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Sample records for haemosporidian parasites plasmodium

  1. Investigation of avian haemosporidian parasites from raptor birds in Turkey, with molecular characterisation and microscopic confirmation.

    PubMed

    Ciloglu, Arif; Yildirim, Alparslan; Duzlu, Onder; Onder, Zuhal; Dogan, Zafer; Inci, Abdullah

    2016-01-01

    Avian haemosporidians are common vector-borne blood parasites that have been reported in birds all over the world. Investigations of avian haemosporidian parasites are conducted mainly on passerine birds. However, studies that focus on non-passerine avian hosts are important for our understanding of the true diversity, host specificity and genetic variability among these widespread parasites. In the present study, blood samples from a total of 22 raptor birds belonging to two orders, two families and six species from the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey were investigated for three genera of avian haemosporidians (Plasmodium Marchiafava et Celli, 1885, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890 and Leucocytozoon Sambon, 1908) using a combination of microscopic examination of blood films and nested PCR targeting the parasite mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cyt-b). In total, six individual raptor birds identified positive for species of Plasmodium or Leucocytozoon and one individual was found co-infected with all three haemosporidian genera. We identified five parasite cyt-b haplotypes, three of which were reported for the first time. Among these, one Plasmodium haplotype is linked to a corresponding morphospecies (P-TURDUS1, Plasmodium circumflexum Kikuth, 1931). All haplotypes were clearly distinguishable in phylogenetic analyses. As one of the first studies to investigate blood parasites from non-passerine birds in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey, this study provides important new information on the phylogenetic relationships and genetic diversity of avian haemosporidian parasites from raptor birds. We discuss these findings in the context of avian haemosporidian host-parasite relationships and we draw attention to the need for microscopy to detect parasite sexual development stages in surveys of avian haemosporidians. PMID:27507297

  2. 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. PMID:26863304

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Haemosporidian blood parasites in European birds of prey and owls.

    PubMed

    Krone, O; Waldenström, J; Valkiūnas, G; Lessow, O; Müller, K; Iezhova, T A; Fickel, J; Bensch, S

    2008-06-01

    Avian blood parasites have been intensively studied using morphological methods with limited information on their host specificity and species taxonomic status. Now the analysis of gene sequences, especially the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of the avian haemosporidian species of Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon, offers a new tool to review the parasite specificity and status. By comparing morphological and genetic techniques, we observed nearly the same overall prevalence of haemosporidian parasites by microscopy (19.8%) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (21.8%) analyses. However, in contrast to the single valid Leucocytozoon species (L. toddi) in the Falconiformes we detected 4 clearly distinctive strains by PCR screening. In the Strigiformes, where the only valid Leucocytozoon species is L. danilewskyi, we detected 3 genetically different strains of Leucocytozoon spp. Two strains of Haemoproteus spp. were detected in the birds of prey and owls examined, whereas the strain found in the tawny owl belonged to the morphospecies Haemoproteus noctuae. Three Plasmodium spp. strains that had already been found in Passeriformes were also detected in the birds of prey and owls examined here, supporting previous findings indicating a broad and nonspecific host spectrum bridging different bird orders. PMID:18605786

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Diverse sampling of East African haemosporidians reveals chiropteran origin of malaria parasites in primates and rodents.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Holly L; Patterson, Bruce D; Kerbis Peterhans, Julian C; Stanley, William T; Webala, Paul W; Gnoske, Thomas P; Hackett, Shannon J; Stanhope, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    Phylogenies of parasites provide hypotheses on the history of their movements between hosts, leading to important insights regarding the processes of host switching that underlie modern-day epidemics. Haemosporidian (malaria) parasites lack a well resolved phylogeny, which has impeded the study of evolutionary processes associated with host-switching in this group. Here we present a novel phylogenetic hypothesis that suggests bats served as the ancestral hosts of malaria parasites in primates and rodents. Expanding upon current taxon sampling of Afrotropical bat and bird parasites, we find strong support for all major nodes in the haemosporidian tree using both Bayesian and maximum likelihood approaches. Our analyses support a single transition of haemosporidian parasites from saurian to chiropteran hosts, and do not support a monophyletic relationship between Plasmodium parasites of birds and mammals. We find, for the first time, that Hepatocystis and Plasmodium parasites of mammals represent reciprocally monophyletic evolutionary lineages. These results highlight the importance of broad taxonomic sampling when analyzing phylogenetic relationships, and have important implications for our understanding of key host switching events in the history of malaria parasite evolution.

  9. Diverse sampling of East African haemosporidians reveals chiropteran origin of malaria parasites in primates and rodents.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Holly L; Patterson, Bruce D; Kerbis Peterhans, Julian C; Stanley, William T; Webala, Paul W; Gnoske, Thomas P; Hackett, Shannon J; Stanhope, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    Phylogenies of parasites provide hypotheses on the history of their movements between hosts, leading to important insights regarding the processes of host switching that underlie modern-day epidemics. Haemosporidian (malaria) parasites lack a well resolved phylogeny, which has impeded the study of evolutionary processes associated with host-switching in this group. Here we present a novel phylogenetic hypothesis that suggests bats served as the ancestral hosts of malaria parasites in primates and rodents. Expanding upon current taxon sampling of Afrotropical bat and bird parasites, we find strong support for all major nodes in the haemosporidian tree using both Bayesian and maximum likelihood approaches. Our analyses support a single transition of haemosporidian parasites from saurian to chiropteran hosts, and do not support a monophyletic relationship between Plasmodium parasites of birds and mammals. We find, for the first time, that Hepatocystis and Plasmodium parasites of mammals represent reciprocally monophyletic evolutionary lineages. These results highlight the importance of broad taxonomic sampling when analyzing phylogenetic relationships, and have important implications for our understanding of key host switching events in the history of malaria parasite evolution. PMID:26975691

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Molecular characterization of haemosporidian parasites from kites of the genus Milvus (Aves: Accipitridae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; de la Puente, Javier; Onrubia, Alejandro; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2013-04-01

    Despite the ecological significance and appeal of birds of prey, many aspects of their biology remain poorly known, including the diversity of parasites infecting them in the wild. We studied the diversity and prevalence of haemosporidian parasites infecting the two species of kites of the genus Milvus, aiming to describe the phylogenetic relationships among them and with other haemosporidians, as well as their distribution in the two host species. Black kites, Milvus migrans, harboured a more diverse community of parasites, including three haplotypes of each of the three genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon, which also occurred at a higher prevalence than in red kites. In red kites, Milvus milvus only three haplotypes of Leucocytozoon were found. Kite parasites were not closely related to one another nor were they kite-specific: their diversity spanned various branches of the haemosporidian phylogenetic tree, and their closest relatives were found in other species (including various avian orders), although some Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus haplotypes clustered within apparently raptor-specific parasite clades. Remarkably, Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. infected adult black kites only, an observation which supports the hypothesis that they are transmitted at the African wintering grounds, while Leucocytozoon spp. is putatively transmitted only in Europe. Intercontinental migration of the black kite might explain the divergence of parasite diversity between these two sister species.

  13. Molecular characterization of haemosporidian parasites from kites of the genus Milvus (Aves: Accipitridae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; de la Puente, Javier; Onrubia, Alejandro; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2013-04-01

    Despite the ecological significance and appeal of birds of prey, many aspects of their biology remain poorly known, including the diversity of parasites infecting them in the wild. We studied the diversity and prevalence of haemosporidian parasites infecting the two species of kites of the genus Milvus, aiming to describe the phylogenetic relationships among them and with other haemosporidians, as well as their distribution in the two host species. Black kites, Milvus migrans, harboured a more diverse community of parasites, including three haplotypes of each of the three genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon, which also occurred at a higher prevalence than in red kites. In red kites, Milvus milvus only three haplotypes of Leucocytozoon were found. Kite parasites were not closely related to one another nor were they kite-specific: their diversity spanned various branches of the haemosporidian phylogenetic tree, and their closest relatives were found in other species (including various avian orders), although some Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus haplotypes clustered within apparently raptor-specific parasite clades. Remarkably, Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. infected adult black kites only, an observation which supports the hypothesis that they are transmitted at the African wintering grounds, while Leucocytozoon spp. is putatively transmitted only in Europe. Intercontinental migration of the black kite might explain the divergence of parasite diversity between these two sister species. PMID:23376529

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Differential prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in two sympatric closely related non-migratory passerines.

    PubMed

    Dubiec, Anna; Podmokła, Edyta; Zagalska-Neubauer, Magdalena; Drobniak, Szymon M; Arct, Aneta; Gustafsson, Lars; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2016-09-01

    Haemosporidian parasites infecting birds show distinct heterogeneity in their distribution among host species. However, despite numerous studies on the prevalence and diversity of parasite communities across species, very little is known on patterns of differences between them. Such data is lacking because up to date the majority of studies explored the patterns of variation in infections in different years, different time of sampling within a year or a breeding cycle, different study sites or was based on a small sample size, all of which may affect the estimates of prevalence and parasite diversity. Here, the prevalence, richness and diversity of haemosporidian parasites from the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were studied in two closely related non-migratory hole-nesting passerines: Great Tits and Blue Tits. Birds were sampled in sympatrically breeding populations during two seasons at the same stage of their breeding cycle - late nestling care. Great Tits were more prevalently infected with Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites (97·1 vs 71·2%), harboured a higher proportion of multiple infections (26·2 vs 3·2%) and had a more diverse parasite community (11 vs 5 parasite lineages) than Blue Tits. Observed differences between two host species are discussed with reference to their breeding densities and immunological and behavioural characteristics.

  19. Differential prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in two sympatric closely related non-migratory passerines.

    PubMed

    Dubiec, Anna; Podmokła, Edyta; Zagalska-Neubauer, Magdalena; Drobniak, Szymon M; Arct, Aneta; Gustafsson, Lars; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2016-09-01

    Haemosporidian parasites infecting birds show distinct heterogeneity in their distribution among host species. However, despite numerous studies on the prevalence and diversity of parasite communities across species, very little is known on patterns of differences between them. Such data is lacking because up to date the majority of studies explored the patterns of variation in infections in different years, different time of sampling within a year or a breeding cycle, different study sites or was based on a small sample size, all of which may affect the estimates of prevalence and parasite diversity. Here, the prevalence, richness and diversity of haemosporidian parasites from the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were studied in two closely related non-migratory hole-nesting passerines: Great Tits and Blue Tits. Birds were sampled in sympatrically breeding populations during two seasons at the same stage of their breeding cycle - late nestling care. Great Tits were more prevalently infected with Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites (97·1 vs 71·2%), harboured a higher proportion of multiple infections (26·2 vs 3·2%) and had a more diverse parasite community (11 vs 5 parasite lineages) than Blue Tits. Observed differences between two host species are discussed with reference to their breeding densities and immunological and behavioural characteristics. PMID:27173618

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Coral, Arelis A; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; González, Angie D; Matta, Nubia E

    2015-10-01

    The evolutionary origin of wildlife and human malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) has been discussed for several decades. The lack of genomic data about species of wildlife haemosporidian parasites related to Plasmodium limits the number of taxa available for phylogenetic analysis. Genomic data about avian parasites of the genus Haemoproteus parasites, the sister genus to Plasmodium are still not available, mainly due to difficulties in obtaining pure DNA of parasites inhabiting nucleated avian host cells. Recent studies show that microgametes of Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) spp. develop in vitro and can be isolated by simple centrifugation, allowing the isolation of pure parasite DNA for genomic studies. However, in vitro development of Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) spp. has not been investigated, and it is unclear if microgametes of these parasites also can be obtained under in vitro conditions. Here, we provide the first data about the in vitro development of Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) columbae, a widespread avian haemosporidian parasite, which is specific to pigeons and doves (Columbiformes) and is transmitted by hippoboscid flies (Diptera, Hippoboscidae). In vitro gametogenesis and ookinete development of H. columbae were studied using a strain isolated from a feral Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) in Bogotá-Colombia. The morphological events leading to exflagellation, fertilization and ookinete formation, as well as the rate of development of these stages were followed in vitro at 40 °C, 19 °C and 15 °C for 48 h. Macrogametes, microgametes, zygotes and initial stages of ookinete development were observed in all temperatures, but mature ookinetes were seen only at 40 °C. The largest diversity of sporogonic stages of H. columbae were present at 40 °C however, exflagellation, fertilization of macrogametes and development of immature ookinetes were also observed at 15 °C and 19 °C. Morphological and morphometric features of these stages in vitro were

  2. 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

  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 Central

    Salazar-Castañon, Víctor H.; Legorreta-Herrera, Martha

    2014-01-01

    More than one-third of the world's population is infected with one or more helminthic parasites. Helminth infections are prevalent throughout tropical and subtropical regions where malaria pathogens are transmitted. Malaria is the most widespread and deadliest parasitic disease. The severity of the disease is strongly related to parasite density and the host's immune responses. Furthermore, coinfections between both parasites occur frequently. However, little is known regarding how concomitant infection with helminths and Plasmodium affects the host's immune response. Helminthic infections are frequently massive, chronic, and strong inductors of a Th2-type response. This implies that infection by such parasites could alter the host's susceptibility to subsequent infections by Plasmodium. There are a number of reports on the interactions between helminths and Plasmodium; in some, the burden of Plasmodium parasites increased, but others reported a reduction in the parasite. This review focuses on explaining many of these discrepancies regarding helminth-Plasmodium coinfections in terms of the effects that helminths have on the immune system. In particular, it focuses on helminth-induced immunosuppression and the effects of cytokines controlling polarization toward the Th1 or Th2 arms of the immune response. PMID:25276830

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Avian haemosporidians from Neotropical highlands: Evidence from morphological and molecular data.

    PubMed

    González, Angie D; Lotta, Ingrid A; García, Luis F; Moncada, Ligia I; Matta, Nubia E

    2015-08-01

    Avian haemosporidian parasites have been scarcely studied in the Neotropical highlands despite the high avian diversity reported and the uniqueness of these ecosystems. The aims of this study were to examine Haemoproteus and Plasmodium diversity based on morphological and molecular data, as well as to explore the concordance between these two approaches, when identifying species. We sampled 1487 birds belonging to 166 species, in localities of the Colombian Andean region at elevations ranging from 2100 to 4000 m above sea level. Here, we report twelve morphological parasite species, of which five are undescribed. Thirty parasite cytochrome b lineages are reported, 17 of which for the first time. We provide morphological information and illustrations, as well as, cytochrome b lineages for six morphospecies: Haemoproteus columbae, Haemoproteus witti, Haemoproteus coatneyi, Haemoproteus vireonis, Plasmodium lutzi, and Plasmodium unalis. This is the first report to provide a linkage between morphology and a molecular lineage for H. witti. Cytochrome b gene proved to be useful for species determination as DNA barcoding. Differences in parasite composition between lowlands and highlands in Colombia suggest a replacement of avian Plasmodium fauna. Parasite lineages restricted to either Colombian resident or Nearctic migratory birds were found; but a single lineage common in both has not been recorded in Nearctic non-migratory birds. We generated valuable information by using both morphological and molecular data representing competent host-parasite relationships which are based on observation of gametocytes in circulation; and increased the taxon sampling of avian haemosporidian. PMID:25638289

  8. Haemosporidian vector research: marriage of molecular and microscopical approaches is essential.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2011-08-01

    Many species of malaria and related haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida) are responsible for diseases in wild and domestic animals. These pathogens are exclusively transmitted by blood-sucking dipteran insects (Diptera). Traditional vector studies, which are based mainly on experimental infection and subsequent dissection of insects, are time-consuming, so progress in the identification of the vectors has been slow. Since the discovery of haemosporidians in wildlife by V. Danilewsky in 1884, it took over 70 years to determine the main vector groups of these parasites. However, precise vector-parasite relationships remain insufficiently investigated in wildlife, particularly at the species level of haemosporidians and their vectors. Molecular tools have provided innovative opportunities to speed such research. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Martínez-de la Puente et al. (2011) collected, for the first time, a significant PCR-based set of data on the presence of lineages of the pigment-forming haemosporidians (species of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium) in biting midges (Culicoides). They identified numerous associations between Culicoides spp. and Haemoproteus spp., indicating directions for future targeting vector studies of haemoproteids.

  9. Description, molecular characterisation, diagnostics and life cycle of Plasmodium elongatum (lineage pERIRUB01), the virulent avian malaria parasite.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Plasmodium elongatum causes severe avian malaria and is distributed worldwide. This parasite is of particular importance due to its ability to develop and cause lethal malaria not only in natural hosts, but also in non-adapted endemic birds such as the brown kiwi and different species of penguins. Information on vectors of this infection is available but is contradictory. PCR-based analysis indicated the possible existence of a cluster of closely related P. elongatum lineages which might differ in their ability to develop in certain mosquitoes and birds. This experimental study provides information about molecular and morphological characterisation of a virulent P. elongatum strain (lineage pERIRUB01) isolated from a naturally infected European robin, Erithacus rubecula. Phylogenetic analysis based on partial cytochrome b gene sequences showed that this parasite lineage is closely related to P. elongatum (lineage pGRW6). Blood stages of both parasite lineages are indistinguishable, indicating that they belong to the same species. Both pathogens develop in experimentally infected canaries, Serinus canaria, causing death of the hosts. In both these lineages, trophozoites and erythrocytic meronts develop in polychromatic erythrocytes and erythroblasts, gametocytes parasitize mature erythrocytes, exoerythrocytic stages develop in cells of the erythrocytic series in bone marrow and are occasionally reported in spleen and liver. Massive infestation of bone marrow cells is the main reason for bird mortality. We report here on syncytium-like remnants of tissue meronts, which slip out of the bone marrow into the peripheral circulation, providing evidence that the syncytia can be a template for PCR amplification. This finding contributes to better understanding positive PCR amplifications in birds when parasitemia is invisible and improved diagnostics of abortive haemosporidian infections. Sporogony of P. elongatum (pERIRUB01) completes the cycle and sporozoites develop in

  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 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

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

  14. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Nest ecology of blood parasites in the European roller and its ectoparasitic carnid fly.

