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Sample records for haemosporidian parasites plasmodium

  1. Altitudinal variation in haemosporidian parasite distribution in great tit populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background One of the major issues concerning disease ecology and conservation is knowledge of the factors that influence the distribution of parasites and consequently disease outbreaks. This study aimed to investigate avian haemosporidian composition and the distribution of these parasites in three altitudinally separated great tit (Parus major) populations in western Switzerland over a three-year period. The objectives were to determine the lineage diversity of parasites occuring across the study populations and to investigate whether altitudinal gradients govern the distribution of haemosporidian parasites by lineage. Methods In this study molecular approaches (PCR and sequencing) were used to detect avian blood parasites (Plasmodium sp., Haemoproteus sp. and Leucocytozoon sp.) in populations of adult great tits caught on their nests during three consecutive breeding seasons. Results High levels of parasite prevalence (88-96%) were found across all of the study populations with no significant altitude effect. Altitude did, however, govern the distribution of parasites belonging to different genera, with Plasmodium parasites being more prevalent at lower altitudes, Leucocytozoon parasites more at high altitude and Haemoproteus parasite prevalence increasing with altitude. A total of 27 haemosporidian parasite lineages were recorded across all study sites, with diversity showing a positive correlation to altitude. Parasites belonging to lineage SGS1 (P. relictum) and PARUS4 and PARUS19 (Leucocytozoon sp.) dominated lower altitudes. SW2 (P. polare) was the second most prevalent lineage of parasite detected overall and these parasites were responsible for 68% of infections at intermediate altitude, but were only documented at this one study site. Conclusions Avian haemosporidian parasites are not homogeneously distributed across host populations, but differ by altitude. This difference is most probably brought about by environmental factors influencing vector prevalence and distribution. The high occurrence of co-infection by different genera of parasites might have pronounced effects on host fitness and should consequently be investigated more rigorously. PMID:23648230

  2. New species of haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida) from African rainforest birds, with remarks on their classification.

    PubMed

    Valki?nas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Loiseau, Claire; Chasar, Anthony; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2008-10-01

    Plasmodium (Novyella) megaglobularis n. sp. was recorded in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea, and Plasmodium (Novyella) globularis n. sp. and Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) vacuolatus n. sp. were found in the yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris in rainforests of Ghana and Cameroon. These parasites are described based on the morphology of their blood stages and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, which can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of these species. Illustrations of blood stages of new species are given, and phylogenetic analysis identifies deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lineages closely related to these parasites. Traditional taxonomy of avian pigment-forming haemosporidians of the families Plasmodiidae and Haemoproteidae is discussed based on the recent molecular phylogenies of these parasites. We conclude that further work to increase the number of precise linkages between haemosporidian DNA sequences and their corresponding morphospecies is needed before revising the current classification of haemosporidians. This study emphasises the value of both the polymerase chain reaction and microscopy in the identification of avian haemosporidian parasites. PMID:18668264

  3. SPATIAL VARIATION OF HAEMOSPORIDIAN PARASITE INFECTION IN AFRICAN RAINFOREST BIRD SPECIES

    E-print Network

    Sehgal, Ravinder

    SPATIAL VARIATION OF HAEMOSPORIDIAN PARASITE INFECTION IN AFRICAN RAINFOREST BIRD SPECIES Claire: Spatial heterogeneity influences the distribution, prevalence, and diversity of haemosporidian parasites and parasite genotype, and their interactions, but there is little information regarding how parasitemia

  4. Spatial variation of haemosporidian parasite infection in African rainforest bird species.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Claire; Iezhova, Tatjana; Valki?nas, Gediminas; Chasar, Anthony; Hutchinson, Anna; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2010-02-01

    Spatial heterogeneity influences the distribution, prevalence, and diversity of haemosporidian parasites. Previous studies have found complex patterns of prevalence with respect to habitat characteristics and parasite genotype, and their interactions, but there is little information regarding how parasitemia intensity and the prevalence of co-infections may vary in space. Here, using both molecular methods and microscopy, we report an analysis of the variation of parasitemia intensity and co-infections of avian haemosporidian parasites ( Plasmodium and Haemoproteus species) in 2 common African birds species, the yellow-whiskered greenbul ( Andropadus latirostris ) and the olive sunbird ( Cyanomitra olivacea ), at 3 sites with distinct habitat characteristics in Ghana. First, we found an interaction between the site and host species for the prevalence of Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. For the olive sunbird, the prevalence of Plasmodium spp., as well as the number of individuals with co-infections, varied significantly among the sites, but these measures remained constant for the yellow-whiskered greenbul. In addition, yellow-whiskered greenbuls infected with Haemoproteus spp. were found only at 1 site. Furthermore, for both bird species, the parasitemia intensity of Plasmodium spp. varied significantly among the 3 sites, but with opposing trends. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity differently affects haemosporidian infection parameters in these vertebrate-hosts. Environmental conditions here can either favor or reduce parasite infection. We discuss the implications of these discrepancies for conservation and ecological studies of infectious diseases in natural populations. PMID:19860532

  5. Avian haemosporidian parasites infection in wild birds inhabiting Minami-daito Island of the Northwest Pacific, Japan.

    PubMed

    Murata, Koichi; Nii, Ryosuke; Yui, Saori; Sasaki, Emi; Ishikawa, Satoshi; Sato, Yukita; Matsui, Shin; Horie, Sayaka; Akatani, Kana; Takagi, Masaoki; Sawabe, Kyoko; Tsuda, Yoshio

    2008-05-01

    Haemosporidian parasites infection among wild birds inhabiting Minami-daito Island was studied. Blood films from 183 birds representing 4 species of 4 families were examined microscopically. Avian haemosporidian parasites were detected in 3 species with an overall prevalence of 59.6%. None of the 30 Daito scops owls (Otus scops interpositus) examined were infected. Either Haemoproteus sp. or Plasmodium sp. infection was found in 14 of 31 (45.2%) Borodino islands white-eyes (Zosterops japonicus daitoensis). Plasmodium spp. were found in 94 of 102 (92.2%) bull-headed shrikes (Lanius bucephalus) and 1 of 20 (5%) tree sparrows (Passer montanus). PMID:18525175

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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 20,580bp 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Coral, Arelis A; Valki?nas, 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

  13. 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

  14. Differential patterns of molecular evolution among Haemosporidian parasite groups.

    PubMed

    Outlaw, Robert K; Counterman, Brian; Outlaw, Diana C

    2015-04-01

    Malaria parasites have had profound effects on human populations for millennia, but other terrestrial vertebrates are impacted by malaria as well. Entire species of birds have been driven to extinction, and many others are threatened by population declines. Recent studies have shown that host-switching is quite common among malaria parasite lineages, and these switches often involve a significant shift in the environment in which the parasites find themselves, including nucleated vs non-nucleated red blood cells and red vs white blood cells. Therefore, it is important to understand how parasites adapt to these different host environments. The mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene shows evidence of adaptive molecular evolution among malaria parasite groups, putatively because of its critical role in the electron transport chain (ETC) in cellular metabolism. Two hypotheses were addressed here: (1) mitochondrial components of the ETC (cyt b and cytochrome oxidase 1 [COI]) should show evidence of adaptive evolution (i.e., selection) and (2) selection should be evident in host switches. Overall we found a signature of constraint (e.g., purifying selection) across the four genes included here, but we also found evidence of positive selection associated with host switches in cyt b and, surprisingly, in (apicoplast) caseinolytic protease C. These results suggest that evidence of selection should be widespread across these parasite genomes. PMID:25351897

  15. Life history of a malaria parasite (Plasmodium mexicanum): independent traits

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Life history of a malaria parasite (Plasmodium mexicanum): independent traits and basis,VT 05405, USA Plasmodium mexicanum, a malaria parasite of lizards, exhibits substantial variation among histories of microparasites, such as the malaria organisms (Plasmodium). Within its vertebrate host

  16. Plasmodium ovale: Parasite and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Collins, William E.; Jeffery, Geoffrey M.

    2005-01-01

    Humans are infected by four recognized species of malaria parasites. The last of these to be recognized and described is Plasmodium ovale. Like the other malaria parasites of primates, this parasite is only transmitted via the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. The prepatent period in the human ranges from 12 to 20 days. Some forms in the liver have delayed development, and relapse may occur after periods of up to 4 years after infection. The developmental cycle in the blood lasts approximately 49 h. An examination of records from induced infections indicated that there were an average of 10.3 fever episodes of ?101°F and 4.5 fever episodes of ?104°F. Mean maximum parasite levels were 6,944/?l for sporozoite-induced infections and 7,310/?l for trophozoite-induced infections. Exoerythrocytic stages have been demonstrated in the liver of humans, chimpanzees, and Saimiri monkeys following injection of sporozoites. Many different Anopheles species have been shown to be susceptible to infection with P. ovale, including A. gambiae, A. atroparvus, A. dirus, A. freeborni, A. albimanus, A. quadrimaculatus, A. stephensi, A. maculatus, A. subpictus, and A. farauti. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay has been developed to detect mosquitoes infected with P. ovale using a monoclonal antibody directed against the circumsporozoite protein. Plasmodium ovale is primarily distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It has also been reported from numerous islands in the western Pacific. In more recent years, there have been reports of its distribution on the Asian mainland. Whether or not it will become a major public health problem there remains to be seen. The diagnosis of P. ovale is based primarily on the characteristics of the blood stages and its differentiation from P. vivax. The sometimes elliptical shape of the infected erythrocyte is often diagnostic when combined with other, subtler differences in morphology. The advent of molecular techniques, primarily PCR, has made diagnostic confirmation possible. The development of techniques for the long-term frozen preservation of malaria parasites has allowed the development diagnostic reference standards for P. ovale. Infections in chimpanzees are used to provide reference and diagnostic material for serologic and molecular studies because this parasite has not been shown to develop in other nonhuman primates, nor has it adapted to in vitro culture. There is no evidence to suggest that P. ovale is closely related phylogenetically to any other of the primate malaria parasites that have been examined. PMID:16020691

  17. 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

  18. Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale – the ‘bashful’ malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Ivo; Zimmerman, Peter A.; Reeder, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Although Plasmodium malariae was first described as an infectious disease of humans by Golgi in 1886 and Plasmodium ovale identified by Stevens in 1922, there are still large gaps in our knowledge of the importance of these infections as causes of malaria in different parts of the world. They have traditionally been thought of as mild illnesses that are caused by rare and, in case of P. ovale, short-lived parasites. However, recent advances in sensitive PCR diagnosis are causing a re-evaluation of this assumption. Low-level infection seems to be common across malaria-endemic areas, often as complex mixed infections. The potential interactions of P. malariae and P. ovale with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax might explain some basic questions of malaria epidemiology, and understanding these interactions could have an important influence on the deployment of interventions such as malaria vaccines. PMID:17459775

  19. Description of the first cryptic avian malaria parasite, Plasmodium homocircumflexum n. sp., with experimental data on its virulence and development in avian hosts and mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Palinauskas, Vaidas; Žiegyt?, Rita; Ilg?nas, Mikas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Bernotien?, Rasa; Bolshakov, Casimir; Valki?nas, Gediminas

    2015-01-01

    For over 100 years studies on avian haemosporidian parasite species have relied on similarities in their morphology to establish a species concept. Some exceptional cases have also included information about the life cycle and sporogonic development. More than 50 avian Plasmodium spp. have now been described. However, PCR-based studies show a much broader diversity of haemosporidian parasites, indicating the possible existence of a diverse group of cryptic species. In the present study, using both similarity and phylogenetic species definition concepts, we believe that we report the first characterised cryptic speciation case of an avian Plasmodium parasite. We used sequence information on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and constructed phylogenies of identified Plasmodium spp. to define their position in the phylogenetic tree. After analysis of blood stages, the morphology of the parasite was shown to be identical to Plasmodium circumflexum. However, the geographic distribution of the new parasite, the phylogenetic information, as well as patterns of development of infection, indicate that this parasite differs from P. circumflexum. Plasmodium homocircumflexum n. sp. was described based on information about genetic differences from described lineages, phylogenetic position and biological characters. This parasite develops parasitemia in experimentally infected birds - the domestic canary Serinus canaria domestica, siskin Carduelis spinus and crossbill Loxia curvirostra. Anaemia caused by high parasitemia, as well as cerebral paralysis caused by exoerythrocytic stages in the brain, are the main reasons for mortality. Exoerythrocytic stages also form in other organs (heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, intestines and pectoral muscles). DNA amplification was unsuccessful from faecal samples of heavily infected birds. The sporogonic development initiates, but is abortive, at the oocyst stage in two common European mosquito species, Culex pipiens pipiens (forms pipiens and molestus) and Aedes vexans. Vectors of this Plasmodium sp. remain unknown. PMID:25449950

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Sex ratios in the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi 

    E-print Network

    Reece, S E; Duncan, Alison B; West, Stuart A; Read, Andrew F

    2003-01-01

    The sex ratios of malaria and related Apicomplexan parasites play a major role in transmission success. Here, we address 2 fundamental issues in the sex ratios of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi. First we ...

  2. Central carbon metabolism of Plasmodium parasites

    PubMed Central

    Olszewski, Kellen L.; Llinás, Manuel

    2010-01-01

    The central role of metabolic perturbation to the pathology of malaria, the promise of antimetabolites as antimalarial drugs and a basic scientific interest in understanding this fascinating example of highly divergent microbial metabolism has spurred a major and concerted research effort towards elucidating the metabolic network of the Plasmodium parasites. Central carbon metabolism, broadly comprising the flow of carbon from nutrients into biomass, has been a particular focus due to clear and early indications that it plays an essential role in this network. Decades of painstaking efforts have significantly clarified our understanding of these pathways of carbon flux, and this foundational knowledge, coupled with the advent of advanced analytical technologies, have set the stage for the development of a holistic, network-level model of plasmodial carbon metabolism. In this review we summarize the current state of knowledge regarding central carbon metabolism and suggest future avenues of research. We focus primarily on the blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal of the human malaria parasites, but also integrate results from simian, avian and rodent models of malaria that were a major focus of early investigations into plasmodial metabolism. PMID:20849882

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. VECTOR/PATHOGEN/HOST INTERACTION, TRANSMISSION Virulence of a Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, for Its Sand

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    VECTOR/PATHOGEN/HOST INTERACTION, TRANSMISSION Virulence of a Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium that virulence of parasites for mobile vector insects will be low for natural parasite-host associations that have coevolved. I determined virulence of the malaria parasite of lizards, Plasmodium mexicanum

  6. 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

  7. Proteomics of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Sims, Paul FG; Hyde, John E

    2009-01-01

    The lethal species of malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, continues to exact a huge toll of mortality and morbidity, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Completion of the genome sequence of this organism and advances in proteomics and mass spectrometry have opened up unprecedented opportunities for understanding the complex biology of this parasite and how it responds to drug challenge and other interventions. This review describes recent progress that has been made in applying proteomics technology to this important pathogen and provides a look forward to likely future developments. PMID:16445353

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

    E-print Network

    Aingaran, Mythili

    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 ...

  9. 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

  10. Microfluidic biomechanical assay for red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum

    E-print Network

    Ma, Hongshen

    Microfluidic biomechanical assay for red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum Quan Guo December 2011 DOI: 10.1039/c2lc20857a Red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum can and simplified analysis, we developed a microfluidic device to measure red blood cell deformability using

  11. Ecole doctorale Sciences Chimiques et Biologiques pour la Sant Titre Modlisation intgre du mtabolisme des lipides chez Plasmodium, parasite causal

    E-print Network

    Radulescu, Ovidiu

    métabolisme des lipides chez Plasmodium, parasite causal du paludisme. Title Systems biology modelling of lipid metabolism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium. Directeur de thèse : M. Ovidiu RADULESCU - Tel : 04 Plasmodium est d'un intérêt certain car il paraît essentiel à la survie de ce parasite et est l'objet d

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

    E-print Network

    Dao, Ming

    Host cell deformability is linked to transmission in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium the majority of parasites proliferate asexu- ally in red blood cells, a small fraction of parasites undergo of asexual red blood cell stage parasites has been investigated in great detail. These studies have

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Structural basis for parasite-specific functions of the divergent profilin of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Kursula, Inari; Kursula, Petri; Ganter, Markus; Panjikar, Santosh; Matuschewski, Kai; Schüler, Herwig

    2008-11-12

    Profilins are key regulators of actin dynamics. They sequester actin monomers, forming a pool for rapid polymer formation stimulated by proteins such as formins. Apicomplexan parasites utilize a highly specialized microfilament system for motility and host cell invasion. Their genomes encode only a small number of divergent actin regulators. We present the first crystal structure of an apicomplexan profilin, that of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, alone and in complex with a polyproline ligand peptide. The most striking feature of Plasmodium profilin is a unique minidomain consisting of a large beta-hairpin extension common to all apicomplexan parasites, and an acidic loop specific for Plasmodium species. Reverse genetics in the rodent malaria model, Plasmodium berghei, suggests that profilin is essential for the invasive blood stages of the parasite. Together, our data establish the structural basis for understanding the functions of profilin in the malaria parasite. PMID:19000816

  15. Species concepts and malaria parasites: detecting a cryptic species of Plasmodium

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Species concepts and malaria parasites: detecting a cryptic species of Plasmodium Susan L. Perkins{ Department of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington,VT 05405, USA Species of malaria parasite (phylum concepts for malaria parasites reveals the limited value of using only similarity measures in de

  16. Variation in life-history traits of Plasmodium mexicanum, a malaria parasite infecting western

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    peak parasitemias and population growth rates of asexual forms, gametocytes, and total parasites. AmongVariation in life-history traits of Plasmodium mexicanum, a malaria parasite infecting western fence lizards: a longitudinal study Rebecca J. Eisen Abstract: The life history of malaria parasites

  17. Alternative Protein Secretion in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  19. Microsatellite loci over a thirty-three year period for a malaria parasite (Plasmodium mexicanum): bottleneck in effective

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Microsatellite loci over a thirty-three year period for a malaria parasite (Plasmodium mexicanum for protist parasites. Microsatellite allele frequencies for 4 loci were followed in a population of Plasmodium mexicanum, a malaria parasite of lizards in California USA at 1 site from 1978 to 2010. Rapid

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Gametocyte sex ratio in single-clone infections of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Gametocyte sex ratio in single-clone infections of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum A 12 July 2010) SUMMARY Sex ratio theory predicts that malaria parasites should bias gametocyte system later in the infection. Recent experimental studies reveal genetic variation for gametocyte sex

  4. 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.

  5. The ecology of host immune responses to chronic avian haemosporidian infection.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Vincenzo A; Kunkel, Melanie R; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2014-11-01

    Host responses to parasitism in the wild are often studied in the context of single host-parasite systems, which provide little insight into the ecological dynamics of host-parasite interactions within a community. Here we characterized immune system responses to mostly low-intensity, chronic infection by haemosporidian parasites in a sample of 424 individuals of 22 avian host species from the same local assemblage in the Missouri Ozarks. Two types of white blood cells (heterophils and lymphocytes) were elevated in infected individuals across species, as was the acute-phase protein haptoglobin, which is associated with inflammatory immune responses. Linear discriminant analysis indicated that individuals infected by haemosporidians occupied a subset of the overall white blood cell multivariate space that was also occupied by uninfected individuals, suggesting that these latter individuals might have harbored other pathogens or that parasites more readily infect individuals with a specific white blood cell profile. DNA sequence-defined lineages of haemosporidian parasites were sparsely distributed across the assemblage of hosts. In one well-sampled host species, the red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), heterophils were significantly elevated in individuals infected with one but not another of two common parasite lineages. Another well-sampled host, the yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens), exhibited no differences in immune response to different haemosporidian lineages. Our results indicate that while immune responses to infection may be generalized across host species, parasite-specific immune responses may also occur. PMID:25179282

  6. Engineered tools for studying the malaria parasite plasmodium falciparum

    E-print Network

    Wall, Bridget (Bridget Anne)

    2015-01-01

    New techniques to both prevent and treat the disease malaria are necessary. To develop these novel strategies, innovative tools must be designed to study the basic biology within Plasmodium falciparum and characteristics ...

  7. New malaria parasites of the subgenus Novyella in African rainforest birds, with remarks on their high prevalence, classification and diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Valki?nas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Loiseau, Claire; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2009-04-01

    Blood samples from 655 passerine birds were collected in rainforests of Ghana and Cameroon and examined both by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques. The overall prevalence of Plasmodium spp. was 46.6%, as determined by combining the results of both these diagnostic methods. In comparison to PCR-based diagnostics, microscopic examination of blood films was more sensitive in determining simultaneous infection of Plasmodium spp., but both detection methods showed similar trends of prevalence of malaria parasites in the same study sites. Plasmodium (Novyella) lucens n. sp., Plasmodium (Novyella) multivacuolaris n. sp. and Plasmodium (Novyella) parahexamerium n. sp. were found in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea (Nectariniidae), yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris (Picnonotidae), and white-tailed alethe Alethe diademata (Turdidae), respectively. These parasites are described based on the morphology of their blood stages and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene, which can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of these species. Illustrations of blood stages of new species are given, and phylogenetic analysis identifies DNA lineages closely related to these parasites. Malaria parasites of the subgenus Novyella with small erythrocytic meronts clearly predominate in African passerines. It is probable that the development of such meronts is a characteristic feature of evolution of Plasmodium spp. in African rainforest birds. Subgeneric taxonomy of avian Plasmodium spp. is discussed based on the recent molecular phylogenies of these parasites. It is concluded that a multi-genome phylogeny is needed before revising the current subgeneric classification of Plasmodium. We supported a hypothesis by Hellgren, Krizanauskiene, Valki?nas, Bensch (J Parasitol 93:889-896, 2007), according to which, haemosporidian species with a genetic differentiation of over 5% in mitochondrial cyt b gene are expected to be morphologically differentiated. This study emphasises the importance of employing both PCR-based and microscopic methods in taxonomic, ecological and evolutionary investigations of avian haemosporidian parasites. PMID:19107524

  8. A microfluidic platform to isolate avian erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium gallinaceum malaria parasites based

    E-print Network

    Tang, William C

    A microfluidic platform to isolate avian erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium gallinaceum malaria to isolate and study avian red blood cells (RBCs) infected to various degrees by the malaria parasite on the surface of the malaria infected avian RBC (miaRBCs) as biomarkers for diagnosis. A glass substrate

  9. 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

  10. Role of complex II in anaerobic respiration of the parasite mitochondria from Ascaris suum and Plasmodium falciparum

    E-print Network

    Leps, Jan "Suspa"

    Review Role of complex II in anaerobic respiration of the parasite mitochondria from Ascaris suum^fumarate reductase; Anaerobic respiration; Parasite mitochondria; Plasmodium falciparum; Ascaris suum 1. Introduction plays an important role in the anaerobic energy metabolism of parasites inhabiting hosts, by acting

  11. Clonal diversity of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its transmission success from its vertebrate-to-insect host

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Clonal diversity of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its transmission success from its: Received 6 March 2009 Received in revised form 13 May 2009 Accepted 15 May 2009 Keywords: Malaria Transmission Bottlenecks Clonal diversity Plasmodium mexicanum a b s t r a c t Infections of the lizard malaria

  12. Organellar proteomics reveals hundreds of novel nuclear proteins in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The post-genomic era of malaria research provided unprecedented insights into the biology of Plasmodium parasites. Due to the large evolutionary distance to model eukaryotes, however, we lack a profound understanding of many processes in Plasmodium biology. One example is the cell nucleus, which controls the parasite genome in a development- and cell cycle-specific manner through mostly unknown mechanisms. To study this important organelle in detail, we conducted an integrative analysis of the P. falciparum nuclear proteome. Results We combined high accuracy mass spectrometry and bioinformatic approaches to present for the first time an experimentally determined core nuclear proteome for P. falciparum. Besides a large number of factors implicated in known nuclear processes, one-third of all detected proteins carry no functional annotation, including many phylum- or genus-specific factors. Importantly, extensive experimental validation using 30 transgenic cell lines confirmed the high specificity of this inventory, and revealed distinct nuclear localization patterns of hitherto uncharacterized proteins. Further, our detailed analysis identified novel protein domains potentially implicated in gene transcription pathways, and sheds important new light on nuclear compartments and processes including regulatory complexes, the nucleolus, nuclear pores, and nuclear import pathways. Conclusion Our study provides comprehensive new insight into the biology of the Plasmodium nucleus and will serve as an important platform for dissecting general and parasite-specific nuclear processes in malaria parasites. Moreover, as the first nuclear proteome characterized in any protist organism, it will provide an important resource for studying evolutionary aspects of nuclear biology. PMID:23181666

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum originated in Africa, dispersed around the world as a result of human migration and had to adapt to several different indigenous anopheline mosquitoes. Anophelines from the New World are evolutionary distant form African ones and this probably resulted in a more stringent selection of Plasmodium as it adapted to these vectors. It is thought that Plasmodium has been genetically selected by some anopheline species through unknown mechanisms. The mosquito immune system can greatly limit infection and P. falciparum evolved a strategy to evade these responses, at least in part mediated by Pfs47, a highly polymorphic gene. We propose that adaptation of P. falciparum to new vectors may require evasion of their immune system. Parasites with a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with the indigenous mosquito vector would be able to survive and be transmitted. The mosquito antiplasmodial response could be an important determinant of P. falciparum population structure and could affect malaria transmission in the Americas. PMID:25185006

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Continuous force-displacement relationships for the human red blood cell at different erythrocytic developmental stages of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite

    E-print Network

    Dao, Ming

    developmental stages of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite John P. Mills1 , Lan Qie3 , Ming Dao1 , Kevin S that the malaria parasite Plasmodium (P.) falciparum could result in significant stiffening of infected human red in the advanced stages of parasite development in the erythrocyte, and suggest a significantly greater stiffening

  18. An Ancient Protein Phosphatase, SHLP1, Is Critical to Microneme Development in Plasmodium Ookinetes and Parasite Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Guttery, David S.; Poulin, Benoit; Ramakrishnan, Chandra; Ferguson, David J.P.; Wall, Richard J.; Brady, Declan; Holder, Anthony A.; Szö?r, Balázs; Tewari, Rita

    2013-01-01

    Summary Signaling pathways controlled by reversible protein phosphorylation (catalyzed by kinases and phosphatases) in the malaria parasite Plasmodium are of great interest, for both increased understanding of parasite biology and identification of novel drug targets. Here, we report a functional analysis in Plasmodium of an ancient bacterial Shewanella-like protein phosphatase (SHLP1) found only in bacteria, fungi, protists, and plants. SHLP1 is abundant in asexual blood stages and expressed at all stages of the parasite life cycle. shlp1 deletion results in a reduction in ookinete (zygote) development, microneme formation, and complete ablation of oocyst formation, thereby blocking parasite transmission. This defect is carried by the female gamete and can be rescued by direct injection of mutant ookinetes into the mosquito hemocoel, where oocysts develop. This study emphasizes the varied functions of SHLP1 in Plasmodium ookinete biology and suggests that it could be a novel drug target for blocking parasite transmission. PMID:23434509

  19. 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.; Valki?nas, 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

  20. Species concepts and malaria parasites: detecting a cryptic species of Plasmodium.

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, S L

    2000-01-01

    Species of malaria parasite (phylum Apicomplexa: genus Plasmodium) have traditionally been described using the similarity species concept (based primarily on differences in morphological or life-history characteristics). The biological species concept (reproductive isolation) and phylogenetic species concept (based on monophyly) have not been used before in defining species of Plasmodium. Plasmodium azurophilum, described from Anolis lizards in the eastern Caribbean, is actually a two-species cryptic complex. The parasites were studied from eight islands, from Puerto Rico in the north to Grenada in the south. Morphology of the two species is very similar (differences are indistinguishable to the eye), but one infects only erythrocytes and the other only white blood cells. Molecular data for the cytochrome b gene reveal that the two forms are reproductively isolated; distinct haplotypes are present on each island and are never shared between the erythrocyte-infecting and leucocyte-infecting species. Each forms a monophyletic lineage indicating that they diverged before becoming established in the anoles of the eastern Caribbean. This comparison of the similarity, biological and phylogenetic species concepts for malaria parasites reveals the limited value of using only similarity measures in defining protozoan species. PMID:11413654

  1. Testing sex ratio theory with the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum in natural and experimental infections.

    PubMed

    Neal, Allison T; Schall, Jos J

    2014-04-01

    The malaria parasite (Plasmodium) life history accords well with the assumptions of local mate competition (LMC) of sex ratio theory. Within a single meal of the blood-feeding vector, sexually dimorphic gametocyte cells produce gametes (females produce one, males several) that mate and undergo sexual recombination. The theory posits several factors drive the Plasmodium sex ratio: male fecundity (gametes/male gametocyte), number and relative abundance of parasite clones, and gametocyte density. We measured these traits for the lizard malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, with a large sample of natural infections and infections from experiments that manipulated clonal diversity. Sex ratio in single-clone infections was slightly female-biased, but matched predictions of theory for this low-fecundity species. Sex ratio was less female-biased in clonally diverse infections as predicted by LMC for the experimental, but not natural infections. Gametocyte density was not positively related to sex ratio. These results are explained by the P. mexicanum life history of naturally low clonal diversity and high gametocyte production. This is the first study of a natural malaria system that examines all traits relevant to LMC in individual vertebrate hosts and suggests a striking example of sex ratio theory having significance for human public health. PMID:24350982

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Eukaryotic high-mobility-group-box (HMGB) proteins are nuclear factors involved in chromatin remodeling and transcription regulation. When released into the extracellular milieu, HMGB1 acts as a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of several immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. We found that the Plasmodium genome encodes two genuine HMGB factors, Plasmodium HMGB1 and HMGB2, that encompass, like their human counterparts, a proinflammatory domain. Given that these proteins are released from parasitized red blood cells, we then hypothesized that Plasmodium HMGB might contribute to the pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), a lethal neuroinflammatory syndrome that develops in C57BL/6 (susceptible) mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA and that in many aspects resembles human cerebral malaria elicited by P. falciparum infection. The pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria was suppressed in C57BL/6 mice infected with P. berghei ANKA lacking the hmgb2 gene (?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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Studies of the Plasmodium falciparum transcriptome have shown that the tightly controlled progression of the parasite through the intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC) is accompanied by a continuous gene expression cascade in which most expressed genes exhibit a single transcriptional peak. Because the biochemical and cellular functions of most genes are mediated by the encoded proteins, understanding the relationship between mRNA and protein levels is crucial for inferring biological activity from transcriptional gene expression data. Although studies on other organisms show that <50% of protein abundance variation may be attributable to corresponding mRNA levels, the situation in Plasmodium is further complicated by the dynamic nature of the cyclic gene expression cascade. In this study, we simultaneously determined mRNA and protein abundance profiles for P. falciparum parasites during the IDC at 2-hour resolution based on oligonucleotide microarrays and two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis protein gels. We find that most proteins are represented by more than one isoform, presumably because of post-translational modifications. Like transcripts, most proteins exhibit cyclic abundance profiles with one peak during the IDC, whereas the presence of functionally related proteins is highly correlated. In contrast, the abundance of most parasite proteins peaks significantly later (median 11 h) than the corresponding transcripts and often decreases slowly in the second half of the IDC. Computational modeling indicates that the considerable and varied incongruence between transcript and protein abundance may largely be caused by the dynamics of translation and protein degradation. Furthermore, we present cyclic abundance profiles also for parasite-associated human proteins and confirm the presence of five human proteins with a potential role in antioxidant defense within the parasites. Together, our data provide fundamental insights into transcript-protein relationships in P. falciparum that are important for the correct interpretation of transcriptional data and that may facilitate the improvement and development of malaria diagnostics and drug therapy. PMID:21558492

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Chromatin-Mediated Epigenetic Regulation in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ?

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Liwang; Miao, Jun

    2010-01-01

    Malaria is a major public health problem in many developing countries, with the malignant tertian parasite Plasmodium falciparum causing the most malaria-associated mortality. Extensive research, especially with the advancement of genomics and transfection tools, has highlighted the fundamental importance of chromatin-mediated gene regulation in the developmental program of this early-branching eukaryote. The Plasmodium parasite genomes reveal the existence of both canonical and variant histones that make up the nucleosomes, as well as a full collection of conserved enzymes for chromatin remodeling and histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Recent studies have identified a wide array of both conserved and novel histone PTMs in P. falciparum, indicating the presence of a complex and divergent “histone code.” Genome-wide analysis has begun to decipher the nucleosome landscape and histone modifications associated with the dynamic organization of chromatin structures during the parasite's life cycle. Focused studies on malaria-specific phenomena such as antigenic variation and red cell invasion pathways shed further light on the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in these processes. Here we review our current understanding of chromatin-mediated gene regulation in malaria parasites, with specific reference to exemplar studies on antigenic variation and host cell invasion. PMID:20453074

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Actin is required for endocytic trafficking in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Smythe, Wynand A; Joiner, Keith A; Hoppe, Heinrich C

    2008-02-01

    The intra-erythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite endocytose large quantities of the surrounding erythrocyte cytoplasm and deliver it to a digestive food vacuole via endocytic vesicles. Digestion provides amino acids for parasite protein synthesis and is required to maintain the osmotic integrity of the host cell. The parasite endocytic pathway has been described morphologically by electron microscopy, but the molecular mechanisms that mediate and regulate it remain elusive. Given the involvement of actin in endocytosis in other eukaryotes, we have used actin inhibitors to assess the requirement for this protein in the endocytic pathway of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Treatment of cultures with cytochalasin D did not affect haemoglobin levels in the parasites when co-administered with protease inhibitors, and neither did it affect the uptake of the endocytic tracer horseradish peroxidase, suggesting the absence of actin in the mechanism of endocytosis. However, in the absence of protease inhibitors, treated parasites contained increased levels of haemoglobin due to an accumulation of enlarged endocytic vesicles, as determined by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, suggesting a role for actin in vesicle trafficking, possibly by mediating vesicle maturation and/or fusion to the digestive vacuole. In contrast to cytochalasin D, treatment with jasplakinolide led to an inhibition of endocytosis, an accumulation of vesicles closer to the plasma membrane and a marked concentration of actin in the parasite cortex. We propose that the stabilization of cortical actin filaments by jasplakinolide interferes with normal endocytic vesicle formation and migration from the cell periphery. PMID:17944961

  11. A lactate and formate transporter in the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Marchetti, Rosa V; Lehane, Adele M; Shafik, Sarah H; Winterberg, Markus; Martin, Rowena E; Kirk, Kiaran

    2015-01-01

    The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite relies primarily on glycolysis to fuel its rapid growth and reproduction. The major byproduct of this metabolism, lactic acid, is extruded into the external medium. In this study, we show that the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum expresses at its surface a member of the microbial formate-nitrite transporter family (PfFNT), which, when expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, transports both formate and lactate. The transport characteristics of PfFNT in oocytes (pH-dependence, inhibitor-sensitivity and kinetics) are similar to those of the transport of lactate and formate across the plasma membrane of mature asexual-stage P. falciparum trophozoites, consistent with PfFNT playing a major role in the efflux of lactate and hence in the energy metabolism of the intraerythrocytic parasite. PMID:25823844

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    We describe methods for the large-scale in vitro culturing of synchronous and asynchronous blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites in sterile disposable plastic bioreactors controlled by wave-induced motion (wave bioreactor). These cultures perform better than static flask cultures in terms of preserving parasite cell cycle synchronicity and reducing the number of multiple-infected erythrocytes. The straight-forward methods described here will facilitate the large scale production of malaria parasites for antigen and organelle isolation and characterisation, for the high throughput screening of compound libraries with whole cells or extracts, and the development of live- or whole-cell malaria vaccines under good manufacturing practice compliant standards. PMID:22326740

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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 M; Rodrigues, Elisandra M; Lonardi, Stefano; Hicks, Glenn R; Wang, Yinsheng; Le Roch, Karine G

    2013-12-11

    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 (Plasmodium falciparum DNA methyltransferase; PfDNMT) that may mediate these genomic modifications. These analyses revealed that the malaria genome is asymmetrically methylated and shares common features with undifferentiated plant and mammalian cells. Notably, core promoters are hypomethylated, and transcript levels correlate with intraexonic 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 the uniqueness of PfDNMT suggest that the methylation pathway is a potential target for antimalarial strategies. PMID:24331467

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

    In this review, we bring together some of the approaches toward understanding the cellular and molecular biology of Plasmodium species and their interaction with their host red blood cells. Considerable impetus has come from the development of new methods of molecular genetics and bioinformatics, and it is important to evaluate the wealth of these novel data in the context of basic cell biology. We describe how these approaches are gaining valuable insights into the parasite-host cell interaction, including (1) the multistep process of red blood cell invasion by the merozoite; (2) the mechanisms by which the intracellular parasite feeds on the red blood cell and exports parasite proteins to modify its cytoadherent properties; (3) the modulation of the cell cycle by sensing the environmental tryptophan-related molecules; (4) the mechanism used to survive in a low Ca(2+) concentration inside red blood cells; (5) the activation of signal transduction machinery and the regulation of intracellular calcium; (6) transfection technology; and (7) transcriptional regulation and genome-wide mRNA studies in Plasmodium falciparum. PMID:18544493

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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 (? = 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum shares its most recent common ancestor with parasites found in African apes; these species constitute the so-called Laverania clade. In this investigation, the evolutionary history of Plasmodium lineages found in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) was explored. Methods Here, the remainders of 74 blood samples collected as part of the chimpanzees’ routine health examinations were studied. For all positive samples with parasite lineages belonging to the Laverania clade, the complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA), the gene encoding dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (dhfr-ts), the chloroquine resistance transporter (Pfcrt), the circumsporozoite protein (csp), merozoite surface protein 2 (msp2), and the DBL-1 domain from var2CSA were amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Other Plasmodium species were included in the mtDNA, dhfr-ts, and csp analyses. Phylogenetic and evolutionary genetic analyses were performed, including molecular clock analyses on the mtDNA. Results/Conclusions Nine chimpanzees were malaria positive (12.2%); four of those infections were identified as P. falciparum, two as a Plasmodium reichenowi-like parasite or Plasmodium sp., one as Plasmodium gaboni, and two as Plasmodium malariae. All P. falciparum isolates were resistant to chloroquine indicating that the chimpanzees acquired such infections from humans in recent times. Such findings, however, are not sufficient for implicating chimpanzees as an animal reservoir for P. falciparum. Timing estimates support that the Laverania clade has co-existed with hominids for a long-period of time. The proposed species P. gaboni, Plasmodium billbrayi, and Plasmodium billcollinsi are monophyletic groups supporting that they are indeed different species. An expanded CSP phylogeny is presented, including all the Laverania species and other malarial parasites. Contrasting with other Plasmodium, the Laverania csp exhibits great conservation at the central tandem repeat region. Msp2 and var2CSA, however, show extended recent polymorphism in P. falciparum that likely originated after the P. reichenowi-P. falciparum split. The accumulation of such diversity may indicate adaptation to the human host. These examples support the notion that comparative approaches among P. falciparum and its related species will be of great value in understanding the evolution of proteins that are important in parasite invasion of the human red blood cell, as well as those involved in malaria pathogenesis. PMID:24044371

  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

    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 (??>?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

    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.

  4. 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 (??>?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

  5. 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.

  6. Parasite density and serum cytokine levels in Plasmodium vivax malaria in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Zeyrek, F Yildiz; Kurcer, M A; Zeyrek, D; Simsek, Z

    2006-05-01

    We aimed to investigate the relationship between quantitative Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia and serum cytokine levels in a highly endemic region of Turkey, where such a relation has not been investigated before. Active screening was done in a total of 1316 people residing in 33 villages of Sanliurfa province, Turkey. The study population consisted of 79 consecutive patients with P. vivax malaria, and a control group included 89 healthy subjects. Thick blood smears were examined for malaria parasite and parasite count. Serum samples were analysed for IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and IL-12 by the ELISA method. Compared to controls, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, i.e. IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-12, were significantly higher in patients with parasitaemia. There was a significant positive correlation between serum IL-10 and IL-12 levels and the parasite burden (r = 0.264, P = 0.024 and r = 0.264, P = 0.024, respectively). Serum IL-8 levels showed a significant negative correlation with parasite burden (r =-0.356, P = 0.002). There was a positive correlation between IL-8 levels and age, while the opposite was observed for IL-12. High fever was correlated with IL-6 and IL-10 levels. Compared to controls, patients with a parasite count greater than 5000/microL had a significantly higher IL-1beta and IL-10 levels (P < 0.05), while the difference was not significant for patients with a parasite count less than 1000/microL. Thus, we can conclude that pro-inflammatory response against P. vivax gains more importance during periods of increased parasite burden. PMID:16629705

  7. Improved transfection and new selectable markers for the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii.

    PubMed

    Jongco, Artemio M; Ting, Li-Min; Thathy, Vandana; Mota, Maria M; Kim, Kami

    2006-04-01

    The rodent malaria Plasmodium yoelii is a useful model to study protective immunity to pre-erythrocytic stages of infection, pathogenesis of erythrocytic stages, and vaccine development. However, the utility of the P. yoelii model system has not been fully realized because transfection and genetic manipulation methodologies for this rodent species are less developed than that of another rodent species Plasmodium berghei. Here we report improved transfection efficiency using the AMAXA nucleofector system compared to conventional transfection methodologies. We also show that heterologous promoters from P. berghei can be used to drive expression of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter protein in P. yoelii. In an effort to develop additional selectable markers for this parasite, we also tested positive selectable markers that have been used successfully in P. falciparum and P. berghei. Human dihydrofolate reductase (hdhfr) and Toxoplasma gondii dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (Tgdhfr-ts) conferred drug resistance to WR99210 and pyrimethamine, respectively, when introduced as episomes. These improvements should make genetic manipulation of P. yoelii more amenable and facilitate further studies of host-parasite interactions using this attractive rodent model. PMID:16458371

  8. 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

  9. Parasite impairment by targeting Plasmodium-infected RBCs using glyceryl-dilaurate nanostructured lipid carriers.

    PubMed

    Jain, Soniya A; Basu, Himanish; Prabhu, Priyanka S; Soni, Umangi; Joshi, Medha D; Mathur, Deepak; Patravale, Vandana B; Pathak, Sulabha; Sharma, Shobhona

    2014-08-01

    Antimalarial therapy is a major contributor to declining malaria morbidity and mortality. However, the high toxicity and low bioavailability of current antimalarials and emerging drug resistance necessitates drug-delivery research. We have previously developed glyceryl-dilaurate nanolipid carriers (GDL-NLCs) for antimalarial drug delivery. Here, we show evidence that GDL-NLCs themselves selectively target Plasmodium-infected red blood cells (iRBCs), and cause severe parasite impairment. The glyceryl-dilaurate lipid-moiety was important in the targeting. GDL-NLCs localized to the parasite mitochondrion and uptake led to mitochondrial-membrane polarization and Ca(2+) ion accumulation, ROS release, and stage-specific iRBC lysis. GDL-NLC treatment also resulted in externalization of iRBC-membrane phosphatidylserine and enhanced iRBC clearance by macrophages. GDL-NLC uptake disrupted the parasite-induced tubulovesicular network, which is vital for nutrient import by the parasite. Laser optical trap studies revealed that GDL-NLCs also restored iRBC flexibility. Such restoration of iRBC flexibility may help mitigate the vasculature clogging that can lead to cerebral malaria. We demonstrate the suitability of GDL-NLCs for intravenous delivery of antimalarial combinations artemether-clindamycin and artemether-lumefantrine in the murine model. Complete parasite clearance was achieved at 5-20% of the therapeutic dose of these combinations. Thus, this nanostructured lipid formulation can solubilize lipophilic drugs, selectively target and impair the parasite-infected red cell, and therefore constitutes a potent delivery vehicle for antimalarials. PMID:24818881

  10. ESTABLISHMENT EFFICIENCY AMONG CLONES OF THE MALARIA PARASITE, PLASMODIUM MEXICANUM, FOR MIXED-CLONE INFECTIONS IN ITS NATURAL LIZARD

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    ESTABLISHMENT EFFICIENCY AMONG CLONES OF THE MALARIA PARASITE, PLASMODIUM MEXICANUM, FOR MIXED-CLONE clones in the vertebrate host's blood can influence clonal competition, transmission success, gametocyte sex ratio, and virulence. Clonal proportions depend on establishment success of each clone when

  11. 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

  12. 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.; Valki?nas, 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

  13. 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.

  14. Blood parasites in owls with conservation implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Ishak, Heather D; Dumbacher, John P; Anderson, Nancy L; Keane, John J; Valki?nas, 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

  15. The MYST Family Histone Acetyltransferase Regulates Gene Expression and Cell Cycle in Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Summary 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 over-expression 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Clonal diversity in a single isolate of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Thaithong, S; Beale, G H; Fenton, B; McBride, J; Rosario, V; Walker, A; Walliker, D

    1984-01-01

    Clones of an isolate of Plasmodium falciparum from Mae Sod (Thailand) were prepared by a dilution procedure. Some of the parasite cultures thus obtained have been typed for the following characters: (i) electrophoretic variants of three enzymes; (ii) susceptibility to chloroquine and pyrimethamine; (iii) antigen diversities recognized by ten strain-specific monoclonal antibodies; (iv) presence or absence of knobs on infected erythrocytes and (v) two-dimensional PAGE variants of seven proteins. Amongst the clones there was variation involving each of these five characters. At least seven different types of clones were found in ten cultures produced by dilution. The amount of phenotypic variation within a single isolate has thus been shown to be surprisingly great. Variations in drug susceptibility and antigens are considered to be particularly important in view of their relevance to anti-malarial treatments. PMID:6380016

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum, has developed resistance to many of the drugs in use. The recommended treatment policy is now to use drug combinations. The atovaquone-proguanil (AP) drug combination, is one of the treatment and prophylaxis options. Atovaquone (ATQ) exerts its action by inhibiting plasmodial mitochondria electron transport at the level of the cytochrome bc1 complex. Plasmodium falciparum in vitro resistance to ATQ has been associated with specific point mutations in the region spanning codons 271-284 of the cytochrome b gene. ATQ -resistant Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium berghei lines have been obtained and resistant lines have amino acid mutations in their CYT b protein sequences. Plasmodium chabaudi model for studying drug-responses and drug-resistance selection is a very useful rodent malaria model but no ATQ resistant parasites have been reported so far. The aim of this study was to determine the ATQ sensitivity of the P. chabaudi clones, to select a resistant parasite line and to perform genotypic characterization of the cytb gene of these clones. Methods To select for ATQ resistance, Plasmodium. chabaudi chabaudi clones were exposed to gradually increasing concentrations of ATQ during several consecutive passages in mice. Plasmodium chabaudi cytb gene was amplified and sequenced. Results ATQ resistance was selected from the clone AS-3CQ. In order to confirm whether an heritable genetic mutation underlies the response of AS-ATQ to ATQ, the stability of the drug resistance phenotype in this clone was evaluated by measuring drug responses after (i) multiple blood passages in the absence of the drug, (ii) freeze/thawing of parasites in liquid nitrogen and (iii) transmission through a mosquito host, Anopheles stephensi. ATQ resistance phenotype of the drug-selected parasite clone kept unaltered. Therefore, ATQ resistance in clone AS-ATQ is genetically encoded. The Minimum Curative Dose of AS-ATQ showed a six-fold increase in MCD to ATQ relative to AS-3CQ. Conclusions A mutation was found on the P. chabaudi cytb gene from the AS-ATQ sample a substitution at the residue Tyr268 for an Asn, this mutation is homologous to the one found in P. falciparum isolates resistant to ATQ. PMID:20492669

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Synek, Petr; Popelková, Alena; Koubínová, Darina; Š?astný, 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

  7. Monoclonal antibodies to stage-specific, species-specific, and cross-reactive antigens of the rodent malarial parasite, Plasmodium yoelii.

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, D W; Kim, K J; Munoz, P A; Evans, C B; Asofsky, R

    1981-01-01

    Eighteen hybridoma cell lines were used to study species-specific, stage-specific, and serological cross-reactive antigens of the rodent malarial parasite, Plasmodium yoelii. Specificity and location of plasmodial antigens were determined by indirect fluorescent-antibody analysis. Results showed that a minimum of 12 distinct plasmodial antigens could be distinguished by the 18 hybridomas. Antigens were found on the surface or within the cytoplasm of the parasite, but not on the surface of erythrocytes from infected animals. The majority (11 of 12) of antigens were present in all erythrocytic stages of the parasite, but one was stage-specific for merozoites. Additional studies showed that 6 of 18 of the monoclonal antibodies identified species-specific antigens, 2 of 18 recognized antigens confined to related rodent malarial parasites (Plasmodium berghei, Plasmodium vinckei, and Plasmodium chabaudi), whereas 8 of 18 detected cross-reactive antigens common to rodent, primate (Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium falciparum), and avian (Plasmodium gallinaceum) malarias. Images PMID:6166558

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    As the intensity of malaria transmission has declined, Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations have displayed decreased clonal diversity resulting from the emergence of many parasites with common genetic signatures (CGS). We have monitored such CGS parasite clusters from 2006 to 2013 in Thiès, Senegal, using the molecular barcode. The first, and one of the largest observed clusters of CGS parasites, was present in 24% of clinical isolates in 2008, declined to 3.4% of clinical isolates in 2009, and then disappeared. To begin to explore the relationship between the immune responses of the population and the emergence and decline of specific parasite genotypes, we have determined whether antibodies to CGS parasites correlate with their prevalence. We measured (i) antibodies capable of inhibiting parasite growth in culture and (ii) antibodies recognizing the surfaces of infected erythrocytes (RBCs). IgG obtained from volunteers in 2009 showed increased reactivity to the surfaces of CGS-parasitized erythrocytes over IgG from 2008. Since P. falciparum EMP-1 (PfEMP-1) is a major variant surface antigen, we used var Ups quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and sequencing with degenerate DBL1? domain primers to characterize the var genes expressed by CGS parasites after short-term in vitro culture. CGS parasites show upregulation of UpsA var genes and 2-cysteine-containing PfEMP-1 molecules and express the same dominant var transcript. Our work indicates that the CGS parasites in this cluster express similar var genes, more than would be expected by chance in the population, and that there is year-to-year variation in immune recognition of surface antigens on CGS parasite-infected erythrocytes. This study lays the groundwork for detailed investigations of the mechanisms driving the expansion or contraction of specific parasite clones in the population. PMID:25368109

  10. Parasite-specific antibody and cytokine profiles in newborns from Plasmodium falciparum and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar-infected mothers.

