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Sample records for falciparum parasite rate

  1. Parasite-induced permeation of nucleosides in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Upston, J M; Gero, A M

    1995-06-14

    A mechanism which mediates the transport of the nonphysiological nucleoside, L-adenosine, was demonstrated in Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes and naturally released merozoites. L-Adenosine was not a substrate for influx in freed intraerythrocytic parasites or in normal human erythrocytes nor was L-adenosine transported in a variety of cell types including other parasitic protozoa such as Crithidia luciliae, Trichomonas vaginalis, Giardia intestinalis, or the mammalian cells, Buffalo Green Monkey and HeLa cells. L-Adenosine transport in P. falciparum infected cells was nonsaturable, with a rate of 0.13 +/- 0.01 pmol/microliter cell water per s per microM L-adenosine, yet the transport was inhibited by furosemide, phloridzin and piperine with IC50 values between 1-13 microM, distinguishing the transport pathway from simple diffusion. The channel-like permeation was selective as disaccharides were not permeable to parasitised cells. In addition, an unusual metabolic property of parasitic adenosine deaminase was found in that L-adenosine was metabolised to L-inosine by both P. falciparum infected erythrocytes and merozoites, an activity which was inhibited by 50 nM deoxycoformycin. No other cell type examined displayed this enzymic activity. The results further substantiate that nucleoside transport in P. falciparum infected cells was significantly altered compared to uninfected erythrocytes and that L-adenosine transport and metabolism was a biochemical property of Plasmodium infected cells and merozoites and not found in normal erythrocytes nor any of the other cell types investigated.

  2. Virulence and transmission success of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Rhian E.; Tiwari, Bela; Piper, Karen P.; Baruch, Dror I.; Day, Karen P.

    1999-01-01

    Virulence of Plasmodium falciparum is associated with the expression of variant surface antigens designated PfEMP1 (P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1) that are encoded by a family of var genes. Data presented show that the transmission stages of P. falciparum also express PfEMP1 variants. Virulence in this host–parasite system can be considered a variable outcome of optimizing the production of sexual transmission stages from the population of disease-inducing asexual stages. Immunity to PfEMP1 will contribute to the regulation of this trade-off by controlling the parasite population with potential to produce mature transmission stages. PMID:10200302

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2010-09-23

    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 develop a single-genome amplification strategy to identify and characterize Plasmodium spp. DNA sequences in faecal samples from 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 made up 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 comprised 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 origin and not of chimpanzee, bonobo or ancient human origin.

  6. 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

  7. [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.

  8. Polysome profiling of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Lacsina, Joshua R; LaMonte, Gregory; Nicchitta, Christopher V; Chi, Jen-Tsan

    2011-09-01

    In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, global studies of translational regulation have been hampered by the inability to isolate malaria polysomes. We describe here a novel method for polysome profiling in P. falciparum, a powerful approach which allows both a global view of translation and the measurement of ribosomal loading and density for specific mRNAs. Simultaneous lysis of infected erythrocytes and parasites releases stable, intact malaria polysomes, which are then purified by centrifugation through a sucrose cushion. The polysomes are resuspended, separated by velocity sedimentation and then fractionated, yielding a characteristic polysome profile reflecting the global level of translational activity in the parasite. RNA isolated from specific fractions can be used to determine the density of ribosomes loaded onto a particular transcript of interest, and is free of host ribosome contamination. Thus, our approach opens translational regulation in malaria to genome-wide analysis.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Andrew H.; Fidock, David A.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Plasma Concentration of Parasite DNA as a Measure of Disease Severity in Falciparum Malaria

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25344520

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

    PubMed

    Rahman, Farhana; Tarique, Mohammed; Tuteja, Renu

    2016-05-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium, particularly Plasmodium falciparum, is the most serious and widespread parasitic disease of humans. RecQ helicase family members are essential in homologous recombination-based error-free DNA repair processes in all domains of life. RecQ helicases present in each organism differ and several homologues have been identified in various multicellular organisms. These proteins are involved in various pathways of DNA metabolism by providing duplex unwinding function. Five members of RecQ family are present in Homo sapiens but P. falciparum contains only two members of this family. Here we report the detailed biochemical and functional characterization of the Bloom (Blm) homologue (PfBlm) from P. falciparum 3D7 strain. Purified PfBlm exhibits ATPase and 3' to 5' direction specific DNA helicase activity. The calculated average reaction rate of ATPase was ~13 pmol of ATP hydrolyzed/min/pmol of enzyme. The immunofluorescence assay results show that PfBlm is expressed in all the stages of intraerythrocytic development of the P. falciparum 3D7 strain. In some stages of development in addition to nucleus PfBlm also localizes in the cytoplasm. The gene disruption studies of PfBlm by dsRNA showed that it is required for the ex-vivo intraerythrocytic development of the parasite P. falciparum 3D7 strain. The dsRNA mediated inhibition of parasite growth suggests that a variety of pathways are affected resulting in curtailing of the parasite growth. This study will be helpful in unravelling the basic mechanism of DNA transaction in the malaria parasite and additionally it may provide leads to understand the parasite specific characteristics of this protein. PMID:26917473

  15. Plasmodium falciparum carbohydrate metabolism: a connection between host cell and parasite.

    PubMed

    Roth, E

    1990-01-01

    Selected aspects of the metabolism of Plasmodium falciparum are reviewed, but conclusions based on the study of other species of plasmodia are intentionally not included since these may not be applicable. The parasites increase glucose consumption 50-100 fold as compared to uninfected red cells; most of the glucose is metabolized to lactic acid. The parasite contains a complete set of glycolytic enzymes. Some enzymes such a hexokinase, enolase and pyruvate kinase are vastly increased over corresponding levels in uninfected red cells. However, the pathway for synthesizing 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) is absent. Parasitized red cells show a decline in the concentration of 2,3-DPG which may function as an inhibitor for certain essential enzyme pathways. Pentose shunt activity is increased in absolute terms, but as a percent of total glucose consumption, there is a decrease during parasite infection of the red cell. The parasite contains a gene for G6PD and can produce a small quantity of parasite-encoded enzyme. It is not clear if the production of this enzyme can be up-regulated in G6PG deficient host red cells. The NADPH normally produced by the pentose shunt can be obtained from other parasite pathways (such as glutamate dehydrogenase). NADPH may subserve additional needs in the infected red cell such as driving diribonucleotide reductase activity--a rate limiting enzyme in DNA synthesis. The role of NADPH in protecting the parasite-red cell system against oxidative stress (via glutathione reduction) remains controversial. Parasitized red cells contain about 10 times more NAD(H) than uninfected red cells, but the NADP(H) content is unchanged.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  16. Plasmodium falciparum myosins: transcription and translation during asexual parasite development.

    PubMed

    Chaparro-Olaya, Jacqueline; Margos, Gabriele; Coles, Deborah J; Dluzewski, Anton R; Mitchell, Graham H; Wasserman, Moisés M; Pinder, Jennifer C

    2005-04-01

    Six myosins genes are now annotated in the Plasmodium falciparum Genome Project. Malaria myosins have been named alphabetically; accordingly, we refer to the two latest additions as Pfmyo-E and Pfmyo-F. Both new myosins contain regions characteristic of the functional motor domain of "true" myosins and, unusually for P. falciparum myosins, Pfmyo-F encodes two consensus IQ light chain-binding motifs. Phylogenetic analysis of the 17 currently known apicomplexan myosins together with one representative of each myosin class clusters all but one of the apicomplexan sequences together in Class XIV. This refines the earlier definition of the Class XIV Subclasses XIVa and XIVb. RT-PCR on blood stage parasite mRNA amplifies a specific product for all six myosins and each shows developmentally regulated transcription. Thus: Pfmyo-A and Pfmyo-B genes are transcribed throughout development; Pfmyo-C is predominant in trophozoites; Pfmyo-D occurs in trophozoites and schizonts; Pfmyo-E though barely present in earlier stages is abundant in schizonts; Pfmyo-F increases steadily throughout development and maturation. It is known that Pfmyo-A and Pfmyo-B are synthesised during late schizogony and we now show that Pfmyo-D expression is also temporally regulated to late trophozoites and schizonts where it distributes close to segregating nuclei. Thus, in asexual stages myosin synthesis does not always parallel transcript accumulation, showing that translation is also regulated. The implication is that the mRNAs are either subjected to turnover, synthesised and degraded, or that they are sequestered in an inactivate form until required for protein synthesis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Genome editing in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum using the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

    PubMed

    Ghorbal, Mehdi; Gorman, Molly; Macpherson, Cameron Ross; Martins, Rafael Miyazawa; Scherf, Artur; Lopez-Rubio, Jose-Juan

    2014-08-01

    Genome manipulation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remains largely intractable and improved genomic tools are needed to further understand pathogenesis and drug resistance. We demonstrated the CRISPR-Cas9 system for use in P. falciparum by disrupting chromosomal loci and generating marker-free, single-nucleotide substitutions with high efficiency. Additionally, an artemisinin-resistant strain was generated by introducing a previously implicated polymorphism, thus illustrating the value of efficient genome editing in malaria research.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Malaria is a major global parasitic disease and a cause of enormous mortality and morbidity. Widespread drug resistance against currently available antimalarials warrants the identification of novel drug targets and development of new drugs. Malarial proteases are a group of molecules that serve as potential drug targets because of their essentiality for parasite life cycle stages and feasibility of designing specific inhibitors against them. Proteases belonging to various mechanistic classes are found in P. falciparum, of which serine proteases are of particular interest due to their involvement in parasite-specific processes of egress and invasion. In P. falciparum, a number of serine proteases belonging to chymotrypsin, subtilisin, and rhomboid clans are found. This review focuses on the potential of P. falciparum serine proteases as antimalarial drug targets. PMID:24799897

  1. Multiple dimensions of epigenetic gene regulation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: gene regulation via histone modifications, nucleosome positioning and nuclear architecture in P. falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Select pyrimidinones inhibit the propagation of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Chiang, Annette N.; Valderramos, Juan-Carlos; Balachandran, Raghavan; Chovatiya, Raj J.; Mead, Brian P.; Schneider, Corinne; Bell, Samantha L.; Klein, Michael G.; Huryn, Donna M.; Chen, Xiaojiang S.; Day, Billy W.; Fidock, David A.; Wipf, Peter; Brodsky, Jeffrey L.

    2009-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the Apicomplexan parasite that is responsible for the most lethal forms of human malaria, is exposed to radically different environments and stress factors during its complex lifecycle. In any organism, Hsp70 chaperones are typically associated with tolerance to stress. We therefore reasoned that inhibition of P. falciparum Hsp70 chaperones would adversely affect parasite homeostasis. To test this hypothesis, we measured whether pyrimidinone-amides, a new class of Hsp70 modulators, could inhibit the replication of the pathogenic P. falciparum stages in human red blood cells. Nine compounds with IC50 values from 30 nM to 1.6 μM were identified. Each compound also altered the ATPase activity of purified P. falciparum Hsp70 in single-turnover assays, although higher concentrations of agents were required than was necessary to inhibit P. falciparum replication. Varying effects of these compounds on Hsp70s from other organisms were also observed. Together, our data indicate that pyrimidinone-amides constitute a novel class of anti-malarial agents. PMID:19195901

  6. Characterization of class II apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease activities in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Haltiwanger, B M; Karpinich, N O; Taraschi, T F

    2000-01-01

    We have reported that the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, repairs apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites on DNA by a long-patch base excision repair (BER) pathway. This biology is different from that in mammalian cells, which predominantly repair AP sites by a DNA-polymerase-beta-dependent, one-nucleotide patch BER pathway. As a starting point for the identification and biochemical characterization of the enzymes involved in the parasite DNA BER pathway, we chose characterization of the AP endonuclease activity in a P. falciparum cell-free lysate. Evidence is provided for the presence of class II, Mg(2+)-dependent and independent AP endonucleases in the parasite lysate. The investigation of the processing of AP sites in Plasmodium will provide new information about long-patch BER pathways; if they are different from those in the human host they might provide a new target for anti-malarial chemotherapy. PMID:10600642

  7. Functional consequences of perturbing polyamine metabolism in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Clark, K; Niemand, J; Reeksting, S; Smit, S; van Brummelen, A C; Williams, M; Louw, A I; Birkholtz, L

    2010-02-01

    Inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis and/or the perturbation of polyamine functionality have been exploited with success against parasitic diseases such as Trypanosoma infections. However, when the classical polyamine biosynthesis inhibitor, alpha-difluoromethylornithine, is used against the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, it results in only a cytostatic growth arrest. Polyamine metabolism in this parasite has unique properties not shared by any other organism. These include the bifunctional arrangement of the catalytic decarboxylases and an apparent absence of the typical polyamine interconversion pathways implying different mechanisms for the regulation of polyamine homeostasis that includes the uptake of exogenous polyamines at least in vitro. These properties make polyamine metabolism an enticing drug target in P. falciparum provided that the physiological and functional consequences of polyamine metabolism perturbation are understood. This review highlights our current understanding of the biological consequences of inhibition of the biosynthetic enzymes in the polyamine pathway in P. falciparum as revealed by several global analytical approaches. Ultimately, the evidence suggests that polyamine metabolism in P. falciparum is a validated drug target worth exploiting. PMID:19997948

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. CRISPR-mediated genome editing of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Lee, Marcus Cs; Fidock, David A

    2014-01-01

    The development of the CRISPR-Cas system is revolutionizing genome editing in a variety of organisms. The system has now been used to manipulate the genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malaria-causing species. The ability to generate gene deletions or nucleotide substitutions rapidly and economically promises to accelerate the analysis of novel drug targets and to help elucidate the function of specific genes or gene families, while complementing genome-wide association studies.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

    Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. Artemisinins remain as the first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria although drug resistance has already emerged and spread in Southeast Asia. Thus, to fight this disease, there is an urgent need to develop new antimalarial drugs for malaria chemotherapy. Unlike human host cells, P. falciparum cannot salvage preformed pyrimidine bases or nucleosides from the extracellular environment and relies solely on nucleotides synthesized through the de novo biosynthetic pathway. This review presents significant progress on understanding the de novo pyrimidine pathway and the functional enzymes in the human parasite P. falciparum. Current knowledge in genomics and metabolomics are described, particularly focusing on the parasite purine and pyrimidine nucleotide metabolism. These include gene annotation, characterization and molecular mechanism of the enzymes that are different from the human host pathway. Recent elucidation of the three-dimensional crystal structures and the catalytic reactions of three enzymes: dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, and orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase, as well as their inhibitors are reviewed in the context of their therapeutic potential against malaria. PMID:27262062

  15. Rice-produced MSP142 of Plasmodium falciparum elicits antibodies that inhibit parasite growth in vitro.

    PubMed

    Chen, Q; Liang, W; Qian, F; Qian, B; Cao, J; Zhang, D; Xu, Y; Tang, L

    2016-10-01

    Many malaria antigens contain multiple disulphide bonds involved in the formation of inhibitory B-cell epitopes. Producing properly folded malaria antigens in sufficient quantities for vaccination is often a challenge. The 42-kDa fragment of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP142 ) is such a kind of malaria antigen. In this study, we investigated the expression of MSP142 in a rice system (9522, a cultivar of Oryza sativa ssp. japonica), which was used as a bioreactor for protein production. The MSP142 gene was synthesized according to rice-preferred codons and transformed into rice plants via an Agrobacterium-mediated method. The recombinant antigen was efficiently expressed in rice seeds with a level up to 1.56% of total soluble protein and was recognized by both the conformational monoclonal antibody 5.2 (mAb5.2) and the pooled sera of P. falciparum malaria patients. Rabbits were immunized intramuscularly with the purified MSP142 formulated with Freund's adjuvant. High antibody titres against MSP142 were elicited. The rabbit immune sera reacted well with the native protein of P. falciparum parasite and strongly inhibited the in vitro growth of blood-stage P. falciparum parasites, demonstrating that transgenic rice can become an efficient bioreactor for the production of malaria vaccine antigens. PMID:27493141

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

    PubMed

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

    Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. Artemisinins remain as the first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria although drug resistance has already emerged and spread in Southeast Asia. Thus, to fight this disease, there is an urgent need to develop new antimalarial drugs for malaria chemotherapy. Unlike human host cells, P. falciparum cannot salvage preformed pyrimidine bases or nucleosides from the extracellular environment and relies solely on nucleotides synthesized through the de novo biosynthetic pathway. This review presents significant progress on understanding the de novo pyrimidine pathway and the functional enzymes in the human parasite P. falciparum. Current knowledge in genomics and metabolomics are described, particularly focusing on the parasite purine and pyrimidine nucleotide metabolism. These include gene annotation, characterization and molecular mechanism of the enzymes that are different from the human host pathway. Recent elucidation of the three-dimensional crystal structures and the catalytic reactions of three enzymes: dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, and orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase, as well as their inhibitors are reviewed in the context of their therapeutic potential against malaria.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Population genetic study of Plasmodium falciparum parasites pertaining to dhps gene sequence in malaria endemic areas of Assam.

    PubMed

    Sharma, J; Dutta, P; Khan, S A

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite had developed resistance to almost all the currently used antimalarial drugs. The purpose of the study was to come across the genetic distances in P. falciparum dhps gene sequences circulating in Assam. A partial fragment of P. falciparum dhps gene containing major single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with sulphadoxine resistance were amplified and sequenced. Thereafter specific bioinformatics tools like BioEdit v7.0.9, ClustalW in Mega 5, DnaSP version v.5.10.01 etc were used for the analysis. A total of 100 P. falciparum positive cases in different malaria endemic areas of Assam were included for the study. Based upon the mutation analysis, a total of seven different P. falciparum dhps genotypes were observed with five variable sites. Maximum five haplotypes were found in the P. falciparum isolates from Jorhat district of Assam. Four polymorphic sites were observed in the P. falciparum dhps gene sequences in Karbi Anglong, NC Hills, Chirang and Jorhat whereas the isolates from other study areas had three polymorphic sites. A statistically significant positive value of Tajima's D were observed among the P. falciparum field isolates in Assam indicating that there is an excess of intermediate frequency alleles and can result from population bottlenecks, structure and/or balancing selection. Extensive gene flow took place among the P. falciparum population of Jorhat with Sivasagar, Chirang with Sivasagar and Chirang with Karbi Anglong. However, large genetic differentiation was observed among the P. falciparum isolates of NC Hills with Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Golaghat and also the parasite population of Karbi Anglong with Lakhimpur and Tinsukia signifying little gene flow among the population. This finding has shown that mutant Pfdhps gene associated with sulphadoxine resistance is circulating in Assam. It is believed that, the parasite population may have undergone high level of breeding.

  8. Naturally acquired immunity to sexual stage P. falciparum parasites.

    PubMed

    Stone, Will J R; Dantzler, Kathleen W; Nilsson, Sandra K; Drakeley, Chris J; Marti, Matthias; Bousema, Teun; Rijpma, Sanna R

    2016-02-01

    Gametocytes are the specialized form of Plasmodium parasites that are responsible for human-to-mosquito transmission of malaria. Transmission of gametocytes is highly effective, but represents a biomass bottleneck for the parasite that has stimulated interest in strategies targeting the transmission stages separately from those responsible for clinical disease. Studying targets of naturally acquired immunity against transmission-stage parasites may reveal opportunities for novel transmission reducing interventions, particularly the development of a transmission blocking vaccine (TBV). In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on immunity against the transmission stages of Plasmodium. This includes immune responses against epitopes on the gametocyte-infected erythrocyte surface during gametocyte development, as well as epitopes present upon gametocyte activation in the mosquito midgut. We present an analysis of historical data on transmission reducing immunity (TRI), as analysed in mosquito feeding assays, and its correlation with natural recognition of sexual stage specific proteins Pfs48/45 and Pfs230. Although high antibody titres towards either one of these proteins is associated with TRI, the presence of additional, novel targets is anticipated. In conclusion, the identification of novel gametocyte-specific targets of naturally acquired immunity against different gametocyte stages could aid in the development of potential TBV targets and ultimately an effective transmission blocking approach.

  9. 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.

  10. Use of Peptide Nucleic Acids to Manipulate Gene Expression in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Naik, Shankar; Yavin, Eylon; Dzikowski, Ron

    2014-01-01

    One of the major concerns in treating malaria by conventional small drug molecules is the rapid emergence of drug resistance. Specific silencing of essential genes by antisense oliogomers has been proposed as an alternative approach that may result in antimalarial activity which is not associated with drug resistance. In addition, such an approach could be an important biological tool for studying many genes' function by reverse genetics. Here we present a novel methodology of using peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) as a useful tool for gene silencing in Plasmodium falciparum. PNAs, designed as specific antisense molecules, were conjugated to a cell penetrating peptide (CPP); namely, octa-D-lysine via the C-terminus, to allow facile delivery through cell membranes. PNAs added to P. falciparum cultures were found exclusively in infected erythrocytes and were eventually localized in nuclei of the parasites at all stages of intra erythrocytic development. We show that these PNAs specifically down regulated both a stably expressed transgene as well as an endogenous essential gene, which significantly reduced parasites' viability. This study paves the way for a simple approach to silence a variety of P. falciparum genes as means of deciphering their function and potentially to develop highly specific and potent antimalarial agents. PMID:24466246

  11. On the diversity of malaria parasites in African apes and the origin of Plasmodium falciparum from Bonobos.

    PubMed

    Krief, Sabrina; Escalante, Ananias A; 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

    2010-02-12

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Analysis of antibodies directed against merozoite surface protein 1 of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Woehlbier, Ute; Epp, Christian; Kauth, Christian W; Lutz, Rolf; Long, Carole A; Coulibaly, Boubacar; Kouyaté, Bocar; Arevalo-Herrera, Myriam; Herrera, Sócrates; Bujard, Hermann

    2006-02-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Christopher D.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2016-01-01

    Apicoplasts are vestigial plastids in apicomplexan parasites like Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria. Apicomplexan parasites are dependant on their apicoplasts for synthesis of various molecules that they are unable to scavenge in sufficient quantity from their host, which makes apicoplasts attractive drug targets. Proteins known as plastid phosphate translocators (pPTs) are embedded in the outer apicoplast membrane and are responsible for the import of carbon, energy and reducing power to drive anabolic synthesis in the organelle. We investigated how a pPT is targeted into the outer apicoplast membrane of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. We showed that a transmembrane domain is likely to act as a recessed signal anchor to direct the protein into the endomembrane system, and that a tyrosine in the cytosolic N-terminus of the protein is essential for targeting, but one or more, as yet unidentified, factors are also essential to direct the protein into the outer apicoplast membrane. PMID:27442138

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

    PubMed

    Lim, Liting; Sayers, Claire P; Goodman, Christopher D; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2016-01-01

    Apicoplasts are vestigial plastids in apicomplexan parasites like Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria. Apicomplexan parasites are dependant on their apicoplasts for synthesis of various molecules that they are unable to scavenge in sufficient quantity from their host, which makes apicoplasts attractive drug targets. Proteins known as plastid phosphate translocators (pPTs) are embedded in the outer apicoplast membrane and are responsible for the import of carbon, energy and reducing power to drive anabolic synthesis in the organelle. We investigated how a pPT is targeted into the outer apicoplast membrane of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. We showed that a transmembrane domain is likely to act as a recessed signal anchor to direct the protein into the endomembrane system, and that a tyrosine in the cytosolic N-terminus of the protein is essential for targeting, but one or more, as yet unidentified, factors are also essential to direct the protein into the outer apicoplast membrane. PMID:27442138

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

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

  19. Selective killing of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum by a benzylthiazolium dye.

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

    Malaria is an infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. The most virulent form of the disease is caused by Plasmodium falciparum which infects hundreds of millions of people and is responsible for the deaths of 1-2 million individuals each year. An essential part of the parasitic process is the remodeling of the red blood cell membrane and its protein constituents to permit a higher flux of nutrients and waste products into or away from the intracellular parasite. Much of this increased permeability is due to a single type of broad specificity channel variously called the new permeation pathway (NPP), the nutrient channel, and the Plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC). This channel is permeable to a range of low molecular weight solutes both charged and uncharged, with a strong preference for anions. Drugs such as furosemide that are known to block anion-selective channels inhibit PSAC. In this study, we have investigated a dye known as benzothiocarboxypurine, BCP, which had been studied as a possible diagnostic aid given its selective uptake by P. falciparum infected red cells. We found that the dye enters parasitized red cells via the furosemide-inhibitable PSAC, forms a brightly fluorescent complex with parasite nucleic acids, and is selectively toxic to infected cells. Our study describes an antimalarial agent that exploits the altered permeability of Plasmodium-infected red cells as a means to killing the parasite and highlights a chemical reagent that may prove useful in high throughput screening of compounds for inhibitors of the channel.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    Malaria is an infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. The most virulent form of the disease is caused by P. falciparum which infects hundreds of millions of people and is responsible for the deaths of 1 to 2 million individuals each year. An essential part of the parasitic process is the remodeling of the red blood cell membrane and its protein constituents to permit a higher flux of nutrients and waste products into or away from the intracellular parasite. Much of this increased permeability is due to a single type of broad specificity channel variously called the new permeation pathway (NPP), the nutrient channel, and the Plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC). This channel is permeable to a range of low molecular weight solutes both charged and uncharged, with a strong preference for anions. Drugs such as furosemide that are known to block anion-selective channels inhibit PSAC. In this study we have investigated a dye known as benzothiocarboxypurine, BCP, which had been studied as a possible diagnostic aid given its selective uptake by P. falciparum infected red cells. We found that the dye enters parasitized red cells via the furosemide-inhibitable PSAC, forms a brightly fluorescent complex with parasite nucleic acids, and is selectively toxic to infected cells. Our study describes an antimalarial agent that exploits the altered permeability of Plasmodium-infected red cells as a means to killing the parasite and highlights a chemical reagent that may prove useful in high throughput screening of compounds for inhibitors of the channel. PMID:17266952

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Summary 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. PMID:25898991

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-16

    Infections with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum typically comprise multiple strains, especially in high-transmission areas where infectious mosquito bites occur frequently. However, little is known about the dynamics of mixed-strain infections, particularly whether strains sharing a host compete or grow independently. Competition between drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains, if it occurs, could be a crucial determinant of the spread of resistance. We analysed 1341 P. falciparum infections in children from Angola, Ghana and Tanzania and found compelling evidence for competition in mixed-strain infections: overall parasite density did not increase with additional strains, and densities of individual chloroquine-sensitive (CQS) and chloroquine-resistant (CQR) strains were reduced in the presence of competitors. We also found that CQR strains exhibited low densities compared with CQS strains (in the absence of chloroquine), which may underlie observed declines of chloroquine resistance in many countries following retirement of chloroquine as a first-line therapy. Our observations support a key role for within-host competition in the evolution of drug-resistant malaria. Malaria control and resistance-management efforts in high-transmission regions may be significantly aided or hindered by the effects of competition in mixed-strain infections. Consideration of within-host dynamics may spur development of novel strategies to minimize resistance while maximizing the benefits of control measures. PMID:26984625

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

    PubMed

    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; Good, Michael F

    2016-09-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. Immune characterization of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with a shared genetic signature in a region of decreasing transmission.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Davenport, Gregory C; Hittner, James B; Otieno, Vincent; Karim, Zachary; Mukundan, Harshini; Fenimore, Paul W; Hengartner, Nicolas W; McMahon, Benjamin H; Kempaiah, Prakasha; Ong'echa, John M; Perkins, Douglas J

    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

  16. 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

  17. Water and urea transport in human erythrocytes infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Zanner, M A; Galey, W R; Scaletti, J V; Brahm, J; Vander Jagt, D L

    1990-05-01

    The permeability properties of the human red cell membrane to various solutes are altered by malarial infection. In the present work we show that the permeability of the red cell membrane to water is also affected by the intraerythrocytic growth of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, whereas urea permeability appears unchanged. The data from infected cells show decreases in membrane surface area, cell volume, the osmotically active water fraction (Weff), and osmotic water permeability (Pf) as measured by stopped-flow spectroscopy. On the other hand, the data suggest an increase in diffusive water permeability (Pd) in infected cells with no change in urea permeability when measured by the continuous flow method. The decreased Pf/Pd ratio of infected cell membranes and its implications in the geometry of the red cell membrane water channel or pore are discussed. PMID:2194124

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Translocation of sickle cell erythrocyte microRNAs into Plasmodium falciparum inhibits parasite translation and contributes to malaria resistance.

    PubMed

    LaMonte, Gregory; Philip, Nisha; Reardon, Joseph; Lacsina, Joshua R; Majoros, William; Chapman, Lesley; Thornburg, Courtney D; Telen, Marilyn J; Ohler, Uwe; Nicchitta, Christopher V; Haystead, Timothy; Chi, Jen-Tsan

    2012-08-16

    Erythrocytes carrying a variant hemoglobin allele (HbS), which causes sickle cell disease and resists infection by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The molecular basis of this resistance, which has long been recognized as multifactorial, remains incompletely understood. Here we show that the dysregulated microRNA (miRNA) composition, of either heterozygous HbAS or homozygous HbSS erythrocytes, contributes to resistance against P. falciparum. During the intraerythrocytic life cycle of P. falciparum, a subset of erythrocyte miRNAs translocate into the parasite. Two miRNAs, miR-451 and let-7i, were highly enriched in HbAS and HbSS erythrocytes, and these miRNAs, along with miR-223, negatively regulated parasite growth. Surprisingly, we found that miR-451 and let-7i integrated into essential parasite messenger RNAs and, via impaired ribosomal loading, resulted in translational inhibition. Hence, sickle cell erythrocytes exhibit cell-intrinsic resistance to malaria in part through an atypical miRNA activity, which may represent a unique host defense strategy against complex eukaryotic pathogens.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. 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; Karim, Zachary; Mukundan, Harshini; Fenimore, Paul W.; Hengartner, Nicolas W.; McMahon, Benjamin H.; Kempaiah, Prakasha; Ong’echa, John M.; et al

    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

  7. 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

  8. Interactions between merozoite surface proteins 1, 6, and 7 of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Kauth, Christian W; Woehlbier, Ute; Kern, Michaela; Mekonnen, Zeleke; Lutz, Rolf; Mücke, Norbert; Langowski, Jörg; Bujard, Hermann

    2006-10-20

    Merozoites of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum expose at their surface a large multiprotein complex, composed of proteolytically processed, noncovalently associated products of at least three genes, msp-1, msp-6, and msp-7. During invasion of erythrocytes, this complex is shed from the surface except for a small glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored portion originating from MSP-1. The proteolytic cleavage separating the C-terminal portion of MSP-1 is required for successful invasion. Little is known about the structure and function of the abundant and essential multipartite complex. Using heterologously produced MSP-1, MSP-6, and MSP-7 in precursor and with the exception of MSP-7 in processed form, we have studied in vitro the complex formation between the different proteins to identify the interaction partners within the complex. Both MSP-6(36) and MSP-7 bind only to MSP-1 subunits that are shed, but although MSP-6(36) contacts just subunit p38, MSP-7 interacts with p83, p30, and p38. The intact C-terminal region of MSP-6 is required for the association with p38 as well as for its multimerization into tetramers. Furthermore, our data suggest that only the processed form and not the precursor form of MSP-1 interacts with MSP-6(36). MSP-6- as well as MSP-7-specific rabbit antibodies inhibit parasite multiplication in vitro as shown previously for antibodies directed against MSP-1. Our findings raise interesting questions with regard to proteolysis-mediated mechanisms of maturation of the MSP-1-MSP-6-MSP-7 complex and to the mode by which antibodies directed against this complex interfere with parasite multiplication.

