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Sample records for plasmodium falciparum equilibrative

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria

    PubMed Central

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

    1982-01-01

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

  3. Antigenic Variation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Petter, Michaela; Duffy, Michael F

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Detectability of Plasmodium falciparum clones

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Plasmodium falciparum: characterization of defined antigens by monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed Central

    Perrin, L H; Ramirez, E; Er-Hsiang, L; Lambert, P H

    1980-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies directed against Plasmodium falciparum detect stage-specific, species-specific and common antigenic determinants of Plasmodia. These antibodies provide new tools for purification and characterization of Plasmodium falciparum antigens in relation to future procedures for immunoprophylaxis. Images Fig. 2 PMID:6160002

  6. The paradoxical population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-01

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

  7. The paradoxical population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-01

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

  8. Severe Plasmodium falciparum infection mimicking acute myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Sulaiman, Helmi; Ismail, Muhammad Dzafir; Jalalonmuhali, Maisarah; Atiya, Nadia; Ponnampalavanar, Sasheela

    2014-08-30

    This case report describes a case of presumed acute myocardial infarction in a returned traveler who was later diagnosed to have severe malaria. Emergency coronary angiography was normal and subsequent peripheral blood film was positive for Plasmodium falciparum.

  9. Branched tricarboxylic acid metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  10. Induction of gene amplification in Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, P.L.

    1985-01-01

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

  11. Branched Tricarboxylic Acid Metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. A bedside dipstick method to detect Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Shah, Ira; Deshmukh, C T

    2004-11-01

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

  13. The Dynamics of Natural Plasmodium falciparum Infections

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Serum protein concentrations in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Graninger, W; Thalhammer, F; Hollenstein, U; Zotter, G M; Kremsner, P G

    1992-12-01

    In patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infection cytokine-mediated serum protein levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), coeruloplasmin (COE), beta 2-microglobulin (B2M), alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AAG), alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT), haptoglobin (HPT), prealbumin (PRE), retinol binding protein (RBP), albumin (ALB) and transferrin (TRF) were measured in an endemic area of the Amazonian rain forest. Semi-immune (SI) and nonimmune (NI) patients were investigated. In both patient groups the serum concentrations of CRP, COE and B2M were elevated on admission. In addition AAG and AAT concentrations were increased in NI patients compared to control subjects. Significantly lower serum concentrations of HPT, PRE, RBP, ALB and TRF were seen in both patient groups during the acute phase of the disease, and were more pronounced in NI patients. After a 28-day follow-up, AAT and B2M were normal in SI patients but HPT, AAT and B2M were still significantly altered in NI patients.

  15. Risk factors for UK Plasmodium falciparum cases

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background An increasing proportion of malaria cases diagnosed in UK residents with a history of travel to malaria endemic areas are due to Plasmodium falciparum. Methods In order to identify travellers at most risk of acquiring malaria a proportional hazards model was used to estimate the risk of acquiring malaria stratified by purpose of travel and age whilst adjusting for entomological inoculation rate (EIR) and duration of stay in endemic countries. Results Travellers visiting friends and relatives and business travellers were found to have significantly higher hazard of acquiring malaria (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) relative to that of holiday makers 7.4, 95% CI 6.4–8.5, p < 0. 0001 and HR 3.4, 95% CI 2.9-3.8, p < 0. 0001, respectively). All age-groups were at lower risk than children aged 0–15 years. Conclusions These estimates of the increased risk for business travellers and those visiting friends and relatives should be used to inform programmes to improve awareness of the risks of malaria when travelling. PMID:25091803

  16. Detection of SUMOylation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Reiter, Katherine H; Matunis, Michael J

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Plasmodium falciparum Secretome in Erythrocyte and Beyond

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    1994-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  20. Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Fairhurst, Rick M.; Dondorp, Arjen M.

    2016-01-01

    For more than five decades, Southeast Asia (SEA) has been fertile ground for the emergence of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. After generating parasites resistant to chloroquine, sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine, quinine, and mefloquine, this region has now spawned parasites resistant to artemisinins – the world's most potent antimalarial drugs. In areas where artemisinin resistance is prevalent, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) – the first-line treatments for malaria – are failing fast. This worrisome development threatens to make malaria practically untreatable in SEA, and threatens to compromise global endeavors to eliminate this disease. A recent series of clinical, in-vitro, genomics, and transcriptomics studies in SEA have defined in-vivo and in-vitro phenotypes of artemisinin resistance; identified its causal genetic determinant; explored its molecular mechanism; and assessed its clinical impact. Specifically, these studies have established that artemisinin resistance manifests as slow parasite clearance in patients and increased survival of early ring-stage parasites in vitro; is caused by single nucleotide polymorphisms in the parasite's ‘K13’ gene; is associated with an upregulated “unfolded protein response” pathway that may antagonize the pro-oxidant activity of artemisinins; and selects for partner drug resistance that rapidly leads to ACT failures. In SEA, clinical studies are urgently needed to monitor ACT efficacy where K13 mutations are prevalent; test whether new combinations of currently-available drugs cure ACT failures; and advance new antimalarial compounds through preclinical pipelines and into clinical trials. Intensifying these efforts should help to forestall the spread of artemisinin and partner drug resistance from SEA to Sub-Saharan Africa, where the world's malaria transmission, morbidity, and mortality rates are highest. PMID:27337450

  1. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Endemicity response timelines for Plasmodium falciparum elimination

    PubMed Central

    Smith, David L; Hay, Simon I

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Characterization of a 225 kilodalton rhoptry protein of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Roger, N; Dubremetz, J F; Delplace, P; Fortier, B; Tronchin, G; Vernes, A

