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Sample records for falciparum parasite rate

  1. Sir2a regulates rDNA transcription and multiplication rate in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Mancio-Silva, Liliana; Lopez-Rubio, Jose Juan; Claes, Aurélie; Scherf, Artur

    2013-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum histone deacetylase Sir2a localizes at telomeric regions where it contributes to epigenetic silencing of clonally variant virulence genes. Apart from telomeres, PfSir2a also accumulates in the nucleolus, which harbours the developmentally regulated ribosomal RNA genes. Here we investigate the nucleolar function of PfSir2a and demonstrate that PfSir2a fine-tunes ribosomal RNA gene transcription. Using a parasite line in which PfSir2a has been disrupted, we observe that histones near the transcription start sites of all ribosomal RNA genes are hyperacetylated and that transcription of ribosomal RNA genes is upregulated. Complementation of the PfSir2a-disrupted parasites restores the ribosomal RNA levels, whereas PfSir2a overexpression in wild-type parasites decreases ribosomal RNA synthesis. Furthermore, we observe that PfSir2a modulation of ribosomal RNA synthesis is linked to an altered number of daughter merozoites and the parasite multiplication rate. These findings provide new insights into an epigenetic mechanism that controls malaria parasite proliferation and virulence. PMID:23443558

  2. Defining the relationship between Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate and clinical disease: statistical models for disease burden estimation

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Anand P; Okiro, Emelda A; Gething, Peter W; Guerra, Carlos A; Sharma, Surya K; Snow, Robert W; Hay, Simon I

    2009-01-01

    Background Clinical malaria has proven an elusive burden to enumerate. Many cases go undetected by routine disease recording systems. Epidemiologists have, therefore, frequently defaulted to actively measuring malaria in population cohorts through time. Measuring the clinical incidence of malaria longitudinally is labour-intensive and impossible to undertake universally. There is a need, therefore, to define a relationship between clinical incidence and the easier and more commonly measured index of infection prevalence: the "parasite rate". This relationship can help provide an informed basis to define malaria burdens in areas where health statistics are inadequate. Methods Formal literature searches were conducted for Plasmodium falciparum malaria incidence surveys undertaken prospectively through active case detection at least every 14 days. The data were abstracted, standardized and geo-referenced. Incidence surveys were time-space matched with modelled estimates of infection prevalence derived from a larger database of parasite prevalence surveys and modelling procedures developed for a global malaria endemicity map. Several potential relationships between clinical incidence and infection prevalence were then specified in a non-parametric Gaussian process model with minimal, biologically informed, prior constraints. Bayesian inference was then used to choose between the candidate models. Results The suggested relationships with credible intervals are shown for the Africa and a combined America and Central and South East Asia regions. In both regions clinical incidence increased slowly and smoothly as a function of infection prevalence. In Africa, when infection prevalence exceeded 40%, clinical incidence reached a plateau of 500 cases per thousand of the population per annum. In the combined America and Central and South East Asia regions, this plateau was reached at 250 cases per thousand of the population per annum. A temporal volatility model was also

  3. The impact of urbanization and population density on childhood Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence rates in Africa.

    PubMed

    Kabaria, Caroline W; Gilbert, Marius; Noor, Abdisalan M; Snow, Robert W; Linard, Catherine

    2017-01-26

    Although malaria has been traditionally regarded as less of a problem in urban areas compared to neighbouring rural areas, the risk of malaria infection continues to exist in densely populated, urban areas of Africa. Despite the recognition that urbanization influences the epidemiology of malaria, there is little consensus on urbanization relevant for malaria parasite mapping. Previous studies examining the relationship between urbanization and malaria transmission have used products defining urbanization at global/continental scales developed in the early 2000s, that overestimate actual urban extents while the population estimates are over 15 years old and estimated at administrative unit level. This study sought to discriminate an urbanization definition that is most relevant for malaria parasite mapping using individual level malaria infection data obtained from nationally representative household-based surveys. Boosted regression tree (BRT) modelling was used to determine the effect of urbanization on malaria transmission and if this effect varied with urbanization definition. In addition, the most recent high resolution population distribution data was used to determine whether population density had significant effect on malaria parasite prevalence and if so, could population density replace urban classifications in modelling malaria transmission patterns. The risk of malaria infection was shown to decline from rural areas through peri-urban settlements to urban central areas. Population density was found to be an important predictor of malaria risk. The final boosted regression trees (BRT) model with urbanization and population density gave the best model fit (Tukey test p value <0.05) compared to the models with urbanization only. Given the challenges in uniformly classifying urban areas across different countries, population density provides a reliable metric to adjust for the patterns of malaria risk in densely populated urban areas. Future malaria risk

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Parasite Survival in P. falciparum Malaria

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-02-08

    AD-A279 410 GRANT NO: DAMN17-89-Z-9003 TITLE: MOLECULAR GENETIC ANALYSIS OF PARASITE SURVIVAL IN R. E&LEZjpAIM MALARIA PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR... Analysis of Parasite Survival Grant No. in P. Falciparum Malaria DAMDi 7-89- Z-9003 -6. AUTHOR(S) Jeffrey V. Ravetch, M.D., Ph.D. 7. PERFORMING...consequences of genetic variation for parasite survival. Genetic polymorphisms in PRfalciparum were initially detected by pulsed-field gel analysis of intact

  8. Reduced glycerol incorporation into phospholipids contributes to impaired intra-erythrocytic growth of glycerol kinase knockout Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Kubendran; Coetzer, Theresa L

    2013-11-01

    Malaria is a devastating disease and Plasmodium falciparum is the most lethal parasite infecting humans. Understanding the biology of this parasite is vital in identifying potential novel drug targets. During every 48-hour intra-erythrocytic asexual replication cycle, a single parasite can produce up to 32 progeny. This extensive proliferation implies that parasites require substantial amounts of lipid precursors for membrane biogenesis. Glycerol kinase is a highly conserved enzyme that functions at the interface of lipid synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. P. falciparum glycerol kinase catalyzes the ATP-dependent phosphorylation of glycerol to glycerol-3-phosphate, a major phospholipid precursor. The P. falciparum glycerol kinase gene was disrupted using double crossover homologous DNA recombination to generate a knockout parasite line. Southern hybridization and mRNA analysis were used to verify gene disruption. Parasite growth rates were monitored by flow cytometry. Radiolabelling studies were used to assess incorporation of glycerol into parasite phospholipids. Disruption of the P. falciparum glycerol kinase gene produced viable parasites, but their growth was significantly reduced to 56.5±1.8% when compared to wild type parasites. (14)C-glycerol incorporation into the major phospholipids of the parasite membrane, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, was 48.4±10.8% and 53.1±5.7% relative to an equivalent number of wild type parasites. P. falciparum glycerol kinase is required for optimal intra-erythrocytic asexual parasite development. Exogenous glycerol may be used as an alternative carbon source for P. falciparum phospholipid biogenesis, despite the lack of glycerol kinase to generate glycerol-3-phosphate. These studies provide new insight into glycerolipid metabolism in P. falciparum. © 2013.

  9. Origin of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in gorillas

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Learn, Gerald H.; Rudicell, Rebecca S.; Robertson, Joel D.; Keele, Brandon F.; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N.; Sanz, Crickette M.; Morgan, David B.; Locatelli, Sabrina; Gonder, Mary K.; Kranzusch, Philip J.; Walsh, Peter D.; Delaporte, Eric; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Georgiev, Alexander V.; Muller, Martin N.; Shaw, George M.; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M.; Rayner, Julian C.; Hahn, Beatrice H.

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent and lethal of the malaria parasites infecting humans, yet the origin and evolutionary history of this important pathogen remain controversial. Here, we developed a novel polymerase chain reaction based single genome amplification strategy to identify and characterize Plasmodium spp. DNA sequences in fecal samples of wild-living apes. Among nearly 3,000 specimens collected from field sites throughout central Africa, we found Plasmodium infection in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), but not in eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei) or bonobos (Pan paniscus). Ape plasmodial infections were highly prevalent, widely distributed, and almost always comprised of mixed parasite species. Analysis of more than 1,100 mitochondrial, apicoplast and nuclear gene sequences from chimpanzees and gorillas revealed that 99% grouped within one of six host-specific lineages representing distinct Plasmodium species within the subgenus Laverania. One of these from western gorillas was comprised of parasites that were nearly identical to P. falciparum. In phylogenetic analyses of full-length mitochondrial sequences, human P. falciparum formed a monophyletic lineage within the gorilla parasite radiation. These findings indicate that P. falciparum is of gorilla and not of chimpanzee, bonobo or ancient human origin. PMID:20864995

  10. [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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Calcium regulation in the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Alleva, L M; Kirk, K

    2001-10-01

    The regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) in the intraerythrocytic form of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, was investigated using parasites 'isolated' from their host cells by saponin-permeabilisation of the erythrocyte membrane. The isolated parasites maintained tight control over their resting cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration which ranged from approximately 100 nM in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+) to approximately 700 nM in the presence of 1 mM extracellular Ca(2+). The parasite has two functionally discrete intracellular Ca(2+) stores. One is an 'endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-like' store, the other an 'acidic store'. The ER-like store was discharged by cyclopiazonic acid (CPA), an inhibitor of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPases (SERCAs) of animal and plant cells, but not by thapsigargin (TG), a more specific inhibitor of SERCAs of animal cells. The acidic store was discharged by nigericin and by NH(4)(+). The amount of Ca(2+) in the ER-like store increased with increasing extracellular Ca(2+) concentration, whereas the amount of Ca(2+) in the acidic store did not. Ca(2+) released from the ER-like store by CPA was cleared from the parasite cytosol by uptake into the acidic store (over a range of extracellular Ca(2+) concentrations), consistent with the acidic store serving as a Ca(2+) reservoir within the intracellular parasite.

  16. Genome sequence of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-03

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

  17. Alternative Protein Secretion in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Comparative Genomics of Transcriptional Control in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Coulson, Richard M.R.; Hall, Neil; Ouzounis, Christos A.

    2004-01-01

    The life cycle of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for the most deadly form of human malaria, requires specialized protein expression for survival in the mammalian host and insect vector. To identify components of processes controlling gene expression during its life cycle, the malarial genome—along with seven crown eukaryote group genomes—was queried with a reference set of transcription-associated proteins (TAPs). Following clustering on the basis of sequence similarity of the TAPs with their homologs, and together with hidden Markov model profile searches, 156 P. falciparum TAPs were identified. This represents about a third of the number of TAPs usually found in the genome of a free-living eukaryote. Furthermore, the P. falciparum genome appears to contain a low number of sequences, which are highly conserved and abundant within the kingdoms of free-living eukaryotes, that contribute to gene-specific transcriptional regulation. However, in comparison with these other eukaryotic genomes, the CCCH-type zinc finger (common in proteins modulating mRNA decay and translation rates) was found to be the most abundant in the P. falciparum genome. This observation, together with the paucity of malarial transcriptional regulators identified, suggests Plasmodium protein levels are primarily determined by posttranscriptional mechanisms. PMID:15256513

  2. Homopolymer tract organization in the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related Apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Russell, Karen; Cheng, Chia-Ho; Bizzaro, Jeffrey W; Ponts, Nadia; Emes, Richard D; Le Roch, Karine; Marx, Kenneth A; Horrocks, Paul

    2014-10-03

    Homopolymeric tracts, particularly poly dA.dT, are enriched within the intergenic sequences of eukaryotic genomes where they appear to act as intrinsic regulators of nucleosome positioning. A previous study of the incomplete genome of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum reports a higher than expected enrichment of poly dA.dT tracts, far above that anticipated even in this highly AT rich genome. Here we report an analysis of the relative frequency, length and spatial arrangement of homopolymer tracts for the complete P. falciparum genome, extending this analysis to twelve additional genomes of Apicomplexan parasites important to human and animal health. In addition, using nucleosome-positioning data available for P. falciparum, we explore the correlation of poly dA.dT tracts with nucleosome-positioning data over key expression landmarks within intergenic regions. We describe three apparent lineage-specific patterns of homopolymeric tract organization within the intergenic regions of these Apicomplexan parasites. Moreover, a striking pattern of enrichment of overly long poly dA.dT tracts in the intergenic regions of Plasmodium spp. uniquely extends into protein coding sequences. There is a conserved spatial arrangement of poly dA.dT immediately flanking open reading frames and over predicted core promoter sites. These key landmarks are all relatively depleted in nucleosomes in P. falciparum, as would be expected for poly dA.dT acting as nucleosome exclusion sequences. Previous comparative studies of homopolymer tract organization emphasize evolutionary diversity; this is the first report of such an analysis within a single phylum. Our data provide insights into the evolution of homopolymeric tracts and the selective pressures at play in their maintenance and expansion.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:28400526

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Limonene Arrests Parasite Development and Inhibits Isoprenylation of Proteins in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Moura, Ivan Cruz; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Uhrig, Maria L.; Couto, Alicia S.; Peres, Valnice J.; Katzin, Alejandro M.; Kimura, Emília A.

    2001-01-01

    Isoprenylation is an essential protein modification in eukaryotic cells. Herein, we report that in Plasmodium falciparum, a number of proteins were labeled upon incubation of intraerythrocytic forms with either [3H]farnesyl pyrophosphate or [3H]geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. By thin-layer chromatography, we showed that attached isoprenoids are partially modified to dolichol and other, uncharacterized, residues, confirming active isoprenoid metabolism in this parasite. Incubation of blood-stage P. falciparum treated with the isoprenylation inhibitor limonene significantly decreased the parasites' progression from the ring stage to the trophozoite stage and at 1.22 mM, 50% of the parasites died after the first cycle. Using Ras- and Rap-specific monoclonal antibodies, putative Rap and Ras proteins of P. falciparum were immunoprecipitated. Upon treatment with 0.5 mM limonene, isoprenylation of these proteins was significantly decreased, possibly explaining the observed arrest of parasite development. PMID:11502528

  8. 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

  9. Evidence for differences in erythrocyte surface receptors for the malarial parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

    1977-01-01

    Human erythrocytes lacking various blood group determinants were susceptible to invasion by Plasmodium falciparum including Duffy- negative erythrocytes that are refractory to invasion by Plasmodium knowlesi. Erythrocytes treated with trypsin or neuraminidase had reduced susceptibility of P. falciparum and normal susceptibility to P. knowlesi. Chymotrypsin treatment (0.1 mg/ml) blocked invasion only by P. knowlesi. The differential effect of enzymatic cleavage of determinats from the erythrocyte surface on invasion by these parasites suggests that P. falciparum and P. knowlesi interact with different determinants on the erythrocyte surface. PMID:327014

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. In vivo removal of malaria parasites from red blood cells without their destruction in acute falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Angus, B J; Chotivanich, K; Udomsangpetch, R; White, N J

    1997-09-01

    During acute falciparum malaria infection, red blood cells (RBC) containing abundant ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (Pf 155 or RESA), but no intracellular parasites, are present in the circulation. These RESA-positive parasite negative RBC are not seen in parasite cultures in vitro. This indicates that in acute falciparum malaria there is active removal of intraerythrocytic parasites by a host mechanism in vivo (probably the spleen) without destruction of the parasitized RBC. This may explain the observed disparity between the drop in hematocrit and decrease in parasite count in some hyperparasitemic patients. The fate of these "once-parasitized" RBC in vivo is not known.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

  15. Assessment of Plasmodium falciparum PfMDR1 transport rates using Fluo-4

    PubMed Central

    Friedrich, O; Reiling, SJ; Wunderlich, J; Rohrbach, P

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in the multidrug resistance transporter of Plasmodium falciparum PfMDR1 have been implicated to play a significant role in the emergence of worldwide drug resistance, yet the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of this transporter are not well understood. Although it is generally accepted that drug resistance in P. falciparum is partly associated with PfMDR1 transport activity situated in the membrane of the digestive vacuole, direct estimates of the pump rate of this transport process in the natural environment of the intact host–parasite system have never been analysed. The fluorochrome Fluo-4 is a well-documented surrogate substrate of PfMDR1 and has been found to accumulate by actively being transported into the digestive vacuole of several parasitic strains. In the present study, we designed an approach to use Fluo-4 fluorescence uptake as a measure of compartmental Fluo-4 concentration accumulation in the different compartments of the host–parasite system. We performed a ‘reverse Fluo-4 imaging' approach to relate fluorescence intensity to changes in dye concentration rather than Ca2+ fluctuations and were able to calculate the overall rate of transport for PfMDR1 in Dd2 parasites. With this assay, we provide a powerful method to selectively measure the effect of PfMDR1 mutations on substrate transport kinetics. This will be of high significance for future compound screening to test for new drugs in resistant P. falciparum strains. PMID:24889967

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Conserved mosquito/parasite interactions affect development of Plasmodium falciparum in Africa.

    PubMed

    Mendes, Antonio M; Schlegelmilch, Timm; Cohuet, Anna; Awono-Ambene, Parfait; De Iorio, Maria; Fontenille, Didier; Morlais, Isabelle; Christophides, George K; Kafatos, Fotis C; Vlachou, Dina

    2008-05-16

    In much of sub-Saharan Africa, the mosquito Anopheles gambiae is the main vector of the major human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Convenient laboratory studies have identified mosquito genes that affect positively or negatively the developmental cycle of the model rodent parasite, P. berghei. Here, we use transcription profiling and reverse genetics to explore whether five disparate mosquito gene regulators of P. berghei development are also pertinent to A. gambiae/P. falciparum interactions in semi-natural conditions, using field isolates of this parasite and geographically related mosquitoes. We detected broadly similar albeit not identical transcriptional responses of these genes to the two parasite species. Gene silencing established that two genes affect similarly both parasites: infections are hindered by the intracellular local activator of actin cytoskeleton dynamics, WASP, but promoted by the hemolymph lipid transporter, ApoII/I. Since P. berghei is not a natural parasite of A. gambiae, these data suggest that the effects of these genes have not been drastically altered by constant interaction and co-evolution of A. gambiae and P. falciparum; this conclusion allowed us to investigate further the mode of action of these two genes in the laboratory model system using a suite of genetic tools and infection assays. We showed that both genes act at the level of midgut invasion during the parasite's developmental transition from ookinete to oocyst. ApoII/I also affects the early stages of oocyst development. These are the first mosquito genes whose significant effects on P. falciparum field isolates have been established by direct experimentation. Importantly, they validate for semi-field human malaria transmission the concept of parasite antagonists and agonists.

  19. Population genetic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum parasites using a customized Illumina GoldenGate genotyping assay.

    PubMed

    Campino, Susana; Auburn, Sarah; Kivinen, Katja; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Mangano, Valentina; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Kiara, Steven M; Nzila, Alexis; Borrmann, Steffen; Marsh, Kevin; Michon, Pascal; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter; Jiang, Hongying; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Socheat, Duong; Fairhurst, Rick M; Imwong, Mallika; Anderson, Timothy; Nosten, François; White, Nicholas J; Gwilliam, Rhian; Deloukas, Panos; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Newbold, Christopher I; Rockett, Kirk; Clark, Taane G; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P

    2011-01-01

    The diversity in the Plasmodium falciparum genome can be used to explore parasite population dynamics, with practical applications to malaria control. The ability to identify the geographic origin and trace the migratory patterns of parasites with clinically important phenotypes such as drug resistance is particularly relevant. With increasing single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery from ongoing Plasmodium genome sequencing projects, a demand for high SNP and sample throughput genotyping platforms for large-scale population genetic studies is required. Low parasitaemias and multiple clone infections present a number of challenges to genotyping P. falciparum. We addressed some of these issues using a custom 384-SNP Illumina GoldenGate assay on P. falciparum DNA from laboratory clones (long-term cultured adapted parasite clones), short-term cultured parasite isolates and clinical (non-cultured isolates) samples from East and West Africa, Southeast Asia and Oceania. Eighty percent of the SNPs (n = 306) produced reliable genotype calls on samples containing as little as 2 ng of total genomic DNA and on whole genome amplified DNA. Analysis of artificial mixtures of laboratory clones demonstrated high genotype calling specificity and moderate sensitivity to call minor frequency alleles. Clear resolution of geographically distinct populations was demonstrated using Principal Components Analysis (PCA), and global patterns of population genetic diversity were consistent with previous reports. These results validate the utility of the platform in performing population genetic studies of P. falciparum.

  20. The malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum imports the human protein peroxiredoxin 2 for peroxide detoxification

    PubMed Central

    Koncarevic, Sasa; Rohrbach, Petra; Deponte, Marcel; Krohne, Georg; Prieto, Judith Helena; Yates, John; Rahlfs, Stefan; Becker, Katja

    2009-01-01

    Coevolution of the malarial parasite and its human host has resulted in a complex network of interactions contributing to the homeodynamics of the host-parasite unit. As a rapidly growing and multiplying organism, Plasmodium falciparum depends on an adequate antioxidant defense system that is efficient despite the absence of genuine catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Using different experimental approaches, we demonstrate that P. falciparum imports the human redox-active protein peroxiredoxin 2 (hPrx-2, hTPx1) into its cytosol. As shown by confocal microscopy and immunogold electron microscopy, hPrx-2 is also present in the Maurer's clefts, organelles that are described as being involved in parasite protein export. Enzyme kinetic analyses prove that hPrx-2 accepts Plasmodium cytosolic thioredoxin 1 as a reducing substrate. hPrx-2 accounts for roughly 50% of thioredoxin peroxidase activity in parasite extracts, thus indicating a functional role of hPrx-2 as an enzymatic scavenger of peroxides in the parasite. Under chloroquine treatment, a drug promoting oxidative stress, the abundance of hPrx-2 in the parasite increases significantly. P. falciparum has adapted to adopt the hPrx-2, thereby using the host protein for its own purposes. PMID:19666612

  1. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Parasite Survival in P. Falciparum Malaria

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-02-26

    falciparum. Nature 315, 347-350. 3. Van der Ploeg, L.H.T., Smits, M., Ponnudurai, T., Vermeulen, A., Meuwissen, LH.E.T., and Langsley , G . (1985...prepared by the Plasmodium cynomolgi complex Cell 48. 311-319 method of ",an der Ploeg et at (1984) Total genomic DNA was briefly Goman, M , Langsley , G ...an erythrocyte receptor Meuwissen, J H E T, and Langsley , G (1985). Chromosome-sized binding protein of P falciparum Cell 44, 689-696 DNA molecules

  2. Prolonged parasite clearance in a Chinese splenectomized patient with falciparum malaria imported from Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong-Wei; Li, San-Jin; Hu, Tao; Yu, Yong-Min; Yang, Cheng-Yun; Zhou, Rui-Min; Liu, Ying; Tang, Jing; Wang, Jing-Jing; Wang, Xiu-Yun; Sun, Yong-Xiang; Feng, Zhan-Chun; Xu, Bian-Li

    2017-04-04

    The spleen plays a pivotal role in the rapid clearance of parasitized red blood cells in patients with falciparum malaria after artemisinin treatment. Prolonged parasite clearance can be found in patients who have had a splenectomy, or those with hemoglobin abnormalities and/or reduced immunity, which are all distinguishable from artemisinin resistance. This paper reports on a case of prolonged parasite clearance in a Chinese splenectomized patient with falciparum malaria imported from Nigeria. A 35-year-old Chinese male suffered 2 days of febrile illness after returning to Zhumadian city of Henan province from Nigeria on October 1, 2014. The main symptoms were febrile, including the highest axillary temperature of 40 °C, headache, and chills. A peripheral blood smear showed parasitemia (53 913 asexual parasites/μl) of Plasmodium falciparum. The patient had not used any chemoprophylaxis against malaria in Nigeria when he worked there as a construction worker between 2009 and 2014. The patient had three episodes of malaria in Nigeria and had a splenectomy due to a traffic accident 8 years ago from the time he was admitted to hospital. The patient was orally administrated a total of 320 mg/2.56 g dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for 2 days and intravenously administrated a total of 3 000 mg artesunate for 18 days. The axillary temperature of the patient ranged between 37.0 and 37.7 °C from Day 0 to Day 3, and blood microscopy revealed falciparum malaria parasitemia (26 674 asexual parasites/μl) on Day 3. The patient was afebrile on Day 4, falciparum malaria parasitemia was continuously present and then gradually decreased on the next days, and was negative on Day 21. The patient was cured and left hospital on Day 24 after no plasmodium falciparum was found in the blood on Day 21 to Day 23. No mutation was found in the K13 propeller gene when compared with the PF3D7_1343700 K13 propeller gene reference sequence. This is the first reported case in China of

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-02-26

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Molecular Genetic Analysis Of Parasite Survival In P. Falciparum Malaria.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-08-03

    DNA from (Van Der Ploeg et al., 1985: Wellems et aL, 1987). Strik- the P. falciparum strain FCR3 in yeast as artificial ing poiymorphisms have been...and exposed Burke.D F , Carle.G.F. and Olson, MV . 1 19871 .Siucnic. 23.% 806v-812, isernilitl at 70) C with an intensifying screen. ChomnczynskiP. and

  6. In Vitro Activity of Riboflavin against the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Akompong, Thomas; Ghori, Nafisa; Haldar, Kasturi

    2000-01-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum digests hemoglobin and polymerizes the released free heme into hemozoin. This activity occurs in an acidic organelle called the food vacuole and is essential for survival of the parasite in erythrocytes. Since acidic conditions are known to enhance the auto-oxidation of hemoglobin, we investigated whether hemoglobin ingested by the parasite was oxidized and whether the oxidation process could be a target for chemotherapy against malaria. We released parasites from their host cells and separately analyzed hemoglobin ingested by the parasites from that remaining in the erythrocytes. Isolated parasites contained elevated amounts (38.5% ± 3.5%) of oxidized hemoglobin (methemoglobin) compared to levels (0.8% ± 0.2%) found in normal, uninfected erythrocytes. Further, treatment of infected cells with the reducing agent riboflavin for 24 h decreased the parasite methemoglobin level by 55%. It also inhibited hemozoin production by 50% and decreased the average size of the food vacuole by 47%. Administration of riboflavin for 48 h resulted in a 65% decrease in food vacuole size and inhibited asexual parasite growth in cultures. High doses of riboflavin are used clinically to treat congenital methemoglobinemia without any adverse side effects. This activity, in conjunction with its impressive antimalarial activity, makes riboflavin attractive as a safe and inexpensive drug for treating malaria caused by P. falciparum. PMID:10602728

  7. 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.

  8. Pf332-C231-reactive antibodies affect growth and development of intra-erythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

    PubMed

    Balogun, Halima A; Awah, Nancy W; Farouk, Salah E; Berzins, Klavs

    2011-12-09

    The Plasmodium falciparum antigen 332 (Pf332), is a megadalton parasite protein expressed at the surface of infected red cells during later stages of the parasite's developmental cycle. Antibodies to different parts of this antigen have been shown to inhibit parasite growth and adherence to host cells with or without ancillary cells. However, the mechanisms involved in these inhibitions remain largely unknown. We further analysed the activities of specific antibodies with regard to their specific mechanisms of action. For these analyses, affinity purified human antibodies against epitopes in the C-terminal fragment of Pf332 (Pf332-C231) were employed. All purified antibodies recognized Pf332-C231 both by immunofluorescence and ELISA. IgG was the main antibody isotype detected, although all sera investigated had varying proportions of IgG and IgM content. All the antibodies showed a capacity to inhibit parasite growth in P. falciparum cultures to different extents, mainly by acting on the more mature parasite stages. Morphological analysis revealed the antibody effects to be characterized by the presence of a high proportion of abnormal schizonts (15-30%) and pyknotic parasites. There was also an apparent antibody effect on the red cell integrity, as many developing parasites (up to 10% of trophozoites and schizonts) were extracellular. In some cases, the infected red cells appeared to be disintegrating/fading, staining paler than surrounding infected and uninfected cells. Antigen reversal of inhibition confirmed that these inhibitions were antigen specific. Furthermore, the growth of parasites after 22-42h exposure to antibodies was investigated. Following the removal of antibody pressure, a decreased growth rate of these parasites was seen compared to that of control parasites. The present study confirms the potential of Pf332 as a target antigen for parasite neutralizing antibodies, and further indicates that epitopes within the C231 region of Pf332 should

  9. Membrane rigidity of red blood cells parasitized by different strains of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Paulitschke, M; Nash, G B

    1993-11-01

    Changes in the structure of parasitized red blood cells may influence their ability to circulate. We have used a micropipette technique to examine the effects of invasion and maturation of Plasmodium falciparum on the membrane rigidity of red blood cells. In the presence of immature, ring form parasites from different laboratory strains, membrane rigidity remained unchanged as compared with uninfected red cells. However, development of more mature pigmented trophozoites caused a marked increase in membrane rigidity. Parasites from knobless strains caused a less-pronounced increase than parasites from knob-positive strains. Using closely synchronized cultures, the dependence of membrane rigidity on parasite maturation was studied in more detail for selected knob-positive and knobless strains. Over a period of 12 hours, while trophozoites developed into schizonts, no further rigidification of the red cell membrane occurred. The increase in membrane rigidity, occurring with the initial development of pigmented trophozoites, may be related to insertion of neoantigens into the red cell surface or modification of native membrane proteins that also occur at this time. In contrast to others, we found no effect of parasite-culture supernatant, harvested at different stages, on the rigidity of uninfected cells exposed to it. Interstrain variation of membrane rigidity could influence pathophysiology in several ways: by promoting margination and cytoadherence of knob-positive strains in the microcirculation, by modulating clearance of parasitized cells by the reticuloendothelial system, and by influencing ischemic complications of severe falciparum malaria.

