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Sample records for haemosporidian parasites plasmodium

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Phylogenetic relationships of haemosporidian parasites in New World Columbiformes, with emphasis on the endemic Galapagos dove.

    PubMed

    Santiago-Alarcon, Diego; Outlaw, Diana C; Ricklefs, Robert E; Parker, Patricia G

    2010-03-15

    DNA-sequence analyses of avian haemosporidian parasites, primarily of passerine birds, have described the phylogenetic relationships of major groups of these parasites, which are in general agreement with morphological taxonomy. However, less attention has been paid to haemosporidian parasites of non-passerine birds despite morphological and DNA-sequence evidence for unique clades of parasites in these birds. Detection of haemosporidian parasites in the Galapagos archipelago has raised conservation concerns and prompted us to characterise the origins and diversity of these parasites in the Galapagos dove (Zenaida galapagoensis). We used partial mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) and apicoplast caseinolytic protease C (ClpC) genes to develop a phylogenetic hypothesis of relationships of haemosporidian parasites infecting New World Columbiformes, paying special attention to those parasites infecting the endemic Galapagos dove. We identified a well-supported and diverse monophyletic clade of haemosporidian parasites unique to Columbiformes, which belong to the sub-genus Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus). This is a sister clade to all the Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) and Plasmodium parasites so far identified from birds as well as the Plasmodium parasites of mammals and reptiles. Our data suggest that the diverse Haemoproteus parasites observed in Galapagos doves are not endemic to the archipelago and likely represent multiple recent introductions.

  3. Haemosporidian Parasites of Antelopes and Other Vertebrates from Gabon, Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Boundenga, Larson; Makanga, Boris; Ollomo, Benjamin; Gilabert, Aude; Rougeron, Virginie; Mve-Ondo, Bertrand; Arnathau, Céline; Durand, Patrick; Moukodoum, Nancy Diamella; Okouga, Alain-Prince; Delicat-Loembet, Lucresse; Yacka-Mouele, Lauriane; Rahola, Nil; Leroy, Eric; Ba, Cheikh Tidiane; Renaud, Francois; Prugnolle, Franck; Paupy, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Re-examination, using molecular tools, of the diversity of haemosporidian parasites (among which the agents of human malaria are the best known) has generally led to rearrangements of traditional classifications. In this study, we explored the diversity of haemosporidian parasites infecting vertebrate species (particularly mammals, birds and reptiles) living in the forests of Gabon (Central Africa), by analyzing a collection of 492 bushmeat samples. We found that samples from five mammalian species (four duiker and one pangolin species), one bird and one turtle species were infected by haemosporidian parasites. In duikers (from which most of the infected specimens were obtained), we demonstrated the existence of at least two distinct parasite lineages related to Polychromophilus species (i.e., bat haemosporidian parasites) and to sauropsid Plasmodium (from birds and lizards). Molecular screening of sylvatic mosquitoes captured during a longitudinal survey revealed the presence of these haemosporidian parasite lineages also in several Anopheles species, suggesting a potential role in their transmission. Our results show that, differently from what was previously thought, several independent clades of haemosporidian parasites (family Plasmodiidae) infect mammals and are transmitted by anopheline mosquitoes.

  4. Haemosporidian Parasites of Antelopes and Other Vertebrates from Gabon, Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Ollomo, Benjamin; Gilabert, Aude; Rougeron, Virginie; Mve-Ondo, Bertrand; Arnathau, Céline; Durand, Patrick; Moukodoum, Nancy Diamella; Okouga, Alain-Prince; Delicat-Loembet, Lucresse; Yacka-Mouele, Lauriane; Rahola, Nil; Leroy, Eric; BA, Cheikh Tidiane; Renaud, Francois; Prugnolle, Franck; Paupy, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Re-examination, using molecular tools, of the diversity of haemosporidian parasites (among which the agents of human malaria are the best known) has generally led to rearrangements of traditional classifications. In this study, we explored the diversity of haemosporidian parasites infecting vertebrate species (particularly mammals, birds and reptiles) living in the forests of Gabon (Central Africa), by analyzing a collection of 492 bushmeat samples. We found that samples from five mammalian species (four duiker and one pangolin species), one bird and one turtle species were infected by haemosporidian parasites. In duikers (from which most of the infected specimens were obtained), we demonstrated the existence of at least two distinct parasite lineages related to Polychromophilus species (i.e., bat haemosporidian parasites) and to sauropsid Plasmodium (from birds and lizards). Molecular screening of sylvatic mosquitoes captured during a longitudinal survey revealed the presence of these haemosporidian parasite lineages also in several Anopheles species, suggesting a potential role in their transmission. Our results show that, differently from what was previously thought, several independent clades of haemosporidian parasites (family Plasmodiidae) infect mammals and are transmitted by anopheline mosquitoes. PMID:26863304

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  7. Haemosporidian parasite infections in grouse and ptarmigan: Prevalence and genetic diversity of blood parasites in resident Alaskan birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Matthew M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Merizon, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Projections related to future climate warming indicate the potential for an increase in the distribution and prevalence of blood parasites in northern regions. However, baseline data are lacking for resident avian host species in Alaska. Grouse and ptarmigan occupy a diverse range of habitat types throughout the northern hemisphere and are among the most well-known and important native game birds in North America. Information regarding the prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in tetraonid species is limited, with few recent studies and an almost complete lack of genetic data. To better understand the genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites in Alaskan tetraonids and to determine current patterns of geographic range and host specificity, we used molecular methods to screen 459 tissue samples collected from grouse and ptarmigan species across multiple regions of Alaska for infection by Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium blood parasites. Infections were detected in 342 individuals, with overall apparent prevalence of 53% for Leucocytozoon, 21% for Haemoproteus, and 9% for Plasmodium. Parasite prevalence varied by region, with different patterns observed between species groups (grouse versus ptarmigan). Leucocytozoon was more common in ptarmigan, whereas Haemoproteus was more common in grouse. We detected Plasmodium infections in grouse only. Analysis of haemosporidian mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences revealed 23 unique parasite haplotypes, several of which were identical to lineages previously detected in other avian hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed close relationships between haplotypes from our study and those identified in Alaskan waterfowl for Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. In contrast, Leucocytozoon lineages were structured strongly by host family. Our results provide some of the first genetic data for haemosporidians in grouse and ptarmigan species, and provide an initial baseline on the prevalence and diversity

  8. Haemosporidian parasite infections in grouse and ptarmigan: Prevalence and genetic diversity of blood parasites in resident Alaskan birds.

    PubMed

    Smith, Matthew M; Van Hemert, Caroline; Merizon, Richard

    2016-12-01

    Projections related to future climate warming indicate the potential for an increase in the distribution and prevalence of blood parasites in northern regions. However, baseline data are lacking for resident avian host species in Alaska. Grouse and ptarmigan occupy a diverse range of habitat types throughout the northern hemisphere and are among the most well-known and important native game birds in North America. Information regarding the prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in tetraonid species is limited, with few recent studies and an almost complete lack of genetic data. To better understand the genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites in Alaskan tetraonids and to determine current patterns of geographic range and host specificity, we used molecular methods to screen 459 tissue samples collected from grouse and ptarmigan species across multiple regions of Alaska for infection by Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium blood parasites. Infections were detected in 342 individuals, with overall apparent prevalence of 53% for Leucocytozoon, 21% for Haemoproteus, and 9% for Plasmodium. Parasite prevalence varied by region, with different patterns observed between species groups (grouse versus ptarmigan). Leucocytozoon was more common in ptarmigan, whereas Haemoproteus was more common in grouse. We detected Plasmodium infections in grouse only. Analysis of haemosporidian mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences revealed 23 unique parasite haplotypes, several of which were identical to lineages previously detected in other avian hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed close relationships between haplotypes from our study and those identified in Alaskan waterfowl for Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. In contrast, Leucocytozoon lineages were structured strongly by host family. Our results provide some of the first genetic data for haemosporidians in grouse and ptarmigan species, and provide an initial baseline on the prevalence and diversity

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The drivers of regional parasite distributions are poorly understood, especially in comparison with those of free-living species. For vector-transmitted parasites, in particular, distributions might be influenced by host-switching and by parasite dispersal with primary hosts and vectors. We surveyed haemosporidian blood parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) of small land birds in eastern North America to characterize a regional parasite community. Distributions of parasite populations generally reflected distributions of their hosts across the region. However, when the interdependence between hosts and parasites was controlled statistically, local host assemblages were related to regional climatic gradients, but parasite assemblages were not. Moreover, because parasite assemblage similarity does not decrease with distance when controlling for host assemblages and climate, parasites evidently disperse readily within the distributions of their hosts. The degree of specialization on hosts varied in some parasite lineages over short periods and small geographic distances independently of the diversity of available hosts and potentially competing parasite lineages. Nonrandom spatial turnover was apparent in parasite lineages infecting one host species that was well-sampled within a single year across its range, plausibly reflecting localized adaptations of hosts and parasites. Overall, populations of avian hosts generally determine the geographic distributions of haemosporidian parasites. However, parasites are not dispersal-limited within their host distributions, and they may switch hosts readily. PMID:26305975

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-08

    The drivers of regional parasite distributions are poorly understood, especially in comparison with those of free-living species. For vector-transmitted parasites, in particular, distributions might be influenced by host-switching and by parasite dispersal with primary hosts and vectors. We surveyed haemosporidian blood parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) of small land birds in eastern North America to characterize a regional parasite community. Distributions of parasite populations generally reflected distributions of their hosts across the region. However, when the interdependence between hosts and parasites was controlled statistically, local host assemblages were related to regional climatic gradients, but parasite assemblages were not. Moreover, because parasite assemblage similarity does not decrease with distance when controlling for host assemblages and climate, parasites evidently disperse readily within the distributions of their hosts. The degree of specialization on hosts varied in some parasite lineages over short periods and small geographic distances independently of the diversity of available hosts and potentially competing parasite lineages. Nonrandom spatial turnover was apparent in parasite lineages infecting one host species that was well-sampled within a single year across its range, plausibly reflecting localized adaptations of hosts and parasites. Overall, populations of avian hosts generally determine the geographic distributions of haemosporidian parasites. However, parasites are not dispersal-limited within their host distributions, and they may switch hosts readily.

  11. Factors affecting the distribution of haemosporidian parasites within an oceanic island.

    PubMed

    Padilla, David P; Illera, Juan Carlos; Gonzalez-Quevedo, Catalina; Villalba, Miry; Richardson, David S

    2017-03-01

    Understanding how different ecological and evolutionary processes influence the distribution of pathogens within the environment is important from many perspectives including wildlife epidemiology, evolutionary ecology and conservation. The simultaneous use of ecological and evolutionary frameworks can enhance our conceptual understanding of host-parasite interactions, however such studies are rare in the wild. Using samples from 12 bird species caught across all habitats existing on an oceanic island, we evaluated how environmental variables, parasite host specificity and parasite phylogenetic relationships determine the distribution and prevalence of haemosporidians (Haemoproteus, Plasmodium and Leucocytozoon) in the wild living avifauna. Differences were found in the prevalence of Plasmodium, but not Leucocytozoon, strains between habitats. The warmest temperature best predicted Plasmodium prevalence in the low altitude habitats, which had the highest incidence of Plasmodium. The prevalence of Leucocytozoon lineages was associated with natural factors, i.e. rainfall, temperature and habitat, but the two most important predictors (from model averaging) for models of Leucocytozoon were anthropogenic: poultry farms and distance to a water reservoir. We found no relationship between local (Tenerife, Canary Islands) versus global host range indices (which assess the diversity of hosts that a parasite is observed to infect), thus global generalist lineages do not behave in the same way on Tenerife (i.e. they infected less avian hosts than was expected). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the most abundant haemosporidians on Tenerife grouped with lineages found in African host species. Our data indicate that climatic and anthropogenic factors, plus proximity to the African mainland, are the main factors influencing the presence and distribution of avian haemosporidians on Tenerife. Future climate projections for the archipelago foresee significant temperature

  12. Parasite prevalence corresponds to host life history in a diverse assemblage of afrotropical birds and haemosporidian parasites.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Holly L; Hochachka, Wesley M; Engel, Joshua I; Bell, Jeffrey A; Tkach, Vasyl V; Bates, John M; Hackett, Shannon J; Weckstein, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified) based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi.

  13. Parasite Prevalence Corresponds to Host Life History in a Diverse Assemblage of Afrotropical Birds and Haemosporidian Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Holly L.; Hochachka, Wesley M.; Engel, Joshua I.; Bell, Jeffrey A.; Tkach, Vasyl V.; Bates, John M.; Hackett, Shannon J.; Weckstein, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified) based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi. PMID:25853491

  14. Host associations and turnover of haemosporidian parasites in manakins (Aves: Pipridae).

    PubMed

    Fecchio, Alan; Svensson-Coelho, Maria; Bell, Jeffrey; Ellis, Vincenzo A; Medeiros, Matthew C; Trisos, Christopher H; Blake, John G; Loiselle, Bette A; Tobias, Joseph A; Fanti, Rebeka; Coffey, Elyse D; DE Faria, Iubatã P; Pinho, João B; Felix, Gabriel; Braga, Erika M; Anciães, Marina; Tkach, Vasyl; Bates, John; Witt, Christopher; Weckstein, Jason D; Ricklefs, Robert E; Farias, Izeni P

    2017-03-14

    Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understood. Based on a survey throughout the Neotropics of the haemosporidian parasites infecting manakins (Pipridae), a family of Passerine birds endemic to this region, we asked whether host relatedness, ecological similarity and geographic proximity structure parasite turnover between manakin species and local manakin assemblages. We used molecular methods to screen 1343 individuals of 30 manakin species for the presence of parasites. We found no significant correlations between manakin parasite lineage turnover and both manakin species turnover and geographic distance. Climate differences, species turnover in the larger bird community and parasite lineage turnover in non-manakin hosts did not correlate with manakin parasite lineage turnover. We also found no evidence that manakin parasite lineage turnover among host species correlates with range overlap and genetic divergence among hosts. Our analyses indicate that host switching (turnover among host species) and dispersal (turnover among locations) of haemosporidian parasites in manakins are not constrained at this scale.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Avian haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida): A comparative analysis of different polymerase chain reaction assays in detection of mixed infections.

    PubMed

    Bernotienė, Rasa; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Iezhova, Tatjana; Murauskaitė, Dovilė; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-04-01

    Mixed infections of different species and genetic lineages of haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida) predominate in wildlife, and such infections are particularly virulent. However, currently used polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based detection methods often do not read mixed infections. Sensitivity of different PCR assays in detection of mixed infections has been insufficiently tested, but this knowledge is essential in studies addressing parasite diversity in wildlife. Here, we applied five different PCR assays, which are broadly used in wildlife avian haemosporidian research, and compared their sensitivity in detection of experimentally designed mixed infections of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. Three of these PCR assays use primer sets that amplify fragments of cytochrome b gene (cyt b), one of cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, and one target apicoplast genome. We collected blood from wild-caught birds and, using microscopic and PCR-based methods applied in parallel, identified single infections of ten haemosporidian species with similar parasitemia. Then, we prepared 15 experimental mixes of different haemosporidian parasites, which often are present simultaneously in wild birds. Similar concentration of total DNA was used in each parasite lineage during preparation of mixes. Positive amplifications were sequenced, and the presence of mixed infections was reported by visualising double-base calling in sequence electropherograms. This study shows that the use of each single PCR assay markedly underestimates biodiversity of haemosporidian parasites. The application of at least 3 PCR assays in parallel detected the majority, but still not all lineages present in mixed infections. We determined preferences of different primers in detection of parasites belonging to different genera of haemosporidians during mixed infections.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Different meal, same flavor: cospeciation and host switching of haemosporidian parasites in some non-passerine birds

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Previous studies have shown that haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) and Plasmodium) infecting passerine birds have an evolutionary history of host switching with little cospeciation, in particular at low taxonomic levels (e.g., below the family level), which is suggested as the main speciation mechanism of this group of parasites. Recent studies have characterized diverse clades of haemosporidian parasites (H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus)) infecting non-passerine birds (e.g., Columbiformes, Pelecaniiformes). Here, we explore the cospeciation history of H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus) parasites with their non-passerine hosts. Methods We sequenced the mtDNA cyt b gene of both haemosporidian parasites and their avian non-passerine hosts. We built Bayesian phylogenetic hypotheses and created concensus phylograms that were subsequently used to conduct cospeciation analyses. We used both a global cospeciation test, PACo, and an event-cost algorithm implemented in CoRe-PA. Results The global test suggests that H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus) parasites have a diversification history dominated by cospeciation events particularly at the family level. Host-parasite links from the PACo analysis show that host switching events are common within families (i.e., among genera and among species within genera), and occasionally across different orders (e.g., Columbiformes to Pelecaniiformes). Event-cost analyses show that haemosporidian coevolutionary history is dominated by host switching and some codivergence, but with duplication events also present. Genetic lineages unique to raptor species (e.g., FALC11) commonly switch between Falconiformes and Strigiformes. Conclusions Our results corroborate previous findings that have detected a global cospeciation signal at the family taxonomic level, and they also support a history of frequent switching closer to the tips of the host phylogeny, which seems to be the

  19. Prevalence of avian haemosporidian parasites is positively related to the abundance of host species at multiple sites within a region.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    Parasite prevalence is thought to be positively related to host population density owing to enhanced contagion. However, the relationship between prevalence and local abundance of multiple host species is underexplored. We surveyed birds and their haemosporidian parasites (genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) at multiple sites across eastern North America to test whether the prevalence of these parasites in a host species at a particular site is related to that host's local abundance. Prevalence was positively related to host abundance within most sites, although the effect was stronger and more consistent for Plasmodium than for Haemoproteus. In contrast, prevalence was not related to variation in the abundance of most individual host species among sites across the region. These results suggest that parasite prevalence partly reflects the relative abundances of host species in local assemblages. However, three nonnative host species had low prevalence despite being relatively abundant at one site, as predicted by the enemy release hypothesis.

  20. Testosterone and Haemosporidian Parasites Along a Tropical Elevational Gradient in Rufous-Collared Sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis).

    PubMed

    Escallón, Camilo; Weinstein, Nicole M; Tallant, James A; Wojtenek, Winfried; Rodríguez-Saltos, Carlos A; Bonaccorso, Elisa; Moore, Ignacio T

    2016-10-01

    Elevation has been proposed as a dominant ecological variable shaping life history traits and subsequently their underlying hormonal mechanisms. In an earlier meta-analysis of tropical birds, elevation was positively related to testosterone levels. Furthermore, parasitism by avian haemosporidians should vary with elevation as environmental conditions affect vector abundance, and while testosterone is needed for breeding, it is hypothesized to be immunosuppressive and thus could exacerbate haemosporidian infection. Our objective in this study was to examine the relationships between elevation, testosterone levels, and parasitism by avian haemosporidians. We surveyed breeding male rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) across a wide elevational range along the equator. We measured baseline testosterone levels, haemosporidian infection at four elevations spanning the species' natural range in the Ecuadorian Andes (600, 1500, 2100, 3300 m). Testosterone levels from breeding males were not related to elevation, but there was high intrapopulation variability. Testosterone levels were not related to the probability of parasitism, but our results from one population suggested that the likelihood of being infected by haemosporidian parasites was greater when in breeding condition. In conclusion, even though there is variation in life history strategies among the studied populations, wider divergence in seasonality and life history traits would probably be needed to detect an effect of elevation on testosterone if one exists. Additionally, our results show that variation in testosterone is not related to infection risk of haemosporidians, thus other factors that take a toll on energetic resources, such as reproduction, should be looked at more closely.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The environment shapes host–parasite interactions, but how environmental variation affects the diversity and composition of parasite-defense genes of hosts is unresolved. In vertebrates, the highly variable major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene family plays an essential role in the adaptive immune system by recognizing pathogen infection and initiating the cellular immune response. Investigating MHC-parasite associations across heterogeneous landscapes may elucidate the role of spatially fluctuating selection in the maintenance of high levels of genetic variation at the MHC. We studied patterns of association between an avian haemosporidian blood parasite and the MHC of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) that inhabit environments with widely varying haemosporidian infection prevalence in the Peruvian Andes. MHC diversity peaked in populations with high infection prevalence, although intra-individual MHC diversity was not associated with infection status. MHC nucleotide and protein sequences associated with infection absence tended to be rare, consistent with negative frequency-dependent selection. We found an MHC variant associated with a ∽26% decrease in infection probability at middle elevations (1501–3100 m) where prevalence was highest. Several other variants were associated with a significant increase in infection probability in low haemosporidian prevalence environments, which can be interpreted as susceptibility or quantitative resistance. Our study highlights important challenges in understanding MHC evolution in natural systems, but may point to a role of negative frequency-dependent selection and fluctuating spatial selection in the evolution of Z. capensisMHC. PMID:25798222

  2. Phylogenetic comparison of avian haemosporidian parasites from resident and migratory birds in northern Japan.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Aya; Koketsu, Mami; Bando, Hironori; Saiki, Erisha; Suzuki, Moemi; Watanabe, Yusaku; Kanuka, Hirotaka; Fukumoto, Shinya

    2014-04-01

    We analyzed blood samples of resident and migratory Japanese birds to evaluate the prevalence and genetic background of avian blood parasites in northern Japan. We used PCR targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene to examine infections of Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium parasites in blood samples from 243 birds of 14 species in three orders (Passeriformes, Columbiformes, and Anseriformes). Sequences were subjected to phylogenetic analysis. The infection rate was 21% in pigeons (Columbiformes) and 17% in Anseriformes. A high infection rate of 93.8% was found in crow species (Passeriformes). Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites were detected in only two species. Infected blood samples obtained from seven bird species involved two major clades of Leucocytozoon, which were divided between resident and migratory birds. The parasites, which are genetically distinct from parasites in Japanese resident birds, may have been introduced to Japan by migratory bird species.

  3. Local parasite lineage sharing in temperate grassland birds provides clues about potential origins of Galapagos avian Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Colborn, Rachel E; Kim, Daniel; Perlut, Noah G; Renfrew, Rosalind B; Parker, Patricia G

    2016-02-01

    Oceanic archipelagos are vulnerable to natural introduction of parasites via migratory birds. Our aim was to characterize the geographic origins of two Plasmodium parasite lineages detected in the Galapagos Islands and in North American breeding bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) that regularly stop in Galapagos during migration to their South American overwintering sites. We used samples from a grassland breeding bird assemblage in Nebraska, United States, and parasite DNA sequences from the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, to compare to global data in a DNA sequence registry. Homologous DNA sequences from parasites detected in bobolinks and more sedentary birds (e.g., brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater, and other co-occurring bird species resident on the North American breeding grounds) were compared to those recovered in previous studies from global sites. One parasite lineage that matched between Galapagos birds and the migratory bobolink, Plasmodium lineage B, was the most common lineage detected in the global MalAvi database, matching 49 sequences from unique host/site combinations, 41 of which were of South American origin. We did not detect lineage B in brown-headed cowbirds. The other Galapagos-bobolink match, Plasmodium lineage C, was identical to two other sequences from birds sampled in California. We detected a close variant of lineage C in brown-headed cowbirds. Taken together, this pattern suggests that bobolinks became infected with lineage B on the South American end of their migratory range, and with lineage C on the North American breeding grounds. Overall, we detected more parasite lineages in bobolinks than in cowbirds. Galapagos Plasmodium had similar host breadth compared to the non-Galapagos haemosporidian lineages detected in bobolinks, brown-headed cowbirds, and other grassland species. This study highlights the utility of global haemosporidian data in the context of migratory bird-parasite connectivity. It is possible that migratory bobolinks

  4. Helminth parasites alter protection against Plasmodium infection.

    PubMed

    Salazar-Castañon, Víctor H; Legorreta-Herrera, Martha; Rodriguez-Sosa, Miriam

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Palinauskas, Vaidas; Žiegytė, Rita; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Bernotienė, Rasa; Bolshakov, Casimir; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  8. Multiple lineages of Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium) in the Galapagos Islands and evidence for arrival via migratory birds.

    PubMed

    Levin, I I; Zwiers, P; Deem, S L; Geest, E A; Higashiguchi, J M; Iezhova, T A; Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G; Kim, D H; Morton, J P; Perlut, N G; Renfrew, R B; Sari, E H R; Valkiunas, G; Parker, P G

    2013-12-01

    Haemosporidian parasites in the genus Plasmodium were recently detected through molecular screening in the Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus). We summarized results of an archipelago-wide screen of 3726 endemic birds representing 22 species for Plasmodium spp. through a combination of molecular and microscopy techniques. Three additional Plasmodium lineages were present in Galapagos. Lineage A-infected penguins, Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia aureola), and one Medium Ground Finch (Geospiza fortis) and was detected at multiple sites in multiple years [corrected]. The other 3 lineages were each detected at one site and at one time; apparently, they were transient infections of parasites not established on the archipelago. No gametocytes were found in blood smears of infected individuals; thus, endemic Galapagos birds may be dead-end hosts for these Plasmodium lineages. Determining when and how parasites and pathogens arrive in Galapagos is key to developing conservation strategies to prevent and mitigate the effects of introduced diseases. To assess the potential for Plasmodium parasites to arrive via migratory birds, we analyzed blood samples from 438 North American breeding Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), the only songbird that regularly migrates through Galapagos. Two of the ephemeral Plasmodium lineages (B and C) found in Galapagos birds matched parasite sequences from Bobolinks. Although this is not confirmation that Bobolinks are responsible for introducing these lineages, evidence points to higher potential arrival rates of avian pathogens than previously thought. Linajes Múltiples de Parásitos de Malaria Aviar (Plasmodium) en las Islas Galápagos y Evidencia de su Arribo por Medio de Aves Migratorias.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Haemosporidian infection in captive masked bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), an endangered subspecies of the northern bobwhite quail

    PubMed Central

    Pacheco, M. Andreína; Escalante, Ananias A.; Garner, Michael M.; Bradley, Gregory A.; Aguilar, Roberto F.

    2011-01-01

    The avian haemosporidian parasites (phylum Apicomplexa) are taxonomically diverse and cosmopolitan in distribution; infecting most bird families. Sources of concern are reports of clinical haemosporidian infections in birds kept as part of zoo and aviary collections. Recently, severe and acute mortality episodes have been reported in masked bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), an endangered subspecies from the American Southwest. Two hundred and five eggs of the captive flock held in Arivaca, Arizona, were hatched at a zoo in the American Southwest. Thirty four sub-adult or adult animals had lesions associated with tissue phases of hemoparasites, especially vasculitis, ventricular leiomyositis and ulcerative pododermatitis. Molecular techniques applied to blood collected from the zoo’s last twelve remaining animals resulted in the detection of a Plasmodium juxtanucleare-like and Haemoproteus sp. parasites. A Raven (Corvus corax), in a contiguous exhibit, was positive for the same Plasmodium juxtanucleare-like parasite, but remained asymptomatic for three years following detection. These findings indicate that other birds in the exhibit within the zoo premises could act as reservoirs. We conclude that haemosporidian infections could be a factor in the demise of the captive masked bobwhite quails housed at the zoo. We suggest that active surveillance for haemoporidian parasites should be incorporated as a precaution to ex-situ conservation efforts of susceptible endangered species. PMID:21726940

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many studies have tracked the distribution and persistence of avian haemosporidian communities across space and time at the population level, but few studies have investigated these aspects of infection at the individual level over time. Important aspects of parasite infection at the individual level can be missed if only trends at the population level are studied. This study aimed to determine how persistent Haemosporida are in great tit individuals recaptured over several years, whether parasitaemia differed by parasite lineage (mitochondrial cytochrome b haplotype) and how co-infection (i.e. concurrent infection with multiple genera of parasites) affects parasitaemia and body mass. Methods Parasite prevalence was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR were used to assess parasitaemia and sequencing was employed to determine the identity of the lineages using the MalAvi database. Results Haemosporidian prevalence was high over sampled years with 98% of 55 recaptured individuals showing infection in at least one year of capture. Eighty-two percent of all positive individuals suffered co-infection, with an overall haemosporidian lineage diversity of seventeen. Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites were found to be highly persistent, with lineages from these genera consistently found in individuals across years and with no differences in individual parasitaemia being recorded at subsequent captures. Conversely, Leucocytozoon parasites showed higher turnover with regard to lineage changes or transitions in infection status (infected vs non-infected) across years. Parasitaemia was found to be lineage specific and there was no relationship between Plasmodium parasitaemia or host body condition and the presence of Leucocytozoon parasites. Conclusions The findings of this study suggest that different genera of haemosporidian parasites interact differently with their host and other co-infecting parasites, influencing parasite

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-04-01

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

  13. Avian Plasmodium in Culex and Ochlerotatus Mosquitoes from Southern Spain: Effects of Season and Host-Feeding Source on Parasite Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Ferraguti, Martina; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Muñoz, Joaquín; Roiz, David; Ruiz, Santiago; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    Haemosporidians, a group of vector-borne parasites that include Plasmodium, infect vertebrates including birds. Although mosquitoes are crucial elements in the transmission of avian malaria parasites, little is known of their ecology as vectors. We examined the presence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus lineages in five mosquito species belonging to the genera Culex and Ochlerotatus to test for the effect of vector species, season and host-feeding source on the transmission dynamics of these pathogens. We analyzed 166 blood-fed individually and 5,579 unfed mosquitoes (grouped in 197 pools) from a locality in southern Spain. In all, 15 Plasmodium and two Haemoproteus lineages were identified on the basis of a fragment of 478 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Infection prevalence of blood parasites in unfed mosquitoes varied between species (range: 0–3.2%) and seasons. The feeding source was identified in 91 mosquitoes where 78% were identified as bird. We found that i) several Plasmodium lineages are shared among different Culex species and one Plasmodium lineage is shared between Culex and Ochlerotatus genera; ii) mosquitoes harboured Haemoproteus parasites; iii) pools of unfed females of mostly ornithophilic Culex species had a higher Plasmodium prevalence than the only mammophylic Culex species studied. However, the mammophylic Ochlerotatus caspius had in pool samples the greatest Plasmodium prevalence. This relative high prevalence may be determined by inter-specific differences in vector survival, susceptibility to infection but also the possibility that this species feeds on birds more frequently than previously thought. Finally, iv) infection rate of mosquitoes varies between seasons and reaches its maximum prevalence during autumn and minimum prevalence in spring. PMID:23823127

  14. Avian Plasmodium in Culex and Ochlerotatus Mosquitoes from Southern Spain: Effects of Season and Host-Feeding Source on Parasite Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Ferraguti, Martina; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Muñoz, Joaquín; Roiz, David; Ruiz, Santiago; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    Haemosporidians, a group of vector-borne parasites that include Plasmodium, infect vertebrates including birds. Although mosquitoes are crucial elements in the transmission of avian malaria parasites, little is known of their ecology as vectors. We examined the presence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus lineages in five mosquito species belonging to the genera Culex and Ochlerotatus to test for the effect of vector species, season and host-feeding source on the transmission dynamics of these pathogens. We analyzed 166 blood-fed individually and 5,579 unfed mosquitoes (grouped in 197 pools) from a locality in southern Spain. In all, 15 Plasmodium and two Haemoproteus lineages were identified on the basis of a fragment of 478 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Infection prevalence of blood parasites in unfed mosquitoes varied between species (range: 0-3.2%) and seasons. The feeding source was identified in 91 mosquitoes where 78% were identified as bird. We found that i) several Plasmodium lineages are shared among different Culex species and one Plasmodium lineage is shared between Culex and Ochlerotatus genera; ii) mosquitoes harboured Haemoproteus parasites; iii) pools of unfed females of mostly ornithophilic Culex species had a higher Plasmodium prevalence than the only mammophylic Culex species studied. However, the mammophylic Ochlerotatus caspius had in pool samples the greatest Plasmodium prevalence. This relative high prevalence may be determined by inter-specific differences in vector survival, susceptibility to infection but also the possibility that this species feeds on birds more frequently than previously thought. Finally, iv) infection rate of mosquitoes varies between seasons and reaches its maximum prevalence during autumn and minimum prevalence in spring.