    1988-01-15

    A monoclonal antibody (24C6 4F12) raised against Plasmodium falciparum culture supernatant antigens gave a multiple dot picture on schizonts when assayed by immunofluorescence on P. falciparum erythrocytic stages. The corresponding antigen was localized in the peduncle of rhoptries by immunoelectronmicroscopy. On Western blots of P. falciparum schizonts, a major antigen of 225 kDa and a minor one of 240 kDa were recognized by this McAb. Pulse chase analysis of [35S]methionine biosynthetic labeling of P. falciparum culture demonstrated that the 240 kDa molecule was the precursor of the 225 kDa and that its processing occurred between 0 and 4 h after synthesis. Biosynthesis of the 240-225 kDa antigen occurred only during schizogony. PMID:3278223

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

  8. Intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum biosynthesize vitamin E.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-15

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

  9. Simple Molecular Methods for Early Detection of Chloroquine Drug Resistance in Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Raksha; Urhehar, Anant Dattatraya

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Malaria is a human disease of which causes high morbidity and mortality. In Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the resistance to antimalarial drugs, especially chloroquine (CQ) is one of the paramount factors contributing to the global increase in morbidity and mortality, due to malaria. Hence, there is a need for detection of chloroquine drug resistance genes i.e., pfcrt-o (Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter-o) and pfmdr-1 (Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance-1) of P. falciparum and pvcrt-o (Plasmodium vivax chloroquine resistance transporter-o) and pvmdr-1 (Plasmodium vivax multidrug resistance-1) of P. vivax by using molecular methods to prevent mortality in malarial cases. Aim To standardize chloroquine drug sensitivity testing by molecular method so as to provide reports of chloroquine within 6-8 hours to physicians for better treatment. Materials and Methods This study was conducted over a period of one year from January to December 2014. A Total of 300 blood samples were collected from malaria suspected patient attending MGM Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, India. Out of 300 blood samples, 44 were malaria positive as assessed by Thick and Thin blood smear stained, by Leishman’s method and examination with light microscope. Chloroquine drug sensitivity testing was performed using WHO III plate method (micro test). Nested PCR was done for detection of pfcrt-o and pfmdr-1 for P. falciparum and pvcrt-o, pvmdr-1 genes for P. vivax. Results Total 44 samples were included in this study, out of which 22 samples confirmed for Plasmodium falciparum and 22 samples confirmed for Plasmodium vivax. Out of 22 P. falciparum 15 (68.18%) samples were chloroquine resistant. P. vivax showed chloroquine resistance to 5 samples (22.73%) by method similar to WHO III plate method (micro test) and nested PCR. Conclusion Drug resistance testing by molecular methods is useful for early detection of antimalarial drug resistance. pfmdr-1 along with

  10. Simple Molecular Methods for Early Detection of Chloroquine Drug Resistance in Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Raksha; Urhehar, Anant Dattatraya

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Malaria is a human disease of which causes high morbidity and mortality. In Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the resistance to antimalarial drugs, especially chloroquine (CQ) is one of the paramount factors contributing to the global increase in morbidity and mortality, due to malaria. Hence, there is a need for detection of chloroquine drug resistance genes i.e., pfcrt-o (Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter-o) and pfmdr-1 (Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance-1) of P. falciparum and pvcrt-o (Plasmodium vivax chloroquine resistance transporter-o) and pvmdr-1 (Plasmodium vivax multidrug resistance-1) of P. vivax by using molecular methods to prevent mortality in malarial cases. Aim To standardize chloroquine drug sensitivity testing by molecular method so as to provide reports of chloroquine within 6-8 hours to physicians for better treatment. Materials and Methods This study was conducted over a period of one year from January to December 2014. A Total of 300 blood samples were collected from malaria suspected patient attending MGM Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, India. Out of 300 blood samples, 44 were malaria positive as assessed by Thick and Thin blood smear stained, by Leishman’s method and examination with light microscope. Chloroquine drug sensitivity testing was performed using WHO III plate method (micro test). Nested PCR was done for detection of pfcrt-o and pfmdr-1 for P. falciparum and pvcrt-o, pvmdr-1 genes for P. vivax. Results Total 44 samples were included in this study, out of which 22 samples confirmed for Plasmodium falciparum and 22 samples confirmed for Plasmodium vivax. Out of 22 P. falciparum 15 (68.18%) samples were chloroquine resistant. P. vivax showed chloroquine resistance to 5 samples (22.73%) by method similar to WHO III plate method (micro test) and nested PCR. Conclusion Drug resistance testing by molecular methods is useful for early detection of antimalarial drug resistance. pfmdr-1 along with

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Milton, Morgan E; Nelson, Scott W

    2016-08-01

    Members of the phylum Apicomplexa are responsible for many devastating diseases including malaria (Plasmodium spp.), toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii), babesiosis (Babesia bovis), and cyclosporiasis (Cyclospora cayetanensis). Most Apicomplexans contain a unique and essential organelle called the apicoplast. Derived from an ancient chloroplast, the apicoplast replicates and maintains a 35 kilobase (kb) circular genome. Due to its essential nature within the parasite, drugs targeted to proteins involved in DNA replication and repair of the apicoplast should be potent and specific. This review summarizes the current knowledge surrounding the replication and repair of the Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast genome and identifies several putative proteins involved in replication and repair pathways. PMID:27338018

  13. 3-Halo Chloroquine Derivatives Overcome Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Resistance Transporter-Mediated Drug Resistance in P. falciparum.