  10. High recombination rates and hotspots in a Plasmodium falciparum genetic cross

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum survives pressures from the host immune system and antimalarial drugs by modifying its genome. Genetic recombination and nucleotide substitution are the two major mechanisms that the parasite employs to generate genome diversity. A better understanding of these mechanisms may provide important information for studying parasite evolution, immune evasion and drug resistance. Results Here, we used a high-density tiling array to estimate the genetic recombination rate among 32 progeny of a P. falciparum genetic cross (7G8 × GB4). We detected 638 recombination events and constructed a high-resolution genetic map. Comparing genetic and physical maps, we obtained an overall recombination rate of 9.6 kb per centimorgan and identified 54 candidate recombination hotspots. Similar to centromeres in other organisms, the sequences of P. falciparum centromeres are found in chromosome regions largely devoid of recombination activity. Motifs enriched in hotspots were also identified, including a 12-bp G/C-rich motif with 3-bp periodicity that may interact with a protein containing 11 predicted zinc finger arrays. Conclusions These results show that the P. falciparum genome has a high recombination rate, although it also follows the overall rule of meiosis in eukaryotes with an average of approximately one crossover per chromosome per meiosis. GC-rich repetitive motifs identified in the hotspot sequences may play a role in the high recombination rate observed. The lack of recombination activity in centromeric regions is consistent with the observations of reduced recombination near the centromeres of other organisms. PMID:21463505

  11. High recombination rates and hotspots in a Plasmodium falciparum genetic cross.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hongying; Li, Na; Gopalan, Vivek; Zilversmit, Martine M; Varma, Sudhir; Nagarajan, Vijayaraj; Li, Jian; Mu, Jianbing; Hayton, Karen; Henschen, Bruce; Yi, Ming; Stephens, Robert; McVean, Gilean; Awadalla, Philip; Wellems, Thomas E; Su, Xin-zhuan

    2011-01-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum survives pressures from the host immune system and antimalarial drugs by modifying its genome. Genetic recombination and nucleotide substitution are the two major mechanisms that the parasite employs to generate genome diversity. A better understanding of these mechanisms may provide important information for studying parasite evolution, immune evasion and drug resistance. Here, we used a high-density tiling array to estimate the genetic recombination rate among 32 progeny of a P. falciparum genetic cross (7G8 × GB4). We detected 638 recombination events and constructed a high-resolution genetic map. Comparing genetic and physical maps, we obtained an overall recombination rate of 9.6 kb per centimorgan and identified 54 candidate recombination hotspots. Similar to centromeres in other organisms, the sequences of P. falciparum centromeres are found in chromosome regions largely devoid of recombination activity. Motifs enriched in hotspots were also identified, including a 12-bp G/C-rich motif with 3-bp periodicity that may interact with a protein containing 11 predicted zinc finger arrays. These results show that the P. falciparum genome has a high recombination rate, although it also follows the overall rule of meiosis in eukaryotes with an average of approximately one crossover per chromosome per meiosis. GC-rich repetitive motifs identified in the hotspot sequences may play a role in the high recombination rate observed. The lack of recombination activity in centromeric regions is consistent with the observations of reduced recombination near the centromeres of other organisms. © 2011 Jiang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Parasite Lactate Dehydrogenase for the Diagnosis of Plasmodium Falciparum.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-08-08

    fusion protein for the immunogen composed of the Glutathione - S - transferase protein fused to the entire open reading frame of pLDH. This fusion protein was...Such a test would follow the development oi the early ring-stage malarial parasite to the trophozoite and schizont stage by measuring an increase in pLDH...yeast expressed ,•- yeast expressed S Parasitized RUC ൳ 0 Parasitized RBC 1 1 r Control RBC Control RBC I I Recombinant pLDH produced in bacteria

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Mitochondrial genes support a common origin of rodent malaria parasites and Plasmodium falciparum's relatives infecting great apes.

    PubMed

    Blanquart, Samuel; Gascuel, Olivier

    2011-03-15

    Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most acute form of human malaria. Most recent studies demonstrate that it belongs to a monophyletic lineage specialized in the infection of great ape hosts. Several other Plasmodium species cause human malaria. They all belong to another distinct lineage of parasites which infect a wider range of primate species. All known mammalian malaria parasites appear to be monophyletic. Their clade includes the two previous distinct lineages of parasites of primates and great apes, one lineage of rodent parasites, and presumably Hepatocystis species. Plasmodium falciparum and great ape parasites are commonly thought to be the sister-group of all other mammal-infecting malaria parasites. However, some studies supported contradictory origins and found parasites of great apes to be closer to those of rodents, or to those of other primates. To distinguish between these mutually exclusive hypotheses on the origin of Plasmodium falciparum and its great ape infecting relatives, we performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis based on a data set of three mitochondrial genes from 33 to 84 malaria parasites. We showed that malarial mitochondrial genes have evolved slowly and are compositionally homogeneous. We estimated their phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian and maximum-likelihood methods. Inferred trees were checked for their robustness to the (i) site selection, (ii) assumptions of various probabilistic models, and (iii) taxon sampling. Our results robustly support a common ancestry of rodent parasites and Plasmodium falciparum's relatives infecting great apes. Our results refute the most common view of the origin of great ape malaria parasites, and instead demonstrate the robustness of a less well-established phylogenetic hypothesis, under which Plasmodium falciparum and its relatives infecting great apes are closely related to rodent parasites. This study sheds light on the evolutionary history of Plasmodium falciparum, a

  4. Cryo transmission x-ray imaging of the malaria parasite, P. falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Hanssen, Eric; Knoechel, Christian; Klonis, Nectarios; Abu-Bakar, Nurhidanatasha; Deed, Samantha; LeGros, Mark; Larabell, Carolyn; Tilley, Leann

    2010-01-01

    Cryo transmission x-ray microscopy in the “water window” of photon energies has recently been introduced as a method that exploits the natural contrast of biological samples. We have used cryo tomographic x-ray imaging of the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, to undertake a survey of the cellular features of this important human pathogen. We examined whole hydrated cells at different stages of growth and defined some of the structures with different x-ray density, including the parasite nucleus, cytoplasm, digestive vacuole and the hemoglobin degradation product, hemozoin. As the parasite develops from an early cup-shaped morphology to a more rounded shape, puncta of hemozoin are formed; these coalesce in the mature trophozoite into a central compartment. In some trophozoite stage parasites we observed invaginations of the parasite surface and, using a selective permeabilization process, showed that these remain connected to the RBC cytoplasm. Some of these invaginations have large openings consistent with phagocytic structures and we observed independent endocytic vesicles in the parasite cytoplasm which appear to play a role in hemoglobin uptake. In schizont stage parasites staggered mitosis was observed and x-ray-dense lipid-rich structures were evident at their apical ends of the developing daughter cells. Treatment of parasites with the antimalarial drug artemisinin appears to affect parasite development and their ability to produce the hemoglobin breakdown product, hemozoin. PMID:20826218

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-08-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Influence of host factors and parasite biomass on the severity of imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Argy, Nicolas; Kendjo, Eric; Augé-Courtoi, Claire; Cojean, Sandrine; Clain, Jérôme; Houzé, Pascal; Thellier, Marc; Hubert, Veronique; Deloron, Philippe; Houzé, Sandrine

    2017-01-01

    Imported malaria in France is characterized by various clinical manifestations observed in a heterogeneous population of patients such as travelers/expatriates and African migrants. In this population, host factors and parasite biomass associated with severe imported malaria are poorly known. From data collected by the Centre National de Référence du Paludisme, we identified epidemiological, demographic and biological features including parasite biomass and anti-plasmodial antibody levels (negative, positive and strongly positive serology) associated with different disease severity groups (very severe, moderately severe, and uncomplicated malaria) in 3 epidemiological groups (travelers/expatriates, first- and second-generation migrants). Age, ethnicity, absence of prior infection with P. falciparum, antibody levels, plasma PfHRP2 levels, total and circulating parasite biomass were related to severe malaria onset. Sequestered parasite biomass tended to be increased in very severe malaria, and was strongly correlated to the antibody level of the host. Prior exposure to P. falciparum is associated with high anti-plasmodial antibody levels which influence clinical presentation of imported malaria and its correlated circulating and sequestered parasite burden.

  11. Influence of host factors and parasite biomass on the severity of imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Kendjo, Eric; Augé-Courtoi, Claire; Cojean, Sandrine; Clain, Jérôme; Houzé, Pascal; Thellier, Marc; Hubert, Veronique; Deloron, Philippe; Houzé, Sandrine

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Imported malaria in France is characterized by various clinical manifestations observed in a heterogeneous population of patients such as travelers/expatriates and African migrants. In this population, host factors and parasite biomass associated with severe imported malaria are poorly known. Methods From data collected by the Centre National de Référence du Paludisme, we identified epidemiological, demographic and biological features including parasite biomass and anti-plasmodial antibody levels (negative, positive and strongly positive serology) associated with different disease severity groups (very severe, moderately severe, and uncomplicated malaria) in 3 epidemiological groups (travelers/expatriates, first- and second-generation migrants). Results Age, ethnicity, absence of prior infection with P. falciparum, antibody levels, plasma PfHRP2 levels, total and circulating parasite biomass were related to severe malaria onset. Sequestered parasite biomass tended to be increased in very severe malaria, and was strongly correlated to the antibody level of the host. Conclusions Prior exposure to P. falciparum is associated with high anti-plasmodial antibody levels which influence clinical presentation of imported malaria and its correlated circulating and sequestered parasite burden. PMID:28410415

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Reduced susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum toward artemisinin derivatives has been reported from the Thai-Cambodian and Thai-Myanmar borders. Following increasing reports from central Vietnam of delayed parasite clearance after treatment with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PPQ), the current first-line treatment, we carried out a study on the efficacy of this treatment. Between September 2012 and February 2013, we conducted a 42-day in vivo and in vitro efficacy study in Quang Nam Province. Treatment was directly observed, and blood samples were collected twice daily until parasite clearance. In addition, genotyping, quantitative PCR (qPCR), and in vitro sensitivity testing of isolates was performed. The primary endpoints were parasite clearance rate and time. The secondary endpoints included PCR-corrected and uncorrected cure rates, qPCR clearance profiles, in vitro sensitivity results (for chloroquine, dihydroartemisinin, and piperaquine), and genotyping for mutations in the Kelch 13 propeller domain. Out of 672 screened patients, 95 were recruited and 89 available for primary endpoint analyses. The median parasite clearance time (PCT) was 61.7 h (interquartile range [IQR], 47.6 to 83.2 h), and the median parasite clearance rate had a slope half-life of 6.2 h (IQR, 4.4 to 7.5 h). The PCR-corrected efficacy rates were estimated at 100% at day 28 and 97.7% (95% confidence interval, 91.2% to 99.4%) at day 42. At day 3, the P. falciparum prevalence by qPCR was 2.5 times higher than that by microscopy. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of isolates with delayed clearance times (≥ 72 h) were significantly higher than those with normal clearance times for all three drugs. Delayed parasite clearance (PCT, ≥ 72 h) was significantly higher among day 0 samples carrying the 543 mutant allele (47.8%) than those carrying the wild-type allele (1.8%; P = 0.048). In central Vietnam, the efficacy of DHA-PPQ is still satisfactory, but the parasite clearance time

  13. Analysis of the Clinical Profile in Patients with Plasmodium falciparum Malaria and Its Association with Parasite Density.

    PubMed

    Mangal, Praveen; Mittal, Shilpa; Kachhawa, Kamal; Agrawal, Divya; Rath, Bhabagrahi; Kumar, Sanjay

    2017-01-01

    Malaria remains a major health hazard in the modern world, particularly in developing countries. In Plasmodium falciparum malaria, there is a direct correlation between asexual erythrocytic stage parasite density and disease severity. Accordingly, the correlations between parasite density and various clinical presentations, severity, and outcome were examined in falciparum malaria in India. The study was conducted in a tertiary health-care center in North India. Of 100 cases of falciparum malaria, 65 patients were male and 35 were female. A total of 54 patients were in the uncomplicated group and 46 patients were in the complicated malaria group. Fever, anemia, icterus, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, and hepatosplenomegaly were common clinical findings. All clinical findings were significantly more common in the complicated malaria group and patients with a high parasite density than in the uncomplicated group and those with a low parasite density. All patients in the uncomplicated malaria group had a parasite density of <5% while most patients in the complicated malaria group had a parasite density of >5%, and the difference between groups was statistically significant. The incidence of cerebral malaria was significantly higher in cases with a high parasite density; 58.33% mortality was observed in these cases. Cerebral malaria and hyperbilirubinemia was the most frequently encountered combination of complications. In P. falciparum malaria, parasite density was associated with complications and poor clinical outcomes. These results may inform treatment decisions and suggest that a threshold parasite density of 5% is informative.

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

    PubMed Central

    Tatu, Utpal

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Assessment of Plasmodium falciparum PfMDR1 transport rates using Fluo-4.

    PubMed

    Friedrich, O; Reiling, S J; Wunderlich, J; Rohrbach, P

    2014-09-01

    Mutations in the multidrug resistance transporter of Plasmodium falciparum PfMDR1 have been implicated to play a significant role in the emergence of worldwide drug resistance, yet the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of this transporter are not well understood. Although it is generally accepted that drug resistance in P. falciparum is partly associated with PfMDR1 transport activity situated in the membrane of the digestive vacuole, direct estimates of the pump rate of this transport process in the natural environment of the intact host-parasite system have never been analysed. The fluorochrome Fluo-4 is a well-documented surrogate substrate of PfMDR1 and has been found to accumulate by actively being transported into the digestive vacuole of several parasitic strains. In the present study, we designed an approach to use Fluo-4 fluorescence uptake as a measure of compartmental Fluo-4 concentration accumulation in the different compartments of the host-parasite system. We performed a 'reverse Fluo-4 imaging' approach to relate fluorescence intensity to changes in dye concentration rather than Ca(2+) fluctuations and were able to calculate the overall rate of transport for PfMDR1 in Dd2 parasites. With this assay, we provide a powerful method to selectively measure the effect of PfMDR1 mutations on substrate transport kinetics. This will be of high significance for future compound screening to test for new drugs in resistant P. falciparum strains. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

  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. Protein kinases of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: the kinome of a divergent eukaryote

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Pauline; Equinet, Leila; Packer, Jeremy; Doerig, Christian

    2004-01-01

    Background Malaria, caused by the parasitic protist Plasmodium falciparum, represents a major public health problem in the developing world. The P. falciparum genome has been sequenced, which provides new opportunities for the identification of novel drug targets. Eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) form a large family of enzymes with crucial roles in most cellular processes; hence malarial ePKS represent potential drug targets. We report an exhaustive analysis of the P. falciparum genomic database (PlasmoDB) aimed at identifying and classifying all ePKs in this organism. Results Using a variety of bioinformatics tools, we identified 65 malarial ePK sequences and constructed a phylogenetic tree to position these sequences relative to the seven established ePK groups. Predominant features of the tree were: (i) that several malarial sequences did not cluster within any of the known ePK groups; (ii) that the CMGC group, whose members are usually involved in the control of cell proliferation, had the highest number of malarial ePKs; and (iii) that no malarial ePK clustered with the tyrosine kinase (TyrK) or STE groups, pointing to the absence of three-component MAPK modules in the parasite. A novel family of 20 ePK-related sequences was identified and called FIKK, on the basis of a conserved amino acid motif. The FIKK family seems restricted to Apicomplexa, with 20 members in P. falciparum and just one member in some other Apicomplexan species. Conclusion The considerable phylogenetic distance between Apicomplexa and other Eukaryotes is reflected by profound divergences between the kinome of malaria parasites and that of yeast or mammalian cells. PMID:15479470

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

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Andrew H.; Symington, Lorraine S.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Research into the complex genetic underpinnings of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is entering a new era with the arrival of site-specific genome engineering. Previously restricted only to model systems but now expanded to most laboratory organisms, and even to humans for experimental gene therapy studies, this technology allows researchers to rapidly generate previously unattainable genetic modifications. This technological advance is dependent on DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR), specifically homologous recombination in the case of Plasmodium. Our understanding of DSBR in malaria parasites, however, is based largely on assumptions and knowledge taken from other model systems, which do not always hold true in Plasmodium. Here we describe the causes of double-strand breaks, the mechanisms of DSBR, and the differences between model systems and P. falciparum. These mechanisms drive basic parasite functions, such as meiosis, antigen diversification, and copy number variation, and allow the parasite to continually evolve in the contexts of host immune pressure and drug selection. Finally, we discuss the new technologies that leverage DSBR mechanisms to accelerate genetic investigations into this global infectious pathogen. PMID:25184562

  1. A transgenic Plasmodium falciparum NF54 strain that expresses GFP-luciferase throughout the parasite life cycle.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Ashley M; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Camargo, Nelly; Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Kennedy, Mark; Lindner, Scott E; Miller, Jessica L; Hume, Jen C C; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2012-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the pathogenic agent of the most lethal of human malarias. Transgenic P. falciparum parasites expressing luciferase have been created to study drug interventions of both asexual and sexual blood stages but luciferase-expressing mosquito stage and liver stage parasites have not been created which has prevented the easy quantification of mosquito stage development (e.g. for transmission blocking interventions) and liver stage development (for interventions that prevent infection). To overcome this obstacle, we have created a transgenic P. falciparum NF54 parasite that expresses a GFP-luciferase transgene throughout the life cycle. Luciferase expression is robust and measurable at all life cycle stages, including midgut oocyst, salivary gland sporozoites and liver stages, where in vivo development is easily measurable using humanized mouse infections in conjunction with an in vivo imaging system. This parasite reporter strain will accelerate testing of interventions against pre-erythrocytic life cycle stages. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  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. Protein export marks the early phase of gametocytogenesis of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    We describe methods for the large-scale in vitro culturing of synchronous and asynchronous blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites in sterile disposable plastic bioreactors controlled by wave-induced motion (wave bioreactor). These cultures perform better than static flask cultures in terms of preserving parasite cell cycle synchronicity and reducing the number of multiple-infected erythrocytes. The straight-forward methods described here will facilitate the large scale production of malaria parasites for antigen and organelle isolation and characterisation, for the high throughput screening of compound libraries with whole cells or extracts, and the development of live- or whole-cell malaria vaccines under good manufacturing practice compliant standards. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Glutathione--functions and metabolism in the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Becker, Katja; Rahlfs, Stefan; Nickel, Christine; Schirmer, R Heiner

    2003-04-01

    When present as a trophozoite in human erythrocytes, the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum exhibits an intense glutathione metabolism. Glutathione plays a role not only in antioxidative defense and in maintaining the reducing environment of the cytosol. Many of the known glutathione-dependent processes are directly related to the specific lifestyle of the parasite. Reduced glutathione (GSH) supports rapid cell growth by providing electrons for deoxyribonucleotide synthesis and it takes part in detoxifying heme, a product of hemoglobin digestion. Free radicals generated in the parasite can be scavenged in reaction sequences involving the thiyl radical GS* as well as the thiolate GS-. As a substrate of glutathione S-transferase, glutathione is conjugated to non-degradable compounds including antimalarial drugs. Furthermore, it is the coenzyme of the glyoxalase system which detoxifies methylglyoxal, a byproduct of the intense glycolysis taking place in the trophozoite. Proteins involved in GSH-dependent processes include glutathione reductase, glutaredoxins, glyoxalase I and II, glutathione S-transferases, and thioredoxins. These proteins, as well as the ATP-dependent enzymes of glutathione synthesis, are studied as factors in the pathophysiology of malaria but also as potential drug targets. Methylene blue, an inhibitor of the structurally known P. falciparum glutathione reductase, appears to be a promising antimalarial medication when given in combination with chloroquine.

  14. 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.

  15. Synthesis of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles by the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Francoeur, A M; Gritzmacher, C A; Peebles, C L; Reese, R T; Tan, E M

    1985-01-01

    Sera from patients with autoimmune diseases have been used to identify small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs) present in higher eukaryotic cells and also in dinoflagellates. Previously these sera have not detected crossreactive snRNP protein antigens of other lower eukaryotes such as yeast, Tetrahymena, or Dictyostelium. We report that anti-Sm, anti-U1-RNP, and anti-La/SS-B human antisera react with specific snRNP protein antigens synthesized by the protozoan Plasmodium falciparum, the human malarial parasite. These results suggest that the structure and antigenicity (and thus probably the function) of snRNPs have been widely conserved in eukaryote evolution. Images PMID:2582421

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Syk inhibitors interfere with erythrocyte membrane modification during P falciparum growth and suppress parasite egress.

    PubMed

    Pantaleo, Antonella; Kesely, Kristina R; Pau, Maria Carmina; Tsamesidis, Ioannis; Schwarzer, Evelin; Skorokhod, Oleksii A; Chien, Huynh D; Ponzi, Marta; Bertuccini, Lucia; Low, Philip S; Turrini, Francesco M

    2017-08-24

    Band 3 (also known as the anion exchanger, SLCA1, AE1) constitutes the major attachment site of the spectrin-based cytoskeleton to the erythrocyte's lipid bilayer and thereby contributes critically to the stability of the red cell membrane. During the intraerythrocytic stage of Plasmodium falciparum's lifecycle, band 3 becomes tyrosine phosphorylated in response to oxidative stress, leading to a decrease in its affinity for the spectrin/actin cytoskeleton and causing global membrane destabilization. Because this membrane weakening is hypothesized to facilitate parasite egress and the consequent dissemination of released merozoites throughout the bloodstream, we decided to explore which tyrosine kinase inhibitors might block the kinase-induced membrane destabilization. We demonstrate here that multiple Syk kinase inhibitors both prevent parasite-induced band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation and inhibit parasite-promoted membrane destabilization. We also show that the same Syk kinase inhibitors suppress merozoite egress near the end of the parasite's intraerythrocytic lifecycle. Because the entrapped merozoites die when prevented from escaping their host erythrocytes and because some Syk inhibitors have displayed long-term safety in human clinical trials, we suggest Syk kinase inhibitors constitute a promising class of antimalarial drugs that can suppress parasitemia by inhibiting a host target that cannot be mutated by the parasite to evolve drug resistance. © 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-04

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-16

    Infections with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum typically comprise multiple strains, especially in high-transmission areas where infectious mosquito bites occur frequently. However, little is known about the dynamics of mixed-strain infections, particularly whether strains sharing a host compete or grow independently. Competition between drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains, if it occurs, could be a crucial determinant of the spread of resistance. We analysed 1341 P. falciparum infections in children from Angola, Ghana and Tanzania and found compelling evidence for competition in mixed-strain infections: overall parasite density did not increase with additional strains, and densities of individual chloroquine-sensitive (CQS) and chloroquine-resistant (CQR) strains were reduced in the presence of competitors. We also found that CQR strains exhibited low densities compared with CQS strains (in the absence of chloroquine), which may underlie observed declines of chloroquine resistance in many countries following retirement of chloroquine as a first-line therapy. Our observations support a key role for within-host competition in the evolution of drug-resistant malaria. Malaria control and resistance-management efforts in high-transmission regions may be significantly aided or hindered by the effects of competition in mixed-strain infections. Consideration of within-host dynamics may spur development of novel strategies to minimize resistance while maximizing the benefits of control measures. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Ordered accumulation of mutations conferring resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in the Plasmodium falciparum parasite.

    PubMed

    Mita, Toshihiro; Ohashi, Jun; Venkatesan, Meera; Marma, Aung Swi Prue; Nakamura, Masatoshi; Plowe, Christopher V; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2014-01-01

    Monitoring the prevalence of drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum is essential for effective malaria control. Resistance to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine increases as mutations accumulate in the parasite genes encoding dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps), respectively. Although parasites are exposed to these antifolate drugs simultaneously, it remains virtually unknown whether dhfr and dhps mutations accumulate along interrelated paths. We investigated the order of step-wise accumulation in dhfr and dhps by cumulative analyses using binomial tests in 575 P. falciparum isolates obtained from 7 countries in Asia and Melanesia. An initial step in the accumulation of mutations preferentially occurred in dhfr (2 mutations), followed by 1 mutation in dhps. In a subsequent step, mutations were estimated separately for 5 dhfr/dhps-resistant lineages identified using 12 microsatellites flanking dhfr and dhps. Among these lineages, we found 3 major mutational paths, each of which follows a unique stepwise trajectory to produce the most highly resistant form with 4 mutations in dhfr and 3 in dhps. The ordered accumulation of mutations in dhfr and dhps elucidated here will assist in predicting the status and progression of antifolate resistance in malaria-endemic regions where antifolate drugs are used for intermittent preventive treatment.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Characterization of P0, a ribosomal phosphoprotein of Plasmodium falciparum. Antibody against amino-terminal domain inhibits parasite growth.

    PubMed

    Goswami, A; Singh, S; Redkar, V D; Sharma, S

    1997-05-02

    A cDNA expression clone of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, lambdaPf4, which was reactive only to the immune sera and not to the patient sera, has recently been found to be the P. falciparum homologue of the P0 ribosomal phosphoprotein gene. A Northern analysis of the P0 gene revealed the presence of two transcripts, both present in all the different intraerythrocytic stages of the parasite life cycle. A 138-base pair amino-terminal domain of this gene was expressed as a fusion protein with glutathione S-transferase in Escherichia coli. Polyclonal antibodies raised against this domain immunoprecipitated the expected 38-kDa P0 protein from the 35S-labeled as well as 32P-labeled P. falciparum cultures. Monospecific human immune sera affinity-purified using the expression clone lambdaPf4 also immunoprecipitated the same size protein from [35S]methionine-labeled P. falciparum protein extract. Purified IgG from polyclonal antibodies raised against the amino-terminal domain of P0 protein completely inhibited the growth of P. falciparum in vitro. This inhibition appears to be mainly at the step of erythrocyte invasion by the parasites.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Low-grade sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Lubango, Angola.

    PubMed

    Kaingona-Daniel, Elsa P S; Gomes, Larissa Rodrigues; Gama, Bianca E; Almeida-de-Oliveira, Natália K; Fortes, Filomeno; Ménard, Didier; Daniel-Ribeiro, Cláudio Tadeu; Ferreira-da-Cruz, Maria de Fátima

    2016-06-07

    Malaria is a major parasitic disease, affecting millions of people in endemic areas. Plasmodium falciparum parasites are responsible for the most severe cases and its resistance to anti-malarial drugs is notorious. This is a possible obstacle to the effectiveness of intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) based on sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) cures administrated to pregnant women (IPTp) during their pregnancy. As this intervention is recommended in Angola since 2006, it has assessed, in this country, the molecular profiles in P. falciparum dhfr and dhps, two polymorphic genes associated to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine resistance, respectively. Blood samples from 52 falciparum patients were collected in Lubango, Angola and pfdhfr and pfdhps polymorphisms were analysed using nested-PCR and DNA sequencing. In the pfdhfr gene, the 108N mutation was almost fixed (98 %), followed by 59R (63 %), 51I (46 %), 50R and 164L (2 %, respectively). No 16V/S mutations were found. The most common double mutant genotype was CNRN (59 + 108; 46 %), followed by CICN (51 + 108; 29 %) whereas IRN (51 + 59 + 108; 15 %), CNRNVL (59 + 108 + 164; 2 %) and RICN (50 + 51 + 108; 2 %) triple mutant genotypes were detected. Investigations of the pfdhps gene showed that the 437G mutation was the most prevalent (97 %). Only two and one samples disclosed the 540E (7 %) and the 436A (3 %), respectively. Single mutant SGKAA (437; 86 %) was higher than SGEAA (437 + 540; 7 %) or AGKAA (436 + 437; 3 %) double mutants genotypes. No polymorphism was detected at codons 581G and 613T/S. Combining pfdhfr and pfdhps alleles two triple mutant haplotypes (double mutant in dhfr and single mutant in dhps) were observed: the ACICNVI/SGKAA in 14 (56 %) samples and the ACNRNVI/SGKAA in five (20 %) samples. One quadruple mutant haplotype was detected (ACIRNVI/SGKAA) in six (24 %) P. falciparum samples. No quintuple pfdhfr-pfdhps mutant was noted. pfdhfr and pfdhps gene

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. 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

    Gabryszewski, Stanislaw J; Dhingra, Satish K; Combrinck, Jill M; 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; Fidock, David A

    2016-11-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23569255

  7. 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.