  9. 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

  10. New Assays to Characterise Growth-Related Phenotypes of Plasmodium falciparum Reveal Variation in Density-Dependent Growth Inhibition between Parasite Lines

    PubMed Central

    Rovira-Graells, Núria; Aguilera-Simón, Sara; Tintó-Font, Elisabet

    2016-01-01

    The growth phenotype of asexual blood stage malaria parasites can influence their virulence and also their ability to survive and achieve transmission to the next host, but there are few methods available to characterise parasite growth parameters in detail. We developed a new assay to measure growth rates at different starting parasitaemias in a 96-well format and applied it to characterise the growth of Plasmodium falciparum lines 3D7-A and 3D7-B, previously shown to have different invasion rates and to use different invasion pathways. Using this simple and accurate assay we found that 3D7-B is more sensitive to high initial parasitaemia than 3D7-A. This result indicates that different parasite lines show variation in their levels of density-dependent growth inhibition. We also developed a new assay to compare the duration of the asexual blood cycle between different parasite lines. The assay is based on the tight synchronisation of cultures to a 1 h parasite age window and the subsequent monitoring of schizont bursting and formation of new rings by flow cytometry. Using this assay we observed differences in the duration of the asexual blood cycle between parasite lines 3D7 and HB3. These two new assays will be useful to characterise variation in growth-related parameters and to identify growth phenotypes associated with the targeted deletion of specific genes or with particular genomic, transcriptomic or proteomic patterns. Furthermore, the identification of density-dependent growth inhibition as an intrinsic parasite property that varies between parasite lines expands the repertoire of measurable growth-related phenotypic traits that have the potential to influence the outcome of a malarial blood infection. PMID:27780272

  11. 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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 3D nuclear architecture reveals coupled cell cycle dynamics of chromatin and nuclear pores in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Weiner, Allon; Dahan-Pasternak, Noa; Shimoni, Eyal; Shinder, Vera; von Huth, Palle; Elbaum, Michael; Dzikowski, Ron

    2011-07-01

    The deadliest form of human malaria is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The complex life cycle of this parasite is associated with tight transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Nuclear positioning and chromatin dynamics may play an important role in regulating P. falciparum virulence genes. We have applied an emerging technique of electron microscopy to construct a 3D model of the parasite nucleus at distinct stages of development within the infected red blood cell. We have followed the distribution of nuclear pores and chromatin throughout the intra-erythrocytic cycle, and have found a striking coupling between the distributions of nuclear pores and chromatin organization. Pore dynamics involve clustering, biogenesis, and division among daughter cells, while chromatin undergoes stage-dependent changes in packaging. Dramatic changes in heterochromatin distribution coincide with a previously identified transition in gene expression and nucleosome positioning during the mid-to-late schizont phase. We also found a correlation between euchromatin positioning at the nuclear envelope and the local distribution of nuclear pores, as well as a dynamic nuclear polarity during schizogony. These results suggest that cyclic patterns in gene expression during parasite development correlate with gross changes in cellular and nuclear architecture.

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

    PubMed

    Pulcini, Serena; Staines, Henry M; Lee, Andrew H; Shafik, Sarah H; Bouyer, Guillaume; Moore, Catherine M; Daley, Daniel A; Hoke, Matthew J; Altenhofen, Lindsey M; Painter, Heather J; Mu, Jianbing; Ferguson, David J P; Llinás, Manuel; Martin, Rowena E; Fidock, David A; Cooper, Roland A; Krishna, Sanjeev

    2015-09-30

    Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter, PfCRT, are the major determinant of chloroquine resistance in this lethal human malaria parasite. Here, we describe P. falciparum lines subjected to selection by amantadine or blasticidin that carry PfCRT mutations (C101F or L272F), causing the development of enlarged food vacuoles. These parasites also have increased sensitivity to chloroquine and some other quinoline antimalarials, but exhibit no or minimal change in sensitivity to artemisinins, when compared with parental strains. A transgenic parasite line expressing the L272F variant of PfCRT confirmed this increased chloroquine sensitivity and enlarged food vacuole phenotype. Furthermore, the introduction of the C101F or L272F mutation into a chloroquine-resistant variant of PfCRT reduced the ability of this protein to transport chloroquine by approximately 93 and 82%, respectively, when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These data provide, at least in part, a mechanistic explanation for the increased sensitivity of the mutant parasite lines to chloroquine. Taken together, these findings provide new insights into PfCRT function and PfCRT-mediated drug resistance, as well as the food vacuole, which is an important target of many antimalarial drugs.

  15. 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})

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

    PubMed

    Holding, Thomas; Recker, Mario

    2015-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2013-09-30

    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.

  2. Polymorphism at the apical membrane antigen 1 gene (AMA1) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in a Vietnamese population.

    PubMed

    Quang, Nguyen Duc; Hoa, Phan Thi Phuong; Tuan, Mai Sy; Viet, Nguyen Xuan; Jalloh, Amadu; Matsuoka, Hiroyuki

    2009-06-01

    The patterns of molecular evolution of the most diverse region of the apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) gene in Plasmodium falciparum from a Vietnamese subpopulation (Bao Loc) were investigated. Within the Bao Loc population, the sequenced gene region showed relatively high allelic and nucleotide diversity (0.985 and 0.02694, respectively). Further, the level of population recombination was substantial, resulting in a significant decay of linkage disequilibrium along the gene region. The results suggest that AMA1 is a useful genetic marker for studying the relationships between adaptation of parasite populations (to the human host immune system) and malaria epidemiology.

  3. Malaria parasite-inhibitory antibody epitopes on Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein-1(19) mapped by TROSY NMR.

    PubMed

    Morgan, William D; Lock, Matthew J; Frenkiel, Thomas A; Grainger, Munira; Holder, Anthony A

    2004-11-01

    Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1)(19), the C-terminal fragment of merozoite surface protein 1, is a leading candidate antigen for development of a vaccine against the blood stages of the malaria parasite. Many human and animal studies have indicated the importance of MSP1(19)-specific immune responses. Anti-MSP1(19) antibodies can prevent invasion of red blood cells by P. falciparum parasites in vitro. However, the fine specificity of anti-MSP1(19) antibodies is also important, as only a fraction of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have parasite-inhibitory activity in vitro. Human sera from malaria-endemic locations show strong MSP1(19) reactivity, but individual serum samples vary greatly in inhibitory activity. NMR is an excellent method for studying protein-protein interactions, and has been used widely to study binding of peptides representing known epitopes (as well as non-protein antigens) to antibodies and antibody fragments. The recent development of transverse relaxation optimized spectroscopy (TROSY) and related methods has significantly extended the maximum size limit of molecules that can be studied by NMR. TROSY NMR experiments produce high quality spectra of Fab complexes that allow the mapping of epitopes by the chemical shift perturbation technique on a complete, folded protein antigen such as MSP1(19). We studied the complexes of P. falciparum MSP1(19) with Fab fragments from three monoclonal antibodies. Two of these antibodies have parasite-inhibitory activity in vitro, while the third is non-inhibitory. NMR epitope mapping showed a close relationship between binding sites for the two inhibitory antibodies, distinct from the location of the non-inhibitory antibody. Together with a previously published crystal structure of the P. falciparum MSP1(19) complex with the Fab fragment of another non-inhibitory antibody, these results revealed a surface on MSP1(19) where inhibitory antibodies bind. This information will be useful in

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The recent emergence and spread of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum isolates is a growing concern for global malaria-control efforts. A recent genome-wide analysis study identified two SNPs at genomic positions MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319, which are linked to delayed clearance of parasites following artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). It is expected that continuous artemisinin pressure will affect the distribution of these SNPs. Here, we investigate the worldwide distribution of these SNPs using a large number of archived samples in order to generate baseline data from the period before the emergence of ACT resistance. The presence of SNPs in MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 was assessed by nested PCR RFLP and direct DNA sequencing using 653 global P. falciparum samples obtained before the reported emergence of ACT resistance. SNPs at MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 associated with delayed parasite clearance following ACT administration were observed in 8% and 3% of parasites, respectively, mostly in Cambodia and Thailand. Parasites harbouring both SNPs were found in only eight (1%) isolates, all of which were from Cambodia and Thailand. Linkage disequilibrium was detected between MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319, suggesting that this SNP combination may have been selected by ACT drug pressure. Neither of the SNPs associated with delayed parasite clearance were observed in samples from Africa or South America. Baseline information of the geographical difference of MAL10-688956 and MAL13-1718319 SNPs provides a solid basis for assessing whether these SNPs are selected by artemisinin-based combination therapies. PMID:25449286

  6. [Is Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for tropical malaria, resistant to fansidar?].

    PubMed

    Holzer, B; Keller, H; Frossard, E; Stürchler, D

    1980-03-01

    A world-wide increase of malaria infections is observed. Malaria is imported into Switzerland mainly by tourists and recently by refugees from South East Asia. The strains of P. falciparum resistant to treatment are of increasing importance. A patient with P. falciparum infection from Cambodia is reported, who suffered from three episodes of malaria recrudescence within ten weeks, in spite of adequate therapy with quinine and Fansidar. The definition, the significance and the geographical distribution of resistances and the possible cause for a P. falciparum recrudescence are discussed. For the treatment of repeating recrudescence quinine and Fansidar are recommended, followed by a suppressive Fansidar prophylaxy for 4--8 weeks.

  7. 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

  8. Histone H3K9 acetylation level modulates gene expression and may affect parasite growth in human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Sandeep; Bhowmick, Krishanu; Chatterjee, Snehajyoti; Basha, Jeelan; Kundu, Tapas K; Dhar, Suman K

    2014-12-01

    Three-dimensional positioning of the nuclear genome plays an important role in the epigenetic regulation of genes. Although nucleographic domain compartmentalization in the regulation of epigenetic state and gene expression is well established in higher organisms, it remains poorly understood in the pathogenic parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In the present study, we report that two histone tail modifications, H3K9Ac and H3K14Ac, are differentially distributed in the parasite nucleus. We find colocalization of active gene promoters such as Tu1 (tubulin-1 expressed in the asexual stages) with H3K9Ac marks at the nuclear periphery. By contrast, asexual stage inactive gene promoters such as Pfg27 (gametocyte marker) and Pfs28 (ookinete marker) occupy H3K9Ac devoid zones at the nuclear periphery. The histone H3K9 is predominantly acetylated by the PCAF/GCN5 class of lysine acetyltransferases, which is well characterized in the parasite. Interestingly, embelin, a specific inhibitor of PCAF/GCN5 family histone acetyltransferase, selectively decreases total H3K9Ac acetylation levels (but not H3K14Ac levels) around the var gene promoters, leading to the downregulation of var gene expression, suggesting interplay among histone acetylation status, as well as subnuclear compartmentalization of different genes and their activation in the parasites. Finally, we found that embelin inhibited parasitic growth at the low micromolar range, raising the possibility of using histone acetyltransferases as a target for antimalarial therapy.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Hidden Plasmodium falciparum parasites in human infections: different genotype distribution in the peripheral circulation and in the placenta.

    PubMed

    Schleiermacher, Dietlind; Le Hesran, Jean-Yves; Ndiaye, Jean-Louis; Perraut, Ronald; Gaye, Alioune; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile

    2002-12-01

    Sequestration of the mature Plasmodium falciparum forms complicates detection, quantification and molecular analysis of human infections. Whether the circulating parasites represent all or only a subset of co-infecting genotypes is unclear. We have investigated this issue and compared placenta and peripheral blood msp1 and msp2 genotypes in 58 women delivering with an ICT-positive placenta in Guediawaye, Senegal. Most placenta (91%) and blood samples (98%) were multiply infected. Multiplicity of infection was positively correlated in both tissues. However, the placental and circulating genotype profiles differed markedly. Only 10% of matched peripheral blood/placenta samples had identical genotypes, whereas 74% had only partially concordant genotypes, with some alleles detected in both tissues, together with additional allele(s) detected in one tissue only. Eight women (14%) had totally discordant placental and peripheral blood genotypes. Thus, in the vast majority of cases, some sequestered genotypes remain hidden, undetected in the peripheral circulation, indicating that analysis of peripheral parasites generates a partial picture of a P. falciparum infection.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26239987

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

    PubMed Central

    Kay, Katherine; Hodel, Eva Maria

    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

  17. Induction of adhesion-inhibitory antibodies against placental Plasmodium falciparum parasites by using single domains of VAR2CSA.

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

    In areas of endemicity pregnancy-associated malaria is an important cause of maternal anemia, stillbirth, and delivery of low-birth-weight children. The syndrome is precipitated by the accumulation of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in the placenta, mediated through an interaction between a parasite protein expressed on erythrocytes named variant surface antigen 2-chondroitin sulfate A (VAR2CSA) and CSA on syncytiotrophoblasts. VAR2CSA is a large polymorphic protein consisting of six Duffy binding-like (DBL), domains and with current constraints on recombinant protein production it is not possible to produce entire VAR2CSA recombinant proteins. Furthermore, the presence of polymorphisms has raised the question of whether it is feasible to define VAR2CSA antigens eliciting broadly protective antibodies. Thus, the challenge for vaccine development is to define smaller parts of the molecule which induce antibodies that inhibit CSA binding of different parasite strains. In this study, we produced a large panel of VAR2CSA proteins and raised antibodies against these antigens. We show that antibodies against the DBL4 domain effectively inhibit parasite binding. As the inhibition was not limited to homologous parasite strains, it seems feasible to base a protective malaria vaccine on a single VAR2CSA DBL domain. PMID:19307213

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Frame, I. J.; Deniskin, Roman; Rinderspacher, Alison; Katz, Francine; Deng, Shi-Xian; Moir, Robyn D.; Adjalley, Sophie H.; Coburn-Flynn, Olivia; Fidock, David A.; Willis, Ian M.; Landry, Donald W.; Akabas, Myles H.

    2015-01-01

    Equilibrative transporters are potential drug targets, however most functional assays involve radioactive substrate uptake that is unsuitable for high-throughput screens (HTS). We developed a robust yeast-based growth assay that is potentially applicable to many equilibrative transporters. As proof of principle, we applied our approach to Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter 1 of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfENT1). PfENT1 inhibitors might serve as novel antimalarial drugs since PfENT1-mediated purine import is essential for parasite proliferation. To identify PfENT1 inhibitors, we screened 64,560 compounds and identified 171 by their ability to rescue the growth of PfENT1-expressing fui1Δ yeast in the presence of a cytotoxic PfENT1 substrate, 5-fluorouridine (5-FUrd). In secondary assays, nine of the highest activity compounds inhibited PfENT1-dependent growth of a purine auxotrophic yeast strain with adenosine as the sole purine source (IC50 0.2–2 µM). These nine compounds completely blocked [3H]adenosine uptake into PfENT1-expressing yeast and erythrocyte-free trophozoite-stage parasites (IC50 5–50 nM), and inhibited chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasite proliferation (IC50 5–50 µM). Wild-type (WT) parasite IC50 values were up to four-fold lower compared to PfENT1-knockout (pfent1Δ) parasites. pfent1Δ parasite killing showed a delayed-death phenotype not observed with WT. We infer that in parasites, the compounds inhibit both PfENT1 and a secondary target with similar efficacy. The secondary target identity is unknown, but its existence may reduce the likelihood of parasites developing resistance to PfENT1 inhibitors. Our data support the hypothesis that blocking purine transport through PfENT1 may be a novel and compelling approach for antimalarial drug development. PMID:25602169

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. 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

    2013-04-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:27044568

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Regulatory Elements within the Prodomain of Falcipain-2, a Cysteine Protease of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Kailash C.; Barkan, David T.; Sali, Andrej; Rosenthal, Philip J.

    2009-01-01

    Falcipain-2, a papain family cysteine protease of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, plays a key role in parasite hydrolysis of hemoglobin and is a potential chemotherapeutic target. As with many proteases, falcipain-2 is synthesized as a zymogen, and the prodomain inhibits activity of the mature enzyme. To investigate the mechanism of regulation of falcipain-2 by its prodomain, we expressed constructs encoding different portions of the prodomain and tested their ability to inhibit recombinant mature falcipain-2. We identified a C-terminal segment (Leu155–Asp243) of the prodomain, including two motifs (ERFNIN and GNFD) that are conserved in cathepsin L sub-family papain family proteases, as the mediator of prodomain inhibitory activity. Circular dichroism analysis showed that the prodomain including the C-terminal segment, but not constructs lacking this segment, was rich in secondary structure, suggesting that the segment plays a crucial role in protein folding. The falcipain-2 prodomain also efficiently inhibited other papain family proteases, including cathepsin K, cathepsin L, cathepsin B, and cruzain, but it did not inhibit cathepsin C or tested proteases of other classes. A structural model of pro-falcipain-2 was constructed by homology modeling based on crystallographic structures of mature falcipain-2, procathepsin K, procathepsin L, and procaricain, offering insights into the nature of the interaction between the prodomain and mature domain of falcipain-2 as well as into the broad specificity of inhibitory activity of the falcipain-2 prodomain. PMID:19479029

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Bayesian analysis of new and old malaria parasite DNA sequence data demonstrates the need for more phylogenetic signal to clarify the descent of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Hagner, S C; Misof, B; Maier, W A; Kampen, H

    2007-08-01

    Molecular systematic studies published during the last 15 years to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among the malaria parasites have led to two major hypotheses on the descent of Plasmodium falciparum: One supports an avian origin as a result of a relatively recent host switch, and another one favours the evolutionary development of P. falciparum together with its human host from primate ancestors. In this paper, we present phylogenetic analyses of three different Plasmodium genes, the nuclear 18 small sub-unit (SSU) ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA), the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) and the plastid caseinolytic protease C (ClpC) gene, using numerous haemosporidian parasite DNA sequences obtained from the GenBank as well as several new sequences for major malaria parasites including the avian one Plasmodium cathemerium, which has never been considered in molecular phylogenetic analyses before. Most modern and sophisticated DNA substitution models based on Bayesian inference analysis were applied to estimate the cyt b and ClpC phylogenetic trees, whereas the 18 SSU rRNA gene was examined with regards to its secondary structure using PHASE software. Our results indicate that the data presently available are generally neither sufficient in number nor in information to solve the problem of the phylogenetic origin of P. falciparum.

  20. Immune pressure selects for Plasmodium falciparum parasites presenting distinct red blood cell surface antigens and inducing strain-specific protection in Saimiri sciureus monkeys

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    The passive transfer of specific antibodies to a naive splenectomized Saimiri sciureus monkey infected with the Palo Alto FUP/SP strain of Plasmodium falciparum resulted in the emergence of parasites resistant to the transferred antibodies. Molecular typing indicated that the original and resistant parasites were isogenic. Saimiri monkeys primed with original parasites were fully susceptible to a challenge by the resistant ones, and vice versa. This absence of crossprotection indicates that strain-specific determinants would be the major targets of protective immunity developed in these monkeys. Phenotypic analysis showed that the surface of the infected red blood cells differed in both lines. Original parasites formed rosettes, autoagglutinated, presented characteristic knobs at the surface of the infected red blood cell, and did not agglutinate in the presence of a pool of human immune sera. In contrast, the resistant parasites did not form rosettes, did not spontaneously autoagglutinate, presented abnormal flattened knobs, and formed large aggregates in the presence of a pool of human immune sera. The presence of strain-specific determinants at the surface of the resistant parasites was confirmed by surface immunofluorescence and agglutination using homologous Saimiri serum. Neither the original nor the resistant parasites cytoadhered to an amelanotic melanoma cell line, suggesting that cytoadherence and agglutination can be dissociated. These results indicate that parasites that differ by the antigens exposed at the surface of the red blood cell induce strain- specific immunity. Furthermore they show that rosetting and nonrosetting parasites differ in their antigenic properties and do not crossprotect. PMID:7807008

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-23

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Complete gene map of the plastid-like DNA of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Wilson, R J; Denny, P W; Preiser, P R; Rangachari, K; Roberts, K; Roy, A; Whyte, A; Strath, M; Moore, D J; Moore, P W; Williamson, D H

    1996-08-16

    Malaria parasites, and other parasitic protists of the Phylum Apicomplexa, carry a plastid-like genome with greatly reduced sequence complexity. This 35 kb DNA circle resembles the plastid DNA of non-photosynthetic plants, encoding almost exclusively components involved in gene expression. The complete gene map described here includes genes for duplicated large and small subunit rRNAs, 25 species of tRNA, three subunits of a eubacterial RNA polymerase, 17 ribosomal proteins, and a translation elongation factor. In addition, it codes for an unusual member of the Clp family of chaperones, as well as an open reading frame of unknown function found in red algal plastids. Transcription is polycistronic. This plastid-like DNA molecule is conserved in several genera of apicomplexans and is conjectured to have been acquired by an early progenitor of the Phylum by secondary endosymbiosis. The function of the organelle (plastid) carrying this DNA remains obscure, but appears to be specified by genes transferred to the nucleus.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Polymorphisms in the K13-Propeller Gene in Artemisinin-Susceptible Plasmodium falciparum Parasites from Bougoula-Hameau and Bandiagara, Mali

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Estimation of incidence and recovery rates of Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia from longitudinal data

    PubMed Central

    Bekessy, A.; Molineaux, L.; Storey, J.

    1976-01-01

    A method is described of estimating the malaria incidence rate ĥ and the recovery rate r from longitudinal data. The method is based on the assumption that the phenomenon of patent parasitaemia can be represented by a reversible two-state catalytic model; it is applicable to all problems that can be represented by such a model. The method was applied to data on falciparum malaria from the West African savanna and the findings suggested that immunity increases the rate of recovery from patent parasitaemia by a factor of up to 10, and also reduces the number of episodes of patent parasitaemia resulting from one inoculation. Under the effect of propoxur, ĥ varies with the estimated man-biting rate of the vector while r̂ increases, possibly owing to reduced super-infection. PMID:800968

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  2. Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Kenya is not affected by antifolate drug selection.

    PubMed

    Nzila, A M; Mberu, E K; Nduati, E; Ross, A; Watkins, W M; Sibley, C H

    2002-11-01

    The genotypes of merozoite surface protein-1, merozoite surface protein-2 and glutamine rich protein are frequently used to distinguish recrudescence from reinfection when parasitaemia reappears after antimalarial drug treatment. However, none of the previous reports has clearly assessed the change of genetic diversity following drug treatment. In the present study, we have assessed the impact of pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine and chlorproguanil/dapsone on the genetic diversity of isolates and the multiplicity of infection in patient isolates from Kilifi, Kenya. We have analysed the length polymorphism of merozoite surface protein-1, merozoite surface protein-2 and glutamine rich protein and the data clearly show that treatment with pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine and chlorproguanil/dapsone did not change the multiplicity of infection found in patients, in contrast to the selection that these drugs exert on the genes encoded by the target enzymes. In addition, we report that children of less than 2 years tend to have fewer numbers of clones per isolate when compared with older children. Overall, this study shows that the selection for genes that confer drug resistance is not a factor in reducing the genetic diversity of parasite clones in a patient. PMID:12392912

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Antibodies that protect humans against Plasmodium falciparum blood stages do not on their own inhibit parasite growth and invasion in vitro, but act in cooperation with monocytes

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    IgG extracted from the sera of African adults immune to malaria were injected intravenously into eight Plasmodium falciparum-infected nonimmune Thai patients. Clinical and parasitological improvement was reproducibly obtained in each case. After the disappearance of the transferred Ig, recrudescent parasites were equally susceptible to the same Ig preparation. High levels of antibodies to most parasite proteins were detected by Western blots in the receivers' sera (taken before transfer) as in the donors' Ig, thus indicating that the difference was qualitative rather than quantitative between donors and receivers. In vitro, the clinically effective Ig had no detectable inhibitory effect on either penetration or intra-erythrocytic development of the parasite. On the contrary, they sometimes increased parasite growth. In contrast, these IgG, as the receivers' Ig collected 4 d after transfer, but not those collected before transfer, proved able to exert an antibody-dependent cellular inhibitory (ADCI) effect in cooperation with normal blood monocytes. Results were consistent among the seven isolates studied in vitro, as with the recrudescent parasites. Thus, the results obtained in the ADCI assay correlate closely with clinical and parasitological observations. PMID:2258697

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    Multiple transcontinental waves of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum have originated in Southeast Asia before spreading westward, first into the rest of Asia and then to sub-Saharan Africa. In vitro studies have suggested that hypermutator P. falciparum parasites may exist in Southeast Asia and that an increased rate of acquisition of new mutations in these parasites may explain the repeated emergence of drug resistance in Southeast Asia. This study is the first to test the hypermutator hypothesis using field isolates. Using genome-wide SNP data from human P. falciparum infections in Southeast Asia and West Africa and a test for relative rate differences we found no evidence of increased relative substitution rates in P. falciparum isolates from Southeast Asia. Instead, we found significantly increased substitution rates in Mali and Bangladesh populations relative to those in populations from Southeast Asia. Additionally we found no association between increased relative substitution rates and parasite clearance following treatment with artemisinin derivatives. PMID:25514047

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25514047

  9. 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. PMID:16497163

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. The redox systems of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax: comparison, in silico analyses and inhibitor studies.

    PubMed

    Mohring, F; Pretzel, J; Jortzik, E; Becker, K

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most severe form of human malaria. P. vivax, in contrast, is the most widespread malaria parasite with an enormous impact on health and economy, since the infection is characterized by high rates of relapses. Due to the mild course of malaria tertiana and complicated in vitro culturing conditions of P. vivax, most of the research on malaria parasites has focused on P. falciparum so far. The redox metabolism of P. falciparum is a promising target for novel antimalarial drugs, since maintaining a redox equilibrium is of fundamental importance for the parasite. P. falciparum contains a cytosolic glutathione and thioredoxin system, as well as redox systems in the apicoplast and the mitochondrion. In contrast to P. falciparum, little is known about the redox processes in P. vivax so far. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the redox metabolism in malaria parasites and provides a detailed in silico comparison of the known and mostly well characterized redox enzymes from P. falciparum and the largely unknown redox proteins from P. vivax. Known antimalarials at least partially mediating their antiparasitic activity by influencing the redox balance of Plasmodium, including dehydroepiandrosterone, Mannich bases, methylene blue, and naphthoquinones, are discussed. Furthermore, we present novel inhibitors identified via screening of a compound library from the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, Jena that are active against the redox-related enzymes thioredoxin reductase, glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase 6- phosphoglucono- lactonase from P. falciparum.

  14. Markers of anti-malarial drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Swaziland: identification of pfmdr1-86F in natural parasite isolates

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The development of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to chloroquine (CQ) has limited its use in many malaria endemic areas of the world. However, despite recent drug policy changes to adopt the more effective artemisinin-based combination (ACT) in Africa and in the Southern African region, in 2007 Swaziland still relied on CQ as first-line anti-malarial drug. Methods Parasite DNA was amplified from P. falciparum isolates from Swaziland collected in 1999 (thick smear blood slides) and 2007 (filter paper blood spots). Markers of CQ and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance were identified by probe-based qPCR and DNA sequencing. Results Retrospective microscopy, confirmed by PCR amplification, found that only six of 252 patients treated for uncomplicated malaria in 2007 carried detectable P. falciparum. The pfcrt haplotype 72C/73V/74I/75E/76T occurred at a prevalence of 70% (n = 64) in 1999 and 83% (n = 6) in 2007. Prevalence of the pfmdr1-86N allele was 24% in 1999 and 67% in 2007. A novel substitution of phenylalanine for asparagine at codon 86 of pfmdr1 (N86F) occurred in two of 51 isolates successfully amplified from 1999. The pfmdr1-1246Y allele was common in 1999, with a prevalence of 49%, but was absent among isolates collected in 2007. The 86N/184F/1246D pfmdr1 haplotype, associated with enhanced parasite survival in patients treated with artemether-lumefantrine, comprised 8% of 1999 isolates, and 67% among 2007 isolates. The pfdhfr triple-mutant 16C/51I/59R/108N/164I haplotype associated with pyrimethamine resistance was common in both 1999 (82%, n = 34) and 2007 (50%, n = 6), as was the wild-type 431I/436S/437A/540K/581A/613A haplotype of pfdhps (100% and 93% respectively in 1999 and 2007). The quintuple-mutant haplotype pfdhfr/pfdhps-CIRNI/ISGEAA, associated with high-level resistance to SP, was rare (9%) among 1999 isolates and absent among 2007 isolates. Conclusions The prevalence of pfcrt and pfmdr1 alleles reported in this study is

  15. Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum: A process linked to dormancy?

    PubMed

    Cheng, Qin; Kyle, Dennis E; Gatton, Michelle L

    2012-12-01

    Artemisinin (ART) based combination therapy (ACT) is used as the first line treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in over 100 countries and is the cornerstone of malaria control and elimination programs in these areas. However, despite the high potency and rapid parasite killing action of ART derivatives there is a high rate of recrudescence associated with ART monotherapy and recrudescence is not uncommon even when ACT is used. Compounding this problem are reports that some parasites in Cambodia, a known foci of drug resistance, have decreased in vivo sensitivity to ART. This raises serious concerns for the development of ART resistance in the field even though no major phenotypic and genotypic changes have yet been identified in these parasites. In this article we review available data on the characteristics of ART, its effects on Plasmodium falciparum parasites and present a hypothesis to explain the high rate of recrudescence associated with this potent class of drugs and the current enigma surrounding ART resistance.

  16. Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 is a parasitized erythrocyte receptor for adherence to CD36, thrombospondin, and intercellular adhesion molecule 1.

    PubMed Central

    Baruch, D I; Gormely, J A; Ma, C; Howard, R J; Pasloske, B L

    1996-01-01

    Adherence of mature Plasmodium falciparum parasitized erythrocytes (PRBCs) to microvascular endothelium contributes directly to acute malaria pathology. We affinity purified molecules from detergent extracts of surface-radioiodinated PRBCs using several endothelial cell receptors known to support PRBC adherence, including CD36, thrombospondin (TSP), and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1). All three host receptors affinity purified P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), a very large malarial protein expressed on the surface of adherent PRBCs. Binding of PfEMP1 to particular host cell receptors correlated with the binding phenotype of the PRBCs from which PfEMP1 was extracted. Preadsorption of PRBC extracts with anti-PfEMP1 antibodies, CD36, or TSP markedly reduced PfEMP1 binding to CD36 or TSP. Mild trypsinization of intact PRBCs of P. falciparum strains shown to express antigenically different PfEMP1 released different (125)I-labeled tryptic fragments of PfEMP1 that bound specifically to CD36 and TSP. In clone C5 and strain MC, these activities resided on different tryptic fragments, but a single tryptic fragment from clone ItG-ICAM bound to both CD36 and TSP. Hence, the CD36- and TSP-binding domains are distinct entities located on a single PfEMP1 molecule. PfEMP1, the malarial variant antigen on infected erythrocytes, is therefore a receptor for CD36, TSP, and ICAM-1. A therapeutic approach to block or reverse adherence of PRBCs to host cell receptors can now be pursued with the identification of PfEMP1 as a malarial receptor for PRBC adherence to host proteins. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8622965

  17. Impact of mosquito bites on asexual parasite density and gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic chronic Plasmodium falciparum infections and correlation with IgE and IgG titers.

    PubMed

    Lawaly, Ramatoulaye; Konate, Lassana; Marrama, Laurence; Dia, Ibrahima; Diallo, Diawo; Diène Sarr, Fatoumata; Schneider, Bradley S; Casademont, Isabelle; Diallo, Mawlouth; Brey, Paul T; Sakuntabhai, Anavaj; Mecheri, Salah; Paul, Richard

    2012-06-01

    An immunomodulatory role of arthropod saliva has been well documented, but evidence for an effect on Plasmodium sp. infectiousness remains controversial. Mosquito saliva may orient the immune response toward a Th2 profile, thereby priming a Th2 response against subsequent antigens, including Plasmodium. Orientation toward a Th1 versus a Th2 profile promotes IgG and IgE proliferation, respectively, where the former is crucial for the development of an efficient antiparasite immune response. Here we assessed the direct effect of mosquito bites on the density of Plasmodium falciparum asexual parasites and the prevalence of gametocytes in chronic, asymptomatic infections in a longitudinal cohort study of seasonal transmission. We additionally correlated these parasitological measures with IgE and IgG antiparasite and anti-salivary gland extract titers. The mosquito biting density was positively correlated with the asexual parasite density but not asexual parasite prevalence and was negatively correlated with gametocyte prevalence. Individual anti-salivary gland IgE titers were also negatively correlated with gametocyte carriage and were strongly positively correlated with antiparasite IgE titers, consistent with the hypothesis that mosquito bites predispose individuals to develop an IgE antiparasite response. We provide evidence that mosquito bites have an impact on asymptomatic infections and differentially so for the production of asexual and sexual parasites. An increased research focus on the immunological impact of mosquito bites during asymptomatic infections is warranted, to establish whether strategies targeting the immune response to saliva can reduce the duration of infection and the onward transmission of the parasite.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Functional dissection of the catalytic carboxyl-terminal domain of origin recognition complex subunit 1 (PfORC1) of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Ashish; Mehra, Parul; Deshmukh, Abhijeet; Dar, Ashraf; Mitra, Pallabi; Roy, Nilanjan; Dhar, Suman Kumar

    2009-09-01

    Origin recognition complex subunit 1 (ORC1) is essential for DNA replication in eukaryotes. The deadly human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains an ORC1/CDC6 homolog with several interesting domains at the catalytic carboxyl-terminal region that include a putative nucleoside triphosphate-binding and hydrolysis domain, a putative PCNA-interacting-protein (PIP) motif, and an extreme C-terminal region that shows poor homology with other ORC1 homologs. Due to the unavailability of a dependable inducible gene expression system, it is difficult to study the structure and function of essential genes in Plasmodium. Using a genetic yeast complementation system and biochemical experiments, here we show that the putative PIP domain in ORC1 that facilitates in vitro physical interaction with PCNA is functional in both yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and Plasmodium in vivo, confirming its essential biological role in eukaryotes. Furthermore, despite having less sequence homology, the extreme C-terminal region can be swapped between S. cerevisiae and P. falciparum and it binds to DNA directly, suggesting a conserved role of this region in DNA replication. These results not only provide us a useful system to study the function of the essential genes in Plasmodium, they help us to identify the previously undiscovered unique features of replication proteins in general.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Inhibition of the growth and development of asexual and sexual stages of drug-sensitive and resistant strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum by Neem (Azadirachta indica) fractions.