    PubMed

    Edaye, Sonia; Tazoo, Dagobert; Bohle, D Scott; Georges, Elias

    2015-12-01

    Polymorphism in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) was shown to cause chloroquine resistance. In this report, we examined the antimalarial potential of novel 3-halo chloroquine derivatives (3-chloro, 3-bromo, and 3-iodo) against chloroquine-susceptible and -resistant P. falciparum. All three derivatives inhibited the proliferation of P. falciparum; with 3-iodo chloroquine being most effective. Moreover, 3-iodo chloroquine was highly effective at potentiating and reversing chloroquine toxicity of drug-susceptible and -resistant P. falciparum.

  14. [Plasmodium falciparum malaria: epidemiology and clinical features at Tarapoto Hospital].

    PubMed

    Calderon, J; Rodriguez, J; Romero, D

    1997-01-01

    A retrospective study was conducted of the clinical records of 41 patients discharged from a hospital in Tarapoto, Peru, between August 1992 and June 1996 following treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Patients ranged in age from 18 to 65 years; 25 were male. The cases were uniformly distributed throughout the year. The duration of illness averaged 11 days. At admission, 40 patients had fever, 36 had shaking chills, 29 had headache, 21 had nausea and vomiting, 21 had hyporexia, 15 had pallor, and 13 had splenomegaly. 3 of the 16 women were pregnant. 7 patients reported a history of malaria. The admission diagnosis was malaria in 33 cases. 31 patients were treated with chloroquine; 18 were subsequently treated with pyrimethamine-sulfadoxin and 1 received doxycycline. No cases of grave illness or death occurred. The increasing presence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Peruvian lowlands should promote review of the adequacy of control programs.

  15. Structure of Plasmodium falciparum ADP-ribosylation factor 1

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-09-26

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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Marcus Cs; Fidock, David A

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Plasmodium falciparum genetic crosses in a humanized mouse model

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Multiple independent introductions of Plasmodium falciparum in South America

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-long; Pan, Wei-qing

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-long; Pan, Wei-qing

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

    Potassium channels are essential for cell survival and regulate the cell membrane potential and electrochemical gradient. During its lifecycle, Plasmodium falciparum parasites must rapidly adapt to dramatically variant ionic conditions within the mosquito mid-gut, the hepatocyte and red blood cell (RBC) cytosols, and the human circulatory system. To probe the participation of K(+) channels in parasite viability, growth response assays were performed in which asexual stage P. falciparum parasites were cultured in the presence of various Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel blocking compounds. These data describe the novel anti-malarial effects of bicuculline methiodide and tubocurarine chloride and the novel lack of effect of apamine and verruculogen. Taken together, the data herein imply the presence of K(+) channels, or other parasite-specific targets, in P. falciparum-infected RBCs that are sensitive to blockade with Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel blocking compounds. PMID:18703053

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

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Steve M.; Cerami, Carla; Fairhurst, Rick M.

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria kills over 500,000 children every year and has been a scourge of humans for millennia. Owing to the co-evolution of humans and P. falciparum parasites, the human genome is imprinted with polymorphisms that not only confer innate resistance to falciparum malaria, but also cause hemoglobinopathies. These genetic traits—including hemoglobin S (HbS), hemoglobin C (HbC), and α-thalassemia—are the most common monogenic human disorders and can confer remarkable degrees of protection from severe, life-threatening falciparum malaria in African children: the risk is reduced 70% by homozygous HbC and 90% by heterozygous HbS (sickle-cell trait). Importantly, this protection is principally present for severe disease and largely absent for P. falciparum infection, suggesting that these hemoglobinopathies specifically neutralize the parasite's in vivo mechanisms of pathogenesis. These hemoglobin variants thus represent a “natural experiment” to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which P. falciparum produces clinical morbidity, which remain partially obscured due to the complexity of interactions between this parasite and its human host. Multiple lines of evidence support a restriction of parasite growth by various hemoglobinopathies, and recent data suggest this phenomenon may result from host microRNA interference with parasite metabolism. Multiple hemoglobinopathies mitigate the pathogenic potential of parasites by interfering with the export of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) to the surface of the host red blood cell. Few studies have investigated their effects upon the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, although recent murine studies suggest a role for heme oxygenase-1 in protection. Ultimately, the identification of mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis can inform future therapeutics and preventive measures. Hemoglobinopathies slice the “Gordian knot” of host and parasite

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Maternal-foetal transfer of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax antibodies in a low transmission setting

    PubMed Central

    Charnaud, Sarah C.; McGready, Rose; Herten-Crabb, Asha; Powell, Rosanna; Guy, Andrew; Langer, Christine; Richards, Jack S.; Gilson, Paul R.; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Narum, David L.; Pimanpanarak, Mupawjay; Simpson, Julie A.; Beeson, James G.; Nosten, François; Fowkes, Freya J. I.

    2016-01-01

    During pregnancy immunolglobulin G (IgG) antibodies are transferred from mother to neonate across the placenta. Studies in high transmission areas have shown transfer of P. falciparum-specific IgG, but the extent and factors influencing maternal-foetal transfer in low transmission areas co-endemic for both P. falciparum and P. vivax are unknown. Pregnant women were screened weekly for Plasmodium infection. Mother-neonate paired serum samples at delivery were tested for IgG to antigens from P. falciparum, P. vivax and other infectious diseases. Antibodies to malarial and non-malarial antigens were highly correlated between maternal and neonatal samples (median [range] spearman ρ = 0.78 [0.57–0.93]), although Plasmodium spp. antibodies tended to be lower in neonates than mothers. Estimated gestational age at last P. falciparum infection, but not P. vivax infection, was positively associated with antibody levels in the neonate (P. falciparum merozoite, spearman ρ median [range] 0.42 [0.33–0.66], PfVAR2CSA 0.69; P. vivax ρ = 0.19 [0.09–0.3]). Maternal-foetal transfer of anti-malarial IgG to Plasmodium spp. antigens occurs in low transmission settings. P. vivax IgG acquisition is not associated with recent exposure unlike P. falciparum IgG, suggesting a difference in acquisition of antibodies. IgG transfer is greatest in the final weeks of pregnancy which has implications for the timing of future malaria vaccination strategies in pregnant women. PMID:26861682

