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Sample records for malaria-parasite invaded red

  1. Static and dynamic light scattering of healthy and malaria-parasite invaded red blood cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Yongkeun; Diez-Silva, Monica; Fu, Dan; Popescu, Gabriel; Choi, Wonshik; Barman, Ishan; Suresh, Subra; Feld, Michael S.

    2010-03-01

    We present the light scattering of individual Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized human red blood cells (Pf-RBCs), and demonstrate progressive alterations to the scattering signal arising from the development of malaria-inducing parasites. By selectively imaging the electric fields using quantitative phase microscopy and a Fourier transform light scattering technique, we calculate the light scattering maps of individual Pf-RBCs. We show that the onset and progression of pathological states of the Pf-RBCs can be clearly identified by the static scattering maps. Progressive changes to the biophysical properties of the Pf-RBC membrane are captured from dynamic light scattering.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Identification of malaria parasite-infected red blood cell surface aptamers by inertial microfluidic SELEX (I-SELEX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birch, Christina M.; Hou, Han Wei; Han, Jongyoon; Niles, Jacquin C.

    2015-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites invade and remodel human red blood cells (RBCs) by trafficking parasite-synthesized proteins to the RBC surface. While these proteins mediate interactions with host cells that contribute to disease pathogenesis, the infected RBC surface proteome remains poorly characterized. Here we use a novel strategy (I-SELEX) to discover high affinity aptamers that selectively recognize distinct epitopes uniquely present on parasite-infected RBCs. Based on inertial focusing in spiral microfluidic channels, I-SELEX enables stringent partitioning of cells (efficiency ≥ 106) from unbound oligonucleotides at high volume throughput (~2 × 106 cells min-1). Using an RBC model displaying a single, non-native antigen and live malaria parasite-infected RBCs as targets, we establish suitability of this strategy for de novo aptamer selections. We demonstrate recovery of a diverse set of aptamers that recognize distinct, surface-displayed epitopes on parasite-infected RBCs with nanomolar affinity, including an aptamer against the protein responsible for placental sequestration, var2CSA. These findings validate I-SELEX as a broadly applicable aptamer discovery platform that enables identification of new reagents for mapping the parasite-infected RBC surface proteome at higher molecular resolution to potentially contribute to malaria diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine efforts.

  4. Identification of malaria parasite-infected red blood cell surface aptamers by inertial microfluidic SELEX (I-SELEX).

    PubMed

    Birch, Christina M; Hou, Han Wei; Han, Jongyoon; Niles, Jacquin C

    2015-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites invade and remodel human red blood cells (RBCs) by trafficking parasite-synthesized proteins to the RBC surface. While these proteins mediate interactions with host cells that contribute to disease pathogenesis, the infected RBC surface proteome remains poorly characterized. Here we use a novel strategy (I-SELEX) to discover high affinity aptamers that selectively recognize distinct epitopes uniquely present on parasite-infected RBCs. Based on inertial focusing in spiral microfluidic channels, I-SELEX enables stringent partitioning of cells (efficiency ≥ 10(6)) from unbound oligonucleotides at high volume throughput (~2 × 10(6) cells min(-1)). Using an RBC model displaying a single, non-native antigen and live malaria parasite-infected RBCs as targets, we establish suitability of this strategy for de novo aptamer selections. We demonstrate recovery of a diverse set of aptamers that recognize distinct, surface-displayed epitopes on parasite-infected RBCs with nanomolar affinity, including an aptamer against the protein responsible for placental sequestration, var2CSA. These findings validate I-SELEX as a broadly applicable aptamer discovery platform that enables identification of new reagents for mapping the parasite-infected RBC surface proteome at higher molecular resolution to potentially contribute to malaria diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine efforts.

  5. Identification of malaria parasite-infected red blood cell surface aptamers by inertial microfluidic SELEX (I-SELEX)

    PubMed Central

    Birch, Christina M.; Hou, Han Wei; Han, Jongyoon; Niles, Jacquin C.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites invade and remodel human red blood cells (RBCs) by trafficking parasite-synthesized proteins to the RBC surface. While these proteins mediate interactions with host cells that contribute to disease pathogenesis, the infected RBC surface proteome remains poorly characterized. Here we use a novel strategy (I-SELEX) to discover high affinity aptamers that selectively recognize distinct epitopes uniquely present on parasite-infected RBCs. Based on inertial focusing in spiral microfluidic channels, I-SELEX enables stringent partitioning of cells (efficiency ≥ 106) from unbound oligonucleotides at high volume throughput (~2 × 106 cells min−1). Using an RBC model displaying a single, non-native antigen and live malaria parasite-infected RBCs as targets, we establish suitability of this strategy for de novo aptamer selections. We demonstrate recovery of a diverse set of aptamers that recognize distinct, surface-displayed epitopes on parasite-infected RBCs with nanomolar affinity, including an aptamer against the protein responsible for placental sequestration, var2CSA. These findings validate I-SELEX as a broadly applicable aptamer discovery platform that enables identification of new reagents for mapping the parasite-infected RBC surface proteome at higher molecular resolution to potentially contribute to malaria diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine efforts. PMID:26126714

  6. Does Magnetic Field Affect Malaria Parasite Replication in Human Red Blood Cells?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chanturiya, Alexandr N.; Glushakova, Svetlana; Yin, Dan; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2004-01-01

    Digestion of red blood cell (RBC) hemoglobin by the malaria parasite results in the formation of paramagnetic hemazoin crystals inside the parasite body. A number of reports suggest that magnetic field interaction with hamazoin crystals significantly reduces the number of infected cells in culture, and thus magnetic field can be used to combat malaria. We studies the effects of magnetic filed on the Plasmodium falciparum asexual life cycle inside RBCs under various experimental conditions. No effect was found during prolonged exposure of infected RBCs to constant magnetic fields up to 6000 Gauss. Infected RBCs were also exposed, under temperature-controlled conditions, to oscillating magnetic fields with frequencies in the range of 500-20000 kHz, and field strength 30-600 Gauss. This exposure often changed the proportion of different parasite stages in treated culture compared to controls. However, no significant effect on parasitemia was observed in treated cultures. This result indicates that the magnetic field effect on Plasmodium falciparum is negligible, or that hypothetical negative and positive effects on different stages within one 48-hour compensate each other.

  7. How malaria parasites reduce the deformability of infected red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Hosseini, S Majid; Feng, James J

    2012-07-03

    The pathogenesis of malaria is largely due to stiffening of the infected red blood cells (RBCs). Contemporary understanding ascribes the loss of RBC deformability to a 10-fold increase in membrane stiffness caused by extra cross-linking in the spectrin network. Local measurements by micropipette aspiration, however, have reported only an increase of ∼3-fold in the shear modulus. We believe the discrepancy stems from the rigid parasite particles inside infected cells, and have carried out numerical simulations to demonstrate this mechanism. The cell membrane is represented by a set of discrete particles connected by linearly elastic springs. The cytosol is modeled as a homogeneous Newtonian fluid, and discretized by particles as in standard smoothed particle hydrodynamics. The malaria parasite is modeled as an aggregate of particles constrained to rigid-body motion. We simulate RBC stretching tests by optical tweezers in three dimensions. The results demonstrate that the presence of a sizeable parasite greatly reduces the ability of RBCs to deform under stretching. With the solid inclusion, the observed loss of deformability can be predicted quantitatively using the local membrane elasticity measured by micropipettes.

  8. Merozoite surface protein 1 recognition of host glycophorin A mediates malaria parasite invasion of red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Michael R; Li, Xuerong; Hanada, Toshihiko; Liu, Shih-Chun; Chishti, Athar H

    2015-04-23

    Plasmodium falciparum invasion of human red blood cells (RBCs) is an intricate process requiring a number of distinct ligand-receptor interactions at the merozoite-erythrocyte interface. Merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1), a highly abundant ligand coating the merozoite surface in all species of malaria parasites, is essential for RBC invasion and considered a leading candidate for inclusion in a multiple-subunit vaccine against malaria. Our previous studies identified an interaction between the carboxyl-terminus of MSP1 and RBC band 3. Here, by employing phage display technology, we report a novel interaction between the amino-terminus of MSP1 and RBC glycophorin A (GPA). Mapping of the binding domains established a direct interaction between malaria MSP1 and human GPA within a region of MSP1 known to potently inhibit P falciparum invasion of human RBCs. Furthermore, a genetically modified mouse model lacking the GPA- band 3 complex in RBCs is completely resistant to malaria infection in vivo. These findings suggest an essential role of the MSP1-GPA-band 3 complex during the initial adhesion phase of malaria parasite invasion of RBCs.

  9. Phase-diverse Fresnel coherent diffractive imaging of malaria parasite-infected red blood cells in the water window.

    PubMed

    Jones, M W M; Abbey, B; Gianoncelli, A; Balaur, E; Millet, C; Luu, M B; Coughlan, H D; Carroll, A J; Peele, A G; Tilley, L; van Riessen, G A

    2013-12-30

    Phase-diverse Fresnel coherent diffractive imaging has been shown to reveal the structure and composition of biological specimens with high sensitivity at nanoscale resolution. However, the method has yet to be applied using X-ray illumination with energy in the so-called 'water-window' that lies between the carbon and oxygen K edges. In this range, differences in the strength of the X-ray interaction for protein based biological materials and water is increased. Here we demonstrate a proof-of-principle application of FCDI at an X-ray energy within the water-window to a dehydrated cellular sample composed of red blood cells infected with the trophozoite stage of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Comparison of the results to both optical and electron microscopy shows that the correlative imaging methods that include water-window FCDI will find utility in studying cellular architecture.

  10. Malaria parasite development in mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Beier, J C

    1998-01-01

    Mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles transmit malaria parasites to humans. Anopheles mosquito species vary in their vector potential because of environmental conditions and factors affecting their abundance, blood-feeding behavior, survival, and ability to support malaria parasite development. In the complex life cycle of the parasite in female mosquitoes, a process termed sporogony, mosquitoes acquire gametocyte-stage parasites from blood-feeding on an infected host. The parasites carry out fertilization in the midgut, transform to ookinetes, then oocysts, which produce sporozoites. Sporozoites invade the salivary glands and are transmitted when the mosquito feeds on another host. Most individual mosquitoes that ingest gametocytes do not support development to the sporozoite stage. Bottle-necks occur at every stage of the cycle in the mosquito. Powerful new techniques and approaches exist for evaluating malaria parasite development and for identifying mechanisms regulating malaria parasite-vector interactions. This review focuses on those interactions that are important for the development of new approaches for evaluating and blocking transmission in nature.

  11. Host-parasite interactions that guide red blood cell invasion by malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Aditya S.; Egan, Elizabeth S.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of Review Malaria is caused by the infection and proliferation of parasites from the genus Plasmodium in red blood cells (RBCs). A free Plasmodium parasite, or merozoite, released from an infected RBC must invade another RBC host cell to sustain a blood-stage infection. Here, we review recent advances on RBC invasion by Plasmodium merozoites, focusing on specific molecular interactions between host and parasite. Recent findings Recent work highlights the central role of host-parasite interactions at virtually every stage of RBC invasion by merozoites. Biophysical experiments have for the first time measured the strength of merozoite-RBC attachment during invasion. For P. falciparum, there have been many key insights regarding the invasion ligand PfRh5 in particular, including its influence on host species tropism, a co-crystal structure with its RBC receptor basigin, and its suitability as a vaccine target. For P. vivax, researchers identified the origin and emergence of the parasite from Africa, demonstrating a natural link to the Duffy-negative RBC variant in African populations. For the simian parasite P. knowlesi, zoonotic invasion into human cells is linked to RBC age, which has implications for parasitemia during an infection and thus malaria. Summary New studies of the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing RBC invasion by Plasmodium parasites have shed light on various aspects of parasite biology and host cell tropism; and indicate opportunities for malaria control. PMID:25767956

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-12

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

  13. Malaria parasites and red cell variants: when a house is not a home

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Steve M.; Fairhurst, Rick M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review Multiple red cell variants are known to confer protection from malaria. Here we review advances in identifying new variants that modulate malaria risk and in defining molecular mechanisms that mediate malaria protection. Recent findings New red cell variants, including an innate variant in the red cell’s major Ca2+ pump and the acquired state of iron deficiency, have been associated with protection from clinical falciparum malaria. The hemoglobin (Hb) mutants HbC and HbS – known to protect carriers from severe falciparum malaria – enhance parasite passage to mosquitoes and may promote malaria transmission. At the molecular level, substantial advances have been made in understanding the impact of HbS and HbC upon the interactions between host microRNAs and Plasmodium falciparum protein translation; remodeling of red cell cytoskeletal components and transport of parasite proteins to the red cell surface; and chronic activation of the human innate immune system which induces tolerance to blood-stage parasites. Several polymorphisms have now been associated with protection from clinical vivax malaria or reduced P. vivax density, including Southeast Asian ovalocytosis and two common forms of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Summary Red cell variants that modulate malaria risk can serve as models to identify clinically relevant mechanisms of pathogenesis, and thus define parasite and host targets for next-generation therapies. PMID:24675047

  14. Three-dimensional analysis of morphological changes in the malaria parasite infected red blood cell by serial block-face scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Sakaguchi, Miako; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Fujioka, Hisashi; Kaneko, Osamu; Murata, Kazuyoshi

    2016-03-01

    The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, exhibits morphological changes during the blood stage cycle in vertebrate hosts. Here, we used serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM) to visualize the entire structures of P. falciparum-infected red blood cells (iRBCs) and to examine their morphological and volumetric changes at different stages. During developmental stages, the parasite forms Maurer's clefts and vesicles in the iRBC cytoplasm and knobs on the iRBC surface, and extensively remodels the iRBC structure for proliferation of the parasite. In our observations, the Maurer's clefts and vesicles in the P. falciparum-iRBCs, resembling the so-called tubovesicular network (TVN), were not connected to each other, and continuous membrane networks were not observed between the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) and the iRBC cytoplasmic membrane. In the volumetric analysis, the iRBC volume initially increased and then decreased to the end of the blood stage cycle. This suggests that it is necessary to absorb a substantial amount of nutrients from outside the iRBC during the initial stage, but to release waste materials from inside the iRBC at the multinucleate stage. Transportation of the materials may be through the iRBC membrane, rather than a special structure formed by the parasite, because there is no direct connection between the iRBC membrane and the parasite. These results provide new insights as to how the malaria parasite grows in the iRBC and remodels iRBC structure during developmental stages; these observation can serve as a baseline for further experiments on the effects of therapeutic agents on malaria.

  15. DNA from pre-erythrocytic stage malaria parasites is detectable by PCR in the faeces and blood of hosts.

    PubMed

    Abkallo, Hussein M; Liu, Weimin; Hokama, Sarina; Ferreira, Pedro E; Nakazawa, Shusuke; Maeno, Yoshimasa; Quang, Nguyen T; Kobayashi, Nobuyuki; Kaneko, Osamu; Huffman, Michael A; Kawai, Satoru; Marchand, Ron P; Carter, Richard; Hahn, Beatrice H; Culleton, Richard

    2014-06-01

    Following the bite of an infective mosquito, malaria parasites first invade the liver where they develop and replicate for a number of days before being released into the bloodstream where they invade red blood cells and cause disease. The biology of the liver stages of malaria parasites is relatively poorly understood due to the inaccessibility of the parasites to sampling during this phase of their life cycle. Here we report the detection in blood and faecal samples of malaria parasite DNA throughout their development in the livers of mice and before the parasites begin their growth in the blood circulation. It is shown that parasite DNA derived from pre-erythrocytic stage parasites reaches the faeces via the bile. We then show that different primate malaria species can be detected by PCR in blood and faecal samples from naturally infected captive macaque monkeys. These results demonstrate that pre-erythrocytic parasites can be detected and quantified in experimentally infected animals. Furthermore, these results have important implications for both molecular epidemiology and phylogenetics of malaria parasites. In the former case, individuals who are malaria parasite negative by microscopy, but PCR positive for parasite DNA in their blood, are considered to be "sub-microscopic" blood stage parasite carriers. We now propose that PCR positivity is not necessarily an indicator of the presence of blood stage parasites, as the DNA could derive from pre-erythrocytic parasites. Similarly, in the case of molecular phylogenetics based on DNA sequences alone, we argue that DNA amplified from blood or faeces does not necessarily come from a parasite species that infects the red blood cells of that particular host.

  16. 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

  17. Malaria parasite clearance.

    PubMed

    White, Nicholas J

    2017-02-23

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

  18. Microsatellite analysis of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Malaria Parasite Proteins and Their Role in Alteration of the Structure and Function of Red Blood Cells.

    PubMed

    Proellocks, Nicholas I; Coppel, Ross L; Mohandas, Narla; Cooke, Brian M

    2016-01-01

    Malaria, caused by Plasmodium spp., continues to be a major threat to human health and a significant cause of socioeconomic hardship in many countries. Almost half of the world's population live in malaria-endemic regions and many of them suffer one or more, often life-threatening episodes of malaria every year, the symptoms of which are attributable to replication of the parasite within red blood cells (RBCs). In the case of Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for most malaria-related deaths, parasite replication within RBCs is accompanied by striking alterations to the morphological, biochemical and biophysical properties of the host cell that are essential for the parasites' survival. To achieve this, the parasite establishes a unique and extensive protein export network in the infected RBC, dedicating at least 6% of its genome to the process. Understanding the full gamut of proteins involved in this process and the mechanisms by which P. falciparum alters the structure and function of RBCs is important both for a more complete understanding of the pathogenesis of malaria and for development of new therapeutic strategies to prevent or treat this devastating disease. This review focuses on what is currently known about exported parasite proteins, their interactions with the RBC and their likely pathophysiological consequences.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-26

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

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

    PubMed

    Russell, Bruce M; Cooke, Brian M

    2017-04-01

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

  3. Invading parasites cause a structural shift in red fox dynamics.

    PubMed Central

    Forchhammer, M C; Asferg, T

    2000-01-01

    The influence of parasites on host life histories and populations is pronounced. Among several diseases affecting animal populations throughout the world, sarcoptic mange has influenced many carnivore populations dramatically and during the latest epizootic in Fennoscandia reduced the abundance of red fox by over 70%. While the numerical responses of red fox populations, their prey and their competitors as well as clinical implications are well known, knowledge of how sarcoptic mange affects the structure of the dynamics of red fox populations is lacking. Integrating ecological theory and statistical modelling, we analysed the long-term dynamics (1955-1996) of 14 Danish red fox populations. As suggested by the model, invading sarcoptic mange significantly affected direct and delayed density dependence in red fox dynamics and concomitant shifts in fluctuation patterns were observed. Our statistical analyses also revealed that the spatial progressive spread of mange mites was mirrored in the autocovariate structures of red fox populations progressively exposed to sarcoptic mange. PMID:10819147

  4. Active migration and passive transport of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Ross G; Amino, Rogerio; Sinnis, Photini; Frischknecht, Freddy

    2015-08-01

    Malaria parasites undergo a complex life cycle between their hosts and vectors. During this cycle the parasites invade different types of cells, migrate across barriers, and transfer from one host to another. Recent literature hints at a misunderstanding of the difference between active, parasite-driven migration and passive, circulation-driven movement of the parasite or parasite-infected cells in the various bodily fluids of mosquito and mammalian hosts. Because both active migration and passive transport could be targeted in different ways to interfere with the parasite, a distinction between the two ways the parasite uses to get from one location to another is essential. We discuss the two types of motion needed for parasite dissemination and elaborate on how they could be targeted by future vaccines or drugs.

  5. A clash to conquer: the malaria parasite liver infection.

    PubMed

    Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Kappe, Stefan H

    2006-12-01

    All mammalian malaria parasite species have an initial tissue stage in liver cells. The liver stage produces new parasite forms that can enter and live inside red blood cells. Accordingly, the first place of residence provides parasites with a radically different cellular and molecular environment from their subsequent red blood cell home. Liver stages have remained refractory to reveal their secrets, yet the last few years have seen several advances in elucidating their biology. This review looks at the more recent findings concerning the liver stage-host hepatocyte association, some of which may become powerful weapons in the prevention of malaria infection. We also outline areas of liver stage research and technological development that provide promising foci to accelerate a better understanding of this most elusive of the parasites many life cycle stages.

  6. Big bang in the evolution of extant malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Toshiyuki; Culleton, Richard; Otani, Hiroto; Horii, Toshihiro; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2008-10-01

    Malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) infect all classes of terrestrial vertebrates and display host specificity in their infections. It is therefore assumed that malaria parasites coevolved intimately with their hosts. Here, we propose a novel scenario of malaria parasite-host coevolution. A phylogenetic tree constructed using the malaria parasite mitochondrial genome reveals that the extant primate, rodent, bird, and reptile parasite lineages rapidly diverged from a common ancestor during an evolutionary short time period. This rapid diversification occurred long after the establishment of the primate, rodent, bird, and reptile host lineages, which implies that host-switch events contributed to the rapid diversification of extant malaria parasite lineages. Interestingly, the rapid diversification coincides with the radiation of the mammalian genera, suggesting that adaptive radiation to new mammalian hosts triggered the rapid diversification of extant malaria parasite lineages.

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

    PubMed

    Zerka, Agata; Kaczmarek, Radosław; Jaśkiewicz, Ewa

    2015-12-31

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

  8. Topoisomerase II from Human Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Mudeppa, Devaraja G.; Kumar, Shiva; Kokkonda, Sreekanth; White, John; Rathod, Pradipsinh K.

    2015-01-01

    Historically, type II topoisomerases have yielded clinically useful drugs for the treatment of bacterial infections and cancer, but the corresponding enzymes from malaria parasites remain understudied. This is due to the general challenges of producing malaria proteins in functional forms in heterologous expression systems. Here, we express full-length Plasmodium falciparum topoisomerase II (PfTopoII) in a wheat germ cell-free transcription-translation system. Functional activity of soluble PfTopoII from the translation lysates was confirmed through both a plasmid relaxation and a DNA decatenation activity that was dependent on magnesium and ATP. To facilitate future drug discovery, a convenient and sensitive fluorescence assay was established to follow DNA decatenation, and a stable, truncated PfTopoII was engineered for high level enzyme production. PfTopoII was purified using a DNA affinity column. Existing TopoII inhibitors previously developed for other non-malaria indications inhibited PfTopoII, as well as malaria parasites in culture at submicromolar concentrations. Even before optimization, inhibitors of bacterial gyrase, GSK299423, ciprofloxacin, and etoposide exhibited 15-, 57-, and 3-fold selectivity for the malarial enzyme over human TopoII. Finally, it was possible to use the purified PfTopoII to dissect the different modes by which these varying classes of TopoII inhibitors could trap partially processed DNA. The present biochemical advancements will allow high throughput chemical screening of compound libraries and lead optimization to develop new lines of antimalarials. PMID:26055707

  9. Malaria Parasite Liver Infection and Exoerythrocytic Biology.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Ashley M; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2017-02-27

    In their infection cycle, malaria parasites undergo replication and population expansions within the vertebrate host and the mosquito vector. Host infection initiates with sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes, followed by a dramatic parasite amplification event during liver stage parasite growth and replication within hepatocytes. Each liver stage forms up to 90,000 exoerythrocytic merozoites, which are in turn capable of initiating a blood stage infection. Liver stages not only exploit host hepatocyte resources for nutritional needs but also endeavor to prevent hepatocyte cell death and detection by the host's immune system. Research over the past decade has identified numerous parasite factors that play a critical role during liver infection and has started to delineate a complex web of parasite-host interactions that sustain successful parasite colonization of the mammalian host. Targeting the parasites' obligatory infection of the liver as a gateway to the blood, with drugs and vaccines, constitutes the most effective strategy for malaria eradication, as it would prevent clinical disease and onward transmission of the parasite.

  10. Immune Escape Strategies of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Pollyanna S.; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Rivera-Correa, Juan; Freire-De-Lima, Celio G.; Morrot, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins, and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission. PMID:27799922

  11. Immune Escape Strategies of Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Pollyanna S; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Rivera-Correa, Juan; Freire-De-Lima, Celio G; Morrot, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins, and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission.

  12. Structural and functional attributes of malaria parasite diadenosine tetraphosphate hydrolase

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Arvind; Yogavel, Manickam; Sharma, Amit

    2016-01-01

    Malaria symptoms are driven by periodic multiplication cycles of Plasmodium parasites in human red blood corpuscles (RBCs). Malaria infection still accounts for ~600,000 annual deaths, and hence discovery of both new drug targets and drugs remains vital. In the present study, we have investigated the malaria parasite enzyme diadenosine tetraphosphate (Ap4A) hydrolase that regulates levels of signalling molecules like Ap4A by hydrolyzing them to ATP and AMP. We have tracked the spatial distribution of parasitic Ap4A hydrolase in infected RBCs, and reveal its unusual localization on the infected RBC membrane in subpopulation of infected cells. Interestingly, enzyme activity assays reveal an interaction between Ap4A hydrolase and the parasite growth inhibitor suramin. We also present a high resolution crystal structure of Ap4A hydrolase in apo- and sulphate- bound state, where the sulphate resides in the enzyme active site by mimicking the phosphate of substrates like Ap4A. The unexpected infected erythrocyte localization of the parasitic Ap4A hydrolase hints at a possible role of this enzyme in purinerigic signaling. In addition, atomic structure of Ap4A hydrolase provides insights for selective drug targeting. PMID:26829485

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) Upgraded with Targeted Chemical Compounds.

    PubMed

    Ginsburg, Hagai; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M

    2016-01-01

    Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) is the website for the functional genomics of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum. All the published information about targeted chemical compounds has now been added. Users can find the drug target and publication details linked to a drug database for further information about the medicinal properties of each compound.

  15. Malaria parasite epigenetics: when virulence and romance collide.

    PubMed

    Flueck, Christian; Baker, David A

    2014-08-13

    Blood-stage malaria parasites evade the immune system by switching the protein exposed at the surface of the infected erythrocyte. A small proportion of these parasites commits to sexual development to mediate mosquito transmission. Two studies in this issue (Brancucci et al., 2014; Coleman et al., 2014) shed light on shared epigenetic machinery underlying both of these events.

  16. A novel live-dead staining methodology to study malaria parasite viability

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Malaria is a major health and socio-economical problem in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Several methodologies have been used to assess parasite viability during the adaption of field strains to culture or the assessment of drug potential, but these are in general not able to provide an accurate real-time assessment of whether parasites are alive or dead. Methods Different commercial dyes and kits were assessed for their potential to allow for the real-time detection of whether a blood stage malaria parasite is dead or alive. Results Here, a methodology is presented based on the potential-sensitive mitochondrial probe JC-1, which allows for the real-time visualization of live (red staining) and/or dead (absence of red staining) blood stage parasites in vitro and ex vivo. This method is applicable across malaria parasite species and strains and allows to visualize all parasite blood stages including gametocytes. Further, this methodology has been assessed also for use in drug sensitivity testing. Conclusions The JC-1 staining approach is a versatile methodology that can be used to assess parasite viability during the adaptation of field samples to culture and during drug treatment. It was found to hold promise in the assessment of drugs expected to lead to delayed death phenotypes and it currently being evaluated as a method for the assessment of parasite viability during the adaptation of patient-derived Plasmodium vivax to long-term in vitro culture. PMID:23758788

  17. Erythrocytic vacuolar rafts induced by malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Haldar, K; Samuel, B U; Mohandas, N; Harrison, T; Hiller, N L

    2001-03-01

    Studies in the past year displaced long-standing dogmas and provided many new molecular insights into how proteins and solutes move between the erythrocyte plasma membrane and the malarial vacuole. Highlights include a demonstration that (1) detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) rafts exist in the red cell membrane and their resident proteins are detected as rafts in the plasmodial vacuole, (2) a voltage-gated channel in the infected red cell membrane mediates uptake of extracellular nutrient solutes, and (3) intraerythrocytic membranes transport a parasite-encoded adherence antigen to the red cell surface.

  18. The interplay between drug resistance and fitness in malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Rosenthal, Philip J

    2013-09-01

    Controlling the spread of antimalarial drug resistance, especially resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to artemisinin-based combination therapies, is a high priority. Available data indicate that, as with other microorganisms, the spread of drug-resistant malaria parasites is limited by fitness costs that frequently accompany resistance. Resistance-mediating polymorphisms in malaria parasites have been identified in putative drug transporters and in target enzymes. The impacts of these polymorphisms on parasite fitness have been characterized in vitro and in animal models. Additional insights have come from analyses of samples from clinical studies, both evaluating parasites under different selective pressures and determining the clinical consequences of infection with different parasites. With some exceptions, resistance-mediating polymorphisms lead to malaria parasites that, compared with wild type, grow less well in culture and in animals, and are replaced by wild type when drug pressure diminishes in the clinical setting. In some cases, the fitness costs of resistance may be offset by compensatory mutations that increase virulence or changes that enhance malaria transmission. However, not enough is known about effects of resistance mediators on parasite fitness. A better appreciation of the costs of fitness-mediating mutations will facilitate the development of optimal guidelines for the treatment and prevention of malaria.

  19. Species formation by host shifting in avian malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Ricklefs, Robert E; Outlaw, Diana C; Svensson-Coelho, Maria; Medeiros, Matthew C I; Ellis, Vincenzo A; Latta, Steven

    2014-10-14

    The malaria parasites (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) of birds are believed to have diversified across the avian host phylogeny well after the origin of most major host lineages. Although many symbionts with direct transmission codiversify with their hosts, mechanisms of species formation in vector-borne parasites, including the role of host shifting, are poorly understood. Here, we examine the hosts of sister lineages in a phylogeny of 181 putative species of malaria parasites of New World terrestrial birds to determine the role of shifts between host taxa in the formation of new parasite species. We find that host shifting, often across host genera and families, is the rule. Sympatric speciation by host shifting would require local reproductive isolation as a prerequisite to divergent selection, but this mechanism is not supported by the generalized host-biting behavior of most vectors of avian malaria parasites. Instead, the geographic distribution of individual parasite lineages in diverse hosts suggests that species formation is predominantly allopatric and involves host expansion followed by local host-pathogen coevolution and secondary sympatry, resulting in local shifting of parasite lineages across hosts.

  20. Generation of Transgenic Rodent Malaria Parasites Expressing Human Malaria Parasite Proteins.

    PubMed

    Salman, Ahmed M; Mogollon, Catherin Marin; Lin, Jing-Wen; van Pul, Fiona J A; Janse, Chris J; Khan, Shahid M

    2015-01-01

    We describe methods for the rapid generation of transgenic rodent Plasmodium berghei (Pb) parasites that express human malaria parasite (HMP) proteins, using the recently developed GIMO-based transfection methodology. Three different genetic modifications are described resulting in three types of transgenic parasites. (1) Additional Gene (AG) mutants. In these mutants the HMP gene is introduced as an "additional gene" into a silent/neutral locus of the Pb genome under the control of either a constitutive or stage-specific Pb promoter. This method uses the GIMO-transfection protocol and AG mutants are generated by replacing the positive-negative selection marker (SM) hdhfr::yfcu cassette in a neutral locus of a standard GIMO mother line with the HMP gene expression cassette, resulting in SM free transgenic parasites. (2) Double-step Replacement (DsR) mutants. In these mutants the coding sequence (CDS) of the Pb gene is replaced with the CDS of the HMP ortholog in a two-step GIMO-transfection procedure. This process involves first the replacement of the Pb CDS with the hdhfr::yfcu SM, followed by insertion of the HMP ortholog at the same locus thereby replacing hdhfr::yfcu with the HMP CDS. These steps use the GIMO-transfection protocol, which exploits both positive selection for Pb orthologous gene-deletion and negative selection for HMP gene-insertion, resulting in SM free transgenic parasites. (3) Double-step Insertion (DsI) mutants. When a Pb gene is essential for blood stage development the DsR strategy is not possible. In these mutants the HMP expression cassette is first introduced into the neutral locus in a standard GIMO mother line as described for AG mutants but under the control elements of the Pb orthologous gene; subsequently, the Pb ortholog CDS is targeted for deletion through replacement of the Pb CDS with the hdhfr::yfcu SM, resulting in transgenic parasites with a new GIMO locus permissive for additional gene-insertion modifications.The different

  1. HDP—A Novel Heme Detoxification Protein from the Malaria Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Beatty, Wandy; Angel, Ross; Slebodnick, Carla; Andersen, John; Kumar, Sanjai; Rathore, Dharmendar

    2008-01-01

    When malaria parasites infect host red blood cells (RBC) and proteolyze hemoglobin, a unique, albeit poorly understood parasite-specific mechanism, detoxifies released heme into hemozoin (Hz). Here, we report the identification and characterization of a novel Plasmodium Heme Detoxification Protein (HDP) that is extremely potent in converting heme into Hz. HDP is functionally conserved across Plasmodium genus and its gene locus could not be disrupted. Once expressed, the parasite utilizes a circuitous “Outbound–Inbound” trafficking route by initially secreting HDP into the cytosol of infected RBC. A subsequent endocytosis of host cytosol (and hemoglobin) delivers HDP to the food vacuole (FV), the site of Hz formation. As Hz formation is critical for survival, involvement of HDP in this process suggests that it could be a malaria drug target. PMID:18437218

  2. Cyclic GMP Balance Is Critical for Malaria Parasite Transmission from the Mosquito to the Mammalian Host

    PubMed Central

    Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Fishbaugher, Matthew E.; Morrison, Bob; Baldwin, Michael; Macarulay, Michael; Vaughan, Ashley M.; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Transmission of malaria occurs during Anopheles mosquito vector blood meals, when Plasmodium sporozoites that have invaded the mosquito salivary glands are delivered to the mammalian host. Sporozoites display a unique form of motility that is essential for their movement across cellular host barriers and invasion of hepatocytes. While the molecular machinery powering motility and invasion is increasingly well defined, the signaling events that control these essential parasite activities have not been clearly delineated. Here, we identify a phosphodiesterase (PDEγ) in Plasmodium, a regulator of signaling through cyclic nucleotide second messengers. Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) analysis and epitope tagging of endogenous PDEγ detected its expression in blood stages and sporozoites of Plasmodium yoelii. Deletion of PDEγ (pdeγ−) rendered sporozoites nonmotile, and they failed to invade the mosquito salivary glands. Consequently, PDEγ deletion completely blocked parasite transmission by mosquito bite. Strikingly, pdeγ− sporozoites showed dramatically elevated levels of cyclic GMP (cGMP), indicating that a perturbation in cyclic nucleotide balance is involved in the observed phenotypic defects. Transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis of pdeγ− sporozoites revealed reduced transcript abundance of genes that encode key components of the motility and invasion apparatus. Our data reveal a crucial role for PDEγ in maintaining the cyclic nucleotide balance in the malaria parasite sporozoite stage, which in turn is essential for parasite transmission from mosquito to mammal. PMID:25784701

  3. Electrophysiological studies of malaria parasite-infected erythrocytes: Current status

    PubMed Central

    Staines, Henry M.; Alkhalil, Abdulnaser; Allen, Richard J.; De Jonge, Hugo R.; Derbyshire, Elvira; Egée, Stéphane; Ginsburg, Hagai; Hill, David A.; Huber, Stephan M.; Kirk, Kiaran; Lang, Florian; Lisk, Godfrey; Oteng, Eugene; Pillai, Ajay D.; Rayavara, Kempaiah; Rouhani, Sherin; Saliba, Kevin J.; Shen, Crystal; Solomon, Tsione; Thomas, Serge L. Y.; Verloo, Patrick; Desai, Sanjay A.

    2009-01-01

    The altered permeability characteristics of erythrocytes infected with malaria parasites have been a source of interest for over 30 years. Recent electrophysiological studies have provided strong evidence that these changes reflect transmembrane transport through ion channels in the host erythrocyte plasma membrane. However, conflicting results and differing interpretations of the data have led to confusion in this field. In an effort to unravel these issues, the groups involved recently came together for a week of discussion and experimentation. In this article, the various models for altered transport are reviewed, together with the areas of consensus in the field and those that require a better understanding. PMID:17292372

  4. Proteomics of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Sims, Paul F G; Hyde, John E

    2006-02-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. A transcriptional switch underlies commitment to sexual development in malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Kafsack, Björn F C; Rovira-Graells, Núria; Clark, Taane G; Bancells, Cristina; Crowley, Valerie M; Campino, Susana G; Williams, April E; Drought, Laura G; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Baker, David A; Cortés, Alfred; Llinás, Manuel

    2014-03-13

    The life cycles of many parasites involve transitions between disparate host species, requiring these parasites to go through multiple developmental stages adapted to each of these specialized niches. Transmission of malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) from humans to the mosquito vector requires differentiation from asexual stages replicating within red blood cells into non-dividing male and female gametocytes. Although gametocytes were first described in 1880, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in commitment to gametocyte formation is extremely limited, and disrupting this critical developmental transition remains a long-standing goal. Here we show that expression levels of the DNA-binding protein PfAP2-G correlate strongly with levels of gametocyte formation. Using independent forward and reverse genetics approaches, we demonstrate that PfAP2-G function is essential for parasite sexual differentiation. By combining genome-wide PfAP2-G cognate motif occurrence with global transcriptional changes resulting from PfAP2-G ablation, we identify early gametocyte genes as probable targets of PfAP2-G and show that their regulation by PfAP2-G is critical for their wild-type level expression. In the asexual blood-stage parasites pfap2-g appears to be among a set of epigenetically silenced loci prone to spontaneous activation. Stochastic activation presents a simple mechanism for a low baseline of gametocyte production. Overall, these findings identify PfAP2-G as a master regulator of sexual-stage development in malaria parasites and mark the first discovery of a transcriptional switch controlling a differentiation decision in protozoan parasites.

  8. Malaria parasite chitinase and penetration of the mosquito peritrophic membrane.

    PubMed Central

    Huber, M; Cabib, E; Miller, L H

    1991-01-01

    Malaria parasites (ookinetes) appear to digest the peritrophic membrane in the mosquito midgut during penetration. Previous studies demonstrated that lectins specific for N-acetylglucosamine bind to the peritrophic membrane and proposed that the membrane contains chitin [Rudin, W. & Hecker, H. (1989) Parasitol. Res. 75, 268-279]. In the present study, we show that the peritrophic membrane is digested by Serratia marcescens chitinase (EC 3.2.1.14), leading to the release of N-acetylglucosamine and fragmentation of the membrane. We also report the presence of a malaria parasite chitinase that digests 4-methylumbelliferyl chitotriose. The enzyme is not detectable until 15 hr after zygote formation, the time required for maturation of the parasite from a zygote to an ookinete, the invasive form of the parasite. At 20 hr, the enzyme begins to appear in the culture supernatant. The chitinase extracted from the parasite and found in the culture supernatant consists of a major band and two minor bands of activity on native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The presence of chitin in the peritrophic membrane, the disruption of the peritrophic membrane during invasion, and the presence of chitinase in ookinetes suggest that the chitinase in ookinetes is used in the penetration of the peritrophic membrane. Images PMID:2011589

  9. Effects of lime juice on malaria parasite clearance.

    PubMed

    Adegoke, S A; Oyelami, O A; Olatunya, O S; Adeyemi, L A

    2011-10-01

    One hundred and twenty children with acute uncomplicated malaria who were managed at the children's outpatient department of the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa (a unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals' Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria) were recruited into the study to determine the effects of lime juice on malaria parasite clearance. These children were randomized into treatment with World Health Organization recommended antimalarials (artemisinin combination therapy, ACT) either alone or with lime juice. Nine of them were lost to follow-up, four were in the group that were managed with ACT and lime, and five in the group that were managed on ACT alone. The average (SD) time to achieve >75% reduction in parasite load was significantly lower in patients on ACT and lime; 30.5 ± 2.4 h against 38.6 ± 3.3 h for those on ACT alone (p < 0.001). Also, while a significantly higher proportion of children on antimalarial drugs and lime juice achieved complete parasite clearance by 72 h of therapy (p = 0.007), ten (18.2%) patients without lime had early treatment failure (p = 0.003). There were no side effects with the use of lime juice. It may therefore be inferred, from this preliminary work, that lime juice when used with the appropriate antimalarial may enhance malaria parasite clearance especially in those with uncomplicated malaria.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. The development of malaria parasites in the mosquito midgut

    PubMed Central

    Bennink, Sandra; Kiesow, Meike J.

    2016-01-01

    Summary The mosquito midgut stages of malaria parasites are crucial for establishing an infection in the insect vector and to thus ensure further spread of the pathogen. Parasite development in the midgut starts with the activation of the intraerythrocytic gametocytes immediately after take‐up and ends with traversal of the midgut epithelium by the invasive ookinetes less than 24 h later. During this time period, the plasmodia undergo two processes of stage conversion, from gametocytes to gametes and from zygotes to ookinetes, both accompanied by dramatic morphological changes. Further, gamete formation requires parasite egress from the enveloping erythrocytes, rendering them vulnerable to the aggressive factors of the insect gut, like components of the human blood meal. The mosquito midgut stages of malaria parasites are unprecedented objects to study a variety of cell biological aspects, including signal perception, cell conversion, parasite/host co‐adaptation and immune evasion. This review highlights recent insights into the molecules involved in gametocyte activation and gamete formation as well as in zygote‐to‐ookinete conversion and ookinete midgut exit; it further discusses factors that can harm the extracellular midgut stages as well as the measures of the parasites to protect themselves from any damage. PMID:27111866

  12. Chimpanzee Malaria Parasites Related to Plasmodium ovale in Africa

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Home improvements: malaria and the red blood cell.

    PubMed

    Foley, M; Tilley, L

    1995-11-01

    In real-estate agent's terms, the red blood cell is a renovator's dream. The mature human erythrocyte has no internal organelles, no protein synthesis machinery and no infrastructure for protein trafficking. The malaria parasite invades this empty shell and effectively converts the erythrocyte back into a fully functional eukaryotic cell. In this article, Michael Foley and Leann Tilley examine the Plasmodium falciparum proteins that interact with the membrane skeleton at different stages of the infection and speculate on the roles of these proteins in the remodelling process.

  15. The role of palmitoylation for protein recruitment to the inner membrane complex of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Johanna; Herrmann, Susann; Swapna, Lakshmipuram Seshadri; Prusty, Dhaneswar; John Peter, Arun T; Kono, Maya; Saini, Sidharth; Nellimarla, Srinivas; Wong, Tatianna Wai Ying; Wilcke, Louisa; Ramsay, Olivia; Cabrera, Ana; Biller, Laura; Heincke, Dorothee; Mossman, Karen; Spielmann, Tobias; Ungermann, Christian; Parkinson, John; Gilberger, Tim W

    2015-01-16

    To survive and persist within its human host, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum utilizes a battery of lineage-specific innovations to invade and multiply in human erythrocytes. With central roles in invasion and cytokinesis, the inner membrane complex, a Golgi-derived double membrane structure underlying the plasma membrane of the parasite, represents a unique and unifying structure characteristic to all organisms belonging to a large phylogenetic group called Alveolata. More than 30 structurally and phylogenetically distinct proteins are embedded in the IMC, where a portion of these proteins displays N-terminal acylation motifs. Although N-terminal myristoylation is catalyzed co-translationally within the cytoplasm of the parasite, palmitoylation takes place at membranes and is mediated by palmitoyl acyltransferases (PATs). Here, we identify a PAT (PfDHHC1) that is exclusively localized to the IMC. Systematic phylogenetic analysis of the alveolate PAT family reveals PfDHHC1 to be a member of a highly conserved, apicomplexan-specific clade of PATs. We show that during schizogony this enzyme has an identical distribution like two dual-acylated, IMC-localized proteins (PfISP1 and PfISP3). We used these proteins to probe into specific sequence requirements for IMC-specific membrane recruitment and their interaction with differentially localized PATs of the parasite.

  16. Efficient expression systems for cysteine proteases of malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Sarduy, Emir Salas; de los A. Chávez Planes, María

    2013-01-01

    Papain-like cysteine proteases of malaria parasites are considered important chemotherapeutic targets or valuable models for the evaluation of drug candidates. Consequently, many of these enzymes have been cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli for their biochemical characterization. However, their expression has been problematic, showing low yield and leading to the formation of insoluble aggregates. Given that highly-productive expression systems are required for the high-throughput evaluation of inhibitors, we analyzed the existing expression systems to identify the causes of such apparent issues. We found that significant divergences in codon and nucleotide composition from host genes are the most probable cause of expression failure, and propose several strategies to overcome these limitations. Finally we predict that yeast hosts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris may be better suited than E. coli for the efficient expression of plasmodial genes, presumably leading to soluble and active products reproducing structural and functional characteristics of the natural enzymes. PMID:23018863

  17. Laminin and the malaria parasite's journey through the mosquito midgut.

    PubMed

    Arrighi, Romanico B G; Lycett, Gareth; Mahairaki, Vassiliki; Siden-Kiamos, Inga; Louis, Christos

    2005-07-01

    During the invasion of the mosquito midgut epithelium, Plasmodium ookinetes come to rest on the basal lamina, where they transform into the sporozoite-producing oocysts. Laminin, one of the basal lamina's major components, has previously been shown to bind several surface proteins of Plasmodium ookinetes. Here, using the recently developed RNAi technique in mosquitoes, we used a specific dsRNA construct targeted against the LANB2 gene (laminin gamma1) of Anopheles gambiae to reduce its mRNA levels, leading to a substantial reduction in the number of successfully developed oocysts in the mosquito midgut. Moreover, this molecular relationship is corroborated by the intimate association of developing P. berghei parasites and laminin in the gut, as observed using confocal microscopy. Our data support the notion of laminin playing a functional role in the development of the malaria parasite within the mosquito midgut.

  18. Identification of a vir-orthologous immune evasion gene family from primate malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Prajapati, Surendra Kumar; Singh, Om Prakash

    2014-04-01

    The immune evasion gene family of malaria parasites encodes variant surface proteins that are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes and help the parasite in evading the host immune response by means of antigenic variation. The identification of Plasmodium vivax vir orthologous immune evasion gene family from primate malaria parasites would provide new insight into the evolution of virulence and pathogenesis. Three vir subfamilies viz. vir-B, vir-D and vir-G were successfully PCR amplified from primate malaria parasites, cloned and sequenced. DNA sequence analysis confirmed orthologues of vir-D subfamily in Plasmodium cynomolgi, Plasmodium simium, Plasmodium simiovale and Plasmodium fieldi. The identified vir-D orthologues are 1-9 distinct members of the immune evasion gene family which have 68-83% sequence identity with vir-D and 71.2-98.5% sequence identity within the members identified from primate malaria parasites. The absence of other vir subfamilies among primate malaria parasites reflects the limitations in the experimental approach. This study clearly identified the presence of vir-D like sequences in four species of Plasmodium infecting primates that would be useful in understanding the evolution of virulence in malaria parasites.

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

    PubMed

    Ngassa Mbenda, Huguette Gaelle; Das, Aparup

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Origin of robustness in generating drug-resistant malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Kümpornsin, Krittikorn; Modchang, Charin; Heinberg, Adina; Ekland, Eric H; Jirawatcharadech, Piyaporn; Chobson, Pornpimol; Suwanakitti, Nattida; Chaotheing, Sastra; Wilairat, Prapon; Deitsch, Kirk W; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee; Fidock, David A; Kirkman, Laura A; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Chookajorn, Thanat

    2014-07-01

    Biological robustness allows mutations to accumulate while maintaining functional phenotypes. Despite its crucial role in evolutionary processes, the mechanistic details of how robustness originates remain elusive. Using an evolutionary trajectory analysis approach, we demonstrate how robustness evolved in malaria parasites under selective pressure from an antimalarial drug inhibiting the folate synthesis pathway. A series of four nonsynonymous amino acid substitutions at the targeted enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), render the parasites highly resistant to the antifolate drug pyrimethamine. Nevertheless, the stepwise gain of these four dhfr mutations results in tradeoffs between pyrimethamine resistance and parasite fitness. Here, we report the epistatic interaction between dhfr mutations and amplification of the gene encoding the first upstream enzyme in the folate pathway, GTP cyclohydrolase I (GCH1). gch1 amplification confers low level pyrimethamine resistance and would thus be selected for by pyrimethamine treatment. Interestingly, the gch1 amplification can then be co-opted by the parasites because it reduces the cost of acquiring drug-resistant dhfr mutations downstream in the same metabolic pathway. The compensation of compromised fitness by extra GCH1 is an example of how robustness can evolve in a system and thus expand the accessibility of evolutionary trajectories leading toward highly resistant alleles. The evolution of robustness during the gain of drug-resistant mutations has broad implications for both the development of new drugs and molecular surveillance for resistance to existing drugs.

  1. Emerging functions of transcription factors in malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Tuteja, Renu; Ansari, Abulaish; Chauhan, Virander Singh

    2011-01-01

    Transcription is a process by which the genetic information stored in DNA is converted into mRNA by enzymes known as RNA polymerase. Bacteria use only one RNA polymerase to transcribe all of its genes while eukaryotes contain three RNA polymerases to transcribe the variety of eukaryotic genes. RNA polymerase also requires other factors/proteins to produce the transcript. These factors generally termed as transcription factors (TFs) are either associated directly with RNA polymerase or add in building the actual transcription apparatus. TFs are the most common tools that our cells use to control gene expression. Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for causing the most lethal form of malaria in humans. It shows most of its characteristics common to eukaryotic transcription but it is assumed that mechanisms of transcriptional control in P. falciparum somehow differ from those of other eukaryotes. In this article we describe the studies on the main TFs such as myb protein, high mobility group protein and ApiA2 family proteins from malaria parasite. These studies show that these TFs are slowly emerging to have defined roles in the regulation of gene expression in the parasite.

