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Sample records for falciparum parasite rate

  1. Parasite Lactate Dehydrogenase for Diagnosis of Plasmodium Falciparum. Phase II.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-04-01

    Diagnosis of Plasmodium Falciparum PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Robert C. Piper, Ph.D. CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: Flow, Incorporated Portland, Oregon 97201...Phase 11 (24 Mar 95 - 23 Mar 97) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Parasite Lactate Dehydrogenase for Diagnosis of Plasmodium Falciparum DAMD...that infected patients become ill. Four species of Plasmodium infect humans. P. falciparum accounts for -85 % of the world’s malaria. P. falciparum is

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

    PubMed Central

    Chebon, Lorna J.; Ngalah, Bidii S.; Ingasia, Luicer A.; Juma, Dennis W.; Muiruri, Peninah; Cheruiyot, Jelagat; Opot, Benjamin; Mbuba, Emmanuel; Imbuga, Mabel; Akala, Hoseah M.; Bulimo, Wallace; Andagalu, Ben; Kamau, Edwin

    2016-01-01

    Genetically determined artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has been described in Southeast Asia. The relevance of recently described Kelch 13-propeller mutations for artemisinin resistance in Sub-Saharan Africa parasites is still unknown. Southeast Asia parasites have low genetic diversity compared to Sub-Saharan Africa, where parasites are highly genetically diverse. This study attempted to elucidate whether genetics provides a basis for discovering molecular markers in response to artemisinin drug treatment in P. falciparum in Kenya. The genetic diversity of parasites collected pre- and post- introduction of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) in western Kenya was determined. A panel of 12 microsatellites and 91 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed across the P. falciparum genome were genotyped. Parasite clearance rates were obtained for the post-ACT parasites. The 12 microsatellites were highly polymorphic with post-ACT parasites being significantly more diverse compared to pre-ACT (p < 0.0001). The median clearance half-life was 2.55 hours for the post-ACT parasites. Based on SNP analysis, 15 of 90 post-ACT parasites were single-clone infections. Analysis revealed 3 SNPs that might have some causal association with parasite clearance rates. Further, genetic analysis using Bayesian tree revealed parasites with similar clearance phenotypes were more closely genetically related. With further studies, SNPs described here and genetically determined response to artemisinin treatment might be useful in tracking artemisinin resistance in Kenya. PMID:27611315

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

    PubMed

    Chebon, Lorna J; Ngalah, Bidii S; Ingasia, Luicer A; Juma, Dennis W; Muiruri, Peninah; Cheruiyot, Jelagat; Opot, Benjamin; Mbuba, Emmanuel; Imbuga, Mabel; Akala, Hoseah M; Bulimo, Wallace; Andagalu, Ben; Kamau, Edwin

    2016-01-01

    Genetically determined artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has been described in Southeast Asia. The relevance of recently described Kelch 13-propeller mutations for artemisinin resistance in Sub-Saharan Africa parasites is still unknown. Southeast Asia parasites have low genetic diversity compared to Sub-Saharan Africa, where parasites are highly genetically diverse. This study attempted to elucidate whether genetics provides a basis for discovering molecular markers in response to artemisinin drug treatment in P. falciparum in Kenya. The genetic diversity of parasites collected pre- and post- introduction of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) in western Kenya was determined. A panel of 12 microsatellites and 91 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed across the P. falciparum genome were genotyped. Parasite clearance rates were obtained for the post-ACT parasites. The 12 microsatellites were highly polymorphic with post-ACT parasites being significantly more diverse compared to pre-ACT (p < 0.0001). The median clearance half-life was 2.55 hours for the post-ACT parasites. Based on SNP analysis, 15 of 90 post-ACT parasites were single-clone infections. Analysis revealed 3 SNPs that might have some causal association with parasite clearance rates. Further, genetic analysis using Bayesian tree revealed parasites with similar clearance phenotypes were more closely genetically related. With further studies, SNPs described here and genetically determined response to artemisinin treatment might be useful in tracking artemisinin resistance in Kenya.

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

    PubMed

    Zerka, Agata; Kaczmarek, Radosław; Jaśkiewicz, Ewa

    2015-12-31

    Malaria is caused by infection with protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium, which have arguably exerted the greatest selection pressure on humans in the history of our species. Besides humans, different Plasmodium parasites infect a wide range of animal hosts, from marine invertebrates to primates. On the other hand, individual Plasmodium species show high host specificity. The extraordinary evolution of Plasmodium probably began when a free-living red algae turned parasitic, and culminated with its ability to thrive inside a human red blood cell. Studies on the African apes generated new data on the evolution of malaria parasites in general and the deadliest human-specific species, Plasmodium falciparum, in particular. Initially, it was hypothesized that P. falciparum descended from the chimpanzee malaria parasite P. reichenowi, after the human and the chimp lineage diverged about 6 million years ago. However, a recently identified new species infecting gorillas, unexpectedly showed similarity to P. falciparum and was therefore named P. praefalciparum. That finding spurred an alternative hypothesis, which proposes that P. falciparum descended from its gorilla rather than chimp counterpart. In addition, the gorilla-to-human host shift may have occurred more recently (about 10 thousand years ago) than the theoretical P. falciparum-P. reichenowi split. One of the key aims of the studies on Plasmodium evolution is to elucidate the mechanisms that allow the incessant host shifting and retaining the host specificity, especially in the case of human-specific species. Thorough understanding of these phenomena will be necessary to design effective malaria treatment and prevention strategies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Proteomics of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Sims, Paul F G; Hyde, John E

    2006-02-01

    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.

  7. Assessing parasite clearance during uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infection treated with artesunate monotherapy in Suriname

    PubMed Central

    Vreden, Stephen GS; Bansie, Rakesh D; Jitan, Jeetendra K; Adhin, Malti R

    2016-01-01

    Background Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum is suspected when the day 3 parasitemia is >10% when treated with artemisinin-based combination therapy or if >10% of patients treated with artemisinin-based combination therapy or artesunate monotherapy harbored parasites with half-lives ≥5 hours. Hence, a single-arm prospective efficacy trial was conducted in Suriname for uncomplicated P. falciparum infection treated with artesunate-based monotherapy for 3 days assessing day 3 parasitemia, treatment outcome after 28 days, and parasite half-life. Methods The study was conducted in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, from July 2013 until July 2014. Patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infection were included and received artesunate mono-therapy for three days. Day 3 parasitaemia, treatment outcome after 28 days and parasite half-life were determined. The latter was assessed with the parasite clearance estimator from the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN). Results Thirty-nine patients were included from July 2013 until July 2014. The day 3 parasitemia was 10%. Eight patients (20.5%) could be followed up until day 28 and showed adequate clinical and parasitological response. Parasite half-life could only be determined from ten data series (25.7%). The median parasite half-life was 5.16 hours, and seven of these data series had a half-life ≥5 hours, still comprising 17.9% of the total data series. Conclusion The low follow-up rate and the limited analyzable data series preclude clear conclusions about the efficacy of artesunate monotherapy in Suriname and the parasite half-life, respectively. The emergence of at least 17.9% of data series with a parasite half-life ≥5 hours supports the possible presence of artemisinin resistance. PMID:27920563

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Andrew H; Fidock, David A

    2016-01-01

    Malaria control efforts have been continuously stymied by drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum, which typically originate in Southeast Asia prior to spreading into high-transmission settings in Africa. One earlier proposed explanation for Southeast Asia being a hotbed of resistance has been the hypermutability or "Accelerated Resistance to Multiple Drugs" (ARMD) phenotype, whereby multidrug-resistant Southeast Asian parasites were reported to exhibit 1,000-fold higher rates of resistance to unrelated antimalarial agents when compared to drug-sensitive parasites. However, three recent studies do not recapitulate this hypermutability phenotype. Intriguingly, genome sequencing of recently derived multidrug-resistant Cambodian isolates has identified a high proportion of DNA repair gene mutations in multidrug-resistant parasites, suggesting their potential role in shaping local parasite evolution. By adapting fluctuation assays for use in P. falciparum, we have examined the in vitro mutation rates of five recent Cambodian isolates and three reference laboratory strains. For these studies we also generated a knockout parasite line lacking the DNA repair factor Exonuclease I. In these assays, parasites were typed for their ability to acquire resistance to KAE609, currently in advanced clinical trials, yielding 13 novel mutations in the Na+/H+-ATPase PfATP4, the primary resistance determinant. We observed no evidence of hypermutability. Instead, we found evidence of a mild mutator (up to a 3.4-fold increase in mutation rate) phenotype in two artemisinin-resistant Cambodian isolates, which carry DNA repair gene mutations. We observed that one such mutation in the Mismatch Repair protein Mlh1 contributes to the mild mutator phenotype when modeled in yeast (scmlh1-P157S). Compared to basal rates of mutation, a mild mutator phenotype may provide a greater overall benefit for parasites in Southeast Asia in terms of generating drug resistance without incurring

  10. Molecular Markers of Radiation Induced Attenuation in Intrahepatic Plasmodium falciparum Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Oakley, Miranda S.; Verma, Nitin; Zheng, Hong; Anantharaman, Vivek; Takeda, Kazuyo; Gao, Yamei; Myers, Timothy G.; Pham, Phuong Thao; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Nirbhay; Sangweme, Davison; Tripathi, Abhai K.; Mlambo, Godfree; Aravind, L.; Kumar, Sanjai

    2016-01-01

    Experimental immunization with radiation attenuated sporozoites (RAS) and genetically attenuated sporozoites has proved to be a promising approach for malaria vaccine development. However, parasite biomarkers of growth attenuation and enhanced immune protection in response to radiation remain poorly understood. Here, we report on the effect of an attenuating dose of γ-irradiation (15 krad) on the Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite (PfSPZ) ultrastructure by electron microscopy, growth rate of liver stage P. falciparum in liver cell cultures, and genome-wide transcriptional profile of liver stage parasites by microarray. We find that γ-irradiation treated PfSPZ retained a normal cellular structure except that they were vacuous with a partially disrupted plasma membrane and inner membrane complex. A similar infection rate was observed by γ-irradiation-treated and untreated PfSPZ in human HCO-4 liver cells (0.47% versus 0.49%, respectively) on day 3 post-infection. In the microarray studies, cumulatively, 180 liver stage parasite genes were significantly transcriptionally altered on day 3 and/or 6 post-infection. Among the transcriptionally altered biomarkers, we identified a signature of seven candidate parasite genes that associated with functionally diverse pathways that may regulate radiation induced cell cycle arrest of the parasite within the hepatocyte. A repertoire of 14 genes associated with protein translation is transcriptionally overexpressed within the parasite by radiation. Additionally, 37 genes encode proteins expressed on the cell surface or exported into the host cell, 4 encode membrane associated transporters, and 10 encode proteins related to misfolding and stress-related protein processing. These results have significantly increased the repertoire of novel targets for 1) biomarkers of safety to define proper attenuation, 2) generating genetically attenuated parasite vaccine candidates, and 3) subunit candidate vaccines against liver stage malaria

  11. Plasma concentration of parasite DNA as a measure of disease severity in falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Imwong, Mallika; Woodrow, Charles J; Hendriksen, Ilse C E; Veenemans, Jacobien; Verhoef, Hans; Faiz, M Abul; Mohanty, Sanjib; Mishra, Saroj; Mtove, George; Gesase, Samwel; Seni, Amir; Chhaganlal, Kajal D; Day, Nicholas P J; Dondorp, Arjen M; White, Nicholas J

    2015-04-01

    In malaria-endemic areas, Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia is common in apparently healthy children and severe malaria is commonly misdiagnosed in patients with incidental parasitemia. We assessed whether the plasma Plasmodium falciparum DNA concentration is a useful datum for distinguishing uncomplicated from severe malaria in African children and Asian adults. P. falciparum DNA concentrations were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 224 African children (111 with uncomplicated malaria and 113 with severe malaria) and 211 Asian adults (100 with uncomplicated malaria and 111 with severe malaria) presenting with acute falciparum malaria. The diagnostic accuracy of plasma P. falciparum DNA concentrations in identifying severe malaria was 0.834 for children and 0.788 for adults, similar to that of plasma P. falciparum HRP2 levels and substantially superior to that of parasite densities (P < .0001). The diagnostic accuracy of plasma P. falciparum DNA concentrations plus plasma P. falciparum HRP2 concentrations was significantly greater than that of plasma P. falciparum HRP2 concentrations alone (0.904 for children [P = .004] and 0.847 for adults [P = .003]). Quantitative real-time PCR measurement of parasite DNA in plasma is a useful method for diagnosing severe falciparum malaria on fresh or archived plasma samples.

  12. Plasmodium falciparum K13 Mutations Differentially Impact Ozonide Susceptibility and Parasite Fitness In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Straimer, Judith; Gnädig, Nina F.; Stokes, Barbara H.; Ehrenberger, Michelle; Crane, Audrey A.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The emergence and spread in Southeast Asia of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin (ART) derivatives, the cornerstone of first-line artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), underscore the urgent need to identify suitable replacement drugs. Discovery and development efforts have identified a series of ozonides with attractive chemical and pharmacological properties that are being touted as suitable replacements. Partial resistance to ART, defined as delayed parasite clearance in malaria patients treated with an ART derivative or an ACT, has been associated with mutations in the P. falciparum K13 gene. In light of reports showing that ART derivatives and ozonides share similar modes of action, we have investigated whether parasites expressing mutant K13 are cross-resistant to the ozonides OZ439 (artefenomel) and OZ227 (arterolane). This work used a panel of culture-adapted clinical isolates from Cambodia that were genetically edited to express variant forms of K13. Phenotypic analyses employed ring-stage survival assays (ring-stage survival assay from 0 to 3 h [RSA0–3h]), whose results have earlier been shown to correlate with parasite clearance rates in patients. Our results document cross-resistance between OZ277 and dihydroartemisinin (DHA), a semisynthetic derivative of ART, in parasites carrying the K13 mutations C580Y, R539T, and I543T. For OZ439, we observed cross-resistance only for parasites that carried the rare K13 I543T mutation, with no evidence of cross-resistance afforded by the prevalent C580Y mutation. Mixed-culture competition experiments with isogenic lines carrying modified K13 revealed variable growth deficits depending on the K13 mutation and parasite strain and provide a rationale for the broad dissemination of the fitness-neutral K13 C580Y mutation throughout strains currently circulating in Southeast Asia.

  13. Lactate retards the development of erythrocytic stages of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Hikosaka, Kenji; Hirai, Makoto; Komatsuya, Keisuke; Ono, Yasuo; Kita, Kiyoshi

    2015-06-01

    The intraerythrocytic form of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum relies on glycolysis for its energy requirements. In glycolysis, lactate is an end product. It is therefore known that lactate accumulates in in vitro culture; however, its influence on parasite growth remains unknown. Here we investigated the effect of lactate on the development of P. falciparum during in vitro culture under lactate supplementation in detail. Results revealed that lactate retarded parasite development and reduced the number of merozoites in the schizont stage. These findings suggest that lactate has the potential to affect parasite development.

  14. Pathogenicity Determinants of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Have Ancient Origins

    PubMed Central

    Brazier, Andrew J.; Avril, Marion; Bernabeu, Maria; Benjamin, Maxwell

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly of the human malaria parasites, is a member of the Laverania subgenus that also infects African Great Apes. The virulence of P. falciparum is related to cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes in microvasculature, but the origin of dangerous parasite adhesion traits is poorly understood. To investigate the evolutionary history of the P. falciparum cytoadhesion pathogenicity determinant, we studied adhesion domains from the chimpanzee malaria parasite P. reichenowi. We demonstrate that the P. reichenowi var gene repertoire encodes cysteine-rich interdomain region (CIDR) domains which bind human CD36 and endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) with the same levels of affinity and at binding sites similar to those bound by P. falciparum. Moreover, P. reichenowi domains interfere with the protective function of the activated protein C-EPCR pathway on endothelial cells, a presumptive virulence trait in humans. These findings provide evidence for ancient evolutionary origins of two key cytoadhesion properties of P. falciparum that contribute to human infection and pathogenicity. IMPORTANCE Cytoadhesion of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes in the microcirculation is a major virulence determinant. P. falciparum is descended from a subgenus of parasites that also infect chimpanzees and gorillas and exhibits strict host species specificity. Despite their high genetic similarity to P. falciparum, it is unknown whether ape parasites encode adhesion properties similar to those of P. falciparum or are as virulent in their natural hosts. Consequently, it has been unclear when virulent adhesion traits arose in P. falciparum and how long they have been present in the parasite population. It is also unknown whether cytoadhesive interactions pose a barrier to cross-species transmission. We show that parasite domains from the chimpanzee malaria parasite P. reichenowi bind human receptors with specificity similar to that of P. falciparum

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Serrán-Aguilera, Lucía; Denton, Helen; Rubio-Ruiz, Belén; López-Gutiérrez, Borja; Entrena, Antonio; Izquierdo, Luis; Smith, Terry K.; Conejo-García, Ana; Hurtado-Guerrero, Ramon

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by different species of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium, with P. falciparum being the deadliest. Increasing parasitic resistance to existing antimalarials makes the necessity of novel avenues to treat this disease an urgent priority. The enzymes responsible for the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine are attractive drug targets to treat malaria as their selective inhibition leads to an arrest of the parasite’s growth and cures malaria in a mouse model. We present here a detailed study that reveals a mode of action for two P. falciparum choline kinase inhibitors both in vitro and in vivo. The compounds present distinct binding modes to the choline/ethanolamine-binding site of P. falciparum choline kinase, reflecting different types of inhibition. Strikingly, these compounds primarily inhibit the ethanolamine kinase activity of the P. falciparum choline kinase, leading to a severe decrease in the phosphatidylethanolamine levels within P. falciparum, which explains the resulting growth phenotype and the parasites death. These studies provide an understanding of the mode of action, and act as a springboard for continued antimalarial development efforts selectively targeting P. falciparum choline kinase. PMID:27616047

  17. Malaria parasite sequences from chimpanzee support the co-speciation hypothesis for the origin of virulent human malaria (Plasmodium falciparum).

    PubMed

    Hughes, Austin L; Verra, Federica

    2010-10-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb), apicoplast caseinolytic protease C (clpC), and 18S rRNA sequences of Plasmodium isolates from chimpanzees along with those of the virulent human malaria parasite P. falciparum showed that the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) malaria parasites, assigned by Rich et al. (2009) to P. reichenowi, constitute a paraphyletic assemblage. The assumption that P. falciparum diverged from P. reichenowi as recently as 5000-50,000 years ago would require a rate of synonymous substitution/site/year in cytb and clpC on the order of 10(-5)-10(-6), several orders of magnitude higher than any known from eukaryotic organelle genomes, and would imply an unrealistically recent timing of the most recent common ancestor of P. falciparum mitochondrial genomes. The available data are thus most consistent with the hypothesis that P. reichenowi (in the strict sense) and P. falciparum co-speciated with their hosts about 5-7 million years ago.

  18. The Spiroindolone KAE609 Does Not Induce Dormant Ring Stages in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Van Breda, Karin; Rowcliffe, Kerryn; Diagana, Thierry T.; Edstein, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    In vitro drug treatment with artemisinin derivatives, such as dihydroartemisinin (DHA), results in a temporary growth arrest (i.e., dormancy) at an early ring stage in Plasmodium falciparum. This response has been proposed to play a role in the recrudescence of P. falciparum infections following monotherapy with artesunate and may contribute to the development of artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum malaria. We demonstrate here that artemether does induce dormant rings, a finding which further supports the class effect of artemisinin derivatives in inducing the temporary growth arrest of P. falciparum parasites. In contrast and similarly to lumefantrine, the novel and fast-acting spiroindolone compound KAE609 does not induce growth arrest at the early ring stage of P. falciparum and prevents the recrudescence of DHA-arrested rings at a low concentration (50 nM). Our findings, together with previous clinical data showing that KAE609 is active against artemisinin-resistant K13 mutant parasites, suggest that KAE609 could be an effective partner drug with a broad range of antimalarials, including artemisinin derivatives, in the treatment of multidrug-resistant P. falciparum malaria. PMID:27297484

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. The mechanism of erythrocyte invasion by the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Farrow, Rachel E; Green, Judith; Katsimitsoulia, Zoe; Taylor, William R; Holder, Anthony A; Molloy, Justin E

    2011-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent causative agent of malaria in man accounting for 80% of all malarial infections and 90% of the one million annual deaths attributed to malaria. P. falciparum is a unicellular, Apicomplexan parasite, that spends part of its lifecycle in the mosquito and part in man and it has evolved a special form of motility that enables it to burrow into animal cells, a process termed "host cell invasion". The acute, life threatening, phase of malarial infection arises when the merozoite form of the parasite undergoes multiple cycles of red blood cell invasion and rapid proliferation. Here, we discuss the molecular machinery that enables malarial parasites to invade red blood cells and we focus particularly on the ATP-driven acto-myosin motor that powers invasion.

  2. Decreased growth rate of P. falciparum blood stage parasitemia with age in a holoendemic population.

    PubMed

    Pinkevych, Mykola; Petravic, Janka; Chelimo, Kiprotich; Vulule, John; Kazura, James W; Moormann, Ann M; Davenport, Miles P

    2014-04-01

    In malaria holoendemic settings, decreased parasitemia and clinical disease is associated with age and cumulative exposure. The relative contribution of acquired immunity against various stages of the parasite life cycle is not well understood. In particular, it is not known whether changes in infection dynamics can be best explained by decreasing rates of infection, or by decreased growth rates of parasites in blood. Here, we analyze the dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum infection after treatment in a cohort of 197 healthy study participants of different ages. We use both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and microscopy detection of parasitemia in order to understand parasite growth rates and infection rates over time. The more sensitive PCR assay detects parasites earlier than microscopy, and demonstrates a higher overall prevalence of infection than microscopy alone. The delay between PCR and microscopy detection is significantly longer in adults compared with children, consistent with slower parasite growth with age. We estimated the parasite multiplication rate from delay to PCR and microscopy detections of parasitemia. We find that both the delay between PCR and microscopy infection as well as the differing reinfection dynamics in different age groups are best explained by a slowing of parasite growth with age.

  3. Parasite Specific Antibody Increase Induced by an Episode of Acute P. falciparum Uncomplicated Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Kaddumukasa, Mark; Lwanira, Catherine; Lugaajju, Allan; Katabira, Elly; Persson, Kristina E. M.; Wahlgren, Mats; Kironde, Fred

    2015-01-01

    Introduction There is no approved vaccine for malaria, and precisely how human antibody responses to malaria parasite components and potential vaccine molecules are developed and maintained remains poorly defined. In this study, antibody anamnestic or memory response elicited by a single episode of P. falciparum infection was investigated. Methods This study involved 362 malaria patients aged between 6 months to 60 years, of whom 19% were early-diagnosed people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). On the day malaria was diagnosed and 42 days later, blood specimens were collected. Parasite density, CD4+ cells, and antibodies specific to synthetic peptides representing antigenic regions of the P. falciparum proteins GLURP, MSP3 and HRPII were measured. Results On the day of malaria diagnosis, Immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies against GLURP, MSP3 and HRP II peptides were present in the blood of 75%, 41% and 60% of patients, respectively. 42 days later, the majority of patients had boosted their serum IgG antibody more than 1.2 fold. The increase in level of IgG antibody against the peptides was not affected by parasite density at diagnosis. The median CD4+ cell counts of PLWHAs and HIV negative individuals were not statistically different, and median post-infection increases in anti-peptide IgG were similar in both groups of patients. Conclusion In the majority (70%) of individuals, an infection of P. falciparum elicits at least 20% increase in level of anti-parasite IgG. This boost in anti-P. falciparum IgG is not affected by parasite density on the day of malaria diagnosis, or by HIV status. PMID:25906165

  4. Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man: detection of parasite antigens by ELISA*

    PubMed Central

    Mackey, L. J.; McGregor, I. A.; Paounova, N.; Lambert, P. H.

    1982-01-01

    An ELISA method has been developed for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man. Parasites from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum were used as source of antigen for the solid phase and the source of specific antibody was immune Gambian sera; binding of antibody in antigen-coated wells was registered by means of alkaline phosphatase-conjugated anti-human IgG. Parasites were detected on the basis of inhibition of antibody-binding. The test was applied to the detection of parasites in human red blood cells (RBC) from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum and in RBC from infected Gambians; RBC from 100 Geneva blood donors served as normal, uninfected controls. In titration experiments, the degree of antibody-binding inhibition correlated with the number of parasites in the test RBC. Parasites were detected at a level of 8 parasites/106 RBC. Samples of RBC were tested from 126 Gambians with microscopically proven infection; significant antibody-binding inhibition was found in 86% of these cases, where parasitaemia ranged from 10 to 125 000/μl of blood. The presence of high-titre antibody in the test preparations was found to reduce the sensitivity of parasite detection in infected RBC from in vitro cultures mixed with equal volumes of different antibody-containing sera. The sensitivity was restored in most cases by recovering the RBC by centrifugation before testing. In a preliminary experiment, there was no significant difference in antibody-binding inhibition using fresh infected RBC and RBC dried on filter-paper and recovered by elution, although there was greater variation in the latter samples. PMID:7044589

  5. Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man: detection of parasite antigens by ELISA.

    PubMed

    Mackey, L J; McGregor, I A; Paounova, N; Lambert, P H

    1982-01-01

    An ELISA method has been developed for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in man. Parasites from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum were used as source of antigen for the solid phase and the source of specific antibody was immune Gambian sera; binding of antibody in antigen-coated wells was registered by means of alkaline phosphatase-conjugated anti-human IgG. Parasites were detected on the basis of inhibition of antibody-binding. The test was applied to the detection of parasites in human red blood cells (RBC) from in vitro cultures of P. falciparum and in RBC from infected Gambians; RBC from 100 Geneva blood donors served as normal, uninfected controls. In titration experiments, the degree of antibody-binding inhibition correlated with the number of parasites in the test RBC. Parasites were detected at a level of 8 parasites/10(6) RBC. Samples of RBC were tested from 126 Gambians with microscopically proven infection; significant antibody-binding inhibition was found in 86% of these cases, where parasitaemia ranged from 10 to 125 000/mul of blood. The presence of high-titre antibody in the test preparations was found to reduce the sensitivity of parasite detection in infected RBC from in vitro cultures mixed with equal volumes of different antibody-containing sera. The sensitivity was restored in most cases by recovering the RBC by centrifugation before testing. In a preliminary experiment, there was no significant difference in antibody-binding inhibition using fresh infected RBC and RBC dried on filter-paper and recovered by elution, although there was greater variation in the latter samples.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Autophagy is a catabolic pathway typically induced by nutrient starvation to recycle amino acids, but can also function in removing damaged organelles. In addition, this pathway plays a key role in eukaryotic development. To date, not much is known about the role of autophagy in apicomplexan parasites and more specifically in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Comparative genomic analysis has uncovered some, but not all, orthologs of autophagy-related (ATG) genes in the malaria parasite genome. Here, using a genome-wide in silico analysis, we confirmed that ATG genes whose products are required for vesicle expansion and completion are present, while genes involved in induction of autophagy and cargo packaging are mostly absent. We subsequently focused on the molecular and cellular function of P. falciparum ATG8 (PfATG8), an autophagosome membrane marker and key component of the autophagy pathway, throughout the parasite asexual and sexual erythrocytic stages. In this context, we showed that PfATG8 has a distinct and atypical role in parasite development. PfATG8 localized in the apicoplast and in vesicles throughout the cytosol during parasite development. Immunofluorescence assays of PfATG8 in apicoplast-minus parasites suggest that PfATG8 is involved in apicoplast biogenesis. Furthermore, treatment of parasite cultures with bafilomycin A 1 and chloroquine, both lysosomotropic agents that inhibit autophagosome and lysosome fusion, resulted in dramatic morphological changes of the apicoplast, and parasite death. Furthermore, deep proteomic analysis of components associated with PfATG8 indicated that it may possibly be involved in ribophagy and piecemeal microautophagy of the nucleus. Collectively, our data revealed the importance and specificity of the autophagy pathway in the malaria parasite and offer potential novel therapeutic strategies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. In silico comparative genome analysis of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax chromosome 4.

    PubMed

    Taherian Fard, Atefeh; Salman, Amna; Kazemi, Bahram; Bokhari, Habib

    2009-06-01

    Malarial parasite has long been a subject of research for a large community of scientists and has yet to be conquered. One of the main obstacles to effectively control this disease is rapidly evolving genetic structure of Plasmodium parasite itself. In this study, we focused on chromosome 4 of the Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax species and carried out comparative studies of genes that are responsible for antigenic variation in respective species. Comparative analysis of genes responsible for antigenic variation (var and vir genes in P. falciparum and P. vivax, respectively) showed significant difference in their respective nucleotide sequence lengths as well as amino acid composition. The possible association of exon's length on pathogenecity of respective Plasmodium species was also investigated, and analysis of gene structure showed that on the whole, exon lengths in P. falciparum are larger compared to P. vivax. Analysis of tandem repeats across the genome has shown that the size of repetitive sequences has a direct effect on chromosomes length, which can also be a potential reason for P. falciparum's greater variability and hence pathogenecity than P. vivax.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Parasitic co-infections: does Ascaris lumbricoides protect against Plasmodium falciparum infection?

    PubMed

    Brutus, Laurent; Watier, Laurence; Briand, Valérie; Hanitrasoamampionona, Virginie; Razanatsoarilala, Hélène; Cot, Michel

    2006-08-01

    A controlled randomized trial of antihelminthic treatment was undertaken in 1996-1997 in a rural area of Madagascar where populations were simultaneously infected with Ascaris lumbricoides and Plasmodium falciparum. Levamisole was administered bimonthly to 164 subjects, randomized on a family basis, whereas 186 were controls. While levamisole proved to be highly effective in reducing Ascaris egg loads in the treated group (P < 10(-3) at all bimonthly visits), subjects more than 5 years of age, treated with levamisole had a significant increase in their P. falciparum densities compared with controls (P = 0.02), whereas there was no effect of anti-helminthic treatment on children 6 months to 4 years of age. The demonstration of a clear negative interaction between Ascaris infection and malaria parasite density has important implications. Single community therapy programs to deliver treatments against several parasitic infections could avoid an increase of malaria attacks after mass treatment of ascariasis.

  12. Molecular targets of 5-fluoroorotate in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Rathod, P K; Leffers, N P; Young, R D

    1992-01-01

    5-Fluoroorotate is known to have potent antimalarial activity against chloroquine-susceptible as well as chloroquine-resistant clones of Plasmodium falciparum. It was hypothesized that this activity was mediated through synthesis of 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridylate, an inactivator of thymidylate synthase, or through incorporation of 5-fluoropyrimidine residues into nucleic acids. Treatment of P. falciparum in culture with 100 nM 5-fluoroorotate resulted in rapid inactivation of malarial thymidylate synthase activity. A 50% loss of thymidylate synthase activity as well as a 50% decrease in parasite proliferation were seen with 5 nM 5-fluoroorotate. Dihydrofolate reductase activity, which resides on the same bifunctional protein as thymidylate synthase, was not affected by 5-fluoroorotate treatment. Incubation of malarial parasites with 3 to 10 microM radioactive 5-fluoroorotic acid for 48 h resulted in significant incorporation of radioactivity into the RNA fraction of P. falciparum; approximately 9% of the uridine residues were substituted with 5-fluorouridine. However, compared with the 50% inhibitory concentrations of 5-fluoroorotate, a 1,000-fold higher concentration of the pyrimidine analog was required to see significant modification of RNA molecules. Results of these studies are consistent with the hypothesis that thymidylate synthase is the primary target of 5-fluoroorotate in malarial parasites. PMID:1503432

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Plasmodium falciparum parasites lacking histidine-rich protein 2 and 3: a review and recommendations for accurate reporting

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) play a critical role in malaria case management, surveillance and case investigations. Test performance is largely determined by design and quality characteristics, such as detection sensitivity, specificity, and thermal stability. However, parasite characteristics such as variable or absent expression of antigens targeted by RDTs can also affect RDT performance. Plasmodium falciparum parasites lacking the PfHRP2 protein, the most common target antigen for detection of P. falciparum, have been reported in some regions. Therefore, accurately mapping the presence and prevalence of P. falciparum parasites lacking pfhrp2 would be an important step so that RDTs targeting alternative antigens, or microscopy, can be preferentially selected for use in such regions. Herein the available evidence and molecular basis for identifying malaria parasites lacking PfHRP2 is reviewed, and a set of recommended procedures to apply for future investigations for parasites lacking PfHRP2, is proposed. PMID:25052298

  16. A genomic glimpse of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Plasmodium parasites are causative agents of malaria which affects >500 million people and claims ~2 million lives annually. The completion of Plasmodium genome sequencing and availability of PlasmoDB database has provided a platform for systematic study of parasite genome. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are pivotal enzymes for protein translation and other vital cellular processes. We report an extensive analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum genome to identify and classify aaRSs in this organism. Results Using various computational and bioinformatics tools, we have identified 37 aaRSs in P. falciparum. Our key observations are: (i) fraction of proteome dedicated to aaRSs in P. falciparum is very high compared to many other organisms; (ii) 23 out of 37 Pf-aaRS sequences contain signal peptides possibly directing them to different cellular organelles; (iii) expression profiles of Pf-aaRSs vary considerably at various life cycle stages of the parasite; (iv) several PfaaRSs posses very unusual domain architectures; (v) phylogenetic analyses reveal evolutionary relatedness of several parasite aaRSs to bacterial and plants aaRSs; (vi) three dimensional structural modelling has provided insights which could be exploited in inhibitor discovery against parasite aaRSs. Conclusion We have identified 37 Pf-aaRSs based on our bioinformatics analysis. Our data reveal several unique attributes in this protein family. We have annotated all 37 Pf-aaRSs based on predicted localization, phylogenetics, domain architectures and their overall protein expression profiles. The sets of distinct features elaborated in this work will provide a platform for experimental dissection of this family of enzymes, possibly for the discovery of novel drugs against malaria. PMID:20042123

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    The 2.05-Å resolution structure of the aquaglyceroporin from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfAQP), a protein important in the parasite’s life cycle, has been solved. The structure provides key evidence for the basis of water versus glycerol selectivity in aquaporin family members. Unlike its closest homolog of known structure, GlpF, the channel conducts both glycerol and water at high rates, framing the question of what determines high water conductance in aquaporin channels. The universally conserved arginine in the selectivity filter is constrained by only two hydrogen bonds in GlpF, whereas there are three in all water-selective aquaporins and in PfAQP. The decreased cost of dehydrating the triply-satisfied arginine cation may provide the basis for high water conductance. The two Asn-Pro-Ala (NPA) regions of PfAQP, which bear rare substitutions to Asn-Leu-Ala (NLA) and Asn-Pro-Ser (NPS), participate in preserving the orientation of the selectivity filter asparagines in the center of the channel. PMID:18500352

  18. 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

  19. DNA repair mechanisms and their biological roles in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Lee, Andrew H; Symington, Lorraine S; Fidock, David A

    2014-09-01

    Research into the complex genetic underpinnings of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is entering a new era with the arrival of site-specific genome engineering. Previously restricted only to model systems but now expanded to most laboratory organisms, and even to humans for experimental gene therapy studies, this technology allows researchers to rapidly generate previously unattainable genetic modifications. This technological advance is dependent on DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR), specifically homologous recombination in the case of Plasmodium. Our understanding of DSBR in malaria parasites, however, is based largely on assumptions and knowledge taken from other model systems, which do not always hold true in Plasmodium. Here we describe the causes of double-strand breaks, the mechanisms of DSBR, and the differences between model systems and P. falciparum. These mechanisms drive basic parasite functions, such as meiosis, antigen diversification, and copy number variation, and allow the parasite to continually evolve in the contexts of host immune pressure and drug selection. Finally, we discuss the new technologies that leverage DSBR mechanisms to accelerate genetic investigations into this global infectious pathogen.

  20. Tudor domain proteins in protozoan parasites and characterization of Plasmodium falciparum tudor staphylococcal nuclease.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Manzar J; Korde, Reshma; Singh, Shivani; Mohmmed, Asif; Dasaradhi, P V N; Chauhan, V S; Malhotra, Pawan

    2008-04-01

    RNA-binding proteins play key roles in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. In eukaryotic cells, a multitude of RNA-binding proteins with several RNA-binding domains/motifs have been described. Here, we show the existence of two Tudor domain containing proteins, a survival of motor neuron (SMN)-like protein and a Staphylococcus aureus nuclease homologue referred to as TSN, in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites. Activity analysis shows that Plasmodium falciparum TSN (PfTSN) possesses nuclease activity and Tudor domain is the RNA-binding domain. A specific inhibitor of micrococcal nucleases, 3',5'-deoxythymidine bisphosphate (pdTp) inhibits the nuclease as well as RNA-binding activities of the protein. PfTSN shows a predominant nuclear localization. Treatment of P. falciparum with pdTp, inhibited in vitro growth of both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum, while a four fold concentration of pdTp did not have any significant effect on the mammalian cell line, Huh-7D12. Altogether, these results suggest that PfTSN is an essential enzyme in the parasite's life cycle.

  1. On the Diversity of Malaria Parasites in African Apes and the Origin of Plasmodium falciparum from Bonobos

    PubMed Central

    Pacheco, M. Andreina; Mugisha, Lawrence; André, Claudine; Halbwax, Michel; Fischer, Anne; Krief, Jean-Michel; Kasenene, John M.; Crandfield, Mike; Cornejo, Omar E.; Chavatte, Jean-Marc; Lin, Clara; Letourneur, Franck; Grüner, Anne Charlotte; McCutchan, Thomas F.; Rénia, Laurent; Snounou, Georges

    2010-01-01

    The origin of Plasmodium falciparum, the etiological agent of the most dangerous forms of human malaria, remains controversial. Although investigations of homologous parasites in African Apes are crucial to resolve this issue, studies have been restricted to a chimpanzee parasite related to P. falciparum, P. reichenowi, for which a single isolate was available until very recently. Using PCR amplification, we detected Plasmodium parasites in blood samples from 18 of 91 individuals of the genus Pan, including six chimpanzees (three Pan troglodytes troglodytes, three Pan t. schweinfurthii) and twelve bonobos (Pan paniscus). We obtained sequences of the parasites' mitochondrial genomes and/or from two nuclear genes from 14 samples. In addition to P. reichenowi, three other hitherto unknown lineages were found in the chimpanzees. One is related to P. vivax and two to P. falciparum that are likely to belong to distinct species. In the bonobos we found P. falciparum parasites whose mitochondrial genomes indicated that they were distinct from those present in humans, and another parasite lineage related to P. malariae. Phylogenetic analyses based on this diverse set of Plasmodium parasites in African Apes shed new light on the evolutionary history of P. falciparum. The data suggested that P. falciparum did not originate from P. reichenowi of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), but rather evolved in bonobos (Pan paniscus), from which it subsequently colonized humans by a host-switch. Finally, our data and that of others indicated that chimpanzees and bonobos maintain malaria parasites, to which humans are susceptible, a factor of some relevance to the renewed efforts to eradicate malaria. PMID:20169187

  2. Relationship between entomological inoculation rate, Plasmodium falciparum prevalence rate, and incidence of malaria attack in rural Gabon.

    PubMed

    Elissa, N; Migot-Nabias, F; Luty, A; Renaut, A; Touré, F; Vaillant, M; Lawoko, M; Yangari, P; Mayombo, J; Lekoulou, F; Tshipamba, P; Moukagni, R; Millet, P; Deloron, P

    2003-03-01

    To assess the relationships between variations of Plasmodium falciparum transmission and those of peripheral parasitaemia prevalence or malaria attack incidence rates in regions with limited fluctuations of transmission, we conducted a follow-up in two Gabonese populations. Entomological surveys were carried out from May 1995 to April 1996 in Dienga, and from May 1998 to April 1999 in Benguia. In Dienga, malaria transmission was seasonal, being not detected during two 3-month periods. Mean entomological inoculation rate (EIR) was 0.28 infective bite/person/night. In Benguia, malaria transmission was perennial with seasonal fluctuations, mean EIR being 0.76 infective bite/person/night. In Dienga, 301 schoolchildren were followed from October 1995 to March 1996. Clinical malaria attack was defined as fever associated with >5000 parasites/microl of blood. P. falciparum prevalence varied from 28 to 42%, and monthly malaria attack incidence from 30 to 169 per thousand. In Benguia, the entire population (122 persons) was followed from November 1998 to April 1999. Prevalence varied from 22 to 50%, and monthly malaria attack incidence from 52 to 179 per thousand. In each area, entomological variations were not related to parasite prevalence, but preceded malaria attack incidence with 1- or 2-month time lag, corresponding to the pre-patency period that differs in the two populations, possibly according to differences in immunity related to parasite transmission.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Artesunate tolerance in transgenic Plasmodium falciparum parasites overexpressing a tryptophan-rich protein.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    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.

  6. H2O2 dynamics in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Rahbari, Mahsa; Bogeski, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Hydrogen peroxide is an important antimicrobial agent but is also crucially involved in redox signaling and pathogen-host cell interactions. As a basis for systematically investigating intracellular H2O2 dynamics and regulation in living malaria parasites, we established the genetically encoded fluorescent H2O2 sensors roGFP2-Orp1 and HyPer-3 in Plasmodium falciparum. Both ratiometric redox probes as well as the pH control SypHer were expressed in the cytosol of blood-stage parasites. Both redox sensors showed reproducible sensitivity towards H2O2 in the lower micromolar range in vitro and in the parasites. Due to the pH sensitivity of HyPer-3, we used parasites expressing roGFP2-Orp1 for evaluation of short-, medium-, and long-term effects of antimalarial drugs on H2O2 levels and detoxification in Plasmodium. None of the quinolines or artemisinins tested had detectable direct effects on the H2O2 homeostasis at pharmacologically relevant concentrations. However, pre-treatment of the cells with antimalarial drugs or heat shock led to a higher tolerance towards exogenous H2O2. The systematic evaluation and comparison of the two genetically encoded cytosolic H2O2 probes in malaria parasites provides a basis for studying parasite-host cell interactions or drug effects with spatio-temporal resolution while preserving cell integrity. PMID:28369083

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Balancing drug resistance and growth rates via compensatory mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Ines; Gabryszewski, Stanislaw J; Johnston, Geoffrey L; Dhingra, Satish K; Ecker, Andrea; Lewis, Rebecca E; de Almeida, Mariana Justino; Straimer, Judith; Henrich, Philipp P; Palatulan, Eugene; Johnson, David J; Coburn-Flynn, Olivia; Sanchez, Cecilia; Lehane, Adele M; Lanzer, Michael; Fidock, David A

    2015-07-01

    The widespread use of chloroquine to treat Plasmodium falciparum infections has resulted in the selection and dissemination of variant haplotypes of the primary resistance determinant PfCRT. These haplotypes have encountered drug pressure and within-host competition with wild-type drug-sensitive parasites. To examine these selective forces in vitro, we genetically engineered P. falciparum to express geographically diverse PfCRT haplotypes. Variant alleles from the Philippines (PH1 and PH2, which differ solely by the C72S mutation) both conferred a moderate gain of chloroquine resistance and a reduction in growth rates in vitro. Of the two, PH2 showed higher IC50 values, contrasting with reduced growth. Furthermore, a highly mutated pfcrt allele from Cambodia (Cam734) conferred moderate chloroquine resistance and enhanced growth rates, when tested against wild-type pfcrt in co-culture competition assays. These three alleles mediated cross-resistance to amodiaquine, an antimalarial drug widely used in Africa. Each allele, along with the globally prevalent Dd2 and 7G8 alleles, rendered parasites more susceptible to lumefantrine, the partner drug used in the leading first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy. These data reveal ongoing region-specific evolution of PfCRT that impacts drug susceptibility and relative fitness in settings of mixed infections, and raise important considerations about optimal agents to treat chloroquine-resistant malaria.

  12. Proteolytic activity of Plasmodium falciparum subtilisin-like protease 3 on parasite profilin, a multifunctional protein.

    PubMed

    Alam, Asrar; Bhatnagar, Raj K; Relan, Udbhav; Mukherjee, Paushali; Chauhan, Virander S

    2013-10-01

    Subtilisin-like proteases of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSUB1, 2 and 3) are expressed at late asexual blood stages. PfSUB1 and 2 are considered important drug targets due to their essentiality for parasite blood stages and role in merozoite egress and invasion of erythrocytes. We have earlier shown the in vitro serine protease activity of PfSUB3 and its localization at asexual blood stages. In this study, we attempted to identify the biological substrate(s) of PfSUB3 and found parasite profilin (PfPRF) as a substrate of the protease. Eukaryotic profilins are multifunctional proteins with primary role in regulation of actin filament assembly. PfPRF possesses biochemical features of eukaryotic profilins and its rodent ortholog is essential in blood stages. Profilin from related apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (TgPRF) is known to be involved in parasite motility, host cell invasion, active egress from host cell, immune evasion and virulence in mice. In this study, mature PfSUB3 proteolysed recombinant PfPRF in a dose-dependent manner in in vitro assays. Recombinant PfPRF was assessed for its proinflammatory activity and found to induce high level of TNF-α and low but significant level of IL-12 from mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Proteolysis of PfPRF by PfSUB3 is suggestive of the probable role of the protease in the processes of motility, virulence and immune evasion.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

  14. Effect of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites on haematological parameters in Ghanaian children.

    PubMed

    Squire, D S; Asmah, R H; Brown, C A; Adjei, D N; Obeng-Nkrumah, N; Ayeh-Kumi, P F

    2016-06-01

    Malaria is hyper-endemic in Ghana. Haematological alterations in the disease pathology may offer complimentary criteria to improve clinical and microscopy diagnosis. Our primary outcome was to evaluate haematological parameters in children with Plasmodium falciparum infections and report their predictive risk and diagnostic performance for malaria infections in Ghana. Haematological data, including thin and thick blood films were examined for children less than 12 years of age in a multicenter-based active case finding approach. Haematological changes were common in P. falciparum infected children and more pronounced in severe malaria cases. More so, a unit increase in parasiteamia increased the odds for severe malaria infection by 93 % [OR, 95 % CI: 1.93 (1.28-2.91); P value = 0.02]. In multivariate regression, low haemoglobin was a significant haematological change in predicting P. falciparum infections [OR, 95 % CI: 3.20 (1.26-7.09); P value = 0.001]. Low haemoglobin levels <11 g/dl was the most reliable indicator for P. falciparum infections [with a sensitivity of (64 %), specificity (71 %), positive predictive value (83 %) and likelihood ratio (2.2)]-even when evaluated in combination with leucocytosis, lymphocytopaenia and high neutrophil counts >7,500 µL. In malaria endemic settings, low haemoglobin concentration (<11 g/dl) in children with febrile illness should prompt a more diligent search for the malarial parasite to limit the misuse and abuse of anti-malarial drugs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Functional genomic technologies applied to the control of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Carucci, D J

    2001-05-01

    Infection with any of the four species of Plasmodium single cell parasites that infects humans causes the clinical disease, malaria. Of these, it is Plasmodium falciparum that is responsible for the majority of the 1.5-2.3 million deaths due to this disease each year. Worldwide there are between 300-500 million cases of malaria annually. To date there is no licensed vaccine and resistance to most of the available drugs used to prevent and/or treat malaria is spreading. There is therefore an urgent need to develop new and effective drugs and vaccines against this devastating parasite. We have outlined a strategy using a combination of DNA-based vaccines and the data derived from the soon-to-be completed P. falciparum genome and the genomes of other species of Plasmodium to develop new vaccines against malaria. Much of the technology that we are developing for vaccine target identification is directly applicable to the identification of potential targets for drug discovery. The publicly available genome sequence data also provides a means for researchers whose focus may not be primarily malaria to leverage their research on cancer, yeast biology and other research areas to the biological problems of malaria.

  18. Genome-wide regulatory dynamics of G-quadruplexes in human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Bhartiya, Deeksha; Chawla, Vandna; Ghosh, Sourav; Shankar, Ravi; Kumar, Niti

    2016-12-01

    The AT-rich genome of P. falciparum has uniquely localized G-rich stretches that have propensity to form G-quadruplexes. However, their global occurrence and potential biological roles in the parasite are poorly explored. Our genome-wide analysis revealed unique enrichment of quadruplexes in P. falciparum genome which was remarkably different from other Plasmodium species. A distinct predominance of quadruplexes was observed in nuclear and organellar genes that participate in antigenic variation, pathogenesis, DNA/RNA regulation, metabolic and protein quality control processes. Data also suggested association of quadruplexes with SNPs and DNA methylation. Furthermore, analysis of steady state mRNA (RNA-seq) and polysome-associated mRNA (Ribosome profiling) data revealed stage-specific differences in translational efficiency of quadruplex harboring genes. Taken together, our findings hint towards existence of regulatory dynamics associated with quadruplexes that may modulate translational efficiency of quadruplex harboring genes to provide survival advantage to the parasite against host immune response and antimalarial drug pressure.

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

    PubMed

    Bushman, Mary; Morton, Lindsay; Duah, Nancy; Quashie, Neils; Abuaku, Benjamin; Koram, Kwadwo A; Dimbu, Pedro Rafael; Plucinski, Mateusz; Gutman, Julie; Lyaruu, Peter; Kachur, S Patrick; de Roode, Jacobus C; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-03-16

    Infections with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum typically comprise multiple strains, especially in high-transmission areas where infectious mosquito bites occur frequently. However, little is known about the dynamics of mixed-strain infections, particularly whether strains sharing a host compete or grow independently. Competition between drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains, if it occurs, could be a crucial determinant of the spread of resistance. We analysed 1341 P. falciparum infections in children from Angola, Ghana and Tanzania and found compelling evidence for competition in mixed-strain infections: overall parasite density did not increase with additional strains, and densities of individual chloroquine-sensitive (CQS) and chloroquine-resistant (CQR) strains were reduced in the presence of competitors. We also found that CQR strains exhibited low densities compared with CQS strains (in the absence of chloroquine), which may underlie observed declines of chloroquine resistance in many countries following retirement of chloroquine as a first-line therapy. Our observations support a key role for within-host competition in the evolution of drug-resistant malaria. Malaria control and resistance-management efforts in high-transmission regions may be significantly aided or hindered by the effects of competition in mixed-strain infections. Consideration of within-host dynamics may spur development of novel strategies to minimize resistance while maximizing the benefits of control measures.

  20. Infectivity of Plasmodium falciparum in Malaria-Naive Individuals Is Related to Knob Expression and Cytoadherence of the Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Stanisic, Danielle I.; Gerrard, John; Fink, James; Griffin, Paul M.; Liu, Xue Q.; Sundac, Lana; Sekuloski, Silvana; Rodriguez, Ingrid B.; Pingnet, Jolien; Yang, Yuedong; Zhou, Yaoqi; Trenholme, Katharine R.; Wang, Claire Y. T.; Hackett, Hazel; Chan, Jo-Anne A.; Langer, Christine; Hanssen, Eric; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Beeson, James G.; McCarthy, James S.

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent human malaria parasite because of its ability to cytoadhere in the microvasculature. Nonhuman primate studies demonstrated relationships among knob expression, cytoadherence, and infectivity. This has not been examined in humans. Cultured clinical-grade P. falciparum parasites (NF54, 7G8, and 3D7B) and ex vivo-derived cell banks were characterized. Knob and knob-associated histidine-rich protein expression, CD36 adhesion, and antibody recognition of parasitized erythrocytes (PEs) were evaluated. Parasites from the cell banks were administered to malaria-naive human volunteers to explore infectivity. For the NF54 and 3D7B cell banks, blood was collected from the study participants for in vitro characterization. All parasites were infective in vivo. However, infectivity of NF54 was dramatically reduced. In vitro characterization revealed that unlike other cell bank parasites, NF54 PEs lacked knobs and did not cytoadhere. Recognition of NF54 PEs by immune sera was observed, suggesting P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 expression. Subsequent recovery of knob expression and CD36-mediated adhesion were observed in PEs derived from participants infected with NF54. Knobless cell bank parasites have a dramatic reduction in infectivity and the ability to adhere to CD36. Subsequent infection of malaria-naive volunteers restored knob expression and CD36-mediated cytoadherence, thereby showing that the human environment can modulate virulence. PMID:27382019

  1. Activities of artemether-lumefantrine and amodiaquine-sulfalene-pyrimethamine against sexual-stage parasites in falciparum malaria in children.

    PubMed

    Sowunmi, Akintunde; Balogun, Tunde; Gbotosho, Grace O; Happi, Christian T; Adedeji, Ahmed A; Bolaji, Olayinka M; Fehintola, Fatai A; Folarin, Onikepe A

    2008-01-01

    The activities of artemether-lumefantrine and amodiaquine-sulfalene-pyrimethamine against sexual-stage parasites were evaluated in 42 of 181 Nigerian children with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria who had gametocytaemia before, during or after treatment with the two combination therapies. The children were randomized to the standard dose regimens. Clinical recovery from illness occurred in all children who carried gametocytes. Gametocytaemia was detected in 20 patients (11%) before treatment and in another 22 patients (12.2%) after treatment. Gametocyte carriage rates were similar in both combination treatment groups, but the area under the curve of gametocytaemia plotted against time was 8-fold higher in the amodiaquine-sulfalene-pyrimethamine-treated than in the artemether-lumefantrine-treated children. The pretreatment gametocyte sex ratio was female biased in both treatment groups. During follow-up, there was a short-lived but significant increase in the gametocyte sex ratio in children treated with amodiaquine-sulfalene-pyrimethamine but not in those treated with artemether-lumefantrine. These results indicate that both combination therapies had moderate effects on gametocyte carriage, but artemether-lumefantrine may be more potent at reducing transmissibility in P. falciparum malaria by exerting greater effects on post-treatment gametocyte density and gametocyte sex ratio.

  2. Cytometric quantification of singlet oxygen in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Butzloff, Sabine; Groves, Matthew R; Wrenger, Carsten; Müller, Ingrid B

    2012-08-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum proliferates within human erythrocytes and is thereby exposed to a variety of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, superoxide anion, and highly reactive singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)). While most ROS are already well studied in the malaria parasite, singlet oxygen has been neglected to date. In this study we visualized the generation of (1)O(2) by live cell fluorescence microscopy using 3-(p-aminophenyl) fluorescein as an indicator dye. While (1) O(2) is found restrictively in the parasite, its amount varies during erythrocytic schizogony. Since the photosensitizer cercosporin generates defined amounts of (1)O(2) we have established a new cytometric method that allows the stage specific quantification of (1)O(2). Therefore, the parasites were first classified into three main stages according to their respective pixel-area of 200-600 pixels for rings, 700-1,200 pixels for trophozoites and 1,400-2,500 pixels for schizonts. Interestingly the highest mean concentration of endogenous (1)O(2) of 0.34 nM is found in the trophozoites stage, followed by 0.20 nM (ring stage) and 0.10 nM (schizont stage) suggesting that (1)O(2) derives predominantly from the digestion of hemoglobin.

  3. Evaluation of the NOW Malaria Immunochromatographic Test for Quantitative Diagnosis of Falciparum and Vivax Malaria Parasite Density

    PubMed Central

    Katakai, Yuko; Komaki-Yasuda, Kanako; Tangpukdee, Noppadon; Wilairatana, Polrat; Krudsood, Srivicha; Kano, Shigeyuki

    2011-01-01

    The NOW® Malaria Test, an immunochromatographic test (ICT), was evaluated to determine its ability to quantitatively detect malaria parasites using 100 blood samples from Thailand, including 50 Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infections and 50 P. vivax (Pv) infections. Intensities of the thickness of the visible bands of the positive ICT were compared with the parasite densities. In cases of Pf infection, the intensities of both HRP-2 bands (T1 bands: Pf specific bands) and aldolase bands (T2 bands: pan-Plasmodium bands) correlated with the parasite densities. The intensities of T2 bands in Pf positive samples showed better correlation with the parasite densities than the T1 bands. In the cases of Pv infection, the intensities of T2 bands were also well correlated with parasite density. These results suggest that the ICT is useful not only for rapid detection of malaria parasites but also for estimating parasite density. PMID:22438699

  4. Evaluation of the NOW Malaria Immunochromatographic Test for Quantitative Diagnosis of Falciparum and Vivax Malaria Parasite Density.

    PubMed

    Katakai, Yuko; Komaki-Yasuda, Kanako; Tangpukdee, Noppadon; Wilairatana, Polrat; Krudsood, Srivicha; Kano, Shigeyuki

    2011-12-01

    The NOW® Malaria Test, an immunochromatographic test (ICT), was evaluated to determine its ability to quantitatively detect malaria parasites using 100 blood samples from Thailand, including 50 Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infections and 50 P. vivax (Pv) infections. Intensities of the thickness of the visible bands of the positive ICT were compared with the parasite densities. In cases of Pf infection, the intensities of both HRP-2 bands (T1 bands: Pf specific bands) and aldolase bands (T2 bands: pan-Plasmodium bands) correlated with the parasite densities. The intensities of T2 bands in Pf positive samples showed better correlation with the parasite densities than the T1 bands. In the cases of Pv infection, the intensities of T2 bands were also well correlated with parasite density. These results suggest that the ICT is useful not only for rapid detection of malaria parasites but also for estimating parasite density.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  7. Evolution of Fitness Cost-Neutral Mutant PfCRT Conferring P. falciparum 4-Aminoquinoline Drug Resistance Is Accompanied by Altered Parasite Metabolism and Digestive Vacuole Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Gabryszewski, Stanislaw J.; Dhingra, Satish K.; Lewis, Ian A.; Callaghan, Paul S.; Hassett, Matthew R.; Siriwardana, Amila; Henrich, Philipp P.; Lee, Andrew H.; Gnädig, Nina F.; Musset, Lise; Llinás, Manuel; Egan, Timothy J.; Roepe, Paul D.

