Science.gov

Sample records for haemosporidian parasites plasmodium

  1. 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

  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. A review of global diversity in avian haemosporidians (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus: Haemosporida): new insights from molecular data.

    PubMed

    Clark, Nicholas J; Clegg, Sonya M; Lima, Marcos R

    2014-04-01

    Biogeographic patterns of parasite diversity are useful for determining how host-parasite interactions can influence speciation. However, variation in methodologies and sampling effort can skew diversity estimates. Avian haemosporidians are vector-transmitted blood parasites represented by over 1300 unique genetic lineages spread across over 40 countries. We used a global database of lineage distributions for two avian haemosporidian genera, Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, to test for congruence of diversity among haemosporidians and their avian hosts across 13 geographic regions. We demonstrated that avian haemosporidians exhibit similar diversity patterns to their avian hosts; however, specific patterns differ between genera. Haemoproteus spp. diversity estimates were significantly higher than those of Plasmodium spp. in all areas where the genera co-occurred, apart from the Plasmodium spp.-rich region of South America. The geographic distributions of parasite genera also differed, with Haemoproteus spp. absent from the majority of oceanic regions while Plasmodium spp. were cosmopolitan. These findings suggest fundamental differences in the way avian haemosporidians diverge and colonise new communities. Nevertheless, a review of the literature suggests that accurate estimates of avian haemosporidian diversity patterns are limited by (i) a concentration of sampling towards passerines from Europe and North America, (ii) a frequent failure to include microscopic techniques together with molecular screening and (iii) a paucity of studies investigating distributions across vector hosts. PMID:24556563

  4. Haemosporidian blood parasites in European birds of prey and owls.

    PubMed

    Krone, O; Waldenström, J; Valkiūnas, G; Lessow, O; Müller, K; Iezhova, T A; Fickel, J; Bensch, S

    2008-06-01

    Avian blood parasites have been intensively studied using morphological methods with limited information on their host specificity and species taxonomic status. Now the analysis of gene sequences, especially the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of the avian haemosporidian species of Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon, offers a new tool to review the parasite specificity and status. By comparing morphological and genetic techniques, we observed nearly the same overall prevalence of haemosporidian parasites by microscopy (19.8%) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (21.8%) analyses. However, in contrast to the single valid Leucocytozoon species (L. toddi) in the Falconiformes we detected 4 clearly distinctive strains by PCR screening. In the Strigiformes, where the only valid Leucocytozoon species is L. danilewskyi, we detected 3 genetically different strains of Leucocytozoon spp. Two strains of Haemoproteus spp. were detected in the birds of prey and owls examined, whereas the strain found in the tawny owl belonged to the morphospecies Haemoproteus noctuae. Three Plasmodium spp. strains that had already been found in Passeriformes were also detected in the birds of prey and owls examined here, supporting previous findings indicating a broad and nonspecific host spectrum bridging different bird orders. PMID:18605786

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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

  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. 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

  11. Genetic diversity of avian haemosporidians in Malaysia: cytochrome b lineages of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Haemosporida) from Selangor.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, Karina; Zehtindjiev, Pavel; Mariaux, Jean; Georgiev, Boyko B

    2015-04-01

    The knowledge of the diversity of haemosporidian parasites is of primary importance as their representatives include agents of bird malaria. We investigated the occurrence of Haemoproteus spp. and Plasmodium spp. in bird populations from a single locality in the State of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, and report on the parasite prevalence of the two genera. A combination of methods (molecular and morphological) was used for detecting these parasites. Seventy-nine bird individuals were caught using mist-nets in July and August 2010 at Gombak Field Station of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. In total, 23 birds were identified as positive for Haemoproteus or Plasmodium infection and one individual was recognized as carrying mixed infection. The total prevalence of haemosporidians in the collected samples was 30.3%. Infections with parasites of the genus Haemoproteus were predominant compared to those of the genus Plasmodium. In total, 10 new cyt b lineages of Haemoproteus spp. and 3 new cyt b lineages of Plasmodium spp. were recorded in this study. From all recorded haemosporidian lineages (16 in total), 3 were known from previous studies - hCOLL2, hYWT2 and pNILSUN1. Two of them are linked with their corresponding morphospecies - Haemoproteus pallidus (COLL2) and Haemoproteus motacillae (YWT2). The morphological analysis in the present study confirmed the results obtained by the PCR method relative to prevalence, with 25.3% total prevalence of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. The intensities of infection varied between 0.01% and 19%. Most infections were light, with intensities below 0.1%. The present study is the first molecular survey of the protozoan blood parasites of the order Haemosporida recorded in Malaysia. PMID:25577987

  12. Phylogeny of haemosporidian blood parasites revealed by a multi-gene approach.

    PubMed

    Borner, Janus; Pick, Christian; Thiede, Jenny; Kolawole, Olatunji Matthew; Kingsley, Manchang Tanyi; Schulze, Jana; Cottontail, Veronika M; Wellinghausen, Nele; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Bruchhaus, Iris; Burmester, Thorsten

    2016-01-01

    The apicomplexan order Haemosporida is a clade of unicellular blood parasites that infect a variety of reptilian, avian and mammalian hosts. Among them are the agents of human malaria, parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which pose a major threat to human health. Illuminating the evolutionary history of Haemosporida may help us in understanding their enormous biological diversity, as well as tracing the multiple host switches and associated acquisitions of novel life-history traits. However, the deep-level phylogenetic relationships among major haemosporidian clades have remained enigmatic because the datasets employed in phylogenetic analyses were severely limited in either gene coverage or taxon sampling. Using a PCR-based approach that employs a novel set of primers, we sequenced fragments of 21 nuclear genes from seven haemosporidian parasites of the genera Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, Parahaemoproteus, Polychromophilus and Plasmodium. After addition of genomic data from 25 apicomplexan species, the unreduced alignment comprised 20,580 bp from 32 species. Phylogenetic analyses were performed based on nucleotide, codon and amino acid data employing Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony. All analyses resulted in highly congruent topologies. We found consistent support for a basal position of Leucocytozoon within Haemosporida. In contrast to all previous studies, we recovered a sister group relationship between the genera Polychromophilus and Plasmodium. Within Plasmodium, the sauropsid and mammal-infecting lineages were recovered as sister clades. Support for these relationships was high in nearly all trees, revealing a novel phylogeny of Haemosporida, which is robust to the choice of the outgroup and the method of tree inference. PMID:26364971

  13. 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 main diversification mechanism of haemosporidians. Such dynamic host-parasite associations are relevant to the epidemiology of emerging diseases because low parasite host specificity is a prerequisite for the emergence of novel diseases. The evidence on host distributions suggests that haemosporidian parasites have the potential to rapidly develop novel host-associations. This pattern has also been recorded in fish-monogenean interactions, suggesting a general diversification mechanism for parasites when host choice is not restricted by ecological barriers. PMID:24957563

  14. 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 described and illustrated. This study demonstrates a requirement of high temperature for the successful development of mature ookinetes of H. columbae, but not gametes. We show that 1) parasites of the H. (Haemoproteus) subgenus exflagellate in vitro at 15-19 °C, as is the case in H. (Parahaemoproteus) spp. and 2) in vitro exflagellation can be used to obtain pure DNA for genomic studies. PMID:26297677

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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 bring parasites to the Galapagos and that these parasites originate from different biogeographic regions representing both their breeding and overwintering sites. PMID:26865960

  18. Helminth Parasites Alter Protection against Plasmodium Infection

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    More than one-third of the world's population is infected with one or more helminthic parasites. Helminth infections are prevalent throughout tropical and subtropical regions where malaria pathogens are transmitted. Malaria is the most widespread and deadliest parasitic disease. The severity of the disease is strongly related to parasite density and the host's immune responses. Furthermore, coinfections between both parasites occur frequently. However, little is known regarding how concomitant infection with helminths and Plasmodium affects the host's immune response. Helminthic infections are frequently massive, chronic, and strong inductors of a Th2-type response. This implies that infection by such parasites could alter the host's susceptibility to subsequent infections by Plasmodium. There are a number of reports on the interactions between helminths and Plasmodium; in some, the burden of Plasmodium parasites increased, but others reported a reduction in the parasite. This review focuses on explaining many of these discrepancies regarding helminth-Plasmodium coinfections in terms of the effects that helminths have on the immune system. In particular, it focuses on helminth-induced immunosuppression and the effects of cytokines controlling polarization toward the Th1 or Th2 arms of the immune response. PMID:25276830

  19. Diversity of avian haemosporidians in arid zones of northern Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Belo, Nayara O; Rodríguez-Ferraro, Adriana; Braga, Erika M; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2012-07-01

    Arid zones of northern Venezuela are represented by isolated areas, important from an ornithological and ecological perspective due to the occurrence of restricted-range species of birds. We analysed the prevalence and molecular diversity of haemosporidian parasites of wild birds in this region by screening 527 individuals (11 families and 20 species) for parasite mitochondrial DNA. The overall prevalence of parasites was 41%, representing 17 mitochondrial lineages: 7 of Plasmodium and 10 of Haemoproteus. Two parasite lineages occurred in both the eastern and western regions infecting a single host species, Mimus gilvus. These lineages are also present throughout northern and central Venezuela in a variety of arid and mesic habitats. Some lineages found in this study in northern Venezuela have also been observed in different localities in the Americas, including the West Indies. In spite of the widespread distributions of some of the parasite lineages found in northern Venezuela, several, including some that are relatively common (e.g. Ven05 and Ven06), have not been reported from elsewhere. Additional studies are needed to characterize the host and geographical distribution of avian malaria parasite lineages, which will provide a better understanding of the influence of landscape, vector abundance and diversity, and host identity on haemosporidian parasite diversity and prevalence. PMID:22405405

  20. Avian haemosporidians from Neotropical highlands: Evidence from morphological and molecular data.

    PubMed

    González, Angie D; Lotta, Ingrid A; García, Luis F; Moncada, Ligia I; Matta, Nubia E

    2015-08-01

    Avian haemosporidian parasites have been scarcely studied in the Neotropical highlands despite the high avian diversity reported and the uniqueness of these ecosystems. The aims of this study were to examine Haemoproteus and Plasmodium diversity based on morphological and molecular data, as well as to explore the concordance between these two approaches, when identifying species. We sampled 1487 birds belonging to 166 species, in localities of the Colombian Andean region at elevations ranging from 2100 to 4000 m above sea level. Here, we report twelve morphological parasite species, of which five are undescribed. Thirty parasite cytochrome b lineages are reported, 17 of which for the first time. We provide morphological information and illustrations, as well as, cytochrome b lineages for six morphospecies: Haemoproteus columbae, Haemoproteus witti, Haemoproteus coatneyi, Haemoproteus vireonis, Plasmodium lutzi, and Plasmodium unalis. This is the first report to provide a linkage between morphology and a molecular lineage for H. witti. Cytochrome b gene proved to be useful for species determination as DNA barcoding. Differences in parasite composition between lowlands and highlands in Colombia suggest a replacement of avian Plasmodium fauna. Parasite lineages restricted to either Colombian resident or Nearctic migratory birds were found; but a single lineage common in both has not been recorded in Nearctic non-migratory birds. We generated valuable information by using both morphological and molecular data representing competent host-parasite relationships which are based on observation of gametocytes in circulation; and increased the taxon sampling of avian haemosporidian. PMID:25638289

  1. 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

  2. Structure and organization of an avian haemosporidian assemblage in a Neotropical savanna in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fecchio, Alan; Lima, Marcos Robalinho; Svensson-Coelho, Maria; Marini, Miguel ngelo; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2013-02-01

    Studies on avian haemosporidia are on the rise, but we still lack a basic understanding of how ecological and evolutionary factors mold the distributions of haemosporidia among species in the same bird community. We studied the structure and organization of a local avian haemosporidian assemblage (genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) in the Cerrado biome of Central Brazil for 5 years. We obtained 790 blood samples from 54 bird species of which 166 (21%) were infected with haemosporidians based on molecular diagnostics. Partial sequences of the parasite cytochrome b gene revealed 18 differentiated avian haemosporidian lineages. We also analysed the relationship of life-history traits (i.e., nesting height, migration status, nest type, sociality, body mass, and embryo development period) of the 14 most abundant bird species with the prevalence of avian haemosporidia. It was found that host species that bred socially presented a higher prevalence of Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) than bird species that bred in pairs. Thus, aspects of host behaviour could be responsible for differential exposure to vectors. The assemblage of avian haemosporidia studied here also confirms a pattern that is emerging in recent studies using molecular markers to identify avian haemosporidians, namely that many lineages are host generalists. PMID:22939119

  3. Prevalence and Lineage Diversity of Avian Haemosporidians from Three Distinct Cerrado Habitats in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Belo, Nayara O.; Pinheiro, Renato T.; Reis, Elivânia S.; Ricklefs, Robert E.; Braga, Érika M.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat alteration can disrupt host–parasite interactions and lead to the emergence of new diseases in wild populations. The cerrado habitat of Brazil is being fragmented and degraded rapidly by agriculture and urbanization. We screened 676 wild birds from three habitats (intact cerrado, disturbed cerrado and transition area Amazonian rainforest-cerrado) for the presence of haemosporidian parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) to determine whether different habitats were associated with differences in the prevalence and diversity of infectious diseases in natural populations. Twenty one mitochondrial lineages, including 11 from Plasmodium and 10 from Haemoproteus were identified. Neither prevalence nor diversity of infections by Plasmodium spp. or Haemoproteus spp. differed significantly among the three habitats. However, 15 of the parasite lineages had not been previously described and might be restricted to these habitats or to the region. Six haemosporidian lineages previously known from other regions, particularly the Caribbean Basin, comprised 50–80% of the infections in each of the samples, indicating a regional relationship between parasite distribution and abundance. PMID:21408114

  4. Avian haemosporidian persistence and co-infection in great tits at the individual level

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many studies have tracked the distribution and persistence of avian haemosporidian communities across space and time at the population level, but few studies have investigated these aspects of infection at the individual level over time. Important aspects of parasite infection at the individual level can be missed if only trends at the population level are studied. This study aimed to determine how persistent Haemosporida are in great tit individuals recaptured over several years, whether parasitaemia differed by parasite lineage (mitochondrial cytochrome b haplotype) and how co-infection (i.e. concurrent infection with multiple genera of parasites) affects parasitaemia and body mass. Methods Parasite prevalence was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR were used to assess parasitaemia and sequencing was employed to determine the identity of the lineages using the MalAvi database. Results Haemosporidian prevalence was high over sampled years with 98% of 55 recaptured individuals showing infection in at least one year of capture. Eighty-two percent of all positive individuals suffered co-infection, with an overall haemosporidian lineage diversity of seventeen. Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites were found to be highly persistent, with lineages from these genera consistently found in individuals across years and with no differences in individual parasitaemia being recorded at subsequent captures. Conversely, Leucocytozoon parasites showed higher turnover with regard to lineage changes or transitions in infection status (infected vs non-infected) across years. Parasitaemia was found to be lineage specific and there was no relationship between Plasmodium parasitaemia or host body condition and the presence of Leucocytozoon parasites. Conclusions The findings of this study suggest that different genera of haemosporidian parasites interact differently with their host and other co-infecting parasites, influencing parasite persistence most likely through inter-parasite competition or host-parasite immune interactions. Even-though co-infections do not seem to result in increased virulence (higher parasitaemia or poorer host body condition), further investigation into infection potential of these parasites, both individually and as co-infections, is necessary. PMID:23360530

  5. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

    PubMed Central

    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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 of the parasite lineages isolated in this study with those previously found infecting birds allowed us to identify some potential nodes in the transmission network of avian blood parasite lineages. These results highlight the complexity of the transmission networks of blood parasites in the wild that may involve a high diversity of susceptible birds and insect vectors. PMID:23856348

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Comparative Genomics and Systems Biology of Malaria Parasites Plasmodium

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Fate of haem iron in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Timothy J; Combrinck, Jill M; Egan, Joanne; Hearne, Giovanni R; Marques, Helder M; Ntenteni, Skhumbuzo; Sewell, B Trevor; Smith, Peter J; Taylor, Dale; van Schalkwyk, Donelly A; Walden, Jason C

    2002-01-01

    Chemical analysis has shown that Plasmodium falciparum trophozoites contain 61+/-2% of the iron within parasitized erythrocytes, of which 92+/-6% is located within the food vacuole. Of this, 88+/-9% is in the form of haemozoin. (57)Fe-Mössbauer spectroscopy shows that haemozoin is the only detectable iron species in trophozoites. Electron spectroscopic imaging confirms this conclusion. PMID:12033986

  16. Nycteria parasites of Afrotropical insectivorous bats.

    PubMed

    Schaer, Juliane; Reeder, DeeAnn M; Vodzak, Megan E; Olival, Kevin J; Weber, Natalie; Mayer, Frieder; Matuschewski, Kai; Perkins, Susan L

    2015-05-01

    Parasitic protozoan parasites have evolved many co-evolutionary paths towards stable transmission to their host population. Plasmodium spp., the causative agents of malaria, and related haemosporidian parasites are dipteran-borne eukaryotic pathogens that actively invade and use vertebrate erythrocytes for gametogenesis and asexual development, often resulting in substantial morbidity and mortality of the infected hosts. Here, we present results of a survey of insectivorous bats from tropical Africa, including new isolates of species of the haemosporidian genus Nycteria. A hallmark of these parasites is their capacity to infect bat species of distinct families of the two evolutionary distant chiropteran suborders. We did detect Nycteria parasites in both rhinolophid and nycterid bat hosts in geographically separate areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, however our molecular phylogenetic analyses support the separation of the parasites into two distinct clades corresponding to their host genera, suggestive of ancient co-divergence and low levels of host switching. For one clade of these parasites, cytochrome b genes could not be amplified and cytochrome oxidase I sequences showed unusually high rates of evolution, suggesting that the mitochondrial genome of these parasites may have either been lost or substantially altered. This haemosporidian parasite-mammalian host system also highlights that sequential population expansion in the liver and gametocyte formation is a successful alternative to intermediate erythrocytic replication cycles. PMID:25765623

  17. Redescription of Haemoproteus mesnili (Apicomplexa: Plasmodiidae) and its meronts, with description of a second haemosporidian parasite of African cobras.

    PubMed

    Telford, Sam R

    2007-06-01

    Haemoproteus mesnili (Bouet 1909) Wenyon 1926 is redescribed from the spitting cobra, Naja nigricollis nigricollis, of Tanzania. Mature gametocytes in the acute phase of infection averaged 17.7 X 7.3 jim, with LW 128.1 jim-, and L:W ratio 2.52. Nuclei were visible in both sexes. Both sexes were heavily pigmented, with 31-62 black granules dispersed in macrogametocytes; 20-46 granules were often clumped or concentrated near ends of microgametocytes. The halteridial form was present in 28% of active-phase gametocytes, but in only 8% of those in chronic phase. A few large, possibly first generation, meronts were present in cardiac muscle; uninucleate parasites within parasitophorous vacuoles in splenic cells produced small rounded or ovoid meronts, 12.2 x 9.6 microm, with 12-16 deeply basophilic, square-to-rectangular cytomeres. Meronts with 17-32 cytomeres were 16.9 x 11.9 microm. Meronts, 20 x 16 to 26 x 22 microm, contained 51-57 cytomeres. Mature meronts were ovoid, 13.7 x 11.5 microm, with many rounded merozoites. Haemoproteus balli n. sp, found in an Egyptian cobra, Naja haje haje of Kenya, differs from H. mesnili in average gametocyte dimensions, 10.8 x 7.7 microm; LW, 83.2 microm2; L/W ratio, 1.42; absence of halteridial forms; sparse pigmentation (3-10 granules); and presence of a broad peripheral band, apparently chromatin, along one side of microgametocytes. PMID:17626363

  18. ADP-ribosyltransferase in Plasmodium (malaria parasites).

    PubMed Central

    Okolie, E E; Onyezili, N I

    1983-01-01

    The nuclei of Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis contain an enzyme, ADP-ribosyltransferase, that will incorporate the ADP-ribose moiety of NAD+ into acid-insoluble product. The time, pH and temperature optima of this incorporation are 30 min, 8.5 and 25 degrees C respectively. Maximum stimulation of the enzyme activity is obtained with 1.0 mM-dithiothreitol or 2.0 mM-2-mercaptoethanol. Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions at optimum concentrations of 5 mM and 10 mM respectively stimulated the activity of the enzyme by 21% and 91%. The enzyme activity is, however, inhibited by 24% in the presence of 10 mM-MnSO4. The substrate, NAD+, exhibits an apparent Km of 500 microM, and the activity of the enzyme is inhibited by four chemical classes of inhibitors: nicotinamides, methylxanthines, thymidine and aromatic amides. The inhibitors are effective in the following increasing order: nicotinamide less than 3-aminobenzamide less than thymidine less than 5-methylnicotinamide less than theophylline less than m-methoxybenzamide less than theobromine. The enzyme activity is also inhibited by some DNA-binding anti-malarial drugs. PMID:6307262

  19. CD8+ T Cell Responses to Plasmodium and Intracellular Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Villarino, Nicolas; Schmidt, Nathan W.

    2013-01-01

    Parasitic protozoa are major threats to human health affecting millions of people around the world. Control of these infections by the host immune system relies on a myriad of immunological mechanisms that includes both humoral and cellular immunity. CD8+ T cells contribute to the control of these parasitic infections in both animals and humans. Here, we will focus on the CD8+ T cell response against a subset of these protozoa: Plasmodium, Toxoplasma gondii, Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi, with an emphasis on experimental rodent systems. It is evident a complex interaction occurs between CD8+ T cells and the invading protozoa. A detailed understanding of how CD8+ T cells mediate protection should provide the basis for the development of effective vaccines that prevent and control infections by these parasites. PMID:24741372

  20. CD8(+) T Cell Responses to Plasmodium and Intracellular Parasites.

    PubMed

    Villarino, Nicolas; Schmidt, Nathan W

    2013-08-01

    Parasitic protozoa are major threats to human health affecting millions of people around the world. Control of these infections by the host immune system relies on a myriad of immunological mechanisms that includes both humoral and cellular immunity. CD8(+) T cells contribute to the control of these parasitic infections in both animals and humans. Here, we will focus on the CD8(+) T cell response against a subset of these protozoa: Plasmodium, Toxoplasma gondii, Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi, with an emphasis on experimental rodent systems. It is evident a complex interaction occurs between CD8(+) T cells and the invading protozoa. A detailed understanding of how CD8(+) T cells mediate protection should provide the basis for the development of effective vaccines that prevent and control infections by these parasites. PMID:24741372

  1. Targeting NAD+ Metabolism in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    O'Hara, Jessica K.; Kerwin, Lewis J.; Cobbold, Simon A.; Tai, Jonathan; Bedell, Thomas A.; Reider, Paul J.; Llinás, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential metabolite utilized as a redox cofactor and enzyme substrate in numerous cellular processes. Elevated NAD+ levels have been observed in red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, but little is known regarding how the parasite generates NAD+. Here, we employed a mass spectrometry-based metabolomic approach to confirm that P. falciparum lacks the ability to synthesize NAD+ de novo and is reliant on the uptake of exogenous niacin. We characterized several enzymes in the NAD+ pathway and demonstrate cytoplasmic localization for all except the parasite nicotinamidase, which concentrates in the nucleus. One of these enzymes, the P. falciparum nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (PfNMNAT), is essential for NAD+ metabolism and is highly diverged from the human homolog, but genetically similar to bacterial NMNATs. Our results demonstrate the enzymatic activity of PfNMNAT in vitro and demonstrate its ability to genetically complement the closely related Escherichia coli NMNAT. Due to the similarity of PfNMNAT to the bacterial enzyme, we tested a panel of previously identified bacterial NMNAT inhibitors and synthesized and screened twenty new derivatives, which demonstrate a range of potency against live parasite culture. These results highlight the importance of the parasite NAD+ metabolic pathway and provide both novel therapeutic targets and promising lead antimalarial compounds. PMID:24747974

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    We produced a transgenic rodent malaria parasite (Plasmodium berghei) that contained the luciferase gene under a promoter region of elongation factor-1α. These transgenic (TG) parasites expressed luciferase in all stages of their life cycle, as previously reported. However, we were the first to succeed in observing sporozoites as a mass in mouse skin following their deposition by the probing of infective mosquitoes. Our transgenic parasites may have emitted stronger bioluminescence than previous TG parasites. The estimated number of injected sporozoites by mosquitoes was between 34 and 775 (median 80). Since luciferase activity diminished immediately after the death of the parasites, luciferase activity could be an indicator of the existence of live parasites. Our results indicated that sporozoites survived at the probed site for more than 42 hours. We also detected sporozoites in the liver within 15 min of the intravenous injection. Bioluminescence was not observed in the lung, kidney or spleen. We confirmed the observation that the liver was the first organ in which malaria parasites entered and increased in number. PMID:25859153

  7. 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 hostparasite 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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 progression, transcriptional regulation, and signal transduction networks. Conclusions Our network analysis of proteases from P. falciparum uses a so-called guilt-by-association approach to extract sets of proteins from the proteome that are candidates for further study. Novel protease targets and previously unrecognized members of the protease-associated sub-systems provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying parasitism, pathogenesis and virulence. PMID:22369208

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Structure, function and inhibition of the phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases of the human malaria parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi.

    PubMed

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

    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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) infecting introduced, native and endemic New Zealand birds.

    PubMed

    Howe, Laryssa; Castro, Isabel C; Schoener, Ellen R; Hunter, Stuart; Barraclough, Rosemary K; Alley, Maurice R

    2012-02-01

    Avian malaria is caused by intracellular mosquito-transmitted protist parasites in the order Haemosporida, genus Plasmodium. Although Plasmodium species have been diagnosed as causing death in several threatened species in New Zealand, little is known about their ecology and epidemiology. In this study, we examined the presence, microscopic characterization and sequence homology of Plasmodium spp. isolates collected from a small number of New Zealand introduced, native and endemic bird species. We identified 14 Plasmodium spp. isolates from 90 blood or tissue samples. The host range included four species of passerines (two endemic, one native, one introduced), one species of endemic pigeon and two species of endemic kiwi. The isolates were associated into at least four distinct clusters including Plasmodium (Huffia) elongatum, a subgroup of Plasmodium elongatum, Plasmodium relictum and Plasmodium (Noyvella) spp. The infected birds presented a low level of peripheral parasitemia consistent with chronic infection (11/15 blood smears examined). In addition, we report death due to overwhelming parasitemia in a blackbird, a great spotted kiwi and a hihi. These deaths were attributed to infections with either Plasmodium spp. lineage LINN1 or P. relictum lineage GRW4. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first published report of Plasmodium spp. infection in great spotted and brown kiwi, kereru and kokako. Currently, we are only able to speculate on the origin of these 14 isolates but consideration must be made as to the impact they may have on threatened endemic species, particularly due to the examples of mortality. PMID:21842389

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hliscs, Marion; Nahar, Carolin; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Matuschewski, Kai

    2013-01-01

    Live cell imaging of recombinant malarial parasites encoding fluorescent probes provides critical insights into parasite-host interactions and life cycle progression. In this study, we generated a red fluorescent line of the murine malarial parasite Plasmodium berghei. To allow constitutive and abundant expression of the mCherry protein we profiled expression of all members of the P. berghei heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) family. We identified PbHSP70/1, an invariant ortholog of Plasmodium falciparum HSP70-1, as the protein with the highest expression levels during Plasmodium blood, mosquito, and liver infection. Stable allelic insertion of a mCherry expression cassette into the PbHsp70/1 locus created constitutive red fluorescent P. berghei lines, termed Pbred. We show that these parasites can be used for live imaging of infected host cells and organs, including hepatocytes, erythrocytes, and whole Anopheles mosquitoes. Quantification of the fluorescence intensity of several Pbred parasite stages revealed significantly enhanced signal intensities in comparison to GFP expressed under the control of the constitutive EF1alpha promoter. We propose that systematic transcript profiling permits generation of reporter parasites, such as the Pbred lines described herein. PMID:24013507

  1. 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

  2. The host targeting motif in exported Plasmodium proteins is cleaved in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Non-specific Patterns of Vector, Host, and Avian Malaria Parasite Associations in a Central African Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Njabo, Kevin Y; Cornel, Anthony J.; Bonneaud, Camille; Toffelmier, Erin; Sehgal, R.N.M.; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Russell, Andrew F.; Smith, Thomas B.

    2010-01-01

    Malaria parasites use vertebrate hosts for asexual multiplication and Culicidae mosquitoes for sexual and asexual development, yet the literature on avian malaria remains biased towards examining the asexual stages of the life cycle in birds. To fully understand parasite evolution and mechanism of malaria transmission, knowledge of all three components of the vector-host-parasite system is essential. Little is known about avian parasite-vector associations in African rainforests where numerous species of birds are infected with avian haemosporidians of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus. Here we applied high resolution melt qPCR-based techniques and nested PCR to examine the occurrence and diversity of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences of haemosporidian parasites in wild-caught mosquitoes sampled across 12 sites in Cameroon. In all, 3134 mosquitoes representing 27 species were screened. Mosquitoes belonging to four genera (Aedes, Coquillettidia, Culex, and Mansonia) were infected with twenty-two parasite lineages (18 Plasmodium spp. and 4 Haemoproteus spp.). Presence of Plasmodium sporozoites in salivary glands of Coquillettidia aurites further established these mosquitoes as likely vectors. Occurrence of parasite lineages differed significantly among genera, as well as their probability of being infected with malaria across species and sites. Approximately one-third of these lineages were previously detected in other avian host species from the region, indicating that vertebrate host sharing is a common feature and that avian Plasmodium spp. vector breadth does not always accompany vertebrate-host breadth. This study suggests extensive invertebrate host shifts in mosquito-parasite interactions and that avian Plasmodium species are most likely not tightly coevolved with vector species. PMID:21134011

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N J

    2015-03-01

    Apicomplexan parasites have complex life cycles, frequently split between different hosts and reliant on rapid responses as the parasites react to changing environmental conditions. Calcium ion (Ca(2+)) signaling is consequently essential for the cellular and developmental changes that support Apicomplexan parasitism. Apicomplexan genomes reveal a rich repertoire of genes involved in calcium signaling, although many of the genes responsible for observed physiological changes remain unknown. There is evidence, for example, for the presence of a nifedipine-sensitive calcium entry mechanism in Toxoplasma, but the molecular components involved in Ca(2+) entry in both Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, have not been identified. The major calcium stores are the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the acidocalcisomes, and the plant-like vacuole in Toxoplasma, or the food vacuole in Plasmodium spp. Pharmacological evidence suggests that Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores may be mediated by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) or cyclic ADP ribose (cADPR) although there is no molecular evidence for the presence of receptors for these second messengers in the parasites. Several Ca(2+)-ATPases are present in Apicomplexans and a putative mitochondrial Ca(2+)/H(+) exchanger has been identified. Apicomplexan genomes contain numerous genes encoding Ca(2+)-binding proteins, with the notable expansion of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), whose study has revealed roles in gliding motility, microneme secretion, host cell invasion and egress, and parasite differentiation. Microneme secretion has also been shown to depend on the C2 domain containing protein DOC2 in both Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma, providing further evidence for the complex transduction of Ca(2+) signals in these organisms. The characterization of these pathways could lead to the discovery of novel drug targets and to a better understanding of the role of Ca(2+) in these parasites. PMID:25605521

  15. Selection of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites for Cytoadhesion to Human Brain Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Claessens, Antoine; Rowe, J. Alexandra

    2012-01-01

    Most human malaria deaths are caused by blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Cerebral malaria, the most life-threatening complication of the disease, is characterised by an accumulation of Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells (iRBC) at pigmented trophozoite stage in the microvasculature of the brain2-4. This microvessel obstruction (sequestration) leads to acidosis, hypoxia and harmful inflammatory cytokines (reviewed in 5). Sequestration is also found in most microvascular tissues of the human body2, 3. The mechanism by which iRBC attach to the blood vessel walls is still poorly understood. The immortalized Human Brain microvascular Endothelial Cell line (HBEC-5i) has been used as an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier6. However, Plasmodium falciparum iRBC attach only poorly to HBEC-5i in vitro, unlike the dense sequestration that occurs in cerebral malaria cases. We therefore developed a panning assay to select (enrich) various P. falciparum strains for adhesion to HBEC-5i in order to obtain populations of high-binding parasites, more representative of what occurs in vivo. A sample of a parasite culture (mixture of iRBC and uninfected RBC) at the pigmented trophozoite stage is washed and incubated on a layer of HBEC-5i grown on a Petri dish. After incubation, the dish is gently washed free from uRBC and unbound iRBC. Fresh uRBC are added to the few iRBC attached to HBEC-5i and incubated overnight. As schizont stage parasites burst, merozoites reinvade RBC and these ring stage parasites are harvested the following day. Parasites are cultured until enough material is obtained (typically 2 to 4 weeks) and a new round of selection can be performed. Depending on the P. falciparum strain, 4 to 7 rounds of selection are needed in order to get a population where most parasites bind to HBEC-5i. The binding phenotype is progressively lost after a few weeks, indicating a switch in variant surface antigen gene expression, thus regular selection on HBEC-5i is required to maintain the phenotype. In summary, we developed a selection assay rendering P. falciparum parasites a more "cerebral malaria adhesive" phenotype. We were able to select 3 out of 4 P. falciparum strains on HBEC-5i. This assay has also successfully been used to select parasites for binding to human dermal and pulmonary endothelial cells. Importantly, this method can be used to select tissue-specific parasite populations in order to identify candidate parasite ligands for binding to brain endothelium. Moreover, this assay can be used to screen for putative anti-sequestration drugs7. PMID:22230803

  16. Cultivation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in a serum-free medium.

    PubMed

    Ofulla, A V; Okoye, V C; Khan, B; Githure, J I; Roberts, C R; Johnson, A J; Martin, S K

    1993-09-01

    The elimination of serum from Plasmodium falciparum culture media could decrease costs, enhance procurement, and improve the feasibility of large-scale production of parasite material. We provide a semi-defined, serum-free formulation, of commercially available constituents that supports P. falciparum parasite growth at rates comparable with those obtained with serum-supplemented media. The medium is composed of RPMI 1640 to which HEPES, extra glucose, bicarbonate, and hypoxanthine have been added. Bovine albumin and serum-derived, lipids-cholesterol-rich mixture are then used in place of serum. PMID:8396859

  17. Towards genome-wide experimental genetics in the in vivo malaria model parasite Plasmodium berghei

    PubMed Central

    Matz, Joachim M.; Kooij, Taco W. A.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium berghei was identified as a parasite of thicket rats (Grammomys dolichurus) and Anopheles dureni mosquitoes in African highland forests. Successful adaptation to a range of rodent and mosquito species established P. berghei as a malaria model parasite. The introduction of stable transfection technology, permitted classical reverse genetics strategies and thus systematic functional profiling of the gene repertoire. In the past 10 years following the publication of the P. berghei genome sequence, many new tools for experimental genetics approaches have been developed and existing ones have been improved. The infection of mice is the principal limitation towards a genome-wide repository of mutant parasite lines. In the past few years, there have been some promising and most welcome developments that allow rapid selection and isolation of recombinant parasites while simultaneously minimising animal usage. Here, we provide an overview of all the currently available tools and methods. PMID:25789828

  18. Towards genome-wide experimental genetics in the in vivo malaria model parasite Plasmodium berghei.

    PubMed

    Matz, Joachim M; Kooij, Taco W A

    2015-03-01

    Plasmodium berghei was identified as a parasite of thicket rats (Grammomys dolichurus) and Anopheles dureni mosquitoes in African highland forests. Successful adaptation to a range of rodent and mosquito species established P. berghei as a malaria model parasite. The introduction of stable transfection technology, permitted classical reverse genetics strategies and thus systematic functional profiling of the gene repertoire. In the past 10 years following the publication of the P. berghei genome sequence, many new tools for experimental genetics approaches have been developed and existing ones have been improved. The infection of mice is the principal limitation towards a genome-wide repository of mutant parasite lines. In the past few years, there have been some promising and most welcome developments that allow rapid selection and isolation of recombinant parasites while simultaneously minimising animal usage. Here, we provide an overview of all the currently available tools and methods. PMID:25789828

  19. Orthology between the genomes of Plasmodium falciparum and rodent malaria parasites: possible practical applications.

    PubMed Central

    Waters, A P

    2002-01-01

    The work of the consortium that has been formed to complete the entire sequence of the genome of a selected clone of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is almost finished. Already huge tracts of the genome are available as fully assembled chromosomes or large contigs and the work of initial annotation is in an advanced state. Post-genomic research is in one sense the process of furthering the process of annotation, creating biological atlases and preliminary attempts to make global descriptions of gene transcription and proteome analysis are underway. Comparison between significant amounts of genome data from both closely, and more distantly related organisms, can facilitate the identification of genes themselves, coordinately regulated gene expression groups, gene function and genome organization. Models of malaria can fulfil these functions and in addition provide an experimental system wherein predictions can be tested and basic experimental investigations performed within numerous aspects of disease, pathology, parasite-host and parasite-vector interactions. Comparative genomics in Plasmodium has already been shown to have informative roles in the completion of annotation and the elucidation of gene function. These roles will be illustrated by example and used as the basis for a discussion of the utility of genome information and malaria models in realizing the desired product of Plasmodium genomics, the development of malaria therapies. PMID:11839182

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

    PubMed Central

    Lawson-Hogban, Nadou; Boisson, Bertrand; Soares, Miguel P.; Pronet, Roger; Smith, Leanna; Mnard, Robert; Huerre, Michel; Mcheri, 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 (?hmgb2 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 ?hmgb2 ANKA-infected mice was associated with reduced sequestration in the brain of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, including CD8+ granzyme B+ and CD8+ IFN-?+ 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

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

    PubMed

    Briquet, Sylvie; Lawson-Hogban, Nadou; Boisson, Bertrand; Soares, Miguel P; Pronet, Roger; Smith, Leanna; Mnard, Robert; Huerre, Michel; Mcheri, 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 (?hmgb2 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 ?hmgb2 ANKA-infected mice was associated with reduced sequestration in the brain of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, including CD8(+) granzyme B(+) and CD8(+) IFN-?(+) 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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites and is responsible for high mortality in humans. This disease is caused by four different species of Plasmodium though the main source of mortality is Plasmodium falciparum. Humans have a number of genetic adaptations that act to combat Plasmodium. One adaptation is a deletion in the SLC4A1 gene that leads to Southeast Asian ovalocytosis (SAO). There is evidence that SAO erythrocytes are resistant to multiple Plasmodium species. Here we analyze SLC4A1 in 23 primates and mammals to test for differential selective pressures among different primate lineages. Because primates are infected with both human Plasmodium parasites and their relatives, this analysis can be used to test which human Plasmodium parasite is the likely target of SAO. A significantly different pattern of molecular evolution was found in humans and African apes, species that are infected by P. falciparum and its relatives. This effect was restricted to the cytosolic domain of the SLC4A1 gene. The evidence is consistent with a different selective regime operating on this gene domain in humans and African apes, when compared to other primates and mammals. Alternatively, this pattern is consistent with a relaxation of selection or weak adaptive evolution operating on a small number of amino acids. The adaptive interpretation of the results is consistent with the SAO allele of the SLC4A1 gene interacting with P. falciparum in humans, rather than other Plasmodium parasites. However, additional investigation of the relationship between SLC4A1 variants and Plasmodium in humans and African apes is required to test whether the different selective regime in humans and African apes is due to natural selection or relaxed constraint. PMID:22426110

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast indirect aminoacylation pathway utilizes a non-discriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase to synthesize Glu-tRNA(Gln) and a glutaminyl-tRNA amidotransferase to convert Glu-tRNA(Gln) to Gln-tRNA(Gln). Here, we show that Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans possess a unique heterodimeric glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase consisting of GatA and GatB subunits (GatAB). We localized the P. falciparum GatA and GatB subunits to the apicoplast in blood stage parasites and demonstrated that recombinant GatAB converts Glu-tRNA(Gln) to Gln-tRNA(Gln) in vitro. We demonstrate that the apicoplast GatAB-catalyzed reaction is essential to the parasite blood stages because we could not delete the Plasmodium berghei gene encoding GatA in blood stage parasites in vivo. A phylogenetic analysis placed the split between Plasmodium GatB, archaeal GatE, and bacterial GatB prior to the phylogenetic divide between bacteria and archaea. Moreover, Plasmodium GatA also appears to have emerged prior to the bacterial-archaeal phylogenetic divide. Thus, although GatAB is found in Plasmodium, it emerged prior to the phylogenetic separation of archaea and bacteria. PMID:26318454

  5. The multifunctional autophagy pathway in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Cervantes, Serena; Bunnik, Evelien M; Saraf, Anita; Conner, Christopher M; Escalante, Aster; Sardiu, Mihaela E; Ponts, Nadia; Prudhomme, Jacques; Florens, Laurence; Le Roch, Karine G

    2014-01-01

    Autophagy is a catabolic pathway typically induced by nutrient starvation to recycle amino acids, but can also function in removing damaged organelles. In addition, this pathway plays a key role in eukaryotic development. To date, not much is known about the role of autophagy in apicomplexan parasites and more specifically in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Comparative genomic analysis has uncovered some, but not all, orthologs of autophagy-related (ATG) genes in the malaria parasite genome. Here, using a genome-wide in silico analysis, we confirmed that ATG genes whose products are required for vesicle expansion and completion are present, while genes involved in induction of autophagy and cargo packaging are mostly absent. We subsequently focused on the molecular and cellular function of P. falciparum ATG8 (PfATG8), an autophagosome membrane marker and key component of the autophagy pathway, throughout the parasite asexual and sexual erythrocytic stages. In this context, we showed that PfATG8 has a distinct and atypical role in parasite development. PfATG8 localized in the apicoplast and in vesicles throughout the cytosol during parasite development. Immunofluorescence assays of PfATG8 in apicoplast-minus parasites suggest that PfATG8 is involved in apicoplast biogenesis. Furthermore, treatment of parasite cultures with bafilomycin A1 and chloroquine, both lysosomotropic agents that inhibit autophagosome and lysosome fusion, resulted in dramatic morphological changes of the apicoplast, and parasite death. Furthermore, deep proteomic analysis of components associated with PfATG8 indicated that it may possibly be involved in ribophagy and piecemeal microautophagy of the nucleus. Collectively, our data revealed the importance and specificity of the autophagy pathway in the malaria parasite and offer potential novel therapeutic strategies. PMID:24275162

  6. 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

  7. 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 of both the black flies and blood parasites, and initial attempts at flow cytometry. PMID:26292530

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Plasmodium parasite utilizes superoxide dismutase family proteins to limit the toxicity of reactive oxygen species, such as produced through hemoglobin degradation. These proteins play an important role in parasite survival during intra-erythrocytic phase. We have identified, and biochemically characterized a putative iron dependent superoxide dismutase from rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium vinckei (PvSOD1). The recombinant PvSOD1 protein was purified to homogeneity through a combination of affinity and gel filtration chromatography. Crosslinking, Native-PAGE and FPLC gel filtration analyses documented that PvSOD1 exists as a dimer in solution, a common feature shared by other Fe-SODs. PvSOD1 is cytosolic in localization and its expression is comparatively higher during trophozoite as compared to that of ring and schizont stages. Enzymatic activity of recombinant PvSOD1 was validated using conventional zymogram analyses and xanthine-xanthine oxidase system. Under optimal conditions, PvSOD1 was highly active and catalyzed the dismutation of superoxide radicals. Furthermore, PvSOD1 showed activity over a broad range of pH and temperature. Inhibition studies suggested that PvSOD1 was inactivated by hydrogen peroxide, and peroxynitrite, but not by cyanide and azide. Since, PvSOD1 plays a central role in oxidative defense mechanism, therefore, characterization of PvSOD1 will be exploited in the screening of new superoxide dismutase inhibitors for their antimalarial activity. PMID:25091832

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

    PubMed

    Philip, Nisha; Waters, Andrew P

    2015-07-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. Proteomic Profiling of Plasmodium Sporozoite Maturation Identifies New Proteins Essential for Parasite Development and Infectivity

    PubMed Central

    Mair, Gunnar R.; Vermunt, Adriaan M. W.; Douradinha, Bruno G.; van Noort, Vera; Huynen, Martijn A.; Luty, Adrian J. F.; Kroeze, Hans; Khan, Shahid M.; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Waters, Andrew P.; Mann, Matthias; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G.