  2. Host-based Prophylaxis Successfully Targets Liver Stage Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Douglass, Alyse N; Kain, Heather S; Abdullahi, Marian; Arang, Nadia; Austin, Laura S; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Billman, Zachary P; Hume, Jen C C; Murphy, Sean C; Kappe, Stefan H I; Kaushansky, Alexis

    2015-01-01

    Eliminating malaria parasites during the asymptomatic but obligate liver stages (LSs) of infection would stop disease and subsequent transmission. Unfortunately, only a single licensed drug that targets all LSs, Primaquine, is available. Targeting host proteins might significantly expand the repertoire of prophylactic drugs against malaria. Here, we demonstrate that both Bcl-2 inhibitors and P53 agonists dramatically reduce LS burden in a mouse malaria model in vitro and in vivo by altering the activity of key hepatocyte factors on which the parasite relies. Bcl-2 inhibitors act primarily by inducing apoptosis in infected hepatocytes, whereas P53 agonists eliminate parasites in an apoptosis-independent fashion. In combination, Bcl-2 inhibitors and P53 agonists act synergistically to delay, and in some cases completely prevent, the onset of blood stage disease. Both families of drugs are highly effective at doses that do not cause substantial hepatocyte cell death in vitro or liver damage in vivo. P53 agonists and Bcl-2 inhibitors were also effective when administered to humanized mice infected with Plasmodium falciparum. Our data demonstrate that host-based prophylaxis could be developed into an effective intervention strategy that eliminates LS parasites before the onset of clinical disease and thus opens a new avenue to prevent malaria. PMID:25648263

  3. Deconvoluting heme biosynthesis to target blood-stage malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Heme metabolism is central to blood-stage infection by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Parasites retain a heme biosynthesis pathway but do not require its activity during infection of heme-rich erythrocytes, where they can scavenge host heme to meet metabolic needs. Nevertheless, heme biosynthesis in parasite-infected erythrocytes can be potently stimulated by exogenous 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), resulting in accumulation of the phototoxic intermediate protoporphyrin IX (PPIX). Here we use photodynamic imaging, mass spectrometry, parasite gene disruption, and chemical probes to reveal that vestigial host enzymes in the cytoplasm of Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes contribute to ALA-stimulated heme biosynthesis and that ALA uptake depends on parasite-established permeability pathways. We show that PPIX accumulation in infected erythrocytes can be harnessed for antimalarial chemotherapy using luminol-based chemiluminescence and combinatorial stimulation by low-dose artemisinin to photoactivate PPIX to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen. This photodynamic strategy has the advantage of exploiting host enzymes refractory to resistance-conferring mutations. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09143.001 PMID:26173178

  4. Nanomimics of host cell membranes block invasion and expose invasive malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Najer, Adrian; Wu, Dalin; Bieri, Andrej; Brand, Françoise; Palivan, Cornelia G; Beck, Hans-Peter; Meier, Wolfgang

    2014-12-23

    The fight against most infectious diseases, including malaria, is often hampered by the emergence of drug resistance and lack or limited efficacies of vaccines. Therefore, new drugs, vaccines, or other strategies to control these diseases are needed. Here, we present an innovative nanotechnological strategy in which the nanostructure itself represents the active substance with no necessity to release compounds to attain therapeutic effect and which might act in a drug- and vaccine-like dual function. Invasion of Plasmodium falciparum parasites into red blood cells was selected as a biological model for the initial validation of this approach. Stable nanomimics-polymersomes presenting receptors required for parasite attachment to host cells-were designed to efficiently interrupt the life cycle of the parasite by inhibiting invasion. A simple way to build nanomimics without postformation modifications was established. First, a block copolymer of the receptor with a hydrophobic polymer was synthesized and then mixed with a polymersome-forming block copolymer. The resulting nanomimics bound parasite-derived ligands involved in the initial attachment to host cells and they efficiently blocked reinvasion of malaria parasites after their egress from host cells in vitro. They exhibited efficacies of more than 2 orders of magnitude higher than the soluble form of the receptor, which can be explained by multivalent interactions of several receptors on one nanomimic with multiple ligands on the infective parasite. In the future, our strategy might offer interesting treatment options for severe malaria or a way to modulate the immune response.

  5. Population Structure Shapes Copy Number Variation in Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Cheeseman, Ian H.; Miller, Becky; Tan, John C.; Tan, Asako; Nair, Shalini; Nkhoma, Standwell C.; De Donato, Marcos; Rodulfo, Hectorina; Dondorp, Arjen; Branch, Oralee H.; Mesia, Lastenia Ruiz; Newton, Paul; Mayxay, Mayfong; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J.; Nosten, François; Ferdig, Michael T.; Anderson, Tim J. C.

    2016-01-01

    If copy number variants (CNVs) are predominantly deleterious, we would expect them to be more efficiently purged from populations with a large effective population size (Ne) than from populations with a small Ne. Malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) provide an excellent organism to examine this prediction, because this protozoan shows a broad spectrum of population structures within a single species, with large, stable, outbred populations in Africa, small unstable inbred populations in South America and with intermediate population characteristics in South East Asia. We characterized 122 single-clone parasites, without prior laboratory culture, from malaria-infected patients in seven countries in Africa, South East Asia and South America using a high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism/CNV microarray. We scored 134 high-confidence CNVs across the parasite exome, including 33 deletions and 102 amplifications, which ranged in size from <500 bp to 59 kb, as well as 10,107 flanking, biallelic single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Overall, CNVs were rare, small, and skewed toward low frequency variants, consistent with the deleterious model. Relative to African and South East Asian populations, CNVs were significantly more common in South America, showed significantly less skew in allele frequencies, and were significantly larger. On this background of low frequency CNV, we also identified several high-frequency CNVs under putative positive selection using an FST outlier analysis. These included known adaptive CNVs containing rh2b and pfmdr1, and several other CNVs (e.g., DNA helicase and three conserved proteins) that require further investigation. Our data are consistent with a significant impact of genetic structure on CNV burden in an important human pathogen. PMID:26613787

  6. Population Structure Shapes Copy Number Variation in Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Cheeseman, Ian H; Miller, Becky; Tan, John C; Tan, Asako; Nair, Shalini; Nkhoma, Standwell C; De Donato, Marcos; Rodulfo, Hectorina; Dondorp, Arjen; Branch, Oralee H; Mesia, Lastenia Ruiz; Newton, Paul; Mayxay, Mayfong; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J; Nosten, François; Ferdig, Michael T; Anderson, Tim J C

    2016-03-01

    If copy number variants (CNVs) are predominantly deleterious, we would expect them to be more efficiently purged from populations with a large effective population size (Ne) than from populations with a small Ne. Malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) provide an excellent organism to examine this prediction, because this protozoan shows a broad spectrum of population structures within a single species, with large, stable, outbred populations in Africa, small unstable inbred populations in South America and with intermediate population characteristics in South East Asia. We characterized 122 single-clone parasites, without prior laboratory culture, from malaria-infected patients in seven countries in Africa, South East Asia and South America using a high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism/CNV microarray. We scored 134 high-confidence CNVs across the parasite exome, including 33 deletions and 102 amplifications, which ranged in size from <500 bp to 59 kb, as well as 10,107 flanking, biallelic single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Overall, CNVs were rare, small, and skewed toward low frequency variants, consistent with the deleterious model. Relative to African and South East Asian populations, CNVs were significantly more common in South America, showed significantly less skew in allele frequencies, and were significantly larger. On this background of low frequency CNV, we also identified several high-frequency CNVs under putative positive selection using an FST outlier analysis. These included known adaptive CNVs containing rh2b and pfmdr1, and several other CNVs (e.g., DNA helicase and three conserved proteins) that require further investigation. Our data are consistent with a significant impact of genetic structure on CNV burden in an important human pathogen.

  7. Methodology and Application of Flow Cytometry for Investigation of Human Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Grimberg, Brian T.

    2011-01-01

    Historically, examinations of the inhibition of malaria parasite growth/invasion, whether using drugs or antibodies, have relied on the use of microscopy or radioactive hypoxanthine uptake. These are considered gold standards for measuring the effectiveness of antimalarial treatments, however, these methods have well known shortcomings. With the advent of flow cytometry coupled with the use of fluorescent DNA stains allowed for increased speed, reproducibility, and qualitative estimates of the effectiveness of antibodies and drugs to limit malaria parasite growth which addresses the challenges of traditional techniques. Because materials and machines available to research facilities are so varied, different methods have been developed to investigate malaria parasites by flow cytometry. This review is intended to serve as a reference guide for advanced users and importantly, as a primer for new users, to support expanded use and improvements to malaria flow cytometry, particularly in endemic countries. PMID:21296083

  8. Identification of mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite using analysis of variance.

    PubMed

    Ding, Hui; Li, Dongmei

    2015-02-01

    As a parasitic protozoan, Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) can cause malaria. The mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite play important roles in the discovery of anti-malarial drug targets. Thus, accurate identification of mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite is a key step for understanding their functions and finding potential drug targets. In this work, we developed a sequence-based method to identify the mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite. At first, we extended adjoining dipeptide composition to g-gap dipeptide composition for discretely formulating the protein sequences. Subsequently, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) combined with incremental feature selection (IFS) was used to pick out the optimal features. Finally, the jackknife cross-validation was used to evaluate the performance of the proposed model. Evaluation results showed that the maximum accuracy of 97.1% could be achieved by using 101 optimal 5-gap dipeptides. The comparison with previous methods demonstrated that our method was accurate and efficient.

  9. Comparison of Texture Features Used for Classification of Life Stages of Malaria Parasite

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is a vector borne disease widely occurring at equatorial region. Even after decades of campaigning of malaria control, still today it is high mortality causing disease due to improper and late diagnosis. To prevent number of people getting affected by malaria, the diagnosis should be in early stage and accurate. This paper presents an automatic method for diagnosis of malaria parasite in the blood images. Image processing techniques are used for diagnosis of malaria parasite and to detect their stages. The diagnosis of parasite stages is done using features like statistical features and textural features of malaria parasite in blood images. This paper gives a comparison of the textural based features individually used and used in group together. The comparison is made by considering the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the features for the same images in database. PMID:27247560

  10. An image analysis algorithm for malaria parasite stage classification and viability quantification.

    PubMed

    Moon, Seunghyun; Lee, Sukjun; Kim, Heechang; Freitas-Junior, Lucio H; Kang, Myungjoo; Ayong, Lawrence; Hansen, Michael A E

    2013-01-01

    With more than 40% of the world's population at risk, 200-300 million infections each year, and an estimated 1.2 million deaths annually, malaria remains one of the most important public health problems of mankind today. With the propensity of malaria parasites to rapidly develop resistance to newly developed therapies, and the recent failures of artemisinin-based drugs in Southeast Asia, there is an urgent need for new antimalarial compounds with novel mechanisms of action to be developed against multidrug resistant malaria. We present here a novel image analysis algorithm for the quantitative detection and classification of Plasmodium lifecycle stages in culture as well as discriminating between viable and dead parasites in drug-treated samples. This new algorithm reliably estimates the number of red blood cells (isolated or clustered) per fluorescence image field, and accurately identifies parasitized erythrocytes on the basis of high intensity DAPI-stained parasite nuclei spots and Mitotracker-stained mitochondrial in viable parasites. We validated the performance of the algorithm by manual counting of the infected and non-infected red blood cells in multiple image fields, and the quantitative analyses of the different parasite stages (early rings, rings, trophozoites, schizonts) at various time-point post-merozoite invasion, in tightly synchronized cultures. Additionally, the developed algorithm provided parasitological effective concentration 50 (EC50) values for both chloroquine and artemisinin, that were similar to known growth inhibitory EC50 values for these compounds as determined using conventional SYBR Green I and lactate dehydrogenase-based assays.

  11. Interspecific competition during transmission of two sympatric malaria parasite species to the mosquito vector.

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Rick E L; Nu, Van Anh Ton; Krettli, Antoniana U; Brey, Paul T

    2002-01-01

    The role of species interactions in structuring parasite communities remains controversial. Here, we show that interspecific competition between two avian malaria parasite species, Plasmodium gallinaceum and P. juxtanucleare, occurs as a result of interference during parasite fertilization within the bloodmeal of the mosquito. The significant reduction in the transmission success of P. gallinaceum to mosquitoes, due to the co-infecting P. juxtanucleare, is predicted to have compromised its colonization of regions occupied by P. juxtanucleare and, thus, may have contributed to the restricted global distribution of P. gallinaceum. Such interspecies interactions may occur between human malaria parasites and, thus, impact upon parasite species epidemiology, especially in regions of seasonal transmission. PMID:12573069

  12. New molecular detection methods of malaria parasites with multiple genes from genomes.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Himanshu; Srivastava, Shikha; Chaudhari, Sima; Vasudevan, Thanvanthri G; Hande, Manjunath H; D'souza, Sydney C; Umakanth, Shashikiran; Satyamoorthy, Kapaettu

    2016-08-01

    For the effective control of malaria, development of sensitive, accurate and rapid tool to diagnose and manage the disease is essential. In humans subjects, the severe form of malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and Plasmodium vivax (Pv) and there is need to identify these parasites in acute, chronic and latent (during and post-infection) stages of the disease. In this study, we report a species specific and sensitive diagnostic method for the detection of Pf and Pv in humans. First, we identified intra and intergenic multiloci short stretch of 152 (PfMLS152) and 110 (PvMLS110) nucleotides which is present up to 44 and 34 times in the genomes of Pf and Pv respectively. We developed the single-step amplification-based method using isolated DNA or from lysed red blood cells for the detection of the two malaria parasites. The limit of detection of real-time polymerase chain reaction based assays were 0.1copyof parasite/μl for PfMLS152 and PvMLS110 target sequences. Next, we have tested 250 clinically suspected cases of malaria to validate the method. Sensitivity and specificity for both targets were 100% compared to the quantitative buffy coat microscopy analysis and real-time PCR (Pf-chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) and Pv-lactate dehydrogenase (PvLDH)) based assays. The sensitivity of microscopy and real-time PCR (PfCRT and PvLDH primers) assays were 80.63%; 95%CI 75.22%-85.31%; p<0.05 and 97.61%; 95%CI 94.50%-99.21%; p<0.05 in detecting malaria infection respectively when compared to PfMLS152 and PvMLS110 targets to identify malaria infection in patients. These improved assays may have potential applications in evaluating malaria in asymptomatic patients, treatment, blood donors and in vaccine studies.

  13. Parasites that cause problems in Malaysia: soil-transmitted helminths and malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Singh, B; Cox-Singh, J

    2001-12-01

    Malaysia is a developing country with a range of parasitic infections. Indeed, soil-transmitted helminths and malaria parasites continue to have a significant impact on public health in Malaysia. In this article, the prevalence and distribution of these parasites, the problems associated with parasitic infections, the control measures taken to deal with these parasites and implications for the future will be discussed.

  14. The antibiotic micrococcin is a potent inhibitor of growth and protein synthesis in the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Rogers, M J; Cundliffe, E; McCutchan, T F

    1998-03-01

    The antibiotic micrococcin is a potent growth inhibitor of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 35 nM. This is comparable to or less than the corresponding levels of commonly used antimalarial drugs. Micrococcin, like thiostrepton, putatively targets protein synthesis in the plastid-like organelle of the parasite.

  15. Do malaria parasites manipulate the escape behaviour of their avian hosts? An experimental study.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Longoria, Luz; Møller, Anders P; Balbontín, Javier; de Lope, Florentino; Marzal, Alfonso

    2015-12-01

    Escape behaviour is the behaviour that birds and other animals display when already caught by a predator. An individual exhibiting higher intensity of such anti-predator behaviour could have greater probabilities of escape from predators. Parasites are known to affect different aspects of host behaviour to increase their own fitness. Vector-transmitted parasites such as malaria parasites should gain by manipulating their hosts to enhance the probability of transmission. Several studies have shown that malaria parasites can manipulate their vectors leading to increased transmission success. However, little is known about whether malaria parasites can manipulate escape behaviour of their avian hosts thereby increasing the spread of the parasite. Here we used an experimental approach to explore if Plasmodium relictum can manipulate the escape behaviour of one of its most common avian hosts, the house sparrow Passer domesticus. We experimentally tested whether malaria parasites manipulate the escape behaviour of their avian host. We showed a decrease in the intensity of biting and tonic immobility after removal of infection with anti-malaria medication compared to pre-experimental behaviour. These outcomes suggest that infected sparrows performed more intense escape behaviour, which would increase the likelihood of individuals escaping from predators, but also benefit the parasite by increasing its transmission opportunities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Motility precedes egress of malaria parasites from oocysts

    PubMed Central

    Klug, Dennis; Frischknecht, Friedrich

    2017-01-01

    Malaria is transmitted when an infected Anopheles mosquito deposits Plasmodium sporozoites in the skin during a bite. Sporozoites are formed within oocysts at the mosquito midgut wall and are released into the hemolymph, from where they invade the salivary glands and are subsequently transmitted to the vertebrate host. We found that a thrombospondin-repeat containing sporozoite-specific protein named thrombospondin-releated protein 1 (TRP1) is important for oocyst egress and salivary gland invasion, and hence for the transmission of malaria. We imaged the release of sporozoites from oocysts in situ, which was preceded by active motility. Parasites lacking TRP1 failed to migrate within oocysts and did not egress, suggesting that TRP1 is a vital component of the events that precede intra-oocyst motility and subsequently sporozoite egress and salivary gland invasion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19157.001 PMID:28115054

  20. Sickle cell microRNAs inhibit the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Duraisingh, Manoj T; Lodish, Harvey F

    2012-08-16

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

  1. Hidden in plain sight: Cryptic and endemic malaria parasites in North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

    PubMed

    Martinsen, Ellen S; McInerney, Nancy; Brightman, Heidi; Ferebee, Ken; Walsh, Tim; McShea, William J; Forrester, Tavis D; Ware, Lisa; Joyner, Priscilla H; Perkins, Susan L; Latch, Emily K; Yabsley, Michael J; Schall, Joseph J; Fleischer, Robert C

    2016-02-01

    Malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium are diverse in mammal hosts, infecting five mammalian orders in the Old World, but were long considered absent from the diverse deer family (Cervidae) and from New World mammals. There was a description of a Plasmodium parasite infecting a single splenectomized white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus) in 1967 but none have been reported since, which has proven a challenge to our understanding of malaria parasite biogeography. Using both microscopy and polymerase chain reaction, we screened a large sample of native and captive ungulate species from across the United States for malaria parasites. We found a surprisingly high prevalence (up to 25%) and extremely low parasitemia of Plasmodium parasites in WTD throughout the eastern United States. We did not detect infections in the other ungulate species nor in western WTD. We also isolated the parasites from the mosquito Anopheles punctipennis. Morphologically, the parasites resemble the parasite described in 1967, Plasmodium odocoilei. Our analysis of the cytochrome b gene revealed two divergent Plasmodium clades in WTD representative of species that likely diverged 2.3 to 6 million years ago, concurrent with the arrival of the WTD ancestor into North America across Beringia. Multigene phylogenetic analysis placed these clades within the larger malaria parasite clade. We document Plasmodium parasites to be common in WTD, endemic to the New World, and as the only known malaria parasites from deer (Cervidae). These findings reshape our knowledge of the phylogeography of the malaria parasites and suggest that other mammal taxa may harbor infection by endemic and occult malaria parasites.

  2. Hidden in plain sight: Cryptic and endemic malaria parasites in North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

    PubMed Central

    Martinsen, Ellen S.; McInerney, Nancy; Brightman, Heidi; Ferebee, Ken; Walsh, Tim; McShea, William J.; Forrester, Tavis D.; Ware, Lisa; Joyner, Priscilla H.; Perkins, Susan L.; Latch, Emily K.; Yabsley, Michael J.; Schall, Joseph J.; Fleischer, Robert C.

    2016-01-01

    Malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium are diverse in mammal hosts, infecting five mammalian orders in the Old World, but were long considered absent from the diverse deer family (Cervidae) and from New World mammals. There was a description of a Plasmodium parasite infecting a single splenectomized white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus) in 1967 but none have been reported since, which has proven a challenge to our understanding of malaria parasite biogeography. Using both microscopy and polymerase chain reaction, we screened a large sample of native and captive ungulate species from across the United States for malaria parasites. We found a surprisingly high prevalence (up to 25%) and extremely low parasitemia of Plasmodium parasites in WTD throughout the eastern United States. We did not detect infections in the other ungulate species nor in western WTD. We also isolated the parasites from the mosquito Anopheles punctipennis. Morphologically, the parasites resemble the parasite described in 1967, Plasmodium odocoilei. Our analysis of the cytochrome b gene revealed two divergent Plasmodium clades in WTD representative of species that likely diverged 2.3 to 6 million years ago, concurrent with the arrival of the WTD ancestor into North America across Beringia. Multigene phylogenetic analysis placed these clades within the larger malaria parasite clade. We document Plasmodium parasites to be common in WTD, endemic to the New World, and as the only known malaria parasites from deer (Cervidae). These findings reshape our knowledge of the phylogeography of the malaria parasites and suggest that other mammal taxa may harbor infection by endemic and occult malaria parasites. PMID:26989785

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Maternally supplied S-acyl-transferase is required for crystalloid organelle formation and transmission of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Duarte, Neuza; Ramesar, Jai; Avramut, M. Cristina; Koster, Abraham J.; Dessens, Johannes T.; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Chevalley-Maurel, Séverine; Janse, Chris J.; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Mair, Gunnar R.

    2016-01-01

    Transmission of the malaria parasite from the mammalian host to the mosquito vector requires the formation of adequately adapted parasite forms and stage-specific organelles. Here we show that formation of the crystalloid—a unique and short-lived organelle of the Plasmodium ookinete and oocyst stage required for sporogony—is dependent on the precisely timed expression of the S-acyl-transferase DHHC10. DHHC10, translationally repressed in female Plasmodium berghei gametocytes, is activated translationally during ookinete formation, where the protein is essential for the formation of the crystalloid, the correct targeting of crystalloid-resident protein LAP2, and malaria parasite transmission. PMID:27303037

  7. Standardization in generating and reporting genetically modified rodent malaria parasites: the RMgmDB database.

    PubMed

    Khan, Shahid M; Kroeze, Hans; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Janse, Chris J

    2013-01-01

    Genetically modified Plasmodium parasites are central gene function reagents in malaria research. The Rodent Malaria genetically modified DataBase (RMgmDB) ( www.pberghei.eu ) is a manually curated Web - based repository that contains information on genetically modified rodent malaria parasites. It provides easy and rapid access to information on the genotype and phenotype of genetically modified mutant and reporter parasites. Here, we provide guidelines for generating and describing rodent malaria parasite mutants. Standardization in describing mutant genotypes and phenotypes is important not only to enhance publication quality but also to facilitate cross-linking and mining data from multiple sources, and should permit information derived from mutant parasites to be used in integrative system biology approaches. We also provide guidelines on how to submit information to RMgmDB on non-published mutants, mutants that do not exhibit a clear phenotype, as well as negative attempts to disrupt/mutate genes. Such information helps to prevent unnecessary duplication of experiments in different laboratories, and can provide indirect evidence that these genes are essential for blood-stage development.

  8. A mosquito 2-Cys peroxiredoxin protects against nitrosative and oxidative stresses associated with malaria parasite infection

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Tina M.L.; Luckhart, Shirley

    2008-01-01

    Malaria parasite infection in anopheline mosquitoes induces nitrosative and oxidative stresses that limit parasite development, but also damage mosquito tissues in proximity to the response. Based on these observations, we proposed that cellular defenses in the mosquito may be induced to minimize self-damage. Specifically, we hypothesized that peroxiredoxins (Prxs), enzymes known to detoxify reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen oxide species (RNOS), protect mosquito cells. We identified an Anopheles stephensi 2-Cys Prx ortholog of Drosophila melanogaster Prx-4783, which protects fly cells against oxidative stresses. To assess function, AsPrx-4783 was overexpressed in D. melanogaster (S2) and in A. stephensi (MSQ43) cells and silenced in MSQ43 cells with RNA interference before treatment with various ROS and RNOS. Our data revealed that AsPrx-4783 and DmPrx-4783 differ in host cell protection and that AsPrx-4783 protects A. stephensi cells against stresses that are relevant to malaria parasite infection in vivo, namely nitric oxide (NO), hydrogen peroxide, nitroxyl, and peroxynitrite. Further, AsPrx-4783 expression is induced in the mosquito midgut by parasite infection at times associated with peak nitrosative and oxidative stresses. Hence, whereas the NO-mediated defense response is toxic to both host and parasite, AsPrx-4783 may shift the balance in favor of the mosquito. PMID:16540402

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  10. H2O2 dynamics in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Rahbari, Mahsa; Bogeski, Ivan

    2017-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Investigating the evolution of apoptosis in malaria parasites: the importance of ecology

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Apoptosis is a precisely regulated process of cell death which occurs widely in multicellular organisms and is essential for normal development and immune defences. In recent years, interest has grown in the occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular organisms. In particular, as apoptosis has been reported in a wide range of species, including protozoan malaria parasites and trypanosomes, it may provide a novel target for intervention. However, it is important to understand when and why parasites employ an apoptosis strategy before the likely long- and short-term success of such an intervention can be evaluated. The occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular parasites provides a challenge for evolutionary theory to explain as organisms are expected to have evolved to maximise their own proliferation, not death. One possible explanation is that protozoan parasites undergo apoptosis in order to gain a group benefit from controlling their density as this prevents premature vector mortality. However, experimental manipulations to examine the ultimate causes behind apoptosis in parasites are lacking. In this review, we focus on malaria parasites to outline how an evolutionary framework can help make predictions about the ecological circumstances under which apoptosis could evolve. We then highlight the ecological considerations that should be taken into account when designing evolutionary experiments involving markers of cell death, and we call for collaboration between researchers in different fields to identify and develop appropriate markers in reference to parasite ecology and to resolve debates on terminology. PMID:21080937

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  15. A mosquito 2-Cys peroxiredoxin protects against nitrosative and oxidative stresses associated with malaria parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Tina M L; Luckhart, Shirley

    2006-03-15

    Malaria parasite infection in anopheline mosquitoes induces nitrosative and oxidative stresses that limit parasite development, but also damage mosquito tissues in proximity to the response. Based on these observations, we proposed that cellular defenses in the mosquito may be induced to minimize self-damage. Specifically, we hypothesized that peroxiredoxins (Prxs), enzymes known to detoxify reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen oxide species (RNOS), protect mosquito cells. We identified an Anopheles stephensi 2-Cys Prx ortholog of Drosophila melanogaster Prx-4783, which protects fly cells against oxidative stresses. To assess function, AsPrx-4783 was overexpressed in D. melanogaster S2 and in A. stephensi (MSQ43) cells and silenced in MSQ43 cells with RNA interference before treatment with various ROS and RNOS. Our data revealed that AsPrx-4783 and DmPrx-4783 differ in host cell protection and that AsPrx-4783 protects A. stephensi cells against stresses that are relevant to malaria parasite infection in vivo, namely nitric oxide (NO), hydrogen peroxide, nitroxyl, and peroxynitrite. Further, AsPrx-4783 expression is induced in the mosquito midgut by parasite infection at times associated with peak nitrosative and oxidative stresses. Hence, whereas the NO-mediated defense response is toxic to both host and parasite, AsPrx-4783 may shift the balance in favor of the mosquito.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Malaria parasites form filamentous cell-to-cell connections during reproduction in the mosquito midgut.

    PubMed

    Rupp, Ingrid; Sologub, Ludmilla; Williamson, Kim C; Scheuermayer, Matthias; Reininger, Luc; Doerig, Christian; Eksi, Saliha; Kombila, Davy U; Frank, Matthias; Pradel, Gabriele

    2011-04-01

    Physical contact is important for the interaction between animal cells, but it can represent a major challenge for protists like malaria parasites. Recently, novel filamentous cell-cell contacts have been identified in different types of eukaryotic cells and termed nanotubes due to their morphological appearance. Nanotubes represent small dynamic membranous extensions that consist of F-actin and are considered an ancient feature evolved by eukaryotic cells to establish contact for communication. We here describe similar tubular structures in the malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum, which emerge from the surfaces of the forming gametes upon gametocyte activation in the mosquito midgut. The filaments can exhibit a length of > 100 μm and contain the F-actin isoform actin 2. They actively form within a few minutes after gametocyte activation and persist until the zygote transforms into the ookinete. The filaments originate from the parasite plasma membrane, are close ended and express adhesion proteins on their surfaces that are typically found in gametes, like Pfs230, Pfs48/45 or Pfs25, but not the zygote surface protein Pfs28. We show that these tubular structures represent long-distance cell-to-cell connections between sexual stage parasites and demonstrate that they meet the characteristics of nanotubes. We propose that malaria parasites utilize these adhesive "nanotubes" in order to facilitate intercellular contact between gametes during reproduction in the mosquito midgut.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, S L

    2000-01-01

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

  1. Ferrous iron-dependent delivery of therapeutic agents to the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Mahajan, Sumit S; Gut, Jiri; Rosenthal, Philip J; Renslo, Adam R

    2013-01-01

    Background The malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax generate significant concentrations of free unbound ferrous iron heme as a side product of hemoglobin degradation. The presence of these chemically reactive forms of iron, rare in healthy cells, presents an opportunity for parasite-selective drug delivery. Accordingly, our group is developing technologies for the targeted delivery of therapeutics to the intra-erythrocytic malaria parasite. These so-called ‘fragmenting hybrids’ employ a 1,2,4-trioxolane ring system as an iron(II)-sensing ‘trigger’ moiety and a ‘traceless’ retro-Michael linker to which a variety of partner drug species may be attached. After ferrous iron-promoted activation in the parasite, the partner drug is released via a β-elimination reaction. Methods In this report, we describe three orthogonal experimental approaches that were explored in order to generate in vitro proof-of-concept for ferrous iron-dependent drug delivery from a prototypical fragmenting hybrid. Conclusion Studies of two fragmenting hybrids by orthogonal approaches confirm that a partner drug species can be delivered to live P. falciparum parasites. A key advantage of this approach is the potential to mask a partner drug’s intrinsic bioactivity prior to release in the parasite. PMID:23234548

  2. Invasion of mosquito salivary glands by malaria parasites: Prerequisites and defense strategies

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Ann-Kristin; Kohlhepp, Florian; Hammerschmidt, Christiane; Michel, Kristin

    2010-01-01

    The interplay between vector and pathogen is essential for vector-borne disease transmission. Dissecting the molecular basis of refractoriness of some vectors may pave the way to novel disease control mechanisms. A pathogen often needs to overcome several physical barriers, such as the peritrophic matrix, midgut epithelium and salivary glands. Additionally, the arthropod vector elicites immune responses that can severely limit transmission success. One important step in the transmission of most vector-borne diseases is the entry of the disease agent into the salivary glands of its arthropod vector. The salivary glands of blood-feeding arthropods produce a complex mixture of molecules that facilitate blood feeding by inhibition of the host haemostasis, inflammation and immune reactions. Pathogen entry into salivary glands is a receptor-mediated process, which requires molecules on the surface of the pathogen and salivary gland. In most cases, the nature of these molecules remains unknown. Recent advances in our understanding of malaria parasite entry into mosquito salivary glands strongly suggests that specific carbohydrate molecules on the salivary gland surface function as docking receptors for malaria parasites. PMID:20621627

  3. Interferon-mediated innate immune responses against malaria parasite liver stages.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jessica L; Sack, Brandon K; Baldwin, Michael; Vaughan, Ashley M; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2014-04-24

    Mosquito-transmitted malaria parasites infect hepatocytes and asymptomatically replicate as liver stages. Using RNA sequencing, we show that a rodent malaria liver-stage infection stimulates a robust innate immune response including type I interferon (IFN) and IFNγ pathways. Liver-stage infection is suppressed by these infection-engendered innate responses. This suppression was abrogated in mice deficient in IFNγ, the type I IFN α/β receptor (IFNAR), and interferon regulatory factor 3. Natural killer and CD49b(+)CD3(+) natural killer T (NKT) cells increased in the liver after a primary infection, and CD1d-restricted NKT cells, which secrete IFNγ, were critical in reducing liver-stage burden of a secondary infection. Lack of IFNAR signaling abrogated the increase in NKT cell numbers in the liver, showing a link between type I IFN signaling, cell recruitment, and subsequent parasite elimination. Our findings demonstrate innate immune sensing of malaria parasite liver-stage infection and that the ensuing innate responses can eliminate the parasite.

  4. Culture adaptation of malaria parasites selects for convergent loss-of-function mutants

    PubMed Central

    Claessens, Antoine; Affara, Muna; Assefa, Samuel A.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Conway, David J.

    2017-01-01

    Cultured human pathogens may differ significantly from source populations. To investigate the genetic basis of laboratory adaptation in malaria parasites, clinical Plasmodium falciparum isolates were sampled from patients and cultured in vitro for up to three months. Genome sequence analysis was performed on multiple culture time point samples from six monoclonal isolates, and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variants emerging over time were detected. Out of a total of five positively selected SNPs, four represented nonsense mutations resulting in stop codons, three of these in a single ApiAP2 transcription factor gene, and one in SRPK1. To survey further for nonsense mutants associated with culture, genome sequences of eleven long-term laboratory-adapted parasite strains were examined, revealing four independently acquired nonsense mutations in two other ApiAP2 genes, and five in Epac. No mutants of these genes exist in a large database of parasite sequences from uncultured clinical samples. This implicates putative master regulator genes in which multiple independent stop codon mutations have convergently led to culture adaptation, affecting most laboratory lines of P. falciparum. Understanding the adaptive processes should guide development of experimental models, which could include targeted gene disruption to adapt fastidious malaria parasite species to culture. PMID:28117431

  5. Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles from Botanical Sources and Their Use for Control of Medical Insects and Malaria Parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of "green" processes for the synthesis of nanoparticles is a new branch of nanotechnology. However, knowledge of the bioactivity of nanoparticles against mosquitoes and malaria parasites is limited. We tested silver nanoparticles (average size 450 nm) bio-reduced in 5% Cassia occidentalis ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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. Efficient expression systems for cysteine proteases of malaria parasites: too good to be true?

    PubMed

    Sarduy, Emir Salas; Chávez Planes, María de los A

    2013-01-01

    Papain-like cysteine proteases of malaria parasites are considered important chemotherapeutic targets or valuable models for the evaluation of drug candidates. Consequently, many of these enzymes have been cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli for their biochemical characterization. However, their expression has been problematic, showing low yield and leading to the formation of insoluble aggregates. Given that highly-productive expression systems are required for the high-throughput evaluation of inhibitors, we analyzed the existing expression systems to identify the causes of such apparent issues. We found that significant divergences in codon and nucleotide composition from host genes are the most probable cause of expression failure, and propose several strategies to overcome these limitations. Finally we predict that yeast hosts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris may be better suited than E. coli for the efficient expression of plasmodial genes, presumably leading to soluble and active products reproducing structural and functional characteristics of the natural enzymes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

  10. Crowdsourcing Malaria Parasite Quantification: An Online Game for Analyzing Images of Infected Thick Blood Smears

    PubMed Central

    Arranz, Asier; Frean, John

    2012-01-01

    Background There are 600,000 new malaria cases daily worldwide. The gold standard for estimating the parasite burden and the corresponding severity of the disease consists in manually counting the number of parasites in blood smears through a microscope, a process that can take more than 20 minutes of an expert microscopist’s time. Objective This research tests the feasibility of a crowdsourced approach to malaria image analysis. In particular, we investigated whether anonymous volunteers with no prior experience would be able to count malaria parasites in digitized images of thick blood smears by playing a Web-based game. Methods The experimental system consisted of a Web-based game where online volunteers were tasked with detecting parasites in digitized blood sample images coupled with a decision algorithm that combined the analyses from several players to produce an improved collective detection outcome. Data were collected through the MalariaSpot website. Random images of thick blood films containing Plasmodium falciparum at medium to low parasitemias, acquired by conventional optical microscopy, were presented to players. In the game, players had to find and tag as many parasites as possible in 1 minute. In the event that players found all the parasites present in the image, they were presented with a new image. In order to combine the choices of different players into a single crowd decision, we implemented an image processing pipeline and a quorum algorithm that judged a parasite tagged when a group of players agreed on its position. Results Over 1 month, anonymous players from 95 countries played more than 12,000 games and generated a database of more than 270,000 clicks on the test images. Results revealed that combining 22 games from nonexpert players achieved a parasite counting accuracy higher than 99%. This performance could be obtained also by combining 13 games from players trained for 1 minute. Exhaustive computations measured the parasite

  11. Functional profiles of orphan membrane transporters in the life cycle of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Kenthirapalan, Sanketha; Waters, Andrew P.; Matuschewski, Kai; Kooij, Taco W. A.

    2016-01-01

    Assigning function to orphan membrane transport proteins and prioritizing candidates for detailed biochemical characterization remain fundamental challenges and are particularly important for medically relevant pathogens, such as malaria parasites. Here we present a comprehensive genetic analysis of 35 orphan transport proteins of Plasmodium berghei during its life cycle in mice and Anopheles mosquitoes. Six genes, including four candidate aminophospholipid transporters, are refractory to gene deletion, indicative of essential functions. We generate and phenotypically characterize 29 mutant strains with deletions of individual transporter genes. Whereas seven genes appear to be dispensable under the experimental conditions tested, deletion of any of the 22 other genes leads to specific defects in life cycle progression in vivo and/or host transition. Our study provides growing support for a potential link between heavy metal homeostasis and host switching and reveals potential targets for rational design of new intervention strategies against malaria. PMID:26796412

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  13. Prediction of mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite using split amino acid composition and PSSM profile.

    PubMed

    Verma, Ruchi; Varshney, Grish C; Raghava, G P S

    2010-06-01

    The rate of human death due to malaria is increasing day-by-day. Thus the malaria causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PF) remains the cause of concern. With the wealth of data now available, it is imperative to understand protein localization in order to gain deeper insight into their functional roles. In this manuscript, an attempt has been made to develop prediction method for the localization of mitochondrial proteins. In this study, we describe a method for predicting mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasite using machine-learning technique. All models were trained and tested on 175 proteins (40 mitochondrial and 135 non-mitochondrial proteins) and evaluated using five-fold cross validation. We developed a Support Vector Machine (SVM) model for predicting mitochondrial proteins of P. falciparum, using amino acids and dipeptides composition and achieved maximum MCC 0.38 and 0.51, respectively. In this study, split amino acid composition (SAAC) is used where composition of N-termini, C-termini, and rest of protein is computed separately. The performance of SVM model improved significantly from MCC 0.38 to 0.73 when SAAC instead of simple amino acid composition was used as input. In addition, SVM model has been developed using composition of PSSM profile with MCC 0.75 and accuracy 91.38%. We achieved maximum MCC 0.81 with accuracy 92% using a hybrid model, which combines PSSM profile and SAAC. When evaluated on an independent dataset our method performs better than existing methods. A web server PFMpred has been developed for predicting mitochondrial proteins of malaria parasites ( http://www.imtech.res.in/raghava/pfmpred/).

  14. Evolutionary implications for the determination of gametocyte sex ratios under fecundity variation for the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Teboh-Ewungkem, Miranda I; Yuster, Thomas

    2016-11-07

    We investigate sex ratio determination strategies for the Malaria parasite based on putative changes in its male fecundity over the lifetime of an infection, and how such strategies might have evolved. We model fitness using the incomplete fertilization limit developed in Teboh-Ewungkem and Yuster (2010). We divide the infection lifetime of a strain into two periods, assume each human is infected by two different strains, and assume that there are two different strategies present among the many strains in the general malaria parasite population. A unique parameter dependent ESS exists for all parameter values in both of our main models, with many such strategies unbeatable. These strategies produce both male and female biased population sex ratios with female bias predominating over most of the parameter space. The first model (SKM) suggests that strains without the ability to detect characteristics of other strains present could still have evolved strategies to vary sex ratio over their lifetimes, and the second model (DKM) suggests strains with detection abilities might have evolved after that. Our analysis suggests that once the ability to detect the population sizes and fecundities of other strains has developed, detection of their sex ratio choices confers no additional selective advantage in that a DKM ESS is still an ESS among sex ratio detecting strategies. The sex ratio choices for each DKM ESS are given by the equilibrium values of the parameter equivalent sex ratio detecting strategy described in Teboh-Ewungkem and Wang (2012), in the case where two strains employing that strategy encounter each other.

  15. Ancient human sialic acid variant restricts an emerging zoonotic malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Dankwa, Selasi; Lim, Caeul; Bei, Amy K; Jiang, Rays H Y; Abshire, James R; Patel, Saurabh D; Goldberg, Jonathan M; Moreno, Yovany; Kono, Maya; Niles, Jacquin C; Duraisingh, Manoj T

    2016-04-04

    Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonotic parasite transmitted from macaques causing malaria in humans in Southeast Asia. Plasmodium parasites bind to red blood cell (RBC) surface receptors, many of which are sialylated. While macaques synthesize the sialic acid variant N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), humans cannot because of a mutation in the enzyme CMAH that converts N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) to Neu5Gc. Here we reconstitute CMAH in human RBCs for the reintroduction of Neu5Gc, which results in enhancement of P. knowlesi invasion. We show that two P. knowlesi invasion ligands, PkDBPβ and PkDBPγ, bind specifically to Neu5Gc-containing receptors. A human-adapted P. knowlesi line invades human RBCs independently of Neu5Gc, with duplication of the sialic acid-independent invasion ligand, PkDBPα and loss of PkDBPγ. Our results suggest that absence of Neu5Gc on human RBCs limits P. knowlesi invasion, but that parasites may evolve to invade human RBCs through the use of sialic acid-independent pathways.

  16. Ancient human sialic acid variant restricts an emerging zoonotic malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Dankwa, Selasi; Lim, Caeul; Bei, Amy K.; Jiang, Rays H. Y.; Abshire, James R.; Patel, Saurabh D.; Goldberg, Jonathan M.; Moreno, Yovany; Kono, Maya; Niles, Jacquin C.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonotic parasite transmitted from macaques causing malaria in humans in Southeast Asia. Plasmodium parasites bind to red blood cell (RBC) surface receptors, many of which are sialylated. While macaques synthesize the sialic acid variant N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), humans cannot because of a mutation in the enzyme CMAH that converts N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) to Neu5Gc. Here we reconstitute CMAH in human RBCs for the reintroduction of Neu5Gc, which results in enhancement of P. knowlesi invasion. We show that two P. knowlesi invasion ligands, PkDBPβ and PkDBPγ, bind specifically to Neu5Gc-containing receptors. A human-adapted P. knowlesi line invades human RBCs independently of Neu5Gc, with duplication of the sialic acid-independent invasion ligand, PkDBPα and loss of PkDBPγ. Our results suggest that absence of Neu5Gc on human RBCs limits P. knowlesi invasion, but that parasites may evolve to invade human RBCs through the use of sialic acid-independent pathways. PMID:27041489

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  19. Studies of the Interaction of Human Malaria Parasites with the Metabolism of the Host Red Cell.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1977-06-15

    high in potassium content and low in sodium. Some mammals, such as the dog and cat , are exceptions to this general rule and have low potassium and high...Black is shifted downward with respect to that of the Caucasian. We also showed that erythrocytic ATP levels are genetically determined by means of...it raises the interesting possibility that the protective effect of thalassemia may be due to a major genetic modifying influence on levels of ATP. C

  20. Local mate competition and transmission bottlenecks: a new model for understanding malaria parasite and other sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Neal, Allison T; Taylor, Peter D

    2014-12-21

    The local mate competition model from sex ratio theory predicts female-biased sex ratios in populations that are highly subdivided during mating, and is thought to accord well with the population structure of malaria parasites. However, the selective advantage of female-biased sex ratios comes from the resulting increase in total reproductive output, an advantage the transmission biology of malaria parasite likely reduces. We develop a mathematical model to determine how bottlenecks in transmission that cause diminishing fitness returns from female production affect sex ratio evolution. We develop four variations of this model that incorporate whether or not parasite clones have the ability to detect others that occupy the same host and whether or not the number of clones affects the total mating population size. Our model indicates that transmission bottlenecks favor less female-biased sex ratios than those predicted under LMC. This effect is particularly pronounced if clones have no information about the presence of coexisting clones and the number of mating individuals per patch is fixed. The model could extend our understanding of malaria parasite sex ratios in three main ways. First, it identifies inconsistencies between the theoretical predictions and the data presented in a previous study, and proposes revised predictions that are more consistent with underlying biology of the parasite. Second, it may account for the positive association between parasite density and sex ratio observed within and between some species. Third, it predicts a relationship between mortality rates in the vector and sex ratios, which appears to be supported by the little existing data we have. While the inspiration for this model came from malaria parasites, it should apply to any system in which per capita dispersal success diminishes with increasing numbers of females in a patch.

  1. 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

  2. The Cytoplasmic Prolyl-tRNA Synthetase of the Malaria Parasite is a Dual-Stage Target for Drug Development

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Jonathan D.; Pepper, Lauren R.; Cortese, Joseph F.; Estiu, Guillermina; Galinsky, Kevin; Zuzarte-Luis, Vanessa; Derbyshire, Emily R.; Ribacke, Ulf; Lukens, Amanda K.; Santos, Sofia A.; Patel, Vishal; Clish, Clary B.; Sullivan, William J.; Zhou, Huihao; Bopp, Selina E.; Schimmel, Paul; Lindquist, Susan; Clardy, Jon; Mota, Maria M.; Keller, Tracy L.; Whitman, Malcolm; Wiest, Olaf; Wirth, Dyann F.; Mazitschek, Ralph

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of drug resistance is a major limitation of current antimalarials. The discovery of new druggable targets and pathways including those that are critical for multiple life cycle stages of the malaria parasite is a major goal for the development of the next-generation of antimalarial drugs. Using an integrated chemogenomics approach that combined drug-resistance selection, whole genome sequencing and an orthogonal yeast model, we demonstrate that the cytoplasmic prolyl-tRNA synthetase (PfcPRS) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a biochemical and functional target of febrifugine and its synthetic derivatives such as halofuginone. Febrifugine is the active principle of a traditional Chinese herbal remedy for malaria. We show that treatment with febrifugine derivatives activated the amino acid starvation response in both P. falciparum and a transgenic yeast strain expressing PfcPRS. We further demonstrate in the P. berghei mouse model of malaria that halofuginol, a new halofuginone analog that we developed, is highly active against both liver and asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite. Halofuginol, unlike halofuginone and febrifugine, is well tolerated at efficacious doses, and represents a promising lead for the development of dual-stage next generation antimalarials. PMID:25995223

  3. The evolution of primate malaria parasites based on the gene encoding cytochrome b from the linear mitochondrial genome

    PubMed Central

    Escalante, Ananias A.; Freeland, Denise E.; Collins, William E.; Lal, Altaf A.

    1998-01-01

    We report a phylogenetic analysis of primate malaria parasites based on the gene encoding the cytochrome b protein from the mitochondrial genome. We have studied 17 species of Plasmodium, including 14 parasitic in primates. In our analysis, four species were used for rooting the Plasmodium phylogenetic tree: two from closely related genera (Hepatocystis sp. and Haemoproteus columbae) and two other Apicomplexa (Toxoplasma gondii and Theileria parva). We found that primate malaria parasites form a monophyletic group, with the only exception being the Plasmodium falciparum–Plasmodium reichenowi lineage. Phylogenetic analyses that include two species of non-Plasmodium Haemosporina suggest that the genus Plasmodium is polyphyletic. We conclude that the biologic traits, such as periodicity and the capacity to relapse, have limited value for assessing the phylogenetic relationships among Plasmodium species. For instance, we found no evidence that would link virulence with the age of the host–parasite association. Our studies also reveal that the primate malaria parasites originated in Africa, which contradicts the presently held opinion of Southeast Asia as their center of origin. We propose that the radiation of Asian monkey parasites is a recent event where several life history traits, like differences in periodicity, appeared de novo. PMID:9653151

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-20

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-03-12

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Malaria parasites possess a telomere repeat-binding protein that shares ancestry with transcription factor IIIA.

    PubMed

    Bertschi, Nicole L; Toenhake, Christa G; Zou, Angela; Niederwieser, Igor; Henderson, Rob; Moes, Suzette; Jenoe, Paul; Parkinson, John; Bartfai, Richard; Voss, Till S

    2017-03-13

    Telomere repeat-binding factors (TRFs) are essential components of the molecular machinery that regulates telomere function. TRFs are widely conserved across eukaryotes and bind duplex telomere repeats via a characteristic MYB-type domain. Here, we identified the telomere repeat-binding protein PfTRZ in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a member of the Alveolate phylum for which TRFs have not been described so far. PfTRZ lacks an MYB domain and binds telomere repeats via a C2H2-type zinc finger domain instead. In vivo, PfTRZ binds with high specificity to the telomeric tract and to interstitial telomere repeats upstream of subtelomeric virulence genes. Conditional depletion experiments revealed that PfTRZ regulates telomere length homeostasis and is required for efficient cell cycle progression. Intriguingly, we found that PfTRZ also binds to and regulates the expression of 5S rDNA genes. Combined with detailed phylogenetic analyses, our findings identified PfTRZ as a remote functional homologue of the basic transcription factor TFIIIA, which acquired a new function in telomere maintenance early in the apicomplexan lineage. Our work sheds unexpected new light on the evolution of telomere repeat-binding proteins and paves the way for dissecting the presumably divergent mechanisms regulating telomere functionality in one of the most deadly human pathogens.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  12. Chemotherapy, within-host ecology and the fitness of drug-resistant malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Huijben, Silvie; Nelson, William A; Wargo, Andrew R; Sim, Derek G; Drew, Damien R; Read, Andrew F

    2010-10-01

    A major determinant of the rate at which drug-resistant malaria parasites spread through a population is the ecology of resistant and sensitive parasites sharing the same host. Drug treatment can significantly alter this ecology by removing the drug-sensitive parasites, leading to competitive release of resistant parasites. Here, we test the hypothesis that the spread of resistance can be slowed by reducing drug treatment and hence restricting competitive release. Using the rodent malaria model Plasmodium chabaudi, we found that low-dose chemotherapy did reduce competitive release. A higher drug dose regimen exerted stronger positive selection on resistant parasites for no detectable clinical gain. We estimated instantaneous selection coefficients throughout the course of replicate infections to analyze the temporal pattern of the strength and direction of within-host selection. The strength of selection on resistance varied through the course of infections, even in untreated infections, but increased immediately following drug treatment, particularly in the high-dose groups. Resistance remained under positive selection for much longer than expected from the half life of the drug. Although there are many differences between mice and people, our data do raise the question whether the aggressive treatment regimens aimed at complete parasite clearance are the best resistance-management strategies for humans.

  13. A sugar phosphatase regulates the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway in malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Guggisberg, Ann M; Park, Jooyoung; Edwards, Rachel L; Kelly, Megan L; Hodge, Dana M; Tolia, Niraj H; Odom, Audrey R

    2014-07-24

    Isoprenoid biosynthesis through the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway generates commercially important products and is a target for antimicrobial drug development. MEP pathway regulation is poorly understood in microorganisms. Here we employ a forward genetics approach to understand MEP pathway regulation in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The antimalarial fosmidomycin inhibits the MEP pathway enzyme deoxyxylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR). Fosmidomycin-resistant P. falciparum are enriched for changes in the PF3D7_1033400 locus (hereafter referred to as PfHAD1), encoding a homologue of haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)-like sugar phosphatases. We describe the structural basis for loss-of-function PfHAD1 alleles and find that PfHAD1 dephosphorylates a variety of sugar phosphates, including glycolytic intermediates. Loss of PfHAD1 is required for fosmidomycin resistance. Parasites lacking PfHAD1 have increased MEP pathway metabolites, particularly the DXR substrate, deoxyxylulose 5-phosphate. PfHAD1 therefore controls substrate availability to the MEP pathway. Because PfHAD1 has homologues in plants and bacteria, other HAD proteins may be MEP pathway regulators.

  14. Determination of glutathione redox potential and pH value in subcellular compartments of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Mohring, Franziska; Rahbari, Mahsa; Zechmann, Bernd; Rahlfs, Stefan; Przyborski, Jude M; Meyer, Andreas J; Becker, Katja

    2017-03-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is exposed to multiple sources of oxidative challenge during its complex life cycle in the Anopheles vector and its human host. In order to further elucidate redox-based parasite host cell interactions and mechanisms of drug action, we targeted the genetically encoded glutathione redox sensor roGFP2 coupled to human glutaredoxin 1 (roGFP2-hGrx1) as well as the ratiometric pH sensor pHluorin to the apicoplast and the mitochondrion of P. falciparum. Using live cell imaging, this allowed for the first time the determination of the pH values of the apicoplast (7.12±0.40) and mitochondrion (7.37±0.09) in the intraerythrocytic asexual stages of the parasite. Based on the roGFP2-hGrx1 signals, glutathione-dependent redox potentials of -267mV and -328mV, respectively, were obtained. Employing these novel tools, initial studies on the effects of redox-active agents and clinically employed antimalarial drugs were carried out on both organelles.