    2016-01-01

    Southeast Asia is an epicenter of multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains. Selective pressures on the subcontinent have recurrently produced several allelic variants of parasite drug resistance genes, including the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt). Despite significant reductions in the deployment of the 4-aminoquinoline drug chloroquine (CQ), which selected for the mutant pfcrt alleles that halted CQ efficacy decades ago, the parasite pfcrt locus is continuously evolving. This is highlighted by the presence of a highly mutated allele, Cam734 pfcrt, which has acquired the singular ability to confer parasite CQ resistance without an associated fitness cost. Here, we used pfcrt-specific zinc-finger nucleases to genetically dissect this allele in the pathogenic setting of asexual blood-stage infection. Comparative analysis of drug resistance and growth profiles of recombinant parasites that express Cam734 or variants thereof, Dd2 (the most common Southeast Asian variant), or wild-type pfcrt, revealed previously unknown roles for PfCRT mutations in modulating parasite susceptibility to multiple antimalarial agents. These results were generated in the GC03 strain, used in multiple earlier pfcrt studies, and might differ in natural isolates harboring this allele. Results presented herein show that Cam734-mediated CQ resistance is dependent on the rare A144F mutation that has not been observed beyond Southeast Asia, and reveal distinct impacts of this and other Cam734-specific mutations on CQ resistance and parasite growth rates. Biochemical assays revealed a broad impact of mutant PfCRT isoforms on parasite metabolism, including nucleoside triphosphate levels, hemoglobin catabolism and disposition of heme, as well as digestive vacuole volume and pH. Results from our study provide new insights into the complex molecular basis and physiological impact of PfCRT-mediated antimalarial drug resistance, and inform ongoing efforts to characterize

  8. Construction of a human functional single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody recognizing the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Wajanarogana, Sumet; Prasomrothanakul, Teerawat; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Tungpradabkul, Sumalee

    2006-04-01

    Falciparum malaria is one of the most deadly and profound human health problems around the tropical world. Antimalarial drugs are now considered to be a powerful treatment; however, there are drugs currently being used that are resistant to Plasmodium falciparum parasites spreading in different parts of the world. Although the protective immune response against intraerythrocytic stages of the falciparum malaria parasite is still not fully understood, immune antibodies have been shown to be associated with reduced parasite prevalence. Therefore antibodies of the right specificity present in adequate concentrations and affinity are reasonably effective in providing protection. In the present study, VH (variable domain of heavy chain) and VL (variable domain of light chain) were isolated from human blood lymphocytes of P. falciparum in one person who had high serum titre to RESA (ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen). Equal amounts of VH and VL were assembled together with universal linker (G4S)3 to generate scFvs (single-chain variable fragments). The scFv antibodies were expressed with a phage system for the selection process. Exclusively, an expressed scFv against asynchronous culture of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes was selected and characterized. Sequence analysis of selected scFv revealed that this clone could be classified into a VH family-derived germline gene (VH1) and Vkappa family segment (Vkappa1). Using an indirect immunofluorescence assay, we could show that soluble expressed scFv reacted with falciparum-infected erythrocytes. The results encourage the further study of scFvs for development as a potential immunotherapeutic agent.

  9. Plasmodium falciparum-like parasites infecting wild apes in southern Cameroon do not represent a recurrent source of human malaria.

    PubMed

    Sundararaman, Sesh A; Liu, Weimin; Keele, Brandon F; Learn, Gerald H; Bittinger, Kyle; Mouacha, Fatima; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Manske, Magnus; Sherrill-Mix, Scott; Li, Yingying; Malenke, Jordan A; Delaporte, Eric; Laurent, Christian; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Shaw, George M; Rayner, Julian C; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M; Bushman, Frederic D; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2013-04-23

    Wild-living chimpanzees and gorillas harbor a multitude of Plasmodium species, including six of the subgenus Laverania, one of which served as the progenitor of Plasmodium falciparum. Despite the magnitude of this reservoir, it is unknown whether apes represent a source of human infections. Here, we used Plasmodium species-specific PCR, single-genome amplification, and 454 sequencing to screen humans from remote areas of southern Cameroon for ape Laverania infections. Among 1,402 blood samples, we found 1,000 to be Plasmodium mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) positive, all of which contained human parasites as determined by sequencing and/or restriction enzyme digestion. To exclude low-abundance infections, we subjected 514 of these samples to 454 sequencing, targeting a region of the mtDNA genome that distinguishes ape from human Laverania species. Using algorithms specifically developed to differentiate rare Plasmodium variants from 454-sequencing error, we identified single and mixed-species infections with P. falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, and/or Plasmodium ovale. However, none of the human samples contained ape Laverania parasites, including the gorilla precursor of P. falciparum. To characterize further the diversity of P. falciparum in Cameroon, we used single-genome amplification to amplify 3.4-kb mtDNA fragments from 229 infected humans. Phylogenetic analysis identified 62 new variants, all of which clustered with extant P. falciparum, providing further evidence that P. falciparum emerged following a single gorilla-to-human transmission. Thus, unlike Plasmodium knowlesi-infected macaques in southeast Asia, African apes harboring Laverania parasites do not seem to serve as a recurrent source of human malaria, a finding of import to ongoing control and eradication measures.

  10. 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.

  11. Defining the protein interaction network of human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Pain, Arnab; Ravasi, Timothy

    2012-02-01

    Malaria, caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, affects around 225 million people yearly and a huge international effort is directed towards combating this grave threat to world health and economic development. Considerable advances have been made in malaria research triggered by the sequencing of its genome in 2002, followed by several high-throughput studies defining the malaria transcriptome and proteome. A protein-protein interaction (PPI) network seeks to trace the dynamic interactions between proteins, thereby elucidating their local and global functional relationships. Experimentally derived PPI network from high-throughput methods such as yeast two hybrid (Y2H) screens are inherently noisy, but combining these independent datasets by computational methods tends to give a greater accuracy and coverage. This review aims to discuss the computational approaches used till date to construct a malaria protein interaction network and to catalog the functional predictions and biological inferences made from analysis of the PPI network.

  12. Rapid, low dose X-ray diffractive imaging of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Jones, Michael W M; Dearnley, Megan K; van Riessen, Grant A; Abbey, Brian; Putkunz, Corey T; Junker, Mark D; Vine, David J; McNulty, Ian; Nugent, Keith A; Peele, Andrew G; Tilley, Leann

    2014-08-01

    Phase-diverse X-ray coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) provides a route to high sensitivity and spatial resolution with moderate radiation dose. It also provides a robust solution to the well-known phase-problem, making on-line image reconstruction feasible. Here we apply phase-diverse CDI to a cellular sample, obtaining images of an erythrocyte infected by the sexual stage of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, with a radiation dose significantly lower than the lowest dose previously reported for cellular imaging using CDI. The high sensitivity and resolution allow key biological features to be identified within intact cells, providing complementary information to optical and electron microscopy. This high throughput method could be used for fast tomographic imaging, or to generate multiple replicates in two-dimensions of hydrated biological systems without freezing or fixing. This work demonstrates that phase-diverse CDI is a valuable complementary imaging method for the biological sciences and ready for immediate application.

  13. Plasmodium falciparum Parasites Are Killed by a Transition State Analogue of Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase in a Primate Animal Model

    PubMed Central

    Cassera, María B.; Hazleton, Keith Z.; Merino, Emilio F.; Obaldia, Nicanor; Ho, Meng-Chiao; Murkin, Andrew S.; DePinto, Richard; Gutierrez, Jemy A.; Almo, Steven C.; Evans, Gary B.; Babu, Yarlagadda S.; Schramm, Vern L.

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes most of the one million annual deaths from malaria. Drug resistance is widespread and novel agents against new targets are needed to support combination-therapy approaches promoted by the World Health Organization. Plasmodium species are purine auxotrophs. Blocking purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) kills cultured parasites by purine starvation. DADMe-Immucillin-G (BCX4945) is a transition state analogue of human and Plasmodium PNPs, binding with picomolar affinity. Here, we test BCX4945 in Aotus primates, an animal model for Plasmodium falciparum infections. Oral administration of BCX4945 for seven days results in parasite clearance and recrudescence in otherwise lethal infections of P. falciparum in Aotus monkeys. The molecular action of BCX4945 is demonstrated in crystal structures of human and P. falciparum PNPs. Metabolite analysis demonstrates that PNP blockade inhibits purine salvage and polyamine synthesis in the parasites. The efficacy, oral availability, chemical stability, unique mechanism of action and low toxicity of BCX4945 demonstrate potential for combination therapies with this novel antimalarial agent. PMID:22096507

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

    PubMed

    Cevenini, Luca; Camarda, Grazia; Michelini, Elisa; Siciliano, Giulia; Calabretta, Maria Maddalena; Bona, Roberta; Kumar, T R Santha; Cara, Andrea; Branchini, Bruce R; Fidock, David A; Roda, Aldo; Alano, Pietro

    2014-09-02

    New reliable and cost-effective antimalarial drug screening assays are urgently needed to identify drugs acting on different stages of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and particularly those responsible for human-to-mosquito transmission, that is, the P. falciparum gametocytes. Low Z' factors, narrow dynamic ranges, and/or extended assay times are commonly reported in current gametocyte assays measuring gametocyte-expressed fluorescent or luciferase reporters, endogenous ATP levels, activity of gametocyte enzymes, or redox-dependent dye fluorescence. We hereby report on a dual-luciferase gametocyte assay with immature and mature P. falciparum gametocyte stages expressing red and green-emitting luciferases from Pyrophorus plagiophthalamus under the control of the parasite sexual stage-specific pfs16 gene promoter. The assay was validated with reference antimalarial drugs and allowed to quantitatively and simultaneously measure stage-specific drug effects on parasites at different developmental stages. The optimized assay, requiring only 48 h incubation with drugs and using a cost-effective luminogenic substrate, significantly reduces assay cost and time in comparison to state-of-the-art analogous assays. The assay had a Z' factor of 0.71 ± 0.03, and it is suitable for implementation in 96- and 384-well microplate formats. Moreover, the use of a nonlysing D-luciferin substrate significantly improved the reliability of the assay and allowed one to perform, for the first time, P. falciparum bioluminescence imaging at single-cell level.

  15. Phenotypic Screens Identify Parasite Genetic Factors Associated with Malarial Fever Response in Plasmodium falciparum piggyBac Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Phaedra; Sedillo, Jennifer; Oberstaller, Jenna; Li, Suzanne; Zhang, Min; Singh, Naresh; Wang, Chengqi C. Q.; Udenze, Kenneth; Jiang, Rays H. Y.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Malaria remains one of the most devastating parasitic diseases worldwide, with 90% of the malaria deaths in Africa in 2013 attributable to Plasmodium falciparum. The clinical symptoms of malaria include cycles of fever, corresponding to parasite rupture from red blood cells every 48 h. Parasite pathways involved in the parasite’s ability to survive the host fever response, and indeed, the functions of ~40% of P. falciparum genes as a whole, are still largely unknown. Here, we evaluated the potential of scalable forward-genetic screening methods to identify genes involved in the host fever response. We performed a phenotypic screen for genes linked to the parasite response to febrile temperatures by utilizing a selection of single-disruption P. falciparum mutants generated via random piggyBac transposon mutagenesis in a previous study. We identified several mutants presenting significant phenotypes in febrile response screens compared to the wild type, indicating possible roles for the disrupted genes in this process. We present these initial studies as proof that forward genetics can be used to gain insight into critical factors associated with parasite biology. IMPORTANCE Though the P. falciparum genome sequence has been available for many years, ~40% of its genes do not have informative annotations, as they show no detectable homology to those of studied organisms. More still have not been evaluated via genetic methods. Scalable forward-genetic approaches that allow interrogation of gene function without any pre-existing knowledge are needed to hasten understanding of parasite biology, which will expedite the identification of drug targets and the development of future interventions in the face of spreading resistance to existing frontline drugs. In this work, we describe a new approach to pursue forward-genetic phenotypic screens for P. falciparum to identify factors associated with virulence. Future large-scale phenotypic screens developed to

  16. An innovative shape equation to quantify the morphological characteristics of parasitized red blood cells by Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    Karimi, Alireza; Navidbakhsh, Mahdi; Motevalli Haghi, Afsaneh; Faghihi, Shahab

    2013-04-01

    The morphology of red blood cells is affected significantly during maturation of malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A novel shape equation is presented that defines shape of parasitized red blood cells by P. falciparum (Pf-red blood cells) and P. vivax (Pv-red blood cells) at four stages of infection. The Giemsa-stained thin blood films are prepared using blood samples collected from healthy donors, patients having P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria. The diameter and thickness of healthy red blood cells plus Pf-red blood cells and Pv-red blood cells at each stage of infection are measured from their optical images using Olysia and Scanning Probe Image Processor softwares, respectively. Using diameters and thicknesses of parasitized red blood cells, a shape equation is fitted and relative two-dimensional shapes are plotted using MATHEMATICA. The shape of Pf-red blood cell drastically changes at ring stage as its thickness increases by 82%, while Pv-red blood cell remains biconcave (30% increase in thickness). By trophozoite and subsequent schizont stage, the Pf-red blood cell entirely loses its biconcave shape and becomes near spherical (diameter and thickness of ~8 µm). The Pv-red blood cell remains biconcave throughout the parasite development even though its volume increases. These results could have practical use for faster diagnosis, prediction, and treatment of human malaria and sickle-cell diseases.

  17. Disruption of the Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage antigen-1 locus causes a differentiation defect in late liver-stage parasites.

    PubMed

    Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Sacci, John B; De La Vega, Patricia; Camargo, Nelly; VanBuskirk, Kelly; Krzych, Urszula; Cao, Jun; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Cowman, Alan F; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2011-08-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum infects humans and first targets the liver where liver-stage parasites undergo pre-erythrocytic replication. Liver-stage antigen-1 (LSA-1) is currently the only identified P. falciparum protein for which expression is restricted to liver stages. Yet, the importance of LSA-1 for liver-stage parasite development remains unknown. Here we deleted LSA-1 in the NF54 strain of P. falciparum and analysed the lsa-1(-) parasites throughout their life cycle. lsa-1(-) sporozoites had normal gliding motility and invasion into hepatocytes. Six days after infection of a hepatocytic cell line, lsa-1(-) parasites exhibited a moderate phenotype with an ~50% reduction of late liver-stage forms when compared with wild type. Strikingly, lsa-1(-) parasites growing in SCID/Alb-uPA mice with humanized livers showed a severe defect in late liver-stage differentiation and exo-erythrocytic merozoite formation 7 days after infection, a time point when wild-type parasites develop into mature merozoites. The lsa-1(-) parasites also showed aberrant liver-stage expression of key parasite proteins apical membrane antigen-1 and circumsporozoite protein. Our data show that LSA-1 plays a critical role during late liver-stage schizogony and is thus important in the parasite transition from the liver to blood. LSA-1 is the first P. falciparum protein identified to be required for this transitional stage of the parasite life cycle.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. A next-generation genetically attenuated Plasmodium falciparum parasite created by triple gene deletion.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  20. Quantifying the biophysical characteristics of Plasmodium-falciparum-parasitized red blood cells in microcirculation

    PubMed Central

    Fedosov, D. A.; Caswell, B.; Suresh, S.; Karniadakis, G. E.

    2011-01-01

    The pathogenicity of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria results from the stiffening of red blood cells (RBCs) and its ability to adhere to endothelial cells (cytoadherence). The dynamics of Pf-parasitized RBCs is studied by three-dimensional mesoscopic simulations of flow in cylindrical capillaries in order to predict the flow resistance enhancement at different parasitemia levels. In addition, the adhesive dynamics of Pf-RBCs is explored for various parameters revealing several types of cell dynamics such as firm adhesion, very slow slipping along the wall, and intermittent flipping. The parasite inside the RBC is modeled explicitly in order to capture phenomena such as “hindered tumbling” motion of the RBC and the sudden transition from firm RBC cytoadherence to flipping on the endothelial surface. These predictions are in quantitative agreement with recent experimental observations, and thus the three-dimensional modeling method presented here provides new capabilities for guiding and interpreting future in vitro and in vivo studies of malaria. PMID:21173269

  1. Reduced Parasite Burden in Children with Falciparum Malaria and Bacteremia Coinfections: Role of Mediators of Inflammation

    DOE PAGES

    Davenport, Gregory C.; Hittner, James B.; Otieno, Vincent; ...

    2016-01-01

    Bmore » acteremia and malaria coinfection is a common and life-threatening condition in children residing in sub-Saharan Africa. We previously showed that coinfection with Gram negative (G[−]) entericacilli and Plasmodium falciparum ( Pf [+]) was associated with reduced high-density parasitemia (HDP, >10,000 parasites/ μ L), enhanced respiratory distress, and severe anemia. Since inflammatory mediators are largely unexplored in such coinfections, circulating cytokines were determined in four groups of children ( n = 206 , aged <3 yrs): healthy; Pf [+] alone; G[−] coinfected; and G[+] coinfected. Staphylococcus aureus and non-Typhi Salmonella were the most frequently isolated G[+] and G[−] organisms, respectively. Coinfected children, particularly those with G[−] pathogens, had lower parasite burden (peripheral and geometric mean parasitemia and HDP). In addition, both coinfected groups had increased IL-4, IL-5, IL-7, IL-12, IL-15, IL-17, IFN- γ , and IFN- α and decreased TNF- α relative to malaria alone. Children with G[−] coinfection had higher IL-1 β and IL-1Ra and lower IL-10 than the Pf [+] group and higher IFN- γ than the G[+] group. To determine how the immune response to malaria regulates parasitemia, cytokine production was investigated with a multiple mediation model. Cytokines with the greatest mediational impact on parasitemia were IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, and IFN- γ . Results here suggest that enhanced immune activation, especially in G[−] coinfected children, acts to reduce malaria parasite burden.« less

  2. Reduced Parasite Burden in Children with Falciparum Malaria and Bacteremia Coinfections: Role of Mediators of Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Davenport, Gregory C.; Mukundan, Harshini; Fenimore, Paul W.; Hengartner, Nicolas W.; McMahon, Benjamin H.; Ong'echa, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Bacteremia and malaria coinfection is a common and life-threatening condition in children residing in sub-Saharan Africa. We previously showed that coinfection with Gram negative (G[−]) enteric Bacilli and Plasmodium falciparum (Pf[+]) was associated with reduced high-density parasitemia (HDP, >10,000 parasites/μL), enhanced respiratory distress, and severe anemia. Since inflammatory mediators are largely unexplored in such coinfections, circulating cytokines were determined in four groups of children (n = 206, aged <3 yrs): healthy; Pf[+] alone; G[−] coinfected; and G[+] coinfected. Staphylococcus aureus and non-Typhi Salmonella were the most frequently isolated G[+] and G[−] organisms, respectively. Coinfected children, particularly those with G[−] pathogens, had lower parasite burden (peripheral and geometric mean parasitemia and HDP). In addition, both coinfected groups had increased IL-4, IL-5, IL-7, IL-12, IL-15, IL-17, IFN-γ, and IFN-α and decreased TNF-α relative to malaria alone. Children with G[−] coinfection had higher IL-1β and IL-1Ra and lower IL-10 than the Pf[+] group and higher IFN-γ than the G[+] group. To determine how the immune response to malaria regulates parasitemia, cytokine production was investigated with a multiple mediation model. Cytokines with the greatest mediational impact on parasitemia were IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, and IFN-γ. Results here suggest that enhanced immune activation, especially in G[−] coinfected children, acts to reduce malaria parasite burden. PMID:27418744

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Berriman, M; Fairlamb, A H

    1998-01-01

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

  5. Sugar nucleotide quantification by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry reveals a distinct profile in Plasmodium falciparum sexual stage parasites

    PubMed Central

    López-Gutiérrez, Borja; Dinglasan, Rhoel R.

    2017-01-01

    The obligate intracellular lifestyle of Plasmodium falciparum and the difficulties in obtaining sufficient amounts of biological material have hampered the study of specific metabolic pathways in the malaria parasite. Thus, for example, the pools of sugar nucleotides required to fuel glycosylation reactions have never been studied in-depth in well-synchronized asexual parasites or in other stages of its life cycle. These metabolites are of critical importance, especially considering the renewed interest in the presence of N-, O-, and other glycans in key parasite proteins. In this work, we adapted a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method based on the use of porous graphitic carbon (PGC) columns and MS-friendly solvents to quantify sugar nucleotides in the malaria parasite. We report the thorough quantification of the pools of these metabolites throughout the intraerythrocytic cycle of P. falciparum. The sensitivity of the method enabled, for the first time, the targeted analysis of these glycosylation precursors in gametocytes, the parasite sexual stages that are transmissible to the mosquito vector. PMID:28104756

  6. Sugar nucleotide quantification by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry reveals a distinct profile in Plasmodium falciparum sexual stage parasites.

    PubMed

    López-Gutiérrez, Borja; Dinglasan, Rhoel R; Izquierdo, Luis

    2017-03-07

    The obligate intracellular lifestyle of Plasmodium falciparum and the difficulties in obtaining sufficient amounts of biological material have hampered the study of specific metabolic pathways in the malaria parasite. Thus, for example, the pools of sugar nucleotides required to fuel glycosylation reactions have never been studied in-depth in well-synchronized asexual parasites or in other stages of its life cycle. These metabolites are of critical importance, especially considering the renewed interest in the presence of N-, O-, and other glycans in key parasite proteins. In this work, we adapted a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method based on the use of porous graphitic carbon (PGC) columns and MS-friendly solvents to quantify sugar nucleotides in the malaria parasite. We report the thorough quantification of the pools of these metabolites throughout the intraerythrocytic cycle of P. falciparum The sensitivity of the method enabled, for the first time, the targeted analysis of these glycosylation precursors in gametocytes, the parasite sexual stages that are transmissible to the mosquito vector.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Proteomic analysis of zygote and ookinete stages of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum delineates the homologous proteomes of the lethal human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Patra, Kailash P; Johnson, Jeff R; Cantin, Greg T; Yates, John R; Vinetz, Joseph M

    2008-06-01

    Delineation of the complement of proteins comprising the zygote and ookinete, the early developmental stages of Plasmodium within the mosquito midgut, is fundamental to understand initial molecular parasite-vector interactions. The published proteome of Plasmodium falciparum does not include analysis of the zygote/ookinete stages, nor does that of P. berghei include the zygote stage or secreted proteins. P. gallinaceum zygote, ookinete, and ookinete-secreted/released protein samples were prepared and subjected to Multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT). Peptides of P. gallinaceum zygote, ookinete, and ookinete-secreted proteins were identified by MS/MS, mapped to ORFs (> 50 amino acids) in the extent P. gallinaceum whole genome sequence, and then matched to homologous ORFs in P. falciparum. A total of 966 P. falciparum ORFs encoding orthologous proteins were identified; just over 40% of these predicted proteins were found to be hypothetical. A majority of putative proteins with predicted secretory signal peptides or transmembrane domains were hypothetical proteins. This analysis provides a more comprehensive view of the hitherto unknown proteome of the early mosquito midgut stages of P. falciparum. The results underpin more robust study of Plasmodium-mosquito midgut interactions, fundamental to the development of novel strategies of blocking malaria transmission.

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

    PubMed

    Adamou, Rafiou; Chénou, Francine; Sadissou, Ibrahim; Sonon, Paulin; Dechavanne, Célia; Djilali-Saïah, Abdelkader; Cottrell, Gilles; Le Port, Agnès; Massougbodji, Achille; Remarque, Edmond J; Luty, Adrian J F; Sanni, Ambaliou; Garcia, André; Migot-Nabias, Florence; Milet, Jacqueline; Courtin, David

    2016-07-01

    Antibodies that impede the invasion of Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) merozoites into erythrocytes play a critical role in anti-malarial immunity. The Growth Inhibition Assay (GIA) is an in vitro measure of the functional capacity of such antibodies to limit erythrocyte invasion and/or parasite growth. Up to now, it is unclear whether growth-inhibitory activity correlates with protection from clinical disease and there are inconsistent results from studies performed with GIA. Studies that have focused on the relationship between IgGs and their in vitro parasite Growth Inhibition Activity (GIAc) in infants aged less than two years old are rare. Here, we used clinical and parasitological data to precisely define symptomatic or asymptomatic infection with P. falciparum in groups of infants followed-up actively for 18 months post-natally. We quantified the levels of IgG1 and IgG3 directed to a panel of candidate P. falciparum vaccine antigens (AMA-1, MSP1, 2, 3 and GLURP) using ELISA and the functional activity of IgG was quantified using GIA. Data were then correlated with individuals' infection status. At 18 months of age, infants harbouring infections at the time of blood sampling had an average 19% less GIAc than those not infected (p=0.004, multivariate linear regression). GIAc decreased from 12 to 18 months of age (p=0.003, Wilcoxon matched pairs test). Antibody levels quantified at 18 months in infants were strongly correlated with their exposure to malarial infection, however GIAc was not correlated with malaria infectious status (asymptomatic and symptomatic groups). In conclusion, both infection status at blood draw and age influence parasite growth inhibition mediated by IgG in the GIA. Both factors must be taken into account when correlations between GIAc and anti-malarial protection or vaccine efficacy have to be made.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-03

    The virulence of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the deadliest form of human malaria, is attributed to its ability to evade human immunity through antigenic variation. These parasites alternate between expression of variable antigens, encoded by members of a multicopy gene family named var. Immune evasion through antigenic variation depends on tight regulation of var gene expression, ensuring that only a single var gene is expressed at a time while the rest of the family is maintained transcriptionally silent. Understanding how a single gene is chosen for activation is critical for understanding mutually exclusive expression but remains a mystery. Here, we show that antisense long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) initiating from var introns are associated with the single active var gene at the time in the cell cycle when the single var upstream promoter is active. We demonstrate that these antisense transcripts are incorporated into chromatin, and that expression of these antisense lncRNAs in trans triggers activation of a silent var gene in a sequence- and dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, interference with these lncRNAs using complement peptide nucleic acid molecules down-regulated the active var gene, erased the epigenetic memory, and induced expression switching. Altogether, our data provide evidence that these antisense lncRNAs play a key role in regulating var gene activation and mutually exclusive expression.

  11. 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})

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2006-01-01

    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 M = 2.3 Å3 Da−1). PMID:16754976

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Murai, Kenji; Culleton, Richard; Hisaoka, Teruhiko; Endo, Hiroyoshi; Mita, Toshihiro

    2015-06-01

    The recent emergence and spread of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum isolates is a growing concern for global malaria-control efforts. A recent genome-wide analysis study identified two SNPs at genomic positions MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319, which are linked to delayed clearance of parasites following artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). It is expected that continuous artemisinin pressure will affect the distribution of these SNPs. Here, we investigate the worldwide distribution of these SNPs using a large number of archived samples in order to generate baseline data from the period before the emergence of ACT resistance. The presence of SNPs in MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 was assessed by nested PCR RFLP and direct DNA sequencing using 653 global P. falciparum samples obtained before the reported emergence of ACT resistance. SNPs at MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 associated with delayed parasite clearance following ACT administration were observed in 8% and 3% of parasites, respectively, mostly in Cambodia and Thailand. Parasites harbouring both SNPs were found in only eight (1%) isolates, all of which were from Cambodia and Thailand. Linkage disequilibrium was detected between MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319, suggesting that this SNP combination may have been selected by ACT drug pressure. Neither of the SNPs associated with delayed parasite clearance were observed in samples from Africa or South America. Baseline information of the geographical difference of MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 SNPs provides a solid basis for assessing whether these SNPs are selected by artemisinin-based combination therapies.

  19. Focused Screening and Treatment (FSAT): a PCR-based strategy to detect malaria parasite carriers and contain drug resistant P. falciparum, Pailin, Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Hoyer, Stefan; Nguon, Sokomar; Kim, Saorin; Habib, Najibullah; Khim, Nimol; Sum, Sarorn; Christophel, Eva-Maria; Bjorge, Steven; Thomson, Andrew; Kheng, Sim; Chea, Nguon; Yok, Sovann; Top, Samphornarann; Ros, Seyha; Sophal, Uth; Thompson, Michelle M; Mellor, Steve; Ariey, Frédéric; Witkowski, Benoit; Yeang, Chhiang; Yeung, Shunmay; Duong, Socheat; Newman, Robert D; Menard, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in Pailin province, along the border between Thailand and Cambodia, have become resistant to artemisinin derivatives. To better define the epidemiology of P. falciparum populations and to assess the risk of the possible spread of these parasites outside Pailin, a new epidemiological tool named "Focused Screening and Treatment" (FSAT), based on active molecular detection of asymptomatic parasite carriers was introduced in 2010. Cross-sectional malariometric surveys using PCR were carried out in 20 out of 109 villages in Pailin province. Individuals detected as P. falciparum carriers were treated with atovaquone-proguanil combination plus a single dose of primaquine if the patient was non-G6PD deficient. Interviews were conducted to elicit history of cross-border travel that might contribute to the spread of artemisinin-resistant parasites. After directly observed treatment, patients were followed up and re-examined on day 7 and day 28. Among 6931 individuals screened, prevalence of P. falciparum carriers was less than 1%, of whom 96% were asymptomatic. Only 1.6% of the individuals had a travel history or plans to go outside Cambodia, with none of those tested being positive for P. falciparum. Retrospective analysis, using 2010 routine surveillance data, showed significant differences in the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers discovered by FSAT between villages classified as "high risk" and "low risk" based on malaria incidence data. All positive individuals treated and followed-up until day 28 were cured. No mutant-type allele related to atovaquone resistance was found. FSAT is a potentially useful tool to detect, treat and track clusters of asymptomatic carriers of P. falciparum along with providing valuable epidemiological information regarding cross-border movements of potential malaria parasite carriers and parasite gene flow.

  20. Focused Screening and Treatment (FSAT): A PCR-Based Strategy to Detect Malaria Parasite Carriers and Contain Drug Resistant P. falciparum, Pailin, Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    Hoyer, Stefan; Nguon, Sokomar; Kim, Saorin; Habib, Najibullah; Khim, Nimol; Sum, Sarorn; Christophel, Eva-Maria; Bjorge, Steven; Thomson, Andrew; Kheng, Sim; Chea, Nguon; Yok, Sovann; Top, Samphornarann; Ros, Seyha; Sophal, Uth; Thompson, Michelle M.; Mellor, Steve; Ariey, Frédéric; Witkowski, Benoit; Yeang, Chhiang; Yeung, Shunmay; Duong, Socheat; Newman, Robert D.; Menard, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in Pailin province, along the border between Thailand and Cambodia, have become resistant to artemisinin derivatives. To better define the epidemiology of P. falciparum populations and to assess the risk of the possible spread of these parasites outside Pailin, a new epidemiological tool named “Focused Screening and Treatment” (FSAT), based on active molecular detection of asymptomatic parasite carriers was introduced in 2010. Cross-sectional malariometric surveys using PCR were carried out in 20 out of 109 villages in Pailin province. Individuals detected as P. falciparum carriers were treated with atovaquone-proguanil combination plus a single dose of primaquine if the patient was non-G6PD deficient. Interviews were conducted to elicit history of cross-border travel that might contribute to the spread of artemisinin-resistant parasites. After directly observed treatment, patients were followed up and re-examined on day 7 and day 28. Among 6931 individuals screened, prevalence of P. falciparum carriers was less than 1%, of whom 96% were asymptomatic. Only 1.6% of the individuals had a travel history or plans to go outside Cambodia, with none of those tested being positive for P. falciparum. Retrospective analysis, using 2010 routine surveillance data, showed significant differences in the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers discovered by FSAT between villages classified as “high risk” and “low risk” based on malaria incidence data. All positive individuals treated and followed-up until day 28 were cured. No mutant-type allele related to atovaquone resistance was found. FSAT is a potentially useful tool to detect, treat and track clusters of asymptomatic carriers of P. falciparum along with providing valuable epidemiological information regarding cross-border movements of potential malaria parasite carriers and parasite gene flow. PMID:23049687

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

    PubMed Central

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

    Invasion of a red blood cell by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites is an essential step in the malaria lifecycle. Several of the proteins involved in this process are stored in the apical complex of the merozoite, a structure containing secretory organelles that are released at specific times during invasion. The molecular players involved in erythrocyte invasion thus represent potential key targets for both therapeutic and vaccine-based strategies to block parasite development. In our quest to identify and characterize new effectors of invasion, we investigated the P. falciparum homologue of a P. berghei protein putatively localized to the rhoptries, the Putative rhoptry protein 2 (PbPRP2). We show that in P. falciparum, the protein colocalizes extensively with the Golgi apparatus across the asexual erythrocytic cycle. Furthermore, imaging of merozoites caught at different times during invasion show that PfPRP2 is not secreted during the process instead staying associated with the Golgi apparatus. Our evidence therefore suggests that PfPRP2 is a Golgi protein and that it is likely not a direct effector in the process of merozoite invasion. PMID:26375591

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

    PubMed

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

    Invasion of a red blood cell by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites is an essential step in the malaria lifecycle. Several of the proteins involved in this process are stored in the apical complex of the merozoite, a structure containing secretory organelles that are released at specific times during invasion. The molecular players involved in erythrocyte invasion thus represent potential key targets for both therapeutic and vaccine-based strategies to block parasite development. In our quest to identify and characterize new effectors of invasion, we investigated the P. falciparum homologue of a P. berghei protein putatively localized to the rhoptries, the Putative rhoptry protein 2 (PbPRP2). We show that in P. falciparum, the protein colocalizes extensively with the Golgi apparatus across the asexual erythrocytic cycle. Furthermore, imaging of merozoites caught at different times during invasion show that PfPRP2 is not secreted during the process instead staying associated with the Golgi apparatus. Our evidence therefore suggests that PfPRP2 is a Golgi protein and that it is likely not a direct effector in the process of merozoite invasion.

  3. Declining Efficacy of Artemisinin Combination Therapy Against P. Falciparum Malaria on the Thai–Myanmar Border (2003–2013): The Role of Parasite Genetic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Phyo, Aung Pyae; Ashley, Elizabeth A.; Anderson, Tim J. C.; Bozdech, Zbynek; Carrara, Verena I.; Sriprawat, Kanlaya; Nair, Shalini; White, Marina McDew; Dziekan, Jerzy; Ling, Clare; Proux, Stephane; Konghahong, Kamonchanok; Jeeyapant, Atthanee; Woodrow, Charles J.; Imwong, Mallika; McGready, Rose; Lwin, Khin Maung; Day, Nicholas P. J.; White, Nicholas J.; Nosten, Francois

    2016-01-01

    Background. Deployment of mefloquine–artesunate (MAS3) on the Thailand–Myanmar border has led to a sustained reduction in falciparum malaria, although antimalarial efficacy has declined substantially in recent years. The role of Plasmodium falciparum K13 mutations (a marker of artemisinin resistance) in reducing treatment efficacy remains controversial. Methods. Between 2003 and 2013, we studied the efficacy of MAS3 in 1005 patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in relation to molecular markers of resistance. Results. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–adjusted cure rates declined from 100% in 2003 to 81.1% in 2013 as the proportions of isolates with multiple Pfmdr1 copies doubled from 32.4% to 64.7% and those with K13 mutations increased from 6.7% to 83.4%. K13 mutations conferring moderate artemisinin resistance (notably E252Q) predominated initially but were later overtaken by propeller mutations associated with slower parasite clearance (notably C580Y). Those infected with both multiple Pfmdr1 copy number and a K13 propeller mutation were 14 times more likely to fail treatment. The PCR-adjusted cure rate was 57.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45.4, 68.3) compared with 97.8% (95% CI, 93.3, 99.3) in patients with K13 wild type and Pfmdr1 single copy. K13 propeller mutation alone was a strong risk factor for recrudescence (P = .009). The combined population attributable fraction of recrudescence associated with K13 mutation and Pfmdr1 amplification was 82%. Conclusions. The increasing prevalence of K13 mutations was the decisive factor for the recent and rapid decline in efficacy of artemisinin-based combination (MAS3) on the Thailand–Myanmar border. PMID:27313266

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Epitopes of anti-RIFIN antibodies and characterization of rif-expressing Plasmodium falciparum parasites by RNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Ch’ng, Jun-Hong; Sirel, Madle; Zandian, Arash; del Pilar Quintana, Maria; Chun Leung Chan, Sherwin; Moll, Kirsten; Tellgren-Roth, Asa; Nilsson, IngMarie; Nilsson, Peter; Qundos, Ulrika; Wahlgren, Mats

    2017-01-01

    Variable surface antigens of Plasmodium falciparum have been a major research focus since they facilitate parasite sequestration and give rise to deadly malaria complications. Coupled with its potential use as a vaccine candidate, the recent suggestion that the repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) mediate blood group A rosetting and influence blood group distribution has raised the research profile of these adhesins. Nevertheless, detailed investigations into the functions of this highly diverse multigene family remain hampered by the limited number of validated reagents. In this study, we assess the specificities of three promising polyclonal anti-RIFIN antibodies that were IgG-purified from sera of immunized animals. Their epitope regions were mapped using a 175,000-peptide microarray holding overlapping peptides of the P. falciparum variable surface antigens. Through immunoblotting and immunofluorescence imaging, we show that different antibodies give varying results in different applications/assays. Finally, we authenticate the antibody-based detection of RIFINs in two previously uncharacterized non-rosetting parasite lines by identifying the dominant rif transcripts using RNA sequencing. PMID:28233866

  7. Epitopes of anti-RIFIN antibodies and characterization of rif-expressing Plasmodium falciparum parasites by RNA sequencing.

    PubMed

    Ch'ng, Jun-Hong; Sirel, Madle; Zandian, Arash; Del Pilar Quintana, Maria; Chun Leung Chan, Sherwin; Moll, Kirsten; Tellgren-Roth, Asa; Nilsson, IngMarie; Nilsson, Peter; Qundos, Ulrika; Wahlgren, Mats

    2017-02-24

    Variable surface antigens of Plasmodium falciparum have been a major research focus since they facilitate parasite sequestration and give rise to deadly malaria complications. Coupled with its potential use as a vaccine candidate, the recent suggestion that the repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) mediate blood group A rosetting and influence blood group distribution has raised the research profile of these adhesins. Nevertheless, detailed investigations into the functions of this highly diverse multigene family remain hampered by the limited number of validated reagents. In this study, we assess the specificities of three promising polyclonal anti-RIFIN antibodies that were IgG-purified from sera of immunized animals. Their epitope regions were mapped using a 175,000-peptide microarray holding overlapping peptides of the P. falciparum variable surface antigens. Through immunoblotting and immunofluorescence imaging, we show that different antibodies give varying results in different applications/assays. Finally, we authenticate the antibody-based detection of RIFINs in two previously uncharacterized non-rosetting parasite lines by identifying the dominant rif transcripts using RNA sequencing.

  8. How Robust Are Malaria Parasite Clearance Rates as Indicators of Drug Effectiveness and Resistance?

    PubMed Central

    Kay, Katherine

    2015-01-01

    Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are currently the first-line drugs for treating uncomplicated falciparum malaria, the most deadly of the human malarias. Malaria parasite clearance rates estimated from patients' blood following ACT treatment have been widely adopted as a measure of drug effectiveness and as surveillance tools for detecting the presence of potential artemisinin resistance. This metric has not been investigated in detail, nor have its properties or potential shortcomings been identified. Herein, the pharmacology of drug treatment, parasite biology, and human immunity are combined to investigate the dynamics of parasite clearance following ACT. This approach parsimoniously recovers the principal clinical features and dynamics of clearance. Human immunity is the primary determinant of clearance rates, unless or until artemisinin killing has fallen to near-ineffective levels. Clearance rates are therefore highly insensitive metrics for surveillance that may lead to overconfidence, as even quite substantial reductions in drug sensitivity may not be detected as lower clearance rates. Equally serious is the use of clearance rates to quantify the impact of ACT regimen changes, as this strategy will plausibly miss even very substantial increases in drug effectiveness. In particular, the malaria community may be missing the opportunity to dramatically increase ACT effectiveness through regimen changes, particularly through a switch to twice-daily regimens and/or increases in artemisinin dosing levels. The malaria community therefore appears overreliant on a single metric of drug effectiveness, the parasite clearance rate, that has significant and serious shortcomings. PMID:26239987

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  11. Plasmodium falciparum synthetic LbL microparticle vaccine elicits protective neutralizing antibody and parasite-specific cellular immune responses.

    PubMed

    Powell, Thomas J; Tang, Jie; Derome, Mary E; Mitchell, Robert A; Jacobs, Andrea; Deng, Yanhong; Palath, Naveen; Cardenas, Edwin; Boyd, James G; Nardin, Elizabeth

    2013-04-08

    Epitopes of the circumsporozoite (CS) protein of Plasmodium falciparum, the most pathogenic species of the malaria parasite, have been shown to elicit protective immunity in experimental animals and human volunteers. The mechanisms of immunity include parasite-neutralizing antibodies that can inhibit parasite motility in the skin at the site of infection and in the bloodstream during transit to the hepatocyte host cell and also block interaction with host cell receptors on hepatocytes. In addition, specific CD4+ and CD8+ cellular mechanisms target the intracellular hepatic forms, thus preventing release of erythrocytic stage parasites from the infected hepatocyte and the ensuing blood stage cycle responsible for clinical disease. An innovative method for producing particle vaccines, layer-by-layer (LbL) fabrication of polypeptide films on solid CaCO3 cores, was used to produce synthetic malaria vaccines containing a tri-epitope CS peptide T1BT comprising the antibody epitope of the CS repeat region (B) and two T-cell epitopes, the highly conserved T1 epitope and the universal epitope T. Mice immunized with microparticles loaded with T1BT peptide developed parasite-neutralizing antibodies and malaria-specific T-cell responses including cytotoxic effector T-cells. Protection from liver stage infection following challenge with live sporozoites from infected mosquitoes correlated with neutralizing antibody levels. Although some immunized mice with low or undetectable neutralizing antibodies were also protected, depletion of T-cells prior to challenge resulted in the majority of mice remaining resistant to challenge. In addition, mice immunized with microparticles bearing only T-cell epitopes were not protected, demonstrating that cellular immunity alone was not sufficient for protective immunity. Although the microparticles without adjuvant were immunogenic and protective, a simple modification with the lipopeptide TLR2 agonist Pam3Cys increased the potency and

  12. Contrasting Population Structures of the Genes Encoding Ten Leading Vaccine-Candidate Antigens of the Human Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Alyssa E.; Schultz, Lee; Buckee, Caroline O.; Reeder, John C.

    2009-01-01

    The extensive diversity of Plasmodium falciparum antigens is a major obstacle to a broadly effective malaria vaccine but population genetics has rarely been used to guide vaccine design. We have completed a meta-population genetic analysis of the genes encoding ten leading P. falciparum vaccine antigens, including the pre-erythrocytic antigens csp, trap, lsa1 and glurp; the merozoite antigens eba175, ama1, msp's 1, 3 and 4, and the gametocyte antigen pfs48/45. A total of 4553 antigen sequences were assembled from published data and we estimated the range and distribution of diversity worldwide using traditional population genetics, Bayesian clustering and network analysis. Although a large number of distinct haplotypes were identified for each antigen, they were organized into a limited number of discrete subgroups. While the non-merozoite antigens showed geographically variable levels of diversity and geographic restriction of specific subgroups, the merozoite antigens had high levels of diversity globally, and a worldwide distribution of each subgroup. This shows that the diversity of the non-merozoite antigens is organized by physical or other location-specific barriers to gene flow and that of merozoite antigens by features intrinsic to all populations, one important possibility being the immune response of the human host. We also show that current malaria vaccine formulations are based upon low prevalence haplotypes from a single subgroup and thus may represent only a small proportion of the global parasite population. This study demonstrates significant contrasts in the population structure of P. falciparum vaccine candidates that are consistent with the merozoite antigens being under stronger balancing selection than non-merozoite antigens and suggesting that unique approaches to vaccine design will be required. The results of this study also provide a realistic framework for the diversity of these antigens to be incorporated into the design of next

  13. Plasmodium falciparum GFP-E-NTPDase expression at the intraerythrocytic stages and its inhibition blocks the development of the human malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Borges-Pereira, Lucas; Meissner, Kamila Anna; Wrenger, Carsten; Garcia, Célia R S

    2017-03-11

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the most dangerous form of malaria in humans. It has been reported that the P. falciparum genome encodes for a single ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase), an enzyme that hydrolyzes extracellular tri- and di-phosphate nucleotides. The E-NTPDases are known for participating in invasion and as a virulence factor in many pathogenic protozoa. Despite its presence in the parasite genome, currently, no information exists about the activity of this predicted protein. Here, we show for the first time that P. falciparum E-NTPDase is relevant for parasite lifecycle as inhibition of this enzyme impairs the development of P. falciparum within red blood cells (RBCs). ATPase activity could be detected in rings, trophozoites, and schizonts, as well as qRT-PCR, confirming that E-NTPDase is expressed throughout the intraerythrocytic cycle. In addition, transfection of a construct which expresses approximately the first 500 bp of an E-NTPDase-GFP chimera shows that E-NTPDase co-localizes with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in the early stages and with the digestive vacuole (DV) in the late stages of P. falciparum intraerythrocytic cycle.

  14. Clearance of young parasite forms following treatment of falciparum malaria in humans: comparison of three simple mathematical models.

    PubMed Central

    Davis, T. M.; Martin, R. B.

    1997-01-01

    To characterize post-treatment clearance of young forms of Plasmodium falciparum from the blood, three differential equation models, a linear decline, a linear then logarithmic decline, and the Michaelis-Menten (MM) kinetic equation, were fitted to log-transformed serial parasite counts from 30 semi-immune patients with synchronous parasitaemias allocated one of six antimalarial drug regimens. The first two equations were solved analytically. The MM equation was solved numerically using a fifth-order Runge-Kutta method. For each equation, parasite clearance was assumed stochastic and log-transformed parasite counts were assumed to be normally distributed at each time-point. Comparisons between models were by Minimum Akaike Information Criterion Estimate. A constrained MM equation fitted the data at least as well as the other two models in 5 of 6 drug groups and also when pooled data were analysed, providing a single index which could be used in drug efficacy studies in similar situations or as part of more complex models that encompass asynchronous, complicated infections. PMID:9287945

  15. Plasmodium falciparum parasites deploy RhopH2 into the host erythrocyte to obtain nutrients, grow and replicate

    PubMed Central

    Counihan, Natalie A; Chisholm, Scott A; Bullen, Hayley E; Srivastava, Anubhav; Sanders, Paul R; Jonsdottir, Thorey K; Weiss, Greta E; Ghosh, Sreejoyee; Crabb, Brendan S; Creek, Darren J; Gilson, Paul R; de Koning-Ward, Tania F

    2017-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites, the causative agents of malaria, modify their host erythrocyte to render them permeable to supplementary nutrient uptake from the plasma and for removal of toxic waste. Here we investigate the contribution of the rhoptry protein RhopH2, in the formation of new permeability pathways (NPPs) in Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes. We show RhopH2 interacts with RhopH1, RhopH3, the erythrocyte cytoskeleton and exported proteins involved in host cell remodeling. Knockdown of RhopH2 expression in cycle one leads to a depletion of essential vitamins and cofactors and decreased de novo synthesis of pyrimidines in cycle two. There is also a significant impact on parasite growth, replication and transition into cycle three. The uptake of solutes that use NPPs to enter erythrocytes is also reduced upon RhopH2 knockdown. These findings provide direct genetic support for the contribution of the RhopH complex in NPP activity and highlight the importance of NPPs to parasite survival. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23217.001 PMID:28252383

  16. The conserved apicomplexan Aurora kinase TgArk3 is involved in endodyogeny, duplication rate and parasite virulence.

    PubMed

    Berry, Laurence; Chen, Chun-Ti; Reininger, Luc; Carvalho, Teresa G; El Hajj, Hiba; Morlon-Guyot, Juliette; Bordat, Yann; Lebrun, Maryse; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Doerig, Christian; Daher, Wassim

    2016-08-01

    Aurora kinases are eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinases that regulate key events associated with chromatin condensation, centrosome and spindle function and cytokinesis. Elucidating the roles of Aurora kinases in apicomplexan parasites is crucial to understand the cell cycle control during Plasmodium schizogony or Toxoplasma endodyogeny. Here, we report on the localization of two previously uncharacterized Toxoplasma Aurora-related kinases (Ark2 and Ark3) in tachyzoites and of the uncharacterized Ark3 orthologue in Plasmodium falciparum erythrocytic stages. In Toxoplasma gondii, we show that TgArk2 and TgArk3 concentrate at specific sub-cellular structures linked to parasite division: the mitotic spindle and intranuclear mitotic structures (TgArk2), and the outer core of the centrosome and the budding daughter cells cytoskeleton (TgArk3). By tagging the endogenous PfArk3 gene with the green fluorescent protein in live parasites, we show that PfArk3 protein expression peaks late in schizogony and localizes at the periphery of budding schizonts. Disruption of the TgArk2 gene reveals no essential function for tachyzoite propagation in vitro, which is surprising giving that the P. falciparum and P. berghei orthologues are essential for erythrocyte schizogony. In contrast, knock-down of TgArk3 protein results in pronounced defects in parasite division and a major growth deficiency. TgArk3-depleted parasites display several defects, such as reduced parasite growth rate, delayed egress and parasite duplication, defect in rosette formation, reduced parasite size and invasion efficiency and lack of virulence in mice. Our study provides new insights into cell cycle control in Toxoplasma and malaria parasites and highlights Aurora kinase 3 as potential drug target.

  17. Horizontal gene transfer of epigenetic machinery and evolution of parasitism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The acquisition of complex transcriptional regulatory abilities and epigenetic machinery facilitated the transition of the ancestor of apicomplexans from a free-living organism to an obligate parasite. The ability to control sophisticated gene expression patterns enabled these ancient organisms to evolve several differentiated forms, invade multiple hosts and evade host immunity. How these abilities were acquired remains an outstanding question in protistan biology. Results In this work, we study SET domain bearing genes that are implicated in mediating immune evasion, invasion and cytoadhesion pathways of modern apicomplexans, including malaria parasites. We provide the first conclusive evidence of a horizontal gene transfer of a Histone H4 Lysine 20 (H4K20) modifier, Set8, from an animal host to the ancestor of apicomplexans. Set8 is known to contribute to the coordinated expression of genes involved in immune evasion in modern apicomplexans. We also show the likely transfer of a H3K36 methyltransferase (Ashr3 from plants), possibly derived from algal endosymbionts. These transfers appear to date to the transition from free-living organisms to parasitism and coincide with the proposed horizontal acquisition of cytoadhesion domains, the O-glycosyltransferase that modifies these domains, and the primary family of transcription factors found in apicomplexan parasites. Notably, phylogenetic support for these conclusions is robust and the genes clearly are dissimilar to SET sequences found in the closely related parasite Perkinsus marinus, and in ciliates, the nearest free-living organisms with complete genome sequences available. Conclusions Animal and plant sources of epigenetic machinery provide new insights into the evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. Along with the horizontal transfer of cytoadhesive domains, O-linked glycosylation and key transcription factors, the acquisition of SET domain methyltransferases marks a key transitional event in

  18. Identification and molecular characterization of an Alba-family protein from human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Goyal, Manish; Alam, Athar; Iqbal, Mohd Shameel; Dey, Sumanta; Bindu, Samik; Pal, Chinmay; Banerjee, Anindyajit; Chakrabarti, Saikat; Bandyopadhyay, Uday

    2012-01-01

    We have investigated the DNA-binding nature as well as the function of a putative Alba (Acetylation lowers binding affinity) family protein (PfAlba3) from Plasmodium falciparum. PfAlba3 possesses DNA-binding property like Alba family proteins. PfAlba3 binds to DNA sequence non-specifically at the minor groove and acetylation lowers its DNA-binding affinity. The protein is ubiquitously expressed in all the erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum and it exists predominantly in the acetylated form. PfAlba3 inhibits transcription in vitro by binding to DNA. Plasmodium falciparum Sir2 (PfSir2A), a nuclear localized deacetylase interacts with PfAlba3 and deacetylates the lysine residue of N-terminal peptide of PfAlba3 specific for DNA binding. PfAlba3 is localized with PfSir2A in the periphery of the nucleus. Fluorescence in situ hybridization studies revealed the presence of PfAlba3 in the telomeric and subtelomeric regions. ChIP and ChIP ReChIP analyses further confirmed that PfAlba3 binds to the telomeric and subtelomeric regions as well as to var gene promoter. PMID:22006844

  19. Drug resistance and genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from suriname.

    PubMed

    Peek, Ron; VAN Gool, Tom; Panchoe, Daynand; Greve, Sophie; Bus, Ellen; Resida, Lesley

    2005-11-01

    Plasmodium falciparum in Suriname was studied for the presence of drug resistance and genetic variation in blood samples of 86 patients with symptomatic malaria. Drug resistance was predicted by determining point mutations in the chloroquine resistance marker of the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) gene (codon 76) and the pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance markers in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene (codons 16, 51, 59, 108, and 164) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) gene (codons 436, 437, 540, 581, and 613). Genetic variability was determined by sequence analysis of the polymorphic segments of the merozoite surface protein 2 (msp-2) and glutamate-rich protein (glurp) genes. Mutations in the pfcrt, dhps, and dhfr genes were found in all samples tested, suggesting that resistance to chloroquine and antifolate drugs is present at a high frequency. A low number of alleles was found for the msp-2 and glurp genes. This indicates limited genetic diversity and, based on geographic data, a genetically homogeneous P. falciparum population in Suriname.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-12

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

  1. A multiscale Cauchy-Born meshfree model for deformability of red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L. W.; Ademiloye, A. S.; Liew, K. M.

    In normal physiological and healthy conditions, red blood cells (RBCs) deform readily as they pass through the microcapillaries and the spleen, however, upon invasion by the malaria parasite, the host RBC membrane begins to lose their deformability. In spite of the progress in understanding malaria pathogenesis, the primary mechanism responsible for the loss of deformability remains unclear. In this paper, we examine the effects of Plasmodium falciparum infection and maturation on the deformability of parasitized or infected red blood cells (iRBCs) by means of a three-dimensional (3D) multiscale red blood cell (RBC) framework. This multiscale framework is developed based on the Cauchy-Born rule and the meshfree IMLS-Ritz method. The atomistic scale strain energy density function of the RBC membrane was computed using a selected representative cell based on the membrane spectrin network. The results obtained from our numerical simulations affirm that the presence of malaria infection significantly increases the rigidity of RBC membrane. It was observed that in the trophozoite and schizont infection stages, biconcave cell geometry leads to better prediction than nearly spherical geometry in comparison with experimental studies. Furthermore, we confirm that increase in temperature also results to increased stiffening of the cell membrane. Lastly, the observed decrease in the deformability of iRBC membrane may be primarily due to the structural remodeling and changes in the microstructure of the membrane rather than the change in cell shape.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  5. Melatonin-induced temporal up-regulation of gene expression related to ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS) in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Koyama, Fernanda C; Azevedo, Mauro F; Budu, Alexandre; Chakrabarti, Debopam; Garcia, Célia R S

    2014-12-03

    There is an increasing understanding that melatonin and the ubiquitin/ proteasome system (UPS) interact to regulate multiple cellular functions. Post-translational modifications such as ubiquitination are important modulators of signaling processes, cell cycle and many other cellular functions. Previously, we reported a melatonin-induced upregulation of gene expression related to ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS) in Plasmodium falciparum, the human malaria parasite, and that P. falciparum protein kinase 7 influences this process. This implies a role of melatonin, an indolamine, in modulating intraerythrocytic development of the parasite. In this report we demonstrate by qPCR analysis, that melatonin induces gene upregulation in nine out of fourteen genes of the UPS, consisting of the same set of genes previously reported, between 4 to 5 h after melatonin treatment. We demonstrate that melatonin causes a temporally controlled gene expression of UPS members.

  6. Plasmodium falciparum infection rates for some Anopheles spp. from Guinea-Bissau, West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Sanford, Michelle R.; Cornel, Anthony J.; Nieman, Catelyn C.; Dinis, Joao; Marsden, Clare D.; Weakley, Allison M.; Han, Sarah; Rodrigues, Amabelia; Lanzaro, Gregory C.; Lee, Yoosook

    2014-01-01

    Presence of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (CSP) was detected by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in a sample of Anopheles gambiae s.s., A. melas and A. pharoensis collected in Guinea-Bissau during October and November 2009. The percentage of P. falciparum infected samples (10.2% overall; confidence interval (CI): 7.45-13.6%) was comparable to earlier studies from other sites in Guinea-Bissau (9.6-12.4%). The majority of the specimens collected were identified as A. gambiae which had an individual infection rate of 12.6 % (CI: 8.88-17.6) across collection sites. A small number of specimens of A. coluzzii, A. coluzzii x A. gambiae hybrids, A. melas and A. pharoensis were collected and had infection rates of 4.3% (CI:0.98-12.4), 4.1% (CI:0.35-14.5), 11.1% (CI:1.86-34.1) and 33.3% (CI:9.25-70.4) respectively. Despite being present in low numbers in indoor collections, the exophilic feeding behaviors of A. melas (N=18) and A. pharoensis (N=6) and high infection rates observed in this survey suggest falciparum-malaria transmission potential outside of the protection of bed nets. PMID:25383188

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. P. falciparum in vitro killing rates allow to discriminate between different antimalarial mode-of-action.

    PubMed

    Sanz, Laura M; Crespo, Benigno; De-Cózar, Cristina; Ding, Xavier C; Llergo, Jose L; Burrows, Jeremy N; García-Bustos, Jose F; Gamo, Francisco-Javier

    2012-01-01

    Chemotherapy is still the cornerstone for malaria control. Developing drugs against Plasmodium parasites and monitoring their efficacy requires methods to accurately determine the parasite killing rate in response to treatment. Commonly used techniques essentially measure metabolic activity as a proxy for parasite viability. However, these approaches are susceptible to artefacts, as viability and metabolism are two parameters that are coupled during the parasite life cycle but can be differentially affected in response to drug actions. Moreover, traditional techniques do not allow to measure the speed-of-action of compounds on parasite viability, which is an essential efficacy determinant. We present here a comprehensive methodology to measure in vitro the direct effect of antimalarial compounds over the parasite viability, which is based on limiting serial dilution of treated parasites and re-growth monitoring. This methodology allows to precisely determine the killing rate of antimalarial compounds, which can be quantified by the parasite reduction ratio and parasite clearance time, which are key mode-of-action parameters. Importantly, we demonstrate that this technique readily permits to determine compound killing activities that might be otherwise missed by traditional, metabolism-based techniques. The analysis of a large set of antimalarial drugs reveals that this viability-based assay allows to discriminate compounds based on their antimalarial mode-of-action. This approach has been adapted to perform medium throughput screening, facilitating the identification of fast-acting antimalarial compounds, which are crucially needed for the control and possibly the eradication of malaria.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. In Vitro Variant Surface Antigen Expression in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites from a Semi-Immune Individual Is Not Correlated with Var Gene Transcription

    PubMed Central

    Tschan, Serena; Flötenmeyer, Matthias; Koch, Iris; Berger, Jürgen; Kremsner, Peter; Frank, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is considered to be the main variant surface antigen (VSA) of Plasmodium falciparum and is mainly localized on electron-dense knobs in the membrane of the infected erythrocyte. Switches in PfEMP1 expression provide the basis for antigenic variation and are thought to be critical for parasite persistence during chronic infections. Recently, strain transcending anti-PfEMP1 immunity has been shown to develop early in life, challenging the role of PfEMP1 in antigenic variation during chronic infections. In this work we investigate how P. falciparum achieves persistence during a chronic asymptomatic infection. The infected individual (MOA) was parasitemic for 42 days and multilocus var gene genotyping showed persistence of the same parasite population throughout the infection. Parasites from the beginning of the infection were adapted to tissue culture and cloned by limiting dilution. Flow cytometry using convalescent serum detected a variable surface recognition signal on isogenic clonal parasites. Quantitative real-time PCR with a field isolate specific var gene primer set showed that the surface recognition signal was not correlated with transcription of individual var genes. Strain transcending anti-PfEMP1 immunity of the convalescent serum was demonstrated with CD36 selected and PfEMP1 knock-down NF54 clones. In contrast, knock-down of PfEMP1 did not have an effect on the antibody recognition signal in MOA clones. Trypsinisation of the membrane surface proteins abolished the surface recognition signal and immune electron microscopy revealed that antibodies from the convalescent serum bound to membrane areas without knobs and with knobs. Together the data indicate that PfEMP1 is not the main variable surface antigen during a chronic infection and suggest a role for trypsin sensitive non-PfEMP1 VSAs for parasite persistence in chronic infections. PMID:27907004

  12. In Vitro Variant Surface Antigen Expression in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites from a Semi-Immune Individual Is Not Correlated with Var Gene Transcription.