  15. Chimpanzee malaria parasites related to Plasmodium ovale in Africa.

    PubMed

    Duval, Linda; Nerrienet, Eric; Rousset, Dominique; Sadeuh Mba, Serge Alain; Houze, Sandrine; Fourment, Mathieu; Le Bras, Jacques; Robert, Vincent; Ariey, Frederic

    2009-01-01

    Since the 1970's, the diversity of Plasmodium parasites in African great apes has been neglected. Surprisingly, P. reichenowi, a chimpanzee parasite, is the only such parasite to have been molecularly characterized. This parasite is closely phylogenetically related to P. falciparum, the principal cause of the greatest malaria burden in humans. Studies of malaria parasites from anthropoid primates may provide relevant phylogenetic information, improving our understanding of the origin and evolutionary history of human malaria species. In this study, we screened 130 DNA samples from chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) from Cameroon for Plasmodium infection, using cytochrome b molecular tools. Two chimpanzees from the subspecies Pan t. troglodytes presented single infections with Plasmodium strains molecularly related to the human malaria parasite P. ovale. These chimpanzee parasites and 13 human strains of P. ovale originated from a various sites in Africa and Asia were characterized using cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase 1 mitochondrial partial genes and nuclear ldh partial gene. Consistent with previous findings, two genetically distinct types of P. ovale, classical and variant, were observed in the human population from a variety of geographical locations. One chimpanzee Plasmodium strain was genetically identical, on all three markers tested, to variant P. ovale type. The other chimpanzee Plasmodium strain was different from P. ovale strains isolated from humans. This study provides the first evidence of possibility of natural cross-species exchange of P. ovale between humans and chimpanzees of the subspecies Pan t. troglodytes.

  16. Chimpanzee Malaria Parasites Related to Plasmodium ovale in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Duval, Linda; Nerrienet, Eric; Rousset, Dominique; Sadeuh Mba, Serge Alain; Houze, Sandrine; Fourment, Mathieu; Le Bras, Jacques; Robert, Vincent; Ariey, Frederic

    2009-01-01

    Since the 1970's, the diversity of Plasmodium parasites in African great apes has been neglected. Surprisingly, P. reichenowi, a chimpanzee parasite, is the only such parasite to have been molecularly characterized. This parasite is closely phylogenetically related to P. falciparum, the principal cause of the greatest malaria burden in humans. Studies of malaria parasites from anthropoid primates may provide relevant phylogenetic information, improving our understanding of the origin and evolutionary history of human malaria species. In this study, we screened 130 DNA samples from chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) from Cameroon for Plasmodium infection, using cytochrome b molecular tools. Two chimpanzees from the subspecies Pan t. troglodytes presented single infections with Plasmodium strains molecularly related to the human malaria parasite P. ovale. These chimpanzee parasites and 13 human strains of P. ovale originated from a various sites in Africa and Asia were characterized using cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase 1 mitochondrial partial genes and nuclear ldh partial gene. Consistent with previous findings, two genetically distinct types of P. ovale, classical and variant, were observed in the human population from a variety of geographical locations. One chimpanzee Plasmodium strain was genetically identical, on all three markers tested, to variant P. ovale type. The other chimpanzee Plasmodium strain was different from P. ovale strains isolated from humans. This study provides the first evidence of possibility of natural cross-species exchange of P. ovale between humans and chimpanzees of the subspecies Pan t. troglodytes. PMID:19436742

  17. Haemosporidian infection in captive masked bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), an endangered subspecies of the northern bobwhite quail.

    PubMed

    Pacheco, M Andreína; Escalante, Ananias A; Garner, Michael M; Bradley, Gregory A; Aguilar, Roberto F

    2011-12-15

    The avian haemosporidian parasites (phylum Apicomplexa) are taxonomically diverse and cosmopolitan in distribution; infecting most bird families. Sources of concern are reports of clinical haemosporidian infections in birds kept as part of zoo and aviary collections. Recently, severe and acute mortality episodes have been reported in masked bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), an endangered subspecies from the American Southwest. Two hundred and five eggs of the captive flock held in Arivaca, Arizona, were hatched at a zoo in the American Southwest. Thirty-four sub-adult or adult animals had lesions associated with tissue phases of haemoparasites, especially vasculitis, ventricular leiomyositis and ulcerative pododermatitis. Molecular techniques applied to blood collected from the zoo's last twelve remaining animals resulted in the detection of a Plasmodium juxtanucleare-like and Haemoproteus sp. parasites. A Raven (Corvus corax), in a contiguous exhibit, was positive for the same P. juxtanucleare-like parasite, but remained asymptomatic for three years following detection. These findings indicate that other birds in the exhibit within the zoo premises could act as reservoirs. We conclude that haemosporidian infections could be a factor in the demise of the captive masked bobwhite quails housed at the zoo. We suggest that active surveillance for haemoporidian parasites should be incorporated as a precaution to ex situ conservation efforts of susceptible endangered species.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. On the study of the transmission networks of blood parasites from SW Spain: diversity of avian haemosporidians in the biting midge Culicoides circumscriptus and wild birds

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Blood-sucking flying insects play a key role in the transmission of pathogens of vector-borne diseases. However, at least for the case of avian malaria parasites, the vast majority of studies focus on the interaction between parasites and vertebrate hosts, but there is a lack of information regarding the interaction between the parasites and the insect vectors. Here, we identified the presence of malaria and malaria-like parasite lineages harbored by the potential vector Culicoides circumscriptus (Kieffer). Also, we identified some nodes of the transmission network connecting parasite lineages, potential insect vectors and avian hosts by comparing Haemoproteus and Plasmodium lineages isolated from insects with those infecting wild birds in this and previous studies. Methods Using a molecular approach, we analysed the presence of blood parasites in a total of 97 biting midges trapped in the Doñana National Park (SW Spain) and surrounding areas. Also, 123 blood samples from 11 bird species were analyzed for the presence of blood parasite infections. Blood parasites Haemoproteus and Plasmodium were identified by amplification of a 478 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gen. Results Thirteen biting midges harboured blood parasites including six Haemoproteus and two Plasmodium lineages, supporting the potential role of these insects on parasite transmission. Moreover, ten (8.1%) birds carried blood parasites. Seven Plasmodium and one Haemoproteus lineages were isolated from birds. Overall, six new Haemoproteus lineages were described in this study. Also, we identified the transmission networks of some blood parasites. Two Haemoproteus lineages, hCIRCUM03 and GAGLA03, were identical to those isolated from Corvus monedula in southern Spain and Garrulus glandarius in Bulgaria, respectively. Furthermore, the new Haemoproteus lineage hCIRCUM05 showed a 99% similarity with a lineage found infecting captive penguins in Japan. Conclusions The comparison

  20. [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.

  1. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Shaw, Katharina S.; Learn, Gerald H.; Plenderleith, Lindsey J.; Malenke, Jordan A.; Sundararaman, Sesh A.; Ramirez, Miguel A.; Crystal, Patricia A.; Smith, Andrew G.; Bibollet-Ruche, Frederic; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Locatelli, Sabrina; Esteban, Amandine; Mouacha, Fatima; Guichet, Emilande; Butel, Christelle; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N.; Speede, Sheri; Sanz, Crickette M.; Morgan, David B.; Gonder, Mary K.; Kranzusch, Philip J.; Walsh, Peter D.; Georgiev, Alexander V.; Muller, Martin N.; Piel, Alex K.; Stewart, Fiona A.; Wilson, Michael L.; Pusey, Anne E.; Cui, Liwang; Wang, Zenglei; Färnert, Anna; Sutherland, Colin J.; Nolder, Debbie; Hart, John A.; Hart, Terese B.; Bertolani, Paco; Gillis, Amethyst; LeBreton, Matthew; Tafon, Babila; Kiyang, John; Djoko, Cyrille F.; Schneider, Bradley S.; Wolfe, Nathan D.; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Delaporte, Eric; Carter, Richard; Culleton, Richard L.; Shaw, George M.; Rayner, Julian C.; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Sharp, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the leading cause of human malaria in Asia and Latin America but is absent from most of central Africa due to the near fixation of a mutation that inhibits the expression of its receptor, the Duffy antigen, on human erythrocytes. The emergence of this protective allele is not understood because P. vivax is believed to have originated in Asia. Here we show, using a non-invasive approach, that wild chimpanzees and gorillas throughout central Africa are endemically infected with parasites that are closely related to human P. vivax. Sequence analyses reveal that ape parasites lack host specificity and are much more diverse than human parasites, which form a monophyletic lineage within the ape parasite radiation. These findings indicate that human P. vivax is of African origin and likely selected for the Duffy-negative mutation. All extant human P. vivax parasites are derived from a single ancestor that escaped out of Africa. PMID:24557500

  2. Detection and molecular characterization of avian Plasmodium from mosquitoes in central Turkey.

    PubMed

    Inci, A; Yildirim, A; Njabo, K Y; Duzlu, O; Biskin, Z; Ciloglu, A

    2012-08-13

    Assessing vector-parasite relationship is important in understanding the emergence of vector-borne diseases and the evolution of parasite diversity. This study investigates avian Plasmodium parasites in mosquitoes collected from Kayseri province in Central Anatolian, Turkey and determines the haemosporidian parasite lineages from these mosquito species. A total of 6153 female mosquitos from 6 species were collected from 46 sites during June-August of 2008 and 2009. Each mosquito's head-thorax and abdomen were separated, categorized with respect to species and collection area and pooled for DNA extraction. A total of 1198 genomic DNA pools (599 thorax-head, 599 abdomen) were constituted of which 128 pools (59 thorax-head, 69 abdomen) were positive for avian haemosporidian parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) by Nested-PCR analysis. Culex pipens, Aedes vexans, Culex theileri and Culiseta annulata were positive with minimum infection rates (MIRs) of 16.22 and 18.15, 4.72 and 5.98, 5.18 and 10.36, 10.64 and 10.64 in their thorax-head and abdomen parts, respectively. No avian haemosporidian DNA was detected from Culex hortensis and Anopheles maculipennis. Phylogenetic analyses of the partial cytb gene of avian haemosporidian mt-DNA from 13 positive pools revealed that 11 lineages in four phylogenic groups were Plasmodium and the other two were Haemoproteus. Our results suggest that Cx. pipiens could probably be the major vector of avian Plasmodium in Central Turkey. This is the first report of molecular detection and characterization of avian Plasmodium lineages from mosquitoes in Turkey.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  4. Proteomics of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Sims, Paul F G; Hyde, John E

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

  6. Plasmodium (Bennettinia) juxtanucleare infection in a captive white eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) at a Japanese zoo.

    PubMed

    Murata, Koichi; Nii, Ryosuke; Sasaki, Emi; Ishikawa, Satoshi; Sato, Yukita; Sawabe, Kyoko; Tsuda, Yoshio; Matsumoto, Rei; Suda, Akemi; Ueda, Miya

    2008-02-01

    An adult male white eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) at a Japanese zoo exhibited lethargy and emaciation. Microscopic examination of a blood smear revealed a haemosporidian parasitic infection. Based on the morphological characteristics and molecular analysis of the parasite, it was identified as Plasmodium (Bennettinia) juxtanucleare. This is the first report of P. juxtanucleare infection in bird species belonging to the genus Crossoptilon. Caution against avian malaria infection is required for the conservation of endangered bird species in zoos.

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

    PubMed

    Telford, Sam R

    2007-06-01

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

  8. Proteomic Study of Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Vivax Liver Stages for Development of Vaccines and Drugs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-02

    Proteomic Study of Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Vivax Liver Stages for Development of Vaccines and Drugs PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr...AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Proteomic Study of Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Vivax 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-07-2-0090 Liver Stages...3. Production of sporozoite and preparation for transcriptome and proteomic analysis: Sporozoites harvested from salivary gland, haemolymph

  9. Three Divergent Subpopulations of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Lee C.; Rovie-Ryan, Jeffrine J.; Kadir, Khamisah A.; Anderios, Fread; Hisam, Shamilah; Sharma, Reuben S.K.; Singh, Balbir; Conway, David J.

    2017-01-01

    Multilocus microsatellite genotyping of Plasmodium knowlesi isolates previously indicated 2 divergent parasite subpopulations in humans on the island of Borneo, each associated with a different macaque reservoir host species. Geographic divergence was also apparent, and independent sequence data have indicated particularly deep divergence between parasites from mainland Southeast Asia and Borneo. To resolve the overall population structure, multilocus microsatellite genotyping was conducted on a new sample of 182 P. knowlesi infections (obtained from 134 humans and 48 wild macaques) from diverse areas of Malaysia, first analyzed separately and then in combination with previous data. All analyses confirmed 2 divergent clusters of human cases in Malaysian Borneo, associated with long-tailed macaques and pig-tailed macaques, and a third cluster in humans and most macaques in peninsular Malaysia. High levels of pairwise divergence between each of these sympatric and allopatric subpopulations have implications for the epidemiology and control of this zoonotic species. PMID:28322705

  10. Blood parasites of penguins: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Braga, Érika Martins; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2016-07-01

    Blood parasites are considered some of the most significant pathogens for the conservation of penguins, due to the considerable morbidity and mortality they have been shown to produce in captive and wild populations of these birds. Parasites known to occur in the blood of penguins include haemosporidian protozoans (Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus), piroplamid protozoans (Babesia), kinetoplastid protozoans (Trypanosoma), spirochete bacteria (Borrelia) and nematode microfilariae. This review provides a critical and comprehensive assessment of the current knowledge on these parasites, providing an overview of their biology, host and geographic distribution, epidemiology, pathology and implications for public health and conservation.

  11. The Plasmodium apicoplast genome: conserved structure and close relationship of P. ovale to rodent malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Arisue, Nobuko; Hashimoto, Tetsuo; Mitsui, Hideya; Palacpac, Nirianne M Q; Kaneko, Akira; Kawai, Satoru; Hasegawa, Masami; Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Horii, Toshihiro

    2012-09-01

    Apicoplast, a nonphotosynthetic plastid derived from secondary symbiotic origin, is essential for the survival of malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Elucidation of the evolution of the apicoplast genome in Plasmodium species is important to better understand the functions of the organelle. However, the complete apicoplast genome is available for only the most virulent human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Here, we obtained the near-complete apicoplast genome sequences from eight Plasmodium species that infect a wide variety of vertebrate hosts and performed structural and phylogenetic analyses. We found that gene repertoire, gene arrangement, and other structural attributes were highly conserved. Phylogenetic reconstruction using 30 protein-coding genes of the apicoplast genome inferred, for the first time, a close relationship between P. ovale and rodent parasites. This close relatedness was robustly supported using multiple evolutionary assumptions and models. The finding suggests that an ancestral host switch occurred between rodent and human Plasmodium parasites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  13. Rediscovery and redescription of Plasmodium pifanoi and description of two additional Plasmodium parasites of Venezuelan lizards.

    PubMed

    Telford, Sam R; Telford, Sam R

    2003-04-01

    Plasmodium pifanoi Scorza and Dagert B., known only from the type host, Ameiva ameiva, is redescribed from Kentropyx calcarata collected in Territorio Amazonas, Venezuela. Schizonts, 6.2 x 4.5 (4-8 x 3-6), produce on average 11.9 (7-16) merozoites. Gametocytes average 12.4 x 6.0 (8-16 x 4-10), with length x width (LW) 72.9 (52-112) and L/W 2.18 (1.1-3.3), and always contain 1-5 prominent vacuoles. Macrogametocytes in active infection are longer than microgametocytes, with greater LW, but gametocytes in chronic infection are not sexually dimorphic in dimension and are slightly smaller. Two additional malarial parasites are described from K. calcarata. Plasmodium lepidoptiformis has small schizonts, 4.6 x 3.2 (3-6 x 2.5-3), that produce 5.1 (4-8) merozoites and commonly resemble a butterfly in appearance. Gametocytes are elongate, 9.0 x 4.3 (7-10 x 3-6), with LW 38.3 (24-51) and L/W 2.2 (1.3-3.3), and sexually dimorphic, with macrogametocytes longer than microgametocytes, with greater LW. Plasmodium minasense calcaratae is characterized by very small, usually fan-shaped, schizonts. 3.4 x 2.6 (2.5-4.5 x 2.0-3.0), that produce 3.9 (3-4) merozoites. Gametocytes are spherical or ovoid, 6.7 x 5.0 (4.5-9.0 x 3.0-7.0), with LW 33.7 (15-54) and L/W 1.4 (1.0-2.3), with no sexual dimorphism in dimensions.

  14. Plasmodium Drug Targets Outside the Genetic Control of the Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Drug development often seeks to find “magic bullets” which target microbiologic proteins while not affecting host proteins. Paul Ehrlich tested methylene blue as an antimalarial but this dye was not superior to quinine. Many successful antimalarial therapies are “magic shotguns” which target many Plasmodium pathways with little interference in host metabolism. Two malaria drug classes, the 8-aminoquinolines and the artemisinins interact with cytochrome P450s and host iron protoporphyrin IX or iron, respectively, to generate toxic metabolites and/or radicals, which kill the parasite by interference with many proteins. The non 8-amino antimalarial quinolines like quinine or piperaquine bind heme to inhibit the process of heme crystallization, which results in multiple enzyme inhibition and membrane dysfunction. The quinolines and artemisinins are rapidly parasiticidal in contrast to metal chelators, which have a slower parasite clearance rate with higher drug concentrations. Iron chelators interfere with the artemisinins but otherwise represent a strategy of targeting multiple enzymes containing iron. Interest has been revived in antineoplastic drugs that target DNA metabolism as antimalarials. Specific drug targeting or investigation of the innate immunity directed to the more permeable trophozoite or schizont infected erythrocyte membrane has been under explored. Novel drug classes in the antimalarial development pipeline which either target multiple proteins or unchangeable cellular targets will slow the pace of drug resistance acquisition. PMID:22973888

  15. Vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Müller, Sylke; Kappes, Barbara

    2007-03-01

    Vitamins are essential components of the human diet. By contrast, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan parasites synthesize certain vitamins de novo, either completely or in parts. The various biosynthesis pathways are specific to different apicomplexan parasites and emphasize the distinct requirements of these parasites for nutrients and growth factors. The absence of vitamin biosynthesis in humans implies that inhibition of the parasite pathways might be a way to interfere specifically with parasite development. However, the roles of biosynthesis and uptake of vitamins in the regulation of vitamin homeostasis in parasites needs to be established first. In this article, the procurement of vitamins B(1), B(5) and B(6) by Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites is discussed.

  16. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    DOE PAGES

    Garg, Aprajita; Lukk, Tiit; Kumar, Vidya; ...

    2015-03-12

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties ofmore » PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs.« less

  17. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-12

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties of PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs.

  18. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties of PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs. PMID:25761669

  19. Anopheles moucheti and Anopheles vinckei are candidate vectors of ape Plasmodium parasites, including Plasmodium praefalciparum in Gabon.

    PubMed

    Paupy, Christophe; Makanga, Boris; Ollomo, Benjamin; Rahola, Nil; Durand, Patrick; Magnus, Julie; Willaume, Eric; Renaud, François; Fontenille, Didier; Prugnolle, Franck

    2013-01-01

    During the last four years, knowledge about the diversity of Plasmodium species in African great apes has considerably increased. Several new species were described in chimpanzees and gorillas, and some species that were previously considered as strictly of human interest were found to be infecting African apes. The description in gorillas of P. praefalciparum, the closest relative of P. falciparum which is the main malignant agent of human malaria, definitively changed the way we understand the evolution and origin of P. falciparum. This parasite is now considered to have appeared recently, following a cross-species transfer from gorillas to humans. However, the Plasmodium vector mosquito species that have served as bridge between these two host species remain unknown. In order to identify the vectors that ensure ape Plasmodium transmission and evaluate the risk of transfer of these parasites to humans, we carried out a field study in Gabon to capture Anopheles in areas where wild and semi-wild ape populations live. We collected 1070 Anopheles females belonging to 15 species, among which An. carnevalei, An. moucheti and An. marshallii were the most common species. Using mtDNA-based PCR tools, we discovered that An. moucheti, a major human malaria vector in Central Africa, could also ensure the natural transmission of P. praefalciparum among great apes. We also showed that, together with An. vinckei, An. moucheti was infected with P. vivax-like parasites. An. moucheti constitutes, therefore, a major candidate for the transfer of Plasmodium parasites from apes to humans.

  20. Vitamin and co-factor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Sylke; Kappes, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    Vitamins are essential components of the human diet. By contrast, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan parasites synthesise certain vitamins, de novo, either completely or in parts. The occurrence of the various biosynthesis pathways is specific to different apicomplexan parasites, emphasising their distinct requirements for nutrients and growth factors. The absence of vitamin biosynthesis from the human host implies that inhibition of the parasite pathways may be a way to interfere specifically with parasite development. However, the precise role of biosynthesis and potential uptake of vitamins for the overall regulation of vitamin homeostasis in the parasites needs to be established first. In this review Sylke Müller and Barbara Kappes focus mainly on the procurement of vitamin B1, B5 and B6 by Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites. PMID:17276140

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  2. Reduced erythrocyte susceptibility and increased host clearance of young parasites slows Plasmodium growth in a murine model of severe malaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khoury, David S.; Cromer, Deborah; Best, Shannon E.; James, Kylie R.; Sebina, Ismail; Haque, Ashraful; Davenport, Miles P.

    2015-05-01

    The best correlate of malaria severity in human Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection is the total parasite load. Pf-infected humans could control parasite loads by two mechanisms, either decreasing parasite multiplication, or increasing parasite clearance. However, few studies have directly measured these two mechanisms in vivo. Here, we have directly quantified host clearance of parasites during Plasmodium infection in mice. We transferred labelled red blood cells (RBCs) from Plasmodium infected donors into uninfected and infected recipients, and tracked the fate of donor parasites by frequent blood sampling. We then applied age-based mathematical models to characterise parasite clearance in the recipient mice. Our analyses revealed an increased clearance of parasites in infected animals, particularly parasites of a younger developmental stage. However, the major decrease in parasite multiplication in infected mice was not mediated by increased clearance alone, but was accompanied by a significant reduction in the susceptibility of RBCs to parasitisation.

  3. A Toxoplasma gondii Ortholog of Plasmodium GAMA Contributes to Parasite Attachment and Cell Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Carruthers, Vern B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Toxoplasma gondii and its Plasmodium kin share a well-conserved invasion process, including sequential secretion of adhesive molecules for host cell attachment and invasion. However, only a few orthologs have been shown to be important for efficient invasion by both genera. Bioinformatic screening to uncover potential new players in invasion identified a previously unrecognized T. gondii ortholog of Plasmodium glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored micronemal antigen (TgGAMA). We show that TgGAMA localizes to the micronemes and is processed into several proteolytic products within the parasite prior to secretion onto the parasite surface during invasion. TgGAMA from parasite lysate bound to several different host cell types in vitro, suggesting a role in parasite attachment. Consistent with this function, tetracycline-regulatable TgGAMA and TgGAMA knockout strains showed significant reductions in host cell invasion at the attachment step, with no defects in any of the other stages of the parasite lytic cycle. Together, the results of this work reveal a new conserved component of the adhesive repertoire of apicomplexan parasites. IMPORTANCE Toxoplasma gondii is a successful human pathogen in the same phylum as malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites. Invasion of a host cell is an essential process that begins with secretion of adhesive proteins onto the parasite surface for attachment and subsequent penetration of the host cell. Conserved invasion proteins likely play roles that were maintained through the divergence of these parasites. Here, we identify a new conserved invasion protein called glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored micronemal antigen (GAMA). Tachyzoites lacking TgGAMA were partially impaired in parasite attachment and invasion of host cells, yielding the first genetic evidence of a specific role in parasite entry into host cells. These findings widen our appreciation of the repertoire of conserved proteins that apicomplexan parasites employ for

  4. Features of autophagic cell death in Plasmodium liver-stage parasites.

    PubMed

    Eickel, Nina; Kaiser, Gesine; Prado, Monica; Burda, Paul-Christian; Roelli, Matthias; Stanway, Rebecca R; Heussler, Volker T

    2013-04-01

    Analyzing molecular determinants of Plasmodium parasite cell death is a promising approach for exploring new avenues in the fight against malaria. Three major forms of cell death (apoptosis, necrosis and autophagic cell death) have been described in multicellular organisms but which cell death processes exist in protozoa is still a matter of debate. Here we suggest that all three types of cell death occur in Plasmodium liver-stage parasites. Whereas typical molecular markers for apoptosis and necrosis have not been found in the genome of Plasmodium parasites, we identified genes coding for putative autophagy-marker proteins and thus concentrated on autophagic cell death. We characterized the Plasmodium berghei homolog of the prominent autophagy marker protein Atg8/LC3 and found that it localized to the apicoplast. A relocalization of PbAtg8 to autophagosome-like vesicles or vacuoles that appear in dying parasites was not, however, observed. This strongly suggests that the function of this protein in liver-stage parasites is restricted to apicoplast biology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-07

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

  7. Prevalence patterns of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites and the influence of host relative abundance in southern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yanhua; Wu, Yuchun; Zhang, Qiang; Su, Dongdong; Zou, Fasheng

    2014-01-01

    Infectious diseases threaten the health and survival of wildlife populations. Consequently, relationships between host diversity, host abundance, and parasite infection are important aspects of disease ecology and conservation research. Here, we report on the prevalence patterns of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infections and host relative abundance influence based on sampling 728 wild-caught birds representing 124 species at seven geographically widespread sites in southern China. The overall prevalence of two haemoprotozoan parasites, Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, was 29.5%, with 22.0% attributable to Haemoproteus and 7.8% to Plasmodium. Haemoproteus prevalence differed significantly among different avian host families, with the highest prevalence in Nectariniidae, Pycnonotidae and Muscicapidae, whereas Plasmodium prevalence varied significantly among host species. Seventy-nine mitochondrial lineages including 25 from Plasmodium and 54 from Haemoproteus were identified, 80% of which were described here for the first time. The phylogenetic relationships among these parasites indicated stronger host-species specificity for Haemoproteus than Plasmodium. Well-supported host-family (Timaliidae) specific clades were found in both Plasmodium and Haemoproteus. The Haemoproteus tree shows regional subclades, whereas the Plasmodium clades are "scattered" among different geographical regions. Interestingly, there were statistically significant variations in the prevalence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus among the geographical regions. Furthermore, the prevalence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were not significantly correlated with host relative abundance. Further efforts will focus on exploring the relationships between parasite prevalence and sex, age, and immune defense of the host.

  8. Prevalence Patterns of Avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus Parasites and the Influence of Host Relative Abundance in Southern China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yanhua; Wu, Yuchun; Zhang, Qiang; Su, Dongdong; Zou, Fasheng

    2014-01-01

    Infectious diseases threaten the health and survival of wildlife populations. Consequently, relationships between host diversity, host abundance, and parasite infection are important aspects of disease ecology and conservation research. Here, we report on the prevalence patterns of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infections and host relative abundance influence based on sampling 728 wild-caught birds representing 124 species at seven geographically widespread sites in southern China. The overall prevalence of two haemoprotozoan parasites, Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, was 29.5%, with 22.0% attributable to Haemoproteus and 7.8% to Plasmodium. Haemoproteus prevalence differed significantly among different avian host families, with the highest prevalence in Nectariniidae, Pycnonotidae and Muscicapidae, whereas Plasmodium prevalence varied significantly among host species. Seventy-nine mitochondrial lineages including 25 from Plasmodium and 54 from Haemoproteus were identified, 80% of which were described here for the first time. The phylogenetic relationships among these parasites indicated stronger host-species specificity for Haemoproteus than Plasmodium. Well-supported host-family (Timaliidae) specific clades were found in both Plasmodium and Haemoproteus. The Haemoproteus tree shows regional subclades, whereas the Plasmodium clades are “scattered” among different geographical regions. Interestingly, there were statistically significant variations in the prevalence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus among the geographical regions. Furthermore, the prevalence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were not significantly correlated with host relative abundance. Further efforts will focus on exploring the relationships between parasite prevalence and sex, age, and immune defense of the host. PMID:24911323

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

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Loiseau, Claire; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  11. Normocyte-binding protein required for human erythrocyte invasion by the zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

    PubMed

    Moon, Robert W; Sharaf, Hazem; Hastings, Claire H; Ho, Yung Shwen; Nair, Mridul B; Rchiad, Zineb; Knuepfer, Ellen; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Mohring, Franziska; Amir, Amirah; Yusuf, Noor A; Hall, Joanna; Almond, Neil; Lau, Yee Ling; Pain, Arnab; Blackman, Michael J; Holder, Anthony A

    2016-06-28

    The dominant cause of malaria in Malaysia is now Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic parasite of cynomolgus macaque monkeys found throughout South East Asia. Comparative genomic analysis of parasites adapted to in vitro growth in either cynomolgus or human RBCs identified a genomic deletion that includes the gene encoding normocyte-binding protein Xa (NBPXa) in parasites growing in cynomolgus RBCs but not in human RBCs. Experimental deletion of the NBPXa gene in parasites adapted to growth in human RBCs (which retain the ability to grow in cynomolgus RBCs) restricted them to cynomolgus RBCs, demonstrating that this gene is selectively required for parasite multiplication and growth in human RBCs. NBPXa-null parasites could bind to human RBCs, but invasion of these cells was severely impaired. Therefore, NBPXa is identified as a key mediator of P. knowlesi human infection and may be a target for vaccine development against this emerging pathogen.

  12. Single amino acid substitution in Plasmodium yoelii erythrocyte ligand determines its localization and controls parasite virulence

    PubMed Central

    Otsuki, Hitoshi; Kaneko, Osamu; Thongkukiatkul, Amporn; Tachibana, Mayumi; Iriko, Hideyuki; Takeo, Satoru; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Torii, Motomi

    2009-01-01

    The major virulence determinant of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii, has remained unresolved since the discovery of the lethal line in the 1970s. Because virulence in this parasite correlates with the ability to invade different types of erythrocytes, we evaluated the potential role of the parasite erythrocyte binding ligand, PyEBL. We found 1 amino acid substitution in a domain responsible for intracellular trafficking between the lethal and nonlethal parasite lines and, furthermore, that the intracellular localization of PyEBL was distinct between these lines. Genetic modification showed that this substitution was responsible not only for PyEBL localization but also the erythrocyte-type invasion preference of the parasite and subsequently its virulence in mice. This previously unrecognized mechanism for altering an invasion phenotype indicates that subtle alterations of a malaria parasite ligand can dramatically affect host–pathogen interactions and malaria virulence. PMID:19346470

  13. Sexual development in Plasmodium parasites: knowing when it's time to commit.

    PubMed

    Josling, Gabrielle A; Llinás, Manuel

    2015-09-01

    Malaria is a devastating infectious disease that is caused by blood-borne apicomplexan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. These pathogens have a complex lifecycle, which includes development in the anopheline mosquito vector and in the liver and red blood cells of mammalian hosts, a process which takes days to weeks, depending on the Plasmodium species. Productive transmission between the mammalian host and the mosquito requires transitioning between asexual and sexual forms of the parasite. Blood- stage parasites replicate cyclically and are mostly asexual, although a small fraction of these convert into male and female sexual forms (gametocytes) in each reproductive cycle. Despite many years of investigation, the molecular processes that elicit sexual differentiation have remained largely unknown. In this Review, we highlight several important recent discoveries that have identified epigenetic factors and specific transcriptional regulators of gametocyte commitment and development, providing crucial insights into this obligate cellular differentiation process.