  7. Pfcrt Gene in Plasmodium falciparum Field Isolates from Muzaffargarh, Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Sahar, Sumrin; Tanveer, Akhtar; Ali, Akbar; Bilal, Hazrat; Muhammad Saleem, Rana

    2015-01-01

    Background: The aim of the study was to identify the prevalence of different species of Plasmodium and haplotypes of pfcrt in Plasmodium falciparum from the selected area. Methods: Overall, 10,372 blood films of suspected malarial patients were examined microscopically from rural health center Sinawan, district Muzaffargarh, Pakistan from November 2008 to November 2010. P. falciparum positive samples (both whole blood and FTA blood spotted cards) were used for DNA extraction. Nested PCR was used to amplify the pfcrt (codon 72–76) gene fragment. Sequencing was carried out to find the haplotypes in the amplified fragment of pfcrt gene. Result: Over all slide positivity rate (SPR), P. vivax and P. falciparum positivity rate was 21.40 %, 19.37 % and 2.03% respectively. FTA blood spotted cards were equally efficient in the blood storage for PCR and sequencing. Analysis of sequencing results of pfcrt showed only one type of haplotype SagtVMNT (AGTGTAATGAATACA) from codon 72–76 in all samples. Conclusion: The results show high prevalence of CQ resistance and AQ resistant genes. AQ is not recommended to be used as a partner drug in ACT in this locality, so as to ward off future catastrophes. PMID:26623432

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Endemicity in Indonesia in 2010

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Miao, Jun; Li, Xiaolian; Cui, Liwang

    2010-10-01

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

  11. Polysome profiling of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  12. The mechanism of resistance to sulfa drugs in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Triglia, Tony; Cowman, Alan F.

    1999-02-01

    The sulfonamide and sulfone (sulfa) group of antimalarials has been used extensively throughout malaria endemic regions of the world to control this important infectious disease of humans. Sulfadoxine is the most extensively used drug of this group of drugs and is usually combined with pyrimethamine (Fansidar), particularly for the control of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most lethal form of malaria. Resistance to the sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine combination is widespread. Analysis using molecular, genetic and biochemical approaches has shown that the mechanism of resistance to sulfadoxine involves mutation of dihydropteroate synthase, the enzyme target of this group of drugs. Understanding the mechanism of resistance of P. falciparum to sulfa drugs has allowed detailed analysis of the epidemiology of the spread of drug resistance alleles in the field(1)and, in the future, opens the way to the development of novel antimalarials to this target enzyme. Copyright 1999 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Upston, J M; Gero, A M

    1995-06-14

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

  19. [Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum: global status and basic research].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shao-min; Wang, Man-yuan

    2014-10-01

    Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum has been identified by WHO in the Greater Mekong subregion. While there is no report on artemisinin resistance in Africa and South America by now, related surveillance measures have been taken place. The genes related artemisinin-resistance has been identified and the molecular markers will be used for large-scale surveillance efforts to contain artemisinin resistance. The emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance worldwide is a present danger and needs more attention. This article reviews the progress of artemisininresistance malaria parasites and artemisinin-based combination therapies. PMID:25726605

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

  1. Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum and its apicoplast.

    PubMed

    Kalanon, Ming; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2010-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1984-08-01

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

  3. Monkey-derived monoclonal antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-09-01

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

  4. An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Torres Strait.

    PubMed

    Preston-Thomas, Annie; Gair, Richard W; Hosking, Kelly A; Devine, Gregor J; Donohue, Steven D

    2012-06-01

    This report describes the largest outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Torres Strait for more than 25 years. It details factors that may have contributed to the outbreak, the public health response and implications for the broader region. Eight cases of locally-acquired falciparum malaria occurred on Saibai and Dauan islands during March and April 2011. Including imports, there were 17 P. falciparum notifications between February and May 2011. Three cases of pure P. vivax malaria that might have been locally acquired have been omitted from this report. Malaria is endemic on the nearby coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG), and regularly imported to the Torres Strait where a competent vector exists in sufficient numbers to transmit the disease to the local population. The most common malaria vectors in northern Australia and Torres Strait are the Anopheles farauti complex. Factors contributing to the outbreak may include an increase in travel between the outer islands and PNG, inadequate local vector control and late or missed diagnoses of malaria. Outbreak management involved intensive case finding and treatment, vector control and health promotion. Reducing the risk of future outbreaks requires studies of vector behaviour, ecology and management, health promotion, improvements to protective infrastructure, and clinical guideline revision. Further malaria outbreaks are likely in the Torres Strait and elsewhere in northern Australia. It is important to maintain awareness and be prepared to respond rapidly. PMID:23186217

  5. In vitro activity of pyronaridine against multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

    PubMed

    Price, R N; Marfurt, J; Chalfein, F; Kenangalem, E; Piera, K A; Tjitra, E; Anstey, N M; Russell, B