    PubMed

    Bruske, Ellen Inga; Dimonte, Sandra; Enderes, Corinna; Tschan, Serena; Flötenmeyer, Matthias; Koch, Iris; Berger, Jürgen; Kremsner, Peter; Frank, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is considered to be the main variant surface antigen (VSA) of Plasmodium falciparum and is mainly localized on electron-dense knobs in the membrane of the infected erythrocyte. Switches in PfEMP1 expression provide the basis for antigenic variation and are thought to be critical for parasite persistence during chronic infections. Recently, strain transcending anti-PfEMP1 immunity has been shown to develop early in life, challenging the role of PfEMP1 in antigenic variation during chronic infections. In this work we investigate how P. falciparum achieves persistence during a chronic asymptomatic infection. The infected individual (MOA) was parasitemic for 42 days and multilocus var gene genotyping showed persistence of the same parasite population throughout the infection. Parasites from the beginning of the infection were adapted to tissue culture and cloned by limiting dilution. Flow cytometry using convalescent serum detected a variable surface recognition signal on isogenic clonal parasites. Quantitative real-time PCR with a field isolate specific var gene primer set showed that the surface recognition signal was not correlated with transcription of individual var genes. Strain transcending anti-PfEMP1 immunity of the convalescent serum was demonstrated with CD36 selected and PfEMP1 knock-down NF54 clones. In contrast, knock-down of PfEMP1 did not have an effect on the antibody recognition signal in MOA clones. Trypsinisation of the membrane surface proteins abolished the surface recognition signal and immune electron microscopy revealed that antibodies from the convalescent serum bound to membrane areas without knobs and with knobs. Together the data indicate that PfEMP1 is not the main variable surface antigen during a chronic infection and suggest a role for trypsin sensitive non-PfEMP1 VSAs for parasite persistence in chronic infections.

  13. Parasite Rates of Discovery, Global Species Richness and Host Specificity.

    PubMed

    Costello, Mark John

    2016-10-01

    If every metazoan species has at least one host-specific parasite, as several local scale studies have suggested, then half of all species could be parasites. However, host specificity varies significantly depending on host phylogeny, body size, habitat, and geographic distribution. The best studied hosts tend to be vertebrates, larger animals, and/or widespread, and thus have a higher number of parasites and host-specific parasites. Thus, host specificity for these well-known taxa cannot be simply extrapolated to other taxa, notably invertebrates, small sized, and more endemic species, which comprise the major portion of yet to be discovered species. At present, parasites of animals comprise about 5% of named species. This article analyzed the rate of description of several largely parasitic taxa within crustaceans (copepods, amphipods, isopods, pentastomids, cirripeds), marine helminths (nematodes, acanthocephalans, flukes), gastropod molluscs, insects (ticks, fleas, biting flies, strepispterans), and microsporidia. The period of highest discovery has been most recent for the marine helminths and microsporids. The number of people describing parasites has been increasing since the 1960s, as it has for all other taxa. However, the number of species being described per decade relative to the number of authors has been decreasing except for the helminths. The results indicate that more than half of all parasites have been described, and two-thirds of host taxa, although the proportion varies between taxa. It is highly unlikely that the number of named species of parasites will ever approach that of their hosts. This contrast between the proportion that parasites comprise of local and global faunas suggests that parasites are less host specific and more widespread than local scale studies suggest.

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

    PubMed

    Jaganathan, Anitha; Murugan, Kadarkarai; Panneerselvam, Chellasamy; Madhiyazhagan, Pari; Dinesh, Devakumar; Vadivalagan, Chithravel; Aziz, Al Thabiani; Chandramohan, Balamurugan; Suresh, Udaiyan; Rajaganesh, Rajapandian; Subramaniam, Jayapal; Nicoletti, Marcello; Higuchi, Akon; Alarfaj, Abdullah A; Munusamy, Murugan A; Kumar, Suresh; Benelli, Giovanni

    2016-06-01

    The development of parasites and pathogens resistant to synthetic drugs highlighted the needing of novel, eco-friendly and effective control approaches. Recently, metal nanoparticles have been proposed as highly effective tools towards cancer cells and Plasmodium parasites. In this study, we synthesized silver nanoparticles (EW-AgNP) using Eudrilus eugeniae earthworms as reducing and stabilizing agents. EW-AgNP showed plasmon resonance reduction in UV-vis spectrophotometry, the functional groups involved in the reduction were studied by FTIR spectroscopy, while particle size and shape was analyzed by FESEM. The effect of EW-AgNP on in vitro HepG2 cell proliferation was measured using MTT assays. Apoptosis assessed by flow cytometry showed diminished endurance of HepG2 cells and cytotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner. EW-AgNP were toxic to Anopheles stephensi larvae and pupae, LC(50) were 4.8 ppm (I), 5.8 ppm (II), 6.9 ppm (III), 8.5 ppm (IV), and 15.5 ppm (pupae). The antiplasmodial activity of EW-AgNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. EW-AgNP IC(50) were 49.3 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 55.5 μg/ml (CQ-r), while chloroquine IC(50) were 81.5 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 86.5 μg/ml (CQ-r). EW-AgNP showed a valuable antibiotic potential against important pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Concerning non-target effects of EW-AgNP against mosquito natural enemies, the predation efficiency of the mosquitofish Gambusia affinis towards the II and II instar larvae of A. stephensi was 68.50% (II) and 47.00% (III), respectively. In EW-AgNP-contaminated environments, predation was boosted to 89.25% (II) and 70.75% (III), respectively. Overall, this research highlighted the EW-AgNP potential against hepatocellular carcinoma, Plasmodium parasites and mosquito vectors, with little detrimental effects on mosquito natural enemies.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    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

  17. Evaluation of three parasite lactate dehydrogenase-based rapid diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of falciparum and vivax malaria

    PubMed Central

    Ashley, Elizabeth A; Touabi, Malek; Ahrer, Margareta; Hutagalung, Robert; Htun, Khayae; Luchavez, Jennifer; Dureza, Christine; Proux, Stephane; Leimanis, Mara; Lwin, Myo Min; Koscalova, Alena; Comte, Eric; Hamade, Prudence; Page, Anne-Laure; Nosten, François; Guerin, Philippe J

    2009-01-01

    Background In areas where non-falciparum malaria is common rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) capable of distinguishing malaria species reliably are needed. Such tests are often based on the detection of parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH). Methods In Dawei, southern Myanmar, three pLDH based RDTs (CareStart™ Malaria pLDH (Pan), CareStart™ Malaria pLDH (Pan, Pf) and OptiMAL-IT®)were evaluated in patients presenting with clinically suspected malaria. Each RDT was read independently by two readers. A subset of patients with microscopically confirmed malaria had their RDTs repeated on days 2, 7 and then weekly until negative. At the end of the study, samples of study batches were sent for heat stability testing. Results Between August and November 2007, 1004 patients aged between 1 and 93 years were enrolled in the study. Slide microscopy (the reference standard) diagnosed 213 Plasmodium vivax (Pv) monoinfections, 98 Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) mono-infections and no malaria in 650 cases. The sensitivities (sens) and specificities (spec), of the RDTs for the detection of malaria were- CareStart Malaria™ pLDH (Pan) test: sens 89.1% [CI95 84.2-92.6], spec 97.6% [CI95 96.5-98.4] OptiMal-IT®: Pf+/- other species detection: sens 95.2% [CI95 87.5-98.2], spec 94.7% [CI95 93.3-95.8]; non-Pf detection alone: sens 89.6% [CI95 83.6-93.6], spec 96.5% [CI95 94.8-97.7] CareStart Malaria™ pLDH (Pan, Pf): Pf+/- other species: sens 93.5% [CI9585.4-97.3], spec 97.4% [95.9-98.3]; non-Pf: sens 78.5% [CI9571.1-84.4], spec 97.8% [CI95 96.3-98.7] Inter-observer agreement was excellent for all tests (kappa > 0.9). The median time for the RDTs to become negative was two days for the CareStart™ Malaria tests and seven days for OptiMAL-IT®. Tests were heat stable up to 90 days except for OptiMAL-IT® (Pf specific pLDH stable to day 20 at 35°C). Conclusion None of the pLDH-based RDTs evaluated was able to detect non-falciparum malaria with high sensitivity, particularly at low

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

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  2. Identification and localization of ERD2 in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: separation from sites of sphingomyelin synthesis and implications for organization of the Golgi.

    PubMed Central

    Elmendorf, H G; Haldar, K

    1993-01-01

    The ERD2 gene product in mammalian cells and yeast is a receptor required for protein retention in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); immunolocalization studies indicate that the protein is concentrated in the cis Golgi. We have identified a homologue of ERD2 in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum (PfERD2). The deduced protein sequence is 42% identical to mammalian and yeast homologues and bears striking homology in its proposed tertiary structure. PfERD2 is tightly confined to a single focus of staining in the perinuclear region as seen by indirect immunofluorescence. This is redistributed by brefeldin A (BFA) to a diffuse pattern similar to that of parasite BiP, a marker for the ER; removal of the drug results in recovery of the single focus, consistent with the localization of PfERD2 to the parasite Golgi and its participation in a retrograde transport pathway to the ER. Sphingomyelin synthesis is a second resident activity of the cis Golgi whose organization is sensitive to BFA in mammalian cells. Within the parasite it again localizes to a perinuclear region but does not reorganize upon BFA treatment. The results strongly suggest that these two activities are in distinct compartments of the Golgi in the malaria parasite. Images PMID:8223485

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. ATPase activity of Plasmodium falciparum MLH is inhibited by DNA-interacting ligands and dsRNAs of MLH along with UvrD curtail malaria parasite growth.

    PubMed

    Tarique, Mohammed; Chauhan, Manish; Tuteja, Renu

    2016-09-14

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is the major disease burden all over the world. Recently, the situation has deteriorated because the malarial parasites are becoming progressively more resistant to numerous commonly used antimalarial drugs. Thus, there is a critical requirement to find other means to restrict and eliminate malaria. The mismatch repair (MMR) machinery of parasite is quite unique in several ways, and it can be exploited for finding new drug targets. MutL homolog (MLH) is one of the major components of MMR machinery, and along with UvrD, it helps in unwinding the DNA. We have screened several DNA-interacting ligands for their effect on intrinsic ATPase activity of PfMLH protein. This screening suggested that several ligands such as daunorubicin, etoposide, ethidium bromide, netropsin, and nogalamycin are inhibitors of the ATPase activity of PfMLH, and their apparent IC50 values range from 2.1 to 9.35 μM. In the presence of nogalamycin and netropsin, the effect was significant because in their presence, the V max value dropped from 1.024 μM of hydrolyzed ATP/min to 0.596 and 0.643 μM of hydrolyzed ATP/min, respectively. The effect of double-stranded RNAs of PfMLH and PfUvrD on growth of P. falciparum 3D7 strain was studied. The parasite growth was significantly inhibited suggesting that these components belonging to MMR pathway are crucial for the survival of the parasite.

  6. The M17 leucine aminopeptidase of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: importance of active site metal ions in the binding of substrates and inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Maric, Selma; Donnelly, Sheila M; Robinson, Mark W; Skinner-Adams, Tina; Trenholme, Katharine R; Gardiner, Donald L; Dalton, John P; Stack, Colin M; Lowther, Jonathan

    2009-06-16

    The M17 leucine aminopeptidase of the intraerythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfLAP) plays a role in releasing amino acids from host hemoglobin that are used for parasite protein synthesis, growth, and development. This enzyme represents a target at which new antimalarials could be designed since metalloaminopeptidase inhibitors prevent the growth of the parasites in vitro and in vivo. A study on the metal ion binding characteristics of recombinant P. falciparum M17 leucine aminopeptidase (rPfLAP) shows that the active site of this exopeptidase contains two metal-binding sites, a readily exchangeable site (site 1) and a tight binding site (site 2). The enzyme retains activity when the metal ion is removed from site 1, while removal of metal ions from both sites results in an inactive apoenzyme that cannot be reactivated by the addition of divalent metal cations. The metal ion at site 1 is readily exchangeable with several divalent metal ions and displays a preference in the order of preference Zn(2+) > Mn(2+) > Co(2+) > Mg(2+). While it is likely that native PfLAP contains a Zn(2+) in site 2, the metal ion located in site 1 may be dependent on the type and concentration of metal ions in the cytosolic compartment of the parasite. Importantly, the type of metal ion present at site 1 influences not only the catalytic efficiency of the enzyme for peptide substrates but also the mode of binding by bestatin, a metal-chelating inhibitor of M17 aminopeptidases with antimalarial activity.

  7. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from areas of repeated emergence of drug resistant malaria show no evidence of hypermutator phenotype.

    PubMed

    Brown, Tyler S; Jacob, Christopher G; Silva, Joana C; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Djimdé, Abdoulaye; Dondorp, Arjen M; Fukuda, Mark; Noedl, Harald; Nyunt, Myaing Myaing; Kyaw, Myat Phone; Mayxay, Mayfong; Hien, Tran Tinh; Plowe, Christopher V; Cummings, Michael P

    2015-03-01

    Multiple transcontinental waves of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum have originated in Southeast Asia before spreading westward, first into the rest of Asia and then to sub-Saharan Africa. In vitro studies have suggested that hypermutator P. falciparum parasites may exist in Southeast Asia and that an increased rate of acquisition of new mutations in these parasites may explain the repeated emergence of drug resistance in Southeast Asia. This study is the first to test the hypermutator hypothesis using field isolates. Using genome-wide SNP data from human P. falciparum infections in Southeast Asia and West Africa and a test for relative rate differences we found no evidence of increased relative substitution rates in P. falciparum isolates from Southeast Asia. Instead, we found significantly increased substitution rates in Mali and Bangladesh populations relative to those in populations from Southeast Asia. Additionally we found no association between increased relative substitution rates and parasite clearance following treatment with artemisinin derivatives.

  8. 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

  9. Annual Plasmodium falciparum entomological inoculation rates (EIR) across Africa: literature survey, internet access and review

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Simon I.; Rogers, David J.; Toomer, Jonathan F.; Snow, Robert W.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an extensive search of the formal and informal literature on annual Plasmodium falciparum entomological inoculation rates (EIR) across Africa from 1980 onwards. It first describes how the annual EIR data were collated, summarized, neo-referenced and staged for public access on the internet. Problems of data standardization, reporting accuracy and the subsequent publishing of information on the internet follow. The review was conducted primarily to investigate the spatial heterogeneity of malaria exposure in Africa and supports the idea of highly heterogeneous risk at the continental, regional and country levels. The implications for malaria control of the significant spatial (and seasonal) variation in exposure to infected mosquito bites are discussed. PMID:10897348

  10. Evaluation of parasite subpopulations and genetic diversity of the msp1, msp2 and glurp genes during and following artesunate monotherapy treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Western Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite widespread coverage of the emergence of artemisinin resistance, relatively little is known about the parasite populations responsible. The use of PCR genotyping around the highly polymorphic Plasmodium falciparum msp1, msp2 and glurp genes has become well established both to describe variability in alleles within a population of parasites, as well as classify treatment outcome in cases of recurrent disease. The primary objective was to assess the emergence of minority parasite clones during seven days of artesunate (AS) treatment in a location with established artemisinin resistance. An additional objective was to investigate whether the classification of clinical outcomes remained valid when additional genotyping was performed. Methods Blood for parasite genotyping was collected from 143 adult patients presenting with uncomplicated falciparum malaria during a clinical trial of AS monotherapy in Western Cambodia. Nested allelic type-specific amplification of the genes encoding the merozoite surface proteins 1 and 2 (msp1 and msp2) and the glutamate-rich protein (glurp) was performed at baseline, daily during seven days of treatment, and again at failure. Allelic variants were analysed with respect to the size of polymorphisms using Quantity One software to enable identification of polyclonal infections. Results Considerable variation of msp2 alleles but well-conserved msp1 and glurp were identified. At baseline, 31% of infections were polyclonal for one or more genes. Patients with recurrent malaria were significantly more likely to have polyclonal infections than patients without recurrence (seven of nine versus 36 of 127, p = 0.004). Emergence of minority alleles during treatment was detected in only one of twenty-three cases defined as being artemisinin resistant. Moreover, daily genotyping did not alter the final outcome classification in any recurrent cases. Conclusions The parasites responsible for artemisinin-resistant malaria in a

  11. Generation of rodent malaria parasites with a high mutation rate by destructing proofreading activity of DNA polymerase δ.

    PubMed

    Honma, Hajime; Hirai, Makoto; Nakamura, Shota; Hakimi, Hassan; Kawazu, Shin-Ichiro; Palacpac, Nirianne M Q; Hisaeda, Hajime; Matsuoka, Hiroyuki; Kawai, Satoru; Endo, Hiroyoshi; Yasunaga, Teruo; Ohashi, Jun; Mita, Toshihiro; Horii, Toshihiro; Furusawa, Mitsuru; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2014-08-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria imposes a serious public health concern throughout the tropics. Although genetic tools are principally important to fully investigate malaria parasites, currently available forward and reverse tools are fairly limited. It is expected that parasites with a high mutation rate can readily acquire novel phenotypes/traits; however, they remain an untapped tool for malaria biology. Here, we generated a mutator malaria parasite (hereinafter called a 'malaria mutator'), using site-directed mutagenesis and gene transfection techniques. A mutator Plasmodium berghei line with a defective proofreading 3' → 5' exonuclease activity in DNA polymerase δ (referred to as PbMut) and a control P. berghei line with wild-type DNA polymerase δ (referred to as PbCtl) were maintained by weekly passage in ddY mice for 122 weeks. High-throughput genome sequencing analysis revealed that two PbMut lines had 175-178 mutations and a 86- to 90-fold higher mutation rate than that of a PbCtl line. PbMut, PbCtl, and their parent strain, PbWT, showed similar course of infection. Interestingly, PbMut lost the ability to form gametocytes during serial passages. We believe that the malaria mutator system could provide a novel and useful tool to investigate malaria biology.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-02

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

  14. The Limits and Intensity of Plasmodium falciparum Transmission: Implications for Malaria Control and Elimination Worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Guerra, Carlos A; Gikandi, Priscilla W; Tatem, Andrew J; Noor, Abdisalan M; Smith, Dave L; Hay, Simon I; Snow, Robert W

    2008-01-01

    Background The efficient allocation of financial resources for malaria control using appropriate combinations of interventions requires accurate information on the geographic distribution of malaria risk. An evidence-based description of the global range of Plasmodium falciparum malaria and its endemicity has not been assembled in almost 40 y. This paper aims to define the global geographic distribution of P. falciparum malaria in 2007 and to provide a preliminary description of its transmission intensity within this range. Methods and Findings The global spatial distribution of P. falciparum malaria was generated using nationally reported case-incidence data, medical intelligence, and biological rules of transmission exclusion, using temperature and aridity limits informed by the bionomics of dominant Anopheles vector species. A total of 4,278 spatially unique cross-sectional survey estimates of P. falciparum parasite rates were assembled. Extractions from a population surface showed that 2.37 billion people lived in areas at any risk of P. falciparum transmission in 2007. Globally, almost 1 billion people lived under unstable, or extremely low, malaria risk. Almost all P. falciparum parasite rates above 50% were reported in Africa in a latitude band consistent with the distribution of Anopheles gambiae s.s. Conditions of low parasite prevalence were also common in Africa, however. Outside of Africa, P. falciparum malaria prevalence is largely hypoendemic (less than 10%), with the median below 5% in the areas surveyed. Conclusions This new map is a plausible representation of the current extent of P. falciparum risk and the most contemporary summary of the population at risk of P. falciparum malaria within these limits. For 1 billion people at risk of unstable malaria transmission, elimination is epidemiologically feasible, and large areas of Africa are more amenable to control than appreciated previously. The release of this information in the public domain will

  15. Analysis of P-glycoprotein expression in purified parasite plasma membrane and food vacuole from Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Elandaloussi, Laurence M; Lindt, Meinrad; Collins, Malcolm; Smith, Peter J

    2006-11-01

    A P-glycoprotein homologue (Pgh1) is believed to play a role in modulating levels of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. To study the role of Pgh1 in the mechanism of chloroquine (CQ) resistance, antisera were raised against this protein. There was no direct association between the level of Pgh1 expression and chloroquine sensitivity. We also failed to detect phosphorylation of Pgh1 in the food vacuole (FV), suggesting that other mechanisms regulate the chloroquine-resistant (CQR) phenotype. Therefore, high levels of expression of Pgh1 or phosphorylation of this protein in the FV could not account for CQ sensitivity. In addition, the lack of inhibition of CQ accumulation by anti-Pgh1 antibodies suggests that Pgh1 is not involved as a CQ transporter in the plasma membrane of P. falciparum. Furthermore, resistance reversers do not appear to act at the plasma membrane level.

  16. A systematic map of genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Kidgell, Claire; Volkman, Sarah K; Daily, Johanna; Borevitz, Justin O; Plouffe, David; Zhou, Yingyao; Johnson, Jeffrey R; Le Roch, Karine; Sarr, Ousmane; Ndir, Omar; Mboup, Soulyemane; Batalov, Serge; Wirth, Dyann F; Winzeler, Elizabeth A

    2006-06-01

    Discovering novel genes involved in immune evasion and drug resistance in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is of critical importance to global health. Such knowledge may assist in the development of new effective vaccines and in the appropriate use of antimalarial drugs. By performing a full-genome scan of allelic variability in 14 field and laboratory strains of P. falciparum, we comprehensively identified approximately 500 genes evolving at higher than neutral rates. The majority of the most variable genes have paralogs within the P. falciparum genome and may be subject to a different evolutionary clock than those without. The group of 211 variable genes without paralogs contains most known immunogens and a few drug targets, consistent with the idea that the human immune system and drug use is driving parasite evolution. We also reveal gene-amplification events including one surrounding pfmdr1, the P. falciparum multidrug-resistance gene, and a previously uncharacterized amplification centered around the P. falciparum GTP cyclohydrolase gene, the first enzyme in the folate biosynthesis pathway. Although GTP cyclohydrolase is not the known target of any current drugs, downstream members of the pathway are targeted by several widely used antimalarials. We speculate that an amplification of the GTP cyclohydrolase enzyme in the folate biosynthesis pathway may increase flux through this pathway and facilitate parasite resistance to antifolate drugs.

  17. Parasitic plants have increased rates of molecular evolution across all three genomes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Theoretical models and experimental evidence suggest that rates of molecular evolution could be raised in parasitic organisms compared to non-parasitic taxa. Parasitic plants provide an ideal test for these predictions, as there are at least a dozen independent origins of the parasitic lifestyle in angiosperms. Studies of a number of parasitic plant lineages have suggested faster rates of molecular evolution, but the results of some studies have been mixed. Comparative analysis of all parasitic plant lineages, including sequences from all three genomes, is needed to examine the generality of the relationship between rates of molecular evolution and parasitism in plants. Results We analysed DNA sequence data from the mitochondrial, nuclear and chloroplast genomes for 12 independent evolutionary origins of parasitism in angiosperms. We demonstrated that parasitic lineages have a faster rate of molecular evolution than their non-parasitic relatives in sequences for all three genomes, for both synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions. Conclusions Our results prove that raised rates of molecular evolution are a general feature of parasitic plants, not confined to a few taxa or specific genes. We discuss possible causes for this relationship, including increased positive selection associated with host-parasite arms races, relaxed selection, reduced population size or repeated bottlenecks, increased mutation rates, and indirect causal links with generation time and body size. We find no evidence that faster rates are due to smaller effective populations sizes or changes in selection pressure. Instead, our results suggest that parasitic plants have a higher mutation rate than their close non-parasitic relatives. This may be due to a direct connection, where some aspect of the parasitic lifestyle drives the evolution of raised mutation rates. Alternatively, this pattern may be driven by an indirect connection between rates and parasitism: for example, parasitic

  18. A flow cytometry-based assay for measuring invasion of red blood cells by Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Bei, Amy K; Desimone, Tiffany M; Badiane, Aida S; Ahouidi, Ambroise D; Dieye, Tandakha; Ndiaye, Daouda; Sarr, Ousmane; Ndir, Omar; Mboup, Souleymane; Duraisingh, Manoj T

    2010-04-01

    Variability in the ability of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to invade human erythrocytes is postulated to be an important determinant of disease severity. Both the parasite multiplication rate and erythrocyte selectivity are important parameters that underlie such variable invasion. We have established a flow cytometry-based method for simultaneously calculating both the parasitemia and the number of multiply-infected erythrocytes. Staining with the DNA-specific dye SYBR Green I allows quantitation of parasite invasion at the ring stage of parasite development. We discuss in vitro and in vivo applications and limitations of this method in relation to the study of parasite invasion.

  19. 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.

  20. Fishing out marine parasites? Impacts of fishing on rates of parasitism in the ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Chelsea L.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Micheli, Fiorenza

    2010-01-01

    Among anthropogenic effects on the ocean, fishing is one of the most pervasive and extends deepest into the past. Because fishing reduces the density of fish (reducing transmission efficiency of directly transmitted parasites), selectively removes large fish (which tend to carry more parasites than small fish), and reduces food web complexity (reducing transmission efficiency of trophically transmitted parasites), the removal of fish from the world’s oceans over the course of hundreds of years may be driving a long-term, global decline in fish parasites. There has been growing recognition in recent years that parasites are a critical part of biodiversity and that their loss could substantially alter ecosystem function. Such a loss may be among the last major ecological effects of industrial fishing to be recognized by scientists.

  1. Combinatorial Genetic Modeling of pfcrt-Mediated Drug Resistance Evolution in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Gabryszewski, Stanislaw J; Modchang, Charin; Musset, Lise; Chookajorn, Thanat; Fidock, David A

    2016-06-01

    The emergence of drug resistance continuously threatens global control of infectious diseases, including malaria caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum A critical parasite determinant is the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT), the primary mediator of chloroquine (CQ) resistance (CQR), and a pleiotropic modulator of susceptibility to several first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy partner drugs. Aside from the validated CQR molecular marker K76T, P. falciparum parasites have acquired at least three additional pfcrt mutations, whose contributions to resistance and fitness have been heretofore unclear. Focusing on the quadruple-mutant Ecuadorian PfCRT haplotype Ecu1110 (K76T/A220S/N326D/I356L), we genetically modified the pfcrt locus of isogenic, asexual blood stage P. falciparum parasites using zinc-finger nucleases, producing all possible combinations of intermediate pfcrt alleles. Our analysis included the related quintuple-mutant PfCRT haplotype 7G8 (Ecu1110 + C72S) that is widespread throughout South America and the Western Pacific. Drug susceptibilities and in vitro growth profiles of our combinatorial pfcrt-modified parasites were used to simulate the mutational trajectories accessible to parasites as they evolved CQR. Our results uncover unique contributions to parasite drug resistance and growth for mutations beyond K76T and predict critical roles for the CQ metabolite monodesethyl-CQ and the related quinoline-type drug amodiaquine in driving mutant pfcrt evolution. Modeling outputs further highlight the influence of parasite proliferation rates alongside gains in drug resistance in dictating successful trajectories. Our findings suggest that P. falciparum parasites have navigated constrained pfcrt adaptive landscapes by means of probabilistically rare mutational bursts that led to the infrequent emergence of pfcrt alleles in the field.

  2. Geographic variation in parasitism rates of two sympatric cuckoo hosts in China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Can-Chao; Li, Dong-Lai; Wang, Long-Wu; Liang, Guo-Xian; Zhang, Zheng-Wang; Liang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Rates of brood parasitism vary extensively among host species and populations of a single host species. In this study, we documented and compared parasitism rates of two sympatric hosts, the Oriental Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus orientalis) and the Reed Parrotbill (Paradoxornis heudei), in three populations in China. We found that the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is the only parasite using both the Oriental Reed Warbler and Reed Parrotbill as hosts, with a parasitism rate of 22.4%-34.3% and 0%-4.6%, respectively. The multiple parasitism rates were positively correlated with local parasitism rates across three geographic populations of Oriental Reed Warbler, which implies that higher pressure of parasitism lead to higher multiple parasitism rate. Furthermore, only one phenotype of cuckoo eggs was found in the nests of these two host species. Our results lead to two conclusions: (1) The Oriental Reed Warbler should be considered the major host of Common Cuckoo in our study sites; and (2) obligate parasitism on Oriental Reed Warbler by Common Cuckoo is specialized but flexible to some extent, i.e., using Reed Parrotbill as a secondary host. Further studies focusing on egg recognition and rejection behaviour of these two host species should be conducted to test our predictions.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Interaction of Silver Nanoparticles with Triosephosphate Isomerase from Human and Malarial Parasite (Plasmodium falciparum): A Comparative Study.

    PubMed

    De Moor, W; van Marwijk, J; Wilhelmi, B S; Whiteley, C G

    2015-06-01

    Recombinant triosephosphate isomerase from Plasmodium falciparum (PfTIM) and humans (hTIM) were expressed, purified and characterised. High specific activity (1207 U x mg(-1)) with a fold purification of -1.8 and a yield of 48% were obtained for hTIM after gel filtration while, in contrast PfTIM afforded a specific activity of 1387 U x mg(-1) with a fold purification of -6.8 and a yield of 57% after gel filtration and prior to dialysis. PfTIM had an optimal pH and temperature, K(m) and V(max) of 5.25, 25 degrees C, 12.8 mM and 1.13 μmol x mL(-1) min(-1) respectively while for hTIM the pH and temperature optima, K(m) and V(max) were 6.75, 30 degrees C; 8.2 mM and 1.35 μmol x ml(-1) min(-1). Polyvinylpyrrolidone stabilised silver nanoparticles (60 nM; 2-6 nm diameter) selectively inhibited PfTIM with a 7-fold decrease in enzyme catalytic efficiency (K(cat)/K(m)) over hTIM. Respective K(i) values were 283 nM [hTIM] and 85.7 nM [PfTIM]. Key structural differences between the two enzyme variants, especially with Cys13 at the dimer interface of PfTIM, were significant enough to suggest unique characteristics allowing for selective targeting of PfTIM by AgNPs.

  7. Parasite-specific lactate dehydrogenase for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection in an endemic area in west Uganda.

    PubMed

    Jelinek, T; Kilian, A H; Henk, M; Mughusu, E B; Nothdurft, H D; Löscher, T; Knobloch, J; Van Sonnenburg, F

    1996-04-01

    The measurement of parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) has been presented as an easy and rapid method for the diagnosis of malaria in humans. In order to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of such a test we examined blood samples from 429 Ugandan patients. While pLDH activity was significantly linked to parasitaemia, sensitivity and specificity were found to be rather low at 58.8 and 62.2% respectively. The positive and negative predictive values failed to meet necessary standards. We conclude that the methods of measurement of pLDH activity in malaria infection, although potentially useful for the fast diagnosis of malaria, need to be improved to be of true value in endemic areas.

  8. Host-parasite coevolution and optimal mutation rates for semiconservative quasispecies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumer, Yisroel; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2004-06-01

    In this paper, we extend a model of host-parasite coevolution to incorporate the semiconservative nature of DNA replication for both the host and the parasite. We find that the optimal mutation rate for the semiconservative and conservative hosts converge for realistic genome lengths, thus maintaining the admirable agreement between theory and experiment found previously for the conservative model and justifying the conservative approximation in some cases. We demonstrate that, while the optimal mutation rate for a conservative and semiconservative parasite interacting with a given immune system is similar to that of a conservative parasite, the properties away from this optimum differ significantly. We suspect that this difference, coupled with the requirement that a parasite optimize survival in a range of viable hosts, may help explain why semiconservative viruses are known to have significantly lower mutation rates than their conservative counterparts.

  9. Pseudacteon decapitating fly parasitism rates in fire ant colonies around Gainesville, Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to assess the impacts of phorid flies on fire ants in the Gainesville area, we collected 3 g of worker ants from 36 colonies. A total of 672 parasitized workers were recovered from the 36 colony samples. Confirmed parasitism rates ranged from 0-5% with an average of about 0.5%. Including c...

  10. The evolution of mutation rate in an antagonistic coevolutionary model with maternal transmission of parasites.

    PubMed

    Greenspoon, Philip B; M'Gonigle, Leithen K

    2013-06-22

    By constantly selecting for novel genotypes, coevolution between hosts and parasites can favour elevated mutation rates. Models of this process typically assume random encounters. However, offspring are often more likely to encounter their mother's parasites. Because parents and offspring are genetically similar, they may be susceptible to the same parasite strains and thus, in hosts, maternal transmission should select for mechanisms that decrease intergenerational genetic similarity. In parasites, however, maternal transmission should select for genetic similarity. We develop and analyse a model of host and parasite mutation rate evolution when parasites are maternally inherited. In hosts, we find that maternal transmission has two opposing effects. First, it eliminates coevolutionary cycles that previous work shows select for higher mutation. Second, it independently selects for higher mutation rates, because offspring that differ from their mothers are more likely to avoid infection. In parasites, however, the two effects of maternal transmission act in the same direction. As for hosts, maternal transmission eliminates coevolutionary cycles, thereby reducing selection for increased mutation. Unlike for hosts, however, maternal transmission additionally selects against higher mutation by favouring parasite offspring that are the same as their mothers.

  11. The effects of plant dispersion and prey density on parasitism rates in a naturally patchy habitat.

    PubMed

    Doak, P

    2000-03-01

    Despite extensive research on parasitoid-prey interactions and especially the effects of heterogeneity in parasitism on stability, sources of heterogeneity other than prey density have been little investigated. This research examines parasitism rates by three parasitoid species in relationship to prey density and habitat spatial pattern. The herbivore Itame andersoni (Geometridae) inhabits a subdivided habitat created by patches of its host plant, Dryas drummondii, in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. Dryas colonizes glacial moraines and spreads clonally to form distinct patches. Habitat subdivision occurs both on the patch scale and on the larger spatial scale of sites due to patchy successional patterns. Itame is attacked by three parasitoids: an ichneumonid wasp (Campoletis sp.), a braconid wasp (Aleiodes n. sp.), and the tachinid fly (Phyrxe pecosensis). I performed a large survey study at five distinct sites and censused Itame density and parasitism rates in 206 plant patches for 1-3 years. Parasitism rates varied with both plant patch size and isolation and also between sites, and the highest rates of overall parasitism were in the smallest patches. However, the effects of both small- and large-scale heterogeneity on parasitism differed for the three parasitoid species. There was weak evidence that Itame density was positively correlated with parasitism for the braconid and tachinid at the patch scale, but density effects differed for different patch sizes, patch isolations, and sites. At the site scale, there was no evidence of positive, but some indication of negative density-dependent parasitism. These patterns do not appear to be driven by negative interactions between the three parasitoid species, but reflect, rather, individual differences in habitat use and response to prey density. Finally, there was no evidence that parasitism strongly impacted the population dynamics of Itame. These results demonstrate the importance of considering habitat pattern

  12. Plasmodium falciparum responds to amino acid starvation by entering into a hibernatory state.

    PubMed

    Babbitt, Shalon E; Altenhofen, Lindsey; Cobbold, Simon A; Istvan, Eva S; Fennell, Clare; Doerig, Christian; Llinás, Manuel; Goldberg, Daniel E

    2012-11-20

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is auxotrophic for most amino acids. Its amino acid needs are met largely through the degradation of host erythrocyte hemoglobin; however the parasite must acquire isoleucine exogenously, because this amino acid is not present in adult human hemoglobin. We report that when isoleucine is withdrawn from the culture medium of intraerythrocytic P. falciparum, the parasite slows its metabolism and progresses through its developmental cycle at a reduced rate. Isoleucine-starved parasites remain viable for 72 h and resume rapid growth upon resupplementation. Protein degradation during starvation is important for maintenance of this hibernatory state. Microarray analysis of starved parasites revealed a 60% decrease in the rate of progression through the normal transcriptional program but no other apparent stress response. Plasmodium parasites do not possess a TOR nutrient-sensing pathway and have only a rudimentary amino acid starvation-sensing eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) stress response. Isoleucine deprivation results in GCN2-mediated phosphorylation of eIF2α, but kinase-knockout clones still are able to hibernate and recover, indicating that this pathway does not directly promote survival during isoleucine starvation. We conclude that P. falciparum, in the absence of canonical eukaryotic nutrient stress-response pathways, can cope with an inconsistent bloodstream amino acid supply by hibernating and waiting for more nutrient to be provided.

  13. Biochemical and functional characterization of Plasmodium falciparum GTP cyclohydrolase I

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Antifolates are currently in clinical use for malaria preventive therapy and treatment. The drugs kill the parasites by targeting the enzymes in the de novo folate pathway. The use of antifolates has now been limited by the spread of drug-resistant mutations. GTP cyclohydrolase I (GCH1) is the first and the rate-limiting enzyme in the folate pathway. The amplification of the gch1 gene found in certain Plasmodium falciparum isolates can cause antifolate resistance and influence the course of antifolate resistance evolution. These findings showed the importance of P. falciparum GCH1 in drug resistance intervention. However, little is known about P. falciparum GCH1 in terms of kinetic parameters and functional assays, precluding the opportunity to obtain the key information on its catalytic reaction and to eventually develop this enzyme as a drug target. Methods Plasmodium falciparum GCH1 was cloned and expressed in bacteria. Enzymatic activity was determined by the measurement of fluorescent converted neopterin with assay validation by using mutant and GTP analogue. The genetic complementation study was performed in ∆folE bacteria to functionally identify the residues and domains of P. falciparum GCH1 required for its enzymatic activity. Plasmodial GCH1 sequences were aligned and structurally modeled to reveal conserved catalytic residues. Results Kinetic parameters and optimal conditions for enzymatic reactions were determined by the fluorescence-based assay. The inhibitor test against P. falciparum GCH1 is now possible as indicated by the inhibitory effect by 8-oxo-GTP. Genetic complementation was proven to be a convenient method to study the function of P. falciparum GCH1. A series of domain truncations revealed that the conserved core domain of GCH1 is responsible for its enzymatic activity. Homology modelling fits P. falciparum GCH1 into the classic Tunnelling-fold structure with well-conserved catalytic residues at the active site. Conclusions

  14. Global Dynamics of a Parasite-Host Model with Nonlinear Incidence Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yilei

    The paper is concerned with the effect of a nonlinear incidence rate Sp Iq on dynamical behaviors of a parasite-host model. It is shown that the global attractor of the parasite-host model is an equilibrium if q = 1, which is similar to that of the parasite-host model with a nonlinear incidence rate of the fractional function (SI)/(S+I). However, when q is greater than one, more positive equilibria appear and limit cycles arise from Hopf bifurcations at the positive equilibria for the model with the incidence rate Sp Iq. It reveals that the nonlinear incidence rate of the exponential function Sp Iq for generic p and q can lead to more complicated and richer dynamics than the bilinear incidence rate or the fractional incidence rate for this model.

  15. Seroprevalence rates of antibodies against Leishmania infantum and other protozoan and rickettsial parasites in dogs.

    PubMed

    Paulan, Silvana de Cássia; Lins, Aline Gouveia de Souza; Tenório, Michely da Silva; Silva, Diogo Tiago da; Pena, Hilda Fátima de Jesus; Machado, Rosangela Zacarias; Gennari, Solange Maria; Buzetti, Wilma Aparecida Starke

    2013-01-01

    Canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) is caused by the protozoan Leishmania infantum, which infects dogs and humans in many regions of Brazil. The present study involved an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) to analyze L. infantum, Ehrlichia spp., Babesia canis, Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum infection rates in serum samples from 93 dogs in a rural settlement in Ilha Solteira, SP, Brazil. The seroprevalence rates of anti-L. infantum, anti-Ehrlichia, anti-B. canis, anti-T. gondii and anti-N. caninum antibodies were 37.6%, 75.3%, 72%, 47.3% and 6.4%, respectively. In addition to IFAT, direct microscopic examination of popliteal lymph node aspirates revealed 26.9% of CVL positive dogs. Serological tests revealed that 17.2% of the dogs were seropositive for a single parasite, 29% for two parasites, 33% for three, 16.1% for four, and 1.1% for five parasites, while 3.2% were seronegative for five parasites. The presence of antibodies against these parasites in serum samples from dogs confirmed their exposure to these parasites in this rural area. Because of the potential zoonotic risk of these diseases, mainly leishmaniasis, ehrlichiosis and toxoplasmosis, special attention should focus on programs for the improvement of diagnostic assays and control measures against these parasites.

  16. Parasite infection rates of impala (Aepyceros melampus) in fenced game reserves in relation to reserve characteristics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ezenwa, V.O.

    2004-01-01

    Under certain conditions reserves can pose a threat to wildlife conservation by increasing the transmission of parasites and pathogens. In this study, I investigated associations between reserve characteristics including area, density and species richness and parasite infection rates in impala (Aepyceros melampus). Using coprological methods to measure gastrointestinal parasitism rates of impala inhabiting five fully or partially fenced game reserves in central Kenya, I found that bovid species richness was correlated with parasite taxa richness across reserves, and that prevalence rates of multi-host strongyle nematodes were higher in reserves with more species. In addition, reserve size was also implicated as a potential predictor of infection risk. Overall, these results suggest that wildlife inhabiting highly diverse and small reserves may suffer from higher than normal rates of infection. Given the potential debilitating effects increases in parasitism can have on wildlife, these results underscore the importance of considering parasite transmission dynamics in the management of small, fenced protected areas. ?? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Mosquito Vectors and the Globalization of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    PubMed

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Zilversmit, Martine M; Neafsey, Daniel E; Hartl, Daniel L; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2016-11-23

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a devastating public health problem. Recent discoveries have shed light on the origin and evolution of Plasmodium parasites and their interactions with their vertebrate and mosquito hosts. P. falciparum malaria originated in Africa from a single horizontal transfer between an infected gorilla and a human, and became global as the result of human migration. Today, P. falciparum malaria is transmitted worldwide by more than 70 different anopheline mosquito species. Recent studies indicate that the mosquito immune system can be a barrier to malaria transmission and that the P. falciparum Pfs47 gene allows the parasite to evade mosquito immune detection. Here, we review the origin and globalization of P. falciparum and integrate this history with analysis of the biology, evolution, and dispersal of the main mosquito vectors. This new perspective broadens our understanding of P. falciparum population structure and the dispersal of important parasite genetic traits.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Comparison of modeling methods to determine liver-to-blood inocula and parasite multiplication rates during controlled human malaria infection.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Alexander D; Edwards, Nick J; Duncan, Christopher J A; Thompson, Fiona M; Sheehy, Susanne H; O'Hara, Geraldine A; Anagnostou, Nicholas; Walther, Michael; Webster, Daniel P; Dunachie, Susanna J; Porter, David W; Andrews, Laura; Gilbert, Sarah C; Draper, Simon J; Hill, Adrian V S; Bejon, Philip

    2013-07-15

    Controlled human malaria infection is used to measure efficacy of candidate malaria vaccines before field studies are undertaken. Mathematical modeling using data from quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) parasitemia monitoring can discriminate between vaccine effects on the parasite's liver and blood stages. Uncertainty regarding the most appropriate modeling method hinders interpretation of such trials. We used qPCR data from 267 Plasmodium falciparum infections to compare linear, sine-wave, and normal-cumulative-density-function models. We find that the parameters estimated by these models are closely correlated, and their predictive accuracy for omitted data points was similar. We propose that future studies include the linear model.

  20. Antimalarial Activity of KAF156 in Falciparum and Vivax Malaria

    PubMed Central

    White, Nicholas J.; Duong, Tran T.; Uthaisin, Chirapong; Nosten, François; Phyo, Aung P.; Hanboonkunupakarn, Borimas; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Jittamala, Podjanee; Chuthasmit, Kittiphum; Cheung, Ming S.; Feng, Yiyan; Li, Ruobing; Magnusson, Baldur; Sultan, Marc; Wieser, Daniela; Xun, Xiaolei; Zhao, Rong; Diagana, Thierry T.; Pertel, Peter; Leong, F. Joel

    2016-01-01

    Background KAF156 belongs to a new class of antimalarial agents (imidazolopiperazines), with activity against asexual and sexual blood stages and the preerythrocytic liver stages of malarial parasites. Methods We conducted a phase 2, open-label, two-part study at five centers in Thailand and Vietnam to assess the antimalarial efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetic profile of KAF156 in adults with acute Plasmodium vivax or P. falciparum malaria. Assessment of parasite clearance rates in cohorts of patients with vivax or falciparum malaria who were treated with multiple doses (400 mg once daily for 3 days) was followed by assessment of the cure rate at 28 days in a separate cohort of patients with falciparum malaria who received a single dose (800 mg). Results Median parasite clearance times were 45 hours (interquartile range, 42 to 48) in 10 patients with falciparum malaria and 24 hours (interquartile range, 20 to 30) in 10 patients with vivax malaria after treatment with the multiple-dose regimen and 49 hours (interquartile range, 42 to 54) in 21 patients with falciparum malaria after treatment with the single dose. Among the 21 patients who received the single dose and were followed for 28 days, 1 had reinfection and 7 had recrudescent infections (cure rate, 67%; 95% credible interval, 46 to 84). The mean (±SD) KAF156 terminal elimination half-life was 44.1±8.9 hours. There were no serious adverse events in this small study. The most common adverse events included sinus bradycardia, thrombocytopenia, hypokalemia, anemia, and hyperbilirubinemia. Vomiting of grade 2 or higher occurred in 2 patients, 1 of whom discontinued treatment because of repeated vomiting after receiving the single 800-mg dose. More adverse events were reported in the single-dose cohort, which had longer follow-up, than in the multiple-dose cohorts. Conclusions KAF156 showed antimalarial activity without evident safety concerns in a small number of adults with uncomplicated P. vivax or P

  1. Effects of untreated bed nets on the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax and Wuchereria bancrofti in Papua New Guinea.

    PubMed

    Burkot, T R; Garner, P; Paru, R; Dagoro, H; Barnes, A; McDougall, S; Wirtz, R A; Campbell, G; Spark, R

    1990-01-01

    The impact of untreated bed nets on the transmission of human malaria and filariasis in a village in a hyperendemic area of Papua New Guinea was studied. In anopheline mosquitoes, the Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite antigen positivity rate, filarial infection rates and human blood indices dropped significantly after bed nets were introduced. This reduction in human-vector contact did not affect mosquito density as no significant difference in either landing rates or indoor resting catches was found. The number of bed nets in a house and ownership of dogs were factors significantly associated with a reduction in the number of indoor resting mosquitoes. However, the reduction in the P. falciparum sporozoite antigen rate in mosquitoes was not accompanied by a reduction in either malaria parasite or antibody prevalences or titres against the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein.

  2. Predation and Parasitism Rates on Sentinel and Naturally Occurring Egg Masses of the Squash Bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae) in Maryland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seasonal changes in egg predation and parasitism rates on sentinel and naturally occurring (wild) egg masses of the squash bug, Anasa tristis (DeGeer), were evaluated in squash fields in Maryland from June through September in 2013 and 2014. Rates of egg predation and parasitism were significantly ...

  3. Expressed var gene repertoire and variant surface antigen diversity in a shrinking Plasmodium falciparum population.

    PubMed

    Carlos, Bianca C; Fotoran, Wesley L; Menezes, Maria J; Cabral, Fernanda J; Bastos, Marcele F; Costa, Fabio T M; Sousa-Neto, Jayme A; Ribolla, Paulo E M; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Ferreira, Marcelo U

    2016-11-01

    The var gene-encoded erythrocyte membrane protein-1 of Plasmodium falciparum (PfEMP-1) is the main variant surface antigen (VSA) expressed on infected erythrocytes. The rate at which antibody responses to VSA expressed by circulating parasites are acquired depends on the size of the local VSA repertoire and the frequency of exposure to new VSA. Because parasites from areas with declining malaria endemicity, such as the Amazon, typically express a restricted PfEMP-1 repertoire, we hypothesized that Amazonians would rapidly acquire antibodies to most locally circulating VSA. Consistent with our expectations, the analysis of 5878 sequence tags expressed by 10 local P. falciparum samples revealed little PfEMP-1 DBL1α domain diversity. Among the most commonly expressed DBL1α types, 45% were shared by two or more independent parasite lines. Nevertheless, Amazonians displayed major gaps in their repertoire of anti-VSA antibodies, although the breadth of anti-VSA antibody responses correlated positively with their cumulative exposure to malaria. We found little antibody cross-reactivity even when testing VSA from related parasites expressing the same dominant DBL1α types. We conclude that variant-specific immunity to P. falciparum VSAs develops slowly despite the relatively restricted PfEMP-1 repertoire found in low-endemicity settings.

  4. Prospective risk of morbidity in relation to multiplicity of infection with Plasmodium falciparum in São Tomé.

    PubMed

    Müller, D A; Charlwood, J D; Felger, I; Ferreira, C; do Rosario, V; Smith, T

    2001-02-23

    The prospective risk of acute morbidity was analysed in relation to multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum infection in 491 individuals in a peri-urban community in São Tomé. In an initial cross-sectional survey, 40.5% of individuals were recorded by microscopy as infected with P. falciparum, and by PCR 60.5%, with the maximum prevalence in children aged 5-10 years. PCR-RFLP typing of the msp-2 gene of P. falciparum found a mean of 2.4 parasite genotypes per infected person, with little age dependence in this multiplicity and a total of 43 different msp-2 alleles identified. None of these were unique for São Tomé. Study participants were encouraged to report to a project worker whenever they suffered a febrile illness. During the 3 months following the parasitological survey the recorded incidence rates decreased with increasing baseline msp-2 multiplicity, both for P. falciparum-positive episodes and for fever without parasitaemia. While this is consistent with suggestions that multiple P. falciparum infections may protect against super-infecting parasites, confounding by patterns of health service usage is an alternative explanation. The incidence of clinical malaria episodes was only a little higher in children than in adults. This weak age-dependence in clinical immunity might be a consequence of a cohort effect resulting from resurgence of the disease after the breakdown of malaria control programs in the 1980s.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-07

    Blood-feeding arthropod vectors are responsible for transmitting many parasites between vertebrate hosts. While arthropod vectors often feed on limited subsets of potential host species, little is known about the extent to which this influences the distribution of vector-borne parasites in some systems. Here, we test the hypothesis that different vector species structure parasite-host relationships by restricting access of certain parasites to a subset of available hosts. Specifically, we investigate how the feeding patterns of Culex mosquito vectors relate to distributions of avian malaria parasites among hosts in suburban Chicago, IL, USA. We show that Plasmodium lineages, defined by cytochrome b haplotypes, are heterogeneously distributed across avian hosts. However, the feeding patterns of the dominant vectors (Culex restuans and Culex pipiens) are similar across these hosts, and do not explain the distributions of Plasmodium parasites. Phylogenetic similarity of avian hosts predicts similarity in their Plasmodium parasites. This effect was driven primarily by the general association of Plasmodium parasites with particular host superfamilies. Our results suggest that a mosquito-imposed encounter rate does not limit the distribution of avian Plasmodium parasites across hosts. This implies that compatibility between parasites and their avian hosts structure Plasmodium host range.

  6. Recombination Hotspots and Population Structure in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Jianbing; Duan, Junhui; McGee, Kate M; Joy, Deirdre A; McVean, Gilean A. T

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the influences of population structure, selection, and recombination on polymorphism and linkage disequilibrium (LD) is integral to mapping genes contributing to drug resistance or virulence in Plasmodium falciparum. The parasite's short generation time, coupled with a high cross-over rate, can cause rapid LD break-down. However, observations of low genetic variation have led to suggestions of effective clonality: selfing, population admixture, and selection may preserve LD in populations. Indeed, extensive LD surrounding drug-resistant genes has been observed, indicating that recombination and selection play important roles in shaping recent parasite genome evolution. These studies, however, provide only limited information about haplotype variation at local scales. Here we describe the first (to our knowledge) chromosome-wide SNP haplotype and population recombination maps for a global collection of malaria parasites, including the 3D7 isolate, whose genome has been sequenced previously. The parasites are clustered according to continental origin, but alternative groupings were obtained using SNPs at 37 putative transporter genes that are potentially under selection. Geographic isolation and highly variable multiple infection rates are the major factors affecting haplotype structure. Variation in effective recombination rates is high, both among populations and along the chromosome, with recombination hotspots conserved among populations at chromosome ends. This study supports the feasibility of genome-wide association studies in some parasite populations. PMID:16144426

  7. Empirical Bayes estimation of proportions with application to cowbird parasitism rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Link, W.A.; Hahn, D.C.

    1996-01-01

    Bayesian models provide a structure for studying collections of parameters such as are considered in the investigation of communities, ecosystems, and landscapes. This structure allows for improved estimation of individual parameters, by considering them in the context of a group of related parameters. Individual estimates are differentially adjusted toward an overall mean, with the magnitude of their adjustment based on their precision. Consequently, Bayesian estimation allows for a more credible identification of extreme values in a collection of estimates. Bayesian models regard individual parameters as values sampled from a specified probability distribution, called a prior. The requirement that the prior be known is often regarded as an unattractive feature of Bayesian analysis and may be the reason why Bayesian analyses are not frequently applied in ecological studies. Empirical Bayes methods provide an alternative approach that incorporates the structural advantages of Bayesian models while requiring a less stringent specification of prior knowledge. Rather than requiring that the prior distribution be known, empirical Bayes methods require only that it be in a certain family of distributions, indexed by hyperparameters that can be estimated from the available data. This structure is of interest per se, in addition to its value in allowing for improved estimation of individual parameters; for example, hypotheses regarding the existence of distinct subgroups in a collection of parameters can be considered under the empirical Bayes framework by allowing the hyperparameters to vary among subgroups. Though empirical Bayes methods have been applied in a variety of contexts, they have received little attention in the ecological literature. We describe the empirical Bayes approach in application to estimation of proportions, using data obtained in a community-wide study of cowbird parasitism rates for illustration. Since observed proportions based on small sample

  8. Rate accelerations in nuclear 18S rDNA of mycoheterotrophic and parasitic angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Lemaire, Benny; Huysmans, Suzy; Smets, Erik; Merckx, Vincent

    2011-09-01

    Rate variation in genes from all three genomes has been observed frequently in plant lineages with a parasitic and mycoheterotrophic mode of life. While the loss of photosynthetic ability leads to a relaxation of evolutionary constraints in genes involved in the photosynthetic apparatus, it remains to be determined how prevalent increased substitution rates are in nuclear DNA of non-photosynthetic angiosperms. In this study we infer rates of molecular evolution of 18S rDNA of all parasitic and mycoheterotorphic plant families (except Lauraceae and Polygalaceae) using relative rate tests. In several holoparasitic and mycoheterotrophic plant lineages extremely high substitution rates are observed compared to other photosynthetic angiosperms. The position and frequency of these substitutions have been identified to understand the mutation dynamics of 18S rRNA in achlorophyllous plants. Despite the presence of significantly elevated substitution rates, very few mutations occur in major functional and structural regions of the small ribosomal molecule, providing evidence that the efficiency of the translational apparatus in non-photosynthetic plants has not been affected.

  9. Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Fairhurst, Rick M.; Dondorp, Arjen M.

    2016-01-01

    For more than five decades, Southeast Asia (SEA) has been fertile ground for the emergence of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. After generating parasites resistant to chloroquine, sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine, quinine, and mefloquine, this region has now spawned parasites resistant to artemisinins – the world's most potent antimalarial drugs. In areas where artemisinin resistance is prevalent, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) – the first-line treatments for malaria – are failing fast. This worrisome development threatens to make malaria practically untreatable in SEA, and threatens to compromise global endeavors to eliminate this disease. A recent series of clinical, in-vitro, genomics, and transcriptomics studies in SEA have defined in-vivo and in-vitro phenotypes of artemisinin resistance; identified its causal genetic determinant; explored its molecular mechanism; and assessed its clinical impact. Specifically, these studies have established that artemisinin resistance manifests as slow parasite clearance in patients and increased survival of early ring-stage parasites in vitro; is caused by single nucleotide polymorphisms in the parasite's ‘K13’ gene; is associated with an upregulated “unfolded protein response” pathway that may antagonize the pro-oxidant activity of artemisinins; and selects for partner drug resistance that rapidly leads to ACT failures. In SEA, clinical studies are urgently needed to monitor ACT efficacy where K13 mutations are prevalent; test whether new combinations of currently-available drugs cure ACT failures; and advance new antimalarial compounds through preclinical pipelines and into clinical trials. Intensifying these efforts should help to forestall the spread of artemisinin and partner drug resistance from SEA to Sub-Saharan Africa, where the world's malaria transmission, morbidity, and mortality rates are highest. PMID:27337450

  10. Hemoglobinopathies: slicing the Gordian knot of Plasmodium falciparum malaria pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Steve M; Cerami, Carla; Fairhurst, Rick M

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria kills over 500,000 children every year and has been a scourge of humans for millennia. Owing to the co-evolution of humans and P. falciparum parasites, the human genome is imprinted with polymorphisms that not only confer innate resistance to falciparum malaria, but also cause hemoglobinopathies. These genetic traits--including hemoglobin S (HbS), hemoglobin C (HbC), and α-thalassemia--are the most common monogenic human disorders and can confer remarkable degrees of protection from severe, life-threatening falciparum malaria in African children: the risk is reduced 70% by homozygous HbC and 90% by heterozygous HbS (sickle-cell trait). Importantly, this protection is principally present for severe disease and largely absent for P. falciparum infection, suggesting that these hemoglobinopathies specifically neutralize the parasite's in vivo mechanisms of pathogenesis. These hemoglobin variants thus represent a "natural experiment" to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which P. falciparum produces clinical morbidity, which remain partially obscured due to the complexity of interactions between this parasite and its human host. Multiple lines of evidence support a restriction of parasite growth by various hemoglobinopathies, and recent data suggest this phenomenon may result from host microRNA interference with parasite metabolism. Multiple hemoglobinopathies mitigate the pathogenic potential of parasites by interfering with the export of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) to the surface of the host red blood cell. Few studies have investigated their effects upon the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, although recent murine studies suggest a role for heme oxygenase-1 in protection. Ultimately, the identification of mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis can inform future therapeutics and preventive measures. Hemoglobinopathies slice the "Gordian knot" of host and parasite

  11. K13-propeller mutations confer artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates

    PubMed Central

    Straimer, Judith; Gnädig, Nina F.; Witkowski, Benoit; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Duru, Valentine; Ramadani, Arba Pramundita; Dacheux, Mélanie; Khim, Nimol; Zhang, Lei; Lam, Stephen; Gregory, Philip D.; Urnov, Fyodor D.; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Benoit-Vical, Françoise; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Ménard, Didier; Fidock, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia imperils efforts to reduce the global malaria burden. We genetically modified the Plasmodium falciparum K13 locus using zinc-finger nucleases and measured ring-stage survival rates after drug exposure in vitro; these rates correlate with parasite clearance half-lives in artemisinin-treated patients. With isolates from Cambodia, where resistance first emerged, survival rates decreased from 13 to 49% to 0.3 to 2.4% after the removal of K13 mutations. Conversely, survival rates in wild-type parasites increased from ≤0.6% to 2 to 29% after the insertion of K13 mutations. These mutations conferred elevated resistance to recent Cambodian isolates compared with that of reference lines, suggesting a contemporary contribution of additional genetic factors. Our data provide a conclusive rationale for worldwide K13-propeller sequencing to identify and eliminate artemisinin-resistant parasites. PMID:25502314

  12. Feeding Ecology Informs Parasite Epidemiology: Prey Selection Modulates Encounter Rate with Echinococcus multilocularis in Urban Coyotes

    PubMed Central

    Liccioli, Stefano; Bialowas, Carly; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E.; Massolo, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the role of urban coyote feeding ecology in the transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis, the causative agent of Alveolar Echinococcosis in humans. As coyotes can play a main role in the maintenance of this zoonotic parasite within North American urban settings, such study can ultimately aid disease risk management. Between June 2012 and June 2013, we collected 251 coyote feces and conducted trapping of small mammals (n = 971) in five parks in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We investigated E. multilocularis epidemiology by assessing seasonal variations of coyote diet and the selective consumption of different rodent intermediate host species. Furthermore, accounting for small mammal digestibility and coyote defecation rates we estimated the number of small mammal preys ingested by coyote and consequently, coyote encounter rates with the parasite. Dominant food items included small mammals, fruit and vegetation, although hare and deer were seasonally relevant. The lowest frequency of occurrence per scat of small mammals was recorded in winter (39.4 %), when consumption of deer was highest (36.4 %). However, highest encounter rates (number of infected hosts predated/season) with E. multilocularis (95% CI: 1.0 - 22.4), combined with the lack of predation on non-competent small mammal species, suggest that winter is the critical season for transmission and control of this parasite. Within the small mammal assemblage, voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus and Myodes gapperi) were the selected preys of urban coyotes and likely played a key role for the maintenance of the urban sylvatic life-cycle of E. multilocularis in Calgary. PMID:25768437

  13. Feeding ecology informs parasite epidemiology: prey selection modulates encounter rate with Echinococcus multilocularis in urban coyotes.