  8. Pfhrp2-Deleted Plasmodium falciparum Parasites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: A National Cross-sectional Survey.

    PubMed

    Parr, Jonathan B; Verity, Robert; Doctor, Stephanie M; Janko, Mark; Carey-Ewend, Kelly; Turman, Breanna J; Keeler, Corinna; Slater, Hannah C; Whitesell, Amy N; Mwandagalirwa, Kashamuka; Ghani, Azra C; Likwela, Joris L; Tshefu, Antoinette K; Emch, Michael; Juliano, Jonathan J; Meshnick, Steven R

    2017-07-01

    Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) account for more than two-thirds of malaria diagnoses in Africa. Deletions of the Plasmodium falciparum hrp2 (pfhrp2) gene cause false-negative RDT results and have never been investigated on a national level. Spread of pfhrp2-deleted P. falciparum mutants, resistant to detection by HRP2-based RDTs, would represent a serious threat to malaria elimination efforts. Using a nationally representative cross-sectional study of 7,137 children under five years of age from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we tested 783 subjects with RDT-/PCR+ results using PCR assays to detect and confirm deletions of the pfhrp2 gene. Spatial and population genetic analyses were employed to examine the distribution and evolution of these parasites. We identified 149 pfhrp2-deleted parasites, representing 6.4% of all P. falciparum infections country-wide (95% confidence interval 5.1-8.0%). Bayesian spatial analyses identified statistically significant clustering of pfhrp2 deletions near Kinshasa and Kivu. Population genetic analysis revealed significant genetic differentiation between wild-type and pfhrp2-deleted parasite populations (GST = .046, p ≤ .00001). Pfhrp2-deleted P. falciparum is a common cause of RDT-/PCR+ malaria among asymptomatic children in the DRC and appears to be clustered within select communities. Surveillance for these deletions is needed, and alternatives to HRP2-specific RDTs may be necessary.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pacheco, M Andreína; Cranfield, Michael; Cameron, Kenneth; Escalante, Ananias A

    2013-09-17

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

  12. [Plasma and erythrocyte membrane phospholipids in children with Plasmodium falciparum malaria: relation to blood parasite counts and lactate levels].

    PubMed

    Abessolo, Félix Ovono; Nguélé, Jean Calvin; Legault, Estelle; Ngou-Milama, Edouard

    2009-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum infection modifies the distribution of phospholipids on both sides of the erythrocyte-plasma membrane. We sought to understand the action of the parasite on both plasma and membrane phospholipids and their relation to parasite counts in the blood. We conducted this study from 1 February through 30 June 2007 in the Malaria Clinical Research Unit of the Libreville General Hospital Centre, measuring phospholipids in plasma and erythrocyte membranes of children affected by P. falciparum malaria and assessing their relation to blood parasites, lactates and hemoglobin. The study included 60 children. The mean blood parasite count was 1.07 x 105 per ml. Mean plasma phospholipids were 2.6+/-0.9 mmol/l and lactates 4.7+/-3.7 mmol/l. At the membrane level, we found 2.8+/-1.2 mmol/l of phospholipids per 106 red blood cells. Phospholipids in these two compartments were positively correlated with one another (r=0.392; p=0.023). Plasma phospholipids were also correlated positively with hemoglobin (r=0.36; p=0.032) and negatively with the number of parasites (r=0.442; p=0.002). The latter, in turn, was positively correlated with lactates (r=0.527; p=0.022) and negatively with membrane phospholipids (r=0.542; p=0.006). The mean hemoglobin level (8.9 g/dl) suggests permanent blood loss in these children, although they may be considered new malaria patients. The relations revealed here between membrane phospholipids, blood parasite counts, and lactate levels are due to the increased energy needs of erythrocytes, but also to the need to synthesize substances intended for cellular defense. P. falciparum thus leads to a decrease in plasma phospholipids, which could be estimated and correlated with blood parasites in a study with a wider range of parasite counts.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Rich-club phenomenon in the interactome of P. falciparum--artifact or signature of a parasitic life style?

    PubMed

    Wuchty, Stefan

    2007-03-28

    Recent advances have provided a first experimental protein interaction map of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum, which appears to be remotely related to interactomes of other eukaryotes. Here, we present a comparative topological analysis of this experimentally determined web with a network of conserved interactions between proteins in S. cerevisiae, C. elegans and D. melanogaster that have an ortholog in Plasmodium. Focusing on experimental interactions, we find a significant presence of a "rich-club," a topological characteristic that features an "oligarchy" of highly connected proteins being intertwined with one another. In complete contrast, the network of interologs and particularly the web of evolutionary-conserved interactions in P. falciparum lack this feature. This observation prompts the question of whether this result points to a topological signature of the parasite's biology, since experimentally obtained interactions widely cover parasite-specific functions. Significantly, hub proteins that appear in such an oligarchy revolve around invasion functions, shaping an island of parasite-specific activities in a sea of evolutionary inherited interactions. This presence of a biologically unprecedented network feature in the human malaria parasite might be an artifact of the quality and the methods to obtain interaction data in this organism. Yet, the observation that rich-club proteins have distinctive and statistically significant functions that revolve around parasite-specific activities point to a topological signature of a parasitic life style.

  15. Larval habitats of Anopheles gambiae s.s. (Diptera: Culicidae) influences vector competence to Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

    PubMed

    Okech, Bernard A; Gouagna, Louis C; Yan, Guiyun; Githure, John I; Beier, John C

    2007-04-30

    The origin of highly competent malaria vectors has been linked to productive larval habitats in the field, but there isn't solid quantitative or qualitative data to support it. To test this, the effect of larval habitat soil substrates on larval development time, pupation rates and vector competence of Anopheles gambiae to Plasmodium falciparum were examined. Soils were collected from active larval habitats with sandy and clay substrates from field sites and their total organic matter estimated. An. gambiae larvae were reared on these soil substrates and the larval development time and pupation rates monitored. The emerging adult mosquitoes were then artificially fed blood with infectious P. falciparum gametocytes from human volunteers and their midguts examined for oocyst infection after seven days. The wing sizes of the mosquitoes were also measured. The effect of autoclaving the soil substrates was also evaluated. The total organic matter was significantly different between clay and sandy soils after autoclaving (P = 0.022). A generalized liner model (GLM) analysis identified habitat type (clay soil, sandy soil, or lake water) and autoclaving (that reduces presence of microbes) as significant factors affecting larval development time and oocyst infection intensities in adults. Autoclaving the soils resulted in the production of significantly smaller sized mosquitoes (P = 0.008). Autoclaving clay soils resulted in a significant reduction in Plasmodium falciparum oocyst intensities (P = 0.041) in clay soils (unautoclaved clay soils (4.28 +/- 0.18 oocysts/midgut; autoclaved clay soils = 1.17 +/- 0.55 oocysts/midgut) although no difference (P = 0.480) in infection rates was observed between clay soils (10.4%), sandy soils (5.3%) or lake water (7.9%). This study suggests an important nutritional role for organic matter and microbial fauna on mosquito fitness and vector competence. It shows that the quality of natural aquatic habitats of mosquito larvae may influence

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. X-ray structure of glutathione S-transferase from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Fritz-Wolf, Karin; Becker, Andreas; Rahlfs, Stefan; Harwaldt, Petra; Schirmer, R Heiner; Kabsch, Wolfgang; Becker, Katja

    2003-11-25

    GSTs catalyze the conjugation of glutathione with a wide variety of hydrophobic compounds, generally resulting in nontoxic products that can be readily eliminated. In contrast to many other organisms, the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum possesses only one GST isoenzyme (PfGST). This GST is highly abundant in the parasite, its activity was found to be increased in chloroquine-resistant cells, and it has been shown to act as a ligandin for parasitotoxic hemin. Thus, the enzyme represents a promising target for antimalarial drug development. We now have solved the crystal structure of PfGST at a resolution of 1.9 A. The homodimeric protein of 26 kDa per subunit represents a GST form that cannot be assigned to any of the known GST classes. In comparison to other GSTs, and, in particular, to the human isoforms, PfGST possesses a shorter C-terminal section resulting in a more solvent-accessible binding site for the hydrophobic and amphiphilic substrates. The structure furthermore reveals features in this region that could be exploited for the design of specific PfGST inhibitors.

  20. X-ray structure of glutathione S-transferase from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Fritz-Wolf, Karin; Becker, Andreas; Rahlfs, Stefan; Harwaldt, Petra; Schirmer, R. Heiner; Kabsch, Wolfgang; Becker, Katja

    2003-01-01

    GSTs catalyze the conjugation of glutathione with a wide variety of hydrophobic compounds, generally resulting in nontoxic products that can be readily eliminated. In contrast to many other organisms, the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum possesses only one GST isoenzyme (PfGST). This GST is highly abundant in the parasite, its activity was found to be increased in chloroquine-resistant cells, and it has been shown to act as a ligandin for parasitotoxic hemin. Thus, the enzyme represents a promising target for antimalarial drug development. We now have solved the crystal structure of PfGST at a resolution of 1.9 Å. The homodimeric protein of 26 kDa per subunit represents a GST form that cannot be assigned to any of the known GST classes. In comparison to other GSTs, and, in particular, to the human isoforms, PfGST possesses a shorter C-terminal section resulting in a more solvent-accessible binding site for the hydrophobic and amphiphilic substrates. The structure furthermore reveals features in this region that could be exploited for the design of specific PfGST inhibitors. PMID:14623980

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Cytoplasmic remodeling of erythrocyte raft lipids during infection by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Sean C.; Fernandez-Pol, Sebastian; Chung, Paul H.; Prasanna Murthy, S. N.; Milne, Stephen B.; Salomao, Marcela; Brown, H. Alex; Lomasney, Jon W.; Mohandas, Narla

    2007-01-01

    Studies of detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) rafts in mature erythrocytes have facilitated identification of proteins that regulate formation of endovacuolar structures such as the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) induced by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. However, analyses of raft lipids have remained elusive because detergents interfere with lipid detection. Here, we use primaquine to perturb the erythrocyte membrane and induce detergent-free buoyant vesicles, which are enriched in cholesterol and major raft proteins flotillin and stomatin and contain low levels of cytoskeleton, all characteristics of raft microdomains. Lipid mass spectrometry revealed that phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylglycerol are depleted in endovesicles while phosphoinositides are highly enriched, suggesting raft-based endovesiculation can be achieved by simple (non–receptor-mediated) mechanical perturbation of the erythrocyte plasma membrane and results in sorting of inner leaflet phospholipids. Live-cell imaging of lipid-specific protein probes showed that phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate (PIP2) is highly concentrated in primaquine-induced vesicles, confirming that it is an erythrocyte raft lipid. However, the malarial PVM lacks PIP2, although another raft lipid, phosphatidylserine, is readily detected. Thus, different remodeling/sorting of cytoplasmic raft phospholipids may occur in distinct endovacuoles. Importantly, erythrocyte raft lipids recruited to the invasion junction by mechanical stimulation may be remodeled by the malaria parasite to establish blood-stage infection. PMID:17526861

  5. Initial Characterization of the Pf-Int Recombinase from the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ghorbal, Mehdi; Scheidig-Benatar, Christine; Bouizem, Salma; Thomas, Christophe; Paisley, Genevieve; Faltermeier, Claire; Liu, Melanie; Scherf, Artur; Lopez-Rubio, Jose-Juan; Gopaul, Deshmukh N.

    2012-01-01

    Background Genetic variation is an essential means of evolution and adaptation in many organisms in response to environmental change. Certain DNA alterations can be carried out by site-specific recombinases (SSRs) that fall into two families: the serine and the tyrosine recombinases. SSRs are seldom found in eukaryotes. A gene homologous to a tyrosine site-specific recombinase has been identified in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum. The sequence is highly conserved among five other members of Plasmodia. Methodology/Principal Findings The predicted open reading frame encodes for a ∼57 kDa protein containing a C-terminal domain including the putative tyrosine recombinase conserved active site residues R-H-R-(H/W)-Y. The N-terminus has the typical alpha-helical bundle and potentially a mixed alpha-beta domain resembling that of λ-Int. Pf-Int mRNA is expressed differentially during the P. falciparum erythrocytic life stages, peaking in the schizont stage. Recombinant Pf-Int and affinity chromatography of DNA from genomic or synthetic origin were used to identify potential DNA targets after sequencing or micro-array hybridization. Interestingly, the sequences captured also included highly variable subtelomeric genes such as var, rif, and stevor sequences. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays with DNA were carried out to verify Pf-Int/DNA binding. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasites were created in order to investigate the biological role of Pf-Int. Conclusions/Significance Our data identify for the first time a malaria parasite gene with structural and functional features of recombinases. Pf-Int may bind to and alter DNA, either in a sequence specific or in a non-specific fashion, and may contribute to programmed or random DNA rearrangements. Pf-Int is the first molecular player identified with a potential role in genome plasticity in this pathogen. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasite is viable showing no detectable impact on blood stage development, which is

  6. Identification and characterization of a conserved, stage-specific gene product of Plasmodium falciparum recognized by parasite growth inhibitory antibodies.

    PubMed

    Daubenberger, Claudia A; Diaz, Diana; Curcic, Marija; Mueller, Markus S; Spielmann, Tobias; Certa, Ulrich; Lipp, Joachim; Pluschke, Gerd

    2003-04-01

    We have identified a novel conserved protein of Plasmodium falciparum, designated D13, that is stage-specifically expressed in asexual blood stages of the parasite. The predicted open reading frame (ORF) D13 contains 863 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 99.7 kDa and displays a repeat region composed of pentapeptide motives. Northern blot analysis with lysates of synchronized blood stage parasites showed that D13 is highly expressed at the mRNA level during schizogony. The first N'-terminal 138 amino acids of D13 were expressed in Escherichia coli and the purified protein was used to generate anti-D13 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Using total lysates of blood stage parasites and Western blot analysis, these MAbs stained one single band of approximately 100 kDa, corresponding to the predicted molecular mass of ORF D13. Western blot analysis demonstrated further that D13 is expressed during schizogony, declines rapidly in early ring stages and is undetectable in trophozoites. D13 protein is localized in individual merozoites in a distinct area, as demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence analysis. After subcellular fractionation, D13 was confined to the pelleted fraction of the parasite lysate and its extraction by alkaline carbonate buffer treatment indicated that D13 is not a membrane-integral protein. Inclusion of certain anti-D13 MAbs into in vitro cultures of blood stage parasites resulted in considerable reduction in parasite growth. The N'-terminal domain encompassing 158 amino acids is 94 and 95%, respectively, identical at the amino acid level between Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium yoelii, and P. falciparum. In summary, we describe a novel stage-specifically expressed, highly conserved gene product of P. falciparum that is recognized by parasite growth inhibitory antibodies.

  7. Genome content analysis yields new insights into the relationship between the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its anopheline vectors.

    PubMed

    Oppenheim, Sara J; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey A; DeSalle, Rob

    2017-02-27

    The persistent and growing gap between the availability of sequenced genomes and the ability to assign functions to sequenced genes led us to explore ways to maximize the information content of automated annotation for studies of anopheline mosquitos. Specifically, we use genome content analysis of a large number of previously sequenced anopheline mosquitos to follow the loss and gain of protein families over the evolutionary history of this group. The importance of this endeavor lies in the potential for comparative genomic studies between Anopheles and closely related non-vector species to reveal ancestral genome content dynamics involved in vector competence. In addition, comparisons within Anopheles could identify genome content changes responsible for variation in the vectorial capacity of this family of important parasite vectors. The competence and capacity of P. falciparum vectors do not appear to be phylogenetically constrained within the Anophelinae. Instead, using ancestral reconstruction methods, we suggest that a previously unexamined component of vector biology, anopheline nucleotide metabolism, may contribute to the unique status of anophelines as P. falciparum vectors. While the fitness effects of nucleotide co-option by P. falciparum parasites on their anopheline hosts are not yet known, our results suggest that anopheline genome content may be responding to selection pressure from P. falciparum. Whether this response is defensive, in an attempt to redress improper nucleotide balance resulting from P. falciparum infection, or perhaps symbiotic, resulting from an as-yet-unknown mutualism between anophelines and P. falciparum, is an open question that deserves further study. Clearly, there is a wealth of functional information to be gained from detailed manual genome annotation, yet the rapid increase in the number of available sequences means that most researchers will not have the time or resources to manually annotate all the sequence data they

  8. Dual fluorescent labelling of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum for the analysis of the ABC type transporter pfmdr2.

    PubMed

    Rosental, Benyamin; Hadad, Uzi; Sinay, Rosa; Braiman, Alex; Porgador, Angel; Pollack, Yaakov

    2012-11-08

    The study of the Plasmodium falciparum heavy metal transporter gene pfmdr2 employed radioactive labelled heavy metal. As the use of radioactive isotopes shrank considerably during the last few years, resulting in the cessation of the production of some isotopes, amongst them Cadmium109 which was used for that purpose, a different approach had to be developed. Herein, a dual fluorescent labelling of heavy metals accumulation in the P. falciparum parasite is proposed as an alternative to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metals. Plasmodium falciparum Cd resistant and sensitive strains at the trophozoite stage were used in this study. The cells were cultured at different CdCl2 concentrations and for different time periods followed by staining of the infected red blood cells with Fluo-3/AM for Cd detection and Hoechst 33342 for parasite DNA labelling. The fluorescent analysis was done by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. The results show that the sensitive strain has a higher Fluo-3/AM fluorescence in a Cd concentration and time dependent manner, whereas in the resistant strain Fluo-3/AM fluorescence levels were negligible and increased only at high concentrations of Cd and at long incubation periods, but to a much lesser extent than the sensitive strain. No Cd uptake is observed in uninfected red blood cells populations originating from cultures infected with either sensitive or resistant strain. In addition, confocal microscopy overlay of Fluo-3/AM and Hoechst staining shows that the Cd metal accumulates in the parasite itself. The dual fluorescent labelling is a valid method for detecting heavy metal accumulation in P. falciparum. Furthermore, in contrast to the use of radioactive labelled heavy metal, the fluorescent labelling enables us to differentiate between the different populations existing in a P. falciparum infected red blood cells cultures and thus actually study a phenomenon at the level of a single cell.

  9. Synthetic indole and melatonin derivatives exhibit antimalarial activity on the cell cycle of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Schuck, Desirée C; Jordão, Alessandro K; Nakabashi, Myna; Cunha, Anna C; Ferreira, Vitor F; Garcia, Célia R S

    2014-05-06

    Discovering the mechanisms by which cell signaling controls the cell cycle of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is fundamental to designing more effective antimalarials. To better understand the impacts of melatonin structure and function on the cell cycle of P. falciparum, we have synthesized two families of structurally-related melatonin compounds (7-11 and 12-16). All synthesized melatonin analogs were assayed in P. falciparum culture and their antimalarial activities were measured by flow cytometry. We have found that the chemical modification of the carboxamide group attached at C-3 position of the indole ring of melatonin (6) was crucial for the action of the indole-related compounds on the P. falciparum cell cycle. Among the melatonin derivatives, only the compounds 12, 13 and 14 were capable of inhibiting the P. falciparum growth in low micromolar IC50. These results open good perspectives for the development of new drugs with novel mechanisms of action. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Ingasia, Luicer A; Cheruiyot, Jelagat; Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Andagalu, Ben; Kamau, Edwin

    2016-04-01

    Transmission intensity, movement of human and vector hosts, biogeographical features, and malaria control measures are some of the important factors that determine Plasmodium falciparum parasite genetic variability and population structure. Kenya has different malaria ecologies which might require different disease intervention methods. Refined parasite population genetic studies are critical for informing malaria control and elimination strategies. This study describes the genetic diversity and population structure of P. falciparum parasites from the different malaria ecological zones in Kenya. Twelve multi-locus microsatellite (MS) loci previously described were genotyped in 225 P. falciparum isolates collected between 2012 and 2013 from five sites; three in lowland endemic regions (Kisumu, Kombewa, and Malindi) and two in highland, epidemic regions (Kisii and Kericho). Parasites from the lowland endemic and highland epidemic regions of western Kenya had high genetic diversity compared to coastal lowland endemic region of Kenya [Malindi]. The Kenyan parasites had a mean genetic differentiation index (FST) of 0.072 (p=0.011). The multi-locus genetic analysis of the 12 MS revealed all the parasites had unique haplotypes. Significant linkage disequilibrium (LD) was observed in all the five parasite populations. Kisumu had the most significant index of association values (0.16; p<0.0001) whereas Kisii had the least significant index of association values (0.03; p<0.0001). Our data suggest high genetic diversity in Kenyan parasite population with the exception of parasite from Malindi where malaria has been on the decline. The presence of significant LD suggests that there is occurrence of inbreeding in the parasite population. Parasite populations from Kisii showed the strongest evidence for epidemic population structure whereas the rest of the regions showed panmixia. Defining the genetic diversity of the parasites in different ecological regions of Kenya after

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Glutathione S-transferase of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum: characterization of a potential drug target.

    PubMed

    Harwaldt, Petra; Rahlfs, Stefan; Becker, Katja

    2002-05-01

    Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), which occur abundantly in most organisms, are essentially involved in the intracellular detoxification of numerous substances including chemotherapeutic agents, and thus play a major role in the development of drug resistance. A gene encoding a protein with sequence identity of up to 37% with known GSTs was identified on chromosome 14 of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. It was amplified using gametocyte cDNA and expressed in Escherichia coli as a hexahistidyl-tagged protein of 26 kDa subunit size. The homodimeric enzyme (PfGST) was found to catalyse the glutathione (GSH)-dependent modification of 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene and other typical GST substrates such as o-nitrophenyl acetate, ethacrynic acid, and cumene hydroperoxide. The Km value for GSH was 164+/-20 microM. PfGST was inhibited by cibacron blue (Ki=0.5 microM), S-hexylglutathione (Ki=35 microM), and protoporphyrin IX (Ki=10 microM). Hemin, a most toxic compound for parasitised erythrocytes, was found to be an uncompetitive ligand of PfGST with a Ki of 6.5 microM. Based on the activity of PfGST in extracts of P. falciparum, the enzyme represents 1 to 10% of cellular protein and might therefore serve as an efficient in vivo buffer for parasitotoxic hemin. Destabilising ligands of GST are thus expected to be synergistic with the antimalarial drug chloroquine, which itself was found to be a very weak inhibitor of PfGST (IC50>200 microM). X-ray quality crystals of PfGST (250x200x50 microm) will serve as starting point for structure-based drug design.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. DNA-encoded nucleosome occupancy is associated with transcription levels in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Bunnik, Evelien M; Polishko, Anton; Prudhomme, Jacques; Ponts, Nadia; Gill, Sarjeet S; Lonardi, Stefano; Le Roch, Karine G

    2014-05-08

    In eukaryotic organisms, packaging of DNA into nucleosomes controls gene expression by regulating access of the promoter to transcription factors. The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum encodes relatively few transcription factors, while extensive nucleosome remodeling occurs during its replicative cycle in red blood cells. These observations point towards an important role of the nucleosome landscape in regulating gene expression. However, the relation between nucleosome positioning and transcriptional activity has thus far not been explored in detail in the parasite. Here, we analyzed nucleosome positioning in the asexual and sexual stages of the parasite's erythrocytic cycle using chromatin immunoprecipitation of MNase-digested chromatin, followed by next-generation sequencing. We observed a relatively open chromatin structure at the trophozoite and gametocyte stages, consistent with high levels of transcriptional activity in these stages. Nucleosome occupancy of genes and promoter regions were subsequently compared to steady-state mRNA expression levels. Transcript abundance showed a strong inverse correlation with nucleosome occupancy levels in promoter regions. In addition, AT-repeat sequences were strongly unfavorable for nucleosome binding in P. falciparum, and were overrepresented in promoters of highly expressed genes. The connection between chromatin structure and gene expression in P. falciparum shares similarities with other eukaryotes. However, the remarkable nucleosome dynamics during the erythrocytic stages and the absence of a large variety of transcription factors may indicate that nucleosome binding and remodeling are critical regulators of transcript levels. Moreover, the strong dependency between chromatin structure and DNA sequence suggests that the P. falciparum genome may have been shaped by nucleosome binding preferences. Nucleosome remodeling mechanisms in this deadly parasite could thus provide potent novel anti-malarial targets.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A conserved region in the EBL proteins is implicated in microneme targeting of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Treeck, Moritz; Struck, Nicole S; Haase, Silvia; Langer, Christine; Herrmann, Susann; Healer, Julie; Cowman, Alan F; Gilberger, Tim W

    2006-10-20

    The proliferation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum within the human host is dependent upon invasion of erythrocytes. This process is accomplished by the merozoite, a highly specialized form of the parasite. Secretory organelles including micronemes and rhoptries play a pivotal role in the invasion process by storing and releasing parasite proteins. The mechanism of protein sorting to these compartments is unclear. Using a transgenic approach we show that trafficking of the most abundant micronemal proteins (members of the EBL-family: EBA-175, EBA-140/BAEBL, and EBA-181/JSEBL) is independent of their cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains, respectively. To identify the minimal sequence requirements for microneme trafficking, we generated parasites expressing EBA-GFP chimeric proteins and analyzed their distribution within the infected erythrocyte. This revealed that: (i) a conserved cysteine-rich region in the ectodomain is necessary for protein trafficking to the micronemes and (ii) correct sorting is dependent on accurate timing of expression.

  20. 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

  1. Structure and Reaction Mechanism of Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferase from the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Soon Goo; Kim, Youngchang; Alpert, Tara D.; Nagata, Akina; Jez, Joseph M.

    2012-01-01

    In the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a multifunctional phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase (PfPMT) catalyzes the methylation of phosphoethanolamine (pEA) to phosphocholine for membrane biogenesis. This pathway is also found in plant and nematodes, but PMT from these organisms use multiple methyltransferase domains for the S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) reactions. Because PfPMT is essential for normal growth and survival of Plasmodium and is not found in humans, it is an antiparasitic target. Here we describe the 1.55 Å resolution crystal structure of PfPMT in complex with AdoMet by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion phasing. In addition, 1.19–1.52 Å resolution structures of PfPMT with pEA (substrate), phosphocholine (product), sinefungin (inhibitor), and both pEA and S-adenosylhomocysteine bound were determined. These structures suggest that domain rearrangements occur upon ligand binding and provide insight on active site architecture defining the AdoMet and phosphobase binding sites. Functional characterization of 27 site-directed mutants identifies critical active site residues and suggests that Tyr-19 and His-132 form a catalytic dyad. Kinetic analysis, isothermal titration calorimetry, and protein crystallography of the Y19F and H132A mutants suggest a reaction mechanism for the PMT. Not only are Tyr-19 and His-132 required for phosphobase methylation, but they also form a “catalytic” latch that locks ligands in the active site and orders the site for catalysis. This study provides the first insight on this antiparasitic target enzyme essential for survival of the malaria parasite; however, further studies of the multidomain PMT from plants and nematodes are needed to understand the evolutionary division of metabolic function in the phosphobase pathway of these organisms. PMID:22117061

  2. 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 Central

    Patra, Kailash P.; Johnson, Jeff R.; Cantin, Greg T.; Yates, John R.