    PubMed

    Dhar, R; Zhang, K; Talwar, G P; Garg, S; Kumar, N

    1998-05-01

    Neem (Azadirachta indica) has been shown to possess anti-malarial activity. In this study we systematically evaluated extracts of neem seeds and purified fractions further enriched in polar or non-polar constituents for their effect on in vitro growth and development of asexual and sexual stages of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Use of synchronized stages of parasites suggested trophozoites/schizonts as the susceptible target stages to various neem extracts. In addition, all the maturation stages of gametocytes were also killed by various neem fractions tested. The anti-plasmodial effect of neem components was also observed on parasites previously shown to be resistant to other anti-malarial drugs, i.e. chloroquine and pyrimethamine suggesting a different mode of action. Neem seed fractions are thus active not only against the parasite stages that cause the clinical infection but also against the stages responsible for continued malaria transmission. PMID:9687079

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24470456

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  14. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

    ... CME and CNE for clinicians... Parasitic Disease and Malaria Strategic Priorities: 2015—2020... Cyclosporiasis: Most U.S. cases ... R S T U V W X Y Z Malaria An ancient disease that affects millions of people ...

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background 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 compromizing 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. Data and Methods 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. Results 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

  16. The Dynamics of Natural Plasmodium falciparum Infections

    PubMed Central

    Felger, Ingrid; Maire, Martin; Bretscher, Michael T.; Falk, Nicole; Tiaden, André; Sama, Wilson; Beck, Hans-Peter; Owusu-Agyei, Seth; Smith, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Natural immunity to Plasmodium falciparum has been widely studied, but its effects on parasite dynamics are poorly understood. Acquisition and clearance rates of untreated infections are key elements of the dynamics of malaria, but estimating these parameters is challenging because of frequent super-infection and imperfect detectability of parasites. Consequently, information on effects of host immune status or age on infection dynamics is fragmentary. Methods An age-stratified cohort of 347 individuals from Northern Ghana was sampled six times at 2 month intervals. High-throughput capillary electrophoresis was used to genotype the msp-2 locus of all P. falciparum infections detected by PCR. Force of infection (FOI) and duration were estimated for each age group using an immigration-death model that allows for imperfect detection of circulating parasites. Results Allowing for imperfect detection substantially increased estimates of FOI and duration. Effects of naturally acquired immunity on the FOI and duration would be reflected in age dependence in these indices, but in our cohort data FOI tended to increase with age in children. Persistence of individual parasite clones was characteristic of all age-groups. Duration peaked in 5–9 year old children (average duration 319 days, 95% confidence interval 318;320). Conclusions The main age-dependence is on parasite densities, with only small age-variations in the FOI and persistence of infections. This supports the hypothesis that acquired immunity controls transmission mainly by limiting blood-stage parasite densities rather than changing rates of acquisition or clearance of infections. PMID:23029082

  17. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  18. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  19. Antigenic Variation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Petter, Michaela; Duffy, Michael F

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the protozoan parasite that causes most malaria-associated morbidity and mortality in humans with over 500,000 deaths annually. The disease symptoms are associated with repeated cycles of invasion and asexual multiplication inside red blood cells of the parasite. Partial, non-sterile immunity to P. falciparum malaria develops only after repeated infections and continuous exposure. The successful evasion of the human immune system relies on the large repertoire of antigenically diverse parasite proteins displayed on the red blood cell surface and on the merozoite membrane where they are exposed to the human immune system. Expression switching of these polymorphic proteins between asexual parasite generations provides an efficient mechanism to adapt to the changing environment in the host and to maintain chronic infection. This chapter discusses antigenic diversity and variation in the malaria parasite and our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that direct the expression of these proteins. PMID:26537377

  20. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Genetic Evaluation of the Performance of Malaria Parasite Clearance Rate Metrics

    PubMed Central

    Nkhoma, Standwell C.; Stepniewska, Kasia; Nair, Shalini; Phyo, Aung Pyae; McGready, Rose; Nosten, François; Anderson, Tim J. C.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate measurement of malaria parasite clearance rates (CRs) following artemisinin (ART) treatment is critical for resistance surveillance and research, and various CR metrics are currently used. We measured 13 CR metrics in 1472 ART-treated hyperparasitemia infections for which 6-hour parasite counts and parasite genotypes (93 single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]) were available. We used heritability to evaluate the performance of each metric. Heritability ranged from 0.06 ± 0.06 (SD) for 50% parasite clearance times to 0.67 ± 0.04 (SD) for clearance half-lives estimated from 6-hour parasite counts. These results identify the measures that should be avoided and show that reliable clearance measures can be obtained with abbreviated monitoring protocols. PMID:23592863

  5. Genetic evaluation of the performance of malaria parasite clearance rate metrics.

    PubMed

    Nkhoma, Standwell C; Stepniewska, Kasia; Nair, Shalini; Phyo, Aung Pyae; McGready, Rose; Nosten, François; Anderson, Tim J C

    2013-07-15

    Accurate measurement of malaria parasite clearance rates (CRs) following artemisinin (ART) treatment is critical for resistance surveillance and research, and various CR metrics are currently used. We measured 13 CR metrics in 1472 ART-treated hyperparasitemia infections for which 6-hour parasite counts and parasite genotypes (93 single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]) were available. We used heritability to evaluate the performance of each metric. Heritability ranged from 0.06 ± 0.06 (SD) for 50% parasite clearance times to 0.67 ± 0.04 (SD) for clearance half-lives estimated from 6-hour parasite counts. These results identify the measures that should be avoided and show that reliable clearance measures can be obtained with abbreviated monitoring protocols.

  6. 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.

  7. Habitat edge, land management, and rates of brood parasitism in tallgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Patten, Michael A; Shochat, Eyal; Reinking, Dan L; Wolfe, Donald H; Sherrod, Steve K

    2006-04-01

    Bird populations in North America's grasslands have declined sharply in recent decades. These declines are traceable, in large part, to habitat loss, but management of tallgrass prairie also has an impact. An indirect source of decline potentially associated with management is brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), which has had substantial negative impacts on many passerine hosts. Using a novel application of regression trees, we analyzed an extensive five-year set of nest data to test how management of tallgrass prairie affected rates of brood parasitism. We examined seven landscape features that may have been associated with parasitism: presence of edge, burning, or grazing, and distance of the nest from woody vegetation, water, roads, or fences. All five grassland passerines that we included in the analyses exhibited evidence of an edge effect: the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), Dickcissel (Spiza americana), Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). The edge was represented by narrow strips of woody vegetation occurring along roadsides cut through tallgrass prairie. The sparrows avoided nesting along these woody edges, whereas the other three species experienced significantly higher (1.9-5.3x) rates of parasitism along edges than in prairie. The edge effect could be related directly to increase in parasitism rate with decreased distance from woody vegetation. After accounting for edge effect in these three species, we found evidence for significantly higher (2.5-10.5x) rates of parasitism in grazed plots, particularly those burned in spring to increase forage, than in undisturbed prairie. Regression tree analysis proved to be an important tool for hierarchically parsing various landscape features that affect parasitism rates. We conclude that, on the Great Plains, rates of brood parasitism are strongly associated with relatively recent road cuts

  8. 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

  9. Mitotic evolution of Plasmodium falciparum shows a stable core genome but recombination in antigen families.

    PubMed

    Bopp, Selina E R; Manary, Micah J; Bright, A Taylor; Johnston, Geoffrey L; Dharia, Neekesh V; Luna, Fabio L; McCormack, Susan; Plouffe, David; McNamara, Case W; Walker, John R; Fidock, David A; Denchi, Eros Lazzerini; Winzeler, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    Malaria parasites elude eradication attempts both within the human host and across nations. At the individual level, parasites evade the host immune responses through antigenic variation. At the global level, parasites escape drug pressure through single nucleotide variants and gene copy amplification events conferring drug resistance. Despite their importance to global health, the rates at which these genomic alterations emerge have not been determined. We studied the complete genomes of different Plasmodium falciparum clones that had been propagated asexually over one year in the presence and absence of drug pressure. A combination of whole-genome microarray analysis and next-generation deep resequencing (totaling 14 terabases) revealed a stable core genome with only 38 novel single nucleotide variants appearing in seventeen evolved clones (avg. 5.4 per clone). In clones exposed to atovaquone, we found cytochrome b mutations as well as an amplification event encompassing the P. falciparum multidrug resistance associated protein (mrp1) on chromosome 1. We observed 18 large-scale (>1 kb on average) deletions of telomere-proximal regions encoding multigene families, involved in immune evasion (9.5×10(-6) structural variants per base pair per generation). Six of these deletions were associated with chromosomal crossovers generated during mitosis. We found only minor differences in rates between genetically distinct strains and between parasites cultured in the presence or absence of drug. Using these derived mutation rates for P. falciparum (1.0-9.7×10(-9) mutations per base pair per generation), we can now model the frequency at which drug or immune resistance alleles will emerge under a well-defined set of assumptions. Further, the detection of mitotic recombination events in var gene families illustrates how multigene families can arise and change over time in P. falciparum. These results will help improve our understanding of how P. falciparum evolves to evade

  10. 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

    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

  11. The evolution of bacterial mutation rates under simultaneous selection by interspecific and social parasitism.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Siobhán; Rodrigues, Antonio M M; Buckling, Angus

    2013-12-22

    Many bacterial populations harbour substantial numbers of hypermutable bacteria, in spite of hypermutation being associated with deleterious mutations. One reason for the persistence of hypermutators is the provision of novel mutations, enabling rapid adaptation to continually changing environments, for example coevolving virulent parasites. However, hypermutation also increases the rate at which intraspecific parasites (social cheats) are generated. Interspecific and intraspecific parasitism are therefore likely to impose conflicting selection pressure on mutation rate. Here, we combine theory and experiments to investigate how simultaneous selection from inter- and intraspecific parasitism affects the evolution of bacterial mutation rates in the plant-colonizing bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Both our theoretical and experimental results suggest that phage presence increases and selection for public goods cooperation (the production of iron-scavenging siderophores) decreases selection for mutator bacteria. Moreover, phages imposed a much greater growth cost than social cheating, and when both selection pressures were imposed simultaneously, selection for cooperation did not affect mutation rate evolution. Given the ubiquity of infectious phages in the natural environment and clinical infections, our results suggest that phages are likely to be more important than social interactions in determining mutation rate evolution.

  12. The evolution of bacterial mutation rates under simultaneous selection by interspecific and social parasitism.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Siobhán; Rodrigues, Antonio M M; Buckling, Angus

    2013-12-22

    Many bacterial populations harbour substantial numbers of hypermutable bacteria, in spite of hypermutation being associated with deleterious mutations. One reason for the persistence of hypermutators is the provision of novel mutations, enabling rapid adaptation to continually changing environments, for example coevolving virulent parasites. However, hypermutation also increases the rate at which intraspecific parasites (social cheats) are generated. Interspecific and intraspecific parasitism are therefore likely to impose conflicting selection pressure on mutation rate. Here, we combine theory and experiments to investigate how simultaneous selection from inter- and intraspecific parasitism affects the evolution of bacterial mutation rates in the plant-colonizing bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Both our theoretical and experimental results suggest that phage presence increases and selection for public goods cooperation (the production of iron-scavenging siderophores) decreases selection for mutator bacteria. Moreover, phages imposed a much greater growth cost than social cheating, and when both selection pressures were imposed simultaneously, selection for cooperation did not affect mutation rate evolution. Given the ubiquity of infectious phages in the natural environment and clinical infections, our results suggest that phages are likely to be more important than social interactions in determining mutation rate evolution. PMID:24197408

  13. 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

  14. Detectability of Plasmodium falciparum clones

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background In areas of high transmission people often harbour multiple clones of Plasmodium falciparum, but even PCR-based diagnostic methods can only detect a fraction (the detectability, q) of all clones present in a host. Accurate measurements of detectability are desirable since it affects estimates of multiplicity of infection, prevalence, and frequency of breakthrough infections in clinical drug trials. Detectability can be estimated by typing repeated samples from the same host but it has been unclear what should be the time interval between the samples and how the data should be analysed. Methods A longitudinal molecular study was conducted in the Kassena-Nankana district in northern Ghana. From each of the 80 participants, four finger prick samples were collected over a period of 8 days, and tested for presence of different Merozoite Surface Protein (msp) 2 genotypes. Implications for estimating q were derived from these data by comparing the fit of statistical models of serial dependence and over-dispersion. Results The distribution of the frequencies of detection for msp2 genotypes was close to binomial if the time span between consecutive blood samples was at least 7 days. For shorter intervals the probabilities of detection were positively correlated, i.e. the shorter the interval between two blood collections, the more likely the diagnostic results matched for a particular genotype. Estimates of q were rather insensitive to the statistical model fitted. Conclusions A simple algorithm based on analysing blood samples collected 7 days apart is justified for generating robust estimates of detectability. The finding of positive correlation of detection probabilities for short time intervals argues against imperfect detection being directly linked to the 48-hour periodicity of P. falciparum. The results suggest that the detectability of a given parasite clone changes over time, at an unknown rate, but fast enough to regard blood samples taken one week

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Effect of Farnesyltransferase Inhibitor R115777 on Mitochondria of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Ha, Young Ran; Hwang, Bae-Geun; Hong, Yeonchul; Yang, Hye-Won; Lee, Sang Joon

    2015-08-01

    The parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes severe malaria and is the most dangerous to humans. However, it exhibits resistance to their drugs. Farnesyltransferase has been identified in pathogenic protozoa of the genera Plasmodium and the target of farnesyltransferase includes Ras family. Therefore, the inhibition of farnesyltransferase has been suggested as a new strategy for the treatment of malaria. However, the exact functional mechanism of this agent is still unknown. In addition, the effect of farnesyltransferase inhibitor (FTIs) on mitochondrial level of malaria parasites is not fully understood. In this study, therefore, the effect of a FTI R115777 on the function of mitochondria of P. falciparum was investigated experimentally. As a result, FTI R115777 was found to suppress the infection rate of malaria parasites under in vitro condition. It also reduces the copy number of mtDNA-encoded cytochrome c oxidase III. In addition, the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and the green fluorescence intensity of MitoTracker were decreased by FTI R115777. Chloroquine and atovaquone were measured by the mtDNA copy number as mitochondrial non-specific or specific inhibitor, respectively. Chloroquine did not affect the copy number of mtDNA-encoded cytochrome c oxidase III, while atovaquone induced to change the mtDNA copy number. These results suggest that FTI R115777 has strong influence on the mitochondrial function of P. falciparum. It may have therapeutic potential for malaria by targeting the mitochondria of parasites.

  17. Glycosylphosphatidylinositols synthesized by asexual erythrocytic stages of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Candidates for plasmodial glycosylphosphatidylinositol membrane anchor precursors and pathogenicity factors.

    PubMed

    Gerold, P; Dieckmann-Schuppert, A; Schwarz, R T

    1994-01-28

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of malaria tropica in man. Biochemical studies were focused on the asexual, intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum, because of their role in the clinical phase of the disease and the possibility of propagation in a cell culture system. In this report, we describe the in-culture labeling of malarial glycolipids and the analysis of their hydrophilic moieties. They were identified as glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) by: 1) labeling with [3H]mannose, [3H]glucosamine, and [3H]ethanolamine and 2) sensitivity toward glycosylphosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase D, phospholipase A2, and nitrous acid. Malarial GPIs are shown to be unaffected by treatment with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, regardless of prior treatment with mild base commonly used for inositol deacylation. Two candidates for putative GPI-anchor precursors to malarial membrane proteins with the structures ethanolamine-phosphate-6(Man alpha 1-2)Man alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-6Man alpha 1-4 GlcN-PI (Pfg1 alpha) and ethanolamine-phosphate-6Man alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-6Man-alpha 1-4-GlcN-PI (Pfg1 beta) were identified.

  18. Reconsideration of Anopheles rivulorum as a vector of Plasmodium falciparum in western Kenya: some evidence from biting time, blood preference, sporozoite positive rate, and pyrethroid resistance

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Anopheles gambiae, An. arabiensis, and An. funestus are widespread malaria vectors in Africa. Anopheles rivulorum is the next most widespread species in the An. funestus group. The role of An. rivulorum as a malaria vector has not been fully studied, although it has been found to be a minor or opportunistic transmitter of Plasmodium falciparum. Methods Mosquitoes were collected indoors over a 12-hour period using a light source attached to a rotating bottle collector in order to determine peak activity times and to provide DNA for meal source identification. Gravid female mosquitoes were collected indoors via an aspirator to generate F1 progeny for testing insecticidal susceptibility. Blood meal sources were identified using a multiplexed PCR assay for human and bovine cytochrome-B, and by matching sequences generated with primers targeting vertebrate and mammalian cytochrome-B segments to the Genbank database. Results Anopheles rivulorum fed on human blood in the early evening between 18:00 and 20:00, when insecticide-treated bed nets are not in use, and the presence of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites in 0.70% of the An. rivulorum individuals tested was demonstrated. Susceptibility to permethrin, deltamethrin, and DDT is higher in An. rivulorum (84.8%, 91.4%, and 100%, respectively) than in An. funestus s.s. (36.8%, 36.4%, and 70%, respectively), whereas mortality rates for propoxur and fenitrothion were 100% for both species. Resistance to pyrethroids was very high in An. funestus s.s. and the potential of the development of high resistance was suspected in An. rivulorum. Conclusion Given the tendency for An. rivulorum to be active early in the evening, the presence of P. falciparum in the species, and the potential for the development of pyrethroid resistance, we strongly advocate reconsideration of the latent ability of this species as an epidemiologically important malaria vector. PMID:23050856

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-01-23

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-01-23

    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

  5. 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.

  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. PMID:26401601

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, John A.; Udeinya, Iroka J.; Leech, James H.; Hay, Robert J.; Aikawa, Masamichi; Barnwell, John; Green, Ira; Miller, Louis H.

    1982-01-01

    Erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum trophozoites and schizonts are not seen in the peripheral circulation because they attach to venular endothelium via knoblike structures on the infected erythrocyte membrane. We have recently shown that erythrocytes containing P. falciparum trophozoites and schizonts likewise attach to cultured human venous endothelial cells via knobs. In search of a more practical target cell for large scale binding studies designed to characterize and isolate the knob ligand, we tested various normal cells and continuous cell lines for their ability to bind P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Of the 18 cell types tested, binding of infected erythrocytes was observed to a human amelanotic melanoma cell line and amnion epithelial cells as well as to human aortic and umbilical vein endothelial cells. 96-100% of amelanotic melanoma cells bound 17±4 (±1 SEM) infected erythrocytes per positive cell, whereas fewer endothelial cells (4-59%) and amnion epithelial cells (8-19%) were capable of binding 12±5 and 4±1 infected erythrocytes per positive cell, respectively. Further studies designed to compare the mechanism of binding to the amelanotic melanoma cell line and endothelial cells showed the following results. First, that adhesion of infected erythrocytes to these two cell types was parasite stage-specific in that only erythrocytes containing late ring forms, trophozoites, and schizonts bound. Erythrocytes containing early ring forms, which do not attach to venular endothelium in vivo, did not bind to either cell type. Second, erythrocytes infected with trophozoites and schizonts of P. vivax or a knobless strain of P. falciparum, both of which continue to circulate in vivo, did not bind to either target cell type. Third, transmission electron microscopy showed that infected erythrocytes attached to the amelanotic melanoma cells via knobs. We conclude that cultured human endothelial cells and an amelanotic melanoma cell line share

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

    PubMed Central

    Daniels, Rachel; Volkman, Sarah K; Milner, Danny A; Mahesh, Nira; Neafsey, Daniel E; Park, Daniel J; Rosen, David; Angelino, Elaine; Sabeti, Pardis C; Wirth, Dyann F; Wiegand, Roger C

    2008-01-01

    Background Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping provides the means to develop a practical, rapid, inexpensive assay that will uniquely identify any Plasmodium falciparum parasite using a small amount of DNA. Such an assay could be used to distinguish recrudescence from re-infection in drug trials, to monitor the frequency and distribution of specific parasites in a patient population undergoing drug treatment or vaccine challenge, or for tracking samples and determining purity of isolates in the laboratory during culture adaptation and sub-cloning, as well as routine passage. Methods A panel of twenty-four SNP markers has been identified that exhibit a high minor allele frequency (average MAF > 35%), for which robust TaqMan genotyping assays were constructed. All SNPs were identified through whole genome sequencing and MAF was estimated through Affymetrix array-based genotyping of a worldwide collection of parasites. These assays create a "molecular barcode" to uniquely identify a parasite genome. Results Using 24 such markers no two parasites known to be of independent origin have yet been found to have the same allele signature. The TaqMan genotyping assays can be performed on a variety of samples including cultured parasites, frozen whole blood, or whole blood spotted onto filter paper with a success rate > 99%. Less than 5 ng of parasite DNA is needed to complete a panel of 24 markers. The ability of this SNP panel to detect and identify parasites was compared to the standard molecular methods, MSP-1 and MSP-2 typing. Conclusion This work provides a facile field-deployable genotyping tool that can be used without special skills with standard lab equipment, and at reasonable cost that will unambiguously identify and track P. falciparum parasites both from patient samples and in the laboratory. PMID:18959790

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:25768437

  13. 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. PMID:27556547

  14. 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

  15. A new world malaria map: Plasmodium falciparum endemicity in 2010

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Transmission intensity affects almost all aspects of malaria epidemiology and the impact of malaria on human populations. Maps of transmission intensity are necessary to identify populations at different levels of risk and to evaluate objectively options for disease control. To remain relevant operationally, such maps must be updated frequently. Following the first global effort to map Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity in 2007, this paper describes the generation of a new world map for the year 2010. This analysis is extended to provide the first global estimates of two other metrics of transmission intensity for P. falciparum that underpin contemporary questions in malaria control: the entomological inoculation rate (PfEIR) and the basic reproductive number (PfR). Methods Annual parasite incidence data for 13,449 administrative units in 43 endemic countries were sourced to define the spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission in 2010 and 22,212 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) surveys were used in a model-based geostatistical (MBG) prediction to create a continuous contemporary surface of malaria endemicity within these limits. A suite of transmission models were developed that link PfPR to PfEIR and PfR and these were fitted to field data. These models were combined with the PfPR map to create new global predictions of PfEIR and PfR. All output maps included measured uncertainty. Results An estimated 1.13 and 1.44 billion people worldwide were at risk of unstable and stable P. falciparum malaria, respectively. The majority of the endemic world was predicted with a median PfEIR of less than one and a median PfRc of less than two. Values of either metric exceeding 10 were almost exclusive to Africa. The uncertainty described in both PfEIR and PfR was substantial in regions of intense transmission. Conclusions The year 2010 has a particular significance as an evaluation milestone for malaria global health policy. The maps presented here

  16. 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.

  17. Altered drug susceptibility during host adaptation of a Plasmodium falciparum strain in a non-human primate model

    PubMed Central

    Obaldía III, Nicanor; Dow, Geoffrey S.; Gerena, Lucia; Kyle, Dennis; Otero, William; Mantel, Pierre-Yves; Baro, Nicholas; Daniels, Rachel; Mukherjee, Angana; Childs, Lauren M.; Buckee, Caroline; Duraisingh, Manoj T.; Volkman, Sarah K.; Wirth, Dyann F.; Marti, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Infections with Plasmodium falciparum, the most pathogenic of the Plasmodium species affecting man, have been reduced in part due to artemisinin-based combination therapies. However, artemisinin resistant parasites have recently emerged in South-East Asia. Novel intervention strategies are therefore urgently needed to maintain the current momentum for control and elimination of this disease. In the present study we characterize the phenotypic and genetic properties of the multi drug resistant (MDR) P. falciparum Thai C2A parasite strain in the non-human Aotus primate model, and across multiple passages. Aotus infections with C2A failed to clear upon oral artesunate and mefloquine treatment alone or in combination, and ex vivo drug assays demonstrated reduction in drug susceptibility profiles in later Aotus passages. Further analysis revealed mutations in the pfcrt and pfdhfr loci and increased parasite multiplication rate (PMR) across passages, despite elevated pfmdr1 copy number. Altogether our experiments suggest alterations in parasite population structure and increased fitness during Aotus adaptation. We also present data of early treatment failures with an oral artemisinin combination therapy in a pre-artemisinin resistant P. falciparum Thai isolate in this animal model. PMID:26880111

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Assessment in mice of a synthetic peptide-based vaccine against the sporozoite stage of the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Etlinger, H M; Heimer, E P; Trzeciak, A; Felix, A M; Gillessen, D

    1988-01-01

    The anti-P. falciparum sporozoite vaccine consisting of the synthetic peptide, Ac-Cys-(NANP)3, conjugated to the protein tetanus toxoid (TT), [Ac-Cys-(NANP)3]25-TT, is currently undergoing human trials. The purpose of the present study was to assess various immunological parameters of this vaccine in mice, which have practical implications in humans. Two injections of [Ac-Cys-(NANP)3]25-TT adsorbed to Al(OH)3 were required to elicit a high antibody response against both Ac-Cys-(NANP)3 and TT. The vaccine initiated equivalent Ac-Cys-(NANP)3 priming for a secondary IgG response in 1-week-old and adult mice. Immunization of female mice with TT or [Ac-Cys-(NANP)3]23-TT prior to mating resulted in offspring that passively received anti-Ac-Cys-(NANP)3 and/or anti-TT antibody and that had reduced secondary responses to Ac-Cys-(NANP)3 and TT. Tertiary challenge with vaccine could substantially overcome such inhibition. Preimmunization of adult mice with TT resulted in a specific inhibition of the anti-Ac-Cys-(NANP)3 antibody response that disappeared following tertiary challenge with the vaccine. The conjugate initiated an antibody response against Ac-Cys-(NANP)3 and TT in mice of 16 different genotypes; only very low T-cell proliferative responses to (NANP)3 were observed for some of these strains. Mice injected with (NANP)3 coupled to protein demonstrated a secondary response to Ac-Cys-(NANP)3 when challenged with (NANP)3 on a heterologous carrier, indicating that B-cell priming alone may be sufficient for a secondary antibody response. These results demonstrate that the vaccine has favourable and unfavourable characteristics in mice; the potential for both exists in humans. PMID:3044983

  1. Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, D; Reddy, G R; Dame, J B; Almira, E C; Laipis, P J; Ferl, R J; Yang, T P; Rowe, T C; Schuster, S M

    1994-07-01

    An initiative was undertaken to sequence all genes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in an effort to gain a better understanding at the molecular level of the parasite that inflicts much suffering in the developing world. 550 random complimentary DNA clones were partially sequenced from the intraerythrocytic form of the parasite as one of the approaches to analyze the transcribed sequences of its genome. The sequences, after editing, generated 389 expressed sequence tag sites and over 105 kb of DNA sequences. About 32% of these clones showed significant homology with other genes in the database. These clones represent 340 new Plasmodium falciparum expressed sequence tags.

  2. 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. PMID:18703053

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Effect of arteether alpha/beta on uncomplicated falciparum malaria cases in Upper Assam.

    PubMed

    Mohapatra, P K; Khan, A M; Prakash, A; Mahanta, J; Srivastava, V K

    1996-11-01

    Thirty patients of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria completed a clinical trial of arteether alpha/beta conducted in a malaria endemic tea garden of district Dibrugarh, Assam. Arteether was given intramuscularly in once a day dose of 150 mg for three consecutive days. The cure rate was 100 per cent with mean fever and parasite clearance time of 42.4 +/- 17.5 and 37.6 +/- 13.6 h respectively. Recrudescence/reinfection rate was 6.7 per cent. Palpable spleens of twenty out of twenty one cases on day 0 became non palpable within 28 days. Following the treatment, percentage of hemoglobin improved marginally with no remarkable change in total and differential leucocyte count. Arteether alpha/beta, besides being a potent and fast acting schizontocidal drug, also exhibited gametocytocidal action on P. falciparum. PMID:8979518

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives in southeast Asia threatens malaria control and elimination activities worldwide. To monitor the spread of artemisinin resistance, a molecular marker is urgently needed. Here, using whole-genome sequencing of an artemisinin-resistant parasite line from Africa and clinical parasite isolates from Cambodia, we associate mutations in the PF3D7_1343700 kelch propeller domain (‘K13-propeller’) with artemisinin resistance in vitro and in vivo. Mutant K13-propeller alleles cluster in Cambodian provinces where resistance is prevalent, and the increasing frequency of a dominant mutant K13-propeller allele correlates with the recent spread of resistance in western Cambodia. Strong correlations between the presence of a mutant allele, in vitro parasite survival rates and in vivo parasite clearance rates indicate that K13-propeller mutations are important determinants of artemisinin resistance. K13-propeller polymorphism constitutes a useful molecular marker for large-scale surveillance efforts to contain artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion and prevent its global spread. PMID:24352242

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-31

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  14. Plasmodium falciparum genetic crosses in a humanized mouse model

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Generation of Antigenic Diversity in Plasmodium falciparum by Structured Rearrangement of Var Genes During Mitosis

    PubMed Central

    Kekre, Mihir; Otto, Thomas D.; Faizullabhoy, Adnan; Rayner, Julian C.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic

    2014-01-01

    The most polymorphic gene family in P. falciparum is the ∼60 var genes distributed across parasite chromosomes, both in the subtelomeres and in internal regions. They encode hypervariable surface proteins known as P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) that are critical for pathogenesis and immune evasion in Plasmodium falciparum. How var gene sequence diversity is generated is not currently completely understood. To address this, we constructed large clone trees and performed whole genome sequence analysis to study the generation of novel var gene sequences in asexually replicating parasites. While single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were scattered across the genome, structural variants (deletions, duplications, translocations) were focused in and around var genes, with considerable variation in frequency between strains. Analysis of more than 100 recombination events involving var exon 1 revealed that the average nucleotide sequence identity of two recombining exons was only 63% (range: 52.7–72.4%) yet the crossovers were error-free and occurred in such a way that the resulting sequence was in frame and domain architecture was preserved. Var exon 1, which encodes the immunologically exposed part of the protein, recombined in up to 0.2% of infected erythrocytes in vitro per life cycle. The high rate of var exon 1 recombination indicates that millions of new antigenic structures could potentially be generated each day in a single infected individual. We propose a model whereby var gene sequence polymorphism is mainly generated during the asexual part of the life cycle. PMID:25521112

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

    A total of 443 bat flies belonging to the families Nycteribiidae and Strelidae, were collected on 22 species of bats (Molossidae, Phyllostomidae, and Vespertilionidae) from Parque Estadual da Cantareira (São Paulo, Brazil), between January, 2000 and January, 2001. Eighteen new occurrences of bat flies were recorded on Anoura geoffroyi (Anastrebla caudiferae), Glossophaga soricina (A. caudiferae), Sturnira lilium (Trichobius phyllostomae, T. furmani, and Paraeuctenodes similis), Artibeus lituratus (A. caudiferae), A. fimbriatus (Megistopoda proxima), A. obscurus (Metelasmus pseudopterus), Myotis nigricans (M. proxima, M. aranea, Paratrichobius longicrus), M. ruber (Anatrichobius passosi, Joblingia sp.), M. levis (A. passosi), M. albescens (A. passosi, Basilia andersoni), and Histiotus velatus (M. aranea). Seven new occurrences were recorded for the state of São Paulo, increasing the range for T. tiptoni, T. furmani, M. proxima, Aspidoptera falcata, A. caudiferae, A. modestini and B. andersoni. The relationships between parasitism and host sex, reproductive stage, age hyperparasitism by fungi are discussed. PMID:15867959

  17. Expression of Plasmodium falciparum surface antigens in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Ardeshir, F; Flint, J E; Reese, R T

    1985-01-01

    The asexual blood stages of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum produce many antigens, only some of which are important for protective immunity. Most of the putative protective antigens are believed to be expressed in schizonts and merozoites, the late stages of the asexual cycle. With the aim of cloning and characterizing genes for important parasite antigens, we used late-stage P. falciparum mRNA to construct a library of cDNA sequences inserted in the Escherichia coli expression vector pUC8. Nine thousand clones from the expression library were immunologically screened in situ with serum from Aotus monkeys immune to P. falciparum, and 95 clones expressing parasite antigens were identified. Mice were immunized with lysates from 49 of the bacterial clones that reacted with Aotus sera, and the mouse sera were tested for their reactivity with parasite antigens by indirect immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, and immunoblotting assays. Several different P. falciparum antigens were identified by these assays. Indirect immunofluorescence studies of extracellular merozoites showed that three of these antigens appear to be located on the merozoite surface. Thus, we have identified cDNA clones to three different P. falciparum antigens that may be important in protective immunity. Images PMID:3887406

  18. Amplification of a Gene Related to Mammalian mdr Genes in Drug-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Craig M.; Serrano, Adelfa E.; Wasley, Annemarie; Bogenschutz, Michael P.; Shankar, Anuraj H.; Wirth, Dyann F.

    1989-06-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains at least two genes related to the mammalian multiple drug resistance genes, and at least one of the P. falciparum genes is expressed at a higher level and is present in higher copy number in a strain that is resistant to multiple drugs than in a strain that is sensitive to the drugs.