    PubMed

    Liccioli, Stefano; Bialowas, Carly; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E; Massolo, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the role of urban coyote feeding ecology in the transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis, the causative agent of Alveolar Echinococcosis in humans. As coyotes can play a main role in the maintenance of this zoonotic parasite within North American urban settings, such study can ultimately aid disease risk management. Between June 2012 and June 2013, we collected 251 coyote feces and conducted trapping of small mammals (n = 971) in five parks in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We investigated E. multilocularis epidemiology by assessing seasonal variations of coyote diet and the selective consumption of different rodent intermediate host species. Furthermore, accounting for small mammal digestibility and coyote defecation rates we estimated the number of small mammal preys ingested by coyote and consequently, coyote encounter rates with the parasite. Dominant food items included small mammals, fruit and vegetation, although hare and deer were seasonally relevant. The lowest frequency of occurrence per scat of small mammals was recorded in winter (39.4%), when consumption of deer was highest (36.4%). However, highest encounter rates (number of infected hosts predated/season) with E. multilocularis (95% CI: 1.0-22.4), combined with the lack of predation on non-competent small mammal species, suggest that winter is the critical season for transmission and control of this parasite. Within the small mammal assemblage, voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus and Myodes gapperi) were the selected preys of urban coyotes and likely played a key role for the maintenance of the urban sylvatic life-cycle of E. multilocularis in Calgary.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Placental Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites Is Mediated by the Interaction Between VAR2CSA and Chondroitin Sulfate A on Syndecan-1

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Yang; Resende, Mafalda; Daugaard, Mads; Riis Kristensen, Anders; Damm, Peter; G. Theander, Thor; R. Hansson, Stefan; Salanti, Ali

    2016-01-01

    During placental malaria, Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes sequester in the placenta, causing health problems for both the mother and fetus. The specific adherence is mediated by the VAR2CSA protein, which binds to placental chondroitin sulfate (CS) on chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) in the placental syncytium. However, the identity of the CSPG core protein and the cellular impact of the interaction have remain elusive. In this study we identified the specific CSPG core protein to which the CS is attached, and characterized its exact placental location. VAR2CSA pull-down experiments using placental extracts from whole placenta or syncytiotrophoblast microvillous cell membranes showed three distinct CSPGs available for VAR2CSA adherence. Further examination of these three CSPGs by immunofluorescence and proximity ligation assays showed that syndecan-1 is the main receptor for VAR2CSA mediated placental adherence. We further show that the commonly used placental choriocarcinoma cell line, BeWo, express a different set of proteoglycans than those present on placental syncytiotrophoblast and may not be the most biologically relevant model to study placental malaria. Syncytial fusion of the BeWo cells, triggered by forskolin treatment, caused an increased expression of placental CS-modified syndecan-1. In line with this, we show that rVAR2 binding to placental CS impairs syndecan-1-related Src signaling in forskolin treated BeWo cells, but not in untreated cells. PMID:27556547

  17. Plasmodium falciparum 19-kilodalton merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1)-specific antibodies that interfere with parasite growth in vitro can inhibit MSP1 processing, merozoite invasion, and intracellular parasite development.

    PubMed

    Moss, David K; Remarque, Edmond J; Faber, Bart W; Cavanagh, David R; Arnot, David E; Thomas, Alan W; Holder, Anthony A

    2012-03-01

    Merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) is a target for malaria vaccine development. Antibodies to the 19-kDa carboxy-terminal region referred to as MSP1(19) inhibit erythrocyte invasion and parasite growth, with some MSP1-specific antibodies shown to inhibit the proteolytic processing of MSP1 that occurs at invasion. We investigated a series of antibodies purified from rabbits immunized with MSP1(19) and AMA1 recombinant proteins for their ability to inhibit parasite growth, initially looking at MSP1 processing. Although significant inhibition of processing was mediated by several of the antibody samples, there was no clear relationship with overall growth inhibition by the same antibodies. However, no antibody samples inhibited processing but not invasion, suggesting that inhibition of MSP1 processing contributes to but is not the only mechanism of antibody-mediated inhibition of invasion and growth. Examining other mechanisms by which MSP1-specific antibodies inhibit parasite growth, we show that MSP1(19)-specific antibodies are taken up into invaded erythrocytes, where they persist for significant periods and result in delayed intracellular parasite development. This delay may result from antibody interference with coalescence of MSP1(19)-containing vesicles with the food vacuole. Antibodies raised against a modified recombinant MSP1(19) sequence were more efficient at delaying intracellular growth than those to the wild-type protein. We propose that antibodies specific for MSP1(19) can mediate inhibition of parasite growth by at least three mechanisms: inhibition of MSP1 processing, direct inhibition of invasion, and inhibition of parasite development following invasion. The balance between mechanisms may be modulated by modifying the immunogen used to induce the antibodies.

  18. Malaria parasite clearance.

    PubMed

    White, Nicholas J

    2017-02-23

    Following anti-malarial drug treatment asexual malaria parasite killing and clearance appear to be first order processes. Damaged malaria parasites in circulating erythrocytes are removed from the circulation mainly by the spleen. Splenic clearance functions increase markedly in acute malaria. Either the entire infected erythrocytes are removed because of their reduced deformability or increased antibody binding or, for the artemisinins which act on young ring stage parasites, splenic pitting of drug-damaged parasites is an important mechanism of clearance. The once-infected erythrocytes returned to the circulation have shortened survival. This contributes to post-artesunate haemolysis that may follow recovery in non-immune hyperparasitaemic patients. As the parasites mature Plasmodium vivax-infected erythrocytes become more deformable, whereas Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes become less deformable, but they escape splenic filtration by sequestering in venules and capillaries. Sequestered parasites are killed in situ by anti-malarial drugs and then disintegrate to be cleared by phagocytic leukocytes. After treatment with artemisinin derivatives some asexual parasites become temporarily dormant within their infected erythrocytes, and these may regrow after anti-malarial drug concentrations decline. Artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum reflects reduced ring stage susceptibility and manifests as slow parasite clearance. This is best assessed from the slope of the log-linear phase of parasitaemia reduction and is commonly measured as a parasite clearance half-life. Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling of anti-malarial drug effects on parasite clearance has proved useful in predicting therapeutic responses and in dose-optimization.

  19. Combination therapy counteracts the enhanced transmission of drug-resistant malaria parasites to mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Hallett, Rachel L; Sutherland, Colin J; Alexander, Neal; Ord, Rosalynn; Jawara, Musa; Drakeley, Chris J; Pinder, Margaret; Walraven, Gijs; Targett, Geoffrey A T; Alloueche, Ali

    2004-10-01

    Malaria parasites carrying genes conferring resistance to antimalarials are thought to have a selective advantage which leads to higher rates of transmissibility from the drug-treated host. This is a likely mechanism for the increasing prevalence of parasites with resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in sub-Saharan Africa. Combination therapy is the key strategy being implemented to reduce the impact of resistance, but its effect on the transmission of genetically resistant parasites from treated patients to mosquito vectors has not been measured directly. In a trial comparing CQ monotherapy to the combination CQ plus artesunate (AS) in Gambian children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria, we measured transmissibility by feeding Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes with blood from 43 gametocyte-positive patients through a membrane. In the CQ-treated group, gametocytes from patients carrying parasites with the CQ resistance-associated allele pfcrt-76T prior to treatment produced infected mosquitoes with 38 times higher Plasmodium falciparum oocyst burdens than mosquitoes fed on gametocytes from patients infected with sensitive parasites (P < 0.001). Gametocytes from parasites carrying the resistance-associated allele pfmdr1-86Y produced 14-fold higher oocyst burdens than gametocytes from patients infected with sensitive parasites (P = 0.011). However, parasites carrying either of these resistance-associated alleles pretreatment were not associated with higher mosquito oocyst burdens in the CQ-AS-treated group. Thus, combination therapy overcomes the transmission advantage enjoyed by drug-resistant parasites.

  20. Age-Stratified Profiles of Serum IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α Cytokines among Kenyan Children with Schistosoma haematobium, Plasmodium falciparum, and Other Chronic Parasitic Co-infections

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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]-α) 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-α, 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-α 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-α levels, future T-cell stimulation studies may provide more conclusive linkages between infection and cytokine responses in settings that

  1. Age-Stratified Profiles of Serum IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α 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]-α) 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-α, 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-α 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-α levels, future T-cell stimulation studies may provide more conclusive linkages between infection and cytokine responses in settings that are endemic for

  2. Plasmodium falciparum population structure in Sudan post artemisinin-based combination therapy.

    PubMed

    Bakhiet, Amani M A; Abdel-Muhsin, Abdel-Muhsin A; Elzaki, Salah-Eldin G; Al-Hashami, Zainab; Albarwani, Hamida S; AlQamashoui, Badar A; Al-Hamidhi, Salama; Idris, Mohamed A; Elagib, Atif A; Beja-Pereira, Albano; Babiker, Hamza A

    2015-08-01

    Over the past decade, Sudan has stepped up malaria control backed by WHO, and this has resulted in significant reduction in parasite rate, malaria morbidity and mortality. The present study analyzed Plasmodium falciparum parasites in four geographical separated areas, to examine whether the success in malaria control following the use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has disrupted the population structure and evolution of the parasite. We examined 319 P. falciparum isolates collected between October 2009 and October 2012 in four different areas in Sudan (Jazira [central Sudan], Southern Darfur [western Sudan], Upper Nile [southern Sudan] and Kasala [eastern Sudan]). Twelve microsatellites were analyzed for allelic diversity, multi-locus haplotype and inter-population differentiation. Level of diversity was compared to that detected for three of the above microsatellites among P. falciparum parasites in central and eastern Sudan in 1999, prior to introduction of ACT. Diversity at each locus (unbiased heterozygosity [H]) was high in all areas (Jazira, H=0.67), (Southern Darfur, H=0.71), (Upper Nile, H=0.71), and (Kasala, H=0.63). Microsatellites were distributed widely and private alleles, detected in a single population, were rare. The extent of diversity in the above sites was similar to that seen, in 1999, in central (Khartoum, H=0.73) and eastern Sudan (Gedaref, H=0.75). Significant Linkage disequilibrium (LD) was observed between the microsatellites in all populations. Pairwise FST analysis revealed that parasites in the four areas could be considered as one population. However, the parasites in Sudan clustered away from parasites in West Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Despite marked reduction in malaria risk in Sudan, the extent of diversity and parasite genetic structure are indicative of a large population size. Further considerable reduction in transmission would be needed before fragmented sub-population can be seen. In addition, the large

  3. Unique properties of Plasmodium falciparum porphobilinogen deaminase.

    PubMed

    Nagaraj, Viswanathan Arun; Arumugam, Rajavel; Gopalakrishnan, Bulusu; Jyothsna, Yeleswarapu Sri; Rangarajan, Pundi N; Padmanaban, Govindarajan

    2008-01-04

    The hybrid pathway for heme biosynthesis in the malarial parasite proposes the involvement of parasite genome-coded enzymes of the pathway localized in different compartments such as apicoplast, mitochondria, and cytosol. However, knowledge on the functionality and localization of many of these enzymes is not available. In this study, we demonstrate that porphobilinogen deaminase encoded by the Plasmodium falciparum genome (PfPBGD) has several unique biochemical properties. Studies carried out with PfPBGD partially purified from parasite membrane fraction, as well as recombinant PfPBGD lacking N-terminal 64 amino acids expressed and purified from Escherichia coli cells (DeltaPfPBGD), indicate that both the proteins are catalytically active. Surprisingly, PfPBGD catalyzes the conversion of porphobilinogen to uroporphyrinogen III (UROGEN III), indicating that it also possesses uroporphyrinogen III synthase (UROS) activity, catalyzing the next step. This obviates the necessity to have a separate gene for UROS that has not been so far annotated in the parasite genome. Interestingly, DeltaPfP-BGD gives rise to UROGEN III even after heat treatment, although UROS from other sources is known to be heat-sensitive. Based on the analysis of active site residues, a DeltaPfPBGDL116K mutant enzyme was created and the specific activity of this recombinant mutant enzyme is 5-fold higher than DeltaPfPBGD. More interestingly, DeltaPfPBGDL116K catalyzes the formation of uroporphyrinogen I (UROGEN I) in addition to UROGEN III, indicating that with increased PBGD activity the UROS activity of PBGD may perhaps become rate-limiting, thus leading to non-enzymatic cyclization of preuroporphyrinogen to UROGEN I. PfPBGD is localized to the apicoplast and is catalytically very inefficient compared with the host red cell enzyme.

  4. A genome-wide map of diversity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Volkman, Sarah K; Sabeti, Pardis C; DeCaprio, David; Neafsey, Daniel E; Schaffner, Stephen F; Milner, Danny A; Daily, Johanna P; Sarr, Ousmane; Ndiaye, Daouda; Ndir, Omar; Mboup, Soulyemane; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Lukens, Amanda; Derr, Alan; Stange-Thomann, Nicole; Waggoner, Skye; Onofrio, Robert; Ziaugra, Liuda; Mauceli, Evan; Gnerre, Sante; Jaffe, David B; Zainoun, Joanne; Wiegand, Roger C; Birren, Bruce W; Hartl, Daniel L; Galagan, James E; Lander, Eric S; Wirth, Dyann F

    2007-01-01

    Genetic variation allows the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to overcome chemotherapeutic agents, vaccines and vector control strategies and remain a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Here we describe an initial survey of genetic variation across the P. falciparum genome. We performed extensive sequencing of 16 geographically diverse parasites and identified 46,937 SNPs, demonstrating rich diversity among P. falciparum parasites (pi = 1.16 x 10(-3)) and strong correlation with gene function. We identified multiple regions with signatures of selective sweeps in drug-resistant parasites, including a previously unidentified 160-kb region with extremely low polymorphism in pyrimethamine-resistant parasites. We further characterized 54 worldwide isolates by genotyping SNPs across 20 genomic regions. These data begin to define population structure among African, Asian and American groups and illustrate the degree of linkage disequilibrium, which extends over relatively short distances in African parasites but over longer distances in Asian parasites. We provide an initial map of genetic diversity in P. falciparum and demonstrate its potential utility in identifying genes subject to recent natural selection and in understanding the population genetics of this parasite.

  5. Continued Sensitivity of Plasmodium falciparum to Artemisinin in Guyana, With Absence of Kelch Propeller Domain Mutant Alleles

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Reyaud; Martin, Maria Jesus Sanchez; Persaud, Shamdeo; Ceron, Nicolas; Kellman, Dwayne; Musset, Lise; Carter, Keith H.; Ringwald, Pascal

    2016-01-01

    Because of concerns about possible emergence of artemisinin resistance strains of Plasmodium falciparum in mining areas of the interior of Guyana, a 7-day artesunate trial was conducted from March to December 2014. The day-3 parasite clearance rate, the efficacy of artesunate at day 28, and polymorphism of Kelch 13 (PfK13)—the marker of artemisinin resistance—were assessed. The study confirmed the continued sensitivity of P falciparum to artemisinin. A 7-day course of artesunate was 100% efficacious with only 2% (95% confidence interval, .1%–10.9%) of enrolled subjects positive at day 3. All day-0 parasite samples were wild type. Continued resistance monitoring is nevertheless recommended, given the widespread availability and uncontrolled use of artemisinin drugs in mining areas of Guyana. PMID:27704030

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:24352242

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-01-02

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Levels of antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite surface antigens reflect malaria transmission rates and are persistent in the absence of reinfection.

    PubMed Central

    Druilhe, P; Pradier, O; Marc, J P; Miltgen, F; Mazier, D; Parent, G

    1986-01-01

    Antibodies reacting with Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite surface antigens were measured by an immunofluorescence assay using wet preparations of sporozoites attached to poly-L-lysine-treated glass slides, a procedure which was found to be more specific than one using glutaraldehyde-treated and dried preparations. Subjects recovering from a first attack were found to be negative. In two African villages which differed in the level at which mosquitoes transmit the disease (1 and 100 infective bites per year and per individual), both the prevalence by age group and the levels of anti-sporozoite antibodies differed markedly, as follows. In the low-transmission area, these antibodies were not detected in subjects aged 2 to 10 years; thereafter, prevalence increased gradually with the age of the subject and reached 90% in subjects aged 50 to 80 years. In the high-transmission area, all of the subjects studied, including the younger ones, were positive. Anti-sporozoite antibody levels were independent of the levels of antibodies directed against blood stages. On average, the mean antibody titers were equal to 1/16 in the first village and 1/1,650 in the second one. These results suggest that stage-specific antibodies reflect the cumulative number of sporozoites inoculated in humans by mosquitoes and may therefore have useful epidemiological applications. In addition, the presence of stage-specific antibodies in the sera of African adults collected at different times after departure from the endemic area indicates that they may last for several years. During the course of this study, we observed a heterogeneity of immunofluorescence labeling in parasite populations prepared from mosquito salivary glands. This raises the question of possible qualitative or quantitative antigenic differences or both between one sporozoite and the other. PMID:3525412

  10. Plasmodium falciparum malaria importation from Africa to China and its mortality: an analysis of driving factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Shengjie; Wardrop, Nicola A.; Huang, Zhuojie; Bosco, Claudio; Sun, Junling; Bird, Tomas; Wesolowski, Amy; Zhou, Sheng; Zhang, Qian; Zheng, Canjun; Li, Zhongjie; Tatem, Andrew J.; Yu, Hongjie

    2016-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria importation from Africa to China is rising with increasing Chinese overseas investment and international travel. Identifying networks and drivers of this phenomenon as well as the contributors to high case-fatality rate is a growing public health concern to enable efficient response. From 2011–2015, 8653 P. falciparum cases leading to 98 deaths (11.3 per 1000 cases) were imported from 41 sub-Saharan countries into China, with most cases (91.3%) occurring in labour-related Chinese travellers. Four strongly connected groupings of origin African countries with destination Chinese provinces were identified, and the number of imported cases was significantly associated with the volume of air passengers to China (P = 0.006), parasite prevalence in Africa (P < 0.001), and the amount of official development assistance from China (P < 0.001) with investment in resource extraction having the strongest relationship with parasite importation. Risk factors for deaths from imported cases were related to the capacity of malaria diagnosis and diverse socioeconomic factors. The spatial heterogeneity uncovered, principal drivers explored, and risk factors for mortality found in the rising rates of P. falciparum malaria importation to China can serve to refine malaria elimination strategies and the management of cases, and high risk groups and regions should be targeted.

  11. Plasmodium falciparum malaria importation from Africa to China and its mortality: an analysis of driving factors

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Shengjie; Wardrop, Nicola A.; Huang, Zhuojie; Bosco, Claudio; Sun, Junling; Bird, Tomas; Wesolowski, Amy; Zhou, Sheng; Zhang, Qian; Zheng, Canjun; Li, Zhongjie; Tatem, Andrew J.; Yu, Hongjie

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria importation from Africa to China is rising with increasing Chinese overseas investment and international travel. Identifying networks and drivers of this phenomenon as well as the contributors to high case-fatality rate is a growing public health concern to enable efficient response. From 2011–2015, 8653 P. falciparum cases leading to 98 deaths (11.3 per 1000 cases) were imported from 41 sub-Saharan countries into China, with most cases (91.3%) occurring in labour-related Chinese travellers. Four strongly connected groupings of origin African countries with destination Chinese provinces were identified, and the number of imported cases was significantly associated with the volume of air passengers to China (P = 0.006), parasite prevalence in Africa (P < 0.001), and the amount of official development assistance from China (P < 0.001) with investment in resource extraction having the strongest relationship with parasite importation. Risk factors for deaths from imported cases were related to the capacity of malaria diagnosis and diverse socioeconomic factors. The spatial heterogeneity uncovered, principal drivers explored, and risk factors for mortality found in the rising rates of P. falciparum malaria importation to China can serve to refine malaria elimination strategies and the management of cases, and high risk groups and regions should be targeted. PMID:28000753

  12. Estimating Plasmodium falciparum transmission rates in low-endemic settings using a combination of community prevalence and health facility data.

    PubMed

    Yukich, Joshua; Briët, Olivier; Bretscher, Michael T; Bennett, Adam; Lemma, Seblewengel; Berhane, Yemane; Eisele, Thomas P; Keating, Joseph; Smith, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    As some malaria control programs shift focus from disease control to transmission reduction, there is a need for transmission data to monitor progress. At lower levels of transmission, it becomes increasingly more difficult to measure precisely, for example through entomological studies. Many programs conduct regular cross sectional parasite prevalence surveys, and have access to malaria treatment data routinely collected by ministries of health, often in health management information systems. However, by themselves, these data are poor measures of transmission. In this paper, we propose an approach for combining annual parasite incidence and treatment data with cross-sectional parasite prevalence and treatment seeking survey data to estimate the incidence of new infections in the human population, also known as the force of infection. The approach is based on extension of a reversible catalytic model. The accuracy of the estimates from this model appears to be highly dependent on levels of detectability and treatment in the community, indicating the importance of information on private sector treatment seeking and access to effective and appropriate treatment.

  13. Prevalence of mutation and phenotypic expression associated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    Zakai, Haytham A; Khan, Wajihullah; Asma, Umme

    2013-09-01

    Therapeutic efficacy of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), which is commonly used to treat falciparum malaria, was assessed in isolates of Plasmodium falciparum (Welch, 1897) and Plasmodium vivax (Grassi et Feletti, 1890) ofAligarh, Uttar Pradesh, North India and Taif, Saudi Arabia during 2011-2012. Both the species showed mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme as they have common biochemical drug targets. Mutation rate for pfdhfr was higher compared to pvdhfr because the drug was mainly given to treat falciparum malaria. Since both the species coexist, P. vivax was also exposed to SP due to faulty species diagnosis or medication without specific diagnosis. Low level of mutations against SP in P. falciparum of Saudi isolates indicates that the SP combination is still effective for the treatment of falciparum malaria. Since SP is used as first-line of treatment because of high level of resistance against chloroquine (CQ), it may result in spread of higher level of mutations resulting in drug resistance and treatment failure in near future. Therefore, to avoid further higher mutations in the parasite, use of better treatment regimens such as artesunate combination therapy must be introduced against SP combination.

  14. Plasmodium falciparum Maf1 Confers Survival upon Amino Acid Starvation

    PubMed Central

    McLean, Kyle Jarrod

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) pathway is a highly conserved signaling pathway across eukaryotes that integrates nutrient and stress signals to regulate the cellular growth rate and the transition into and maintenance of dormancy. The majority of the pathway’s components, including the central TOR kinase, have been lost in the apicomplexan lineage, and it is unknown how these organisms detect and respond to nutrient starvation in its absence. Plasmodium falciparum encodes a putative ortholog of the RNA polymerase (Pol) III repressor Maf1, which has been demonstrated to modulate Pol III transcription in a TOR-dependent manner in a number of organisms. Here, we investigate the role of P. falciparum Maf1 (PfMaf1) in regulating RNA Pol III expression under conditions of nutrient starvation and other stresses. Using a transposon insertion mutant with an altered Maf1 expression profile, we demonstrated that proper Maf1 expression is necessary for survival of the dormancy-like state induced by prolonged amino acid starvation and is needed for full recovery from other stresses that slow or stall the parasite cell cycle. This Maf1 mutant is defective in the downregulation of pre-tRNA synthesis under nutrient-limiting conditions, indicating that the function of Maf1 as a stress-responsive regulator of structural RNA transcription is conserved in P. falciparum. Recent work has demonstrated that parasites carrying artemisinin-resistant K13 alleles display an enhanced ability to recover from drug-induced growth retardation. We show that one such artemisinin-resistant line displays greater regulation of pre-tRNA expression and higher survival upon prolonged amino acid starvation, suggesting that overlapping, PfMaf1-associated pathways may regulate growth recovery from both artemisinin treatment and amino acid starvation. PMID:28351924

  15. Influence of trees in the landscape on parasitism rates of grassland passerine nests in Southeastern North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pietz, P.J.; Buhl, D.A.; Shaffer, J.A.; Winter, M.; Johnson, D.H.

    2009-01-01

    Woody vegetation has been linked to increased rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism for some grassland hosts. In northern North Dakota, however, studies reported that parasitism of grassland passerine nests was lower in landscapes with trees than in those without trees. We looked for evidence of this pattern elsewhere, using data from two studies conducted on the Sheyenne National Grassland in southeastern North Dakota. Specifically, we examined the probability of parasitism relative to percent tree cover within 2 km of a nest. We found a negative relationship for grassland passerine nests of all species tested. Our results support the suggestion that cowbirds are less likely to parasitize nests of grassland passerines where tree cover on the landscape is greater. This pattern could be explained by cowbirds switching to alternative hosts in woodlands, but this hypothesis needs further testing. ?? 2009 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved.

  16. Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite and entomological inoculation rates at the Ahero rice irrigation scheme and the Miwani sugar-belt in western Kenya.

    PubMed

    Githeko, A K; Service, M W; Mbogo, C M; Atieli, F K; Juma, F O

    1993-08-01

    Anopheles arabiensis and An. funestus were collected by pyrethrum spray sheet collections in houses and by human-bait catches at a village in western Kenya adjacent to the Ahero rice irrigation scheme; and using the same methods, An. gambiae s.l. and An. funestus were collected at Miwani, a village in the sugar-cane belt. Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite rates were determined by ELISA. At Ahero the mean sporozoite rates were 1.1% and 4.3% in An. arabiensis and An. funestus, respectively, while at Miwani the rates were 6.0% in An. gambiae s.l. and 4.3% in An. funestus. Entomolgoical inoculation rates (EIR) were derived from both human-bait collections (IR-HBC) and by the proportion of human blood-fed females caught resting indoors (IR-HBF). The IR-HBF appeared to be a more realistic index of EIR. At Ahero and Miwani people were exposed to an average of 416 and 91 infective bites/person/year, respectively. The main vectors were An. funestus at Ahero and An. gambiae s.l. at Miwani. In view of the intense and perennial malaria transmission at Ahero, vector control by insecticides should be considered, while at Miwani, where transmission is seasonal, permethrin-impregnated bed nets could be an alternative to indoor spraying. These measures must be augmented with availability of effective antimalarials.

  17. Apparent competition drives community-wide parasitism rates and changes in host abundance across ecosystem boundaries

    PubMed Central

    Frost, Carol M.; Peralta, Guadalupe; Rand, Tatyana A.; Didham, Raphael K.; Varsani, Arvind; Tylianakis, Jason M.

    2016-01-01

    Species have strong indirect effects on others, and predicting these effects is a central challenge in ecology. Prey species sharing an enemy (predator or parasitoid) can be linked by apparent competition, but it is unknown whether this process is strong enough to be a community-wide structuring mechanism that could be used to predict future states of diverse food webs. Whether species abundances are spatially coupled by enemy movement across different habitats is also untested. Here, using a field experiment, we show that predicted apparent competitive effects between species, mediated via shared parasitoids, can significantly explain future parasitism rates and herbivore abundances. These predictions are successful even across edges between natural and managed forests, following experimental reduction of herbivore densities by aerial spraying of insecticide over 20 hectares. This result shows that trophic indirect effects propagate across networks and habitats in important, predictable ways, with implications for landscape planning, invasion biology and biological control. PMID:27577948

  18. Evolution of metabolic rate in a parasitic wasp: the role of limitation in intrinsic resources.

    PubMed

    Moiroux, Joffrey; Giron, David; Vernon, Philippe; van Baaren, Joan; van Alphen, Jacques J M

    2012-07-01

    Metabolic rate, a physiological trait closely related to fitness traits, is expected to evolve in response to two main environmental variables: (1) climate, low metabolic rates being found in dry and hot regions when comparing populations originating from different climates in a common garden experiment and (2) resource limitations, low metabolic rates being selected when resources are limited. The main goal of this study was to investigate if differences in intrinsic resource limitations may have disrupted the expected evolution of metabolic rate in response to climate in a parasitic wasp. We compared CO(2) production of females from 4 populations of a Drosophila parasitoid, Leptopilina boulardi, as an estimate of their metabolic rate. Two populations from a hot and dry area able to synthesise lipids de novo at adult stage were compared with two populations originating from a mild and humid climate where no lipid accumulation during adult life was observed. These last females are thus more limited in lipids than the first ones. We observed that a high metabolic rate has been selected in hot and dry environments, contrarily to the results of a great majority of studies. We suggest that lipogenesis occurring there may have allowed the selection of a higher metabolic rate, as females are less limited in energetic resources than females from the mild environment. A high metabolic rate may have been selected there as it partly compensates for the long distances that females have to cross to find laying opportunities in distant orchards. We suggest that intrinsic resources should be integrated when investigating geographical variations in metabolism as this factor may disrupt evolution in response to climate.

  19. Fatty acid synthesis and pyruvate metabolism pathways remain active in dihydroartemisinin-induced dormant ring stages of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Chen, Nanhua; LaCrue, Alexis N; Teuscher, Franka; Waters, Norman C; Gatton, Michelle L; Kyle, Dennis E; Cheng, Qin

    2014-08-01

    Artemisinin (ART)-based combination therapy (ACT) is used as the first-line treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria worldwide. However, despite high potency and rapid action, there is a high rate of recrudescence associated with ART monotherapy or ACT long before the recent emergence of ART resistance. ART-induced ring-stage dormancy and recovery have been implicated as possible causes of recrudescence; however, little is known about the characteristics of dormant parasites, including whether dormant parasites are metabolically active. We investigated the transcription of 12 genes encoding key enzymes in various metabolic pathways in P. falciparum during dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-induced dormancy and recovery. Transcription analysis showed an immediate downregulation for 10 genes following exposure to DHA but continued transcription of 2 genes encoding apicoplast and mitochondrial proteins. Transcription of several additional genes encoding apicoplast and mitochondrial proteins, particularly of genes encoding enzymes in pyruvate metabolism and fatty acid synthesis pathways, was also maintained. Additions of inhibitors for biotin acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) carboxylase and enoyl-acyl carrier reductase of the fatty acid synthesis pathways delayed the recovery of dormant parasites by 6 and 4 days, respectively, following DHA treatment. Our results demonstrate that most metabolic pathways are downregulated in DHA-induced dormant parasites. In contrast, fatty acid and pyruvate metabolic pathways remain active. These findings highlight new targets to interrupt recovery of parasites from ART-induced dormancy and to reduce the rate of recrudescence following ART treatment.

  20. Quantitative pH measurements in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes using pHluorin.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Yvonne; Rohrbach, Petra; Lanzer, Michael

    2007-04-01

    The digestive vacuole of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is the site of action of several antimalarial drugs, such as chloroquine, which accumulate in this organelle due to their properties as amphiphilic weak bases that inhibit haem detoxification. It has been suggested that changes in the pH of the digestive vacuole, affecting either drug partitioning or haem solubility and/or biomineralization rates, would correlate with reduced intracellular chloroquine accumulation and, hence, would determine the chloroquine-resistance phenotype. The techniques previously used to quantify digestive vacuolar pH mainly relied on lysed or isolated parasites, with unpredictable consequences on internal pH homeostasis. In this study, we have investigated the baseline steady-state pH of the cytoplasm and digestive vacuole of a chloroquine-sensitive (HB3) and a chloroquine-resistant (Dd2) parasite using a pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein, termed pHluorin. This non-invasive technique allows for in vivo pH measurements in intact P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes under physiological conditions. The data suggest that the pH of the cytoplasm is approximately 7.15 +/- 0.07 and that of the digestive vacuole approximately 5.18 +/- 0.05. No significant differences in baseline pH values were recorded for the chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant parasites.

  1. Killing of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro by nitric oxide derivatives.

    PubMed Central

    Rockett, K A; Awburn, M M; Cowden, W B; Clark, I A

    1991-01-01

    We have investigated the in vitro susceptibility of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to killing by nitric oxide and related molecules. A saturated solution of nitric oxide did not inhibit parasite growth, but two oxidation products of nitric oxide (nitrite and nitrate ions) were toxic to the parasite in millimolar concentrations. Nitrosothiol derivatives of cysteine and glutathione were found to be about a thousand times more active (50% growth inhibitory concentration, approximately 40 microM) than nitrite. PMID:1879941

  2. 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

  3. Bat flies (Diptera: Streblidae, Nycteribiidae) parasitic on bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) at Parque Estadual da Cantareira, São Paulo, Brazil: parasitism rates and host-parasite associations.

    PubMed

    Bertola, Patrícia Beloto; Aires, Caroline Cotrim; Favorito, Sandra Elisa; Graciolli, Gustavo; Amaku, Marcos; Pinto-da-Rocha, Ricardo

    2005-02-01

    A total of 443 bat flies belonging to the families Nycteribiidae and Strelidae, were collected on 22 species of bats (Molossidae, Phyllostomidae, and Vespertilionidae) from Parque Estadual da Cantareira (São Paulo, Brazil), between January, 2000 and January, 2001. Eighteen new occurrences of bat flies were recorded on Anoura geoffroyi (Anastrebla caudiferae), Glossophaga soricina (A. caudiferae), Sturnira lilium (Trichobius phyllostomae, T. furmani, and Paraeuctenodes similis), Artibeus lituratus (A. caudiferae), A. fimbriatus (Megistopoda proxima), A. obscurus (Metelasmus pseudopterus), Myotis nigricans (M. proxima, M. aranea, Paratrichobius longicrus), M. ruber (Anatrichobius passosi, Joblingia sp.), M. levis (A. passosi), M. albescens (A. passosi, Basilia andersoni), and Histiotus velatus (M. aranea). Seven new occurrences were recorded for the state of São Paulo, increasing the range for T. tiptoni, T. furmani, M. proxima, Aspidoptera falcata, A. caudiferae, A. modestini and B. andersoni. The relationships between parasitism and host sex, reproductive stage, age hyperparasitism by fungi are discussed.

  4. [Symptomatic and asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infection in children from 6 months to 6 years old in the Abobo general hospital (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire)].

    PubMed

    Assoumou, A; Adoubryn, K D; Aboum, K S; Kouadio-Yapo, C G; Ouhon, J

    2008-02-01

    It is commonly admitted that people living in malarial zone are carrying asymptomatic Plasmodium. Côte d'Ivoire is one of these zones. The studies carried out on malaria in these areas have focused mainly on the clinical forms of the disease and effectiveness of the antimalarial drugs. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of the symptomatic and asymptomatic carriage of Plasmodium falciparum in children of 6 months to 180 months old in the Abidjan area. Over a period of twelve months, 902 feverish subjects and 681 non-feverish subjects were selected among the 7,017 people admitted in the paediatrics service of the Abobo general hospital for detection of malaria parasite. Among 1,583 selected subjects, 358 were carrying Plasmodium falciparum implying a total prevalence rate of 22.6%. The prevalence rate was 13.5% and 29.5% respectively in the asymptomatic subjects and symptomatic subjects. The highest proportions of positive thick smears were observed during the long rainy and dry seasons but, parasitaemia was the highest during the short dry season. In 31.5% of the cases, the asymptomatic carriers had a parasitic density higher or equal to 10,000 trophozoites/microl of blood and fever was not related to parasitic load. The prevalence rates of Plasmodium carriage and malaria were higher during the long rainy season. This study highlighted a considerable proportion of asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum carriers. Improving environmental conditions should help to reduce this rate of carriage.

  5. Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells depend on a functional glutathione de novo synthesis attributable to an enhanced loss of glutathione.

    PubMed Central

    Lüersen, K; Walter, R D; Müller, S

    2000-01-01

    During the erythrocytic cycle, Plasmodium falciparum is highly dependent on an adequate thiol status for its survival. Glutathione reductase as well as de novo synthesis of GSH are responsible for the maintenance of the intracellular GSH level. The first and rate-limiting step of the synthetic pathway is catalysed by gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS). Using L-buthionine-(S, R)-sulphoximine (BSO), a specific inhibitor of the gamma-GCS, we show that the infection with P. falciparum causes drastic changes in the GSH metabolism of red blood cells (RBCs). Infected RBCs lose GSH at a rate 40-fold higher than non-infected RBCs. The de novo synthesis of the tripeptide was found to be essential for parasite survival. GSH depletion by BSO inhibits the development of P. falciparum with an IC(50) of 73 microM. The effect of the drug is abolished by supplementation with GSH or GSH monoethyl ester. Our studies demonstrate that the plasmodicidal effect of the inhibitor BSO does not depend on its specificity towards its target enzyme in the parasite, but on the changed physiological needs for the metabolite GSH in the P. falciparum-infected RBCs. Therefore the depletion of GSH is proposed as a chemotherapeutic strategy for malaria, and gamma-GCS is proposed as a potential drug target. PMID:10677377

  6. Cloning of Plasmodium falciparum by single-cell sorting.

    PubMed

    Miao, Jun; Li, Xiaolian; Cui, Liwang

    2010-10-01

    Malaria parasite cloning is traditionally carried out mainly by using the limiting dilution method, which is laborious, imprecise, and unable to distinguish multiply-infected RBCs. In this study, we used a parasite engineered to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) to evaluate a single-cell sorting method for rapidly cloning Plasmodium falciparum. By dividing a two-dimensional scattergram from a cell sorter into 17 gates, we determined the parameters for isolating singly-infected erythrocytes and sorted them into individual cultures. Pre-gating of the engineered parasites for GFP allowed the isolation of almost 100% GFP-positive clones. Compared with the limiting dilution method, the number of parasite clones obtained by single-cell sorting was much higher. Molecular analyses showed that parasite isolates obtained by single-cell sorting were highly homogenous. This highly efficient single-cell sorting method should prove very useful for cloning both P. falciparum laboratory populations from genetic manipulation experiments and clinical samples.

  7. Rates of development in male and female Wood Frogs and patterns of parasitism by lung nematodes.

    PubMed

    Dare, O K; Forbes, M R

    2008-03-01

    Researchers are becoming interested in testing whether investment in growth and/or development trades off against investment in parasite defence. We tested this idea by examining relations between development of Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) and susceptibility to lung nematodes (Rhabdias ranae). Male and female frogs reared in outdoor mesocosms were the same length and mass at metamorphosis. However, males metamorphosed sooner than females. Lung nematodes were no more likely to penetrate male versus female metamorphs following controlled exposures, but males had higher intensities of adult female worms and the largest worms per host were, on average, of larger size in male metamorphs. Males that took longer to metamorphose carried higher numbers of worms in their lungs than males that metamorphosed early. In comparison, females that developed faster harboured more worms in their lungs than females that took longer to reach metamorphosis. Our results suggest that variation in susceptibility to lung nematodes is influenced by host sex and possibly also by sex-specific relations with developmental rate. Further, male hosts might prove to be a more important source of infective stages of worms than female hosts.

  8. Parasitism rate, parasitoid community composition and host specificity on exposed and semi-concealed caterpillars from a tropical rainforest.

    PubMed

    Hrcek, Jan; Miller, Scott E; Whitfield, James B; Shima, Hiroshi; Novotny, Vojtech

    2013-10-01

    The processes maintaining the enormous diversity of herbivore-parasitoid food webs depend on parasitism rate and parasitoid host specificity. The two parameters have to be evaluated in concert to make conclusions about the importance of parasitoids as natural enemies and guide biological control. We document parasitism rate and host specificity in a highly diverse caterpillar-parasitoid food web encompassing 266 species of lepidopteran hosts and 172 species of hymenopteran or dipteran parasitoids from a lowland tropical forest in Papua New Guinea. We found that semi-concealed hosts (leaf rollers and leaf tiers) represented 84% of all caterpillars, suffered a higher parasitism rate than exposed caterpillars (12 vs. 5%) and their parasitoids were also more host specific. Semi-concealed hosts may therefore be generally more amenable to biological control by parasitoids than exposed ones. Parasitoid host specificity was highest in Braconidae, lower in Diptera: Tachinidae, and, unexpectedly, the lowest in Ichneumonidae. This result challenges the long-standing view of low host specificity in caterpillar-attacking Tachinidae and suggests higher suitability of Braconidae and lower suitability of Ichneumonidae for biological control of caterpillars. Semi-concealed hosts and their parasitoids are the largest, yet understudied component of caterpillar-parasitoid food webs. However, they still remain much closer in parasitism patterns to exposed hosts than to what literature reports on fully concealed leaf miners. Specifically, semi-concealed hosts keep an equally low share of idiobionts (2%) as exposed caterpillars.

  9. Dynamic alteration in splenic function during acute falciparum malaria

    SciTech Connect

    Looareesuwan, S.; Ho, M.; Wattanagoon, Y.; White, N.J.; Warrell, D.A.; Bunnag, D.; Harinasuta, T.; Wyler, D.J.

    1987-09-10

    Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes lose their normal deformability and become susceptible to splenic filtration. In animal models, this is one mechanism of antimalarial defense. To assess the effect of acute falciparum malaria on splenic filtration, we measured the clearance of heated /sup 51/Cr-labeled autologous erythrocytes in 25 patients with acute falciparum malaria and in 10 uninfected controls. Two groups of patients could be distinguished. Sixteen patients had splenomegaly, markedly accelerated clearance of the labeled erythrocytes (clearance half-time, 8.4 +/- 4.4 minutes (mean +/- SD) vs. 62.5 +/- 36.5 minutes in controls; P less than 0.001), and a lower mean hematocrit than did the patients without splenomegaly (P less than 0.001). In the nine patients without splenomegaly, clearance was normal. After institution of antimalarial chemotherapy, however, the clearance in this group accelerated to supernormal rates similar to those in the patients with splenomegaly, but without the development of detectable splenomegaly. Clearance was not significantly altered by treatment in the group with splenomegaly. Six weeks later, normal clearance rates were reestablished in most patients in both groups. We conclude that splenic clearance of labeled erythrocytes is enhanced in patients with malaria if splenomegaly is present and is enhanced only after treatment if splenomegaly is absent. Whether this enhanced splenic function applies to parasite-infected erythrocytes in patients with malaria and has any clinical benefit will require further studies.

  10. Maurer's clefts, the enigma of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Mundwiler-Pachlatko, Esther; Beck, Hans-Peter

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria, completely remodels the infected human erythrocyte to acquire nutrients and to evade the immune system. For this process, the parasite exports more than 10% of all its proteins into the host cell cytosol, including the major virulence factor PfEMP1 (P. falciparum erythrocyte surface protein 1). This unusual protein trafficking system involves long-known parasite-derived membranous structures in the host cell cytosol, called Maurer’s clefts. However, the genesis, role, and function of Maurer’s clefts remain elusive. Similarly unclear is how proteins are sorted and how they are transported to and from these structures. Recent years have seen a large increase of knowledge but, as yet, no functional model has been established. In this perspective we review the most important findings and conclude with potential possibilities to shed light into the enigma of Maurer’s clefts. Understanding the mechanism and function of these structures, as well as their involvement in protein export in P. falciparum, might lead to innovative control strategies and might give us a handle with which to help to eliminate this deadly parasite. PMID:24284172

  11. Estimation of the In Vivo MIC of Cipargamin in Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Hien, Tran Tinh; White, Nicholas J.; Thuy-Nhien, Nguyen Thanh; Hoa, Nhu Thi; Thuan, Phung Duc; Nosten, François; Magnusson, Baldur; Jain, Jay Prakash

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The MIC of an antimalarial drug for a particular infection is the drug level associated with a net parasite multiplication rate of one per asexual cycle. To ensure the cure of malaria, the MIC must be exceeded until all parasites have been eliminated. The development of highly sensitive and accurate PCR quantitation of low-density malaria parasitemia enables the prospective pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) characterization of antimalarial drug effects and now allows identification of the in vivo MIC. An adaptive design and a PK-PD modeling approach were used to determine prospectively the MIC of the new antimalarial cipargamin (KAE609) in adults with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in an open-label, dose-ranging phase 2a study. Vietnamese adults with acute P. falciparum malaria were allocated sequentially to treatment with a single 30-mg (n = 6), 20-mg (n = 5), 10-mg (n = 7), or 15-mg (n = 7) dose of cipargamin. Artemisinin-based combination therapy was given after parasite densities had fallen and then risen as cipargamin levels declined below the MIC but before a return of signs or symptoms. The rates of parasite clearance were dose dependent, with near saturation of the effect being seen at an adult dose of 30 mg. The developed PK-PD model accurately predicted the therapeutic responses in 23/25 patients. The predicted median in vivo MIC was 0.126 ng/ml (range, 0.038 to 0.803 ng/ml). Pharmacometric characterization of the relationship between antimalarial drug concentrations and parasite clearance rates following graded subtherapeutic antimalarial drug dosing is safe and provides a rational framework for dose finding in antimalarial drug development. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under identifier NCT01836458.) PMID:27872070

  12. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections in the owl monkey (Aotus trivirgatus). I. The courses of untreated infections.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, L H

    1978-07-01

    This study, the first of three designed to determine the feasibility of using owl monkeys infected with human plasmodia in the search for new, more broadly active antimalarial drugs, dealt with the characteristics of untreated infections with eight strains of Plasmodium falciparum and two strains of P. vivax. Such infections, induced by standardized inocula of these strains in 1,733 monkeys, all Aotus trivirgatus griseimembra, were followed from day of inoculation to death of self-cure. The virulence of the various strains differed strikingly. Incidences of fatal reactions, ranging from 24.4--89.4% and 8.1--45.8%, respectively, in infections with strains of P. falciparum and P. vivax, were closely related to the rate at which parasitemia evolved, the height of parasitemia in the primary attack, and/or the time period over which a high parasite level was sustained. Antemortem symptom complexes and gross tissue and organ reactions in infections with P. falciparum varied with survival time, but within that boundary, were the same for infections with all eight strains of this plasmodium. Morbidity in both fatal and self-limited infections with both plasmodial species was related to height of parasitemia; however, at comparable parasite levels, symptoms exhibited in infections with P. vivax were more severe than in infections with P. falciparum. Overall, the characteristics of infections with these plasmodia in owl monkeys were remarkably similar to those of human infections. With respect to biological features, infections with P. falciparum and P. vivax in this simian host appear to have much to offer in the search for new antimalarial drugs.

  13. The Motor Complex of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Green, Judith L.; Rees-Channer, Roxanne R.; Howell, Stephen A.; Martin, Stephen R.; Knuepfer, Ellen; Taylor, Helen M.; Grainger, Munira; Holder, Anthony A.

    2008-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) of Apicomplexan parasites are crucial for the survival of the parasite throughout its life cycle. CDPK1 is expressed in the asexual blood stages of the parasite, particularly late stage schizonts. We have identified two substrates of Plasmodium falciparum CDPK1: myosin A tail domain-interacting protein (MTIP) and glideosome-associated protein 45 (GAP45), both of which are components of the motor complex that generates the force required by the parasite to actively invade host cells. Indirect immunofluorescence shows that CDPK1 localizes to the periphery of P. falciparum merozoites and is therefore suitably located to act on MTIP and GAP45 at the inner membrane complex. A proportion of both GAP45 and MTIP is phosphorylated in schizonts, and we demonstrate that both proteins can be efficiently phosphorylated by CDPK1 in vitro. A primary phosphorylation of MTIP occurs at serine 47, whereas GAP45 is phosphorylated at two sites, one of which could also be detected in phosphopeptides purified from parasite lysates. Both CDPK1 activity and host cell invasion can be inhibited by the kinase inhibitor K252a, suggesting that CDPK1 is a suitable target for antimalarial drug development. PMID:18768477

  14. Defective DNA repair as a potential mechanism for the rapid development of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Trotta, Richard F; Brown, Matthew L; Terrell, James C; Geyer, Jeanne A

    2004-05-04

    The development and spread of highly drug-resistant parasites pose a central problem in the control of malaria. Understanding mechanisms that regulate genomic stability, such as DNA repair, in drug-resistant parasites and during drug treatment may help determine whether this rapid onset of resistance is due to an increase in the rate at which resistance-causing mutations are generated. This is the first report to demonstrate DNA repair activities from the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum that are specific for ultraviolet light-induced DNA damage. The efficiency of DNA repair differs dramatically among P. falciparum strains with varying drug sensitivities. Most notable is the markedly reduced level of repair in the highly drug-resistant W2 isolate, which has been shown to develop resistance to novel drugs at an increased rate when compared to drug-sensitive strains. Additionally, the antimalarial drug chloroquine and other quinoline-like compounds interfered with the DNA synthesis step of the repair process, most likely a result of direct binding to repair substrates. We propose that altered DNA repair, either through defective repair mechanisms or drug-mediated inhibition, may contribute to the accelerated development of drug resistance in the parasite.

  15. Clinical Efficacy of Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine for the Treatment of Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Malaria at the China-Myanmar Border.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Yang, Zhaoqing; Yuan, Lili; Zhou, Guofa; Parker, Daniel; Lee, Ming-Chieh; Yan, Guiyun; Fan, Qi; Xiao, Yuping; Cao, Yaming; Cui, Liwang

    2015-09-01

    Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are currently used as the first-line therapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the recent emergence and/or spread of artemisinin resistance in parts of Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) of southeast Asia requires close monitoring of the therapeutic efficacy of ACTs. This study was conducted from March 2012 to December 2013 in four clinics and seven villages along the China-Myanmar border. A total of 109 patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria were treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) and followed up on days 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 42 after treatment. A total of 71 patients (22 children and 49 adults) completed the 42-day follow-up. DP remained highly efficacious for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria with an overall 42-day cure rate of 100%. The day 3 parasite-positive rate was 7.04% (5/71). Within 14 days of treatment, a total of 13 (18.31%) patients had detectable gametocytes and a large proportion of these were persistent from the first three days of treatment. The presence of gametocytes in patients through 14 days after DP treatment suggests that the incorporation of a single dose of primaquine for clearing gametocytemia should be considered for blocking parasite transmission.

  16. Ivermectin inhibits the sporogony of Plasmodium falciparum in Anopheles gambiae

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background When ingested in a blood meal, ivermectin has been shown to reduce the survivorship of Anopheles gambiae in the laboratory and field. Furthermore, ivermectin mass drug administrations in Senegal have been shown to reduce the proportion of Plasmodium falciparum-sporozoite-containing An. gambiae. This study addresses whether ivermectin inhibits sporogony of P. falciparum in An. gambiae. Methods Anophele gambiae s.s. G3 strain were fed two concentrations of ivermectin (LC25 and LC5) along with P. falciparum NF54 in human blood meals at staggered intervals. Mosquitoes ingested ivermectin concurrent with parasites (DPI 0), or at three (DPI 3), six (DPI 6), and nine (DPI 9) days post parasite ingestion, or three days prior (DPI −3) to parasite ingestion. Mosquitoes were dissected at seven, twelve or fourteen days post parasite ingestion and either oocyst or sporozoite prevalence was recorded. To determine if P. falciparum sporozoite-containing An. gambiae were more susceptible to ivermectin than uninfected controls, survivorship was recorded for mosquitoes which ingested P. falciparum or control blood meal on DPI 0 and then a second blood meal containing ivermectin (LC25) on DPI 14. Results Ivermectin (LC25) co-ingested (DPI 0) with parasites reduced the proportion of An. gambiae that developed oocysts (χ2 = 15.4842, P = 0.0002) and sporozoites (χ2 = 19.9643, P < 0.0001). Ivermectin (LC25) ingested DPI 6 (χ2 = 8.5103, P = 0.0044) and 9 (χ2 = 14.7998, P < 0.0001) reduced the proportion of An. gambiae that developed sporozoites but not when ingested DPI 3 (χ2 = 0.0113, P = 1). Ivermectin (LC5) co-ingested (DPI 0) with parasites did not reduce the proportion of An. gambiae that developed oocysts (χ2 = 4.2518, P = 0.0577) or sporozoites (χ2 = 2.3636, P = 0.1540), however, when ingested DPI −3 the proportion of An. gambiae that developed sporozoites was reduced (χ2 = 8.4806, P = 0.0047). Plasmodium falciparum infection significantly reduced the

  17. Discovery of a Plasmodium falciparum glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase 6- phosphogluconolactonase inhibitor (R,Z)-N-((1-ethylpyrrolidin-2-yl)methyl)-2-(2-fluorobenzylidene)-3-oxo-3,4-dihydro-2H-benzo[b][1,4]thiazine-6-carboxamide (ML276) that reduces parasite growth in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Preuss, Janina; Maloney, Patrick; Peddibhotla, Satyamaheshwar; Hedrick, Michael P.; Hershberger, Paul; Gosalia, Palak; Milewski, Monika; Li, Yujie Linda; Sugarman, Eliot; Hood, Becky; Suyama, Eigo; Nguyen, Kevin; Vasile, Stefan; Sergienko, Eduard; Mangravita-Novo, Arianna; Vicchiarelli, Michael; McAnally, Danielle; Smith, Layton H.; Roth, Gregory P.; Diwan, Jena; Chung, Thomas D.Y.; Jortzik, Esther; Rahlfs, Stefan; Becker, Katja; Pinkerton, Anthony B.; Bode, Lars

    2012-01-01

    A high throughput screen of the NIH’s MLSMR collection of ~340,000 compounds was undertaken to identify compounds that inhibit Plasmodium falciparum glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (PfG6PD). PfG6PD is essential for proliferating and propagating P. falciparum and differs structurally and mechanistically from the human ortholog. The reaction catalyzed by glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is the first, rate-limiting step in the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), a key metabolic pathway sustaining anabolic needs in reductive equivalents and synthetic materials in fastgrowing cells. In P. falciparum the bifunctional enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-6- phosphogluconolactonase (PfGluPho) catalyzes the first two steps of the PPP. Because P. falciparum and infected host red blood cells rely on accelerated glucose flux, they depend on the G6PD activity of PfGluPho. The lead compound identified from this effort, (R,Z)-N-((1-ethylpyrrolidin-2-yl)methyl)-2- (2-fluorobenzylidene)-3-oxo-3,4-dihydro-2H-benzo[b][1,4]thiazine-6-carboxamide, 11, (ML276), is a submicromolar inhibitor of PfG6PD (IC50 = 889 nM). It is completely selective for the enzyme’s human isoform, displays micromolar potency (IC50 = 2.6 μM) against P. falciparum in culture, and has good drug-like properties, including high solubility and moderate microsomal stability. Studies testing the potential advantage of inhibiting PfG6PD in vivo are in progress. PMID:22813531

  18. Mosquito ingestion of antibodies against mosquito midgut microbiota improves conversion of ookinetes to oocysts for Plasmodium falciparum, but not P. yoelii

    PubMed Central

    Vaughan, Jefferson A.; Pumpuni, Charles B.; Beier, John C.

    2011-01-01

    The mosquito midgut is a site of complex interactions between the mosquito, the malaria parasite and the resident bacterial flora. In laboratory experiments, we observed significant enhancement of Plasmodium falciparum oocyst production when Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes were membrane-fed on infected blood containing gametocytes from in vitro cultures mixed with sera from rabbits immunized with A. gambiae midguts. To identify specific mechanisms, we evaluated whether the immune sera was interfering with the usual limiting activity of gram-negative bacteria in An. gambiae midguts. Enhancement of P. falciparum infection rates occurred at some stage between the ookinete and oocyst stage and was associated with greater numbers of oocysts in mosquitoes fed on immune sera. The same immune sera did not affect the sporogonic development of P. yoelii, a rodent malaria parasite. Not only did antibodies in the immune sera recognize several types of midgut-derived gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas spp. and Cedecea spp.), but gentamicin provided in the sugar meal 3 days before an infectious P. falciparum blood meal mixed with immune sera eliminated the enhancing effect. These results suggest that gram-negative bacteria, which normally impair P. falciparum development between the ookinete and oocyst stage, were altered by specific anti-bacterial antibodies produced by immunizing rabbits with non-antibiotic-treated midgut lysates. Because of the differences in developmental kinetics between human and rodent malaria species, the anti-bacterial antibodies had no effect on P. yoelii because their ookinetes leave the midgut much earlier than P. falciparum and so are not influenced as strongly by resident midgut bacteria. While this study highlights the complex interactions occurring between the parasite, mosquito, and midgut microbiota, the ultimate goal is to determine the influence of midgut microbiota on Plasmodium development in anopheline midguts in malaria

  19. Dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum Parasitemia Regarding Combined Treatment Regimens for Acute Uncomplicated Malaria, Antioquia, Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez, Gonzalo; Tobón, Alberto; Piñeros, Juan-Gabriel; Ríos, Alexandra; Blair, Silvia

    2010-01-01

    Selecting suitable anti-malarial treatment represents one of the best tools for reducing morbidity and mortality caused by this disease. Sexual and asexual parasite dynamics were thus evaluated in patients involved in antimalarial drug efficacy studies by using combined treatment with and without artemisinin derivatives for treating uncomplicated acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Antioquia, Colombia. All treatment doses were supervised and administered according to patients' weight; sexual and asexual parasitemia were evaluated during 28- or 42-days follow-up in 468 patients. Artemisinin-based combination therapy showed greater parasiticidal ability, showing a mean asexual parasitemia survival rate of one day and mean gametocyte survival rate of 1–2 days. Sexual and asexual parasitemias were eliminated more quickly and effectively in the group receiving artemisinin-based combination therapy. Adding 45 mg of primaquine to treatment with artesunate and mefloquine reduced gametocyte and asexual parasite survival by one day. PMID:20595483

  20. Dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia regarding combined treatment regimens for acute uncomplicated malaria, Antioquia, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Gonzalo; Tobón, Alberto; Piñeros, Juan-Gabriel; Ríos, Alexandra; Blair, Silvia

    2010-07-01

    Selecting suitable anti-malarial treatment represents one of the best tools for reducing morbidity and mortality caused by this disease. Sexual and asexual parasite dynamics were thus evaluated in patients involved in antimalarial drug efficacy studies by using combined treatment with and without artemisinin derivatives for treating uncomplicated acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Antioquia, Colombia. All treatment doses were supervised and administered according to patients' weight; sexual and asexual parasitemia were evaluated during 28- or 42-days follow-up in 468 patients. Artemisinin-based combination therapy showed greater parasiticidal ability, showing a mean asexual parasitemia survival rate of one day and mean gametocyte survival rate of 1-2 days. Sexual and asexual parasitemias were eliminated more quickly and effectively in the group receiving artemisinin-based combination therapy. Adding 45 mg of primaquine to treatment with artesunate and mefloquine reduced gametocyte and asexual parasite survival by one day.