    PubMed

    Kirch, Astrid K; Agossou, Abram; Banla, Meba; Hoffmann, Wolfgang H; Schulz-Key, Hartwig; Soboslay, Peter T

    2004-04-01

    Passage of parasites and their antigens across the placenta occurs with metazoan as well as protozoan parasites, and this study addressed to which extent exposure to and infection of mothers with Plasmodium spp. and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar has sensitized their offspring for parasite-specific immune responses. While at delivery none of the mothers presented with an acute malaria attack, 42% were seropositive for P. falciparum. In half of the mothers cysts of E. histolytica/dispar were detected in stool specimen, 51% of them were found seropositive for E. histolytica, and E. histolytica-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) responses were detected in neonates of seropositive mothers as well. Umbilical cord blood cells (UCBC) from neonates, when activated with the mitogen phytohaemagglutinine (PHA) and bacterial streptolysin O (SL-O), released significantly less interferon (IFN)-gamma, interleukin (IL)-10 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha into cell culture supernatants than peripheral blood cells (PBMC) of mothers. In response to Plasmodium- and Entamoeba-specific antigens UCBC and PBMC produced equal amounts of IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and IL-5, but PBMC from mothers secreted significantly more IL-10. Parasite-specific production of inflammatory and Th(1)- and Th(2)-type cytokines was similar in newborns of Plasmodium and Entamoeba seropositive and seronegative mothers. In summary, repeated exposure and subclinical infection of mothers with E. histolytica or P. falciparum will suffice to prime in utero their children for inflammatory and both Th(1)- and Th(2)-type cytokine responses, and such broad and mixed cytokine spectrum may be of advantage upon secondary parasite challenge in later life. PMID:15059189

  11. Functional Analysis of Protein Kinase CK2 of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum? †

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Protein kinase CK2 (casein kinase 2) is a eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinase with multiple substrates and roles in diverse cellular processes, including differentiation, proliferation, and translation. The mammalian holoenzyme consists of two catalytic alpha or alpha? subunits and two regulatory beta subunits. We report the identification and characterization of a Plasmodium falciparum CK2? orthologue, PfCK2?, and two PfCK2? orthologues, PfCK2?1 and PfCK2?2. Recombinant PfCK2? possesses protein kinase activity, exhibits similar substrate and cosubstrate preferences to those of CK2? subunits from other organisms, and interacts with both of the PfCK2? subunits in vitro. Gene disruption experiments show that the presence of PfCK2? is crucial to asexual blood stage parasites and thereby validate the enzyme as a possible drug target. PfCK2? is amenable to inhibitor screening, and we report differential susceptibility between the human and P. falciparum CK2? enzymes to a small molecule inhibitor. Taken together, our data identify PfCK2? as a potential target for antimalarial chemotherapeutic intervention. PMID:19114502

  12. 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

  13. Molecular basis of fosmidomycin's action on the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Umeda, Tomonobu; Tanaka, Nobutada; Kusakabe, Yoshio; Nakanishi, Masayuki; Kitade, Yukio; Nakamura, Kazuo T.

    2011-01-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the deaths of more than a million people each year. Fosmidomycin has been proven to be efficient in the treatment of P. falciparum malaria by inhibiting 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR), an enzyme of the non-mevalonate pathway, which is absent in humans. However, the structural details of DXR inhibition by fosmidomycin in P. falciparum are unknown. Here, we report the crystal structures of fosmidomycin-bound complete quaternary complexes of PfDXR. Our study revealed that (i) an intrinsic flexibility of the PfDXR molecule accounts for an induced-fit movement to accommodate the bound inhibitor in the active site and (ii) a cis arrangement of the oxygen atoms of the hydroxamate group of the bound inhibitor is essential for tight binding of the inhibitor to the active site metal. We expect the present structures to be useful guides for the design of more effective antimalarial compounds. PMID:22355528

  14. 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

  15. NSR-seq transcriptional profiling enables identification of a gene signature of Plasmodium falciparum parasites infecting children.

    PubMed

    Vignali, Marissa; Armour, Christopher D; Chen, Jingyang; Morrison, Robert; Castle, John C; Biery, Matthew C; Bouzek, Heather; Moon, Wonjong; Babak, Tomas; Fried, Michal; Raymond, Christopher K; Duffy, Patrick E

    2011-03-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum results in approximately 1 million annual deaths worldwide, with young children and pregnant mothers at highest risk. Disease severity might be related to parasite virulence factors, but expression profiling studies of parasites to test this hypothesis have been hindered by extensive sequence variation in putative virulence genes and a preponderance of host RNA in clinical samples. We report here the application of RNA sequencing to clinical isolates of P. falciparum, using not-so-random (NSR) primers to successfully exclude human ribosomal RNA and globin transcripts and enrich for parasite transcripts. Using NSR-seq, we confirmed earlier microarray studies showing upregulation of a distinct subset of genes in parasites infecting pregnant women, including that encoding the well-established pregnancy malaria vaccine candidate var2csa. We also describe a subset of parasite transcripts that distinguished parasites infecting children from those infecting pregnant women and confirmed this observation using quantitative real-time PCR and mass spectrometry proteomic analyses. Based on their putative functional properties, we propose that these proteins could have a role in childhood malaria pathogenesis. Our study provides proof of principle that NSR-seq represents an approach that can be used to study clinical isolates of parasites causing severe malaria syndromes as well other blood-borne pathogens and blood-related diseases. PMID:21317536

  16. Plasmodium falciparum: food vacuole localization of nitric oxide-derived species in intraerythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Ostera, Graciela; Tokumasu, Fuyuki; Oliveira, Fabiano; Sa, Juliana; Furuya, Tetsuya; Teixeira, Clarissa; Dvorak, James

    2008-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) has diverse biological functions. Numerous studies have documented NO’s biosynthetic pathway in a wide variety of organisms. Little is known, however, about NO production in intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum. Using diaminorhodamine-4-methyl acetoxymethylester (DAR-4M AM), a fluorescent indicator, we obtained direct evidence of NO and NO-derived reactive nitrogen species (RNS) production in intraerythrocytic P. falciparum parasites, as well as in isolated food vacuoles from trophozoite stage parasites. We preliminarily identified two gene sequences that might be implicated in NO synthesis in intraerythrocytic P. falciparum. We showed localization of the protein product of one of these two genes, a molecule that is structurally similar to a plant nitrate reductase, in trophozoite food vacuole membranes. We confirmed previous reports on the antiproliferative effect of NOS (nitric oxide synthase) inhibitors in P.falciparum cultures; however, we did not obtain evidence that NOS inhibitors had the ability to inhibit RNS production or that there is an active NOS in mature forms of the parasite. We concluded that a nitrate reductase activity produce NO and NO-derived RNS in or around the food vacuole in P. falciparum parasites. The food vacuole is a critical parasitic compartment involved in hemoglobin degradation, heme detoxification and a target for antimalarial drug action. Characterization of this relatively unexplored synthetic activity could provide important clues into poorly understood metabolic processes of the malaria parasite, PMID:18504040

  17. 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

  18. Plasmodium simium, a Plasmodium vivax-Related Malaria Parasite: Genetic Variability of Duffy Binding Protein II and the Duffy Antigen/Receptor for Chemokines

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium simium is a parasite from New World monkeys that is most closely related to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax; it also naturally infects humans. The blood-stage infection of P. vivax depends on Duffy binding protein II (PvDBPII) and its cognate receptor on erythrocytes, the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (hDARC), but there is no information on the P. simium erythrocytic invasion pathway. The genes encoding P. simium DBP (PsDBPII) and simian DARC (sDARC) were sequenced from Southern brown howler monkeys (Alouatta guariba clamitans) naturally infected with P. simium because P. simium may also depend on the DBPII/DARC interaction. The sequences of DBP binding domains from P. vivax and P. simium were highly similar. However, the genetic variability of PsDBPII was lower than that of PvDBPII. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that these genes were strictly related and clustered in the same clade of the evolutionary tree. DARC from A. clamitans was also sequenced and contained three new non-synonymous substitutions. None of these substitutions were located in the N-terminal domain of DARC, which interacts directly with DBPII. The interaction between sDARC and PvDBPII was evaluated using a cytoadherence assay of COS7 cells expressing PvDBPII on their surfaces. Inhibitory binding assays in vitro demonstrated that antibodies from monkey sera blocked the interaction between COS-7 cells expressing PvDBPII and hDARC-positive erythrocytes. Taken together, phylogenetic analyses reinforced the hypothesis that the host switch from humans to monkeys may have occurred very recently in evolution, which sheds light on the evolutionary history of new world plasmodia. Further invasion studies would confirm whether P. simium depends on DBP/DARC to trigger internalization into red blood cells. PMID:26107662

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. The Plasmodium vivax Merozoite Surface Protein 3? 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 3? (PvMSP3?) 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 PvMSP3? gene and examined its genetic diversity and molecular evolution between the parasite populations. Principal Findings Of 58 isolates containing single PvMSP3? 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 PvMSP3? (HD?=?1.0). In contrast, the southern parasite population displayed a single PvMSP3? 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

  2. Characterization of the parasitophorous vacuole membrane from Plasmodium chabaudi and implications about its role in the export of parasite proteins.

    PubMed

    Lanners, H N; Bafford, R A; Wiser, M F

    1999-05-01

    Little is known about how the malaria parasite transports and targets proteins into the host erythrocyte. Parasite proteins exported into the host cell not only have to cross the parasite plasma membrane but also must traverse the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) that surrounds the parasite. The PVM of Plasmodium chabaudi-infected erythrocytes was analyzed by immunofluorescence using an antibody against a known PVM protein, a fluorescent lipid probe, and electron microscopy. These analyses reveal qualitatively different membranous projections from the PVM. Some PVM projections are uniformly labeled with the antibody and with lipid probes and probably correspond to the Maurer's clefts. In contrast to this uniform labeling of the PVM and projections, a 93-kDa P. chabaudi erythrocyte membrane-associated protein is occasionally detected in vesicle-like structures adjacent to the parasite. These vesicle-like structures are found only coincident with protein synthesis and are located at discrete sites on the PVM. These observations suggest that the 93-kDa protein does not move along the membranous projections of the PVM toward the erythrocyte membrane. It is proposed that the 93-kDa protein is secreted directly into the erythrocyte cytoplasm at discrete PVM domains and then binds to the cytoplasmic face of the erythrocyte membrane. PMID:10227053

  3. New Export Pathway in Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Erythrocytes: Role of the Parasite Group II Chaperonin, PfTRiC.

    PubMed

    Mbengue, Alassane; Vialla, Emilie; Berry, Laurence; Fall, Gamou; Audiger, Nicolas; Demettre-Verceil, Edith; Boteller, David; Braun-Breton, Catherine

    2015-05-01

    The export of numerous proteins to the plasma membrane of its host erythrocyte is essential for the virulence and survival of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The Maurer's clefts, membrane structures transposed by the parasite in the cytoplasm of its host erythrocyte, play the role of a marshal platform for such exported parasite proteins. We identify here the export pathway of three resident proteins of the Maurer's clefts membrane: the proteins are exported as soluble forms in the red cell cytoplasm to the Maurer's clefts membrane in association with the parasite group II chaperonin (PfTRIC), a chaperone complex known to bind and address a large spectrum of unfolded proteins to their final location. We have also located the domain of interaction with PfTRiC within the amino-terminal domain of one of these Maurer's cleft proteins, PfSBP1. Because several Maurer's cleft membrane proteins with different export motifs seem to follow the same route, we propose a general role for PfTRiC in the trafficking of malarial parasite proteins to the host erythrocyte. PMID:25615740

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    Engel, Jessica A; Jones, Amy J; Avery, Vicky M; Sumanadasa, Subathdrage D M; Ng, Susanna S; Fairlie, David P; Adams, Tina S; Andrews, Katherine T

    2015-12-01

    Histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes work together with histone acetyltransferases (HATs) to reversibly acetylate both histone and non-histone proteins. As a result, these enzymes are involved in regulating chromatin structure and gene expression as well as other important cellular processes. HDACs are validated drug targets for some types of cancer, with four HDAC inhibitors clinically approved. However, they are also showing promise as novel drug targets for other indications, including malaria and other parasitic diseases. In this study the in vitro activity of four anti-cancer HDAC inhibitors was examined against parasites that cause malaria and trypanosomiasis. Three of these inhibitors, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; vorinostat(®)), romidepsin (Istodax(®)) and belinostat (Beleodaq(®)), are clinically approved for the treatment of T-cell lymphoma, while the fourth, panobinostat, has recently been approved for combination therapy use in certain patients with multiple myeloma. All HDAC inhibitors were found to inhibit the growth of asexual-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in the nanomolar range (IC50 10-200 nM), while only romidepsin was active at sub-?M 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

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

    PubMed

    Holding, Thomas; Recker, Mario

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. Blockade of TNF receptor 1 reduces disease severity but increases parasite transmission during Plasmodium

    E-print Network

    Allen, Judith

    Blockade of TNF receptor 1 reduces disease severity but increases parasite transmission during, UK b Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA Abstract Reducing host carriage of transmission-stage malaria parasites (gametocytes) is expected

  12. 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 ?-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 ?M, 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

  13. In vitro activity of wALADin benzimidazoles against different life cycle stages of Plasmodium parasites.

    PubMed

    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; Pfarr, Kenneth M

    2015-01-01

    wALADin1 benzimidazoles are specific inhibitors of ?-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 ?M, 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ?M, BS IC50 value 47.3 ?M). 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

  17. Potential of Lichen Secondary Metabolites against Plasmodium Liver Stage Parasites with FAS-II as the Potential Target

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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 ?M, BS IC50 value 47.3 ?M). 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 modelling 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

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

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; de la Hera, Iván; Fernández-González, Sofía; Pérez-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

  19. 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

  20. Kinetics of B Cell Responses to Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 in Ghanaian Women Naturally Exposed to Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F.; Barfod, Lea

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. How Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites bind to human brain endothelial cells 

    E-print Network

    Claessens, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    paarasites. The P. falciparum laboratory strains 3D7, HB3 and IT/FCR3 were selected for binding to HBEC-5i using a panning assay. Compared to unselected parasites, HBEC-5i selected parasites showed a distinct phenotype with reduced platelet...

  6. Protein targeting to destinations of the secretory pathway in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    E-print Network

    McFadden, Geoff

    of the haemoglobin proteases targeted to the food vacuole. Protein-targeting to the apical organelles in P parasite P. falciparum has a range of unique organelles all fed by the protein secretory pathway. Indeed, with special emphasis on protein targeting to parasite organelles. Trafficking to the host red blood cell

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Background Antigenic variation by malaria parasites was first described in Plasmodium knowlesi, which infects humans and macaque monkeys, and subsequently in P. falciparum, the most virulent human parasite. The schizont-infected cell agglutination (SICA) variant proteins encoded by the SICAvar multigene family in P. knowlesi, and Erythrocyte Membrane Protein-1 (EMP-1) antigens encoded by the var multigene family in P. falciparum, are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes, are associated with virulence, and serve as determinants of naturally acquired immunity. A parental P. knowlesi clone, Pk1(A+), and a related progeny clone, Pk1(B+)1+, derived by an in vivo induced variant antigen switch, were defined by the expression of distinct SICA variant protein doublets of 210/190 and 205/200 kDa, respectively. Passage of SICA[+] infected erythrocytes through splenectomized rhesus monkeys results in the SICA[-] phenotype, defined by the lack of surface expression and agglutination with variant specific antisera. Principal Findings We have investigated SICAvar RNA and protein expression in Pk1(A+), Pk1(B+)1+, and SICA[-] parasites. The Pk1(A+) and Pk1(B+)1+ parasites express different distinct SICAvar transcript and protein repertoires. By comparison, SICA[-] parasites are characterized by a vast reduction in SICAvar RNA expression, the lack of full-length SICAvar transcript signals on northern blots, and correspondingly, the absence of any SICA protein detected by mass spectrometry. Significance SICA protein expression may be under transcriptional as well as post-transcriptional control, and we show for the first time that the spleen, an organ central to blood-stage immunity in malaria, exerts an influence on these processes. Furthermore, proteomics has enabled the first in-depth characterization of SICA[+] protein phenotypes and we show that the in vivo switch from Pk1(A+) to Pk1(B+)1+ parasites resulted in a complete change in SICA profiles. These results emphasize the importance of studying antigenic variation in the context of the host environment. PMID:24205067

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-14

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

  9. 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})

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Selection for high and low virulence in the malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi

    E-print Network

    Read, Andrew

    * and A. F. Read Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh,West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK What stops parasites becoming ever more virulent? Conventional wisdom and most increasing host exploitation. Here we test this prediction by imposing arti¢cial between-host selection

  14. Supraorbital Postmortem Brain Sampling for Definitive Quantitative Confirmation of Cerebral Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Milner, Danny A.; Valim, Clarissa; Luo, Robert; Playforth, Krupa B.; Kamiza, Steve; Molyneux, Malcolm E.; Seydel, Karl B.; Taylor, Terrie E.

    2012-01-01

    Background The conventional clinical case definition of cerebral malaria (CM) is imprecise but specificity is improved by a definitive clinical feature such as retinopathy or confirming sequestration of parasites in a post-mortem examination of the brain. A full autopsy is often not possible, since it is costly and may encounter resistance of the deceased's family. Methods We have assessed the use of a cytological smear of brain tissue, obtained post-mortem by supraorbital sampling, for the purpose of quantifying cerebral sequestration in children with fatal malaria in Blantyre, Malawi. We have compared this method to histological quantification of parasites at autopsy. Results The number of parasites present on cytological smears correlated with the proportion of vessels parasitized as assessed by histology of fixed and stained brain tissue. Use of cytological results in addition to the standard clinical case definition increases the specificity of the clinical case definition alone from 48.3% to 100% with a minimal change in sensitivity. Conclusions Post-mortem supraorbital sampling of brain tissue improves the specificity of the diagnosis of fatal cerebral malaria and provides accurate quantitative estimates of cerebral sequestration. This tool can be of great value in clinical, pathogenetic, and epidemiological research studies on cerebral malaria. PMID:22291197

  15. 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

    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 ?-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

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

    PubMed Central

    Noland, Gregory S.; Urban, Joseph F.; Fried, Bernard; Kumar, Nirbhay

    2008-01-01

    Malaria and helminth infections are two of the most prevalent parasitic diseases globally. 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 Plasmodium yoelii malaria in BALB/c mice chronically infected with the intestinal trematode Echinostoma caproni. The goal of the present studies was to determine the effect of helminth infection on IFN-? and other key cytokines during malaria co-infection in the P. yoelii-E. caproni and P. yoelii-Heligmosomoides polygyrus model systems. Polyclonally-stimulated spleen cells from both E. caproni- and H. polygyrus-infected mice produced significantly lower amounts of IFN-? during P. yoelii co-infection than malaria-only infected mice. Furthermore, the magnitude of IFN-? suppression was correlated with the relative amounts of IL-4 induced by these helminths (E. caproni = low; H. polygyrus = high), but not IL-10. Concurrent malaria infection also suppressed helminth-associated IL-4 responses, indicating that immunologic counter-regulation occurs during co-infection with malaria and intestinal helminths. PMID:18396282

  17. 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

  18. Functional dissection of proliferating-cell nuclear antigens (1 and 2) in human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum: possible involvement in DNA replication and DNA damage response.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Pallabi; Banu, Khadija; Deshmukh, Abhijit S; Subbarao, Naidu; Dhar, Suman Kumar

    2015-08-15

    Eukaryotic PCNAs (proliferating-cell nuclear antigens) play diverse roles in nucleic acid metabolism in addition to DNA replication. Plasmodium falciparum, which causes human malaria, harbours two PCNA homologues: PfPCNA1 and PfPCNA2. The functional role of two distinct PCNAs in the parasite still eludes us. In the present study, we show that, whereas both PfPCNAs share structural and biochemical properties, only PfPCNA1 functionally complements the ScPCNA mutant and forms distinct replication foci in the parasite, which PfPCNA2 fails to do. Although PfPCNA1 appears to be the primary replicative PCNA, both PfPCNA1 and PfPCNA2 participate in an active DDR (DNA-damage-response) pathway with significant accumulation in the parasite upon DNA damage induction. Interestingly, PfPCNA genes were found to be regulated not at the transcription level, but presumably at the protein stability level upon DNA damage. Such regulation of PCNA has not been shown in eukaryotes before. Moreover, overexpression of PfPCNA1 and PfPCNA2 in the parasite confers a survival edge on the parasite in a genotoxic environment. This is the first evidence of a PfPCNA-mediated DDR in the parasite and gives new insights and rationale for the presence of two PCNAs as a parasite survival strategy and its probable success. PMID:26251451

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. 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. PMID:23797986

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Imputation-Based Population Genetics Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 86k 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Characterization of P0, a Ribosomal Phosphoprotein of Plasmodium ANTIBODY AGAINST AMINO-TERMINAL DOMAIN INHIBITS PARASITE GROWTH*

    E-print Network

    Sharma, Shobhona

    DNA expression clone of the human malarial par- asite Plasmodium falciparum, Pf4, which was reactive only. Monospecific human immune sera affinity-purified using the expression clone Pf4 also immunoprecipitatedCharacterization of P0, a Ribosomal Phosphoprotein of Plasmodium falciparum ANTIBODY AGAINST AMINO

  7. Exploring inhibition of Pdx1, a component of the PLP synthase complex of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Reeksting, Shaun B; Müller, Ingrid B; Burger, Pieter B; Burgos, Emmanuel S; Salmon, Laurent; Louw, Abraham I; Birkholtz, Lyn-Marie; Wrenger, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    Malaria tropica is a devastating infectious disease caused by Plasmodium falciparum. This parasite synthesizes vitamin B6 de novo via the PLP (pyridoxal 5'-phosphate) synthase enzymatic complex consisting of PfPdx1 and PfPdx2 proteins. Biosynthesis of PLP is largely performed by PfPdx1, ammonia provided by PfPdx2 subunits is condensed together with R5P (D-ribose 5-phosphate) and G3P (DL-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate). PfPdx1 accommodates both the R5P and G3P substrates and intricately co-ordinates the reaction mechanism, which is composed of a series of imine bond formations, leading to the production of PLP. We demonstrate that E4P (D-erythrose 4-phosphate) inhibits PfPdx1 in a dose-dependent manner. We propose that the acyclic phospho-sugar E4P, with a C1 aldehyde group similar to acyclic R5P, could interfere with R5P imine bond formations in the PfPdx1 reaction mechanism. Molecular docking and subsequent screening identified the E4P hydrazide analogue 4PEHz (4-phospho-D-erythronhydrazide), which selectively inhibited PfPdx1 with an IC50 of 43 ?M. PfPdx1 contained in the heteromeric PLP synthase complex was shown to be more sensitive to 4PEHz and was inhibited with an IC50 of 16 ?M. Moreover, the compound had an IC50 value of 10 ?M against cultured P. falciparum intraerythrocytic parasites. To analyse further the selectivity of 4PEHz, transgenic cell lines overexpressing PfPdx1 and PfPdx2 showed that additional copies of the protein complex conferred protection against 4PEHz, indicating that the PLP synthase is directly affected by 4PEHz in vivo. These PfPdx1 inhibitors represent novel lead scaffolds which are capable of targeting PLP biosynthesis, and we propose this as a viable strategy for the development of new therapeutics against malaria. PMID:23039077

  8. Habitat fragmentation and ecological traits influence the prevalence of avian blood parasites in a tropical rainforest landscape.

    PubMed

    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

  9. Positive selection of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with multiple var2csa-type PfEMP1 genes during the course of infection in pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Sander, Adam F; Salanti, Ali; Lavstsen, Thomas; Nielsen, Morten A; Theander, Thor G; Leke, Rose G F; Lo, Yeung Y; Bobbili, Naveen; Arnot, David E; Taylor, Diane W

    2011-06-01

    Placental malaria infections are caused by Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells sequestering in the placenta by binding to chondroitin sulfate A, mediated by VAR2CSA, a variant of the PfEMP1 family of adhesion antigens. Recent studies have shown that many P. falciparum genomes have multiple genes coding for different VAR2CSA proteins, and parasites with >1 var2csa gene appear to be more common in pregnant women with placental malaria than in nonpregnant individuals. We present evidence that, in pregnant women, parasites containing multiple var2csa-type genes possess a selective advantage over parasites with a single var2csa gene. Accumulation of parasites with multiple copies of the var2csa gene during the course of pregnancy was also correlated with the development of antibodies involved in blocking VAR2CSA adhesion. The data suggest that multiplicity of var2csa-type genes enables P. falciparum parasites to persist for a longer period of time during placental infections, probably because of their greater capacity for antigenic variation and evasion of variant-specific immune responses. PMID:21592998

  10. Plasmodium falciparum??heat shock protein 110 stabilizes the asparagine repeat-rich parasite proteome during malarial fevers

    E-print Network

    Muralidharan, Vasant

    One-fourth of Plasmodium falciparum proteins have asparagine repeats that increase the propensity for aggregation, especially at elevated temperatures that occur routinely in malaria-infected patients. Here we report that ...

  11. Prospects and Pitfalls of Pregnancy-Associated Malaria Vaccination Based on the Natural Immune Response to Plasmodium falciparum VAR2CSA-Expressing Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Kane, Elizabeth G.; Taylor-Robinson, Andrew W.

    2011-01-01

    Pregnancy-associated malaria, a manifestation of severe malaria, is the cause of up to 200,000 infant deaths a year, through the effects of placental insufficiency leading to growth restriction and preterm delivery. Development of a vaccine is one strategy for control. Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells accumulate in the placenta through specific binding of pregnancy-associated parasite variants that express the VAR2CSA antigen to chondroitin sulphate A on the surface of syncytiotrophoblast cells. Parasite accumulation, accompanied by an inflammatory infiltrate, disrupts the cytokine balance of pregnancy with the potential to cause placental damage and compromise foetal growth. Multigravid women develop immunity towards VAR2CSA-expressing parasites in a gravidity-dependent manner which prevents unfavourable pregnancy outcomes. Although current vaccine design, targeting VAR2CSA antigens, has succeeded in inducing antibodies artificially, this candidate may not provide protection during the first trimester and may only protect those women living in areas endemic for malaria. It is concluded that while insufficient information about placental-parasite interactions is presently available to produce an effective vaccine, incremental progress is being made towards achieving this goal. PMID:22363896

  12. Prospects and Pitfalls of Pregnancy-Associated Malaria Vaccination Based on the Natural Immune Response to Plasmodium falciparum VAR2CSA-Expressing Parasites.

    PubMed

    Kane, Elizabeth G; Taylor-Robinson, Andrew W

    2011-01-01

    Pregnancy-associated malaria, a manifestation of severe malaria, is the cause of up to 200,000 infant deaths a year, through the effects of placental insufficiency leading to growth restriction and preterm delivery. Development of a vaccine is one strategy for control. Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells accumulate in the placenta through specific binding of pregnancy-associated parasite variants that express the VAR2CSA antigen to chondroitin sulphate A on the surface of syncytiotrophoblast cells. Parasite accumulation, accompanied by an inflammatory infiltrate, disrupts the cytokine balance of pregnancy with the potential to cause placental damage and compromise foetal growth. Multigravid women develop immunity towards VAR2CSA-expressing parasites in a gravidity-dependent manner which prevents unfavourable pregnancy outcomes. Although current vaccine design, targeting VAR2CSA antigens, has succeeded in inducing antibodies artificially, this candidate may not provide protection during the first trimester and may only protect those women living in areas endemic for malaria. It is concluded that while insufficient information about placental-parasite interactions is presently available to produce an effective vaccine, incremental progress is being made towards achieving this goal. PMID:22363896

  13. Exoerythrocytic Plasmodium Parasites Secrete a Cysteine Protease Inhibitor Involved in Sporozoite Invasion and Capable of Blocking Cell Death of Host Hepatocytes

    PubMed Central

    Rennenberg, Annika; Lehmann, Christine; Heitmann, Anna; Witt, Tina; Hansen, Guido; Nagarajan, Krishna; Deschermeier, Christina; Turk, Vito; Hilgenfeld, Rolf; Heussler, Volker T.

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites must control cysteine protease activity that is critical for hepatocyte invasion by sporozoites, liver stage development, host cell survival and merozoite liberation. Here we show that exoerythrocytic P. berghei parasites express a potent cysteine protease inhibitor (PbICP, P. berghei inhibitor of cysteine proteases). We provide evidence that it has an important function in sporozoite invasion and is capable of blocking hepatocyte cell death. Pre-incubation with specific anti-PbICP antiserum significantly decreased the ability of sporozoites to infect hepatocytes and expression of PbICP in mammalian cells protects them against peroxide- and camptothecin-induced cell death. PbICP is secreted by sporozoites prior to and after hepatocyte invasion, localizes to the parasitophorous vacuole as well as to the parasite cytoplasm in the schizont stage and is released into the host cell cytoplasm at the end of the liver stage. Like its homolog falstatin/PfICP in P. falciparum, PbICP consists of a classical N-terminal signal peptide, a long N-terminal extension region and a chagasin-like C-terminal domain. In exoerythrocytic parasites, PbICP is posttranslationally processed, leading to liberation of the C-terminal chagasin-like domain. Biochemical analysis has revealed that both full-length PbICP and the truncated C-terminal domain are very potent inhibitors of cathepsin L-like host and parasite cysteine proteases. The results presented in this study suggest that the inhibitor plays an important role in sporozoite invasion of host cells and in parasite survival during liver stage development by inhibiting host cell proteases involved in programmed cell death. PMID:20361051

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Plasmodium falciparum UvrD activities are downregulated by DNA-interacting compounds and its dsRNA inhibits malaria parasite growth

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Human malaria parasite infection and its control is a global challenge which is responsible for ~0.65 million deaths every year globally. The emergence of drug resistant malaria parasite is another challenge to fight with malaria. Enormous efforts are being made to identify suitable drug targets in order to develop newer classes of drug. Helicases play crucial roles in DNA metabolism and have been proposed as therapeutic targets for cancer therapy as well as viral and parasitic infections. Genome wide analysis revealed that Plasmodium falciparum possesses UvrD helicase, which is absent in the human host. Results Recently the biochemical characterization of P. falciparum UvrD helicase revealed that N-terminal UvrD (PfUDN) hydrolyses ATP, translocates in 3’ to 5’ direction and interacts with MLH to modulate each other’s activity. In this follow up study, further characterization of P. falciparum UvrD helicase is presented. Here, we screened the effect of various DNA interacting compounds on the ATPase and helicase activity of PfUDN. This study resulted into the identification of daunorubicin (daunomycin), netropsin, nogalamycin, and ethidium bromide as the potential inhibitor molecules for the biochemical activities of PfUDN with IC50 values ranging from ~3.0 to ~5.0 ?M. Interestingly etoposide did not inhibit the ATPase activity but considerable inhibition of unwinding activity was observed at 20 ?M. Further study for analyzing the importance of PfUvrD enzyme in parasite growth revealed that PfUvrD is crucial/important for its growth ex-vivo. Conclusions As PfUvrD is absent in human hence on the basis of this study we propose PfUvrD as suitable drug target to control malaria. Some of the PfUvrD inhibitors identified in the present study can be utilized to further design novel and specific inhibitor molecules. PMID:24707807

  17. 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

  18. 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; Valki?nas, 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

  19. 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-1?, 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-1?, 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

  20. 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.

  1. Structural and immunological correlations between the variable blocks of the VAR2CSA domain DBL6? from two Plasmodium falciparum parasite lines.

    PubMed

    Gangnard, Stéphane; Badaut, Cyril; Ramboarina, Stéphanie; Baron, Bruno; Ramdani, Tarik; Gamain, Benoît; Deloron, Philippe; Lewit-Bentley, Anita; Bentley, Graham A

    2013-05-27

    Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), a family of adhesins of the falciparum species of the malaria parasite, is exposed on the surface of the infected erythrocyte. In general, only one PfEMP1 variant is expressed at a time but switching between variants occurs, changing both host-cell receptor specificity and serotype. The PfEMP1 variant VAR2CSA causes sequestration of infected erythrocytes in the intervillous spaces of the placenta via the glycosaminoglycan chondroitin sulfate A. This leads to pregnancy-associated malaria, which has severe consequences for the fetus and mother. The extracellular region of VAR2CSA comprises six DBL (Duffy-binding-like) domains and a single CIDR (cysteine-rich inter-domain region) domain. The C-terminal domain DBL6?, the most polymorphic domain of VAR2CSA, has seven regions of high variability termed variable blocks (VBs). Here we have determined the crystal structure of DBL6? from the FCR3 parasite line and have compared it with the previously determined structure of that from the 3D7 line. We found significant differences particularly in the N-terminal region, which contains the first VB (VB1). Although DBL6? is the most variable VAR2CSA domain, DBL6?-FCR3 and DBL6?-3D7 react with IgG purified from immune sera of pregnant women. Furthermore, IgG purified on one domain cross-reacts with the other, confirming the presence of cross-reactive epitopes. We also examined reactivity of immune sera to the four least variable VB (VB1, VB2, VB4 and VB5) using peptides with the consensus sequence closest, in turn, to the FCR3 or 3D7 domain. These results provide new molecular insights into immune escape by parasites expressing the VAR2CSA variant. PMID:23429057

  2. Spatial Patterns of Plasmodium falciparum Clinical Incidence, Asymptomatic Parasite Carriage and Anopheles Density in Two Villages in Mali.

    PubMed

    Sissoko, Mahamadou S; van den Hoogen, Lotus L; Samake, Yacouba; Tapily, Amadou; Diarra, Adama Z; Coulibaly, Maimouna; Bouare, Madama; Gaudart, Jean; Knight, Philip; Sauerwein, Robert W; Takken, Willem; Bousema, Teun; Doumbo, Ogobara K

    2015-10-01

    Heterogeneity in malaria exposure is most readily recognized in areas with low-transmission patterns. By comparison, little research has been done on spatial patterns in malaria exposure in high-endemic settings. We determined the spatial clustering of clinical malaria incidence, asymptomatic parasite carriage, and Anopheles density in two villages in Mali exposed to low- and mesoendemic-malaria transmission. In the two study areas that were < 1 km(2) in size, we observed evidence for spatial clustering of Anopheles densities or malaria parasite carriage during the dry season. Anopheles density and malaria prevalence appeared associated in some of our detected hotspots. However, many households with high parasite prevalence or high Anopheles densities were located outside the identified hotspots. Our findings indicate that within small villages exposed to low- or mesoendemic-malaria transmission, spatial patterns in mosquito densities and parasite carriage are best detected in the dry season. Considering the high prevalence of parasite carriage outside detected hotspots, the suitability of the area for targeting control efforts to households or areas of more intense malaria transmission may be limited. PMID:26324728

  3. Invited Review Malaria parasite colonisation of the mosquito midgut Placing

    E-print Network

    McFadden, Geoff

    Invited Review Malaria parasite colonisation of the mosquito midgut ­ Placing the Plasmodium 3 March 2012 Keywords: Malaria Plasmodium Mosquito Anopheles Ookinete Oocyst Midgut traversal drugs is emerging. Malaria parasite migration through the mosquito host constitutes a major population

  4. ?2-Macroglobulin Can Crosslink Multiple Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) Molecules and May Facilitate Adhesion of Parasitized Erythrocytes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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 ?2-macroglobulin (?2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the ?2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that ?2M 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 ?2M and probably due to the more limited cross-linking potential of IgM. Nevertheless, we show that IgM works synergistically with ?2M and markedly lowers the concentration of ?2M required for rosetting. Finally, HB3VAR06+ IEs share the capacity to bind ?2M 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 ?2M (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 ?2M--(and IgM-) binding domains of PfEMP1, which would be independent of the host receptor specificity of clinically important PfEMP1 antigens. PMID:26134405

  5. ?2-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 ?2-macroglobulin (?2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the ?2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that ?2M 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 ?2M and probably due to the more limited cross-linking potential of IgM. Nevertheless, we show that IgM works synergistically with ?2M and markedly lowers the concentration of ?2M required for rosetting. Finally, HB3VAR06+ IEs share the capacity to bind ?2M 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 ?2M (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 ?2M—(and IgM-) binding domains of PfEMP1, which would be independent of the host receptor specificity of clinically important PfEMP1 antigens. PMID:26134405

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Souza, Nicolli Bellotti de; Aguiar, Anna Caroline Campos; Oliveira, Alane Cabral de; 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 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

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. In Vitro and Molecular Surveillance for Antimalarial Drug Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites in Western Kenya Reveals Sustained Artemisinin Sensitivity and Increased Chloroquine Sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Lucchi, Naomi W; Komino, Franklin; Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Goldman, Ira; Onyona, Philip; Wiegand, Ryan E; Juma, Elizabeth; Shi, Ya Ping; Barnwell, John W; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Kariuki, Simon

    2015-12-01

    Malaria control is hindered by the evolution and spread of resistance to antimalarials, necessitating multiple changes to drug policies over time. A comprehensive antimalarial drug resistance surveillance program is vital for detecting the potential emergence of resistance to antimalarials, including current artemisinin-based combination therapies. An antimalarial drug resistance surveillance study involving 203 Plasmodium falciparum malaria-positive children was conducted in western Kenya between 2010 and 2013. Specimens from enrolled children were analyzed in vitro for sensitivity to chloroquine (CQ), amodiaquine (AQ), mefloquine (MQ), lumefantrine, and artemisinin derivatives (artesunate and dihydroartemisinin) and for drug resistance allele polymorphisms in P. falciparum crt (Pfcrt), Pfmdr-1, and the K13 propeller domain (K13). We observed a significant increase in the proportion of samples with the Pfcrt wild-type (CVMNK) genotype, from 61.2% in 2010 to 93.0% in 2013 (P < 0.0001), and higher proportions of parasites with elevated sensitivity to CQ in vitro. The majority of isolates harbored the wild-type N allele in Pfmdr-1 codon 86 (93.5%), with only 7 (3.50%) samples with the N86Y mutant allele (the mutant nucleotide is underlined). Likewise, most isolates harbored the wild-type Pfmdr-1 D1246 allele (79.8%), with only 12 (6.38%) specimens with the D1246Y mutant allele and 26 (13.8%) with mixed alleles. All the samples had a single copy of the Pfmdr-1 gene (mean of 0.907 ± 0.141 copies). None of the sequenced parasites had mutations in K13. Our results suggest that artemisinin is likely to remain highly efficacious and that CQ sensitivity appears to be on the rise in western Kenya. PMID:26392510

  11. B-cell responses to pregnancy-restricted and -unrestricted Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 antigens in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria acquired after natural exposure is largely antibody mediated. IgG-specific P. falciparum EMP1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface are particularly important. The transient antibody responses and the slowly acquired protective immunity probably reflect the clonal antigenic variation and allelic polymorphism of PfEMP1. However, it is likely that other immune-evasive mechanisms are also involved, such as interference with formation and maintenance of immunological memory. We measured PfEMP1-specific antibody levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and memory B-cell frequencies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay in a cohort of P. falciparum-exposed nonpregnant Ghanaian women. The antigens used were a VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 (IT4VAR04) with expression restricted to parasites infecting the placenta, as well as two commonly recognized PfEMP1 proteins (HB3VAR06 and IT4VAR60) implicated in rosetting and not pregnancy restricted. This enabled, for the first time, a direct comparison in the same individuals of immune responses specific for a clinically important parasite antigen expressed only during well-defined periods (pregnancy) to responses specific for comparable antigens expressed independent of pregnancy. Our data indicate that PfEMP1-specific B-cell memory is adequately acquired even when antigen exposure is infrequent (e.g., VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1). Furthermore, immunological memory specific for VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 can be maintained for many years without antigen reexposure and after circulating antigen-specific IgG has disappeared. The study provides evidence that natural exposure to P. falciparum leads to formation of durable B-cell immunity to clinically important PfEMP1 antigens. This has encouraging implications for current efforts to develop PfEMP1-based vaccines. PMID:24566620

  12. B-Cell Responses to Pregnancy-Restricted and -Unrestricted Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 Antigens in Ghanaian Women Naturally Exposed to Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F.; Barfod, Lea

    2014-01-01

    Protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria acquired after natural exposure is largely antibody mediated. IgG-specific P. falciparum EMP1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface are particularly important. The transient antibody responses and the slowly acquired protective immunity probably reflect the clonal antigenic variation and allelic polymorphism of PfEMP1. However, it is likely that other immune-evasive mechanisms are also involved, such as interference with formation and maintenance of immunological memory. We measured PfEMP1-specific antibody levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and memory B-cell frequencies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay in a cohort of P. falciparum-exposed nonpregnant Ghanaian women. The antigens used were a VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 (IT4VAR04) with expression restricted to parasites infecting the placenta, as well as two commonly recognized PfEMP1 proteins (HB3VAR06 and IT4VAR60) implicated in rosetting and not pregnancy restricted. This enabled, for the first time, a direct comparison in the same individuals of immune responses specific for a clinically important parasite antigen expressed only during well-defined periods (pregnancy) to responses specific for comparable antigens expressed independent of pregnancy. Our data indicate that PfEMP1-specific B-cell memory is adequately acquired even when antigen exposure is infrequent (e.g., VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1). Furthermore, immunological memory specific for VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 can be maintained for many years without antigen reexposure and after circulating antigen-specific IgG has disappeared. The study provides evidence that natural exposure to P. falciparum leads to formation of durable B-cell immunity to clinically important PfEMP1 antigens. This has encouraging implications for current efforts to develop PfEMP1-based vaccines. PMID:24566620

  13. Atovaquone Tolerance in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites Selected for High-Level Resistance to a Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Guler, Jennifer L.; White, John; Phillips, Margaret A.

    2014-01-01

    Atovaquone is a component of Malarone, a widely prescribed antimalarial combination, that targets malaria respiration. Here we show that parasites with high-level resistance to an inhibitor of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase demonstrate unexpected atovaquone tolerance. Fortunately, the tolerance is diminished with proguanil, the second partner in Malarone. It is important to understand such “genetic cross talk” between respiration and pyrimidine biosynthesis since many antimalarial drug development programs target these two seemingly independent pathways. PMID:25331708

  14. Nonspecific patterns of vector, host and avian malaria parasite associations in a central African rainforest

    E-print Network

    Shaffer, H. Bradley

    , CA 90095, USA, Mosquito Control and Research Laboratory, Department of Entomology, UC Davis, Parlier 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

  15. Evolution of malaria parasite plastid targeting sequences

    E-print Network

    McFadden, Geoff

    Evolution of malaria parasite plastid targeting sequences Christopher J. Tonkin* , Bernardo J. Foth in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We show that exons of the P. falciparum genome could serve-bearing proteins remains largely mysterious (1). The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains

  16. 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

  17. Full-length recombinant Plasmodium falciparum VAR2CSA binds specifically to CSPG and induces potent parasite adhesion-blocking antibodies.

    PubMed

    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

    2010-04-01

    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

  18. 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 (?38°C) at the time of the survey. A significant proportion of infections detected by microscopy, 40% and 65.6% for P. falciparum and P. vivax respectively, had parasite density below 100/?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

  19. Age-Stratified Profiles of Serum IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-? Cytokines Among Kenyan Children with Schistosoma haematobium, Plasmodium falciparum, and Other Chronic Parasitic Co-Infections.

    PubMed

    Bustinduy, Amaya L; Sutherland, Laura J; Chang-Cojulun, Alicia; Malhotra, Indu; DuVall, Adam S; Fairley, Jessica K; Mungai, Peter L; Muchiri, Eric M; Mutuku, Francis M; Kitron, Uriel; King, Charles H

    2015-05-01

    In a study of children having polyparasitic infections in a Schistosoma haematobium-endemic area, we examined the hypothesis that S. haematobium-positive children, compared with S. haematobium-negative children (anti-soluble worm antigen preparation [SWAP] negative and egg negative) have increased systemic production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-6, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-?) and decreased down-regulatory IL-10. A total of 804 children, 2-19 years of age, were surveyed between July and December 2009 and tested for S. haematobium, Plasmodium falciparum, filariasis, and soil-transmitted helminth infections. Plasma levels of IL-6, TNF-?, and IL-10 were compared for S. haematobium-positive and S. haematobium-negative children, adjusting for malaria, filaria, and hookworm co-infections, and for nutritional status, age group, sex, and geographic location. IL-10 was significantly elevated among children infected with S. haematobium, showing bimodal peaks in 7-8 and 13-14 years age groups. IL-10 was also higher among children who were acutely malnourished, whereas IL-10 levels were lower in the presence of S. haematobium-filaria co-infection. After adjustment for co-factors, IL-6 was significantly elevated among children of 5-6 years and among those with P. falciparum infection. Lower levels of IL-6 were found in malaria-hookworm co-infection. High levels of TNF-? were found in children aged 11-12 years regardless of infection status. In addition, village of residence was a strong predictor of IL-6 and IL-10 plasma levels. In adolescent children infected with S. haematobium, there is an associated elevation in circulating IL-10 that may reduce the risk of later morbidity. Although we did not find a direct link between S. haematobium infection and circulating pro-inflammatory IL-6 and TNF-? levels, future T-cell stimulation studies may provide more conclusive linkages between infection and cytokine responses in settings that are endemic for multiple parasites and multiple co-infections. PMID:25758654

  20. Membrane transporters in the relict plastid of malaria parasites

    E-print Network

    McFadden, Geoff

    Membrane transporters in the relict plastid of malaria parasites Kylie A. Mullin*, Liting Lim, 2005) Malaria parasites contain a nonphotosynthetic plastid homologous to chloroplasts of plants to power the organelle. apicoplast endosymbiosis Plasmodium translocator Malaria is caused by parasites

  1. High-resolution three-dimensional imaging of red blood cells parasitized by

    E-print Network

    Dao, Ming

    High-resolution three-dimensional imaging of red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum and in situ hemozoin crystals using optical diffraction of human red blood cells (RBC) parasitized by malaria-inducing Plasmodium falciparum (Pf)-RBCs. Three

  2. 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.

  3. Characterization of the putative surface protein TLP in Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium falciparum

    E-print Network

    Gray, Jeffrey J.

    by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium, is an endemic disease that is responsible for approximately a half billion and malaria transmission prevention measures (Sachs & Malaney, 2002). Malaria is caused by the protozoan

  4. Molecular Systematics of malaria parasites

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Molecular Systematics of malaria parasites The malaria parasites are included within the order Plasmodiidae. The best-known genera are Plasmodium, which is the cause of human malaria (more on those species below), and Haemoproteus, found primarily in birds. The common term, "malaria parasites

  5. 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

  6. Nucleosome occupancy at transcription start sites in the human malaria parasite: A hard-wired evolution of virulence?

    E-print Network

    Lonardi, Stefano

    Nucleosome occupancy at transcription start sites in the human malaria parasite: A hard-borne infectious disease caused by a eukaryotic protist of the genus Plasmodium. Plasmodium can parasitize a wide into mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles corresponds with the expan- sion of Plasmodium parasites into mammals

  7. Assessment of the Induction of Dormant Ring Stages in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites by Artemisone and Artemisone Entrapped in Pheroid Vesicles In Vitro

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. The Robust and Modulated Biomarker Network Elicited by the Plasmodium vivax Infection Is Mainly Mediated by the IL-6/IL-10 Axis and Is Associated with the Parasite Load

    PubMed Central

    Guimarães da Costa, Allyson; do Valle Antonelli, Lis Ribeiro; Augusto Carvalho Costa, Pedro; Paulo Diniz Pimentel, João; Garcia, Nadja Pinto; Monteiro Tarragô, Andréa; Socorro Lopes dos Santos, Maria do Perpétuo; Nogueira, Paulo Afonso; Hekcmann, Maria Izabel Ovellar; Sadahiro, Aya; Teixeira-Carvalho, Andréa; Martins-Filho, Olindo Assis; Malheiro, Adriana

    2014-01-01

    Background. Recent studies have shown that the inflammatory process, including the biomarker production, and the intense activation of innate immune responses are greater in the malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax than other species. Here, we examined the levels of serum biomarkers and their interaction during acute malaria. Material and Methods. Blood samples were collected from P. vivax-infected patients at admission and from healthy donors. Levels of serum biomarkers were measured by Cytometric Bead Assay or ELISA. Results. P. vivax infection triggered the production of both inflammatory and regulatory biomarkers. Levels of IL-6, CXCL-8, IFN-?, IL-5, and IL-10 were higher in P. vivax-infected patients than in healthy donors. On the other hand, malaria patients produced lower levels of TNF-?, IL-12p70, and IL-2 than healthy individuals. While the levels of IL-10 and IL-6 were found independent on the number of malaria episodes, higher levels of these cytokines were seen in patients with higher parasite load. Conclusion. A mixed pattern of proinflammatory and regulatory biomarkers is produced in P. vivax malaria. Analysis of biomarker network suggests that IL-10 and IL-6 are a robust axis in malaria patients and that this interaction seems to be associated with the parasite load. PMID:24741587

  10. Antibodies to Escherichia coli-expressed C-terminal domains of Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigen 2-chondroitin sulfate A (VAR2CSA) inhibit binding of CSA-adherent parasites to placental tissue.