    2010-12-01

    Pyronaridine, a Mannich base antimalarial, has demonstrated high in vivo and in vitro efficacy against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. Although this drug has the potential to become a prominent artemisinin combination therapy, little is known about its efficacy against drug-resistant Plasmodium vivax. The in vitro antimalarial susceptibility of pyronaridine was assessed in multidrug-resistant P. vivax (n = 99) and P. falciparum (n = 90) isolates from Papua, Indonesia, using a schizont maturation assay. The median 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of pyronaridine was 1.92 nM (range, 0.24 to 13.8 nM) against P. falciparum and 2.58 nM (range, 0.13 to 43.6 nM) against P. vivax, with in vitro susceptibility correlating significantly with chloroquine, amodiaquine, and piperaquine (r(s) [Spearman's rank correlation coefficient] = 0.45 to 0.62; P < 0.001). P. falciparum parasites initially at trophozoite stage had higher IC(50)s of pyronaridine than those exposed at the ring stage (8.9 nM [range, 0.6 to 8.9 nM] versus 1.6 nM [range, 0.6 to 8.9 nM], respectively; P = 0.015), although this did not reach significance for P. vivax (4.7 nM [range, 1.4 to 18.7 nM] versus 2.5 nM [range, 1.4 to 15.6 nM], respectively; P = 0.085). The excellent in vitro efficacy of pyronaridine against both chloroquine-resistant P. vivax and P. falciparum highlights the suitability of the drug as a novel partner for artemisinin-based combination therapy in regions where the two species are coendemic.

  6. Malaria morbidity in Papua Indonesia, an area with multidrug resistant Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Karyana, Muhammad; Burdarm, Lenny; Yeung, Shunmay; Kenangalem, Enny; Wariker, Noah; Maristela, Rilia; Umana, Ketut Gde; Vemuri, Ram; Okoseray, Maurits J; Penttinen, Pasi M; Ebsworth, Peter; Sugiarto, Paulus; Anstey, Nicholas M; Tjitra, Emiliana; Price, Richard N

    2008-01-01

    Background Multidrug resistance has emerged to both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum and yet the comparative epidemiology of these infections is poorly defined. Methods All laboratory-confirmed episodes of malaria in Timika, Papua, Indonesia, presenting to community primary care clinics and an inpatient facility were reviewed over a two-year period. In addition information was gathered from a house-to-house survey to quantify the prevalence of malaria and treatment-seeking behaviour of people with fever. Results Between January 2004 and December 2005, 99,158 laboratory-confirmed episodes of malaria were reported, of which 58% (57,938) were attributable to P. falciparum and 37% (36,471) to P. vivax. Malaria was most likely to be attributable to pure P. vivax in children under one year of age (55% 2,684/4,889). In the household survey, the prevalence of asexual parasitaemia was 7.5% (290/3,890) for P. falciparum and 6.4% (248/3,890) for P. vivax. The prevalence of P. falciparum infection peaked in young adults aged 15–25 years (9.8% 69/707), compared to P. vivax infection which peaked in children aged 1 to 4 years (9.5% 61/642). Overall 35% (1,813/5,255) of people questioned reported a febrile episode in the preceding month. Of the 60% of people who were estimated to have had malaria, only 39% would have been detected by the surveillance network. The overall incidence of malaria was therefore estimated as 876 per 1,000 per year (Range: 711–906). Conclusion In this region of multidrug-resistant P. vivax and P. falciparum, both species are associated with substantial morbidity, but with significant differences in the age-related risk of infection. PMID:18673572

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pathak, Vrushali; Colah, Roshan; Ghosh, Kanjaksha

    2016-06-01

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

  9. The Fragmented Mitochondrial Ribosomal RNAs of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Feagin, Jean E.; Harrell, Maria Isabel; Lee, Jung C.; Coe, Kevin J.; Sands, Bryan H.; Cannone, Jamie J.; Tami, Germaine; Schnare, Murray N.; Gutell, Robin R.

    2012-01-01

    Background The mitochondrial genome in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is most unusual. Over half the genome is composed of the genes for three classic mitochondrial proteins: cytochrome oxidase subunits I and III and apocytochrome b. The remainder encodes numerous small RNAs, ranging in size from 23 to 190 nt. Previous analysis revealed that some of these transcripts have significant sequence identity with highly conserved regions of large and small subunit rRNAs, and can form the expected secondary structures. However, these rRNA fragments are not encoded in linear order; instead, they are intermixed with one another and the protein coding genes, and are coded on both strands of the genome. This unorthodox arrangement hindered the identification of transcripts corresponding to other regions of rRNA that are highly conserved and/or are known to participate directly in protein synthesis. Principal Findings The identification of 14 additional small mitochondrial transcripts from P. falcipaurm and the assignment of 27 small RNAs (12 SSU RNAs totaling 804 nt, 15 LSU RNAs totaling 1233 nt) to specific regions of rRNA are supported by multiple lines of evidence. The regions now represented are highly similar to those of the small but contiguous mitochondrial rRNAs of Caenorhabditis elegans. The P. falciparum rRNA fragments cluster on the interfaces of the two ribosomal subunits in the three-dimensional structure of the ribosome. Significance All of the rRNA fragments are now presumed to have been identified with experimental methods, and nearly all of these have been mapped onto the SSU and LSU rRNAs. Conversely, all regions of the rRNAs that are known to be directly associated with protein synthesis have been identified in the P. falciparum mitochondrial genome and RNA transcripts. The fragmentation of the rRNA in the P. falciparum mitochondrion is the most extreme example of any rRNA fragmentation discovered. PMID:22761677

  10. Protein farnesyltransferase and protein prenylation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2002-11-01

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

  11. Use of molecular beacon probes for real-time PCR detection of Plasmodium falciparum and other plasmodium species in peripheral blood specimens.