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

    PubMed

    Miao, Jun; Li, Xiaolian; Cui, Liwang

    2010-10-01

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

  20. How to measure patch encounter rate: decision-making mechanisms in the parasitic wasp Asobara tabida.

    PubMed

    Thiel, Andra

    2011-01-01

    Parasitic wasps are faced with the decision of where and for how long to search for hosts. Their leaving decisions depend on the rate at which new host-containing patches are encountered: parasitoids increase foraging efficiency by leaving earlier when patch encounter rates become higher. The mechanisms by which these often tiny insects can assess patch encounter rates have not been thoroughly investigated so far. The aim of the present study, where females of the braconid wasp Asobara tabida encountered patches after varying time intervals, was to measure the shape of the travel-time response curve and to analyse how information on inter-patch distances is translated into foraging behaviour. I examined several proxies for travel-time duration, like those of physiological nature as egg content, cues of senescence, amount of energy spent, or muscle fatigue, as well as true cognitive mechanisms, like measurement of distance or interval timing. Constraints in the wasp's ability to detect patch borders accurately after travelling, e.g. habituation to the patch odour or receptor blocking, are also discussed. From the data presented, most of the above-mentioned mechanisms and constraints can be rejected to work for A. tabida. The effects of inter-patch travel time are strongest when they are short, and even though it cannot be excluded that time measures are processed using an internal clock, I suggest that a Bayesian-like mechanism of timing, the biological basis of which might involve the build-up of neurosecretory material, is the most likely candidate influencing leaving decisions in A. tabida. PMID:20658163

  1. Dynamic alteration in splenic function during acute falciparum malaria

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-09-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    The processes maintaining the enormous diversity of herbivore-parasitoid food webs depend on parasitism rate and parasitoid host specificity. The two parameters have to be evaluated in concert to make conclusions about the importance of parasitoids as natural enemies and guide biological control. We document parasitism rate and host specificity in a highly diverse caterpillar-parasitoid food web encompassing 266 species of lepidopteran hosts and 172 species of hymenopteran or dipteran parasitoids from a lowland tropical forest in Papua New Guinea. We found that semi-concealed hosts (leaf rollers and leaf tiers) represented 84% of all caterpillars, suffered a higher parasitism rate than exposed caterpillars (12 vs. 5%) and their parasitoids were also more host specific. Semi-concealed hosts may therefore be generally more amenable to biological control by parasitoids than exposed ones. Parasitoid host specificity was highest in Braconidae, lower in Diptera: Tachinidae, and, unexpectedly, the lowest in Ichneumonidae. This result challenges the long-standing view of low host specificity in caterpillar-attacking Tachinidae and suggests higher suitability of Braconidae and lower suitability of Ichneumonidae for biological control of caterpillars. Semi-concealed hosts and their parasitoids are the largest, yet understudied component of caterpillar-parasitoid food webs. However, they still remain much closer in parasitism patterns to exposed hosts than to what literature reports on fully concealed leaf miners. Specifically, semi-concealed hosts keep an equally low share of idiobionts (2%) as exposed caterpillars. PMID:23463243

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are currently used as the first-line therapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the recent emergence and/or spread of artemisinin resistance in parts of Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) of southeast Asia requires close monitoring of the therapeutic efficacy of ACTs. This study was conducted from March 2012 to December 2013 in four clinics and seven villages along the China-Myanmar border. A total of 109 patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria were treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) and followed up on days 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 42 after treatment. A total of 71 patients (22 children and 49 adults) completed the 42-day follow-up. DP remained highly efficacious for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria with an overall 42-day cure rate of 100%. The day 3 parasite-positive rate was 7.04% (5/71). Within 14 days of treatment, a total of 13 (18.31%) patients had detectable gametocytes and a large proportion of these were persistent from the first three days of treatment. The presence of gametocytes in patients through 14 days after DP treatment suggests that the incorporation of a single dose of primaquine for clearing gametocytemia should be considered for blocking parasite transmission. PMID:26283743

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are currently used as the first-line therapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the recent emergence and/or spread of artemisinin resistance in parts of Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) of southeast Asia requires close monitoring of the therapeutic efficacy of ACTs. This study was conducted from March 2012 to December 2013 in four clinics and seven villages along the China–Myanmar border. A total of 109 patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria were treated with dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine (DP) and followed up on days 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 42 after treatment. A total of 71 patients (22 children and 49 adults) completed the 42-day follow-up. DP remained highly efficacious for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria with an overall 42-day cure rate of 100%. The day 3 parasite-positive rate was 7.04% (5/71). Within 14 days of treatment, a total of 13 (18.31%) patients had detectable gametocytes and a large proportion of these were persistent from the first three days of treatment. The presence of gametocytes in patients through 14 days after DP treatment suggests that the incorporation of a single dose of primaquine for clearing gametocytemia should be considered for blocking parasite transmission. PMID:26283743

  6. How selection forces dictate the variant surface antigens used by malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Severins, Maite; Klinkenberg, Don; Heesterbeek, Hans

    2012-02-01

    Red blood cells infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum express variant surface antigens (VSAs) that evade host immunity and allow the parasites to persist in the human population. There exist many different VSAs and the differential expression of these VSAs is associated with the virulence (damage to the host) of the parasites. The aim of this study is to unravel the differences in the effect key selection forces have on parasites expressing different VSAs such that we can better understand how VSAs enable the parasites to adapt to changes in their environment (like control measures) and how this may impact the virulence of the circulating parasites. To this end, we have built an individual-based model that captures the main selective forces on malaria parasites, namely parasite competition, host immunity, host death and mosquito abundance at both the within- and between-host levels. VSAs are defined by the net growth rates they infer to the parasites and the model keeps track of the expression of, and antibody build-up against, each VSA in all hosts. Our results show an ordered acquisition of VSA-specific antibodies with host age, which causes a dichotomy between the more virulent VSAs that reach high parasitaemias but are restricted to young relatively non-immune hosts, and less virulent VSAs that do not reach such high parasitaemias but can infect a wider range of hosts. The outcome of a change in the parasite's environment in terms of parasite virulence depends on the exact balance between the selection forces, which sets the limiting factor for parasite survival. Parasites will evolve towards expressing more virulent VSAs when the limiting factor for parasite survival is the within-host parasite growth and the parasites are able to minimize this limitation by expressing more virulent VSAs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Genetic architecture of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Miotto, Olivo; Amato, Roberto; Ashley, Elizabeth A; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Lim, Pharath; Mead, Daniel; Oyola, Samuel O; Dhorda, Mehul; Imwong, Mallika; Woodrow, Charles; Manske, Magnus; Stalker, Jim; Drury, Eleanor; Campino, Susana; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Thanh, Thuy-Nhien Nguyen; Tran, Hien Tinh; Ringwald, Pascal; Bethell, Delia; Nosten, Francois; Phyo, Aung Pyae; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Chuor, Char Meng; Nguon, Chea; Suon, Seila; Sreng, Sokunthea; Newton, Paul N; Mayxay, Mayfong; Khanthavong, Maniphone; Hongvanthong, Bouasy; Htut, Ye; Han, Kay Thwe; Kyaw, Myat Phone; Faiz, Md Abul; Fanello, Caterina I; Onyamboko, Marie; Mokuolu, Olugbenga A; Jacob, Christopher G; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V; Day, Nicholas P; Dondorp, Arjen M; Spencer, Chris C A; McVean, Gilean; Fairhurst, Rick M; White, Nicholas J; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P

    2015-03-01

    We report a large multicenter genome-wide association study of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin, the frontline antimalarial drug. Across 15 locations in Southeast Asia, we identified at least 20 mutations in kelch13 (PF3D7_1343700) affecting the encoded propeller and BTB/POZ domains, which were associated with a slow parasite clearance rate after treatment with artemisinin derivatives. Nonsynonymous polymorphisms in fd (ferredoxin), arps10 (apicoplast ribosomal protein S10), mdr2 (multidrug resistance protein 2) and crt (chloroquine resistance transporter) also showed strong associations with artemisinin resistance. Analysis of the fine structure of the parasite population showed that the fd, arps10, mdr2 and crt polymorphisms are markers of a genetic background on which kelch13 mutations are particularly likely to arise and that they correlate with the contemporary geographical boundaries and population frequencies of artemisinin resistance. These findings indicate that the risk of new resistance-causing mutations emerging is determined by specific predisposing genetic factors in the underlying parasite population.

  11. A bedside dipstick method to detect Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Shah, Ira; Deshmukh, C T

    2004-11-01

    We conducted this study to determine efficacy of Parasight-F (an HRP-II antigen dipstick method to detect P. Falciparum) in children. A total of 30 children were enrolled in the age group of 2 months to 12 years whose peripheral smear showed asexual forms of Plasmodium falciparum. All patients were tested for presence of HRP-II antigen of Plasmodium falciparum in their blood by the Parasight-F dipstick test by either an EDTA sample or a finger prick blood sample. The sensitivity of Parasight-F was 83.3 % However, the sensitivity of Parasight-F to detect Plasmodium Falciparum in case of mixed Plasmodium (Vivax + Falciparum) infection was only 25 %. Also, all patients less than 6 months of age had a negative Parasight-F test. Parasitic index, prior treatment with antimalarials or severity of Falciparum malaria have no effect on the sensitivity of Parasight-F test. We conclude that Parasight-F is an effective tool for diagnosis of Plasmoduim falciparum malaria in children. PMID:15591666

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  13. Squalestatin Is an Inhibitor of Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Gabriel, Heloisa B.; Silva, Marcia F.; Kimura, Emília A.; Wunderlich, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    The increasing resistance of malaria parasites to almost all available drugs calls for the characterization of novel targets and the identification of new compounds. Carotenoids are polyisoprenoids from plants, algae, and some bacteria, and they are biosynthesized by Plasmodium falciparum but not by mammalian cells. Biochemical and reverse genetics approaches were applied to demonstrate that phytoene synthase (PSY) is a key enzyme for carotenoid biosynthesis in P. falciparum and is essential for intraerythrocytic growth. The known PSY inhibitor squalestatin reduces biosynthesis of phytoene and kills parasites during the intraerythrocytic cycle. PSY-overexpressing parasites showed increased biosynthesis of phytoene and its derived product phytofluene and presented a squalestatin-resistant phenotype, suggesting that this enzyme is the primary target of action of this drug in the parasite. PMID:25779575

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Perturbations in host energetics are considered to be an essential pathway for parasite impact on host fitness. However, direct estimations of parasite-induced variations in basal metabolic rates of vertebrate hosts have so far provided contradictory results. The energy requirements of immunity and other vital functions may be compromised in energy-demanding conditions in comparison to comfortable conditions; therefore, in our study performed on the wild red-backed vole, Myodes rutilus, we compared the values of indices that reflect metabolic and thermoregulatory responses to acute cooling in individuals that had been naturally infected by gut helminths or Ixodes persulcatus taiga ticks to individuals with no signs of infestation. To consider the possible effects of an acquired immune response on host energetics, we also injected some of the tested individuals with sheep red blood cells (SRBC). Red-backed voles infected by the nematode Heligmosomum mixtum injected with SRBC showed significantly lower cold-induced maximum oxygen consumption than the saline control. Additionally, individuals infected with H. mixtum showed significantly lower oxygen consumption during the final minute of the 15-min acute cooling period and a significantly greater decline in body temperature than individuals free from helminths. In individuals concurrently infected by H. mixtum and the cestodes Arostrilepis horrida, these indices did not differ from helminth-free individuals. The number of ticks simultaneously parasitizing the voles at the moment of capture correlated positively with their SMR. Our results suggest that even natural parasites produce deleterious effects on host aerobic capacity and thermoregulatory abilities, although the effects of different parasites might not be additive. PMID:26341798

  17. Induction of gene amplification in Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, P.L.

    1985-01-01

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

  18. Novel phenotypic assays for the detection of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Cambodia: in-vitro and ex-vivo drug-response studies

    PubMed Central

    Witkowski, Benoit; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Khim, Nimol; Sreng, Sokunthea; Chim, Pheaktra; Kim, Saorin; Lim, Pharath; Mao, Sivanna; Sopha, Chantha; Sam, Baramey; Anderson, Jennifer M; Duong, Socheat; Chuor, Char Meng; Taylor, Walter R J; Suon, Seila; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Fairhurst, Rick M; Menard, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum lengthens parasite clearance half-life during artemisinin monotherapy or artemisinin-based combination therapy. Absence of in-vitro and ex-vivo correlates of artemisinin resistance hinders study of this phenotype. We aimed to assess whether an in-vitro ring-stage survival assay (RSA) can identify culture-adapted P falciparum isolates from patients with slow-clearing or fast-clearing infections, to investigate the stage-dependent susceptibility of parasites to dihydroartemisinin in the in-vitro RSA, and to assess whether an ex-vivo RSA can identify artemisinin-resistant P falciparum infections. Methods We culture-adapted parasites from patients with long and short parasite clearance half-lives from a study done in Pursat, Cambodia, in 2010 (registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00341003) and used novel in-vitro survival assays to explore the stage-dependent susceptibility of slow-clearing and fast-clearing parasites to dihydroartemisinin. In 2012, we implemented the RSA in prospective parasite clearance studies in Pursat, Preah Vihear, and Ratanakiri, Cambodia (NCT01736319), to measure the ex-vivo responses of parasites from patients with malaria. Continuous variables were compared with the Mann-Whitney U test. Correlations were analysed with the Spearman correlation test. Findings In-vitro survival rates of culture-adapted parasites from 13 slow-clearing and 13 fast-clearing infections differed significantly when assays were done on 0–3 h ring-stage parasites (10·88% vs 0·23%; p=0·007). Ex-vivo survival rates significantly correlated with in-vivo parasite clearance half-lives (n=30, r=0·74, 95% CI 0·50–0·87; p<0·0001). Interpretation The in-vitro RSA of 0–3 h ring-stage parasites provides a platform for the molecular characterisation of artemisinin resistance. The ex-vivo RSA can be easily implemented where surveillance for artemisinin resistance is needed. Funding Institut

  19. Genetic Evidence of Importation of Drug-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum to Guatemala from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Steve M.; Juliao, Patricia C.; Parobek, Christian M.; Janko, Mark; Gonzalez, Luis Demetrio; Ortiz, Lucia; Padilla, Norma; Tshefu, Antoinette K.; Emch, Michael; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Lindblade, Kim; Meshnick, Steven R.

    2014-01-01

    Imported malaria threatens control and elimination efforts in countries that have low rates of transmission. In 2010, an outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria was reported among United Nations peacekeeping soldiers from Guatemala who had recently returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Epidemiologic evidence suggested that the soldiers were infected in the DRC, but local transmission could not be ruled out in all cases. We used population genetic analyses of neutral microsatellites to determine the outbreak source. Genetic relatedness was compared among parasites found in samples from the soldiers and parasite populations collected in the DRC and Guatemala; parasites identified in the soldiers were more closely related to those from the DRC. A phylogenetic clustering analysis confirms this identification with >99.9% confidence. Thus, results support the hypothesis that the soldiers likely imported malaria from the DRC. This study demonstrates the utility of molecular genotyping in outbreak investigations. PMID:24856348

  20. Genetic Evidence of Importation of Drug-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum to Guatemala from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Patel, Jaymin C; Taylor, Steve M; Juliao, Patricia C; Parobek, Christian M; Janko, Mark; Gonzalez, Luis Demetrio; Ortiz, Lucia; Padilla, Norma; Tshefu, Antoinette K; Emch, Michael; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Lindblade, Kim; Meshnick, Steven R

    2014-06-01

    Imported malaria threatens control and elimination efforts in countries that have low rates of transmission. In 2010, an outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria was reported among United Nations peacekeeping soldiers from Guatemala who had recently returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Epidemiologic evidence suggested that the soldiers were infected in the DRC, but local transmission could not be ruled out in all cases. We used population genetic analyses of neutral microsatellites to determine the outbreak source. Genetic relatedness was compared among parasites found in samples from the soldiers and parasite populations collected in the DRC and Guatemala; parasites identified in the soldiers were more closely related to those from the DRC. A phylogenetic clustering analysis confirms this identification with >99.9% confidence. Thus, results support the hypothesis that the soldiers likely imported malaria from the DRC. This study demonstrates the utility of molecular genotyping in outbreak investigations.

  1. Genetic Evidence of Importation of Drug-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum to Guatemala from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Patel, Jaymin C; Taylor, Steve M; Juliao, Patricia C; Parobek, Christian M; Janko, Mark; Gonzalez, Luis Demetrio; Ortiz, Lucia; Padilla, Norma; Tshefu, Antoinette K; Emch, Michael; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Lindblade, Kim; Meshnick, Steven R

    2014-06-01

    Imported malaria threatens control and elimination efforts in countries that have low rates of transmission. In 2010, an outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria was reported among United Nations peacekeeping soldiers from Guatemala who had recently returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Epidemiologic evidence suggested that the soldiers were infected in the DRC, but local transmission could not be ruled out in all cases. We used population genetic analyses of neutral microsatellites to determine the outbreak source. Genetic relatedness was compared among parasites found in samples from the soldiers and parasite populations collected in the DRC and Guatemala; parasites identified in the soldiers were more closely related to those from the DRC. A phylogenetic clustering analysis confirms this identification with >99.9% confidence. Thus, results support the hypothesis that the soldiers likely imported malaria from the DRC. This study demonstrates the utility of molecular genotyping in outbreak investigations. PMID:24856348

  2. Identification of a Plasmodium falciparum Phospholipid Transfer Protein*

    PubMed Central

    van Ooij, Christiaan; Withers-Martinez, Chrislaine; Ringel, Alessa; Cockcroft, Shamshad; Haldar, Kasturi; Blackman, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Infection of erythrocytes by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum results in dramatic modifications to the host cell, including changes to its antigenic and transport properties and the de novo formation of membranous compartments within the erythrocyte cytosol. These parasite-induced structures are implicated in the transport of nutrients, metabolic products, and parasite proteins, as well as in parasite virulence. However, very few of the parasite effector proteins that underlie remodeling of the host erythrocyte are functionally characterized. Using bioinformatic examination and modeling, we have found that the exported P. falciparum protein PFA0210c belongs to the START domain family, members of which mediate transfer of phospholipids, ceramide, or fatty acids between membranes. In vitro phospholipid transfer assays using recombinant PFA0210 confirmed that it can transfer phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylethanolamine, and sphingomyelin between phospholipid vesicles. Furthermore, assays using HL60 cells containing radiolabeled phospholipids indicated that orthologs of PFA0210c can also transfer phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidylethanolamine. Biochemical and immunochemical analysis showed that PFA0210c associates with membranes in infected erythrocytes at mature stages of intracellular parasite growth. Localization studies in live parasites revealed that the protein is present in the parasitophorous vacuole during growth and is later recruited to organelles in the parasite. Together these data suggest that PFA0210c plays a role in the formation of the membranous structures and nutrient phospholipid transfer in the malaria-parasitized erythrocyte. PMID:24043620

  3. A bicomponent Plasmodium falciparum investigational vaccine composed of protein-peptide conjugates.

    PubMed

    Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Majadly, Fathy; Biesova, Zuzana; Mocca, Christopher P; Guo, Chunyan; Nussenzweig, Ruth; Nussenzweig, Victor; Mishra, Satish; Wu, Yimin; Miller, Louis H; Keith, Jerry M; Liu, Teh-Yung; Robbins, John B; Schneerson, Rachel

    2010-01-19

    There is yet no licensed vaccine against malaria, a serious human disease affecting mostly children, with an annual death rate of about one million. Plasmodia, the malaria-causing parasites, have two obligatory hosts: mammals or birds, in which they multiply asexually, and mosquitoes with sexual multiplication. The most common and serious type of malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum. The circumsporozoite protein (CSP), a major surface antigen of sporozoites, is a protective antigen. A unique feature of P. falciparum CSP is its large central domain composed of over 30 tetrapeptide repeats of Asn-Ala-Asn-Pro (NANP). Several NANP peptide-protein conjugates were tested clinically but elicited a low level of CSP antibodies for a short duration. To provide a CSP-based candidate vaccine, we investigated recombinant CSP and NANP conjugates of various peptide lengths, with different N-terminal amino acids, bound at different ratios to various carrier proteins. Injected into mice, CSP alone and CSP or NANP conjugates induced antibodies with booster responses and were positive by the sporozoite immunofluorescent assay. The use of the mosquito stage P. falciparum ookinete surface protein, Pfs25, cross-linked onto itself as a carrier for NANP, induced in mice high levels of uniquely long-lasting antibodies to both vaccine components with secondary biological activities, that will provide immunity to liver infection by sporozoites and block transmission by mosquitoes.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. A cross strain Plasmodium falciparum microarray optimized for the transcriptome analysis of Plasmodium falciparum patient derived isolates.

    PubMed

    Subudhi, Amit Kumar; Boopathi, P A; Middha, Sheetal; Acharya, Jyoti; Rao, Sudha Narayana; Mugasimangalam, Raja C; Sirohi, Paramendra; Kochar, Sanjay K; Kochar, Dhanpat K; Das, Ashis

    2016-09-01

    Malarial parasite P. falciparum, an apicomplexan protozoan has a 23.3 MB nuclear genome and encodes ~ 5600 transcripts. The genetic diversity of the parasite within and across geographical zones is a challenge to gene expression studies which are essential for understanding of disease process, outcome and developing markers for diagnostics and prognostics. Here, we describe the strategy involved in designing a custom P. falciparum 15K array using the Agilent platform and Genotypic's Right Design methodology to study the transcriptome of Indian field isolates for which genome sequence information is limited. The array contains probes representing genome sequences of two distinct geographical isolates (i.e. 3D7 and HB3) and sub-telomeric var gene sequences of a third isolate (IT4) known to adhere in culture condition. Probes in the array have been selected based on their efficiency to detect transcripts through a 244K array experimentation. Array performance for the 15K array, was evaluated and validated using RNA materials from P. falciparum clinical isolates. A large percentage (91%) of the represented transcripts was detected from Indian P. falciparum patient isolates. Replicated probes and multiple probes representing the same gene showed perfect correlation between them suggesting good probe performance. Additional transcripts could be detected due to inclusion of unique probes representing HB3 strain transcripts. Variant surface antigen (VSA) transcripts were detected by optimized probes representing the VSA genes of three geographically distinct strains. The 15K cross strain P. falciparum array has shown good efficiency in detecting transcripts from P. falciparum parasite samples isolated from patients. The low parasite loads and presence of host RNA makes arrays a preferred platform for gene expression studies over RNA-Seq. PMID:27489776

  7. The paradoxical population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-01

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

  8. The paradoxical population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-01

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

  9. Antimalarial Benzoxaboroles Target Plasmodium falciparum Leucyl-tRNA Synthetase.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  10. The influence of urbanisation on measures of Plasmodium falciparum infection prevalence in East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Omumbo, J.A.; Guerra, C.A.; Hay, S.I.; Snow, R.W.

    2011-01-01

    There is a growing interest in the effects of urbanisation in Africa on Plasmodium falciparum risks and disease outcomes. We undertook a review of published and unpublished literature to identify parasite survey data from communities in East Africa. Data were selected to represent the most reliable and contemporary estimates of infection prevalence and were categorised by urban or rural status using a number of approaches. We identified 329 spatially distinct surveys undertaken since 1980 in the sub-region of which 37 were undertaken in urban settlements and 292 in rural settlements. Overall rural settlements reported significantly higher parasite prevalence among children aged 0–14 than urban settlements (on average 10% higher infection rates; p < 0.05). No urban settlements recorded parasite prevalence in excess of 75%. In areas of East Africa where climatic conditions are likely to support higher parasite transmission, the rural–urban difference was most marked. There was a significant trend towards documenting higher classes of parasite prevalence in rural compared to urban settlements (p < 0.05) and the mean difference between rural and urban samples was 18% (p < 0.001). These results further highlight the need to better define urban extents in Africa in order to capture the non-climatic determinants of infection and disease risk and provide a more informed approach to describing the burden of disease across the continent. PMID:15589793

  11. Sequential, ordered acquisition of antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 domains.

    PubMed

    Cham, Gerald K K; Turner, Louise; Lusingu, John; Vestergaard, Lasse; Mmbando, Bruno P; Kurtis, Jonathan D; Jensen, Anja T R; Salanti, Ali; Lavstsen, Thomas; Theander, Thor G

    2009-09-01

    The binding of erythrocytes infected with mature blood stage parasites to the vascular bed is key to the pathogenesis of malignant malaria. The binding is mediated by members of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family. PfEMP1s can be divided into groups, and it has previously been suggested that parasites expressing group A or B/A PfEMP1s are most pathogenic. To test the hypothesis that the first malaria infections in infants and young children are dominated by parasites expressing A and B/A PfEMP1s, we measured the plasma Ab level against 48 recombinant PfEMP1 domains of different groupings in 1342 individuals living in five African villages characterized by markedly different malaria transmission. We show that children progressively acquire a broader repertoire of anti-PfEMP1 Abs, but that the rate of expansion is governed by transmission intensity. However, independently of transmission intensity, Abs are first acquired to particular Duffy binding ligand-like domains belonging to group A or B/A PfEMP1s. The results support the view that anti-PfEMP1 Ab responses effectively structure the expenditure of the repertoire of PfEMP1 maintained by the parasite. Parasites expressing certain group A and B/A PfEMP1s are responded to first by individuals with limited previous exposure, and the resulting Abs reduce the fitness and pathogenicity of these parasites during subsequent infections. This allows parasites expressing less pathogenic PFEMP1s to dominate during later infections. The identification of PfEMP1 domains expressed by parasites causing disease in infants and young children is important for development of vaccines protecting against severe malaria.

  12. Characterization of promoters and stable transfection by homologous and nonhomologous recombination in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Crabb, B S; Cowman, A F

    1996-01-01

    Genetic studies of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum have been severely limited by the inability to introduce or modify genes. In this paper we describe a system of stable transfection of P. falciparum using a Toxoplasma gondii dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase gene, modified to confer resistance to pyrimethamine, as a selectable marker. This gene was placed under the transcriptional control of the P. falciparum calmodulin gene flanking sequences. Transfected parasites generally maintained plasmids episomally while under selection; however, parasite clones containing integrated forms of the plasmid were obtained. Integration occurred by both homologous and nonhomologous recombination. In addition to the flanking sequence of the P. falciparum calmodulin gene, the 5' sequences of the P. falciparum and P. chabaudi dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase genes were also shown to be transcriptionally active in P. falciparum. The minimal 5' sequence that possessed significant transcriptional activity was determined for each gene and short sequences containing important transcriptional control elements were identified. These sequences will provide considerable flexibility in the future construction of plasmid vectors to be used for the expression of foreign genes or for the deletion or modification of P. falciparum genes of interest. Images Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8692985

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Understanding the biology of the Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast; an excellent target for antimalarial drug development.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Arnish

    2016-08-01

    Malaria is a life-threatening tropical disease, caused by the intracellular parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The World Health Organization counts malaria as one of the top ten causes of worldwide death. The unavailability of a successful malaria vaccine and the ever-increasing instances of drug resistance in the malaria parasite demand the discovery of new targets within P. falciparum for the development of next generation antimalarials. Fortunately, all apicomplexan parasites, including P. falciparum harbor a relict, non-photosynthetic plastid known as the apicoplast. The apicoplast is a semi-autonomous organelle within P. falciparum containing a 35kb circular genome. Despite a genome of its own, majority of the apicoplast proteins are encoded by the parasite nucleus and imported into the apicoplast. The organelle has been shown to be essential to P. falciparum survival and the loss the apicoplast manifests as a 'delayed death' response in the parasite. The apicoplast has evolved out of cyanobacteria in a complex, two step endosymbiotic event. As a result the architecture and the gene expression machinery of the apicoplast is quite bacteria-like and is susceptible to a wide range of antibiotics such as fosmidomycin, tetracycline, azithromycin, clindamycin and triclosan. The biosynthetic pathways for isoprenoids, fatty acids and heme operate within the malaria apicoplast, making the organelle an excellent target for drug development. The review focuses on the evolution, biology and the essentiality of the apicoplast within the malaria parasite and discusses some of the recent achievements towards the design and discovery of apicoplast targeted antimalarial compounds.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Plasmodium falciparum produces prostaglandins that are pyrogenic, somnogenic, and immunosuppressive substances in humans.

    PubMed

    Kilunga Kubata, B; Eguchi, N; Urade, Y; Yamashita, K; Mitamura, T; Tai, K; Hayaishi, O; Horii, T

    1998-09-21

    Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of human malaria, which kills approximately 1.5-2.7 million people every year, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the clinical symptoms and the host-parasite interaction remain unclear. We show here that P. falciparum produces prostaglandins (PGs) D2, E2, and F2alpha. After incubation with 1 mM arachidonic acid (AA), cell homogenates of P. falciparum produced PGs as determined by enzyme immunoassay and gas chromatography-selected ion monitoring. PG production in the parasite homogenate was not affected by the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs aspirin and indomethacin, and was partially heat resistant, whereas PG biosynthesis by mammalian cyclooxygenase was completely inhibited by these chemicals and by heat treatment. Addition of AA to the parasite cell culture markedly increased an ability of the parasite cell homogenate to produce PGs and of parasitized red blood cells to accumulate PGs in the culture medium. PGD2 and PGE2 accumulated in the culture medium at the stages of trophozoites and schizonts more actively than at the ring stage. These findings are the first evidence of the direct involvement of a malaria parasite in the generation of substances that are pyrogenic and injurious to the host defenses. We will discuss a possible contribution of the parasite-produced PGs to pathogenesis and host-parasite interaction of P. falciparum. PMID:9743538

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission indices in a highland village of the Ikopa River Valley near Antananarivo, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ralisoa, O; Rasamindrakotroka, A; Ravelojana, B; Rafarasoa, L; Randrianarisoa, E; Rakotoson, R; Bosman, A; Coluzzi, M

    1991-12-01

    Data are reported from a malaria survey carried out in June 1991 in the small village of Ankadimbazinba, near Miantso, about 45 km North-West of Antananarivo (Madagascar). The objective was to evaluate the level of transmission of P. falciparum by entomological, parasitological and serological indices. All indices were found consistent with the description of a focus of hyperendemic transmission dependent on the presence of An. funestus at high density, corresponding to more than 50 females per house collected by hand catch. The positivity rate for the circumsporozoite protein (CS) of P. falciparum in blood-fed or gravid An. funestus was 2.0% (11/562) in the house resting sample. The parasite rate in the village population was 47.9% reaching 68.4% in the 0-14 age group and the gametocyte rate in the total sample was 25.0%. The seroprevalence of P. falciparum antisporozoite antibodies was 40.0% in children under 15 years old, 84.2% in the 15-29 age group and 90.9% in the over 29 age group.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Detection of SUMOylation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Reiter, Katherine H; Matunis, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    Reversible protein modification by small ubiquitin-related modifiers (SUMOs) regulates many cellular processes, including transcription, protein quality control, cell division, and oxidative stress. SUMOylation is therefore essential for normal cell function and represents a potentially valuable target for the development of inhibitors of pathogenic eukaryotic organisms, including the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). The specific and essential functions of SUMOylation in Pf, however, remain largely uncharacterized. The further development of antimalarial drugs targeting SUMOylation would benefit significantly from a more detailed understanding of its functions and regulation during the parasite life cycle. The recent development of antibodies specific for Pf SUMO provides a valuable tool to study the functions and regulation of SUMOylation. In preliminary studies, we have used immunoblot analysis to demonstrate that SUMOylation levels vary significantly in parasites during different stages of the red blood cell cycle and also in response to oxidative stress. Owing to the dynamic nature of SUMOylation and to the robust activity of SUMO isopeptidases, analysis of SUMOylation in cultured Pf parasites requires a number of precautions during parasite purification and lysis. Here, we outline methods for preserving SUMO conjugates during isolation of Pf parasites from human red blood cell cultures, and for their detection by immunoblot analysis using PfSUMO-specific antibodies. PMID:27631812

  1. Intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum biosynthesize vitamin E.

    PubMed

    Sussmann, Rodrigo A C; Angeli, Cláudia B; Peres, Valnice J; Kimura, Emilia A; Katzin, Alejandro M

    2011-12-15

    The 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate and shikimate pathways were found to be active in Plasmodium falciparum and both can result in vitamin E biosynthesis in plants and algae. This study biochemically confirmed vitamin E biosynthesis in the malaria parasite, which can be inhibited by usnic acid. Furthermore, we found evidence pointing to a role of this vitamin in infected erythrocytes. These findings not only contribute to current understanding of P. falciparum biology but also reveal a pathway that could serve as a chemotherapeutic target.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  3. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of affinity-purified Plasmodium falciparum exoantigens in Aotus nancymai monkeys.