  14. Highly rearranged mitochondrial genome in Nycteria parasites (Haemosporidia) from bats

    PubMed Central

    Karadjian, Gregory; Hassanin, Alexandre; Saintpierre, Benjamin; Gembu Tungaluna, Guy-Crispin; Ariey, Frederic; Ayala, Francisco J.; Landau, Irene; Duval, Linda

    2016-01-01

    Haemosporidia parasites have mostly and abundantly been described using mitochondrial genes, and in particular cytochrome b (cytb). Failure to amplify the mitochondrial cytb gene of Nycteria parasites isolated from Nycteridae bats has been recently reported. Bats are hosts to a diverse and profuse array of Haemosporidia parasites that remain largely unstudied. There is a need to obtain more molecular data from chiropteran parasites. Such data would help to better understand the evolutionary history of Haemosporidia, which notably include the Plasmodium parasites, malaria’s agents. We use next-generation sequencing to obtain the complete mitochondrial genome of Nycteria parasites from African Nycteris grandis (Nycteridae) and Rhinolophus alcyone (Rhinolophidae) and Asian Megaderma spasma (Megadermatidae). We report four complete mitochondrial genomes, including two rearranged mitochondrial genomes within Haemosporidia. Our results open outlooks into potentially undiscovered Haemosporidian diversity. PMID:27528689

  15. Geographic genetic differentiation of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J

    2010-04-01

    Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Russell, Bruce M; Cooke, Brian M

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    Due to their rapid, potent action on young and mature intraerythrocytic stages, artemisinin derivatives are central to drug combination therapies for Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the evidence for emerging parasite resistance/tolerance to artemisinins in southeast Asia is of great concern. A better understanding of artemisinin-related drug activity and resistance mechanisms is urgently needed. A recent transcriptome study of parasites exposed to artesunate led us to identify a series of genes with modified levels of expression in the presence of the drug. The gene presenting the largest mRNA level increase, Pf10_0026 (PArt), encoding a hypothetical protein of unknown function, was chosen for further study. Immunodetection with PArt-specific sera showed that artesunate induced a dose-dependent increase of the protein level. Bioinformatic analysis showed that PArt belongs to a Plasmodium-specific gene family characterized by the presence of a tryptophan-rich domain with a novel hidden Markov model (HMM) profile. Gene disruption could not be achieved, suggesting an essential function. Transgenic parasites overexpressing PArt protein were generated and exhibited tolerance to a spike exposure to high doses of artesunate, with increased survival and reduced growth retardation compared to that of wild-type-treated controls. These data indicate the involvement of PArt in parasite defense mechanisms against artesunate. This is the first report of genetically manipulated parasites displaying a stable and reproducible decreased susceptibility to artesunate, providing new possibilities to investigate the parasite response to artemisinins.

  1. H2O2 dynamics in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Rahbari, Mahsa; Bogeski, Ivan

    2017-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. High diversity of West African bat malaria parasites and a tight link with rodent Plasmodium taxa.

    PubMed

    Schaer, Juliane; Perkins, Susan L; Decher, Jan; Leendertz, Fabian H; Fahr, Jakob; Weber, Natalie; Matuschewski, Kai

    2013-10-22

    As the only volant mammals, bats are captivating for their high taxonomic diversity, for their vital roles in ecosystems--particularly as pollinators and insectivores--and, more recently, for their important roles in the maintenance and transmission of zoonotic viral diseases. Genome sequences have identified evidence for a striking expansion of and positive selection in gene families associated with immunity. Bats have also been known to be hosts of malaria parasites for over a century, and as hosts, they possess perhaps the most phylogenetically diverse set of hemosporidian genera and species. To provide a molecular framework for the study of these parasites, we surveyed bats in three remote areas of the Upper Guinean forest ecosystem. We detected four distinct genera of hemosporidian parasites: Plasmodium, Polychromophilus, Nycteria, and Hepatocystis. Intriguingly, the two species of Plasmodium in bats fall within the clade of rodent malaria parasites, indicative of multiple host switches across mammalian orders. We show that Nycteria species form a very distinct phylogenetic group and that Hepatocystis parasites display an unusually high diversity and prevalence in epauletted fruit bats. The diversity and high prevalence of novel lineages of chiropteran hemosporidians underscore the exceptional position of bats among all other mammalian hosts of hemosporidian parasites and support hypotheses of pathogen tolerance consistent with the exceptional immunology of bats.

  4. High diversity of West African bat malaria parasites and a tight link with rodent Plasmodium taxa

    PubMed Central

    Schaer, Juliane; Perkins, Susan L.; Decher, Jan; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Fahr, Jakob; Weber, Natalie; Matuschewski, Kai

    2013-01-01

    As the only volant mammals, bats are captivating for their high taxonomic diversity, for their vital roles in ecosystems—particularly as pollinators and insectivores—and, more recently, for their important roles in the maintenance and transmission of zoonotic viral diseases. Genome sequences have identified evidence for a striking expansion of and positive selection in gene families associated with immunity. Bats have also been known to be hosts of malaria parasites for over a century, and as hosts, they possess perhaps the most phylogenetically diverse set of hemosporidian genera and species. To provide a molecular framework for the study of these parasites, we surveyed bats in three remote areas of the Upper Guinean forest ecosystem. We detected four distinct genera of hemosporidian parasites: Plasmodium, Polychromophilus, Nycteria, and Hepatocystis. Intriguingly, the two species of Plasmodium in bats fall within the clade of rodent malaria parasites, indicative of multiple host switches across mammalian orders. We show that Nycteria species form a very distinct phylogenetic group and that Hepatocystis parasites display an unusually high diversity and prevalence in epauletted fruit bats. The diversity and high prevalence of novel lineages of chiropteran hemosporidians underscore the exceptional position of bats among all other mammalian hosts of hemosporidian parasites and support hypotheses of pathogen tolerance consistent with the exceptional immunology of bats. PMID:24101466

  5. Polymerase chain reaction detection of human host preference and Plasmodium parasite infections in field collected potential malaria vectors.

    PubMed

    Dhiman, Sunil; Bhola, Rakesh Kumar; Goswami, Diganta; Rabha, Bipul; Kumar, Dinesh; Baruah, Indra; Singh, Lokendra

    2012-07-01

    This study was carried out to determine the human host preference and presence of Plasmodium parasite in field collected Anopheles mosquitoes among four villages around a military cantonment located in malaria endemic Sonitpur district of Assam, India. Encountered malaria vector mosquitoes were identified and tested for host preference and Plasmodium presence using PCR method. Human host preference was detected using simple PCR, whereas vectorial status for Plasmodium parasite was confirmed using first round PCR with genus specific primers and thereafter nested PCR with three Plasmodium species specific primers. Out of 1874 blood fed vector mosquitoes collected, 187 (10%) were processed for PCR, which revealed that 40·6% had fed on human blood; 9·2% of human blood fed mosquito were harbouring Plasmodium parasites, 71·4% of which were confirmed to Plasmodium falciparum. In addition to An. minimus, An. annularis and An. culicifacies were also found positive for malaria parasites. The present study exhibits the human feeding tendency of Anopheles vectors highlighting their malaria parasite transmission potential. The present study may serve as a model for understanding the human host preference of malaria vectors and detection of malaria parasite inside the anopheline vector mosquitoes in order to update their vectorial status for estimating the possible role of these mosquitoes in malaria transmission. The study has used PCR method and suggests that PCR-based method should be used in this entire malarious region to correctly report the vectorial position of different malaria vectors.

  6. Translational repression of the cpw-wpc gene family in the malaria parasite Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Rao, Pavitra N; Santos, Jorge M; Pain, Arnab; Templeton, Thomas J; Mair, Gunnar R

    2016-10-01

    The technical challenges of working with the sexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium have hindered the characterization of sexual stage antigens in the quest for a successful malaria transmission-blocking vaccine. One such predicted and largely uncharacterized group of sexual stage candidate antigens is the CPW-WPC family of proteins. CPW-WPC proteins are named for a characteristic domain that contains two conserved motifs, CPxxW and WPC. Conserved across Apicomplexa, this family is also present earlier in the Alveolata in the free-living, non-parasitophorous, photosynthetic chromerids, Chromera and Vitrella. In Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei blood stage parasites, the transcripts of all nine cpw-wpc genes have been detected in gametocytes. RNA immunoprecipitation followed by reverse transcriptase-PCR reveals all P. berghei cpw-wpc transcripts to be bound by the translational repressors DOZI and CITH, and thus are likely under translational control prior to transmission from the rodent host to the mosquito vector in P. berghei. The GFP tagging of two endogenous P. berghei genes confirmed translational silencing in the gametocyte and translation in ookinetes. By establishing a luciferase transgene assay, we show that the 3' untranslated region of PF3D7_1331400 controls protein expression of this reporter in P. falciparum gametocytes. Our analyses suggest that cpw-wpc genes are translationally silenced in gametocytes across Plasmodium spp. and activated during ookinete formation and thus may have a role in transmission to the mosquito.

  7. Growth-inhibitory effect of a fucoidan from brown seaweed Undaria pinnatifida on Plasmodium parasites.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jun-Hu; Lim, Jung-Dae; Sohn, Eun-Hwa; Choi, Yong-Soon; Han, Eun-Taek

    2009-01-01

    The present study was undertaken to investigate the inhibitory effects of fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide isolated from the edible brown seaweed Undaria pinnatifida, on the growth of Plasmodium parasites. In order to assess the anti-malarial activity of fucoidan, growth inhibition activities were evaluated using cultured Plasmodium falciparum parasites in vitro and on Plasmodium berghei-infected mice in vivo. Fucoidan significantly inhibited the invasion of erythrocytes by P. falciparum merozoites, and its 50% inhibition concentration was similar to those for the chloroquine-sensitive P. falciparum 3D7 strain and the chloroquine-resistant K1 strain. Four-day suppressive testing in P. berghei-infected mice with fucoidan resulted in a 37% suppressive effect versus the control group and a delay in death associated with anemia (P < 0.05). In addition, fucoidans had no toxic effect on RAW 264.7 cells. These findings indicate that fucoidans from the Korean brown algae U. pinnatifida inhibits the invasion of Plasmodium merozoites into erythrocytes in vitro and in vivo.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Unusual presentation of Plasmodium vivax: a neglected human malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Kute, Vivek B; Goswami, Jitendra G; Vanikar, Aruna V; Shah, Pankaj R; Gumber, Manoj R; Patel, Himanshu V; Kanodia, Kamal V; Trivedi, Hargovind L

    2012-06-01

    Severe and complicated malaria is usually caused by Plasmodium falciparum malaria (PF) but it has been increasingly observed that Plasmodium vivax malaria (PV), which was otherwise considered to be benign malaria, with a low case-fatality ratio, can also occasionally result in severe disease as with PF malaria. There is an urgent need to re-examine the clinical spectrum and burden of PV so that adequate control measures can be implemented against this emerging but neglected disease. We report a case of severe PV malaria with multi-organ dysfunction. Patients exhibited acute kidney injury, severe anemia/thrombocytopenia, jaundice, hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, and pulmonary edema. Peripheral blood microscopy by trained and expert pathologist and rapid diagnostic test showed the presence of PV and absence of PF. The patient recovered completely with anti-malarial drugs, supportive measures, and hemodialysis.Recent microrheologic research that analyzed malaria severity in PV clearly demonstrated enhanced aggregation, erythrocyte clumping, and reduced deformability affecting microcirculation. Our case report highlights the fact that PV malaria is benign by name but not always by nature. PV can lead to unusual and potentially life-threatening complications. Further large-scale multi-centric studies are needed to define this less known entity.

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

    PubMed

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N J

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, S L

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Matz, Joachim M; Kooij, Taco W A

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic high-mobility-group-box (HMGB) proteins are nuclear factors involved in chromatin remodeling and transcription regulation. When released into the extracellular milieu, HMGB1 acts as a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of several immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. We found that the Plasmodium genome encodes two genuine HMGB factors, Plasmodium HMGB1 and HMGB2, that encompass, like their human counterparts, a proinflammatory domain. Given that these proteins are released from parasitized red blood cells, we then hypothesized that Plasmodium HMGB might contribute to the pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), a lethal neuroinflammatory syndrome that develops in C57BL/6 (susceptible) mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA and that in many aspects resembles human cerebral malaria elicited by P. falciparum infection. The pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria was suppressed in C57BL/6 mice infected with P. berghei ANKA lacking the hmgb2 gene (Δhmgb2 ANKA), an effect associated with a reduction of histological brain lesions and with lower expression levels of several proinflammatory genes. The incidence of ECM in pbhmgb2-deficient mice was restored by the administration of recombinant PbHMGB2. Protection from experimental cerebral malaria in Δhmgb2 ANKA-infected mice was associated with reduced sequestration in the brain of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, including CD8+ granzyme B+ and CD8+ IFN-γ+ cells, and, to some extent, neutrophils. This was consistent with a reduced parasite sequestration in the brain, lungs, and spleen, though to a lesser extent than in wild-type P. berghei ANKA-infected mice. In summary, Plasmodium HMGB2 acts as an alarmin that contributes to the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. PMID:25916985

  18. Host responses to Plasmodium yoelii hepatic stages: a paradigm in host-parasite interaction.

    PubMed

    Lau, A O; Sacci, J B; Azad, A F

    2001-02-01

    The liver stage of malaria, caused by the genus Plasmodium, is clinically silent, but immunologically significant. Ample evidence exists for an effective CD8(+) T cell response to this stage as well as the involvement of gammadeltaT cells and NK1.1(int) cells in immunized animal models. In contrast, there is little information concerning responses in a naive host. Here we report that several host gene expressions in the liver, spleen, and kidney of BALB/c mice are altered during the liver stage of Plasmodium yoelii infection. Really interesting new gene 3 (Ring3), semaphorin subclass 4 member G, glutamylcysteine synthetase, and p45 NF erythroid 2 were all up-regulated 24 h after infection with P. yoelii. Semaphorin subclass 4 member G expression was elevated in the kidney, whereas Ring3 was elevated in both spleen and kidney. The expression of TNF-alpha (TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma) were down-regulated in all three tissues tested except in infected spleen where IFN-gamma was elevated. P. yoelii-related host gene changes were compared with those in Toxoplasma gondii-infected livers. Ring3 expression increased 5-fold over control values, whereas expression of the other transcripts remained unchanged. TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma expressions were increased in the Toxoplasma-infected livers. The uniform increase of Ring3 expression in both Plasmodium- and Toxoplasma-infected livers suggests an innate immune response against parasitic infections, whereas the other gene expression changes are consistent with Plasmodium parasite-specific responses. Taken together, these changes suggest the immune responses to P. yoelii infection are both parasite and organ specific.

  19. Relevance of undetectably rare resistant malaria parasites in treatment failure: experimental evidence from Plasmodium chabaudi.

    PubMed

    Huijben, Silvie; Chan, Brian H K; Read, Andrew F

    2015-06-01

    Resistant malaria parasites are frequently found in mixed infections with drug-sensitive parasites. Particularly early in the evolutionary process, the frequency of these resistant mutants can be extremely low and below the level of molecular detection. We tested whether the rarity of resistance in infections impacted the health outcomes of treatment failure and the potential for onward transmission of resistance. Mixed infections of different ratios of resistant and susceptible Plasmodium chabaudi parasites were inoculated in laboratory mice and dynamics tracked during the course of infection using highly sensitive genotype-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Frequencies of resistant parasites ranged from 10% to 0.003% at the onset of treatment. We found that the rarer the resistant parasites were, the lower the likelihood of their onward transmission, but the worse the treatment failure was in terms of parasite numbers and disease severity. Strikingly, drug resistant parasites had the biggest impact on health outcomes when they were too rare to be detected by any molecular methods currently available for field samples. Indeed, in the field, these treatment failures would not even have been attributed to resistance.

  20. 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

  1. Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John A.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Tom F.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (<1%), and 0 (0%) samples, respectively. Occupancy modeling was used to estimate prevalence of Leucocytozoon parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-04

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Carucci, D J

    2001-05-01

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

  5. Time-Lapse Imaging of Red Blood Cell Invasion by the Rodent Malaria Parasite Plasmodium yoelii

    PubMed Central

    Yahata, Kazuhide; Treeck, Moritz; Culleton, Richard; Gilberger, Tim-Wolf; Kaneko, Osamu

    2012-01-01

    In order to propagate within the mammalian host, malaria parasites must invade red blood cells (RBCs). This process offers a window of opportunity in which to target the parasite with drugs or vaccines. However, most of the studies relating to RBC invasion have analyzed the molecular interactions of parasite proteins with host cells under static conditions, and the dynamics of these interactions remain largely unstudied. Time-lapse imaging of RBC invasion is a powerful technique to investigate cell invasion and has been reported for Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium falciparum. However, experimental modification of genetic loci is laborious and time consuming for these species. We have established a system of time-lapse imaging for the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii, for which modification of genetic loci is quicker and simpler. We compared the kinetics of RBC invasion by P. yoelii with that of P. falciparum and found that the overall kinetics during invasion were similar, with some exceptions. The most striking of these differences is that, following egress from the RBC, the shape of P. yoelii merozoites gradually changes from flat elongated ovals to spherical bodies, a process taking about 60 sec. During this period merozoites were able to attach to and deform the RBC membrane, but were not able to reorient and invade. We propose that this morphological change of P. yoelii merozoites may be related to the secretion or activation of invasion-related proteins. Thus the P. yoelii merozoite appears to be an excellent model to analyze the molecular dynamics of RBC invasion, particularly during the morphological transition phase, which could serve as an expanded window that cannot be observed in P. falciparum. PMID:23227208

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  7. Phylogeographic Evidence for 2 Genetically Distinct Zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi Parasites, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Yusof, Ruhani; Ahmed, Md Atique; Jelip, Jenarun; Ngian, Hie Ung; Mustakim, Sahlawati; Hussin, Hani Mat; Fong, Mun Yik; Mahmud, Rohela; Sitam, Frankie Anak Thomas; Japning, J. Rovie-Ryan; Snounou, Georges; Escalante, Ananias A.

    2016-01-01

    Infections of humans with the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi occur throughout Southeast Asia, although most cases have occurred in Malaysia, where P. knowlesi is now the dominant malaria species. This apparently skewed distribution prompted an investigation of the phylogeography of this parasite in 2 geographically separated regions of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. We investigated samples collected from humans and macaques in these regions. Haplotype network analyses of sequences from 2 P. knowlesi genes, type A small subunit ribosomal 18S RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, showed 2 genetically distinct divergent clusters, 1 from each of the 2 regions of Malaysia. We propose that these parasites represent 2 distinct P. knowlesi types that independently became zoonotic. These types would have evolved after the sea-level rise at the end of the last ice age, which separated Malaysian Borneo from Peninsular Malaysia. PMID:27433965

  8. 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.

  9. The evolution and putative function of phosducin-like proteins in the malaria parasite Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Putonti, Catherine; Quach, Bryan; Kooistra, Rachel L; Kanzok, Stefan M

    2013-01-01

    Ubiquitous to the proteomes of all living species is the presence of proteins containing the thioredoxin (Trx)-domain. The best characterized Trx-domain containing proteins include the enzymes involved in cellular redox metabolism facilitated by their cysteine-containing active site. But not all members of the Trx-fold superfamily exhibit this catalytic motif, e.g., the phosducin-like (PhLP) family of proteins. Genome sequencing efforts have uncovered new Trx-domain containing proteins, and their redox activity and cellular functions have yet to be determined. The genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium contains multiple thioredoxins and thioredoxin-like proteins which are of considerable interest given their role in the parasite's antioxidant defense. While adaptations within the Trx-domain have been studied, primarily with respect to redox active structures, PhLP proteins have not been examined. Using the uncharacterized phosducin-like protein from Plasmodium berghei PhLP-1, we investigated the evolution of PhLP proteins across all branches of the tree of life. As a result of our analysis, we have discovered the presence of two additional PhLP proteins in Plasmodium, PhLP-2 and PhLP-3. Sequence homology with annotated PhLP proteins in other species confirms that the Plasmodium PhLP-2 and PhLP-3 belong to the PhLP family of proteins. Furthermore, as a result of our analysis we hypothesize that the PhLP-2 thioredoxin was lost over time given its absence from higher-order eukaryotes. Probing deeper into the putative function of these proteins, inspection of the active sites indicate that PbPhLP-1 and PbPhLP-2 may be redox active while PbPhLP-3 is very likely not. The results of this phylogenetic study provide insight into the emergence of this family of Trx-domain containing proteins.

  10. 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.

  11. RON12, a novel Plasmodium-specific rhoptry neck protein important for parasite proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Knuepfer, Ellen; Suleyman, Oniz; Dluzewski, Anton R; Straschil, Ursula; O'Keeffe, Aisling H; Ogun, Solabomi A; Green, Judith L; Grainger, Munira; Tewari, Rita; Holder, Anthony A

    2014-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites invade host cells by a conserved mechanism: parasite proteins are secreted from apical organelles, anchored in the host cell plasma membrane, and then interact with integral membrane proteins on the zoite surface to form the moving junction (MJ). The junction moves from the anterior to the posterior of the parasite resulting in parasite internalization into the host cell within a parasitophorous vacuole (PV). Conserved as well as coccidia-unique rhoptry neck proteins (RONs) have been described, some of which associate with the MJ. Here we report a novel RON, which we call RON12. RON12 is found only in Plasmodium and is highly conserved across the genus. RON12 lacks a membrane anchor and is a major soluble component of the nascent PV. The bulk of RON12 secretion happens late during invasion (after parasite internalization) allowing accumulation in the fully formed PV with a small proportion of RON12 also apparent occasionally in structures resembling the MJ. RON12, unlike most other RONs is not essential, but deletion of the gene does affect parasite proliferation. The data suggest that although the overall mechanism of invasion by Apicomplexanparasites is conserved, additional components depending on the parasite–host cell combination are required. PMID:23937520

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

    PubMed Central

    Philip, Nisha; Waters, Andrew P.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Functional analysis of essential genes in the malarial parasite, Plasmodium, is hindered by lack of efficient strategies for conditional protein regulation. We report the development of a rapid, specific, and inducible chemical-genetic tool in the rodent malaria parasite, P. berghei, in which endogenous proteins engineered to contain the auxin-inducible degron (AID) are selectively degraded upon adding auxin. Application of AID to the calcium-regulated protein phosphatase, calcineurin, revealed functions in host and vector stages of parasite development. Whereas depletion of calcineurin in late-stage schizonts demonstrated its critical role in erythrocyte attachment and invasion in vivo, stage-specific depletion uncovered roles in gamete development, fertilization, and ookinete-to-oocyst and sporozoite-to-liver stage transitions. Furthermore, AID technology facilitated concurrent generation and phenotyping of transgenic lines, allowing multiple lines to be assessed simultaneously with significant reductions in animal use. This study highlights the broad applicability of AID for functional analysis of proteins across the Plasmodium life cycle. PMID:26118994

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

    PubMed

    Philip, Nisha; Waters, Andrew P

    2015-07-08

    Functional analysis of essential genes in the malarial parasite, Plasmodium, is hindered by lack of efficient strategies for conditional protein regulation. We report the development of a rapid, specific, and inducible chemical-genetic tool in the rodent malaria parasite, P. berghei, in which endogenous proteins engineered to contain the auxin-inducible degron (AID) are selectively degraded upon adding auxin. Application of AID to the calcium-regulated protein phosphatase, calcineurin, revealed functions in host and vector stages of parasite development. Whereas depletion of calcineurin in late-stage schizonts demonstrated its critical role in erythrocyte attachment and invasion in vivo, stage-specific depletion uncovered roles in gamete development, fertilization, and ookinete-to-oocyst and sporozoite-to-liver stage transitions. Furthermore, AID technology facilitated concurrent generation and phenotyping of transgenic lines, allowing multiple lines to be assessed simultaneously with significant reductions in animal use. This study highlights the broad applicability of AID for functional analysis of proteins across the Plasmodium life cycle.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. In situ hybridization and sequence analysis reveal an association of Plasmodium spp. with mortalities in wild passerine birds in Austria.

    PubMed

    Dinhopl, Nora; Nedorost, Nora; Mostegl, Meike M; Weissenbacher-Lang, Christiane; Weissenböck, Herbert

    2015-04-01

    Native European passerine birds are frequently clinically inapparent carriers of haemosporidian parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Clinical disease and death are only exceptionally reported. In the present study, tissue samples of 233 wild passerine birds found dead in Eastern Austria were examined by in situ hybridization (ISH) and partial cytochrome B gene sequence analysis for the presence, abundance and taxonomic assignment of Plasmodium spp. In 34 cases (14.6%), ISH yielded a positive result with large numbers of developmental stages in different cell types of the spleen, liver, brain and lung. The abundance of the tissue stages, which was comparable to fatal cases of avian malaria in penguins, suggested a major contribution to the cause of death. Genetic analysis revealed infections with representatives of three different valid species of Plasmodium, Plasmodium elongatum, Plasmodium lutzi and Plasmodium vaughani. Genetically identical parasite lineages had been found in a previous study in penguins kept in the Vienna zoo, providing evidence for the role of wild birds as reservoir hosts. Further, this study provides evidence that several species of Plasmodium are able to abundantly proliferate in endemic wild birds ultimately resulting in mortalities.

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

    PubMed

    Assefa, Samuel; Lim, Caeul; Preston, Mark D; Duffy, Craig W; Nair, Mridul B; Adroub, Sabir A; Kadir, Khamisah A; Goldberg, Jonathan M; Neafsey, Daniel E; Divis, Paul; Clark, Taane G; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Conway, David J; Pain, Arnab; Singh, Balbir

    2015-10-20

    Malaria cases caused by the zoonotic parasite Plasmodium knowlesi are being increasingly reported throughout Southeast Asia and in travelers returning from the region. To test for evidence of signatures of selection or unusual population structure in this parasite, we surveyed genome sequence diversity in 48 clinical isolates recently sampled from Malaysian Borneo and in five lines maintained in laboratory rhesus macaques after isolation in the 1960s from Peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines. Overall genomewide nucleotide diversity (π = 6.03 × 10(-3)) was much higher than has been seen in worldwide samples of either of the major endemic malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A remarkable substructure is revealed within P. knowlesi, consisting of two major sympatric clusters of the clinical isolates and a third cluster comprising the laboratory isolates. There was deep differentiation between the two clusters of clinical isolates [mean genomewide fixation index (FST) = 0.21, with 9,293 SNPs having fixed differences of FST = 1.0]. This differentiation showed marked heterogeneity across the genome, with mean FST values of different chromosomes ranging from 0.08 to 0.34 and with further significant variation across regions within several chromosomes. Analysis of the largest cluster (cluster 1, 38 isolates) indicated long-term population growth, with negatively skewed allele frequency distributions (genomewide average Tajima's D = -1.35). Against this background there was evidence of balancing selection on particular genes, including the circumsporozoite protein (csp) gene, which had the top Tajima's D value (1.57), and scans of haplotype homozygosity implicate several genomic regions as being under recent positive selection.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  1. M17 leucine aminopeptidase of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung-Yub; Song, Su-Min; Seok, Ji-Woong; Jha, Bijay Kumar; Han, Eun-Taek; Song, Hyun-Ouk; Yu, Hak-Sun; Hong, Yeonchul; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Chung, Dong-Il

    2010-03-01

    Amino acids derived from hemoglobin are essential to protein synthesis required for growth and development of the Plasmodium vivax malaria parasite. M17 leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) is a cytosolic metallo-exopeptidase that catalyzes the removal of amino acids from the peptide generated in the process of hemoglobin degradation. Inhibitors of the enzyme have shown promise as drugs against Plasmodium infections, implicating aminopeptidases as a novel potential anti-malarial chemotherapy target. In this study, we isolated a cDNA encoding a 68kDa P. vivax LAP (PvLAP). Deduced amino acid sequence of PvLAP exhibited significant sequence homology with LAP from Plasmodium falciparum. Biochemical analysis of the recombinant PvLAP protein produced in Escherichia coli demonstrated preferential substrate specificity for the fluorogenic peptide Leu-7-amido-4-methylcoumarin hydroxide and inhibition by EDTA, 1,10-phenanthroline, and bestatin, which are conserved characteristics of the M17 family of LAP. PvLAP was optimally active at slightly alkaline pH and its activity was dependent on divalent metal ions. Based on the biochemical properties and immunofluorescence localization, PvLAP is concluded to represent a LAP in P. vivax. The enzyme is most likely responsible for the catabolism of host hemoglobin and, hence, represents a potential target of both P. falciparum and P. vivax chemotherapy.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramey, Andy M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Reed, John A.; Fujita, Go; Scotton, Bradley D.; Casler, Bruce; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Konishi, Kan; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Empirical evidence supports wild birds as playing a role in the interhemispheric exchange of bacteria and viruses; however, data supporting the redistribution of parasites among continents are limited. In this study, the hypothesis that migratory birds contribute to the redistribution of parasites between continents was tested by sampling northern pintails (Anas acuta) at locations throughout the North Pacific Basin in North America and East Asia for haemosporidian infections and assessing the genetic evidence for parasite exchange. Of 878 samples collected from birds in Alaska (USA), California (USA), and Hokkaido (Japan) during August 2011 - May 2012 and screened for parasitic infections using molecular techniques, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium parasites were detected in 555 (63%), 44 (5%), and 52 (6%) samples, respectively. Using an occupancy modeling approach, the probability of detecting parasites via replicate genetic tests was estimated to be high (p ≥ 0.95). Multi-model inference supported variation of Leucocytozoon parasite prevalence by northern pintail age class and geographic location of sampling in contrast to Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites for which there was only support for variation in parasite prevalence by sampling location. Thirty-one unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were detected among haematozoa infecting northern pintails including seven lineages shared between samples from North America and Japan. The finding of identical parasite haplotypes at widely distributed geographic locations and general lack of genetic structuring by continent in phylogenies for Leucocytozoon and Plasmodium provides evidence for intercontinental genetic exchange of haemosporidian parasites. Results suggest that migratory birds, including waterfowl, could therefore facilitate the introduction of avian malaria and other haemosporidia to novel hosts and spatially distant regions.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ramey, Andrew M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Reed, John A.; Fujita, Go; Scotton, Bradley D.; Casler, Bruce; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Konishi, Kan; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Empirical evidence supports wild birds as playing a role in the interhemispheric exchange of bacteria and viruses; however, data supporting the redistribution of parasites among continents are limited. In this study, the hypothesis that migratory birds contribute to the redistribution of parasites between continents was tested by sampling northern pintails (Anas acuta) at locations throughout the North Pacific Basin in North America and East Asia for haemosporidian infections and assessing the genetic evidence for parasite exchange. Of 878 samples collected from birds in Alaska (USA), California (USA), and Hokkaido (Japan) during August 2011–May 2012 and screened for parasitic infections using molecular techniques, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium parasites were detected in 555 (63%), 44 (5%), and 52 (6%) samples, respectively. Using an occupancy modeling approach, the probability of detecting parasites via replicate genetic tests was estimated to be high (ρ > 0.95). Multi-model inference supported variation of Leucocytozoon parasite prevalence by northern pintail age class and geographic location of sampling in contrast to Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites for which there was only support for variation in parasite prevalence by sampling location. Thirty-one unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were detected among haematozoa infecting northern pintails including seven lineages shared between samples from North America and Japan. The finding of identical parasite haplotypes at widely distributed geographic locations and general lack of genetic structuring by continent in phylogenies for Leucocytozoon and Plasmodium provides evidence for intercontinental genetic exchange of haemosporidian parasites. Results suggest that migratory birds, including waterfowl, could therefore facilitate the introduction of avian malaria and other haemosporidia to novel hosts and spatially distant regions. PMID:25830100

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Demonstration of the role of cytophilic antibody in resistance to malaria parasites (Plasmodium berghei) in rats.