    PubMed

    Václav, Radovan; Betáková, Tatiana; Švančarová, Petra; Pérez-Serrano, Jorge; Criado-Fornelio, Ángel; Škorvanová, Lucia; Valera, Francisco

    2016-06-01

    Haemosporidian parasites are considered the most important vector-borne parasites. However, vector identity and ecology is unknown for most such host-vector-parasite systems. In this study, we employ microscopic and molecular analyses to examine haemosporidian prevalence in a migratory, cavity-nesting bird, European roller Coracias garrulus, and its nidicolous blood-feeding ectoparasite Carnus hemapterus. This system is unique in that the ectoparasite is confined to a near-closed environment, in contrast to the free-wandering system of haematophagous dipterans such as mosquitoes. Blood film analysis confirms previous works in that Haemoproteus parasites are widely prevalent in adult rollers and belong to a single species, Haemoproteus coraciae. Leucocytozoon sp. and Trypanosoma sp. also are detected in adult rollers at low intensities with this technique. By means of molecular analysis, we report for the first time Plasmodium sp. presence in C. garrulus. Based on PCR results, Plasmodium parasites are relatively less prevalent than Haemoproteus parasites (20% vs. 31%) in rollers. In contrast, haemosporidian prevalences show the opposite trend for Carnus flies: Plasmodium sp. occurrence (62%) clearly predominates over that of Haemoproteus sp. (5%). A comparison between roller and Carnus samples reveals a significantly higher prevalence of Plasmodium sp. in Carnus samples. Insect survey and phylogenetic analysis suggest Culicoides flies as Haemoproteus sp. vectors, which appear to readily transmit the parasite in southern Spain. This study does not find support for Carnus flies to serve as biological or mechanical vectors of haemosporidians. In spite of this, nidicolous blood-feeding ectoparasites, such as carnid flies, appear as a suitable model for studies on the occurrence and temporal dynamics of avian haemosporidians such as Plasmodium sp. present at low intensities. PMID:26993083

  18. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  1. Polysome profiling of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Continuous in vitro propagation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    Golenda, C F; Li, J; Rosenberg, R

    1997-06-24

    The difficulty in controlling Plasmodium vivax, the most common cause of human malaria, has been complicated by growing drug resistance. We have established a method to cycle parasite generations in continuous culture using human blood cells. Chesson strain parasites were passaged from owl monkey erythrocytes to human reticulocytes in McCoy's 5A medium modified with L-glutamine with 25 mM Hepes buffer supplemented with 20% AB+ human serum. Reticulocytes were separated by differential centrifugation in homologous plasma from the peripheral blood of a hemochromatosis patient. Parasites were grown during each 48-hr cycle in a static candle jar environment until the beginning of schizogony, at about 36-40 hr, when reticulocytes were added and cultures transferred to a shaker for 10-12 hr. The addition of a concentration of 10% reticulocytes resulted in stabilizing parasite densities between 0.28 and 0.57 after cycle 3 and increasing the total number of parasites at least 2-fold with each generational cycle. Cultured parasites successfully infected an owl monkey. The morphology of cultured parasites was typical of P. vivax, with highly ameboid trophozoites evident; however, infected erythrocytes were enlarged and distorted on thin film preparations. The species identity of cultivated parasites was confirmed by analysis of the A and C 18S rRNA genes from genomic DNA and expression of only the A gene during erythrocytic asexual growth. The ability to culture P. vivax opens new opportunities to develop vaccines, test drugs, and clone parasites for genome sequencing.

  4. Plasmodium interspersed repeats: the major multigene superfamily of malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Janssen, Christoph S.; Phillips, R. Stephen; Turner, C. Michael R.; Barrett, Michael P.

    2004-01-01

    Functionally related homologues of known genes can be difficult to identify in divergent species. In this paper, we show how multi-character analysis can be used to elucidate the relationships among divergent members of gene superfamilies. We used probabilistic modelling in conjunction with protein structural predictions and gene-structure analyses on a whole-genome scale to find gene homologies that are missed by conventional similarity-search strategies and identified a variant gene superfamily in six species of malaria (Plasmodium interspersed repeats, pir). The superfamily includes rif in P.falciparum, vir in P.vivax, a novel family kir in P.knowlesi and the cir/bir/yir family in three rodent malarias. Our data indicate that this is the major multi-gene family in malaria parasites. Protein localization of products from pir members to the infected erythrocyte membrane in the rodent malaria parasite P.chabaudi, demonstrates phenotypic similarity to the products of pir in other malaria species. The results give critical insight into the evolutionary adaptation of malaria parasites to their host and provide important data for comparative immunology between malaria parasites obtained from laboratory models and their human counterparts. PMID:15507685

  5. Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    Carlton, Jane M; Adams, John H; Silva, Joana C; Bidwell, Shelby L; Lorenzi, Hernan; Caler, Elisabet; Crabtree, Jonathan; Angiuoli, Samuel V; Merino, Emilio F; Amedeo, Paolo; Cheng, Qin; Coulson, Richard M R; Crabb, Brendan S; Del Portillo, Hernando A; Essien, Kobby; Feldblyum, Tamara V; Fernandez-Becerra, Carmen; Gilson, Paul R; Gueye, Amy H; Guo, Xiang; Kang'a, Simon; Kooij, Taco W A; Korsinczky, Michael; Meyer, Esmeralda V-S; Nene, Vish; Paulsen, Ian; White, Owen; Ralph, Stuart A; Ren, Qinghu; Sargeant, Tobias J; Salzberg, Steven L; Stoeckert, Christian J; Sullivan, Steven A; Yamamoto, Marcio M; Hoffman, Stephen L; Wortman, Jennifer R; Gardner, Malcolm J; Galinski, Mary R; Barnwell, John W; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M

    2008-10-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 25-40% of the approximately 515 million annual cases of malaria worldwide. Although seldom fatal, the parasite elicits severe and incapacitating clinical symptoms and often causes relapses months after a primary infection has cleared. Despite its importance as a major human pathogen, P. vivax is little studied because it cannot be propagated continuously in the laboratory except in non-human primates. We sequenced the genome of P. vivax to shed light on its distinctive biological features, and as a means to drive development of new drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the synteny and isochore structure of P. vivax chromosomes, and show that the parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, but possesses novel gene families and potential alternative invasion pathways not recognized previously. Completion of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance investigation into this neglected species.

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

    PubMed

    Upston, J M; Gero, A M

    1995-06-14

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

  7. 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. PMID:27253438

  8. 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.

  9. Low haemosporidian diversity and one key-host species in a bird malaria community on a mid-Atlantic island (São Miguel, Azores).

    PubMed

    Hellgren, Olof; Križanauskienė, Asta; Hasselquist, Dennis; Bensch, Staffan

    2011-10-01

    When host species colonize new areas, the parasite assemblage infecting the hosts might change, with some parasite species being lost and others newly acquired. These changes would likely lead to novel selective forces on both host and its parasites. We investigated the avian blood parasites in the passerine bird community on the mid-Atlantic island of São Miguel, Azores, a bird community originating from continental Europe. The presence of haemosporidian blood parasites belonging to the genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon was assessed using polymerase chain reaction. We found two Plasmodium lineages and two Leucocytozoon lineages in 11 bird species (84% of all breeding passerine species) on the island. These lineages were unevenly distributed across bird species. The Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) was the key-host species (total parasite prevalence of 57%), harboring the main proportion of parasite infections. Except for Eurasian Blackbirds, all bird species had significantly lower prevalence and parasite diversity compared to their continental populations. We propose that in evolutionary novel bird communities, single species may act as key hosts by harboring the main part of the parasite fauna from which parasites "leak" into the other species. This would create very different host-parasite associations in areas recently colonized by hosts as compared to in their source populations. PMID:22102655

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  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. PMID:12760655

  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. 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.

  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; Choi, Jae-Yeon; Augagneur, Yoann; Voelker, Dennis R.; Nair, Satish; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2015-03-12

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

  17. 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

  18. Enlightening the malaria parasite life cycle: bioluminescent Plasmodium in fundamental and applied research

    PubMed Central

    Siciliano, Giulia; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The unicellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium impose on human health worldwide the enormous burden of malaria. The possibility to genetically modify several species of malaria parasites represented a major advance in the possibility to elucidate their biology and is now turning laboratory lines of transgenic Plasmodium into precious weapons to fight malaria. Amongst the various genetically modified plasmodia, transgenic parasite lines expressing bioluminescent reporters have been essential to unveil mechanisms of parasite gene expression and to develop in vivo imaging approaches in mouse malaria models. Mainly the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent parasite P. berghei have been engineered to express bioluminescent reporters in almost all the developmental stages of the parasite along its complex life cycle between the insect and the vertebrate hosts. Plasmodium lines expressing conventional and improved luciferase reporters are now gaining a central role to develop cell based assays in the much needed search of new antimalarial drugs and to open innovative approaches for both fundamental and applied research in malaria. PMID:26029172

  19. Anopheles gambiae Immune Responses to Human and Rodent Plasmodium Parasite Species

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Yuemei; Aguilar, Ruth; Xi, Zhiyong; Warr, Emma; Mongin, Emmanuel; Dimopoulos, George

    2006-01-01

    Transmission of malaria is dependent on the successful completion of the Plasmodium lifecycle in the Anopheles vector. Major obstacles are encountered in the midgut tissue, where most parasites are killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the present study, DNA microarray analyses have been used to compare Anopheles gambiae responses to invasion of the midgut epithelium by the ookinete stage of the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent experimental model pathogen P. berghei. Invasion by P. berghei had a more profound impact on the mosquito transcriptome, including a variety of functional gene classes, while P. falciparum elicited a broader immune response at the gene transcript level. Ingestion of human malaria-infected blood lacking invasive ookinetes also induced a variety of immune genes, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Twelve selected genes were assessed for effect on infection with both parasite species and bacteria using RNAi gene silencing assays, and seven of these genes were found to influence mosquito resistance to both parasite species. An MD2-like receptor, AgMDL1, and an immunolectin, FBN39, showed specificity in regulating only resistance to P. falciparum, while the antimicrobial peptide gambicin and a novel putative short secreted peptide, IRSP5, were more specific for defense against the rodent parasite P. berghei. While all the genes that affected Plasmodium development also influenced mosquito resistance to bacterial infection, four of the antimicrobial genes had no effect on Plasmodium development. Our study shows that the impact of P. falciparum and P. berghei infection on A. gambiae biology at the gene transcript level is quite diverse, and the defense against the two Plasmodium species is mediated by antimicrobial factors with both universal and Plasmodium-species specific activities. Furthermore, our data indicate that the mosquito is capable of sensing infected blood constituents in the absence of invading

  20. Anopheles gambiae immune responses to human and rodent Plasmodium parasite species.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yuemei; Aguilar, Ruth; Xi, Zhiyong; Warr, Emma; Mongin, Emmanuel; Dimopoulos, George

    2006-06-01

    Transmission of malaria is dependent on the successful completion of the Plasmodium lifecycle in the Anopheles vector. Major obstacles are encountered in the midgut tissue, where most parasites are killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the present study, DNA microarray analyses have been used to compare Anopheles gambiae responses to invasion of the midgut epithelium by the ookinete stage of the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent experimental model pathogen P. berghei. Invasion by P. berghei had a more profound impact on the mosquito transcriptome, including a variety of functional gene classes, while P. falciparum elicited a broader immune response at the gene transcript level. Ingestion of human malaria-infected blood lacking invasive ookinetes also induced a variety of immune genes, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Twelve selected genes were assessed for effect on infection with both parasite species and bacteria using RNAi gene silencing assays, and seven of these genes were found to influence mosquito resistance to both parasite species. An MD2-like receptor, AgMDL1, and an immunolectin, FBN39, showed specificity in regulating only resistance to P. falciparum, while the antimicrobial peptide gambicin and a novel putative short secreted peptide, IRSP5, were more specific for defense against the rodent parasite P. berghei. While all the genes that affected Plasmodium development also influenced mosquito resistance to bacterial infection, four of the antimicrobial genes had no effect on Plasmodium development. Our study shows that the impact of P. falciparum and P. berghei infection on A. gambiae biology at the gene transcript level is quite diverse, and the defense against the two Plasmodium species is mediated by antimicrobial factors with both universal and Plasmodium-species specific activities. Furthermore, our data indicate that the mosquito is capable of sensing infected blood constituents in the absence of invading

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

  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. Parasite-induced ER stress response in hepatocytes facilitates Plasmodium liver stage infection.

    PubMed

    Inácio, Patricia; Zuzarte-Luís, Vanessa; Ruivo, Margarida T G; Falkard, Brie; Nagaraj, Nagarjuna; Rooijers, Koos; Mann, Matthias; Mair, Gunnar; Fidock, David A; Mota, Maria M

    2015-08-01

    Upon infection of a mammalian host, Plasmodium parasites first replicate inside hepatocytes, generating thousands of new parasites. Although Plasmodium intra-hepatic development represents a substantial metabolic challenge to the host hepatocyte, how infected cells respond to and integrate this stress remains poorly understood. Here, we present proteomic and transcriptomic analyses, revealing that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in host hepatocytes upon Plasmodium berghei infection. The expression of XBP1s--the active form of the UPR mediator XBP1--and the liver-specific UPR mediator CREBH is induced by P. berghei infection in vivo. Furthermore, this UPR induction increases parasite liver burden. Altogether, our data suggest that ER stress is a central feature of P. berghei intra-hepatic development, contributing to the success of infection. PMID:26113366

  4. Parasite-induced ER stress response in hepatocytes facilitates Plasmodium liver stage infection

    PubMed Central

    Inácio, Patricia; Zuzarte-Luís, Vanessa; Ruivo, Margarida TG; Falkard, Brie; Nagaraj, Nagarjuna; Rooijers, Koos; Mann, Matthias; Mair, Gunnar; Fidock, David A; Mota, Maria M

    2015-01-01

    Upon infection of a mammalian host, Plasmodium parasites first replicate inside hepatocytes, generating thousands of new parasites. Although Plasmodium intra-hepatic development represents a substantial metabolic challenge to the host hepatocyte, how infected cells respond to and integrate this stress remains poorly understood. Here, we present proteomic and transcriptomic analyses, revealing that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in host hepatocytes upon Plasmodium berghei infection. The expression of XBP1s—the active form of the UPR mediator XBP1—and the liver-specific UPR mediator CREBH is induced by P. berghei infection in vivo. Furthermore, this UPR induction increases parasite liver burden. Altogether, our data suggest that ER stress is a central feature of P. berghei intra-hepatic development, contributing to the success of infection. PMID:26113366

  5. Parasite-induced ER stress response in hepatocytes facilitates Plasmodium liver stage infection.

    PubMed

    Inácio, Patricia; Zuzarte-Luís, Vanessa; Ruivo, Margarida T G; Falkard, Brie; Nagaraj, Nagarjuna; Rooijers, Koos; Mann, Matthias; Mair, Gunnar; Fidock, David A; Mota, Maria M

    2015-08-01

    Upon infection of a mammalian host, Plasmodium parasites first replicate inside hepatocytes, generating thousands of new parasites. Although Plasmodium intra-hepatic development represents a substantial metabolic challenge to the host hepatocyte, how infected cells respond to and integrate this stress remains poorly understood. Here, we present proteomic and transcriptomic analyses, revealing that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in host hepatocytes upon Plasmodium berghei infection. The expression of XBP1s--the active form of the UPR mediator XBP1--and the liver-specific UPR mediator CREBH is induced by P. berghei infection in vivo. Furthermore, this UPR induction increases parasite liver burden. Altogether, our data suggest that ER stress is a central feature of P. berghei intra-hepatic development, contributing to the success of infection.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

  8. Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein promotes the development of the liver stages of the parasite.

    PubMed

    Singh, Agam Prasad; Buscaglia, Carlos A; Wang, Qian; Levay, Agata; Nussenzweig, Daniel R; Walker, John R; Winzeler, Elizabeth A; Fujii, Hodaka; Fontoura, Beatriz M A; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2007-11-01

    The liver stages of malaria are clinically silent but have a central role in the Plasmodium life cycle. Liver stages of the parasite containing thousands of merozoites grow inside hepatocytes for several days without triggering an inflammatory response. We show here that Plasmodium uses a PEXEL/VTS motif to introduce the circumsporozoite (CS) protein into the hepatocyte cytoplasm and a nuclear localization signal (NLS) to enter its nucleus. CS outcompetes NFkappaB nuclear import, thus downregulating the expression of many genes controlled by NFkappaB, including those involved in inflammation. CS also influences the expression of over one thousand host genes involved in diverse metabolic processes to create a favorable niche for the parasite growth. The presence of CS in the hepatocyte enhances parasite growth of the liver stages in vitro and in vivo. These findings have far reaching implications for drug and vaccine development against the liver stages of the malaria parasite.

  9. Contrasting infection susceptibility of the Japanese macaques and cynomolgus macaques to closely related malaria parasites, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium cynomolgi.