    PubMed

    Saveria, Tracy; Oleinikov, Andrew V; Wiliamson, Kathryn; Chaturvedi, Richa; Lograsso, Joe; Keitany, Gladys J; Fried, Michal; Duffy, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Placental malaria (PM) is characterized by infected erythrocytes (IEs) that selectively bind to chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) and sequester in placental tissue. Variant surface antigen 2-CSA (VAR2CSA), a Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) protein family member, is expressed on the surface of placental IEs and mediates adherence to CSA on the surface of syncytiotrophoblasts. This transmembrane protein contains 6 Duffy binding-like (DBL) domains which might contribute to the specific adhesive properties of IEs. Here, we use laboratory isolate 3D7 VAR2CSA DBL domains expressed in Escherichia coli to generate antibodies specific for this protein. Flow cytometry results showed that antibodies generated against DBL4?, DBL5?, DBL6?, and tandem double domains of DBL4-DBL5 and DBL5-DBL6 all bind to placental parasite isolates and to lab strains selected for CSA binding but do not bind to children's parasites. Antisera to DBL4? and to DBL5? inhibit maternal IE binding to placental tissue in a manner comparable to that for plasma collected from multigravid women. These antibodies also inhibit binding to CSA of several field isolates derived from pregnant women, while antibodies to double domains do not enhance the functional immune response. These data support DBL4? and DBL5? as vaccine candidates for pregnancy malaria and demonstrate that E. coli is a feasible tool for the large-scale manufacture of a vaccine based on these VAR2CSA domains. PMID:23319559

  11. Sugar activation and glycosylation in Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Cova, Marta; Rodrigues, João A; Smith, Terry K; Izquierdo, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Glycoconjugates are important mediators of host-pathogen interactions and are usually very abundant in the surface of many protozoan parasites. However, in the particular case of Plasmodium species, previous works show that glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor modifications, and to an unknown extent, a severely truncated N-glycosylation are the only glycosylation processes taking place in the parasite. Nevertheless, a detailed analysis of the parasite genome and the recent identification of the sugar nucleotide precursors biosynthesized by Plasmodium falciparum support a picture in which several overlooked, albeit not very prominent glycosylations may be occurring during the parasite life cycle. In this work, the authors review recent developments in the characterization of the biosynthesis of glycosylation precursors in the parasite, focusing on the outline of the possible fates of these precursors. PMID:26520586

  12. Rosetting and the innate immune response to plasmodium falciparum 

    E-print Network

    Corrigan, Ruth Alexandra

    2009-01-01

    Rosetting is an adhesion property of malaria parasites whereby infected erythrocytes bind to two or more uninfected erythrocytes, forming a so-called rosette. Rosetting of Plasmodium falciparum is associated with disease ...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Malaria Proteins Implicated in Host-Parasite Interactions 

    E-print Network

    Anderson, Laura Fay

    2007-01-01

    The invasive and transmission stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum express several proteins with domains implicated in host-parasite interactions, that are potential vaccine candidates or drug targets. The ...

  16. BiochemicalSocietyAnnualSymposiumNo.77 Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum and its

    E-print Network

    McFadden, Geoff

    BiochemicalSocietyAnnualSymposiumNo.77 Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum and its apicoplast Ming, Australia Abstract Malaria, which is caused by species of the parasite genus Plasmodium, remains a major was discovered in malaria and related parasites from the phylum Apicomplexa and has radically changed our view

  17. Chloroquine efficacy in Plasmodium berghei NK65-infected ICR mice, with reference to the influence of initial parasite load and starting day of drug administration on the outcome of treatment.

    PubMed

    Ishih, Akira; Suzuki, Tohru; Muregi, Francis W; Matsui, Kae; Terada, Mamoru

    2006-01-01

    We examined whether the initial number of parasites inoculated and the starting day of medication post-infection influenced the antimalarial efficacy of chloroquine (CQ) against Plasmodium berghei NK65 infection in ICR mice. Male ICR mice were inoculated intraperitoneally with 1 x 10(5), 1x10(6), 1 x 10(7), 1 x 10(8) P. berghei NK65-parasitized erythrocytes (pRBC). In the treated group, all mice received an oral dose of 20 mg/kg of CQ base for 4 days starting on day 0 after infection. From day 3, Giemsa-stained thin blood smears from tail vein blood were used to assess parasitemia. Mice in the untreated control in each group showed a progressive increase in parasitemia leading to death. Treatment of mice, inoculated with 1 x 10(5), 1 x 10(6) and 1 x 10(7) pRBC, with CQ showed a marked effect. All the mice survived during the experiment. During the observation period, malaria parasites could not be detected on microscopic examination. Conversely, mice inoculated with 1 x 10(8) pRBC showed little response to CQ treatment, and all mice showed a progressive increase in parasitemia and ultimately died. In another experiment, mice infected with 1 x 10(3) and 1x 10(5) pRBC were treated with an oral four-day dosage of 20 mg/kg of CQ base from days 2, 3 or 4 post-infection. Treatment of mice, inoculated with 1 x 10(3) pRBC, with CQ from days 2 and 3 showed a marked effect. All mice survived during the experiment. However, treatment from day 4 showed a limited derease in parasitemia and all the mice ultimately died. On the other hand, treatment from day 2 showed a marked effect against 1 x 10(5) P. berghei NK65-infected mice, but treatment from days 3 or 4 was only slightly effective and all the mice died with an increasing parasitemia. The present results indicate that in in vivo antimalarial drug-assay systems, several factors, sush as initial parasite load and starting time of treatment may influence the drug response in the host. PMID:16771206

  18. Malarial Parasites Accumulate Labile Zinc Pools

    E-print Network

    Niles, Jacquin

    The malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is an intracellular pathogen and partially dependent on nutrient uptake for survival. In this issue of Chemistry & Biology, Marvin et al. demonstrate that zinc is essential for ...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Placental Histopathological Changes Associated with Plasmodium vivax Infection during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Dombrowski, Jamille G.; Ippólito, Vanessa; Aitken, Elizabeth H.; Valle, Suiane N.; Álvarez, José M.; Epiphânio, Sabrina; Marinho, Claudio R. F.

    2013-01-01

    Histological evidence of Plasmodium in the placenta is indicative of placental malaria, a condition associated with severe outcomes for mother and child. Histological lesions found in placentas from Plasmodium-exposed women include syncytial knotting, syncytial rupture, thickening of the placental barrier, necrosis of villous tissue and intervillositis. These histological changes have been associated with P. falciparum infections, but little is known about the contribution of P. vivax to such changes. We conducted a cross-sectional study with pregnant women at delivery and assigned them to three groups according to their Plasmodium exposure during pregnancy: no Plasmodium exposure (n?=?41), P. vivax exposure (n?=?59) or P. falciparum exposure (n?=?19). We evaluated their placentas for signs of Plasmodium and placental lesions using ten histological parameters: syncytial knotting, syncytial rupture, placental barrier thickness, villi necrosis, intervillous space area, intervillous leucocytes, intervillous mononucleates, intervillous polymorphonucleates, parasitized erythrocytes and hemozoin. Placentas from P. vivax-exposed women showed little evidence of Plasmodium or hemozoin but still exhibited more lesions than placentas from women not exposed to Plasmodium, especially when infections occurred twice or more during pregnancy. In the Brazilian state of Acre, where diagnosis and primary treatment are readily available and placental lesions occur in the absence of detected placental parasites, relying on the presence of Plasmodium in the placenta to evaluate Plasmodium-induced placental pathology is not feasible. Multivariate logistic analysis revealed that syncytial knotting (odds ratio [OR], 4.21, P?=?0.045), placental barrier thickness (OR, 25.59, P?=?0.021) and mononuclear cells (OR, 4.02, P?=?0.046) were increased in placentas from P. vivax-exposed women when compared to women not exposed to Plasmodium during pregnancy. A vivax-score was developed using these three parameters (and not evidence of Plasmodium) that differentiates between placentas from P. vivax-exposed and unexposed women. This score illustrates the importance of adequate management of P. vivax malaria during pregnancy. PMID:23459254

  3. Placental histopathological changes associated with Plasmodium vivax infection during pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Souza, Rodrigo M; Ataíde, Ricardo; Dombrowski, Jamille G; Ippólito, Vanessa; Aitken, Elizabeth H; Valle, Suiane N; Álvarez, José M; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Epiphânio, Sabrina; Marinho, Claudio R F

    2013-01-01

    Histological evidence of Plasmodium in the placenta is indicative of placental malaria, a condition associated with severe outcomes for mother and child. Histological lesions found in placentas from Plasmodium-exposed women include syncytial knotting, syncytial rupture, thickening of the placental barrier, necrosis of villous tissue and intervillositis. These histological changes have been associated with P. falciparum infections, but little is known about the contribution of P. vivax to such changes. We conducted a cross-sectional study with pregnant women at delivery and assigned them to three groups according to their Plasmodium exposure during pregnancy: no Plasmodium exposure (n?=?41), P. vivax exposure (n?=?59) or P. falciparum exposure (n?=?19). We evaluated their placentas for signs of Plasmodium and placental lesions using ten histological parameters: syncytial knotting, syncytial rupture, placental barrier thickness, villi necrosis, intervillous space area, intervillous leucocytes, intervillous mononucleates, intervillous polymorphonucleates, parasitized erythrocytes and hemozoin. Placentas from P. vivax-exposed women showed little evidence of Plasmodium or hemozoin but still exhibited more lesions than placentas from women not exposed to Plasmodium, especially when infections occurred twice or more during pregnancy. In the Brazilian state of Acre, where diagnosis and primary treatment are readily available and placental lesions occur in the absence of detected placental parasites, relying on the presence of Plasmodium in the placenta to evaluate Plasmodium-induced placental pathology is not feasible. Multivariate logistic analysis revealed that syncytial knotting (odds ratio [OR], 4.21, P?=?0.045), placental barrier thickness (OR, 25.59, P?=?0.021) and mononuclear cells (OR, 4.02, P?=?0.046) were increased in placentas from P. vivax-exposed women when compared to women not exposed to Plasmodium during pregnancy. A vivax-score was developed using these three parameters (and not evidence of Plasmodium) that differentiates between placentas from P. vivax-exposed and unexposed women. This score illustrates the importance of adequate management of P. vivax malaria during pregnancy. PMID:23459254

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. A Plasmodium ?/?-hydrolase modulates the development of invasive stages.

    PubMed

    Groat-Carmona, Anna M; Kain, Heather; Brownell, Jessica; Douglass, Alyse N; Aly, Ahmed S I; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2015-12-01

    The bud emergence (BEM)46 proteins are evolutionarily conserved members of the ?/?-hydrolase superfamily, which includes enzymes with diverse functions and a wide range of substrates. Here, we identified a Plasmodium?BEM46-like protein (PBLP) and characterized it throughout the life cycle of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii. The Plasmodium?BEM46-like protein is shown to be closely associated with the parasite plasma membrane of asexual erythrocytic stage schizonts and exo-erythrocytic schizonts; however, PBLP localizes to unique intracellular structures in sporozoites. Generation and analysis of P.?yoelii knockout (?pblp) parasite lines showed that PBLP has an important role in erythrocytic stage merozoite development with ?pblp parasites forming fewer merozoites during schizogony, which results in decreased parasitemia when compared with wild-type (WT) parasites. ?pblp parasites showed no defects in gametogenesis or transmission to mosquitoes; however, because they formed fewer oocysts there was a reduction in the number of developed sporozoites in infected mosquitoes when compared with WT. Although ?pblp sporozoites showed no apparent defect in mosquito salivary gland infection, they showed decreased infectivity in hepatocytes in vitro. Similarly, mice infected with ?pblp sporozoites exhibited a delay in the onset of blood-stage patency, which is likely caused by reduced sporozoite infectivity and a discernible delay in exo-erythrocytic merozoite formation. These data are consistent with the model that PBLP has an important role in parasite invasive-stage morphogenesis throughout the parasite life cycle. PMID:26118838

  8. INVASION NOTE Invasive avian malaria as an emerging parasitic disease

    E-print Network

    Sehgal, Ravinder

    Biological invasion Á Blood parasites Á Malaria Á Haemoproteus Á Plasmodium Á South America Introduction Many by biological invasions of parasites that have ``jumped ship'' to novel host species (Hatcher et al. 2012INVASION NOTE Invasive avian malaria as an emerging parasitic disease in native birds of Peru

  9. A general SNP-based molecular barcode for Plasmodium falciparum identification and tracking

    E-print Network

    Daniels, Rachel F.

    Abstract Background Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping provides the means to develop a practical, rapid, inexpensive assay that will uniquely identify any Plasmodium falciparum parasite using a small amount ...

  10. Genome-wide SNP genotyping highlights the role of natural selection in Plasmodium falciparum population divergence

    E-print Network

    Neafsey, Daniel E.

    Background: The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exhibits abundant genetic diversity, and this diversity is key to its success as a pathogen. Previous efforts to study genetic diversity in P. falciparum have begun ...

  11. A Microscale Human Liver Platform that Supports the Hepatic Stages of Plasmodium falciparum and vivax

    E-print Network

    Ng, Shengyong

    The Plasmodium liver stage is an attractive target for the development of antimalarial drugs and vaccines, as it provides an opportunity to interrupt the life cycle of the parasite at a critical early stage. However, ...

  12. Visualising plasmodium falciparum functional genomic data in MaGnET: malaria genome exploration tool 

    E-print Network

    Sharman, Joanna Louise

    2009-06-29

    Malaria affects the lives of 500 million people around the world each year. The disease is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, whose ability to evade the immune system and quickly evolve resistance to ...

  13. Development of an inducible transcriptional control system in plasmodium falciparum with applications to targeted genome editing

    E-print Network

    Wagner, Jeffrey C. (Jeffrey Charles)

    2014-01-01

    Malaria accounts for over 500,000 deaths each year. While malaria is caused by multiple distinct parasites of the genus Plasmodium, P. falciparum is responsible for the majority of morbidity and mortality due to the disease. ...

  14. The metabolic roles of the endosymbiotic organelles of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium spp.

    E-print Network

    McFadden, Geoff

    The metabolic roles of the endosymbiotic organelles of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium spp. Lilach Apicomplexan parasites possess two organelles of endo- symbiotic origin: a relict non-photosynthetic plastid collaboration. A chimerical haem pathway spans both organelles [3]. Apicoplast generated isopentenyl

  15. 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

  16. Plasmodium falciparum RuvB proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Moaz; Tuteja, Renu

    2012-01-01

    The urgent requirement of next generation antimalarials has been of recent interest due to the emergence of drug-resistant parasite. The genome-wide analysis of Plasmodium falciparum helicases revealed three RuvB proteins. Due to the presence of helicase motif I and II in PfRuvBs, there is a high probability that they contain ATPase and possibly helicase activity. The Plasmodium database has homologs of several key proteins that interact with RuvBs and are most likely involved in the cell cycle progression, chromatin remodeling, and other cellular activities. Phylogenetically PfRuvBs are closely related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae RuvB, which is essential for cell cycle progression and survival of yeast. Thus PfRuvBs can serve as potential drug target if they show an essential role in the survival of parasite. PMID:23060959

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Genetically attenuated parasites (GAPs) that lack genes essential for the liver stage of the malaria parasite, and therefore cause developmental arrest, have been developed as live vaccines in rodent malaria models and recently been tested in humans. The genes targeted for deletion were often identified by trial and error. Here we present a systematic gene - protein and transcript - expression analyses of several Plasmodium species with the aim to identify candidate genes for the generation of novel GAPs. With a lack of liver stage expression data for human malaria parasites, we used data available for liver stage development of Plasmodium yoelii, a rodent malaria model, to identify proteins expressed in the liver stage but absent from blood stage parasites. An orthology-based search was then employed to identify orthologous proteins in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum resulting in a total of 310 genes expressed in the liver stage but lacking evidence of protein expression in blood stage parasites. Among these 310 possible GAP candidates, we further studied Plasmodium liver stage proteins by phyletic distribution and functional domain analyses and shortlisted twenty GAP-candidates; these are: fabB/F, fabI, arp, 3 genes encoding subunits of the PDH complex, dnaJ, urm1, rS5, ancp, mcp, arh, gk, lisp2, valS, palm, and four conserved Plasmodium proteins of unknown function. Parasites lacking one or several of these genes might yield new attenuated malaria parasites for experimental vaccination studies. PMID:26348884

  19. 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

  20. Identification of malaria parasite-infected red blood cell surface aptamers by inertial microfluidic SELEX (I-SELEX)

    E-print Network

    Birch, Christina M.

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites invade and remodel human red blood cells (RBCs) by trafficking parasite-synthesized proteins to the RBC surface. While these proteins mediate interactions with host cells that ...

  1. Branched Tricarboxylic Acid Metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Olszewski, Kellen L.; Mather, Michael W.; Morrisey, Joanne M.; Garcia, Benjamin A.; Vaidya, Akhil B.; Rabinowitz, Joshua D.; Llinás, Manuel

    2010-01-01

    A central hub of carbon metabolism is the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle1, which serves to connect the processes of glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, respiration, amino acid synthesis and other biosynthetic pathways. The protozoan intracellular malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.), however, have long been suspected of possessing a significantly streamlined carbon metabolic network in which TCA metabolism plays a minor role2. Blood-stage Plasmodium parasites rely almost entirely on glucose fermentation for energy and consume minimal amounts of oxygen3, yet the parasite genome encodes all of the enzymes necessary for a complete TCA cycle4. By tracing 13C-labeled compounds using mass spectrometry5 we show that TCA metabolism in the human malaria parasite P. falciparum is largely disconnected from glycolysis and is organized along a fundamentally different architecture than the canonical textbook pathway. We find that this pathway is not cyclic but rather a branched structure in which the major carbon sources are the amino acids glutamate and glutamine. As a consequence of this branched architecture, several reactions must run in the reverse of the standard direction thereby generating two-carbon units in the form of acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA). We further show that glutamine-derived acetyl-CoA is used for histone acetylation while glucose-derived acetyl-CoA is used to acetylate aminosugars. Thus the parasite has evolved two independent acetyl-CoA-production mechanisms with different biological functions. These results significantly clarify our understanding of the Plasmodium metabolic network and highlight the ability of altered variants of central carbon metabolism to arise in response to unique environments. PMID:20686576

  2. Drug Screen Targeted at Plasmodium Liver Stages Identifies a Potent Multistage Antimalarial Drug

    PubMed Central

    da Cruz, Filipa P.; Martin, Cécilie; Buchholz, Kathrin; Lafuente-Monasterio, Maria J.; Rodrigues, Tiago; Sönnichsen, Birte; Moreira, Rui; Gamo, Francisco-Javier; Marti, Matthias; Mota, Maria M.; Hannus, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites undergo a clinically silent and obligatory developmental phase in the host’s liver cells before they are able to infect erythrocytes and cause malaria symptoms. To overcome the scarcity of compounds targeting the liver stage of malaria, we screened a library of 1037 existing drugs for their ability to inhibit Plasmodium hepatic development. Decoquinate emerged as the strongest inhibitor of Plasmodium liver stages, both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, decoquinate kills the parasite’s replicative blood stages and is active against developing gametocytes, the forms responsible for transmission. The drug acts by selectively and specifically inhibiting the parasite’s mitochondrial bc1 complex, with little cross-resistance with the antimalarial drug atovaquone. Oral administration of a single dose of decoquinate effectively prevents the appearance of disease, warranting its exploitation as a potent antimalarial compound. PMID:22396598

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Pf155/RESA protein influences the dynamic microcirculatory behavior of ring-stage Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells

    E-print Network

    Diez Silva, Monica

    Proteins exported by Plasmodium falciparum to the red blood cell (RBC) membrane modify the structural properties of the parasitized RBC (Pf-RBC). Although quasi-static single cell assays show reduced ring-stage Pf-RBCs ...

  8. Identification and Functional Validation of the Novel Antimalarial Resistance Locus PF10_0355 in Plasmodium falciparum

    E-print Network

    Tyne, Daria Van

    The Plasmodium falciparum parasite's ability to adapt to environmental pressures, such as the human immune system and antimalarial drugs, makes malaria an enduring burden to public health. Understanding the genetic basis ...

  9. Antigen-Displaying Lipid-Enveloped PLGA Nanoparticles as Delivery Agents for a Plasmodium vivax Malaria Vaccine

    E-print Network

    Moon, James J.

    The parasite Plasmodium vivax is the most frequent cause of malaria outside of sub-Saharan Africa, but efforts to develop viable vaccines against P. vivax so far have been inadequate. We recently developed pathogen-mimicking ...

  10. NMR assignment of the immune mapped protein 1 (IMP1) homologue from Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Benjamin, Stefi; Williams, Felix; Kerry, Louise; Matthews, Steve

    2015-10-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for causing cerebral malaria in humans. IMP1 is an immunogenic protein, present in the parasite, which has been shown to induce an immune response against apicomplexan parasites in a species-specific manner. Here, we report the complete NMR assignments of PfIMP1. PMID:25947350

  11. Dynamics and energetics of solute permeation through the Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin

    E-print Network

    de Groot, Bert

    , and is proposed to intervene in several crucial physiological processes during the parasitic life cycle. Despite selectivity for the permeation of solutes like glycerol and urea. 1. Introduction The parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most lethal form of the malaria disease.1 It expresses one aquaglyceroporin

  12. 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...

  13. Does Plasmodium falciparum have an Achilles' heel?

    E-print Network

    Liao Y Chen

    2013-05-21

    Plasmodium falciparum is the parasite that causes the most severe form of malaria. Currently, science has been established about its cellular structures, its metabolic processes, and even the molecular structures of its intrinsic membrane proteins responsible for transporting water, nutrient, and waste molecules across the parasite plasma membrane (PPM). I hypothesize that Plasmodium falciparum has an Achilles' heel that can be attacked with erythritol, the well-known sweetener that is classified as generally safe. Most organisms have in their cell membrane two types of water-channel proteins: aquaporins to maintain hydro-homeostasis across the membrane and aquaglyceroporins to uptake glycerols etc. In contrast, P. falciparum has only one type of such proteins---the multi-functional aquaglyceroporin (PfAQP) expressed in the PPM---to do both jobs. Moreover, the parasite also uses PfAQP to excrete its metabolic wastes (ammonia included) produced at a very high rate in the blood stage. This extremely high efficiency of the bug using one protein for multiple essential tasks makes the parasite fatally vulnerable. Erythritol in the blood stream can kill the parasite by clogging up its PfAQP channel that needs to be open for maintaining hydro-homeostasis and for excreting toxic wastes across the bug's PPM. In vitro tests are to measure the growth/death rate of P. falciparum in blood with various erythritol concentrations. In vivo experiments are to administer groups of infected mice with various doses of erythritol and monitor the parasite growth levels from blood samples drawn from each group. Clinic trials can be performed to observe the added effects of administering to patients erythritol along with the known drugs because erythritol was classified as a safe food ingredient.

  14. Cysteamine, the natural metabolite of pantetheinase, shows specific activity against Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Min-Oo, Gundula; Ayi, Kodjo; Bongfen, Silayuv E; Tam, Mifong; Radovanovic, Irena; Gauthier, Susan; Santiago, Helton; Rothfuchs, Antonio Gigliotti; Roffê, Ester; Sher, Alan; Mullick, Alaka; Fortin, Anny; Stevenson, Mary M; Kain, Kevin C; Gros, Philippe

    2010-08-01

    In mice, loss of pantetheinase activity causes susceptibility to infection with Plasmodium chabaudi AS. Treatment of mice with the pantetheinase metabolite cysteamine reduces blood-stage replication of P. chabaudi and significantly increases survival. Similarly, a short exposure of Plasmodium to cysteamine ex vivo is sufficient to suppress parasite infectivity in vivo. This effect of cysteamine is specific and not observed with a related thiol (dimercaptosuccinic acid) or with the pantethine precursor of cysteamine. Also, cysteamine does not protect against infection with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi or the fungal pathogen Candida albicans, suggesting cysteamine acts directly against the parasite and does not modulate host inflammatory response. Cysteamine exposure also blocks replication of P. falciparum in vitro; moreover, these treated parasites show higher levels of intact hemoglobin. This study highlights the in vivo action of cysteamine against Plasmodium and provides further evidence for the involvement of pantetheinase in host response to this infection. PMID:20219464

  15. Asparagine requirement in Plasmodium berghei as a target to prevent malaria transmission and liver infections

    PubMed Central

    Nagaraj, Viswanathan A.; Mukhi, Dhanunjay; Sathishkumar, Vinayagam; Subramani, Pradeep A.; Ghosh, Susanta K.; Pandey, Rajeev R.; Shetty, Manjunatha C.; Padmanaban, Govindarajan

    2015-01-01

    The proteins of Plasmodium, the malaria parasite, are strikingly rich in asparagine. Plasmodium depends primarily on host haemoglobin degradation for amino acids and has a rudimentary pathway for amino acid biosynthesis, but retains a gene encoding asparagine synthetase (AS). Here we show that deletion of AS in Plasmodium berghei (Pb) delays the asexual- and liver-stage development with substantial reduction in the formation of ookinetes, oocysts and sporozoites in mosquitoes. In the absence of asparagine synthesis, extracellular asparagine supports suboptimal survival of PbAS knockout (KO) parasites. Depletion of blood asparagine levels by treating PbASKO-infected mice with asparaginase completely prevents the development of liver stages, exflagellation of male gametocytes and the subsequent formation of sexual stages. In vivo supplementation of asparagine in mice restores the exflagellation of PbASKO parasites. Thus, the parasite life cycle has an absolute requirement for asparagine, which we propose could be targeted to prevent malaria transmission and liver infections. PMID:26531182

  16. 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.

  17. A case of severe Plasmodium knowlesi in a splenectomized patient.

    PubMed

    Boo, Yang Liang; Lim, Hong Tak; Chin, Pek Woon; Lim, Suat Yee; Hoo, Fan Kee

    2016-02-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic malaria, is now considered the fifth species of Plasmodium causing malaria in humans. With its 24-hour erythrocytic stage of development, it has raised concern regarding its high potential in replicating and leading to severe illness. Spleen is an important site for removal of parasitized red blood cells and generating immunity. We reported a case of knowlesi malaria in a non-immune, splenectomized patient. We observed the delay in parasite clearance, high parasitic counts, and severe illness at presentation. A thorough search through literature revealed several case reports on falciparum and vivax malaria in splenectomized patients. However, literature available for knowlesi malaria in splenectomized patient is limited. Further studies need to be carried out to clarify the role of spleen in host defense against human malaria especially P. knowlesi. PMID:26454133

  18. Host Cell Phosphatidylcholine Is a Key Mediator of Malaria Parasite Survival during Liver Stage Infection

    PubMed Central

    Itoe, Maurice A.; Sampaio, Júlio L.; Cabal, Ghislain G.; Real, Eliana; Zuzarte-Luis, Vanessa; March, Sandra; Bhatia, Sangeeta N.; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Thiele, Christoph; Shevchenko, Andrej; Mota, Maria M.

    2014-01-01

    Summary During invasion, Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, wraps itself in a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), which constitutes a critical interface between the parasite and its host cell. Within hepatocytes, each Plasmodium sporozoite generates thousands of new parasites, creating high demand for lipids to support this replication and enlarge the PVM. Here, a global analysis of the total lipid repertoire of Plasmodium-infected hepatocytes reveals an enrichment of neutral lipids and the major membrane phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine (PC). While infection is unaffected in mice deficient in key enzymes involved in neutral lipid synthesis and lipolysis, ablation of rate-limiting enzymes in hepatic PC biosynthetic pathways significantly decreases parasite numbers. Host PC is taken up by both P. berghei and P. falciparum and is necessary for correct localization of parasite proteins to the PVM, which is essential for parasite survival. Thus, Plasmodium relies on the abundance of these lipids within hepatocytes to support infection. PMID:25498345

  19. Structural differences explain diverse functions of Plasmodium actins.

    PubMed

    Vahokoski, Juha; Bhargav, Saligram Prabhakar; Desfosses, Ambroise; Andreadaki, Maria; Kumpula, Esa-Pekka; Martinez, Silvia Muñico; Ignatev, Alexander; Lepper, Simone; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Sidén-Kiamos, Inga; Sachse, Carsten; Kursula, Inari

    2014-04-01

    Actins are highly conserved proteins and key players in central processes in all eukaryotic cells. The two actins of the malaria parasite are among the most divergent eukaryotic actins and also differ from each other more than isoforms in any other species. Microfilaments have not been directly observed in Plasmodium and are presumed to be short and highly dynamic. We show that actin I cannot complement actin II in male gametogenesis, suggesting critical structural differences. Cryo-EM reveals that Plasmodium actin I has a unique filament structure, whereas actin II filaments resemble canonical F-actin. Both Plasmodium actins hydrolyze ATP more efficiently than ?-actin, and unlike any other actin, both parasite actins rapidly form short oligomers induced by ADP. Crystal structures of both isoforms pinpoint several structural changes in the monomers causing the unique polymerization properties. Inserting the canonical D-loop to Plasmodium actin I leads to the formation of long filaments in vitro. In vivo, this chimera restores gametogenesis in parasites lacking actin II, suggesting that stable filaments are required for exflagellation. Together, these data underline the divergence of eukaryotic actins and demonstrate how structural differences in the monomers translate into filaments with different properties, implying that even eukaryotic actins have faced different evolutionary pressures and followed different paths for developing their polymerization properties. PMID:24743229

  20. Structural Differences Explain Diverse Functions of Plasmodium Actins

    PubMed Central

    Vahokoski, Juha; Martinez, Silvia Muñico; Ignatev, Alexander; Lepper, Simone; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Sidén-Kiamos, Inga; Sachse, Carsten; Kursula, Inari

    2014-01-01

    Actins are highly conserved proteins and key players in central processes in all eukaryotic cells. The two actins of the malaria parasite are among the most divergent eukaryotic actins and also differ from each other more than isoforms in any other species. Microfilaments have not been directly observed in Plasmodium and are presumed to be short and highly dynamic. We show that actin I cannot complement actin II in male gametogenesis, suggesting critical structural differences. Cryo-EM reveals that Plasmodium actin I has a unique filament structure, whereas actin II filaments resemble canonical F-actin. Both Plasmodium actins hydrolyze ATP more efficiently than ?-actin, and unlike any other actin, both parasite actins rapidly form short oligomers induced by ADP. Crystal structures of both isoforms pinpoint several structural changes in the monomers causing the unique polymerization properties. Inserting the canonical D-loop to Plasmodium actin I leads to the formation of long filaments in vitro. In vivo, this chimera restores gametogenesis in parasites lacking actin II, suggesting that stable filaments are required for exflagellation. Together, these data underline the divergence of eukaryotic actins and demonstrate how structural differences in the monomers translate into filaments with different properties, implying that even eukaryotic actins have faced different evolutionary pressures and followed different paths for developing their polymerization properties. PMID:24743229

  1. Plasmodium cellular effector mechanisms and the hepatic microenvironment

    PubMed Central

    Frevert, Ute; Krzych, Urszula

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains one of the most serious health problems globally. Immunization with attenuated parasites elicits multiple cellular effector mechanisms capable of eliminating Plasmodium liver stages. However, malaria liver stage (LS) immunity is complex and the mechanisms effector T cells use to locate the few infected hepatocytes in the large liver in order to kill the intracellular LS parasites remain a mystery to date. Here, we review our current knowledge on the behavior of CD8 effector T cells in the hepatic microvasculature, in malaria and other hepatic infections. Taking into account the unique immunological and lymphogenic properties of the liver, we discuss whether classical granule-mediated cytotoxicity might eliminate infected hepatocytes via direct cell contact or whether cytokines might operate without cell–cell contact and kill Plasmodium LSs at a distance. A thorough understanding of the cellular effector mechanisms that lead to parasite death hence sterile protection is a prerequisite for the development of a successful malaria vaccine to protect the 40% of the world’s population currently at risk of Plasmodium infection. PMID:26074888

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

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Do malaria parasites follow the algebra of sex ratio theory? Jos. J. Schall Department of Biology at the blood of a patient suffering from malaria and discovered something wonderful. Laveran observed [1]. This initiates the sexual cycle that is universal in malaria parasites (Plasmodium

  3. Plasmodium knowlesi as a Threat to Global Public Health.

    PubMed

    Wesolowski, Roland; Wozniak, Alina; Mila-Kierzenkowska, Celestyna; Szewczyk-Golec, Karolina

    2015-10-01

    Malaria is a tropical disease caused by protozoans of the Plasmodium genus. Delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis are strongly associated with higher mortality. In recent years, a greater importance is attributed to Plasmodium knowlesi, a species found mainly in Southeast Asia. Routine parasitological diagnostics are associated with certain limitations and difficulties in unambiguous determination of the parasite species based only on microscopic image. Recently, molecular techniques have been increasingly used for predictive diagnosis. The aim of the study is to draw attention to the risk of travelling to knowlesi malaria endemic areas and to raise awareness among personnel involved in the therapeutic process. PMID:26537037

  4. Plasmodium knowlesi as a Threat to Global Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Wesolowski, Roland; Wozniak, Alina; Mila-Kierzenkowska, Celestyna; Szewczyk-Golec, Karolina

    2015-01-01

    Malaria is a tropical disease caused by protozoans of the Plasmodium genus. Delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis are strongly associated with higher mortality. In recent years, a greater importance is attributed to Plasmodium knowlesi, a species found mainly in Southeast Asia. Routine parasitological diagnostics are associated with certain limitations and difficulties in unambiguous determination of the parasite species based only on microscopic image. Recently, molecular techniques have been increasingly used for predictive diagnosis. The aim of the study is to draw attention to the risk of travelling to knowlesi malaria endemic areas and to raise awareness among personnel involved in the therapeutic process. PMID:26537037

  5. The impact of malaria parasitism: from corpuscles to communities

    PubMed Central

    Wellems, Thomas E.; Hayton, Karen; Fairhurst, Rick M.

    2009-01-01

    Malaria continues to exert a tremendous health burden on human populations, reflecting astonishingly successful adaptations of the causative Plasmodium parasites. We discuss here how this burden has driven the natural selection of numerous polymorphisms in the genes encoding hemoglobin and other erythrocyte proteins and some effectors of immunity. Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly parasite species in humans, displays a vigorous system of antigen variation to counter host defenses and families of functionally redundant ligands to invade human cells. Advances in genetics and genomics are providing fresh insights into the nature of these evolutionary adaptations, processes of parasite transmission and infection, and the difficult challenges of malaria control. PMID:19729847

  6. Addition of thiols to o-quinone methide: new 2-hydroxy-3-phenylsulfanylmethyl[1,4]naphthoquinones and their activity against the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (3D7).

    PubMed

    Sharma, Abhinay; Santos, Isabela O; Gaur, Pratibha; Ferreira, Vitor F; Garcia, Celia R S; da Rocha, David R

    2013-01-01

    A series of 36 new phenylsulfanylmethyl[1,4]naphthoquinones (7-42) were synthesized by a three-component reaction that involves lawsone, the appropriate aldehyde and thiols with variable substitution patterns. These reactions involve the in situ generation of o-quinone methides (o-QM) via Knoevenagel condensation and 1,4-nucleophilic addition under conventional heating or microwave irradiation. The new naphthoquinones obtained by this methodology were shown to have moderate to good in vitro antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum (3D7). PMID:23202850

  7. Copeia, 1987(1), pp. 84-93 Malarial Parasitism and the Behavior of the Lizard,

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    /sec of running), probably negating any ecological consequences of an effect of the parasite on rate of metabolicCopeia, 1987(1), pp. 84-93 Malarial Parasitism and the Behavior of the Lizard parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum. Because malarial infection results in pathologies that could affect

  8. Systems Biology via Redescription and Ontologies: Untangling the Malaria Parasite Life

    E-print Network

    Mishra, Bud

    Systems Biology via Redescription and Ontologies: Untangling the Malaria Parasite Life Cycle) of Plasmodium Falciparum, the parasite responsible for a deadly form of chloroquine resistant malaria. 1 to half a billion new cases of malaria are reported annually. The parasite Plas- modium falciparum

  9. Quantitation of Malaria Parasite-Erythrocyte Cell-Cell Interactions Using Optical Tweezers

    E-print Network

    Cicuta, Pietro

    Article Quantitation of Malaria Parasite-Erythrocyte Cell-Cell Interactions Using Optical Tweezers falciparum merozoites is an essential step for parasite survival and hence the pathogenesis of malaria are caused by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. All the symptoms of the disease are caused

  10. Abstract Theoretical models of parasite virulence often quantify virulence by mortality. However, there is a lack

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Abstract Theoretical models of parasite virulence often quantify virulence by mortality. However, there is a lack of empirical studies of parasite-induced host mortality because it is often difficult to quantify (Sceloporus occidentalis) infected with a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexican- um, in northern California

  11. The influence of malaria parasite genetic diversity and anaemia on mosquito feeding and fecundity

    E-print Network

    Read, Andrew

    The influence of malaria parasite genetic diversity and anaemia on mosquito feeding and fecundity H genetics and infection genetic diversity on the fecundity of mosquitoes carrying malaria parasites parasite Plasmodium chabaudi, or by a mixture of both. Mixed genotype infections reduced mosquito fecundity

  12. Heme oxygenase-1 is an anti-inflammatory host factor that promotes murine plasmodium liver infection.

    PubMed

    Epiphanio, Sabrina; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Gonçalves, Lígia A; Pamplona, Ana; Portugal, Silvia; Albuquerque, Sónia; Goldberg, Michael; Rebelo, Sofia; Anderson, Daniel G; Akinc, Akin; Vornlocher, Hans-Peter; Kappe, Stefan H I; Soares, Miguel P; Mota, Maria M

    2008-05-15

    The clinically silent Plasmodium liver stage is an obligatory step in the establishment of malaria infection and disease. We report here that expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1, encoded by Hmox1) is upregulated in the liver following infection by Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii sporozoites. HO-1 overexpression in the liver leads to a proportional increase in parasite liver load, and treatment of mice with carbon monoxide and with biliverdin, each an enzymatic product of HO-1, also increases parasite liver load. Conversely, mice lacking Hmox1 completely resolve the infection. In the absence of HO-1, the levels of inflammatory cytokines involved in the control of liver infection are increased. These findings suggest that, while stimulating inflammation, the liver stage of Plasmodium also induces HO-1 expression, which modulates the host inflammatory response, protecting the infected hepatocytes and promoting the liver stage of infection. PMID:18474360

  13. In Vitro Alterations Do Not Reflect a Requirement for Host Cell Cycle Progression during Plasmodium Liver Stage Infection

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Kirsten K.; March, Sandra; Ng, Shengyong; Bhatia, Sangeeta N.

    2014-01-01

    Prior to invading nonreplicative erythrocytes, Plasmodium parasites undergo their first obligate step in the mammalian host inside hepatocytes, where each sporozoite replicates to generate thousands of merozoites. While normally quiescent, hepatocytes retain proliferative capacity and can readily reenter the cell cycle in response to diverse stimuli. Many intracellular pathogens, including protozoan parasites, manipulate the cell cycle progression of their host cells for their own benefit, but it is not known whether the hepatocyte cell cycle plays a role during Plasmodium liver stage infection. Here, we show that Plasmodium parasites can be observed in mitotic hepatoma cells throughout liver stage development, where they initially reduce the likelihood of mitosis and ultimately lead to significant acquisition of a binucleate phenotype. However, hepatoma cells pharmacologically arrested in S phase still support robust and complete Plasmodium liver stage development, which thus does not require cell cycle progression in the infected cell in vitro. Furthermore, murine hepatocytes remain quiescent throughout in vivo infection with either Plasmodium berghei or Plasmodium yoelii, as do Plasmodium falciparum-infected primary human hepatocytes, demonstrating that the rapid and prodigious growth of liver stage parasites is accomplished independent of host hepatocyte cell cycle progression during natural infection. PMID:25416236

  14. Re-evaluation of microscopy confirmed Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria by nested PCR detection in southern Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background With 75% of the Ethiopian population at risk of malaria, accurate diagnosis is crucial for malaria treatment in endemic areas where Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax co-exist. The present study evaluated the performance of regular microscopy in accurate identification of Plasmodium spp. in febrile patients visiting health facilities in southern Ethiopia. Methods A cross-sectional study design was employed to recruit study subjects who were microscopically positive for malaria parasites and attending health facilities in southern Ethiopia between August and December 2011. Of the 1,416 febrile patients attending primary health facilities, 314 febrile patients, whose slides were positive for P. falciparum, P. vivax or mixed infections using microscopy, were re-evaluated for their infection status by PCR. Finger-prick blood samples were used for parasite genomic DNA extraction. Phylogenetic analyses were performed to reconstruct the distribution of different Plasmodium spp. across the three geographical areas. Results Of the 314 patients with a positive thick blood smear, seven patients (2%) were negative for any of the Plasmodium spp. by nested PCR. Among 180 microscopically diagnosed P. falciparum cases, 111 (61.7%) were confirmed by PCR, 44 (24.4%) were confirmed as P. vivax, 18 (10%) had mixed infections with P. falciparum and P. vivax and two (1.1%) were mixed infections with P. falciparum and P. malariae and five (2.8%) were negative for any of the Plasmodium spp. Of 131 microscopically diagnosed P. vivax cases, 110 (84%) were confirmed as P. vivax, 14 (10.7%) were confirmed as P. falciparum, two (1.5%) were P. malariae, three (2.3%) with mixed infections with P. falciparum and P. vivax and two (1.5%) were negative for any of the Plasmodium spp. Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax mixed infections were observed. Plasmodium malariae was detected as mono and mixed infections in four individuals. Conclusion False positivity, under-reporting of mixed infections and a significant number of species mismatch needs attention and should be improved for appropriate diagnosis. The detection of substantial number of false positive results by molecular methodologies may provide the accurate incidence of circulating Plasmodium species in the geographical region and has important repercussions in understanding malaria epidemiology and subsequent control. PMID:24502664

  15. Extraction of Hydrophilic Metabolites from Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Erythrocytes for Metabolomic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Olszewski, Kellen L.; Llinás, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    Metabolomics is an increasingly common analytical approach for investigating metabolic networks of pathogenic organisms. This may be of particular use in the study of parasitic infections due to the intrinsic metabolic connection between the parasite and its host. In vitro cultures of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum present a valuable platform to elucidate the structure and dynamics of the parasite’s metabolic network and to determine the mechanisms of action of antimalarial drugs and drug resistance mutations. Accurately measuring metabolite levels requires a reproducible method for quantifying intracellular metabolites. Here we present a simple protocol for extracting hydrophilic metabolites from P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte cultures. PMID:22990783

  16. Plasmodium infection brings forward mosquito oviposition.

    PubMed

    Vézilier, J; Nicot, A; Gandon, S; Rivero, A

    2015-03-01

    Invertebrate hosts often bring forward their reproductive effort in response to a parasitic infection. This is widely interpreted as a host-driven response aimed at compensating for the expected losses in future fitness as a result of parasitism. Here we report that mosquitoes bring forward their oviposition schedule when they are infected with Plasmodium, a parasite known to severely curtail mosquito fecundity. This response could aim at compensating for a negative time-dependent effect of the parasite on mosquito fitness, as infected mosquitoes seem to display a strong and progressive decrease in the quality of the eggs they lay. In addition, we show that this shift in oviposition date is dependent on mosquito strain: a comparison of several isogenic mosquitoes strains, one insecticide-susceptible and two insecticide-resistant ones, reveals that only the former shift their oviposition strategy when infected. This pattern suggests the existence of a costly host-driven response to parasitism, as insecticide-resistant mosquitoes have been shown to be in generally poorer condition. PMID:25788485

  17. Plasmodium knowlesi: from severe zoonosis to animal model.

    PubMed

    Cox-Singh, Janet; Culleton, Richard

    2015-06-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi malaria is a newly described zoonosis in Southeast Asia. Similarly to Plasmodium falciparum, P. knowlesi can reach high parasitaemia in the human host and both species cause severe and fatal illness. Interpretation of host-parasite interactions in studies of P. knowlesi malaria adds a counterpoint to studies on P. falciparum. However, there is no model system for testing the resulting hypotheses on malaria pathophysiology or for developing new interventions. Plasmodium knowlesi is amenable to genetic manipulation in vitro and several nonhuman primate species are susceptible to experimental infection. Here, we make a case for drawing on P. knowlesi as both a human pathogen and an experimental model to lift the roadblock between malaria research and its translation into human health benefits. PMID:25837310

  18. DNA Cloning of Plasmodium falciparum Circumsporozoite Gene: Amino Acid Sequence of Repetitive Epitope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enea, Vincenzo; Ellis, Joan; Zavala, Fidel; Arnot, David E.; Asavanich, Achara; Masuda, Aoi; Quakyi, Isabella; Nussenzweig, Ruth S.

    1984-08-01

    A clone of complementary DNA encoding the circumsporozoite (CS) protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has been isolated by screening an Escherichia coli complementary DNA library with a monoclonal antibody to the CS protein. The DNA sequence of the complementary DNA insert encodes a four-amino acid sequence: proline-asparagine-alanine-asparagine, tandemly repeated 23 times. The CS ? -lactamase fusion protein specifically binds monoclonal antibodies to the CS protein and inhibits the binding of these antibodies to native Plasmodium falciparum CS protein. These findings provide a basis for the development of a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

  19. The lasso segment is required for functional dimerization of the Plasmodium formin 1 FH2 domain.

    PubMed

    Ignatev, Alexander; Bhargav, Saligram Prabhakar; Vahokoski, Juha; Kursula, Petri; Kursula, Inari

    2012-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites, such as the malaria-causing Plasmodium species, utilize a unique way of locomotion and host cell invasion. This substrate-dependent gliding motility requires rapid cycling of actin between the monomeric state and very short, unbranched filaments. Despite the crucial role of actin polymerization for the survival of the malaria parasite, the majority of Plasmodium cellular actin is present in the monomeric form. Plasmodium lacks most of the canonical actin nucleators, and formins are essentially the only candidates for this function in all Apicomplexa. The malaria parasite has two formins, containing conserved formin homology (FH) 2 and rudimentary FH1 domains. Here, we show that Plasmodium falciparum formin 1 associates with and nucleates both mammalian and Plasmodium actin filaments. Although Plasmodium profilin alone sequesters actin monomers, thus inhibiting polymerization, its monomer-sequestering activity does not compete with the nucleating activity of formin 1 at an equimolar profilin-actin ratio. We have determined solution structures of P. falciparum formin 1 FH2 domain both in the presence and absence of the lasso segment and the FH1 domain, and show that the lasso is required for the assembly of functional dimers. PMID:22428073

  20. The Lasso Segment Is Required for Functional Dimerization of the Plasmodium Formin 1 FH2 Domain

    PubMed Central

    Ignatev, Alexander; Bhargav, Saligram Prabhakar; Vahokoski, Juha; Kursula, Petri; Kursula, Inari

    2012-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites, such as the malaria-causing Plasmodium species, utilize a unique way of locomotion and host cell invasion. This substrate-dependent gliding motility requires rapid cycling of actin between the monomeric state and very short, unbranched filaments. Despite the crucial role of actin polymerization for the survival of the malaria parasite, the majority of Plasmodium cellular actin is present in the monomeric form. Plasmodium lacks most of the canonical actin nucleators, and formins are essentially the only candidates for this function in all Apicomplexa. The malaria parasite has two formins, containing conserved formin homology (FH) 2 and rudimentary FH1 domains. Here, we show that Plasmodium falciparum formin 1 associates with and nucleates both mammalian and Plasmodium actin filaments. Although Plasmodium profilin alone sequesters actin monomers, thus inhibiting polymerization, its monomer-sequestering activity does not compete with the nucleating activity of formin 1 at an equimolar profilin-actin ratio. We have determined solution structures of P. falciparum formin 1 FH2 domain both in the presence and absence of the lasso segment and the FH1 domain, and show that the lasso is required for the assembly of functional dimers. PMID:22428073

  1. Identification and expression of maebl, an erythrocyte-binding gene, in Plasmodium gallinaceum

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Criseyda; Marzec, Timothy; Smith, Christopher D.; Tell, Lisa A.; Sehgal, Ravinder N. M.

    2012-01-01

    Avian malaria is of significant ecological importance and serves as a model system to study broad patterns of host switching and host-specificity. The erythrocyte invasion mechanism of the malaria parasite Plasmodium is mediated, in large part, by proteins of the erythrocyte binding-like (ebl) family of genes. However, little is known about how these genes are conserved across different species of Plasmodium, especially those that infect birds. Using bioinformatical methods in conjunction with PCR and genetic sequencing, we identified and annotated one member of the ebl family, maebl (merozoite apical erythrocyte binding ligand) from the chicken parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum. We then detected the expression of maebl in P. gallinaceum by PCR analysis of cDNA isolated from the blood of infected chickens. We found that maebl is a conserved orthologous gene in avian, mammalian, and rodent Plasmodium species. The duplicate extracellular binding domains of MAEBL, responsible for erythrocyte binding, are the most conserved regions. Our combined data corroborate the conservation of maebl throughout the Plasmodium genus, and may help elucidate the mechanisms of erythrocyte invasion in P. gallinaceum and the host specificity of Plasmodium parasites. PMID:23224610

  2. Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePLUS

    ... a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not. Parasites ... be seen with the naked eye. Some parasitic diseases occur in the United States. Contaminated water supplies ...

