariasis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Andrew H; Fidock, David A

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man: detection of parasite antigens by ELISA*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, L. J.; McGregor, I. A.; Paounova, N.; Lambert, P. H.

    1982-01-01

    An ELISA method has been developed for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man. Parasites from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum were used as source of antigen for the solid phase and the source of specific antibody was immune Gambian sera; binding of antibody in antigen-coated wells was registered by means of alkaline phosphatase-conjugated anti-human IgG. Parasites were detected on the basis of inhibition of antibody-binding. The test was applied to the detection of parasites in human red blood cells (RBC) from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum and in RBC from infected Gambians; RBC from 100 Geneva blood donors served as normal, uninfected controls. In titration experiments, the degree of antibody-binding inhibition correlated with the number of parasites in the test RBC. Parasites were detected at a level of 8 parasites/106 RBC. Samples of RBC were tested from 126 Gambians with microscopically proven infection; significant antibody-binding inhibition was found in 86% of these cases, where parasitaemia ranged from 10 to 125 000/μl of blood. The presence of high-titre antibody in the test preparations was found to reduce the sensitivity of parasite detection in infected RBC from in vitro cultures mixed with equal volumes of different antibody-containing sera. The sensitivity was restored in most cases by recovering the RBC by centrifugation before testing. In a preliminary experiment, there was no significant difference in antibody-binding inhibition using fresh infected RBC and RBC dried on filter-paper and recovered by elution, although there was greater variation in the latter samples. PMID:7044589

  5. Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man: detection of parasite antigens by ELISA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, L J; McGregor, I A; Paounova, N; Lambert, P H

    1982-01-01

    An ELISA method has been developed for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man. Parasites from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum were used as source of antigen for the solid phase and the source of specific antibody was immune Gambian sera; binding of antibody in antigen-coated wells was registered by means of alkaline phosphatase-conjugated anti-human IgG. Parasites were detected on the basis of inhibition of antibody-binding. The test was applied to the detection of parasites in human red blood cells (RBC) from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum and in RBC from infected Gambians; RBC from 100 Geneva blood donors served as normal, uninfected controls. In titration experiments, the degree of antibody-binding inhibition correlated with the number of parasites in the test RBC. Parasites were detected at a level of 8 parasites/10(6) RBC. Samples of RBC were tested from 126 Gambians with microscopically proven infection; significant antibody-binding inhibition was found in 86% of these cases, where parasitaemia ranged from 10 to 125 000/mul of blood. The presence of high-titre antibody in the test preparations was found to reduce the sensitivity of parasite detection in infected RBC from in vitro cultures mixed with equal volumes of different antibody-containing sera. The sensitivity was restored in most cases by recovering the RBC by centrifugation before testing. In a preliminary experiment, there was no significant difference in antibody-binding inhibition using fresh infected RBC and RBC dried on filter-paper and recovered by elution, although there was greater variation in the latter samples.

  6. Transgenic Plasmodium parasites stably expressing Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase as in vitro and in vivo models for antifolate screening

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    Yuthavong Yongyuth

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent cause of human malaria in tropical regions outside the African continent. The lack of a routine continuous in vitro culture of this parasite makes it difficult to develop specific drugs for this disease. To facilitate the development of anti-P. vivax drugs, bacterial and yeast surrogate models expressing the validated P. vivax target dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS have been generated; however, they can only be used as primary screening models because of significant differences in enzyme expression level and in vivo drug metabolism between the surrogate models and P. vivax parasites. Methods Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei parasites were transfected with DNA constructs bearing P. vivax dhfr-ts pyrimethamine sensitive (wild-type and pyrimethamine resistant (mutant alleles. Double crossover homologous recombination was used to replace the endogenous dhfr-ts of P. falciparum and P. berghei parasites with P. vivax homologous genes. The integration of Pvdhfr-ts genes via allelic replacement was verified by Southern analysis and the transgenic parasites lines validated as models by standard drug screening assays. Results Transgenic P. falciparum and P. berghei lines stably expressing PvDHFR-TS replacing the endogenous parasite DHFR-TS were obtained. Anti-malarial drug screening assays showed that transgenic parasites expressing wild-type PvDHFR-TS were pyrimethamine-sensitive, whereas transgenic parasites expressing mutant PvDHFR-TS were pyrimethamine-resistant. The growth and sensitivity to other types of anti-malarial drugs in the transgenic parasites were otherwise indistinguishable from the parental parasites. Conclusion With the permanent integration of Pvdhfr-ts gene in the genome, the transgenic Plasmodium lines expressing PvDHFR-TS are genetically stable and will be useful for screening anti-P. vivax compounds targeting PvDHFR-TS. A similar approach

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

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    Kei Kitamura

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

  8. Tudor domain proteins in protozoan parasites and characterization of Plasmodium falciparum tudor staphylococcal nuclease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Manzar J; Korde, Reshma; Singh, Shivani; Mohmmed, Asif; Dasaradhi, P V N; Chauhan, V S; Malhotra, Pawan

    2008-04-01

    RNA-binding proteins play key roles in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. In eukaryotic cells, a multitude of RNA-binding proteins with several RNA-binding domains/motifs have been described. Here, we show the existence of two Tudor domain containing proteins, a survival of motor neuron (SMN)-like protein and a Staphylococcus aureus nuclease homologue referred to as TSN, in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites. Activity analysis shows that Plasmodium falciparum TSN (PfTSN) possesses nuclease activity and Tudor domain is the RNA-binding domain. A specific inhibitor of micrococcal nucleases, 3',5'-deoxythymidine bisphosphate (pdTp) inhibits the nuclease as well as RNA-binding activities of the protein. PfTSN shows a predominant nuclear localization. Treatment of P. falciparum with pdTp, inhibited in vitro growth of both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum, while a four fold concentration of pdTp did not have any significant effect on the mammalian cell line, Huh-7D12. Altogether, these results suggest that PfTSN is an essential enzyme in the parasite's life cycle.

  9. 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.

  10. Characterization of Plasmodium falciparum adenylyl cyclase-β and its role in erythrocytic stage parasites.

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    Eric Salazar

    Full Text Available The most severe form of human malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The second messenger cAMP has been shown to be important for the parasite's ability to infect the host's liver, but its role during parasite growth inside erythrocytes, the stage responsible for symptomatic malaria, is less clear. The P. falciparum genome encodes two adenylyl cyclases, the enzymes that synthesize cAMP, PfACα and PfACβ. We now show that one of these, PfACβ, plays an important role during the erythrocytic stage of the P. falciparum life cycle. Biochemical characterization of PfACβ revealed a marked pH dependence, and sensitivity to a number of small molecule inhibitors. These inhibitors kill parasites growing inside red blood cells. One particular inhibitor is selective for PfACβ relative to its human ortholog, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC; thus, PfACβ represents a potential target for development of safe and effective antimalarial therapeutics.

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

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    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

  12. Optimization of flow cytometric detection and cell sorting of transgenic Plasmodium parasites using interchangeable optical filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorobjev, Ivan A; Buchholz, Kathrin; Prabhat, Prashant; Ketman, Kenneth; Egan, Elizabeth S; Marti, Matthias; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Barteneva, Natasha S

    2012-09-05

    Malaria remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Flow cytometry-based assays that take advantage of fluorescent protein (FP)-expressing malaria parasites have proven to be valuable tools for quantification and sorting of specific subpopulations of parasite-infected red blood cells. However, identification of rare subpopulations of parasites using green fluorescent protein (GFP) labelling is complicated by autofluorescence (AF) of red blood cells and low signal from transgenic parasites. It has been suggested that cell sorting yield could be improved by using filters that precisely match the emission spectrum of GFP. Detection of transgenic Plasmodium falciparum parasites expressing either tdTomato or GFP was performed using a flow cytometer with interchangeable optical filters. Parasitaemia was evaluated using different optical filters and, after optimization of optics, the GFP-expressing parasites were sorted and analysed by microscopy after cytospin preparation and by imaging cytometry. A new approach to evaluate filter performance in flow cytometry using two-dimensional dot blot was developed. By selecting optical filters with narrow bandpass (BP) and maximum position of filter emission close to GFP maximum emission in the FL1 channel (510/20, 512/20 and 517/20; dichroics 502LP and 466LP), AF was markedly decreased and signal-background improve dramatically. Sorting of GFP-expressing parasite populations in infected red blood cells at 90 or 95% purity with these filters resulted in 50-150% increased yield when compared to the standard filter set-up. The purity of the sorted population was confirmed using imaging cytometry and microscopy of cytospin preparations of sorted red blood cells infected with transgenic malaria parasites. Filter optimization is particularly important for applications where the FP signal and percentage of positive events are relatively low, such as analysis of parasite-infected samples with in the intention of gene

  13. Optimization of flow cytometric detection and cell sorting of transgenic Plasmodium parasites using interchangeable optical filters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vorobjev Ivan A

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Flow cytometry-based assays that take advantage of fluorescent protein (FP-expressing malaria parasites have proven to be valuable tools for quantification and sorting of specific subpopulations of parasite-infected red blood cells. However, identification of rare subpopulations of parasites using green fluorescent protein (GFP labelling is complicated by autofluorescence (AF of red blood cells and low signal from transgenic parasites. It has been suggested that cell sorting yield could be improved by using filters that precisely match the emission spectrum of GFP. Methods Detection of transgenic Plasmodium falciparum parasites expressing either tdTomato or GFP was performed using a flow cytometer with interchangeable optical filters. Parasitaemia was evaluated using different optical filters and, after optimization of optics, the GFP-expressing parasites were sorted and analysed by microscopy after cytospin preparation and by imaging cytometry. Results A new approach to evaluate filter performance in flow cytometry using two-dimensional dot blot was developed. By selecting optical filters with narrow bandpass (BP and maximum position of filter emission close to GFP maximum emission in the FL1 channel (510/20, 512/20 and 517/20; dichroics 502LP and 466LP, AF was markedly decreased and signal-background improve dramatically. Sorting of GFP-expressing parasite populations in infected red blood cells at 90 or 95% purity with these filters resulted in 50-150% increased yield when compared to the standard filter set-up. The purity of the sorted population was confirmed using imaging cytometry and microscopy of cytospin preparations of sorted red blood cells infected with transgenic malaria parasites. Discussion Filter optimization is particularly important for applications where the FP signal and percentage of positive events are relatively low, such as analysis

  14. 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

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

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    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.

  16. Preferential invasion by Plasmodium merozoites and the self-regulation of parasite burden.

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    Douglas H Kerlin

    Full Text Available The preferential invasion of particular red blood cell (RBC age classes may offer a mechanism by which certain species of Plasmodia regulate their population growth. Asexual reproduction of the parasite within RBCs exponentially increases the number of circulating parasites; limiting this explosion in parasite density may be key to providing sufficient time for the parasite to reproduce, and for the host to develop a specific immune response. It is critical that the role of preferential invasion in infection is properly understood to model the within-host dynamics of different Plasmodia species. We develop a simulation model to show that limiting the range of RBC age classes available for invasion is a credible mechanism for restricting parasite density, one which is equally as important as the maximum parasite replication rate and the duration of the erythrocytic cycle. Different species of Plasmodia that regularly infect humans exhibit different preferences for RBC invasion, with all species except P. falciparum appearing to exhibit a combination of characteristics which are able to self-regulate parasite density.

  17. A quality control program within a clinical trial Consortium for PCR protocols to detect Plasmodium species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Steve M; Mayor, Alfredo; Mombo-Ngoma, Ghyslain; Kenguele, Hilaire M; Ouédraogo, Smaïla; Ndam, Nicaise Tuikue; Mkali, Happy; Mwangoka, Grace; Valecha, Neena; Singh, Jai Prakash Narayan; Clark, Martha A; Verweij, Jaco J; Adegnika, Ayola Akim; Severini, Carlo; Menegon, Michela; Macete, Eusebio; Menendez, Clara; Cisteró, Pau; Njie, Fanta; Affara, Muna; Otieno, Kephas; Kariuki, Simon; ter Kuile, Feiko O; Meshnick, Steven R

    2014-06-01

    Malaria parasite infections that are only detectable by molecular methods are highly prevalent and represent a potential transmission reservoir. The methods used to detect these infections are not standardized, and their operating characteristics are often unknown. We designed a proficiency panel of Plasmodium spp. in order to compare the accuracy of parasite detection of molecular protocols used by labs in a clinical trial consortium. Ten dried blood spots (DBSs) were assembled that contained P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale; DBSs contained either a single species or a species mixed with P. falciparum. DBS panels were tested in 9 participating laboratories in a masked fashion. Of 90 tests, 68 (75.6%) were correct; there were 20 false-negative results and 2 false positives. The detection rate was 77.8% (49/63) for P. falciparum, 91.7% (11/12) for P. vivax, 83.3% (10/12) for P. malariae, and 70% (7/10) for P. ovale. Most false-negative P. falciparum results were from samples with an estimated ≤ 5 parasites per μl of blood. Between labs, accuracy ranged from 100% to 50%. In one lab, the inability to detect species in mixed-species infections prompted a redesign and improvement of the assay. Most PCR-based protocols were able to detect P. falciparum and P. vivax at higher densities, but these assays may not reliably detect parasites in samples with low P. falciparum densities. Accordingly, formal quality assurance for PCR should be employed whenever this method is used for diagnosis or surveillance. Such efforts will be important if PCR is to be widely employed to assist malaria elimination efforts.

  18. 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.

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

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    M.L. Gazarini

    2003-11-01

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

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

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    Saiki Erisha

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. Susceptibility of Anopheles stephensi to Plasmodium gallinaceum: a trait of the mosquito, the parasite, and the environment.

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    Jen C C Hume

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Vector susceptibility to Plasmodium infection is treated primarily as a vector trait, although it is a composite trait expressing the joint occurrence of the parasite and the vector with genetic contributions of both. A comprehensive approach to assess the specific contribution of genetic and environmental variation on "vector susceptibility" is lacking. Here we developed and implemented a simple scheme to assess the specific contributions of the vector, the parasite, and the environment to "vector susceptibility." To the best of our knowledge this is the first study that employs such an approach. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted selection experiments on the vector (while holding the parasite "constant" and on the parasite (while holding the vector "constant" to estimate the genetic contributions of the mosquito and the parasite to the susceptibility of Anopheles stephensi to Plasmodium gallinaceum. We separately estimated the realized heritability of (i susceptibility to parasite infection by the mosquito vector and (ii parasite compatibility (transmissibility with the vector while controlling the other. The heritabilities of vector and the parasite were higher for the prevalence, i.e., fraction of infected mosquitoes, than the corresponding heritabilities of parasite load, i.e., the number of oocysts per mosquito. CONCLUSIONS: The vector's genetics (heritability comprised 67% of "vector susceptibility" measured by the prevalence of mosquitoes infected with P. gallinaceum oocysts, whereas the specific contribution of parasite genetics (heritability to this trait was only 5%. Our parasite source might possess minimal genetic diversity, which could explain its low heritability (and the high value of the vector. Notably, the environment contributed 28%. These estimates are relevant only to the particular system under study, but this experimental design could be useful for other parasite-host systems. The prospects and

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

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    Peng Liu

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1983-08-01

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

  8. Transfection of malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-10-01

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

  9. PLASMODIUM PRE-ERYTHROCYTIC STAGES: BIOLOGY, WHOLE PARASITE VACCINES AND TRANSGENIC MODELS

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    Kota Arun Kumar

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria remains one of the world’s worst health problems, which causes 216 million new cases and approximately 655,000 deaths every year WHO World Malaria Report, 2011. Malaria transmission to the mammalian host is initiated through a mosquito bite that delivers sporozoites into the vertebrate host. The injected sporozoites are selectively targeted to liver which is the first obligatory step in infection thus making this stage an attractive target for both drug and vaccine development. Research using rodent models of malaria has greatly facilitated the understanding of several aspects of pre-erythrocytic parasite biology and immunology. However, translation of this knowledge to combat Plasmodium falciparum infections still offers several challenges. We highlight in this review some of the recent advances in the field of Plasmodium sporozoite and liver stage biology and in the generation of whole organism attenuated vaccines. We also comment on the application of transgenic models central to Circumsporozoite Protein (CSP in understanding the mechanism of pre-erythrocytic immunity.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Molecular detection of human Plasmodium species in Sabah using PlasmoNex™ multiplex PCR and hydrolysis probes real-time PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ping Chin; Chong, Eric Tzyy Jiann; Anderios, Fread; Al Lim, Yvonne; Chew, Ching Hoong; Chua, Kek Heng

    2015-01-28

    Malaria is a vector borne-parasitic disease transmitted through the bite of the infective female Anopheles mosquitoes. Five Plasmodium species have been recognized by World Health Organization (WHO) as the causative agents of human malaria. Generally, microscopic examination is the gold standard for routine malaria diagnosis. However, molecular PCR assays in many cases have shown improvement on the sensitivity and specificity over microscopic or other immunochromatographic assays. The present study attempts to screen 207 suspected malaria samples from patients seeking treatment in clinics around Sabah state, Malaysia, using two panels of multiplex PCRs, conventional PCR system (PlasmoNex™) and real-time PCR based on hydrolysis probe technology. Discordance results between two PCR assays were further confirmed by sequencing using 18S ssu rRNA species-specific primers. Of the 207 malaria samples, Plasmodium knowlesi (73.4% vs 72.0%) was the most prevalent species based on two PCR assays, followed by Plasmodium falciparum (15.9% vs 17.9%), and Plasmodium vivax (9.7% vs 7.7%), respectively. Neither Plasmodium malariae nor Plasmodium ovale was detected in this study. Nine discrepant species identification based on both the PCR assays were further confirmed through DNA sequencing. Species-specific real-time PCR only accurately diagnosed 198 of 207 (95.7%) malaria samples up to species level in contrast to PlasmoNex™ assay which had 100% sensitivity and specificity based on sequencing results. Multiplex PCR accelerate the speed in the diagnosis of malaria. The PlasmoNex™ PCR assay seems to be more accurate than real-time PCR in the speciation of all five human malaria parasites. The present study also showed a significant increase of the potential fatal P. knowlesi infection in Sabah state as revealed by molecular PCR assays.

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

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    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.

  15. Nauclea latifolia aqueous leaf extract eliminates hepatic and cerebral Plasmodium berghei parasite in experimental mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Innocent; Onyesom; Ejovi; Osioma; Precious; Chiamaka; Okereke

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To assess the effects of hot water leaf extract of Nauclea latifolia(N. latifolia) on antioxidant status, lipid peroxidation values and parasite levels in hepatic and brain tissue of experimental mice(BALB/c) infected with Plasmodium berghei(P. berghei) malaria.Methods: Forty nine mice were divided into seven groups(n = 7) and used for the study. Group A(control) were given 0.2 m L/kg phosphate buffer saline; Group B mice were infected with P. berghei and treated with phosphate buffer saline. Groups C and D mice were also infected but treated with 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight of leaf extract respectively. Groups E and F mice were not infected, but received 200 and 300 mg/kg of leaf extract respectively. Group G mice were infected and treated with chloroquine(5 mg/kg). Liver and brain tissues of mice were prepared for both biochemical assay and microscopic examination. Results: Results showed that P. berghei malaria infection induced oxidative stress in both liver and brain tissues as evidenced by the significant(P < 0.05) decrease in antioxidants: superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione and catalase. These reductions perhaps caused compromise in membrane integrity as indicated by the significant increase in lipid peroxidation product malondialdhyde. Malaria parasites were also identified in these tissues. However, N. latifolia treatment eliminated the parasites in tissues and protected them from oxidative damage even better than chloroquine treatment did, whose anti-malarial potency also cleared tissue parasites. The measurement of protection by N. latifolia against damage was strengthened by the insignificant micro structural alterations.Conclusions: The bioactive phytochemical(s) in N. latifolia should be structured and the mechanism(s) of its antimalarial tendency should be further investigated.

  16. Host species exploitation and discrimination by animal parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Mark R.; Morrill, André; Schellinck, Jennifer

    2017-01-01

    Parasite species often show differential fitness on different host species. We developed an equation-based model to explore conditions favouring host species exploitation and discrimination. In our model, diploid infective stages randomly encountered hosts of two species; the parasite's relative fitness in exploiting each host species, and its ability to discriminate between them, was determined by the parasite's genotype at two independent diallelic loci. Relative host species frequency determined allele frequencies at the exploitation locus, whereas differential fitness and combined host density determined frequency of discrimination alleles. The model predicts instances where populations contain mixes of discriminatory and non-discriminatory infective stages. Also, non-discriminatory parasites should evolve when differential fitness is low to moderate and when combined host densities are low, but not so low as to cause parasite extinction. A corollary is that parasite discrimination (and host-specificity) increases with higher combined host densities. Instances in nature where parasites fail to discriminate when differential fitness is extreme could be explained by one host species evolving resistance, following from earlier selection for parasite non-discrimination. Similar results overall were obtained for haploid extensions of the model. Our model emulates multi-host associations and has implications for understanding broadening of host species ranges by parasites. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289258

  17. 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...