    PubMed

    Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Kawai, Satoru; Katakai, Yuko; Takahashi, Hideo; Nakade, Toru; Yasutomi, Yasuhiro; Horii, Toshihiro; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2015-06-01

    Although the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is closely related to Asian Old World monkey malaria parasites, there are no reports of P. vivax infections in macaques. In this study, we compared the infectivity of P. vivax and Plasmodium cynomolgi in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) and in cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis). The Japanese macaques were highly susceptible to P. cynomolgi but not to P. vivax, whereas cynomolgus macaques showed mild/limited P. cynomolgi infection and were, also, not susceptible to P. vivax. Serotyping and amino acid sequence comparison of erythrocyte surface Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines (DARC) indicate that the Japanese macaque DARC sequence is nearly identical to that of rhesus (Macaca mulatta) and cynomolgus macaques. This suggests that the macaques share a common mechanism for preventing P. vivax infection. Comparison of amino acid sequences of the Duffy-binding-like (DBL) domain from several different Plasmodium species suggests that P. vivax DBLs will not bind to macaque DARCs, which can explain the lack of P. vivax infectivity. The DBL sequence analyses also suggest that P. cynomolgi DBLs may target Japanese macaque erythrocytes through a DARC-independent interaction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  11. Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) cathemerium gene sequences for phylogenetic analysis of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Wiersch, S C; Maier, W A; Kampen, H

    2005-05-01

    The DNA sequence information on avian malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium is quite limited. At present, sequences of only 6 out of 34 valid species are available. However, sequence data of avian malaria parasites are particularly important with regard to the resolution of the phylogenetic relationships of the most virulent human malaria agent, Plasmodium falciparum. The question as to whether P. falciparum originates from avian or from mammalian parasites would contribute to our understanding of its biology and would probably facilitate the interpretation of experimental results. To add to the body of molecular data, we sequenced three genes (cytochrome b, 18 SSU rRNA, caseinolytic protease C) of different organellar origin of one of the most widespread avian malaria parasites, Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) cathemerium, which once used to be an important laboratory in vivo model in human malaria research. The analysis of the new P. cathemerium sequences in direct comparison with the rodent parasite P. berghei and the four human malaria parasites by pairwise distance calculation do not suggest a closer relationship of P. cathemerium to P. falciparum than to the other species involved.

  12. Glutathione-deficient Plasmodium berghei parasites exhibit growth delay and nuclear DNA damage.

    PubMed

    Padín-Irizarry, Vivian; Colón-Lorenzo, Emilee E; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Castro, María Del R; González-Méndez, Ricardo; Ayala-Peña, Sylvette; Serrano, Adelfa E

    2016-06-01

    Plasmodium parasites are exposed to endogenous and exogenous oxidative stress during their complex life cycle. To minimize oxidative damage, the parasites use glutathione (GSH) and thioredoxin (Trx) as primary antioxidants. We previously showed that disruption of the Plasmodium berghei gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (pbggcs-ko) or the glutathione reductase (pbgr-ko) genes resulted in a significant reduction of GSH in intraerythrocytic stages, and a defect in growth in the pbggcs-ko parasites. In this report, time course experiments of parasite intraerythrocytic development and morphological studies showed a growth delay during the ring to schizont progression. Morphological analysis shows a significant reduction in size (diameter) of trophozoites and schizonts with increased number of cytoplasmic vacuoles in the pbggcs-ko parasites in comparison to the wild type (WT). Furthermore, the pbggcs-ko mutants exhibited an impaired response to oxidative stress and increased levels of nuclear DNA (nDNA) damage. Reduced GSH levels did not result in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage or protein carbonylations in neither pbggcs-ko nor pbgr-ko parasites. In addition, the pbggcs-ko mutant parasites showed an increase in mRNA expression of genes involved in oxidative stress detoxification and DNA synthesis, suggesting a potential compensatory mechanism to allow for parasite proliferation. These results reveal that low GSH levels affect parasite development through the impairment of oxidative stress reduction systems and damage to the nDNA. Our studies provide new insights into the role of the GSH antioxidant system in the intraerythrocytic development of Plasmodium parasites, with potential translation into novel pharmacological interventions. PMID:26952808

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:27303038

  15. Extracellular ATP triggers proteolysis and cytosolic Ca2+ rise in Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Plasmodium has a complex cell biology and it is essential to dissect the cell-signalling pathways underlying its survival within the host. Methods Using the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) peptide substrate Abz-AIKFFARQ-EDDnp and Fluo4/AM, the effects of extracellular ATP on triggering proteolysis and Ca2+ signalling in Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii malaria parasites were investigated. Results The protease activity was blocked in the presence of the purinergic receptor blockers suramin (50 μM) and PPADS (50 μM) or the extracellular and intracellular calcium chelators EGTA (5 mM) and BAPTA/AM (25, 100, 200 and 500 μM), respectively for P. yoelii and P. berghei. Addition of ATP (50, 70, 200 and 250 μM) to isolated parasites previously loaded with Fluo4/AM in a Ca2+-containing medium led to an increase in cytosolic calcium. This rise was blocked by pre-incubating the parasites with either purinergic antagonists PPADS (50 μM), TNP-ATP (50 μM) or the purinergic blockers KN-62 (10 μM) and Ip5I (10 μM). Incubating P. berghei infected cells with KN-62 (200 μM) resulted in a changed profile of merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) processing as revealed by western blot assays. Moreover incubating P. berghei for 17 h with KN-62 (10 μM) led to an increase in rings forms (82% ± 4, n = 11) and a decrease in trophozoite forms (18% ± 4, n = 11). Conclusions The data clearly show that purinergic signalling modulates P. berghei protease(s) activity and that MSP1 is one target in this pathway. PMID:22420332

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Josling, Gabrielle A; Llinás, Manuel

    2015-09-01

    Malaria is a devastating infectious disease that is caused by blood-borne apicomplexan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. These pathogens have a complex lifecycle, which includes development in the anopheline mosquito vector and in the liver and red blood cells of mammalian hosts, a process which takes days to weeks, depending on the Plasmodium species. Productive transmission between the mammalian host and the mosquito requires transitioning between asexual and sexual forms of the parasite. Blood- stage parasites replicate cyclically and are mostly asexual, although a small fraction of these convert into male and female sexual forms (gametocytes) in each reproductive cycle. Despite many years of investigation, the molecular processes that elicit sexual differentiation have remained largely unknown. In this Review, we highlight several important recent discoveries that have identified epigenetic factors and specific transcriptional regulators of gametocyte commitment and development, providing crucial insights into this obligate cellular differentiation process. PMID:26272409

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  3. [Plasmodium vivax, a parasite coming out of the shadows].

    PubMed

    Allgower, Andrea; Taylor, W Robert; Chappuis, François; Eperon, Gilles

    2016-05-01

    Since 2007, the incidence and mortality of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum have declined. However, this trend has not been seen with Plasmodium vivax which has biological features. Severe vivax malaria is increasingly reported in endemic countries even though P. vivax has been thought of as a benign disease. Diagnosis is challenging: the usual rapid diagnostic tests are less sensitive in detecting P. vivax and there is no test for the detection of the dormant forms (hypnozoites). The treatment of the acute phase is an artemisinin based combination, e.g. artemetherlumefantrine. Primaquine, which is the only currently available treatment against hypnozoites for the prevention of relapses, may trigger acute haemolytic anaemia in individuals with G6PD deficiency. PMID:27323480

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Marcus Cs; Fidock, David A

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Artesunate Tolerance in Transgenic Plasmodium falciparum Parasites Overexpressing a Tryptophan-Rich Protein▿†

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Due to their rapid, potent action on young and mature intraerythrocytic stages, artemisinin derivatives are central to drug combination therapies for Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, the evidence for emerging parasite resistance/tolerance to artemisinins in southeast Asia is of great concern. A better understanding of artemisinin-related drug activity and resistance mechanisms is urgently needed. A recent transcriptome study of parasites exposed to artesunate led us to identify a series of genes with modified levels of expression in the presence of the drug. The gene presenting the largest mRNA level increase, Pf10_0026 (PArt), encoding a hypothetical protein of unknown function, was chosen for further study. Immunodetection with PArt-specific sera showed that artesunate induced a dose-dependent increase of the protein level. Bioinformatic analysis showed that PArt belongs to a Plasmodium-specific gene family characterized by the presence of a tryptophan-rich domain with a novel hidden Markov model (HMM) profile. Gene disruption could not be achieved, suggesting an essential function. Transgenic parasites overexpressing PArt protein were generated and exhibited tolerance to a spike exposure to high doses of artesunate, with increased survival and reduced growth retardation compared to that of wild-type-treated controls. These data indicate the involvement of PArt in parasite defense mechanisms against artesunate. This is the first report of genetically manipulated parasites displaying a stable and reproducible decreased susceptibility to artesunate, providing new possibilities to investigate the parasite response to artemisinins. PMID:21464256

  8. Human red blood cell-adapted Plasmodium knowlesi parasites: a new model system for malaria research

    PubMed Central

    Grüring, Christof; Moon, Robert W.; Lim, Caeul; Holder, Anthony A.; Blackman, Michael J.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian malaria parasite primarily infecting macaque species in Southeast Asia. Although its capacity to infect humans has been recognized since the early part of the last century, it has recently become evident that human infections are widespread and potentially life threatening. Historically, P. knowlesi has proven to be a powerful tool in early studies of malaria parasites, providing key breakthroughs in understanding many aspects of Plasmodium biology. However, the necessity to grow the parasite either in macaques or in vitro using macaque blood restricted research to laboratories with access to these resources. The recent adaptation of P. knowlesi to grow and proliferate in vitro in human red blood cells (RBCs) is therefore a substantial step towards revitalizing and expanding research on P. knowlesi. Furthermore, the development of a highly efficient transfection system to genetically modify the parasite makes P. knowlesi an ideal model to study parasite biology. In this review we elaborate on the importance of P. knowlesi in earlier phases of malaria research and highlight the future potential of the newly available human adapted P. knowlesi parasite lines. PMID:24506567

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-30

    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

  11. 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.

  12. Characterizing the genetic diversity of the monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium cynomolgi.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Patrick L; Luo, Zunping; Divis, Paul C S; Friedrich, Volney K; Conway, David J; Singh, Balbir; Barnwell, John W; Carlton, Jane M; Sullivan, Steven A

    2016-06-01

    Plasmodium cynomolgi is a malaria parasite that typically infects Asian macaque monkeys, and humans on rare occasions. P. cynomolgi serves as a model system for the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax, with which it shares such important biological characteristics as formation of a dormant liver stage and a preference to invade reticulocytes. While genomes of three P. cynomolgi strains have been sequenced, genetic diversity of P. cynomolgi has not been widely investigated. To address this we developed the first panel of P. cynomolgi microsatellite markers to genotype eleven P. cynomolgi laboratory strains and 18 field isolates from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. We found diverse genotypes among most of the laboratory strains, though two nominally different strains were found to be genetically identical. We also investigated sequence polymorphism in two erythrocyte invasion gene families, the reticulocyte binding protein and Duffy binding protein genes, in these strains. We also observed copy number variation in rbp genes. PMID:26980604

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  14. The Calcium Signaling Toolkit of the Apicomplexan Parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium spp

    PubMed Central

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N.J.

    2015-01-01

    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 (Ca2+) 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+-ATPases are present in apicomplexans and a putative mitochondrial Ca2+/H+ exchanger has been identified. Apicomplexan genomes contain numerous genes encoding Ca2+-binding proteins, with the notable expansion of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), whose study has revealed novel 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ in these parasites. PMID:25605521

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  16. An ancient protein phosphatase, SHLP1, is critical to microneme development in Plasmodium ookinetes and parasite transmission.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-28

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

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

    PubMed

    Perkins, S L

    2000-11-22

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Matz, Joachim M.; Kooij, Taco W. A.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25789828

  19. 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.

  20. Distinct Roles of Plasmodium Rhomboid 1 in Parasite Development and Malaria Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Prakash; Coppens, Isabelle; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2009-01-01

    Invasion of host cells by the malaria parasite involves recognition and interaction with cell-surface receptors. A wide variety of parasite surface proteins participate in this process, most of which are specific to the parasite's particular invasive form. Upon entry, the parasite has to dissociate itself from the host-cell receptors. One mechanism by which it does so is by shedding its surface ligands using specific enzymes. Rhomboid belongs to a family of serine proteases that cleave cell-surface proteins within their transmembrane domains. Here we identify and partially characterize a Plasmodium berghei rhomboid protease (PbROM1) that plays distinct roles during parasite development. PbROM1 localizes to the surface of sporozoites after salivary gland invasion. In blood stage merozoites, PbROM1 localizes to the apical end where proteins involved in invasion are also present. Our genetic analysis suggests that PbROM1 functions in the invasive stages of parasite development. Whereas wild-type P. berghei is lethal to mice, animals infected with PbROM1 null mutants clear the parasites efficiently and develop long-lasting protective immunity. The results indicate that P. berghei Rhomboid 1 plays a nonessential but important role during parasite development and identify rhomboid proteases as potential targets for disease control. PMID:19148267

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

    The 190-kDa merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum, an essential component in the parasite's life cycle, is a primary candidate for a malaria vaccine. Rabbit antibodies elicited by the heterologously produced MSP-1 processing products p83, p30, p38, and p42, derived from strain 3D7, were analyzed for the potential to inhibit in vitro erythrocyte invasion by the parasite and parasite growth. Our data show that (i) epitopes recognized by antibodies, which inhibit parasite replication, are distributed throughout the entire MSP-1 molecule; (ii) when combined, antibodies specific for different regions of MSP-1 inhibit in a strictly additive manner; (iii) anti-MSP-1 antibodies interfere with erythrocyte invasion as well as with the intraerythrocytic growth of the parasite; and (iv) antibodies raised against MSP-1 of strain 3D7 strongly cross-inhibit replication of the heterologous strain FCB-1. Accordingly, anti-MSP-1 antibodies appear to be capable of interfering with parasite multiplication at more than one level. Since the overall immunogenicity profile of MSP-1 in rabbits closely resembles that found in sera of Aotus monkeys immunized with parasite-derived MSP-1 and of humans semi-immune to malaria from whom highly inhibiting antigen-specific antibodies were recovered, we consider the findings reported here to be relevant for the development of MSP-1-based vaccines against malaria.

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

    PubMed

    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; Lau, Yee Ling

    2016-08-01

    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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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; Lau, Yee Ling

    2016-08-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Christopher D.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Roth, E

    1990-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Effect of Mature Blood-Stage Plasmodium Parasite Sequestration on Pathogen Biomass in Mathematical and In Vivo Models of Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, David S.; Cromer, Deborah; Best, Shannon E.; James, Kylie R.; Kim, Peter S.; Engwerda, Christian R.; Haque, Ashraful

    2014-01-01

    Parasite biomass and microvasculature obstruction are strongly associated with disease severity and death in Plasmodium falciparum-infected humans. This is related to sequestration of mature, blood-stage parasites (schizonts) in peripheral tissue. The prevailing view is that schizont sequestration leads to an increase in pathogen biomass, yet direct experimental data to support this are lacking. Here, we first studied parasite population dynamics in inbred wild-type (WT) mice infected with the rodent species of malaria, Plasmodium berghei ANKA. As is commonly reported, these mice became moribund due to large numbers of parasites in multiple tissues. We then studied infection dynamics in a genetically targeted line of mice, which displayed minimal tissue accumulation of parasites. We constructed a mathematical model of parasite biomass dynamics, incorporating schizont-specific host clearance, both with and without schizont sequestration. Combined use of mathematical and in vivo modeling indicated, first, that the slowing of parasite growth in the genetically targeted mice can be attributed to specific clearance of schizonts from the circulation and, second, that persistent parasite growth in WT mice can be explained solely as a result of schizont sequestration. Our work provides evidence that schizont sequestration could be a major biological process driving rapid, early increases in parasite biomass during blood-stage Plasmodium infection. PMID:24144725

  19. Effect of mature blood-stage Plasmodium parasite sequestration on pathogen biomass in mathematical and in vivo models of malaria.

    PubMed

    Khoury, David S; Cromer, Deborah; Best, Shannon E; James, Kylie R; Kim, Peter S; Engwerda, Christian R; Haque, Ashraful; Davenport, Miles P

    2014-01-01

    Parasite biomass and microvasculature obstruction are strongly associated with disease severity and death in Plasmodium falciparum-infected humans. This is related to sequestration of mature, blood-stage parasites (schizonts) in peripheral tissue. The prevailing view is that schizont sequestration leads to an increase in pathogen biomass, yet direct experimental data to support this are lacking. Here, we first studied parasite population dynamics in inbred wild-type (WT) mice infected with the rodent species of malaria, Plasmodium berghei ANKA. As is commonly reported, these mice became moribund due to large numbers of parasites in multiple tissues. We then studied infection dynamics in a genetically targeted line of mice, which displayed minimal tissue accumulation of parasites. We constructed a mathematical model of parasite biomass dynamics, incorporating schizont-specific host clearance, both with and without schizont sequestration. Combined use of mathematical and in vivo modeling indicated, first, that the slowing of parasite growth in the genetically targeted mice can be attributed to specific clearance of schizonts from the circulation and, second, that persistent parasite growth in WT mice can be explained solely as a result of schizont sequestration. Our work provides evidence that schizont sequestration could be a major biological process driving rapid, early increases in parasite biomass during blood-stage Plasmodium infection. PMID:24144725

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Diversity in mitochondrial metabolic pathways in parasitic protists Plasmodium and Cryptosporidium.