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites that develop and mature inside an Anopheles mosquito initiate a malaria infection in humans. Here we report the first proteomic comparison of different parasite stages from the mosquito—early and late oocysts containing midgut sporozoites, and the mature, infectious salivary gland sporozoites. Despite the morphological similarity between midgut and salivary gland sporozoites, their proteomes are markedly different, in agreement with their increase in hepatocyte infectivity. The different sporozoite proteomes contain a large number of stage specific proteins whose annotation suggest an involvement in sporozoite maturation, motility, infection of the human host and associated metabolic adjustments. Analyses of proteins identified in the P. falciparum sporozoite proteomes by orthologous gene disruption in the rodent malaria parasite, P. berghei, revealed three previously uncharacterized Plasmodium proteins that appear to be essential for sporozoite development at distinct points of maturation in the mosquito. This study sheds light on the development and maturation of the malaria parasite in an Anopheles mosquito and also identifies proteins that may be essential for sporozoite infectivity to humans. PMID:18974882

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    Malaria cases caused by the zoonotic parasite Plasmodium knowlesi are being increasingly reported throughout Southeast Asia and in travelers returning from the region. To test for evidence of signatures of selection or unusual population structure in this parasite, we surveyed genome sequence diversity in 48 clinical isolates recently sampled from Malaysian Borneo and in five lines maintained in laboratory rhesus macaques after isolation in the 1960s from Peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines. Overall genomewide nucleotide diversity (π = 6.03 × 10−3) 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

  16. A Key Role for Plasmodium Subtilisin-like SUB1 Protease in Egress of Malaria Parasites from Host Hepatocytes*

    PubMed Central

    Tawk, Lina; Lacroix, Céline; Gueirard, Pascale; Kent, Robyn; Gorgette, Olivier; Thiberge, Sabine; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Ménard, Robert; Barale, Jean-Christophe

    2013-01-01

    In their mammalian host, Plasmodium parasites have two obligatory intracellular development phases, first in hepatocytes and subsequently in erythrocytes. Both involve an orchestrated process of invasion into and egress from host cells. The Plasmodium SUB1 protease plays a dual role at the blood stage by enabling egress of the progeny merozoites from the infected erythrocyte and priming merozoites for subsequent erythrocyte invasion. Here, using conditional mutagenesis in P. berghei, we show that SUB1 plays an essential role at the hepatic stage. Stage-specific sub1 invalidation during prehepatocytic development showed that SUB1-deficient parasites failed to rupture the parasitophorous vacuole membrane and to egress from hepatocytes. Furthermore, mechanically released parasites were not adequately primed and failed to establish a blood stage infection in vivo. The critical involvement of SUB1 in both pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic developmental phases qualifies SUB1 as an attractive multistage target for prophylactic and therapeutic anti-Plasmodium intervention strategies. PMID:24089525

  17. 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

  18. Systems Analysis of Chaperone Networks in the Malarial Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Tatu, Utpal

    2007-01-01

    Molecular chaperones participate in the maintenance of cellular protein homeostasis, cell growth and differentiation, signal transduction, and development. Although a vast body of information is available regarding individual chaperones, few studies have attempted a systems level analysis of chaperone function. In this paper, we have constructed a chaperone interaction network for the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. P. falciparum is responsible for several million deaths every year, and understanding the biology of the parasite is a top priority. The parasite regularly experiences heat shock as part of its life cycle, and chaperones have often been implicated in parasite survival and growth. To better understand the participation of chaperones in cellular processes, we created a parasite chaperone network by combining experimental interactome data with in silico analysis. We used interolog mapping to predict protein–protein interactions for parasite chaperones based on the interactions of corresponding human chaperones. This data was then combined with information derived from existing high-throughput yeast two-hybrid assays. Analysis of the network reveals the broad range of functions regulated by chaperones. The network predicts involvement of chaperones in chromatin remodeling, protein trafficking, and cytoadherence. Importantly, it allows us to make predictions regarding the functions of hypothetical proteins based on their interactions. It allows us to make specific predictions about Hsp70–Hsp40 interactions in the parasite and assign functions to members of the Hsp90 and Hsp100 families. Analysis of the network provides a rational basis for the anti-malarial activity of geldanamycin, a well-known Hsp90 inhibitor. Finally, analysis of the network provides a theoretical basis for further experiments designed toward understanding the involvement of this important class of molecules in parasite biology. PMID:17941702

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    Infection and transmission of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum in domestic chickens is associated with high economic burden and presents a major challenge to poultry industry in South East Asia. Development of drugs targeting both asexual blood stage parasites and sexual stages of the avian malarias will be beneficial for malaria treatment and eradication. However, current drugs recommended for treatment of the avian malaria parasites target specifically the asexual blood stage parasites, but have little or no impact to the gametocytes, the major target for development of transmission-blocking strategies. In the present work, we established a simple procedure to evaluate gametocytocidal and transmission blocking activities in a P. gallinaceum-avian model. The assays involved administration of seven consecutive daily doses of test compounds into P. gallinaceum-infected chickens with 10% parasitaemia and 1% gametocytaemia. Our studies indicated that intramuscular injection with seven daily low doses (the minimum effective dose of 10mg/kg) of artesunate blocked the gametocyte production and transmission to the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti. This assay can be further applicable for testing new compounds against P. gallinaceum and for other parasitic protozoa infecting birds. PMID:23937960

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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 (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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Although artemisinin combination therapies have been deployed as a first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in almost all endemic countries, artemisinin-resistant parasites have emerged and have gradually spread across the Greater Mekong subregions. There is growing concern that the resistant parasites may migrate to or emerge indigenously in sub-Saharan Africa, which might provoke a global increase in malaria-associated morbidity and mortality. Therefore, development of molecular markers that enable identification of artemisinin resistance with high sensitivity is urgently required to combat this issue. In 2014, a potential artemisinin-resistance responsible gene, Plasmodium falciparum kelch13, was discovered. Here, we review the genetic features of P. falciparum kelch13 and discuss its related resistant mechanisms and potential as a molecular marker. PMID:26535806

  6. Multiple dimensions of epigenetic gene regulation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ay, Ferhat; Bunnik, Evelien M.; Varoquaux, Nelle; Vert, Jean-Philippe; Noble, William Stafford; Le Roch, Karine G.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly human malarial parasite, responsible for an estimated 207 million cases of disease and 627,000 deaths in 2012. Recent studies reveal that the parasite actively regulates a large fraction of its genes throughout its replicative cycle inside human red blood cells and that epigenetics plays an important role in this precise gene regulation. Here we discuss recent advances in our understanding of three aspects of epigenetic regulation in P. falciparum: changes in histone modifications, nucleosome occupancy and the three-dimensional genome structure. We compare these three aspects of the P. falciparum epigenome to those of other eukaryotes, and show that large-scale compartmentalization is particularly important in determining histone decomposition and gene regulation in P. falciparum. We conclude by presenting a gene regulation model for P. falciparum that combines the described epigenetic factors, and by discussing the implications of this model for the future of malaria research. PMID:25394267

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. Gibberellin Biosynthetic Inhibitors Make Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Cells Swell and Rupture to Death

    PubMed Central

    Toyama, Tomoko; Tahara, Michiru; Nagamune, Kisaburo; Arimitsu, Kenji; Hamashima, Yoshio; Palacpac, Nirianne M. Q.; Kawaide, Hiroshi; Horii, Toshihiro; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2012-01-01

    Malaria remains as one of the most devastating infectious disease, and continues to exact an enormous toll in medical cost and days of labor lost especially in the tropics. Effective malaria control and eventual eradication remain a huge challenge, with efficacious antimalarials as important intervention/management tool. Clearly new alternative drugs that are more affordable and with fewer side effects are desirable. After preliminary in vitro assays with plant growth regulators and inhibitors, here, we focus on biosynthetic inhibitors of gibberellin, a plant hormone with many important roles in plant growth, and show their inhibitory effect on the growth of both apicomplexa, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii. Treatment of P. falciparum cultures with the gibberellin biosynthetic inhibitors resulted in marked morphological changes that can be reversed to a certain degree under hyperosmotic environment. These unique observations suggest that changes in the parasite membrane permeability may explain the pleiotropic effects observed within the intracellular parasites. PMID:22412858

  9. 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.

  10. Protein Export Marks the Early Phase of Gametocytogenesis of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum*

    PubMed Central

    Silvestrini, Francesco; Lasonder, Edwin; Olivieri, Anna; Camarda, Grazia; van Schaijk, Ben; Sanchez, Massimo; Younis Younis, Sumera; Sauerwein, Robert; Alano, Pietro

    2010-01-01

    Despite over a century of study of malaria parasites, parts of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle remain virtually unknown. One of these is the early gametocyte stage, a round shaped cell morphologically similar to an asexual trophozoite in which major cellular transformations ensure subsequent development of the elongated gametocyte. We developed a protocol to obtain for the first time highly purified preparations of early gametocytes using a transgenic line expressing a green fluorescent protein from the onset of gametocytogenesis. We determined the cellular proteome (1427 proteins) of this parasite stage by high accuracy tandem mass spectrometry and newly determined the proteomes of asexual trophozoites and mature gametocytes, identifying altogether 1090 previously undetected parasite proteins. Quantitative label-free comparative proteomics analysis determined enriched protein clusters for the three parasite developmental stages. Gene set enrichment analysis on the 251 proteins enriched in the early gametocyte proteome revealed that proteins putatively exported and involved in erythrocyte remodeling are the most overrepresented protein set in these stages. One-tenth of the early gametocyte-enriched proteome is constituted of putatively exported proteins, here named PfGEXPs (P. falciparum gametocyte-exported proteins). N-terminal processing and N-acetylation at a conserved leucine residue within the Plasmodium export element pentamotif were detected by mass spectrometry for three such proteins in the early but not in the mature gametocyte sample, further supporting a specific role in protein export in early gametocytogenesis. Previous reports and results of our experiments confirm that the three proteins are indeed exported in the erythrocyte cytoplasm. This work indicates that protein export profoundly marks early sexual differentiation in P. falciparum, probably contributing to host cell remodeling in this phase of the life cycle, and that gametocyte-enriched molecules are recruited to modulate this process in gametocytogenesis. PMID:20332084

  11. 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

  12. 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 detrimental fitness costs. PMID:27100094

  13. Autophagy-Related Atg8 Localizes to the Apicoplast of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Kitamura, Kei; Kishi-Itakura, Chieko; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Sato, Shigeharu; Kita, Kiyoshi; Ohta, Nobuo; Mizushima, Noboru

    2012-01-01

    Autophagy is a membrane-mediated degradation process, which is governed by sequential functions of Atg proteins. Although Atg proteins are highly conserved in eukaryotes, protozoa possess only a partial set of Atg proteins. Nonetheless, almost all protozoa have the complete factors belonging to the Atg8 conjugation system, namely, Atg3, Atg4, Atg7, and Atg8. Here, we report the biochemical properties and subcellular localization of the Atg8 protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfAtg8). PfAtg8 is expressed during intra-erythrocytic development and associates with membranes likely as a lipid-conjugated form. Fluorescence microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy show that PfAtg8 localizes to the apicoplast, a four membrane-bound non-photosynthetic plastid. Autophagosome-like structures are not observed in the erythrocytic stages. These data suggest that, although Plasmodium parasites have lost most Atg proteins during evolution, they use the Atg8 conjugation system for the unique organelle, the apicoplast. PMID:22900071

  14. Protein export in Plasmodium parasites: from the endoplasmic reticulum to the vacuolar export machine.

    PubMed

    Crabb, Brendan S; de Koning-Ward, Tania F; Gilson, Paul R

    2010-04-01

    It is somewhat paradoxical that the malaria parasite's survival strategy involves spending almost all of its blood-stage existence residing behind a two-membrane barrier in a host red blood cell, yet giving considerable attention to exporting parasite-encoded proteins back across these membranes. These exported proteins are thought to play diverse roles and are crucial in pathogenic processes, such as re-modelling of the erythrocyte cytoskeleton and mediating the export of a major virulence protein known as Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), and in metabolic processes such as nutrient uptake and solute exchange. Despite these varied roles most exported proteins have at least one common link; they share a trafficking pathway that begins with entry into the endoplasmic reticulum and concludes with passage across the vacuole membrane via a proteinaceous translocon known as the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins (PTEX). In this commentary we review recent advances in our understanding of this export pathway and suggest several models by which different aspects of the process may be interconnected. PMID:20170656

  15. 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

  16. The apicoplast: a plastid in Plasmodium falciparum and other Apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Foth, Bernardo J; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2003-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites cause severe diseases such as malaria, toxoplasmosis, and coccidiosis (caused by Plasmodium spp., Toxoplasma, and Eimeria, respectively). These parasites contain a relict plastid-termed "apicoplast"--that originated from the engulfment of an organism of the red algal lineage. The apicoplast is indispensable but its exact role in parasites is unknown. The apicoplast has its own genome and expresses a small number of genes, but the vast majority of the apicoplast proteome is encoded in the nuclear genome. The products of these nuclear genes are posttranslationally targeted to the organelle via the secretory pathway courtesy of a bipartite N-terminal leader sequence. Apicoplasts are nonphotosynthetic but retain other typical plastid functions such as fatty acid, isoprenoid and heme synthesis, and products of these pathways might be exported from the apicoplast for use by the parasite. Apicoplast pathways are essentially prokaryotic and therefore excellent drug targets. Some antibiotics inhibiting these molecular processes are already in chemotherapeutic use, whereas many new drugs will hopefully spring from our growing understanding of this intriguing organelle. PMID:12722949

  17. What can transgenic parasites tell us about the development of Plasmodium-specific immune responses?

    PubMed

    Thompson, J; Millington, O R; Garside, P; Brewer, J M

    2008-04-01

    Malaria infects 500 million people and kills an estimated 2.7 million annually, representing one of the most significant diseases in the world. However, efforts to develop effective vaccines have met with limited success. One reason is our lack of basic knowledge of how and where the immune system responds to parasite antigens. This is important as the early events during induction of an immune response influence the acquisition of effector function and development of memory responses. Our knowledge of the interactions of Plasmodia with the host immune system has largely been derived through in vitro study. This is a significant issue as the component parts of the immune system do not work in isolation and their interactions occur in distinct and specialized micro- and macro-anatomical locations that can only be assessed in the physiological context, in vivo. In this context, the availability of transgenic malaria parasites over the last 10 years has greatly enhanced our ability to understand and evaluate factors involved in host-parasite interactions in vivo. In this article, we review the current status of this area and speculate on what parasite transgenesis approaches will tell us about the development of Plasmodium-specific immune responses in the future. PMID:18324925

  18. The antimalarial action of desferal involves a direct access route to erythrocytic (Plasmodium falciparum) parasites.

    PubMed Central

    Loyevsky, M; Lytton, S D; Mester, B; Libman, J; Shanzer, A; Cabantchik, Z I

    1993-01-01

    We designed the N-methylanthranilic-desferrioxamine (MA-DFO) as a fluorescent iron (III) chelator with improved membrane permeation properties. Upon binding of iron (III), MA-DFO fluorescence is quenched, thus allowing traceability of drug-iron (III) interactions. MA-DFO is well tolerated by mammalian cells in culture. Its antimalarial activity is pronounced: IC50 values on in vitro (24-h) growth of Plasmodium falciparum were 3 +/- 1 microM for MA-DFO compared with 30 +/- 8 for DFO. The onset of growth inhibition of rings or trophozoites occurs 2-4 h after exposure to 13 microM MA-DFO. This effect is commensurate with MA-DFO permeation into infected cells. In a 24-h exposure to MA-DFO or DFO, trophozoites take up either compound to approximately 10% of the external concentration, rings to 5%, and noninfected cells to < 1%. Red cells encapsulated with millimolar concentrations of DFO or MA-DFO fully support parasite invasion and growth. We conclude that extracellular MA-DFO and DFO gain selective access into parasites by bypassing the host. The rate-limiting step is permeation through the parasite membrane, which MA-DFO accomplishes faster than DFO, in accordance with its higher hydrophobicity. These views are consistent with the proposed duct, which apparently provides parasitized cells with a window to the external medium. PMID:8423220

  19. RAP1 controls rhoptry targeting of RAP2 in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Baldi, Deborah L.; Andrews, Katherine T.; Waller, Ross F.; Roos, David S.; Howard, Randall F.; Crabb, Brendan S.; Cowman, Alan F.

    2000-01-01

    Rhoptry associated protein 1 (RAP1) and 2 (RAP2), together with a poorly described third protein RAP3, form the low molecular weight complex within the rhoptries of Plasmodium falciparum. These proteins are thought to play a role in erythrocyte invasion by the extracellular merozoite and are important vaccine candidates. We used gene-targeting technology in P.falciparum blood-stage parasites to disrupt the RAP1 gene, producing parasites that express severely truncated forms of RAP1. Immunoprecipitation experiments suggest that truncated RAP1 species did not complex with RAP2 and RAP3. Consistent with this were the distinct subcellular localizations of RAP1 and 2 in disrupted RAP1 parasites, where RAP2 does not traffic to the rhoptries but is instead located in a compartment that appears related to the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. These results suggest that RAP1 is required to localize RAP2 to the rhoptries, supporting the hypothesis that rhoptry biogenesis is dependent in part on the secretory pathway in the parasite. The observation that apparently host-protective merozoite antigens are not essential for efficient erythrocyte invasion has important implications for vaccine design. PMID:10835342

  20. Long-term live imaging reveals cytosolic immune responses of host hepatocytes against Plasmodium infection and parasite escape mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Prado, Monica; Eickel, Nina; De Niz, Mariana; Heitmann, Anna; Agop-Nersesian, Carolina; Wacker, Rahel; Schmuckli-Maurer, Jacqueline; Caldelari, Reto; Janse, Chris J; Khan, Shahid M; May, Jürgen; Meyer, Christian G; Heussler, Volker T

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites are transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes to the mammalian host and actively infect hepatocytes after passive transport in the bloodstream to the liver. In their target host hepatocyte, parasites reside within a parasitophorous vacuole (PV). In the present study it was shown that the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) can be targeted by autophagy marker proteins LC3, ubiquitin, and SQSTM1/p62 as well as by lysosomes in a process resembling selective autophagy. The dynamics of autophagy marker proteins in individual Plasmodium berghei-infected hepatocytes were followed by live imaging throughout the entire development of the parasite in the liver. Although the host cell very efficiently recognized the invading parasite in its vacuole, the majority of parasites survived this initial attack. Successful parasite development correlated with the gradual loss of all analyzed autophagy marker proteins and associated lysosomes from the PVM. However, other autophagic events like nonselective canonical autophagy in the host cell continued. This was indicated as LC3, although not labeling the PVM anymore, still localized to autophagosomes in the infected host cell. It appears that growing parasites even benefit from this form of nonselective host cell autophagy as an additional source of nutrients, as in host cells deficient for autophagy, parasite growth was retarded and could partly be rescued by the supply of additional amino acid in the medium. Importantly, mouse infections with P. berghei sporozoites confirmed LC3 dynamics, the positive effect of autophagy activation on parasite growth, and negative effects upon autophagy inhibition. PMID:26208778

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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

  3. Prevalence and diversity of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites in the globally-threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola.

    PubMed

    Neto, Júlio Manuel; Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; Haase, Martin; Flade, Martin; Bensch, Staffan

    2015-08-01

    The diversity and prevalence of malaria parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were determined in the globally-threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola. Birds were sampled during migration in Portugal and at the wintering quarters in Senegal and parasites were detected using molecular methods. Only three generalist parasite lineages (Plasmodium) were found. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of parasites between sexes in Europe, but adults had higher prevalence than first-year birds, and birds in Europe had higher prevalence than those captured in Africa. When comparing with other Acrocephalus species and taking sample size into account, Aquatic Warblers had the lowest prevalence and, together with another threatened species, the Seychelles Warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis, the lowest diversity of malaria parasites. We hypothesize that the low diversity of parasites and absence of specialist lineages of Aquatic Warblers are caused by its small population size and fragmented distribution. Furthermore, Aquatic Warblers' extreme habitat specialization may decrease their exposure to malaria parasites, but other explanations such as high mortality (which would constraint the sampling of infected birds) or, in contrast, very efficient immunological system in clearing the infections cannot be ruled out. This study contributes to explain variation in prevalence and diversity of malaria parasites among hosts. PMID:25924680

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Persistence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in infected pregnant Mozambican women after delivery.

    PubMed

    Serra-Casas, Elisa; Menndez, Clara; Dobao, Carlota; Bardaj, Azucena; Quint, Lloren; Quint, Llorenc; Ordi, Jaume; Sigauque, Betuel; Cister, Pau; Mandomando, Inacio; Alonso, Pedro L; Mayor, Alfredo

    2011-01-01

    Pregnant women are susceptible to Plasmodium falciparum parasites that sequester in the placenta. The massive accumulation of infected erythrocytes in the placenta has been suggested to trigger the deleterious effects of malaria in pregnant women and their offspring. The risk of malaria is also high during the postpartum period, although mechanisms underlying this susceptibility are not known. Here, we aimed to identify host factors contributing to the risk of postpartum infections and to determine the origin of postpartum parasites by comparing their genotypes with those present at the time of delivery. To address this, blood samples were collected at delivery (n = 402) and postpartum (n = 354) from Mozambican women enrolled in a trial of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). P. falciparum was detected by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), and the parasite merozoite surface protein 1 (msp-1) and msp-2 genes were genotyped. Fifty-seven out of 354 (16%) women were infected postpartum as assessed by qPCR, whereas prevalence by optical microscopy was only 4%. Risk of postpartum infection was lower in older women (odds ratio [OR] = 0.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.15 to 0.81) and higher in women with a placental infection at delivery (OR = 4.20, 95% CI = 2.19 to 8.08). Among 24 women with matched infections, 12 (50%) were infected postpartum with at least one parasite strain that was also present in their placentas. These results suggest that parasites infecting pregnant women persist after delivery and increase the risk of malaria during the postpartum period. Interventions that reduce malaria during pregnancy may translate into a lower risk of postpartum infection. PMID:21041485

  7. Persistence of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites in Infected Pregnant Mozambican Women after Delivery ▿

    PubMed Central

    Serra-Casas, Elisa; Menéndez, Clara; Dobaño, Carlota; Bardají, Azucena; Quintó, Llorençc; Ordi, Jaume; Sigauque, Betuel; Cisteró, Pau; Mandomando, Inacio; Alonso, Pedro L.; Mayor, Alfredo

    2011-01-01

    Pregnant women are susceptible to Plasmodium falciparum parasites that sequester in the placenta. The massive accumulation of infected erythrocytes in the placenta has been suggested to trigger the deleterious effects of malaria in pregnant women and their offspring. The risk of malaria is also high during the postpartum period, although mechanisms underlying this susceptibility are not known. Here, we aimed to identify host factors contributing to the risk of postpartum infections and to determine the origin of postpartum parasites by comparing their genotypes with those present at the time of delivery. To address this, blood samples were collected at delivery (n = 402) and postpartum (n = 354) from Mozambican women enrolled in a trial of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). P. falciparum was detected by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), and the parasite merozoite surface protein 1 (msp-1) and msp-2 genes were genotyped. Fifty-seven out of 354 (16%) women were infected postpartum as assessed by qPCR, whereas prevalence by optical microscopy was only 4%. Risk of postpartum infection was lower in older women (odds ratio [OR] = 0.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.15 to 0.81) and higher in women with a placental infection at delivery (OR = 4.20, 95% CI = 2.19 to 8.08). Among 24 women with matched infections, 12 (50%) were infected postpartum with at least one parasite strain that was also present in their placentas. These results suggest that parasites infecting pregnant women persist after delivery and increase the risk of malaria during the postpartum period. Interventions that reduce malaria during pregnancy may translate into a lower risk of postpartum infection. PMID:21041485

  8. The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum possesses two distinct dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenases.

    PubMed

    McMillan, Paul J; Stimmler, Luciana M; Foth, Bernardo J; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Müller, Sylke

    2005-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum genome contains genes encoding three alpha-ketoacid dehydrogenase multienzyme complexes (KADHs) that have central metabolic functions. The parasites possess two distinct genes encoding dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenases (LipDH), which are indispensable subunits of KADHs. This situation is reminiscent of that in plants, where two distinct LipDHs are found in mitochondria and chloroplasts, respectively, that are part of the organelle-specific KADHs. In this study, we show by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) that the genes encoding subunits of all three KADHs, including both LipDHs, are transcribed during the erythrocytic development of P. falciparum. Protein expression of mitochondrial LipDH and mitochondrial branched chain alpha-ketoacid dihydrolipoamide transacylase in these parasite stages was confirmed by Western blotting. The localization of the two LipDHs to the parasite's apicoplast and mitochondrion, respectively, was shown by expressing the LipDH N-terminal presequences fused to green fluorescent protein in erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum and by immunofluorescent colocalization with organelle-specific markers. Biochemical characterization of recombinantly expressed mitochondrial LipDH revealed that the protein has kinetic and physicochemical characteristics typical of these flavo disulphide oxidoreductases. We propose that the mitochondrial LipDH is part of the mitochondrial alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and branched chain alpha-ketoacid dehydrogenase complexes and that the apicoplast LipDH is an integral part of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex which occurs only in the apicoplast in P. falciparum. PMID:15612914

  9. Enhanced choline and Rb+ transport in human erythrocytes infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, K; Wong, H Y; Elford, B C; Newbold, C I; Ellory, J C

    1991-01-01

    Human erythrocytes infected in vitro with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum showed a markedly increased rate of choline influx compared with normal cells. Choline transport into uninfected cells (cultured in parallel with infected cells) obeyed Michaelis-Menten kinetics (Km approximately 11 microM). In malaria-parasite-infected cells there was an additional choline-transport component which failed to saturate at extracellular concentrations of up to 500 microM. This component was less sensitive than the endogenous transporter to inhibition by the Cinchona bark alkaloids quinine, quinidine, cinchonine and cinchonidine, but showed a much greater sensitivity than the native system to inhibition by piperine. The sensitivity of the induced choline transport to these reagents was similar to that of the malaria-induced (ouabain- and bumetanide-resistant) Rb(+)-transport pathway; however, the relative magnitudes of the piperine-sensitive choline and Rb+ fluxes in malaria-parasite-infected cells varied between cultures. This suggests either that the enhanced transport of the two cations was via functionally distinct (albeit pharmacologically similar) pathways, or that the transport was mediated by a pathway with variable substrate selectivity. PMID:1898345

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

    PubMed

    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

    2010-11-01

    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 EC(50) 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-08-01

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

  12. Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites exhibit altered patterns of development in infected erythrocytes.

    PubMed

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

    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

  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. Sexual stage adhesion proteins form multi-protein complexes in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Simon, Nina; Scholz, Sabrina M; Moreira, Cristina K; Templeton, Thomas J; Kuehn, Andrea; Dude, Marie-Adrienne; Pradel, Gabriele

    2009-05-22

    The sexual phase of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is accompanied by the coordinated expression of stage-specific adhesive proteins. Among these are six secreted proteins with multiple adhesion domains, termed P. falciparum LCCL domain-containing protein (PfCCp) proteins, which are expressed in the parasitophorous vacuole of the differentiating gametocytes and which are later associated with macrogametes. Although the majority of the PfCCp proteins are implicated in parasite development in the mosquito vector, their functions remain unknown. In the present study we investigated the molecular interactions between the PfCCp proteins during gametocyte development and emergence. Using five different gene-disruptant parasite lines, we show that the lack of one PfCCp protein leads to the loss of other PfCCp family members. Co-immunoprecipitation assays on gametocyte lysates revealed formation of complexes involving all PfCCp proteins, and affinity chromatography co-elution binding assays with recombinant PfCCp domains further indicated direct binding between distinct adhesion domains. PfCCp-coated latex beads bind to newly formed macrogametes but not to gametocytes or older macrogametes 6 or 24 h post-activation. In view of these data, we propose that the PfCCp proteins form multi-protein complexes that are exposed during gametogenesis, thereby mediating cell contacts of macrogametes. PMID:19304662

  15. 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.

  16. The MYST family histone acetyltransferase regulates gene expression and cell cycle in malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Miao, Jun; Fan, Qi; Cui, Long; Li, Xiaolian; Wang, Haiyan; Ning, Gang; Reese, Joseph C; Cui, Liwang

    2010-11-01

    Histone lysine acetylation, normally associated with euchromatin and active genes, is regulated by different families of histone acetyltransferases (HATs). A single Plasmodium falciparum MYST (PfMYST) HAT was expressed as a long and a short version in intraerythrocytic stages. Whereas the recombinant PfMYST expressed in prokaryotes and insect cells did not show HAT activity, recombinant PfMYST purified from the parasites exhibited a predilection to acetylate histone H4 in vitro at K5, K8, K12 and K16. Tagging PfMYST with the green fluorescent protein at the C-terminus showed that PfMYST protein was localized in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. Consistent with the importance of H4 acetylation in var gene expression, PfMYST was recruited to the active var promoter. Attempts to disrupt PfMYST were not successful, suggesting that PfMYST is essential for asexual intraerythrocytic growth. However, overexpression of the long, active or a truncated, non-active version of PfMYST by stable integration of the expression cassette in the parasite genome resulted in changes of H4 acetylation and cell cycle progression. Furthermore, parasites with PfMYST overexpression showed changes in sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents. Collectively, this study showed that PfMYST plays important roles in cellular processes such as gene activation, cell cycle control and DNA repair. PMID:20807207

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A flow cytometric assay to quantify invasion of red blood cells by rodent Plasmodium parasites in vivo

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Malaria treatments are becoming less effective due to the rapid spread of drug resistant parasites. Increased understanding of the host/parasite interaction is crucial in order to develop treatments that will be less prone to resistance. Parasite invasion of the red blood cell (RBC) is a critical aspect of the parasite life cycle and is, therefore, a promising target for the development of malaria treatments. Assays for analysing parasite invasion in vitro have been developed, but no equivalent assays exist for in vivo studies. This article describes a novel flow cytometric in vivo parasite invasion assay. Methods Experiments were conducted with mice infected with erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium chabaudi adami strain DS. Exogenously labelled blood cells were transfused into infected mice at schizogony, and collected blood samples stained and analysed using flow cytometry to specifically detect and measure proportions of labelled RBC containing newly invaded parasites. A combination of antibodies (CD45 and CD71) and fluorescent dyes, Hoechst (DNA) and JC-1 (mitochondrial membrane potential), were used to differentiate parasitized RBCs from uninfected cells, RBCs containing Howell-Jolly bodies, leukocytes and RBC progenitors. Blood cells were treated ex vivo with proteases to examine the effects on in vivo parasite invasion. Results The staining and flow cytometry analysis method was accurate in determining the parasitaemia down to 0.013% with the limit of detection at 0.007%. Transfused labelled blood supported normal rates of parasite invasion. Protease-treated red cells resulted in 35% decrease in the rate of parasite invasion within 30 minutes of introduction into the bloodstream of infected mice. Conclusions The invasion assay presented here is a versatile method for the study of in vivo red cell invasion efficiency of Plasmodium parasites in mice, and allows direct comparison of invasion in red cells derived from two different populations. The method also serves as an accurate alternative method of estimating blood parasitaemia. PMID:24628989

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Immunization with live-attenuated Plasmodium sporozoites completely protects against malaria infection. Genetic engineering offers a versatile platform to create live-attenuated sporozoite vaccine candidates. We previously generated a genetically attenuated parasite (GAP) by deleting the P52 and P36 genes in the NF54 wild-type (WT) strain of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf p52−/p36− GAP). Preclinical assessment of p52−/p36− GAP in a humanized mouse model indicated an early and severe liver stage growth defect. However, human exposure to >200 Pf p52−/p36− GAP-infected mosquito bites in a safety trial resulted in peripheral parasitemia in one of six volunteers, revealing that this GAP was incompletely attenuated. We have now created a triple gene deleted GAP by additionally removing the SAP1 gene (Pf p52−/p36−/sap1− GAP) and employed flippase (FLP)/flippase recognition target (FRT) recombination for drug selectable marker cassette removal. This next-generation GAP was indistinguishable from WT parasites in blood stage and mosquito stage development. Using an improved humanized mouse model transplanted with human hepatocytes and human red blood cells, we show that despite a high-dose sporozoite challenge, Pf p52−/p36−/sap1− GAP did not transition to blood stage infection and appeared to be completely attenuated. Thus, clinical testing of Pf p52−/p36−/sap1− GAP assessing safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy against sporozoite challenge is warranted. PMID:24827907

  7. 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

  8. A comparative analysis of microscopy and PCR-based detection methods for blood parasites.

    PubMed

    Valkiunas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Krizanauskiene, Asta; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Bensch, Staffan

    2008-12-01

    We compared information obtained by both microscopy and nested mitochondrial cytochrome b PCR in determining prevalence of haemosporidian infections in naturally infected birds. Blood samples from 472 birds of 11 species belonging to 7 families and 4 orders were collected in Europe, Africa and North America. Skilled investigators investigated them using the PCR-based screening and microscopic examination of stained blood films. The overall prevalence of haemosporidian infections, which was determined combining results of both these methods, was 60%. Both methods slightly underestimated the overall prevalence of infection, which was 54.2% after the PCR diagnostics and 53.6% after microscopic examination. Importantly, both these tools showed the same trends of prevalence of Haemoproteus spp. (21% by PCR and 22% by microscopy), Plasmodium spp. (17% and 22%) and Leucocytozoon spp. (30% and 25%) in the same sample, testifying that microscopy is a reliable tool in determining patterns of distribution of blood haemosporidian parasites in naturally infected birds. We encourage using optical microscopy in studies of blood parasites in parallel to the now widely employed molecular methods. Microscopy is relatively inexpensive and provides valuable information about directions how molecular methods can be further improved and most effectively applied, especially in the field studies of parasites. Importantly, blood films, which are used for microscopic examination, should be of good quality; they should be examined properly by skilled investigators. In spite of relatively long duration of microscopy of each sample, such examination provides opportunities for simultaneous determination and verification of taxonomically different parasites. Presently, different PCR protocols must be used for the detection of parasites belonging to different genera; this is expensive and time-consuming. PMID:18576856

  9. 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 studies will enhance our understanding of redox regulation and mechanisms of drug action and resistance in Plasmodium and might also stimulate redox research in other pathogens. PMID:24348249

  10. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. Differences in host species relationships and biogeographic influences produce contrasting patterns of prevalence, community composition and genetic structure in two genera of avian malaria parasites in southern Melanesia.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Host-parasite interactions have the potential to influence broadscale ecological and evolutionary processes, levels of endemism, divergence patterns and distributions in host populations. Understanding the mechanisms involved requires identification of the factors that shape parasite distribution and prevalence. A lack of comparative information on community-level host-parasite associations limits our understanding of the role of parasites in host population divergence processes. Avian malaria (haemosporidian) parasites in bird communities offer a tractable model system to examine the potential for pathogens to influence evolutionary processes in natural host populations. Using cytochrome b variation, we characterized phylogenetic diversity and prevalence of two genera of avian haemosporidian parasites, Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, and analysed biogeographic patterns of lineages across islands and avian hosts, in southern Melanesian bird communities to identify factors that explain patterns of infection. Plasmodium spp. displayed isolation-by-distance effects, a significant amount of genetic variation distributed among islands but insignificant amounts among host species and families, and strong local island effects with respect to prevalence. Haemoproteus spp. did not display isolation-by-distance patterns, showed marked structuring of genetic variation among avian host species and families, and significant host species prevalence patterns. These differences suggest that Plasmodium spp. infection patterns were shaped by geography and the abiotic environment, whereas Haemoproteus spp. infection patterns were shaped predominantly by host associations. Heterogeneity in the complement and prevalence of parasite lineages infecting local bird communities likely exposes host species to a mosaic of spatially divergent disease selection pressures across their naturally fragmented distributions in southern Melanesia. Host associations for Haemoproteus spp. indicate a capacity for the formation of locally co-adapted host-parasite relationships, a feature that may limit intraspecific gene flow or range expansions of closely related host species. PMID:25704868

  15. 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

  16. Development of the piggyBac transposable system for Plasmodium berghei and its application for random mutagenesis in malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The genome of a number of species of malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) has been sequenced in the hope of identifying new drug and vaccine targets. However, almost one-half of predicted Plasmodium genes are annotated as hypothetical and are difficult to analyse in bulk due to the inefficiency of current reverse genetic methodologies for Plasmodium. Recently, it has been shown that the transposase piggyBac integrates at random into the genome of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum offering the possibility to develop forward genetic screens to analyse Plasmodium gene function. This study reports the development and application of the piggyBac transposition system for the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei and the evaluation of its potential as a tool in forward genetic studies. P. berghei is the most frequently used malaria parasite model in gene function analysis since phenotype screens throughout the complete Plasmodium life cycle are possible both in vitro and in vivo. Results We demonstrate that piggyBac based gene inactivation and promoter-trapping is both easier and more efficient in P. berghei than in the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum. Random piggyBac-mediated insertion into genes was achieved after parasites were transfected with the piggyBac donor plasmid either when transposase was expressed either from a helper plasmid or a stably integrated gene in the genome. Characterization of more than 120 insertion sites demonstrated that more than 70 most likely affect gene expression classifying their protein products as non-essential for asexual blood stage development. The non-essential nature of two of these genes was confirmed by targeted gene deletion one of which encodes P41, an ortholog of a human malaria vaccine candidate. Importantly for future development of whole genome phenotypic screens the remobilization of the piggyBac element in parasites that stably express transposase was demonstrated. Conclusion These data demonstrate that piggyBac behaved as an efficient and random transposon in P. berghei. Remobilization of piggyBac element shows that with further development the piggyBac system can be an effective tool to generate random genome-wide mutation parasite libraries, for use in large-scale phenotype screens in vitro and in vivo. PMID:21418605

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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-inositol 1-phosphate synthase, ferrodoxim reductase-like protein and guanine transporter. In conclusion, the method has shown an effective and efficient way to identify target combinations which are obviously useful in the development of novel antimalarial drug combinations. PMID:26626103

  8. Novel S-adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylase inhibitors as potent antiproliferative agents against intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

    PubMed

    le Roux, Dina; Burger, Pieter B; Niemand, Jandeli; Grobler, Anne; Urbán, Patricia; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier; Barker, Robert H; Serrano, Adelfa E; I Louw, Abraham; Birkholtz, Lyn-Marie

    2014-04-01

    S-adenosyl-l-methionine decarboxylase (AdoMetDC) in the polyamine biosynthesis pathway has been identified as a suitable drug target in Plasmodium falciparum parasites, which causes the most lethal form of malaria. Derivatives of an irreversible inhibitor of this enzyme, 5'-{[(Z)-4-amino-2-butenyl]methylamino}-5'-deoxyadenosine (MDL73811), have been developed with improved pharmacokinetic profiles and activity against related parasites, Trypanosoma brucei. Here, these derivatives were assayed for inhibition of AdoMetDC from P. falciparum parasites and the methylated derivative, 8-methyl-5'-{[(Z)-4-aminobut-2-enyl]methylamino}-5'-deoxyadenosine (Genz-644131) was shown to be the most active. The in vitro efficacy of Genz-644131 was markedly increased by nanoencapsulation in immunoliposomes, which specifically targeted intraerythrocytic P. falciparum parasites. PMID:24596666

  9. 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

  10. 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 introduction of the artemether-lumefantrine is important in refining the spread of drug resistant strains and malaria transmission for more effective control and eventual elimination of malaria in Kenya. PMID:26472129

  11. The avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum causes marked structural changes on the surface of its host erythrocyte

    PubMed Central

    Nagao, Eriko; Arie, Takayuki; Dorward, David W.; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Dvorak, James A.

    2008-01-01

    Using a combination of atomic force, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, we found that avian erythrocytes infected with the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum develop ~60 nm wide and ~430 nm long furrow-like structures on the surface. Furrows begin to appear during the early trophozoite stage of the parasites development. They remain constant in size and density during the course of parasite maturation and are uniformly distributed in random orientations over the erythrocyte surface. In addition, the density of furrows is directly proportional to the number of parasites contained within the erythrocyte. These findings suggest that parasite-induced intraerythrocytic processes are involved in modifying the surface of host erythrocytes. These processes may be analogous to those of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum, which induces knob-like protrusions that mediate the pathogenic adherence of parasitized erythrocytes to microvessels. Although P. gallinaceum-infected erythrocytes do not seem to adhere to microvessels in the host chicken, the furrows might be involved in the pathogenesis of P. gallinaceum infections by some other mechanism involving host-pathogen interactions. PMID:18442920

  12. 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

  13. Genomic sequencing of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites from Senegal reveals the demographic history of the population.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsiao-Han; Park, Daniel J; Galinsky, Kevin J; Schaffner, Stephen F; Ndiaye, Daouda; Ndir, Omar; Mboup, Souleymane; Wiegand, Roger C; Volkman, Sarah K; Sabeti, Pardis C; Wirth, Dyann F; Neafsey, Daniel E; Hartl, Daniel L

    2012-11-01

    Malaria is a deadly disease that causes nearly one million deaths each year. To develop methods to control and eradicate malaria, it is important to understand the genetic basis of Plasmodium falciparum adaptations to antimalarial treatments and the human immune system while taking into account its demographic history. To study the demographic history and identify genes under selection more efficiently, we sequenced the complete genomes of 25 culture-adapted P. falciparum isolates from three sites in Senegal. We show that there is no significant population structure among these Senegal sampling sites. By fitting demographic models to the synonymous allele-frequency spectrum, we also estimated a major 60-fold population expansion of this parasite population ?20,000-40,000 years ago. Using inferred demographic history as a null model for coalescent simulation, we identified candidate genes under selection, including genes identified before, such as pfcrt and PfAMA1, as well as new candidate genes. Interestingly, we also found selection against G/C to A/T changes that offsets the large mutational bias toward A/T, and two unusual patterns: similar synonymous and nonsynonymous allele-frequency spectra, and 18% of genes having a nonsynonymous-to-synonymous polymorphism ratio >1. PMID:22734050

  14. 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

  15. Genomic Sequencing of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites from Senegal Reveals the Demographic History of the Population

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Hsiao-Han; Park, Daniel J.; Galinsky, Kevin J.; Schaffner, Stephen F.; Ndiaye, Daouda; Ndir, Omar; Mboup, Souleymane; Wiegand, Roger C.; Volkman, Sarah K.; Sabeti, Pardis C.; Wirth, Dyann F.; Neafsey, Daniel E.; Hartl, Daniel L.

    2012-01-01

    Malaria is a deadly disease that causes nearly one million deaths each year. To develop methods to control and eradicate malaria, it is important to understand the genetic basis of Plasmodium falciparum adaptations to antimalarial treatments and the human immune system while taking into account its demographic history. To study the demographic history and identify genes under selection more efficiently, we sequenced the complete genomes of 25 culture-adapted P. falciparum isolates from three sites in Senegal. We show that there is no significant population structure among these Senegal sampling sites. By fitting demographic models to the synonymous allele-frequency spectrum, we also estimated a major 60-fold population expansion of this parasite population ∼20,000–40,000 years ago. Using inferred demographic history as a null model for coalescent simulation, we identified candidate genes under selection, including genes identified before, such as pfcrt and PfAMA1, as well as new candidate genes. Interestingly, we also found selection against G/C to A/T changes that offsets the large mutational bias toward A/T, and two unusual patterns: similar synonymous and nonsynonymous allele-frequency spectra, and 18% of genes having a nonsynonymous-to-synonymous polymorphism ratio >1. PMID:22734050

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Genome-wide Functional Analysis of Plasmodium Protein Phosphatases Reveals Key Regulators of Parasite Development and Differentiation

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Summary Reversible protein phosphorylation regulated by kinases and phosphatases controls many cellular processes. Although essential functions for the malaria parasite kinome have been reported, the roles of most protein phosphatases (PPs) during Plasmodium development are unknown. We report a functional analysis of the Plasmodium berghei protein phosphatome, which exhibits high conservation with the P. falciparum phosphatome and comprises 30 predicted PPs with differential and distinct expression patterns during various stages of the life cycle. Gene disruption analysis of P. berghei PPs reveals that half of the genes are likely essential for asexual blood stage development, whereas six are required for sexual development/sporogony in mosquitoes. Phenotypic screening coupled with transcriptome sequencing unveiled morphological changes and altered gene expression in deletion mutants of two N-myristoylated PPs. These findings provide systematic functional analyses of PPs in Plasmodium, identify how phosphatases regulate parasite development and differentiation, and can inform the identification of drug targets for malaria. PMID:25011111

  1. 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 infections. PMID:24763470

  2. 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

  3. Biochemical characterization of FIKK8--A unique protein kinase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Osman, Khan T; Lou, Hua Jane; Qiu, Wei; Brand, Verena; Edwards, Aled M; Turk, Benjamin E; Hui, Raymond

    2015-06-01

    FIKKs are protein kinases with distinctive sequence motifs found exclusively in Apicomplexa. Here, we report on the biochemical characterization of Plasmodium falciparum FIKK8 (PfFIKK8) and its Cryptosporidium parvum orthologue (CpFIKK) - the only member of the family predicted to be cytosolic and conserved amongst non-Plasmodium parasites. Recombinant protein samples of both were catalytically active. We characterized their phosphorylation ability using an enzymatic assay and substrate specificities using an arrayed positional scanning peptide library. Our results show that FIKK8 targets serine, preferably with arginine in the +3 and -3 positions. Furthermore, the soluble and active FIKK constructs in our experiments contained an N-terminal extension (NTE) conserved in FIKK8 orthologues from other apicomplexan species. Based on our results, we propose that this NTE is an integral feature of the FIKK subfamily. PMID:26112892

  4. Biochemical characterization of FIKK8 – A unique protein kinase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Osman, Khan T.; Lou, Hua Jane; Qiu, Wei; Brand, Verena; Edwards, Aled M.; Turk, Benjamin E.; Hui, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    FIKKs are protein kinases with distinctive sequence motifs found exclusively in Apicomplexa. Here, we report on the biochemical characterization of Plasmodium falciparum FIKK8 (PfFIKK8) and its Cryptosporidium parvum orthologue (CpFIKK) – the only member of the family predicted to be cytosolic and conserved amongst non-Plasmodium parasites. Recombinant protein samples of both were catalytically active. We characterized their phosphorylation ability using an enzymatic assay and substrate specificities using an arrayed positional scanning peptide library. Our results show that FIKK8 targets serine, preferably with arginine in the +3 and −3 positions. Furthermore, the soluble and active FIKK constructs in our experiments contained an N-terminal extension (NTE) conserved in FIKK8 orthologues from other apicomplexan species. Based on our results, we propose that this NTE is an integral feature of the FIKK subfamily. PMID:26112892

  5. 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

  6. Transport of nucleosides across the Plasmodium falciparum parasite plasma membrane has characteristics of PfENT1.

    PubMed

    Downie, Megan J; Saliba, Kevin J; Howitt, Susan M; Bröer, Stefan; Kirk, Kiaran

    2006-05-01

    Like all parasitic protozoa, the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum lacks the enzymes required for de novo synthesis of purines and it is therefore reliant upon the salvage of these compounds from the external environment. P. falciparum equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (PfENT1) is a nucleoside transporter that has been localized to the plasma membrane of the intraerythrocytic form of the parasite. In this study we have characterized the transport of purine and pyrimidine nucleosides across the plasma membrane of 'isolated' trophozoite-stage P. falciparum parasites and compared the transport characteristics of the parasite with those of PfENT1 expressed in Xenopus oocytes. The transport of nucleosides into the parasite: (i) was, in the case of adenosine, inosine and thymidine, very fast, equilibrating within a few seconds; (ii) was of low affinity [K(m) (adenosine) = 1.45 +/- 0.25 mM; K(m) (thymidine) = 1.11 +/- 0.09 mM]; and (iii) showed 'cross-competition' for adenosine, inosine and thymidine, but not cytidine. The kinetic characteristics of nucleoside transport in intact parasites matched very closely those of PfENT1 expressed in Xenopus oocytes [K(m) (adenosine) = 1.86 +/- 0.28 mM; K(m) (thymidine) = 1.33 +/- 0.17 mM]. Furthermore, PfENT1 transported adenosine, inosine and thymidine, with a cross-competition profile the same as that seen for isolated parasites. The data are consistent with PfENT1 serving as a major route for the uptake of nucleosides across the parasite plasma membrane. PMID:16629674

  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. Identification of New Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibitors by Pharmacophore and Structure-Based Virtual Screening.