  3. Drug screen targeted at Plasmodium liver stages identifies a potent multistage antimalarial drug.

    PubMed

    da Cruz, Filipa P; Martin, Cécilie; Buchholz, Kathrin; Lafuente-Monasterio, Maria J; Rodrigues, Tiago; Sönnichsen, Birte; Moreira, Rui; Gamo, Francisco-Javier; Marti, Matthias; Mota, Maria M; Hannus, Michael; Prudêncio, Miguel

    2012-04-15

    Plasmodium parasites undergo a clinically silent and obligatory developmental phase in the host's liver cells before they are able to infect erythrocytes and cause malaria symptoms. To overcome the scarcity of compounds targeting the liver stage of malaria, we screened a library of 1037 existing drugs for their ability to inhibit Plasmodium hepatic development. Decoquinate emerged as the strongest inhibitor of Plasmodium liver stages, both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, decoquinate kills the parasite's replicative blood stages and is active against developing gametocytes, the forms responsible for transmission. The drug acts by selectively and specifically inhibiting the parasite's mitochondrial bc(1) complex, with little cross-resistance with the antimalarial drug atovaquone. Oral administration of a single dose of decoquinate effectively prevents the appearance of disease, warranting its exploitation as a potent antimalarial compound. PMID:22396598

  4. Evolution and ecology of malaria parasites: from mating to mixed?species infections 

    E-print Network

    Ramiro, Ricardo Filipe Serrote; Ricardo Filipe, Serrote Ramiro

    2012-11-30

    Despite over a century of research, malaria parasites (Plasmodium) still remain a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. In recent years, the application of theoretical principles from ecology and evolutionary ...

  5. ORIGINAL PAPER New malaria parasites of the subgenus Novyella in African

    E-print Network

    Sehgal, Ravinder

    . and Plasmodium (Novyella) parahexamerium n. sp. were found in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea cytochrome b (cyt b) gene. These parasites were found in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea, the yellow

  6. Identification of malaria parasite-infected red blood cell aptamers by inertial microfluidics SELEX

    E-print Network

    Birch, Christina M. (Christina Marie)

    2015-01-01

    Malaria kills over 500,000 people annually, the majority of whom are children under five years old in sub-Saharan Africa. This disease is caused by several parasite species, of which Plasmodium falciparum is associated ...

  7. Host Cell Phosphatidylcholine Is a Key Mediator of Malaria Parasite Survival during Liver Stage Infection

    E-print Network

    Itoe, Maurice A.

    During invasion, Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, wraps itself in a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), which constitutes a critical interface between the parasite and its host cell. Within hepatocytes, each ...

  8. Static and dynamic light scattering of healthy and malaria-parasite blood cells

    E-print Network

    Suresh, Subra

    We present the light scattering of individual Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized human red blood cells (Pf-RBCs), and demonstrate progressive alterations to the scattering signal arising from the development of malaria-inducing ...

  9. Local Adaptation and Vector-Mediated Population Structure in Plasmodium vivax Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Ceron, Lilia; Carlton, Jane M.; Gueye, Amy; Fay, Michael; McCutchan, Thomas F.; Su, Xin-zhuan

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax in southern Mexico exhibits different infectivities to 2 local mosquito vectors, Anopheles pseudopunctipennis and Anopheles albimanus. Previous work has tied these differences in mosquito infectivity to variation in the central repeat motif of the malaria parasite's circumsporozoite (csp) gene, but subsequent studies have questioned this view. Here we present evidence that P. vivax in southern Mexico comprised 3 genetic populations whose distributions largely mirror those of the 2 mosquito vectors. Additionally, laboratory colony feeding experiments indicate that parasite populations are most compatible with sympatric mosquito species. Our results suggest that reciprocal selection between malaria parasites and mosquito vectors has led to local adaptation of the parasite. Adaptation to local vectors may play an important role in generating population structure in Plasmodium. A better understanding of coevolutionary dynamics between sympatric mosquitoes and parasites will facilitate the identification of molecular mechanisms relevant to disease transmission in nature and provide crucial information for malaria control. PMID:18385220

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    The prevalence of vector-borne parasites varies greatly across host species, and this heterogeneity has been used to relate infectious disease susceptibility to host species traits. However, a few empirical studies have directly associated vector-borne parasite prevalence with exposure to vectors across hosts. Here, we use DNA sequencing of blood meals to estimate utilization of different avian host species by Culex mosquitoes, and relate utilization by these malaria vectors to avian Plasmodium prevalence. We found that avian host species that are highly utilized as hosts by avian malaria vectors are significantly more likely to have Plasmodium infections. However, the effect was not consistent among individual Plasmodium taxa. Exposure to vector bites may therefore influence the relative number of all avian Plasmodium infections among host species, while other processes, such as parasite competition and host-parasite coevolution, delimit the host distributions of individual Plasmodium species. We demonstrate that links between avian malaria susceptibility and host traits can be conditioned by patterns of exposure to vectors. Linking vector utilization rates to host traits may be a key area of future research to understand mechanisms that produce variation in the prevalence of vector-borne pathogens among host species. PMID:26394656

  11. Human Infections and Detection of Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

    Daneshvar, Cyrus

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Plasmodium knowlesi is a malaria parasite that is found in nature in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques. Naturally acquired human infections were thought to be extremely rare until a large focus of human infections was reported in 2004 in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Human infections have since been described throughout Southeast Asia, and P. knowlesi is now recognized as the fifth species of Plasmodium causing malaria in humans. The molecular, entomological, and epidemiological data indicate that human infections with P. knowlesi are not newly emergent and that knowlesi malaria is primarily a zoonosis. Human infections were undiagnosed until molecular detection methods that could distinguish P. knowlesi from the morphologically similar human malaria parasite P. malariae became available. P. knowlesi infections cause a spectrum of disease and are potentially fatal, but if detected early enough, infections in humans are readily treatable. In this review on knowlesi malaria, we describe the early studies on P. knowlesi and focus on the epidemiology, diagnosis, clinical aspects, and treatment of knowlesi malaria. We also discuss the gaps in our knowledge and the challenges that lie ahead in studying the epidemiology and pathogenesis of knowlesi malaria and in the prevention and control of this zoonotic infection. PMID:23554413

  12. Malaria Parasites Produce Volatile Mosquito Attractants

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Megan; Su, Chih-Ying; Schaber, Chad; Crowley, Jan R.; Hsu, Fong-Fu; Carlson, John R.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains a nonphotosynthetic plastid organelle that possesses plant-like metabolic pathways. Plants use the plastidial isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway to produce volatile odorants, known as terpenes. In this work, we describe the volatile chemical profile of cultured malaria parasites. Among the identified compounds are several plant-like terpenes and terpene derivatives, including known mosquito attractants. We establish the molecular identity of the odorant receptors of the malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae, which responds to these compounds. The malaria parasite produces volatile signals that are recognized by mosquitoes and may thereby mediate host attraction and facilitate transmission. PMID:25805727

  13. A New Method for Estimating Species Age Supports the Coexistence of Malaria Parasites and Their Mammalian Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Joana C.; Egan, Amy; Arze, Cesar; Spouge, John L.; Harris, David G.

    2015-01-01

    Species in the genus Plasmodium cause malaria in humans and infect a variety of mammals and other vertebrates. Currently, estimated ages for several mammalian Plasmodium parasites differ by as much as one order of magnitude, an inaccuracy that frustrates reliable estimation of evolutionary rates of disease-related traits. We developed a novel statistical approach to dating the relative age of evolutionary lineages, based on Total Least Squares regression. We validated this lineage dating approach by applying it to the genus Drosophila. Using data from the Drosophila 12 Genomes project, our approach accurately reconstructs the age of well-established Drosophila clades, including the speciation event that led to the subgenera Drosophila and Sophophora, and age of the melanogaster species subgroup. We applied this approach to hundreds of loci from seven mammalian Plasmodium species. We demonstrate the existence of a molecular clock specific to individual Plasmodium proteins, and estimate the relative age of mammalian-infecting Plasmodium. These analyses indicate that: 1) the split between the human parasite Plasmodium vivax and P. knowlesi, from Old World monkeys, occurred 6.1 times earlier than that between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi, parasites of humans and chimpanzees, respectively; and 2) mammalian Plasmodium parasites originated 22 times earlier than the split between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi. Calibrating the absolute divergence times for Plasmodium with eukaryotic substitution rates, we show that the split between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi occurred 3.0–5.5 Ma, and that mammalian Plasmodium parasites originated over 64 Ma. Our results indicate that mammalian-infecting Plasmodium evolved contemporaneously with their hosts, with little evidence for parasite host-switching on an evolutionary scale, and provide a solid timeframe within which to place the evolution of new Plasmodium species. PMID:25589738

  14. Predictions of avian Plasmodium expansion under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Loiseau, Claire; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Bichet, Coraline; Julliard, Romain; Garnier, Stéphane; Lendvai, Ádám Z.; Chastel, Olivier; Sorci, Gabriele

    2013-01-01

    Vector-borne diseases are particularly responsive to changing environmental conditions. Diurnal temperature variation has been identified as a particularly important factor for the development of malaria parasites within vectors. Here, we conducted a survey across France, screening populations of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) for malaria (Plasmodium relictum). We investigated whether variation in remotely-sensed environmental variables accounted for the spatial variation observed in prevalence and parasitemia. While prevalence was highly correlated to diurnal temperature range and other measures of temperature variation, environmental conditions could not predict spatial variation in parasitemia. Based on our empirical data, we mapped malaria distribution under climate change scenarios and predicted that Plasmodium occurrence will spread to regions in northern France, and that prevalence levels are likely to increase in locations where transmission already occurs. Our findings, based on remote sensing tools coupled with empirical data suggest that climatic change will significantly alter transmission of malaria parasites. PMID:23350033

  15. Targeting kinases in Plasmodium and Schistosoma: Same goals, different challenges.

    PubMed

    Doerig, Christian; Grevelding, Christoph G

    2015-10-01

    With respect to parasite-induced infectious diseases of worldwide importance, members of the genera Plasmodium and Schistosoma are top pathogens. Nearly half a billion people suffer from malaria caused by Plasmodium spp. and schistosomiasis (bilharzia) induced by Schistosoma spp. Resistance against essentially all drugs used for malaria treatment has been reported. For schistosomiasis justified fear of upcoming resistance is discussed against the background of only one widely used drug for treatment. Research of the recent decade has demonstrated that essential steps of the biology of these and other parasites are controlled by kinases, which represent attractive targets for new-generation antiparasitic compounds. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Inhibitors of Protein Kinases. PMID:25770683

  16. Genetic structure in insular and mainland populations of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and their hemosporidian parasites.

    PubMed

    Bichet, Coraline; Moodley, Yoshan; Penn, Dustin J; Sorci, Gabriele; Garnier, Stéphane

    2015-04-01

    Small and isolated populations usually exhibit low levels of genetic variability, and thus, they are expected to have a lower capacity to adapt to changes in environmental conditions, such as exposure to pathogens and parasites. Comparing the genetic variability of selectively neutral versus functional loci allows one to assess the evolutionary history of populations and their future evolutionary potential. The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) control immune recognition of parasites, and their unusually high diversity is genes which is likely driven by parasite-mediated balancing selection. Here, we examined diversity and differentiation of neutral microsatellite loci and functional MHC class I genes in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), living in six insular and six mainland populations, and we aimed to determine whether their diversity or differentiation correlates with the diversity and the prevalence of infection of hemosporidian parasites. We found that island bird populations tended to have lower neutral genetic variability, whereas MHC variability gene was similar between island and mainland populations. Similarly, island populations tended to show greater genetic differentiation than mainland populations, especially at microsatellite markers. The maintenance of MHC genetic diversity and its less marked structure in the island populations could be attributed to balancing-selection. The greater MHC differentiation among populations was negatively correlated with similarity in blood parasites (prevalence and diversity of parasite strains) between populations. Even at low prevalence and small geographical scale, haemosporidian parasites might contribute to structure the variability of immune genes among populations of hosts. PMID:25937907

  17. Genetic structure in insular and mainland populations of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and their hemosporidian parasites

    PubMed Central

    Bichet, Coraline; Moodley, Yoshan; Penn, Dustin J; Sorci, Gabriele; Garnier, Stéphane

    2015-01-01

    Small and isolated populations usually exhibit low levels of genetic variability, and thus, they are expected to have a lower capacity to adapt to changes in environmental conditions, such as exposure to pathogens and parasites. Comparing the genetic variability of selectively neutral versus functional loci allows one to assess the evolutionary history of populations and their future evolutionary potential. The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) control immune recognition of parasites, and their unusually high diversity is genes which is likely driven by parasite-mediated balancing selection. Here, we examined diversity and differentiation of neutral microsatellite loci and functional MHC class I genes in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), living in six insular and six mainland populations, and we aimed to determine whether their diversity or differentiation correlates with the diversity and the prevalence of infection of hemosporidian parasites. We found that island bird populations tended to have lower neutral genetic variability, whereas MHC variability gene was similar between island and mainland populations. Similarly, island populations tended to show greater genetic differentiation than mainland populations, especially at microsatellite markers. The maintenance of MHC genetic diversity and its less marked structure in the island populations could be attributed to balancing-selection. The greater MHC differentiation among populations was negatively correlated with similarity in blood parasites (prevalence and diversity of parasite strains) between populations. Even at low prevalence and small geographical scale, haemosporidian parasites might contribute to structure the variability of immune genes among populations of hosts. PMID:25937907

  18. Morphologic and molecular study of hemoparasites in wild corvids and evidence of sequence identity with Plasmodium DNA detected in captive black-footed penguins (Spheniscus demersus).

    PubMed

    Leclerc, Antoine; Chavatte, Jean-Marc; Landau, Irène; Snounou, Georges; Petit, Thierry

    2014-09-01

    A morphologic and molecular epidemiologic investigation was conducted on a captive African black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus) colony with a history of Plasmodium infections at La Palmyre Zoo (France). Each penguin received 12.5 mg of pyrimethamine twice a week as a prophylaxis every year from April to November. Although Plasmodium parasites were not detected in blood smears and tissues collected from the penguins, various blood parasites were recorded in blood smears from wild Eurasian magpies (Pica pica) and carrion crows (Corvus corone) sampled at the same time in the study area. These parasites consisted of several Plasmodium spp. (P. lenoblei, P. dorsti, P bioccai, P. relictum, P. dherteae, P. beaucournui, P. maior, P. tranieri, and P. snounoui), Parahaemoproteus spp., Trypanosoma spp., and Leucocytozoon spp. On the other hand, nested polymerase chain reaction enabled detection of Plasmodium DNA in 28/44 (64%) penguins, 15/25 (60%) magpies, and 4/9 (44%) crows. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses indicated that the parasite DNA amplified from the penguins, magpies, and crows were similar. Magpies and crows could therefore act as a reservoir for penguin Plasmodium infections, which may be more prevalent than previously thought. Morphologic characterization of the Plasmodium spp. detected in the penguins, as well as further biological and epidemiologic studies, are needed to fully understand the transmission of Plasmodium parasites to captive penguins. PMID:25314825

  19. Structure of Plasmodium falciparum ADP-ribosylation factor 1

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, William J.; Smith, Craig D.; Senkovich, Olga; Holder, Anthony A.; Chattopadhyay, Debasish

    2011-09-26

    Vesicular trafficking may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis and survival of the malaria parasite. ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs) are among the major components of vesicular trafficking pathways in eukaryotes. The crystal structure of ARF1 GTPase from Plasmodium falciparum has been determined in the GDP-bound conformation at 2.5 {angstrom} resolution and is compared with the structures of mammalian ARF1s.

  20. Induction of gene amplification in Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, P.L.

    1985-01-01

    Human erythrocytic in vitro cultures of Honduras I strain of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have been stressed stepwise with increasing concentrations of methotrexate (MTX), a folate antagonist. This selection has produced a strain that is 450 times more resistant to the drug than the original culture. Uptake of sublethal doses of radiolabeled MTX by infected red blood cells was 6-36 times greater in the resistant cultures than in the nonresistant controls. DNA isolated from all of the parasites was probed by hybridization with /sup 35/S-labeled DNA derived from a clone of the yeast thymidylate synthetase (TS) gene. This showed 50 to 100 times more increased hybridization of the TS probe to the DNA from the resistant parasites is direct evidence of gene amplification because DHFR and TS are actually one and the same bifunctional enzyme in P. falciparum. Hence, the evidence presented indicates that induced resistance of the malaria parasite to MTX in this case is due to overproduction of DHFR resulting from amplification of the DHFR-TS gene.

  1. Chemical interrogation of malarial host and parasite kinomes

    PubMed Central

    Zuzarte-Luís, Vanessa; Magalhães, Andreia D.; Kato, Nobutaka; Sanschagrin, Paul C.; Wang, Jinhua; Zhou, Wenjun; Miduturu, Chandrasekhar V.; Mazitschek, Ralph; Sliz, Piotr; Mota, Maria M.; Gray, Nathanael S.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria, an infectious disease caused by eukaryotic parasites from the genus Plasmodium, afflicts hundreds of millions of people every year. Both the parasite and its host utilize protein kinases to regulate essential cellular processes. Bioinformatic analyses of parasite genomes predict at least 65 protein kinases, but their biological functions and therapeutic potential are largely unknown. We profiled 1,358 small molecule kinase inhibitors to evaluate the role of both the human and malaria kinomes in Plasmodium infection of liver cells, the parasites’ obligatory but transient developmental stage that precedes the symptomatic blood stage. The screen identified several small molecules that inhibit parasite load in liver cells, some with nanomolar efficacy, and each compound was subsequently assessed for activity against blood stage malaria. Most of the screening hits inhibited both liver and blood stage malaria parasites, which have dissimilar gene expression profiles and infect different host cells. Evaluation of existing kinase activity profiling data for the library members suggests several kinases are essential to malaria parasites, including cyclin-dependent kinases, glycogen synthase kinases, and phosphoinositide-3-kinases. CDK inhibitors were found to bind to Plasmodium protein kinase 5, but it is likely that these compounds target multiple parasite kinases. The dual stage inhibition of the identified kinase inhibitors makes them useful chemical probes and promising starting points for antimalarial development. PMID:25111632

  2. Occurrence of Plasmodium in Anatidae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.; Kocan, R.M.

    1970-01-01

    Until a little over a decade ago reports of Plasrnodium in geese, ducks, and swans were the result of examination of single blood smears from wild birds. One would gather from the earlier studies that Anatidae are infrequently infected. During the past decade we have conducted studies on prevalence of Plasmodium by an isodiagnosis technique, inoculating blood from wild birds into captive young geese, ducks, and other species of birds and determining the status of infection in the donors by examination of repetitive blood smears from the recipients. Examination by this technique of a series of adult Canada geese from the Seney National Wildlife Refuge in northern Michigan uncovered a prevalence of 60% during five successive years. Domestic geese were the primary recipients but we found that several other species of geese, ducks, and gulls were also susceptible. Similar studies on Canada geese from other areas (Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and southern Michigan) uncovered infection rates from zero to 27%. Following isolation of Plasmodlum in a single canvasback duck (Aythya valisineria) in southern Michigan by inoculation into a domestic duck, a series of 88 canvasbacks from Chesapeake Bay in Maryland this winter uncovered an infection rate of 27%. The most common parasite observed in both the geese and was as P. circumflexum.

  3. Haem-activated promiscuous targeting of artemisinin in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jigang; Zhang, Chong-Jing; Chia, Wan Ni; Loh, Cheryl C Y; Li, Zhengjun; Lee, Yew Mun; He, Yingke; Yuan, Li-Xia; Lim, Teck Kwang; Liu, Min; Liew, Chin Xia; Lee, Yan Quan; Zhang, Jianbin; Lu, Nianci; Lim, Chwee Teck; Hua, Zi-Chun; Liu, Bin; Shen, Han-Ming; Tan, Kevin S W; Lin, Qingsong

    2015-01-01

    The mechanism of action of artemisinin and its derivatives, the most potent of the anti-malarial drugs, is not completely understood. Here we present an unbiased chemical proteomics analysis to directly explore this mechanism in Plasmodium falciparum. We use an alkyne-tagged artemisinin analogue coupled with biotin to identify 124 artemisinin covalent binding protein targets, many of which are involved in the essential biological processes of the parasite. Such a broad targeting spectrum disrupts the biochemical landscape of the parasite and causes its death. Furthermore, using alkyne-tagged artemisinin coupled with a fluorescent dye to monitor protein binding, we show that haem, rather than free ferrous iron, is predominantly responsible for artemisinin activation. The haem derives primarily from the parasite's haem biosynthesis pathway at the early ring stage and from haemoglobin digestion at the latter stages. Our results support a unifying model to explain the action and specificity of artemisinin in parasite killing. PMID:26694030

  4. Inference of the Oxidative Stress Network in Anopheles stephensi upon Plasmodium Infection

    PubMed Central

    Shrinet, Jatin; Nandal, Umesh Kumar; Adak, Tridibes; Bhatnagar, Raj K.; Sunil, Sujatha

    2014-01-01

    Ookinete invasion of Anopheles midgut is a critical step for malaria transmission; the parasite numbers drop drastically and practically reach a minimum during the parasite's whole life cycle. At this stage, the parasite as well as the vector undergoes immense oxidative stress. Thereafter, the vector undergoes oxidative stress at different time points as the parasite invades its tissues during the parasite development. The present study was undertaken to reconstruct the network of differentially expressed genes involved in oxidative stress in Anopheles stephensi during Plasmodium development and maturation in the midgut. Using high throughput next generation sequencing methods, we generated the transcriptome of the An. stephensi midgut during Plasmodium vinckei petteri oocyst invasion of the midgut epithelium. Further, we utilized large datasets available on public domain on Anopheles during Plasmodium ookinete invasion and Drosophila datasets and arrived upon clusters of genes that may play a role in oxidative stress. Finally, we used support vector machines for the functional prediction of the un-annotated genes of An. stephensi. Integrating the results from all the different data analyses, we identified a total of 516 genes that were involved in oxidative stress in An. stephensi during Plasmodium development. The significantly regulated genes were further extracted from this gene cluster and used to infer an oxidative stress network of An. stephensi. Using system biology approaches, we have been able to ascertain the role of several putative genes in An. stephensi with respect to oxidative stress. Further experimental validations of these genes are underway. PMID:25474020

  5. Parasite Virulence 14Parasite Virulence

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    Parasite Virulence 14Parasite Virulence Jos J. Schall Department of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA The Problem Some parasites exact a terrible price from their hosts, causing severe pathology and reducing the host's fitness, whereas other parasites are essentially benign. Several kinds

  6. Parasitic Pneumonia and Lung Involvement

    PubMed Central

    Cheepsattayakorn, Ruangrong

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic infestations demonstrated a decline in the past decade as a result of better hygiene practices and improved socioeconomic conditions. Nevertheless, global immigration, increased numbers of the immunocompromised people, international traveling, global warming, and rapid urbanization of the cities have increased the susceptibility of the world population to parasitic diseases. A number of new human parasites, such as Plasmodium knowlesi, in addition to many potential parasites, have urged the interest of scientific community. A broad spectrum of protozoal parasites frequently affects the respiratory system, particularly the lungs. The diagnosis of parasitic diseases of airway is challenging due to their wide varieties of clinical and roentgenographic presentations. So detailed interrogations of travel history to endemic areas are critical for clinicians or pulmonologists to manage this entity. The migrating adult worms can cause mechanical airway obstruction, while the larvae can cause airway inflammation. This paper provides a comprehensive review of both protozoal and helminthic infestations that affect the airway system, particularly the lungs, including clinical and roentgenographic presentations, diagnostic tests, and therapeutic approaches. PMID:24995332

  7. In Vivo Function of PTEX88 in Malaria Parasite Sequestration and Virulence.

    PubMed

    Matz, Joachim M; Ingmundson, Alyssa; Costa Nunes, Jean; Stenzel, Werner; Matuschewski, Kai; Kooij, Taco W A

    2015-06-01

    Malaria pathology is linked to remodeling of red blood cells by eukaryotic Plasmodium parasites. Central to host cell refurbishment is the trafficking of parasite-encoded virulence factors through the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins (PTEX). Much of our understanding of its function is based on experimental work with cultured Plasmodium falciparum, yet direct consequences of PTEX impairment during an infection remain poorly defined. Using the murine malaria model parasite Plasmodium berghei, it is shown here that efficient sequestration to the pulmonary, adipose, and brain tissue vasculature is dependent on the PTEX components thioredoxin 2 (TRX2) and PTEX88. While TRX2-deficient parasites remain virulent, PTEX88-deficient parasites no longer sequester in the brain, correlating with abolishment of cerebral complications in infected mice. However, an apparent trade-off for virulence attenuation was spleen enlargement, which correlates with a strongly reduced schizont-to-ring-stage transition. Strikingly, general protein export is unaffected in PTEX88-deficient mutants that mature normally in vitro. Thus, PTEX88 is pivotal for tissue sequestration in vivo, parasite virulence, and preventing exacerbation of spleen pathology, but these functions do not correlate with general protein export to the host erythrocyte. The presented data suggest that the protein export machinery of Plasmodium parasites and their underlying mechanistic features are considerably more complex than previously anticipated and indicate challenges for targeted intervention strategies. PMID:25820521

  8. The energetic budget of Anopheles stephensi infected with Plasmodium chabaudi: is energy depletion a mechanism for virulence?

    PubMed Central

    Rivero, A; Ferguson, H M

    2003-01-01

    Evidence continues to accumulate showing that the malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) reduce the survival and fecundity of their mosquito vectors (Anopheles spp.). Our ability to identify the possible epidemiological and evolutionary consequences of these parasite-induced fitness reductions has been hampered by a poor understanding of the physiological basis of these shifts. Here, we explore whether the reductions in fecundity and longevity are the result of a parasite-mediated depletion or reallocation of the energetic resources of the mosquito. Mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium chabaudi were expected to have less energetic resources than uninfected mosquitoes, and energy levels were predicted to be lowest in mosquitoes infected with the most virulent parasite genotypes. Not only was there no evidence of a parasite-mediated reduction in the overall energetic budget of mosquitoes, but Plasmodium was actually associated with increased levels of glucose, a key insect nutritional and energetic resource. The data strongly suggest the existence of an increase in sugar feeding in mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium. We suggest different adaptive explanations for an enhanced sugar uptake in infected mosquitoes and call for more studies to investigate the physiological role of glucose in the Plasmodium-mosquito interaction. PMID:12965027

  9. Why some parasites are widespread and abundant while others are local and rare?

    PubMed

    Robalinho Lima, Marcos; Bensch, Staffan

    2014-07-01

    Abundances and distributions of species are usually associated. This implies that as a species declines in abundance so does the number of sites it occupies. Conversely, when there is an increase in a species' range size, it is usually followed by an increase in population size (Gaston et al. 2000). This ecological phenomenon, also known as the abundance-occupancy relationship (AOR), is well documented in several species of animals and plants (Gaston et al. 2000) but has been little investigated in parasites. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Drovetski et al. (2014) investigated the AOR in avian haemosporidians (vector-borne blood parasites) using data from four well-sampled bird communities. In support of the AOR, the research group found that the abundance of parasite cytochrome b lineages (a commonly used proxy for species identification within this group of parasites) was positively linked with the abundance of susceptible avian host species and that the most abundant haemospordian lineages were those with larger ranges. Drovetski et al. (2014) also found evidence for both hypotheses proposed to explain the AOR in parasites: the trade-off hypothesis (TOH) and the niche-breadth hypothesis (NBH). Interestingly, the main predictor of the AOR was the number of susceptible hosts (i.e. number of infected birds) and not the number of host species the parasites were able to exploit. PMID:24957162

  10. Interacting parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2010-01-01

    Parasitism is the most popular life-style on Earth, and many vertebrates host more than one kind of parasite at a time. A common assumption is that parasite species rarely interact, because they often exploit different tissues in a host, and this use of discrete resources limits competition (1). On page 243 of this issue, however, Telfer et al. (2) provide a convincing case of a highly interactive parasite community in voles, and show how infection with one parasite can affect susceptibility to others. If some human parasites are equally interactive, our current, disease-by-disease approach to modeling and treating infectious diseases is inadequate (3).

  11. Validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the quantification of human IgG directed against the repeat region of the circumsporozoite protein of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Several pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccines based on the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) antigen of Plasmodium falciparum are in clinical development. Vaccine immunogenicity is commonly evaluated by the determination of anti-CSP antibody levels using IgG-based assays, but no standard assay is available to allow comparison of the different vaccines. Methods The validation of an anti-CSP repeat region enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is described. This assay is based on the binding of serum antibodies to R32LR, a recombinant protein composed of the repeat region of P. falciparum CSP. In addition to the original recombinant R32LR, an easy to purify recombinant His-tagged R32LR protein has been constructed to be used as solid phase antigen in the assay. Also, hybridoma cell lines have been generated producing human anti-R32LR monoclonal antibodies to be used as a potential inexhaustible source of anti-CSP repeats standard, instead of a reference serum. Results The anti-CSP repeats ELISA was shown to be robust, specific and linear within the analytical range, and adequately fulfilled all validation criteria as defined in the ICH guidelines. Furthermore, the coefficient of variation for repeatability and intermediate precision did not exceed 23%. Non-interference was demonstrated for R32LR-binding sera, and the assay was shown to be stable over time. Conclusions This ELISA, specific for antibodies directed against the CSP repeat region, can be used as a standard assay for the determination of humoral immunogenicity in the development of any CSP-based P. falciparum malaria vaccine. PMID:23173602

  12. Genetic and environmental determinants of malaria parasite virulence in mosquitoes.

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, H M; Read, A F

    2002-01-01

    Models of malaria epidemiology and evolution are frequently based on the assumption that vector-parasitic associations are benign. Implicit in this assumption is the supposition that all Plasmodium parasites have an equal and neutral effect on vector survival, and thus that there is no parasite genetic variation for vector virulence. While some data support the assumption of avirulence, there has been no examination of the impact of parasite genetic diversity. We conducted a laboratory study with the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi and the vector, Anopheles stephensi, to determine whether mosquito mortality varied with parasite genotype (CR and ER clones), infection diversity (single versus mixed genotype) and nutrient availability. Vector mortality varied significantly between parasite genotypes, but the rank order of virulence depended on environmental conditions. In standard conditions, mixed genotype infections were the most virulent but when glucose water was limited, mortality was highest in mosquitoes infected with CR. These genotype-by-environment interactions were repeatable across two experiments and could not be explained by variation in anaemia, gametocytaemia, blood meal size, mosquito body size, infection rate or oocyst burden. Variation in the genetic and environmental determinants of virulence may explain conflicting accounts of Plasmodium pathogenicity to mosquitoes in the malaria literature. PMID:12065037

  13. The Strait of Gibraltar poses an effective barrier to host-specialised but not to host-generalised lineages of avian Haemosporidia.

    PubMed

    Mata, Vanessa A; da Silva, Luís P; Lopes, Ricardo J; Drovetski, Sergei V

    2015-09-01

    One of the major concerns with ongoing environmental global change is the ability of parasites to shift their distribution (both geographically and across hosts) and to increase in virulence. To understand the structure, diversity and connectivity of parasite communities across the Mediterranean Sea, we used avian haemosporidian communities associated with forest birds of northwestern Africa and northwestern Iberia as a model system. We characterised host specificity of lineages and tested whether host generalists are more likely to cross the biogeographic barrier imposed by the Strait of Gibraltar than host specialists. We sampled 321 birds of 43 species in northwestern Africa and 735 birds of 49 species in northwestern Iberia. Using a PCR-based approach to amplify Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon parasites, we retrieved 969 sequences representing 200 unique cytochrome-b lineages. Haemosporidians infected a significantly higher proportion of birds in northwestern Africa (78.5%) than in northwestern Iberia (50.5%). Relative diversity of different haemosporidian genera did not differ between our study areas, but Plasmodium was overrepresented among individual infections in northwestern Iberia. Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon lineages were predominantly host-specialised and Plasmodium lineages were host-generalised. The number of regions occupied by lineages was significantly associated with their host specificity and abundance. These data are consistent with the positive abundance-occupancy relationship and patterns of host specificity among different haemosporidian genera observed in other studies. PMID:26056737

  14. Retinal Hemorrhages in Severe Non-cerebral Plasmodium vivax Malaria in an Adult

    PubMed Central

    Lakhotia, Manoj; Pahadiya, Hans Raj; Kumar, Harish; Choudhary, Prakash K.

    2015-01-01

    Malaria is the most important parasitic diseases of humans and one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in tropical countries. Earlier Plasmodium vivax was considered as a benign infection, but now it is recognized as a cause of severe malarial disease. It causes severe malarial disease similar to those as Plasmodium falciparum including cerebral malaria, severe anaemia, severe thrombocytopenia, hepatic dysfunction, shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute renal failure, and pulmonary oedema. Malarial retinopathy includes retinal whitening, vessel changes, retinal hemorrhages and papilledema. However, retinal hemorrhages are very rare in Plasmodium vivax infestation. Hereby, we report a case of 30-year-old man, who presented with fever with chills and diminution of vision. He was found to have Plasmodium vivax infection with retinal hemorrhages. He was treated successfully with artisunate, primaquine and doxycycline, completely recovered after one month. PMID:26266150

  15. Plasmodium Vivax Infection Impersonating Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Kakaraparthi, Sweta; Prabhu, Raghunath

    2014-01-01

    A 73-year-old woman came to the casualty ward with symptoms of syncopal attacks, weakness, fever with chills and rigors. A provisional diagnosis of Plasmodium vivax malaria was made after the blood investigations. She had deranged renal function tests, altered sensorium and low platelet count. Repeated tests for P. falciparum (Card test) were negative. Glucose-6-Phosphate dehydrogenise (G6PD) levels were within normal limits. Treatment for P. vivax was started with intravenous quinine initially followed by oral quinine for a period of seven days and patient responded to the treatment and was discharged within 2 weeks of admission. Most of the cases of P. vivax present with typical and predictable features, although atypical cases with characteristics of P. falciparum can occur, especially in the elderly. PMID:25610295

  16. Parasites: Water

    MedlinePLUS

    ... RWI) Water Disinfection for Travelers Water-related Diseases, Contaminants, and Injuries Be Healthy. Think Healthy. Swim Healthy. ... Contact CDC-INFO Parasites About Parasites Animals Blood Food Insects Water Education and Training CDC Bottle Bioassay ...

  17. Strategies for Detection of Plasmodium species Gametocytes

    PubMed Central

    Javati, Sarah; Robinson, Leanne; Betuela, Inoni; Siba, Peter; Beck, Hans-Peter; Mueller, Ivo; Felger, Ingrid

    2013-01-01

    Carriage and density of gametocytes, the transmission stages of malaria parasites, are determined for predicting the infectiousness of humans to mosquitoes. This measure is used for evaluating interventions that aim at reducing malaria transmission. Gametocytes need to be detected by amplification of stage-specific transcripts, which requires RNA-preserving blood sampling. For simultaneous, highly sensitive quantification of both, blood stages and gametocytes, we have compared and optimized different strategies for field and laboratory procedures in a cross sectional survey in 315 5-9 yr old children from Papua New Guinea. qRT-PCR was performed for gametocyte markers pfs25 and pvs25, Plasmodium species prevalence was determined by targeting both, 18S rRNA genes and transcripts. RNA-based parasite detection resulted in a P. falciparum positivity of 24.1%; of these 40.8% carried gametocytes. P. vivax positivity was 38.4%, with 38.0% of these carrying gametocytes. Sensitivity of DNA-based parasite detection was substantially lower with 14.1% for P. falciparum and 19.6% for P. vivax. Using the lower DNA-based prevalence of asexual stages as a denominator increased the percentage of gametocyte-positive infections to 59.1% for P. falciparum and 52.4% for P. vivax. For studies requiring highly sensitive and simultaneous quantification of sexual and asexual parasite stages, 18S rRNA transcript-based detection saves efforts and costs. RNA-based positivity is considerably higher than other methods. On the other hand, DNA-based parasite quantification is robust and permits comparison with other globally generated molecular prevalence data. Molecular monitoring of low density asexual and sexual parasitaemia will support the evaluation of effects of up-scaled antimalarial intervention programs and can also inform about small scale spatial variability in transmission intensity. PMID:24312682

  18. Purification Methodology for Viable and Infective Plasmodium vivax Gametocytes That Is Compatible with Transmission-Blocking Assays.

    PubMed

    Vera, Omaira; Brelas de Brito, Paula; Albrecht, Letusa; Martins-Campos, Keillen Monick; Pimenta, Paulo F P; Monteiro, Wuelton M; Lacerda, Marcus V G; Lopes, Stefanie C P; Costa, Fabio T M

    2015-10-01

    Significant progress toward the control of malaria has been achieved, especially regarding Plasmodium falciparum infections. However, the unique biology of Plasmodium vivax hampers current control strategies. The early appearance of P. vivax gametocytes in the peripheral blood and the impossibility of culturing this parasite are major drawbacks. Using blood samples from 40 P. vivax-infected patients, we describe here a methodology to purify viable gametocytes and further infect anophelines. This method opens new avenues to validate transmission-blocking strategies. PMID:26239989

  19. Plasmodium durae Herman from the introduced common peafowl in northern Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Laird, M

    1978-02-01

    Plasmodium (Giovannolaia) durae Herman was originally described from Kenya, the type host being the common turkey, Meleagris gallopavo Linnaeus. There are no field records of this association outside of Africa, where the parasite, herein reported from another introduced and domesticated bird (the common peafowl, Pavo cristatus Linnaeus), was recently listed from 2 native Phasianidae of the genus Francolinus. The justification for the present identification is submitted against background data concerning malaria parasites from turkeys and other Galliformes in Africa and elsewhere, and restraint is urged in describing yet more "new species" of avian Plasmodium belonging to morphologically close taxa within Novyella and Giovannolaia. A near relative of P. durae, Plasmodium dissanaikei de Jong, is transferred from the former subgenus to the latter one. PMID:660569

  20. Plasmodium gallinaceum preferentially invades vesicular ATPase-expressing cells in Aedes aegypti midgut

    PubMed Central

    Shahabuddin, Mohammed; Pimenta, Paulo F. P.

    1998-01-01

    Penetration of the mosquito midgut epithelium is obligatory for the further development of Plasmodium parasites. Therefore, blocking the parasite from invading the midgut wall disrupts the transmission of malaria. Despite such a pivotal role in malaria transmission, the cellular and molecular interactions that occur during the invasion are not understood. Here, we demonstrate that the ookinetes of Plasmodium gallinaceum, which is related closely to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, selectively invade a cell type in the Aedes aegypti midgut. These cells, unlike the majority of the cells in the midgut, do not stain with a basophilic dye (toluidine blue) and are less osmiophilic. In addition, they contain minimal endoplasmic reticulum, lack secretory granules, and have few microvilli. Instead, these cells are highly vacuolated and express large amounts of vesicular ATPase. The enzyme is associated with the apical plasma membrane, cytoplasmic vesicles, and tubular extensions of the basal membrane of the invaded cells. The high cost of insecticide use in endemic areas and the emergence of drug resistant malaria parasites call for alternative approaches such as modifying the mosquito to block the transmission of malaria. One of the targets for such modification is the parasite receptor on midgut cells. A step toward the identification of this receptor is the realization that malaria parasites invade a special cell type in the mosquito midgut. PMID:9520375

  1. Malaria vaccines: identifying Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage targets

    PubMed Central

    Longley, Rhea J.; Hill, Adrian V. S.; Spencer, Alexandra J.

    2015-01-01

    The development of a highly efficacious and durable vaccine for malaria remains a top priority for global health researchers. Despite the huge rise in recognition of malaria as a global health problem and the concurrent rise in funding over the past 10–15 years, malaria continues to remain a widespread burden. The evidence of increasing resistance to anti-malarial drugs and insecticides is a growing concern. Hence, an efficacious and durable preventative vaccine for malaria is urgently needed. Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective tools and have successfully been used in the prevention and control of many diseases, however, the development of a vaccine for the Plasmodium parasite has proved difficult. Given the early success of whole sporozoite mosquito-bite delivered vaccination strategies, we know that a vaccine for malaria is an achievable goal, with sub-unit vaccines holding great promise as they are simple and cheap to both manufacture and deploy. However a major difficulty in development of sub-unit vaccines lies within choosing the appropriate antigenic target from the 5000 or so genes expressed by the parasite. Given the liver-stage of malaria represents a bottle-neck in the parasite’s life cycle, there is widespread agreement that a multi-component sub-unit malaria vaccine should preferably contain a liver-stage target. In this article we review progress in identifying and screening Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage targets for use in a malaria vaccine. PMID:26441899

  2. Increased detection of Plasmodium knowlesi in Sandakan division, Sabah as revealed by PlasmoNex™

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian malaria parasite that is widespread in humans in Malaysian Borneo. However, little is known about the incidence and distribution of this parasite in the Sandakan division, Malaysian Borneo. Therefore, the aim of the present epidemiological study was to investigate the incidence and distribution of P. knowlesi as well as other Plasmodium species in this division based on a most recent developed hexaplex PCR system (PlasmoNex™). Methods A total of 189 whole blood samples were collected from Telupid Health Clinic, Sabah, Malaysia, from 2008 to 2011. All patients who participated in the study were microscopically malaria positive before recruitment. Complete demographic details and haematological profiles were obtained from 85 patients (13 females and 72 males). Identification of Plasmodium species was conducted using PlasmoNex™ targeting the 18S ssu rRNA gene. Results A total of 178 samples were positive for Plasmodium species by using PlasmoNex™. Plasmodium falciparum was identified in 68 samples (38.2%) followed by 64 cases (36.0%) of Plasmodium vivax, 42 (23.6%) cases of P. knowlesi, two (1.1%) cases of Plasmodium malariae and two (1.1%) mixed-species infections (i e, P. vivax/P. falciparum). Thirty-five PlasmoNex™ positive P. knowlesi samples were misdiagnosed as P. malariae by microscopy. Plasmodium knowlesi was detected in all four districts of Sandakan division with the highest incidence in the Kinabatangan district. Thrombocytopaenia and anaemia showed to be the most frequent malaria-associated haematological complications in this study. Conclusions The discovery of P. knowlesi in Sandakan division showed that prospective studies on the epidemiological risk factors and transmission dynamics of P. knowlesi in these areas are crucial in order to develop strategies for effective malaria control. The availability of advanced diagnostic tool PlasmoNex™ enhanced the accuracy and accelerated the speed in the diagnosis of malaria. PMID:23902626

  3. Mitochondrial ATP synthase is dispensable in blood-stage Plasmodium berghei rodent malaria

    E-print Network

    McFadden, Geoff

    Mitochondrial ATP synthase is dispensable in blood-stage Plasmodium berghei rodent malaria synthase is driven by chemiosmotic oxidation of pyruvate derived from glycolysis. Blood-stage malaria of the parasite life cycle. We knocked out the mitochondrial ATP synthase subunit gene in the rodent malaria

  4. Regulatory T cells in human geohelminth infection suppress immune responses to BCG and Plasmodium

    E-print Network

    and by high burdens of parasitic infections such as geohelminths and malaria. One of the hallmarks of chronicRegulatory T cells in human geohelminth infection suppress immune responses to BCG and Plasmodium and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK 5 Department of Medical Parasitology, Radboud

  5. Hemoglobin Cleavage Site-Specificity of the Plasmodium falciparum Cysteine Proteases Falcipain-2 and Falcipain-3

    E-print Network

    Craik, Charles S.

    Hemoglobin Cleavage Site-Specificity of the Plasmodium falciparum Cysteine Proteases Falcipain-2 and falcipain-3 degrade host hemoglobin to provide free amino acids for parasite protein synthesis. Hemoglobin inhibitors completely block the process, suggesting that cysteine proteases can also initiate hemoglobin

  6. Morphologically defined subgenera of Plasmodium from avian hosts: test of monophyly by phylogenetic analysis of

    E-print Network

    Schall, Joseph J.

    , subgenera, monophyly. INTRODUCTION The discovery of a malaria parasite in human blood by Laveran in 1880, and mammal hosts almost worldwide (reviewed by Garnham, 1966). Debate quickly emerged on how to place the mitochondrial genome) supported the monophyly of each of the 3 named subgenera of Plasmodium found in mammal

  7. Detection of Mixed Infections with Plasmodium spp. by PCR, India, 2014

    PubMed Central

    Krishna, Sri; Bharti, Praveen K.; Chandel, Himashu S.; Ahmad, Amreen; Kumar, Rajesh; Singh, Puspendra P.; Singh, Mrigendra P.

    2015-01-01

    In 8 malaria-endemic states in India, mixed Plasmodium spp. infections were detected by PCR in 17.4% (265/1,521) of blood samples that microscopy had shown to contain only P. falciparum. The quality of microscopy must be improved because use of PCR for detection of malaria parasites is limited in rural areas. PMID:26401635

  8. Efficient site-specific integration in Plasmodium falciparum chromosomes mediated by

    E-print Network

    Cai, Long

    to the development of various tools for the genetic manipulation of this organism. The ap- plication of techniques the development of a new means of genetic integration into P. falciparum. In this system, transient expression of genetic integration into Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite chromosomes. This is mediated

  9. Implications of Glutathione Levels in the Plasmodium berghei Response to Chloroquine and Artemisinin

    PubMed Central

    Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Pastrana-Mena, Rebecca; Crespo-Lladó, Keila N.; Ortiz, José G.; Ferrer-Rodríguez, Iván; Serrano, Adelfa E.

    2015-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most devastating parasitic diseases worldwide. Plasmodium drug resistance remains a major challenge to malaria control and has led to the re-emergence of the disease. Chloroquine (CQ) and artemisinin (ART) are thought to exert their anti-malarial activity inducing cytotoxicity in the parasite by blocking heme degradation (for CQ) and increasing oxidative stress. Besides the contribution of the CQ resistance transporter (PfCRT) and the multidrug resistant gene (pfmdr), CQ resistance has also been associated with increased parasite glutathione (GSH) levels. ART resistance was recently shown to be associated with mutations in the K13-propeller protein. To analyze the role of GSH levels in CQ and ART resistance, we generated transgenic Plasmodium berghei parasites either deficient in or overexpressing the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase gene (pbggcs) encoding the rate-limiting enzyme in GSH biosynthesis. These lines produce either lower (pbggcs-ko) or higher (pbggcs-oe) levels of GSH than wild type parasites. In addition, GSH levels were determined in P. berghei parasites resistant to CQ and mefloquine (MQ). Increased GSH levels were detected in both, CQ and MQ resistant parasites, when compared to the parental sensitive clone. Sensitivity to CQ and ART remained unaltered in both pgggcs-ko and pbggcs-oe parasites when tested in a 4 days drug suppressive assay. However, recrudescence assays after the parasites have been exposed to a sub-lethal dose of ART showed that parasites with low levels of GSH are more sensitive to ART treatment. These results suggest that GSH levels influence Plasmodium berghei response to ART treatment. PMID:26010448

  10. Plasmodium yoelii: induction of attenuated mutants by irradiation

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-12-01

    When erythrocytic forms of Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis, which is invariably fatal in mice, were exposed to X rays, the dose to reduce surviving parasites to one millionth was 100 gray (10 Krad). A suspension of 5 X 10(6) per ml of parasitized erythrocyte was irradiated at 100 gray, and 0.2 ml aliquots were inoculated into 22 mice. Eleven mice showed patent parasitemia, and in these the growth curves were less steep than that found in nonirradiated parasites. The infections of 8 mice of the 11 were self-resolving, and the attenuated feature of the parasites maintained following a limited number of blood passages. The parasites were slowly growing even in nude mice and cause self-resolving infections in intact mice. BALB/c mice immunized with the attenuated parasites were protected against subsequent challenge infections with the original virulent erythrocytic and sporogonic forms. These findings indicate that attenuated mutants of malaria parasites can be readily induced by this method.

