In the six Southeast Asian countries that make up the Greater Mekong Subregion, Plasmodium falciparum has developed resistance to derivatives of artemisinin, the main component of first-line treatments for malaria. Clinical resistance to artemisinin monotherapy in other global regions, including Africa, would be problematic.
Malaria, caused by parasites of the Plasmodium genus, is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality globally. Chronic Plasmodium falciparum exposure affects the B cell compartment, leading to the accumulation of atypical memory B cells (atMBCs). IgM-positive (IgM+) and IgG+ atMBCs have not been compared in-depth in the context of malaria, nor is it known if atMBCs in malaria-experienced individuals are different from phenotypically similar B cells in individuals with no known history of Plasmodium exposure.
A vaccine would greatly accelerate current global efforts towards malaria elimination. While a partially efficacious vaccine has been achieved for Plasmodium falciparum, a major bottleneck in developing highly efficacious vaccines is a lack of reliable correlates of protection, and the limited application of assays that quantify functional immune responses to evaluate and down-select vaccine candidates in pre-clinical studies and clinical trials.
Cellular aging is difficult to study in individuals with natural infection, given the diversity of symptom duration and clinical presentation, and the high interference of aging-related processes with host and environmental factors.
Besides feeding on blood, females of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae sensu lato readily feed on natural sources of plant sugars. The impact of toxic secondary phytochemicals contained in plant-derived sugars on mosquito physiology and the development of Plasmodium parasites remains elusive. The focus of this study was to explore the influence of the alkaloid ricinine, found in the nectar of the castor bean Ricinus communis, on the ability of mosquitoes to transmit Plasmodium falciparum.
Expanding resistance to multiple antimalarials, including chloroquine, in South-East Asia (SEA) urges the development of new therapies. AQ-13, a chloroquine derivative, is a new drug candidate for treating malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum.
Comet assay is a standard approach for studying DNA damage in malaria, but high-throughput options are not available. The CometChip was previously developed using mammalian cells as a high-throughput version of the comet assay.
The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful genetic engineering technology for Plasmodium falciparum. We here report further improvement of the CRISPR/Cas9 system by combining the Cas9-expressing parasite with a liner donor template DNA. The Cas9-expressing parasite was generated by inserting the cas9 gene in the genome by double crossover recombination. The site-directed mutagenesis and the fusion of fluorescence protein was achieved within two weeks with high efficiency (> 85%), by transfecting the schizonts of the Cas9-expressing parasite with the liner donor template and the plasmid carrying the sgRNAs.
Proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum in red blood cells is the cause of malaria and is underpinned by an unconventional cell division mode, called schizogony. Contrary to model organisms, P. falciparum replicates by multiple rounds of nuclear divisions that are not interrupted by cytokinesis. Organization and dynamics of critical nuclear division factors remain poorly understood. Centriolar plaques, the centrosomes of P. falciparum, serve as microtubule organizing centers and have an acentriolar, amorphous structure. The small size of parasite nuclei has precluded detailed analysis of intranuclear microtubule organization by classical fluorescence microscopy.
Malaria is a life-threatening and devastating parasitic disease. Our previous work showed that parasite development requires the import of exogenous transfer RNAs (tRNAs), which represents a novel and unique form of host-pathogen interaction, as well as a potentially druggable target. This import is mediated by tRip (tRNA import protein), a membrane protein located on the parasite surface. tRip displays an extracellular domain homologous to the well-characterized OB-fold tRNA-binding domain, a structural motif known to indiscriminately interact with tRNAs.