    PubMed

    Mogi, Tatsushi; Kita, Kiyoshi

    2010-09-01

    Apicomplexans are obligate intracellular parasites and occupy diverse niches. They have remodeled mitochondrial carbon and energy metabolism through reductive evolution. Plasmodium lacks mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase and H(+)-translocating NADH dehydrogenase (Complex I, NDH1). The mitochondorion contains a minimal mtDNA ( approximately 6kb) and carries out oxidative phosphorylation in the insect vector stages, by using 2-oxoglutarate as an alternative means of entry into the TCA cycle and a single-subunit flavoprotein as an alternative NADH dehydrogenase (NDH2). In the blood stages of mammalian hosts, mitochondrial enzymes are down-regulated and parasite energy metabolism relies mainly on glycolysis. Mitosomes of Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis (human intestine parasites) lack mtDNA, pyruvate dehydrogenase, TCA cycle enzymes except malate-quinone oxidoreductase (MQO), and ATP synthase subunits except alpha and beta. In contrast, mitosomes of Cryptosporidium muris (a rodent gastric parasite) retain all TCA cycle enzymes and functional ATP synthase and carry out oxidative phosphorylation with pyruvate-NADP(+) oxidoreductase (PNO) and a simple and unique respiratory chain consisting of NDH2 and alternative oxidase (AOX). Cryptosporidium and Perkinsus are early branching groups of chromoalveolates (apicomplexa and dinoflagellates, respectively), and both Cryptosporidium mitosome and Perkinsus mitochondrion use PNO, MQO, and AOX. All apicomplexan parasites and dinoflagellates share MQO, which has been acquired from epsilon-proteobacteria via lateral gene transfer. By genome data mining on Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium and Perkinsus, here we summarized their mitochondrial metabolic pathways, which are varied largely from those of mammalian hosts. We hope that our findings will help in understanding the apicomplexan metabolism and development of new chemotherapeutics with novel targets.

  6. 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.

  7. Membrane-associated antigens of blood stages of Plasmodium, brasilianum, a quartan malaria parasite.

    PubMed Central

    Cochrane, A H; Matsumoto, Y; Kamboj, K K; Maracic, M; Nussenzweig, R S; Aikawa, M

    1988-01-01

    The localization of Plasmodium brasilianum-derived antigens in short and long clefts within the cytoplasm of infected erythrocytes and in association with knobs of the host cell membrane was demonstrated by immunoelectron microscopy with monoclonal antibodies. Our results document that malaria-induced short and long clefts, previously distinguishable only by morphology, differ also in antigenic composition. Another parasite-derived antigen was found to be associated with the parasitophorous vacuole space in schizonts. In segmenters, this antigen was present in large amounts between merozoites and in the cytoplasm of infected cells. These antigens were characterized by biosynthetic labeling and gel electrophoresis. Images PMID:3397184

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

    PubMed Central

    Tatu, Utpal

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Plasmodium vivax: modern strategies to study a persistent parasite's life cycle.

    PubMed

    Galinski, Mary R; Meyer, Esmeralda V S; Barnwell, John W

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax has unique attributes to support its survival in varying ecologies and climates. These include hypnozoite forms in the liver, an invasion preference for reticulocytes, caveola-vesicle complex structures in the infected erythrocyte membrane and rapidly forming and circulating gametocytes. These characteristics make this species very different from P. falciparum. Plasmodium cynomolgi and other related simian species have identical biology and can serve as informative models of P. vivax infections. Plasmodium vivax and its model parasites can be grown in non-human primates (NHP), and in short-term ex vivo cultures. For P. vivax, in the absence of in vitro culture systems, these models remain highly relevant side by side with human clinical studies. While post-genomic technologies allow for greater exploration of P. vivax-infected blood samples from humans, these come with restrictions. Two advantages of NHP models are that infections can be experimentally tailored to address hypotheses, including genetic manipulation. Also, systems biology approaches can capitalise on computational biology combined with set experimental infection periods and protocols, which may include multiple sampling times, different types of samples, and the broad use of "omics" technologies. Opportunities for research on vivax malaria are increasing with the use of existing and new methodological strategies in combination with modern technologies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Wild-living chimpanzees and gorillas harbor a multitude of Plasmodium species, including six of the subgenus Laverania, one of which served as the progenitor of Plasmodium falciparum. Despite the magnitude of this reservoir, it is unknown whether apes represent a source of human infections. Here, we used Plasmodium species-specific PCR, single-genome amplification, and 454 sequencing to screen humans from remote areas of southern Cameroon for ape Laverania infections. Among 1,402 blood samples, we found 1,000 to be Plasmodium mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) positive, all of which contained human parasites as determined by sequencing and/or restriction enzyme digestion. To exclude low-abundance infections, we subjected 514 of these samples to 454 sequencing, targeting a region of the mtDNA genome that distinguishes ape from human Laverania species. Using algorithms specifically developed to differentiate rare Plasmodium variants from 454-sequencing error, we identified single and mixed-species infections with P. falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, and/or Plasmodium ovale. However, none of the human samples contained ape Laverania parasites, including the gorilla precursor of P. falciparum. To characterize further the diversity of P. falciparum in Cameroon, we used single-genome amplification to amplify 3.4-kb mtDNA fragments from 229 infected humans. Phylogenetic analysis identified 62 new variants, all of which clustered with extant P. falciparum, providing further evidence that P. falciparum emerged following a single gorilla-to-human transmission. Thus, unlike Plasmodium knowlesi-infected macaques in southeast Asia, African apes harboring Laverania parasites do not seem to serve as a recurrent source of human malaria, a finding of import to ongoing control and eradication measures. PMID:23569255

  12. Radioimmunoassay for detecting antibodies against murine malarial parasite antigens: monoclonal antibodies recognizing Plasmodium yoelii antigens

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, K.J.; Taylor, D.W.; Evans, C.B.; Asofsky, R.

    1980-12-01

    A solid-phase radioimmunoassay (SPRIA) in microtiter wells was established for detecting antibodies against Plasmodium yoelii Ag. The SPRIA was found (1) to require as little as 5 ..mu..g of crude parasite Ag per well, (2) to be able to detect 0.5 ng of monoclonal Ab, and (3) to be 10/sup 4/ times more sensitive than the indirect fluorescent Ab staining technique. In a modification of the above assay using intact RBC as an Ag, hyperimmune serum showed significant binding to the surface of erythrocytes of mice infected with P. yoelii parasites but not to RBC of normal mice. Hybridomas were prepared by fusing infected mouse spleen cells with myeloma cells. Using the SPRIA, hybrids secreting Ab against P. yoelii 17XL Ag were detected.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

  16. 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.

  17. Genetic diversity of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium vivax parasites from the western Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Lizcano, Omaira Vera; Resende, Sarah Stela; Chehuan, Yonne F; Lacerda, Marcus V G; Brito, Cristiana F A; Zalis, Mariano G

    2014-11-01

    The molecular basis of Plasmodium vivax chloroquine (CQ) resistance is still unknown. Elucidating the molecular background of parasites that are sensitive or resistant to CQ will help to identify and monitor the spread of resistance. By genotyping a panel of molecular markers, we demonstrate a similar genetic variability between in vitro CQ-resistant and sensitive phenotypes of P. vivax parasites. However, our studies identified two loci (MS8 and MSP1-B10) that could be used to discriminate between both CQ-susceptible phenotypes among P. vivax isolates in vitro. These preliminary data suggest that microsatellites may be used to identify and to monitor the spread of P. vivax-resistance around the world. PMID:25411001

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Transgenic Plasmodium parasites stably expressing Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase as in vitro and in vivo models for antifolate screening

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent cause of human malaria in tropical regions outside the African continent. The lack of a routine continuous in vitro culture of this parasite makes it difficult to develop specific drugs for this disease. To facilitate the development of anti-P. vivax drugs, bacterial and yeast surrogate models expressing the validated P. vivax target dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) have been generated; however, they can only be used as primary screening models because of significant differences in enzyme expression level and in vivo drug metabolism between the surrogate models and P. vivax parasites. Methods Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei parasites were transfected with DNA constructs bearing P. vivax dhfr-ts pyrimethamine sensitive (wild-type) and pyrimethamine resistant (mutant) alleles. Double crossover homologous recombination was used to replace the endogenous dhfr-ts of P. falciparum and P. berghei parasites with P. vivax homologous genes. The integration of Pvdhfr-ts genes via allelic replacement was verified by Southern analysis and the transgenic parasites lines validated as models by standard drug screening assays. Results Transgenic P. falciparum and P. berghei lines stably expressing PvDHFR-TS replacing the endogenous parasite DHFR-TS were obtained. Anti-malarial drug screening assays showed that transgenic parasites expressing wild-type PvDHFR-TS were pyrimethamine-sensitive, whereas transgenic parasites expressing mutant PvDHFR-TS were pyrimethamine-resistant. The growth and sensitivity to other types of anti-malarial drugs in the transgenic parasites were otherwise indistinguishable from the parental parasites. Conclusion With the permanent integration of Pvdhfr-ts gene in the genome, the transgenic Plasmodium lines expressing PvDHFR-TS are genetically stable and will be useful for screening anti-P. vivax compounds targeting PvDHFR-TS. A similar approach could be used to generate

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Andrew H.; Fidock, David A.

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Investigations into Outbreaks of Black Fly Attacks and Subsequent Avian Haemosporidians in Backyard-Type Poultry and Other Exposed Avian Species.

    PubMed

    Jones, Kelli; Johnson, Nora; Yang, Sharon; Stokes, John; Smith, Whitney; Wills, Robert; Goddard, Jerome; Varela-Stokes, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    In late spring of 2009 and 2010, there were reports of severe black fly (Simulium spp., shown in Fig. 1) outbreaks in various counties in Mississippi, especially those in and around the Mississippi River Delta. Complaints were of black flies attacking multiple species of backyard poultry and causing high morbidity and mortality in affected flocks. At several affected locations, black flies were readily observed swarming around and feeding on birds. A large number of these parasites were easily trapped on fly strips (Fig. 2). Multifocal to coalescing cutaneous hemorrhagic lesions, consistent with fly bites, were seen on the birds. Upon necropsy examination, a large number of black flies were also observed in the digestive tract (Fig. 3). Although black flies may cause disease directly, such as cardiopulmonary collapse and anaphylactoid reactions, detection of Leucocytozoon in blood smears (Fig. 4) of affected birds prompted further investigations of this protozoan as a cause of disease. Leucocytozoon spp. are known to be transmitted by black flies and may be associated with morbidity and mortality in birds such as poultry. From June 2009 through July 2012, the investigation included a total collection of 1068 individual blood samples, representing 371 individual premises in 89 counties/parishes across Mississippi (59), Alabama (10), Louisiana (4), and Tennessee (16). Of the 371 premises where blood samples were collected, 96 (26%) were either positive or highly suspected to be positive for Leucocytozoon spp. by blood smear analysis, and 5 (1.2%) were positive for Haemoproteus spp. by blood smear analysis. Attempts to diagnose Leucocytozoon spp. by PCR analysis and sequencing were complicated by coinfections with two closely related haemosporidians (Haemoproteus spp. and Plasmodium spp.). A novel technique involving flow cytometry was also explored. This study discusses the black fly field outbreak, the involvement of haemosporidians, molecular methods for detection

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Empirical evidence supports wild birds as playing a role in the interhemispheric exchange of bacteria and viruses; however, data supporting the redistribution of parasites among continents are limited. In this study, the hypothesis that migratory birds contribute to the redistribution of parasites between continents was tested by sampling northern pintails (Anas acuta) at locations throughout the North Pacific Basin in North America and East Asia for haemosporidian infections and assessing the genetic evidence for parasite exchange. Of 878 samples collected from birds in Alaska (USA), California (USA), and Hokkaido (Japan) during August 2011-May 2012 and screened for parasitic infections using molecular techniques, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium parasites were detected in 555 (63%), 44 (5%), and 52 (6%) samples, respectively. Using an occupancy modeling approach, the probability of detecting parasites via replicate genetic tests was estimated to be high (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

  10. Calcium signaling in closely related protozoan groups (Alveolata): non-parasitic ciliates (Paramecium, Tetrahymena) vs. parasitic Apicomplexa (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma).

    PubMed

    Plattner, H; Sehring, I M; Mohamed, I K; Miranda, K; De Souza, W; Billington, R; Genazzani, A; Ladenburger, E-M

    2012-05-01

    The importance of Ca2+-signaling for many subcellular processes is well established in higher eukaryotes, whereas information about protozoa is restricted. Recent genome analyses have stimulated such work also with Alveolates, such as ciliates (Paramecium, Tetrahymena) and their pathogenic close relatives, the Apicomplexa (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma). Here we compare Ca2+ signaling in the two closely related groups. Acidic Ca2+ stores have been characterized in detail in Apicomplexa, but hardly in ciliates. Two-pore channels engaged in Ca2+-release from acidic stores in higher eukaryotes have not been stingently characterized in either group. Both groups are endowed with plasma membrane- and endoplasmic reticulum-type Ca2+-ATPases (PMCA, SERCA), respectively. Only recently was it possible to identify in Paramecium a number of homologs of ryanodine and inositol 1,3,4-trisphosphate receptors (RyR, IP3R) and to localize them to widely different organelles participating in vesicle trafficking. For Apicomplexa, physiological experiments suggest the presence of related channels although their identity remains elusive. In Paramecium, IP3Rs are constitutively active in the contractile vacuole complex; RyR-related channels in alveolar sacs are activated during exocytosis stimulation, whereas in the parasites the homologous structure (inner membrane complex) may no longer function as a Ca2+ store. Scrutinized comparison of the two closely related protozoan phyla may stimulate further work and elucidate adaptation to parasitic life. See also "Conclusions" section.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schall, Jos J

    2009-03-01

    The ratio of male to female gametocytes seen in infections of Plasmodium and related haemosporidian parasites varies substantially, both within and among parasite species. Sex ratio theory, a mainstay of evolutionary biology, accounts for this variation. The theory provides an algebraic solution for the optimal sex ratio that will maximize parasite fitness. A crucial term in this solution is the probability of selfing by clone-mates within the vector (based on the clone number and their relative abundance). Definitive tests of the theory have proven elusive because of technical challenges in measuring clonal diversity within infections. Newly developed molecular methods now provide opportunities to test the theory with an exquisite precision. PMID:19201653

  13. Prevalence and diversity of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites in the globally-threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola.

    PubMed

    Neto, Júlio Manuel; Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; Haase, Martin; Flade, Martin; Bensch, Staffan

    2015-08-01

    The diversity and prevalence of malaria parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were determined in the globally-threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola. Birds were sampled during migration in Portugal and at the wintering quarters in Senegal and parasites were detected using molecular methods. Only three generalist parasite lineages (Plasmodium) were found. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of parasites between sexes in Europe, but adults had higher prevalence than first-year birds, and birds in Europe had higher prevalence than those captured in Africa. When comparing with other Acrocephalus species and taking sample size into account, Aquatic Warblers had the lowest prevalence and, together with another threatened species, the Seychelles Warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis, the lowest diversity of malaria parasites. We hypothesize that the low diversity of parasites and absence of specialist lineages of Aquatic Warblers are caused by its small population size and fragmented distribution. Furthermore, Aquatic Warblers' extreme habitat specialization may decrease their exposure to malaria parasites, but other explanations such as high mortality (which would constraint the sampling of infected birds) or, in contrast, very efficient immunological system in clearing the infections cannot be ruled out. This study contributes to explain variation in prevalence and diversity of malaria parasites among hosts.

  14. Enzymatic Characterization of Recombinant Food Vacuole Plasmepsin 4 from the Rodent Malaria Parasite Plasmodium berghei

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Peng; Robbins, Arthur H.; Marzahn, Melissa R.; McClung, Scott H.; Yowell, Charles A.; Stevens, Stanley M.; Dame, John B.; Dunn, Ben M.