    PubMed

    Pavadai, Elumalai; El Mazouni, Farah; Wittlin, Sergio; de Kock, Carmen; Phillips, Margaret A; Chibale, Kelly

    2016-03-28

    Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (PfDHODH), a key enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway, which the Plasmodium falciparum relies on exclusively for survival, has emerged as a promising target for antimalarial drugs. In an effort to discover new and potent PfDHODH inhibitors, 3D-QSAR pharmacophore models were developed based on the structures of known PfDHODH inhibitors and the validated Hypo1 model was used as a 3D search query for virtual screening of the National Cancer Institute database. The virtual hit compounds were further filtered based on molecular docking and Molecular Mechanics/Generalized Born Surface Area binding energy calculations. The combination of the pharmacophore and structure-based virtual screening resulted in the identification of nine new compounds that showed >25% inhibition of PfDHODH at a concentration of 10 μM, three of which exhibited IC50 values in the range of 0.38-20 μM. The most active compound, NSC336047, displayed species-selectivity for PfDHODH over human DHODH and inhibited parasite growth with an IC50 of 26 μM. In addition to this, 13 compounds inhibited parasite growth with IC50 values of ≤50 μM, 4 of which showed IC50 values in the range of 5-12 μM. These compounds could be further explored in the identification and development of more potent PfDHODH and parasite growth inhibitors. PMID:26915022

  9. The exported protein PbCP1 localises to cleft-like structures in the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei.

    PubMed

    Haase, Silvia; Hanssen, Eric; Matthews, Kathryn; Kalanon, Ming; de Koning-Ward, Tania F

    2013-01-01

    Protein export into the host red blood cell is one of the key processes in the pathobiology of the malaria parasite Plasmodiumtrl falciparum, which extensively remodels the red blood cell to ensure its virulence and survival. In this study, we aimed to shed further light on the protein export mechanisms in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei and provide further proof of the conserved nature of host cell remodeling in Plasmodium spp. Based on the presence of an export motif (R/KxLxE/Q/D) termed PEXEL (Plasmodium export element), we have generated transgenic P. berghei parasite lines expressing GFP chimera of putatively exported proteins and analysed one of the newly identified exported proteins in detail. This essential protein, termed PbCP1 (P. berghei Cleft-like Protein 1), harbours an atypical PEXEL motif (RxLxY) and is further characterised by two predicted transmembrane domains (2TMD) in the C-terminal end of the protein. We have functionally validated the unusual PEXEL motif in PbCP1 and analysed the role of the 2TMD region, which is required to recruit PbCP1 to discrete membranous structures in the red blood cell cytosol that have a convoluted, vesico-tubular morphology by electron microscopy. Importantly, this study reveals that rodent malaria species also induce modifications to their host red blood cell. PMID:23658610

  10. Set regulation in asexual and sexual Plasmodium parasites reveals a novel mechanism of stage-specific expression.

    PubMed

    Pace, Tomasino; Olivieri, Anna; Sanchez, Massimo; Albanesi, Veronica; Picci, Leonardo; Siden Kiamos, Inga; Janse, Chris J; Waters, Andrew P; Pizzi, Elisabetta; Ponzi, Marta

    2006-05-01

    Transmission of the malaria parasite depends on specialized gamete precursors (gametocytes) that develop in the bloodstream of a vertebrate host. Gametocyte/gamete differentiation requires controlled patterns of gene expression and regulation not only of stage and gender-specific genes but also of genes associated with DNA replication and mitosis. Once taken up by mosquito, male gametocytes undergo three mitotic cycles within few minutes to produce eight motile gametes. Here we analysed, in two Plasmodium species, the expression of SET, a conserved nuclear protein involved in chromatin dynamics. SET is expressed in both asexual and sexual blood stages but strongly accumulates in male gametocytes. We demonstrated functionally the presence of two distinct promoters upstream of the set open reading frame, the one active in all blood stage parasites while the other active only in gametocytes and in a fraction of schizonts possibly committed to sexual differentiation. In ookinetes both promoters exhibit a basal activity, while in the oocysts the gametocyte-specific promoter is silent and the reporter gene is only transcribed from the constitutive promoter. This transcriptional control, described for the first time in Plasmodium, provides a mechanism by which single-copy genes can be differently modulated during parasite development. In male gametocytes an overexpression of SET might contribute to a prompt entry and execution of S/M phases within mosquito vector. PMID:16677299

  11. 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

  12. Genetic polymorphism and natural selection in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Escalante, A A; Lal, A A; Ayala, F J

    1998-01-01

    We have studied the genetic polymorphism at 10 Plasmodium falciparum loci that are considered potential targets for specific antimalarial vaccines. The polymorphism is unevenly distributed among the loci; loci encoding proteins expressed on the surface of the sporozoite or the merozoite (AMA-1, CSP, LSA-1, MSP-1, MSP-2, and MSP-3) are more polymorphic than those expressed during the sexual stages or inside the parasite (EBA-175, Pfs25, PF48/45, and RAP-1). Comparison of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions indicates that natural selection may account for the polymorphism observed at seven of the 10 loci studied. This inference depends on the assumption that synonymous substitutions are neutral, which we test by analyzing codon bias and G+C content in a set of 92 gene loci. We find evidence for an overall trend towards increasing A+T richness, but no evidence for mutation bias. Although the neutrality of synonymous substitutions is not definitely established, this trend towards an A+T rich genome cannot explain the accumulation of substitutions at least in the case of four genes (AMA-1, CSP, LSA-1, and PF48/45) because the Gleft and right arrow C transversions are more frequent than expected. Moreover, the Tajima test manifests positive natural selection for the MSP-1 and, less strongly, MSP-3 polymorphisms; the McDonald-Kreitman test manifests natural selection at LSA-1 and PF48/45. We conclude that there is definite evidence for positive natural selection in the genes encoding AMA-1, CSP, LSA-1, MSP-1, and Pfs48/45. For four other loci, EBA-175, MSP-2, MSP-3, and RAP-1, the evidence is limited. No evidence for natural selection is found for Pfs25. PMID:9584096

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Resistance to chloroquine and antifolate drugs has evolved independently in South America, suggesting that genotype - phenotype studies aimed at understanding the genetic basis of resistance to these and other drugs should be conducted in this continent. This research was conducted to better understand the population structure of Colombian Plasmodium falciparum in preparation for such studies. Results A set of 384 SNPs were genotyped in blood spot DNA samples from 447 P. falciparum infected subjects collected over a ten year period from four provinces of the Colombian Pacific coast to evaluate clonality, population structure and linkage disequilibrium (LD). Most infections (81%) contained a single predominant clone. These clustered into 136 multilocus genotypes (MLGs), with 32% of MLGs recovered from multiple (2 – 28) independent subjects. We observed extremely low genotypic richness (R = 0.42) and long persistence of MLGs through time (median = 537 days, range = 1 – 2,997 days). There was a high probability (>5%) of sampling parasites from the same MLG in different subjects within 28 days, suggesting caution is needed when using genotyping methods to assess treatment success in clinical drug trials. Panmixia was rejected as four well differentiated subpopulations (FST = 0.084 - 0.279) were identified. These occurred sympatrically but varied in frequency within the four provinces. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) decayed more rapidly (r2 = 0.17 for markers <10 kb apart) than observed previously in South American samples. Conclusions We conclude that Colombian populations have several advantages for association studies, because multiple clone infections are uncommon and LD decays over the scale of one or a few genes. However, the extensive population structure and low genotype richness will need to be accounted for when designing and analyzing association studies. PMID:23294725

  15. Proteomic Analysis of Detergent-resistant Membrane Microdomains in Trophozoite Blood Stage of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum*

    PubMed Central

    Yam, Xue Yan; Birago, Cecilia; Fratini, Federica; Di Girolamo, Francesco; Raggi, Carla; Sargiacomo, Massimo; Bachi, Angela; Berry, Laurence; Fall, Gamou; Currà, Chiara; Pizzi, Elisabetta; Breton, Catherine Braun; Ponzi, Marta

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens contribute to a significant proportion of infectious diseases worldwide. The successful strategy of evading the immune system by hiding inside host cells is common to all the microorganism classes, which exploit membrane microdomains, enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids, to invade and colonize the host cell. These assemblies, with distinct biochemical properties, can be isolated by means of flotation in sucrose density gradient centrifugation because they are insoluble in nonionic detergents at low temperature. We analyzed the protein and lipid contents of detergent-resistant membranes from erythrocytes infected by Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly human malaria parasite. Proteins associated with membrane microdomains of trophic parasite blood stages (trophozoites) include an abundance of chaperones, molecules involved in vesicular trafficking, and enzymes implicated in host hemoglobin degradation. About 60% of the identified proteins contain a predicted localization signal suggesting a role of membrane microdomains in protein sorting/trafficking. To validate our proteomic data, we raised antibodies against six Plasmodium proteins not characterized previously. All the selected candidates were recovered in floating low-density fractions after density gradient centrifugation. The analyzed proteins localized either to internal organelles, such as the mitochondrion and the endoplasmic reticulum, or to exported membrane structures, the parasitophorous vacuole membrane and Maurer's clefts, implicated in targeting parasite proteins to the host erythrocyte cytosol or surface. The relative abundance of cholesterol and phospholipid species varies in gradient fractions containing detergent-resistant membranes, suggesting heterogeneity in the lipid composition of the isolated microdomain population. This study is the first report showing the presence of cholesterol-rich microdomains with distinct properties and subcellular localization in trophic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. PMID:24045696

  16. Proteomic analysis of detergent-resistant membrane microdomains in trophozoite blood stage of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Yam, Xue Yan; Birago, Cecilia; Fratini, Federica; Di Girolamo, Francesco; Raggi, Carla; Sargiacomo, Massimo; Bachi, Angela; Berry, Laurence; Fall, Gamou; Currà, Chiara; Pizzi, Elisabetta; Breton, Catherine Braun; Ponzi, Marta

    2013-12-01

    Intracellular pathogens contribute to a significant proportion of infectious diseases worldwide. The successful strategy of evading the immune system by hiding inside host cells is common to all the microorganism classes, which exploit membrane microdomains, enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids, to invade and colonize the host cell. These assemblies, with distinct biochemical properties, can be isolated by means of flotation in sucrose density gradient centrifugation because they are insoluble in nonionic detergents at low temperature. We analyzed the protein and lipid contents of detergent-resistant membranes from erythrocytes infected by Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly human malaria parasite. Proteins associated with membrane microdomains of trophic parasite blood stages (trophozoites) include an abundance of chaperones, molecules involved in vesicular trafficking, and enzymes implicated in host hemoglobin degradation. About 60% of the identified proteins contain a predicted localization signal suggesting a role of membrane microdomains in protein sorting/trafficking. To validate our proteomic data, we raised antibodies against six Plasmodium proteins not characterized previously. All the selected candidates were recovered in floating low-density fractions after density gradient centrifugation. The analyzed proteins localized either to internal organelles, such as the mitochondrion and the endoplasmic reticulum, or to exported membrane structures, the parasitophorous vacuole membrane and Maurer's clefts, implicated in targeting parasite proteins to the host erythrocyte cytosol or surface. The relative abundance of cholesterol and phospholipid species varies in gradient fractions containing detergent-resistant membranes, suggesting heterogeneity in the lipid composition of the isolated microdomain population. This study is the first report showing the presence of cholesterol-rich microdomains with distinct properties and subcellular localization in trophic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. PMID:24045696

  17. 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

  18. 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 control measures such as drug policy and vaccine development. PMID:25412166

  19. 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

  20. Quinine localizes to a non-acidic compartment within the food vacuole of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The naturally fluorescent compound quinine has long been used to treat malaria infections. Although some evidence suggests that quinine acts in the parasite food vacuole, the mechanism of action of quinine has not yet been resolved. The Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance (pfmdr1) gene encodes a food vacuolar membrane transporter and has been linked with parasite resistance to quinine. The effect of multiple pfmdr1 copies on the subcellular localization of quinine was explored. Methods Fluorescence microscopy was used to evaluate the subcellular localization of quinine in parasites containing different pfmdr1 copy numbers to determine if copy number of the gene affects drug localization. The acidotropic dye LysoTracker Red was used to label the parasite food vacuole. Time-lapse images were taken to determine quinine localization over time following quinine exposure. Results Regardless of pfmdr1 copy number, quinine overlapped with haemozoin but did not colocalize with LysoTracker Red, which labeled the acidic parasite food vacuole. Conclusions Quinine localizes to a non-acidic compartment within the food vacuole possibly haemozoin. Pfmdr1 copy number does not affect quinine subcellular localization. PMID:23088166

  1. Parasitological and new molecular-phylogenetic characterization of the malaria parasite Plasmodium tejerai in South American penguins.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Patricia; Belo, Nayara O; Lacorte, Gustavo A; Kolesnikovas, Cristiane K M; Vanstreels, Ralph E T; Steindel, Mário; Catão-Dias, José Luiz; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Braga, Erika M

    2013-04-01

    This study is the first report on mortality of Spheniscus magellanicus, penguin of South America, caused by Plasmodium tejerai, which was identified using morphological and molecular analyses. Blood stages (trophozoites, meronts and gametocytes) were reported and illustrated. The necropsy revealed marked splenomegaly and pulmonary edema, as well as moderate hepatomegaly and hydropericardium. The histopathology revealed the presence of tissue meronts in the macrophages and endothelial cells of multiple organs. The molecular analyses showed 5.6% of genetic divergence in cytochrome b gene between P. tejerai and Plasmodium relictum. Morphology of blood and tissue stages of P. tejerai is similar to P. relictum; the distinction between these two species requires experience in the identification of avian Plasmodium species. Molecular studies associated with reliably identified morphological species are useful for barcoding and comparisons with previous studies of wildlife malaria infections as well as for posterior phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies. S. magellanicus is a new host record of P. tejerai, which is the virulent parasite and worth more attention in avian conservation and veterinary medicine projects in South America. PMID:23269202

  2. Accumulation of artemisinin trioxane derivatives within neutral lipids of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites is endoperoxide-dependent

    PubMed Central

    Hartwig, Carmony L.; Rosenthal, Andrew S.; Angelo, John D'; Griffin, Carol E.; Posner, Gary H.; Cooper, Roland A.

    2009-01-01

    The antimalarial trioxanes, exemplified by the naturally occurring sesquiterpene lactone artemisinin and its semi-synthetic derivatives, contain an endoperoxide pharmacophore that lends tremendous potency against Plasmodium parasites. Despite decades of research, their mechanism of action remains unresolved. A leading model of anti-plasmodial activity hypothesizes that iron-mediated cleavage of the endoperoxide bridge generates cytotoxic drug metabolites capable of damaging cellular macromolecules. To probe the malarial targets of the endoperoxide drugs, we studied the distribution of fluorescent dansyl trioxane derivatives in living, intraerythrocytic-stage P. falciparum parasites using microscopic imaging. The fluorescent trioxanes rapidly accumulated in parasitized erythrocytes, localizing within digestive vacuole-associated neutral lipid bodies of trophozoites and schizonts, and surrounding the developing merozoite membranes. Artemisinin pre-treatment significantly reduced fluorescent labeling of neutral lipid bodies, while iron chelation increased non-specific cytoplasmic localization. To further explore the effects of endoperoxides on cellular lipids, we used an oxidation-sensitive BODIPY lipid probe to show the presence of artemisinin-induced peroxyl radicals in parasite membranes. Lipid extracts from artemisinin-exposed parasites contained increased amounts of free fatty acids and a novel cholesteryl ester. The cellular accumulation patterns and effects on lipids were entirely endoperoxide-dependent, as inactive dioxolane analogs lacking the endoperoxide moiety failed to label neutral lipid bodies or induce oxidative membrane damage. In the parasite digestive vacuole, neutral lipids closely associate with heme and promote hemozoin formation. We propose that the trioxane artemisinin and its derivatives are activated by heme-iron within the neutral lipid environment where they initiate oxidation reactions that damage parasite membranes. PMID:19022224

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    CD4(+) T cells play critical roles in protection against the blood stage of malarial infection; however, their uncontrolled activation can be harmful to the host. In this study, in which rodent models of Plasmodium parasites were used, the expression of inhibitory receptors on activated CD4(+) T cells and their cytokine production was compared with their expression in a bacterial and another protozoan infection. CD4(+) T cells from mice infected with P. yoelii 17XL, P yoelii 17XNL, P. chabaudi, P. vinckei and P. berghei expressed the inhibitory receptors, PD-1 and LAG-3, as early as 6 days after infection, whereas those from either Listeria monocytogenes- or Leishmania major-infected mice did not. In response to T-cell receptor stimulation, CD4(+) T cells from mice infected with all the pathogens under study produced high concentrations of IFN-?. IL-2 production was reduced in mice infected with Plasmodium species, but not in those infected with Listeria or Leishmania. In vitro blockade of the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands resulted in increased IFN-? production in response to Plasmodium antigens, implying that PD-1 expressed on activated CD4(+) T cells actively inhibits T cell immune responses. Studies using Myd88(-/-) , Trif(-/-) and Irf3(-/-) mice showed that induction of these CD4(+) T cells and their ability to produce cytokines is largely independent of TLR signaling. These studies suggest that expression of the inhibitory receptors PD-1 and LAG-3 on CD4(+) T cells and their reduced IL-2 production are common characteristic features of Plasmodium infection. PMID:26696540

  9. Detailed characterization of a cyclophilin from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Berriman, M; Fairlamb, A H

    1998-01-01

    Cyclosporin (Cs) A has pronounced antimalarial activity in vitro and in vivo. In other organisms, the drug is thought to exert its effects either by inhibiting the peptidylprolyl cis/trans isomerase activity of cyclophilin (CyP) or by forming a CyP-CsA complex that inhibits the phosphatase activity of calcineurin. We have cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli a gene encoding a CyP from Plasmodium falciparum (PfCyP19) that is located on chromosome 3. The sequence of PfCyP19 shows remarkable sequence identity with human CyPA and, unlike the two previously identified CyPs from P. falciparum, PfCyP19 has no signal peptide or N-terminal sequence extension, suggesting a cytosolic localization. All the residues implicated in the recognition of the synthetic substrate N-succinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Phe-p-nitroanilide are conserved, resulting in characteristically high Michaelis-Menten and specificity constants (Km>>120 microM, kcat/Km=1.2x10(7) M-1.s-1 respectively). As the first line in the functional characterization of this enzyme, we have assessed its binding affinity for CsA. In accordance with its tryptophan-containing CsA-binding domain, PfCyP19 binds CsA with high affinity (Kd=13 nM, Ki=6.9 nM). Twelve CsA analogues were also found to possess Ki values similar to CsA, with the notable exceptions of Val2-Cs (Ki=218 nM) and Thr2-Cs (Ki=690 nM). The immunosuppressants rapamycin and FK506 were inactive as inhibitors, consistent with other members of the CyP family of rotamases. The CsA analogues were also assessed as inhibitors of P. falciparum growth in vitro. Although their antimalarial activity did not correlate with inhibition of enzyme activity, residues 3 and 4 of CsA appeared to be important for inhibition of parasite growth and residues 1 and 2 for PfCyP19 inhibition. We propose that a malarial CyP-CsA complex presents residues 3 and 4 as part of an 'effector surface' for recognition by a downstream target, similar to the proposed mechanism for T-cell immunosuppression. PMID:9716503

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. Identification and Functional Analysis of the Primary Pantothenate Transporter, PfPAT, of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum*

    PubMed Central

    Augagneur, Yoann; Jaubert, Lise; Schiavoni, Matthieu; Pachikara, Niseema; Garg, Aprajita; Usmani-Brown, Sahar; Wesolowski, Donna; Zeller, Skye; Ghosal, Abhisek; Cornillot, Emmanuel; Said, Hamid M.; Kumar, Priti; Altman, Sidney; Ben Mamoun, Choukri

    2013-01-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is absolutely dependent on the acquisition of host pantothenate for its development within human erythrocytes. Although the biochemical properties of this transport have been characterized, the molecular identity of the parasite-encoded pantothenate transporter remains unknown. Here we report the identification and functional characterization of the first protozoan pantothenate transporter, PfPAT, from P. falciparum. We show using cell biological, biochemical, and genetic analyses that this transporter is localized to the parasite plasma membrane and plays an essential role in parasite intraerythrocytic development. We have targeted PfPAT to the yeast plasma membrane and showed that the transporter complements the growth defect of the yeast fen2Δ pantothenate transporter-deficient mutant and mediates the entry of the fungicide drug, fenpropimorph. Our studies in P. falciparum revealed that fenpropimorph inhibits the intraerythrocytic development of both chloroquine- and pyrimethamine-resistant P. falciparum strains with potency equal or better than that of currently available pantothenate analogs. The essential function of PfPAT and its ability to deliver both pantothenate and fenpropimorph makes it an attractive target for the development and delivery of new classes of antimalarial drugs. PMID:23729665

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Drug-induced permeabilization of parasite's digestive vacuole is a key trigger of programmed cell death in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ch'Ng, J-H; Liew, K; Goh, A S-P; Sidhartha, E; Tan, K S-W

    2011-01-01

    Having previously characterized chloroquine (CQ)-induced programmed cell death (PCD) hallmarks in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and delineating a pathway linking these features, the roles of non-classical mediators were investigated in this paper. It was shown that the later stages of this pathway are Ca2+-dependent and transcriptionally regulated. Moreover, it was demonstrated for the first time that micromolar concentrations of CQ partially permeabilized the parasite's digestive vacuole (DV) membrane and that this important upstream event appears to precede mitochondrial dysfunction. This permeabilization of the DV occurred without rupture of the DV membrane and was reminiscent of lysosome-mediated cell death in mammalian cells. As such micromolar concentrations of CQ are found in the patient's plasma after initial CQ loading, this alludes to a clinically relevant antimalarial mechanism of the drug which has yet to be recognized. Furthermore, other non-antimalarial' lysosomotropic compounds were also shown to cause DV permeabilization, triggering PCD in both CQ-sensitive and -resistant parasites. These findings present new avenues for antimalarial developments, which induce DV destabilization to kill parasites. PMID:21993392

  16. 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 1.87μM], 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

  17. The relationship between the Plasmodium falciparum parasite ratio in childhood and climate estimates of malaria transmission in Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Omumbo, Judith A; Hay, Simon I; Guerra, Carlos A; Snow, Robert W

    2004-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum morbid and fatal risks are considerably higher in areas supporting parasite prevalence ≥25%, when compared with low transmission areas supporting parasite prevalence below 25%. Recent descriptions of the health impacts of malaria in Africa are based upon categorical descriptions of a climate-driven fuzzy model of suitability (FCS) for stable transmission developed by the Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa collaboration (MARA). Methods An electronic and national search was undertaken to identify community-based parasite prevalence surveys in Kenya. Data from these surveys were matched using ArcView 3.2 to extract spatially congruent estimates of the FCS values generated by the MARA model. Levels of agreement between three classes used during recent continental burden estimations of parasite prevalence (0%, >0 – <25% and ≥25%) and three classes of FCS (0, >0 – <0.75 and ≥0.75) were tested using the kappa (k) statistic and examined as continuous variables to define better levels of agreement. Results Two hundred and seventeen independent parasite prevalence surveys undertaken since 1980 were identified during the search. Overall agreement between the three classes of parasite prevalence and FCS was weak although significant (k = 0.367, p < 0.0001). The overall correlation between the FCS and the parasite ratio when considered as continuous variables was also positive (0.364, p < 0.001). The margins of error were in the stable, endemic (parasite ratio ≥25%) class with 42% of surveys represented by an FCS <0.75. Reducing the FCS value criterion to ≥0.6 improved the classification of stable, endemic parasite ratio surveys. Zero values of FCS were not adequate discriminators of zero parasite prevalence. Conclusion Using the MARA model to categorically distinguish populations at differing intensities of malaria transmission in Kenya may under-represent those who are exposed to stable, endemic transmission and over-represent those at no risk. The MARA approach to defining FCS values of suitability for stable transmission represents our only contemporary continental level map of malaria in Africa but there is a need to redefine Africa's population at risk in accordance with both climatic and non-climatic determinants of P. falciparum transmission intensity to provide a more informed approach to estimating the morbid and fatal consequences of infection across the continent. PMID:15202945

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Transcriptional Profiling of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites from Patients with Severe Malaria Identifies Distinct Low vs. High Parasitemic Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Krupka, Malkie; Williams, Chris; Seydel, Karl; Taylor, Terrie E.; Van de Peer, Yves; Regev, Aviv; Wirth, Dyann

    2012-01-01

    Background In the past decade, estimates of malaria infections have dropped from 500 million to 225 million per year; likewise, mortality rates have dropped from 3 million to 791,000 per year. However, approximately 90% of these deaths continue to occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and 85% involve children less than 5 years of age. Malaria mortality in children generally results from one or more of the following clinical syndromes: severe anemia, acidosis, and cerebral malaria. Although much is known about the clinical and pathological manifestations of CM, insights into the biology of the malaria parasite, specifically transcription during this manifestation of severe infection, are lacking. Methods and Findings We collected peripheral blood from children meeting the clinical case definition of cerebral malaria from a cohort in Malawi, examined the patients for the presence or absence of malaria retinopathy, and performed whole genome transcriptional profiling for Plasmodium falciparum using a custom designed Affymetrix array. We identified two distinct physiological states that showed highly significant association with the level of parasitemia. We compared both groups of Malawi expression profiles with our previously acquired ex vivo expression profiles of parasites derived from infected patients with mild disease; a large collection of in vitro Plasmodium falciparum life cycle gene expression profiles; and an extensively annotated compendium of expression data from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The high parasitemia patient group demonstrated a unique biology with elevated expression of Hrd1, a member of endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation system. Conclusions The presence of a unique high parasitemia state may be indicative of the parasite biology of the clinically recognized hyperparasitemic severe disease syndrome. PMID:22815802

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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 during periods/locations when transmission intensity is low. PMID:17594442

  5. 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

  6. 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, LC50 were 4.8ppm (I), 5.8ppm (II), 6.9ppm (III), 8.5ppm (IV), and 15.5ppm (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 IC50 were 49.3μg/ml (CQ-s) and 55.5μg/ml (CQ-r), while chloroquine IC50 were 81.5μg/ml (CQ-s) and 86.5μg/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

  7. Loss of pH Control in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites Subjected to Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    van Schalkwyk, Donelly A.; Saliba, Kevin J.; Biagini, Giancarlo A.; Bray, Patrick G.; Kirk, Kiaran

    2013-01-01

    The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite is susceptible to oxidative stress and this may play a role in the mechanism of action of some antimalarial agents. Here we show that exposure of the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite to the oxidising agent hydrogen peroxide results in a fall in the intracellular ATP level and inhibition of the parasite's V-type H+-ATPase, causing a loss of pH control in both the parasite cytosol and the internal digestive vacuole. In contrast to the V-type H+-ATPase, the parasite's digestive vacuole H+-pyrophosphatase is insensitive to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress. This work provides insights into the effects of oxidative stress on the intraerythrocytic parasite, as well as providing an alternative possible explanation for a previous report that light-induced oxidative stress causes selective lysis of the parasite's digestive vacuole. PMID:23536836

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Potential of lichen secondary metabolites against Plasmodium liver stage parasites with FAS-II as the potential target.

    PubMed

    Lauinger, Ina L; Vivas, Livia; Perozzo, Remo; Stairiker, Christopher; Tarun, Alice; Zloh, Mire; Zhang, Xujie; Xu, Hua; Tonge, Peter J; Franzblau, Scott G; Pham, Duc-Hung; Esguerra, Camila V; Crawford, Alexander D; Maes, Louis; Tasdemir, Deniz

    2013-06-28

    Chemicals targeting the liver stage (LS) of the malaria parasite are useful for causal prophylaxis of malaria. In this study, four lichen metabolites, evernic acid (1), vulpic acid (2), psoromic acid (3), and (+)-usnic acid (4), were evaluated against LS parasites of Plasmodium berghei. Inhibition of P. falciparum blood stage (BS) parasites was also assessed to determine stage specificity. Compound 4 displayed the highest LS activity and stage specificity (LS IC50 value 2.3 μM, BS IC50 value 47.3 μM). The compounds 1-3 inhibited one or more enzymes (PfFabI, PfFabG, and PfFabZ) from the plasmodial fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS-II) pathway, a potential drug target for LS activity. To determine species specificity and to clarify the mechanism of reported antibacterial effects, 1-4 were also evaluated against FabI homologues and whole cells of various pathogens (S. aureus, E. coli, M. tuberculosis). Molecular modeling studies suggest that lichen acids act indirectly via binding to allosteric sites on the protein surface of the FAS-II enzymes. Potential toxicity of compounds was assessed in human hepatocyte and cancer cells (in vitro) as well as in a zebrafish model (in vivo). This study indicates the therapeutic and prophylactic potential of lichen metabolites as antibacterial and antiplasmodial agents. PMID:23806111

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Global warming will reshuffle the areas of high prevalence and richness of three genera of avian blood parasites.

    PubMed

    Prez-Rodrguez, Antn; de la Hera, Ivn; Fernndez-Gonzlez, Sofa; Prez-Tris, Javier

    2014-08-01

    The importance of parasitism for host populations depends on local parasite richness and prevalence: usually host individuals face higher infection risk in areas where parasites are most diverse, and host dispersal to or from these areas may have fitness consequences. Knowing how parasites are and will be distributed in space and time (in a context of global change) is thus crucial from both an ecological and a biological conservation perspective. Nevertheless, most research articles focus just on elaborating models of parasite distribution instead of parasite diversity. We produced distribution models of the areas where haemosporidian parasites are currently highly diverse (both at community and at within-host levels) and prevalent among Iberian populations of a model passerine host: the blackcap Sylvia atricapilla; and how these areas are expected to vary according to three scenarios of climate change. On the basis of these models, we analysed whether variation among populations in parasite richness or prevalence are expected to remain the same or change in the future, thereby reshuffling the geographic mosaic of host-parasite interactions as we observe it today. Our models predict a rearrangement of areas of high prevalence and richness of parasites in the future, with Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon parasites (today the most diverse genera in blackcaps) losing areas of high diversity and Plasmodium parasites (the most virulent ones) gaining them. Likewise, the prevalence of multiple infections and parasite infracommunity richness would be reduced. Importantly, differences among populations in the prevalence and richness of parasites are expected to decrease in the future, creating a more homogeneous parasitic landscape. This predicts an altered geographic mosaic of host-parasite relationships, which will modify the interaction arena in which parasite virulence evolves. PMID:24488566

  15. Predicted conformations for the immunodominant region of the circumsporozoite protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, K D; Scheraga, H A

    1986-01-01

    The circumsporozoite protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains multiple tandem repeats of the amino acid sequence Asn-Ala-Asn-Pro. The repeated sequence encompasses the immunodominant region of the protein, and antibodies raised against it are potent inhibitors of invasion and development of sporozoites in cultured hepatocytes. Using a modified build-up procedure, we have explored a large number of possible helical and near-helical conformations of a terminally blocked tetraicosapeptide, consisting of six repeats of the sequence Asn-Ala-Asn-Pro, and conclude that two helical conformations are energetically favored to the exclusion of all others. One of these conformations is longer, thinner, and left-handed and is likely to be adopted in nonpolar environments, while the other is shorter, broader, and right-handed and should be favored in aqueous solutions. We propose that the immunodominant region of the circumsporozoite protein of P. falciparum adopts one of these conformations in vivo. PMID:2426702

  16. Identification and initial characterization of three novel cyclin-related proteins of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Merckx, Anaïs; Le Roch, Karine; Nivez, Marie-Paule; Dorin, Dominique; Alano, Pietro; Gutierrez, Gustavo J; Nebreda, Angel R; Goldring, Dean; Whittle, Christina; Patterson, Shelley; Chakrabarti, Debopam; Doerig, Christian

    2003-10-10

    The molecular mechanisms regulating cell proliferation and development during the life cycle of malaria parasites remain to be elucidated. The peculiarities of the cell cycle organization during Plasmodium falciparum schizogony suggest that the modalities of cell cycle control in this organism may differ from those in other eukaryotes. Indeed, existing data concerning Plasmodium cell cycle regulators such as cyclin-dependent kinases reveal structural and functional properties that are divergent from those of their homologues in other systems. The work presented here lies in the context of the exploitation of the recently available P. falciparum genome sequence toward the characterization of putative cell cycle regulators. We describe the in silico identification of three open reading frames encoding proteins with maximal homology to various members of the cyclin family and demonstrate that the corresponding polypeptides are expressed in the erythrocytic stages of the infection. We present evidence that these proteins possess cyclin activity by demonstrating either their association with histone H1 kinase activity in parasite extracts or their ability to activate PfPK5, a P. falciparum cyclin-dependent kinase homologue, in vitro. Furthermore, we show that RINGO, a protein with no sequence homology to cyclins but that is nevertheless a strong activator of mammalian CDK1/2, is also a strong activator of PfPK5 in vitro. This raises the possibility that "cryptic" cell cycle regulators may be found among the 50% of the open reading frames in the P. falciparum genome that display no homology to any known proteins. PMID:12869562

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

    PubMed

    Ukaegbu, Uchechi E; Zhang, Xu; Heinberg, Adina R; Wele, Mamadou; Chen, Qijun; Deitsch, Kirk W

    2015-05-01

    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 in Plasmodium falciparum. PMID:25993442

  18. 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 in Plasmodium falciparum. PMID:25993442

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

    PubMed

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F; Barfod, Lea; Hviid, Lars

    2014-06-01

    Naturally acquired protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria takes years to develop. It relies mainly on Abs, particularly IgG specific for Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface. It is only partially understood why acquisition of clinical protection takes years to develop, but it probably involves a range of immune-evasive parasite features, not least of which are PfEMP1 polymorphism and clonal variation. Parasite-induced subversion of immunological memory and expansion of "atypical" memory B cells may also contribute. In this first, to our knowledge, longitudinal study of its kind, we measured B cell subset composition, as well as PfEMP1-specific Ab levels and memory B cell frequencies, in Ghanaian women followed from early pregnancy up to 1 y after delivery. Cell phenotypes and Ag-specific B cell function were assessed three times during and after pregnancy. Levels of IgG specific for pregnancy-restricted, VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 increased markedly during pregnancy and declined after delivery, whereas IgG levels specific for two PfEMP1 proteins not restricted to pregnancy did not. Changes in VAR2CSA-specific memory B cell frequencies showed typical primary memory induction among primigravidae and recall expansion among multigravidae, followed by contraction postpartum in all. No systematic changes in the frequencies of memory B cells specific for the two other PfEMP1 proteins were identified. The B cell subset analysis confirmed earlier reports of high atypical memory B cell frequencies among residents of P. falciparum-endemic areas, and indicated an additional effect of pregnancy. Our study provides new knowledge regarding immunity to P. falciparum malaria and underpins efforts to develop PfEMP1-based vaccines against this disease. PMID:24760153

  20. 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 and rate are indicative of emerging artemisinin resistance. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01775592.) PMID:25224002

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Reduced susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum toward artemisinin derivatives has been reported from the Thai-Cambodian and Thai-Myanmar borders. Following increasing reports from central Vietnam of delayed parasite clearance after treatment with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PPQ), the current first-line treatment, we carried out a study on the efficacy of this treatment. Between September 2012 and February 2013, we conducted a 42-day in vivo and in vitro efficacy study in Quang Nam Province. Treatment was directly observed, and blood samples were collected twice daily until parasite clearance. In addition, genotyping, quantitative PCR (qPCR), and in vitro sensitivity testing of isolates was performed. The primary endpoints were parasite clearance rate and time. The secondary endpoints included PCR-corrected and uncorrected cure rates, qPCR clearance profiles, in vitro sensitivity results (for chloroquine, dihydroartemisinin, and piperaquine), and genotyping for mutations in the Kelch 13 propeller domain. Out of 672 screened patients, 95 were recruited and 89 available for primary endpoint analyses. The median parasite clearance time (PCT) was 61.7 h (interquartile range [IQR], 47.6 to 83.2 h), and the median parasite clearance rate had a slope half-life of 6.2 h (IQR, 4.4 to 7.5 h). The PCR-corrected efficacy rates were estimated at 100% at day 28 and 97.7% (95% confidence interval, 91.2% to 99.4%) at day 42. At day 3, the P. falciparum prevalence by qPCR was 2.5 times higher than that by microscopy. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of isolates with delayed clearance times (≥ 72 h) were significantly higher than those with normal clearance times for all three drugs. Delayed parasite clearance (PCT, ≥ 72 h) was significantly higher among day 0 samples carrying the 543 mutant allele (47.8%) than those carrying the wild-type allele (1.8%; P = 0.048). In central Vietnam, the efficacy of DHA-PPQ is still satisfactory, but the parasite clearance time and rate are indicative of emerging artemisinin resistance. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01775592.). PMID:25224002

  2. PfPDE1, a novel cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    This is the first report of molecular characterization of a novel cyclic nucleotide PDE (phosphodiesterase), isolated from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and designated PfPDE1. PfPDE1 cDNA encodes an 884-amino-acid protein, including six putative transmembrane domains in the N-terminus followed by a catalytic domain. The PfPDE1 gene is a single-copy gene consisting of two exons and a 170 bp intron. PfPDE1 transcripts were abundant in the ring form of the asexual blood stages of the parasite. The C-terminal catalytic domain of PfPDE1, produced in Escherichia coli, specifically hydrolysed cGMP with a Km value of 0.65 μM. Among the PDE inhibitors tested, a PDE5 inhibitor, zaprinast, was the most effective, having an IC50 value of 3.8 μM. The non-specific PDE inhibitors IBMX (3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine), theophylline and the antimalarial chloroquine had IC50 values of over 100 μM. Membrane fractions prepared from P. falciparum at mixed asexual blood stages showed potent cGMP hydrolytic activity compared with cytosolic fractions. This hydrolytic activity was sensitive to zaprinast with an IC50 value of 4.1 μM, but insensitive to IBMX and theophylline. Furthermore, an in vitro antimalarial activity assay demonstrated that zaprinast inhibited the growth of the asexual blood parasites, with an ED50 value of 35 μM. The impact of cyclic nucleotide signalling on the cellular development of this parasite has previously been discussed. Thus this enzyme is suggested to be a novel potential target for the treatment of the disease malaria. PMID:16038615

  3. Multiple stiffening effects of nanoscale knobs on human red blood cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yao; Huang, Changjin; Kim, Sangtae; Golkaram, Mahdi; Dixon, Matthew W A; Tilley, Leann; Li, Ju; Zhang, Sulin; Suresh, Subra

    2015-05-12

    During its asexual development within the red blood cell (RBC), Plasmodium falciparum (Pf), the most virulent human malaria parasite, exports proteins that modify the host RBC membrane. The attendant increase in cell stiffness and cytoadherence leads to sequestration of infected RBCs in microvasculature, which enables the parasite to evade the spleen, and leads to organ dysfunction in severe cases of malaria. Despite progress in understanding malaria pathogenesis, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the dramatic loss of deformability of Pf-infected RBCs have remained elusive. By recourse to a coarse-grained (CG) model that captures the molecular structures of Pf-infected RBC membrane, here we show that nanoscale surface protrusions, known as "knobs," introduce multiple stiffening mechanisms through composite strengthening, strain hardening, and knob density-dependent vertical coupling. On one hand, the knobs act as structural strengtheners for the spectrin network; on the other, the presence of knobs results in strain inhomogeneity in the spectrin network with elevated shear strain in the knob-free regions, which, given its strain-hardening property, effectively stiffens the network. From the trophozoite to the schizont stage that ensues within 24-48 h of parasite invasion into the RBC, the rise in the knob density results in the increased number of vertical constraints between the spectrin network and the lipid bilayer, which further stiffens the membrane. The shear moduli of Pf-infected RBCs predicted by the CG model at different stages of parasite maturation are in agreement with experimental results. In addition to providing a fundamental understanding of the stiffening mechanisms of Pf-infected RBCs, our simulation results suggest potential targets for antimalarial therapies. PMID:25918423

  4. Molecular Evidence of Plasmodium vivax Mono and Mixed Malaria Parasite Infections in Duffy-Negative Native Cameroonians

    PubMed Central

    Ngassa Mbenda, Huguette Gaelle; Das, Aparup

    2014-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is known to be majorly endemic to Asian and Latin American countries with no or very few reports of Africans infected with this parasite. Since the human Duffy antigens act as receptors for P. vivax to invade human RBCs and Africans are generally Duffy-negative, non-endemicity of P. vivax in Africa has been attributed to this fact. However, recent reports describing P. vivax infections in Duffy-negative Africans from West and Central parts of Africa have been surfaced including a recent report on P. vivax infection in native Cameroonians. In order to know if Cameroonians living in the southern regions are also susceptible to P. vivax infection, we collected finger-prick blood samples from 485 malarial symptomatic patients in five locations and followed PCR diagnostic assays with DNA sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. Out of the 201 malaria positive cases detected, 193 were pure P. falciparum, six pure P. vivax and two mixed parasite infections (P. falciparum + P. vivax). The eight P. vivax infected samples (six single + two mixed) were further subjected to DNA sequencing of the P. vivax multidrug resistance 1 (pvmdr1) and the P.vivax circumsporozoite (pvcsp) genes. Alignment of the eight Cameroonian pvmdr1 sequences with the reference sequence showed high sequence similarities, reconfirming P. vivax infection in all the eight patients. DNA sequencing of the pvcsp gene indicated all the eight P. vivax to be of VK247 type. Interestingly, DNA sequencing of a part of the human Duffy gene covering the promoter region in the eight P. vivax-infected Cameroonians to identify the T-33C mutation revealed all these patients as Duffy-negative. The results provide evidence of single P. vivax as well as mixed malaria parasite infection in native Cameroonians and add knowledge to the growing evidences of P. vivax infection in Duffy-negative Africans. PMID:25084090

  5. Molecular evidence of Plasmodium vivax mono and mixed malaria parasite infections in Duffy-negative native Cameroonians.