  18. Anopheline species and their Plasmodium infection status in Aligarh, India

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    Muheet Alam Saifi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a global issue and India contributes substantially to global malaria incidence. Information related to malaria vectors is very limited in Aligarh. The environmental and climatological situations permit the continual breeding of vectors in permanent breeding sites. This study was designed with the aim to screen all the anophelines species and possible malaria vectors in three different localities of Aligarh. Anopheles mosquitoes were collected from three different localities (Fort, Jalali and Tappal during peak malaria transmission season (July to November by using mouth aspirator and CDC light traps. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA was done to detect Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax-210 and P. vivax-247 circumsporozoite proteins (CSP from the collected female species. A total of 794 female anopheline mosquitoes belonging to 7 species were collected by different methods. Circumsporozoite protein–enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed with 780 anopheline mosquitoes out of which 13 mosquitoes were positive in CSP–ELISA. Thus, the overall infection rate was 1.66% (13/780. Four (0.51% mosquitoes belonging to three species were positive for P. falciparum, 7 (0.89% mosquitoes belonging to three species were positive for VK 210 and 2 (0.25% mosquitoes belonging to Anopheles culicifacies and Anopheles stephensi species were positive for VK 247. No mixed infection was found in this study. According to species, the highest infection rate was observed in An. culicifacies (7/288, 2.43% followed by An. stephensi (2.40% and Anopheles annularis (1.98%. An. culicifacies and An. stephensi were previously incriminated as malaria vectors in Aligarh. There was, however, no previous report in favor of infections in An. annularis in Aligarh. The on-going Malaria Control Program in India needs up to date information on malaria vectors. A major challenge is the lack of knowledge about vectors and their role in malaria transmission

  19. Plasmodium falciparum synthetic LbL microparticle vaccine elicits protective neutralizing antibody and parasite-specific cellular immune responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Thomas J; Tang, Jie; Derome, Mary E; Mitchell, Robert A; Jacobs, Andrea; Deng, Yanhong; Palath, Naveen; Cardenas, Edwin; Boyd, James G; Nardin, Elizabeth

    2013-04-01

    Epitopes of the circumsporozoite (CS) protein of Plasmodium falciparum, the most pathogenic species of the malaria parasite, have been shown to elicit protective immunity in experimental animals and human volunteers. The mechanisms of immunity include parasite-neutralizing antibodies that can inhibit parasite motility in the skin at the site of infection and in the bloodstream during transit to the hepatocyte host cell and also block interaction with host cell receptors on hepatocytes. In addition, specific CD4+ and CD8+ cellular mechanisms target the intracellular hepatic forms, thus preventing release of erythrocytic stage parasites from the infected hepatocyte and the ensuing blood stage cycle responsible for clinical disease. An innovative method for producing particle vaccines, layer-by-layer (LbL) fabrication of polypeptide films on solid CaCO3 cores, was used to produce synthetic malaria vaccines containing a tri-epitope CS peptide T1BT comprising the antibody epitope of the CS repeat region (B) and two T-cell epitopes, the highly conserved T1 epitope and the universal epitope T. Mice immunized with microparticles loaded with T1BT peptide developed parasite-neutralizing antibodies and malaria-specific T-cell responses including cytotoxic effector T-cells. Protection from liver stage infection following challenge with live sporozoites from infected mosquitoes correlated with neutralizing antibody levels. Although some immunized mice with low or undetectable neutralizing antibodies were also protected, depletion of T-cells prior to challenge resulted in the majority of mice remaining resistant to challenge. In addition, mice immunized with microparticles bearing only T-cell epitopes were not protected, demonstrating that cellular immunity alone was not sufficient for protective immunity. Although the microparticles without adjuvant were immunogenic and protective, a simple modification with the lipopeptide TLR2 agonist Pam3Cys increased the potency and

  20. Host candidate gene polymorphisms and clearance of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites

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    Rockett Kirk

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Resistance to anti-malarial drugs is a widespread problem for control programmes for this devastating disease. Molecular tests are available for many anti-malarial drugs and are useful tools for the surveillance of drug resistance. However, the correlation of treatment outcome and molecular tests with particular parasite markers is not perfect, due in part to individuals who are able to clear genotypically drug-resistant parasites. This study aimed to identify molecular markers in the human genome that correlate with the clearance of malaria parasites after drug treatment, despite the drug resistance profile of the protozoan as predicted by molecular approaches. Methods 3721 samples from five African countries, which were known to contain genotypically drug resistant parasites, were analysed. These parasites were collected from patients who subsequently failed to clear their infection following drug treatment, as expected, but also from patients who successfully cleared their infections with drug-resistant parasites. 67 human polymorphisms (SNPs on 17 chromosomes were analysed using Sequenom's mass spectrometry iPLEX gold platform, to identify regions of the human genome, which contribute to enhanced clearance of drug resistant parasites. Results An analysis of all data from the five countries revealed significant associations between the phenotype of ability to clear drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum infection and human immune response loci common to all populations. Overall, three SNPs showed a significant association with clearance of drug-resistant parasites with odds ratios of 0.76 for SNP rs2706384 (95% CI 0.71-0.92, P = 0.005, 0.66 for SNP rs1805015 (95% CI 0.45-0.97, P = 0.03, and 0.67 for SNP rs1128127 (95% CI 0.45-0.99, P = 0.05, after adjustment for possible confounding factors. The first two SNPs (rs2706384 and rs1805015 are within loci involved in pro-inflammatory (interferon-gamma and anti-inflammatory (IL-4

  1. Geographic Structure of Plasmodium vivax: Microsatellite Analysis of Parasite Populations from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunawardena, Sharmini; Karunaweera, Nadira D.; Ferreira, Marcelo U.; Phone-Kyaw, Myatt; Pollack, Richard J.; Alifrangis, Michael; Rajakaruna, Rupika S.; Konradsen, Flemming; Amerasinghe, Priyanie H.; Schousboe, Mette L.; Galappaththy, Gawrie N. L.; Abeyasinghe, Rabindra R.; Hartl, Daniel L.; Wirth, Dyann F.

    2010-01-01

    Genetic diversity and population structure of Plasmodium vivax parasites can predict the origin and spread of novel variants within a population enabling population specific malaria control measures. We analyzed the genetic diversity and population structure of 425 P. vivax isolates from Sri Lanka, 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 (HE) was 0.7517 in Ethiopia, 0.8450 in Myanmar, and 0.8610 in Sri Lanka. Significant linkage disequilibrium was maintained. Population structure showed two clusters (Asian and African) according to geography and ancestry. Strong clustering of outbreak isolates from Sri Lanka and Ethiopia was observed. Predictive power of ancestry using two-thirds of the isolates as a model identified 78.2% of isolates accurately as being African or Asian. Microsatellite analysis is a useful tool for mapping short-term outbreaks of malaria and for predicting ancestry. PMID:20133999

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

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

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

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    Alves Ana C

    2010-05-01

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

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

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    Mota Maria M

    2011-03-01

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

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

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    Mauro Ferreira de Azevedo

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for Identification of Five Human Plasmodium Species in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Yee-Ling; Lai, Meng-Yee; Fong, Mun-Yik; Jelip, Jenarun; Mahmud, Rohela

    2016-02-01

    The lack of rapid, affordable, and accurate diagnostic tests represents the primary hurdle affecting malaria surveillance in resource- and expertise-limited areas. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a sensitive, rapid, and cheap diagnostic method. Five species-specific LAMP assays were developed based on 18S rRNA gene. Sensitivity and specificity of LAMP results were calculated as compared with microscopic examination and nested polymerase chain reaction. LAMP reactions were highly sensitive with the detection limit of one copy for Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, and Plasmodium malariae and 10 copies for Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium ovale. LAMP positively detected all human malaria species in all positive samples (N = 134; sensitivity = 100%) within 35 minutes. All negative samples were not amplified by LAMP (N = 67; specificity = 100%). LAMP successfully detected two samples with very low parasitemia. LAMP may offer a rapid, simple, and reliable test for the diagnosis of malaria in areas where malaria is prevalent.

  11. Kinetics of B cell responses to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F;

    2014-01-01

    Naturally acquired protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria takes years to develop. It relies mainly on Abs, particularly IgG specific for Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface. It is only partially understood why...... acquisition of clinical protection takes years to develop, but it probably involves a range of immune-evasive parasite features, not least of which are PfEMP1 polymorphism and clonal variation. Parasite-induced subversion of immunological memory and expansion of "atypical" memory B cells may also contribute....... In this first, to our knowledge, longitudinal study of its kind, we measured B cell subset composition, as well as PfEMP1-specific Ab levels and memory B cell frequencies, in Ghanaian women followed from early pregnancy up to 1 y after delivery. Cell phenotypes and Ag-specific B cell function were assessed...

  12. Plasmodium species: Flow cytometry and microfluorometry assessments of DNA content and synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janse, C.J.; Vianen, P.H. van; Tanke, H.J.; Mons, B.; Ponnudurai, T.; Overdulve, J.P.

    1987-01-01

    Fluorescence intensities were established by flow cytometry of different erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium berghei after staining of their DNA with Hoechst-33258 or Hoechst-33342. Parasites were obtained from highly synchronized infections or in vitro cultures. Most fluorescence measurements were pe

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-20

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

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

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    Reece Sarah E

    2008-09-01

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

  16. 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

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

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    Joana D'Arc Neves Costa

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Identification of phosphorylated proteins in erythrocytes infected by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

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    Xia Dong

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous comparative proteomic analysis on Plasmodium falciparum isolates of different adhesion properties suggested that protein phosphorylation varies between isolates with different cytoadherence properties. But the extent and dynamic changes in phosphorylation have not been systematically studied. As a baseline for these future studies, this paper examined changes in the phosphoproteome of parasitized red blood cells (pRBC. Methods Metabolic labelling with [35S] methionine on pRBC and 2D gel electrophoresis (2-DE has previously been used to show the expression of parasite proteins and changes in protein iso-electric point (PI. 2-DE of different parasite strains was combined with immunoblotting using monoclonal antibodies specifically to phosphorylated serine/threonine and tyrosine, to obtain the phosphorylation profiles throughout the erythrocytic lifecycle. Affinity chromatography was used to purify/enrich phosphorylated proteins and these proteins from mature trophozoite stages which were identified using high-accuracy mass spectrometry and MASCOT search. Results 2D-immunoblots showed that P. falciparum infection greatly increased phosphorylation of a set of proteins in pRBC, the dominant size classes for phosphorylated tyrosine proteins were 95, 60, 50 and 30 kDa and for phosphorylated serine/threonine were 120, 95, 60, 50, 43, 40 and 30 kDa. The most abundant molecules from 2D-gel mapping of phosphorylated proteins in ItG infected RBCs were identified by MALDI-TOF. A proteomic overview of phosphorylated proteins in pRBC was achieved by using complementary phosphorylated protein enrichment techniques combined with nano-flow LC/MS/MS analysis and MASCOT MS/MS ions search with phosphorylation as variable modifications. The definite phosphoproteins of pRBC are reported and discussed. Conclusion Protein phosphorylation is a major process in P. falciparum-parasitized erythrocytes. Preliminary screens identified 170 P

  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

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

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    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.

  5. The role of reactive oxygen species in Anopheles aquasalis response to Plasmodium vivax infection.

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    Ana C Bahia

    Full Text Available Malaria affects millions of people worldwide and hundreds of thousands of people each year in Brazil. The mosquito Anopheles aquasalis is an important vector of Plasmodium vivax, the main human malaria parasite in the Americas. Reactive oxygen species (ROS have been shown to have a role in insect innate immune responses as a potent pathogen-killing agent. We investigated the mechanisms of free radicals modulation after A. aquasalis infection with P. vivax. ROS metabolism was evaluated in the vector by studying expression and activity of three key detoxification enzymes, one catalase and two superoxide dismutases (SOD3A and SOD3B. Also, the involvement of free radicals in the mosquito immunity was measured by silencing the catalase gene followed by infection of A. aquasalis with P. vivax. Catalase, SOD3A and SOD3B expression in whole A. aquasalis were at the same levels of controls at 24 h and upregulated 36 h after ingestion of blood containing P. vivax. However, in the insect isolated midgut, the mRNA for these enzymes was not regulated by P. vivax infection, while catalase activity was reduced 24 h after the infectious meal. RNAi-mediated silencing of catalase reduced enzyme activity in the midgut, resulted in increased P. vivax infection and prevalence, and decreased bacterial load in the mosquito midgut. Our findings suggest that the interactions between A. aquasalis and P. vivax do not follow the model of ROS-induced parasite killing. It appears that P. vivax manipulates the mosquito detoxification system in order to allow its own development. This can be an indirect effect of fewer competitive bacteria present in the mosquito midgut caused by the increase of ROS after catalase silencing. These findings provide novel information on unique aspects of the main malaria parasite in the Americas interaction with one of its natural vectors.

  6. Crystal structure of the aquaglyceroporin PfAQP from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newby, Zachary E R; O’Connell, Joseph; Robles-Colmenares, Yaneth; Khademi, Shahram; Miercke, Larry J; Stroud, Robert M

    2008-01-01

    The 2.05-Å resolution structure of the aquaglyceroporin from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfAQP), a protein important in the parasite’s life cycle, has been solved. The structure provides key evidence for the basis of water versus glycerol selectivity in aquaporin family members. Unlike its closest homolog of known structure, GlpF, the channel conducts both glycerol and water at high rates, framing the question of what determines high water conductance in aquaporin channels. The universally conserved arginine in the selectivity filter is constrained by only two hydrogen bonds in GlpF, whereas there are three in all water-selective aquaporins and in PfAQP. The decreased cost of dehydrating the triply-satisfied arginine cation may provide the basis for high water conductance. The two Asn-Pro-Ala (NPA) regions of PfAQP, which bear rare substitutions to Asn-Leu-Ala (NLA) and Asn-Pro-Ser (NPS), participate in preserving the orientation of the selectivity filter asparagines in the center of the channel. PMID:18500352

  7. Nauclea latifolia aqueous leaf extract eliminates hepatic and cerebral Plasmodium berghei parasite in experimental mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Innocent Onyesom; Ejovi Osioma; Precious Chiamaka Okereke

    2015-01-01

    Objective:To assess the effects of hot water leaf extract of Nauclea latifolia (N. latifolia) on antioxidant status, lipid peroxidation values and parasite levels in hepatic and brain tissue of experimental mice (BALB/c) infected with Plasmodium berghei (P. berghei) malaria. Methods:Forty nine mice were divided into seven groups (n=7) and used for the study. Group A (control) were given 0.2 mL/kg phosphate buffer saline;Group B mice were infected with P. berghei and treated with phosphate buffer saline. Groups C and D mice were also infected but treated with 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight of leaf extract respectively. Groups E and F mice were not infected, but received 200 and 300 mg/kg of leaf extract respectively. Group G mice were infected and treated with chloroquine (5 mg/kg). Liver and brain tissues of mice were prepared for both biochemical assay and microscopic examination. Results:Results showed that P. berghei malaria infection induced oxidative stress in both liver and brain tissues as evidenced by the significant (P Conclusions:The bioactive phytochemical(s) in N. latifolia should be structured and the mechanism(s) of its antimalarial tendency should be further investigated.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. α2-Macroglobulin Can Crosslink Multiple Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) Molecules and May Facilitate Adhesion of Parasitized Erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J;

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting, the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes, involves clonal variants of the parasite protein P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and soluble serum factors. While rosetting is a well-known phenotypic marker of parasites...

  12. A plethora of Plasmodium species in wild apes: a source of human infection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayner, Julian C.; Liu, Weimin; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M.; Hahn, Beatrice H.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies of captive and wild-living apes in Africa have uncovered evidence of numerous new Plasmodium species, one of which was identified as the immediate precursor of human Plasmodium falciparum. These findings raise the question whether wild apes could be a recurrent source of Plasmodium infections in humans. This question is not new, but was the subject of intense investigation by researchers in the first half of the last century. Re-examination of their work in the context of recent molecular findings provides a new framework to understand the diversity of Plasmodium species and to assess the risk of future cross-species transmissions to humans in the context of proposed malaria eradication programs. PMID:21354860

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. STUDY ON RELATIVE ABUNDANCE OF Plasmodium SPECIES: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. AMINU

    2013-06-01

    Jun 1, 2013 ... Keywords: abundance, plasmodium, relative, thin blood film, malaria control programmes. INTRODUCTION ... When an infected female Anopheles mosquito bites a ... the understanding of the type of infection as well as.

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

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    Mehdi Ghorbal

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Plasmodium falciparum Bloom homologue, a nucleocytoplasmic protein, translocates in 3' to 5' direction and is essential for parasite growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Farhana; Tarique, Mohammed; Tuteja, Renu

    2016-05-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium, particularly Plasmodium falciparum, is the most serious and widespread parasitic disease of humans. RecQ helicase family members are essential in homologous recombination-based error-free DNA repair processes in all domains of life. RecQ helicases present in each organism differ and several homologues have been identified in various multicellular organisms. These proteins are involved in various pathways of DNA metabolism by providing duplex unwinding function. Five members of RecQ family are present in Homo sapiens but P. falciparum contains only two members of this family. Here we report the detailed biochemical and functional characterization of the Bloom (Blm) homologue (PfBlm) from P. falciparum 3D7 strain. Purified PfBlm exhibits ATPase and 3' to 5' direction specific DNA helicase activity. The calculated average reaction rate of ATPase was ~13 pmol of ATP hydrolyzed/min/pmol of enzyme. The immunofluorescence assay results show that PfBlm is expressed in all the stages of intraerythrocytic development of the P. falciparum 3D7 strain. In some stages of development in addition to nucleus PfBlm also localizes in the cytoplasm. The gene disruption studies of PfBlm by dsRNA showed that it is required for the ex-vivo intraerythrocytic development of the parasite P. falciparum 3D7 strain. The dsRNA mediated inhibition of parasite growth suggests that a variety of pathways are affected resulting in curtailing of the parasite growth. This study will be helpful in unravelling the basic mechanism of DNA transaction in the malaria parasite and additionally it may provide leads to understand the parasite specific characteristics of this protein.

  18. 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....

  19. Blood parasites in noddies and boobies from Brazilian offshore islands - differences between species and influence of nesting habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quillfeldt, Petra; Martínez, Javier; Bugoni, Leandro; Mancini, Patrícia L; Merino, Santiago

    2014-03-01

    Seabirds are often free from blood parasites, and a recent review suggested that phylogenetic, ecological and life-history parameters can determine the prevalence of blood parasites in seabirds. However, there is a lack of data available from many seabird groups, and a larger database is needed to understand prevalence patterns of blood parasites. We used a molecular screening approach to detect parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon and Babesia in five species of two genera of seabirds that breed on Atlantic Ocean islands off Brazil. The observed patterns differed between the two bird genera. Like other Laridae, brown noddy, Anous stolidus adults were infected with Haemoproteus with low prevalence. Masked boobies, Sula dactylatra and brown boobies, Sula leucogaster were infected with Babesia. Of the latter, mainly juveniles were infected. In all species, intensity of infection (i.e. number of infected erythrocytes) was so low that parasites remained undetected in blood smears. This may explain the absence of major effects on the body condition of birds, although infected juvenile masked boobies were lighter than juveniles that were not infected with Babesia. Two tree-nesting species; black noddy, Anous minutus and red-footed booby, Sula sula did not have blood parasites, suggesting that tree-nesting may reduce the exposure to arthropod vectors compared with ground nesting in these species.

  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. Species formation by host shifting in avian malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-14

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

  2. Plasmodium kentropyxi n.sp. (Apicomplexa: Haemosporina: Plasmodiidae and a Plasmodium tropiduri-like parasite in the lizard Kentropyx calcarata (Lacertilia: Teiidae in North Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lainson R.

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium kentropyxi n.sp. is described in the teiid lizard Kentropyx calcarata from north Brazil. Young asexual stages and gametocytes are at first polar in the erythrocyte but with elongation, move to a lateral position. Largest meronts seen contained from 30-40 nuclei and conspicuous greenish-black pigment granules located in a distinct vacuole. With growth the gametocytes eventually assume a smooth, curved cylindrical shape, with evenly rounded ends. Pigment is scattered or concentrated around a conspicuous vacuole which is slowly developed as the gametocytes mature. Mature male parasites measured 11.8 x 4.0 μm (9.6 x 4.2 - 13.2 x 3.6 μm, shape-index 2.9 (2.2 - 5.0, and females 13.5 x 4.5 μm (12.0 x 4.5 - 15.0 x 4.8 μm, shape-index 3.0 (2.2 - 3.8. Some larger meronts may slightly enlarge the erythrocyte, but most asexual stages and the mature gametocytes rarely do so. A second, P. tropiduri-like parasite encountered in K. calcarata possessed small rounded or fan-shaped meronts producing from 4-14 merozoites, and spherical to subspherical gametocytes of approximately 6.0 x 5.0 μm. The parasite was consistently polar in its position in the erythrocyte.

  3. Plasmodium kentropyxi n.sp. (Apicomplexa: Haemosporina: Plasmodiidae) and a Plasmodium tropiduri-like parasite in the lizard Kentropyx calcarata (Lacertilia: Teiidae) in north Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lainson, R; Landau, I; Paperna, I

    2001-06-01

    Plasmodium kentropyxi n.sp. is described in the teiid lizard Kentropyx calcarata from north Brazil. Young asexual stages and gametocytes are at first polar in the erythrocyte but with elongation, move to a lateral position. Largest meronts seen contained from 30-40 nuclei and conspicuous greenish-black pigment granules located in a distinct vacuole. With growth the gametocytes eventually assume a smooth, curved cylindrical shape, with evenly rounded ends. Pigment is scattered or concentrated around a conspicuous vacuole which is slowly developed as the gametocytes mature. Mature male parasites measured 11.8 x 4.0 microns (9.6 x 4.2 - 13.2 x 3.6 microns), shape-index 2.9 (2.2 - 5.0), and females 13.5 x 4.5 microns (12.0 x 4.5 - 15.0 x 4.8 microns), shape-index 3.0 (2.2 - 3.8). Some larger meronts may slightly enlarge the erythrocyte, but most asexual stages and the mature gametocytes rarely do so. A second, P. tropiduri-like parasite encountered in K. calcarata possessed small rounded or fan-shaped meronts producing from 4-14 merozoites, and spherical to subspherical gametocytes of approximately 6.0 x 5.0 microns. The parasite was consistently polar in its position in the erythrocyte.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reininger Luc

    2012-07-01

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

  5. Plasmodium Immunomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolan, Denise L.

    2010-01-01

    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 ~ 5,300 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 prioritizing 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. PMID:20816843

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Susceptibility of Anopheles campestris-like and Anopheles barbirostris species complexes to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thongsahuan, Sorawat; Baimai, Visut; Junkum, Anuluck; Saeung, Atiporn; Min, Gi-Sik; Joshi, Deepak; Park, Mi-Hyun; Somboon, Pradya; Suwonkerd, Wannapa; Tippawangkosol, Pongsri; Jariyapan, Narissara; Choochote, Wej

    2011-02-01

    Nine colonies of five sibling species members of Anopheles barbirostris complexes were experimentally infected with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. They were then dissected eight and 14 days after feeding for oocyst and sporozoite rates, respectively, and compared with Anopheles cracens. The results revealed that Anopheles campestris-like Forms E (Chiang Mai) and F (Udon Thani) as well as An. barbirostris species A3 and A4 were non-potential vectors for P. falciparum because 0% oocyst rates were obtained, in comparison to the 86.67-100% oocyst rates recovered from An. cracens. Likewise, An. campestris-like Forms E (Sa Kaeo) and F (Ayuttaya), as well as An. barbirostris species A4, were non-potential vectors for P. vivax because 0% sporozoite rates were obtained, in comparison to the 85.71-92.31% sporozoite rates recovered from An. cracens. An. barbirostris species A1, A2 and A3 were low potential vectors for P. vivax because 9.09%, 6.67% and 11.76% sporozoite rates were obtained, respectively, in comparison to the 85.71-92.31% sporozoite rates recovered from An. cracens. An. campestris-like Forms B and E (Chiang Mai) were high-potential vectors for P. vivax because 66.67% and 64.29% sporozoite rates were obtained, respectively, in comparison to 90% sporozoite rates recovered from An. cracens.