    2015-01-01

    The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei is a practical model organism for experimental studies of human malaria. Plasmepsins are a class of aspartic proteinase isoforms that exert multiple pathological effects in malaria parasites. Plasmepsins residing in the food vacuole (FV) of the parasite hydrolyze hemoglobin in red blood cells. In this study, we cloned PbPM4, the FV plasmepsin gene of P. berghei that encoded an N-terminally truncated pro-segment and the mature enzyme from genomic DNA. We over-expressed this PbPM4 zymogen as inclusion bodies (IB) in Escherichia coli, and purified the protein following in vitro IB refolding. Auto-maturation of the PbPM4 zymogen to mature enzyme was carried out at pH 4.5, 5.0, and 5.5. Interestingly, we found that the PbPM4 zymogen exhibited catalytic activity regardless of the presence of the pro-segment. We determined the optimal catalytic conditions for PbPM4 and studied enzyme kinetics on substrates and inhibitors of aspartic proteinases. Using combinatorial chemistry-based peptide libraries, we studied the active site preferences of PbPM4 at subsites S1, S2, S3, S1’, S2’ and S3’. Based on these results, we designed and synthesized a selective peptidomimetic compound and tested its inhibition of PbPM4, seven FV plasmepsins from human malaria parasites, and human cathepsin D (hcatD). We showed that this compound exhibited a >10-fold selectivity to PbPM4 and human malaria parasite plasmepsin 4 orthologs versus hcatD. Data from this study furthesr our understanding of enzymatic characteristics of the plasmepsin family and provides leads for anti-malarial drug design. PMID:26510189

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:24945903

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-08-01

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

  1. 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

  2. NMR and crystallographic structures of the FK506 binding domain of human malarial parasite Plasmodium vivax FKBP35

    PubMed Central

    Alag, Reema; Qureshi, Insaf A; Bharatham, Nagakumar; Shin, Joon; Lescar, Julien; Yoon, Ho Sup

    2010-01-01

    The emergence of drug-resistant malaria parasites is the major threat to effective malaria control, prompting a search for novel compounds with mechanisms of action that are different from the traditionally used drugs. The immunosuppressive drug FK506 shows an antimalarial activity. The mechanism of the drug action involves the molecular interaction with the parasite target proteins PfFKBP35 and PvFKBP35, which are novel FK506 binding protein family (FKBP) members from Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, respectively. Currently, molecular mechanisms of the FKBP family proteins in the parasites still remain elusive. To understand their functions, here we have determined the structures of the FK506 binding domain of Plasmodium vivax (PvFKBD) in unliganded form by NMR spectroscopy and in complex with FK506 by X-ray crystallography. We found out that PvFKBP35 exhibits a canonical FKBD fold and shares kinetic profiles similar to those of PfFKBP35, the homologous protein in P. falciparum, indicating that the parasite FKBP family members play similar biological roles in their life cycles. Despite the similarity, differences were observed in the ligand binding modes between PvFKBD and HsFKBP12, a human FKBP homolog, which could provide insightful information into designing selective antimalarial drug against the parasites. PMID:20572013

  3. 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. PMID:23974324

  4. Role of the Plasmodium Export Element in Trafficking Parasite Proteins to the Infected Erythrocyte

    PubMed Central

    Boddey, Justin A; Moritz, Robert L; Simpson, Richard J; Cowman, Alan F

    2009-01-01

    The intracellular survival of Plasmodium falciparum within human erythrocytes is dependent on export of parasite proteins that remodel the host cell. Most exported proteins require a conserved motif (RxLxE/Q/D), termed the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL) or vacuolar targeting sequence (VTS), for targeting beyond the parasitophorous vacuole membrane and into the host cell; however, the precise role of this motif in export is poorly defined. We used transgenic P. falciparum expressing chimeric proteins to investigate the function of the PEXEL motif for export. The PEXEL constitutes a bifunctional export motif comprising a protease recognition sequence that is cleaved, in the endoplasmic reticulum, from proteins destined for export, in a PEXEL arginine- and leucine-dependent manner. Following processing, the remaining conserved PEXEL residue is required to direct the mature protein to the host cell. Furthermore, we demonstrate that N acetylation of proteins following N-terminal processing is a PEXEL-independent process that is insufficient for correct export to the host cell. This work defines the role of each residue in the PEXEL for export into the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte. PMID:19055692

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:21396372

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-12

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

  14. Natural infection of Plasmodium brasilianum in humans: Man and monkey share quartan malaria parasites in the Venezuelan Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Lalremruata, Albert; Magris, Magda; Vivas-Martínez, Sarai; Koehler, Maike; Esen, Meral; Kempaiah, Prakasha; Jeyaraj, Sankarganesh; Perkins, Douglas Jay; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Metzger, Wolfram G.

    2015-01-01

    Background The quartan malaria parasite Plasmodium malariae is the widest spread and best adapted human malaria parasite. The simian Plasmodium brasilianum causes quartan fever in New World monkeys and resembles P. malariae morphologically. Since the genetics of the two parasites are nearly identical, differing only in a range of mutations expected within a species, it has long been speculated that the two are the same. However, no naturally acquired infection with parasites termed as P. brasilianum has been found in humans until now. Methods We investigated malaria cases from remote Yanomami indigenous communities of the Venezuelan Amazon and analyzed the genes coding for the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and the small subunit of ribosomes (18S) by species-specific PCR and capillary based-DNA sequencing. Findings Based on 18S rRNA gene sequencing, we identified 12 patients harboring malaria parasites which were 100% identical with P. brasilianum isolated from the monkey, Alouatta seniculus. Translated amino acid sequences of the CS protein gene showed identical immunodominant repeat units between quartan malaria parasites isolated from both humans and monkeys. Interpretation This study reports, for the first time, naturally acquired infections in humans with parasites termed as P. brasilianum. We conclude that quartan malaria parasites are easily exchanged between humans and monkeys in Latin America. We hypothesize a lack of host specificity in mammalian hosts and consider quartan malaria to be a true anthropozoonosis. Since the name P. brasilianum suggests a malaria species distinct from P. malariae, we propose that P. brasilianum should have a nomenclatorial revision in case further research confirms our findings. The expansive reservoir of mammalian hosts discriminates quartan malaria from other Plasmodium spp. and requires particular research efforts. PMID:26501116

  15. Molecular detection of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Tiyamanee, Wisawa; Simpalipan, Phumin; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Saiwichai, Tawee; Li, Jian; Harnyuttanakorn, Pongchai

    2015-05-30

    Avian malaria is one of the most common veterinary problems in Southeast Asia. The standard molecular method for detection of the avian malaria parasite involves the phenol-chloroform extraction of parasite genomic (g)DNA followed by the amplification of parasite gDNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). However, the phenol-chloroform extraction method is time-consuming and requires large amounts of samples and toxic organic solvents, thereby limiting its applications for parasite detection in the field. This study aimed to compare the performance of chelex-100 resin and phenol/chloroform extraction methods for the extraction of Plasmodium gallinaceum gDNA from whole avian blood that had been dried on filter papers (a common field sampling method). The specificity and sensitivity of PCR assays for P. gallinaceum cytochrome B (cytb) and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (coxI) gene fragments (544 and 588bp, respectively) were determined, and found to be more sensitive with gDNA extracted by the chelex-100 resin method than with the phenol/chloroform method. These PCR assays were also performed to detect P. gallinaceum in 29 blood samples dried on filter papers from domestic chickens in a malaria endemic area, where the reliable identification of seven field isolates of P. gallinaceum was obtained with an accuracy of 100%. The analysis of cytb and coxI gene nucleotide sequences revealed the existence of at least two genetically distinct populations of P. gallinaceum in Thailand, both of which differed from the reference strain 8A of P. gallinaceum. In conclusion, the chelex-100 resin extraction method is a simple and sensitive method for isolating gDNA from whole avian blood dried on filter paper. Genomic DNA extracted by the chelex method could subsequently be applied for the PCR-based detection of P. gallinaceum and DNA sequencing. Our PCR assays provide a reliable diagnostic tool for molecular epidemiological studies of P. gallinaceum infections in domestic chickens

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26967908

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2008-01-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Naik, Shankar; Yavin, Eylon; Dzikowski, Ron

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-16

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

  15. Prevalence of malaria parasites (Plasmodium floridense and Plasmodium azurophilum) infecting a Puerto Rican lizard (Anolis gundlachi): a nine-year study.

    PubMed

    Schall, J J; Pearson, A R; Perkins, S L

    2000-06-01

    The prevalence of malaria parasites was studied in the lizard Anolis gundlachi over a 9-yr period at a site in the wet evergreen forest of eastern Puerto Rico. Three forms of the parasite infected the lizards; these were Plasmodium floridense, Plasmodium azurophilum in erythrocytes, and P. azurophilum in white blood cells. Overall prevalence of infection for 8 samples during the study period was significantly higher for males than females (32% of 3,296 males and 22% of 1,439 females). During the study, the site experienced substantial climatic and physical disturbance including rising temperature, droughts, and hurricanes that severely damaged the forest. Parasite prevalence in the first sample, 8 mo after the massive hurricane Hugo, was slightly, though significantly, lower than for subsequent samples. However, overall prevalence was stable during the 9-yr period. The results show malaria prevalence is more constant at the site than found for 2 studies in temperate forests, and that the Puerto Rico system may be an example of the stable, endemic malaria described by standard models for human malaria epidemiology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-10-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira Junior, Francisco Carlos; Andery, Danielle de Assis; Horta, Rodrigo Santos; Peixoto, Renata Barbosa; Lacorte, Gustavo Augusto; Moreira, Patrícia de Abreu; Paes Leme, Fabíola de Oliveira; Melo, Marília Martins; Martins, Nelson Rodrigo da Silva

    2013-01-01

    Infectious diseases can cause deleterious effects on bird species, leading to population decline and extinction. Haemosporidia can be recognized by their negative effects on host fitness, including reproductive success and immune responses. In captivity, outbreaks of haemosporidian infection have been observed in birds in zoos and aviaries. The endemic Brazilian Atlantic rainforest species Aburria jacutinga is one of the most endangered species in the Cracidae family, and wild populations of this species are currently found mainly in conservation areas in only two Brazilian states. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of avian haemosporidia on hematological and biochemical parameters in two captive populations of A. jacutinga. Forty-two animals were assessed, and the haemosporidian prevalence was similar for males and females. The occurrence of haemosporidian infection in captive A. jacutinga observed in this study was similar to results found in other captive and wild birds in Brazil. We found three different lineages of haemosporidia. Two lineages were identified as Plasmodium sp., one of which was previously detected in Europe and Asia, and the other is a new lineage closely related to P. gallinaceum. A new third lineage was identified as Haemoproteus sp. We found no significant differences in hematological and biochemical values between infected and non-infected birds, and the haemosporidian lineage did not seem to have an impact on the clinical and physiological parameters of A. jacutinga. This is the first report on an evaluation of natural haemosporidian infections diagnosed by microscopic and molecular methods in A. jacutinga by hematology, blood biochemistry, and serum protein values. Determining physiological parameters, occurrence and an estimation of the impact of haemosporidia in endangered avian species may contribute to the management of species rehabilitation and conservation. PMID:23638382

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular and morphological characterization of two avian malaria parasites (Haemosporida: Plasmodiidae), with description of Plasmodium homonucleophilum n. sp.

    PubMed

    Ilgūnas, Mikas; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium hoionucleophilum n. sp. was described from the Common Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia based on the morphology of blood stages and partial sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene. This malaria parasite belongs to the subgenus Novyella; it can be readily distinguished from all described Novyella parasites due to two features, i. e. the strict adherence of its meronts to the nuclei of infected erythrocytes and the lack of such adherence in the case of gametocytes. We also found the lineage pLZFUS01 in Red-Backed Shrike Lanius collurio, identified this parasite and conclude that it belongs to Plasiodium relictum. Illustrations of blood stages of these two parasites are given. DNA lineages associated with P. hoionucleophilum (pSW2, GenBank KC342643) and P. relictum (pLZFUS01, GenBank KC342644) are reported and can be used for molecular identification of these malarial infections. Phylogenetic analysis determines DNA lineages closely related to both reported parasites and is in accordance with the parasites' morphological identification. This study contributes to barcoding of avian malaria parasites using partial sequences of cyt b gene.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Genome-wide Functional Analysis of Plasmodium Protein Phosphatases Reveals Key Regulators of Parasite Development and Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Guttery, David S.; Poulin, Benoit; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Wall, Richard J.; Ferguson, David J.P.; Brady, Declan; Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Whipple, Sarah; Straschil, Ursula; Wright, Megan H.; Mohamed, Alyaa M.A.H.; Radhakrishnan, Anand; Arold, Stefan T.; Tate, Edward W.; Holder, Anthony A.; Wickstead, Bill; Pain, Arnab; Tewari, Rita

    2014-01-01

    Summary Reversible protein phosphorylation regulated by kinases and phosphatases controls many cellular processes. Although essential functions for the malaria parasite kinome have been reported, the roles of most protein phosphatases (PPs) during Plasmodium development are unknown. We report a functional analysis of the Plasmodium berghei protein phosphatome, which exhibits high conservation with the P. falciparum phosphatome and comprises 30 predicted PPs with differential and distinct expression patterns during various stages of the life cycle. Gene disruption analysis of P. berghei PPs reveals that half of the genes are likely essential for asexual blood stage development, whereas six are required for sexual development/sporogony in mosquitoes. Phenotypic screening coupled with transcriptome sequencing unveiled morphological changes and altered gene expression in deletion mutants of two N-myristoylated PPs. These findings provide systematic functional analyses of PPs in Plasmodium, identify how phosphatases regulate parasite development and differentiation, and can inform the identification of drug targets for malaria. PMID:25011111

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rahman, Farhana; Tarique, Mohammed; Tuteja, Renu

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

  1. Recognition of Human Erythrocyte Receptors by the Tryptophan-Rich Antigens of Monkey Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

    Tyagi, Kriti; Gupta, Deepali; Saini, Ekta; Choudhary, Shilpa; Jamwal, Abhishek; Alam, Mohd. Shoeb; Zeeshan, Mohammad; Tyagi, Rupesh K.; Sharma, Yagya D.

    2015-01-01

    Background The monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi also infect humans. There is a lack of information on the molecular mechanisms that take place between this simian parasite and its heterologous human host erythrocytes leading to this zoonotic disease. Therefore, we investigated here the binding ability of P. knowlesi tryptophan-rich antigens (PkTRAgs) to the human erythrocytes and sharing of the erythrocyte receptors between them as well as with other commonly occurring human malaria parasites. Methods Six PkTRAgs were cloned and expressed in E.coli as well as in mammalian CHO-K1 cell to determine their human erythrocyte binding activity by cell-ELISA, and in-vitro rosetting assay, respectively. Results Three of six PkTRAgs (PkTRAg38.3, PkTRAg40.1, and PkTRAg67.1) showed binding to human erythrocytes. Two of them (PkTRAg40.1 and PkTRAg38.3) showed cross-competition with each other as well as with the previously described P.vivax tryptophan-rich antigens (PvTRAgs) for human erythrocyte receptors. However, the third protein (PkTRAg67.1) utilized the additional but different human erythrocyte receptor(s) as it did not cross-compete for erythrocyte binding with either of these two PkTRAgs as well as with any of the PvTRAgs. These three PkTRAgs also inhibited the P.falciparum parasite growth in in-vitro culture, further indicating the sharing of human erythrocyte receptors by these parasite species and the biological significance of this receptor-ligand interaction between heterologous host and simian parasite. Conclusions Recognition and sharing of human erythrocyte receptor(s) by PkTRAgs with human parasite ligands could be part of the strategy adopted by the monkey malaria parasite to establish inside the heterologous human host. PMID:26393350

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes work together with histone acetyltransferases (HATs) to reversibly acetylate both histone and non-histone proteins. As a result, these enzymes are involved in regulating chromatin structure and gene expression as well as other important cellular processes. HDACs are validated drug targets for some types of cancer, with four HDAC inhibitors clinically approved. However, they are also showing promise as novel drug targets for other indications, including malaria and other parasitic diseases. In this study the in vitro activity of four anti-cancer HDAC inhibitors was examined against parasites that cause malaria and trypanosomiasis. Three of these inhibitors, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; vorinostat®), romidepsin (Istodax®) and belinostat (Beleodaq®), are clinically approved for the treatment of T-cell lymphoma, while the fourth, panobinostat, has recently been approved for combination therapy use in certain patients with multiple myeloma. All HDAC inhibitors were found to inhibit the growth of asexual-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in the nanomolar range (IC50 10–200 nM), while only romidepsin was active at sub-μM concentrations against bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei brucei parasites (IC50 35 nM). The compounds were found to have some selectivity for malaria parasites compared with mammalian cells, but were not selective for trypanosome parasites versus mammalian cells. All compounds caused hyperacetylation of histone and non-histone proteins in P. falciparum asexual stage parasites and inhibited deacetylase activity in P. falciparum nuclear extracts in addition to recombinant PfHDAC1 activity. P. falciparum histone hyperacetylation data indicate that HDAC inhibitors may differentially affect the acetylation profiles of histone H3 and H4. PMID:26199860

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Holding, Thomas; Recker, Mario

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Baculovirus-Vectored Multistage Plasmodium vivax Vaccine Induces Both Protective and Transmission-Blocking Immunities against Transgenic Rodent Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Mizutani, Masanori; Iyori, Mitsuhiro; Blagborough, Andrew M.; Fukumoto, Shinya; Funatsu, Tomohiro; Sinden, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    A multistage malaria vaccine targeting the pre-erythrocytic and sexual stages of Plasmodium could effectively protect individuals against infection from mosquito bites and provide transmission-blocking (TB) activity against the sexual stages of the parasite, respectively. This strategy could help prevent malaria infections in individuals and, on a larger scale, prevent malaria transmission in communities of endemicity. Here, we describe the development of a multistage Plasmodium vivax vaccine which simultaneously expresses P. vivax circumsporozoite protein (PvCSP) and P25 (Pvs25) protein of this species as a fusion protein, thereby acting as a pre-erythrocytic vaccine and a TB vaccine, respectively. A new-concept vaccine platform based on the baculovirus dual-expression system (BDES) was evaluated. The BDES-Pvs25-PvCSP vaccine displayed correct folding of the Pvs25-PvCSP fusion protein on the viral envelope and was highly expressed upon transduction of mammalian cells in vitro. This vaccine induced high levels of antibodies to Pvs25 and PvCSP and elicited protective (43%) and TB (82%) efficacies against transgenic P. berghei parasites expressing the corresponding P. vivax antigens in mice. Our data indicate that our BDES, which functions as both a subunit and DNA vaccine, can offer a promising multistage vaccine capable of delivering a potent antimalarial pre-erythrocytic and TB response via a single immunization regimen. PMID:25092912

  9. 3D nuclear architecture reveals coupled cell cycle dynamics of chromatin and nuclear pores in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-30

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

  14. Target evaluation of deoxyhypusine synthase from Theileria parva the neglected animal parasite and its relationship to Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Njuguna, James T; von Koschitzky, Imke; Gerhardt, Heike; Lämmerhofer, Michael; Choucry, Ali; Pink, Mario; Schmitz-Spahnke, Simone; Bakheit, Mohammed A; Strube, Christina; Kaiser, Annette

