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Sample records for haemosporidian parasites plasmodium

  1. Investigation of avian haemosporidian parasites from raptor birds in Turkey, with molecular characterisation and microscopic confirmation.

    PubMed

    Ciloglu, Arif; Yildirim, Alparslan; Duzlu, Onder; Onder, Zuhal; Dogan, Zafer; Inci, Abdullah

    2016-01-01

    Avian haemosporidians are common vector-borne blood parasites that have been reported in birds all over the world. Investigations of avian haemosporidian parasites are conducted mainly on passerine birds. However, studies that focus on non-passerine avian hosts are important for our understanding of the true diversity, host specificity and genetic variability among these widespread parasites. In the present study, blood samples from a total of 22 raptor birds belonging to two orders, two families and six species from the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey were investigated for three genera of avian haemosporidians (Plasmodium Marchiafava et Celli, 1885, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890 and Leucocytozoon Sambon, 1908) using a combination of microscopic examination of blood films and nested PCR targeting the parasite mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cyt-b). In total, six individual raptor birds identified positive for species of Plasmodium or Leucocytozoon and one individual was found co-infected with all three haemosporidian genera. We identified five parasite cyt-b haplotypes, three of which were reported for the first time. Among these, one Plasmodium haplotype is linked to a corresponding morphospecies (P-TURDUS1, Plasmodium circumflexum Kikuth, 1931). All haplotypes were clearly distinguishable in phylogenetic analyses. As one of the first studies to investigate blood parasites from non-passerine birds in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey, this study provides important new information on the phylogenetic relationships and genetic diversity of avian haemosporidian parasites from raptor birds. We discuss these findings in the context of avian haemosporidian host-parasite relationships and we draw attention to the need for microscopy to detect parasite sexual development stages in surveys of avian haemosporidians. PMID:27507297

  2. Haemosporidian Parasites of Antelopes and Other Vertebrates from Gabon, Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Boundenga, Larson; Makanga, Boris; Ollomo, Benjamin; Gilabert, Aude; Rougeron, Virginie; Mve-Ondo, Bertrand; Arnathau, Céline; Durand, Patrick; Moukodoum, Nancy Diamella; Okouga, Alain-Prince; Delicat-Loembet, Lucresse; Yacka-Mouele, Lauriane; Rahola, Nil; Leroy, Eric; Ba, Cheikh Tidiane; Renaud, Francois; Prugnolle, Franck; Paupy, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Re-examination, using molecular tools, of the diversity of haemosporidian parasites (among which the agents of human malaria are the best known) has generally led to rearrangements of traditional classifications. In this study, we explored the diversity of haemosporidian parasites infecting vertebrate species (particularly mammals, birds and reptiles) living in the forests of Gabon (Central Africa), by analyzing a collection of 492 bushmeat samples. We found that samples from five mammalian species (four duiker and one pangolin species), one bird and one turtle species were infected by haemosporidian parasites. In duikers (from which most of the infected specimens were obtained), we demonstrated the existence of at least two distinct parasite lineages related to Polychromophilus species (i.e., bat haemosporidian parasites) and to sauropsid Plasmodium (from birds and lizards). Molecular screening of sylvatic mosquitoes captured during a longitudinal survey revealed the presence of these haemosporidian parasite lineages also in several Anopheles species, suggesting a potential role in their transmission. Our results show that, differently from what was previously thought, several independent clades of haemosporidian parasites (family Plasmodiidae) infect mammals and are transmitted by anopheline mosquitoes. PMID:26863304

  3. Haemosporidian Parasites of Antelopes and Other Vertebrates from Gabon, Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Ollomo, Benjamin; Gilabert, Aude; Rougeron, Virginie; Mve-Ondo, Bertrand; Arnathau, Céline; Durand, Patrick; Moukodoum, Nancy Diamella; Okouga, Alain-Prince; Delicat-Loembet, Lucresse; Yacka-Mouele, Lauriane; Rahola, Nil; Leroy, Eric; BA, Cheikh Tidiane; Renaud, Francois; Prugnolle, Franck; Paupy, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Re-examination, using molecular tools, of the diversity of haemosporidian parasites (among which the agents of human malaria are the best known) has generally led to rearrangements of traditional classifications. In this study, we explored the diversity of haemosporidian parasites infecting vertebrate species (particularly mammals, birds and reptiles) living in the forests of Gabon (Central Africa), by analyzing a collection of 492 bushmeat samples. We found that samples from five mammalian species (four duiker and one pangolin species), one bird and one turtle species were infected by haemosporidian parasites. In duikers (from which most of the infected specimens were obtained), we demonstrated the existence of at least two distinct parasite lineages related to Polychromophilus species (i.e., bat haemosporidian parasites) and to sauropsid Plasmodium (from birds and lizards). Molecular screening of sylvatic mosquitoes captured during a longitudinal survey revealed the presence of these haemosporidian parasite lineages also in several Anopheles species, suggesting a potential role in their transmission. Our results show that, differently from what was previously thought, several independent clades of haemosporidian parasites (family Plasmodiidae) infect mammals and are transmitted by anopheline mosquitoes. PMID:26863304

  4. Diverse sampling of East African haemosporidians reveals chiropteran origin of malaria parasites in primates and rodents.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Holly L; Patterson, Bruce D; Kerbis Peterhans, Julian C; Stanley, William T; Webala, Paul W; Gnoske, Thomas P; Hackett, Shannon J; Stanhope, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    Phylogenies of parasites provide hypotheses on the history of their movements between hosts, leading to important insights regarding the processes of host switching that underlie modern-day epidemics. Haemosporidian (malaria) parasites lack a well resolved phylogeny, which has impeded the study of evolutionary processes associated with host-switching in this group. Here we present a novel phylogenetic hypothesis that suggests bats served as the ancestral hosts of malaria parasites in primates and rodents. Expanding upon current taxon sampling of Afrotropical bat and bird parasites, we find strong support for all major nodes in the haemosporidian tree using both Bayesian and maximum likelihood approaches. Our analyses support a single transition of haemosporidian parasites from saurian to chiropteran hosts, and do not support a monophyletic relationship between Plasmodium parasites of birds and mammals. We find, for the first time, that Hepatocystis and Plasmodium parasites of mammals represent reciprocally monophyletic evolutionary lineages. These results highlight the importance of broad taxonomic sampling when analyzing phylogenetic relationships, and have important implications for our understanding of key host switching events in the history of malaria parasite evolution. PMID:26975691

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. Molecular characterization of haemosporidian parasites from kites of the genus Milvus (Aves: Accipitridae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; de la Puente, Javier; Onrubia, Alejandro; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2013-04-01

    Despite the ecological significance and appeal of birds of prey, many aspects of their biology remain poorly known, including the diversity of parasites infecting them in the wild. We studied the diversity and prevalence of haemosporidian parasites infecting the two species of kites of the genus Milvus, aiming to describe the phylogenetic relationships among them and with other haemosporidians, as well as their distribution in the two host species. Black kites, Milvus migrans, harboured a more diverse community of parasites, including three haplotypes of each of the three genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon, which also occurred at a higher prevalence than in red kites. In red kites, Milvus milvus only three haplotypes of Leucocytozoon were found. Kite parasites were not closely related to one another nor were they kite-specific: their diversity spanned various branches of the haemosporidian phylogenetic tree, and their closest relatives were found in other species (including various avian orders), although some Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus haplotypes clustered within apparently raptor-specific parasite clades. Remarkably, Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. infected adult black kites only, an observation which supports the hypothesis that they are transmitted at the African wintering grounds, while Leucocytozoon spp. is putatively transmitted only in Europe. Intercontinental migration of the black kite might explain the divergence of parasite diversity between these two sister species. PMID:23376529

  7. Local host specialization, host-switching, and dispersal shape the regional distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Vincenzo A.; Collins, Michael D.; Medeiros, Matthew C. I.; Sari, Eloisa H. R.; Coffey, Elyse D.; Dickerson, Rebecca C.; Lugarini, Camile; Stratford, Jeffrey A.; Henry, Donata R.; Merrill, Loren; Matthews, Alix E.; Hanson, Alison A.; Roberts, Jackson R.; Joyce, Michael; Kunkel, Melanie R.; Ricklefs, Robert E.

    2015-01-01

    The drivers of regional parasite distributions are poorly understood, especially in comparison with those of free-living species. For vector-transmitted parasites, in particular, distributions might be influenced by host-switching and by parasite dispersal with primary hosts and vectors. We surveyed haemosporidian blood parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) of small land birds in eastern North America to characterize a regional parasite community. Distributions of parasite populations generally reflected distributions of their hosts across the region. However, when the interdependence between hosts and parasites was controlled statistically, local host assemblages were related to regional climatic gradients, but parasite assemblages were not. Moreover, because parasite assemblage similarity does not decrease with distance when controlling for host assemblages and climate, parasites evidently disperse readily within the distributions of their hosts. The degree of specialization on hosts varied in some parasite lineages over short periods and small geographic distances independently of the diversity of available hosts and potentially competing parasite lineages. Nonrandom spatial turnover was apparent in parasite lineages infecting one host species that was well-sampled within a single year across its range, plausibly reflecting localized adaptations of hosts and parasites. Overall, populations of avian hosts generally determine the geographic distributions of haemosporidian parasites. However, parasites are not dispersal-limited within their host distributions, and they may switch hosts readily. PMID:26305975

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. Differential prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in two sympatric closely related non-migratory passerines.

    PubMed

    Dubiec, Anna; Podmokła, Edyta; Zagalska-Neubauer, Magdalena; Drobniak, Szymon M; Arct, Aneta; Gustafsson, Lars; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2016-09-01

    Haemosporidian parasites infecting birds show distinct heterogeneity in their distribution among host species. However, despite numerous studies on the prevalence and diversity of parasite communities across species, very little is known on patterns of differences between them. Such data is lacking because up to date the majority of studies explored the patterns of variation in infections in different years, different time of sampling within a year or a breeding cycle, different study sites or was based on a small sample size, all of which may affect the estimates of prevalence and parasite diversity. Here, the prevalence, richness and diversity of haemosporidian parasites from the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were studied in two closely related non-migratory hole-nesting passerines: Great Tits and Blue Tits. Birds were sampled in sympatrically breeding populations during two seasons at the same stage of their breeding cycle - late nestling care. Great Tits were more prevalently infected with Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites (97·1 vs 71·2%), harboured a higher proportion of multiple infections (26·2 vs 3·2%) and had a more diverse parasite community (11 vs 5 parasite lineages) than Blue Tits. Observed differences between two host species are discussed with reference to their breeding densities and immunological and behavioural characteristics. PMID:27173618

  11. Avian haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida): A comparative analysis of different polymerase chain reaction assays in detection of mixed infections.

    PubMed

    Bernotienė, Rasa; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Iezhova, Tatjana; Murauskaitė, Dovilė; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-04-01

    Mixed infections of different species and genetic lineages of haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida) predominate in wildlife, and such infections are particularly virulent. However, currently used polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based detection methods often do not read mixed infections. Sensitivity of different PCR assays in detection of mixed infections has been insufficiently tested, but this knowledge is essential in studies addressing parasite diversity in wildlife. Here, we applied five different PCR assays, which are broadly used in wildlife avian haemosporidian research, and compared their sensitivity in detection of experimentally designed mixed infections of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. Three of these PCR assays use primer sets that amplify fragments of cytochrome b gene (cyt b), one of cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, and one target apicoplast genome. We collected blood from wild-caught birds and, using microscopic and PCR-based methods applied in parallel, identified single infections of ten haemosporidian species with similar parasitemia. Then, we prepared 15 experimental mixes of different haemosporidian parasites, which often are present simultaneously in wild birds. Similar concentration of total DNA was used in each parasite lineage during preparation of mixes. Positive amplifications were sequenced, and the presence of mixed infections was reported by visualising double-base calling in sequence electropherograms. This study shows that the use of each single PCR assay markedly underestimates biodiversity of haemosporidian parasites. The application of at least 3 PCR assays in parallel detected the majority, but still not all lineages present in mixed infections. We determined preferences of different primers in detection of parasites belonging to different genera of haemosporidians during mixed infections. PMID:26821298

  12. Different meal, same flavor: cospeciation and host switching of haemosporidian parasites in some non-passerine birds

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Previous studies have shown that haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) and Plasmodium) infecting passerine birds have an evolutionary history of host switching with little cospeciation, in particular at low taxonomic levels (e.g., below the family level), which is suggested as the main speciation mechanism of this group of parasites. Recent studies have characterized diverse clades of haemosporidian parasites (H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus)) infecting non-passerine birds (e.g., Columbiformes, Pelecaniiformes). Here, we explore the cospeciation history of H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus) parasites with their non-passerine hosts. Methods We sequenced the mtDNA cyt b gene of both haemosporidian parasites and their avian non-passerine hosts. We built Bayesian phylogenetic hypotheses and created concensus phylograms that were subsequently used to conduct cospeciation analyses. We used both a global cospeciation test, PACo, and an event-cost algorithm implemented in CoRe-PA. Results The global test suggests that H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus) parasites have a diversification history dominated by cospeciation events particularly at the family level. Host-parasite links from the PACo analysis show that host switching events are common within families (i.e., among genera and among species within genera), and occasionally across different orders (e.g., Columbiformes to Pelecaniiformes). Event-cost analyses show that haemosporidian coevolutionary history is dominated by host switching and some codivergence, but with duplication events also present. Genetic lineages unique to raptor species (e.g., FALC11) commonly switch between Falconiformes and Strigiformes. Conclusions Our results corroborate previous findings that have detected a global cospeciation signal at the family taxonomic level, and they also support a history of frequent switching closer to the tips of the host phylogeny, which seems to be the

  13. In vitro development of Haemoproteus columbae (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae), with perspectives for genomic studies of avian haemosporidian parasites.

    PubMed

    Coral, Arelis A; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; González, Angie D; Matta, Nubia E

    2015-10-01

    The evolutionary origin of wildlife and human malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) has been discussed for several decades. The lack of genomic data about species of wildlife haemosporidian parasites related to Plasmodium limits the number of taxa available for phylogenetic analysis. Genomic data about avian parasites of the genus Haemoproteus parasites, the sister genus to Plasmodium are still not available, mainly due to difficulties in obtaining pure DNA of parasites inhabiting nucleated avian host cells. Recent studies show that microgametes of Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) spp. develop in vitro and can be isolated by simple centrifugation, allowing the isolation of pure parasite DNA for genomic studies. However, in vitro development of Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) spp. has not been investigated, and it is unclear if microgametes of these parasites also can be obtained under in vitro conditions. Here, we provide the first data about the in vitro development of Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) columbae, a widespread avian haemosporidian parasite, which is specific to pigeons and doves (Columbiformes) and is transmitted by hippoboscid flies (Diptera, Hippoboscidae). In vitro gametogenesis and ookinete development of H. columbae were studied using a strain isolated from a feral Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) in Bogotá-Colombia. The morphological events leading to exflagellation, fertilization and ookinete formation, as well as the rate of development of these stages were followed in vitro at 40 °C, 19 °C and 15 °C for 48 h. Macrogametes, microgametes, zygotes and initial stages of ookinete development were observed in all temperatures, but mature ookinetes were seen only at 40 °C. The largest diversity of sporogonic stages of H. columbae were present at 40 °C however, exflagellation, fertilization of macrogametes and development of immature ookinetes were also observed at 15 °C and 19 °C. Morphological and morphometric features of these stages in vitro were

  14. Spatially variable coevolution between a haemosporidian parasite and the MHC of a widely distributed passerine

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Matthew R; Cheviron, Zachary A; Carling, Matthew D

    2015-01-01

    The environment shapes host–parasite interactions, but how environmental variation affects the diversity and composition of parasite-defense genes of hosts is unresolved. In vertebrates, the highly variable major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene family plays an essential role in the adaptive immune system by recognizing pathogen infection and initiating the cellular immune response. Investigating MHC-parasite associations across heterogeneous landscapes may elucidate the role of spatially fluctuating selection in the maintenance of high levels of genetic variation at the MHC. We studied patterns of association between an avian haemosporidian blood parasite and the MHC of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) that inhabit environments with widely varying haemosporidian infection prevalence in the Peruvian Andes. MHC diversity peaked in populations with high infection prevalence, although intra-individual MHC diversity was not associated with infection status. MHC nucleotide and protein sequences associated with infection absence tended to be rare, consistent with negative frequency-dependent selection. We found an MHC variant associated with a ∽26% decrease in infection probability at middle elevations (1501–3100 m) where prevalence was highest. Several other variants were associated with a significant increase in infection probability in low haemosporidian prevalence environments, which can be interpreted as susceptibility or quantitative resistance. Our study highlights important challenges in understanding MHC evolution in natural systems, but may point to a role of negative frequency-dependent selection and fluctuating spatial selection in the evolution of Z. capensisMHC. PMID:25798222

  15. How a haemosporidian parasite of bats gets around: the genetic structure of a parasite, vector and host compared.

    PubMed

    Witsenburg, F; Clément, L; López-Baucells, A; Palmeirim, J; Pavlinić, I; Scaravelli, D; Ševčík, M; Dutoit, L; Salamin, N; Goudet, J; Christe, P

    2015-02-01

    Parasite population structure is often thought to be largely shaped by that of its host. In the case of a parasite with a complex life cycle, two host species, each with their own patterns of demography and migration, spread the parasite. However, the population structure of the parasite is predicted to resemble only that of the most vagile host species. In this study, we tested this prediction in the context of a vector-transmitted parasite. We sampled the haemosporidian parasite Polychromophilus melanipherus across its European range, together with its bat fly vector Nycteribia schmidlii and its host, the bent-winged bat Miniopterus schreibersii. Based on microsatellite analyses, the wingless vector, and not the bat host, was identified as the least structured population and should therefore be considered the most vagile host. Genetic distance matrices were compared for all three species based on a mitochondrial DNA fragment. Both host and vector populations followed an isolation-by-distance pattern across the Mediterranean, but not the parasite. Mantel tests found no correlation between the parasite and either the host or vector populations. We therefore found no support for our hypothesis; the parasite population structure matched neither vector nor host. Instead, we propose a model where the parasite's gene flow is represented by the added effects of host and vector dispersal patterns. PMID:25641066

  16. Local parasite lineage sharing in temperate grassland birds provides clues about potential origins of Galapagos avian Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Colborn, Rachel E; Kim, Daniel; Perlut, Noah G; Renfrew, Rosalind B; Parker, Patricia G

    2016-02-01

    Oceanic archipelagos are vulnerable to natural introduction of parasites via migratory birds. Our aim was to characterize the geographic origins of two Plasmodium parasite lineages detected in the Galapagos Islands and in North American breeding bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) that regularly stop in Galapagos during migration to their South American overwintering sites. We used samples from a grassland breeding bird assemblage in Nebraska, United States, and parasite DNA sequences from the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, to compare to global data in a DNA sequence registry. Homologous DNA sequences from parasites detected in bobolinks and more sedentary birds (e.g., brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater, and other co-occurring bird species resident on the North American breeding grounds) were compared to those recovered in previous studies from global sites. One parasite lineage that matched between Galapagos birds and the migratory bobolink, Plasmodium lineage B, was the most common lineage detected in the global MalAvi database, matching 49 sequences from unique host/site combinations, 41 of which were of South American origin. We did not detect lineage B in brown-headed cowbirds. The other Galapagos-bobolink match, Plasmodium lineage C, was identical to two other sequences from birds sampled in California. We detected a close variant of lineage C in brown-headed cowbirds. Taken together, this pattern suggests that bobolinks became infected with lineage B on the South American end of their migratory range, and with lineage C on the North American breeding grounds. Overall, we detected more parasite lineages in bobolinks than in cowbirds. Galapagos Plasmodium had similar host breadth compared to the non-Galapagos haemosporidian lineages detected in bobolinks, brown-headed cowbirds, and other grassland species. This study highlights the utility of global haemosporidian data in the context of migratory bird-parasite connectivity. It is possible that migratory bobolinks

  17. The haemosporidian parasites of bats with description of Sprattiella alecto gen. nov., sp. nov.

    PubMed Central

    Landau, I.; Chavatte, J.M.; Karadjian, G.; Chabaud, A.; Beveridge, I.

    2012-01-01

    Four species of Haemoproteidae were found in Pteropus alecto Temminck, 1837 in Queensland, Australia: i) Johnsprentia copemani, Landau et al., 2012; ii) Sprattiella alecto gen. nov., sp. nov., characterised by schizonts in the renal vessels; iii) Hepatocystis levinei, Landau et al., 1985, originally described from Pteropus poliocephalus Temminck, 1825 and, experimentally from Culicoides nubeculosus and found in this new host and for which features of the hepatic schizonts are reported; iv) gametocytes of Hepatocystis sp. which are illustrated but cannot be assigned to a known species. A tentative interpretation of phylogenetic characters of haemosporidians of bats is provided from the morphology of the gametocytes and localisation of the tissue stages with respect to recent data on the phylogeny of bats. PMID:22550624

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24033638

  19. Haemosporidian infection in captive masked bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), an endangered subspecies of the northern bobwhite quail

    PubMed Central

    Pacheco, M. Andreína; Escalante, Ananias A.; Garner, Michael M.; Bradley, Gregory A.; Aguilar, Roberto F.

    2011-01-01

    The avian haemosporidian parasites (phylum Apicomplexa) are taxonomically diverse and cosmopolitan in distribution; infecting most bird families. Sources of concern are reports of clinical haemosporidian infections in birds kept as part of zoo and aviary collections. Recently, severe and acute mortality episodes have been reported in masked bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), an endangered subspecies from the American Southwest. Two hundred and five eggs of the captive flock held in Arivaca, Arizona, were hatched at a zoo in the American Southwest. Thirty four sub-adult or adult animals had lesions associated with tissue phases of hemoparasites, especially vasculitis, ventricular leiomyositis and ulcerative pododermatitis. Molecular techniques applied to blood collected from the zoo’s last twelve remaining animals resulted in the detection of a Plasmodium juxtanucleare-like and Haemoproteus sp. parasites. A Raven (Corvus corax), in a contiguous exhibit, was positive for the same Plasmodium juxtanucleare-like parasite, but remained asymptomatic for three years following detection. These findings indicate that other birds in the exhibit within the zoo premises could act as reservoirs. We conclude that haemosporidian infections could be a factor in the demise of the captive masked bobwhite quails housed at the zoo. We suggest that active surveillance for haemoporidian parasites should be incorporated as a precaution to ex-situ conservation efforts of susceptible endangered species. PMID:21726940

  20. Avian Plasmodium in Culex and Ochlerotatus Mosquitoes from Southern Spain: Effects of Season and Host-Feeding Source on Parasite Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Ferraguti, Martina; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Muñoz, Joaquín; Roiz, David; Ruiz, Santiago; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    Haemosporidians, a group of vector-borne parasites that include Plasmodium, infect vertebrates including birds. Although mosquitoes are crucial elements in the transmission of avian malaria parasites, little is known of their ecology as vectors. We examined the presence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus lineages in five mosquito species belonging to the genera Culex and Ochlerotatus to test for the effect of vector species, season and host-feeding source on the transmission dynamics of these pathogens. We analyzed 166 blood-fed individually and 5,579 unfed mosquitoes (grouped in 197 pools) from a locality in southern Spain. In all, 15 Plasmodium and two Haemoproteus lineages were identified on the basis of a fragment of 478 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Infection prevalence of blood parasites in unfed mosquitoes varied between species (range: 0–3.2%) and seasons. The feeding source was identified in 91 mosquitoes where 78% were identified as bird. We found that i) several Plasmodium lineages are shared among different Culex species and one Plasmodium lineage is shared between Culex and Ochlerotatus genera; ii) mosquitoes harboured Haemoproteus parasites; iii) pools of unfed females of mostly ornithophilic Culex species had a higher Plasmodium prevalence than the only mammophylic Culex species studied. However, the mammophylic Ochlerotatus caspius had in pool samples the greatest Plasmodium prevalence. This relative high prevalence may be determined by inter-specific differences in vector survival, susceptibility to infection but also the possibility that this species feeds on birds more frequently than previously thought. Finally, iv) infection rate of mosquitoes varies between seasons and reaches its maximum prevalence during autumn and minimum prevalence in spring. PMID:23823127

  1. Avian Plasmodium in Culex and Ochlerotatus Mosquitoes from Southern Spain: Effects of Season and Host-Feeding Source on Parasite Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Ferraguti, Martina; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Muñoz, Joaquín; Roiz, David; Ruiz, Santiago; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    Haemosporidians, a group of vector-borne parasites that include Plasmodium, infect vertebrates including birds. Although mosquitoes are crucial elements in the transmission of avian malaria parasites, little is known of their ecology as vectors. We examined the presence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus lineages in five mosquito species belonging to the genera Culex and Ochlerotatus to test for the effect of vector species, season and host-feeding source on the transmission dynamics of these pathogens. We analyzed 166 blood-fed individually and 5,579 unfed mosquitoes (grouped in 197 pools) from a locality in southern Spain. In all, 15 Plasmodium and two Haemoproteus lineages were identified on the basis of a fragment of 478 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Infection prevalence of blood parasites in unfed mosquitoes varied between species (range: 0-3.2%) and seasons. The feeding source was identified in 91 mosquitoes where 78% were identified as bird. We found that i) several Plasmodium lineages are shared among different Culex species and one Plasmodium lineage is shared between Culex and Ochlerotatus genera; ii) mosquitoes harboured Haemoproteus parasites; iii) pools of unfed females of mostly ornithophilic Culex species had a higher Plasmodium prevalence than the only mammophylic Culex species studied. However, the mammophylic Ochlerotatus caspius had in pool samples the greatest Plasmodium prevalence. This relative high prevalence may be determined by inter-specific differences in vector survival, susceptibility to infection but also the possibility that this species feeds on birds more frequently than previously thought. Finally, iv) infection rate of mosquitoes varies between seasons and reaches its maximum prevalence during autumn and minimum prevalence in spring. PMID:23823127

  2. Chimpanzee Malaria Parasites Related to Plasmodium ovale in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Duval, Linda; Nerrienet, Eric; Rousset, Dominique; Sadeuh Mba, Serge Alain; Houze, Sandrine; Fourment, Mathieu; Le Bras, Jacques; Robert, Vincent; Ariey, Frederic

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19436742

  3. Haemosporidian infection in captive masked bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), an endangered subspecies of the northern bobwhite quail.

    PubMed

    Pacheco, M Andreína; Escalante, Ananias A; Garner, Michael M; Bradley, Gregory A; Aguilar, Roberto F

    2011-12-15

    The avian haemosporidian parasites (phylum Apicomplexa) are taxonomically diverse and cosmopolitan in distribution; infecting most bird families. Sources of concern are reports of clinical haemosporidian infections in birds kept as part of zoo and aviary collections. Recently, severe and acute mortality episodes have been reported in masked bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), an endangered subspecies from the American Southwest. Two hundred and five eggs of the captive flock held in Arivaca, Arizona, were hatched at a zoo in the American Southwest. Thirty-four sub-adult or adult animals had lesions associated with tissue phases of haemoparasites, especially vasculitis, ventricular leiomyositis and ulcerative pododermatitis. Molecular techniques applied to blood collected from the zoo's last twelve remaining animals resulted in the detection of a Plasmodium juxtanucleare-like and Haemoproteus sp. parasites. A Raven (Corvus corax), in a contiguous exhibit, was positive for the same P. juxtanucleare-like parasite, but remained asymptomatic for three years following detection. These findings indicate that other birds in the exhibit within the zoo premises could act as reservoirs. We conclude that haemosporidian infections could be a factor in the demise of the captive masked bobwhite quails housed at the zoo. We suggest that active surveillance for haemoporidian parasites should be incorporated as a precaution to ex situ conservation efforts of susceptible endangered species. PMID:21726940

  4. On the study of the transmission networks of blood parasites from SW Spain: diversity of avian haemosporidians in the biting midge Culicoides circumscriptus and wild birds

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Blood-sucking flying insects play a key role in the transmission of pathogens of vector-borne diseases. However, at least for the case of avian malaria parasites, the vast majority of studies focus on the interaction between parasites and vertebrate hosts, but there is a lack of information regarding the interaction between the parasites and the insect vectors. Here, we identified the presence of malaria and malaria-like parasite lineages harbored by the potential vector Culicoides circumscriptus (Kieffer). Also, we identified some nodes of the transmission network connecting parasite lineages, potential insect vectors and avian hosts by comparing Haemoproteus and Plasmodium lineages isolated from insects with those infecting wild birds in this and previous studies. Methods Using a molecular approach, we analysed the presence of blood parasites in a total of 97 biting midges trapped in the Doñana National Park (SW Spain) and surrounding areas. Also, 123 blood samples from 11 bird species were analyzed for the presence of blood parasite infections. Blood parasites Haemoproteus and Plasmodium were identified by amplification of a 478 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gen. Results Thirteen biting midges harboured blood parasites including six Haemoproteus and two Plasmodium lineages, supporting the potential role of these insects on parasite transmission. Moreover, ten (8.1%) birds carried blood parasites. Seven Plasmodium and one Haemoproteus lineages were isolated from birds. Overall, six new Haemoproteus lineages were described in this study. Also, we identified the transmission networks of some blood parasites. Two Haemoproteus lineages, hCIRCUM03 and GAGLA03, were identical to those isolated from Corvus monedula in southern Spain and Garrulus glandarius in Bulgaria, respectively. Furthermore, the new Haemoproteus lineage hCIRCUM05 showed a 99% similarity with a lineage found infecting captive penguins in Japan. Conclusions The comparison

  5. Nest ecology of blood parasites in the European roller and its ectoparasitic carnid fly.

    PubMed

    Václav, Radovan; Betáková, Tatiana; Švančarová, Petra; Pérez-Serrano, Jorge; Criado-Fornelio, Ángel; Škorvanová, Lucia; Valera, Francisco

    2016-06-01

    Haemosporidian parasites are considered the most important vector-borne parasites. However, vector identity and ecology is unknown for most such host-vector-parasite systems. In this study, we employ microscopic and molecular analyses to examine haemosporidian prevalence in a migratory, cavity-nesting bird, European roller Coracias garrulus, and its nidicolous blood-feeding ectoparasite Carnus hemapterus. This system is unique in that the ectoparasite is confined to a near-closed environment, in contrast to the free-wandering system of haematophagous dipterans such as mosquitoes. Blood film analysis confirms previous works in that Haemoproteus parasites are widely prevalent in adult rollers and belong to a single species, Haemoproteus coraciae. Leucocytozoon sp. and Trypanosoma sp. also are detected in adult rollers at low intensities with this technique. By means of molecular analysis, we report for the first time Plasmodium sp. presence in C. garrulus. Based on PCR results, Plasmodium parasites are relatively less prevalent than Haemoproteus parasites (20% vs. 31%) in rollers. In contrast, haemosporidian prevalences show the opposite trend for Carnus flies: Plasmodium sp. occurrence (62%) clearly predominates over that of Haemoproteus sp. (5%). A comparison between roller and Carnus samples reveals a significantly higher prevalence of Plasmodium sp. in Carnus samples. Insect survey and phylogenetic analysis suggest Culicoides flies as Haemoproteus sp. vectors, which appear to readily transmit the parasite in southern Spain. This study does not find support for Carnus flies to serve as biological or mechanical vectors of haemosporidians. In spite of this, nidicolous blood-feeding ectoparasites, such as carnid flies, appear as a suitable model for studies on the occurrence and temporal dynamics of avian haemosporidians such as Plasmodium sp. present at low intensities. PMID:26993083

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

    PubMed

    Zerka, Agata; Kaczmarek, Radosław; Jaśkiewicz, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:27259224

  7. MalAvi: a public database of malaria parasites and related haemosporidians in avian hosts based on mitochondrial cytochrome b lineages.