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:18563747

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Infection Intensity-Dependent Responses of Anopheles gambiae to the African Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Mendes, Antonio M.; Awono-Ambene, Parfait H.; Nsango, Sandrine E.; Cohuet, Anna; Fontenille, Didier; Kafatos, Fotis C.; Christophides, George K.; Morlais, Isabelle; Vlachou, Dina

    2011-01-01

    Malaria remains a devastating disease despite efforts at control and prevention. Extensive studies using mostly rodent infection models reveal that successful Plasmodium parasite transmission by the African mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae depends on finely tuned vector-parasite interactions. Here we investigate the transcriptional response of A. gambiae to geographically related Plasmodium falciparum populations at various infection intensities and different infection stages. These responses are compared with those of mosquitoes infected with the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei. We demonstrate that mosquito responses are largely dependent on the intensity of infection. A major transcriptional suppression of genes involved in the regulation of midgut homeostasis is detected in low-intensity P. falciparum infections, the most common type of infection in Africa. Importantly, genes transcriptionally induced during these infections tend to be phylogenetically unique to A. gambiae. These data suggest that coadaptation between vectors and parasites may act to minimize the impact of infection on mosquito fitness by selectively suppressing specific functional classes of genes. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing provides initial evidence for important roles of the mosquito G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in controlling infection intensity-dependent antiparasitic responses. PMID:21844236

  6. PfEMP1 - A Parasite Protein Family of Key Importance in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Immunity and Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R

    2015-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria and is responsible for essentially all malaria-related deaths. The accumulation in various tissues of erythrocytes infected by mature P. falciparum parasites can lead to circulatory disturbances and inflammation, and is thought to be a central element in the pathogenesis of the disease. It is mediated by the interaction of parasite ligands on the erythrocyte surface and a range of host receptor molecules in many organs and tissues. Among several proteins and protein families implicated in this process, the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of high-molecular weight and highly variable antigens appears to be the most prominent. In this chapter, we aim to provide a systematic overview of the current knowledge about these proteins, their structure, their function, how they are presented on the erythrocyte surface, and how the var genes encoding them are regulated. The role of PfEMP1 in the pathogenesis of malaria, PfEMP1-specific immune responses, and the prospect of PfEMP1-specific vaccination against malaria are also covered briefly. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites and is responsible for high mortality in humans. This disease is caused by four different species of Plasmodium though the main source of mortality is Plasmodium falciparum. Humans have a number of genetic adaptations that act to combat Plasmodium. One adaptation is a deletion in the SLC4A1 gene that leads to Southeast Asian ovalocytosis (SAO). There is evidence that SAO erythrocytes are resistant to multiple Plasmodium species. Here we analyze SLC4A1 in 23 primates and mammals to test for differential selective pressures among different primate lineages. Because primates are infected with both human Plasmodium parasites and their relatives, this analysis can be used to test which human Plasmodium parasite is the likely target of SAO. A significantly different pattern of molecular evolution was found in humans and African apes, species that are infected by P. falciparum and its relatives. This effect was restricted to the cytosolic domain of the SLC4A1 gene. The evidence is consistent with a different selective regime operating on this gene domain in humans and African apes, when compared to other primates and mammals. Alternatively, this pattern is consistent with a relaxation of selection or weak adaptive evolution operating on a small number of amino acids. The adaptive interpretation of the results is consistent with the SAO allele of the SLC4A1 gene interacting with P. falciparum in humans, rather than other Plasmodium parasites. However, additional investigation of the relationship between SLC4A1 variants and Plasmodium in humans and African apes is required to test whether the different selective regime in humans and African apes is due to natural selection or relaxed constraint. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Analysis of the spatial and temporal arrangement of transcripts over intergenic regions in the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The ability of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum to invade, colonise and multiply within diverse host environments, as well as to manifest its virulence within the human host, are activities tightly linked to the temporal and spatial control of gene expression. Yet, despite the wealth of high throughput transcriptomic data available for this organism there is very little information regarding the location of key transcriptional landmarks or their associated cis-acting regulatory elements. Here we provide a systematic exploration of the size and organisation of transcripts within intergenic regions to yield surrogate information regarding transcriptional landmarks, and to also explore the spatial and temporal organisation of transcripts over these poorly characterised genomic regions. Results Utilising the transcript data for a cohort of 105 genes we demonstrate that the untranscribed regions of mRNA are large and apportioned predominantly to the 5′ end of the open reading frame. Given the relatively compact size of the P. falciparum genome, we suggest that whilst transcriptional units are likely to spatially overlap, temporal co-transcription of adjacent transcriptional units is actually limited. Critically, the size of intergenic regions is directly dependent on the orientation of the two transcriptional units arrayed over them, an observation we extend to an analysis of the complete sequences of twelve additional organisms that share moderately compact genomes. Conclusions Our study provides a theoretical framework that extends our current understanding of the transcriptional landscape across the P. falciparum genome. Demonstration of a consensus gene-spacing rule that is shared between P. falciparum and ten other moderately compact genomes of apicomplexan parasites reveals the potential for our findings to have a wider impact across a phylum that contains many organisms important to human and veterinary health. PMID:23601558

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-17

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

  16. Calorimetric studies of ligands binding to glutathione S-transferase from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Quesada-Soriano, Indalecio; Barón, Carmen; García-Maroto, Federico; Aguilera, Ana M; García-Fuentes, Luís

    2013-03-19

    Glutathione S-transferase, from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfGST), exerts a protective role in the organism and is thus considered an interesting target for antimalarial drug development. In contrast to other GSTs, it is present in solution as a tetramer and a dimer in equilibrium, which is induced by glutathione (GSH). These properties prevent a calorimetric titration from being conducted upon binding of ligands to this protein's G-site. Thermodynamic characterization can be an optimal strategy for antimalarial drug development, and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) is the only technique that allows the separation of the binding energy into both enthalpic and entropic contributions. This information facilitates an understanding of the changes in the drugs' substituents, improving their affinity and specificity. In this study, we have applied a nontypical ITC procedure, based on the dissociation of the ligand-protein complex, to calorimetrically study the binding of the GSH substrate, and the glutathione sulfonate competitive inhibitor, to dimeric PfGST over a temperature range of 15-37 °C. The optimal experimental conditions for applying this procedure have been optimized by studying the dimer to tetramer conversion using size exclusion chromatography. The binding of these ligands to dimeric PfGST is noncooperative, the affinity of glutathione sulfonate being approximately 2 orders of magnitude higher than that of its natural substrate GSH. The binding of both ligands is enthalpically favorable and entropically unfavorable at all the studied temperatures. These results demonstrate that, although PfGST presents differences when compared to other known GSTs, these ligands bind to its dimeric form with a similar affinity and energetic balance. However, in contrast to that of other GSTs, the binding of GSH to protein, in the absence of the ligand, is slow.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-28

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

  2. 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.

  3. Alternative methods for the Plasmodium falciparum artemisinin ring-stage survival assay with increased simplicity and parasite stage-specificity.

    PubMed

    Kite, Whitney A; Melendez-Muniz, Viviana A; Moraes Barros, Roberto R; Wellems, Thomas E; Sá, Juliana M

    2016-02-17

    Artemisinin-based combination therapy is recommended to treat Plasmodium falciparum worldwide, but observations of longer artemisinin (ART) parasite clearance times (PCTs) in Southeast Asia are widely interpreted as a sign of potential ART resistance. In search of an in vitro correlate of in vivo PCT after ART treatment, a ring-stage survival assay (RSA) of 0-3 h parasites was developed and linked to polymorphisms in the Kelch propeller protein (K13). However, RSA remains a laborious process, involving heparin, Percoll gradient, and sorbitol treatments to obtain rings in the 0-3 h window. Here two alternative RSA protocols are presented and compared to the standard Percoll-based method, one highly stage-specific and one streamlined for laboratory application. For all protocols, P. falciparum cultures were synchronized with 5 % sorbitol treatment twice over two intra-erythrocytic cycles. For a filtration-based RSA, late-stage schizonts were passed through a 1.2 μm filter to isolate merozoites, which were incubated with uninfected erythrocytes for 45 min. The erythrocytes were then washed to remove lysis products and further incubated until 3 h post-filtration. Parasites were pulsed with either 0.1 % dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or 700 nM dihydroartemisinin in 0.1 % DMSO for 6 h, washed twice in drug-free media, and incubated for 66-90 h, when survival was assessed by microscopy. For a sorbitol-only RSA, synchronized young (0-3 h) rings were treated with 5 % sorbitol once more prior to the assay and adjusted to 1 % parasitaemia. The drug pulse, incubation, and survival assessment were as described above. Ring-stage survival of P. falciparum parasites containing either the K13 C580 or C580Y polymorphism (associated with low and high RSA survival, respectively) were assessed by the described filtration and sorbitol-only methods and produced comparable results to the reported Percoll gradient RSA. Advantages of both new methods include: fewer reagents, decreased time

  4. The malaria parasite supplies glutathione to its host cell--investigation of glutathione transport and metabolism in human erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Atamna, H; Ginsburg, H

    1997-12-15

    Malaria-infected red blood cells are under a substantial oxidative stress. Glutathione metabolism may play an important role in antioxidant defense in these cells, as it does in other eukaryotes. In this work, we have determined the levels of reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH and GSSG, respectively) and their distributions in the parasite, and in the host-cell compartments of human erythrocytes infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In intact trophozoite-infected erythrocytes, [GSH] is low and [GSSG] is high, compared with the levels in normal erythrocytes. Normal erythrocytes and the parasite compartment display high GSH/GSSG ratios of 321.6 and 284.5, respectively, indicating adequate antioxidant defense. This ratio drops to 26.7 in the host-cell compartment, indicating a forceful oxidant challenge, the low ratios resulting from an increase in GSSG and a decline in GSH concentrations. On the other hand, the concentrations of GSH and GSSG in the parasite compartment remain physiological and comparable to their concentrations in normal red blood cells. This results from de novo glutathione synthesis and its recycling, assisted by the intensive activity of the hexose monophosphate shunt in the parasite. A large efflux of GSSG from infected cells has been observed, its rate being similar from free parasites and from intact infected cells. This result suggests that de novo synthesis by the parasite is the dominating process in infected cells. GSSG efflux from the intact infected cell is more than 60-fold higher than the rate observed in normal erythrocytes, and is mediated by permeability pathways that the parasite induces in the erythrocyte's membrane. The main route for GSSG efflux through the cytoplasmic membrane of the parasite seems to be due to a specific transport system and occurs against a concentration gradient. Gamma-glutamylcysteine [Glu(-Cys)] and GSH can penetrate through the pathways from the extracellular space into the host

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-05-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Genome-wide analysis of selection on the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in West African populations of differing infection endemicity.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. The Plasmodium falciparum pseudoprotease SERA5 regulates the kinetics and efficiency of malaria parasite egress from host erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Hackett, Fiona; Atid, Jonathan; Tan, Michele Ser Ying

    2017-01-01

    Egress of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from its host red blood cell is a rapid, highly regulated event that is essential for maintenance and completion of the parasite life cycle. Egress is protease-dependent and is temporally associated with extensive proteolytic modification of parasite proteins, including a family of papain-like proteins called SERA that are expressed in the parasite parasitophorous vacuole. Previous work has shown that the most abundant SERA, SERA5, plays an important but non-enzymatic role in asexual blood stages. SERA5 is extensively proteolytically processed by a parasite serine protease called SUB1 as well as an unidentified cysteine protease just prior to egress. However, neither the function of SERA5 nor the role of its processing is known. Here we show that conditional disruption of the SERA5 gene, or of both the SERA5 and related SERA4 genes simultaneously, results in a dramatic egress and replication defect characterised by premature host cell rupture and the failure of daughter merozoites to efficiently disseminate, instead being transiently retained within residual bounding membranes. SERA5 is not required for poration (permeabilization) or vesiculation of the host cell membrane at egress, but the premature rupture phenotype requires the activity of a parasite or host cell cysteine protease. Complementation of SERA5 null parasites by ectopic expression of wild-type SERA5 reversed the egress defect, whereas expression of a SERA5 mutant refractory to processing failed to rescue the phenotype. Our findings implicate SERA5 as an important regulator of the kinetics and efficiency of egress and suggest that proteolytic modification is required for SERA5 function. In addition, our study reveals that efficient egress requires tight control of the timing of membrane rupture. PMID:28683142

  19. Geographic-genetic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations from surveys of primary school children in Western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Omedo, Irene; Mogeni, Polycarp; Rockett, Kirk; Kamau, Alice; Hubbart, Christina; Jeffreys, Anna; Ochola-Oyier, Lynette Isabella; de Villiers, Etienne P.; Gitonga, Caroline W.; Noor, Abdisalan M.; Snow, Robert W.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic; Bejon, Philip

    2017-01-01

    Background. Malaria control, and finally malaria elimination, requires the identification and targeting of residual foci or hotspots of transmission. However, the level of parasite mixing within and between geographical locations is likely to impact the effectiveness and durability of control interventions and thus should be taken into consideration when developing control programs. Methods. In order to determine the geographic-genetic patterns of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations at a sub-national level in Kenya, we used the Sequenom platform to genotype 111 genome-wide distributed single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) positions in 2486 isolates collected from children in 95 primary schools in western Kenya. We analysed these parasite genotypes for genetic structure using principal component analysis and assessed local and global clustering using statistical measures of spatial autocorrelation. We further examined the region for spatial barriers to parasite movement as well as directionality in the patterns of parasite movement. Results. We found no evidence of population structure and little evidence of spatial autocorrelation of parasite genotypes (correlation coefficients <0.03 among parasite pairs in distance classes of 1km, 2km and 5km; p value<0.01). An analysis of the geographical distribution of allele frequencies showed weak evidence of variation in distribution of alleles, with clusters representing a higher than expected number of samples with the major allele being identified for 5 SNPs. Furthermore, we found no evidence of the existence of spatial barriers to parasite movement within the region, but observed directional movement of parasites among schools in two separate sections of the region studied. Conclusions. Our findings illustrate a pattern of high parasite mixing within the study region. If this mixing is due to rapid gene flow, then “one-off” targeted interventions may not be currently effective at the sub-national scale in

  20. An alteration in concatameric structure is associated with efficient segregation of plasmids in transfected Plasmodium falciparum parasites

    PubMed Central

    O’Donnell, Rebecca A.; Preiser, Peter R.; Williamson, Donald H.; Moore, Peter W.; Cowman, Alan F.; Crabb, Brendan S.

    2001-01-01

    Transfection of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is currently performed with circularised plasmids that are maintained episomally in parasites under drug selection but which are rapidly lost when selection pressure is removed. In this paper, we show that in instances where gene targeting is not favoured, transfected plasmids can change to stably replicating forms (SRFs) that are maintained episomally in the absence of drug selection. SRF DNA is a large concatamer of the parental plasmid comprising at least nine plasmids arranged in a head-to-tail array. We show as well that the original unstable replicating forms (URFs) are also present as head-to-tail concatamers, but only comprise three plasmids. Limited digestion and γ irradiation experiments revealed that while URF concatamers are primarily circular, as expected, SRF concatamers form a more complex structure that includes extensive single-stranded DNA. No evidence of sequence rearrangement or additional sequence was detected in SRF DNA, including in transient replication experiments designed to select for more efficiently replicating plasmids. Surprisingly, these experiments revealed that the bacterial plasmid alone can replicate in parasites. Together, these results imply that transfected plasmids are required to form head-to-tail concatamers to be maintained in parasites and implicate both rolling-circle and recombination-dependent mechanisms in their replication. PMID:11160894

  1. Co-expression network with protein-protein interaction and transcription regulation in malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Yu, Fu-Dong; Yang, Shao-You; Li, Yuan-Yuan; Hu, Wei

    2013-04-10

    Malaria continues to be one of the most severe global infectious diseases, as a major threat to human health and economic development. Network-based biological analysis is a promising approach to uncover key genes and biological processes from a network viewpoint, which could not be recognized from individual gene-based signatures. We integrated gene co-expression profile with protein-protein interaction and transcriptional regulation information to construct a comprehensive gene co-expression network of Plasmodium falciparum. Based on this network, we identified 10 core modules by using ICE (Iterative Clique Enumeration) algorithm, which were essential for malaria parasite development in intraerythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC) stages. In each module, all genes were highly correlated probably due to co-regulation or formation of a protein complex. Some of these genes were recognized to be differentially coexpressed among three close-by IDC stages. The gene of prpf8 (PFD0265w) encoding pre-mRNA processing splicing factor 8 product was identified as DCGs (differentially co-expressed genes) among IDC stages, although this gene function was seldom reported in previous researches. Integrating the species-specific gene prediction and differential co-expression gene detection, we found some modules could perform species-specific functions according to some of genes in these modules were species-specific genes, like the module 10. Furthermore, in order to reveal the underlying mechanisms of the erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum, Steiner Tree algorithm was employed to identify the invasion subnetwork from our gene co-expression network. The subnetwork-based analysis indicated that some important Plasmodium parasite specific genes could corporate with each other and be co-regulated during the parasite invasion process, which including a head-to-head gene pair of PfRH2a (PF13_0198) and PfRH2b (MAL13P1.176). This study based on gene co-expression network could shed new

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    Lysine acetylation has emerged as a major post-translational modification involved in diverse cellular functions. Using a combination of immunoisolation and liquid chromatography coupled to accurate mass spectrometry, we determined the first acetylome of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum during its active proliferation in erythrocytes with 421 acetylation sites identified in 230 proteins. Lysine-acetylated proteins are distributed in the nucleus, cytoplasm, mitochondrion and apicoplast. Whereas occurrence of lysine acetylation in a similarly wide range of cellular functions suggests conservation of lysine acetylation through evolution, the Plasmodium acetylome also revealed significant divergence from those of other eukaryotes and even the closely related parasite Toxoplasma. This divergence is reflected in the acetylation of a large number of Plasmodium-specific proteins and different acetylation sites in evolutionarily conserved acetylated proteins. A prominent example is the abundant acetylation of proteins in the glycolysis pathway but relatively deficient acetylation of enzymes in the citrate cycle. Using specific transgenic lines and inhibitors, we determined that the acetyltransferase PfMYST and lysine deacetylases play important roles in regulating the dynamics of cytoplasmic protein acetylation. The Plasmodium acetylome provides an exciting start point for further exploration of functions of acetylation in the biology of malaria parasites. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Molecular Epidemiology of Blood-Borne Human Parasites in a Loa loa-, Mansonella perstans-, and Plasmodium falciparum-Endemic Region of Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Drame, Papa M.; Montavon, Céline; Pion, Sébastien D.; Kubofcik, Joseph; Fay, Michael P.; Nutman, Thomas B.

    2016-01-01

    The study of the interactions among parasites within their hosts is crucial to the understanding of epidemiology of disease and for the design of effective control strategies. We have conducted an assessment of infections with Loa loa, Mansonella perstans, Wuchereria bancrofti, and Plasmodium falciparum in eastern Cameroon using a highly sensitive and specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay using archived dried whole blood spots. The resident population (N = 1,085) was parasitized with M. perstans (76%), L. loa (39%), and P. falciparum (33%), but not with W. bancrofti. Compared with single infections (40.1%), coinfection was more common (48.8%): 21.0% had L. loa–M. perstans (Ll+/Mp+/Pf−), 2.7% had L. loa–P. falciparum (Ll+/Pf+/Mp−), 15.1% had M. perstans–P. falciparum (Mp+/Pf+/Ll−), and 10.0% had L. loa–M. perstans–P. falciparum (Ll+/Mp+/Pf+). Interestingly, those with all three infections (Ll+/Mp+/Pf+) had significantly higher L. loa microfilaria (mf) counts than either single Ll+ (P = 0.004) or double Ll+/Mp+ (P = 0.024) infected individuals. Of those infected with L. loa, the mean estimated counts of L. loa mf varied based on location and were positively correlated with estimated intensities of M. perstans mf. Finally, at a community level, heavy L. loa infections were concentrated in a few individuals whereby they were likely the major reservoir for infection. PMID:27044568

  12. 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.

  13. Sporozoite Route of Infection Influences In Vitro var Gene Transcription of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites From Controlled Human Infections

    PubMed Central

    Dimonte, Sandra; Bruske, Ellen I.; Hass, Johanna; Supan, Christian; Salazar, Carmen L.; Held, Jana; Tschan, Serena; Esen, Meral; Flötenmeyer, Matthias; Koch, Iris; Berger, Jürgen; Bachmann, Anna; Sim, Betty K. L.; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Kremsner, Peter G.; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Frank, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Background. Antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum is mediated by the multicopy var gene family. Each parasite possesses about 60 var genes, and switching between active var loci results in antigenic variation. In the current study, the effect of mosquito and host passage on in vitro var gene transcription was investigated. Methods. Thirty malaria-naive individuals were inoculated by intradermal or intravenous injection with cryopreserved, isogenic NF54 P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ) generated from 1 premosquito culture. Microscopic parasitemia developed in 22 individuals, and 21 in vitro cultures were established. The var gene transcript levels were determined in early and late postpatient cultures and in the premosquito culture. Results. At the early time point, all cultures preferentially transcribed 8 subtelomeric var genes. Intradermal infections had higher var gene transcript levels than intravenous infections and a significantly longer intrahost replication time (P = .03). At the late time point, 9 subtelomeric and 8 central var genes were transcribed at the same levels in almost all cultures. Premosquito and late postpatient cultures transcribed the same subtelomeric and central var genes, except for var2csa. Conclusions. The duration of intrahost replication influences in vitro var gene transcript patterns. Differences between premosquito and postpatient cultures decrease with prolonged in vitro growth. PMID:27279526

  14. Plasmodium falciparum coronin organizes arrays of parallel actin filaments potentially guiding directional motility in invasive malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Olshina, Maya A; Angrisano, Fiona; Marapana, Danushka S; Riglar, David T; Bane, Kartik; Wong, Wilson; Catimel, Bruno; Yin, Meng-Xin; Holmes, Andrew B; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Kovar, David R; Baum, Jake

    2015-07-18

    Gliding motility in Plasmodium parasites, the aetiological agents of malaria disease, is mediated by an actomyosin motor anchored in the outer pellicle of the motile cell. Effective motility is dependent on a parasite myosin motor and turnover of dynamic parasite actin filaments. To date, however, the basis for directional motility is not known. Whilst myosin is very likely orientated as a result of its anchorage within the parasite, how actin filaments are orientated to facilitate directional force generation remains unexplained. In addition, recent evidence has questioned the linkage between actin filaments and secreted surface antigens leaving the way by which motor force is transmitted to the extracellular milieu unknown. Malaria parasites possess a markedly reduced repertoire of actin regulators, among which few are predicted to interact with filamentous (F)-actin directly. One of these, PF3D7_1251200, shows strong homology to the coronin family of actin-filament binding proteins, herein referred to as PfCoronin. Here the N terminal beta propeller domain of PfCoronin (PfCor-N) was expressed to assess its ability to bind and bundle pre-formed actin filaments by sedimentation assay, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and confocal imaging as well as to explore its ability to bind phospholipids. In parallel a tagged PfCoronin line in Plasmodium falciparum was generated to determine the cellular localization of the protein during asexual parasite development and blood-stage merozoite invasion. A combination of biochemical approaches demonstrated that the N-terminal beta-propeller domain of PfCoronin is capable of binding F-actin and facilitating formation of parallel filament bundles. In parasites, PfCoronin is expressed late in the asexual lifecycle and localizes to the pellicle region of invasive merozoites before and during erythrocyte entry. PfCoronin also associates strongly with membranes within the cell, likely mediated by interactions

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

    PubMed

    Kishore, Sandeep P; Stiller, John W; Deitsch, Kirk W

    2013-02-11

    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. 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. 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 the evolution to parasitism in

  16. 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

  17. Melatonin and IP3-induced Ca2+ Release from Intracellular Stores in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum within Infected Red Blood Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Eduardo; Bartlett, Paula J.; Garcia, Celia R. S.; Thomas, Andrew P.

    2011-01-01

    IP3-dependent Ca2+ signaling controls a myriad of cellular processes in higher eukaryotes and similar signaling pathways are evolutionarily conserved in Plasmodium, the intracellular parasite that causes malaria. We have reported that isolated, permeabilized Plasmodium chabaudi, releases Ca2+ upon addition of exogenous IP3. In the present study, we investigated whether the IP3 signaling pathway operates in intact Plasmodium falciparum, the major disease-causing human malaria parasite. P. falciparum-infected red blood cells (RBCs) in the trophozoite stage were simultaneously loaded with the Ca2+ indicator Fluo-4/AM and caged-IP3. Photolytic release of IP3 elicited a transient Ca2+ increase in the cytosol of the intact parasite within the RBC. The intracellular Ca2+ pools of the parasite were selectively discharged, using thapsigargin to deplete endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ and the antimalarial chloroquine to deplete Ca2+ from acidocalcisomes. These data show that the ER is the major IP3-sensitive Ca2+ store. Previous work has shown that the human host hormone melatonin regulates P. falciparum cell cycle via a Ca2+-dependent pathway. In the present study, we demonstrate that melatonin increases inositol-polyphosphate production in intact intraerythrocytic parasite. Moreover, the Ca2+ responses to melatonin and uncaging of IP3 were mutually exclusive in infected RBCs. Taken together these data provide evidence that melatonin activates PLC to generate IP3 and open ER-localized IP3-sensitive Ca2+ channels in P. falciparum. This receptor signaling pathway is likely to be involved in the regulation and synchronization of parasite cell cycle progression. PMID:21149448

  18. Plasmodium falciparum: effects of proteinase inhibitors on globin hydrolysis by cultured malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Rosenthal, P J

    1995-03-01

    The effects of peptide proteinase inhibitors on globin hydrolysis by cultured malaria parasites were studied. All of the four cysteine proteinase inhibitors evaluated blocked globin hydrolysis, as documented by the development of a morphological abnormality in which parasite food vacuoles filled with undegraded globin and by SDS-PAGE showing that the cysteine proteinase inhibitor-treated parasites accumulated large quantities of globin. The aspartic proteinase inhibitor pepstatin did not block globin hydrolysis by cultured parasites. None of seven antimalarial drugs tested elicited the food vacuole abnormality caused by cysteine proteinase inhibitors, indicating that this morphological alteration was not simply a sign of nonspecific parasite toxicity. Our results indicate that a trophozoite cysteine proteinase is required for initial cleavages of globin by intact malaria parasites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Terpenes Arrest Parasite Development and Inhibit Biosynthesis of Isoprenoids in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues Goulart, Herbert; Kimura, Emília A.; Peres, Valnice J.; Couto, Alicia S.; Aquino Duarte, Fulgencio A.; Katzin, Alejandro M.

    2004-01-01

    Development of new drugs is one of the strategies for malaria control. The biosynthesis of several isoprenoids in Plasmodium falciparum was recently described. Interestingly, some intermediates and final products biosynthesized by this pathway in mammals differ from those biosynthesized in P. falciparum. These facts prompted us to evaluate various terpenes, molecules with a similar chemical structure to the intermediates of the isoprenoids pathway, as potential antimalarial drugs. Different terpenes and S-farnesylthiosalicylic acid were tested on cultures of the intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum, and the 50% inhibitory concentrations for each one were found: farnesol, 64 μM; nerolidol, 760 nM; limonene, 1.22 mM; linalool, 0.28 mM; and S-farnesylthiosalicylic acid, 14 μM. All the terpenes tested inhibited dolichol biosynthesis in the trophozoite and schizont stages when [1-(n)-3H]farnesyl pyrophosphate triammonium salt ([3H]FPP) was used as precursor. Farnesol, nerolidol, and linalool showed stronger inhibitory activity on the biosynthesis of the isoprenic side chain of the benzoquinone ring of ubiquinones in the schizont stage. Treatment of schizont stages with S-farnesylthiosalicylic acid led to a decrease in intensity of the band corresponding a p21ras protein. The inhibitory effect of terpenes and S-farnesylthiosalicylic acid on the biosynthesis of both dolichol and the isoprenic side chain of ubiquinones and the isoprenylation of proteins in the intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum appears to be specific, because overall protein biosynthesis was not affected. Combinations of some terpenes or S-farnesylthiosalicylic acid tested in this work with other antimalarial drugs, like fosmidomycin, could be a new strategy for the treatment of malaria. PMID:15215101

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-12

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

  4. Beyond the entomological inoculation rate: characterizing multiple blood feeding behavior and Plasmodium falciparum multiplicity of infection in Anopheles mosquitoes in northern Zambia.