    PubMed

    Ngassa Mbenda, Huguette Gaelle; Das, Aparup

    2014-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is known to be majorly endemic to Asian and Latin American countries with no or very few reports of Africans infected with this parasite. Since the human Duffy antigens act as receptors for P. vivax to invade human RBCs and Africans are generally Duffy-negative, non-endemicity of P. vivax in Africa has been attributed to this fact. However, recent reports describing P. vivax infections in Duffy-negative Africans from West and Central parts of Africa have been surfaced including a recent report on P. vivax infection in native Cameroonians. In order to know if Cameroonians living in the southern regions are also susceptible to P. vivax infection, we collected finger-prick blood samples from 485 malarial symptomatic patients in five locations and followed PCR diagnostic assays with DNA sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. Out of the 201 malaria positive cases detected, 193 were pure P. falciparum, six pure P. vivax and two mixed parasite infections (P. falciparum + P. vivax). The eight P. vivax infected samples (six single + two mixed) were further subjected to DNA sequencing of the P. vivax multidrug resistance 1 (pvmdr1) and the P.vivax circumsporozoite (pvcsp) genes. Alignment of the eight Cameroonian pvmdr1 sequences with the reference sequence showed high sequence similarities, reconfirming P. vivax infection in all the eight patients. DNA sequencing of the pvcsp gene indicated all the eight P. vivax to be of VK247 type. Interestingly, DNA sequencing of a part of the human Duffy gene covering the promoter region in the eight P. vivax-infected Cameroonians to identify the T-33C mutation revealed all these patients as Duffy-negative. The results provide evidence of single P. vivax as well as mixed malaria parasite infection in native Cameroonians and add knowledge to the growing evidences of P. vivax infection in Duffy-negative Africans. PMID:25084090

  6. Molecular cloning, characterization and expression profile of a glutathione peroxidase-like thioredoxin peroxidase (TPxGl) of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei.

    PubMed

    Haselton, Kyle J; David, Robin; Fell, Katherine; Schulte, Emily; Dybas, Matthew; Olsen, Kenneth W; Kanzok, Stefan M

    2015-06-01

    Glutathione peroxidases (GPx) comprise an important group of redox active proteins with diverse functions, including antioxidant defense and signaling. Although the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium does not contain a genuine GPx gene a glutathione peroxidase-like thioredoxin peroxidase (TPx(Gl)) has recently been identified and biochemically characterized in the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. To gain more insight into the potential biological function of this enzyme we have cloned and expressed TPx(Gl) of the rodent model system P. berghei (PbTPx(Gl)). Biochemical characterization confirmed that the protein is redox active with the P. berghei thioredoxin system. We compared PbTPx(Gl) to recently characterized thioredoxin-dependent GPx-type proteins of other organisms, and generated the first hypothetical 3D model of a Plasmodium TPx(Gl), which shows the conservation of the thioredoxin-fold as well as the spatial orientation of a classic GPx catalytic tetrad. In vivo studies indicate that PbTPx(Gl) is continuously expressed in all P. berghei asexual blood stages, gametocytes and in early mosquito-stage parasites. Confocal microscopy suggest a cytoplasmic localization of PbTPx(Gl) in all investigated parasite life stages, specifically in mature ookinetes. Our data provides new insights into the structure and ubiquitous expression of Plasmodium TPx(Gl) and warrants further investigation into this potentially important redox enzyme. PMID:24637102

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    A challenge to conducting high-impact and reproducible studies of the mechanisms of P. falciparum drug resistance, invasion, virulence, and immunity is the lack of robust and sustainable in vitro culture in the field. While the technology exists and is routinely utilized in developed countries, various factors-from cost, to supply, to quality-make it hard to implement in malaria endemic countries. Here, we design and rigorously evaluate an adjustable gas-mixing device for the in vitro culture of P. falciparum parasites in the field to circumvent this challenge. The device accurately replicates the gas concentrations needed to culture laboratory isolates, short-term adapted field isolates, cryopreserved previously non-adapted isolates, as well as to adapt ex vivo isolates to in vitro culture in the field. We also show an advantage over existing alternatives both in cost and in supply. Furthermore, the adjustable nature of the device makes it an ideal tool for many applications in which varied gas concentrations could be critical to culture success. This adjustable gas-mixing device will dramatically improve the feasibility of in vitro culture of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in malaria endemic countries given its numerous advantages. PMID:24603696

  8. Recombinant plasmepsin 1 from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: Enzymatic characterization, active site inhibitor design, and structural analysis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Peng; Marzahn, Melissa R.; Robbins, Arthur H.; Gutiérrez-de-Terán, Hugo; Rodríguez, David; McClung, Scott; Stevens, Stanley M.; Yowell, Charles A.; Dame, John B.; McKenna, Robert; Dunn, Ben M.

    2009-01-01

    A mutated form of truncated proplasmepsin 1 (proPfPM1) from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, proPfPM1 K110pN, was generated and overexpressed in E. coli. The auto-maturation process was carried out at pH 4.0 and 4.5, and the optimal catalytic pH of the resulting mature PfPM1 was determined to be pH 5.5. This mature PfPM1 showed comparable binding affinity to peptide substrates and inhibitors with the naturally-occurring form isolated from parasites. The S3-S3’ subsite preferences of the recombinant mature PfPM1 were explored using combinatorial chemistry based peptide libraries. Based on the results, a peptidomimetic inhibitor (compound 1) was designed and yielded 5-fold selectivity for binding to PfPM1 versus the homologous human cathepsin D (hcatD). The 2.8 Å structure of the PfPMP2-compound 1 complex is reported. Modeling studies were conducted using a series of peptidomimetic inhibitors (compounds 1–6, Table 3) and three plasmepsins: the crystal structure of PfPM2, and homology derived models of PfPM1 and PfPM4. PMID:19271776

  9. An Adjustable Gas-Mixing Device to Increase Feasibility of In Vitro Culture of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites in the Field

    PubMed Central

    Volkman, Sarah K.; Ahouidi, Ambroise D.; Ndiaye, Daouda; Mboup, Souleymane; Wirth, Dyann F.

    2014-01-01

    A challenge to conducting high-impact and reproducible studies of the mechanisms of P. falciparum drug resistance, invasion, virulence, and immunity is the lack of robust and sustainable in vitro culture in the field. While the technology exists and is routinely utilized in developed countries, various factors–from cost, to supply, to quality–make it hard to implement in malaria endemic countries. Here, we design and rigorously evaluate an adjustable gas-mixing device for the in vitro culture of P. falciparum parasites in the field to circumvent this challenge. The device accurately replicates the gas concentrations needed to culture laboratory isolates, short-term adapted field isolates, cryopreserved previously non-adapted isolates, as well as to adapt ex vivo isolates to in vitro culture in the field. We also show an advantage over existing alternatives both in cost and in supply. Furthermore, the adjustable nature of the device makes it an ideal tool for many applications in which varied gas concentrations could be critical to culture success. This adjustable gas-mixing device will dramatically improve the feasibility of in vitro culture of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in malaria endemic countries given its numerous advantages. PMID:24603696

  10. Evaluation of a range of antimicrobial agents against the parasitic protozoa, Plasmodium falciparum, Babesia rodhaini and Theileria parva in vitro.

    PubMed

    McColm, A A; McHardy, N

    1984-08-01

    Eighteen antimicrobials commonly used in tissue culture were screened in three different protozoan test systems in order to establish their suitability for routine inclusion in protozoal cultivation systems. The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, was inhibited by more than half the antibiotics tested at concentrations recommended for normal tissue culture use. Eight compounds were well tolerated and thus could be used prophylactically to prevent microbial contamination. These antimicrobials were the bactericidal aminoglycoside antibiotics, streptomycin, gentamicin and kanamycin, the bacteriostatic protein synthesis inhibitors, chloramphenicol and chlortetracycline and the antifungals, 5-fluorocytosine, nystatin and amphotericin B. Babesia rodhaini and Theileria parva were less sensitive than P. falciparum and tolerated all 18 compounds at concentrations well above 100 micrograms ml-1. Extension of the study to examine direct antiprotozoal action of these and other antimicrobials not normally used in culture confirmed that P. falciparum was significantly more sensitive than the other parasites. Tylosin, rifamycin, gramicidin D and valinomycin were all strongly antimalarial with IC50 values of 0.245, 1.20, 1.3 X 10(-3) and 1.9 X 10(-3) micrograms ml-1 respectively. This compares with a value of 1.35 X 10(-2) micrograms ml-1 for the standard antimalarial, chloroquine. Only valinomycin and, more particularly, gramicidin D were significantly active against B. rodhaini and T. parva. Gramicidin D was more effective, but more toxic, than the standard antiprotozoal agents tested at curing in vivo malarial and babesial infections in mice. PMID:6206808

  11. The Evolutionary History of Plasmodium vivax as Inferred from Mitochondrial Genomes: Parasite Genetic Diversity in the Americas

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent human malaria parasite in the Americas. Previous studies have contrasted the genetic diversity of parasite populations in the Americas with those in Asia and Oceania, concluding that New World populations exhibit low genetic diversity consistent with a recent introduction. Here we used an expanded sample of complete mitochondrial genome sequences to investigate the diversity of P. vivax in the Americas as well as in other continental populations. We show that the diversity of P. vivax in the Americas is comparable to that in Asia and Oceania, and we identify several divergent clades circulating in South America that may have resulted from independent introductions. In particular, we show that several haplotypes sampled in Venezuela and northeastern Brazil belong to a clade that diverged from the other P. vivax lineages at least 30,000 years ago, albeit not necessarily in the Americas. We propose that, unlike in Asia where human migration increases local genetic diversity, the combined effects of the geographical structure and the low incidence of vivax malaria in the Americas has resulted in patterns of low local but high regional genetic diversity. This could explain previous views that P. vivax in the Americas has low genetic diversity because these were based on studies carried out in limited areas. Further elucidation of the complex geographical pattern of P. vivax variation will be important both for diversity assessments of genes encoding candidate vaccine antigens and in the formulation of control and surveillance measures aimed at malaria elimination. PMID:23733143

  12. 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})

  13. 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 25-30mg/litre bacterial culture. The recombinant protein was enzymatically active and its catalytic efficiency for pyruvate was 5.4נ10(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

  14. Transmission stages of Plasmodium: does the parasite use the one same signal, provided both by the host and the vector, for gametocytogenesis and sporozoite maturation?

    PubMed

    Milon, G; David, P H

    1999-09-01

    Among the microorganisms that strictly depend upon other organisms (hosts or vectors) for achieving their life cycle, protozoan and metazoan parasites have been often primarily distinguished through the major pathogenic processes they could induce. A variety of different mechanisms linked to parasitism can indeed systemically (e.g. Plasmodium falciparum) or locally (e.g. Toxoplasma gondii) induce important alterations of tissue homeostasis. But more than obvious pathogenicity, it is the capacity to be transmitted that is essential for parasite survival and there is increasing evidence that certain parasites can achieve their life cycle to the point of transmission in the absence of clinically detectable processes. For this, constitutive microenvironments of the host or vector can be exploited. Moreover, parasites are sometimes able to highjack effectors of the host's immune response towards conditioning the microenvironments which are permissive to differentiation of transmissible developmental stages. Based on a few examples taken from studies on the transmission stages of Leishmania, Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, we have here attempted to formulate a few hypothesis on the biology of the transmission stages of P. falciparum, i.e. on gametocytogenesis and sporozoite maturation. As discussants, we may have been somewhat dwarfed by issues evoked by the organizers of this meeting in the title of the session, i.e. 'Vector-parasite-man interactions'!... In reaction, we may have taken refuge in somewhat over-selective comments, biased by the objects of our personal research.... PMID:10697849

  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. Resistance of early midgut stages of natural Plasmodium falciparum parasites to high temperatures in experimentally infected Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Okech, Bernard A; Gouagna, Louis C; Kabiru, Ephantus W; Walczak, Elizabeth; Beier, John C; Yan, Guiyun; Githure, John I

    2004-08-01

    We studied the effects of high temperature, 30 and 32 versus 27 C on early Plasmodium falciparum development in Anopheles gambiae experimentally infected with gametocytes from 30 volunteers with mean density of 264.1 gametocytes/microl blood (range: 16-1,536/microl). From several batches of mosquitoes, fed by membrane feeding, midguts of individual mosquitoes were dissected at 24 hr for ookinete enumeration and at 7 days to quantify oocysts. There were temperature-related differences in mean ookinete intensity per mosquito midgut, with 9.71 +/- 1.6 at 27 C, 9.85 +/- 2.32 at 30 C, and 3.89 +/- 0.81 at 32 C. The prevalence of oocyst infection decreased with an increase in temperatures from 15.9 to 8.5 to 6.4% at 27, 30, and 32 C, respectively. The average oocyst intensities for the infected mosquitoes increased with temperatures from 2.9 at 27 C to 3.5 at 30 C, and to 3.3 at 32 C. However, the success of infections was reduced at 30 and 32 C, and resulted in greater losses during consecutive inter-stage parasite development. The most significant impact of high temperatures occurred at the transition between macrogametocytes and ookinetes, whereas the transition between ookinetes and oocysts apparently was not affected. In contrast to other reports, exposure of mosquitoes infected with natural parasites to high temperatures did not eliminate preoocyst stages, as has been observed from laboratory studies using the NF-54 strain of P. falciparum. This observation of parasite resistance to high temperatures is consistent with the natural situation in tropical environments where perennial malaria transmission occurs during hot dry seasons. PMID:15357066

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    Plasmodium (Novyella) homopolare, a newly described Plasmodium species, was found in a wide range of Passeriformes species in California, USA, and Colombia. This parasite infected more than 20% of the sampled bird community (N = 399) in California and was found in 3.6% of birds sampled (N = 493) in Colombia. Thus far, it has been confirmed in North and South America where it is present in numerous species of migratory and resident birds from six families. Based on 100% matches, or near-100% matches (i.e., ≤2-nucleotide difference), to DNA sequences previously deposited in GenBank, this parasite is likely also distributed in the Eastern USA, Central America, and the Caribbean. Here, we describe the blood stages of P. homopolare and its mtDNA cytochrome b sequence. P. homopolare belongs to the subgenus Novyella and can be readily distinguished from the majority of other Novyella species, primarily, by the strictly polar or subpolar position of meronts and advanced trophozoites in infected erythrocytes. We explore possible reasons why this widespread parasite has not been described in earlier studies. Natural malarial parasitemias are usually light and co-infections predominate, making the parasites difficult to detect and identify to species when relying exclusively on microscopic examination of blood films. The combined application of sequence data and digital microscopy techniques, such as those used in this study, provides identifying markers that will facilitate the diagnosis of this parasite in natural avian populations. We also address the evolutionary relationship of this parasite to other species of Plasmodium using phylogenetic reconstruction. PMID:24974962

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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 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

  3. 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

  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

    Bauza, Karolis; Malinauskas, Tomas; Pfander, Claudia; Anar, Burcu; Jones, E Yvonne; Billker, Oliver; Hill, Adrian V S; Reyes-Sandoval, Arturo

    2014-03-01

    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. The Relationship of Erythrocyte Age and Parasitization with Plasmodium gallinaceum in Chickens

    PubMed Central

    Swann, A. I.

    1974-01-01

    Erythrocyte labeling by random and cohort techniques was used to study erythrocyte survival in normal chickens and in chickens infected with Plasmodium gallinaceum. White Leghorn chickens, eight weeks of age, were used in this series of experiments. In chickens given P. gallinaceum on the day following erythrocyte labeling there was destruction of labeled erythrocytes at a much more rapid rate than would result from normal ageing processes. Chickens given P. gallinaceum 12, 18 and 21 days after the labeling of the erythrocytes failed to show any greater destruction of the labeled red cells beyond that resulting from normal senescence. This result indicates that erythrocytes over 12 days of age are not destroyed by P. gallinaceum. PMID:4279757

  7. Novel Antimalarial Aminoquinolines: Heme Binding and Effects on Normal or Plasmodium falciparum-Parasitized Human Erythrocytes ▿

    PubMed Central

    Omodeo-Salè, Fausta; Cortelezzi, Lucia; Basilico, Nicoletta; Casagrande, Manolo; Sparatore, Anna; Taramelli, Donatella

    2009-01-01

    Two new quinolizidinyl-alkyl derivatives of 7-chloro-4-aminoquinoline, named AM-1 and AP4b, which are highly effective in vitro against both the D10 (chloroquine [CQ] susceptible) and W2 (CQ resistant) strains of Plasmodium falciparum and in vivo in the rodent malaria model, have been studied for their ability to bind to and be internalized by normal or parasitized human red blood cells (RBC) and for their effects on RBC membrane stability. In addition, an analysis of the heme binding properties of these compounds and of their ability to inhibit beta-hematin formation in vitro has been performed. Binding of AM1 or AP4b to RBC is rapid, dose dependent, and linearly related to RBC density. Their accumulation in parasitized RBC (pRBC) is increased twofold compared to levels in normal RBC. Binding of AM1 or AP4b to both normal and pRBC is higher than that of CQ, in agreement with the lower pKa and higher lipophilicity of the compounds. AM1 or AP4b is not hemolytic per se and is less hemolytic than CQ when hemolysis is accelerated (induced) by hematin. Moreover, AM-1 and AP4b bind heme with a stoichiometry of interaction similar to that of CQ (about 1:1.7) but with a lower affinity. They both inhibit dose dependently the formation of beta-hematin in vitro with a 50% inhibitory concentration comparable to that of CQ. Taken together, these results suggest that the antimalarial activity of AM1 or AP4b is likely due to inhibition of hemozoin formation and that the efficacy of these compounds against the CQ-resistant strains can be ascribed to their hydrophobicity and capacity to accumulate in the vacuolar lipid (elevated lipid accumulation ratios). PMID:19651905

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Adjalley, Sophie H; Chabbert, Christophe D; Klaus, Bernd; Pelechano, Vicent; Steinmetz, Lars M

    2016-03-15

    A comprehensive map of transcription start sites (TSSs) across the highly AT-rich genome of P. falciparum would aid progress toward deciphering the molecular mechanisms that underlie the timely regulation of gene expression in this malaria parasite. Using high-throughput sequencing technologies, we generated a comprehensive atlas of transcription initiation events at single-nucleotide resolution during the parasite intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle. This detailed analysis of TSS usage enabled us to define architectural features of plasmodial promoters. We demonstrate that TSS selection and strength are constrained by local nucleotide composition. Furthermore, we provide evidence for coordinate and stage-specific TSS usage from distinct sites within the same transcription unit, thereby producing transcript isoforms, a subset of which are developmentally regulated. This work offers a framework for further investigations into the interactions between genomic sequences and regulatory factors governing the complex transcriptional program of this major human pathogen. PMID:26947071

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. Sequence-based association and selection scans identify drug resistance loci in the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Park, Daniel J.; Lukens, Amanda K.; Neafsey, Daniel E.; Schaffner, Stephen F.; Chang, Hsiao-Han; Valim, Clarissa; Ribacke, Ulf; Van Tyne, Daria; Galinsky, Kevin; Galligan, Meghan; Becker, Justin S.; Ndiaye, Daouda; Mboup, Souleymane; Wiegand, Roger C.; Hartl, Daniel L.; Sabeti, Pardis C.; Wirth, Dyann F.; Volkman, Sarah K.

    2012-01-01

    Through rapid genetic adaptation and natural selection, the Plasmodium falciparum parasite—the deadliest of those that cause malaria—is able to develop resistance to antimalarial drugs, thwarting present efforts to control it. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide a critical hypothesis-generating tool for understanding how this occurs. However, in P. falciparum, the limited amount of linkage disequilibrium hinders the power of traditional array-based GWAS. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility and power improvements gained by using whole-genome sequencing for association studies. We analyzed data from 45 Senegalese parasites and identified genetic changes associated with the parasites’ in vitro response to 12 different antimalarials. To further increase statistical power, we adapted a common test for natural selection, XP-EHH (cross-population extended haplotype homozygosity), and used it to identify genomic regions associated with resistance to drugs. Using this sequence-based approach and the combination of association and selection-based tests, we detected several loci associated with drug resistance. These loci included the previously known signals at pfcrt, dhfr, and pfmdr1, as well as many genes not previously implicated in drug-resistance roles, including genes in the ubiquitination pathway. Based on the success of the analysis presented in this study, and on the demonstrated shortcomings of array-based approaches, we argue for a complete transition to sequence-based GWAS for small, low linkage-disequilibrium genomes like that of P. falciparum. PMID:22826220

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    The emergence of drug-resistant parasites is a serious threat faced by malaria control programs. Understanding the genetic basis of resistance is critical to the success of treatment and intervention strategies. A novel locus associated with antimalarial resistance, ap2-mu (encoding the mu chain of the adaptor protein 2 [AP2] complex), was recently identified in studies on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi (pcap2-mu). Furthermore, analysis in Kenyan malaria patients of polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum ap2-mu homologue, pfap2-mu, found evidence that differences in the amino acid encoded by codon 160 are associated with enhanced parasite survival in vivo following combination treatments which included artemisinin derivatives. Here, we characterize the role of pfap2-mu in mediating the in vitro antimalarial drug response of P. falciparum by generating transgenic parasites constitutively expressing codon 160 encoding either the wild-type Ser (Ser160) or the Asn mutant (160Asn) form of pfap2-mu. Transgenic parasites carrying the pfap2-mu 160Asn allele were significantly less sensitive to dihydroartemisinin using a standard 48-h in vitro test, providing direct evidence of an altered parasite response to artemisinin. Our data also provide evidence that pfap2-mu variants can modulate parasite sensitivity to quinine. No evidence was found that pfap2-mu variants contribute to the slow-clearance phenotype exhibited by P. falciparum in Cambodian patients treated with artesunate monotherapy. These findings provide compelling evidence that pfap2-mu can modulate P. falciparum responses to multiple drugs. We propose that this gene should be evaluated further as a potential molecular marker of antimalarial resistance. PMID:25691625

  14. The Mu Subunit of Plasmodium falciparum Clathrin-Associated Adaptor Protein 2 Modulates In Vitro Parasite Response to Artemisinin and Quinine

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of drug-resistant parasites is a serious threat faced by malaria control programs. Understanding the genetic basis of resistance is critical to the success of treatment and intervention strategies. A novel locus associated with antimalarial resistance, ap2-mu (encoding the mu chain of the adaptor protein 2 [AP2] complex), was recently identified in studies on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi (pcap2-mu). Furthermore, analysis in Kenyan malaria patients of polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum ap2-mu homologue, pfap2-mu, found evidence that differences in the amino acid encoded by codon 160 are associated with enhanced parasite survival in vivo following combination treatments which included artemisinin derivatives. Here, we characterize the role of pfap2-mu in mediating the in vitro antimalarial drug response of P. falciparum by generating transgenic parasites constitutively expressing codon 160 encoding either the wild-type Ser (Ser160) or the Asn mutant (160Asn) form of pfap2-mu. Transgenic parasites carrying the pfap2-mu 160Asn allele were significantly less sensitive to dihydroartemisinin using a standard 48-h in vitro test, providing direct evidence of an altered parasite response to artemisinin. Our data also provide evidence that pfap2-mu variants can modulate parasite sensitivity to quinine. No evidence was found that pfap2-mu variants contribute to the slow-clearance phenotype exhibited by P. falciparum in Cambodian patients treated with artesunate monotherapy. These findings provide compelling evidence that pfap2-mu can modulate P. falciparum responses to multiple drugs. We propose that this gene should be evaluated further as a potential molecular marker of antimalarial resistance. PMID:25691625

  15. Dematin, a Component of the Erythrocyte Membrane Skeleton, Is Internalized by the Malaria Parasite and Associates with Plasmodium 14-3-3*

    PubMed Central

    Lalle, Marco; Currà, Chiara; Ciccarone, Fabio; Pace, Tomasino; Cecchetti, Serena; Fantozzi, Luca; Ay, Bernhard; Breton, Catherine Braun; Ponzi, Marta

    2011-01-01

    The malaria parasite invades the terminally differentiated erythrocytes, where it grows and multiplies surrounded by a parasitophorous vacuole. Plasmodium blood stages translocate newly synthesized proteins outside the parasitophorous vacuole and direct them to various erythrocyte compartments, including the cytoskeleton and the plasma membrane. Here, we show that the remodeling of the host cell directed by the parasite also includes the recruitment of dematin, an actin-binding protein of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton and its repositioning to the parasite. Internalized dematin was found associated with Plasmodium 14-3-3, which belongs to a family of conserved multitask molecules. We also show that, in vitro, the dematin-14-3-3 interaction is strictly dependent on phosphorylation of dematin at Ser124 and Ser333, belonging to two 14-3-3 putative binding motifs. This study is the first report showing that a component of the erythrocyte spectrin-based membrane skeleton is recruited by the malaria parasite following erythrocyte infection. PMID:21084299

  16. Dematin, a component of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton, is internalized by the malaria parasite and associates with Plasmodium 14-3-3.

    PubMed

    Lalle, Marco; Currà, Chiara; Ciccarone, Fabio; Pace, Tomasino; Cecchetti, Serena; Fantozzi, Luca; Ay, Bernhard; Breton, Catherine Braun; Ponzi, Marta

    2011-01-14

    The malaria parasite invades the terminally differentiated erythrocytes, where it grows and multiplies surrounded by a parasitophorous vacuole. Plasmodium blood stages translocate newly synthesized proteins outside the parasitophorous vacuole and direct them to various erythrocyte compartments, including the cytoskeleton and the plasma membrane. Here, we show that the remodeling of the host cell directed by the parasite also includes the recruitment of dematin, an actin-binding protein of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton and its repositioning to the parasite. Internalized dematin was found associated with Plasmodium 14-3-3, which belongs to a family of conserved multitask molecules. We also show that, in vitro, the dematin-14-3-3 interaction is strictly dependent on phosphorylation of dematin at Ser(124) and Ser(333), belonging to two 14-3-3 putative binding motifs. This study is the first report showing that a component of the erythrocyte spectrin-based membrane skeleton is recruited by the malaria parasite following erythrocyte infection. PMID:21084299

  17. Interrogating alkyl and arylalkylpolyamino (bis)urea and (bis)thiourea isosteres as potent antimalarial chemotypes against multiple lifecycle forms of Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

    PubMed

    Verlinden, Bianca K; de Beer, Marna; Pachaiyappan, Boobalan; Besaans, Ethan; Andayi, Warren A; Reader, Janette; Niemand, Jandeli; van Biljon, Riette; Guy, Kiplin; Egan, Timothy; Woster, Patrick M; Birkholtz, Lyn-Marie

    2015-08-15

    A new series of potent potent aryl/alkylated (bis)urea- and (bis)thiourea polyamine analogues were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for their antiplasmodial activity. Altering the carbon backbone and terminal substituents increased the potency of analogues in the compound library 3-fold, with the most active compounds, 15 and 16, showing half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50 values) of 28 and 30 nM, respectively, against various Plasmodium falciparum parasite strains without any cross-resistance. In vitro evaluation of the cytotoxicity of these analogues revealed marked selectivity towards targeting malaria parasites compared to mammalian HepG2 cells (>5000-fold lower IC50 against the parasite). Preliminary biological evaluation of the polyamine analogue antiplasmodial phenotype revealed that (bis)urea compounds target parasite asexual proliferation, whereas (bis)thiourea compounds of the same series have the unique ability to block transmissible gametocyte forms of the parasite, indicating pluripharmacology against proliferative and non-proliferative forms of the parasite. In this manuscript, we describe these results and postulate a refined structure-activity relationship (SAR) model for antiplasmodial polyamine analogues. The terminally aryl/alkylated (bis)urea- and (bis)thiourea-polyamine analogues featuring a 3-5-3 or 3-6-3 carbon backbone represent a structurally novel and distinct class of potential antiplasmodials with activities in the low nanomolar range, and high selectivity against various lifecycle forms of P. falciparum parasites. PMID:25684422

  18. Interrogating alkyl and arylalkylpolyamino (bis)urea and (bis)thiourea isosteres as potent antimalarial chemotypes against multiple lifecycle forms of Plasmodium falciparum parasites

    PubMed Central

    Verlinden, Bianca K.; de Beer, Marna; Pachaiyappan, Boobalan; Besaans, Ethan; Andayi, Warren A.; Reader, Janette; Niemand, Jandeli; van Biljon, Riette; Guy, Kiplin; Egan, Timothy; Woster, Patrick M.; Birkholtz, Lyn-Marie

    2015-01-01

    A new series of potent potent aryl/alkylated (bis)urea- and (bis)thiourea polyamine analogues were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for their antiplasmodial activity. Altering the carbon backbone and terminal substituents increased the potency of analogues in the compound library 3-fold, with the most active compounds, 15 and 16, showing half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50 values) of 28 and 30 nM, respectively, against various Plasmodium falciparum parasite strains without any cross-resistance. In vitro evaluation of the cytotoxicity of these analogues revealed marked selectivity towards targeting malaria parasites compared to mammalian HepG2 cells (>5000-fold lower IC50 against the parasite). Preliminary biological evaluation of the polyamine analogue antiplasmodial phenotype revealed that (bis)urea compounds target parasite asexual proliferation, whereas (bis)thiourea compounds of the same series have the unique ability to block transmissible gametocyte forms of the parasite, indicating pluripharmacology against proliferative and non-proliferative forms of the parasite. In this manuscript, we describe these results and postulate a refined structure-activity relationship (SAR) model for antiplasmodial polyamine analogues. The terminally aryl/alkylated (bis)urea- and (bis)thiourea-polyamine analogues featuring a 3-5-3 or 3-6-3 carbon backbone represent a structurally novel and distinct class of potential antiplasmodials with activities in the low nanomolar range, and high selectivity against various lifecycle forms of P. falciparum parasites. PMID:25684422

  19. Preferential targeting of human erythrocytes infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparumvia hexose transporter surface proteins.

    PubMed

    Heikham, Kajal Devi; Gupta, Ankit; Kumar, Ambrish; Singh, Chandan; Saxena, Juhi; Srivastava, Kumkum; Puri, Sunil K; Dwivedi, Anil K; Habib, Saman; Misra, Amit

    2015-04-10

    Glucose uptake by Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes (RBC) is higher compared to uninfected RBC. Glucose is transported across the cell membrane by transporter proteins. Particles of median size 146.3±18.7 nm, containing anti-malarial agents in corn starch were prepared for investigating: (a) whether the glucose moiety in starch targets RBC via hexose transporter(s), (b) whether there are differences in the extent of targeting to uninfected RBC versus infected RBC (iRBC) in view of higher cell surface density of these proteins on iRBC and (c) whether targeting provides enhanced efficacy against P. falciparum in comparison to drugs in solution. Binding of these particles to RBC was target-specific, since it could be blocked by phloretin, an inhibitor of glucose transporters (GLUT), or competed out in a dose-dependent manner with d-glucose in a flow cytometry assay. Significant (P=0.048, t-test) differences in extent of targeting to iRBC versus RBC were observed in flow cytometry. CDRI 97/63 incorporated in particles was 63% more efficacious than its solution at 250 ng/ml, while quinine was 20% more efficacious at 6.25 ng/ml in a SYBR Green incorporation assay. Preferential targeting of iRBC using an inexpensive excipient promises advantages in terms of dose reduction and toxicity alleviation. PMID:25666024

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Motility is a fundamental part of cellular life and survival, including for Plasmodium parasites--single-celled protozoan pathogens responsible for human malaria. The motile life cycle forms achieve motility, called gliding, via the activity of an internal actomyosin motor. Although gliding is based on the well-studied system of actin and myosin, its core biomechanics are not completely understood. Currently accepted models suggest it results from a specifically organized cellular motor that produces a rearward directional force. When linked to surface-bound adhesins, this force is passaged to the cell posterior, propelling the parasite forwards. Gliding motility is observed in all three life cycle stages of Plasmodium: sporozoites, merozoites and ookinetes. However, it is only the ookinetes--formed inside the midgut of infected mosquitoes--that display continuous gliding without the necessity of host cell entry. This makes them ideal candidates for invasion-free biomechanical analysis. Here we apply a plate-based imaging approach to study ookinete motion in three-dimensional (3D) space to understand Plasmodium cell motility and how movement facilitates midgut colonization. Using single-cell tracking and numerical analysis of parasite motion in 3D, our analysis demonstrates that ookinetes move with a conserved left-handed helical trajectory. Investigation of cell morphology suggests this trajectory may be based on the ookinete subpellicular cytoskeleton, with complementary whole and subcellular electron microscopy showing that, like their motion paths, ookinetes share a conserved left-handed corkscrew shape and underlying twisted microtubular architecture. Through comparisons of 3D movement between wild-type ookinetes and a cytoskeleton-knockout mutant we demonstrate that perturbation of cell shape changes motion from helical to broadly linear. Therefore, while the precise linkages between cellular architecture and actomyosin motor organization remain unknown, our analysis suggests that the molecular basis of cell shape may, in addition to motor force, be a key adaptive strategy for malaria parasite dissemination and, as such, transmission. PMID:24612056

  1. High-resolution three-dimensional imaging of red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum and in situ hemozoin crystals using optical diffraction tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Kyoohyun; Yoon, HyeOk; Diez-Silva, Monica; Dao, Ming; Dasari, Ramachandra R.; Park, YongKeun

    2014-01-01

    We present high-resolution optical tomographic images of human red blood cells (RBC) parasitized by malaria-inducing Plasmodium falciparum (Pf)-RBCs. Three-dimensional (3-D) refractive index (RI) tomograms are reconstructed by recourse to a diffraction algorithm from multiple two-dimensional holograms with various angles of illumination. These 3-D RI tomograms of Pf-RBCs show cellular and subcellular structures of host RBCs and invaded parasites in fine detail. Full asexual intraerythrocytic stages of parasite maturation (ring to trophozoite to schizont stages) are then systematically investigated using optical diffraction tomography algorithms. These analyses provide quantitative information on the structural and chemical characteristics of individual host Pf-RBCs, parasitophorous vacuole, and cytoplasm. The in situ structural evolution and chemical characteristics of subcellular hemozoin crystals are also elucidated.

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

    PubMed

    Good, Michael F

    2011-08-01

    Now, 27 years following the cloning of malaria antigens with the promise of the rapid development of a malaria vaccine, we face significant obstacles that are belatedly being addressed. Poor immunogenicity of subunit vaccine antigens and significant antigenic diversity of target epitopes represent major hurdles for which there are no clear strategies for a way forward within the current paradigm. Thus, a different paradigm - a vaccine that uses the whole organism - is now being examined. Although most advances in this approach relate to a vaccine for the pre-erythrocytic stages (sporozoites, liver stages), this opinion paper will outline the possibilities of developing a whole parasite vaccine for the blood stage and address some of the challenges for this strategy, which are entirely different to the challenges for a subunit vaccine. It is the view of the author that both vaccine paradigms should be pursued, but that success will come more quickly using the paranormal approach of exposing individuals to ultra-low doses of whole attenuated or killed parasites. PMID:21514227

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-12-31

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

  4. A Bacterial Phosphatase-Like Enzyme of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Possesses Tyrosine Phosphatase Activity and Is Implicated in the Regulation of Band 3 Dynamics during Parasite Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Pol, Sebastian; Slouka, Zdenek; Bhattacharjee, Souvik; Fedotova, Yana; Freed, Stefan; An, Xiuli; Holder, Anthony A.; Campanella, Estela; Low, Philip S.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic parasites of the genus Plasmodium cause malaria by invading and developing within host erythrocytes. Here, we demonstrate that PfShelph2, a gene product of Plasmodium falciparum that belongs to the Shewanella-like phosphatase (Shelph) subfamily, selectively hydrolyzes phosphotyrosine, as shown for other previously studied Shelph family members. In the extracellular merozoite stage, PfShelph2 localizes to vesicles that appear to be distinct from those of rhoptry, dense granule, or microneme organelles. During invasion, PfShelph2 is released from these vesicles and exported to the host erythrocyte. In vitro, PfShelph2 shows tyrosine phosphatase activity against the host erythrocyte protein Band 3, which is the most abundant tyrosine-phosphorylated species of the erythrocyte. During P. falciparum invasion, Band 3 undergoes dynamic and rapid clearance from the invasion junction within 1 to 2 s of parasite attachment to the erythrocyte. Release of Pfshelph2 occurs after clearance of Band 3 from the parasite-host cell interface and when the parasite is nearly or completely enclosed in the nascent vacuole. We propose a model in which the phosphatase modifies Band 3 in time to restore its interaction with the cytoskeleton and thus reestablishes the erythrocyte cytoskeletal network at the end of the invasion process. PMID:23825180

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Whole-genome sequencing technologies are being increasingly applied to Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates to identify genetic determinants of malaria pathogenesis. However, genome-wide discovery methods, such as haplotype scans for signatures of natural selection, are hindered by missing genotypes in sequence data. Poor correlation between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the P. falciparum genome complicates efforts to apply established missing-genotype imputation methods that leverage off patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD). The accuracy of state-of-the-art, LD-based imputation methods (IMPUTE, Beagle) was assessed by measuring allelic r2 for 459 P. falciparum samples from malaria patients in 4 countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Gambia, and Malawi. In restricting our analysis to 86 k high-quality SNPs across the populations, we found that the complete-case analysis was restricted to 21k SNPs (24.5%), despite no single SNP having more than 10% missing genotypes. The accuracy of Beagle in filling in missing genotypes was consistently high across all populations (allelic r2, 0.87-0.96), but the performance of IMPUTE was mixed (allelic r2, 0.34-0.99) depending on reference haplotypes and population. Positive selection analysis using Beagle-imputed haplotypes identified loci involved in resistance to chloroquine (crt) in Thailand, Cambodia, and Gambia, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (dhfr, dhps) in Cambodia, and artemisinin (kelch13) in Cambodia. Tajima's D-based analysis identified genes under balancing selection that encode well-characterized vaccine candidates: apical merozoite antigen 1 (ama1) and merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1). In contrast, the complete-case analysis failed to identify any well-validated drug resistance or candidate vaccine loci, except kelch13. In a setting of low LD and modest levels of missing genotypes, using Beagle to impute P. falciparum genotypes is a viable strategy for conducting accurate large-scale population genetics and association analyses, and supporting global surveillance for drug resistance markers and candidate vaccine antigens. PMID:25928499

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The 200 kDa merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of malaria parasites, a strong vaccine candidate, plays a key role during erythrocyte invasion and is a target of host protective immune response. Plasmodium vivax, the most widespread human malaria parasite, is closely related to parasites that infect Asian Old World monkeys, and has been considered to have become a parasite of man by host switch from a macaque malaria parasite. Several Asian monkey parasites have a range of natural hosts. The same parasite species shows different disease manifestations among host species. This suggests that host immune responses to P. vivax-related malaria parasites greatly differ among host species (albeit other factors). It is thus tempting to invoke that a major immune target parasite protein such as MSP-1 underwent unique evolution, depending on parasite species that exhibit difference in host range and host specificity. Results We performed comparative phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of the gene encoding MSP-1 (msp1) from P. vivax and nine P. vivax-related simian malaria parasites. The inferred phylogenetic tree of msp1 significantly differed from that of the mitochondrial genome, with a striking displacement of P. vivax from a position close to P. cynomolgi in the mitochondrial genome tree to an outlier of Asian monkey parasites. Importantly, positive selection was inferred for two ancestral branches, one leading to P. inui and P. hylobati and the other leading to P. vivax, P. fieldi and P. cynomolgi. This ancestral positive selection was estimated to have occurred three to six million years ago, coinciding with the period of radiation of Asian macaques. Comparisons of msp1 polymorphisms between P. vivax, P. inui and P. cynomolgi revealed that while some positively selected amino acid sites or regions are shared by these parasites, amino acid changes greatly differ, suggesting that diversifying selection is acting species-specifically on msp1. Conclusions The present results indicate that the msp1 locus of P. vivax and related parasite species has lineage-specific unique evolutionary history with positive selection. P. vivax and related simian malaria parasites offer an interesting system toward understanding host species-dependent adaptive evolution of immune-target surface antigen genes such as msp1. PMID:20167126

  7. The Plasmodium Class XIV Myosin, MyoB, Has a Distinct Subcellular Location in Invasive and Motile Stages of the Malaria Parasite and an Unusual Light Chain*

    PubMed Central

    Yusuf, Noor A.; Green, Judith L.; Wall, Richard J.; Knuepfer, Ellen; Moon, Robert W.; Schulte-Huxel, Christina; Stanway, Rebecca R.; Martin, Stephen R.; Howell, Steven A.; Douse, Christopher H.; Cota, Ernesto; Tate, Edward W.; Tewari, Rita; Holder, Anthony A.

    2015-01-01

    Myosin B (MyoB) is one of the two short class XIV myosins encoded in the Plasmodium genome. Class XIV myosins are characterized by a catalytic head, a modified neck, and the absence of a tail region. Myosin A (MyoA), the other class XIV myosin in Plasmodium, has been established as a component of the glideosome complex important in motility and cell invasion, but MyoB is not well characterized. We analyzed the properties of MyoB using three parasite species as follows: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium berghei, and Plasmodium knowlesi. MyoB is expressed in all invasive stages (merozoites, ookinetes, and sporozoites) of the life cycle, and the protein is found in a discrete apical location in these polarized cells. In P. falciparum, MyoB is synthesized very late in schizogony/merogony, and its location in merozoites is distinct from, and anterior to, that of a range of known proteins present in the rhoptries, rhoptry neck or micronemes. Unlike MyoA, MyoB is not associated with glideosome complex proteins, including the MyoA light chain, myosin A tail domain-interacting protein (MTIP). A unique MyoB light chain (MLC-B) was identified that contains a calmodulin-like domain at the C terminus and an extended N-terminal region. MLC-B localizes to the same extreme apical pole in the cell as MyoB, and the two proteins form a complex. We propose that MLC-B is a MyoB-specific light chain, and for the short class XIV myosins that lack a tail region, the atypical myosin light chains may fulfill that role. PMID:25802338

  8. In Silico Screening on the Three-dimensional Model of the Plasmodium vivax SUB1 Protease Leads to the Validation of a Novel Anti-parasite Compound*

    PubMed Central

    Bouillon, Anthony; Giganti, David; Benedet, Christophe; Gorgette, Olivier; Pêtres, Stéphane; Crublet, Elodie; Girard-Blanc, Christine; Witkowski, Benoit; Ménard, Didier; Nilges, Michael; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Stoven, Véronique; Barale, Jean-Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Widespread drug resistance calls for the urgent development of new antimalarials that target novel steps in the life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. The essential subtilisin-like serine protease SUB1 of Plasmodium merozoites plays a dual role in egress from and invasion into host erythrocytes. It belongs to a new generation of attractive drug targets against which specific potent inhibitors are actively searched. We characterize here the P. vivax SUB1 enzyme and show that it displays a typical auto-processing pattern and apical localization in P. vivax merozoites. To search for small PvSUB1 inhibitors, we took advantage of the similarity of SUB1 with bacterial subtilisins and generated P. vivax SUB1 three-dimensional models. The structure-based virtual screening of a large commercial chemical compounds library identified 306 virtual best hits, of which 37 were experimentally confirmed inhibitors and 5 had Ki values of <50 μm for PvSUB1. Interestingly, they belong to different chemical families. The most promising competitive inhibitor of PvSUB1 (compound 2) was equally active on PfSUB1 and displayed anti-P. falciparum and Plasmodium berghei activity in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Compound 2 inhibited the endogenous PfSUB1 as illustrated by the inhibited maturation of its natural substrate PfSERA5 and inhibited parasite egress and subsequent erythrocyte invasion. These data indicate that the strategy of in silico screening of three-dimensional models to select for virtual inhibitors combined with stringent biological validation successfully identified several inhibitors of the PvSUB1 enzyme. The most promising hit proved to be a potent cross-inhibitor of PlasmodiumSUB1, laying the groundwork for the development of a globally active small compound antimalarial. PMID:23653352

  9. The Plasmodium Class XIV Myosin, MyoB, Has a Distinct Subcellular Location in Invasive and Motile Stages of the Malaria Parasite and an Unusual Light Chain.