    PubMed

    Bensch, Staffan; Hellgren, Olof; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2009-09-01

    Research in avian blood parasites has seen a remarkable increase since the introduction of polymerase chain reaction-based methods for parasite identification. New data are revealing complex multihost-multiparasite systems which are difficult to understand without good knowledge of the host range and geographical distribution of the parasite lineages. However, such information is currently difficult to obtain from the literature, or from general repositories such as GenBank, mainly because (i) different research groups use different parasite lineage names, (ii) GenBank entries frequently refer only to the first host and locality at which each parasite was sampled, and (iii) different researchers use different gene fragments to identify parasite lineages. We propose a unified database of avian blood parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon identified by a partial region of their cytochrome b sequences. The database uses a standardized nomenclature to remove synonymy, and concentrates all available information about each parasite in a public reference site, thereby facilitating access to all researchers. Initial data include a list of host species and localities, as well as genetic markers that can be used for phylogenetical analyses. The database is free to download and will be regularly updated by the authors. Prior to publication of new lineages, we encourage researchers to assign names to match the existing database. We anticipate that the value of the database as a source for determining host range and geographical distribution of the parasites will grow with its size and substantially enhance the understanding of this remarkably diverse group of parasites. PMID:21564906

  8. Plasmodium knowlesi: the emerging zoonotic malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Antinori, Spinello; Galimberti, Laura; Milazzo, Laura; Corbellino, Mario

    2013-02-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi was initially identified in the 30s as a natural Plasmodium of Macaca fascicularis monkey also capable of experimentally infecting humans. It gained a relative notoriety in the mid-30s as an alternative to Plasmodium vivax in the treatment of the general paralysis of the insane (neurosyphilis). In 1965 the first natural human infection was described in a US military surveyor coming back from the Pahang jungle of the Malaysian peninsula. P. knowlesi was again brought to the attention of the medical community when in 2004, Balbir Singh and his co-workers reported that about 58% of malaria cases observed in the Kapit district of the Malaysian Borneo were actually caused by P. knowlesi. In the following years several reports showed that P. knowlesi is much more widespread than initially thought with cases reported across Southeast Asia. This infection should also be considered in the differential diagnosis of any febrile travellers coming back from a recent travel to forested areas of Southeast Asia. P. knowlesi can cause severe malaria with a rate of 6-9% and with a case fatality rate of 3%. Respiratory distress, acute renal failure, shock and hyperbilirubinemia are the most frequently observed complications of severe P. knowlesi malaria. Chloroquine is considered the treatment of choice of uncomplicated malaria caused by P. knowlesi. PMID:23088834

  9. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Chloroquine-Resistant Haplotype Plasmodium falciparum Parasites, Haiti

    PubMed Central

    Londono, Berlin L.; Eisele, Thomas P.; Keating, Joseph; Bennett, Adam; Chattopadhyay, Chandon; Heyliger, Gaetan; Mack, Brian; Rawson, Ian; Vely, Jean-Francois; Désinor, Olbeg

    2009-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites have been endemic to Haiti for >40 years without evidence of chloroquine (CQ) resistance. In 2006 and 2007, we obtained blood smears for rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and filter paper blots of blood from 821 persons by passive and active case detection. P. falciparum infections diagnosed for 79 persons by blood smear or RDT were confirmed by PCR for the small subunit rRNA gene of P. falciparum. Amplification of the P. falciparum CQ resistance transporter (pfcrt) gene yielded 10 samples with amplicons resistant to cleavage by ApoI. A total of 5 of 9 samples had threonine at position 76 of pfcrt, which is consistent with CQ resistance (haplotypes at positions 72–76 were CVIET [n = 4] and CVMNT [n = 1]); 4 had only the wild-type haplotype associated with CQ susceptibility (CVMNK). These results indicate that CQ-resistant haplotype P. falciparum malaria parasites are present in Haiti. PMID:19402959

  11. Low haemosporidian diversity and one key-host species in a bird malaria community on a mid-Atlantic island (São Miguel, Azores).

    PubMed

    Hellgren, Olof; Križanauskienė, Asta; Hasselquist, Dennis; Bensch, Staffan

    2011-10-01

    When host species colonize new areas, the parasite assemblage infecting the hosts might change, with some parasite species being lost and others newly acquired. These changes would likely lead to novel selective forces on both host and its parasites. We investigated the avian blood parasites in the passerine bird community on the mid-Atlantic island of São Miguel, Azores, a bird community originating from continental Europe. The presence of haemosporidian blood parasites belonging to the genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon was assessed using polymerase chain reaction. We found two Plasmodium lineages and two Leucocytozoon lineages in 11 bird species (84% of all breeding passerine species) on the island. These lineages were unevenly distributed across bird species. The Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) was the key-host species (total parasite prevalence of 57%), harboring the main proportion of parasite infections. Except for Eurasian Blackbirds, all bird species had significantly lower prevalence and parasite diversity compared to their continental populations. We propose that in evolutionary novel bird communities, single species may act as key hosts by harboring the main part of the parasite fauna from which parasites "leak" into the other species. This would create very different host-parasite associations in areas recently colonized by hosts as compared to in their source populations. PMID:22102655

  12. Blood parasites of penguins: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Braga, Érika Martins; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2016-07-01

    Blood parasites are considered some of the most significant pathogens for the conservation of penguins, due to the considerable morbidity and mortality they have been shown to produce in captive and wild populations of these birds. Parasites known to occur in the blood of penguins include haemosporidian protozoans (Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus), piroplamid protozoans (Babesia), kinetoplastid protozoans (Trypanosoma), spirochete bacteria (Borrelia) and nematode microfilariae. This review provides a critical and comprehensive assessment of the current knowledge on these parasites, providing an overview of their biology, host and geographic distribution, epidemiology, pathology and implications for public health and conservation. PMID:27253438

  13. Blood parasites in northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) with an emphasis to Leucocytozoon toddi.

    PubMed

    Hanel, Jan; Doležalová, Jana; Stehlíková, Šárka; Modrý, David; Chudoba, Josef; Synek, Petr; Votýpka, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Haemosporidians and trypanosomes of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) population in the Czech Republic were studied by morphological and molecular methods. Despite the wide distribution of these medium-large birds of prey, virtually nothing is known about their blood parasites. During a 5-year period, altogether 88 nestlings and 15 adults were screened for haemosporidians and trypanosomes by microscopic examination of blood smears and by nested PCR. Both methods revealed consistently higher prevalence of blood protists in adults, Leucocytozoon (80.0 % in adults vs. 13.6 % in nestlings), Haemoproteus (60.0 vs. 2.3 %), Plasmodium (6.7 vs. 0 %), and Trypanosoma (60.0 vs. 2.3 %). Altogether, five haemosporidian lineages were detected by cytochrome b sequencing. Two broadly distributed and host nonspecific lineages, Plasmodium (TURDUS1) and Leucocytozoon (BT2), were detected only sporadically, while three newly described northern goshawk host-specific Leucocytozoon lineages (ACGE01-03) represent the absolute majority of the haemosporidians identified by molecular methods. Our findings support evidences that in falconiform birds the Leucocytozoon toddi group is formed by several host-specific clusters, with Leucocytozoon buteonis in buzzards and Leucocytozoon mathisi in hawks. Between-year comparisons revealed that the infection status of adults remained predominantly unchanged and individuals stayed uninfected or possessed the same parasite lineages; however, two gains and one loss of blood parasite taxa were also recorded. PMID:26365666

  14. Serological Evidence of Discrete Spatial Clusters of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Bejon, Philip; Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas; Cham, Gerald; Olotu, Ally; Drakeley, Chris J.; Lievens, Marc; Vekemans, Johan; Savarese, Barbara; Lusingu, John; von Seidlein, Lorenz; Bull, Peter C.; Marsh, Kevin; Theander, Thor G.

    2011-01-01

    Background Malaria transmission may be considered to be homogenous with well-mixed parasite populations (as in the classic Ross/Macdonald models). Marked fine-scale heterogeneity of transmission has been observed in the field (i.e., over a few kilometres), but there are relatively few data on the degree of mixing. Since the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) is highly polymorphic, the host's serological responses may be used to infer exposure to parasite sub-populations. Methods and Findings We measured the antibody responses to 46 individual PfEMP1 domains at four time points among 450 children in Kenya, and identified distinct spatial clusters of antibody responses to individual domains. 35 domains showed strongly significant sero-clusters at p = 0.001. Individuals within the high transmission hotspot showed the greatest diversity of anti-PfEMP1 responses. Individuals outside the hotspot had a less diverse range of responses, even if as individuals they were at relatively intense exposure. Conclusions We infer that antigenically distinct sub-populations of parasites exist on a fine spatial scale in a study area of rural Kenya. Further studies should examine antigenic variation over longer periods of time and in different study areas. PMID:21747921

  15. Genome sequence of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Malcolm J.; Hall, Neil; Fung, Eula; White, Owen; Berriman, Matthew; Hyman, Richard W.; Carlton, Jane M.; Pain, Arnab; Nelson, Karen E.; Bowman, Sharen; Paulsen, Ian T.; James, Keith; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Rutherford, Kim; Salzberg, Steven L.; Craig, Alister; Kyes, Sue; Chan, Man-Suen; Nene, Vishvanath; Shallom, Shamira J.; Suh, Bernard; Peterson, Jeremy; Angiuoli, Sam; Pertea, Mihaela; Allen, Jonathan; Selengut, Jeremy; Haft, Daniel; Mather, Michael W.; Vaidya, Akhil B.; Martin, David M. A.; Fairlamb, Alan H.; Fraunholz, Martin J.; Roos, David S.; Ralph, Stuart A.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.; Cummings, Leda M.; Subramanian, G. Mani; Mungall, Chris; Venter, J. Craig; Carucci, Daniel J.; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Newbold, Chris; Davis, Ronald W.; Fraser, Claire M.; Barrell, Bart

    2013-01-01

    The parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for hundreds of millions of cases of malaria, and kills more than one million African children annually. Here we report an analysis of the genome sequence of P. falciparum clone 3D7. The 23-megabase nuclear genome consists of 14 chromosomes, encodes about 5,300 genes, and is the most (A + T)-rich genome sequenced to date. Genes involved in antigenic variation are concentrated in the subtelomeric regions of the chromosomes. Compared to the genomes of free-living eukaryotic microbes, the genome of this intracellular parasite encodes fewer enzymes and transporters, but a large proportion of genes are devoted to immune evasion and host–parasite interactions. Many nuclear-encoded proteins are targeted to the apicoplast, an organelle involved in fatty-acid and isoprenoid metabolism. The genome sequence provides the foundation for future studies of this organism, and is being exploited in the search for new drugs and vaccines to fight malaria. PMID:12368864

  16. Alternative Protein Secretion in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Thavayogarajah, Thuvaraka; Gangopadhyay, Preetish; Rahlfs, Stefan; Becker, Katja; Lingelbach, Klaus; Przyborski, Jude M; Holder, Anthony A

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum invades human red blood cells, residing in a parasitophorous vacuole (PV), with a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) separating the PV from the host cell cytoplasm. Here we have investigated the role of N-myristoylation and two other N-terminal motifs, a cysteine potential S-palmitoylation site and a stretch of basic residues, as the driving force for protein targeting to the parasite plasma membrane (PPM) and subsequent translocation across this membrane. Plasmodium falciparum adenylate kinase 2 (Pf AK2) contains these three motifs, and was previously proposed to be targeted beyond the parasite to the PVM, despite the absence of a signal peptide for entry into the classical secretory pathway. Biochemical and microscopy analyses of PfAK2 variants tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) showed that these three motifs are involved in targeting the protein to the PPM and translocation across the PPM to the PV. It was shown that the N-terminal 37 amino acids of PfAK2 alone are sufficient to target and translocate GFP across the PPM. As a control we examined the N-myristoylated P. falciparum ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (PfARF1). PfARF1 was found to co-localise with a Golgi marker. To determine whether or not the putative palmitoylation and the cluster of lysine residues from the N-terminus of PfAK2 would modulate the subcellular localization of PfARF1, a chimeric fusion protein containing the N-terminus of PfARF1 and the two additional PfAK2 motifs was analysed. This chimeric protein was targeted to the PPM, but not translocated across the membrane into the PV, indicating that other features of the N-terminus of PfAK2 also play a role in the secretion process. PMID:25909331

  17. Alternative Protein Secretion in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Thavayogarajah, Thuvaraka; Gangopadhyay, Preetish; Rahlfs, Stefan; Becker, Katja; Lingelbach, Klaus; Przyborski, Jude M.; Holder, Anthony A.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum invades human red blood cells, residing in a parasitophorous vacuole (PV), with a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) separating the PV from the host cell cytoplasm. Here we have investigated the role of N-myristoylation and two other N-terminal motifs, a cysteine potential S-palmitoylation site and a stretch of basic residues, as the driving force for protein targeting to the parasite plasma membrane (PPM) and subsequent translocation across this membrane. Plasmodium falciparum adenylate kinase 2 (Pf AK2) contains these three motifs, and was previously proposed to be targeted beyond the parasite to the PVM, despite the absence of a signal peptide for entry into the classical secretory pathway. Biochemical and microscopy analyses of PfAK2 variants tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) showed that these three motifs are involved in targeting the protein to the PPM and translocation across the PPM to the PV. It was shown that the N-terminal 37 amino acids of PfAK2 alone are sufficient to target and translocate GFP across the PPM. As a control we examined the N-myristoylated P. falciparum ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (PfARF1). PfARF1 was found to co-localise with a Golgi marker. To determine whether or not the putative palmitoylation and the cluster of lysine residues from the N-terminus of PfAK2 would modulate the subcellular localization of PfARF1, a chimeric fusion protein containing the N-terminus of PfARF1 and the two additional PfAK2 motifs was analysed. This chimeric protein was targeted to the PPM, but not translocated across the membrane into the PV, indicating that other features of the N-terminus of PfAK2 also play a role in the secretion process. PMID:25909331

  18. Age of the last common ancestor of extant Plasmodium parasite lineages.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Toshiyuki; Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Hikosaka, Kenji; Arisue, Nobuko; Matsui, Atsushi; Horii, Toshihiro; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2012-07-01

    Parasites of the genus Plasmodium infect all classes of amniotes (mammals, birds and reptiles) and display host specificity in their infections. It is therefore generally believed that Plasmodium parasites co-evolved intimately with their hosts. Here, we report that based on an evolutionary analysis using 22 genes in the nuclear genome, extant lineages of Plasmodium parasites originated roughly in the Oligocene epoch after the emergence of their hosts. This timing on the age of the common ancestor of extant Plasmodium parasites suggest the importance of host switches and lends support to the evolutionary scenario of a "malaria big bang" that was proposed based on the evolutionary analysis using the mitochondrial genome. PMID:22555021

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    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 [1-3], 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 [6-8], proteomics [9-12], 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 processing, cell cycle

  20. Plasmodium Drug Targets Outside the Genetic Control of the Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Drug development often seeks to find “magic bullets” which target microbiologic proteins while not affecting host proteins. Paul Ehrlich tested methylene blue as an antimalarial but this dye was not superior to quinine. Many successful antimalarial therapies are “magic shotguns” which target many Plasmodium pathways with little interference in host metabolism. Two malaria drug classes, the 8-aminoquinolines and the artemisinins interact with cytochrome P450s and host iron protoporphyrin IX or iron, respectively, to generate toxic metabolites and/or radicals, which kill the parasite by interference with many proteins. The non 8-amino antimalarial quinolines like quinine or piperaquine bind heme to inhibit the process of heme crystallization, which results in multiple enzyme inhibition and membrane dysfunction. The quinolines and artemisinins are rapidly parasiticidal in contrast to metal chelators, which have a slower parasite clearance rate with higher drug concentrations. Iron chelators interfere with the artemisinins but otherwise represent a strategy of targeting multiple enzymes containing iron. Interest has been revived in antineoplastic drugs that target DNA metabolism as antimalarials. Specific drug targeting or investigation of the innate immunity directed to the more permeable trophozoite or schizont infected erythrocyte membrane has been under explored. Novel drug classes in the antimalarial development pipeline which either target multiple proteins or unchangeable cellular targets will slow the pace of drug resistance acquisition. PMID:22973888

  1. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

    Garg, Aprajita; Lukk, Tiit; Kumar, Vidya; Choi, Jae-Yeon; Augagneur, Yoann; Voelker, Dennis R.; Nair, Satish; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2015-01-01

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties of PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs. PMID:25761669

  2. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    SciTech Connect

    Garg, Aprajita; Lukk, Tiit; Kumar, Vidya; Choi, Jae-Yeon; Augagneur, Yoann; Voelker, Dennis R.; Nair, Satish; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2015-03-12

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties of PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs.

  3. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Garg, Aprajita; Lukk, Tiit; Kumar, Vidya; Choi, Jae-Yeon; Augagneur, Yoann; Voelker, Dennis R.; Nair, Satish; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2015-03-12

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties ofmore » PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs.« less

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Siciliano, Giulia; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The unicellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium impose on human health worldwide the enormous burden of malaria. The possibility to genetically modify several species of malaria parasites represented a major advance in the possibility to elucidate their biology and is now turning laboratory lines of transgenic Plasmodium into precious weapons to fight malaria. Amongst the various genetically modified plasmodia, transgenic parasite lines expressing bioluminescent reporters have been essential to unveil mechanisms of parasite gene expression and to develop in vivo imaging approaches in mouse malaria models. Mainly the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent parasite P. berghei have been engineered to express bioluminescent reporters in almost all the developmental stages of the parasite along its complex life cycle between the insect and the vertebrate hosts. Plasmodium lines expressing conventional and improved luciferase reporters are now gaining a central role to develop cell based assays in the much needed search of new antimalarial drugs and to open innovative approaches for both fundamental and applied research in malaria. PMID:26029172

  6. Monoclonal antibodies produced against sporozoites of the human parasite Plasmodium malariae abolish infectivity of sporozoites of the simian parasite Plasmodium brasilianum.

    PubMed Central

    Cochrane, A H; Barnwell, J W; Collins, W E; Nussenzweig, R S

    1985-01-01

    We have used a sporozoite neutralization assay to define the biological relevance of the cross-reactivity of two monoclonal antibodies, raised against sporozoites of the human parasite Plasmodium malariae (Uganda 1/CDC), with sporozoites of the simian parasite Plasmodium brasilianum (Colombian). In vitro incubation of each of these two monoclonal antibodies with sporozoites of P. brasilianum totally abolished the infectivity of these parasites for Saimiri sciureus. Using Western blot analysis and one of the P. malariae monoclonal antibodies, we identified two sporozoite proteins characteristic of the Colombian isolate of P. brasilianum with apparent molecular weights of 56,000 and 66,000. The same monoclonal antibody identified two proteins in an extract of the Peruvian isolate of P. brasilianum with apparent molecular weights of 59,000 and 69,000. Images PMID:3899939

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

    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. 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 of invading

  8. Anopheles gambiae Immune Responses to Human and Rodent Plasmodium Parasite Species

    PubMed Central

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

    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. 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 of invading

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. Parasite-induced ER stress response in hepatocytes facilitates Plasmodium liver stage infection.

    PubMed

    Inácio, Patricia; Zuzarte-Luís, Vanessa; Ruivo, Margarida T G; Falkard, Brie; Nagaraj, Nagarjuna; Rooijers, Koos; Mann, Matthias; Mair, Gunnar; Fidock, David A; Mota, Maria M

    2015-08-01

    Upon infection of a mammalian host, Plasmodium parasites first replicate inside hepatocytes, generating thousands of new parasites. Although Plasmodium intra-hepatic development represents a substantial metabolic challenge to the host hepatocyte, how infected cells respond to and integrate this stress remains poorly understood. Here, we present proteomic and transcriptomic analyses, revealing that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in host hepatocytes upon Plasmodium berghei infection. The expression of XBP1s--the active form of the UPR mediator XBP1--and the liver-specific UPR mediator CREBH is induced by P. berghei infection in vivo. Furthermore, this UPR induction increases parasite liver burden. Altogether, our data suggest that ER stress is a central feature of P. berghei intra-hepatic development, contributing to the success of infection. PMID:26113366

  11. Parasite-induced ER stress response in hepatocytes facilitates Plasmodium liver stage infection

    PubMed Central

    Inácio, Patricia; Zuzarte-Luís, Vanessa; Ruivo, Margarida TG; Falkard, Brie; Nagaraj, Nagarjuna; Rooijers, Koos; Mann, Matthias; Mair, Gunnar; Fidock, David A; Mota, Maria M

    2015-01-01

    Upon infection of a mammalian host, Plasmodium parasites first replicate inside hepatocytes, generating thousands of new parasites. Although Plasmodium intra-hepatic development represents a substantial metabolic challenge to the host hepatocyte, how infected cells respond to and integrate this stress remains poorly understood. Here, we present proteomic and transcriptomic analyses, revealing that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in host hepatocytes upon Plasmodium berghei infection. The expression of XBP1s—the active form of the UPR mediator XBP1—and the liver-specific UPR mediator CREBH is induced by P. berghei infection in vivo. Furthermore, this UPR induction increases parasite liver burden. Altogether, our data suggest that ER stress is a central feature of P. berghei intra-hepatic development, contributing to the success of infection. PMID:26113366

  12. A Toxoplasma gondii Ortholog of Plasmodium GAMA Contributes to Parasite Attachment and Cell Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Carruthers, Vern B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Toxoplasma gondii and its Plasmodium kin share a well-conserved invasion process, including sequential secretion of adhesive molecules for host cell attachment and invasion. However, only a few orthologs have been shown to be important for efficient invasion by both genera. Bioinformatic screening to uncover potential new players in invasion identified a previously unrecognized T. gondii ortholog of Plasmodium glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored micronemal antigen (TgGAMA). We show that TgGAMA localizes to the micronemes and is processed into several proteolytic products within the parasite prior to secretion onto the parasite surface during invasion. TgGAMA from parasite lysate bound to several different host cell types in vitro, suggesting a role in parasite attachment. Consistent with this function, tetracycline-regulatable TgGAMA and TgGAMA knockout strains showed significant reductions in host cell invasion at the attachment step, with no defects in any of the other stages of the parasite lytic cycle. Together, the results of this work reveal a new conserved component of the adhesive repertoire of apicomplexan parasites. IMPORTANCE Toxoplasma gondii is a successful human pathogen in the same phylum as malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites. Invasion of a host cell is an essential process that begins with secretion of adhesive proteins onto the parasite surface for attachment and subsequent penetration of the host cell. Conserved invasion proteins likely play roles that were maintained through the divergence of these parasites. Here, we identify a new conserved invasion protein called glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored micronemal antigen (GAMA). Tachyzoites lacking TgGAMA were partially impaired in parasite attachment and invasion of host cells, yielding the first genetic evidence of a specific role in parasite entry into host cells. These findings widen our appreciation of the repertoire of conserved proteins that apicomplexan parasites employ for

  13. Transport of lactate and pyruvate in the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, J L; Saliba, K J; Kirk, K

    2001-01-01

    The mature, intraerythrocytic form of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is reliant on glycolysis for its energetic requirements. It produces large quantities of lactic acid, which have to be removed from the parasite's cytosol to maintain the cell's integrity and metabolic viability. Here we show that the monocarboxylates lactate and pyruvate are both transported across the parasite's plasma membrane via a H(+)/monocarboxylate symport process that is saturable and inhibited by the bioflavonoid phloretin. The results provide direct evidence for the presence at the parasite surface of a H(+)-coupled monocarboxylate transporter with features in common with members of the MCT (monocarboxylate transporter) family of higher eukaryotes. PMID:11311136

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23595266

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Plasmodium parasites are exposed to endogenous and exogenous oxidative stress during their complex life cycle. To minimize oxidative damage, the parasites use glutathione (GSH) and thioredoxin (Trx) as primary antioxidants. We previously showed that disruption of the Plasmodium berghei gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (pbggcs-ko) or the glutathione reductase (pbgr-ko) genes resulted in a significant reduction of GSH in intraerythrocytic stages, and a defect in growth in the pbggcs-ko parasites. In this report, time course experiments of parasite intraerythrocytic development and morphological studies showed a growth delay during the ring to schizont progression. Morphological analysis shows a significant reduction in size (diameter) of trophozoites and schizonts with increased number of cytoplasmic vacuoles in the pbggcs-ko parasites in comparison to the wild type (WT). Furthermore, the pbggcs-ko mutants exhibited an impaired response to oxidative stress and increased levels of nuclear DNA (nDNA) damage. Reduced GSH levels did not result in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage or protein carbonylations in neither pbggcs-ko nor pbgr-ko parasites. In addition, the pbggcs-ko mutant parasites showed an increase in mRNA expression of genes involved in oxidative stress detoxification and DNA synthesis, suggesting a potential compensatory mechanism to allow for parasite proliferation. These results reveal that low GSH levels affect parasite development through the impairment of oxidative stress reduction systems and damage to the nDNA. Our studies provide new insights into the role of the GSH antioxidant system in the intraerythrocytic development of Plasmodium parasites, with potential translation into novel pharmacological interventions. PMID:26952808

  16. Host genotype by parasite genotype interactions underlying the resistance of anopheline mosquitoes to Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Lambrechts, Louis; Halbert, Jean; Durand, Patrick; Gouagna, Louis C; Koella, Jacob C

    2005-01-01

    Background Most studies on the resistance of mosquitoes to their malaria parasites focus on the response of a mosquito line or colony against a single parasite genotype. In natural situations, however, it may be expected that mosquito-malaria relationships are based, as are many other host-parasite systems, on host genotype by parasite genotype interactions. In such systems, certain hosts are resistant to one subset of the parasite's genotypes, while other hosts are resistant to a different subset. Methods To test for genotype by genotype interactions between malaria parasites and their anopheline vectors, different genetic backgrounds (families consisting of the F1 offspring of individual females) of the major African vector Anopheles gambiae were challenged with several isolates of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (obtained from naturally infected children in Kenya). Results Averaged across all parasites, the proportion of infected mosquitoes and the number of oocysts found in their midguts were similar in all mosquito families. Both indices of resistance, however, differed considerably among isolates of the parasite. In particular, no mosquito family was most resistant to all parasites, and no parasite isolate was most infectious to all mosquitoes. Conclusions These results suggest that the level of mosquito resistance depends on the interaction between its own and the parasite's genotype. This finding thus emphasizes the need to take into account the range of genetic diversity exhibited by mosquito and malaria field populations in ideas and studies concerning the control of malaria. PMID:15644136

  17. Normocyte-binding protein required for human erythrocyte invasion by the zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-28

    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. PMID:27303038

  18. Sequestration and metabolism of host cell arginine by the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Cobbold, Simon A; Llinás, Manuel; Kirk, Kiaran

    2016-06-01

    Human erythrocytes have an active nitric oxide synthase, which converts arginine into citrulline and nitric oxide (NO). NO serves several important functions, including the maintenance of normal erythrocyte deformability, thereby ensuring efficient passage of the red blood cell through narrow microcapillaries. Here, we show that following invasion by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum the arginine pool in the host erythrocyte compartment is sequestered and metabolized by the parasite. Arginine from the extracellular medium enters the infected cell via endogenous host cell transporters and is taken up by the intracellular parasite by a high-affinity cationic amino acid transporter at the parasite surface. Within the parasite arginine is metabolized into citrulline and ornithine. The uptake and metabolism of arginine by the parasite deprive the erythrocyte of the substrate required for NO production and may contribute to the decreased deformability of infected erythrocytes. PMID:26633083

  19. The Host Targeting motif in exported Plasmodium proteins is cleaved in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum

    PubMed Central

    Osborne, Andrew R.; Speicher, Kaye D.; Tamez, Pamela A.; Bhattacharjee, Souvik; Speicher, David W.; Haldar, Kasturi

    2010-01-01

    During the blood stage of its lifecycle, the malaria parasite resides and replicates inside a membrane vacuole within its host cell, the human erythrocyte. The parasite exports many proteins across the vacuole membrane and into the host cell cytoplasm. Most exported proteins are characterized by the presence of a Host Targeting (HT) motif, also referred to as a Plasmodium Export Element (PEXEL), which corresponds to the consensus sequence RxLxE/D/Q. During export the HT motif is cleaved by an unknown protease. Here, we generate parasite lines expressing HT motif containing proteins that are localized to different compartments within the parasite or host cell. We find that the HT motif in a protein that is retained in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum, is cleaved and N-acetylated as efficiently as a protein that is exported. This shows that cleavage of the HT motif occurs early in the secretory pathway, in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:20117149

  20. Highly rearranged mitochondrial genome in Nycteria parasites (Haemosporidia) from bats.

    PubMed

    Karadjian, Gregory; Hassanin, Alexandre; Saintpierre, Benjamin; Gembu Tungaluna, Guy-Crispin; Ariey, Frederic; Ayala, Francisco J; Landau, Irene; Duval, Linda

    2016-08-30

    Haemosporidia parasites have mostly and abundantly been described using mitochondrial genes, and in particular cytochrome b (cytb). Failure to amplify the mitochondrial cytb gene of Nycteria parasites isolated from Nycteridae bats has been recently reported. Bats are hosts to a diverse and profuse array of Haemosporidia parasites that remain largely unstudied. There is a need to obtain more molecular data from chiropteran parasites. Such data would help to better understand the evolutionary history of Haemosporidia, which notably include the Plasmodium parasites, malaria's agents. We use next-generation sequencing to obtain the complete mitochondrial genome of Nycteria parasites from African Nycteris grandis (Nycteridae) and Rhinolophus alcyone (Rhinolophidae) and Asian Megaderma spasma (Megadermatidae). We report four complete mitochondrial genomes, including two rearranged mitochondrial genomes within Haemosporidia. Our results open outlooks into potentially undiscovered Haemosporidian diversity. PMID:27528689

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26272409

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

    PubMed

    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 < 0.0001). The median clearance half-life was 2.55 hours for the post-ACT parasites. Based on SNP analysis, 15 of 90 post-ACT parasites were single-clone infections. Analysis revealed 3 SNPs that might have some causal association with parasite clearance rates. Further, genetic analysis using Bayesian tree revealed parasites with similar clearance phenotypes were more closely genetically related. With further studies, SNPs described here and genetically determined response to artemisinin treatment might be useful in tracking artemisinin resistance in Kenya. PMID:27611315

  3. [Plasmodium vivax, a parasite coming out of the shadows].