    PubMed

    Das, Smita; Muleba, Mbanga; Stevenson, Jennifer C; Pringle, Julia C; Norris, Douglas E

    2017-01-26

    A commonly used measure of malaria transmission intensity is the entomological inoculation rate (EIR), defined as the product of the human biting rate (HBR) and sporozoite infection rate (SIR). The EIR excludes molecular parameters that may influence vector control and surveillance strategies. The purpose of this study was to investigate Anopheles multiple blood feeding behavior (MBF) and Plasmodium falciparum multiplicity of infection (MOI) within the mosquito host in Nchelenge District, northern Zambia. Mosquitoes were collected from light traps and pyrethroid spray catch in Nchelenge in the 2013 wet season. All anophelines were tested for blood meal host, P. falciparum, and MOI using PCR. Circumsporozoite (CSP) ELISA and microsatellite analysis were performed to detect parasites in the mosquito and MBF, respectively. Statistical analyses used regression models to assess MBF and MOI and exact binomial test for human sex bias. Both MBF and MOI can enhance our understanding of malaria transmission dynamics beyond what is currently understood through conventional EIR estimates alone. The dominant malaria vectors collected in Nchelenge were Anopheles funestus (sensu stricto) and An. gambiae (s.s.) The EIRs of An. funestus (s.s.) and An. gambiae (s.s.) were 39.6 infectious bites/person/6 months (ib/p/6mo) and 5.9 ib/p/6mo, respectively, and took multiple human blood meals at high rates, 23.2 and 25.7% respectively. There was no bias in human host sex preference in the blood meals. The SIR was further characterized for parasite genetic diversity. The overall P. falciparum MOI was 6.4 in infected vectors, exceeding previously reported average MOIs in humans in Africa. Both Anopheles MBF rates and P. falciparum MOI in Nchelenge were among some of the highest reported in sub-Saharan Africa. The results suggest an underestimation of the EIR and large numbers of circulating parasite clones. Together, the results describe important molecular aspects of transmission excluded

  5. Plasmodium falciparum rhoptry neck protein 5 peptides bind to human red blood cells and inhibit parasite invasion.

    PubMed

    Curtidor, Hernando; Patiño, Liliana C; Arévalo-Pinzón, Gabriela; Vanegas, Magnolia; Patarroyo, Manuel E; Patarroyo, Manuel A

    2014-03-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite invasion of erythrocytes is an essential step in host infection and the proteins involved in such invasion are the main target in developing an antimalarial vaccine. Secretory organelle-derived proteins (micronemal AMA1 protein and the RON2, 4, and 5 rhoptry neck proteins) have been recently described as components of moving junction complex formation allowing merozoites to move into a newly created parasitophorous vacuole. This study led to identifying RON5 regions involved in binding to human erythrocytes by using a highly robust, sensitive and specific receptor-ligand interaction assay; it is further shown that the RON5 protein remains highly conserved throughout different parasite strains. It is shown that the binding peptide-erythrocyte interaction is saturable and sensitive to chymotrypsin and trypsin. Invasion inhibition assays using erythrocyte binding peptides showed that the RON5-erythrocyte interaction could be critical for merozoite invasion of erythrocytes. This work provides evidence (for the first time) suggesting a fundamental role for RON5 in erythrocyte invasion. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Bacterially Expressed Full-Length Recombinant Plasmodium falciparum RH5 Protein Binds Erythrocytes and Elicits Potent Strain-Transcending Parasite-Neutralizing Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, K. Sony; Pandey, Alok K.; Singh, Hina; Sahar, Tajali; Emmanuel, Amlabu; Chitnis, Chetan E.; Chauhan, Virander S.

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum reticulocyte binding-like homologous protein 5 (PfRH5) is an essential merozoite ligand that binds with its erythrocyte receptor, basigin. PfRH5 is an attractive malaria vaccine candidate, as it is expressed by a wide number of P. falciparum strains, cannot be genetically disrupted, and exhibits limited sequence polymorphisms. Viral vector-induced PfRH5 antibodies potently inhibited erythrocyte invasion. However, it has been a challenge to generate full-length recombinant PfRH5 in a bacterial-cell-based expression system. In this study, we have produced full-length recombinant PfRH5 in Escherichia coli that exhibits specific erythrocyte binding similar to that of the native PfRH5 parasite protein and also, importantly, elicits potent invasion-inhibitory antibodies against a number of P. falciparum strains. Antibasigin antibodies blocked the erythrocyte binding of both native and recombinant PfRH5, further confirming that they bind with basigin. We have thus successfully produced full-length PfRH5 as a functionally active erythrocyte binding recombinant protein with a conformational integrity that mimics that of the native parasite protein and elicits potent strain-transcending parasite-neutralizing antibodies. P. falciparum has the capability to develop immune escape mechanisms, and thus, blood-stage malaria vaccines that target multiple antigens or pathways may prove to be highly efficacious. In this regard, antibody combinations targeting PfRH5 and other key merozoite antigens produced potent additive inhibition against multiple worldwide P. falciparum strains. PfRH5 was immunogenic when immunized with other antigens, eliciting potent invasion-inhibitory antibody responses with no immune interference. Our results strongly support the development of PfRH5 as a component of a combination blood-stage malaria vaccine. PMID:24126527

  9. Parasite and host elemental content and parasite effects on host nutrient excretion and metabolic rate.

    PubMed

    Chodkowski, Nicole; Bernot, Randall J

    2017-08-01

    Ecological stoichiometry uses the mass balance of elements to predict energy and elemental fluxes across different levels of ecological organization. A specific prediction of ecological stoichiometry is the growth rate hypothesis (GRH), which states that organisms with faster growth or reproductive rates will require higher phosphorus content for nucleic acid and protein synthesis. Although parasites are found ubiquitously throughout ecosystems, little is understood about how they affect nutrient imbalances in ecosystems. We (1) tested the GRH by determining the carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) content of parasitic trematodes and their intermediate host, the freshwater snail Elimia livescens, and (2) used this framework to determine the trematode effects on host nutrient excretion and metabolism. Snail and parasite tissues were analyzed for elemental content using a CHN analyzer and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) methods. Ammonium and SRP assays were used to estimate N and P excretion rates. A respirometer was used to calculate individual snail metabolism. Trematode tissues contained lower C:P and N:P (more P per unit C and N) than the snail tissues. Snail gonadal tissues more closely resembled the elemental content of parasite tissues, although P content was 13% higher in the gonad than the trematode tissues. Despite differences in elemental content, N and P excretion rates of snails were not affected by the presence of parasites. Parasitized snails maintained faster metabolic rates than nonparasitized snails. However, the species of parasite did not affect metabolic rate. Together, this elemental imbalance between parasite and host, and the altered metabolic rate of infected snails may lead to broader parasite effects in stream ecosystems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hastings, Ian M; Kay, Katherine; Hodel, Eva Maria

    2015-10-01

    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. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Biochemical and genetic analysis of the phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Jennifer M; Takebe, Sachiko; Choi, Jae-Yeon; El Bissati, Kamal; Witola, William H; Bobenchik, April M; Hoch, Jeffrey C; Voelker, Dennis R; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2008-03-21

    The PfPMT enzyme of Plasmodium falciparum, the agent of severe human malaria, is a member of a large family of known and predicted phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) recently identified in plants, worms, and protozoa. Functional studies in P. falciparum revealed that PfPMT plays a critical role in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine via a plant-like pathway involving serine decarboxylation and phosphoethanolamine methylation. Despite their important biological functions, PMT structures have not yet been solved, and nothing is known about which amino acids in these enzymes are critical for catalysis and binding to S-adenosyl-methionine and phosphoethanolamine substrates. Here we have performed a mutational analysis of PfPMT focused on 24 residues within and outside the predicted catalytic motif. The ability of PfPMT to complement the choline auxotrophy of a yeast mutant defective in phospholipid methylation enabled us to characterize the activity of the PfPMT mutants. Mutations in residues Asp-61, Gly-83 and Asp-128 dramatically altered PfPMT activity and its complementation of the yeast mutant. Our analyses identify the importance of these residues in PfPMT activity and set the stage for advanced structural understanding of this class of enzymes.

  15. 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.

  16. An epidemiological study to assess Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence and malaria control measures in Burkina Faso and Senegal.

    PubMed

    Diallo, Aldiouma; Sié, Ali; Sirima, Sodiomon; Sylla, Khadime; Ndiaye, Mahmadou; Bountogo, Mamadou; Ouedraogo, Espérance; Tine, Roger; Ndiaye, Assane; Coulibaly, Boubacar; Ouedraogo, Alphonse; Faye, Babacar; Ba, El Hadji; Compaore, Guillaume; Tiono, Alfred; Sokhna, Cheikh; Yé, Maurice; Diarra, Amidou; Bahmanyar, Edith Roset; De Boer, Melanie; Pirçon, Jean-Yves; Usuf, Effua Abigail

    2017-02-06

    Malariometric information is needed to decide how to introduce malaria vaccines and evaluate their impact in sub-Saharan African countries. This cross-sectional study (NCT01954264) was conducted between October and November, 2013, corresponding to the high malaria transmission season, in four sites with Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (DSS) [two sites with moderate-to-high malaria endemicity in Burkina Faso (Nouna and Saponé) and two sites with low malaria endemicity in Senegal (Keur Socé and Niakhar)]. Children (N = 2421) were randomly selected from the DSS lists of the study sites and were stratified into two age groups (6 months-4 years and 5-9 years). A blood sample was collected from each child to evaluate parasite prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum and other Plasmodium species and gametocyte density by microscopy, and rapid diagnosis test in the event of fever within 24 h. Case report forms were used to evaluate malaria control measures and other factors. Plasmodium falciparum was identified in 707 (29.2%) children, with a higher prevalence in Burkina Faso than Senegal (57.5 vs 0.9% of children). In Burkina Faso, prevalence was 57.7% in Nouna and 41.9% in Saponé in the 6 months-4 years age group, and 75.4% in Nouna and 70.1% in Saponé in the 5-9 years age group. Infections with other Plasmodium species were rare and only detected in Burkina Faso. While mosquito nets were used by 88.6-97.0 and 64.7-80.2% of children in Burkina Faso and Senegal, other malaria control measures evaluated at individual level were uncommon. In Burkina Faso, exploratory analyses suggested that use of malaria treatment or any other medication within 14 days, and use of insecticide spray within 7 days decreased the prevalence of malaria infection; older age, rural residence, natural floor, grass/palm roof, and unavailability of electricity in the house were factors associated with increased malaria occurrence. Plasmodium falciparum infection prevalence in children

  17. An Acid-loading Chloride Transport Pathway in the Intraerythrocytic Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium falciparum*

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Roselani I.; Cobbold, Simon A.; Allen, Richard J. W.; Khan, Asif; Hayward, Rhys; Lehane, Adele M.; Bray, Patrick G.; Howitt, Susan M.; Biagini, Giancarlo A.; Saliba, Kevin J.; Kirk, Kiaran

    2010-01-01

    The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite exerts tight control over its ionic composition. In this study, a combination of fluorescent ion indicators and 36Cl− flux measurements was used to investigate the transport of Cl− and the Cl−-dependent transport of “H+-equivalents” in mature (trophozoite stage) parasites, isolated from their host erythrocytes. Removal of extracellular Cl−, resulting in an outward [Cl−] gradient, gave rise to a cytosolic alkalinization (i.e. a net efflux of H+-equivalents). This was reversed on restoration of extracellular Cl−. The flux of H+-equivalents was inhibited by 4,4′-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid and, when measured in ATP-depleted parasites, showed a pronounced dependence on the pH of the parasite cytosol; the flux was low at cytosolic pH values < 7.2 but increased steeply with cytosolic pH at values > 7.2. 36Cl− influx measurements revealed the presence of a Cl− uptake mechanism with characteristics similar to those of the Cl−-dependent H+-equivalent flux. The intracellular concentration of Cl− in the parasite was estimated to be ∼48 mm in situ. The data are consistent with the intraerythrocytic parasite having in its plasma membrane a 4,4′-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid-sensitive transporter that, under physiological conditions, imports Cl− together with H+-equivalents, resulting in an intracellular Cl− concentration well above that which would occur if Cl− ions were distributed passively in accordance with the parasite's large, inwardly negative membrane potential. PMID:20332090

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Effects of Aging on Parasite Biomass, Inflammation, Endothelial Activation, Microvascular Dysfunction and Disease Severity in Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    PubMed

    Barber, Bridget E; Grigg, Matthew J; William, Timothy; Piera, Kim A; Boyle, Michelle J; Yeo, Tsin W; Anstey, Nicholas M

    2017-06-15

    In populations pauci-immune to malaria, risk of severe malaria increases with age. This is particularly apparent in Plasmodium knowlesi malaria. However, pathophysiological mechanisms underlying knowlesi malaria, and of the age-related increase in risk of severe malaria in general, are poorly understood. In Malaysian patients aged ≥12 years with severe (n = 47) and nonsevere (n = 99) knowlesi malaria, severe (n = 21) and nonsevere (n = 109) falciparum malaria, and healthy controls (n = 50), we measured parasite biomass, systemic inflammation (interleukin 6 [IL-6]), endothelial activation (angiopoietin-2), and microvascular function, and evaluated the effects of age. Plasmodium knowlesi parasitemia correlated with age (Spearman's correlation coefficient [rs] = 0.36; P < .0001). In knowlesi malaria, IL-6, angiopoietin-2, and microvascular dysfunction were increased in severe compared to nonsevere disease, and all correlated with age, independent of parasitemia. In falciparum malaria, angiopoietin-2 increased with age, independent of parasite biomass (histidine-rich protein 2 [HRP2]). Independent risk factors for severe malaria included parasitemia and angiopoietin-2 in knowlesi malaria, and HRP2, angiopoietin-2, and microvascular dysfunction in falciparum malaria. Parasite biomass, endothelial activation, and microvascular dysfunction are associated with severe disease in knowlesi malaria and likely contribute to pathogenesis. The association of each of these processes with aging may account for the greater severity of malaria observed in older adults in low-endemic regions.

  20. Initiation of gametocytogenesis at very low parasite density in Plasmodium falciparum infection

    PubMed Central

    Farid, Ryan; Dixon, Matthew W.; Tilley, Leann

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The recent focus on the elimination of malaria has led to an increased interest in the role of sexual stages in its transmission. We introduce Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte exported protein-5 (PfGEXP5) transcript analysis as an important tool for evaluating the earliest (ring) stage sexual gametocytes in the blood of infected individuals. We show that gametocyte rings are detected in the peripheral blood immediately following establishment of asexual infections—without the need for triggers such as high-density asexual parasitemia or drug treatment. Committed gametocytes are refractory to the commonly used drug piperaquine, and mature gametocytes reappear in the bloodstream 10 days after the initial appearance of gametocyte rings. A further wave of commitment is observed following recrudescent asexual parasitemia, and these gametocytes are again refractory to piperaquine treatment. This work has implications for monitoring gametocyte and transmission dynamics and responses to drug treatment. PMID:28498997

  1. Glutathione and thioredoxin systems of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: Partners in crime?

    PubMed

    Chaudhari, Rahul; Sharma, Shobhona; Patankar, Swati

    2017-06-17

    In P. falciparum, antioxidant proteins of the glutathione and thioredoxin systems are compartmentalized. Some subcellular compartments have only a partial complement of these proteins. This lack of key anti-oxidant proteins in certain sub-cellular compartments might be compensated by functional complementation between these systems. By assessing the cross-talk between these systems, we show for the first time, that the glutathione system can reduce thioredoxins that are poor substrates for thioredoxin reductase (Thioredoxin-like protein 1 and Thioredoxin 2) and thioredoxins that lack access to thioredoxin reductase (Thioredoxin 2). Our data suggests that crosstalk between the glutathione and thioredoxin systems does exist; this could compensate for the absence of certain antioxidant proteins from key subcellular compartments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Positive Selection of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites With Multiple var2csa-Type PfEMP1 Genes During the Course of Infection in Pregnant Women

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email

  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. Molecular Epidemiology of Blood-Borne Human Parasites in a Loa loa-, Mansonella perstans-, and Plasmodium falciparum-Endemic Region of Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Drame, Papa M; Montavon, Céline; Pion, Sébastien D; Kubofcik, Joseph; Fay, Michael P; Nutman, Thomas B

    2016-06-01

    The study of the interactions among parasites within their hosts is crucial to the understanding of epidemiology of disease and for the design of effective control strategies. We have conducted an assessment of infections with Loa loa, Mansonella perstans, Wuchereria bancrofti, and Plasmodium falciparum in eastern Cameroon using a highly sensitive and specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay using archived dried whole blood spots. The resident population (N = 1,085) was parasitized with M. perstans (76%), L. loa (39%), and P. falciparum (33%), but not with W. bancrofti Compared with single infections (40.1%), coinfection was more common (48.8%): 21.0% had L. loa-M. perstans (Ll(+)/Mp(+)/Pf(-)), 2.7% had L. loa-P. falciparum (Ll(+)/Pf(+)/Mp(-)), 15.1% had M. perstans-P. falciparum (Mp(+)/Pf(+)/Ll(-)), and 10.0% had L. loa-M. perstans-P. falciparum (Ll(+)/Mp(+)/Pf(+)). Interestingly, those with all three infections (Ll(+)/Mp(+)/Pf(+)) had significantly higher L. loa microfilaria (mf) counts than either single Ll(+) (P = 0.004) or double Ll(+)/Mp(+) (P = 0.024) infected individuals. Of those infected with L. loa, the mean estimated counts of L. loa mf varied based on location and were positively correlated with estimated intensities of M. perstans mf. Finally, at a community level, heavy L. loa infections were concentrated in a few individuals whereby they were likely the major reservoir for infection. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. P. falciparum In Vitro Killing Rates Allow to Discriminate between Different Antimalarial Mode-of-Action

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22383983

  13. Structure and reaction mechanism of phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: an antiparasitic drug target.

    PubMed

    Lee, Soon Goo; Kim, Youngchang; Alpert, Tara D; Nagata, Akina; Jez, Joseph M

    2012-01-06

    In the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a multifunctional phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase (PfPMT) catalyzes the methylation of phosphoethanolamine (pEA) to phosphocholine for membrane biogenesis. This pathway is also found in plant and nematodes, but PMT from these organisms use multiple methyltransferase domains for the S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) reactions. Because PfPMT is essential for normal growth and survival of Plasmodium and is not found in humans, it is an antiparasitic target. Here we describe the 1.55 Å resolution crystal structure of PfPMT in complex with AdoMet by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion phasing. In addition, 1.19-1.52 Å resolution structures of PfPMT with pEA (substrate), phosphocholine (product), sinefungin (inhibitor), and both pEA and S-adenosylhomocysteine bound were determined. These structures suggest that domain rearrangements occur upon ligand binding and provide insight on active site architecture defining the AdoMet and phosphobase binding sites. Functional characterization of 27 site-directed mutants identifies critical active site residues and suggests that Tyr-19 and His-132 form a catalytic dyad. Kinetic analysis, isothermal titration calorimetry, and protein crystallography of the Y19F and H132A mutants suggest a reaction mechanism for the PMT. Not only are Tyr-19 and His-132 required for phosphobase methylation, but they also form a "catalytic" latch that locks ligands in the active site and orders the site for catalysis. This study provides the first insight on this antiparasitic target enzyme essential for survival of the malaria parasite; however, further studies of the multidomain PMT from plants and nematodes are needed to understand the evolutionary division of metabolic function in the phosphobase pathway of these organisms.

  14. Preliminary in vitro antiplasmodial activity of Aristolochia griffithii and Thalictrum foliolosum DC extracts against malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Das, N G; Rabha, Bipul; Talukdar, P K; Goswami, Diganta; Dhiman, Sunil

    2016-01-28

    Resistance development in human malaria parasites against commonly used antimalarial drugs has necessitated the scientific exploration of traditionally used antimalarial plants. Plant derivatives have been used for curing malaria historically. The present study involves in vitro evaluation of two medicinally important plants Aristolochia griffithii and Thalictrum foliolosum DC used in antimalarial chemotherapy by the tribes of northeast India. Chloroform, ethyl acetate and n-butanol extracts of Aristolochia griffithii and Thalictrum foliolosum DC were evaluated in vitro against chloroquine sensitive (SS) and chloroquine resistance strains (RS) of P. falciparum. The tests were conducted following WHO standard method and the inhibition of parasite (IC50) was calculated. In A. griffithii, the IC50 value for ethyl acetate extracts against SS was 6.2 ± 0.02 μg/ml and found to be lower than chloroform extracts, which exhibited an IC50 value of 14.1 ± 0.1 μg/ml (t = 191.1; p < 0.0001). The IC50 values of both chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts for RS were higher as compared to the SS (p < 0.0001). In T. foliolosum DC the IC50 concentration of chloroform extracts for SS and RS were 0.5 ± 0.0 and 1.1 ± 0.0 μg/ml respectively (t = 54.2; p < 0.0001). The present findings, although preliminary, but scientifically demonstrate that identification and isolation of active compounds of these two plant materials and testing against different Plasmodium species could lead to the development of potential antimalarial drugs for future.

  15. Different antibody- and cytokine-mediated responses to Plasmodium falciparum parasite in two sympatric ethnic tribes living in Mali.

    PubMed

    Farouk, Salah E; Dolo, Amagana; Bereczky, Sàndor; Kouriba, Bourema; Maiga, Boubacar; Färnert, Anna; Perlmann, Hedvig; Hayano, Masashi; Montgomery, Scott M; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Troye-Blomberg, Marita

    2005-01-01

    The Fulani are known to be less susceptible to Plasmodium falciparum malaria infections and to have lower parasitaemia despite living under similar malaria transmission intensity compared with other ethnic tribes. The aim of the present study was to examine whether the Fulani were more polarised towards Th2 as reflected by higher numbers of malaria-specific IL-4- and IL-10-producing cells and lower numbers of IFN-gamma- and IL-12-producing cells as compared to their neighbour ethnic tribe, the Dogon of Mali. Total IgE and both anti-malaria IgE and IgG antibodies were measured by ELISA and the numbers of IL-4-, IFN-gamma-, IL-10- and IL-12-producing cells were enumerated using enzyme-linked ImmunoSpot assay (ELISPOT). Numbers of parasite clones were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The study was performed outside the transmission period and all individuals included were asymptomatic. The results revealed that the Fulani were less parasitised, had fewer circulating parasite clones in their blood, had significantly higher anti-malaria IgG and IgE antibodies and higher proportions of malaria-specific IL-4- and IFN-gamma-producing cells compared to the Dogon. The higher antigen-specific production of IL-4 among the Fulani was statistically significant both before and after adjustment for level of spontaneous cytokine production, while greater IFN-gamma production only attained statistical significance after adjustment for spontaneous levels. Taken together, the association of higher anti-malarial IgE and IgG antibodies and increased numbers of specific IL-4- and IFN-gamma-producing cells compared to the ethnic sympatric tribe, the Dogon, may assist in explaining the lower susceptibility to malaria observed in the Fulani.

  16. Membrane and luminal proteins reach the apicoplast by different trafficking pathways in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhari, Rahul; Dey, Vishakha; Narayan, Aishwarya; Sharma, Shobhona

    2017-01-01

    The secretory pathway in Plasmodium falciparum has evolved to transport proteins to the host cell membrane and to an endosymbiotic organelle, the apicoplast. The latter can occur via the ER or the ER-Golgi route. Here, we study these three routes using proteins Erythrocyte Membrane Protein-1 (PfEMP1), Acyl Carrier Protein (ACP) and glutathione peroxidase-like thioredoxin peroxidase (PfTPxGl) and inhibitors of vesicular transport. As expected, the G protein-dependent vesicular fusion inhibitor AlF4− and microtubule destabilizing drug vinblastine block the trafficking of PfEMP-1, a protein secreted to the host cell membrane. However, while both PfTPxGl and ACP are targeted to the apicoplast, only ACP trafficking remains unaffected by these treatments. This implies that G protein-dependent vesicles do not play a role in classical apicoplast protein targeting. Unlike the soluble protein ACP, we show that PfTPxGl is localized to the outermost membrane of the apicoplast. Thus, the parasite apicoplast acquires proteins via two different pathways: first, the vesicular trafficking pathway appears to handle not only secretory proteins, but an apicoplast membrane protein, PfTPxGl; second, trafficking of apicoplast luminal proteins appear to be independent of G protein-coupled vesicles. PMID:28462015

  17. Optimal sampling designs for estimation of Plasmodium falciparum clearance rates in patients treated with artemisinin derivatives.

    PubMed

    Flegg, Jennifer A; Guérin, Philippe J; Nosten, Francois; Ashley, Elizabeth A; Phyo, Aung Pyae; Dondorp, Arjen M; Fairhurst, Rick M; Socheat, Duong; Borrmann, Steffen; Björkman, Anders; Mårtensson, Andreas; Mayxay, Mayfong; Newton, Paul N; Bethell, Delia; Se, Youry; Noedl, Harald; Diakite, Mahamadou; Djimde, Abdoulaye A; Hien, Tran T; White, Nicholas J; Stepniewska, Kasia

    2013-11-13

    The emergence of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins in Southeast Asia threatens the control of malaria worldwide. The pharmacodynamic hallmark of artemisinin derivatives is rapid parasite clearance (a short parasite half-life), therefore, the in vivo phenotype of slow clearance defines the reduced susceptibility to the drug. Measurement of parasite counts every six hours during the first three days after treatment have been recommended to measure the parasite clearance half-life, but it remains unclear whether simpler sampling intervals and frequencies might also be sufficient to reliably estimate this parameter. A total of 2,746 parasite density-time profiles were selected from 13 clinical trials in Thailand, Cambodia, Mali, Vietnam, and Kenya. In these studies, parasite densities were measured every six hours until negative after treatment with an artemisinin derivative (alone or in combination with a partner drug). The WWARN Parasite Clearance Estimator (PCE) tool was used to estimate "reference" half-lives from these six-hourly measurements. The effect of four alternative sampling schedules on half-life estimation was investigated, and compared to the reference half-life (time zero, 6, 12, 24 (A1); zero, 6, 18, 24 (A2); zero, 12, 18, 24 (A3) or zero, 12, 24 (A4) hours and then every 12 hours). Statistical bootstrap methods were used to estimate the sampling distribution of half-lives for parasite populations with different geometric mean half-lives. A simulation study was performed to investigate a suite of 16 potential alternative schedules and half-life estimates generated by each of the schedules were compared to the "true" half-life. The candidate schedules in the simulation study included (among others) six-hourly sampling, schedule A1, schedule A4, and a convenience sampling schedule at six, seven, 24, 25, 48 and 49 hours. The median (range) parasite half-life for all clinical studies combined was 3.1 (0.7-12.9) hours. Schedule A1

  18. Optimal sampling designs for estimation of Plasmodium falciparum clearance rates in patients treated with artemisinin derivatives

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The emergence of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins in Southeast Asia threatens the control of malaria worldwide. The pharmacodynamic hallmark of artemisinin derivatives is rapid parasite clearance (a short parasite half-life), therefore, the in vivo phenotype of slow clearance defines the reduced susceptibility to the drug. Measurement of parasite counts every six hours during the first three days after treatment have been recommended to measure the parasite clearance half-life, but it remains unclear whether simpler sampling intervals and frequencies might also be sufficient to reliably estimate this parameter. Methods A total of 2,746 parasite density-time profiles were selected from 13 clinical trials in Thailand, Cambodia, Mali, Vietnam, and Kenya. In these studies, parasite densities were measured every six hours until negative after treatment with an artemisinin derivative (alone or in combination with a partner drug). The WWARN Parasite Clearance Estimator (PCE) tool was used to estimate “reference” half-lives from these six-hourly measurements. The effect of four alternative sampling schedules on half-life estimation was investigated, and compared to the reference half-life (time zero, 6, 12, 24 (A1); zero, 6, 18, 24 (A2); zero, 12, 18, 24 (A3) or zero, 12, 24 (A4) hours and then every 12 hours). Statistical bootstrap methods were used to estimate the sampling distribution of half-lives for parasite populations with different geometric mean half-lives. A simulation study was performed to investigate a suite of 16 potential alternative schedules and half-life estimates generated by each of the schedules were compared to the “true” half-life. The candidate schedules in the simulation study included (among others) six-hourly sampling, schedule A1, schedule A4, and a convenience sampling schedule at six, seven, 24, 25, 48 and 49 hours. Results The median (range) parasite half-life for all clinical studies combined was 3.1 (0

  19. 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.

  20. Sustained High Cure Rate of Artemether-Lumefantrine against Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Malaria after 8 Years of Its Wide-Scale Use in Bagamoyo District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Mwaiswelo, Richard; Ngasala, Billy; Gil, J Pedro; Malmberg, Maja; Jovel, Irina; Xu, Weiping; Premji, Zul; Mmbando, Bruno P; Björkman, Anders; Mårtensson, Andreas

    2017-08-01

    We assessed the temporal trend of artemether-lumefantrine (AL) cure rate after 8 years of its wide-scale use for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria from 2006 to 2014 in Bagamoyo district, Tanzania. Trend analysis was performed for four studies conducted in 2006, 2007-2008, 2012-2013, and 2014. Patients with acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria were enrolled, treated with standard AL regimen and followed-up for 3 (2006), 28 (2014), 42 (2012-2013), or 56 (2007-2008) days for clinical and laboratory evaluation. Primary outcome was day 28 polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-adjusted cure rate across years from 2007 to 2014. Parasite clearance was slower for the 2006 and 2007-2008 cohorts with less than 50% of patients cleared of parasitemia on day 1, but was rapid for the 2012-2013 and 2014 cohorts. Day 28 PCR-adjusted cure rate was 168/170 (98.8%) (95% confidence interval [CI], 97.2-100), 122/127 (96.1%) (95% CI, 92.6-99.5), and 206/207 (99.5%) (95% CI, 98.6-100) in 2007-2008, 2012-2013, and 2014, respectively. There was no significant change in the trend of cure rate between 2007 and 2014 (χ(2)trend test = 0.06, P = 0.90). Pretreatment P. falciparum multidrug-resistant gene 1 (Pfmdr1) N86 prevalence increased significantly across years from 13/48 (27.1%) in 2006 to 183/213 (85.9%) in 2014 (P < 0.001), and P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene (Pfcrt) K76 prevalence increased significantly from 24/47 (51.1%) in 2006 to 198/205 (96.6%) in 2014 (P < 0.001). The AL cure rate remained high after 8 years of its wide-scale use in Bagamoyo district for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria despite an increase in prevalence of pretreatment Pfmdr1 N86 and Pfcrt K76 between 2006 and 2014.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Where to Find Further Information on Parasitic Diseases Public Health Image Library Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Explore Parasites A-Z Index Parasites Glossary Education and Training Healthy Water Travelers Health Laboratory ... Science Parasites About Parasites Animals ...