    PubMed

    James, M A; Fajfar-Whetstone, C J; Kakoma, I; Buese, M M; Clabaugh, G W; Hansen, R; Ristic, M

    1991-03-01

    Soluble Plasmodium falciparum polypeptides, affinity-purified from culture supernatant fluids using sequential immunoadsorptions employing both monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, induced protective immunity against experimental falciparum malaria in Peruvian Aotus nancymai monkeys. Susceptible monkeys were vaccinated with polypeptides affinity-purified from supernatant fluids of P. falciparum Indochina I/CDC cultures. Eighteen animals (6 immunized with purified antigens plus adjuvants, 6 injected with only the adjuvant preparation, and 6 untreated) were challenged with whole blood containing monkey-adapted virulent organisms of the Indochina I/CDC strain. Selected hematologic, serologic and parasitologic profiles served as potential indicators of protection. This immunogen, when fortified with an aluminum hydroxide/Quil-A saponin adjuvant combination, elicited good antibody responses to major P. falciparum antigens. Protection in vaccinated animals was evidenced by a significantly limited reduction in hematocrit and hemoglobin levels and a relatively moderate course of infection after homologous needle-challenge with Aotus monkey-adapted P. falciparum parasites.

  4. Platelet Factor 4 Activity against P. falciparum and Its Translation to Nonpeptidic Mimics as Antimalarials

    PubMed Central

    Love, Melissa S.; Millholland, Melanie G.; Mishra, Satish; Kulkarni, Swapnil; Freeman, Katie B.; Pan, Wenxi; Kavash, Robert W.; Costanzo, Michael J.; Jo, Hyunil; Daly, Thomas M.; Williams, Dewight R.; Kowalska, M. Anna; Bergman, Lawrence W.; Poncz, Mortimer; DeGrado, William F.; Sinnis, Photini; Scott, Richard W.; Greenbaum, Doron C.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Plasmodium falciparum pathogenesis is affected by various cell types in the blood, including platelets, which can kill intraerythrocytic malaria parasites. Platelets could mediate these antimalarial effects through human defense peptides (HDPs), which exert antimicrobial effects by permeabilizing membranes. Therefore, we screened a panel of HDPs and determined that human platelet factor 4 (hPF4) kills malaria parasites inside erythrocytes by selectively lysing the parasite digestive vacuole (DV). PF4 rapidly accumulates only within infected erythrocytes and is required for parasite killing in infected erythrocyte-platelet cocultures. To exploit this antimalarial mechanism, we tested a library of small, nonpeptidic mimics of HDPs (smHDPs) and identified compounds that kill P. falciparum by rapidly lysing the parasite DV while sparing the erythrocyte plasma membrane. Lead smHDPs also reduced parasitemia in a murine malaria model. Thus, identifying host molecules that control parasite growth can further the development of related molecules with therapeutic potential. PMID:23245326

  5. Profiling the Essential Nature of Lipid Metabolism in Asexual Blood and Gametocyte Stages of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Gulati, Sonia; Ekland, Eric H.; Ruggles, Kelly V.; Chan, Robin B.; Jayabalasingham, Bamini; Zhou, Bowen; Mantel, Pierre-Yves; Lee, Marcus C. S.; Spottiswoode, Natasha; Coburn-Flynn, Olivia; Hjelmqvist, Daisy; Worgall, Tilla S.; Marti, Matthias; Di Paolo, Gilbert

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY During its life cycle, Plasmodium falciparum undergoes rapid proliferation fueled by de novo synthesis and acquisition of host cell lipids. Consistent with this essential role, Plasmodium lipid synthesis enzymes are emerging as potential drug targets. To explore their broader potential for therapeutic interventions, we assayed the global lipid landscape during P. falciparum asexual blood stage (ABS) and sexual development. Using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, we analyzed 304 lipids constituting 24 classes in ABS parasites, infected red blood cell (RBC)-derived microvesicles, gametocytes, and uninfected RBCs. Ten lipid classes were previously uncharacterized in P. falciparum and 70–75% of the lipid classes exhibited changes in abundance during ABS and gametocyte development. Utilizing compounds that target lipid metabolism, we affirmed the essentiality of major classes, including triacylglycerols. These studies highlight the interplay between host and parasite lipid metabolism and provide a comprehensive analysis of P. falciparum lipids with candidate pathways for drug discovery efforts. PMID:26355219

  6. Chloroquine resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Osogbo Nigeria: efficacy of amodiaquine + sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and chloroquine + chlorpheniramine for treatment.

    PubMed

    Ogungbamigbe, T O; Ojurongbe, O; Ogunro, P S; Okanlawon, B M; Kolawole, S O

    2008-02-01

    Chloroquine (CQ) resistance in Plasmodium falciparum contributes to increasing malaria-attributable morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite a change in drug policy, continued prescription of CQ did not abate. Therefore the therapeutic efficacy of CQ in uncomplicated falciparum malaria patients was assessed in a standard 28-day protocol in 116 children aged between six and 120 months in Osogbo, Southwest Nigeria. Parasitological and clinical assessments of response to treatment showed that 72 (62.1%) of the patients were cured and 44 (37.9%) failed the CQ treatment. High initial parasite density and young age were independent predictors for early treatment failure. Out of the 44 patients that failed CQ, 24 received amodiaquine + sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (AQ+SP) and 20 received chlorpheniramine + chloroquine (CH+CQ) combinations. Mean fever clearance time in those treated with AQ+SP was not significantly different from those treated with CH+CQ (p = 0.05). There was no significant difference in the mean parasite density of the two groups. The cure rate for AQ+SP group was 92% while those of CH+CQ was 85%. There was a significant difference in parasite clearance time (p = 0.01) between the two groups. The 38% treatment failure for CQ reported in this study is higher than the 10% recommended by World Health Organization in other to effect change in antimalarial treatment policy. Hence we conclude that CQ can no more be solely relied upon for the treatment of falciparum malaria in Osogbo, Nigeria. AQ+SP and CH+CQ are effective in the treatment of acute uncomplicated malaria and may be considered as useful alternative drugs in the absence of artemisinin-based combination therapies.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Multiple independent introductions of Plasmodium falciparum in South America

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. [Research Progress on Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-long; Pan, Wei-qing

    2015-12-01

    Artemisinin (ART) is a novel and effective antimalarial drug discovered in China. As recommended by the World Health Organization, the ART-based combination therapies (ACTs) have become the first-line drugs for the treatment of falciparum malaria. ART and its derivatives have contributed greatly to the effective control of malaria globally, leading to yearly decrease of malaria morbidity and mortality. However, there have recently been several reports on the resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to ART in Southeast Asia. This is deemed a serious threat to the global malaria control programs. In this paper, we reviewed recent research progress on ART resistance to P. falciparum, including new tools for resistance measurement, resistance-associated molecular markers, and the origin and spread of the ART-resistant parasite strains.

  10. [Research Progress on Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-long; Pan, Wei-qing

    2015-12-01

    Artemisinin (ART) is a novel and effective antimalarial drug discovered in China. As recommended by the World Health Organization, the ART-based combination therapies (ACTs) have become the first-line drugs for the treatment of falciparum malaria. ART and its derivatives have contributed greatly to the effective control of malaria globally, leading to yearly decrease of malaria morbidity and mortality. However, there have recently been several reports on the resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to ART in Southeast Asia. This is deemed a serious threat to the global malaria control programs. In this paper, we reviewed recent research progress on ART resistance to P. falciparum, including new tools for resistance measurement, resistance-associated molecular markers, and the origin and spread of the ART-resistant parasite strains. PMID:27089770

  11. Localization of apical sushi protein in Plasmodium falciparum merozoites.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Anand; Singh, Shailja; Dhawan, Shikha; Mahmood Alam, M; Mohmmed, Asif; Chitnis, Chetan E

    2010-11-01

    Plasmodium falciparum belongs to the Apicomplexan group of parasites and is characterised by presence of specialized secretory organelles at the apical end. These apical organelles, referred to as microneme and rhoptries, contain proteins that play important roles during host cell invasion by mediating specific functions such as initial attachment, apical reorientation and junction formation. Recently, a protein referred to as P. falciparum apical sushi protein (PfASP), which is expressed at late schizont stage, was localized to micronemes of P. falciparum merozoites. In the present study, we have used indirect immunofluorescence assays and immunoelectron microscopy to demonstrate that PfASP is localized in the neck of rhoptries and not in micronemes as previously described.

  12. Modeling the Effects of Relapse in the Transmission Dynamics of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Águas, Ricardo; Ferreira, Marcelo U.; Gomes, M. Gabriela M.

    2012-01-01

    Often regarded as “benign,” Plasmodium vivax infections lay in the shadows of the much more virulent P. falciparum infections. However, about 1.98 billion people are at risk of both parasites worldwide, stressing the need to understand the epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax, particularly under the scope of decreasing P. falciparum prevalence and ecological interactions between both species. Two epidemiological observations put the dynamics of both species into perspective: (1) ACT campaigns have had a greater impact on P. falciparum prevalence. (2) Complete clinical immunity is attained at younger ages for P. vivax, under similar infection rates. We systematically compared two mathematical models of transmission for both Plasmodium species. Simulations suggest that an ACT therapy combined with a hypnozoite killing drug would eliminate both species. However, P. vivax elimination is predicted to be unstable. Differences in age profiles of clinical malaria can be explained solely by P. vivax's ability to relapse, which accelerates the acquisition of clinical immunity and serves as an immunity boosting mechanism. P. vivax transmission can subsist in areas of low mosquito abundance and is robust to drug administration initiatives due to relapse, making it an inconvenient and cumbersome, yet less lethal alternative to P. falciparum. PMID:21966590

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1984-08-01

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

  16. Recent developments in production and purification of malaria antigens: Evidence for environmental modulation of gametocytogenesis in Plasmodium falciparum in continuous culture*

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Richard; Miller, Louis H.

    1979-01-01

    With the introduction of continuous culture of Plasmodium falciparum it has become possible to study the factors involved in gametocyte production in vitro and thus eliminate the uncontrollable in vivo variables of the host. The authors have developed a method for measuring quantitatively the rate of production of gametocytes at any time in such cultures. The method is based on an estimation of the percentage of ring forms that develop into stage II gametocytes. Using this approach, it was found that dilution of cultures with fresh red blood cells so as to lower the parasitaemia led to rapid fall in the rate of conversion to gametocytes. The conversion rates subsequently rose again to levels typically in the order of 10% after several days of growth in the new culture. In the parental cultures from which the dilutions were made, conversion rates remained high at all times. This pattern was consistently observed in three different isolates of P. falciparum from Africa and the results indicate that the reduction of parasitaemia by addition of fresh cells was responsible for reducing production of gametocytes and that conditions associated with a period of growth in culture induced renewed gametocytogenesis. The authors conclude, therefore, that environmental conditions directly modulate the rate of gametocyte production by P. falciparum in culture. After 1½ years in culture, parasites have retained their ability to produce gametocytes and the gametocytes to undergo exflagellation. ImagesFig. 1 PMID:397008

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Human cytotoxic T lymphocytes against the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein.

    PubMed Central

    Malik, A; Egan, J E; Houghten, R A; Sadoff, J C; Hoffman, S L

    1991-01-01

    Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) against the circumsporozoite (CS) protein of malaria sporozoites protect against malaria in rodents. Although there is interest in developing human vaccines that induce CTL against the Plasmodium falciparum CS protein, humans have never been shown to produce CTL against any Plasmodium species protein or other parasite protein. We report that when peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from three of four volunteers immunized with irradiated P. falciparum sporozoites were stimulated in vitro with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the P. falciparum CS protein or a peptide including only amino acids 368-390 of the P. falciparum CS protein [CS-(368-390)], the PBMC lysed autologous Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells transfected with the P. falciparum CS protein gene or incubated with CS-(368-390) tricosapeptide. Activity was antigen specific, genetically restricted, and dependent on CD8+ T cells. In one volunteer, seven peptides reflecting amino acids 311-400 were tested, and, as in B10.BR mice, CTL activity was only associated with the CS-(368-390) peptide. Development of an assay for studying human CTL against the CS and other malaria proteins and a method for constructing target cells by direct gene transfection provide a foundation for studying the role of CTL in protection against malaria. PMID:1707538

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-06-22

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

  2. Sickle cell microRNAs inhibit the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Duraisingh, Manoj T; Lodish, Harvey F

    2012-08-16

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

  3. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of Anopheles mosquitoes and Plasmodium falciparum transmission along the Kenyan coast.

    PubMed

    Mbogo, Charles M; Mwangangi, Joseph M; Nzovu, Joseph; Gu, Weidong; Yan, Guiyan; Gunter, James T; Swalm, Chris; Keating, Joseph; Regens, James L; Shililu, Josephat I; Githure, John I; Beier, John C

    2003-06-01

    The seasonal dynamics and spatial distributions of Anopheles mosquitoes and Plasmodium falciparum parasites were studied for one year at 30 villages in Malindi, Kilifi, and Kwale Districts along the coast of Kenya. Anopheline mosquitoes were sampled inside houses at each site once every two months and malaria parasite prevalence in local school children was determined at the end of the entomologic survey. A total of 5,476 Anopheles gambiae s.l. and 3,461 An. funestus were collected. Species in the An. gambiae complex, identified by a polymerase chain reaction, included 81.9% An. gambiae s.s., 12.8% An. arabiensis, and 5.3% An. merus. Anopheles gambiae s.s. contributed most to the transmission of P. falciparum along the coast as a whole, while An. funestus accounted for more than 50% of all transmission in Kwale District. Large spatial heterogeneity of transmission intensity (< 1 up to 120 infective bites per person per year) resulted in correspondingly large and significantly related variations in parasite prevalence (range = 38-83%). Thirty-two percent of the sites (7 of 22 sites) with malaria prevalences ranging from 38% to 70% had annual entomologic inoculation rates (EIR) less than five infective bites per person per year. Anopheles gambiae s.l. and An. funestus densities in Kwale were not significantly influenced by rainfall. However, both were positively correlated with rainfall one and three months previously in Malindi and Kilifi Districts, respectively. These unexpected variations in the relationship between mosquito populations and rainfall suggest environmental heterogeneity in the predominant aquatic habitats in each district. One important conclusion is that the highly non-linear relationship between EIRs and prevalence indicates that the consistent pattern of high prevalence might be governed by substantial variation in transmission intensity measured by entomologic surveys. The field-based estimate of entomologic parameters on a district level does

  4. First evidence of pfcrt mutant Plasmodium falciparum in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; Fidock, David A; Belmonte, Olivier; Valderramos, Stephanie G; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Ariey, Frédéric

    2006-09-01

    The island of Madagascar, lying in the Indian Ocean approximately 250 miles from the African coast, has so far remained one of the few areas in the world without noticeable Plasmodium falciparum high-grade chloroquine (CQ) resistance. Here we report genotyping data on pfcrt in Madagascar. The pfcrt K76T mutation, which is critical for resistance to CQ, was detected in six (3.3%) of 183 P. falciparum isolates screened, within the mutant haplotypes CVIET and CVIDT. This is the first observation of pfcrt mutant parasites on the island. The current massive distribution of CQ for in-home management of fever in children will promote the dissemination of these mutant CQ-resistant parasites. In this context, genotyping of pfcrt remains a useful tool for CQ resistance surveillance as the prevalence of pfcrt mutations is far from saturation in Madagascar.

  5. Spleen enlargement and genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum infection in two ethnic groups with different malaria susceptibility in Mali, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Bereczky, S; Dolo, A; Maiga, B; Hayano, M; Granath, F; Montgomery, S M; Daou, M; Arama, C; Troye-Blomberg, M; Doumbo, O K; Färnert, A

    2006-03-01

    The high resistance to malaria in the nomadic Fulani population needs further understanding. The ability to cope with multiclonal Plasmodium falciparum infections was assessed in a cross-sectional survey in the Fulani and the Dogon, their sympatric ethnic group in Mali. The Fulani had lower parasite prevalence and densities and more prominent spleen enlargement. Spleen rates in children aged 2-9 years were 75% in the Fulani and 44% in the Dogon (P<0.001). There was no difference in number of P. falciparum genotypes, defined by merozoite surface protein 2 polymorphism, with mean values of 2.25 and 2.11 (P=0.503) in the Dogon and Fulani, respectively. Spleen rate increased with parasite prevalence, density and number of co-infecting clones in asymptomatic Dogon. Moreover, splenomegaly was increased in individuals with clinical malaria in the Dogon, odds ratio 3.67 (95% CI 1.65-8.15, P=0.003), but not found in the Fulani, 1.36 (95% CI 0.53-3.48, P=0.633). The more susceptible Dogon population thus appear to respond with pronounced spleen enlargement to asymptomatic multiclonal infections and acute disease whereas the Fulani have generally enlarged spleens already functional for protection. The results emphasize the importance of spleen function in protective immunity to the polymorphic malaria parasite.

  6. Malaria parasites tolerate a broad range of ionic environments and do not require host cation remodelling.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Ajay D; Addo, Rachel; Sharma, Paresh; Nguitragool, Wang; Srinivasan, Prakash; Desai, Sanjay A

    2013-04-01

    Malaria parasites grow within erythrocytes, but are also free in host plasma between cycles of asexual replication. As a result, the parasite is exposed to fluctuating levels of Na(+) and K(+) , ions assumed to serve important roles for the human pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum. We examined these assumptions and the parasite's ionic requirements by establishing continuous culture in novel sucrose-based media. With sucrose as the primary osmoticant and K(+) and Cl(-) as the main extracellular ions, we obtained parasite growth and propagation at rates indistinguishable from those in physiological media. These conditions abolish long-known increases in intracellular Na(+) via parasite-induced channels, excluding a requirement for erythrocyte cation remodelling. We also dissected Na(+) , K(+) and Cl(-) requirements and found that unexpectedly low concentrations of each ion meet the parasite's demands. Surprisingly, growth was not adversely affected by up to 148 mM K(+) , suggesting that low extracellular K(+) is not an essential trigger for erythrocyte invasion. At the same time, merozoite egress and invasion required a threshold ionic strength, suggesting critical electrostatic interactions between macromolecules at these stages. These findings provide insights into transmembrane signalling in malaria and reveal fundamental differences between host and parasite ionic requirements.

  7. Declining Responsiveness of Plasmodium falciparum Infections to Artemisinin-Based Combination Treatments on the Kenyan Coast

    PubMed Central

    Borrmann, Steffen; Sasi, Philip; Mwai, Leah; Bashraheil, Mahfudh; Abdallah, Ahmed; Muriithi, Steven; Frühauf, Henrike; Schaub, Barbara; Pfeil, Johannes; Peshu, Judy; Hanpithakpong, Warunee; Rippert, Anja; Juma, Elizabeth; Tsofa, Benjamin; Mosobo, Moses; Lowe, Brett; Osier, Faith; Fegan, Greg; Lindegårdh, Niklas; Nzila, Alexis; Peshu, Norbert; Mackinnon, Margaret; Marsh, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Background The emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum malaria in South-East Asia highlights the need for continued global surveillance of the efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapies. Methods On the Kenyan coast we studied the treatment responses in 474 children 6–59 months old with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in a randomized controlled trial of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine vs. artemether-lumefantrine from 2005 to 2008. (ISRCTN88705995) Results The proportion of patients with residual parasitemia on day 1 rose from 55% in 2005–2006 to 87% in 2007–2008 (odds ratio, 5.4, 95%CI, 2.7–11.1; P<0.001) and from 81% to 95% (OR, 4.1, 95%CI, 1.7–9.9; P = 0.002) in the DHA-PPQ and AM-LM groups, respectively. In parallel, Kaplan-Meier estimated risks of apparent recrudescent infection by day 84 increased from 7% to 14% (P = 0.1) and from 6% to 15% (P = 0.05) with DHA-PPQ and AM-LM, respectively. Coinciding with decreasing transmission in the study area, clinical tolerance to parasitemia (defined as absence of fever) declined between 2005–2006 and 2007–2008 (OR body temperature >37.5°C, 2.8, 1.9–4.1; P<0.001). Neither in vitro sensitivity of parasites to DHA nor levels of antibodies against parasite extract accounted for parasite clearance rates or changes thereof. Conclusions The significant, albeit small, decline through time of parasitological response rates to treatment with ACTs may be due to the emergence of parasites with reduced drug sensitivity, to the coincident reduction in population-level clinical immunity, or both. Maintaining the efficacy of artemisinin-based therapy in Africa would benefit from a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying reduced parasite clearance rates. Trial Registration Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN88705995 PMID:22102856

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    A honey bee queen mates on wing with an average of 12 males and stores their sperm to produce progeny of mixed paternity. The degree of a queen’s polyandry is positively associated with measures of her colony’s fitness, and observed distributions of mating number are evolutionary optima balancing risks of mating flights against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit. In this study we used instrumental insemination to create three classes of queens with exaggerated range of polyandry– 15, 30, or 60 drones. Colonies headed by queens inseminated with 30 or 60 drones produced more brood per bee and had a lower proportion of samples positive for Varroa destructor mites than colonies whose queens were inseminated with 15 drones, suggesting benefits of polyandry at rates higher than those normally obtaining in nature. Our results are consistent with two hypotheses that posit conditions that reward such high expressions of polyandry: (1) a queen may mate with many males in order to promote beneficial non-additive genetic interactions among subfamilies, and (2) a queen may mate with many males in order to capture a large number of rare alleles that regulate resistance to pathogens and parasites in a breeding population. Our results are unique for identifying the highest levels of polyandry yet detected that confer colony-level benefit and for showing a benefit of polyandry in particular toward the parasitic mite V. destructor. PMID:26691845

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    A honey bee queen mates on wing with an average of 12 males and stores their sperm to produce progeny of mixed paternity. The degree of a queen's polyandry is positively associated with measures of her colony's fitness, and observed distributions of mating number are evolutionary optima balancing risks of mating flights against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit. In this study we used instrumental insemination to create three classes of queens with exaggerated range of polyandry--15, 30, or 60 drones. Colonies headed by queens inseminated with 30 or 60 drones produced more brood per bee and had a lower proportion of samples positive for Varroa destructor mites than colonies whose queens were inseminated with 15 drones, suggesting benefits of polyandry at rates higher than those normally obtaining in nature. Our results are consistent with two hypotheses that posit conditions that reward such high expressions of polyandry: (1) a queen may mate with many males in order to promote beneficial non-additive genetic interactions among subfamilies, and (2) a queen may mate with many males in order to capture a large number of rare alleles that regulate resistance to pathogens and parasites in a breeding population. Our results are unique for identifying the highest levels of polyandry yet detected that confer colony-level benefit and for showing a benefit of polyandry in particular toward the parasitic mite V. destructor. PMID:26691845

  11. Correlation between 'H' blood group antigen and Plasmodium falciparum invasion.

    PubMed

    Pathak, Vrushali; Colah, Roshan; Ghosh, Kanjaksha

    2016-06-01

    The ABO blood group system is the most important blood group system in clinical practice. The relationship between Plasmodium falciparum and ABO blood groups has been studied for many years. This study was undertaken to investigate the abilities of different blood group erythrocytes to support in vitro growth of P. falciparum parasites. P. falciparum parasites of four different strains (3D7, 7G8, Dd2 and RKL9) were co-cultured with erythrocytes of blood group 'A', 'B', 'O' (n = 10 for each) and 'O(h)' (Bombay group) (n = 7) for 5 days. Statistically significant differences were observed on the fourth day among the mean percent parasitemias of 'O', non-'O' ('A' and 'B') and 'O(h)' group cultures. The parasitemias of four strains ranged from 12.23 to 14.66, 11.68 to 13.24, 16.89 to 22.3, and 7.37 to 11.27 % in 'A', 'B', 'O' and Bombay group cultures, respectively. As the expression of H antigen decreased from 'O' blood group to 'A' and 'B' and then to Bombay blood group, parasite invasion (percent parasitemia) also decreased significantly (p < 0.01) and concomitantly, indicating the association of parasite invasion with the amount of H antigen present on the surface of erythrocyte. Thus, the question arises, could H antigen be involved in P. falciparum invasion? To evaluate erythrocyte invasion inhibition, 'O' group erythrocytes were virtually converted to Bombay group-like erythrocytes by the treatment of anti-H lectins extracted from Ulex europaeus seeds. Mean percent parasitemia of lectin-treated cultures on the fourth day was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than that of non-treated cultures and was found to be similar with the mean percent parasitemia demonstrated by the Bombay group erythrocyte cultures, thus further strengthening the hypothesis.

  12. Structure of Plasmodium falciparum ADP-ribosylation factor 1

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-09-26

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

  13. Protein farnesyltransferase and protein prenylation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Debopam; Da Silva, Thiago; Barger, Jennifer; Paquette, Steve; Patel, Hetal; Patterson, Shelley; Allen, Charles M

    2002-11-01

    Comparison of the malaria parasite and mammalian protein prenyltransferases and their cellular substrates is important for establishing this enzyme as a target for developing antimalarial agents. Nineteen heptapeptides differing only in their carboxyl-terminal amino acid were tested as alternative substrates of partially purified Plasmodium falciparum protein farnesyltransferase. Only NRSCAIM and NRSCAIQ serve as substrates, with NRSCAIM being the best. Peptidomimetics, FTI-276 and GGTI-287, inhibit the transferase with IC(50) values of 1 and 32 nm, respectively. Incubation of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes with [(3)H]farnesol labels 50- and 22-28-kDa proteins, whereas [(3)H]geranylgeraniol labels only 22-28-kDa proteins. The 50-kDa protein is shown to be farnesylated, whereas the 22-28-kDa proteins are geranylgeranylated, irrespective of the labeling prenol. Protein labeling is inhibited more than 50% by either 5 microm FTI-277 or GGTI-298. The same concentration of inhibitors also inhibits parasite growth from the ring stage by 50%, decreases expression of prenylated proteins as measured with prenyl-specific antibody, and inhibits parasite differentiation beyond the trophozoite stage. Furthermore, differentiation specific prenylation of P. falciparum proteins is demonstrated. Protein labeling is detected predominantly during the trophozoite to schizont and schizont to ring transitions. These results demonstrate unique properties of protein prenylation in P. falciparum: a limited specificity of the farnesyltransferase for peptide substrates compared with mammalian enzymes, the ability to use farnesol to label both farnesyl and geranylgeranyl moieties on proteins, differentiation specific protein prenylation, and the ability of peptidomimetic prenyltransferase inhibitors to block parasite differentiation.

  14. Population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax and asymptomatic malaria in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Temotu Province, Solomon Islands is progressing toward malaria elimination. A baseline survey conducted in 2008 showed that most Plasmodium infections in the province were of low parasite density and asymptomatic infections. To better understand mechanisms underlying these malaria transmission characteristics genetic diversity and relationships among Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax populations in the province were examined. Methods Forty-five P. falciparum and 67 P. vivax samples collected in the 2008 baseline survey were successfully genotyped using eight P. falciparum and seven P. vivax microsatellite markers. Genetic diversity, relationships and distribution of both P. falciparum and P. vivax populations were analysed. Results Plasmodium falciparum population exhibited low diversity with 19 haplotypes identified and had closely related clusters indicating clonal expansion. Interestingly, a dominant haplotype was significantly associated with fever and high parasite density. In contrast, the P. vivax population was highly diverse with 58 haplotypes identified that were not closely related. Parasite populations between different islands in the province showed low genetic differentiation. Conclusion The low diversity and clonal population of P. falciparum population may partially account for clinical immunity developed against illness. However, it is possible that importation of a new P. falciparum strain was the major cause of illness. High diversity in P. vivax population and low relatedness between strains suggested clinical immunity to P. vivax may be maintained by different mechanisms. The genetic diversity, population structure and distribution of strains indicate that transmission of P. falciparum was low, but that of P. vivax was still high in 2008. These data will be useful for assessing changes in malaria transmission resulting from interventions. PMID:24261646

  15. Efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine, the nationally-recommended artemisinin combination for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria, in southern Laos

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The Lao Government changed the national policy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria from chloroquine to artemether-lumefantrine (AL) in 2005. Since then, no information on AL efficacy has been reported. With evidence of resistance to artemisinin derivatives in adjacent Cambodia, there has been a concern as to AL efficacy. Monitoring of AL efficacy would help the Lao Government to make decisions on appropriate malaria treatment. Methods The efficacy of a three-day, twice daily oral artemether-lumefantrine for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Xepon District, Savannakhet Province, southern Laos was studied over 42 days follow-up. This was part of a trial of thiamin supplementation in falciparum malaria. Results Of 630 patients with P. falciparum enrolled in the trial of thiamin treatment, 549 (87%, 357 children ≤15 years and 192 adults) were included in this study. The per protocol 42-day cure rates were 97% (524/541) [96% (337/352) for children and 99% (187/189) for adults, p = 0.042]. By conventional intention-to-treat analysis, the 42-day cure rates adjusted for re-infection, were 97% (532/549) [96% (342/357) in children and 99% (190/192) in adults, p = 0.042]. The proportion of patients who remained parasitaemic at day 1 after treatment was significantly higher in children [33% (116/356)] compared to adults [15% (28/192)] (p < 0.001) and only one adult patient had detectable parasitaemia on day 2. There were no serious adverse events. Potential side effects after treatment were reported more commonly in adults (32%) compared to children (15%) (p < 0.001). Patients with recrudescent infections were significantly younger, had longer mean time to fever clearance, and had longer median time to parasite clearance compared to those who were cured. Conclusions The current nationally-recommended anti-malarial treatment (artemether-lumefantrine) remains highly efficacious for the treatment of uncomplicated

  16. Regulation of antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum: censoring freedom of expression?

    PubMed

    Duffy, Michael F; Reeder, John C; Brown, Graham V

    2003-03-01

    Plasmodium falciparum employs a strategy of clonal antigenic variation to evade the host immune response during the intraerythrocytic stage of its life cycle. The major variant parasite molecule is the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein (PfEMP)1, which is encoded by the var multigene family. The parasite switches between different PfEMP1 molecules through regulation of var transcription. Recent studies have shed considerable light on this process, but much remains unknown. However, striking parallels between transcriptional control of var and genes in other organisms provide direction for future studies.

  17. A Lectin-Like Receptor is Involved in Invasion of Erythrocytes by Plasmodium falciparum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jungery, M.; Pasvol, G.; Newbold, C. I.; Weatherall, D. J.

    1983-02-01

    Glycophorin both in solution and inserted into liposomes blocks invasion of erythrocytes by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Furthermore, one sugar, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc), completely blocks invasion of the erythrocyte by this parasite. GlcNAc coupled to bovine serum albumin to prevent the sugar entering infected erythrocytes was at least 100,000 times more effective than GlcNAc alone. Bovine serum albumin coupled to lactose or bovine serum albumin alone had no effect on invasion. These results suggest that the binding of P. falciparum to erythrocytes is lectin-like and is determined by carbohydrates on glycophorin.

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

    PubMed

    Lumb, Vanshika; Sharma, Yagya D

    2011-05-01

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

  19. Monkey-derived monoclonal antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-09-01

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

  20. Protozoan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Custodio, Haidee

    2016-02-01

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

  1. Protozoan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Custodio, Haidee

    2016-02-01

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

  2. The epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes: weapons of mass dispersion.

    PubMed

    Drakeley, Chris; Sutherland, Colin; Bousema, J Teun; Sauerwein, Robert W; Targett, Geoffrey A T

    2006-09-01

    Much of the epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum in Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on the prevalence patterns of asexual parasites in people of different ages, whereas the gametocytes that propagate the disease are often neglected. One expected benefit of the widespread introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy for malaria is a reduction in gametocyte carriage. However, the factors that affect the transmission of parasites from humans to mosquitoes show complex dynamics in relation to the intensity and seasonality of malaria transmission, and thus such benefits might not be automatic. Here, we review data on gametocyte carriage in the context of the development of naturally acquired immunity and population infectivity. PMID:16846756

  3. Reduction in incidence and prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum in under-5-year-old children by permethrin impregnation of mosquito nets*

    PubMed Central

    Graves, P. M.; Brabin, B. J.; Charlwood, J. D.; Burkot, T. R.; Cattani, J. A.; Ginny, M.; Paino, J.; Gibson, F. D.; Alpers, M. P.