    PubMed

    Allgower, Andrea; Taylor, W Robert; Chappuis, François; Eperon, Gilles

    2016-05-01

    Since 2007, the incidence and mortality of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum have declined. However, this trend has not been seen with Plasmodium vivax which has biological features. Severe vivax malaria is increasingly reported in endemic countries even though P. vivax has been thought of as a benign disease. Diagnosis is challenging: the usual rapid diagnostic tests are less sensitive in detecting P. vivax and there is no test for the detection of the dormant forms (hypnozoites). The treatment of the acute phase is an artemisinin based combination, e.g. artemetherlumefantrine. Primaquine, which is the only currently available treatment against hypnozoites for the prevention of relapses, may trigger acute haemolytic anaemia in individuals with G6PD deficiency. PMID:27323480

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. Within-host Competition Does Not Select for Virulence in Malaria Parasites; Studies with Plasmodium yoelii

    PubMed Central

    Abkallo, Hussein M.; Tangena, Julie-Anne; Tang, Jianxia; Kobayashi, Nobuyuki; Inoue, Megumi; Zoungrana, Augustin; Colegrave, Nick; Culleton, Richard

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25658331

  6. Human red blood cell-adapted Plasmodium knowlesi parasites: a new model system for malaria research

    PubMed Central

    Grüring, Christof; Moon, Robert W.; Lim, Caeul; Holder, Anthony A.; Blackman, Michael J.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian malaria parasite primarily infecting macaque species in Southeast Asia. Although its capacity to infect humans has been recognized since the early part of the last century, it has recently become evident that human infections are widespread and potentially life threatening. Historically, P. knowlesi has proven to be a powerful tool in early studies of malaria parasites, providing key breakthroughs in understanding many aspects of Plasmodium biology. However, the necessity to grow the parasite either in macaques or in vitro using macaque blood restricted research to laboratories with access to these resources. The recent adaptation of P. knowlesi to grow and proliferate in vitro in human red blood cells (RBCs) is therefore a substantial step towards revitalizing and expanding research on P. knowlesi. Furthermore, the development of a highly efficient transfection system to genetically modify the parasite makes P. knowlesi an ideal model to study parasite biology. In this review we elaborate on the importance of P. knowlesi in earlier phases of malaria research and highlight the future potential of the newly available human adapted P. knowlesi parasite lines. PMID:24506567

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Human red blood cell-adapted Plasmodium knowlesi parasites: a new model system for malaria research.

    PubMed

    Grüring, Christof; Moon, Robert W; Lim, Caeul; Holder, Anthony A; Blackman, Michael J; Duraisingh, Manoj T

    2014-05-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian malaria parasite primarily infecting macaque species in Southeast Asia. Although its capacity to infect humans has been recognized since the early part of the last century, it has recently become evident that human infections are widespread and potentially life threatening. Historically, P.  knowlesi has proven to be a powerful tool in early studies of malaria parasites, providing key breakthroughs in understanding many aspects of Plasmodium biology. However, the necessity to grow the parasite either in macaques or in vitro using macaque blood restricted research to laboratories with access to these resources. The recent adaptation of P.  knowlesi to grow and proliferate in vitro in human red blood cells (RBCs) is therefore a substantial step towards revitalizing and expanding research on P.  knowlesi. Furthermore, the development of a highly efficient transfection system to genetically modify the parasite makes P.  knowlesi an ideal model to study parasite biology. In this review, we elaborate on the importance of P.  knowlesi in earlier phases of malaria research and highlight the future potential of the newly available human adapted P.  knowlesi parasite lines. PMID:24506567

  9. Artesunate Tolerance in Transgenic Plasmodium falciparum Parasites Overexpressing a Tryptophan-Rich Protein▿†

    PubMed Central

    Deplaine, Guillaume; Lavazec, Catherine; Bischoff, Emmanuel; Natalang, Onguma; Perrot, Sylvie; Guillotte-Blisnick, Micheline; Coppée, Jean-Yves; Pradines, Bruno; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; David, Peter H.

    2011-01-01

    Due to their rapid, potent action on young and mature intraerythrocytic stages, artemisinin derivatives are central to drug combination therapies for Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the evidence for emerging parasite resistance/tolerance to artemisinins in southeast Asia is of great concern. A better understanding of artemisinin-related drug activity and resistance mechanisms is urgently needed. A recent transcriptome study of parasites exposed to artesunate led us to identify a series of genes with modified levels of expression in the presence of the drug. The gene presenting the largest mRNA level increase, Pf10_0026 (PArt), encoding a hypothetical protein of unknown function, was chosen for further study. Immunodetection with PArt-specific sera showed that artesunate induced a dose-dependent increase of the protein level. Bioinformatic analysis showed that PArt belongs to a Plasmodium-specific gene family characterized by the presence of a tryptophan-rich domain with a novel hidden Markov model (HMM) profile. Gene disruption could not be achieved, suggesting an essential function. Transgenic parasites overexpressing PArt protein were generated and exhibited tolerance to a spike exposure to high doses of artesunate, with increased survival and reduced growth retardation compared to that of wild-type-treated controls. These data indicate the involvement of PArt in parasite defense mechanisms against artesunate. This is the first report of genetically manipulated parasites displaying a stable and reproducible decreased susceptibility to artesunate, providing new possibilities to investigate the parasite response to artemisinins. PMID:21464256

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

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25185006

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25185006

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    The technical challenges of working with the sexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium have hindered the characterization of sexual stage antigens in the quest for a successful malaria transmission-blocking vaccine. One such predicted and largely uncharacterized group of sexual stage candidate antigens is the CPW-WPC family of proteins. CPW-WPC proteins are named for a characteristic domain that contains two conserved motifs, CPxxW and WPC. Conserved across Apicomplexa, this family is also present earlier in the Alveolata in the free-living, non-parasitophorous, photosynthetic chromerids, Chromera and Vitrella. In Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium 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. By 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. PMID:27312996

  13. Characterizing the genetic diversity of the monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium cynomolgi.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Patrick L; Luo, Zunping; Divis, Paul C S; Friedrich, Volney K; Conway, David J; Singh, Balbir; Barnwell, John W; Carlton, Jane M; Sullivan, Steven A

    2016-06-01

    Plasmodium cynomolgi is a malaria parasite that typically infects Asian macaque monkeys, and humans on rare occasions. P. cynomolgi serves as a model system for the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax, with which it shares such important biological characteristics as formation of a dormant liver stage and a preference to invade reticulocytes. While genomes of three P. cynomolgi strains have been sequenced, genetic diversity of P. cynomolgi has not been widely investigated. To address this we developed the first panel of P. cynomolgi microsatellite markers to genotype eleven P. cynomolgi laboratory strains and 18 field isolates from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. We found diverse genotypes among most of the laboratory strains, though two nominally different strains were found to be genetically identical. We also investigated sequence polymorphism in two erythrocyte invasion gene families, the reticulocyte binding protein and Duffy binding protein genes, in these strains. We also observed copy number variation in rbp genes. PMID:26980604

  14. The Calcium Signaling Toolkit of the Apicomplexan Parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium spp

    PubMed Central

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N.J.

    2015-01-01

    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 (Ca2+) 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+-ATPases are present in apicomplexans and a putative mitochondrial Ca2+/H+ exchanger has been identified. Apicomplexan genomes contain numerous genes encoding Ca2+-binding proteins, with the notable expansion of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), whose study has revealed novel 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ in these parasites. PMID:25605521

  15. Mosquito immune responses and compatibility between Plasmodium parasites and anopheline mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Functional screens based on dsRNA-mediated gene silencing identified several Anopheles gambiae genes that limit Plasmodium berghei infection. However, some of the genes identified in these screens have no effect on the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum; raising the question of whether different mosquito effector genes mediate anti-parasitic responses to different Plasmodium species. Results Four new An. gambiae (G3) genes were identified that, when silenced, have a different effect on P. berghei (Anka 2.34) and P. falciparum (3D7) infections. Orthologs of these genes, as well as LRIM1 and CTL4, were also silenced in An. stephensi (Nijmegen Sda500) females infected with P. yoelii (17XNL). For five of the six genes tested, silencing had the same effect on infection in the P. falciparum-An. gambiae and P. yoelii-An. stephensi parasite-vector combinations. Although silencing LRIM1 or CTL4 has no effect in An. stephensi females infected with P. yoelii, when An. gambiae is infected with the same parasite, silencing these genes has a dramatic effect. In An. gambiae (G3), TEP1, LRIM1 or LRIM2 silencing reverts lysis and melanization of P. yoelii, while CTL4 silencing enhances melanization. Conclusion There is a broad spectrum of compatibility, the extent to which the mosquito immune system limits infection, between different Plasmodium strains and particular mosquito strains that is mediated by TEP1/LRIM1 activation. The interactions between highly compatible animal models of malaria, such as P. yoelii (17XNL)-An. stephensi (Nijmegen Sda500), is more similar to that of P. falciparum (3D7)-An. gambiae (G3). PMID:19643026

  16. Synthesis and in vitro evaluation of hydrazinyl phthalazines against malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Subramanian, Gowtham; Babu Rajeev, C P; Mohan, Chakrabhavi Dhananjaya; Sinha, Ameya; Chu, Trang T T; Anusha, Sebastian; Ximei, Huang; Fuchs, Julian E; Bender, Andreas; Rangappa, Kanchugarakoppal S; Chandramohanadas, Rajesh; Basappa

    2016-07-15

    In this report, we describe the synthesis of 1-(Phthalazin-4-yl)-hydrazine using bronsted acidic ionic liquids and demonstrate their ability to inhibit asexual stage development of human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Through computational studies, we short-listed chemical scaffolds with potential binding affinity to an essential parasite protein, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH). Further, these compounds were synthesized in the lab and tested against P. falciparum. Several compounds from our library showed inhibitory activity at low micro-molar concentrations with minimal cytotoxic effects. These results indicate the potential of hydralazine derivatives as reference scaffolds to develop novel antimalarials. PMID:27261180

  17. The Maurer's clefts of Plasmodium falciparum: parasite-induced islands within an intracellular ocean.

    PubMed

    Przyborski, Jude M

    2008-07-01

    It is suggested that Maurer's clefts, membranous structures observed within the cytoplasm of Plasmodium-falciparum-infected human erythrocytes, play an important role in trafficking virulence proteins from the parasite to the surface of the host cell. How they fulfil this role, however, still is unclear. A recent study by Bhattacharjee et al. now suggests that the clefts function as the major conduit through which parasite-encoded proteins pass before entering the host cell. In this article we comment on the significance of this information in our understanding of the novel 'extracellular' secretory pathway of this important human pathogen. PMID:18514031

  18. Partnering Parasites: Evidence of Synergism between Heavy Schistosoma haematobium and Plasmodium Species Infections in Kenyan Children

    PubMed Central

    Florey, Lia S.; King, Charles H.; Van Dyke, Melissa K.; Muchiri, Eric M.; Mungai, Peter L.; Zimmerman, Peter A.; Wilson, Mark L.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22848765

  19. Prevalence and diversity patterns of avian blood parasites in degraded African rainforest habitats.

    PubMed

    Chasar, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2009-10-01

    Land use changes including deforestation, road construction and agricultural encroachments have been linked to the increased prevalence of several infectious diseases. In order to better understand how deforestation affects the prevalence of vector-borne infectious diseases in wildlife, nine paired sites were sampled (disturbed vs. undisturbed habitats) in Southern Cameroon. We studied the diversity, prevalence and distribution of avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and other related haemosporidians (species of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) from these sites in two widespread species of African rainforest birds, the yellow-whiskered greenbul (Andropadus latirostris, Pycnonotidae) and the olive sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea, Nectariniidae). Twenty-six mitochondrial cytochrome b lineages were identified: 20 Plasmodium lineages and 6 Haemoproteus lineages. These lineages showed no geographic specificity, nor significant differences in lineage diversity between habitat types. However, we found that the prevalence of Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus infections were significantly higher in undisturbed than in deforested habitats (Leucocytozoon spp. 50.3% vs. 35.8%, Haemoproteus spp. 16.3% vs. 10.8%). We also found higher prevalence for all haemosporidian parasites in C. olivacea than in A. latirostris species (70.2% vs. 58.2%). Interestingly, we found one morphospecies of Plasmodium in C. olivacea, as represented by a clade of related lineages, showed increased prevalence at disturbed sites, while another showed a decrease, testifying to different patterns of transmission, even among closely related lineages of avian malaria, in relation to deforestation. Our work demonstrates that anthropogenic habitat change can affect host-parasite systems and result in opposing trends in prevalence of haemosporidian parasites in wild bird populations. PMID:19754513

  20. Quantitative Time-course Profiling of Parasite and Host Cell Proteins in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum*

    PubMed Central

    Foth, Bernardo Javier; Zhang, Neng; Chaal, Balbir Kaur; Sze, Siu Kwan; Preiser, Peter Rainer; Bozdech, Zbynek

    2011-01-01

    Studies of the Plasmodium falciparum transcriptome have shown that the tightly controlled progression of the parasite through the intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC) is accompanied by a continuous gene expression cascade in which most expressed genes exhibit a single transcriptional peak. Because the biochemical and cellular functions of most genes are mediated by the encoded proteins, understanding the relationship between mRNA and protein levels is crucial for inferring biological activity from transcriptional gene expression data. Although studies on other organisms show that <50% of protein abundance variation may be attributable to corresponding mRNA levels, the situation in Plasmodium is further complicated by the dynamic nature of the cyclic gene expression cascade. In this study, we simultaneously determined mRNA and protein abundance profiles for P. falciparum parasites during the IDC at 2-hour resolution based on oligonucleotide microarrays and two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis protein gels. We find that most proteins are represented by more than one isoform, presumably because of post-translational modifications. Like transcripts, most proteins exhibit cyclic abundance profiles with one peak during the IDC, whereas the presence of functionally related proteins is highly correlated. In contrast, the abundance of most parasite proteins peaks significantly later (median 11 h) than the corresponding transcripts and often decreases slowly in the second half of the IDC. Computational modeling indicates that the considerable and varied incongruence between transcript and protein abundance may largely be caused by the dynamics of translation and protein degradation. Furthermore, we present cyclic abundance profiles also for parasite-associated human proteins and confirm the presence of five human proteins with a potential role in antioxidant defense within the parasites. Together, our data provide fundamental insights into transcript

  1. Disruption of Parasite hmgb2 Gene Attenuates Plasmodium berghei ANKA Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Lawson-Hogban, Nadou; Boisson, Bertrand; Soares, Miguel P.; Péronet, Roger; Smith, Leanna; Ménard, Robert; Huerre, Michel; Mécheri, Salah

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic high-mobility-group-box (HMGB) proteins are nuclear factors involved in chromatin remodeling and transcription regulation. When released into the extracellular milieu, HMGB1 acts as a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of several immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. We found that the Plasmodium genome encodes two genuine HMGB factors, Plasmodium HMGB1 and HMGB2, that encompass, like their human counterparts, a proinflammatory domain. Given that these proteins are released from parasitized red blood cells, we then hypothesized that Plasmodium HMGB might contribute to the pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), a lethal neuroinflammatory syndrome that develops in C57BL/6 (susceptible) mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA and that in many aspects resembles human cerebral malaria elicited by P. falciparum infection. The pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria was suppressed in C57BL/6 mice infected with P. berghei ANKA lacking the hmgb2 gene (Δhmgb2 ANKA), an effect associated with a reduction of histological brain lesions and with lower expression levels of several proinflammatory genes. The incidence of ECM in pbhmgb2-deficient mice was restored by the administration of recombinant PbHMGB2. Protection from experimental cerebral malaria in Δhmgb2 ANKA-infected mice was associated with reduced sequestration in the brain of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, including CD8+ granzyme B+ and CD8+ IFN-γ+ cells, and, to some extent, neutrophils. This was consistent with a reduced parasite sequestration in the brain, lungs, and spleen, though to a lesser extent than in wild-type P. berghei ANKA-infected mice. In summary, Plasmodium HMGB2 acts as an alarmin that contributes to the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. PMID:25916985

  2. Disruption of Parasite hmgb2 Gene Attenuates Plasmodium berghei ANKA Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Briquet, Sylvie; Lawson-Hogban, Nadou; Boisson, Bertrand; Soares, Miguel P; Péronet, Roger; Smith, Leanna; Ménard, Robert; Huerre, Michel; Mécheri, Salah; Vaquero, Catherine

    2015-07-01

    Eukaryotic high-mobility-group-box (HMGB) proteins are nuclear factors involved in chromatin remodeling and transcription regulation. When released into the extracellular milieu, HMGB1 acts as a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of several immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. We found that the Plasmodium genome encodes two genuine HMGB factors, Plasmodium HMGB1 and HMGB2, that encompass, like their human counterparts, a proinflammatory domain. Given that these proteins are released from parasitized red blood cells, we then hypothesized that Plasmodium HMGB might contribute to the pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), a lethal neuroinflammatory syndrome that develops in C57BL/6 (susceptible) mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA and that in many aspects resembles human cerebral malaria elicited by P. falciparum infection. The pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria was suppressed in C57BL/6 mice infected with P. berghei ANKA lacking the hmgb2 gene (Δhmgb2 ANKA), an effect associated with a reduction of histological brain lesions and with lower expression levels of several proinflammatory genes. The incidence of ECM in pbhmgb2-deficient mice was restored by the administration of recombinant PbHMGB2. Protection from experimental cerebral malaria in Δhmgb2 ANKA-infected mice was associated with reduced sequestration in the brain of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, including CD8(+) granzyme B(+) and CD8(+) IFN-γ(+) cells, and, to some extent, neutrophils. This was consistent with a reduced parasite sequestration in the brain, lungs, and spleen, though to a lesser extent than in wild-type P. berghei ANKA-infected mice. In summary, Plasmodium HMGB2 acts as an alarmin that contributes to the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. PMID:25916985

  3. Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John A.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Tom F.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (<1%), and 0 (0%) samples, respectively. Occupancy modeling was used to estimate prevalence of Leucocytozoon parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

  4. Mefloquine induces ROS mediated programmed cell death in malaria parasite: Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Gunjan, Sarika; Singh, Sunil Kumar; Sharma, Tanuj; Dwivedi, Hemlata; Chauhan, Bhavana Singh; Imran Siddiqi, Mohammad; Tripathi, Renu

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies pioneer the existence of a novel programmed cell death pathway in malaria parasite plasmodium and suggest that it could be helpful in developing new targeted anti-malarial therapies. Considering this fact, we evaluated the underlying action mechanism of this pathway in mefloquine (MQ) treated parasite. Since cysteine proteases play a key role in apoptosis hence we performed preliminary computational simulations to determine binding affinity of MQ with metacaspase protein model. Binding pocket identified using computational studies, was docked with MQ to identify it's potential to bind with the predicted protein model. We further determined apoptotic markers such as mitochondrial dysregulation, activation of cysteine proteases and in situ DNA fragmentation in MQ treated/untreated parasites by cell based assay. Our results showed low mitochondrial membrane potential, enhanced activity of cysteine protease and increased number of fragmented DNA in treated parasites compared to untreated ones. We next tested the involvement of oxidative stress in MQ mediated cell death and found significant increase in reactive oxygen species generation after 24 h of treatment. Therefore we conclude that apart from hemozoin inhibition, MQ is competent to induce apoptosis in plasmodium by activating metacaspase and ROS production. PMID:27357656

  5. Relevance of undetectably rare resistant malaria parasites in treatment failure: experimental evidence from Plasmodium chabaudi.

    PubMed

    Huijben, Silvie; Chan, Brian H K; Read, Andrew F

    2015-06-01

    Resistant malaria parasites are frequently found in mixed infections with drug-sensitive parasites. Particularly early in the evolutionary process, the frequency of these resistant mutants can be extremely low and below the level of molecular detection. We tested whether the rarity of resistance in infections impacted the health outcomes of treatment failure and the potential for onward transmission of resistance. Mixed infections of different ratios of resistant and susceptible Plasmodium chabaudi parasites were inoculated in laboratory mice and dynamics tracked during the course of infection using highly sensitive genotype-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Frequencies of resistant parasites ranged from 10% to 0.003% at the onset of treatment. We found that the rarer the resistant parasites were, the lower the likelihood of their onward transmission, but the worse the treatment failure was in terms of parasite numbers and disease severity. Strikingly, drug resistant parasites had the biggest impact on health outcomes when they were too rare to be detected by any molecular methods currently available for field samples. Indeed, in the field, these treatment failures would not even have been attributed to resistance. PMID:25940195

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: cell biological peculiarities and nutritional consequences.

    PubMed

    Baumeister, Stefan; Winterberg, Markus; Przyborski, Jude M; Lingelbach, Klaus

    2010-04-01

    Apicomplexan parasites obligatorily invade and multiply within eukaryotic cells. Phylogenetically, they are related to a group of algae which, during their evolution, have acquired a secondary endosymbiont. This organelle, which in the parasite is called the apicoplast, is highly reduced compared to the endosymbionts of algae, but still contains many plant-specific biosynthetic pathways. The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum infects mammalian erythrocytes which are devoid of intracellular compartments and which largely lack biosynthetic pathways. Despite the limited resources of nutrition, the parasite grows and generates up to 32 merozoites which are the infectious stages of the complex life cycle. A large part of the intra-erythrocytic development takes place in the so-called parasitophorous vacuole, a compartment which forms an interface between the parasite and the cytoplasm of the host cell. In the course of parasite growth, the host cell undergoes dramatic alterations which on one hand contribute directly to the symptoms of severe malaria and which, on the other hand, are also required for parasite survival. Some of these alterations facilitate the acquisition of nutrients from the extracellular environment which are not provided by the host cell. Here, we describe the cell biologically unique interactions between an intracellular eukaryotic pathogen and its metabolically highly reduced host cell. We further discuss current models to explain the appearance of pathogen-induced novel physiological properties in a host cell which has lost its genetic programme. PMID:19949823

  8. Return of chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium falciparum parasites and emergence of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium vivax in Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Increased resistance by Plasmodium falciparum parasites led to the withdrawal of the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine in Ethiopia. Since 2004 artemether-lumefantrine has served to treat uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. However, increasing reports on delayed parasite clearance to artemisinin opens up a new challenge in anti-malarial therapy. With the complete withdrawal of CQ for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, this study assessed the evolution of CQ resistance by investigating the prevalence of mutant alleles in the pfmdr1 and pfcrt genes in P. falciparum and pvmdr1 gene in Plasmodium vivax in Southern and Eastern Ethiopia. Methods Of the 1,416 febrile patients attending primary health facilities in Southern Ethiopia, 329 febrile patients positive for P. falciparum or P. vivax were recruited. Similarly of the 1,304 febrile patients from Eastern Ethiopia, 81 febrile patients positive for P. falciparum or P. vivax were included in the study. Of the 410 finger prick blood samples collected from malaria patients, we used direct sequencing to investigate the prevalence of mutations in pfcrt and pfmdr1. This included determining the gene copy number in pfmdr1 in 195 P. falciparum clinical isolates, and mutations in the pvmdr1 locus in 215 P. vivax clinical isolates. Results The pfcrt K76 CQ-sensitive allele was observed in 84.1% of the investigated P.falciparum clinical isolates. The pfcrt double mutations (K76T and C72S) were observed less than 3%. The pfcrt SVMNT haplotype was also found to be present in clinical isolates from Ethiopia. The pfcrt CVMNK-sensitive haplotypes were frequently observed (95.9%). The pfmdr1 mutation N86Y was observed only in 14.9% compared to 85.1% of the clinical isolates that carried sensitive alleles. Also, the sensitive pfmdr1 Y184 allele was more common, in 94.9% of clinical isolates. None of the investigated P. falciparum clinical isolates carried S1034C, N1042D and D1246Y

  9. Direct Tests of Enzymatic Heme Degradation by the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum*

    PubMed Central

    Sigala, Paul A.; Crowley, Jan R.; Hsieh, Samantha; Henderson, Jeffrey P.; Goldberg, Daniel E.

    2012-01-01

    Malaria parasites generate vast quantities of heme during blood stage infection via hemoglobin digestion and limited de novo biosynthesis, but it remains unclear if parasites metabolize heme for utilization or disposal. Recent in vitro experiments with a heme oxygenase (HO)-like protein from Plasmodium falciparum suggested that parasites may enzymatically degrade some heme to the canonical HO product, biliverdin (BV), or its downstream metabolite, bilirubin (BR). To directly test for BV and BR production by P. falciparum parasites, we DMSO-extracted equal numbers of infected and uninfected erythrocytes and developed a sensitive LC-MS/MS assay to quantify these tetrapyrroles. We found comparable low levels of BV and BR in both samples, suggesting the absence of HO activity in parasites. We further tested live parasites by targeted expression of a fluorescent BV-binding protein within the parasite cytosol, mitochondrion, and plant-like plastid. This probe could detect exogenously added BV but gave no signal indicative of endogenous BV production within parasites. Finally, we recombinantly expressed and tested the proposed heme degrading activity of the HO-like protein, PfHO. Although PfHO bound heme and protoporphyrin IX with modest affinity, it did not catalyze heme degradation in vivo within bacteria or in vitro in UV absorbance and HPLC assays. These observations are consistent with PfHO's lack of a heme-coordinating His residue and suggest an alternative function within parasites. We conclude that P. falciparum parasites lack a canonical HO pathway for heme degradation and thus rely fully on alternative mechanisms for heme detoxification and iron acquisition during blood stage infection. PMID:22992734

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Infections of humans with the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi occur throughout Southeast Asia, although most cases have occurred in Malaysia, where P. knowlesi is now the dominant malaria species. This apparently skewed distribution prompted an investigation of the phylogeography of this parasite in 2 geographically separated regions of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. We investigated samples collected from humans and macaques in these regions. Haplotype network analyses of sequences from 2 P. knowlesi genes, type A small subunit ribosomal 18S RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, showed 2 genetically distinct divergent clusters, 1 from each of the 2 regions of Malaysia. We propose that these parasites represent 2 distinct P. knowlesi types that independently became zoonotic. These types would have evolved after the sea-level rise at the end of the last ice age, which separated Malaysian Borneo from Peninsular Malaysia. PMID:27433965

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Infections of humans with the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi occur throughout Southeast Asia, although most cases have occurred in Malaysia, where P. knowlesi is now the dominant malaria species. This apparently skewed distribution prompted an investigation of the phylogeography of this parasite in 2 geographically separated regions of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. We investigated samples collected from humans and macaques in these regions. Haplotype network analyses of sequences from 2 P. knowlesi genes, type A small subunit ribosomal 18S RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, showed 2 genetically distinct divergent clusters, 1 from each of the 2 regions of Malaysia. We propose that these parasites represent 2 distinct P. knowlesi types that independently became zoonotic. These types would have evolved after the sea-level rise at the end of the last ice age, which separated Malaysian Borneo from Peninsular Malaysia. PMID:27433965

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22326740

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. Investigations into Outbreaks of Black Fly Attacks and Subsequent Avian Haemosporidians in Backyard-Type Poultry and Other Exposed Avian Species.

    PubMed

    Jones, Kelli; Johnson, Nora; Yang, Sharon; Stokes, John; Smith, Whitney; Wills, Robert; Goddard, Jerome; Varela-Stokes, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    In late spring of 2009 and 2010, there were reports of severe black fly (Simulium spp., shown in Fig. 1) outbreaks in various counties in Mississippi, especially those in and around the Mississippi River Delta. Complaints were of black flies attacking multiple species of backyard poultry and causing high morbidity and mortality in affected flocks. At several affected locations, black flies were readily observed swarming around and feeding on birds. A large number of these parasites were easily trapped on fly strips (Fig. 2). Multifocal to coalescing cutaneous hemorrhagic lesions, consistent with fly bites, were seen on the birds. Upon necropsy examination, a large number of black flies were also observed in the digestive tract (Fig. 3). Although black flies may cause disease directly, such as cardiopulmonary collapse and anaphylactoid reactions, detection of Leucocytozoon in blood smears (Fig. 4) of affected birds prompted further investigations of this protozoan as a cause of disease. Leucocytozoon spp. are known to be transmitted by black flies and may be associated with morbidity and mortality in birds such as poultry. From June 2009 through July 2012, the investigation included a total collection of 1068 individual blood samples, representing 371 individual premises in 89 counties/parishes across Mississippi (59), Alabama (10), Louisiana (4), and Tennessee (16). Of the 371 premises where blood samples were collected, 96 (26%) were either positive or highly suspected to be positive for Leucocytozoon spp. by blood smear analysis, and 5 (1.2%) were positive for Haemoproteus spp. by blood smear analysis. Attempts to diagnose Leucocytozoon spp. by PCR analysis and sequencing were complicated by coinfections with two closely related haemosporidians (Haemoproteus spp. and Plasmodium spp.). A novel technique involving flow cytometry was also explored. This study discusses the black fly field outbreak, the involvement of haemosporidians, molecular methods for detection

  15. Selective Killing of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum by a Benzylthiazolium dye

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    Malaria is an infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. The most virulent form of the disease is caused by P. falciparum which infects hundreds of millions of people and is responsible for the deaths of 1 to 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. PMID:17266952

  16. Effect of Mature Blood-Stage Plasmodium Parasite Sequestration on Pathogen Biomass in Mathematical and In Vivo Models of Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, David S.; Cromer, Deborah; Best, Shannon E.; James, Kylie R.; Kim, Peter S.; Engwerda, Christian R.; Haque, Ashraful

    2014-01-01

    Parasite biomass and microvasculature obstruction are strongly associated with disease severity and death in Plasmodium falciparum-infected humans. This is related to sequestration of mature, blood-stage parasites (schizonts) in peripheral tissue. The prevailing view is that schizont sequestration leads to an increase in pathogen biomass, yet direct experimental data to support this are lacking. Here, we first studied parasite population dynamics in inbred wild-type (WT) mice infected with the rodent species of malaria, Plasmodium berghei ANKA. As is commonly reported, these mice became moribund due to large numbers of parasites in multiple tissues. We then studied infection dynamics in a genetically targeted line of mice, which displayed minimal tissue accumulation of parasites. We constructed a mathematical model of parasite biomass dynamics, incorporating schizont-specific host clearance, both with and without schizont sequestration. Combined use of mathematical and in vivo modeling indicated, first, that the slowing of parasite growth in the genetically targeted mice can be attributed to specific clearance of schizonts from the circulation and, second, that persistent parasite growth in WT mice can be explained solely as a result of schizont sequestration. Our work provides evidence that schizont sequestration could be a major biological process driving rapid, early increases in parasite biomass during blood-stage Plasmodium infection. PMID:24144725

  17. Effect of mature blood-stage Plasmodium parasite sequestration on pathogen biomass in mathematical and in vivo models of malaria.

    PubMed

    Khoury, David S; Cromer, Deborah; Best, Shannon E; James, Kylie R; Kim, Peter S; Engwerda, Christian R; Haque, Ashraful; Davenport, Miles P

    2014-01-01

    Parasite biomass and microvasculature obstruction are strongly associated with disease severity and death in Plasmodium falciparum-infected humans. This is related to sequestration of mature, blood-stage parasites (schizonts) in peripheral tissue. The prevailing view is that schizont sequestration leads to an increase in pathogen biomass, yet direct experimental data to support this are lacking. Here, we first studied parasite population dynamics in inbred wild-type (WT) mice infected with the rodent species of malaria, Plasmodium berghei ANKA. As is commonly reported, these mice became moribund due to large numbers of parasites in multiple tissues. We then studied infection dynamics in a genetically targeted line of mice, which displayed minimal tissue accumulation of parasites. We constructed a mathematical model of parasite biomass dynamics, incorporating schizont-specific host clearance, both with and without schizont sequestration. Combined use of mathematical and in vivo modeling indicated, first, that the slowing of parasite growth in the genetically targeted mice can be attributed to specific clearance of schizonts from the circulation and, second, that persistent parasite growth in WT mice can be explained solely as a result of schizont sequestration. Our work provides evidence that schizont sequestration could be a major biological process driving rapid, early increases in parasite biomass during blood-stage Plasmodium infection. PMID:24144725

  18. Plasmodium falciparum K76T pfcrt Gene Mutations and Parasite Population Structure, Haiti, 2006–2009

    PubMed Central

    Charles, Macarthur; Das, Sanchita; Daniels, Rachel; Kirkman, Laura; Delva, Glavdia G.; Destine, Rodney; Escalante, Ananias; Villegas, Leopoldo; Daniels, Noah M.; Shigyo, Kristi; Volkman, Sarah K.; Pape, Jean W.