  11. Protein trafficking in Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Brian M; Lingelbach, Klaus; Bannister, Lawrence H; Tilley, Leann

    2004-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum inhabits a niche within the most highly terminally differentiated cell in the human body--the mature red blood cell. Life inside this normally quiescent cell offers the parasite protection from the host's immune system, but provides little in the way of cellular infrastructure. To survive and replicate in the red blood cell, the parasite exports proteins that interact with and dramatically modify the properties of the host red blood cell. As part of this process, the parasite appears to establish a system within the red blood cell cytosol that allows the correct trafficking of parasite proteins to their final cellular destinations. In this review, we examine recent developments in our understanding of the pathways and components involved in the delivery of important parasite-encoded proteins to their final destination in the host red blood cell. These complex processes are not only fundamental to the survival of malaria parasites in vivo, but are also major determinants of the unique pathogenicity of this parasite. PMID:15522668

  12. More than just immune evasion: Hijacking complement by Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Christoph Q; Kennedy, Alexander T; Tham, Wai-Hong

    2015-09-01

    Malaria remains one of the world's deadliest diseases. Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most severe and lethal form of human malaria. P. falciparum's life cycle involves two obligate hosts: human and mosquito. From initial entry into these hosts, malaria parasites face the onslaught of the first line of host defence, the complement system. In this review, we discuss the complex interaction between complement and malaria infection in terms of hosts immune responses, parasite survival and pathogenesis of severe forms of malaria. We will focus on the role of complement receptor 1 and its associated polymorphisms in malaria immune complex clearance, as a mediator of parasite rosetting and as an entry receptor for P. falciparum invasion. Complement evasion strategies of P. falciparum parasites will also be highlighted. The sexual forms of the malaria parasites recruit the soluble human complement regulator Factor H to evade complement-mediated killing within the mosquito host. A novel evasion strategy is the deployment of parasite organelles to divert complement attack from infective blood stage parasites. Finally we outline the future challenge to understand the implications of these exploitation mechanisms in the interplay between successful infection of the host and pathogenesis observed in severe malaria. PMID:25816986

  13. Current status of Plasmodium vivax vaccine.

    PubMed

    Arévalo-Herrera, Myriam; Chitnis, Chetan; Herrera, Sócrates

    2010-01-01

    From a total of 2.6 billion people at permanent risk of suffering malaria infection worldwide, 80-300 million experience Plasmodium vivax infections every year, with clinical manifestations ranging from asymptomatic to mild and chronic infection that in some cases lead to severe disease and death. The increasing P. vivax drug resistance and reports of severe and lethal cases, the relapsing parasite behavior and the existence of Plasmodium spp. co-infections must prompt more investment and greater efforts for the development of P. vivax vaccine. Currently there are only two P. vivax vaccine candidates being tested in clinical trials and few others are being assessed in preclinical studies which contrast with the numerous P. falciparum vaccines candidates under evaluation. The recent availability of the P. vivax genome and ongoing proteomic analysis are likely to accelerate P. vivax vaccine development. Recent development of human sporozoite-challenge models would contribute to move clinical development forward and to identify mechanisms of immunity. PMID:20009526

  14. Rodent malaria parasites suffer from the presence of conspecific clones in three-clone

    E-print Network

    de Roode, Jaap

    Rodent malaria parasites suffer from the presence of conspecific clones in three-clone Plasmodium genetically distinct clones ­ 1 less virulent than the other 2 ­ either on their own or in mixtures. During the acute phase of infection, total numbers of asexual parasites in mixed-clone infections were equal

  15. The paradoxical population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Hartl, Daniel L; Volkman, Sarah K; Nielsen, Kaare M; Barry, Alyssa E; Day, Karen P; Wirth, Dyann F; Winzeler, Elizabeth A

    2002-06-01

    Among the leading causes of death in African children is cerebral malaria caused by the parasitic protozoan Plasmodium falciparum. Endemic forms of this disease are thought to have originated in central Africa 5000-10000 years ago, coincident with the innovation of slash-and-burn agriculture and the diversification of the Anopheles gambiae complex of mosquito vectors. Population genetic studies of P. falciparum have yielded conflicting results. Some evidence suggests that today's population includes multiple ancient lineages pre-dating human speciation. Other evidence suggests that today's population derives from only one, or a small number, of these ancient lineages. Resolution of this issue is important for the evaluation of the long-term efficacy of drug and immunological control strategies. PMID:12036741

  16. Diagnostic criteria and risk factors for Plasmodium ovale malaria.

    PubMed

    Faye, Farba B K; Spiegel, André; Tall, Adama; Sokhna, Cheikh; Fontenille, Didier; Rogier, Christophe; Trape, Jean-François

    2002-09-01

    Plasmodium ovale is a common malaria parasite in Africa, but the epidemiology of P. ovale malaria is poorly known. Exposure to malaria, parasitemia, and morbidity were monitored for 6 years among the residents of a village in Senegal. The relationship between the level of P. ovale parasitemia and fever risk were analyzed, and diagnostic criteria for clinical P. ovale malaria were established. Then the relationships between the occurrence of P. ovale clinical malaria and a series of entomological, epidemiological, and genetic factors were investigated. There was no increased risk of fever when the P. ovale parasite count was <800 parasites/microL of blood. Of 6621 episodes of illness, 114 (1.7%) were attributable to P. ovale. Although most clinical episodes occurred during early childhood, a low incidence of the disease persisted among adults. Sickle cell trait carriers had increased susceptibility to the disease. PMID:12195357

  17. Ape parasite origins of human malaria virulence genes

    PubMed Central

    Larremore, Daniel B.; Sundararaman, Sesh A.; Liu, Weimin; Proto, William R.; Clauset, Aaron; Loy, Dorothy E.; Speede, Sheri; Plenderleith, Lindsey J.; Sharp, Paul M.; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Rayner, Julian C.; Buckee, Caroline O.

    2015-01-01

    Antigens encoded by the var gene family are major virulence factors of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, exhibiting enormous intra- and interstrain diversity. Here we use network analysis to show that var architecture and mosaicism are conserved at multiple levels across the Laverania subgenus, based on var-like sequences from eight single-species and three multi-species Plasmodium infections of wild-living or sanctuary African apes. Using select whole-genome amplification, we also find evidence of multi-domain var structure and synteny in Plasmodium gaboni, one of the ape Laverania species most distantly related to P. falciparum, as well as a new class of Duffy-binding-like domains. These findings indicate that the modular genetic architecture and sequence diversity underlying var-mediated host-parasite interactions evolved before the radiation of the Laverania subgenus, long before the emergence of P. falciparum. PMID:26456841

  18. Ape parasite origins of human malaria virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Larremore, Daniel B; Sundararaman, Sesh A; Liu, Weimin; Proto, William R; Clauset, Aaron; Loy, Dorothy E; Speede, Sheri; Plenderleith, Lindsey J; Sharp, Paul M; Hahn, Beatrice H; Rayner, Julian C; Buckee, Caroline O

    2015-01-01

    Antigens encoded by the var gene family are major virulence factors of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, exhibiting enormous intra- and interstrain diversity. Here we use network analysis to show that var architecture and mosaicism are conserved at multiple levels across the Laverania subgenus, based on var-like sequences from eight single-species and three multi-species Plasmodium infections of wild-living or sanctuary African apes. Using select whole-genome amplification, we also find evidence of multi-domain var structure and synteny in Plasmodium gaboni, one of the ape Laverania species most distantly related to P. falciparum, as well as a new class of Duffy-binding-like domains. These findings indicate that the modular genetic architecture and sequence diversity underlying var-mediated host-parasite interactions evolved before the radiation of the Laverania subgenus, long before the emergence of P. falciparum. PMID:26456841

  19. Study on application of high doses plasmodium berghei in cell culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, L. M.; De Santis, M.; Davila, J.; Foinquinos, A.; Salcedo, E.; Sajo-Bohus, L.

    2012-02-01

    Malaria, one of the most important infection disease problems in the world, is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. This disease is responsible for hundreds of the millions of clinical cases and more than one million deaths per year, for this reason, malaria is a priority and the WHO estimates that half of the world population is at risk. In this work we study how the absorbed dose inactivates the parasite (Plasmodium berghei) in rodent model (BALB/c mice), by applying X-ray irradiation. The dose was increased from 10 to 50 Gy in parasitized red blood cells (PRBC) with merozoite stage using in vitro short cultures. Also the reduction of the irradiation effect was determined by intra-peritoneal inoculations of irradiated parasites. Afterwards, the parasitaemia was assessed daily on smears made from tail blood and stained with Giemsa's reagent. Besides, the effect of irradiation was evaluated using an immunological test as indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). The results of this study showed that the most effective radiation for inactivation of parasites is about 50 Gy and the immunofluorescence pattern showed a different distribution of the fluorescence on parasites. These results showed direct correlation between the effect of irradiated parasites and parasitaemia in the group of mice infected with RBC after 50 Gy irradiation. Our results indicated that the threshold is between 30 to 50 Gy to inactivate the parasites.

  20. Regulation of Gene Expression in Protozoa Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Consuelo; Esther Ramirez, M.; Calixto-Galvez, Mercedes; Medel, Olivia; Rodríguez, Mario A.

    2010-01-01

    Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis. PMID:20204171

  1. Plasmodium vivax Populations Are More Genetically Diverse and Less Structured than Sympatric Plasmodium falciparum Populations

    PubMed Central

    Jennison, Charlie; Arnott, Alicia; Tessier, Natacha; Tavul, Livingstone; Koepfli, Cristian; Felger, Ingrid; Siba, Peter M.; Reeder, John C.; Bahlo, Melanie; Mueller, Ivo; Barry, Alyssa E.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax, is proving more difficult to control and eliminate than Plasmodium falciparum in areas of co-transmission. Comparisons of the genetic structure of sympatric parasite populations may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the resilience of P. vivax and can help guide malaria control programs. Methodology/Principle findings P. vivax isolates representing the parasite populations of four areas on the north coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG) were genotyped using microsatellite markers and compared with previously published microsatellite data from sympatric P. falciparum isolates. The genetic diversity of P. vivax (He = 0.83–0.85) was higher than that of P. falciparum (He = 0.64–0.77) in all four populations. Moderate levels of genetic differentiation were found between P. falciparum populations, even over relatively short distances (less than 50 km), with 21–28% private alleles and clear geospatial genetic clustering. Conversely, very low population differentiation was found between P. vivax catchments, with less than 5% private alleles and no genetic clustering observed. In addition, the effective population size of P. vivax (30353; 13043–69142) was larger than that of P. falciparum (18871; 8109–42986). Conclusions/Significance Despite comparably high prevalence, P. vivax had higher diversity and a panmictic population structure compared to sympatric P. falciparum populations, which were fragmented into subpopulations. The results suggest that in comparison to P. falciparum, P. vivax has had a long-term large effective population size, consistent with more intense and stable transmission, and limited impact of past control and elimination efforts. This underlines suggestions that more intensive and sustained interventions will be needed to control and eventually eliminate P. vivax. This research clearly demonstrates how population genetic analyses can reveal deeper insight into transmission patterns than traditional surveillance methods. PMID:25874894

  2. A Plasmodium Phospholipase Is Involved in Disruption of the Liver Stage Parasitophorous Vacuole Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Burda, Paul-Christian; Roelli, Matthias A.; Schaffner, Marco; Khan, Shahid M.; Janse, Chris J.; Heussler, Volker T.

    2015-01-01

    The coordinated exit of intracellular pathogens from host cells is a process critical to the success and spread of an infection. While phospholipases have been shown to play important roles in bacteria host cell egress and virulence, their role in the release of intracellular eukaryotic parasites is largely unknown. We examined a malaria parasite protein with phospholipase activity and found it to be involved in hepatocyte egress. In hepatocytes, Plasmodium parasites are surrounded by a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), which must be disrupted before parasites are released into the blood. However, on a molecular basis, little is known about how the PVM is ruptured. We show that Plasmodium berghei phospholipase, PbPL, localizes to the PVM in infected hepatocytes. We provide evidence that parasites lacking PbPL undergo completely normal liver stage development until merozoites are produced but have a defect in egress from host hepatocytes. To investigate this further, we established a live-cell imaging-based assay, which enabled us to study the temporal dynamics of PVM rupture on a quantitative basis. Using this assay we could show that PbPL-deficient parasites exhibit impaired PVM rupture, resulting in delayed parasite egress. A wild-type phenotype could be re-established by gene complementation, demonstrating the specificity of the PbPL deletion phenotype. In conclusion, we have identified for the first time a Plasmodium phospholipase that is important for PVM rupture and in turn for parasite exit from the infected hepatocyte and therefore established a key role of a parasite phospholipase in egress. PMID:25786000

  3. Parasitic colitis.

    PubMed

    Hechenbleikner, Elizabeth M; McQuade, Jennifer A

    2015-06-01

    Over one billion people worldwide harbor intestinal parasites. Parasitic intestinal infections have a predilection for developing countries due to overcrowding and poor sanitation but are also found in developed nations, such as the United States, particularly in immigrants or in the setting of sporadic outbreaks. Although the majority of people are asymptomatically colonized with parasites, the clinical presentation can range from mild abdominal discomfort or diarrhea to serious complications, such as perforation or bleeding. Protozoa and helminths (worms) are the two major classes of intestinal parasites. Protozoal intestinal infections include cryptosporidiosis, cystoisosporiasis, cyclosporiasis, balantidiasis, giardiasis, amebiasis, and Chagas disease, while helminth infections include ascariasis, trichuriasis, strongyloidiasis, enterobiasis, and schistosomiasis. Intestinal parasites are predominantly small intestine pathogens but the large intestine is also frequently involved. This article highlights important aspects of parasitic infections of the colon including epidemiology, transmission, symptoms, and diagnostic methods as well as appropriate medical and surgical treatment. PMID:26034403

  4. Small molecule Plasmodium FKBP35 inhibitor as a potential antimalaria agent

    PubMed Central

    Harikishore, Amaravadhi; Niang, Makhtar; Rajan, Sreekanth; Preiser, Peter Rainer; Yoon, Ho Sup

    2013-01-01

    Malaria parasite strains have emerged to tolerate the therapeutic effects of the prophylactics and drugs presently available. This resistance now poses a serious challenge to researchers in the bid to overcome malaria parasitic infection. Recent studies have shown that FK520 and its analogs inhibit malaria parasites growth by binding to FK506 binding proteins (FKBPs) of the parasites. Structure based drug screening efforts based on three-dimensional structural information of FKBPs from Plasmodium falciparum led us to identify new chemical entities that bind to the parasite FKBP35 and inhibit its growth. Our experimental results verify that this novel compound (D44) modulate the PPIase activity of Plasmodium FKBP35 and demonstrate the stage-specific growth inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum strains. Here, we present the X-ray crystallographic structures of FK506 binding domains (FKBDs) of PfFKBP35 and PvFKBP35 in complex with the newly identified inhibitor providing molecular insights into its mode of action. PMID:23974147

  5. DNA secondary structures are associated with recombination in major Plasmodium falciparum variable surface antigen gene families

    PubMed Central

    Sander, Adam F.; Lavstsen, Thomas; Rask, Thomas S.; Lisby, Michael; Salanti, Ali; Fordyce, Sarah L.; Jespersen, Jakob S.; Carter, Richard; Deitsch, Kirk W.; Theander, Thor G.; Pedersen, Anders Gorm; Arnot, David E.

    2014-01-01

    Many bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens undergo antigenic variation to counter host immune defense mechanisms. In Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal of human malaria parasites, switching of var gene expression results in alternating expression of the adhesion proteins of the Plasmodium falciparum-erythrocyte membrane protein 1 class on the infected erythrocyte surface. Recombination clearly generates var diversity, but the nature and control of the genetic exchanges involved remain unclear. By experimental and bioinformatic identification of recombination events and genome-wide recombination hotspots in var genes, we show that during the parasite’s sexual stages, ectopic recombination between isogenous var paralogs occurs near low folding free energy DNA 50-mers and that these sequences are heavily concentrated at the boundaries of regions encoding individual Plasmodium falciparum-erythrocyte membrane protein 1 structural domains. The recombinogenic potential of these 50-mers is not parasite-specific because these sequences also induce recombination when transferred to the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetic cross data suggest that DNA secondary structures (DSS) act as inducers of recombination during DNA replication in P. falciparum sexual stages, and that these DSS-regulated genetic exchanges generate functional and diverse P. falciparum adhesion antigens. DSS-induced recombination may represent a common mechanism for optimizing the evolvability of virulence gene families in pathogens. PMID:24253306

  6. A Nature-Inspired Betalainic Probe for Live-Cell Imaging of Plasmodium-Infected Erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves, Letícia Christina Pires; Tonelli, Renata Rosito; Bagnaresi, Piero; Mortara, Renato Arruda; Ferreira, Antonio Gilberto; Bastos, Erick Leite

    2013-01-01

    A model betalainic dye was semisynthesized from betanin, the magenta pigment of the red beet, and was effective for live-cell imaging of Plasmodium-infected red blood cells. This water-soluble fluorescent probe is photostable, excitable in the visible region and cell membrane-permeable, and its photophysical properties are not notably pH-sensitive. Fluorescence imaging microscopy of erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum, a causative agent of malaria in humans, showed that only the parasite was stained. Z-stacking analysis suggested that the probe accumulates proximal to the nucleus of the parasite. Indicaxanthin, one of the natural fluorescent betalains found in the petals of certain flowers, did not stain the parasite or the red blood cell. PMID:23342028

  7. Parasite antigens*

    PubMed Central

    1975-01-01

    The currently available preparations used as antigen in the serological investigation of parasitic diseases are ill-defined heterogeneous mixtures, and there is an evident need for better characterized reagents. Antigens of different parasite species (schistosomes, filariae, trypanosomes, and plasmodia) are discussed and parasite sources enumerated. Modern methods for the preparation of antigenic extracts and their fractionation are described, together with certain guidelines as to their biochemical characterization and their immunological activity. In order to implement this endeavour and to make better use of serological techniques in parasitic diseases, proposals are made concerning collaborative research and field application among a number of laboratories on schistosome, onchocercal, trypanosome, and plasmodial antigens. PMID:1084794

  8. P. berghei Telomerase Subunit TERT is Essential for Parasite Survival

    PubMed Central

    Religa, Agnieszka A.; Ramesar, Jai; Janse, Chris J.; Scherf, Artur; Waters, Andrew P.

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres define the ends of chromosomes protecting eukaryotic cells from chromosome instability and eventual cell death. The complex regulation of telomeres involves various proteins including telomerase, which is a specialized ribonucleoprotein responsible for telomere maintenance. Telomeres of chromosomes of malaria parasites are kept at a constant length during blood stage proliferation. The 7-bp telomere repeat sequence is universal across different Plasmodium species (GGGTTT/CA), though the average telomere length varies. The catalytic subunit of telomerase, telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), is present in all sequenced Plasmodium species and is approximately three times larger than other eukaryotic TERTs. The Plasmodium RNA component of TERT has recently been identified in silico. A strategy to delete the gene encoding TERT via double cross-over (DXO) homologous recombination was undertaken to study the telomerase function in P. berghei. Expression of both TERT and the RNA component (TR) in P. berghei blood stages was analysed by Western blotting and Northern analysis. Average telomere length was measured in several Plasmodium species using Telomere Restriction Fragment (TRF) analysis. TERT and TR were detected in blood stages and an average telomere length of ?950 bp established. Deletion of the tert gene was performed using standard transfection methodologies and we show the presence of tert? mutants in the transfected parasite populations. Cloning of tert- mutants has been attempted multiple times without success. Thorough analysis of the transfected parasite populations and the parasite obtained from extensive parasite cloning from these populations provide evidence for a so called delayed death phenotype as observed in different organisms lacking TERT. The findings indicate that TERT is essential for P. berghei cell survival. The study extends our current knowledge on telomere biology in malaria parasites and validates further investigations to identify telomerase inhibitors to induce parasite cell death. PMID:25275500

  9. Intracellular proteolysis of kininogen by malaria parasites promotes release of active kinins

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The malaria burden remains a major public health concern, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The complex biology of Plasmodium, the apicomplexan parasite responsible for this disease, challenges efforts to develop new strategies to control the disease. Proteolysis is a fundamental process in the metabolism of malaria parasites, but roles for proteases in generating vasoactive peptides have not previously been explored. Results In the present work, it was demonstrated by mass spectrometry analysis that Plasmodium parasites (Plasmodium chabaudi and Plasmodium falciparum) internalize and process plasma kininogen, thereby releasing vasoactive kinins (Lys-BK, BK and des-Arg9-BK) that may mediate haemodynamic alterations during acute malaria. In addition, it was demonstrated that the P. falciparum cysteine proteases falcipain-2 and falcipain-3 generated kinins after incubation with human kininogen, suggesting that these enzymes have an important role in this process. The biologic activity of peptides released by Plasmodium parasites was observed by measuring ileum contraction and activation of kinin receptors (B1 and B2) in HUVEC cells; the peptides elicited an increase in intracellular calcium, measured by Fluo-3 AM fluorescence. This effect was suppressed by the specific receptor antagonists Des-Arg9[Leu8]-BK and HOE-140. Conclusions In previously undescribed means of modulating host physiology, it was demonstrated that malaria parasites can generate active kinins by proteolysis of plasma kininogen. PMID:22564457

  10. Avian Plasmodium infection in field-collected mosquitoes during 2012-2013 in Tarlac, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tien-Huang; Aure, Wilfredo E; Cruz, Estrella Irlandez; Malbas, Fedelino F; Teng, Hwa-Jen; Lu, Liang-Chen; Kim, Kyeong Soon; Tsuda, Yoshio; Shu, Pei-Yun

    2015-12-01

    Global warming threatens to increase the spread and prevalence of mosquito-transmitted diseases. Certain pathogens may be carried by migratory birds and transmitted to local mosquito populations. Mosquitoes were collected in the northern Philippines during bird migration seasons to detect avian malaria parasites as well as for the identification of potential vector species and the estimation of infections among local mosquito populations. We used the nested PCR to detect the avian malaria species. Culex vishnui (47.6%) was the most abundant species collected and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus (13.8%) was the second most abundant. Avian Plasmodium parasites were found in eight mosquito species, for which the infection rates were between 0.5% and 6.2%. The six Plasmodium genetic lineages found in this study included P. juxtanucleare -GALLUS02, Tacy7 (Donana04), CXBIT01, Plasmodium species LIN2 New Zealand, and two unclassified lineages. The potential mosquito vectors for avian Plasmodium parasites in the Philippines were Cq. crassipes, Cx. fuscocephala, Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. sitiens, Cx. vishnui, and Ma. Uniformis; two major genetic lineages, P. juxtanucleare and Tacy7, were identified. PMID:26611975

  11. Serial Analysis of Gene Expression in Plasmodium berghei salivary gland sporozoites

    PubMed Central

    Rosinski-Chupin, Isabelle; Chertemps, Thomas; Boisson, Bertrand; Perrot, Sylvie; Bischoff, Emmanuel; Briolay, Jérôme; Couble, Pierre; Ménard, Robert; Brey, Paul; Baldacci, Patricia

    2007-01-01

    Background The invasion of Anopheles salivary glands by Plasmodium sporozoites is an essential step for transmission of the parasite to the vertebrate host. Salivary gland sporozoites undergo a developmental programme to express genes required for their journey from the site of the mosquito bite to the liver and subsequent invasion of, and development within, hepatocytes. A Serial Analysis of Gene Expression was performed on Anopheles gambiae salivary glands infected or not with Plasmodium berghei and we report here the analysis of the Plasmodium sporozoite transcriptome. Results Annotation of 530 tag sequences homologous to Plasmodium berghei genomic sequences identified 123 genes expressed in salivary gland sporozoites and these genes were classified according to their transcript abundance. A subset of these genes was further studied by quantitative PCR to determine their expression profiles. This revealed that sporozoites modulate their RNA amounts not only between the midgut and salivary glands, but also during their storage within the latter. Among the 123 genes, the expression of 66 is described for the first time in sporozoites of rodent Plasmodium species. Conclusion These novel sporozoite expressed genes, especially those expressed at high levels in salivary gland sporozoites, are likely to play a role in Plasmodium infectivity in the mammalian host. PMID:18093287

  12. Cytokine Balance in Human Malaria: Does Plasmodium vivax Elicit More Inflammatory Responses than Plasmodium falciparum?

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves, Raquel M.; Scopel, Kézia K. G.; Bastos, Melissa S.; Ferreira, Marcelo U.

    2012-01-01

    Background The mechanisms by which humans regulate pro- and anti-inflammatory responses on exposure to different malaria parasites remains unclear. Although Plasmodium vivax usually causes a relatively benign disease, this parasite has been suggested to elicit more host inflammation per parasitized red blood cell than P. falciparum. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured plasma concentrations of seven cytokines and two soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-? receptors, and evaluated clinical and laboratory outcomes, in Brazilians with acute uncomplicated infections with P. vivax (n?=?85), P. falciparum (n?=?30), or both species (n?=?12), and in 45 asymptomatic carriers of low-density P. vivax infection. Symptomatic vivax malaria patients, compared to those infected with P. falciparum or both species, had more intense paroxysms, but they had no clear association with a pro-inflammatory imbalance. To the contrary, these patients had higher levels of the regulatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10, which correlated positively with parasite density, and elevated IL-10/TNF-?, IL-10/interferon (IFN)-?, IL-10/IL-6 and sTNFRII/TNF-? ratios, compared to falciparum or mixed-species malaria patient groups. Vivax malaria patients had the highest levels of circulating soluble TNF-? receptor sTNFRII. Levels of regulatory cytokines returned to normal values 28 days after P. vivax clearance following chemotherapy. Finally, asymptomatic carriers of low P. vivax parasitemias had substantially lower levels of both inflammatory and regulatory cytokines than did patients with clinical malaria due to either species. Conclusions Controlling fast-multiplying P. falciparum blood stages requires a strong inflammatory response to prevent fulminant infections, while reducing inflammation-related tissue damage with early regulatory cytokine responses may be a more cost-effective strategy in infections with the less virulent P. vivax parasite. The early induction of regulatory cytokines may be a critical mechanism protecting vivax malaria patients from severe clinical complications. PMID:22973442

  13. Temperature alters Plasmodium blocking by Wolbachia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdock, Courtney C.; Blanford, Simon; Hughes, Grant L.; Rasgon, Jason L.; Thomas, Matthew B.

    2014-02-01

    Very recently, the Asian malaria vector (Anopheles stephensi) was stably transinfected with the wAlbB strain of Wolbachia, inducing refractoriness to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. However, conditions in the field can differ substantially from those in the laboratory. We use the rodent malaria P. yoelii, and somatically transinfected An. stephensi as a model system to investigate whether the transmission blocking potential of wAlbB is likely to be robust across different thermal environments. wAlbB reduced malaria parasite prevalence and oocyst intensity at 28°C. At 24°C there was no effect on prevalence but a marked increase in oocyst intensity. At 20°C, wAlbB had no effect on prevalence or intensity. Additionally, we identified a novel effect of wAlbB that resulted in reduced sporozoite development across temperatures, counterbalancing the oocyst enhancement at 24°C. Our results demonstrate complex effects of temperature on the Wolbachia-malaria interaction, and suggest the impacts of transinfection might vary across diverse environments.

  14. Healthy sweet inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin

    E-print Network

    Liao Y. Chen

    2013-05-17

    Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin (PfAQP) is a multifunctional channel protein in the plasma membrane of the malarial parasite that causes the most severe form of malaria infecting more than a million people a year. Finding a novel way to inhibit PfAQP, I conducted 3+ microseconds in silico experiments of an atomistic model of the PfAQP-membrane system and computed the chemical-potential profiles of six permeants (erythritol, water, glycerol, urea, ammonia, and ammonium) that can be efficiently transported across P. falciparum's plasma membrane through PfAQP's conducting pore. The profiles show that, with all the existent in vitro data being supportive, erythritol, a permeant of PfAQP itself having a deep ditch in its permeation passageway, strongly inhibits PfAQP's functions of transporting water, glycerol, urea, ammonia, and ammonium (The IC50 is in the range of high nanomolars). This suggests the possibility that erythritol, a sweetener generally considered safe, may be the drug needed to kill the malarial parasite in vivo without causing serious side effects.

  15. Crystal structures explain functional differences in the two actin depolymerization factors of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Singh, Bishal K; Sattler, Julia M; Chatterjee, Moon; Huttu, Jani; Schüler, Herwig; Kursula, Inari

    2011-08-12

    Apicomplexan parasites, such as the malaria-causing Plasmodium, utilize an actin-based motor for motility and host cell invasion. The actin filaments of these parasites are unusually short, and actin polymerization is under strict control of a small set of regulatory proteins, which are poorly conserved with their mammalian orthologs. Actin depolymerization factors (ADFs) are among the most important actin regulators, affecting the rates of filament turnover in a multifaceted manner. Plasmodium has two ADFs that display low sequence homology with each other and with the higher eukaryotic family members. Here, we show that ADF2, like canonical ADF proteins but unlike ADF1, binds to both globular and filamentous actin, severing filaments and inducing nucleotide exchange on the actin monomer. The crystal structure of Plasmodium ADF1 shows major differences from the ADF consensus, explaining the lack of F-actin binding. Plasmodium ADF2 structurally resembles the canonical members of the ADF/cofilin family. PMID:21832095

  16. Crystallization and preliminary structural characterization of the two actin isoforms of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Bhargav, Saligram Prabhakar; Vahokoski, Juha; Kumpula, Esa-Pekka; Kursula, Inari

    2013-10-01

    Malaria is a devastating disease caused by apicomplexan parasites of the genus Plasmodium that use a divergent actin-powered molecular motor for motility and invasion. Plasmodium actin differs from canonical actins in sequence, structure and function. Here, the purification, crystallization and secondary-structure analysis of the two Plasmodium actin isoforms are presented. The recombinant parasite actins were folded and could be purified to homogeneity. Plasmodium actins I and II were crystallized in complex with the gelsolin G1 domain; the crystals diffracted to resolutions of 1.19 and 2.2?Å and belonged to space groups P2?2?2? and P2?, respectively, each with one complex in the asymmetric unit. PMID:24100575

  17. Crystallization and preliminary structural characterization of the two actin isoforms of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Bhargav, Saligram Prabhakar; Vahokoski, Juha; Kumpula, Esa-Pekka; Kursula, Inari

    2013-01-01

    Malaria is a devastating disease caused by apicomplexan parasites of the genus Plasmodium that use a divergent actin-powered molecular motor for motility and invasion. Plasmodium actin differs from canonical actins in sequence, structure and function. Here, the purification, crystallization and secondary-structure analysis of the two Plasmodium actin isoforms are presented. The recombinant parasite actins were folded and could be purified to homogeneity. Plasmodium actins I and II were crystallized in complex with the gelsolin G1 domain; the crystals diffracted to resolutions of 1.19 and 2.2?Å and belonged to space groups P212121 and P21, respectively, each with one complex in the asymmetric unit. PMID:24100575

  18. Crystal Structures Explain Functional Differences in the Two Actin Depolymerization Factors of the Malaria Parasite*

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Bishal K.; Sattler, Julia M.; Chatterjee, Moon; Huttu, Jani; Schüler, Herwig; Kursula, Inari

    2011-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites, such as the malaria-causing Plasmodium, utilize an actin-based motor for motility and host cell invasion. The actin filaments of these parasites are unusually short, and actin polymerization is under strict control of a small set of regulatory proteins, which are poorly conserved with their mammalian orthologs. Actin depolymerization factors (ADFs) are among the most important actin regulators, affecting the rates of filament turnover in a multifaceted manner. Plasmodium has two ADFs that display low sequence homology with each other and with the higher eukaryotic family members. Here, we show that ADF2, like canonical ADF proteins but unlike ADF1, binds to both globular and filamentous actin, severing filaments and inducing nucleotide exchange on the actin monomer. The crystal structure of Plasmodium ADF1 shows major differences from the ADF consensus, explaining the lack of F-actin binding. Plasmodium ADF2 structurally resembles the canonical members of the ADF/cofilin family. PMID:21832095

  19. Plasmodium P-Type Cyclin CYC3 Modulates Endomitotic Growth during Oocyst Development in Mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Roques, Magali; Wall, Richard J; Douglass, Alexander P; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Ferguson, David J P; Kaindama, Mbinda L; Brusini, Lorenzo; Joshi, Nimitray; Rchiad, Zineb; Brady, Declan; Guttery, David S; Wheatley, Sally P; Yamano, Hiroyuki; Holder, Anthony A; Pain, Arnab; Wickstead, Bill; Tewari, Rita

    2015-11-01

    Cell-cycle progression and cell division in eukaryotes are governed in part by the cyclin family and their regulation of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). Cyclins are very well characterised in model systems such as yeast and human cells, but surprisingly little is known about their number and role in Plasmodium, the unicellular protozoan parasite that causes malaria. Malaria parasite cell division and proliferation differs from that of many eukaryotes. During its life cycle it undergoes two types of mitosis: endomitosis in asexual stages and an extremely rapid mitotic process during male gametogenesis. Both schizogony (producing merozoites) in host liver and red blood cells, and sporogony (producing sporozoites) in the mosquito vector, are endomitotic with repeated nuclear replication, without chromosome condensation, before cell division. The role of specific cyclins during Plasmodium cell proliferation was unknown. We show here that the Plasmodium genome contains only three cyclin genes, representing an unusual repertoire of cyclin classes. Expression and reverse genetic analyses of the single Plant (P)-type cyclin, CYC3, in the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, revealed a cytoplasmic and nuclear location of the GFP-tagged protein throughout the lifecycle. Deletion of cyc3 resulted in defects in size, number and growth of oocysts, with abnormalities in budding and sporozoite formation. Furthermore, global transcript analysis of the cyc3-deleted and wild type parasites at gametocyte and ookinete stages identified differentially expressed genes required for signalling, invasion and oocyst development. Collectively these data suggest that cyc3 modulates oocyst endomitotic development in Plasmodium berghei. PMID:26565797

  20. Plasmodium P-Type Cyclin CYC3 Modulates Endomitotic Growth during Oocyst Development in Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, David J. P.; Kaindama, Mbinda L.; Brusini, Lorenzo; Joshi, Nimitray; Rchiad, Zineb; Brady, Declan; Guttery, David S.; Wheatley, Sally P.; Yamano, Hiroyuki; Holder, Anthony A.; Pain, Arnab; Wickstead, Bill; Tewari, Rita

    2015-01-01

    Cell-cycle progression and cell division in eukaryotes are governed in part by the cyclin family and their regulation of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). Cyclins are very well characterised in model systems such as yeast and human cells, but surprisingly little is known about their number and role in Plasmodium, the unicellular protozoan parasite that causes malaria. Malaria parasite cell division and proliferation differs from that of many eukaryotes. During its life cycle it undergoes two types of mitosis: endomitosis in asexual stages and an extremely rapid mitotic process during male gametogenesis. Both schizogony (producing merozoites) in host liver and red blood cells, and sporogony (producing sporozoites) in the mosquito vector, are endomitotic with repeated nuclear replication, without chromosome condensation, before cell division. The role of specific cyclins during Plasmodium cell proliferation was unknown. We show here that the Plasmodium genome contains only three cyclin genes, representing an unusual repertoire of cyclin classes. Expression and reverse genetic analyses of the single Plant (P)-type cyclin, CYC3, in the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, revealed a cytoplasmic and nuclear location of the GFP-tagged protein throughout the lifecycle. Deletion of cyc3 resulted in defects in size, number and growth of oocysts, with abnormalities in budding and sporozoite formation. Furthermore, global transcript analysis of the cyc3-deleted and wild type parasites at gametocyte and ookinete stages identified differentially expressed genes required for signalling, invasion and oocyst development. Collectively these data suggest that cyc3 modulates oocyst endomitotic development in Plasmodium berghei. PMID:26565797

  1. Prevalence of blood parasites in seabirds - a review

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction While blood parasites are common in many birds in the wild, some groups seem to be much less affected. Seabirds, in particular, have often been reported free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. Results From a literature review of hemosporidian prevalence in seabirds, we collated a dataset of 60 species, in which at least 15 individuals had been examined. These data were included in phylogenetically controlled statistical analyses of hemosporidian prevalence in relation to ecological and life-history parameters. Haemoproteus parasites were common in frigatebirds and gulls, while Hepatozoon occurred in albatrosses and storm petrels, and Plasmodium mainly in penguins. The prevalence of Haemoproteus showed a geographical signal, being lower in species with distribution towards polar environments. Interspecific differences in Plasmodium prevalence were explained by variables that relate to the exposure to parasites, suggesting that prevalence is higher in burrow nesters with long fledgling periods. Measures of Plasmodium, but not Haemoproteus prevalences were influenced by the method, with PCR-based data resulting in higher prevalence estimates. Conclusions Our analyses suggest that, as in other avian taxa, phylogenetic, ecological and life-history parameters determine the prevalence of hemosporidian parasites in seabirds. We discuss how these relationships should be further explored in future studies. PMID:22035144

  2. A Small Molecule Inhibitor of Signal Peptide Peptidase Inhibits Plasmodium Development in the Liver and Decreases Malaria Severity

    PubMed Central

    Parvanova, Iana; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Fauq, Abdul; Golde, Todd E.; Prudêncio, Miguel; Mota, Maria M.

    2009-01-01

    The liver stage of Plasmodium's life cycle is the first, obligatory step in malaria infection. Decreasing the hepatic burden of Plasmodium infection decreases the severity of disease and constitutes a promising strategy for malaria prophylaxis. The efficacy of the gamma-secretase and signal peptide peptidase inhibitor LY411,575 in targeting Plasmodium liver stages was evaluated both in human hepatoma cell lines and in mouse primary hepatocytes. LY411,575 was found to prevent Plasmodium's normal development in the liver, with an IC50 of approximately 80 nM, without affecting hepatocyte invasion by the parasite. In vivo results with a rodent model of malaria showed that LY411,575 decreases the parasite load in the liver and increases by 55% the resistance of mice to cerebral malaria, one of the most severe malaria-associated syndromes. Our data show that LY411,575 does not exert its effect via the Notch signaling pathway suggesting that it may interfere with Plasmodium development through an inhibition of the parasite's signal peptide peptidase. We therefore propose that selective signal peptide peptidase inhibitors could be potentially used for preventive treatment of malaria in humans. PMID:19337374

  3. A small molecule inhibitor of signal peptide peptidase inhibits Plasmodium development in the liver and decreases malaria severity.

    PubMed

    Parvanova, Iana; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Fauq, Abdul; Golde, Todd E; Prudêncio, Miguel; Mota, Maria M

    2009-01-01

    The liver stage of Plasmodium's life cycle is the first, obligatory step in malaria infection. Decreasing the hepatic burden of Plasmodium infection decreases the severity of disease and constitutes a promising strategy for malaria prophylaxis. The efficacy of the gamma-secretase and signal peptide peptidase inhibitor LY411,575 in targeting Plasmodium liver stages was evaluated both in human hepatoma cell lines and in mouse primary hepatocytes. LY411,575 was found to prevent Plasmodium's normal development in the liver, with an IC(50) of approximately 80 nM, without affecting hepatocyte invasion by the parasite. In vivo results with a rodent model of malaria showed that LY411,575 decreases the parasite load in the liver and increases by 55% the resistance of mice to cerebral malaria, one of the most severe malaria-associated syndromes. Our data show that LY411,575 does not exert its effect via the Notch signaling pathway suggesting that it may interfere with Plasmodium development through an inhibition of the parasite's signal peptide peptidase. We therefore propose that selective signal peptide peptidase inhibitors could be potentially used for preventive treatment of malaria in humans. PMID:19337374

  4. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax specific lactate dehydrogenase: genetic polymorphism study from Indian isolates.

    PubMed

    Keluskar, Priyadarshan; Singh, Vineeta; Gupta, Purva; Ingle, Sanjay

    2014-08-01

    Control and eradication of malaria is hindered by the acquisition of drug resistance by Plasmodium species. This has necessitated a persistent search for novel drugs and more efficient targets. Plasmodium species specific lactate dehydrogenase is one of the potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets, because of its indispensable role in endoerythrocytic stage of the parasite. A target molecule that is highly conserved in the parasite population can be more effectively used in diagnostics and therapeutics, hence, in the present study polymorphism in PfLDH (Plasmodiumfalciparum specific LDH) and PvLDH (Plasmodiumvivax specific LDH) genes was analyzed using PCR-single strand confirmation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and sequencing. Forty-six P. falciparum and thirty-five P. vivax samples were screened from different states of India. Our findings have revealed presence of a single PfLDH genotype and six PvLDH genotypes among the studied samples. Interestingly, along with synonymous substitutions, nonsynonymous substitutions were reported to be present for the first time in the PvLDH genotypes. Further, through amino acid sequence alignment and homology modeling studies we observed that the catalytic residues were conserved in all PvLDH genotypes and the nonsynonymous substitutions have not altered the enzyme structure significantly. Evolutionary genetics studies have confirmed that PfLDH and PvLDH loci are under strong purifying selection. Phylogenetic analysis of the pLDH gene sequences revealed that P. falciparum compared to P. vivax, has recent origin. The study therefore supports PfLDH and PvLDH as suitable therapeutic and diagnostic targets as well as phylogenetic markers to understand the genealogy of malaria species. PMID:24953504

  5. Genetic mapping of targets mediating differential chemical phenotypes in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Jing; Johnson, Ronald L; Huang, Ruili; Wichterman, Jennifer; Jiang, Hongying; Hayton, Karen; Fidock, David A; Wellems, Thomas E; Inglese, James; Austin, Christopher P; Su, Xin-zhuan

    2009-10-01

    Studies of gene function and molecular mechanisms in Plasmodium falciparum are hampered by difficulties in characterizing and measuring phenotypic differences between individual parasites. We screened seven parasite lines for differences in responses to 1,279 bioactive chemicals. Hundreds of compounds were active in inhibiting parasite growth; 607 differential chemical phenotypes, defined as pairwise IC(50) differences of fivefold or more between parasite lines, were cataloged. We mapped major determinants for three differential chemical phenotypes between the parents of a genetic cross, and we identified target genes by fine mapping and testing the responses of parasites in which candidate genes were genetically replaced with mutant alleles. Differential sensitivity to dihydroergotamine methanesulfonate (1), a serotonin receptor antagonist, was mapped to a gene encoding the homolog of human P-glycoprotein (PfPgh-1). This study identifies new leads for antimalarial drugs and demonstrates the utility of a high-throughput chemical genomic strategy for studying malaria traits. PMID:19734910

  6. Ycf93 (Orf105), a Small Apicoplast-Encoded Membrane Protein in the Relict Plastid of the Malaria Parasite

    E-print Network

    McFadden, Geoff

    Ycf93 (Orf105), a Small Apicoplast-Encoded Membrane Protein in the Relict Plastid of the MalariaFadden* School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia Abstract Malaria parasites in the organelle kills parasites and protects against malaria. The apicoplast of Plasmodium falciparum encodes 30

  7. Sarcocystis tupaia, sp. nov., a new parasite species employing treeshrews (Tupaiidae, Tupaia belangeri chinensis) as natural intermediate hosts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of malignant malaria, which is among the most severe human infectious diseases. Despite its overwhelming significance to human health, the parasite’s origins remain unclear. The favored origin hypothesis holds that P. falciparum and its closest known rel...

  8. In Vivo and In Vitro Characterization of a Plasmodium Liver Stage-Specific Promoter

    PubMed Central

    Horstmann, Sebastian; Annoura, Takeshi; del Portillo, Hernando A.; Khan, Shahid M.; Heussler, Volker T.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about stage-specific gene regulation in Plasmodium parasites, in particular the liver stage of development. We have previously described in the Plasmodium berghei rodent model, a liver stage-specific (lisp2) gene promoter region, in vitro. Using a dual luminescence system, we now confirm the stage specificity of this promoter region also in vivo. Furthermore, by substitution and deletion analyses we have extended our in vitro characterization of important elements within the promoter region. Importantly, the dual luminescence system allows analyzing promoter constructs avoiding mouse-consuming cloning procedures of transgenic parasites. This makes extensive mutation and deletion studies a reasonable approach also in the malaria mouse model. Stage-specific expression constructs and parasite lines are extremely valuable tools for research on Plasmodium liver stage biology. Such reporter lines offer a promising opportunity for assessment of liver stage drugs, characterization of genetically attenuated parasites and liver stage-specific vaccines both in vivo and in vitro, and may be key for the generation of inducible systems. PMID:25874388

  9. Torins are potent antimalarials that block replenishment of Plasmodium liver stage parasitophorous vacuole membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Kirsten K.; Ressurreição, Ana S.; Buchholz, Kathrin; Prudêncio, Miguel; Herman-Ornelas, Jonathan D.; Rebelo, Maria; Beatty, Wandy L.; Wirth, Dyann F.; Hänscheid, Thomas; Moreira, Rui; Marti, Matthias; Mota, Maria M.

    2013-01-01

    Residence within a customized vacuole is a highly successful strategy used by diverse intracellular microorganisms. The parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) is the critical interface between Plasmodium parasites and their possibly hostile, yet ultimately sustaining, host cell environment. We show that torins, developed as ATP-competitive mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase inhibitors, are fast-acting antiplasmodial compounds that unexpectedly target the parasite directly, blocking the dynamic trafficking of the Plasmodium proteins exported protein 1 (EXP1) and upregulated in sporozoites 4 (UIS4) to the liver stage PVM and leading to efficient parasite elimination by the hepatocyte. Torin2 has single-digit, or lower, nanomolar potency in both liver and blood stages of infection in vitro and is likewise effective against both stages in vivo, with a single oral dose sufficient to clear liver stage infection. Parasite elimination and perturbed trafficking of liver stage PVM-resident proteins are both specific aspects of torin-mediated Plasmodium liver stage inhibition, indicating that torins have a distinct mode of action compared with currently used antimalarials. PMID:23836641

  10. Targeting Lysine Deacetylases (KDACs) in Parasites.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qi; Rosa, Bruce A; Nare, Bakela; Powell, Kerrie; Valente, Sergio; Rotili, Dante; Mai, Antonello; Marshall, Garland R; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2015-09-01

    Due to an increasing problem of drug resistance among almost all parasites species ranging from protists to worms, there is an urgent need to explore new drug targets and their inhibitors to provide new and effective parasitic therapeutics. In this regard, there is growing interest in exploring known drug leads of human epigenetic enzymes as potential starting points to develop novel treatments for parasitic diseases. This approach of repurposing (starting with validated targets and inhibitors) is quite attractive since it has the potential to reduce the expense of drug development and accelerate the process of developing novel drug candidates for parasite control. Lysine deacetylases (KDACs) are among the most studied epigenetic drug targets of humans, and a broad range of small-molecule inhibitors for these enzymes have been reported. In this work, we identify the KDAC protein families in representative species across important classes of parasites, screen a compound library of 23 hydroxamate- or benzamide-based small molecules KDAC inhibitors, and report their activities against a range of parasitic species, including the pathogen of malaria (Plasmodium falciparum), kinetoplastids (Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania donovani), and nematodes (Brugia malayi, Dirofilaria immitis and Haemonchus contortus). Compound activity against parasites is compared to that observed against the mammalian cell line (L929 mouse fibroblast) in order to determine potential parasite-versus-host selectivity). The compounds showed nanomolar to sub-nanomolar potency against various parasites, and some selectivity was observed within the small panel of compounds tested. The possible binding modes of the active compounds at the different protein target sites within different species were explored by docking to homology models to help guide the discovery of more selective, parasite-specific inhibitors. This current work supports previous studies that explored the use of KDAC inhibitors in targeting Plasmodium to develop new anti-malarial treatments, and also pioneers experiments with these KDAC inhibitors as potential new anthelminthics. The selectivity observed begins to address the challenges of targeting specific parasitic diseases while limiting host toxicity. PMID:26402733

  11. Targeting Lysine Deacetylases (KDACs) in Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qi; Rosa, Bruce A.; Nare, Bakela; Powell, Kerrie; Valente, Sergio; Rotili, Dante; Mai, Antonello; Marshall, Garland R.; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2015-01-01

    Due to an increasing problem of drug resistance among almost all parasites species ranging from protists to worms, there is an urgent need to explore new drug targets and their inhibitors to provide new and effective parasitic therapeutics. In this regard, there is growing interest in exploring known drug leads of human epigenetic enzymes as potential starting points to develop novel treatments for parasitic diseases. This approach of repurposing (starting with validated targets and inhibitors) is quite attractive since it has the potential to reduce the expense of drug development and accelerate the process of developing novel drug candidates for parasite control. Lysine deacetylases (KDACs) are among the most studied epigenetic drug targets of humans, and a broad range of small-molecule inhibitors for these enzymes have been reported. In this work, we identify the KDAC protein families in representative species across important classes of parasites, screen a compound library of 23 hydroxamate- or benzamide-based small molecules KDAC inhibitors, and report their activities against a range of parasitic species, including the pathogen of malaria (Plasmodium falciparum), kinetoplastids (Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania donovani), and nematodes (Brugia malayi, Dirofilaria immitis and Haemonchus contortus). Compound activity against parasites is compared to that observed against the mammalian cell line (L929 mouse fibroblast) in order to determine potential parasite-versus-host selectivity). The compounds showed nanomolar to sub-nanomolar potency against various parasites, and some selectivity was observed within the small panel of compounds tested. The possible binding modes of the active compounds at the different protein target sites within different species were explored by docking to homology models to help guide the discovery of more selective, parasite-specific inhibitors. This current work supports previous studies that explored the use of KDAC inhibitors in targeting Plasmodium to develop new anti-malarial treatments, and also pioneers experiments with these KDAC inhibitors as potential new anthelminthics. The selectivity observed begins to address the challenges of targeting specific parasitic diseases while limiting host toxicity. PMID:26402733

  12. Diversification and host switching in avian malaria parasites.

    PubMed Central

    Ricklefs, Robert E; Fallon, Sylvia M

    2002-01-01

    The switching of parasitic organisms to novel hosts, in which they may cause the emergence of new diseases, is of great concern to human health and the management of wild and domesticated populations of animals. We used a phylogenetic approach to develop a better statistical assessment of host switching in a large sample of vector-borne malaria parasites of birds (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) over their history of parasite-host relations. Even with sparse sampling, the number of parasite lineages was almost equal to the number of avian hosts. We found that strongly supported sister lineages of parasites, averaging 1.2% sequence divergence, exhibited highly significant host and geographical fidelity. Event-based matching of host and parasite phylogenetic trees revealed significant cospeciation. However, the accumulated effects of host switching and long distance dispersal cause these signals to disappear before 4% sequence divergence is achieved. Mitochondrial DNA nucleotide substitution appears to occur about three times faster in hosts than in parasites, contrary to findings on other parasite-host systems. Using this mutual calibration, the phylogenies of the parasites and their hosts appear to be similar in age, suggesting that avian malaria parasites diversified along with their modern avian hosts. Although host switching has been a prominent feature over the evolutionary history of avian malaria parasites, it is infrequent and unpredictable on time scales germane to public health and wildlife management. PMID:12028770

  13. A Basis for Rapid Clearance of Circulating Ring-Stage Malaria Parasites by the Spiroindolone KAE609.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rou; Suwanarusk, Rossarin; Malleret, Benoit; Cooke, Brian M; Nosten, Francois; Lau, Yee-Ling; Dao, Ming; Lim, Chwee Teck; Renia, Laurent; Tan, Kevin Shyong Wei; Russell, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    Recent clinical trials revealed a surprisingly rapid clearance of red blood cells (RBCs) infected with malaria parasites by the spiroindolone KAE609. Here, we show that ring-stage parasite-infected RBCs exposed to KAE609 become spherical and rigid, probably through osmotic dysregulation consequent to the disruption of the parasite's sodium efflux pump (adenosine triphosphate 4). We also show that this peculiar drug effect is likely to cause accelerated splenic clearance of the rheologically impaired Plasmodium vivax- and Plasmodium falciparum-infected RBCs. PMID:26136472

  14. Expansion of host cellular niche can drive adaptation of a zoonotic malaria parasite to humans

    PubMed Central

    DeSimone, Tiffany M.; Moreno, Yovany; Junker, Klara; Bei, Amy; Brugnara, Carlo; Buckee, Caroline O.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2013-01-01

    The macaque malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi has recently emerged as an important zoonosis in Southeast Asia. Infections are typically mild but can cause severe disease, achieving parasite densities similar to fatal Plasmodium falciparum infections. We show that a primate-adapted P. knowlesi parasite proliferates poorly in human blood due to a strong preference for young red blood cells. We establish a continuous in vitro culture system by using human blood enriched for young cells. Mathematical modeling predicts that parasite adaptation for invasion of older red blood cells is a likely mechanism leading to high parasite densities in clinical infections. Consistent with this model, we find that P. knowlesi can adapt to invade a wider age range of red blood cells, resulting in proliferation in normal human blood. Such cellular niche expansion may increase pathogenesis in humans and will be a key feature to monitor as P. knowlesi emerges in human populations. PMID:23535659

  15. Ion Regulation in the Malaria Parasite.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Kiaran

    2015-10-15

    Some hours after invading the erythrocytes of its human host, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum induces an increase in the permeability of the erythrocyte membrane to monovalent ions. The resulting net influx of Na(+) and net efflux of K(+), down their respective concentration gradients, converts the erythrocyte cytosol from an initially high-K(+), low-Na(+) solution to a high-Na(+), low-K(+) solution. The intraerythrocytic parasite itself exerts tight control over its internal Na(+), K(+), Cl(-), and Ca(2+) concentrations and its intracellular pH through the combined actions of a range of membrane transport proteins. The molecular mechanisms underpinning ion regulation in the parasite are receiving increasing attention, not least because PfATP4, a P-type ATPase postulated to be involved in Na(+) regulation, has emerged as a potential antimalarial drug target, susceptible to inhibition by a wide range of chemically unrelated compounds. PMID:26488277

  16. Structure and Function of Plasmodium falciparum malate dehydrogenase: Role of Critical Amino Acids in C-substrate Binding Procket

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Malaria parasite thrives on anaerobic fermentation of glucose for energy. Earlier studies from our lab have demonstrated that a cytosolic malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) with striking similarity to lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) might complement PfLDH function in Plasmodium falciparum. The N-terminal g...