    2014-08-01

    East Coast fever (ECF) is a tick-borne disease caused by the parasite Theileria parva which infects cattle. In Sub-Saharan Africa it leads to enormous economic costs. After a bite of a tick, sporozoites invade the host lymphocytes and develop into schizonts. At this stage the parasite transforms host lymphocytes resulting in the clonal expansion of infected lymphocytes. Animals develop a lymphoma like disorder after infection which is rapidly fatal. Hitherto, a few drugs of the quinone type can cure the disease. However, therapy can only be successful after early diagnosis. The genera Theileria and Plasmodium, which includes the causative agent of human malaria, are closely related apicomplexan parasites. Enzymes of the hypusine pathway, a posttranslational modification in eukaryotic initiation factor EIF-5A, have shown to be druggable targets in Plasmodium. We identified the first enzyme of the hypusine pathway from T. parva, the deoxyhypusine synthase (DHS), which is located on chromosome 2 of the Muguga strain. Transcription is significantly increased in schizonts. The expressed T. parva DHS reveals an open reading frame (ORF) of 370 amino acids after expression in Escherichia coli Rosetta cells with a molecular size of 41.26 kDa and a theoretical pI of 5.26. Screening of the Malaria Box which consists of 400 active compounds resulted in a novel heterocyclic compound with a guanyl spacer which reduced the activity of T. parva DHS to 45%. In sum, the guanyl residue seems to be an important lead structure for inhibition of Theileria DHS. Currently, more different guanyl analogues from the Malaria Box are tested in inhibitor experiments to determine their efficacy. PMID:24909679

  15. Target evaluation of deoxyhypusine synthase from Theileria parva the neglected animal parasite and its relationship to Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Njuguna, James T; von Koschitzky, Imke; Gerhardt, Heike; Lämmerhofer, Michael; Choucry, Ali; Pink, Mario; Schmitz-Spahnke, Simone; Bakheit, Mohammed A; Strube, Christina; Kaiser, Annette

    2014-08-01

    East Coast fever (ECF) is a tick-borne disease caused by the parasite Theileria parva which infects cattle. In Sub-Saharan Africa it leads to enormous economic costs. After a bite of a tick, sporozoites invade the host lymphocytes and develop into schizonts. At this stage the parasite transforms host lymphocytes resulting in the clonal expansion of infected lymphocytes. Animals develop a lymphoma like disorder after infection which is rapidly fatal. Hitherto, a few drugs of the quinone type can cure the disease. However, therapy can only be successful after early diagnosis. The genera Theileria and Plasmodium, which includes the causative agent of human malaria, are closely related apicomplexan parasites. Enzymes of the hypusine pathway, a posttranslational modification in eukaryotic initiation factor EIF-5A, have shown to be druggable targets in Plasmodium. We identified the first enzyme of the hypusine pathway from T. parva, the deoxyhypusine synthase (DHS), which is located on chromosome 2 of the Muguga strain. Transcription is significantly increased in schizonts. The expressed T. parva DHS reveals an open reading frame (ORF) of 370 amino acids after expression in Escherichia coli Rosetta cells with a molecular size of 41.26 kDa and a theoretical pI of 5.26. Screening of the Malaria Box which consists of 400 active compounds resulted in a novel heterocyclic compound with a guanyl spacer which reduced the activity of T. parva DHS to 45%. In sum, the guanyl residue seems to be an important lead structure for inhibition of Theileria DHS. Currently, more different guanyl analogues from the Malaria Box are tested in inhibitor experiments to determine their efficacy.

  16. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Clonal diversity of a lizard malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, in its vertebrate host, the western fence lizard: role of variation in transmission intensity over time and space.

    PubMed

    Vardo, A M; Schall, J J

    2007-07-01

    Within the vertebrate host, infections of a malaria parasite (Plasmodium) could include a single genotype of cells (single-clone infections) or two to several genotypes (multiclone infections). Clonal diversity of infection plays an important role in the biology of the parasite, including its life history, virulence, and transmission. We determined the clonal diversity of Plasmodium mexicanum, a lizard malaria parasite at a study region in northern California, using variable microsatellite markers, the first such study for any malaria parasite of lizards or birds (the most common hosts for Plasmodium species). Multiclonal infections are common (50-88% of infections among samples), and measures of genetic diversity for the metapopulation (expected heterozygosity, number of alleles per locus, allele length variation, and effective population size) all indicated a substantial overall genetic diversity. Comparing years with high prevalence (1996-1998 = 25-32% lizards infected), and years with low prevalence (2001-2005 = 6-12%) found fewer alleles in samples taken from the low-prevalence years, but no reduction in overall diversity (H = 0.64-0.90 among loci). In most cases, rare alleles appeared to be lost as prevalence declined. For sites chronically experiencing low transmission intensity (prevalence approximately 1%), overall diversity was also high (H = 0.79-0.91), but there were fewer multiclonal infections. Theory predicts an apparent excess in expected heterozygosity follows a genetic bottleneck. Evidence for such a distortion in genetic diversity was observed after the drop in parasite prevalence under the infinite alleles mutation model but not for the stepwise mutation model. The results are similar to those reported for the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, worldwide, and support the conclusion that malaria parasites maintain high genetic diversity in host populations despite the potential for loss in alleles during the transmission cycle or

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Potential of lichen secondary metabolites against Plasmodium liver stage parasites with FAS-II as the potential target.

    PubMed

    Lauinger, Ina L; Vivas, Livia; Perozzo, Remo; Stairiker, Christopher; Tarun, Alice; Zloh, Mire; Zhang, Xujie; Xu, Hua; Tonge, Peter J; Franzblau, Scott G; Pham, Duc-Hung; Esguerra, Camila V; Crawford, Alexander D; Maes, Louis; Tasdemir, Deniz

    2013-06-28

    Chemicals targeting the liver stage (LS) of the malaria parasite are useful for causal prophylaxis of malaria. In this study, four lichen metabolites, evernic acid (1), vulpic acid (2), psoromic acid (3), and (+)-usnic acid (4), were evaluated against LS parasites of Plasmodium berghei. Inhibition of P. falciparum blood stage (BS) parasites was also assessed to determine stage specificity. Compound 4 displayed the highest LS activity and stage specificity (LS IC50 value 2.3 μM, BS IC50 value 47.3 μM). The compounds 1-3 inhibited one or more enzymes (PfFabI, PfFabG, and PfFabZ) from the plasmodial fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS-II) pathway, a potential drug target for LS activity. To determine species specificity and to clarify the mechanism of reported antibacterial effects, 1-4 were also evaluated against FabI homologues and whole cells of various pathogens (S. aureus, E. coli, M. tuberculosis). Molecular modeling studies suggest that lichen acids act indirectly via binding to allosteric sites on the protein surface of the FAS-II enzymes. Potential toxicity of compounds was assessed in human hepatocyte and cancer cells (in vitro) as well as in a zebrafish model (in vivo). This study indicates the therapeutic and prophylactic potential of lichen metabolites as antibacterial and antiplasmodial agents.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2015-12-01

    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 haemosporidians - Plasmodium, 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Specialist enemies, generalist weapons and the potential spread of exotic pathogens: malaria parasites in a highly invasive bird.

    PubMed

    Clark, Nicholas J; Olsson-Pons, Sophie; Ishtiaq, Farah; Clegg, Sonya M

    2015-12-01

    Pathogens can influence the success of invaders. The Enemy Release Hypothesis predicts invaders encounter reduced pathogen abundance and diversity, while the Novel Weapons Hypothesis predicts invaders carry novel pathogens that spill over to competitors. We tested these hypotheses using avian malaria (haemosporidian) infections in the invasive myna (Acridotheres tristis), which was introduced to southeastern Australia from India and was secondarily expanded to the eastern Australian coast. Mynas and native Australian birds were screened in the secondary introduction range for haemosporidians (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus spp.) and results were combined with published data from the myna's primary introduction and native ranges. We compared malaria prevalence and diversity across myna populations to test for Enemy Release and used phylogeographic analyses to test for exotic strains acting as Novel Weapons. Introduced mynas carried significantly lower parasite diversity than native mynas and significantly lower Haemoproteus prevalence than native Australian birds. Despite commonly infecting native species that directly co-occur with mynas, Haemoproteus spp. were only recorded in introduced mynas in the primary introduction range and were apparently lost during secondary expansion. In contrast, Plasmodium infections were common in all ranges and prevalence was significantly higher in both introduced and native mynas than in native Australian birds. Introduced mynas carried several exotic Plasmodium lineages that were shared with native mynas, some of which also infected native Australian birds and two of which are highly invasive in other bioregions. Our results suggest that introduced mynas may benefit through escape from Haemoproteus spp. while acting as important reservoirs for Plasmodium spp., some of which are known exotic lineages. PMID:26433143

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    The importance of parasitism for host populations depends on local parasite richness and prevalence: usually host individuals face higher infection risk in areas where parasites are most diverse, and host dispersal to or from these areas may have fitness consequences. Knowing how parasites are and will be distributed in space and time (in a context of global change) is thus crucial from both an ecological and a biological conservation perspective. Nevertheless, most research articles focus just on elaborating models of parasite distribution instead of parasite diversity. We produced distribution models of the areas where haemosporidian parasites are currently highly diverse (both at community and at within-host levels) and prevalent among Iberian populations of a model passerine host: the blackcap Sylvia atricapilla; and how these areas are expected to vary according to three scenarios of climate change. On the basis of these models, we analysed whether variation among populations in parasite richness or prevalence are expected to remain the same or change in the future, thereby reshuffling the geographic mosaic of host-parasite interactions as we observe it today. Our models predict a rearrangement of areas of high prevalence and richness of parasites in the future, with Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon parasites (today the most diverse genera in blackcaps) losing areas of high diversity and Plasmodium parasites (the most virulent ones) gaining them. Likewise, the prevalence of multiple infections and parasite infracommunity richness would be reduced. Importantly, differences among populations in the prevalence and richness of parasites are expected to decrease in the future, creating a more homogeneous parasitic landscape. This predicts an altered geographic mosaic of host-parasite relationships, which will modify the interaction arena in which parasite virulence evolves. PMID:24488566

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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})

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

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

  11. Assessment of real-time method to detect liver parasite burden under different experimental conditions in mice infected with Plasmodium yoelii sporozoites.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Use of highly specific, sensitive and quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR) based methods greatly facilitate the monitoring of experimental drug intervention and vaccination efficacy targeting liver stage malaria parasite. Here, in this study we have used qRT-PCR to detect the growing liver stage parasites following inoculation of Plasmodium yoelii sporozoite. Route of sporozoite administration and size of the sporozoite inoculums are two major determinants that affect the liver stage parasite load and therefore its detection and quantification. Thus, these factors need to be addressed to determine the accuracy of detection and quantification of Real-Time PCR method. Furthermore, applicability of quantitative RT-PCR system needs to be confirmed by analyzing the effect of different antimalarials on liver stage parasite burden. We have observed that parasite burden in mice infected via intravenous route was higher compared to that in subcutaneous, intradermal and intraperitoneal route infected mice. Moreover, this method detected liver stage parasite load with as low as 50 sporozoites. The inhibition studies with primaquine and atovaquone revealed inhibition of liver stage parasite and well correlated with patency and course of blood stage infection. This study characterized the simplicity, accuracy, and quantitative analysis of liver stage parasite development by real time PCR under different experimental conditions. Use of real time PCR method greatly improves the reproducibility and applicability to estimate the efficacy and potency of vaccine or drug candidates targeting liver stage parasite.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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. PMID:27250562

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-23

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

  19. Efficacy of a Plasmodium vivax malaria vaccine using ChAd63 and modified vaccinia Ankara expressing thrombospondin-related anonymous protein as assessed with transgenic Plasmodium berghei parasites.

    PubMed

    Bauza, Karolis; Malinauskas, Tomas; Pfander, Claudia; Anar, Burcu; Jones, E Yvonne; Billker, Oliver; Hill, Adrian V S; Reyes-Sandoval, Arturo

    2014-03-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the world's most widely distributed malaria parasite and a potential cause of morbidity and mortality for approximately 2.85 billion people living mainly in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Despite this dramatic burden, very few vaccines have been assessed in humans. The clinically relevant vectors modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) and the chimpanzee adenovirus ChAd63 are promising delivery systems for malaria vaccines due to their safety profiles and proven ability to induce protective immune responses against Plasmodium falciparum thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) in clinical trials. Here, we describe the development of new recombinant ChAd63 and MVA vectors expressing P. vivax TRAP (PvTRAP) and show their ability to induce high antibody titers and T cell responses in mice. In addition, we report a novel way of assessing the efficacy of new candidate vaccines against P. vivax using a fully infectious transgenic Plasmodium berghei parasite expressing P. vivax TRAP to allow studies of vaccine efficacy and protective mechanisms in rodents. Using this model, we found that both CD8+ T cells and antibodies mediated protection against malaria using virus-vectored vaccines. Our data indicate that ChAd63 and MVA expressing PvTRAP are good preerythrocytic-stage vaccine candidates with potential for future clinical application.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-11-01

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

  1. 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 Central

    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. PMID:25774805

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  4. Expression of Plasmodium vivax crt-o Is Related to Parasite Stage but Not Ex Vivo Chloroquine Susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Pava, Zuleima; Handayuni, Irene; Wirjanata, Grennady; To, Sheren; Trianty, Leily; Noviyanti, Rintis; Poespoprodjo, Jeanne Rini; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N; Marfurt, Jutta

    2016-01-01

    Chloroquine (CQ)-resistant Plasmodium vivax is present in most countries where P. vivax infection is endemic, but the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible remain unknown. Increased expression of P. vivax crt-o (pvcrt-o) has been correlated with in vivo CQ resistance in an area with low-grade resistance. We assessed pvcrt-o expression in isolates from Papua (Indonesia), where P. vivax is highly CQ resistant. Ex vivo drug susceptibilities to CQ, amodiaquine, piperaquine, mefloquine, and artesunate were determined using a modified schizont maturation assay. Expression levels of pvcrt-o were measured using a novel real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR method. Large variations in pvcrt-o expression were observed across the 51 isolates evaluated, with the fold change in expression level ranging from 0.01 to 59 relative to that seen with the P. vivax β-tubulin gene and from 0.01 to 24 relative to that seen with the P. vivax aldolase gene. Expression was significantly higher in isolates with the majority of parasites at the ring stage of development (median fold change, 1.7) compared to those at the trophozoite stage (median fold change, 0.5; P < 0.001). Twenty-nine isolates fulfilled the criteria for ex vivo drug susceptibility testing and showed high variability in CQ responses (median, 107.9 [range, 6.5 to 345.7] nM). After controlling for the parasite stage, we found that pvcrt-o expression levels did not correlate with the ex vivo response to CQ or with that to any of the other antimalarials tested. Our results highlight the importance of development-stage composition for measuring pvcrt-o expression and suggest that pvcrt-o transcription is not a primary determinant of ex vivo drug susceptibility. A comprehensive transcriptomic approach is warranted for an in-depth investigation of the role of gene expression levels and P. vivax drug resistance. PMID:26525783

  5. Expression of Plasmodium vivax crt-o Is Related to Parasite Stage but Not Ex Vivo Chloroquine Susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Pava, Zuleima; Handayuni, Irene; Wirjanata, Grennady; To, Sheren; Trianty, Leily; Noviyanti, Rintis; Poespoprodjo, Jeanne Rini; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N; Marfurt, Jutta

    2015-11-02

    Chloroquine (CQ)-resistant Plasmodium vivax is present in most countries where P. vivax infection is endemic, but the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible remain unknown. Increased expression of P. vivax crt-o (pvcrt-o) has been correlated with in vivo CQ resistance in an area with low-grade resistance. We assessed pvcrt-o expression in isolates from Papua (Indonesia), where P. vivax is highly CQ resistant. Ex vivo drug susceptibilities to CQ, amodiaquine, piperaquine, mefloquine, and artesunate were determined using a modified schizont maturation assay. Expression levels of pvcrt-o were measured using a novel real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR method. Large variations in pvcrt-o expression were observed across the 51 isolates evaluated, with the fold change in expression level ranging from 0.01 to 59 relative to that seen with the P. vivax β-tubulin gene and from 0.01 to 24 relative to that seen with the P. vivax aldolase gene. Expression was significantly higher in isolates with the majority of parasites at the ring stage of development (median fold change, 1.7) compared to those at the trophozoite stage (median fold change, 0.5; P < 0.001). Twenty-nine isolates fulfilled the criteria for ex vivo drug susceptibility testing and showed high variability in CQ responses (median, 107.9 [range, 6.5 to 345.7] nM). After controlling for the parasite stage, we found that pvcrt-o expression levels did not correlate with the ex vivo response to CQ or with that to any of the other antimalarials tested. Our results highlight the importance of development-stage composition for measuring pvcrt-o expression and suggest that pvcrt-o transcription is not a primary determinant of ex vivo drug susceptibility. A comprehensive transcriptomic approach is warranted for an in-depth investigation of the role of gene expression levels and P. vivax drug resistance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Landscape features associated with infection by a malaria parasite (Plasmodium mexicanum) and the importance of multiple scale studies.