    1987-01-01

    The malaria incidence and prevalence rates among children who slept under permethrin-impregnated mosquito nets in four villages near Madang, Papua New Guinea, were compared with the rates among children who slept under unimpregnated nets in four paired control villages. Immediately following a parasitological survey in the eight villages, malaria parasites were cleared from the children with chemotherapy, and the mosquito nets in the four experimental villages were impregnated with permethrin. Follow-up parasitological surveys were performed 4 and 10 weeks later. Sporozoite rates in female mosquitos of the Anopheles punctulatus complex decreased significantly in two of the experimental villages after impregnation. Also, the incidence of Plasmodium falciparum between the 4-week and 10-week surveys was significantly lower among the 0-4-year olds in villages with impregnated nets than in those with unimpregnated nets, leading to reduced prevalence of P. falciparum in this age group. Use of permethrin-impregnated nets had no effect on the incidence or prevalence of P. falciparum among 5-9-year olds or on that of P. vivax among the 0-4- or 5-9-year olds. PMID:3325185

  4. Interactive transcriptome analysis of malaria patients and infecting Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Junya; Natori, Anna; Tolba, Mohammed E M; Mongan, Arthur E; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Katayama, Toshiaki; Kawashima, Shuichi; Makalowski, Wojciech; Maeda, Ryuichiro; Eshita, Yuki; Tuda, Josef; Suzuki, Yutaka

    2014-09-01

    To understand the molecular mechanisms of parasitism in vivo, it is essential to elucidate how the transcriptomes of the human hosts and the infecting parasites affect one another. Here we report the RNA-seq analysis of 116 Indonesian patients infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). We extracted RNAs from their peripheral blood as a mixture of host and parasite transcripts and mapped the RNA-seq tags to the human and Pf reference genomes to separate the respective tags. We were thus able to simultaneously analyze expression patterns in both humans and parasites. We identified human and parasite genes and pathways that correlated with various clinical data, which may serve as primary targets for drug developments. Of particular importance, we revealed characteristic expression changes in the human innate immune response pathway genes including TLR2 and TICAM2 that correlated with the severity of the malaria infection. We also found a group of transcription regulatory factors, JUND, for example, and signaling molecules, TNFAIP3, for example, that were strongly correlated in the expression patterns of humans and parasites. We also identified several genetic variations in important anti-malaria drug resistance-related genes. Furthermore, we identified the genetic variations which are potentially associated with severe malaria symptoms both in humans and parasites. The newly generated data should collectively lay a unique foundation for understanding variable behaviors of the field malaria parasites, which are far more complex than those observed under laboratory conditions.

  5. Global response of Plasmodium falciparum to hyperoxia: a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Over its life cycle, the Plasmodium falciparum parasite is exposed to different environmental conditions, particularly to variations in O2 pressure. For example, the parasite circulates in human venous blood at 5% O2 pressure and in arterial blood, particularly in the lungs, at 13% O2 pressure. Moreover, the parasite is exposed to 21% O2 levels in the salivary glands of mosquitoes. Methods To study the metabolic adaptation of P. falciparum to different oxygen pressures during the intraerythrocytic cycle, a combined approach using transcriptomic and proteomic techniques was undertaken. Results Even though hyperoxia lengthens the parasitic cycle, significant transcriptional changes were detected in hyperoxic conditions in the late-ring stage. Using PS 6.0™ software (Ariadne Genomics) for microarray analysis, this study demonstrate up-expression of genes involved in antioxidant systems and down-expression of genes involved in the digestive vacuole metabolism and the glycolysis in favour of mitochondrial respiration. Proteomic analysis revealed increased levels of heat shock proteins, and decreased levels of glycolytic enzymes. Some of this regulation reflected post-transcriptional modifications during the hyperoxia response. Conclusions These results seem to indicate that hyperoxia activates antioxidant defence systems in parasites to preserve the integrity of its cellular structures. Moreover, environmental constraints seem to induce an energetic metabolism adaptation of P. falciparum. This study provides a better understanding of the adaptive capabilities of P. falciparum to environmental changes and may lead to the development of novel therapeutic targets. PMID:21223545

  6. A rapid, simple and sensitive flow cytometric system for detection of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Saito-Ito, A; Akai, Y; He, S; Kimura, M; Kawabata, M

    2001-11-01

    We have established a rapid, simple and sensitive flow cytometric system for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum that involves lysing erythrocytes and staining parasites at the same time using a newly developed hemolysing and staining solution containing dodecyl methyl ammonium chloride and acridine orange. In this system, freed parasites of P. falciparum could be plotted separately from erythrocyte ghosts, white blood cells and platelets on the two-dimensional scattergram of forward-angle light scatter and green fluorescence by flow cytometry with an argon laser. It took only 2-3 min per sample to obtain the scattergram and analyze the data, including the time of sample preparation for flow cytometric analysis. Sample preparation with this method does not require any difficult handling procedures. The threshold of parasite detection was almost equal to that of microscopic examination for cultured P. falciparum. The results of drug-susceptibility assays using this system were also almost identical to those obtained using microscopic examination. In this system, parasites at different erythrocytic stages could be easily distinguished. This system must prove useful and practical for basic laboratory studies of P. falciparum including those requiring the differential measurement of parasites at specific erythrocytic stages. PMID:11719111

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. The relationship between handling time and cortisol release rates changes as a function of brain parasite densities in California killifish Fundulus parvipinnis.

    PubMed

    Weinersmith, K L; Hanninen, A F; Sih, A; McElreath, R; Earley, R L

    2016-03-01

    This study validated a technique for non-invasive hormone measurements in California killifish Fundulus parvipinnis, and looked for associations between cortisol (a stress hormone) and 11-ketotestosterone (KT, an androgen) release rates and the density or intensity of the trematode parasites Euhaplorchis californiensis (EUHA) and Renicola buchanani (RENB) in wild-caught, naturally infected F. parvipinnis. In experiment 1, F. parvipinnis were exposed to an acute stressor by lowering water levels to dorsal-fin height and repeatedly handling the fish over the course of an hour. Neither parasite was found to influence cortisol release rates in response to this acute stressor. In experiment 2, different F. parvipinnis were exposed on four consecutive days to the procedure for collecting water-borne hormone levels and release rates of 11-KT and cortisol were quantified. This design examined whether F. parvipinnis perceived the water-borne collection procedure to be a stressor, while also exploring how parasites influenced hormone release rates under conditions less stressful than those in experiment 1. No association was found between RENB and hormone release rates, or between EUHA and 11-KT release rates. The interaction between EUHA density and handling time, however, was an important predictor of cortisol release rates. The relationship between handling time and cortisol release rates was negative for F. parvipinnis harbouring low or intermediate density infections, and became positive for fish harbouring high densities of EUHA. PMID:26806153

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii produces the plant hormone abscisic acid, but it is unclear if phytohormones are produced by the malaria parasite Plasmodium spp., the most important parasite of this phylum. Here, we report detection of salicylic acid, an immune-related phytohormone of land plants, in P. berghei ANKA and T. gondii cell lysates. However, addition of salicylic acid to P. falciparum and T. gondii culture had no effect. We transfected P. falciparum 3D7 with the nahG gene, which encodes a salicylic acid-degrading enzyme isolated from plant-infecting Pseudomonas sp., and established a salicylic acid-deficient mutant. The mutant had a significantly decreased concentration of parasite-synthesized prostaglandin E2, which potentially modulates host immunity as an adaptive evolution of Plasmodium spp. To investigate the function of salicylic acid and prostaglandin E2 on host immunity, we established P. berghei ANKA mutants expressing nahG. C57BL/6 mice infected with nahG transfectants developed enhanced cerebral malaria, as assessed by Evans blue leakage and brain histological observation. The nahG-transfectant also significantly increased the mortality rate of mice. Prostaglandin E2 reduced the brain symptoms by induction of T helper-2 cytokines. As expected, T helper-1 cytokines including interferon-γ and interleukin-2 were significantly elevated by infection with the nahG transfectant. Thus, salicylic acid of Plasmodium spp. may be a new pathogenic factor of this threatening parasite and may modulate immune function via parasite-produced prostaglandin E2. PMID:26466097

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii produces the plant hormone abscisic acid, but it is unclear if phytohormones are produced by the malaria parasite Plasmodium spp., the most important parasite of this phylum. Here, we report detection of salicylic acid, an immune-related phytohormone of land plants, in P. berghei ANKA and T. gondii cell lysates. However, addition of salicylic acid to P. falciparum and T. gondii culture had no effect. We transfected P. falciparum 3D7 with the nahG gene, which encodes a salicylic acid-degrading enzyme isolated from plant-infecting Pseudomonas sp., and established a salicylic acid-deficient mutant. The mutant had a significantly decreased concentration of parasite-synthesized prostaglandin E2, which potentially modulates host immunity as an adaptive evolution of Plasmodium spp. To investigate the function of salicylic acid and prostaglandin E2 on host immunity, we established P. berghei ANKA mutants expressing nahG. C57BL/6 mice infected with nahG transfectants developed enhanced cerebral malaria, as assessed by Evans blue leakage and brain histological observation. The nahG-transfectant also significantly increased the mortality rate of mice. Prostaglandin E2 reduced the brain symptoms by induction of T helper-2 cytokines. As expected, T helper-1 cytokines including interferon-γ and interleukin-2 were significantly elevated by infection with the nahG transfectant. Thus, salicylic acid of Plasmodium spp. may be a new pathogenic factor of this threatening parasite and may modulate immune function via parasite-produced prostaglandin E2. PMID:26466097

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Susceptibility of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi to tropical isolates of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Hume, Jennifer CC; Tunnicliff, Mark; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa C; Day, Karen P

    2007-01-01

    Background The susceptibility of anopheline mosquito species to Plasmodium infection is known to be variable with some mosquitoes more permissive to infection than others. Little work, however, has been carried out investigating the susceptibility of major malaria vectors to geographically diverse tropical isolates of Plasmodium falciparum aside from examining the possibility of infection extending its range from tropical regions into more temperate zones. Methods This study investigates the susceptibility of two major tropical mosquito hosts (Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi) to P. falciparum isolates of different tropical geographical origins. Cultured parasite isolates were fed via membrane feeders simultaneously to both mosquito species and the resulting mosquito infections were compared. Results Infection prevalence was variable with African parasites equally successful in both mosquito species, Thai parasites significantly more successful in An. stephensi, and PNG parasites largely unsuccessful in both species. Conclusion Infection success of P. falciparum was variable according to geographical origin of both the parasite and the mosquito. Data presented raise the possibility that local adaptation of tropical parasites and mosquitoes has a role to play in limiting gene flow between allopatric parasite populations. PMID:17958900

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

    PubMed

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

    1985-11-01

    Parameters of blood-induced infections of the Vietnam Oak Knoll, Vietnam Smith, and Uganda Palo Alto strains of Plasmodium falciparum studied in 395 Panamanian owl monkeys in this laboratory between 1976-1984 were compared with those reported from another laboratory for 665 Colombian owl monkeys, studied between 1968-1975, and, at the time, designated Aotus trivirgatus griseimembra. The virulence of these strains was less in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys, as indicated by lower mortality rates of the Panamanian monkeys during the first 30 days of patency. Maximum parasitemias of the Vietnam Smith and Uganda Palo Alto strain, in Panamanian owl monkeys dying during the first 15 days of patent infection, were significantly higher than in Colombian owl monkeys. Panamanian owl monkeys that survived the primary attack had significantly higher maximum parasitemias than the surviving Colombian owl monkeys. Peak parasitemias were attained significantly earlier after patency in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys, irrespective of the strain of P. falciparum. More Panamanian than Colombian owl monkeys evidenced self-limited infection after the primary attack of either the Vietnam Smith or Uganda Palo Alto strain. The duration of the primary attacks and recrudescences were significantly shorter in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys. Mean peak parasitemias during recrudescence were usually higher in Panamanian owl monkeys than in Colombian monkeys. Differences of infection parameters were probably attributable, in part, to geographical origin of the two monkey hosts and parasite strains. PMID:3914842

  18. Genetic diversity and population structure of Plasmodium falciparum over space and time in an African archipelago.

    PubMed

    Salgueiro, Patrícia; Vicente, José Luís; Figueiredo, Rita Carrilho; Pinto, João

    2016-09-01

    The archipelago of São Tomé and Principe (STP), West Africa, has suffered the heavy burden of malaria since the 16th century. Until the last decade, when after a successful control program STP has become a low transmission country and one of the few nations with decreases of more than 90% in malaria admission and death rates. We carried out a longitudinal study to determine the genetic structure of STP parasite populations over time and space. Twelve microsatellite loci were genotyped in Plasmodium falciparum samples from two islands collected in 1997, 2000 and 2004. Analysis was performed on proportions of mixed genotype infections, allelic diversity, population differentiation, effective population size and bottleneck effects. We have found high levels of genetic diversity and minimal inter-population genetic differentiation typical of African continental regions with intense and stable malaria transmission. We detected significant differences between the years, with special emphasis for 1997 that showed the highest proportion of samples infected with P. falciparum and the highest mean number of haplotypes per isolate. This study establishes a comprehensive genetic data baseline of a pre-intervention scenario for future studies; taking into account the most recent and successful control intervention on the territory.

  19. Endemicity response timelines for Plasmodium falciparum elimination

    PubMed Central

    Smith, David L; Hay, Simon I

    2009-01-01

    Background The scaling up of malaria control and renewed calls for malaria eradication have raised interest in defining timelines for changes in malaria endemicity. Methods The epidemiological theory for the decline in the Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate (PfPR, the prevalence of infection) following intervention was critically reviewed and where necessary extended to consider superinfection, heterogeneous biting, and aging infections. Timelines for malaria control and elimination under different levels of intervention were then established using a wide range of candidate mathematical models. Analysis focused on the timelines from baseline to 1% and from 1% through the final stages of elimination. Results The Ross-Macdonald model, which ignores superinfection, was used for planning during the Global Malaria Eradication Programme (GMEP). In models that consider superinfection, PfPR takes two to three years longer to reach 1% starting from a hyperendemic baseline, consistent with one of the few large-scale malaria control trials conducted in an African population with hyperendemic malaria. The time to elimination depends fundamentally upon the extent to which malaria transmission is interrupted and the size of the human population modelled. When the PfPR drops below 1%, almost all models predict similar and proportional declines in PfPR in consecutive years from 1% through to elimination and that the waiting time to reduce PfPR from 10% to 1% and from 1% to 0.1% are approximately equal, but the decay rate can increase over time if infections senesce. Conclusion The theory described herein provides simple "rules of thumb" and likely time horizons for the impact of interventions for control and elimination. Starting from a hyperendemic baseline, the GMEP planning timelines, which were based on the Ross-Macdonald model with completely interrupted transmission, were inappropriate for setting endemicity timelines and they represent the most optimistic scenario for

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Juan; Xia, Tianfeng

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nakornchai, Sunan; Konthiang, Phattanapong

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein II Compromises Brain Endothelial Barriers and May Promote Cerebral Malaria Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Pal, Priya; Daniels, Brian P.; Oskman, Anna; Diamond, Michael S.; Klein, Robyn S.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cerebral malaria (CM) is a disease of the vascular endothelium caused by Plasmodium falciparum. It is characterized by parasite sequestration, inflammatory cytokine production, and vascular leakage. A distinguishing feature of P. falciparum infection is parasite production and secretion of histidine-rich protein II (HRPII). Plasma HRPII is a diagnostic and prognostic marker for falciparum malaria. We demonstrate that disruption of a human cerebral microvascular endothelial barrier by P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes depends on expression of HRPII. Purified recombinant or native HRPII can recapitulate these effects. HRPII action occurs via activation of the inflammasome, resulting in decreased integrity of tight junctions and increased endothelial permeability. We propose that HRPII is a virulence factor that may contribute to cerebral malaria by compromising endothelial barrier integrity within the central nervous system. PMID:27273825

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Malaria Parasites Produce Volatile Mosquito Attractants

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Mosquito Passage Dramatically Changes var Gene Expression in Controlled Human Plasmodium falciparum Infections

    PubMed Central

    Bachmann, Anna; Petter, Michaela; Krumkamp, Ralf; Esen, Meral; Held, Jana; Scholz, Judith A. M.; Li, Tao; Sim, B. Kim Lee; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Kremsner, Peter G.; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Duffy, Michael F.; Tannich, Egbert

    2016-01-01

    Virulence of the most deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is linked to the variant surface antigen PfEMP1, which is encoded by about 60 var genes per parasite genome. Although the expression of particular variants has been associated with different clinical outcomes, little is known about var gene expression at the onset of infection. By analyzing controlled human malaria infections via quantitative real-time PCR, we show that parasite populations from 18 volunteers expressed virtually identical transcript patterns that were dominated by the subtelomeric var gene group B and, to a lesser extent, group A. Furthermore, major changes in composition and frequency of var gene transcripts were detected between the parental parasite culture that was used to infect mosquitoes and Plasmodia recovered from infected volunteers, suggesting that P. falciparum resets its var gene expression during mosquito passage and starts with the broad expression of a specific subset of var genes when entering the human blood phase. PMID:27070311

  7. Mosquito Passage Dramatically Changes var Gene Expression in Controlled Human Plasmodium falciparum Infections.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Anna; Petter, Michaela; Krumkamp, Ralf; Esen, Meral; Held, Jana; Scholz, Judith A M; Li, Tao; Sim, B Kim Lee; Hoffman, Stephen L; Kremsner, Peter G; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Duffy, Michael F; Tannich, Egbert

    2016-04-01

    Virulence of the most deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is linked to the variant surface antigen PfEMP1, which is encoded by about 60 var genes per parasite genome. Although the expression of particular variants has been associated with different clinical outcomes, little is known about var gene expression at the onset of infection. By analyzing controlled human malaria infections via quantitative real-time PCR, we show that parasite populations from 18 volunteers expressed virtually identical transcript patterns that were dominated by the subtelomeric var gene group B and, to a lesser extent, group A. Furthermore, major changes in composition and frequency of var gene transcripts were detected between the parental parasite culture that was used to infect mosquitoes and Plasmodia recovered from infected volunteers, suggesting that P. falciparum resets its var gene expression during mosquito passage and starts with the broad expression of a specific subset of var genes when entering the human blood phase.

  8. Site-specific genome editing in Plasmodium falciparum using engineered zinc-finger nucleases.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    Malaria afflicts over 200 million people worldwide, and its most lethal etiologic agent, Plasmodium falciparum, is evolving to resist even the latest-generation therapeutics. Efficient tools for genome-directed investigations of P. falciparum-induced pathogenesis, including drug-resistance mechanisms, are clearly required. Here we report rapid and targeted genetic engineering of this parasite using zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) that produce a double-strand break in a user-defined locus and trigger homology-directed repair. Targeting an integrated egfp locus, we obtained gene-deletion parasites with unprecedented speed (2 weeks), both with and without direct selection. ZFNs engineered against the parasite gene pfcrt, responsible for escape under chloroquine treatment, rapidly produced parasites that carried either an allelic replacement or a panel of specified point mutations. This method will enable a diverse array of genome-editing approaches to interrogate this human pathogen.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Branched Tricarboxylic Acid Metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Branched tricarboxylic acid metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  12. Plasma glutamine levels and falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Cowan, G; Planche, T; Agbenyega, T; Bedu-Addo, G; Owusu-Ofori, A; Adebe-Appiah, J; Agranoff, D; Woodrow, C; Castell, L; Elford, B; Krishna, S

    1999-01-01

    Glutamine deficiency is associated with increased rates of sepsis and mortality, which can be prevented by glutamine supplementation. Changes in glutamine concentration were examined in Ghanaian children with acute falciparum malaria and control cases. The mean (SD) plasma glutamine concentration was lower in patients with acute malaria (401 (82) mumol/L, n = 50) than in control patients (623 (67) mumol/L, n = 7; P < 0.001). Plasma glutamine concentrations all rose in convalescence. The mean (SD) increase in plasma glutamine was 202 (123) mumol/L (n = 18; P < 0.001) compared with acute infection. We conclude that acute falciparum malaria is associated with large decreases in plasma glutamine and these falls may increase susceptibility to sepsis and dyserythropoeisis.

  13. Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

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

  14. Plasmodium falciparum Secretome in Erythrocyte and Beyond

    PubMed Central

    Soni, Rani; Sharma, Drista; Bhatt, Tarun K.

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of deadly malaria disease. It is an intracellular eukaryote and completes its multi-stage life cycle spanning the two hosts viz, mosquito and human. In order to habituate within host environment, parasite conform several strategies to evade host immune responses such as surface antigen polymorphism or modulation of host immune system and it is mediated by secretion of proteins from parasite to the host erythrocyte and beyond, collectively known as, malaria secretome. In this review, we will discuss about the deployment of parasitic secretory protein in mechanism implicated for immune evasion, protein trafficking, providing virulence, changing permeability and cyto-adherence of infected erythrocyte. We will be covering the possibilities of developing malaria secretome as a drug/vaccine target. This gathered information will be worthwhile in depicting a well-organized picture for host-pathogen interplay during the malaria infection and may also provide some clues for the development of novel anti-malarial therapies. PMID:26925057

  15. Genetic structure of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in the Bannu district of Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum are the major causative agents of malaria. While knowledge of the genetic structure of malaria parasites is useful for understanding the evolution of parasite virulence, designing anti-malarial vaccines and assessing the impact of malaria control measures, there is a paucity of information on genetic diversity of these two malaria parasites in Pakistan. This study sought to shed some light on the genetic structure of P. vivax and P. falciparum in this understudied region. Methods The genetic diversities of P. vivax and P. falciparum populations from the densely populated, malaria-endemic Bannu district of Pakistan were evaluated by analysis of their merozoite surface protein (msp) genes by PCR-RFLP. Specifically, the Pvmsp-3α and Pvmsp-3β genes of P. vivax and the Pfmsp-1 and Pfmsp-2 genes of P. falciparum were analysed. Results In P. vivax, genotyping of Pvmsp-3α and Pvmsp-3β genes showed a high level of diversity at these loci. Four distinct allele groups: A (1.9 kb), B (1.5 kb), C (1.2 kb), and D (0.3 kb) were detected for Pvmsp-3α, type A being the most prevalent (82%). Conversely, amplification of the P. vivax msp-3β locus produced two allele groups: A (1.7-2.2 kb, 62%) and B (1.4-1.5 kb, 33%), with 5% mixed-strain infections. Restriction analysis of Pvmsp-3α and Pvmsp-3β yielded 12 and 8 distinct alleles, respectively, with a combined mixed genotype prevalence of 20%. In P. falciparum, all three known genotypes of Pfmsp-1 and two of Pfmsp-2 were observed, with MAD20 occurring in 67% and 3D7/IC in 65% of the isolates, respectively. Overall, 24% P. falciparum samples exhibited mixed-strain infections. Conclusion These results indicate that both P. vivax and P. falciparum populations in Pakistan are highly diverse. PMID:20416089

  16. Understanding the biology of the Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast; an excellent target for antimalarial drug development.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Arnish

    2016-08-01

    Malaria is a life-threatening tropical disease, caused by the intracellular parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The World Health Organization counts malaria as one of the top ten causes of worldwide death. The unavailability of a successful malaria vaccine and the ever-increasing instances of drug resistance in the malaria parasite demand the discovery of new targets within P. falciparum for the development of next generation antimalarials. Fortunately, all apicomplexan parasites, including P. falciparum harbor a relict, non-photosynthetic plastid known as the apicoplast. The apicoplast is a semi-autonomous organelle within P. falciparum containing a 35kb circular genome. Despite a genome of its own, majority of the apicoplast proteins are encoded by the parasite nucleus and imported into the apicoplast. The organelle has been shown to be essential to P. falciparum survival and the loss the apicoplast manifests as a 'delayed death' response in the parasite. The apicoplast has evolved out of cyanobacteria in a complex, two step endosymbiotic event. As a result the architecture and the gene expression machinery of the apicoplast is quite bacteria-like and is susceptible to a wide range of antibiotics such as fosmidomycin, tetracycline, azithromycin, clindamycin and triclosan. The biosynthetic pathways for isoprenoids, fatty acids and heme operate within the malaria apicoplast, making the organelle an excellent target for drug development. The review focuses on the evolution, biology and the essentiality of the apicoplast within the malaria parasite and discusses some of the recent achievements towards the design and discovery of apicoplast targeted antimalarial compounds. PMID:27381078

  17. Versatile control of Plasmodium falciparum gene expression with an inducible protein-RNA interaction

    PubMed Central

    Goldfless, Stephen J.; Wagner, Jeffrey C.; Niles, Jacquin C.

    2014-01-01

    The available tools for conditional gene expression in Plasmodium falciparum are limited. Here, to enable reliable control of target gene expression, we build a system to efficiently modulate translation. We overcame several problems associated with other approaches for regulating gene expression in P. falciparum. Specifically, our system functions predictably across several native and engineered promoter contexts, and affords control over reporter and native parasite proteins irrespective of their subcellular compartmentalization. Induction and repression of gene expression are rapid, homogeneous, and stable over prolonged periods. To demonstrate practical application of our system, we used it to reveal direct links between antimalarial drugs and their native parasite molecular target. This is an important out come given the rapid spread of resistance, and intensified efforts to efficiently discover and optimize new antimalarial drugs. Overall, the studies presented highlight the utility of our system for broadly controlling gene expression and performing functional genetics in P. falciparum. PMID:25370483

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Tao; Glushakova, Svetlana; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Blood coagulation in falciparum malaria--a review.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Kanjaksha; Shetty, Shrimati

    2008-03-01

    Falciparum malaria infection influences blood coagulation by various interacting pathobiological mechanisms, the most important being the overwhelming response of the host to sepsis resulting in a cytokine storm. In addition, the parasite infects the red cells leading to changes in the red cell phospholipid composition which supports blood coagulation. Red cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum also adhere to deeper tissue capillary endothelium leading to profound damage to endothelial cells leading to further activation. This results in widespread consumption of platelets and activation of blood coagulation which at times culminates in a clinically and pathologically detectable disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Monocyte-macrophage system also gets activated in this infection compounding the hypercoagulable state. Heavy parasitaemia leading to occlusion of hepatic microcirculation leads to abnormalities in synthesis and secretion of coagulation factors and their inhibitors. Drugs used in the treatment for falciparum malaria can cause thrombocytopaenia, bone marrow suppression and haemolytic anaemia, all of which can interfere indirectly with blood coagulation. Microparticle formation from platelets, red cells and macrophages also causes widespread activation of blood coagulation, and this recently observed mechanism is the focus of intense research in many other inflammatory and neoplastic conditions where there is activation of blood coagulation system. Thus, in severe falciparum malaria, there is activation of blood coagulation system along with thrombocytopaenia, even before widespread DIC and coagulation failure occur.

  1. Copper Homeostasis for the Developmental Progression of Intraerythrocytic Malarial Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Asahi, Hiroko; Kobayashi, Fumie; Inoue, Shin-Ichi; Niikura, Mamoru; Yagita, Kenji; Tolba, Mohammed Essa Marghany

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the world’s most devastating diseases, particularly in the tropics. In humans, Plasmodium falciparum lives mainly within red blood cells, and malaria pathogenesis depends on the red blood cells being infected with the parasite. Non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs), including cis-9-octadecenoic acid, and phospholipids have been critical for complete parasite growth in serum-free culture, although the efficacy of NEFAs in sustaining the growth of P. falciparum has varied markedly. Hexadecanoic acid and trans-9-octadecenoic acid have arrested development of the parasite, in association with down-regulation of genes encoding copper-binding proteins. Selective removal of Cu+ ions has blockaded completely the ring–trophozoite–schizont progression of the parasite. The importance of copper homeostasis for the developmental progression of P. falciparum has been confirmed by inhibition of copper-binding proteins that regulate copper physiology and function by associating with copper ions. These data have provided strong evidence for a link between healthy copper homeostasis and successive developmental progression of P. falciparum. Perturbation of copper homeostasis may be, thus, instrumental in drug and vaccine development for the malaria medication. We review the importance of copper homeostasis in the asexual growth of P. falciparum in relation to NEFAs, copper-binding proteins, apoptosis, mitochondria, and gene expression. PMID:26881705

  2. Indels, structural variation, and recombination drive genomic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Miles, Alistair; Iqbal, Zamin; Vauterin, Paul; Pearson, Richard; Campino, Susana; Theron, Michel; Gould, Kelda; Mead, Daniel; Drury, Eleanor; O'Brien, John; Ruano Rubio, Valentin; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Mwangi, Jonathan; Samarakoon, Upeka; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa; Ferdig, Michael; Hayton, Karen; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Wellems, Thomas; Rayner, Julian; McVean, Gil; Kwiatkowski, Dominic

    2016-09-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has a great capacity for evolutionary adaptation to evade host immunity and develop drug resistance. Current understanding of parasite evolution is impeded by the fact that a large fraction of the genome is either highly repetitive or highly variable and thus difficult to analyze using short-read sequencing technologies. Here, we describe a resource of deep sequencing data on parents and progeny from genetic crosses, which has enabled us to perform the first genome-wide, integrated analysis of SNP, indel and complex polymorphisms, using Mendelian error rates as an indicator of genotypic accuracy. These data reveal that indels are exceptionally abundant, being more common than SNPs and thus the dominant mode of polymorphism within the core genome. We use the high density of SNP and indel markers to analyze patterns of meiotic recombination, confirming a high rate of crossover events and providing the first estimates for the rate of non-crossover events and the length of conversion tracts. We observe several instances of meiotic recombination within copy number variants associated with drug resistance, demonstrating a mechanism whereby fitness costs associated with resistance mutations could be compensated and greater phenotypic plasticity could be acquired.

  3. Indels, structural variation, and recombination drive genomic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Miles, Alistair; Iqbal, Zamin; Vauterin, Paul; Pearson, Richard; Campino, Susana; Theron, Michel; Gould, Kelda; Mead, Daniel; Drury, Eleanor; O'Brien, John; Ruano Rubio, Valentin; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Mwangi, Jonathan; Samarakoon, Upeka; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa; Ferdig, Michael; Hayton, Karen; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Wellems, Thomas; Rayner, Julian; McVean, Gil; Kwiatkowski, Dominic

    2016-09-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has a great capacity for evolutionary adaptation to evade host immunity and develop drug resistance. Current understanding of parasite evolution is impeded by the fact that a large fraction of the genome is either highly repetitive or highly variable and thus difficult to analyze using short-read sequencing technologies. Here, we describe a resource of deep sequencing data on parents and progeny from genetic crosses, which has enabled us to perform the first genome-wide, integrated analysis of SNP, indel and complex polymorphisms, using Mendelian error rates as an indicator of genotypic accuracy. These data reveal that indels are exceptionally abundant, being more common than SNPs and thus the dominant mode of polymorphism within the core genome. We use the high density of SNP and indel markers to analyze patterns of meiotic recombination, confirming a high rate of crossover events and providing the first estimates for the rate of non-crossover events and the length of conversion tracts. We observe several instances of meiotic recombination within copy number variants associated with drug resistance, demonstrating a mechanism whereby fitness costs associated with resistance mutations could be compensated and greater phenotypic plasticity could be acquired. PMID:27531718

  4. Indels, structural variation, and recombination drive genomic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Miles, Alistair; Iqbal, Zamin; Vauterin, Paul; Pearson, Richard; Campino, Susana; Theron, Michel; Gould, Kelda; Mead, Daniel; Drury, Eleanor; O'Brien, John; Ruano Rubio, Valentin; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Mwangi, Jonathan; Samarakoon, Upeka; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa; Ferdig, Michael; Hayton, Karen; Su, Xin-zhuan; Wellems, Thomas; Rayner, Julian; McVean, Gil; Kwiatkowski, Dominic

    2016-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has a great capacity for evolutionary adaptation to evade host immunity and develop drug resistance. Current understanding of parasite evolution is impeded by the fact that a large fraction of the genome is either highly repetitive or highly variable and thus difficult to analyze using short-read sequencing technologies. Here, we describe a resource of deep sequencing data on parents and progeny from genetic crosses, which has enabled us to perform the first genome-wide, integrated analysis of SNP, indel and complex polymorphisms, using Mendelian error rates as an indicator of genotypic accuracy. These data reveal that indels are exceptionally abundant, being more common than SNPs and thus the dominant mode of polymorphism within the core genome. We use the high density of SNP and indel markers to analyze patterns of meiotic recombination, confirming a high rate of crossover events and providing the first estimates for the rate of non-crossover events and the length of conversion tracts. We observe several instances of meiotic recombination within copy number variants associated with drug resistance, demonstrating a mechanism whereby fitness costs associated with resistance mutations could be compensated and greater phenotypic plasticity could be acquired. PMID:27531718

  5. Comparative Transcriptional and Genomic Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum Field Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Mackinnon, Margaret J.; Li, Jinguang; Mok, Sachel; Kortok, Moses M.; Marsh, Kevin; Preiser, Peter R.; Bozdech, Zbynek

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for differential regulation of gene expression may underlie much of the phenotypic variation and adaptability of malaria parasites. Here we describe transcriptional variation among culture-adapted field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for most malarial disease. It was found that genes coding for parasite protein export into the red cell cytosol and onto its surface, and genes coding for sexual stage proteins involved in parasite transmission are up-regulated in field isolates compared with long-term laboratory isolates. Much of this variability was associated with the loss of small or large chromosomal segments, or other forms of gene copy number variation that are prevalent in the P. falciparum genome (copy number variants, CNVs). Expression levels of genes inside these segments were correlated to that of genes outside and adjacent to the segment boundaries, and this association declined with distance from the CNV boundary. This observation could not be explained by copy number variation in these adjacent genes. This suggests a local-acting regulatory role for CNVs in transcription of neighboring genes and helps explain the chromosomal clustering that we observed here. Transcriptional co-regulation of physical clusters of adaptive genes may provide a way for the parasite to readily adapt to its highly heterogeneous and strongly selective environment. PMID:19898609

  6. Biosynthesis of GDP-fucose and other sugar nucleotides in the blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Sanz, Sílvia; Bandini, Giulia; Ospina, Diego; Bernabeu, Maria; Mariño, Karina; Fernández-Becerra, Carmen; Izquierdo, Luis

    2013-06-01

    Carbohydrate structures play important roles in many biological processes, including cell adhesion, cell-cell communication, and host-pathogen interactions. Sugar nucleotides are activated forms of sugars used by the cell as donors for most glycosylation reactions. Using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based method, we identified and quantified the pools of UDP-glucose, UDP-galactose, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, GDP-mannose, and GDP-fucose in Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic life stages. We assembled these data with the in silico functional reconstruction of the parasite metabolic pathways obtained from the P. falciparum annotated genome, exposing new active biosynthetic routes crucial for further glycosylation reactions. Fucose is a sugar present in glycoconjugates often associated with recognition and adhesion events. Thus, the GDP-fucose precursor is essential in a wide variety of organisms. P. falciparum presents homologues of GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-L-fucose synthase enzymes that are active in vitro, indicating that most GDP-fucose is formed by a de novo pathway that involves the bioconversion of GDP-mannose. Homologues for enzymes involved in a fucose salvage pathway are apparently absent in the P. falciparum genome. This is in agreement with in vivo metabolic labeling experiments showing that fucose is not significantly incorporated by the parasite. Fluorescence microscopy of epitope-tagged versions of P. falciparum GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase and GDP-L-fucose synthase expressed in transgenic 3D7 parasites shows that these enzymes localize in the cytoplasm of P. falciparum during the intraerythrocytic developmental cycle. Although the function of fucose in the parasite is not known, the presence of GDP-fucose suggests that the metabolite may be used for further fucosylation reactions.