  5. 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

  6. Kinetic benefits and thermal stability of orotate phosphoribosyltransferase and orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase enzyme complex in human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Kanchanaphum, Panan; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2009-12-11

    We have previously shown that orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT) and orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase (OMPDC) in human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum form an enzyme complex, containing two subunits each of OPRT and OMPDC. To enable further characterization, we expressed and purified P. falciparum OPRT-OMPDC enzyme complex in Escherichia coli. The OPRT and OMPDC activities of the enzyme complex co-eluted in the chromatographic columns used during purification. Kinetic parameters (K(m), k(cat) and k(cat)/K(m)) of the enzyme complex were 5- to 125-folds higher compared to the monofunctional enzyme. Interestingly, pyrophosphate was a potent inhibitor to the enzyme complex, but had a slightly inhibitory effect for the monofunctional enzyme. The enzyme complex resisted thermal inactivation at higher temperature than the monofunctional OPRT and OMPDC. The result suggests that the OPRT-OMPDC enzyme complex might have kinetic benefits and thermal stability significantly different from the monofunctional enzyme.

  7. Contrasting Inducible Knockdown of the Auxiliary PTEX Component PTEX88 in P. falciparum and P. berghei Unmasks a Role in Parasite Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Chisholm, Scott A.; McHugh, Emma; Lundie, Rachel; Dixon, Matthew W. A.; Ghosh, Sreejoyee; O’Keefe, Meredith; Tilley, Leann; Kalanon, Ming; de Koning-Ward, Tania F.

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenesis of malaria infections is linked to remodeling of erythrocytes, a process dependent on the trafficking of hundreds of parasite-derived proteins into the host erythrocyte. Recent studies have demonstrated that the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins (PTEX) serves as the central gateway for trafficking of these proteins, as inducible knockdown of the core PTEX constituents blocked the trafficking of all classes of cargo into the erythrocyte. However, the role of the auxiliary component PTEX88 in protein export remains less clear. Here we have used inducible knockdown technologies in P. falciparum and P. berghei to assess the role of PTEX88 in parasite development and protein export, which reveal that the in vivo growth of PTEX88-deficient parasites is hindered. Interestingly, we were unable to link this observation to a general defect in export of a variety of known parasite proteins, suggesting that PTEX88 functions in a different fashion to the core PTEX components. Strikingly, PTEX88-deficient P. berghei were incapable of causing cerebral malaria despite a robust pro-inflammatory response from the host. These parasites also exhibited a reduced ability to sequester in peripheral tissues and were removed more readily from the circulation by the spleen. In keeping with these findings, PTEX88-deficient P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes displayed reduced binding to the endothelial cell receptor, CD36. This suggests that PTEX88 likely plays a specific direct or indirect role in mediating parasite sequestration rather than making a universal contribution to the trafficking of all exported proteins. PMID:26886275

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Plasmodium falciparum Rab5B Is an N-Terminally Myristoylated Rab GTPase That Is Targeted to the Parasite's Plasma and Food Vacuole Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Ezougou, Carinne Ndjembo; Ben-Rached, Fathia; Moss, David K.; Lin, Jing-wen; Black, Sally; Knuepfer, Ellen; Green, Judith L.; Khan, Shahid M.; Mukhopadhyay, Amitabha; Janse, Chris J.; Coppens, Isabelle; Yera, Hélène; Holder, Anthony A.; Langsley, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) has a family of 11 Rab GTPases to regulate its vesicular transport. However, PfRab5B is unique in lacking a C-terminal geranyl-geranylation motif, while having N-terminal palmitoylation and myristoylation motifs. We show that the N-terminal glycine is required for PfRab5B myristoylation in vitro and when an N-terminal PfRab5B fragment possessing both acylation motifs is fused to GFP and expressed in transgenic P. falciparum parasites, the chimeric PfRab5B protein localizes to the plasma membrane. Upon substitution of the modified glycine by alanine the staining becomes diffuse and GFP is found in soluble subcellular fractions. Immuno-electron microscopy shows endogenous PfRab5B decorating the parasite's plasma and food vacuole membranes. Using reverse genetics rab5b couldn't be deleted from the haploid genome of asexual blood stage P. berghei parasites. The failure of PbRab5A or PbRab5C to complement for loss of PbRab5B function indicates non-overlapping roles for the three Plasmodium Rab5s, with PfRab5B involved in trafficking MSP1 to the food vacuole membrane and CK1 to the plasma membrane. We discuss similarities between Plasmodium Rab5B and Arabidopsis thaliana ARA6, a similarly unusual Rab5-like GTPase of plants. PMID:24498355

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Construction of a Plasmodium falciparum Rab-interactome identifies CK1 and PKA as Rab-effector kinases in malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Rached, Fathia Ben; Ndjembo-Ezougou, Carinne; Chandran, Syama; Talabani, Hana; Yera, Hélène; Dandavate, Vrushali; Bourdoncle, Pierre; Meissner, Markus; Tatu, Utpal; Langsley, Gordon

    2012-01-01

    Background information The pathology causing stages of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum reside within red blood cells that are devoid of any regulated transport system. The parasite, therefore, is entirely responsible for mediating vesicular transport within itself and in the infected erythrocyte cytoplasm, and it does so in part via its family of 11 Rab GTPases. Putative functions have been ascribed to Plasmodium Rabs due to their homology with Rabs of yeast, particularly with Saccharomyces that has an equivalent number of rab/ypt genes and where analyses of Ypt function is well characterized. Results Rabs are important regulators of vesicular traffic due to their capacity to recruit specific effectors. In order to identify P. falciparum Rab (PfRab) effectors, we first built a Ypt-interactome by exploiting genetic and physical binding data available at the Saccharomyces genome database (SGD). We then constructed a PfRab-interactome using putative parasite Rab-effectors identified by homology to Ypt-effectors. We demonstrate its potential by wet-bench testing three predictions; that casein kinase-1 (PfCK1) is a specific Rab5B interacting protein and that the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PfPKA-C) is a PfRab5A and PfRab7 effector. Conclusions The establishment of a shared set of physical Ypt/PfRab-effector proteins sheds light on a core set Plasmodium Rab-interactants shared with yeast. The PfRab-interactome should benefit vesicular trafficking studies in malaria parasites. The recruitment of PfCK1 to PfRab5B+ and PfPKA-C to PfRab5A+ and PfRab7+ vesicles, respectively, suggests that PfRab-recruited kinases potentially play a role in early and late endosome function in malaria parasites. PMID:22188458

  14. Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum cytochrome b gene are associated with delayed parasite recrudescence in malaria patients treated with atovaquone-proguanil

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Colin J; Laundy, Matt; Price, Nicholas; Burke, Martina; Fivelman, Quinton L; Pasvol, Geoffrey; Klein, John L; Chiodini, Peter L

    2008-01-01

    Background Fixed-dose combination antimalarial drugs have played an increasingly important role in the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of falciparum malaria since the worldwide failure of monotherapy with chloroquine. Atovaquone-proguanil is one such combination drug used both for prophylaxis in travellers, and for treatment of acute malaria cases in European hospitals and clinics. Methods A series of eight atovaquone-proguanil treatment failures and two prophylaxis breakthroughs from four UK hospitals from 2004–2008 were analysed for evidence of mutations in the pfcyt-b gene, previously found to be associated with failure of the atovaquone component. Results Parasites carrying pfcyt-b mutations were found in five falciparum malaria patients with recrudescent parasitaemia occurring weeks after apparently successful treatment of a primary infection with atovaquone-proguanil. Four of these cases carried parasites with the Tyr268Cys mutation in pfcyt-b, previously reported in two French patients with malaria. In contrast, mutations in pfcyt-b were not found in three patients treated with atovaquone-proguanil who exhibited delayed clearance of the primary infection, nor in two returning travellers with malaria who had used the combination for prophylaxis. Using current and previously published data, mean time to recrudescence of parasites carrying pfcytb codon 268 mutations was estimated as 28.0 days after treatment (95% C.I. 23.0 – 33.0 days), whereas treatment failures without codon 268 mutations received rescue treatment an average of 4.71 days after initial AP treatment (95% C.I. 1.76 – 7.67 days). Conclusion Genetically-determined parasite resistance to atovaquone is associated with delayed recrudescence of resistant parasites three weeks or more after initial clearance of parasitaemia by atovaquone/proguanil therapy. The 268-Cys allele of pfcyt-b may have been overlooked in previous studies of atovaquone-proguanil treatment failure as it is not detected by

  15. Defining the relationship between Plasmodium vivax parasite rate and clinical disease.

    PubMed

    Battle, Katherine E; Cameron, Ewan; Guerra, Carlos A; Golding, Nick; Duda, Kirsten A; Howes, Rosalind E; Elyazar, Iqbal R F; Price, Ric N; Baird, J Kevin; Reiner, Robert C; Smith, David L; Gething, Peter W; Hay, Simon I

    2015-05-07

    Though essential to the development and evaluation of national malaria control programmes, precise enumeration of the clinical illness burden of malaria in endemic countries remains challenging where local surveillance systems are incomplete. Strategies to infer annual incidence rates from parasite prevalence survey compilations have proven effective in the specific case of Plasmodium falciparum, but have yet to be developed for Plasmodium vivax. Moreover, defining the relationship between P. vivax prevalence and clinical incidence may also allow levels of endemicity to be inferred for areas where the information balance is reversed, that is, incident case numbers are more widely gathered than parasite surveys; both applications ultimately facilitating cartographic estimates of P. vivax transmission intensity and its ensuring disease burden. A search for active case detection surveys was conducted and the recorded incidence values were matched to local, contemporary parasite rate measures and classified to geographic zones of differing relapse phenotypes. A hierarchical Bayesian model was fitted to these data to quantify the relationship between prevalence and incidence while accounting for variation among relapse zones. The model, fitted with 176 concurrently measured P. vivax incidence and prevalence records, was a linear regression of the logarithm of incidence against the logarithm of age-standardized prevalence. Specific relationships for the six relapse zones where data were available were drawn, as well as a pooled overall relationship. The slope of the curves varied among relapse zones; zones with short predicted time to relapse had steeper slopes than those observed to contain long-latency relapse phenotypes. The fitted relationships, along with appropriate uncertainty metrics, allow for estimates of clinical incidence of known confidence to be made from wherever P. vivax prevalence data are available. This is a prerequisite for cartographic

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  17. A secretory multifunctional serine protease, DegP of Plasmodium falciparum, plays an important role in thermo-oxidative stress, parasite growth and development.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Shweta; Jadli, Mohit; Singh, Anu; Arora, Kavita; Malhotra, Pawan

    2014-03-01

    Plasmodium falciparum heat shock proteins and proteases are known for their indispensable roles in parasite virulence and survival in the host cell. They neutralize various host-derived stress responses that are deleterious for parasite growth and invasion. We report identification and functional characterization of the first DegP from an apicomplexan (P. falciparum). To determine the molecular identity and functions of the parasite-encoded DegP, we complemented the Escherichia coli degP null mutant with a putative PfdegP gene, and the results showed that PfDegP complements the growth defect of the temperature sensitive DegP-deficient mutant and imparts resistance to non-permissive temperatures and oxidative stress. Molecular interaction studies showed that PfDegP exists as a complex with parasite-encoded heat shock protein 70, iron superoxide dismutase and enolase. DegP expression is significantly induced in parasite culture upon heat shock/oxidative stress. Our data suggest that the PfDegP protein may play a role in the growth and development of P. falciparum through its ability to confer protection against thermal/oxidative stress. Antibody against DegP showed anti-plasmodial activity against blood-stage parasites in vitro, suggesting that PfDegP and its associated complex may be a potential focus for new anti-malarial therapies. ●PfDegP physically interacts with PfHsp70 and PfEno by anti-bait co-immunoprecipitation (View interaction) ●PfDegP physically interacts with PfEno, PfSod, PfOat, PfHsp70, PfLDH and PfGpi by anti-bait co-immunoprecipitation (View interaction) ●PfHsp-70 and PfDegP co-localize by fluorescence microscopy (View interaction) ●PfDegP physically interacts with PfOat, PfHsp70, PfEno, PfSod, PfGpi and PfLDH by surface plasmon resonance (View interaction) ●PfEno and PfDegP co-localize by fluorescence microscopy (View interaction) ●PfDegP and PfHsp70 co-localize by co-sedimentation through density gradient (View interaction). © 2014

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

    Elmendorf, H G; Haldar, K

    1993-12-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum parasite by microsatellite markers after scale-up of insecticide-treated bed nets in western Kenya.

    PubMed

    Gatei, Wangeci; Gimnig, John E; Hawley, William; Ter Kuile, Feiko; Odero, Christopher; Iriemenam, Nnaemeka C; Shah, Monica P; Howard, Penelope Phillips; Omosun, Yusuf O; Terlouw, Dianne J; Nahlen, Bernard; Slutsker, Laurence; Hamel, Mary J; Kariuki, Simon; Walker, Edward; Shi, Ya Ping

    2015-12-09

    An initial study of genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in Asembo, western Kenya showed that the parasite maintained overall genetic stability 5 years after insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) introduction in 1997. This study investigates further the genetic diversity of P. falciparum 10 years after initial ITN introduction in the same study area and compares this with two other neighbouring areas, where ITNs were introduced in 1998 (Gem) and 2004 (Karemo). From a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2007, 235 smear-positive blood samples collected from children ≤15-year-old in the original study area and two comparison areas were genotyped employing eight neutral microsatellites. Differences in multiple infections, allele frequency, parasite genetic diversity and parasite population structure between the three areas were assessed. Further, molecular data reported previously (1996 and 2001) were compared to the 2007 results in the original study area Asembo. Overall proportion of multiple infections (MA) declined with time in the original study area Asembo (from 95.9 %-2001 to 87.7 %-2007). In the neighbouring areas, MA was lower in the site where ITNs were introduced in 1998 (Gem 83.7 %) compared to where they were introduced in 2004 (Karemo 96.7 %) in 2007. Overall mean allele count (MAC ~ 2.65) and overall unbiased heterozygosity (H e  ~ 0.77) remained unchanged in 1996, 2001 and 2007 in Asembo and was the same level across the two neighbouring areas in 2007. Overall parasite population differentiation remained low over time and in the three areas at FST < 0.04. Both pairwise and multilocus linkage disequilibrium showed limited to no significant association between alleles in Asembo (1996, 2001 and 2007) and between three areas. This study showed the P. falciparum high genetic diversity and parasite population resilience on samples collected 10 years apart and in different areas in western Kenya. The results highlight the need for long

  3. Plasmodium falciparum genome-wide scans for positive selection, recombination hot spots and resistance to antimalarial drugs

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Jianbing; Myers, Rachel A.; Jiang, Hongying; Liu, Shengfa; Ricklefs, Stacy; Waisberg, Michael; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Wilairata, Polrat; Krudsood, Srivicha; White, Nicholas J.; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Cui, Liwang; Ho, May; Ou, Fengzheng; Li, Haibo; Song, Jiangping; Li, Guoqiao; Wang, Xinhua; Seila, Suon; Sokunthea, Sreng; Socheat, Duong; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Wellems, Thomas E.; Awadalla, Philip; Su, Xin-zhuan

    2010-01-01

    Antimalarial drugs impose strong pressure on Plasmodium falciparum parasites and leave signatures of selection in the parasite genome 1,2. Search for signals of selection may lead to genes encoding drug or immune targets 3. The lack of high-throughput genotyping methods, inadequate knowledge of parasite population history, and time-consuming adaptations of parasites to in vitro culture have hampered genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of parasite traits. Here we report genotyping of DNA from 189 culture-adapted P. falciparum parasites using a custom-built array with thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Population structure, variation in recombination rate, and loci under recent positive selection were detected. Parasite half maximum inhibitory concentrations (IC50) to seven antimalarial drugs were obtained and used in GWAS to identify genes associated with drug responses. The SNP array and genome-wide parameters provide valuable tools and information for new advances in P. falciparum genetics. PMID:20101240

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Plasmodium falciparum in vitro continuous culture conditions: A comparison of parasite susceptibility and tolerance to anti-malarial drugs throughout the asexual intra-erythrocytic life cycle.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Sandra; Avery, Vicky M

    2017-07-15

    The continuous culture of Plasmodium falciparum is often seen as a means to an end, that end being to probe the biology of the parasite in question, and ultimately for many in the malaria drug discovery arena, to identify means of killing the parasite in order to treat malaria. In vitro continuous culture of Plasmodium falciparum is a fundamental requirement when undertaking malaria research where the primary objectives utilise viable parasites of a desired lifecycle stage. This investigation, and resulting data, compared the impact culturing Plasmodium falciparum long term (4 months) in different environmental conditions had on experimental outcomes and thus conclusions. The example presented here focused specifically on the effect culture conditions had on the in vitro tolerance of Plasmodium falciparum to standard anti-malarial drugs, including artemisinin and lumefantrine. Historical data from an independent experiment for 3D7-ALB (5% O2) was also compared with that obtained from this study. We concluded that parasites cultured for several months in media supplemented with a serum substitute such as Albumax II(®) or within hyperoxic conditions (21% O2), demonstrate highly variable responses to artemisinin and lumefantrine but not all anti-malarial drugs, when compared to those cultured in human serum in combination with Albumax II(®) under normoxic conditions (5% O2) for the parasite. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Vitamin B1 de novo synthesis in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum depends on external provision of 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine.

    PubMed

    Wrenger, Carsten; Eschbach, Marie-Luise; Müller, Ingrid B; Laun, Nathan P; Begley, Tadhg P; Walter, Rolf D

    2006-01-01

    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is an essential cofactor for several key enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism. Mammals have to salvage this crucial nutrient from their diet to complement their deficiency of de novo synthesis. In contrast, bacteria, fungi, plants and, as reported here, Plasmodium falciparum, possess a vitamin B1 biosynthesis pathway. The plasmodial pathway identified consists of the three vitamin B1 biosynthetic enzymes 5-(2-hydroxy-ethyl)-4-methylthiazole (THZ) kinase (ThiM), 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine (HMP)/HMP-P kinase (ThiD) and thiamine phosphate synthase (ThiE). Recombinant PfThiM and PfThiD proteins were biochemically characterised, revealing K(m)app values of 68 microM for THZ and 12 microM for HMP. Furthermore, the ability of PfThiE for generating vitamin B1 was analysed by a complementation assay with thiE-negative E. coli mutants. All three enzymes are expressed throughout the developmental blood stages, as shown by Northern blotting, which indicates the presence of the vitamin B1 biosynthesis enzymes. However, cultivation of the parasite in minimal medium showed a dependency on the provision of HMP or thiamine. These results demonstrate that the human malaria parasite P. falciparum possesses active vitamin B1 biosynthesis, which depends on external provision of thiamine precursors.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

    Gosi, Panita; Lanteri, Charlotte A; Tyner, Stuart D; Se, Youry; Lon, Chanthap; Spring, Michele; Char, Mengchuor; Sea, Darapiseth; Sriwichai, Sabaithip; Surasri, Sittidech; Wongarunkochakorn, Saowaluk; Pidtana, Kingkan; Walsh, Douglas S; Fukuda, Mark M; Manning, Jessica; Saunders, David L; Bethell, Delia

    2013-11-09

    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. 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. 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. The parasites responsible for artemisinin-resistant malaria in a clinical trial in Western Cambodia comprise

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Transcriptional Profiling Defines Histone Acetylation as a Regulator of Gene Expression during Human-to-Mosquito Transmission of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ngwa, Che J.; Kiesow, Meike J.; Papst, Olga; Orchard, Lindsey M.; Filarsky, Michael; Rosinski, Alina N.; Voss, Till S.; Llinás, Manuel; Pradel, Gabriele

    2017-01-01

    Transmission of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from the human to the mosquito is mediated by the intraerythrocytic gametocytes, which, once taken up during a blood meal, become activated to initiate sexual reproduction. Because gametocytes are the only parasite stages able to establish an infection in the mosquito, they are crucial for spreading the tropical disease. During gametocyte maturation, different repertoires of genes are switched on and off in a well-coordinated sequence, pointing to regulatory mechanisms of gene expression. While epigenetic gene control has been studied during erythrocytic schizogony of P. falciparum, little is known about this process during human-to-mosquito transmission of the parasite. To unveil the potential role of histone acetylation during gene expression in gametocytes, we carried out a microarray-based transcriptome analysis on gametocytes treated with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA). TSA-treatment impaired gametocyte maturation and lead to histone hyper-acetylation in these stages. Comparative transcriptomics identified 294 transcripts, which were more than 2-fold up-regulated during gametocytogenesis following TSA-treatment. In activated gametocytes, which were less sensitive to TSA, the transcript levels of 48 genes were increased. TSA-treatment further led to repression of ~145 genes in immature and mature gametocytes and 7 genes in activated gametocytes. Up-regulated genes are mainly associated with functions in invasion, cytoadherence, and protein export, while down-regulated genes could particularly be assigned to transcription and translation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated a link between gene activation and histone acetylation for selected genes. Among the genes up-regulated in TSA-treated mature gametocytes was a gene encoding the ring finger (RING)-domain protein PfRNF1, a putative E3 ligase of the ubiquitin-mediated signaling pathway. Immunochemistry demonstrated PfRNF1

  19. Transcriptional Profiling Defines Histone Acetylation as a Regulator of Gene Expression during Human-to-Mosquito Transmission of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Ngwa, Che J; Kiesow, Meike J; Papst, Olga; Orchard, Lindsey M; Filarsky, Michael; Rosinski, Alina N; Voss, Till S; Llinás, Manuel; Pradel, Gabriele

    2017-01-01

    Transmission of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from the human to the mosquito is mediated by the intraerythrocytic gametocytes, which, once taken up during a blood meal, become activated to initiate sexual reproduction. Because gametocytes are the only parasite stages able to establish an infection in the mosquito, they are crucial for spreading the tropical disease. During gametocyte maturation, different repertoires of genes are switched on and off in a well-coordinated sequence, pointing to regulatory mechanisms of gene expression. While epigenetic gene control has been studied during erythrocytic schizogony of P. falciparum, little is known about this process during human-to-mosquito transmission of the parasite. To unveil the potential role of histone acetylation during gene expression in gametocytes, we carried out a microarray-based transcriptome analysis on gametocytes treated with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA). TSA-treatment impaired gametocyte maturation and lead to histone hyper-acetylation in these stages. Comparative transcriptomics identified 294 transcripts, which were more than 2-fold up-regulated during gametocytogenesis following TSA-treatment. In activated gametocytes, which were less sensitive to TSA, the transcript levels of 48 genes were increased. TSA-treatment further led to repression of ~145 genes in immature and mature gametocytes and 7 genes in activated gametocytes. Up-regulated genes are mainly associated with functions in invasion, cytoadherence, and protein export, while down-regulated genes could particularly be assigned to transcription and translation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated a link between gene activation and histone acetylation for selected genes. Among the genes up-regulated in TSA-treated mature gametocytes was a gene encoding the ring finger (RING)-domain protein PfRNF1, a putative E3 ligase of the ubiquitin-mediated signaling pathway. Immunochemistry demonstrated PfRNF1

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Plasmodium falciparum glycosylphosphatidylinositol toxin interacts with the membrane of non-parasitized red blood cells: a putative mechanism contributing to malaria anemia.

    PubMed

    Brattig, Norbert W; Kowalsky, Katharina; Liu, Xinyu; Burchard, Gerd D; Kamena, Faustin; Seeberger, Peter H

    2008-07-01

    Following exposure to synthetic Plasmodium falciparum glycosylphosphatidylinositol (P.f.-GPI), red blood cells (RBCs) reacted with antibodies in the serum of a patient with severe acute P. falciparum malaria. Carbohydrate microarray analysis of the patient's serum confirmed the presence of both, IgM and IgG antibodies against P.f.-GPI. The antibodies failed to bind to RBCs when P.f.-GPI lacking the lipid portion was applied. Addition of the detergent Triton X-100 during preincubation with P.f.-GPI resulted in increased recognition. Recognition of P.f.-GPI was dependent on the concentrations of synthetic P.f.-GPI, the serum and the numbers of RBCs. IgM antibodies dominated P.f.-GPI-sensitized RBCs recognition. Recognition by IgM antibodies proved highest during the 1st week of acute malaria and decreased during the following 2 weeks as assessed by flow cytometry and carbohydrate microarray analysis. These results strongly support the notion that released P.f.-GPI can insert into non-parasitized RBC membranes and results in recognition by circulating anti-GPI antibodies and possibly subsequent elimination. This process may contribute to malaria-associated anemia.

  3. Overexpression, purification and assessment of cyclosporin binding of a family of cyclophilins and cyclophilin-like proteins of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Marín-Menéndez, Alejandro; Bell, Angus

    2011-08-01

    Malaria represents a global health, economic and social burden of enormous magnitude. Chemotherapy is at the moment a largely effective weapon against the disease, but the appearance of drug-resistant parasites is reducing the effectiveness of most drugs. Finding new drug-target candidates is one approach to the development of new drugs. The family of cyclophilins may represent a group of potential targets. They are involved in protein folding and regulation due to their peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase and/or chaperone activities. They also mediate the action of the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporin A, which additionally has strong antimalarial activity. In the genome database of the most lethal human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, 11 genes apparently encoding cyclophilin or cyclophilin-like proteins were found, but most of these have not yet been characterized. Previously a pET vector conferring a C-terminal His₆ tag was used for recombinant expression and purification of one member of the P. falciparum cyclophilin family in Escherichia coli. The approach here was to use an identical method to produce all of the other members of this family and thereby allow the most consistent functional comparisons. We were successful in generating all but three of the family, plus a single amino-acid mutant, in the same recombinant form as either full-length proteins or isolated cyclophilin-like domains. The recombinant proteins were assessed by thermal melt assay for correct folding and cyclosporin A binding. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The efficiency of sporozoite transmission in the human malarias, Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax*

    PubMed Central

    Burkot, T. R.; Graves, P. M.; Cattan, J. A.; Wirtz, R. A.; Gibson, F. D.

    1987-01-01

    Reported are malaria sporozoite and inoculation rates over a 1-year period in eight epidemiologically defined villages of different endemicity in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. In the study, more than 41 000 wild-caught mosquitos were analysed for Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax sporozoites by ELISA. In a given village the entomological inoculation rates correlated strongly with the prevalences of both these malarial parasites in children. However, the prevalence of P. falciparum infections in children was much higher than that of P. vivax, despite similar inoculation rates for the two species. These data suggest that in Papua New Guinea P. falciparum is more efficiently transmitted than P. vivax from mosquito to man. The increased efficiency of transmission of P. falciparum may be due to the heavier sporozoite densities in wild-caught mosquitos naturally infected with P. falciparum sporozoites that were tenfold greater than the sporozoite densities in mosquitos infected with P. vivax. PMID:3311441

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Christopher D.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports the ATP-binding cassette protein PFGCN20 to membrane structures in the host red blood cell.