  8. Susceptibility of Anopheles campestris-like and Anopheles barbirostris species complexes to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorawat Thongsahuan

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Nine colonies of five sibling species members of Anopheles barbirostris complexes were experimentally infected with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. They were then dissected eight and 14 days after feeding for oocyst and sporozoite rates, respectively, and compared with Anopheles cracens. The results revealed that Anopheles campestris-like Forms E (Chiang Mai and F (Udon Thani as well as An. barbirostris species A3 and A4 were non-potential vectors for P. falciparum because 0% oocyst rates were obtained, in comparison to the 86.67-100% oocyst rates recovered from An. cracens. Likewise, An. campestris-like Forms E (Sa Kaeo and F (Ayuttaya, as well as An. barbirostris species A4, were non-potential vectors for P. vivax because 0% sporozoite rates were obtained, in comparison to the 85.71-92.31% sporozoite rates recovered from An. cracens. An. barbirostris species A1, A2 and A3 were low potential vectors for P. vivax because 9.09%, 6.67% and 11.76% sporozoite rates were obtained, respectively, in comparison to the 85.71-92.31% sporozoite rates recovered from An. cracens. An. campestris-like Forms B and E (Chiang Mai were high-potential vectors for P. vivax because 66.67% and 64.29% sporozoite rates were obtained, respectively, in comparison to 90% sporozoite rates recovered from An. cracens.

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

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    Mauro Prato

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  11. 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; Adams, Tina S; 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-16

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

  14. Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter, PfCRT, enlarge the parasite's food vacuole and alter drug sensitivities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulcini, Serena; Staines, Henry M; Lee, Andrew H; Shafik, Sarah H; Bouyer, Guillaume; Moore, Catherine M; Daley, Daniel A; Hoke, Matthew J; Altenhofen, Lindsey M; Painter, Heather J; Mu, Jianbing; Ferguson, David J P; Llinás, Manuel; Martin, Rowena E; Fidock, David A; Cooper, Roland A; Krishna, Sanjeev

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter, PfCRT, are the major determinant of chloroquine resistance in this lethal human malaria parasite. Here, we describe P. falciparum lines subjected to selection by amantadine or blasticidin that carry PfCRT mutations (C101F or L272F), causing the development of enlarged food vacuoles. These parasites also have increased sensitivity to chloroquine and some other quinoline antimalarials, but exhibit no or minimal change in sensitivity to artemisinins, when compared with parental strains. A transgenic parasite line expressing the L272F variant of PfCRT confirmed this increased chloroquine sensitivity and enlarged food vacuole phenotype. Furthermore, the introduction of the C101F or L272F mutation into a chloroquine-resistant variant of PfCRT reduced the ability of this protein to transport chloroquine by approximately 93 and 82%, respectively, when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These data provide, at least in part, a mechanistic explanation for the increased sensitivity of the mutant parasite lines to chloroquine. Taken together, these findings provide new insights into PfCRT function and PfCRT-mediated drug resistance, as well as the food vacuole, which is an important target of many antimalarial drugs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajesh Prasad

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

  16. Distribution of two species of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, on Lombok Island, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagao, Yoshiro; Dachlan, Yoes Prijatna; Soedarto; Hidajati, Sri; Yotopranoto, Subagyo; Kusmartisnawati; Subekti, Sri; Ideham, Bariah; Tsuda, Yoshio; Kawabata, Masato; Takagi, Masahiro; Looareesuwan, Somchai

    2003-09-01

    Medical and entomological surveys were conducted to determine the risk factors of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax infections on Lombok Island, Indonesia, to find the risk factors and the main mosquito vectors for each malaria. Multivariate longitudinal analysis demonstrated two significant risk factors for infection with P. falciparum: disappearance of P. vivax parasitemia (p<0.001) and a specific study site (p<0.001). In contrast, younger age (p=0.024) and the interpolated virtual density of An. subpictus (p=0.041) were significantly associated with increased risk of infection with P. vivax. Thus, it seems that the distribution of P. vivax was determined largely by the presence of An. subpictus, whilst that of P. falciparum was influenced by antagonism with P. vivax. This result shows the importance of following-up treated P. vivax patients to identify recrudescence of P. falciparum in this area.

  17. Dual fluorescent labelling of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum for the analysis of the ABC type transporter pfmdr2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosental, Benyamin; Hadad, Uzi; Sinay, Rosa; Braiman, Alex; Porgador, Angel; Pollack, Yaakov

    2012-11-08

    The study of the Plasmodium falciparum heavy metal transporter gene pfmdr2 employed radioactive labelled heavy metal. As the use of radioactive isotopes shrank considerably during the last few years, resulting in the cessation of the production of some isotopes, amongst them Cadmium109 which was used for that purpose, a different approach had to be developed. Herein, a dual fluorescent labelling of heavy metals accumulation in the P. falciparum parasite is proposed as an alternative to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metals. Plasmodium falciparum Cd resistant and sensitive strains at the trophozoite stage were used in this study. The cells were cultured at different CdCl2 concentrations and for different time periods followed by staining of the infected red blood cells with Fluo-3/AM for Cd detection and Hoechst 33342 for parasite DNA labelling. The fluorescent analysis was done by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. The results show that the sensitive strain has a higher Fluo-3/AM fluorescence in a Cd concentration and time dependent manner, whereas in the resistant strain Fluo-3/AM fluorescence levels were negligible and increased only at high concentrations of Cd and at long incubation periods, but to a much lesser extent than the sensitive strain. No Cd uptake is observed in uninfected red blood cells populations originating from cultures infected with either sensitive or resistant strain. In addition, confocal microscopy overlay of Fluo-3/AM and Hoechst staining shows that the Cd metal accumulates in the parasite itself. The dual fluorescent labelling is a valid method for detecting heavy metal accumulation in P. falciparum. Furthermore, in contrast to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metal, the fluorescent labelling enables us to differentiate between the different populations existing in a P. falciparum infected red blood cells cultures and thus actually study a phenomenon at the level of a single cell.

  18. Dual fluorescent labelling of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum for the analysis of the ABC type transporter pfmdr2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosental Benyamin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The study of the Plasmodium falciparum heavy metal transporter gene pfmdr2 employed radioactive labelled heavy metal. As the use of radioactive isotopes shrank considerably during the last few years, resulting in the cessation of the production of some isotopes, amongst them Cadmium109 which was used for that purpose, a different approach had to be developed. Herein, a dual fluorescent labelling of heavy metals accumulation in the P. falciparum parasite is proposed as an alternative to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metals. Methods Plasmodium falciparum Cd resistant and sensitive strains at the trophozoite stage were used in this study. The cells were cultured at different CdCl2 concentrations and for different time periods followed by staining of the infected red blood cells with Fluo-3/AM for Cd detection and Hoechst 33342 for parasite DNA labelling. The fluorescent analysis was done by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Results The results show that the sensitive strain has a higher Fluo-3/AM fluorescence in a Cd concentration and time dependent manner, whereas in the resistant strain Fluo-3/AM fluorescence levels were negligible and increased only at high concentrations of Cd and at long incubation periods, but to a much lesser extent than the sensitive strain. No Cd uptake is observed in uninfected red blood cells populations originating from cultures infected with either sensitive or resistant strain. In addition, confocal microscopy overlay of Fluo-3/AM and Hoechst staining shows that the Cd metal accumulates in the parasite itself. Conclusions The dual fluorescent labelling is a valid method for detecting heavy metal accumulation in P. falciparum. Furthermore, in contrast to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metal, the fluorescent labelling enables us to differentiate between the different populations existing in a P. falciparum infected red blood cells cultures and thus actually study a phenomenon at

  19. 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

    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...

  20. Studies on the effects of sida acuta and vetiveria zizanioides against the malarial vector, anopheles stephensi and malarial parasite, plasmodium berghei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Methanolic extracts of Sida acuta and Vetiveria zizanioides leaves and root were studied for toxicity to Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and to the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in mice. The extracts reduced parasitemia levels in mice by 17-69%, depending on extract concentration. Median le...

  1. Assembly and expression of a synthetic gene encoding the antigen Pfs48/45 of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in yeast.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Milek, R.L.B.; Stunnenberg, H.G.; Konings, R.N.H.

    2000-01-01

    Pfs48/45 is an important transmission-blocking vaccine candidate antigen of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. This study was aimed at synthesis of recombinant Pfs48/45 containing conformation-constrained epitopes of the native antigen in yeast. Since in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevi

  2. Yeast-based High-Throughput Screen Identifies Plasmodium falciparum Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter 1 Inhibitors That Kill Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frame, I. J.; Deniskin, Roman; Rinderspacher, Alison; Katz, Francine; Deng, Shi-Xian; Moir, Robyn D.; Adjalley, Sophie H.; Coburn-Flynn, Olivia; Fidock, David A.; Willis, Ian M.; Landry, Donald W.; Akabas, Myles H.

    2015-01-01

    Equilibrative transporters are potential drug targets, however most functional assays involve radioactive substrate uptake that is unsuitable for high-throughput screens (HTS). We developed a robust yeast-based growth assay that is potentially applicable to many equilibrative transporters. As proof of principle, we applied our approach to Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter 1 of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfENT1). PfENT1 inhibitors might serve as novel antimalarial drugs since PfENT1-mediated purine import is essential for parasite proliferation. To identify PfENT1 inhibitors, we screened 64,560 compounds and identified 171 by their ability to rescue the growth of PfENT1-expressing fui1Δ yeast in the presence of a cytotoxic PfENT1 substrate, 5-fluorouridine (5-FUrd). In secondary assays, nine of the highest activity compounds inhibited PfENT1-dependent growth of a purine auxotrophic yeast strain with adenosine as the sole purine source (IC50 0.2–2 µM). These nine compounds completely blocked [3H]adenosine uptake into PfENT1-expressing yeast and erythrocyte-free trophozoite-stage parasites (IC50 5–50 nM), and inhibited chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasite proliferation (IC50 5–50 µM). Wild-type (WT) parasite IC50 values were up to four-fold lower compared to PfENT1-knockout (pfent1Δ) parasites. pfent1Δ parasite killing showed a delayed-death phenotype not observed with WT. We infer that in parasites, the compounds inhibit both PfENT1 and a secondary target with similar efficacy. The secondary target identity is unknown, but its existence may reduce the likelihood of parasites developing resistance to PfENT1 inhibitors. Our data support the hypothesis that blocking purine transport through PfENT1 may be a novel and compelling approach for antimalarial drug development. PMID:25602169

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-11

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

  6. 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.

  7. Analysis of the parasitic copepod species richness among Mediterranean fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raibaut, André; Combes, Claude; Benoit, Françoise

    1998-06-01

    The Mediterranean ichthyofauna is composed of 652 species belonging to 405 genera and 117 families. Among these, 182 were studied for their parasitic copepods. The analysis of all the works conducted on these crustacea yielded 226 species distributed in 88 genera and 20 families. For each fish species we have established a file providing the species name of the fish, its family, its geographical distribution within the Mediterranean and some of its bio-ecological characteristics. Within each file, all the parasitic copepod species reported on each host species were listed. This allowed to know the species richness (SR) of these hosts. We thus produced 182 files within which 226 copepod species are distributed. A program was created under the Hypercard software, in order to analyse our data. Two parameters were studied. The first one is the mean species richness (MSR), which corresponds to the mean of the different SR found on the different host species. The second is the parasite-host ratio (P/H), which is the ratio of the number of copepod species by the number of host species. These parameters are calculated by our program for all the 182 species of Mediterranean fishes retained in our investigation, on the first hand, and, on the second hand, for one particular group of fish species. We used the following variables to investigate their correlations with copepod species richness: taxonomy—fish families, genera and species; biometry—maximal size of the adult fish; eco-ethology—mode of life (benthic, pelagic or nectonic), displacements (sedentary, migratory with environmental change, or migratory without environmental change), behaviour (solitary or gregarious). Other variables (colour, food, reproduction, abundance, distribution area) were also analysed but did not reveal any clear correlation. Providing that our study does not rely on quantitative (prevalence, intensity) but qualitative basis our aim was only to reveal some tendencies. These tendencies are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  9. 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

    2013-09-30

    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.

  10. Multicolor bioluminescence boosts malaria research: quantitative dual-color assay and single-cell imaging in Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cevenini, Luca; Camarda, Grazia; Michelini, Elisa; Siciliano, Giulia; Calabretta, Maria Maddalena; Bona, Roberta; Kumar, T R Santha; Cara, Andrea; Branchini, Bruce R; Fidock, David A; Roda, Aldo; Alano, Pietro

    2014-09-02

    New reliable and cost-effective antimalarial drug screening assays are urgently needed to identify drugs acting on different stages of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and particularly those responsible for human-to-mosquito transmission, that is, the P. falciparum gametocytes. Low Z' factors, narrow dynamic ranges, and/or extended assay times are commonly reported in current gametocyte assays measuring gametocyte-expressed fluorescent or luciferase reporters, endogenous ATP levels, activity of gametocyte enzymes, or redox-dependent dye fluorescence. We hereby report on a dual-luciferase gametocyte assay with immature and mature P. falciparum gametocyte stages expressing red and green-emitting luciferases from Pyrophorus plagiophthalamus under the control of the parasite sexual stage-specific pfs16 gene promoter. The assay was validated with reference antimalarial drugs and allowed to quantitatively and simultaneously measure stage-specific drug effects on parasites at different developmental stages. The optimized assay, requiring only 48 h incubation with drugs and using a cost-effective luminogenic substrate, significantly reduces assay cost and time in comparison to state-of-the-art analogous assays. The assay had a Z' factor of 0.71 ± 0.03, and it is suitable for implementation in 96- and 384-well microplate formats. Moreover, the use of a nonlysing D-luciferin substrate significantly improved the reliability of the assay and allowed one to perform, for the first time, P. falciparum bioluminescence imaging at single-cell level.

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

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    Harris Ivor

    2010-09-01

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

  12. Interaction of malaria parasites with host late endocytic and autophagic pathways is essential for Plasmodium liver stage development

    OpenAIRE

    Matos, Carolina Thieleke da Silva Macedo

    2013-01-01

    RESUMO: A Malária é causada por parasitas do género Plasmodium, sendo a doença parasitária mais fatal para o ser humano. Apesar de, durante o século passado, o desenvolvimento económico e a implementação de diversas medidas de controlo, tenham permitido erradicar a doença em muitos países, a Malária continua a ser um problema de saúde grave, em particular nos países em desenvolvimento. A Malária é transmitida através da picada de uma fêmea de mosquito do género Anopheles. Durante a picada,...

  13. Structure and reaction mechanism of phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: an antiparasitic drug target.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-06

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

  14. Delayed parasite clearance after treatment with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in Plasmodium falciparum malaria patients in central Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thriemer, Kamala; Hong, Nguyen Van; Rosanas-Urgell, Anna; Phuc, Bui Quang; Ha, Do Manh; Pockele, Evi; Guetens, Pieter; Van, Nguyen Van; Duong, Tran Thanh; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; D'Alessandro, Umberto; Erhart, Annette

    2014-12-01

    Reduced susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum toward artemisinin derivatives has been reported from the Thai-Cambodian and Thai-Myanmar borders. Following increasing reports from central Vietnam of delayed parasite clearance after treatment with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PPQ), the current first-line treatment, we carried out a study on the efficacy of this treatment. Between September 2012 and February 2013, we conducted a 42-day in vivo and in vitro efficacy study in Quang Nam Province. Treatment was directly observed, and blood samples were collected twice daily until parasite clearance. In addition, genotyping, quantitative PCR (qPCR), and in vitro sensitivity testing of isolates was performed. The primary endpoints were parasite clearance rate and time. The secondary endpoints included PCR-corrected and uncorrected cure rates, qPCR clearance profiles, in vitro sensitivity results (for chloroquine, dihydroartemisinin, and piperaquine), and genotyping for mutations in the Kelch 13 propeller domain. Out of 672 screened patients, 95 were recruited and 89 available for primary endpoint analyses. The median parasite clearance time (PCT) was 61.7 h (interquartile range [IQR], 47.6 to 83.2 h), and the median parasite clearance rate had a slope half-life of 6.2 h (IQR, 4.4 to 7.5 h). The PCR-corrected efficacy rates were estimated at 100% at day 28 and 97.7% (95% confidence interval, 91.2% to 99.4%) at day 42. At day 3, the P. falciparum prevalence by qPCR was 2.5 times higher than that by microscopy. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of isolates with delayed clearance times (≥ 72 h) were significantly higher than those with normal clearance times for all three drugs. Delayed parasite clearance (PCT, ≥ 72 h) was significantly higher among day 0 samples carrying the 543 mutant allele (47.8%) than those carrying the wild-type allele (1.8%; P = 0.048). In central Vietnam, the efficacy of DHA-PPQ is still satisfactory, but the parasite clearance time

  15. 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.

  16. The role of extracellular vesicles in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Mantel, Pierre-Yves; MARTI, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Protozoan parasites and other microorganisms use various pathways to communicate within their own populations and to manipulate their outside environments, with the ultimate goal of balancing the rate of growth and transmission. In higher eukaryotes, including humans, circulating extracellular vesicles are increasingly recognized as key mediators of physiological and pathological processes. Recent evidence suggests that protozoan parasites, including those responsible for major human diseases...

  17. Plasmodium infection in a Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheelings, T F; McLaren, P J; Tatarczuch, L; Slocombe, R F

    2016-08-01

    A wild-caught, adult female Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) died while in captivity after suffering from chronic ill-thrift that progressed to acute respiratory distress. On histopathological examination of tissues, the cause of death was determined to be severe acute pneumonia with pulmonary oedema associated with an intracellular protozoan parasite present within erythrocytes. Transmission electron microscopy was performed on lung tissues and organisms consistent for Plasmodium sp. were identified within numerous erythrocytes. Molecular characterisation of the parasite from DNA extracted from tissue blocks of fixed lung determined the organism to belong to the genus Plasmodium (100% similarity to Plasmodium species when a BLAST analysis was performed); however, speciation of the organism was not possible. This is the first report of Plasmodium sp. infection and subsequent disease in a native Australian mammal. The lifecycle of this parasite remains unknown. It is also unknown what effects haemoparasitism may have on the population dynamics of this endangered possum species. © 2016 Australian Veterinary Association.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Malaria-like symptoms associated with a natural Plasmodium reichenowi infection in a chimpanzee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, Anaïs; Boundenga, Larson; Meyer, Anne; Moukodoum, Diamella Nancy; Okouga, Alain Prince; Arnathau, Céline; Durand, Patrick; Magnus, Julie; Ngoubangoye, Barthélémy; Willaume, Eric; Ba, Cheikh Tidiane; Rougeron, Virginie; Renaud, François; Ollomo, Benjamin; Prugnolle, Franck

    2015-05-28

    Although Plasmodium infections have never been clearly associated with symptoms in non-human primates, the question of the pathogenicity of Plasmodium parasites in non-human primates still remains unanswered. A young chimpanzee, followed before and after release to a sanctuary, in a semi-free ranging enclosure located in an equatorial forest, showed fever and strong anaemia associated with a high Plasmodium reichenowi infection, shortly after release. The animal recovered from anaemia after several months despite recurrent infection with other Plasmodium species. This may be the first description of malaria-like symptoms in a chimpanzee infected with Plasmodium.

  2. Regulatory elements within the prodomain of Falcipain-2, a cysteine protease of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Kailash C Pandey

    Full Text Available Falcipain-2, a papain family cysteine protease of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, plays a key role in parasite hydrolysis of hemoglobin and is a potential chemotherapeutic target. As with many proteases, falcipain-2 is synthesized as a zymogen, and the prodomain inhibits activity of the mature enzyme. To investigate the mechanism of regulation of falcipain-2 by its prodomain, we expressed constructs encoding different portions of the prodomain and tested their ability to inhibit recombinant mature falcipain-2. We identified a C-terminal segment (Leu(155-Asp(243 of the prodomain, including two motifs (ERFNIN and GNFD that are conserved in cathepsin L sub-family papain family proteases, as the mediator of prodomain inhibitory activity. Circular dichroism analysis showed that the prodomain including the C-terminal segment, but not constructs lacking this segment, was rich in secondary structure, suggesting that the segment plays a crucial role in protein folding. The falcipain-2 prodomain also efficiently inhibited other papain family proteases, including cathepsin K, cathepsin L, cathepsin B, and cruzain, but it did not inhibit cathepsin C or tested proteases of other classes. A structural model of pro-falcipain-2 was constructed by homology modeling based on crystallographic structures of mature falcipain-2, procathepsin K, procathepsin L, and procaricain, offering insights into the nature of the interaction between the prodomain and mature domain of falcipain-2 as well as into the broad specificity of inhibitory activity of the falcipain-2 prodomain.