  7. Slow Clearance of Plasmodium falciparum in Severe Pediatric Malaria, Uganda, 2011-2013.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Michael; Conroy, Andrea L; Opoka, Robert O; Namasopo, Sophie; Zhong, Kathleen; Liles, W Conrad; John, Chandy C; Kain, Kevin C

    2015-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives is emerging in Asia. We examined molecular markers of resistance in 78 children in Uganda who had severe malaria and were treated with intravenous artesunate. We observed in the K13-propeller domain, A578S, a low-frequency (3/78), nonsynonymous, single-nucleotide polymorphism associated with prolonged parasite clearance.

  8. Slow Clearance of Plasmodium falciparum in Severe Pediatric Malaria, Uganda, 2011-2013.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Michael; Conroy, Andrea L; Opoka, Robert O; Namasopo, Sophie; Zhong, Kathleen; Liles, W Conrad; John, Chandy C; Kain, Kevin C

    2015-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives is emerging in Asia. We examined molecular markers of resistance in 78 children in Uganda who had severe malaria and were treated with intravenous artesunate. We observed in the K13-propeller domain, A578S, a low-frequency (3/78), nonsynonymous, single-nucleotide polymorphism associated with prolonged parasite clearance. PMID:26079933

  9. Slow Clearance of Plasmodium falciparum in Severe Pediatric Malaria, Uganda, 2011–2013

    PubMed Central

    Hawkes, Michael; Conroy, Andrea L.; Opoka, Robert O.; Namasopo, Sophie; Zhong, Kathleen; Liles, W. Conrad; John, Chandy C.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives is emerging in Asia. We examined molecular markers of resistance in 78 children in Uganda who had severe malaria and were treated with intravenous artesunate. We observed in the K13-propeller domain, A578S, a low-frequency (3/78), nonsynonymous, single-nucleotide polymorphism associated with prolonged parasite clearance. PMID:26079933

  10. Chloroquine resistance of Plasmodium falciparum is associated with severity of disease in Nigerian children.

    PubMed

    Olumese, P E; Amodu, O K; Björkman, A; Adeyemo, A A; Gbadegesin, R A; Walker, O

    2002-01-01

    Chloroquine resistance of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro was significantly higher in isolates from patients with severe malaria than those with uncomplicated disease. This association may be due to either progression of uncomplicated to severe disease following chloroquine failure or increased virulence of chloroquine-resistant parasites. The implication of this for antimalarial treatment policy is discussed. PMID:12497979

  11. Absence of Putative Artemisinin Resistance Mutations Among Plasmodium falciparum in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Molecular Epidemiologic Study

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Steve M.; Parobek, Christian M.; DeConti, Derrick K.; Kayentao, Kassoum; Coulibaly, Sheick Oumar; Greenwood, Brian M.; Tagbor, Harry; Williams, John; Bojang, Kalifa; Njie, Fanta; Desai, Meghna; Kariuki, Simon; Gutman, Julie; Mathanga, Don P.; Mårtensson, Andreas; Ngasala, Billy; Conrad, Melissa D.; Rosenthal, Philip J.; Tshefu, Antoinette K.; Moormann, Ann M.; Vulule, John M.; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; ter Kuile, Feiko O.; Meshnick, Steven R.; Bailey, Jeffrey A.; Juliano, Jonathan J.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites that are resistant to artemisinins have been detected in Southeast Asia. Resistance is associated with several polymorphisms in the parasite's K13-propeller gene. The molecular epidemiology of these artemisinin resistance genotypes in African parasite populations is unknown. We developed an assay to quantify rare polymorphisms in parasite populations that uses a pooled deep-sequencing approach to score allele frequencies, validated it by evaluating mixtures of laboratory parasite strains, and then used it to screen P. falciparum parasites from >1100 African infections collected since 2002 from 14 sites across sub-Saharan Africa. We found no mutations in African parasite populations that are associated with artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asian parasites. However, we observed 15 coding mutations, including 12 novel mutations, and limited allele sharing between parasite populations, consistent with a large reservoir of naturally occurring K13-propeller variation. Although polymorphisms associated with artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum in Southeast Asia are not prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, numerous K13-propeller coding polymorphisms circulate in Africa. Although their distributions do not support a widespread selective sweep for an artemisinin-resistant phenotype, the impact of these mutations on artemisinin susceptibility is unknown and will require further characterization. Rapid, scalable molecular surveillance offers a useful adjunct in tracking and containing artemisinin resistance. PMID:25180240

  12. Absence of putative artemisinin resistance mutations among Plasmodium falciparum in Sub-Saharan Africa: a molecular epidemiologic study.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Steve M; Parobek, Christian M; DeConti, Derrick K; Kayentao, Kassoum; Coulibaly, Sheick Oumar; Greenwood, Brian M; Tagbor, Harry; Williams, John; Bojang, Kalifa; Njie, Fanta; Desai, Meghna; Kariuki, Simon; Gutman, Julie; Mathanga, Don P; Mårtensson, Andreas; Ngasala, Billy; Conrad, Melissa D; Rosenthal, Philip J; Tshefu, Antoinette K; Moormann, Ann M; Vulule, John M; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Ter Kuile, Feiko O; Meshnick, Steven R; Bailey, Jeffrey A; Juliano, Jonathan J

    2015-03-01

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites that are resistant to artemisinins have been detected in Southeast Asia. Resistance is associated with several polymorphisms in the parasite's K13-propeller gene. The molecular epidemiology of these artemisinin resistance genotypes in African parasite populations is unknown. We developed an assay to quantify rare polymorphisms in parasite populations that uses a pooled deep-sequencing approach to score allele frequencies, validated it by evaluating mixtures of laboratory parasite strains, and then used it to screen P. falciparum parasites from >1100 African infections collected since 2002 from 14 sites across sub-Saharan Africa. We found no mutations in African parasite populations that are associated with artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asian parasites. However, we observed 15 coding mutations, including 12 novel mutations, and limited allele sharing between parasite populations, consistent with a large reservoir of naturally occurring K13-propeller variation. Although polymorphisms associated with artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum in Southeast Asia are not prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, numerous K13-propeller coding polymorphisms circulate in Africa. Although their distributions do not support a widespread selective sweep for an artemisinin-resistant phenotype, the impact of these mutations on artemisinin susceptibility is unknown and will require further characterization. Rapid, scalable molecular surveillance offers a useful adjunct in tracking and containing artemisinin resistance.

  13. Identification of Biochemically Distinct Properties of the Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier (SUMO) Conjugation Pathway in Plasmodium falciparum*

    PubMed Central

    Reiter, Katherine; Mukhopadhyay, Debaditya; Zhang, Hong; Boucher, Lauren E.; Kumar, Nirbhay; Bosch, Jürgen; Matunis, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Small ubiquitin-related modifiers (SUMOs) are post-translationally conjugated to other proteins and are thereby essential regulators of a wide range of cellular processes. Sumoylation, and enzymes of the sumoylation pathway, are conserved in the malaria causing parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. However, the specific functions of sumoylation in P. falciparum, and the degree of functional conservation between enzymes of the human and P. falciparum sumoylation pathways, have not been characterized. Here, we demonstrate that sumoylation levels peak during midstages of the intra-erythrocyte developmental cycle, concomitant with hemoglobin consumption and elevated oxidative stress. In vitro studies revealed that P. falciparum E1- and E2-conjugating enzymes interact effectively to recognize and modify RanGAP1, a model mammalian SUMO substrate. However, in heterologous reactions, P. falciparum E1 and E2 enzymes failed to interact with cognate human E2 and E1 partners, respectively, to modify RanGAP1. Structural analysis, binding studies, and functional assays revealed divergent amino acid residues within the E1-E2 binding interface that define organism-specific enzyme interactions. Our studies identify sumoylation as a potentially important regulator of oxidative stress response during the P. falciparum intra-erythrocyte developmental cycle, and define E1 and E2 interactions as a promising target for development of parasite-specific inhibitors of sumoylation and parasite replication. PMID:23943616

  14. Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein-1 Polymorphisms among Asymptomatic Sickle Cell Anemia Patients in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Bamidele Abiodun, Iwalokun; Oluwadun, Afolabi; Olugbenga Ayoola, Aina; Senapon Olusola, Iwalokun

    2016-01-01

    Asymptomatic malaria (ASM) has been implicated in the development of hemolytic crisis in infected sickle cell anemia (SCA) patients worldwide. This study surveyed steady state SCA Nigerian patients for ASM to investigate the influence of malaria prevention behaviors and age on parasitaemia and multiplicity of infection (MOI). A total of 78 steady SCA patients aged 5 - 27 years on routine care at three health facilities in Lagos were investigated for ASM by light microscopy and PCR with a multiplicity of infection determined by genotyping block 2 of merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1) gene of Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum). Use of malaria prevention measures was captured using a semi-structured questionnaire. The prevalence rates of ASM (due to Pf only) by microscopy and PCR were found to be 27.3% and 47.4% respectively (P < 0.05) with a Mean + SEM parasite density of 2238.4 + 464.3 parasites/uL. Five distinct msp1 genotypes [K1 (2), MAD20 (2), RO33 (1)] were detected and significant (P<0.05) disparity in allele frequencies (K1, 91.8%, MAD20, 32.4%; RO33, 18.9%) was found. The overall MOI was 1.43 and 37.8% of infections were polyclonal (P<0.05). ASM was associated with non-use of preventive measures and occurred in 62.1% of SCA patients aged < 10y with lower MOI of 1.3 compared to 38.1% in older patients with a higher MOI of 1.5 (P<0.05). We conclude that PCR improved the diagnosis of ASM among Nigerian SCA patients with infections being of low complexity and associated with non-use of preventive interventions and R033 msp1 allele selection. PMID:26853290

  15. Parasite calcineurin regulates host cell recognition and attachment by apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Aditya S.; Saha, Sudeshna; Engelberg, Klemens; Jiang, Rays H.Y.; Coleman, Bradley I.; Kosber, Aziz L.; Chen, Chun-Ti; Ganter, Markus; Espy, Nicole; Gilberger, Tim W.; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Apicomplexans invade a variety of metazoan host cells through mechanisms involving host cell receptor engagement and secretion of parasite factors to facilitate cellular attachment. We find that the parasite homolog of calcineurin, a calcium-regulated phosphatase complex central to signal transduction in eukaryotes, also contributes to host cell invasion by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related Toxoplasma gondii. Using reverse genetic and chemical-genetic approaches, we determine that calcineurin critically regulates and stabilizes attachment of extracellular P. falciparum to host erythrocytes before intracellular entry and has similar functions in host cell engagement by T. gondii. Calcineurin-mediated Plasmodium invasion is strongly associated with host receptors required for host cell recognition and calcineurin function distinguishes this form of receptor-mediated attachment from a second mode of host-parasite adhesion independent of host receptors. This specific role of calcineurin in coordinating physical interactions with host cells highlights an ancestral mechanism for parasitism used by apicomplexans. PMID:26118996

  16. Assessing the impact of next-generation rapid diagnostic tests on Plasmodium falciparum malaria elimination strategies.

    PubMed

    Slater, Hannah C; Ross, Amanda; Ouédraogo, André Lin; White, Lisa J; Nguon, Chea; Walker, Patrick G T; Ngor, Pengby; Aguas, Ricardo; Silal, Sheetal P; Dondorp, Arjen M; La Barre, Paul; Burton, Robert; Sauerwein, Robert W; Drakeley, Chris; Smith, Thomas A; Bousema, Teun; Ghani, Azra C

    2015-12-01

    Mass-screen-and-treat and targeted mass-drug-administration strategies are being considered as a means to interrupt transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the effectiveness of such strategies will depend on the extent to which current and future diagnostics are able to detect those individuals who are infectious to mosquitoes. We estimate the relationship between parasite density and onward infectivity using sensitive quantitative parasite diagnostics and mosquito feeding assays from Burkina Faso. We find that a diagnostic with a lower detection limit of 200 parasites per microlitre would detect 55% of the infectious reservoir (the combined infectivity to mosquitoes of the whole population weighted by how often each individual is bitten) whereas a test with a limit of 20 parasites per microlitre would detect 83% and 2 parasites per microlitre would detect 95% of the infectious reservoir. Using mathematical models, we show that increasing the diagnostic sensitivity from 200 parasites per microlitre (equivalent to microscopy or current rapid diagnostic tests) to 2 parasites per microlitre would increase the number of regions where transmission could be interrupted with a mass-screen-and-treat programme from an entomological inoculation rate below 1 to one of up to 4. The higher sensitivity diagnostic could reduce the number of treatment rounds required to interrupt transmission in areas of lower prevalence. We predict that mass-screen-and-treat with a highly sensitive diagnostic is less effective than mass drug administration owing to the prophylactic protection provided to uninfected individuals by the latter approach. In low-transmission settings such as those in Southeast Asia, we find that a diagnostic tool with a sensitivity of 20 parasites per microlitre may be sufficient for targeted mass drug administration because this diagnostic is predicted to identify a similar village population prevalence compared with that currently detected using

  17. Selective activity of 5-fluoroorotic acid against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Rathod, P K; Khatri, A; Hubbert, T; Milhous, W K

    1989-01-01

    Unlike mammalian cells, malarial parasites are completely dependent on de novo pyrimidine metabolism. Even though these parasites do not use external uracil or uridine, orotic acid, an intermediate of pyrimidine biosynthesis, is successfully transported into the parasite and incorporated into parasite nucleic acids. On this basis, it was hypothesized that 5-fluoroorotate, a cytotoxic derivative of orotic acid, may be a potent and selective antimalarial agent. In vitro, 5-fluoroorotate caused 50% inhibition of the growth of Plasmodium falciparum at a concentration of 6.0 nM. In contrast, 5-fluorouracil, 5-fluorouridine, and 5-fluoro 2'-deoxyuridine were much less effective against malarial parasites. Chloroquine-susceptible and chloroquine-resistant clones of P. falciparum were equally susceptible to 5-fluoroorotate. The toxicity of 5-fluoroorotate was evaluated on four human cell lines (HT-1080, IMR-90, HeLa S3, and HL-60) and one mouse cell line (L-1210). Compared with malarial parasites, the mammalian cells were relatively tolerant of 5-fluoroorotic acid (50% inhibitory concentration, 0.9 to 10 microM). Finally, in the presence of 1 mM uridine, all mammalian cells were partially protected from 5-fluoroorotate cytotoxicity, but uridine offered no protection to P. falciparum. PMID:2675756

  18. Independent Emergence of Artemisinin Resistance Mutations Among Plasmodium falciparum in Southeast Asia

    PubMed Central

    Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Jacob, Christopher G.; Arze, Cesar; Cummings, Michael P.; Silva, Joana C.; Dondorp, Arjen M.; Fukuda, Mark M.; Hien, Tran Tinh; Mayxay, Mayfong; Noedl, Harald; Nosten, Francois; Kyaw, Myat P.; Nhien, Nguyen Thanh Thuy; Imwong, Mallika; Bethell, Delia; Se, Youry; Lon, Chanthap; Tyner, Stuart D.; Saunders, David L.; Ariey, Frederic; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Menard, Didier; Newton, Paul N.; Khanthavong, Maniphone; Hongvanthong, Bouasy; Starzengruber, Peter; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter; Swoboda, Paul; Khan, Wasif A.; Phyo, Aung Pyae; Nyunt, Myaing M.; Nyunt, Myat H.; Brown, Tyler S.; Adams, Matthew; Pepin, Christopher S.; Bailey, Jason; Tan, John C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Clark, Taane G.; Miotto, Olivo; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; White, Nicholas J.; Ringwald, Pascal; Plowe, Christopher V.

    2015-01-01

    Background. The emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Southeast Asia threatens malaria treatment efficacy. Mutations in a kelch protein encoded on P. falciparum chromosome 13 (K13) have been associated with resistance in vitro and in field samples from Cambodia. Methods. P. falciparum infections from artesunate efficacy trials in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam were genotyped at 33 716 genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Linear mixed models were used to test associations between parasite genotypes and parasite clearance half-lives following artesunate treatment. K13 mutations were tested for association with artemisinin resistance, and extended haplotypes on chromosome 13 were examined to determine whether mutations arose focally and spread or whether they emerged independently. Results. The presence of nonreference K13 alleles was associated with prolonged parasite clearance half-life (P = 1.97 × 10−12). Parasites with a mutation in any of the K13 kelch domains displayed longer parasite clearance half-lives than parasites with wild-type alleles. Haplotype analysis revealed both population-specific emergence of mutations and independent emergence of the same mutation in different geographic areas. Conclusions. K13 appears to be a major determinant of artemisinin resistance throughout Southeast Asia. While we found some evidence of spreading resistance, there was no evidence of resistance moving westward from Cambodia into Myanmar. PMID:25180241

  19. Development of Antibodies against Chondroitin Sulfate A-Adherent Plasmodium falciparum in Pregnant Women

    PubMed Central

    Maubert, Bertrand; Fievet, Nadine; Tami, Germaine; Cot, Michel; Boudin, Christian; Deloron, Philippe

    1999-01-01

    In areas where Plasmodium falciparum is endemic, pregnant women are at increased risk for malaria, and this risk is greatest during the first pregnancy. The placenta sequesters parasites that are able to cytoadhere to chondroitin sulfate A (CSA), a molecule expressed by the placental syncytiotrophoblast, while parasites from a nonpregnant host do not bind to CSA. Cytoadherence is mediated by the expression of variants of the P. falciparum-erythrocyte membrane protein 1 family. Each member of this molecule family induces antibodies that specifically agglutinate infected erythrocytes and inhibit their cytoadherence ability. We investigated whether the higher susceptibility of primigravidae was related to the lack of immune response towards CSA-binding parasites. In a cross-sectional study, primigravidae delivering with a noninfected placenta were less likely to have antibodies agglutinating CSA-binding parasites than multigravidae (P < 0.01). In contrast, parasites from nonpregnant hosts were as likely to be recognized by the sera from women of various parities. In a longitudinal study, at 6 months of pregnancy, antibodies against CSA-binding parasites were present in 31.8% of primigravidae and in 76.9% of secundigravidae (P = 0.02). The antibodies against CSA-binding parasites inhibited the cytoadherence of a CSA-adherent parasite strain to the human placental trophoblast. Our data support the idea that the higher susceptibility of primiparae is related to a lack of a specific immune response to placental parasites. PMID:10496918

  20. The glyoxalase pathway in protozoan parasites.

    PubMed

    Sousa Silva, Marta; Ferreira, António E N; Gomes, Ricardo; Tomás, Ana M; Ponces Freire, Ana; Cordeiro, Carlos

    2012-10-01

    The glyoxalase system is the main catabolic route for methylglyoxal, a non-enzymatic glycolytic byproduct with toxic and mutagenic effects. This pathway includes two enzymes, glyoxalase I and glyoxalase II, which convert methylglyoxal to d-lactate by using glutathione as a catalytic cofactor. In protozoan parasites the glyoxalase system shows marked deviations from this model. For example, the functional replacement of glutathione by trypanothione (a spermidine-glutathione conjugate) is a characteristic of trypanosomatids. Also interesting are the lack of glyoxalase I and the presence of two glyoxalase II enzymes in Trypanosoma brucei. In Plasmodium falciparum the glyoxalase pathway is glutathione-dependent, and glyoxalase I is an atypical monomeric enzyme with two active sites. Although it is tempting to exploit these differences for their potential therapeutic value, they provide invaluable clues regarding methylglyoxal metabolism and the evolution of protozoan parasites. Glyoxalase enzymes have been characterized in only a few protozoan parasites, namely Plasmodium falciparum and the trypanosomatids Leishmania and Trypanosoma. In this review, we will focus on the key features of the glyoxalase pathway in major human protozoan parasites, with particular emphasis on the characterized systems in Plasmodium falciparum, Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leishmania spp. We will also search for genes encoding glyoxalase I and II in Toxoplasma gondii, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia.

  1. Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro Resistance to Monodesethylamodiaquine, Dakar, Senegal, 2014.

    PubMed

    Fall, Bécaye; Madamet, Marylin; Camara, Cheikhou; Amalvict, Rémy; Fall, Mansour; Nakoulima, Aminata; Diatta, Bakary; Diémé, Yaya; Wade, Boubacar; Pradines, Bruno

    2016-05-01

    We successfully cultured 36 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from blood samples of 44 malaria patients admitted to the Hôpital Principal de Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) during August-December 2014. The prevalence of isolates with in vitro reduced susceptibility was 30.6% for monodesethylamodiaquine, 52.8% for chloroquine, 44.1% for mefloquine, 16.7% for doxycycline, 11.8% for piperaquine, 8.3% for artesunate, 5.9% for pyronaridine, 2.8% for quinine and dihydroartemisinin, and 0.0% for lumefantrine. The prevalence of isolates with reduced in vitro susceptibility to the artemisinin-based combination therapy partner monodesethylamodiaquine increased from 5.6% in 2013 to 30.6% in 2014. Because of the increased prevalence of P. falciparum parasites with impaired in vitro susceptibility to monodesethylamodiaquine, the implementation of in vitro and in vivo surveillance of all artemisinin-based combination therapy partners is warranted. PMID:27088703

  2. Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro Resistance to Monodesethylamodiaquine, Dakar, Senegal, 2014

    PubMed Central

    Fall, Bécaye; Madamet, Marylin; Camara, Cheikhou; Amalvict, Rémy; Fall, Mansour; Nakoulima, Aminata; Diatta, Bakary; Diémé, Yaya; Wade, Boubacar

    2016-01-01

    We successfully cultured 36 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from blood samples of 44 malaria patients admitted to the Hôpital Principal de Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) during August–December 2014. The prevalence of isolates with in vitro reduced susceptibility was 30.6% for monodesethylamodiaquine, 52.8% for chloroquine, 44.1% for mefloquine, 16.7% for doxycycline, 11.8% for piperaquine, 8.3% for artesunate, 5.9% for pyronaridine, 2.8% for quinine and dihydroartemisinin, and 0.0% for lumefantrine. The prevalence of isolates with reduced in vitro susceptibility to the artemisinin-based combination therapy partner monodesethylamodiaquine increased from 5.6% in 2013 to 30.6% in 2014. Because of the increased prevalence of P. falciparum parasites with impaired in vitro susceptibility to monodesethylamodiaquine, the implementation of in vitro and in vivo surveillance of all artemisinin-based combination therapy partners is warranted. PMID:27088703

  3. Plasmodium falciparum Clearance Is Rapid and Pitting Independent in Immune Malian Children Treated With Artesunate for Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Ndour, Papa Alioune; Lopera-Mesa, Tatiana M.; Diakité, Seidina A. S.; Chiang, Serena; Mouri, Oussama; Roussel, Camille; Jauréguiberry, Stéphane; Biligui, Sylvestre; Kendjo, Eric; Claessens, Antoine; Ciceron, Liliane; Mazier, Dominique; Thellier, Marc; Diakité, Mahamadou; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Buffet, Pierre A.

    2015-01-01

    Background In Plasmodium falciparum–infected patients treated with artemisinins, parasitemia declines through so-called pitting, an innate splenic process that transforms infected red blood cells (iRBCs) into once-infected RBCs (O-iRBCs). Methods We measured pitting in 83 French travelers and 42 Malian children treated for malaria with artesunate. Results In travelers, O-iRBCs peaked at 107.7% initial parasitemia. In Malian children aged 1.5–4 years, O-iRBCs peaked at higher concentrations than in children aged 9–13 years (91.60% vs 31.95%; P = .0097). The parasite clearance time in older children was shorter than in younger children (P = .0001), and the decline in parasitemia in children aged 1.5–4 years often started 6 hours after treatment initiation, a lag phase generally absent in infants and older children. A 6-hour lag phase in artificial pitting of artesunate-exposed iRBCs was also observed in vitro. The proportion of iRBCs recognized by autologous immunoglobulin G (IgG) correlated with the parasite clearance time (r = −0.501; P = .0006) and peak O-iRBC concentration (r = −0.420; P = .0033). Conclusions Antimalarial immunity correlates with fast artemisinin-induced parasite clearance and low pitting rates. In nonimmune populations, artemisinin-induced P. falciparum clearance is related to pitting and starts after a 6-hour lag phase. In immune populations, passively and naturally acquired immune mechanisms operating faster than pitting may exist. This mechanism may mitigate the emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum in Africa. PMID:25183768

  4. Open-label trial on efficacy of artemether/lumefantrine against the uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Metema district, Northwestern Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Wudneh, Feven; Assefa, Ashenafi; Nega, Desalegn; Mohammed, Hussien; Solomon, Hiwot; Kebede, Tadesse; Woyessa, Adugna; Assefa, Yibeltal; Kebede, Amha; Kassa, Moges

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Following the increased Plasmodium falciparum resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, Ethiopia adopted artemether/lumefantrine (AL) as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated P. falciparum in 2004. According to the recommendation of the World Health Organization, this study was carried out for regular monitoring of the efficacy of AL in treating the uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Metema district, Gondar Zone, Northwest Ethiopia. Patients and methods This is a one-arm prospective 28-day in vivo therapeutic efficacy study among the uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria patients aged 6 months and older. The study was conducted from October 2014 to January 2015, based on the revised World Health Organization protocol of 2009 for surveillance of antimalarial drug therapeutic efficacy study. Standard six-dose regimen of AL was given twice daily for 3 days, and then the treatment outcomes were assessed on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and any other unscheduled day for emergency cases. Results There were 91 study subjects enrolled in this study, of whom 80 study subjects completed the full follow-up schedules and showed adequate clinical and parasitological responses on day 28, with no major adverse event. Per protocol analysis, the unadjusted cure rate of Coartem® was 98.8% (95% confidence interval: 93.3%–100%) in the study area. Recurrence of one P. falciparum case was detected on day 28, with a late parasitological failure rate of 1.2%. No early treatment failure occurred. Complete parasite and fever clearance was observed on day 3. Gametocyte carriage was 4.4% at enrollment that cleared on day 21. Although the difference is statistically not significant, a slight increase in the level of mean hemoglobin from baseline to day 28 was observed. Conclusion The study showed high efficacy and tolerability of Coartem® against uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, suggesting the continuation as a first-line drug in the study district

  5. Open-label trial on efficacy of artemether/lumefantrine against the uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Metema district, Northwestern Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Wudneh, Feven; Assefa, Ashenafi; Nega, Desalegn; Mohammed, Hussien; Solomon, Hiwot; Kebede, Tadesse; Woyessa, Adugna; Assefa, Yibeltal; Kebede, Amha; Kassa, Moges

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Following the increased Plasmodium falciparum resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, Ethiopia adopted artemether/lumefantrine (AL) as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated P. falciparum in 2004. According to the recommendation of the World Health Organization, this study was carried out for regular monitoring of the efficacy of AL in treating the uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Metema district, Gondar Zone, Northwest Ethiopia. Patients and methods This is a one-arm prospective 28-day in vivo therapeutic efficacy study among the uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria patients aged 6 months and older. The study was conducted from October 2014 to January 2015, based on the revised World Health Organization protocol of 2009 for surveillance of antimalarial drug therapeutic efficacy study. Standard six-dose regimen of AL was given twice daily for 3 days, and then the treatment outcomes were assessed on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and any other unscheduled day for emergency cases. Results There were 91 study subjects enrolled in this study, of whom 80 study subjects completed the full follow-up schedules and showed adequate clinical and parasitological responses on day 28, with no major adverse event. Per protocol analysis, the unadjusted cure rate of Coartem® was 98.8% (95% confidence interval: 93.3%–100%) in the study area. Recurrence of one P. falciparum case was detected on day 28, with a late parasitological failure rate of 1.2%. No early treatment failure occurred. Complete parasite and fever clearance was observed on day 3. Gametocyte carriage was 4.4% at enrollment that cleared on day 21. Although the difference is statistically not significant, a slight increase in the level of mean hemoglobin from baseline to day 28 was observed. Conclusion The study showed high efficacy and tolerability of Coartem® against uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, suggesting the continuation as a first-line drug in the study district

  6. Monitoring of malaria parasite resistance to chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine in the Solomon Islands by DNA microarray technology

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Little information is available on resistance to anti-malarial drugs in the Solomon Islands (SI). The analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in drug resistance associated parasite genes is a potential alternative to classical time- and resource-consuming in vivo studies to monitor drug resistance. Mutations in pfmdr1 and pfcrt were shown to indicate chloroquine (CQ) resistance, mutations in pfdhfr and pfdhps indicate sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance, and mutations in pfATPase6 indicate resistance to artemisinin derivatives. Methods The relationship between the rate of treatment failure among 25 symptomatic Plasmodium falciparum-infected patients presenting at the clinic and the pattern of resistance-associated SNPs in P. falciparum infecting 76 asymptomatic individuals from the surrounding population was investigated. The study was conducted in the SI in 2004. Patients presenting at a local clinic with microscopically confirmed P. falciparum malaria were recruited and treated with CQ+SP. Rates of treatment failure were estimated during a 28-day follow-up period. In parallel, a DNA microarray technology was used to analyse mutations associated with CQ, SP, and artemisinin derivative resistance among samples from the asymptomatic community. Mutation and haplotype frequencies were determined, as well as the multiplicity of infection. Results The in vivo study showed an efficacy of 88% for CQ+SP to treat P. falciparum infections. DNA microarray analyses indicated a low diversity in the parasite population with one major haplotype present in 98.7% of the cases. It was composed of fixed mutations at position 86 in pfmdr1, positions 72, 75, 76, 220, 326 and 356 in pfcrt, and positions 59 and 108 in pfdhfr. No mutation was observed in pfdhps or in pfATPase6. The mean multiplicity of infection was 1.39. Conclusion This work provides the first insight into drug resistance markers of P. falciparum in the SI. The obtained results indicated the

  7. Pooled deep sequencing of Plasmodium falciparum isolates: an efficient and scalable tool to quantify prevailing malaria drug-resistance genotypes.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Steve M; Parobek, Christian M; Aragam, Nash; Ngasala, Billy E; Mårtensson, Andreas; Meshnick, Steven R; Juliano, Jonathan J

    2013-12-15

    Molecular surveillance for drug-resistant malaria parasites requires reliable, timely, and scalable methods. These data may be efficiently produced by genotyping parasite populations using second-generation sequencing (SGS). We designed and validated a SGS protocol to quantify mutant allele frequencies in the Plasmodium falciparum genes dhfr and dhps in mixed isolates. We applied this new protocol to field isolates from children and compared it to standard genotyping using Sanger sequencing. The SGS protocol accurately quantified dhfr and dhps allele frequencies in a mixture of parasite strains. Using SGS of DNA that was extracted and then pooled from individual isolates, we estimated mutant allele frequencies that were closely correlated to those estimated by Sanger sequencing (correlations, >0.98). The SGS protocol obviated most molecular steps in conventional methods and is cost saving for parasite populations >50. This SGS genotyping method efficiently and reproducibly estimates parasite allele frequencies within populations of P. falciparum for molecular epidemiologic studies.