  15. Sequence and diversity of DRB genes of Aotus nancymaae, a primate model for human malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Nino-Vasquez, J J; Vogel, D; Rodriguez, R; Moreno, A; Patarroyo, M E; Pluschke, G; Daubenberger, C A

    2000-03-01

    The New World primate Aotus nancymaae is susceptible to infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax and has therefore been recommended by the World Health Organization as a model for evaluation of malaria vaccine candidates. We present here a first step in the molecular characterization of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II DRB genes of Aotus nancymaae (owl monkey or night monkey) by nucleotide sequence analysis of the polymorphic exon 2 segments. In a group of 15 nonrelated animals captivated in the wild, 34 MHC DRB alleles could be identified. Six allelic lineages were detected, two of them having human counterparts, while two other lineages have not been described in any other New World monkey species studied. As in the common marmoset, the diversity of DRB alleles appears to have arisen largely by point mutations in the beta-pleated sheets and by frequent exchange of fixed sequence motifs in the alpha-helical portion. Pairs of alleles differing only at amino acid position b86 by an exchange of valine to glycine are present in Aotus, as in humans. Essential amino acid residues contributing to MHC DR peptide binding pockets number 1 and 4 are conserved or semiconserved between HLA-DR and Aona-DRB molecules, indicating a capacity to bind similar peptide repertoires. These results support fully our using Aotus monkeys as an animal model for evaluation of future subunit vaccine candidates.

  16. The structural basis for CD36 binding by the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Fu-Lien; Turner, Louise; Bolla, Jani Reddy; Robinson, Carol V.; Lavstsen, Thomas; Higgins, Matthew K.

    2016-01-01

    CD36 is a scavenger receptor involved in fatty acid metabolism, innate immunity and angiogenesis. It interacts with lipoprotein particles and facilitates uptake of long chain fatty acids. It is also the most common target of the PfEMP1 proteins of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, tethering parasite-infected erythrocytes to endothelial receptors. This prevents their destruction by splenic clearance and allows increased parasitaemia. Here we describe the structure of CD36 in complex with long chain fatty acids and a CD36-binding PfEMP1 protein domain. A conserved hydrophobic pocket allows the hugely diverse PfEMP1 protein family to bind to a conserved phenylalanine residue at the membrane distal tip of CD36. This phenylalanine is also required for CD36 to interact with lipoprotein particles. By targeting a site on CD36 that is required for its physiological function, PfEMP1 proteins maintain the ability to tether to the endothelium and avoid splenic clearance. PMID:27667267

  17. DNA damage regulation and its role in drug-related phenotypes in the malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Devendra Kumar; Patra, Alok Tanala; Zhu, Lei; Gupta, Archana Patkar; Bozdech, Zbynek

    2016-01-01

    DNA of malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum, is subjected to extraordinary high levels of genotoxic insults during its complex life cycle within both the mosquito and human host. Accordingly, most of the components of DNA repair machinery are conserved in the parasite genome. Here, we investigated the genome-wide responses of P. falciparum to DNA damaging agents and provided transcriptional evidence of the existence of the double strand break and excision repair system. We also showed that acetylation at H3K9, H4K8, and H3K56 play a role in the direct and indirect response to DNA damage induced by an alkylating agent, methyl methanesulphonate (MMS). Artemisinin, the first line antimalarial chemotherapeutics elicits a similar response compared to MMS which suggests its activity as a DNA damaging agent. Moreover, in contrast to the wild-type P. falciparum, two strains (Dd2 and W2) previously shown to exhibit a mutator phenotype, fail to induce their DNA repair upon MMS-induced DNA damage. Genome sequencing of the two mutator strains identified point mutations in 18 DNA repair genes which may contribute to this phenomenon. PMID:27033103

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

    PubMed Central

    Kay, Katherine

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Implication of the Mosquito Midgut Microbiota in the Defense against Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Yuemei; Manfredini, Fabio; Dimopoulos, George

    2009-01-01

    Malaria-transmitting mosquitoes are continuously exposed to microbes, including their midgut microbiota. This naturally acquired microbial flora can modulate the mosquito's vectorial capacity by inhibiting the development of Plasmodium and other human pathogens through an unknown mechanism. We have undertaken a comprehensive functional genomic approach to elucidate the molecular interplay between the bacterial co-infection and the development of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in its natural vector Anopheles gambiae. Global transcription profiling of septic and aseptic mosquitoes identified a significant subset of immune genes that were mostly up-regulated by the mosquito's microbial flora, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Microbe-free aseptic mosquitoes displayed an increased susceptibility to Plasmodium infection while co-feeding mosquitoes with bacteria and P. falciparum gametocytes resulted in lower than normal infection levels. Infection analyses suggest the bacteria-mediated anti-Plasmodium effect is mediated by the mosquitoes' antimicrobial immune responses, plausibly through activation of basal immunity. We show that the microbiota can modulate the anti-Plasmodium effects of some immune genes. In sum, the microbiota plays an essential role in modulating the mosquito's capacity to sustain Plasmodium infection. PMID:19424427

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A class of tricyclic compounds blocking malaria parasite oocyst development and transmission.

    PubMed

    Eastman, Richard T; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Raj, Dipak K; Dixit, Saurabh; Deng, Bingbing; Miura, Kazutoyo; Yuan, Jing; Tanaka, Takeshi Q; Johnson, Ronald L; Jiang, Hongying; Huang, Ruili; Williamson, Kim C; Lambert, Lynn E; Long, Carole; Austin, Christopher P; Wu, Yimin; Su, Xin-Zhuan

    2013-01-01

    Malaria is a deadly infectious disease in many tropical and subtropical countries. Previous efforts to eradicate malaria have failed, largely due to the emergence of drug-resistant parasites, insecticide-resistant mosquitoes and, in particular, the lack of drugs or vaccines to block parasite transmission. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are known to play a role in drug transport, metabolism, and resistance in many organisms, including malaria parasites. To investigate whether a Plasmodium falciparum ABC transporter (Pf14_0244 or PfABCG2) modulates parasite susceptibility to chemical compounds or plays a role in drug resistance, we disrupted the gene encoding PfABCG2, screened the recombinant and the wild-type 3D7 parasites against a library containing 2,816 drugs approved for human or animal use, and identified an antihistamine (ketotifen) that became less active against the PfABCG2-disrupted parasite in culture. In addition to some activity against asexual stages and gametocytes, ketotifen was highly potent in blocking oocyst development of P. falciparum and the rodent parasite Plasmodium yoelii in mosquitoes. Tests of structurally related tricyclic compounds identified additional compounds with similar activities in inhibiting transmission. Additionally, ketotifen appeared to have some activity against relapse of Plasmodium cynomolgi infection in rhesus monkeys. Further clinical evaluation of ketotifen and related compounds, including synthetic new derivatives, in blocking malaria transmission may provide new weapons for the current effort of malaria eradication.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  5. Reversible host cell remodeling underpins deformability changes in malaria parasite sexual blood stages

    PubMed Central

    Dearnley, Megan; Chu, Trang; Zhang, Yao; Looker, Oliver; Huang, Changjin; Klonis, Nectarios; Yeoman, Jeff; Kenny, Shannon; Arora, Mohit; Osborne, James M.; Chandramohanadas, Rajesh; Zhang, Sulin; Dixon, Matthew W. A.; Tilley, Leann

    2016-01-01

    The sexual blood stage of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum undergoes remarkable biophysical changes as it prepares for transmission to mosquitoes. During maturation, midstage gametocytes show low deformability and sequester in the bone marrow and spleen cords, thus avoiding clearance during passage through splenic sinuses. Mature gametocytes exhibit increased deformability and reappear in the peripheral circulation, allowing uptake by mosquitoes. Here we define the reversible changes in erythrocyte membrane organization that underpin this biomechanical transformation. Atomic force microscopy reveals that the length of the spectrin cross-members and the size of the skeletal meshwork increase in developing gametocytes, then decrease in mature-stage gametocytes. These changes are accompanied by relocation of actin from the erythrocyte membrane to the Maurer’s clefts. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching reveals reversible changes in the level of coupling between the membrane skeleton and the plasma membrane. Treatment of midstage gametocytes with cytochalasin D decreases the vertical coupling and increases their filterability. A computationally efficient coarse-grained model of the erythrocyte membrane reveals that restructuring and constraining the spectrin meshwork can fully account for the observed changes in deformability. PMID:27071094

  6. cAMP-Signalling Regulates Gametocyte-Infected Erythrocyte Deformability Required for Malaria Parasite Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Eloise; Breil, Florence; Lorthiois, Audrey; Dupuy, Florian; Cummings, Ross; Duffier, Yoann; Corbett, Yolanda; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Vernick, Kenneth; Taramelli, Donatella; Baker, David A.; Langsley, Gordon; Lavazec, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Blocking Plasmodium falciparum transmission to mosquitoes has been designated a strategic objective in the global agenda of malaria elimination. Transmission is ensured by gametocyte-infected erythrocytes (GIE) that sequester in the bone marrow and at maturation are released into peripheral blood from where they are taken up during a mosquito blood meal. Release into the blood circulation is accompanied by an increase in GIE deformability that allows them to pass through the spleen. Here, we used a microsphere matrix to mimic splenic filtration and investigated the role of cAMP-signalling in regulating GIE deformability. We demonstrated that mature GIE deformability is dependent on reduced cAMP-signalling and on increased phosphodiesterase expression in stage V gametocytes, and that parasite cAMP-dependent kinase activity contributes to the stiffness of immature gametocytes. Importantly, pharmacological agents that raise cAMP levels in transmissible stage V gametocytes render them less deformable and hence less likely to circulate through the spleen. Therefore, phosphodiesterase inhibitors that raise cAMP levels in P. falciparum infected erythrocytes, such as sildenafil, represent new candidate drugs to block transmission of malaria parasites. PMID:25951195

  7. Proteolysis at a Specific Extracellular Residue Implicates Integral Membrane CLAG3 in Malaria Parasite Nutrient Channels

    PubMed Central

    Nguitragool, Wang; Rayavara, Kempaiah; Desai, Sanjay A.

    2014-01-01

    The plasmodial surface anion channel mediates uptake of nutrients and other solutes into erythrocytes infected with malaria parasites. The clag3 genes of P. falciparum determine this channel’s activity in human malaria, but how the encoded proteins contribute to transport is unknown. Here, we used proteases to examine the channel’s composition and function. While proteases with distinct specificities all cleaved within an extracellular domain of CLAG3, they produced differing degrees of transport inhibition. Chymotrypsin-induced inhibition depended on parasite genotype, with channels induced by the HB3 parasite affected to a greater extent than those of the Dd2 clone. Inheritance of functional proteolysis in the HB3×Dd2 genetic cross, DNA transfection, and gene silencing experiments all pointed to the clag3 genes, providing independent evidence for a role of these genes. Protease protection assays with a Dd2-specific inhibitor and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that a variant L1115F residue on a CLAG3 extracellular loop contributes to inhibitor binding and accounts for differences in functional proteolysis. These findings indicate that surface-exposed CLAG3 is the relevant pool of this protein for channel function. They also suggest structural models for how exposed CLAG3 domains contribute to pore formation and parasite nutrient uptake. PMID:24699906

  8. Malaria parasite liver stages render host hepatocytes susceptible to mitochondria-initiated apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Kaushansky, A; Metzger, P G; Douglass, A N; Mikolajczak, S A; Lakshmanan, V; Kain, H S; Kappe, S HI

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular eukaryotic parasites and their host cells constitute complex, coevolved cellular interaction systems that frequently cause disease. Among them, Plasmodium parasites cause a significant health burden in humans, killing up to one million people annually. To succeed in the mammalian host after transmission by mosquitoes, Plasmodium parasites must complete intracellular replication within hepatocytes and then release new infectious forms into the blood. Using Plasmodium yoelii rodent malaria parasites, we show that some liver stage (LS)-infected hepatocytes undergo apoptosis without external triggers, but the majority of infected cells do not, and can also resist Fas-mediated apoptosis. In contrast, apoptosis is dramatically increased in hepatocytes infected with attenuated parasites. Furthermore, we find that blocking total or mitochondria-initiated host cell apoptosis increases LS parasite burden in mice, suggesting that an anti-apoptotic host environment fosters parasite survival. Strikingly, although LS infection confers strong resistance to extrinsic host hepatocyte apoptosis, infected hepatocytes lose their ability to resist apoptosis when anti-apoptotic mitochondrial proteins are inhibited. This is demonstrated by our finding that B-cell lymphoma 2 family inhibitors preferentially induce apoptosis in LS-infected hepatocytes and significantly reduce LS parasite burden in mice. Thus, targeting critical points of susceptibility in the LS-infected host cell might provide new avenues for malaria prophylaxis. PMID:23928701

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The proteasome of malaria parasites: A multi-stage drug target for chemotherapeutic intervention?

    PubMed Central

    Aminake, Makoah Nigel; Arndt, Hans-Dieter; Pradel, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

    The ubiquitin/proteasome system serves as a regulated protein degradation pathway in eukaryotes, and is involved in many cellular processes featuring high protein turnover rates, such as cell cycle control, stress response and signal transduction. In malaria parasites, protein quality control is potentially important because of the high replication rate and the rapid transformations of the parasite during life cycle progression. The proteasome is the core of the degradation pathway, and is a major proteolytic complex responsible for the degradation and recycling of non-functional ubiquitinated proteins. Annotation of the genome for Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria tropica, revealed proteins with similarity to human 26S proteasome subunits. In addition, a bacterial ClpQ/hslV threonine peptidase-like protein was identified. In recent years several independent studies indicated an essential function of the parasite proteasome for the liver, blood and transmission stages. In this review, we compile evidence for protein recycling in Plasmodium parasites and discuss the role of the 26S proteasome as a prospective multi-stage target for antimalarial drug discovery programs. PMID:24533266

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Inhibition of malaria parasite invasion of human erythrocytes by a lymphocyte membrane polypeptide.

    PubMed

    Benzaquen-Geffin, R; Milner, Y; Ginsburg, H

    1987-02-01

    Extraction by boiling of the buffy coat of human blood yields a protein solution which inhibits the propagation of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in culture with a 50% inhibitory dose of 105 micrograms of protein per ml. The inhibitory activity is associated exclusively with the lymphocytes and affects solely the invasion of erythrocytes by free merozoites. Boiled extracts of isolated lymphocytes had a 50% inhibitory dose of 22 micrograms/ml. Fractionation of surface-labeled or pronase-treated lymphocytes revealed that the antimalarial lymphocyte factor is associated with the intracellular aspect of the membrane fraction and is probably not involved in the host defense system against malaria. Further purification by salt extraction, ion-exchange chromatography, molecular gel filtration, and electroelution from lithium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels resulted in 300- to 550-fold purification, i.e., a 50% inhibitory dose of 40 to 70 ng/ml. All inhibitory fractions contained a 48-kilodalton polypeptide which eluted from a gel filtration column as a 400-kilodalton species, implying multimeric association. Some 6,000 molecules of the 48-kilodalton polypeptide bind with high affinity to one merozoite, the free form of the parasite. The Kd of 0.1 to 0.5 nM for the binding of the 48-kilodalton polypeptide correlated well with the 50% inhibitory dose of 0.3 to 0.4 nM obtained with purified active antimalarial lymphocyte factor. We therefore suggest that the 48-kilodalton polypeptide partially purified from lymphocyte membranes is the antimalarial lymphocyte factor and that it exerts its inhibitory activity by binding to merozoites, thereby preventing their invasion into erythrocytes. The antimalarial lymphocyte factor or a polypeptide sequence thereof could serve for further probing of invasion at the molecular level.

  15. Inhibition of malaria parasite invasion of human erythrocytes by a lymphocyte membrane polypeptide.

    PubMed Central

    Benzaquen-Geffin, R; Milner, Y; Ginsburg, H

    1987-01-01

    Extraction by boiling of the buffy coat of human blood yields a protein solution which inhibits the propagation of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in culture with a 50% inhibitory dose of 105 micrograms of protein per ml. The inhibitory activity is associated exclusively with the lymphocytes and affects solely the invasion of erythrocytes by free merozoites. Boiled extracts of isolated lymphocytes had a 50% inhibitory dose of 22 micrograms/ml. Fractionation of surface-labeled or pronase-treated lymphocytes revealed that the antimalarial lymphocyte factor is associated with the intracellular aspect of the membrane fraction and is probably not involved in the host defense system against malaria. Further purification by salt extraction, ion-exchange chromatography, molecular gel filtration, and electroelution from lithium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels resulted in 300- to 550-fold purification, i.e., a 50% inhibitory dose of 40 to 70 ng/ml. All inhibitory fractions contained a 48-kilodalton polypeptide which eluted from a gel filtration column as a 400-kilodalton species, implying multimeric association. Some 6,000 molecules of the 48-kilodalton polypeptide bind with high affinity to one merozoite, the free form of the parasite. The Kd of 0.1 to 0.5 nM for the binding of the 48-kilodalton polypeptide correlated well with the 50% inhibitory dose of 0.3 to 0.4 nM obtained with purified active antimalarial lymphocyte factor. We therefore suggest that the 48-kilodalton polypeptide partially purified from lymphocyte membranes is the antimalarial lymphocyte factor and that it exerts its inhibitory activity by binding to merozoites, thereby preventing their invasion into erythrocytes. The antimalarial lymphocyte factor or a polypeptide sequence thereof could serve for further probing of invasion at the molecular level. Images PMID:3542831

  16. Population Parameters Underlying an Ongoing Soft Sweep in Southeast Asian Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Timothy J.C.; Nair, Shalini; McDew-White, Marina; Cheeseman, Ian H.; Nkhoma, Standwell; Bilgic, Fatma; McGready, Rose; Ashley, Elizabeth; Pyae Phyo, Aung; White, Nicholas J.; Nosten, François

    2017-01-01

    Multiple kelch13 alleles conferring artemisinin resistance (ART-R) are currently spreading through Southeast Asian malaria parasite populations, providing a unique opportunity to observe an ongoing soft selective sweep, investigate why resistance alleles have evolved multiple times and determine fundamental population genetic parameters for Plasmodium. We sequenced kelch13 (n = 1,876), genotyped 75 flanking SNPs, and measured clearance rate (n = 3,552) in parasite infections from Western Thailand (2001–2014). We describe 32 independent coding mutations including common mutations outside the kelch13 propeller associated with significant reductions in clearance rate. Mutations were first observed in 2003 and rose to 90% by 2014, consistent with a selection coefficient of ∼0.079. ART-R allele diversity rose until 2012 and then dropped as one allele (C580Y) spread to high frequency. The frequency with which adaptive alleles arise is determined by the rate of mutation and the population size. Two factors drive this soft sweep: (1) multiple kelch13 amino-acid mutations confer resistance providing a large mutational target—we estimate the target is 87–163 bp. (2) The population mutation parameter (Θ = 2Neμ) can be estimated from the frequency distribution of ART-R alleles and is ∼5.69, suggesting that short term effective population size is 88 thousand to 1.2 million. This is 52–705 times greater than Ne estimated from fluctuation in allele frequencies, suggesting that we have previously underestimated the capacity for adaptive evolution in Plasmodium. Our central conclusions are that retrospective studies may underestimate the complexity of selective events and the Ne relevant for adaptation for malaria is considerably higher than previously estimated. PMID:28025270

  17. Common dietary flavonoids inhibit the growth of the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Lehane, Adele M; Saliba, Kevin J

    2008-01-01

    Background Flavonoids are abundant plant phenolic compounds. More than 6000 have been identified to date, and some have been shown to possess antiparasitic activity. Here we investigate the effects of a range of common dietary flavonoids on the growth of two strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Findings A chloroquine-sensitive (3D7) and a chloroquine-resistant (7G8) strain of P. falciparum were tested for in vitro susceptibility to a range of individual dietary flavonoids and flavonoid combinations. Parasite susceptibility was measured in 96-well plates over 96 h using a previously described [3H]hypoxanthine incorporation assay. Of the eleven flavonoids tested, eight showed antiplasmodial activity against the 3D7 strain (with IC50 values between 11 and 66 μM), and all showed activity against the 7G8 strain (with IC50 values between 12 and 76 μM). The most active compound against both strains was luteolin, with IC50 values of 11 ± 1 μM and 12 ± 1 μM for 3D7 and 7G8, respectively. Luteolin was found to prevent the progression of parasite growth beyond the young trophozoite stage, and did not affect parasite susceptibility to the antimalarial drugs chloroquine or artemisinin. Combining low concentrations of flavonoids was found to produce an apparent additive antiplasmodial effect. Conclusion Certain common dietary flavonoids inhibit the intraerythrocytic growth of the 3D7 and 7G8 strains of P. falciparum. Flavonoid combinations warrant further investigation as antiplasmodial agents. PMID:18710482

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. PCR detection of malaria parasites in desiccated Anopheles mosquitoes is uninhibited by storage time and temperature

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    ensure accurate assessment of malaria parasite presence without diminishing PCR-detection of parasites in mosquitoes stored for at least six months. PMID:22682161

  2. Red-Rimmed Melania (Melanoides tuberculatus) - A Snail in Biscayne National Park, Florida - Harmful Invader or Just a Nuisance?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wingard, G. Lynn; Murray, James B.; Schill, W. Bane; Phillips, Emily C.

    2008-01-01

    Potentially harmful to humans and other animals, the red-rimmed melania snail (Melanoides tuberculatus; family Thiaridae) was discovered in Biscayne National Park, Florida, in 2003 by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers. The discovery raised concerns for park managers because this aquatic non-native snail is present in significant numbers in areas frequently used by park visitors and poses a risk of exposure. Researchers are addressing questions such as: Is this species a danger to human health? How widespread is it within the park? What factors control the distribution of the species? Is its presence a threat to native animals?

  3. Anti-Schistosoma IgG responses in Schistosoma haematobium single and concomitant infection with malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Morenikeji, Olajumoke A; Adeleye, Olumide; Omoruyi, Ewean C; Oyeyemi, Oyetunde T

    2016-03-01

    Areas prone to schistosomiasis are also at risk of malaria transmission. The interaction between the causal agents of the two diseases could modulate immune responses tailored toward protecting or aggravating morbidity dynamics and impair Schistosoma diagnostic precision. This study aimed at assessing the effect of Plasmodium spp. in concomitant infection with Schistosoma haematobium in modulation of anti-Schistosoma IgG antibodies. The school-based cross-sectional study recruited a total of 322 children screened for S. haematobium and Plasmodium spp. Levels of IgG against S. haematobium-soluble egg antigen (SEA) in single S. haematobium/malaria parasites infection and co-infection of the two parasites in schoolchildren were determined. Data were analyzed using χ(2), Fisher's exact test, and Tukey's multiple comparison test analyses. The prevalence of single infection by S. haematobium, Plasmodium spp., and concurrent infection due to the two pathogens was 27.7, 41.0, and 9.3%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Anti-Schistosoma IgG production during co-infection of the two pathogens (1.950 ± 0.742 AU) was significantly higher than the value recorded for single malaria parasites' infection (1.402 ± 0.670 AU) (p < 0.01) but not in S. haematobium infection (1.591 ± 0.604 AU) (p > 0.05). The anti-Schistosoma IgG production in co-infection status was however dependent on the intensity of Plasmodium spp. with individuals having high intensity of malaria parasites recording lower anti-Schistosoma IgG. This study has implication for diagnosis of schistosomiasis where anti-Schistosoma IgG is used as an indicator of infection. Efforts should be made to control the two infections simultaneously in order not to undermine the efforts targeted toward the control of one.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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})

  6. Hemolytic C-type lectin CEL-III from sea cucumber expressed in transgenic mosquitoes impairs malaria parasite development.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Shigeto; Shimada, Yohei; Kondoh, Daisuke; Kouzuma, Yoshiaki; Ghosh, Anil K; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Sinden, Robert E

    2007-12-01

    The midgut environment of anopheline mosquitoes plays an important role in the development of the malaria parasite. Using genetic manipulation of anopheline mosquitoes to change the environment in the mosquito midgut may inhibit development of the malaria parasite, thus blocking malaria transmission. Here we generate transgenic Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes that express the C-type lectin CEL-III from the sea cucumber, Cucumaria echinata, in a midgut-specific manner. CEL-III has strong and rapid hemolytic activity toward human and rat erythrocytes in the presence of serum. Importantly, CEL-III binds to ookinetes, leading to strong inhibition of ookinete formation in vitro with an IC(50) of 15 nM. Thus, CEL-III exhibits not only hemolytic activity but also cytotoxicity toward ookinetes. In these transgenic mosquitoes, sporogonic development of Plasmodium berghei is severely impaired. Moderate, but significant inhibition was found against Plasmodium falciparum. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of stably engineered anophelines that affect the Plasmodium transmission dynamics of human malaria. Although our laboratory-based research does not have immediate applications to block natural malaria transmission, these findings have significant implications for the generation of refractory mosquitoes to all species of human Plasmodium and elucidation of mosquito-parasite interactions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hughes, Austin L; Verra, Federica

    2010-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Blocking of malaria parasite development in mosquito and fecundity reduction by midgut antibodies in Anopheles stephensi (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

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

    2003-02-01

    Rabbits were immunized three times with extracts of Anopheles stephensi midgut. Immunized rabbits showed a high titer of antibodies when characterized by ELISA. We investigated the effect of anti-mosquito midgut antibodies on mosquito fecundity, longevity, mortality, engorgement, and the development of the malaria parasite in mosquitoes. Fecundity was reduced significantly (38%) and similarly hatchability by about 43.5%. There was no statistically significant effect on mortality, longevity, and engorgement. When the mosquito blood meal contained anti-midgut antibodies, fewer oocysts of Plasmodium vivax developed in the mosquito midgut and the proportion of mosquitoes becoming infected was significantly reduced. We also found that the midgut antibodies inhibit the development and/or translocation of the sporozoites. Antisera raised against midgut of A. stephensi recognized eight polypeptides (110, 92, 70, 45, 38, 29, 15, 13 kDa) by Western blotting. Cross-reactive antigens/epitopes present in other tissues of A. stephensi were also examined both by Western blotting and in vivo ELISA. Together, these observations open an avenue for research toward the development of a vector-based malaria parasite transmission blocking vaccine and/or anti-mosquito vaccine.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. A rapid and robust selection procedure for generating drug-selectable marker-free recombinant malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Manzoni, Giulia; Briquet, Sylvie; Risco-Castillo, Veronica; Gaultier, Charlotte; Topçu, Selma; Ivănescu, Maria Larisa; Franetich, Jean-François; Hoareau-Coudert, Bénédicte; Mazier, Dominique; Silvie, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Experimental genetics have been widely used to explore the biology of the malaria parasites. The rodent parasites Plasmodium berghei and less frequently P. yoelii are commonly utilised, as their complete life cycle can be reproduced in the laboratory and because they are genetically tractable via homologous recombination. However, due to the limited number of drug-selectable markers, multiple modifications of the parasite genome are difficult to achieve and require large numbers of mice. Here we describe a novel strategy that combines positive-negative drug selection and flow cytometry-assisted sorting of fluorescent parasites for the rapid generation of drug-selectable marker-free P. berghei and P. yoelii mutant parasites expressing a GFP or a GFP-luciferase cassette, using minimal numbers of mice. We further illustrate how this new strategy facilitates phenotypic analysis of genetically modified parasites by fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging of P. berghei mutants arrested during liver stage development. PMID:24755823

  14. A rapid and robust selection procedure for generating drug-selectable marker-free recombinant malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Manzoni, Giulia; Briquet, Sylvie; Risco-Castillo, Veronica; Gaultier, Charlotte; Topçu, Selma; Ivănescu, Maria Larisa; Franetich, Jean-François; Hoareau-Coudert, Bénédicte; Mazier, Dominique; Silvie, Olivier

    2014-04-23

    Experimental genetics have been widely used to explore the biology of the malaria parasites. The rodent parasites Plasmodium berghei and less frequently P. yoelii are commonly utilised, as their complete life cycle can be reproduced in the laboratory and because they are genetically tractable via homologous recombination. However, due to the limited number of drug-selectable markers, multiple modifications of the parasite genome are difficult to achieve and require large numbers of mice. Here we describe a novel strategy that combines positive-negative drug selection and flow cytometry-assisted sorting of fluorescent parasites for the rapid generation of drug-selectable marker-free P. berghei and P. yoelii mutant parasites expressing a GFP or a GFP-luciferase cassette, using minimal numbers of mice. We further illustrate how this new strategy facilitates phenotypic analysis of genetically modified parasites by fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging of P. berghei mutants arrested during liver stage development.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Protein-DNA complex is the exclusive malaria parasite component that activates dendritic cells and triggers innate immune responses.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xianzhu; Gowda, Nagaraj M; Kumar, Sanjeev; Gowda, D Channe

    2010-04-15

    Dendritic cells (DCs) play a crucial role in the development of protective immunity to malaria. However, it remains unclear how malaria parasites trigger immune responses in DCs. In this study, we purified merozoites, food vacuoles, and parasite membrane fragments released during the Plasmodium falciparum schizont burst to homogeneity and tested for the activation of bone marrow-derived DCs from wild-type and TLR2(-/-), TLR4(-/-), TLR9(-/-), and MyD88(-/-) C57BL/6J mice. The results demonstrate that a protein-DNA complex is the exclusive parasite component that activates DCs by a TLR9-dependent pathway to produce inflammatory cytokines. Complex formation with proteins is essential for the entry of parasite DNA into DCs for TLR9 recognition and, thus, proteins convert inactive DNA into a potent immunostimulatory molecule. Exogenous cationic polymers, polylysine and chitosan, can impart stimulatory activity to parasite DNA, indicating that complex formation involves ionic interactions. Merozoites and DNA-protein complex could also induce inflammatory cytokine responses in human blood DCs. Hemozoin is neither a TLR9 ligand for DCs nor functions as a carrier of DNA into cells. Additionally, although TLR9 is critical for DCs to induce the production of IFN-gamma by NK cells, this receptor is not required for NK cells to secret IFN-gamma, and cell-cell contact among myeloid DCs, plasmacytoid DCs, and NK cells is required for IFN-gamma production. Together, these results contribute substantially toward the understanding of malaria parasite-recognition mechanisms. More importantly, our finding that proteins and carbohydrate polymers are able to confer stimulatory activity to an otherwise inactive parasite DNA have important implications for the development of a vaccine against malaria.

  20. 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

  1. Quantitation of malaria parasite-erythrocyte cell-cell interactions using optical tweezers.

    PubMed

    Crick, Alex J; Theron, Michel; Tiffert, Teresa; Lew, Virgilio L; Cicuta, Pietro; Rayner, Julian C

    2014-08-19

    Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites is an essential step for parasite survival and hence the pathogenesis of malaria. Invasion has been studied intensively, but our cellular understanding has been limited by the fact that it occurs very rapidly: invasion is generally complete within 1 min, and shortly thereafter the merozoites, at least in in vitro culture, lose their invasive capacity. The rapid nature of the process, and hence the narrow time window in which measurements can be taken, have limited the tools available to quantitate invasion. Here we employ optical tweezers to study individual invasion events for what we believe is the first time, showing that newly released P. falciparum merozoites, delivered via optical tweezers to a target erythrocyte, retain their ability to invade. Even spent merozoites, which had lost the ability to invade, retain the ability to adhere to erythrocytes, and furthermore can still induce transient local membrane deformations in the erythrocyte membrane. We use this technology to measure the strength of the adhesive force between merozoites and erythrocytes, and to probe the cellular mode of action of known invasion inhibitory treatments. These data add to our understanding of the erythrocyte-merozoite interactions that occur during invasion, and demonstrate the power of optical tweezers technologies in unraveling the blood-stage biology of malaria.

  2. Malaria parasite infection compromises control of concurrent systemic non-typhoidal Salmonella infection via IL-10-mediated alteration of myeloid cell function.

    PubMed

    Lokken, Kristen L; Mooney, Jason P; Butler, Brian P; Xavier, Mariana N; Chau, Jennifer Y; Schaltenberg, Nicola; Begum, Ramie H; Müller, Werner; Luckhart, Shirley; Tsolis, Renée M

    2014-05-01

    Non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes (NTS) cause a self-limited gastroenteritis in immunocompetent individuals, while children with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria can develop a life-threatening disseminated infection. This co-infection is a major source of child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the mechanisms by which malaria contributes to increased risk of NTS bacteremia are incompletely understood. Here, we report that in a mouse co-infection model, malaria parasite infection blunts inflammatory responses to NTS, leading to decreased inflammatory pathology and increased systemic bacterial colonization. Blunting of NTS-induced inflammatory responses required induction of IL-10 by the parasites. In the absence of malaria parasite infection, administration of recombinant IL-10 together with induction of anemia had an additive effect on systemic bacterial colonization. Mice that were conditionally deficient for either myeloid cell IL-10 production or myeloid cell expression of IL-10 receptor were better able to control systemic Salmonella infection, suggesting that phagocytic cells are both producers and targets of malaria parasite-induced IL-10. Thus, IL-10 produced during the immune response to malaria increases susceptibility to disseminated NTS infection by suppressing the ability of myeloid cells, most likely macrophages, to control bacterial infection.

  3. The cytoplasmic prolyl-tRNA synthetase of the malaria parasite is a dual-stage target of febrifugine and its analogs.

    PubMed

    Herman, Jonathan D; Pepper, Lauren R; Cortese, Joseph F; Estiu, Guillermina; Galinsky, Kevin; Zuzarte-Luis, Vanessa; Derbyshire, Emily R; Ribacke, Ulf; Lukens, Amanda K; Santos, Sofia A; Patel, Vishal; Clish, Clary B; Sullivan, William J; Zhou, Huihao; Bopp, Selina E; Schimmel, Paul; Lindquist, Susan; Clardy, Jon; Mota, Maria M; Keller, Tracy L; Whitman, Malcolm; Wiest, Olaf; Wirth, Dyann F; Mazitschek, Ralph

    2015-05-20

    The emergence of drug resistance is a major limitation of current antimalarials. The discovery of new druggable targets and pathways including those that are critical for multiple life cycle stages of the malaria parasite is a major goal for developing next-generation antimalarial drugs. Using an integrated chemogenomics approach that combined drug resistance selection, whole-genome sequencing, and an orthogonal yeast model, we demonstrate that the cytoplasmic prolyl-tRNA (transfer RNA) synthetase (PfcPRS) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a biochemical and functional target of febrifugine and its synthetic derivative halofuginone. Febrifugine is the active principle of a traditional Chinese herbal remedy for malaria. We show that treatment with febrifugine derivatives activated the amino acid starvation response in both P. falciparum and a transgenic yeast strain expressing PfcPRS. We further demonstrate in the Plasmodium berghei mouse model of malaria that halofuginol, a new halofuginone analog that we developed, is active against both liver and asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite. Halofuginol, unlike halofuginone and febrifugine, is well tolerated at efficacious doses and represents a promising lead for the development of dual-stage next-generation antimalarials.

  4. The Effects of Transdermally Delivered Oleanolic Acid on Malaria Parasites and Blood Glucose Homeostasis in P. berghei-Infected Male Sprague-Dawley Rats

    PubMed Central

    Mabandla, Musa V.

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of transdermally delivered oleanolic acid (OA) monotherapy and in combination with chloroquine (CHQ) on malaria parasites and glucose homeostasis of P. berghei-infected male Sprague-Dawley rats. Oral glucose test (OGT) responses to OA-pectin patch and CHQ-OA combination matrix patch were monitored in non-infected and infected rats. To evaluate the short-term effects of treatment, percentage parasitaemia, blood glucose, glycogen and plasma insulin were monitored in separate groups of animals treated with either OA-patch monotherapy or CHQ-OA combination pectin patch over a 21-days period. Animals treated with drug-free pectin and CHQ acted as untreated and treated positive controls, respectively. Infected control rats exhibited significantly increased parasitaemia which was accompanied by hypoglycaemia. Both OA monotherapy and CHQ-OA combination therapy reduced and cleared the malaria parasites within a period of 4 and 3 days, respectively. Compared to respective controls groups, OGT responses of animals treated with OA monotherapy or CHQ-OA combination therapy exhibited lower blood glucose levels at all time points. A once-off transdermal application of OA-patch or CHQ-OA combination patch significantly improved blood glucose concentrations inducing any changes in insulin concentration. Transdermal OA used as a monotherapy or in combination with CHQ is able to clear and reduce the malaria parasites within a shorter period of time without eliciting any adverse effects on glucose homeostasis of P. berghei-infected rats. PMID:27907019

  5. The Malaria Parasite Progressively Dismantles the Host Erythrocyte Cytoskeleton for Efficient Egress*

    PubMed Central

    Millholland, Melanie G.; Chandramohanadas, Rajesh; Pizzarro, Angel; Wehr, Angela; Shi, Hui; Darling, Claire; Lim, Chwee Teck; Greenbaum, Doron C.

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is an obligate intracellular pathogen responsible for worldwide morbidity and mortality. This parasite establishes a parasitophorous vacuole within infected red blood cells wherein it differentiates into multiple daughter cells that must rupture their host cells to continue another infectious cycle. Using atomic force microscopy, we establish that progressive macrostructural changes occur to the host cell cytoskeleton during the last 15 h of the erythrocytic life cycle. We used a comparative proteomics approach to determine changes in the membrane proteome of infected red blood cells during the final steps of parasite development that lead to egress. Mass spectrometry-based analysis comparing the red blood cell membrane proteome in uninfected red blood cells to that of infected red blood cells and postrupture vesicles highlighted two temporally distinct events; (Hay, S. I., et al. (2009). A world malaria map: Plasmodium falciparum endemicity in 2007. PLoS Med. 6, e1000048) the striking loss of cytoskeletal adaptor proteins that are part of the junctional complex, including α/β-adducin and tropomyosin, correlating temporally with the emergence of large holes in the cytoskeleton seen by AFM as early ∼35 h postinvasion, and (Maier, A. G., et al. (2008) Exported proteins required for virulence and rigidity of Plasmodium falciparum-infected human erythrocytes. Cell 134, 48–61) large-scale proteolysis of the cytoskeleton during rupture ∼48 h postinvasion, mediated by host calpain-1. We thus propose a sequential mechanism whereby parasites first remove a selected set of cytoskeletal adaptor proteins to weaken the host membrane and then use host calpain-1 to dismantle the remaining cytoskeleton, leading to red blood cell membrane collapse and parasite release. PMID:21903871

  6. An essential dual-function complex mediates erythrocyte invasion and channel-mediated nutrient uptake in malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Daisuke; Schureck, Marc A; Desai, Sanjay A

    2017-01-01

    Malaria parasites evade immune detection by growth and replication within erythrocytes. After erythrocyte invasion, the intracellular pathogen must increase host cell uptake of nutrients from plasma. Here, we report that the parasite-encoded RhopH complex contributes to both invasion and channel-mediated nutrient uptake. As rhoph2 and rhoph3 gene knockouts were not viable in the human P. falciparum pathogen, we used conditional knockdowns to determine that the encoded proteins are essential and to identify their stage-specific functions. We exclude presumed roles for RhopH2 and CLAG3 in erythrocyte invasion but implicate a RhopH3 contribution either through ligand-receptor interactions or subsequent parasite internalization. These proteins then traffic via an export translocon to the host membrane, where they form a nutrient channel. Knockdown of either RhopH2 or RhopH3 disrupts the entire complex, interfering with organellar targeting and subsequent trafficking. Therapies targeting this complex should attack the pathogen at two critical points in its cycle. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23485.001 PMID:28221136

  7. Expression of senescent antigen on erythrocytes infected with a knobby variant of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Winograd, E.; Greenan, J.R.T.; Sherman, I.W.

    1987-04-01

    Erythrocytes infected with a knobby variant of Plasmodium falciparum selectively bind IgG autoantibodies in normal human serum. Quantification of membrane-bound IgG, by use of /sup 125/I-labeled protein A, revealed that erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant bound 30 times more protein A than did noninfected erythrocytes; infection with a knobless variant resulted in less than a 2-fold difference compared with noninfected erythrocytes. IgG binding to knobby erythrocytes appeared to be related to parasite development, since binding of /sup 125/I-labeled protein A to cells bearing young trophozoites (less than 20 hr after parasite invasion) was similar to binding to uninfected erythrocytes. By immunoelectron microscopy, the membrane-bound IgG on erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant was found to be preferentially associated with the protuberances (knobs) of the plasma membrane. The removal of aged or senescent erythrocytes from the peripheral circulation is reported to involve the binding of specific antibodies to an antigen (senescent antigen) related to the major erythrocyte membrane protein band 3. Since affinity-purified autoantibodies against band 3 specifically bound to the plasma membrane of erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant of P. falciparum, it is clear that the malaria parasite induces expression of senescent antigen.

  8. Two-stage sample-to-answer system based on nucleic acid amplification approach for detection of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qing; Nam, Jeonghun; Kim, Sangho; Lim, Chwee Teck; Park, Mi Kyoung; Shin, Yong

    2016-08-15

    Rapid, early, and accurate diagnosis of malaria is essential for effective disease management and surveillance, and can reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. Although significant advances have been achieved for the diagnosis of malaria, these technologies are still far from ideal, being time consuming, complex and poorly sensitive as well as requiring separate assays for sample processing and detection. Therefore, the development of a fast and sensitive method that can integrate sample processing with detection of malarial infection is desirable. Here, we report a two-stage sample-to-answer system based on nucleic acid amplification approach for detection of malaria parasites. It combines the Dimethyl adipimidate (DMA)/Thin film Sample processing (DTS) technique as a first stage and the Mach-Zehnder Interferometer-Isothermal solid-phase DNA Amplification (MZI-IDA) sensing technique as a second stage. The system can extract DNA from malarial parasites using DTS technique in a closed system, not only reducing sample loss and contamination, but also facilitating the multiplexed malarial DNA detection using the fast and accurate MZI-IDA technique. Here, we demonstrated that this system can deliver results within 60min (including sample processing, amplification and detection) with high sensitivity (<1 parasite μL(-1)) in a label-free and real-time manner. The developed system would be of great potential for better diagnosis of malaria in low-resource settings.

  9. The Malaria Parasite's Lactate Transporter PfFNT Is the Target of Antiplasmodial Compounds Identified in Whole Cell Phenotypic Screens

    PubMed Central

    Hapuarachchi, Sanduni V.; McConville, Malcolm J.; Martin, Rowena E.; Lehane, Adele M.

    2017-01-01

    In this study the ‘Malaria Box’ chemical library comprising 400 compounds with antiplasmodial activity was screened for compounds that perturb the internal pH of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Fifteen compounds induced an acidification of the parasite cytosol. Two of these did so by inhibiting the parasite’s formate nitrite transporter (PfFNT), which mediates the H+-coupled efflux from the parasite of lactate generated by glycolysis. Both compounds were shown to inhibit lactate transport across the parasite plasma membrane, and the transport of lactate by PfFNT expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. PfFNT inhibition caused accumulation of lactate in parasitised erythrocytes, and swelling of both the parasite and parasitised erythrocyte. Long-term exposure of parasites to one of the inhibitors gave rise to resistant parasites with a mutant form of PfFNT that showed reduced inhibitor sensitivity. This study provides the first evidence that PfFNT is a druggable antimalarial target. PMID:28178359

  10. Mosquito RUNX4 in the immune regulation of PPO gene expression and its effect on avian malaria parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Zou, Zhen; Shin, Sang Woon; Alvarez, Kanwal S; Bian, Guowu; Kokoza, Vladimir; Raikhel, Alexander S

    2008-11-25

    Prophenoloxidases (PPOs) are key enzymes of the melanization reaction, which is a prominent defense mechanism of arthropods. The mosquito Aedes aegypti has ten PPO genes in the genome, four of which (PPO1, PPO3, PPO5, and PPO8) were expressed in response to microbial infection. Cactus depletion resulted in transcriptional activation of these four genes, suggesting this up-regulation to be under the control of the Toll pathway. The silencing of Cactus also led to developmental arrest and death of the avian malaria parasite, Plasmodium gallinaceum. We discovered that RUNT-related transcription factor 4 (RUNX4), the orthologue of Drosophila Lozenge, bound to the RUNT binding motif in the promoter of mosquito PPO genes and stimulated the expression of Drosophila PPO-A1 and PPO3 in S2 cell line. The immune effects caused by Cactus depletion were eliminated by double knockdown of Cactus/RUNX4. These findings suggest that RUNX4 regulates PPO gene expression under the control of the Toll pathway and plays a critical role in restricting parasite development.

  11. Inhibition of Protein Synthesis and Malaria Parasite Development by Drug Targeting of Methionyl-tRNA Synthetases

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Tahir; Yogavel, Manickam

    2015-01-01

    Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are housekeeping enzymes that couple cognate tRNAs with amino acids to transmit genomic information for protein translation. The Plasmodium falciparum nuclear genome encodes two P. falciparum methionyl-tRNA synthetases (PfMRS), termed PfMRScyt and PfMRSapi. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the two proteins are of primitive origin and are related to heterokonts (PfMRScyt) or proteobacteria/primitive bacteria (PfMRSapi). We show that PfMRScyt localizes in parasite cytoplasm, while PfMRSapi localizes to apicoplasts in asexual stages of malaria parasites. Two known bacterial MRS inhibitors, REP3123 and REP8839, hampered Plasmodium growth very effectively in the early and late stages of parasite development. Small-molecule drug-like libraries were screened against modeled PfMRS structures, and several “hit” compounds showed significant effects on parasite growth. We then tested the effects of the hit compounds on protein translation by labeling nascent proteins with 35S-labeled cysteine and methionine. Three of the tested compounds reduced protein synthesis and also blocked parasite growth progression from the ring stage to the trophozoite stage. Drug docking studies suggested distinct modes of binding for the three compounds, compared with the enzyme product methionyl adenylate. Therefore, this study provides new targets (PfMRSs) and hit compounds that can be explored for development as antimalarial drugs. PMID:25583729

  12. Rapid Optimization of a Peptide Inhibitor of Malaria Parasite Invasion by Comprehensive N-Methyl Scanning*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Karen S.; Casey, Joanne L.; Coley, Andrew M.; Karas, John A.; Sabo, Jennifer K.; Tan, Yen Yee; Dolezal, Olan; Norton, Raymond S.; Hughes, Andrew B.; Scanlon, Denis; Foley, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has been implicated in the invasion of host erythrocytes and is an important vaccine candidate. We have previously described a 20-residue peptide, R1, that binds to AMA1 and subsequently blocks parasite invasion. Because this peptide appears to target a site critical for AMA1 function, it represents an important lead compound for anti-malarial drug development. However, the effectiveness of this peptide inhibitor was limited to a subset of parasite isolates, indicating a requirement for broader strain specificity. Furthermore, a barrier to the utility of any peptide as a potential therapeutic is its susceptibility to rapid proteolytic degradation. In this study, we sought to improve the proteolytic stability and AMA1 binding properties of the R1 peptide by systematic methylation of backbone amides (N-methylation). The inclusion of a single N-methyl group in the R1 peptide backbone dramatically increased AMA1 affinity, bioactivity, and proteolytic stability without introducing global structural alterations. In addition, N-methylation of multiple R1 residues further improved these properties. Therefore, we have shown that modifications to a biologically active peptide can dramatically enhance activity. This approach could be applied to many lead peptides or peptide therapeutics to simultaneously optimize a number of parameters. PMID:19164290

  13. 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

  14. Preservation of Wild Isolates of Human Malaria Parasites in Wet Ice and Adaptation Efficacy to In Vitro Culture

    PubMed Central

    Tantular, Indah S.; Pusarawati, Suhintam; Khin, Lin; Kanbe, Toshio; Kimura, Masatsugu; Kido, Yasutoshi; Kawamoto, Fumihiko

    2012-01-01

    Wild isolates of malaria parasites were preserved in wet ice for 2–12 days and cultivated by a candle jar method. In four isolates of Plasmodium falciparum collected from Myanmar and preserved for 12 days, all failed to grow. In 31 isolates preserved for 5–10 days, nine were transformed to young gametocytes, but 22 isolates grew well. From Ranong, Thailand, nine isolates preserved for 7 days were examined, and six grew well. On the other hand, all of the 59 isolates collected from eastern Indonesian islands failed to establish as culture-adapted isolates, even most of them were preserved only for 2–3 days: 10 isolates stopped to grow, and 49 isolates were transformed to sexual stages by Day 10. These results indicated that a great difference in adaptation to in vitro culture may exist between wild isolates distributed in continental Southeast Asia and in eastern Indonesia and that gametocytogenesis might be easily switched on in Indonesian isolates. In wild isolates of P. vivax, P. malariae and P. ovale preserved for 2–9 days, ring forms or young trophozoites survived, but adaptation to in vitro culture failed. These results indicate that wild isolates can be preserved in wet ice for 9–10 days. PMID:23097618

  15. Malaria parasite CelTOS targets the inner leaflet of cell membranes for pore-dependent disruption

    PubMed Central

    Jimah, John R; Salinas, Nichole D; Sala-Rabanal, Monica; Jones, Nathaniel G; Sibley, L David; Nichols, Colin G; Schlesinger, Paul H; Tolia, Niraj H

    2016-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites contain a conserved protein CelTOS that, in malaria parasites, is essential for traversal of cells within the mammalian host and arthropod vector. However, the molecular role of CelTOS is unknown because it lacks sequence similarity to proteins of known function. Here, we determined the crystal structure of CelTOS and discovered CelTOS resembles proteins that bind to and disrupt membranes. In contrast to known membrane disruptors, CelTOS has a distinct architecture, specifically binds phosphatidic acid commonly present within the inner leaflet of plasma membranes, and potently disrupts liposomes composed of phosphatidic acid by forming pores. Microinjection of CelTOS into cells resulted in observable membrane damage. Therefore, CelTOS is unique as it achieves nearly universal inner leaflet cellular activity to enable the exit of parasites from cells during traversal. By providing novel molecular insight into cell traversal by apicomplexan parasites, our work facilitates the design of therapeutics against global pathogens. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20621.001 PMID:27906127

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Acidification of the malaria parasite's digestive vacuole by a H+-ATPase and a H+-pyrophosphatase.

    PubMed

    Saliba, Kevin J; Allen, Richard J W; Zissis, Stephanie; Bray, Patrick G; Ward, Stephen A; Kirk, Kiaran

    2003-02-21

    As it grows within the human erythrocyte, the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, ingests the erythrocyte cytosol, depositing it via an endocytotic feeding mechanism in the "digestive vacuole," a specialized acidic organelle. The digestive vacuole is the site of hemoglobin degradation, the storage site for hemozoin (an inert biocrystal of toxic heme), the site of action of many antimalarial drugs, and the site of proteins known to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance. The acidic pH of this organelle is thought to play a critical role in its various functions; however, the mechanisms by which the pH within the vacuole is maintained are not well understood. In this study, we have used a combination of techniques to demonstrate the presence on the P. falciparum digestive vacuole membrane of two discrete H(+) pumping mechanisms, both capable of acidifying the vacuole interior. One is a V-type H(+)-ATPase, sensitive to concanamycin A and bafilomycin A(1). The other is a H(+)-pyrophosphatase, which was inhibited by NaF and showed a partial dependence on K(+). The operation of the H(+)-pyrophosphatase was dependent on the presence of a Mg(2+)-pyrophosphate complex, and kinetic experiments gave results consistent with free pyrophosphate acting as an inhibitor of the protein. The presence of the combination of a H(+)-ATPase and a H(+)-pyrophosphatase on the P. falciparum digestive vacuole is similar to the situation in the acidic tonoplasts (vacuoles) of plant cells.