  3. The evolutionary history of Plasmodium vivax as inferred from mitochondrial genomes: parasite genetic diversity in the Americas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jesse E; Pacheco, M Andreína; Bacon, David J; Beg, Mohammad A; Machado, Ricardo Luiz; Fairhurst, Rick M; Herrera, Socrates; Kim, Jung-Yeon; Menard, Didier; Póvoa, Marinete Marins; Villegas, Leopoldo; Mulyanto; Snounou, Georges; Cui, Liwang; Zeyrek, Fadile Yildiz; Escalante, Ananias A

    2013-09-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent human malaria parasite in the Americas. Previous studies have contrasted the genetic diversity of parasite populations in the Americas with those in Asia and Oceania, concluding that New World populations exhibit low genetic diversity consistent with a recent introduction. Here we used an expanded sample of complete mitochondrial genome sequences to investigate the diversity of P. vivax in the Americas as well as in other continental populations. We show that the diversity of P. vivax in the Americas is comparable to that in Asia and Oceania, and we identify several divergent clades circulating in South America that may have resulted from independent introductions. In particular, we show that several haplotypes sampled in Venezuela and northeastern Brazil belong to a clade that diverged from the other P. vivax lineages at least 30,000 years ago, albeit not necessarily in the Americas. We propose that, unlike in Asia where human migration increases local genetic diversity, the combined effects of the geographical structure and the low incidence of vivax malaria in the Americas has resulted in patterns of low local but high regional genetic diversity. This could explain previous views that P. vivax in the Americas has low genetic diversity because these were based on studies carried out in limited areas. Further elucidation of the complex geographical pattern of P. vivax variation will be important both for diversity assessments of genes encoding candidate vaccine antigens and in the formulation of control and surveillance measures aimed at malaria elimination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R

    2015-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria and is responsible for essentially all malaria-related deaths. The accumulation in various tissues of erythrocytes infected by mature P. falciparum parasites can lead to circulatory disturbances and inflammation, and is thought to be a central element in the pathogenesis of the disease. It is mediated by the interaction of parasite ligands on the erythrocyte surface and a range of host receptor molecules in many organs and tissues. Among several proteins and protein families implicated in this process, the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of high-molecular weight and highly variable antigens appears to be the most prominent. In this chapter, we aim to provide a systematic overview of the current knowledge about these proteins, their structure, their function, how they are presented on the erythrocyte surface, and how the var genes encoding them are regulated. The role of PfEMP1 in the pathogenesis of malaria, PfEMP1-specific immune responses, and the prospect of PfEMP1-specific vaccination against malaria are also covered briefly. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bei, Amy K; Patel, Saurabh D; Volkman, Sarah K; Ahouidi, Ambroise D; Ndiaye, Daouda; Mboup, Souleymane; Wirth, Dyann F

    2014-01-01

    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.

  7. Epitopes of anti-RIFIN antibodies and characterization of rif-expressing Plasmodium falciparum parasites by RNA sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ch’ng, Jun-Hong; Sirel, Madle; Zandian, Arash; del Pilar Quintana, Maria; Chun Leung Chan, Sherwin; Moll, Kirsten; Tellgren-Roth, Asa; Nilsson, IngMarie; Nilsson, Peter; Qundos, Ulrika; Wahlgren, Mats

    2017-01-01

    Variable surface antigens of Plasmodium falciparum have been a major research focus since they facilitate parasite sequestration and give rise to deadly malaria complications. Coupled with its potential use as a vaccine candidate, the recent suggestion that the repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) mediate blood group A rosetting and influence blood group distribution has raised the research profile of these adhesins. Nevertheless, detailed investigations into the functions of this highly diverse multigene family remain hampered by the limited number of validated reagents. In this study, we assess the specificities of three promising polyclonal anti-RIFIN antibodies that were IgG-purified from sera of immunized animals. Their epitope regions were mapped using a 175,000-peptide microarray holding overlapping peptides of the P. falciparum variable surface antigens. Through immunoblotting and immunofluorescence imaging, we show that different antibodies give varying results in different applications/assays. Finally, we authenticate the antibody-based detection of RIFINs in two previously uncharacterized non-rosetting parasite lines by identifying the dominant rif transcripts using RNA sequencing. PMID:28233866

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy K Bei

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

  9. Anopheles species composition explains differences in Plasmodium transmission in La Guajira, northern Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera-Varela, Manuela; Orjuela, Lorena I; Peñalver, Cilia; Conn, Jan E; Quiñones, Martha L

    2014-11-01

    Malaria in La Guajira, the most northern state of Colombia, shows two different epidemiological patterns. Malaria is endemic in the municipality of Dibulla whereas in Riohacha it is characterised by sporadic outbreaks. This study aimed to establish whether differences in transmission patterns could be attributed to different vector species. The most abundant adult female species were Anopheles aquasalis, exclusive to Riohacha, and Anopheles darlingi, restricted to Dibulla. Anopheles mosquitoes were identified using morphology and the molecular markers internal transcribed spacer 2 and cytochrome c oxidase I. All specimens (n = 1,393) were tested by ELISA to determine natural infection rates with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. An. darlingi was positive for P. vivax 210, with an infection rate of 0.355% and an entomological inoculation rate of 15.87 infective bites/person/year. Anopheles albimanus larvae were the most common species in Riohacha, found in temporary swamps; in contrast, in Dibulla An. darlingi were detected mainly in permanent streams. Distinctive species composition and larval habitats in each municipality may explain the differences in Plasmodium transmission and suggest different local strategies should be used for vector control.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Asrar Alam

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Carotenoid-based bill colour is an integrative signal of multiple parasite infection in blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biard, Clotilde; Saulnier, Nicolas; Gaillard, Maria; Moreau, Jérôme

    2010-11-01

    In the study of parasite-mediated sexual selection, there has been controversial evidence for the prediction that brighter males should have fewer parasites. Most of these studies have focused on one parasite species. Our aim was to investigate the expression of carotenoid-based coloured signals in relation to patterns of multiple parasite infections, to determine whether colour reflects parasite load of all parasite species, or whether different relationships might be found when looking at each parasite species independently. We investigated the relationship between bill colour, body mass and plasma carotenoids and parasite load (feather chewing lice, blood parasite Plasmodium sp., intestinal parasites cestodes and coccidia) in the blackbird ( Turdus merula). Bill colour on its own appeared to be a poor predictor of parasite load when investigating its relationships with individual parasite species. Variation in parasite intensities at the community level was summarised using principal component analysis to derive synthetic indexes of relative parasite species abundance and absolute parasite load. The relative abundance of parasite species was strongly related to bill colour, plasma carotenoid levels and body mass: birds with relatively more cestodes and chewing lice and relatively less Plasmodium and coccidia had a more colourful bill, circulated more carotenoids and were heavier. These results suggest that bill colour more accurately reflects the relative intensities of parasite infection, rather than one-by-one relationships with parasites or absolute parasite burden. Investigating patterns of multiple parasite infection would thus improve our understanding of the information conveyed by coloured signals on parasite load.

  12. Plasmodium falciparum infection and age influence parasite growth inhibition mediated by IgG in Beninese infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamou, Rafiou; Chénou, Francine; Sadissou, Ibrahim; Sonon, Paulin; Dechavanne, Célia; Djilali-Saïah, Abdelkader; Cottrell, Gilles; Le Port, Agnès; Massougbodji, Achille; Remarque, Edmond J; Luty, Adrian J F; Sanni, Ambaliou; Garcia, André; Migot-Nabias, Florence; Milet, Jacqueline; Courtin, David

    2016-07-01

    Antibodies that impede the invasion of Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) merozoites into erythrocytes play a critical role in anti-malarial immunity. The Growth Inhibition Assay (GIA) is an in vitro measure of the functional capacity of such antibodies to limit erythrocyte invasion and/or parasite growth. Up to now, it is unclear whether growth-inhibitory activity correlates with protection from clinical disease and there are inconsistent results from studies performed with GIA. Studies that have focused on the relationship between IgGs and their in vitro parasite Growth Inhibition Activity (GIAc) in infants aged less than two years old are rare. Here, we used clinical and parasitological data to precisely define symptomatic or asymptomatic infection with P. falciparum in groups of infants followed-up actively for 18 months post-natally. We quantified the levels of IgG1 and IgG3 directed to a panel of candidate P. falciparum vaccine antigens (AMA-1, MSP1, 2, 3 and GLURP) using ELISA and the functional activity of IgG was quantified using GIA. Data were then correlated with individuals' infection status. At 18 months of age, infants harbouring infections at the time of blood sampling had an average 19% less GIAc than those not infected (p=0.004, multivariate linear regression). GIAc decreased from 12 to 18 months of age (p=0.003, Wilcoxon matched pairs test). Antibody levels quantified at 18 months in infants were strongly correlated with their exposure to malarial infection, however GIAc was not correlated with malaria infectious status (asymptomatic and symptomatic groups). In conclusion, both infection status at blood draw and age influence parasite growth inhibition mediated by IgG in the GIA. Both factors must be taken into account when correlations between GIAc and anti-malarial protection or vaccine efficacy have to be made.

  13. Construction of a human functional single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody recognizing the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Wajanarogana, Sumet; Prasomrothanakul, Teerawat; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Tungpradabkul, Sumalee

    2006-04-01

    Falciparum malaria is one of the most deadly and profound human health problems around the tropical world. Antimalarial drugs are now considered to be a powerful treatment; however, there are drugs currently being used that are resistant to Plasmodium falciparum parasites spreading in different parts of the world. Although the protective immune response against intraerythrocytic stages of the falciparum malaria parasite is still not fully understood, immune antibodies have been shown to be associated with reduced parasite prevalence. Therefore antibodies of the right specificity present in adequate concentrations and affinity are reasonably effective in providing protection. In the present study, VH (variable domain of heavy chain) and VL (variable domain of light chain) were isolated from human blood lymphocytes of P. falciparum in one person who had high serum titre to RESA (ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen). Equal amounts of VH and VL were assembled together with universal linker (G4S)3 to generate scFvs (single-chain variable fragments). The scFv antibodies were expressed with a phage system for the selection process. Exclusively, an expressed scFv against asynchronous culture of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes was selected and characterized. Sequence analysis of selected scFv revealed that this clone could be classified into a VH family-derived germline gene (VH1) and Vkappa family segment (Vkappa1). Using an indirect immunofluorescence assay, we could show that soluble expressed scFv reacted with falciparum-infected erythrocytes. The results encourage the further study of scFvs for development as a potential immunotherapeutic agent.

  14. Assessment of real-time method to detect liver parasite burden under different experimental conditions in mice infected with Plasmodium yoelii sporozoites.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Use of highly specific, sensitive and quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR) based methods greatly facilitate the monitoring of experimental drug intervention and vaccination efficacy targeting liver stage malaria parasite. Here, in this study we have used qRT-PCR to detect the growing liver stage parasites following inoculation of Plasmodium yoelii sporozoite. Route of sporozoite administration and size of the sporozoite inoculums are two major determinants that affect the liver stage parasite load and therefore its detection and quantification. Thus, these factors need to be addressed to determine the accuracy of detection and quantification of Real-Time PCR method. Furthermore, applicability of quantitative RT-PCR system needs to be confirmed by analyzing the effect of different antimalarials on liver stage parasite burden. We have observed that parasite burden in mice infected via intravenous route was higher compared to that in subcutaneous, intradermal and intraperitoneal route infected mice. Moreover, this method detected liver stage parasite load with as low as 50 sporozoites. The inhibition studies with primaquine and atovaquone revealed inhibition of liver stage parasite and well correlated with patency and course of blood stage infection. This study characterized the simplicity, accuracy, and quantitative analysis of liver stage parasite development by real time PCR under different experimental conditions. Use of real time PCR method greatly improves the reproducibility and applicability to estimate the efficacy and potency of vaccine or drug candidates targeting liver stage parasite.

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

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    Gallo Valentina

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Hemoglobin A1c induced down-regulation of CD36 of Plasmodium Falciparum parasitized red cell

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    Hassan Hijazi, Atif Alagib, Hisham Waggiallah

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: High values of glycosylated hemoglobin have been found to correlate with decreased deformability of erythrocyte. CD36 (Cluster of Differentiation 36 is an integral membrane protein found on the surface of many cell types of class B scavenger receptor family. Plasmodium falciparum and diabetes mellitus is associated many complications. Aim of this study to investigate the down-regulation of HbA1c to CD36 on P. falciparum parasitized red blood cells Diabetes mellitus patients. Methods: This is cross section study conducted among diabetic patients attending in Jabir Abo Eleiz diabetic center in Khartoum state. Venous blood samples were collected in heparin containers for Plasmodium falciparum culture, and random blood sugar. For HbA1c in 0.04 mg EDTA anticoagulant, 2-5 ml of blood was collected. Sample size was 45 samples and was collected from known diabetic patients with HbA1c more than 8%. All data were analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS. Results: show the mean difference between CD36 negative control and CD36 positive control was found to be statistically significant increasing of CD36 presence at P. value =0.001 (P ≤0.001. The mean difference between CD36 positive control and diabetic patients with HbA1C more 8% was found to be statistically significant reduction of CD36 expression at p=0.001. Conclusion: Hyperglycemia (HbA1c leads to decrease of CD36 expression and interfere with innate and active immunity. In this study HbA1c participates in increasing of P. falciparum malaria complications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Two-Color Flow Cytometric Analysis of Intraerythrocytic Malaria Parasite DNA and Surface Membrane-Associated Antigen in Erythrocytes Infected with Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    Infected erythrocytes were fixea with 0.025% glutaraidehyde, followed by treatment with 1%saponiu to gain acceiss to intramembranous components and...Antigen in Erythrocytes Infected With Plasmodium falciparum 1 Kovit Pattanapanyasat,2 Rachanee Udomsangpetch, and H. Kyle Webster The Thalassemia Center...glutaral- izonts. Simultaneous measurement of dehyde followed by treatment with 1% parasite DNA and antigen in the infected saponin to gain access to

  19. 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

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

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    Asrar Alam

    2014-01-01

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

  1. The role of extracellular vesicles in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantel, Pierre-Yves; Marti, Matthias

    2014-03-01

    Protozoan parasites and other microorganisms use various pathways to communicate within their own populations and to manipulate their outside environments, with the ultimate goal of balancing the rate of growth and transmission. In higher eukaryotes, including humans, circulating extracellular vesicles are increasingly recognized as key mediators of physiological and pathological processes. Recent evidence suggests that protozoan parasites, including those responsible for major human diseases such as malaria and Chagas disease, use similar machinery. Indeed, intracellular and extracellular protozoan parasites secrete extracellular vesicles to promote growth and induce transmission, to evade the host immune system, and to manipulate the microenvironment. In this review we will discuss the general pathways of extracellular vesicle biogenesis and their functions in protozoan infections.

  2. Diversity of anopheline species and their Plasmodium infection status in rural Bandarban, Bangladesh

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    Alam Mohammad

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Historically, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT of Bangladesh was considered hyperendemic for malaria. To better understand the contemporary malaria epidemiology and to develop new and innovative control strategies, comprehensive epidemiologic studies are ongoing in two endemic unions of Bandarban district of CHT. Within these studies entomological surveillance has been undertaken to study the role of the existing anopheline species involved in the malaria transmission cycle throughout the year. Methods CDC miniature light traps were deployed to collect anopheline mosquitoes from the sleeping room of the selected houses each month in a single union (Kuhalong. Molecular identification was carried out for available Anopheles species complexes. Circumsporozoite proteins (CSP for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax-210 (Pv-210 and Plasmodium vivax-247(Pv-247 were detected by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA from the female anopheline mosquitoes. To confirm CSP-ELISA results, polymerase chain reaction (PCR was also performed. Results A total of 2,837 anopheline mosquitoes, of which 2,576 were female, belonging to 20 species were collected from July 2009 -June 2010. Anopheles jeyporiensis was the most abundant species (18.9%, followed by An. vagus (16.8% and An. kochi (14.4%. ELISA was performed on 2,467 female mosquitoes of 19 species. 15 (0.6% female anophelines belonging to eight species were found to be positive for Plasmodium infection by CSP-ELISA. Of those, 11 (0.4% mosquitoes were positive for P. falciparum and four (0.2% for Pv-210. No mosquito was found positive for Pv-247. An. maculatus (2.1%, 2/97 had the highest infection rate followed by An. umbrosus (1.7%, 2/115 and An. barbirostris (1.1%, 2/186. Other infected species were An. nigerrimus, An. nivipes, An. jeyporiensis, An. kochi, and An. vagus. Out of 11 P. falciparum CSP positive samples, seven turned out to be positive by PCR. None of the samples

  3. Exploring the folate pathway in Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Hyde, John E.

    2005-01-01

    As in centuries past, the main weapon against human malaria infections continues to be intervention with drugs, despite the widespread and increasing frequency of parasite populations that are resistant to one or more of the available compounds. This is a particular problem with the lethal species of parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, which claims some two million lives per year as well as causing enormous social and economic problems. Amongst the antimalarial drugs currently in clinical use, t...

  4. MALDI-TOF MS as an innovative tool for detection of Plasmodium parasites in Anopheles mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laroche, Maureen; Almeras, Lionel; Pecchi, Emilie; Bechah, Yassina; Raoult, Didier; Viola, Angèle; Parola, Philippe

    2017-01-03

    Malaria is still a major public health issue worldwide, and one of the best approaches to fight the disease remains vector control. The current methods for mosquito identification include morphological methods that are generally time-consuming and require expertise, and molecular methods that require laboratory facilities with relatively expensive running costs. Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) technology, routinely used for bacterial identification, has recently emerged in the field of entomology. The aim of the present study was to assess whether MALDI-TOF MS could successfully distinguish Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes according to their Plasmodium infection status. C57BL/6 mice experimentally infected with Plasmodium berghei were exposed to An. stephensi bites. For the determination of An. stephensi infection status, mosquito cephalothoraxes were dissected and submitted to mass spectrometry analyses and DNA amplification for molecular analysis. Spectra were grouped according to mosquitoes' infection status and spectra quality was validated based on intensity and reproducibility within each group. The in-lab MALDI-TOF MS arthropod reference spectra database, upgraded with representative spectra from both groups (infected/non-infected), was subsequently queried blindly with cephalothorax spectra from specimens of both groups. The MALDI TOF MS profiles generated from protein extracts prepared from the cephalothorax of An. stephensi allowed distinction between infected and uninfected mosquitoes. Correct classification was obtained in blind test analysis for (79/80) 98.75% of all mosquitoes tested. Only one of 80 specimens, an infected mosquito, was misclassified in the blind test analysis. Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry appears to be a promising, rapid and reliable tool for the epidemiological surveillance of Anopheles vectors, including their identification and

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

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    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.

  6. Hepatitis B virus infection does not significantly influence Plasmodium parasite density in asymptomatic infections in Ghanaian transfusion recipients.

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    Graham Lee Freimanis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Areas endemic for malaria and Hepatitis B virus (HBV infection largely overlap geographically. A recent study has suggested the existence of an interaction between the two pathogens in symptomatic co-infected individuals on the South-American continent. We examined this issue in a hyperendemic area for both pathogens in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODOLOGY AND FINDINGS: Pre-transfusion samples from a retrospective cohort of 154 blood transfusion recipients were screened for both serological and molecular markers of HBV and Plasmodium genomes using species-specific nested PCR and quantitative real-time PCR. Thirty-seven individuals met exclusion criteria and were subsequently eliminated from further analysis. Of 117 participants, 90% of recipients exhibited evidence of exposure to HBV, 42% with HBsAg and/or HBV DNA and 48% anti-HBc reactive without detectable HBV DNA. Plasmodium genome prevalence by NAT was 50%. Parasitemic individuals were significantly younger than non-parasitemic individuals (P = 0.04. Parasitemia level was not significantly lower in individuals with HBV DNA positive infections compared to those with HBV DNA negative exposures. HBV DNA load was not significantly different in parasitemic and non-parasitemic individuals. CONCLUSION: The data presented suggests that, in sub-Saharan Africa, asymptomatic co-infections with these two ubiquitous pathogens do not appear to significantly affect each other and evolve independently.

  7. On the parasitic fauna of two species of anurans collected from Sungai Pinang, Penang Island, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahab, A R; Andy Tan, W A; Intan, S

    2008-08-01

    A total of fifty anurans, comprising of Rana limnocharis and Bufo melanostictus were collected from Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau, Penang. The prevalence, mean intensity and distribution of parasite species along the digestive tract were reported. Seven species of parasites were recorded. Blood parasites recovered were trypansomes and microfilariae.

  8. Antimalarial potential of China 30 and Chelidonium 30 in combination therapy against lethal rodent malaria parasite: Plasmodium berghei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Aswathy; Bagai, Upma

    2013-05-07

    Homeopathy is a therapeutic method based on the application of similia principle, utilizing ultra-low doses of medicinal substances made from natural products. The present study has been designed to evaluate the efficacy of Cinchona officinalis (Chin.) 30C and Chelidonium majus (Chel.) 30C in combination therapy against lethal murine malaria. Five groups having twelve BALB/c mice each were administered orally with 0.2 ml/mouse/day of different drugs, and their antimalarial potential was evaluated by Peter's 4-day test. The combination of Chin. 30 and Chel. 30 exhibited complete parasite clearance by the 28th day post-inoculation which was similar to the positive control [artesunate (4 mg/kg)+sulphadoxine-primethamine (1.2 mg/kg)] group. Both the groups exhibited enhanced mean survival time (MST) 28±0 days,whereas, the mice of infected control group survived up to 7.6±0.4 days only. The preventive and curative activities of the combination in comparison to the positive controls [pyrimethamine (1.2 mg/Kg) and chloroquine (20 mg/Kg), respectively] were also evaluated. The combination had a significant preventive activity (p<0.0005), with 89.2% chemosuppression which was higher than the standard drug, pyrimethamine (83.8%). It also showed a moderate curative activity with complete clearance of parasite in 50% of surviving mice, and enhancing the MST of mice up to 26.8±2.8 days. These findings point to the significant antiplasmodial efficacy of the combination of these homeopathic drugs against Plasmodium berghei.

  9. Different antibody- and cytokine-mediated responses to Plasmodium falciparum parasite in two sympatric ethnic tribes living in Mali.