    PubMed

    Bozdech, Z; VanWye, J; Haldar, K; Schurr, E

    1998-11-30

    PFGCN20 is a member of the ATP-binding cassette family of proteins that is closely related to the yeast translational regulator Gcn20p. We have generated a polyclonal antibody against the N-terminal region of PFGCN20 and studied the cellular localization of PFGCN20 throughout the erythrocytic life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum. PFGCN20 was found to be present at all stages and a pronounced export of PFGCN20 into the erythrocyte was observed in the trophozoite and schizont stages. In the indirect immunofluorescence assay, PFGCN20 was found to display significant colocalization with antigens detected by the monoclonal antibody 41E11. In contrast, there was only a minimal overlap of PFGCN20 localization with EMP2 and HRP2. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated a pronounced accumulation of PFGCN20 in the lumen of the parasitophorous vacuole and deconvolution fluorescence microscopy showed membrane association with selective regions of a tubovesicular network in the red cell. We also observed a concentration of PFGCN20 in electron-dense plaques just underneath the parasite's plasma membrane and an association of PFGCN20 with cytoplasmic vesicular structures within the parasite. The observed export of PFGCN20 and its association with the tubovesicular network in host red cells, may be indicative of the fact that PFGCN20 functions as ATP-binding subunit of an unknown multimeric ABC-transporter. The cytoplasmic localization of PFGCN20 in the parasite, however, suggests that the involvement of PFGCN20 in translational regulation or other cytoplasmic biological functions cannot be ruled out.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Molecular cloning, characterization and localization of PfPK4, an eIF-2alpha kinase-related enzyme from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Möhrle, J J; Zhao, Y; Wernli, B; Franklin, R M; Kappes, B

    1997-01-01

    PfPK4, a protein kinase gene from the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, has been cloned utilizing oligonucleotide probing. The gene encodes a protein of a predicted length of 1123 amino acids, and within this amino acid sequence all the conserved regions characteristic of protein kinases can be identified. The catalytic kinase domain possesses highest identities (34-37%) with eukaryotic initiation factor-2alpha (eIF-2alpha) kinases, especially haem-regulated inhibitory (HRI) protein kinases. There are two kinase inserts in PfPK4, located at positions common to eIF-2alpha kinases. The first insert separates kinase subdomains IV and VI by 559 amino acids, and the second subdomains VII and VIII by 41 amino acids. Both inserts are larger than their homologues in eIF-2alpha kinases. The sequence of PfPK4 has one putative haemin-binding site. The recombinant protein, expressed in Escherichia coli, phosphorylates a synthetic peptide representing a substrate of eIF-2alpha kinases. Autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation are inhibited by haemin. Thus PfPK4 appears to be the first protozoan protein kinase related to eIF-2alpha kinases and might be the first non-mammalian HRI kinase. Western blots indicated that the protein is expressed as major forms of 80 and 90 kDa. Whereas the 80 kDa form is present throughout the intraerythrocytic development and in merozoites, the two 90 kDa forms are only found in mature parasites. One of the latter is also present in the membrane fraction of erythrocytes harbouring segmenters. Confocal microscopy detected the protein distributed throughout the trophozoite, whereas it was found in discrete foci (punctate distribution) in segmenters. PfPK4 co-localizes with P. falciparum 83 kDa antigen/apical membrane antigen-1 at the apical complex in segmenters and merozoites, but does not co-localize with rhoptry-associated protein-1. PMID:9371731

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26908582

  19. Nanoparticle-Based Histidine-Rich Protein-2 Assay for the Detection of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Castro-Sesquen, Yagahira E; Kim, Chloe; Gilman, Robert H; Sullivan, David J; Searson, Peter C

    2016-08-03

    A nanoparticle-based assay for detection and quantification of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) in urine and serum is reported. The assay uses magnetic beads conjugated with anti-HRP2 antibody for protein capture and concentration, and antibody-conjugated quantum dots for optical detection. Western blot analysis demonstrated that magnetic beads allow the concentration of HRP2 protein in urine by 20-fold. The concentration effect was achieved because large volume of urine can be incubated with beads, and magnetic separation can be easily performed in minutes to isolate beads containing HRP2 protein. Magnetic beads and quantum dots conjugated to anti-HRP2 antibodies allows the detection of low concentrations of HRP2 protein (0.5 ng/mL), and quantification in the range of 33-2,000 ng/mL corresponding to the range associated with non-severe to severe malaria. This assay can be easily adapted to a noninvasive point-of-care test for classification of severe malaria. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Towards an understanding of the mechanism of pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum: genotyping of dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase of Kenyan parasites.

    PubMed

    Nzila, A M; Mberu, E K; Sulo, J; Dayo, H; Winstanley, P A; Sibley, C H; Watkins, W M

    2000-04-01

    The antifolate combination of pyrimethamine (PM) and sulfadoxine (SD) is the last affordable drug combination available for wide-scale treatment of falciparum malaria in Africa. Wherever this combination has been used, drug-resistant parasites have been selected rapidly. A study of PM-SD effectiveness carried out between 1997 and 1999 at Kilifi on the Kenyan coast has shown the emergence of RI and RII resistance to PM-SD (residual parasitemia 7 days after treatment) in 39 out of 240 (16.25%) patients. To understand the mechanism that underlies resistance to PM-SD, we have analyzed the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) genotypes of 81 patients. Fifty-one samples were obtained, before treatment, from patients who remained parasite free for at least 7 days after treatment. For a further 20 patients, samples were obtained before treatment and again when they returned to the clinic with parasites 7 days after PM-SD treatment. Ten additional isolates were obtained from patients who were parasitemic 7 days after treatment but who were not sampled before treatment. More than 65% of the isolates (30 of 46) in the initial group had wild-type or double mutant DHFR alleles, and all but 7 of the 47 (85%) had wild-type DHPS alleles. In the paired (before and after treatment) samples, the predominant combinations of DHFR and DHPS alleles before treatment were of triple mutant DHFR and double mutant DHPS (41% [7 of 17]) and of double mutant DHFR and double mutant DHPS (29% [5 of 17]). All except one of the posttreatment isolates had triple mutations in DHFR, and most of these were "pure" triple mutants. In these isolates, the combination of a triple mutant DHFR and wild-type DHPS was detected in 6 of 29 cases (20.7%), the combination of a triple mutant DHFR and a single mutant (A437G) DHPS was detected in 4 of 29 cases (13.8%), and the combination of a triple mutant DHFR and a double mutant (A437G, L540E) DHPS was detected in 16 of 29 cases (55

  3. Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites resistant to sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine in pregnant women in Yaoundé, Cameroon: emergence of highly resistant pfdhfr/pfdhps alleles.

    PubMed

    Chauvin, Pamela; Menard, Sandie; Iriart, Xavier; Nsango, Sandrine E; Tchioffo, Majoline T; Abate, Luc; Awono-Ambéné, Parfait H; Morlais, Isabelle; Berry, Antoine

    2015-09-01

    To determine, 6 years after the adoption of intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) in Cameroon, (i) the polymorphism and prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps) gene mutations associated with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance and (ii) the consequences of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine use in the selection of pfdhfr/pfdhps alleles. pfdhfr and pfdhps genes from P. falciparum isolates collected in Yaoundé (Cameroon) from pregnant women with symptomatic malaria before taking IPTp-SP [SP- group (control) (n = 51)] or afterwards [SP+ group (n = 49)] were sequenced. The pfdhfr N51I, C59R, S108N triple mutant had a prevalence close to 100% (96/100) and no mutations at codons 50 and 164 were detected in either of the groups. The most frequent pfdhps mutation was A437G with a prevalence of 76.5% (39/51) in the SP- group, which was significantly higher in pregnant women who took sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine [95.9% (47/49)] (P = 0.012). Our study confirmed the presence of the pfdhps K540E mutation in Cameroon, but it remained rare. The prevalence of pfdhps A581G and A613S mutations had increased [5.9% (3/51) and 11.8% (6/51) in the control group, respectively] since the last studies in 2005. Surprisingly, the new pfdhps I431V mutation was detected, at a prevalence of 9.8% (5/51), and was found to be associated with other pfdhfr/pfdhps alleles to form an octuple N51I, C59R, S108N/I431V, S436A, A437G, A581G, A613S mutant. Significant changes were found in pfdhps polymorphism. In particular, we observed several parasites carrying eight mutations in pfdhfr/pfdhps genes, which are very susceptible to having a high level of resistance to sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. 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.

  5. Humoral and Cellular Immunity to Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein 1 and Protection From Infection With Blood-Stage Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Moormann, Ann M.; Sumba, Peter Odada; Chelimo, Kiprotich; Fang, Hua; Tisch, Daniel J.; Dent, Arlene E.; John, Chandy C.; Long, Carole A.; Vulule, John; Kazura, James W.

    2013-01-01

    Background. Acquired immunity to malaria develops with increasing age and repeated infections. Understanding immune correlates of protection from malaria would facilitate vaccine development and identification of biomarkers that reflect changes in susceptibility resulting from ongoing malaria control efforts. Methods. The relationship between immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody and both interferon γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin 10 (IL-10) responses to the 42-kD C-terminal fragment of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP142) and the risk of (re)infection were examined following drug-mediated clearance of parasitemia in 94 adults and 95 children in an area of holoendemicity of western Kenya. Results. Positive IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISPOT) responses to MSP142 3D7 were associated with delayed time to (re)infection, whereas high-titer IgG antibodies to MSP142 3D7 or FVO alleles were not independently predictive of the risk of (re)infection. When IFN-γ and IL-10 responses were both present, the protective effect of IFN-γ was abrogated. A Cox proportional hazard model including IFN-γ, IL-10, MSP142 3D7 IgG antibody responses, hemoglobin S genotype, age, and infection status at baseline showed that the time to blood-stage infection correlated positively with IFN-γ responses and negatively with IL-10 responses, younger age, and asymptomatic parasitemia. Conclusions. Evaluating combined allele-specific cellular and humoral immunity elicited by malaria provides a more informative measure of protection relative to evaluation of either measure alone. PMID:23539744

  6. Humoral and cellular immunity to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 and protection from infection with blood-stage parasites.

    PubMed

    Moormann, Ann M; Sumba, Peter Odada; Chelimo, Kiprotich; Fang, Hua; Tisch, Daniel J; Dent, Arlene E; John, Chandy C; Long, Carole A; Vulule, John; Kazura, James W

    2013-07-01

     Acquired immunity to malaria develops with increasing age and repeated infections. Understanding immune correlates of protection from malaria would facilitate vaccine development and identification of biomarkers that reflect changes in susceptibility resulting from ongoing malaria control efforts.  The relationship between immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody and both interferon γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin 10 (IL-10) responses to the 42-kD C-terminal fragment of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP142) and the risk of (re)infection were examined following drug-mediated clearance of parasitemia in 94 adults and 95 children in an area of holoendemicity of western Kenya.  Positive IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISPOT) responses to MSP142 3D7 were associated with delayed time to (re)infection, whereas high-titer IgG antibodies to MSP142 3D7 or FVO alleles were not independently predictive of the risk of (re)infection. When IFN-γ and IL-10 responses were both present, the protective effect of IFN-γ was abrogated. A Cox proportional hazard model including IFN-γ, IL-10, MSP142 3D7 IgG antibody responses, hemoglobin S genotype, age, and infection status at baseline showed that the time to blood-stage infection correlated positively with IFN-γ responses and negatively with IL-10 responses, younger age, and asymptomatic parasitemia.  Evaluating combined allele-specific cellular and humoral immunity elicited by malaria provides a more informative measure of protection relative to evaluation of either measure alone.

  7. Molecular Basis of In Vivo Resistance to Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine in African Adult Patients Infected with Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Basco, Leonardo K.; Tahar, Rachida; Ringwald, Pascal

    1998-01-01

    In vitro sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine resistance has been associated with point mutations in the dihydropteroate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase domains, respectively, but the in vivo relevance of these point mutations has not been well established. To analyze the correlation between genotype and phenotype, 10 Cameroonian adult patients were treated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and followed up for 28 days. After losses to follow-up (n = 1) or elimination of DNA samples due to mixed parasite populations with pyrimethamine-sensitive and pyrimethamine-resistant profiles (n = 3), parasite genomic DNA from day 0 blood samples of six patients were analyzed by DNA sequencing. Three patients who were cured had isolates characterized by a wild-type or mutant dihydrofolate reductase gene (with one or two mutations) and a wild-type dihydropteroate synthase gene. Three other patients who failed to respond to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine treatment carried isolates with triple dihydrofolate reductase gene mutations and either a wild-type or a mutant dihydropteroate synthase gene. Three dihydrofolate reductase gene codons (51, 59, and 108) may be reliable genetic markers that can accurately predict the clinical outcome of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine treatment in Africa. PMID:9661026

  8. Molecular characterisation and stage-specific expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) from the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Kilbey, B J; Fraser, I; McAleese, S; Goman, M; Ridley, R G

    1993-01-25

    The gene encoding the malarial homologue of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, PCNA, has been identified and characterised. It is located on chromosome 13. The coding sequence of 825 nucleotides predicts a protein of 30,586 Da. There are no introns and northern analysis reveals a transcript of approximately 1.6kb. The conserved residues which characterise the PCNAs of human, Drosophila, Saccharomyces and Xenopus are present in PfPCNA but the overall identity of PfPCNA with human and yeast PCNAs is low; 34% and 31% respectively. PfPCNA is longer than the PCNAs of these other species by about 16 amino acids, most of which are present in a block near the carboxy terminus. Antibodies against a purified PfPCNA-glutathione-S-transferase fusion protein recognise a single band in western blots of parasite extracts at 32kDa. The same antiserum has been used to demonstrate that the expression of PfPCNA is regulated during the intraerythrocytic development of the parasite. Expression increases dramatically in late trophozoites and is maintained during the subsequent nuclear divisions which produce schizonts.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. Sequences of the Plasmodium falciparum cytoadherence-linked asexual protein 9 implicated in malaria parasite invasion to erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Pinzón, Carlos Giovanni; Curtidor, Hernando; García, Jeison; Vanegas, Magnolia; Vizcaíno, Carolina; Patarroyo, Manuel A; Patarroyo, Manuel E

    2010-03-19

    In this study, we synthesized the complete sequence of the CLAG-9 protein as 67 20-mer-long non-overlapped peptides and assessed their ability to bind to erythrocytes in receptor-ligand assays. Twenty CLAG-9 peptides were found to have specific high-affinity binding ability to erythrocytes (thereby named as HABPs), with nanomolar dissociation constants. CLAG-9 HABPs interacted with different erythrocyte surface receptors having apparent molecular weights of 85, 63 and 34 kDa. CLAG-9 HABPs binding was also affected by pre-treatment of RBCs with enzymes and inhibited erythrocyte invasion in vitro by up to 72% at 200 microM. These results suggest that some protein fragments of CLAG-9 may be part of the molecular machinery used by malaria parasites to invade erythrocytes, hence supporting their study as possible vaccine candidates. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. The use of mobile phone data for the estimation of the travel patterns and imported Plasmodium falciparum rates among Zanzibar residents.

    PubMed

    Tatem, Andrew J; Qiu, Youliang; Smith, David L; Sabot, Oliver; Ali, Abdullah S; Moonen, Bruno

    2009-12-10

    Malaria endemicity in Zanzibar has reached historically low levels, and the epidemiology of malaria transmission is in transition. To capitalize on these gains, Zanzibar has commissioned a feasibility assessment to help inform on whether to move to an elimination campaign. Declining local transmission has refocused attention on imported malaria. Recent studies have shown that anonimized mobile phone records provide a valuable data source for characterizing human movements without compromising the privacy of phone users. Such movement data in combination with spatial data on P. falciparum endemicity provide a way of characterizing the patterns of parasite carrier movements and the rates of malaria importation, which have been used as part of the malaria elimination feasibility assessment for the islands of Zanzibar. Records encompassing three months of complete mobile phone usage for the period October-December 2008 were obtained from the Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel) mobile phone network company, the principal provider on the islands of Zanzibar. The data included the dates of all phone usage by 770,369 individual anonymous users. Each individual call and message was spatially referenced to one of six areas: Zanzibar and five mainland Tanzania regions. Information on the numbers of Zanzibar residents travelling to the mainland, locations visited and lengths of stay were extracted. Spatial and temporal data on P. falciparum transmission intensity and seasonality enabled linkage of this information to endemicity exposure and, motivated by malaria transmission models, estimates of the expected patterns of parasite importation to be made. Over the three month period studied, 88% of users made calls that were routed only through masts on Zanzibar, suggesting that no long distance travel was undertaken by this group. Of those who made calls routed through mainland masts the vast majority of trips were estimated to be of less than five days in length, and to the Dar Es Salaam

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Genetic evidence for contribution of human dispersal to the genetic diversity of EBA-175 in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Yasukochi, Yoshiki; Naka, Izumi; Patarapotikul, Jintana; Hananantachai, Hathairad; Ohashi, Jun

    2015-08-01

    The 175-kDa erythrocyte binding antigen (EBA-175) of Plasmodium falciparum plays a crucial role in merozoite invasion into human erythrocytes. EBA-175 is believed to have been under diversifying selection; however, there have been no studies investigating the effect of dispersal of humans out of Africa on the genetic variation of EBA-175 in P. falciparum. The PCR-direct sequencing was performed for a part of the eba-175 gene (regions II and III) using DNA samples obtained from Thai patients infected with P. falciparum. The divergence times for the P. falciparum eba-175 alleles were estimated assuming that P. falciparum/Plasmodium reichenowi divergence occurred 6 million years ago (MYA). To examine the possibility of diversifying selection, nonsynonymous and synonymous substitution rates for Plasmodium species were also estimated. A total of 32 eba-175 alleles were identified from 131 Thai P. falciparum isolates. Their estimated divergence time was 0.13-0.14 MYA, before the exodus of humans from Africa. A phylogenetic tree for a large sequence dataset of P. falciparum eba-175 alleles from across the world showed the presence of a basal Asian-specific cluster for all P. falciparum sequences. A markedly more nonsynonymous substitutions than synonymous substitutions in region II in P. falciparum was also detected, but not within Plasmodium species parasitizing African apes, suggesting that diversifying selection has acted specifically on P. falciparum eba-175. Plasmodium falciparum eba-175 genetic diversity appeared to increase following the exodus of Asian ancestors from Africa. Diversifying selection may have played an important role in the diversification of eba-175 allelic lineages. The present results suggest that the dispersals of humans out of Africa influenced significantly the molecular evolution of P. falciparum EBA-175.

  18. Preerythrocytic, live-attenuated Plasmodium falciparum vaccine candidates by design.

    PubMed

    VanBuskirk, Kelley M; O'Neill, Matthew T; De La Vega, Patricia; Maier, Alexander G; Krzych, Urszula; Williams, Jack; Dowler, Megan G; Sacci, John B; Kangwanrangsan, Niwat; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Kneteman, Norman M; Heppner, Donald G; Murdock, Brant A; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Aly, Ahmed S I; Cowman, Alan F; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2009-08-04

    Falciparum malaria is initiated when Anopheles mosquitoes transmit the Plasmodium sporozoite stage during a blood meal. Irradiated sporozoites confer sterile protection against subsequent malaria infection in animal models and humans. This level of protection is unmatched by current recombinant malaria vaccines. However, the live-attenuated vaccine approach faces formidable obstacles, including development of accurate, reproducible attenuation techniques. We tested whether Plasmodium falciparum could be attenuated at the early liver stage by genetic engineering. The P. falciparum genetically attenuated parasites (GAPs) harbor individual deletions or simultaneous deletions of the sporozoite-expressed genes P52 and P36. Gene deletions were done by double-cross-over recombination to avoid genetic reversion of the knockout parasites. The gene deletions did not affect parasite replication throughout the erythrocytic cycle, gametocyte production, mosquito infections, and sporozoite production rates. However, the deletions caused parasite developmental arrest during hepatocyte infection. The double-gene deletion line exhibited a more severe intrahepatocytic growth defect compared with the single-gene deletion lines, and it did not persist. This defect was assessed in an in vitro liver-stage growth assay and in a chimeric mouse model harboring human hepatocytes. The strong phenotype of the double knockout GAP justifies its human testing as a whole-organism vaccine candidate using the established sporozoite challenge model. GAPs might provide a safe and reproducible platform to develop an efficacious whole-cell malaria vaccine that prevents infection at the preerythrocytic stage.

  19. Abundance and rates of brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds over an elevational gradient in the southern Sierra Nevada

    Treesearch

    Kathryn Purcell; Jared Verner

    1999-01-01

    We studied Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism rates in four forest types (ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, true fir, and lodgepole pine) over an elevational gradient in the southern Sierra Nevada. Cowbirds were most abundant and parasitism rates were highest at the lowest sites. All but one of 17 parasitized nests were found in the...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Anti-folate drug resistance in Africa: meta-analysis of reported dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) mutant genotype frequencies in African Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations.

    PubMed

    Sridaran, Sankar; McClintock, Shannon K; Syphard, Luke M; Herman, Karen M; Barnwell, John W; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2010-08-30

    Mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genes of Plasmodium falciparum are associated with resistance to anti-folate drugs, most notably sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). Molecular studies document the prevalence of these mutations in parasite populations across the African continent. However, there is no systematic review examining the collective epidemiological significance of these studies. This meta-analysis attempts to: 1) summarize genotype frequency data that are critical for molecular surveillance of anti-folate resistance and 2) identify the specific challenges facing the development of future molecular databases. This review consists of 220 studies published prior to 2009 that report the frequency of select dhfr and dhps mutations in 31 African countries. Maps were created to summarize the location and prevalence of the highly resistant dhfr triple mutant (N51I, C59R, S108N) genotype and dhps double mutant (A437G and K540E) genotype in Africa. A hierarchical mixed effects logistic regression was used to examine the influence of various factors on reported mutant genotype frequency. These factors include: year and location of study, age and clinical status of sampled population, and reporting conventions for mixed genotype data. A database consisting of dhfr and dhps mutant genotype frequencies from all African studies that met selection criteria was created for this analysis. The map illustrates particularly high prevalence of both the dhfr triple and dhps double mutant genotypes along the Kenya-Tanzania border and Malawi. The regression model shows a statistically significant increase in the prevalence of both the dhfr triple and dhps double mutant genotypes in Africa. Increasing prevalence of the dhfr triple mutant and dhps double mutant genotypes in Africa are consistent with the loss of efficacy of SP for treatment of clinical malaria in most parts of this continent. Continued assessment of the effectiveness

  5. Anti-folate drug resistance in Africa: meta-analysis of reported dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) mutant genotype frequencies in African Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genes of Plasmodium falciparum are associated with resistance to anti-folate drugs, most notably sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). Molecular studies document the prevalence of these mutations in parasite populations across the African continent. However, there is no systematic review examining the collective epidemiological significance of these studies. This meta-analysis attempts to: 1) summarize genotype frequency data that are critical for molecular surveillance of anti-folate resistance and 2) identify the specific challenges facing the development of future molecular databases. Methods This review consists of 220 studies published prior to 2009 that report the frequency of select dhfr and dhps mutations in 31 African countries. Maps were created to summarize the location and prevalence of the highly resistant dhfr triple mutant (N51I, C59R, S108N) genotype and dhps double mutant (A437G and K540E) genotype in Africa. A hierarchical mixed effects logistic regression was used to examine the influence of various factors on reported mutant genotype frequency. These factors include: year and location of study, age and clinical status of sampled population, and reporting conventions for mixed genotype data. Results A database consisting of dhfr and dhps mutant genotype frequencies from all African studies that met selection criteria was created for this analysis. The map illustrates particularly high prevalence of both the dhfr triple and dhps double mutant genotypes along the Kenya-Tanzania border and Malawi. The regression model shows a statistically significant increase in the prevalence of both the dhfr triple and dhps double mutant genotypes in Africa. Conclusion Increasing prevalence of the dhfr triple mutant and dhps double mutant genotypes in Africa are consistent with the loss of efficacy of SP for treatment of clinical malaria in most parts of this continent

  6. 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

  7. Puromycin-N-acetyltransferase as a selectable marker for use in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    de Koning-Ward, T F; Waters, A P; Crabb, B S

    2001-10-01

    The limited number of selectable markers available for malaria transfection has hindered extensive manipulation of the Plasmodium falciparum genome and subsequently thorough genetic analysis of this organism. In this paper, we demonstrate that P. falciparum is highly sensitive to the drug puromycin, but that transgenic expression of the puromycin-N-acetyltransferase (PAC) gene from Streptomyces alboninger confers resistance to this drug with the IC(50) and IC(90) values increasing approximately 3- and 7-fold, respectively in PAC-expressing parasites. Despite this relatively low level of resistance, parasite populations transfected with the PAC selectable marker and selected directly on puromycin emerged at the same rate post-transfection as human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR)-expressing parasites, selected independently with the anti-folate drug WR99210. Transfected parasites generally maintained the PAC expression plasmid episomally at between two and six copies per parasite. We also demonstrate by cycling transfected parasites in the presence and absence of puromycin for several weeks, that the PAC selectable marker can be used for gene-targeting. Since the mode of action of puromycin is distinct from other drugs currently used for the stable transfection of P. falciparum, the PAC selectable marker should also have applicability for use in conjunction with other positive selectable markers, thereby increasing the possibilities for more complex functional studies of this organism.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. High rates of parasite recrudescence following intermittent preventive treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine during pregnancy in Benin.

    PubMed

    Moussiliou, Azizath; De Tove, Yolande Sissinto-Savi; Doritchamou, Justin; Luty, Adrian J F; Massougbodji, Achille; Alifrangis, Michael; Deloron, Philippe; Ndam, Nicaise Tuikue

    2013-06-10

    Despite widespread parasite resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) its use for intermittent preventative treatment during pregnancy remains the policy in Benin and throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. In a prospective study, 982 pregnant women were recruited in Benin and followed until delivery. The prevalence of point mutations in the pfdhfr and pfdhps genes associated with Plasmodium falciparum resistance to SP during consecutive antenatal visits was determined. Parasites clearance among women infected at SP intake was assessed by microscopy and PCR. Association between the persistence of parasites and malaria consequences, were investigated. Recurrent parasites were genotyped to identify recrudescences from re-infections. The prevalence of pfdhfr/pfdhps quadruple mutants (triple pfdhfr + single pfdhps) was consistently above 80% while quintuple and sextuple mutants remained low. Importantly the higly mutated parasites apparently never included the two key mutations, pfdhfr 164 L or pfdhps 540E. Based on PCR results, SP failed to clear existing parasitaemia in half (48%) of the women who were infected at IPTp schedule. The frequency of recrudescence reached 76% after the second dose. Women with persistent parasitaemia had an increased prevalence of anaemia (P = 0.03). The data presented here, highlight the inability of SP to ensure optimal antiplasmodial protection in late pregnancy, and invite urgent consideration of an alternative drug or strategy.

  12. Two-Color Flow Cytometric Analysis of Intraerythrocytic Malaria Parasite DNA and Surface Membrane-Associated Antigen in Erythrocytes Infected with Plasmodium falciparum

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-01-01

    Antigen in Erythrocytes Infected With Plasmodium falciparum 1 Kovit Pattanapanyasat,2 Rachanee Udomsangpetch, and H. Kyle Webster The Thalassemia Center... Thalassemia Center, Division of Hematology., Siriraj Hospital, 15). Identification of conserved epitopes has important Bangkok 10700. Thailan 93-10832 93 5 4

  13. Antimalarial Activity of KAF156 in Falciparum and Vivax Malaria.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-09-22

    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. 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). 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. KAF156 showed antimalarial activity without evident safety concerns in a small number of adults with uncomplicated P. vivax or P. falciparum malaria. (Funded by Novartis and

  14. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  16. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Endemicity in Indonesia in 2010

    PubMed Central

    Elyazar, Iqbal R. F.; Gething, Peter W.; Patil, Anand P.; Rogayah, Hanifah; Kusriastuti, Rita; Wismarini, Desak M.; Tarmizi, Siti N.; Baird, J. Kevin; Hay, Simon I.

    2011-01-01

    Background Malaria control programs require a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of infection risk to efficiently allocate resources. We used model based geostatistics (MBG) techniques to generate a contemporary map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria risk in Indonesia in 2010. Methods Plasmodium falciparum Annual Parasite Incidence (PfAPI) data (2006–2008) were used to map limits of P. falciparum transmission. A total of 2,581 community blood surveys of P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) were identified (1985–2009). After quality control, 2,516 were included into a national database of age-standardized 2–10 year old PfPR data (PfPR2–10) for endemicity mapping. A Bayesian MBG procedure was used to create a predicted surface of PfPR2–10 endemicity with uncertainty estimates. Population at risk estimates were derived with reference to a 2010 human population count surface. Results We estimate 132.8 million people in Indonesia, lived at risk of P. falciparum transmission in 2010. Of these, 70.3% inhabited areas of unstable transmission and 29.7% in stable transmission. Among those exposed to stable risk, the vast majority were at low risk (93.39%) with the reminder at intermediate (6.6%) and high risk (0.01%). More people in western Indonesia lived in unstable rather than stable transmission zones. In contrast, fewer people in eastern Indonesia lived in unstable versus stable transmission areas. Conclusion While further feasibility assessments will be required, the immediate prospects for sustained control are good across much of the archipelago and medium term plans to transition to the pre-elimination phase are not unrealistic for P. falciparum. Endemicity in areas of Papua will clearly present the greatest challenge. This P. falciparum endemicity map allows malaria control agencies and their partners to comprehensively assess the region-specific prospects for reaching pre-elimination, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of

  17. Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity in Indonesia in 2010.