  18. Hematin−Hematin Self-Association States Involved in the Formation and Reactivity of the Malaria Parasite Pigment, Hemozoin

    SciTech Connect

    Klonis, Nectarios; Dilanian, Ruben; Hanssen, Eric; Darmanin, Connie; Streltsov, Victor; Deed, Samantha; Quiney, Harry; Tilley, Leann

    2010-10-22

    The malaria parasite pigment, hemozoin, is a crystal of ferriprotoporphyrin IX (FP-Fe(III)), a product of hemoglobin digestion. Hemozoin formation is essential for FP-Fe(III) detoxification in the parasite; it is the main target of quinoline antimalarials and can modulate immune and inflammation responses. To gain further insight into the likely mechanisms of crystal formation and hemozoin reactivity, we have reanalyzed the crystal structure data for {beta}-hematin and solved the crystal structure of Plasmodium falciparum hemozoin. The analysis reveals that the structures are very similar and highlights two previously unexplored modes of FP-Fe(III) self-association involving {pi}-{pi} interactions that may initiate crystal formation and help to stabilize the extended structure. Hemozoin can be considered to be a crystal composed of {pi}-{pi} dimers stabilized by iron-carboxylate linkages. As a result, it is predicted that two surfaces of the crystal would consist of {pi}-{pi} dimers with Fe(III) partly exposed to solvent and capable of undergoing redox reactions. Accordingly, we demonstrate that the crystal possesses both general peroxidase activity and the ability to cause lipid oxidation.

  19. Malaria parasites co-opt human factor H to prevent complement-mediated lysis in the mosquito midgut.

    PubMed

    Simon, Nina; Lasonder, Edwin; Scheuermayer, Matthias; Kuehn, Andrea; Tews, Sabrina; Fischer, Rainer; Zipfel, Peter F; Skerka, Christine; Pradel, Gabriele

    2013-01-16

    Human complement is a first line defense against infection in which circulating proteins initiate an enzyme cascade on the microbial surface that leads to phagocytosis and lysis. Various pathogens evade complement recognition by binding to regulator proteins that protect host cells from complement activation. We show that emerging gametes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum bind the host complement regulator factor H (FH) following transmission to the mosquito to protect from complement-mediated lysis by the blood meal. Human complement is active in the mosquito midgut for approximately 1 hr postfeeding. During this period, the gamete surface protein PfGAP50 binds to FH and uses surface-bound FH to inactivate the complement protein C3b. Loss of FH-mediated protection, either through neutralization of FH or blockade of PfGAP50, significantly impairs gametogenesis and inhibits parasite transmission to the mosquito. Thus, Plasmodium co-opts the protective host protein FH to evade complement-mediated lysis within the mosquito midgut.

  20. Distinct malaria parasite sporozoites reveal transcriptional changes that cause differential tissue infection competence in the mosquito vector and mammalian host.

    PubMed

    Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Silva-Rivera, Hilda; Peng, Xinxia; Tarun, Alice S; Camargo, Nelly; Jacobs-Lorena, Vanessa; Daly, Thomas M; Bergman, Lawrence W; de la Vega, Patricia; Williams, Jack; Aly, Ahmed S I; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2008-10-01

    The malaria parasite sporozoite transmission stage develops and differentiates within parasite oocysts on the Anopheles mosquito midgut. Successful inoculation of the parasite into a mammalian host is critically dependent on the sporozoite's ability to first infect the mosquito salivary glands. Remarkable changes in tissue infection competence are observed as the sporozoites transit from the midgut oocysts to the salivary glands. Our microarray analysis shows that compared to oocyst sporozoites, salivary gland sporozoites upregulate expression of at least 124 unique genes. Conversely, oocyst sporozoites show upregulation of at least 47 genes (upregulated in oocyst sporozoites [UOS genes]) before they infect the salivary glands. Targeted gene deletion of UOS3, encoding a putative transmembrane protein with a thrombospondin repeat that localizes to the sporozoite secretory organelles, rendered oocyst sporozoites unable to infect the mosquito salivary glands but maintained the parasites' liver infection competence. This phenotype demonstrates the significance of differential UOS expression. Thus, the UIS-UOS gene classification provides a framework to elucidate the infectivity and transmission success of Plasmodium sporozoites on a whole-genome scale. Genes identified herein might represent targets for vector-based transmission blocking strategies (UOS genes), as well as strategies that prevent mammalian host infection (UIS genes).

  1. Of men in mice: the success and promise of humanized mouse models for human malaria parasite infections

    PubMed Central

    Kaushansky, Alexis; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.; Vignali, Marissa; Kappe, Stefan H.I.

    2014-01-01

    Forty percent of people worldwide are at risk of malaria infection, and despite control efforts it remains the most deadly parasitic disease. Unfortunately, rapid discovery and development of new interventions for malaria are hindered by the lack of small animal models that support the complex life cycles of the main parasite species infecting humans. Such tools must accommodate human parasite tropism for human tissue. Mouse models with human tissue developed to date have already enhanced our knowledge of human parasites, and are useful tools for assessing anti-parasitic interventions. Although these systems are imperfect, their continued refinement will likely broaden their utility. Some of the malaria parasite’s interactions with human hepatocytes and human erythrocytes can already be modeled with available humanized mouse systems. However, interactions with other relevant human tissues such as the skin and immune system, as well as most transitions between life cycle stages in vivo will require refinement of existing humanized mouse models. Here, we review the recent successes achieved in modeling human malaria parasite biology in humanized mice, and discuss how these models have potential to become an valuable part of the toolbox used for understanding the biology of, and development of interventions to, malaria. PMID:24506682

  2. A CLAG3 mutation in an amphipathic transmembrane domain alters malaria parasite nutrient channels and confers leupeptin resistance.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Paresh; Rayavara, Kempaiah; Ito, Daisuke; Basore, Katherine; Desai, Sanjay A

    2015-06-01

    Erythrocytes infected with malaria parasites have increased permeability to ions and nutrients, as mediated by the plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC) and recently linked to parasite clag3 genes. Although the encoded protein is integral to the host membrane, its precise contribution to solute transport remains unclear because it lacks conventional transmembrane domains and does not have homology to ion channel proteins in other organisms. Here, we identified a probable CLAG3 transmembrane domain adjacent to a variant extracellular motif. Helical-wheel analysis revealed strict segregation of polar and hydrophobic residues to opposite faces of a predicted α-helical transmembrane domain, suggesting that the domain lines a water-filled pore. A single CLAG3 mutation (A1210T) in a leupeptin-resistant PSAC mutant falls within this transmembrane domain and may affect pore structure. Allelic-exchange transfection and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that this mutation alters solute selectivity in the channel. The A1210T mutation also reduces the blocking affinity of PSAC inhibitors that bind on opposite channel faces, consistent with global changes in channel structure. Transfected parasites carrying this mutation survived a leupeptin challenge significantly better than a transfection control did. Thus, the A1210T mutation contributes directly to both altered PSAC activity and leupeptin resistance. These findings reveal the molecular basis of a novel antimalarial drug resistance mechanism, provide a framework for determining the channel's composition and structure, and should guide the development of therapies targeting the PSAC.

  3. High resolution FTIR imaging provides automated discrimination and detection of single malaria parasite infected erythrocytes on glass.

    PubMed

    Perez-Guaita, David; Andrew, Dean; Heraud, Philip; Beeson, James; Anderson, David; Richards, Jack; Wood, Bayden R

    2016-06-23

    New highly sensitive tools for malaria diagnostics are urgently needed to enable the detection of infection in asymptomatic carriers and patients with low parasitemia. In pursuit of a highly sensitive diagnostic tool that can identify parasite infections at the single cell level, we have been exploring Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy using a Focal Plane Array (FPA) imaging detector. Here we report for the first time the application of a new optic configuration developed by Agilent that incorporates 25× condenser and objective Cassegrain optics with a high numerical aperture (NA = 0.81) along with additional high magnification optics within the microscope to provide 0.66 micron pixel resolution (total IR system magnification of 61×) to diagnose malaria parasites at the single cell level on a conventional glass microscope slide. The high quality images clearly resolve the parasite's digestive vacuole demonstrating sub-cellular resolution using this approach. Moreover, we have developed an algorithm that first detects the cells in the infrared image, and secondly extracts the average spectrum. The average spectrum is then run through a model based on Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA), which diagnoses unequivocally the infected from normal cells. The high quality images, and the fact this measurement can be achieved without a synchrotron source on a conventional glass slide, shows promise as a potential gold standard for malaria detection at the single cell level.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Pooled sequencing and rare variant association tests for identifying the determinants of emerging drug resistance in malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Cheeseman, Ian H; McDew-White, Marina; Phyo, Aung Pyae; Sriprawat, Kanlaya; Nosten, François; Anderson, Timothy J C

    2015-04-01

    We explored the potential of pooled sequencing to swiftly and economically identify selective sweeps due to emerging artemisinin (ART) resistance in a South-East Asian malaria parasite population. ART resistance is defined by slow parasite clearance from the blood of ART-treated patients and mutations in the kelch gene (chr. 13) have been strongly implicated to play a role. We constructed triplicate pools of 70 slow-clearing (resistant) and 70 fast-clearing (sensitive) infections collected from the Thai-Myanmar border and sequenced these to high (∼ 150-fold) read depth. Allele frequency estimates from pools showed almost perfect correlation (Lin's concordance = 0.98) with allele frequencies at 93 single nucleotide polymorphisms measured directly from individual infections, giving us confidence in the accuracy of this approach. By mapping genome-wide divergence (FST) between pools of drug-resistant and drug-sensitive parasites, we identified two large (>150 kb) regions (on chrs. 13 and 14) and 17 smaller candidate genome regions. To identify individual genes within these genome regions, we resequenced an additional 38 parasite genomes (16 slow and 22 fast-clearing) and performed rare variant association tests. These confirmed kelch as a major molecular marker for ART resistance (P = 6.03 × 10(-6)). This two-tier approach is powerful because pooled sequencing rapidly narrows down genome regions of interest, while targeted rare variant association testing within these regions can pinpoint the genetic basis of resistance. We show that our approach is robust to recurrent mutation and the generation of soft selective sweeps, which are predicted to be common in pathogen populations with large effective population sizes, and may confound more traditional gene mapping approaches.

  9. Mammalian and malaria parasite cyclase-associated proteins catalyze nucleotide exchange on G-actin through a conserved mechanism.

    PubMed

    Makkonen, Maarit; Bertling, Enni; Chebotareva, Natalia A; Baum, Jake; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2013-01-11

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are among the most highly conserved regulators of actin dynamics, being present in organisms from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Yeast, plant, and mammalian CAPs are large multidomain proteins, which catalyze nucleotide exchange on actin monomers from ADP to ATP and recycle actin monomers from actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin for new rounds of filament assembly. However, the mechanism by which CAPs promote nucleotide exchange is not known. Furthermore, how apicomplexan CAPs, which lack many domains present in yeast and mammalian CAPs, contribute to actin dynamics is not understood. We show that, like yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 interacts with ADF/cofilin and ADP-G-actin through its N-terminal α-helical and C-terminal β-strand domains, respectively. However, in the variation to yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 has two adjacent profilin-binding sites, and it interacts with ATP-actin monomers with high affinity through its WH2 domain. Importantly, we revealed that the C-terminal β-sheet domain of mouse CAP1 is essential and sufficient for catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers, although the adjacent WH2 domain is not required for this function. Supporting these data, we show that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum CAP, which is entirely composed of the β-sheet domain, efficiently promotes nucleotide exchange on actin monomers. Collectively, this study provides evidence that catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers via the β-sheet domain is the most highly conserved function of CAPs from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Other functions, including interactions with profilin and ADF/cofilin, evolved in more complex organisms to adjust the specific role of CAPs in actin dynamics.

  10. MHC-I affects infection intensity but not infection status with a frequent avian malaria parasite in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Westerdahl, Helena; Stjernman, Martin; Råberg, Lars; Lannefors, Mimi; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2013-01-01

    Host resistance against parasites depends on three aspects: the ability to prevent, control and clear infections. In vertebrates the immune system consists of innate and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is particularly important for preventing infection and eradicating established infections at an early stage while adaptive immunity is slow, but powerful, and essential for controlling infection intensities and eventually clearing infections. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules are central in adaptive immunity, and studies on parasite resistance and MHC in wild animals have found effects on both infection intensity (parasite load) and infection status (infected or not). It seems MHC can affect both the ability to control infection intensities and the ability to clear infections. However, these two aspects have rarely been considered simultaneously, and their relative importance in natural populations is therefore unclear. Here we investigate if MHC class I genotype affects infection intensity and infection status with a frequent avian malaria infection Haemoproteus majoris in a natural population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. We found a significant negative association between a single MHC allele and infection intensity but no association with infection status. Blue tits that carry a specific MHC allele seem able to suppress H. majoris infection intensity, while we have no evidence that this allele also has an effect on clearance of the H. majoris infection, a result that is in contrast with some previous studies of MHC and avian malaria. A likely explanation could be that the clearance rate of avian malaria parasites differs between avian malaria lineages and/or between avian hosts.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Quantification of labile heme in live malaria parasites using a genetically encoded biosensor

    PubMed Central

    Abshire, James R.; Rowlands, Christopher J.; Ganesan, Suresh M.; So, Peter T. C.; Niles, Jacquin C.

    2017-01-01

    Heme is ubiquitous, yet relatively little is known about the maintenance of labile pools of this cofactor, which likely ensures its timely bioavailability for proper cellular function. Quantitative analysis of labile heme is of fundamental importance to understanding how nature preserves access to the diverse chemistry heme enables, while minimizing cellular damage caused by its redox activity. Here, we have developed and characterized a protein-based sensor that undergoes fluorescence quenching upon heme binding. By genetically encoding this sensor in the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, we have quantified cytosolic labile heme levels in intact, blood-stage parasites. Our findings indicate that a labile heme pool (∼1.6 µM) is stably maintained throughout parasite development within red blood cells, even during a period coincident with extensive hemoglobin degradation by the parasite. We also find that the heme-binding antimalarial drug chloroquine specifically increases labile cytosolic heme, indicative of dysregulation of this homeostatic pool that may be a relevant component of the antimalarial activity of this compound class. We propose that use of this technology under various environmental perturbations in P. falciparum can yield quantitative insights into fundamental heme biology. PMID:28242687

  16. Patterns of benthic assemblages invaded and non-invaded by Grateloupia turuturu across rocky intertidal habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freitas, Cristiano; Araújo, Rita; Bertocci, Iacopo

    2016-09-01

    Intertidal benthic assemblages invaded and non-invaded by the introduced Asian red alga Grateloupia turuturu were compared at a rocky shore along the NW coast of Portugal. The structure of whole assemblages, the total richness of taxa and the abundance of individual taxa were examined as response variables in two different habitats (rock pools and emergent rock), two shore levels (low and mid intertidal) and two dates of sampling (June 2013 and June 2014). Invaded and non-invaded assemblages differed consistently across habitats and shore levels. Such differences were driven by 13 (with the green alga genus Ulva, the red alga Chondrus crispus and the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis driving the total dissimilarity) out of the total 37 taxa identified. Individual taxa revealed idiosyncratic patterns, in several cases (C. crispus, M. galloprovincialis, articulated coralline algae of the genus Corallina and the crustose sporophyte of the red alga Mastocarpus stellatus) there were differences in the abundance of a taxon between invaded and non-invaded assemblages varying with levels of some other experimental factors. The total number of taxa was higher in invaded compared to non-invaded assemblages for each combination of habitat and shore level. Patterns of invasion by G. turuturu along the Portuguese continental coast were recently described in terms of its temporal and spatial distribution, but never examined in terms of differences between invaded and non-invaded assemblages. Such information is very limited for other geographic areas where this species is recorded out of its native range of distribution. Therefore, the present study provides a new contribution to the understanding of modifications of native assemblages associated with the invasion of G. turuturu, opening avenues of research aimed at specifically examining the factors and processes likely responsible for the invasion dynamics and success of this species.

  17. Short-Lived Effector CD8 T Cells Induced by Genetically Attenuated Malaria Parasite Vaccination Express CD11c

    PubMed Central

    Cooney, Laura A.; Gupta, Megha; Thomas, Sunil; Mikolajczak, Sebastian; Choi, Kimberly Y.; Gibson, Claire; Jang, Ihn K.; Danziger, Sam; Aitchison, John; Gardner, Malcolm J.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2013-01-01

    Vaccination with a single dose of genetically attenuated malaria parasites can induce sterile protection against sporozoite challenge in the rodent Plasmodium yoelii model. Protection is dependent on CD8+ T cells, involves perforin and gamma interferon (IFN-γ), and is correlated with the expansion of effector memory CD8+ T cells in the liver. Here, we have further characterized vaccine-induced changes in the CD8+ T cell phenotype and demonstrated significant upregulation of CD11c on CD3+ CD8b+ T cells in the liver, spleen, and peripheral blood. CD11c+ CD8+ T cells are predominantly CD11ahi CD44hi CD62L−, indicative of antigen-experienced effector cells. Following in vitro restimulation with malaria-infected hepatocytes, CD11c+ CD8+ T cells expressed inflammatory cytokines and cytotoxicity markers, including IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-2 (IL-2), perforin, and CD107a. CD11c− CD8+ T cells, on the other hand, expressed negligible amounts of all inflammatory cytokines and cytotoxicity markers tested, indicating that CD11c marks multifunctional effector CD8+ T cells. Coculture of CD11c+, but not CD11c−, CD8+ T cells with sporozoite-infected primary hepatocytes significantly inhibited liver-stage parasite development. Tetramer staining for the immunodominant circumsporozoite protein (CSP)-specific CD8+ T cell epitope demonstrated that approximately two-thirds of CSP-specific cells expressed CD11c at the peak of the CD11c+ CD8+ T cell response, but CD11c expression was lost as the CD8+ T cells entered the memory phase. Further analyses showed that CD11c+ CD8+ T cells are primarily KLRG1+ CD127− terminal effectors, whereas all KLRG1− CD127+ memory precursor effector cells are CD11c− CD8+ T cells. Together, these results suggest that CD11c marks a subset of highly inflammatory, short-lived, antigen-specific effector cells, which may play an important role in eliminating infected hepatocytes. PMID:23980113

  18. Emerging importance of mismatch repair components including UvrD helicase and their cross-talk with the development of drug resistance in malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Moaz; Tuteja, Renu

    2014-12-01

    Human malaria is an important parasitic infection responsible for a significant number of deaths worldwide, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. The recent scenario has worsened mainly because of the emergence of drug-resistant malaria parasites having the potential to spread across the world. Drug-resistant parasites possess a defective mismatch repair (MMR); therefore, it is essential to explore its mechanism in detail to determine the underlying cause. Recently, artemisinin-resistant parasites have been reported to exhibit nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes involved in MMR pathways such as MutL homolog (MLH) and UvrD. Plasmodium falciparum MLH is an endonuclease required to restore the defective MMR in drug-resistant W2 strain of P. falciparum. Although the role of helicases in eukaryotic MMR has been questioned, the identification and characterization of the UvrD helicase and their cross-talk with MLH in P. falciparum suggests the possible involvement of UvrD in MMR. A comparative genome-wide analysis revealed the presence of the UvrD helicase in Plasmodium species, while it is absent in human host. Therefore, PfUvrD may emerge as a suitable drug target to control malaria. This review study is focused on recent developments in MMR biochemistry, emerging importance of the UvrD helicase, possibility of its involvement in MMR and the emerging cross-talk between MMR components and drug resistance in malaria parasite.

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

    PubMed Central

    Elmendorf, H G; Haldar, K

    1993-01-01

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

  20. The mucosal inflammatory response to non-typhoidal Salmonella in the intestine is blunted by IL-10 during concurrent malaria parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Mooney, J P; Butler, B P; Lokken, K L; Xavier, M N; Chau, J Y; Schaltenberg, N; Dandekar, S; George, M D; Santos, R L; Luckhart, S; Tsolis, R M

    2014-11-01

    Coinfection can markedly alter the response to a pathogen, thereby changing its clinical presentation. For example, non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) serotypes are associated with gastroenteritis in immunocompetent individuals. In contrast, individuals with severe pediatric malaria can develop bacteremic infections with NTS, during which symptoms of gastroenteritis are commonly absent. Here we report that, in both a ligated ileal loop model and a mouse colitis model, malaria parasites caused a global suppression of gut inflammatory responses and blunted the neutrophil influx that is characteristic of NTS infection. Further, malaria parasite infection led to increased recovery of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium from the draining mesenteric lymph node (MLN) of mice. In the mouse colitis model, blunted intestinal inflammation during NTS infection was independent of anemia but instead required parasite-induced synthesis of interleukin (IL)-10. Blocking of IL-10 in coinfected mice reduced dissemination of S. Typhimurium to the MLN, suggesting that induction of IL-10 contributes to development of disseminated infection. Thus IL-10 produced during the immune response to malaria in this model contributes to suppression of mucosal inflammatory responses to invasive NTS, which may contribute to differences in the clinical presentation of NTS infection in the setting of malaria.

  1. Effect of anti-mosquito midgut antibodies on development of malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax and fecundity in vector mosquito Anopheles culicifacies (Diptera: culicidae).

    PubMed

    Chugh, Manoj; Adak, T; Sehrawat, Neelam; Gakhar, S K

    2011-04-01

    The effect of anti-mosquito-midgut antibodies on the development of the malaria parasite, P. vivax was studied by feeding the vector mosquito, An. culicifacies with infected blood supplemented with serum from immunized rabbits. In order to get antisera, rabbits were immunized with midgut proteins of three siblings species of Anopheles culicifacies, reported to exhibit differential vectorial capacity. The mosquitoes that ingested anti-midgut antibodies along with infectious parasites had significantly fewer oocysts compared to the control group of mosquitoes. The immunized rabbits generated high titer of antibodies. Their cross reactivity amongst various tissues of the same species and with other sibling species was also determined. Immunogenic polypeptides expressed in the midgut of glucose or blood fed An. culicifacies sibling species were identified by Western blotting. One immunogenic polypeptide of 62 kDa was exclusively present in the midgut of species A. Similarly, three polypeptides of 97, 94 and 58 kDa and one polypeptide of 23 kDa were present exclusively in species B and C respectively. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed the localization of these antigens on baso-lateral membrane and microvilli. The effects of anti-mosquito midgut antibodies on fecundity, longevity, mortality and engorgement of mosquitoes were studied. Fecundity was also reduced significantly. These observations open an avenue for research toward the development of a vector-based malaria parasite transmission-blocking vaccine.

  2. Experiential relationship between malaria parasite density and some haematological parameters in malaria infected male subjects in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    M, Eze Evelyn; Ezeiruaku, F C; Ukaji, D C

    2012-06-15

    This study examined the experiential relationship between the parasite density and haematological parameters in male patients with Plasmodium falciparum infection in Port Harcourt, Nigeria reporting to malaria clinics. A total of one hundred and thirty-six (136) male patients were recruited. QBC haematological analysis, QBC malaria parasite specie identification and quantification and thin blood film for differential leucocytes count was used. The mean values of the haematological parameters in each quartile of parasite densities were determined using Microsoft Excel statistical package. Regression analysis was employed to model the experiential relationship between parasite density and haematological parameters. All regression relationships were tested and the relationship with the highest coefficient of determination (R2) was accepted as the valid relationship. The relationships tested included linear, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and power relationships. The X- axis of the regression graphs stand for the parasite density while Y-axis stands for the respective haematological parameters  Neutrophil count had a negative  exponential relationship with the parasite density and is related to the parasite density by a polynomial equation model: ynm = -7E-07x2 - 0.0003x + 56.685.The coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.6140. This means that the rate of change of the parasitemia will depend on the initial value of the neutrophil. As the neutrophil increases, the parasitemia will tend to decrease in a double, triple and quadruple manner. The relationship between lymphocyte count, monocyte count and eosinophil count and parasite density was logarithmic and expressed by the following linear equation models: ylm = -2.371ln(x) + 37.296, ymm = 0.6965ln(x) + 5.7692 and yem = 0.9334ln(x) + 4.1718 in the same order. Their respective high coefficients of determination (R2) were 0.8027, 0.8867 and 0.9553. This logarithmic relationship means that each doubling of

  3. Experiential Relationship between Malaria Parasite Density and Some Haematological Parameters in Malaria Infected Male Subjects in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    M., Eze Evelyn; Ezeiruaku, F. C.; Ukaji, D. C.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the experiential relationship between the parasite density and haematological parameters in male patients with Plasmodium falciparum infection in Port Harcourt, Nigeria reporting to malaria clinics. A total of one hundred and thirty-six (136) male patients were recruited. QBC haematological analysis, QBC malaria parasite specie identification and quantification and thin blood film for differential leucocytes count was used. The mean values of the haematological parameters in each quartile of parasite densities were determined using Microsoft Excel statistical package. Regression analysis was employed to model the experiential relationship between parasite density and haematological parameters. All regression relationships were tested and the relationship with the highest coefficient of determination (R2) was accepted as the valid relationship. The relationships tested included linear, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and power relationships. The X- axis of the regression graphs stand for the parasite density while Y-axis stands for the respective haematological parameters Neutrophil count had a negative exponential relationship with the parasite density and is related to the parasite density by a polynomial equation model: ynm = -7E-07x2 - 0.0003x + 56.685. The coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.6140. This means that the rate of change of the parasitemia will depend on the initial value of the neutrophil. As the neutrophil increases, the parasitemia will tend to decrease in a double, triple and quadruple manner. The relationship between lymphocyte count, monocyte count and eosinophil count and parasite density was logarithmic and expressed by the following linear equation models: ylm = -2.371ln(x) + 37.296, ymm = 0.6965ln(x) + 5.7692 and yem = 0.9334ln(x) + 4.1718 in the same order. Their respective high coefficients of determination (R2) were 0.8027, 0.8867 and 0.9553. This logarithmic relationship means that each doubling of monocyte

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Unusual Antimalarial Meroditerpenes from Tropical Red Macroalgae

    PubMed Central

    Stout, E. Paige; Prudhomme, Jacques; Le Roch, Karine; Fairchild, Craig R.; Franzblau, Scott G.; Aalbersberg, William; Hay, Mark E.; Kubanek, Julia

    2010-01-01

    Three antimalarial meroditerpenes have been isolated from two Fijian red macroalgae. The absolute stereochemistry of callophycolide A (1), a unique macrolide from Callophycus serratus, was determined using a combination of Mosher’s ester analysis, circular dichroism analysis with a dimolybdenum tetraacetate complex, and conformational analysis using NOEs. In addition, two known tocopherols, β-tocopherylhydroquinone (4) and δ-tocopherylhydroquinone (5), were isolated from Amphiroa crassa. By oxidizing 5 to the corresponding δ-tocopherylquinone (6), antimalarial activity against the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum was increased by more than 20-fold. PMID:20801038

  8. Plasmodium falciparum evades mosquito immunity by disrupting JNK-mediated apoptosis of invaded midgut cells

    PubMed Central

    Ramphul, Urvashi N.; Garver, Lindsey S.; Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Canepa, Gaspar E.; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    The malaria parasite, Plasmodium, must survive and develop in the mosquito vector to be successfully transmitted to a new host. The Plasmodium falciparum Pfs47 gene is critical for malaria transmission. Parasites that express Pfs47 (NF54 WT) evade mosquito immunity and survive, whereas Pfs47 knockouts (KO) are efficiently eliminated by the complement-like system. Two alternative approaches were used to investigate the mechanism of action of Pfs47 on immune evasion. First, we examined whether Pfs47 affected signal transduction pathways mediating mosquito immune responses, and show that the Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway is a key mediator of Anopheles gambiae antiplasmodial responses to P. falciparum infection and that Pfs47 disrupts JNK signaling. Second, we used microarrays to compare the global transcriptional responses of A. gambiae midguts to infection with WT and KO parasites. The presence of Pfs47 results in broad and profound changes in gene expression in response to infection that are already evident 12 h postfeeding, but become most prominent at 26 h postfeeding, the time when ookinetes invade the mosquito midgut. Silencing of 15 differentially expressed candidate genes identified caspase-S2 as a key effector of Plasmodium elimination in parasites lacking Pfs47. We provide experimental evidence that JNK pathway regulates activation of caspases in Plasmodium-invaded midgut cells, and that caspase activation is required to trigger midgut epithelial nitration. Pfs47 alters the cell death pathway of invaded midgut cells by disrupting JNK signaling and prevents the activation of several caspases, resulting in an ineffective nitration response that makes the parasite undetectable by the mosquito complement-like system. PMID:25552553

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  10. Aspidosperma (Apocynaceae) plant cytotoxicity and activity towards malaria parasites. Part I: Aspidosperma nitidum (Benth) used as a remedy to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon.

    PubMed

    Coutinho, Julia Penna; Aguiar, Anna Caroline Campos; dos Santos, Pierre Alexandre; Lima, Joaquim Corsino; Rocha, Maria Gabrielle Lima; Zani, Carlos Leomar; Alves, Tânia Maria Almeida; Santana, Antônio Euzébio Goulart; Pereira, Maria de Meneses; Krettli, Antoniana Ursine

    2013-12-01

    Infusions of Aspidosperma nitidum (Apocynaceae) wood bark are used to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon Region. Several species of this family are known to possess indole alkaloids and other classes of secondary metabolites, whereas terpenoids, an inositol and the indole alkaloids harmane-3 acid and braznitidumine have been described in A. nitidum . In the present study, extracts from the wood bark, leaves and branches of this species were prepared for assays against malaria parasites and cytotoxicity testing using human hepatoma and normal monkey kidney cells. The wood bark extracts were active against Plasmodium falciparum and showed a low cytotoxicity in vitro, whereas the leaf and branch extracts and the pure alkaloid braznitidumine were inactive. A crude methanol extract was subjected to acid-base fractionation aimed at obtaining alkaloid-rich fractions, which were active at low concentrations against P. falciparum and in mice infected with and sensitive Plasmodium berghei parasites. Our data validate the antimalarial usefulness of A. nitidum wood bark, a remedy that can most likely help to control malaria. However, the molecules responsible for this antimalarial activity have not yet been identified. Considering their high selectivity index, the alkaloid-rich fractions from the plant bark might be useful in the development of new antimalarials.

  11. Aspidosperma (Apocynaceae) plant cytotoxicity and activity towards malaria parasites. Part I: Aspidosperma nitidum (Benth) used as a remedy to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Coutinho, Julia Penna; Aguiar, Anna Caroline Campos; dos Santos, Pierre Alexandre; Lima, Joaquim Corsino; Rocha, Maria Gabrielle Lima; Zani, Carlos Leomar; Alves, Tânia Maria Almeida; Santana, Antônio Euzébio Goulart; Pereira, Maria de Meneses; Krettli, Antoniana Ursine

    2013-01-01

    Infusions of Aspidosperma nitidum (Apocynaceae) wood bark are used to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon Region. Several species of this family are known to possess indole alkaloids and other classes of secondary metabolites, whereas terpenoids, an inositol and the indole alkaloids harmane-3 acid and braznitidumine have been described in A. nitidum . In the present study, extracts from the wood bark, leaves and branches of this species were prepared for assays against malaria parasites and cytotoxicity testing using human hepatoma and normal monkey kidney cells. The wood bark extracts were active against Plasmodium falciparum and showed a low cytotoxicity in vitro, whereas the leaf and branch extracts and the pure alkaloid braznitidumine were inactive. A crude methanol extract was subjected to acid-base fractionation aimed at obtaining alkaloid-rich fractions, which were active at low concentrations against P. falciparum and in mice infected with and sensitive Plasmodium berghei parasites. Our data validate the antimalarial usefulness of A. nitidum wood bark, a remedy that can most likely help to control malaria. However, the molecules responsible for this antimalarial activity have not yet been identified. Considering their high selectivity index, the alkaloid-rich fractions from the plant bark might be useful in the development of new antimalarials. PMID:24402150

  12. Diagnosing infection levels of four human malaria parasite species by a polymerase chain reaction/ligase detection reaction fluorescent microsphere-based assay.

    PubMed

    McNamara, David T; Kasehagen, Laurin J; Grimberg, Brian T; Cole-Tobian, Jennifer; Collins, William E; Zimmerman, Peter A

    2006-03-01

    Improving strategies for diagnosing infection by the four human Plasmodium species parasites is important as field-based epidemiologic and clinical studies focused on malaria become more ambitious. Expectations for malaria diagnostic assays include rapid processing with minimal expertise, very high specificity and sensitivity, and quantitative evaluation of parasitemia to be delivered at a very low cost. Toward fulfilling many of these expectations, we have developed a post-polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/ligase detection reaction-fluorescent microsphere assay (LDR-FMA). This assay, which uses Luminex FlexMAP microspheres, provides simultaneous, semi-quantitative detection of infection by all four human malaria parasite species at a sensitivity and specificity equal to other PCR-based assays. In blinded studies using P. falciparum-infected blood from in vitro cultures, we identified infected and uninfected samples with 100% concordance. Additionally, in analyses of P. falciparum in vitro cultures and P. vivax-infected monkeys, comparisons between parasitemia and LDR-FMA signal intensity showed very strong positive correlations (r > 0.95). Application of this multiplex Plasmodium species LDR-FMA diagnostic assay will increase the speed, accuracy, and reliability of diagnosing human Plasmodium species infections in epidemiologic studies of complex malaria-endemic settings.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  15. Sporogonic Cycles Calculated Using Degree-Days, as a Basis for Comparison of Malaria Parasite Development in Different Eco-Epidemiological Settings in India.

    PubMed

    Singh, Poonam; Dhiman, Ramesh C

    2016-01-01

    In India, malaria transmission is prevalent across diverse geologies and ecologies. Temperature is one of the key determinants of malarial transmission, causing low endemicity in some areas than in others. Using a degree-day model, we estimated the maximum and minimum possible number of days needed to complete a malarial sporogonic cycle (SC), in addition to the possible number of SCs for Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum under two different ecological settings with either low or high endemicity for malaria at different elevations. In Raikhalkhatta (in the Himalayan foothills) SCs were modeled as not occurring from November to February, whereas in Gandhonia village (forested hills), all but only one month were suitable for malarial SCs. A minimum of 6 days and maximum of 46 days were required for completion of one SC. Forested hilly areas were more suitable for malaria parasite development in terms of SCs (25 versus 21 for P. falciparum and 32 versus 27 for P. vivax). Degree-days also provided a climatic explanation for the current transmission of malaria at different elevations. The calculation of degree-days and possible SC has applications in the regional analysis of transmission dynamics and management of malaria in view of climate change.

  16. Identification and genome-wide prediction of DNA binding specificities for the ApiAP2 family of regulators from the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Tracey L; De Silva, Erandi K; Olszewski, Kellen L; Elemento, Olivier; Llinás, Manuel

    2010-10-28

    The molecular mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation in apicomplexan parasites remain poorly understood. Recently, the Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) family of DNA binding proteins was identified as a major class of transcriptional regulators that are found across all Apicomplexa. To gain insight into the regulatory role of these proteins in the malaria parasite, we have comprehensively surveyed the DNA-binding specificities of all 27 members of the ApiAP2 protein family from Plasmodium falciparum revealing unique binding preferences for the majority of these DNA binding proteins. In addition to high affinity primary motif interactions, we also observe interactions with secondary motifs. The ability of a number of ApiAP2 proteins to bind multiple, distinct motifs significantly increases the potential complexity of the transcriptional regulatory networks governed by the ApiAP2 family. Using these newly identified sequence motifs, we infer the trans-factors associated with previously reported plasmodial cis-elements and provide evidence that ApiAP2 proteins modulate key regulatory decisions at all stages of parasite development. Our results offer a detailed view of ApiAP2 DNA binding specificity and take the first step toward inferring comprehensive gene regulatory networks for P. falciparum.

  17. The malaria parasite cation ATPase PfATP4 and its role in the mechanism of action of a new arsenal of antimalarial drugs.

    PubMed

    Spillman, Natalie Jane; Kirk, Kiaran

    2015-12-01

    The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, maintains a low cytosolic Na(+) concentration and the plasma membrane P-type cation translocating ATPase 'PfATP4' has been implicated as playing a key role in this process. PfATP4 has been the subject of significant attention in recent years as mutations in this protein confer resistance to a growing number of new antimalarial compounds, including the spiroindolones, the pyrazoles, the dihydroisoquinolones, and a number of the antimalarial agents in the Medicines for Malaria Venture's 'Malaria Box'. On exposure of parasites to these compounds there is a rapid disruption of cytosolic Na(+). Whether, and if so how, such chemically distinct compounds interact with PfATP4, and how such interactions lead to parasite death, is not yet clear. The fact that multiple different chemical classes have converged upon PfATP4 highlights its significance as a potential target for new generation antimalarial agents. A spiroindolone (KAE609, now known as cipargamin) has progressed through Phase I and IIa clinical trials with favourable results. In this review we consider the physiological role of PfATP4, summarise the current repertoire of antimalarial compounds for which PfATP4 is implicated in their mechanism of action, and provide an outlook on translation from target identification in the laboratory to patient treatment in the field.

  18. Inhibition of Plasmepsin V Activity Demonstrates Its Essential Role in Protein Export, PfEMP1 Display, and Survival of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Sleebs, Brad E.; Lopaticki, Sash; Marapana, Danushka S.; O'Neill, Matthew T.; Rajasekaran, Pravin; Gazdik, Michelle; Günther, Svenja; Whitehead, Lachlan W.; Lowes, Kym N.; Barfod, Lea; Hviid, Lars; Shaw, Philip J.; Hodder, Anthony N.; Smith, Brian J.; Cowman, Alan F.; Boddey, Justin A.

    2014-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports several hundred proteins into the infected erythrocyte that are involved in cellular remodeling and severe virulence. The export mechanism involves the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL), which is a cleavage site for the parasite protease, Plasmepsin V (PMV). The PMV gene is refractory to deletion, suggesting it is essential, but definitive proof is lacking. Here, we generated a PEXEL-mimetic inhibitor that potently blocks the activity of PMV isolated from P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Assessment of PMV activity in P. falciparum revealed PEXEL cleavage occurs cotranslationaly, similar to signal peptidase. Treatment of P. falciparum–infected erythrocytes with the inhibitor caused dose-dependent inhibition of PEXEL processing as well as protein export, including impaired display of the major virulence adhesin, PfEMP1, on the erythrocyte surface, and cytoadherence. The inhibitor killed parasites at the trophozoite stage and knockdown of PMV enhanced sensitivity to the inhibitor, while overexpression of PMV increased resistance. This provides the first direct evidence that PMV activity is essential for protein export in Plasmodium spp. and for parasite survival in human erythrocytes and validates PMV as an antimalarial drug target. PMID:24983235

  19. Characterization of two malaria parasite organelle translation elongation factor G proteins: the likely targets of the anti-malarial fusidic acid.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Russell A; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Goodman, Christopher D

    2011-01-01

    Malaria parasites harbour two organelles with bacteria-like metabolic processes that are the targets of many anti-bacterial drugs. One such drug is fusidic acid, which inhibits the translation component elongation factor G. The response of P. falciparum to fusidic acid was characterised using extended SYBR-Green based drug trials. This revealed that fusidic acid kills in vitro cultured P. falciparum parasites by immediately blocking parasite development. Two bacterial-type protein translation elongation factor G genes are identified as likely targets of fusidic acid. Sequence analysis suggests that these proteins function in the mitochondria and apicoplast and both should be sensitive to fusidic acid. Microscopic examination of protein-reporter fusions confirm the prediction that one elongation factor G is a component of parasite mitochondria whereas the second is a component of the relict plastid or apicoplast. The presence of two putative targets for a single inhibitory compound emphasizes the potential of elongation factor G as a drug target in malaria.

  20. Phosphoinositide Metabolism Links cGMP-Dependent Protein Kinase G to Essential Ca2+ Signals at Key Decision Points in the Life Cycle of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Brochet, Mathieu; Collins, Mark O.; Smith, Terry K.; Thompson, Eloise; Sebastian, Sarah; Volkmann, Katrin; Schwach, Frank; Chappell, Lia; Gomes, Ana Rita; Berriman, Matthew; Rayner, Julian C.; Baker, David A.; Choudhary, Jyoti; Billker, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Many critical events in the Plasmodium life cycle rely on the controlled release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores to activate stage-specific Ca2+-dependent protein kinases. Using the motility of Plasmodium berghei ookinetes as a signalling paradigm, we show that the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase, PKG, maintains the elevated level of cytosolic Ca2+ required for gliding motility. We find that the same PKG-dependent pathway operates upstream of the Ca2+ signals that mediate activation of P. berghei gametocytes in the mosquito and egress of Plasmodium falciparum merozoites from infected human erythrocytes. Perturbations of PKG signalling in gliding ookinetes have a marked impact on the phosphoproteome, with a significant enrichment of in vivo regulated sites in multiple pathways including vesicular trafficking and phosphoinositide metabolism. A global analysis of cellular phospholipids demonstrates that in gliding ookinetes PKG controls phosphoinositide biosynthesis, possibly through the subcellular localisation or activity of lipid kinases. Similarly, phosphoinositide metabolism links PKG to egress of P. falciparum merozoites, where inhibition of PKG blocks hydrolysis of phosphatidylinostitol (4,5)-bisphosphate. In the face of an increasing complexity of signalling through multiple Ca2+ effectors, PKG emerges as a unifying factor to control multiple cellular Ca2+ signals essential for malaria parasite development and transmission. PMID:24594931

  1. Regulation and Essentiality of the StAR-related Lipid Transfer (START) Domain-containing Phospholipid Transfer Protein PFA0210c in Malaria Parasites*

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Ross J.; Ringel, Alessa; Knuepfer, Ellen; Moon, Robert W.; Blackman, Michael J.; van Ooij, Christiaan

    2016-01-01

    StAR-related lipid transfer (START) domains are phospholipid- or sterol-binding modules that are present in many proteins. START domain-containing proteins (START proteins) play important functions in eukaryotic cells, including the redistribution of phospholipids to subcellular compartments and delivering sterols to the mitochondrion for steroid synthesis. How the activity of the START domain is regulated remains unknown for most of these proteins. The Plasmodium falciparum START protein PFA0210c (PF3D7_0104200) is a broad-spectrum phospholipid transfer protein that is conserved in all sequenced Plasmodium species and is most closely related to the mammalian START proteins STARD2 and STARD7. PFA0210c is unusual in that it contains a signal sequence and a PEXEL export motif that together mediate transfer of the protein from the parasite to the host erythrocyte. The protein also contains a C-terminal extension, which is very uncommon among mammalian START proteins. Whereas the biochemical properties of PFA0210c have been characterized, the function of the protein remains unknown. Here, we provide evidence that the unusual C-terminal extension negatively regulates phospholipid transfer activity. Furthermore, we use the genetically tractable Plasmodium knowlesi model and recently developed genetic technology in P. falciparum to show that the protein is essential for growth of the parasite during the clinically relevant asexual blood stage life cycle. Finally, we show that the regulation of phospholipid transfer by PFA0210c is required in vivo, and we identify a potential second regulatory domain. These findings provide insight into a novel mechanism of regulation of phospholipid transfer in vivo and may have important implications for the interaction of the malaria parasite with its host cell. PMID:27694132

  2. THE REAL McCOIL: A method for the concurrent estimation of the complexity of infection and SNP allele frequency for malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Hsiao-Han; Worby, Colin J.; Yeka, Adoke; Nankabirwa, Joaniter; Kamya, Moses R.; Staedke, Sarah G.; Hubbart, Christina; Amato, Roberto; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.

    2017-01-01

    As many malaria-endemic countries move towards elimination of Plasmodium falciparum, the most virulent human malaria parasite, effective tools for monitoring malaria epidemiology are urgent priorities. P. falciparum population genetic approaches offer promising tools for understanding transmission and spread of the disease, but a high prevalence of multi-clone or polygenomic infections can render estimation of even the most basic parameters, such as allele frequencies, challenging. A previous method, COIL, was developed to estimate complexity of infection (COI) from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data, but relies on monogenomic infections to estimate allele frequencies or requires external allele frequency data which may not available. Estimates limited to monogenomic infections may not be representative, however, and when the average COI is high, they can be difficult or impossible to obtain. Therefore, we developed THE REAL McCOIL, Turning HEterozygous SNP data into Robust Estimates of ALelle frequency, via Markov chain Monte Carlo, and Complexity Of Infection using Likelihood, to incorporate polygenomic samples and simultaneously estimate allele frequency and COI. This approach was tested via simulations then applied to SNP data from cross-sectional surveys performed in three Ugandan sites with varying malaria transmission. We show that THE REAL McCOIL consistently outperforms COIL on simulated data, particularly when most infections are polygenomic. Using field data we show that, unlike with COIL, we can distinguish epidemiologically relevant differences in COI between and within these sites. Surprisingly, for example, we estimated high average COI in a peri-urban subregion with lower transmission intensity, suggesting that many of these cases were imported from surrounding regions with higher transmission intensity. THE REAL McCOIL therefore provides a robust tool for understanding the molecular epidemiology of malaria across transmission settings. PMID

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Infection of Female BWF1 Lupus Mice with Malaria Parasite Attenuates B Cell Autoreactivity by Modulating the CXCL12/CXCR4 Axis and Its Downstream Signals PI3K/AKT, NFκB and ERK

    PubMed Central

    Badr, Gamal; Sayed, Ayat; Abdel-Maksoud, Mostafa A.; Mohamed, Amany O.; El-Amir, Azza; Abdel-Ghaffar, Fathy A.; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Mahmoud, Mohamed H.

    2015-01-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototypic autoimmune disease characterized by abnormal autoreactivity in B cells. Lymphocytes and their soluble mediators contribute to the disease pathogenesis. We recently demonstrated that infecting lupus mice with malaria confers protection against lupus nephritis by attenuating oxidative stress in both liver and kidney tissues. In the current study, we further investigated B cell autoreactivity in female BWF1 lupus mice after infection with either live or gamma-irradiated malaria, using ELISA, flow cytometry and Western blot analysis. The lupus mice exhibited a significant elevation in plasma levels of IL-4, IL-6, IL-7, IL-12, IL-17, IFN-α, IFN-γ, TGF-β, BAFF and APRIL and a marked elevation of IgG2a, IgG3 and ant-dsDNA autoantibodies compared with normal healthy mice. Infecting lupus mice with live but not gamma-irradiated malaria parasite partially and significantly restored the levels of the soluble mediators that contribute to the progression of lupus. Furthermore, the B cells of lupus mice exhibited an increased proliferative capacity; aberrant overexpression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4; and a marked elevation in responsiveness to their cognate ligand (CXCL12) via aberrant activation of the PI3K/AKT, NFκB and ERK signaling pathways. Interestingly, infecting lupus mice with live but not gamma-irradiated malaria parasite restored a normal proliferative capacity, surface expression of CXCR4 and B cell response to CXCL-12. Taken together, our data present interesting findings that clarify, for the first time, the molecular mechanisms of how infection of lupus mice with malaria parasite controls B cell autoreactivity and thus confers protection against lupus severity. PMID:25909640

  6. Infection of Female BWF1 Lupus Mice with Malaria Parasite Attenuates B Cell Autoreactivity by Modulating the CXCL12/CXCR4 Axis and Its Downstream Signals PI3K/AKT, NFκB and ERK.

    PubMed

    Badr, Gamal; Sayed, Ayat; Abdel-Maksoud, Mostafa A; Mohamed, Amany O; El-Amir, Azza; Abdel-Ghaffar, Fathy A; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Mahmoud, Mohamed H

    2015-01-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototypic autoimmune disease characterized by abnormal autoreactivity in B cells. Lymphocytes and their soluble mediators contribute to the disease pathogenesis. We recently demonstrated that infecting lupus mice with malaria confers protection against lupus nephritis by attenuating oxidative stress in both liver and kidney tissues. In the current study, we further investigated B cell autoreactivity in female BWF1 lupus mice after infection with either live or gamma-irradiated malaria, using ELISA, flow cytometry and Western blot analysis. The lupus mice exhibited a significant elevation in plasma levels of IL-4, IL-6, IL-7, IL-12, IL-17, IFN-α, IFN-γ, TGF-β, BAFF and APRIL and a marked elevation of IgG2a, IgG3 and ant-dsDNA autoantibodies compared with normal healthy mice. Infecting lupus mice with live but not gamma-irradiated malaria parasite partially and significantly restored the levels of the soluble mediators that contribute to the progression of lupus. Furthermore, the B cells of lupus mice exhibited an increased proliferative capacity; aberrant overexpression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4; and a marked elevation in responsiveness to their cognate ligand (CXCL12) via aberrant activation of the PI3K/AKT, NFκB and ERK signaling pathways. Interestingly, infecting lupus mice with live but not gamma-irradiated malaria parasite restored a normal proliferative capacity, surface expression of CXCR4 and B cell response to CXCL-12. Taken together, our data present interesting findings that clarify, for the first time, the molecular mechanisms of how infection of lupus mice with malaria parasite controls B cell autoreactivity and thus confers protection against lupus severity.

  7. The mechanics of malaria parasite invasion of the human erythrocyte – towards a reassessment of the host cell contribution

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Marion

    2016-01-01

    Summary Despite decades of research, we still know little about the mechanics of Plasmodium host cell invasion. Fundamentally, while the essential or non‐essential nature of different parasite proteins is becoming clearer, their actual function and how each comes together to govern invasion are poorly understood. Furthermore, in recent years an emerging world view is shifting focus away from the parasite actin–myosin motor being the sole force responsible for entry to an appreciation of host cell dynamics and forces and their contribution to the process. In this review, we discuss merozoite invasion of the erythrocyte, focusing on the complex set of pre‐invasion events and how these might prime the red cell to facilitate invasion. While traditionally parasite interactions at this stage have been viewed simplistically as mediating adhesion only, recent work makes it apparent that by interacting with a number of host receptors and signalling pathways, combined with secretion of parasite‐derived lipid material, that the merozoite may initiate cytoskeletal re‐arrangements and biophysical changes in the erythrocyte that greatly reduce energy barriers for entry. Seen in this light Plasmodium invasion may well turn out to be a balance between host and parasite forces, much like that of other pathogen infection mechanisms. PMID:26663815

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

    PubMed Central

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Maduramicin Rapidly Eliminates Malaria Parasites and Potentiates the Gametocytocidal Activity of the Pyrazoleamide PA21A050

    PubMed Central

    Maron, Maxim I.; Magle, Crystal T.; Czesny, Beata; Turturice, Benjamin A.; Huang, Ruili; Zheng, Wei; Vaidya, Akhil B.

    2015-01-01

    New strategies targeting Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes, the sexual-stage parasites that are responsible for malaria transmission, are needed to eradicate this disease. Most commonly used antimalarials are ineffective against P. falciparum gametocytes, allowing patients to continue to be infectious for over a week after asexual parasite clearance. A recent screen for gametocytocidal compounds demonstrated that the carboxylic polyether ionophore maduramicin is active at low nanomolar concentrations against P. falciparum sexual stages. In this study, we showed that maduramicin has an EC50 (effective concentration that inhibits the signal by 50%) of 14.8 nM against late-stage gametocytes and significantly blocks in vivo transmission in a mouse model of malaria transmission. In contrast to other reported gametocytocidal agents, maduramicin acts rapidly in vitro, eliminating gametocytes and asexual schizonts in less than 12 h without affecting uninfected red blood cells (RBCs). Ring stage parasites are cleared by 24 h. Within an hour of drug treatment, 40% of the normally crescent-shaped gametocytes round up and become spherical. The number of round gametocytes increases to >60% by 2 h, even before a change in membrane potential as monitored by MitoProbe DiIC1 (5) is detectable. Maduramicin is not preferentially taken up by gametocyte-infected RBCs compared to uninfected RBCs, suggesting that gametocytes are more sensitive to alterations in cation concentration than RBCs. Moreover, the addition of 15.6 nM maduramicin enhanced the gametocytocidal activity of the pyrazoleamide PA21A050, which is a promising new antimalarial candidate associated with an increase in intracellular Na+ concentration that is proposed to be due to inhibition of PfATP4, a putative Na+ pump. These results underscore the importance of cation homeostasis in sexual as well as asexual intraerythrocytic-stage P. falciparum parasites and the potential of targeting this pathway for drug development

  11. A spatial individual-based model predicting a great impact of copious sugar sources and resting sites on survival of Anopheles gambiae and malaria parasite transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhu, Lin; Qualls, Whitney A.; Marshall, John M; Arheart, Kris L.; DeAngelis, Don; McManus, John W.; Traore, Sekou F.; Doumbia, Seydou; Schlein, Yosef; Muller, Gunter C.; Beier, John C.