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    Farouk, Salah E; Dolo, Amagana; Bereczky, Sàndor; Kouriba, Bourema; Maiga, Boubacar; Färnert, Anna; Perlmann, Hedvig; Hayano, Masashi; Montgomery, Scott M; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Troye-Blomberg, Marita

    2005-01-01

    The Fulani are known to be less susceptible to Plasmodium falciparum malaria infections and to have lower parasitaemia despite living under similar malaria transmission intensity compared with other ethnic tribes. The aim of the present study was to examine whether the Fulani were more polarised towards Th2 as reflected by higher numbers of malaria-specific IL-4- and IL-10-producing cells and lower numbers of IFN-gamma- and IL-12-producing cells as compared to their neighbour ethnic tribe, the Dogon of Mali. Total IgE and both anti-malaria IgE and IgG antibodies were measured by ELISA and the numbers of IL-4-, IFN-gamma-, IL-10- and IL-12-producing cells were enumerated using enzyme-linked ImmunoSpot assay (ELISPOT). Numbers of parasite clones were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The study was performed outside the transmission period and all individuals included were asymptomatic. The results revealed that the Fulani were less parasitised, had fewer circulating parasite clones in their blood, had significantly higher anti-malaria IgG and IgE antibodies and higher proportions of malaria-specific IL-4- and IFN-gamma-producing cells compared to the Dogon. The higher antigen-specific production of IL-4 among the Fulani was statistically significant both before and after adjustment for level of spontaneous cytokine production, while greater IFN-gamma production only attained statistical significance after adjustment for spontaneous levels. Taken together, the association of higher anti-malarial IgE and IgG antibodies and increased numbers of specific IL-4- and IFN-gamma-producing cells compared to the ethnic sympatric tribe, the Dogon, may assist in explaining the lower susceptibility to malaria observed in the Fulani.

  10. 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

    2015-11-02

    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 < 0.001). Twenty-nine isolates fulfilled the criteria for ex vivo drug susceptibility testing and showed high variability in CQ responses (median, 107.9 [range, 6.5 to 345.7] nM). After controlling for the parasite stage, we found that pvcrt-o expression levels did not correlate with the ex vivo response to CQ or with that to any of the other antimalarials tested. Our results highlight the importance of development-stage composition for measuring pvcrt-o expression and suggest that pvcrt-o transcription is not a primary 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.

  11. Mosquito Species Composition and Plasmodium vivax Infection Rates on Baengnyeong-do (Island), Republic of Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-01

    313 © 2011, Korean Society for Parasitology This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non... parasite rates for different species have been reported [8,9], but few data of a similar nature are available for the DPRK. Anopheles belenrae...the prob­ ability of detecting DNA from parasite oocysts in the midgut. The head and thorax of a subsample of 257 mosquitoes were identified by PCR

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

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    Sophie H. Adjalley

    2016-03-01

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

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

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    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Avian malaria on Madagascar: bird hosts and putative vector mosquitoes of different Plasmodium lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Sandrine; Dinkel, Anke; Mackenstedt, Ute; Tantely, Michaël Luciano; Randrianambinintsoa, Fano José; Boyer, Sébastien; Woog, Friederike

    2017-01-05

    Avian malaria occurs almost worldwide and is caused by Haemosporida parasites (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon). Vectors such as mosquitoes, hippoboscid flies or biting midges are required for the transmission of these parasites. There are few studies about avian malaria parasites on Madagascar but none about suitable vectors. To identify vectors of avian Plasmodium parasites on Madagascar, we examined head, thorax and abdomen of 418 mosquitoes from at least 18 species using a nested PCR method to amplify a 524 bp fragment of the haemosporidian mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Sequences obtained were then compared with a large dataset of haemosporidian sequences detected in 45 different bird species (n = 686) from the same area in the Maromizaha rainforest. Twenty-one mosquitoes tested positive for avian malaria parasites. Haemoproteus DNA was found in nine mosquitoes (2.15%) while Plasmodium DNA was found in 12 mosquitoes (2.87%). Seven distinct lineages were identified among the Plasmodium DNA samples. Some lineages were also found in the examined bird samples: Plasmodium sp. WA46 (EU810628.1) in the Madagascar bulbul, Plasmodium sp. mosquito 132 (AB308050.1) in 15 bird species belonging to eight families, Plasmodium sp. PV12 (GQ150194.1) in eleven bird species belonging to eight families and Plasmodium sp. P31 (DQ839060.1) was found in three weaver bird species. This study provides the first insight into avian malaria transmission in the Maromizaha rainforest in eastern Madagascar. Five Haemoproteus lineages and seven Plasmodium lineages were detected in the examined mosquitoes. Complete life-cycles for the specialist lineages WA46 and P31 and for the generalist lineages mosquito132 and PV12 of Plasmodium are proposed. In addition, we have identified for the first time Anopheles mascarensis and Uranotaenia spp. as vectors for avian malaria and offer the first description of vector mosquitoes for avian malaria in Madagascar.

  15. 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...... as a model identified 78.2% of isolates accurately as being African or Asian. Microsatellite analysis is a useful tool for mapping short-term outbreaks of malaria and for predicting ancestry....

  16. The Mu subunit of Plasmodium falciparum clathrin-associated adaptor protein 2 modulates in vitro parasite response to artemisinin and quinine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriques, Gisela; van Schalkwyk, Donelly A; Burrow, Rebekah; Warhurst, David C; Thompson, Eloise; Baker, David A; Fidock, David A; Hallett, Rachel; Flueck, Christian; Sutherland, Colin J

    2015-05-01

    The emergence of drug-resistant parasites is a serious threat faced by malaria control programs. Understanding the genetic basis of resistance is critical to the success of treatment and intervention strategies. A novel locus associated with antimalarial resistance, ap2-mu (encoding the mu chain of the adaptor protein 2 [AP2] complex), was recently identified in studies on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi (pcap2-mu). Furthermore, analysis in Kenyan malaria patients of polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum ap2-mu homologue, pfap2-mu, found evidence that differences in the amino acid encoded by codon 160 are associated with enhanced parasite survival in vivo following combination treatments which included artemisinin derivatives. Here, we characterize the role of pfap2-mu in mediating the in vitro antimalarial drug response of P. falciparum by generating transgenic parasites constitutively expressing codon 160 encoding either the wild-type Ser (Ser160) or the Asn mutant (160Asn) form of pfap2-mu. Transgenic parasites carrying the pfap2-mu 160Asn allele were significantly less sensitive to dihydroartemisinin using a standard 48-h in vitro test, providing direct evidence of an altered parasite response to artemisinin. Our data also provide evidence that pfap2-mu variants can modulate parasite sensitivity to quinine. No evidence was found that pfap2-mu variants contribute to the slow-clearance phenotype exhibited by P. falciparum in Cambodian patients treated with artesunate monotherapy. These findings provide compelling evidence that pfap2-mu can modulate P. falciparum responses to multiple drugs. We propose that this gene should be evaluated further as a potential molecular marker of antimalarial resistance.

  17. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium cynomolgi

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chatterjee, Soumendranath; Mukhopadhyay, Priyanka; Bandyopadhyay, Raktima; Dhal, Paltu; Biswal, Debraj; Bandyopadhyay, Prabir Kumar

    18S ribosomal RNA gene sequences of different species of Plasmodium were aligned and analyzed to determine the molecular diversity among different species of Plasmodium. AT content of P. cynomolgi, P. ovale, P. falciparum, P. vivax and P...

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivo H J Ploemen

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. Drug resistance and genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from suriname.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-11-01

    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 resistance transporter (pfcrt) gene (codon 76) and the pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance markers in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene (codons 16, 51, 59, 108, and 164) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) gene (codons 436, 437, 540, 581, and 613). Genetic variability was determined by sequence analysis of the polymorphic segments of the merozoite surface protein 2 (msp-2) and glutamate-rich protein (glurp) genes. Mutations in the pfcrt, dhps, and dhfr genes were found in all samples tested, suggesting that resistance to chloroquine and antifolate drugs is present at a high frequency. A low number of alleles was found for the msp-2 and glurp genes. This indicates limited genetic diversity and, based on geographic data, a genetically homogeneous P. falciparum population in Suriname.

  3. 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.

  4. Biochemical and genetic analysis of the phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Jennifer M; Takebe, Sachiko; Choi, Jae-Yeon; El Bissati, Kamal; Witola, William H; Bobenchik, April M; Hoch, Jeffrey C; Voelker, Dennis R; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2008-03-21

    The PfPMT enzyme of Plasmodium falciparum, the agent of severe human malaria, is a member of a large family of known and predicted phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) recently identified in plants, worms, and protozoa. Functional studies in P. falciparum revealed that PfPMT plays a critical role in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine via a plant-like pathway involving serine decarboxylation and phosphoethanolamine methylation. Despite their important biological functions, PMT structures have not yet been solved, and nothing is known about which amino acids in these enzymes are critical for catalysis and binding to S-adenosyl-methionine and phosphoethanolamine substrates. Here we have performed a mutational analysis of PfPMT focused on 24 residues within and outside the predicted catalytic motif. The ability of PfPMT to complement the choline auxotrophy of a yeast mutant defective in phospholipid methylation enabled us to characterize the activity of the PfPMT mutants. Mutations in residues Asp-61, Gly-83 and Asp-128 dramatically altered PfPMT activity and its complementation of the yeast mutant. Our analyses identify the importance of these residues in PfPMT activity and set the stage for advanced structural understanding of this class of enzymes.

  5. Total and functional parasite specific IgE responses in Plasmodium falciparum-infected patients exhibiting different clinical status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cazenave Pierre-André

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is an increase of serum levels of IgE during Plasmodium falciparum infections in individuals living in endemic areas. These IgEs either protect against malaria or increase malaria pathogenesis. To get an insight into the exact role played by IgE in the outcome of P. falciparum infection, total IgE levels and functional anti-parasite IgE response were studied in children and adults, from two different endemic areas Gabon and India, exhibiting either uncomplicated malaria, severe non cerebral malaria or cerebral malaria, in comparison with control individuals. Methodology and results Blood samples were collected from controls and P. falciparum-infected patients before treatment on the day of hospitalization (day 0 in India and, in addition, on days 7 and 30 after treatment in Gabon. Total IgE levels were determined by ELISA and functional P. falciparum-specific IgE were estimated using a mast cell line RBL-2H3 transfected with a human Fcε RI α-chain that triggers degranulation upon human IgE cross-linking. Mann Whitney and Kruskall Wallis tests were used to compare groups and the Spearman test was used for correlations. Total IgE levels were confirmed to increase upon infection and differ with level of transmission and age but were not directly related to the disease phenotype. All studied groups exhibited functional parasite-specific IgEs able to induce mast cell degranulation in vitro in the presence of P. falciparum antigens. Plasma IgE levels correlated with those of IL-10 in uncomplicated malaria patients from Gabon. In Indian patients, plasma IFN-γ , TNF and IL-10 levels were significantly correlated with IgE concentrations in all groups. Conclusion Circulating levels of total IgE do not appear to correlate with protection or pathology, or with anti-inflammatory cytokine pattern bias during malaria. On the contrary, the P. falciparum-specific IgE response seems to contribute to the control of parasites, since

  6. Identification of the five human Plasmodium species including P. knowlesi by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddoux, O; Debourgogne, A; Kantele, A; Kocken, C H; Jokiranta, T S; Vedy, S; Puyhardy, J M; Machouart, M

    2011-04-01

    Recently, Plasmodium knowlesi has been recognised as the fifth Plasmodium species causing malaria in humans. Hundreds of human cases infected with this originally simian Plasmodium species have been described in Asian countries and increasing numbers are reported in Europe from travellers. The growing impact of tourism and economic development in South and Southeast Asia are expected to subsequently lead to a further increase in cases both among locals and among travellers. P. knowlesi is easily misidentified in microscopy as P. malariae or P. falciparum. We developed new primers for the rapid and specific detection of this species by low-cost real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and added this method to an already existing panel of primers used for the molecular identification of the other four species in one reaction. Reference laboratories should now be able to identify undisputably and rapidly P. knowlesi, as it is a potentially fatal pathogen.

  7. The genomes of four tapeworm species reveal adaptations to parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Isheng J; Zarowiecki, Magdalena; Holroyd, Nancy; Garciarrubio, Alejandro; Sanchez-Flores, Alejandro; Brooks, Karen L; Tracey, Alan; Bobes, Raúl J; Fragoso, Gladis; Sciutto, Edda; Aslett, Martin; Beasley, Helen; Bennett, Hayley M; Cai, Jianping; Camicia, Federico; Clark, Richard; Cucher, Marcela; De Silva, Nishadi; Day, Tim A; Deplazes, Peter; Estrada, Karel; Fernández, Cecilia; Holland, Peter W H; Hou, Junling; Hu, Songnian; Huckvale, Thomas; Hung, Stacy S; Kamenetzky, Laura; Keane, Jacqueline A; Kiss, Ferenc; Koziol, Uriel; Lambert, Olivia; Liu, Kan; Luo, Xuenong; Luo, Yingfeng; Macchiaroli, Natalia; Nichol, Sarah; Paps, Jordi; Parkinson, John; Pouchkina-Stantcheva, Natasha; Riddiford, Nick; Rosenzvit, Mara; Salinas, Gustavo; Wasmuth, James D; Zamanian, Mostafa; Zheng, Yadong; Cai, Xuepeng; Soberón, Xavier; Olson, Peter D; Laclette, Juan P; Brehm, Klaus; Berriman, Matthew

    2013-04-01

    Tapeworms (Cestoda) cause neglected diseases that can be fatal and are difficult to treat, owing to inefficient drugs. Here we present an analysis of tapeworm genome sequences using the human-infective species Echinococcus multilocularis, E. granulosus, Taenia solium and the laboratory model Hymenolepis microstoma as examples. The 115- to 141-megabase genomes offer insights into the evolution of parasitism. Synteny is maintained with distantly related blood flukes but we find extreme losses of genes and pathways that are ubiquitous in other animals, including 34 homeobox families and several determinants of stem cell fate. Tapeworms have specialized detoxification pathways, metabolism that is finely tuned to rely on nutrients scavenged from their hosts, and species-specific expansions of non-canonical heat shock proteins and families of known antigens. We identify new potential drug targets, including some on which existing pharmaceuticals may act. The genomes provide a rich resource to underpin the development of urgently needed treatments and control.

  8. The genomes of four tapeworm species reveal adaptations to parasitism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Flores, Alejandro; Brooks, Karen L.; Tracey, Alan; Bobes, Raúl J.; Fragoso, Gladis; Sciutto, Edda; Aslett, Martin; Beasley, Helen; Bennett, Hayley M.; Cai, Xuepeng; Camicia, Federico; Clark, Richard; Cucher, Marcela; De Silva, Nishadi; Day, Tim A; Deplazes, Peter; Estrada, Karel; Fernández, Cecilia; Holland, Peter W. H.; Hou, Junling; Hu, Songnian; Huckvale, Thomas; Hung, Stacy S.; Kamenetzky, Laura; Keane, Jacqueline A.; Kiss, Ferenc; Koziol, Uriel; Lambert, Olivia; Liu, Kan; Luo, Xuenong; Luo, Yingfeng; Macchiaroli, Natalia; Nichol, Sarah; Paps, Jordi; Parkinson, John; Pouchkina-Stantcheva, Natasha; Riddiford, Nick; Rosenzvit, Mara; Salinas, Gustavo; Wasmuth, James D.; Zamanian, Mostafa; Zheng, Yadong; Cai, Jianping; Soberón, Xavier; Olson, Peter D.; Laclette, Juan P.; Brehm, Klaus; Berriman, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Summary Tapeworms cause debilitating neglected diseases that can be deadly and often require surgery due to ineffective drugs. Here we present the first analysis of tapeworm genome sequences using the human-infective species Echinococcus multilocularis, E. granulosus, Taenia solium and the laboratory model Hymenolepis microstoma as examples. The 115-141 megabase genomes offer insights into the evolution of parasitism. Synteny is maintained with distantly related blood flukes but we find extreme losses of genes and pathways ubiquitous in other animals, including 34 homeobox families and several determinants of stem cell fate. Tapeworms have species-specific expansions of non-canonical heat shock proteins and families of known antigens; specialised detoxification pathways, and metabolism finely tuned to rely on nutrients scavenged from their hosts. We identify new potential drug targets, including those on which existing pharmaceuticals may act. The genomes provide a rich resource to underpin the development of urgently needed treatments and control. PMID:23485966

  9. Marine protected areas facilitate parasite populations among four fished host species of central Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Micheli, Fiorenza; Fernández, Miriam; Gelcich, Stefan; Castilla, Juan Carlos; Carvajal, Juan

    2013-11-01

    1. Parasites comprise a substantial proportion of global biodiversity and exert important ecological influences on hosts, communities and ecosystems, but our knowledge of how parasite populations respond to human impacts is in its infancy. 2. Here, we present the results of a natural experiment in which we used a system of highly successful marine protected areas and matched open-access areas in central Chile to assess the influence of fishing-driven biodiversity loss on parasites of exploited fish and invertebrate hosts. We measured the burden of gill parasites for two reef fishes (Cheilodactylus variegatus and Aplodactylus punctatus), trematode parasites for a keyhole limpet (Fissurella latimarginata), and pinnotherid pea crab parasites for a sea urchin (Loxechinus albus). We also measured host density for all four hosts. 3. We found that nearly all parasite species exhibited substantially greater density (# parasites m(-2)) in protected than in open-access areas, but only one parasite species (a gill monogenean of C. variegatus) was more abundant within hosts collected from protected relative to open-access areas. 4. These data indicate that fishing can drive declines in parasite abundance at the parasite population level by reducing the availability of habitat and resources for parasites, but less commonly affects the abundance of parasites at the infrapopulation level (within individual hosts). 5. Considering the substantial ecological role that many parasites play in marine communities, fishing and other human impacts could exert cryptic but important effects on marine community structure and ecosystem functioning via reductions in parasite abundance.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M El Bakkouri; A Pow; A Mulichak; K Cheung; J Artz; M Amani; S Fell; T de Koning-Ward; C Goodman; et al.

    2011-12-31

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

  14. A whole parasite vaccine to control the blood stages of Plasmodium: the case for lateral thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Good, Michael F

    2011-08-01

    Now, 27 years following the cloning of malaria antigens with the promise of the rapid development of a malaria vaccine, we face significant obstacles that are belatedly being addressed. Poor immunogenicity of subunit vaccine antigens and significant antigenic diversity of target epitopes represent major hurdles for which there are no clear strategies for a way forward within the current paradigm. Thus, a different paradigm - a vaccine that uses the whole organism - is now being examined. Although most advances in this approach relate to a vaccine for the pre-erythrocytic stages (sporozoites, liver stages), this opinion paper will outline the possibilities of developing a whole parasite vaccine for the blood stage and address some of the challenges for this strategy, which are entirely different to the challenges for a subunit vaccine. It is the view of the author that both vaccine paradigms should be pursued, but that success will come more quickly using the paranormal approach of exposing individuals to ultra-low doses of whole attenuated or killed parasites. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Imputation-based population genetics analysis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samad, Hanif; Coll, Francesc; Preston, Mark D; Ocholla, Harold; Fairhurst, Rick M; Clark, Taane G

    2015-04-01

    Whole-genome sequencing technologies are being increasingly applied to Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates to identify genetic determinants of malaria pathogenesis. However, genome-wide discovery methods, such as haplotype scans for signatures of natural selection, are hindered by missing genotypes in sequence data. Poor correlation between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the P. falciparum genome complicates efforts to apply established missing-genotype imputation methods that leverage off patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD). The accuracy of state-of-the-art, LD-based imputation methods (IMPUTE, Beagle) was assessed by measuring allelic r2 for 459 P. falciparum samples from malaria patients in 4 countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Gambia, and Malawi. In restricting our analysis to 86 k high-quality SNPs across the populations, we found that the complete-case analysis was restricted to 21k SNPs (24.5%), despite no single SNP having more than 10% missing genotypes. The accuracy of Beagle in filling in missing genotypes was consistently high across all populations (allelic r2, 0.87-0.96), but the performance of IMPUTE was mixed (allelic r2, 0.34-0.99) depending on reference haplotypes and population. Positive selection analysis using Beagle-imputed haplotypes identified loci involved in resistance to chloroquine (crt) in Thailand, Cambodia, and Gambia, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (dhfr, dhps) in Cambodia, and artemisinin (kelch13) in Cambodia. Tajima's D-based analysis identified genes under balancing selection that encode well-characterized vaccine candidates: apical merozoite antigen 1 (ama1) and merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1). In contrast, the complete-case analysis failed to identify any well-validated drug resistance or candidate vaccine loci, except kelch13. In a setting of low LD and modest levels of missing genotypes, using Beagle to impute P. falciparum genotypes is a viable strategy for conducting accurate large-scale population genetics and

  16. Simple Real-Time PCR and Amplicon Sequencing Method for Identification of Plasmodium Species in Human Whole Blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefterova, Martina I; Budvytiene, Indre; Sandlund, Johanna; Färnert, Anna; Banaei, Niaz

    2015-07-01

    Malaria is the leading identifiable cause of fever in returning travelers. Accurate Plasmodium species identification has therapy implications for P. vivax and P. ovale, which have dormant liver stages requiring primaquine. Compared to microscopy, nucleic acid tests have improved specificity for species identification and higher sensitivity for mixed infections. Here, we describe a SYBR green-based real-time PCR assay for Plasmodium species identification from whole blood, which uses a panel of reactions to detect species-specific non-18S rRNA gene targets. A pan-Plasmodium 18S rRNA target is also amplified to allow species identification or confirmation by sequencing if necessary. An evaluation of assay accuracy, performed on 76 clinical samples (56 positives using thin smear microscopy as the reference method and 20 negatives), demonstrated clinical sensitivities of 95.2% for P. falciparum (20/21 positives detected) and 100% for the Plasmodium genus (52/52), P. vivax (20/20), P. ovale (9/9), and P. malariae (6/6). The sensitivity of the P. knowlesi-specific PCR was evaluated using spiked whole blood samples (100% [10/10 detected]). The specificities of the real-time PCR primers were 94.2% for P. vivax (49/52) and 100% for P. falciparum (51/51), P. ovale (62/62), P. malariae (69/69), and P. knowlesi (52/52). Thirty-three specimens were used to test species identification by sequencing the pan-Plasmodium 18S rRNA PCR product, with correct identification in all cases. The real-time PCR assay also identified two samples with mixed P. falciparum and P. ovale infection, which was confirmed by sequencing. The assay described here can be integrated into a malaria testing algorithm in low-prevalence areas, allowing definitive Plasmodium species identification shortly after malaria diagnosis by microscopy. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  17. Infection dynamics of endemic malaria in a wild bird population: parasite species-dependent drivers of spatial and temporal variation in transmission rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachish, Shelly; Knowles, Sarah C L; Alves, Ricardo; Wood, Matthew J; Sheldon, Ben C

    2011-11-01

    1. Investigating the ecological context in which host-parasite interactions occur and the roles of biotic and abiotic factors in forcing infection dynamics is essential to understanding disease transmission, spread and maintenance. 2. Despite their prominence as model host-pathogen systems, the relative influence of environmental heterogeneity and host characteristics in influencing the infection dynamics of avian blood parasites has rarely been assessed in the wild, particularly at a within-population scale. 3. We used a novel multievent modelling framework (an extension of multistate mark-recapture modelling) that allows for uncertainty in disease state, to estimate transmission parameters and assess variation in the infection dynamics of avian malaria in a large, longitudinally sampled data set of breeding blue tits infected with two divergent species of Plasmodium parasites. 4. We found striking temporal and spatial heterogeneity in the disease incidence rate and the likelihood of recovery within this single population and demonstrate marked differences in the relative influence of environmental and host factors in forcing the infection dynamics of the two Plasmodium species. 5. Proximity to a permanent water source greatly influenced the transmission rates of P. circumflexum, but not of P. relictum, suggesting that these parasites are transmitted by different vectors. 6. Host characteristics (age/sex) were found to influence infection rates but not recovery rates, and their influence on infection rates was also dependent on parasite species: P. relictum infection rates varied with host age, whilst P. circumflexum infection rates varied with host sex. 7. Our analyses reveal that transmission of endemic avian malaria is a result of complex interactions between biotic and abiotic components that can operate on small spatial scales and demonstrate that knowledge of the drivers of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in disease transmission will be

  18. The inhibitory effect of 2-halo derivatives of D-glucose on glycolysis and on the proliferation of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schalkwyk, Donelly A; Priebe, Waldemar; Saliba, Kevin J

    2008-11-01

    The intraerythrocytic stage of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum relies on glycolysis for ATP generation, and because it has no energy stores, a constant supply of glucose is necessary for the parasite to grow and multiply. The 2-substituted glucose analogs 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) and 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-FG) have been previously shown to inhibit the in vitro growth of P. falciparum and have been suggested to do so by inhibiting glycosylation in the parasite. In this study, we have investigated the antiplasmodial mechanism of action of 2-DG and 2-FG and compared it with that of other 2-substituted-glucose analogs. The compounds tested inhibited parasite growth to varying degrees, with 2-FG being the most effective. The antiplasmodial activity of some, but not all, of the analogs could be altered by varying the glucose concentration in the culture medium, increasing the antiplasmodial activity of the analogs as the glucose concentration is reduced. A trend was observed between the antiplasmodial activity of these analogs and their ability to inhibit glucose accumulation, glucose phosphorylation by hexokinase, and cytosolic pH regulation within the intraerythrocytic stage of the parasite. Our data are consistent with inhibition of glycolysis being a primary mechanism by which 2-DG and 2-FG inhibit parasite growth, and they validate the early steps in glycolysis as viable drug targets.