    PubMed

    Eisen, R J; Wright, N M

    2001-05-01

    In a 3-year study, we examined landscape features (aspect, slope, sun exposure, canopy cover, type of ground cover, and nearest water source) that were potentially related to prevalence of infection with Plasmodium mexicanum in fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) within a 4.5 ha study area in northern California, USA. Logistic regression analysis showed that ground cover type was the primary mediator of the probability of P. mexicanum infection. Infected lizards were captured more often in rock and/or leaf litter locations than in grassy ones. In another experiment, the study area was divided into 9 sites (0.07-0.33 ha), and infection prevalence was calculated for each. Three sites with high (> 30%) infection prevalence had significantly more rocky outcrops and leaf litter than those with low (< 20%) or moderate (20-30%) infection prevalence (N = 3 sites each). We conclude that lizard site selection may influence the probability of exposure to infected vectors and thus the likelihood of P. mexicanum infection. We also demonstrate that studies at different spatial scales may be required to understand fully the relationship between landscape features and parasite distribution.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-08-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Effects of Age, Hemoglobin Type and Parasite Strain on IgG Recognition of Plasmodium falciparum–Infected Erythrocytes in Malian Children

    PubMed Central

    Zeituni, Amir E.; Miura, Kazutoyo; Diakite, Mahamadou; Doumbia, Saibou; Moretz, Samuel E.; Diouf, Ababacar; Tullo, Gregory; Lopera-Mesa, Tatiana M.; Bess, Cameron D.; Mita-Mendoza, Neida K.; Anderson, Jennifer M.; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Long, Carole A.

    2013-01-01

    Background Naturally-acquired antibody responses to antigens on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (iRBCs) have been implicated in antimalarial immunity. To profile the development of this immunity, we have been studying a cohort of Malian children living in an area with intense seasonal malaria transmission. Methodology/Principal Findings We collected plasma from a sub-cohort of 176 Malian children aged 3-11 years, before (May) and after (December) the 2009 transmission season. To measure the effect of hemoglobin (Hb) type on antibody responses, we enrolled age-matched HbAA, HbAS and HbAC children. To quantify antibody recognition of iRBCs, we designed a high-throughput flow cytometry assay to rapidly test numerous plasma samples against multiple parasite strains. We evaluated antibody reactivity of each plasma sample to 3 laboratory-adapted parasite lines (FCR3, D10, PC26) and 4 short-term-cultured parasite isolates (2 Malian and 2 Cambodian). 97% of children recognized ≥1 parasite strain and the proportion of IgG responders increased significantly during the transmission season for most parasite strains. Both strain-specific and strain-transcending IgG responses were detected, and varied by age, Hb type and parasite strain. In addition, the breadth of IgG responses to parasite strains increased with age in HbAA, but not in HbAS or HbAC, children. Conclusions/Significance Our assay detects both strain-specific and strain-transcending IgG responses to iRBCs. The magnitude and breadth of these responses varied not only by age, but also by Hb type and parasite strain used. These findings indicate that studies of acquired humoral immunity should account for Hb type and test large numbers of diverse parasite strains. PMID:24124591

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Malaria Parasite Invasion of the Mosquito Salivary Gland Requires Interaction between the Plasmodium TRAP and the Anopheles Saglin Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anil K.; Devenport, Martin; Jethwaney, Deepa; Kalume, Dario E.; Pandey, Akhilesh; Anderson, Vernon E.; Sultan, Ali A.; Kumar, Nirbhay; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2009-01-01

    SM1 is a twelve-amino-acid peptide that binds tightly to the Anopheles salivary gland and inhibits its invasion by Plasmodium sporozoites. By use of UV-crosslinking experiments between the peptide and its salivary gland target protein, we have identified the Anopheles salivary protein, saglin, as the receptor for SM1. Furthermore, by use of an anti-SM1 antibody, we have determined that the peptide is a mimotope of the Plasmodium sporozoite Thrombospondin Related Anonymous Protein (TRAP). TRAP binds to saglin with high specificity. Point mutations in TRAP's binding domain A abrogate binding, and binding is competed for by the SM1 peptide. Importantly, in vivo down-regulation of saglin expression results in strong inhibition of salivary gland invasion. Together, the results suggest that saglin/TRAP interaction is crucial for salivary gland invasion by Plasmodium sporozoites. PMID:19148273

  13. [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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Quantifying variation in the potential for antibody-mediated apparent competition among nine genotypes of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi☆

    PubMed Central

    Fairlie-Clarke, Karen J.; Allen, Judith E.; Read, Andrew F.; Graham, Andrea L.

    2013-01-01

    Within-host competition among parasite genotypes affects epidemiology as well as the evolution of virulence. In the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi, competition among genotypes, as well as clone-specific and clone-transcending immunity are well documented. However, variation among genotypes in the induction of antibodies is not well understood, despite the important role of antibodies in the clearance of malaria infection. Here, we quantify the potential for antibodies induced by one clone to bind another (i.e., to cause antibody-mediated apparent competition) for nine genetically distinct P. chabaudi clones. We hypothesised that clones would vary in the strength of antibody induction, and that the propensity for clone-transcending immunity between a pair of clones would increase with increasing genetic relatedness at key antigenic loci. Using serum collected from mice 35 days post-infection, we measured titres of antibody to an unrelated antigen, Keyhole Limpet Haemocyanin (KLH), and two malaria antigens: recombinant Apical Membrane Antigen-1 (AMA-1) and Merozoite Surface Protein-119 (MSP-119). Amino acid sequence homology within each antigenic locus was used as a measure of relatedness. We found significant parasite genetic variation for the strength of antibody induction. We also found that relatedness at MSP-119 but not AMA-1 predicted clone-transcending binding. Our results help explain the outcome of chronic-phase mixed infections and generate testable predictions about the pairwise competitive ability of P. chabaudi clones. PMID:24056014

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is an essential cofactor for several key enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism. Mammals have to salvage this crucial nutrient from their diet to complement their deficiency of de novo synthesis. In contrast, bacteria, fungi, plants and, as reported here, Plasmodium falciparum, possess a vitamin B1 biosynthesis pathway. The plasmodial pathway identified consists of the three vitamin B1 biosynthetic enzymes 5-(2-hydroxy-ethyl)-4-methylthiazole (THZ) kinase (ThiM), 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine (HMP)/HMP-P kinase (ThiD) and thiamine phosphate synthase (ThiE). Recombinant PfThiM and PfThiD proteins were biochemically characterised, revealing K(m)app values of 68 microM for THZ and 12 microM for HMP. Furthermore, the ability of PfThiE for generating vitamin B1 was analysed by a complementation assay with thiE-negative E. coli mutants. All three enzymes are expressed throughout the developmental blood stages, as shown by Northern blotting, which indicates the presence of the vitamin B1 biosynthesis enzymes. However, cultivation of the parasite in minimal medium showed a dependency on the provision of HMP or thiamine. These results demonstrate that the human malaria parasite P. falciparum possesses active vitamin B1 biosynthesis, which depends on external provision of thiamine precursors. PMID:16497163

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. Hepatitis B Virus Infection Does Not Significantly Influence Plasmodium Parasite Density in Asymptomatic Infections in Ghanaian Transfusion Recipients

    PubMed Central

    Freimanis, Graham Lee; Owusu-Ofori, Shirley; Allain, Jean-Pierre

    2012-01-01

    Background Areas endemic for malaria and Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection largely overlap geographically. A recent study has suggested the existence of an interaction between the two pathogens in symptomatic co-infected individuals on the South-American continent. We examined this issue in a hyperendemic area for both pathogens in sub-Saharan Africa. Methodology and Findings Pre-transfusion samples from a retrospective cohort of 154 blood transfusion recipients were screened for both serological and molecular markers of HBV and Plasmodium genomes using species-specific nested PCR and quantitative real-time PCR. Thirty-seven individuals met exclusion criteria and were subsequently eliminated from further analysis. Of 117 participants, 90% of recipients exhibited evidence of exposure to HBV, 42% with HBsAg and/or HBV DNA and 48% anti-HBc reactive without detectable HBV DNA. Plasmodium genome prevalence by NAT was 50%. Parasitemic individuals were significantly younger than non-parasitemic individuals (P = 0.04). Parasitemia level was not significantly lower in individuals with HBV DNA positive infections compared to those with HBV DNA negative exposures. HBV DNA load was not significantly different in parasitemic and non-parasitemic individuals. Conclusion The data presented suggests that, in sub-Saharan Africa, asymptomatic co-infections with these two ubiquitous pathogens do not appear to significantly affect each other and evolve independently. PMID:23185500

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-05-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:27169863

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Nicolli Bellotti; Aguiar, Anna Caroline Campos; de Oliveira, Alane Cabral; Top, Siden; Pigeon, Pascal; Jaouen, Gérard; Goulart, Marilia Oliveira Fonseca; Krettli, Antoniana Ursine

    2015-01-01

    This work reports the in vitro activity against Plasmodium falciparumblood forms (W2 clone, chloroquine-resistant) of tamoxifen-based compounds and their ferrocenyl (ferrocifens) and ruthenocenyl (ruthenocifens) derivatives, as well as their cytotoxicity against HepG2 human hepatoma cells. Surprisingly with these series, results indicate that the biological activity of ruthenocifens is better than that of ferrocifens and other tamoxifen-like compounds. The synthesis of a new metal-based compound is also described. It was shown, for the first time, that ruthenocifens are good antiplasmodial prototypes. Further studies will be conducted aiming at a better understanding of their mechanism of action and at obtaining new compounds with better therapeutic profile. PMID:26602875

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Ungulate malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Ungulate malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    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

  8. Malaria and blood transfusion: major issues of blood safety in malaria-endemic countries and strategies for mitigating the risk of Plasmodium parasites.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Saleh; Karunamoorthi, Kaliyaperumal

    2016-01-01

    Malaria inflicts humankind over centuries, and it remains as a major threat to both clinical medicine and public health worldwide. Though hemotherapy is a life-sustaining modality, it continues to be a possible source of disease transmission. Hence, hemovigilance is a matter of grave concern in the malaria-prone third-world countries. In order to pursue an effective research on hemovigilance, a comprehensive search has been conducted by using the premier academic-scientific databases, WHO documents, and English-language search engines. One hundred two appropriate articles were chosen for data extraction, with a particular reference to emerging pathogens transmitted through blood transfusion, specifically malaria. Blood donation screening is done through microscopic examination and immunological assays to improve the safety of blood products by detection major blood-borne pathogens, viz., HIV, HBV, HCV, syphilis, and malarial parasites. Transfusion therapy significantly dwindles the preventable morbidity and mortality attributed to various illnesses and diseases, particularly AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Examination of thick and thin blood smears are performed to detect positivity and to identify the Plasmodium species, respectively. However, all of these existing diagnostic tools have their own limitations in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost-effectiveness, and lack of resources and skilled personnel. Globally, despite the mandate need of screening blood and its components according to the blood-establishment protocols, it is seldom practiced in the low-income/poverty-stricken settings. In addition, each and every single phase of transfusion chain carries sizable inherent risks from donors to recipients. Interestingly, opportunities also lie ahead to enhance the safety of blood-supply chain and patients. It can be achieved through sustainable blood-management strategies like (1) appropriate usage of precise diagnostic tools/techniques, (2) promoting

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

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

  10. Malaria and blood transfusion: major issues of blood safety in malaria-endemic countries and strategies for mitigating the risk of Plasmodium parasites.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Saleh; Karunamoorthi, Kaliyaperumal

    2016-01-01

    Malaria inflicts humankind over centuries, and it remains as a major threat to both clinical medicine and public health worldwide. Though hemotherapy is a life-sustaining modality, it continues to be a possible source of disease transmission. Hence, hemovigilance is a matter of grave concern in the malaria-prone third-world countries. In order to pursue an effective research on hemovigilance, a comprehensive search has been conducted by using the premier academic-scientific databases, WHO documents, and English-language search engines. One hundred two appropriate articles were chosen for data extraction, with a particular reference to emerging pathogens transmitted through blood transfusion, specifically malaria. Blood donation screening is done through microscopic examination and immunological assays to improve the safety of blood products by detection major blood-borne pathogens, viz., HIV, HBV, HCV, syphilis, and malarial parasites. Transfusion therapy significantly dwindles the preventable morbidity and mortality attributed to various illnesses and diseases, particularly AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Examination of thick and thin blood smears are performed to detect positivity and to identify the Plasmodium species, respectively. However, all of these existing diagnostic tools have their own limitations in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost-effectiveness, and lack of resources and skilled personnel. Globally, despite the mandate need of screening blood and its components according to the blood-establishment protocols, it is seldom practiced in the low-income/poverty-stricken settings. In addition, each and every single phase of transfusion chain carries sizable inherent risks from donors to recipients. Interestingly, opportunities also lie ahead to enhance the safety of blood-supply chain and patients. It can be achieved through sustainable blood-management strategies like (1) appropriate usage of precise diagnostic tools/techniques, (2) promoting

  11. A large proportion of asymptomatic Plasmodium infections with low and sub-microscopic parasite densities in the low transmission setting of Temotu Province, Solomon Islands: challenges for malaria diagnostics in an elimination setting

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many countries are scaling up malaria interventions towards elimination. This transition changes demands on malaria diagnostics from diagnosing ill patients to detecting parasites in all carriers including asymptomatic infections and infections with low parasite densities. Detection methods suitable to local malaria epidemiology must be selected prior to transitioning a malaria control programme to elimination. A baseline malaria survey conducted in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands in late 2008, as the first step in a provincial malaria elimination programme, provided malaria epidemiology data and an opportunity to assess how well different diagnostic methods performed in this setting. Methods During the survey, 9,491 blood samples were collected and examined by microscopy for Plasmodium species and density, with a subset also examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). The performances of these diagnostic methods were compared. Results A total of 256 samples were positive by microscopy, giving a point prevalence of 2.7%. The species distribution was 17.5% Plasmodium falciparum and 82.4% Plasmodium vivax. In this low transmission setting, only 17.8% of the P. falciparum and 2.9% of P. vivax infected subjects were febrile (≥38°C) at the time of the survey. A significant proportion of infections detected by microscopy, 40% and 65.6% for P. falciparum and P. vivax respectively, had parasite density below 100/μL. There was an age correlation for the proportion of parasite density below 100/μL for P. vivax infections, but not for P. falciparum infections. PCR detected substantially more infections than microscopy (point prevalence of 8.71%), indicating a large number of subjects had sub-microscopic parasitemia. The concordance between PCR and microscopy in detecting single species was greater for P. vivax (135/162) compared to P. falciparum (36/118). The malaria RDT detected the 12 microscopy and PCR positive P

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. [Emerging and spread of the fifth Plasmodium spp. pathogenic for human malaria: Plasmodium knowlesi].

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, Sergio; Fiorino, Sirio; Manfredi, Roberto

    2010-02-01

    The beginning of the third millennium has been characterized by the emerging and progressive characterization of a novel malaria Plasmodium pathogen of simian origin (Plasmodium knowlesi), which now represents the fifth human malaria parasite. Evolutionary, environmental, and diagnostic-clinical features are briefly outlined on the ground of the most recent literature evidences.

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

    PubMed

    Huchzermeyer, F W

    1993-03-01

    An annotated host-parasite list of the blood parasites of domestic poultry in sub-Saharan Africa is presented. This list contains the haematozoa found in domestic waterfowl (ducks, geese and muscovies) and phasianids (turkey, fowl and peafowl). In South Africa Plasmodium durae was isolated from 4 out of 8 backyard turkeys, from 3 out of 26 Swainson's francolins and from 1 redwing francolin, but not from 20 helmeted guineafowls and 9 greywing francolins. This points at Swainson's and redwing francolins as being the main natural hosts of P. durae in South Africa. The increase in the period of prepatency after intramuscular subinoculation as compared with the intravenous route was found to correspond to that of a 1,000 fold dilution of an intravenous inoculum of parasitized blood. This delay was not due to an intervening cycle of exoerythrocytic schizogony, but to large numbers of the injected erythrocytes apparently not finding their way into the circulation of the new host. PMID:8332314

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Plasmodium species: master renovators of their host cells.

    PubMed

    de Koning-Ward, Tania F; Dixon, Matthew W A; Tilley, Leann; Gilson, Paul R

    2016-08-01

    Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malaria, have developed elaborate strategies that they use to survive and thrive within different intracellular environments. During the blood stage of infection, the parasite is a master renovator of its erythrocyte host cell, and the changes in cell morphology and function that are induced by the parasite promote survival and contribute to the pathogenesis of severe malaria. In this Review, we discuss how Plasmodium parasites use the protein trafficking motif Plasmodium export element (PEXEL), protease-mediated polypeptide processing, a novel translocon termed the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins (PTEX) and exomembranous structures to export hundreds of proteins to discrete subcellular locations in the host erythrocytes, which enables the parasite to gain access to vital nutrients and to evade the immune defence mechanisms of the host.