    PubMed

    Elsayed, Sameer; Plewes, Katherine; Church, Deirdre; Chow, Barbara; Zhang, Kunyan

    2006-02-01

    We describe the development and evaluation of a novel pair of real-time, fluorescence-based PCR assays using molecular beacon probes for rapid, sensitive, and specific detection and quantification of Plasmodium falciparum and other Plasmodium species organisms.

  12. MOLECULAR SURVEILLANCE OF Plasmodium vivax AND Plasmodium falciparum DHFR MUTATIONS IN ISOLATES FROM SOUTHERN IRAN.

    PubMed

    Sharifi-Sarasiabi, Khojasteh; Haghighi, Ali; Kazemi, Bahram; Taghipour, Niloofar; Mojarad, Ehsan Nazemalhosseini; Gachkar, Latif

    2016-01-01

    In Iran, both Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum malaria have been detected, but P. vivax is the predominant species. Point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene in both Plasmodia are the major mechanisms of pyrimethamine resistance. From April 2007 to June 2009, a total of 134 blood samples in two endemic areas of southern Iran were collected from patients infected with P. vivax and P. falciparum. The isolates were analyzed for P. vivax dihydrofolate reductase (pvdhfr) and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) point mutations using various PCR-based methods. The majority of the isolates (72.9%) had wild type amino acids at five codons of pvdhfr. Amongst mutant isolates, the most common pvdhfr alleles were double mutant in 58 and 117 amino acids (58R-117N). Triple mutation in 57, 58, and 117 amino acids (57L/58R/117N) was identified for the first time in the pvdhfr gene of Iranian P. vivax isolates. All the P. falciparumsamples analyzed (n = 16) possessed a double mutant pfdhfrallele (59R/108N) and retained a wild-type mutation at position 51. This may be attributed to the fact that the falciparum malaria patients were treated using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Iran. The presence of mutant haplotypes in P. vivax is worrying, but has not yet reached an alarming threshold regarding drugs such as SP. The results of this study reinforce the importance of performing a molecular surveillance by means of a continuous chemoresistance assessment.

  13. Plasmodium falciparum full life cycle and Plasmodium ovale liver stages in humanized mice

    PubMed Central

    Soulard, Valérie; Bosson-Vanga, Henriette; Lorthiois, Audrey; Roucher, Clémentine; Franetich, Jean- François; Zanghi, Gigliola; Bordessoulles, Mallaury; Tefit, Maurel; Thellier, Marc; Morosan, Serban; Le Naour, Gilles; Capron, Frédérique; Suemizu, Hiroshi; Snounou, Georges; Moreno-Sabater, Alicia; Mazier, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Experimental studies of Plasmodium parasites that infect humans are restricted by their host specificity. Humanized mice offer a means to overcome this and further provide the opportunity to observe the parasites in vivo. Here we improve on previous protocols to achieve efficient double engraftment of TK-NOG mice by human primary hepatocytes and red blood cells. Thus, we obtain the complete hepatic development of P. falciparum, the transition to the erythrocytic stages, their subsequent multiplication, and the appearance of mature gametocytes over an extended period of observation. Furthermore, using sporozoites derived from two P. ovale-infected patients, we show that human hepatocytes engrafted in TK-NOG mice sustain maturation of the liver stages, and the presence of late-developing schizonts indicate the eventual activation of quiescent parasites. Thus, TK-NOG mice are highly suited for in vivo observations on the Plasmodium species of humans. PMID:26205537

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Killing of Plasmodium falciparum by eosinophil secretory products.

    PubMed Central

    Waters, L S; Taverne, J; Tai, P C; Spry, C J; Targett, G A; Playfair, J H

    1987-01-01

    The multiplication of two strains of Plasmodium falciparum in culture, as measured by [3H]hypoxanthine incorporation, was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by granule proteins secreted by purified eosinophils obtained from patients with the hypereosinophilic syndrome. Morphological examination revealed the presence of abnormal parasites inside erythrocytes, indicating that they were killed in situ, and the later stages of the developmental cycle were found to be most susceptible to these toxic effects. A monoclonal antibody against eosinophil cationic protein partially blocked the inhibitory effect, suggesting that it was caused by more than one of the eosinophil granule proteins. Thus some of the antimalarial effects of molecules such as the tumor necrosis factor, which activates eosinophils, may be mediated through the enhanced production of eosinophil secretion products. PMID:3549562

  16. Plasmodium falciparum Rab1A Localizes to Rhoptries in Schizonts

    PubMed Central

    Morse, David; Webster, Wesley; Kalanon, Ming; Langsley, Gordon; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2016-01-01

    Over-expression of a GFP-PfRab1A fusion protein in Plasmodium falciparum schizonts produces a punctate pattern of fluorescence typical of rhoptries, secretory organelles involved in host cell invasion. The GFP-positive bodies were purified by a combination of differential and density gradient centrifugation and their protein content determined by MS/MS sequencing. Consistent with the GFP rhoptry-like pattern of transgenic parasites, four of the 19 proteins identified have been previously described to be rhoptry-associated and another four are ER or ER-associated proteins. Confirmation that GFP-PfRab1A decorates rhoptries was obtained by its co-localization with Rap1 and Ron4 in late phase schizonts. We conclude that PfRab1A potentially regulates vesicular traffic from the endoplasmic reticulum to the rhoptries in Apicomplexa parasites. PMID:27348424

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1989-06-01

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

  19. Characterization of a PRL protein tyrosine phosphatase from Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Pendyala, Prakash Rao; Ayong, Lawrence; Eatrides, Jennifer; Schreiber, Melissa; Pham, Connie; Chakrabarti, Ratna; Fidock, David A; Allen, Charles M; Chakrabarti, Debopam