  19. Development of a multiplex PCR-ligase detection reaction assay for diagnosis of infection by the four parasite species causing malaria in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, David T; Thomson, Jodi M; Kasehagen, Laurin J; Zimmerman, Peter A

    2004-06-01

    The diagnosis of infections caused by Plasmodium species is critical for understanding the nature of malarial disease, treatment efficacy, malaria control, and public health. The demands of field-based epidemiological studies of malaria will require faster and more sensitive diagnostic methods as new antimalarial drugs and vaccines are explored. We have developed a multiplex PCR-ligase detection reaction (LDR) assay that allows the simultaneous diagnosis of infection by all four parasite species causing malaria in humans. This assay exhibits sensitivity and specificity equal to those of other PCR-based assays, identifying all four human malaria parasite species at levels of parasitemias equal to 1 parasitized erythrocyte/microl of blood. The multiplex PCR-LDR assay goes beyond other PCR-based assays by reducing technical procedures and by detecting intraindividual differences in species-specific levels of parasitemia. Application of the multiplex PCR-LDR assay will provide the sensitivity and specificity expected of PCR-based diagnostic assays and will contribute new insight regarding relationships between the human malaria parasite species and the human host in future epidemiological studies.

  20. Study of parasites native and introduced species of fish in Caspian Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Bozorgnia, Abbas

    2007-01-01

    Seven native and introduced species of fish in south east Caspian Sea coast examined for parasite infestation during 2004-2006. Native fishes include Barbus capito, Carassius auratus, Cyprinus carpio, Rutilus frisii kutum, Rutilus rutilus, Stizostidion lucioperca, Alosa caspia persica, 24 ecto and endo parasites were found in different organs of 7 species of fishes of them 2 of the metazoan 12 species of crustacean Lernaea cyprinacea , Lamproglena pukhella nematodea and cestodea parasite were...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Guler

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

  2. Effects of age, hemoglobin type and parasite strain on IgG recognition of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in Malian children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir E Zeituni

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Naturally-acquired antibody responses to antigens on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (iRBCs have been implicated in antimalarial immunity. To profile the development of this immunity, we have been studying a cohort of Malian children living in an area with intense seasonal malaria transmission. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We collected plasma from a sub-cohort of 176 Malian children aged 3-11 years, before (May and after (December the 2009 transmission season. To measure the effect of hemoglobin (Hb type on antibody responses, we enrolled age-matched HbAA, HbAS and HbAC children. To quantify antibody recognition of iRBCs, we designed a high-throughput flow cytometry assay to rapidly test numerous plasma samples against multiple parasite strains. We evaluated antibody reactivity of each plasma sample to 3 laboratory-adapted parasite lines (FCR3, D10, PC26 and 4 short-term-cultured parasite isolates (2 Malian and 2 Cambodian. 97% of children recognized ≥1 parasite strain and the proportion of IgG responders increased significantly during the transmission season for most parasite strains. Both strain-specific and strain-transcending IgG responses were detected, and varied by age, Hb type and parasite strain. In addition, the breadth of IgG responses to parasite strains increased with age in HbAA, but not in HbAS or HbAC, children. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our assay detects both strain-specific and strain-transcending IgG responses to iRBCs. The magnitude and breadth of these responses varied not only by age, but also by Hb type and parasite strain used. These findings indicate that studies of acquired humoral immunity should account for Hb type and test large numbers of diverse parasite strains.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Makkapati, V.; Rao, R.

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Contribution of the Ly49E natural killer receptor in the immune response to Plasmodium berghei infection and control of hepatic parasite development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Filtjens

    Full Text Available Natural killer (NK cells have different roles in the host response against Plasmodium-induced malaria depending on the stage of infection. Liver NK cells have a protective role during the initial hepatic stage of infection by production of the TH1-type cytokines IFN-γ and TNF-α. In the subsequent erythrocytic stage of infection, NK cells also induce protection through Th1-type cytokines but, in addition, may also promote development of cerebral malaria via CXCR3-induction on CD8(+ T cells resulting in migration of these cells to the brain. We have recently shown that the regulatory Ly49E NK receptor is expressed on liver NK cells in particular. The main objective of this study was therefore to examine the role of Ly49E expression in the immune response upon Plasmodium berghei ANKA infection, for which we compared wild type (WT to Ly49E knockout (KO mice. We show that the parasitemia was higher at the early stage, i.e. at days 6-7 of Plasmodium berghei ANKA infection in Ly49E KO mice, which correlated with lower induction of CD69, IFN-γ and TNF-α in DX5(- liver NK cells at day 5 post-infection. At later stages, these differences faded. There was also no difference in the kinetics and the percentage of cerebral malaria development and in lymphocyte CXCR3 expression in WT versus Ly49E KO mice. Collectively, we show that the immune response against Plasmodium berghei ANKA infection is not drastically affected in Ly49E KO mice. Although NK cells play a crucial role in Plasmodium infection and Ly49E is highly expressed on liver NK cells, the Ly49E NK receptor only has a temporarily role in the immune control of this parasite.

  5. 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

  6. 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; Dutta, Sheetij

    2013-06-01

    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.

  7. Post-translational generation of constitutively active cores from larger phosphatases in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum: implications for proteomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adams Brian

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although the complete genome sequences of a large number of organisms have been determined, the exact proteomes need to be characterized. More specifically, the extent to which post-translational processes such as proteolysis affect the synthesized proteins has remained unappreciated. We examined this issue in selected protein phosphatases of the protease-rich malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Results P. falciparum encodes a number of Ser/Thr protein phosphatases (PP whose catalytic subunits are composed of a catalytic core and accessory domains essential for regulation of the catalytic activity. Two examples of such regulatory domains are found in the Ca+2-regulated phosphatases, PP7 and PP2B (calcineurin. The EF-hand domains of PP7 and the calmodulin-binding domain of PP2B are essential for stimulation of the phosphatase activity by Ca+2. We present biochemical evidence that P. falciparum generates these full-length phosphatases as well as their catalytic cores, most likely as intermediates of a proteolytic degradation pathway. While the full-length phosphatases are activated by Ca+2, the processed cores are constitutively active and either less responsive or unresponsive to Ca+2. The processing is extremely rapid, specific, and occurs in vivo. Conclusions Post-translational cleavage efficiently degrades complex full-length phosphatases in P. falciparum. In the course of such degradation, enzymatically active catalytic cores are produced as relatively stable intermediates. The universality of such proteolysis in other phosphatases or other multi-domain proteins and its potential impact on the overall proteome of a cell merits further investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Saleh; Karunamoorthi, Kaliyaperumal

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Hemolytic and antimalarial effects of tight-binding glyoxalase 1 inhibitors on the host-parasite unit of erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cletus A. Wezena

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Glyoxalases prevent the formation of advanced glycation end products by converting glycolysis-derived methylglyoxal to d-lactate with the help of glutathione. Vander Jagt and colleagues previously showed that erythrocytes release about thirty times more d-lactate after infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Functional glyoxalases in the host-parasite unit might therefore be crucial for parasite survival. Here, we determined the antimalarial and hemolytic activity of two tight-binding glyoxalase inhibitors using infected and uninfected erythrocytes. In addition, we synthesized and analyzed a set of diester derivates of both tight-binding inhibitors resulting in up to threefold lower IC50 values and an altered methemoglobin formation and hemolytic activity depending on the type of ester. Inhibitor treatments of uninfected erythrocytes revealed an extremely slow inactivation of the host cell glyoxalase, irrespective of inhibitor modifications, and a potential dispensability of the host cell enzyme for parasite survival. Our study highlights the benefits and drawbacks of different esterifications of glutathione-derived inhibitors and demonstrates the suitability of glyoxalase inhibitors as a tool for deciphering the relevance and mode of action of different glyoxalase systems in a host-parasite unit.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda C. Koyama

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Plasmodium falciparum: 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...... antigens to induce cytokine production we separated a mixture of exoantigens by SDS-PAGE gels. Antigen fractions of 43-71 kDa and of a low molecular mass of TNF alpha interleukin 1 alpha, and interleukin 6 production from human mononuclear cells. The low......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...

  14. 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...

  15. Plasmodium falciparum signal recognition particle components and anti-parasitic effect of ivermectin in blocking nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of SRP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panchal, M; Rawat, K; Kumar, G; Kibria, K M; Singh, S; Kalamuddin, Md; Mohmmed, A; Malhotra, P; Tuteja, R

    2014-01-16

    Signal recognition particle (SRP) is a ubiquitous ribonucleoprotein complex that targets proteins to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in eukaryotes. Here we report that Plasmodium falciparum SRP is composed of six polypeptides; SRP9, SRP14, SRP19, SRP54, SRP68 and SRP72 and a 303nt long SRP RNA. We generated four transgenic parasite lines expressing SRP-GFP chimeric proteins and co-localization studies showed the nucleo-cytoplasmic localization for these proteins. The evaluation of the effect of known SRP and nuclear import/export inhibitors on P. falciparum revealed that ivermectin, an inhibitor of importin α/β mediated nuclear import inhibited the nuclear import of PfSRP polypeptides at submicromolar concentration, thereby killing the parasites. These findings provide insights into dynamic structure of P. falciparum SRP and also raise the possibility that ivermectin could be used in combination with other antimalarial agents to control the disease.

  16. 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

  17. In silico identification of genetically attenuated vaccine candidate genes for Plasmodium liver stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Hirdesh; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Mair, Gunnar R; Gomes, James

    2015-12-01

    Genetically attenuated parasites (GAPs) that lack genes essential for the liver stage of the malaria parasite, and therefore cause developmental arrest, have been developed as live vaccines in rodent malaria models and recently been tested in humans. The genes targeted for deletion were often identified by trial and error. Here we present a systematic gene - protein and transcript - expression analyses of several Plasmodium species with the aim to identify candidate genes for the generation of novel GAPs. With a lack of liver stage expression data for human malaria parasites, we used data available for liver stage development of Plasmodium yoelii, a rodent malaria model, to identify proteins expressed in the liver stage but absent from blood stage parasites. An orthology-based search was then employed to identify orthologous proteins in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum resulting in a total of 310 genes expressed in the liver stage but lacking evidence of protein expression in blood stage parasites. Among these 310 possible GAP candidates, we further studied Plasmodium liver stage proteins by phyletic distribution and functional domain analyses and shortlisted twenty GAP-candidates; these are: fabB/F, fabI, arp, 3 genes encoding subunits of the PDH complex, dnaJ, urm1, rS5, ancp, mcp, arh, gk, lisp2, valS, palm, and four conserved Plasmodium proteins of unknown function. Parasites lacking one or several of these genes might yield new attenuated malaria parasites for experimental vaccination studies.

  18. No evidence for ape Plasmodium infections in humans in Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Délicat-Loembet, Lucresse; Rougeron, Virginie; Ollomo, Benjamin; Arnathau, Céline; Roche, Benjamin; Elguero, Eric; Moukodoum, Nancy Diamella; Okougha, Alain-Prince; Mve Ondo, Bertrand; Boundenga, Larson; Houzé, Sandrine; Galan, Maxime; Nkoghé, Dieudonné; Leroy, Eric M; Durand, Patrick; Paupy, Christophe; Renaud, François; Prugnolle, Franck

    2015-01-01

    African great apes are naturally infected by a multitude of Plasmodium species most of them recently discovered, among which several are closely related to human malaria agents. However, it is still unknown whether these animals can serve as source of infections for humans living in their vicinity. To evaluate this possibility, we analysed the nature of Plasmodium infections from a bank of 4281 human blood samples collected in 210 villages of Gabon, Central Africa. Among them, 2255 were detected positive to Plasmodium using molecular methods (Plasmodium Cytochrome b amplification). A high throughput sequencing technology (454 GS-FLX Titanium technology, Roche) was then used to identify the Plasmodium species present within each positive sample. Overall, we identified with confidence only three species infecting humans in Gabon: P. falciparum, P. malariae and P. ovale. None of the species known to infect non-human primates in Central Africa was found. Our study shows that ape Plasmodium parasites of the subgenus Laverania do not constitute a frequent source of infection for humans. It also suggests that some strong host genetic barriers must exist to prevent the cross species transmission of ape Plasmodium in a context of ever increasing contacts between humans and wildlife.

  19. Prevalence and distribution of human Plasmodium infection in Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khattak, Aamer A; Venkatesan, Meera; Nadeem, Muhammad F; Satti, Humayoon S; Yaqoob, Adnan; Strauss, Kathy; Khatoon, Lubna; Malik, Salman A; Plowe, Christopher V

    2013-08-28

    Both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum are prevalent in Pakistan, yet up-to-date data on the epidemiology of malaria in Pakistan are not available. This study was undertaken to determine the current prevalence and distribution of Plasmodium species across the country. A malariometric population survey was conducted in 2011 using blood samples collected from 801 febrile patients of all ages in four provinces and the capital city of Islamabad. Microscopically confirmed Plasmodium-positive blood samples were reconfirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Confirmed parasite-positive samples were subjected to species-specific PCR capable of detecting four species of human malaria. Of the 707 PCR-positive samples, 128 (18%) were P. falciparum, 536 (76%) were P. vivax, and 43 (6%) were mixed P. falciparum and P. vivax. Ninety-four microscopy-positive samples were PCR-negative, and Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale were not detected. Prevalence of P. vivax ranged from 2.4% in Punjab Province to 10.8% in Sindh Province and prevalence of P. falciparum ranged from 0.1% in Islamabad to 3.8% in Balochistan. Plasmodium infections in Pakistan are largely attributed to P. vivax but P. falciparum and mixed species infections are also prevalent. In addition, regional variation in the prevalence and species composition of malaria is high.

  20. Geographic-genetic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations from surveys of primary school children in Western Kenya [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Omedo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background. Malaria control, and finally malaria elimination, requires the identification and targeting of residual foci or hotspots of transmission. However, the level of parasite mixing within and between geographical locations is likely to impact the effectiveness and durability of control interventions and thus should be taken into consideration when developing control programs. Methods. In order to determine the geographic-genetic patterns of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations at a sub-national level in Kenya, we used the Sequenom platform to genotype 111 genome-wide distributed single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP positions in 2486 isolates collected from children in 95 primary schools in western Kenya. We analysed these parasite genotypes for genetic structure using principal component analysis and assessed local and global clustering using statistical measures of spatial autocorrelation. We further examined the region for spatial barriers to parasite movement as well as directionality in the patterns of parasite movement. Results. We found no evidence of population structure and little evidence of spatial autocorrelation of parasite genotypes (correlation coefficients <0.03 among parasite pairs in distance classes of 1km, 2km and 5km; p value<0.01. An analysis of the geographical distribution of allele frequencies showed weak evidence of variation in distribution of alleles, with clusters representing a higher than expected number of samples with the major allele being identified for 5 SNPs. Furthermore, we found no evidence of the existence of spatial barriers to parasite movement within the region, but observed directional movement of parasites among schools in two separate sections of the region studied. Conclusions. Our findings illustrate a pattern of high parasite mixing within the study region. If this mixing is due to rapid gene flow, then “one-off” targeted interventions may not be currently effective at the sub

  1. Geographic-genetic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations from surveys of primary school children in Western Kenya [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Omedo

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background. Malaria control, and finally malaria elimination, requires the identification and targeting of residual foci or hotspots of transmission. However, the level of parasite mixing within and between geographical locations is likely to impact the effectiveness and durability of control interventions and thus should be taken into consideration when developing control programs. Methods. In order to determine the geographic-genetic patterns of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations at a sub-national level in Kenya, we used the Sequenom platform to genotype 111 genome-wide distributed single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP positions in 2486 isolates collected from children in 95 primary schools in western Kenya. We analysed these parasite genotypes for genetic structure using principal component analysis and assessed local and global clustering using statistical measures of spatial autocorrelation. We further examined the region for spatial barriers to parasite movement as well as directionality in the patterns of parasite movement. Results. We found no evidence of population structure and little evidence of spatial autocorrelation of parasite genotypes (correlation coefficients <0.03 among parasite pairs in distance classes of 1km, 2km and 5km; p value<0.01. An analysis of the geographical distribution of allele frequencies showed weak evidence of variation in distribution of alleles, with clusters representing a higher than expected number of samples with the major allele being identified for 5 SNPs. Furthermore, we found no evidence of the existence of spatial barriers to parasite movement within the region, but observed directional movement of parasites among schools in two separate sections of the region studied. Conclusions. Our findings illustrate a pattern of high parasite mixing within the study region. If this mixing is due to rapid gene flow, then “one-off” targeted interventions may not be currently effective at the sub

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    and adults diagnosed with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Microscopy was used to estimate P. falciparum parasite density and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the polymorphic regions of msp1 (PF3D7-0930300) and msp2 (PF3D7-0206800) was used for parasite genotyping and MOI determination......Background: Plasmodium falciparum genetic diversity and multiplicity of infection (MOI) are parasite features that have been suggested to influence the acquisition of protective immunity against malaria. This study sought to assess the relationship between MOI and parasite density (PD) in malaria...

  3. Diagnosis of an imported Plasmodium ovale wallikeri infection in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liew, Jonathan Wee Kent; Mahmud, Rohela; Tan, Lian Huat; Lau, Yee Ling

    2016-01-06

    Plasmodium ovale is rare and not exactly known to be autochthonous in Malaysia. There are two distinct forms of the parasite, namely P. ovale curtisi (classic form) and P. ovale wallikeri (variant form). Here, the first sequence confirmed case of an imported P. ovale wallikeri infection in Malaysia is presented. Microscopy found Plasmodium parasites with morphology similar to P. ovale or Plasmodium vivax in the blood films. Further confirmation using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the small-subunit rRNA gene of the parasite was unsuccessful. Genus-specific PCR was then performed and the product was sequenced and analysed. Sequence analyses confirmed the aetiological agent as P. ovale wallikeri. New species-specific primers (rOVA1v and rOVA2v) were employed and P. ovale wallikeri was finally confirmed. The findings highlight the need to look out for imported malaria infections in Malaysia and the importance of a constantly updated and validated diagnostic technique.

  4. Outbreak of Avian Malaria Associated to Multiple Species of Plasmodium in Magellanic Penguins Undergoing Rehabilitation in Southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Kolesnikovas, Cristiane K. M.; Sandri, Sandro; Silveira, Patrícia; Belo, Nayara O.; Ferreira Junior, Francisco C.; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Steindel, Mário; Braga, Érika M.; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2014-01-01

    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 prevent avian

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Kolesnikovas, Cristiane K M; Sandri, Sandro; Silveira, Patrícia; Belo, Nayara O; Ferreira Junior, Francisco C; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Steindel, Mário; Braga, Érika M; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2014-01-01

    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 prevent avian

  6. 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

  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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2013-02-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Species Diversity in Northern California Salt Marshes: Functional Significance of Parasitic Plant Interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Grewell, Brenda J.

    2004-01-01

    I studied how parasitic plant interactions contribute to species coexistence in tidal wetlands of northern California. First, I address the effects of the native parasite Cuscuta salina on species interactions and plant community structure, showed that Cuscuta is restricted to nutrient poor areas with significant canopy gaps and high species diversity. I examined timing, level, and frequency of host infectivity and identified Plantago maritima as the primary host. I experimentally removed Cus...