    PubMed Central

    Green, T J; Kreier, J P

    1978-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a study of the nature of the immune response against Plasmodium berghei parasites by inbred rats. A macrophage-cytophilic antibody specific for malarial antigens was identified and characterized. Detection of the antibody on the macrophage surface was accomplished by the parasite adherence tests and by the indirect fluorescent antibody technique. Isolation and purification of the macrophage-cytophilic and opsonic antibodies from hyperimmune rat serum was accomplished by QAE-Sephadez A-50 elution chromatography, and of the macrophage-cytophilic antibody by adsorption with and elution from syngeneic macrophages as well. Characterization of the cytophilic antibody as immunoglobulin G1 was done by immunoelectrophoresis and by Ouchterlony-type double diffusion in gel. Passive protection tests in weanling inbred rats have demonstrated that the opsonizing antibody conferred some protection against P. berghei. The macrophage-cytophilic antibody, on the other hand, was not protective alone but acted synergistically with the opsonizing antibody. Images PMID:342408

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  20. Effect of clinically approved HDAC inhibitors on Plasmodium, Leishmania and Schistosoma parasite growth.

    PubMed

    Chua, Ming Jang; Arnold, Megan S J; Xu, Weijun; Lancelot, Julien; Lamotte, Suzanne; Späth, Gerald F; Prina, Eric; Pierce, Raymond J; Fairlie, David P; Skinner-Adams, Tina S; Andrews, Katherine T

    2017-04-01

    Malaria, schistosomiasis and leishmaniases are among the most prevalent tropical parasitic diseases and each requires new innovative treatments. Targeting essential parasite pathways, such as those that regulate gene expression and cell cycle progression, is a key strategy for discovering new drug leads. In this study, four clinically approved anti-cancer drugs (Vorinostat, Belinostat, Panobinostat and Romidepsin) that target histone/lysine deacetylase enzymes were examined for in vitro activity against Plasmodium knowlesi, Schistosoma mansoni, Leishmania amazonensis and L. donovani parasites and two for in vivo activity in a mouse malaria model. All four compounds were potent inhibitors of P. knowlesi malaria parasites (IC50 9-370 nM), with belinostat, panobinostat and vorinostat having 8-45 fold selectivity for the parasite over human neonatal foreskin fibroblast (NFF) or human embryonic kidney (HEK 293) cells, while romidepsin was not selective. Each of the HDAC inhibitor drugs caused hyperacetylation of P. knowlesi histone H4. None of the drugs was active against Leishmania amastigote or promastigote parasites (IC50 > 20 μM) or S. mansoni schistosomula (IC50 > 10 μM), however romidepsin inhibited S. mansoni adult worm parings and egg production (IC50 ∼10 μM). Modest in vivo activity was observed in P. berghei infected mice dosed orally with vorinostat or panobinostat (25 mg/kg twice daily for four days), with a significant reduction in parasitemia observed on days 4-7 and 4-10 after infection (P < 0.05), respectively.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Multivariable analysis of host amino acids in plasma and liver during infection of malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Malaria is the most significant human parasitic disease, and yet understanding of the energy metabolism of the principle pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum, remains to be fully elucidated. Amino acids were shown to be essential nutritional requirements since early times and much of the current knowledge of Plasmodium energy metabolism is based on early biochemical work, performed using basic analytical techniques, carried out almost exclusively on human plasma with considerable inter-individual variability. Methods In order to further characterize the fate of amino acid metabolism in malaria parasite, multivariate analysis using statistical modelling of amino acid concentrations (aminogram) of plasma and liver were determined in host infected with rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii. Results and conclusion Comprehensive and statistical aminogram analysis revealed that P. yoelii infection caused drastic change of plasma and liver aminogram, and altered intra- and inter-correlation of amino acid concentration in plasma and liver. These findings of the interactions between amino acids and Plasmodium infection may provide insight to reveal the interaction between nutrients and parasites. PMID:23324562

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Susceptibility of Anopheles stephensi to Plasmodium gallinaceum: A Trait of the Mosquito, the Parasite, and the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Hume, Jen C. C.; Hamilton, Howard; Lee, Kevin L.; Lehmann, Tovi

    2011-01-01

    Background Vector susceptibility to Plasmodium infection is treated primarily as a vector trait, although it is a composite trait expressing the joint occurrence of the parasite and the vector with genetic contributions of both. A comprehensive approach to assess the specific contribution of genetic and environmental variation on “vector susceptibility” is lacking. Here we developed and implemented a simple scheme to assess the specific contributions of the vector, the parasite, and the environment to “vector susceptibility.” To the best of our knowledge this is the first study that employs such an approach. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted selection experiments on the vector (while holding the parasite “constant”) and on the parasite (while holding the vector “constant”) to estimate the genetic contributions of the mosquito and the parasite to the susceptibility of Anopheles stephensi to Plasmodium gallinaceum. We separately estimated the realized heritability of (i) susceptibility to parasite infection by the mosquito vector and (ii) parasite compatibility (transmissibility) with the vector while controlling the other. The heritabilities of vector and the parasite were higher for the prevalence, i.e., fraction of infected mosquitoes, than the corresponding heritabilities of parasite load, i.e., the number of oocysts per mosquito. Conclusions The vector's genetics (heritability) comprised 67% of “vector susceptibility” measured by the prevalence of mosquitoes infected with P. gallinaceum oocysts, whereas the specific contribution of parasite genetics (heritability) to this trait was only 5%. Our parasite source might possess minimal genetic diversity, which could explain its low heritability (and the high value of the vector). Notably, the environment contributed 28%. These estimates are relevant only to the particular system under study, but this experimental design could be useful for other parasite-host systems. The prospects and

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Leukocyte profiles for western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, naturally infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Motz, Victoria L; Lewis, William D; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M

    2014-10-01

    Plasmodium mexicanum is a malaria parasite that naturally infects the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis , in northern California. We set out to determine whether lizards naturally infected with this malaria parasite have different leukocyte profiles, indicating an immune response to infection. We used 29 naturally infected western fence lizards paired with uninfected lizards based on sex, snout-to-vent length, tail status, and the presence-absence of ectoparasites such as ticks and mites, as well as the presence-absence of another hemoparasite, Schellackia occidentalis. Complete white blood cell (WBC) counts were conducted on blood smears stained with Giemsa, and the proportion of granulocytes per microliter of blood was estimated using the Avian Leukopet method. The abundance of each WBC class (lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, eosinophils, and basophils) in infected and uninfected lizards was compared to determine whether leukocyte densities varied with infection status. We found that the numbers of WBCs and lymphocytes per microliter of blood significantly differed (P < 0.05) between the 2 groups for females but not for males, whereas parasitemia was significantly correlated with lymphocyte counts for males, but not for females. This study supports the theory that infection with P. mexicanum stimulates the lizard's immune response to increase the levels of circulating WBCs, but what effect this has on the biology of the parasite remains unclear.

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

    PubMed

    Ishak, Heather D; Dumbacher, John P; Anderson, Nancy L; Keane, John J; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Haig, Susan M; Tell, Lisa A; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2008-05-28

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis caurina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n = 17) and unique lineages (n = 12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one Leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls.

  13. Blood parasites in Owls with conservation implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ishak, H.D.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Anderson, N.L.; Keane, J.J.; Valkiunas, G.; Haig, S.M.; Tell, L.A.; Sehgal, R.N.M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis courina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n=17) and unique lineages (n=12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. ?? 2008 Ishak et al.

  14. Blood Parasites in Owls with Conservation Implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    PubMed Central

    Ishak, Heather D.; Dumbacher, John P.; Anderson, Nancy L.; Keane, John J.; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Haig, Susan M.; Tell, Lisa A.; Sehgal, Ravinder N. M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis caurina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n = 17) and unique lineages (n = 12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one Leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. PMID:18509541

  15. Seasonal pattern of avian Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes and implications for parasite transmission in central Panama.

    PubMed

    Loaiza, Jose R; Miller, Matthew J

    2013-11-01

    Aedeomyia squamipennis and Culex (Melanoconion) ocossa, two ubiquitous Neotropical mosquito species, are likely involved in the transmission of several bird pathogens in Gamboa, central Panama. However, knowledge on their eco-epidemiological profiles is still incomplete. Our goal in this study was to investigate temporal trends of vector density and their relationship with avian plasmodia prevalence. This information is central to identifying the risk posed by each vector species to the avian community locally. We found that A. squamipennis maintains stable population size across climatic seasons and thus maybe a more efficient vector of avian malaria than C. ocossa. In contrast, C. ocossa, which undergoes considerable population expansion in the rainy season and contraction in the dry season, is likely only an important avian malaria vector during part of the year. This is consistent with the larger number of parasite isolations and Plasmodium cyt b lineages recovered from A. squamipennis than from C. ocossa and might be explained by marked differences in their seasonality and host-feeding preferences. More Plasmodium PCR testing in mosquito communities from other areas of Panama might reveal additional vectors of avian plasmodia.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Pain, Arnab; Ravasi, Timothy

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  20. Cloning, expression and functional characterization of heme detoxification protein (HDP) from the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium vinckei.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

    Malaria parasite resides within the host red blood cells, where it degrades vast amount of haemoglobin. During haemoglobin degradation, toxic free heme is liberated which subsequently gets converted into hemozoin. This process is facilitated by action of various proteins viz. heme detoxification protein (HDP), and histidine rich proteins II and III (HRP II & III). Out of these, HDP is the most potent in hemozoin formation and plays indispensible role for parasite survival. Despite this, the detailed study of HDP from rodent and simian parasite has not been performed till date. Here, we have cloned and sequenced hdp gene from different malaria parasites Plasmodium vinckei, Plasmodium yoelii, Plasmodium knowlesi, and Plasmodium cynomolgi. Furthermore, HDP from P. vinckei (PvHDP) was over-expressed and purified for detailed characterization. The PvHDP is cytosolic, expressed throughout the intra erythrocytic stages and its expression is higher in late trophozoite and schizont stages of parasite. The PvHDP interacts with free heme (KD=89 nM) and efficiently converts heme into hemozoin in a time and concentration dependent manner. Moreover, PvHDP showed activity in acidic pH and over a broad range of temperature. Histidine modification of PvHDP using DEPC showed reduction in heme binding and hemozoin formation, thus emphasizing the importance of histidine residues in heme binding and subsequent hemozoin production. Furthermore, applicability of PvHDP to screen anti-plasmodial agents (targeting heme to hemozoin conversion) was also determined using chloroquine, and mefloquine as reference antimalarials. Results showed that these drugs inhibit heme polymerization effectively in a concentration dependent manner. In conclusion, our study identified and biochemically characterized HDP from rodent malaria parasite P. vinckei and this will help to develop a high throughput assay to evaluate new antimalarials targeting hemozoin pathway.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Relative clonal proportions over time in mixed-genotype infections of the lizard malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Ford, Alice Flynn; Schall, Jos J

    2011-06-01

    Vertebrate hosts of malaria parasites (Plasmodium) often harbour two or more genetically distinct clones of a single species, and interaction among these co-existing clones can play an important role in Plasmodium biology. However, how relative clonal proportions vary over time in a host is still poorly known. Experimental mixed-clone infections of the lizard malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, were followed in its natural host, the western fence lizard using microsatellite markers to determine the relative proportions of two to five co-existing clones over time (2-3 months). Results for two markers, and two PCR primer pairs for one of those, matched very closely, supporting the efficacy of the method. Of the 54 infections, 67% displayed stable relative clonal proportions, with the others showing a shift in proportions, usually with one clone outpacing the others. Infections with rapidly increasing or slowly increasing parasitemia were stable, showing that all clones within these infections reproduced at the same rapid or slow rate. Replicate infections containing the same clones did not always reveal the same growth rate, final parasitemia or dominant clone; thus there was no clone effect for these life history measures. The rate of increase in parasitemia was not associated with stable versus unstable relative proportions, but infections with four to five clones were more likely to be unstable than those with two to three clones. This rare look into events in genetically complex Plasmodium infections suggests that parasite clones may be interacting in complex and unexpected ways.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Use of Malachite Green-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification for Detection of Plasmodium spp. Parasites.

    PubMed

    Lucchi, Naomi W; Ljolje, Dragan; Silva-Flannery, Luciana; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-01-01

    Malaria elimination efforts are hampered by the lack of sensitive tools to detect infections with low-level parasitemia, usually below the threshold of standard diagnostic methods, microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests. Isothermal nucleic acid amplification assays such as the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), are well suited for field use as they do not require thermal cyclers to run the test. However, the use of specialized equipment, as described by many groups, reduces the versatility of the LAMP technique as a simple tool for use in endemic countries. In this study, the use of the malachite green (MG) dye, as a visual endpoint readout, together with a simple mini heat block was evaluated for the detection of malaria parasites. The assay was performed for 1 hour at 63°C and the results scored by 3 independent human readers. The limit of detection of the assay was determined using well-quantified Plasmodium spp. infected reference samples and its utility in testing clinical samples was determined using 190 pre-treatment specimens submitted for reference diagnosis of imported malaria in the United States. Use of a simplified boil and spin methods of DNA extraction from whole blood and filter paper was also investigated. We demonstrate the accurate and sensitive detection of malaria parasites using this assay with a detection limit ranging between 1-8 parasites/μL, supporting its applicability for the detection of infections with low parasite burden. This assay is compatible with the use of a simple boil and spin sample preparation method from both whole blood and filter papers without a loss of sensitivity. The MG-LAMP assay described here has great potential to extend the reach of molecular tools to settings where they are needed.

  7. Use of Malachite Green-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification for Detection of Plasmodium spp. Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Lucchi, Naomi W.; Ljolje, Dragan; Silva-Flannery, Luciana; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-01-01

    Malaria elimination efforts are hampered by the lack of sensitive tools to detect infections with low-level parasitemia, usually below the threshold of standard diagnostic methods, microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests. Isothermal nucleic acid amplification assays such as the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), are well suited for field use as they do not require thermal cyclers to run the test. However, the use of specialized equipment, as described by many groups, reduces the versatility of the LAMP technique as a simple tool for use in endemic countries. In this study, the use of the malachite green (MG) dye, as a visual endpoint readout, together with a simple mini heat block was evaluated for the detection of malaria parasites. The assay was performed for 1 hour at 63°C and the results scored by 3 independent human readers. The limit of detection of the assay was determined using well-quantified Plasmodium spp. infected reference samples and its utility in testing clinical samples was determined using 190 pre-treatment specimens submitted for reference diagnosis of imported malaria in the United States. Use of a simplified boil and spin methods of DNA extraction from whole blood and filter paper was also investigated. We demonstrate the accurate and sensitive detection of malaria parasites using this assay with a detection limit ranging between 1–8 parasites/μL, supporting its applicability for the detection of infections with low parasite burden. This assay is compatible with the use of a simple boil and spin sample preparation method from both whole blood and filter papers without a loss of sensitivity. The MG-LAMP assay described here has great potential to extend the reach of molecular tools to settings where they are needed. PMID:26967908

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Does haemosporidian infection affect hematological and biochemical profiles of the endangered Black-fronted piping-guan (Aburria jacutinga)?

    PubMed

    Motta, Rafael Otávio Cançado; Romero Marques, Marcus Vinícius; Ferreira Junior, Francisco Carlos; Andery, Danielle de Assis; Horta, Rodrigo Santos; Peixoto, Renata Barbosa; Lacorte, Gustavo Augusto; Moreira, Patrícia de Abreu; Paes Leme, Fabíola de Oliveira; Melo, Marília Martins; Martins, Nelson Rodrigo da Silva; Braga, Erika Martins

    2013-01-01

    Infectious diseases can cause deleterious effects on bird species, leading to population decline and extinction. Haemosporidia can be recognized by their negative effects on host fitness, including reproductive success and immune responses. In captivity, outbreaks of haemosporidian infection have been observed in birds in zoos and aviaries. The endemic Brazilian Atlantic rainforest species Aburria jacutinga is one of the most endangered species in the Cracidae family, and wild populations of this species are currently found mainly in conservation areas in only two Brazilian states. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of avian haemosporidia on hematological and biochemical parameters in two captive populations of A. jacutinga. Forty-two animals were assessed, and the haemosporidian prevalence was similar for males and females. The occurrence of haemosporidian infection in captive A. jacutinga observed in this study was similar to results found in other captive and wild birds in Brazil. We found three different lineages of haemosporidia. Two lineages were identified as Plasmodium sp., one of which was previously detected in Europe and Asia, and the other is a new lineage closely related to P. gallinaceum. A new third lineage was identified as Haemoproteus sp. We found no significant differences in hematological and biochemical values between infected and non-infected birds, and the haemosporidian lineage did not seem to have an impact on the clinical and physiological parameters of A. jacutinga. This is the first report on an evaluation of natural haemosporidian infections diagnosed by microscopic and molecular methods in A. jacutinga by hematology, blood biochemistry, and serum protein values. Determining physiological parameters, occurrence and an estimation of the impact of haemosporidia in endangered avian species may contribute to the management of species rehabilitation and conservation.

  11. Pivotal and distinct role for Plasmodium actin capping protein alpha during blood infection of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Ganter, Markus; Rizopoulos, Zaira; Schüler, Herwig; Matuschewski, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Accurate regulation of microfilament dynamics is central to cell growth, motility and response to environmental stimuli. Stabilizing and depolymerizing proteins control the steady-state levels of filamentous (F-) actin. Capping protein (CP) binds to free barbed ends, thereby arresting microfilament growth and restraining elongation to remaining free barbed ends. In all CPs characterized to date, alpha and beta subunits form the active heterodimer. Here, we show in a eukaryotic parasitic cell that the two CP subunits can be functionally separated. Unlike the beta subunit, the CP alpha subunit of the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium is refractory to targeted gene deletion during blood infection in the mammalian host. Combinatorial complementation of Plasmodium berghei CP genes with the orthologs from Plasmodium falciparum verified distinct activities of CP alpha and CP alpha/beta during parasite life cycle progression. Recombinant Plasmodium CP alpha could be produced in Escherichia coli in the absence of the beta subunit and the protein displayed F-actin capping activity. Thus, the functional separation of two CP subunits in a parasitic eukaryotic cell and the F-actin capping activity of CP alpha expand the repertoire of microfilament regulatory mechanisms assigned to CPs. PMID:25565321

  12. Pivotal and distinct role for Plasmodium actin capping protein alpha during blood infection of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Ganter, Markus; Rizopoulos, Zaira; Schüler, Herwig; Matuschewski, Kai

    2015-04-01

    Accurate regulation of microfilament dynamics is central to cell growth, motility and response to environmental stimuli. Stabilizing and depolymerizing proteins control the steady-state levels of filamentous (F-) actin. Capping protein (CP) binds to free barbed ends, thereby arresting microfilament growth and restraining elongation to remaining free barbed ends. In all CPs characterized to date, alpha and beta subunits form the active heterodimer. Here, we show in a eukaryotic parasitic cell that the two CP subunits can be functionally separated. Unlike the beta subunit, the CP alpha subunit of the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium is refractory to targeted gene deletion during blood infection in the mammalian host. Combinatorial complementation of Plasmodium berghei CP genes with the orthologs from Plasmodium falciparum verified distinct activities of CP alpha and CP alpha/beta during parasite life cycle progression. Recombinant Plasmodium CP alpha could be produced in Escherichia coli in the absence of the beta subunit and the protein displayed F-actin capping activity. Thus, the functional separation of two CP subunits in a parasitic eukaryotic cell and the F-actin capping activity of CP alpha expand the repertoire of microfilament regulatory mechanisms assigned to CPs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  15. The Plasmodium PHIST and RESA-Like Protein Families of Human and Rodent Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Cristina K.; Naissant, Bernina; Coppi, Alida; Bennett, Brandy L.; Aime, Elena; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Janse, Chris J.; Coppens, Isabelle; Sinnis, Photini; Templeton, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    The phist gene family has members identified across the Plasmodium genus, defined by the presence of a domain of roughly 150 amino acids having conserved aromatic residues and an all alpha-helical structure. The family is highly amplified in P. falciparum, with 65 predicted genes in the genome of the 3D7 isolate. In contrast, in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei 3 genes are identified, one of which is an apparent pseudogene. Transcripts of the P. berghei phist genes are predominant in schizonts, whereas in P. falciparum transcript profiles span different asexual blood stages and gametocytes. We pursued targeted disruption of P. berghei phist genes in order to characterize a simplistic model for the expanded phist gene repertoire in P. falciparum. Unsuccessful attempts to disrupt P. berghei PBANKA_114540 suggest that this phist gene is essential, while knockout of phist PBANKA_122900 shows an apparent normal progression and non-essential function throughout the life cycle. Epitope-tagging of P. falciparum and P. berghei phist genes confirmed protein export to the erythrocyte cytoplasm and localization with a punctate pattern. Three P. berghei PEXEL/HT-positive exported proteins exhibit at least partial co-localization, in support of a common vesicular compartment in the cytoplasm of erythrocytes infected with rodent malaria parasites. PMID:27022937

  16. 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.

  17. Clonal reproduction shapes evolution in the lizard malaria parasite Plasmodium floridense.

    PubMed

    Falk, Bryan G; Glor, Richard E; Perkins, Susan L

    2015-06-01

    The preponderant clonal evolution hypothesis (PCE) predicts that frequent clonal reproduction (sex between two clones) in many pathogens capable of sexual recombination results in strong linkage disequilibrium and the presence of discrete genetic subdivisions characterized by occasional gene flow. We expand on the PCE and predict that higher rates of clonal reproduction will result in: (1) morphologically cryptic species that exhibit (2) low within-species variation and (3) recent between-species divergence. We tested these predictions in the Caribbean lizard malaria parasite Plasmodium floridense using 63 single-infection samples in lizards collected from across the parasite's range, and sequenced them at two mitochondrial, one apicoplast, and five nuclear genes. We identified 11 provisionally cryptic species within P. floridense, each of which exhibits low intraspecific variation and recent divergence times between species (some diverged approximately 110,000 years ago). Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that clonal reproduction can profoundly affect diversification of species capable of sexual recombination, and suggest that clonal reproduction may have led to a large number of unrecognized pathogen species. The factors that may influence the rates of clonal reproduction among pathogens are unclear, and we discuss how prevalence and virulence may relate to clonal reproduction.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Synek, Petr; Popelková, Alena; Koubínová, Darina; Šťastný, Karel; Langrová, Iva; Votýpka, Jan; Munclinger, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Sedentary bird species are suitable model hosts for identifying potential vectors of avian blood parasites. We studied haemosporidian infections in the Tengmalm's Owl (Aegolius funereus) in the Ore Mountains of the Czech Republic using molecular detection methods. Sex of owl nestlings was scored using molecular sexing based on fragment analysis of PCR-amplified CHD1 introns. Observed infection prevalences in nestlings and adult owls were 51 and 86 %, respectively. Five parasite lineages were detected. Most of the infections comprised the Leucocytozoon AEFUN02 and STOCC06 lineages that probably refer to distinct Leucocytozoon species. Other lineages were detected only sporadically. Mixed infections were found in 49 % of samples. The main factor affecting the probability of infection was host age. No effect of individual sex on infection probability was evidenced. The youngest infected nestling was 12 days old. High parasite prevalence in the Tengmalm's Owl nestlings suggests that insect vectors must enter nest boxes to transmit parasites before fledging. Hence, we placed sticky insect traps into modified nest boxes, collected potential insect vectors, and examined them for the presence of haemosporidian parasites using molecular detection. We trapped 201 insects which were determined as biting midges from the Culicoides genus and two black fly species, Simulium (Nevermannia) vernum and Simulium (Eusimulium) angustipes. Six haemosporidian lineages were detected in the potential insect vectors, among which the Leucocytozoon lineage BT2 was common to the Tengmalm's Owl and the trapped insects. However, we have not detected the most frequently encountered Tengmalm's Owl Leucocytozoon lineages AEFUN02 and STOCC06 in insects.

  20. Implications of Plasmodium parasite infected mosquitoes on an insular avifauna: the case of Socorro Island, México.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Jenny S; Martínez-Gómez, Juan E; Cornel, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2011-06-01

    Avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) has been implicated in the decline of avian populations in the Hawaiian Islands and it is generally agreed that geographically isolated and immunologically naïve bird populations are particularly vulnerable to the pathogenic effects of invasive malaria parasites. In order to assess the potential disease risk of malaria to the avifauna of Socorro Island, México, we surveyed for Plasmodium isolates from 1,300 resident field-caught mosquitoes. Most of them were identified as Aedes (Ochlerotatus) taeniorhynchus (Wiedemann, 1821), which were abundant in the salt marshes. We also collected Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 close to human dwellings. Mitochondrial ND5 and COII gene sequences of Ae. taeniorhynchus were analyzed and compared to corresponding sequences of mosquitoes of the Galápagos Islands, Latin America, and the North American mainland. Aedes lineages from Socorro Island clustered most closely with a lineage from the continental U.S. Plasmodium spp. DNA was isolated from both species of mosquitoes. From 38 positive pools, we isolated 11 distinct mitochondrial Cytb lineages of Plasmodium spp. Seven of the Plasmodium lineages represent previously documented avian infective strains while four were new lineages. Our results confirm a potential risk for the spread of avian malaria and underscore the need to monitor both the mosquito and avian populations as a necessary conservation measure to protect endangered bird species on Socorro Island.

  1. A restriction site to differentiate Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infections in birds: on the inefficiency of general primers for detection of mixed infections.

    PubMed

    Martínez, J; Martínez-DE LA Puente, J; Herrero, J; Del Cerro, S; Lobato, E; Rivero-DE Aguilar, J; Vásquez, R A; Merino, S

    2009-06-01

    Avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites are easily detected by DNA analyses of infected samples but only correctly assigned to each genus by sequencing and use of a phylogenetic approach. Here, we present a restriction site to differentiate between both parasite genera avoiding the use of those analyses. Alignments of 820 sequences currently listed in GenBank encoding a particular cytochrome B region of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus show a shared restriction site for both genera using the endonuclease Hpy CH4III. An additional restriction site is present in Plasmodium sequences that would initially allow differentiation of both genera by differential migration of digested products on gels. Overall 9 out of 326 sequences containing both potential restriction sites do not fit to the general rule. We used this differentiation of parasite genera based on Hpy CH4III restriction sites to evaluate the efficacy of 2 sets of general primers in detecting mixed infections. To do so, we used samples from hosts infected by parasites of both genera. The use of general primers was only able to detect 25% or less of the mixed infections. Therefore, parasite DNA amplification using general primers to determine the species composition of haemosporidian infections in individual hosts is not recommended. Specific primers for each species and study area should be designed until a new method can efficiently discriminate both parasites.

  2. Cross-reactive anti-PfCLAG9 antibodies in the sera of asymptomatic parasite carriers of Plasmodium vivax

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Joana D'Arc Neves; Zanchi, Fernando Berton; Rodrigues, Francisco Lurdevanhe da Silva; Honda, Eduardo Rezende; Katsuragawa, Tony Hiroschi; Pereira, Dhélio Batista; Taborda, Roger Lafontaine Mesquita; Tada, Mauro Shugiro; Ferreira, Ricardo de Godoi Mattos; Pereira-da-Silva, Luiz Hildebrando

    2013-01-01

    The PfCLAG9 has been extensively studied because their immunogenicity. Thereby, the gene product is important for therapeutics interventions and a potential vaccine candidate. Antibodies against synthetic peptides corresponding to selected sequences of the Plasmodium falciparum antigen PfCLAG9 were found in sera of falciparum malaria patients from Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon. Much higher antibody titres were found in semi-immune and immune asymptomatic parasite carriers than in subjects suffering clinical infections, corroborating original findings in Papua Guinea. However, sera of Plasmodium vivax patients from the same Amazon area, in particular from asymptomatic vivax parasite carriers, reacted strongly with the same peptides. Bioinformatic analyses revealed regions of similarity between P. falciparum Pfclag9 and the P. vivax ortholog Pvclag7. Indirect fluorescent microscopy analysis showed that antibodies against PfCLAG9 peptides elicited in BALB/c mice react with human red blood cells (RBCs) infected with both P. falciparum and P. vivax parasites. The patterns of reactivity on the surface of the parasitised RBCs are very similar. The present observations support previous findings that PfCLAG9 may be a target of protective immune responses and raises the possibility that the cross reactive antibodies to PvCLAG7 in mixed infections play a role in regulate the fate of Plasmodium mixed infections. PMID:23440122

  3. Genetic Characterization of Plasmodium Putative Pantothenate Kinase Genes Reveals Their Essential Role in Malaria Parasite Transmission to the Mosquito.

    PubMed

    Hart, Robert J; Cornillot, Emmanuel; Abraham, Amanah; Molina, Emily; Nation, Catherine S; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Aly, Ahmed S I

    2016-09-20

    The metabolic machinery for the biosynthesis of Coenzyme A (CoA) from exogenous pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) has long been considered as an excellent target for the development of selective antimicrobials. Earlier studies in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that pantothenate analogs interfere with pantothenate phosphorylation and block asexual blood stage development. Although two eukaryotic-type putative pantothenate kinase genes (PanK1 and PanK2) have been identified in all malaria parasite species, their role in the development of Plasmodium life cycle stages remains unknown. Here we report on the genetic characterization of PanK1 and PanK2 in P. yoelii. We show that P. yoelii parasites lacking either PanK1 or PanK2 undergo normal asexual stages development and sexual stages differentiation, however they are severely deficient in ookinete, oocyst and sporozoite formation inside the mosquito vector. Quantitative transcriptional analyses in wild-type and knockout parasites demonstrate an important role for these genes in the regulation of expression of other CoA biosynthesis genes. Together, our data provide the first genetic evidence for the importance of the early steps of pantothenate utilization in the regulation of CoA biosynthesis and malaria parasite transmission to Anopheles mosquitoes.

  4. Genetic Characterization of Plasmodium Putative Pantothenate Kinase Genes Reveals Their Essential Role in Malaria Parasite Transmission to the Mosquito

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Robert J.; Cornillot, Emmanuel; Abraham, Amanah; Molina, Emily; Nation, Catherine S.; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Aly, Ahmed S. I.