    2016-01-01

    Hispaniola is the only Caribbean island to which Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains endemic. Resistance to the antimalarial drug chloroquine has rarely been reported in Haiti, which is located on Hispaniola, but the K76T pfcrt (P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter) gene mutation that confers chloroquine resistance has been detected intermittently. We analyzed 901 patient samples collected during 2006–2009 and found 2 samples showed possible mixed parasite infections of genetically chloroquine-resistant and -sensitive parasites. Direct sequencing of the pfcrt resistance locus and single-nucleotide polymorphism barcoding did not definitively identify a resistant population, suggesting that sustained propagation of chloroquine-resistant parasites was not occurring in Haiti during the study period. Comparison of parasites from Haiti with those from Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela reveals a geographically distinct population with highly related parasites. Our findings indicate low genetic diversity in the parasite population and low levels of chloroquine resistance in Haiti, raising the possibility that reported cases may be of exogenous origin. PMID:27089479

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22406332

  20. Plasmodium falciparum K76T pfcrt Gene Mutations and Parasite Population Structure, Haiti, 2006-2009.

    PubMed

    Charles, Macarthur; Das, Sanchita; Daniels, Rachel; Kirkman, Laura; Delva, Glavdia G; Destine, Rodney; Escalante, Ananias; Villegas, Leopoldo; Daniels, Noah M; Shigyo, Kristi; Volkman, Sarah K; Pape, Jean W; Golightly, Linnie M

    2016-05-01

    Hispaniola is the only Caribbean island to which Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains endemic. Resistance to the antimalarial drug chloroquine has rarely been reported in Haiti, which is located on Hispaniola, but the K76T pfcrt (P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter) gene mutation that confers chloroquine resistance has been detected intermittently. We analyzed 901 patient samples collected during 2006-2009 and found 2 samples showed possible mixed parasite infections of genetically chloroquine-resistant and -sensitive parasites. Direct sequencing of the pfcrt resistance locus and single-nucleotide polymorphism barcoding did not definitively identify a resistant population, suggesting that sustained propagation of chloroquine-resistant parasites was not occurring in Haiti during the study period. Comparison of parasites from Haiti with those from Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela reveals a geographically distinct population with highly related parasites. Our findings indicate low genetic diversity in the parasite population and low levels of chloroquine resistance in Haiti, raising the possibility that reported cases may be of exogenous origin. PMID:27089479

  1. Characterization of a conserved extrachromosomal element isolated from the avian malarial parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum.

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, J T; Aldritt, S M; Unnasch, T; Puijalon, O; Wirth, D F

    1989-01-01

    We have identified a conserved, repeated, and highly transcribed DNA element from the avian malarial parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum. The element produced multiple transcripts in both zygotes and asexual blood stages of this parasite. It was found to be highly conserved in all of five malarial species tested and hybridized at reduced stringency to other members of the phylum Apicomplexa, including the genera Babesia, Eimeria, Toxoplasma, and Theileria. The copy number of the element was about 15, and it had a circularly permuted restriction map with a repeat unit length of about 6.2 kilobases. It could be separated from the main genomic DNA by using sucrose gradients and agarose gels, and it migrated separately from the recognized Plasmodium chromosomes on pulse-field gels. In the accompanying paper (S. M. Aldritt, J. T. Joseph, and D. F. Wirth, Mol. Cell. Biol. 9:3614-3620, 1989), evidence is presented that element contains the mitochondrial genes for the protein cytochrome b and a fragment of the large rRNA. We postulate that this element is an episome in the mitochondria of the obligate parasites belonging to the phylum Apicomplexa. Images PMID:2779561

  2. Plasmodium falciparum heat shock protein 110 stabilizes the asparagine repeatrich parasite proteome during malarial fevers

    PubMed Central

    Muralidharan, Vasant; Oksman, Anna; Pal, Priya; Lindquist, Susan; E. Goldberg, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    One-fourth of Plasmodium falciparum proteins have asparagine repeats that increase the propensity for aggregation, especially at elevated temperatures that occur routinely in malaria-infected patients. We report that a Plasmodium Asn repeat-containing protein (PFI1155w) formed aggregates in mammalian cells at febrile temperatures, as did a yeast Asn/Gln-rich protein (Sup35). Co-expression of the cytoplasmic P. falciparum heat shock protein 110 (PfHsp110c) prevented aggregation. Human or yeast orthologs were much less effective. All-Asn and all-Gln versions of Sup35 were protected from aggregation by PfHsp110c, suggesting that this chaperone is not limited to handling runs of Asn. PfHsp110c gene knockout parasites were not viable and conditional knockdown parasites died slowly in the absence of protein-stabilizing ligand. When exposed to brief heat shock, these knockdowns were unable to prevent aggregation of PFI1155w or Sup35 and died rapidly. We conclude that PfHsp110c protects the parasite from harmful effects of its asparagine repeat-rich proteome during febrile episodes. PMID:23250440

  3. Conditional Degradation of Plasmodium Calcineurin Reveals Functions in Parasite Colonization of both Host and Vector

    PubMed Central

    Philip, Nisha; Waters, Andrew P.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Functional analysis of essential genes in the malarial parasite, Plasmodium, is hindered by lack of efficient strategies for conditional protein regulation. We report the development of a rapid, specific, and inducible chemical-genetic tool in the rodent malaria parasite, P. berghei, in which endogenous proteins engineered to contain the auxin-inducible degron (AID) are selectively degraded upon adding auxin. Application of AID to the calcium-regulated protein phosphatase, calcineurin, revealed functions in host and vector stages of parasite development. Whereas depletion of calcineurin in late-stage schizonts demonstrated its critical role in erythrocyte attachment and invasion in vivo, stage-specific depletion uncovered roles in gamete development, fertilization, and ookinete-to-oocyst and sporozoite-to-liver stage transitions. Furthermore, AID technology facilitated concurrent generation and phenotyping of transgenic lines, allowing multiple lines to be assessed simultaneously with significant reductions in animal use. This study highlights the broad applicability of AID for functional analysis of proteins across the Plasmodium life cycle. PMID:26118994

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-20

    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(-3)) 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 (FST) = 0.21, with 9,293 SNPs having fixed differences of FST = 1.0]. This differentiation showed marked heterogeneity across the genome, with mean FST 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. PMID:26438871

  5. In situ hybridization and sequence analysis reveal an association of Plasmodium spp. with mortalities in wild passerine birds in Austria.

    PubMed

    Dinhopl, Nora; Nedorost, Nora; Mostegl, Meike M; Weissenbacher-Lang, Christiane; Weissenböck, Herbert

    2015-04-01

    Native European passerine birds are frequently clinically inapparent carriers of haemosporidian parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Clinical disease and death are only exceptionally reported. In the present study, tissue samples of 233 wild passerine birds found dead in Eastern Austria were examined by in situ hybridization (ISH) and partial cytochrome B gene sequence analysis for the presence, abundance and taxonomic assignment of Plasmodium spp. In 34 cases (14.6%), ISH yielded a positive result with large numbers of developmental stages in different cell types of the spleen, liver, brain and lung. The abundance of the tissue stages, which was comparable to fatal cases of avian malaria in penguins, suggested a major contribution to the cause of death. Genetic analysis revealed infections with representatives of three different valid species of Plasmodium, Plasmodium elongatum, Plasmodium lutzi and Plasmodium vaughani. Genetically identical parasite lineages had been found in a previous study in penguins kept in the Vienna zoo, providing evidence for the role of wild birds as reservoir hosts. Further, this study provides evidence that several species of Plasmodium are able to abundantly proliferate in endemic wild birds ultimately resulting in mortalities. PMID:25636246

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria-related deaths. Tools allowing the study of the basic biology of P. falciparum throughout the life cycle are critical to the development of new strategies to target the parasite within both human and mosquito hosts. We here present 3D7HT-GFP, a strain of P. falciparum constitutively expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) throughout the life cycle, which has retained its capacity to complete 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. PMID:20161781

  7. The Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Is Not Dependent on Host Coenzyme A Biosynthesis*

    PubMed Central

    Spry, Christina; Saliba, Kevin J.

    2009-01-01

    Pantothenate, a precursor of the fundamental enzyme cofactor coenzyme A (CoA), is essential for growth of the intraerythrocytic stage of human and avian malaria parasites. Avian malaria parasites have been reported to be incapable of de novo CoA synthesis and instead salvage CoA from the host erythrocyte; hence, pantothenate is required for CoA biosynthesis within the host cell and not the parasite itself. Whether the same is true of the intraerythrocytic stage of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, remained to be established. In this study we investigated the metabolic fate of [14C]pantothenate within uninfected and P. falciparum-infected human erythrocytes. We provide evidence consistent with normal human erythrocytes, unlike rat erythrocytes (which have been reported to possess an incomplete CoA biosynthesis pathway), being capable of CoA biosynthesis from pantothenate. We also show that CoA biosynthesis is substantially higher in P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes and that P. falciparum, unlike its avian counterpart, generates most of the CoA synthesized in the infected erythrocyte, presumably necessitated by insufficient CoA biosynthesis in the host erythrocyte. Our data raise the possibility that malaria parasites rationalize their biosynthetic activity depending on the capacity of their host cell to synthesize the metabolites they require. PMID:19584050

  8. Development and Application of a Simple Plaque Assay for the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, James A.; Collins, Christine R.; Das, Sujaan; Hackett, Fiona; Graindorge, Arnault; Bell, Donald; Deu, Edgar; Blackman, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is caused by an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that replicates within and destroys erythrocytes. Asexual blood stages of the causative agent of the most virulent form of human malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, can be cultivated indefinitely in vitro in human erythrocytes, facilitating experimental analysis of parasite cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. However, efforts to improve understanding of the basic biology of this important pathogen and to develop urgently required new antimalarial drugs and vaccines, suffer from a paucity of basic research tools. This includes a simple means of quantifying the effects of drugs, antibodies and gene modifications on parasite fitness and replication rates. Here we describe the development and validation of an extremely simple, robust plaque assay that can be used to visualise parasite replication and resulting host erythrocyte destruction at the level of clonal parasite populations. We demonstrate applications of the plaque assay by using it for the phenotypic characterisation of two P. falciparum conditional mutants displaying reduced fitness in vitro. PMID:27332706

  9. Evidence for intercontinental parasite exchange through molecular detection and characterization of haematozoa in northern pintails (Anas acuta) sampled throughout the North Pacific Basin.

    PubMed

    Ramey, Andrew M; Schmutz, Joel A; Reed, John A; Fujita, Go; Scotton, Bradley D; Casler, Bruce; Fleskes, Joseph P; Konishi, Kan; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Yabsley, Michael J

    2015-04-01

    Empirical evidence supports wild birds as playing a role in the interhemispheric exchange of bacteria and viruses; however, data supporting the redistribution of parasites among continents are limited. In this study, the hypothesis that migratory birds contribute to the redistribution of parasites between continents was tested by sampling northern pintails (Anas acuta) at locations throughout the North Pacific Basin in North America and East Asia for haemosporidian infections and assessing the genetic evidence for parasite exchange. Of 878 samples collected from birds in Alaska (USA), California (USA), and Hokkaido (Japan) during August 2011-May 2012 and screened for parasitic infections using molecular techniques, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium parasites were detected in 555 (63%), 44 (5%), and 52 (6%) samples, respectively. Using an occupancy modeling approach, the probability of detecting parasites via replicate genetic tests was estimated to be high (ρ > 0.95). Multi-model inference supported variation of Leucocytozoon parasite prevalence by northern pintail age class and geographic location of sampling in contrast to Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites for which there was only support for variation in parasite prevalence by sampling location. Thirty-one unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were detected among haematozoa infecting northern pintails including seven lineages shared between samples from North America and Japan. The finding of identical parasite haplotypes at widely distributed geographic locations and general lack of genetic structuring by continent in phylogenies for Leucocytozoon and Plasmodium provides evidence for intercontinental genetic exchange of haemosporidian parasites. Results suggest that migratory birds, including waterfowl, could therefore facilitate the introduction of avian malaria and other haemosporidia to novel hosts and spatially distant regions. PMID:25830100

  10. Evidence for intercontinental parasite exchange through molecular detection and characterization of haematozoa in northern pintails (Anas acuta) sampled throughout the North Pacific Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramey, Andy M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Reed, John A.; Fujita, Go; Scotton, Bradley D.; Casler, Bruce; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Konishi, Kan; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Empirical evidence supports wild birds as playing a role in the interhemispheric exchange of bacteria and viruses; however, data supporting the redistribution of parasites among continents are limited. In this study, the hypothesis that migratory birds contribute to the redistribution of parasites between continents was tested by sampling northern pintails (Anas acuta) at locations throughout the North Pacific Basin in North America and East Asia for haemosporidian infections and assessing the genetic evidence for parasite exchange. Of 878 samples collected from birds in Alaska (USA), California (USA), and Hokkaido (Japan) during August 2011 - May 2012 and screened for parasitic infections using molecular techniques, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium parasites were detected in 555 (63%), 44 (5%), and 52 (6%) samples, respectively. Using an occupancy modeling approach, the probability of detecting parasites via replicate genetic tests was estimated to be high (p ≥ 0.95). Multi-model inference supported variation of Leucocytozoon parasite prevalence by northern pintail age class and geographic location of sampling in contrast to Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites for which there was only support for variation in parasite prevalence by sampling location. Thirty-one unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were detected among haematozoa infecting northern pintails including seven lineages shared between samples from North America and Japan. The finding of identical parasite haplotypes at widely distributed geographic locations and general lack of genetic structuring by continent in phylogenies for Leucocytozoon and Plasmodium provides evidence for intercontinental genetic exchange of haemosporidian parasites. Results suggest that migratory birds, including waterfowl, could therefore facilitate the introduction of avian malaria and other haemosporidia to novel hosts and spatially distant regions.

  11. Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium chabaudi: a neutral endopeptidase in parasite extracts and plasma of infected animals.

    PubMed

    Bernard, F; Mayer, R; Picard, I; Deguercy, A; Monsigny, M; Schrevel, J

    1987-08-01

    By using a sensitive fluorometric method with Val-Leu-Gly-Arg-3-amino-9-ethylcarbazole (VLGR-AEC) as a substrate, two endopeptidase activities were identified in two fractions of Sephacryl S-200 gel filtration from soluble P. berghei and P. chabaudi extracts. Controls with normal mouse erythrocytes, with leukocytes, and with reticulocyte enriched blood and different washing procedures during the preparation of soluble P. berghei extracts showed that the MW greater than 200 kDa fraction was a contaminant from erythrocytes and exhibited an optimal pH activity of 8.2. In contrast, the fraction 130 kDa was related to P. berghei and P. chabaudi and exhibited an optimal pH activity of 7.4. The two enzyme activities were compared with eight different substrates. The parasite endopeptidase showed a strong activity with Val-Leu-Gly-Lys-AEC (VLGK-AEC) and Ser-Gly-Lys-AEC (SGK-AEC) as substrates; in contrast, the mouse host endopeptidase poorly cleaved the VLGK-AEC and did not cleave SGK-AEC. Presence of the hydrophobic benzyl group on serine reduced the hydrolizing properties of P. berghei endopeptidase: the reverse was observed with host endopeptidase. The hydrolysis of the N-polyhydroxyalcanoyl-VLGK-AEC substrate by the parasite neutral endopeptidase strongly increased with the schizogonic stage, as shown with synchronized P. chabaudi in mice. By its physiological pH and specificity the release of this enzyme in mouse plasma during the infection could be of interest in a peptidyl-drug strategy. PMID:3301390

  12. Plasmodium falciparum STEVOR phosphorylation regulates host erythrocyte deformability enabling malaria parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Naissant, Bernina; Dupuy, Florian; Duffier, Yoann; Lorthiois, Audrey; Duez, Julien; Scholz, Judith; Buffet, Pierre; Merckx, Anais; Bachmann, Anna; Lavazec, Catherine

    2016-06-16

    Deformability of Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte-infected erythrocytes (GIEs) allows them to persist for several days in blood circulation and to ensure transmission to mosquitoes. Here, we investigate the mechanism by which the parasite proteins STEVOR (SubTElomeric Variable Open Reading frame) exert changes on GIE deformability. Using the microsphiltration method, immunoprecipitation, and mass spectrometry, we produce evidence that GIE stiffness is dependent on the cytoplasmic domain of STEVOR that interacts with ankyrin complex at the erythrocyte skeleton. Moreover, we show that GIE deformability is regulated by protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation of the STEVOR C-terminal domain at a specific serine residue (S324). Finally, we show that the increase of GIE stiffness induced by sildenafil (Viagra) is dependent on STEVOR phosphorylation status and on another independent mechanism. These data provide new insights into mechanisms by which phosphodiesterase inhibitors may block malaria parasite transmission. PMID:27136945

  13. Chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine sensitivity of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in a Brazilian endemic area

    PubMed Central

    Gama, Bianca Ervatti; de Oliveira, Natália K Almeida; Zalis, Mariano G; de Souza, José Maria; Santos, Fátima; Daniel-Ribeiro, Cláudio Tadeu; Ferreira-da-Cruz, Maria de Fátima

    2009-01-01

    Background The goal of the present study was the characterization of Plasmodium falciparum genes associated to malaria drug resistance (pfcrt, pfdhfr and pfdhps), in samples from two Brazilian localities. Methods Parasites from 65 P. falciparum samples were genotyped using nested-PCR and direct DNA sequencing. Results Six resistant sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) pfdhfr genotypes and one haplotype associated to SP sensitivity were detected. For pfcrt gene, SVMNT chloroquine (CQ)-resistant genotype was detected as well as the CVMNK CQ-sensitive haplotype in the same sample from Paragominas, that showed a SP-sensitive genotype. Conclusion This study is the first to document the sensitivity of P. falciparum parasites to CQ and SP in Brazilian field samples. The importance of these findings is discussed. PMID:19602248

  14. Genetic diversity of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium vivax parasites from the western Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Lizcano, Omaira Vera; Resende, Sarah Stela; Chehuan, Yonne F; Lacerda, Marcus V G; Brito, Cristiana F A; Zalis, Mariano G

    2014-11-01

    The molecular basis of Plasmodium vivax chloroquine (CQ) resistance is still unknown. Elucidating the molecular background of parasites that are sensitive or resistant to CQ will help to identify and monitor the spread of resistance. By genotyping a panel of molecular markers, we demonstrate a similar genetic variability between in vitro CQ-resistant and sensitive phenotypes of P. vivax parasites. However, our studies identified two loci (MS8 and MSP1-B10) that could be used to discriminate between both CQ-susceptible phenotypes among P. vivax isolates in vitro. These preliminary data suggest that microsatellites may be used to identify and to monitor the spread of P. vivax-resistance around the world. PMID:25411001

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background 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. Methods 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. Results/Conclusions 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

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

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, Sergio; Fiorino, Sirio; Manfredi, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    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 epidemiological

  18. Hsp70s and J proteins of Plasmodium parasites infecting rodents and primates: structure, function, clinical relevance, and drug targets.

    PubMed

    Njunge, James M; Ludewig, Michael H; Boshoff, Aileen; Pesce, Eva-Rachele; Blatch, Gregory L

    2013-01-01

    Human malaria is an economically important disease caused by single-celled parasites of the Plasmodium genus whose biology displays great evolutionary adaptation to both its mammalian host and transmitting vectors. While the parasite has multiple life cycle stages, it is in the blood stage where clinical symptoms of the disease are manifested. Following erythrocyte entry, the parasite resides in the parasitophorous vacuole and actively transports its own proteins to the erythrocyte cytosol. This host-parasite "cross-talk" results in tremendous modifications of the infected erythrocyte imparting properties that allow it to adhere to the endothelium preventing splenic clearance. The Hsp70-J protein (DnaJ/Hsp40) molecular chaperone machinery, involved in cellular protein homeostasis, is being investigated as a novel drug target in various cellular systems including malaria. In Plasmodium the diverse chaperone complement is intimately involved in infected erythrocyte remodelling associated with the development and pathogenesis of malaria. In this review, we provide an overview of the Hsp70-J protein chaperone complement in Plasmodium falciparum and compare it with other Plasmodium species including the ones that serve as experimental study models for malaria. We propose that the unique traits possessed by this machinery not only provide avenues for drug targeting but also inform the evolutionary fitness of this parasite to its environment. PMID:22920898

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  1. Proteomic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from patients with cerebral and uncomplicated malaria.

    PubMed

    Bertin, Gwladys I; Sabbagh, Audrey; Argy, Nicolas; Salnot, Virginie; Ezinmegnon, Sem; Agbota, Gino; Ladipo, Yélé; Alao, Jules M; Sagbo, Gratien; Guillonneau, François; Deloron, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is responsible of severe malaria, including cerebral malaria (CM). During its intra-erythrocytic maturation, parasite-derived proteins are expressed, exported and presented at the infected erythrocyte membrane. To identify new CM-specific parasite membrane proteins, we conducted a mass spectrometry-based proteomic study and compared the protein expression profiles between 9 CM and 10 uncomplicated malaria (UM) samples. Among the 1097 Plasmodium proteins identified, we focused on the 499 membrane-associated and hypothetical proteins for comparative analysis. Filter-based feature selection methods combined with supervised data analysis identified a subset of 29 proteins distinguishing CM and UM samples with high classification accuracy. A hierarchical clustering analysis of these 29 proteins based on the similarity of their expression profiles revealed two clusters of 15 and 14 proteins, respectively under- and over-expressed in CM. Among the over-expressed proteins, the MESA protein is expressed at the erythrocyte membrane, involved in proteins trafficking and in the export of variant surface antigens (VSAs), but without antigenic function. Antigen 332 protein is exported at the erythrocyte, also involved in protein trafficking and in VSAs export, and exposed to the immune system. Our proteomics data demonstrate an association of selected proteins in the pathophysiology of CM. PMID:27245217

  2. Proteomic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from patients with cerebral and uncomplicated malaria

    PubMed Central

    Bertin, Gwladys I.; Sabbagh, Audrey; Argy, Nicolas; Salnot, Virginie; Ezinmegnon, Sem; Agbota, Gino; Ladipo, Yélé; Alao, Jules M.; Sagbo, Gratien; Guillonneau, François; Deloron, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is responsible of severe malaria, including cerebral malaria (CM). During its intra-erythrocytic maturation, parasite-derived proteins are expressed, exported and presented at the infected erythrocyte membrane. To identify new CM-specific parasite membrane proteins, we conducted a mass spectrometry-based proteomic study and compared the protein expression profiles between 9 CM and 10 uncomplicated malaria (UM) samples. Among the 1097 Plasmodium proteins identified, we focused on the 499 membrane-associated and hypothetical proteins for comparative analysis. Filter-based feature selection methods combined with supervised data analysis identified a subset of 29 proteins distinguishing CM and UM samples with high classification accuracy. A hierarchical clustering analysis of these 29 proteins based on the similarity of their expression profiles revealed two clusters of 15 and 14 proteins, respectively under- and over-expressed in CM. Among the over-expressed proteins, the MESA protein is expressed at the erythrocyte membrane, involved in proteins trafficking and in the export of variant surface antigens (VSAs), but without antigenic function. Antigen 332 protein is exported at the erythrocyte, also involved in protein trafficking and in VSAs export, and exposed to the immune system. Our proteomics data demonstrate an association of selected proteins in the pathophysiology of CM. PMID:27245217

  3. Do malaria parasites follow the algebra of sex ratio theory?

    PubMed

    Schall, Jos J

    2009-03-01

    The ratio of male to female gametocytes seen in infections of Plasmodium and related haemosporidian parasites varies substantially, both within and among parasite species. Sex ratio theory, a mainstay of evolutionary biology, accounts for this variation. The theory provides an algebraic solution for the optimal sex ratio that will maximize parasite fitness. A crucial term in this solution is the probability of selfing by clone-mates within the vector (based on the clone number and their relative abundance). Definitive tests of the theory have proven elusive because of technical challenges in measuring clonal diversity within infections. Newly developed molecular methods now provide opportunities to test the theory with an exquisite precision. PMID:19201653

  4. Mitochondrial oxygen consumption in asexual and sexual blood stages of the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Krungkrai, J; Burat, D; Kudan, S; Krungkrai, S; Prapunwattana, P

    1999-12-01

    The two developmental stages of human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, asexual and sexual blood stages, were continuously cultivated in vitro. Both asexual and sexual stages of the parasites were assayed for mitochondrial oxygen consumption by using a polarographic assay. The rate of oxygen consumption by both stages was found to be relatively low, and was not much different. Furthermore, the mitochondrial oxygen consumption by both stages was inhibited to various degrees by mammalian mitochondrial inhibitors that targeted each component of complexes I- IV of the respiratory system. The oxygen consumption by both stages was also affected by 5-fluoroorotate, a known inhibitor of enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase of the pyrimidine pathway and by an antimalarial drug atovaquone that acted specifically on mitochondrial complex III of the parasite. Moreover, antimalarials primaquine and artemisinin had inhibitory effects on the oxygen consumption by both stages of the parasites. Our results suggest that P. falciparum in both developmental stages have functional mitochondria that operate a classical electron transport system, containing complexes I-IV, and linked to the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. PMID:10928353

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. Preferential binding of 4-hydroxynonenal to lysine residues in specific parasite proteins in plakortin-treated Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized red blood cells

    PubMed Central

    Schwarzer, Evelin; Gallo, Valentina; Valente, Elena; Ulliers, Daniela; Taglialatela-Scafati, Orazio; Arese, Paolo; Skorokhod, Oleksii A.

    2015-01-01

    The data show the frequencies by which the amino acid residues lysine, histidine and cysteine of six proteins of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are post-translationally modified by the lipoperoxydation endproduct 4-hydroxynonenal after challenging the parasitized red blood cell with plakortin. Plakortin is an antimalarial endoperoxide whose molecular anti-parasitic effect is described in Skorokhod et al. (2015) [1]. Plakortin did not elicit hemoglobin leakage from host red blood cells and did not oxidize reduced glutathione. PMID:26702418

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

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Peng; Robbins, Arthur H.; Marzahn, Melissa R.; McClung, Scott H.; Yowell, Charles A.; Stevens, Stanley M.; Dame, John B.; Dunn, Ben M.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26510189

  8. Host cell deformability is linked to transmission in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Aingaran, Mythili; Zhang, Rou; Law, Sue KaYee; Peng, Zhangli; Undisz, Andreas; Meyer, Evan; Diez-Silva, Monica; Burke, Thomas A.; Spielmann, Tobias; Lim, Chwee Teck; Suresh, Subra; Dao, Ming; Marti, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Gametocyte maturation in Plasmodium falciparum is a critical step in the transmission of malaria. While the majority of parasites proliferate asexually in red blood cells, a small fraction of parasites undergo sexual conversion and mature over two weeks to become competent for transmission to a mosquito vector. Immature gametocytes sequester in deep tissues while mature stages must be able to circulate, pass the spleen and present themselves to the mosquito vector in order to complete transmission. Sequestration of asexual red blood cell stage parasites has been investigated in great detail. These studies have demonstrated that induction of cytoadherence properties through specific receptor-ligand interactions coincides with a significant increase in host cell stiffness. In contrast, the adherence and biophysical properties of gametocyte-infected red blood cells have not been studied systematically. Utilizing a transgenic line for 3D live imaging, in vitro capillary assays and 3D finite element whole cell modeling, we studied the role of cellular deformability in determining the circulatory characteristics of gametocytes. Our analysis shows that the red blood cell deformability of immature gametocytes displays an overall decrease followed by rapid restoration in mature gametocytes. Intriguingly, simulations suggest that along with deformability variations, the morphological changes of the parasite may play an important role in tissue distribution in vivo. Taken together we present a model, which suggests that mature but not immature gametocytes circulate in the peripheral blood for uptake in the mosquito blood meal and transmission to another human host thus ensuring long term survival of the parasite. PMID:22417683

  9. Blood parasites in Owls with conservation implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ishak, H.D.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Anderson, N.L.; Keane, J.J.; Valkiunas, G.; Haig, S.M.; Tell, L.A.; Sehgal, R.N.M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis courina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n=17) and unique lineages (n=12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. ?? 2008 Ishak et al.

  10. Blood Parasites in Owls with Conservation Implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    PubMed Central

    Ishak, Heather D.; Dumbacher, John P.; Anderson, Nancy L.; Keane, John J.; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Haig, Susan M.; Tell, Lisa A.; Sehgal, Ravinder N. M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis caurina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n = 17) and unique lineages (n = 12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one Leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. PMID:18509541

  11. Genome scanning of Amazonian Plasmodium falciparum shows subtelomeric instability and clindamycin-resistant parasites

    PubMed Central

    Dharia, Neekesh V.; Plouffe, David; Bopp, Selina E.R.; González-Páez, Gonzalo E.; Lucas, Carmen; Salas, Carola; Soberon, Valeria; Bursulaya, Badry; Kochel, Tadeusz J.; Bacon, David J.; Winzeler, Elizabeth A.

    2010-01-01

    Here, we fully characterize the genomes of 14 Plasmodium falciparum patient isolates taken recently from the Iquitos region using genome scanning, a microarray-based technique that delineates the majority of single-base changes, indels, and copy number variants distinguishing the coding regions of two clones. We show that the parasite population in the Peruvian Amazon bears a limited number of genotypes and low recombination frequencies. Despite the essentially clonal nature of some isolates, we see high frequencies of mutations in subtelomeric highly variable genes and internal var genes, indicating mutations arising during self-mating or mitotic replication. The data also reveal that one or two meioses separate different isolates, showing that P. falciparum clones isolated from different individuals in defined geographical regions could be useful in linkage analyses or quantitative trait locus studies. Through pairwise comparisons of different isolates we discovered point mutations in the apicoplast genome that are close to known mutations that confer clindamycin resistance in other species, but which were hitherto unknown in malaria parasites. Subsequent drug sensitivity testing revealed over 100-fold increase of clindamycin EC50 in strains harboring one of these mutations. This evidence of clindamycin-resistant parasites in the Amazon suggests that a shift should be made in health policy away from quinine + clindamycin therapy for malaria in pregnant women and infants, and that the development of new lincosamide antibiotics for malaria should be reconsidered. PMID:20829224

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

    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.

  13. Artemisinin-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum Parasites Exhibit Altered Patterns of Development in Infected Erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Hott, Amanda; Casandra, Debora; Sparks, Kansas N.; Morton, Lindsay C.; Castanares, Geocel-Grace; Rutter, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    Artemisinin derivatives are used in combination with other antimalarial drugs for treatment of multidrug-resistant malaria worldwide. Clinical resistance to artemisinin recently emerged in southeast Asia, yet in vitro phenotypes for discerning mechanism(s) of resistance remain elusive. Here, we describe novel phenotypic resistance traits expressed by artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. The resistant parasites exhibit altered patterns of development that result in reduced exposure to drug at the most susceptible stage of development in erythrocytes (trophozoites) and increased exposure in the most resistant stage (rings). In addition, a novel in vitro delayed clearance assay (DCA) that assesses drug effects on asexual stages was found to correlate with parasite clearance half-life in vivo as well as with mutations in the Kelch domain gene associated with resistance (Pf3D7_1343700). Importantly, all of the resistance phenotypes were stable in cloned parasites for more than 2 years without drug pressure. The results demonstrate artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum has evolved a novel mechanism of phenotypic resistance to artemisinin drugs linked to abnormal cell cycle regulation. These results offer insights into a novel mechanism of drug resistance in P. falciparum and new tools for monitoring the spread of artemisinin resistance. PMID:25779582

  14. Substantially reduced pre-patent parasite multiplication rates are associated with naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Douglas, A D; Andrews, L; Draper, S J; Bojang, K; Milligan, P; Gilbert, S C; Imoukhuede, E B; Hill, A V S

    2011-05-01

    Naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum's asexual blood stage reduces parasite multiplication at microscopically detectable densities. The effect of natural immunity on initial prepatent parasite multiplication during the period following a new infection has been uncertain, contributing to doubt regarding the utility of experimental challenge models for blood-stage vaccine trials. Here we present data revealing that parasite multiplication rates during the initial prepatent period in semi-immune Gambian adults are substantially lower than in malaria-naive participants. This supports the view that a blood-stage vaccine capable of emulating the disease-reducing effect of natural immunity could achieve a detectable effect during the prepatent period. PMID:21459819

  15. Seasonal pattern of avian Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes and implications for parasite transmission in central Panama.