  19. 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

  20. Antigenic Variation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Petter, Michaela; Duffy, Michael F

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein (CSP) Influence Parasite Burden and Cytokine Balance in a Pre-Amazon Endemic Area from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Bruno de Paulo; Cassiano, Gustavo Capatti; de Souza, Rodrigo Medeiros; Cysne, Dalila Nunes; Grisotto, Marcos Augusto Grigolin; de Azevedo dos Santos, Ana Paula Silva; Marinho, Cláudio Romero Farias; Machado, Ricardo Luiz Dantas; Nascimento, Flávia Raquel Fernandes

    2016-03-01

    Mechanisms involved in severe P. vivax malaria remain unclear. Parasite polymorphisms, parasite load and host cytokine profile may influence the course of infection. In this study, we investigated the influence of circumsporozoite protein (CSP) polymorphisms on parasite load and cytokine profile in patients with vivax malaria. A cross-sectional study was carried out in three cities: São Luís, Cedral and Buriticupu, Maranhão state, Brazil, areas of high prevalence of P. vivax. Interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-6, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α, interferon gamma (IFN-γ and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β were quantified in blood plasma of patients and in supernatants from peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures. Furthermore, the levels of cytokines and parasite load were correlated with VK210, VK247 and P. vivax-like CSP variants. Patients infected with P. vivax showed increased IL-10 and IL-6 levels, which correlated with the parasite load, however, in multiple comparisons, only IL-10 kept this association. A regulatory cytokine profile prevailed in plasma, while an inflammatory profile prevailed in PBMC culture supernatants and these patterns were related to CSP polymorphisms. VK247 infected patients showed higher parasitaemia and IL-6 concentrations, which were not associated to IL-10 anti-inflammatory effect. By contrast, in VK210 patients, these two cytokines showed a strong positive correlation and the parasite load was lower. Patients with the VK210 variant showed a regulatory cytokine profile in plasma, while those infected with the VK247 variant have a predominantly inflammatory cytokine profile and higher parasite loads, which altogether may result in more complications in infection. In conclusion, we propose that CSP polymorphisms is associated to the increase of non-regulated inflammatory immune responses, which in turn may be associated with the outcome of infection.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Effect of anti-mosquito hemolymph antibodies on fecundity and on the infectivity of malarial parasite Plasmodium vivax to Anopheles stephensi (Diptera:Insecta).

    PubMed

    Gulia, Monika; Suneja, Amita; Gakhar, Surendra K

    2002-06-01

    Rabbit antibodies to hemolymph antigens (102.5, 101, 100, 96, 88, 80, 64, 55, 43, 29, and 23 kDa) of Anopheles stephensi reduced fecundity as well as viability in An. stephensi. However, ingestion of these antibodies was not associated with a marked effect on the engorgement of mosquitoes but egg laying was significantly delayed. Antisera raised against hemolymph proteins were also used to identify cross reactive antigens/epitopes present in other tissues by Western blotting, as well as by in vivo ELISA. In addition, a significant reduction in oocyst development was also observed in An. stephensi mosquitoes that ingested anti-hemolymph antibodies along with Plasmodium vivax. The results confirmed the feasibility of targeting mosquito antigens as a novel anti-mosquito strategy, as well as confirmed the usefulness of such antigens for the development of a transmission-blocking vaccine. PMID:12195047

  10. Host defenses in murine malaria: induction of a protracted state of immunity with a formalin-killed Plasmodium berghei blood parasite vaccine.

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, J R; Lefford, M J

    1978-01-01

    Random-bred mice were immunized with a nonliving antigen prepared from mixed-blood forms of Plasmodium berghei, strain NYU-2, in combination with Corynebacterium parvum and/or living BCG. A high proportion of intravenously immunized mice survived virulent challenge, but subcutaneous vaccination was less effective. Vaccinated mice developed a patent infection after challenge similar to that observed in normal controls. However, between days 12 to 20 postchallenge, infections in some vaccinated mice became subpatent, whereas infections in all normal controls progressed until death. The incidence of recrudescent infection was low and, eventually, a state of sterile immunity was established. The capacity of vaccinated mice to withstand P. berghei challenge was sustained at a fairly stable level for the 6-month period of observation. Mice that had survived a primary infection with P. berghei almost completely suppressed a second and larger challenge with the same organism. PMID:365770

  11. 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.

  12. Life history of a malaria parasite (Plasmodium mexicanum) in its host, the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis): host testosterone as a source of seasonal and among-host variation?

    PubMed

    Eisen, R J; DeNardo, D F

    2000-10-01

    The course of infection of a malaria parasite (Plasmodium mexicanum) is highly variable in its host, the fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). However, a seasonal trend is superimposed on this variation such that gametocyte production is intensified during mid- to late summer. Host testosterone levels follow a similar seasonal fluctuation and are variable among individual lizards. We sought to determine if testosterone levels affect seasonal and among-host variation in 11 P. mexicanum life history traits: rate of increase in level of infection (3 measures), peak parasitemia (3 measures), duration of increase (3 measures), time to detectable infection, and timing of production of gametocytes. We followed the course of infection in 125 male S. occidentalis, each randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: castrated, castrated and implanted with exogenous testosterone, sham implanted, and unmanipulated controls. Median values for the 11 life history traits did not differ among treatment groups, and variances were homogeneous among the treatment groups for 10/11 traits. However, elevated testosterone significantly reduced the variation in timing of the onset of gametocyte production. Therefore, testosterone does not appear to be a primary regulator of P. mexicanum life history, yet testosterone may have some effect on when gametocytes first become detectable. PMID:11128477

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  14. [Ca++ ion transport blockers as reversants of the drug resistance of malarial parasites. 2. The effect of praziquantel on the resistance to chloroquine and compound R-70-Zh of Plasmodium berghei].

    PubMed

    Orlov, V S; Rabinovich, S A; Bukhtin, B A; Dadasheva, N R; Maksakovskaia, E V

    1998-01-01

    The reversing action of anthelminthic praziquantel (P) on the effect of chloroquine (C) and compound R-70-Zh (styrylquinazoline) was revealed on a Plasmodium berghei model (white inbred mice), using a LNK65 isolate with naturally reduced sensitivity to chloroquine and its polyresistant line LNK65CHLFR with acquired resistance to chloroquine/fansidar (selected in our laboratory). P (125 mg/kg) in combination with C showed a potentiating effect not only on the LNK65 isolate, but also on the LNK65CHLFR line, while investigated separately on this line, both drugs were not effective in tested doses. Moreover, the similar effect of C on the LNK65CHLFR line was achieved in the dose that was 4 times higher than that of P/C combination. P in a standard dose on the LNK65 isolate showed a more marked activation of compound R-70-Zh that on C. The potentiating effect was manifested in combination with R-70-Zh in the dose half as high as that of C; this phenomenon was also reflected by the efficiency index (5.0 against the 4.0) accepted in our laboratory and may be associated with the higher sensitivity of the LNK65 isolate to R-70-Zh. P showed some antimalarial action which manifested itself only by morphological changes on P. berghei parasites similar to those observed under the action of some dihydropholate reductase inhibitors, such as pyrimethamine. PMID:9608206

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-01-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Chloroquine resistance of Plasmodium berghei: biochemical basis and countermeasures*

    PubMed Central

    Salganik, R. I.; Pankova, T. G.; Chekhonadskikh, T. V.; Igonina, T. M.

    1987-01-01

    Microsomal monooxygenases, enzymes that metabolize xenobiotics, may be responsible for the chloroquine resistance of malarial parasites. Plasmodium cells contain cytochrome P-450 and exhibit aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase and aminopyrine N-dimethylase activity, two monooxygenases that inactivate chloroquine. The activities of these monooxygenases are considerably higher in chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium berghei than in the chloroquine-sensitive strain of the parasite. Inhibitors of microsomal monooxygenases have the potential to overcome the chloroquine resistance of Plasmodium spp., and, of those inhibitors tested, the copper-lysine complex, copper(lysine)2, was the most effective. PMID:3117393

  19. 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

  20. Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    1994-07-01

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

  1. A Transmission Model for the Ecology of an Avian Blood Parasite in a Temperate Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Murdock, Courtney C.; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Simon, Carl P.

    2013-01-01

    Most of our knowledge about avian haemosporidian parasites comes from the Hawaiian archipelago, where recently introduced Plasmodiumrelictum has contributed to the extinction of many endemic avian species. While the ecology of invasive malaria is reasonably understood, the ecology of endemic haemosporidian infection in mainland systems is poorly understood, even though it is the rule rather than the exception. We develop a mathematical model to explore and identify the ecological factors that most influence transmission of the common avian parasite, Leucocytozoonfringillinarum (Apicomplexa). The model was parameterized from White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichialeucophrys) and S. silvestre / craigi black fly populations breeding in an alpine ecosystem. We identify and examine the importance of altricial nestlings, the seasonal relapse of infected birds for parasite persistence across breeding seasons, and potential impacts of seasonal changes in black fly emergence on parasite prevalence in a high elevation temperate system. We also use the model to identify and estimate the parameters most influencing transmission dynamics. Our analysis found that relapse of adult birds and young of the year birds were crucial for parasite persistence across multiple seasons. However, distinguishing between nude nestlings and feathered young of the year was unnecessary. Finally, due to model sensitivity to many black fly parameters, parasite prevalence and sparrow recruitment may be most affected by seasonal changes in environmental temperature driving shifts in black fly emergence and gonotrophic cycles. PMID:24073288

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Branched tricarboxylic acid metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum and its apicoplast.

    PubMed

    Kalanon, Ming; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2010-06-01

    Malaria, which is caused by species of the parasite genus Plasmodium, remains a major global health problem. A vestigial plastid homologous with the chloroplasts of plants and algae was discovered in malaria and related parasites from the phylum Apicomplexa and has radically changed our view of the evolutionary origins of these disease-causing protists. We now recognize that this large group of parasites had a photosynthetic ancestry and were converted into parasitism early in the evolution of animals. Apicomplexans have probably been parasitizing the animal kingdom for more than 500 million years. The relic plastid persists in most apicomplexans and is an essential component. Perturbation of apicoplast function or inheritance results in parasite death, making the organelle a promising target for chemotherapy. Plastids, including those of malaria parasites, are essentially reduced endosymbiotic bacteria living inside a eukaryotic host. This means that plastids have bacterial-type metabolic pathways and housekeeping processes, all of which are vulnerable to antibacterial compounds. Indeed, many antibacterials kill malaria parasites by blocking essential processes in the plastid. Furthermore, a range of herbicides that target plastid metabolism of undesired plants are also parasiticidal, making them potential new leads for antimalarial drugs. In the present review, we examine the evolutionary origins of the malaria parasite's plastid by endosymbiosis and outline the recent findings on how the organelle imports nuclear-encoded proteins through a set of translocation machineries in the membranes that bound the organelle.

  14. Rerooting the evolutionary tree of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Outlaw, Diana C; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2011-08-01

    Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) have plagued humans for millennia. Less well known are related parasites (Haemosporida), with diverse life cycles and dipteran vectors that infect other vertebrates. Understanding the evolution of parasite life histories, including switches between hosts and vectors, depends on knowledge of evolutionary relationships among parasite lineages. In particular, inferences concerning time of origin and trait evolution require correct placement of the root of the evolutionary tree. Phylogenetic reconstructions of the diversification of malaria parasites from DNA sequences have suffered from uncertainty concerning outgroup taxa, limited taxon sampling, and selection on genes used to assess relationships. As a result, inferred relationships among the Haemosporida have been unstable, and questions concerning evolutionary diversification and host switching remain unanswered. A recent phylogeny placed mammalian malaria parasites, as well as avian/reptilian Plasmodium, in a derived position relative to the avian parasite genera Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus, implying that the ancestral forms lacked merogony in the blood and that their vectors were non-mosquito dipterans. Bayesian, outgroup-free phylogenetic reconstruction using relaxed molecular clocks with uncorrelated rates instead suggested that mammalian and avian/reptilian Plasmodium parasites, spread by mosquito vectors, are ancestral sister taxa, from which a variety of specialized parasite lineages with modified life histories have evolved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Branched Tricarboxylic Acid Metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. 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. PMID:27247106

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Infection with Wolbachia protects mosquitoes against Plasmodium-induced mortality in a natural system.

    PubMed

    Zélé, F; Nicot, A; Duron, O; Rivero, A

    2012-07-01

    In recent years, there has been a shift in the one host-one parasite paradigm with the realization that, in the field, most hosts are coinfected with multiple parasites. Coinfections are particularly relevant when the host is a vector of diseases, because multiple infections can have drastic consequences for parasite transmission at both the ecological and evolutionary timescales. Wolbachia pipientis is the most common parasitic microorganism in insects, and as such, it is of special interest for understanding the role of coinfections in the outcome of parasite infections. Here, we investigate whether Wolbachia can modulate the effect of Plasmodium on what is, arguably, the most important component of the vectorial capacity of mosquitoes: their longevity. For this purpose, and in contrast to recent studies that have focused on mosquito-Plasmodium and/or mosquito-Wolbachia combinations not found in nature, we work on a Wolbachia-mosquito-Plasmodium triad with a common evolutionary history. Our results show that Wolbachia protects mosquitoes from Plasmodium-induced mortality. The results are consistent across two different strains of Wolbachia and repeatable across two different experimental blocks. To our knowledge, this is the first time that such an effect has been shown for Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes and, in particular, in a natural Wolbachia-host combination. We discuss different mechanistic and evolutionary explanations for these results as well as their consequences for Plasmodium transmission. PMID:22533729

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Proteasome Inhibitors Block Development of Plasmodium spp.

    PubMed Central

    Gantt, Soren M.; Myung, Joon Mo; Briones, Marcelo R. S.; Li, Wei Dong; Corey, E. J.; Omura, Satoshi; Nussenzweig, Victor; Sinnis, Photini

    1998-01-01

    Proteasomes degrade most of the proteins inside eukaryotic cells, including transcription factors and regulators of cell cycle progression. Here we show that nanomolar concentrations of lactacystin, a specific irreversible inhibitor of the 20S proteasome, inhibit development of the exoerythrocytic and erythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite. Although lactacystin-treated Plasmodium berghei sporozoites are still invasive, their development into exoerythrocytic forms (EEF) is inhibited in vitro and in vivo. Erythrocytic schizogony of P. falciparum in vitro is also profoundly inhibited when drug treatment of the synchronized parasites is prior, but not subsequent, to the initiation of DNA synthesis, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of lactacystin is cell cycle specific. Lactacystin reduces P. berghei parasitemia in rats, but the therapeutic index is very low. Along with other studies showing that lactacystin inhibits stage-specific transformation in Trypanosoma and Entamoeba spp., these findings highlight the potential of proteasome inhibitors as drugs for the treatment of diseases caused by protozoan parasites. PMID:9756786

  12. Plasmepsin 4-Deficient Plasmodium berghei Are Virulence Attenuated and Induce Protective Immunity against Experimental Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Spaccapelo, Roberta; Janse, Chris J.; Caterbi, Sara; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Bonilla, J. Alfredo; Syphard, Luke M.; Di Cristina, Manlio; Dottorini, Tania; Savarino, Andrea; Cassone, Antonio; Bistoni, Francesco; Waters, Andrew P.; Dame, John B.; Crisanti, Andrea

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites lacking plasmepsin 4 (PM4), an aspartic protease that functions in the lysosomal compartment and contributes to hemoglobin digestion, have only a modest decrease in the asexual blood-stage growth rate; however, PM4 deficiency in the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei results in significantly less virulence than that for the parental parasite. P. berghei Δpm4 parasites failed to induce experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) in ECM-susceptible mice, and ECM-resistant mice were able to clear infections. Furthermore, after a single infection, all convalescent mice were protected against subsequent parasite challenge for at least 1 year. Real-time in vivo parasite imaging and splenectomy experiments demonstrated that protective immunity acted through antibody-mediated parasite clearance in the spleen. This work demonstrates, for the first time, that a single Plasmodium gene disruption can generate virulence-attenuated parasites that do not induce cerebral complications and, moreover, are able to stimulate strong protective immunity against subsequent challenge with wild-type parasites. Parasite blood-stage attenuation should help identify protective immune responses against malaria, unravel parasite-derived factors involved in malarial pathologies, such as cerebral malaria, and potentially pave the way for blood-stage whole organism vaccines. PMID:20019192

  13. The Genome of Haemoproteus tartakovskyi and Its Relationship to Human Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Asymptomatic Plasmodium Infections in Children in Low Malaria Transmission Setting, Southwestern Uganda1

    PubMed Central

    Roh, Michelle E.; Oyet, Caesar; Orikiriza, Patrick; Wade, Martina; Kiwanuka, Gertrude N.; Mwanga-Amumpaire, Juliet; Boum, Yap

    2016-01-01

    A survey of asymptomatic children in Uganda showed Plasmodium malariae and P. falciparum parasites in 45% and 55% of microscopy-positive samples, respectively. Although 36% of microscopy-positive samples were negative by rapid diagnostic test, 75% showed P. malariae or P. ovale parasites by PCR, indicating that routine diagnostic testing misses many non–P. falciparum malarial infections. PMID:27434741

  17. Asymptomatic Plasmodium Infections in Children in Low Malaria Transmission Setting, Southwestern Uganda(1).

    PubMed

    Roh, Michelle E; Oyet, Caesar; Orikiriza, Patrick; Wade, Martina; Kiwanuka, Gertrude N; Mwanga-Amumpaire, Juliet; Parikh, Sunil; Boum, Yap

    2016-08-01

    A survey of asymptomatic children in Uganda showed Plasmodium malariae and P. falciparum parasites in 45% and 55% of microscopy-positive samples, respectively. Although 36% of microscopy-positive samples were negative by rapid diagnostic test, 75% showed P. malariae or P. ovale parasites by PCR, indicating that routine diagnostic testing misses many non-P. falciparum malarial infections. PMID:27434741

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Protozoan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Custodio, Haidee

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Detection of SUMOylation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Reiter, Katherine H; Matunis, Michael J

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Uncovering the transmission dynamics of Plasmodium vivax using population genetics.

    PubMed

    Barry, Alyssa E; Waltmann, Andreea; Koepfli, Cristian; Barnadas, Celine; Mueller, Ivo

    2015-05-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Age-specific haemosporidian infection dynamics and survival in Seychelles warblers.

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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

  14. Replication and maintenance of the Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast genome.