    2015-01-01

    distributed in the whole village compared to clustering around outdoor resting sites or houses.ConclusionsIncreases in densities of sugar sources or outdoor resting sites significantly increase the survival and human biting rates of An. gambiae mosquitoes. Survival of An. gambiae is more supported by random distribution of sugar sources than clustering of sugar sources around resting sites or houses. Density and spatial distribution of natural sugar sources and outdoor resting sites modulate vector populations and human biting rates, and thus malaria parasite transmission.

  12. Malaria Parasites: The Great Escape

    PubMed Central

    Rénia, Laurent; Goh, Yun Shan

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Intraerythrocytic Killing of Malaria Parasites

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-09-30

    NDEM CO WID F=r Detrick, Frularick, Nnyland 21701-W012 !> ELIEGT-~ ’-w York, New York 10016 -A012 S.....i,:t• Yor, • Yrk lols . MAR, 0 3 9, .• Aproe...release; distribution2 0. 0 1 C L W I A T O N I O W G A D I S 0 4 6 D U Li u n l i m i t e d 4 PIR•ORMING OfAN4IAPTION REPORT NUM641R4) S. MONITORING...ATTN: SGRD-RMA-RC ,4ev York, New York 10016 Fort Detrick, Frederick MD 21701-5014 &L ""AE Of PFUNOI GSPONSOINNG10 W& OFFICE SYMOI. 9. PROCUREMENT

  14. Identification of a specific region of Plasmodium falciparum EBL-1 that binds to host receptor glycophorin B and inhibits merozoite invasion in human red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Xuerong; Marinkovic, Marina; Russo, Crystal; McKnight, C James; Coetzer, Theresa L; Chishti, Athar H

    2012-05-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum invades human erythrocytes through multiple pathways utilizing several ligand-receptor interactions. These interactions are broadly classified in two groups according to their dependency on sialic acid residues. Here, we focus on the sialic acid-dependent pathway by using purified glycophorins and red blood cells (RBCs) to screen a cDNA phage display library derived from P. falciparum FCR3 strain, a sialic acid-dependent strain. This screen identified several parasite proteins including the erythrocyte-binding ligand-1, EBL-1. The phage cDNA insert encoded the 69-amino acid peptide, termed F2i, which is located within the F2 region of the DBL domain, designated here as D2, of EBL-1. Recombinant D2 and F2i polypeptides bound to purified glycophorins and RBCs, and the F2i peptide was found to interfere with binding of D2 domain to its receptor. Both D2 and F2i polypeptides bound to trypsin-treated but not neuraminidase or chymotrypsin-treated erythrocytes, consistent with known glycophorin B resistance to trypsin, and neither the D2 nor F2i polypeptide bound to glycophorin B-deficient erythrocytes. Importantly, purified D2 and F2i polypeptides partially inhibited merozoite reinvasion in human erythrocytes. Our results show that the host erythrocyte receptor glycophorin B directly interacts with the DBL domain of parasite EBL-1, and the core binding site is contained within the 69 amino acid F2i region (residues 601-669) of the DBL domain. Together, these findings suggest that a recombinant F2i peptide with stabilized structure could provide a protective function at blood stage infection and represents a valuable addition to a multi-subunit vaccine against malaria.

  15. Identification of a specific region of Plasmodium falciparum EBL-1 that binds to host receptor glycophorin B and inhibits merozoite invasion in human red blood cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xuerong; Marinkovic, Marina; Russo, Crystal; McKnight, C. James; Coetzer, Theresa L.; Chishti, Athar H.

    2012-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum invades human erythrocytes through multiple pathways utilizing several ligand-receptor interactions. These interactions are broadly classified in two groups according to their dependency on sialic acid residues. Here, we focus on the sialic acid-dependent pathway by using purified glycophorins and red blood cells (RBCs) to screen a cDNA phage display library derived from Plasmodium falciparum FCR3 strain, a sialic acid-dependent strain. This screen identified several parasite proteins including the erythrocyte-binding ligand-1, EBL-1. The phage cDNA insert encoded the 69-amino acid peptide, termed F2i, which is located within the F2 region of the DBL domain, designated here as D2, of EBL-1. Recombinant D2 and F2i polypeptides bound to purified glycophorins and RBCs, and the F2i peptide was found to interfere with binding of D2 domain to its receptor. Both D2 and F2i polypeptides bound to trypsin-treated but not neuraminidase or chymotrypsin-treated erythrocytes, consistent with known glycophorin B resistance to trypsin, and neither the D2 nor F2i polypeptide bound to glycophorin B-deficient erythrocytes. Importantly, purified D2 and F2i polypeptides partially inhibited merozoite reinvasion in human erythrocytes. Our results show that the host erythrocyte receptor glycophorin B directly interacts with the DBL domain of parasite EBL-1, and the core binding site is contained within the 69 amino acid F2i region (residues 601–669) of the DBL domain. Together, these findings suggest that a recombinant F2i peptide with stabilized structure could provide a protective function at blood stage infection and represents a valuable addition to a multi-subunit vaccine against malaria. PMID:22273481

  16. Malaria and human red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Mohandas, Narla; An, Xiuli

    2012-11-01

    Invasion by the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, brings about extensive changes in the host red cells. These include loss of the normal discoid shape, increased rigidity of the membrane, elevated permeability to a wide variety of ionic and other species and increased adhesiveness, most notably to endothelial surfaces. These effects facilitate survival of the parasite within the host cell and tend to increase the virulence of disease that includes cerebral malaria and anemia. Numerous proteins secreted by the internalized parasite and interacting with red cell membrane proteins are responsible for the changes occurring to the host cell. Anemia, a serious clinical manifestation of malaria, is due to increased destruction of both infected and uninfected red cells due to membrane alterations, as well as ineffective erythropoiesis. There is very good evidence that various red cell disorders including hemoglobinopathies and hereditary ovalocytosis decrease the virulence of disease following parasite infection. A number of mechanism(s) are likely responsible for the protective effect of various red cell abnormalities including decreased invasion, impaired intraerythrocytic development of the parasites and altered interaction between exported parasite proteins and the red cell membrane skeleton.

  17. COMPARISON OF MEDUSAHEAD INVADED AND NON-INVADED WYOMING BIG SAGEBRUSH STEPPE IN SOUTHEASTERN OREGON

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski) is an exotic, annual grass invading sagebrush steppe rangelands in the western United States. Medusahead invasion has been demonstrated to reduce livestock forage, but otherwise information comparing vegetation characteristics of medusahead invade...

  18. Revegetating sagebrush rangelands invaded by medusahead

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objectives of this study were to determine: 1) effective treatments for controlling medusahead and 2) the appropriate plant materials for revegetating medusahead-invaded rangelands. Initial treatments of prescribed burning immediately followed with applications of the preemergent herbicide imaza...

  19. Revegetating sagebrush rangelands invaded by medusahead

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objectives of this study are to determine: 1) effective treatments for controlling medusahead and 2) the appropriate plant materials for revegetating medusahead-invaded rangelands. Initial treatments of prescribed burning immediately followed with applications of the preemergent herbicide imazap...

  20. Revegetation of medusahead invaded sagebrush steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski) is an exotic annual grass invading western rangelands. Invasion by medusahead is especially problematic because it decreases livestock forage production, degrades wildlife habitat, reduces biodiversity, and increases fire frequency. Revegetation ...

  1. Effect of HIV and malaria parasites co-infection on immune-hematological profiles among patients attending anti-retroviral treatment (ART) clinic in Infectious Disease Hospital Kano, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Jegede, Feyisayo Ebenezer; Oyeyi, Tinuade Ibijoke; Abdulrahman, Surajudeen Abiola; Mbah, Henry Akwen.; Badru, Titilope; Agbakwuru, Chinedu; Adedokun, Oluwasanmi

    2017-01-01

    Background Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and malaria co-infection may present worse health outcomes in the tropics. Information on HIV/malaria co-infection effect on immune-hematological profiles is critical for patient care and there is a paucity of such data in Nigeria. Objective To evaluate immune-hematological profiles among HIV infected patients compared to HIV/malaria co-infected for ART management improvement. Methods This was a cross sectional study conducted at Infectious Disease Hospital, Kano. A total of 761 consenting adults attending ART clinic were randomly selected and recruited between June and December 2015. Participants’ characteristics and clinical details including two previous CD4 counts were collected. Venous blood sample (4ml) was collected in EDTA tube for malaria parasite diagnosis by rapid test and confirmed with microscopy. Hematological profiles were analyzed by Sysmex XP-300 and CD4 count by Cyflow cytometry. Data was analyzed with SPSS 22.0 using Chi-Square test for association between HIV/malaria parasites co-infection with age groups, gender, ART, cotrimoxazole and usage of treated bed nets. Mean hematological profiles by HIV/malaria co-infection and HIV only were compared using independent t-test and mean CD4 count tested by mixed design repeated measures ANOVA. Statistical significant difference at probability of <0.05 was considered for all variables. Results Of the 761 HIV infected, 64% were females, with a mean age of ± (SD) 37.30 (10.4) years. Prevalence of HIV/malaria co-infection was 27.7% with Plasmodium falciparum specie accounting for 99.1%. No statistical significant difference was observed between HIV/malaria co-infection in association to age (p = 0.498) and gender (p = 0.789). A significantly (p = 0.026) higher prevalence (35.2%) of co-infection was observed among non-ART patients compared to (26%) ART patients. Prevalence of co-infection was significantly lower (20.0%) among cotrimoxazole users compared to

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  6. Cell Physiology of the Malaria Parasite.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-08-01

    easily obtain sporozoites for immunological or pharmacological research . 2) Further progress was made on techniques for refrigeration maintenance, and...cellulose column. It should thus be possible to more easily obtain sporozoites for immunological or pharmacological research . 3) Studies continued on...been stabilized it should be possible for any laboratory to more easily obtain sporozoites for immunological or pharmacological research . 2) Further

  7. The distinct proteome of placental malaria parasites.

    SciTech Connect

    Fried, Michal; Hixson, Kim K.; Anderson, Lori; Ogata, Yuko; Mutabingwa, Theonest K.; Duffy, Patrick E.

    2007-09-01

    Malaria proteins expressed on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes (IE) mediate adhesion and are targeted by protective immune responses. During pregnancy, IE sequester in the placenta. Placental IE bind to the molecule chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) and preferentially transcribe the gene that encodes VAR2CSA, a member of the PfEMP1 variant surface antigen family. Over successive pregnancies women develop specific immunity to CSA-binding IE and antibodies to VAR2CSA. We used tandem mass spectrometry together with accurate mass and time tag technology to study IE membrane fractions of placental parasites. VAR2CSA peptides were detected in placental IE and in IE from children, but the MC variant of VAR2CSA was specifically associated with placental IE. We identified six conserved hypothetical proteins with putative TM or signal peptides that were exclusively expressed by the placental IE, and 11 such proteins that were significantly more abundant in placental IE. One of these hypothetical proteins, PFI1785w, is a 42kDa molecule detected by Western blot in parasites infecting pregnant women but not those infecting children.

  8. Quantifying Transmission Investment in Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Greischar, Megan A; Mideo, Nicole; Read, Andrew F; Bjørnstad, Ottar N

    2016-02-01

    Many microparasites infect new hosts with specialized life stages, requiring a subset of the parasite population to forgo proliferation and develop into transmission forms. Transmission stage production influences infectivity, host exploitation, and the impact of medical interventions like drug treatment. Predicting how parasites will respond to public health efforts on both epidemiological and evolutionary timescales requires understanding transmission strategies. These strategies can rarely be observed directly and must typically be inferred from infection dynamics. Using malaria as a case study, we test previously described methods for inferring transmission stage investment against simulated data generated with a model of within-host infection dynamics, where the true transmission investment is known. We show that existing methods are inadequate and potentially very misleading. The key difficulty lies in separating transmission stages produced by different generations of parasites. We develop a new approach that performs much better on simulated data. Applying this approach to real data from mice infected with a single Plasmodium chabaudi strain, we estimate that transmission investment varies from zero to 20%, with evidence for variable investment over time in some hosts, but not others. These patterns suggest that, even in experimental infections where host genetics and other environmental factors are controlled, parasites may exhibit remarkably different patterns of transmission investment.

  9. Quantifying Transmission Investment in Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Greischar, Megan A.; Mideo, Nicole; Read, Andrew F.; Bjørnstad, Ottar N.

    2016-01-01

    Many microparasites infect new hosts with specialized life stages, requiring a subset of the parasite population to forgo proliferation and develop into transmission forms. Transmission stage production influences infectivity, host exploitation, and the impact of medical interventions like drug treatment. Predicting how parasites will respond to public health efforts on both epidemiological and evolutionary timescales requires understanding transmission strategies. These strategies can rarely be observed directly and must typically be inferred from infection dynamics. Using malaria as a case study, we test previously described methods for inferring transmission stage investment against simulated data generated with a model of within-host infection dynamics, where the true transmission investment is known. We show that existing methods are inadequate and potentially very misleading. The key difficulty lies in separating transmission stages produced by different generations of parasites. We develop a new approach that performs much better on simulated data. Applying this approach to real data from mice infected with a single Plasmodium chabaudi strain, we estimate that transmission investment varies from zero to 20%, with evidence for variable investment over time in some hosts, but not others. These patterns suggest that, even in experimental infections where host genetics and other environmental factors are controlled, parasites may exhibit remarkably different patterns of transmission investment. PMID:26890485

  10. Holographic analysis on deformation and restoration of malaria-infected red blood cells by antimalarial drug

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byeon, Hyeokjun; Ha, Young-Ran; Lee, Sang Joon

    2015-11-01

    Malaria parasites induce morphological, biochemical, and mechanical changes in red blood cells (RBCs). Mechanical variations are closely related to the deformability of individual RBCs. The deformation of various RBCs, including healthy and malaria-infected RBCs (iRBCs), can be directly observed through quantitative phase imaging (QPI). The effects of chloroquine treatment on the mechanical property variation of iRBCs were investigated using time-resolved holographic QPI of single live cells on a millisecond time scale. The deformabilities of healthy RBCs, iRBCs, and drug-treated iRBCs were compared, and the effect of chloroquine on iRBC restoration was experimentally examined. The present results are beneficial to elucidate the dynamic characteristics of iRBCs and the effect of the antimalarial drug on iRBCs.

  11. Quantitative Biomechanics of Healthy and Diseased Human Red Blood Cells using Dielectrophoresis in a Microfluidic System.

    PubMed

    Du, E; Dao, Ming; Suresh, Subra

    2014-12-01

    We present an experimental method to quantitatively characterize the mechanical properties of a large number of biological cells by introducing controlled deformation through dielectrophoresis in a microfluidic device. We demonstrate the capability of this technique by determining the force versus deformation characteristics of healthy human red blood cells (RBCs) and RBCs infected in vitro with Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. These experiments clearly distinguish uninfected and healthy RBCs from infected ones, and the mechanical signatures extracted from these tests are in agreement with data from other independent methods. The method developed here thus provides a potentially helpful tool to characterize quickly and effectively the isolated biomechanical response of cells in a large population, for probing the pathological states of cells, disease diagnostics, and drug efficacy assays.

  12. Mycoplasma gallisepticum invades chicken erythrocytes during infection.

    PubMed

    Vogl, Gunther; Plaickner, Astrid; Szathmary, Susan; Stipkovits, László; Rosengarten, Renate; Szostak, Michael P

    2008-01-01

    Recently, it was demonstrated using in vitro assays that the avian pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum is able to invade nonphagocytic cells. It was also shown that this mycoplasma can survive and multiply intracellularly for at least 48 h and that this cell invasion capacity contributes to the systemic spread of M. gallisepticum from the respiratory tract to the inner organs. Using the gentamicin invasion assay and a differential immunofluorescence technique combined with confocal laser scanning microscopy, we were able to demonstrate in in vitro experiments that M. gallisepticum is also capable of invading sheep and chicken erythrocytes. The frequencies of invasion of three well-defined M. gallisepticum strains were examined over a period of 24 h, and a significant increase in invasiveness occurred after 8 h of infection. In addition, blood samples derived from chickens experimentally infected via the aerosol route with the virulent strain M. gallisepticum R(low) were analyzed. Surprisingly, M. gallisepticum R(low) was detected in the bloodstream of infected chickens by nested PCR, as well as by differential immunofluorescence and interference contrast microscopy that showed that mycoplasmas were not only on the surface but also inside chicken erythrocytes. This finding provides novel insight into the pathomechanism of M. gallisepticum and may have implications for the development of preventive strategies.

  13. Plasmodium ookinetes coopt mammalian plasminogen to invade the mosquito midgut

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anil K.; Coppens, Isabelle; Gårdsvoll, Henrik; Ploug, Michael; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2011-01-01

    Ookinete invasion of the mosquito midgut is an essential step for the development of the malaria parasite in the mosquito. Invasion involves recognition between a presumed mosquito midgut receptor and an ookinete ligand. Here, we show that enolase lines the ookinete surface. An antienolase antibody inhibits oocyst development of both Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium falciparum, suggesting that enolase may act as an invasion ligand. Importantly, we demonstrate that surface enolase captures plasminogen from the mammalian blood meal via its lysine motif (DKSLVK) and that this interaction is essential for midgut invasion, because plasminogen depletion leads to a strong inhibition of oocyst formation. Although addition of recombinant WT plasminogen to depleted serum rescues oocyst formation, recombinant inactive plasminogen does not, thus emphasizing the importance of plasmin proteolytic activity for ookinete invasion. The results support the hypothesis that enolase on the surface of Plasmodium ookinetes plays a dual role in midgut invasion: by acting as a ligand that interacts with the midgut epithelium and, further, by capturing plasminogen, whose conversion to active plasmin promotes the invasion process. PMID:21949403

  14. Chinese tallow: Invading the southeastern Coastal Plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2000-01-01

    Chinese tallow is an ornamental tree with colorful autumn foliage that can survive full sunlight and shade, flooding, drought, and in some cases fire. To horticulturists this kind of tree sounds like a dream, but to ecologists, land managers, and land owners this kind of tree can be a nightmare, especially when it invades an area and takes over native vegetation. Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), a nonnative tree from China, is currently transforming the southeastern Coastal Plain.Over the last 30 years, Chinese tallow has become a common tree in old fields and bottomland swamps of coastal Louisiana. Several studies at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC), Lafayette, Louisiana, are aimed at understanding the factors that contribute to Chinese tallow growth, spread, and management.When tallow invades, it eventually monopolizes an area, creating a forest without native animal or plant species. This tree exhibits classic traits of most nonnative invaders: it is attractive so people want to distribute it, it has incredible resiliency, it grows quickly and in a variety of soils, and it is resistant to pests.In the coastal prairie of Louisiana and Texas, Chinese tallow can grow up to 30 feet and shade out native sun-loving prairie species. The disappearing of prairie species is troublesome because less than 1% of original coastal prairie remains, and in Louisiana, less than 500 of the original 2.2 million acres still exist.Tallow reproduces and grows quickly and can cause large-scale ecosystem modification (fig. 1). For example, when it completely replaces native vegetation, it has a negative effect on birds by degrading the habitat. Besides shading out grasses that cattle like to eat, it can also be potentially harmful to humans and animals because of its berries (fig. 2) and plant sap that contain toxins. There is some concern its leaves may shed toxins that change the soil chemistry and make it difficult for other plants to grow.

  15. High-resolution X-ray imaging of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Williams, Garth J; Hanssen, Eric; Peele, Andrew G; Pfeifer, Mark A; Clark, Jesse; Abbey, Brian; Cadenazzi, Guido; de Jonge, Martin D; Vogt, Stefan; Tilley, Leann; Nugent, Keith A

    2008-10-01

    Methods for imaging cellular architecture and ultimately macromolecular complexes and individual proteins, within a cellular environment, are an important goal for cell and molecular biology. Coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) is a method of lensless imaging that can be applied to any individual finite object. A diffraction pattern from a single biological structure is recorded and an iterative Fourier transform between real space and reciprocal space is used to reconstruct information about the architecture of the sample to high resolution. As a test system for cellular imaging, we have applied CDI to an important human pathogen, the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. We have employed a novel CDI approach, known as Fresnel CDI, which uses illumination with a curved incident wavefront, to image red blood cells infected with malaria parasites. We have examined the intrinsic X-ray absorption contrast of these cells and compared them with cells contrasted with heavy metal stains or immunogold labeling. We compare CDI images with data obtained from the same cells using scanning electron microscopy, light microscopy, and scanning X-ray fluorescence microscopy. We show that CDI can offer new information both within and at the surface of complex biological specimens at a spatial resolution of better than 40 nm. and we demonstrate an imaging modality that conveniently combines scanning X-ray fluorescence microscopy with CDI. The data provide independent confirmation of the validity of the coherent diffractive image and demonstrate that CDI offers the potential to become an important and reliable new high-resolution imaging modality for cell biology. CDI can detect features at high resolution within unsectioned cells.

  16. Transport of diseased red blood cells in the spleen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Zhangli; Pivkin, Igor; Dao, Ming

    2012-11-01

    A major function of the spleen is to remove old and diseased red blood cells (RBCs) with abnormal mechanical properties. We investigated this mechanical filtering mechanism by combining experiments and computational modeling, especially for red blood cells in malaria and sickle cell disease (SCD). First, utilizing a transgenic line for 3D confocal live imaging, in vitro capillary assays and 3D finite element modeling, we extracted the mechanical properties of both the RBC membrane and malaria parasites for different asexual malaria stages. Secondly, using a non-invasive laser interferometric technique, we optically measured the dynamic membrane fluctuations of SCD RBCs. By simulating the membrane fluctuation experiment using the dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) model, we retrieved mechanical properties of SCD RBCs with different shapes. Finally, based on the mechanical properties obtained from these experiments, we simulated the full fluid-structure interaction problem of diseased RBCs passing through endothelial slits in the spleen under different fluid pressure gradients using the DPD model. The effects of the mechanical properties of the lipid bilayer, the cytoskeleton and the parasite on the critical pressure of splenic passage of RBCs were investigated separately. This work is supported by NIH and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Science and Technology (SMART).

  17. Brucella melitensis invades murine erythrocytes during infection.

    PubMed

    Vitry, Marie-Alice; Hanot Mambres, Delphine; Deghelt, Michaël; Hack, Katrin; Machelart, Arnaud; Lhomme, Frédéric; Vanderwinden, Jean-Marie; Vermeersch, Marjorie; De Trez, Carl; Pérez-Morga, David; Letesson, Jean-Jacques; Muraille, Eric

    2014-09-01

    Brucella spp. are facultative intracellular Gram-negative coccobacilli responsible for brucellosis, a worldwide zoonosis. We observed that Brucella melitensis is able to persist for several weeks in the blood of intraperitoneally infected mice and that transferred blood at any time point tested is able to induce infection in naive recipient mice. Bacterial persistence in the blood is dramatically impaired by specific antibodies induced following Brucella vaccination. In contrast to Bartonella, the type IV secretion system and flagellar expression are not critically required for the persistence of Brucella in blood. ImageStream analysis of blood cells showed that following a brief extracellular phase, Brucella is associated mainly with the erythrocytes. Examination by confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy formally demonstrated that B. melitensis is able to invade erythrocytes in vivo. The bacteria do not seem to multiply in erythrocytes and are found free in the cytoplasm. Our results open up new areas for investigation and should serve in the development of novel strategies for the treatment or prophylaxis of brucellosis. Invasion of erythrocytes could potentially protect the bacterial cells from the host's immune response and hamper antibiotic treatment and suggests possible Brucella transmission by bloodsucking insects in nature.

  18. Donor and recipient regions: The biogeography of macrobenthic invaders

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic invaders are a major threat to ecological integrity and biodiversity of marine, estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems around the world. These invaders have been successful in passing through four discrete phases in their invasion of a new environment: (1) transport, (2) ...

  19. INVASION DYNAMICS OF RED SHINERS (CYPRINELLA LUTRENSIS) IN SOUTHEASTERN STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Red shiners have invaded a range of North American ecosystems, including several southeastern U.S. river drainages. A principle consequence of these invasions is extirpation of native congeners, either through competition or hydridization. We are conducting research to identify...

  20. Partial Laryngectomy with Cricoid Reconstruction: Thyroid Carcinoma Invading the Larynx

    PubMed Central

    Ozturk, Kerem; Makay, Ozer

    2014-01-01

    Laryngotracheal invasion worsens the prognosis of thyroid cancer and the surgical approach for laryngotracheal invasion is controversial. In this paper, partial full-thickness excision of the cricoid cartilage with supracricoid laryngectomy and reconstruction of existing defect with thyroid cartilage are explained in a patient with papillary thyroid carcinoma invading the thyroid cartilage and cricoid cartilage without intraluminal invasion. Surgical indication should not be established by the site of involvement in thyroid carcinomas invading the larynx, as in primary cancers of the larynx. We think that partial laryngectomy according to the involvement site and the appropriate reconstruction techniques should be used for thyroid cancer invading the larynx. PMID:24660082

  1. Revegetating medusahead-invaded sagebrush rangelands in the Intermountain West

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Revegetation of medusahead-invaded rangeland is needed to increase forage production, decrease the risk of wildfires, and improve wildlife habitat. Successful revegetation starts with effective control of medusahead. Prescribed burning followed by a fall application of a pre-emergent herbicide has...

  2. Revegetating medusahead-invaded sagebrush rangelands in the intermountain west

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Revegetation of medusahead-invaded rangeland is needed to increase forage production, decrease the risk of wildfires, and improve wildlife habitat. Successful revegetation starts with effective control of medusahead. Prescribed burning followed by a fall application of a pre-emergent herbicide has...

  3. Culture Clash Invades Miami: Oral Histories and Ethnography Center Stage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, David G.

    2008-01-01

    Using a critical race theory (CRT) framework, this article compares the playwriting methods of the Chicano--Latino theater trio, Culture Clash, to a counterstorytelling methodology. The author uncovers the tenets of a critical race theater in the trio's site-specific ethnographic play, "Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami". He…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  5. Is the flavin-deficient red blood cell common in Maremma, Italy, an important defense against malaria in this area?

    PubMed

    Anderson, B B; Scattoni, M; Perry, G M; Galvan, P; Giuberti, M; Buonocore, G; Vullo, C

    1994-11-01

    There is a high prevalence of a familial flavin-deficient red blood cell in Ferrara province in the Po delta in northern Italy, believed to have been selected for by malaria which was endemic from the 12th century. In the present study, activities of FAD-dependent red-cell glutathione reductase (EGR) in the Grosseto area of Maremma on the west coast of Italy where malaria was endemic from 300 B.C. are compared both with activities in the Ferrara area and with activities where there was no history of endemic malaria--in the Florence area and in London in people of Anglo-Saxon origin. EGR activities were similar in Grosseto and Ferrara and were significantly lower than in Florence and London. As previously found in Ferrara, low EGR activity in Grosseto was shown to be unrelated to low dietary riboflavin intake. These findings in Grosseto, suggesting selection by malaria, are particularly interesting because, unlike the situation in Ferrara and most other malarial areas, the prevalence of thalassemia and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is very low, and they do not appear to have been selected for in Maremma. It is possible that a flavin-deficient red cell, known to inhibit growth of the malaria parasite, was an important protecting factor in the population of this area over the centuries.

  6. Flow cytometric enumeration of Plasmodium berghei-infected red blood cells stained with SYBR Green I.

    PubMed

    Somsak, Voravuth; Srichairatanakool, Somdet; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee; Uthaipibull, Chairat

    2012-04-01

    High-throughput methods for evaluation of in vivo efficacy of candidate compounds against Plasmodium parasites are necessary during the antimalarial drug development process. It is essential that enumeration of parasitemia in the infected blood from experimental host animals is accurate and reliable. Flow cytometric enumeration of parasitized cells stained with fluorescent dye is a rapid alternative method to conventional microscopic counting. In this study, a protocol for flow cytometric enumeration of rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei-infected red blood cells (RBC) stained with SYBR Green I was developed. The optimal concentration of SYBR Green I used to stain infected RBC was 4× for 30 min. This SYBR Green I staining protocol in combination with the bi-dimensional FL-1(530)/FL-3(620) detection method accurately detects parasitemia above 0.02%. The dye is stable during the prolonged incubation period necessary for accurate enumeration of parasitemia, with no loss of fluorescent signal over a period of hours. This protocol was validated in an antimalarial assay and the result was comparable to that obtained from conventional microscopic counting. The SYBR Green I flow cytometric protocol is thus a rapid and precise tool for high-throughput in vivo antimalarial drug screening.

  7. Dietary niche constriction when invaders meet natives: evidence from freshwater decapods.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Michelle C; Grey, Jonathan; Miller, Katie; Britton, J Robert; Donohue, Ian

    2016-07-01

    Invasive species are a key driver of global environmental change, with frequently strong negative consequences for native biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Understanding competitive interactions between invaders and functionally similar native species provides an important benchmark for predicting the consequences of invasion. However, even though having a broad dietary niche is widely considered a key factor determining invasion success, little is known about the effects of competition with functionally similar native competitors on the dietary niche breadths of invasive species. We used a combination of field experiments and field surveys to examine the impacts of competition with a functionally similar native crab species on the population densities, growth rates and diet of the globally widespread invasive red swamp crayfish in an African river ecosystem. The presence of native crabs triggered significant dietary niche constriction within the invasive crayfish population. Further, growth rates of both species were reduced significantly, and by a similar extent, in the presence of one another. In spite of this, crayfish maintained positive growth rates in the presence of crabs, whereas crabs lost mass in the presence of crayfish. Consequently, over the 3-year duration of the study, crab abundance declined at those sites invaded by the crayfish, becoming locally extinct at one. The invasive crayfish had a dramatic effect on ecosystem structure and functioning, halving benthic invertebrate densities and increasing decomposition rates fourfold compared to the crabs. This indicates that replacement of native crabs by invasive crayfish likely alters the structure and functioning of African river ecosystems significantly. This study provides a novel example of the constriction of the dietary niche of a successful invasive population in the presence of competition from a functionally similar native species. This finding highlights the importance of considering both

  8. Traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi Plants in Monostand on Invaded Area

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The ability of giant hogweeds to form monodominant communities and even pure monostands in invaded areas has been well documented. Understanding of the mechanisms leading to monostand formation can aid in determining the limitations of existing community ecology models and establishing an effective management plan for invasive species elimination. The aim of this observational study was to investigate traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi plants (demography, canopy structure, morphology and physiology) of the plants in a pure stand in an invaded area useful for understanding potential monostand formation mechanisms. All measurements were performed in one typical Heracleum sosnowskyi monostand located in an abandoned agriculture field located in Syktyvkar city suburb (North-east Russia). This monostand consisted of five main plant growth stages: seed, seedling, juvenile, vegetative adult, and generative adult. Plants of all stages began to grow simultaneously shortly after the snowmelt, at the same time as spring ephemeral plant species grew. The density of generative plants did not change during the vegetation period, but the density of the other plant stages rapidly decreased after the formation of a tall (up to 2–2.5 m) and dense (Leaf area index up to 6.5) canopy. The canopy captured approximately 97% of the light. H. sosnowskyi showed high (several orders of magnitude higher than average taiga zone grasses) photosynthetic water use efficiency (6–7 μM CO2/μM H2O). Formation of H. sosnowskyi monostands occurs primarily in disturbed areas with relatively rich and well-moistened soils. Early commencement of growth, rapid formation of a dense canopy, high efficiency of light and water use during photosynthesis, ability of young plants to survive in low light conditions, rapid recovery of above-ground plant parts after damage, and the high density of the soil seed bank are the most important traits of H. sosnowskyi plants for monostand formation in invaded areas. PMID

  9. Traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi Plants in Monostand on Invaded Area.

    PubMed

    Dalke, Igor V; Chadin, Ivan F; Zakhozhiy, Ilya G; Malyshev, Ruslan V; Maslova, Svetlana P; Tabalenkova, Galina N; Golovko, Tamara K

    2015-01-01

    The ability of giant hogweeds to form monodominant communities and even pure monostands in invaded areas has been well documented. Understanding of the mechanisms leading to monostand formation can aid in determining the limitations of existing community ecology models and establishing an effective management plan for invasive species elimination. The aim of this observational study was to investigate traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi plants (demography, canopy structure, morphology and physiology) of the plants in a pure stand in an invaded area useful for understanding potential monostand formation mechanisms. All measurements were performed in one typical Heracleum sosnowskyi monostand located in an abandoned agriculture field located in Syktyvkar city suburb (North-east Russia). This monostand consisted of five main plant growth stages: seed, seedling, juvenile, vegetative adult, and generative adult. Plants of all stages began to grow simultaneously shortly after the snowmelt, at the same time as spring ephemeral plant species grew. The density of generative plants did not change during the vegetation period, but the density of the other plant stages rapidly decreased after the formation of a tall (up to 2-2.5 m) and dense (Leaf area index up to 6.5) canopy. The canopy captured approximately 97% of the light. H. sosnowskyi showed high (several orders of magnitude higher than average taiga zone grasses) photosynthetic water use efficiency (6-7 μM CO2/μM H2O). Formation of H. sosnowskyi monostands occurs primarily in disturbed areas with relatively rich and well-moistened soils. Early commencement of growth, rapid formation of a dense canopy, high efficiency of light and water use during photosynthesis, ability of young plants to survive in low light conditions, rapid recovery of above-ground plant parts after damage, and the high density of the soil seed bank are the most important traits of H. sosnowskyi plants for monostand formation in invaded areas.

  10. Area 51: How do Acanthamoeba invade the central nervous system?

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Emes, Richard; Elsheikha, Hany; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2011-05-01

    Acanthamoeba granulomatous encephalitis generally develops as a result of haematogenous spread, but it is unclear how circulating amoebae enter the central nervous system (CNS) and cause inflammation. At present, the mechanisms which Acanthamoeba use to invade this incredibly well-protected area of the CNS and produce infection are not well understood. In this paper, we propose two key virulence factors: mannose-binding protein and extracellular serine proteases as key players in Acanthamoeba traversal of the blood-brain barrier leading to neuronal injury. Both molecules should provide excellent opportunities as potential targets in the rational development of therapeutic interventions against Acanthamoeba encephalitis.

  11. An exported kinase (FIKK4.2) that mediates virulence-associated changes in Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Kats, Lev M; Fernandez, Kate M; Glenister, Fiona K; Herrmann, Susann; Buckingham, Donna W; Siddiqui, Ghizal; Sharma, Laveena; Bamert, Rebecca; Lucet, Isabelle; Guillotte, Micheline; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Cooke, Brian M

    2014-04-01

    Alteration of the adhesive and mechanical properties of red blood cells caused by infection with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum underpin both its survival and extreme pathogenicity. A unique family of parasite putative exported kinases, collectively called FIKK (Phenylalanine (F) - Isoleucine (I) - Lysine (K) - Lysine (K)), has recently been implicated in these pathophysiological processes, however, their precise function in P. falciparum-infected red blood cells or their likely role in malaria pathogenesis remain unknown. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate that one member of the FIKK family, FIKK4.2, can function as an active kinase and is localised in a novel and distinct compartment of the parasite-infected red blood cell which we have called K-dots. Notably, targeted disruption of the gene encoding FIKK4.2 (fikk4.2) dramatically alters the parasite's ability to modify and remodel the red blood cells in which it multiplies. Specifically, red blood cells infected with fikk4.2 knockout parasites were significantly less rigid and less adhesive when compared with red blood cells infected with normal parasites from which the transgenic clones had been derived, despite expressing similar levels of the major cytoadhesion ligand, PfEMP1, on the red blood cell surface. Notably, these changes were accompanied by dramatically altered knob-structures on infected red blood cells that play a key role in cytoadhesion which is responsible for much of the pathogenesis associated with falciparum malaria. Taken together, our data identifies FIKK4.2 as an important kinase in the pathogenesis of P. falciparum malaria and strengthens the attractiveness of FIKK kinases as targets for the development of novel next-generation anti-malaria drugs.

  12. Effects of a Major Tree Invader on Urban Woodland Arthropods.

    PubMed

    Buchholz, Sascha; Tietze, Hedwig; Kowarik, Ingo; Schirmel, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity; however, the degree of impact can vary depending on the ecosystem and taxa. Here, we test whether a top invader at a global scale, the tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust or false acacia), which is known to profoundly change site conditions, significantly affects urban animal diversity. As a first multi-taxon study of this kind, we analyzed the effects of Robinia dominance on 18 arthropod taxa by pairwise comparisons of woodlands in Berlin, Germany, that were dominated by R. pseudoacacia or the native pioneer tree Betula pendula. As a negative effect, abundances of five arthropod taxa decreased (Chilopoda, Formicidae, Diptera, Heteroptera, Hymenoptera); 13 others were not affected. Woodland type affected species composition of carabids and functional groups in spiders, but surprisingly did not decrease alpha and beta diversity of carabid and spider assemblages or the number of endangered species. Tree invasion thus did not induce biotic homogenization at the habitat scale. We detected no positive effects of alien dominance. Our results illustrate that invasions by a major tree invader can induce species turnover in ground-dwelling arthropods, but do not necessarily reduce arthropod species abundances or diversity and might thus contribute to the conservation of epigeal invertebrates in urban settings. Considering the context of invasion impacts thus helps to set priorities in managing biological invasions and can illustrate the potential of novel ecosystems to maintain urban biodiversity.

  13. Treponema pallidum Invades Intercellular Junctions of Endothelial Cell Monolayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, D. Denee; Navab, Mahamad; Haake, David A.; Fogelman, Alan M.; Miller, James N.; Lovett, Michael A.

    1988-05-01

    The pathogenesis of syphilis reflects invasive properties of Treponema pallidum, but the actual mode of tissue invasion is unknown. We have found two in vitro parallels of treponemal invasiveness. We tested whether motile T. pallidum could invade host cells by determining the fate of radiolabeled motile organisms added to a HeLa cell monolayer; 26% of treponemes associated with the monolayer in a trypsin-resistant niche, presumably between the monolayer and the surface to which it adhered, but did not attain intracellularity. Attachment of T. pallidum to cultured human and rabbit aortic and human umbilical vein endothelial cells was 2-fold greater than to HeLa cells. We added T. pallidum to aortic endothelial cells grown on membrane filters under conditions in which tight intercellular junctions had formed. T. pallidum was able to pass through the endothelial cell monolayers without altering tight junctions, as measured by electrical resistance. In contrast, heat-killed T. pallidum and the nonpathogen Treponema phagedenis biotype Reiter failed to penetrate the monolayer. Transmission electron micrographs of sections of the monolayer showed T. pallidum in intercellular junctions. Our in vitro observations suggest that these highly motile spirochetes may leave the circulation by invading the junctions between endothelial cells.

  14. Toxoplasma Co-opts Host Cells It Does Not Invade

    PubMed Central

    Koshy, Anita A.; Dietrich, Hans K.; Christian, David A.; Melehani, Jason H.; Shastri, Anjali J.; Hunter, Christopher A.; Boothroyd, John C.

    2012-01-01

    Like many intracellular microbes, the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii injects effector proteins into cells it invades. One group of these effector proteins is injected from specialized organelles called the rhoptries, which have previously been described to discharge their contents only during successful invasion of a host cell. In this report, using several reporter systems, we show that in vitro the parasite injects rhoptry proteins into cells it does not productively invade and that the rhoptry effector proteins can manipulate the uninfected cell in a similar manner to infected cells. In addition, as one of the reporter systems uses a rhoptry:Cre recombinase fusion protein, we show that in Cre-reporter mice infected with an encysting Toxoplasma-Cre strain, uninfected-injected cells, which could be derived from aborted invasion or cell-intrinsic killing after invasion, are actually more common than infected-injected cells, especially in the mouse brain, where Toxoplasma encysts and persists. This phenomenon has important implications for how Toxoplasma globally affects its host and opens a new avenue for how other intracellular microbes may similarly manipulate the host environment at large. PMID:22910631

  15. Effects of a Major Tree Invader on Urban Woodland Arthropods

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity; however, the degree of impact can vary depending on the ecosystem and taxa. Here, we test whether a top invader at a global scale, the tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust or false acacia), which is known to profoundly change site conditions, significantly affects urban animal diversity. As a first multi-taxon study of this kind, we analyzed the effects of Robinia dominance on 18 arthropod taxa by pairwise comparisons of woodlands in Berlin, Germany, that were dominated by R. pseudoacacia or the native pioneer tree Betula pendula. As a negative effect, abundances of five arthropod taxa decreased (Chilopoda, Formicidae, Diptera, Heteroptera, Hymenoptera); 13 others were not affected. Woodland type affected species composition of carabids and functional groups in spiders, but surprisingly did not decrease alpha and beta diversity of carabid and spider assemblages or the number of endangered species. Tree invasion thus did not induce biotic homogenization at the habitat scale. We detected no positive effects of alien dominance. Our results illustrate that invasions by a major tree invader can induce species turnover in ground-dwelling arthropods, but do not necessarily reduce arthropod species abundances or diversity and might thus contribute to the conservation of epigeal invertebrates in urban settings. Considering the context of invasion impacts thus helps to set priorities in managing biological invasions and can illustrate the potential of novel ecosystems to maintain urban biodiversity. PMID:26359665

  16. Skull invaders: when surgical pathology and neuropathology worlds collide.

    PubMed

    Serracino, Hilary S; Kleinschmidt-Demasters, B K

    2013-07-01

    Skull and dura serve as effective barriers to penetration by most tumors, often preventing masses originating intracranially from extending into the contiguous bone and soft tissues, or those arising in head and neck regions from extending into the dura and brain tissue. We review our 15-year experience with extracranial tumors that had sufficiently invaded adjacent skull, dura, or brain from the "outside-in" to require a neurosurgeon to participate in the surgical resection and discuss our 40 cases in context with the literature. Sinonasal-origin tumors (n = 17) and cutaneous tumors (n = 10) were the most frequent skull-invaders. Most of the cutaneous tumor types were squamous cellcarcinomas (n = 9); diverse sinonasal-origin types included 4 squamous cell carcinomas, 4 adenoid cystic carcinomas, 2 sinonasal undifferentiated carcinomas, 2 sinonasal adenocarcinomas, and single examples each of sinonasal-origin hemangiopericytoma, solitary fibrous tumor, melanoma, mucocele, and teratocarcinoma. There were 9olfactory neuroblastomas, and middle ear-origin basal cell carcinoma,recurrent glomus jugulare, and orbital malignant hidradenoma were also seen. Unique tumors included a cutaneous cylindroma invasive of skull convexity occurring in familial cylindromatosis and a ganglioneuroma of the middle ear with massive bilateral skull base extension. Convexity dural spread, a seldom-reported pattern of dissemination, was seen in 1 olfactory neuroblastoma and 1 adenoid cystic carcinoma. The ability to show skull/dural invasion did not correlate with specific histopathologic features; even benign tumor types can show skull/dural penetration.

  17. Exotic invaders gain foraging benefits by shoaling with native fish

    PubMed Central

    Camacho-Cervantes, Morelia; Garcia, Constantino Macías; Ojanguren, Alfredo F.; Magurran, Anne E.

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater habitats are under increasing threat due to invasions of exotic fish. These invasions typically begin with the introduction of small numbers of individuals unfamiliar with the new habitat. One way in which the invaders might overcome this disadvantage is by associating with native taxa occupying a similar ecological niche. Here we used guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from a feral population in Mexico to test the prediction that exotic shoaling fish can associate with heterospecifics, and that they improve their foraging efficiency by doing so. Guppies have invaded the Mexican High Plateau and are implicated in the declines of many native topminnow (Goodeinae) species. We show that heterospecific associations between guppies and topminnows can deliver the same foraging benefits as conspecific shoals, and that variation in foraging gains is linked to differences in association tendency. These results uncover a mechanism enabling founding individuals to survive during the most vulnerable phase of an invasion and help explain why guppies have established viable populations in many parts of Mexico as well in every continent except Antarctica. PMID:26064552

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Heritability of the Human Infectious Reservoir of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Marrama, Laurence; Konate, Lassana; Phimpraphi, Waraphon; Sokhna, Cheikh; Tall, Adama; Diène Sarr, Fatoumata; Peerapittayamongkol, Chayanon; Louicharoen, Chalisa; Schneider, Bradley S.; Levescot, Anaïs; Talman, Arthur; Casademont, Isabelle; Menard, Didier; Trape, Jean-François; Rogier, Christophe; Kaewkunwal, Jaranit; Sura, Thanyachai; Nuchprayoon, Issarang; Ariey, Frederic; Baril, Laurence; Singhasivanon, Pratap; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Paul, Rick

    2010-01-01

    Background Studies on human genetic factors associated with malaria have hitherto concentrated on their role in susceptibility to and protection from disease. In contrast, virtually no attention has been paid to the role of human genetics in eliciting the production of parasite transmission stages, the gametocytes, and thus enhancing the spread of disease. Methods and Findings We analysed four longitudinal family-based cohort studies from Senegal and Thailand followed for 2–8 years and evaluated the relative impact of the human genetic and non-genetic factors on gametocyte production in infections of Plasmodium falciparum or P. vivax. Prevalence and density of gametocyte carriage were evaluated in asymptomatic and symptomatic infections by examination of Giemsa-stained blood smears and/or RT-PCR (for falciparum in one site). A significant human genetic contribution was found to be associated with gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic P. falciparum infections. By contrast, there was no heritability associated with the production of gametocytes for P. falciparum or P. vivax symptomatic infections. Sickle cell mutation, HbS, was associated with increased gametocyte prevalence but its contribution was small. Conclusions The existence of a significant human genetic contribution to gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic infections suggests that candidate gene and genome wide association approaches may be usefully applied to explore the underlying human genetics. Prospective epidemiological studies will provide an opportunity to generate novel and perhaps more epidemiologically pertinent gametocyte data with which similar analyses can be performed and the role of human genetics in parasite transmission ascertained. PMID:20613877

  20. A broad analysis of resistance development in the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Corey, Victoria C; Lukens, Amanda K; Istvan, Eva S; Lee, Marcus C S; Franco, Virginia; Magistrado, Pamela; Coburn-Flynn, Olivia; Sakata-Kato, Tomoyo; Fuchs, Olivia; Gnädig, Nina F; Goldgof, Greg; Linares, Maria; Gomez-Lorenzo, Maria G; De Cózar, Cristina; Lafuente-Monasterio, Maria Jose; Prats, Sara; Meister, Stephan; Tanaseichuk, Olga; Wree, Melanie; Zhou, Yingyao; Willis, Paul A; Gamo, Francisco-Javier; Goldberg, Daniel E; Fidock, David A; Wirth, Dyann F; Winzeler, Elizabeth A

    2016-06-15

    Microbial resistance to chemotherapy has caused countless deaths where malaria is endemic. Chemotherapy may fail either due to pre-existing resistance or evolution of drug-resistant parasites. Here we use a diverse set of antimalarial compounds to investigate the acquisition of drug resistance and the degree of cross-resistance against common resistance alleles. We assess cross-resistance using a set of 15 parasite lines carrying resistance-conferring alleles in pfatp4, cytochrome bc1, pfcarl, pfdhod, pfcrt, pfmdr, pfdhfr, cytoplasmic prolyl t-RNA synthetase or hsp90. Subsequently, we assess whether resistant parasites can be obtained after several rounds of drug selection. Twenty-three of the 48 in vitro selections result in resistant parasites, with time to resistance onset ranging from 15 to 300 days. Our data indicate that pre-existing resistance may not be a major hurdle for novel-target antimalarial candidates, and focusing our attention on fast-killing compounds may result in a slower onset of clinical resistance.

  1. A broad analysis of resistance development in the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Corey, Victoria C.; Lukens, Amanda K.; Istvan, Eva S.; Lee, Marcus C. S.; Franco, Virginia; Magistrado, Pamela; Coburn-Flynn, Olivia; Sakata-Kato, Tomoyo; Fuchs, Olivia; Gnädig, Nina F.; Goldgof, Greg; Linares, Maria; Gomez-Lorenzo, Maria G.; De Cózar, Cristina; Lafuente-Monasterio, Maria Jose; Prats, Sara; Meister, Stephan; Tanaseichuk, Olga; Wree, Melanie; Zhou, Yingyao; Willis, Paul A.; Gamo, Francisco-Javier; Goldberg, Daniel E.; Fidock, David A.; Wirth, Dyann F.; Winzeler, Elizabeth A.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial resistance to chemotherapy has caused countless deaths where malaria is endemic. Chemotherapy may fail either due to pre-existing resistance or evolution of drug-resistant parasites. Here we use a diverse set of antimalarial compounds to investigate the acquisition of drug resistance and the degree of cross-resistance against common resistance alleles. We assess cross-resistance using a set of 15 parasite lines carrying resistance-conferring alleles in pfatp4, cytochrome bc1, pfcarl, pfdhod, pfcrt, pfmdr, pfdhfr, cytoplasmic prolyl t-RNA synthetase or hsp90. Subsequently, we assess whether resistant parasites can be obtained after several rounds of drug selection. Twenty-three of the 48 in vitro selections result in resistant parasites, with time to resistance onset ranging from 15 to 300 days. Our data indicate that pre-existing resistance may not be a major hurdle for novel-target antimalarial candidates, and focusing our attention on fast-killing compounds may result in a slower onset of clinical resistance. PMID:27301419

  2. 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

  3. Costs of crowding for the transmission of malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Pollitt, Laura C; Churcher, Thomas S; Dawes, Emma J; Khan, Shahid M; Sajid, Mohammed; Basáñez, María-Gloria; Colegrave, Nick; Reece, Sarah E

    2013-01-01

    The utility of using evolutionary and ecological frameworks to understand the dynamics of infectious diseases is gaining increasing recognition. However, integrating evolutionary ecology and infectious disease epidemiology is challenging because within-host dynamics can have counterintuitive consequences for between-host transmission, especially for vector-borne parasites. A major obstacle to linking within- and between-host processes is that the drivers of the relationships between the density, virulence, and fitness of parasites are poorly understood. By experimentally manipulating the intensity of rodent malaria (Plasmodium berghei) infections in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes under different environmental conditions, we show that parasites experience substantial density-dependent fitness costs because crowding reduces both parasite proliferation and vector survival. We then use our data to predict how interactions between parasite density and vector environmental conditions shape within-vector processes and onward disease transmission. Our model predicts that density-dependent processes can have substantial and unexpected effects on the transmission potential of vector-borne disease, which should be considered in the development and evaluation of transmission-blocking interventions. PMID:23789029

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  5. Genetic engineering of attenuated malaria parasites for vaccination.