  1. Minireview: Invasive fungal infection complicating acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Däbritz, Jan; Schneider, Markward; Just-Nuebling, Gudrun; Groll, Andreas H

    2011-07-01

    Malaria is the most important parasitic infection in people, affecting 5-10% of the world's population with more than two million deaths a year. Whereas invasive bacterial infections are not uncommon during severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria, only a few cases of opportunistic fungal infections have been reported. Here, we present a fatal case of disseminated hyalohyphomycosis associated with acute P. falciparum malaria in a non-immune traveller, review the cases reported in the literature and discuss the theoretical foundations for the increased susceptibility of non-immune individuals with severe P. falciparum malaria to opportunistic fungal infections. Apart from the availability of free iron as sequelae of massive haemolysis, tissue damage, acidosis and measures of advanced life support, patients with complicated P. falciparum malaria also are profoundly immunosuppressed by the organism's interaction with innate and adaptive host immune mechanisms.

  2. Chloroquine accumulation by purified plasma membranes from Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Elandaloussi, Laurence M; Smith, Peter J

    2006-01-01

    Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine (CQ) has been associated with a decrease in CQ accumulation by parasitized erythrocytes. This study aimed at investigating the role of parasite plasma membranes (PPM) in the mechanism of CQ accumulation. CQ accumulation capabilities of membranes were determined using tritiated CQ. PPM isolated from chloroquine-sensitive parasites were found to accumulate less CQ than those isolated from chloroquine-resistant parasites. However, CQ accumulation was found to be ATP-independent suggesting that this accumulation results from binding rather than transport.

  3. Microsatellite analysis of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Orjuela-Sánchez, Pamela; Brandi, Michelle C; Ferreira, Marcelo U

    2013-01-01

    Microsatellites have been increasingly used to investigate the population structure of malaria parasites, to map genetic loci contributing to phenotypes such as drug resistance and virulence in laboratory crosses and genome-wide association studies and to distinguish between treatment failures and new infections in clinical trials. Here, we provide optimized protocols for genotyping highly polymorphic microsatellites sampled from across the genomes of the human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax that have been extensively used in research laboratories worldwide.

  4. High Rates of Asymptomatic, Sub-microscopic Plasmodium vivax Infection and Disappearing Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in an Area of Low Transmission in Solomon Islands

    PubMed Central

    Waltmann, Andreea; Darcy, Andrew W.; Harris, Ivor; Koepfli, Cristian; Lodo, John; Vahi, Ventis; Piziki, David; Shanks, G. Dennis; Barry, Alyssa E.; Whittaker, Maxine; Kazura, James W.; Mueller, Ivo

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Solomon Islands is intensifying national efforts to achieve malaria elimination. A long history of indoor spraying with residual insecticides, combined recently with distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets and artemether-lumefantrine therapy, has been implemented in Solomon Islands. The impact of these interventions on local endemicity of Plasmodium spp. is unknown. Methods In 2012, a cross-sectional survey of 3501 residents of all ages was conducted in Ngella, Central Islands Province, Solomon Islands. Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale and P. malariae was assessed by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and light microscopy (LM). Presence of gametocytes was determined by reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Results By qPCR, 468 Plasmodium spp. infections were detected (prevalence = 13.4%; 463 P. vivax, five mixed P. falciparum/P. vivax, no P. ovale or P. malariae) versus 130 by LM (prevalence = 3.7%; 126 P. vivax, three P. falciparum and one P. falciparum/P. vivax). The prevalence of P. vivax infection varied significantly among villages (range 3.0–38.5%, p<0.001) and across age groups (5.3–25.9%, p<0.001). Of 468 P. vivax infections, 72.9% were sub-microscopic, 84.5% afebrile and 60.0% were both sub-microscopic and afebrile. Local residency, low education level of the household head and living in a household with at least one other P. vivax infected individual increased the risk of P. vivax infection. Overall, 23.5% of P. vivax infections had concurrent gametocytaemia. Of all P. vivax positive samples, 29.2% were polyclonal by MS16 and msp1F3 genotyping. All five P. falciparum infections were detected in residents of the same village, carried the same msp2 allele and four were positive for P. falciparum gametocytes. Conclusion P. vivax infection remains endemic in Ngella, with the majority of cases afebrile and below the detection limit of LM. P. falciparum has nearly disappeared, but the risk of re-introductions and

  5. Effects of parasites and antigenic challenge on metabolic rates and thermoregulation in northern red-backed voles (Myodes rutilus).

    PubMed

    Novikov, Eugene; Kondratyuk, Ekaterina; Petrovski, Dmitry; Krivopalov, Anton; Moshkin, Mikhail

    2015-12-01

    Perturbations in host energetics are considered to be an essential pathway for parasite impact on host fitness. However, direct estimations of parasite-induced variations in basal metabolic rates of vertebrate hosts have so far provided contradictory results. The energy requirements of immunity and other vital functions may be compromised in energy-demanding conditions in comparison to comfortable conditions; therefore, in our study performed on the wild red-backed vole, Myodes rutilus, we compared the values of indices that reflect metabolic and thermoregulatory responses to acute cooling in individuals that had been naturally infected by gut helminths or Ixodes persulcatus taiga ticks to individuals with no signs of infestation. To consider the possible effects of an acquired immune response on host energetics, we also injected some of the tested individuals with sheep red blood cells (SRBC). Red-backed voles infected by the nematode Heligmosomum mixtum injected with SRBC showed significantly lower cold-induced maximum oxygen consumption than the saline control. Additionally, individuals infected with H. mixtum showed significantly lower oxygen consumption during the final minute of the 15-min acute cooling period and a significantly greater decline in body temperature than individuals free from helminths. In individuals concurrently infected by H. mixtum and the cestodes Arostrilepis horrida, these indices did not differ from helminth-free individuals. The number of ticks simultaneously parasitizing the voles at the moment of capture correlated positively with their SMR. Our results suggest that even natural parasites produce deleterious effects on host aerobic capacity and thermoregulatory abilities, although the effects of different parasites might not be additive.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Fitness of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Hott, Amanda; Tucker, Matthew S.; Casandra, Debora; Sparks, Kansas; Kyle, Dennis E.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Drug resistance confers a fitness advantage to parasites exposed to frequent drug pressure, yet these mutations also may incur a fitness cost. We assessed fitness advantages and costs of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in vitro to understand how drug resistance will spread and evolve in a competitive environment. Methods Genotyping of SNPs, drug susceptibility assays and copy number determination were used to assess the impact of artemisinin resistance on parasite fitness. An artemisinin-resistant clone (C9) selected in vitro from an isogenic parental clone (D6) was used to conduct competitive growth studies to assess fitness of artemisinin resistance. The resistant and susceptible clones were mixed or grown alone in the presence and absence of drug pressure (dihydroartemisinin or pyrimethamine) to quantify the rate at which artemisinin resistance was gained or lost. Results We experimentally demonstrate for the first time that artemisinin resistance provides a fitness advantage that is selected for with infrequent exposure to drug, but is lost in the absence of exposure to artemisinin drugs. The best correlations with artemisinin resistance were decreased in vitro drug susceptibility to artemisinin derivatives, increased copy number of Pf3D7_1030100 and an SNP in Pf3D7_0307600. An SNP conferring an E208K mutation in the kelch gene (Pf3D7_1343700) was not associated with resistance. Furthermore, we observed second-cycle ring-stage dormancy induced by pyrimethamine, suggesting that dormancy is a fitness trait that provides an advantage for survival from antimalarial drug stress. Conclusions Artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum have a fitness advantage to survive and predominate in the population even in the face of infrequent exposure to artemisinin drugs. PMID:26203183

  9. The Role of Age and Exposure to Plasmodium falciparum in the Rate of Acquisition of Naturally Acquired Immunity: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Guinovart, Caterina; Dobaño, Carlota; Bassat, Quique; Nhabomba, Augusto; Quintó, Llorenç; Manaca, Maria Nélia; Aguilar, Ruth; Rodríguez, Mauricio H.; Barbosa, Arnoldo; Aponte, John J.; Mayor, Alfredo G.; Renom, Montse; Moraleda, Cinta; Roberts, David J.; Schwarzer, Evelin; Le Souëf, Peter N.; Schofield, Louis; Chitnis, Chetan E.; Doolan, Denise L.; Alonso, Pedro L.

    2012-01-01

    Background The rate of acquisition of naturally acquired immunity (NAI) against malaria predominantly depends on transmission intensity and age, although disentangling the effects of these is difficult. We used chemoprophylaxis to selectively control exposure to P. falciparum during different periods in infancy and explore the effect of age in the build-up of NAI, measured as risk of clinical malaria. Methods and Findings A three-arm double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 349 infants born to Mozambican HIV-negative women. The late exposure group (LEG) received monthly Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) plus Artesunate (AS) from 2.5–4.5 months of age and monthly placebo from 5.5–9.5 months; the early exposure group (EEG) received placebo from 2.5–4.5 months and SP+AS from 5.5–9.5 months; and the control group (CG) received placebo from 2.5–9.5 months. Active and passive case detection (PCD) were conducted from birth to 10.5 and 24 months respectively. The primary endpoint was time to first or only episode of malaria in the second year detected by PCD. The incidence of malaria during the second year was of 0.50, 0.51 and 0.35 episodes/PYAR in the LEG, EEG and CG respectively (p = 0.379 for the adjusted comparison of the 3 groups). The hazard ratio of the adjusted comparison between the LEG and the CG was 1.38 (0.83–2.28, p = 0.642) and that between the EEG and the CG was 1.35 (0.81–2.24, p = 0.743). Conclusions After considerably interfering with exposure during the first year of life, there was a trend towards a higher risk of malaria in the second year in children who had received chemoprophylaxis, but there was no significant rebound. No evidence was found that the age of first exposure to malaria affects the rate of acquisition of NAI. Thus, the timing of administration of antimalarial interventions like malaria vaccines during infancy does not appear to be a critical determinant. Trial Registration Clinical

  10. Clonal variants of Plasmodium falciparum exhibit a narrow range of rolling velocities to host receptor CD36 under dynamic flow conditions.

    PubMed

    Herricks, Thurston; Avril, Marion; Janes, Joel; Smith, Joseph D; Rathod, Pradipsinh K

    2013-11-01

    Cytoadhesion of Plasmodium falciparum parasitized red blood cells (pRBCs) has been implicated in the virulence of malaria infection. Cytoadhesive interactions are mediated by the protein family of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). The PfEMP1 family is under strong antibody and binding selection, resulting in extensive sequence and size variation of the extracellular domains. Here, we investigated cytoadhesion of pRBCs to CD36, a common receptor of P. falciparum field isolates, under dynamic flow conditions. Isogeneic parasites, predominantly expressing single PfEMP1 variants, were evaluated for binding to recombinant CD36 under dynamic flow conditions using microfluidic devices. We tested if PfEMP1 size (number of extracellular domains) or sequence variation affected the pRBC-CD36 interaction. Our analysis showed that clonal parasite variants varied ∼5-fold in CD36 rolling velocity despite extensive PfEMP1 sequence polymorphism. In addition, adherent pRBCs exhibited a characteristic hysteresis in rolling velocity at microvascular flow rates, which was accompanied by changes in pRBC shape and may represent important adaptations that favor stable binding.

  11. Novel Inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase with Anti-malarial Activity in the Mouse Model

    SciTech Connect

    Booker, Michael L.; Bastos, Cecilia M.; Kramer, Martin L.; Barker, Jr., Robert H.; Skerlj, Renato; Sidhu, Amar Bir; Deng, Xiaoyi; Celatka, Cassandra; Cortese, Joseph F.; Guerrero Bravo, Jose E.; Crespo Llado, Keila N.; Serrano, Adelfa E.; Angulo-Barturen, Iñigo; Jiménez-Díaz, María Belén; Viera, Sara; Garuti, Helen; Wittlin, Sergio; Papastogiannidis, Petros; Lin, Jing-wen; Janse, Chris J.; Khan, Shahid M.; Duraisingh, Manoj; Coleman, Bradley; Goldsmith, Elizabeth J.; Phillips, Margaret A.; Munoz, Benito; Wirth, Dyann F.; Klinger, Jeffrey D.; Wiegand, Roger; Sybertz, Edmund

    2010-11-22

    Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most deadly form of human malaria, is unable to salvage pyrimidines and must rely on de novo biosynthesis for survival. Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway and represents a potential target for anti-malarial therapy. A high throughput screen and subsequent medicinal chemistry program identified a series of N-alkyl-5-(1H-benzimidazol-1-yl)thiophene-2-carboxamides with low nanomolar in vitro potency against DHODH from P. falciparum, P. vivax, and P. berghei. The compounds were selective for the parasite enzymes over human DHODH, and x-ray structural data on the analog Genz-667348, demonstrated that species selectivity could be attributed to amino acid differences in the inhibitor-binding site. Compounds from this series demonstrated in vitro potency against the 3D7 and Dd2 strains of P. falciparum, good tolerability and oral exposure in the mouse, and ED{sub 50} values in the 4-day murine P. berghei efficacy model of 13-21 mg/kg/day with oral twice-daily dosing. In particular, treatment with Genz-667348 at 100 mg/kg/day resulted in sterile cure. Two recent analogs of Genz-667348 are currently undergoing pilot toxicity testing to determine suitability as clinical development candidates.

  12. Antimalarial Benzoxaboroles Target Plasmodium falciparum Leucyl-tRNA Synthetase

    PubMed Central

    Sonoiki, Ebere; Palencia, Andres; Guo, Denghui; Ahyong, Vida; Dong, Chen; Li, Xianfeng; Hernandez, Vincent S.; Zhang, Yong-Kang; Choi, Wai; Gut, Jiri; Legac, Jennifer; Cooper, Roland; Alley, M. R. K.; Freund, Yvonne R.; DeRisi, Joseph; Cusack, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    There is a need for new antimalarials, ideally with novel mechanisms of action. Benzoxaboroles have been shown to be active against bacteria, fungi, and trypanosomes. Therefore, we investigated the antimalarial activity and mechanism of action of 3-aminomethyl benzoxaboroles against Plasmodium falciparum. Two 3-aminomethyl compounds, AN6426 and AN8432, demonstrated good potency against cultured multidrug-resistant (W2 strain) P. falciparum (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] of 310 nM and 490 nM, respectively) and efficacy against murine Plasmodium berghei infection when administered orally once daily for 4 days (90% effective dose [ED90], 7.4 and 16.2 mg/kg of body weight, respectively). To characterize mechanisms of action, we selected parasites with decreased drug sensitivity by culturing with stepwise increases in concentration of AN6426. Resistant clones were characterized by whole-genome sequencing. Three generations of resistant parasites had polymorphisms in the predicted editing domain of the gene encoding a P. falciparum leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS; PF3D7_0622800) and in another gene (PF3D7_1218100), which encodes a protein of unknown function. Solution of the structure of the P. falciparum LeuRS editing domain suggested key roles for mutated residues in LeuRS editing. Short incubations with AN6426 and AN8432, unlike artemisinin, caused dose-dependent inhibition of [14C]leucine incorporation by cultured wild-type, but not resistant, parasites. The growth of resistant, but not wild-type, parasites was impaired in the presence of the unnatural amino acid norvaline, consistent with a loss of LeuRS editing activity in resistant parasites. In summary, the benzoxaboroles AN6426 and AN8432 offer effective antimalarial activity and act, at least in part, against a novel target, the editing domain of P. falciparum LeuRS. PMID:27270277

  13. A Plasmodium falciparum copper-binding membrane protein with copper transport motifs

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Copper is an essential catalytic co-factor for metabolically important cellular enzymes, such as cytochrome-c oxidase. Eukaryotic cells acquire copper through a copper transport protein and distribute intracellular copper using molecular chaperones. The copper chelator, neocuproine, inhibits Plasmodium falciparum ring-to-trophozoite transition in vitro, indicating a copper requirement for malaria parasite development. How the malaria parasite acquires or secretes copper still remains to be fully elucidated. Methods PlasmoDB was searched for sequences corresponding to candidate P. falciparum copper-requiring proteins. The amino terminal domain of a putative P. falciparum copper transport protein was cloned and expressed as a maltose binding fusion protein. The copper binding ability of this protein was examined. Copper transport protein-specific anti-peptide antibodies were generated in chickens and used to establish native protein localization in P. falciparum parasites by immunofluorescence microscopy. Results Six P. falciparum copper-requiring protein orthologs and a candidate P. falciparum copper transport protein (PF14_0369), containing characteristic copper transport protein features, were identified in PlasmoDB. The recombinant amino terminal domain of the transport protein bound reduced copper in vitro and within Escherichia coli cells during recombinant expression. Immunolocalization studies tracked the copper binding protein translocating from the erythrocyte plasma membrane in early ring stage to a parasite membrane as the parasites developed to schizonts. The protein appears to be a PEXEL-negative membrane protein. Conclusion Plasmodium falciparum parasites express a native protein with copper transporter characteristics that binds copper in vitro. Localization of the protein to the erythrocyte and parasite plasma membranes could provide a mechanism for the delivery of novel anti-malarial compounds. PMID:23190769

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Homology blocks of Plasmodium falciparum var genes and clinically distinct forms of severe malaria in a local population

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The primary target of the human immune response to the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), is encoded by the members of the hyper-diverse var gene family. The parasite exhibits antigenic variation via mutually exclusive expression (switching) of the ~60 var genes within its genome. It is thought that different variants exhibit different host endothelial binding preferences that in turn result in different manifestations of disease. Results Var sequences comprise ancient sequence fragments, termed homology blocks (HBs), that recombine at exceedingly high rates. We use HBs to define distinct var types within a local population. We then reanalyze a dataset that contains clinical and var expression data to investigate whether the HBs allow for a description of sequence diversity corresponding to biological function, such that it improves our ability to predict disease phenotype from parasite genetics. We find that even a generic set of HBs, which are defined for a small number of non-local parasites: capture the majority of local sequence diversity; improve our ability to predict disease severity from parasite genetics; and reveal a previously hypothesized yet previously unobserved parasite genetic basis for two forms of severe disease. We find that the expression rates of some HBs correlate more strongly with severe disease phenotypes than the expression rates of classic var DBLα tag types, and principal components of HB expression rate profiles further improve genotype-phenotype models. More specifically, within the large Kenyan dataset that is the focus of this study, we observe that HB expression differs significantly for severe versus mild disease, and for rosetting versus impaired consciousness associated severe disease. The analysis of a second much smaller dataset from Mali suggests that these HB-phenotype associations are consistent across geographically distant populations, since we find

  17. A World Malaria Map: Plasmodium falciparum Endemicity in 2007

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Simon I; Guerra, Carlos A; Gething, Peter W; Patil, Anand P; Tatem, Andrew J; Noor, Abdisalan M; Kabaria, Caroline W; Manh, Bui H; Elyazar, Iqbal R. F; Brooker, Simon; Smith, David L; Moyeed, Rana A; Snow, Robert W

    2009-01-01

    Background Efficient allocation of resources to intervene against malaria requires a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of malaria risk. It is exactly 40 y since the last global map of malaria endemicity was published. This paper describes the generation of a new world map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity for the year 2007. Methods and Findings A total of 8,938 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) surveys were identified using a variety of exhaustive search strategies. Of these, 7,953 passed strict data fidelity tests for inclusion into a global database of PfPR data, age-standardized to 2–10 y for endemicity mapping. A model-based geostatistical procedure was used to create a continuous surface of malaria endemicity within previously defined stable spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission. These procedures were implemented within a Bayesian statistical framework so that the uncertainty of these predictions could be evaluated robustly. The uncertainty was expressed as the probability of predicting correctly one of three endemicity classes; previously stratified to be an informative guide for malaria control. Population at risk estimates, adjusted for the transmission modifying effects of urbanization in Africa, were then derived with reference to human population surfaces in 2007. Of the 1.38 billion people at risk of stable P. falciparum malaria, 0.69 billion were found in Central and South East Asia (CSE Asia), 0.66 billion in Africa, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia (Africa+), and 0.04 billion in the Americas. All those exposed to stable risk in the Americas were in the lowest endemicity class (PfPR2−10 ≤ 5%). The vast majority (88%) of those living under stable risk in CSE Asia were also in this low endemicity class; a small remainder (11%) were in the intermediate endemicity class (PfPR2−10 > 5 to < 40%); and the remaining fraction (1%) in high endemicity (PfPR2−10 ≥ 40%) areas. High endemicity was widespread in the

  18. Differences in trans-stimulated chloroquine efflux kinetics are linked to PfCRT in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Cecilia P.; Rohrbach, Petra; McLean, Jeremy E.; Fidock, David A.; Stein, Wilfred D.; Lanzer, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Summary The mechanism underpinning chloroquine drug resistance in the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum has remained controversial. Currently discussed models include a carrier or a channel for chloroquine, the former actively expelling the drug, the latter facilitating its passive diffusion, out of the parasite’s food vacuole, where chloroquine accumulates and inhibits haem detoxification. Here we have challenged both models using an established trans-stimulation efflux protocol. While carriers may demonstrate trans-stimulation, channels do not. Our data reveal that extracellular chloroquine stimulates chloroquine efflux in the presence and absence of metabolic energy in both chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasites, resulting in a hyperbolic increase in the apparent initial efflux rates as the concentration of external chloroquine increases. In the absence of metabolic energy, the apparent initial efflux rates were comparable in both parasites. Significant differences were only observed in the presence of metabolic energy, where consistently higher apparent initial efflux rates were found in chloroquine-resistant parasites. As trans-stimulation is characteristic of a carrier, and not a channel, we interpret our data in favour of a carrier for chloroquine being present in both chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasites, however, with different transport modalities. PMID:17493125

  19. Erythrocyte invasion profiles are associated with a common invasion ligand polymorphism in Senegalese isolates of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Lantos, P M; Ahouidi, A D; Bei, A K; Jennings, C V; Sarr, O; Ndir, O; Wirth, D F; Mboup, S; Duraisingh, M T

    2009-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites use multiple ligand-receptor interactions to invade human erythrocytes. Variant expression levels of members of the PfRh and PfEBA ligand families are associated with the use of different erythrocyte receptors, defining invasion pathways. Here we analyse a major polymorphism, a large sequence deletion in the PfRh2b ligand, and erythrocyte invasion profiles in uncultured Senegalese isolates. Parasites vary considerably in their use of sialic acid-containing and protease-sensitive erythrocyte receptors for invasion. The erythrocyte selectivity index was not related to invasion pathway usage, while parasite multiplication rate was associated with enhanced use of a trypsin-resistant invasion pathway. PfRh2b protein was expressed in all parasite isolates, although the PfRh2b deletion was present in a subset (approximately 68%). Parasites with the PfRh2b deletion were found to preferentially utilize protease-resistant pathways for erythrocyte invasion. Sialic acid-independent invasion is reduced in parasites with the PfRh2b deletion, but only in isolates derived from blood group O patients. Our results suggest a significant role for PfRh2b sequence polymorphism in discriminating between alternative erythrocyte receptors for invasion and as a possible determinant of virulence.

  20. Efficacy of herbal remedies used by herbalists in Oyo State Nigeria for treatment of Plasmodium falciparum infections--a survey and an observation.

    PubMed

    Ajaiyeoba, E O; Falade, C O; Fawole, O I; Akinboye, D O; Gbotosho, G O; Bolaji, O M; Ashidi, J S; Abiodun, O O; Osowole, O S; Itiola, O A; Oladepo, O; Sowunmi, A; Oduola, A M J

    2004-06-01

    In the course of evaluating the contribution of phytomedicine to possible drug discovery of antimalarial drugs, an ethnomedical survey of specialized children traditional clinics was done. In the observational multi center study, efficacy of eight different herbal remedies, each consisting of 3-8 ingredients and administered by herbalists were investigated in clients enrolled in the six traditional clinics in Oyo (urban center) and Otu (rural center) of Oyo State, Nigeria. The clients, aged between six months and fifteen years with clinical symptoms of malaria were enrolled in the clinics of the herbalists, as their usual practice. Oral informed consents were obtained from their parents or guardians. Microscopic diagnosis of malaria infection was used to evaluate parasitaemia and validate efficacy of herbal remedies. Results of the analysis showed that, of the 163 clients of the herbalists, only 62 (30 from Oyo, 32 from Otu) had microscopically confirmed P. falciparum infection. Only results from 54 clients (29/30 (Oyo) and 25/32 (Otu) with P. falciparum infection could be evaluated. Plasmodium falciparum infection in 88% (23/29) of clients from Oyo responded to treatment with the herbal remedies while cure rate in clients from Otu was 42% (13/25). Parasite densities ranged from 171 to 53,613 parasites/microl blood and 87 to 36,209 parasites/microl blood in patients from Oyo and Otu respectively. The herbalists administered the remedies and Gossypium arboreum, Anarcadium occidentalis, Citrus medica, Phyllanthus amarus and Lippia multiflora were the main ingredients in the efficacious remedies. The herbalists gave detailed descriptions of each of the 8 herbal remedies proffered. The results confirm the efficacy of two of the eight herbal remedies, thereby validating the role of ethnomedicine as a possible source for the discovery of new chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of P. falciparum malaria.

  1. Asymptomatic infection in individuals from the municipality of Barcelos (Brazilian Amazon) is not associated with the anti-Plasmodium falciparum glycosylphosphatidylinositol antibody response

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Larissa Rodrigues; Totino, Paulo Renato Rivas; Sanchez, Maria Carmen Arroyo; Daniel, Elsa Paula da Silva Kaingona; de Macedo, Cristiana Santos; Fortes, Filomeno; Coura, José Rodrigues; Santi, Silvia Maria Di; Werneck, Guilherme Loureiro; Suárez-Mutis, Martha Cecilia; Ferreira-da-Cruz, Maria de Fátima; Daniel-Ribeiro, Cláudio Tadeu

    2013-01-01

    Anti-glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) antibodies (Abs) may reflect and mediate, at least partially, anti-disease immunity in malaria by neutralising the toxic effect of parasitic GPI. Thus, we assessed the anti-GPI Ab response in asymptomatic individuals living in an area of the Brazilian Amazon that has a high level of malaria transmission. For comparative purposes, we also investigated the Ab response to a crude extract prepared from Plasmodium falciparum, the merozoite surface protein (MSP)3 antigen of P. falciparum and the MSP 1 antigen of Plasmodium vivax (PvMSP1-19) in these individuals and in Angolan patients with acute malaria. Our data suggest that the Ab response against P. falciparum GPI is not associated with P. falciparum asymptomatic infection in individuals who have been chronically exposed to malaria in the Brazilian Amazon. However, this Ab response could be related to ongoing parasitaemia (as was previously shown) in the Angolan patients. In addition, our data show that PvMSP1-19may be a good marker antigen to reflect previous exposure to Plasmodium in areas that have a high transmission rate of P. vivax. PMID:24037204

  2. Hemoglobinopathic Erythrocytes Affect the Intraerythrocytic Multiplication of Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Glushakova, Svetlana; Balaban, Amanda; McQueen, Philip G.; Coutinho, Rosane; Miller, Jeffery L.; Nossal, Ralph; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2014-01-01

    Background. The mechanisms by which α-thalassemia and sickle cell traits confer protection from severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria are not yet fully elucidated. We hypothesized that hemoglobinopathic erythrocytes reduce the intraerythrocytic multiplication of P. falciparum, potentially delaying the development of life-threatening parasite densities until parasite clearing immunity is achieved. Methods. We developed a novel in vitro assay to quantify the number of merozoites released from an individual schizont, termed the “intraerythrocytic multiplication factor” (IMF). Results. P. falciparum (3D7 line) schizonts produce variable numbers of merozoites in all erythrocyte types tested, with median IMFs of 27, 27, 29, 23, and 23 in control, HbAS, HbSS, and α- and β-thalassemia trait erythrocytes, respectively. IMF correlated strongly (r2 = 0.97; P < .001) with mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and varied significantly with mean corpuscular volume and hemoglobin content. Reduction of IMFs in thalassemia trait erythrocytes was confirmed using clinical parasite isolates with different IMFs. Mathematical modeling of the effect of IMF on malaria progression indicates that the lower IMF in thalassemia trait erythrocytes limits parasite density and anemia severity over the first 2 weeks of parasite replication. Conclusions. P. falciparum IMF, a parasite heritable virulence trait, correlates with erythrocyte indices and is reduced in thalassemia trait erythrocytes. Parasite IMF should be examined in other low-indices erythrocytes. PMID:24688070

  3. Plasmodium falciparum mdr1 mutations and in vivo chloroquine resistance in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Saladín, E; Fryauff, D J; Taylor, W R; Laksana, B S; Susanti, A I; Purnomo; Subianto, B; Richie, T L

    1999-08-01

    Mutations in the Pfmdr1 gene are reported to be associated with chloroquine resistance in some Plasmodium falciparum isolates. A polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism method was used for the detection of Pfmdr1 mutations in chloroquine-resistant field isolates of P. falciparum collected in Irian Jaya. The frequency of Pfmdr1 mutations was significantly higher in chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum parasites than background frequencies observed in the same location. The 7G8 mutation was identified in some parasites although always in a mixed genotype status. Chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum specimens were characterized using the World Health Organization 28-day criteria, supplemented by demonstrating adequate chloroquine absorption and genetic analysis.

  4. Efficacy of chloroquine for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Honduras.

    PubMed

    Mejia Torres, Rosa Elena; Banegas, Engels Ilich; Mendoza, Meisy; Diaz, Cesar; Bucheli, Sandra Tamara Mancero; Fontecha, Gustavo A; Alam, Md Tauqeer; Goldman, Ira; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Zambrano, Jose Orlinder Nicolas

    2013-05-01

    Chloroquine (CQ) is officially used for the primary treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Honduras. In this study, the therapeutic efficacy of CQ for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in the municipality of Puerto Lempira, Gracias a Dios, Honduras was evaluated using the Pan American Health Organization-World Health Organization protocol with a follow-up of 28 days. Sixty-eight patients from 6 months to 60 years of age microscopically diagnosed with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria were included in the final analysis. All patients who were treated with CQ (25 mg/kg over 3 days) cleared parasitemia by day 3 and acquired no new P. falciparum infection within 28 days of follow-up. All the parasite samples sequenced for CQ resistance mutations (pfcrt) showed only the CQ-sensitive genotype (CVMNK). This finding shows that CQ remains highly efficacious for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Gracias a Dios, Honduras.

  5. Refrigeration provides a simple means to synchronize in vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Lili; Hao, Mingming; Wu, Lanou; Zhao, Zhen; Rosenthal, Benjamin M; Li, Xiaomei; He, Yongshu; Sun, Ling; Feng, Guohua; Xiang, Zheng; Cui, Liwang; Yang, Zhaoqing

    2014-05-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is usually asynchronous during in vitro culture. Highly synchronized cultures of P. falciparum are routinely used in malaria research. Here, we describe a simple synchronization procedure for P. falciparum asexual erythrocytic culture, which involves storage at 4°C for 8-24 h followed by routine culture. When cultures with 27-60% of ring stage were synchronized using this procedure, 70-93% ring stages were obtained after 48 h of culture and relative growth synchrony remained for at least two erythrocytic cycles. To test the suitability of this procedure for subsequent work, drug sensitivity assays were performed using four laboratory strains and four freshly adapted clinical P. falciparum isolates. Parasites synchronized by sorbitol treatment or refrigeration showed similar dose-response curves and comparable IC50 values to four antimalarial drugs. The refrigeration synchronization method is simple, inexpensive, time-saving, and should be especially useful when large numbers of P. falciparum culture are handled.

  6. Global sequence variation in the histidine-rich proteins 2 and 3 of Plasmodium falciparum: implications for the performance of malaria rapid diagnostic tests

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Accurate diagnosis is essential for prompt and appropriate treatment of malaria. While rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) offer great potential to improve malaria diagnosis, the sensitivity of RDTs has been reported to be highly variable. One possible factor contributing to variable test performance is the diversity of parasite antigens. This is of particular concern for Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2)-detecting RDTs since PfHRP2 has been reported to be highly variable in isolates of the Asia-Pacific region. Methods The pfhrp2 exon 2 fragment from 458 isolates of P. falciparum collected from 38 countries was amplified and sequenced. For a subset of 80 isolates, the exon 2 fragment of histidine-rich protein 3 (pfhrp3) was also amplified and sequenced. DNA sequence and statistical analysis of the variation observed in these genes was conducted. The potential impact of the pfhrp2 variation on RDT detection rates was examined by analysing the relationship between sequence characteristics of this gene and the results of the WHO product testing of malaria RDTs: Round 1 (2008), for 34 PfHRP2-detecting RDTs. Results Sequence analysis revealed extensive variations in the number and arrangement of various repeats encoded by the genes in parasite populations world-wide. However, no statistically robust correlation between gene structure and RDT detection rate for P. falciparum parasites at 200 parasites per microlitre was identified. Conclusions The results suggest that despite extreme sequence variation, diversity of PfHRP2 does not appear to be a major cause of RDT sensitivity variation. PMID:20470441

  7. Multiple independent introductions of Plasmodium falciparum in South America

    PubMed Central

    Yalcindag, Erhan; Elguero, Eric; Arnathau, Céline; Durand, Patrick; Akiana, Jean; Anderson, Timothy J.; Aubouy, Agnes; Balloux, François; Besnard, Patrick; Bogreau, Hervé; Carnevale, Pierre; D'Alessandro, Umberto; Fontenille, Didier; Gamboa, Dionicia; Jombart, Thibaut; Le Mire, Jacques; Leroy, Eric; Maestre, Amanda; Mayxay, Mayfong; Ménard, Didier; Musset, Lise; Newton, Paul N.; Nkoghé, Dieudonné; Noya, Oscar; Ollomo, Benjamin; Rogier, Christophe; Veron, Vincent; Wide, Albina; Zakeri, Sedigheh; Carme, Bernard; Legrand, Eric; Chevillon, Christine; Ayala, Francisco J.; Renaud, François; Prugnolle, Franck

    2012-01-01

    The origin of Plasmodium falciparum in South America is controversial. Some studies suggest a recent introduction during the European colonizations and the transatlantic slave trade. Other evidence—archeological and genetic—suggests a much older origin. We collected and analyzed P. falciparum isolates from different regions of the world, encompassing the distribution range of the parasite, including populations from sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South America. Analyses of microsatellite and SNP polymorphisms show that the populations of P. falciparum in South America are subdivided in two main genetic clusters (northern and southern). Phylogenetic analyses, as well as Approximate Bayesian Computation methods suggest independent introductions of the two clusters from African sources. Our estimates of divergence time between the South American populations and their likely sources favor a likely introduction from Africa during the transatlantic slave trade. PMID:22203975

  8. The Plasmodium falciparum Sexual Development Transcriptome: A Microarray Analysis using Ontology-Based Pattern Identification

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-06-17

    et al. Implication of a Plas- modium falciparum gene in the switch between asexual reproduction and gametocytogenesis. Mol Biochem Parasitol 2005;140(2...falciparum [4,5]. The switch from an asexual to sexual mode of replication begins in the haploid intraery- throcytic stages, where a sub-population of... asexual parasites begin to develop into male and female gametocytes. This pro- cess of gametocyte development continues in the human host over a period of

  9. The machinery underlying malaria parasite virulence is conserved between rodent and human malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    De Niz, Mariana; Ullrich, Ann-Katrin; Heiber, Arlett; Blancke Soares, Alexandra; Pick, Christian; Lyck, Ruth; Keller, Derya; Kaiser, Gesine; Prado, Monica; Flemming, Sven; del Portillo, Hernando; Janse, Chris J.; Heussler, Volker; Spielmann, Tobias

    2016-01-01

    Sequestration of red blood cells infected with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in organs such as the brain is considered important for pathogenicity. A similar phenomenon has been observed in mouse models of malaria, using the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei, but it is unclear whether the P. falciparum proteins known to be involved in this process are conserved in the rodent parasite. Here we identify the P. berghei orthologues of two such key factors of P. falciparum, SBP1 and MAHRP1. Red blood cells infected with P. berghei parasites lacking SBP1 or MAHRP1a fail to bind the endothelial receptor CD36 and show reduced sequestration and virulence in mice. Complementation of the mutant P. berghei parasites with the respective P. falciparum SBP1 and MAHRP1 orthologues restores sequestration and virulence. These findings reveal evolutionary conservation of the machinery underlying sequestration of divergent malaria parasites and support the notion that the P. berghei rodent model is an adequate tool for research on malaria virulence. PMID:27225796

  10. The machinery underlying malaria parasite virulence is conserved between rodent and human malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    De Niz, Mariana; Ullrich, Ann-Katrin; Heiber, Arlett; Blancke Soares, Alexandra; Pick, Christian; Lyck, Ruth; Keller, Derya; Kaiser, Gesine; Prado, Monica; Flemming, Sven; Del Portillo, Hernando; Janse, Chris J; Heussler, Volker; Spielmann, Tobias

    2016-05-26

    Sequestration of red blood cells infected with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in organs such as the brain is considered important for pathogenicity. A similar phenomenon has been observed in mouse models of malaria, using the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei, but it is unclear whether the P. falciparum proteins known to be involved in this process are conserved in the rodent parasite. Here we identify the P. berghei orthologues of two such key factors of P. falciparum, SBP1 and MAHRP1. Red blood cells infected with P. berghei parasites lacking SBP1 or MAHRP1a fail to bind the endothelial receptor CD36 and show reduced sequestration and virulence in mice. Complementation of the mutant P. berghei parasites with the respective P. falciparum SBP1 and MAHRP1 orthologues restores sequestration and virulence. These findings reveal evolutionary conservation of the machinery underlying sequestration of divergent malaria parasites and support the notion that the P. berghei rodent model is an adequate tool for research on malaria virulence.

  11. 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 β -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.

  12. Plasmodium falciparum CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase possesses two functional catalytic domains and is inhibited by a CDP-choline analog selected from a virtual screening.

    PubMed

    Contet, Alicia; Pihan, Emilie; Lavigne, Marina; Wengelnik, Kai; Maheshwari, Sweta; Vial, Henri; Douguet, Dominique; Cerdan, Rachel

    2015-04-13

    Phosphatidylcholine is the major lipid component of the malaria parasite membranes and is required for parasite multiplication in human erythrocytes. Plasmodium falciparum CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (PfCCT) is the rate-limiting enzyme of the phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis pathway and thus considered as a potential antimalarial target. In contrast to its mammalian orthologs, PfCCT contains a duplicated catalytic domain. Here, we show that both domains are catalytically active with similar kinetic parameters. A virtual screening strategy allowed the identification of a drug-size molecule competitively inhibiting the enzyme. This compound also prevented phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in parasites and exerted an antimalarial effect. This study constitutes the first step towards a rationalized design of future new antimalarial agents targeting PfCCT.

  13. Modeling the effects of relapse in the transmission dynamics of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Aguas, Ricardo; Ferreira, Marcelo U; Gomes, M Gabriela M

    2012-01-01

    Often regarded as "benign," Plasmodium vivax infections lay in the shadows of the much more virulent P. falciparum infections. However, about 1.98 billion people are at risk of both parasites worldwide, stressing the need to understand the epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax, particularly under the scope of decreasing P. falciparum prevalence and ecological interactions between both species. Two epidemiological observations put the dynamics of both species into perspective: (1) ACT campaigns have had a greater impact on P. falciparum prevalence. (2) Complete clinical immunity is attained at younger ages for P. vivax, under similar infection rates. We systematically compared two mathematical models of transmission for both Plasmodium species. Simulations suggest that an ACT therapy combined with a hypnozoite killing drug would eliminate both species. However, P. vivax elimination is predicted to be unstable. Differences in age profiles of clinical malaria can be explained solely by P. vivax's ability to relapse, which accelerates the acquisition of clinical immunity and serves as an immunity boosting mechanism. P. vivax transmission can subsist in areas of low mosquito abundance and is robust to drug administration initiatives due to relapse, making it an inconvenient and cumbersome, yet less lethal alternative to P. falciparum.

  14. Amodiaquine failure associated with erythrocytic glutathione in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Zuluaga, Lina; Pabón, Adriana; López, Carlos; Ochoa, Aleida; Blair, Silvia

    2007-01-01

    Objective To establish the relationship between production of glutathione and the therapeutic response to amodiaquine (AQ) monotherapy in Plasmodium falciparum non-complicated malaria patients. Methodology Therapeutic response to AQ was evaluated in 32 patients with falciparum malaria in two townships of Antioquia, Colombia, and followed-up for 28 days. For every patient, total glutathione and enzymatic activity (glutathione reductase, GR, and γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, γ-GCS) were determined in parasitized erythrocytes, non-infected erythrocytes and free parasites, on the starting day (day zero, before ingestion of AQ) and on the day of failure (in case of occurrence). Results There was found an AQ failure of 31.25%. Independent of the therapeutic response, on the starting day and on the day of failure, lower total glutathione concentration and higher GR activities in parasitized erythrocytes were found, compared with non-infected erythrocytes (p < 0.003). In addition, only on the day of failure, γ-GCS activity of parasitized erythrocytes was higher, compared with that of healthy erythrocytes (p = 0.01). Parasitized and non-parasitized erythrocytes in therapeutic failure patients (TF) had higher total glutathione on the starting day compared with those of adequate clinical response (ACR) (p < 0.02). Parasitized erythrocytes of TF patients showed lower total glutathione on the failure day, compared with starting day (p = 0.017). No differences was seen in the GR and γ-GCS activities by compartment, neither between the two therapeutic response groups nor between the two treatment days. Conclusion This study is a first approach to explaining P. falciparum therapeutic failure in humans through differences in glutathione metabolism in TF and ACR patients. These results suggest a role for glutathione in the therapeutic failure to antimalarials. PMID:17451604

  15. Artemisinins target the SERCA of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Eckstein-Ludwig, U; Webb, R J; Van Goethem, I D A; East, J M; Lee, A G; Kimura, M; O'Neill, P M; Bray, P G; Ward, S A; Krishna, S

    2003-08-21

    Artemisinins are extracted from sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua) and are the most potent antimalarials available, rapidly killing all asexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Artemisinins are sesquiterpene lactones widely used to treat multidrug-resistant malaria, a disease that annually claims 1 million lives. Despite extensive clinical and laboratory experience their molecular target is not yet identified. Activated artemisinins form adducts with a variety of biological macromolecules, including haem, translationally controlled tumour protein (TCTP) and other higher-molecular-weight proteins. Here we show that artemisinins, but not quinine or chloroquine, inhibit the SERCA orthologue (PfATP6) of Plasmodium falciparum in Xenopus oocytes with similar potency to thapsigargin (another sesquiterpene lactone and highly specific SERCA inhibitor). As predicted, thapsigargin also antagonizes the parasiticidal activity of artemisinin. Desoxyartemisinin lacks an endoperoxide bridge and is ineffective both as an inhibitor of PfATP6 and as an antimalarial. Chelation of iron by desferrioxamine abrogates the antiparasitic activity of artemisinins and correspondingly attenuates inhibition of PfATP6. Imaging of parasites with BODIPY-thapsigargin labels the cytosolic compartment and is competed by artemisinin. Fluorescent artemisinin labels parasites similarly and irreversibly in an Fe2+-dependent manner. These data provide compelling evidence that artemisinins act by inhibiting PfATP6 outside the food vacuole after activation by iron.

  16. The Rheopathobiology of Plasmodium vivax and Other Important Primate Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Russell, Bruce M; Cooke, Brian M

    2017-04-01

    Our current understanding of how malaria parasites remodel their host red blood cells (RBCs) and ultimately cause disease is largely based on studies of Plasmodium falciparum. In this review, we expand our knowledge to include what is currently known about pathophysiological changes to RBCs that are infected by non-falciparum malaria parasites. We highlight the potential folly of making generalizations about the rheology of malaria infection, and emphasize the need for more systematic studies into the erythrocytic biology of non-falciparum malaria parasites. We propose that a better understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the changes to RBCs induced by malaria parasites other than P. falciparum may be highly informative for the development of therapeutics that specifically disrupt the altered rheological profile of RBCs infected with either sexual- or asexual-stage parasites, resulting in drugs that block transmission, reduce disease severity, and help delay the onset of resistance to current and future anti-malaria drugs.

  17. Trophic Relationships between the Parasitic Plant Species Phelipanche ramosa (L.) and Different Hosts Depending on Host Phenological Stage and Host Growth Rate

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Delphine; Gibot-Leclerc, Stéphanie; Girardin, Annette; Pointurier, Olivia; Reibel, Carole; Strbik, Florence; Fernández-Aparicio, Mónica; Colbach, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel (branched broomrape) is a holoparasitic plant that reproduces on crops and also on weeds, which contributes to increase the parasite seed bank in fields. This parasite extracts all its nutrients at the host’s expense so that host–parasite trophic relationships are crucial to determine host and parasite growth. This study quantified the intensity with which P. ramosa draws assimilates from its host and analyzed whether it varied with host species, host phenological stage and host growth rate. A greenhouse experiment was conducted on three host species: the crop species Brassica napus (L.) (oilseed rape) and two weed species, Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik. and Geranium dissectum (L.). Plants were grown with or without P. ramosa and under three light levels to modulate host growth rate. The proportion of host biomass loss due to parasitism by P. ramosa differed between host species (at host fructification, biomass loss ranged from 34 to 84%). B. napus and C. bursa-pastoris displayed a similar response to P. ramosa, probably because they belong to the same botanical family. The sensitivity to P. ramosa in each host species could be related to the precocity of P. ramosa development on them. Host compartments could be ranked as a function of their sensitivity to parasitism, with the reproductive compartment being the most severely affected, followed by stems and roots. The proportion of biomass allocated to leaves was not reduced by parasitism. The proportion of pathosystem biomass allocated to the parasite depended on host species. It generally increased with host stage progression but was constant across light induced-host growth rate, showing that P. ramosa adapts its growth to host biomass production. The rank order of host species in terms of sink strength differed from that in terms of host sensitivity. Finally, for B. napus, the biomass of individual parasite shoots decreased with increasing their number per host plant

  18. Treatment of acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria with artemether-lumefantrine in nonimmune populations: a safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetic study.

    PubMed

    Hatz, Christoph; Soto, Jaime; Nothdurft, Hans Dieter; Zoller, Thomas; Weitzel, Thomas; Loutan, Louis; Bricaire, Francois; Gay, Frederick; Burchard, Gerd-Dieter; Andriano, Kim; Lefèvre, Gilbert; De Palacios, Patricia Ibarra; Genton, Blaise

    2008-02-01

    The efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine for the treatment of malaria in nonimmune populations are not well defined. In this study, 165 nonimmune patients from Europe and non-malarious areas of Colombia with acute, uncomplicated falciparum malaria or mixed infection including P. falciparum were treated with the six-dose regimen of artemether-lumefantrine. The parasitologic cure rate at 28 days was 96.0% for the per protocol population (119/124 patients). Median times to parasite clearance and fever clearance were 41.5 and 36.8 hours, respectively. No patient had gametocytes after Day 7. Treatment was well tolerated; most adverse events were mild to moderate and seemed to be related to malaria. There were few serious adverse events, none of which were considered to be drug-related. No significant effects on ECG or laboratory parameters were observed. In conclusion, the six-dose regimen of artemether-lumefantrine was effective and well tolerated in the treatment of acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria in nonimmune patients.

  19. Identification and localization of a Novel Invasin of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Hans, Nidhi; Relan, Udbhav; Dubey, Nneha; Gaur, Deepak; Chauhan, V S

    2015-08-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative organism for the most severe form of malaria among humans. The clinical symptoms are accredited to the asexual stage of parasite life cycle, involving merozoite invasion of erythrocyte, development and re-invasion into the new erythrocyte. Interaction of parasite proteins present on the surface or secreted from apical organelles with the host receptors is indispensable for the invasion process. Identification and elucidation of precise localization and function of these proteins will not only enhance our understanding of this process but will also aid in the progress of development of treatment strategies against malaria. Here we report the identification and localization of a novel protein, PfAEP (P. falciparum Apical Exonemal Protein) (PF3D7_1137200/ PF11_0383) which is conserved across Plasmodium species. Transcription and translation analysis have confirmed its expression in the schizont stage of P. falciparum. Super-resolution microscopy in schizonts and merozoites revealed its localization in the exonemes of P. falciparum.

  20. Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Intraerythrocytic Stages of Plasmodium falciparum*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Tonhosolo, Renata; D'Alexandri, Fabio L.; de Rosso, Veridiana V.; Gazarini, Marcos L.; Matsumura, Miriam Y.; Peres, Valnice J.; Merino, Emilio F.; Carlton, Jane M.; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Mercadante, Adriana Z.; Kimura, Emília A.; Katzin, Alejandro M.

    2009-01-01

    Carotenoids are widespread lipophilic pigments synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and some nonphotosynthetic fungi and bacteria. All carotenoids are derived from the C40 isoprenoid precursor geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, and their chemical and physical properties are associated with light absorption, free radical scavenging, and antioxidant activity. Carotenoids are generally synthesized in well defined subcellular organelles, the plastids, which are also present in the phylum Apicomplexa, which comprises a number of important human parasites, such as Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. Recently, it was demonstrated that Toxoplasma gondii synthesizes abscisic acid. We therefore asked if Plasmodium falciparum is also capable of synthesizing carotenoids. Herein, biochemical findings demonstrated the presence of carotenoid biosynthesis in the intraerythrocytic stages of the apicomplexan parasite P. falciparum. Using metabolic labeling with radioisotopes, in vitro inhibition tests with norflurazon, a specific inhibitor of plant carotenoid biosynthesis, the results showed that intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum synthesize carotenoid compounds. A plasmodial enzyme that presented phytoene synthase activity was also identified and characterized. These findings not only contribute to the current understanding of P. falciparum evolution but shed light on a pathway that could serve as a chemotherapeutic target. PMID:19203994

  1. Acyclic Immucillin Phosphonates. Second-Generation Inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum Hypoxanthine- Guanine-Xanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase

    SciTech Connect

    Hazelton, Keith Z.; Ho, Meng-Chaio; Cassera, Maria B.; Clinch, Keith; Crump, Douglas R.; Rosario Jr., Irving; Merino, Emilio F.; Almo, Steve C.; Tyler, Peter C.; Schramm, Vern L.

    2012-06-22

    We found that Plasmodium falciparum is the primary cause of deaths from malaria. It is a purine auxotroph and relies on hypoxanthine salvage from the host purine pool. Purine starvation as an antimalarial target has been validated by inhibition of purine nucleoside phosphorylase. Hypoxanthine depletion kills Plasmodium falciparum in cell culture and in Aotus monkey infections. Hypoxanthine-guanine-xanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGXPRT) from P. falciparum is required for hypoxanthine salvage by forming inosine 5'-monophosphate, a branchpoint for all purine nucleotide synthesis in the parasite. We present a class of HGXPRT inhibitors, the acyclic immucillin phosphonates (AIPs), and cell permeable AIP prodrugs. The AIPs are simple, potent, selective, and biologically stable inhibitors. The AIP prodrugs block proliferation of cultured parasites by inhibiting the incorporation of hypoxanthine into the parasite nucleotide pool and validates HGXPRT as a target in malaria.

  2. Sickle cell microRNAs inhibit the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Duraisingh, Manoj T; Lodish, Harvey F

    2012-08-16

    Sickle cell hemoglobin conveys resistance to malaria. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, LaMonte et al. (2012) demonstrate a surprising mechanism for this innate immunity. A microRNA enriched in sickle red blood cells is translocated into the parasite, incorporated covalently into P. falciparum mRNAs and inhibits parasite growth.

  3. Characterization of the 26S proteasome network in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lihui; Delahunty, Claire; Fritz-Wolf, Karin; Rahlfs, Stefan; Helena Prieto, Judith; Yates, John R; Becker, Katja

    2015-12-07

    In eukaryotic cells, the ubiquitin-proteasome system as a key regulator of protein quality control is an excellent drug target. We therefore aimed to analyze the 26S proteasome complex in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which still threatens almost half of the world's population. First, we established an affinity purification protocol allowing for the isolation of functional 26S proteasome complexes from the parasite. Subunit composition of the proteasome and component stoichiometry were studied and physiologic interacting partners were identified via in situ protein crosslinking. Furthermore, intrinsic ubiquitin receptors of the plasmodial proteasome were determined and their roles in proteasomal substrate recognition were analyzed. Notably, PfUSP14 was characterized as a proteasome-associated deubiquitinase resulting in the concept that targeting proteasomal deubiquitinating activity in P. falciparum may represent a promising antimalarial strategy. The data provide insights into a profound network orchestrated by the plasmodial proteasome and identified novel drug target candidates in the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

  4. Systematical electrochemical study on the parasitic shuttle-effect in lithium-sulfur-cells at different temperatures and different rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busche, Martin Rolf; Adelhelm, Philipp; Sommer, Heino; Schneider, Holger; Leitner, Klaus; Janek, Jürgen

    2014-08-01

    The influence of cycling rate and temperature on the performance of lithium sulfur batteries is systematically studied by evaluating data of hundred identical cells. Differences in the discharge and charge capacities and the voltage profiles during the first and subsequent cycles are evaluated quantitatively in detail. Special attention is paid to the parasitic shuttle effect and its magnitude as function of C-rate and temperature. Mathematical models by Kumaresan et al. and Mikhaylik et al. are used to discuss the correlation between discharge/charge capacities, cycling efficiency and cycling rate at different temperatures. Mathematical error analysis further provides information on typical deviations between identical samples that can be expected when characterizing Li/S cells. This error can become significant especially when reaching higher cycle numbers. When changing the cycling parameters we find that the different regions of the voltage profile are affected differently. Therefore, we conducted first galvanostatic intermittent titration technique (GITT) measurements on the Li/S cell system to study the kinetics during cell cycling and evaluated the relaxation behavior between the different states of discharge/charge and OCV conditions. Significant differences in relaxation kinetics are found for the lower and higher plateaus of the discharge- and charge voltage profiles.

  5. Honey Bee Colonies Headed by Hyperpolyandrous Queens Have Improved Brood Rearing Efficiency and Lower Infestation Rates of Parasitic Varroa Mites.

    PubMed

    Delaplane, Keith S; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Brown, Mike A; Budge, Giles E

    2015-01-01

    A honey bee queen mates on wing with an average of 12 males and stores their sperm to produce progeny of mixed paternity. The degree of a queen's polyandry is positively associated with measures of her colony's fitness, and observed distributions of mating number are evolutionary optima balancing risks of mating flights against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit. In this study we used instrumental insemination to create three classes of queens with exaggerated range of polyandry--15, 30, or 60 drones. Colonies headed by queens inseminated with 30 or 60 drones produced more brood per bee and had a lower proportion of samples positive for Varroa destructor mites than colonies whose queens were inseminated with 15 drones, suggesting benefits of polyandry at rates higher than those normally obtaining in nature. Our results are consistent with two hypotheses that posit conditions that reward such high expressions of polyandry: (1) a queen may mate with many males in order to promote beneficial non-additive genetic interactions among subfamilies, and (2) a queen may mate with many males in order to capture a large number of rare alleles that regulate resistance to pathogens and parasites in a breeding population. Our results are unique for identifying the highest levels of polyandry yet detected that confer colony-level benefit and for showing a benefit of polyandry in particular toward the parasitic mite V. destructor.

  6. Cellular effects of curcumin on Plasmodium falciparum include disruption of microtubules.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Rimi; Rawat, Parkash S; Cooke, Brian M; Coppel, Ross L; Patankar, Swati

    2013-01-01

    Curcumin has been widely investigated for its myriad cellular effects resulting in reduced proliferation of various eukaryotic cells including cancer cells and the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Studies with human cancer cell lines HT-29, Caco-2, and MCF-7 suggest that curcumin can bind to tubulin and induce alterations in microtubule structure. Based on this finding, we investigated whether curcumin has any effect on P. falciparum microtubules, considering that mammalian and parasite tubulin are 83% identical. IC50 of curcumin was found to be 5 µM as compared to 20 µM reported before. Immunofluorescence images of parasites treated with 5 or 20 µM curcumin showed a concentration-dependent effect on parasite microtubules resulting in diffuse staining contrasting with the discrete hemispindles and subpellicular microtubules observed in untreated parasites. The effect on P. falciparum microtubules was evident only in the second cycle for both concentrations tested. This diffuse pattern of tubulin fluorescence in curcumin treated parasites was similar to the effect of a microtubule destabilizing drug vinblastine on P. falciparum. Molecular docking predicted the binding site of curcumin at the interface of alpha and beta tubulin, similar to another destabilizing drug colchicine. Data from predicted drug binding is supported by results from drug combination assays showing antagonistic interactions between curcumin and colchicine, sharing a similar binding site, and additive/synergistic interactions of curcumin with paclitaxel and vinblastine, having different binding sites. This evidence suggests that cellular effects of curcumin are at least, in part, due to its perturbing effect on P. falciparum microtubules. The action of curcumin, both direct and indirect, on P. falciparum microtubules is discussed.