    PubMed

    Yusuf, Noor A; Green, Judith L; Wall, Richard J; Knuepfer, Ellen; Moon, Robert W; Schulte-Huxel, Christina; Stanway, Rebecca R; Martin, Stephen R; Howell, Steven A; Douse, Christopher H; Cota, Ernesto; Tate, Edward W; Tewari, Rita; Holder, Anthony A

    2015-05-01

    Myosin B (MyoB) is one of the two short class XIV myosins encoded in the Plasmodium genome. Class XIV myosins are characterized by a catalytic "head," a modified "neck," and the absence of a "tail" region. Myosin A (MyoA), the other class XIV myosin in Plasmodium, has been established as a component of the glideosome complex important in motility and cell invasion, but MyoB is not well characterized. We analyzed the properties of MyoB using three parasite species as follows: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium berghei, and Plasmodium knowlesi. MyoB is expressed in all invasive stages (merozoites, ookinetes, and sporozoites) of the life cycle, and the protein is found in a discrete apical location in these polarized cells. In P. falciparum, MyoB is synthesized very late in schizogony/merogony, and its location in merozoites is distinct from, and anterior to, that of a range of known proteins present in the rhoptries, rhoptry neck or micronemes. Unlike MyoA, MyoB is not associated with glideosome complex proteins, including the MyoA light chain, myosin A tail domain-interacting protein (MTIP). A unique MyoB light chain (MLC-B) was identified that contains a calmodulin-like domain at the C terminus and an extended N-terminal region. MLC-B localizes to the same extreme apical pole in the cell as MyoB, and the two proteins form a complex. We propose that MLC-B is a MyoB-specific light chain, and for the short class XIV myosins that lack a tail region, the atypical myosin light chains may fulfill that role. PMID:25802338

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Rajinder; Musiyenko, Alla; Oldenburg, Anja; Adams, Brian; Barik, Sailen

    2004-01-01

    Background Although the complete genome sequences of a large number of organisms have been determined, the exact proteomes need to be characterized. More specifically, the extent to which post-translational processes such as proteolysis affect the synthesized proteins has remained unappreciated. We examined this issue in selected protein phosphatases of the protease-rich malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Results P. falciparum encodes a number of Ser/Thr protein phosphatases (PP) whose catalytic subunits are composed of a catalytic core and accessory domains essential for regulation of the catalytic activity. Two examples of such regulatory domains are found in the Ca+2-regulated phosphatases, PP7 and PP2B (calcineurin). The EF-hand domains of PP7 and the calmodulin-binding domain of PP2B are essential for stimulation of the phosphatase activity by Ca+2. We present biochemical evidence that P. falciparum generates these full-length phosphatases as well as their catalytic cores, most likely as intermediates of a proteolytic degradation pathway. While the full-length phosphatases are activated by Ca+2, the processed cores are constitutively active and either less responsive or unresponsive to Ca+2. The processing is extremely rapid, specific, and occurs in vivo. Conclusions Post-translational cleavage efficiently degrades complex full-length phosphatases in P. falciparum. In the course of such degradation, enzymatically active catalytic cores are produced as relatively stable intermediates. The universality of such proteolysis in other phosphatases or other multi-domain proteins and its potential impact on the overall proteome of a cell merits further investigation. PMID:15230980

  12. Genome-Wide Analysis of Selection on the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum in West African Populations of Differing Infection Endemicity

    PubMed Central

    Mobegi, Victor A.; Duffy, Craig W.; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Loua, Kovana M.; Laman, Eugene; Nwakanma, Davis C.; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Aspeling-Jones, Harvey; Murray, Lee; Clark, Taane G.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Conway, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Locally varying selection on pathogens may be due to differences in drug pressure, host immunity, transmission opportunities between hosts, or the intensity of between-genotype competition within hosts. Highly recombining populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum throughout West Africa are closely related, as gene flow is relatively unrestricted in this endemic region, but markedly varying ecology and transmission intensity should cause distinct local selective pressures. Genome-wide analysis of sequence variation was undertaken on a sample of 100 P. falciparum clinical isolates from a highly endemic region of the Republic of Guinea where transmission occurs for most of each year and compared with data from 52 clinical isolates from a previously sampled population from The Gambia, where there is relatively limited seasonal malaria transmission. Paired-end short-read sequences were mapped against the 3D7 P. falciparum reference genome sequence, and data on 136,144 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. Within-population analyses identifying loci showing evidence of recent positive directional selection and balancing selection confirm that antimalarial drugs and host immunity have been major selective agents. Many of the signatures of recent directional selection reflected by standardized integrated haplotype scores were population specific, including differences at drug resistance loci due to historically different antimalarial use between the countries. In contrast, both populations showed a similar set of loci likely to be under balancing selection as indicated by very high Tajimas D values, including a significant overrepresentation of genes expressed at the merozoite stage that invades erythrocytes and several previously validated targets of acquired immunity. Between-population FST analysis identified exceptional differentiation of allele frequencies at a small number of loci, most markedly for five SNPs covering a 15-kb region within and flanking the gdv1 gene that regulates the early stages of gametocyte development, which is likely related to the extreme differences in mosquito vector abundance and seasonality that determine the transmission opportunities for the sexual stage of the parasite. PMID:24644299

  13. Habitat Fragmentation and Ecological Traits Influence the Prevalence of Avian Blood Parasites in a Tropical Rainforest Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Laurance, Susan G. W.; Jones, Dean; Westcott, David; Mckeown, Adam; Harrington, Graham; Hilbert, David W.

    2013-01-01

    In the tropical rainforests of northern Australia, we investigated the effects of habitat fragmentation and ecological parameters on the prevalence of blood-borne parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) in bird communities. Using mist-nets on forest edges and interiors, we sampled bird communities across six study sites: 3 large fragments (20–85 ha) and 3 continuous-forest sites. From 335 mist-net captures, we recorded 28 bird species and screened 299 bird samples with PCR to amplify and detect target DNA. Of the 28 bird species sampled, 19 were infected with Plasmodium and/or Haemoproteus and 9 species were without infection. Over one third of screened birds (99 individuals) were positive for Haemoproteus and/or Plasmodium. In forest fragments, bird capture rates were significantly higher than in continuous forests, but bird species richness did not differ. Unexpectedly, we found that the prevalence of the dominant haemosporidian infection, Haemoproteus, was significantly higher in continuous forest than in habitat fragments. Further, we found that ecological traits such as diet, foraging height, habitat specialisation and distributional ranges were significantly associated with blood-borne infections. PMID:24124541

  14. Plasmodium falciparum PfSET7: enzymatic characterization and cellular localization of a novel protein methyltransferase in sporozoite, liver and erythrocytic stage parasites.

    PubMed

    Chen, Patty B; Ding, Shuai; Zangh, Gigliola; Soulard, Valrie; DiMaggio, Peter A; Fuchter, Matthew J; Mecheri, Salah; Mazier, Dominique; Scherf, Artur; Malmquist, Nicholas A

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic control via reversible histone methylation regulates transcriptional activation throughout the malaria parasite genome, controls the repression of multi-copy virulence gene families and determines sexual stage commitment. Plasmodium falciparum encodes ten predicted SET domain-containing protein methyltransferases, six of which have been shown to be refractory to knock-out in blood stage parasites. We have expressed and purified the first recombinant malaria methyltransferase in sufficient quantities to perform a full enzymatic characterization and reveal the ill-defined PfSET7 is an AdoMet-dependent histone H3 lysine methyltransferase with highest activity towards lysines 4 and 9. Steady-state kinetics of the PfSET7 enzyme are similar to previously characterized histone methyltransferase enzymes from other organisms, however, PfSET7 displays specific protein substrate preference towards nucleosomes with pre-existing histone H3 lysine 14 acetylation. Interestingly, PfSET7 localizes to distinct cytoplasmic foci adjacent to the nucleus in erythrocytic and liver stage parasites, and throughout the cytoplasm in salivary gland sporozoites. Characterized recombinant PfSET7 now allows for target based inhibitor discovery. Specific PfSET7 inhibitors can aid in further investigating the biological role of this specific methyltransferase in transmission, hepatic and blood stage parasites, and may ultimately lead to the development of suitable antimalarial drug candidates against this novel class of essential parasite enzymes. PMID:26902486

  15. Plasmodium falciparum PfSET7: enzymatic characterization and cellular localization of a novel protein methyltransferase in sporozoite, liver and erythrocytic stage parasites

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Patty B.; Ding, Shuai; Zanghì, Gigliola; Soulard, Valérie; DiMaggio, Peter A.; Fuchter, Matthew J.; Mecheri, Salah; Mazier, Dominique; Scherf, Artur; Malmquist, Nicholas A.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic control via reversible histone methylation regulates transcriptional activation throughout the malaria parasite genome, controls the repression of multi-copy virulence gene families and determines sexual stage commitment. Plasmodium falciparum encodes ten predicted SET domain-containing protein methyltransferases, six of which have been shown to be refractory to knock-out in blood stage parasites. We have expressed and purified the first recombinant malaria methyltransferase in sufficient quantities to perform a full enzymatic characterization and reveal the ill-defined PfSET7 is an AdoMet-dependent histone H3 lysine methyltransferase with highest activity towards lysines 4 and 9. Steady-state kinetics of the PfSET7 enzyme are similar to previously characterized histone methyltransferase enzymes from other organisms, however, PfSET7 displays specific protein substrate preference towards nucleosomes with pre-existing histone H3 lysine 14 acetylation. Interestingly, PfSET7 localizes to distinct cytoplasmic foci adjacent to the nucleus in erythrocytic and liver stage parasites, and throughout the cytoplasm in salivary gland sporozoites. Characterized recombinant PfSET7 now allows for target based inhibitor discovery. Specific PfSET7 inhibitors can aid in further investigating the biological role of this specific methyltransferase in transmission, hepatic and blood stage parasites, and may ultimately lead to the development of suitable antimalarial drug candidates against this novel class of essential parasite enzymes. PMID:26902486

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

    PubMed Central

    Wezena, Cletus A.; Urscher, Miriam; Vince, Robert; More, Swati S.; Deponte, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Glyoxalases prevent the formation of advanced glycation end products by converting glycolysis-derived methylglyoxal to d-lactate with the help of glutathione. Vander Jagt and colleagues previously showed that erythrocytes release about thirty times more d-lactate after infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Functional glyoxalases in the host-parasite unit might therefore be crucial for parasite survival. Here, we determined the antimalarial and hemolytic activity of two tight-binding glyoxalase inhibitors using infected and uninfected erythrocytes. In addition, we synthesized and analyzed a set of diester derivates of both tight-binding inhibitors resulting in up to threefold lower IC50 values and an altered methemoglobin formation and hemolytic activity depending on the type of ester. Inhibitor treatments of uninfected erythrocytes revealed an extremely slow inactivation of the host cell glyoxalase, irrespective of inhibitor modifications, and a potential dispensability of the host cell enzyme for parasite survival. Our study highlights the benefits and drawbacks of different esterifications of glutathione-derived inhibitors and demonstrates the suitability of glyoxalase inhibitors as a tool for deciphering the relevance and mode of action of different glyoxalase systems in a host-parasite unit. PMID:26972115

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

    PubMed

    Wezena, Cletus A; Urscher, Miriam; Vince, Robert; More, Swati S; Deponte, Marcel

    2016-08-01

    Glyoxalases prevent the formation of advanced glycation end products by converting glycolysis-derived methylglyoxal to d-lactate with the help of glutathione. Vander Jagt and colleagues previously showed that erythrocytes release about thirty times more d-lactate after infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Functional glyoxalases in the host-parasite unit might therefore be crucial for parasite survival. Here, we determined the antimalarial and hemolytic activity of two tight-binding glyoxalase inhibitors using infected and uninfected erythrocytes. In addition, we synthesized and analyzed a set of diester derivates of both tight-binding inhibitors resulting in up to threefold lower IC50 values and an altered methemoglobin formation and hemolytic activity depending on the type of ester. Inhibitor treatments of uninfected erythrocytes revealed an extremely slow inactivation of the host cell glyoxalase, irrespective of inhibitor modifications, and a potential dispensability of the host cell enzyme for parasite survival. Our study highlights the benefits and drawbacks of different esterifications of glutathione-derived inhibitors and demonstrates the suitability of glyoxalase inhibitors as a tool for deciphering the relevance and mode of action of different glyoxalase systems in a host-parasite unit. PMID:26972115

  18. Plasmodium Immunomics

    PubMed Central

    Doolan, Denise L.

    2010-01-01

    The Plasmodium parasite, the causative agent of malaria, is an excellent model for immunomic-based approaches to vaccine development. The Plasmodium parasite has a complex life cycle with multiple stages and stage-specific expression of ~ 5,300 putative proteins. No malaria vaccine has yet been licensed. Many believe that an effective vaccine will need to target several antigens and multiple stages, and will require the generation of both antibody and cellular immune responses. Vaccine efforts to date have been stage-specific and based on only a very limited number of proteins representing < 0.5% of the genome. The recent availability of comprehensive genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic datasets from human and selected non-human primate and rodent malarias provide a foundation to exploit for vaccine development. This information can be mined to identify promising vaccine candidate antigens, by proteome-wide screening of antibody and T cell reactivity using specimens from individuals exposed to malaria and technology platforms such as protein arrays, high throughput protein production and epitope prediction algorithms. Such antigens could be incorporated into a rational vaccine development process that targets specific stages of the Plasmodium parasite life cycle with immune responses implicated in parasite elimination and control. Immunomic approaches which enable the selection of the best possible targets by prioritizing antigens according to clinically relevant criteria may overcome the problem of poorly immunogenic, poorly protective vaccines that has plagued malaria vaccine developers for the past 25 years. Herein, current progress and perspectives regarding Plasmodium immunomics are reviewed. PMID:20816843

  19. Determination of fifty percent inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of antimalarial drugs against Plasmodium falciparum parasites in a serum-free medium.

    PubMed

    Ofulla, A O; Orago, A S; Githure, J I; Burans, J P; Aleman, G M; Johnson, A J; Martin, S K

    1994-08-01

    Plasmodium falciparum chemosensitivity to the various antimalarial drugs is presently determined in the laboratory by setting up multiple microcultures of the parasite and estimating the amount of growth inhibition caused by known concentrations of drug. Parasite growth inhibition is assessed either by microscopy, radiolabeled substrate uptake, or calorimetrically. The obligate requirement for serum in this assay presents difficulties in the direct comparison of results among laboratories. We now have evidence that antimalarial drug sensitivity assays can be reliably performed in a serum-free medium. The overall comparison of 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values obtained with serum-free media (bovine albumin, Cohn fraction V [BAM] and BAM combined with glucose and lipids-cholesterol-rich mixture) and those obtained in serum-supplemented medium was r = 0.56; n = 60; P < 0.01. PMID:8074255

  20. Naturally Acquired Antibodies Specific for Plasmodium falciparum Reticulocyte-Binding Protein Homologue 5 Inhibit Parasite Growth and Predict Protection From Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Tuan M.; Ongoiba, Aissata; Coursen, Jill; Crosnier, Cecile; Diouf, Ababacar; Huang, Chiung-Yu; Li, Shanping; Doumbo, Safiatou; Doumtabe, Didier; Kone, Younoussou; Bathily, Aboudramane; Dia, Seydou; Niangaly, Moussa; Dara, Charles; Sangala, Jules; Miller, Louis H.; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Kayentao, Kassoum; Long, Carole A.; Miura, Kazutoyo; Wright, Gavin J.; Traore, Boubacar; Crompton, Peter D.

    2014-01-01

    Background. Plasmodium falciparum reticulocyte-binding protein homologue 5 (PfRH5) is a blood-stage parasite protein essential for host erythrocyte invasion. PfRH5-specific antibodies raised in animals inhibit parasite growth in vitro, but the relevance of naturally acquired PfRH5-specific antibodies in humans is unclear. Methods. We assessed pre–malaria season PfRH5-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels in 357 Malian children and adults who were uninfected with Plasmodium. Subsequent P. falciparum infections were detected by polymerase chain reaction every 2 weeks and malaria episodes by weekly physical examination and self-referral for 7 months. The primary outcome was time between the first P. falciparum infection and the first febrile malaria episode. PfRH5-specific IgG was assayed for parasite growth-inhibitory activity. Results. The presence of PfRH5-specific IgG at enrollment was associated with a longer time between the first blood-stage infection and the first malaria episode (PfRH5-seropositive median: 71 days, PfRH5-seronegative median: 18 days; P = .001). This association remained significant after adjustment for age and other factors associated with malaria risk/exposure (hazard ratio, .62; P = .02). Concentrated PfRH5-specific IgG purified from Malians inhibited P. falciparum growth in vitro. Conclusions. Naturally acquired PfRH5-specific IgG inhibits parasite growth in vitro and predicts protection from malaria. These findings strongly support efforts to develop PfRH5 as an urgently needed blood-stage malaria vaccine. Clinical Trials Registration NCT01322581. PMID:24133188

  1. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

    ... U V W X Y Z Parasites Topics Malaria An ancient disease that affects millions of people ... source: Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does ...

  2. Changes in the transcriptome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum during the initial phase of transmission from the human to the mosquito

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The transmission of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from the human to the mosquito is mediated by dormant sexual precursor cells, the gametocytes, which become activated in the mosquito midgut. Because gametocytes are the only parasite stages able to establish an infection in the mosquito, they play a crucial role in spreading the tropical disease. The human-to-mosquito transmission triggers important molecular changes in the gametocytes, which initiate gametogenesis and prepare the parasite for life-cycle progression in the insect vector. Results To better understand gene regulations during the initial phase of malaria parasite transmission, we focused on the transcriptome changes that occur within the first half hour of parasite development in the mosquito. Comparison of mRNA levels of P. falciparum gametocytes before and 30 min following activation using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) identified 126 genes, which changed in expression during gametogenesis. Among these, 17.5% had putative functions in signaling, 14.3% were assigned to cell cycle and gene expression, 8.7% were linked to the cytoskeleton or inner membrane complex, 7.9% were involved in proteostasis and 6.4% in metabolism, 12.7% were cell surface-associated proteins, 11.9% were assigned to other functions, and 20.6% represented genes of unknown function. For 40% of the identified genes there has as yet not been any protein evidence. For a subset of 27 genes, transcript changes during gametogenesis were studied in detail by real-time RT-PCR. Of these, 22 genes were expressed in gametocytes, and for 15 genes transcript expression in gametocytes was increased compared to asexual blood stage parasites. Transcript levels of seven genes were particularly high in activated gametocytes, pointing at functions downstream of gametocyte transmission to the mosquito. For selected genes, a regulated expression during gametogenesis was confirmed on the protein level, using quantitative confocal microscopy. Conclusions The obtained transcriptome data demonstrate the regulations of gene expression immediately following malaria parasite transmission to the mosquito. Our findings support the identification of proteins important for sexual reproduction and further development of the mosquito midgut stages and provide insights into the genetic basis of the rapid adaption of Plasmodium to the insect vector. PMID:23586929

  3. Prevalence of mutations in the antifolates resistance-associated genes (dhfr and dhps) in Plasmodium vivax parasites from Eastern and Central Sudan.

    PubMed

    Pirahmadi, Sekineh; Talha, Badawi Abdelbagi; Nour, Bakri Y M; Zakeri, Sedigheh

    2014-08-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the most geographically widespread species, and its burden has been increasingly documented in Eastern and Central Sudan. P. vivax becomes the crucial challenge during elimination programs; thus an effective treatment is necessary to prevent the development and the spread of resistant parasites. Therefore, the main objective of the present study was to provide data on the prevalence of molecular markers in two genes (pvdhfr and pvdhps) associated with SP resistance after nine years of AS+SP deployment among P. vivax parasites from Eastern and Central Sudan using PCR-RFLP. During 2012-2013, a number of 66 blood spots were obtained on filter paper. The samples were collected before treatment from febrile patients who were microscopically positive for P. vivax, from three states in Eastern and Central Sudan (Gezira, Gedarif, and Kassala). Mutations were detected in three codons of pvdhfr (I13L, S58R, and S117N) and none in pvdhps. The majority of P. vivax parasites had double mutations (58R/117N, 58%) in dhfr gene, while all parasites were wild type in dhps gene. In addition, limited distinct haplotypes (n=4) were detected. In conclusion, the prevalence of mutations associated with SP resistance is low in Eastern and Central Sudan. Such information is necessary for guiding malaria control measures in the frame of Roll Back Malaria strategies for the elimination of malaria in the world. PMID:24861816

  4. Malaria Parasite Invasion of the Mosquito Salivary Gland Requires Interaction between the Plasmodium TRAP and the Anopheles Saglin Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anil K.; Devenport, Martin; Jethwaney, Deepa; Kalume, Dario E.; Pandey, Akhilesh; Anderson, Vernon E.; Sultan, Ali A.; Kumar, Nirbhay; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2009-01-01

    SM1 is a twelve-amino-acid peptide that binds tightly to the Anopheles salivary gland and inhibits its invasion by Plasmodium sporozoites. By use of UV-crosslinking experiments between the peptide and its salivary gland target protein, we have identified the Anopheles salivary protein, saglin, as the receptor for SM1. Furthermore, by use of an anti-SM1 antibody, we have determined that the peptide is a mimotope of the Plasmodium sporozoite Thrombospondin Related Anonymous Protein (TRAP). TRAP binds to saglin with high specificity. Point mutations in TRAP's binding domain A abrogate binding, and binding is competed for by the SM1 peptide. Importantly, in vivo down-regulation of saglin expression results in strong inhibition of salivary gland invasion. Together, the results suggest that saglin/TRAP interaction is crucial for salivary gland invasion by Plasmodium sporozoites. PMID:19148273

  5. Early variations in plasmodium falciparum dynamics in Nigerian children after treatment with two artemisinin-based combinations: implications on delayed parasite clearance

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Combination treatments, preferably containing an artemisinin derivative, are recommended to improve efficacy and prevent Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance. Artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and artesunate-amodiaquine (AA) are efficacious regimens that have been widely adopted in sub-Saharan Africa. However, most study designs ignore the effects of these regimens on peripheral parasitaemia in the first 24 hours of therapy. The study protocol was designed to evaluate more closely the early effects and the standard measures of efficacies of these two regimens. Methods In an open label, randomized controlled clinical trial, children aged 12 months to 132 months were randomized to receive AL (5-14 kg, one tablet; 15-24 kg, two tablets and 25-34 kg, three tablets twice daily) or artesunate (4 mg/kg daily) plus amodiaquine (10 mg/kg daily) for three days. Peripheral blood smears were made hourly in the first 4 hours, 8 h, 16 h, 24 h, and daily on days 2-7, and on days 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 for microscopic identification and quantification of Plasmodium falciparum. Results A total of 193 children were randomized to receive either AL (97) or AA (96). In children that received both medications, early response of peripheral parasitaemia showed that 42% of children who received AL and 36.7% of those who received AA had an immediate rise in peripheral parasitaemia (0-4 h after treatment) followed by a rapid fall. The rise in parasitaemia was significant and seems to suggest a mobilization of asexual parasites from the deep tissues to the periphery. Days 3, 7, 14, 28, and 42 cure rates in the per protocol (PP) population were > 90% in both groups of children. Both drug combinations were well tolerated with minimal side effects. Conclusion The study showed the high efficacy of AL and AA in Nigerian children. In addition the study demonstrated the mobilisation of asexual parasites from the deep to the periphery in the early hours of commencing ACT treatment in a subset of patients in both study groups. It is unclear whether the early parasite dynamics discovered in this study play any role in the development of drug resistance and thus it is important to further evaluate this discovery. It may be useful for studies investigating delay in parasite clearance of artemisinin derivatives as a way of monitoring the development of resistance to artemisinin to assess the early effects of the drugs on the parasites. PMID:21092220

  6. Immunization of Mice with Live-Attenuated Late Liver Stage-Arresting Plasmodium yoelii Parasites Generates Protective Antibody Responses to Preerythrocytic Stages of Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Keitany, Gladys J.; Sack, Brandon; Smithers, Hannah; Chen, Lin; Jang, Ihn K.; Sebastian, Leslie; Gupta, Megha; Sather, D. Noah; Vignali, Marissa; Vaughan, Ashley M.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding protective immunity to malaria is essential for the design of an effective vaccine to prevent the large number of infections and deaths caused by this parasitic disease. To date, whole-parasite immunization with attenuated parasites is the most effective method to confer sterile protection against malaria infection in clinical trials. Mouse model studies have highlighted the essential role that CD8+ T cells play in protection against preerythrocytic stages of malaria; however, there is mounting evidence that antibodies are also important in these stages. Here, we show that experimental immunization of mice with Plasmodium yoelii fabb/f− (Pyfabb/f−), a genetically attenuated rodent malaria parasite that arrests late in the liver stage, induced functional antibodies that inhibited hepatocyte invasion in vitro and reduced liver-stage burden in vivo. These antibodies were sufficient to induce sterile protection from challenge by P. yoelii sporozoites in the absence of T cells in 50% of mice when sporozoites were administered by mosquito bite but not when they were administered by intravenous injection. Moreover, among mice challenged by mosquito bite, a higher proportion of BALB/c mice than C57BL/6 mice developed sterile protection (62.5% and 37.5%, respectively). Analysis of the antibody isotypes induced by immunization with Pyfabb/f− showed that, overall, BALB/c mice developed an IgG1-biased response, whereas C57BL/6 mice developed an IgG2b/c-biased response. Our data demonstrate for the first time that antibodies induced by experimental immunization of mice with a genetically attenuated rodent parasite play a protective role during the preerythrocytic stages of malaria. Furthermore, they highlight the importance of considering both the route of challenge and the genetic background of the mouse strains used when interpreting vaccine efficacy studies in animal models of malaria infection. PMID:25267837

  7. Polymorphisms in the K13-propeller gene in artemisinin-susceptible Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Bougoula-Hameau and Bandiagara, Mali.

    PubMed

    Ouattara, Amed; Kone, Aminatou; Adams, Matthew; Fofana, Bakary; Maiga, Amelia Walling; Hampton, Shay; Coulibaly, Drissa; Thera, Mahamadou A; Diallo, Nouhoum; Dara, Antoine; Sagara, Issaka; Gil, Jose Pedro; Bjorkman, Anders; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Plowe, Christopher V; Djimde, Abdoulaye A

    2015-06-01

    Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria has been documented in southeast Asia and may already be spreading in that region. Molecular markers are important tools for monitoring the spread of antimalarial drug resistance. Recently, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the PF3D7_1343700 kelch propeller (K13-propeller) domain were shown to be associated with artemisinin resistance in vivo and in vitro. The prevalence and role of K13-propeller mutations are poorly known in sub-Saharan Africa. K13-propeller mutations were genotyped by direct sequencing of nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplicons from dried blood spots of pre-treatment falciparum malaria infections collected before and after the use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) as first-line therapy in Mali. Although K13-propeller mutations previously associated with delayed parasite clearance in Cambodia were not identified, 26 K13-propeller mutations were identified in both recent samples and pre-ACT infections. Parasite clearance time was comparable between infections with non-synonymous K13-propeller mutations and infections with the reference allele. These findings suggest that K13-propeller mutations are present in artemisinin-sensitive parasites and that they preceded the wide use of ACTs in Mali. PMID:25918205

  8. Antibodies to the Plasmodium falciparum Proteins MSPDBL1 and MSPDBL2 Opsonize Merozoites, Inhibit Parasite Growth, and Predict Protection From Clinical Malaria.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Chris Y H; Hodder, Anthony N; Lin, Clara S; Hill, Danika L; Li Wai Suen, Connie S N; Schofield, Louis; Siba, Peter M; Mueller, Ivo; Cowman, Alan F; Hansen, Diana S

    2015-08-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that antibodies against merozoite surface proteins (MSPs) play an important role in clinical immunity to malaria. Two unusual members of the MSP-3 family, merozoite surface protein duffy binding-like (MSPDBL)1 and MSPDBL2, have been shown to be extrinsically associated to MSP-1 on the parasite surface. In addition to a secreted polymorphic antigen associated with merozoite (SPAM) domain characteristic of MSP-3 family members, they also contain Duffy binding-like (DBL) domain and were found to bind to erythrocytes, suggesting that they play a role in parasite invasion. Antibody responses to these proteins were investigated in a treatment-reinfection study conducted in an endemic area of Papua New Guinea to determine their contribution to naturally acquired immunity. Antibodies to the SPAM domains of MSPDBL1 and MSPDBL2 as well as the DBL domain of MSPDBL1 were found to be associated with protection from Plasmodium falciparum clinical episodes. Moreover, affinity-purified anti-MSPDBL1 and MSPDBL2 were found to inhibit in vitro parasite growth and had strong merozoite opsonizing capacity, suggesting that protection targeting these antigens results from ≥2 distinct effector mechanisms. Together these results indicate that MSPDBL1 and MSPDBL2 are important targets of naturally acquired immunity and might constitute potential vaccine candidates. PMID:25646353

  9. Isolation and analysis of nucleotides from erythrocyte-free malarial parasites (Plasmodium berghei) and potential relevance to malaria chemotherapy*

    PubMed Central

    Van Dyke, Knox; Trush, Michael A.; Wilson, Mark E.; Stealey, Patricia K.

    1977-01-01

    Studies using erythrocyte-free preparations of P. berghei were conducted with a view to improving knowledge of parasite metabolism, particularly nucleotide metabolism. The free parasites employed in these studies were prepared by saponin lysis of parasitized mouse erythrocytes in isotonic glucose solutions. A comparative study of post-lytic metabolic activity of free parasites prepared by saponin, ammonium chloride, or osmotic lysis indicated a significantly greater retention of metabolic activity in the saponin-lysis preparations. Separations of nucleoside mono-, di-, and triphosphates extracted from free parasites were performed by means of high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), and ATP was additionally measured by luciferin—luciferase assay. Studies designed to differentiate among uptake, phosphorylation, and subsequent incorporation of 3H-adenosine into nucleic acids of the free parasite strongly suggested that adenosine is metabolized either outside or on the parasite membrane, being first deaminated to inosine and then deribosylated to hypoxanthine. Observations from HPLC and radioisotope precursor studies support a hypothesis in which hypoxanthine may be proposed as being a pivotal substrate for purine salvage by malarial parasites. Some of the key steps in purine salvage and pyrimidine biosynthesis were investigated, using radiolabel uptake studies and HPLC analysis of nucleotides of the free malarial parasite. These studies suggest that hypoxanthine uptake may constitute an important new basis for chemotherapeutic attack on the malarial parasite. ImagesFig. 2Fig. 3Fig. 4Fig. 5 PMID:338182

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have analyzed the performance of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in Colombia with discrepancies in performance being attributed to a combination of factors such as parasite levels, interpretation of RDT results and/or the handling and storage of RDT kits. However, some of the inconsistencies observed with results from Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2)-based RDTs could also be explained by the deletion of the gene that encodes the protein, pfhrp2, and its structural homolog, pfhrp3, in some parasite isolates. Given that pfhrp2- and pfhrp3-negative P. falciparum isolates have been detected in the neighboring Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon regions, we hypothesized that parasites with deletions of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 may also be present in Colombia. In this study we tested 100 historical samples collected between 1999 and 2009 from six Departments in Colombia for the presence of pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and their flanking genes. Seven neutral microsatellites were also used to determine the genetic background of these parasites. In total 18 of 100 parasite isolates were found to have deleted pfhrp2, a majority of which (14 of 18) were collected from Amazonas Department, which borders Peru and Brazil. pfhrp3 deletions were found in 52 of the 100 samples collected from all regions of the country. pfhrp2 flanking genes PF3D7_0831900 and PF3D7_0831700 were deleted in 22 of 100 and in 1 of 100 samples, respectively. pfhrp3 flanking genes PF3D7_1372100 and PF3D7_1372400 were missing in 55 of 100 and in 57 of 100 samples. Structure analysis of microsatellite data indicated that Colombian samples tested in this study belonged to four clusters and they segregated mostly based on their geographic region. Most of the pfhrp2-deleted parasites were assigned to a single cluster and originated from Amazonas Department although a few pfhrp2-negative parasites originated from the other three clusters. The presence of a high proportion of pfhrp2-negative isolates in the Colombian Amazon may have implications for the use of PfHRP2-based RDTs in the region and may explain inconsistencies observed when PfHRP2-based tests and assays are performed. PMID:26151448

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have analyzed the performance of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in Colombia with discrepancies in performance being attributed to a combination of factors such as parasite levels, interpretation of RDT results and/or the handling and storage of RDT kits. However, some of the inconsistencies observed with results from Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2)-based RDTs could also be explained by the deletion of the gene that encodes the protein, pfhrp2, and its structural homolog, pfhrp3, in some parasite isolates. Given that pfhrp2- and pfhrp3-negative P. falciparum isolates have been detected in the neighboring Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon regions, we hypothesized that parasites with deletions of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 may also be present in Colombia. In this study we tested 100 historical samples collected between 1999 and 2009 from six Departments in Colombia for the presence of pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and their flanking genes. Seven neutral microsatellites were also used to determine the genetic background of these parasites. In total 18 of 100 parasite isolates were found to have deleted pfhrp2, a majority of which (14 of 18) were collected from Amazonas Department, which borders Peru and Brazil. pfhrp3 deletions were found in 52 of the100 samples collected from all regions of the country. pfhrp2 flanking genes PF3D7_0831900 and PF3D7_0831700 were deleted in 22 of 100 and in 1 of 100 samples, respectively. pfhrp3 flanking genes PF3D7_1372100 and PF3D7_1372400 were missing in 55 of 100 and in 57 of 100 samples. Structure analysis of microsatellite data indicated that Colombian samples tested in this study belonged to four clusters and they segregated mostly based on their geographic region. Most of the pfhrp2-deleted parasites were assigned to a single cluster and originated from Amazonas Department although a few pfhrp2-negative parasites originated from the other three clusters. The presence of a high proportion of pfhrp2-negative isolates in the Colombian Amazon may have implications for the use of PfHRP2-based RDTs in the region and may explain inconsistencies observed when PfHRP2-based tests and assays are performed. PMID:26151448

  12. Two new species of Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890 (Haemosporida, Haemoproteidae) from European birds, with emphasis on DNA barcoding for detection of haemosporidians in wildlife.

    PubMed

    Dimitrov, Dimitar; Zehtindjiev, Pavel; Bensch, Staffan; Ilieva, Mihaela; Iezhova, Tatjana; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2014-02-01

    Two new species of Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890 (Haemosporida, Haemoproteidae) are described: Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) homovelans n. sp. from Grey-faced Woodpecker, Picus canus Gmelin, and Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) concavocentralis n. sp. recorded in Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes (Linnaeus), both sampled in Bulgaria. The morphology of the gametocytes and their host-cells are described and mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene sequences are generated. Haemoproteus homovelans possesses circumnuclear gametocytes lacking volutin granules. This parasite is particularly similar to Haemoproteus velans Coatney & Roudabush, 1937 also possessing circumnuclear gametocytes that are, however, overfilled with volutin. Haemoproteus concavocentralis can be readily distinguished from all described avian haemoproteids due to the presence of an unfilled concave space between the central part of advanced gametocytes and erythrocyte nucleus. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of 40 haemosporidian cyt b lineages showed close relationships of H. concavocentralis (hHAWF2) with a group of Haemoproteus spp. possessing gametocytes that are pale-stained with Giemsa. The lineage hPICAN02 of H. homovelans clustered with parasites infecting non-passerine birds. Phylogenetic analyses support the current subgeneric classification of the avian haemoproteids and suggest that cyt b lineage hPIPUB01 (GenBank EU254552) has been incorrectly assigned to Haemoproteus picae Coatney & Roudabush, 1937, a common parasite of corvid birds (Passeriformes). This study emphasises the importance of combining molecular techniques and light microscopy in the identification and field studies of avian haemosporidian parasites. Future development of barcodes for molecular identification of haemoproteids will allow better diagnostics of these infections, particularly in veterinary studies addressing insufficiently investigated tissue pathology caused by these parasites. PMID:24474037

  13. RTS,S Vaccination Is Associated With Serologic Evidence of Decreased Exposure to Plasmodium falciparum Liver- and Blood-Stage Parasites*

    PubMed Central

    Campo, Joe J.; Aponte, John J.; Skinner, Jeff; Nakajima, Rie; Molina, Douglas M.; Liang, Li; Sacarlal, Jahit; Alonso, Pedro L.; Crompton, Peter D.; Felgner, Philip L.; Dobaño, Carlota

    2015-01-01

    The leading malaria vaccine candidate, RTS,S, targets the sporozoite and liver stages of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle, yet it provides partial protection against disease associated with the subsequent blood stage of infection. Antibodies against the vaccine target, the circumsporozoite protein, have not shown sufficient correlation with risk of clinical malaria to serve as a surrogate for protection. The mechanism by which a vaccine that targets the asymptomatic sporozoite and liver stages protects against disease caused by blood-stage parasites remains unclear. We hypothesized that vaccination with RTS,S protects from blood-stage disease by reducing the number of parasites emerging from the liver, leading to prolonged exposure to subclinical levels of blood-stage parasites that go undetected and untreated, which in turn boosts pre-existing antibody-mediated blood-stage immunity. To test this hypothesis, we compared antibody responses to 824 P. falciparum antigens by protein array in Mozambican children 6 months after receiving a full course of RTS,S (n = 291) versus comparator vaccine (n = 297) in a Phase IIb trial. Moreover, we used a nested case-control design to compare antibody responses of children who did or did not experience febrile malaria. Unexpectedly, we found that the breadth and magnitude of the antibody response to both liver and asexual blood-stage antigens was significantly lower in RTS,S vaccinees, with the exception of only four antigens, including the RTS,S circumsporozoite antigen. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, these findings suggest that RTS,S confers protection against clinical malaria by blocking sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes, thereby reducing exposure to the blood-stage parasites that cause disease. We also found that antibody profiles 6 months after vaccination did not distinguish protected and susceptible children during the subsequent 12-month follow-up period but were strongly associated with exposure. Together, these data provide insight into the mechanism by which RTS,S protects from malaria. PMID:25547414

  14. Ycf93 (Orf105), a Small Apicoplast-Encoded Membrane Protein in the Relict Plastid of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum That Is Conserved in Apicomplexa

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Christopher D.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria parasites retain a relict plastid (apicoplast) from a photosynthetic ancestor shared with dinoflagellate algae. The apicoplast is a useful drug target; blocking housekeeping pathways such as genome replication and translation in the organelle kills parasites and protects against malaria. The apicoplast of Plasmodium falciparum encodes 30 proteins and a suite of rRNAs and tRNAs that facilitate their expression. orf105 is a hypothetical apicoplast gene that would encode a small protein (PfOrf105) with a predicted C-terminal transmembrane domain. We produced antisera to a predicted peptide within PfOrf105. Western blot analysis confirmed expression of orf105 and immunofluorescence localised the gene product to the apicoplast. Pforf105 encodes a membrane protein that has an apparent mass of 17.5 kDa and undergoes substantial turnover during the 48-hour asexual life cycle of the parasite in blood stages. The effect of actinonin, an antimalarial with a putative impact on post-translational modification of apicoplast proteins like PfOrf105, was examined. Unlike other drugs perturbing apicoplast housekeeping that induce delayed death, actinonin kills parasites immediately and has an identical drug exposure phenotype to the isopentenyl diphosphate synthesis blocker fosmidomycin. Open reading frames of similar size to PfOrf105, which also have predicted C-terminal trans membrane domains, occur in syntenic positions in all sequenced apicoplast genomes from Phylum Apicomplexa. We therefore propose to name these genes ycf93 (hypothetical chloroplast reading frame 93) according to plastid gene nomenclature convention for conserved proteins of unknown function. PMID:24705170

  15. Bioflavonoid effects on in vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum. Inhibition of permeation pathways induced in the host cell membrane by the intraerythrocytic parasite.

    PubMed

    Silfen, J; Yanai, P; Cabantchik, Z I

    1988-11-15

    A series of polyhydroxyphenol glycosides including bioflavonoid-glycosides structurally-related to phlorizin (phloretin-2-beta-glucoside) have been tested for their capacity to inhibit permeation pathways induced in red cell membranes by intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum parasites. The permeation through these pathways has been assessed on trophozoites by sorbitol-mediated hemolysis based on a novel technique of high sensitivity and time resolution which has been adapted for handling relatively large number of samples in microtitration plates. Changes in the number of phenolic groups and to a lesser extent changes in the relative position of these groups had a substantial effect on the inhibitory efficacy of the phlorizin derivatives. Diglycoside derivatives were completely ineffective while various monoglycoside derivatives had comparable effects. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of 3-monosubstituted phlorizin derivatives indicate that the inhibitory potency varied considerably with the chemical nature of the group substituted in the 3 position. Inhibition correlated best (r = 0.90) with Hammett's constant, underscoring the role of the electron withdrawing capacity of the chemical groups substituted on the hydroxydihydrochalcone moiety. On the other hand, substitution with lipophilic groups had either minimal effects or reduced the inhibitory power of the derivatives. Inhibition of transport correlated with the inhibition of intraerythrocytic parasite growth and provides a basis for new therapeutic approaches of malaria. Based on the SAR studies, a 3-isothiocyano analog of phlorizin was synthesized and shown to block irreversibly the above permeation pathways (20 microM, 10 min reaction at ambient temperature) as well as the intraerythrocytic growth of the parasite. The present study provides proof for the involvement of amino groups in red cell membrane components as controlling elements of the permeation pathways induced by the intraerythrocytic parasite. The putative groups could serve as targets for affinity labeling of the membrane components associated with the permeation function. PMID:3058128

  16. A programmed cell death pathway in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has general features of mammalian apoptosis but is mediated by clan CA cysteine proteases

    PubMed Central

    Ch'ng, J-H; Kotturi, S R; Chong, A G-L; Lear, M J; Tan, K S-W

    2010-01-01

    Several recent discoveries of the hallmark features of programmed cell death (PCD) in Plasmodium falciparum have presented the possibility of revealing novel targets for antimalarial therapy. Using a combination of cell-based assays, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy, we detected features including mitochondrial dysregulation, activation of cysteine proteases and in situ DNA fragmentation in parasites induced with chloroquine (CQ) and staurosporine (ST). The use of the pan-caspase inhibitor, z-Val-Ala-Asp-fmk (zVAD), and the mitochondria outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) inhibitor, 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen, enabled the characterization of a novel CQ-induced pathway linking cysteine protease activation to downstream mitochondrial dysregulation, amplified protease activity and DNA fragmentation. The PCD features were observed only at high (?M) concentrations of CQ. The use of a new synthetic coumarin-labeled chloroquine (CM-CQ) showed that these features may be associated with concentration-dependent differences in drug localization. By further using cysteine protease inhibitors z-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-fmk (zDEVD), z-Phe-Ala-fmk (zFA), z-Phe-Phe-fmk (zFF), z-Leu-Leu-Leu-fmk (zLLL), E64d and CA-074, we were able to implicate clan CA cysteine proteases in CQ-mediated PCD. Finally, CQ induction of two CQ-resistant parasite strains, 7G8 and K1, reveals the existence of PCD features in these parasites, the extent of which was less than 3D7. The use of the chemoreversal agent verapamil implicates the parasite digestive vacuole in mediating CQ-induced PCD. PMID:21364634

  17. Combining Parasite Lactate Dehydrogenase-Based and Histidine-Rich Protein 2-Based Rapid Tests To Improve Specificity for Diagnosis of Malaria Due to Plasmodium knowlesi and Other Plasmodium Species in Sabah, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi causes severe and fatal malaria in Malaysia. Microscopic misdiagnosis is common and may delay appropriate treatment. P. knowlesi can cross-react with “species-specific” parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) monoclonal antibodies used in rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) to detect P. falciparum and P. vivax. At one tertiary-care hospital and two district hospitals in Sabah, we prospectively evaluated two combination RDTs for malaria diagnosis by using both a pan-Plasmodium-pLDH (pan-pLDH)/P. falciparum-specific-pLDH (Pf-pLDH) RDT (OptiMAL-IT) and a non-P. falciparum VOM-pLDH/Pf-HRP2 RDT (CareStart). Differential cross-reactivity among these combinations was hypothesized to differentiate P. knowlesi from other Plasmodium monoinfections. Among 323 patients with PCR-confirmed P. knowlesi (n = 193), P. falciparum (n = 93), and P. vivax (n = 37) monoinfections, the VOM-pLDH individual component had the highest sensitivity for nonsevere (35%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 27 to 43%) and severe (92%; CI, 81 to 100%) P. knowlesi malaria. CareStart demonstrated a P. knowlesi sensitivity of 42% (CI, 34 to 49%) and specificity of 74% (CI, 65 to 82%), a P. vivax sensitivity of 83% (CI, 66 to 93%) and specificity of 71% (CI, 65 to 76%), and a P. falciparum sensitivity of 97% (CI, 90 to 99%) and specificity of 99% (CI, 97 to 100%). OptiMAL-IT demonstrated a P. knowlesi sensitivity of 32% (CI, 25 to 39%) and specificity of 21% (CI, 15 to 29%), a P. vivax sensitivity of 60% (CI, 42 to 75%) and specificity of 97% (CI, 94 to 99%), and a P. falciparum sensitivity of 82% (CI, 72 to 89%) and specificity of 39% (CI, 33 to 46%). The combination of CareStart plus OptiMAL-IT for P. knowlesi using predefined criteria gave a sensitivity of 25% (CI, 19 to 32%) and specificity of 97% (CI, 92 to 99%). Combining two RDT combinations was highly specific for P. knowlesi malaria diagnosis; however, sensitivity was poor. The specificity of pLDH RDTs was decreased for P. vivax and P. falciparum because of P. knowlesi cross-reactivity and cautions against their use alone in areas where P. knowlesi malaria is endemic. Sensitive P. knowlesi-specific RDTs and/or alternative molecular diagnostic tools are needed in areas where P. knowlesi malaria is endemic. PMID:24696029

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi causes severe and fatal malaria in Malaysia. Microscopic misdiagnosis is common and may delay appropriate treatment. P. knowlesi can cross-react with "species-specific" parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) monoclonal antibodies used in rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) to detect P. falciparum and P. vivax. At one tertiary-care hospital and two district hospitals in Sabah, we prospectively evaluated two combination RDTs for malaria diagnosis by using both a pan-Plasmodium-pLDH (pan-pLDH)/P. falciparum-specific-pLDH (Pf-pLDH) RDT (OptiMAL-IT) and a non-P. falciparum VOM-pLDH/Pf-HRP2 RDT (CareStart). Differential cross-reactivity among these combinations was hypothesized to differentiate P. knowlesi from other Plasmodium monoinfections. Among 323 patients with PCR-confirmed P. knowlesi (n = 193), P. falciparum (n = 93), and P. vivax (n = 37) monoinfections, the VOM-pLDH individual component had the highest sensitivity for nonsevere (35%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 27 to 43%) and severe (92%; CI, 81 to 100%) P. knowlesi malaria. CareStart demonstrated a P. knowlesi sensitivity of 42% (CI, 34 to 49%) and specificity of 74% (CI, 65 to 82%), a P. vivax sensitivity of 83% (CI, 66 to 93%) and specificity of 71% (CI, 65 to 76%), and a P. falciparum sensitivity of 97% (CI, 90 to 99%) and specificity of 99% (CI, 97 to 100%). OptiMAL-IT demonstrated a P. knowlesi sensitivity of 32% (CI, 25 to 39%) and specificity of 21% (CI, 15 to 29%), a P. vivax sensitivity of 60% (CI, 42 to 75%) and specificity of 97% (CI, 94 to 99%), and a P. falciparum sensitivity of 82% (CI, 72 to 89%) and specificity of 39% (CI, 33 to 46%). The combination of CareStart plus OptiMAL-IT for P. knowlesi using predefined criteria gave a sensitivity of 25% (CI, 19 to 32%) and specificity of 97% (CI, 92 to 99%). Combining two RDT combinations was highly specific for P. knowlesi malaria diagnosis; however, sensitivity was poor. The specificity of pLDH RDTs was decreased for P. vivax and P. falciparum because of P. knowlesi cross-reactivity and cautions against their use alone in areas where P. knowlesi malaria is endemic. Sensitive P. knowlesi-specific RDTs and/or alternative molecular diagnostic tools are needed in areas where P. knowlesi malaria is endemic. PMID:24696029

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    Over the last decade, several protein kinases inhibitors have reached the market for cancer chemotherapy. The kinomes of pathogens represent potentially attractive targets in infectious diseases. The functions of the majority of protein kinases of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasitic protist responsible for the most virulent form of human malaria, remain unknown. Here we present a thorough characterisation of PfTKL3 (PF13_0258), an enzyme that belongs to the tyrosine kinase-like kinase (TKL) group. We demonstrate by reverse genetics that PfTKL3 is essential for asexual parasite proliferation in human erythrocytes. PfTKL3 is expressed in both asexual and gametocytes stages, and in the latter the protein co-localises with cytoskeleton microtubules. Recombinant PfTKL3 displays in vitro autophosphorylation activity and is able to phosphorylate exogenous substrates, and both activities are dramatically dependent on the presence of an N-terminal "sterile alpha-motif" domain. This study identifies PfTKL3 as a validated drug target amenable to high-throughput screening. PMID:20582613

  20. Serological Conservation of Parasite-Infected Erythrocytes Predicts Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 Gene Expression but Not Severity of Childhood Malaria.