    2016-01-01

    The metabolic machinery for the biosynthesis of Coenzyme A (CoA) from exogenous pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) has long been considered as an excellent target for the development of selective antimicrobials. Earlier studies in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that pantothenate analogs interfere with pantothenate phosphorylation and block asexual blood stage development. Although two eukaryotic-type putative pantothenate kinase genes (PanK1 and PanK2) have been identified in all malaria parasite species, their role in the development of Plasmodium life cycle stages remains unknown. Here we report on the genetic characterization of PanK1 and PanK2 in P. yoelii. We show that P. yoelii parasites lacking either PanK1 or PanK2 undergo normal asexual stages development and sexual stages differentiation, however they are severely deficient in ookinete, oocyst and sporozoite formation inside the mosquito vector. Quantitative transcriptional analyses in wild-type and knockout parasites demonstrate an important role for these genes in the regulation of expression of other CoA biosynthesis genes. Together, our data provide the first genetic evidence for the importance of the early steps of pantothenate utilization in the regulation of CoA biosynthesis and malaria parasite transmission to Anopheles mosquitoes. PMID:27644319

  5. A more appropriate white blood cell count for estimating malaria parasite density in Plasmodium vivax patients in northeastern Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huaie; Feng, Guohua; Zeng, Weilin; Li, Xiaomei; Bai, Yao; Deng, Shuang; Ruan, Yonghua; Morris, James; Li, Siman; Yang, Zhaoqing; Cui, Liwang

    2016-04-01

    The conventional method of estimating parasite densities employ an assumption of 8000 white blood cells (WBCs)/μl. However, due to leucopenia in malaria patients, this number appears to overestimate parasite densities. In this study, we assessed the accuracy of parasite density estimated using this assumed WBC count in eastern Myanmar, where Plasmodium vivax has become increasingly prevalent. From 256 patients with uncomplicated P. vivax malaria, we estimated parasite density and counted WBCs by using an automated blood cell counter. It was found that WBC counts were not significantly different between patients of different gender, axillary temperature, and body mass index levels, whereas they were significantly different between age groups of patients and the time points of measurement. The median parasite densities calculated with the actual WBC counts (1903/μl) and the assumed WBC count of 8000/μl (2570/μl) were significantly different. We demonstrated that using the assumed WBC count of 8000 cells/μl to estimate parasite densities of P. vivax malaria patients in this area would lead to an overestimation. For P. vivax patients aged five years and older, an assumed WBC count of 5500/μl best estimated parasite densities. This study provides more realistic assumed WBC counts for estimating parasite densities in P. vivax patients from low-endemicity areas of Southeast Asia.

  6. Purification and characterization of a hemoglobin degrading aspartic protease from the malarial parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Arun; Eapen, Alex; Subbarao, Sarala K

    2005-07-01

    Aspartic proteases of human malarial parasites are thought to play key roles in essential pathways of merozoite release, invasion and host cell hemoglobin degradation during the intraerythrocytic stages of their life cycle. Therefore, we have purified and characterized Plasmodium vivax aspartic protease, to determine if this enzyme can be used as potential drug target/immunogen, and its inhibitors as potential antimalarial drug. The P. vivax aspartic protease has been purified by a combination of ion exchange and size exclusion chromatographies and HPLC. Its properties were examined in order to define a role in the hemoglobin degradation process. The purified enzyme migrated as a single band on native PAGE and SDS/PAGE with a molecular mass of 40 kDa. Gelatin zymogram analyses revealed a clear zone of proteolytic activity corresponding to the band obtained on native PAGE and SDS/PAGE. The enzyme has an optimal pH of 4.0 and exhibits its highest activity at 37 degrees C. The enzyme is inhibited by pepstatin, but not by other inhibitors including o-phenanthroline, EDTA, PMSF or E-64, supporting its designation as an aspartic protease; its IC50 value was found to be 3.0 microM. A Lineweaver Burk double reciprocal plot with pepstatin shows that the inhibition is competitive with respect to the substrate. Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions enhance the protease activity, whereas Cu2+ and Hg2+ ions were found to be inhibitory. The pivotal role of aspartic protease in initiating hemoglobin degradation in P. vivax malaria parasite is also demonstrated.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Antigenic Diversity of the Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein in Parasite Isolates of Western Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Martínez, Miguel Ángel; Escalante, Ananías A.; Arévalo-Herrera, Myriam; Herrera, Sócrates

    2011-01-01

    Circumsporozoite (CS) protein is a malaria antigen involved in sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes, and thus considered to have good vaccine potential. We evaluated the polymorphism of the Plasmodium vivax CS gene in 24 parasite isolates collected from malaria-endemic areas of Colombia. We sequenced 27 alleles, most of which (25/27) corresponded to the VK247 genotype and the remainder to the VK210 type. All VK247 alleles presented a mutation (Gly → Asn) at position 28 in the N-terminal region, whereas the C-terminal presented three insertions: the ANKKAGDAG, which is common in all VK247 isolates; 12 alleles presented the insertion GAGGQAAGGNAANKKAGDAG; and 5 alleles presented the insertion GGNAGGNA. Both repeat regions were polymorphic in gene sequence and size. Sequences coding for B-, T-CD4+, and T-CD8+ cell epitopes were found to be conserved. This study confirms the high polymorphism of the repeat domain and the highly conserved nature of the flanking regions. PMID:21292878

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  10. Functional Analysis of Protein Kinase CK2 of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum▿ †

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Protein kinase CK2 (casein kinase 2) is a eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinase with multiple substrates and roles in diverse cellular processes, including differentiation, proliferation, and translation. The mammalian holoenzyme consists of two catalytic alpha or alpha′ subunits and two regulatory beta subunits. We report the identification and characterization of a Plasmodium falciparum CK2α orthologue, PfCK2α, and two PfCK2β orthologues, PfCK2β1 and PfCK2β2. Recombinant PfCK2α possesses protein kinase activity, exhibits similar substrate and cosubstrate preferences to those of CK2α subunits from other organisms, and interacts with both of the PfCK2β subunits in vitro. Gene disruption experiments show that the presence of PfCK2α is crucial to asexual blood stage parasites and thereby validate the enzyme as a possible drug target. PfCK2α is amenable to inhibitor screening, and we report differential susceptibility between the human and P. falciparum CK2α enzymes to a small molecule inhibitor. Taken together, our data identify PfCK2α as a potential target for antimalarial chemotherapeutic intervention. PMID:19114502

  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

    2015-03-03

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

  12. A Stem Cell Strategy Identifies Glycophorin C as a Major Erythrocyte Receptor for the Rodent Malaria Parasite Plasmodium berghei

    PubMed Central

    Yiangou, Loukia; Montandon, Ruddy; Modrzynska, Katarzyna; Rosen, Barry; Bushell, Wendy; Hale, Christine; Billker, Oliver; Rayner, Julian C.

    2016-01-01

    The clinical complications of malaria are caused by the parasite expansion in the blood. Invasion of erythrocytes is a complex process that depends on multiple receptor-ligand interactions. Identification of host receptors is paramount for fighting the disease as it could reveal new intervention targets, but the enucleated nature of erythrocytes makes genetic approaches impossible and many receptors remain unknown. Host-parasite interactions evolve rapidly and are therefore likely to be species-specific. As a results, understanding of invasion receptors outside the major human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum is very limited. Here we use mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) that can be genetically engineered and differentiated into erythrocytes to identify receptors for the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Two proteins previously implicated in human malaria infection: glycophorin C (GYPC) and Band-3 (Slc4a1) were deleted in mESCs to generate stable cell lines, which were differentiated towards erythropoiesis. In vitro infection assays revealed that while deletion of Band-3 has no effect, absence of GYPC results in a dramatic decrease in invasion, demonstrating the crucial role of this protein for P. berghei infection. This stem cell approach offers the possibility of targeting genes that may be essential and therefore difficult to disrupt in whole organisms and has the potential to be applied to a variety of parasites in diverse host cell types. PMID:27362409

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Deletion of Plasmodium berghei-Specific CD4+ T Cells Adoptively Transferred into Recipient Mice after Challenge with Homologous Parasite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirunpetcharat, Chakrit; Good, Michael F.

    1998-02-01

    The immune response to malaria parasites includes T cell responses that reduce parasites by effector T cell responses and by providing help for antibody responses. Some parasites are more sensitive to antibody and others are more sensitive to cell-mediated immunity. We demonstrate that cultured CD4+ T cells that produce interferon CD4+ and interleukin 2, but not interleukin 4, in response to stimulation with the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei can reduce but not eliminate parasites in vivo after adoptive transfer. Although cells can persist in vivo for up to 9 months in uninfected mice, infection results in elimination of up to 99% of specific T cells in different tissues, as judged by tracking T cells labeled with the fluorescent dye 5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester. T cells specific for ovalbumin are unaffected. In vivo activation and division of transferred T cells per se are not responsible for deletion because T cells positive for 5-(and -6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester divide up to six times within 7 days in uninfected mice and are not deleted. Understanding the factors responsible for parasite-mediated specific deletion of T cells would enhance our knowledge of parasite immunity.

  15. Rapid Response to Selection, Competitive Release and Increased Transmission Potential of Artesunate-Selected Plasmodium chabaudi Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Pollitt, Laura C.; Huijben, Silvie; Sim, Derek G.; Salathé, Rahel M.; Jones, Matthew J.; Read, Andrew F.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of drug resistance, a key challenge for our ability to treat and control infections, depends on two processes: de-novo resistance mutations, and the selection for and spread of resistant mutants within a population. Understanding the factors influencing the rates of these two processes is essential for maximizing the useful lifespan of drugs and, therefore, effective disease control. For malaria parasites, artemisinin-based drugs are the frontline weapons in the fight against disease, but reports from the field of slower parasite clearance rates during drug treatment are generating concern that the useful lifespan of these drugs may be limited. Whether slower clearance rates represent true resistance, and how this provides a selective advantage for parasites is uncertain. Here, we show that Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites selected for resistance to artesunate (an artemisinin derivative) through a step-wise increase in drug dose evolved slower clearance rates extremely rapidly. In single infections, these slower clearance rates, similar to those seen in the field, provided fitness advantages to the parasite through increased overall density, recrudescence after treatment and increased transmission potential. In mixed infections, removal of susceptible parasites by drug treatment led to substantial increases in the densities and transmission potential of resistant parasites (competitive release). Our results demonstrate the double-edged sword for resistance management: in our initial selection experiments, no parasites survived aggressive chemotherapy, but after selection, the fitness advantage for resistant parasites was greatest at high drug doses. Aggressive treatment of mixed infections resulted in resistant parasites dominating the pool of gametocytes, without providing additional health benefits to hosts. Slower clearance rates can evolve rapidly and can provide a strong fitness advantage during drug treatment in both single and mixed strain

  16. Rapid response to selection, competitive release and increased transmission potential of artesunate-selected Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Pollitt, Laura C; Huijben, Silvie; Sim, Derek G; Salathé, Rahel M; Jones, Matthew J; Read, Andrew F

    2014-04-01

    The evolution of drug resistance, a key challenge for our ability to treat and control infections, depends on two processes: de-novo resistance mutations, and the selection for and spread of resistant mutants within a population. Understanding the factors influencing the rates of these two processes is essential for maximizing the useful lifespan of drugs and, therefore, effective disease control. For malaria parasites, artemisinin-based drugs are the frontline weapons in the fight against disease, but reports from the field of slower parasite clearance rates during drug treatment are generating concern that the useful lifespan of these drugs may be limited. Whether slower clearance rates represent true resistance, and how this provides a selective advantage for parasites is uncertain. Here, we show that Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites selected for resistance to artesunate (an artemisinin derivative) through a step-wise increase in drug dose evolved slower clearance rates extremely rapidly. In single infections, these slower clearance rates, similar to those seen in the field, provided fitness advantages to the parasite through increased overall density, recrudescence after treatment and increased transmission potential. In mixed infections, removal of susceptible parasites by drug treatment led to substantial increases in the densities and transmission potential of resistant parasites (competitive release). Our results demonstrate the double-edged sword for resistance management: in our initial selection experiments, no parasites survived aggressive chemotherapy, but after selection, the fitness advantage for resistant parasites was greatest at high drug doses. Aggressive treatment of mixed infections resulted in resistant parasites dominating the pool of gametocytes, without providing additional health benefits to hosts. Slower clearance rates can evolve rapidly and can provide a strong fitness advantage during drug treatment in both single and mixed strain

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. The Exported Protein PbCP1 Localises to Cleft-Like Structures in the Rodent Malaria Parasite Plasmodium berghei

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Plasmodium simium, a Plasmodium vivax-related malaria parasite: genetic variability of Duffy binding protein II and the Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Plasmodium vivax: ookinete destruction and oocyst development arrest are responsible for Anopheles albimanus resistance to circumsporozoite phenotype VK247 parasites.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Ceron, L; Rodriguez, M H; Santillan, F; Chavez, B; Nettel, J A; Hernandez-Avila, J E; Kain, K C

    2001-07-01

    Anopheles albimanus and An. pseudopunctipennis differ in their susceptibilities to Plasmodium vivax circumsporozoite phenotypes. An. pseudopunctipennis is susceptible to phenotype VK247 but almost refractory to VK210. In contrast, An. albimanus is almost refractory to VK247 but susceptible to VK210. To investigate the site in the mosquito and the parasite stage at which resistance mechanisms affect VK247 development in An. albimanus, parasite development was followed in a series of experiments in which both mosquitoes species were simultaneously infected with blood from patients. Parasite phenotype was determined in mature oocysts and salivary gland sporozoites by use of immunofluorescence and Western blot assays and/or gene identification. Ookinete maturation and their densities within the bloodmeal bolus were similar in both mosquito species. Ookinete densities on the internal midgut surface of An. albimanus were 4.7 times higher than those in An. pseudopunctipennis; however, the densities of developing oocysts on the external midgut surface were 6.12 times higher in the latter species. Electron microscopy observation of ookinetes in An. albimanus midgut epithelium indicated severe parasite damage. These results indicate that P. vivax VK247 parasites are destroyed at different parasite stages during migration in An. albimanus midguts. A portion, accumulated on the internal midgut surface, is probably destroyed by the mosquito's digestive enzymes and another portion is most likely destroyed by mosquito defense molecules within the midgut epithelium. A third group, reaching the external midgut surface, initiates oocyst development, but over 90% of them interrupt their development and die. The identification of mechanisms that participate in parasite destruction could provide new elements to construct transgenic mosquitoes resistant to malaria parasites.

  6. The Plasmodium vivax Merozoite Surface Protein 3β Sequence Reveals Contrasting Parasite Populations in Southern and Northwestern Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Kuamsab, Napaporn; Sattabongkot, Jetsumon; Sirichaisinthop, Jeeraphat; Jongwutiwes, Somchai; Cui, Liwang

    2014-01-01

    Background Malaria control efforts have a significant impact on the epidemiology and parasite population dynamics. In countries aiming for malaria elimination, malaria transmission may be restricted to limited transmission hot spots, where parasite populations may be isolated from each other and experience different selection forces. Here we aim to examine the Plasmodium vivax population divergence in geographically isolated transmission zones in Thailand. Methodology We employed the P. vivax merozoite surface protein 3β (PvMSP3β) as a molecular marker for characterizing P. vivax populations based on the extensive diversity of this gene in Southeast Asian parasite populations. To examine two parasite populations with different transmission levels in Thailand, we obtained 45 P. vivax isolates from Tak Province, northwestern Thailand, where the annual parasite incidence (API) was more than 2%, and 28 isolates from Yala and Narathiwat Provinces, southern Thailand, where the API was less than 0.02%. We sequenced the PvMSP3β gene and examined its genetic diversity and molecular evolution between the parasite populations. Principal Findings Of 58 isolates containing single PvMSP3β alleles, 31 sequence types were identified. The overall haplotype diversity was 0.77±0.06 and nucleotide diversity 0.0877±0.0054. The northwestern vivax malaria population exhibited extensive haplotype diversity (HD) of PvMSP3β (HD = 1.0). In contrast, the southern parasite population displayed a single PvMSP3β allele (HD = 0), suggesting a clonal population expansion. This result revealed that the extent of allelic diversity in P. vivax populations in Thailand varies among endemic areas. Conclusion Malaria parasite populations in a given region may vary significantly in genetic diversity, which may be the result of control and influenced by the magnitude of malaria transmission intensity. This is an issue that should be taken into account for the implementation of P. vivax

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

    PubMed Central

    López-Gutiérrez, Borja; Dinglasan, Rhoel R.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Berriman, M; Fairlamb, A H

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chahar, Priyanka; Kaushik, Manjeri; Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gakhar, Surendra Kumar; Gopalan, Natrajan; Datt, Manish; Sharma, Amit; Gill, Ritu

    2015-01-01

    Despite a significant drop in malaria deaths during the past decade, malaria continues to be one of the biggest health problems around the globe. WD40 repeats (WDRs) containing proteins comprise one of the largest and functionally diverse protein superfamily in eukaryotes, acting as scaffolds for assembling large protein complexes. In the present study, we report an extensive in silico analysis of the WDR gene family in human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Our genome-wide identification has revealed 80 putative WDR genes in P. falciparum (PfWDRs). Five distinct domain compositions were discovered in Plasmodium as compared to the human host. Notably, 31 PfWDRs were annotated/re-annotated on the basis of their orthologs in other species. Interestingly, most PfWDRs were larger as compared to their human homologs highlighting the presence of parasite-specific insertions. Fifteen PfWDRs appeared specific to the Plasmodium with no assigned orthologs. Expression profiling of PfWDRs revealed a mixture of linear and nonlinear relationships between transcriptome and proteome, and only nine PfWDRs were found to be stage-specific. Homology modeling identified conservation of major binding sites in PfCAF-1 and PfRACK. Protein-protein interaction network analyses suggested that PfWDRs are highly connected proteins with ~1928 potential interactions, supporting their role as hubs in cellular networks. The present study highlights the roles and relevance of the WDR family in P. falciparum, and identifies unique features that lay a foundation for further experimental dissection of PfWDRs. PMID:26043001

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

    PubMed

    Chahar, Priyanka; Kaushik, Manjeri; Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gakhar, Surendra Kumar; Gopalan, Natrajan; Datt, Manish; Sharma, Amit; Gill, Ritu

    2015-01-01

    Despite a significant drop in malaria deaths during the past decade, malaria continues to be one of the biggest health problems around the globe. WD40 repeats (WDRs) containing proteins comprise one of the largest and functionally diverse protein superfamily in eukaryotes, acting as scaffolds for assembling large protein complexes. In the present study, we report an extensive in silico analysis of the WDR gene family in human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Our genome-wide identification has revealed 80 putative WDR genes in P. falciparum (PfWDRs). Five distinct domain compositions were discovered in Plasmodium as compared to the human host. Notably, 31 PfWDRs were annotated/re-annotated on the basis of their orthologs in other species. Interestingly, most PfWDRs were larger as compared to their human homologs highlighting the presence of parasite-specific insertions. Fifteen PfWDRs appeared specific to the Plasmodium with no assigned orthologs. Expression profiling of PfWDRs revealed a mixture of linear and nonlinear relationships between transcriptome and proteome, and only nine PfWDRs were found to be stage-specific. Homology modeling identified conservation of major binding sites in PfCAF-1 and PfRACK. Protein-protein interaction network analyses suggested that PfWDRs are highly connected proteins with ~1928 potential interactions, supporting their role as hubs in cellular networks. The present study highlights the roles and relevance of the WDR family in P. falciparum, and identifies unique features that lay a foundation for further experimental dissection of PfWDRs.

  13. Do blood parasites infect Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) in the wild? Prospective investigation and climatogeographic considerations.

    PubMed

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Uhart, Marcela; Rago, Virginia; Hurtado, Renata; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2017-01-11

    Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) are native to Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands. Magellanic penguins are highly susceptible to blood parasites such as the mosquito-borne Plasmodium spp., which have been documented causing high morbidity and mortality in zoos and rehabilitation centres. However, to date no blood parasites have been detected in wild Magellanic penguins, and it is not clear whether this is reflective of their true absence or is instead related to an insufficiency in sampling effort or a failure of the diagnostic methods. We examined blood smears of 284 Magellanic penguins from the Argentinean coast and tested their blood samples with nested polymerase chain reaction tests targeting Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon and Babesia. No blood parasites were detected. Analysing the sampling effort of previous studies and the climatogeography of the region, we found there is strong basis to conclude that haemosporidians do not infect wild Magellanic penguins on the Argentinean coast. However, at present it is not possible to determine whether such parasites occur on the Chilean coast and at the Falkland Islands. Furthermore, it is troubling that the northward distribution expansion of Magellanic penguins and the poleward distribution shift of vectors may lead to novel opportunities for the transmission of blood parasites.

  14. Expression, characterization, and cellular localization of knowpains, papain-like cysteine proteases of the Plasmodium knowlesi malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Rajesh; Atul; Soni, Awakash; Puri, Sunil Kumar; Sijwali, Puran Singh

    2012-01-01

    Papain-like cysteine proteases of malaria parasites degrade haemoglobin in an acidic food vacuole to provide amino acids for intraerythrocytic parasites. These proteases are potential drug targets because their inhibitors block parasite development, and efforts are underway to develop chemotherapeutic inhibitors of these proteases as the treatments for malaria. Plasmodium knowlesi has recently been shown to be an important human pathogen in parts of Asia. We report expression and characterization of three P. knowlesi papain-like proteases, termed knowpains (KP2-4). Recombinant knowpains were produced using a bacterial expression system, and tested for various biochemical properties. Antibodies against recombinant knowpains were generated and used to determine their cellular localization in parasites. Inhibitory effects of the cysteine protease inhibitor E64 were assessed on P. knowlesi culture to validate drug target potential of knowpains. All three knowpains were present in the food vacuole, active in acidic pH, and capable of degrading haemoglobin at the food vacuolar pH (≈5.5), suggesting roles in haemoglobin degradation. The proteases showed absolute (KP2 and KP3) to moderate (KP4) preference for peptide substrates containing leucine at the P2 position; KP4 preferred arginine at the P2 position. While the three knowpains appear to have redundant roles in haemoglobin degradation, KP4 may also have a role in degradation of erythrocyte cytoskeleton during merozoite egress, as it displayed broad substrate specificity and was primarily localized at the parasite periphery. Importantly, E64 blocked erythrocytic development of P. knowlesi, with enlargement of food vacuoles, indicating inhibition of haemoglobin hydrolysis and supporting the potential for inhibition of knowpains as a strategy for the treatment of malaria. Functional expression and characterization of knowpains should enable simultaneous screening of available cysteine protease inhibitor libraries

  15. Manifold habitat effects on the prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites

    PubMed Central

    Sehgal, Ravinder N.M.

    2015-01-01

    Habitats are rapidly changing across the planet and the consequences will have major and long-lasting effects on wildlife and their parasites. Birds harbor many types of blood parasites, but because of their relatively high prevalence and ease of diagnosis, it is the haemosporidiansPlasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon – that are the best studied in terms of ecology and evolution. For parasite transmission to occur, environmental conditions must be permissive, and given the many constraints on the competency of parasites, vectors and hosts, it is rather remarkable that these parasites are so prevalent and successful. Over the last decade, a rapidly growing body of literature has begun to clarify how environmental factors affect birds and the insects that vector their hematozoan parasites. Moreover, several studies have modeled how anthropogenic effects such as global climate change, deforestation and urbanization will impact the dynamics of parasite transmission. This review highlights recent research that impacts our understanding of how habitat and environmental changes can affect the distribution, diversity, prevalence and parasitemia of these avian blood parasites. Given the importance of environmental factors on transmission, it remains essential that researchers studying avian hematozoa document abiotic factors such as temperature, moisture and landscape elements. Ultimately, this continued research has the potential to inform conservation policies and help avert the loss of bird species and threatened habitats. PMID:26835250

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Studies on the effects of sida acuta and vetiveria zizanioides against the malarial vector, anopheles stephensi and malarial parasite, plasmodium berghei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Methanolic extracts of Sida acuta and Vetiveria zizanioides leaves and root were studied for toxicity to Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and to the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in mice. The extracts reduced parasitemia levels in mice by 17-69%, depending on extract concentration. Median le...

  18. The Plasmodium serine-type SERA proteases display distinct expression patterns and non-essential in vivo roles during life cycle progression of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Putrianti, Elyzana D; Schmidt-Christensen, Anja; Arnold, Iris; Heussler, Volker T; Matuschewski, Kai; Silvie, Olivier

    2010-06-01

    Parasite proteases play key roles in several fundamental steps of the Plasmodium life cycle, including haemoglobin degradation, host cell invasion and parasite egress. Plasmodium exit from infected host cells appears to be mediated by a class of papain-like cysteine proteases called 'serine repeat antigens' (SERAs). A SERA subfamily, represented by Plasmodium falciparum SERA5, contains an atypical active site serine residue instead of a catalytic cysteine. Members of this SERAser subfamily are abundantly expressed in asexual blood stages, rendering them attractive drug and vaccine targets. In this study, we show by antibody localization and in vivo fluorescent tagging with the red fluorescent protein mCherry that the two P. berghei serine-type family members, PbSERA1 and PbSERA2, display differential expression towards the final stages of merozoite formation. Via targeted gene replacement, we generated single and double gene knockouts of the P. berghei SERAser genes. These loss-of-function lines progressed normally through the parasite life cycle, suggesting a specialized, non-vital role for serine-type SERAs in vivo. Parasites lacking PbSERAser showed increased expression of the cysteine-type PbSERA3. Compensatory mechanisms between distinct SERA subfamilies may thus explain the absence of phenotypical defect in SERAser disruptants, and challenge the suitability to develop potent antimalarial drugs based on specific inhibitors of Plasmodium serine-type SERAs.

  19. The origin and diversification of the merozoite surface protein 3 (msp3) multi-gene family in Plasmodium vivax and related parasites

    PubMed Central

    Rice, Benjamin L.; Acosta, Mónica M.; Pacheco, M. Andreína; Carlton, Jane M.; Barnwell, John W.; Escalante, Ananias A.

    2014-01-01

    The genus Plasmodium is a diversified group of parasites with more than 200 known species that includes those causing malaria in humans. These parasites use numerous proteins in a complex process that allows them to invade the red blood cells of their vertebrate hosts. Many of those proteins are part of multi-gene families; one of which is the merozoite surface protein-3 (msp3) family. The msp3 multi-gene family is considered important in the two main human parasites, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum, as its paralogs are simultaneously expressed in the blood stage (merozoite) and are immunogenic. There are large differences among Plasmodium species in the number of paralogs in this family. Such differences have been previously explained, in part, as adaptations that allow the different Plasmodium species to invade their hosts. To investigate this, we characterized the array containing msp3 genes among several Plasmodium species, including P. falciparum and P. vivax. We first found no evidence indicating that the msp3 family of P. falciparum was homologous to that of P. vivax. Subsequently, by focusing on the diverse clade of nonhuman primate parasites to which P. vivax is closely related, where homology was evident, we found no evidence indicating that the interspecies variation in the number of paralogs was an adaptation related to changes in host range or host switches. Overall, we hypothesize that the evolution of the msp3 family in P. vivax is consistent with a model of multi-allelic diversifying selection where the paralogs may have functionally redundant roles in terms of increasing antigenic diversity. Thus, we suggest that the expressed MSP3 proteins could serve as “decoys”, via antigenic diversity, during the critical process of invading the host red blood cells. PMID:24862221

  20. The origin and diversification of the merozoite surface protein 3 (msp3) multi-gene family in Plasmodium vivax and related parasites.

    PubMed

    Rice, Benjamin L; Acosta, Mónica M; Pacheco, M Andreína; Carlton, Jane M; Barnwell, John W; Escalante, Ananias A

    2014-09-01

    The genus Plasmodium is a diversified group of parasites with more than 200 known species that includes those causing malaria in humans. These parasites use numerous proteins in a complex process that allows them to invade the red blood cells of their vertebrate hosts. Many of those proteins are part of multi-gene families; one of which is the merozoite surface protein-3 (msp3) family. The msp3 multi-gene family is considered important in the two main human parasites, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum, as its paralogs are simultaneously expressed in the blood stage (merozoite) and are immunogenic. There are large differences among Plasmodium species in the number of paralogs in this family. Such differences have been previously explained, in part, as adaptations that allow the different Plasmodium species to invade their hosts. To investigate this, we characterized the array containing msp3 genes among several Plasmodium species, including P. falciparum and P. vivax. We first found no evidence indicating that the msp3 family of P. falciparum was homologous to that of P. vivax. Subsequently, by focusing on the diverse clade of nonhuman primate parasites to which P. vivax is closely related, where homology was evident, we found no evidence indicating that the interspecies variation in the number of paralogs was an adaptation related to changes in host range or host switches. Overall, we hypothesize that the evolution of the msp3 family in P. vivax is consistent with a model of multi-allelic diversifying selection where the paralogs may have functionally redundant roles in terms of increasing antigenic diversity. Thus, we suggest that the expressed MSP3 proteins could serve as "decoys", via antigenic diversity, during the critical process of invading the host red blood cells.

  1. 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.

  2. Artesunate-tafenoquine combination therapy promotes clearance and abrogates transmission of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum.

    PubMed

    Tasai, Suchada; Saiwichai, Tawee; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Tiawsirisup, Sonthaya; Buddhirakkul, Prayute; Chaichalotornkul, Sirintip; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn

    2017-01-15

    Clinical manifestations of malaria infection in vertebrate hosts arise from the multiplication of the asexual stage parasites in the blood, while the gametocytes are responsible for the transmission of the disease. Antimalarial drugs that target the blood stage parasites and transmissible gametocytes are rare, but are essentially needed for the effective control of malaria and for limiting the spread of resistance. Artemisinin and its derivatives are the current first-line antimalarials that are effective against the blood stage parasites and gametocytes, but resistance to artemisinin has now emerged and spread in various malaria endemic areas. Therefore, a novel antimalarial drug, or a new drug combination, is critically needed to overcome this problem. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of a relatively new antimalarial compound, tafenoquine (TQ), and a combination of TQ and a low dose of artesunate (ATN) on the in vivo blood stage multiplication, gametocyte development and transmission of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum to the vector Aedes aegypti. The results showed that a 5-d treatment with TQ alone was unable to clear the blood stage parasites, but was capable of reducing the mortality rate, while TQ monotherapy at a high dose of 30mg/kg was highly effective against the gametocytes and completely blocked the transmission of P. gallinaceum. In addition, the combination therapy of TQ+ATN completely cleared P. gallinaceum blood stages and sped up the gametocyte clearance from chickens, suggesting the synergistic effect of the two drugs. In conclusion, TQ is demonstrated to be effective for limiting avian malaria transmission and may be used in combination with a low dose of ATN for safe and effective treatment.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution.

    PubMed

    Rutledge, Gavin G; Böhme, Ulrike; Sanders, Mandy; Reid, Adam J; Cotton, James A; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A; Apinjoh, Tobias O; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Manske, Magnus; Barnwell, John W; Renaud, François; Ollomo, Benjamin; Prugnolle, Franck; Anstey, Nicholas M; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N; McCarthy, James S; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Newbold, Chris I; Berriman, Matthew; Otto, Thomas D

    2017-02-02

    Elucidation of the evolutionary history and interrelatedness of Plasmodium species that infect humans has been hampered by a lack of genetic information for three human-infective species: P. malariae and two P. ovale species (P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri). These species are prevalent across most regions in which malaria is endemic and are often undetectable by light microscopy, rendering their study in human populations difficult. The exact evolutionary relationship of these species to the other human-infective species has been contested. Using a new reference genome for P. malariae and a manually curated draft P. o. curtisi genome, we are now able to accurately place these species within the Plasmodium phylogeny. Sequencing of a P. malariae relative that infects chimpanzees reveals similar signatures of selection in the P. malariae lineage to another Plasmodium lineage shown to be capable of colonization of both human and chimpanzee hosts. Molecular dating suggests that these host adaptations occurred over similar evolutionary timescales. In addition to the core genome that is conserved between species, differences in gene content can be linked to their specific biology. The genome suggests that P. malariae expresses a family of heterodimeric proteins on its surface that have structural similarities to a protein crucial for invasion of red blood cells. The data presented here provide insight into the evolution of the Plasmodium genus as a whole.