    PubMed

    Loaiza, Jose R; Miller, Matthew J

    2013-11-01

    Aedeomyia squamipennis and Culex (Melanoconion) ocossa, two ubiquitous Neotropical mosquito species, are likely involved in the transmission of several bird pathogens in Gamboa, central Panama. However, knowledge on their eco-epidemiological profiles is still incomplete. Our goal in this study was to investigate temporal trends of vector density and their relationship with avian plasmodia prevalence. This information is central to identifying the risk posed by each vector species to the avian community locally. We found that A. squamipennis maintains stable population size across climatic seasons and thus maybe a more efficient vector of avian malaria than C. ocossa. In contrast, C. ocossa, which undergoes considerable population expansion in the rainy season and contraction in the dry season, is likely only an important avian malaria vector during part of the year. This is consistent with the larger number of parasite isolations and Plasmodium cyt b lineages recovered from A. squamipennis than from C. ocossa and might be explained by marked differences in their seasonality and host-feeding preferences. More Plasmodium PCR testing in mosquito communities from other areas of Panama might reveal additional vectors of avian plasmodia. PMID:23974324

  16. Role of the Plasmodium Export Element in Trafficking Parasite Proteins to the Infected Erythrocyte

    PubMed Central

    Boddey, Justin A; Moritz, Robert L; Simpson, Richard J; Cowman, Alan F

    2009-01-01

    The intracellular survival of Plasmodium falciparum within human erythrocytes is dependent on export of parasite proteins that remodel the host cell. Most exported proteins require a conserved motif (RxLxE/Q/D), termed the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL) or vacuolar targeting sequence (VTS), for targeting beyond the parasitophorous vacuole membrane and into the host cell; however, the precise role of this motif in export is poorly defined. We used transgenic P. falciparum expressing chimeric proteins to investigate the function of the PEXEL motif for export. The PEXEL constitutes a bifunctional export motif comprising a protease recognition sequence that is cleaved, in the endoplasmic reticulum, from proteins destined for export, in a PEXEL arginine- and leucine-dependent manner. Following processing, the remaining conserved PEXEL residue is required to direct the mature protein to the host cell. Furthermore, we demonstrate that N acetylation of proteins following N-terminal processing is a PEXEL-independent process that is insufficient for correct export to the host cell. This work defines the role of each residue in the PEXEL for export into the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte. PMID:19055692

  17. K13-Propeller Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites From Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Kamau, Edwin; Campino, Susana; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Drury, Eleanor; Ishengoma, Deus; Johnson, Kimberly; Mumba, Dieudonne; Kekre, Mihir; Yavo, William; Mead, Daniel; Bouyou-Akotet, Marielle; Apinjoh, Tobias; Golassa, Lemu; Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; Andagalu, Ben; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Tindana, Paulina; Ghansah, Anita; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic; Djimde, Abdoulaye A.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum K13-propeller domain have recently been shown to be important determinants of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia. This study investigated the prevalence of K13-propeller polymorphisms across sub-Saharan Africa. A total of 1212 P. falciparum samples collected from 12 countries were sequenced. None of the K13-propeller mutations previously reported in Southeast Asia were found, but 22 unique mutations were detected, of which 7 were nonsynonymous. Allele frequencies ranged between 1% and 3%. Three mutations were observed in >1 country, and the A578S was present in parasites from 5 countries. This study provides the baseline prevalence of K13-propeller mutations in sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:25367300

  18. K13-propeller polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Kamau, Edwin; Campino, Susana; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Drury, Eleanor; Ishengoma, Deus; Johnson, Kimberly; Mumba, Dieudonne; Kekre, Mihir; Yavo, William; Mead, Daniel; Bouyou-Akotet, Marielle; Apinjoh, Tobias; Golassa, Lemu; Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; Andagalu, Ben; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Tindana, Paulina; Ghansah, Anita; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic; Djimde, Abdoulaye A

    2015-04-15

    Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum K13-propeller domain have recently been shown to be important determinants of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia. This study investigated the prevalence of K13-propeller polymorphisms across sub-Saharan Africa. A total of 1212 P. falciparum samples collected from 12 countries were sequenced. None of the K13-propeller mutations previously reported in Southeast Asia were found, but 22 unique mutations were detected, of which 7 were nonsynonymous. Allele frequencies ranged between 1% and 3%. Three mutations were observed in >1 country, and the A578S was present in parasites from 5 countries. This study provides the baseline prevalence of K13-propeller mutations in sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:25367300

  19. Geographic subdivision of the range of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed Central

    Li, J.; Collins, W. E.; Wirtz, R. A.; Rathore, D.; Lal, A.; McCutchan, T. F.

    2001-01-01

    We examined geographically distinct isolates of Plasmodium vivax and categorized them according to developmental success in Anopheles albimanus. We found that parasites from Central America and Colombia form a group distinct from those of Asia. New World isolates have a distinct chromosomal translocation and an episomal variation in the open reading frame (ORF) 470 DNA sequence that distinguishes them from the other isolates tested. Old World types of P. vivax were introduced into the Americas, and a remnant of this lineage remains in P. simium. It is indistinguishable from Old World P. vivax to the extent determinable by using our encoded markers and the examination of its developmental pattern in mosquitoes. The cohesive characteristics that separate types of P. vivax are predictors of range and potential for transmission and hence require taxonomic distinction. PMID:11266292

  20. Human Monoclonal Antibodies to Pf 155, a Major Antigen of Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Lundgren, Katarina; Berzins, Klavs; Wahlin, Birgitta; Perlmann, Hedvig; Troye-Blomberg, Marita; Carlsson, Jan; Wahlgren, Mats; Perlmann, Peter; Bjorkman, Anders

    1986-01-01

    Pf 155, a protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, is strongly immunogenic in humans and is believed to be a prime candidate for the preparation of a vaccine. Human monoclonal antibodies to Pf 155 were obtained by cloning B cells that had been prepared from an immune donor and transformed with Epstein-Barr virus. When examined by indirect immunofluorescence, these antibodies stained the surface of infected erythrocytes, free merozoites, segmented schizonts, and gametocytes. They bound to a major polypeptide with a relative molecular weight of 155K and to two minor ones (135K and 120K), all having high affinity for human glycophorin. The antibodies strongly inhibited merozoite reinvasion in vitro, suggesting that they might be appropriate reagents for therapeutic administration in vivo.

  1. Genome-wide mapping of DNA methylation in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ponts, Nadia; Fu, Lijuan; Harris, Elena Y.; Zhang, Jing; Chung, Duk-Won D.; Cervantes, Michael C.; Prudhomme, Jacques; Atanasova-Penichon, Vessela; Zehraoui, Enric; Bunnik, Evelien; Rodrigues, Elisandra M.; Lonardi, Stefano; Hicks, Glenn R.; Wang, Yinsheng; Le Roch, Karine G.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Cytosine DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark in most eukaryotic cells that regulates numerous processes, including gene expression and stress responses. We performed a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We mapped the positions of methylated cytosines and identified a single functional DNA methyltransferase, PfDNMT, that may mediate these genomic modifications. These analyses revealed that the malaria genome is asymmetrically methylated, in which only one DNA strand is methylated, and shares common features with undifferentiated plant and mammalian cells. Notably, core promoters are hypomethylated and transcript levels correlate with intra-exonic methylation. Additionally, there are sharp methylation transitions at nucleosome and exon-intron boundaries. These data suggest that DNA methylation could regulate virulence gene expression and transcription elongation. Furthermore, the broad range of action of DNA methylation and uniqueness of PfDNMT suggest that the methylation pathway is a potential target for anti-malarial strategies. PMID:24331467

  2. Extensive lysine acetylation occurs in evolutionarily conserved metabolic pathways and parasite-specific functions during Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic development

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Jun; Lawrence, Matthew; Jeffers, Victoria; Zhao, Fangqing; Parker, Daniel; Ge, Ying; Sullivan, William J.; Cui, Liwang

    2013-01-01

    Summary Lysine acetylation has emerged as a major posttranslational modification involved in diverse cellular functions. Using a combination of immunoisolation and liquid chromatography coupled to accurate mass spectrometry, we determined the first acetylome of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum during its active proliferation in erythrocytes with 421 acetylation sites identified in 230 proteins. Lysine-acetylated proteins are distributed in the nucleus, cytoplasm, mitochondrion, and apicoplast. Whereas occurrence of lysine acetylation in a similarly wide range of cellular functions suggests conservation of lysine acetylation through evolution, the Plasmodium acetylome also revealed significant divergence from those of other eukaryotes and even the closely-related parasite Toxoplasma. This divergence is reflected in the acetylation of a large number of Plasmodium-specific proteins and different acetylation sites in evolutionarily conserved acetylated proteins. A prominent example is the abundant acetylation of proteins in the glycolysis pathway but relatively deficient acetylation of enzymes in the citrate cycle. Using specific transgenic lines and inhibitors, we determined that the acetyltransferase PfMYST and lysine deacetylases play important roles in regulating the dynamics of cytoplasmic protein acetylation. The Plasmodium acetylome provides an exciting start point for further exploration of functions of acetylation in the biology of malaria parasites. PMID:23796209

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Real-Time Imaging of the Intracellular Glutathione Redox Potential in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Kasozi, Denis; Mohring, Franziska; Rahlfs, Stefan; Meyer, Andreas J.; Becker, Katja

    2013-01-01

    In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the cellular redox potential influences signaling events, antioxidant defense, and mechanisms of drug action and resistance. Until now, the real-time determination of the redox potential in malaria parasites has been limited because conventional approaches disrupt sub-cellular integrity. Using a glutathione biosensor comprising human glutaredoxin-1 linked to a redox-sensitive green fluorescent protein (hGrx1-roGFP2), we systematically characterized basal values and drug-induced changes in the cytosolic glutathione-dependent redox potential (EGSH) of drug-sensitive (3D7) and resistant (Dd2) P. falciparum parasites. Via confocal microscopy, we demonstrated that hGrx1-roGFP2 rapidly detects EGSH changes induced by oxidative and nitrosative stress. The cytosolic basal EGSH of 3D7 and Dd2 were estimated to be −314.2±3.1 mV and −313.9±3.4 mV, respectively, which is indicative of a highly reducing compartment. We furthermore monitored short-, medium-, and long-term changes in EGSH after incubation with various redox-active compounds and antimalarial drugs. Interestingly, the redox cyclers methylene blue and pyocyanin rapidly changed the fluorescence ratio of hGrx1-roGFP2 in the cytosol of P. falciparum, which can, however, partially be explained by a direct interaction with the probe. In contrast, quinoline and artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs showed strong effects on the parasites' EGSH after longer incubation times (24 h). As tested for various conditions, these effects were accompanied by a drop in total glutathione concentrations determined in parallel with alternative methods. Notably, the effects were generally more pronounced in the chloroquine-sensitive 3D7 strain than in the resistant Dd2 strain. Based on these results hGrx1-roGFP2 can be recommended as a reliable and specific biosensor for real-time spatiotemporal monitoring of the intracellular EGSH in P. falciparum. Applying this technique in further

  5. Reduced CD36-dependent tissue sequestration of Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes is detrimental to malaria parasite growth in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Fonager, Jannik; Pasini, Erica M.; Braks, Joanna A.M.; Klop, Onny; Ramesar, Jai; Remarque, Edmond J.; Vroegrijk, Irene O.C.M.; van Duinen, Sjoerd G.; Thomas, Alan W.; Khan, Shahid M.; Mann, Matthias; Kocken, Clemens H.M.; Janse, Chris J.

    2012-01-01

    Adherence of parasite-infected red blood cells (irbc) to the vascular endothelium of organs plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The prevailing hypothesis of why irbc adhere and sequester in tissues is that this acts as a mechanism of avoiding spleen-mediated clearance. Irbc of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei ANKA sequester in a fashion analogous to P. falciparum by adhering to the host receptor CD36. To experimentally determine the significance of sequestration for parasite growth, we generated a mutant P. berghei ANKA parasite with a reduced CD36-mediated adherence. Although the cognate parasite ligand binding to CD36 is unknown, we show that nonsequestering parasites have reduced growth and we provide evidence that in addition to avoiding spleen removal, other factors related to CD36-mediated sequestration are beneficial for parasite growth. These results reveal for the first time the importance of sequestration to a malaria infection, with implications for the development of strategies aimed at reducing pathology by inhibiting tissue sequestration. PMID:22184632

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Background 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. Methods 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. Findings 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. Interpretation This study reports, for the first time, naturally acquired infections in humans with parasites termed as P. brasilianum. We conclude that quartan malaria parasites are easily exchanged between humans and monkeys in Latin America. We hypothesize a lack of host specificity in mammalian hosts and consider quartan malaria to be a true anthropozoonosis. Since the name P. brasilianum suggests a malaria species distinct from P. malariae, we propose that P. brasilianum should have a nomenclatorial revision in case further research confirms our findings. The expansive reservoir of mammalian hosts discriminates quartan malaria from other Plasmodium spp. and requires particular research efforts. PMID:26501116

  7. Some strains of Plasmodium falciparum, a human malaria parasite, evade the complement-like system of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; DeJong, Randall J; Ortega, Corrie; Haile, Ashley; Abban, Ekua; Rodrigues, Janneth; Jaramillo-Gutierrez, Giovanna; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2012-07-10

    Plasmodium falciparum lines differ in their ability to infect mosquitoes. The Anopheles gambiae L3-5 refractory (R) line melanizes most Plasmodium species, including the Brazilian P. falciparum 7G8 line, but it is highly susceptible to some African P. falciparum strains such as 3D7, NF54, and GB4. We investigated whether these lines differ in their ability to evade the mosquito immune system. Silencing key components of the mosquito complement-like system [thioester-containing protein 1 (TEP1), leucine-rich repeat protein 1, and Anopheles Plasmodium-responsive leucine-rich repeat protein 1] prevented melanization of 7G8 parasites, reverting the refractory phenotype. In contrast, it had no effect on the intensity of infection with NF54, suggesting that this line is able to evade TEP1-mediated lysis. When R females were coinfected with a line that is melanized (7G8) and a line that survives (3D7), the coinfection resulted in mixed infections with both live and encapsulated parasites on individual midguts. This finding shows that survival of individual parasites is parasite-specific and not systemic in nature, because parasites can evade TEP1-mediated lysis even when other parasites are melanized in the same midgut. When females from an extensive genetic cross between R and susceptible A. gambiae (G3) mosquitoes were infected with P. berghei, encapsulation was strongly correlated with the TEP1-R1 allele. However, P. falciparum 7G8 parasites were no longer encapsulated by females from this cross, indicating that the TEP1-R1 allele is not sufficient to melanize this line. Evasion of the A. gambiae immune system by P. falciparum may be the result of parasite adaptation to sympatric mosquito vectors and may be an important factor driving malaria transmission. PMID:22623529

  8. Molecular detection of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Tiyamanee, Wisawa; Simpalipan, Phumin; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Saiwichai, Tawee; Li, Jian; Harnyuttanakorn, Pongchai

    2015-05-30

    Avian malaria is one of the most common veterinary problems in Southeast Asia. The standard molecular method for detection of the avian malaria parasite involves the phenol-chloroform extraction of parasite genomic (g)DNA followed by the amplification of parasite gDNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). However, the phenol-chloroform extraction method is time-consuming and requires large amounts of samples and toxic organic solvents, thereby limiting its applications for parasite detection in the field. This study aimed to compare the performance of chelex-100 resin and phenol/chloroform extraction methods for the extraction of Plasmodium gallinaceum gDNA from whole avian blood that had been dried on filter papers (a common field sampling method). The specificity and sensitivity of PCR assays for P. gallinaceum cytochrome B (cytb) and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (coxI) gene fragments (544 and 588bp, respectively) were determined, and found to be more sensitive with gDNA extracted by the chelex-100 resin method than with the phenol/chloroform method. These PCR assays were also performed to detect P. gallinaceum in 29 blood samples dried on filter papers from domestic chickens in a malaria endemic area, where the reliable identification of seven field isolates of P. gallinaceum was obtained with an accuracy of 100%. The analysis of cytb and coxI gene nucleotide sequences revealed the existence of at least two genetically distinct populations of P. gallinaceum in Thailand, both of which differed from the reference strain 8A of P. gallinaceum. In conclusion, the chelex-100 resin extraction method is a simple and sensitive method for isolating gDNA from whole avian blood dried on filter paper. Genomic DNA extracted by the chelex method could subsequently be applied for the PCR-based detection of P. gallinaceum and DNA sequencing. Our PCR assays provide a reliable diagnostic tool for molecular epidemiological studies of P. gallinaceum infections in domestic chickens

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. The 'permeome' of the malaria parasite: an overview of the membrane transport proteins of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Rowena E; Henry, Roselani I; Abbey, Janice L; Clements, John D; Kirk, Kiaran

    2005-01-01

    Background The uptake of nutrients, expulsion of metabolic wastes and maintenance of ion homeostasis by the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite is mediated by membrane transport proteins. Proteins of this type are also implicated in the phenomenon of antimalarial drug resistance. However, the initial annotation of the genome of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum identified only a limited number of transporters, and no channels. In this study we have used a combination of bioinformatic approaches to identify and attribute putative functions to transporters and channels encoded by the malaria parasite, as well as comparing expression patterns for a subset of these. Results A computer program that searches a genome database on the basis of the hydropathy plots of the corresponding proteins was used to identify more than 100 transport proteins encoded by P. falciparum. These include all the transporters previously annotated as such, as well as a similar number of candidate transport proteins that had escaped detection. Detailed sequence analysis enabled the assignment of putative substrate specificities and/or transport mechanisms to all those putative transport proteins previously without. The newly-identified transport proteins include candidate transporters for a range of organic and inorganic nutrients (including sugars, amino acids, nucleosides and vitamins), and several putative ion channels. The stage-dependent expression of RNAs for 34 candidate transport proteins of particular interest are compared. Conclusion The malaria parasite possesses substantially more membrane transport proteins than was originally thought, and the analyses presented here provide a range of novel insights into the physiology of this important human pathogen. PMID:15774027

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Does haemosporidian infection affect hematological and biochemical profiles of the endangered Black-fronted piping-guan (Aburria jacutinga)?

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira Junior, Francisco Carlos; Andery, Danielle de Assis; Horta, Rodrigo Santos; Peixoto, Renata Barbosa; Lacorte, Gustavo Augusto; Moreira, Patrícia de Abreu; Paes Leme, Fabíola de Oliveira; Melo, Marília Martins; Martins, Nelson Rodrigo da Silva

    2013-01-01

    Infectious diseases can cause deleterious effects on bird species, leading to population decline and extinction. Haemosporidia can be recognized by their negative effects on host fitness, including reproductive success and immune responses. In captivity, outbreaks of haemosporidian infection have been observed in birds in zoos and aviaries. The endemic Brazilian Atlantic rainforest species Aburria jacutinga is one of the most endangered species in the Cracidae family, and wild populations of this species are currently found mainly in conservation areas in only two Brazilian states. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of avian haemosporidia on hematological and biochemical parameters in two captive populations of A. jacutinga. Forty-two animals were assessed, and the haemosporidian prevalence was similar for males and females. The occurrence of haemosporidian infection in captive A. jacutinga observed in this study was similar to results found in other captive and wild birds in Brazil. We found three different lineages of haemosporidia. Two lineages were identified as Plasmodium sp., one of which was previously detected in Europe and Asia, and the other is a new lineage closely related to P. gallinaceum. A new third lineage was identified as Haemoproteus sp. We found no significant differences in hematological and biochemical values between infected and non-infected birds, and the haemosporidian lineage did not seem to have an impact on the clinical and physiological parameters of A. jacutinga. This is the first report on an evaluation of natural haemosporidian infections diagnosed by microscopic and molecular methods in A. jacutinga by hematology, blood biochemistry, and serum protein values. Determining physiological parameters, occurrence and an estimation of the impact of haemosporidia in endangered avian species may contribute to the management of species rehabilitation and conservation. PMID:23638382

  13. Processing of Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein MSP1 Activates a Spectrin-Binding Function Enabling Parasite Egress from RBCs

    PubMed Central

    Das, Sujaan; Hertrich, Nadine; Perrin, Abigail J.; Withers-Martinez, Chrislaine; Collins, Christine R.; Jones, Matthew L.; Watermeyer, Jean M.; Fobes, Elmar T.; Martin, Stephen R.; Saibil, Helen R.; Wright, Gavin J.; Treeck, Moritz; Epp, Christian; Blackman, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum replicates within erythrocytes, producing progeny merozoites that are released from infected cells via a poorly understood process called egress. The most abundant merozoite surface protein, MSP1, is synthesized as a large precursor that undergoes proteolytic maturation by the parasite protease SUB1 just prior to egress. The function of MSP1 and its processing are unknown. Here we show that SUB1-mediated processing of MSP1 is important for parasite viability. Processing modifies the secondary structure of MSP1 and activates its capacity to bind spectrin, a molecular scaffold protein that is the major component of the host erythrocyte cytoskeleton. Parasites expressing an inefficiently processed MSP1 mutant show delayed egress, and merozoites lacking surface-bound MSP1 display a severe egress defect. Our results indicate that interactions between SUB1-processed merozoite surface MSP1 and the spectrin network of the erythrocyte cytoskeleton facilitate host erythrocyte rupture to enable parasite egress. PMID:26468747

  14. Processing of Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein MSP1 Activates a Spectrin-Binding Function Enabling Parasite Egress from RBCs.

    PubMed

    Das, Sujaan; Hertrich, Nadine; Perrin, Abigail J; Withers-Martinez, Chrislaine; Collins, Christine R; Jones, Matthew L; Watermeyer, Jean M; Fobes, Elmar T; Martin, Stephen R; Saibil, Helen R; Wright, Gavin J; Treeck, Moritz; Epp, Christian; Blackman, Michael J

    2015-10-14

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum replicates within erythrocytes, producing progeny merozoites that are released from infected cells via a poorly understood process called egress. The most abundant merozoite surface protein, MSP1, is synthesized as a large precursor that undergoes proteolytic maturation by the parasite protease SUB1 just prior to egress. The function of MSP1 and its processing are unknown. Here we show that SUB1-mediated processing of MSP1 is important for parasite viability. Processing modifies the secondary structure of MSP1 and activates its capacity to bind spectrin, a molecular scaffold protein that is the major component of the host erythrocyte cytoskeleton. Parasites expressing an inefficiently processed MSP1 mutant show delayed egress, and merozoites lacking surface-bound MSP1 display a severe egress defect. Our results indicate that interactions between SUB1-processed merozoite surface MSP1 and the spectrin network of the erythrocyte cytoskeleton facilitate host erythrocyte rupture to enable parasite egress. PMID:26468747

  15. Haemosporidian infections in the Tengmalm's Owl (Aegolius funereus) and potential insect vectors of their transmission.

    PubMed

    Synek, Petr; Popelková, Alena; Koubínová, Darina; Šťastný, Karel; Langrová, Iva; Votýpka, Jan; Munclinger, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Sedentary bird species are suitable model hosts for identifying potential vectors of avian blood parasites. We studied haemosporidian infections in the Tengmalm's Owl (Aegolius funereus) in the Ore Mountains of the Czech Republic using molecular detection methods. Sex of owl nestlings was scored using molecular sexing based on fragment analysis of PCR-amplified CHD1 introns. Observed infection prevalences in nestlings and adult owls were 51 and 86 %, respectively. Five parasite lineages were detected. Most of the infections comprised the Leucocytozoon AEFUN02 and STOCC06 lineages that probably refer to distinct Leucocytozoon species. Other lineages were detected only sporadically. Mixed infections were found in 49 % of samples. The main factor affecting the probability of infection was host age. No effect of individual sex on infection probability was evidenced. The youngest infected nestling was 12 days old. High parasite prevalence in the Tengmalm's Owl nestlings suggests that insect vectors must enter nest boxes to transmit parasites before fledging. Hence, we placed sticky insect traps into modified nest boxes, collected potential insect vectors, and examined them for the presence of haemosporidian parasites using molecular detection. We trapped 201 insects which were determined as biting midges from the Culicoides genus and two black fly species, Simulium (Nevermannia) vernum and Simulium (Eusimulium) angustipes. Six haemosporidian lineages were detected in the potential insect vectors, among which the Leucocytozoon lineage BT2 was common to the Tengmalm's Owl and the trapped insects. However, we have not detected the most frequently encountered Tengmalm's Owl Leucocytozoon lineages AEFUN02 and STOCC06 in insects. PMID:26365667

  16. Pivotal and distinct role for Plasmodium actin capping protein alpha during blood infection of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Ganter, Markus; Rizopoulos, Zaira; Schüler, Herwig; Matuschewski, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Accurate regulation of microfilament dynamics is central to cell growth, motility and response to environmental stimuli. Stabilizing and depolymerizing proteins control the steady-state levels of filamentous (F-) actin. Capping protein (CP) binds to free barbed ends, thereby arresting microfilament growth and restraining elongation to remaining free barbed ends. In all CPs characterized to date, alpha and beta subunits form the active heterodimer. Here, we show in a eukaryotic parasitic cell that the two CP subunits can be functionally separated. Unlike the beta subunit, the CP alpha subunit of the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium is refractory to targeted gene deletion during blood infection in the mammalian host. Combinatorial complementation of Plasmodium berghei CP genes with the orthologs from Plasmodium falciparum verified distinct activities of CP alpha and CP alpha/beta during parasite life cycle progression. Recombinant Plasmodium CP alpha could be produced in Escherichia coli in the absence of the beta subunit and the protein displayed F-actin capping activity. Thus, the functional separation of two CP subunits in a parasitic eukaryotic cell and the F-actin capping activity of CP alpha expand the repertoire of microfilament regulatory mechanisms assigned to CPs. PMID:25565321

  17. Neutral sphingomyelinase activity dependent on Mg2+ and anionic phospholipids in the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Hanada, K; Mitamura, T; Fukasawa, M; Magistrado, P A; Horii, T; Nishijima, M

    2000-01-01

    Sphingolipid metabolism and metabolites are important in various cellular events in eukaryotes. However, little is known about their function in plasmodial parasites. Here we demonstrate that neutral sphingomyelinase (SMase) involved in the sphingomyelin (SM) catabolism is retained by the intraerythrocytic parasite Plasmodium falciparum. When assayed in a neutral pH buffer supplemented with Mg(2+) and phosphatidylserine, an activity for the release of the phosphocholine group from SM was detected in parasite-infected, but not in uninfected, erythrocyte ghosts. The SMase activity in the parasite-infected erythrocyte ghosts was enhanced markedly by anionic phospholipids including unsaturated but not saturated phosphatidylserine. Mn(2+) could not substitute for Mg(2+) to activate SMase in parasite-infected erythrocyte ghosts, whereas both Mn(2+) and Mg(2+) activated mammalian neutral SMase. The specific activity level of SMase was higher in isolated parasites than in infected erythrocyte ghosts; further fractionation of lysates of the isolated parasites showed that the activity was bound largely to the membrane fraction of the parasites. The plasmodial SMase seemed not to hydrolyse phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylinositol. The plasmodial SMase, but not SM synthase, was sensitive to scyphostatin, an inhibitor of mammalian neutral SMase, indicating that the plasmodial activities for SM hydrolysis and SM synthesis are mediated by different catalysts. Our finding that the malaria parasites possess SMase activity might explain why the parasites seem to have an SM synthase activity but no activity to synthesize ceramide de novo. PMID:10698693

  18. Fosmidomycin Uptake into Plasmodium and Babesia-Infected Erythrocytes Is Facilitated by Parasite-Induced New Permeability Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Reichenberg, Armin; Hintz, Martin; Bietz, Sven; Harb, Omar S.; Roos, David S.; Kordes, Maximilian; Friesen, Johannes; Matuschewski, Kai; Lingelbach, Klaus; Jomaa, Hassan; Seeber, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Background Highly charged compounds typically suffer from low membrane permeability and thus are generally regarded as sub-optimal drug candidates. Nonetheless, the highly charged drug fosmidomycin and its more active methyl-derivative FR900098 have proven parasiticidal activity against erythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Both compounds target the isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway present in bacteria and plastid-bearing organisms, like apicomplexan parasites. Surprisingly, the compounds are inactive against a range of apicomplexans replicating in nucleated cells, including Toxoplasma gondii. Methodology/Principal Findings Since non-infected erythrocytes are impermeable for FR90098, we hypothesized that these drugs are taken up only by erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium. We provide evidence that radiolabeled FR900098 accumulates in theses cells as a consequence of parasite-induced new properties of the host cell, which coincide with an increased permeability of the erythrocyte membrane. Babesia divergens, a related parasite that also infects human erythrocytes and is also known to induce an increase in membrane permeability, displays a similar susceptibility and uptake behavior with regard to the drug. In contrast, Toxoplasma gondii-infected cells do apparently not take up the compounds, and the drugs are inactive against the liver stages of Plasmodium berghei, a mouse malaria parasite. Conclusions/Significance Our findings provide an explanation for the observed differences in activity of fosmidomycin and FR900098 against different Apicomplexa. These results have important implications for future screens aimed at finding new and safe molecular entities active against P. falciparum and related parasites. Our data provide further evidence that parasite-induced new permeability pathways may be exploited as routes for drug delivery. PMID:21573242

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

    The 2.05-A 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Clonal reproduction shapes evolution in the lizard malaria parasite Plasmodium floridense.