  8. Parasite-host interaction in malaria: genetic clues and copy number variation

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    In humans, infections contribute highly to mortality and morbidity rates worldwide. Malaria tropica is one of the major infectious diseases globally and is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodia have accompanied human beings since the emergence of humankind. Due to its pathogenicity, malaria is a powerful selective force on the human genome. Genetic epidemiology approaches such as family and twin studies, candidate gene studies, and disease-association studies have identified a number of genes that mediate relative protection against the severest forms of the disease. New molecular approaches, including genome-wide association studies, have recently been performed to expand our knowledge on the functional effect of human variation in malaria. For the future, a systematic determination of gene-dosage effects and expression profiles of protective genes might unveil the functional impact of structural alterations in these genes on either side of the host-parasite interaction. PMID:19725943

  9. Plasmodium falciparum proteins involved in cytoadherence of infected erythrocytes to chemokine CX3CL1

    PubMed Central

    Hermand, Patricia; Cicéron, Liliane; Pionneau, Cédric; Vaquero, Catherine; Combadière, Christophe; Deterre, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is associated with cytoadherence of infected red blood cells (iRBC) to endothelial cells. Numerous host molecules have been involved in cytoadherence, including the adhesive chemokine CX3CL1. Most of the identified parasite ligands are from the multigenic and hypervariable Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) family which makes them poor targets for the development of a broadly protective vaccine. Using proteomics, we have identified two 25-kDa parasite proteins with adhesive properties for CX3CL1, called CBP for CX3CL1 Binding Proteins. CBPs are coded by single-copy genes with little polymorphic variation and no homology with other P. falciparum gene products. Specific antibodies raised against epitopes from the predicted extracellular domains of each CBP efficiently stain the surface of RBC infected with trophozoites or schizonts, which is a strong indication of CBP expression at the surface of iRBC. These anti-CBP antibodies partially neutralize iRBC adherence to CX3CL1. This adherence is similarly inhibited in the presence of peptides from the CBP extracellular domains, while irrelevant peptides had no such effect. CBP1 and CBP2 are new P. falciparum ligands for the human chemokine CX3CL1. The identification of this non-polymorphic P. falciparum factors provides a new avenue for innovative vaccination approaches. PMID:27653778

  10. Comparative susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum of the molecular forms M and S of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The different taxa belonging to Anopheles gambiae complex display phenotypic differences that may impact their contribution to malaria transmission. More specifically, their susceptibility to infection, resulting from a co-evolution between parasite and vector, might be different. The aim of this study was to compare the susceptibility of M and S molecular forms of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis to infection by Plasmodium falciparum. Methods F3 progenies of Anopheles gambiae s.l. collected in Senegal were infected, using direct membrane feeding, with P. falciparum gametocyte-containing blood sampled on volunteer patients. The presence of oocysts was determined by light microscopy after 7 days, and the presence of sporozoite by ELISA after 14 days. Mosquito species and molecular forms were identified by PCR. Results The oocyst rate was significantly higher in the molecular S form (79.07%) than in the M form (57.81%, Fisher's exact test p < 0.001) and in Anopheles arabiensis (55.38%, Fisher's exact test vs. S group p < 0.001). Mean ± s.e.m. number of oocyst was greater in the An. gambiae S form (1.72 ± 0.26) than in the An. gambiae M form (0.64 ± 0.04, p < 0.0001) and in the An. arabiensis group (0.58 ± 0.04, vs. S group, p < 0.0001). Sporozoite rate was also higher in the molecular form S (83.52%) than in form M (50.98%, Fisher's exact test p < 0.001) and Anopheles arabiensis 50.85%, Fisher's exact test vs. S group p < 0.001). Conclusion Infected in the same experimental conditions, the molecular form S of An. gambiae is more susceptible to infection by P. falciparum than the molecular form M of An. gambiae and An. arabiensis. PMID:21929746

  11. Perturbation of copper homeostasis is instrumental in early developmental arrest of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Malaria continues to be a devastating disease. The elucidation of factors inducing asexual growth versus arrest of Plasmodium falciparum can provide information about the development of the parasite, and may help in the search for novel malaria medication. Based on information from genome-wide transcriptome profiling of different developmental stages of P. falciparum, we investigated the critical importance of copper homeostasis in the developmental succession of P. falciparum with regard to three aspects of copper function. These were:1) inhibition of copper-binding proteins, 2) copper-ion chelation, and 3) down-regulated expression of genes encoding copper-binding proteins associated with a specific growth-promoting factor. Results Inhibition of copper-binding proteins with tetrathiomolybdate (TTM) caused cessation of growth of the parasite. TTM arrested the parasite irreversibly during the trophozoite to schizont stage progression. Target molecules for TTM may be present in P. falciparum. The involvement of copper ions in developmental arrest was also investigated by copper-ion chelating methods, which indicated a critical function of reduced copper ions (Cu1+) in the parasite during the early developmental stage. Copper ions, not only in the parasite but also in host cells, were targets of the chelators. Chelation of Cu1+caused blockage of trophozoite progression from the ring stage. Profound growth arrest was detected in parasites cultured in a chemically defined medium containing hexadecanoic acid alone as a growth-promoting factor. This developmental arrest was associated with down-regulated expression of genes encoding copper-binding proteins. Cis-9-octadecenoic acid completely prevented the down-regulation of gene expression and developmental arrest that were observed with the use of hexadecanoic acid. Conclusions The critical importance of copper homeostasis in early developmental stages of P. falciparum was confirmed. Perturbation of copper

  12. Transcription and Expression of Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Proteins in Different Stages and Strains: Implications for Rapid Diagnostic Tests

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Joanne; Gatton, Michelle L.; Peters, Jennifer; Ho, Mei-Fong; McCarthy, James S.; Cheng, Qin

    2011-01-01

    Background Although rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for Plasmodium falciparum infection that target histidine rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) are generally sensitive, their performance has been reported to be variable. One possible explanation for variable test performance is differences in expression level of PfHRP in different parasite isolates. Methods Total RNA and protein were extracted from synchronised cultures of 7 P. falciparum lines over 5 time points of the life cycle, and from synchronised ring stages of 10 falciparum lines. Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis and ELISA we investigated variations in the transcription and protein levels of pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and PfHRP respectively in the different parasite lines, over the parasite intraerythrocytic life cycle. Results Transcription of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 in different parasite lines over the parasite life cycle was observed to vary relative to the control parasite K1. In some parasite lines very low transcription of these genes was observed. The peak transcription was observed in ring-stage parasites. Pfhrp2 transcription was observed to be consistently higher than pfhrp3 transcription within parasite lines. The intraerythrocytic lifecycle stage at which the peak level of protein was present varied across strains. Total protein levels were more constant relative to total mRNA transcription, however a maximum 24 fold difference in expression at ring-stage parasites relative to the K1 strain was observed. Conclusions The levels of transcription of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3, and protein expression of PfHRP varied between different P. falciparum strains. This variation may impact on the detection sensitivity of PfHRP2-detecting RDTs. PMID:21799910

  13. Correlation between Cyclin Dependent Kinases and Artemisinin-Induced Dormancy in Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Karen-Ann; Gresty, Karryn J.; Chen, Nanhua; Zhang, Veronica; Gutteridge, Clare E.; Peatey, Christopher L.; Chavchich, Marina; Waters, Norman C.; Cheng, Qin

    2016-01-01

    Background Artemisinin-induced dormancy provides a plausible explanation for recrudescence following artemisinin monotherapy. This phenomenon shares similarities with cell cycle arrest where cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs) and cyclins play an important role. Methods Transcription profiles of Plasmodium falciparum CDKs and cyclins before and after dihydroartemisinin (DHA) treatment in three parasite lines, and the effect of CDK inhibitors on parasite recovery from DHA-induced dormancy were investigated. Results After DHA treatment, parasites enter a dormancy phase followed by a recovery phase. During the dormancy phase parasites up-regulate pfcrk1, pfcrk4, pfcyc2 and pfcyc4, and down-regulate pfmrk, pfpk5, pfpk6, pfcrk3, pfcyc1 and pfcyc3. When entering the recovery phase parasites immediately up-regulate all CDK and cyclin genes. Three CDK inhibitors, olomoucine, WR636638 and roscovitine, produced distinct effects on different phases of DHA-induced dormancy, blocking parasites recovery. Conclusions The up-regulation of PfCRK1 and PfCRK4, and down regulation of other CDKs and cyclins correlate with parasite survival in the dormant state. Changes in CDK expression are likely to negatively regulate parasite progression from G1 to S phase. These findings provide new insights into the mechanism of artemisinin-induced dormancy and cell cycle regulation of P. falciparum, opening new opportunities for preventing recrudescence following artemisinin treatment. PMID:27326764

  14. Parasitic infections in humans in West Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Cross, J H; Clarke, M D; Cole, W C; Lien, J C; Partono, F; Djakaria; Joesoef, A; Oemijati, S

    1976-06-01

    A survey was carried out among inhabitants of eight villages in West Kalimantan Province (Borneo), whereby blood smears were examined for malaria, stools examined for intestinal parasites and sera tested by the indirect hemagglutination test for antibodies to Entamoeba histolytica and toxoplasma gondii. The prevalence of malaria among 3017 people examined was 5.6% (Plasmodium vivax 2.8%, Plasmodium falciparum 2.8%). Brugia malayi microfilariae were found in 3.6% and Wuchereria bancrofti in 0.3%. Ninety-seven percent of 2101 stool specimens examined contained evidence of intestinal parasites. Trichuris trichiura (90%) was most common followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (76%), hookworm, (60%), Etamoeba coli (23%), Entamoeba histolytica (6%), Endolimax nana (6%), Iodamoeba butschlii (4%), Giardia lamblia (3%), Chilomastix mesnili (1%) and Strongyloides stercoralis (1%). Other parasites found were Entamoeba hartmanni, Trichomonas hominis, Balantidium coli, Enterobius vermicularis, Hymenolepis nana, Echinostoma sp. and Physalopterid, Dicrocoeliid, and Heterophyid type-eggs. The amoeba prevalence rate was 30%. Indirect hemagglutination antibody titers equal to or greater than 1:128 for Entamoeba histolytica and 1:256 for Toxoplasma gondii were detected in 7% and 3%, respectively, of 1511 sera tested. PMID:788263

  15. Primaquine or other 8-aminoquinoline for reducing Plasmodium falciparum transmission

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Patricia M; Gelband, Hellen; Garner, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Background Mosquitoes become infected with Plasmodium when they ingest gametocyte-stage parasites from an infected person's blood. Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are sensitive to the drug primaquine (PQ) and other 8-aminoquinolines (8AQ); these drugs could prevent parasite transmission from infected people to mosquitoes, and consequently reduce the incidence of malaria. However, PQ will not directly benefit the individual, and could be harmful to those with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. In 2010, The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a single dose of PQ at 0.75 mg/kg, alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria to reduce transmission in areas approaching malaria elimination. In 2013 the WHO revised this to 0.25 mg/kg due to concerns about safety. Objectives To assess whether giving PQ or an alternative 8AQ alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria reduces malaria transmission, and to estimate the frequency of severe or haematological adverse events when PQ is given for this purpose. Search methods We searched the following databases up to 10 Feb 2014 for trials: the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS; metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT); and the WHO trials search portal using 'malaria*', 'falciparum', and 'primaquine' as search terms. In addition, we searched conference proceedings and reference lists of included studies, and contacted researchers and organizations. Selection criteria Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs comparing PQ (or alternative 8AQ) given as a single dose or short course alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria with malaria treatment given without PQ/8AQ in adults or children. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently screened all abstracts, applied inclusion criteria, and extracted data. We sought evidence of an impact on

  16. Falciparum malaria and climate change in the northwest frontier province of Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Bouma, M J; Dye, C; van der Kaay, H J

    1996-08-01

    Following a striking increase in the severity of autumnal outbreaks of Plasmodium falciparum during the last decade in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan, the role of climatologic variables was investigated. A multivariate analysis showed that during the transmission season of P. falciparum, the amount of rainfall in September and October, the temperature in November and December, and the humidity in December were all correlated (r2 = 0.82) with two measures of P. falciparum, the falciparum rate (percent of slides examined positive for P. falciparum) since 1981 and the annual P. falciparum proportion (percent of all malaria infections diagnosed as P. falciparum) since 1978. Climatologic records since 1876 show an increase in mean November and December temperatures by 2 degrees C and 1.5 degrees C, respectively, and in October rainfall. Mean humidity in December has also been increasing since 1950. These climatologic changes in the area appear to have made conditions for transmission of P. falciparum more favorable, and may account for the increase in incidence observed in the NWFP in recent years.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-04-21

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

  19. Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Manske, Magnus; Miotto, Olivo; Campino, Susana; Auburn, Sarah; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Maslen, Gareth; O’Brien, Jack; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Doumbo, Ogobara; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Michon, Pascal; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter; Nzila, Alexis; Borrmann, Steffen; Kiara, Steven M.; Marsh, Kevin; Jiang, Hongying; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Fairhurst, Rick; Socheat, Duong; Nosten, Francois; Imwong, Mallika; White, Nicholas J.; Sanders, Mandy; Anastasi, Elisa; Alcock, Dan; Drury, Eleanor; Oyola, Samuel; Quail, Michael A.; Turner, Daniel J.; Rubio, Valentin Ruano; Jyothi, Dushyanth; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Hubbart, Christina; Jeffreys, Anna; Rowlands, Kate; Sutherland, Colin; Roper, Cally; Mangano, Valentina; Modiano, David; Tan, John C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J.; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V.; Rayner, Julian C.; Rockett, Kirk A.; Clark, Taane G.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.

    2013-01-01

    Malaria elimination strategies require surveillance of the parasite population for genetic changes that demand a public health response, such as new forms of drug resistance. 1,2 Here we describe methods for large-scale analysis of genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum by deep sequencing of parasite DNA obtained from the blood of patients with malaria, either directly or after short term culture. Analysis of 86,158 exonic SNPs that passed genotyping quality control in 227 samples from Africa, Asia and Oceania provides genome-wide estimates of allele frequency distribution, population structure and linkage disequilibrium. By comparing the genetic diversity of individual infections with that of the local parasite population, we derive a metric of within-host diversity that is related to the level of inbreeding in the population. An open-access web application has been established for exploration of regional differences in allele frequency and of highly differentiated loci in the P. falciparum genome. PMID:22722859

  20. Quantification of female and male Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Petra; Reece, Sarah E; van Schaijk, Ben C L; Bousema, Teun; Lanke, Kjerstin H W; Meaden, Cora S J; Gadalla, Amal; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa C; Babiker, Hamza A

    2015-01-01

    The transmission of malaria parasites depends on the presence of sexual stages (gametocytes) in the blood, making the ratio and densities of female and male gametocytes important determinants of parasite fitness. This manuscript describes the development of reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assays to separately quantify mature female and male gametocytes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and reveals that Pfs25 mRNA is expressed only in female gametocytes. The female (Pfs25) and male (Pfs230p) gametocyte specific RT-qPCR assays have lower detection limits of 0.3 female and 1.8 male gametocytes per microlitre of blood, respectively, making them more sensitive than microscopy. Accurate quantification of the ratio and densities of female and male gametocytes will increase understanding of P. falciparum transmission and improve the evaluation of transmission blocking interventions.

  1. Plasmodium falciparum sulfadoxine resistance is geographically and genetically clustered within the DR Congo

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Steve M.; Antonia, Alejandro L.; Parobek, Christian M.; Juliano, Jonathan J.; Janko, Mark; Emch, Michael; Alam, Md Tauqeer; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Tshefu, Antoinette K.; Meshnick, Steven R.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the spatial clustering of Plasmodium falciparum populations can assist efforts to contain drug-resistant parasites and maintain the efficacy of future drugs. We sequenced single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the dihydropteroate synthase gene (dhps) associated with sulfadoxine resistance and 5 microsatellite loci flanking dhps in order to investigate the genetic backgrounds, genetic relatedness, and geographic clustering of falciparum parasites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Resistant haplotypes were clustered into subpopulations: one in the northeast DRC, and the other in the balance of the DRC. Network and clonal lineage analyses of the flanking microsatellites indicate that geographically-distinct mutant dhps haplotypes derive from separate lineages. The DRC is therefore a watershed for haplotypes associated with sulfadoxine resistance. Given the importance of central Africa as a corridor for the spread of antimalarial resistance, the identification of the mechanisms of this transit can inform future policies to contain drug-resistant parasite strains. PMID:23372922

  2. Inhibition of an Erythrocyte Tyrosine Kinase with Imatinib Prevents Plasmodium falciparum Egress and Terminates Parasitemia

    PubMed Central

    Kesely, Kristina R.; Pantaleo, Antonella; Turrini, Francesco M.; Olupot-Olupot, Peter

    2016-01-01

    With half of the world’s population at risk for malaria infection and with drug resistance on the rise, the search for mutation-resistant therapies has intensified. We report here a therapy for Plasmodium falciparum malaria that acts by inhibiting the phosphorylation of erythrocyte membrane band 3 by an erythrocyte tyrosine kinase. Because tyrosine phosphorylation of band 3 causes a destabilization of the erythrocyte membrane required for parasite egress, inhibition of the erythrocyte tyrosine kinase leads to parasite entrapment and termination of the infection. Moreover, because one of the kinase inhibitors to demonstrate antimalarial activity is imatinib, i.e. an FDA-approved drug authorized for use in children, translation of the therapy into the clinic will be facilitated. At a time when drug resistant strains of P. falciparum are emerging, a strategy that targets a host enzyme that cannot be mutated by the parasite should constitute a therapeutic mechanism that will retard evolution of resistance. PMID:27768734

  3. Blood Stage Plasmodium falciparum Exhibits Biological Responses to Direct Current Electric Fields.

    PubMed

    Coronado, Lorena M; Montealegre, Stephania; Chaverra, Zumara; Mojica, Luis; Espinosa, Carlos; Almanza, Alejandro; Correa, Ricardo; Stoute, José A; Gittens, Rolando A; Spadafora, Carmenza

    2016-01-01

    The development of resistance to insecticides by the vector of malaria and the increasingly faster appearance of resistance to antimalarial drugs by the parasite can dangerously hamper efforts to control and eradicate the disease. Alternative ways to treat this disease are urgently needed. Here we evaluate the in vitro effect of direct current (DC) capacitive coupling electrical stimulation on the biology and viability of Plasmodium falciparum. We designed a system that exposes infected erythrocytes to different capacitively coupled electric fields in order to evaluate their effect on P. falciparum. The effect on growth of the parasite, replication of DNA, mitochondrial membrane potential and level of reactive oxygen species after exposure to electric fields demonstrate that the parasite is biologically able to respond to stimuli from DC electric fields involving calcium signaling pathways. PMID:27537497

  4. Blood Stage Plasmodium falciparum Exhibits Biological Responses to Direct Current Electric Fields

    PubMed Central

    Coronado, Lorena M.; Montealegre, Stephania; Chaverra, Zumara; Mojica, Luis; Espinosa, Carlos; Almanza, Alejandro; Correa, Ricardo; Stoute, José A.; Gittens, Rolando A.

    2016-01-01

    The development of resistance to insecticides by the vector of malaria and the increasingly faster appearance of resistance to antimalarial drugs by the parasite can dangerously hamper efforts to control and eradicate the disease. Alternative ways to treat this disease are urgently needed. Here we evaluate the in vitro effect of direct current (DC) capacitive coupling electrical stimulation on the biology and viability of Plasmodium falciparum. We designed a system that exposes infected erythrocytes to different capacitively coupled electric fields in order to evaluate their effect on P. falciparum. The effect on growth of the parasite, replication of DNA, mitochondrial membrane potential and level of reactive oxygen species after exposure to electric fields demonstrate that the parasite is biologically able to respond to stimuli from DC electric fields involving calcium signaling pathways. PMID:27537497

  5. A Unique Plasmodium falciparum K13 Gene Mutation in Northwest Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bayih, Abebe Genetu; Getnet, Gebeyaw; Alemu, Abebe; Getie, Sisay; Mohon, Abu Naser; Pillai, Dylan R

    2016-01-01

    Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is the first line to treat uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria worldwide. Artemisinin treatment failures are on the rise in southeast Asia. Delayed parasite clearance after ACT is associated with mutations of the P. falciparum kelch 13 gene. Patients (N = 148) in five districts of northwest Ethiopia were enrolled in a 28-day ACT trial. We identified a unique kelch 13 mutation (R622I) in 3/125 (2.4%) samples. The three isolates with R622I were from Negade-Bahir and Aykel districts close to the Ethiopia-Sudan border. One of three patients with the mutant strain was parasitemic at day 3; however, all patients cleared parasites by day 28. Correlation between kelch 13 mutations and parasite clearance was not possible due to the low frequency of mutations in this study. PMID:26483118

  6. Molecular Aspects of Plasmodium falciparum Infection during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Ndam, Nicaise Tuikue; Deloron, Philippe

    2007-01-01

    Cytoadherence of Plasmodium-falciparum-parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs) to host receptors is the key phenomenon in the pathological process of the malaria disease. Some of these interactions can originate poor outcomes responsible for 1 to 3 million annual deaths mostly occurring among children in sub-Saharan Africa. Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) represents an important exception of the disease occurring at adulthood in malaria endemic settings. Consequences of this are shared between the mother (maternal anemia) and the baby (low birth weight and infant mortality). Demonstrating that parasites causing PAM express specific variant surface antigens (VSAPAM), including the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (P f EMP1) variant VAR2CSA, that are targets for protective immunity has strengthened the possibility for the development of PAM-specific vaccine. In this paper, we review the molecular basis of malaria pathogenesis attributable to the erythrocyte stages of the parasites, and findings supporting potential anti-PAM vaccine components evidenced in PAM. PMID:17641725

  7. Interacting parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. An essential malaria protein defines the architecture of blood-stage and transmission-stage parasites

    PubMed Central

    Absalon, Sabrina; Robbins, Jonathan A.; Dvorin, Jeffrey D.

    2016-01-01

    Blood-stage replication of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum occurs via schizogony, wherein daughter parasites are formed by a specialized cytokinesis known as segmentation. Here we identify a parasite protein, which we name P. falciparum Merozoite Organizing Protein (PfMOP), as essential for cytokinesis of blood-stage parasites. We show that, following PfMOP knockdown, parasites undergo incomplete segmentation resulting in a residual agglomerate of partially divided cells. While organelles develop normally, the structural scaffold of daughter parasites, the inner membrane complex (IMC), fails to form in this agglomerate causing flawed segmentation. In PfMOP-deficient gametocytes, the IMC formation defect causes maturation arrest with aberrant morphology and death. Our results provide insight into the mechanisms of replication and maturation of malaria parasites. PMID:27121004

  9. The molecular basis of antifolate resistance in Plasmodium falciparum: looking beyond point mutations.

    PubMed

    Heinberg, Adina; Kirkman, Laura

    2015-04-01

    Drugs that target the folate-synthesis pathway have a long history of effectiveness against a variety of pathogens. As antimalarials, the antifolates were safe and well tolerated, but resistance emerged quickly and has persisted even with decreased drug pressure. The primary determinants of resistance in Plasmodium falciparum are well-described point mutations in the enzymes dihydropteroate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase targeted by the combination sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Recent work has highlighted the contributions of additional parasite adaptation to antifolate resistance. In fact, the evolution of antifolate-resistant parasites is multifaceted and complex. Gene amplification of the first enzyme in the parasite folate synthesis pathway, GTP-cyclohydrolase, is strongly associated with resistant parasites and potentially contributes to persistence of resistant parasites. Further understanding of how parasites adjust flux through the folate pathway is important to the further development of alternative agents targeting this crucial synthesis pathway.

  10. Genetic profiling of the Plasmodium falciparum population using antigenic molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Purva; Singh, Ruchi; Khan, Haris; Raza, Adil; Yadavendu, Veena; Bhatt, R M; Singh, Vineeta

    2014-01-01

    About 50% of malaria infections in India are attributed to Plasmodium falciparum but relatively little is known about the genetic structure of the parasite populations. The molecular genotyping of the parasite populations by merozoite surface protein (msp1 and msp2) and glutamate-rich protein (glurp) genes identifies the existing parasite population in the regions which help in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the parasite's drive for survival. This study reveals the genetic profile of the parasite population in selected regions across the country with varying degree of endemicity among them. We also report the prevalence of Pfcrt mutations in this parasite population to evaluate the pattern of drug resistance development in them. PMID:25405214

  11. Antimalarial quinolines and artemisinin inhibit endocytosis in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Hoppe, Heinrich C; van Schalkwyk, Donelly A; Wiehart, Ursula I M; Meredith, Sandra A; Egan, Joanne; Weber, Brandon W

    2004-07-01

    Endocytosis is a fundamental process of eukaryotic cells and fulfills numerous functions, most notably, that of macromolecular nutrient uptake. Malaria parasites invade red blood cells and during their intracellular development endocytose large amounts of host cytoplasm for digestion in a specialized lysosomal compartment, the food vacuole. In the present study we have examined the effects of artemisinin and the quinoline drugs chloroquine and mefloquine on endocytosis in Plasmodium falciparum. By using novel assays we found that mefloquine and artemisinin inhibit endocytosis of macromolecular tracers by up to 85%, while the latter drug also leads to an accumulation of undigested hemoglobin in the parasite. During 5-h incubations, chloroquine inhibited hemoglobin digestion but had no other significant effect on the endocytic pathway of the parasite, as assessed by electron microscopy, the immunofluorescence localization of hemoglobin, and the distribution of fluorescent and biotinylated dextran tracers. By contrast, when chloroquine was added to late ring stage parasites, followed by a 12-h incubation, macromolecule endocytosis was inhibited by more than 40%. Moreover, there is an accumulation of transport vesicles in the parasite cytosol, possibly due to a disruption in vacuole-vesicle fusion. This fusion block is not observed with mefloquine, artemisinin, quinine, or primaquine but is mimicked by the vacuole alkalinizing agents ammonium chloride and monensin. These results are discussed in the light of present theories regarding the mechanisms of action of the antimalarials and highlight the potential use of drugs in manipulating and studying the endocytic pathway of malaria parasites.

  12. Complete Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage development in liver-chimeric mice.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Ashley M; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Wilson, Elizabeth M; Grompe, Markus; Kaushansky, Alexis; Camargo, Nelly; Bial, John; Ploss, Alexander; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2012-10-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most lethal form of human malaria, replicates in the host liver during the initial stage of infection. However, in vivo malaria liver-stage (LS) studies in humans are virtually impossible, and in vitro models of LS development do not reconstitute relevant parasite growth conditions. To overcome these obstacles, we have adopted a robust mouse model for the study of P. falciparum LS in vivo: the immunocompromised and fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase-deficient mouse (Fah-/-, Rag2-/-, Il2rg-/-, termed the FRG mouse) engrafted with human hepatocytes (FRG huHep). FRG huHep mice supported vigorous, quantifiable P. falciparum LS development that culminated in complete maturation of LS at approximately 7 days after infection, providing a relevant model for LS development in humans. The infections allowed observations of previously unknown expression of proteins in LS, including P. falciparum translocon of exported proteins 150 (PTEX150) and exported protein-2 (EXP-2), components of a known parasite protein export machinery. LS schizonts exhibited exoerythrocytic merozoite formation and merosome release. Furthermore, FRG mice backcrossed to the NOD background and repopulated with huHeps and human red blood cells supported reproducible transition from LS infection to blood-stage infection. Thus, these mice constitute reliable models to study human LS directly in vivo and demonstrate utility for studies of LS-to-blood-stage transition of a human malaria parasite.

  13. MRP1 mediates folate transport and antifolate sensitivity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Rijpma, Sanna R; van der Velden, Maarten; Bilos, Albert; Jansen, Robert S; Mahakena, Sunny; Russel, Frans G M; Sauerwein, Robert W; van de Wetering, Koen; Koenderink, Jan B

    2016-02-01

    Multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRP) of Plasmodium falciparum have been associated with altered drug sensitivity. Knowledge on MRP substrate specificity is indispensible for the characterization of resistance mechanisms and identifying its physiological roles. An untargeted metabolomics approach detected decreased folate concentrations in red blood cells infected with schizont stage parasites lacking expression of MRP1. Furthermore, a tenfold decrease in sensitivity toward the folate analog methotrexate was detected for parasites lacking MRP1. PfMRP1 is involved in the export of folate from parasites into red blood cells and is therefore a relevant factor for efficient malaria treatment through the folate pathway. PMID:26900081

  14. MRP1 mediates folate transport and antifolate sensitivity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Rijpma, Sanna R; van der Velden, Maarten; Bilos, Albert; Jansen, Robert S; Mahakena, Sunny; Russel, Frans G M; Sauerwein, Robert W; van de Wetering, Koen; Koenderink, Jan B

    2016-02-01

    Multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRP) of Plasmodium falciparum have been associated with altered drug sensitivity. Knowledge on MRP substrate specificity is indispensible for the characterization of resistance mechanisms and identifying its physiological roles. An untargeted metabolomics approach detected decreased folate concentrations in red blood cells infected with schizont stage parasites lacking expression of MRP1. Furthermore, a tenfold decrease in sensitivity toward the folate analog methotrexate was detected for parasites lacking MRP1. PfMRP1 is involved in the export of folate from parasites into red blood cells and is therefore a relevant factor for efficient malaria treatment through the folate pathway.

  15. In vitro cytocidal effect of novel lytic peptides on Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Jaynes, J M; Burton, C A; Barr, S B; Jeffers, G W; Julian, G R; White, K L; Enright, F M; Klei, T R; Laine, R A

    1988-10-01

    Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma cruzi were killed by two novel lytic peptides (SB-37 and Shiva-1) in vitro. Human erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum, and Vero cells infected with T. cruzi, were exposed to these peptides. The result, in both cases, was a significant decrease in the level of parasite infection. Furthermore, the peptides had a marked cytocidal effect on trypomastigote stages of T. cruzi in media, whereas host eukaryotic cells were unaffected by the treatments. In view of the worldwide prevalence of these protozoan diseases and the lack of completely suitable treatments, lytic peptides may provide new and unique chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of these infections.

  16. Investigating the activity of quinine analogues vs. chloroquine resistant Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Dinio, Theresa; Gorka, Alexander P.; McGinniss, Andrew; Roepe, Paul D.; Morgan, Jeremy B.

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malarial parasite species, has developed resistance against nearly all man-made antimalarial drugs within the past century. However, quinine (QN), the first antimalarial drug, remains efficacious worldwide. Some chloroquine resistant (CQR) P. falciparum strains or isolates show mild cross resistance to QN, but many do not. Further optimization of QN may provide well-tolerated therapy with improved activity vs. CQR malaria. Thus, using the Heck reaction, we have pursued a structure-activity relationship study, including vinyl group modifications of QN. Certain derivatives show good antiplasmodial activity in QN-resistant and QN-sensitive strains, with lower IC50 values relative to QN. PMID:22512909

  17. Parasites: Water

    MedlinePlus

    ... Tropical Diseases Laboratory Diagnostic Assistance [DPDx] Parasites Home Water Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Parasites can live in natural water sources. When outdoors, treat your water before drinking ...

  18. Ape parasite origins of human malaria virulence genes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. [Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum: global status and basic research].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shao-min; Wang, Man-yuan

    2014-10-01

    Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum has been identified by WHO in the Greater Mekong subregion. While there is no report on artemisinin resistance in Africa and South America by now, related surveillance measures have been taken place. The genes related artemisinin-resistance has been identified and the molecular markers will be used for large-scale surveillance efforts to contain artemisinin resistance. The emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance worldwide is a present danger and needs more attention. This article reviews the progress of artemisininresistance malaria parasites and artemisinin-based combination therapies. PMID:25726605

  20. Replication and maintenance of the Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast genome.

    PubMed

    Milton, Morgan E; Nelson, Scott W

    2016-08-01

    Members of the phylum Apicomplexa are responsible for many devastating diseases including malaria (Plasmodium spp.), toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii), babesiosis (Babesia bovis), and cyclosporiasis (Cyclospora cayetanensis). Most Apicomplexans contain a unique and essential organelle called the apicoplast. Derived from an ancient chloroplast, the apicoplast replicates and maintains a 35 kilobase (kb) circular genome. Due to its essential nature within the parasite, drugs targeted to proteins involved in DNA replication and repair of the apicoplast should be potent and specific. This review summarizes the current knowledge surrounding the replication and repair of the Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast genome and identifies several putative proteins involved in replication and repair pathways. PMID:27338018

  1. Switching from simple to complex dynamics in a predator-prey-parasite model: An interplay between infection rate and incubation delay.

    PubMed

    Bairagi, N; Adak, D

    2016-07-01

    Parasites play a significant role in trophic interactions and can regulate both predator and prey populations. Mathematical models might be of great use in predicting different system dynamics because models have the potential to predict the system response due to different changes in system parameters. In this paper, we study a predator-prey-parasite (PPP) system where prey population is infected by some micro parasites and predator-prey interaction occurs following Leslie-Gower model with type II response function. Infection spreads following SI type epidemic model with standard incidence rate. The infection process is not instantaneous but mediated by a fixed incubation delay. We study the stability and instability of the endemic equilibrium point of the delay-induced PPP system with respect to two parameters, viz., the force of infection and the length of incubation delay under two cases: (i) the corresponding non-delayed system is stable and (ii) the corresponding non-delayed system is unstable. In the first case, the system populations coexist in stable state for all values of delay if the force of infection is low; or show oscillatory behavior when the force of infection is intermediate and the length of delay crosses some critical value. The system, however, exhibits very complicated dynamics if the force of infection is high, whe