    PubMed

    Khan, Shahid M; Janse, Chris J; Kappe, Stefan H I; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A

    2012-12-01

    Vaccination with live-attenuated Plasmodium sporozoites that arrest in the liver can completely protect against a malaria infection both in animal models and in humans; this has provided the conceptual basis for the most promising, but also challenging, approach to develop an efficacious malaria vaccine. Advances in genetic manipulation of Plasmodium in conjunction with improved genomic and biological information has enabled new approaches to design genetically attenuated parasites (GAPs). In this review we discuss the principles in discovery and development of GAPs in preclinical models that are important in selecting GAP parasites for first-in-human clinical studies. Finally, we highlight the challenges in manufacture, formulation and delivery of a live-attenuated whole parasite malaria vaccine, as well as the further refinements that may be implemented in the next generation GAP vaccines.

  6. Three Divergent Subpopulations of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Antimicrobial effect of ozonated water on bacteria invading dentinal tubules.

    PubMed

    Nagayoshi, Masato; Kitamura, Chiaki; Fukuizumi, Takaki; Nishihara, Tatsuji; Terashita, Masamichi

    2004-11-01

    Ozone is known to act as a strong antimicrobial agent against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. In the present study, we examined the effect of ozonated water against Enterococcus faecalis and Streptcoccus mutans infections in vitro in bovine dentin. After irrigation with ozonated water, the viability of E. faecalis and S. mutans invading dentinal tubules significantly decreased. Notably, when the specimen was irrigated with sonication, ozonated water had nearly the same antimicrobial activity as 2.5% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). We also compared the cytotoxicity against L-929 mouse fibroblasts between ozonated water and NaOCl. The metabolic activity of fibroblasts was high when the cells were treated with ozonated water, whereas that of fibroblasts significantly decreased when the cells were treated with 2.5% NaOCl. These results suggest that ozonated water application may be useful for endodontic therapy.

  8. Two invasive acacia species secure generalist pollinators in invaded communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesinos, Daniel; Castro, Sílvia; Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana

    2016-07-01

    Exotic entomophilous plants need to establish effective pollinator interactions in order to succeed after being introduced into a new community, particularly if they are obligatory outbreeders. By establishing these novel interactions in the new non-native range, invasive plants are hypothesised to drive changes in the composition and functioning of the native pollinator community, with potential impacts on the pollination biology of native co-flowering plants. We used two different sites in Portugal, each invaded by a different acacia species, to assess whether two native Australian trees, Acacia dealbata and Acacia longifolia, were able to recruit pollinators in Portugal, and whether the pollinator community visiting acacia trees differed from the pollinator communities interacting with native co-flowering plants. Our results indicate that in the invaded range of Portugal both acacia species were able to establish novel mutualistic interactions, predominantly with generalist pollinators. For each of the two studied sites, only two other co-occurring native plant species presented partially overlapping phenologies. We observed significant differences in pollinator richness and visitation rates among native and non-native plant species, although the study of β diversity indicated that only the native plant Lithodora fruticosa presented a differentiated set of pollinator species. Acacias experienced a large number of visits by numerous pollinator species, but massive acacia flowering resulted in flower visitation rates frequently lower than those of the native co-flowering species. We conclude that the establishment of mutualisms in Portugal likely contributes to the effective and profuse production of acacia seeds in Portugal. Despite the massive flowering of A. dealbata and A. longifolia, native plant species attained similar or higher visitation rates than acacias.

  9. Constraints on coastal dune invasion for a notorious plant invader

    PubMed Central

    Griffith, Alden B.; Ahmed, Tania; Hildner, Abigail L. G.; Kuckreja, Shivani; Long, Shuangxou

    2015-01-01

    Although most biological invasions are not successful, relatively few studies have examined otherwise notorious invaders in systems where they are not highly problematic. The annual grass Bromus tectorum is a dominant invader in western North America, but is usually confined to human-dominated and disturbed systems (e.g. roadsides and parking lots) in the East where it remains virtually unstudied. This study aims to address fundamental ecological questions regarding B. tectorum in a Cape Cod dune ecosystem. (i) What is the range of variation in population dynamics and the potential for population growth? (ii) Which factors influence its local abundance and distribution? We observed substantial variation in population dynamics over 3 years, with the number of adult B. tectorum individuals increasing substantially between the first 2 years (λ = 9.24) and then decreasing (λ = 0.43). Population growth in terms of total seeds was similarly variable, but to a lesser extent (λ = 2.32 followed by λ = 0.32). Experimental soil disturbance led to a more than 10-fold increase in mean seedling emergence, and high sensitivity to differences in emergence carried this effect through the life cycle. In contrast, barriers to seed dispersal had no effect on population dynamics, suggesting limited dispersal in this system. Across the landscape, the presence of B. tectorum was associated with areas of higher plant diversity as opposed to those with a strong dominant (e.g. the foredune, dominated by Ammophila breviligulata, or low heathlands, characterized by Hudsonia tomentosa and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Overall, we find that B. tectorum is capable of both substantial population growth and decline in a dune ecosystem, but is likely limited without disturbance and dispersal agents. Thus, management actions that restrict dune access (e.g. for nesting habitat) likely have the co-benefit of limiting the invasive potential of B. tectorum. PMID:26558705

  10. Constraints on coastal dune invasion for a notorious plant invader.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Alden B; Ahmed, Tania; Hildner, Abigail L G; Kuckreja, Shivani; Long, Shuangxou

    2015-11-10

    Although most biological invasions are not successful, relatively few studies have examined otherwise notorious invaders in systems where they are not highly problematic. The annual grass Bromus tectorum is a dominant invader in western North America, but is usually confined to human-dominated and disturbed systems (e.g. roadsides and parking lots) in the East where it remains virtually unstudied. This study aims to address fundamental ecological questions regarding B. tectorum in a Cape Cod dune ecosystem. (i) What is the range of variation in population dynamics and the potential for population growth? (ii) Which factors influence its local abundance and distribution? We observed substantial variation in population dynamics over 3 years, with the number of adult B. tectorum individuals increasing substantially between the first 2 years (λ = 9.24) and then decreasing (λ = 0.43). Population growth in terms of total seeds was similarly variable, but to a lesser extent (λ = 2.32 followed by λ = 0.32). Experimental soil disturbance led to a more than 10-fold increase in mean seedling emergence, and high sensitivity to differences in emergence carried this effect through the life cycle. In contrast, barriers to seed dispersal had no effect on population dynamics, suggesting limited dispersal in this system. Across the landscape, the presence of B. tectorum was associated with areas of higher plant diversity as opposed to those with a strong dominant (e.g. the foredune, dominated by Ammophila breviligulata, or low heathlands, characterized by Hudsonia tomentosa and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Overall, we find that B. tectorum is capable of both substantial population growth and decline in a dune ecosystem, but is likely limited without disturbance and dispersal agents. Thus, management actions that restrict dune access (e.g. for nesting habitat) likely have the co-benefit of limiting the invasive potential of B. tectorum.

  11. Eye redness

    MedlinePlus

    Bloodshot eyes; Red eyes; Scleral injection; Conjunctival injection ... There are many causes of a red eye or eyes. Some are medical emergencies. Others are a cause for concern, but not an emergency. Many are nothing to worry about. Eye ...

  12. Red Sea

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    article title:  The Red Sea     View Larger Image ... 2000. Located between the East African coast and the Saudi Arabian peninsula, the Red Sea got its name because the blooms of a type of ... 2000 - The Red Sea between the East Africa coast and Saudi Arabian peninsula. project:  MISR category:  ...

  13. Invaders eating invaders: Exploitation of novel alien prey by the alien shimofuri goby in the San Francisco Estuary, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matern, S.A.; Brown, L.R.

    2005-01-01

    The shimofuri goby (Tridentiger bifasciatus), which is native to Asian estuaries, was recently introduced to the San Francisco Estuary, California, USA. We conducted gut content analyses to examine the goby's feeding ecology in this highly invaded estuary. Shimofuri gobies were generalist predators on benthic invertebrates, consuming seasonally abundant prey, especially amphipods (Corophium spp.). In addition, shimofuri goby utilized two novel prey items not exploited by other resident fishes - hydroids (Cordylophora caspia) and barnacle (Balanus improvisus) cirri, both of which are alien. The shimofuri goby's feeding ecology appears well-suited to the fluctuating environment of the San Francisco Estuary and may partially explain observed increases in shimofuri goby abundance compared with declines in populations of some native species. ?? Springer 2005.

  14. Quantitative phospho-proteomics reveals the Plasmodium merozoite triggers pre-invasion host kinase modification of the red cell cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Zuccala, Elizabeth S; Satchwell, Timothy J; Angrisano, Fiona; Tan, Yan Hong; Wilson, Marieangela C; Heesom, Kate J; Baum, Jake

    2016-02-02

    The invasive blood-stage malaria parasite - the merozoite - induces rapid morphological changes to the target erythrocyte during entry. However, evidence for active molecular changes in the host cell that accompany merozoite invasion is lacking. Here, we use invasion inhibition assays, erythrocyte resealing and high-definition imaging to explore red cell responses during invasion. We show that although merozoite entry does not involve erythrocyte actin reorganisation, it does require ATP to complete the process. Towards dissecting the ATP requirement, we present an in depth quantitative phospho-proteomic analysis of the erythrocyte during each stage of invasion. Specifically, we demonstrate extensive increased phosphorylation of erythrocyte proteins on merozoite attachment, including modification of the cytoskeletal proteins beta-spectrin and PIEZO1. The association with merozoite contact but not active entry demonstrates that parasite-dependent phosphorylation is mediated by host-cell kinase activity. This provides the first evidence that the erythrocyte is stimulated to respond to early invasion events through molecular changes in its membrane architecture.

  15. Exotic plant species invade hot spots of native plant diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Binkley, D.; Chong, G.W.; Kalkhan, M.A.; Schell, L.D.; Bull, K.A.; Otsuki, Y.; Newman, G.; Bashkin, M.; Yowhan, S.

    1999-01-01

    Some theories and experimental studies suggest that areas of low plant species richness may be invaded more easily than areas of high plant species richness. We gathered nested-scale vegetation data on plant species richness, foliar cover, and frequency from 200 1-m2 subplots (20 1000-m2 modified-Whittaker plots) in the Colorado Rockies (USA), and 160 1-m2 subplots (16 1000-m2 plots) in the Central Grasslands in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota (USA) to test the generality of this paradigm. At the 1-m2 scale, the paradigm was supported in four prairie types in the Central Grasslands, where exotic species richness declined with increasing plant species richness and cover. At the 1-m2 scale, five forest and meadow vegetation types in the Colorado Rockies contradicted the paradigm; exotic species richness increased with native-plant species richness and foliar cover. At the 1000-m2 plot scale (among vegetation types), 83% of the variance in exotic species richness in the Central Grasslands was explained by the total percentage of nitrogen in the soil and the cover of native plant species. In the Colorado Rockies, 69% of the variance in exotic species richness in 1000-m2 plots was explained by the number of native plant species and the total percentage of soil carbon. At landscape and biome scales, exotic species primarily invaded areas of high species richness in the four Central Grasslands sites and in the five Colorado Rockies vegetation types. For the nine vegetation types in both biomes, exotic species cover was positively correlated with mean foliar cover, mean soil percentage N, and the total number of exotic species. These patterns of invasibility depend on spatial scale, biome and vegetation type, spatial autocorrelation effects, availability of resources, and species-specific responses to grazing and other disturbances. We conclude that: (1) sites high in herbaceous foliar cover and soil fertility, and hot spots of plant diversity (and

  16. Recruitment of two Opuntia species invading abandoned olive groves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gimeno, Isabel; Vilà, Montserrat

    2002-08-01

    In Europe, many agricultural areas are now abandoned and hence can be invaded by exotic species. The abundance and spatial distribution patterns of two Opuntia species were studied in old olive groves in the Parc Natural del Cap de Creus, Catalonia (Spain). Seedling recruitment (97.3% and 51.5% of juveniles for O. maxima and O. stricta, respectively) was higher than recruitment by cladodes. O. maxima had more seedlings recruited beneath olive trees and beneath Opuntia adults than expected. Most O. stricta seedlings were also located beneath Opuntia adult plants. However, although most seedlings were recruited beneath Opuntia, some (10-30%) were found away from putative parental plants. This may be due to seed dispersal by birds and wild boars. Seeds dispersed by wild boars were not significantly more viable than seeds from intact fruits. Seedlings grow very slowly but have a high survival rate. In conclusion, Opuntia seedling recruitment is very successful and ensures the persistence of these species within old olive groves. Consequently, it prevents restoration from an agricultural land-use back to the native community.

  17. Vegetative regeneration capacities of five ornamental plant invaders after shredding.

    PubMed

    Monty, Arnaud; Eugène, Marie; Mahy, Grégory

    2015-02-01

    Vegetation management often involves shredding to dispose of cut plant material or to destroy the vegetation itself. In the case of invasive plants, this can represent an environmental risk if the shredded material exhibits vegetative regeneration capacities. We tested the effect of shredding on aboveground and below-ground vegetative material of five ornamental widespread invaders in Western Europe that are likely to be managed by cutting and shredding techniques: Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush, Scrophulariaceae), Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed, Polygonaceae), Spiraea × billardii Hérincq (Billard's bridewort, Rosaceae), Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod, Asteraceae), and Rhus typhina L. (staghorn sumac, Anacardiaceae). We looked at signs of vegetative regeneration and biomass production, and analyzed the data with respect to the season of plant cutting (spring vs summer), the type of plant material (aboveground vs below-ground), and the shredding treatment (shredded vs control). All species were capable of vegetative regeneration, especially the below-ground material. We found differences among species, but the regeneration potential was generally still present after shredding despite a reduction of growth rates. Although it should not be excluded in all cases (e.g., destruction of giant goldenrod and staghorn sumac aboveground material), the use of a shredder to destroy woody alien plant material cannot be considered as a general management option without significant environmental risk.

  18. Vegetative Regeneration Capacities of Five Ornamental Plant Invaders After Shredding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monty, Arnaud; Eugène, Marie; Mahy, Grégory

    2015-02-01

    Vegetation management often involves shredding to dispose of cut plant material or to destroy the vegetation itself. In the case of invasive plants, this can represent an environmental risk if the shredded material exhibits vegetative regeneration capacities. We tested the effect of shredding on aboveground and below-ground vegetative material of five ornamental widespread invaders in Western Europe that are likely to be managed by cutting and shredding techniques: Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush, Scrophulariaceae), Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed, Polygonaceae), Spiraea × billardii Hérincq (Billard's bridewort, Rosaceae), Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod, Asteraceae), and Rhus typhina L. (staghorn sumac, Anacardiaceae). We looked at signs of vegetative regeneration and biomass production, and analyzed the data with respect to the season of plant cutting (spring vs summer), the type of plant material (aboveground vs below-ground), and the shredding treatment (shredded vs control). All species were capable of vegetative regeneration, especially the below-ground material. We found differences among species, but the regeneration potential was generally still present after shredding despite a reduction of growth rates. Although it should not be excluded in all cases (e.g., destruction of giant goldenrod and staghorn sumac aboveground material), the use of a shredder to destroy woody alien plant material cannot be considered as a general management option without significant environmental risk.

  19. Is Rhodnius prolixus (Triatominae) invading houses in central Brazil?

    PubMed

    Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Abad-Franch, Fernando; Ferreira, Jonatas B C; Santana, Daniella B; Cuba, César A Cuba

    2008-08-01

    Sylvatic triatomines of the genus Rhodnius commonly fly into houses in Latin America, maintaining the risk of Chagas disease transmission in spite of control efforts. In the recent past, adult bugs collected inside houses in central Brazil were identified as R. prolixus, a primary disease vector whose natural geographical range excludes this region. Three nearly sibling species (R. neglectus, R. nasutus, and R. robustus), secondary vectors with limited epidemiological significance, occur naturally south of the Brazilian Amazon. The specific status of Rhodnius specimens found inside houses in central Brazil is therefore an epidemiologically important (and still debated) issue. We used wing and head geometric morphometrics to investigate the taxonomic status of 230 adult specimens representing all four 'R. prolixus group' species (19 populations from palm trees, domiciles, and reference laboratory colonies). Discriminant analyses of shape variation allowed for an almost perfect reclassification of individuals to their putative species. Shape patterning revealed no consistent differences between most specimens collected inside houses in central Brazil and R. neglectus, and showed that R. robustus and R. neglectus occur sympatrically (and fly into houses) in southern Amazonia. Furthermore, all Brazilian specimens clearly differed from our reference R. prolixus population. Using geometric morphometrics, we confidently ascribed individual triatomines to their species within the problematic 'R. prolixus group', illustrating the potential value of this approach in entomological surveillance. Our results strongly support the idea that R. neglectus, and not R. prolixus, is the species invading houses in central Brazil.

  20. Dynamic and static properties of the invaded cluster algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moriarty, K.; Machta, J.; Chayes, L. Y.

    1999-02-01

    Simulations of the two-dimensional Ising and three-state Potts models at their critical points are performed using the invaded cluster (IC) algorithm. It is argued that observables measured on a sublattice of size l should exhibit a crossover to Swendsen-Wang (SW) behavior for l sufficiently less than the lattice size L, and a scaling form is proposed to describe the crossover phenomenon. It is found that the energy autocorrelation time τɛ(l,L) for an l×l sublattice attains a maximum in the crossover region, and a dynamic exponent zIC for the IC algorithm is defined according to τɛ,max~LzIC. Simulation results for the three-state model yield zIC=0.346+/-0.002, which is smaller than values of the dynamic exponent found for the SW and Wolff algorithms and also less than the Li-Sokal bound. The results are less conclusive for the Ising model, but it appears that zIC<0.21 and possibly that τɛ,max~ln L so that zIC=0-similar to previous results for the SW and Wolff algorithms.

  1. Rapidly spreading seagrass invades the Caribbean with unknown ecological consequences

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, Caroline S.; Willette, Demian A; Miller, Jeff

    2014-01-01

    The non-native seagrass Halophila stipulacea has spread rapidly throughout the Caribbean Sea (Willette et al. 2014); without additional research, the ecological ramifications of this invasion are difficult to predict. Biodiversity, connectivity of marine ecosystems, and recovery of degraded coral reefs could all be affected. The invasive seagrass, native to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, has taken over sand bottoms and intermixed with or replaced native seagrasses, including Thalassia testudinum, Syringodium filiforme, and Halodule wrightii.

  2. Ecosystem impacts of exotic annual invaders in the Genus Bromus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Germino, Matthew J.; Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John M.; Allen, Edith B.; Rau, Benjamin M.

    2016-01-01

    An understanding of the impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystems is necessary to justify and guide efforts to limit their spread, restore natives, and plan for conservation. Invasive annual grasses such as Bromus tectorum, B. rubens, B. hordeaceus, and B. diandrus (hereafter collectively referred to as Bromus) transform the structure and function of ecosystems they dominate. Experiments that prove cause-and-effect impacts of Bromus are rare, yet inferences can be gleaned from the combination of Bromus-ecosystem associations, ecosystem condition before/after invasion, and an understanding of underlying mechanisms. Bromus typically establishes in bare soil patches and can eventually replace perennials such as woody species or bunchgrasses, creating a homogeneous annual cover. Plant productivity and cover are less stable across seasons and years when Bromus dominates, due to a greater response to annual climate variability. Bromus’ “flash” of growth followed by senescence early in the growing season, combined with shallow rooting and annual habit, may lead to incomplete use of deep soil water, reduced C sequestration, and accelerated nutrient cycling. Litter produced by Bromus alters nearly all aspects of ecosystems and notably increases wildfire occurrence. Where Bromus has become dominant, it can decrease soil stability by rendering soils bare for months following fire or episodic, pathogen-induced stand failure. Bromus-invaded communities have lower species diversity, and associated species tend to be generalists adapted to unstable and variable habitats. Changes in litter, fire, and soil properties appear to feedback to reinforce Bromus’ dominance in a pattern that portends desertification.

  3. Red Sky with Red Mesa

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

    The Red Sky/Red Mesa supercomputing platform dramatically reduces the time required to simulate complex fuel models, from 4-6 months to just 4 weeks, allowing researchers to accelerate the pace at which they can address these complex problems. Its speed also reduces the need for laboratory and field testing, allowing for energy reduction far beyond data center walls.

  4. Aligned hemozoin crystals in curved clusters in malarial red blood cells revealed by nanoprobe X-ray Fe fluorescence and diffraction.

    PubMed

    Kapishnikov, Sergey; Berthing, Trine; Hviid, Lars; Dierolf, Martin; Menzel, Andreas; Pfeiffer, Franz; Als-Nielsen, Jens; Leiserowitz, Leslie

    2012-07-10

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum detoxifies the heme byproduct of hemoglobin digestion in infected red blood cells by sequestration into submicron-sized hemozoin crystals. The crystal is composed of heme units interlinked to form cyclic dimers via reciprocal Fe─O (propionate) bonds. Templated hemozoin nucleation was envisaged to explain a classic observation by electron microscopy of a cluster of aligned hemozoin crystals within the parasite digestive vacuole. This dovetails with evidence that acylglycerol lipids are involved in hemozoin nucleation in vivo, and nucleation of β-hematin, the synthetic analogue of hemozoin, was consistently induced at an acylglycerol-water interface via their {100} crystal faces. In order to ascertain the nature of hemozoin nucleation in vivo, we probed the mutual orientations of hemozoin crystals in situ within RBCs using synchrotron-based X-ray nanoprobe Fe fluorescence and diffraction. The X-ray patterns indicated the presence of hemozoin clusters, each comprising several crystals aligned along their needle c axes and exposing {100} side faces to an approximately cylindrical surface, suggestive of nucleation via a common lipid layer. This experimental finding, and the associated nucleation model, are difficult to reconcile with recent reports of hemozoin formation within lipid droplets in the digestive vacuole. The diffraction results are verified by a study of the nucleation process using emerging tools of three-dimensional cellular microscopy, described in the companion paper.

  5. Red Hill

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Information about the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii Administrative Order on Consent (AOC), an enforceable agreement of the Hawaii Department of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Navy -- Defense Logistics Agency.

  6. Are early summer wildfires an opportunity to revegetate medusahead-invaded rangelands?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Successful revegetation of medusdahead-invaded plant communities can be prohibitively expensive, because it often requires iterative applications of integrated control and revegetation treatments. Prescribed burning has been used to control medusahead and prepare seedbeds for revegetation, but burni...

  7. Decline in exotic tree density facilitates increased plant diversity: the experience from Melaleuca quinquenervia invaded wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Australian tree Melaleuca quinquenervia (melaleuca) formed dense monocultural forests several decades after invading Florida and the Caribbean islands. These dominant forests have displaced native vegetation in sensitive wetland systems. We hypothesized that native plant diversity would increa...

  8. Success of seeding native compared with introduced perennial vegetation for revegetating medusahead-invaded sagebrush rangeland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of hectares of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle &Young) rangeland have been invaded by medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski), an exotic annual grass that degrades wildlife habitat, reduces forage production, and decreases biodiversity....

  9. More than one way to invade: lessons from genetic studies of Carcinus shore crabs

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European green crab Carcinus maenas is one of the world's most widely recognized marine invaders. The success of this species has provided opportunities to explore genetic patterns associated with establishment and population expansion following independent introduction event...

  10. Predicting the spread of aquatic invaders: insight from 200 years of invasion by zebra mussels.

    PubMed

    Karatayev, Alexander Y; Burlakova, Lyubov E; Mastitsky, Sergey E; Padilla, Dianna K

    2015-03-01

    Understanding factors controlling the introduction and spread of species is crucial to improving the management of both natural populations and introduced species. The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is considered the most aggressive freshwater invader in the Northern Hemisphere, and is a convenient model system for invasion biology, offering one of the best aquatic examples for examining the invasion process. We used data on 553 of the 1040 glacial lakes in the Republic of Belarus that were examined for the presence of zebra mussels. We used these data to build, test, and construct modified models to predict the spread of this invader, including selection of important parameters that could limit the spread of this invader. In spite of 200 years of continuous invasion, by 1996, zebra mussels were found in only 16.8% of all lakes studied. Of those lakes without zebra mussels in 1996, 66% were predicted to be susceptible to invasion by zebra mussels in the future, and 33% were predicted to be immune to successful invasion due to their water chemistry. Eighty lakes free of zebra mussels in 1996 were reexamined from 1997 to 2008. Of these, zebra mussels successfully invaded an additional 31 lakes, all of which were classified initially as suitable for zebra mussels; none of the lakes previously classified as unsuitable were invaded. We used the Random Forests classification algorithm with 16 environmental variables to determine the most important factors that differed between invaded lakes and those lakes suitable for invasion that have not yet been invaded. Distance to the nearest infested lakes was found to be the most important variable, followed by the lake area, color, average depth, and concentration of chloride, magnesium, and bicarbonate. This study provides a useful approach for predicting the spread of an invader across a landscape with variable habitat suitability that can be applied to a variety of species and systems.

  11. Malaria, microscopic view of cellular parasites (image)

    MedlinePlus

    Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are carried by mosquitoes. Once in the bloodstream, the parasite inhabits the red blood cell (RBC). This picture shows purple-stained malaria parasites inside red blood cells.

  12. Native Birds and Alien Insects: Spatial Density Dependence in Songbird Predation of Invading Oak Gallwasps

    PubMed Central

    Schönrogge, Karsten; Begg, Tracey; Stone, Graham N.

    2013-01-01

    Revealing the interactions between alien species and native communities is central to understanding the ecological consequences of range expansion. Much has been learned through study of the communities developing around invading herbivorous insects. Much less, however, is known about the significance of such aliens for native vertebrate predators for which invaders may represent a novel food source. We quantified spatial patterns in native bird predation of invading gall-inducing Andricus wasps associated with introduced Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) at eight sites across the UK. These gallwasps are available at high density before the emergence of caterpillars that are the principle spring food of native insectivorous birds. Native birds showed positive spatial density dependence in gall attack rates at two sites in southern England, foraging most extensively on trees with highest gall densities. In a subsequent study at one of these sites, positive spatial density dependence persisted through four of five sequential week-long periods of data collection. Both patterns imply that invading galls are a significant resource for at least some native bird populations. Density dependence was strongest in southern UK bird populations that have had longest exposure to the invading gallwasps. We hypothesise that this pattern results from the time taken for native bird populations to learn how to exploit this novel resource. PMID:23342048

  13. Alternative mechanism of Eimeria bovis sporozoites to invade cells in vitro by breaching the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Behrendt, J H; Clauss, W; Zahner, H; Hermosilla, C

    2004-10-01

    In vitro Eimeria bovis sporozoites invade a wide range of cell types, and in the case of bovine cells, they may develop to first-generation schizonts. Often, however, they subsequently leave their host cell to invade a new one, which seems contrary to the classical way of infecting a cell by forming a parasitophorous vacuole. Using a standard, "cell wound assay," we show that E. bovis can invade bovine endothelial cells by breaching the plasma membrane and may again leave the surviving cell. Eimeria bovis sporozoites also infected VERO and HT29 cells but obviously without damaging the plasma membrane. The same held true when bovine endothelial cells were exposed to tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. According to a literature report dealing with Plasmodium yoelii sporozoites, breaching the membrane of certain host cells may be a common phenomenon for coccidian sporozoites but may not be for merozoites.

  14. An invader differentially affects leaf physiology of two natives across a gradient in diversity.

    PubMed

    Kittelson, Pamela; Maron, John; Marler, Marilyn

    2008-05-01

    Little is known about how exotics influence the ecophysiology of co-occurring native plants or how invader impact on plant physiology may be mediated by community diversity or resource levels. We measured the effect of the widespread invasive forb spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) on leaf traits (leaf dry matter content, specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen percentage, leaf C:N ratios, and delta13C as a proxy for water use efficiency) of two co-occurring native perennial grassland species, Monarda fistulosa (bee balm) and Koeleria macrantha (Junegrass). The impact of spotted knapweed was assessed across plots that varied in functional diversity and that either experienced ambient rainfall or received supplemental water. Impact was determined by comparing leaf traits between identical knapweed-invaded and noninvaded assemblages. Virtually all M. fistulosa leaf traits were affected by spotted knapweed. Knapweed impact, however, did not scale with its abundance; the impact of knapweed on M. fistulosa was similar across heavily invaded low-diversity assemblages and lightly invaded high-diversity assemblages. In uninvaded assemblages, M. fistulosa delta13C, leaf nitrogen, and C:N ratios were unaffected by native functional group richness, whereas leaf dry matter content significantly increased and specific leaf area significantly decreased across the diversity gradient. The effects of spotted knapweed on K. macrantha were weak; instead native functional group richness strongly affected K. macrantha leaf C:N ratio, delta13C, and specific leaf area, but not leaf dry matter content. Leaf traits for both species changed in response to spotted knapweed or functional richness, and in a manner that may promote slower biomass accumulation and efficient conservation of resources. Taken together, our results show that an invader can alter native plant physiology, but that these effects are not a simple function of how many invaders exist in the community.

  15. Ability of Escherichia coli isolates that cause meningitis in newborns to invade epithelial and endothelial cells.

    PubMed Central

    Meier, C; Oelschlaeger, T A; Merkert, H; Korhonen, T K; Hacker, J

    1996-01-01

    Escherichia coli isolates that cause meningitis in newborns are able to invade the circulation and subsequently cross the blood-brain barrier. One mechanism for traversing the blood-brain barrier might involve transcytosis through the endothelial cells. The ability of the meningitis isolate E. coli IHE3034, of serotype 018:K1:H7, to invade epithelial (T24) and endothelial (EA-hy926) cells was investigated by the standard gentamicin survival assay and by electron microscopy. Human bladder epithelial and endothelial cells were efficiently invaded by strain IHE3034, whereas epithelial human colon Caco-2 cells, canine kidney MDCK cells, and the opossum [correction of opposum] epithelial kidney cell line OK were not invaded. The ability to invade human epithelial cells of the bladder could also be demonstrated for several other newborn meningitis E. coli strains and one septicemic E. coli strain. Studies utilizing inhibitors which act on eukaryotic cells revealed a dependence on microfilaments as well as on microtubules in the process of E. coli IHE3034 entry into T24 and EA-hy926 cells. These results indicated that cell cytoskeletal rearrangements are involved in bacterial uptake and suggest that there are either two pathways (microtubule dependent and microfilament dependent) or one complex pathway involving both microtubules and microfilaments. The intracellular IHE3034 organisms were contained in a host-membrane-confined compartment mainly as single microorganisms. Intracellular replication of 1HE3034 was not detected, nor did the number of intracellular bacteria decrease significantly during a 48-h period. The ability of E. coli O18:K1 to invade and survive within certain eukaryotic cells may be another virulence factor of meningitis-associated E. coli. PMID:8698457

  16. American Red Cross

    MedlinePlus

    ... Espanol Local Red Cross ( ) Change Chapter Edit Zip Code Edit Zip Code Shop the Red Cross Store Toggle Navigation Menu ... Espanol Local Red Cross ( ) Change Chapter Edit Zip Code Edit Zip Code Shop the Red Cross Store ...

  17. Interactions between Plasmodium falciparum skeleton-binding protein 1 and the membrane skeleton of malaria-infected red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Kats, Lev M; Proellocks, Nicholas I; Buckingham, Donna W; Blanc, Lionel; Hale, John; Guo, Xinhua; Pei, Xinhong; Herrmann, Susann; Hanssen, Eric G; Coppel, Ross L; Mohandas, Narla; An, Xiuli; Cooke, Brian M

    2015-07-01

    During development inside red blood cells (RBCs), Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites export proteins that associate with the RBC membrane skeleton. These interactions cause profound changes to the biophysical properties of RBCs that underpin the often severe and fatal clinical manifestations of falciparum malaria. P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is one such exported parasite protein that plays a major role in malaria pathogenesis since its exposure on the parasitised RBC surface mediates their adhesion to vascular endothelium and placental syncytioblasts. En route to the RBC membrane skeleton, PfEMP1 transiently associates with Maurer's clefts (MCs), parasite-derived membranous structures in the RBC cytoplasm. We have previously shown that a resident MC protein, skeleton-binding protein 1 (SBP1), is essential for the placement of PfEMP1 onto the RBC surface and hypothesised that the function of SBP1 may be to target MCs to the RBC membrane. Since this would require additional protein interactions, we set out to identify binding partners for SBP1. Using a combination of approaches, we have defined the region of SBP1 that binds specifically to defined sub-domains of two major components of the RBC membrane skeleton, protein 4.1R and spectrin. We show that these interactions serve as one mechanism to anchor MCs to the RBC membrane skeleton, however, while they appear to be necessary, they are not sufficient for the translocation of PfEMP1 onto the RBC surface. The N-terminal domain of SBP1 that resides within the lumen of MCs clearly plays an essential, but presently unknown role in this process.

  18. Breeding biology and nest-site selection of red-tailed hawks in an altered desert grassland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hobbs, R.J.; DeStefano, S.; Halvorson, W.L.

    2006-01-01

    Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) have expanded their range as trees have invaded formerly-open grasslands. Desert grasslands of southern Arizona have been invaded by mesquite trees (Prosopis velutina) since Anglo-American settlement and now support a large population of Red-tailed Hawks. We studied a population of Red-tailed Hawks in an altered desert grassland in southern Arizona. Our objectives were to determine what environmental characteristics influence Red-tailed Hawk habitat selection in mesquite-invaded desert grasslands and to evaluate the habitat quality of these grasslands for Red-tailed Hawks based on nesting density, nest success, and productivity. Red-tailed Hawks had 86% (95% C.I. = 73-99) nest success and 1.82 young per breeding pair (95% C.I. = 1.41-2.23). Nesting density was 0.15 (95% CI = 0.08-0.21) breeding pairs/km2 and the mean nearest-neighbor distance was 1.95 km (95% C.I. = 1.74-2.16). Red-tailed Hawks selected nest-sites with taller nest-trees and greater tree height and cover than were available at random. Mesquite trees in desert grasslands provide abundant potential nesting structures for Red-tailed Hawks. ?? 2006 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  19. A lysine-rich membrane-associated PHISTb protein involved in alteration of the cytoadhesive properties of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Proellocks, Nicholas I; Herrmann, Susann; Buckingham, Donna W; Hanssen, Eric; Hodges, Emma K; Elsworth, Brendan; Morahan, Belinda J; Coppel, Ross L; Cooke, Brian M

    2014-07-01

    The genomes of malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) contain a family of genes encoding proteins with a Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric (PHIST) domain, most of which are predicted to be exported into the parasite-infected human red blood cell (iRBC). Here, using transgenic parasites and a combination of cellular, biochemical, and biophysical assays, we have characterized and determined the function of a novel member of the PHIST protein family in Plasmodium falciparum, termed lysine-rich membrane-associated PHISTb (LyMP). LyMP was shown to associate directly with the cytoskeleton of iRBCs where it plays a role in their abnormal ability to adhere to a protein expressed on vascular endothelial cells, resulting in sequestration. Deletion of LyMP dramatically reduced adhesion of iRBCs to CD36 by 55%, which was completely restored to wild-type levels on complementation. Intriguingly, in the absence of LyMP, formation of RBC membrane knobs and the level of surface exposure of the parasites' major cytoadhesive ligand, PfEMP1, were identical to those for the parental parasite line, demonstrating for the first time an additional mechanism that enhances cytoadherence of iRBCs beyond those already recognized. Our findings identify LyMP as a previously unknown RBC cytoskeletal-binding protein that is likely to be of major significance in the complex pathophysiology of falciparum malaria.-Proellocks, N. I., Herrmann, S., Buckingham, D. W., Hanssen, E., Hodges, E. K., Elsworth, B., Morahan, B. J., Coppel, R. L., Cooke, B. M. A lysine-rich membrane-associated PHISTb protein involved in alteration of the cytoadhesive properties of Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells.

  20. Perennial grass dominance: creating a resilient plant community in an exotic annual grass invaded rangeland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of hectares of western rangelands have been invaded by the exotic and invasive annual grass, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Cheatgrass provides a fine-textured, early maturing fuel that has increased the chance, rate, spread and season of wildfire to public and private lands throughout the ...

  1. Genome Sequence of Paenibacillus alvei DSM 29, a Secondary Invader during European Foulbrood Outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Djukic, Marvin; Becker, Dominik; Poehlein, Anja; Voget, Sonja

    2012-01-01

    Paenibacillus alvei is known as a secondary invader during European foulbrood of honeybees. Here, we announce the 6.83-Mb draft genome sequence of P. alvei type strain DSM 29. Putative genes encoding an antimicrobial peptide, a binary toxin, a mosquitocidal toxin, alveolysin, and different polyketides and nonribosomal peptides were identified. PMID:23105091

  2. I smell an invasive invader: Using portable gas spectrometry at ports of entry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Inspectors at ports of entry are faced with the daunting task of finding a visual sign of a pest or disease. Small insects, pests concealed inside plant material and plant diseases could escape detection and invade the country. In a collaborative effort, portable gas chromatography technology was te...

  3. A generic risk-based surveying method for invading plant pathogens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plant pathogens are increasing with international trade and travel with damaging environmental and economic consequences. Recent examples include tree diseases such as Sudden Oak Death in the Western US and Ash Dieback in Europe. To control an invading pathogen it is crucial that newly in...

  4. Effects of native species diversity and resource additions on invader impact.

    PubMed

    Maron, John L; Marler, Marilyn

    2008-07-01

    Theory and empirical work have demonstrated that diverse communities can inhibit invasion. Yet, it is unclear how diversity influences invader impact, how impact varies among exotics, and what the relative importance of diversity is versus extrinsic factors that themselves can influence invasion. To address these issues, we established plant assemblages that varied in native species and functional richness and crossed this gradient in diversity with resource (water) addition. Identical assemblages were either uninvaded or invaded with one of three exotic forbs: spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), dalmatian toadflax (Linaria dalmatica), or sulfur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta). To determine impacts, we measured the effects of exotics on native biomass and, for spotted knapweed, on soil moisture and nitrogen levels. Assemblages with high species richness were less invaded and less impacted than less diverse assemblages. Impact scaled with exotic biomass; spotted knapweed had the largest impact on native biomass compared with the other exotics. Although invasion depressed native biomass, the net result was to increase total community yield. Water addition increased invasibility (for knapweed only) but had no effect on invader impact. Together, these results suggest that diversity inhibits invasion and reduces impact more than resource additions facilitate invasion or impact.

  5. Impact of Alien Plant Invaders on Pollination Networks in Two Archipelagos

    PubMed Central

    Padrón, Benigno; Traveset, Anna; Biedenweg, Tine; Díaz, Diana; Nogales, Manuel; Olesen, Jens M.

    2009-01-01

    Mutualistic interactions between plants and animals promote integration of invasive species into native communities. In turn, the integrated invaders may alter existing patterns of mutualistic interactions. Here we simultaneously map in detail effects of invaders on parameters describing the topology of both plant-pollinator (bi-modal) and plant-plant (uni-modal) networks. We focus on the invader Opuntia spp., a cosmopolitan alien cactus. We compare two island systems: Tenerife (Canary Islands) and Menorca (Balearic Islands). Opuntia was found to modify the number of links between plants and pollinators, and was integrated into the new communities via the most generalist pollinators, but did not affect the general network pattern. The plant uni-modal networks showed disassortative linkage, i.e. species with many links tended to connect to species with few links. Thus, by linking to generalist natives, Opuntia remained peripheral to network topology, and this is probably why native network properties were not affected at least in one of the islands. We conclude that the network analytical approach is indeed a valuable tool to evaluate the effect of invaders on native communities. PMID:19609437

  6. Using the Science Fiction Film "Invaders from Mars" in a Child Psychiatry Seminar

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zerby, Stephen A.

    2005-01-01

    Objective: The science fiction film "Invaders From Mars" is used to teach principles of child development; clinical features of separation anxiety and nightmares; and clinical interventions, including child psychotherapy, child protective issues, and crisis management. Methods: Commercial films have been used as teaching aids in child psychiatry…

  7. The benefits of harvesting wetland invaders for cellulosic biofuel: an ecosystem services perspective

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The growing interest in cellulosic biofuel production has led the call for alternative cropping systems that maximize production along with the accompanying regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We evaluate the potential for biomass harvested from invaded wetlands to achieve thes...

  8. Host stage preference, efficacy and fecundity of parasitoids attacking Drosophila suzukii in newly invaded areas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is an invasive species, native to Eastern and Southeastern Asia, that has recently colonized parts of North America and Europe. The severe damage caused by D. suzukii in the newly invaded areas is largely due to the absence of specialized natur...

  9. Passive restoration potential of riparian areas invaded by giant reed (Arundo donax) in Texas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a rhizomatous woody non-native grass that has invaded much of the riparian areas of the southwest. By forming thick impenetrable swaths along riverbanks and waterways, giant reed has driven riparian ecosystem decline and displaced native biodiversity. It’s document...

  10. Are early summer wildfires an opportunity to revegetate exotic annual grass-invaded plant communities?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski) is an exotic annual grass reducing biodiversity and altering ecosystem function and processes in rangelands. Revegetation of medusahead-invaded plant communities is needed to improve ecosystem function, increase livestock forage production, and im...

  11. Comparison of entomofauna between native and medusahead-invaded habitats in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) is a weedy grass species that has invaded large tracts of open rangeland in the western USA. Medusahead is unpalatable to livestock, reducing forage value of land, and duff from dead, matted medusahead plants increases the frequency and intensity of wildfire,...

  12. Squamous cell carcinoma invading the right temporomandibular joint in a Belgian mare

    PubMed Central

    Perrier, Melanie; Schwarz, Tobias; Gonzalez, Olga; Brounts, Sabrina

    2010-01-01

    This report describes a rare case of squamous cell carcinoma invading the right temporomandibular joint, right guttural pouch, and calvarium. Radiography, computed tomography, and histopathology were performed in the diagnostic workup. Computed tomography depicted more accurately than radiography the invasive nature, exact location, and extent of the lesion. PMID:21037891

  13. Management process invaded Ames as the Center shifted from NACA to NASA oversight. Ames constructed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1968-01-01

    Management process invaded Ames as the Center shifted from NACA to NASA oversight. Ames constructed a review room in its headquarters building where, in the graphical style that prevailed in the 1960's, Ames leadership could review progress against schedule, budget and performance measures. Shown, in October 1965 is Merrill Mead chief of Ames' program and resources office. (for H Julian Allen Retirement album)

  14. "Invented Invaders": An Engaging Activity to Teach Characteristics Control of Invasive Species

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lampert, Evan

    2015-01-01

    Invasive species, defined as exotic species that reach pest status, are major threats to global biodiversity. Although invasive species can belong to any taxonomic group, general characteristics such as rapid growth and reproduction are shared by many invasive species. "Invented Invaders" is a collaborative activity in which students…

  15. Habitat shift in invading species: Zebra and quagga mussel population characteristics on shallow soft substrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berkman, P.A.; Garton, D.W.; Haltuch, M.A.; Kennedy, G.W.; Febo, L.R.

    2000-01-01

    Unexpected habitat innovations among invading species are illustrated by the expansion of dreissenid mussels across sedimentary environments in shallow water unlike the hard substrates where they are conventionally known. In this note, records of population characteristics of invading zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussels from 1994 through 1998 are reported from shallow (less than 20 m) sedimentary habitats in western Lake Erie. Haphazard SCUBA collections of these invading species indicated that combined densities of zebra and quagga mussels ranged from 0 to 32,500 individuals per square meter between 1994 and 1998, with D. polymorpha comprising 75-100% of the assemblages. These mixed mussel populations, which were attached by byssal threads to each other and underlying sand-grain sediments, had size-frequency distributions that were typical of colonizing populations on hard substrates. Moreover, the presence of two mussel cohorts within the 1994 samples indicated that these species began expanding onto soft substrates not later than 1992, within 4 years of their initial invasion in western Lake Erie. Such historical data provide baselines for interpreting adaptive innovations, ecological interactions and habitat shifts among the two invading dreissenid mussel species in North America.

  16. Ecology and management of Sheoak (Casuarina spp.), an invader of coastal Florida, U.S.A.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Casuarina spp. are invasive weeds in Florida that threaten biological diversity and beach integrity of coastal habitats. The trees include three species and their hybrids that aggressively invade riverine and coastal areas. Of the three species, C. equisetifolia and C. glauca are highly salt tol...

  17. Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN): toward standardized evaluation of the ecological impacts of invasive plants

    PubMed Central

    Barney, Jacob N; Tekiela, Daniel R; Barrios-Garcia, Maria Noelia; Dimarco, Romina D; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Leipzig-Scott, Peter; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Vítková, Michaela; Maxwell, Bruce D

    2015-01-01

    Terrestrial invasive plants are a global problem and are becoming ubiquitous components of most ecosystems. They are implicated in altering disturbance regimes, reducing biodiversity, and changing ecosystem function, sometimes in profound and irreversible ways. However, the ecological impacts of most invasive plants have not been studied experimentally, and most research to date focuses on few types of impacts, which can vary greatly among studies. Thus, our knowledge of existing ecological impacts ascribed to invasive plants is surprisingly limited in both breadth and depth. Our aim was to propose a standard methodology for quantifying baseline ecological impact that, in theory, is scalable to any terrestrial plant invader (e.g., annual grasses to trees) and any invaded system (e.g., grassland to forest). The Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN) is a coordinated distributed experiment composed of an observational and manipulative methodology. The protocol consists of a series of plots located in (1) an invaded area; (2) an adjacent removal treatment within the invaded area; and (3) a spatially separate uninvaded area thought to be similar to pre-invasion conditions of the invaded area. A standardized and inexpensive suite of community, soil, and ecosystem metrics are collected allowing broad comparisons among measurements, populations, and species. The method allows for one-time comparisons and for long-term monitoring enabling one to derive information about change due to invasion over time. Invader removal plots will also allow for quantification of legacy effects and their return rates, which will be monitored for several years. GIIN uses a nested hierarchical scale approach encompassing multiple sites, regions, and continents. Currently, GIIN has network members in six countries, with new members encouraged. To date, study species include representatives of annual and perennial grasses; annual and perennial forbs; shrubs; and trees. The goal of the GIIN

  18. Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN): toward standardized evaluation of the ecological impacts of invasive plants.

    PubMed

    Barney, Jacob N; Tekiela, Daniel R; Barrios-Garcia, Maria Noelia; Dimarco, Romina D; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Leipzig-Scott, Peter; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Vítková, Michaela; Maxwell, Bruce D

    2015-07-01

    Terrestrial invasive plants are a global problem and are becoming ubiquitous components of most ecosystems. They are implicated in altering disturbance regimes, reducing biodiversity, and changing ecosystem function, sometimes in profound and irreversible ways. However, the ecological impacts of most invasive plants have not been studied experimentally, and most research to date focuses on few types of impacts, which can vary greatly among studies. Thus, our knowledge of existing ecological impacts ascribed to invasive plants is surprisingly limited in both breadth and depth. Our aim was to propose a standard methodology for quantifying baseline ecological impact that, in theory, is scalable to any terrestrial plant invader (e.g., annual grasses to trees) and any invaded system (e.g., grassland to forest). The Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN) is a coordinated distributed experiment composed of an observational and manipulative methodology. The protocol consists of a series of plots located in (1) an invaded area; (2) an adjacent removal treatment within the invaded area; and (3) a spatially separate uninvaded area thought to be similar to pre-invasion conditions of the invaded area. A standardized and inexpensive suite of community, soil, and ecosystem metrics are collected allowing broad comparisons among measurements, populations, and species. The method allows for one-time comparisons and for long-term monitoring enabling one to derive information about change due to invasion over time. Invader removal plots will also allow for quantification of legacy effects and their return rates, which will be monitored for several years. GIIN uses a nested hierarchical scale approach encompassing multiple sites, regions, and continents. Currently, GIIN has network members in six countries, with new members encouraged. To date, study species include representatives of annual and perennial grasses; annual and perennial forbs; shrubs; and trees. The goal of the GIIN

  19. Impacts of invading alien plant species on water flows at stand and catchment scales

    PubMed Central

    Le Maitre, D. C.; Gush, M. B.; Dzikiti, S.

    2015-01-01

    There have been many studies of the diverse impacts of invasions by alien plants but few have assessed impacts on water resources. We reviewed the information on the impacts of invasions on surface runoff and groundwater resources at stand to catchment scales and covering a full annual cycle. Most of the research is South African so the emphasis is on South Africa's major invaders with data from commercial forest plantations where relevant. Catchment studies worldwide have shown that changes in vegetation structure and the physiology of the dominant plant species result in changes in surface runoff and groundwater discharge, whether they involve native or alien plant species. Where there is little change in vegetation structure [e.g. leaf area (index), height, rooting depth and seasonality] the effects of invasions generally are small or undetectable. In South Africa, the most important woody invaders typically are taller and deeper rooted than the native species. The impacts of changes in evaporation (and thus runoff) in dryland settings are constrained by water availability to the plants and, thus, by rainfall. Where the dryland invaders are evergreen and the native vegetation (grass) is seasonal, the increases can reach 300–400 mm/year. Where the native vegetation is evergreen (shrublands) the increases are ∼200–300 mm/year. Where water availability is greater (riparian settings or shallow water tables), invading tree water-use can reach 1.5–2.0 times that of the same species in a dryland setting. So, riparian invasions have a much greater impact per unit area invaded than dryland invasions. The available data are scattered and incomplete, and there are many gaps and issues that must be addressed before a thorough understanding of the impacts at the site scale can be gained and used in extrapolating to watershed scales, and in converting changes in flows to water supply system yields. PMID:25935861

  20. Scaling the consequences of interactions between invaders from the individual to the population level.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D

    2016-03-01

    The impact of human-induced stressors, such as invasive species, is often measured at the organismal level, but is much less commonly scaled up to the population level. Interactions with invasive species represent an increasingly common source of stressor in many habitats. However, due to the increasing abundance of invasive species around the globe, invasive species now commonly cause stresses not only for native species in invaded areas, but also for other invasive species. I examine the European green crab Carcinus maenas, an invasive species along the northeast coast of North America, which is known to be negatively impacted in this invaded region by interactions with the invasive Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus. Asian shore crabs are known to negatively impact green crabs via two mechanisms: by directly preying on green crab juveniles and by indirectly reducing green crab fecundity via interference (and potentially exploitative) competition that alters green crab diets. I used life-table analyses to scale these two mechanistic stressors up to the population level in order to examine their relative impacts on green crab populations. I demonstrate that lost fecundity has larger impacts on per capita population growth rates, but that both predation and lost fecundity are capable of reducing population growth sufficiently to produce the declines in green crab populations that have been observed in areas where these two species overlap. By scaling up the impacts of one invader on a second invader, I have demonstrated that multiple documented interactions between these species are capable of having population-level impacts and that both may be contributing to the decline of European green crabs in their invaded range on the east coast of North America.

  1. Malaria, photomicrograph of cellular parasites (image)

    MedlinePlus

    Malaria is a disease caused by parasites. This picture shows dark orange-stained malaria parasites inside red blood cells (a) and outside the cells (b). Note the large cells that look like targets; ...