    PubMed

    Falk, Bryan G; Glor, Richard E; Perkins, Susan L

    2015-06-01

    The preponderant clonal evolution hypothesis (PCE) predicts that frequent clonal reproduction (sex between two clones) in many pathogens capable of sexual recombination results in strong linkage disequilibrium and the presence of discrete genetic subdivisions characterized by occasional gene flow. We expand on the PCE and predict that higher rates of clonal reproduction will result in: (1) morphologically cryptic species that exhibit (2) low within-species variation and (3) recent between-species divergence. We tested these predictions in the Caribbean lizard malaria parasite Plasmodium floridense using 63 single-infection samples in lizards collected from across the parasite's range, and sequenced them at two mitochondrial, one apicoplast, and five nuclear genes. We identified 11 provisionally cryptic species within P. floridense, each of which exhibits low intraspecific variation and recent divergence times between species (some diverged approximately 110,000 years ago). Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that clonal reproduction can profoundly affect diversification of species capable of sexual recombination, and suggest that clonal reproduction may have led to a large number of unrecognized pathogen species. The factors that may influence the rates of clonal reproduction among pathogens are unclear, and we discuss how prevalence and virulence may relate to clonal reproduction. PMID:25959003

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27262062

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26984625

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    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 cycle; they are essential

  6. Plasmodium falciparum parasites causing cerebral malaria share variant surface antigens, but are they specific?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Variant surface antigens (VSA) expressed on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells constitute a key for parasite sequestration and immune evasion. In distinct malaria pathologies, such as placental malaria, specific antibody response against VSA provides protection. This study investigated the antibody response specifically directed against VSA expressed by parasites isolated from individuals presenting a given type of clinical presentation. Methods Plasma and isolates were obtained from four groups of Beninese subjects: healthy adults, patients presenting uncomplicated malaria (UM), cerebral malaria (CM), or pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM). The reactivity of plasma samples from each clinical group was measured by flow cytometry against parasites isolated from individuals from each clinical group. Results Antibody responses against VSAUM were predominant in CM, UM and HA plasmas. When analysed according to age in all plasma groups, anti-VSACM and -VSAUM antibody levels were similar until six years of age. In older groups (6-18 and >19 years of age), VSAUM antibody levels were higher than VSACM antibody levels (P = .01, P = .0008, respectively). Mean MFI values, measured in all plasmas groups except the PAM plasmas, remained low for anti-VSAPAM antibodies and did not vary with age. One month after infection the level of anti-VSA antibodies able to recognize heterologous VSACM variants was increased in CM patients. In UM patients, antibody levels directed against heterologous VSAUM were similar, both during the infection and one month later. Conclusions In conclusion, this study suggests the existence of serologically distinct VSACM and VSAUM. CM isolates were shown to share common epitopes. Specific antibody response to VSAUM was predominant, suggesting a relative low diversity of VSAUM in the study area. PMID:20663188

  7. Mitochondrial Membrane Potential in a Small Subset of Artemisinin-Induced Dormant Plasmodium falciparum Parasites In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Peatey, Christopher L; Chavchich, Marina; Chen, Nanhua; Gresty, Karryn J; Gray, Karen-Ann; Gatton, Michelle L; Waters, Norman C; Cheng, Qin

    2015-08-01

    Artemisinin-induced dormancy is a proposed mechanism for failures of monotherapy and is linked with artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. The biological characterization and dynamics of dormant parasites are not well understood. Here we report that after dihydroartemisinin treatment in vitro, a small subset of morphologically dormant parasites was stained with rhodamine 123 (RH), a mitochondrial membrane potential marker, and persisted to recovery. RH-positive parasites sorted with fluorescence-activated cell sorting resumed growth at 10,000/well whereas RH-negative parasites failed to recover at 5 million/well. Furthermore, transcriptional activity for mitochondrial enzymes was detected only in RH-positive dormant parasites. Importantly, after treatment of dormant parasites with different concentrations of atovaquone, a mitochondrial inhibitor, the recovery of dormant parasites was delayed or stopped. This demonstrates that mitochondrial activity is critical for survival and regrowth of dormant parasites and that RH staining provides a means of identifying these parasites. These findings provide novel paths for studying and eradicating this dormant stage. PMID:25635122

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. Implications of Plasmodium parasite infected mosquitoes on an insular avifauna: the case of Socorro Island, México.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Jenny S; Martínez-Gómez, Juan E; Cornel, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2011-06-01

    Avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) has been implicated in the decline of avian populations in the Hawaiian Islands and it is generally agreed that geographically isolated and immunologically naïve bird populations are particularly vulnerable to the pathogenic effects of invasive malaria parasites. In order to assess the potential disease risk of malaria to the avifauna of Socorro Island, México, we surveyed for Plasmodium isolates from 1,300 resident field-caught mosquitoes. Most of them were identified as Aedes (Ochlerotatus) taeniorhynchus (Wiedemann, 1821), which were abundant in the salt marshes. We also collected Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 close to human dwellings. Mitochondrial ND5 and COII gene sequences of Ae. taeniorhynchus were analyzed and compared to corresponding sequences of mosquitoes of the Galápagos Islands, Latin America, and the North American mainland. Aedes lineages from Socorro Island clustered most closely with a lineage from the continental U.S. Plasmodium spp. DNA was isolated from both species of mosquitoes. From 38 positive pools, we isolated 11 distinct mitochondrial Cytb lineages of Plasmodium spp. Seven of the Plasmodium lineages represent previously documented avian infective strains while four were new lineages. Our results confirm a potential risk for the spread of avian malaria and underscore the need to monitor both the mosquito and avian populations as a necessary conservation measure to protect endangered bird species on Socorro Island. PMID:21635660

  10. Purification of Plasmodium Sporozoites Enhances Parasite-Specific CD8+ T Cell Responses.

    PubMed

    Billman, Zachary P; Seilie, Annette M; Murphy, Sean C

    2016-08-01

    Malaria infection caused by Plasmodium parasites continues to cause enormous morbidity and mortality in areas where it is endemic, and there is no licensed vaccine capable of inducing sterile protection. Hyperimmunization with attenuated whole sporozoites can induce sterile protective immune responses targeting preerythrocytic antigens. Most animal models of hyperimmunization rely on sporozoites dissected from mosquito salivary glands and injected without further purification. In BALB/c mice, repeated small doses of P. yoelii sporozoites progressively expand the population of sporozoite-specific CD8(+) T cells. In this study, large secondary doses of unpurified sporozoites unexpectedly led to contraction of sporozoite-specific CD8(+) T cell responses in sporozoite-primed mice. While sporozoite-primed CD8(+) T cells alternatively can be expanded by secondary exposure to Listeria monocytogenes expressing recombinant Plasmodium antigens, such expansion was potently inhibited by coinjection of large doses of unpurified sporozoites and by uninfected salivary glands alone. Purification of sporozoites away from mosquito salivary gland debris by density gradient centrifugation eliminated salivary gland-associated inhibition. Thus, the inhibitory effect appears to be due to exposure to uninfected mosquito salivary glands rather than sporozoites. To further assess the effect of salivary gland exposure on later sporozoite vaccinations, mice were immunized with uninfected salivary glands from a single mosquito. Compared to naive mice, salivary gland presensitization reduced subsequent liver burdens by 71%. These data show that a component(s) in mosquito salivary glands reduces liver infection, thereby limiting antigen dose and contributing to lower-magnitude T cell responses. These findings suggest that sporozoite immunogenicity studies be performed using purified sporozoites whenever feasible. PMID:27217420

  11. Immune Characterization of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites with a Shared Genetic Signature in a Region of Decreasing Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Bei, Amy K.; Diouf, Ababacar; Miura, Kazutoyo; Larremore, Daniel B.; Ribacke, Ulf; Tullo, Gregory; Moss, Eli L.; Neafsey, Daniel E.; Daniels, Rachel F.; Zeituni, Amir E.; Nosamiefan, Iguosadolo; Volkman, Sarah K.; Ahouidi, Ambroise D.; Ndiaye, Daouda; Dieye, Tandakha; Mboup, Souleymane; Buckee, Caroline O.; Long, Carole A.

    2014-01-01

    As the intensity of malaria transmission has declined, Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations have displayed decreased clonal diversity resulting from the emergence of many parasites with common genetic signatures (CGS). We have monitored such CGS parasite clusters from 2006 to 2013 in Thiès, Senegal, using the molecular barcode. The first, and one of the largest observed clusters of CGS parasites, was present in 24% of clinical isolates in 2008, declined to 3.4% of clinical isolates in 2009, and then disappeared. To begin to explore the relationship between the immune responses of the population and the emergence and decline of specific parasite genotypes, we have determined whether antibodies to CGS parasites correlate with their prevalence. We measured (i) antibodies capable of inhibiting parasite growth in culture and (ii) antibodies recognizing the surfaces of infected erythrocytes (RBCs). IgG obtained from volunteers in 2009 showed increased reactivity to the surfaces of CGS-parasitized erythrocytes over IgG from 2008. Since P. falciparum EMP-1 (PfEMP-1) is a major variant surface antigen, we used var Ups quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and sequencing with degenerate DBL1α domain primers to characterize the var genes expressed by CGS parasites after short-term in vitro culture. CGS parasites show upregulation of UpsA var genes and 2-cysteine-containing PfEMP-1 molecules and express the same dominant var transcript. Our work indicates that the CGS parasites in this cluster express similar var genes, more than would be expected by chance in the population, and that there is year-to-year variation in immune recognition of surface antigens on CGS parasite-infected erythrocytes. This study lays the groundwork for detailed investigations of the mechanisms driving the expansion or contraction of specific parasite clones in the population. PMID:25368109

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

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Hanne L; Staerk, Dan; Christensen, Jette; Hviid, Lars; Hägerstrand, Henry; Jaroszewski, Jerzy W

    2002-05-01

    Lupeol, which shows in vitro inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 strain with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 27.7 +/- 0.5 microM, was shown to cause a transformation of the human erythrocyte shape toward that of stomatocytes. Good correlation between the IC50 value and the membrane curvature changes caused by lupeol was observed. Preincubation of erythrocytes with lupeol, followed by extensive washing, made the cells unsuitable for parasite growth, suggesting that the compound incorporates into erythrocyte membrane irreversibly. On the other hand, lupeol-treated parasite culture continued to grow well in untreated erythrocytes. Thus, the antiplasmodial activity of lupeol appears to be indirect, being due to stomatocytic transformation of the host cell membrane and not to toxic effects via action on a drug target within the parasite. A number of amphiphiles that cause stomatocyte formation, but not those causing echinocyte formation, were shown to inhibit growth of the parasites, apparently via a mechanism similar to that of lupeol. Since antiplasmodial agents that inhibit parasite growth through erythrocyte membrane modifications must be regarded as unsuitable as leads for development of new antimalarial drugs, care must be exercised in the interpretation of results of screening of plant extracts and natural product libraries by an in vitro Plasmodium toxicity assay. PMID:11959580

  13. In Vitro Plasmodium falciparum Drug Sensitivity Assay: Inhibition of Parasite Growth by Incorporation of Stomatocytogenic Amphiphiles into the Erythrocyte Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Ziegler, Hanne L.; Stærk, Dan; Christensen, Jette; Hviid, Lars; Hägerstrand, Henry; Jaroszewski, Jerzy W.

    2002-01-01

    Lupeol, which shows in vitro inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 strain with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 27.7 ± 0.5 μM, was shown to cause a transformation of the human erythrocyte shape toward that of stomatocytes. Good correlation between the IC50 value and the membrane curvature changes caused by lupeol was observed. Preincubation of erythrocytes with lupeol, followed by extensive washing, made the cells unsuitable for parasite growth, suggesting that the compound incorporates into erythrocyte membrane irreversibly. On the other hand, lupeol-treated parasite culture continued to grow well in untreated erythrocytes. Thus, the antiplasmodial activity of lupeol appears to be indirect, being due to stomatocytic transformation of the host cell membrane and not to toxic effects via action on a drug target within the parasite. A number of amphiphiles that cause stomatocyte formation, but not those causing echinocyte formation, were shown to inhibit growth of the parasites, apparently via a mechanism similar to that of lupeol. Since antiplasmodial agents that inhibit parasite growth through erythrocyte membrane modifications must be regarded as unsuitable as leads for development of new antimalarial drugs, care must be exercised in the interpretation of results of screening of plant extracts and natural product libraries by an in vitro Plasmodium toxicity assay. PMID:11959580

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

    PubMed

    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; p<0.0001) whereas Kisii had the least significant index of association values (0.03; p<0.0001). Our data suggest high genetic diversity in Kenyan parasite population with the exception of parasite from Malindi where malaria 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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26802490

  16. Circannual variation in blood parasitism in a sub-Saharan migrant passerine bird, the garden warbler.

    PubMed

    Hellgren, O; Wood, M J; Waldenström, J; Hasselquist, D; Ottosson, U; Stervander, M; Bensch, S

    2013-05-01

    Knowing the natural dynamics of pathogens in migratory birds is important, for example, to understand the factors that influence the transport of pathogens to and their transmission in new geographical areas, whereas the transmission of other pathogens might be restricted to a specific area. We studied haemosporidian blood parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon in a migratory bird, the garden warbler Sylvia borin. Birds were sampled in spring, summer and early autumn at breeding grounds in Sweden, on migration at Capri, Italy and on arrival and departure from wintering staging areas in West Africa: mapping recoveries of garden warblers ringed in Fennoscandia and Capri showed that these sites are most probably on the migratory flyway of garden warblers breeding at Kvismaren. Overall, haemosporidian prevalence was 39%, involving 24 different parasite lineages. Prevalence varied significantly over the migratory cycle, with relatively high prevalence of blood parasites in the population on breeding grounds and at the onset of autumn migration, followed by marked declines in prevalence during migration both on spring and autumn passage. Importantly, we found that when examining circannual variation in the different lineages, significantly different prevalence profiles emerged both between and within genera. Our results suggest that differences in prevalence profiles are the result of either different parasite transmission strategies or coevolution between the host and the various parasite lineages. When separating parasites into common vs. rare lineages, we found that two peaks in the prevalence of rare parasites occur; on arrival at Swedish breeding grounds, and after the wintering period in Africa. Our results stress the importance of appropriate taxonomic resolution when examining host-parasite interactions, as variation in prevalence both between and within parasite genera can show markedly different patterns. PMID:23621369

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25691743

  18. Functional Analysis of Protein Kinase CK2 of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Zoë; Prudent, Renaud; Reiser, Jean-Baptiste; Cochet, Claude; Doerig, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Protein kinase CK2 (casein kinase 2) is a eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinase with multiple substrates and roles in diverse cellular processes, including differentiation, proliferation, and translation. The mammalian holoenzyme consists of two catalytic alpha or alpha′ subunits and two regulatory beta subunits. We report the identification and characterization of a Plasmodium falciparum CK2α orthologue, PfCK2α, and two PfCK2β orthologues, PfCK2β1 and PfCK2β2. Recombinant PfCK2α possesses protein kinase activity, exhibits similar substrate and cosubstrate preferences to those of CK2α subunits from other organisms, and interacts with both of the PfCK2β subunits in vitro. Gene disruption experiments show that the presence of PfCK2α is crucial to asexual blood stage parasites and thereby validate the enzyme as a possible drug target. PfCK2α is amenable to inhibitor screening, and we report differential susceptibility between the human and P. falciparum CK2α enzymes to a small molecule inhibitor. Taken together, our data identify PfCK2α as a potential target for antimalarial chemotherapeutic intervention. PMID:19114502

  19. Antigenic Diversity of the Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein in Parasite Isolates of Western Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Martínez, Miguel Ángel; Escalante, Ananías A.; Arévalo-Herrera, Myriam; Herrera, Sócrates

    2011-01-01

    Circumsporozoite (CS) protein is a malaria antigen involved in sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes, and thus considered to have good vaccine potential. We evaluated the polymorphism of the Plasmodium vivax CS gene in 24 parasite isolates collected from malaria-endemic areas of Colombia. We sequenced 27 alleles, most of which (25/27) corresponded to the VK247 genotype and the remainder to the VK210 type. All VK247 alleles presented a mutation (Gly → Asn) at position 28 in the N-terminal region, whereas the C-terminal presented three insertions: the ANKKAGDAG, which is common in all VK247 isolates; 12 alleles presented the insertion GAGGQAAGGNAANKKAGDAG; and 5 alleles presented the insertion GGNAGGNA. Both repeat regions were polymorphic in gene sequence and size. Sequences coding for B-, T-CD4+, and T-CD8+ cell epitopes were found to be conserved. This study confirms the high polymorphism of the repeat domain and the highly conserved nature of the flanking regions. PMID:21292878

  20. Polysome profiling reveals translational control of gene expression in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In eukaryotic organisms, gene expression is regulated at multiple levels during the processes of transcription and translation. The absence of a tight regulatory network for transcription in the human malaria parasite suggests that gene expression may largely be controlled at post-transcriptional and translational levels. Results In this study, we compare steady-state mRNA and polysome-associated mRNA levels of Plasmodium falciparum at different time points during its asexual cell cycle. For more than 30% of its genes, we observe a delay in peak transcript abundance in the polysomal fraction as compared to the steady-state mRNA fraction, suggestive of strong translational control. Our data show that key regulatory mechanisms could include inhibitory activity of upstream open reading frames and translational repression of the major virulence gene family by intronic transcripts. In addition, we observe polysomal mRNA-specific alternative splicing events and widespread transcription of non-coding transcripts. Conclusions These different layers of translational regulation are likely to contribute to a complex network that controls gene expression in this eukaryotic pathogen. Disrupting the mechanisms involved in such translational control could provide novel anti-malarial strategies. PMID:24267660

  1. A Stem Cell Strategy Identifies Glycophorin C as a Major Erythrocyte Receptor for the Rodent Malaria Parasite Plasmodium berghei

    PubMed Central

    Yiangou, Loukia; Montandon, Ruddy; Modrzynska, Katarzyna; Rosen, Barry; Bushell, Wendy; Hale, Christine; Billker, Oliver; Rayner, Julian C.

    2016-01-01

    The clinical complications of malaria are caused by the parasite expansion in the blood. Invasion of erythrocytes is a complex process that depends on multiple receptor-ligand interactions. Identification of host receptors is paramount for fighting the disease as it could reveal new intervention targets, but the enucleated nature of erythrocytes makes genetic approaches impossible and many receptors remain unknown. Host-parasite interactions evolve rapidly and are therefore likely to be species-specific. As a results, understanding of invasion receptors outside the major human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum is very limited. Here we use mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) that can be genetically engineered and differentiated into erythrocytes to identify receptors for the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Two proteins previously implicated in human malaria infection: glycophorin C (GYPC) and Band-3 (Slc4a1) were deleted in mESCs to generate stable cell lines, which were differentiated towards erythropoiesis. In vitro infection assays revealed that while deletion of Band-3 has no effect, absence of GYPC results in a dramatic decrease in invasion, demonstrating the crucial role of this protein for P. berghei infection. This stem cell approach offers the possibility of targeting genes that may be essential and therefore difficult to disrupt in whole organisms and has the potential to be applied to a variety of parasites in diverse host cell types. PMID:27362409

  2. Deletion of Plasmodium berghei-Specific CD4+ T Cells Adoptively Transferred into Recipient Mice after Challenge with Homologous Parasite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirunpetcharat, Chakrit; Good, Michael F.

    1998-02-01

    The immune response to malaria parasites includes T cell responses that reduce parasites by effector T cell responses and by providing help for antibody responses. Some parasites are more sensitive to antibody and others are more sensitive to cell-mediated immunity. We demonstrate that cultured CD4+ T cells that produce interferon CD4+ and interleukin 2, but not interleukin 4, in response to stimulation with the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei can reduce but not eliminate parasites in vivo after adoptive transfer. Although cells can persist in vivo for up to 9 months in uninfected mice, infection results in elimination of up to 99% of specific T cells in different tissues, as judged by tracking T cells labeled with the fluorescent dye 5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester. T cells specific for ovalbumin are unaffected. In vivo activation and division of transferred T cells per se are not responsible for deletion because T cells positive for 5-(and -6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester divide up to six times within 7 days in uninfected mice and are not deleted. Understanding the factors responsible for parasite-mediated specific deletion of T cells would enhance our knowledge of parasite immunity.

  3. Rapid Response to Selection, Competitive Release and Increased Transmission Potential of Artesunate-Selected Plasmodium chabaudi Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Pollitt, Laura C.; Huijben, Silvie; Sim, Derek G.; Salathé, Rahel M.; Jones, Matthew J.; Read, Andrew F.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of drug resistance, a key challenge for our ability to treat and control infections, depends on two processes: de-novo resistance mutations, and the selection for and spread of resistant mutants within a population. Understanding the factors influencing the rates of these two processes is essential for maximizing the useful lifespan of drugs and, therefore, effective disease control. For malaria parasites, artemisinin-based drugs are the frontline weapons in the fight against disease, but reports from the field of slower parasite clearance rates during drug treatment are generating concern that the useful lifespan of these drugs may be limited. Whether slower clearance rates represent true resistance, and how this provides a selective advantage for parasites is uncertain. Here, we show that Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites selected for resistance to artesunate (an artemisinin derivative) through a step-wise increase in drug dose evolved slower clearance rates extremely rapidly. In single infections, these slower clearance rates, similar to those seen in the field, provided fitness advantages to the parasite through increased overall density, recrudescence after treatment and increased transmission potential. In mixed infections, removal of susceptible parasites by drug treatment led to substantial increases in the densities and transmission potential of resistant parasites (competitive release). Our results demonstrate the double-edged sword for resistance management: in our initial selection experiments, no parasites survived aggressive chemotherapy, but after selection, the fitness advantage for resistant parasites was greatest at high drug doses. Aggressive treatment of mixed infections resulted in resistant parasites dominating the pool of gametocytes, without providing additional health benefits to hosts. Slower clearance rates can evolve rapidly and can provide a strong fitness advantage during drug treatment in both single and mixed strain

  4. Rapid response to selection, competitive release and increased transmission potential of artesunate-selected Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Pollitt, Laura C; Huijben, Silvie; Sim, Derek G; Salathé, Rahel M; Jones, Matthew J; Read, Andrew F

    2014-04-01

    The evolution of drug resistance, a key challenge for our ability to treat and control infections, depends on two processes: de-novo resistance mutations, and the selection for and spread of resistant mutants within a population. Understanding the factors influencing the rates of these two processes is essential for maximizing the useful lifespan of drugs and, therefore, effective disease control. For malaria parasites, artemisinin-based drugs are the frontline weapons in the fight against disease, but reports from the field of slower parasite clearance rates during drug treatment are generating concern that the useful lifespan of these drugs may be limited. Whether slower clearance rates represent true resistance, and how this provides a selective advantage for parasites is uncertain. Here, we show that Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites selected for resistance to artesunate (an artemisinin derivative) through a step-wise increase in drug dose evolved slower clearance rates extremely rapidly. In single infections, these slower clearance rates, similar to those seen in the field, provided fitness advantages to the parasite through increased overall density, recrudescence after treatment and increased transmission potential. In mixed infections, removal of susceptible parasites by drug treatment led to substantial increases in the densities and transmission potential of resistant parasites (competitive release). Our results demonstrate the double-edged sword for resistance management: in our initial selection experiments, no parasites survived aggressive chemotherapy, but after selection, the fitness advantage for resistant parasites was greatest at high drug doses. Aggressive treatment of mixed infections resulted in resistant parasites dominating the pool of gametocytes, without providing additional health benefits to hosts. Slower clearance rates can evolve rapidly and can provide a strong fitness advantage during drug treatment in both single and mixed strain

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26917473

  6. Yeast-based high-throughput screen identifies Plasmodium falciparum equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 inhibitors that kill malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-03-20

    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 [(3)H]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 4-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

  7. Variation in susceptibility of African Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites to TEP1 mediated killing in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Eldering, Maarten; Morlais, Isabelle; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; van de Vegte-Bolmer, Marga; Graumans, Wouter; Siebelink-Stoter, Rianne; Vos, Martijn; Abate, Luc; Roeffen, Will; Bousema, Teun; Levashina, Elena A; Sauerwein, Robert W

    2016-01-01

    Anopheles gambiae s.s. mosquitoes are efficient vectors for Plasmodium falciparum, although variation exists in their susceptibility to infection. This variation depends partly on the thioester-containing protein 1 (TEP1) and TEP depletion results in significantly elevated numbers of oocysts in susceptible and resistant mosquitoes. Polymorphism in the Plasmodium gene coding for the surface protein Pfs47 modulates resistance of some parasite laboratory strains to TEP1-mediated killing. Here, we examined resistance of P. falciparum isolates of African origin (NF54, NF165 and NF166) to TEP1-mediated killing in a susceptible Ngousso and a refractory L3-5 strain of A. gambiae. All parasite clones successfully developed in susceptible mosquitoes with limited evidence for an impact of TEP1 on transmission efficiency. In contrast, NF166 and NF165 oocyst densities were strongly reduced in refractory mosquitoes and TEP1 silencing significantly increased oocyst densities. Our results reveal differences between African P. falciparum strains in their capacity to evade TEP1-mediated killing in resistant mosquitoes. There was no significant correlation between Pfs47 genotype and resistance of a given P. falciparum isolate for TEP1 killing. These data suggest that polymorphisms in this locus are not the sole mediators of immune evasion of African malaria parasites. PMID:26861587

  8. Variation in susceptibility of African Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites to TEP1 mediated killing in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Eldering, Maarten; Morlais, Isabelle; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; van de Vegte-Bolmer, Marga; Graumans, Wouter; Siebelink-Stoter, Rianne; Vos, Martijn; Abate, Luc; Roeffen, Will; Bousema, Teun; Levashina, Elena A.; Sauerwein, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Anopheles gambiae s.s. mosquitoes are efficient vectors for Plasmodium falciparum, although variation exists in their susceptibility to infection. This variation depends partly on the thioester-containing protein 1 (TEP1) and TEP depletion results in significantly elevated numbers of oocysts in susceptible and resistant mosquitoes. Polymorphism in the Plasmodium gene coding for the surface protein Pfs47 modulates resistance of some parasite laboratory strains to TEP1-mediated killing. Here, we examined resistance of P. falciparum isolates of African origin (NF54, NF165 and NF166) to TEP1-mediated killing in a susceptible Ngousso and a refractory L3–5 strain of A. gambiae. All parasite clones successfully developed in susceptible mosquitoes with limited evidence for an impact of TEP1 on transmission efficiency. In contrast, NF166 and NF165 oocyst densities were strongly reduced in refractory mosquitoes and TEP1 silencing significantly increased oocyst densities. Our results reveal differences between African P. falciparum strains in their capacity to evade TEP1-mediated killing in resistant mosquitoes. There was no significant correlation between Pfs47 genotype and resistance of a given P. falciparum isolate for TEP1 killing. These data suggest that polymorphisms in this locus are not the sole mediators of immune evasion of African malaria parasites. PMID:26861587

  9. Dynamic Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression during the Life Cycle of Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are emerging as one of the major factors of the dynamics of gene expression in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. To elucidate the role of chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation associated with the progression of the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic development cycle (IDC), we mapped the temporal pattern of chromosomal association with histone H3 and H4 modifications using ChIP-on-chip. Here, we have generated a broad integrative epigenomic map of twelve histone modifications during the P. falciparum IDC including H4K5ac, H4K8ac, H4K12ac, H4K16ac, H3K9ac, H3K14ac, H3K56ac, H4K20me1, H4K20me3, H3K4me3, H3K79me3 and H4R3me2. While some modifications were found to be associated with the vast majority of the genome and their occupancy was constant, others showed more specific and highly dynamic distribution. Importantly, eight modifications displaying tight correlations with transcript levels showed differential affinity to distinct genomic regions with H4K8ac occupying predominantly promoter regions while others occurred at the 5′ ends of coding sequences. The promoter occupancy of H4K8ac remained unchanged when ectopically inserted at a different locus, indicating the presence of specific DNA elements that recruit histone modifying enzymes regardless of their broad chromatin environment. In addition, we showed the presence of multivalent domains on the genome carrying more than one histone mark, highlighting the importance of combinatorial effects on transcription. Overall, our work portrays a substantial association between chromosomal locations of various epigenetic markers, transcriptional activity and global stage-specific transitions in the epigenome. PMID:23468622

  10. Plasmodium vivax: ookinete destruction and oocyst development arrest are responsible for Anopheles albimanus resistance to circumsporozoite phenotype VK247 parasites.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Ceron, L; Rodriguez, M H; Santillan, F; Chavez, B; Nettel, J A; Hernandez-Avila, J E; Kain, K C

    2001-07-01

    Anopheles albimanus and An. pseudopunctipennis differ in their susceptibilities to Plasmodium vivax circumsporozoite phenotypes. An. pseudopunctipennis is susceptible to phenotype VK247 but almost refractory to VK210. In contrast, An. albimanus is almost refractory to VK247 but susceptible to VK210. To investigate the site in the mosquito and the parasite stage at which resistance mechanisms affect VK247 development in An. albimanus, parasite development was followed in a series of experiments in which both mosquitoes species were simultaneously infected with blood from patients. Parasite phenotype was determined in mature oocysts and salivary gland sporozoites by use of immunofluorescence and Western blot assays and/or gene identification. Ookinete maturation and their densities within the bloodmeal bolus were similar in both mosquito species. Ookinete densities on the internal midgut surface of An. albimanus were 4.7 times higher than those in An. pseudopunctipennis; however, the densities of developing oocysts on the external midgut surface were 6.12 times higher in the latter species. Electron microscopy observation of ookinetes in An. albimanus midgut epithelium indicated severe parasite damage. These results indicate that P. vivax VK247 parasites are destroyed at different parasite stages during migration in An. albimanus midguts. A portion, accumulated on the internal midgut surface, is probably destroyed by the mosquito's digestive enzymes and another portion is most likely destroyed by mosquito defense molecules within the midgut epithelium. A third group, reaching the external midgut surface, initiates oocyst development, but over 90% of them interrupt their development and die. The identification of mechanisms that participate in parasite destruction could provide new elements to construct transgenic mosquitoes resistant to malaria parasites. PMID:11527438

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Background The monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi also infect humans. There is a lack of information on the molecular mechanisms that take place between this simian parasite and its heterologous human host erythrocytes leading to this zoonotic disease. Therefore, we investigated here the binding ability of P. knowlesi tryptophan-rich antigens (PkTRAgs) to the human erythrocytes and sharing of the erythrocyte receptors between them as well as with other commonly occurring human malaria parasites. Methods Six PkTRAgs were cloned and expressed in E.coli as well as in mammalian CHO-K1 cell to determine their human erythrocyte binding activity by cell-ELISA, and in-vitro rosetting assay, respectively. Results Three of six PkTRAgs (PkTRAg38.3, PkTRAg40.1, and PkTRAg67.1) showed binding to human erythrocytes. Two of them (PkTRAg40.1 and PkTRAg38.3) showed cross-competition with each other as well as with the previously described P.vivax tryptophan-rich antigens (PvTRAgs) for human erythrocyte receptors. However, the third protein (PkTRAg67.1) utilized the additional but different human erythrocyte receptor(s) as it did not cross-compete for erythrocyte binding with either of these two PkTRAgs as well as with any of the PvTRAgs. These three PkTRAgs also inhibited the P.falciparum parasite growth in in-vitro culture, further indicating the sharing of human erythrocyte receptors by these parasite species and the biological significance of this receptor-ligand interaction between heterologous host and simian parasite. Conclusions Recognition and sharing of human erythrocyte receptor(s) by PkTRAgs with human parasite ligands could be part of the strategy adopted by the monkey malaria parasite to establish inside the heterologous human host. PMID:26393350

  12. The Plasmodium vivax Merozoite Surface Protein 3β Sequence Reveals Contrasting Parasite Populations in Southern and Northwestern Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Kuamsab, Napaporn; Sattabongkot, Jetsumon; Sirichaisinthop, Jeeraphat; Jongwutiwes, Somchai; Cui, Liwang

    2014-01-01

    Background Malaria control efforts have a significant impact on the epidemiology and parasite population dynamics. In countries aiming for malaria elimination, malaria transmission may be restricted to limited transmission hot spots, where parasite populations may be isolated from each other and experience different selection forces. Here we aim to examine the Plasmodium vivax population divergence in geographically isolated transmission zones in Thailand. Methodology We employed the P. vivax merozoite surface protein 3β (PvMSP3β) as a molecular marker for characterizing P. vivax populations based on the extensive diversity of this gene in Southeast Asian parasite populations. To examine two parasite populations with different transmission levels in Thailand, we obtained 45 P. vivax isolates from Tak Province, northwestern Thailand, where the annual parasite incidence (API) was more than 2%, and 28 isolates from Yala and Narathiwat Provinces, southern Thailand, where the API was less than 0.02%. We sequenced the PvMSP3β gene and examined its genetic diversity and molecular evolution between the parasite populations. Principal Findings Of 58 isolates containing single PvMSP3β alleles, 31 sequence types were identified. The overall haplotype diversity was 0.77±0.06 and nucleotide diversity 0.0877±0.0054. The northwestern vivax malaria population exhibited extensive haplotype diversity (HD) of PvMSP3β (HD = 1.0). In contrast, the southern parasite population displayed a single PvMSP3β allele (HD = 0), suggesting a clonal population expansion. This result revealed that the extent of allelic diversity in P. vivax populations in Thailand varies among endemic areas. Conclusion Malaria parasite populations in a given region may vary significantly in genetic diversity, which may be the result of control and influenced by the magnitude of malaria transmission intensity. This is an issue that should be taken into account for the implementation of P. vivax

  13. Associations Between Helminth Infections, Plasmodium falciparum Parasite Carriage and Antibody Responses to Sexual and Asexual Stage Malarial Antigens.