  7. Genetic Investigation of Tricarboxylic Acid Metabolism During the Plasmodium falciparum Lifecycle

    PubMed Central

    Ke, Hangjun; Lewis, Ian A.; Morrisey, Joanne M.; McLean, Kyle J.; Ganesan, Suresh M.; Painter, Heather J.; Mather, Michael W.; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Llinás, Manuel; Vaidya, Akhil B.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY New antimalarial drugs are urgently needed to control drug resistant forms of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Mitochondrial electron transport is the target of both existing and new antimalarials. Herein, we describe 11 genetic knockout (KO) lines that delete six of the eight mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes. Although all TCA KOs grew normally in asexual blood stages, these metabolic deficiencies halted lifecycle progression in later stages. Specifically, aconitase KO parasites arrested as late gametocytes, whereas α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase deficient parasites failed to develop oocysts in the mosquitoes. Mass spectrometry analysis of 13C isotope-labeled TCA mutant parasites showed that P. falciparum has significant flexibility in TCA metabolism. This flexibility manifested itself through changes in pathway fluxes and through altered exchange of substrates between cytosolic and mitochondrial pools. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial metabolic plasticity is essential for parasite development. PMID:25843709

  8. A qPCR-based Multiplex Assay for Detection of Wuchereria bancrofti, Plasmodium falciparum, and Plasmodium vivax DNA

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Ramakrishna U.; Huang, Yuefang; Bockarie, Moses J.; Susapu, Melinda; Laney, Sandra J.; Weil, Gary J.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The purpose of this study was to develop multiplex qPCR assays for simultaneous detection of Wuchereria bancrofti (Wb), Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and P. vivax (Pv) in mosquitoes. We optimized the assays with purified DNA samples and then used these assays to test DNA samples isolated from Anopheles punctulatus mosquitoes collected in villages in Papua New Guinea where these infections are co-endemic. Singleplex assays detected Wb, Pf, and Pv DNA in 32%, 19% and 15% of the mosquito pools, respectively, either alone or together with other parasites. Multiplex assay results agreed with singleplex results in most cases. Overall parasite DNA rates in mosquitoes (estimated by the Poolscreen2) for Wb, Pf, and Pv were 4.9%, 2.7%, and 2.1%, respectively. Parasite DNA rates were consistently higher in blood fed mosquitoes than in host seeking mosquitoes. Our results show that multiplex qPCR can be used to detect and estimate prevalence rates for multiple parasite species in arthropod vectors. We believe that multiplex molecular xenodiagnosis has great potential as a tool for non-invasively assessing the distribution and prevalence of vector-borne pathogens such as W. bancrofti and Plasmodium spp. in human populations and for assessing the impact of interventions aimed at controlling or eliminating these diseases. PMID:18801545

  9. 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.

  10. Identification and Mechanistic Evaluation of Hemozoin-Inhibiting Triarylimidazoles Active against Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Wicht, Kathryn J; Combrinck, Jill M; Smith, Peter J; Hunter, Roger; Egan, Timothy J

    2017-02-09

    In a previous study, target based screening was carried out for inhibitors of β-hematin (synthetic hemozoin) formation, and a series of triarylimidazoles were identified as active against Plasmodium falciparum. Here, we report the subsequent synthesis and testing of derivatives with varying substituents on the three phenyl rings for this series. The results indicated that a 2-hydroxy-1,3-dimethoxy substitution pattern on ring A is required for submicromolar parasite activity. In addition, cell-fractionation studies revealed uncommonly large, dose-dependent increases of P. falciparum intracellular exchangeable (free) heme, correlating with decreased parasite survival for β-hematin inhibiting derivatives.

  11. A Field-Tailored Reverse Transcription Loop-Mediated Isothermal Assay for High Sensitivity Detection of Plasmodium falciparum Infections

    PubMed Central

    Kemleu, Sylvie; Guelig, Dylan; Eboumbou Moukoko, Carole; Essangui, Estelle; Diesburg, Steven; Mouliom, Abas; Melingui, Bernard; Manga, Jeanne; Donkeu, Christiane; Epote, Annie; Texier, Gaëtan; LaBarre, Paul; Burton, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Highly sensitive and field deployable molecular diagnostic tools are critically needed for detecting submicroscopic, yet transmissible levels of malaria parasites prevalent in malaria endemic countries worldwide. A reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay was developed and evaluated in comparison with thick blood smear microscopy, an antigen-based rapid diagnostic test (RDT), and an in-house RT-PCR targeting the same RT-LAMP transcript. The optimized assay detected Plasmodium falciparum infections in as little as 0.25ng of total parasite RNA, and exhibited a detection limit of 0.08 parasites/ μL when tested directly on infected whole blood lysates, or ~0.0008 parasites/ μL when using RNA extracts. Assay positivity was observed as early as eight minutes from initiation of the RT-LAMP and in most cases the reaction was complete before twenty minutes. Clinical evaluation of the assay on 132 suspected malaria cases resulted in a positivity rate of 90% for RT-LAMP using extracted RNA, and 85% when using whole blood lysates. The positivity rates were 70% for P. falciparum-specific RDT, 83% for RT-PCR, and 74% for thick blood smear microscopy (Mean parasite density = 36,986 parasites/ μL). Concordance rates between the developed RT-LAMP and comparator tests were greater than 75%, the lowest being with light microscopy (78%, McNemar’s test: P = 0.0002), and the highest was with RT-PCR (87%, McNemar’s test: P = 0.0523). Compared to reference RT-PCR, assay sensitivity was 90% for RT-LAMP on whole blood, and 96% for RT-LAMP using corresponding RNA extracts. Electricity-free heaters were further developed and evaluated in comparison with a battery-operated isothermal amplification machine for use with the developed test in resource-limited settings. Taken together, the data highlight the benefits of targeting high abundant RNA transcripts in molecular diagnosis, as well as the potential usefulness of the developed RT-LAMP-assay in

  12. The crystal structure of superoxide dismutase from Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Boucher, Ian W; Brzozowski, Andrzej M; Brannigan, James A; Schnick, Claudia; Smith, Derek J; Kyes, Sue A; Wilkinson, Anthony J

    2006-01-01

    Background Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are important enzymes in defence against oxidative stress. In Plasmodium falciparum, they may be expected to have special significance since part of the parasite life cycle is spent in red blood cells where the formation of reactive oxygen species is likely to be promoted by the products of haemoglobin breakdown. Thus, inhibitors of P. falciparum SODs have potential as anti-malarial compounds. As a step towards their development we have determined the crystal structure of the parasite's cytosolic iron superoxide dismutase. Results The cytosolic iron superoxide dismutase from P. falciparum (PfFeSOD) has been overexpressed in E. coli in a catalytically active form. Its crystal structure has been solved by molecular replacement and refined against data extending to 2.5 Å resolution. The structure reveals a two-domain organisation and an iron centre in which the metal is coordinated by three histidines, an aspartate and a solvent molecule. Consistent with ultracentrifugation analysis the enzyme is a dimer in which a hydrogen bonding lattice links the two active centres. Conclusion The tertiary structure of PfFeSOD is very similar to those of a number of other iron-and manganese-dependent superoxide dismutases, moreover the active site residues are conserved suggesting a common mechanism of action. Comparison of the dimer interfaces of PfFeSOD with the human manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase reveals a number of differences, which may underpin the design of parasite-selective superoxide dismutase inhibitors. PMID:17020617

  13. Infection dynamics of endemic malaria in a wild bird population: parasite species-dependent drivers of spatial and temporal variation in transmission rates.

    PubMed

    Lachish, Shelly; Knowles, Sarah C L; Alves, Ricardo; Wood, Matthew J; Sheldon, Ben C

    2011-11-01

    1. Investigating the ecological context in which host-parasite interactions occur and the roles of biotic and abiotic factors in forcing infection dynamics is essential to understanding disease transmission, spread and maintenance. 2. Despite their prominence as model host-pathogen systems, the relative influence of environmental heterogeneity and host characteristics in influencing the infection dynamics of avian blood parasites has rarely been assessed in the wild, particularly at a within-population scale. 3. We used a novel multievent modelling framework (an extension of multistate mark-recapture modelling) that allows for uncertainty in disease state, to estimate transmission parameters and assess variation in the infection dynamics of avian malaria in a large, longitudinally sampled data set of breeding blue tits infected with two divergent species of Plasmodium parasites. 4. We found striking temporal and spatial heterogeneity in the disease incidence rate and the likelihood of recovery within this single population and demonstrate marked differences in the relative influence of environmental and host factors in forcing the infection dynamics of the two Plasmodium species. 5. Proximity to a permanent water source greatly influenced the transmission rates of P. circumflexum, but not of P. relictum, suggesting that these parasites are transmitted by different vectors. 6. Host characteristics (age/sex) were found to influence infection rates but not recovery rates, and their influence on infection rates was also dependent on parasite species: P. relictum infection rates varied with host age, whilst P. circumflexum infection rates varied with host sex. 7. Our analyses reveal that transmission of endemic avian malaria is a result of complex interactions between biotic and abiotic components that can operate on small spatial scales and demonstrate that knowledge of the drivers of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in disease transmission will be

  14. Novel K540N mutation in Plasmodium falciparum dihydropteroate synthetase confers a lower level of sulfa drug resistance than does a K540E mutation.

    PubMed

    Lumb, Vanshika; Sharma, Yagya D

    2011-05-01

    Sulfadoxine (SDX) and sulfamethoxazole (SMX) each inhibit the Plasmodium falciparum dihydropteroate synthetase (PfDHPS), and certain point mutations in this enzyme yield the drug-resistant parasite. Using a simple Escherichia coli model system, we describe here the effect of the recently reported novel K540N mutation in PfDHPS on the level of SDX/SMX resistance. The survival rate of the transformed E. coli (DHPS-deficient strain) under different SDX or SMX concentrations revealed that the K540N mutation confers a lower level of drug resistance than its contemporary K540E mutation. Further, SMX was more effective than SDX in the E. coli system.

  15. Chloroquine Clinical Failures in P. falciparum Malaria Are Associated with Mutant Pfmdr-1, Not Pfcrt in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Andriantsoanirina, Valérie; Ratsimbasoa, Arsène; Bouchier, Christiane; Tichit, Magali; Jahevitra, Martial; Rabearimanana, Stéphane; Raherinjafy, Rogelin; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Durand, Rémy; Ménard, Didier

    2010-01-01

    Molecular studies have demonstrated that mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene (Pfcrt) play a major role in chloroquine resistance, while mutations in P. falciparum multidrug resistance gene (Pfmdr-1) act as modulator. In Madagascar, the high rate of chloroquine treatment failure (44%) appears disconnected from the overall level of in vitro CQ susceptibility (prevalence of CQ-resistant parasites <5%) or Pfcrt mutant isolates (<1%), strongly contrasting with sub-Saharan African countries. Previous studies showed a high frequency of Pfmdr-1 mutant parasites (>60% of isolates), but did not explore their association with P. falciparum chloroquine resistance. To document the association of Pfmdr-1 alleles with chloroquine resistance in Madagascar, 249 P. falciparum samples collected from patients enrolled in a chloroquine in vivo efficacy study were genotyped in Pfcrt/Pfmdr-1 genes as well as the estimation of the Pfmdr-1 copy number. Except 2 isolates, all samples displayed a wild-type Pfcrt allele without Pfmdr-1 amplification. Chloroquine treatment failures were significantly associated with Pfmdr-1 86Y mutant codon (OR = 4.6). The cumulative incidence of recurrence of patients carrying the Pfmdr-1 86Y mutation at day 0 (21 days) was shorter than patients carrying Pfmdr-1 86N wild type codon (28 days). In an independent set of 90 selected isolates, in vitro susceptibility to chloroquine was not associated with Pfmdr-1 polymorphisms. Analysis of two microsatellites flanking Pfmdr-1 allele showed that mutations occurred on multiple genetic backgrounds. In Madagascar, Pfmdr-1 polymorphism is associated with late chloroquine clinical failures and unrelated with in vitro susceptibility or Pfcrt genotype. These results highlight the limits of the current in vitro tests routinely used to monitor CQ drug resistance in this unique context. Gaining insight about the mechanisms that regulate polymorphism in Pfmdr1 remains important

  16. Protozoan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Custodio, Haidee

    2016-02-01

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

  17. Efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem) tablets (six-dose regimen) in African infants and children with acute, uncomplicated falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Falade, Catherine; Makanga, Michael; Premji, Zul; Ortmann, Christine-Elke; Stockmeyer, Marlies; de Palacios, Patricia Ibarra

    2005-06-01

    Approximately one million children die from malaria each year. A recently approved artemisinin-based tablet, Coartem (co-artemether), comprising artemether 120 mg plus lumefantrine 20 mg, given in four doses, provides effective antimalarial treatment for children in many sub-Saharan countries. However, this regimen is considered insufficient for non-immune infants and in areas where multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum predominates. This open-label study assessed the efficacy and safety of co-artemether administered to 310 African children weighing 5-25 kg, with acute, uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Six doses of co-artemether were given over 3 days, with follow-up at 7, 14 and 28 days. Treatment rapidly cleared parasitemia and fever. The overall 28-day cure rate was 86.5%, and 93.9% when corrected by PCR for reinfection. Cure rates at 7 and 14 days exceeded 97.0% (uncorrected) and, on day 28, were similar in infants (5-<10 kg) previously exposed to malaria infection (partially immune: 88.6% uncorrected; 93.3% corrected), and in those who were non-immune (82.5% uncorrected; 95.0% corrected). Adverse events were mostly mild. There was no electrocardiographic evidence of cardiotoxicity. The co-artemether six-dose regimen, treating acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria in African children, achieved rapid parasite clearance and a high cure rate. Treatment was generally safe and well tolerated.

  18. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria: reduction of endothelial cell apoptosis in vitro.

    PubMed

    Hemmer, Christoph Josef; Lehr, Hans Anton; Westphal, Kathi; Unverricht, Marcus; Kratzius, Manja; Reisinger, Emil Christian

    2005-03-01

    Organ failure in Plasmodium falciparum malaria is associated with neutrophil activation and endothelial damage. This study investigates whether neutrophil-induced endothelial damage involves apoptosis and whether it can be prevented by neutralization of neutrophil secretory products. Endothelial cells from human umbilical veins were coincubated with neutrophils from healthy donors and with sera from eight patients with P. falciparum malaria, three patients with P. vivax malaria, and three healthy controls. Endothelial apoptosis was demonstrated by terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) and annexin V staining. The rate of apoptosis of cells was markedly increased after incubation with patient serum compared to that with control serum. Apoptosis was most pronounced after incubation with sera from two patients with fatal cases of P. falciparum malaria, followed by sera of survivors with severe P. falciparum malaria and, finally, by sera of patients with mild P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria. Ascorbic acid, tocopherol, and ulinastatin reduced the apoptosis rate, but gabexate mesilate and pentoxifylline did not. Furthermore, in fatal P. falciparum malaria, apoptotic endothelial cells were identified in renal and pulmonary tissue by TUNEL staining. These findings show that apoptosis caused by neutrophil secretory products plays a major role in endothelial cell damage in malaria. The antioxidants ascorbic acid and tocopherol and the protease inhibitor ulinastatin can reduce malaria-associated endothelial apoptosis in vitro.

  19. The effects of Brassica green manures on plant parasitic and free living nematodes used in combination with reduced rates of synthetic nematicides.

    PubMed

    Riga, Ekaterini

    2011-06-01

    Brassica plants once incorporated into soil as green manures have recently been shown to have biofumigant properties and have the potential of controlling plant-parasitic nematodes. In Washington State, plant-parasitic nematodes are successfully managed with synthetic nematicides. However, some of the synthetic nematicides became unavailable recently or their supply is limited leaving growers with few choices to control plant-parasitic nematodes. The objective of this project was to evaluate the effects of Brassica green manures on their own and in combination with reduced rates of synthetic nematicides on plant-parasitic nematodes and free living nematodes. In a greenhouse experiment and field trials in three seasons, Brassica green manures in combination with half the recommended rate of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D, Telone) reduced root knot nematode, Meloidogyne chitwoodi to below detection levels, and reduced lesion nematodes, Pratylenchus penetrans and stubby root nematodes, Paratrichodorus allius, to below economic thresholds. The combination treatments did not affect the beneficial free-living nematode populations and the non-pathogenic Pseudomonas. The total cost of growing and soil-incorporating Brassica crops as green manures in combination with reduced rates of 1,3-D was approximately 35% lower than the present commercial costs for application for the full rate of this fumigant. Integrating conventional management practices with novel techniques fosters sustainability of production systems and can increase economic benefit to producers while reducing chemical input.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. Host immunity to Plasmodium falciparum and the assessment of emerging artemisinin resistance in a multinational cohort.

    PubMed

    Ataide, Ricardo; Ashley, Elizabeth A; Powell, Rosanna; Chan, Jo-Anne; Malloy, Michael J; O'Flaherty, Katherine; Takashima, Eizo; Langer, Christine; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Dondorp, Arjen M; Day, Nicholas P; Dhorda, Mehul; Fairhurst, Rick M; Lim, Pharath; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Hien, Tran Tinh; Htut, Ye; Mayxay, Mayfong; Faiz, M Abul; Beeson, James G; Nosten, Francois; Simpson, Julie A; White, Nicholas J; Fowkes, Freya J I

    2017-03-28

    Artemisinin-resistant falciparum malaria, defined by a slow-clearance phenotype and the presence of kelch13 mutants, has emerged in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Naturally acquired immunity to malaria clears parasites independent of antimalarial drugs. We hypothesized that between- and within-population variations in host immunity influence parasite clearance after artemisinin treatment and the interpretation of emerging artemisinin resistance. Antibodies specific to 12 Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite and blood-stage antigens were determined in 959 patients (from 11 sites in Southeast Asia) participating in a multinational cohort study assessing parasite clearance half-life (PCt1/2) after artesunate treatment and kelch13 mutations. Linear mixed-effects modeling of pooled individual patient data assessed the association between antibody responses and PCt1/2.P. falciparum antibodies were lowest in areas where the prevalence of kelch13 mutations and slow PCt1/2 were highest [Spearman ρ = -0.90 (95% confidence interval, -0.97, -0.65), and Spearman ρ = -0.94 (95% confidence interval, -0.98, -0.77), respectively]. P. falciparum antibodies were associated with faster PCt1/2 (mean difference in PCt1/2 according to seropositivity, -0.16 to -0.65 h, depending on antigen); antibodies have a greater effect on the clearance of kelch13 mutant compared with wild-type parasites (mean difference in PCt1/2 according to seropositivity, -0.22 to -0.61 h faster in kelch13 mutants compared with wild-type parasites). Naturally acquired immunity accelerates the clearance of artemisinin-resistant parasites in patients with falciparum malaria and may confound the current working definition of artemisinin resistance. Immunity may also play an important role in the emergence and transmission potential of artemisinin-resistant parasites.

  2. Dissecting the interface between apicomplexan parasite and host cell: Insights from a divergent AMARON2 pair

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii are widely studied parasites in phylum Apicomplexa and the etiological agents of severe human malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively. These intracellular pathogens have evolved a sophisticated invasion strategy that relies on delivery of proteins into the...

  3. Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts.

    PubMed

    Otto, Thomas D; Rayner, Julian C; Böhme, Ulrike; Pain, Arnab; Spottiswoode, Natasha; Sanders, Mandy; Quail, Michael; Ollomo, Benjamin; Renaud, François; Thomas, Alan W; Prugnolle, Franck; Conway, David J; Newbold, Chris; Berriman, Matthew

    2014-09-09

    Plasmodium falciparum causes most human malaria deaths, having prehistorically evolved from parasites of African Great Apes. Here we explore the genomic basis of P. falciparum adaptation to human hosts by fully sequencing the genome of the closely related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete conservation of genomic synteny, but against this strikingly conserved background we observe major differences at loci involved in erythrocyte invasion. The organization of most virulence-associated multigene families, including the hypervariable var genes, is broadly conserved, but P. falciparum has a smaller subset of rif and stevor genes whose products are expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface. Genome-wide analysis identifies other loci under recent positive selection, but a limited number of changes at the host-parasite interface may have mediated host switching.

  4. Genetically engineered parasites: the solution to designing an effective malaria vaccine?

    PubMed

    Fitchett, Joseph R; Cooke, Mary K

    2010-07-01

    Genetic engineering provides an ingenious method of attenuating Plasmodium falciparum parasites for next generation vaccines. A novel approach stimulates new optimism in the struggle to eliminate the burden of malaria.

  5. Plant Hormone Salicylic Acid Produced by a Malaria Parasite Controls Host Immunity and Cerebral Malaria Outcome.

    PubMed

    Matsubara, Ryuma; Aonuma, Hiroka; Kojima, Mikiko; Tahara, Michiru; Andrabi, Syed Bilal Ahmad; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; Nagamune, Kisaburo

    2015-01-01

    The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii produces the plant hormone abscisic acid, but it is unclear if phytohormones are produced by the malaria parasite Plasmodium spp., the most important parasite of this phylum. Here, we report detection of salicylic acid, an immune-related phytohormone of land plants, in P. berghei ANKA and T. gondii cell lysates. However, addition of salicylic acid to P. falciparum and T. gondii culture had no effect. We transfected P. falciparum 3D7 with the nahG gene, which encodes a salicylic acid-degrading enzyme isolated from plant-infecting Pseudomonas sp., and established a salicylic acid-deficient mutant. The mutant had a significantly decreased concentration of parasite-synthesized prostaglandin E2, which potentially modulates host immunity as an adaptive evolution of Plasmodium spp. To investigate the function of salicylic acid and prostaglandin E2 on host immunity, we established P. berghei ANKA mutants expressing nahG. C57BL/6 mice infected with nahG transfectants developed enhanced cerebral malaria, as assessed by Evans blue leakage and brain histological observation. The nahG-transfectant also significantly increased the mortality rate of mice. Prostaglandin E2 reduced the brain symptoms by induction of T helper-2 cytokines. As expected, T helper-1 cytokines including interferon-γ and interleukin-2 were significantly elevated by infection with the nahG transfectant. Thus, salicylic acid of Plasmodium spp. may be a new pathogenic factor of this threatening parasite and may modulate immune function via parasite-produced prostaglandin E2.

  6. Separation of Plasmodium falciparum Late Stage-infected Erythrocytes by Magnetic Means

    PubMed Central

    Coronado, Lorena Michelle; Tayler, Nicole Michelle; Correa, Ricardo; Giovani, Rita Marissa; Spadafora, Carmenza

    2013-01-01

    Unlike other Plasmodium species, P. falciparum can be cultured in the lab, which facilitates its study 1. While the parasitemia achieved can reach the ≈40% limit, the investigator usually keeps the percentage at around 10%. In many cases it is necessary to isolate the parasite-containing red blood cells (RBCs) from the uninfected ones, to enrich the culture and proceed with a given experiment. When P. falciparum infects the erythrocyte, the parasite degrades and feeds from haemoglobin 2, 3. However, the parasite must deal with a very toxic iron-containing haem moiety 4, 5. The parasite eludes its toxicity by transforming the haem into an inert crystal polymer called haemozoin 6, 7. This iron-containing molecule is stored in its food vacuole and the metal in it has an oxidative state which differs from the one in haem 8. The ferric state of iron in the haemozoin confers on it a paramagnetic property absent in uninfected erythrocytes. As the invading parasite reaches maturity, the content of haemozoin also increases 9, which bestows even more paramagnetism on the latest stages of P. falciparum inside the erythrocyte. Based on this paramagnetic property, the latest stages of P. falciparum infected-red blood cells can be separated by passing the culture through a column containing magnetic beads. These beads become magnetic when the columns containing them are placed on a magnet holder. Infected RBCs, due to their paramagnetism, will then be trapped inside the column, while the flow-through will contain, for the most part, uninfected erythrocytes and those containing early stages of the parasite. Here, we describe the methodology to enrich the population of late stage parasites with magnetic columns, which maintains good parasite viability 10. After performing this procedure, the unattached culture can be returned to an incubator to allow the remaining parasites to continue growing. PMID:23486405

  7. Effects of temperature and host stage on the parasitization rate and offspring sex ratio of Aenasius bambawalei Hayat in Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Juan; Xia, Tianfeng

    2016-01-01

    Temperature and host stage are important factors that determine the successful development of parasitoids. Aenasius bambawalei Hayat (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) is a primary parasitoid of the newly invasive mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). The effects of temperature on the parasitic characteristics of A. bambawalei have seldom been investigated. In the study, we explored the effects of temperature, exposure time, and host stage on the parasitization rate and offspring sex ratio (female to male) of A. bambawalei under laboratory conditions. The laboratory results showed that the successful parasitization rate of A. bambawalei increased with higher temperatures and older host stages. When the parasitoids were exposed to 36 °C for 24 h, the parasitization rate of female adults (52%) was nearly two times that of 3rd instar nymphs. Additionally, heat stress duration and host stage resulted in an increase in the offspring sex ratio of A. bambawalei. When A. bambawalei was exposed to 36 °C for 24 h, the offspring sex ratio increased dramatically to 81.78% compared with those exposed for 12 h, and it increased to 45.34% compared with those exposed for 16 h. The offspring sex ratio was clearly higher when the host stage was an adult female mealybug Our findings provide important guidance for the mass rearing and field releases of A. bambawalei for the management of P. solenopsis in the future. PMID:26788437

  8. Type I Interferons Regulate Immune Responses in Humans with Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection

    PubMed Central

    Montes de Oca, Marcela; Kumar, Rajiv; de Labastida Rivera, Fabian; Amante, Fiona H.; Sheel, Meru; Faleiro, Rebecca J.; Bunn, Patrick T.; Best, Shannon E.; Beattie, Lynette; Ng, Susanna S.; Edwards, Chelsea L.; Boyle, Glen M.; Price, Ric N.; Anstey, Nicholas M.; Loughland, Jessica R.; Burel, Julie; Doolan, Denise L.; Haque, Ashraful; McCarthy, James S.; Engwerda, Christian R.

    2016-01-01

    Summary The development of immunoregulatory networks is important to prevent disease. However, these same networks allow pathogens to persist and reduce vaccine efficacy. Here, we identify type I interferons (IFNs) as important regulators in developing anti-parasitic immunity in healthy volunteers infected for the first time with Plasmodium falciparum. Type I IFNs suppressed innate immune cell function and parasitic-specific CD4+ T cell IFNγ production, and they promoted the development of parasitic-specific IL-10-producing Th1 (Tr1) cells. Type I IFN-dependent, parasite-specific IL-10 production was also observed in P. falciparum malaria patients in the field following chemoprophylaxis. Parasite-induced IL-10 suppressed inflammatory cytokine production, and IL-10 levels after drug treatment were positively associated with parasite burdens before anti-parasitic drug administration. These findings have important implications for understanding the development of host immune responses following blood-stage P. falciparum infection, and they identify type I IFNs and related signaling pathways as potential targets for therapies or vaccine efficacy improvement. PMID:27705789

  9. Recent clinical and molecular insights into emerging artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    O’Brien, Connor; Henrich, Philipp P.; Passi, Neha; Fidock, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been deployed globally with remarkable success for more than 10 years without having lost their malaria treatment efficacy. However, recent reports from the Thai–Cambodian border reveal evidence of emerging resistance to artemisinins. The latest published clinical and molecular findings are summarized herein. Recent findings Clinical studies have identified delayed parasite clearance time as the most robust marker of artemisinin resistance. Resistance has only been documented from Southeast Asia and has been observed in isolates that show no significant decrease in drug susceptibility in vitro. Genetic investigations have yet to uncover robust molecular markers. In-vitro studies have identified parasite quiescence or dormancy mechanisms that protect early ‘ring-stage’ intra-erythrocytic parasites against short-term artemisinin exposure. This might be achieved by reducing the rate of hemoglobin degradation, important for artemisinin bioactivation. Summary Should ACTs fail, no suitable alternatives exist as first-line treatments of P. falciparum malaria. Intensified efforts are essential to monitor the spread of resistance, define therapeutic and operational strategies to counter its impact, and understand its molecular basis. Success in these areas is critical to ensuring that recent gains in reducing the burden of malaria are not lost. PMID:22001944

  10. Resistance of Plamodium falciparum to antimalarial drugs in Zaragoza (Antioquia, Colombia), 1998.

    PubMed

    Blair-Trujillo, Silvia; Lacharme-Lora, Leidy; Carmona-Fonseca, Jaime

    2002-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum sensitivity to chloroquine (CHL), amodiaquine (AMO) and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SDX/PYR) was assessed in vivo and in vitro in a representative sample from the population of Zaragoza in El Bajo Cauca region (Antioquia-Colombia). There were 94 patients with P. falciparum evaluated. For the in vivo test the patients were followed by clinical examination and microscopy, during 7 days. The in vitro test was performed following the recommendations of the World Health Organization. The in vivo prevalence of resistance to CHL was 67%, to AMO 3% and to SDX/PYR 9%. The in vitro test showed sensitivity to all antimalarials evaluated. Concordance for CHL between the in vivo and in vitro tests was 33%. For AMO and SDX/PYR, the concordance was 100%. We conclude that a high percentage of patients are resistant to CHL (in vivo). A high rate of intestinal parasitism might explain in part, the differences observed between the in vivo and the in vitro results. Therefore, new policies and treatment regimens should be proposed for the treatment of the infection in the region. Nationwide studies assessing the degree of resistance are needed.

  11. Comparison of Plasmodium falciparum infections in Panamanian and Colombian owl monkeys.

    PubMed

    Rossan, R N; Harper, J S; Davidson, D E; Escajadillo, A; Christensen, H A

    1985-11-01

    Parameters of blood-induced infections of the Vietnam Oak Knoll, Vietnam Smith, and Uganda Palo Alto strains of Plasmodium falciparum studied in 395 Panamanian owl monkeys in this laboratory between 1976-1984 were compared with those reported from another laboratory for 665 Colombian owl monkeys, studied between 1968-1975, and, at the time, designated Aotus trivirgatus griseimembra. The virulence of these strains was less in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys, as indicated by lower mortality rates of the Panamanian monkeys during the first 30 days of patency. Maximum parasitemias of the Vietnam Smith and Uganda Palo Alto strain, in Panamanian owl monkeys dying during the first 15 days of patent infection, were significantly higher than in Colombian owl monkeys. Panamanian owl monkeys that survived the primary attack had significantly higher maximum parasitemias than the surviving Colombian owl monkeys. Peak parasitemias were attained significantly earlier after patency in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys, irrespective of the strain of P. falciparum. More Panamanian than Colombian owl monkeys evidenced self-limited infection after the primary attack of either the Vietnam Smith or Uganda Palo Alto strain. The duration of the primary attacks and recrudescences were significantly shorter in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys. Mean peak parasitemias during recrudescence were usually higher in Panamanian owl monkeys than in Colombian monkeys. Differences of infection parameters were probably attributable, in part, to geographical origin of the two monkey hosts and parasite strains.

  12. No Evidence for Spread of Plasmodium falciparum Artemisinin Resistance to Savannakhet Province, Southern Laos

    PubMed Central

    Mayxay, Mayfong; Khanthavong, Maniphone; Chanthongthip, Odai; Imwong, Mallika; Lee, Sue J.; Stepniewska, Kasia; Soonthornsata, Bongkot; Pongvongsa, Tiengkham; Phompida, Samlane; Hongvanthong, Bouasy; Ringwald, Pascal; White, Nicholas J.; Newton, Paul N.

    2012-01-01

    We conducted an open-label, randomized clinical trial to assess parasite clearance times (PCT) and the efficacy of 4 mg/kg (group 1, n = 22) and 2 mg/kg (group 2, n = 22) of oral artesunate for three days followed by artemether-lumefantrine in patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria at Xepon Interdistrict Hospital, Savannakhet Province in southern Laos. Slides were read in duplicate. The overall mean (95% confidence interval; range) PCT in hours was 23.2 (21.2–25.3; 12–46) and 22.4 (20.3–24.5; 12–46) for the first and second microscopists, respectively (P = 0.57). Ten (23%) patients remained parasitemic on day 1 after treatment (4 [18%] in group 1 and 6 [27%] in group 2; P = 0.47). No patient had patent asexual parasitemia on the second and third days of treatment. The 42-day polymerase chain reaction–corrected cure rates were 100% in both treatment groups. Serious adverse events did not develop during or after treatment in any patients. In conclusion, no evidence of P. falciparum in vivo resistance to artesunate was found in southern Laos. PMID:22403308

  13. 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

  14. Plasmodium falciparum MLH is schizont stage specific endonuclease.

    PubMed

    Tarique, Mohammed; Satsangi, Akash Tripathi; Ahmad, Moaz; Singh, Shailja; Tuteja, Renu

    2012-02-01

    Malaria is one of the most important infectious diseases in many regions around the world including India. Plasmodium falciparum is the cause of most lethal form of malaria while Plasmodium vivax is the major cause outside Africa. Regardless of considerable efforts over the last many years there is still no commercial vaccine against malaria and the disease is mainly treated using a range of established drugs. With time, the malaria parasite is developing drug resistance to most of the commonly used drugs. This drug resistance might be due to defective mismatch repair in the parasite. Previously we have reported that the P. falciparum genome contains homologues to most of the components of mismatch repair (MMR) complex. In the present study we report the detailed biochemical characterization of one of the main component of MMR complex, MLH, from P. falciparum. Our results show that MLH is an ATPase and it can incise covalently closed circular DNA in the presence of Mn(2+) or Mg(2+) ions. Using the truncated derivatives we show that full length protein MLH is required for all the enzymatic activities. Using immunodepletion assays we further show that the ATPase and endomuclease activities are attributable to PfMLH protein. Using immunofluorescence assay we report that the peak expression of MLH in both 3D7 and Dd2 strains of P. falciparum is mainly in the schizont stages of the intraerythrocytic development, where DNA replication is active. MMR also contributes to the overall fidelity of DNA replication and the peak expression of MLH in the schizont stages suggests that MLH is most likely involved in correcting the mismatches occurring during replication. This study should make a significant contribution in our better understanding of DNA metabolic processes in the parasite.

  15. Parasites and supernormal manipulation.

    PubMed Central

    Holen, Ø. H.; Saetre, G. P.; Slagsvold, T.; Stenseth, N. C.

    2001-01-01

    Social parasites may exploit their hosts by mimicking other organisms that the hosts normally benefit from investing in or responding to in some other way. Some parasites exaggerate key characters of the organisms they mimic, possibly in order to increase the response from the hosts. The huge gape and extreme begging intensity of the parasitic common cuckoo chick (Cuculus canorus) may be an example. In this paper, the evolutionary stability of manipulating hosts through exaggerated signals is analysed using game theory. Our model indicates that a parasite's signal intensity must be below a certain threshold in order to ensure acceptance and that this threshold depends directly on the rate of parasitism. The only evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) combination is when hosts accept all signallers and parasites signal at their optimal signal intensity, which must be below the threshold. Supernormal manipulation by parasites is only evolutionarily stable under sufficiently low rates of parasitism. If the conditions for the ESS combination are not satisfied, rejector hosts can invade using signal intensity as a cue for identifying parasites. These qualitative predictions are discussed with respect to empirical evidence from parasitic mimicry systems that have been suggested to involve supernormal signalling, including evicting avian brood parasites and insect-mimicking Ophrys orchids. PMID:11749709

  16. South-East Asian strains of Plasmodium falciparum display higher ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous polymorphisms compared to African strains

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Gajinder Pal; Sharma, Amit

    2016-01-01

    Resistance to frontline anti-malarial drugs, including artemisinin, has repeatedly arisen in South-East Asia, but the reasons for this are not understood. Here we test whether evolutionary constraints on Plasmodium falciparum strains from South-East Asia differ from African strains. We find a significantly higher ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous polymorphisms in P. falciparum from South-East Asia compared to Africa, suggesting differences in the selective constraints on P. falciparum genome in these geographical regions. Furthermore, South-East Asian strains showed a higher proportion of non-synonymous polymorphism at conserved positions, suggesting reduced negative selection. There was a lower rate of mixed infection by multiple genotypes in samples from South-East Asia compared to Africa. We propose that a lower mixed infection rate in South-East Asia reduces intra-host competition between the parasite clones, reducing the efficiency of natural selection. This might increase the probability of fixation of fitness-reducing mutations including drug resistant ones. PMID:27853513

  17. Potentiation of antimalarial drug action by chlorpheniramine against multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in vitro.

    PubMed

    Nakornchai, Sunan; Konthiang, Phattanapong

    2006-09-01

    Chlorpheniramine, a histamine H1 receptor antagonist, was assayed for in vitro antimalarial activity against multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum K1 strain and chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum T9/94 clone, by measuring the 3H-hypoxanthine incorporation. Chlorphenirame inhibited P. falciparum K1 and T9/94 growth with IC50 values of 136.0+/-40.2 microM and 102.0+/-22.6 microM respectively. A combination of antimalarial drug and chlorpheniramine was tested against resistant P. falciparum in vitro. Isobologram analysis showed that chlorpheniramine exerts marked synergistic action on chloroquine against P. falciparum K1 and T9/94. Chlorpheniramine also potentiated antimalarial action of mefloquine, quinine or pyronaridine against both of the resistant strains of P. falciparum. However, chlorpheniramine antagonism with artesunate was obtained in both P. falciparum K1 and T9/94. The results in this study indicate that antihistaminic drugs may be promising candidates for potentiating antimalarial drug action against drug resistant malarial parasites.

  18. Functional characterization of a SUMO deconjugating protease of Plasmodium falciparum using newly identified small molecule inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Ponder, Elizabeth L.; Albrow, Victoria E.; Leader, Brittany A.; Békés, Miklós; Mikolajczyk, Jowita; Fonović, Urša Pečar; Shen, Aimee; Drag, Marcin; Xiao, Junpeng; Deu, Edgar; Campbell, Amy J.; Powers, James C.; Salvesen, Guy S.; Bogyo, Matthew

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) is implicated in the regulation of numerous biological processes including transcription, protein localization, and cell cycle control. Protein modification by SUMO is found in Plasmodium falciparum; however, its role in the regulation of the parasite lifecycle is poorly understood. Here we describe functional studies of a SUMO-specific protease (SENP) of P. falciparum, PfSENP1 (PFL1635w). Expression of the catalytic domain of PfSENP1 and biochemical profiling using a positional scanning substrate library demonstrated that this protease has unique cleavage sequence preference relative to the human SENPs. In addition, we describe a novel class of small molecule inhibitors of this protease. The most potent lead compound inhibited both recombinant PfSENP1 activity and P. falciparum replication in infected human blood. These studies provide valuable new tools for the study of SUMOylation in P. falciparum. PMID:21700207

  19. Plasmodium falciparum Founder Populations in Western Cambodia Have Reduced Artemisinin Sensitivity In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Amaratunga, Chanaki; Witkowski, Benoit; Dek, Dalin; Try, Vorleak; Khim, Nimol; Miotto, Olivo

    2014-01-01

    Reduced Plasmodium falciparum sensitivity to short-course artemisinin (ART) monotherapy manifests as a long parasite clearance half-life. We recently defined three parasite founder populations with long half-lives in Pursat, western Cambodia, where reduced ART sensitivity is prevalent. Using the ring-stage survival assay, we show that these founder populations have reduced ART sensitivity in vitro at the early ring stage of parasite development and that a genetically admixed population contains subsets of parasites with normal or reduced ART sensitivity. PMID:24867977

  20. Computational insights into the suicide inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum Fk506-binding protein 35.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Corey A; Boyd, Russell J

    2015-08-15

    Malaria is a parasite affecting millions of people worldwide. With the risk of malarial resistance reaching catastrophic levels, novel methods into the inhibition of this disease need to be prioritized. The exploitation of active site differences between parasitic and human peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerases can be used for suicide inhibition, effectively poisoning the parasite without affecting the patient. This method of inhibition was explored using Plasmodium falciparum and Homo sapiens Fk506-binding proteins as templates for quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations. Modification of the natural substrate has shown suicide inhibition is a valid approach for novel anti-malarials with little risk for parasitic resistance.

  1. Control of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocytic cycle: γδ T cells target the red blood cell-invasive merozoites.

    PubMed

    Costa, Giulia; Loizon, Séverine; Guenot, Marianne; Mocan, Iulia; Halary, Franck; de Saint-Basile, Geneviève; Pitard, Vincent; Déchanet-Merville, Julie; Moreau, Jean-François; Troye-Blomberg, Marita; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Behr, Charlotte

    2011-12-22

    The control of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocytic parasite density is essential for protection against malaria, because it prevents pathogenesis and progression toward severe disease. P falciparum blood-stage parasite cultures are inhibited by human Vγ9Vδ2 γδ T cells, but the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Here, we show that both intraerythrocytic parasites and the extracellular red blood cell-invasive merozoites specifically activate Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in a γδ T cell receptor-dependent manner and trigger their degranulation. In contrast, the γδ T cell-mediated antiparasitic activity only targets the extracellular merozoites. Using perforin-deficient and granulysin-silenced T-cell lines, we demonstrate that granulysin is essential for the in vitro antiplasmodial process, whereas perforin is dispensable. Patients infected with P falciparum exhibited elevated granulysin plasma levels associated with high levels of granulysin-expressing Vδ2(+) T cells endowed with parasite-specific degranulation capacity. This indicates in vivo activation of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells along with granulysin triggering and discharge during primary acute falciparum malaria. Altogether, this work identifies Vγ9Vδ2 T cells as unconventional immune effectors targeting the red blood cell-invasive extracellular P falciparum merozoites and opens novel perspectives for immune interventions harnessing the antiparasitic activity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells to control parasite density in malaria patients.

  2. Distribution of Helminth Parasites in Intestines and Their Seasonal Rate of Infestation in Three Freshwater Fishes of Kashmir.

    PubMed

    Wali, Asifa; Balkhi, Masood-Ul Hassan; Maqbool, Rafia; Darzi, Mohammed Maqbool; Shah, Feroz Ahmad; Bhat, Farooz Ahmad; Bhat, Bilal Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    The present study was undertaken to determine the incidence of helminth parasites in fishes with special reference to water quality parameters in Dal Lake and River Jhelum and correlate the observations. Water, fish, and parasite samples were collected during different seasons from various sites and processed. Three fish species, namely, Schizothorax niger Heckel 1838, Schizothorax esocinus Heckel 1838, and Schizothorax curvifrons Heckel 1838, were recovered from these water bodies. The physicochemical parameters temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and free carbon dioxide showed variation vis-à-vis the season and location of the stations in water bodies. Acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus kashmirensis Kaw 1941 (27.47%) and two intestinal cestodes Bothriocephalus acheilognathi Yamaguti 1934 (30.63%) and Adenoscolex oreini Fotedar 1958 (32.43%) were recovered from all the three species of Schizothorax. All the three parasites showed higher prevalence during summer and the least prevalence during winter. Parasitic infections were prevalent more in male fishes compared to females. The presence of the parasites had reduced the condition coefficient of the infected fishes in both water bodies. The study also showed that some of the physicochemical features showed a significant positive correlation with the prevalence.

  3. Distribution of Helminth Parasites in Intestines and Their Seasonal Rate of Infestation in Three Freshwater Fishes of Kashmir

    PubMed Central

    Balkhi, Masood-ul Hassan; Maqbool, Rafia; Darzi, Mohammed Maqbool; Shah, Feroz Ahmad; Bhat, Farooz Ahmad; Bhat, Bilal Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    The present study was undertaken to determine the incidence of helminth parasites in fishes with special reference to water quality parameters in Dal Lake and River Jhelum and correlate the observations. Water, fish, and parasite samples were collected during different seasons from various sites and processed. Three fish species, namely, Schizothorax niger Heckel 1838, Schizothorax esocinus Heckel 1838, and Schizothorax curvifrons Heckel 1838, were recovered from these water bodies. The physicochemical parameters temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and free carbon dioxide showed variation vis-à-vis the season and location of the stations in water bodies. Acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus kashmirensis Kaw 1941 (27.47%) and two intestinal cestodes Bothriocephalus acheilognathi Yamaguti 1934 (30.63%) and Adenoscolex oreini Fotedar 1958 (32.43%) were recovered from all the three species of Schizothorax. All the three parasites showed higher prevalence during summer and the least prevalence during winter. Parasitic infections were prevalent more in male fishes compared to females. The presence of the parasites had reduced the condition coefficient of the infected fishes in both water bodies. The study also showed that some of the physicochemical features showed a significant positive correlation with the prevalence. PMID:27738522

  4. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates use complement receptor 1 (CR1) as a receptor for invasion of erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Awandare, Gordon A; Spadafora, Carmenza; Moch, J Kathleen; Dutta, Sheetij; Haynes, J David; Stoute, José A

    2011-05-01

    A majority of Plasmodium falciparum strains invade erythrocytes through interactions with sialic acid (SA) on glycophorins. However, we recently reported that complement receptor 1 (CR1) is a SA-independent invasion receptor of many laboratory strains of P. falciparum. To determine the role of CR1 in erythrocyte invasion among P. falciparum field isolates, we tested eight isolates obtained from children in Kenya. All the parasites examined were capable of invading in a SA-independent manner, and invasion of neuraminidase-treated erythrocytes was nearly completely blocked by anti-CR1 and soluble CR1 (sCR1). In addition, anti-CR1 and sCR1 partially inhibited invasion of intact erythrocytes in a majority of isolates tested. Sequencing of the hypervariable region of P. falciparum AMA-1 showed considerable diversity among all the isolates. These data demonstrate that CR1 mediates SA-independent erythrocyte invasion in P. falciparum field isolates.

  5. Typing of Plasmodium falciparum DNA from 2 years old Giemsa-stained dried blood spots using nested polymerase chain reaction assay.

    PubMed

    Kumar, D; Dhiman, S; Rabha, B; Goswami, D; Yadav, K; Deka, M; Veer, V; Baruah, I

    2016-01-01

    A panel of 129 Giemsa-stained thick blood spots (TBS) confirmed for Plasmodium falciparum infection having different levels of parasite density were collected from a malaria endemic area. DNA was extracted and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was performed to amplify P. falciparum DNA. Nested PCR assay successfully amplified P. falciparum DNA at a very low parasitaemia of ~10 parasites/μl of blood. Current PCR assay is very simple and can be used retrospectively to monitor the invasion and prevalence of different Plasmodium species in endemic areas.

  6. Exploring the folate pathway in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Hyde, John E

    2005-06-01

    As in centuries past, the main weapon against human malaria infections continues to be intervention with drugs, despite the widespread and increasing frequency of parasite populations that are resistant to one or more of the available compounds. This is a particular problem with the lethal species of parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, which claims some two million lives per year as well as causing enormous social and economic problems. Amongst the antimalarial drugs currently in clinical use, the antifolates have the best defined molecular targets, namely the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS), which function in the folate metabolic pathway. The products of this pathway, reduced folate cofactors, are essential for DNA synthesis and the metabolism of certain amino acids. Moreover, their formation and interconversions involve a number of other enzymes that have not as yet been exploited as drug targets. Antifolates are of major importance as they currently represent the only inexpensive regime for combating chloroquine-resistant malaria, and are now first-line drugs in a number of African countries. Aspects of our understanding of this pathway and antifolate drug resistance are reviewed here, with a particular emphasis on approaches to analysing the details of, and balance between, folate biosynthesis by the parasite and salvage of pre-formed folate from exogenous sources.

  7. Therapeutic efficacy of fixed dose artesunate-mefloquine for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Kampong Speu, Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Cambodia stopped using co-blistered, non-fixed, artesunate-mefloquine (ASMQ) in 2008 when treatment failure rates approximated 20%. Fixed dose combination (FDC) ASMQ is efficacious against acute uncomplicated, drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia but has not been tested in Cambodia. Methods A 42-day WHO therapeutic efficacy study (TES) was conducted in 2010 in Oral, Kampong Speu province, south-west Cambodia, in patients with acute uncomplicated P. falciparum. Daily administered FDC ASMQ for three days was dosed by age. Genotyping of isolates at day 0 and day of recrudescence by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) classified post-treatment recurrent falciparum parasitaemia. Ex vivo drug sensitivity testing ([3H] hypoxanthine method) was performed on baseline parasites and reported as the drug concentration inhibiting 50% parasite growth vs no drug (IC50). Results Recruited patients numbered 45; five aged <15 years. On day 3, five of 45 [11.1 (3.7-24.05)] % patients were still parasite-positive; one of whom later failed treatment on day 21. There were 5/45 (11.1%) late treatment failures on day 21, 28 and 35; all were PCR diagnosed recrudescent infections. The day 0 MQ IC50s ranged from 11.5-238.9 (median 58.6) nM. Conclusions This TES demonstrated reasonable efficacy in an area of possible reduced artemisinin sensitivity and high MQ IC50s. Efficacy testing of FDC ASMQ should continue in Cambodia and be considered for reintroduction if efficacy returns. PMID:24060207

  8. Activity of selected phytochemicals against Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Astelbauer, Florian; Gruber, Maria; Brem, Brigitte; Greger, Harald; Obwaller, Andreas; Wernsdorfer, Gunther; Congpuong, Kanungnit; Wernsdorfer, Walther H; Walochnik, Julia

    2012-08-01

    According to the WHO, in 2008, there were 247 million reported cases of malaria and nearly one million deaths from the disease. Parasite resistance against first-line drugs, including artemisinin and mefloquine, is increasing. In this study the plant-derived compounds aglafolin, rocaglamid, kokusaginine, arborine, arborinine and tuberostemonine were investigated for their anti-plasmodial activity in vitro. Fresh Plasmodium falciparum isolates were taken from patients in the area of Mae Sot, north-western Thailand in 2008 and the inhibition of schizont maturation was determined for the respective compounds. With inhibitory concentrations effecting 50%, 90% and 99% inhibition (IC(50), IC(90) and IC(99)) of 60.95 nM, 854.41 nM and 7351.49 nM, respectively, rocaglamid was the most active of the substances, closely followed by aglafoline with 53.49 nM, 864.55 nM and 8354.20 nM. The activity was significantly below that of artemisinin, but moderately higher than that of quinine. Arborine, arborinine, tuberostemonine and kokusaginine showed only marginal activity against P. falciparum characterized by IC(50) and IC(99) values higher than 350 nM and 180 μM, respectively, and regressions with relatively shallow slopes S>14.38. Analogues of rocaglamid and aglafoline merit further exploration of their anti-plasmodial activity.

  9. A forward genetic screen identifies erythrocyte CD55 as essential for Plasmodium falciparum invasion **

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Elizabeth S.; Jiang, Rays H.Y.; Moechtar, Mischka A.; Barteneva, Natasha S.; Weekes, Michael P.; Nobre, Luis V.; Gygi, Steven P.; Paulo, Joao A.; Frantzreb, Charles; Tani, Yoshihiko; Takahashi, Junko; Watanabe, Seishi; Goldberg, Jonathan; Paul, Aditya S.; Brugnara, Carlo; Root, David E.; Wiegand, Roger C.; Doench, John G.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2015-01-01

    Efforts to identify host determinants for malaria have been hindered by the absence of a nucleus in erythrocytes, precluding genetic manipulation in the cell where the parasite replicates. We used cultured red blood cells derived from hematopoietic stem cells to carry out a forward genetic screen for Plasmodium falciparum host determinants. We found that CD55 is an essential host factor for P. falciparum invasion. CD55-null erythrocytes were refractory to invasion by all isolates of P. falciparum because parasites failed to attach properly to the erythrocyte surface. Thus, CD55 is an attractive target for the development of malaria therapeutics. Hematopoietic stem cell-based forward genetic screens may be valuable for the identification of additional host determinants of malaria pathogenesis. PMID:25954012

  10. A new method for culturing Plasmodium falciparum shows replication at the highest erythrocyte densities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Tao; Glushakova, Svetlana; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2003-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum replicates poorly in erythrocyte densities greater than a hematocrit of 20%. A new method to culture the major malaria parasite was developed by using a hollow fiber bioreactor that preserves healthy erythrocytes at hematocrit up to 100%. P. falciparum replicated equally well at all densities studied. This method proved advantageous for large-scale preparation of parasitized erythrocytes (and potentially immunogens thereof), because high yields ( approximately 10(10) in 4 days) could be prepared with less cost and labor. Concomitantly, secreted proteins were concentrated by molecular sieving during culture, perhaps contributing to the parasitemic limit of 8%-12% with the 3D7 strain. The finding that P. falciparum can replicate at packed erythrocyte densities suggests that this system may be useful for study of the pathogenesis of fatal cerebral malaria, of which one feature is densely packed blood cells in brain microvasculature.

  11. Modeling Metabolism and Stage-Specific Growth of Plasmodium falciparum HB3 during the Intraerythrocytic Development Cycle

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-01-01

    Wallqvist The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum goes through a complex life cycle, including a roughly 48-hour-long intraerythrocytic...will enhance our basic knowledge of P. falciparum and help identify critical metabolic reactions and pathways associated with blood-stage malaria . We...stress-induced metabolic responses, and metabolic responses to antimalarial drugs and drug candidates. Introduction Malaria constitutes a major human

  12. Indels, structural variation, and recombination drive genomic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Miles, Alistair; Iqbal, Zamin; Vauterin, Paul; Pearson, Richard; Campino, Susana; Theron, Michel; Gould, Kelda; Mead, Daniel; Drury, Eleanor; O'Brien, John; Ruano Rubio, Valentin; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Mwangi, Jonathan; Samarakoon, Upeka; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa; Ferdig, Michael; Hayton, Karen; Su, Xin-zhuan; Wellems, Thomas; Rayner, Julian; McVean, Gil; Kwiatkowski, Dominic

    2016-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has a great capacity for evolutionary adaptation to evade host immunity and develop drug resistance. Current understanding of parasite evolution is impeded by the fact that a large fraction of the genome is either highly repetitive or highly variable and thus difficult to analyze using short-read sequencing technologies. Here, we describe a resource of deep sequencing data on parents and progeny from genetic crosses, which has enabled us to perform the first genome-wide, integrated analysis of SNP, indel and complex polymorphisms, using Mendelian error rates as an indicator of genotypic accuracy. These data reveal that indels are exceptionally abundant, being more common than SNPs and thus the dominant mode of polymorphism within the core genome. We use the high density of SNP and indel markers to analyze patterns of meiotic recombination, confirming a high rate of crossover events and providing the first estimates for the rate of non-crossover events and the length of conversion tracts. We observe several instances of meiotic recombination within copy number variants associated with drug resistance, demonstrating a mechanism whereby fitness costs associated with resistance mutations could be compensated and greater phenotypic plasticity could be acquired. PMID:27531718

  13. Copper Homeostasis for the Developmental Progression of Intraerythrocytic Malarial Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Asahi, Hiroko; Kobayashi, Fumie; Inoue, Shin-Ichi; Niikura, Mamoru; Yagita, Kenji; Tolba, Mohammed Essa Marghany

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the world’s most devastating diseases, particularly in the tropics. In humans, Plasmodium falciparum lives mainly within red blood cells, and malaria pathogenesis depends on the red blood cells being infected with the parasite. Non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs), including cis-9-octadecenoic acid, and phospholipids have been critical for complete parasite growth in serum-free culture, although the efficacy of NEFAs in sustaining the growth of P. falciparum has varied markedly. Hexadecanoic acid and trans-9-octadecenoic acid have arrested development of the parasite, in association with down-regulation of genes encoding copper-binding proteins. Selective removal of Cu+ ions has blockaded completely the ring–trophozoite–schizont progression of the parasite. The importance of copper homeostasis for the developmental progression of P. falciparum has been confirmed by inhibition of copper-binding proteins that regulate copper physiology and function by associating with copper ions. These data have provided strong evidence for a link between healthy copper homeostasis and successive developmental progression of P. falciparum. Perturbation of copper homeostasis may be, thus, instrumental in drug and vaccine development for the malaria medication. We review the importance of copper homeostasis in the asexual growth of P. falciparum in relation to NEFAs, copper-binding proteins, apoptosis, mitochondria, and gene expression. PMID:26881705

  14. Slow Clearance of Plasmodium falciparum in Severe Pediatric Malaria, Uganda, 2011–2013

    PubMed Central

    Hawkes, Michael; Conroy, Andrea L.; Opoka, Robert O.; Namasopo, Sophie; Zhong, Kathleen; Liles, W. Conrad; John, Chandy C.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives is emerging in Asia. We examined molecular markers of resistance in 78 children in Uganda who had severe malaria and were treated with intravenous artesunate. We observed in the K13-propeller domain, A578S, a low-frequency (3/78), nonsynonymous, single-nucleotide polymorphism associated with prolonged parasite clearance. PMID:26079933

  15. Metabolomic analysis of patient plasma yields evidence of plant-like α-linolenic acid metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Rhee, Kyu Y; Wang, Wei; Yu, Yiting; Khafizov, Kamil; Fiser, Andras; Wu, Peng; Ndir, Omar; Mboup, Souleymane; Ndiaye, Daouda; Daily, Johanna P

    2012-07-15

    Metabolomics offers a powerful means to investigate human malaria parasite biology and host-parasite interactions at the biochemical level, and to discover novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers of infection. Here, we used an approach based on liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to perform an untargeted metabolomic analysis of metabolite extracts from Plasmodium falciparum-infected and uninfected patient plasma samples, and from an enriched population of in vitro cultured P. falciparum-infected and uninfected erythrocytes. Statistical modeling robustly segregated infected and uninfected samples based on metabolite species with significantly different abundances. Metabolites of the α-linolenic acid (ALA) pathway, known to exist in plants but not known to exist in P. falciparum until now, were enriched in infected plasma and erythrocyte samples. In vitro labeling with (13)C-ALA showed evidence of plant-like ALA pathway intermediates in P. falciparum. Ortholog searches using ALA pathway enzyme sequences from 8 available plant genomes identified several genes in the P. falciparum genome that were predicted to potentially encode the corresponding enzymes in the hitherto unannotated P. falciparum pathway. These data suggest that our approach can be used to discover novel facets of host/malaria parasite biology in a high-throughput manner.

  16. Assessing the impact of next-generation rapid diagnostic tests on Plasmodium falciparum malaria elimination strategies.

    PubMed

    Slater, Hannah C; Ross, Amanda; Ouédraogo, André Lin; White, Lisa J; Nguon, Chea; Walker, Patrick G T; Ngor, Pengby; Aguas, Ricardo; Silal, Sheetal P; Dondorp, Arjen M; La Barre, Paul; Burton, Robert; Sauerwein, Robert W; Drakeley, Chris; Smith, Thomas A; Bousema, Teun; Ghani, Azra C

    2015-12-03

    Mass-screen-and-treat and targeted mass-drug-administration strategies are being considered as a means to interrupt transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the effectiveness of such strategies will depend on the extent to which current and future diagnostics are able to detect those individuals who are infectious to mosquitoes. We estimate the relationship between parasite density and onward infectivity using sensitive quantitative parasite diagnostics and mosquito feeding assays from Burkina Faso. We find that a diagnostic with a lower detection limit of 200 parasites per microlitre would detect 55% of the infectious reservoir (the combined infectivity to mosquitoes of the whole population weighted by how often each individual is bitten) whereas a test with a limit of 20 parasites per microlitre would detect 83% and 2 parasites per microlitre would detect 95% of the infectious reservoir. Using mathematical models, we show that increasing the diagnostic sensitivity from 200 parasites per microlitre (equivalent to microscopy or current rapid diagnostic tests) to 2 parasites per microlitre would increase the number of regions where transmission could be interrupted with a mass-screen-and-treat programme from an entomological inoculation rate below 1 to one of up to 4. The higher sensitivity diagnostic could reduce the number of treatment rounds required to interrupt transmission in areas of lower prevalence. We predict that mass-screen-and-treat with a highly sensitive diagnostic is less effective than mass drug administration owing to the prophylactic protection provided to uninfected individuals by the latter approach. In low-transmission settings such as those in Southeast Asia, we find that a diagnostic tool with a sensitivity of 20 parasites per microlitre may be sufficient for targeted mass drug administration because this diagnostic is predicted to identify a similar village population prevalence compared with that currently detected using

  17. Independent Emergence of Artemisinin Resistance Mutations Among Plasmodium falciparum in Southeast Asia

    PubMed Central

    Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Jacob, Christopher G.; Arze, Cesar; Cummings, Michael P.; Silva, Joana C.; Dondorp, Arjen M.; Fukuda, Mark M.; Hien, Tran Tinh; Mayxay, Mayfong; Noedl, Harald; Nosten, Francois; Kyaw, Myat P.; Nhien, Nguyen Thanh Thuy; Imwong, Mallika; Bethell, Delia; Se, Youry; Lon, Chanthap; Tyner, Stuart D.; Saunders, David L.; Ariey, Frederic; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Menard, Didier; Newton, Paul N.; Khanthavong, Maniphone; Hongvanthong, Bouasy; Starzengruber, Peter; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter; Swoboda, Paul; Khan, Wasif A.; Phyo, Aung Pyae; Nyunt, Myaing M.; Nyunt, Myat H.; Brown, Tyler S.; Adams, Matthew; Pepin, Christopher S.; Bailey, Jason; Tan, John C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Clark, Taane G.; Miotto, Olivo; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; White, Nicholas J.; Ringwald, Pascal; Plowe, Christopher V.