    PubMed

    Warimwe, George M; Abdi, Abdirahman I; Muthui, Michelle; Fegan, Gregory; Musyoki, Jennifer N; Marsh, Kevin; Bull, Peter C

    2016-05-01

    Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), expressed on P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes, is a major family of clonally variant targets of naturally acquired immunity to malaria. Previous studies have demonstrated that in areas where malaria is endemic, antibodies to infected erythrocytes from children with severe malaria tend to be more seroprevalent than antibodies to infected erythrocytes from children with nonsevere malaria. These data have led to a working hypothesis that PfEMP1 variants associated with parasite virulence are relatively conserved in structure. However, the longevity of such serologically conserved variants in the parasite population is unknown. Here, using infected erythrocytes from recently sampled clinical P. falciparum samples, we measured serological conservation using pools of antibodies in sera that had been sampled 10 to 12 years earlier. The serological conservation of infected erythrocytes strongly correlated with the expression of specific PfEMP1 subsets previously found to be associated with severe malaria. However, we found no association between serological conservation per se and disease severity within these data. This contrasts with the simple hypothesis that P. falciparum isolates with a serologically conserved group of PfEMP1 variants cause severe malaria. The data are instead consistent with periodic turnover of the immunodominant epitopes of PfEMP1 associated with severe malaria. PMID:26883585

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the aspartic protease plasmepsin 4 from the malarial parasite Plasmodium malariae

    SciTech Connect

    Madabushi, Amrita; Chakraborty, Sibani; Fisher, S. Zoë; Clemente, José C.; Yowell, Charles; Agbandje-McKenna, Mavis; Dame, John B.; Dunn, Ben M.; McKenna, Robert

    2005-02-01

    Plasmepsin 4 from the malarial parasite P. malariae has been crystallized in complex with a small molecular inhibitor. Preliminary X-ray analysis of the diffraction data collected at 3.3 Å resolution is reported.

  3. Genetically attenuated parasite vaccines induce contact-dependent CD8+ T cell killing of Plasmodium yoelii liver stage-infected hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Trimnell, Adama; Takagi, Akihide; Gupta, Megha; Richie, Thomas L; Kappe, Stefan H; Wang, Ruobing

    2009-11-01

    The production of IFN-gamma by CD8(+) T cells is an important hallmark of protective immunity induced by irradiation-attenuated sporozoites against malaria. Here, we demonstrate that protracted sterile protection conferred by a Plasmodium yoelii genetically attenuated parasite (PyGAP) vaccine was completely dependent on CD8(+) T lymphocytes but only partially dependent on IFN-gamma. We used live cell imaging to document that CD8(+) CTL from PyGAP-immunized mice directly killed hepatocyte infected with a liver stage parasite. Immunization studies with perforin and IFN-gamma knockout mice also indicated that the protection was largely dependent on perforin-mediated effector mechanisms rather than on IFN-gamma. This was further supported by our observation that both liver and spleen CD8(+) T cells from PyGAP-immunized mice induced massive apoptosis of liver stage-infected hepatocytes in vitro without the release of detectable IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. Conversely, CD8(+) T cells isolated from naive mice that had survived wild-type P. yoelii sporozoite infection targeted mainly sporozoite-traversed and uninfected hepatocytes, revealing an immune evasion strategy that might be used by wild-type parasites to subvert host immune responses during natural infection. However, CTLs from wild-type sporozoite-challenged mice could recognize and kill infected hepatocytes that were pulsed with circumsporozoite protein. Additionally, protection in PyGAP-immunized mice directly correlated with the magnitude of effector memory CD8(+) T cells. Our findings implicate CTLs as key immune effectors in a highly protective PyGAP vaccine for malaria and emphasize the critical need to define surrogate markers for correlates of protection, apart from IFN-gamma. PMID:19812194

  4. Simple and sensitive antimalarial drug screening in vitro and in vivo using transgenic luciferase expressing Plasmodium berghei parasites.

    PubMed

    Franke-Fayard, B; Djokovic, D; Dooren, M W; Ramesar, J; Waters, A P; Falade, M O; Kranendonk, M; Martinelli, A; Cravo, P; Janse, C J

    2008-12-01

    We report two improved assays for in vitro and in vivo screening of chemicals with potential anti-malarial activity against the blood stages of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodiumberghei. These assays are based on the determination of luciferase activity (luminescence) in small blood samples containing transgenic blood stage parasites that express luciferase under the control of a promoter that is either schizont-specific (ama-1) or constitutive (eef1alphaa). Assay 1, the in vitro drug luminescence (ITDL) assay, measured the success of schizont maturation in the presence of candidate drugs quantifying luciferase activity in mature schizonts only (ama-1 promoter). The ITDL assay generated drug-inhibition curves and EC(50) values comparable to those obtained with standard in vitro drug-susceptibility assays. The second assay, the in vivo drug-luminescence (IVDL) assay, measured parasite growth in vivo in a standard 4-day suppressive drug test, monitored by measuring the constitutive luciferase activity of circulating parasites (eef1alphaa promoter). The IVDL assay generates growth-curves that are identical to those obtained by manual counting of parasites in Giemsa-stained smears. The reading of luminescence assays is rapid, requires a minimal number of handling steps and no experience with parasite morphology or handling fluorescence-activated cell sorters, produces no radioactive waste and test-plates can be stored for prolonged periods before processing. Both tests are suitable for use in larger-scale in vitro and in vivo screening of drugs. The standard methodology of anti-malarial drug screening and validation, which includes testing in rodent models of malaria, can be improved by the incorporation of such assays. PMID:18590736

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    This work reports the in vitro activity against Plasmodium falciparumblood forms (W2 clone, chloroquine-resistant) of tamoxifen-based compounds and their ferrocenyl (ferrocifens) and ruthenocenyl (ruthenocifens) derivatives, as well as their cytotoxicity against HepG2 human hepatoma cells. Surprisingly with these series, results indicate that the biological activity of ruthenocifens is better than that of ferrocifens and other tamoxifen-like compounds. The synthesis of a new metal-based compound is also described. It was shown, for the first time, that ruthenocifens are good antiplasmodial prototypes. Further studies will be conducted aiming at a better understanding of their mechanism of action and at obtaining new compounds with better therapeutic profile. PMID:26602875

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    This work reports the in vitro activity against Plasmodium falciparum blood forms (W2 clone, chloroquine-resistant) of tamoxifen-based compounds and their ferrocenyl (ferrocifens) and ruthenocenyl (ruthenocifens) derivatives, as well as their cytotoxicity against HepG2 human hepatoma cells. Surprisingly with these series, results indicate that the biological activity of ruthenocifens is better than that of ferrocifens and other tamoxifen-like compounds. The synthesis of a new metal-based compound is also described. It was shown, for the first time, that ruthenocifens are good antiplasmodial prototypes. Further studies will be conducted aiming at a better understanding of their mechanism of action and at obtaining new compounds with better therapeutic profile. PMID:26602875

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

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J.; Bandoh, Betty; Barfod, Lea; Cavanagh, David R.; Andersen, Gregers R.; Hviid, Lars

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting, the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes, involves clonal variants of the parasite protein P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and soluble serum factors. While rosetting is a well-known phenotypic marker of parasites associated with severe malaria, the reason for this association remains unclear, as do the molecular details of the interaction between the infected erythrocyte (IE) and the adhering erythrocytes. Here, we identify for the first time a single serum factor, the abundant serum protease inhibitor α2-macroglobulin (α2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the α2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that α2M can bind at least four HB3VAR06 proteins, plausibly augmenting their combined avidity for host receptors. IgM has previously been identified as a rosette-facilitating soluble factor that acts in a similar way, but it cannot induce rosetting on its own. This is in contrast to α2M and probably due to the more limited cross-linking potential of IgM. Nevertheless, we show that IgM works synergistically with α2M and markedly lowers the concentration of α2M required for rosetting. Finally, HB3VAR06+ IEs share the capacity to bind α2M with subsets of genotypically distinct P. falciparum isolates forming rosettes in vitro and of patient parasite isolates ex vivo. Together, our results are evidence that P. falciparum parasites exploit α2M (and IgM) to expand the repertoire of host receptors available for PfEMP1-mediated IE adhesion, such as the erythrocyte carbohydrate moieties that lead to formation of rosettes. It is likely that this mechanism also affects IE adhesion to receptors on vascular endothelium. The study opens opportunities for broad-ranging immunological interventions targeting the α2M—(and IgM-) binding domains of PfEMP1, which would be independent of the host receptor specificity of clinically important PfEMP1 antigens. PMID:26134405

  9. Parasite-specific inserts in the bifunctional S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase/ornithine decarboxylase of Plasmodium falciparum modulate catalytic activities and domain interactions.

    PubMed Central

    Birkholtz, Lyn-Marie; Wrenger, Carsten; Joubert, Fourie; Wells, Gordon A; Walter, Rolf D; Louw, Abraham I

    2004-01-01

    Polyamine biosynthesis of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is regulated by a single, hinge-linked bifunctional PfAdoMetDC/ODC [ P. falciparum AdoMetDC (S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase)/ODC (ornithine decarboxylase)] with a molecular mass of 330 kDa. The bifunctional nature of AdoMetDC/ODC is unique to Plasmodia and is shared by at least three species. The PfAdoMetDC/ODC contains four parasite-specific regions ranging in size from 39 to 274 residues. The significance of the parasite-specific inserts for activity and protein-protein interactions of the bifunctional protein was investigated by a single- and multiple-deletion strategy. Deletion of these inserts in the bifunctional protein diminished the corresponding enzyme activity and in some instances also decreased the activity of the neighbouring, non-mutated domain. Intermolecular interactions between AdoMetDC and ODC appear to be vital for optimal ODC activity. Similar results have been reported for the bifunctional P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase [Yuvaniyama, Chitnumsub, Kamchonwongpaisan, Vanichtanankul, Sirawaraporn, Taylor, Walkinshaw and Yuthavong (2003) Nat. Struct. Biol. 10, 357-365]. Co-incubation of the monofunctional, heterotetrameric approximately 150 kDa AdoMetDC domain with the monofunctional, homodimeric ODC domain (approximately 180 kDa) produced an active hybrid complex of 330 kDa. The hinge region is required for bifunctional complex formation and only indirectly for enzyme activities. Deletion of the smallest, most structured and conserved insert in the ODC domain had the biggest impact on the activities of both decarboxylases, homodimeric ODC arrangement and hybrid complex formation. The remaining large inserts are predicted to be non-globular regions located on the surface of these proteins. The large insert in AdoMetDC in contrast is not implicated in hybrid complex formation even though distinct interactions between this insert and the two domains are inferred from the effect of its removal on both catalytic activities. Interference with essential protein-protein interactions mediated by parasite-specific regions therefore appears to be a viable strategy to aid the design of selective inhibitors of polyamine metabolism of P. falciparum. PMID:12974675

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Blood parasites from California ducks and geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.

    1951-01-01

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

  12. Malaria Parasite-Infected Erythrocytes Secrete PfCK1, the Plasmodium Homologue of the Pleiotropic Protein Kinase Casein Kinase 1

    PubMed Central

    Dorin-Semblat, Dominique; Demarta-Gatsi, Claudia; Hamelin, Romain; Armand, Florence; Carvalho, Teresa Gil; Moniatte, Marc; Doerig, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Casein kinase 1 (CK1) is a pleiotropic protein kinase implicated in several fundamental processes of eukaryotic cell biology. Plasmodium falciparum encodes a single CK1 isoform, PfCK1, that is expressed at all stages of the parasite’s life cycle. We have previously shown that the pfck1 gene cannot be disrupted, but that the locus can be modified if no loss-of-function is incurred, suggesting an important role for this kinase in intra-erythrocytic asexual proliferation. Here, we report on the use of parasite lines expressing GFP- or His-tagged PfCK1 from the endogenous locus to investigate (i) the dynamics of PfCK1 localisation during the asexual cycle in red blood cells, and (ii) potential interactors of PfCK1, so as to gain insight into the involvement of the enzyme in specific cellular processes. Immunofluorescence analysis reveals a dynamic localisation of PfCK1, with evidence for a pool of the enzyme being directed to the membrane of the host erythrocyte in the early stages of infection, followed by a predominantly intra-parasite localisation in trophozoites and schizonts and association with micronemes in merozoites. Furthermore, we present strong evidence that a pool of enzymatically active PfCK1 is secreted into the culture supernatant, demonstrating that PfCK1 is an ectokinase. Our interactome experiments and ensuing kinase assays using recombinant PfCK1 to phosphorylate putative interactors in vitro suggest an involvement of PfCK1 in many cellular processes such as mRNA splicing, protein trafficking, ribosomal, and host cell invasion. PMID:26629826

  13. Ribosomal protein P2 localizes to the parasite zoite-surface and is a target for invasion inhibitory antibodies in Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Sudarsan, Rajagopal; Chopra, Reshma Korde; Khan, Mudassar Ali; Sharma, Shobhona

    2015-02-01

    In the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the conserved ribosomal stalk protein P2 (PfP2) exhibits extra-ribosomal stage-specific oligomerization and trafficking to the host red cell membrane. Antibodies directed against PfP2 arrested cell division. We sought to examine whether P2 from a closely related Apicomplexan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, exhibits similar properties in terms of its oligomeric status as well as such unique host-cell localization. Circular dichroism spectroscopy of recombinant P2 from T. gondii (TgP2) showed a structure similar to that of PfP2, but unlike PfP2, which forms SDS- and DTT-resistant oligomers, TgP2 exhibited only a weak SDS-resistant dimerization. Also, unlike PfP2 localization to the infected erythrocyte surface, TgP2 did not localize to the host membrane in T. gondii infected human foreskin fibroblast cells. However, P2 protein was detected on the free tachyzoite surface, corroborated by localization of epitope-tagged P2 transfected in T. gondii. The presence of P2 on the surface of P. falciparum merozoites was also observed, and specific antibodies raised against the P2 protein blocked both T. gondii and P. falciparum zoite invasion of the host cells. Thus, although certain moonlighting functions of the acidic ribosomal protein P2 are different amongst P. falciparum and T. gondii, the P2 protein localizes to the surface of the invasive zoite form, and appears to constitute a potential target for host cell invasion inhibition in both the Apicomplexan infections. PMID:25280460

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Background Malaria remains a disease of devastating global impact, killing more than 800,000 people every year—the vast majority being children under the age of 5. While effective therapies are available, if malaria is to be eradicated a broader range of small molecule therapeutics that are able to target the liver and the transmissible sexual stages are required. These new medicines are needed both to meet the challenge of malaria eradication and to circumvent resistance. Methods and Findings Little is known about the wider stage-specific activities of current antimalarials that were primarily designed to alleviate symptoms of malaria in the blood stage. To overcome this critical gap, we developed assays to measure activity of antimalarials against all life stages of malaria parasites, using a diverse set of human and nonhuman parasite species, including male gamete production (exflagellation) in Plasmodium falciparum, ookinete development in P. berghei, oocyst development in P. berghei and P. falciparum, and the liver stage of P. yoelii. We then compared 50 current and experimental antimalarials in these assays. We show that endoperoxides such as OZ439, a stable synthetic molecule currently in clinical phase IIa trials, are strong inhibitors of gametocyte maturation/gamete formation and impact sporogony; lumefantrine impairs development in the vector; and NPC-1161B, a new 8-aminoquinoline, inhibits sporogony. Conclusions These data enable objective comparisons of the strengths and weaknesses of each chemical class at targeting each stage of the lifecycle. Noting that the activities of many compounds lie within achievable blood concentrations, these results offer an invaluable guide to decisions regarding which drugs to combine in the next-generation of antimalarial drugs. This study might reveal the potential of life-cycle–wide analyses of drugs for other pathogens with complex life cycles. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary PMID:22363211

  15. Partial suppression of malaria parasites, and of the transmission of malaria, in Aedes aegypti (L.) doubly-infected with Semliki Forest virus and Plasmodium gallinaceum Brumpt*

    PubMed Central

    Bertram, D. S.; Varma, M. G. R.; Baker, J. R.

    1964-01-01

    Laboratory experiments were undertaken with Aedes aegypti infected with both Semliki Forest virus (SFV) from infant mice and Plasmodium gallinaceum from fowls to determine if such double infection of mosquitos suppressed their ability to transmit the malaria parasite, a possibility suggested to explain reduction in malaria transmission in Uganda in 1960 when Anopheles funestus and Anopheles gambiae were transmitting both malaria and o'nyongnyong virus to the African population. In general, transmission of fowl malaria was not prevented by SFV infection in Aedes, although some malariometric indices, and consistently the mean oocyst count, were slightly lower in doubly-infected mosquitos than in controls. In one experiment, however, 60% of the Aedes infected 8 days previously with SFV died within 48 hours of ingesting a malarious meal. Mortality was selectively in favour of the survival of SFV-infected mosquitos negative for, or least heavily infected with, malaria; depression in the presence of the virus of the intensity of malaria infection in the individual Aedes also occurred. Some physiological factora stress in adult life or, possibly more important, suboptimal larval nutritionappears to have been crucial to eliciting the adverse effect on the mosquitos themselves and on their malaria infections. Suppression of the development of a malaria parasite in a mosquito, and of malaria transmission, by concurrent infection of the vector with an arbovirus can happen, but is by no means inevitable. It is shown that a doubly-infected Aedes can transmit both Semliki Forest virus and P. gallinaceum simultaneously. PMID:14278005

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    To investigate the genetic diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (PfAMA1) gene in Southeast Asia, we determined PfAMA1 sequences from 135 field isolates collected from the China-Myanmar border area and compared them with 956 publically available PfAMA1 sequences from seven global P. falciparum populations. This analysis revealed high genetic diversity of PfAMA1 in global P. falciparum populations with a total of 229 haplotypes identified. The genetic diversity of PfAMA1 gene from the China-Myanmar border is not evenly distributed in the different domains of this gene. Sequence diversity in PfAMA1 from the China-Myanmar border is lower than that observed in Thai, African and Oceanian populations, but higher than that in the South American population. This appeared to correlate well with the levels of endemicity of different malaria-endemic regions, where hyperendemic regions favor genetic cross of the parasite isolates and generation of higher genetic diversity. Neutrality tests show significant departure from neutrality in the entire ectodomain and Domain I of PfAMA1 in the China-Myanmar border parasite population. We found evidence supporting a substantial continent-wise genetic structure among P. falciparum populations, with the highest genetic differentiation detected between the China-Myanmar border and the South American populations. Whereas no alleles were unique to a specific region, there were considerable geographical differences in major alleles and their frequencies, highlighting further necessity to include more PfAMA1 alleles in vaccine designs. PMID:26825252

  17. Distinct properties of the egress-related osmiophilic bodies in male and female gametocytes of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei.

    PubMed

    Olivieri, Anna; Bertuccini, Lucia; Deligianni, Elena; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Currà, Chiara; Siden-Kiamos, Inga; Hanssen, Eric; Grasso, Felicia; Superti, Fabiana; Pace, Tomasino; Fratini, Federica; Janse, Chris J; Ponzi, Marta

    2015-03-01

    Gametogenesis is the earliest event after uptake of malaria parasites by the mosquito vector, with a decisive impact on colonization of the mosquito midgut. This process is triggered by a drop in temperature and contact with mosquito molecules. In a few minutes, male and female gametocytes escape from the host erythrocyte by rupturing the parasitophorous vacuole and the erythrocyte membranes. Electron-dense, oval-shaped organelles, the osmiophilic bodies (OB), have been implicated in the egress of female gametocytes. By comparative electron microscopy and electron tomography analyses combined with immunolocalization experiments, we here define the morphological features distinctive of male secretory organelles, hereafter named MOB (male osmiophilic bodies). These organelles appear as club-shaped, electron-dense vesicles, smaller than female OB. We found that a drop in temperature triggers MOB clustering, independently of exposure to other stimuli. MDV1/PEG3, a protein associated with OB in Plasmodium berghei females, localizes to both non-clustered and clustered MOB, suggesting that clustering precedes vesicle discharge. A P. berghei mutant lacking the OB-resident female-specific protein Pbg377 displays a dramatic reduction in size of the OB, accompanied by a delay in female gamete egress efficiency, while female gamete fertility is not affected. Immunolocalization experiments indicated that MDV1/PEG3 is still recruited to OB-remnant structures. PMID:25262869

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    In Myanmar, civil unrest and establishment of internally displaced persons (IDP) settlement along the Myanmar-China border have impacted malaria transmission. The growing IDP populations raise deep concerns about health impact on local communities. Microsatellite markers were used to examine the source and spreading patterns of Plasmodium falciparum between IDP settlement and surrounding villages in Myanmar along the China border. Genotypic structure of P. falciparum was compared over the past three years from the same area and the demographic history was inferred to determine the source of recent infections. In addition, we examined if border migration is a factor of P. falciparum infections in China by determining gene flow patterns across borders. Compared to local community, the IDP samples showed a reduced and consistently lower genetic diversity over the past three years. A strong signature of genetic bottleneck was detected in the IDP samples. P. falciparum infections from the border regions in China were genetically similar to Myanmar and parasite gene flow was not constrained by geographical distance. Reduced genetic diversity of P. falciparum suggested intense malaria control within the IDP settlement. Human movement was a key factor to the spread of malaria both locally in Myanmar and across the international border. PMID:25952567

  19. Role for the Plasmodium sporozoite-specific transmembrane protein S6 in parasite motility and efficient malaria transmission.

    PubMed

    Steinbuechel, Marion; Matuschewski, Kai

    2009-02-01

    Malaria transmission occurs by intradermal deposition of Plasmodium sporozoites during the infectious bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. After formation in midgut-associated oocysts sporozoites actively enter mosquito salivary glands and subsequently invade host hepatocytes where they transform into clinically silent liver stages. To date, two sporozoite-specific transmembrane proteins have been identified that perform vital functions in natural malaria transmission. The sporozoite invasin TRAP drives sporozoite motility and target cell entry whereas the adhesin MAEBL mediates sporozoite recognition of and attachment to salivary glands. Here, we demonstrate that the sporozoite-specific transmembrane protein S6 is required for efficient malaria transmission to the vertebrate host. Targeted deletion of S6 results in severe impairment of sporozoite gliding motility and invasion of mosquito salivary glands. During sporozoite maturation S6 expression is tightly regulated by transcriptional and translational control. We propose that S6 functions together with TRAP/MIC2 family invasins to direct fast, efficient and specific cell entry and, ultimately, life cycle progression of the malaria sporozoite. PMID:19016774

  20. Anopheles gambiae Croquemort SCRBQ2, expression profile in the mosquito and its potential interaction with the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei

    PubMed Central

    González-Lázaro, Mónica; Dinglasan, Rhoel R.; de la Cruz Hernández-Hernández, Fidel; Rodríguez, Mario Henry; Laclaustra, Martin; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Flores-Romo, Leopoldo

    2014-01-01

    The scavenger receptor family comprises transmembrane proteins involved in the recognition of polyanionic ligands. Several studies have established that members of this family are involved both in immunity and in developmental processes. In Drosophila melanogaster, one of the best characterized scavenger receptors is Croquemort, which participates in the recognition of apoptotic cells in the embryo. Although comparative genomic studies have revealed the presence of four orthologs of this receptor in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, little is known about their function. We have investigated the expression pattern of the four Croquemort orthologs during the mosquito life cycle. Croquemort transcripts SCRBQ2 and SCRBQ4 are expressed at all the developmental stages, while expression of Croquemort transcripts SCRBQ1 and SCRBQ3 is more restricted. We have also investigated the expression of the four Croquemort orthologs in the different organs of the adult female. Croquemort transcript SCRBQ2 is highly expressed in the A. gambiae female midgut. SCRBQ2 midgut gene expression was up-regulated after a non-infected or a Plasmodium berghei-infected blood meal, compared to its expression in midguts of sugar-fed females. Interestingly, knockdown of SCRBQ2 expression by dsRNA injection resulted in a 62.5% inhibition of oocyst formation, suggesting that SCRBQ2 plays a role in Plasmodium–mosquito interactions. PMID:19366631

  1. Ungulate malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Templeton, Thomas J.; Asada, Masahito; Jiratanh, Montakan; Ishikawa, Sohta A.; Tiawsirisup, Sonthaya; Sivakumar, Thillaiampalam; Namangala, Boniface; Takeda, Mika; Mohkaew, Kingdao; Ngamjituea, Supawan; Inoue, Noboru; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Inagaki, Yuji; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Kaneko, Osamu

    2016-01-01

    Haemosporida parasites of even-toed ungulates are diverse and globally distributed, but since their discovery in 1913 their characterization has relied exclusively on microscopy-based descriptions. In order to bring molecular approaches to bear on the identity and evolutionary relationships of ungulate malaria parasites, we conducted Plasmodium cytb-specific nested PCR surveys using blood from water buffalo in Vietnam and Thailand, and goats in Zambia. We found that Plasmodium is readily detectable from water buffalo in these countries, indicating that buffalo Plasmodium is distributed in a wider region than India, which is the only area in which buffalo Plasmodium has been reported. Two types (I and II) of Plasmodium sequences were identified from water buffalo and a third type (III) was isolated from goat. Morphology of the parasite was confirmed in Giemsa-reagent stained blood smears for the Type I sample. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequences were isolated and used to infer a phylogeny in which ungulate malaria parasites form a monophyletic clade within the Haemosporida, and branch prior to the clade containing bird, lizard and other mammalian Plasmodium. Thus it is likely that host switching of Plasmodium from birds to mammals occurred multiple times, with a switch to ungulates independently from other mammalian Plasmodium. PMID:26996979

  2. Ungulate malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Templeton, Thomas J; Asada, Masahito; Jiratanh, Montakan; Ishikawa, Sohta A; Tiawsirisup, Sonthaya; Sivakumar, Thillaiampalam; Namangala, Boniface; Takeda, Mika; Mohkaew, Kingdao; Ngamjituea, Supawan; Inoue, Noboru; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Inagaki, Yuji; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Kaneko, Osamu

    2016-01-01

    Haemosporida parasites of even-toed ungulates are diverse and globally distributed, but since their discovery in 1913 their characterization has relied exclusively on microscopy-based descriptions. In order to bring molecular approaches to bear on the identity and evolutionary relationships of ungulate malaria parasites, we conducted Plasmodium cytb-specific nested PCR surveys using blood from water buffalo in Vietnam and Thailand, and goats in Zambia. We found that Plasmodium is readily detectable from water buffalo in these countries, indicating that buffalo Plasmodium is distributed in a wider region than India, which is the only area in which buffalo Plasmodium has been reported. Two types (I and II) of Plasmodium sequences were identified from water buffalo and a third type (III) was isolated from goat. Morphology of the parasite was confirmed in Giemsa-reagent stained blood smears for the Type I sample. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequences were isolated and used to infer a phylogeny in which ungulate malaria parasites form a monophyletic clade within the Haemosporida, and branch prior to the clade containing bird, lizard and other mammalian Plasmodium. Thus it is likely that host switching of Plasmodium from birds to mammals occurred multiple times, with a switch to ungulates independently from other mammalian Plasmodium. PMID:26996979

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

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Saleh; Karunamoorthi, Kaliyaperumal

    2016-01-01

    Malaria inflicts humankind over centuries, and it remains as a major threat to both clinical medicine and public health worldwide. Though hemotherapy is a life-sustaining modality, it continues to be a possible source of disease transmission. Hence, hemovigilance is a matter of grave concern in the malaria-prone third-world countries. In order to pursue an effective research on hemovigilance, a comprehensive search has been conducted by using the premier academic-scientific databases, WHO documents, and English-language search engines. One hundred two appropriate articles were chosen for data extraction, with a particular reference to emerging pathogens transmitted through blood transfusion, specifically malaria. Blood donation screening is done through microscopic examination and immunological assays to improve the safety of blood products by detection major blood-borne pathogens, viz., HIV, HBV, HCV, syphilis, and malarial parasites. Transfusion therapy significantly dwindles the preventable morbidity and mortality attributed to various illnesses and diseases, particularly AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Examination of thick and thin blood smears are performed to detect positivity and to identify the Plasmodium species, respectively. However, all of these existing diagnostic tools have their own limitations in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost-effectiveness, and lack of resources and skilled personnel. Globally, despite the mandate need of screening blood and its components according to the blood-establishment protocols, it is seldom practiced in the low-income/poverty-stricken settings. In addition, each and every single phase of transfusion chain carries sizable inherent risks from donors to recipients. Interestingly, opportunities also lie ahead to enhance the safety of blood-supply chain and patients. It can be achieved through sustainable blood-management strategies like (1) appropriate usage of precise diagnostic tools/techniques, (2) promoting hemovigilance system, and (3) adopting novel processes of inactivation technology. Furthermore, selection of the zero-risk donors could pave the way to build a transmissible malaria-free world in the near future. PMID:26531301

  4. Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance protein 1 (pfmrp1) gene and its association with in vitro drug susceptibility of parasite isolates from north-east Myanmar

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Bhavna; Xu, Shuhui; Wang, Zenglei; Sun, Ling; Miao, Jun; Cui, Liwang; Yang, Zhaoqing

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance protein 1 (pfmrp1) has recently emerged as an important determinant of drug resistance and mutations in the gene have been associated with several drugs. The aim of this study was to understand the level of genetic diversity in pfmrp1 and to determine the association of different mutations with altered drug susceptibilities of P. falciparum. Methods We analysed 193 sequences of pfmrp1 from South-East Asia, west Asia, Africa, Oceania and South America. We measured the level of genetic diversity and determined signatures of selection on the gene. In vitro susceptibilities of 28 P. falciparum isolates from north-east Myanmar to a panel of seven commonly used antimalarials were determined. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the association of different mutations with in vitro drug susceptibilities. Results A total of 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in 193 sequences, of which 22 were non-synonymous. Whereas mutations in the pfmrp1 gene were conserved among different countries within a continent, they were different between continents. Seven non-synonymous mutations were identified in the north-east Myanmar isolates; all were relatively frequent in this region as well as in other neighbouring countries. Molecular evolutionary analysis detected signatures of positive selection on the gene. Moreover, some mutations in this gene were found to be associated with reduced susceptibilities to chloroquine, mefloquine, pyronaridine and lumefantrine. Conclusions Evidence of the positive selection of pmfrp1 and its association with the susceptibilities of parasites to multiple drugs signifies its potential as an important candidate for monitoring drug resistance. PMID:24855124

  5. Full-Length Recombinant Plasmodium falciparum VAR2CSA Binds Specifically to CSPG and Induces Potent Parasite Adhesion-Blocking Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Khunrae, Pongsak; Dahlbäck, Madeleine; Nielsen, Morten A.; Andersen, Gorm; Ditlev, Sisse B.; Resende, Mafalda; Pinto, Vera V.; Theander, Thor G.; Higgins, Matthew K.; Salanti, Ali

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains one of the world's leading causes of human suffering and poverty. Each year, the disease takes 1–3 million lives, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. The adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs) to vascular endothelium or placenta is the key event in the pathogenesis of severe P. falciparum infection. In pregnant women, the parasites express a single and unique member of the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family named VAR2CSA, which is associated with the ability of the IEs to adhere specifically to chondroitin sulphate A (CSA) in the placenta. Several Duffy-binding-like domains from VAR2CSA molecules have been shown in vitro to bind to CSA, but it has also been demonstrated that Duffy-binding-like domains from PfEMP1 proteins other than VAR2CSA can bind CSA. In addition, the specificity of the binding of VAR2CSA domains to glycosaminoglycans does not match that of VAR2CSA-expressing IEs. This has led to speculation that the domains of native VAR2CSA need to come together to form a specific binding site or that VAR2CSA might bind to CSA through a bridging molecule. Here, we describe the expression and purification of the complete extracellular region of VAR2CSA secreted at high yields from insect cells. Using surface plasmon resonance, we demonstrate that VAR2CSA alone binds with nanomolar affinity to human chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan and with significantly weaker affinity to other glycosaminoglycans, showing a specificity similar to that observed for IEs. Antibodies raised against full-length VAR2CSA completely inhibit recombinant VAR2CSA binding, as well as parasite binding to chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan. This is the first study to describe the successful production and functionality of a full-length PfEMP1. The specificity of the binding and anti-adhesion potency of induced IgG, together with high-yield production, encourages the use of full-length PfEMP1 in vaccine development strategies. PMID:20109466

  6. Usefulness of Plasmodium falciparum-specific rapid diagnostic tests for assessment of parasite clearance and detection of recurrent infections after artemisinin-based combination therapy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Rapid diagnostic test (RDT) is an important tool for parasite-based malaria diagnosis. High specificity of RDTs to distinguish an active Plasmodium falciparum infection from residual antigens from a previous infection is crucial in endemic areas where residents are repeatedly exposed to malaria. The efficiency of two RDTs based on histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) antigens were studied and compared with two microscopy techniques (Giemsa and acridine orange-stained blood smears) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for assessment of initial clearance and detection of recurrent P. falciparum infections after artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in a moderately high endemic area of rural Tanzania. Methods In this exploratory study 53 children < five years with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria infection were followed up on nine occasions, i.e., day 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42, after initiation of artemether-lumefantrine treatment. At each visit capillary blood samples was collected for the HRP2 and LDH-based RDTs, Giemsa and acridine orange-stained blood smears for microscopy and real-time PCR. Assessment of clearance times and detection of recurrent P. falciparum infections were done for all diagnostic methods. Results The median clearance times were 28 (range seven to >42) and seven (two to 14) days for HRP2 and LDH-based RDTs, two (one to seven) and two (one to 14) days for Giemsa and acridine orange-stained blood smear and two (one to 28) days for real-time PCR. RDT specificity against Giemsa-stained blood smear microscopy was 21% for HRP2 on day 14, reaching 87% on day 42, and ≥96% from day 14 to 42 for LDH. There was no significant correlation between parasite density at enrolment and duration of HRP2 positivity (r = 0.13, p = 0.34). Recurrent malaria infections occurred in ten (19%) children. The HRP2 and LDH-based RDTs did not detect eight and two of the recurrent infections, respectively. Conclusion The LDH-based RDT was superior to HRP2-based for monitoring of treatment outcome and detection of recurrent infections after ACT in this moderately high transmission setting. The results may have implications for the choice of RDT devices in similar transmission settings for improved malaria case management. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01843764 PMID:24079306

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

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Rajinder; Adams, Brian; Oldenburg, Anja; Musiyenko, Alla; Barik, Sailen

    2002-01-01

    Background Reversible protein phosphorylation is relatively unexplored in the intracellular protozoa of the Apicomplexa family that includes the genus Plasmodium, to which belong the causative agents of malaria. Members of the PP1 family represent the most highly conserved protein phosphatase sequences in phylogeny and play essential regulatory roles in various cellular pathways. Previous evidence suggested a PP1-like activity in Plasmodium falciparum, not yet identified at the molecular level. Results We have identified a PP1 catalytic subunit from P. falciparum and named it PfPP1. The predicted primary structure of the 304-amino acid long protein was highly similar to PP1 sequences of other species, and showed conservation of all the signature motifs. The purified recombinant protein exhibited potent phosphatase activity in vitro. Its sensitivity to specific phosphatase inhibitors was characteristic of the PP1 class. The authenticity of the PfPP1 cDNA was further confirmed by mutational analysis of strategic amino acid residues important in catalysis. The protein was expressed in all erythrocytic stages of the parasite. Abrogation of PP1 expression by synthetic short interfering RNA (siRNA) led to inhibition of parasite DNA synthesis. Conclusions The high sequence similarity of PfPP1 with other PP1 members suggests conservation of function. Phenotypic gene knockdown studies using siRNA confirmed its essential role in the parasite. Detailed studies of PfPP1 and its regulation may unravel the role of reversible protein phosphorylation in the signalling pathways of the parasite, including glucose metabolism and parasitic cell division. The use of siRNA could be an important tool in the functional analysis of Apicomplexan genes. PMID:12057017

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many countries are scaling up malaria interventions towards elimination. This transition changes demands on malaria diagnostics from diagnosing ill patients to detecting parasites in all carriers including asymptomatic infections and infections with low parasite densities. Detection methods suitable to local malaria epidemiology must be selected prior to transitioning a malaria control programme to elimination. A baseline malaria survey conducted in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands in late 2008, as the first step in a provincial malaria elimination programme, provided malaria epidemiology data and an opportunity to assess how well different diagnostic methods performed in this setting. Methods During the survey, 9,491 blood samples were collected and examined by microscopy for Plasmodium species and density, with a subset also examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). The performances of these diagnostic methods were compared. Results A total of 256 samples were positive by microscopy, giving a point prevalence of 2.7%. The species distribution was 17.5% Plasmodium falciparum and 82.4% Plasmodium vivax. In this low transmission setting, only 17.8% of the P. falciparum and 2.9% of P. vivax infected subjects were febrile (?38C) at the time of the survey. A significant proportion of infections detected by microscopy, 40% and 65.6% for P. falciparum and P. vivax respectively, had parasite density below 100/?L. There was an age correlation for the proportion of parasite density below 100/?L for P. vivax infections, but not for P. falciparum infections. PCR detected substantially more infections than microscopy (point prevalence of 8.71%), indicating a large number of subjects had sub-microscopic parasitemia. The concordance between PCR and microscopy in detecting single species was greater for P. vivax (135/162) compared to P. falciparum (36/118). The malaria RDT detected the 12 microscopy and PCR positive P. falciparum, but failed to detect 12/13 microscopy and PCR positive P. vivax infections. Conclusion Asymptomatic malaria infections and infections with low and sub-microscopic parasite densities are highly prevalent in Temotu province where malaria transmission is low. This presents a challenge for elimination since the large proportion of the parasite reservoir will not be detected by standard active and passive case detection. Therefore effective mass screening and treatment campaigns will most likely need more sensitive assays such as a field deployable molecular based assay. PMID:20822506

  9. Co-ordinated stage-dependent enhancement of Plasmodium falciparum antioxidant enzymes and heat shock protein expression in parasites growing in oxidatively stressed or G6PD-deficient red blood cells

    PubMed Central

    Akide-Ndunge, Oscar Bate; Tambini, Elisa; Giribaldi, Giuliana; McMillan, Paul J; Müller, Sylke; Arese, Paolo; Turrini, Francesco

    2009-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized red blood cells (RBCs) are equipped with protective antioxidant enzymes and heat shock proteins (HSPs). The latter are only considered to protect against thermal stress. Important issues are poorly explored: first, it is insufficiently known how both systems are expressed in relation to the parasite developmental stage; secondly, it is unknown whether P. falciparum HSPs are redox-responsive, in view of redox sensitivity of HSP in eukaryotic cells; thirdly, it is poorly known how the antioxidant defense machinery would respond to increased oxidative stress or inhibited antioxidant defense. Those issues are interesting as several antimalarials increase the oxidative stress or block antioxidant defense in the parasitized RBC. In addition, numerous inhibitors of HSPs are currently developed for cancer therapy and might be tested as anti-malarials. Thus, the joint disruption of the parasite antioxidant enzymes/HSP system would interfere with parasite growth and open new perspectives for anti-malaria therapy. Methods Stage-dependent mRNA expression of ten representative P. falciparum antioxidant enzymes and hsp60/70–2/70–3/75/90 was studied by quantitative real-time RT-PCR in parasites growing in normal RBCs, in RBCs oxidatively-stressed by moderate H2O2 generation and in G6PD-deficient RBCs. Protein expression of antioxidant enzymes was assayed by Western blotting. The pentosephosphate-pathway flux was measured in isolated parasites after Sendai-virus lysis of RBC membrane. Results In parasites growing in normal RBCs, mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes and HSPs displayed co-ordinated stage-dependent modulation, being low at ring, highest at early trophozoite and again very low at schizont stage. Additional exogenous oxidative stress or growth in antioxidant blunted G6PD-deficient RBCs indicated remarkable flexibility of both systems, manifested by enhanced, co-ordinated mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes and HSPs. Protein expression of antioxidant enzymes was also increased in oxidatively-stressed trophozoites. Conclusion Results indicated that mRNA expression of parasite antioxidant enzymes and HSPs was co-ordinated and stage-dependent. Secondly, both systems were redox-responsive and showed remarkably increased and co-ordinated expression in oxidatively-stressed parasites and in parasites growing in antioxidant blunted G6PD-deficient RBCs. Lastly, as important anti-malarials either increase oxidant stress or impair antioxidant defense, results may encourage the inclusion of anti-HSP molecules in anti-malarial combined drugs. PMID:19480682

  10. A Case Report of Plasmodium Vivax, Plasmodium Falciparum and Dengue Co-Infection in a 6 Months Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Pande, A; Guharoy, D

    2013-01-01

    India being a tropical country, parasitic infections especially with Plasmodium species are very common in this region. The present case report is that of Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum and dengue co-infection in a 6 months pregnant lady who was timely diagnosed and appropriately treated followed by a complete recovery along with feto-maternal well-being. PMID:24349838

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Imidazopyridazine Inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1 Also Target Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinase and Heat Shock Protein 90 To Kill the Parasite at Different Stages of Intracellular Development

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Robert W.; Whalley, David; Bowyer, Paul W.; Wallace, Claire; Rochani, Ankit; Nageshan, Rishi K.; Howell, Steven A.; Grainger, Munira; Jones, Hayley M.; Ansell, Keith H.; Chapman, Timothy M.; Taylor, Debra L.; Osborne, Simon A.; Baker, David A.; Tatu, Utpal

    2015-01-01

    Imidazopyridazine compounds are potent, ATP-competitive inhibitors of calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 (CDPK1) and of Plasmodium falciparum parasite growth in vitro. Here, we show that these compounds can be divided into two classes depending on the nature of the aromatic linker between the core and the R2 substituent group. Class 1 compounds have a pyrimidine linker and inhibit parasite growth at late schizogony, whereas class 2 compounds have a nonpyrimidine linker and inhibit growth in the trophozoite stage, indicating different modes of action for the two classes. The compounds also inhibited cyclic GMP (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKG), and their potency against this enzyme was greatly reduced by substitution of the enzyme's gatekeeper residue at the ATP binding site. The effectiveness of the class 1 compounds against a parasite line expressing the modified PKG was also substantially reduced, suggesting that these compounds kill the parasite primarily through inhibition of PKG rather than CDPK1. HSP90 was identified as a binding partner of class 2 compounds, and a representative compound bound to the ATP binding site in the N-terminal domain of HSP90. Reducing the size of the gatekeeper residue of CDPK1 enabled inhibition of the enzyme by bumped kinase inhibitors; however, a parasite line expressing the modified enzyme showed no change in sensitivity to these compounds. Taken together, these findings suggest that CDPK1 may not be a suitable target for further inhibitor development and that the primary mechanism through which the imidazopyridazines kill parasites is by inhibition of PKG or HSP90. PMID:26711771

  14. Imidazopyridazine Inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1 Also Target Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinase and Heat Shock Protein 90 To Kill the Parasite at Different Stages of Intracellular Development.