  17. Targeting Plasmodium PI(4)K to eliminate malaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNamara, Case W.; Lee, Marcus C. S.; Lim, Chek Shik; Lim, Siau Hoi; Roland, Jason; Nagle, Advait; Simon, Oliver; Yeung, Bryan K. S.; Chatterjee, Arnab K.; McCormack, Susan L.; Manary, Micah J.; Zeeman, Anne-Marie; Dechering, Koen J.; Kumar, T. R. Santha; Henrich, Philipp P.; Gagaring, Kerstin; Ibanez, Maureen; Kato, Nobutaka; Kuhen, Kelli L.; Fischli, Christoph; Rottmann, Matthias; Plouffe, David M.; Bursulaya, Badry; Meister, Stephan; Rameh, Lucia; Trappe, Joerg; Haasen, Dorothea; Timmerman, Martijn; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Suwanarusk, Rossarin; Russell, Bruce; Renia, Laurent; Nosten, Francois; Tully, David C.; Kocken, Clemens H. M.; Glynne, Richard J.; Bodenreider, Christophe; Fidock, David A.; Diagana, Thierry T.; Winzeler, Elizabeth A.

    2013-12-01

    Achieving the goal of malaria elimination will depend on targeting Plasmodium pathways essential across all life stages. Here we identify a lipid kinase, phosphatidylinositol-4-OH kinase (PI(4)K), as the target of imidazopyrazines, a new antimalarial compound class that inhibits the intracellular development of multiple Plasmodium species at each stage of infection in the vertebrate host. Imidazopyrazines demonstrate potent preventive, therapeutic, and transmission-blocking activity in rodent malaria models, are active against blood-stage field isolates of the major human pathogens P. falciparum and P. vivax, and inhibit liver-stage hypnozoites in the simian parasite P. cynomolgi. We show that imidazopyrazines exert their effect through inhibitory interaction with the ATP-binding pocket of PI(4)K, altering the intracellular distribution of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate. Collectively, our data define PI(4)K as a key Plasmodium vulnerability, opening up new avenues of target-based discovery to identify drugs with an ideal activity profile for the prevention, treatment and elimination of malaria.

  18. Targeting Plasmodium phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase to eliminate malaria

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Chek Shik; Lim, Siau Hoi; Roland, Jason; Simon, Oliver; Yeung, Bryan KS; Chatterjee, Arnab K; McCormack, Susan L; Manary, Micah J; Zeeman, Anne-Marie; Dechering, Koen J; Kumar, TR Santha; Henrich, Philipp P; Gagaring, Kerstin; Ibanez, Maureen; Kato, Nobutaka; Kuhen, Kelli L; Fischli, Christoph; Nagle, Advait; Rottmann, Matthias; Plouffe, David M; Bursulaya, Badry; Meister, Stephan; Rameh, Lucia; Trappe, Joerg; Haasen, Dorothea; Timmerman, Martijn; Sauerwein, Robert W; Suwanarusk, Rossarin; Russell, Bruce; Renia, Laurent; Nosten, Francois; Tully, David C; Kocken, Clemens HM; Glynne, Richard J; Bodenreider, Christophe; Fidock, David A; Diagana, Thierry T; Winzeler, Elizabeth A

    2014-01-01

    Summary Achieving the goal of malaria elimination will depend on targeting Plasmodium pathways essential across all life stages. Here, we identify a lipid kinase, phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase (PI4K), as the target of imidazopyrazines, a novel antimalarial compound class that inhibits the intracellular development of multiple Plasmodium species at each stage of infection in the vertebrate host. Imidazopyrazines demonstrate potent preventive, therapeutic, and transmission-blocking activity in rodent malaria models, are active against blood-stage field isolates of the major human pathogens, P. falciparum and P. vivax, and inhibit liver stage hypnozoites in the simian parasite P. cynomolgi. We show that imidazopyrazines exert their effect through inhibitory interaction with the ATP-binding pocket of PI4K, altering the intracellular distribution of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate. Collectively, our data define PI4K as a key Plasmodium vulnerability, opening up new avenues of target-based discovery to identify drugs with an ideal activity profile for the prevention, treatment and elimination of malaria. PMID:24284631

  19. Targeting Plasmodium PI(4)K to eliminate malaria.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Case W; Lee, Marcus C S; Lim, Chek Shik; Lim, Siau Hoi; Roland, Jason; Nagle, Advait; Simon, Oliver; Yeung, Bryan K S; Chatterjee, Arnab K; McCormack, Susan L; Manary, Micah J; Zeeman, Anne-Marie; Dechering, Koen J; Kumar, T R Santha; Henrich, Philipp P; Gagaring, Kerstin; Ibanez, Maureen; Kato, Nobutaka; Kuhen, Kelli L; Fischli, Christoph; Rottmann, Matthias; Plouffe, David M; Bursulaya, Badry; Meister, Stephan; Rameh, Lucia; Trappe, Joerg; Haasen, Dorothea; Timmerman, Martijn; Sauerwein, Robert W; Suwanarusk, Rossarin; Russell, Bruce; Renia, Laurent; Nosten, Francois; Tully, David C; Kocken, Clemens H M; Glynne, Richard J; Bodenreider, Christophe; Fidock, David A; Diagana, Thierry T; Winzeler, Elizabeth A

    2013-12-12

    Achieving the goal of malaria elimination will depend on targeting Plasmodium pathways essential across all life stages. Here we identify a lipid kinase, phosphatidylinositol-4-OH kinase (PI(4)K), as the target of imidazopyrazines, a new antimalarial compound class that inhibits the intracellular development of multiple Plasmodium species at each stage of infection in the vertebrate host. Imidazopyrazines demonstrate potent preventive, therapeutic, and transmission-blocking activity in rodent malaria models, are active against blood-stage field isolates of the major human pathogens P. falciparum and P. vivax, and inhibit liver-stage hypnozoites in the simian parasite P. cynomolgi. We show that imidazopyrazines exert their effect through inhibitory interaction with the ATP-binding pocket of PI(4)K, altering the intracellular distribution of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate. Collectively, our data define PI(4)K as a key Plasmodium vulnerability, opening up new avenues of target-based discovery to identify drugs with an ideal activity profile for the prevention, treatment and elimination of malaria. PMID:24284631

  20. First Evidence and Predictions of Plasmodium Transmission in Alaskan Bird Populations

    PubMed Central

    Loiseau, Claire; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Cornel, Anthony J.; Guers, Sue L.; Dodge, Molly; Marzec, Timothy; Carlson, Jenny S.; Seppi, Bruce; Sehgal, Ravinder N. M.

    2012-01-01

    The unprecedented rate of change in the Arctic climate is expected to have major impacts on the emergence of infectious diseases and host susceptibility to these diseases. It is predicted that malaria parasites will spread to both higher altitudes and latitudes with global warming. Here we show for the first time that avian Plasmodium transmission occurs in the North American Arctic. Over a latitudinal gradient in Alaska, from 61°N to 67°N, we collected blood samples of resident and migratory bird species. We found both residents and hatch year birds infected with Plasmodium as far north as 64°N, providing clear evidence that malaria transmission occurs in these climates. Based on our empirical data, we make the first projections of the habitat suitability for Plasmodium under a future-warming scenario in Alaska. These findings raise new concerns about the spread of malaria to naïve host populations. PMID:23028595

  1. Resistance to a protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Eastman, Richard T; White, John; Hucke, Oliver; Bauer, Kevin; Yokoyama, Kohei; Nallan, Laxman; Chakrabarti, Debopam; Verlinde, Christophe L M J; Gelb, Michael H; Rathod, Pradipsinh K; Van Voorhis, Wesley C

    2005-04-01

    The post-translational farnesylation of proteins serves to anchor a subset of intracellular proteins to membranes in eukaryotic organisms and also promotes protein-protein interactions. Inhibition of protein farnesyltransferase (PFT) is lethal to the pathogenic protozoa Plasmodium falciparum. Parasites were isolated that were resistant to BMS-388891, a tetrahydroquinoline (THQ) PFT inhibitor. Resistance was associated with a 12-fold decrease in drug susceptibility. Genotypic analysis revealed a single point mutation in the beta subunit in resistant parasites. The resultant tyrosine 837 to cysteine alteration in the beta subunit corresponded to the binding site for the THQ and peptide substrate. Biochemical analysis of Y837C-PFT demonstrated a 13-fold increase in BMS-388891 concentration necessary for inhibiting 50% of the enzyme activity. These data are consistent with PFT as the target of BMS-388891 in P. falciparum and suggest that PFT inhibitors should be combined with other antimalarial agents for effective therapy. PMID:15661734

  2. In Vitro Differentiation of Plasmodium falciparum Gametocytes into Ookinetes

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anil K.; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    The ookinete is the motile form of the malaria parasite that invades the mosquito midgut epithelium to initiate sporogony. Differentiation of ingested gametocytes into ookinetes in the mosquito midgut lumen and the subsequent interaction with the luminal surface of the midgut epithelium in preparation for invasion are complex processes. To facilitate the study of these events in detail, it is necessary to produce sufficient numbers of pure, fully mature ookinetes. However, production of even a small number of Plasmodium falciparum ookinetes in vitro has proven to be a daunting task. Consequently, over the past four decades our collective understanding of the biology of this parasite form remains sorely deficient. Here, we describe a new culture technique, which improves the in vitro transformation efficiency of P. falciparum gametocytes into mature ookinetes and supports the complete development of ookinetes that retain the ability to infect the mosquito midgut and to produce oocysts. PMID:22990769

  3. Mining the Plasmodium genome database to define organellar function: what does the apicoplast do?

    PubMed Central

    Roos, David S; Crawford, Michael J; Donald, Robert G K; Fraunholz, Martin; Harb, Omar S; He, Cynthia Y; Kissinger, Jessica C; Shaw, Michael K; Striepen, Boris

    2002-01-01

    Apicomplexan species constitute a diverse group of parasitic protozoa, which are responsible for a wide range of diseases in many organisms. Despite differences in the diseases they cause, these parasites share an underlying biology, from the genetic controls used to differentiate through the complex parasite life cycle, to the basic biochemical pathways employed for intracellular survival, to the distinctive cell biology necessary for host cell attachment and invasion. Different parasites lend themselves to the study of different aspects of parasite biology: Eimeria for biochemical studies, Toxoplasma for molecular genetic and cell biological investigation, etc. The Plasmodium falciparum Genome Project contributes the first large-scale genomic sequence for an apicomplexan parasite. The Plasmodium Genome Database (http://PlasmoDB.org) has been designed to permit individual investigators to ask their own questions, even prior to formal release of the reference P. falciparum genome sequence. As a case in point, PlasmoDB has been exploited to identify metabolic pathways associated with the apicomplexan plastid, or 'apicoplast' - an essential organelle derived by secondary endosymbiosis of an alga, and retention of the algal plastid. PMID:11839180

  4. Plasmodium falciparum: erythrocytic stages die by autophagic-like cell death under drug pressure.

    PubMed

    Totino, Paulo Renato Rivas; Daniel-Ribeiro, Cláudio Tadeu; Corte-Real, Suzana; de Fátima Ferreira-da-Cruz, Maria

    2008-04-01

    It has been reported that an apoptotic cell death process can occur with protozoans, but no consensus on Plasmodium susceptibility to apoptosis was reached till now. Thus, we evaluated if Plasmodium falciparum blood forms undergo apoptosis after in vitro pressure with chloroquine, S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine (SNAP) or staurosporine. Inhibition of parasite growth and loss of viability were observed in treated cultures by both light microscopy and flow cytometry. When DNA fragmentation was verified, only a small number of TUNEL-positive parasites was detected in treated cultures and pretreatment of parasite with a general caspase inhibitor was not able to prevent parasite death. Considering the lack of apoptotic characteristics and the observation of parasites with cytoplasmatic vacuolization by electron microscopy, we conclude that P. falciparum parasites under chloroquine, SNAP or staurosporine pressures do not die by apoptosis but by a process similar to autophagy. The autophagic pathway could be explored as an alternative target for the development of new antimalarial drugs. PMID:18226811

  5. Two Plasmodium Rhomboid Proteases Preferentially Cleave Different Adhesins Implicated in All Invasive Stages of Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Rosanna P; Wijetilaka, Ruvini; Urban, Sinisa

    2006-01-01

    Invasion of host cells by the malaria pathogen Plasmodium relies on parasite transmembrane adhesins that engage host-cell receptors. Adhesins must be released by cleavage before the parasite can enter the cell, but the processing enzymes have remained elusive. Recent work indicates that the Toxoplasma rhomboid intramembrane protease TgROM5 catalyzes this essential cleavage. However, Plasmodium does not encode a direct TgROM5 homolog. We examined processing of the 14 Plasmodium falciparum adhesins currently thought to be involved in invasion by both model and Plasmodium rhomboid proteases in a heterologous assay. While most adhesins contain aromatic transmembrane residues and could not be cleaved by nonparasite rhomboid proteins, including Drosophila Rhomboid-1, Plasmodium falciparum rhomboid protein (PfROM)4 (PFE0340c) was able to process these adhesins efficiently and displayed novel substrate specificity. Conversely, PfROM1 (PF11_0150) shared specificity with rhomboid proteases from other organisms and was the only PfROM able to cleave apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1). PfROM 1 and/or 4 was thus able to cleave diverse adhesins including TRAP, CTRP, MTRAP, PFF0800c, EBA-175, BAEBL, JESEBL, MAEBL, AMA1, Rh1, Rh2a, Rh2b, and Rh4, but not PTRAMP, and cleavage relied on the adhesin transmembrane domains. Swapping transmembrane regions between BAEBL and AMA1 switched the relative preferences of PfROMs 1 and 4 for these two substrates. Our analysis indicates that PfROMs 1 and 4 function with different substrate specificities that together constitute the specificity of TgROM5 to cleave diverse adhesins. This is the first enzymatic analysis of Plasmodium rhomboid proteases and suggests an involvement of PfROMs in all invasive stages of the malaria lifecycle, in both the vertebrate host and the mosquito vector. PMID:17040128

  6. Plasmodium falciparum var gene expression is modified by host immunity.

    PubMed

    Warimwe, George M; Keane, Thomas M; Fegan, Gregory; Musyoki, Jennifer N; Newton, Charles R J C; Pain, Arnab; Berriman, Matthew; Marsh, Kevin; Bull, Peter C

    2009-12-22

    Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is a potentially important family of immune targets, which play a central role in the host-parasite interaction by binding to various host molecules. They are encoded by a diverse family of genes called var, of which there are approximately 60 copies in each parasite genome. In sub-Saharan Africa, although P. falciparum infection occurs throughout life, severe malarial disease tends to occur only in childhood. This could potentially be explained if (i) PfEMP1 variants differ in their capacity to support pathogenesis of severe malaria and (ii) this capacity is linked to the likelihood of each molecule being recognized and cleared by naturally acquired antibodies. Here, in a study of 217 Kenyan children with malaria, we show that expression of a group of var genes "cys2," containing a distinct pattern of cysteine residues, is associated with low host immunity. Expression of cys2 genes was associated with parasites from young children, those with severe malaria, and those with a poorly developed antibody response to parasite-infected erythrocyte surface antigens. Cys-2 var genes form a minor component of all genomic var repertoires analyzed to date. Therefore, the results are compatible with the hypothesis that the genomic var gene repertoire is organized such that PfEMP1 molecules that confer the most virulence to the parasite tend also to be those that are most susceptible to the development of host immunity. This may help the parasite to adapt effectively to the development of host antibodies through modification of the host-parasite relationship. PMID:20018734

  7. Targeting molecular interactions essential for Plasmodium sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Vega-Rodriguez, Joel; Perez-Barreto, Davinia; Ruiz-Reyes, Antonio; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2015-11-01

    Malaria remains one of the most devastating infectious diseases, killing up to a million people every year. Whereas much progress has been made in understanding the life cycle of the parasite in the human host and in the mosquito vector, significant gaps of knowledge remain. Fertilization of malaria parasites, a process that takes place in the lumen of the mosquito midgut, is poorly understood and the molecular interactions (receptor-ligand) required for Plasmodium fertilization remain elusive. By use of a phage display library, we identified FG1 (Female Gamete peptide 1), a peptide that binds specifically to the surface of female Plasmodium?berghei gametes. Importantly, FG1 but not a scrambled version of the peptide, strongly reduces P.?berghei oocyst formation by interfering with fertilization. In addition, FG1 also inhibits P.?falciparum oocyst formation suggesting that the peptide binds to a molecule on the surface of the female gamete whose structure is conserved. Identification of the molecular interactions disrupted by the FG1 peptide may lead to the development of novel malaria transmission-blocking strategies. PMID:25944054

  8. Targeting molecular interactions essential for Plasmodium sexual reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Vega-Rodriguez, Joel; Perez-Barreto, Davinia; Ruiz-Reyes, Antonio; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Summary Malaria remains one of the most devastating infectious diseases, killing up to a million people every year. Whereas much progress has been made in understanding the life cycle of the parasite in the human host and in the mosquito vector, significant gaps of knowledge remain. Fertilization of malaria parasites, a process that takes place in the lumen of the mosquito midgut, is poorly understood and the molecular interactions (receptor–ligand) required for Plasmodium fertilization remain elusive. By use of a phage display library, we identified FG1 (Female Gamete peptide 1), a peptide that binds specifically to the surface of female Plasmodium berghei gametes. Importantly, FG1 but not a scrambled version of the peptide, strongly reduces P. berghei oocyst formation by interfering with fertilization. In addition, FG1 also inhibits P. falciparum oocyst formation suggesting that the peptide binds to a molecule on the surface of the female gamete whose structure is conserved. Identification of the molecular interactions disrupted by the FG1 peptide may lead to the development of novel malaria transmission-blocking strategies. PMID:25944054

  9. Parasitic colitides.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Joel E

    2007-02-01

    Parasitic infections are a major worldwide health problem, and they account for millions of infections and deaths each year. Most of the infections as well as the morbidity and mortality from these diseases occur in the developing world in rural regions. However, these diseases have become more common in Western countries and in big cities over the past 25 years. These changing disease patterns can be attributed to emigration from the third world to developed countries and migration of rural populations to the big cities in developing nations. These parasitic infections have protean manifestations and consequences. The medical problems range from chronic asymptomatic carrier to fulminant infections and even death. Several factors such as the host immune status, the infecting organism, and the availability of treatment all play key roles in the outcomes of parasitic colitides. The two major classes of parasites causing these infections are the helminthes (ascariasis, strongyloidiasis, enterobiasis, trichuriasis, and schistosomiasis) and the protozoa (Isospora, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Trypanosoma cruzi, Giardia lamblia, and Balantidium coli). This article summarizes the salient features of each parasite with respect to epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment. The vast majority of these infections have a self-limited clinical course or are easily treated with medical management, and surgery is rarely needed. PMID:20011360

  10. Anopheles gambiae eicosanoids modulate Plasmodium berghei survival from oocyst to salivary gland invasion.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Susana; Custódio, Ana; Silveira, Henrique

    2014-08-01

    Eicosanoids affect the immunity of several pathogen/insect models, but their role on the Anopheles gambiae response to Plasmodium is still unknown. Plasmodium berghei-infected mosquitoes were injected with an eicosanoid biosynthesis inhibitor, indomethacin (IN), or a substrate, arachidonic acid (AA), at day 7 or day 12 post-infection (p.i.). Salivary gland invasion was evaluated by sporozoite counts at day 21 p.i. IN promoted infection upon sporozoite release from oocysts, but inhibited infection when sporozoites were still maturing within the oocysts, as observed by a reduction in the number of sporozoites reaching the salivary glands. AA treatment had the opposite effect. We show for the first time that An. gambiae can modulate parasite survival through eicosanoids by exerting an antagonistic or agonistic effect on the parasite, depending on its stage of development. PMID:25141285

  11. Deformability of Plasmodium falciparum parasitized red blood cells

    E-print Network

    Mills, John Philip, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2007-01-01

    The biophysical properties of the human red blood cell (RBC) permit large deformations required for passage through narrow capillaries and spleen sinusoids. Several pathologic conditions alter RBC deformability that can ...

  12. Detection of avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) in native land birds of American Samoa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarvi, S.I.; Farias, M.E.M.; Baker, H.; Freifeld, H.B.; Baker, P.E.; Van Gelder, E.; Massey, J.G.; Atkinson, C.T.

    2003-01-01

    This study documents the presence of Plasmodium spp. in landbirds of central Polynesia. Blood samples collected from eight native and introduced species from the island of Tutuila, American Samoa were evaluated for the presence of Plasmodium spp. by nested rDNA PCR, serology and/or microscopy. A total of 111/188 birds (59%) screened by nested PCR were positive. Detection of Plasmodium spp. was verified by nucleotide sequence comparisons of partial 18S ribosomal RNA and TRAP (thrombospondin-related anonymous protein) genes using phylogenetic analyses. All samples screened by immunoblot to detect antibodies that cross-react with Hawaiian isolates of Plasmodium relictum (153) were negative. Lack of cross-reactivity is probably due to antigenic differences between the Hawaiian and Samoan Plasmodium isolates. Similarly, all samples examined by microscopy (214) were negative. The fact that malaria is present, but not detectable by blood smear evaluation is consistent with low peripheral parasitemia characteristic of chronic infections. High prevalence of apparently chronic infections, the relative stability of the native land bird communities, and the presence of mosquito vectors which are considered endemic and capable of transmitting avian Plasmodia, suggest that these parasites are indigenous to Samoa and have a long coevolutionary history with their hosts.

  13. Prevalence and Diversity of Avian Haematozoan Parasites in Wetlands of Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    Mohiuddin, Khaja; Mikolon, Andrea; Paul, Suman Kumer; Hosseini, Parviez Rana; Daszak, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The parasites of genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon are well-known avian haematozoa and can cause declined productivity and high mortality in wild birds. The objective of the study was to record the prevalence of haematozoan parasites in a wide range of wetland birds in Bangladesh. Six species of Haemoproteus, seven species of Plasmodium, one unidentified species of Leucocytozoon, and one unidentified microfilaria of the genus Paronchocerca were found. Data on the morphology, size, hosts, prevalence, and infection intensity of the parasites are provided. The overall prevalence among the birds was 29.5% (95 out of 322 birds). Of those, 13.2% (42 of 319) of birds were infected with Haemoproteus spp., 15.1% with Plasmodium spp. (48 of 319) and 0.6% with Leucocytozoon spp. (2 of 319). Two birds were positive for both Haemoproteus sp. and Plasmodium sp. A single resident bird, Ardeola grayii, was found positive for an unidentified microfilaria. Prevalence of infection varied significantly among different bird families. Wild birds of Bangladesh carry several types of haematozoan parasites. Further investigation with a larger sample size is necessary to estimate more accurately the prevalence of haematozoan parasites among wild birds as well as domestic ducks for better understanding of the disease ecology. PMID:24587896

  14. Detection of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells by optical stretching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritz, Jakob M. A.; Tiffert, Teresa; Seear, Rachel; Lautenschläger, Franziska; Esposito, Alessandro; Lew, Virgilio L.; Guck, Jochen; Kaminski, Clemens F.

    2010-05-01

    We present the application of a microfluidic optical cell stretcher to measure the elasticity of malaria-infected red blood cells. The measurements confirm an increase in host cell rigidity during the maturation of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The device combines the selectivity and sensitivity of single-cell elasticity measurements with a throughput that is higher than conventional single-cell techniques. The method has potential to detect early stages of infection with excellent sensitivity and high speed.

  15. Plasmodium falciparum malaria: proteomic studies

    PubMed Central

    Siqueira-Batista, Rodrigo; Gomes, Andréia Patrícia; de Mendonça, Eduardo Gomes; Vitorino, Rodrigo Roger; de Azevedo, Sarah Fumian Milward; Freitas, Rodrigo de Barros; Santana, Luiz Alberto; Oliveira, Maria Goreti de Almeida

    2012-01-01

    Despite advances in treatment and campaigns for prevention and control of malaria on the various continents where it is still rampant, this disease remains significantly relevant to the contemporary world. Plasmodium falciparum is the organism that is mainly responsible for severe malaria, which is characterized by disturbances in different organs and systems, with possibly fatal outcomes. Although incipient, proteomic studies of malaria have yielded favorable prospects for elucidating the biological aspects of Plasmodium as well as the pathophysiological, diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic mechanisms of the disease. Thus, the aim of the present article is to present a brief review of the applications of proteomic analysis in P. falciparum malaria. PMID:23917939

  16. A molecular marker of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ariey, Frédéric; Witkowski, Benoit; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Beghain, Johann; Langlois, Anne-Claire; Khim, Nimol; Kim, Saorin; Duru, Valentine; Bouchier, Christiane; Ma, Laurence; Lim, Pharath; Leang, Rithea; Duong, Socheat; Sreng, Sokunthea; Suon, Seila; Chuor, Char Meng; Bout, Denis Mey; Ménard, Sandie; Rogers, William O.; Genton, Blaise; Fandeur, Thierry; Miotto, Olivo; Ringwald, Pascal; Le Bras, Jacques; Berry, Antoine; Barale, Jean-Christophe; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Benoit-Vical, Françoise; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Ménard, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives in southeast Asia threatens malaria control and elimination activities worldwide. To monitor the spread of artemisinin resistance, a molecular marker is urgently needed. Here, using whole-genome sequencing of an artemisinin-resistant parasite line from Africa and clinical parasite isolates from Cambodia, we associate mutations in the PF3D7_1343700 kelch propeller domain (`K13-propeller') with artemisinin resistance in vitro and in vivo. Mutant K13-propeller alleles cluster in Cambodian provinces where resistance is prevalent, and the increasing frequency of a dominant mutant K13-propeller allele correlates with the recent spread of resistance in western Cambodia. Strong correlations between the presence of a mutant allele, in vitro parasite survival rates and in vivo parasite clearance rates indicate that K13-propeller mutations are important determinants of artemisinin resistance. K13-propeller polymorphism constitutes a useful molecular marker for large-scale surveillance efforts to contain artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion and prevent its global spread.

  17. Experimental Immunization Based on Plasmodium Antigens Isolated by Antibody Affinity

    PubMed Central

    Kamali, Ali N.; Marín-García, Patricia; Azcárate, Isabel G.; Puyet, Antonio; Diez, Amalia; Bautista, José M.

    2015-01-01

    Vaccines blocking malaria parasites in the blood-stage diminish mortality and morbidity caused by the disease. Here, we isolated antigens from total parasite proteins by antibody affinity chromatography to test an immunization against lethal malaria infection in a murine model. We used the sera of malaria self-resistant ICR mice to lethal Plasmodium yoelii yoelii 17XL for purification of their IgGs which were subsequently employed to isolate blood-stage parasite antigens that were inoculated to immunize BALB/c mice. The presence of specific antibodies in vaccinated mice serum was studied by immunoblot analysis at different days after vaccination and showed an intensive immune response to a wide range of antigens with molecular weight ranging between 22 and 250?kDa. The humoral response allowed delay of the infection after the inoculation to high lethal doses of P. yoelii yoelii 17XL resulting in a partial protection against malaria disease, although final survival was managed in a low proportion of challenged mice. This approach shows the potential to prevent malaria disease with a set of antigens isolated from blood-stage parasites. PMID:26539558

  18. Dimerization of Plasmodium vivax DBP is induced upon receptor binding and drives recognition of DARC.

    PubMed

    Batchelor, Joseph D; Zahm, Jacob A; Tolia, Niraj H

    2011-08-01

    Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi invasion depends on the parasite Duffy-binding protein DBL domain (RII-PvDBP or RII-PkDBP) engaging the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) on red blood cells. Inhibition of this key interaction provides an excellent opportunity for parasite control. There are competing models for whether Plasmodium ligands engage receptors as monomers or dimers, a question whose resolution has profound implications for parasite biology and control. We report crystallographic, solution and functional studies of RII-PvDBP showing that dimerization is required for and driven by receptor engagement. This work provides a unifying framework for prior studies and accounts for the action of naturally acquired blocking antibodies and the mechanism of immune evasion. We show that dimerization is conserved in DBL-domain receptor engagement and propose that receptor-mediated ligand dimerization drives receptor affinity and specificity. Because dimerization is prevalent in signaling, our studies raise the possibility that induced dimerization may activate pathways for invasion. PMID:21743458

  19. Distribution and Risk Factors for Plasmodium and Helminth Co-infections: A Cross-Sectional Survey among Children in Bagamoyo District, Coastal Region of Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Salim, Nahya; Knopp, Stefanie; Lweno, Omar; Abdul, Ummi; Mohamed, Ali; Schindler, Tobias; Rothen, Julian; Masimba, John; Kwaba, Denis; Mohammed, Alisa S.; Althaus, Fabrice; Abdulla, Salim; Tanner, Marcel; Daubenberger, Claudia; Genton, Blaise

    2015-01-01

    Background Plasmodium and soil transmitted helminth infections (STH) are a major public health problem, particularly among children. There are conflicting findings on potential association between these two parasites. This study investigated the Plasmodium and helminth co-infections among children aged 2 months to 9 years living in Bagamoyo district, coastal region of Tanzania. Methods A community-based cross-sectional survey was conducted among 1033 children. Stool, urine and blood samples were examined using a broad set of quality controlled diagnostic methods for common STH (Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm, Strongyloides stercoralis, Enterobius vermicularis, Trichuris trichura), schistosoma species and Wuchereria bancrofti. Blood slides and malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs) were utilized for Plasmodium diagnosis. Results Out of 992 children analyzed, the prevalence of Plasmodium infection was 13% (130/992), helminth 28.5% (283/992); 5% (50/992) had co-infection with Plasmodium and helminth. The prevalence rate of Plasmodium, specific STH and co-infections increased significantly with age (p < 0.001), with older children mostly affected except for S. stercoralis monoinfection and co-infections. Spatial variations of co-infection prevalence were observed between and within villages. There was a trend for STH infections to be associated with Plasmodium infection [OR adjusted for age group 1.4, 95% CI (1.0–2.1)], which was more marked for S. stercoralis (OR = 2.2, 95% CI (1.1–4.3). Age and not schooling were risk factors for Plasmodium and STH co-infection. Conclusion The findings suggest that STH and Plasmodium infections tend to occur in the same children, with increasing prevalence of co-infection with age. This calls for an integrated approach such as using mass chemotherapy with dual effect (e.g., ivermectin) coupled with improved housing, sanitation and hygiene for the control of both parasitic infections. PMID:25837022

  20. Healthy sweet inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin

    E-print Network

    Chen, Liao Y

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin (PfAQP) is a multifunctional channel protein in the plasma membrane of the malarial parasite that causes the most severe form of malaria infecting more than a million people a year. Finding a novel way to inhibit PfAQP, I conducted 3+ microseconds in silico experiments of an atomistic model of the PfAQP-membrane system and computed the chemical-potential profiles of six permeants (erythritol, water, glycerol, urea, ammonia, and ammonium) that can be efficiently transported across P. falciparum's plasma membrane through PfAQP's conducting pore. The profiles show that, with all the existent in vitro data being supportive, erythritol, a permeant of PfAQP itself having a deep ditch in its permeation passageway, strongly inhibits PfAQP's functions of transporting water, glycerol, urea, ammonia, and ammonium (The IC50 is in the range of high nanomolars). This suggests the possibility that erythritol, a sweetener generally considered safe, may be the drug needed to kill the mal...

  1. Plasmodium falciparum Adhesins Play an Essential Role in Signalling and Activation of Invasion into Human Erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Tham, Wai-Hong; Lim, Nicholas T. Y.; Weiss, Greta E.; Lopaticki, Sash; Ansell, Brendan R. E.; Bird, Megan; Lucet, Isabelle; Dorin-Semblat, Dominique; Doerig, Christian; Gilson, Paul R.; Crabb, Brendan S.; Cowman, Alan F.

    2015-01-01

    The most severe form of malaria in humans is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The invasive form of malaria parasites is termed a merozoite and it employs an array of parasite proteins that bind to the host cell to mediate invasion. In Plasmodium falciparum, the erythrocyte binding-like (EBL) and reticulocyte binding-like (Rh) protein families are responsible for binding to specific erythrocyte receptors for invasion and mediating signalling events that initiate active entry of the malaria parasite. Here we have addressed the role of the cytoplasmic tails of these proteins in activating merozoite invasion after receptor engagement. We show that the cytoplasmic domains of these type 1 membrane proteins are phosphorylated in vitro. Depletion of PfCK2, a kinase implicated to phosphorylate these cytoplasmic tails, blocks P. falciparum invasion of red blood cells. We identify the crucial residues within the PfRh4 cytoplasmic domain that are required for successful parasite invasion. Live cell imaging of merozoites from these transgenic mutants show they attach but do not penetrate erythrocytes implying the PfRh4 cytoplasmic tail conveys signals important for the successful completion of the invasion process. PMID:26694741

  2. A Cysteine Protease Inhibitor of Plasmodium berghei Is Essential for Exo-erythrocytic Development

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Christine; Heitmann, Anna; Mishra, Satish; Burda, Paul-Christian; Singer, Mirko; Prado, Monica; Niklaus, Livia; Lacroix, Céline; Ménard, Robert; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Stanway, Rebecca; Sinnis, Photini; Heussler, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites express a potent inhibitor of cysteine proteases (ICP) throughout their life cycle. To analyze the role of ICP in different life cycle stages, we generated a stage-specific knockout of the Plasmodium berghei ICP (PbICP). Excision of the pbicb gene occurred in infective sporozoites and resulted in impaired sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes, despite residual PbICP protein being detectable in sporozoites. The vast majority of these parasites invading a cultured hepatocyte cell line did not develop to mature liver stages, but the few that successfully developed hepatic merozoites were able to initiate a blood stage infection in mice. These blood stage parasites, now completely lacking PbICP, exhibited an attenuated phenotype but were able to infect mosquitoes and develop to the oocyst stage. However, PbICP-negative sporozoites liberated from oocysts exhibited defective motility and invaded mosquito salivary glands in low numbers. They were also unable to invade hepatocytes, confirming that control of cysteine protease activity is of critical importance for sporozoites. Importantly, transfection of PbICP-knockout parasites with a pbicp-gfp construct fully reversed these defects. Taken together, in P. berghei this inhibitor of the ICP family is essential for sporozoite motility but also appears to play a role during parasite development in hepatocytes and erythrocytes. PMID:25166051

  3. Biochemical and structural characterization of the apicoplast dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Laine, Larissa M.; Biddau, Marco; Byron, Olwyn; Müller, Sylke

    2014-01-01

    PDC (pyruvate dehydrogenase complex) is a multi-enzyme complex comprising an E1 (pyruvate decarboxylase), an E2 (dihydrolipomide acetyltransferase) and an E3 (dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase). PDC catalyses the decarboxylation of pyruvate and forms acetyl-CoA and NADH. In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the single PDC is located exclusively in the apicoplast. Plasmodium PDC is essential for parasite survival in the mosquito vector and for late liver stage development in the human host, suggesting its suitability as a target for intervention strategies against malaria. Here, PfaE3 (P. falciparum apicoplast E3) was recombinantly expressed and characterized. Biochemical parameters were comparable with those determined for E3 from other organisms. A homology model for PfaE3 reveals an extra anti-parallel ?-strand at the position where human E3BP (E3-binding protein) interacts with E3; a parasite-specific feature that may be exploitable for drug discovery against PDC. To assess the biological role of Pfae3, it was deleted from P. falciparum and although the mutants are viable, they displayed a highly synchronous growth phenotype during intra-erythrocytic development. The mutants also showed changes in the expression of some mitochondrial and antioxidant proteins suggesting that deletion of Pfae3 impacts on the parasite's metabolic function with downstream effects on the parasite's redox homoeostasis and cell cycle. PMID:25387830

  4. The Plasmodium berghei translocon of exported proteins reveals spatiotemporal dynamics of tubular extensions

    PubMed Central

    Matz, Joachim M.; Goosmann, Christian; Brinkmann, Volker; Grützke, Josephine; Ingmundson, Alyssa; Matuschewski, Kai; Kooij, Taco W. A.

    2015-01-01

    The erythrocyte is an extraordinary host cell for intracellular pathogens and requires extensive remodelling to become permissive for infection. Malaria parasites modify their host red blood cells through protein export to acquire nutrients and evade immune responses. Endogenous fluorescent tagging of three signature proteins of the Plasmodium berghei translocon of exported proteins (PTEX), heat shock protein 101, exported protein 2 (EXP2), and PTEX88, revealed motile, tubular extensions of the parasitophorous vacuole that protrude from the parasite far into the red blood cell. EXP2 displays a more prominent presence at the periphery of the parasite, consistent with its proposed role in pore formation. The tubular compartment is most prominent during trophozoite growth. Distinct spatiotemporal expression of individual PTEX components during sporogony and liver-stage development indicates additional functions and tight regulation of the PTEX translocon during parasite life cycle progression. Together, live cell imaging and correlative light and electron microscopy permitted previously unrecognized spatiotemporal and subcellular resolution of PTEX-containing tubules in murine malaria parasites. These findings further refine current models for Plasmodium-induced erythrocyte makeover. PMID:26219962

  5. Plasmodium falciparum Adhesins Play an Essential Role in Signalling and Activation of Invasion into Human Erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Tham, Wai-Hong; Lim, Nicholas T Y; Weiss, Greta E; Lopaticki, Sash; Ansell, Brendan R E; Bird, Megan; Lucet, Isabelle; Dorin-Semblat, Dominique; Doerig, Christian; Gilson, Paul R; Crabb, Brendan S; Cowman, Alan F

    2015-12-01

    The most severe form of malaria in humans is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The invasive form of malaria parasites is termed a merozoite and it employs an array of parasite proteins that bind to the host cell to mediate invasion. In Plasmodium falciparum, the erythrocyte binding-like (EBL) and reticulocyte binding-like (Rh) protein families are responsible for binding to specific erythrocyte receptors for invasion and mediating signalling events that initiate active entry of the malaria parasite. Here we have addressed the role of the cytoplasmic tails of these proteins in activating merozoite invasion after receptor engagement. We show that the cytoplasmic domains of these type 1 membrane proteins are phosphorylated in vitro. Depletion of PfCK2, a kinase implicated to phosphorylate these cytoplasmic tails, blocks P. falciparum invasion of red blood cells. We identify the crucial residues within the PfRh4 cytoplasmic domain that are required for successful parasite invasion. Live cell imaging of merozoites from these transgenic mutants show they attach but do not penetrate erythrocytes implying the PfRh4 cytoplasmic tail conveys signals important for the successful completion of the invasion process. PMID:26694741

  6. Structure of Plasmodium falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase with autologous inhibitory protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Shiva; Krishnamoorthy, Kalyanaraman; Mudeppa, Devaraja G; Rathod, Pradipsinh K

    2015-05-01

    The most severe form of malaria is caused by the obligate parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRTase) is the fifth enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine-synthesis pathway in the parasite, which lacks salvage pathways. Among all of the malaria de novo pyrimidine-biosynthesis enzymes, the structure of P. falciparum OPRTase (PfOPRTase) was the only one unavailable until now. PfOPRTase that could be crystallized was obtained after some low-complexity sequences were removed. Four catalytic dimers were seen in the asymmetic unit (a total of eight polypeptides). In addition to revealing unique amino acids in the PfOPRTase active sites, asymmetric dimers in the larger structure pointed to novel parasite-specific protein-protein interactions that occlude the catalytic active sites. The latter could potentially modulate PfOPRTase activity in parasites and possibly provide new insights for blocking PfOPRTase functions. PMID:25945715

  7. Induction of Multidrug Tolerance in Plasmodium falciparum by Extended Artemisinin Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Ménard, Sandie; Ben Haddou, Tanila; Ramadani, Arba Pramundita; Ariey, Frédéric; Iriart, Xavier; Beghain, Johann; Bouchier, Christiane; Witkowski, Benoit; Berry, Antoine; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives in Southeast Asia threatens global malaria control strategies. Whether delayed parasite clearance, which exposes larger parasite numbers to artemisinins for longer times, selects higher-grade resistance remains unexplored. We investigated whether long-lasting artemisinin pressure selects a novel multidrug-tolerance profile. Although 50% inhibitory concentrations for 10 antimalarial drugs tested were unchanged, drug-tolerant parasites showed higher recrudescence rates for endoperoxides, quinolones, and an antifolate, including partner drugs of recommended combination therapies, but remained susceptible to atovaquone. Moreover, the age range of intraerythrocytic stages able to resist artemisinin was extended to older ring forms and trophozoites. Multidrug tolerance results from drug-induced quiescence, which enables parasites to survive exposure to unrelated antimalarial drugs that inhibit a variety of metabolic pathways. This novel resistance pattern should be urgently monitored in the field because this pattern is not detected by current assays and represents a major threat to antimalarial drug policy. PMID:26401601

  8. 3-D analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum Maurer's clefts using different electron tomographic approaches.

    PubMed

    Henrich, Philipp; Kilian, Nicole; Lanzer, Michael; Cyrklaff, Marek

    2009-06-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports a large number of proteins into its host erythrocyte to install functions necessary for parasite survival. Important structural components of the export machinery are membrane profiles of parasite origin, termed Maurer's clefts. These profiles span much of the distance between the parasite and the host cell periphery and are believed to deliver P. falciparum-encoded proteins to the erythrocyte plasma membrane. Although discovered more than a century ago, Maurer's clefts remain a mysterious organelle with little information available regarding their origin, their morphology or their precise role in protein trafficking. Here, we evaluated different techniques to prepare samples for electron tomography, including whole cell cryo-preparations, vitreous sections, freeze-substitution and chemical fixation. Our data show that the different approaches tested all have their merits, revealing different aspects of the complex structure of the Maurer's clefts. PMID:19492330

  9. Site-Specific Editing of the Plasmodium falciparum Genome Using Engineered Zinc-Finger Nucleases

    PubMed Central

    Straimer, Judith; Lee, Marcus CS; Lee, Andrew H; Zeitler, Bryan; Williams, April E; Pearl, Jocelynn R; Zhang, Lei; Rebar, Edward J; Gregory, Philip D; Llinás, Manuel; Urnov, Fyodor D; Fidock, David A

    2013-01-01

    Malaria afflicts over 200 million people worldwide and its most lethal etiologic agent, Plasmodium falciparum, is evolving to resist even the latest-generation therapeutics. Efficient tools for genome-directed investigations of P. falciparum pathogenesis, including drug resistance mechanisms, are clearly required. Here we report rapid and targeted genetic engineering of this parasite, using zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) that produce a double-strand break in a user-defined locus and trigger homology-directed repair. Targeting an integrated egfp locus, we obtained gene deletion parasites with unprecedented speed (two weeks), both with and without direct selection. ZFNs engineered against the endogenous parasite gene pfcrt, responsible for chloroquine treatment escape, rapidly produced parasites that carried either an allelic replacement or a panel of specified point mutations. The efficiency, versatility and precision of this method will enable a diverse array of genome editing approaches to interrogate this human pathogen. PMID:22922501

  10. Structure of Plasmodium falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase with autologous inhibitory protein–protein interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Shiva; Krishnamoorthy, Kalyanaraman; Mudeppa, Devaraja G.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K.

    2015-01-01

    The most severe form of malaria is caused by the obligate parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRTase) is the fifth enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine-synthesis pathway in the parasite, which lacks salvage pathways. Among all of the malaria de novo pyrimidine-biosynthesis enzymes, the structure of P. falciparum OPRTase (PfOPRTase) was the only one unavailable until now. PfOPRTase that could be crystallized was obtained after some low-complexity sequences were removed. Four catalytic dimers were seen in the asymmetic unit (a total of eight polypeptides). In addition to revealing unique amino acids in the PfOPRTase active sites, asymmetric dimers in the larger structure pointed to novel parasite-specific protein–protein interactions that occlude the catalytic active sites. The latter could potentially modulate PfOPRTase activity in parasites and possibly provide new insights for blocking PfOPRTase functions. PMID:25945715

  11. The role of PfEMP1 adhesion domain classification in Plasmodium falciparum pathogenesis research

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Joseph D.

    2014-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family has a key role in parasite survival, transmission, and virulence. PfEMP1 are exported to the erythrocyte membrane and mediate binding of infected erythrocytes to the endothelial lining of blood vessels. This process aids parasite survival by avoiding spleen-dependent killing mechanisms, but it is associated with adhesion-based disease complications. Switching between PfEMP1 proteins enables parasites to evade host immunity and modifies parasite tropism for different microvascular beds. The PfEMP1 protein family is one of the most diverse adhesion modules in nature. This review covers PfEMP1 adhesion domain classification and the significant role it is playing in deciphering and deconvoluting P. falciparum cytoadhesion and disease. PMID:25064606

  12. Fluxes in ;Free; and Total Zinc Are Essential for Progression of Intraerythrocytic Stages of Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Marvin, Rebecca G.; Wolford, Janet L.; Kidd, Matthew J.; Murphy, Sean; Ward, Jesse; Que, Emily L.; Mayer, Meghan L.; Penner-Hahn, James E.; Haldar, Kasturi; O; Halloran, Thomas V.

    2012-10-23

    Dynamic fluxes in the concentration of ions and small molecules are fundamental features of cell signaling, differentiation, and development. Similar roles for fluxes in transition metal concentrations are less well established. Here, we show that massive zinc fluxes are essential in the infection cycle of an intracellular eukaryotic parasite. Using single-cell quantitative imaging, we show that growth of the blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasite requires acquisition of 30 million zinc atoms per erythrocyte before host cell rupture, corresponding to a 400% increase in total zinc concentration. Zinc accumulates in a freely available form in parasitophorous compartments outside the food vacuole, including mitochondria. Restriction of zinc availability via small molecule treatment causes a drop in mitochondrial membrane potential and severely inhibits parasite growth. Thus, extraordinary zinc acquisition and trafficking are essential for parasite development.

  13. Molecular Epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Outbreak, Tumbes, Peru, 2010–2012

    PubMed Central

    Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Arrospide, Nancy; Gonzalez, Rommell V.; Sánchez, Juan F.; Macedo, Silvia; Conde, Silvia; Tapia, L. Lorena; Salas, Carola; Gamboa, Dionicia; Herrera, Yeni; Edgel, Kimberly A.; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Lescano, Andrés G.