    2015-01-01

    Background. The emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Southeast Asia threatens malaria treatment efficacy. Mutations in a kelch protein encoded on P. falciparum chromosome 13 (K13) have been associated with resistance in vitro and in field samples from Cambodia. Methods. P. falciparum infections from artesunate efficacy trials in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam were genotyped at 33 716 genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Linear mixed models were used to test associations between parasite genotypes and parasite clearance half-lives following artesunate treatment. K13 mutations were tested for association with artemisinin resistance, and extended haplotypes on chromosome 13 were examined to determine whether mutations arose focally and spread or whether they emerged independently. Results. The presence of nonreference K13 alleles was associated with prolonged parasite clearance half-life (P = 1.97 × 10−12). Parasites with a mutation in any of the K13 kelch domains displayed longer parasite clearance half-lives than parasites with wild-type alleles. Haplotype analysis revealed both population-specific emergence of mutations and independent emergence of the same mutation in different geographic areas. Conclusions. K13 appears to be a major determinant of artemisinin resistance throughout Southeast Asia. While we found some evidence of spreading resistance, there was no evidence of resistance moving westward from Cambodia into Myanmar. PMID:25180241

  18. Drug resistance associated genetic polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax collected in Honduras, Central America

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In Honduras, chloroquine and primaquine are recommended and still appear to be effective for treatment of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of resistance associated genetic polymorphisms in P. falciparum and P. vivax collected in Honduras. Methods Blood samples were collected from patients seeking medical attention at the Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa from 2004 to 2006 as well as three regional hospitals, two health centres and one regional laboratory during 2009. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt), multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1), dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps) genes and in P. vivax multidrug resistance 1 (pvmdr1) and dihydrofolate reductase (pvdhfr) genes were detected using PCR based methods. Results Thirty seven P. falciparum and 64 P. vivax samples were collected. All P. falciparum infections acquired in Honduras carried pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfdhps and pfdhfr alleles associated with chloroquine, amodiaquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine sensitivity only. One patient with parasites acquired on a Pacific Island had pfcrt 76 T and pfmdr1 86Y alleles. That patient and a patient infected in West Africa had pfdhfr 51I, 59 R and 108 N alleles. Pvmdr1 976 F was found in 7/37 and two copies of pvmdr1 were found in 1/37 samples. Pvdhfr 57 L + 58 R was observed in 2/57 samples. Conclusion The results indicate that P. falciparum from Honduras remain sensitive to chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. This suggests that chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine should be efficacious for treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, supporting current national treatment guidelines. However, genetic polymorphisms associated with chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine tolerance were detected in local P. vivax and imported P. falciparum infections. Continuous monitoring of the prevalence

  19. Parasitological Clearance Rates and Drug Concentrations of a Fixed Dose Combination of Azithromycin-Chloroquine in Asymptomatic Pregnant Women with Plasmodium Falciparum Parasitemia: An Open-Label, Non-Comparative Study in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Phiri, Kamija; Kimani, Joshua; Mtove, George A.; Zhao, Qinying; Rojo, Ricardo; Robbins, Jeffery; Duparc, Stephan; Ayoub, Ayman; Vandenbroucke, Pol

    2016-01-01

    Background Malaria remains one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in pregnant women and their newborn babies in sub-Saharan Africa. Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce the burden of disease and improve maternal and neonatal survival and general health. Due to the growing resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), the current WHO-recommended drug for IPTp, identification of new and effective drugs is an urgent priority. Methods and Findings This was an open-label, non-comparative study (NCT01103713) in 5 countries in East and sub-Saharan Africa (Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda) to assess parasitological response and drug concentrations of a single, 3-day course of four tablets of a fixed-dose combination of azithromycin-chloroquine (AZCQ) 250/155 mg given during the second or third trimester to women with asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia in their first or second pregnancy. Parasitemia was determined by microscopy and molecular genotyping was performed to characterize parasites relative to the baseline infection. Weekly follow-up visits took place until day 42 after first dose and additional follow-up occurred after delivery. Systemic concentrations of azithromycin (AZ), chloroquine (CQ), and the CQ metabolite, desethyl CQ (DECQ) were evaluated at Day 0 (pre-dose), at Day 2 (pre-dose, 2 and 8 hours) and randomly at Days 7 and 14. Systemic concentrations of CQ and DECQ were also measured randomly at Day 21 and Day 28. In total, 404 women were screened for eligibility and 168 were treated, 155 of whom completed the study. PCR-adjusted parasitological response in the modified intent-to-treat population at day 28 (the primary efficacy endpoint) was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method as 99.35% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 97.76, 100.00). PCR-adjusted parasitological response remained high at day 42 (95.19%; 95% CI: 91.35, 99.03). In

  20. Automated erythrocytapheresis in the treatment of severe falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Macallan, D C; Pocock, M; Bishop, E; Bevan, D H; Parker-Williams, J; Harrison, T; Robinson, G T

    1999-11-01

    Removal of parasitized erythrocytes is generally considered to be of value as adjunctive therapy in severe falciparum malaria with high parasitaemia. This is commonly achieved by exchange transfusion. We describe three cases of severe falciparum malaria treated by automated erythrocytapheresis (red cell exchange) in addition to quinine and conventional supportive therapy. Erythrocytapheresis consists of removal of the red-cell fraction by apheresis. Plasma, leukocyte and platelet fractions are returned to the patient. In all cases, dramatic reduction in parasitaemia was achieved within 2 h with subsequent complete clinical recovery. Erythrocytapheresis has significant advantages over exchange transfusion in terms of speed, efficiency, haemodynamic stability and retention of plasma components such as clotting factors and may thus represent an improvement in adjunctive therapy for severe malaria.

  1. A genetic system to study Plasmodium falciparum protein function.

    PubMed

    Birnbaum, Jakob; Flemming, Sven; Reichard, Nick; Soares, Alexandra Blancke; Mesén-Ramírez, Paolo; Jonscher, Ernst; Bergmann, Bärbel; Spielmann, Tobias

    2017-03-13

    Current systems to study essential genes in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are often inefficient and time intensive, and they depend on the genetic modification of the target locus, a process hindered by the low frequency of integration of episomal DNA into the genome. Here, we introduce a method, termed selection-linked integration (SLI), to rapidly select for genomic integration. SLI allowed us to functionally analyze targets at the gene and protein levels, thus permitting mislocalization of native proteins, a strategy known as knock sideways, floxing to induce diCre-based excision of genes and knocking in altered gene copies. We demonstrated the power and robustness of this approach by validating it for more than 12 targets, including eight essential ones. We also localized and inducibly inactivated Kelch13, the protein associated with artemisinin resistance. We expect this system to be widely applicable for P. falciparum and other organisms with limited genetic tractability.

  2. An outbreak of artemisinin resistant falciparum malaria in Eastern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Imwong, Mallika; Jindakhad, Thantip; Kunasol, Chanon; Sutawong, Kreepol; Vejakama, Phisitt; Dondorp, Arjen M

    2015-11-30

    Artemisinin resistant falciparum malaria is an increasing problem in Southeast Asia, but has not been associated with increased transmission of the disease, yet. During a recent outbreak in 2014 in Ubon Ratchatani, Eastern Thailand, parasites from 101 patients with falciparum malaria were genotyped for antimalarial drug resistance markers. Mutations in the Kelch13 marker for artemisinin resistance were present in 93% of samples, mainly C580Y from 2 major clusters as identified by microsatellite typing. Resistance markers for antifolates and chloroquine were also highly prevalent. Most strains (91%) carried single copy number PfMDR1, suggesting sustained sensitivity to mefloquine, the partner drug in the local first-line artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). The high prevalence of artemisinin resistance in this recent malaria outbreak suggests but does not prove a causative role in increased transmission. Careful monitoring of ACT efficacy and additional genetic epidemiological studies are warranted to guide the public health response to the outbreak.

  3. The glyoxalase pathway in protozoan parasites.

    PubMed

    Sousa Silva, Marta; Ferreira, António E N; Gomes, Ricardo; Tomás, Ana M; Ponces Freire, Ana; Cordeiro, Carlos

    2012-10-01

    The glyoxalase system is the main catabolic route for methylglyoxal, a non-enzymatic glycolytic byproduct with toxic and mutagenic effects. This pathway includes two enzymes, glyoxalase I and glyoxalase II, which convert methylglyoxal to d-lactate by using glutathione as a catalytic cofactor. In protozoan parasites the glyoxalase system shows marked deviations from this model. For example, the functional replacement of glutathione by trypanothione (a spermidine-glutathione conjugate) is a characteristic of trypanosomatids. Also interesting are the lack of glyoxalase I and the presence of two glyoxalase II enzymes in Trypanosoma brucei. In Plasmodium falciparum the glyoxalase pathway is glutathione-dependent, and glyoxalase I is an atypical monomeric enzyme with two active sites. Although it is tempting to exploit these differences for their potential therapeutic value, they provide invaluable clues regarding methylglyoxal metabolism and the evolution of protozoan parasites. Glyoxalase enzymes have been characterized in only a few protozoan parasites, namely Plasmodium falciparum and the trypanosomatids Leishmania and Trypanosoma. In this review, we will focus on the key features of the glyoxalase pathway in major human protozoan parasites, with particular emphasis on the characterized systems in Plasmodium falciparum, Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leishmania spp. We will also search for genes encoding glyoxalase I and II in Toxoplasma gondii, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia.

  4. Plasmodium falciparum Clearance Is Rapid and Pitting Independent in Immune Malian Children Treated With Artesunate for Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Ndour, Papa Alioune; Lopera-Mesa, Tatiana M.; Diakité, Seidina A. S.; Chiang, Serena; Mouri, Oussama; Roussel, Camille; Jauréguiberry, Stéphane; Biligui, Sylvestre; Kendjo, Eric; Claessens, Antoine; Ciceron, Liliane; Mazier, Dominique; Thellier, Marc; Diakité, Mahamadou; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Buffet, Pierre A.

    2015-01-01

    Background In Plasmodium falciparum–infected patients treated with artemisinins, parasitemia declines through so-called pitting, an innate splenic process that transforms infected red blood cells (iRBCs) into once-infected RBCs (O-iRBCs). Methods We measured pitting in 83 French travelers and 42 Malian children treated for malaria with artesunate. Results In travelers, O-iRBCs peaked at 107.7% initial parasitemia. In Malian children aged 1.5–4 years, O-iRBCs peaked at higher concentrations than in children aged 9–13 years (91.60% vs 31.95%; P = .0097). The parasite clearance time in older children was shorter than in younger children (P = .0001), and the decline in parasitemia in children aged 1.5–4 years often started 6 hours after treatment initiation, a lag phase generally absent in infants and older children. A 6-hour lag phase in artificial pitting of artesunate-exposed iRBCs was also observed in vitro. The proportion of iRBCs recognized by autologous immunoglobulin G (IgG) correlated with the parasite clearance time (r = −0.501; P = .0006) and peak O-iRBC concentration (r = −0.420; P = .0033). Conclusions Antimalarial immunity correlates with fast artemisinin-induced parasite clearance and low pitting rates. In nonimmune populations, artemisinin-induced P. falciparum clearance is related to pitting and starts after a 6-hour lag phase. In immune populations, passively and naturally acquired immune mechanisms operating faster than pitting may exist. This mechanism may mitigate the emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum in Africa. PMID:25183768

  5. Plasmodium falciparum exhibits markers of regulated cell death at high population density in vitro.

    PubMed

    Engelbrecht, Dewaldt; Coetzer, Thérèsa Louise

    2016-12-01

    The asexual erythrocytic cycle of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the pathogenesis of malaria and causes the overwhelming majority of malaria deaths. Rapidly increasing parasitaemia during this 48hour cycle threatens the survival of the human host and the parasite prior to transmission of the slow-maturing sexual stages to the mosquito host. The parasite may utilise regulated cell death (RCD) to control the burden of infection on the host and thus aid its own survival and transmission. The occurrence of RCD in P. falciparum remains a controversial topic. We provide strong evidence for the occurrence of an apoptosis-like phenotype of RCD in P. falciparum under conditions of high parasite density. P. falciparum was maintained in vitro and stressed by allowing growth to an unrestricted peak parasitaemia. Cell death markers, including morphological changes, DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial polarisation and phosphatidylserine externalisation were used to characterise parasite death at the time of peak parasitaemia and 24h later. At peak parasitaemia, mitochondrial depolarisation was observed, together with phosphatidylserine externalisation in both parasitised- and neighbouring non-infected erythrocytes. DNA fragmentation coincided with a decline in parasitaemia. Fewer merozoites were observed in mature schizonts at peak parasitaemia. Growth recovery to near-peak parasitaemia was noted within two intraerythrocytic cycles. The combination and chronological order of the biochemical markers of cell death suggest the occurrence of an apoptosis-like phenotype. The identification of a RCD pathway in P. falciparum may provide novel drug targets, particularly if the pathway differs from the host machinery.

  6. Open-label trial on efficacy of artemether/lumefantrine against the uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Metema district, Northwestern Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Wudneh, Feven; Assefa, Ashenafi; Nega, Desalegn; Mohammed, Hussien; Solomon, Hiwot; Kebede, Tadesse; Woyessa, Adugna; Assefa, Yibeltal; Kebede, Amha; Kassa, Moges

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Following the increased Plasmodium falciparum resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, Ethiopia adopted artemether/lumefantrine (AL) as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated P. falciparum in 2004. According to the recommendation of the World Health Organization, this study was carried out for regular monitoring of the efficacy of AL in treating the uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Metema district, Gondar Zone, Northwest Ethiopia. Patients and methods This is a one-arm prospective 28-day in vivo therapeutic efficacy study among the uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria patients aged 6 months and older. The study was conducted from October 2014 to January 2015, based on the revised World Health Organization protocol of 2009 for surveillance of antimalarial drug therapeutic efficacy study. Standard six-dose regimen of AL was given twice daily for 3 days, and then the treatment outcomes were assessed on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and any other unscheduled day for emergency cases. Results There were 91 study subjects enrolled in this study, of whom 80 study subjects completed the full follow-up schedules and showed adequate clinical and parasitological responses on day 28, with no major adverse event. Per protocol analysis, the unadjusted cure rate of Coartem® was 98.8% (95% confidence interval: 93.3%–100%) in the study area. Recurrence of one P. falciparum case was detected on day 28, with a late parasitological failure rate of 1.2%. No early treatment failure occurred. Complete parasite and fever clearance was observed on day 3. Gametocyte carriage was 4.4% at enrollment that cleared on day 21. Although the difference is statistically not significant, a slight increase in the level of mean hemoglobin from baseline to day 28 was observed. Conclusion The study showed high efficacy and tolerability of Coartem® against uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, suggesting the continuation as a first-line drug in the study district

  7. The transcriptome of the intraerythrocytic developmental cycle of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Bozdech, Zbynek; Llinás, Manuel; Pulliam, Brian Lee; Wong, Edith D; Zhu, Jingchun; DeRisi, Joseph L

    2003-10-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the most burdensome form of human malaria, affecting 200-300 million individuals per year worldwide. The recently sequenced genome of P. falciparum revealed over 5,400 genes, of which 60% encode proteins of unknown function. Insights into the biochemical function and regulation of these genes will provide the foundation for future drug and vaccine development efforts toward eradication of this disease. By analyzing the complete asexual intraerythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC) transcriptome of the HB3 strain of P. falciparum, we demonstrate that at least 60% of the genome is transcriptionally active during this stage. Our data demonstrate that this parasite has evolved an extremely specialized mode of transcriptional regulation that produces a continuous cascade of gene expression, beginning with genes corresponding to general cellular processes, such as protein synthesis, and ending with Plasmodium-specific functionalities, such as genes involved in erythrocyte invasion. The data reveal that genes contiguous along the chromosomes are rarely coregulated, while transcription from the plastid genome is highly coregulated and likely polycistronic. Comparative genomic hybridization between HB3 and the reference genome strain (3D7) was used to distinguish between genes not expressed during the IDC and genes not detected because of possible sequence variations. Genomic differences between these strains were found almost exclusively in the highly antigenic subtelomeric regions of chromosomes. The simple cascade of gene regulation that directs the asexual development of P. falciparum is unprecedented in eukaryotic biology. The transcriptome of the IDC resembles a "just-in-time" manufacturing process whereby induction of any given gene occurs once per cycle and only at a time when it is required. These data provide to our knowledge the first comprehensive view of the timing of transcription throughout the intraerythrocytic

  8. The Transcriptome of the Intraerythrocytic Developmental Cycle of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Pulliam, Brian Lee; Wong, Edith D; Zhu, Jingchun

    2003-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the most burdensome form of human malaria, affecting 200–300 million individuals per year worldwide. The recently sequenced genome of P. falciparum revealed over 5,400 genes, of which 60% encode proteins of unknown function. Insights into the biochemical function and regulation of these genes will provide the foundation for future drug and vaccine development efforts toward eradication of this disease. By analyzing the complete asexual intraerythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC) transcriptome of the HB3 strain of P. falciparum, we demonstrate that at least 60% of the genome is transcriptionally active during this stage. Our data demonstrate that this parasite has evolved an extremely specialized mode of transcriptional regulation that produces a continuous cascade of gene expression, beginning with genes corresponding to general cellular processes, such as protein synthesis, and ending with Plasmodium-specific functionalities, such as genes involved in erythrocyte invasion. The data reveal that genes contiguous along the chromosomes are rarely coregulated, while transcription from the plastid genome is highly coregulated and likely polycistronic. Comparative genomic hybridization between HB3 and the reference genome strain (3D7) was used to distinguish between genes not expressed during the IDC and genes not detected because of possible sequence variations. Genomic differences between these strains were found almost exclusively in the highly antigenic subtelomeric regions of chromosomes. The simple cascade of gene regulation that directs the asexual development of P. falciparum is unprecedented in eukaryotic biology. The transcriptome of the IDC resembles a “just-in-time” manufacturing process whereby induction of any given gene occurs once per cycle and only at a time when it is required. These data provide to our knowledge the first comprehensive view of the timing of transcription throughout the

  9. Parasite-host interaction in malaria: genetic clues and copy number variation

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    In humans, infections contribute highly to mortality and morbidity rates worldwide. Malaria tropica is one of the major infectious diseases globally and is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodia have accompanied human beings since the emergence of humankind. Due to its pathogenicity, malaria is a powerful selective force on the human genome. Genetic epidemiology approaches such as family and twin studies, candidate gene studies, and disease-association studies have identified a number of genes that mediate relative protection against the severest forms of the disease. New molecular approaches, including genome-wide association studies, have recently been performed to expand our knowledge on the functional effect of human variation in malaria. For the future, a systematic determination of gene-dosage effects and expression profiles of protective genes might unveil the functional impact of structural alterations in these genes on either side of the host-parasite interaction. PMID:19725943

  10. Plasmodium falciparum proteins involved in cytoadherence of infected erythrocytes to chemokine CX3CL1

    PubMed Central

    Hermand, Patricia; Cicéron, Liliane; Pionneau, Cédric; Vaquero, Catherine; Combadière, Christophe; Deterre, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is associated with cytoadherence of infected red blood cells (iRBC) to endothelial cells. Numerous host molecules have been involved in cytoadherence, including the adhesive chemokine CX3CL1. Most of the identified parasite ligands are from the multigenic and hypervariable Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) family which makes them poor targets for the development of a broadly protective vaccine. Using proteomics, we have identified two 25-kDa parasite proteins with adhesive properties for CX3CL1, called CBP for CX3CL1 Binding Proteins. CBPs are coded by single-copy genes with little polymorphic variation and no homology with other P. falciparum gene products. Specific antibodies raised against epitopes from the predicted extracellular domains of each CBP efficiently stain the surface of RBC infected with trophozoites or schizonts, which is a strong indication of CBP expression at the surface of iRBC. These anti-CBP antibodies partially neutralize iRBC adherence to CX3CL1. This adherence is similarly inhibited in the presence of peptides from the CBP extracellular domains, while irrelevant peptides had no such effect. CBP1 and CBP2 are new P. falciparum ligands for the human chemokine CX3CL1. The identification of this non-polymorphic P. falciparum factors provides a new avenue for innovative vaccination approaches. PMID:27653778

  11. In vivo transcriptome of Plasmodium falciparum reveals overexpression of transcripts that encode surface proteins.

    PubMed

    Daily, Johanna P; Le Roch, Karine G; Sarr, Ousmane; Ndiaye, Daouda; Lukens, Amanda; Zhou, Yingyao; Ndir, Omar; Mboup, Soulyemane; Sultan, Ali; Winzeler, Elizabeth A; Wirth, Dyann F

    2005-04-01

    Infections with the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum continue to present a great challenge to global health. Fundamental questions regarding the molecular basis of virulence and immune evasion in P. falciparum have been only partially answered. Because of the parasite's intracellular location and complex life cycle, standard genetic approaches to the study of the pathogenesis of malaria have been limited. The present study presents a novel approach to the identification of the biological processes involved in host-pathogen interactions, one that is based on the analysis of in vivo P. falciparum transcripts. We demonstrate that a sufficient quantity of P. falciparum RNA transcripts can be derived from a small blood sample from infected patients for whole-genome microarray analysis. Overall, excellent correlation was observed between the transcriptomes derived from in vivo samples and in vitro samples with ring-stage P. falciparum 3D7 reference strain. However, gene families that encode surface proteins are overexpressed in vivo. Moreover, this analysis has identified a new family of hypothetical genes that may encode surface variant antigens. Comparative studies of the transcriptomes derived from in vivo samples and in vitro 3D7 samples may identify important strategies used by the pathogen for survival in the human host and highlight, for vaccine development, new candidate antigens that were not previously identified through the use of in vitro cultures.

  12. Global proteomic analysis of prenylated proteins in Plasmodium falciparum using an alkyne-modified isoprenoid analogue

    PubMed Central

    Suazo, Kiall F.; Schaber, Chad; Palsuledesai, Charuta C.; Odom John, Audrey R.; Distefano, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

    Severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum infection remains a serious threat to health worldwide and new therapeutic targets are highly desirable. Small molecule inhibitors of prenyl transferases, enzymes that catalyze the post-translational isoprenyl modifications of proteins, exhibit potent antimalarial activity. The antimalarial actions of prenyltransferase inhibitors indicate that protein prenylation is required for malaria parasite development. In this study, we used a chemical biology strategy to experimentally characterize the entire complement of prenylated proteins in the human malaria parasite. In contrast to the expansive mammalian and fungal prenylomes, we find that P. falciparum possesses a restricted set of prenylated proteins. The prenylome of P. falciparum is dominated by Rab GTPases, in addition to a small number of prenylated proteins that also appear to function primarily in membrane trafficking. Overall, we found robust experimental evidence for a total of only thirteen prenylated proteins in P. falciparum, with suggestive evidence for an additional two probable prenyltransferase substrates. Our work contributes to an increasingly complete picture of essential, post-translational hydrophobic modifications in blood-stage P. falciparum. PMID:27924931

  13. Global proteomic analysis of prenylated proteins in Plasmodium falciparum using an alkyne-modified isoprenoid analogue.

    PubMed

    Suazo, Kiall F; Schaber, Chad; Palsuledesai, Charuta C; Odom John, Audrey R; Distefano, Mark D

    2016-12-07

    Severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum infection remains a serious threat to health worldwide and new therapeutic targets are highly desirable. Small molecule inhibitors of prenyl transferases, enzymes that catalyze the post-translational isoprenyl modifications of proteins, exhibit potent antimalarial activity. The antimalarial actions of prenyltransferase inhibitors indicate that protein prenylation is required for malaria parasite development. In this study, we used a chemical biology strategy to experimentally characterize the entire complement of prenylated proteins in the human malaria parasite. In contrast to the expansive mammalian and fungal prenylomes, we find that P. falciparum possesses a restricted set of prenylated proteins. The prenylome of P. falciparum is dominated by Rab GTPases, in addition to a small number of prenylated proteins that also appear to function primarily in membrane trafficking. Overall, we found robust experimental evidence for a total of only thirteen prenylated proteins in P. falciparum, with suggestive evidence for an additional two probable prenyltransferase substrates. Our work contributes to an increasingly complete picture of essential, post-translational hydrophobic modifications in blood-stage P. falciparum.

  14. Correlation between Cyclin Dependent Kinases and Artemisinin-Induced Dormancy in Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Karen-Ann; Gresty, Karryn J.; Chen, Nanhua; Zhang, Veronica; Gutteridge, Clare E.; Peatey, Christopher L.; Chavchich, Marina; Waters, Norman C.; Cheng, Qin

    2016-01-01

    Background Artemisinin-induced dormancy provides a plausible explanation for recrudescence following artemisinin monotherapy. This phenomenon shares similarities with cell cycle arrest where cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs) and cyclins play an important role. Methods Transcription profiles of Plasmodium falciparum CDKs and cyclins before and after dihydroartemisinin (DHA) treatment in three parasite lines, and the effect of CDK inhibitors on parasite recovery from DHA-induced dormancy were investigated. Results After DHA treatment, parasites enter a dormancy phase followed by a recovery phase. During the dormancy phase parasites up-regulate pfcrk1, pfcrk4, pfcyc2 and pfcyc4, and down-regulate pfmrk, pfpk5, pfpk6, pfcrk3, pfcyc1 and pfcyc3. When entering the recovery phase parasites immediately up-regulate all CDK and cyclin genes. Three CDK inhibitors, olomoucine, WR636638 and roscovitine, produced distinct effects on different phases of DHA-induced dormancy, blocking parasites recovery. Conclusions The up-regulation of PfCRK1 and PfCRK4, and down regulation of other CDKs and cyclins correlate with parasite survival in the dormant state. Changes in CDK expression are likely to negatively regulate parasite progression from G1 to S phase. These findings provide new insights into the mechanism of artemisinin-induced dormancy and cell cycle regulation of P. falciparum, opening new opportunities for preventing recrudescence following artemisinin treatment. PMID:27326764

  15. Evaluation of a rapid and inexpensive dipstick assay for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed Central

    Mills, C. D.; Burgess, D. C.; Taylor, H. J.; Kain, K. C.

    1999-01-01

    Rapid, accurate and affordable methods are needed for the diagnosis of malaria. Reported here is an evaluation of a new immunochromatographic strip, the PATH Falciparum Malaria IC Strip, which is impregnated with an immobilized IgM monoclonal antibody that binds to the HRP-II antigen of Plasmodium falciparum. In contrast to other commercially available kits marketed for the rapid diagnosis of falciparum malaria, this kit should be affordable in the malaria-endemic world. Using microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods as reference standards, we compared two versions of the PATH test for the detection of P. falciparum infection in 200 febrile travellers. As determined by PCR and microscopy, 148 travellers had malaria, 50 of whom (33.8%) were infected with P. falciparum. Compared with PCR, the two versions of the PATH test had initial sensitivities of 90% and 88% and specificities of 97% and 96%, respectively, for the detection of falciparum malaria. When discrepant samples were retested blindly with a modified procedure (increased sample volume and longer washing step) the sensitivity and specificity of both kits improved to 96% and 99%, respectively. The two remaining false negatives occurred in samples with < 100 parasites per microliter of blood. The accuracy, simplicity and predicted low cost may make this test a useful diagnostic tool in malaria-endemic areas. PMID:10444878

  16. 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 β-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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-04-21

    P. falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, a potential target for antimalarial drugs and a conduit for prodrugs, crystallized as a structure with eight molecules per asymmetric unit that included some unique parasite-specific auto-inhibitory interactions between catalytic dimers. 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.

  18. Bacteria- and IMD Pathway-Independent Immune Defenses against Plasmodium falciparum in Anopheles gambiae

    PubMed Central

    Blumberg, Benjamin J.; Trop, Stefanie; Das, Suchismita; Dimopoulos, George

    2013-01-01

    The mosquito Anopheles gambiae uses its innate immune system to control bacterial and Plasmodium infection of its midgut tissue. The activation of potent IMD pathway-mediated anti-Plasmodium falciparum defenses is dependent on the presence of the midgut microbiota, which activate this defense system upon parasite infection through a peptidoglycan recognition protein, PGRPLC. We employed transcriptomic and reverse genetic analyses to compare the P. falciparum infection-responsive transcriptomes of septic and aseptic mosquitoes and to determine whether bacteria-independent anti-Plasmodium defenses exist. Antibiotic treated aseptic mosquitoes mounted molecular immune responses representing a variety of immune functions upon P. falciparum infection. Among other immune factors, our analysis uncovered a serine protease inhibitor (SRPN7) and Clip-domain serine protease (CLIPC2) that were transcriptionally induced in the midgut upon P. falciparum infection, independent of bacteria. We also showed that SRPN7 negatively and CLIPC2 positively regulate the anti-Plasmodium defense, independently of the midgut-associated bacteria. Co-silencing assays suggested that these two genes may function together in a signaling cascade. Neither gene was regulated, nor modulated, by infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei, suggesting that SRPN7 and CLIPC2 are components of a defense system with preferential activity towards P. falciparum. Further analysis using RNA interference determined that these genes do not regulate the anti-Plasmodium defense mediated by the IMD pathway, and both factors act as agonists of the endogenous midgut microbiota, further demonstrating the lack of functional relatedness between these genes and the bacteria-dependent activation of the IMD pathway. This is the first study confirming the existence of a bacteria-independent, anti-P. falciparum defense. Further exploration of this anti-Plasmodium defense will help clarify determinants of

  19. Inhibition of an Erythrocyte Tyrosine Kinase with Imatinib Prevents Plasmodium falciparum Egress and Terminates Parasitemia

    PubMed Central

    Kesely, Kristina R.; Pantaleo, Antonella; Turrini, Francesco M.; Olupot-Olupot, Peter

    2016-01-01

    With half of the world’s population at risk for malaria infection and with drug resistance on the rise, the search for mutation-resistant therapies has intensified. We report here a therapy for Plasmodium falciparum malaria that acts by inhibiting the phosphorylation of erythrocyte membrane band 3 by an erythrocyte tyrosine kinase. Because tyrosine phosphorylation of band 3 causes a destabilization of the erythrocyte membrane required for parasite egress, inhibition of the erythrocyte tyrosine kinase leads to parasite entrapment and termination of the infection. Moreover, because one of the kinase inhibitors to demonstrate antimalarial activity is imatinib, i.e. an FDA-approved drug authorized for use in children, translation of the therapy into the clinic will be facilitated. At a time when drug resistant strains of P. falciparum are emerging, a strategy that targets a host enzyme that cannot be mutated by the parasite should constitute a therapeutic mechanism that will retard evolution of resistance. PMID:27768734

  20. A Method for Rapid Genetic Integration into Plasmodium falciparum Utilizing Mycobacteriophage Bxb1 Integrase

    PubMed Central

    Adjalley, Sophie H.; Lee, Marcus C.S.; Fidock, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic manipulation of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has presented substantial challenges for research efforts aimed at better understanding the complex biology of this highly virulent organism. The development of methods to perform gene disruption, allelic replacement or transgene expression has provided important insights into the function of parasite genes. However, genomic integration studies have been hindered by low transfection and recombination efficiencies, and are complicated by the propensity of this parasite to maintain episomal replicating plasmids. We have developed a fast and efficient site-specific system of integrative recombination into the P. falciparum genome, which is catalyzed by the mycobacteriophage Bxb1 serine integrase. This system has the advantage of providing greater genetic and phenotypic homogeneity within transgenic lines as compared to earlier methods based on episomal replication of plasmids. Herein, we present this methodology. PMID:20676977

  1. Blood Stage Plasmodium falciparum Exhibits Biological Responses to Direct Current Electric Fields

    PubMed Central

    Coronado, Lorena M.; Montealegre, Stephania; Chaverra, Zumara; Mojica, Luis; Espinosa, Carlos; Almanza, Alejandro; Correa, Ricardo; Stoute, José A.; Gittens, Rolando A.

    2016-01-01

    The development of resistance to insecticides by the vector of malaria and the increasingly faster appearance of resistance to antimalarial drugs by the parasite can dangerously hamper efforts to control and eradicate the disease. Alternative ways to treat this disease are urgently needed. Here we evaluate the in vitro effect of direct current (DC) capacitive coupling electrical stimulation on the biology and viability of Plasmodium falciparum. We designed a system that exposes infected erythrocytes to different capacitively coupled electric fields in order to evaluate their effect on P. falciparum. The effect on growth of the parasite, replication of DNA, mitochondrial membrane potential and level of reactive oxygen species after exposure to electric fields demonstrate that the parasite is biologically able to respond to stimuli from DC electric fields involving calcium signaling pathways. PMID:27537497

  2. Inhibition of an Erythrocyte Tyrosine Kinase with Imatinib Prevents Plasmodium falciparum Egress and Terminates Parasitemia.

    PubMed

    Kesely, Kristina R; Pantaleo, Antonella; Turrini, Francesco M; Olupot-Olupot, Peter; Low, Philip S

    2016-01-01

    With half of the world's population at risk for malaria infection and with drug resistance on the rise, the search for mutation-resistant therapies has intensified. We report here a therapy for Plasmodium falciparum malaria that acts by inhibiting the phosphorylation of erythrocyte membrane band 3 by an erythrocyte tyrosine kinase. Because tyrosine phosphorylation of band 3 causes a destabilization of the erythrocyte membrane required for parasite egress, inhibition of the erythrocyte tyrosine kinase leads to parasite entrapment and termination of the infection. Moreover, because one of the kinase inhibitors to demonstrate antimalarial activity is imatinib, i.e. an FDA-approved drug authorized for use in children, translation of the therapy into the clinic will be facilitated. At a time when drug resistant strains of P. falciparum are emerging, a strategy that targets a host enzyme that cannot be mutated by the parasite should constitute a therapeutic mechanism that will retard evolution of resistance.

  3. 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).

  4. Differential Stimulation of the Na+/H+ Exchanger Determines Chloroquine Uptake in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Wünsch, Stefan; Sanchez, Cecilia P.; Gekle, Michael; Große-Wortmann, Lars; Wiesner, Jochen; Lanzer, Michael

    1998-01-01

    Here we describe the identification and characterization of a physiological marker that is associated with the chloroquine-resistant (CQR) phenotype in the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Single cell in vivo pH measurements revealed that CQR parasites consistently have an elevated cytoplasmic pH compared to that of chloroquine-sensitive (CQS) parasites because of a constitutively activated Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE). Together, biochemical and physiological data suggest that chloroquine activates the plasmodial NHE of CQS parasites, resulting in a transitory phase of rapid sodium/hydrogen ion exchange during which chloroquine is taken up by this protein. The constitutively stimulated NHE of CQR parasites are capable of little or no further activation by chloroquine. We propose that the inability of chloroquine to stimulate its own uptake through the constitutively activated NHE of resistant parasites constitutes a minimal and necessary event in the generation of the chloroquine-resistant phenotype. PMID:9442109

  5. The effect of deforestation on the human-biting rate of Anopheles darlingi, the primary vector of Falciparum malaria in the Peruvian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Vittor, Amy Yomiko; Gilman, Robert H; Tielsch, James; Glass, Gregory; Shields, Tim; Lozano, Wagner Sánchez; Pinedo-Cancino, Viviana; Patz, Jonathan A

    2006-01-01

    To examine the impact of tropical rain-forest destruction on malaria, we conducted a year-long study of the rates at which the primary malaria vector in the Amazon, Anopheles darlingi, fed on humans in areas with varying degrees of ecological alteration in the Peruvian Amazon. Mosquitoes were collected by human biting catches along the Iquitos-Nauta road at sites selected for type of vegetation and controlled for human presence. Deforested sites had an A. darlingi biting rate that was more than 278 times higher than the rate determined for areas that were predominantly forested. Our results indicate that A. darlingi displays significantly increased human-biting activity in areas that have undergone deforestation and development associated with road development.

  6. Complete Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage development in liver-chimeric mice

    PubMed Central

    Vaughan, Ashley M.; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.; Wilson, Elizabeth M.; Grompe, Markus; Kaushansky, Alexis; Camargo, Nelly; Bial, John; Ploss, Alexander; Kappe, Stefan H.I.

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most lethal form of human malaria, replicates in the host liver during the initial stage of infection. However, in vivo malaria liver-stage (LS) studies in humans are virtually impossible, and in vitro models of LS development do not reconstitute relevant parasite growth conditions. To overcome these obstacles, we have adopted a robust mouse model for the study of P. falciparum LS in vivo: the immunocompromised and fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase–deficient mouse (Fah–/–, Rag2–/–, Il2rg–/–, termed the FRG mouse) engrafted with human hepatocytes (FRG huHep). FRG huHep mice supported vigorous, quantifiable P. falciparum LS development that culminated in complete maturation of LS at approximately 7 days after infection, providing a relevant model for LS development in humans. The infections allowed observations of previously unknown expression of proteins in LS, including P. falciparum translocon of exported proteins 150 (PTEX150) and exported protein-2 (EXP-2), components of a known parasite protein export machinery. LS schizonts exhibited exoerythrocytic merozoite formation and merosome release. Furthermore, FRG mice backcrossed to the NOD background and repopulated with huHeps and human red blood cells supported reproducible transition from LS infection to blood-stage infection. Thus, these mice constitute reliable models to study human LS directly in vivo and demonstrate utility for studies of LS–to–blood-stage transition of a human malaria parasite. PMID:22996664

  7. An essential malaria protein defines the architecture of blood-stage and transmission-stage parasites

    PubMed Central

    Absalon, Sabrina; Robbins, Jonathan A.; Dvorin, Jeffrey D.

    2016-01-01

    Blood-stage replication of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum occurs via schizogony, wherein daughter parasites are formed by a specialized cytokinesis known as segmentation. Here we identify a parasite protein, which we name P. falciparum Merozoite Organizing Protein (PfMOP), as essential for cytokinesis of blood-stage parasites. We show that, following PfMOP knockdown, parasites undergo incomplete segmentation resulting in a residual agglomerate of partially divided cells. While organelles develop normally, the structural scaffold of daughter parasites, the inner membrane complex (IMC), fails to form in this agglomerate causing flawed segmentation. In PfMOP-deficient gametocytes, the IMC formation defect causes maturation arrest with aberrant morphology and death. Our results provide insight into the mechanisms of replication and maturation of malaria parasites. PMID:27121004

  8. Diversion at the ER: How Plasmodium falciparum exports proteins into host erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Römisch, Karin

    2012-01-01

    Malaria is caused by parasites which live in host erythrocytes and remodel these cells to provide optimally for the parasites' needs by exporting effector proteins into the host cells. Eight years ago the discovery of a host cell targeting sequence present in both soluble and transmembrane  P. falciparum exported proteins generated a starting point for investigating the mechanism of parasite protein transport into infected erythrocytes. Since then many confusing facts about this targeting signal have emerged. In this paper, I try to make sense of them.

  9. 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 μL, 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

  10. Switching from simple to complex dynamics in a predator-prey-parasite model: An interplay between infection rate and incubation delay.

    PubMed

    Bairagi, N; Adak, D

    2016-07-01

    Parasites play a significant role in trophic interactions and can regulate both predator and prey populations. Mathematical models might be of great use in predicting different system dynamics because models have the potential to predict the system response due to different changes in system parameters. In this paper, we study a predator-prey-parasite (PPP) system where prey population is infected by some micro parasites and predator-prey interaction occurs following Leslie-Gower model with type II response function. Infection spreads following SI type epidemic model with standard incidence rate. The infection process is not instantaneous but mediated by a fixed incubation delay. We study the stability and instability of the endemic equilibrium point of the delay-induced PPP system with respect to two parameters, viz., the force of infection and the length of incubation delay under two cases: (i) the corresponding non-delayed system is stable and (ii) the corresponding non-delayed system is unstable. In the first case, the system populations coexist in stable state for all values of delay if the force of infection is low; or show oscillatory behavior when the force of infection is intermediate and the length of delay crosses some critical value. The system, however, exhibits very complicated dynamics if the force of infection is high, where the system is unstable in absence of delay. In this last case, the system shows oscillatory, stable or chaotic behavior depending on the length of delay.

  11. Parasites: Water

    MedlinePlus

    ... Tropical Diseases Laboratory Diagnostic Assistance [DPDx] Parasites Home Water Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Parasites can live in natural water sources. When outdoors, treat your water before drinking ...

  12. Encystment of parasitic freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) larvae coincides with increased metabolic rate and haematocrit in juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta).

    PubMed

    Filipsson, Karl; Brijs, Jeroen; Näslund, Joacim; Wengström, Niklas; Adamsson, Marie; Závorka, Libor; Österling, E Martin; Höjesjö, Johan

    2017-04-01

    Gill parasites on fish are likely to negatively influence their host by inhibiting respiration, oxygen transport capacity and overall fitness. The glochidia larvae of the endangered freshwater pearl mussel (FPM, Margaritifera margaritifera (Linnaeus, 1758)) are obligate parasites on the gills of juvenile salmonid fish. We investigated the effects of FPM glochidia encystment on the metabolism and haematology of brown trout (Salmo trutta Linnaeus, 1758). Specifically, we measured whole-animal oxygen uptake rates at rest and following an exhaustive exercise protocol using intermittent flow-through respirometry, as well as haematocrit, in infested and uninfested trout. Glochidia encystment significantly affected whole-animal metabolic rate, as infested trout exhibited higher standard and maximum metabolic rates. Furthermore, glochidia-infested trout also had elevated levels of haematocrit. The combination of an increased metabolism and haematocrit in infested fish indicates that glochidia encystment has a physiological effect on the trout, perhaps as a compensatory response to the potential respiratory stress caused by the glochidia. When relating glochidia load to metabolism and haematocrit, fish with low numbers of encysted glochidia were the ones with particularly elevated metabolism and haematocrit. Standard metabolic rate decreased with substantial glochidia loads towards levels similar to those of uninfested fish. This suggests that initial effects visible at low levels of encystment may be countered by additional physiological effects at high loads, e.g. potential changes in energy utilization, and also that high numbers of glochidia may restrict oxygen uptake by the gills.

  13. Protective Antibody and CD8+ T-Cell Responses to the Plasmodium falciparum Circumsporozoite Protein Induced by a Nanoparticle Vaccine

    PubMed Central

    Kaba, Stephen A.; McCoy, Margaret E.; Doll, Tais A. P. F.; Brando, Clara; Guo, Qin; Dasgupta, Debleena; Yang, Yongkun; Mittelholzer, Christian; Spaccapelo, Roberta; Crisanti, Andrea; Burkhard, Peter; Lanar, David E.

    2012-01-01

    Background The worldwide burden of malaria remains a major public health problem due, in part, to the lack of an effective vaccine against the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. An effective vaccine will most likely require the induction of antigen specific CD8+ and CD4+ T-cells as well as long-lasting antibody responses all working in concert to eliminate the infection. We report here the effective modification of a self-assembling protein nanoparticle (SAPN) vaccine previously proven effective in control of a P. berghei infection in a rodent model to now present B- and T-cell epitopes of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum in a platform capable of being used in human subjects. Methodology/Principal Findings To establish the basis for a SAPN-based vaccine, B- and CD8+ T-cell epitopes from the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP) and the universal CD4 T-helper epitope PADRE were engineered into a versatile small protein (∼125 amino acids) that self-assembles into a spherical nanoparticle repetitively displaying the selected epitopes. P. falciparum epitope specific immune responses were evaluated in mice using a transgenic P. berghei malaria parasite of mice expressing the human malaria full-length P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (Tg-Pb/PfCSP). We show that SAPN constructs, delivered in saline, can induce high-titer, long-lasting (1 year) protective antibody and poly-functional (IFNγ+, IL-2+) long-lived central memory CD8+ T-cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that these Ab or CD8+ T–cells can independently provide sterile protection against a lethal challenge of the transgenic parasites. Conclusion The SAPN construct induces long-lasting antibody and cellular immune responses to epitope specific sequences of the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP) and prevents infection in mice by a transgenic P. berghei parasite displaying the full length PfCSP. PMID:23144750

  14. Natural selection and population genetic structure of domain-I of Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 in India.

    PubMed

    Basu, Madhumita; Maji, Ardhendu Kumar; Mitra, Mitashree; Sengupta, Sanghamitra

    2013-08-01

    Development of a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum infection is an urgent priority particularly because of widespread resistance to most traditionally used drugs. Multiple evidences point to apical membrane antigen-1(AMA-1) as a prime vaccine candidate directed against P. falciparum asexual blood-stages. To gain understanding of the genetic and demographic forces shaping the parasite sequence diversity in Kolkata, a part of Pfama-1 gene covering domain-I was sequenced from 100 blood samples of malaria patients. Statistical and phylogenetic analyses of the sequences were performed using DnaSP and MEGA. Very high haplotype diversity was detected both at nucleotide (0.998±0.002) and amino-acid (0.996±0.001) levels. An abundance of low frequency polymorphisms (Tajima's D=-1.190, Fu & Li's D(∗) and F(∗)=-3.068 and -2.722), unimodal mismatch distribution and a star-like median-joining network of ama-1 haplotypes indicated a recent population expansion among Kolkata parasites. The high minimum number of recombination events (Rm=26) and a significantly high dN/dS of 3.705 (P<0.0001) in Kolkata suggested recombination and positive selection as major forces in the generation and maintenance of ama-1 allelic diversity. To evaluate the impact of observed non-synonymous substitutions in the context of AMA-1 functionality, PatchDock and FireDock protein-protein interaction solutions were mapped between PfAMA-1-PfRON2 and PfAMA-1-host IgNAR. Alterations in the desolvation and global energies of PfAMA-1-PfRON2 interaction complexes at the hotspot contact residues were observed together with redistribution of surface electrostatic potentials at the variant alleles with respect to referent Pf3D7 sequence. Finally, a comparison of P. falciparum subpopulations in five Indian regional isolates retrieved from GenBank revealed a significant level of genetic differentiation (FST=0.084-0.129) with respect to Kolkata sequences. Collectively, our results indicated a very high

  15. Association between mutations in Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 genes and in vivo amodiaquine resistance in P. falciparum malaria-infected children in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Happi, C T; Gbotosho, G O; Folarin, O A; Bolaji, O M; Sowunmi, A; Kyle, D E; Milhous, W; Wirth, D F; Oduola, A M J

    2006-07-01

    This study investigated the association between Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) T76 and P. falciparum multidrug resistance gene 1 (pfmdr1) Y86 alleles and in vivo amodiaquine (AQ) resistance, as well as the clearance of parasites harboring these two alleles in children treated with AQ in southwest Nigeria. One hundred one children with acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria infections were treated with the standard dosage of AQ and followed-up for 28 days. Blood samples were collected on filter paper samples at enrollment and during follow-up for identification of parasite genotypes and pfcrt and pfmdr1 mutations using polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism approaches. Parasitologic assessment of response to treatment showed that 87% and 13% (RI) of patients were cured and failed treatment, respectively. Although infections in patients were polyclonal (as determined by merozoite surface protein 2 genotyping), the presence of both mutants pfcrtT76 and pfmdr1Y86 alleles in parasites is associated with in vivo AQ resistance (odds ratio = 7.58, 95% confidence interval = 1.58-36.25, P = 0.006) and is selected by the drug in children who failed AQ treatment. Treatment failure with the combination of mutant pfcrtT76 and pfmdr1Y86 alleles as well as the ability of patients to clear these resistant parasites is dependent on age, suggesting a critical role of host immunity in clearing AQ-resistant P. falciparum. The combination of mutant pfcrtT76 and pfmdr1Y86 alleles may be useful markers for monitoring the development and spread of AQ resistance, when combining this drug with other antimalarials for treatment of malaria in Africa.

  16. The antibiotic micrococcin is a potent inhibitor of growth and protein synthesis in the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Rogers, M J; Cundliffe, E; McCutchan, T F

    1998-03-01

    The antibiotic micrococcin is a potent growth inhibitor of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 35 nM. This is comparable to or less than the corresponding levels of commonly used antimalarial drugs. Micrococcin, like thiostrepton, putatively targets protein synthesis in the plastid-like organelle of the parasite.

  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. Magnetic isolation of Plasmodium falciparum schizonts iRBCs to generate a high parasitaemia and synchronized in vitro culture

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The establishment of methods for an in vitro continuous culture of Plasmodium falciparum is essential for gaining knowledge into its biology and for the development of new treatments. Previously, several techniques have been used to synchronize, enrich and concentrate P. falciparum, although obtaining cultures with high parasitaemia continues being a challenging process. Current methods produce high parasitaemia levels of synchronized P. falciparum cultures by frequent changes of culture medium or reducing the haematocrit. However, these methods are time consuming and sometimes lead to the loss of synchrony. Methods A procedure that combines Percoll and sorbitol treatments, the use of magnetic columns, and the optimization of the in vitro culture conditions to reach high parasitaemia levels for synchronized Plasmodium falciparum cultures is described. Results A new procedure has been established using P. falciparum 3D7, combining previous reported methodologies to achieve in vitro parasite cultures that reach parasitaemia up to 40% at any intra-erythrocytic stage. High parasitaemia levels are obtained only one day after magnetic column purification without compromising the parasite viability and synchrony. Conclusions The described procedure allows obtaining a large scale synchronized parasite culture at a high parasitaemia with less manipulations than other methods previously described. PMID:24655321

  19. The proteasome of malaria parasites: A multi-stage drug target for chemotherapeutic intervention?

    PubMed Central

    Aminake, Makoah Nigel; Arndt, Hans-Dieter; Pradel, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

    The ubiquitin/proteasome system serves as a regulated protein degradation pathway in eukaryotes, and is involved in many cellular processes featuring high protein turnover rates, such as cell cycle control, stress response and signal transduction. In malaria parasites, protein quality control is potentially important because of the high replication rate and the rapid transformations of the parasite during life cycle progression. The proteasome is the core of the degradation pathway, and is a major proteolytic complex responsible for the degradation and recycling of non-functional ubiquitinated proteins. Annotation of the genome for Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria tropica, revealed proteins with similarity to human 26S proteasome subunits. In addition, a bacterial ClpQ/hslV threonine peptidase-like protein was identified. In recent years several independent studies indicated an essential function of the parasite proteasome for the liver, blood and transmission stages. In this review, we compile evidence for protein recycling in Plasmodium parasites and discuss the role of the 26S proteasome as a prospective multi-stage target for antimalarial drug discovery programs. PMID:24533266

  20. Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) Upgraded with Targeted Chemical Compounds.

    PubMed

    Ginsburg, Hagai; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M

    2016-01-01

    Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) is the website for the functional genomics of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum. All the published information about targeted chemical compounds has now been added. Users can find the drug target and publication details linked to a drug database for further information about the medicinal properties of each compound.

  1. Molecular Investigation into a Malaria Outbreak in Cusco, Peru: Plasmodium falciparum BV1 Lineage is Linked to a Second Outbreak in Recent Times.

    PubMed

    Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Chenet, Stella M; Arrospide, Nancy; Gutierrez, Sonia; Cabezas, Cesar; Matta, Jose Antonio; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-01-01

    In November 2013, a Plasmodium falciparum malaria outbreak of 11 cases occurred in Cusco, southern Peru, where falciparum malaria had not been reported since 1946. Although initial microscopic diagnosis reported only Plasmodium vivax infection in each of the specimens, subsequent examination by the national reference laboratory confirmed P. falciparum infection in all samples. Molecular typing of four available isolates revealed identity as the B-variant (BV1) strain that was responsible for a malaria outbreak in Tumbes, northern Peru, between 2010 and 2012. The P. falciparum BV1 strain is multidrug resistant, can escape detection by PfHRP2-based rapid diagnostic tests, and has contributed to two malaria outbreaks in Peru. This investigation highlights the importance of accurate species diagnosis given the potential for P. falciparum to be reintroduced to regions where it may have been absent. Similar molecular epidemiological investigations can track the probable source(s) of outbreak parasite strains for malaria surveillance and control purposes.

  2. Molecular Investigation into a Malaria Outbreak in Cusco, Peru: Plasmodium falciparum BV1 Lineage is Linked to a Second Outbreak in Recent Times

    PubMed Central

    Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Chenet, Stella M.; Arrospide, Nancy; Gutierrez, Sonia; Cabezas, Cesar; Matta, Jose Antonio; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-01-01

    In November 2013, a Plasmodium falciparum malaria outbreak of 11 cases occurred in Cusco, southern Peru, where falciparum malaria had not been reported since 1946. Although initial microscopic diagnosis reported only Plasmodium vivax infection in each of the specimens, subsequent examination by the national reference laboratory confirmed P. falciparum infection in all samples. Molecular typing of four available isolates revealed identity as the B-variant (BV1) strain that was responsible for a malaria outbreak in Tumbes, northern Peru, between 2010 and 2012. The P. falciparum BV1 strain is multidrug resistant, can escape detection by PfHRP2-based rapid diagnostic tests, and has contributed to two malaria outbreaks in Peru. This investigation highlights the importance of accurate species diagnosis given the potential for P. falciparum to be reintroduced to regions where it may have been absent. Similar molecular epidemiological investigations can track the probable source(s) of outbreak parasite strains for malaria surveillance and control purposes. PMID:26483121

  3. Effects of zinc-desferrioxamine on Plasmodium falciparum in culture.

    PubMed Central

    Chevion, M; Chuang, L; Golenser, J

    1995-01-01

    The zinc-desferrioxamine (Zn-DFO) complex is considered to be more permeative into parasitized erythrocytes than is the metal-free DFO. The former may penetrate the cell and exchange its bound zinc for ferric ions, rendering the iron unavailable for vital parasite functions. The effects of these compounds on the in vitro development of Plasmodium falciparum are compared. The results indicate that Zn-DFO is superior to DFO, especially at concentrations below 20 microM, as shown by decreased levels of hypoxanthine incorporation, lower levels of parasitemia, and interference with the life cycle of the parasite. At low concentrations, DFO even enhanced parasite growth. Such an enhancement was not observed following exposure to Zn-DFO. Experiments in which the compounds were removed from the cultures indicated that parasites treated with Zn-DFO are less likely to recover at a later stage. Since DFO has already been used in humans for the treatment of malaria, its complex with zinc, which is more effective in vitro, should also be examined in vivo. PMID:7486946

  4. Allelic Diversity and Geographical Distribution of the Gene Encoding Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein-3 in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sawaswong, Vorthon; Simpalipan, Phumin; Siripoon, Napaporn; Harnyuttanakorn, Pongchai; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn

    2015-04-01

    Merozoite surface proteins (MSPs) of malaria parasites play critical roles during the erythrocyte invasion and so are potential candidates for malaria vaccine development. However, because MSPs are often under strong immune selection, they can exhibit extensive genetic diversity. The gene encoding the merozoite surface protein-3 (MSP-3) of Plasmodium falciparum displays 2 allelic types, K1 and 3D7. In Thailand, the allelic frequency of the P. falciparum msp-3 gene was evaluated in a single P. falciparum population in Tak at the Thailand and Myanmar border. However, no study has yet looked at the extent of genetic diversity of the msp-3 gene in P. falciparum populations in other localities. Here, we genotyped the msp-3 alleles of 63 P. falciparum samples collected from 5 geographical populations along the borders of Thailand with 3 neighboring countries (Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia). Our study indicated that the K1 and 3D7 alleles coexisted, but at different proportions in different Thai P. falciparum populations. K1 was more prevalent in populations at the Thailand-Myanmar and Thailand-Cambodia borders, whilst 3D7 was more prevalent at the Thailand-Laos border. Global analysis of the msp-3 allele frequencies revealed that proportions of K1 and 3D7 alleles of msp-3 also varied in different continents, suggesting the divergence of malaria parasite populations. In conclusion, the variation in the msp-3 allelic patterns of P. falciparum in Thailand provides fundamental knowledge for inferring the P. falciparum population structure and for the best design of msp-3 based malaria vaccines.

  5. Crystal Structure Analyses of the Fosmidomycin-Target Enzyme from Plasmodium Falciparum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, Tomonobu; Kusakabe, Yoshio; Tanaka, Nobutada

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the death of more than a million people each year. Fosmidomycin has proved to be efficient in the treatment of P. falciparum malaria through the inhibition of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR), an enzyme of the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis, which is absent in humans. Crystal structure analyses of P. falciparum DXR (PfDXR) revealed that (i) an intrinsic flexibility of the PfDXR molecule accounts for the 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 believe that our study will serve as a useful guide to develop more potent PfDXR inhibitors.

  6. Signaling transcript profile of the asexual intraerythrocytic development cycle of Plasmodium falciparum induced by melatonin and cAMP

    PubMed Central

    Rozanski, Andrei; Parreira, Kleber S.; Moraes, Miriam S.; Martins, David C.; Hashimoto, Ronaldo F.; Galante, Pedro A.F.; Garcia, Célia R.S.

    2016-01-01

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Plasmodium falciparum is the deadliest parasite among all species. This parasite possesses the ability to sense molecules, including melatonin (MEL) and cAMP, and modulate its cell cycle accordingly. MEL synchronizes the development of this malaria parasite by activating several cascades, including the generation of the second messenger cAMP. Therefore, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis in P. falciparum erythrocytic stages (ring, trophozoite and schizont) treated with MEL and cAMP. To investigate the expression profile of P. falciparum genes regulated by MEL and cAMP, we performed RNA-Seq analysis in three P. falciparum strains (control, 3D7; protein kinase 7 knockout, PfPK7-; and PfPK7 complement, PfPK7C). In the 3D7 strain, 38 genes were differentially expressed upon MEL treatment; however, none of the genes in the trophozoite (T) stage PfPK7- knockout parasites were differentially expressed upon MEL treatment for 5 hours compared to untreated controls, suggesting that PfPK7 may be involved in the signaling leading to differential gene expression. Moreover, we found that MEL modified the mRNA expression of genes encoding membrane proteins, zinc ion-binding proteins and nucleic acid-binding proteins, which might influence numerous functions in the parasite. The RNA-Seq data following treatment with cAMP show that this molecule modulates different genes throughout the intraerythrocytic cycle, namely, 75, 101 and 141 genes, respectively, in the ring (R), T and schizont (S) stages. Our results highlight P. falciparum's perception of the external milieu through the signaling molecules MEL and cAMP, which are able to drive to changes in gene expression in the parasite. PMID:28050233

  7. Plasmodium falciparum Field Isolates Commonly Use Erythrocyte Invasion Pathways That Are Independent of Sialic Acid Residues of Glycophorin A

    PubMed Central

    Okoyeh, Jude Nnaemeka; Pillai, C. R.; Chitnis, Chetan E.