    PubMed

    Green, Judith L; Moon, Robert W; Whalley, David; Bowyer, Paul W; Wallace, Claire; Rochani, Ankit; Nageshan, Rishi K; Howell, Steven A; Grainger, Munira; Jones, Hayley M; Ansell, Keith H; Chapman, Timothy M; Taylor, Debra L; Osborne, Simon A; Baker, David A; Tatu, Utpal; Holder, Anthony A

    2015-01-01

    Imidazopyridazine compounds are potent, ATP-competitive inhibitors of calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 (CDPK1) and of Plasmodium falciparum parasite growth in vitro. Here, we show that these compounds can be divided into two classes depending on the nature of the aromatic linker between the core and the R2 substituent group. Class 1 compounds have a pyrimidine linker and inhibit parasite growth at late schizogony, whereas class 2 compounds have a nonpyrimidine linker and inhibit growth in the trophozoite stage, indicating different modes of action for the two classes. The compounds also inhibited cyclic GMP (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKG), and their potency against this enzyme was greatly reduced by substitution of the enzyme's gatekeeper residue at the ATP binding site. The effectiveness of the class 1 compounds against a parasite line expressing the modified PKG was also substantially reduced, suggesting that these compounds kill the parasite primarily through inhibition of PKG rather than CDPK1. HSP90 was identified as a binding partner of class 2 compounds, and a representative compound bound to the ATP binding site in the N-terminal domain of HSP90. Reducing the size of the gatekeeper residue of CDPK1 enabled inhibition of the enzyme by bumped kinase inhibitors; however, a parasite line expressing the modified enzyme showed no change in sensitivity to these compounds. Taken together, these findings suggest that CDPK1 may not be a suitable target for further inhibitor development and that the primary mechanism through which the imidazopyridazines kill parasites is by inhibition of PKG or HSP90. PMID:26711771

  15. An interplay between 2 signaling pathways: Melatonin-cAMP and IP{sub 3}–Ca{sup 2+} signaling pathways control intraerythrocytic development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-28

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

  16. Genome plasticity and sexual differentiation in Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Alano, P; Birago, C; Picci, L; Ponzi, M; Sallicandro, P; Scotti, R; Silvestrini, F

    1999-09-01

    Spontaneous subtelomeric deletions of Plasmodium chromosomes have been observed both in natural infections and in laboratory maintained parasites. In the latter case, functions dispensable for asexual parasite multiplication and encoded at the extremities of the chromosomes are easily lost. In particular, spontaneous subtelomeric deletions have been characterised which affect gametocytogenesis both in Plasmodium berghei maintained in laboratory animals and in Plasmodium falciparum propagated in in vitro cultures. In order to identify these genetic determinants, and, potentially, other genes located subtelomerically, we designed a transfection system able to induce and select for controlled, site-specific subtelomeric deletions. PMID:10697847

  17. A host-parasite list of the haematozoa of domestic poultry in sub-Saharan Africa and the isolation of Plasmodium durae Herman from turkeys and francolins in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Huchzermeyer, F W

    1993-03-01

    An annotated host-parasite list of the blood parasites of domestic poultry in sub-Saharan Africa is presented. This list contains the haematozoa found in domestic waterfowl (ducks, geese and muscovies) and phasianids (turkey, fowl and peafowl). In South Africa Plasmodium durae was isolated from 4 out of 8 backyard turkeys, from 3 out of 26 Swainson's francolins and from 1 redwing francolin, but not from 20 helmeted guineafowls and 9 greywing francolins. This points at Swainson's and redwing francolins as being the main natural hosts of P. durae in South Africa. The increase in the period of prepatency after intramuscular subinoculation as compared with the intravenous route was found to correspond to that of a 1,000 fold dilution of an intravenous inoculum of parasitized blood. This delay was not due to an intervening cycle of exoerythrocytic schizogony, but to large numbers of the injected erythrocytes apparently not finding their way into the circulation of the new host. PMID:8332314

  18. Bis(benzyl)polyamine analogs inhibit the growth of chloroquine-resistant human malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) in vitro and in combination with alpha-difluoromethylornithine cure murine malaria.

    PubMed Central

    Bitonti, A J; Dumont, J A; Bush, T L; Edwards, M L; Stemerick, D M; McCann, P P; Sjoerdsma, A

    1989-01-01

    A number of bis(benzyl)polyamine analogs were found to be potent inhibitors of both chloroquine-resistant and chloroquine-sensitive strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in vitro (IC50 values = 0.2-14 microM). Administration of one of the compounds, MDL 27695, which is N,N'-bis(3-[(phenylmethyl)amino]propyl)-1,7-diaminoheptane (C6H5CH2NH(CH2)3NH(CH2)7NH(CH2)3NHCH2C6H5), at 10-15 mg/kg i.p. three times per day for 3 days in combination with 2% alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO; eflornithine) in drinking water effected cures of 47/54 mice infected with Plasmodium berghei. Cured mice were found to be immune upon rechallenge with the same P. berghei strain 4 months after the initial infection and drug-induced cure. MDL 27695 rapidly inhibited the incorporation of [3H]hypoxanthine into P. falciparum RNA and DNA, whereas the incorporation of [3H]isoleucine was not affected until much later. We conclude, therefore, that the major cytotoxic event may be direct binding of MDL 27695 to DNA with subsequent disruption of macromolecular biosynthesis and cell death. These compounds offer a lead in the search for new agents for chemotherapy of malaria. PMID:2463635

  19. Stereoselective preparation of pyridoxal 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-β-carboline derivatives and the influence of their absolute and relative configuration on the proliferation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Brokamp, Renate; Bergmann, Bärbel; Müller, Ingrid B; Bienz, Stefan

    2014-03-15

    We have selectively synthesized by Pictet-Spengler condensation of tryptophan and pyridoxal the four stereoisomers of a pyridoxal β-carboline derivative that was designed to inhibit the proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum. Biological investigation of the four compounds revealed that they all inhibit the growth of P. falciparum. With an IC50 value of 8 ± 1 μM, the highest inhibitory effect on the proliferation of the parasite was found for the 1,3-trans-substituted tetrahydro-β-carboline that was obtained from d-tryptophan. Lower activity was found for its enantiomer, while the two diastereomeric cis-products were markedly less effective. Apparently a distinct spacial orientation of the carboxyl group of the substituted tetrahydropyridine unit of the compounds is needed for high activity, while the absolute configuration of the molecules is of lesser importance. PMID:24565970

  20. Assessment of the induction of dormant ring stages in Plasmodium falciparum parasites by artemisone and artemisone entrapped in Pheroid vesicles in vitro.

    PubMed

    Grobler, Lizette; Chavchich, Marina; Haynes, Richard K; Edstein, Michael D; Grobler, Anne F

    2014-12-01

    The in vitro antimalarial activities of artemisone and artemisone entrapped in Pheroid vesicles were compared, as was their ability to induce dormancy in Plasmodium falciparum. There was no increase in the activity of artemisone entrapped in Pheroid vesicles against multidrug-resistant P. falciparum lines. Artemisone induced the formation of dormant ring stages similar to dihydroartemisinin. Thus, the Pheroid delivery system neither improved the activity of artemisone nor prevented the induction of dormant rings. PMID:25288088

  1. EWGWS insert in Plasmodium falciparum ookinete surface enolase is involved in binding of PWWP containing peptides: Implications to mosquito midgut invasion by the parasite.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Debanjan; Mishra, Pushpa; Joshi, Mamata; Thakur, Prasoon Kumar; Hosur, R V; Jarori, Gotam K

    2016-01-01

    There are multiple stages in the life cycle of Plasmodium that invade host cells. Molecular machinery involved is such host-pathogen interactions constitute excellent drug targets and/or vaccine candidates. A screen using a phage display library has previously demonstrated presence of enolase on the surface of the Plasmodium ookinete. Phage-displayed peptides that bound to the ookinete contained a conserved motif (PWWP) in their sequence. Here, direct binding of these peptides with recombinant Plasmodium falciparum enolase (rPfeno) was investigated. These peptides showed specific binding to rPfeno, but failed to bind to other enolases. Plasmodium spp enolases are distinct in having an insert of five amino acids ((104)EWGWS(108)) that is not found in host enolases. The possibility of this insert being the recognition motif for the PWWP containing peptides was examined, (i) by comparing the binding of the peptides with rPfeno and a deletion variant Δ-rPfeno lacking (104)EWGWS(108), (ii) by measuring the changes in proton chemical shifts of PWWP peptides on binding to different enolases and (iii) by inter-molecular docking experiment to locate the peptide binding site. Results from these studies showed that the pentapeptide insert of Pfeno indeed constitutes the binding site for the PWWP domain containing peptide ligands. Search for sequences homologous to phage displayed peptides among peritrophic matrix proteins resulted in identification of perlecan, laminin, peritrophin and spacran. The possibility of these PWWP domain-containing proteins in the peritrophic matrix of insect gut to interact with ookinete cell surface enolase and facilitate the invasion of mosquito midgut epithelium is discussed. PMID:26592350

  2. Adenine metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Mehrotra, Sonali; Bopanna, Monnanda P; Bulusu, Vinay; Balaram, Hemalatha

    2010-06-01

    Plasmodium falciparum lacks the de novo purine biosynthesis pathway and relies entirely on the salvage pathway to meet its purine nucleotide requirements. The entire flux for purine nucleotide biosynthesis in the parasite is believed to be through hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT), with the enzymes, adenosine kinase and adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) being unannotated in the Plasmodium genome database. This manuscript reports on the studies carried out to explore bypass mechanisms, if any, for AMP synthesis in the intraerythrocyitc stages of the parasite life cycle. Uptake and subsequent incorporation of radiolabel adenine in the nucleotide pool of saponin released erythrocyte free parasites implicated the role of parasite encoded enzymes in adenine metabolism. To explore the route for AMP synthesis in the parasite, we have monitored adenine mediated supplementation of metabolic viability in saponin released hadacidin (N-formyl-N-hydroxyglycine) treated parasites. Our results implicate the role of an APRT like activity that enables parasite survival when the flux through the HGPRT pathway is blocked. PMID:20093117

  3. Cultivation of Plasmodium spp.

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Frederick L.

    2002-01-01

    Cultivation of both human and non-human species of Plasmodium spp., the causal agent of malaria, has been a major research success, leading to a greater understanding of the parasite. Efforts at cultivating the organisms in vitro are complicated by the parasites' alternating between a human host and an arthropod vector, each having its own set of physiological, metabolic, and nutritional parameters. Life cycle stages of the four species that infect humans have been established in vitro. Of these four, P. falciparum remains the only species for which all stages have been cultured in vitro; different degrees of success have been achieved with the other human Plasmodium spp. The life cycle includes the exoerythrocytic stage (within liver cells), the erythrocytic stage (within erythrocytes or precursor reticulocytes), and the sporogonic stage (within the vector). Culture media generally consist of a basic tissue culture medium (e.g., minimal essential medium or RPMI 1640) to which serum and erythrocytes are added. Most of the efforts have been directed toward the stage found in the erythrocyte. This stage has been cultivated in petri plates or other growth vessels in a candle jar to generate elevated CO2 levels or in a more controlled CO2 atmosphere. Later developments have employed continuous-flow systems to reduce the labor-intensive nature of medium changing. The exoerythrocytic and sporogonic life cycle stages have also been cultivated in vitro. A number of avian, rodent, and simian malarial parasites have also been established in vitro. Although cultivation is of great help in understanding the biology of Plasmodium, it does not lend itself to use for diagnostic purposes. PMID:12097244

  4. Intracellular Parasite Invasion Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibley, L. D.

    2004-04-01

    Intracellular parasites use various strategies to invade cells and to subvert cellular signaling pathways and, thus, to gain a foothold against host defenses. Efficient cell entry, ability to exploit intracellular niches, and persistence make these parasites treacherous pathogens. Most intracellular parasites gain entry via host-mediated processes, but apicomplexans use a system of adhesion-based motility called ``gliding'' to actively penetrate host cells. Actin polymerization-dependent motility facilitates parasite migration across cellular barriers, enables dissemination within tissues, and powers invasion of host cells. Efficient invasion has brought widespread success to this group, which includes Toxoplasma, Plasmodium, and Cryptosporidium.

  5. No evidence of blood parasites in Little Auks (Alle alle) breeding on Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Svoboda, Ales; Kruszewicz, Andrzej; Johnsen, Arild

    2010-04-01

    Absence of blood parasites in birds occurring in polar regions is believed to be a common phenomenon but only few surveys have been conducted on truly polar bird species. We examined blood parasites in a seabird with an exclusively high-Arctic breeding distribution, the Little Auk (Alle alle). Polymerase chain reaction was used to detect haemosporidians and traditional optical microscopy was used to detect a wider range of haematozoans in birds breeding on Svalbard (Norway). No blood parasites were found among 100 birds examined. This finding confirms scarcity of haematozoa in polar regions and provides baseline data for the Little Auk. PMID:20688653

  6. Temporal trends in prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum molecular markers selected for by artemether–lumefantrine treatment in pre-ACT and post-ACT parasites in western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Achieng, Angela O.; Muiruri, Peninah; Ingasia, Luicer A.; Opot, Benjamin H.; Juma, Dennis W.; Yeda, Redemptah; Ngalah, Bidii S.; Ogutu, Bernhards R.; Andagalu, Ben; Akala, Hoseah M.; Kamau, Edwin

    2015-01-01

    Artemether–lumefantrine (AL) became the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Kenya in 2006. Studies have shown AL selects for SNPs in pfcrt and pfmdr1 genes in recurring parasites compared to the baseline infections. The genotypes associated with AL selection are K76 in pfcrt and N86, 184F and D1246 in pfmdr1. To assess the temporal change of these genotypes in western Kenya, 47 parasite isolates collected before (pre-ACT; 1995–2003) and 745 after (post-ACT; 2008–2014) introduction of AL were analyzed. In addition, the associations of parasite haplotype against the IC50 of artemether and lumefantrine, and clearance rates were determined. Parasite genomic DNA collected between 1995 and 2014 was analyzed by sequencing or PCR-based single-base extension on Sequenom MassARRAY. IC50s were determined for a subset of the samples. One hundred eighteen samples from 2013 to 2014 were from an efficacy trial of which 68 had clearance half-lives. Data revealed there were significant differences between pre-ACT and post-ACT genotypes at the four codons (chi-square analysis; p < 0.0001). The prevalence of pfcrt K76 and N86 increased from 6.4% in 1995–1996 to 93.2% in 2014 and 0.0% in 2002–2003 to 92.4% in 2014 respectively. Analysis of parasites carrying pure alleles of K + NFD or T + YYY haplotypes revealed that 100.0% of the pre-ACT parasites carried T + YYY and 99.3% of post-ACT parasites carried K + NFD. There was significant correlation (p = 0.04) between lumefantrine IC50 and polymorphism at pfmdr1 codon 184. There was no difference in parasite clearance half-lives based on genetic haplotype profiles. This study shows there is a significant change in parasite genotype, with key molecular determinants of AL selection almost reaching saturation. The implications of these findings are not clear since AL remains highly efficacious. However, there is need to closely monitor parasite genotypic, phenotypic and clinical dynamics in response to continued use of AL in western Kenya. PMID:26236581

  7. Temporal trends in prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum molecular markers selected for by artemether-lumefantrine treatment in pre-ACT and post-ACT parasites in western Kenya.

    PubMed

    Achieng, Angela O; Muiruri, Peninah; Ingasia, Luicer A; Opot, Benjamin H; Juma, Dennis W; Yeda, Redemptah; Ngalah, Bidii S; Ogutu, Bernhards R; Andagalu, Ben; Akala, Hoseah M; Kamau, Edwin

    2015-12-01

    Artemether-lumefantrine (AL) became the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Kenya in 2006. Studies have shown AL selects for SNPs in pfcrt and pfmdr1 genes in recurring parasites compared to the baseline infections. The genotypes associated with AL selection are K76 in pfcrt and N86, 184F and D1246 in pfmdr1. To assess the temporal change of these genotypes in western Kenya, 47 parasite isolates collected before (pre-ACT; 1995-2003) and 745 after (post-ACT; 2008-2014) introduction of AL were analyzed. In addition, the associations of parasite haplotype against the IC50 of artemether and lumefantrine, and clearance rates were determined. Parasite genomic DNA collected between 1995 and 2014 was analyzed by sequencing or PCR-based single-base extension on Sequenom MassARRAY. IC50s were determined for a subset of the samples. One hundred eighteen samples from 2013 to 2014 were from an efficacy trial of which 68 had clearance half-lives. Data revealed there were significant differences between pre-ACT and post-ACT genotypes at the four codons (chi-square analysis; p < 0.0001). The prevalence of pfcrt K76 and N86 increased from 6.4% in 1995-1996 to 93.2% in 2014 and 0.0% in 2002-2003 to 92.4% in 2014 respectively. Analysis of parasites carrying pure alleles of K + NFD or T + YYY haplotypes revealed that 100.0% of the pre-ACT parasites carried T + YYY and 99.3% of post-ACT parasites carried K + NFD. There was significant correlation (p = 0.04) between lumefantrine IC50 and polymorphism at pfmdr1 codon 184. There was no difference in parasite clearance half-lives based on genetic haplotype profiles. This study shows there is a significant change in parasite genotype, with key molecular determinants of AL selection almost reaching saturation. The implications of these findings are not clear since AL remains highly efficacious. However, there is need to closely monitor parasite genotypic, phenotypic and clinical dynamics in response to continued use of AL in western Kenya. PMID:26236581

  8. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein (CSP) Influence Parasite Burden and Cytokine Balance in a Pre-Amazon Endemic Area from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Bruno de Paulo; Cassiano, Gustavo Capatti; de Souza, Rodrigo Medeiros; Cysne, Dalila Nunes; Grisotto, Marcos Augusto Grigolin; de Azevedo Dos Santos, Ana Paula Silva; Marinho, Cláudio Romero Farias; Machado, Ricardo Luiz Dantas; Nascimento, Flávia Raquel Fernandes

    2016-03-01

    Mechanisms involved in severe P. vivax malaria remain unclear. Parasite polymorphisms, parasite load and host cytokine profile may influence the course of infection. In this study, we investigated the influence of circumsporozoite protein (CSP) polymorphisms on parasite load and cytokine profile in patients with vivax malaria. A cross-sectional study was carried out in three cities: São Luís, Cedral and Buriticupu, Maranhão state, Brazil, areas of high prevalence of P. vivax. Interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-6, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α, interferon gamma (IFN-γ and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β were quantified in blood plasma of patients and in supernatants from peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures. Furthermore, the levels of cytokines and parasite load were correlated with VK210, VK247 and P. vivax-like CSP variants. Patients infected with P. vivax showed increased IL-10 and IL-6 levels, which correlated with the parasite load, however, in multiple comparisons, only IL-10 kept this association. A regulatory cytokine profile prevailed in plasma, while an inflammatory profile prevailed in PBMC culture supernatants and these patterns were related to CSP polymorphisms. VK247 infected patients showed higher parasitaemia and IL-6 concentrations, which were not associated to IL-10 anti-inflammatory effect. By contrast, in VK210 patients, these two cytokines showed a strong positive correlation and the parasite load was lower. Patients with the VK210 variant showed a regulatory cytokine profile in plasma, while those infected with the VK247 variant have a predominantly inflammatory cytokine profile and higher parasite loads, which altogether may result in more complications in infection. In conclusion, we propose that CSP polymorphisms is associated to the increase of non-regulated inflammatory immune responses, which in turn may be associated with the outcome of infection. PMID:26943639

  9. Manual blood exchange transfusion does not significantly contribute to parasite clearance in artesunate-treated individuals with imported severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Exchange transfusion (ET) has remained a controversial adjunct therapy for the treatment of severe malaria. In order to assess the relative contribution of ET to parasite clearance in severe malaria, all patients receiving ET as an adjunct treatment to parenteral quinine or to artesunate were compared with patients treated with parenteral treatment with quinine or artesunate but who did not receive ET. ET was executed using a standardized manual isovolumetric exchange protocol. Methods All patients in the Rotterdam Malaria Cohort treated for severe P. falciparum malaria at the Institute for Tropical Diseases of the Harbour Hospital between 1999 and 2011 were included in this retrospective follow-up study. Both a two-stage approach and a log-linear mixed model approach were used to estimate parasite clearance times (PCTs) in patients with imported malaria. Severe malaria was defined according to WHO criteria. Results A total of 87 patients with severe malaria was included; 61 received intravenous quinine, whereas 26 patients received intravenous artesunate. Thirty-nine patients received ET as an adjunct treatment to either quinine (n = 23) or artesunate (n = 16). Data from 84 of 87 patients were suitable for estimation of parasite clearance rates. PCTs were significantly shorter after administration of artesunate as compared with quinine. In both models, ET did not contribute significantly to overall parasite clearance. Conclusion Manual exchange transfusion does not significantly contribute to parasite clearance in artesunate-treated individuals. There may be a small effect of ET on parasite clearance under quinine treatment. Institution of ET to promote parasite clearance in settings where artesunate is available is not recommended, at least not with manually executed exchange procedures. PMID:23537187

  10. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein (CSP) Influence Parasite Burden and Cytokine Balance in a Pre-Amazon Endemic Area from Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Bruno de Paulo; Cassiano, Gustavo Capatti; de Souza, Rodrigo Medeiros; Cysne, Dalila Nunes; Grisotto, Marcos Augusto Grigolin; de Azevedo dos Santos, Ana Paula Silva; Marinho, Cláudio Romero Farias; Machado, Ricardo Luiz Dantas; Nascimento, Flávia Raquel Fernandes

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms involved in severe P. vivax malaria remain unclear. Parasite polymorphisms, parasite load and host cytokine profile may influence the course of infection. In this study, we investigated the influence of circumsporozoite protein (CSP) polymorphisms on parasite load and cytokine profile in patients with vivax malaria. A cross-sectional study was carried out in three cities: São Luís, Cedral and Buriticupu, Maranhão state, Brazil, areas of high prevalence of P. vivax. Interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-6, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α, interferon gamma (IFN-γ and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β were quantified in blood plasma of patients and in supernatants from peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures. Furthermore, the levels of cytokines and parasite load were correlated with VK210, VK247 and P. vivax-like CSP variants. Patients infected with P. vivax showed increased IL-10 and IL-6 levels, which correlated with the parasite load, however, in multiple comparisons, only IL-10 kept this association. A regulatory cytokine profile prevailed in plasma, while an inflammatory profile prevailed in PBMC culture supernatants and these patterns were related to CSP polymorphisms. VK247 infected patients showed higher parasitaemia and IL-6 concentrations, which were not associated to IL-10 anti-inflammatory effect. By contrast, in VK210 patients, these two cytokines showed a strong positive correlation and the parasite load was lower. Patients with the VK210 variant showed a regulatory cytokine profile in plasma, while those infected with the VK247 variant have a predominantly inflammatory cytokine profile and higher parasite loads, which altogether may result in more complications in infection. In conclusion, we propose that CSP polymorphisms is associated to the increase of non-regulated inflammatory immune responses, which in turn may be associated with the outcome of infection. PMID:26943639

  11. UV-triggered Affinity Capture Identifies Interactions between the Plasmodium falciparum Multidrug Resistance Protein 1 (PfMDR1) and Antimalarial Agents in Live Parasitized Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Brunner, Ralf; Ng, Caroline L.; Aissaoui, Hamed; Akabas, Myles H.; Boss, Christoph; Brun, Reto; Callaghan, Paul S.; Corminboeuf, Olivier; Fidock, David A.; Frame, Ithiel J.; Heidmann, Bibia; Le Bihan, Amélie; Jenö, Paul; Mattheis, Corinna; Moes, Suzette; Müller, Ingrid B.; Paguio, Michelle; Roepe, Paul D.; Siegrist, Romain; Voss, Till; Welford, Richard W. D.; Wittlin, Sergio; Binkert, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A representative of a new class of potent antimalarials with an unknown mode of action was recently described. To identify the molecular target of this class of antimalarials, we employed a photo-reactive affinity capture method to find parasite proteins specifically interacting with the capture compound in living parasitized cells. The capture reagent retained the antimalarial properties of the parent molecule (ACT-213615) and accumulated within parasites. We identified several proteins interacting with the capture compound and established a functional interaction between ACT-213615 and PfMDR1. We surmise that PfMDR1 may play a role in the antimalarial activity of the piperazine-containing compound ACT-213615. PMID:23754276

  12. A clonal theory of parasitic protozoa: the population structures of Entamoeba, Giardia, Leishmania, Naegleria, Plasmodium, Trichomonas, and Trypanosoma and their medical and taxonomical consequences.

    PubMed Central

    Tibayrenc, M; Kjellberg, F; Ayala, F J

    1990-01-01

    We propose a general theory of clonal reproduction for parasitic protozoa, which has important medical and biological consequences. Many parasitic protozoa have been assumed to reproduce sexually, because of diploidy and occasional sexuality in the laboratory. However, a population genetic analysis of extensive data on biochemical polymorphisms indicates that the two fundamental consequences of sexual reproduction (i.e., segregation and recombination) are apparently rare or absent in natural populations of the parasitic protozoa. Moreover, the clones recorded appear to be stable over large geographical areas and long periods of time. A clonal population structure demands that the medical attributes of clones be separately characterized; ubiquitous clones call for priority characterization. Uniparental reproduction renders unsatisfactory Linnean taxonomy; this needs to be supplemented by the "natural clone" as an additional taxonomic unit, which is best defined by means of genetic markers. PMID:2320563

  13. Stable Translocation Intermediates Jam Global Protein Export in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites and Link the PTEX Component EXP2 with Translocation Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mesén-Ramírez, Paolo; Reinsch, Ferdinand; Blancke Soares, Alexandra; Bergmann, Bärbel; Ullrich, Ann-Katrin; Tenzer, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Protein export is central for the survival and virulence of intracellular P. falciparum blood stage parasites. To reach the host cell, exported proteins cross the parasite plasma membrane (PPM) and the parasite-enclosing parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), a process that requires unfolding, suggestive of protein translocation. Components of a proposed translocon at the PVM termed PTEX are essential in this phase of export but translocation activity has not been shown for the complex and questions have been raised about its proposed membrane pore component EXP2 for which no functional data is available in P. falciparum. It is also unclear how PTEX mediates trafficking of both, soluble as well as transmembrane proteins. Taking advantage of conditionally foldable domains, we here dissected the translocation events in the parasite periphery, showing that two successive translocation steps are needed for the export of transmembrane proteins, one at the PPM and one at the PVM. Our data provide evidence that, depending on the length of the C-terminus of the exported substrate, these steps occur by transient interaction of the PPM and PVM translocon, similar to the situation for protein transport across the mitochondrial membranes. Remarkably, we obtained constructs of exported proteins that remained arrested in the process of being translocated across the PVM. This clogged the translocation pore, prevented the export of all types of exported proteins and, as a result, inhibited parasite growth. The substrates stuck in translocation were found in a complex with the proposed PTEX membrane pore component EXP2, suggesting a role of this protein in translocation. These data for the first time provide evidence for EXP2 to be part of a translocating entity, suggesting that PTEX has translocation activity and provide a mechanistic framework for the transport of soluble as well as transmembrane proteins from the parasite boundary into the host cell. PMID:27168322

  14. Evidence of tRNA cleavage in apicomplexan parasites: half-tRNAs as new potential regulatory molecules of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium berghei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several lines of evidence demonstrated that organisms ranging from bacteria to higher animals possess a regulated endonucleolytic cleavage pathway producing half-tRNA fragments. In the present study, we investigated the occurrence of this phenomenon in two distantly related apicomplexan parasites, T...

  15. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Resistance Transporter and Multidrug Resistance 1 Genes: Parasite Risk Factors that Affect Treatment Outcomes for P. falciparum Malaria after Artemether-Lumefantrine and Artesunate-Amodiaquine

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesan, Meera; Gadalla, Nahla B.; Stepniewska, Kasia; Dahal, Prabin; Nsanzabana, Christian; Moriera, Clarissa; Price, Ric N.; Mårtensson, Andreas; Rosenthal, Philip J.; Dorsey, Grant; Sutherland, Colin J.; Guérin, Philippe; Davis, Timothy M. E.; Ménard, Didier; Adam, Ishag; Ademowo, George; Arze, Cesar; Baliraine, Frederick N.; Berens-Riha, Nicole; Björkman, Anders; Borrmann, Steffen; Checchi, Francesco; Desai, Meghna; Dhorda, Mehul; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A.; El-Sayed, Badria B.; Eshetu, Teferi; Eyase, Frederick; Falade, Catherine; Faucher, Jean-François; Fröberg, Gabrielle; Grivoyannis, Anastasia; Hamour, Sally; Houzé, Sandrine; Johnson, Jacob; Kamugisha, Erasmus; Kariuki, Simon; Kiechel, Jean-René; Kironde, Fred; Kofoed, Poul-Erik; LeBras, Jacques; Malmberg, Maja; Mwai, Leah; Ngasala, Billy; Nosten, Francois; Nsobya, Samuel L.; Nzila, Alexis; Oguike, Mary; Otienoburu, Sabina Dahlström; Ogutu, Bernhards; Ouédraogo, Jean-Bosco; Piola, Patrice; Rombo, Lars; Schramm, Birgit; Somé, A. Fabrice; Thwing, Julie; Ursing, Johan; Wong, Rina P. M.; Zeynudin, Ahmed; Zongo, Issaka; Plowe, Christopher V.; Sibley, Carol Hopkins

    2014-01-01

    Adequate clinical and parasitologic cure by artemisinin combination therapies relies on the artemisinin component and the partner drug. Polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) genes are associated with decreased sensitivity to amodiaquine and lumefantrine, but effects of these polymorphisms on therapeutic responses to artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) have not been clearly defined. Individual patient data from 31 clinical trials were harmonized and pooled by using standardized methods from the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network. Data for more than 7,000 patients were analyzed to assess relationships between parasite polymorphisms in pfcrt and pfmdr1 and clinically relevant outcomes after treatment with AL or ASAQ. Presence of the pfmdr1 gene N86 (adjusted hazards ratio = 4.74, 95% confidence interval = 2.29 – 9.78, P < 0.001) and increased pfmdr1 copy number (adjusted hazards ratio = 6.52, 95% confidence interval = 2.36–17.97, P < 0.001) were significant independent risk factors for recrudescence in patients treated with AL. AL and ASAQ exerted opposing selective effects on single-nucleotide polymorphisms in pfcrt and pfmdr1. Monitoring selection and responding to emerging signs of drug resistance are critical tools for preserving efficacy of artemisinin combination therapies; determination of the prevalence of at least pfcrt K76T and pfmdr1 N86Y should now be routine. PMID:25048375

  16. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter and multidrug resistance 1 genes: parasite risk factors that affect treatment outcomes for P. falciparum malaria after artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate-amodiaquine.

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, Meera; Gadalla, Nahla B; Stepniewska, Kasia; Dahal, Prabin; Nsanzabana, Christian; Moriera, Clarissa; Price, Ric N; Mårtensson, Andreas; Rosenthal, Philip J; Dorsey, Grant; Sutherland, Colin J; Guérin, Philippe; Davis, Timothy M E; Ménard, Didier; Adam, Ishag; Ademowo, George; Arze, Cesar; Baliraine, Frederick N; Berens-Riha, Nicole; Björkman, Anders; Borrmann, Steffen; Checchi, Francesco; Desai, Meghna; Dhorda, Mehul; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A; El-Sayed, Badria B; Eshetu, Teferi; Eyase, Frederick; Falade, Catherine; Faucher, Jean-François; Fröberg, Gabrielle; Grivoyannis, Anastasia; Hamour, Sally; Houzé, Sandrine; Johnson, Jacob; Kamugisha, Erasmus; Kariuki, Simon; Kiechel, Jean-René; Kironde, Fred; Kofoed, Poul-Erik; LeBras, Jacques; Malmberg, Maja; Mwai, Leah; Ngasala, Billy; Nosten, Francois; Nsobya, Samuel L; Nzila, Alexis; Oguike, Mary; Otienoburu, Sabina Dahlström; Ogutu, Bernhards; Ouédraogo, Jean-Bosco; Piola, Patrice; Rombo, Lars; Schramm, Birgit; Somé, A Fabrice; Thwing, Julie; Ursing, Johan; Wong, Rina P M; Zeynudin, Ahmed; Zongo, Issaka; Plowe, Christopher V; Sibley, Carol Hopkins

    2014-10-01

    Adequate clinical and parasitologic cure by artemisinin combination therapies relies on the artemisinin component and the partner drug. Polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) genes are associated with decreased sensitivity to amodiaquine and lumefantrine, but effects of these polymorphisms on therapeutic responses to artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) have not been clearly defined. Individual patient data from 31 clinical trials were harmonized and pooled by using standardized methods from the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network. Data for more than 7,000 patients were analyzed to assess relationships between parasite polymorphisms in pfcrt and pfmdr1 and clinically relevant outcomes after treatment with AL or ASAQ. Presence of the pfmdr1 gene N86 (adjusted hazards ratio = 4.74, 95% confidence interval = 2.29 - 9.78, P < 0.001) and increased pfmdr1 copy number (adjusted hazards ratio = 6.52, 95% confidence interval = 2.36-17.97, P < 0.001 : were significant independent risk factors for recrudescence in patients treated with AL. AL and ASAQ exerted opposing selective effects on single-nucleotide polymorphisms in pfcrt and pfmdr1. Monitoring selection and responding to emerging signs of drug resistance are critical tools for preserving efficacy of artemisinin combination therapies; determination of the prevalence of at least pfcrt K76T and pfmdr1 N86Y should now be routine. PMID:25048375

  17. Post-translational modifications in Plasmodium: more than you think!

    PubMed

    Chung, Duk-Won Doug; Ponts, Nadia; Cervantes, Serena; Le Roch, Karine G

    2009-12-01

    Recent evidences indicate that transcription in Plasmodium may be hard-wired and rigid, deviating from the classical model of transcriptional gene regulation. Thus, it is important that other regulatory pathways be investigated as a comprehensive effort to curb the deadly malarial parasite. Research in post-translational modifications in Plasmodium is an emerging field that may provide new venues for drug discovery and potential new insights into how parasitic protozoans regulate their life cycle. Here, we discuss the recent findings of post-translational modifications in Plasmodium. PMID:19666057

  18. Anopheles Midgut FREP1 Mediates Plasmodium Invasion.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Genwei; Niu, Guodong; Franca, Caio M; Dong, Yuemei; Wang, Xiaohong; Butler, Noah S; Dimopoulos, George; Li, Jun

    2015-07-01

    Malaria transmission depends on sexual stage Plasmodium parasites successfully invading Anopheline mosquito midguts following a blood meal. However, the molecular mechanisms of Plasmodium invasion of mosquito midguts have not been fully elucidated. Previously, we showed that genetic polymorphisms in the fibrinogen-related protein 1 (FREP1) gene are significantly associated with Plasmodium falciparum infection in Anopheles gambiae, and FREP1 is important for Plasmodium berghei infection of mosquitoes. Here we identify that the FREP1 protein is secreted from the mosquito midgut epithelium and integrated as tetramers into the peritrophic matrix, a chitinous matrix formed inside the midgut lumen after a blood meal feeding. Moreover, we show that the FREP1 can directly bind Plasmodia sexual stage gametocytes and ookinetes. Notably, ablating FREP1 expression or targeting FREP1 with antibodies significantly decreases P. falciparum infection in mosquito midguts. Our data support that the mosquito-expressed FREP1 mediates mosquito midgut invasion by multiple species of Plasmodium parasites via anchoring ookinetes to the peritrophic matrix and enabling parasites to penetrate the peritrophic matrix and the epithelium. Thus, targeting FREP1 can limit malaria transmission. PMID:25991725

  19. A Transmission Model for the Ecology of an Avian Blood Parasite in a Temperate Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Murdock, Courtney C.; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Simon, Carl P.

    2013-01-01

    Most of our knowledge about avian haemosporidian parasites comes from the Hawaiian archipelago, where recently introduced Plasmodiumrelictum has contributed to the extinction of many endemic avian species. While the ecology of invasive malaria is reasonably understood, the ecology of endemic haemosporidian infection in mainland systems is poorly understood, even though it is the rule rather than the exception. We develop a mathematical model to explore and identify the ecological factors that most influence transmission of the common avian parasite, Leucocytozoonfringillinarum (Apicomplexa). The model was parameterized from White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichialeucophrys) and S. silvestre / craigi black fly populations breeding in an alpine ecosystem. We identify and examine the importance of altricial nestlings, the seasonal relapse of infected birds for parasite persistence across breeding seasons, and potential impacts of seasonal changes in black fly emergence on parasite prevalence in a high elevation temperate system. We also use the model to identify and estimate the parameters most influencing transmission dynamics. Our analysis found that relapse of adult birds and young of the year birds were crucial for parasite persistence across multiple seasons. However, distinguishing between nude nestlings and feathered young of the year was unnecessary. Finally, due to model sensitivity to many black fly parameters, parasite prevalence and sparrow recruitment may be most affected by seasonal changes in environmental temperature driving shifts in black fly emergence and gonotrophic cycles. PMID:24073288

  20. High Levels of Asymptomatic and Subpatent Plasmodium falciparum Parasite Carriage at Health Facilities in an Area of Heterogeneous Malaria Transmission Intensity in the Kenyan Highlands

    PubMed Central

    Stresman, Gillian H.; Stevenson, Jennifer C.; Ngwu, Nnenna; Marube, Elizabeth; Owaga, Chrispin; Drakeley, Chris; Bousema, Teun; Cox, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    In endemic settings, health facility surveys provide a convenient approach to estimating malaria transmission intensity. Typically, testing for malaria at facilities is performed on symptomatic attendees, but asymptomatic infections comprise a considerable proportion of the parasite reservoir. We sampled individuals attending five health facilities in the western Kenyan highlands. Malaria prevalence by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) was 8.6–32.9% in the health facilities. Of all polymerase chain reaction-positive participants, 46.4% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 42.6–50.2%) of participants had infections that were RDT-negative and asymptomatic, and 55.9% of those infections consisted of multiple parasite clones as assessed by merozoite surface protein-2 genotyping. Subpatent infections were more common in individuals reporting the use of non-artemisinin–based antimalarials in the 2 weeks preceding the survey (odds ratio = 2.49, 95% CI = 1.04–5.92) compared with individuals not reporting previous use of antimalarials. We observed a large and genetically complex pool of subpatent parasitemia in the Kenya highlands that must be considered in malaria interventions. PMID:25331807

  1. Analysis of gene mutations involved in chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum parasites isolated from patients in the southwest of Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Bin Dajem, Saad M.; Al-Qahtani, Ahmed

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Chloroquine has been the drug of choice for the treatment of malaria for many decades. We aimed to examine the molecular basis of chloroquine resistance among Plasmodium falciparum isolates from the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia by analyzing the K76T and N86Y mutations in the PfCRT and PfMDR1 genes, respectively. PATIENTS AND METHODS: P falciparum-infected blood spot samples (n=121) were collected on filter papers. DNA was extracted and fragments from the above genes were amplified using nested PCR. The amplicons were digested by ApoI enzyme and sequenced. RESULTS: Of the 121 samples, 95 and 112 samples could be amplified for PfCRT K76T and PfMDR1 N86Y mutations, respectively. All of the samples amplified for the PfCRT K76T mutation were undigestible by ApoI, suggesting the presence of the K76T mutation. For the PfMDR1 N86Y mutation, 65/109 samples (59.6%) were digestible when treated with ApoI in a pattern, suggestive of the presence of the investigated wild allele (N86). However, 44/109 samples (40.4%) were digestible by ApoI, suggesting the presence of the mutated allele (Y) at position 86. DNA sequencing confirmed these results. CONCLUSION: Surprisingly, all isolates exhibited the mutated allele at codon 76 (K76T) of PfCRT. However, the mutated mutant allele at codon 86 (N86Y) of PfMDR1 was found in 40.4% of the samples studied. To our knowledge, this is the first study that has investigated the existence of the mutation in the PfMDR1 gene in the country. This study will contribute to the development of new strategies for therapeutic intervention against malaria in Saudi Arabia. PMID:20427933

  2. Plasmodium falciparum: attenuation by irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Waki, S.; Yonome, I.; Suzuki, M.

    1983-12-01

    The effect of irradiation on the in vitro growth of Plasmodium falciparum was investigated. The cultured malarial parasites at selected stages of development were exposed to gamma rays and the sensitivity of each stage was determined. The stages most sensitive to irradiation were the ring forms and the early trophozoites; late trophozoites were relatively insensitive. The greatest resistance was shown when parasites were irradiated at a time of transition from the late trophozoite and schizont stages to young ring forms. The characteristics of radiosensitive variation in the parasite cycle resembled that of mammalian cells. Growth curves of parasites exposed to doses of irradiation upto 150 gray had the same slope as nonirradiated controls but parasites which were exposed to 200 gray exhibited a growth curve which was less steep than that for parasites in other groups. Less than 10 organisms survived from the 10(6) parasites exposed to this high dose of irradiation; the possibility exists of obtaining radiation-attenuated P. falciparum.