  13. Molecular basis for identification of species/isolates of gastrointestinal nematode parasites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ahmed M; Singh MN; Bera AK; Bandyopadhyay S; Bhattacharya D

    2011-01-01

    Gastrointestinal(GI)parasitism is the most serious constraint throughout the world in small ruminants which causes significant production loss in animals.GI parasites are major contributor to reduce productivity in terms of meat, milk and wool in animals. Control ofGI parasite is done primarily by anthelmintic treatment where choice and schedule of treatment is done after identification and quantitation of individual parasite. Identification ofGI parasites is done through microscopic method by identifying specific morphological characteristics of egg and larva (L3). Since most of parasite eggs are having similar morphological characteristics, identification up to species level through microscopy is not possible in most of cases. To address this issue, molecular techniques are the viable alternative for identification of species as well as molecular level differences within a species (isolates) of parasites. DifferentDNA based molecular techniquesviz.PCR, AFLP, RAPD, RFLP, PCR-SSCP, real timePCR, DNAmicroarrayetc. have been used for identification and to assess the genetic diversity among parasite population. For identification of species, the characteristic sequence of genomicDNAof different species should differ to allow the delineation of species, but at the same time, no/minor variation within the species should exist. In contrast, for purpose of identifying population variants (strains/isolates), a considerable degree of variation in the sequence should exist within a species. Various target regions, including nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA), mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) or repetitiveDNA elements (microsatellite loci), which show considerable variation in the number of repeats within individuals have been employed to achieve the identification of parasites species or strain.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Kinetics of B Cell responses to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    Naturally acquired protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria takes years to develop. It relies mainly on Abs, particularly IgG specific for Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface. It is only partially understood why...... confirmed earlier reports of high atypical memory B cell frequencies among residents of P. falciparum-endemic areas, and indicated an additional effect of pregnancy. Our study provides new knowledge regarding immunity to P. falciparum malaria and underpins efforts to develop PfEMP1-based vaccines against...

  17. 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.

  18. 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, b...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Establishment and interspecific associations in two species of Ichthyocotylurus (Trematoda parasites in perch (Perca fluviatilis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karvonen Anssi

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Co-infections of multiple parasite species in hosts may lead to interspecific associations and subsequently shape the structure of a parasite community. However, few studies have focused on these associations in highly abundant parasite species or, in particular, investigated how the associations develop with time in hosts exposed to co-infecting parasite species for the first time. We investigated metacercarial establishment and interspecific associations in the trematodes Ichthyocotylurus variegatus and I. pileatus co-infecting three age cohorts of young perch (Perca fluviatilis. Results We found that the timing of transmission of the two Ichthyocotylurus species was very similar, but they showed differences in metacercarial development essentially so that the metacercariae of I. pileatus became encapsulated faster. Correlations between the abundances of the species were significantly positive after the first summer of host life and also within the main site of infection, the swim bladder. High or low abundances of both parasite species were also more frequent in the same host individuals than expected by chance, independently of host age or size. However, the highest abundances of the species were nevertheless observed in different host individuals and this pattern was consistent in all age cohorts. Conclusions The results suggest similar temporal patterns of transmission, non-random establishment, and facilitative rather than competitive associations between the parasite species independently of the age of the infracommunities. However, we suggest that spatial differences in exposure are most likely responsible for the segregation of the parasite species observed in the few most heavily infected hosts. Regardless of the underlying mechanism, the result suggests that between-species associations should be interpreted with caution along with detailed examination of the parasite distribution among host individuals.

  2. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26205537

  3. 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

  4. α2-Macroglobulin Can Crosslink Multiple Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) Molecules and May Facilitate Adhesion of Parasitized Erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J;

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting, the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes, involves clonal variants of the parasite protein P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and soluble serum factors. While rosetting is a well-known phenotypic marker of parasites......-macroglobulin (α2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the α2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that α2M can bind at least four HB3VAR06 proteins, plausibly....... Together, our results are evidence that P. falciparum parasites exploit α2M (and IgM) to expand the repertoire of host receptors available for PfEMP1-mediated IE adhesion, such as the erythrocyte carbohydrate moieties that lead to formation of rosettes. It is likely that this mechanism also affects IE...

  5. α2-macroglobulin can crosslink multiple Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) molecules and may facilitate adhesion of parasitized erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J;

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting, the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes, involves clonal variants of the parasite protein P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and soluble serum factors. While rosetting is a well-known phenotypic marker of parasites......-macroglobulin (α2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the α2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that α2M can bind at least four HB3VAR06 proteins, plausibly....... Together, our results are evidence that P. falciparum parasites exploit α2M (and IgM) to expand the repertoire of host receptors available for PfEMP1-mediated IE adhesion, such as the erythrocyte carbohydrate moieties that lead to formation of rosettes. It is likely that this mechanism also affects IE...

  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.

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  9. 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

    Protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria acquired after natural exposure is largely antibody mediated. IgG-specific P. falciparum EMP1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface are particularly important. The transient antibody responses and the slowly acquired protective...... immunity probably reflect the clonal antigenic variation and allelic polymorphism of PfEMP1. However, it is likely that other immune-evasive mechanisms are also involved, such as interference with formation and maintenance of immunological memory. We measured PfEMP1-specific antibody levels by enzyme......-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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Microsatellite analysis reveals strong but differential impact of a social parasite on its two host species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer-Blass, Birgit; Heinze, Jürgen; Foitzik, Susanne

    2006-03-01

    The speed and the dynamics of the co-evolutionary process strongly depend on the relative strengths of reciprocal selection pressures exerted by the interacting species. Here, we investigate the influence of an obligate social parasite, the slave-making ant Harpagoxenus sublaevis, on populations of the two main host species Leptothorax acervorum and Leptothorax muscorum from a German ant community. A combination of genetic and demographic data allowed us to analyse the consequences of raiding pressure on the hosts' life history and possible host preferences of the parasite. We can demonstrate that slave raids during which the social parasite pillages brood from neighbouring host colonies are both frequent and extremely destructive for both host species. Microsatellite analysis showed that, on average, a single slave-maker colony conducts more than three raids per year and that host colonies mostly perish in the aftermath of these parasite attacks. Only in few cases, surviving nests of previously raided host colonies were found in the surroundings of slave-maker colonies. As a consequence of the high prevalence of parasites and their recurrent and devastating slave raids on host colonies, the life expectancy of host colonies was severely reduced. Combining our results on host-specific parasitic colony founding and raiding frequencies with the post-raid survival rate, we can demonstrate an overall higher mortality rate for the smaller host species L. muscorum. This might be caused by a preference of H. sublaevis for this secondary host species as demographic data on host species usage indicate.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claribel Murillo Solano

    Full Text Available 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

  13. 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 the100 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-negative

  14. 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.

  15. An impossible journey? The development of Plasmodium falciparum NF54 in Culex quinquefasciatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knöckel, Julia; Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Fischer, Elizabeth; Muratova, Olga; Haile, Ashley; Barillas-Mury, Carolina; Miller, Louis H

    2013-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D Goodman

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranford-Cartwright Lisa

    2009-05-01

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

  18. Discordance in drug resistance-associated mutation patterns in marker genes of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium knowlesi during coinfections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyagi, Rupesh K; Das, Manoj K; Singh, Shiv S; Sharma, Yagya D

    2013-05-01

    Human Plasmodium knowlesi infections have been reported from several South-East Asian countries, excluding India, but its drug susceptibility profile in mixed-infection cases remains unknown. The chloroquine resistance transporter (CRT) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) genes of P. knowlesi and other Plasmodium species were sequenced from clinical isolates obtained from malaria patients living in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. The merozoite surface protein-1 and 18S rRNA genes of P. knowlesi were also sequenced from these isolates. Among 445 samples analysed, only 53 of them had P. knowlesi-specific gene sequences. While 3 of the 53 cases (5.66%) had P. knowlesi monoinfection, the rest were coinfected with Plasmodium falciparum (86.79%, n = 46) or Plasmodium vivax (7.55%, n = 4), but none with Plasmodium malariae or Plasmodium ovale. There was discordance in the drug resistance-associated mutations among the coinfecting Plasmodium species. This is because the P. knowlesi isolates contained wild-type sequences, while P. falciparum isolates had mutations in the CRT and DHFR marker genes associated with a higher level of chloroquine and antifolate drug resistance, respectively. The mutation pattern indicates that the same patient, having a mixed infection, may be harbouring the drug-susceptible P. knowlesi parasite and a highly drug-resistant P. falciparum parasite. A larger human population in South-East Asia may be at risk of P. knowlesi infection than reported so far. The different drug susceptibility genotypes of P. knowlesi from its coinfecting Plasmodium species in mixed infections adds a new dimension to the malaria control programme, requiring formulation of an appropriate drug policy.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiredo, Ana; Oliveira, Lucia; Madeira de Carvalho, Luís; Fonseca, Carlos; Torres, Rita Tinoco

    2016-08-01

    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.

  1. Alternative mechanisms of increased eggshell hardness of avian brood parasites relative to host species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igic, Branislav; Braganza, Kim; Hyland, Margaret M.; Silyn-Roberts, Heather; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomas; Rutila, Jarkko; Moskát, Csaba; Hauber, Mark E.

    2011-01-01

    Obligate brood parasitic birds lay their eggs in nests of other species and parasite eggs typically have evolved greater structural strength relative to host eggs. Increased mechanical strength of the parasite eggshell is an adaptation that can interfere with puncture ejection behaviours of discriminating hosts. We investigated whether hardness of eggshells is related to differences between physical and chemical traits from three different races of the parasitic common cuckoo Cuculus canorus, and their respective hosts. Using tools developed for materials science, we discovered a novel correlate of increased strength of parasite eggs: the common cuckoo's egg exhibits a greater microhardness, especially in the inner region of the shell matrix, relative to its host and sympatric non-host species. We then tested predictions of four potential mechanisms of shell strength: (i) increased relative thickness overall, (ii) greater proportion of the structurally harder shell layers, (iii) higher concentration of inorganic components in the shell matrix, and (iv) elevated deposition of a high density compound, MgCO3, in the shell matrix. We confirmed support only for hypothesis (i). Eggshell characteristics did not differ between parasite eggs sampled from different host nests in distant geographical sites, suggesting an evolutionarily shared microstructural mechanism of stronger parasite eggshells across diverse host-races of brood parasitic cuckoos. PMID:21561966

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. [Study of morbidity and Plasmodium species in the several geographic-climatic areas of Mauritania].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouldabdallahi, M; Ouldbezeid, M; Lemrabot, M A; Ouldelvally, A; Ouldkhairi, M L; Dialw, B; Basco, L

    2015-03-01

    We studied the proportion of malaria-infected patients among febrile outpatients in nine health centres selected in relation to their geo-climatic location and the level of malaria transmission in order to establish a reliable database on malaria-associated morbidity and Plasmodium species in three epidemiological strata in Mauritania. Blood samples were collected from a total of 7368 febrile individuals (1603 in sahelian zone, 3023 in sahelian-saharan transition zone, and 2742 in Saharan zone) to examine thin and thick blood smears between August 2010 and July 2011. The proportion of malaria-infected patients was 9.1% (672/7368). Depending on the season, the proportion varied from 16.3% (494/3021), 5.5% (157/2850), to 1.4% (21/1497) during the humid season (July-October), cool dry season (December-March), and hot dry season (April-June), respectively. Febrile patients in the sahelian-Saharan transition zone were most affected by malaria, with 65.6% (441/672) smear-positive cases. P. vivax occurred most frequently (61.6%, 414/672). P. falciparum, P. ovale, and P. malariae accounted for 32.4% (218/672), 5.2% (35/672), and 0.8% (5/672) of smear-positive cases, respectively. These data may contribute to improving our knowledge on malaria in Mauritania, which may in turn help develop control strategies and improved monitoring in each geo-climatic zone.

  4. Immune Escape Strategies of Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Analysis of hematologic and serum chemistry values of Spheniscus magellanicus with molecular detection of avian malarial parasites (Plasmodium spp.

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    Sabrina D.E. Campos

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus routinely migrate from their breeding colonies to Southern Brazil often contracting diseases during this migration, notably avian malaria, which has been already reported in Brazil and throughout the world. Detection of Plasmodium spp. in blood smears is the routine diagnostic method of avian malaria, however it has a low sensitivity rate when compared to molecular methods. Considering the negative impact of avian malaria on penguins, the aim of this study was to detect the presence of Plasmodium spp. in Magellanic penguins using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR and by verifying clinical, hematological, and biochemical alterations in blood samples as well as to verify the likely prognosis in response to infection. Blood samples were obtained from 75 penguins to determine packed cell volume (PCV, red blood cell (RBC and white blood cell (WBC counts, mean corpuscular volume (MCV, uric acid, total protein, albumin, globulin and aspartate aminotransferase (AST activity levels. Whole blood samples were used for PCR assays. Plasmodium spp. was detected in 32.0% of the specimens using PCR and in 29.3% using microscopic analyses. Anorexia, diarrhea and neurological disorders were more frequent in penguins with malaria and a significant weight difference between infected and non-infected penguins was detected. PCV and MCV rates showed no significant difference. RBC and WBC counts were lower in animals with avian malaria and leukopenia was present in some penguins. Basophil and lymphocyte counts were lower in infected penguins along with high monocyte counts. There was no significant difference in AST activities between infected and non-infected animals. There was a significant increase in uric acid values, however a decrease in albumin values was observed in infected penguins. Based on this study, we concluded that Plasmodium spp. occurs in Magellanic penguins of rehabilitation centers in Southeastern Brazil

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

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    Noel J Gerald

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

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

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    Upasana Shyamsunder Singh

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Comparison of PCR and microscopy for the detection of asymptomatic malaria in a Plasmodium falciparum/vivax endemic area in Thailand

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    Miller Robert

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective The main objective of this study was to compare the performance of nested PCR with expert microscopy as a means of detecting Plasmodium parasites during active malaria surveillance in western Thailand. Methods The study was performed from May 2000 to April 2002 in the village of Kong Mong Tha, located in western Thailand. Plasmodium vivax (PV and Plasmodium falciparum (PF are the predominant parasite species in this village, followed by Plasmodium malariae (PM and Plasmodium ovale (PO. Each month, fingerprick blood samples were taken from each participating individual and used to prepare thick and thin blood films and for PCR analysis. Results PCR was sensitive (96% and specific (98% for malaria at parasite densities ≥ 500/μl; however, only 18% (47/269 of P. falciparum- and 5% (20/390 of P. vivax-positive films had parasite densities this high. Performance of PCR decreased markedly at parasite densities P. falciparum and 24% for P. vivax at densities Conclusion Although PCR performance appeared poor when compared to microscopy, data indicated that the discrepancy between the two methods resulted from poor performance of microscopy at low parasite densities rather than poor performance of PCR. These data are not unusual when the diagnostic method being evaluated is more sensitive than the reference method. PCR appears to be a useful method for detecting Plasmodium parasites during active malaria surveillance in Thailand.

  12. Chemokine levels and parasite- and allergen-specific antibody responses in children and adults with severe or uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wangala, B.; Vovor, A.; Gantin, R. G.; Agbeko, Y. F.; Lechner, C. J.; Huang, X.; Köhler, C.

    2015-01-01

    Chemokine and antibody response profiles were investigated in children and adults with severe or uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria; the aim was to reveal which profiles are associated with severe disease, as often seen in nonimmune children, or with mild and uncomplicated disease, as seen in semi-immune adults. Blood samples were obtained from children under 5 years of age as well as adults with falciparum malaria. Classification of malaria was performed according to parasite densities and hemoglobin concentrations. Plasma levels of chemokines (IL-8, IP-10, MCP-4, TARC, PARC, MIP-1δ, eotaxins) were quantified, and antibody responses (IgE, IgG1, and IgG4) to P. falciparum, Entamoeba histolytica-specific antigen, and mite allergen extracts were determined. In children with severe malaria proinflammatory, IL-8, IP10, MIP-1δ, and LARC were at highly elevated levels, suggesting an association with severe disease. In contrast, the Th2-type chemokines TARC, PARC, and eotaxin-2 attained in children the same levels as in adults suggesting the evolution of immune regulatory components. In children with severe malaria, an elevated IgG1 and IgE reactivity to mite allergens and intestinal protozoan parasites was observed. In conclusion, exacerbated proinflammatory chemokines together with IgE responses to mite allergens or E. histolytica-specific antigen extract were observed in children with severe falciparum malaria. PMID:25883801

  13. Different parasite faunas in sympatric populations of sister hedgehog species in a secondary contact zone.

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    Miriam Pfäffle

    Full Text Available Providing descriptive data on parasite diversity and load in sister species is a first step in addressing the role of host-parasite coevolution in the speciation process. In this study we compare the parasite faunas of the closely related hedgehog species Erinaceus europaeus and E. roumanicus from the Czech Republic where both occur in limited sympatry. We examined 109 hedgehogs from 21 localities within this secondary contact zone. Three species of ectoparasites and nine species of endoparasites were recorded. Significantly higher abundances and prevalences were found for Capillaria spp. and Brachylaemus erinacei in E. europaeus compared to E. roumanicus and higher mean infection rates and prevalences for Hymenolepis erinacei, Physaloptera clausa and Nephridiorhynchus major in E. roumanicus compared to E. europaeus. Divergence in the composition of the parasite fauna, except for Capillaria spp., which seem to be very unspecific, may be related to the complicated demography of their hosts connected with Pleistocene climate oscillations and consequent range dynamics. The fact that all parasite species with different abundances in E. europaeus and E. roumanicus belong to intestinal forms indicates a possible diversification of trophic niches between both sister hedgehog species.

  14. 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....

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Four new species of Oswaldocruzia (Nematoda: Trichostrongylina, Molineoidea Parasitizing amphibians and lizards from Ecuador

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    Badreddine Ben Slimane

    1996-06-01

    Full Text Available Description of four new species of Oswaldocruzia parasitizing Iguanidae and Leptodactylidae from Ecuador, demonstrate that they are morphologically close to each other. Like most of the other neotropical and holarctic Oswaldocruzia , they are characterized by spicules with three main branches: blade, shoe and fork; the division of the fork within the distal third of the spicule length appears to be characteristic of the neotropical species. - Oswaldocruzia bainae n. sp. parasitizing Anolis chrysolepis and Anolis fuscoauratus possesses a synlophe visible only on transversal sections of the body. It is composed of rounded and not pointed ridges. - Oswaldocruzia tcheprakovae n. sp. parasitizing Eleutherodactylus altamazonicus is closely related to O. bainae , but the synlophe is present only in the anterior and posterior extremities of the body. - Oswaldocruzia cassonei n. sp. parasitizing Eleutherodactylus lanthanites is closely related to O. taranchoni, Ben Slimane and Durette-Desset, 1995, a parasite of Bufo marinus from Brazil. It is differentiated by the synlophe and the measurements. - Oswaldocruzia petterae n. sp. parasitizing Leptodactylus pentadactylus is closely related to O. chambrieri, Ben Slimane and Durette-Desset, 1993, parasitizing Bufo and Eleutherodactylus in the same region. It is differentiated since, for an equivalent length of the body, the ridges are almost two times fewer and the spicules smaller.

  18. Modeling the Effects of Relapse in the Transmission Dynamics of Malaria Parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo Águas; Marcelo U. Ferreira; Gomes, M. Gabriela M.

    2012-01-01

    Often regarded as “benign,” Plasmodium vivax infections lay in the shadows of the much more virulent P. falciparum infections. However, about 1.98 billion people are at risk of both parasites worldwide, stressing the need to understand the epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax, particularly under the scope of decreasing P. falciparum prevalence and ecological interactions between both species. Two epidemiological observations put the dynamics of both species into perspective: (1) ACT campaigns hav...

  19. Structural dynamics of Casein Kinase I (CKI) from malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (Isolate 3D7): Insights from theoretical modelling and molecular simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehury, Budheswar; Behera, Santosh Kumar; Mahapatra, Namita

    2017-01-01

    The protein kinases (PKs), belonging to serine/threonine kinase (STKs), are important drug targets for a wide spectrum of diseases in human. Among protein kinases, the Casein Kinases (CKs) are vastly expanded in various organisms, where, the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum possesses a single member i.e., PfCKI, which can phosphorylate various proteins in parasite extracts in vitro condition. But, the structure-function relationship of PfCKI and dynamics of ATP binding is yet to be understood. Henceforth, an attempt was made to study the dynamics, stability, and ATP binding mechanisms of PfCKI through computational modelling, docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and MM/PBSA binding free energy estimation. Bi-lobed catalytic domain of PfCKI shares a high degree of secondary structure topology with CKI domains of rice, human, and mouse indicating co-evolution of these kinases. Molecular docking study revealed that ATP binds to the active site where the glycine-rich ATP-binding motif (G16-X-G18-X-X-G21) along with few conserved residues plays a crucial role maintaining stability of the complex. Structural superposition of PfCKI with close structural homologs depicted that the location and length of important loops are different, indicating the dynamic properties of these loops among CKIs, which is consistent with principal component analysis (PCA). PCA displayed that the overall global motion of ATP-bound form is comparatively higher than that of apo form. The present study provides insights into the structural features of PfCKI, which could contribute towards further understanding of related protein structures, dynamics of catalysis and phosphorylation mechanism in these important STKs from malarial parasite in near future.

  20. Host-parasite interaction between crustaceans of six fish species from the Brazilian Amazon

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    Huann Carllo Gentil Vasconcelos

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Host-parasite interactions between crustaceans and six fish species (Psectrogaster falcata, Ageneiosus ucayalensis, Acestrorhynchus falcirostris, Hemiodus unimaculatus, Serrasalmus gibbus and Geophagus proximus from a reservoir in eastern Amazon, northern Brazil, were investigated. Eight hundred and seventy-eight parasites belonging to three crustacean species, Excorallana berbicensis, Argulus chicomendesi and Ergasilus turucuyus, which parasitized the hosts’ mouth, gills and tegument, were collected from 295 fish and examined. High infestation levels were caused by E. berbicensis on the body surface of the hosts. Excorallana berbicensis showed aggregate dispersion, except in S. gibbus, while E. turucuyus showed random dispersion in A. falcirostris. The host’s sex did not influence infestation by E. berbicensis, and high parasitism failed to affect the body conditions of the fish. In the case of some hosts, rainfall rates, temperature, dissolved oxygen levels and water pH affected the prevalence and abundance of E. berbicensis, the dominant parasite species. Results revealed that the environment and life-style of the hosts were determining factors in infestations by parasites. Current assay is the first report on E. berbicensis for the six hosts, as well as on A. chicomendesi for G. proximus and P. falcata.