    1999-01-01

    Erythrocyte invasion by malaria parasites is mediated by specific molecular interactions. Sialic acid residues of glycophorin A are used as invasion receptors by Plasmodium falciparum. In vitro invasion studies have demonstrated that some cloned P. falciparum lines can use alternate receptors independent of sialic acid residues of glycophorin A. It is not known if invasion by alternate pathways occurs commonly in the field. In this study, we used in vitro growth assays and erythrocyte invasion assays to determine the invasion phenotypes of 15 P. falciparum field isolates. Of the 15 field isolates tested, 5 multiply in both neuraminidase and trypsin-treated erythrocytes, 3 multiply in neuraminidase-treated but not trypsin-treated erythrocytes, and 4 multiply in trypsin-treated but not neuraminidase-treated erythrocytes; 12 of the 15 field isolates tested use alternate invasion pathways that are not dependent on sialic acid residues of glycophorin A. Alternate invasion pathways are thus commonly used by P. falciparum field isolates. Typing based on two polymorphic markers, MSP-1 and MSP-2, and two microsatellite markers suggests that only 1 of the 15 field isolates tested contains multiple parasite genotypes. Individual P. falciparum lines can thus use multiple invasion pathways in the field. These observations have important implications for malaria vaccine development efforts based on EBA-175, the P. falciparum protein that binds sialic acid residues of glycophorin A during invasion. It may be necessary to target parasite ligands responsible for the alternate invasion pathways in addition to EBA-175 to effectively block erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum. PMID:10531229

  8. An FtsH protease is recruited to the mitochondrion of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Tanveer, Aiman; Allen, Stacey M; Jackson, Katherine E; Charan, Manish; Ralph, Stuart A; Habib, Saman

    2013-01-01

    The two organelles, apicoplast and mitochondrion, of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have unique morphology in liver and blood stages; they undergo complex branching and looping prior to division and segregation into daughter merozoites. Little is known about the molecular processes and proteins involved in organelle biogenesis in the parasite. We report the identification of an AAA+/FtsH protease homolog (PfFtsH1) that exhibits ATP- and Zn(2+)-dependent protease activity. PfFtsH1 undergoes processing, forms oligomeric assemblies, and is associated with the membrane fraction of the parasite cell. Generation of a transfectant parasite line with hemagglutinin-tagged PfFtsH1, and immunofluorescence assay with anti-PfFtsH1 Ab demonstrated that the protein localises to P. falciparum mitochondria. Phylogenetic analysis and the single transmembrane region identifiable in PfFtsH1 suggest that it is an i-AAA like inner mitochondrial membrane protein. Expression of PfFtsH1 in Escherichia coli converted a fraction of bacterial cells into division-defective filamentous forms implying a sequestering effect of the Plasmodium factor on the bacterial homolog, indicative of functional conservation with EcFtsH. These results identify a membrane-associated mitochondrial AAA+/FtsH protease as a candidate regulatory protein for organelle biogenesis in P. falciparum.

  9. Basigin is a receptor essential for erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Crosnier, Cécile; Bustamante, Leyla Y; Bartholdson, S Josefin; Bei, Amy K; Theron, Michel; Uchikawa, Makoto; Mboup, Souleymane; Ndir, Omar; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Rayner, Julian C; Wright, Gavin J

    2011-11-09

    Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum is central to the pathogenesis of malaria. Invasion requires a series of extracellular recognition events between erythrocyte receptors and ligands on the merozoite, the invasive form of the parasite. None of the few known receptor-ligand interactions involved are required in all parasite strains, indicating that the parasite is able to access multiple redundant invasion pathways. Here, we show that we have identified a receptor-ligand pair that is essential for erythrocyte invasion in all tested P. falciparum strains. By systematically screening a library of erythrocyte proteins, we have found that the Ok blood group antigen, basigin, is a receptor for PfRh5, a parasite ligand that is essential for blood stage growth. Erythrocyte invasion was potently inhibited by soluble basigin or by basigin knockdown, and invasion could be completely blocked using low concentrations of anti-basigin antibodies; importantly, these effects were observed across all laboratory-adapted and field strains tested. Furthermore, Ok(a-) erythrocytes, which express a basigin variant that has a weaker binding affinity for PfRh5, had reduced invasion efficiencies. Our discovery of a cross-strain dependency on a single extracellular receptor-ligand pair for erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum provides a focus for new anti-malarial therapies.

  10. Targeting protein translation, RNA splicing, and degradation by morpholino-based conjugates in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Garg, Aprajita; Wesolowski, Donna; Alonso, Dulce; Deitsch, Kirk W; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Altman, Sidney

    2015-09-22

    Identification and genetic validation of new targets from available genome sequences are critical steps toward the development of new potent and selective antimalarials. However, no methods are currently available for large-scale functional analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum genome. Here we present evidence for successful use of morpholino oligomers (MO) to mediate degradation of target mRNAs or to inhibit RNA splicing or translation of several genes of P. falciparum involved in chloroquine transport, apicoplast biogenesis, and phospholipid biosynthesis. Consistent with their role in the parasite life cycle, down-regulation of these essential genes resulted in inhibition of parasite development. We show that a MO conjugate that targets the chloroquine-resistant transporter PfCRT is effective against chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasites, causes enlarged digestive vacuoles, and renders chloroquine-resistant strains more sensitive to chloroquine. Similarly, we show that a MO conjugate that targets the PfDXR involved in apicoplast biogenesis inhibits parasite growth and that this defect can be rescued by addition of isopentenyl pyrophosphate. MO-based gene regulation is a viable alternative approach to functional analysis of the P. falciparum genome.

  11. Evidence for diversifying selection on erythrocyte-binding antigens of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax.

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Jake; Thomas, Alan W; Conway, David J

    2003-01-01

    Malaria parasite antigens involved in erythrocyte invasion are primary vaccine candidates. The erythrocyte-binding antigen 175K (EBA-175) of Plasmodium falciparum binds to glycophorin A on the human erythrocyte surface via an N-terminal cysteine-rich region (termed region II) and is a target of antibody responses. A survey of polymorphism in a malaria-endemic population shows that nucleotide alleles in eba-175 region II occur at more intermediate frequencies than expected under neutrality, but polymorphisms in the homologous domains of two closely related genes, eba-140 (encoding a second erythrocyte-binding protein) and psieba-165 (a putative pseudogene), show an opposite trend. McDonald-Kreitman tests employing interspecific comparison with the orthologous genes in P. reichenowi (a closely related parasite of chimpanzees) reveal a significant excess of nonsynonymous polymorphism in P. falciparum eba-175 but not in eba-140. An analysis of the Duffy-binding protein gene, encoding a major erythrocyte-binding antigen in the other common human malaria parasite P. vivax, also reveals a significant excess of nonsynonymous polymorphisms when compared with divergence from its ortholog in P. knowlesi (a closely related parasite of macaques). The results suggest that EBA-175 in P. falciparum and DBP in P. vivax are both under diversifying selection from acquired human immune responses. PMID:12702678

  12. The Genotypic and Phenotypic Stability of Plasmodium falciparum Field Isolates in Continuous In Vitro Culture

    PubMed Central

    Yeda, Redemptah; Ingasia, Luicer A.; Cheruiyot, Agnes C.; Okudo, Charles; Chebon, Lorna J.; Cheruiyot, Jelagat; Akala, Hoseah M.; Kamau, Edwin

    2016-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum in vitro culture system is critical for genotypic and phenotypic analyses of the parasites. For genotypic analysis, the genomic DNA can be obtained directly from the patient blood sample or from culture adapted parasites whereas for phenotypic analysis, immediate ex vivo or in vitro culture adapted parasites are used. However, parasite biology studies have not investigated whether culture adaptation process affects genotypic and/or phenotypic characteristics of the parasites in short- or long-term cultures. Here, we set out to study the dynamics and stability of parasite genetic and phenotypic profiles as field isolate parasites were adapted in continuous cultures. Parasites collected from three different patients presenting with uncomplicated malaria were adapted and maintained in drug-free continuous cultures. Aliquots from the continuous cultures were collected every 24–48 hours for analyses. Each aliquot was treated as a separate parasite sample. For genetic analysis, microsatellite (MS) typing and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses of 23 drug resistance markers were done. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) for some of the samples were also established for four antimalarial drugs. Samples from each patient (parasite-line) were compared as they were passed through the continuous culture. Data revealed genotypic and phenotypic profiles for the three parasite-lines fluctuated from one generation to the next with no specific pattern or periodicity. With few exceptions, multilocus analysis revealed samples from each parasite-line had high genetic diversity with unique haplotypes. Interestingly, changes in MS and SNP profiles occurred simultaneously. The difference in the IC50s of samples in each parasite-line reached statistical significance. However, phenotypic changes did not correspond or correlate to genotypic changes. Our study revealed parasite genetic and phenotypic characteristics fluctuates in short- and long

  13. Parasites and marine invasions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torchin, M.E.; Lafferty, K.D.; Kuris, A.M.

    2002-01-01

    Introduced marine species are a major environmental and economic problem. The rate of these biological invasions has substantially increased in recent years due to the globalization of the world's economies. The damage caused by invasive species is often a result of the higher densities and larger sizes they attain compared to where they are native. A prominent hypothesis explaining the success of introduced species is that they are relatively free of the effects of natural enemies. Most notably, they may encounter fewer parasites in their introduced range compared to their native range. Parasites are ubiquitous and pervasive in marine systems, yet their role in marine invasions is relatively unexplored. Although data on parasites of marine organisms exist, the extent to which parasites can mediate marine invasions, or the extent to which invasive parasites and pathogens are responsible for infecting or potentially decimating native marine species have not been examined. In this review, we present a theoretical framework to model invasion success and examine the evidence for a relationship between parasite presence and the success of introduced marine species. For this, we compare the prevalence and species richness of parasites in several introduced populations of marine species with populations where they are native. We also discuss the potential impacts of introduced marine parasites on native ecosystems.

  14. Parasitostatic effect of maslinic acid. I. Growth arrest of Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic stages

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Natural products have played an important role as leads for the development of new drugs against malaria. Recent studies have shown that maslinic acid (MA), a natural triterpene obtained from olive pomace, which displays multiple biological and antimicrobial activities, also exerts inhibitory effects on the development of some Apicomplexan, including Eimeria, Toxoplasma and Neospora. To ascertain if MA displays anti-malarial activity, the main objective of this study was to asses the effect of MA on Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in vitro. Methods Synchronized P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte cultures were incubated under different conditions with MA, and compared to chloroquine and atovaquone treated cultures. The effects on parasite growth were determined by monitoring the parasitaemia and the accumulation of the different infective stages visualized in thin blood smears. Results MA inhibits the growth of P. falciparum Dd2 and 3D7 strains in infected erythrocytes in, dose-dependent manner, leading to the accumulation of immature forms at IC50 concentrations, while higher doses produced non-viable parasite cells. MA-treated infected-erythrocyte cultures were compared to those treated with chloroquine or atovaquone, showing significant differences in the pattern of accumulation of parasitic stages. Transient MA treatment at different parasite stages showed that the compound targeted intra-erythrocytic processes from early-ring to schizont stage. These results indicate that MA has a parasitostatic effect, which does not inactivate permanently P. falciparum, as the removal of the compound allowed the infection to continue Conclusions MA displays anti-malarial activity at multiple intraerythrocytic stages of the parasite and, depending on the dose and incubation time, behaves as a plasmodial parasitostatic compound. This novel parasitostatic effect appears to be unrelated to previous mechanisms proposed for current anti-malarial drugs, and

  15. In vitro and in vivo studies of the effects of halogenated histidine analogs on Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Panton, L J; Rossan, R N; Escajadillo, A; Matsumoto, Y; Lee, A T; Labroo, V M; Kirk, K L; Cohen, L A; Aikawa, M; Howard, R J

    1988-01-01

    The effects of four halogenated analogs of histidine on in vitro growth of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites were monitored by measurement of the incorporation of 3H-labeled amino acids into parasite proteins and by light and electron microscopy. The uptake of [3H]isoleucine was reduced to 50% of the control value by addition of 70 microM 2-fluoro-L-histidine (2-F-HIS) or 420 microM 2-iodo-L-histidine (2-I-HIS). [3H]histidine uptake into acid-insoluble material was affected equally by these two compounds, 50% inhibition resulting at 200 microM concentration. Morphological analysis of parasite development proved a sensitive assay, since development of mature trophozoites was inhibited 50% by 25 microM 2-F-HIS or 100 2-I-HIS. Electron microscopy studies suggested different mechanisms of action of 2-F-HIS and 2-I-HIS on P. falciparum. 2-F-HIS produced a decrease in knob number at the erythrocyte surface and accumulation of electron-dense material under the parasite membrane. 2-I-HIS had no obvious effect on knobs or electron-dense material but affected parasite morphology. Surprisingly, 2-chloro-L-histidine and 2-bromo-L-histidine did not inhibit P. falciparum in vitro, even though their halogen atom substituents are intermediate in size between F and I atoms. 2-F-HIS and 2-I-HIS were tested in vivo against P. falciparum in owl monkeys (Aotus sp.) but were ineffective at doses that were nontoxic. Images PMID:3075435

  16. In vitro and in vivo studies of the effects of halogenated histidine analogs on Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Panton, L J; Rossan, R N; Escajadillo, A; Matsumoto, Y; Lee, A T; Labroo, V M; Kirk, K L; Cohen, L A; Aikawa, M; Howard, R J

    1988-11-01

    The effects of four halogenated analogs of histidine on in vitro growth of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites were monitored by measurement of the incorporation of 3H-labeled amino acids into parasite proteins and by light and electron microscopy. The uptake of [3H]isoleucine was reduced to 50% of the control value by addition of 70 microM 2-fluoro-L-histidine (2-F-HIS) or 420 microM 2-iodo-L-histidine (2-I-HIS). [3H]histidine uptake into acid-insoluble material was affected equally by these two compounds, 50% inhibition resulting at 200 microM concentration. Morphological analysis of parasite development proved a sensitive assay, since development of mature trophozoites was inhibited 50% by 25 microM 2-F-HIS or 100 2-I-HIS. Electron microscopy studies suggested different mechanisms of action of 2-F-HIS and 2-I-HIS on P. falciparum. 2-F-HIS produced a decrease in knob number at the erythrocyte surface and accumulation of electron-dense material under the parasite membrane. 2-I-HIS had no obvious effect on knobs or electron-dense material but affected parasite morphology. Surprisingly, 2-chloro-L-histidine and 2-bromo-L-histidine did not inhibit P. falciparum in vitro, even though their halogen atom substituents are intermediate in size between F and I atoms. 2-F-HIS and 2-I-HIS were tested in vivo against P. falciparum in owl monkeys (Aotus sp.) but were ineffective at doses that were nontoxic.

  17. Multiple populations of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    Miotto, Olivo; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Manske, Magnus; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Campino, Susana; Rockett, Kirk A; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Lim, Pharath; Suon, Seila; Sreng, Sokunthea; Anderson, Jennifer M; Duong, Socheat; Nguon, Chea; Chuor, Char Meng; Saunders, David; Se, Youry; Lon, Chantap; Fukuda, Mark M; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Hodgson, Abraham VO; Asoala, Victor; Imwong, Mallika; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Nosten, Francois; Su, Xin-zhuan; Ringwald, Pascal; Ariey, Frédéric; Dolecek, Christiane; Hien, Tran Tinh; Boni, Maciej F; Thai, Cao Quang; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Alcock, Daniel; Drury, Eleanor; Auburn, Sarah; Koch, Oliver; Sanders, Mandy; Hubbart, Christina; Maslen, Gareth; Ruano-Rubio, Valentin; Jyothi, Dushyanth; Miles, Alistair; O’Brien, John; Gamble, Chris; Oyola, Samuel O; Rayner, Julian C; Newbold, Chris I; Berriman, Matthew; Spencer, Chris CA; McVean, Gilean; Day, Nicholas P; White, Nicholas J; Bethell, Delia; Dondorp, Arjen M; Plowe, Christopher V; Fairhurst, Rick M; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P

    2013-01-01

    We describe an analysis of genome variation in 825 Plasmodium falciparum samples from Asia and Africa that reveals an unusual pattern of parasite population structure at the epicentre of artemisinin resistance in western Cambodia. Within this relatively small geographical area we have discovered several distinct but apparently sympatric parasite subpopulations with extremely high levels of genetic differentiation. Of particular interest are three subpopulations, all associated with clinical resistance to artemisinin, which have skewed allele frequency spectra and remarkably high levels of haplotype homozygosity, indicative of founder effects and recent population expansion. We provide a catalogue of SNPs that show high levels of differentiation in the artemisinin-resistant subpopulations, including codon variants in various transporter proteins and DNA mismatch repair proteins. These data provide a population genetic framework for investigating the biological origins of artemisinin resistance and for defining molecular markers to assist its elimination. PMID:23624527

  18. Turning up the heat: heat stress induces markers of programmed cell death in Plasmodium falciparum in vitro.

    PubMed

    Engelbrecht, D; Coetzer, T L

    2013-12-19

    Malaria is characterised by cyclical febrile episodes that result from the rupture of mature schizont-infected erythrocytes releasing merozoites. In patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum, fever may reach peak temperatures as high as 41 °C. Febrile episodes typically have a deleterious effect on parasites and probably benefit the host by aiding parasite clearance; however, the parasite may also gain advantage from limiting its burden on the host and prolonging infection to ensure development and transmission of slow-maturing gametocytes. Programmed cell death (PCD) may provide the parasite with a mechanism of self-limitation, although the occurrence and phenotype of PCD in the erythrocytic stages remain controversial due to conflicting data. This study aimed to characterise the cell death phenotype of P. falciparum in response to in vitro heat stress. A variety of biochemical markers of PCD, including DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial dysregulation and phosphatidylserine externalisation, as well as morphological studies of Giemsa-stained thin smears and real-time microscopy were utilised to characterise the phenotype. Heat stress decreased P. falciparum growth and development in vitro. Late-stage parasites were more susceptible, although early stages were more affected than expected. Early-stage parasites exposed to 41 °C exhibited markers of an apoptosis-like PCD phenotype, including DNA fragmentation and mitochondrial depolarisation. Heat-stressed late-stage parasites showed no significant DNA fragmentation or mitochondrial dysregulation; however, cytoplasmic vacuolisation was suggestive of an autophagy-like form of PCD. Our results therefore showed that biochemical and morphological markers of PCD varied with intra-erythrocytic parasite development and that P. falciparum exhibited facets of both apoptosis- and autophagy-like phenotypes after exposure to febrile temperatures, which may reflect a unique PCD phenotype.

  19. Host age as a determinant of naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Baird, J K

    1995-03-01

    The usual course of infection by Plasmodium falciparum among adults who lack a history of exposure to endemic malaria is fulminant. The infection in adults living with hyper- to holoendemic malaria is chronic and benign. Naturally acquired immunity to falciparum malaria is the basis of this difference. Confusion surrounds an essential question regarding this process: What is its rate of onset? Opinions vary because of disagreement over the relationships between exposure to infection, antigenic polymorphism and naturally acquired immunity. In this review, Kevin Baird discusses these relationships against a backdrop of host age as a determinant of naturally acquired immunity to falciparum malaria.

  20. The Fragmented Mitochondrial Ribosomal RNAs of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Feagin, Jean E.; Harrell, Maria Isabel; Lee, Jung C.; Coe, Kevin J.; Sands, Bryan H.; Cannone, Jamie J.; Tami, Germaine; Schnare, Murray N.; Gutell, Robin R.

    2012-01-01

    Background The mitochondrial genome in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is most unusual. Over half the genome is composed of the genes for three classic mitochondrial proteins: cytochrome oxidase subunits I and III and apocytochrome b. The remainder encodes numerous small RNAs, ranging in size from 23 to 190 nt. Previous analysis revealed that some of these transcripts have significant sequence identity with highly conserved regions of large and small subunit rRNAs, and can form the expected secondary structures. However, these rRNA fragments are not encoded in linear order; instead, they are intermixed with one another and the protein coding genes, and are coded on both strands of the genome. This unorthodox arrangement hindered the identification of transcripts corresponding to other regions of rRNA that are highly conserved and/or are known to participate directly in protein synthesis. Principal Findings The identification of 14 additional small mitochondrial transcripts from P. falcipaurm and the assignment of 27 small RNAs (12 SSU RNAs totaling 804 nt, 15 LSU RNAs totaling 1233 nt) to specific regions of rRNA are supported by multiple lines of evidence. The regions now represented are highly similar to those of the small but contiguous mitochondrial rRNAs of Caenorhabditis elegans. The P. falciparum rRNA fragments cluster on the interfaces of the two ribosomal subunits in the three-dimensional structure of the ribosome. Significance All of the rRNA fragments are now presumed to have been identified with experimental methods, and nearly all of these have been mapped onto the SSU and LSU rRNAs. Conversely, all regions of the rRNAs that are known to be directly associated with protein synthesis have been identified in the P. falciparum mitochondrial genome and RNA transcripts. The fragmentation of the rRNA in the P. falciparum mitochondrion is the most extreme example of any rRNA fragmentation discovered. PMID:22761677

  1. Numerical Distributions of Parasite Densities During Asymptomatic Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Imwong, Mallika; Stepniewska, Kasia; Tripura, Rupam; Peto, Thomas J.; Lwin, Khin Maung; Vihokhern, Benchawan; Wongsaen, Klanarong; von Seidlein, Lorenz; Dhorda, Mehul; Snounou, Georges; Keereecharoen, Lilly; Singhasivanon, Pratap; Sirithiranont, Pasathorn; Chalk, Jem; Nguon, Chea; Day, Nicholas P. J.; Nosten, Francois; Dondorp, Arjen; White, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Asymptomatic parasitemia is common even in areas of low seasonal malaria transmission, but the true proportion of the population infected has not been estimated previously because of the limited sensitivity of available detection methods. Methods. Cross-sectional malaria surveys were conducted in areas of low seasonal transmission along the border between eastern Myanmar and northwestern Thailand and in western Cambodia. DNA was quantitated by an ultrasensitive polymerase chain reaction (uPCR) assay (limit of accurate detection, 22 parasites/mL) to characterize parasite density distributions for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, and the proportions of undetected infections were imputed. Results. The prevalence of asymptomatic malaria as determined by uPCR was 27.5% (1303 of 4740 people tested). Both P. vivax and P. falciparum density distributions were unimodal and log normal, with modal values well within the quantifiable range. The estimated proportions of all parasitemic individuals identified by uPCR were >70% among individuals infected with P. falciparum and >85% among those infected with P. vivax. Overall, 83% of infections were predicted to be P. vivax infections, 13% were predicted to be P. falciparum infections, and 4% were predicted to be mixed infections. Geometric mean parasite densities were similar; 5601 P. vivax parasites/mL and 5158 P. falciparum parasites/mL. Conclusions. This uPCR method identified most infected individuals in malaria-endemic areas. Malaria parasitemia persists in humans at levels that optimize the probability of generating transmissible gametocyte densities without causing illness. PMID:26681777

  2. 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...

  3. A modified Plasmodium falciparum growth inhibition assay (GIA) to assess activity of plasma from malaria endemic areas.

    PubMed

    Mlambo, Godfree; Kumar, Nirbhay

    2007-02-01

    Plasma samples from patients undergoing treatment in malaria endemic countries often contain anti-malaria drugs, that may overstate effects of specific antibodies in growth inhibition assays (GIA). We describe a modified assay that uses drug resistant P. falciparum parasites (W2) that circumvents the requirement for dialyzing samples that may likely contain drugs such as chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP).

  4. Demonstration of specific binding of heparin to Plasmodium falciparum-infected vs. non-infected red blood cells by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valle-Delgado, Juan José; Urbán, Patricia; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier

    2013-04-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) play an important role in the sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (pRBCs) in the microvascular endothelium of different tissues, as well as in the formation of small clusters (rosettes) between infected and non-infected red blood cells (RBCs). Both sequestration and rosetting have been recognized as characteristic events in severe malaria. Here we have used heparin and pRBCs infected by the 3D7 strain of P. falciparum as a model to study GAG-pRBC interactions. Fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-assisted cell sorting assays have shown that exogenously added heparin has binding specificity for pRBCs (preferentially for those infected with late forms of the parasite) vs. RBCs. Heparin-pRBC adhesion has been probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy, obtaining an average binding force ranging between 28 and 46 pN depending on the loading rate. No significant binding of heparin to non-infected RBCs has been observed in control experiments. This work represents the first approach to quantitatively evaluate GAG-pRBC molecular interactions at the individual molecule level.Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) play an important role in the sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (pRBCs) in the microvascular endothelium of different tissues, as well as in the formation of small clusters (rosettes) between infected and non-infected red blood cells (RBCs). Both sequestration and rosetting have been recognized as characteristic events in severe malaria. Here we have used heparin and pRBCs infected by the 3D7 strain of P. falciparum as a model to study GAG-pRBC interactions. Fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-assisted cell sorting assays have shown that exogenously added heparin has binding specificity for pRBCs (preferentially for those infected with late forms of the parasite) vs. RBCs. Heparin-pRBC adhesion has been probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy, obtaining an average binding force

  5. Parasitic Colitis

    PubMed Central

    Hechenbleikner, Elizabeth M.; McQuade, Jennifer A.

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Maurer's clefts of Plasmodium falciparum are secretory organelles that concentrate virulence protein reporters for delivery to the host erythrocyte

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharjee, Souvik; van Ooij, Christiaan; Balu, Bharath; Adams, John H.

    2008-01-01

    In blood-stage infection by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, export of proteins from the intracellular parasite to the erythrocyte is key to virulence. This export is mediated by a host-targeting (HT) signal present on a “secretome” of hundreds of parasite proteins engaged in remodeling the erythrocyte. However, the route of HT-mediated export is poorly understood. Here we show that minimal soluble and membrane protein reporters that contain the HT motif and mimic export of endogenous P falciparum proteins are detected in the lumen of “cleft” structures synthesized by the pathogen. Clefts are efficiently targeted by the HT signal. Furthermore, the HT signal does not directly translocate across the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) surrounding the parasite to deliver protein to the erythrocyte cytoplasm, as suggested by current models of parasite protein trafficking to the erythrocyte. Rather, it is a lumenal signal that sorts protein into clefts, which then are exported beyond the PVM. These data suggest that Maurer's clefts, which are unique to the virulent P falciparum species, are pathogen-induced secretory organelles that concentrate HT-containing soluble and membrane parasite proteins in their lumen for delivery to the host erythrocyte. PMID:18057226

  7. Identification of Novel Plasmodium falciparum Hexokinase Inhibitors with Antiparasitic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Mindy I.; Patrick, Stephen L.; Blanding, Walker M.; Dwivedi, Varun; Suryadi, Jimmy; Coussens, Nathan P.; Lee, Olivia W.; Shen, Min; Boxer, Matthew B.; Hall, Matthew D.; Sharlow, Elizabeth R.; Drew, Mark E.

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest species of malaria parasites, is dependent on glycolysis for the generation of ATP during the pathogenic red blood cell stage. Hexokinase (HK) catalyzes the first step in glycolysis, transferring the γ-phosphoryl group of ATP to glucose to yield glucose-6-phosphate. Here, we describe the validation of a high-throughput assay for screening small-molecule collections to identify inhibitors of the P. falciparum HK (PfHK). The assay, which employed an ADP-Glo reporter system in a 1,536-well-plate format, was robust with a signal-to-background ratio of 3.4 ± 1.2, a coefficient of variation of 6.8% ± 2.9%, and a Z′-factor of 0.75 ± 0.08. Using this assay, we screened 57,654 molecules from multiple small-molecule collections. Confirmed hits were resolved into four clusters on the basis of structural relatedness. Multiple singleton hits were also identified. The most potent inhibitors had 50% inhibitory concentrations as low as ∼1 μM, and several were found to have low-micromolar 50% effective concentrations against asexual intraerythrocytic-stage P. falciparum parasites. These molecules additionally demonstrated limited toxicity against a panel of mammalian cells. The identification of PfHK inhibitors with antiparasitic activity using this validated screening assay is encouraging, as it justifies additional HTS campaigns with more structurally amenable libraries for the identification of potential leads for future therapeutic development. PMID:27458230

  8. Sex-partitioning of the Plasmodium falciparum Stage V Gametocyte Proteome Provides Insight into falciparum-specific Cell Biology*

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Dingyin; Ubaida-Mohien, Ceereena; Mathias, Derrick K.; King, Jonas G.; Pastrana-Mena, Rebecca; Tripathi, Abhai; Goldowitz, Ilana; Graham, David R.; Moss, Eli; Marti, Matthias; Dinglasan, Rhoel R.

    2014-01-01

    One of the critical gaps in malaria transmission biology and surveillance is our lack of knowledge about Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte biology, especially sexual dimorphic development and how sex ratios that may influence transmission from the human to the mosquito. Dissecting this process has been hampered by the lack of sex-specific protein markers for the circulating, mature stage V gametocytes. The current evidence suggests a high degree of conservation in gametocyte gene complement across Plasmodium, and therefore presumably for sex-specific genes as well. To better our understanding of gametocyte development and subsequent infectiousness to mosquitoes, we undertook a Systematic Subtractive Bioinformatic analysis (filtering) approach to identify sex-specific P. falciparum NF54 protein markers based on a comparison with the Dd2 strain, which is defective in producing males, and with syntenic male and female proteins from the reanalyzed and updated P. berghei (related rodent malaria parasite) gametocyte proteomes. This produced a short list of 174 male- and 258 female-enriched P. falciparum stage V proteins, some of which appear to be under strong diversifying selection, suggesting ongoing adaptation to mosquito vector species. We generated antibodies against three putative female-specific gametocyte stage V proteins in P. falciparum and confirmed either conserved sex-specificity or the lack of cross-species sex-partitioning. Finally, our study provides not only an additional resource for mass spectrometry-derived evidence for gametocyte proteins but also lays down the foundation for rational screening and development of novel sex-partitioned protein biomarkers and transmission-blocking vaccine candidates. PMID:25056935

  9. Sir2 paralogues cooperate to regulate virulence genes and antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Christopher J; Carret, Céline K; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Voss, Till S; Ralph, Stuart A; Hommel, Mirja; Duffy, Michael F; Silva, Liliana Mancio da; Scherf, Artur; Ivens, Alasdair; Speed, Terence P; Beeson, James G; Cowman, Alan F

    2009-04-14

    Cytoadherance of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in the brain, organs and peripheral microvasculature is linked to morbidity and mortality associated with severe malaria. Parasite-derived P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) molecules displayed on the erythrocyte surface are responsible for cytoadherance and undergo antigenic variation in the course of an infection. Antigenic variation of PfEMP1 is achieved by in situ switching and mutually exclusive transcription of the var gene family, a process that is controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. Here we report characterisation of the P. falciparum silent information regulator's A and B (PfSir2A and PfSir2B) and their involvement in mutual exclusion and silencing of the var gene repertoire. Analysis of P. falciparum parasites lacking either PfSir2A or PfSir2B shows that these NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylases are required for silencing of different var gene subsets classified by their conserved promoter type. We also demonstrate that in the absence of either of these molecules mutually exclusive expression of var genes breaks down. We show that var gene silencing originates within the promoter and PfSir2 paralogues are involved in cis spreading of silenced chromatin into adjacent regions. Furthermore, parasites lacking PfSir2A but not PfSir2B have considerably longer telomeric repeats, demonstrating a role for this molecule in telomeric end protection. This work highlights the pivotal but distinct role for both PfSir2 paralogues in epigenetic silencing of P. falciparum virulence genes and the control of pathogenicity of malaria infection.

  10. Erythrocyte Lysis and Xenopus laevis Oocyte Rupture by Recombinant Plasmodium falciparum Hemolysin III

    PubMed Central

    Moonah, Shannon; Sanders, Natalie G.; Persichetti, Jason K.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria kills more than 1 million people per year worldwide, with severe malaria anemia accounting for the majority of the deaths. Malaria anemia is multifactorial in etiology, including infected erythrocyte destruction and decrease in erythrocyte production, as well as destruction or clearance of noninfected erythrocytes. We identified a panspecies Plasmodium hemolysin type III related to bacterial hemolysins. The identification of a hemolysin III homologue in Plasmodium suggests a potential role in host erythrocyte lysis. Here, we report the first characterization of Plasmodium falciparum hemolysin III, showing that the soluble recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III is a pore-forming protein capable of lysing human erythrocytes in a dose-, time-, and temperature-dependent fashion. The recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III-induced hemolysis was partially inhibited by glibenclamide, a known channel antagonist. Studies with polyethylene glycol molecules of different molecular weights indicated a pore size of approximately 3.2 nm. Heterologous expression of recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III in Xenopus oocytes demonstrated early hypotonic lysis similar to that of the pore-forming aquaporin control. Live fluorescence microscopy localized transfected recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged P. falciparum hemolysin III to the essential digestive vacuole of the P. falciparum parasite. These transfected trophozoites also possessed a swollen digestive vacuole phenotype. Native Plasmodium hemolysin III in the digestive vacuole may contribute to lysis of the parasitophorous vacuole membrane derived from the host erythrocyte. After merozoite egress from infected erythrocytes, remnant P. falciparum hemolysin III released from digestive vacuoles could potentially contribute to lysis of uninfected erythrocytes to contribute to severe life-threatening anemia. PMID:25148832

  11. Evolution of Fseg/Cseg dimorphism in region III of the Plasmodium falciparum eba-175 gene.

    PubMed

    Yasukochi, Yoshiki; Naka, Izumi; Patarapotikul, Jintana; Hananantachai, Hathairad; Ohashi, Jun

    2017-04-01

    The 175-kDa erythrocyte binding antigen (EBA-175) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is important for its invasion into human erythrocytes. The primary structure of eba-175 is divided into seven regions, namely I to VII. Region III contains highly divergent dimorphic segments, termed Fseg and Cseg. The allele frequencies of segmental dimorphism within a P. falciparum population have been extensively examined; however, the molecular evolution of segmental dimorphism is not well understood. A comprehensive comparison of nucleotide sequences among 32 P. falciparum eba-175 alleles identified in our previous study, two Plasmodium reichenowi, and one P. gaboni orthologous alleles obtained from the GenBank database was conducted to uncover the origin and evolutionary processes of segmental dimorphism in P. falciparum eba-175. In the eba-175 nucleotide sequence derived from a P. reichenowi CDC strain, both Fseg and Cseg were found in region III, which implies that the original eba-175 gene had both segments, and deletions of F- and C-segments generated Cseg and Fseg alleles, respectively. We also confirmed the presence of allele with Fseg and Cseg in another P. reichenowi strain (SY57), by re-mapping short reads obtained from the GenBank database. On the other hand, the segmental sequence of eba-175 ortholog in P. gaboni was quite diverged from those of the other species, suggesting that the original eba-175 dimorphism of P. falciparum can be traced back to the stem linage of P. falciparum and P. reichenowi. Our findings suggest that Fseg and Cseg alleles are derived from a single eba-175 allele containing both segments in the ancestral population of P. falciparum and P. reichenowi, and that the allelic dimorphism of eba-175 was shaped by the independent emergence of similar dimorphic lineage in different species that has never been observed in any evolutionary mode of allelic dimorphism at other loci in malaria genomes.

  12. Immunogenicity and in vitro Protective Efficacy of a Recombinant Multistage Plasmodium falciparum Candidate Vaccine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Ya Ping; Hasnain, Seyed E.; Sacci, John B.; Holloway, Brian P.; Fujioka, Hisashi; Kumar, Nirbhay; Wohlhueter, Robert; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Collins, William E.; Lal, Altaf A.

    1999-02-01

    Compared with a single-stage antigen-based vaccine, a multistage and multivalent Plasmodium falciparum vaccine would be more efficacious by inducing "multiple layers" of immunity. We have constructed a synthetic gene that encodes for 12 B cell, 6 T cell proliferative, and 3 cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes derived from 9 stage-specific P. falciparum antigens corresponding to the sporozoite, liver, erythrocytic asexual, and sexual stages. The gene was expressed in the baculovirus system, and a 41-kDa antigen, termed CDC/NIIMALVAC-1, was purified. Immunization in rabbits with the purified protein in the presence of different adjuvants generated antibody responses that recognized vaccine antigen, linear peptides contained in the vaccine, and all stages of P. falciparum. In vitro assays of protection revealed that the vaccine-elicited antibodies strongly inhibited sporozoite invasion of hepatoma cells and growth of blood-stage parasites in the presence of monocytes. These observations demonstrate that a multicomponent, multistage malaria vaccine can induce immune responses that inhibit parasite development at multiple stages. The rationale and approach used in the development of a multicomponent P. falciparum vaccine will be useful in the development of a multispecies human malaria vaccine and vaccines against other infectious diseases.

  13. Hemoglobin consumption by P. falciparum in individual erythrocytes imaged via quantitative phase spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinehart, Matthew T.; Park, Han Sang; Walzer, Katelyn A.; Chi, Jen-Tsan Ashley; Wax, Adam

    2016-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum infection causes structural and biochemical changes in red blood cells (RBCs). To quantify these changes, we apply a novel optical technique, quantitative phase spectroscopy (QPS) to characterize individual red blood cells (RBCs) during the intraerythrocytic life cycle of P. falciparum. QPS captures hyperspectral holograms of individual RBCs to measure spectroscopic changes across the visible wavelength range (475–700 nm), providing complex information, i.e. amplitude and phase, about the light field which has interacted with the cell. The complex field provides complimentary information on hemoglobin content and cell mass, which are both found to dramatically change upon infection by P. falciparum. Hb content progressively decreases with parasite life cycle, with an average 72.2% reduction observed for RBCs infected by schizont-stage P. falciparum compared to uninfected cells. Infection also resulted in a 33.1% reduction in RBC’s optical volume, a measure of the cells’ non-aqueous components. Notably, optical volume is only partially correlated with hemoglobin content, suggesting that changes in other dry mass components such as parasite mass may also be assessed using this technique. The unique ability of QPS to discriminate individual healthy and infected cells using spectroscopic changes indicates that the approach can be used to detect disease.

  14. Hemoglobin consumption by P. falciparum in individual erythrocytes imaged via quantitative phase spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Rinehart, Matthew T.; Park, Han Sang; Walzer, Katelyn A.; Chi, Jen-Tsan Ashley; Wax, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum infection causes structural and biochemical changes in red blood cells (RBCs). To quantify these changes, we apply a novel optical technique, quantitative phase spectroscopy (QPS) to characterize individual red blood cells (RBCs) during the intraerythrocytic life cycle of P. falciparum. QPS captures hyperspectral holograms of individual RBCs to measure spectroscopic changes across the visible wavelength range (475–700 nm), providing complex information, i.e. amplitude and phase, about the light field which has interacted with the cell. The complex field provides complimentary information on hemoglobin content and cell mass, which are both found to dramatically change upon infection by P. falciparum. Hb content progressively decreases with parasite life cycle, with an average 72.2% reduction observed for RBCs infected by schizont-stage P. falciparum compared to uninfected cells. Infection also resulted in a 33.1% reduction in RBC’s optical volume, a measure of the cells’ non-aqueous components. Notably, optical volume is only partially correlated with hemoglobin content, suggesting that changes in other dry mass components such as parasite mass may also be assessed using this technique. The unique ability of QPS to discriminate individual healthy and infected cells using spectroscopic changes indicates that the approach can be used to detect disease. PMID:27087557

  15. Variation in use of erythrocyte invasion pathways by Plasmodium falciparum mediates evasion of human inhibitory antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Persson, Kristina E.M.; McCallum, Fiona J.; Reiling, Linda; Lister, Nicole A.; Stubbs, Janine; Cowman, Alan F.; Marsh, Kevin; Beeson, James G.

    2007-01-01

    Antibodies that inhibit Plasmodium falciparum invasion of erythrocytes are believed to be an important component of immunity against malaria. During blood-stage infection, P. falciparum can use different pathways for erythrocyte invasion by varying the expression and/or utilization of members of 2 invasion ligand families: the erythrocyte-binding antigens (EBAs) and reticulocyte-binding homologs (PfRhs). Invasion pathways can be broadly classified into 2 groups based on the use of sialic acid (SA) on the erythrocyte surface by parasite ligands. We found that inhibitory antibodies are acquired by malaria-exposed Kenyan children and adults against ligands of SA-dependent and SA-independent invasion pathways, and the ability of antibodies to inhibit erythrocyte invasion depended on the pathway used by P. falciparum isolates. Differential inhibition of P. falciparum lines that varied in their use of specific EBA and PfRh proteins pointed to these ligand families as major targets of inhibitory antibodies. Antibodies against recombinant EBA and PfRh proteins were acquired in an age-associated manner, and inhibitory antibodies against EBA175 appeared prominent among some individuals. These findings suggest that variation in invasion phenotype might have evolved as a mechanism that facilitates immune evasion by P. falciparum and that a broad inhibitory response against multiple ligands may be required for effective immunity. PMID:18064303

  16. Evolution of genetic polymorphisms of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein (PfMSP) in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Kuesap, Jiraporn; Chaijaroenkul, Wanna; Ketprathum, Kanchanok; Tattiyapong, Puntanat; Na-Bangchang, Kesara

    2014-02-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a major public health problem in Thailand due to the emergence of multidrug resistance. The understanding of genetic diversity of malaria parasites is essential for developing effective drugs and vaccines. The genetic diversity of the merozoite surface protein-1 (PfMSP-1) and merozoite surface protein-2 (PfMSP-2) genes was investigated in a total of 145 P. falciparum isolates collected from Mae Sot District, Tak Province, Thailand during 3 different periods (1997-1999, 2005-2007, and 2009-2010). Analysis of genetic polymorphisms was performed to track the evolution of genetic change of P. falciparum using PCR. Both individual genes and their combination patterns showed marked genetic diversity during the 3 study periods. The results strongly support that P. falciparum isolates in Thailand are markedly diverse and patterns changed with time. These 2 polymorphic genes could be used as molecular markers to detect multiple clone infections and differentiate recrudescence from reinfection in P. falciparum isolates in Thailand.

  17. New compounds hybrids 1h-1,2,3-triazole-quinoline against Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Boechat, Núbia; Ferreira, Maria de Lourdes G; Pinheiro, Luiz C S; Jesus, Antônio M L; Leite, Milene M M; Júnior, Carlos C S; Aguiar, Anna C C; de Andrade, Isabel M; Krettli, Antoniana U

    2014-09-01

    Malaria is one of the most prevalent parasitic diseases in the world. The global importance of this disease, current vector control limitations, and the absence of an effective vaccine make the use of therapeutic antimalarial drugs the main strategy to control malaria. Chloroquine is a cost-effective antimalarial drug with a relatively robust safety profile, or therapeutic index. However, chloroquine is no longer used alone to treat patients with Plasmodium falciparum due to the emergence and spread of chloroquine-resistant strains, which have also been reported for Plasmodium vivax. However, the activity of 1,2,3-triazole derivatives against chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum has been reported in the literature. To enhance the anti-P. falciparum activity of quinoline derivatives, we synthesized 11 new quinoline-1H-1,2,3-triazole hybrids with different substituents in the 4-positions of the 1H-1,2,3-triazole ring, which were assayed against the W2-chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum clone. Six compounds exhibited activity against the P. falciparum W2 clone, chloroquine-resistant, with IC50 values ranging from 1.4 to 46 μm. None of these compounds was toxic to a normal monkey kidney cell line, thus exhibiting good selectivity indexes, as high 351 for one compound (11).

  18. Plasmodium falciparum and P. malariae epidemiology in a West African village.

    PubMed Central

    Boudin, C.; Robert, V.; Verhave, J. P.; Carnevale, P.; Ambroise-Thomas, P.

    1991-01-01

    Transmission of Plasmodium falciparum and P. malariae was studied in a village in Burkina Faso. Consecutive captures of mosquitos were organized twice a month over a year and the species of the mosquitos identified. Also, the prevalences and densities of Plasmodium spp. were determined every 2 months in a sample of children who lived in the village. Anopheles gambiae, A. funestus, and A. nili were the local vectors, but only the first two played a predominant role in both P. falciparum and P. malariae transmission. The parasitological sporozoite index (SI) was 4.48% for A. gambiae and 4.22% for A. funestus. The immunological SIs were higher: 5.82% of A. gambiae were infected with P. falciparum and only 0.16% with P. malariae; the corresponding proportions for A. funestus were 6.45% and 0.41%. Transmission of Plasmodium spp. by A. gambiae was important during the rainy season (July-October) and by A. funestus at the beginning of the dry season (September-November). Each child in the study village could receive about 396 P. falciparum-infected bites per year but only 22 of P. malariae. The P. falciparum parasite indices were maximum during the middle of the rainy season (August), while those for P. malariae reached a peak during the dry season (February). PMID:1677615

  19. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Parasite Survival in P. falciparum Malaria.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-03-15

    air-dried filter was baked for 2hr at 80 0 C under vacuum. A prehybridization ( 50mM HEPES pH 7.4, 0.3M NaCl, 10mM EDTA, 0.2% SDS, 1mg/mI yeast tIRNA...Shrivastava, I. K., Shaw, A. R., and Perin, L. H. (1988). Aldolase activity of a Plasmodium falciDarum protein with protective properties . Science 240...CGAAAAGTGCACCAT-G-AT. ?195(2) GAT"LAAGTGCA=TTT="-"- Consensus ’RA. AAGT"GCfAC"A.A. G Fig. 1 A. B. C. Promoter Activity RNA Accummulation Promoter Activity Yeast R

  20. Quinine dimers are potent inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter and are active against quinoline-resistant P. falciparum.

    PubMed

    Hrycyna, Christine A; Summers, Robert L; Lehane, Adele M; Pires, Marcos M; Namanja, Hilda; Bohn, Kelsey; Kuriakose, Jerrin; Ferdig, Michael; Henrich, Philipp P; Fidock, David A; Kirk, Kiaran; Chmielewski, Jean; Martin, Rowena E

    2014-03-21

    Chloroquine (CQ) resistance in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is primarily conferred by mutations in the "chloroquine resistance transporter" (PfCRT). The resistance-conferring form of PfCRT (PfCRT(CQR)) mediates CQ resistance by effluxing the drug from the parasite's digestive vacuole, the acidic compartment in which CQ exerts its antiplasmodial effect. PfCRT(CQR) can also decrease the parasite's susceptibility to other quinoline drugs, including the current antimalarials quinine and amodiaquine. Here we describe interactions between PfCRT(CQR) and a series of dimeric quinine molecules using a Xenopus laevis oocyte system for the heterologous expression of PfCRT and using an assay that detects the drug-associated efflux of H(+) ions from the digestive vacuole in parasites that harbor different forms of PfCRT. The antiplasmodial activities of dimers 1 and 6 were also examined in vitro (against drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains of P. falciparum) and in vivo (against drug-sensitive P. berghei). Our data reveal that the quinine dimers are the most potent inhibitors of PfCRT(CQR) reported to date. Furthermore, the lead compounds (1 and 6) were not effluxed by PfCRT(CQR) from the digestive vacuole but instead accumulated to very high levels within this organelle. Both 1 and 6 exhibited in vitro antiplasmodial activities that were inversely correlated with CQ. Moreover, the additional parasiticidal effect exerted by 1 and 6 in the drug-resistant parasites was attributable, at least in part, to their ability to inhibit PfCRT(CQR). This highlights the potential for devising new antimalarial therapies that exploit inherent weaknesses in a key resistance mechanism of P. falciparum.

  1. Variation in Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 2 (Pfhrp2) and Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 3 (Pfhrp3) Gene Deletions in Guyana and Suriname.

    PubMed

    Akinyi Okoth, Sheila; Abdallah, Joseph F; Ceron, Nicolas; Adhin, Malti R; Chandrabose, Javin; Krishnalall, Karanchand; Huber, Curtis S; Goldman, Ira F; Macedo de Oliveira, Alexandre; Barnwell, John W; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2015-01-01

    Guyana and Suriname have made important progress in reducing the burden of malaria. While both countries use microscopy as the primary tool for clinical diagnosis, malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are useful in remote areas of the interior where laboratory support may be limited or unavailable. Recent reports indicate that histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2)-based diagnostic tests specific for detection of P. falciparum may provide false negative results in some parts of South America due to the emergence of P. falciparum parasites that lack the pfhrp2 gene, and thus produce no PfHRP2 antigen. Pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 genes were amplified in parasite isolates collected from Guyana and Suriname to determine if there were circulating isolates with deletions in these genes. Pfhrp3 deletions were monitored because some monoclonal antibodies utilized in PfHRP2-based RDTs cross-react with the PfHRP3 protein. We found that all 97 isolates from Guyana that met the inclusion criteria were both pfhrp2- and pfhrp3-positive. In Suriname (N = 78), 14% of the samples tested were pfhrp2-negative while 4% were pfhrp3-negative. Furthermore, analysis of the genomic region proximal to pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 revealed that genomic deletions extended to the flanking genes. We also investigated the population substructure of the isolates collected to determine if the parasites that had deletions of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 belonged to any genetic subtypes. Cluster analysis revealed that there was no predominant P. falciparum population substructure among the isolates from either country, an indication of genetic admixture among the parasite populations. Furthermore, the pfhrp2-deleted parasites from Suriname did not appear to share a single, unique genetic background.

  2. Variation in Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 2 (Pfhrp2) and Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 3 (Pfhrp3) Gene Deletions in Guyana and Suriname

    PubMed Central

    Akinyi Okoth, Sheila; Abdallah, Joseph F.; Ceron, Nicolas; Adhin, Malti R.; Chandrabose, Javin; Krishnalall, Karanchand; Huber, Curtis S.; Goldman, Ira F.; Macedo de Oliveira, Alexandre; Barnwell, John W.; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2015-01-01

    Guyana and Suriname have made important progress in reducing the burden of malaria. While both countries use microscopy as the primary tool for clinical diagnosis, malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are useful in remote areas of the interior where laboratory support may be limited or unavailable. Recent reports indicate that histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2)-based diagnostic tests specific for detection of P. falciparum may provide false negative results in some parts of South America due to the emergence of P. falciparum parasites that lack the pfhrp2 gene, and thus produce no PfHRP2 antigen. Pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 genes were amplified in parasite isolates collected from Guyana and Suriname to determine if there were circulating isolates with deletions in these genes. Pfhrp3 deletions were monitored because some monoclonal antibodies utilized in PfHRP2-based RDTs cross-react with the PfHRP3 protein. We found that all 97 isolates from Guyana that met the inclusion criteria were both pfhrp2- and pfhrp3-positive. In Suriname (N = 78), 14% of the samples tested were pfhrp2-negative while 4% were pfhrp3-negative. Furthermore, analysis of the genomic region proximal to pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 revealed that genomic deletions extended to the flanking genes. We also investigated the population substructure of the isolates collected to determine if the parasites that had deletions of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 belonged to any genetic subtypes. Cluster analysis revealed that there was no predominant P. falciparum population substructure among the isolates from either country, an indication of genetic admixture among the parasite populations. Furthermore, the pfhrp2-deleted parasites from Suriname did not appear to share a single, unique genetic background. PMID:25978499

  3. [In vitro cultivation of fields isolates of Plasmodium falciparum in Mali].

    PubMed

    Djimde, A A; Kirkman, L; Kassambara, L; Diallo, M; Plowe, C V; Wellems, T E; Doumbo, O K

    2007-02-01

    Malaria immunology, molecular biology and pathogenicity studies often require the adaptation of Plasmodium falciparum field isolates to continuous in vitro cultivation. For this purpose we have established propagation protocols of asexual erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum samples from malaria patients or asymptomatic carriers in Mali. The parasites were grown in standard culture medium supplemented by human serum and in a culture medium without human serum but supplemented by AlbuMax 1. The candle jar environment and tissue culture flasks gassed with 5% CO2, 5% O2 and 90% N2 obtained from a portable gas mixer were used. Protocols for parasite cultivation in a resource-poor setting were developed. These protocols were successfully applied to fresh isolates in Mali as well as to blood samples frozen in liquid nitrogen and shipped to a laboratory in U.S.A.

  4. Growth and immunity conferred by a Plasmodium falciparum temperature sensitive mutant in Panamanian owl monkeys.

    PubMed

    Inselburg, J; Rossan, R N; Escajadillo, A

    1989-05-01

    We have compared the growth of the wild type Plasmodium falciparum strain Honduras 1 and a previously isolated temperature sensitive mutant of it, AP1-16, in Panamanian owl monkeys. We examined serially infected splenectomized and normal animals that were initially infected with cultured parasites that had been grown in a mixture of owl monkey and human erythrocytes. Initial infections in splenectomized monkeys were marked by multiple recrudescences. The mutant grew less well than the wild type in the splenectomized monkeys, as determined by lower peak and total parasitemias. In the splenectomized monkeys tested by rechallenge with the wild type parasite, the mutant stimulated a comparable degree of protection. That protection was manifested in 2 ways. There was a marked reduction in the level of the primary parasitemia in the rechallenged monkeys and an absence of recrudescent parasitemias after the primary parasitemia. The potential value of generating and studying temperature sensitive P. falciparum strains that show attenuated growth is considered.

  5. In silico screening for Plasmodium falciparum enoyl-ACP reductase inhibitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindert, Steffen; Tallorin, Lorillee; Nguyen, Quynh G.; Burkart, Michael D.; McCammon, J. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The need for novel therapeutics against Plasmodium falciparum is urgent due to recent emergence of multi-drug resistant malaria parasites. Since fatty acids are essential for both the liver and blood stages of the malarial parasite, targeting fatty acid biosynthesis is a promising strategy for combatting P. falciparum. We present a combined computational and experimental study to identify novel inhibitors of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase ( PfENR) in the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway. A small-molecule database from ChemBridge was docked into three distinct PfENR crystal structures that provide multiple receptor conformations. Two different docking algorithms were used to generate a consensus score in order to rank possible small molecule hits. Our studies led to the identification of five low-micromolar pyrimidine dione inhibitors of PfENR.

  6. Rapid Generation of Marker-Free P. falciparum Fluorescent Reporter Lines Using Modified CRISPR/Cas9 Constructs and Selection Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Mogollon, Catherin Marin; van Pul, Fiona J. A.; Imai, Takashi; Ramesar, Jai; Chevalley-Maurel, Séverine; de Roo, Guido M.; Veld, Sabrina A. J.; Kroeze, Hans; Franke-Fayard, Blandine M. D.; Janse, Chris J.

    2016-01-01

    The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful genome editing technique employed in a wide variety of organisms including recently the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum. Here we report on further improvements to the CRISPR/Cas9 transfection constructs and selection protocol to more rapidly modify the P. falciparum genome and to introduce transgenes into the parasite genome without the inclusion of drug-selectable marker genes. This method was used to stably integrate the gene encoding GFP into the P. falciparum genome under the control of promoters of three different Plasmodium genes (calmodulin, gapdh and hsp70). These genes were selected as they are highly transcribed in blood stages. We show that the three reporter parasite lines generated in this study (GFP@cam, GFP@gapdh and GFP@hsp70) have in vitro blood stage growth kinetics and drug-sensitivity profiles comparable to the parental P. falciparum (NF54) wild-type line. Both asexual and sexual blood stages of the three reporter lines expressed GFP-fluorescence with GFP@hsp70 having the highest fluorescent intensity in schizont stages as shown by flow cytometry analysis of GFP-fluorescence intensity. The improved CRISPR/Cas9 constructs/protocol will aid in the rapid generation of transgenic and modified P. falciparum parasites, including those expressing different reporters proteins under different (stage specific) promoters. PMID:27997583

  7. Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... You can get them from contaminated food or water, a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not. Parasites range in size from tiny, ... Contaminated water supplies can lead to Giardia infections. Cats can ...

  8. Cytoadhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes and the infected placenta: a two-way pathway.

    PubMed

    Costa, F T M; Avril, M; Nogueira, P A; Gysin, J

    2006-12-01

    Malaria is undoubtedly the world's most devastating parasitic disease, affecting 300 to 500 million people every year. Some cases of Plasmodium falciparum infection progress to the deadly forms of the disease responsible for 1 to 3 million deaths annually. P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes adhere to host receptors in the deep microvasculature of several organs. The cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes to placental syncytiotrophoblast receptors leads to pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM). This specific maternal-fetal syndrome causes maternal anemia, low birth weight and the death of 62,000 to 363,000 infants per year in sub-Saharan Africa, and thus has a poor outcome for both mother and fetus. However, PAM and non-PAM parasites have been shown to differ antigenically and genetically. After multiple pregnancies, women from different geographical areas develop adhesion-blocking antibodies that protect against placental parasitemia and clinical symptoms of PAM. The recent description of a new parasite ligand encoded by the var2CSA gene as the only gene up-regulated in PAM parasites renders the development of an anti-PAM vaccine more feasible. The search for a vaccine to prevent P. falciparum sequestration in the placenta by eliciting adhesion-blocking antibodies and a cellular immune response, and the development of new methods for evaluating such antibodies should be key priorities in mother-child health programs in areas of endemic malaria. This review summarizes the main molecular, immunological and physiopathological aspects of PAM, including findings related to new targets in the P. falciparum var gene family. Finally, we focus on a new methodology for mimicking cytoadhesion under blood flow conditions in human placental tissue.

  9. Malaria antifolate resistance with contrasting Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) polymorphisms in humans and Anopheles mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Mharakurwa, Sungano; Kumwenda, Taida; Mkulama, Mtawa A. P.; Musapa, Mulenga; Chishimba, Sandra; Shiff, Clive J.; Sullivan, David J.; Thuma, Philip E.; Liu, Kun; Agre, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Surveillance for drug-resistant parasites in human blood is a major effort in malaria control. Here we report contrasting antifolate resistance polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum when parasites in human blood were compared with parasites in Anopheles vector mosquitoes from sleeping huts in rural Zambia. DNA encoding P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (EC 1.5.1.3) was amplified by PCR with allele-specific restriction enzyme digestions. Markedly prevalent pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were evident in human P. falciparum infections—S108N (>90%), with N51I, C59R, and 108N+51I+59R triple mutants (30–80%). This resistance level may be from selection pressure due to decades of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine use in the region. In contrast, cycloguanil-resistant mutants were detected in very low frequency in parasites from human blood samples—S108T (13%), with A16V and 108T+16V double mutants (∼4%). Surprisingly, pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were of very low prevalence (2–12%) in the midguts of Anopheles arabiensis vector mosquitoes, but cycloguanil-resistant mutants were highly prevalent—S108T (90%), with A16V and the 108T+16V double mutant (49–57%). Structural analysis of the dihydrof