    PubMed

    Elyazar, Iqbal R F; Gething, Peter W; Patil, Anand P; Rogayah, Hanifah; Kusriastuti, Rita; Wismarini, Desak M; Tarmizi, Siti N; Baird, J Kevin; Hay, Simon I

    2011-01-01

    Malaria control programs require a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of infection risk to efficiently allocate resources. We used model based geostatistics (MBG) techniques to generate a contemporary map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria risk in Indonesia in 2010. Plasmodium falciparum Annual Parasite Incidence (PfAPI) data (2006-2008) were used to map limits of P. falciparum transmission. A total of 2,581 community blood surveys of P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) were identified (1985-2009). After quality control, 2,516 were included into a national database of age-standardized 2-10 year old PfPR data (PfPR(2-10)) for endemicity mapping. A Bayesian MBG procedure was used to create a predicted surface of PfPR(2-10) endemicity with uncertainty estimates. Population at risk estimates were derived with reference to a 2010 human population count surface. We estimate 132.8 million people in Indonesia, lived at risk of P. falciparum transmission in 2010. Of these, 70.3% inhabited areas of unstable transmission and 29.7% in stable transmission. Among those exposed to stable risk, the vast majority were at low risk (93.39%) with the reminder at intermediate (6.6%) and high risk (0.01%). More people in western Indonesia lived in unstable rather than stable transmission zones. In contrast, fewer people in eastern Indonesia lived in unstable versus stable transmission areas. While further feasibility assessments will be required, the immediate prospects for sustained control are good across much of the archipelago and medium term plans to transition to the pre-elimination phase are not unrealistic for P. falciparum. Endemicity in areas of Papua will clearly present the greatest challenge. This P. falciparum endemicity map allows malaria control agencies and their partners to comprehensively assess the region-specific prospects for reaching pre-elimination, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of future strategies against this 2010 baseline

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A comparison of compliance rates with anti-vectorial protective measures during travel to regions with dengue or chikungunya activity, and regions endemic for Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Lalani, Tahaniyat; Yun, Heather; Tribble, David; Ganesan, Anuradha; Kunz, Anjali; Fairchok, Mary; Schnaubelt, Elizabeth; Fraser, Jamie; Mitra, Indrani; Kronmann, Karl C; Burgess, Timothy; Deiss, Robert G; Riddle, Mark S; Johnson, Mark D

    2016-05-01

    There is limited information on compliance rates with anti-vectorial protective measures (AVPMs) during travel to countries with risk of dengue and chikungunya. We evaluated differences in mosquito exposures, and factors associated with AVPM compliance in travellers going to countries where the principal mosquito-borne infectious disease threat is falciparum malaria and those where risk of dengue or chikungunya predominates. Department of Defence beneficiaries with planned travel to regions where the predominant mosquito-borne infection is falciparum malaria, and those with predominantly dengue or chikungunya risk, were included. Regions were divided into three groups: 'high-risk falciparum malaria', 'low-risk falciparum malaria' and 'chikungunya/dengue risk'. Demographics, trip characteristics, arthropod exposure and AVPM compliance were captured using pre- and post-travel surveys. Skin repellent compliance was defined as self-reported use, categorized as 'often/every day'. A logistic regression model was used to estimate factors associated with AVPM compliance. 183 (9%), 185 (9%) and 149 (7%) travelled to high and low falciparum malaria risk regions, and chikungunya/dengue risk regions, respectively. Overall, 53% (95% CI: 48-57%) and 16% (95% CI: 12-19%) were compliant with repellent use on skin and clothing, respectively. Daytime bites were reported more frequently in chikungunya/dengue risk regions than high malaria risk regions (37% vs. 10%), while night time bites were frequently in high malaria risk regions (53% vs 20%; P < 0.001). Compliance with skin repellents was associated with female gender [RR: 1.54 (95% CI: 1.05-2.28)], observing mosquitoes during travel [RR: 2.77 (95% CI: 1.76-4.36)] and travel during the rainy season [RR: 2.45 (95% CI: 1.66-3.71)]). Poor AVPM compliance was observed in the overall cohort. Compliance with skin repellent use was associated with female gender, observing mosquitoes and travelling during the rainy season, and was not

  1. A comparison of compliance rates with anti-vectorial protective measures during travel to regions with dengue or chikungunya activity, and regions endemic for Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Lalani, Tahaniyat; Yun, Heather; Tribble, David; Ganesan, Anuradha; Kunz, Anjali; Fairchok, Mary; Schnaubelt, Elizabeth; Fraser, Jamie; Mitra, Indrani; Kronmann, Karl C.; Burgess, Timothy; Deiss, Robert G.; Riddle, Mark S.; Johnson, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

    Background. There is limited information on compliance rates with anti-vectorial protective measures (AVPMs) during travel to countries with risk of dengue and chikungunya. We evaluated differences in mosquito exposures, and factors associated with AVPM compliance in travellers going to countries where the principal mosquito-borne infectious disease threat is falciparum malaria and those where risk of dengue or chikungunya predominates. Methods. Department of Defence beneficiaries with planned travel to regions where the predominant mosquito-borne infection is falciparum malaria, and those with predominantly dengue or chikungunya risk, were included. Regions were divided into three groups: ‘high-risk falciparum malaria’, ‘low-risk falciparum malaria’ and ‘chikungunya/dengue risk’. Demographics, trip characteristics, arthropod exposure and AVPM compliance were captured using pre- and post-travel surveys. Skin repellent compliance was defined as self-reported use, categorized as ‘often/every day’. A logistic regression model was used to estimate factors associated with AVPM compliance. Results. 183 (9%), 185 (9%) and 149 (7%) travelled to high and low falciparum malaria risk regions, and chikungunya/dengue risk regions, respectively. Overall, 53% (95% CI: 48–57%) and 16% (95% CI: 12–19%) were compliant with repellent use on skin and clothing, respectively. Daytime bites were reported more frequently in chikungunya/dengue risk regions than high malaria risk regions (37% vs. 10%), while night time bites were frequently in high malaria risk regions (53% vs 20%; P < 0.001). Compliance with skin repellents was associated with female gender [RR: 1.54 (95% CI: 1.05–2.28)], observing mosquitoes during travel [RR: 2.77 (95% CI: 1.76–4.36)] and travel during the rainy season [RR: 2.45 (95% CI: 1.66–3.71)]). Conclusions. Poor AVPM compliance was observed in the overall cohort. Compliance with skin repellent use was associated with female gender

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Parasitism rates and sex ratios of a parasitoid wasp: effects of herbivore and plant quality.

    PubMed

    Fox, Laurel R; Letourneau, Deborah K; Eisenbach, Jamin; Van Nouhuys, Saskya

    1990-06-01

    We studied interactions among collards, Brassica oleracea var. acephala, the diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) and its parasitoid Diadegma insulare (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) by manipulating plant nitrogen (N) concentrations in field and laboratory experiments. Parasitoid abundance strongly reflected DBM abundance and was related to total leaf N. Parasitism rates were high (70.7%) and density-independent. Wasp sex ratios varied markedly (3-93% female) in response to the herbivores, the plants, or both. Higher proportions of female wasps emerged from DBM larvae on plants with high leaf N than on unfertilized plants. More female wasps also emerged from larvae parasitized as larger instars. We suggest that wasps have the potential to control DBM populations through long-term numerical responses mediated by variable sex ratios.

  5. 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.

  6. Estimating the annual entomological inoculation rate for Plasmodium falciparum transmitted by Anopheles gambiae s.l. using three sampling methods in three sites in Uganda

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The Plasmodium falciparum entomological inoculation rate (PfEIR) is a measure of exposure to infectious mosquitoes. It is usually interpreted as the number of P. falciparum infective bites received by an individual during a season or annually (aPfEIR). In an area of perennial transmission, the accuracy, precision and seasonal distribution (i.e., month by month) of aPfEIR were investigated. Data were drawn from three sites in Uganda with differing levels of transmission where falciparum malaria is transmitted mainly by Anopheles gambiae s.l. Estimates of aPfEIR derived from human-landing catches – the classic method for estimating biting rates – were compared with data from CDC light traps, and with catches of knock down and exit traps separately and combined. Methods Entomological surveillance was carried out over one year in 2011/12 in three settings: Jinja, a peri-urban area with low transmission; Kanungu, a rural area with moderate transmission; and Nagongera, Tororo District, a rural area with exceptionally high malaria transmission. Three sampling approaches were used from randomly selected houses with collections occurring once a month: human-landing collections (eight houses), CDC light traps (100 houses) and paired knock-down and exit traps each month (ten houses) for each setting. Up to 50 mosquitoes per month from each household were tested for sporozoites with P. falciparum by ELISA. Human biting rate (HBR) data were estimated month by month. P. falciparum Sporozoite rate (PfSR) for yearly and monthly data and confidence intervals were estimated using the binomial exact test. Monthly and yearly estimates of the HBR, the PfSR, and the PfEIR were estimated and compared. Results The estimated aPfEIR values using human-landing catch data were 3.8 (95% Confidence Intervals, CI 0-11.4) for Jinja, 26.6 (95% CI 7.6-49.4) for Kanungu, and 125 (95% CI 72.2-183.0) for Tororo. In general, the monthly PfEIR values showed strong seasonal signals with

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Host abundance, seagrass cover, and temperature predict infection rates of parasitic isopods (Bopyridae) on caridean shrimp.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Sarah A; Blanar, Christopher A; Robblee, Michael B; Boyko, Christopher B; Hirons, Amy C

    2017-09-11

    Caridean shrimp are critical components of seagrass communities and occasionally harbor parasitic bopyrid isopods, which can negatively impact their hosts. However, the ecological factors that drive infection rates of parasitic bopyrid isopods in host carideans are poorly known. We examined 43,785 carideans belonging to 6 families and 11 genera from 19 shallow-water localities throughout south Florida. Of these, only 114 shrimp (belonging to 5 genera) were found to be infested with bopyrids (an additional 251 had deformed carapaces consistent with recent infestation). We identified 13 bopyrid species (Bopyrina abbreviata; Bopyrinella thorii; Eophrixus subcaudalis; Loki circumsaltanus; Metaphrixus carolii; Ovobopyrus alphezemiotes; Parabopyrella lata; Parabopyrella richardsonae; Parabopyriscus stellatus; Capitetragonia alphei; Probopyrus pandalicola; Schizobopyrina urocaridis; and an unidentified Diplophryxus sp.). Bopyrid infection rates were very low throughout the study area, with mean prevalence of 0.26% (range 0.04-1.48%). Furthermore, each isopod species was only ever recovered from a single host genus, suggesting a high degree of genus-level specificity. At the community level, multivariate analyses (RELATE and BVSTEP) indicated that bopyrid community composition was correlated with host community structure, latitude and temperature, as well as the relative coverage of the seagrasses Thalassia sp. and Syringodium sp. and the alga Penicillus sp. Only 4 parasite taxa were sufficiently abundant to warrant further analysis at the individual taxon level: B. abbreviata, B. thorii, Diplophryxus sp., and P. pandalicola; stepwise regression indicated that bopyrid infection rates were primarily driven by the abundance of their specific hosts, and secondarily by environmental variables such as temperature and depth, as well as algal and seagrass community composition.

  12. 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

  13. Artemisinin-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    PubMed

    Fairhurst, Rick M; Dondorp, Arjen M

    2016-06-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Hemoglobinopathies: Slicing the Gordian Knot of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Type II fatty acid biosynthesis is essential for Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite development in the midgut of Anopheles mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    van Schaijk, Ben C L; Kumar, T R Santha; Vos, Martijn W; Richman, Adam; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; Li, Tao; Eappen, Abraham G; Williamson, Kim C; Morahan, Belinda J; Fishbaugher, Matt; Kennedy, Mark; Camargo, Nelly; Khan, Shahid M; Janse, Chris J; Sim, Kim Lee; Hoffman, Stephen L; Kappe, Stefan H I; Sauerwein, Robert W; Fidock, David A; Vaughan, Ashley M

    2014-05-01

    The prodigious rate at which malaria parasites proliferate during asexual blood-stage replication, midgut sporozoite production, and intrahepatic development creates a substantial requirement for essential nutrients, including fatty acids that likely are necessary for parasite membrane formation. Plasmodium parasites obtain fatty acids either by scavenging from the vertebrate host and mosquito vector or by producing fatty acids de novo via the type two fatty acid biosynthesis pathway (FAS-II). Here, we study the FAS-II pathway in Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for the most lethal form of human malaria. Using antibodies, we find that the FAS-II enzyme FabI is expressed in mosquito midgut oocysts and sporozoites as well as liver-stage parasites but not during the blood stages. As expected, FabI colocalizes with the apicoplast-targeted acyl carrier protein, indicating that FabI functions in the apicoplast. We further analyze the FAS-II pathway in Plasmodium falciparum by assessing the functional consequences of deleting fabI and fabB/F. Targeted deletion or disruption of these genes in P. falciparum did not affect asexual blood-stage replication or the generation of midgut oocysts; however, subsequent sporozoite development was abolished. We conclude that the P. falciparum FAS-II pathway is essential for sporozoite development within the midgut oocyst. These findings reveal an important distinction from the rodent Plasmodium parasites P. berghei and P. yoelii, where the FAS-II pathway is known to be required for normal parasite progression through the liver stage but is not required for oocyst development in the Anopheles mosquito midgut.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Characterization of Plasmodium falciparum Choline Transporters

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-04-01

    interfere specifically with parasite membrane biogenesis inhibit the growth of the parasite in vitro, are non-toxic to human cell lines, impair the...phosphocholine. Collectively, our data supported by the USAMRMC provide a much better understanding of membrane biogenesis in P. falciparum and provide strong...characterize the role of the PJSCT1 (now renamed PfGAT) and PfCTL1 genes of the human malaria pathogen Plasmodiumfalciparum in membrane biogenesis

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

    PubMed

    Ayres Pereira, Marina; Mandel Clausen, Thomas; Pehrson, Caroline; Mao, Yang; Resende, Mafalda; Daugaard, Mads; Riis Kristensen, Anders; Spliid, Charlotte; Mathiesen, Line; E Knudsen, Lisbeth; Damm, Peter; G Theander, Thor; R Hansson, Stefan; A Nielsen, Morten; Salanti, Ali

    2016-08-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. A scalable assessment of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in the standard membrane-feeding assay, using transgenic parasites expressing green fluorescent protein-luciferase.

    PubMed

    Stone, Will J R; Churcher, Thomas S; Graumans, Wouter; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; Vos, Martijn W; Lanke, Kjerstin H W; van de Vegte-Bolmer, Marga G; Siebelink-Stoter, Rianne; Dechering, Koen J; Vaughan, Ashley M; Camargo, Nelly; Kappe, Stefan H I; Sauerwein, Robert W; Bousema, Teun

    2014-11-01

    The development of drugs and vaccines to reduce malaria transmission is an important part of eradication plans. The transmission-reducing activity (TRA) of these agents is currently determined in the standard membrane-feeding assay (SMFA), based on subjective microscopy-based readouts and with limitations in upscaling and throughput. Using a Plasmodium falciparum strain expressing the firefly luciferase protein, we present a luminescence-based approach to SMFA evaluation that eliminates the requirement for mosquito dissections in favor of a simple approach in which whole mosquitoes are homogenized and examined directly for luciferase activity. Analysis of 6860 Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes across 68 experimental feeds shows that the luminescence assay was as sensitive as microscopy for infection detection. The mean luminescence intensity of individual and pooled mosquitoes accurately quantifies mean oocyst intensity and generates comparable TRA estimates. The luminescence assay presented here could increase SMFA throughput so that 10-30 experimental feeds could be evaluated in a single 96-well plate. This new method of assessing Plasmodium infection and transmission intensity could expedite the screening of novel drug compounds, vaccine candidates, and sera from malaria-exposed individuals for TRA. Luminescence-based estimates of oocyst intensity in individual mosquitoes should be interpreted with caution. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Plasmodium falciparum Cultivation Using the Petri Dish: Revisiting the Effect of the 'Age' of Erythrocytes and the Interval of Medium Change

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young-A; Cha, Je-Eun; Ahn, Sun-Young; Ryu, Seung-Ho; Yeom, Joon-Sup; Lee, Hyo-Il; Kim, Chang-Gyun; Seoh, Ju-Young

    2007-01-01

    Differences in the characteristics of the culture conditions can influence the multiplication rate of Plasmodium falciparum. The Petri dish method is one of the most popular methods of cultivating this parasite. In many previous studies, ideal culture conditions of the Petri dish method were achieved by using erythrocytes collected from blood that had been stored for at least 2 weeks, with daily changes of the medium. In the present study, we studied the multiplication rate of P. falciparum in cultures containing erythrocytes of various ages together with changing the medium at various intervals of time. Our results strongly suggest that the rate of in vitro multiplication of P. falciparum was higher in freshly collected erythrocytes than in aged erythrocytes regardless of the anticoagulant and that when the parasitemia is lower than 8% with a hematocrit of 5%, the medium change interval can be as long as 48 hr without a great reduction in the rate of multiplication. PMID:18162717

  8. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria, Southern Algeria, 2007

    PubMed Central

    Gassen, Ibrahim; Khechache, Yacine; Lamali, Karima; Tchicha, Boualem; Brengues, Cécile; Menegon, Michela; Severini, Carlo; Fontenille, Didier; Harrat, Zoubir

    2010-01-01

    An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurred in Tinzaouatine in southern Algeria in 2007. The likely vector, Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, had not been detected in Algeria. Genes for resistance to chloroquine were detected in the parasite. The outbreak shows the potential for an increase in malaria vectors in Algeria. PMID:20113565

  9. Host erythrocyte polymorphisms and exposure to Plasmodium falciparum in Papua New Guinea

    PubMed Central

    Fowkes, Freya JI; Michon, Pascal; Pilling, Lynn; Ripley, Ruth M; Tavul, Livingstone; Imrie, Heather J; Woods, Caira M; Mgone, Charles S; Luty, Adrian JF; Day, Karen P

    2008-01-01

    Background The protection afforded by human erythrocyte polymorphisms against the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has been proposed to be due to reduced ability of the parasite to invade or develop in erythrocytes. If this were the case, variable levels of parasitaemia and rates of seroconversion to infected-erythrocyte variant surface antigens (VSA) should be seen in different host genotypes. Methods To test this hypothesis, P. falciparum parasitaemia and anti-VSA antibody levels were measured in a cohort of 555 asymptomatic children from an area of intense malaria transmission in Papua New Guinea. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the effect of α+-thalassaemia, complement receptor-1 and south-east Asian ovalocytosis, as well as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and ABO blood group on parasitaemia and age-specific seroconversion to VSA. Results No host polymorphism showed a significant association with both parasite prevalence/density and age-specific seroconversion to VSA. Conclusion Host erythrocyte polymorphisms commonly found in Papua New Guinea do not effect exposure to blood stage P. falciparum infection. This contrasts with data for sickle cell trait and highlights that the above-mentioned polymorphisms may confer protection against malaria via distinct mechanisms. PMID:18173836

  10. Plasmodium falciparum Histones Induce Endothelial Proinflammatory Response and Barrier Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Gillrie, Mark R.; Lee, Kristine; Gowda, D. Channe; Davis, Shevaun P.; Monestier, Marc; Cui, Liwang; Hien, Tran Tinh; Day, Nicholas P.J.; Ho, May

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is a protozoan parasite of human erythrocytes that causes the most severe form of malaria. Severe P. falciparum infection is associated with endothelial activation and permeability, which are important determinants of the outcome of the infection. How endothelial cells become activated is not fully understood, particularly with regard to the effects of parasite subcomponents. We demonstrated that P. falciparum histones extracted from merozoites (HeH) directly stimulated the production of IL-8 and other inflammatory mediators by primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells through a signaling pathway that involves Src family kinases and p38 MAPK. The stimulatory effect of HeH and recombinant P. falciparum H3 (PfH3) was abrogated by histone-specific antibodies. The release of nuclear contents on rupture of infected erythrocytes was captured by live cell imaging and confirmed by detecting nucleosomes in the supernatants of parasite cultures. HeH and recombinant parasite histones also induced endothelial permeability through a charge-dependent mechanism that resulted in disruption of junctional protein expression and cell death. Recombinant human activated protein C cleaved HeH and PfH3 and abrogated their proinflammatory effects. Circulating nucleosomes of both human and parasite origin were detected in the plasma of patients with falciparum malaria and correlated positively with disease severity. These results support a pathogenic role for both host- and pathogen-derived histones in P. falciparum-caused malaria. PMID:22260922

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. An integrated model of Plasmodium falciparum dynamics.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, F Ellis; Bossert, William H

    2005-02-07

    The within-host and between-host dynamics of malaria are linked in myriad ways, but most obviously by gametocytes, the parasite blood forms transmissible from human to mosquito. Gametocyte dynamics depend on those of non-transmissible blood forms, which stimulate immune responses, impeding transmission as well as within-host parasite densities. These dynamics can, in turn, influence antigenic diversity and recombination between genetically distinct parasites. Here, we embed a differential-equation model of parasite-immune system interactions within each of the individual humans represented in a discrete-event model of Plasmodium falciparum transmission, and examine the effects of human population turnover, parasite antigenic diversity, recombination, and gametocyte production on the dynamics of malaria. Our results indicate that the local persistence of P. falciparum increases with turnover in the human population and antigenic diversity in the parasite, particularly in combination, and that antigenic diversity arising from meiotic recombination in the parasite has complex differential effects on the persistence of founder and progeny genotypes. We also find that reductions in the duration of individual human infectivity to mosquitoes, even if universal, produce population-level effects only if near-absolute, and that, in competition, the persistence and prevalence of parasite genotypes with gametocyte production concordant with data exceed those of genotypes with higher gametocyte production. This new, integrated approach provides a framework for investigating relationships between pathogen dynamics within an individual host and pathogen dynamics within interacting host and vector populations.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Comparison of the antibody responses to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum antigens in residents of Mandalay, Myanmar

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to investigate the profile of antibodies against several antigens of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Mandalay, Myanmar. Methods Malaria parasites were identified by microscopic examination. To test the antibodies against P. vivax and P. falciparum in sera, an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was performed using asexual blood parasite antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed with circumsporozoite protein (CSP), Pvs25 and Pvs28 recombinant proteins of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates for P. vivax, and liver stage specific antigen-1 and -3 (PfLSA-1, PfLSA-3) for P. falciparum. Results Fourteen patients among 112 were found to be infected with P. vivax and 26 with P. falciparum by thick smear examination. Twenty-three patients were found to be infected with P. vivax, 19 with P. falciparum and five with both by thin smear examination. Blood samples were divided into two groups: Group I consisted of patients who were positive for infection by microscopic examination, and Group II consisted of those who showed symptoms, but were negative in microscopic examination. In P. falciparum, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (80.8%) was higher than in Group II (70.0%). In P. vivax, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (53.8%) was higher than in Group II (41.7%). However, the positivity rate of the PvCSP VK210 subtype in Group II (40.0%) was higher than in Group I (23.1%). Similarly for the PvCSP VK247 subtype, Group II (21.7%) was higher than that for Group I (9.6%). A similar pattern was observed in the ELISA using Pvs25 and Pvs28: positive rates of Group II were higher than those for Group I. However, those differences were not shown significant in statistics. Conclusions The positive rates for blood stage antigens of P. falciparum were higher in Group I than in Group II, but the positive rates for antigens of other stages (PfLSA-1 and -3) showed opposite

  1. Comparison of the antibody responses to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum antigens in residents of Mandalay, Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tong-Soo; Kim, Hyung-Hwan; Kim, Jung-Yeon; Kong, Yoon; Na, Byoung-Kuk; Lin, Khin; Moon, Sung-Ung; Kim, Yeon-Joo; Kwon, Myoung-Hee; Sohn, Youngjoo; Kim, Hyuck; Lee, Hyeong-Woo

    2011-08-06

    The aim of this study was to investigate the profile of antibodies against several antigens of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Mandalay, Myanmar. Malaria parasites were identified by microscopic examination. To test the antibodies against P. vivax and P. falciparum in sera, an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was performed using asexual blood parasite antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed with circumsporozoite protein (CSP), Pvs25 and Pvs28 recombinant proteins of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates for P. vivax, and liver stage specific antigen-1 and -3 (PfLSA-1, PfLSA-3) for P. falciparum. Fourteen patients among 112 were found to be infected with P. vivax and 26 with P. falciparum by thick smear examination. Twenty-three patients were found to be infected with P. vivax, 19 with P. falciparum and five with both by thin smear examination. Blood samples were divided into two groups: Group I consisted of patients who were positive for infection by microscopic examination, and Group II consisted of those who showed symptoms, but were negative in microscopic examination. In P. falciparum, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (80.8%) was higher than in Group II (70.0%). In P. vivax, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (53.8%) was higher than in Group II (41.7%). However, the positivity rate of the PvCSP VK210 subtype in Group II (40.0%) was higher than in Group I (23.1%). Similarly for the PvCSP VK247 subtype, Group II (21.7%) was higher than that for Group I (9.6%). A similar pattern was observed in the ELISA using Pvs25 and Pvs28: positive rates of Group II were higher than those for Group I. However, those differences were not shown significant in statistics. The positive rates for blood stage antigens of P. falciparum were higher in Group I than in Group II, but the positive rates for antigens of other stages (PfLSA-1 and -3) showed opposite results. Similar to P. falciparum, the

  2. Population Dynamics and Plasmodium falciparum (Haemosporida: Plasmodiidae) Infectivity Rates for the Malaria Vector Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) at Mamfene, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dandalo, Leonard C; Brooke, Basil D; Munhenga, Givemore; Lobb, Leanne N; Zikhali, Jabulani; Ngxongo, Sifiso P; Zikhali, Phineas M; Msimang, Sipho; Wood, Oliver R; Mofokeng, Mohlominyana; Misiani, Eunice; Chirwa, Tobias; Koekemoer, Lizette L

    2017-09-06

    Anopheles arabiensis (Patton; Diptera: Culicidae) is a major malaria vector in the southern African region. In South Africa, effective control of this species using indoor-based interventions is reduced owing to its tendency to rest outdoors. As South Africa moves towards malaria elimination there is a need for complementary vector control strategies. One of the methods under consideration is the use of the sterile insect technique (SIT). Key to the successful implementation of an SIT programme is prior knowledge of the size and spatial distribution of the target population. Understanding mosquito population dynamics for both males and females is critical for efficient programme implementation. It is thus necessary to use outdoor-based population monitoring tools capable of sampling both sexes of the target population. In this project mosquito surveillance and evaluation of tools capable of collecting both genders were carried out at Mamfene in northern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, during the period January 2014 to December 2015. Outdoor- and indoor-resting Anopheles mosquitoes were sampled in three sections of Mamfene over the 2-yr sampling period using modified plastic buckets, clay pots and window exit traps. Morphological and molecular techniques were used for species identifications of all samples. Wild-caught adult females were tested for Plasmodium falciparum (Welch; Haemosporida: Plasmodiidae) infectivity. Out of 1,705 mosquitoes collected, 1,259 (73.8%) and 255 (15%) were identified as members of either the Anopheles gambiae complex or Anopheles funestus group respectively. An. arabiensis was the most abundant species contributing 78.8% of identified specimens. Mosquito density was highest in summer and lowest during winter. Clay pots yielded 16.3 mosquitoes per trap compared to 10.5 for modified plastic buckets over the 2-yr sampling period. P. falciparum infection rates for An. arabiensis were 0.7% and 0.5% for 2014 and 2015, respectively

  3. Plasmodium falciparum: growth response to potassium channel blocking compounds.

    PubMed

    Waller, Karena L; Kim, Kami; McDonald, Thomas V

    2008-11-01

    Potassium channels are essential for cell survival and regulate the cell membrane potential and electrochemical gradient. During its lifecycle, Plasmodium falciparum parasites must rapidly adapt to dramatically variant ionic conditions within the mosquito mid-gut, the hepatocyte and red blood cell (RBC) cytosols, and the human circulatory system. To probe the participation of K(+) channels in parasite viability, growth response assays were performed in which asexual stage P. falciparum parasites were cultured in the presence of various Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel blocking compounds. These data describe the novel anti-malarial effects of bicuculline methiodide and tubocurarine chloride and the novel lack of effect of apamine and verruculogen. Taken together, the data herein imply the presence of K(+) channels, or other parasite-specific targets, in P. falciparum-infected RBCs that are sensitive to blockade with Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel blocking compounds.

  4. 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 r