    2008-03-01

    Isoprenylated proteins have important functions in cell growth and differentiation of eukaryotic cells. Inhibitors of protein prenylation in malaria have recently shown strong promise as effective antimalarials. In studying protein prenylation in the malaria protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, we have shown earlier that the incubation of P. falciparum cells with (3)H-prenol precursors resulted in various size classes of labeled proteins. To understand the physiological function of prenylated proteins of malaria parasites, that are targets of prenyltransferase inhibitors, we searched the PlasmoDB database for proteins containing the C-terminus prenylation motif. We have identified, among other potentially prenylated proteins, an orthologue of a PRL (protein of regenerating liver) subgroup protein tyrosine phosphatases, termed PfPRL. Here, we show that PfPRL is expressed in the parasite's intraerythrocytic stages, where it partially associates with endoplasmic reticulum and within a subcompartment of the food vacuole. Additionally, PfPRL targeting parallels that of apical membrane antigen-1 in developing merozoites. Recombinant PfPRL shows phosphatase activity that is preferentially inhibited by a tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor suggesting that PfPRL functions as a tyrosine phosphatase. Recombinant PfPRL can also be farnesylated in vitro. Inhibition of malarial farnesyltransferase activity can be achieved with the heptapetide RKCHFM, which corresponds to the C-terminus of PfPRL. This study provides the first evidence for expression of enzymatically active PRL-related protein tyrosine phosphatases in malarial parasites, and demonstrates the potential of peptides derived from Plasmodium prenylated proteins as malarial farnesyltransferase inhibitors.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Characterization of the 26S proteasome network in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lihui; Delahunty, Claire; Fritz-Wolf, Karin; Rahlfs, Stefan; Helena Prieto, Judith; Yates, John R.; Becker, Katja

    2015-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, the ubiquitin-proteasome system as a key regulator of protein quality control is an excellent drug target. We therefore aimed to analyze the 26S proteasome complex in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which still threatens almost half of the world’s population. First, we established an affinity purification protocol allowing for the isolation of functional 26S proteasome complexes from the parasite. Subunit composition of the proteasome and component stoichiometry were studied and physiologic interacting partners were identified via in situ protein crosslinking. Furthermore, intrinsic ubiquitin receptors of the plasmodial proteasome were determined and their roles in proteasomal substrate recognition were analyzed. Notably, PfUSP14 was characterized as a proteasome-associated deubiquitinase resulting in the concept that targeting proteasomal deubiquitinating activity in P. falciparum may represent a promising antimalarial strategy. The data provide insights into a profound network orchestrated by the plasmodial proteasome and identified novel drug target candidates in the ubiquitin-proteasome system. PMID:26639022

  2. Glycerol inhibits water permeation through Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin.

    PubMed

    Chen, Liao Y

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin (PfAQP) is a multifunctional membrane protein in the plasma membrane of P. falciparum, the parasite that causes the most severe form of malaria. The current literature has established the science of PfAQP's structure, functions, and hydrogen-bonding interactions but left unanswered the following fundamental question: does glycerol modulate water permeation through aquaglyceroporin that conducts both glycerol and water? This paper provides an affirmative answer to this question of essential importance to the protein's functions. On the basis of the chemical-potential profile of glycerol from the extracellular bulk region, throughout PfAQP's conducting channel, to the cytoplasmic bulk region, this study shows the existence of a bound state of glycerol inside aquaglyceroporin's permeation pore, from which the dissociation constant is approximately 14μM. A glycerol molecule occupying the bound state occludes the conducting pore through which permeating molecules line up in single file by hydrogen-bonding with one another and with the luminal residues of aquaglyceroporin. In this way, glycerol inhibits permeation of water and other permeants through aquaglyceroporin. The biological implications of this theory are discussed and shown to agree with the existent in vitro data. It turns out that the structure of aquaglyceroporin is perfect for the van der Waals interactions between the protein and glycerol to cause the existence of the bound state deep inside the conducting pore and, thus to play an unexpected but significant role in aquaglyceroporin's functions.

  3. In vitro sensitivity of Plasmodium falciparum to artesunate in Thailand.

    PubMed Central

    Wongsrichanalai, C.; Wimonwattrawatee, T.; Sookto, P.; Laoboonchai, A.; Heppner, D. G.; Kyle, D. E.; Wernsdorfer, W. H.

    1999-01-01

    Reported are the in vitro susceptibilities of Plasmodium falciparum to artesunate, mefloquine, quinine and chloroquine of 86 isolates and to dihydroartemisinin of 45 isolates collected from areas of high resistance to mefloquine within Thailand near the borders with Myanmar and Cambodia, and from southern Thailand where P. falciparum is generally still sensitive to mefloquine. All the isolates were highly sensitive to artesunate, but the geometric mean IC50S were higher in isolates from the Thai-Myanmar and Thai-Cambodian borders than in those from southern Thailand. The IC50S for mefloquine and artesunate were strongly correlated (Pearson r = 0.605; n = 86; P < 0.00001). As expected, the in vitro sensitivities to dihydroartemisinin and artesunate were similar and strongly correlated (at IC50, Pearson r = 0.695; n = 45; P < 0.00002). The correlation between the activity of mefloquine and artesunate requires further investigation in order to determine the potential for development of cross-resistance in nature. Our results suggest that combination with mefloquine is not the ideal way of protecting the usefulness of artemisinin and its derivatives. A search for more suitable partner drugs to these compounds and careful regulation of their use are necessary in the interest of ensuring their long therapeutic life span. PMID:10361756

  4. The Molecular Basis of Folate Salvage in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Salcedo-Sora, J. Enrique; Ochong, Edwin; Beveridge, Susan; Johnson, David; Nzila, Alexis; Biagini, Giancarlo A.; Stocks, Paul A.; O'Neill, Paul M.; Krishna, Sanjeev; Bray, Patrick G.; Ward, Stephen A.