    PubMed

    Ateba-Ngoa, Ulysse; Jones, Sophie; Zinsou, Jeannot Fréjus; Honkpehedji, Josiane; Adegnika, Ayola Akim; Agobe, Jean-Claude Dejon; Massinga-Loembe, Marguerite; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Bousema, Teun; Yazdanbakhsh, Maria

    2016-08-01

    Infections with helminths and Plasmodium spp. overlap in their geographical distribution. It has been postulated that helminth infections may influence malarial transmission by altering Plasmodium falciparum gametocytogenesis. This cross-sectional study assessed the effect of helminth infections on P. falciparum gametocyte carriage and on humoral immune responses to sexual stage antigens in Gabon. Schistosoma haematobium and filarial infections as well as P. falciparum asexual forms and gametocyte carriage were determined. The antibody responses measured were to sexual (Pfs230, Pfs48/45) and asexual P. falciparum antigens (AMA1, MSP1, and GLURP). A total of 287 subjects were included. The prevalence of microscopically detectable P. falciparum asexual parasites was higher in S. haematobium-infected subjects in comparison to their uninfected counterparts (47% versus 26%, P = 0.003), but this was not different when filarial infections were considered. Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriage was similar between Schistosoma- or filaria-infected and uninfected subjects. We observed a significant decrease of Pfs48/45 immunoglobulin G titer in S. haematobium-infected subjects (P = 0.037), whereas no difference was seen for Pfs230 antibody titer, nor for antibodies to AMA1, MSP1, or GLURP. Our findings suggest an effect of S. haematobium on antibody responses to some P. falciparum gametocyte antigens that may have consequences for transmission-blocking immunity. PMID:27273645

  14. Radicicol-Mediated Inhibition of Topoisomerase VIB-VIA Activity of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Chalapareddy, Sureshkumar; Chakrabarty, Swati; Bhattacharyya, Mrinal Kanti

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plasmodium falciparum topoisomerase VIB (TopoVIB)-TopoVIA (TopoVIB-VIA) complex can be potentially exploited as a drug target against malaria due to its absence from the human genome. Previous work in our laboratory has suggested that P. falciparum TopoVIB (PfTopoVIB) might be a target of radicicol since treatment of parasite cultures with this antibiotic is associated with upregulation of Plasmodium TopoVIB at the transcript level as well as at the protein level. Further studies demonstrated that radicicol treatment impaired mitochondrial replication of human malaria parasite P. falciparum. However, the technical challenge associated with the expression of the above protein complex hampered its functional characterization. Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a heterologous system, we expressed PfTopoVIB (Myc-tagged) and PfTopoVIA (Flag-tagged) (PfTopoVIB-VIA) proteins. Yeast two-hybrid analysis showed the formation of PfTopoVIB homodimers and PfTopoVIB/PfTopoVIA heteromers. Our study demonstrated that PfTopoVIB and PfTopoVIA together can rescue the lethal phenotype of yeast ΔtopoII mutants, whereas Plasmodium topoisomerase VIB alone cannot. Using yeast cell-free extracts harboring the PfTopoVIB-VIA protein complex, we have performed a decatenation assay and observed that PfTopoVIB-VIA can decatenate DNA in an ATP- and Mg2+-dependent manner. The specificity of this enzyme is established by abrogation of its activity in the presence of PfTopoVIB-specific antibody. Our study results show that radicicol and etoposide can specifically inhibit PfTopoVIB-VIA decatenation activity whereas the gyrase inhibitor novobiocin cannot. Such a yeast-based assay system can be employed in screening specific inhibitors against Plasmodium VIB-VIA. IMPORTANCE In this study we characterize topoisomerase VI from Plasmodium falciparum using genetic and biochemical approaches. We use various inhibitors and identify radicicol as a specific inhibitor of its decatenation activity. We

  15. Assessing the Cost-Benefit Effect of a Plasmodium falciparum Drug Resistance Mutation on Parasite Growth In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Pedro Eduardo; Mårtensson, Andreas; Ali, Abdullah; Björkman, Anders; Gil, José Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum mutations associated with antimalarial resistance may be beneficial for parasites under drug pressure, although they may also cause a fitness cost. We herein present an in vitro model showing how this combined effect on parasite growth varies with the drug concentration and suggest a calculated drug-specific cost-benefit index, indicating the possible advantage for mutated parasites. We specifically studied the D-to-Y change at position 1246 encoded by the pfmdr1 gene (pfmdr1 D1246Y) in relation to amodiaquine resistance. Susceptibilities to amodiaquine, desethylamodiaquine, and chloroquine, as well as relative fitness, were determined for two modified isogenic P. falciparum clones differing only in the pfmdr1 1246 position. Data were used to create a new comparative graph of relative growth in relation to the drug concentration and to calculate the ratio between the benefit of resistance and the fitness cost. Results were related to an in vivo allele selection analysis after amodiaquine or artesunate-amodiaquine treatment. pfmdr1 1246Y was associated with decreased susceptibility to amodiaquine and desethylamodiaquine but at a growth fitness cost of 11%. Mutated parasites grew less in low drug concentrations due to a predominating fitness cost, but beyond a breakpoint concentration they grew more due to a predominating benefit of increased resistance. The cost-benefit indexes indicated that pfmdr1 1246Y was most advantageous for amodiaquine-exposed parasites. In vivo, a first drug selection of mutant parasites followed by a fitness selection of wild-type parasites supported the in vitro data. This cost-benefit model may predict the risk for selection of drug resistance mutations in different malaria transmission settings. PMID:23208719

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26199860

  17. Assessing the cost-benefit effect of a Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance mutation on parasite growth in vitro.

    PubMed

    Fröberg, Gabrielle; Ferreira, Pedro Eduardo; Mårtensson, Andreas; Ali, Abdullah; Björkman, Anders; Gil, José Pedro

    2013-02-01

    Plasmodium falciparum mutations associated with antimalarial resistance may be beneficial for parasites under drug pressure, although they may also cause a fitness cost. We herein present an in vitro model showing how this combined effect on parasite growth varies with the drug concentration and suggest a calculated drug-specific cost-benefit index, indicating the possible advantage for mutated parasites. We specifically studied the D-to-Y change at position 1246 encoded by the pfmdr1 gene (pfmdr1 D1246Y) in relation to amodiaquine resistance. Susceptibilities to amodiaquine, desethylamodiaquine, and chloroquine, as well as relative fitness, were determined for two modified isogenic P. falciparum clones differing only in the pfmdr1 1246 position. Data were used to create a new comparative graph of relative growth in relation to the drug concentration and to calculate the ratio between the benefit of resistance and the fitness cost. Results were related to an in vivo allele selection analysis after amodiaquine or artesunate-amodiaquine treatment. pfmdr1 1246Y was associated with decreased susceptibility to amodiaquine and desethylamodiaquine but at a growth fitness cost of 11%. Mutated parasites grew less in low drug concentrations due to a predominating fitness cost, but beyond a breakpoint concentration they grew more due to a predominating benefit of increased resistance. The cost-benefit indexes indicated that pfmdr1 1246Y was most advantageous for amodiaquine-exposed parasites. In vivo, a first drug selection of mutant parasites followed by a fitness selection of wild-type parasites supported the in vitro data. This cost-benefit model may predict the risk for selection of drug resistance mutations in different malaria transmission settings. PMID:23208719

  18. Maintenance of phenotypic diversity within a set of virulence encoding genes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Holding, Thomas; Recker, Mario

    2015-12-01

    Infection by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum results in a broad spectrum of clinical outcomes, ranging from severe and potentially life-threatening malaria to asymptomatic carriage. In a process of naturally acquired immunity, individuals living in malaria-endemic regions build up a level of clinical protection, which attenuates infection severity in an exposure-dependent manner. Underlying this shift in the immunoepidemiology as well as the observed range in malaria pathogenesis is the var multigene family and the phenotypic diversity embedded within. The var gene-encoded surface proteins Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 mediate variant-specific binding of infected red blood cells to a diverse set of host receptors that has been linked to specific disease manifestations, including cerebral and pregnancy-associated malaria. Here, we show that cross-reactive immune responses, which minimize the within-host benefit of each additionally expressed gene during infection, can cause selection for maximum phenotypic diversity at the genome level. We further show that differential functional constraints on protein diversification stably maintain uneven ratios between phenotypic groups, in line with empirical observation. Our results thus suggest that the maintenance of phenotypic diversity within P. falciparum is driven by an evolutionary trade-off that optimizes between within-host parasite fitness and between-host selection pressure. PMID:26674193

  19. Maintenance of phenotypic diversity within a set of virulence encoding genes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Holding, Thomas; Recker, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Infection by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum results in a broad spectrum of clinical outcomes, ranging from severe and potentially life-threatening malaria to asymptomatic carriage. In a process of naturally acquired immunity, individuals living in malaria-endemic regions build up a level of clinical protection, which attenuates infection severity in an exposure-dependent manner. Underlying this shift in the immunoepidemiology as well as the observed range in malaria pathogenesis is the var multigene family and the phenotypic diversity embedded within. The var gene-encoded surface proteins Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 mediate variant-specific binding of infected red blood cells to a diverse set of host receptors that has been linked to specific disease manifestations, including cerebral and pregnancy-associated malaria. Here, we show that cross-reactive immune responses, which minimize the within-host benefit of each additionally expressed gene during infection, can cause selection for maximum phenotypic diversity at the genome level. We further show that differential functional constraints on protein diversification stably maintain uneven ratios between phenotypic groups, in line with empirical observation. Our results thus suggest that the maintenance of phenotypic diversity within P. falciparum is driven by an evolutionary trade-off that optimizes between within-host parasite fitness and between-host selection pressure. PMID:26674193

  20. Baculovirus-Vectored Multistage Plasmodium vivax Vaccine Induces Both Protective and Transmission-Blocking Immunities against Transgenic Rodent Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Mizutani, Masanori; Iyori, Mitsuhiro; Blagborough, Andrew M.; Fukumoto, Shinya; Funatsu, Tomohiro; Sinden, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    A multistage malaria vaccine targeting the pre-erythrocytic and sexual stages of Plasmodium could effectively protect individuals against infection from mosquito bites and provide transmission-blocking (TB) activity against the sexual stages of the parasite, respectively. This strategy could help prevent malaria infections in individuals and, on a larger scale, prevent malaria transmission in communities of endemicity. Here, we describe the development of a multistage Plasmodium vivax vaccine which simultaneously expresses P. vivax circumsporozoite protein (PvCSP) and P25 (Pvs25) protein of this species as a fusion protein, thereby acting as a pre-erythrocytic vaccine and a TB vaccine, respectively. A new-concept vaccine platform based on the baculovirus dual-expression system (BDES) was evaluated. The BDES-Pvs25-PvCSP vaccine displayed correct folding of the Pvs25-PvCSP fusion protein on the viral envelope and was highly expressed upon transduction of mammalian cells in vitro. This vaccine induced high levels of antibodies to Pvs25 and PvCSP and elicited protective (43%) and TB (82%) efficacies against transgenic P. berghei parasites expressing the corresponding P. vivax antigens in mice. Our data indicate that our BDES, which functions as both a subunit and DNA vaccine, can offer a promising multistage vaccine capable of delivering a potent antimalarial pre-erythrocytic and TB response via a single immunization regimen. PMID:25092912

  1. Genome-Wide Collation of the Plasmodium falciparum WDR Protein Superfamily Reveals Malarial Parasite-Specific Features

    PubMed Central

    Chahar, Priyanka; Kaushik, Manjeri; Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gakhar, Surendra Kumar; Gopalan, Natrajan; Datt, Manish; Sharma, Amit; Gill, Ritu

    2015-01-01

    Despite a significant drop in malaria deaths during the past decade, malaria continues to be one of the biggest health problems around the globe. WD40 repeats (WDRs) containing proteins comprise one of the largest and functionally diverse protein superfamily in eukaryotes, acting as scaffolds for assembling large protein complexes. In the present study, we report an extensive in silico analysis of the WDR gene family in human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Our genome-wide identification has revealed 80 putative WDR genes in P. falciparum (PfWDRs). Five distinct domain compositions were discovered in Plasmodium as compared to the human host. Notably, 31 PfWDRs were annotated/re-annotated on the basis of their orthologs in other species. Interestingly, most PfWDRs were larger as compared to their human homologs highlighting the presence of parasite-specific insertions. Fifteen PfWDRs appeared specific to the Plasmodium with no assigned orthologs. Expression profiling of PfWDRs revealed a mixture of linear and nonlinear relationships between transcriptome and proteome, and only nine PfWDRs were found to be stage-specific. Homology modeling identified conservation of major binding sites in PfCAF-1 and PfRACK. Protein-protein interaction network analyses suggested that PfWDRs are highly connected proteins with ~1928 potential interactions, supporting their role as hubs in cellular networks. The present study highlights the roles and relevance of the WDR family in P. falciparum, and identifies unique features that lay a foundation for further experimental dissection of PfWDRs. PMID:26043001

  2. Induction of Adhesion-Inhibitory Antibodies against Placental Plasmodium falciparum Parasites by Using Single Domains of VAR2CSA▿

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Morten A.; Pinto, Vera V.; Resende, Mafalda; Dahlbäck, Madeleine; Ditlev, Sisse B.; Theander, Thor G.; Salanti, Ali

    2009-01-01

    In areas of endemicity pregnancy-associated malaria is an important cause of maternal anemia, stillbirth, and delivery of low-birth-weight children. The syndrome is precipitated by the accumulation of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in the placenta, mediated through an interaction 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 it is not possible to produce entire VAR2CSA recombinant proteins. Furthermore, the presence of polymorphisms has raised the question of whether it is feasible to define VAR2CSA antigens eliciting broadly protective antibodies. Thus, the challenge for vaccine development is to define smaller parts of the molecule 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. PMID:19307213

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26420308

  4. Inhibition of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum development by crotamine, a cell penetrating peptide from the snake venom.

    PubMed

    El Chamy Maluf, S; Dal Mas, C; Oliveira, E B; Melo, P M; Carmona, A K; Gazarini, M L; Hayashi, M A F

    2016-04-01

    We show here that crotamine, a polypeptide from the South American rattlesnake venom with cell penetrating and selective anti-fungal and anti-tumoral properties, presents a potent anti-plasmodial activity in culture. Crotamine inhibits the development of the Plasmodium falciparum parasites in a dose-dependent manner [IC50 value of 1.87 μM], and confocal microscopy analysis showed a selective internalization of fluorescent-labeled crotamine into P. falciparum infected erythrocytes, with no detectable fluorescence in uninfected healthy erythrocytes. In addition, similarly to the crotamine cytotoxic effects, the mechanism underlying the anti-plasmodial activity may involve the disruption of parasite acidic compartments H(+) homeostasis. In fact, crotamine promoted a reduction of parasites organelle fluorescence loaded with the lysosomotropic fluorochrome acridine orange, in the same way as previously observed mammalian tumoral cells. Taken together, we show for the first time crotamine not only compromised the metabolism of the P. falciparum, but this toxin also inhibited the parasite growth. Therefore, we suggest this snake polypeptide as a promising lead molecule for the development of potential new molecules, namely peptidomimetics, with selectivity for infected erythrocytes and ability to inhibit the malaria infection by its natural affinity for acid vesicles. PMID:26806200

  5. Manifold habitat effects on the prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites.

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2015-12-01

    Habitats are rapidly changing across the planet and the consequences will have major and long-lasting effects on wildlife and their parasites. Birds harbor many types of blood parasites, but because of their relatively high prevalence and ease of diagnosis, it is the haemosporidians - Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon - that are the best studied in terms of ecology and evolution. For parasite transmission to occur, environmental conditions must be permissive, and given the many constraints on the competency of parasites, vectors and hosts, it is rather remarkable that these parasites are so prevalent and successful. Over the last decade, a rapidly growing body of literature has begun to clarify how environmental factors affect birds and the insects that vector their hematozoan parasites. Moreover, several studies have modeled how anthropogenic effects such as global climate change, deforestation and urbanization will impact the dynamics of parasite transmission. This review highlights recent research that impacts our understanding of how habitat and environmental changes can affect the distribution, diversity, prevalence and parasitemia of these avian blood parasites. Given the importance of environmental factors on transmission, it remains essential that researchers studying avian hematozoa document abiotic factors such as temperature, moisture and landscape elements. Ultimately, this continued research has the potential to inform conservation policies and help avert the loss of bird species and threatened habitats. PMID:26835250

  6. Manifold habitat effects on the prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites

    PubMed Central

    Sehgal, Ravinder N.M.

    2015-01-01

    Habitats are rapidly changing across the planet and the consequences will have major and long-lasting effects on wildlife and their parasites. Birds harbor many types of blood parasites, but because of their relatively high prevalence and ease of diagnosis, it is the haemosporidiansPlasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon – that are the best studied in terms of ecology and evolution. For parasite transmission to occur, environmental conditions must be permissive, and given the many constraints on the competency of parasites, vectors and hosts, it is rather remarkable that these parasites are so prevalent and successful. Over the last decade, a rapidly growing body of literature has begun to clarify how environmental factors affect birds and the insects that vector their hematozoan parasites. Moreover, several studies have modeled how anthropogenic effects such as global climate change, deforestation and urbanization will impact the dynamics of parasite transmission. This review highlights recent research that impacts our understanding of how habitat and environmental changes can affect the distribution, diversity, prevalence and parasitemia of these avian blood parasites. Given the importance of environmental factors on transmission, it remains essential that researchers studying avian hematozoa document abiotic factors such as temperature, moisture and landscape elements. Ultimately, this continued research has the potential to inform conservation policies and help avert the loss of bird species and threatened habitats. PMID:26835250

  7. Expression, Characterization, and Cellular Localization of Knowpains, Papain-Like Cysteine Proteases of the Plasmodium knowlesi Malaria Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Prasad, Rajesh; Atul; Soni, Awakash; Puri, Sunil Kumar; Sijwali, Puran Singh

    2012-01-01

    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 inhibitor libraries

  8. Probable macrophage origin of the lipopolysaccharide-induced cytostatic effect on intra-erythrocytic malarial parasites (Plasmodium vinckei)

    PubMed Central

    Rzepczyk, Christine M.

    1982-01-01

    This study showed that intra-erythrocytic Plasmodium vinckei parasites taken from either normal, irradiated, nude or splenectomized mice 7–8 hr after the injection of a small dose of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) incorporate hypoxanthine more slowly in an in vitro assay than parasites from saline-treated controls. The incorporation by parasites of isoleucine, which was also measured in some experiments, was similarly affected. However, this cytostatic effect on parasite metabolism was found to be markedly reduced in experiments with mice which had received an intravenous injection of silica dust 28–30 hr before being injected with LPS. These findings indicate that macrophages, being radioresistant and silica-sensitive, are the source of the cytostatic effect. The present results also imply that T cells are not required in the response, and they show that the host cells mediating this response are not restricted to the spleen. It was also shown that an intravenous injection of a small dose of LPS into mice infected with P. vinckei 24 hr previously, could temporarily arrest the rise in parasitaemia in these animals, thereby prolonging their survival. This protection afforded by LPS was also found to be radioresistant and T-independent. It is suggested that the effect on parasitaemia seen in vivo and the cytostatic effect in vitro are both due to the release of a soluble factor from macrophages which is ultimately capable of causing intra-erythrocytic parasite death. P. vinckei-infected mice exhibited symptoms of endotoxaemia following the injection of LPS. However, no clear relationship was noted between the severity of the illness in the host and the cytostatic effect on the parasites. PMID:6282737

  9. Target evaluation of deoxyhypusine synthase from Theileria parva the neglected animal parasite and its relationship to Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Njuguna, James T; von Koschitzky, Imke; Gerhardt, Heike; Lämmerhofer, Michael; Choucry, Ali; Pink, Mario; Schmitz-Spahnke, Simone; Bakheit, Mohammed A; Strube, Christina; Kaiser, Annette

    2014-08-01

    East Coast fever (ECF) is a tick-borne disease caused by the parasite Theileria parva which infects cattle. In Sub-Saharan Africa it leads to enormous economic costs. After a bite of a tick, sporozoites invade the host lymphocytes and develop into schizonts. At this stage the parasite transforms host lymphocytes resulting in the clonal expansion of infected lymphocytes. Animals develop a lymphoma like disorder after infection which is rapidly fatal. Hitherto, a few drugs of the quinone type can cure the disease. However, therapy can only be successful after early diagnosis. The genera Theileria and Plasmodium, which includes the causative agent of human malaria, are closely related apicomplexan parasites. Enzymes of the hypusine pathway, a posttranslational modification in eukaryotic initiation factor EIF-5A, have shown to be druggable targets in Plasmodium. We identified the first enzyme of the hypusine pathway from T. parva, the deoxyhypusine synthase (DHS), which is located on chromosome 2 of the Muguga strain. Transcription is significantly increased in schizonts. The expressed T. parva DHS reveals an open reading frame (ORF) of 370 amino acids after expression in Escherichia coli Rosetta cells with a molecular size of 41.26 kDa and a theoretical pI of 5.26. Screening of the Malaria Box which consists of 400 active compounds resulted in a novel heterocyclic compound with a guanyl spacer which reduced the activity of T. parva DHS to 45%. In sum, the guanyl residue seems to be an important lead structure for inhibition of Theileria DHS. Currently, more different guanyl analogues from the Malaria Box are tested in inhibitor experiments to determine their efficacy. PMID:24909679

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    Parasite proteases play key roles in several fundamental steps of the Plasmodium life cycle, including haemoglobin degradation, host cell invasion and parasite egress. Plasmodium exit from infected host cells appears to be mediated by a class of papain-like cysteine proteases called 'serine repeat antigens' (SERAs). A SERA subfamily, represented by Plasmodium falciparum SERA5, contains an atypical active site serine residue instead of a catalytic cysteine. Members of this SERAser subfamily are abundantly expressed in asexual blood stages, rendering them attractive drug and vaccine targets. In this study, we show by antibody localization and in vivo fluorescent tagging with the red fluorescent protein mCherry that the two P. berghei serine-type family members, PbSERA1 and PbSERA2, display differential expression towards the final stages of merozoite formation. Via targeted gene replacement, we generated single and double gene knockouts of the P. berghei SERAser genes. These loss-of-function lines progressed normally through the parasite life cycle, suggesting a specialized, non-vital role for serine-type SERAs in vivo. Parasites lacking PbSERAser showed increased expression of the cysteine-type PbSERA3. Compensatory mechanisms between distinct SERA subfamilies may thus explain the absence of phenotypical defect in SERAser disruptants, and challenge the suitability to develop potent antimalarial drugs based on specific inhibitors of Plasmodium serine-type SERAs. PMID:20039882

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. Specialist enemies, generalist weapons and the potential spread of exotic pathogens: malaria parasites in a highly invasive bird.

    PubMed

    Clark, Nicholas J; Olsson-Pons, Sophie; Ishtiaq, Farah; Clegg, Sonya M

    2015-12-01

    Pathogens can influence the success of invaders. The Enemy Release Hypothesis predicts invaders encounter reduced pathogen abundance and diversity, while the Novel Weapons Hypothesis predicts invaders carry novel pathogens that spill over to competitors. We tested these hypotheses using avian malaria (haemosporidian) infections in the invasive myna (Acridotheres tristis), which was introduced to southeastern Australia from India and was secondarily expanded to the eastern Australian coast. Mynas and native Australian birds were screened in the secondary introduction range for haemosporidians (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus spp.) and results were combined with published data from the myna's primary introduction and native ranges. We compared malaria prevalence and diversity across myna populations to test for Enemy Release and used phylogeographic analyses to test for exotic strains acting as Novel Weapons. Introduced mynas carried significantly lower parasite diversity than native mynas and significantly lower Haemoproteus prevalence than native Australian birds. Despite commonly infecting native species that directly co-occur with mynas, Haemoproteus spp. were only recorded in introduced mynas in the primary introduction range and were apparently lost during secondary expansion. In contrast, Plasmodium infections were common in all ranges and prevalence was significantly higher in both introduced and native mynas than in native Australian birds. Introduced mynas carried several exotic Plasmodium lineages that were shared with native mynas, some of which also infected native Australian birds and two of which are highly invasive in other bioregions. Our results suggest that introduced mynas may benefit through escape from Haemoproteus spp. while acting as important reservoirs for Plasmodium spp., some of which are known exotic lineages. PMID:26433143

  14. In Vitro Activity of wALADin Benzimidazoles against Different Life Cycle Stages of Plasmodium Parasites

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    wALADin1 benzimidazoles are specific inhibitors of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase from Wolbachia endobacteria of filarial nematodes. We report that wALADin1 and two derivatives killed blood stage Plasmodium falciparum in vitro (50% inhibitory concentrations, 39, 7.7, and 12.8 μM, respectively). One of these derivatives inhibited gliding motility of Plasmodium berghei ANKA infectious sporozoites with nanomolar affinity and blocked invasion into hepatocytes but did not affect intrahepatocytic replication. Hence, wALADin1 benzimidazoles are tools to study gliding motility and potential antiplasmodial drug candidates. PMID:25313210

  15. Clonal diversity of a lizard malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, in its vertebrate host, the western fence lizard: role of variation in transmission intensity over time and space.

    PubMed

    Vardo, A M; Schall, J J

    2007-07-01

    Within the vertebrate host, infections of a malaria parasite (Plasmodium) could include a single genotype of cells (single-clone infections) or two to several genotypes (multiclone infections). Clonal diversity of infection plays an important role in the biology of the parasite, including its life history, virulence, and transmission. We determined the clonal diversity of Plasmodium mexicanum, a lizard malaria parasite at a study region in northern California, using variable microsatellite markers, the first such study for any malaria parasite of lizards or birds (the most common hosts for Plasmodium species). Multiclonal infections are common (50-88% of infections among samples), and measures of genetic diversity for the metapopulation (expected heterozygosity, number of alleles per locus, allele length variation, and effective population size) all indicated a substantial overall genetic diversity. Comparing years with high prevalence (1996-1998 = 25-32% lizards infected), and years with low prevalence (2001-2005 = 6-12%) found fewer alleles in samples taken from the low-prevalence years, but no reduction in overall diversity (H = 0.64-0.90 among loci). In most cases, rare alleles appeared to be lost as prevalence declined. For sites chronically experiencing low transmission intensity (prevalence approximately 1%), overall diversity was also high (H = 0.79-0.91), but there were fewer multiclonal infections. Theory predicts an apparent excess in expected heterozygosity follows a genetic bottleneck. Evidence for such a distortion in genetic diversity was observed after the drop in parasite prevalence under the infinite alleles mutation model but not for the stepwise mutation model. The results are similar to those reported for the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, worldwide, and support the conclusion that malaria parasites maintain high genetic diversity in host populations despite the potential for loss in alleles during the transmission cycle or

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26873539

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25449286

  18. Characterization of antigen-expressing Plasmodium falciparum cDNA clones that are reactive with parasite inhibitory antibodies.

    PubMed

    Horii, T; Bzik, D J; Inselburg, J

    1988-07-01

    A Plasmodium falciparum (FCR3 strain) lambda gt11 cDNA expression library was constructed from trophozoite and schizont poly(A) RNA and was screened immunologically with a pooled human immune serum from Nigeria to form a gene bank of 288 positive clones. The gene bank was subsequently screened with parasite inhibitory mouse monoclonal antibodies (mMAb) and with individual human Liberian sera. Two mMAb, 43E5 and 5H10, strongly reacted with 8 and 3 cDNA clones, respectively. Several of those clones also weakly cross-reacted with the other mMAb. Two of those weakly cross-reactive clones, cDNA#366 and cDNA#22, were shown to be located in different chromosomal regions of the parasite by Southern hybridization and so appeared to represent two different parasite genes. The genomic organization of both cDNA#366 and cDNA#22 sequences were identical in the FCR3 and the Honduras-1 strain. The nucleotide sequence of cDNA#366 and the amino acid sequence it coded for were homologous to a partial DNA and amino acid sequence previously reported for a P. falciparum (Camp strain) exoantigen designated p126. The mRNA for cDNA#366 appeared to represent an abundant message in blood stage trophozoites and schizonts. PMID:2456465

  19. Chemically Attenuated Blood-Stage Plasmodium yoelii Parasites Induce Long-Lived and Strain-Transcending Protection

    PubMed Central

    Raja, Amber I.; Cai, Yeping; Reiman, Jennifer M.; Groves, Penny; Chakravarty, Sumana; McPhun, Virginia; Doolan, Denise L.; Cockburn, Ian; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Stanisic, Danielle I.

    2016-01-01

    The development of a vaccine is essential for the elimination of malaria. However, despite many years of effort, a successful vaccine has not been achieved. Most subunit vaccine candidates tested in clinical trials have provided limited efficacy, and thus attenuated whole-parasite vaccines are now receiving close scrutiny. Here, we test chemically attenuated Plasmodium yoelii 17X and demonstrate significant protection following homologous and heterologous blood-stage challenge. Protection against blood-stage infection persisted for at least 9 months. Activation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was shown after vaccination; however, in vivo studies demonstrated a pivotal role for both CD4+ T cells and B cells since the absence of either cell type led to loss of vaccine-induced protection. In spite of significant activation of circulating CD8+ T cells, liver-stage immunity was not evident. Neither did vaccine-induced CD8+ T cells contribute to blood-stage protection; rather, these cells contributed to pathogenesis, since all vaccinated mice depleted of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells survived a challenge infection. This study provides critical insight into whole-parasite vaccine-induced immunity and strong support for testing whole-parasite vaccines in humans. PMID:27245410

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-09-01

    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. PMID:25102353

  2. KAI407, a Potent Non-8-Aminoquinoline Compound That Kills Plasmodium cynomolgi Early Dormant Liver Stage Parasites In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Zeeman, Anne-Marie; van Amsterdam, Sandra M.; McNamara, Case W.; Voorberg-van der Wel, Annemarie; Klooster, Els J.; van den Berg, Alexander; Remarque, Edmond J.; Plouffe, David M.; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; Luty, Adrian; Sauerwein, Robert; Gagaring, Kerstin; Borboa, Rachel; Chen, Zhong; Kuhen, Kelli; Glynne, Richard J.; Chatterjee, Arnab K.; Nagle, Advait; Roland, Jason; Winzeler, Elizabeth A.; Leroy, Didier; Campo, Brice; Diagana, Thierry T.; Yeung, Bryan K. S.; Thomas, Alan W.