  3. Deoxyhypusine Hydroxylase from Plasmodium vivax, the Neglected Human Malaria Parasite: Molecular Cloning, Expression and Specific Inhibition by the 5-LOX Inhibitor Zileuton

    PubMed Central

    Atemnkeng, Veronika Anyigoh; Pink, Mario; Schmitz-Spanke, Simone; Wu, Xian-Jun; Dong, Liang-Liang; Zhao, Kai-Hong; May, Caroline; Laufer, Stefan; Langer, Barbara; Kaiser, Annette

    2013-01-01

    Primaquine, an 8-aminoquinoline, is the only drug which cures the dormant hypnozoites of persistent liver stages from P. vivax. Increasing resistance needs the discovery of alternative pathways as drug targets to develop novel drug entities. Deoxyhypusine hydroxylase (DOHH) completes hypusine biosynthesis in eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF-5A) which is the only cellular protein known to contain the unusual amino acid hypusine. Modified EIF-5A is important for proliferation of the malaria parasite. Here, we present the first successful cloning and expression of DOHH from P. vivax causing tertiary malaria. The nucleic acid sequence of 1041 bp encodes an open reading frame of 346 amino acids. Histidine tagged expression of P. vivax DOHH detected a protein of 39.01 kDa in E. coli. The DOHH protein from P. vivax shares significant amino acid identity to the simian orthologues from P. knowlesi and P. yoelii strain H. In contrast to P. falciparum only four E-Z-type HEAT-like repeats are present in P. vivax DOHH with different homology to phycocyanin lyase subunits from cyanobacteria and in proteins participating in energy metabolism of Archaea and Halobacteria. However, phycocyanin lyase activity is absent in P. vivax DOHH. The dohh gene is present as a single copy gene and transcribed throughout the whole erythrocytic cycle. Specific inhibition of recombinant P. vivax DOHH is possible by complexing the ferrous iron with zileuton, an inhibitor of mammalian 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). Ferrous iron in the active site of 5-LOX is coordinated by three conserved histidines and the carboxylate of isoleucine673. Zileuton inhibited the P. vivax DOHH protein with an IC50 of 12,5 nmol determined by a relative quantification by GC/MS. By contrast, the human orthologue is only less affected with an IC50 of 90 nmol suggesting a selective iron-complexing strategy for the parasitic enzyme. PMID:23505486

  4. A case of Plasmodium ovale malaria imported from West Africa.

    PubMed

    Kang, Yunjung; Yang, Jinyoung

    2013-04-01

    Malaria is a parasitic infection caused by Plasmodium species. Most of the imported malaria in Korea are due to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum, and Plasmodium ovale infections are very rare. Here, we report a case of a 24-year-old American woman who acquired P. ovale while staying in Ghana, West Africa for 5 months in 2010. The patient was diagnosed with P. ovale malaria based on a Wright-Giemsa stained peripheral blood smear, Plasmodium genus-specific real-time PCR, Plasmodium species-specific nested PCR, and sequencing targeting 18S rRNA gene. The strain identified had a very long incubation period of 19-24 months. Blood donors who have malaria with a very long incubation period could be a potential danger for propagating malaria. Therefore, we should identify imported P. ovale infections not only by morphological findings but also by molecular methods for preventing propagation and appropriate treatment. PMID:23710090

  5. Mixed-species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium ovale malaria in a paediatric returned traveller

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Malaria is a common and potentially fatal cause of febrile illness in returned travellers. Endemic areas for different malaria parasites overlap, but mixed species infections are rare. An adolescent male returned from a trip to Ghana in late summer 2013. He subsequently presented with blood smears positive for two species of malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium ovale, on two isolated hospital visits within a six-week period. The epidemiology of mixed infections, likely pathophysiology of his presentation, and the implications for malaria testing and treatment in returned travellers are discussed. PMID:24593188

  6. Physicochemical Aspects of the Plasmodium chabaudi-Infected Erythrocyte

    PubMed Central

    Hayakawa, Eri H.; Kobayashi, Seiki; Matsuoka, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    Membrane electrochemical potential is a feature of the molecular profile of the cell membrane and the two-dimensional arrangement of its charge-bearing molecules. Plasmodium species, the causative agents of malaria, are intracellular parasites that remodel host erythrocytes by expressing their own proteins on erythrocyte membranes. Although various aspects of the modifications made to the host erythrocyte membrane have been extensively studied in some human Plasmodium species (such as Plasmodium falciparum), details of the structural and molecular biological modifications made to host erythrocytes by nonhuman Plasmodium parasites have not been studied. We employed zeta potential analysis of erythrocytes parasitized by P. chabaudi, a nonhuman Plasmodium parasite. From these measurements, we found that the surface potential shift was more negative for P. chabaudi-infected erythrocytes than for P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. However, electron microscopic analysis of the surface of P. chabaudi-infected erythrocytes did not reveal any modifications as compared with nonparasitized erythrocytes. These results suggest that differences in the membrane modifications found herein represent unique attributes related to the pathogenesis profiles of the two different malaria parasite species in different host animals and that these features have been acquired through parasite adaptations acquired over long evolutionary time periods. PMID:26557685

  7. Inhibition of Glutathione Biosynthesis Sensitizes Plasmodium berghei to Antifolates.

    PubMed

    Songsungthong, Warangkhana; Koonyosying, Pongpisid; Uthaipibull, Chairat; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee

    2016-05-01

    Glutathione plays a central role in maintaining cellular redox homeostasis, and modulations to this status may affect malaria parasite sensitivity to certain types of antimalarials. In this study, we demonstrate that inhibition of glutathione biosynthesis in the Plasmodium berghei ANKA strain through disruption of the γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS) gene, which encodes the first and rate-limiting enzyme in the glutathione biosynthetic pathway, significantly sensitizes parasites in vivo to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine, but not to chloroquine, artesunate, or primaquine, compared with control parasites containing the same pyrimethamine-resistant marker cassette. Treatment of mice infected with an antifolate-resistant P. berghei control line with a γ-GCS inhibitor, buthionine sulfoximine, could partially abrogate pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine resistance. The role of glutathione in modulating the malaria parasite's response to antifolates suggests that development of specific inhibitors against Plasmodium γ-GCS may offer a new approach to counter Plasmodium antifolate resistance. PMID:26953195

  8. Trends in drug resistance codons in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase genes in Kenyan parasites from 2008 to 2012

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), an antifolate, was replaced by artemether-lumefantrine as the first-line malaria drug treatment in Kenya in 2004 due to the wide spread of resistance. However, SP still remains the recommended drug for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnant women and infants (IPTP/I) owing to its safety profile. This study assessed the prevalence of mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (Pfdhps) genes associated with SP resistance in samples collected in Kenya between 2008 and 2012. Methods Field isolates collected from Kisumu, Kisii, Kericho and Malindi district hospitals were assessed for genetic polymorphism at various loci within Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes by sequencing. Results Among the Pfdhfr mutations, codons N51I, C59R, S108N showed highest prevalence in all the field sites at 95.5%, 84.1% and 98.6% respectively. Pfdhfr S108N prevalence was highest in Kisii at 100%. A temporal trend analysis showed steady prevalence of mutations over time except for codon Pfdhps 581 which showed an increase in mixed genotypes. Triple Pfdhfr N51I/C59R/S108N and double Pfdhps A437G/ K540E had high prevalence rates of 86.6% and 87.9% respectively. The Pfdhfr/Pfdhps quintuple, N51I/C59R/S108N/A437G/K540E mutant which has been shown to be the most clinically relevant marker for SP resistance was observed in 75.7% of the samples. Conclusion SP resistance is still persistently high in western Kenya, which is likely due to fixation of key mutations in the Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes as well as drug pressure from other antifolate drugs being used for the treatment of malaria and other infections. In addition, there is emergence and increasing prevalence of new mutations in Kenyan parasite population. Since SP is used for IPTP/I, molecular surveillance and in vitro susceptibility assays must be sustained to provide information on the emergence and spread of SP resistance. PMID:24989984

  9. Optimal strategy for controlling the spread of Plasmodium Knowlesi malaria: Treatment and culling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdullahi, Mohammed Baba; Hasan, Yahya Abu; Abdullah, Farah Aini

    2015-05-01

    Plasmodium Knowlesi malaria is a parasitic mosquito-borne disease caused by a eukaryotic protist of genus Plasmodium Knowlesi transmitted by mosquito, Anopheles leucosphyrus to human and macaques. We developed and analyzed a deterministic Mathematical model for the transmission of Plasmodium Knowlesi malaria in human and macaques. The optimal control theory is applied to investigate optimal strategies for controlling the spread of Plasmodium Knowlesi malaria using treatment and culling as control strategies. The conditions for optimal control of the Plasmodium Knowlesi malaria are derived using Pontryagin's Maximum Principle. Finally, numerical simulations suggested that the combination of the control strategies is the best way to control the disease in any community.

  10. Characterization and role of protozoan parasite proteasomes.

    PubMed

    Paugam, André; Bulteau, Anne Laure; Dupouy-Camet, Jean; Creuzet, Claudine; Friguet, Bertrand

    2003-02-01

    The proteasome, a large non-lysosomal multi-subunit protease complex, is ubiquitous in eukaryotic cells. In protozoan parasites, the proteasome is involved in cell differentiation and replication, and could therefore be a promising therapeutic target. This article reviews the present knowledge of proteasomes in protozoan parasites of medical importance such as Giardia, Entamoeba, Leishmania, Trypanosoma, Plasmodium and Toxoplasma spp. PMID:12586468

  11. Plasmodium falciparum genetic crosses in a humanized mouse model.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Ashley M; Pinapati, Richard S; Cheeseman, Ian H; Camargo, Nelly; Fishbaugher, Matthew; Checkley, Lisa A; Nair, Shalini; Hutyra, Carolyn A; Nosten, François H; Anderson, Timothy J C; Ferdig, Michael T; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2015-07-01

    Genetic crosses of phenotypically distinct strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are a powerful tool for identifying genes controlling drug resistance and other key phenotypes. Previous studies relied on the isolation of recombinant parasites from splenectomized chimpanzees, a research avenue that is no longer available. Here we demonstrate that human-liver chimeric mice support recovery of recombinant progeny for the identification of genetic determinants of parasite traits and adaptations. PMID:26030447

  12. Plasmodium falciparum genetic crosses in a humanized mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Vaughan, Ashley M.; Pinapati, Richard S.; Cheeseman, Ian H.; Camargo, Nelly; Fishbaugher, Matthew; Checkley, Lisa A.; Nair, Shalini; Hutyra, Carolyn A.; Nosten, François H.; Anderson, Timothy J. C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic crosses of phenotypically distinct strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are a powerful tool for identifying genes controlling drug resistance and other key phenotypes. Previous studies relied on the isolation of recombinant parasites from splenectomized chimpanzees, a research avenue that is no longer available. Here, we demonstrate that human-liver chimeric mice support recovery of recombinant progeny for the identification of genetic determinants of parasite traits and adaptations. PMID:26030447

  13. Expanding the antimalarial toolkit: Targeting host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Langhorne, Jean; Duffy, Patrick E

    2016-02-01

    Recent successes in malaria control are threatened by drug-resistant Plasmodium parasites and insecticide-resistant Anopheles mosquitoes, and first generation vaccines offer only partial protection. New research approaches have highlighted host as well as parasite molecules or pathways that could be targeted for interventions. In this study, we discuss host-parasite interactions at the different stages of the Plasmodium life cycle within the mammalian host and the potential for therapeutics that prevent parasite migration, invasion, intracellular growth, or egress from host cells, as well as parasite-induced pathology. PMID:26834158

  14. In Vitro Generation of Plasmodium falciparum Ookinetes

    PubMed Central

    Bounkeua, Viengngeun; Li, Fengwu; Vinetz, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium transmission from the human host to the mosquito depends on the ability of gametocytes to differentiate into ookinetes, the invasive form of the parasite that invades and establishes infection in the mosquito midgut. The biology of P. falciparum ookinetes is poorly understood, because sufficient quantities of this stage of this parasite species have not been obtained for detailed study. This report details methods to optimize production of P. falciparum sexual stage parasites, including ookinetes. Flow cytometric sorting was used to separate diploid/tetraploid zygotes and ookinetes from haploid gametetocytes and unfertilized gametes based on DNA content. Consistent production of 106–107 P. falciparum ookinetes per 10 mL culture was observed, with ookinete transformation present in 10–40% of all parasite forms. Transmission electron micrographs of cultured parasites confirmed ookinete development. PMID:21118920

  15. African apes as reservoirs of Plasmodium falciparum and the origin and diversification of the Laverania subgenus

    PubMed Central

    Duval, Linda; Fourment, Mathieu; Nerrienet, Eric; Rousset, Dominique; Sadeuh, Serge A.; Goodman, Steven M.; Andriaholinirina, Nicole V.; Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; Paul, Richard E.; Robert, Vincent; Ayala, Francisco J.; Ariey, Frédéric

    2010-01-01

    We investigated two mitochondrial genes (cytb and cox1), one plastid gene (tufA), and one nuclear gene (ldh) in blood samples from 12 chimpanzees and two gorillas from Cameroon and one lemur from Madagascar. One gorilla sample is related to Plasmodium falciparum, thus confirming the recently reported presence in gorillas of this parasite. The second gorilla sample is more similar to the recently defined Plasmodium gaboni than to the P. falciparum–Plasmodium reichenowi clade, but distinct from both. Two chimpanzee samples are P. falciparum. A third sample is P. reichenowi and two others are P. gaboni. The other chimpanzee samples are different from those in the ape clade: two are Plasmodium ovale, and one is Plasmodium malariae. That is, we have found three human Plasmodium parasites in chimpanzees. Four chimpanzee samples were mixed: one species was P. reichenowi; the other species was P. gaboni in three samples and P. ovale in the fourth sample. The lemur sample, provisionally named Plasmodium malagasi, is a sister lineage to the large cluster of primate parasites that does not include P. falciparum or ape parasites, suggesting that the falciparum + ape parasite cluster (Laverania clade) may have evolved from a parasite present in hosts not ancestral to the primates. If malignant malaria were eradicated from human populations, chimpanzees, in addition to gorillas, might serve as a reservoir for P. falciparum. PMID:20498054

  16. Imaging Plasmodium Immunobiology in Liver, Brain, and Lung

    PubMed Central

    Frevert, Ute; Nacer, Adéla; Cabrera, Mynthia; Movila, Alexandru; Leberl, Maike

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria is responsible for the deaths of over half a million African children annually. Until a decade ago, dynamic analysis of the malaria parasite was limited to in vitro systems with the typical limitations associated with 2D monocultures or entirely artificial surfaces. Due to extremely low parasite densities, the liver was considered a black box in terms of Plasmodium sporozoite invasion, liver stage development, and merozoite release into the blood. Further, nothing was known about the behavior of blood stage parasites in organs such as brain where clinical signs manifest and the ensuing immune response of the host that may ultimately result in a fatal outcome. The advent of fluorescent parasites, advances in imaging technology, and availability of an ever-increasing number of cellular and molecular probes have helped illuminate many steps along the pathogenetic cascade of this deadly tropical parasite. PMID:24076429

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

    PubMed Central

    Soulard, Valrie; Bosson-Vanga, Henriette; Lorthiois, Audrey; Roucher, Clmentine; Franetich, Jean- Franois; Zanghi, Gigliola; Bordessoulles, Mallaury; Tefit, Maurel; Thellier, Marc; Morosan, Serban; Le Naour, Gilles; Capron, Frdrique; Suemizu, Hiroshi; Snounou, Georges; Moreno-Sabater, Alicia; Mazier, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Experimental studies of Plasmodium parasites that infect humans are restricted by their host specificity. Humanized mice offer a means to overcome this and further provide the opportunity to observe the parasites in vivo. Here we improve on previous protocols to achieve efficient double engraftment of TK-NOG mice by human primary hepatocytes and red blood cells. Thus, we obtain the complete hepatic development of P. falciparum, the transition to the erythrocytic stages, their subsequent multiplication, and the appearance of mature gametocytes over an extended period of observation. Furthermore, using sporozoites derived from two P. ovale-infected patients, we show that human hepatocytes engrafted in TK-NOG mice sustain maturation of the liver stages, and the presence of late-developing schizonts indicate the eventual activation of quiescent parasites. Thus, TK-NOG mice are highly suited for in vivo observations on the Plasmodium species of humans. PMID:26205537

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

    PubMed

    Soulard, Valrie; Bosson-Vanga, Henriette; Lorthiois, Audrey; Roucher, Clmentine; Franetich, Jean-Franois; Zanghi, Gigliola; Bordessoulles, Mallaury; Tefit, Maurel; Thellier, Marc; Morosan, Serban; Le Naour, Gilles; Capron, Frdrique; Suemizu, Hiroshi; Snounou, Georges; Moreno-Sabater, Alicia; Mazier, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Experimental studies of Plasmodium parasites that infect humans are restricted by their host specificity. Humanized mice offer a means to overcome this and further provide the opportunity to observe the parasites in vivo. Here we improve on previous protocols to achieve efficient double engraftment of TK-NOG mice by human primary hepatocytes and red blood cells. Thus, we obtain the complete hepatic development of P. falciparum, the transition to the erythrocytic stages, their subsequent multiplication, and the appearance of mature gametocytes over an extended period of observation. Furthermore, using sporozoites derived from two P. ovale-infected patients, we show that human hepatocytes engrafted in TK-NOG mice sustain maturation of the liver stages, and the presence of late-developing schizonts indicate the eventual activation of quiescent parasites. Thus, TK-NOG mice are highly suited for in vivo observations on the Plasmodium species of humans. PMID:26205537

  19. Vaccines 85: Molecular and chemical basis of resistance to parasitic, bacterial, and viral diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Lerner, R.A.; Chanock, R.M.; Brown, F.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 70 selections. Some of the selection titles are: Structure of the Gene Encoding of Immunodominant Surface Antigen on the Sprozoite of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum; Cloning and Expression in Bacteria of the Genes for Merozite-specific Antigens from the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum; A Major Surface Antigen of Plasmodium falciparum in Merozoites: Studies on the Protein and its Gene; Genetic Construction of Cholera Vaccine Prototypes; and Viral Genes, Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes and Immunity.

  20. Evolutionary origin of Plasmodium and other Apicomplexa based on rRNA genes.

    PubMed Central

    Escalante, A A; Ayala, F J

    1995-01-01

    We have explored the evolutionary history of the Apicomplexa and two related protistan phyla, Dinozoa and Ciliophora, by comparing the nucleotide sequences of small subunit ribosomal RNA genes. We conclude that the Plasmodium lineage, to which the malarial parasites belong, diverged from other apicomplexan lineages (piroplasmids and coccidians) several hundred million years ago, perhaps even before the Cambrian. The Plasmodium radiation, which gave rise to several species parasitic to humans, occurred approximately 129 million years ago; Plasmodium parasitism of humans has independently arisen several times. The origin of apicomplexans (Plasmodium), dinoflagellates, and ciliates may be > 1 billion years old, perhaps older than the three multicellular kingdoms of animals, plants, and fungi. Digenetic parasitism independently evolved several times in the Apicomplexa. PMID:7597031

  1. Intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum biosynthesize menaquinone

    PubMed Central

    Matsumura, Miriam Y.; Cabral, Fernanda J.; Yamamoto, Márcio M.; D'Alexandri, Fábio L.; Sussmann, Rodrigo A.C.; Belmonte, Rodrigo; Peres, Valnice J.; Crick, Dean C.; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Kimura, Emília A.; Katzin, Alejandro M.

    2016-01-01

    Herein, we show that intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum have an active pathway for biosynthesis of menaquinone. Kinetic assays confirmed that plasmodial menaquinone acts at least in the electron transport. Similarly to Escherichia coli, we observed increased levels of menaquinone in parasites kept under anaerobic conditions. Additionally, the mycobacterial inhibitor of menaquinone synthesis Ro 48-8071 also suppressed menaquinone biosynthesis and growth of parasites, although off-targets may play a role in this growth-inhibitory effect. Due to its absence in humans, the menaquinone biosynthesis can be considered an important drug target for malaria. PMID:21036171

  2. Plasmodium vivax Transmission in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Howes, Rosalind E.; Reiner Jr., Robert C.; Battle, Katherine E.; Longbottom, Joshua; Mappin, Bonnie; Ordanovich, Dariya; Tatem, Andrew J.; Drakeley, Chris; Gething, Peter W.; Zimmerman, Peter A.; Smith, David L.; Hay, Simon I.

    2015-01-01

    Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa has historically been almost exclusively attributed to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). Current diagnostic and surveillance systems in much of sub-Saharan Africa are not designed to identify or report non-Pf human malaria infections accurately, resulting in a dearth of routine epidemiological data about their significance. The high prevalence of Duffy negativity provided a rationale for excluding the possibility of Plasmodium vivax (Pv) transmission. However, review of varied evidence sources including traveller infections, community prevalence surveys, local clinical case reports, entomological and serological studies contradicts this viewpoint. Here, these data reports are weighted in a unified framework to reflect the strength of evidence of indigenous Pv transmission in terms of diagnostic specificity, size of individual reports and corroboration between evidence sources. Direct evidence was reported from 21 of the 47 malaria-endemic countries studied, while 42 countries were attributed with infections of visiting travellers. Overall, moderate to conclusive evidence of transmission was available from 18 countries, distributed across all parts of the continent. Approximately 86.6 million Duffy positive hosts were at risk of infection in Africa in 2015. Analysis of the mechanisms sustaining Pv transmission across this continent of low frequency of susceptible hosts found that reports of Pv prevalence were consistent with transmission being potentially limited to Duffy positive populations. Finally, reports of apparent Duffy-independent transmission are discussed. While Pv is evidently not a major malaria parasite across most of sub-Saharan Africa, the evidence presented here highlights its widespread low-level endemicity. An increased awareness of Pv as a potential malaria parasite, coupled with policy shifts towards species-specific diagnostics and reporting, will allow a robust assessment of the public health significance of Pv, as well as the other neglected non-Pf parasites, which are currently invisible to most public health authorities in Africa, but which can cause severe clinical illness and require specific control interventions. PMID:26587988

  3. Gliding motility in apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Heintzelman, Matthew B

    2015-10-01

    Apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, employ a unique form of substrate-dependent locomotion known as gliding motility. In these obligate, intracellular parasites, gliding motility is used for migration through the tissues and cells of the host, for active penetration of the host cell, and, at times, for proactive egress from the host. Gliding motility is powered by an actin-myosin based motor apparatus, known as the glideosome, which is situated within the elaborate cortical domain of the parasite. In this system, myosin is anchored to an internal membrane complex and drives the rearward translocation of actin-associated cell surface adhesins, thus leading to forward movement of the parasite. This review outlines our current understanding of glideosome architecture and the molecular basis of parasite motility. PMID:26428297

  4. Glucose transporters in parasitic protozoa.

    PubMed

    Landfear, Scott M

    2010-01-01

    Glucose and related hexoses play central roles in the biochemistry and metabolism of single-cell parasites such as Leishmania, Trypanosoma, and Plasmodium that are the causative agents of leishmaniasis, African sleeping sickness, and malaria. Glucose transporters and the genes that encode them have been identified in each of these parasites and their functional properties have been scrutinized. These transporters are related in sequence and structure to mammalian facilitative glucose transporters of the SLC2 family, but they are nonetheless quite divergent in sequence. Hexose transporters have been shown to be essential for the viability of the infectious stage of each of these parasites and thus may represent targets for development of novel anti-parasitic drugs. The study of these transporters also illuminates many aspects of the basic biology of Leishmania, trypanosomes, and malaria parasites. PMID:20419439

  5. Lipids and the malarial parasite*

    PubMed Central

    Holz, George G.

    1977-01-01

    Merozoite endocytosis initiates Plasmodium development in a vacuole bounded by an erythrocyte-derived membrane, whose asymmetrical distribution of lipids and proteins is reversed in its orientation with respect to the parasite plasma membrane. Reorientation may accompany the proliferation of the membrane associated with the parasite's growth and phagocytic and pinocytic feeding. Increases in the membrane surface area of the parasite, and in some cases of the erythrocyte, parallel parasite growth and segmentation. Augmentation of all the membrane systems of the infected erythrocyte causes the lipid content to rise rapidly, but the parasite lipid composition differs from that of the erythrocyte in many respects: it is higher in diacyl phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, polyglycerol phosphatides, diacylglycerols, unesterified fatty acids, triacylglycerols, and hexadecanoic and octadecenoic fatty acids and lower in sphingomyelin, phosphatidylserine, alkoxy phosphatidylethanolamine, cholesterol, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Active lipid metabolism accompanies the membrane proliferation associated with feeding, growth, and reproduction. Plasmodium is incapable of de novo biosynthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol; however, it can fabricate its glycerides and phosphoglycerides with host-supplied fatty acids, nitrogenous bases, alcohols, ATP, and coenzyme A, and can generate the glyceryl moiety during glycolysis. Cholesterol is obtained from the host but nothing is known of sphingolipid origins. Lipid metabolism of the parasite may be associated with alterations in the amounts of octadecenoic fatty acids and cholesterol in the erythrocyte plasma membrane, which in turn are responsible for changes in permeability and fragility. PMID:412602

  6. African monkeys are infected by Plasmodium falciparum nonhuman primate-specific strains

    PubMed Central

    Prugnolle, Franck; Ollomo, Benjamin; Durand, Patrick; Yalcindag, Erhan; Arnathau, Céline; Elguero, Eric; Berry, Antoine; Pourrut, Xavier; Gonzalez, Jean-Paul; Nkoghe, Dieudonné; Akiana, Jean; Verrier, Delphine; Leroy, Eric; Ayala, Francisco J.; Renaud, François

    2011-01-01

    Recent molecular exploration of the Plasmodium species circulating in great apes in Africa has revealed the existence of a large and previously unknown diversity of Plasmodium. For instance, gorillas were found to be infected by parasites closely related to Plasmodium falciparum, suggesting that the human malignant malaria agent may have arisen after a transfer from gorillas. Although this scenario is likely in light of the data collected in great apes, it remained to be ascertained whether P. falciparum-related parasites may infect other nonhuman primates in Africa. Using molecular tools, we here explore the diversity of Plasmodium species infecting monkeys in Central Africa. In addition to previously described Hepatocystis and Plasmodium species (Plasmodium gonderi and Plasmodium sp DAJ-2004), we have found one African monkey to be infected by a P. falciparum-related parasite. Examination of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of this parasite reveals that it is specific of nonhuman primates, indicating that P. falciparum-related pathogens can naturally circulate in some monkey populations in Africa. We also show that at least two distinct genetic entities of P. falciparum infect nonhuman primates and humans, respectively. Our discoveries bring into question the proposed gorilla origin of human P. falciparum. PMID:21730135

  7. Malaria: targeting parasite and host cell kinomes.

    PubMed

    Doerig, Christian; Abdi, Abdirahman; Bland, Nicholas; Eschenlauer, Sylvain; Dorin-Semblat, Dominique; Fennell, Clare; Halbert, Jean; Holland, Zoe; Nivez, Marie-Paule; Semblat, Jean-Philippe; Sicard, Audrey; Reininger, Luc

    2010-03-01

    Malaria still remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases, and has a tremendous morbidity and mortality impact in the developing world. The propensity of the parasites to develop drug resistance, and the relative reluctance of the pharmaceutical industry to invest massively in the developments of drugs that would offer only limited marketing prospects, are major issues in antimalarial drug discovery. Protein kinases (PKs) have become a major family of targets for drug discovery research in a number of disease contexts, which has generated considerable resources such as kinase-directed libraries and high throughput kinase inhibition assays. The phylogenetic distance between malaria parasites and their human host translates into important divergences in their respective kinomes, and most Plasmodium kinases display atypical properties (as compared to mammalian PKs) that can be exploited towards selective inhibition. Here, we discuss the taxon-specific kinases possessed by malaria parasites, and give an overview of target PKs that have been validated by reverse genetics, either in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum or in the rodent model Plasmodium berghei. We also briefly allude to the possibility of attacking Plasmodium through the inhibition of human PKs that are required for survival of this obligatory intracellular parasite, and which are targets for other human diseases. PMID:19840874

  8. Plasmodium vivax malaria vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Arévalo-Herrera, M; Herrera, S

    2001-12-01

    Plasmodium vivax represents the most widespread malaria parasite worldwide. Although it does not result in as high a mortality rate as P. falciparum, it inflicts debilitating morbidity and consequent economic impact in endemic communities. In addition, the relapsing behavior of this malaria parasite and the recent resistance to anti-malarials contribute to making its control more difficult. Although the biology of P. vivax is different from that of P. falciparum and the human immune response to this parasite species has been rather poorly studied, significant progress is being made to develop a P. vivax-specific vaccine based on the information and experience gained in the search for a P. falciparum vaccine. We have devoted great effort to antigenically characterize the P. vivax CS protein and to test its immunogenicity using the Aotus monkey model. Together with other groups we are also assessing the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the asexual blood stage vaccine candidates MSP-1 and DBP in the monkey model, as well as the immunogenicity of Pvs25 and Pvs28 ookinete surface proteins. The transmission-blocking efficacy of the responses induced by these latter antigens is being assessed using Anopheles albimanus mosquitoes. The current status of these vaccine candidates and other antigens currently being studied is described. PMID:11741694

  9. No Evidence for Ape Plasmodium Infections in Humans in Gabon

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    African great apes are naturally infected by a multitude of Plasmodium species most of them recently discovered, among which several are closely related to human malaria agents. However, it is still unknown whether these animals can serve as source of infections for humans living in their vicinity. To evaluate this possibility, we analysed the nature of Plasmodium infections from a bank of 4281 human blood samples collected in 210 villages of Gabon, Central Africa. Among them, 2255 were detected positive to Plasmodium using molecular methods (Plasmodium Cytochrome b amplification). A high throughput sequencing technology (454 GS-FLX Titanium technology, Roche) was then used to identify the Plasmodium species present within each positive sample. Overall, we identified with confidence only three species infecting humans in Gabon: P. falciparum, P. malariae and P. ovale. None of the species known to infect non-human primates in Central Africa was found. Our study shows that ape Plasmodium parasites of the subgenus Laverania do not constitute a frequent source of infection for humans. It also suggests that some strong host genetic barriers must exist to prevent the cross species transmission of ape Plasmodium in a context of ever increasing contacts between humans and wildlife. PMID:26039338

  10. Host cell autophagy contributes to Plasmodium liver development.

    PubMed

    Thieleke-Matos, Carolina; Lopes da Silva, Mafalda; Cabrita-Santos, Laura; Portal, Martim D; Rodrigues, Ins P; Zuzarte-Luis, Vanessa; Ramalho, Jos S; Futter, Clare E; Mota, Maria M; Barral, Duarte C; Seabra, Miguel C

    2016-03-01

    Autophagy plays an important role in the defence against intracellular pathogens. However, some microorganisms can manipulate this host cell pathway to their advantage. In this study, we addressed the role of host cell autophagy during Plasmodium berghei liver infection. We show that vesicles containing the autophagic marker LC3 surround parasites from early time-points after invasion and throughout infection and colocalize with the parasitophorous vacuole membrane. Moreover, we show that the LC3-positive vesicles that surround Plasmodium parasites are amphisomes that converge from the endocytic and autophagic pathways, because they contain markers of both pathways. When the host autophagic pathway was inhibited by silencing several of its key regulators such as LC3, Beclin1, Vps34 or Atg5, we observed a reduction in parasite size. We also found that LC3 surrounds parasites in vivo and that parasite load is diminished in a mouse model deficient for autophagy. Together, these results show the importance of the host autophagic pathway for parasite development during the liver stage of Plasmodium infection. PMID:26399761

  11. The origin and age of Plasmodium vivax

    PubMed Central

    Cornejo, Omar E.; Escalante, Ananias A.

    2007-01-01

    The evolutionary history of Plasmodium vivax has recently been addressed in terms of its origin as a parasite of humans and the age of extant populations. The consensus is that P. vivax originated as a result of a host switch from a non-human primate to hominids and that the extant populations did not originate as recently as previously proposed. Here, we show that, in a comparison of parasite isolates from across the world, Asian populations of P. vivax are the oldest. We discuss how this result, together with the phylogenetic evidence that P. vivax derived from Plasmodium found in Southeast Asian macaques, is most simply explained by assuming an Asian origin of this parasite. Nevertheless, the available data show only the tip of the iceberg. We discuss how sampling might affect time estimates to the most recent common ancestor for P. vivax populations and suggest that spatially explicit estimates are needed to understand the demographic history of this parasite better. PMID:17035086

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    African apes harbour at least six Plasmodium species of the subgenus Laverania, one of which gave rise to human Plasmodium falciparum. Here we use a selective amplification strategy to sequence the genome of chimpanzee parasites classified as Plasmodium reichenowi and Plasmodium gaboni based on the subgenomic fragments. Genome-wide analyses show that these parasites indeed represent distinct species, with no evidence of cross-species mating. Both P. reichenowi and P. gaboni are 10-fold more diverse than P. falciparum, indicating a very recent origin of the human parasite. We also find a remarkable Laverania-specific expansion of a multigene family involved in erythrocyte remodelling, and show that a short region on chromosome 4, which encodes two essential invasion genes, was horizontally transferred into a recent P. falciparum ancestor. Our results validate the selective amplification strategy for characterizing cryptic pathogen species, and reveal evolutionary events that likely predisposed the precursor of P. falciparum to colonize humans. PMID:27002652

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    African apes harbour at least six Plasmodium species of the subgenus Laverania, one of which gave rise to human Plasmodium falciparum. Here we use a selective amplification strategy to sequence the genome of chimpanzee parasites classified as Plasmodium reichenowi and Plasmodium gaboni based on the subgenomic fragments. Genome-wide analyses show that these parasites indeed represent distinct species, with no evidence of cross-species mating. Both P. reichenowi and P. gaboni are 10-fold more diverse than P. falciparum, indicating a very recent origin of the human parasite. We also find a remarkable Laverania-specific expansion of a multigene family involved in erythrocyte remodelling, and show that a short region on chromosome 4, which encodes two essential invasion genes, was horizontally transferred into a recent P. falciparum ancestor. Our results validate the selective amplification strategy for characterizing cryptic pathogen species, and reveal evolutionary events that likely predisposed the precursor of P. falciparum to colonize humans. PMID:27002652

  14. Plasmodium knowlesi Infection in Humans, Cambodia, 2007–2010

    PubMed Central

    Khim, Nimol; Siv, Sovannaroth; Kim, Saorin; Mueller, Tara; Fleischmann, Erna; Singh, Balbir; Divis, Paul Cliff Simon; Steenkeste, Nicolas; Duval, Linda; Bouchier, Christiane; Duong, Socheat; Ariey, Frederic

    2011-01-01

    Two cases of Plasmodium knowlesi infection in humans were identified in Cambodia by 3 molecular detection assays and sequencing. This finding confirms the widespread distribution of P. knowlesi malaria in humans in Southeast Asia. Further wide-scale studies are required to assess the public health relevance of this zoonotic malaria parasite. PMID:22000366

  15. 21 CFR 866.3402 - Plasmodium species antigen detection assays.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... is a device that employs antibodies for the detection of specific malaria parasite antigens... with malaria infection. The detection of these antigens aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of malaria caused by the four malaria species capable of infecting humans: Plasmodium falciparum,...

  16. 21 CFR 866.3402 - Plasmodium species antigen detection assays.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... is a device that employs antibodies for the detection of specific malaria parasite antigens... with malaria infection. The detection of these antigens aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of malaria caused by the four malaria species capable of infecting humans: Plasmodium falciparum,...

  17. 21 CFR 866.3402 - Plasmodium species antigen detection assays.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... is a device that employs antibodies for the detection of specific malaria parasite antigens... with malaria infection. The detection of these antigens aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of malaria caused by the four malaria species capable of infecting humans: Plasmodium falciparum,...

  18. 21 CFR 866.3402 - Plasmodium species antigen detection assays.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... is a device that employs antibodies for the detection of specific malaria parasite antigens... with malaria infection. The detection of these antigens aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of malaria caused by the four malaria species capable of infecting humans: Plasmodium falciparum,...

  19. 21 CFR 866.3402 - Plasmodium species antigen detection assays.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... is a device that employs antibodies for the detection of specific malaria parasite antigens... with malaria infection. The detection of these antigens aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of malaria caused by the four malaria species capable of infecting humans: Plasmodium falciparum,...

  20. Congenital parasitic infections: a review.

    PubMed

    Carlier, Yves; Truyens, Carine; Deloron, Philippe; Peyron, François

    2012-02-01

    This review defines the concepts of maternal-fetal (congenital) and vertical transmissions (mother-to-child) of pathogens and specifies the human parasites susceptible to be congenitally transferred. It highlights the epidemiological features of this transmission mode for the three main congenital parasitic infections due to Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma cruzi and Plasmodium sp. Information on the possible maternal-fetal routes of transmission, the placental responses to infection and timing of parasite transmission are synthesized and compared. The factors susceptible to be involved in parasite transmission and development of congenital parasitic diseases, such as the parasite genotypes, the maternal co-infections and parasitic load, the immunological features of pregnant women and the capacity of some fetuses/neonates to overcome their immunological immaturity to mount an immune response against the transmitted parasites are also discussed and compared. Analysis of clinical data indicates that parasitic congenital infections are often asymptomatic, whereas symptomatic newborns generally display non-specific symptoms. The long-term consequences of congenital infections are also mentioned, such as the imprinting of neonatal immune system and the possible trans-generational transmission. The detection of infection in pregnant women is mainly based on standard serological or parasitological investigations. Amniocentesis and cordocentesis can be used for the detection of some fetal infections. The neonatal infection can be assessed using parasitological, molecular or immunological methods; the place of PCR in such neonatal diagnosis is discussed. When such laboratory diagnosis is not possible at birth or in the first weeks of life, standard serological investigations can also be performed 8-10 months after birth, to avoid detection of maternal transmitted antibodies. The specific aspects of treatment of T. gondii, T. cruzi and Plasmodium congenital infections are mentioned. The possibilities of primary and secondary prophylaxes, as well as the available WHO corresponding recommendations are also presented. PMID:22085916

  1. Species-specific features of DARC, the primate receptor for Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi.

    PubMed

    Demogines, Ann; Truong, Kimberly A; Sawyer, Sara L

    2012-02-01

    The DARC (Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines) gene, also called Duffy or FY, encodes a membrane-bound chemokine receptor. Two malaria parasites, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi, use DARC to trigger internalization into red blood cells. Although much has been reported on the evolution of DARC null alleles, little is known about the evolution of the coding portion of this gene or the role that protein sequence divergence in this receptor may play in disease susceptibility or zoonosis. Here, we show that the Plasmodium interaction domain of DARC is nearly invariant in the human population, suggesting that coding polymorphism there is unlikely to play a role in differential susceptibility to infection. However, an analysis of DARC orthologs from 35 simian primate species reveals high levels of sequence divergence in the Plasmodium interaction domain. Signatures of positive selection in this domain indicate that species-specific mutations in the protein sequence of DARC could serve as barriers to the transmission of Plasmodium between primate species. PMID:21878684

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

    In the study of parasite-mediated sexual selection, there has been controversial evidence for the prediction that brighter males should have fewer parasites. Most of these studies have focused on one parasite species. Our aim was to investigate the expression of carotenoid-based coloured signals in relation to patterns of multiple parasite infections, to determine whether colour reflects parasite load of all parasite species, or whether different relationships might be found when looking at each parasite species independently. We investigated the relationship between bill colour, body mass and plasma carotenoids and parasite load (feather chewing lice, blood parasite Plasmodium sp., intestinal parasites cestodes and coccidia) in the blackbird (Turdus merula). Bill colour on its own appeared to be a poor predictor of parasite load when investigating its relationships with individual parasite species. Variation in parasite intensities at the community level was summarised using principal component analysis to derive synthetic indexes of relative parasite species abundance and absolute parasite load. The relative abundance of parasite species was strongly related to bill colour, plasma carotenoid levels and body mass: birds with relatively more cestodes and chewing lice and relatively less Plasmodium and coccidia had a more colourful bill, circulated more carotenoids and were heavier. These results suggest that bill colour more accurately reflects the relative intensities of parasite infection, rather than one-by-one relationships with parasites or absolute parasite burden. Investigating patterns of multiple parasite infection would thus improve our understanding of the information conveyed by coloured signals on parasite load. PMID:20845023

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  4. Isoprenoid Biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Guggisberg, Ann M.; Amthor, Rachel E.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria kills nearly 1 million people each year, and the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum has become increasingly resistant to current therapies. Isoprenoid synthesis via the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway represents an attractive target for the development of new antimalarials. The phosphonic acid antibiotic fosmidomycin is a specific inhibitor of isoprenoid synthesis and has been a helpful tool to outline the essential functions of isoprenoid biosynthesis in P. falciparum. Isoprenoids are a large, diverse class of hydrocarbons that function in a variety of essential cellular processes in eukaryotes. In P. falciparum, isoprenoids are used for tRNA isopentenylation and protein prenylation, as well as the synthesis of vitamin E, carotenoids, ubiquinone, and dolichols. Recently, isoprenoid synthesis in P. falciparum has been shown to be regulated by a sugar phosphatase. We outline what is known about isoprenoid function and the regulation of isoprenoid synthesis in P. falciparum, in order to identify valuable directions for future research. PMID:25217461

  5. Plasmepsin 4-Deficient Plasmodium berghei Are Virulence Attenuated and Induce Protective Immunity against Experimental Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Spaccapelo, Roberta; Janse, Chris J.; Caterbi, Sara; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Bonilla, J. Alfredo; Syphard, Luke M.; Di Cristina, Manlio; Dottorini, Tania; Savarino, Andrea; Cassone, Antonio; Bistoni, Francesco; Waters, Andrew P.; Dame, John B.; Crisanti, Andrea

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites lacking plasmepsin 4 (PM4), an aspartic protease that functions in the lysosomal compartment and contributes to hemoglobin digestion, have only a modest decrease in the asexual blood-stage growth rate; however, PM4 deficiency in the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei results in significantly less virulence than that for the parental parasite. P. berghei Δpm4 parasites failed to induce experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) in ECM-susceptible mice, and ECM-resistant mice were able to clear infections. Furthermore, after a single infection, all convalescent mice were protected against subsequent parasite challenge for at least 1 year. Real-time in vivo parasite imaging and splenectomy experiments demonstrated that protective immunity acted through antibody-mediated parasite clearance in the spleen. This work demonstrates, for the first time, that a single Plasmodium gene disruption can generate virulence-attenuated parasites that do not induce cerebral complications and, moreover, are able to stimulate strong protective immunity against subsequent challenge with wild-type parasites. Parasite blood-stage attenuation should help identify protective immune responses against malaria, unravel parasite-derived factors involved in malarial pathologies, such as cerebral malaria, and potentially pave the way for blood-stage whole organism vaccines. PMID:20019192

  6. Protozoan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Custodio, Haidee

    2016-02-01

    • Stool antigen detection for Cryptosporidium sp, Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica are now commercially available, have better sensitivity and specificity than the traditional stool microscopy, and are less dependent on personnel skill. Tests employing newer techniques with faster turnaround time are also available for diagnosing trichomoniasis.• Nitazoxanide, the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication for therapy of cryptosporidiosis, is effective among immunocompetent patients. However, on the basis of strong evidence from multiple clinical trials, nitazoxanide is considered ineffective among immunocompromised patients. (14) • Giardiasis can be asymptomatic or have a chronic course leading to malabsorption and failure to thrive. It can be treated with metronidazole, tinidazole, or nitazoxanide. On the basis of growing observational studies, postinfectious and extraintestinal manifestations of giardiasis occur, but the mechanisms are unclear. Given the high prevalence of giardiasis, public health implications need to be defined. (16) • Eradicating E histolytica from the gastrointestinal tract requires only intraluminal agent therapy. Therapy for invasive illnesses requires use of imidazole followed by intraluminal agents to eliminate persistent intraluminal parasites. • Malaria is considered the most lethal parasitic infection, with Plasmodium falciparum as the predominant cause of mortality. P vivax and P ovale can be dormant in the liver, and primaquine is necessary to resolve infection by P vivax and P ovale. • Among immunocompetent patients, infection with Toxoplasma gondii may be asymptomatic, involve localized lymphadenopathy, or cause ocular infection. In immunocompromised patients, reactivation or severe infection is not uncommon. On the basis of limited observational studies (there are no well-controlled randomized trials), therapy is recommended for acute infection during pregnancy to prevent transmission to the fetus/infant or decrease infectious sequelae to the fetus. (2) • On the basis of growing research evidence as well as consensus, trichomoniasis is associated with many health-related concerns, including adverse pregnancy outcomes and increased risk of acquisition and transmission of human immunodeficiency virus. (3)(25) Similar to toxoplasmosis,many infections are asymptomatic, and the true public health impact of trichomoniasis is difficult to define. Further research is warranted. PMID:26834225

  7. Plasmodium knowlesi infection: a diagnostic challenge

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Lijia; Lee, Shir Ying; Koay, Evelyn; Harkensee, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi malaria is an uncommon, but highly prevalent parasitic infection in parts of Malaysia. This is the case of a 14-year-old Singaporean boy presenting to our emergency department with an 11-day history of fever following a school trip to Malaysia. Hepatosplenomegaly was the only clinical finding; laboratory tests showed thrombocytopaenia, lymphopaenia, mild anaemia and liver transaminitis. Specific malaria antigen tests were negative, but the peripheral blood film showed plasmodia with atypical features, with a parasite load of 0.5%. PCR confirmed the diagnosis of P knowlesi. The patient was successfully treated with chloroquine. The clinical course of P knowlesi malaria is indistinguishable from that of Plasmodium falciparum. This case highlights the importance of taking detailed travel history, careful examination of malaria blood films and judicious use of molecular techniques. Antigen tests alone may have missed a malaria diagnosis altogether, while blood film examination may wrongly identify the species as Plasmodium malariae or P falciparum. Third-generation PCR assays can be used to reliably identify P knowlesi. PMID:23608876

  8. A new PCR assay for simultaneous studies of Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus from avian blood.

    PubMed

    Hellgren, Olof; Waldenström, Jonas; Bensch, Staffan

    2004-08-01

    Many bird species host several lineages of apicomplexan blood parasites (Protista spp., Haemosporida spp.), some of which are shared across different host species. To understand such complex systems, it is essential to consider the fact that different lineages, species, and families of parasites can occur in the same population, as well as in the same individual bird, and that these parasites may compete or interact with each other. In this study, we present a new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol that, for the first time, enables simultaneous typing of species from the 3 most common avian blood parasite genera (Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon). By combining the high detection rate of a nested PCR with another PCR step to separate species of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus from Leucocytozoon, this procedure provides an easy, rapid, and accurate method to separate and investigate these parasites within a blood sample. We have applied this method to bird species with known infections of Leucocytozoon spp., Plasmodium spp., and Haemoproteus spp. To obtain a higher number of parasite lineages and to test the repeatability of the method, we also applied it to blood samples from bluethroats (Luscinia svecica), for which we had no prior knowledge regarding the blood parasite infections. Although only a small number of different bird species were investigated (6 passerine species), we found 22 different parasite species lineages (4 Haemoproteus, 8 Plasmodium, and 10 Leucocytozoon). PMID:15357072

  9. Plasmodium falciparum Serine/Threonine Phosphoprotein Phosphatases (PPP): From Housekeeper to 'Holy Grail'

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Availability of complete genome sequence for Plasmodium falciparum has been useful in drawing a comprehensive metabolic map of the parasite. Distinct and unique metabolic characteristics of the parasite may be exploited as potential targets for new antimalarial drug discovery research. Reversible ph...

  10. Novel Mutations in K13 Propeller Gene of Artemisinin-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Uemura, Haruki; Kimata, Isao; Ichinose, Yoshio; Logedi, John; Omar, Ahmeddin H.; Kaneko, Akira

    2015-01-01

    We looked for mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum K13 propeller gene of an artemisinin-resistant parasite on islands in Lake Victoria, Kenya, where transmission in 2012–2013 was high. The 4 new types of nonsynonymous, and 5 of synonymous, mutations we detected among 539 samples analyzed provide clues to understanding artemisinin-resistant parasites. PMID:25695257

  11. Novel mutations in K13 propeller gene of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Isozumi, Rie; Uemura, Haruki; Kimata, Isao; Ichinose, Yoshi