  6. Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution

    PubMed Central

    Rutledge, Gavin G.; Böhme, Ulrike; Sanders, Mandy; Reid, Adam J.; Cotton, James A.; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A.; Apinjoh, Tobias O.; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Manske, Magnus; Barnwell, John W.; Renaud, François; Ollomo, Benjamin; Prugnolle, Franck; Anstey, Nicholas M.; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N.; McCarthy, James S.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; Otto, Thomas D.

    2017-01-01

    Elucidation of the evolutionary history and interrelatedness of Plasmodium species that infect humans has been hampered by a lack of genetic information for three human-infective species: P. malariae and two P. ovale species (P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri)1. These species are prevalent across most regions in which malaria is endemic2,3 and are often undetectable by light microscopy4, rendering their study in human populations difficult5. The exact evolutionary relationship of these species to the other human-infective species has been contested6,7. Using a new reference genome for P. malariae and a manually curated draft P. o. curtisi genome, we are now able to accurately place these species within the Plasmodium phylogeny. Sequencing of a P. malariae relative that infects chimpanzees reveals similar signatures of selection in the P. malariae lineage to another Plasmodium lineage shown to be capable of colonization of both human and chimpanzee hosts. Molecular dating suggests that these host adaptations occurred over similar evolutionary timescales. In addition to the core genome that is conserved between species, differences in gene content can be linked to their specific biology. The genome suggests that P. malariae expresses a family of heterodimeric proteins on its surface that have structural similarities to a protein crucial for invasion of red blood cells. The data presented here provide insight into the evolution of the Plasmodium genus as a whole. PMID:28117441

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-02

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

  9. Chemically Attenuated Blood-Stage Plasmodium yoelii Parasites Induce Long-Lived and Strain-Transcending Protection

    PubMed Central

    Raja, Amber I.; Cai, Yeping; Reiman, Jennifer M.; Groves, Penny; Chakravarty, Sumana; McPhun, Virginia; Doolan, Denise L.; Cockburn, Ian; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Stanisic, Danielle I.

    2016-01-01

    The development of a vaccine is essential for the elimination of malaria. However, despite many years of effort, a successful vaccine has not been achieved. Most subunit vaccine candidates tested in clinical trials have provided limited efficacy, and thus attenuated whole-parasite vaccines are now receiving close scrutiny. Here, we test chemically attenuated Plasmodium yoelii 17X and demonstrate significant protection following homologous and heterologous blood-stage challenge. Protection against blood-stage infection persisted for at least 9 months. Activation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was shown after vaccination; however, in vivo studies demonstrated a pivotal role for both CD4+ T cells and B cells since the absence of either cell type led to loss of vaccine-induced protection. In spite of significant activation of circulating CD8+ T cells, liver-stage immunity was not evident. Neither did vaccine-induced CD8+ T cells contribute to blood-stage protection; rather, these cells contributed to pathogenesis, since all vaccinated mice depleted of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells survived a challenge infection. This study provides critical insight into whole-parasite vaccine-induced immunity and strong support for testing whole-parasite vaccines in humans. PMID:27245410

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

    Orotidine 5′-monophosphate (OMP) decarboxylase (OMPDC; EC 4.1.1.23) catalyzes the final step in the de novo synthesis of uridine 5′-monophosphate (UMP) and defects in the enzyme are lethal in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Active recombinant P. falciparum OMPDC (PfOMPDC) was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation at the Swiss Light Source. The crystal exhibits trigonal symmetry (space group R3), with hexagonal unit-cell parameters a = b = 201.81, c = 44.03 Å. With a dimer in the asymmetric unit, the solvent content is 46% (V M = 2.3 Å3 Da−1). PMID:16754976

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-12

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

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

    PubMed

    Ngassa Mbenda, Huguette Gaelle; Das, Aparup

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Plasmodium falciparum: Exported Protein-1, A Blood Stage Antigen is Expressed in Liver Stage Parasites.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-01-01

    protein of Plasmodium falci- Meihods in Enzymology 185. 6"-9. parum is synthesized as an integral membrane pro- tein. Molecular and Biochemical ...1, Tower 12 DN244530 8901 Wisconsin Avenue Bethesda, Maryland 20889-5606 11. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES Reprinted from: Experimental Parasitology 1994;vol.79...THIS PAGE I OF ABSTRACT Unclassified I Unclassified I Unclassified Unlimited NSN ,7.ui-01au.SSOO ~n~t am26~~25 EXPERIMENTAL PARASITOLOGY 79, 59-62 (1994

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. The evolutionary history of Plasmodium vivax as inferred from mitochondrial genomes: parasite genetic diversity in the Americas.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  19. 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})

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hughes, Austin L; Verra, Federica

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

  11. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Molecular Characterization of a Novel Geranylgeranyl Pyrophosphate Synthase from Plasmodium Parasites*

    PubMed Central

    Artz, Jennifer D.; Wernimont, Amy K.; Dunford, James E.; Schapira, Matthieu; Dong, Aiping; Zhao, Yong; Lew, Jocelyne; Russell, R. Graham G.; Ebetino, F. Hal; Oppermann, Udo; Hui, Raymond

    2011-01-01

    We present here a study of a eukaryotic trans-prenylsynthase from the malaria pathogen Plasmodium vivax. Based on the results of biochemical assays and contrary to previous indications, this enzyme catalyzes the production of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) rather than farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP). Structural analysis shows that the product length is constrained by a hydrophobic cavity formed primarily by a set of residues from the same subunit as the product as well as at least one other from the dimeric partner. Furthermore, Plasmodium GGPP synthase (GGPPS) can bind nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (N-BPs) strongly with the energetically favorable cooperation of three Mg2+, resulting in inhibition by this class of compounds at IC50 concentrations below 100 nm. In contrast, human and yeast GGPPSs do not accommodate a third magnesium atom in the same manner, resulting in their insusceptibility to N-BPs. This differentiation is in part attributable to a deviation in a conserved motif known as the second aspartate-rich motif: whereas the aspartates at the start and end of the five-residue motif in FFPP synthases and P. vivax GGPPSs both participate in the coordination of the third Mg2+, an asparagine is featured as the last residue in human and yeast GGPPSs, resulting in a different manner of interaction with nitrogen-containing ligands. PMID:21084289

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  16. Polymorphism in dhfr/dhps genes, parasite density and ex vivo response to pyrimethamine in Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in Thies, Senegal.

    PubMed

    Ndiaye, Daouda; Dieye, Baba; Ndiaye, Yaye D; Van Tyne, Daria; Daniels, Rachel; Bei, Amy K; Mbaye, Aminata; Valim, Clarissa; Lukens, Amanda; Mboup, Souleymane; Ndir, Omar; Wirth, Dyann F; Volkman, Sarah

    2013-12-01

    Resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites is associated with mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genes, and these mutations have spread resistance worldwide. SP, used for several years in Senegal, has been recommended for intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) and has been widely implemented since 2003 in this country. There is currently limited data on SP resistance from molecular marker genotyping, and no data on pyrimethamine ex vivo sensitivity in Senegal. Molecular markers of SP resistance and pyrimethamine ex vivo sensitivity were investigated in 416 parasite samples collected from the general population, from the Thies region between 2003 and 2011. The prevalence of the N51I/C59R/S108N triple mutation in dhfr increased from 40% in 2003 to 93% in 2011. Furthermore, the prevalence of the dhfr N51I/C59R/S108N and dhps A437G quadruple mutation increased, from 20% to 66% over the same time frame, then down to 44% by 2011. There was a significant increase in the prevalence of the dhfr triple mutation, as well as an association between dhfr genotypes and pyrimethamine response. Conversely, dhps mutations in codons 436 and 437 did not show consistent variation between 2003 and 2011. These findings suggest that regular screening for molecular markers of antifolate resistance and ex vivo drug response monitoring should be incorporated with ongoing in vivo efficacy monitoring in areas where IPTp-SP is implemented and where pyrimethamine and sulfa drugs are still widely administered in the general population.

  17. The role of extracellular vesicles in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites.

    PubMed

    Mantel, Pierre-Yves; Marti, Matthias

    2014-03-01

    Protozoan parasites and other microorganisms use various pathways to communicate within their own populations and to manipulate their outside environments, with the ultimate goal of balancing the rate of growth and transmission. In higher eukaryotes, including humans, circulating extracellular vesicles are increasingly recognized as key mediators of physiological and pathological processes. Recent evidence suggests that protozoan parasites, including those responsible for major human diseases such as malaria and Chagas disease, use similar machinery. Indeed, intracellular and extracellular protozoan parasites secrete extracellular vesicles to promote growth and induce transmission, to evade the host immune system, and to manipulate the microenvironment. In this review we will discuss the general pathways of extracellular vesicle biogenesis and their functions in protozoan infections.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-02

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

  19. Perturbations of Plasmodium Puf2 Expression and RNA-seq of Puf2-Deficient Sporozoites Reveal a Critical Role in Maintaining RNA Homeostasis and Parasite Transmissibility

    PubMed Central

    Lindner, Scott E.; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.; Vaughan, Ashley M.; Moon, Wonjong; Joyce, Brad R.; Sullivan, William J.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Malaria's cycle of infection requires parasite transmission between a mosquito vector and a mammalian host. We here demonstrate that the Plasmodium yoelii Pumilio-FBF family member Puf2 allows the sporozoite to remain infectious in the mosquito salivary glands while awaiting transmission. Puf2 mediates this solely through its RNA-Binding Domain (RBD) likely by stabilizing or hastening the degradation of specific mRNAs. Puf2 traffics to sporozoite cytosolic granules, which are negative for several markers of stress granules and P-bodies, and disappear rapidly after infection of hepatocytes. In contrast to previously described Plasmodium berghei pbpuf2− parasites, pypuf2− sporozoites have no apparent defect in host infection when tested early in salivary gland residence, but become progressively noninfectious and prematurely transform into EEFs during prolonged salivary gland residence. The premature overexpression of Puf2 in oocysts causes striking deregulation of sporozoite maturation and infectivity while extension of Puf2 expression in liver stages causes no defect, suggesting that the presence of Puf2 alone is not sufficient for its functions. Finally, by conducting the first comparative RNA-seq analysis of Plasmodium sporozoites, we find that Puf2 may play a role in directly or indirectly maintaining the homeostasis of specific transcripts. These findings uncover requirements for maintaining a window of opportunity for the malaria parasite to accommodate the unpredictable moment of transmission from mosquito to mammalian host. PMID:23356439

  20. Artemisinin-based antimalarial research: application of biotechnology to the production of artemisinin, its mode of action, and the mechanism of resistance of Plasmodium parasites.

    PubMed

    Muangphrom, Paskorn; Seki, Hikaru; Fukushima, Ery Odette; Muranaka, Toshiya

    2016-07-01

    Malaria is a worldwide disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. A sesquiterpene endoperoxide artemisinin isolated from Artemisia annua was discovered and has been accepted for its use in artemisinin-based combinatorial therapies, as the most effective current antimalarial treatment. However, the quantity of this compound produced from the A. annua plant is very low, and the availability of artemisinin is insufficient to treat all infected patients. In addition, the emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium has been reported recently. Several techniques have been applied to enhance artemisinin availability, and studies related to its mode of action and the mechanism of resistance of malaria-causing parasites are ongoing. In this review, we summarize the application of modern technologies to improve the production of artemisinin, including our ongoing research on artemisinin biosynthetic genes in other Artemisia species. The current understanding of the mode of action of artemisinin as well as the mechanism of resistance against this compound in Plasmodium parasites is also presented. Finally, the current situation of malaria infection and the future direction of antimalarial drug development are discussed.

  1. Plasmodium immunomics.

    PubMed

    Doolan, Denise L

    2011-01-01

    The Plasmodium parasite, the causative agent of malaria, is an excellent model for immunomic-based approaches to vaccine development. The Plasmodium parasite has a complex life cycle with multiple stages and stage-specific expression of ∼5300 putative proteins. No malaria vaccine has yet been licensed. Many believe that an effective vaccine will need to target several antigens and multiple stages, and will require the generation of both antibody and cellular immune responses. Vaccine efforts to date have been stage-specific and based on only a very limited number of proteins representing <0.5% of the genome. The recent availability of comprehensive genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic datasets from human and selected non-human primate and rodent malarias provide a foundation to exploit for vaccine development. This information can be mined to identify promising vaccine candidate antigens, by proteome-wide screening of antibody and T cell reactivity using specimens from individuals exposed to malaria and technology platforms such as protein arrays, high throughput protein production and epitope prediction algorithms. Such antigens could be incorporated into a rational vaccine development process that targets specific stages of the Plasmodium parasite life cycle with immune responses implicated in parasite elimination and control. Immunomic approaches which enable the selection of the best possible targets by prioritising antigens according to clinically relevant criteria may overcome the problem of poorly immunogenic, poorly protective vaccines that has plagued malaria vaccine developers for the past 25 years. Herein, current progress and perspectives regarding Plasmodium immunomics are reviewed.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. SYBR Green real-time PCR-RFLP assay targeting the plasmodium cytochrome B gene--a highly sensitive molecular tool for malaria parasite detection and species determination.

    PubMed

    Xu, Weiping; Morris, Ulrika; Aydin-Schmidt, Berit; Msellem, Mwinyi I; Shakely, Delér; Petzold, Max; Björkman, Anders; Mårtensson, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    A prerequisite for reliable detection of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings is the availability of ultra-sensitive and high-throughput molecular tools. We developed a SYBR Green real-time PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism assay (cytb-qPCR) targeting the cytochrome b gene of the four major human Plasmodium species (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale) for parasite detection and species determination with DNA extracted from dried blood spots collected on filter paper. The performance of cytb-qPCR was first compared against four reference PCR methods using serially diluted Plasmodium samples. The detection limit of the cytb-qPCR was 1 parasite/μl (p/μl) for P. falciparum and P. ovale, and 2 p/μl for P. vivax and P. malariae, while the reference PCRs had detection limits of 0.5-10 p/μl. The ability of the PCR methods to detect low-density Plasmodium infections was then assessed using 2977 filter paper samples collected during a cross-sectional survey in Zanzibar, a malaria pre-elimination setting in sub-Saharan Africa. Field samples were defined as 'final positive' if positive in at least two of the five PCR methods. Cytb-qPCR preformed equal to or better than the reference PCRs with a sensitivity of 100% (65/65; 95%CI 94.5-100%) and a specificity of 99.9% (2910/2912; 95%CI 99.7-100%) when compared against 'final positive' samples. The results indicate that the cytb-qPCR may represent an opportunity for improved molecular surveillance of low-density Plasmodium infections in malaria pre-elimination settings.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Renal cortical necrosis and acute kidney injury associated with Plasmodium vivax: a neglected human malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Kute, Vivek B; Vanikar, Aruna V; Ghuge, Pramod P; Goswami, Jitendra G; Patel, Mohan P; Patel, Himanshu V; Gumber, Manoj R; Shah, Pankaj R; Trivedi, Hargovind L

    2012-11-01

    Plasmodium vivax is causing increasingly more cases of severe malaria worldwide. There is an urgent need to reexamine the clinical spectrum and burden of P. vivax so that adequate control measures can be implemented against this emerging but neglected disease. Herein, we report a case of renal acute cortical necrosis and acute kidney injury (AKI) associated with P. vivax monoinfection. Her initial serum creatinine was 7.3 mg/dL on admission. Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study glomerular filtration rate (GFR) value was 7 mL/min/1.73 m(2) (normal kidney function-GFR above 90 mL/min/1.73 m(2) and no proteinuria). On follow-up, 5 months later, her SCr. was 2.43 mg/dl with no proteinuria. MDRD GFR value was 24 mL/min/1.73 m(2) suggesting severe chronic kidney disease (CKD; GFR less than 60 or kidney damage for at least 3 months), stage 4. Our case report highlights the fact that P. vivax malaria is benign by name but not always by nature. AKI associated with P. vivax malaria can lead to CKD. Further studies are needed to determine why P. vivax infections are becoming more severe.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

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

  12. Plasmodium berghei Δp52&p36 parasites develop independent of a parasitophorous vacuole membrane in Huh-7 liver cells.

    PubMed

    Ploemen, Ivo H J; Croes, Huib J; van Gemert, Geert-Jan J; Wijers-Rouw, Mietske; Hermsen, Cornelus C; Sauerwein, Robert W

    2012-01-01

    The proteins P52 and P36 are expressed in the sporozoite stage of the murine malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Δp52&p36 sporozoites lacking expression of both proteins are severely compromised in their capability to develop into liver stage parasites and abort development soon after invasion; presumably due to the absence of a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM). However, a small proportion of P. berghei Δp52&p36 parasites is capable to fully mature in hepatocytes causing breakthrough blood stage infections. We have studied the maturation of replicating Δp52&p36 parasites in cultured Huh-7 hepatocytes. Approximately 50% of Δp52&p36 parasites developed inside the nucleus of the hepatocyte but did not complete maturation and failed to produce merosomes. In contrast cytosolic Δp52&p36 parasites were able to fully mature and produced infectious merozoites. These Δp52&p36 parasites developed into mature schizonts in the absence of an apparent parasitophorous vacuole membrane as shown by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Merozoites derived from these maturing Δp52&p36 liver stages were infectious for C57BL/6 mice.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Good, Michael F

    2011-08-01

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

  17. Proteomic Approaches to Studying Drug Targets and Resistance in Plasmodium

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum , the most virulent of human malaria parasites, is creating new challenges in malaria chemotherapy. The entire genome sequences of...P. falciparum and the rodent malaria parasite, P. yoelii yoelii are now available. Extensive genome sequence data from other Plasmodium species...Parasite, Protein, Mass Spectrometry, Genomics, Chloroquine, Artemisinin INTRODUCTION Research on Plasmodium falciparum , a protozoan parasite and

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Elmendorf, H G; Haldar, K

    1993-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. High Parasite Burdens Cause Liver Damage in Mice following Plasmodium berghei ANKA Infection Independently of CD8+ T Cell-Mediated Immune Pathology ▿

    PubMed Central

    Haque, Ashraful; Best, Shannon E.; Amante, Fiona H.; Ammerdorffer, Anne; de Labastida, Fabian; Pereira, Tamara; Ramm, Grant A.; Engwerda, Christian R.

    2011-01-01

    Infection of C57BL/6 mice with Plasmodium berghei ANKA induces a fatal neurological disease commonly referred to as experimental cerebral malaria. The onset of neurological symptoms and mortality depend on pathogenic CD8+ T cells and elevated parasite burdens in the brain. Here we provide clear evidence of liver damage in this model, which precedes and is independent of the onset of neurological symptoms. Large numbers of parasite-specific CD8+ T cells accumulated in the liver following P. berghei ANKA infection. However, systemic depletion of these cells at various times during infection, while preventing neurological symptoms, failed to protect against liver damage or ameliorate it once established. In contrast, rapid, drug-mediated removal of parasites prevented hepatic injury if administered early and quickly resolved liver damage if administered after the onset of clinical symptoms. These data indicate that CD8+ T cell-mediated immune pathology occurs in the brain but not the liver, while parasite-dependent pathology occurs in both organs during P. berghei ANKA infection. Therefore, we show that P. berghei ANKA infection of C57BL/6 mice is a multiorgan disease driven by the accumulation of parasites, which is also characterized by organ-specific CD8+ T cell-mediated pathology. PMID:21343349

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-03

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

  9. Plasmodium and mononuclear phagocytes.

    PubMed

    Mac-Daniel, Laura; Ménard, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, initially multiplies inside liver cells and then in successive cycles inside erythrocytes, causing the symptoms of the disease. In this review, we discuss interactions between the extracellular and intracellular forms of the Plasmodium parasite and innate immune cells in the mammalian host, with a special emphasis on mononuclear phagocytes. We overview here what is known about the innate immune cells that interact with parasites, mechanisms used by the parasite to evade them, and the protective or detrimental contribution of these interactions on parasite progression through its life cycle and pathology in the host.

  10. Exploring the Diversity and Distribution of Neotropical Avian Malaria Parasites – A Molecular Survey from Southeast Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Lacorte, Gustavo A.; Félix, Gabriel M. F.; Pinheiro, Rafael R. B.; Chaves, Anderson V.; Almeida-Neto, Gilberto; Neves, Frederico S.; Leite, Lemuel O.; Santos, Fabrício R.; Braga, Érika M.

    2013-01-01

    Southeast Brazil is a neotropical region composed of a mosaic of different tropical habitats and mountain chains, which allowed for the formation of bird-rich communities with distinct ecological niches. Although this region has the potential to harbor a remarkable variety of avian parasites, there is a lack of information about the diversity of malarial parasites. We used molecular approaches to characterize the lineage diversity of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in bird communities from three different habitats in southeast Brazil based on the prevalence, richness and composition of lineages. We observed an overall prevalence of 35.3%, with a local prevalence ranging from 17.2% to 54.8%. Moreover, no significant association between prevalence and habitat type could be verified (p>0.05). We identified 89 Plasmodium and 22 Haemoproteus lineages, with 86% of them described for the first time here, including an unusual infection of a non-columbiform host by a Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) parasite. The composition analyses of the parasite communities showed that the lineage composition from Brazilian savannah and tropical dry forest was similar, but it was different from the lineage composition of Atlantic rainforest, reflecting the greater likeness of the former habitats with respect to seasonality and forest density. No significant effects of habitat type on lineage richness were observed based on GLM analyses. We also found that sites whose samples had a greater diversity of bird species showed a greater diversity of parasite lineages, providing evidence that areas with high bird richness also have high parasite richness. Our findings point to the importance of the neotropical region (southeast Brazil) as a major reservoir of new haemosporidian lineages. PMID:23469235

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  12. [High prevalence and diversity of blood parasites of passerine birds in Southern Turkmenistan].

    PubMed

    Val'kiunas, G; Ezhova, T A; Mironov, S V

    2001-01-01

    Thirty nine specimens of passerine birds belonging to 19 species and eight families were investigated by blood smear technique in four localities of Southern Turkmenistan in 3-18 August 1991. The overall prevalence of infection was 59%. Protists from the orders Haemosporida (genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon), Kinetoplastida (Trypanosoma), and Adeleida (Hepatozoon), as well as Microfilaria were found. Haemoproteids (the prevalence of infection is 44%), leucocytozoids (23%), malarial parasites (13%) and trypanosomes (13%) were most frequently recorded. Only low chronic infections (< 1% of infected cells for the great majority of intracellular parasites, and a few trypanosomes and Microfilaria in each blood smear) were seen. Haemoproteus belopolskyi, H. balmorali, H. dolniki, H. magnus, H. minutus, H. fringillae, H. majoris, Leucocytozoon dubreuili, and Trypanosoma avium were recorded for the first time in Turkmenistan. The former five above-mentioned species of haemoproteids are new records for the fauna of Middle Asia. Gametocytes of leucocytozoids in fusiform host cells were found for the first time in passerine birds in the Holarctic. The host is Parus bokharensis. Due to the wide distribution and the opportunity to collect a large parasitological material using harmless for hosts methods, bird haemosporidian parasites can be used as convenient models for ecological and evolutionary biology studies in South Turkmenistan. The heavily infected Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis is an especially convenient host for such purposes.

  13. A survey of biting midges of the genus Culicoides Latreille, 1809 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in NE Bulgaria, with respect to transmission of avian haemosporidians.

    PubMed

    Bobeva, Aneliya; Zehtindjiev, Pavel; Bensch, Staffan; Radrova, Jana

    2013-12-01

    This study presents data from a molecular survey of the species of the genus Culicoides from the region of Kalimok Field Station (NE Bulgaria) and haemosporidian parasites occurring in them in order to investigate the host-parasite specificity of haemosporidians to their dipteran vectors. The identification of Culicoides spp. was carried out by morphological and molecular-genetic methods. We collected and analysed 230 individuals of the genus Culicoides. Nine species were found. Eight species were identified morphologically; Culicoides obsoletus, C. riethi, C. newsteadi, C. circumscriptus, C. festivipennis, C. punctatus, C. pictipennis and C. puncticollis. The ninth species might be classified as either of C. nubeculosus or C. riethi and its identification needs additional investigations. The total prevalence of Haemoproteus in the examined biting midges was 2.17%. Three individuals of C. pictipennis were infected with the Haemoproteus lineage TURDUS2 (prevalence 16.67%), a common parasite of thrushes (Turdidae). Two individuals of C. circumscriptus contained Haemoproteus lineages (prevalence 2.78%); these were the lineage HAWF2 (previously reported from Coccothraustes coccothraustes) and a new lineage CULCIR1 not previously reported in the literature.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tarique, Mohammed; Chauhan, Manish; Tuteja, Renu

    2016-09-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-16

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

  19. PI4 Kinase Is a Prophylactic but Not Radical Curative Target in Plasmodium vivax-Type Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Zeeman, Anne-Marie; Lakshminarayana, Suresh B.; van der Werff, Nicole; Klooster, Els J.; Voorberg-van der Wel, Annemarie; Kondreddi, Ravinder R.; Bodenreider, Christophe; Simon, Oliver; Sauerwein, Robert; Yeung, Bryan K. S.

    2016-01-01

    Two Plasmodium PI4 kinase (PI4K) inhibitors, KDU691 and LMV599, were selected for in vivo testing as causal prophylactic and radical-cure agents for Plasmodium cynomolgi sporozoite-infected rhesus macaques, based on their in vitro activity against liver stages. Animals were infected with P. cynomolgi sporozoites, and compounds were dosed orally. Both the KDU691 and LMV599 compounds were fully protective when administered prophylactically, and the more potent compound LMV599 achieved protection as a single oral dose of 25 mg/kg of body weight. In contrast, when tested for radical cure, five daily doses of 20 mg/kg of KDU691 or 25 mg/kg of LMV599 did not prevent relapse, as all animals experienced a secondary infection due to the reactivation of hypnozoites in the liver. Pharmacokinetic data show that LMV599 achieved plasma exposure that was sufficient to achieve efficacy based on our in vitro data. These findings indicate that Plasmodium PI4K is a potential drug target for malaria prophylaxis but not radical cure. Longer in vitro culture systems will be required to assess these compounds' activity on established hypnozoites and predict radical cure in vivo. PMID:26926645

  20. Grammomys surdaster, the Natural Host for Plasmodium berghei Parasites, as a Model to Study Whole-Organism Vaccines against Malaria.

    PubMed

    Conteh, Solomon; Anderson, Charles; Lambert, Lynn; Orr-Gonzalez, Sachy; Herrod, Jessica; Robbins, Yvette L; Carter, Dariyen; Bin Shamamba Karhemere, Stomy; Pyana, Pati; Büscher, Philippe; Duffy, Patrick E

    2017-01-23

    Inbred mice are commonly used to test candidate malaria vaccines, but have been unreliable for predicting efficacy in humans. To establish a more rigorous animal model, we acquired African woodland thicket rats of the genus Grammomys, the natural hosts for Plasmodium berghei Thicket rats were acquired and identified as Grammomys surdaster by skull and teeth measurements and mitochondrial DNA genotyping. Herein, we demonstrate that thicket rats are highly susceptible to infection by P berghei, and moderately susceptible to Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium chabaudi: 1-2 infected mosquito bites or 25-100 sporozoites administered by intravenous injection consistently resulted in patent parasitemia with P. berghei, and resulted in patent parasitemia with P. yoelii and P. chabaudi strains for at least 50% of animals. We then assessed efficacy of whole-organism vaccines to induce sterile immunity, and compared the thicket rat model to conventional mouse models. Using P. berghei ANKA radiation-attenuated sporozoites, and P. berghei ANKA and P. yoelii chemoprophylaxis vaccination approaches, we found that standard doses of vaccine sufficient to protect laboratory mice for long duration against malaria challenge, are insufficient to protect thicket rats, which require higher doses of vaccine to achieve even short-term sterile immunity. Thicket rats may offer a more stringent and pertinent model for evaluating whole-organism vaccines.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Molecular and morphological description of Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) bukaka (species nova), a haemosporidian associated with the strictly Australo-Papuan host subfamily Cracticinae.

    PubMed

    Goulding, W; Adlard, R D; Clegg, S M; Clark, N J

    2016-09-01

    Linking morphological studies with molecular phylogeny is important to understanding cryptic speciation and the evolution of host-parasite relationships. Haemosporidian parasites of the Australo-Papuan bird family Artamidae are relatively unstudied. Only one parasite species from the subfamily Cracticinae has been described, and this was based solely on morphological description. This is despite many Cracticinae species being easily observed and abundant over large ranges and in close proximity to human populations. We used morphological and molecular methods to describe a new Haemoproteus species (H. bukaka sp. nov.) from an endemic Butcherbird host (Cracticus louisiadensis) in a relatively unstudied insular area of high avian endemism (Papua New Guinea's Louisiade Archipelago). Phylogenetic reconstructions using parasite cyt-b gene sequences placed the proposed Haemoproteus bukaka sp. nov. close to other host-specialist Haemoproteus species that infect meliphagid honeyeater hosts in the region, e.g. H. ptilotis. Distinct morphological characters of this haemosporidian include macrogametocytes with characteristic large vacuoles opposing a subterminal nucleus on the host cell envelope. Among 27 sampled individuals, prevalence of H. bukaka sp.nov. was high (74 % infection rate) but strongly variable across four islands in the archipelago (ranging from 0 to 100 % prevalence). Parasitaemia levels were low across all infected individuals (0.1-0.6 %). We suspect host density may play a role in maintaining high prevalence given the close proximity and similar physical environments across islands. The findings are discussed in the context of the host genus Cracticus and theory relating to parasite-host evolution and its conservation implications in Papua New Guinea.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-11

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

  6. Evaluation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method as a Tool for Diagnosis of Infection by the Zoonotic Simian Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi▿

    PubMed Central

    Iseki, Hiroshi; Kawai, Satoru; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Hirai, Makoto; Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Igarashi, Ikuo

    2010-01-01

    Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a novel method that rapidly amplifies target DNA with high specificity under isothermal conditions. It has been applied as a diagnostic tool for several infectious diseases, including viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. In the present study, we developed a LAMP method for the molecular diagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi infection (PkLAMP) and evaluated its sensitivity, specificity, and clinical applicability. We designed three sets of PkLAMP primers for the species-specific β-tubulin gene. The primer sets for PkLAMP specifically amplified the autologous DNA extracts of P. knowlesi, and the sensitivity of the test was 100-fold that of single-PCR assay. These results indicate that our PkLAMP method can be used to efficiently distinguish between P. knowlesi and other malaria parasites. To evaluate the feasibility of using in vivo materials, comparisons of PkLAMP and the conventional nested PCR (nPCR) method and microscopic examination were made with blood samples from two experimentally infected monkeys. These studies showed that P. knowlesi infection can be identified much earlier with PkLAMP than with nPCR and microscopy. Moreover, the detection performance of PkLAMP using whole blood as the template was identical to that of PkLAMP when genomic DNA extracts were used. These results suggest that the PkLAMP method is a promising tool for molecular diagnosis of P. knowlesi infection in areas of endemicity. PMID:20444968

  7. Evaluation of a loop-mediated isothermal amplification method as a tool for diagnosis of infection by the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

    PubMed

    Iseki, Hiroshi; Kawai, Satoru; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Hirai, Makoto; Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Igarashi, Ikuo

    2010-07-01

    Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a novel method that rapidly amplifies target DNA with high specificity under isothermal conditions. It has been applied as a diagnostic tool for several infectious diseases, including viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. In the present study, we developed a LAMP method for the molecular diagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi infection (PkLAMP) and evaluated its sensitivity, specificity, and clinical applicability. We designed three sets of PkLAMP primers for the species-specific beta-tubulin gene. The primer sets for PkLAMP specifically amplified the autologous DNA extracts of P. knowlesi, and the sensitivity of the test was 100-fold that of single-PCR assay. These results indicate that our PkLAMP method can be used to efficiently distinguish between P. knowlesi and other malaria parasites. To evaluate the feasibility of using in vivo materials, comparisons of PkLAMP and the conventional nested PCR (nPCR) method and microscopic examination were made with blood samples from two experimentally infected monkeys. These studies showed that P. knowlesi infection can be identified much earlier with PkLAMP than with nPCR and microscopy. Moreover, the detection performance of PkLAMP using whole blood as the template was identical to that of PkLAMP when genomic DNA extracts were used. These results suggest that the PkLAMP method is a promising tool for molecular diagnosis of P. knowlesi infection in areas of endemicity.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-02-01

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

  9. Secretory transport in Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Elmendorf, H G; Haldar, K

    1993-03-01

    The asexual blood stage of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum resides within the mature erythrocyte - a cell that has no intracellular organelles and few biosynthetic activities. However, Plasmodium, as on actively growing and dividing cell, has numerous requirements for the uptake o f nutrients and expulsion of waste. Hence, the parasite must extensively remodel the erythrocyte to facilitate its survival, not only by exporting numerous proteins, but also by providing the requisite machinery for their .trafficking. In this review, Heidi Elmendorf and Kastun Haldar propose a model for secretion in P. falciparum.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Blood parasites from California ducks and geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.

