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plasmodium falciparum

Evidence of Artemisinin-Resistant Malaria in Africa

September 23, 2021 - 11:38 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Balikagala B, Fukuda N, Mita T, et al.
Reference: 
N Engl J Med. 2021 Sep 23;385(13):1163-1171

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.

B Cell Receptor Repertoire Analysis in Malaria-Naive and Malaria-Experienced Individuals Reveals Unique Characteristics of Atypical Memory B Cells

September 23, 2021 - 11:36 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Braddom AE, Bol S, Gonzales SJ, Reyes RA, Musinguzi K, Nankya F, Ssewanyana I, Greenhouse B, Bunnik EM
Reference: 
mSphere. 2021 Sep 15:e0072621

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.

NOT Open Access | Multi-functional antibody profiling for malaria vaccine development and evaluation

September 23, 2021 - 10:42 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Opi DH, Kurtovic L, Chan JA, Horton JL, Feng G, Beeson JG
Reference: 
Expert Rev Vaccines. 2021 Sep 17

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.

Biomarkers of cellular aging during a controlled human malaria infection

September 23, 2021 - 10:24 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Miglar A, Reuling IJ, Yap XZ, Färnert A, Sauerwein RW, Asghar M
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 21;11(1):18733

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.

Contrasting effects of the alkaloid ricinine on the capacity of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii to transmit Plasmodium falciparum

September 23, 2021 - 09:22 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Hien DFDS, Paré PSL, Lefèvre T, et al.
Reference: 
Parasit Vectors. 2021 Sep 15;14(1):479

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.

Cross-resistance of the chloroquine-derivative AQ-13 with amodiaquine in Cambodian Plasmodium falciparum isolates

September 23, 2021 - 09:21 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Nardella F, Mairet-Khedim M, Roesch C, Maher SP, Ke S, Leang R, Leroy D, Witkowski B
Reference: 
J Antimicrob Chemother. 2021 Sep 15;76(10):2565-2568

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.

MalariaCometChip for high-throughput quantification of DNA damage in Plasmodium falciparum

September 23, 2021 - 09:08 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Xiong A, Kaushal S, Tay IJ, Engelward BP, Han J, Preiser PR
Reference: 
STAR Protoc. 2021 Sep 6;2(3):100797

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.

Highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9 system in Plasmodium falciparum using Cas9-expressing parasites and a linear donor template

September 23, 2021 - 09:07 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Nishi T, Shinzawa N, Yuda M, Iwanaga S
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 16;11(1):18501

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.

An extended DNA-free intranuclear compartment organizes centrosome microtubules in malaria parasites

September 23, 2021 - 09:02 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Simon CS, Funaya C, Bauer J, Voβ Y, Machado M, Penning A, Klaschka D, Cyrklaff M, Kim J, Ganter M, Guizetti J
Reference: 
Life Sci Alliance. 2021 Sep 17;4(11):e202101199

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.

Identification of host tRNAs preferentially recognized by the Plasmodium surface protein tRip

September 23, 2021 - 08:54 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Cela M, Théobald-Dietrich A, Rudinger-Thirion J, Wolff P, Geslain R, Frugier M
Reference: 
Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Sep 16:gkab769

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.

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