    2014-01-01

    Preventing relapses of Plasmodium vivax malaria through a radical cure depends on use of the 8-aminoquinoline primaquine, which is associated with safety and compliance issues. For future malaria eradication strategies, new, safer radical curative compounds that efficiently kill dormant liver stages (hypnozoites) will be essential. A new compound with potential radical cure activity was identified using a low-throughput assay of in vitro-cultured hypnozoite forms of Plasmodium cynomolgi (an excellent and accessible model for Plasmodium vivax). In this assay, primary rhesus hepatocytes are infected with P. cynomolgi sporozoites, and exoerythrocytic development is monitored in the presence of compounds. Liver stage cultures are fixed after 6 days and stained with anti-Hsp70 antibodies, and the relative proportions of small (hypnozoite) and large (schizont) forms relative to the untreated controls are determined. This assay was used to screen a series of 18 known antimalarials and 14 new non-8-aminoquinolines (preselected for blood and/or liver stage activity) in three-point 10-fold dilutions (0.1, 1, and 10 μM final concentrations). A novel compound, designated KAI407 showed an activity profile similar to that of primaquine (PQ), efficiently killing the earliest stages of the parasites that become either primary hepatic schizonts or hypnozoites (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] for hypnozoites, KAI407, 0.69 μM, and PQ, 0.84 μM; for developing liver stages, KAI407, 0.64 μM, and PQ, 0.37 μM). When given as causal prophylaxis, a single oral dose of 100 mg/kg of body weight prevented blood stage parasitemia in mice. From these results, we conclude that KAI407 may represent a new compound class for P. vivax malaria prophylaxis and potentially a radical cure. PMID:24366744

  3. Effect of thioredoxin peroxidase-1 gene disruption on the liver stages of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei.

    PubMed

    Usui, Miho; Masuda-Suganuma, Hirono; Fukumoto, Shinya; Angeles, Jose Ma M; Hakimi, Hassan; Inoue, Noboru; Kawazu, Shin-Ichiro

    2015-06-01

    Phenotypic observation of thioredoxin peroxidase-1 (TPx-1) gene-disrupted Plasmodium berghei (TPx-1 KO) in the liver-stage was performed with an in vitro infection system in order to investigate defective liver-stage development in a mouse infection model. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy assay with anti-circumsporozoite protein antibody revealed that in the liver schizont stage, TPx-1 KO parasite cells were significantly smaller than cells of the wild-type parent strain (WT). Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy assay with anti-merozoite surface protein-1 antibody, which was used to evaluate late schizont-stage development, indicated that TPx-1 KO schizont development was similar to WT strain development towards the merozoite-forming stage (mature schizont). However, fewer merozoites were produced in the mature TPx-1 KO schizont than in the mature WT schizont. Taken together, the results suggest that TPx-1 may be involved in merozoite formation during liver schizont development. PMID:25284813

  4. A Unique Virulence Gene Occupies a Principal Position in Immune Evasion by the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Heinberg, Adina R.; Wele, Mamadou; Chen, Qijun; Deitsch, Kirk W.

    2015-01-01

    Mutually exclusive gene expression, whereby only one member of a multi-gene family is selected for activation, is used by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to escape the human immune system and perpetuate long-term, chronic infections. A family of genes called var encodes the chief antigenic and virulence determinant of P. falciparum malaria. var genes are transcribed in a mutually exclusive manner, with switching between active genes resulting in antigenic variation. While recent work has shed considerable light on the epigenetic basis for var gene activation and silencing, how switching is controlled remains a mystery. In particular, switching seems not to be random, but instead appears to be coordinated to result in timely activation of individual genes leading to sequential waves of antigenically distinct parasite populations. The molecular basis for this apparent coordination is unknown. Here we show that var2csa, an unusual and highly conserved var gene, occupies a unique position within the var gene switching hierarchy. Induction of switching through the destabilization of var specific chromatin using both genetic and chemical methods repeatedly led to the rapid and exclusive activation of var2csa. Additional experiments demonstrated that these represent “true” switching events and not simply de-silencing of the var2csa promoter, and that activation is limited to the unique locus on chromosome 12. Combined with translational repression of var2csa transcripts, frequent “default” switching to this locus and detection of var2csa untranslated transcripts in non-pregnant individuals, these data suggest that var2csa could play a central role in coordinating switching, fulfilling a prediction made by mathematical models derived from population switching patterns. These studies provide the first insights into the mechanisms by which var gene switching is coordinated as well as an example of how a pharmacological agent can disrupt antigenic variation

  5. Delayed Parasite Clearance after Treatment with Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Patients in Central Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. Real-time quantitative PCR for determining the burden of Plasmodium falciparum parasites during pregnancy and infancy.

    PubMed

    Malhotra, Indu; Dent, Arlene; Mungai, Peter; Muchiri, Eric; King, Christopher L

    2005-08-01

    Real-time quantitative PCR (RTQ-PCR) provides a quick, accurate, and reproducible quantification of parasites. However, the value of RTQ-PCR for predicting clinical outcomes of malaria is unknown. Here, we compared RTQ-PCR to microscopy of blood smears, nested PCR (nPCR), and parasite circulating-antigen (CAg) assays for detection of Plasmodium falciparum in pregnant Kenyan women and their infants and related these findings to parity and birth weights in their newborns (n = 554). nPCR was the most sensitive assay for detection of malaria in pregnancy, followed in decreasing order of sensitivity by RTQ-PCR, CAg assays, and blood smears. RTQ-PCR detected a higher frequency of malaria infection (46%) in maternal peripheral blood in primiparous than in multiparous women (35%; P < 0.001), with a >12-fold difference in parasite burden (geometric mean = 25,870 versus 2,143 amplicons/microl blood; P < 0.0001). Similarly, the presence of placental malaria determined by RTQ-PCR was approximately twofold higher in primiparous versus multiparous women (21% versus 13%; P < 0.01). The presence and intensity of malaria infection in pregnant women estimated by RTQ-PCR strongly correlated with low-birth-weight babies, especially in those with high amplicon numbers. RTQ-PCR identified malaria-infected women, missed by blood smear, who were at risk for having underweight offspring. By contrast, malaria detected by nPCR and CAg assay showed a much weaker association with parity or low birth weight. Thus, RTQ-PCR provides an estimate of parasite burden that is more sensitive than blood smear and is predictive of clinical outcomes of malaria infection in pregnant women and newborns. PMID:16081889

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Purification of a recombinant histidine-tagged lactate dehydrogenase from the malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax, and characterization of its properties.

    PubMed

    Sundaram, Balamurugan; Varadarajan, Nandan Mysore; Subramani, Pradeep Annamalai; Ghosh, Susanta Kumar; Nagaraj, Viswanathan Arun

    2014-12-01

    Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax (Pv), serves as a drug target and immunodiagnostic marker. The LDH cDNA generated from total RNA of a clinical isolate of the parasite was cloned into pRSETA plasmid. Recombinant his-tagged PvLDH was over-expressed in E. coli Rosetta2DE3pLysS and purified using Ni(2+)-NTA resin giving a yield of 25-30 mg/litre bacterial culture. The recombinant protein was enzymatically active and its catalytic efficiency for pyruvate was 5.4 × 10(8) min(-1) M(-1), 14.5 fold higher than a low yield preparation reported earlier to obtain PvLDH crystal structure. The enzyme activity was inhibited by gossypol and sodium oxamate. The recombinant PvLDH was reactive in lateral flow immunochromatographic assays detecting pan- and vivax-specific LDH. The soluble recombinant PvLDH purified using heterologous expression system can facilitate the generation of vivax LDH-specific monoclonals and the screening of chemical compound libraries for PvLDH inhibitors. PMID:25048245

  9. Evolution of the Multi-Domain Structures of Virulence Genes in the Human Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Buckee, Caroline O.; Recker, Mario

    2012-01-01

    The var gene family of Plasmodium falciparum encodes the immunodominant variant surface antigens PfEMP1. These highly polymorphic proteins are important virulence factors that mediate cytoadhesion to a variety of host tissues, causing sequestration of parasitized red blood cells in vital organs, including the brain or placenta. Acquisition of variant-specific antibodies correlates with protection against severe malarial infections; however, understanding the relationship between gene expression and infection outcome is complicated by the modular genetic architectures of var genes that encode varying numbers of antigenic domains with differential binding specificities. By analyzing the domain architectures of fully sequenced var gene repertoires we reveal a significant, non-random association between the number of domains comprising a var gene and their sequence conservation. As such, var genes can be grouped into those that are short and diverse and genes that are long and conserved, suggesting gene length as an important characteristic in the classification of var genes. We then use an evolutionary framework to demonstrate how the same evolutionary forces acting on the level of an individual gene may have also shaped the parasite's gene repertoire. The observed associations between sequence conservation, gene architecture and repertoire structure can thus be explained by a trade-off between optimizing within-host fitness and minimizing between-host immune selection pressure. Our results demonstrate how simple evolutionary mechanisms can explain var gene structuring on multiple levels and have important implications for understanding the multifaceted epidemiology of P. falciparum malaria. PMID:22511852

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-06-01

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

  11. Interaction of Plasmodium vivax Tryptophan-rich Antigen PvTRAg38 with Band 3 on Human Erythrocyte Surface Facilitates Parasite Growth*

    PubMed Central

    Alam, Mohd. Shoeb; Choudhary, Vandana; Zeeshan, Mohammad; Tyagi, Rupesh K.; Rathore, Sumit; Sharma, Yagya D.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium tryptophan-rich proteins are involved in host-parasite interaction and thus potential drug/vaccine targets. Recently, we have described several P. vivax tryptophan-rich antigens (PvTRAgs), including merozoite expressed PvTRAg38, from this noncultivable human malaria parasite. PvTRAg38 is highly immunogenic in humans and binds to host erythrocytes, and this binding is inhibited by the patient sera. This binding is also affected if host erythrocytes were pretreated with chymotrypsin. Here, Band 3 has been identified as the chymotrypsin-sensitive erythrocyte receptor for this parasite protein. Interaction of PvTRAg38 with Band 3 has been mapped to its three different ectodomains (loops 1, 3, and 6) exposed at the surface of the erythrocyte. The binding region of PvTRAg38 to Band3 has been mapped to its sequence, KWVQWKNDKIRSWLSSEW, present at amino acid positions 197–214. The recombinant PvTRAg38 was able to inhibit the parasite growth in in vitro Plasmodium falciparum culture probably by competing with the ligand(s) of this heterologous parasite for the erythrocyte Band 3 receptor. In conclusion, the host-parasite interaction at the molecular level is much more complicated than known so far and should be considered during the development of anti-malarial therapeutics. PMID:26149684

  12. Plasmodium falciparum enolase complements yeast enolase functions and associates with the parasite food vacuole.

    PubMed

    Das, Sujaan; Shevade, Saudamini; LaCount, Douglas J; Jarori, Gotam K

    2011-09-01

    Plasmodium falciparum enolase (Pfeno) localizes to the cytosol, nucleus, cell membrane and cytoskeletal elements, suggesting multiple non-glycolytic functions for this protein. Our recent observation of association of enolase with the food vacuole (FV) in immuno-gold electron microscopic images of P. falciparum raised the possibility for yet another moonlighting function for this protein. Here we provide additional support for this localization by demonstrating the presence of Pfeno in purified FVs by immunoblotting. To examine the potential functional role of FV-associated Pfeno, we assessed the ability of Pfeno to complement a mutant Saccharomyces cervisiae strain deficient in enolase activity. In this strain (Tetr-Eno2), the enolase 1 gene is deleted and expression of the enolase 2 gene is under the control of a tetracycline repressible promoter. Enolase deficiency in this strain was previously shown to cause growth retardation, vacuolar fragmentation and altered expression of certain vacuolar proteins. Expression of Pfeno in the enolase-deficient yeast strain restored all three phenotypic effects. However, transformation of Tetr-eno2 with an enzymatically active, monomeric mutant form of Pfeno (Δ(5)Pfeno) fully restored cell growth, but only partially rescued the fragmented vacuolar phenotype, suggesting that the dimeric structure of Pfeno is required for the optimal vacuolar functions. Bioinformatic searches revealed the presence of Plasmodium orthologs of several yeast vacuolar proteins that are predicted to form complexes with Pfeno. Together, these observations raise the possibility that association of Pfeno with food vacuole in Plasmodium may have physiological function(s). PMID:21600245

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27001144

  14. Plasmodium falciparum inhibitor-3 homolog increases protein phosphatase type 1 activity and is essential for parasitic survival.

    PubMed

    Fréville, Aline; Landrieu, Isabelle; García-Gimeno, M Adelaida; Vicogne, Jérôme; Montbarbon, Muriel; Bertin, Benjamin; Verger, Alexis; Kalamou, Hadidjatou; Sanz, Pascual; Werkmeister, Elisabeth; Pierrot, Christine; Khalife, Jamal

    2012-01-01

    Growing evidence indicates that the protein regulators governing protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) activity have crucial functions because their deletion drastically affects cell growth and division. PP1 has been found to be essential in Plasmodium falciparum, but little is known about its regulators. In this study, we have identified a homolog of Inhibitor-3 of PP1, named PfI3. NMR analysis shows that PfI3 belongs to the disordered protein family. High affinity interaction of PfI3 and PfPP1 is demonstrated in vitro using several methods, with an apparent dissociation constant K(D) of 100 nm. We further show that the conserved (41)KVVRW(45) motif is crucial for this interaction as the replacement of the Trp(45) by an Ala(45) severely decreases the binding to PfPP1. Surprisingly, PfI3 was unable to rescue a yeast strain deficient in I3 (Ypi1). This lack of functional orthology was supported as functional assays in vitro have revealed that PfI3, unlike yeast I3 and human I3, increases PfPP1 activity. Reverse genetic approaches suggest an essential role of PfI3 in the growth and/or survival of blood stage parasites because attempts to obtain knock-out parasites were unsuccessful, although the locus of PfI3 is accessible. The main localization of a GFP-tagged PfI3 in the nucleus of all blood stage parasites is compatible with a regulatory role of PfI3 on the activity of nuclear PfPP1. PMID:22128182

  15. Plasmodium falciparum Inhibitor-3 Homolog Increases Protein Phosphatase Type 1 Activity and Is Essential for Parasitic Survival*

    PubMed Central

    Fréville, Aline; Landrieu, Isabelle; García-Gimeno, M. Adelaida; Vicogne, Jérôme; Montbarbon, Muriel; Bertin, Benjamin; Verger, Alexis; Kalamou, Hadidjatou; Sanz, Pascual; Werkmeister, Elisabeth; Pierrot, Christine; Khalife, Jamal

    2012-01-01

    Growing evidence indicates that the protein regulators governing protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) activity have crucial functions because their deletion drastically affects cell growth and division. PP1 has been found to be essential in Plasmodium falciparum, but little is known about its regulators. In this study, we have identified a homolog of Inhibitor-3 of PP1, named PfI3. NMR analysis shows that PfI3 belongs to the disordered protein family. High affinity interaction of PfI3 and PfPP1 is demonstrated in vitro using several methods, with an apparent dissociation constant KD of 100 nm. We further show that the conserved 41KVVRW45 motif is crucial for this interaction as the replacement of the Trp45 by an Ala45 severely decreases the binding to PfPP1. Surprisingly, PfI3 was unable to rescue a yeast strain deficient in I3 (Ypi1). This lack of functional orthology was supported as functional assays in vitro have revealed that PfI3, unlike yeast I3 and human I3, increases PfPP1 activity. Reverse genetic approaches suggest an essential role of PfI3 in the growth and/or survival of blood stage parasites because attempts to obtain knock-out parasites were unsuccessful, although the locus of PfI3 is accessible. The main localization of a GFP-tagged PfI3 in the nucleus of all blood stage parasites is compatible with a regulatory role of PfI3 on the activity of nuclear PfPP1. PMID:22128182

  16. Molecular Characterization of a Novel Geranylgeranyl Pyrophosphate Synthase from Plasmodium Parasites*

    PubMed Central

    Artz, Jennifer D.; Wernimont, Amy K.; Dunford, James E.; Schapira, Matthieu; Dong, Aiping; Zhao, Yong; Lew, Jocelyne; Russell, R. Graham G.; Ebetino, F. Hal; Oppermann, Udo; Hui, Raymond

    2011-01-01

    We present here a study of a eukaryotic trans-prenylsynthase from the malaria pathogen Plasmodium vivax. Based on the results of biochemical assays and contrary to previous indications, this enzyme catalyzes the production of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) rather than farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP). Structural analysis shows that the product length is constrained by a hydrophobic cavity formed primarily by a set of residues from the same subunit as the product as well as at least one other from the dimeric partner. Furthermore, Plasmodium GGPP synthase (GGPPS) can bind nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (N-BPs) strongly with the energetically favorable cooperation of three Mg2+, resulting in inhibition by this class of compounds at IC50 concentrations below 100 nm. In contrast, human and yeast GGPPSs do not accommodate a third magnesium atom in the same manner, resulting in their insusceptibility to N-BPs. This differentiation is in part attributable to a deviation in a conserved motif known as the second aspartate-rich motif: whereas the aspartates at the start and end of the five-residue motif in FFPP synthases and P. vivax GGPPSs both participate in the coordination of the third Mg2+, an asparagine is featured as the last residue in human and yeast GGPPSs, resulting in a different manner of interaction with nitrogen-containing ligands. PMID:21084289

  17. Polymorphism in dhfr/dhps genes, parasite density and ex vivo response to pyrimethamine in Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in Thies, Senegal.

    PubMed

    Ndiaye, Daouda; Dieye, Baba; Ndiaye, Yaye D; Van Tyne, Daria; Daniels, Rachel; Bei, Amy K; Mbaye, Aminata; Valim, Clarissa; Lukens, Amanda; Mboup, Souleymane; Ndir, Omar; Wirth, Dyann F; Volkman, Sarah

    2013-12-01

    Resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites is associated with mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genes, and these mutations have spread resistance worldwide. SP, used for several years in Senegal, has been recommended for intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) and has been widely implemented since 2003 in this country. There is currently limited data on SP resistance from molecular marker genotyping, and no data on pyrimethamine ex vivo sensitivity in Senegal. Molecular markers of SP resistance and pyrimethamine ex vivo sensitivity were investigated in 416 parasite samples collected from the general population, from the Thies region between 2003 and 2011. The prevalence of the N51I/C59R/S108N triple mutation in dhfr increased from 40% in 2003 to 93% in 2011. Furthermore, the prevalence of the dhfr N51I/C59R/S108N and dhps A437G quadruple mutation increased, from 20% to 66% over the same time frame, then down to 44% by 2011. There was a significant increase in the prevalence of the dhfr triple mutation, as well as an association between dhfr genotypes and pyrimethamine response. Conversely, dhps mutations in codons 436 and 437 did not show consistent variation between 2003 and 2011. These findings suggest that regular screening for molecular markers of antifolate resistance and ex vivo drug response monitoring should be incorporated with ongoing in vivo efficacy monitoring in areas where IPTp-SP is implemented and where pyrimethamine and sulfa drugs are still widely administered in the general population. PMID:24533303

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

    PubMed Central

    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 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. PMID:24799897

  19. Translational Control of UIS4 Protein of the Host-Parasite Interface Is Mediated by the RNA Binding Protein Puf2 in Plasmodium berghei Sporozoites

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Patrícia A. G. C.; Guerreiro, Ana; Santos, Jorge M.; Braks, Joanna A. M.; Janse, Chris J.; Mair, Gunnar R.

    2016-01-01

    UIS4 is a key protein component of the host-parasite interface in the liver stage of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei and required for parasite survival after invasion. In the infectious sporozoite, UIS4 protein has variably been shown to be translated but also been reported to be translationally repressed. Here we show that uis4 mRNA translation is regulated by the P. berghei RNA binding protein Pumilio-2 (PbPuf2 or Puf2 from here on forward) in infectious salivary gland sporozoites in the mosquito vector. Using RNA immunoprecipitation we show that uis4 mRNA is bound by Puf2 in salivary gland sporozoites. In the absence of Puf2, uis4 mRNA translation is de-regulated and UIS4 protein expression upregulated in salivary gland sporozoites. Here, using RNA immunoprecipitation, we reveal the first Puf2-regulated mRNA in this parasite. PMID:26808677

  20. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7

    PubMed Central

    Ismail, Hanafy M.; Barton, Victoria; Phanchana, Matthew; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wong, Michael H. L.; Hemingway, Janet; Biagini, Giancarlo A.; O’Neill, Paul M.; Ward, Stephen A.

    2016-01-01

    The artemisinin (ART)-based antimalarials have contributed significantly to reducing global malaria deaths over the past decade, but we still do not know how they kill parasites. To gain greater insight into the potential mechanisms of ART drug action, we developed a suite of ART activity-based protein profiling probes to identify parasite protein drug targets in situ. Probes were designed to retain biological activity and alkylate the molecular target(s) of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 parasites in situ. Proteins tagged with the ART probe can then be isolated using click chemistry before identification by liquid chromatography–MS/MS. Using these probes, we define an ART proteome that shows alkylated targets in the glycolytic, hemoglobin degradation, antioxidant defense, and protein synthesis pathways, processes essential for parasite survival. This work reveals the pleiotropic nature of the biological functions targeted by this important class of antimalarial drugs. PMID:26858419

  1. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Hanafy M; Barton, Victoria; Phanchana, Matthew; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wong, Michael H L; Hemingway, Janet; Biagini, Giancarlo A; O'Neill, Paul M; Ward, Stephen A

    2016-02-23

    The artemisinin (ART)-based antimalarials have contributed significantly to reducing global malaria deaths over the past decade, but we still do not know how they kill parasites. To gain greater insight into the potential mechanisms of ART drug action, we developed a suite of ART activity-based protein profiling probes to identify parasite protein drug targets in situ. Probes were designed to retain biological activity and alkylate the molecular target(s) of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 parasites in situ. Proteins tagged with the ART probe can then be isolated using click chemistry before identification by liquid chromatography-MS/MS. Using these probes, we define an ART proteome that shows alkylated targets in the glycolytic, hemoglobin degradation, antioxidant defense, and protein synthesis pathways, processes essential for parasite survival. This work reveals the pleiotropic nature of the biological functions targeted by this important class of antimalarial drugs. PMID:26858419

  2. Artemisinin-based antimalarial research: application of biotechnology to the production of artemisinin, its mode of action, and the mechanism of resistance of Plasmodium parasites.

    PubMed

    Muangphrom, Paskorn; Seki, Hikaru; Fukushima, Ery Odette; Muranaka, Toshiya

    2016-07-01

    Malaria is a worldwide disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. A sesquiterpene endoperoxide artemisinin isolated from Artemisia annua was discovered and has been accepted for its use in artemisinin-based combinatorial therapies, as the most effective current antimalarial treatment. However, the quantity of this compound produced from the A. annua plant is very low, and the availability of artemisinin is insufficient to treat all infected patients. In addition, the emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium has been reported recently. Several techniques have been applied to enhance artemisinin availability, and studies related to its mode of action and the mechanism of resistance of malaria-causing parasites are ongoing. In this review, we summarize the application of modern technologies to improve the production of artemisinin, including our ongoing research on artemisinin biosynthetic genes in other Artemisia species. The current understanding of the mode of action of artemisinin as well as the mechanism of resistance against this compound in Plasmodium parasites is also presented. Finally, the current situation of malaria infection and the future direction of antimalarial drug development are discussed. PMID:27250562

  3. Crystal structure and solution characterization of the thioredoxin-2 from Plasmodium falciparum, a constituent of an essential parasitic protein export complex

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Mindy; Cascio, Duilio; Egea, Pascal F.

    2016-01-01

    Survival of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum when it infects red blood cells depends upon its ability to export hundreds of its proteins beyond an encasing vacuole. Protein export is mediated by a parasite-derived protein complex, the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins (PTEX), and requires unfolding of the different cargos prior to their translocation across the vacuolar membrane. Unfolding is performed by the AAA + protein unfoldase HSP101/ClpB2 and the thioredoxin-2 enzyme (TRX2). Protein trafficking is dramatically impaired in parasites with defective HSP101 or lacking TRX2. These two PTEX subunits drive export and are targets for the design of a novel class of antimalarials: protein export inhibitors. To rationalize inhibitor design, we solved the crystal structure of Pfal-TRX2 at 2.2-Å resolution. Within the asymmetric unit, the three different copies of this protein disulfide reductase sample its two redox catalytic states. Size exclusion chromatography and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analyses demonstrate that Pfal-TRX2 is monomeric in solution. A non-conserved N-terminal extension precedes the canonical thioredoxin-fold; although it is not observed in our structure, our solution analysis suggests it is flexible in contrast to Plasmodium thioredoxin-1. This represents a first step towards the reconstitution of the entire PTEX for mechanistic and structural studies. PMID:25475729

  4. Biliverdin targets enolase and eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2α) to reduce the growth of intraerythrocytic development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Eduardo; Maluf, Fernando V.; Bueno, Vânia B.; Guido, Rafael V. C.; Oliva, Glaucius; Singh, Maneesh; Scarpelli, Pedro; Costa, Fahyme; Sartorello, Robson; Catalani, Luiz H.; Brady, Declan; Tewari, Rita; Garcia, Celia R. S.

    2016-01-01

    In mammals, haem degradation to biliverdin (BV) through the action of haem oxygenase (HO) is a critical step in haem metabolism. The malaria parasite converts haem into the chemically inert haemozoin to avoid toxicity. We discovered that the knock-out of HO in P. berghei is lethal; therefore, we investigated the function of biliverdin (BV) and haem in the parasite. Addition of external BV and haem to P. falciparum-infected red blood cell (RBC) cultures delays the progression of parasite development. The search for a BV molecular target within the parasites identified P. falciparum enolase (Pf enolase) as the strongest candidate. Isothermal titration calorimetry using recombinant full-length Plasmodium enolase suggested one binding site for BV. Kinetic assays revealed that BV is a non-competitive inhibitor. We employed molecular modelling studies to predict the new binding site as well as the binding mode of BV to P. falciparum enolase. Furthermore, addition of BV and haem targets the phosphorylation of Plasmodium falciparum eIF2α factor, an eukaryotic initiation factor phosphorylated by eIF2α kinases under stress conditions. We propose that BV targets enolase to reduce parasite glycolysis rates and changes the eIF2α phosphorylation pattern as a molecular mechanism for its action. PMID:26915471

  5. Efficacy of a Plasmodium vivax Malaria Vaccine Using ChAd63 and Modified Vaccinia Ankara Expressing Thrombospondin-Related Anonymous Protein as Assessed with Transgenic Plasmodium berghei Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Bauza, Karolis; Malinauskas, Tomas; Pfander, Claudia; Anar, Burcu; Jones, E. Yvonne; Billker, Oliver; Hill, Adrian V. S.

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the world's most widely distributed malaria parasite and a potential cause of morbidity and mortality for approximately 2.85 billion people living mainly in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Despite this dramatic burden, very few vaccines have been assessed in humans. The clinically relevant vectors modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) and the chimpanzee adenovirus ChAd63 are promising delivery systems for malaria vaccines due to their safety profiles and proven ability to induce protective immune responses against Plasmodium falciparum thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) in clinical trials. Here, we describe the development of new recombinant ChAd63 and MVA vectors expressing P. vivax TRAP (PvTRAP) and show their ability to induce high antibody titers and T cell responses in mice. In addition, we report a novel way of assessing the efficacy of new candidate vaccines against P. vivax using a fully infectious transgenic Plasmodium berghei parasite expressing P. vivax TRAP to allow studies of vaccine efficacy and protective mechanisms in rodents. Using this model, we found that both CD8+ T cells and antibodies mediated protection against malaria using virus-vectored vaccines. Our data indicate that ChAd63 and MVA expressing PvTRAP are good preerythrocytic-stage vaccine candidates with potential for future clinical application. PMID:24379295

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Chloroquine (CQ)-resistant Plasmodium vivax is present in most countries where P. vivax infection is endemic, but the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible remain unknown. Increased expression of P. vivax crt-o (pvcrt-o) has been correlated with in vivo CQ resistance in an area with low-grade resistance. We assessed pvcrt-o expression in isolates from Papua (Indonesia), where P. vivax is highly CQ resistant. Ex vivo drug susceptibilities to CQ, amodiaquine, piperaquine, mefloquine, and artesunate were determined using a modified schizont maturation assay. Expression levels of pvcrt-o were measured using a novel real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR method. Large variations in pvcrt-o expression were observed across the 51 isolates evaluated, with the fold change in expression level ranging from 0.01 to 59 relative to that seen with the P. vivax β-tubulin gene and from 0.01 to 24 relative to that seen with the P. vivax aldolase gene. Expression was significantly higher in isolates with the majority of parasites at the ring stage of development (median fold change, 1.7) compared to those at the trophozoite stage (median fold change, 0.5; P < 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. PMID:26525783

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Chloroquine (CQ)-resistant Plasmodium vivax is present in most countries where P. vivax infection is endemic, but the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible remain unknown. Increased expression of P. vivax crt-o (pvcrt-o) has been correlated with in vivo CQ resistance in an area with low-grade resistance. We assessed pvcrt-o expression in isolates from Papua (Indonesia), where P. vivax is highly CQ resistant. Ex vivo drug susceptibilities to CQ, amodiaquine, piperaquine, mefloquine, and artesunate were determined using a modified schizont maturation assay. Expression levels of pvcrt-o were measured using a novel real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR method. Large variations in pvcrt-o expression were observed across the 51 isolates evaluated, with the fold change in expression level ranging from 0.01 to 59 relative to that seen with the P. vivax β-tubulin gene and from 0.01 to 24 relative to that seen with the P. vivax aldolase gene. Expression was significantly higher in isolates with the majority of parasites at the ring stage of development (median fold change, 1.7) compared to those at the trophozoite stage (median fold change, 0.5; P < 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. PMID:26525783

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

    PubMed

    Rajan, Aswathy; Bagai, Upma

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23652641

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26375591

  10. Distribution of Drug Resistance Genotypes in Plasmodium falciparum in an Area of Limited Parasite Diversity in Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Bin Dajem, Saad M.; Al-Farsi, Hissa M.; Al-Hashami, Zainab S.; Al-Sheikh, Adel Ali H.; Al-Qahtani, Ahmed; Babiker, Hamza A.

    2012-01-01

    Two hundred and three Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Jazan area, southwest Saudi Arabia, were typed for Pfcrt, Pfmdr1, dhps, and dhfr mutations associated with resistance to chloroquine, mefloquine, halofantrine, artemisinin, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, and the neutral polymorphic gene Pfg377. A large proportion (33%) of isolates harbored double mutant dhfr genotype (51I,59C,108N). However, only one isolate contained mutation dhps-437G. For Pfcrt, almost all examined isolates (163; 99%) harbored the mutant genotype (72C,73V,74I,75E,76T), whereas only 49 (31%) contained the mutant Pfmdr1 genotype (86Y,184F,1034S,1042N), 109 (66%) harbored the single mutant genotype (86N,184F,1034S,1042N), and no mutations were seen in codons 1034, 1042, and 1246. Nonetheless, three new single-nucleotide polymorphisms were detected at codons 182, 192, and 102. No differences were seen in distribution of drug resistance genes among Saudis and expatriates. There was a limited multiplicity (5%), mean number of clones (1.05), and two dominant multilocus genotypes among infected individuals in Jazan. A pattern consistent with limited cross-mating and recombination among local parasite was apparent. PMID:22556074