    1951-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Steinbuechel, Marion; Matuschewski, Kai

    2009-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. The Integration of Cellular and Humoral Responses to Protozoan Parasites.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    IMMUNOLOGY, *PARASITES, * LEISHMANIA , *PLASMODIUM, *PROTOZOA, ISRAEL, EXPERIMENTAL DATA, RATS, MICE, MALARIA, IMMUNITY, CELLS(BIOLOGY), SEROLOGY, CULTURES(BIOLOGY), PARASITIC DISEASES, SPLEEN, HYPERSENSITIVITY.

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

    PubMed

    Huchzermeyer, F W

    1993-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-04-01

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

  4. Ungulate malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Malaria Parasites: The Great Escape

    PubMed Central

    Rénia, Laurent; Goh, Yun Shan

    2016-01-01

    Parasites of the genus Plasmodium have a complex life cycle. They alternate between their final mosquito host and their intermediate hosts. The parasite can be either extra- or intracellular, depending on the stage of development. By modifying their shape, motility, and metabolic requirements, the parasite adapts to the different environments in their different hosts. The parasite has evolved to escape the multiple immune mechanisms in the host that try to block parasite development at the different stages of their development. In this article, we describe the mechanisms reported thus far that allow the Plasmodium parasite to evade innate and adaptive immune responses. PMID:27872623

  6. First Full Draft Genome Sequence of Plasmodium brasilianum

    PubMed Central

    Ravishankar, Shashidhar; Nayak, Vishal; Patel, Dhruviben S.; Olsen, Christian; Sheth, Mili; Batra, Dhwani; Loparev, Vladimir; Vannberg, Fredrik O.; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Barnwell, John W.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plasmodium malariae is a protozoan parasite that can cause human malaria. The simian parasite Plasmodium brasilianum infects New World monkeys from Latin America and is morphologically indistinguishable from P. malariae. Here, we report the first full draft genome sequence for P. brasilianum. PMID:28183758

  7. 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.

  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. [Nuclei in the plasmodium of Intoshia variabili (Orthonectida) as revealed by DAPI staining].

    PubMed

    Sliusarev, G S; Manylov, O G; Cherkasov, A S

    2002-01-01

    DAPI staining of wholeamounts was used to reveal the parasitic plasmodium of the orthonectid Intoshia variabili in its host, the turbellarian Macrorhynchus crocea. The nuclei of the parasite differ drastically from those of the host in size, morphology, and the estimated DNA content. Our findings indirectly support the idea that the orthonectid plasmodium is a distinct parasitic organism, rather than modified host cells.

  10. Phylogeny of the malarial genus Plasmodium, derived from rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed Central

    Escalante, A A; Ayala, F J

    1994-01-01

    Malaria is among mankind's worst scourges, affecting many millions of people, particularly in the tropics. Human malaria is caused by several species of Plasmodium, a parasitic protozoan. We analyze the small subunit rRNA gene sequences of 11 Plasmodium species, including three parasitic to humans, to infer their evolutionary relationships. Plasmodium falciparum, the most virulent of the human species, is closely related to Plasmodium reichenowi, which is parasitic to chimpanzee. The estimated time of divergence of these two Plasmodium species is consistent with the time of divergence (6-10 million years ago) between the human and chimpanzee lineages. The falciparum-reichenowi clade is only remotely related to two other human parasites, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium vivax, which are also only remotely related to each other. Thus, the parasitic associations of the Plasmodium species with their human hosts are phylogenetically independent. The remote phylogenetic relationship between the two bird parasites, Plasmodium gallinaceum and Plasmodium lophurae, and any of the human parasites provides no support for the hypothesis that infection by Plasmodium falciparum is a recent acquisition of humans, possibly coincident with the onset of agriculture. PMID:7972067

  11. Transmission blocking activity of a standardized neem (Azadirachta indica) seed extract on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in its vector Anopheles stephensi

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The wide use of gametocytocidal artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) lead to a reduction of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in several African endemic settings. An increased impact on malaria burden may be achieved through the development of improved transmission-blocking formulations, including molecules complementing the gametocytocidal effects of artemisinin derivatives and/or acting on Plasmodium stages developing in the vector. Azadirachtin, a limonoid (tetranortriterpenoid) abundant in neem (Azadirachta indica, Meliaceae) seeds, is a promising candidate, inhibiting Plasmodium exflagellation in vitro at low concentrations. This work aimed at assessing the transmission-blocking potential of NeemAzal®, an azadirachtin-enriched extract of neem seeds, using the rodent malaria in vivo model Plasmodium berghei/Anopheles stephensi. Methods Anopheles stephensi females were offered a blood-meal on P. berghei infected, gametocytaemic BALB/c mice, treated intraperitoneally with NeemAzal, one hour before feeding. The transmission-blocking activity of the product was evaluated by assessing oocyst prevalence, oocyst density and capacity to infect healthy mice. To characterize the anti-plasmodial effects of NeemAzal® on early midgut stages, i.e. zygotes and ookinetes, Giemsa-stained mosquito midgut smears were examined. Results NeemAzal® completely blocked P. berghei development in the vector, at an azadirachtin dose of 50 mg/kg mouse body weight. The totally 138 examined, treated mosquitoes (three experimental replications) did not reveal any oocyst and none of the healthy mice exposed to their bites developed parasitaemia. The examination of midgut content smears revealed a reduced number of zygotes and post-zygotic forms and the absence of mature ookinetes in treated mosquitoes. Post-zygotic forms showed several morphological alterations, compatible with the hypothesis of an azadirachtin interference with the functionality of the microtubule

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Vector sequence contamination of the Plasmodium vivax sequence database in PlasmoDB and In silico correction of 26 parasite sequences.

    PubMed

    Tao, Zhi-Yong; Sui, Xu; Jun, Cao; Culleton, Richard; Fang, Qiang; Xia, Hui; Gao, Qi

    2015-06-12

    We found a 47 aa protein sequence that occurs 17 times in the Plasmodium vivax nucleotide database published on PlasmoDB. Coding sequence analysis showed multiple restriction enzyme sites within the 141 bp nucleotide sequence, and a His6 tag attached to the 3' end, suggesting cloning vector origins. Sequences with vector contamination were submitted to NCBI, and BLASTN was used to cross-examine whole-genome shotgun contigs (WGS) from four recently deposited P. vivax whole genome sequencing projects. There are at least 26 genes listed in the PlasmoDB database that incorporate this cloning vector sequence into their predicted provisional protein products.

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

    PubMed 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

  15. 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

  16. Malaria parasite clearance.

    PubMed

    White, Nicholas J

    2017-02-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Intracellular Parasite Invasion Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibley, L. D.

    2004-04-01

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

  19. Treatment of Plasmodium chabaudi Parasites with Curcumin in Combination with Antimalarial Drugs: Drug Interactions and Implications on the Ubiquitin/Proteasome System

    PubMed Central

    Neto, Zoraima; Machado, Marta; Lindeza, Ana; do Rosário, Virgílio; Gazarini, Marcos L.; Lopes, Dinora

    2013-01-01

    Antimalarial drug resistance remains a major obstacle in malaria control. Evidence from Southeast Asia shows that resistance to artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is inevitable. Ethnopharmacological studies have confirmed the efficacy of curcumin against Plasmodium spp. Drug interaction assays between curcumin/piperine/chloroquine and curcumin/piperine/artemisinin combinations and the potential of drug treatment to interfere with the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) were analyzed. In vivo efficacy of curcumin was studied in BALB/c mice infected with Plasmodium chabaudi clones resistant to chloroquine and artemisinin, and drug interactions were analyzed by isobolograms. Subtherapeutic doses of curcumin, chloroquine, and artemisinin were administered to mice, and mRNA was collected following treatment for RT-PCR analysis of genes encoding deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs). Curcumin was found be nontoxic in BALB/c mice. The combination of curcumin/chloroquine/piperine reduced parasitemia to 37% seven days after treatment versus the control group's 65%, and an additive interaction was revealed. Curcumin/piperine/artemisinin combination did not show a favorable drug interaction in this murine model of malaria. Treatment of mice with subtherapeutic doses of the drugs resulted in a transient increase in genes encoding DUBs indicating UPS interference. If curcumin is to join the arsenal of available antimalarial drugs, future studies exploring suitable drug partners would be of interest. PMID:23691276

  20. Plasmodium cynomolgi genome sequences provide insight into Plasmodium vivax and the monkey malaria clade

    PubMed Central

    Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Sullivan, Steven A.; Kawai, Satoru; Nakamura, Shota; Kim, Hyunjae R.; Goto, Naohisa; Arisue, Nobuko; Palacpac, Nirianne M. Q.; Honma, Hajime; Yagi, Masanori; Tougan, Takahiro; Katakai, Yuko; Kaneko, Osamu; Mita, Toshihiro; Kita, Kiyoshi; Yasutomi, Yasuhiro; Sutton, Patrick L.; Shakhbatyan, Rimma; Horii, Toshihiro; Yasunaga, Teruo; Barnwell, John W.; Escalante, Ananias A.; Carlton, Jane M.; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium cynomolgi, a malaria parasite of Asian Old World monkeys, is the sister taxon of Plasmodium vivax, the most prevalent human malaria species outside Africa. Since P. cynomolgi shares many phenotypic, biologic and genetic characteristics of P. vivax, we generated draft genome sequences of three P. cynomolgi strains and performed comparative genomic analysis between them and P. vivax, as well as a third previously sequenced simian parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi. Here we show that genomes of the monkey malaria clade can be characterized by CNVs in multigene families involved in evasion of the human immune system and invasion of host erythrocytes. We identify genome-wide SNPs, microsatellites, and CNVs in the P. cynomolgi genome, providing a map of genetic variation for mapping parasite traits and studying parasite populations. The P. cynomolgi genome is a critical step in developing a model system for P. vivax research, and to counteract the neglect of P. vivax. PMID:22863735

  1. 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

  2. Risk of Plasmodium vivax malaria reintroduction in Uzbekistan: genetic characterization of parasites and status of potential malaria vectors in the Surkhandarya region.

    PubMed

    Severini, Carlo; Menegon, Michela; Di Luca, Marco; Abdullaev, Iso; Majori, Giancarlo; Razakov, Shavkat A; Gradoni, Luigi

    2004-10-01

    Plasmodium vivax malaria was eradicated from Uzbekistan in 1961. Due to resurgence of the disease in neighbouring states and massive population migration, there has been an increase of P. vivax malaria, imported from Tajikistan, resulting in a number of indigenous cases being identified in areas bordering that country. A molecular study using the merozoite surface protein 1 (msp-1) gene as a marker was performed on 24 P. vivax genomic isolates from 12 indigenous and 10 imported malaria cases that occurred in the Surkhandarya region during the summer of 2002. Results have shown a significant difference in the frequency of msp-1 types between indigenous and imported isolates, the latter showing greater genetic heterogeneity. An entomological investigation in the area suggested that three Anopheles species, namely A. superpictus, A. pulcherrimus and A. hyrcanus may have a potential role in the endemic transmission of P. vivax.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of anti-mosquito midgut antibodies on development of malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax and fecundity in vector mosquito Anopheles culicifacies (Diptera: culicidae).

    PubMed

    Chugh, Manoj; Adak, T; Sehrawat, Neelam; Gakhar, S K

    2011-04-01

    The effect of anti-mosquito-midgut antibodies on the development of the malaria parasite, P. vivax was studied by feeding the vector mosquito, An. culicifacies with infected blood supplemented with serum from immunized rabbits. In order to get antisera, rabbits were immunized with midgut proteins of three siblings species of Anopheles culicifacies, reported to exhibit differential vectorial capacity. The mosquitoes that ingested anti-midgut antibodies along with infectious parasites had significantly fewer oocysts compared to the control group of mosquitoes. The immunized rabbits generated high titer of antibodies. Their cross reactivity amongst various tissues of the same species and with other sibling species was also determined. Immunogenic polypeptides expressed in the midgut of glucose or blood fed An. culicifacies sibling species were identified by Western blotting. One immunogenic polypeptide of 62 kDa was exclusively present in the midgut of species A. Similarly, three polypeptides of 97, 94 and 58 kDa and one polypeptide of 23 kDa were present exclusively in species B and C respectively. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed the localization of these antigens on baso-lateral membrane and microvilli. The effects of anti-mosquito midgut antibodies on fecundity, longevity, mortality and engorgement of mosquitoes were studied. Fecundity was also reduced significantly. These observations open an avenue for research toward the development of a vector-based malaria parasite transmission-blocking vaccine.

  6. 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

  7. Anopheles Midgut FREP1 Mediates Plasmodium Invasion*

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Reduced Plasmodium Parasite Burden Associates with CD38+ CD4+ T Cells Displaying Cytolytic Potential and Impaired IFN-γ Production

    PubMed Central

    Burel, Julie G.; Apte, Simon H.; Groves, Penny L.; Klein, Kerenaftali; McCarthy, James S.; Doolan, Denise L.

    2016-01-01

    Using a unique resource of samples from a controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) study, we identified a novel population of CD4+ T cells whose frequency in the peripheral blood was inversely correlated with parasite burden following P. falciparum infection. These CD4+ T cells expressed the multifunctional ectoenzyme CD38 and had unique features that distinguished them from other CD4+ T cells. Specifically, their phenotype was associated with proliferation, activation and cytotoxic potential as well as significantly impaired production of IFN-γ and other cytokines and reduced basal levels of activated STAT1. A CD38+ CD4+ T cell population with similar features was identified in healthy uninfected individuals, at lower frequency. CD38+ CD4+ T cells could be generated in vitro from CD38- CD4+ T cells after antigenic or mitogenic stimulation. This is the first report of a population of CD38+ CD4+ T cells with a cytotoxic phenotype and markedly impaired IFN-γ capacity in humans. The expansion of this CD38+ CD4+ T population following infection and its significant association with reduced blood-stage parasite burden is consistent with an important functional role for these cells in protective immunity to malaria in humans. Their ubiquitous presence in humans suggests that they may have a broad role in host-pathogen defense. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov clinical trial numbers ACTRN12612000814875, ACTRN12613000565741 and ACTRN12613001040752 PMID:27662621

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

    PubMed

    Kang, Yunjung; Yang, Jinyoung

    2013-04-01

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

  10. Plasmodium vivax Malaria in Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    Siv, Sovannaroth; Roca-Feltrer, Arantxa; Vinjamuri, Seshu Babu; Bouth, Denis Mey; Lek, Dysoley; Rashid, Mohammad Abdur; By, Ngau Peng; Popovici, Jean; Huy, Rekol; Menard, Didier

    2016-01-01

    The Cambodian National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria aims to move step by step toward elimination of malaria across Cambodia with an initial focus on Plasmodium falciparum malaria before achieving elimination of all forms of malaria, including Plasmodium vivax in 2025. The emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum in western Cambodia over the last decade has drawn global attention to support the ultimate goal of P. falciparum elimination, whereas the control of P. vivax lags much behind, making the 2025 target gradually less achievable unless greater attention is given to P. vivax elimination in the country. The following review presents in detail the past and current situation regarding P. vivax malaria, activities of the National Malaria Control Program, and interventional measures applied. Constraints and obstacles that can jeopardize our efforts to eliminate this parasite species are discussed. PMID:27708187

  11. Inhibition of Glutathione Biosynthesis Sensitizes Plasmodium berghei to Antifolates

    PubMed Central

    Koonyosying, Pongpisid; Uthaipibull, Chairat; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  13. Malaria-like symptoms associated with a natural Plasmodium reichenowi infection in a chimpanzee.

    PubMed

    Herbert, Anaïs; Boundenga, Larson; Meyer, Anne; Moukodoum, Diamella Nancy; Okouga, Alain Prince; Arnathau, Céline; Durand, Patrick; Magnus, Julie; Ngoubangoye, Barthélémy; Willaume, Eric; Ba, Cheikh Tidiane; Rougeron, Virginie; Renaud, François; Ollomo, Benjamin; Prugnolle, Franck

    2015-05-28

    Although Plasmodium infections have never been clearly associated with symptoms in non-human primates, the question of the pathogenicity of Plasmodium parasites in non-human primates still remains unanswered. A young chimpanzee, followed before and after release to a sanctuary, in a semi-free ranging enclosure located in an equatorial forest, showed fever and strong anaemia associated with a high Plasmodium reichenowi infection, shortly after release. The animal recovered from anaemia after several months despite recurrent infection with other Plasmodium species. This may be the first description of malaria-like symptoms in a chimpanzee infected with Plasmodium.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Microsatellite analysis of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Cytoskeleton of Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Morrissette, Naomi S.; Sibley, L. David

    2002-01-01

    The Apicomplexa are a phylum of diverse obligate intracellular parasites including Plasmodium spp., the cause of malaria; Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum, opportunistic pathogens of immunocompromised individuals; and Eimeria spp. and Theileria spp., parasites of considerable agricultural importance. These protozoan parasites share distinctive morphological features, cytoskeletal organization, and modes of replication, motility, and invasion. This review summarizes our current understanding of the cytoskeletal elements, the properties of cytoskeletal proteins, and the role of the cytoskeleton in polarity, motility, invasion, and replication. We discuss the unusual properties of actin and myosin in the Apicomplexa, the highly stereotyped microtubule populations in apicomplexans, and a network of recently discovered novel intermediate filament-like elements in these parasites. PMID:11875126

  18. Comparative host-parasite population genetic structures: obligate fly ectoparasites on Galapagos seabirds.

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G

    2013-08-01

    Parasites often have shorter generation times and, in some cases, faster mutation rates than their hosts, which can lead to greater population differentiation in the parasite relative to the host. Here we present a population genetic study of two ectoparasitic flies, Olfersia spinifera and Olfersia aenescens compared with their respective bird hosts, great frigatebirds (Fregata minor) and Nazca boobies (Sula granti). Olfersia spinifera is the vector of a haemosporidian parasite, Haemoproteus iwa, which infects frigatebirds throughout their range. Interestingly, there is no genetic differentiation in the haemosporidian parasite across this range despite strong genetic differentiation between Galapagos frigatebirds and their non-Galapagos conspecifics. It is possible that the broad distribution of this one H. iwa lineage could be facilitated by movement of infected O. spinifera. Therefore, we predicted more gene flow in both fly species compared with the bird hosts. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data from three genes per species indicated that despite marked differences in the genetic structure of the bird hosts, gene flow was very high in both fly species. A likely explanation involves non-breeding movements of hosts, including movement of juveniles, and movement by adult birds whose breeding attempt has failed, although we cannot rule out the possibility that closely related host species may be involved.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Expanding the antimalarial toolkit: Targeting host–parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, Patrick E.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Langhorne, Jean; Duffy, Patrick E

    2016-02-08

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

  3. Using Click Chemistry to Identify Potential Drug Targets in Plasmodium

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-01

    Release; Distribution Unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Sporozo ite infection of the liver is the first obl igate step of the Plasmodium...goal is to find drugs that prevent or control liver infection. Development of such drugs will be faci l itated by identification of parasite proteins...required for l iver infection. These proteins are potential drug targets for development of therapies that restrict Plasmodium liver infection. The

  4. Global Epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax

    PubMed Central

    Howes, Rosalind E.; Battle, Katherine E.; Mendis, Kamini N.; Smith, David L.; Cibulskis, Richard E.; Baird, J. Kevin; Hay, Simon I.

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread human malaria, putting 2.5 billion people at risk of infection. Its unique biological and epidemiological characteristics pose challenges to control strategies that have been principally targeted against Plasmodium falciparum. Unlike P. falciparum, P. vivax infections have typically low blood-stage parasitemia with gametocytes emerging before illness manifests, and dormant liver stages causing relapses. These traits affect both its geographic distribution and transmission patterns. Asymptomatic infections, high-risk groups, and resulting case burdens are described in this review. Despite relatively low prevalence measurements and parasitemia levels, along with high proportions of asymptomatic cases, this parasite is not benign. Plasmodium vivax can be associated with severe and even fatal illness. Spreading resistance to chloroquine against the acute attack, and the operational inadequacy of primaquine against the multiple attacks of relapse, exacerbates the risk of poor outcomes among the tens of millions suffering from infection each year. Without strategies accounting for these P. vivax-specific characteristics, progress toward elimination of endemic malaria transmission will be substantially impeded. PMID:27402513

  5. Plasmodium infection decreases fecundity and increases survival of mosquitoes.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-07

    Long-lived mosquitoes maximize the chances of Plasmodium transmission. Yet, in spite of decades of research, the effect of Plasmodium parasites on mosquito longevity remains highly controversial. On the one hand, many studies report shorter lifespans in infected mosquitoes. On the other hand, parallel (but separate) studies show that Plasmodium reduces fecundity and imply that this is an adaptive strategy of the parasite aimed at redirecting resources towards longevity. No study till date has, however, investigated fecundity and longevity in the same individuals to see whether this prediction holds. In this study, we follow for both fecundity and longevity in Plasmodium-infected and uninfected mosquitoes using a novel, albeit natural, experimental system. We also explore whether the genetic variations that arise through the evolution of insecticide resistance modulate the effect of Plasmodium on these two life-history traits. We show that (i) a reduction in fecundity in Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes is accompanied by an increase in longevity; (ii) this increase in longevity arises through a trade-off between reproduction and survival; and (iii) in insecticide-resistant mosquitoes, the slope of this trade-off is steeper when the mosquito is infected by Plasmodium (cost of insecticide resistance).

  6. Diagnosis of an imported Plasmodium ovale wallikeri infection in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Liew, Jonathan Wee Kent; Mahmud, Rohela; Tan, Lian Huat; Lau, Yee Ling

    2016-01-06

    Plasmodium ovale is rare and not exactly known to be autochthonous in Malaysia. There are two distinct forms of the parasite, namely P. ovale curtisi (classic form) and P. ovale wallikeri (variant form). Here, the first sequence confirmed case of an imported P. ovale wallikeri infection in Malaysia is presented. Microscopy found Plasmodium parasites with morphology similar to P. ovale or Plasmodium vivax in the blood films. Further confirmation using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the small-subunit rRNA gene of the parasite was unsuccessful. Genus-specific PCR was then performed and the product was sequenced and analysed. Sequence analyses confirmed the aetiological agent as P. ovale wallikeri. New species-specific primers (rOVA1v and rOVA2v) were employed and P. ovale wallikeri was finally confirmed. The findings highlight the need to look out for imported malaria infections in Malaysia and the importance of a constantly updated and validated diagnostic technique.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Imaging Plasmodium immunobiology in the liver, brain, and lung.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  10. Filarial Worms Reduce Plasmodium Infectivity in Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Aliota, Matthew T.; Chen, Cheng-Chen; Dagoro, Henry; Fuchs, Jeremy F.; Christensen, Bruce M.

    2011-01-01

    Background Co-occurrence of malaria and filarial worm parasites has been reported, but little is known about the interaction between filarial worm and malaria parasites with the same Anopheles vector. Herein, we present data evaluating the interaction between Wuchereria bancrofti and Anopheles punctulatus in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Our field studies in PNG demonstrated that An. punctulatus utilizes the melanization immune response as a natural mechanism of filarial worm resistance against invading W. bancrofti microfilariae. We then conducted laboratory studies utilizing the mosquitoes Armigeres subalbatus and Aedes aegypti and the parasites Brugia malayi, Brugia pahangi, Dirofilaria immitis, and Plasmodium gallinaceum to evaluate the hypothesis that immune activation and/or development by filarial worms negatively impact Plasmodium development in co-infected mosquitoes. Ar. subalbatus used in this study are natural vectors of P. gallinaceum and B. pahangi and they are naturally refractory to B. malayi (melanization-based refractoriness). Methodology/Principal Findings Mosquitoes were dissected and Plasmodium development was analyzed six days after blood feeding on either P. gallinaceum alone or after taking a bloodmeal containing both P. gallinaceum and B. malayi or a bloodmeal containing both P. gallinaceum and B. pahangi. There was a significant reduction in the prevalence and mean intensity of Plasmodium infections in two species of mosquito that had dual infections as compared to those mosquitoes that were infected with Plasmodium alone, and was independent of whether the mosquito had a melanization immune response to the filarial worm or not. However, there was no reduction in Plasmodium development when filarial worms were present in the bloodmeal (D. immitis) but midgut penetration was absent, suggesting that factors associated with penetration of the midgut by filarial worms likely are responsible for the observed reduction in malaria parasite infections

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Escalante, A A; Ayala, F J

    1995-01-01

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

  13. Plasmodium simium/Plasmodium vivax infections in southern brown howler monkeys from the Atlantic Forest

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Daniela Camargos; da Cunha, Vanessa Pecini; de Assis, Gabriela Maria Pereira; de Souza, Júlio César; Hirano, Zelinda Maria Braga; de Arruda, Mércia Eliane; Kano, Flora Satiko; Carvalho, Luzia Helena; de Brito, Cristiana Ferreira Alves

    2014-01-01

    Blood infection by the simian parasite, Plasmodium simium, was identified in captive (n = 45, 4.4%) and in wild Alouatta clamitans monkeys (n = 20, 35%) from the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil. A single malaria infection was symptomatic and the monkey presented clinical and haematological alterations. A high frequency of Plasmodium vivax-specific antibodies was detected among these monkeys, with 87% of the monkeys testing positive against P. vivax antigens. These findings highlight the possibility of malaria as a zoonosis in the remaining Atlantic Forest and its impact on the epidemiology of the disease. PMID:25099335

  14. Plasmodium simium/Plasmodium vivax infections in southern brown howler monkeys from the Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Costa, Daniela Camargos; da Cunha, Vanessa Pecini; de Assis, Gabriela Maria Pereira; de Souza Junior, Júlio César; Hirano, Zelinda Maria Braga; de Arruda, Mércia Eliane; Kano, Flora Satiko; Carvalho, Luzia Helena; de Brito, Cristiana Ferreira Alves

    2014-08-01

    Blood infection by the simian parasite, Plasmodium simium, was identified in captive (n = 45, 4.4%) and in wild Alouatta clamitans monkeys (n = 20, 35%) from the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil. A single malaria infection was symptomatic and the monkey presented clinical and haematological alterations. A high frequency of Plasmodium vivax-specific antibodies was detected among these monkeys, with 87% of the monkeys testing positive against P. vivax antigens. These findings highlight the possibility of malaria as a zoonosis in the remaining Atlantic Forest and its impact on the epidemiology of the disease.

  15. Host-parasite interactions that guide red blood cell invasion by malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Aditya S.; Egan, Elizabeth S.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of Review Malaria is caused by the infection and proliferation of parasites from the genus Plasmodium in red blood cells (RBCs). A free Plasmodium parasite, or merozoite, released from an infected RBC must invade another RBC host cell to sustain a blood-stage infection. Here, we review recent advances on RBC invasion by Plasmodium merozoites, focusing on specific molecular interactions between host and parasite. Recent findings Recent work highlights the central role of host-parasite interactions at virtually every stage of RBC invasion by merozoites. Biophysical experiments have for the first time measured the strength of merozoite-RBC attachment during invasion. For P. falciparum, there have been many key insights regarding the invasion ligand PfRh5 in particular, including its influence on host species tropism, a co-crystal structure with its RBC receptor basigin, and its suitability as a vaccine target. For P. vivax, researchers identified the origin and emergence of the parasite from Africa, demonstrating a natural link to the Duffy-negative RBC variant in African populations. For the simian parasite P. knowlesi, zoonotic invasion into human cells is linked to RBC age, which has implications for parasitemia during an infection and thus malaria. Summary New studies of the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing RBC invasion by Plasmodium parasites have shed light on various aspects of parasite biology and host cell tropism; and indicate opportunities for malaria control. PMID:25767956

  16. Forests of opportunities and mischief: disentangling the interactions between forests, parasites and immune responses.