    2015-01-01

    During 2010–2012, an outbreak of 210 cases of malaria occurred in Tumbes, in the northern coast of Peru, where no Plasmodium falciparum malaria case had been reported since 2006. To identify the source of the parasite causing this outbreak, we conducted a molecular epidemiology investigation. Microsatellite typing showed an identical genotype in all 54 available isolates. This genotype was also identical to that of parasites isolated in 2010 in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon and closely related to clonet B, a parasite lineage previously reported in the Amazon during 1998–2000. These findings are consistent with travel history of index case-patients. DNA sequencing revealed mutations in the Pfdhfr, Pfdhps, Pfcrt, and Pfmdr1 loci, which are strongly associated with resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, and deletion of the Pfhrp2 gene. These results highlight the need for timely molecular epidemiology investigations to trace the parasite source during malaria reintroduction events. PMID:25897626

  14. Molecular Epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Outbreak, Tumbes, Peru, 2010-2012.

    PubMed

    Baldeviano, G Christian; Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Arrospide, Nancy; Gonzalez, Rommell V; Sánchez, Juan F; Macedo, Silvia; Conde, Silvia; Tapia, L Lorena; Salas, Carola; Gamboa, Dionicia; Herrera, Yeni; Edgel, Kimberly A; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Lescano, Andrés G

    2015-05-01

    During 2010-2012, an outbreak of 210 cases of malaria occurred in Tumbes, in the northern coast of Peru, where no Plasmodium falciparum malaria case had been reported since 2006. To identify the source of the parasite causing this outbreak, we conducted a molecular epidemiology investigation. Microsatellite typing showed an identical genotype in all 54 available isolates. This genotype was also identical to that of parasites isolated in 2010 in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon and closely related to clonet B, a parasite lineage previously reported in the Amazon during 1998-2000. These findings are consistent with travel history of index case-patients. DNA sequencing revealed mutations in the Pfdhfr, Pfdhps, Pfcrt, and Pfmdr1 loci, which are strongly associated with resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, and deletion of the Pfhrp2 gene. These results highlight the need for timely molecular epidemiology investigations to trace the parasite source during malaria reintroduction events. PMID:25897626

  15. Plasmodium vivax: who cares?

    PubMed Central

    Galinski, Mary R; Barnwell, John W

    2008-01-01

    More attention is being focused on malaria today than any time since the world's last efforts to achieve eradication over 40 years ago. The global community is now discussing strategies aimed at dramatically reducing malarial disease burden and the eventual eradication of all types of malaria, everywhere. As a consequence, Plasmodium vivax, which has long been neglected and mistakenly considered inconsequential, is now entering into the strategic debates taking place on malaria epidemiology and control, drug resistance, pathogenesis and vaccines. Thus, contrary to the past, the malaria research community is becoming more aware and concerned about the widespread spectrum of illness and death caused by up to a couple of hundred million cases of vivax malaria each year. This review brings these issues to light and provides an overview of P. vivax vaccine development, then and now. Progress had been slow, given inherent research challenges and minimal support in the past, but prospects are looking better for making headway in the next few years. P. vivax, known to invade the youngest red blood cells, the reticulocytes, presents a strong challenge towards developing a reliable long-term culture system to facilitate needed research. The P. vivax genome was published recently, and vivax researchers now need to coordinate efforts to discover new vaccine candidates, establish new vaccine approaches, capitalize on non-human primate models for testing, and investigate the unique biological features of P. vivax, including the elusive P. vivax hypnozoites. Comparative studies on both P. falciparum and P. vivax in many areas of research will be essential to eradicate malaria. And to this end, the education and training of future generations of dedicated "malariologists" to advance our knowledge, understanding and the development of new interventions against each of the malaria species infecting humans also will be essential. PMID:19091043

  16. Foodborne Parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne infections are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and foodborne parasitic diseases, though not as widespread as bacterial and viral infections, are common on all continents and in most ecosystems, including arctic, temperate, and tropical regions. Certain foodborne ...

  17. Parasites of Insect Pests

    E-print Network

    Ishida, Yuko

    Parasites of Insect Pests Parasites of Insect Pests A parasite is an organism that lives and feeds in or on a larger animal (host). Nearly all insect pests have at least one parasite that attacks them. Insects that parasitize other invertebrates (sometimes called parasitoids) are parasitic only in their immature stages

  18. Characterization of the Autophagy Marker Protein Atg8 Reveals Atypical Features of Autophagy in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Allanki, Aparna Devi; Sijwali, Puran Singh

    2014-01-01

    Conventional autophagy is a lysosome-dependent degradation process that has crucial homeostatic and regulatory functions in eukaryotic organisms. As malaria parasites must dispose a number of self and host cellular contents, we investigated if autophagy in malaria parasites is similar to the conventional autophagy. Genome wide analysis revealed a partial autophagy repertoire in Plasmodium, as homologs for only 15 of the 33 yeast autophagy proteins could be identified, including the autophagy marker Atg8. To gain insights into autophagy in malaria parasites, we investigated Plasmodium falciparum Atg8 (PfAtg8) employing techniques and conditions that are routinely used to study autophagy. Atg8 was similarly expressed and showed punctate localization throughout the parasite in both asexual and sexual stages; it was exclusively found in the pellet fraction as an integral membrane protein, which is in contrast to the yeast or mammalian Atg8 that is distributed among cytosolic and membrane fractions, and suggests for a constitutive autophagy. Starvation, the best known autophagy inducer, decreased PfAtg8 level by almost 3-fold compared to the normally growing parasites. Neither the Atg8-associated puncta nor the Atg8 expression level was significantly altered by treatment of parasites with routinely used autophagy inhibitors (cysteine (E64) and aspartic (pepstatin) protease inhibitors, the kinase inhibitor 3-methyladenine, and the lysosomotropic agent chloroquine), indicating an atypical feature of autophagy. Furthermore, prolonged inhibition of the major food vacuole protease activity by E64 and pepstatin did not cause accumulation of the Atg8-associated puncta in the food vacuole, suggesting that autophagy is primarily not meant for degradative function in malaria parasites. Atg8 showed partial colocalization with the apicoplast; doxycycline treatment, which disrupts apicoplast, did not affect Atg8 localization, suggesting a role, but not exclusive, in apicoplast biogenesis. Collectively, our results reveal several atypical features of autophagy in malaria parasites, which may be largely associated with non-degradative processes. PMID:25426852

  19. Plasmodium serine hydroxymethyltransferase as a potential anti-malarial target: inhibition studies using improved methods for enzyme production and assay

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background There is an urgent need for the discovery of new anti-malarial drugs. Thus, it is essential to explore different potential new targets that are unique to the parasite or that are required for its viability in order to develop new interventions for treating the disease. Plasmodium serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT), an enzyme in the dTMP synthesis cycle, is a potential target for such new drugs, but convenient methods for producing and assaying the enzyme are still lacking, hampering the ability to screen inhibitors. Methods Production of recombinant Plasmodium falciparum SHMT (PfSHMT) and Plasmodium vivax SHMT (PvSHMT), using auto-induction media, were compared to those using the conventional Luria Bertani medium with isopropyl thio-?-D-galactoside (LB-IPTG) induction media. Plasmodium SHMT activity, kinetic parameters, and response to inhibitors were measured spectrophotometrically by coupling the reaction to that of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (MTHFD). The identity of the intermediate formed upon inactivation of Plasmodium SHMTs by thiosemicarbazide was investigated by spectrophotometry, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The active site environment of Plasmodium SHMT was probed based on changes in the fluorescence emission spectrum upon addition of amino acids and folate. Results Auto-induction media resulted in a two to three-fold higher yield of Pf- and PvSHMT (7.38 and 29.29 mg/L) compared to that produced in cells induced in LB-IPTG media. A convenient spectrophotometric activity assay coupling Plasmodium SHMT and MTHFD gave similar kinetic parameters to those previously obtained from the anaerobic assay coupling SHMT and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR); thus demonstrating the validity of the new assay procedure. The improved method was adopted to screen for Plasmodium SHMT inhibitors, of which some were originally designed as inhibitors of malarial dihydrofolate reductase. Plasmodium SHMT was slowly inactivated by thiosemicarbazide and formed a covalent intermediate, PLP-thiosemicarbazone. Conclusions Auto-induction media offers a cost-effective method for the production of Plasmodium SHMTs and should be applicable for other Plasmodium enzymes. The SHMT-MTHFD coupled assay is equivalent to the SHMT-MTHFR coupled assay, but is more convenient for inhibitor screening and other studies of the enzyme. In addition to inhibitors of malarial SHMT, the development of species-specific, anti-SHMT inhibitors is plausible due to the presence of differential active sites on the Plasmodium enzymes. PMID:22691309

  20. Modelling the Incidence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Afghanistan 2006–2009

    PubMed Central

    Alegana, Victor A.; Wright, Jim A.; Nahzat, Sami M.; Butt, Waqar; Sediqi, Amad W.; Habib, Naeem; Snow, Robert W.; Atkinson, Peter M.; Noor, Abdisalan M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Identifying areas that support high malaria risks and where populations lack access to health care is central to reducing the burden in Afghanistan. This study investigated the incidence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum using routine data to help focus malaria interventions. Methods To estimate incidence, the study modelled utilisation of the public health sector using fever treatment data from the 2012 national Malaria Indicator Survey. A probabilistic measure of attendance was applied to population density metrics to define the proportion of the population within catchment of a public health facility. Malaria data were used in a Bayesian spatio-temporal conditional-autoregressive model with ecological or environmental covariates, to examine the spatial and temporal variation of incidence. Findings From the analysis of healthcare utilisation, over 80% of the population was within 2 hours’ travel of the nearest public health facility, while 64.4% were within 30 minutes’ travel. The mean incidence of P. vivax in 2009 was 5.4 (95% Crl 3.2–9.2) cases per 1000 population compared to 1.2 (95% Crl 0.4–2.9) cases per 1000 population for P. falciparum. P. vivax peaked in August while P. falciparum peaked in November. 32% of the estimated 30.5 million people lived in regions where annual incidence was at least 1 case per 1,000 population of P. vivax; 23.7% of the population lived in areas where annual P. falciparum case incidence was at least 1 per 1000. Conclusion This study showed how routine data can be combined with household survey data to model malaria incidence. The incidence of both P. vivax and P. falciparum in Afghanistan remain low but the co-distribution of both parasites and the lag in their peak season provides challenges to malaria control in Afghanistan. Future improved case definition to determine levels of imported risks may be useful for the elimination ambitions in Afghanistan. PMID:25033452

  1. Severe Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria among adults at Kassala Hospital, eastern Sudan

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background There have been few published reports on severe Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria among adults in Africa. Methods Clinical pattern/manifestations of severe P. falciparum and P. vivax (according to World Health Organization 2000 criteria) were described in adult patients admitted to Kassala Hospital, eastern Sudan. Results A total of 139 adult patients (80 males, 57.6%) with a mean (SD) age of 37.2 (1.5) years presented with severe P. falciparum (113, 81.3%) or P. vivax (26, 18.7%) malaria. Manifestations among the 139 patients included hypotension (38, 27.3%), cerebral malaria (23, 16.5%), repeated convulsions (18, 13.0%), hypoglycaemia (15, 10.8%), hyperparasitaemia (14, 10.1%), jaundice (14, 10.1%), severe anaemia (10, 7.2%), bleeding (six, 4.3%), renal impairment (one, 0.7%) and more than one criteria (27, 19.4%). While the geometric mean of the parasite count was significantly higher in patients with severe P. vivax than with severe P. falciparum malaria (5,934.2 vs 13,906.6 asexual stage parasitaemia per ?L, p?=?0.013), the different disease manifestations were not significantly different between patients with P. falciparum or P. vivax malaria. Three patients (2.2%) died due to severe P. falciparum malaria. One had cerebral malaria, the second had renal impairment, jaundice and hypoglycaemia, and the third had repeated convulsions and hypotension. Conclusions Severe malaria due to P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria is an existing entity among adults in eastern Sudan. Patients with severe P. falciparum and P. vivax develop similar disease manifestations. PMID:23634728

  2. The macromolecular complex of ICP and falcipain-2 from Plasmodium: preparation, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Guido; Schwarzloh, Britta; Rennenberg, Annika; Heussler, Volker T.; Hilgenfeld, Rolf

    2011-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium depends on the tight control of cysteine-protease activity throughout its life cycle. Recently, the characterization of a new class of potent inhibitors of cysteine proteases (ICPs) secreted by Plasmodium has been reported. Here, the recombinant production, purification and crystallization of the inhibitory C-terminal domain of ICP from P. berghei in complex with the P. falciparum haemoglobinase falcipain-2 is described. The 1:1 complex was crystallized in space group P43, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 71.15, c = 120.09?Å. A complete diffraction data set was collected to a resolution of 2.6?Å. PMID:22102243

  3. Homology-Based Prediction of Potential Protein–Protein Interactions between Human Erythrocytes and Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Gayatri; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy; Padmapriya, Ponnan; Natarajan, Vasant

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, a causative agent of malaria, is a well-characterized obligate intracellular parasite known for its ability to remodel host cells, particularly erythrocytes, to successfully persist in the host environment. However, the current levels of understanding from the laboratory experiments on the host–parasite interactions and the strategies pursued by the parasite to remodel host erythrocytes are modest. Several computational means developed in the recent past to predict host–parasite/pathogen interactions have generated testable hypotheses on feasible protein–protein interactions. We demonstrate the utility of protein structure-based protocol in the recognition of potential interacting proteins across P. falciparum and host erythrocytes. In concert with the information on the expression and subcellular localization of host and parasite proteins, we have identified 208 biologically feasible interactions potentially brought about by 59 P. falciparum and 30 host erythrocyte proteins. For selected cases, we have evaluated the physicochemical viability of the predicted interactions in terms of surface complementarity, electrostatic complementarity, and interaction energies at protein interface regions. Such careful inspection of molecular and mechanistic details generates high confidence on the predicted host–parasite protein–protein interactions. The predicted host–parasite interactions generate many experimentally testable hypotheses that can contribute to the understanding of possible mechanisms undertaken by the parasite in host erythrocyte remodeling. Thus, the key protein players recognized in P. falciparum can be explored for their usefulness as targets for chemotherapeutic intervention. PMID:26740742

  4. Characterization of the Small Exported Plasmodium falciparum Membrane Protein SEMP1

    PubMed Central

    Dietz, Olivier; Rusch, Sebastian; Brand, Françoise; Mundwiler-Pachlatko, Esther; Gaida, Annette; Voss, Till; Beck, Hans-Peter

    2014-01-01

    Survival and virulence of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum during the blood stage of infection critically depend on extensive host cell refurbishments mediated through export of numerous parasite proteins into the host cell. The parasite-derived membranous structures called Maurer's clefts (MC) play an important role in protein trafficking from the parasite to the red blood cell membrane. However, their specific function has yet to be determined. We identified and characterized a new MC membrane protein, termed small exported membrane protein 1 (SEMP1). Upon invasion it is exported into the RBC cytosol where it inserts into the MCs before it is partly translocated to the RBC membrane. Using conventional and conditional loss-of-function approaches we showed that SEMP1 is not essential for parasite survival, gametocytogenesis, or PfEMP1 export under culture conditions. Co-IP experiments identified several potential interaction partners, including REX1 and other membrane-associated proteins that were confirmed to co-localize with SEMP1 at MCs. Transcriptome analysis further showed that expression of a number of exported parasite proteins was up-regulated in SEMP1-depleted parasites. By using Co-IP and transcriptome analysis for functional characterization of an exported parasite protein we provide a new starting point for further detailed dissection and characterisation of MC-associated protein complexes. PMID:25062022

  5. Modulation of Anopheles stephensi Gene Expression by Nitroquine, an Antimalarial Drug against Plasmodium yoelii Infection in the Mosquito

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Zhang, Shuguang; Wang, Yanyan; Xu, Wenyue; Zhang, Jingru; Jiang, Haobo; Huang, Fusheng

    2014-01-01

    Background Antimalarial drugs may impact mosquito’s defense against Plasmodium parasites. Our previous study showed nitroquine significantly reduced infection of Anopheles stephensi by Plasmodium yoelii, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In order to understand how transmission capacity of An. stephensi was affected by nitroquine, we explored the transcriptome of adult females after different treatments, examined changes in gene expression profiles, and identified transcripts affected by the drug and parasite. Methodology/Principal Findings We extended massively parallel sequencing and data analysis (including gene discovery, expression profiling, and function prediction) to An. stephensi before and after Plasmodium infection with or without nitroquine treatment. Using numbers of reads assembled into specific contigs to calculate relative abundances (RAs), we categorized the assembled contigs into four groups according to the differences in RA values infection induced, infection suppressed, drug induced, and drug suppressed. We found both nitroquine in the blood meal and Plasmodium infection altered transcription of mosquito genes implicated in diverse processes, including pathogen recognition, signal transduction, prophenoloxidase activation, cytoskeleton assembling, cell adhesion, and oxidative stress. The differential gene expression may have promoted certain defense responses of An. stephensi against the parasite and decreased its infectivity. Conclusions/Significance Our study indicated that nitroquine may regulate several immune mechanisms at the level of gene transcription in the mosquito against Plasmodium infection. This highlights the need for better understanding of antimalarial drug’s impact on parasite survival and transmission. In addition, our data largely enriched the existing sequence information of An. stephensi, an epidemiologically important vector species. PMID:24586804

  6. Genome sequence of Anopheles sinensis provides insight into genetics basis of mosquito competence for malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Anopheles sinensis is an important mosquito vector of Plasmodium vivax, which is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria throughout Asia, and particularly in China, Korea, and Japan. Results We performed 454 next-generation sequencing and obtained a draft sequence of A. sinensis assembled into scaffolds spanning 220.8 million base pairs. Analysis of this genome sequence, we observed expansion and contraction of several immune-related gene families in anopheline relative to culicine mosquito species. These differences suggest that species-specific immune responses to Plasmodium invasion underpin the biological differences in susceptibility to Plasmodium infection that characterize these two mosquito subfamilies. Conclusions The A. sinensis genome produced in this study, provides an important resource for analyzing the genetic basis of susceptibility and resistance of mosquitoes to Plasmodium parasites research which will ultimately facilitate the design of urgently needed interventions against this debilitating mosquito-borne disease. PMID:24438588

  7. Plasmodium spp.: an experimental study on vertebrate host susceptibility to avian malaria.

    PubMed

    Dimitrov, Dimitar; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Bernotien?, Rasa; Ilg?nas, Mikas; Bukauskait?, Dovile; Zehtindjiev, Pavel; Ilieva, Mihaela; Shapoval, Anatoly P; Bolshakov, Casimir V; Markovets, Mikhail Yu; Bensch, Staffan; Valki?nas, Gediminas

    2015-01-01

    The interest in experimental studies on avian malaria caused by Plasmodium species has increased recently due to the need of direct information about host-parasite interactions. Numerous important issues (host susceptibility, development of infection, the resistance and tolerance to avian malaria) can be answered using experimental infections. However, specificity of genetically different lineages of malaria parasites and their isolates is largely unknown. This study reviews recent experimental studies and offers additional data about susceptibility of birds to several widespread cytochrome b (cyt b) lineages of Plasmodium species belonging to four subgenera. We exposed two domesticated avian hosts (canaries Serinus canaria and ducklings Anas platyrhynchos) and also 16 species of common wild European birds to malaria infections by intramuscular injection of infected blood and then tested them by microscopic examination and PCR-based methods. Our study confirms former field and experimental observations about low specificity and wide host-range of Plasmodium relictum (lineages SGS1 and GRW11) and P. circumflexum (lineage TURDUS1) belonging to the subgenera Haemamoeba and Giovannolaia, respectively. However, the specificity of different lineages and isolates of the same parasite lineage differed between species of exposed hosts. Several tested Novyella lineages were species specific, with a few cases of successful development in experimentally exposed birds. The majority of reported cases of mortality and high parasitaemia were observed during parasite co-infections. Canaries were susceptible mainly for the species of Haemamoeba and Giovannolaia, but were refractory to the majority of Novyella isolates. Ducklings were susceptible to three malaria infections (SGS1, TURDUS1 and COLL4), but parasitaemia was light (<0.01%) and transient in all exposed birds. This study provides novel information about susceptibility of avian hosts to a wide array of malaria parasite lineages, outlining directions for future experimental research on various aspects of biology and epidemiology of avian malaria. PMID:25450775

  8. Polyamidoamine nanoparticles as nanocarriers for the drug delivery to malaria parasite stages in the mosquito vector.

    PubMed

    Urbán, Patricia; Ranucci, Elisabetta; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier

    2015-11-01

    Malaria is arguably one of the main medical concerns worldwide because of the numbers of people affected, the severity of the disease and the complexity of the life cycle of its causative agent, the protist Plasmodium spp. With the advent of nanoscience, renewed hopes have appeared of finally obtaining the long sought-after magic bullet against malaria in the form of a nanovector for the targeted delivery of antimalarial compounds exclusively to Plasmodium-infected cells, thus increasing drug efficacy and minimizing the induction of resistance to newly developed therapeutic agents. Polyamidoamine-derived nanovectors combine into a single chemical structure drug encapsulating capacity, antimalarial activity, low unspecific toxicity, specific targeting to Plasmodium, optimal in vivo activity and affordable synthesis cost. After having shown their efficacy in targeting drugs to intraerythrocytic parasites, now polyamidoamines face the challenge of spearheading a new generation of nanocarriers aiming at the malaria parasite stages in the mosquito vector. PMID:26582279

  9. Hydroxamic acid based histone deacetylase inhibitors with confirmed activity against the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Giuseppe; Battistuzzi, Gianfranco; Vignola, Davide

    2015-02-01

    Recent studies have highlighted a key role in regulating gene transcription, in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes, by enzymes that control the acetylation and deacetylation of histones. In particular, inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDAC-Is) have been shown effective in controlling the development of many parasites, such as the plasmodium of malaria. Here we report the results of a study aimed at evaluating antiparasitic effect of two classes of HDAC-Is bearing different zinc binding group (hydroxamic acid vs thiol). The study showed that only the hydroxamic acid based HDAC inhibitors were active, with Plasmodium falciparum being the most sensitive parasite, having from low double-digit to single-digit nanomolar range in vitro activities. Among three derivatives evaluated also in vivo, ST8086AA1 (8) effectively inhibited 88% of the development of Plasmodium falciparum. PMID:25563890

  10. Non-Genetic Determinants of Mosquito Competence for Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Vantaux, Amélie; Dabiré, Kounbobr R.; Mouline, Karine; Cohuet, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how mosquito vectors and malaria parasites interact is of fundamental interest, and it also offers novel perspectives for disease control. Both the genetic and environmental contexts are known to affect the ability of mosquitoes to support malaria development and transmission, i.e., vector competence. Although the role of environment has long been recognized, much work has focused on host and parasite genetic effects. However, the last few years have seen a surge of studies revealing a great diversity of ways in which non-genetic factors can interfere with mosquito-Plasmodium interactions. Here, we review the current evidence for such environmentally mediated effects, including ambient temperature, mosquito diet, microbial gut flora, and infection history, and we identify additional factors previously overlooked in mosquito-Plasmodium interactions. We also discuss epidemiological implications, and the evolutionary consequences for vector immunity and parasite transmission strategies. Finally, we propose directions for further research and argue that an improved knowledge of non-genetic influences on mosquito-Plasmodium interactions could aid in implementing conventional malaria control measures and contribute to the design of novel strategies. PMID:23818841

  11. Impact of Enhanced Malaria Control on the Competition between Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in India

    E-print Network

    Martcheva, Maia

    Impact of Enhanced Malaria Control on the Competition between Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium of malaria research and control has been on P. falciparum, the most severe of the four Plasmodium species 1997, funding for malaria control in India increased dramatically. Our model predicts that if India had

  12. Refractive index maps and membrane dynamics of human red blood cells parasitized

    E-print Network

    Suresh, Subra

    Refractive index maps and membrane dynamics of human red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium to the host red blood cells (RBCs). To study these modifications, we investigate two intrinsic indicators to host red blood cells (RBCs). Major struc- tural changes include the formation of parasitophorus

  13. Confutation of the existence of sequence-conserved cytochrome P450 enzymes in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Wisedpanichkij, Raewadee; Grams, Rudi; Chaijaroenkul, Wanna; Na-Bangchang, Kesara

    2011-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to find evidence for a homologous protein of the mammalian cytochrome P450 family member CYP2B1/B2 in Plasmodium falciparum at the nucleic acid level. Prior research had demonstrated enzyme activity in the parasite comparable to mammalian CYP1A, 2A, 2B and 2E enzymes and presence of CYP enzymes by spectrophotometric and electrophoretic analyses. In recent years, the transcriptome/proteome data of P. falciparum and other Plasmodium spp. have been published and we performed an in silico analysis to identify putative cytochrome P450 family members in the parasite. This analysis failed to identify homologs to CYP1A, 2A, 2B and 2E enzymes in Plasmodium. A prior study had also claimed the presence of a conserved CYP2B1/B2 gene in the parasite by using Northern analysis with a rat CYP2B1/B2 probe. We have repeated this analysis by cloning a rat CYP2B1/B2 cDNA and using it as a hybridization probe against total RNA extracted from P. falciparum K1 and 3D7 clones but did not obtain positive results. This is consistent with the transcriptome/proteome sequence data and suggests that the genus Plasmodium contains either only highly diverged CYP proteins which are not easily identified by their primary sequence or that they have been functionally replaced by other enzymes. It is suggested that further studies are performed that allow isolation and identification of such proteins through their functional activities. PMID:21510915

  14. Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates can infect diverse mosquito vectors of Southeast Asia and Africa

    PubMed Central

    St. Laurent, Brandyce; Miller, Becky; Burton, Timothy A.; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Men, Sary; Sovannaroth, Siv; Fay, Michael P.; Miotto, Olivo; Gwadz, Robert W.; Anderson, Jennifer M.; Fairhurst, Rick M.

    2015-01-01

    Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites are rapidly spreading in Southeast Asia, yet nothing is known about their transmission. This knowledge gap and the possibility that these parasites will spread to Africa endanger global efforts to eliminate malaria. Here we produce gametocytes from parasite clinical isolates that displayed artemisinin resistance in patients and in vitro, and use them to infect native and non-native mosquito vectors. We show that contemporary artemisinin-resistant isolates from Cambodia develop and produce sporozoites in two Southeast Asian vectors, Anopheles dirus and Anopheles minimus, and the major African vector, Anopheles coluzzii (formerly Anopheles gambiae M). The ability of artemisinin-resistant parasites to infect such highly diverse Anopheles species, combined with their higher gametocyte prevalence in patients, may explain the rapid expansion of these parasites in Cambodia and neighbouring countries, and further compromise efforts to prevent their global spread. PMID:26485448

  15. Targeting the cell stress response of Plasmodium falciparum to overcome artemisinin resistance.

    PubMed

    Dogovski, Con; Xie, Stanley C; Burgio, Gaetan; Bridgford, Jess; Mok, Sachel; McCaw, James M; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Kenny, Shannon; Gnädig, Nina; Straimer, Judith; Bozdech, Zbynek; Fidock, David A; Simpson, Julie A; Dondorp, Arjen M; Foote, Simon; Klonis, Nectarios; Tilley, Leann

    2015-04-01

    Successful control of falciparum malaria depends greatly on treatment with artemisinin combination therapies. Thus, reports that resistance to artemisinins (ARTs) has emerged, and that the prevalence of this resistance is increasing, are alarming. ART resistance has recently been linked to mutations in the K13 propeller protein. We undertook a detailed kinetic analysis of the drug responses of K13 wild-type and mutant isolates of Plasmodium falciparum sourced from a region in Cambodia (Pailin). We demonstrate that ART treatment induces growth retardation and an accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, indicative of a cellular stress response that engages the ubiquitin/proteasome system. We show that resistant parasites exhibit lower levels of ubiquitinated proteins and delayed onset of cell death, indicating an enhanced cell stress response. We found that the stress response can be targeted by inhibiting the proteasome. Accordingly, clinically used proteasome inhibitors strongly synergize ART activity against both sensitive and resistant parasites, including isogenic lines expressing mutant or wild-type K13. Synergy is also observed against Plasmodium berghei in vivo. We developed a detailed model of parasite responses that enables us to infer, for the first time, in vivo parasite clearance profiles from in vitro assessments of ART sensitivity. We provide evidence that the clinical marker of resistance (delayed parasite clearance) is an indirect measure of drug efficacy because of the persistence of unviable parasites with unchanged morphology in the circulation, and we suggest alternative approaches for the direct measurement of viability. Our model predicts that extending current three-day ART treatment courses to four days, or splitting the doses, will efficiently clear resistant parasite infections. This work provides a rationale for improving the detection of ART resistance in the field and for treatment strategies that can be employed in areas with ART resistance. PMID:25901609

  16. Targeting the Cell Stress Response of Plasmodium falciparum to Overcome Artemisinin Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Dogovski, Con; Xie, Stanley C.; Burgio, Gaetan; Bridgford, Jess; Mok, Sachel; McCaw, James M.; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Kenny, Shannon; Gnädig, Nina; Straimer, Judith; Bozdech, Zbynek; Fidock, David A.; Simpson, Julie A.; Dondorp, Arjen M.; Foote, Simon; Klonis, Nectarios; Tilley, Leann

    2015-01-01

    Successful control of falciparum malaria depends greatly on treatment with artemisinin combination therapies. Thus, reports that resistance to artemisinins (ARTs) has emerged, and that the prevalence of this resistance is increasing, are alarming. ART resistance has recently been linked to mutations in the K13 propeller protein. We undertook a detailed kinetic analysis of the drug responses of K13 wild-type and mutant isolates of Plasmodium falciparum sourced from a region in Cambodia (Pailin). We demonstrate that ART treatment induces growth retardation and an accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, indicative of a cellular stress response that engages the ubiquitin/proteasome system. We show that resistant parasites exhibit lower levels of ubiquitinated proteins and delayed onset of cell death, indicating an enhanced cell stress response. We found that the stress response can be targeted by inhibiting the proteasome. Accordingly, clinically used proteasome inhibitors strongly synergize ART activity against both sensitive and resistant parasites, including isogenic lines expressing mutant or wild-type K13. Synergy is also observed against Plasmodium berghei in vivo. We developed a detailed model of parasite responses that enables us to infer, for the first time, in vivo parasite clearance profiles from in vitro assessments of ART sensitivity. We provide evidence that the clinical marker of resistance (delayed parasite clearance) is an indirect measure of drug efficacy because of the persistence of unviable parasites with unchanged morphology in the circulation, and we suggest alternative approaches for the direct measurement of viability. Our model predicts that extending current three-day ART treatment courses to four days, or splitting the doses, will efficiently clear resistant parasite infections. This work provides a rationale for improving the detection of ART resistance in the field and for treatment strategies that can be employed in areas with ART resistance. PMID:25901609

  17. Monkey-derived monoclonal antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Stanley, H.A.; Reese, R.T.

    1985-09-01

    A system has been developed that allows efficient production of monkey monoclonal antibodies from owl monkeys. Splenocytes or peripheral blood lymphocytes from monkeys immune to the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, were fused with P3X63 Ag8.653 mouse myelomas. The resulting hybridomas were screened by an indirect fluorescent antibody test for the production of monkey monoclonal antibodies (mAb) reactive with P. falciparum. Most of the mAb reacted with the P. falciparum merozoites and immunoprecipitated a parasite-derived glycoprotein having a relative molecular weight of 185,000. These mAb gave a minimum of five different immunoprecipitation patterns, thus demonstrating that a large number of polypeptides obtained when parasitized erythrocytes are solubilized share epitopes with this large glycoprotein. In addition, mAb were obtained that reacted with antigens associated with the infected erythrocyte membrane. One of these mAb bound a M/sub r/ 95,000 antigen. Radioimmunoprecipitation assays using /sup 125/T-antibodies were done.

  18. Intrarectal quinine for treating Plasmodium falciparum malaria: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Eisenhut, Michael; Omari, Aika; MacLehose, Harriet G

    2005-01-01

    Background In children with malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum, quinine administered rectally may be easier to use and less painful than intramuscular or intravenous administration. The objective of this review was to compare the effectiveness of intrarectal with intravenous or intramuscular quinine for treating falciparum malaria. Methods All randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials comparing intrarectal with intramuscular or intravenous quinine for treating people with falciparum malaria located through the following sources were included: Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS and CINAHL. Trial quality was assessed and data, including adverse event data, were extracted. Dichotomous data were analysed using odds ratios and continuous data using weighted mean difference. Results Eight randomized controlled trials (1,247 children) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The same principal investigator led seven of the trials. Five compared intrarectal with intravenous quinine, and six compared intrarectal with intramuscular treatment. No statistically significant difference was detected for death, parasite clearance by 48 hours and seven days, parasite and fever clearance time, coma recovery time, duration of hospitalization and time before drinking began. One trial (898 children) reported that intrarectal was less painful than intramuscular administration. Conclusion No difference in the effect on parasites and clinical illness was detected for the use of intrarectal quinine compared with other routes, but most trials were small. Pain during application may be less with intrarectal quinine. Further larger trials, in patients with severe malaria and in adults, are required before the intrarectal route could be recommended. PMID:15904520

  19. Dynamical features of the Plasmodium falciparum ribosome during translation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ming; Li, Wen; Blomqvist, Karin; Das, Sanchaita; Hashem, Yaser; Dvorin, Jeffrey D; Frank, Joachim

    2015-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the mosquito-transmitted Apicomplexan parasite, causes the most severe form of human malaria. In the asexual blood-stage, the parasite resides within erythrocytes where it proliferates, multiplies and finally spreads to new erythrocytes. Development of drugs targeting the ribosome, the site of protein synthesis, requires specific knowledge of its structure and work cycle, and, critically, the ways they differ from those in the human host. Here, we present five cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstructions of ribosomes purified from P. falciparum blood-stage schizonts at sub-nanometer resolution. Atomic models were built from these density maps by flexible fitting. Significantly, our study has taken advantage of new capabilities of cryo-EM, in visualizing several structures co-existing in the sample at once, at a resolution sufficient for building atomic models. We have discovered structural and dynamic features that differentiate the ribosomes of P. falciparum from those of mammalian system. Prompted by the absence of RACK1 on the ribosome in our and an earlier study we confirmed that RACK1 does not specifically co-purify with the 80S fraction in schizonts. More extensive studies, using cryo-EM methodology, of translation in the parasite will provide structural knowledge that may lead to development of novel anti-malarials. PMID:26432834

  20. Dynamical features of the Plasmodium falciparum ribosome during translation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Ming; Li, Wen; Blomqvist, Karin; Das, Sanchaita; Hashem, Yaser; Dvorin, Jeffrey D.; Frank, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the mosquito-transmitted Apicomplexan parasite, causes the most severe form of human malaria. In the asexual blood-stage, the parasite resides within erythrocytes where it proliferates, multiplies and finally spreads to new erythrocytes. Development of drugs targeting the ribosome, the site of protein synthesis, requires specific knowledge of its structure and work cycle, and, critically, the ways they differ from those in the human host. Here, we present five cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstructions of ribosomes purified from P. falciparum blood-stage schizonts at sub-nanometer resolution. Atomic models were built from these density maps by flexible fitting. Significantly, our study has taken advantage of new capabilities of cryo-EM, in visualizing several structures co-existing in the sample at once, at a resolution sufficient for building atomic models. We have discovered structural and dynamic features that differentiate the ribosomes of P. falciparum from those of mammalian system. Prompted by the absence of RACK1 on the ribosome in our and an earlier study we confirmed that RACK1 does not specifically co-purify with the 80S fraction in schizonts. More extensive studies, using cryo-EM methodology, of translation in the parasite will provide structural knowledge that may lead to development of novel anti-malarials. PMID:26432834

  1. Inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum malaria using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides.

    PubMed Central

    Barker, R H; Metelev, V; Rapaport, E; Zamecnik, P

    1996-01-01

    We studied inhibition of growth of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in in vitro culture using antisense (AS) oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) against different target genes. W2 and W2mef strains of drug-resistant parasites were exposed to AS ODNs over 48 hr, and growth was determined by microscopic examination and [3H]hypoxanthine incorporation. At ODN concentrations of 1 microM, phosphorothioate (PS) ODNs inhibited growth in a target-independent manner. However, between 0.5 and 0.005 microM, ODNs against dihydrofolate reductase, dihydropteroate synthetase, ribonucleotide reductase, the schizont multigene family, and erythrocyte binding antigen EBA175 significantly inhibited growth compared with a PS AS ODN against human immunodeficiency virus, two AS ODNs containing eight mismatches, or the sense strand controls (P < 0.0001). The IC50 was approximately 0.05 microM, whereas that for non-sequence-specific controls was 15-fold higher. PS AS ODNs against DNA polymerase alpha showed less activity than that for other targets, whereas a single AS ODN against triose-phosphate isomerase did not differ significantly from controls. We conclude that at concentrations below 0.5 microM, PS AS ODNs targeted against several malarial genes significantly inhibit growth of drug-resistant parasites in a nucleotide sequence-dependent manner. This technology represents an alternative method for identifying malarial genes as potential drug targets. PMID:8552672

  2. Plasmodium evasion of mosquito immunity and global malaria transmission: The lock-and-key theory

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Canepa, Gaspar E.; Kamath, Nitin; Pavlovic, Noelle V.; Mu, Jianbing; Ramphul, Urvashi N.; Ramirez, Jose Luis; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria originated in Africa and became global as humans migrated to other continents. During this journey, parasites encountered new mosquito species, some of them evolutionarily distant from African vectors. We have previously shown that the Pfs47 protein allows the parasite to evade the mosquito immune system of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. Here, we investigated the role of Pfs47-mediated immune evasion in the adaptation of P. falciparum to evolutionarily distant mosquito species. We found that P. falciparum isolates from Africa, Asia, or the Americas have low compatibility to malaria vectors from a different continent, an effect that is mediated by the mosquito immune system. We identified 42 different haplotypes of Pfs47 that have a strong geographic population structure and much lower haplotype diversity outside Africa. Replacement of the Pfs47 haplotypes in a P. falciparum isolate is sufficient to make it compatible to a different mosquito species. Those parasites that express a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with a given vector evade antiplasmodial immunity and survive. We propose that Pfs47-mediated immune evasion has been critical for the globalization of P. falciparum malaria as parasites adapted to new vector species. Our findings predict that this ongoing selective force by the mosquito immune system could influence the dispersal of Plasmodium genetic traits and point to Pfs47 as a potential target to block malaria transmission. A new model, the “lock-and-key theory” of P. falciparum globalization, is proposed, and its implications are discussed. PMID:26598665

  3. Plasmodium evasion of mosquito immunity and global malaria transmission: The lock-and-key theory.

    PubMed

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Canepa, Gaspar E; Kamath, Nitin; Pavlovic, Noelle V; Mu, Jianbing; Ramphul, Urvashi N; Ramirez, Jose Luis; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2015-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria originated in Africa and became global as humans migrated to other continents. During this journey, parasites encountered new mosquito species, some of them evolutionarily distant from African vectors. We have previously shown that the Pfs47 protein allows the parasite to evade the mosquito immune system of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. Here, we investigated the role of Pfs47-mediated immune evasion in the adaptation of P. falciparum to evolutionarily distant mosquito species. We found that P. falciparum isolates from Africa, Asia, or the Americas have low compatibility to malaria vectors from a different continent, an effect that is mediated by the mosquito immune system. We identified 42 different haplotypes of Pfs47 that have a strong geographic population structure and much lower haplotype diversity outside Africa. Replacement of the Pfs47 haplotypes in a P. falciparum isolate is sufficient to make it compatible to a different mosquito species. Those parasites that express a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with a given vector evade antiplasmodial immunity and survive. We propose that Pfs47-mediated immune evasion has been critical for the globalization of P. falciparum malaria as parasites adapted to new vector species. Our findings predict that this ongoing selective force by the mosquito immune system could influence the dispersal of Plasmodium genetic traits and point to Pfs47 as a potential target to block malaria transmission. A new model, the "lock-and-key theory" of P. falciparum globalization, is proposed, and its implications are discussed. PMID:26598665

  4. Effect of Farnesyltransferase Inhibitor R115777 on Mitochondria of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Young Ran; Hwang, Bae-Geun; Hong, Yeonchul; Yang, Hye-Won; Lee, Sang Joon

    2015-01-01

    The parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes severe malaria and is the most dangerous to humans. However, it exhibits resistance to their drugs. Farnesyltransferase has been identified in pathogenic protozoa of the genera Plasmodium and the target of farnesyltransferase includes Ras family. Therefore, the inhibition of farnesyltransferase has been suggested as a new strategy for the treatment of malaria. However, the exact functional mechanism of this agent is still unknown. In addition, the effect of farnesyltransferase inhibitor (FTIs) on mitochondrial level of malaria parasites is not fully understood. In this study, therefore, the effect of a FTI R115777 on the function of mitochondria of P. falciparum was investigated experimentally. As a result, FTI R115777 was found to suppress the infection rate of malaria parasites under in vitro condition. It also reduces the copy number of mtDNA-encoded cytochrome c oxidase III. In addition, the mitochondrial membrane potential (??m) and the green fluorescence intensity of MitoTracker were decreased by FTI R115777. Chloroquine and atovaquone were measured by the mtDNA copy number as mitochondrial non-specific or specific inhibitor, respectively. Chloroquine did not affect the copy number of mtDNA-encoded cytochrome c oxidase III, while atovaquone induced to change the mtDNA copy number. These results suggest that FTI R115777 has strong influence on the mitochondrial function of P. falciparum. It may have therapeutic potential for malaria by targeting the mitochondria of parasites. PMID:26323840

  5. Global transcriptional repression: An initial and essential step for Plasmodium sexual development.

    PubMed

    Yuda, Masao; Iwanaga, Shiroh; Kaneko, Izumi; Kato, Tomomi

    2015-10-13

    Gametocytes are nonreplicative sexual forms that mediate malaria transmission to a mosquito vector. They are generated from asexual blood-stage parasites that proliferate in the circulation. However, little is known about how this transition is genetically regulated. Here, we report that an Apetala2 (AP2) family transcription factor, AP2-G2, regulates this transition as a transcriptional repressor. Disruption of AP2-G2 in the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei did not prevent commitment to the sexual stage but did halt development before the appearance of sex-specific morphologies. ChIP-seq analysis revealed that AP2-G2 targeted ?1,500 genes and recognized a five-base motif in their promoters. Most of these target genes are required for asexual proliferation of the parasites in the blood, suggesting that AP2-G2 blocks the program that precedes asexual replication to promote conversion to the sexual stage. Microarray analysis showed that the identified targets constituted ?70% of the up-regulated genes in AP2-G2-depleted parasites, suggesting that AP2-G2 actually functions as a repressor in gametocytes. A promoter assay using a centromere plasmid demonstrated that the binding motif functions as a cis-acting negative regulatory element. These results suggest that global transcriptional repression, which occurs during the initial phase of gametocytogenesis, is an essential step in Plasmodium sexual development. PMID:26417110

  6. Malaria-induced acquisition of antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens.

    PubMed

    Ofori, Michael F; Dodoo, Daniel; Staalsoe, Trine; Kurtzhals, Jørgen A L; Koram, Kwadwo; Theander, Thor G; Akanmori, Bartholomew D; Hviid, Lars

    2002-06-01

    In areas of intense Plasmodium falciparum transmission, protective immunity is acquired during childhood in parallel with acquisition of agglutinating antibodies to parasite-encoded variant surface antigens (VSA) expressed on parasitized red blood cells. In a semi-immune child in such an area, clinical disease is caused mainly by parasites expressing VSA not recognized by preexisting VSA-specific antibodies in that child. Such malaria episodes are known to cause an increase in agglutinating antibodies specifically recognizing VSA expressed by the parasite isolate causing the illness, whereas antibody responses to other parasite isolates are relatively unaffected. However, the detailed kinetics of this VSA antibody acquisition are unknown and hence were the aim of this study. We show that P. falciparum malaria in Ghanaian children generally caused a rapid and sustained increase in variant-specific VSA antibody levels, while more transient and limited increases in levels of antibodies to VSA expressed by other parasite isolates were also seen. Plasma VSA antibody levels were positively correlated with the age of the healthy plasma donors but negatively correlated with the age of the parasite donors (the malaria patient). The data from this first detailed longitudinal study of acquisition of VSA antibodies support the hypothesis that naturally acquired protective immunity to P. falciparum malaria is mediated, at least in part, by VSA-specific antibodies. PMID:12010988

  7. Exoerythrocytic development of Plasmodium gallinaceum in the White Leghorn chicken?

    PubMed Central

    Frevert, Ute; Späth, Gerald F.; Yee, Herman

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium gallinaceum typically causes sub-clinical disease with low mortality in its primary host, the Indian jungle fowl Gallus sonnerati. Domestic chickens of European origin, however, are highly susceptible to this avian malaria parasite. Here we describe the development of P. gallinaceum in young White Leghorn chicks with emphasis on the primary exoerythrocytic phase of the infection. Using various regimens for infection, we found that P. gallinaceum induced a transient primary exoerythrocytic infection followed by a fulminant lethal erythrocytic phase. Prerequisite for the appearance of secondary exoerythrocytic stages was the development of a certain level of parasitemia. Once established, secondary exoerythrocytic stages could be propagated from bird to bird for several generations without causing fatalities. Infected brains contained large secondary exoerythrocytic stages in capillary endothelia, while in the liver primary and secondary erythrocytic stages developed primarily in Kupffer cells and remained smaller. At later stages, livers exhibited focal hepatocyte necrosis, Kupffer cell hyperplasia, stellate cell proliferation, inflammatory cell infiltration and granuloma formation. Because P. gallinaceum selectively infected Kupffer cells in the liver and caused a histopathology strikingly similar to mammalian species, this avian Plasmodium species represents an evolutionarily closely related model for studies on the hepatic phase of mammalian malaria. PMID:18005972

  8. Late relapse of imported Plasmodium ovale malaria: a case report.

    PubMed

    Siala, Emna; Gastli, Mondher; Essid, Rym; Jemal, Sana; Ben Abdallah, Rym; Ben Abda, Imène; Aoun, Karim; Bouratbine, Aida

    2015-06-01

    We report the first case of an imported Plasmodium ovale relapse in a Tunisian man who developed malaria three years after leaving sub- Saharan Africa. A 29-year-old Tunisian man consulted in September 2011 because of a fever, myalgia, and headache that had begun eight days earlier and persisted despite treatment with oral antibiotics. On questioning, the patient stated that he had resided three years ago for six months in Ivory Coast, where he acquired malaria. He was treated with artemether-lumefantrine. The patient said he had no recent travel to any other malaria-endemic area and had not received a blood transfusion. A first microscopy of peripheral blood smears was negative for malaria parasites. The diagnosis was established 17 days after onset of symptoms. A repeat microscopic examination of blood smears confirmed the presence of Plasmodium ovale with a parasitemia lower than 0.1%. The patient was treated with artemether lumefantrine, followed by primaquine. This case emphasizes the possibility of relapse of some plasmodial species. It highlights the importance of repeating microscopic examination of blood when the diagnosis of malaria is suspected. PMID:26644094

  9. [Proteins involved in invasion of human red blood cells by malaria parasites].