  2. FOSL1 Inhibits Type I Interferon Responses to Malaria and Viral Infections by Blocking TBK1 and TRAF3/TRIF Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Baowei; Wu, Jian; Yu, Xiao

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Innate immune response plays a critical role in controlling invading pathogens, but such an immune response must be tightly regulated. Insufficient or overactivated immune responses may lead to harmful or even fatal consequences. To dissect the complex host-parasite interactions and the molecular mechanisms underlying innate immune responses to infections, here we investigate the role of FOS-like antigen 1 (FOSL1) in regulating the host type I interferon (IFN-I) response to malaria parasite and viral infections. FOSL1 is known as a component of a transcription factor but was recently implicated in regulating the IFN-I response to malaria parasite infection. Here we show that FOSL1 can act as a negative regulator of IFN-I signaling. Upon stimulation with poly(I:C), malaria parasite-infected red blood cells (iRBCs), or vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), FOSL1 “translocated” from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, where it inhibited the interactions between TNF receptor-associated factor 3 (TRAF3), TIR domain-containing adapter inducing IFN-β (TRIF), and Tank-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) via impairing K63-linked polyubiquitination of TRAF3 and TRIF. Importantly, FOSL1 knockout chimeric mice had lower levels of malaria parasitemia or VSV titers in peripheral blood and decreased mortality compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Thus, our findings have identified a new role for FOSL1 in negatively regulating the host IFN-I response to malaria and viral infections and have identified a potential drug target for controlling malaria and other diseases. PMID:28049150

  3. Seeing Red

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This New Horizons image of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io was taken at 13:05 Universal Time during the spacecraft's Jupiter flyby on February 28, 2007. It shows the reddish color of the deposits from the giant volcanic eruption at the volcano Tvashtar, near the top of the sunlit crescent, as well as the bluish plume itself and the orange glow of the hot lava at its source. The relatively unprocessed image on the left provides the best view of the volcanic glow and the plume deposits, while the version on the right has been brightened to show the much fainter plume, and the Jupiter-lit night side of Io.

    New Horizons' color imaging of Io's sunlit side was generally overexposed because the spacecraft's color camera, the super-sensitive Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), was designed for the much dimmer illumination at Pluto. However, two of MVIC's four color filters, the blue and 'methane' filter (a special filter designed to map methane frost on the surface of Pluto at an infrared wavelength of 0.89 microns), are less sensitive than the others, and thus obtained some well-exposed views of the surface when illumination conditions were favorable. Because only two color filters are used, rather than the usual three, and because one filter uses infrared light, the color is only a rough approximation to what the human eye would see.

    The red color of the Tvashtar plume fallout is typical of Io's largest volcanic plumes, including the previous eruption of Tvashtar seen by the Galileo and Cassini spacecraft in 2000, and the long-lived Pele plume on the opposite side of Io. The color likely results from the creation of reddish three-atom and four-atom sulfur molecules (S3 and S4) from plume gases rich in two-atom sulfur molecules (S2 After a few months or years, the S3 and S4 molecules recombine into the more stable and familiar yellowish form of sulfur consisting of eight-atom molecules (S8), so these red deposits are only seen around recently-active Io

  4. Structural changes in soil communities after triclopyr application in soils invaded by Acacia dealbata Link.

    PubMed

    Souza-Alonso, Pablo; Guisande, Alejandra; González, Luís

    2015-01-01

    Triclopyr is a commonly used herbicide in the control of woody plants and can exhibit toxic effects to soil microorganisms. However, the impact on soils invaded by plant exotics has not yet been addressed. Here, we present the results of an 18-month field study conducted to evaluate the impact of triclopyr on the structure of fungal and bacterial communities in soils invaded by Acacia dealbata Link, through the use of denature gradient gel electrophoresis. After triclopyr application, analyses of bacterial fingerprints suggested a change in the structure of the soil bacterial community, whereas the structure of the soil fungal community remained unaltered. Bacterial density and F:B ratio values changed across the year but were not altered due to herbicide spraying. On the contrary, fungal diversity was increased in plots sprayed with triclopyr 5 months after the first application. Richness and diversity (H') of both bacteria and fungi were not modified after triclopyr application.

  5. Populations dynamics of red brome (Bromus madritensis subsp. Rubens): Times for concern, opportunities for management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Salo, L.F.

    2004-01-01

    Red brome is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded south-western USA deserts. Unlike native annuals, it does not maintain a soil seed bank, but exhibits early and uniform germination. Above-average winter precipitation in these regions allows red brome to reach high density and biomass. These are time for concern, as large numbers of easily dispersed seeds increase the likelihood that it may spread into new areas. However, early and uniform germination can also lead to population crashes when drought precludes seed production. Winter droughts dramatically reduce densities of red brome, but provide opportunities for management of this exotic grass.

  6. A POSSIBLE SOURCE OF SECONDARY INVADING STAPHYLOCOCCI IN SALMONELLA INFECTED MICE EXPOSED TO ACUTE COLD

    DTIC Science & Technology

    within a few days, yet the incidence of tissue invasion was unaltered. The coagulase negative strains normally present in feces and in tissues persisted...In a effort to determine the origin of the staphylococci known to invade the deep tissues (liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs and heart) of mice exposed...when fecal suspensions were inoculated into selective media. Substitution of 0. 01 N hydrochloric acid for drinking water eliminated staphylococci

  7. Evaluation of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Typing with Invader on PCR Amplicons and Its Automation

    PubMed Central

    Mein, Charles A.; Barratt, Bryan J.; Dunn, Michael G.; Siegmund, Thorsten; Smith, Annabel N.; Esposito, Laura; Nutland, Sarah; Stevens, Helen E.; Wilson, Amanda J.; Phillips, Michael S.; Jarvis, Nancy; Law, Scott; de Arruda, Monika; Todd, John A.

    2000-01-01

    Large-scale pharmacogenetics and complex disease association studies will require typing of thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in thousands of individuals. Such projects would benefit from a genotyping system with accuracy >99% and a failure rate <5% on a simple, reliable, and flexible platform. However, such a system is not yet available for routine laboratory use. We have evaluated a modification of the previously reported Invader SNP-typing chemistry for use in a genotyping laboratory and tested its automation. The Invader technology uses a Flap Endonuclease for allele discrimination and a universal fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) reporter system. Three hundred and eighty-four individuals were genotyped across a panel of 36 SNPs and one insertion/deletion polymorphism with Invader assays using PCR product as template, a total of 14,208 genotypes. An average failure rate of 2.3% was recorded, mostly associated with PCR failure, and the typing was 99.2% accurate when compared with genotypes generated with established techniques. An average signal-to-noise ratio (9:1) was obtained. The high degree of discrimination for single base changes, coupled with homogeneous format, has allowed us to deploy liquid handling robots in a 384-well microtitre plate format and an automated end-point capture of fluorescent signal. Simple semiautomated data interpretation allows the generation of ∼25,000 genotypes per person per week, which is 10-fold greater than gel-based SNP typing and microsatellite typing in our laboratory. Savings on labor costs are considerable. We conclude that Invader chemistry using PCR products as template represents a useful technology for typing large numbers of SNPs rapidly and efficiently. PMID:10720574

  8. Interactions among invaders: community and ecosystem effects of multiple invasive species in an experimental aquatic system.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Olden, Julian D; Solomon, Christopher T; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2009-02-01

    With ecosystems increasingly supporting multiple invasive species, interactions among invaders could magnify or ameliorate the undesired consequences for native communities and ecosystems. We evaluated the individual and combined effects of rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) and Chinese mystery snails [Bellamya (=Cipangopaludina) chinensis] on native snail communities (Physa, Helisoma and Lymnaea sp.) and ecosystem attributes (algal chlorophyll a and nutrient concentrations). Both invaders are widespread in the USA and commonly co-occur within northern temperate lakes, underscoring the importance of understanding their singular and joint effects. An outdoor mesocosm experiment revealed that while the two invaders had only weakly negative effects upon one another, both negatively affected the abundance and biomass of native snails, and their combined presence drove one native species to extinction and reduced a second by >95%. Owing to its larger size and thicker shell, adult Bellamya were protected from crayfish attack relative to native species (especially Physa and Lymnaea), suggesting the co-occurrence of these invaders in nature could have elevated consequences for native communities. The per capita impacts of Orconectes (a snail predator) on native snails were substantially greater than those of Bellamya (a snail competitor). Crayfish predation also had a cascading effect by reducing native snail biomass, leading to increased periphyton growth. Bellamya, in contrast, reduced periphyton biomass, likely causing a reduction in growth by native lymnaeid snails. Bellamya also increased water column N:P ratio, possibly because of a low P excretion rate relative to native snail species. Together, these findings highlight the importance of understanding interactions among invasive species, which can have significant community- and ecosystem-level effects.

  9. Ecophysiology of the invader Pennisetum setaceum and three native grasses in the Canary Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Rodríguez, Agueda M. a.; Baruch, Zdravko; Palomo, Debora; Cruz-Trujillo, Gilberto; Jiménez, M. a. Soledad; Morales, Domingo

    2010-03-01

    Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass) is an aggressive invader in the arid and semi-arid habitats of the tropics and subtropics. In the last twenty years the spread of fountain grass in the Canary Islands has been very rapid. We compared its ecophysiological, architectural and reproductive traits with those of three native grasses ( Hyparrhenia hirta, Cenchrus ciliaris and Aristida adscensionis) in two habitats of Tenerife Island which differ in rainfall. The detection of traits that differ between native and invader grasses may provide information for the improved control and eradication of the latter contributing to protect the native plant diversity. P. setaceum and the native grasses differed in all measured traits and in their response to water availability which is more restricted in the southern site. Specific leaf area was lower in P. setaceum than in the native grasses. Although this reduces carbon assimilation per unit area, it also reduces transpiration, increasing water use efficiency and contributes to the maintenance of high relative water content. Leaf N in P. setaceum was lower than in the native grasses indicating higher nitrogen use efficiency. The activity of photosystem II was higher and lasted longer in P. setaceum than in the native grasses. The ecophysiological traits of P. setaceum support its large size, extensive canopy and shorter leaf senescence period. They confer considerable competitive advantage to the invader and partially explain its success in the Canary Islands. The differences between the invader and the native grasses were maintained in both sites revealing a good adaptation of P. setaceum to the low resource local habitats in the Canary Islands and confirms its large plasticity. The large invasive potential of P. setaceum, in concert with the projected global changes, forecast eventual risks for the conservation of the endemic flora and remaining native communities in the Canary Islands.

  10. Co-invaders: The effects of alien parasites on native hosts

    PubMed Central

    Lymbery, Alan J.; Morine, Mikayla; Kanani, Hosna Gholipour; Beatty, Stephen J.; Morgan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    We define co-introduced parasites as those which have been transported with an alien host to a new locality, outside of their natural range, and co-invading parasites as those which have been co-introduced and then spread to new, native hosts. Of 98 published studies of co-introductions, over 50% of hosts were freshwater fishes and 49% of parasites were helminths. Although we would expect parasites with simple, direct life cycles to be much more likely to be introduced and establish in a new locality, a substantial proportion (36%) of co-introductions were of parasites with an indirect life cycle. Seventy-eight per cent of co-introduced parasites were found in native host species and can therefore be classed as co-invaders. Host switching was equally common among parasites with direct and indirect life cycles. The magnitude of the threat posed to native species by co-invaders will depend, among other things, on parasite virulence. In 16 cases where co-introduced parasites have switched to native hosts and information was available on relative virulence, 14 (85%) were more virulent in native hosts than in the co-introduced alien host. We argue that this does not necessarily support the naïve host theory that co-invading parasites will have greater pathogenic effects in native hosts with which they have no coevolutionary history, but may instead be a consequence of the greater likelihood for parasites with lower virulence in their natural host to be co-introduced. PMID:25180161

  11. Increasing Potential Risk of a Global Aquatic Invader in Europe in Contrast to Other Continents under Future Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xuan; Guo, Zhongwei; Ke, Zunwei; Wang, Supen; Li, Yiming

    2011-01-01

    Background Anthropogenically-induced climate change can alter the current climatic habitat of non-native species and can have complex effects on potentially invasive species. Predictions of the potential distributions of invasive species under climate change will provide critical information for future conservation and management strategies. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to invasive species and climate change, but the effect of climate change on invasive species distributions has been rather neglected, especially for notorious global invaders. Methodology/Principal Findings We used ecological niche models (ENMs) to assess the risks and opportunities that climate change presents for the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which is a worldwide aquatic invasive species. Linking the factors of climate, topography, habitat and human influence, we developed predictive models incorporating both native and non-native distribution data of the crayfish to identify present areas of potential distribution and project the effects of future climate change based on a consensus-forecast approach combining the CCCMA and HADCM3 climate models under two emission scenarios (A2a and B2a) by 2050. The minimum temperature from the coldest month, the human footprint and precipitation of the driest quarter contributed most to the species distribution models. Under both the A2a and B2a scenarios, P. clarkii shifted to higher latitudes in continents of both the northern and southern hemispheres. However, the effect of climate change varied considerately among continents with an expanding potential in Europe and contracting changes in others. Conclusions/Significance Our findings are the first to predict the impact of climate change on the future distribution of a globally invasive aquatic species. We confirmed the complexities of the likely effects of climate change on the potential distribution of globally invasive species, and it is extremely important to develop

  12. Invading predatory crustacean Dikerogammarus villosus eliminates both native and exotic species.

    PubMed Central

    Dick, J T; Platvoet, D

    2000-01-01

    As the tempo of biological invasions increases, explanations and predictions of their impacts become more crucial. Particularly with regard to biodiversity, we require elucidation of interspecific behavioural interactions among invaders and natives. In freshwaters in The Netherlands, we show that the invasive Ponto-Caspian crustacean amphipod Dikerogammarus villosus is rapidly eliminating Gammarus duebeni, a native European amphipod, and Gammarus tigrinus, until now a spectacularly successful invader from North America. In the laboratory, survival of single (unguarded) female G. duebeni was significantly lower when male D. villosus were free to roam as compared with isolated within microcosms. In addition, survival of paired (guarded) female G. duebeni was significantly lower when male D. villosus as compared with male G. duebeni were present. D. villosus killed and consumed both recently moulted and, unusually, intermoult victims. Survival of G. tigrinus was significantly lower when D. villosus were free to roam as compared with isolated within microcosms and, again, both moulted and intermoult victims were preyed upon. Male D. villosus were significantly more predatory than were females, while female G. tigrinus were significantly more often preyed upon than were males. Predation by D. villosus on both species occurred over a range of water conductivities, an environmental feature previously shown to promote amphipod coexistence. This predatory invader is predicted to reduce further the amphipod diversity in a range of freshwater habitats in Europe and North America. PMID:10874746

  13. Cas6 is an endoribonuclease that generates guide RNAs for invader defense in prokaryotes

    SciTech Connect

    Carte, Jason; Wang, Ruiying; Li, Hong; Terns, Rebecca M.; Terns, Michael P.

    2010-11-09

    An RNA-based gene silencing pathway that protects bacteria and archaea from viruses and other genome invaders is hypothesized to arise from guide RNAs encoded by CRISPR loci and proteins encoded by the cas genes. CRISPR loci contain multiple short invader-derived sequences separated by short repeats. The presence of virus-specific sequences within CRISPR loci of prokaryotic genomes confers resistance against corresponding viruses. The CRISPR loci are transcribed as long RNAs that must be processed to smaller guide RNAs. Here we identified Pyrococcus furiosus Cas6 as a novel endoribonuclease that cleaves CRISPR RNAs within the repeat sequences to release individual invader targeting RNAs. Cas6 interacts with a specific sequence motif in the 5{prime} region of the CRISPR repeat element and cleaves at a defined site within the 3{prime} region of the repeat. The 1.8 angstrom crystal structure of the enzyme reveals two ferredoxin-like folds that are also found in other RNA-binding proteins. The predicted active site of the enzyme is similar to that of tRNA splicing endonucleases, and concordantly, Cas6 activity is metal-independent. cas6 is one of the most widely distributed CRISPR-associated genes. Our findings indicate that Cas6 functions in the generation of CRISPR-derived guide RNAs in numerous bacteria and archaea.

  14. Invader partitions ecological and evolutionary responses to above- and belowground herbivory.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei; Carrillo, Juli; Ding, Jianqing; Siemann, Evan

    2012-11-01

    Interactions between above- and belowground herbivory may, affect plant performance and structure communities. Though many studies have documented interactions of invasive plants and.herbivores, none shows how above- and belowground herbivores interact to affect invasive plant performance. Here, in a common garden in China, we subjected genetically differentiated tallow trees (Triadica sebifera) from native (China) and invaded (United States) ranges to herbivory by aboveground adults and belowground larvae of a specialist beetle, Bikasha collaris. Overall, relative to plants from China, U.S. plants had greater total and aboveground mass, comparable belowground mass, lower resistance to both above- and belowground herbivory, and higher tolerance to aboveground herbivory only. Accordingly, aboveground adults had greater impacts on Chinese plants, but belowground larvae more strongly impacted U.S. plants. These results indicate that the invader may adopt an "aboveground first" strategy, allocating more resources aboveground in response to selection for increased competitive ability, which increases aboveground tolerance to herbivory. Furthermore, we found that adults facilitated larval success, and these feedbacks were stronger for U.S. plants, suggesting that aboveground feeding of adults may be associated with lower defenses and/or higher resources belowground in the invader. Therefore, plants may have evolved different responses to above- and belowground herbivory, which can affect invasion success and herbivore population dynamics. These findings may provide new insights for an effective biological control program against invasive plants.

  15. Helpful invaders: Can cane toads reduce the parasite burdens of native frogs?

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Felicity B.L.; Brown, Gregory P.; Shilton, Catherine; Shine, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Many invading species have brought devastating parasites and diseases to their new homes, thereby imperiling native taxa. Potentially, though, invaders might have the opposite effect. If they take up parasites that otherwise would infect native taxa, but those parasites fail to develop in the invader, the introduced species might reduce parasite burdens of the native fauna. Similarly, earlier exposure to the other taxon's parasites might ‘prime’ an anuran's immune system such that it is then able to reject subsequent infection by its own parasite species. Field surveys suggest that lungworm counts in native Australian frogs decrease after the arrival of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina), and laboratory studies confirm that native lungworm larvae enter, but do not survive in, the toads. In laboratory trials, we confirmed that the presence of anurans (either frogs or toads) in an experimental arena reduced uptake rates of lungworm larvae by anurans that were later added to the same arena. However, experimental exposure to lungworms from native frogs did not enhance a toad's ability to reject subsequent infection by its own lungworm species. PMID:26236630

  16. Population regulation by enemies of the grass Brachypodium sylvaticum: demography in native and invaded ranges.

    PubMed

    Roy, Bitty A; Coulson, Tim; Blaser, Wilma; Policha, Tobias; Stewart, Julie L; Blaisdell, G Kai; Güsewell, Sabine

    2011-03-01

    The enemy-release hypothesis (ERH) states that species become more successful in their introduced range than in their native range because they leave behind natural enemies in their native range and are thus "released" from enemy pressures in their introduced range. The ERH is popularly cited to explain the invasive properties of many species and is the underpinning of biological control. We tested the prediction that plant populations are more strongly regulated by natural enemies (herbivores and pathogens) in their native range than in their introduced range with enemy-removal experiments using pesticides. These experiments were replicated at multiple sites in both the native and invaded ranges of the grass Brachypodium sylvaticum. In support of the ERH, enemies consistently regulated populations in the native range. There were more tillers and more seeds produced in treated vs. untreated plots in the native range, and few seedlings survived in the native range. Contrary to the ERH, total measured leaf damage was similar in both ranges, though the enemies that caused it differed. There was more damage by generalist mollusks and pathogens in the native range, and more damage by generalist insect herbivores in the invaded range. Demographic analysis showed that population growth rates were lower in the native range than in the invaded range, and that sexually produced seedlings constituted a smaller fraction of the total in the native range. Our removal experiment showed that enemies regulate plant populations in their native range and suggest that generalist enemies, not just specialists, are important for population regulation.

  17. Solenopsis invicta virus (sinv-1) infection and insecticide interactions in the red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Controlling invasive species is a growing concern; however, pesticides can be detrimental for non-target organisms. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren; Hymenoptera: Formicidae) has aggressively invaded approximately 138 million ha in the USA and causes over $6 billion in damage and ...

  18. Deformability measurement of red blood cells using a microfluidic channel array and an air cavity in a driving syringe with high throughput and precise detection of subpopulations.

    PubMed

    Kang, Yang Jun; Ha, Young-Ran; Lee, Sang-Joon

    2016-01-07

    Red blood cell (RBC) deformability has been considered a potential biomarker for monitoring pathological disorders. High throughput and detection of subpopulations in RBCs are essential in the measurement of RBC deformability. In this paper, we propose a new method to measure RBC deformability by evaluating temporal variations in the average velocity of blood flow and image intensity of successively clogged RBCs in the microfluidic channel array for specific time durations. In addition, to effectively detect differences in subpopulations of RBCs, an air compliance effect is employed by adding an air cavity into a disposable syringe. The syringe was equally filled with a blood sample (V(blood) = 0.3 mL, hematocrit = 50%) and air (V(air) = 0.3 mL). Owing to the air compliance effect, blood flow in the microfluidic device behaved transiently depending on the fluidic resistance in the microfluidic device. Based on the transient behaviors of blood flows, the deformability of RBCs is quantified by evaluating three representative parameters, namely, minimum value of the average velocity of blood flow, clogging index, and delivered blood volume. The proposed method was applied to measure the deformability of blood samples consisting of homogeneous RBCs fixed with four different concentrations of glutaraldehyde solution (0%-0.23%). The proposed method was also employed to evaluate the deformability of blood samples partially mixed with normal RBCs and hardened RBCs. Thereafter, the deformability of RBCs infected by human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum was measured. As a result, the three parameters significantly varied, depending on the degree of deformability. In addition, the deformability measurement of blood samples was successfully completed in a short time (∼10 min). Therefore, the proposed method has significant potential in deformability measurement of blood samples containing hematological diseases with high throughput and precise detection of

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  20. Linking the occurrence of cutaneous opportunistic fungal invaders with elemental concentrations in false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) skin.

    PubMed

    Mouton, Marnel; Przybylowicz, Wojciech; Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, Jolanta; Postma, Ferdinand; Thornton, Meredith; Archer, Edward; Botha, Alfred

    2015-10-01

    Cetaceans, occupying the top levels in marine food chains, are vulnerable to elevated levels of potentially toxic trace elements, such as aluminium (Al), mercury (Hg) and nickel (Ni). Negative effects associated with these toxic metals include infection by opportunistic microbial invaders. To corroborate the link between the presence of cutaneous fungal invaders and trace element levels, skin samples from 40 stranded false killer whales (FKWs) were analysed using culture techniques and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy. Twenty-two skin samples yielded 18 clinically relevant fungal species. While evidence for bioaccumulation of Hg in the skin of the FKWs was observed, a strong link was found to exist between the occurrence of opportunistic fungal invaders and higher Al : Se and Al : Zn ratios. This study provides indications that elevated levels of some toxic metals, such as Al, contribute to immunotoxicity rendering FKWs susceptible to colonization by cutaneous opportunistic fungal invaders.

  1. Plant litter chemistry and microbial priming regulate the accrual, composition and stability of soil carbon in invaded ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Mioko; Tharayil, Nishanth

    2014-07-01

    Soil carbon (C) sequestration, as an ecosystem property, may be strongly influenced by invasive plants capable of depositing disproportionately high quantities of chemically distinct litter that disrupt ecosystem processes. However, a mechanistic understanding of the processes that regulate soil C storage in invaded ecosystems remains surprisingly elusive. Here, we studied the impact of the invasion of two noxious nonnative species, Polygonum cuspidatum, which produces recalcitrant litter, and Pueraria lobata, which produces labile litter, on the quantity, molecular composition, and stability of C in the soils they invade. Compared with an adjacent noninvaded old-field, P. cuspidatum-invaded soils exhibited a 26% increase in C, partially through selective preservation of plant polymers. Despite receiving a 22% higher litter input, P. lobata-invaded Pinus stands exhibited a 28% decrease in soil C and a twofold decrease in plant biomarkers, indicating microbial priming of native soil C. The stability of C exhibited an opposite trend: the proportion of C that was resistant to oxidation was 21% lower in P. cuspidatum-invaded soils and 50% higher in P. lobata-invaded soils. Our results highlight the capacity of invasive plants to feed back to climate change by destabilizing native soil C stocks and indicate that environments that promote the biochemical decomposition of plant litter would enhance the long-term storage of soil C. Further, our study highlights the concurrent influence of dominant plant species on both selective preservation and humification of soil organic matter.

  2. [Effectiveness of fenbendazole (Panacur) in cattle invaded by gastrointestinal and pulmonary nematodes].

    PubMed

    Corba, J; Reisz, T; Krupicer, I; Pacenovský, J; Breza, M

    1977-04-01

    The effectiveness of the new anthelmintic fenbendazole (Panacur) produced by Hoechst, W. Germany, was tested in cattle naturally invaded by gastro-intestinal and pulmonary nematodes. The single dose of 5.7 mg per kg or 7.5 mg per kg body weight administered either in the form of a 10% suspension or in pellets containing 1.5% of the active substance gave 100% intenseffectiveness and 100% extenseffectiveness in the control of Dictyocaulus viviparus, Haemonchus contortus, Trichostrongylus spp., Ostertagia spp., Oesophagostomum spp. and Cooperia spp. The animals tolerated the administration of both drug forms without showing any undesirable symptoms.

  3. The effects of heat conduction on the vaporization of liquid invading superheated permeable rock

    SciTech Connect

    Woods, Andrew, W.; Fitzgerald, Shaun D.

    1996-01-24

    We examine the role of conductive and convective heat transfer in the vaporization of liquid as it slowly invades a superheated permeable rock. For very slow migration, virtually all of the liquid vaporizes. As the liquid supply rate increases beyond the rate of heat transfer by thermal conduction, a decreasing fraction of the liquid can vaporize. Indeed, for sufficiently high flow rates, the fraction vaporizing depends solely on the superheat of the rock, and any heat transfer from the superheated region is negligible. These results complement earlier studies of vaporization under very high injection rates, in which case the dynamic vapour pressure reduces the mass fraction vaporizing to very small values.

  4. Epiphyte Water Retention and Evaporation in Native and Invaded Tropical Montane Cloud Forests in Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudd, R. G.; Giambelluca, T. W.

    2006-12-01

    Epiphyte water retention was quantified at two montane cloud forest sites in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, one native and the other invaded by an alien tree species. Water storage elements measured included all epiphytic mosses, leafy liverworts, and filmy ferns. Tree surface area was estimated and a careful survey was taken to account for all epiphytes in the sample area of the forest. Samples were collected and analyzed in the lab for epiphyte water retention capacity (WRC). Based on the volume of the different kinds of epiphytes and their corresponding WRC, forest stand water retention capacity for each survey area was estimated. Evaporation from the epiphyte mass was quantified using artificial reference samples attached to trees that were weighed at intervals to determine changes in stored water on days without significant rain or fog. In addition, a soil moisture sensor was wrapped in an epiphyte sample and left in the forest for a 6-day period. Epiphyte biomass at the Native Site and Invaded Site were estimated to be 2.89 t ha-1 and 1.05 t ha-1, respectively. Average WRC at the Native Site and Invaded Site were estimated at 1.45 mm and 0.68 mm, respectively. The difference is likely due to the presence of the invasive Psidium cattleianum at the Invaded Site because its smooth stem surface is unable to support a significant epiphytic layer. The evaporation rate from the epiphyte mass near WSC for the forest stand at the Native Site was measured at 0.38 mm day-1, which represented 10.6 % of the total ET from the forest canopy at the Native Site during the period. The above research has been recently complemented by a thorough investigation of the WSC of all water storage elements (tree stems, tree leaves, shrubs, grasses, litter, fallen branches, and epiphytes) at six forested sites at different elevations within, above, and below the zone of frequent cloud-cover. The goal of this study was to create an inexpensive and efficient methodology for acquiring

  5. Clonal integration facilitates the colonization of drought environments by plant invaders.

    PubMed

    Lechuga-Lago, Yaiza; Sixto-Ruiz, Marta; Roiloa, Sergio R; González, Luís

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasion represents one of the main threats for biodiversity conservation at the global scale. Identifying the mechanisms underlying the process of biological invasions is a crucial objective in the prediction of scenarios of future invasions and the mitigation of their impacts. In this sense, some plant attributes might better explain the success of invasive plant species than others. Recently, clonal growth has been identified as an attribute that could contribute to the invasiveness of plants. In this experiment, we aim to determine the effect of physiological integration (one of the most striking attributes associated with clonal growth) in the performance (at morphological and physiological levels) of the aggressive invader Carpobrotus edulis, when occupying stressful environments. To achieve this objective we performed a greenhouse experiment in which apical ramets of C. edulis were water-stressed and the connection with the basal ramets was either left intact (physiological integration is allowed) or severed (physiological integration is impeded). Our results show that clonal integration allowed apical ramets to buffer drought stress in terms of photochemical activity, and as a consequence, to increase their growth in comparison with severed apical ramets. Interestingly, this increase in biomass was mainly due to the production of aboveground structures, increasing the spread along the soil surface, and consequently having important implications for the colonization success of new environments by this aggressive invader.

  6. Curvilinear Effects of Invasive Plants on Plant Diversity: Plant Community Invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants. PMID:25426856

  7. Biological ablation of sentinel lymph node metastasis in submucosally invaded early gastrointestinal cancer.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Satoru; Kishimoto, Hiroyuki; Tazawa, Hiroshi; Hashimoto, Yuuri; Kuroda, Shinji; Nishizaki, Masahiko; Nagasaka, Takeshi; Shirakawa, Yasuhiro; Kagawa, Shunsuke; Urata, Yasuo; Hoffman, Robert M; Fujiwara, Toshiyoshi

    2015-03-01

    Currently, early gastrointestinal cancers are treated endoscopically, as long as there are no lymph node metastases. However, once a gastrointestinal cancer invades the submucosal layer, the lymph node metastatic rate rises to higher than 10%. Therefore, surgery is still the gold standard to remove regional lymph nodes containing possible metastases. Here, to avoid prophylactic surgery, we propose a less-invasive biological ablation of lymph node metastasis in submucosally invaded gastrointestinal cancer patients. We have established an orthotopic early rectal cancer xenograft model with spontaneous lymph node metastasis by implantation of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled human colon cancer cells into the submucosal layer of the murine rectum. A solution containing telomerase-specific oncolytic adenovirus was injected into the peritumoral submucosal space, followed by excision of the primary rectal tumors mimicking the endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) technique. Seven days after treatment, GFP signals had completely disappeared indicating that sentinel lymph node metastasis was selectively eradicated. Moreover, biologically treated mice were confirmed to be relapse-free even 4 weeks after treatment. These results indicate that virus-mediated biological ablation selectively targets lymph node metastasis and provides a potential alternative to surgery for submucosal invasive gastrointestinal cancer patients.

  8. Clonal integration facilitates the colonization of drought environments by plant invaders

    PubMed Central

    Lechuga-Lago, Yaiza; Sixto-Ruiz, Marta; Roiloa, Sergio R.; González, Luís

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasion represents one of the main threats for biodiversity conservation at the global scale. Identifying the mechanisms underlying the process of biological invasions is a crucial objective in the prediction of scenarios of future invasions and the mitigation of their impacts. In this sense, some plant attributes might better explain the success of invasive plant species than others. Recently, clonal growth has been identified as an attribute that could contribute to the invasiveness of plants. In this experiment, we aim to determine the effect of physiological integration (one of the most striking attributes associated with clonal growth) in the performance (at morphological and physiological levels) of the aggressive invader Carpobrotus edulis, when occupying stressful environments. To achieve this objective we performed a greenhouse experiment in which apical ramets of C. edulis were water-stressed and the connection with the basal ramets was either left intact (physiological integration is allowed) or severed (physiological integration is impeded). Our results show that clonal integration allowed apical ramets to buffer drought stress in terms of photochemical activity, and as a consequence, to increase their growth in comparison with severed apical ramets. Interestingly, this increase in biomass was mainly due to the production of aboveground structures, increasing the spread along the soil surface, and consequently having important implications for the colonization success of new environments by this aggressive invader. PMID:27154623

  9. Invasion Expansion: Time since introduction best predicts global ranges of marine invaders

    PubMed Central

    Byers, James E.; Smith, Rachel S.; Pringle, James M.; Clark, Graeme F.; Gribben, Paul E.; Hewitt, Chad L.; Inglis, Graeme J.; Johnston, Emma L.; Ruiz, Gregory M.; Stachowicz, John J.; Bishop, Melanie J.

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for managing biological invasions are often based on the premise that characteristics of invading species and the invaded environment are key predictors of the invader’s distribution. Yet, for either biological traits or environmental characteristics to explain distribution, adequate time must have elapsed for species to spread to all potential habitats. We compiled and analyzed a database of natural history and ecological traits of 138 coastal marine invertebrate species, the environmental conditions at sites to which they have been introduced, and their date of first introduction. We found that time since introduction explained the largest fraction (20%) of the variability in non-native range size, while traits of the species and environmental variables had significant, but minimal, influence on non-native range size. The positive relationship between time since introduction and range size indicates that non-native marine invertebrate species are not at equilibrium and are still spreading, posing a major challenge for management of coastal ecosystems. PMID:26227803

  10. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    PubMed

    Qi, Shan-Shan; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants.

  11. Invaders do not require high resource levels to maintain physiological advantages in a temperate deciduous forest.

    PubMed

    Heberling, J Mason; Fridley, Jason D

    2016-04-01

    Non-native, invasive plants are commonly typified by trait strategies associated with high resource demands and plant invasions are often thought to be dependent upon site resource availability or disturbance. However, the invasion of shade-tolerant woody species into deciduous forests of the Eastern United States seems to contradict such generalization, as growth in this ecosystem is strongly constrained by light and, secondarily, nutrient stress. In a factorial manipulation of light and soil nitrogen availability, we established an experimental resource gradient in a secondary deciduous forest to test whether three common, woody, invasive species displayed increased metabolic performance and biomass production compared to six co-occurring woody native species, and whether these predicted differences depend upon resource supply. Using hierarchical Bayesian models of photosynthesis that included leaf trait effects, we found that invasive species exhibited functional strategies associated with higher rates of carbon gain. Further, invader metabolic and growth-related attributes were more responsive to increasing light availability than those of natives, but did not fall below average native responses even in low light. Surprisingly, neither group showed direct trait or growth responses to soil N additions. However, invasive species showed increased photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiencies with decreasing N availability, while that of natives remained constant. Although invader advantage over natives was amplified in higher resource conditions in this forest, our results indicate that some invasive species can maintain physiological advantages over co-occurring natives regardless of resource conditions.

  12. Fine-scale geographical origin of an insect pest invading North America.

    PubMed

    Hosokawa, Takahiro; Nikoh, Naruo; Fukatsu, Takema

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species may rapidly spread throughout new areas once introduced, which may potentially lead to serious damage to local fauna and flora. Information on geographical origins, introduction routes, and biology in native regions of such invasive species is of critical importance in identifying means of transport, preventing reintroduction, and establishing control/eradication methods. The plataspid stinkbug Megacopta cribraria, known as kudzu bug, recently invaded North America and now has become not only an agricultural pest of soybean but also a nuisance pest. Here we investigate the geographical origin of the invasive M. cribraria populations. Phylogeographical analyses based on 8.7 kb mitochondrial DNA sequences of the introduced and East Asian native Megacopta populations identified a well-supported clade consisting of the introduced populations and M. punctatissima populations in the Kyushu region of Japan, which strongly suggests that the invading M. cribraria populations are derived from a M. punctatissima population in the Kyushu region. Therefore, the region is proposed as a promising source of natural enemies for biological control of the invasive pest. Based on the phylogenetic information, relationship and treatment of the two Megacopta species are discussed.

  13. A Successful Crayfish Invader Is Capable of Facultative Parthenogenesis: A Novel Reproductive Mode in Decapod Crustaceans

    PubMed Central

    Buřič, Miloš; Hulák, Martin; Kouba, Antonín

    2011-01-01

    Biological invasions are impacting biota worldwide, and explaining why some taxa tend to become invasive is of major scientific interest. North American crayfish species, particularly of the family Cambaridae, are prominent invaders in freshwaters, defying the “tens rule” which states that only a minority of species introduced to new regions become established, and only a minority of those become invasive and pests. So far, success of cambarid invaders has largely been attributed to rapid maturation, high reproductive output, aggressiveness, and tolerance to pollution. We provide experimental evidence that females of one cambarid species particularly widespread in Europe, the spiny-cheek crayfish Orconectes limosus, are capable of facultative parthenogenesis. Such reproductive mode has never before been recognized in decapods, the most diverse crustacean order. As shown by analysis of seven microsatellite loci, crayfish females kept physically separated from males produced genetically homogeneous offspring identical with maternal individuals; this suggests they reproduced by apomixis, unlike those females which mated with males and had a diverse offspring. Further research is needed to clarify what environmental conditions are necessary for a switch to parthenogenesis in O. limosus, and what role it plays in natural crayfish populations. However, if such reproductive plasticity is present in other cambarid crayfish species, it may contribute to the overwhelming invasive success of this group. PMID:21655282

  14. Space invaders - A netnographic study of how artefacts in nursing home environments exercise disciplining structures.

    PubMed

    Salzmann-Erikson, Martin

    2016-06-01

    This study aims to present culturally situated artefacts as depicted in nursing home environments and to analyse the underlying understandings of disciplining structures that are manifested in these kinds of places. Our personal geographies are often taken for granted, but when moving to a nursing home, geographies are glaringly rearranged. The study design is archival and cross-sectional observational, and the data are comprised of 38 photographs and 13 videos showing environments from nursing homes. The analysis was inspired by the methodological steps in Roper's and Shapira's description of conducting ethnography. The results are presented in four categories: (i) public areas, (ii) orderliness, (iii) staff's places and (iv) devices. The rearrangement of geography implies a degrading of agency and loss of authority over one's place. The places should be understood in their relation to the agents and their temporarily claims upon them. The material and immaterial artefacts, that is the items, people and behaviours, transform the nursing staff into 'space invaders'. Future inquiries may take into consideration the ways that space invasion in participative space intersect and construct the identities of the agents it invades upon.

  15. A successful crayfish invader is capable of facultative parthenogenesis: a novel reproductive mode in decapod crustaceans.

    PubMed

    Buřič, Miloš; Hulák, Martin; Kouba, Antonín; Petrusek, Adam; Kozák, Pavel

    2011-01-01

    Biological invasions are impacting biota worldwide, and explaining why some taxa tend to become invasive is of major scientific interest. North American crayfish species, particularly of the family Cambaridae, are prominent invaders in freshwaters, defying the "tens rule" which states that only a minority of species introduced to new regions become established, and only a minority of those become invasive and pests. So far, success of cambarid invaders has largely been attributed to rapid maturation, high reproductive output, aggressiveness, and tolerance to pollution. We provide experimental evidence that females of one cambarid species particularly widespread in Europe, the spiny-cheek crayfish Orconectes limosus, are capable of facultative parthenogenesis. Such reproductive mode has never before been recognized in decapods, the most diverse crustacean order. As shown by analysis of seven microsatellite loci, crayfish females kept physically separated from males produced genetically homogeneous offspring identical with maternal individuals; this suggests they reproduced by apomixis, unlike those females which mated with males and had a diverse offspring. Further research is needed to clarify what environmental conditions are necessary for a switch to parthenogenesis in O. limosus, and what role it plays in natural crayfish populations. However, if such reproductive plasticity is present in other cambarid crayfish species, it may contribute to the overwhelming invasive success of this group.

  16. Life History Variation in Invading Applesnails (Pomacea canaliculata) May Pose Ecological Threats to Wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marfurt, R. K.; Boland, B. B.; Burks, R. L.

    2005-05-01

    In native habitats, channeled applesnails (Pomacea canaliculata) graze periphyton. However, casual observations from introduced populations suggest these invaders show variation in feeding ecology, predator response and life history strategies. Attempts to predict this consumer influence on ecosystem function suffer from a lack of basic data. We tested how salinity affected snail mortality. Both adults and hatchlings tolerated salinity levels up to 8 ppt. Adult feeding on lettuce increased significantly at 8 ppt compared to 0 ppt (p = 0.002), while hatchling consumption of algae did not vary (p = 0.284). To see how these consumers responded to predators from the invaded ecosystem, we tested behavioural responses to predatory cues from fish, turtles, crayfish and adult applesnails. Results indicated that fish and crayfish prompted similar predator-avoidance behaviors in hatchlings (p's < 0.05) and that hatchling response changed over time. Consumption rates of juvenile redear sunfish did not vary (x2, p > 0.05) between native (ramshorn) and exotic applesnails, whereas adult fish consumed more applesnails (x2, p < 0.001). Our current efforts focus on examining if predator presence or macrophyte choice alters applesnail feeding rates. Research providing insight into the basic ecology of applesnails can foster management efforts at the ecosystem scale.

  17. Novel image processing approach to detect malaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mas, David; Ferrer, Belen; Cojoc, Dan; Finaurini, Sara; Mico, Vicente; Garcia, Javier; Zalevsky, Zeev

    2015-09-01

    In this paper we present a novel image processing algorithm providing good preliminary capabilities for in vitro detection of malaria. The proposed concept is based upon analysis of the temporal variation of each pixel. Changes in dark pixels mean that inter cellular activity happened, indicating the presence of the malaria parasite inside the cell. Preliminary experimental results involving analysis of red blood cells being either healthy or infected with malaria parasites, validated the potential benefit of the proposed numerical approach.

  18. Red blood cell production

    MedlinePlus

    ... hemocytoblasts give rise to all of the formed elements in blood. If a hemocytoblast commits to becoming a cell called a proerythroblast, it will develop into a new red blood cell. The formation of a red ...

  19. The enemy of my enemy is my friend: intraguild predation between invaders and natives facilitates coexistence with shared invasive prey.

    PubMed

    MacNeil, Calum; Dick, Jaimie T A

    2014-08-01

    Understanding and predicting the outcomes of biological invasions is challenging where multiple invader and native species interact. We hypothesize that antagonistic interactions between invaders and natives could divert their impact on subsequent invasive species, thus facilitating coexistence. From field data, we found that, when existing together in freshwater sites, the native amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus and a previous invader G. pulex appear to facilitate the establishment of a second invader, their shared prey Crangonyx pseudogracilis. Indeed, the latter species was rarely found at sites where each Gammarus species was present on its own. Experiments indicated that this may be the result of G. d. celticus and G. pulex engaging in more intraguild predation (IGP) than cannibalism; when the 'enemy' of either Gammarus species was present, that is, the other Gammarus species, C. pseudogracilis significantly more often escaped predation. Thus, the presence of mutual enemies and the stronger inter- than intraspecific interactions they engage in can facilitate other invaders. With some invasive species such as C. pseudogracilis having no known detrimental effects on native species, and indeed having some positive ecological effects, we also conclude that some invasions could promote biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

  20. Stand Structural Controls on Evapotranspiration in Native and Invaded Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Hawai'i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giambelluca, T. W.; Delay, J. K.; Asner, G. P.; Martin, R. E.; Nullet, M. A.; Huang, M.; Mudd, R. G.; Takahashi, M.

    2008-12-01

    Tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) in Hawai'i are important zones of water input and stores of critically important native plant and animal species. Invasion by alien tree species threatens these forests and may alter the hydrological services they provide. At two TMCF sites in Hawai'i, one within native Metrosideros polymorpha forest and the other at a site heavily invaded by Psidium cattleianum, we are conducting measurements of stand-level evapotranspiration (ET), transpiration (using sapflow techniques), energy balance, and related processes. Previously presented results showed that ET as a function of available energy was 27% higher at the invaded site than the native site, with the difference rising to 53% during dry- canopy periods. In this presentation, mechanisms for the observed higher ET rate at the invaded site are explored. The difference in measured xylem flow velocities of native and alien trees cannot explain the observed stand level ET difference. Tree basal area is lower at the invaded site than the native site, again contrary to the ET difference. However, the alien trees have much smaller stem diameters, on average, than the native trees, with little or no heartwood. Hence, the cross-sectional xylem area is much greater in the invaded stand, facilitating higher transpiration rates. These results demonstrate the importance of stand structural controls on ET and raise questions about whether higher ET is a transient feature of the succession or a persistent characteristic of invasive trees.

  1. RED-LETTER DAYS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The word "red-letter" is an adjective meaning "of special significance." It's origin is from the practice of marking Christian holy days in red letters on calendars. The "red-letter days" to which I refer occurred while I was a graduate student of ...

  2. [Effectiveness of cambendazole (Bonlam paste) in sheep invaded by tramatodes (Dicrocoelium dendriticum)].

    PubMed

    Corba, J; Andrasko, H; Stoffa, P; Legény, J; Krupicer, I; Hazlinský, M

    1978-08-01

    Tests were performed to examine the effectiveness of a new form of cambendazole (Bonlam paste, produced by MSD, USA) in sheep, naturally invaded by the trematodes Dicrocoelium dendriticum. Single administration of 25 mg per 1 kg live weight induced a rapid decrease in the number of the excreted eggs of D. dendriticum, as counted during ovoscopic examination seven, ten, and fifteen days after administration of the chemical. The intenseffectiveness of the preparation, determined post mortem, was 95.1%. Despite this, several dicrocoelia with normal motility and with no changes on the cuticle or internal organs were found in all the animals dissected. The animals tolerated the treatment with no signs of side-effects.

  3. [Effectiveness of oxyclozanide in cattle naturally invaded by Liorchis scotiae trematoda].

    PubMed

    Corba, J; Pacenovský, J; Krupicer, I; Breza, M; Popovic, S; Reisz, T

    1976-01-01

    The paper reports on the results of the clinical tests for the effectiveness of oxyclozanide pure substance (produced by ICI, U.K.) in cattle naturally invaded by the paramphistomata Liorchis scotiae. Helminthological dissection, performed 21 days after a single application of 15 mg oxyclozanide per 1 kg 1. w., revealed 87.5% intenseffectiveness on sexually mature paramphistomata on 85% intenseffectiveness on juvenile paramphistomata. The extenseffectiveness of the chemical was equal to zero. The coprological examinations performed for the three weeks in one-week intervals after therapy showed a decline in the number of produced eggs. The animals were given the medicated feed containing oxyclozanide only after preceding starvation. The chemical did not produce any unfavourable side effects or signs.

  4. Invader immunology: invasion history alters immune system function in cane toads (Rhinella marina) in tropical Australia.

    PubMed

    Brown, Gregory P; Phillips, Benjamin L; Dubey, Sylvain; Shine, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Because an individual's investment into the immune system may modify its dispersal rate, immune function may evolve rapidly in an invader. We collected cane toads (Rhinella marina) from sites spanning their 75-year invasion history in Australia, bred them, and raised their progeny in standard conditions. Evolved shifts in immune function should manifest as differences in immune responses among the progeny of parents collected in different locations. Parental location did not affect the offspring's cell-mediated immune response or stress response, but blood from the offspring of invasion-front toads had more neutrophils, and was more effective at phagocytosis and killing bacteria. These latter measures of immune function are negatively correlated with rate of dispersal in free-ranging toads. Our results suggest that the invasion of tropical Australia by cane toads has resulted in rapid genetically based compensatory shifts in the aspects of immune responses that are most compromised by the rigours of long-distance dispersal.

  5. Infectious bursal disease DNA vaccination conferring protection by delayed appearance and rapid clearance of invading viruses.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yung-Yi; Hsieh, Ming Kun; Tung, Chun-Yu; Wu, Ching Ching; Lin, Tsang Long

    2011-12-01

    The present study was undertaken to determine the kinetics of viral load and immune response in protection against infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) by DNA vaccination. Chickens were DNA-vaccinated and challenged with IBDV one week after the third vaccination. Tissues were collected at 12 hours postinfection (HPI), 1 day postinfection (DPI), 3, 5, 7 and 10 DPI. The vaccinated chickens had less viral RNA, with delayed appearance and shorter duration in the bursa of Fabricius, spleen, and cecal tonsil than the challenged control chickens. Their ELISA and neutralizing antibody titers were decreased at 12 HPI and significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those in the challenged control chickens at later time points. Their spleen IFNγ expression was up-regulated compared to that in the DNA-vaccinated chickens without IBDV challenge. These results indicate that DNA vaccination confers protection against IBDV challenge by delayed appearance and rapid clearance of the invading viruses.

  6. Transferring automation for large-scale development and production of Invader SNP assays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neri, Bruce P.; Ganske, R.; Isaczyszyn, W.; Beaty, Edward L.

    2000-03-01

    The Human Genome Project has led to the discovery of hundreds of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs can act as genetic markers to create high- density maps of the human genome for large-scale genetic analysis for evaluating links between genetic mutations and human diseases and for performing association studies. To create those maps, assays capable of detecting many different SNPs must be developed rapidly, as additional SNPs are discovered. When both the design of and the technology used in the assays can be partially or fully automated, the development process and the time to results can be accomplished quickly and efficiently. InvaderTM technology offers a highly sensitive signal amplification system that detects and quantifies mutations and SNPs from unamplified human genomic DNA in two sequential steps.

  7. The Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei) Invades Hawaii: Preliminary Investigations on Trap Response and Alternate Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Messing, Russell H.

    2012-01-01

    In August 2010 the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, was first reported to have invaded the Kona coffee growing region of Hawaii, posing a severe economic challenge to the fourth largest agricultural commodity in the State. Despite its long and widespread occurrence throughout the tropics as the most serious pest of coffee, there are still discrepancies in the literature regarding several basic aspects of berry borer biology relevant to its control. In Kona coffee plantations, we investigated the beetles’ response to several trap and lure formulations, and examined the occurrence of beetles in seeds of alternate host plants occurring adjacent to coffee farms. While traps were shown to capture significant numbers of beetles per day, and the occurrence of beetles in alternate hosts was quite rare, the unique situation of coffee culture in Hawaii will make this pest extremely challenging to manage in the Islands. PMID:26466620

  8. A new electromagnetic positioning method for tracking invaded medical devices using MARG sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Sen; Chen, Xiao-dong; Du, Cheng-yang; Wang, Yi; Yu, Dao-yin

    2013-08-01

    In clinical medicine, electromagnetic tracking (EMT) system, with its safely penetrating property for human tissue, has been an effective tracking and guiding method for invaded medical devices which are invisible inside a human body. However, traditional EMT system only implements magnetic methods to solve the complex 6-DOF equations and demands an ideal magnetic-field distribution model exited by electromagnetic coils or permanent magnet, resulting in poor anti-interference performance. This paper proposed a new method, combining EMT with the attitude convergence algorithm using MARG sensors. This fusion method reduces the information reliability on the external field, simplifies the complexity of magnetic analysis, and improves the robustness. Except for the accuracy testify experiment, we impose artificial interference to the DC voltage which excites external electromagnetic coils, and the tracking system could still maintain a high positioning stability.

  9. The Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei) Invades Hawaii: Preliminary Investigations on Trap Response and Alternate Hosts.

    PubMed

    Messing, Russell H

    2012-07-11

    In August 2010 the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, was first reported to have invaded the Kona coffee growing region of Hawaii, posing a severe economic challenge to the fourth largest agricultural commodity in the State. Despite its long and widespread occurrence throughout the tropics as the most serious pest of coffee, there are still discrepancies in the literature regarding several basic aspects of berry borer biology relevant to its control. In Kona coffee plantations, we investigated the beetles' response to several trap and lure formulations, and examined the occurrence of beetles in seeds of alternate host plants occurring adjacent to coffee farms. While traps were shown to capture significant numbers of beetles per day, and the occurrence of beetles in alternate hosts was quite rare, the unique situation of coffee culture in Hawaii will make this pest extremely challenging to manage in the Islands.