    PubMed

    Renner, Swen C; Lüdtke, Bruntje; Kaiser, Sonja; Kienle, Julia; Schaefer, H Martin; Segelbacher, Gernot; Tschapka, Marco; Santiago-Alarcon, Diego

    2016-08-01

    Habitat characteristics determine the presence of individuals through resource availability, but at the same time, such features also influence the occurrence of parasites. We analyzed how birds respond to changes in interior forest structures, to forest management regimes, and to the risk of haemosporidian infections. We captured and took blood samples from blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) and chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) in three different forest types (beech, mixed deciduous, spruce). We measured birds' body asymmetries, detected avian haemosporidians, and counted white blood cells as an immune measure of each individual per forest type. We used, to our knowledge for the first time, continuous forest structural parameters to quantify habitat structure, and found significant effects of habitat structure on parasite prevalence that previously have been undetected. We found three times higher prevalence for blackcaps compared with chaffinches. Parasite intensity varied significantly within host species depending on forest type, being lowest in beech forests for both host species. Structurally complex habitats with a high degree of entropy had a positive effect on the likelihood of acquiring an infection, but the effect on prevalence was negative for forest sections with a south facing aspect. For blackcaps, forest gaps also had a positive effect on prevalence, but canopy height had a negative one. Our results suggest that forest types and variations in forest structure influence the likelihood of acquiring an infection, which subsequently has an influence on host health status and body condition; however, responses to some environmental factors are host-specific.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Plasmodium vivax Transmission in Africa

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Plasmodium vivax Transmission in Africa.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Elandaloussi, Laurence M; Smith, Peter J

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Laser-induced inactivation of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Haemozoin crystals, produced by Plasmodium during its intra-erythrocytic asexual reproduction cycle, can generate UV light via the laser-induced, non-linear optical process of third harmonic generation (THG). In the current study the feasibility of using haemozoin, constitutively stored in the parasite’s food vacuole, to kill the parasite by irradiation with a near IR laser was evaluated. Methods Cultured Plasmodium parasites at different stages of development were irradiated with a pulsed NIR laser and the viability of parasites at each stage was evaluated from their corresponding growth curves using the continuous culture method. Additional testing for germicidal effects of haemozoin and NIR laser was performed by adding synthetic haemozoin crystals to Escherichia coli in suspension. Cell suspensions were then irradiated with the laser and small aliquots taken and spread on agar plates containing selective agents to determine cell viability (CFU). Results Parasites in the late-trophozoites form as well as trophozoites in early-stage of DNA synthesis were found to be the most sensitive to the treatment with ~4-log reduction in viability after six passes through the laser beam; followed by parasites in ring phase (~2-log reduction). A ~1-log reduction in E. coli viability was obtained following a 60 min irradiation regimen of the bacteria in the presence of 1 μM synthetic haemozoin and a ~2-log reduction in the presence of 10 μM haemozoin. Minimal (≤15%) cell kill was observed in the presence of 10 μM haemin. Conclusions Laser-induced third-harmonic generation by haemozoin can be used to inactivate Plasmodium. This result may have clinical implications for treating severe malaria symptoms by irradiating the patient’s blood through the skin or through dialysis tubing with a NIR laser. PMID:22873646

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Parasites and cancers: parasite antigens as possible targets for cancer immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Darani, Hossein Yousofi; Yousefi, Morteza

    2012-12-01

    An adverse relationship between some parasite infections and cancer in the human population has been reported by different research groups. Anticancer activity of some parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Acantamoeba castellani and Plasmodium yoelii has been shown in experimental animals. Moreover, it has been shown that cancer-associated mucin-type O-glycan compositions are made by parasites, therefore cancers and parasites have common antigens. In this report anticancer activities of some parasites have been reviewed and the possible mechanisms of these actions have also been discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Lipids and the malarial parasite*

    PubMed Central

    Holz, George G.

    1977-01-01

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

  8. Plasmodium knowlesi infection in humans, Cambodia, 2007-2010.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Multigenomic Delineation of Plasmodium Species of the Laverania Subgenus Infecting Wild-Living Chimpanzees and Gorillas.

    PubMed

    Liu, Weimin; Sundararaman, Sesh A; Loy, Dorothy E; Learn, Gerald H; Li, Yingying; Plenderleith, Lindsey J; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N; Speede, Sheri; Atencia, Rebeca; Cox, Debby; Shaw, George M; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Peeters, Martine; Rayner, Julian C; Hahn, Beatrice H; Sharp, Paul M

    2016-07-02

    Plasmodium falciparum, the major cause of malaria morbidity and mortality worldwide, is only distantly related to other human malaria parasites and has thus been placed in a separate subgenus, termed Laverania Parasites morphologically similar to P. falciparum have been identified in African apes, but only one other Laverania species, Plasmodium reichenowi from chimpanzees, has been formally described. Although recent studies have pointed to the existence of additional Laverania species, their precise number and host associations remain uncertain, primarily because of limited sampling and a paucity of parasite sequences other than from mitochondrial DNA. To address this, we used limiting dilution polymerase chain reaction to amplify additional parasite sequences from a large number of chimpanzee and gorilla blood and fecal samples collected at two sanctuaries and 30 field sites across equatorial Africa. Phylogenetic analyses of more than 2,000 new sequences derived from the mitochondrial, nuclear, and apicoplast genomes revealed six divergent and well-supported clades within the Laverania parasite group. Although two of these clades exhibited deep subdivisions in phylogenies estimated from organelle gene sequences, these sublineages were geographically defined and not present in trees from four unlinked nuclear loci. This greatly expanded sequence data set thus confirms six, and not seven or more, ape Laverania species, of which P. reichenowi, Plasmodium gaboni, and Plasmodium billcollinsi only infect chimpanzees, whereas Plasmodium praefalciparum, Plasmodium adleri, and Pladmodium blacklocki only infect gorillas. The new sequence data also confirm the P. praefalciparum origin of human P. falciparum.

  11. Multigenomic Delineation of Plasmodium Species of the Laverania Subgenus Infecting Wild-Living Chimpanzees and Gorillas

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weimin; Sundararaman, Sesh A.; Loy, Dorothy E.; Learn, Gerald H.; Li, Yingying; Plenderleith, Lindsey J.; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N.; Speede, Sheri; Atencia, Rebeca; Cox, Debby; Shaw, George M.; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Peeters, Martine; Rayner, Julian C.; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Sharp, Paul M.

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the major cause of malaria morbidity and mortality worldwide, is only distantly related to other human malaria parasites and has thus been placed in a separate subgenus, termed Laverania. Parasites morphologically similar to P. falciparum have been identified in African apes, but only one other Laverania species, Plasmodium reichenowi from chimpanzees, has been formally described. Although recent studies have pointed to the existence of additional Laverania species, their precise number and host associations remain uncertain, primarily because of limited sampling and a paucity of parasite sequences other than from mitochondrial DNA. To address this, we used limiting dilution polymerase chain reaction to amplify additional parasite sequences from a large number of chimpanzee and gorilla blood and fecal samples collected at two sanctuaries and 30 field sites across equatorial Africa. Phylogenetic analyses of more than 2,000 new sequences derived from the mitochondrial, nuclear, and apicoplast genomes revealed six divergent and well-supported clades within the Laverania parasite group. Although two of these clades exhibited deep subdivisions in phylogenies estimated from organelle gene sequences, these sublineages were geographically defined and not present in trees from four unlinked nuclear loci. This greatly expanded sequence data set thus confirms six, and not seven or more, ape Laverania species, of which P. reichenowi, Plasmodium gaboni, and Plasmodium billcollinsi only infect chimpanzees, whereas Plasmodium praefalciparum, Plasmodium adleri, and Pladmodium blacklocki only infect gorillas. The new sequence data also confirm the P. praefalciparum origin of human P. falciparum. PMID:27289102

  12. Epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax Malaria in India.

    PubMed

    Anvikar, Anupkumar R; Shah, Naman; Dhariwal, Akshay C; Sonal, Gagan Singh; Pradhan, Madan Mohan; Ghosh, Susanta K; Valecha, Neena

    2016-12-28

    Historically, malaria in India was predominantly caused by Plasmodium vivax, accounting for 53% of the estimated cases. After the spread of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in the 1990s, the prevalence of the two species remained equivalent at the national level for a decade. By 2014, the proportion of P. vivax has decreased to 34% nationally, but with high regional variation. In 2014, P. vivax accounted for around 380,000 malaria cases in India; almost a sixth of all P. vivax cases reported globally. Plasmodium vivax has remained resistant to control measures, particularly in urban areas. Urban malaria is predominantly caused by P. vivax and is subject to outbreaks, often associated with increased mortality, and triggered by bursts of migration and construction. The epidemiology of P. vivax varies substantially within India, including multiple relapse phenotypes with varying latencies between primary infection and relapse. Moreover, the hypnozoite reservoir maintains transmission potential and enables reestablishment of the parasite in areas in which it was thought eradicated. The burden of malaria in India is complex because of the highly variable malaria eco-epidemiological profiles, transmission factors, and the presence of multiple Plasmodium species and Anopheles vectors. This review of P. vivax malaria in India describes epidemiological trends with particular attention to four states: Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, and Odisha.

  13. Epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax Malaria in India

    PubMed Central

    Anvikar, Anupkumar R.; Shah, Naman; Dhariwal, Akshay C.; Sonal, Gagan Singh; Pradhan, Madan Mohan; Ghosh, Susanta K.; Valecha, Neena

    2016-01-01

    Historically, malaria in India was predominantly caused by Plasmodium vivax, accounting for 53% of the estimated cases. After the spread of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in the 1990s, the prevalence of the two species remained equivalent at the national level for a decade. By 2014, the proportion of P. vivax has decreased to 34% nationally, but with high regional variation. In 2014, P. vivax accounted for around 380,000 malaria cases in India; almost a sixth of all P. vivax cases reported globally. Plasmodium vivax has remained resistant to control measures, particularly in urban areas. Urban malaria is predominantly caused by P. vivax and is subject to outbreaks, often associated with increased mortality, and triggered by bursts of migration and construction. The epidemiology of P. vivax varies substantially within India, including multiple relapse phenotypes with varying latencies between primary infection and relapse. Moreover, the hypnozoite reservoir maintains transmission potential and enables reestablishment of the parasite in areas in which it was thought eradicated. The burden of malaria in India is complex because of the highly variable malaria eco-epidemiological profiles, transmission factors, and the presence of multiple Plasmodium species and Anopheles vectors. This review of P. vivax malaria in India describes epidemiological trends with particular attention to four states: Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, and Odisha. PMID:27708188

  14. Isoprenoid Biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Guggisberg, Ann M.; Amthor, Rachel E.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Plasmodium knowlesi infection: a diagnostic challenge

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Plasmodium knowlesi infection: a diagnostic challenge.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-22

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

  17. Age-specific haemosporidian infection dynamics and survival in Seychelles warblers

    PubMed Central

    Hammers, Martijn; Komdeur, Jan; Kingma, Sjouke A.; Hutchings, Kimberly; Fairfield, Eleanor A.; Gilroy, Danielle L.; Richardson, David S.

    2016-01-01

    Parasites may severely impact the fitness and life-history of their hosts. After infection, surviving individuals may suppress the growth of the parasite, or completely clear the infection and develop immunity. Consequently, parasite prevalence is predicted to decline with age. Among elderly individuals, immunosenescence may lead to a late-life increase in infection prevalence. We used a 21-year longitudinal dataset from one population of individually-marked Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis) to investigate age-dependent prevalence of the GRW1 strain of the intracellular protozoan blood parasite Haemoproteus nucleocondensus and whether infections with this parasite affect age-dependent survival. We analyzed 2454 samples from 1431 individuals and found that H. nucleocondensus infections could rarely be detected in nestlings. Prevalence increased strongly among fledglings and peaked among older first year birds. Prevalence was high among younger adults and declined steeply until ca 4 years of age, after which it was stable. Contrary to expectations, H. nucleocondensus prevalence did not increase among elderly individuals and we found no evidence that annual survival was lower in individuals suffering from an infection. Our results suggest that individuals clear or suppress infections and acquire immunity against future infections, and provide no evidence for immunosenescence nor an impact of chronic infections on survival. PMID:27431430

  18. Congenital parasitic infections: a review.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  19. The Genome of Haemoproteus tartakovskyi and Its Relationship to Human Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Bensch, Staffan; Canbäck, Björn; DeBarry, Jeremy D.; Johansson, Tomas; Hellgren, Olof; Kissinger, Jessica C.; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Videvall, Elin; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among hemosporidian parasites, including the origin of Plasmodium falciparum, the most virulent malaria parasite of humans, have been heavily debated for decades. Studies based on multiple-gene sequences have helped settle many of these controversial phylogenetic issues. However, denser taxon sampling and genome-wide analyses are needed to confidently resolve the evolutionay relationships among hemosporidian parasites. Genome sequences of several Plasmodium parasites are available but only for species infecting primates and rodents. To root the phylogenetic tree of Plasmodium, genomic data from related parasites of birds or reptiles are required. Here, we use a novel approach to isolate parasite DNA from microgametes and describe the first genome of a bird parasite in the sister genus to Plasmodium, Haemoproteus tartakovskyi. Similar to Plasmodium parasites, H. tartakovskyi has a small genome (23.2 Mb, 5,990 genes) and a GC content (25.4%) closer to P. falciparum (19.3%) than to Plasmodium vivax (42.3%). Combined with novel transcriptome sequences of the bird parasite Plasmodium ashfordi, our phylogenomic analyses of 1,302 orthologous genes demonstrate that mammalian-infecting malaria parasites are monophyletic, thus rejecting the repeatedly proposed hypothesis that the ancestor of Laverania parasites originated from a secondary host shift from birds to humans. Genes and genomic features previously found to be shared between P. falciparum and bird malaria parasites, but absent in other mammal malaria parasites, are therefore signatures of maintained ancestral states. We foresee that the genome of H. tartakovskyi will open new directions for comparative evolutionary analyses of malarial adaptive traits. PMID:27190205

  20. An impossible journey? The development of Plasmodium falciparum NF54 in Culex quinquefasciatus.

    PubMed

    Knöckel, Julia; Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Fischer, Elizabeth; Muratova, Olga; Haile, Ashley; Barillas-Mury, Carolina; Miller, Louis H

    2013-01-01

    Although Anopheles mosquitoes are the vectors for human Plasmodium spp., there are also other mosquito species-among them culicines (Culex spp., Aedes spp.)-present in malaria-endemic areas. Culicine mosquitoes transmit arboviruses and filarial worms to humans and are vectors for avian Plasmodium spp., but have never been observed to transmit human Plasmodium spp. When ingested by a culicine mosquito, parasites could either face an environment that does not allow development due to biologic incompatibility or be actively killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the latter case, the molecular mechanism of killing must be sufficiently powerful that Plasmodium is not able to overcome it. To investigate how human malaria parasites develop in culicine mosquitoes, we infected Culex quinquefasciatus with Plasmodium falciparum NF54 and monitored development of parasites in the blood bolus and midgut epithelium at different time points. Our results reveal that ookinetes develop in the midgut lumen of C. quinquefasciatus in slightly lower numbers than in Anopheles gambiae G3. After 30 hours, parasites have invaded the midgut and can be observed on the basal side of the midgut epithelium by confocal and transmission electron microscopy. Very few of the parasites in C. quinquefasciatus are alive, most of them are lysed. Eight days after the mosquito's blood meal, no oocysts can be found in C. quinquefasciatus. Our results suggest that the mosquito immune system could be involved in parasite killing early in development after ookinetes have crossed the midgut epithelium and come in contact with the mosquito hemolymph.

  1. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Plasmodium spp. In a captive raptor collection of a Safaripark in northwest Italy.

    PubMed

    Scaglione, F E; Cannizzo, F T; Chiappino, L; Sereno, A; Ripepi, M; Salamida, S; Manuali, E; Bollo, E

    2016-02-01

    Blood parasites infect all vertebrates (Clayton and Moore 1997). Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp., Plasmodiidae) are cosmopolitan in their distribution and are responsible for severe diseases in domestic and wild birds.In September 2009, nine raptorial birds that either arrived recently or were maintained as permanent residents at the Safaripark Pombia (northwest Italy) showed loss of stamina, developing listlessness, anorexia and regurgitation. Within one month three animals died and were necropsied.Following the diagnosis of Plasmodium infection all other raptorial birds were treated: clinical improvement was observed in all birds, and blood smears made after one month resulted negative for parasites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  7. Small molecule screen for candidate antimalarials targeting Plasmodium Kinesin-5.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liqiong; Richard, Jessica; Kim, Sunyoung; Wojcik, Edward J

    2014-06-06

    Plasmodium falciparum and vivax are responsible for the majority of malaria infections worldwide, resulting in over a million deaths annually. Malaria parasites now show measured resistance to all currently utilized drugs. Novel antimalarial drugs are urgently needed. The Plasmodium Kinesin-5 mechanoenzyme is a suitable "next generation" target. Discovered via small molecule screen experiments, the human Kinesin-5 has multiple allosteric sites that are "druggable." One site in particular, unique in its sequence divergence across all homologs in the superfamily and even within the same family, exhibits exquisite drug specificity. We propose that Plasmodium Kinesin-5 shares this allosteric site and likewise can be targeted to uncover inhibitors with high specificity. To test this idea, we performed a screen for inhibitors selective for Plasmodium Kinesin-5 ATPase activity in parallel with human Kinesin-5. Our screen of nearly 2000 compounds successfully identified compounds that selectively inhibit both P. vivax and falciparum Kinesin-5 motor domains but, as anticipated, do not impact human Kinesin-5 activity. Of note is a candidate drug that did not biochemically compete with the ATP substrate for the conserved active site or disrupt the microtubule-binding site. Together, our experiments identified MMV666693 as a selective allosteric inhibitor of Plasmodium Kinesin-5; this is the first identified protein target for the Medicines of Malaria Venture validated collection of parasite proliferation inhibitors. This work demonstrates that chemical screens against human kinesins are adaptable to homologs in disease organisms and, as such, extendable to strategies to combat infectious disease.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-23

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

  9. Uncovering the transmission dynamics of Plasmodium vivax using population genetics

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Alyssa E.; Waltmann, Andreea; Koepfli, Cristian; Barnadas, Celine; Mueller, Ivo

    2015-01-01

    Population genetic analysis of malaria parasites has the power to reveal key insights into malaria epidemiology and transmission dynamics with the potential to deliver tools to support control and elimination efforts. Analyses of parasite genetic diversity have suggested that Plasmodium vivax populations are more genetically diverse and less structured than those of Plasmodium falciparum indicating that P. vivax may be a more ancient parasite of humans and/or less susceptible to population bottlenecks, as well as more efficient at disseminating its genes. These population genetic insights into P. vivax transmission dynamics provide an explanation for its relative resilience to control efforts. Here, we describe current knowledge on P. vivax population genetic structure, its relevance to understanding transmission patterns and relapse and how this information can inform malaria control and elimination programmes. PMID:25891915

  10. Immune Escape Strategies of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Pollyanna S.; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Rivera-Correa, Juan; Freire-De-Lima, Celio G.; Morrot, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins, and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission. PMID:27799922

  11. Immune Escape Strategies of Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Pollyanna S; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Rivera-Correa, Juan; Freire-De-Lima, Celio G; Morrot, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins, and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission.

  12. Severe Plasmodium knowlesi with dengue coinfection.

    PubMed

    Che Rahim, Mohd Jazman; Mohammad, Nurashikin; Besari, Alwi Muhd; Wan Ghazali, Wan Syamimee

    2017-02-20

    We report a case of severe Plasmodium knowlesi and dengue coinfection in a previously healthy 59-year-old Malay man who presented with worsening shortness of breath, high-grade fever with chills and rigors, dry cough, myalgia, arthralgia, chest discomfort and poor appetite of 1 week duration. There was a history mosquito fogging around his neighbourhood in his hometown. Further history revealed that he went to a forest in Jeli (northern part of Kelantan) 3 weeks prior to the event. Initially he was treated as severe dengue with plasma leakage complicated with type 1 respiratory failure as evidenced by positive serum NS1-antigen and thrombocytopenia. Blood for malarial parasite (BFMP) was sent for test as there was suspicion of malaria due to persistent thrombocytopenia despite recovering from dengue infection and the presence of a risk factor. The test revealed high count of malaria parasite. Confirmatory PCR identified the parasite to be Plasmodium knowlesi Intravenous artesunate was administered to the patient immediately after acquiring the BFMP result. Severe malaria was complicated with acute kidney injury and septicaemic shock. Fortunately the patient made full recovery and was discharged from the ward after 2 weeks of hospitalisation.

  13. Exploring Anopheles gut bacteria for Plasmodium blocking activity

    PubMed Central

    Bahia, Ana C; Dong, Yuemei; Blumberg, Benjamin J; Mlambo, Godfree; Tripathi, Abhai; BenMarzouk-Hidalgo, Omar J; Chandra, Ramesh; Dimopoulos, George

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Malaria parasite transmission requires the successful development of Plasmodium gametocytes into flagellated microgametes upon mosquito blood ingestion, and the subsequent fertilization of microgametes and macrogametes for the development of motile zygotes, called ookinetes, which invade and transverse the Anopheles vector mosquito midgut at around 18-36 h after blood ingestion. Within the mosquito midgut, the malaria parasite has to withstand the mosquito's innate immune response and the detrimental effect of its commensal bacterial flora. We have assessed the midgut colonization capacity of 5 gut bacterial isolates from field-derived, and 2 from laboratory colony, mosquitoes and their effect on Plasmodium development in vivo and in vitro, along with their impact on mosquito survival. Some bacterial isolates activated the mosquito's immune system, affected the mosquito's life span, and were capable of blocking Plasmodium development. We have also shown that the ability of these bacteria to inhibit the parasites is likely to involve different mechanisms and factors. A Serratia marcescens isolate was particularly efficient in colonizing the mosquitoes’ gut, compromising mosquito survival, and inhibiting both sexual- and asexual-stage Plasmodium through secreted factors, thereby rendering it a potential candidate for the development of a malaria transmission intervention strategy. PMID:24428613

  14. Structural Differences Explain Diverse Functions of Plasmodium Actins

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Plasmodium cellular effector mechanisms and the hepatic microenvironment

    PubMed Central

    Frevert, Ute; Krzych, Urszula

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Molecular make-up of the Plasmodium parasitophorous vacuolar membrane.

    PubMed

    Spielmann, Tobias; Montagna, Georgina N; Hecht, Leonie; Matuschewski, Kai

    2012-10-01

    Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, is an obligate, intracellular, eukaryotic cell that invades, replicates, and differentiates within hepatocytes and erythrocytes. Inside a host cell, a second membrane delineates the developing pathogen in addition to the parasite plasma membrane, resulting in a distinct cellular compartment, termed parasitophorous vacuole (PV). The PV membrane (PVM) constitutes the parasite-host cell interface and is likely central to nutrient acquisition, host cell remodeling, waste disposal, environmental sensing, and protection from innate defense. Over the past two decades, a number of parasite-encoded PVM proteins have been identified. They include multigene families and protein complexes, such as early-transcribed membrane proteins (ETRAMPs) and the Plasmodium translocon for exported proteins (PTEX). Nearly all Plasmodium PVM proteins are restricted to this genus and display transient and stage-specific expression. Here, we provide an overview of the PVM proteins of Plasmodium blood and liver stages. Biochemical and experimental genetics data suggest that some PVM proteins are ideal targets for novel anti-malarial intervention strategies.

  17. Plasmodium knowlesi as a Threat to Global Public Health

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Genomics of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Swapna, Lakshmipuram Seshadri; Parkinson, John

    2017-02-22

    The increasing prevalence of infections involving intracellular apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, and Cryptosporidium (the causative agents of malaria, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis, respectively) represent a significant global healthcare burden. Despite their significance, few treatments are available; a situation that is likely to deteriorate with the emergence of new resistant strains of parasites. To lay the foundation for programs of drug discovery and vaccine development, genome sequences for many of these organisms have been generated, together with large-scale expression and proteomic datasets. Comparative analyses of these datasets are beginning to identify the molecular innovations supporting both conserved processes mediating fundamental roles in parasite survival and persistence, as well as lineage-specific adaptations associated with divergent life-cycle strategies. The challenge is how best to exploit these data to derive insights into parasite virulence and identify those genes representing the most amenable targets. In this review, we outline genomic datasets currently available for apicomplexans and discuss biological insights that have emerged as a consequence of their analysis. Of particular interest are systems-based resources, focusing on areas of metabolism and host invasion that are opening up opportunities for discovering new therapeutic targets.

  19. Molecular detection of Plasmodium in free-ranging birds and captive flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) in Chicago.

    PubMed

    Thurber, Mary Irene; Gamble, Kathryn C; Krebs, Bethany; Goldberg, Tony L

    2014-12-01

    Frozen blood samples from 13 species of free-ranging birds (n = 65) and captive Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) (n = 46) housed outdoors in the Chicago area were screened for Plasmodium. With the use of a modified polymerase chain reaction, 20/65 (30.8%) of free-ranging birds and 26/46 (56.5%) of flamingos were classified as positive for this parasite genus. DNA sequencing of the parasite cytochrome b gene in positive samples demonstrated that eight species of free-ranging birds were infected with five different Plasmodium spp. cytochrome b lineages, and all positive Chilean flamingos were infected with Plasmodium spp. cytochrome b lineages most closely related to organisms in the Novyella subgenus. These results show that Chilean flamingos may harbor subclinical malaria infections more frequently than previously estimated, and that they may have increased susceptibility to some Plasmodium species.

  20. Revealing parasite influence in metabolic pathways in Apicomplexa infected patients

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background As an obligate intracellular parasite, Apicomplexa interacts with the host in the special living environment, competing for energy and nutrients from the host cells by manipulating the host metabolism. Previous studies of host-parasite interaction mainly focused on using cellular and biochemical methods to investigate molecular functions in metabolic pathways of parasite infected hosts. Computational approaches taking advantage of high-throughput biological data and topology of metabolic pathways have a great potential in revealing the details and mechanism of parasites-to-host interactions. A new analytical method was designed in this work to study host-parasite interactions in human cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum and Cryptosporidium parvum. Results We introduced a new method that analyzes the host metabolic pathways in divided parts: host specific subpathways and host-parasite common subpathways. Upon analysis on gene expression data from cells infected by Plasmodium falciparum or Cryptosporidium parvum, we found: (i) six host-parasite common subpathways and four host specific subpathways were significantly altered in plasmodium infected human cells; (ii) plasmodium utilized fatty acid biosynthesis and elongation, and Pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis to obtain nutrients from host environment; (iii) in Cryptosporidium parvum infected cells, most of the host-parasite common enzymes were down-regulated, whereas the host specific enzymes up-regulated; (iv) the down-regulation of common subpathways in host cells might be caused by competition for the substrates and up-regulation of host specific subpathways may be stimulated by parasite infection. Conclusion Results demonstrated a significantly coordinated expression pattern between the two groups of subpathways. The method helped expose the impact of parasite infection on host cell metabolism, which was previously concealed in the pathway enrichment analysis. Our approach revealed detailed

  1. Natural Plasmodium infection in monkeys in the state of Rondônia (Brazilian Western Amazon)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Simian malaria is still an open question concerning the species of Plasmodium parasites and species of New World monkeys susceptible to the parasites. In addition, the lingering question as to whether these animals are reservoirs for human malaria might become important especially in a scenario of eradication of the disease. To aid in the answers to these questions, monkeys were surveyed for malaria parasite natural infection in the Amazonian state of Rondônia, Brazil, a state with intense environmental alterations due to human activities, which facilitated sampling of the animals. Methods Parasites were detected and identified in DNA from blood of monkeys, by PCR with primers for the 18S rRNA, CSP and MSP1 genes and sequencing of the amplified fragments. Multiplex PCR primers for the 18S rRNA genes were designed for the parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae/Plasmodium brasilianum and Plasmodium simium. Results An overall infection rate of 10.9% was observed or 20 out 184 monkey specimens surveyed, mostly by P. brasilianum. However, four specimens of monkeys were found infected with P. falciparum, two of them doubly infected with P. brasilianum and P. falciparum. In addition, a species of monkey of the family Aotidae, Aotus nigriceps, is firstly reported here naturally infected with P. brasilianum. None of the monkeys surveyed was found infected with P. simium/P. vivax. Conclusion The rate of natural Plasmodium infection in monkeys in the Brazilian state of Rondônia is in line with previous surveys of simian malaria in the Amazon region. The fact that a monkey species was found that had not previously been described to harbour malaria parasites indicates that the list of monkey species susceptible to Plasmodium infection is yet to be completed. Furthermore, finding monkeys in the region infected with P. falciparum clearly indicates parasite transfer from humans to the animals. Whether this parasite can be

  2. In vitro alterations do not reflect a requirement for host cell cycle progression during Plasmodium liver stage infection.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Kirsten K; March, Sandra; Ng, Shengyong; Bhatia, Sangeeta N; Mota, Maria M

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Identification of a vir-orthologous immune evasion gene family from primate malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Prajapati, Surendra Kumar; Singh, Om Prakash

    2014-04-01

    The immune evasion gene family of malaria parasites encodes variant surface proteins that are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes and help the parasite in evading the host immune response by means of antigenic variation. The identification of Plasmodium vivax vir orthologous immune evasion gene family from primate malaria parasites would provide new insight into the evolution of virulence and pathogenesis. Three vir subfamilies viz. vir-B, vir-D and vir-G were successfully PCR amplified from primate malaria parasites, cloned and sequenced. DNA sequence analysis confirmed orthologues of vir-D subfamily in Plasmodium cynomolgi, Plasmodium simium, Plasmodium simiovale and Plasmodium fieldi. The identified vir-D orthologues are 1-9 distinct members of the immune evasion gene family which have 68-83% sequence identity with vir-D and 71.2-98.5% sequence identity within the members identified from primate malaria parasites. The absence of other vir subfamilies among primate malaria parasites reflects the limitations in the experimental approach. This study clearly identified the presence of vir-D like sequences in four species of Plasmodium infecting primates that would be useful in understanding the evolution of virulence in malaria parasites.

  4. The Motor Complex of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  7. Mosquitoes as Potential Bridge Vectors of Malaria Parasites from Non-Human Primates to Humans

    PubMed Central

    Verhulst, Niels O.; Smallegange, Renate C.; Takken, Willem

    2012-01-01

    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites which are transmitted by mosquitoes. Until recently, human malaria was considered to be caused by human-specific Plasmodium species. Studies on Plasmodium parasites in non-human primates (NHPs), however, have identified parasite species in gorillas and chimpanzees that are closely related to human Plasmodium species. Moreover, P. knowlesi, long known as a parasite of monkeys, frequently infects humans. The requirements for such a cross-species exchange and especially the role of mosquitoes in this process are discussed, as the latter may act as bridge vectors of Plasmodium species between different primates. Little is known about the mosquito species that would bite both humans and NHPs and if so, whether humans and NHPs share the same Plasmodium vectors. To understand the vector-host interactions that can lead to an increased Plasmodium transmission between species, studies are required that reveal the nature of these interactions. Studying the potential role of NHPs as a Plasmodium reservoir for humans will contribute to the ongoing efforts of human malaria elimination, and will help to focus on critical areas that should be considered in achieving this goal. PMID:22701434

  8. Plasmodium falciparum phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase is essential for malaria transmission

    PubMed Central

    Bobenchik, April M.; Witola, William H.; Augagneur, Yoann; Nic Lochlainn, Laura; Garg, Aprajita; Pachikara, Niseema; Choi, Jae-Yeon; Zhao, Yang O.; Usmani-Brown, Sahar; Lee, Albert; Adjalley, Sophie H.; Samanta, Swapna; Fidock, David A.; Voelker, Dennis R.; Fikrig, Erol; Ben Mamoun, Choukri

    2013-01-01

    Efficient transmission of Plasmodium species between humans and Anopheles mosquitoes is a major contributor to the global burden of malaria. Gametocytogenesis, the process by which parasites switch from asexual replication within human erythrocytes to produce male and female gametocytes, is a critical step in malaria transmission and Plasmodium genetic diversity. Nothing is known about the pathways that regulate gametocytogenesis and only few of the current drugs that inhibit asexual replication are also capable of inhibiting gametocyte development and blocking malaria transmission. Here we provide genetic and pharmacological evidence indicating that the pathway for synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in Plasmodium falciparum membranes from host serine is essential for parasite gametocytogenesis and malaria transmission. Parasites lacking the phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase enzyme, which catalyzes the limiting step in this pathway, are severely altered in gametocyte development, are incapable of producing mature-stage gametocytes, and are not transmitted to mosquitoes. Chemical screening identified 11 inhibitors of phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase that block parasite intraerythrocytic asexual replication and gametocyte differentiation in the low micromolar range. Kinetic studies in vitro as well as functional complementation assays and lipid metabolic analyses in vivo on the most promising inhibitor NSC-158011 further demonstrated the specificity of inhibition. These studies set the stage for further optimization of NSC-158011 for development of a class of dual activity antimalarials to block both intraerythrocytic asexual replication and gametocytogenesis. PMID:24145416

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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