    PubMed

    Ja?kiewicz, Ewa; Graczyk, Jakub; Rydzak, Joanna

    2010-01-01

    Malaria is a disease caused by parasites of Plasmodium species. It is responsible for around 1-2 million deaths annually, mainly children under the age of 5. It occurs mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. Malaria is caused by five Plasmodium species: P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. vivax, P. knowlesi and P. ovale. Mosquitoes spread the disease by biting humans. The malaria parasite has two stages of development: the human stage and the mosquito stage. The first stage occurs in the human body and is divided into two phases: the liver phase and the blood phase. The invasion of erythrocytes by Plasmodium merozoites is a multistep process of specific protein interactions between the parasite and red blood cell. The first step is the reversible merozoite attachment to the erythrocyte followed by its apical reorientation, then formation of an irreversible "tight" junction and finally entry into the red cell in a parasitophorous vacuole. The blood phase is supported by a number of proteins produced by the parasite. The merozoite surface GPI-anchored proteins (MSP-1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10) assist in the process of recognition of susceptible erythrocytes, apical membrane antigen (AMA-1) may be directly responsible for apical reorientation of the merozoite and apical proteins which function in tight junction formation. These ligands are members of two families: Duffy binding-like (DBL) and reticulocyte binding-like (RBL) proteins. In Plasmodium falciparum the DBL family includes: EBA-175, EBA-140 (BAEBL), EBA-181 (JESEBL), EBA-165 (PEBL) and EBL-1 ligands. To date, no effective antimalarial vaccine has been developed, but there are several studies for this purpose. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the molecular basis of host cells invasion by parasites. Major efforts are focused on developing a multiantigenic and multiepitope vaccine preventing all steps of Plasmodium invasion. PMID:21160096

  10. The role played by alternative splicing in antigenic variability in human endo-parasites

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Endo-parasites that affect humans include Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, which remains one of the leading causes of death in human beings. Despite decades of research, vaccines to this and other endo-parasites remain elusive. This is in part due to the hyper-variability of the parasites surface proteins. Generally these surface proteins are encoded by a large family of genes, with only one being dominantly expressed at certain life stages. Another layer of complexity can be introduced through the alternative splicing of these surface proteins. The resulting isoforms may differ from each other with regard to cell localisation, substrate affinities and functions. They may even differ in structure to the extent that they are no longer recognised by the host’s immune system. In many cases this leads to changes in the N terminus of these proteins. The geographical localisation of endo-parasitic infections around the tropics and the highest incidences of HIV-1 infection in the same areas, adds a further layer of complexity as parasitic infections affect the host immune system resulting in higher HIV infection rates, faster disease progression, and an increase in the severity of infections and complications in HIV diagnosis. This review discusses some examples of parasite surface proteins that are alternatively spliced in trypanosomes, Plasmodium and the parasitic worm Schistosoma as well as what role alternate splicing may play in the interaction between HIV and these endo-parasites. PMID:24472559

  11. Prévalence du portage asymptomatique du plasmodium chez les donneurs bénévoles de sang à Kisangani, République Démocratique du Congo

    PubMed Central

    Bassandja, Jacques Ossinga; Agasa, Salomon Batina; Likwela, Joris Losimba

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Le paludisme transfusionnel est une réalité en Afrique Sub-saharienne, en raison des transfusions sanguines répétées, peu ou non contrôlées et où les donneurs sont en majorité potentiellement porteurs d'hématozoaires. L'objectif de cette étude était de déterminer la prévalence du portage asymptomatique du plasmodium chez les donneurs bénévoles de sang à Kisangani. Méthodes Une étude transversale a été menée au Centre Provincial de Transfusion Sanguine à Kisangani du 1er Décembre 2012 au 31 Mars 2013 et a concerné 480 donneurs bénévoles de sang. Résultats La prévalence du portage asymptomatique du plasmodium chez les donneurs bénévoles de sang était de 28,3%. Plasmodium falciparum était l'espèce la plus répandue (96,3%). Près de la moitié des donneurs avait une parasitémie supérieure à 2000 parasites/µl. Les facteurs qui étaient significativement associés à la parasitémie étaient le jeune âge, le 1er don, et la non utilisation de la moustiquaire imprégnée d'insecticide à longue durée (MILD). Conclusion Les résultats de cette étude montrent que la prévalence du portage asymptomatique du plasmodium chez les donneurs bénévoles de sang était élevée, constituant ainsi un risque important de transmission du parasite aux receveurs souvent en mauvais état général. Cependant, l'utilisation de la MILD et la fidélisation des donneurs bénévoles semblent constituer des moyens utiles de réduction du risque de portage asymptomatique du Plasmodium. Une sensibilisation et éventuellement des distributions ciblées de MILD aux donneurs, en particuliers les plus jeunes, pourraient réduire considérablement le portage du Plasmodium parmi les donneurs de sang et ainsi réduire le risque de paludisme transfusionnel. PMID:25328616

  12. Plasmodium berghei ANKA causes intestinal malaria associated with dysbiosis.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Tomoyo; Miyauchi, Eiji; Nakamura, Shota; Hirai, Makoto; Suzue, Kazutomo; Imai, Takashi; Nomura, Takahiro; Handa, Tadashi; Okada, Hiroko; Shimokawa, Chikako; Onishi, Risa; Olia, Alex; Hirata, Jun; Tomita, Haruyoshi; Ohno, Hiroshi; Horii, Toshihiro; Hisaeda, Hajime

    2015-01-01

    Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, are frequently observed in patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the correlation between malaria intestinal pathology and intestinal microbiota has not been investigated. In the present study, infection of C57BL/6 mice with P. berghei ANKA (PbA) caused intestinal pathological changes, such as detachment of epithelia in the small intestines and increased intestinal permeability, which correlated with development with experimental cerebral malaria (ECM). Notably, an apparent dysbiosis occurred, characterized by a reduction of Firmicutes and an increase in Proteobacteria. Furthermore, some genera of microbiota correlated with parasite growth and/or ECM development. By contrast, BALB/c mice are resistant to ECM and exhibit milder intestinal pathology and dysbiosis. These results indicate that the severity of cerebral and intestinal pathology coincides with the degree of alteration in microbiota. This is the first report demonstrating that malaria affects intestinal microbiota and causes dysbiosis. PMID:26503461

  13. Modeling Combinations of Pre-erythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Andrew S.; Lourenço, José; Hill, Adrian V. S.; Gupta, Sunetra

    2015-01-01

    Despite substantial progress in the control of Plasmodium falciparum infection due to the widespread deployment of insecticide-treated bed nets and artemisinin combination therapies, malaria remains a prolific killer, with over half a million deaths estimated to have occurred in 2013 alone. Recent evidence of the development of resistance to treatments in both parasites and their mosquito vectors has underscored the need for a vaccine. Here, we use a mathematical model of the within-host dynamics of P. falciparum infection, fit to data from controlled human malaria infection clinical trials, to predict the efficacy of co-administering the two most promising subunit vaccines, RTS,S/AS01 and ChAd63-MVA ME-TRAP. We conclude that currently available technologies could be combined to induce very high levels of sterile efficacy, even in immune-naive individuals. PMID:26503278

  14. Plasmodium berghei ANKA causes intestinal malaria associated with dysbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Taniguchi, Tomoyo; Miyauchi, Eiji; Nakamura, Shota; Hirai, Makoto; Suzue, Kazutomo; Imai, Takashi; Nomura, Takahiro; Handa, Tadashi; Okada, Hiroko; Shimokawa, Chikako; Onishi, Risa; Olia, Alex; Hirata, Jun; Tomita, Haruyoshi; Ohno, Hiroshi; Horii, Toshihiro; Hisaeda, Hajime

    2015-01-01

    Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, are frequently observed in patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the correlation between malaria intestinal pathology and intestinal microbiota has not been investigated. In the present study, infection of C57BL/6 mice with P. berghei ANKA (PbA) caused intestinal pathological changes, such as detachment of epithelia in the small intestines and increased intestinal permeability, which correlated with development with experimental cerebral malaria (ECM). Notably, an apparent dysbiosis occurred, characterized by a reduction of Firmicutes and an increase in Proteobacteria. Furthermore, some genera of microbiota correlated with parasite growth and/or ECM development. By contrast, BALB/c mice are resistant to ECM and exhibit milder intestinal pathology and dysbiosis. These results indicate that the severity of cerebral and intestinal pathology coincides with the degree of alteration in microbiota. This is the first report demonstrating that malaria affects intestinal microbiota and causes dysbiosis. PMID:26503461

  15. Symmetrical peripheral gangrene: A rare complication of plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Rana, Atul; Singh, DP; Kaur, Gurdeep; Verma, SK; Mahur, Hemant

    2015-01-01

    Malaria, the most important of the parasitic diseases of humans, is transmitted in 108 countries containing 3 billion people and causes nearly 1 million deaths each year. With the re-emergence of malaria various life-threatening complications of malaria have been observed. Unarousable coma/cerebral malaria, severe normochromic, normocytic anemia, renal failure, pulmonary edema/adult respiratory distress syndrome, hypoglycemia, hypotension/shock, bleeding/disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), hemoglobinuria and jaundice are few of the common complications of severe malaria. Symmetrical peripheral gangrene (SPG) has been reported as a rare complication of malaria. We report a rare and unique case of Plasmodium falciparum malaria complicated by DIC, severe normocytic normochromic anemia, and SPG. PMID:26629458

  16. Modeling Combinations of Pre-erythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Vaccines.

    PubMed

    Walker, Andrew S; Lourenço, José; Hill, Adrian V S; Gupta, Sunetra

    2015-12-01

    Despite substantial progress in the control of Plasmodium falciparum infection due to the widespread deployment of insecticide-treated bed nets and artemisinin combination therapies, malaria remains a prolific killer, with over half a million deaths estimated to have occurred in 2013 alone. Recent evidence of the development of resistance to treatments in both parasites and their mosquito vectors has underscored the need for a vaccine. Here, we use a mathematical model of the within-host dynamics of P. falciparum infection, fit to data from controlled human malaria infection clinical trials, to predict the efficacy of co-administering the two most promising subunit vaccines, RTS,S/AS01 and ChAd63-MVA ME-TRAP. We conclude that currently available technologies could be combined to induce very high levels of sterile efficacy, even in immune-naive individuals. PMID:26503278

  17. Identification of avian malaria (Plasmodium sp.) and canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in the mosquitoes of Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Fryxell, Rebecca T Trout; Lewis, Taylor Thompson; Peace, Hannah; Hendricks, Brian B M; Paulsen, David

    2014-08-01

    Plasmodium reticulum, the causative agent for avian malaria (a protozoan), and Dirofilaria immitis, the causative agent for canine heartworm (a filarial nematode), are 2 obligate parasites transmitted by mosquitoes. The objective of this project was to identify whether either parasite was present in Tennessee mosquitoes and to illustrate the need for collecting spatial and temporal vector-parasite data. During 2012, mosquitoes were collected from the East Tennessee Research and Education Center (ETREC) in eastern Tennessee and the Ames Plantation Research and Education Center (AMES) in western Tennessee using CO(2) traps and gravid traps. Once mosquitoes were identified to species, their heads and thoraces were pooled in groups of ?10, and the entire pool underwent DNA extraction and parasite amplification via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasite DNA (cytochrome b) and for Dirofilaria species DNA (internal transcribed spacer-2 ribosomal DNA). All positive PCR amplicons were bidirectionally sequenced to confirm positivity and to identify the potential parasite genotype. This approach resulted in 762 mosquito pools, 150 pools from AMES and 612 pools from ETREC. In total, 3,260 mosquitoes were collected, representing 28 mosquito species. The 3 abundant genera were Culex (2,440 specimens, 74.8%), Aedes (720, 22.1%), and Anopheles (85, 2.6%). The remaining specimens included 13 Psorophora, 1 Orthopodomyia signiferia, and 1 Coquillettidia perturbans. Of the 150 pools from AMES, 1 pool (0.7%) was positive for avian malaria and 12 pools (8.0%) were positive for canine heartworm. Of the 612 pools from ETREC, 61 pools (10.0%) were positive for avian malaria and 8 pools (1.3%) were positive for canine heartworm. Positive pools for both Plasmodium and Dirofilaria were primarily Culex pipiens and occurred later in the season. The confirmation of the agents for avian malaria and canine heartworm illustrates the need for concurrent spatial and temporal studies using different trapping methods. The confirmation of avian malaria and canine heartworm in Tennessee illustrates the need for concurrent spatial and temporal studies. Future studies incriminating the potential vector populations will begin to unravel the complex relationships that intimately tie together hosts, vectors, and parasites. Results provide a significant contribution to the knowledge of the diversity of mosquito parasites present in Tennessee, and the presence of positive field populations warrants additional research exploring the environmental factors contributing to transmission. PMID:24588536

  18. Screening of potential targets in Plasmodium falciparum using stage-specific metabolic network analysis.

    PubMed

    Dholakia, Neel; Dhandhukia, Pinakin; Roy, Nilanjan

    2015-11-01

    The Apicomplexa parasite Plasmodium is a major cause of death in developing countries which are less equipped to bring new medicines to the market. Currently available drugs used for treatment of malaria are limited either by inadequate efficacy, toxicity and/or increased resistance. Availability of the genome sequence, microarray data and metabolic profile of Plasmodium parasite offers an opportunity for the identification of stage-specific genes important to the organism's lifecycle. In this study, microarray data were analysed for differential expression and overlapped onto metabolic pathways to identify differentially regulated pathways essential for transition to successive erythrocytic stages. The results obtained indicate that S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase/ornithine decarboxylase, a bifunctional enzyme required for polyamine synthesis, is important for the Plasmodium cell growth in the absence of exogenous polyamines. S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase/ornithine decarboxylase is a valuable target for designing therapeutically useful inhibitors. One such inhibitor, [Formula: see text]-difluoromethyl ornithine, is currently in use for the treatment of African sleeping sickness caused by Trypanosoma brucei. Structural studies of ornithine decarboxylase along with known inhibitors and their analogues were carried out to screen drug databases for more effective and less toxic compounds. PMID:26303382

  19. Evaluation of the SD FK70 Malaria Ag Plasmodium vivax rapid diagnostic test in a non-endemic setting

    PubMed Central

    Gillet, Philippe; Bosselaers, Katrien; Cnops, Lieselotte; Bottieau, Emmanuel; Van Esbroeck, Marjan; Jacobs, Jan

    2009-01-01

    Background For clinical and epidemiological reasons, it is interesting to diagnose non-falciparum malaria to the species level. This retrospective study assessed the performance of the SD BIOLINE Malaria Antigen Pv test (FK70), a two-band immunochromatographic test detecting Plasmodium vivax-specific lactate dehydrogenase, on samples of international travellers in a non-endemic setting. Methods Stored blood samples from international travellers suspected of malaria were used, with microscopy corrected by PCR as the reference method. Samples infected by Plasmodium vivax (n = 100), Plasmodium falciparum (n = 75), Plasmodium ovale (n = 75) and Plasmodium malariae (n = 25) were included, as well as 100 malaria-negative samples. End points were sensitivity, specificity, inter-reader reliability and reproducibility. Results The overall sensitivity of the FK70 for the diagnosis of P. vivax was 88.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 83.6% – 90.3%). For parasite densities > 500/?l, a sensitivity of 97.2% (CI: 92.6% – 99.1%) was obtained. Specificity was 98.5%, with 4 out of 75 P. falciparum samples testing positive. None of the P. ovale samples tested positive. Nearly two-thirds (57/88, 64.7%) of positive P. vivax samples showed faint or weak line intensities, with stronger line intensities at higher parasite densities. The test showed excellent reproducibility and reliability for test results and line intensities (kappa values exceeding 0.98 and 0.87 respectively). Conclusion The FK70 test performed well in diagnosing P. vivax infections in a non-endemic reference setting. It can be of added value to microscopy in species differentiation of malaria infections, especially at parasite densities > 500/?l. PMID:19519915

  20. Plasmodial HSP70s are functionally adapted to the malaria parasite life cycle

    PubMed Central

    Przyborski, Jude M.; Diehl, Mathias; Blatch, Gregory L.

    2015-01-01

    The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, encodes a minimal complement of six heat shock protein 70s (PfHSP70s), some of which are highly expressed and are thought to play an important role in the survival and pathology of the parasite. In addition to canonical features of molecular chaperones, these HSP70s possess properties that reflect functional adaptation to a parasitic life style, including resistance to thermal insult during fever periods and host–parasite interactions. The parasite even exports an HSP70 to the host cell where it is likely to be involved in host cell modification. This review focuses on the features of the PfHSP70s, particularly with respect to their adaptation to the malaria parasite life cycle. PMID:26167469

  1. Plasmodial HSP70s are functionally adapted to the malaria parasite life cycle.

    PubMed

    Przyborski, Jude M; Diehl, Mathias; Blatch, Gregory L

    2015-01-01

    The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, encodes a minimal complement of six heat shock protein 70s (PfHSP70s), some of which are highly expressed and are thought to play an important role in the survival and pathology of the parasite. In addition to canonical features of molecular chaperones, these HSP70s possess properties that reflect functional adaptation to a parasitic life style, including resistance to thermal insult during fever periods and host-parasite interactions. The parasite even exports an HSP70 to the host cell where it is likely to be involved in host cell modification. This review focuses on the features of the PfHSP70s, particularly with respect to their adaptation to the malaria parasite life cycle. PMID:26167469

  2. Glutathione reductase-null malaria parasites have normal blood stage growth but arrest during development in the mosquito.

    PubMed

    Pastrana-Mena, Rebecca; Dinglasan, Rhoel R; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Fuentes-Caraballo, Mariela; Baerga-Ortiz, Abel; Coppens, Isabelle; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Janse, Chris J; Serrano, Adelfa E

    2010-08-27

    Malaria parasites contain a complete glutathione (GSH) redox system, and several enzymes of this system are considered potential targets for antimalarial drugs. Through generation of a gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS)-null mutant of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei, we previously showed that de novo GSH synthesis is not critical for blood stage multiplication but is essential for oocyst development. In this study, phenotype analyses of mutant parasites lacking expression of glutathione reductase (GR) confirmed that GSH metabolism is critical for the mosquito oocyst stage. Similar to what was found for gamma-GCS, GR is not essential for blood stage growth. GR-null parasites showed the same sensitivity to methylene blue and eosin B as wild type parasites, demonstrating that these compounds target molecules other than GR in Plasmodium. Attempts to generate parasites lacking both GR and gamma-GCS by simultaneous disruption of gr and gamma-gcs were unsuccessful. This demonstrates that the maintenance of total GSH levels required for blood stage survival is dependent on either de novo GSH synthesis or glutathione disulfide (GSSG) reduction by Plasmodium GR. Our studies provide new insights into the role of the GSH system in malaria parasites with implications for the development of drugs targeting GSH metabolism. PMID:20573956

  3. Functional antibodies against VAR2CSA in nonpregnant populations from colombia exposed to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    Gnidehou, Sedami; Doritchamou, Justin; Arango, Eliana M; Cabrera, Ana; Arroyo, Maria Isabel; Kain, Kevin C; Ndam, Nicaise Tuikue; Maestre, Amanda; Yanow, Stephanie K

    2014-06-01

    In pregnancy, parity-dependent immunity is observed in response to placental infection with Plasmodium falciparum. Antibodies recognize the surface antigen, VAR2CSA, expressed on infected red blood cells and inhibit cytoadherence to the placental tissue. In most settings of malaria endemicity, antibodies against VAR2CSA are predominantly observed in multigravid women and infrequently in men, children, and nulligravid women. However, in Colombia, we detected antibodies against multiple constructs of VAR2CSA among men and children with acute P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infection. The majority of men and children (>60%) had high levels of IgGs against three recombinant domains of VAR2CSA: DBL5?, DBL3X, and ID1-ID2. Surprisingly, these antibodies were observed only in pregnant women, men, and children exposed either to P. falciparum or to P. vivax. Moreover, the anti-VAR2CSA antibodies are of high avidity and efficiently inhibit adherence of infected red blood cells to chondroitin sulfate A in vitro, suggesting that they are specific and functional. These unexpected results suggest that there may be genotypic or phenotypic differences in the parasites of this region or in the host response to either P. falciparum or P. vivax infection outside pregnancy. These findings may hold significant clinical relevance to the pathophysiology and outcome of malaria infections in this region. PMID:24686068

  4. Functional Antibodies against VAR2CSA in Nonpregnant Populations from Colombia Exposed to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax

    PubMed Central

    Doritchamou, Justin; Arango, Eliana M.; Cabrera, Ana; Arroyo, Maria Isabel; Kain, Kevin C.; Ndam, Nicaise Tuikue; Maestre, Amanda

    2014-01-01

    In pregnancy, parity-dependent immunity is observed in response to placental infection with Plasmodium falciparum. Antibodies recognize the surface antigen, VAR2CSA, expressed on infected red blood cells and inhibit cytoadherence to the placental tissue. In most settings of malaria endemicity, antibodies against VAR2CSA are predominantly observed in multigravid women and infrequently in men, children, and nulligravid women. However, in Colombia, we detected antibodies against multiple constructs of VAR2CSA among men and children with acute P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infection. The majority of men and children (>60%) had high levels of IgGs against three recombinant domains of VAR2CSA: DBL5?, DBL3X, and ID1-ID2. Surprisingly, these antibodies were observed only in pregnant women, men, and children exposed either to P. falciparum or to P. vivax. Moreover, the anti-VAR2CSA antibodies are of high avidity and efficiently inhibit adherence of infected red blood cells to chondroitin sulfate A in vitro, suggesting that they are specific and functional. These unexpected results suggest that there may be genotypic or phenotypic differences in the parasites of this region or in the host response to either P. falciparum or P. vivax infection outside pregnancy. These findings may hold significant clinical relevance to the pathophysiology and outcome of malaria infections in this region. PMID:24686068

  5. Plasmodium vivax: clinical spectrum, risk factors and pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Anstey, Nicholas M; Douglas, Nicholas M; Poespoprodjo, Jeanne R; Price, Ric N

    2012-01-01

    Vivax malaria was historically described as 'benign tertian malaria' because individual clinical episodes were less likely to cause severe illness than Plasmodium falciparum. Despite this, Plasmodium vivax was, and remains, responsible for major morbidity and significant mortality in vivax-endemic areas. Single infections causing febrile illness in otherwise healthy individuals rarely progress to severe disease. Nevertheless, in the presence of co-morbidities, P. vivax can cause severe illness and fatal outcomes. Recurrent or chronic infections in endemic areas can cause severe anaemia and malnutrition, particularly in early childhood. Other severe manifestations include acute lung injury, acute kidney injury and uncommonly, coma. Multiorgan failure and shock are described but further studies are needed to investigate the role of bacterial and other co-infections in these syndromes. In pregnancy, P. vivax infection can cause maternal anaemia, miscarriage, low birth weight and congenital malaria. Compared to P. falciparum, P. vivax has a greater capacity to elicit an inflammatory response, resulting in a lower pyrogenic threshold. Conversely, cytoadherence of P. vivax to endothelial cells is less frequent and parasite sequestration is not thought to be a significant cause of severe illness in vivax malaria. With a predilection for young red cells, P. vivax does not result in the high parasite biomass associated with severe disease in P. falciparum, but a four to fivefold greater removal of uninfected red cells from the circulation relative to P. falciparum is associated with a similar risk of severe anaemia. Mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of severe vivax syndromes remain incompletely understood. PMID:23199488

  6. 21 CFR 866.3402 - Plasmodium species antigen detection assays.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Plasmodium species antigen detection assays. 866... Plasmodium species antigen detection assays. (a) Identification. A Plasmodium species antigen detection assay...: Plasmodium species Antigen Detection Assays.” See § 866.1(e) for the availability of this guidance document....

  7. A barcode of organellar genome polymorphisms identifies the geographic origin of Plasmodium falciparum strains

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Mark D.; Campino, Susana; Assefa, Samuel A.; Echeverry, Diego F.; Ocholla, Harold; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Stewart, Lindsay B.; Conway, David J.; Borrmann, Steffen; Michon, Pascal; Zongo, Issaka; Ouédraogo, Jean-Bosco; Djimde, Abdoulaye A.; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Nosten, Francois; Pain, Arnab; Bousema, Teun; Drakeley, Chris J.; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Sutherland, Colin J.; Roper, Cally; Clark, Taane G.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria is a major public health problem that is actively being addressed in a global eradication campaign. Increased population mobility through international air travel has elevated the risk of re-introducing parasites to elimination areas and dispersing drug-resistant parasites to new regions. A simple genetic marker that quickly and accurately identifies the geographic origin of infections would be a valuable public health tool for locating the source of imported outbreaks. Here we analyse the mitochondrion and apicoplast genomes of 711 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from 14 countries, and find evidence that they are non-recombining and co-inherited. The high degree of linkage produces a panel of relatively few single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that is geographically informative. We design a 23-SNP barcode that is highly predictive (~92%) and easily adapted to aid case management in the field and survey parasite migration worldwide. PMID:24923250

  8. Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Manske, Magnus; Miotto, Olivo; Campino, Susana; Auburn, Sarah; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Maslen, Gareth; O’Brien, Jack; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Doumbo, Ogobara; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Michon, Pascal; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter; Nzila, Alexis; Borrmann, Steffen; Kiara, Steven M.; Marsh, Kevin; Jiang, Hongying; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Fairhurst, Rick; Socheat, Duong; Nosten, Francois; Imwong, Mallika; White, Nicholas J.; Sanders, Mandy; Anastasi, Elisa; Alcock, Dan; Drury, Eleanor; Oyola, Samuel; Quail, Michael A.; Turner, Daniel J.; Rubio, Valentin Ruano; Jyothi, Dushyanth; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Hubbart, Christina; Jeffreys, Anna; Rowlands, Kate; Sutherland, Colin; Roper, Cally; Mangano, Valentina; Modiano, David; Tan, John C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J.; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V.; Rayner, Julian C.; Rockett, Kirk A.; Clark, Taane G.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.

    2013-01-01

    Malaria elimination strategies require surveillance of the parasite population for genetic changes that demand a public health response, such as new forms of drug resistance. 1,2 Here we describe methods for large-scale analysis of genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum by deep sequencing of parasite DNA obtained from the blood of patients with malaria, either directly or after short term culture. Analysis of 86,158 exonic SNPs that passed genotyping quality control in 227 samples from Africa, Asia and Oceania provides genome-wide estimates of allele frequency distribution, population structure and linkage disequilibrium. By comparing the genetic diversity of individual infections with that of the local parasite population, we derive a metric of within-host diversity that is related to the level of inbreeding in the population. An open-access web application has been established for exploration of regional differences in allele frequency and of highly differentiated loci in the P. falciparum genome. PMID:22722859

  9. Interaction between Plasmodium chabaudi and C57Bl mice with particular reference to the immune response.

    PubMed Central

    Leke, R; Viens, P; Davies, A J

    1981-01-01

    The parasitaemia consequent upon infection of normal, T cell-deprived, or nude mice with a strain of Plasmodium chabaudi was studied. In normal mice three waves of parasitaemia of successively diminishing magnitude were observed, the infected animals becoming aparasitaemic within 45 days. In most T cell-deprived and nude mice a sustained cyclicity of parasitaemia was observed. Slight evidence was adduced of increase in virulence of the parasite with increasing time of infection in deprived mice. No positive evidence could be obtained for modulation of antigenicity of the parasite although this is suspected to be present. The results seem to be in conflict with the notion that the transient diminishing cyclicity of parasitaemia observed in normal mice is due to suppression of the parasite by the host. In the absence of what could be regarded as part of the host defence mechanism the cyclicity far from disappearing was exaggerated and prolonged. PMID:7337965

  10. A Unique Plasmodium falciparum K13 Gene Mutation in Northwest Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bayih, Abebe Genetu; Getnet, Gebeyaw; Alemu, Abebe; Getie, Sisay; Mohon, Abu Naser; Pillai, Dylan R

    2016-01-01

    Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is the first line to treat uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria worldwide. Artemisinin treatment failures are on the rise in southeast Asia. Delayed parasite clearance after ACT is associated with mutations of the P. falciparum kelch 13 gene. Patients (N = 148) in five districts of northwest Ethiopia were enrolled in a 28-day ACT trial. We identified a unique kelch 13 mutation (R622I) in 3/125 (2.4%) samples. The three isolates with R622I were from Negade-Bahir and Aykel districts close to the Ethiopia-Sudan border. One of three patients with the mutant strain was parasitemic at day 3; however, all patients cleared parasites by day 28. Correlation between kelch 13 mutations and parasite clearance was not possible due to the low frequency of mutations in this study. PMID:26483118

  11. Geographical variation in Plasmodium vivax relapse

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Plasmodium vivax has the widest geographic distribution of the human malaria parasites and nearly 2.5 billion people live at risk of infection. The control of P. vivax in individuals and populations is complicated by its ability to relapse weeks to months after initial infection. Strains of P. vivax from different geographical areas are thought to exhibit varied relapse timings. In tropical regions strains relapse quickly (three to six weeks), whereas those in temperate regions do so more slowly (six to twelve months), but no comprehensive assessment of evidence has been conducted. Here observed patterns of relapse periodicity are used to generate predictions of relapse incidence within geographic regions representative of varying parasite transmission. Methods A global review of reports of P. vivax relapse in patients not treated with a radical cure was conducted. Records of time to first P. vivax relapse were positioned by geographic origin relative to expert opinion regions of relapse behaviour and epidemiological zones. Mixed-effects meta-analysis was conducted to determine which geographic classification best described the data, such that a description of the pattern of relapse periodicity within each region could be described. Model outputs of incidence and mean time to relapse were mapped to illustrate the global variation in relapse. Results Differences in relapse periodicity were best described by a historical geographic classification system used to describe malaria transmission zones based on areas sharing zoological and ecological features. Maps of incidence and time to relapse showed high relapse frequency to be predominant in tropical regions and prolonged relapse in temperate areas. Conclusions The results indicate that relapse periodicity varies systematically by geographic region and are categorized by nine global regions characterized by similar malaria transmission dynamics. This indicates that relapse may be an adaptation evolved to exploit seasonal changes in vector survival and therefore optimize transmission. Geographic patterns in P. vivax relapse are important to clinicians treating individual infections, epidemiologists trying to infer P. vivax burden, and public health officials trying to control and eliminate the disease in human populations. PMID:24731298

  12. Unified P4 (PowerUnified P4 (Power--PerformancePerformance--ProcessProcess--Parasitic)Parasitic)ProcessProcess--Parasitic)Parasitic)

    E-print Network

    Mohanty, Saraju P.

    Unified P4 (PowerUnified P4 (Power--PerformancePerformance-- ProcessProcess--Parasitic)Parasitic)ProcessProcess--Parasitic)Parasitic t It iprediction is challenging due to many parasitic effects. It is crucial to be able to predict parasitic effects for accurate performance. (Parasitic) GLSVLSI 2009 performance. (Parasitic) 5/12/2009 3 #12;Novel

  13. Plasmodium falciparum glutamate dehydrogenase a is dispensable and not a drug target during erythrocytic development

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum contains three genes encoding potential glutamate dehydrogenases. The protein encoded by gdha has previously been biochemically and structurally characterized. It was suggested that it is important for the supply of reducing equivalents during intra-erythrocytic development of Plasmodium and, therefore, a suitable drug target. Methods The gene encoding the NADP(H)-dependent GDHa has been disrupted by reverse genetics in P. falciparum and the effect on the antioxidant and metabolic capacities of the resulting mutant parasites was investigated. Results No growth defect under low and elevated oxygen tension, no up- or down-regulation of a number of antioxidant and NADP(H)-generating proteins or mRNAs and no increased levels of GSH were detected in the D10?gdha parasite lines. Further, the fate of the carbon skeleton of [13C] labelled glutamine was assessed by metabolomic studies, revealing no differences in the labelling of ?-ketoglutarate and other TCA pathway intermediates between wild type and mutant parasites. Conclusions First, the data support the conclusion that D10?gdha parasites are not experiencing enhanced oxidative stress and that GDHa function may not be the provision of NADP(H) for reductive reactions. Second, the results imply that the cytosolic, NADP(H)-dependent GDHa protein is not involved in the oxidative deamination of glutamate but that the protein may play a role in ammonia assimilation as has been described for other NADP(H)-dependent GDH from plants and fungi. The lack of an obvious phenotype in the absence of GDHa may point to a regulatory role of the protein providing glutamate (as nitrogen storage molecule) in situations where the parasites experience a limiting supply of carbon sources and, therefore, under in vitro conditions the enzyme is unlikely to be of significant importance. The data imply that the protein is not a suitable target for future drug development against intra-erythrocytic parasite development. PMID:21756354

  14. HDP—A Novel Heme Detoxification Protein from the Malaria Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Beatty, Wandy; Angel, Ross; Slebodnick, Carla; Andersen, John; Kumar, Sanjai; Rathore, Dharmendar

    2008-01-01

    When malaria parasites infect host red blood cells (RBC) and proteolyze hemoglobin, a unique, albeit poorly understood parasite-specific mechanism, detoxifies released heme into hemozoin (Hz). Here, we report the identification and characterization of a novel Plasmodium Heme Detoxification Protein (HDP) that is extremely potent in converting heme into Hz. HDP is functionally conserved across Plasmodium genus and its gene locus could not be disrupted. Once expressed, the parasite utilizes a circuitous “Outbound–Inbound” trafficking route by initially secreting HDP into the cytosol of infected RBC. A subsequent endocytosis of host cytosol (and hemoglobin) delivers HDP to the food vacuole (FV), the site of Hz formation. As Hz formation is critical for survival, involvement of HDP in this process suggests that it could be a malaria drug target. PMID:18437218

  15. Monitoring parasite diversity for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Ghansah, Anita; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Andagalu, Ben; Apinjoh, Tobias; Bouyou-Akotet, Marielle; Cornelius, Victoria; Golassa, Lemu; Andrianaranjaka, Voahangy Hanitriniaina; Ishengoma, Deus; Johnson, Kimberly; Kamau, Edwin; Maïga-Ascofaré, Oumou; Mumba, Dieudonne; Tindana, Paulina; Tshefu-Kitoto, Antoinette; Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; William, Yavo; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Djimde, Abdoulaye A.

    2015-01-01

    The African continent continues to bear the greatest burden of malaria and the greatest diversity of parasites, mosquito vectors and human victims. The evolutionary plasticity of malaria parasites and their vectors is a major obstacle to elimination of the disease. Of current concern is the recently reported emergence of resistance to the front-line drug, artemisinin, in South-East Asia in Plasmodium falciparum, which calls for pre-emptive surveillance of the African parasite population for genetic markers of emerging drug resistance. Here we describe the Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa (PDNA) which has been established across eleven countries in sub-Saharan Africa to ensure that African scientists are enabled to work together and to play a key role in the global effort for tracking and responding to this public health threat. PMID:25214619

  16. Liver-stage malaria parasites vulnerable to diverse chemical scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Derbyshire, Emily R.; Prudêncio, Miguel; Mota, Maria M.; Clardy, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Human malaria infection begins with a one-time asymptomatic liver stage followed by a cyclic symptomatic blood stage. All high-throughput malaria drug discovery efforts have focused on the cyclic blood stage, which has limited potential for the prophylaxis, transmission blocking, and eradication efforts that will be needed in the future. To address these unmet needs, a high-throughput phenotypic liver-stage Plasmodium parasite screen was developed to systematically identify molecules with liver-stage efficacy. The screen recapitulates liver-stage infection by isolating luciferase-expressing Plasmodium berghei parasites directly from the salivary glands of infected mosquitoes, adding them to confluent human liver cells in 384-well plates, and measuring luciferase activity after a suitable incubation period. Screening 5,375 known bioactive compounds identified 37 liver-stage malaria inhibitors with diverse modes of action, as shown by inhibition time course experiments. Further analysis of the hits in the Food and Drug Administration-approved drug subset revealed compounds that seem to act specifically on the liver stage of infection, suggesting that this phase of the parasite’s life cycle presents a promising area for new drug discovery. Notably, many active compounds in this screen have molecular structures and putative targets distinctly different from those of known antimalarial agents. PMID:22586124

  17. Plasmodium falciparum STEVOR Proteins Are Highly Expressed in Patient Isolates and Located in the Surface Membranes of Infected Red Blood Cells and the Apical Tips of Merozoites? †

    PubMed Central

    Blythe, Jane E.; Yam, Xue Yan; Kuss, Claudia; Bozdech, Zbynek; Holder, Anthony A.; Marsh, Kevin; Langhorne, Jean; Preiser, Peter R.

    2008-01-01

    The human parasite Plasmodium falciparum has the potential to express a vast repertoire of variant proteins on the surface of the infected red blood cell (iRBC). Variation in the expression pattern of these proteins is linked to antigenic variation and thereby evasion of host antibody-mediated immunity. The genes in the stevor multigene family code for small variant antigens that are expressed in blood-stage parasites where they can be detected in membranous structures called Maurer's clefts (MC). Some studies have indicated that STEVOR protein may also be trafficked to the iRBC membrane. To address the location of STEVOR protein in more detail, we have analyzed expression in several cultured parasite lines and in parasites obtained directly from patients. We detected STEVOR expression in a higher proportion of parasites recently isolated from patients than in cultured parasite lines and show that STEVOR is trafficked in schizont-stage parasites from the MC to the RBC cytosol and the iRBC membrane. Furthermore, STEVOR protein is also detected at the apical end of merozoites. Importantly, we show that culture-adapted parasites do not require STEVOR for survival. These findings provide new insights into the role of the stevor multigene family during both the schizont and merozoite stages of the parasite and highlight the importance of studying freshly isolated parasites, rather than parasite lines maintained in culture, when investigating potential mediators of host-parasite interactions. PMID:18474651

  18. The interplay between drug resistance and fitness in malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Rosenthal, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Controlling the spread of antimalarial drug resistance, especially resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to artemisinin-based combination therapies, is a high priority. Available data indicate that, as with other microorganisms, the spread of drug-resistant malaria parasites is limited by fitness costs that frequently accompany resistance. Resistance-mediating polymorphisms in malaria parasites have been identified in putative drug transporters and in target enzymes. The impacts of these polymorphisms on parasite fitness have been characterized in vitro and in animal models. Additional insights have come from analyses of samples from clinical studies, both evaluating parasites under different selective pressures and determining the clinical consequences of infection with different parasites. With some exceptions, resistance-mediating polymorphisms lead to malaria parasites that, compared to wild type, grow less well in culture and in animals, and are replaced by wild type when drug pressure diminishes in the clinical setting. In some cases, the fitness costs of resistance may be offset by compensatory mutations that increase virulence or changes that enhance malaria transmission. However, not enough is known about effects of resistance mediators on parasite fitness. A better appreciation of the costs of fitness-mediating mutations will facilitate the development of optimal guidelines for the treatment and prevention of malaria. PMID:23899091

  19. Alphabetical Index of Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePLUS

    ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Parasites Parasites Home Share Compartir Alphabetical Index of Parasitic Diseases ... EST/ Monday-Friday Closed Holidays Contact CDC-INFO Parasites About Parasites Animals Blood Food Insects Water Education ...

  20. In vitro culture of Plasmodium berghei-ANKA maintains infectivity of mouse erythrocytes inducing cerebral malaria

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Infection with Plasmodium berghei is a widely used model of murine malaria and a powerful tool for reverse genetic and pathogenesis studies. However, the efficacy of in vitro reinvasion of erythrocytes is generally low, limiting in vitro studies. Methods Plasmodium berghei ANKA-infected blood obtained from a susceptible infected mouse was cultured in various conditions and in vitro parasitaemia was measured every day to evaluate the rate of reinvasion. Results High quality culture media were used and reinvasion rates were improved by vigorous orbital shaking of the flask and increasing density of the medium with gelatin. Discussion Using these settings, reinvasion of normal mouse erythrocytes by the parasite was obtained in vitro over two weeks with preservation of the infectivity in vivo. PMID:22118493

  1. Control of Plasmodium knowlesi malaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

    The most significant and efficient measures against Plasmodium knowlesi outbreaks are efficient anti malaria drug, biological control in form of predatory mosquitoes and culling control strategies. In this paper optimal control theory is applied to a system of ordinary differential equation. It describes the disease transmission and Pontryagin's Maximum Principle is applied for analysis of the control. To this end, three control strategies representing biological control, culling and treatment were incorporated into the disease transmission model. The simulation results show that the implementation of the combination strategy during the epidemic is the most cost-effective strategy for disease transmission.

  2. Plasmodium falciparum picks (on) EPCR

    PubMed Central

    Mosnier, Laurent O.; Fairhurst, Rick M.

    2014-01-01

    Of all the outcomes of Plasmodium falciparum infection, the coma of cerebral malaria (CM) is particularly deadly. Malariologists have long wondered how some patients develop this organ-specific syndrome. Data from two recent publications support a novel mechanism of CM pathogenesis in which infected erythrocytes (IEs) express specific virulence proteins that mediate IE binding to the endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR). Malaria-associated depletion of EPCR, with subsequent impairment of the protein C system promotes a proinflammatory, procoagulant state in brain microvessels. PMID:24246501

  3. Pyrazoleamide compounds are potent antimalarials that target Na+ homeostasis in intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Vaidya, Akhil B.; Morrisey, Joanne M.; Zhang, Zhongsheng; Das, Sudipta; Daly, Thomas M.; Otto, Thomas D.; Spillman, Natalie J.; Wyvratt, Matthew; Siegl, Peter; Marfurt, Jutta; Wirjanata, Grennady; Sebayang, Boni F.; Price, Ric N.; Chatterjee, Arnab; Nagle, Advait; Stasiak, Marcin; Charman, Susan A.; Angulo-Barturen, Iñigo; Ferrer, Santiago; Belén Jiménez-Díaz, María; Martínez, María Santos; Gamo, Francisco Javier; Avery, Vicky M.; Ruecker, Andrea; Delves, Michael; Kirk, Kiaran; Berriman, Matthew; Kortagere, Sandhya; Burrows, Jeremy; Fan, Erkang; Bergman, Lawrence W.

    2014-01-01

    The quest for new antimalarial drugs, especially those with novel modes of action, is essential in the face of emerging drug-resistant parasites. Here we describe a new chemical class of molecules, pyrazoleamides, with potent activity against human malaria parasites and showing remarkably rapid parasite clearance in an in vivo model. Investigations involving pyrazoleamide-resistant parasites, whole-genome sequencing and gene transfers reveal that mutations in two proteins, a calcium-dependent protein kinase (PfCDPK5) and a P-type cation-ATPase (PfATP4), are necessary to impart full resistance to these compounds. A pyrazoleamide compound causes a rapid disruption of Na+ regulation in blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Similar effect on Na+ homeostasis was recently reported for spiroindolones, which are antimalarials of a chemical class quite distinct from pyrazoleamides. Our results reveal that disruption of Na+ homeostasis in malaria parasites is a promising mode of antimalarial action mediated by at least two distinct chemical classes. PMID:25422853

  4. A Chemical Genomic Analysis of Decoquinate, a Plasmodium falciparum Cytochrome b Inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Decoquinate has single-digit nanomolar activity against in vitro blood stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites, the causative agent of human malaria. In vitro evolution of decoquinate-resistant parasites and subsequent comparative genomic analysis to the drug-sensitive parental strain revealed resistance was conferred by two nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding cytochrome b. The resultant amino acid mutations, A122T and Y126C, reside within helix C in the ubiquinol-binding pocket of cytochrome b, an essential subunit of the cytochrome bc1 complex. As with other cytochrome bc1 inhibitors, such as atovaquone, decoquinate has low nanomolar activity against in vitro liver stage P. yoelii and provides partial prophylaxis protection when administered to infected mice at 50 mg kg–1. In addition, transgenic parasites expressing yeast dihydroorotate dehydrogenase are >200-fold less sensitive to decoquinate, which provides additional evidence that this drug inhibits the parasite’s mitochondrial electron transport chain. Importantly, decoquinate exhibits limited cross-resistance to a panel of atovaquone-resistant parasites evolved to harbor various mutations in cytochrome b. The basis for this difference was revealed by molecular docking studies, in which both of these inhibitors were shown to have distinctly different modes of binding within the ubiquinol-binding site of cytochrome b. PMID:21866942

  5. Limited response of NK92 cells to Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Mechanisms by which anti-malarial immune responses occur are still not fully clear. Natural killer (NK) cells are thought to play a pivotal role in innate responses against Plasmodium falciparum. In this study, the suitability of NK92 cells as models for the NK mechanisms involved in the immune response against malaria was investigated. Methods NK92 cells were assessed for several signs of activation and cytotoxicity due to contact to parasites and were as well examined by oligonucleotide microarrays for an insight on the impact P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes have on their transcriptome. To address the parasite side of such interaction, growth inhibition assays were performed including non-NK cells as controls. Results By performing microarrays with NK92 cells, the impact of parasites on a transcriptional level was observed. The findings show that, although not evidently activated by iRBCs, NK92 cells show transcriptional signs of priming and proliferation. In addition, decreased parasitaemia was observed due to co-incubation with NK92 cells. However, such effect might not be NK-specific since irrelevant cells also affected parasite growth in vitro. Conclusions Although NK92 cells are here shown to behave as poor models for the NK immune response against parasites, the results obtained in this study may be of use for future investigations regarding host-parasites interactions in malaria. PMID:22018162

  6. Diversity, host switching and evolution of Plasmodium vivax infecting African great apes.

    PubMed

    Prugnolle, Franck; Rougeron, Virginie; Becquart, Pierre; Berry, Antoine; Makanga, Boris; Rahola, Nil; Arnathau, Céline; Ngoubangoye, Barthélémy; Menard, Sandie; Willaume, Eric; Ayala, Francisco J; Fontenille, Didier; Ollomo, Benjamin; Durand, Patrick; Paupy, Christophe; Renaud, François

    2013-05-14

    Plasmodium vivax is considered to be absent from Central and West Africa because of the protective effect of Duffy negativity. However, there are reports of persons returning from these areas infected with this parasite and observations suggesting the existence of transmission. Among the possible explanations for this apparent paradox, the existence of a zoonotic reservoir has been proposed. May great apes be this reservoir? We analyze the mitochondrial and nuclear genetic diversity of P. vivax parasites isolated from great apes in Africa and compare it to parasites isolated from travelers returning from these regions of Africa, as well as to human isolates distributed all over the world. We show that the P. vivax sequences from parasites of great apes form a clade genetically distinct from the parasites circulating in humans. We show that this clade's parasites can be infectious to humans by describing the case of a traveler returning from the Central African Republic infected with one of them. The relationship between this P. vivax clade in great apes and the human isolates is discussed. PMID:23637341

  7. Natural variation within the principal adhesion domain of the Plasmodium vivax duffy binding protein.

    PubMed Central

    Tsuboi, T; Kappe, S H; al-Yaman, F; Prickett, M D; Alpers, M; Adams, J H

    1994-01-01

    The blood-stage development of malaria parasites is initiated by the invasion of merozoites into susceptible erythrocytes. Specific receptor-ligand interactions must occur for the merozoites to first attach to and then invade erythrocytes. Because the invasion process is essential for the parasite's survival and the merozoite adhesion molecules are exposed on the merozoite surface during invasion, these adhesion molecules are candidates for antibody-dependent malaria vaccines. The Duffy binding protein of Plasmodium vivax belongs to a family of erythrocyte-binding proteins that contain functionally conserved cysteine-rich regions. The amino cysteine-rich regions of these homologous erythrocyte-binding proteins were recently identified for P. vivax, Plasmodium knowlesi, and Plasmodium falciparum as the principal erythrocyte-binding domains (C. Chitnis and L. H. Miller, J. Exp. Med. 180:497-506, 1994, and B. K. L. Sim, C. E. Chitnis, K. Wasniowska, T. J. Hadley, and L. H. Miller, Science 264:1941-1944, 1994). We report that amino acids in this critical ligand domain of the P. vivax Duffy binding protein are hypervariable, but this variability is limited. Hypervariability of the erythrocyte-binding domain suggests that this domain is the target of an effective immune response, but conservation of amino acid substitutions indicates that functional constraints limit this variation. In addition, the amino cysteine-rich region and part of the hydrophilic region immediately following it were the site of repeated homologous recombinations as represented by tandem repeat sequence polymorphisms. Similar polymorphisms have been identified in the same region of the homologous genes of P. falciparum and P. knowlesi, suggesting that there is a common mechanism of recombination or gene conversion that occurs in these Plasmodium genes. Images PMID:7960140

  8. A lack of parasitic reduction in the obligate parasitic green alga Helicosporidium.

    PubMed

    Pombert, Jean-François; Blouin, Nicolas Achille; Lane, Chris; Boucias, Drion; Keeling, Patrick J

    2014-05-01

    The evolution of an obligate parasitic lifestyle is often associated with genomic reduction, in particular with the loss of functions associated with increasing host-dependence. This is evident in many parasites, but perhaps the most extreme transitions are from free-living autotrophic algae to obligate parasites. The best-known examples of this are the apicomplexans such as Plasmodium, which evolved from algae with red secondary plastids. However, an analogous transition also took place independently in the Helicosporidia, where an obligate parasite of animals with an intracellular infection mechanism evolved from algae with green primary plastids. We characterised the nuclear genome of Helicosporidium to compare its transition to parasitism with that of apicomplexans. The Helicosporidium genome is small and compact, even by comparison with the relatively small genomes of the closely related green algae Chlorella and Coccomyxa, but at the functional level we find almost no evidence for reduction. Nearly all ancestral metabolic functions are retained, with the single major exception of photosynthesis, and even here reduction is not complete. The great majority of genes for light-harvesting complexes, photosystems, and pigment biosynthesis have been lost, but those for other photosynthesis-related functions, such as Calvin cycle, are retained. Rather than loss of whole function categories, the predominant reductive force in the Helicosporidium genome is a contraction of gene family complexity, but even here most losses affect families associated with genome maintenance and expression, not functions associated with host-dependence. Other gene families appear to have expanded in response to parasitism, in particular chitinases, including those predicted to digest the chitinous barriers of the insect host or remodel the cell wall of Helicosporidium. Overall, the Helicosporidium genome presents a fascinating picture of the early stages of a transition from free-living autotroph to parasitic heterotroph where host-independence has been unexpectedly preserved. PMID:24809511

  9. A Lack of Parasitic Reduction in the Obligate Parasitic Green Alga Helicosporidium

    PubMed Central

    Pombert, Jean-François; Blouin, Nicolas Achille; Lane, Chris; Boucias, Drion; Keeling, Patrick J.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of an obligate parasitic lifestyle is often associated with genomic reduction, in particular with the loss of functions associated with increasing host-dependence. This is evident in many parasites, but perhaps the most extreme transitions are from free-living autotrophic algae to obligate parasites. The best-known examples of this are the apicomplexans such as Plasmodium, which evolved from algae with red secondary plastids. However, an analogous transition also took place independently in the Helicosporidia, where an obligate parasite of animals with an intracellular infection mechanism evolved from algae with green primary plastids. We characterised the nuclear genome of Helicosporidium to compare its transition to parasitism with that of apicomplexans. The Helicosporidium genome is small and compact, even by comparison with the relatively small genomes of the closely related green algae Chlorella and Coccomyxa, but at the functional level we find almost no evidence for reduction. Nearly all ancestral metabolic functions are retained, with the single major exception of photosynthesis, and even here reduction is not complete. The great majority of genes for light-harvesting complexes, photosystems, and pigment biosynthesis have been lost, but those for other photosynthesis-related functions, such as Calvin cycle, are retained. Rather than loss of whole function categories, the predominant reductive force in the Helicosporidium genome is a contraction of gene family complexity, but even here most losses affect families associated with genome maintenance and expression, not functions associated with host-dependence. Other gene families appear to have expanded in response to parasitism, in particular chitinases, including those predicted to digest the chitinous barriers of the insect host or remodel the cell wall of Helicosporidium. Overall, the Helicosporidium genome presents a fascinating picture of the early stages of a transition from free-living autotroph to parasitic heterotroph where host-independence has been unexpectedly preserved. PMID:24809511

  10. Red Blood Cells Preconditioned with Hemin Are Less Permissive to Plasmodium Invasion In Vivo and In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Gaudreault, Véronique; Wirbel, Jakob; Jardim, Armando; Rohrbach, Petra; Scorza, Tatiana

    2015-01-01

    Malaria is a parasitic disease that causes severe hemolytic anemia in Plasmodium-infected hosts, which results in the release and accumulation of oxidized hem