  10. A generic risk-based surveying method for invading plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Parnell, S; Gottwald, T R; Riley, T; van den Bosch, F

    2014-06-01

    Invasive plant pathogens are increasing with international trade and travel, with damaging environmental and economic consequences. Recent examples include tree diseases such as sudden oak death in the Western United States and ash dieback in Europe. To control an invading pathogen it is crucial that newly infected sites are quickly detected so that measures can be implemented to control the epidemic. However, since sampling resources are often limited, not all locations can be inspected and locations must be prioritized for surveying. Existing approaches to achieve this are often species specific and rely on detailed data collection and parameterization, which is difficult, especially when new arrivals are unanticipated. Consequently regulatory sampling responses are often ad hoc and developed without due consideration of epidemiology, leading to the suboptimal deployment of expensive sampling resources. We introduce a flexible risk-based sampling method that is pathogen generic and enables available information to be utilized to develop epidemiologically informed sampling programs for virtually any biologically relevant plant pathogen. By targeting risk we aim to inform sampling schemes that identify high-impact locations that can be subsequently treated in order to reduce inoculum in the landscape. This "damage limitation" is often the initial management objective following the first discovery of a new invader. Risk at each location is determined by the product of the basic reproductive number (R0), as a measure of local epidemic size, and the probability of infection. We illustrate how the risk estimates can be used to prioritize a survey by weighting a random sample so that the highest-risk locations have the highest probability of selection. We demonstrate and test the method using a high-quality spatially and temporally resolved data set on Huanglongbing disease (HLB) in Florida, USA. We show that even when available epidemiological information is relatively

  11. Helicobacter pylori invades the gastric mucosa and translocates to the gastric lymph nodes.

    PubMed

    Ito, Takashi; Kobayashi, Daisuke; Uchida, Keisuke; Takemura, Tamiko; Nagaoka, Sakae; Kobayashi, Intetsu; Yokoyama, Tetsuji; Ishige, Ikuo; Ishige, Yuki; Ishida, Noriko; Furukawa, Asuka; Muraoka, Hiroe; Ikeda, Satoshi; Sekine, Masaki; Ando, Noboru; Suzuki, Yoshimi; Yamada, Tetsuo; Suzuki, Takashige; Eishi, Yoshinobu

    2008-06-01

    Helicobacter pylori has been considered to be non-invasive and to rarely infiltrate the gastric mucosa, even though there is an active Th1 immune response in the lamina propria of the H. pylori-infected stomach. To elucidate whether H. pylori invades the lamina propria and translocates to the gastric lymph nodes, we examined H. pylori in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue sections of stomach and gastric lymph nodes obtained from 51 cancer patients using real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) with a novel anti-H. pylori monoclonal antibody that recognizes lipopolysaccharides. Fresh gastric lymph nodes were used to culture for H. pylori. In 46 patients with H. pylori in the stomach, the bacterium was found in the lymph nodes from 21 patients by culture, 37 patients by PCR, and 29 patients by IHC. H. pylori captured by macrophages was found in the lamina propria of 39 patients. In the lymph nodes, the bacterium was found in many macrophages and a few interdigitating dendritic cells at the paracortical areas. H. pylori was also found in the intracellular canaliculi of parietal cells in 21 patients, but intracytoplasmic invasion into gastric epithelial cells was not identified. When compared to the commercially available anti-H. pylori antibodies, the novel antibody showed the highest sensitivity to detect H. pylori-positive macrophages, whereas no difference was found for H. pylori in the mucous layer. The H. pylori-positive macrophages in the lamina propria correlated with chronic gastritis as well as translocation of such cells to the lymph nodes. These results suggest that H. pylori-induced gastric epithelial damage allows the bacteria to invade the lamina propria and translocate to the gastric lymph nodes, which may chronically stimulate the immune system. The bacteria captured by macrophages, whether remaining alive or not, may contribute to the induction and development of H. pylori-induced chronic gastritis.

  12. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer N; Emlen, Douglas J; Pearson, Dean E

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe's architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations.

  13. Grassland invaders and their mycorrhizal symbionts: a study across climate and invasion gradients

    PubMed Central

    Bunn, Rebecca A; Lekberg, Ylva; Gallagher, Christopher; Rosendahl, Søren; Ramsey, Philip W

    2014-01-01

    Controlled experiments show that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can increase competitiveness of exotic plants, potentially increasing invasion success. We surveyed AMF abundance and community composition in Centaurea stoebe and Potentilla recta invasions in the western USA to assess whether patterns were consistent with mycorrhizal-mediated invasions. We asked whether (1) AMF abundance and community composition differ between native and exotic forbs, (2) associations between native plants and AMF shift with invading exotic plants, and (3) AMF abundance and/or community composition differ in areas where exotic plants are highly invasive and in areas where they are not. We collected soil and roots from invaded and native forb communities along invasion gradients and in regions with different invasion densities. We used AMF root colonization as a measure of AMF abundance and characterized AMF communities in roots using 454-sequencing of the LSU-rDNA region. All plants were highly colonized (>60%), but exotic forbs tended to be more colonized than natives (P < 0.001). We identified 30 AMF operational taxonomic units (OTUs) across sites, and community composition was best predicted by abiotic factors (soil texture, pH). Two OTUs in the genera Glomus and Rhizophagus dominated in most communities, and their dominance increased with invasion density (r = 0.57, P = 0.010), while overall OTU richness decreased with invasion density (r = −0.61, P = 0.006). Samples along P. recta invasion gradients revealed small and reciprocal shifts in AMF communities with >45% fungal OTUs shared between neighboring native and P. recta plants. Overall, we observed significant, but modest, differences in AMF colonization and communities between co-occurring exotic and native forbs and among exotic forbs across regions that differ in invasion pressure. While experimental manipulations are required to assess functional consequences, the observed patterns are not consistent with those

  14. Species diversity and environmental determinants of aquatic and terrestrial communities invaded by Alternanthera philoxeroides.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hao; Carrillo, Juli; Ding, Jianqing

    2017-03-01

    The impact of invasive species on native biodiversity varies across environments, with invasion effects of amphibious plant species across terrestrial and aquatic systems especially poorly understood. In this study, we established 29 terrestrial plots and 23 aquatic plots which were invaded by the alien plant alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides in Southern China. We measured α-species diversity (Shannon-Wiener and Simpson index), species richness and evenness, species cover and the importance value (a comprehensive index of cover, height and abundance) of A. philoxeroides in invaded communities in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. We recorded seven environmental factors (longitude, latitude, elevation above sea level, temperature, precipitation, ammonia and nitrate) across habitats. We then used Redundancy Analysis (RDA) to determine which factors best explain A. philoxeroides invasion in either environment type. We found that terrestrial habitats had greater species diversity (Shannon index) than aquatic habitats, and the biotic resistance of aquatic plant communities to the A. philoxeroides invasion was weaker than terrestrial plant communities. Accumulated ammonia improved some indices of species diversity (Shannon-Weiner, Simpson) and evenness, but decreased species cover of A. philoxeroides in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Precipitation increased species richness in terrestrial habitats but decreased richness in aquatic habitats. Precipitation increased A. philoxeroides cover in both environment types, while elevated nitrate increased A. philoxeroides cover in terrestrial habitats only. In aquatic habitats, species richness increased but A. philoxeroides cover decreased with increasing longitude. Our study indicates that increased precipitation may accelerate A. philoxeroides spread across aquatic and terrestrial habitats, while reducing nitrate inputs could inhibit terrestrial A. philoxeroides invasion. Aquatic communities appear to

  15. Differences in ecological structure, function, and native species abundance between native and invaded Hawaiian streams.

    PubMed

    Holitzki, Tara M; MacKenzie, Richard A; Wiegner, Tracy N; McDermid, Karla J

    2013-09-01

    Poeciliids, one of the most invasive species worldwide, are found on almost every continent and have been identified as an "invasive species of concern" in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Despite their global prevalence, few studies have quantified their impacts on tropical stream ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity. Utilizing Hawaiian streams as model ecosystems, we documented how ecological structure, function, and native species abundance differed between poeciliid-free and poeciliid-invaded tropical streams. Stream nutrient yields, benthic biofilm biomass, densities of macroinvertebrates and fish, and community structures of benthic algae, macroinvertebrates, and fish were compared between streams with and without established poeciliid populations on the island of Hawai'i, Hawaii, USA. Sum nitrate (sigmaNO3(-) = NO3(-) + NO2(-)), total nitrogen, and total organic carbon yields were eight times, six times, and five times higher, respectively, in poeciliid streams than in poeciliid-free streams. Benthic biofilm ash-free dry mass was 1.5x higher in poeciliid streams than in poeciliid-free streams. Percentage contributions of chironomids and hydroptilid caddisflies to macroinvertebrate densities were lower in poeciliid streams compared to poeciliid-free streams, while percentage contributions of Cheumatopsyche analis caddisflies, Dugesia sp. flatworms, and oligochaetes were higher. Additionally, mean densities of native gobies were two times lower in poeciliid streams than in poeciliid-free ones, with poeciliid densities being approximately eight times higher than native fish densities. Our results, coupled with the wide distribution of invasive poeciliids across Hawaii and elsewhere in the tropics, suggest that poeciliids may negatively impact the ecosystem structure, function, and native species abundance of tropical streams they invade. This underscores the need for increased public awareness to prevent future introductions and for

  16. Introduced Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) invades the genome of native populations in vulnerable heathland habitats.

    PubMed

    Rostgaard Nielsen, Lene; Brandes, Ursula; Dahl Kjaer, Erik; Fjellheim, Siri

    2016-06-01

    Cytisus scoparius is a global invasive species that affects local flora and fauna at the intercontinental level. Its natural distribution spans across Europe, but seeds have also been moved among countries, mixing plants of native and non-native genetic origins. Hybridization between the introduced and native gene pool is likely to threaten both the native gene pool and the local flora. In this study, we address the potential threat of invasive C. scoparius to local gene pools in vulnerable heathlands. We used nuclear single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers together with plastid SSR and indel markers to investigate the level and direction of gene flow between invasive and native heathland C. scoparius. Analyses of population structures confirmed the presence of two gene pools: one native and the other invasive. The nuclear genome of the native types was highly introgressed with the invasive genome, and we observed advanced-generation hybrids, suggesting that hybridization has been occurring for several generations. There is asymmetrical gene flow from the invasive to the native gene pool, which can be attributed to higher fecundity in the invasive individuals, measured by the number of flowers and seed pods. Strong spatial genetic structure in plastid markers and weaker structure in nuclear markers suggest that seeds spread over relatively short distances and that gene flow over longer distances is mainly facilitated by pollen dispersal. We further show that the growth habits of heathland plants become more vigorous with increased introgression from the invaders. Implications of the findings are discussed in relation to future management of invading C. scoparius.

  17. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Emlen, Douglas J.; Pearson, Dean E.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders’ web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe’s architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations. PMID:27082240

  18. Oceanographic Conditions Limit the Spread of a Marine Invader along Southern African Shores

    PubMed Central

    Nicastro, Katy R.; Zardi, Gerardo I.; McQuaid, Christopher D.; Serrão, Ester A.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive species can affect the function and structure of natural ecological communities, hence understanding and predicting their potential for spreading is a major ecological challenge. Once established in a new region, the spread of invasive species is largely controlled by their dispersal capacity, local environmental conditions and species interactions. The mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis is native to the Mediterranean and is the most successful marine invader in southern Africa. Its distribution there has expanded rapidly and extensively since the 1970s, however, over the last decade its spread has ceased. In this study, we coupled broad scale field surveys, Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) and Lagrangian Particle Simulations (LPS) to assess the current invaded distribution of M. galloprovincialis in southern Africa and to evaluate what prevents further spread of this species. Results showed that all environmentally suitable habitats in southern Africa have been occupied by the species. This includes rocky shores between Rocky Point in Namibia and East London in South Africa (approx. 2800 km) and these limits coincide with the steep transitions between cool-temperate and subtropical-warmer climates, on both west and southeast African coasts. On the west coast, simulations of drifting larvae almost entirely followed the northward and offshore direction of the Benguela current, creating a clear dispersal barrier by advecting larvae away from the coast. On the southeast coast, nearshore currents give larvae the potential to move eastwards, against the prevalent Agulhas current and beyond the present distributional limit, however environmental conditions prevent the establishment of the species. The transition between the cooler and warmer water regimes is therefore the main factor limiting the northern spread on the southeast coast; however, biotic interactions with native fauna may also play an important role. PMID:26114766

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Berriman, M; Fairlamb, A H

    1998-01-01

    Cyclosporin (Cs) A has pronounced antimalarial activity in vitro and in vivo. In other organisms, the drug is thought to exert its effects either by inhibiting the peptidylprolyl cis/trans isomerase activity of cyclophilin (CyP) or by forming a CyP-CsA complex that inhibits the phosphatase activity of calcineurin. We have cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli a gene encoding a CyP from Plasmodium falciparum (PfCyP19) that is located on chromosome 3. The sequence of PfCyP19 shows remarkable sequence identity with human CyPA and, unlike the two previously identified CyPs from P. falciparum, PfCyP19 has no signal peptide or N-terminal sequence extension, suggesting a cytosolic localization. All the residues implicated in the recognition of the synthetic substrate N-succinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Phe-p-nitroanilide are conserved, resulting in characteristically high Michaelis-Menten and specificity constants (Km>>120 microM, kcat/Km=1.2x10(7) M-1.s-1 respectively). As the first line in the functional characterization of this enzyme, we have assessed its binding affinity for CsA. In accordance with its tryptophan-containing CsA-binding domain, PfCyP19 binds CsA with high affinity (Kd=13 nM, Ki=6.9 nM). Twelve CsA analogues were also found to possess Ki values similar to CsA, with the notable exceptions of Val2-Cs (Ki=218 nM) and Thr2-Cs (Ki=690 nM). The immunosuppressants rapamycin and FK506 were inactive as inhibitors, consistent with other members of the CyP family of rotamases. The CsA analogues were also assessed as inhibitors of P. falciparum growth in vitro. Although their antimalarial activity did not correlate with inhibition of enzyme activity, residues 3 and 4 of CsA appeared to be important for inhibition of parasite growth and residues 1 and 2 for PfCyP19 inhibition. We propose that a malarial CyP-CsA complex presents residues 3 and 4 as part of an 'effector surface' for recognition by a downstream target, similar to the proposed mechanism for T-cell immunosuppression. PMID:9716503

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  3. Total and Putative Surface Proteomics of Malaria Parasite Salivary Gland Sporozoites*

    PubMed Central

    Lindner, Scott E.; Swearingen, Kristian E.; Harupa, Anke; Vaughan, Ashley M.; Sinnis, Photini; Moritz, Robert L.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2013-01-01

    Malaria infections of mammals are initiated by the transmission of Plasmodium salivary gland sporozoites during an Anopheles mosquito vector bite. Sporozoites make their way through the skin and eventually to the liver, where they infect hepatocytes. Blocking this initial stage of infection is a promising malaria vaccine strategy. Therefore, comprehensively elucidating the protein composition of sporozoites will be invaluable in identifying novel targets for blocking infection. Previous efforts to identify the proteins expressed in Plasmodium mosquito stages were hampered by the technical difficulty of separating the parasite from its vector; without effective purifications, the large majority of proteins identified were of vector origin. Here we describe the proteomic profiling of highly purified salivary gland sporozoites from two Plasmodium species: human-infective Plasmodium falciparum and rodent-infective Plasmodium yoelii. The combination of improved sample purification and high mass accuracy mass spectrometry has facilitated the most complete proteome coverage to date for a pre-erythrocytic stage of the parasite. A total of 1991 P. falciparum sporozoite proteins and 1876 P. yoelii sporozoite proteins were identified, with >86% identified with high sequence coverage. The proteomic data were used to confirm the presence of components of three features critical for sporozoite infection of the mammalian host: the sporozoite motility and invasion apparatus (glideosome), sporozoite signaling pathways, and the contents of the apical secretory organelles. Furthermore, chemical labeling and identification of proteins on live sporozoites revealed previously uncharacterized complexity of the putative sporozoite surface-exposed proteome. Taken together, the data constitute the most comprehensive analysis to date of the protein expression of salivary gland sporozoites and reveal novel potential surface-exposed proteins that might be valuable targets for antibody blockage of infection. PMID:23325771

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Total and putative surface proteomics of malaria parasite salivary gland sporozoites.

    PubMed

    Lindner, Scott E; Swearingen, Kristian E; Harupa, Anke; Vaughan, Ashley M; Sinnis, Photini; Moritz, Robert L; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2013-05-01

    Malaria infections of mammals are initiated by the transmission of Plasmodium salivary gland sporozoites during an Anopheles mosquito vector bite. Sporozoites make their way through the skin and eventually to the liver, where they infect hepatocytes. Blocking this initial stage of infection is a promising malaria vaccine strategy. Therefore, comprehensively elucidating the protein composition of sporozoites will be invaluable in identifying novel targets for blocking infection. Previous efforts to identify the proteins expressed in Plasmodium mosquito stages were hampered by the technical difficulty of separating the parasite from its vector; without effective purifications, the large majority of proteins identified were of vector origin. Here we describe the proteomic profiling of highly purified salivary gland sporozoites from two Plasmodium species: human-infective Plasmodium falciparum and rodent-infective Plasmodium yoelii. The combination of improved sample purification and high mass accuracy mass spectrometry has facilitated the most complete proteome coverage to date for a pre-erythrocytic stage of the parasite. A total of 1991 P. falciparum sporozoite proteins and 1876 P. yoelii sporozoite proteins were identified, with >86% identified with high sequence coverage. The proteomic data were used to confirm the presence of components of three features critical for sporozoite infection of the mammalian host: the sporozoite motility and invasion apparatus (glideosome), sporozoite signaling pathways, and the contents of the apical secretory organelles. Furthermore, chemical labeling and identification of proteins on live sporozoites revealed previously uncharacterized complexity of the putative sporozoite surface-exposed proteome. Taken together, the data constitute the most comprehensive analysis to date of the protein expression of salivary gland sporozoites and reveal novel potential surface-exposed proteins that might be valuable targets for antibody blockage of infection.

  7. In Vitro Analysis of the Interaction between Atovaquone and Proguanil against Liver Stage Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Barata, Lídia; Houzé, Pascal; Boutbibe, Khadija; Zanghi, Gigliola; Franetich, Jean-François; Mazier, Dominique; Clain, Jérôme

    2016-07-01

    The interaction between atovaquone and proguanil has never been studied against liver stage malaria, which is the main target of this drug combination when used for chemoprevention. Using human hepatocytes lacking cytochrome P450 activity, and thus avoiding proguanil metabolizing into potent cycloguanil, we show in vitro that the atovaquone-proguanil combination synergistically inhibits the growth of rodent Plasmodium yoelii parasites. These results provide a pharmacological basis for the high efficacy of atovaquone-proguanil used as malaria chemoprevention.

  8. In Vitro Analysis of the Interaction between Atovaquone and Proguanil against Liver Stage Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Barata, Lídia; Houzé, Pascal; Boutbibe, Khadija; Zanghi, Gigliola; Franetich, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    The interaction between atovaquone and proguanil has never been studied against liver stage malaria, which is the main target of this drug combination when used for chemoprevention. Using human hepatocytes lacking cytochrome P450 activity, and thus avoiding proguanil metabolizing into potent cycloguanil, we show in vitro that the atovaquone-proguanil combination synergistically inhibits the growth of rodent Plasmodium yoelii parasites. These results provide a pharmacological basis for the high efficacy of atovaquone-proguanil used as malaria chemoprevention. PMID:26926628

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  11. Evaluation of the Illumigene Malaria LAMP: A Robust Molecular Diagnostic Tool for Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Lucchi, Naomi W.; Gaye, Marie; Diallo, Mammadou Alpha; Goldman, Ira F.; Ljolje, Dragan; Deme, Awa Bineta; Badiane, Aida; Ndiaye, Yaye Die; Barnwell, John W.; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Ndiaye, Daouda

    2016-01-01

    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 amplify the DNA. To further facilitate the use of LAMP assays in remote settings, simpler sample preparation methods and lyophilized reagents are required. The performance of a commercial malaria LAMP assay (Illumigene Malaria LAMP) was evaluated using two sample preparation workflows (simple filtration prep (SFP)) and gravity-driven filtration prep (GFP)) and pre-dispensed lyophilized reagents. Laboratory and clinical samples were tested in a field laboratory in Senegal and the results independently confirmed in a reference laboratory in the U.S.A. The Illumigene Malaria LAMP assay was easily implemented in the clinical laboratory and gave similar results to a real-time PCR reference test with limits of detection of ≤2.0 parasites/μl depending on the sample preparation method used. This assay reliably detected Plasmodium sp. parasites in a simple low-tech format, providing a much needed alternative to the more complex molecular tests for malaria diagnosis. PMID:27827432

  12. 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.

  13. Purine import into malaria parasites as a target for antimalarial drug development.

    PubMed

    Frame, I J; Deniskin, Roman; Arora, Avish; Akabas, Myles H

    2015-04-01

    Infection with Plasmodium species parasites causes malaria. Plasmodium parasites are purine auxotrophs. In all life cycle stages, they require purines for RNA and DNA synthesis and other cellular metabolic processes. Purines are imported from the host erythrocyte by equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENTs). They are processed via purine salvage pathway enzymes to form the required purine nucleotides. The Plasmodium falciparum genome encodes four putative ENTs (PfENT1-4). Genetic, biochemical, and physiologic evidence suggest that PfENT1 is the primary purine transporter supplying the purine salvage pathway. Protein mass spectrometry shows that PfENT1 is expressed in all parasite stages. PfENT1 knockout parasites are not viable in culture at purine concentrations found in human blood (<10 μM). Thus, PfENT1 is a potential target for novel antimalarial drugs, but no PfENT1 inhibitors have been identified to test the hypothesis. Identifying inhibitors of PfENT1 is an essential step to validate PfENT1 as a potential antimalarial drug target.

  14. 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.

  15. Mast cells and histamine alter intestinal permeability during malaria parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Potts, Rashaun A; Tiffany, Caitlin M; Pakpour, Nazzy; Lokken, Kristen L; Tiffany, Connor R; Cheung, Kong; Tsolis, Renée M; Luckhart, Shirley

    2016-03-01

    Co-infections with malaria and non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes (NTS) can present as life-threatening bacteremia, in contrast to self-resolving NTS diarrhea in healthy individuals. In previous work with our mouse model of malaria/NTS co-infection, we showed increased gut mastocytosis and increased ileal and plasma histamine levels that were temporally associated with increased gut permeability and bacterial translocation. Here, we report that gut mastocytosis and elevated plasma histamine are also associated with malaria in an animal model of falciparum malaria, suggesting a broader host distribution of this biology. In support of mast cell function in this phenotype, malaria/NTS co-infection in mast cell-deficient mice was associated with a reduction in gut permeability and bacteremia. Further, antihistamine treatment reduced bacterial translocation and gut permeability in mice with malaria, suggesting a contribution of mast cell-derived histamine to GI pathology and enhanced risk of bacteremia during malaria/NTS co-infection.

  16. Development of transgenic fungi that kill human malaria parasites in mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Fang, Weiguo; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Ghosh, Anil K; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Kang, Angray; St Leger, Raymond J

    2011-02-25

    Metarhizium anisopliae infects mosquitoes through the cuticle and proliferates in the hemolymph. To allow M. anisopliae to combat malaria in mosquitoes with advanced malaria infections, we produced recombinant strains expressing molecules that target sporozoites as they travel through the hemolymph to the salivary glands. Eleven days after a Plasmodium-infected blood meal, mosquitoes were treated with M. anisopliae expressing salivary gland and midgut peptide 1 (SM1), which blocks attachment of sporozoites to salivary glands; a single-chain antibody that agglutinates sporozoites; or scorpine, which is an antimicrobial toxin. These reduced sporozoite counts by 71%, 85%, and 90%, respectively. M. anisopliae expressing scorpine and an [SM1](8):scorpine fusion protein reduced sporozoite counts by 98%, suggesting that Metarhizium-mediated inhibition of Plasmodium development could be a powerful weapon for combating malaria.

  17. 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

  18. Malaria parasite mutants with altered erythrocyte permeability: a new drug resistance mechanism and important molecular tool

    PubMed Central

    Hill, David A; Desai, Sanjay A

    2010-01-01

    Erythrocytes infected with plasmodia, including those that cause human malaria, have increased permeability to a diverse collection of organic and inorganic solutes. While these increases have been known for decades, their mechanistic basis was unclear until electrophysiological studies revealed flux through one or more ion channels on the infected erythrocyte membrane. Current debates have centered on the number of distinct ion channels, which channels mediate the transport of each solute and whether the channels represent parasite-encoded proteins or human channels activated after infection. This article reviews the identification of the plasmodial surface anion channel and other proposed channels with an emphasis on two distinct channel mutants generated through in vitro selection. These mutants implicate parasite genetic elements in the parasite-induced permeability, reveal an important new antimalarial drug resistance mechanism and provide tools for molecular studies. We also critically examine the technical issues relevant to the detection of ion channels by electrophysiological methods; these technical considerations have general applicability for interpreting studies of various ion channels proposed for the infected erythrocyte membrane. PMID:20020831

  19. Reciprocal specialization in multihost malaria parasite communities of birds: a temperate-tropical comparison.

    PubMed

    Svensson-Coelho, Maria; Ellis, Vincenzo A; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2014-11-01

    How specialization of consumers with respect to resources varies with respect to latitude is poorly understood. Coexistence of many species in the tropics might be possible only if specialization also increases. Alternatively, lower average abundance of more diverse biotic resources in the tropics might force consumers to become more generalized foragers. We examine levels of reciprocal specialization in an antagonistic system-avian malaria-to determine whether the number of host species used and/or parasite lineages harbored differ between a temperate and a tropical assemblage. We evaluate the results of network analysis, which can incorporate both bird and parasite perspectives on specialization in one quantitative index, in comparison to null models. Specialization was significantly greater in both sample sites than predicted from null models. We found evidence for lower per-host species parasite diversity in temperate compared to tropical birds. However, specialization did not differ between the tropical and temperate sites from the parasite perspective. We supplemented the network analysis with estimates of specialization that incorporate phylogenetic relationships of associates and found no differences between sites. Thus, our analyses indicate that specialization within an antagonistic host-parasite (resource-consumer) system varies little between tropical and temperate localities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-09

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

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

    PubMed

    Carucci, D J

    2001-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Deciphering histone code of transcriptional regulation in malaria parasites by large-scale data mining.

    PubMed

    Chen, Haifen; Lonardi, Stefano; Zheng, Jie

    2014-06-01

    Histone modifications play a major role in the regulation of gene expression. Accumulated evidence has shown that histone modifications mediate biological processes such as transcription cooperatively. This has led to the hypothesis of 'histone code' which suggests that combinations of different histone modifications correspond to unique chromatin states and have distinct functions. In this paper, we propose a framework based on association rule mining to discover the potential regulatory relations between histone modifications and gene expression in Plasmodium falciparum. Our approach can output rules with statistical significance. Some of the discovered rules are supported by literature of experimental results. Moreover, we have also discovered de novo rules which can guide further research in epigenetic regulation of transcription. Based on our association rules we build a model to predict gene expression, which outperforms a published Bayesian network model for gene expression prediction by histone modifications. The results of our study reveal mechanisms for histone modifications to regulate transcription in large-scale. Among our findings, the cooperation among histone modifications provides new evidence for the hypothesis of histone code. Furthermore, the rules output by our method can be used to predict the change of gene expression.

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

    PubMed

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Pain, Arnab; Ravasi, Timothy

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  7. Microbial hara-kiri: Exploiting lysosomal cell death in malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Ch’ng, Jun-Hong; Ursing, Johan; Tan, Kevin Shyong-Wei

    2015-01-01

    The antimalarial drug chloroquine (CQ) has been sidelined in the fight against falciparum malaria due to wide-spread CQ resistance. Replacement drugs like sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine and mefloquine have also since been surpassed with the evolution of multi-drug resistant parasites. Even the currently recommended artemisinin-based combination therapies show signs of compromise due to the recent spread of artemisinin delayed-clearance parasites. Though there have been promising breakthroughs in the pursuit of new effective antimalarials, the development and strategic deployment of such novel chemical entities takes time. We therefore argue that there is a crucial need to re-examine the usefulness of ‘outdated’ drugs like chloroquine, and explore if they might be effective alternative therapies in the interim. We suggest that a novel parasite cell death (pCD) pathway may be exploited through the reformulation of CQ to address this need.

  8. Prokaryotic ancestry and gene fusion of a dual localized peroxiredoxin in malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Djuika, Carine F.; Huerta-Cepas, Jaime; Przyborski, Jude M.; Deil, Sophia; Sanchez, Cecilia P.; Doerks, Tobias; Bork, Peer; Lanzer, Michael; Deponte, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has emerged as a crucial driving force for the evolution of eukaryotes. This also includes Plasmodium falciparum and related economically and clinically relevant apicomplexan parasites, whose rather small genomes have been shaped not only by natural selection in different host populations but also by horizontal gene transfer following endosymbiosis. However, there is rather little reliable data on horizontal gene transfer between animal hosts or bacteria and apicomplexan parasites. Here we show that apicomplexan homologues of peroxiredoxin 5 (Prx5) have a prokaryotic ancestry and therefore represent a special subclass of Prx5 isoforms in eukaryotes. Using two different immunobiochemical approaches, we found that the P. falciparum Prx5 homologue is dually localized to the parasite plastid and cytosol. This dual localization is reflected by a modular Plasmodium-specific gene architecture consisting of two exons. Despite the plastid localization, our phylogenetic analyses contradict an acquisition by secondary endosymbiosis and support a gene fusion event following a horizontal prokaryote-to-eukaryote gene transfer in early apicomplexans. The results provide unexpected insights into the evolution of apicomplexan parasites as well as the molecular evolution of peroxiredoxins, an important family of ubiquitous, usually highly concentrated thiol-dependent hydroperoxidases that exert functions as detoxifying enzymes, redox sensors and chaperones. PMID:28357258

  9. Submicroscopic malaria parasite carriage: how reproducible are polymerase chain reaction-based methods?

    PubMed

    Costa, Daniela Camargos; Madureira, Ana Paula; Amaral, Lara Cotta; Sanchez, Bruno Antônio Marinho; Gomes, Luciano Teixeira; Fontes, Cor Jésus Fernandes; Limongi, Jean Ezequiel; Brito, Cristiana Ferreira Alves de; Carvalho, Luzia Helena

    2014-02-01

    The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods for the diagnosis of malaria infection are expected to accurately identify submicroscopic parasite carriers. Although a significant number of PCR protocols have been described, few studies have addressed the performance of PCR amplification in cases of field samples with submicroscopic malaria infection. Here, the reproducibility of two well-established PCR protocols (nested-PCR and real-time PCR for the Plasmodium 18 small subunit rRNA gene) were evaluated in a panel of 34 blood field samples from individuals that are potential reservoirs of malaria infection, but were negative for malaria by optical microscopy. Regardless of the PCR protocol, a large variation between the PCR replicates was observed, leading to alternating positive and negative results in 38% (13 out of 34) of the samples. These findings were quite different from those obtained from the microscopy-positive patients or the unexposed individuals; the diagnosis of these individuals could be confirmed based on the high reproducibility and specificity of the PCR-based protocols. The limitation of PCR amplification was restricted to the field samples with very low levels of parasitaemia because titrations of the DNA templates were able to detect < 3 parasites/µL in the blood. In conclusion, conventional PCR protocols require careful interpretation in cases of submicroscopic malaria infection, as inconsistent and false-negative results can occur.

  10. High-speed holographic microscopy of malaria parasites reveals ambidextrous flagellar waveforms

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Laurence G.; Carter, Lucy M.; Reece, Sarah E.

    2013-01-01

    Axonemes form the core of eukaryotic flagella and cilia, performing tasks ranging from transporting fluid in developing embryos to the propulsion of sperm. Despite their abundance across the eukaryotic domain, the mechanisms that regulate the beating action of axonemes remain unknown. The flagellar waveforms are 3D in general, but current understanding of how axoneme components interact stems from 2D data; comprehensive measurements of flagellar shape are beyond conventional microscopy. Moreover, current flagellar model systems (e.g., sea urchin, human sperm) contain accessory structures that impose mechanical constraints on movement, obscuring the “native” axoneme behavior. We address both problems by developing a high-speed holographic imaging scheme and applying it to the (male) microgametes of malaria (Plasmodium) parasites. These isolated flagella are a unique, mathematically tractable model system for the physics of microswimmers. We reveal the 3D flagellar waveforms of these microorganisms and map the differential shear between microtubules in their axonemes. Furthermore, we overturn claims that chirality in the structure of the axoneme governs the beat pattern [Hirokawa N, et al. (2009) Ann Rev Fluid Mech 41:53–72], because microgametes display a left- or right-handed character on alternate beats. This breaks the link between structural chirality in the axoneme and larger scale symmetry breaking (e.g., in developing embryos), leading us to conclude that accessory structures play a critical role in shaping the flagellar beat. PMID:24194551

  11. Signaling Strategies of Malaria Parasite for Its Survival, Proliferation, and Infection during Erythrocytic Stage.

    PubMed

    Soni, Rani; Sharma, Drista; Rai, Praveen; Sharma, Bhaskar; Bhatt, Tarun K

    2017-01-01

    Irrespective of various efforts, malaria persist the most debilitating effect in terms of morbidity and mortality. Moreover, the existing drugs are also vulnerable to the emergence of drug resistance. To explore the potential targets for designing the most effective antimalarial therapies, it is required to focus on the facts of biochemical mechanism underlying the process of parasite survival and disease pathogenesis. This review is intended to bring out the existing knowledge about the functions and components of the major signaling pathways such as kinase signaling, calcium signaling, and cyclic nucleotide-based signaling, serving the various aspects of the parasitic asexual stage and highlighted the Toll-like receptors, glycosylphosphatidylinositol-mediated signaling, and molecular events in cytoadhesion, which elicit the host immune response. This discussion will facilitate a look over essential components for parasite survival and disease progression to be implemented in discovery of novel antimalarial drugs and vaccines.

  12. Individual genetic diversity and probability of infection by avian malaria parasites in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Ferrer, E S; García-Navas, V; Sanz, J J; Ortego, J

    2014-11-01

    Understanding the importance of host genetic diversity for coping with parasites and infectious diseases is a long-standing goal in evolutionary biology. Here, we study the association between probability of infection by avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and individual genetic diversity in three blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) populations that strongly differ in prevalence of this parasite. For this purpose, we screened avian malaria infections and genotyped 789 blue tits across 26 microsatellite markers. We used two different arrays of markers: 14 loci classified as neutral and 12 loci classified as putatively functional. We found a significant relationship between probability of infection and host genetic diversity estimated at the subset of neutral markers that was not explained by strong local effects and did not differ among the studied populations. This relationship was not linear, and probability of infection increased up to values of homozygosity by locus (HL) around 0.15, reached a plateau at values of HL from 0.15 to 0.40 and finally declined among a small proportion of highly homozygous individuals (HL > 0.4). We did not find evidence for significant identity disequilibrium, which may have resulted from a low variance of inbreeding in the study populations and/or the small power of our set of markers to detect it. A combination of subtle positive and negative local effects and/or a saturation threshold in the association between probability of infection and host genetic diversity in combination with increased resistance to parasites in highly homozygous individuals may explain the observed negative quadratic relationship. Overall, our study highlights that parasites play an important role in shaping host genetic variation and suggests that the use of large sets of neutral markers may be more appropriate for the study of heterozygosity-fitness correlations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Crystallization and preliminary structural characterization of the two actin isoforms of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Bhargav, Saligram Prabhakar; Vahokoski, Juha; Kumpula, Esa-Pekka; Kursula, Inari

    2013-01-01

    Malaria is a devastating disease caused by apicomplexan parasites of the genus Plasmodium that use a divergent actin-powered molecular motor for motility and invasion. Plasmodium actin differs from canonical actins in sequence, structure and function. Here, the purification, crystallization and secondary-structure analysis of the two Plasmodium actin isoforms are presented. The recombinant parasite actins were folded and could be purified to homogeneity. Plasmodium actins I and II were crystallized in complex with the gelsolin G1 domain; the crystals diffracted to resolutions of 1.19 and 2.2 Å and belonged to space groups P212121 and P21, respectively, each with one complex in the asymmetric unit. PMID:24100575

  16. Boosting of DNA Vaccine-Elicited Gamma Interferon Responses in Humans by Exposure to Malaria Parasites

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-12-11

    Montefiori, Y. Xu, J. G. Herndon, L. S. Wyatt, M. A. Candido , N. L. Kozyr, P. L. Earl, J. M. Smith, H. L. Ma, B. D. Grimm, M. L. Hulsey, J. Miller, H. M...Kalish, J. D. Lifson, T. A. Rizvi, S. Lu, S. L. Hu, G. P. Mazzara, D. L. Panicali, J. G. Herndon, R. Glickman, M. A. Candido , S. L. Lydy, M. S. Wyand

  17. Drug resistance. Population transcriptomics of human malaria parasites reveals the mechanism of artemisinin resistance.

    PubMed

    Mok, Sachel; Ashley, Elizabeth A; Ferreira, Pedro E; Zhu, Lei; Lin, Zhaoting; Yeo, Tomas; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Imwong, Mallika; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Dhorda, Mehul; Nguon, Chea; Lim, Pharath; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Suon, Seila; Hien, Tran Tinh; Htut, Ye; Faiz, M Abul; Onyamboko, Marie A; Mayxay, Mayfong; Newton, Paul N; Tripura, Rupam; Woodrow, Charles J; Miotto, Olivo; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Nosten, François; Day, Nicholas P J; Preiser, Peter R; White, Nicholas J; Dondorp, Arjen M; Fairhurst, Rick M; Bozdech, Zbynek

    2015-01-23

    Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum threatens global efforts to control and eliminate malaria. Polymorphisms in the kelch domain-carrying protein K13 are associated with artemisinin resistance, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. We analyzed the in vivo transcriptomes of 1043 P. falciparum isolates from patients with acute malaria and found that artemisinin resistance is associated with increased expression of unfolded protein response (UPR) pathways involving the major PROSC and TRiC chaperone complexes. Artemisinin-resistant parasites also exhibit decelerated progression through the first part of the asexual intraerythrocytic development cycle. These findings suggest that artemisinin-resistant parasites remain in a state of decelerated development at the young ring stage, whereas their up-regulated UPR pathways mitigate protein damage caused by artemisinin. The expression profiles of UPR-related genes also associate with the geographical origin of parasite isolates, further suggesting their role in emerging artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

  18. 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 detrimental fitness costs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  20. Development of humanized mouse models to study human malaria parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Ashley M; Kappe, Stefan H I; Ploss, Alexander; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A

    2012-05-01

    Malaria is a disease caused by infection with Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted by mosquito bite. Five different species of Plasmodium infect humans with severe disease, but human malaria is primarily caused by Plasmodium falciparum. The burden of malaria on the developing world is enormous, and a fully protective vaccine is still elusive. One of the biggest challenges in the quest for the development of new antimalarial drugs and vaccines is the lack of accessible animal models to study P. falciparum infection because the parasite is restricted to the great apes and human hosts. Here, we review the current state of research in this field and provide an outlook of the development of humanized small animal models to study P. falciparum infection that will accelerate fundamental research into human parasite biology and could accelerate drug and vaccine design in the future.

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

    PubMed Central

    Green, T J; Kreier, J P

    1978-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Rationale for the Coadministration of Albendazole and Ivermectin to Humans for Malaria Parasite Transmission Control

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-07-28

    STHs). Malaria and STHs overlap in distribution, and STH infections are associated with increased risk for malaria. Indeed, there is evidence that...suggests that STH infection may facilitate malaria transmission. Malaria and STH coinfection may exacerbate anemia, especially in pregnant women, leading...are a diverse group of infectious diseases including STH infections , lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, and at least 13

  4. Signaling Strategies of Malaria Parasite for Its Survival, Proliferation, and Infection during Erythrocytic Stage

    PubMed Central

    Soni, Rani; Sharma, Drista; Rai, Praveen; Sharma, Bhaskar; Bhatt, Tarun K.

    2017-01-01

    Irrespective of various efforts, malaria persist the most debilitating effect in terms of morbidity and mortality. Moreover, the existing drugs are also vulnerable to the emergence of drug resistance. To explore the potential targets for designing the most effective antimalarial therapies, it is required to focus on the facts of biochemical mechanism underlying the process of parasite survival and disease pathogenesis. This review is intended to bring out the existing knowledge about the functions and components of the major signaling pathways such as kinase signaling, calcium signaling, and cyclic nucleotide-based signaling, serving the various aspects of the parasitic asexual stage and highlighted the Toll-like receptors, glycosylphosphatidylinositol-mediated signaling, and molecular events in cytoadhesion, which elicit the host immune response. This discussion will facilitate a look over essential components for parasite survival and disease progression to be implemented in discovery of novel antimalarial drugs and vaccines.

  5. Heavy path mining of protein-protein associations in the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xinran; Korkmaz, Turgay; Lilburn, Timothy G; Cai, Hong; Gu, Jianying; Wang, Yufeng

    2015-07-15

    Annotating and understanding the function of proteins and other elements in a genome can be difficult in the absence of a well-studied and evolutionarily close relative. The causative agent of malaria, one of the oldest and most deadly global infectious diseases, is a good example of this problem. The burden of malaria is huge and there is a pressing need for new, more effective antimalarial strategies. However, techniques such as homology-dependent annotation transfer are severely impaired in this parasite because there are no well-understood close relatives. To circumvent this approach we developed a network-based method that uses a heavy path network-mining algorithm. We uncovered the protein-protein associations that are implicated in important cellular processes including genome integrity, DNA repair, transcriptional regulation, invasion, and pathogenesis, thus demonstrating the utility of this method. The URL of the source code for super-sequence mining method is http://www.cs.utsa.edu/~korkmaz/research/heavy-path-mining/.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Sensitive and accurate quantification of human malaria parasites using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR)

    PubMed Central

    Koepfli, Cristian; Nguitragool, Wang; Hofmann, Natalie E.; Robinson, Leanne J.; Ome-Kaius, Maria; Sattabongkot, Jetsumon; Felger, Ingrid; Mueller, Ivo

    2016-01-01

    Accurate quantification of parasite density in the human host is essential for understanding the biology and pathology of malaria. Semi-quantitative molecular methods are widely applied, but the need for an external standard curve makes it difficult to compare parasite density estimates across studies. Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) allows direct quantification without the need for a standard curve. ddPCR was used to diagnose and quantify P. falciparum and P. vivax in clinical patients as well as in asymptomatic samples. ddPCR yielded highly reproducible measurements across the range of parasite densities observed in humans, and showed higher sensitivity than qPCR to diagnose P. falciparum, and equal sensitivity for P. vivax. Correspondence in quantification was very high (>0.95) between qPCR and ddPCR. Quantification between technical replicates by ddPCR differed 1.5–1.7-fold, compared to 2.4–6.2-fold by qPCR. ddPCR facilitates parasite quantification for studies where absolute densities are required, and will increase comparability of results reported from different laboratories. PMID:27982132

  8. Five-minute Giemsa stain for rapid detection of malaria parasites in blood smears.

    PubMed

    Jager, M M; Murk, J L; Piqué, R D; Hekker, T A M; Vandenbroucke-Grauls, C M J E

    2011-01-01

    The Giemsa stain is used as the gold standard for the diagnosis of malaria on blood smears. The classical staining procedure requires between 30 and 45 min. We modified the Giemsa stain and reduced the staining time to 5 min without any loss of quality.

  9. Mosquitoes as Potential Bridge Vectors of Malaria Parasites from Non-Human Primates to Humans

    PubMed Central

    Verhulst, Niels O.; Smallegange, Renate C.; Takken, Willem

    2012-01-01

    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites which are transmitted by mosquitoes. Until recently, human malaria was considered to be caused by human-specific Plasmodium species. Studies on Plasmodium parasites in non-human primates (NHPs), however, have identified parasite species in gorillas and chimpanzees that are closely related to human Plasmodium species. Moreover, P. knowlesi, long known as a parasite of monkeys, frequently infects humans. The requirements for such a cross-species exchange and especially the role of mosquitoes in this process are discussed, as the latter may act as bridge vectors of Plasmodium species between different primates. Little is known about the mosquito species that would bite both humans and NHPs and if so, whether humans and NHPs share the same Plasmodium vectors. To understand the vector-host interactions that can lead to an increased Plasmodium transmission between species, studies are required that reveal the nature of these interactions. Studying the potential role of NHPs as a Plasmodium reservoir for humans will contribute to the ongoing efforts of human malaria elimination, and will help to focus on critical areas that should be considered in achieving this goal. PMID:22701434

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-03

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

  11. Invader disruption of belowground plant mutualisms reduces carbon acquisition and alters allocation patterns in a native forest herb.

    PubMed

    Hale, Alison N; Lapointe, Line; Kalisz, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Invasive plants impose novel selection pressures on naïve mutualistic interactions between native plants and their partners. As most plants critically rely on root fungal symbionts (RFSs) for soil resources, invaders that disrupt plant-RFS mutualisms can significantly depress native plant fitness. Here, we investigate the consequences of RFS mutualism disruption on native plant fitness in a glasshouse experiment with a forest invader that produces known anti-fungal allelochemicals. Over 5 months, we regularly applied either green leaves of the allelopathic invader Alliaria petiolata, a nonsystemic fungicide to simulate A. petiolata's effects, or green leaves of nonallelopathic Hesperis matronalis (control) to pots containing the native Maianthemum racemosum and its RFSs. We repeatedly measured M. racemosum physiology and harvested plants periodically to assess carbon allocation. Alliaria petiolata and fungicide treatment effects were indistinguishable: we observed inhibition of the RFS soil hyphal network and significant reductions in M. racemosum physiology (photosynthesis, transpiration and conductance) and allocation (carbon storage, root biomass and asexual reproduction) in both treatments relative to the control. Our findings suggest a general mechanistic hypothesis for local extinction of native species in ecosystems challenged by allelopathic invaders: RFS mutualism disruption drives carbon stress, subsequent declines in native plant vigor, and, if chronic, declines in RFS-dependent species abundance.

  12. Bulged Invader probes: activated duplexes for mixed-sequence dsDNA recognition with improved thermodynamic and kinetic profiles.

    PubMed

    Guenther, Dale C; Karmakar, Saswata; Hrdlicka, Patrick J

    2015-10-18

    Double-stranded oligonucleotides with +1 interstrand zipper arrangements of intercalator-functionalized nucleotides are energetically activated for recognition of mixed-sequence double-stranded DNA. Incorporation of nonyl (C9) bulges at specific positions of these probes, results in more highly affine (>5-fold), faster (>4-fold) and more persistent dsDNA recognition relative to conventional Invader probes.

  13. Can imazapic and seeding be applied simultaneously to rehabilitate medusahead-invaded rangeland? Single vs. multiple entry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It has recently been proposed that reducing the cost of rehabilitating medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski)-invaded rangelands may be attained by seeding desired vegetation with a concurrent application of the pre-emergent herbicide (imazapic). However, the efficacy of this “single e...

  14. Shifts in grassland invasibility: effects of soil resources, disturbance, composition, and invader size.

    PubMed

    Renne, Ian J; Tracy, Benjamin F; Colonna, Ignacio A

    2006-09-01

    There is an emerging recognition that invasibility is not an intrinsic community trait, but is a condition that fluctuates from interactions between environmental forces and residential characters. Elucidating the spatiotemporal complexities of invasion requires inclusion of multiple, ecologically variable factors within communities of differing structure. Water and nutrient amendments, disturbance, and local composition affect grassland invasibility but no study has simultaneously integrated these, despite evidence that they frequently interact. Using a split-plot factorial design, we tested the effects of these factors on the invasibility of C3 pasture communities by smooth pigweed Amaranthus hybridus L., a problematic C4 forb. We sowed seeds and transplanted 3-week old seedlings of A. hybridus into plots containing monocultures and mixtures of varying composition, subjected plots to water, soil disturbance, and synthetic bovine urine (SBU) treatments, and measured A. hybridus emergence, recruitment, and growth rate. Following SBU addition, transplanted seedling growth increased in all plots but differed among legume and nonlegume monocultures and mixtures of these plant types. However, SBU decreased the number and recruitment rate of emerged seedlings because high residential growth reduced light availability. Nutrient pulses can therefore have strong but opposing effects on invasibility, depending on when they coincide with particular life history stages of an invader. Indeed, in SBU-treated plots, small differences in height of transplanted seedlings early on produced large differences in their final biomass. All facilitative effects of small-scale disturbance on invasion success diminished when productivity-promoting factors were present, suggesting that disturbance patch size is important. Precipitation-induced invasion resistance of C3 pastures by a C4 invader was partly supported. In grazed grasslands, these biotic and environmental factors vary across

  15. Habitat heterogeneity influences restoration efficacy: Implications of a habitat-specific management regime for an invaded marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Long; Gao, Yang; Wang, Cheng-Huan; Li, Bo; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Zhao, Bin

    2013-07-01

    Invasive species have to be managed to prevent adverse consequences. Spartina alterniflora has invaded many marshes where salinity and inundation are often key factors affecting vegetation. The former was surface clipped twice and native Phragmites australis was planted in invaded zones to examine the effects of habitat properties on the efficacy of invader control and native restoration. The results showed that two clipping treatments almost eliminated S. alterniflora in the zones with long inundation periods of 80 h/15 d but stimulated compensatory growth of S. alterniflora in the zones with short inundation periods. Transplanted P. australis performed better over time in zones with low salinity (<10.5 psu) but performed poorly in high-salinity zones, indicating that the efficacy of invader management and native restoration activities changes significantly along habitat gradients. With a progression from the dyke to the seaward side of the studied marsh, there was a long then short then long inundation period whereas salinity increased consistently. The study indicates that the high-frequency removal of the above-ground parts of S. alterniflora should be used only in the middle tidal zones and that native vegetation should be planted in zones above the mean high water level while the others zones in the saltmarsh should be restored to mud flats. Usually, invasive plants can flourish in highly heterogeneous habitats, which can influence management efficacy by influencing the re-growth of treated invaders and the performance of restored native species. Therefore, habitat-specific management regimes for invasive species can be expected to be more efficient because of their dependence on specific habitats.

  16. Quorum-quenching limits quorum-sensing exploitation by signal-negative invaders

    PubMed Central

    Tannières, Mélanie; Lang, Julien; Barnier, Claudie; Shykoff, Jacqui A.; Faure, Denis

    2017-01-01

    Some bacteria produce and perceive quorum-sensing (QS) signals that coordinate several behaviours, including the costly processes that are exoenzyme production and plasmid transfer. In the case of plasmid transfer, the emergence of QS signal-altered invaders and their policing are poorly documented. In Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the virulence Ti-plasmid encodes both synthesis and sensing of QS-signals, which promote its transfer from a donor to a recipient cell. Here, we reported that QS-altered A. tumefaciens mutants arose during experimental evolution. All showed improved growth compared to their ancestor. Genome sequencing revealed that, though some had lost the Ti-plasmid, most were defective for QS-signal synthesis and Ti-plasmid conjugation (traR mutations) and one exhibited a QS-signal exploitation behaviour, using signal produced by other cells to enhance its own Ti-plasmid transfer. We explored mechanisms that can limit this QS-hijacking. We showed that the A. tumefaciens capacity to inactivate QS-signals by expressing QS-degrading enzyme could attenuate dissemination of the QS signal-negative Ti-plasmids. This work shows that enzymatic QS-disruption whether encoded by the QS-producing Ti-plasmid itself, by a companion plasmid in the same donor cells, or by one in the recipient cells, in all cases can serve as a mechanism for controlling QS exploitation by QS signal-negative mutants. PMID:28054641