  1. Parasite Prevalence Corresponds to Host Life History in a Diverse Assemblage of Afrotropical Birds and Haemosporidian Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Holly L.; Hochachka, Wesley M.; Engel, Joshua I.; Bell, Jeffrey A.; Tkach, Vasyl V.; Bates, John M.; Hackett, Shannon J.; Weckstein, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25853491

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. 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; Merizon, Richard

    2016-12-01

    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

  4. Evidence for negative selection on the gene encoding rhoptry-associated protein 1 (RAP-1) in Plasmodium spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, M Andreína; Ryan, Elizabeth M; Poe, Amanda C; Basco, Leonardo; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Collins, Williams E; Escalante, Ananias A

    2010-07-01

    Assessing how natural selection, negative or positive, operates on genes with low polymorphism is challenging. We investigated the genetic diversity of orthologous genes encoding the rhoptry-associated protein 1 (RAP-1), a low polymorphic protein of malarial parasites that is involved in erythrocyte invasion. We applied evolutionary genetic methods to study the polymorphism in RAP-1 from Plasmodium falciparum (n=32) and Plasmodium vivax (n=6), the two parasites responsible for most human malaria morbidity and mortality, as well as RAP-1 orthologous in closely related malarial species found in non-human primates (NHPs). Overall, genes encoding RAP-1 are highly conserved in all Plasmodium spp. included in this investigation. We found no evidence for natural selection, positive or negative, acting on the gene encoding RAP-1 in P. falciparum or P. vivax. However, we found evidence that the orthologous genes in non-human primate parasites (Plasmodium cynomolgi, Plasmodium inui, and Plasmodium knowlesi) are under purifying (negative) selection. We discuss the importance of considering negative selection while studying genes encoding proteins with low polymorphism and how selective pressures may differ among orthologous genes in closely related malarial parasites species. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Gene targeting in malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ménard, R; Janse, C

    1997-10-01

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

  8. Filarial worms reduce Plasmodium infectivity in mosquitoes.

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    Matthew T Aliota

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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

  9. 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.

  10. Temporal trends of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP drug-resistance molecular markers in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from pregnant women in western Kenya

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    Iriemenam Nnaemeka C

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP in Plasmodium falciparum parasites is associated with mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps genes and has spread worldwide. SP remains the recommended drug for intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in pregnancy (IPTp and information on population prevalence of the SP resistance molecular markers in pregnant women is limited. Methods Temporal trends of SP resistance molecular markers were investigated in 489 parasite samples collected from pregnant women at delivery from three different observational studies between 1996 and 2009 in Kenya, where SP was adopted for both IPTp and case treatment policies in 1998. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction, pyrosequencing and direct sequencing, 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs of SP resistance molecular markers were assayed. Results The prevalence of quintuple mutant (dhfr N51I/C59R/S108N and dhps A437G/K540E combined genotype increased from 7 % in the first study (1996–2000 to 88 % in the third study (2008–2009. When further stratified by sample collection year and adoption of IPTp policy, the prevalence of the quintuple mutant increased from 2.4 % in 1998 to 44.4 % three years after IPTp policy adoption, seemingly in parallel with the increase in percentage of SP use in pregnancy. However, in the 1996–2000 study, more mutations in the combined dhfr/dhps genotype were associated with SP use during pregnancy only in univariable analysis and no associations were detected in the 2002–2008 and 2008–2009 studies. In addition, in the 2008–2009 study, 5.3 % of the parasite samples carried the dhps triple mutant (A437G/K540E/A581G. There were no differences in the prevalence of SP mutant genotypes between the parasite samples from HIV + and HIV- women over time and between paired peripheral and placental samples. Conclusions There was a significant increase in

  11. Detection of Plasmodium in faeces of the New World primate Alouatta clamitans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assis, Gabriela Maíra Pereira de; Alvarenga, Denise Anete Madureira de; Costa, Daniela Camargos; Souza, Júlio César de; Hirano, Zelinda Maria Braga; Kano, Flora Satiko; Sousa, Taís Nóbrega de; Brito, Cristiana Ferreira Alves de

    2016-09-01

    Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax have evolved with host switches between non-human primates (NHPs) and humans. Studies on the infection dynamics of Plasmodium species in NHPs will improve our understanding of the evolution of these parasites; however, such studies are hampered by the difficulty of handling animals in the field. The aim of this study was to detect genomic DNA of Plasmodium species from the faeces of New World monkeys. Faecal samples from 23 Alouatta clamitans from the Centre for Biological Research of Indaial (Santa Catarina, Brazil) were collected. Extracted DNA from faecal samples was used for molecular diagnosis of malaria by nested polymerase chain reaction. One natural infection with Plasmodium simium was identified by amplification of DNA extracted from the faeces of A. clamitans. Extracted DNA from a captive NHP was also used for parasite genotyping. The detection limit of the technique was evaluated in vitro using an artificial mixture of cultured P. falciparum in NHP faeces and determined to be 6.5 parasites/µL. Faecal samples of New World primates can be used to detect malaria infections in field surveys and also to monitor the genetic variability of parasites and dynamics of infection.

  12. Factors determining parasite community richness and species composition in black snook Centropomus nigrescens (Centropomidae) from coastal lagoons in Guerrero, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Violante-González, Juan; Mendoza-Franco, Edgar F; Rojas-Herrera, Agustín; Gil Guerrero, Salvador

    2010-06-01

    Species richness and composition were determined for parasite communities in the black snook Centropomus nigrescens collected from five coastal lagoons in the Guerrero state, Mexico. A total of 354 fish were collected between December 2007 and November 2008. Twenty-four species of parasite were identified: 2 monogeneans, 12 digeneans, 4 acanthocephalans, 1 cestode, 4 nematodes, and 1 pentastomid. The communities consisted mainly of autogenic parasites, and all were dominated by the digenean Paracrytogonimus yamagutii. Community species composition was similar among lagoons, although the influence of local conditions prevented them from being identical. Host traits such as predator feeding habits, body size, and vagility contributed to parasite community structure and species composition.

  13. 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.

  14. Counter-regulatory anti-parasite cytokine responses during concurrent Plasmodium yoelii and intestinal helminth infections in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaria and helminth infections are two of the most prevalent parasitic diseases in tropical areas. While concomitant infection is common, mechanisms contributing to altered disease outcomes during co-infection remain poorly defined. We have previously reported exacerbation of normally non-lethal ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Nicolli Bellotti; Aguiar, Anna Caroline Campos; de Oliveira, Alane Cabral; Top, Siden; Pigeon, Pascal; Jaouen, Gérard; Goulart, Marilia Oliveira Fonseca; Krettli, Antoniana Ursine

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26602875

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

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    Lopez Ana

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background 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. Methods 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. Results and conclusion 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.

  17. 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.

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

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    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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Integrating molecular and morphological approaches for characterizing parasite cryptic species: implications for parasitology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadler, Steven A; DE León, Gerardo Pérez-Ponce

    2011-11-01

    Herein we review theoretical and methodological considerations important for finding and delimiting cryptic species of parasites (species that are difficult to recognize using traditional systematic methods). Applications of molecular data in empirical investigations of cryptic species are discussed from an historical perspective, and we evaluate advantages and disadvantages of approaches that have been used to date. Developments concerning the theory and practice of species delimitation are emphasized because theory is critical to interpretation of data. The advantages and disadvantages of different molecular methodologies, including the number and kind of loci, are discussed relative to tree-based approaches for detecting and delimiting cryptic species. We conclude by discussing some implications that cryptic species have for research programmes in parasitology, emphasizing that careful attention to the theory and operational practices involved in finding, delimiting, and describing new species (including cryptic species) is essential, not only for fully characterizing parasite biodiversity and broader aspects of comparative biology such as systematics, evolution, ecology and biogeography, but to applied research efforts that strive to improve development and understanding of epidemiology, diagnostics, control and potential eradication of parasitic diseases.

  2. A new species of Paraphaenodiscus Girault (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae from India parasitizing Coccus sp. (Hemiptera: Coccidae

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    Sudhir Singh

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available A new species, Paraphaenodiscus udayveeri Singh sp. nov., has been described and illustrated with automontaged photographs of both male and female. Species parasitized scale insects on the leaves of Pterygota alata which were weaved into nest of red weaver ant, Oecophylla smaragdina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae. Species is compared with P. chrysocomae Prinsloo and P. pedanus Prinsloo & Mynhardt. Key to world species of Paraphaenodiscus except European species is also given. Types are deposited with National Forest Insect Collection, Entomology Division, Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun, India (NFIC-FRI.

  3. Parasitic and saprophytic fungi on the species in the genus Paulownia

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    Milijašević Tanja

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The species in the genus Paulownia are distributed in Asia. In Serbia, the most represented species is P. tomentosa, widely used as an ornamental species in town green spaces. Other species - P. fortunei and P. elongata are also cultivated in forest plantations. The aim of this paper is to present the most frequent parasitic and saprophytic fungi on the species in the genus Paulownia and to point out their significance. Phyllactinia guttata, Ascochyta paulowniae and Phyllosticta paulowniae were described on the leaves and Diaporthe eres and Botryosphaeria obtusa were described on the bark.

  4. Ribosomal protein P2 localizes to the parasite zoite-surface and is a target for invasion inhibitory antibodies in Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudarsan, Rajagopal; Chopra, Reshma Korde; Khan, Mudassar Ali; Sharma, Shobhona

    2015-02-01

    In the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the conserved ribosomal stalk protein P2 (PfP2) exhibits extra-ribosomal stage-specific oligomerization and trafficking to the host red cell membrane. Antibodies directed against PfP2 arrested cell division. We sought to examine whether P2 from a closely related Apicomplexan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, exhibits similar properties in terms of its oligomeric status as well as such unique host-cell localization. Circular dichroism spectroscopy of recombinant P2 from T. gondii (TgP2) showed a structure similar to that of PfP2, but unlike PfP2, which forms SDS- and DTT-resistant oligomers, TgP2 exhibited only a weak SDS-resistant dimerization. Also, unlike PfP2 localization to the infected erythrocyte surface, TgP2 did not localize to the host membrane in T. gondii infected human foreskin fibroblast cells. However, P2 protein was detected on the free tachyzoite surface, corroborated by localization of epitope-tagged P2 transfected in T. gondii. The presence of P2 on the surface of P. falciparum merozoites was also observed, and specific antibodies raised against the P2 protein blocked both T. gondii and P. falciparum zoite invasion of the host cells. Thus, although certain moonlighting functions of the acidic ribosomal protein P2 are different amongst P. falciparum and T. gondii, the P2 protein localizes to the surface of the invasive zoite form, and appears to constitute a potential target for host cell invasion inhibition in both the Apicomplexan infections.

  5. In Vitro and Molecular Surveillance for Antimalarial Drug Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites in Western Kenya Reveals Sustained Artemisinin Sensitivity and Increased Chloroquine Sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucchi, Naomi W; Komino, Franklin; Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Goldman, Ira; Onyona, Philip; Wiegand, Ryan E; Juma, Elizabeth; Shi, Ya Ping; Barnwell, John W; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Kariuki, Simon

    2015-12-01

    Malaria control is hindered by the evolution and spread of resistance to antimalarials, necessitating multiple changes to drug policies over time. A comprehensive antimalarial drug resistance surveillance program is vital for detecting the potential emergence of resistance to antimalarials, including current artemisinin-based combination therapies. An antimalarial drug resistance surveillance study involving 203 Plasmodium falciparum malaria-positive children was conducted in western Kenya between 2010 and 2013. Specimens from enrolled children were analyzed in vitro for sensitivity to chloroquine (CQ), amodiaquine (AQ), mefloquine (MQ), lumefantrine, and artemisinin derivatives (artesunate and dihydroartemisinin) and for drug resistance allele polymorphisms in P. falciparum crt (Pfcrt), Pfmdr-1, and the K13 propeller domain (K13). We observed a significant increase in the proportion of samples with the Pfcrt wild-type (CVMNK) genotype, from 61.2% in 2010 to 93.0% in 2013 (P < 0.0001), and higher proportions of parasites with elevated sensitivity to CQ in vitro. The majority of isolates harbored the wild-type N allele in Pfmdr-1 codon 86 (93.5%), with only 7 (3.50%) samples with the N86Y mutant allele (the mutant nucleotide is underlined). Likewise, most isolates harbored the wild-type Pfmdr-1 D1246 allele (79.8%), with only 12 (6.38%) specimens with the D1246Y mutant allele and 26 (13.8%) with mixed alleles. All the samples had a single copy of the Pfmdr-1 gene (mean of 0.907 ± 0.141 copies). None of the sequenced parasites had mutations in K13. Our results suggest that artemisinin is likely to remain highly efficacious and that CQ sensitivity appears to be on the rise in western Kenya.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Thompson Joanne; Sowa Kordai MP; Sharling Lisa; Kyriacou Helen M; Arnot David E

    2007-01-01

    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 para...

  12. Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale infections in the China-Myanmar border area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Peipei; Zhao, Zhenjun; Xing, Hua; Li, Wenli; Zhu, Xiaotong; Cao, Yaming; Yang, Zhaoqing; Sattabongkot, Jetsumon; Yan, Guiyun; Fan, Qi; Cui, Liwang

    2016-11-15

    The Greater Mekong Subregion is aiming to achieve regional malaria elimination by 2030. Though a shift in malaria parasite species predominance by Plasmodium vivax has been recently documented, the transmission of the two minor Plasmodium species, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale spp., is poorly characterized in the region. This study aims to determine the prevalence of these minor species in the China-Myanmar border area and their genetic diversity. Epidemiology study was conducted during passive case detection in hospitals and clinics in Myanmar and four counties in China along the China-Myanmar border. Cross-sectional surveys were conducted in villages and camps for internally displaced persons to determine the prevalence of malaria infections. Malaria infections were diagnosed initially by microscopy and later in the laboratory using nested PCR for the SSU rRNA genes. Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale infections were confirmed by sequencing the PCR products. The P. ovale subtypes were determined by sequencing the Pocytb, Pocox1 and Pog3p genes. Parasite populations were evaluated by PCR amplification and sequencing of the MSP-1 genes. Antifolate sensitivity was assessed by sequencing the dhfr-ts and dhps genes from the P. malariae and P. ovale isolates. Analysis of 2701 blood samples collected from the China-Myanmar border by nested PCR targeting the parasite SSU rRNA genes identified 561 malaria cases, including 161 Plasmodium falciparum, 327 P. vivax, 66 P. falciparum/P. vivax mixed infections, 4 P. malariae and 3 P. ovale spp. P. vivax and P. falciparum accounted for >60 and ~30% of all malaria cases, respectively. In comparison, the prevalence of P. malariae and P. ovale spp. was very low and only made up ~1% of all PCR-positive cases. Nevertheless, these two species were often misidentified as P. vivax infections or completely missed by microscopy even among symptomatic patients. Phylogenetic analysis of the SSU rRNA, Pocytb, Pocox1 and Pog3p genes

  13. Role and Regulation of Glutathione Metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylke Müller

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Malaria in humans is caused by one of five species of obligate intracellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. P. falciparum causes the most severe disease and is responsible for 600,000 deaths annually, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has long been suggested that during their development, malaria parasites are exposed to environmental and metabolic stresses. One strategy to drug discovery was to increase these stresses by interfering with the parasites’ antioxidant and redox systems, which may be a valuable approach to disease intervention. Plasmodium possesses two redox systems—the thioredoxin and the glutathione system—with overlapping but also distinct functions. Glutathione is the most abundant low molecular weight redox active thiol in the parasites existing primarily in its reduced form representing an excellent thiol redox buffer. This allows for an efficient maintenance of the intracellular reducing environment of the parasite cytoplasm and its organelles. This review will highlight the mechanisms that are responsible for sustaining an adequate concentration of glutathione and maintaining its redox state in Plasmodium. It will provide a summary of the functions of the tripeptide and will discuss the potential of glutathione metabolism for drug discovery against human malaria parasites.

  14. Epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax Malaria in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anvikar, Anupkumar R; Shah, Naman; Dhariwal, Akshay C; Sonal, Gagan Singh; Pradhan, Madan Mohan; Ghosh, Susanta K; Valecha, Neena

    2016-12-28

    Historically, malaria in India was predominantly caused by Plasmodium vivax, accounting for 53% of the estimated cases. After the spread of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in the 1990s, the prevalence of the two species remained equivalent at the national level for a decade. By 2014, the proportion of P. vivax has decreased to 34% nationally, but with high regional variation. In 2014, P. vivax accounted for around 380,000 malaria cases in India; almost a sixth of all P. vivax cases reported globally. Plasmodium vivax has remained resistant to control measures, particularly in urban areas. Urban malaria is predominantly caused by P. vivax and is subject to outbreaks, often associated with increased mortality, and triggered by bursts of migration and construction. The epidemiology of P. vivax varies substantially within India, including multiple relapse phenotypes with varying latencies between primary infection and relapse. Moreover, the hypnozoite reservoir maintains transmission potential and enables reestablishment of the parasite in areas in which it was thought eradicated. The burden of malaria in India is complex because of the highly variable malaria eco-epidemiological profiles, transmission factors, and the presence of multiple Plasmodium species and Anopheles vectors. This review of P. vivax malaria in India describes epidemiological trends with particular attention to four states: Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, and Odisha.

  15. Effects of transmission reduction by insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs on parasite genetics population structure: I. The genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum parasites by microsatellite markers in western Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamel Mary

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs reduce malaria transmission and are an important prevention tool. However, there are still information gaps on how the reduction in malaria transmission by ITNs affects parasite genetics population structure. This study examined the relationship between transmission reduction from ITN use and the population genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in an area of high ITN coverage in western Kenya. Methods Parasite genetic diversity was assessed by scoring eight single copy neutral multilocus microsatellite (MS markers in samples collected from P. falciparum-infected children ( Results There were no significant changes in overall high mixed infections and unbiased expected heterozygosity between baseline (%MA = 94% and He = 0.75 and follow up (%MA = 95% and He = 0.79 years. However, locus specific analysis detected significant differences for some individual loci between the two time points. Pfg377 loci, a gametocyte-specific MS marker showed significant increase in mixed infections and He in the follow up survey (%MA = 53% and He = 0.57 compared to the baseline (%MA = 30% and He = 0.29. An opposite trend was observed in the erythrocyte binding protein (EBP MS marker. There was moderate genetic differentiation at the Pfg377 and TAA60 loci (FST = 0.117 and 0.137 respectively between the baseline and post-ITN parasite populations. Further analysis revealed linkage disequilibrium (LD of the microsatellites in the baseline (14 significant pair-wise tests and ISA = 0.016 that was broken in the follow up parasite population (6 significant pairs and ISA = 0.0003. The locus specific change in He, the moderate population differentiation and break in LD between the baseline and follow up years suggest an underlying change in population sub-structure despite the stability in the overall genetic diversity and multiple infection levels. Conclusions The results from this study suggest that although P

  16. Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus spp.) of interior Alaska: Species composition, distribution, seasonal biology, and parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite the ecological and agricultural significance of bumble bees in Alaska, very little is known and published about this important group at the regional level. The objectives of this study were to provide baseline data on species composition, distribution, seasonal biology, and parasites of the ...

  17. Migration and parasitism: habitat use, not migration distance, influences helminth species richness in Charadriiform birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutiérrez, J.S.; Rakhimberdiev, E.; Piersma, T.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2017-01-01

    Aim Habitat use and migration strategies of animals are often associated withspatial variation in parasite pressure, but how they relate to one another is notwell understood. Here, we use a large dataset on helminth species richness ofCharadriiform birds to test whether higher habitat diversity and

  18. Migration and parasitism : Habitat use, not migration distance, influences helminth species richness in Charadriiform birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutiérrez, Jorge S.; Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Piersma, Theunis; Thieltges, David W.

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Habitat use and migration strategies of animals are often associated with spatial variation in parasite pressure, but how they relate to one another is not well understood. Here, we use a large dataset on helminth species richness of Charadriiform birds to test whether higher habitat diversity

  19. Investigation on possible transmission of monkeys' Plasmodium to human in a populations living in the equatorial rainforest of the Democratic republic of Congo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dieudonné Makaba Mvumbi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodiums are protozoa that may infect various hosts. Only five species are now recognized as naturally parasitizing humans: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium knowlesi. This fifth species, P. knowlesi, previously identified as naturally parasitizing the monkey Macaca fascicularis, has been microscopically confused for a long time with P. malariae or P. falciparum and it was not possible to correctly differentiate them until the advent of molecular biology. To date, natural human infections with P. knowlesi only occur in Southeast Asia and a similar phenomenon of natural transmission of simian plasmodium to humans has not been reported elsewhere. This study was conducted to investigate a possible transmission of African small monkey's plasmodium to humans in populations living near the rainforest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC where several species of non-human primates are living. Two successive real-time PCRs were identified in the literature and used in combination for purpose. Only P. falciparum was found in this study. However, studies with larger samples and with more advanced techniques should be conducted.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoedjes, Katja M; Smid, Hans M

    2014-06-01

    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 (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). A single conditioning trial, in which a female wasp associates an odour with the reward of finding a host, results in the formation of transcription-dependent long-term memory in N. vitripennis, whereas N. giraulti requires spaced training to do so. Memory formation does not depend on the type of reward: oviposition, which was hypothesized to be a 'larger' reward results in similar memory retention as host feeding in both Nasonia species. There are several genetic and genomic tools available for Nasonia species to identify genetic mechanisms that underlie the observed variation in the number of trials required to form long-term memory. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Trafficking of STEVOR to the Maurer's clefts in Plasmodium falciparum -infected erythrocytes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Przyborski, Jude M; Miller, Susanne K; Rohrbach, Petra; Pfahler, Judith M; Crabb, Brendan S; Henrich, Philipp P; Lanzer, Michael

    2005-01-01

    The human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports proteins to destinations within its host erythrocyte, including cytosol, surface and membranous profiles of parasite origin termed Maurer's clefts...

  3. De novo assembly and transcriptome analysis of Plasmodium gallinaceum identifies the Rh5 interacting protein (ripr), and reveals a lack of EBL and RH gene family diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauron, Elvin