    2011-01-01

    Tetrahydrofolates are essential cofactors for DNA synthesis and methionine metabolism. Malaria parasites are capable both of synthesizing tetrahydrofolates and precursors de novo and of salvaging them from the environment. The biosynthetic route has been studied in some detail over decades, whereas the molecular mechanisms that underpin the salvage pathway lag behind. Here we identify two functional folate transporters (named PfFT1 and PfFT2) and delineate unexpected substrate preferences of the folate salvage pathway in Plasmodium falciparum. Both proteins are localized in the plasma membrane and internal membranes of the parasite intra-erythrocytic stages. Transport substrates include folic acid, folinic acid, the folate precursor p-amino benzoic acid (pABA), and the human folate catabolite pABAGn. Intriguingly, the major circulating plasma folate, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, was a poor substrate for transport via PfFT2 and was not transported by PfFT1. Transport of all folates studied was inhibited by probenecid and methotrexate. Growth rescue in Escherichia coli and antifolate antagonism experiments in P. falciparum indicate that functional salvage of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate is detectable but trivial. In fact pABA was the only effective salvage substrate at normal physiological levels. Because pABA is neither synthesized nor required by the human host, pABA metabolism may offer opportunities for chemotherapeutic intervention. PMID:21998306

  5. Identification of a Plasmodium falciparum Phospholipid Transfer Protein*

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Molecular Aspects of Plasmodium falciparum Infection during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Ndam, Nicaise Tuikue; Deloron, Philippe

    2007-01-01

    Cytoadherence of Plasmodium-falciparum-parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs) to host receptors is the key phenomenon in the pathological process of the malaria disease. Some of these interactions can originate poor outcomes responsible for 1 to 3 million annual deaths mostly occurring among children in sub-Saharan Africa. Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) represents an important exception of the disease occurring at adulthood in malaria endemic settings. Consequences of this are shared between the mother (maternal anemia) and the baby (low birth weight and infant mortality). Demonstrating that parasites causing PAM express specific variant surface antigens (VSAPAM), including the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (P f EMP1) variant VAR2CSA, that are targets for protective immunity has strengthened the possibility for the development of PAM-specific vaccine. In this paper, we review the molecular basis of malaria pathogenesis attributable to the erythrocyte stages of the parasites, and findings supporting potential anti-PAM vaccine components evidenced in PAM. PMID:17641725

  8. Identification of Novel Plasmodium falciparum Hexokinase Inhibitors with Antiparasitic Activity.

    PubMed

    Davis, Mindy I; Patrick, Stephen L; Blanding, Walker M; Dwivedi, Varun; Suryadi, Jimmy; Golden, Jennifer E; Coussens, Nathan P; Lee, Olivia W; Shen, Min; Boxer, Matthew B; Hall, Matthew D; Sharlow, Elizabeth R; Drew, Mark E; Morris, James C

    2016-10-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest species of malaria parasites, is dependent on glycolysis for the generation of ATP during the pathogenic red blood cell stage. Hexokinase (HK) catalyzes the first step in glycolysis, transferring the γ-phosphoryl group of ATP to glucose to yield glucose-6-phosphate. Here, we describe the validation of a high-throughput assay for screening small-molecule collections to identify inhibitors of the P. falciparum HK (PfHK). The assay, which employed an ADP-Glo reporter system in a 1,536-well-plate format, was robust with a signal-to-background ratio of 3.4 ± 1.2, a coefficient of variation of 6.8% ± 2.9%, and a Z'-factor of 0.75 ± 0.08. Using this assay, we screened 57,654 molecules from multiple small-molecule collections. Confirmed hits were resolved into four clusters on the basis of structural relatedness. Multiple singleton hits were also identified. The most potent inhibitors had 50% inhibitory concentrations as low as ∼1 μM, and several were found to have low-micromolar 50% effective concentrations against asexual intraerythrocytic-stage P. falciparum parasites. These molecules additionally demonstrated limited toxicity against a panel of mammalian cells. The identification of PfHK inhibitors with antiparasitic activity using this validated screening assay is encouraging, as it justifies additional HTS campaigns with more structurally amenable libraries for the identification of potential leads for future therapeutic development. PMID:27458230

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Transition State Analogues of Plasmodium falciparum and Human Orotate Phosphoribosyltransferases*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yong; Evans, Gary B.; Clinch, Keith; Crump, Douglas R.; Harris, Lawrence D.; Fröhlich, Richard F. G.; Tyler, Peter C.; Hazleton, Keith Z.; Cassera, María B.; Schramm, Vern L.

    2013-01-01

    The survival and proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites and human cancer cells require de novo pyrimidine synthesis to supply RNA and DNA precursors. Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT) is an indispensible component in this metabolic pathway and is a target for antimalarials and antitumor drugs. P. falciparum (Pf) and Homo sapiens (Hs) OPRTs are characterized by highly dissociative transition states with ribocation character. On the basis of the geometrical and electrostatic features of the PfOPRT and HsOPRT transition states, analogues were designed, synthesized, and tested as inhibitors. Iminoribitol mimics of the ribocation transition state in linkage to pyrimidine mimics using methylene or ethylene linkers gave dissociation constants (Kd) as low as 80 nm. Inhibitors with pyrrolidine groups as ribocation mimics displayed slightly weaker binding affinities for OPRTs. Interestingly, p-nitrophenyl riboside 5′-phosphate bound to OPRTs with Kd values near 40 nm. Analogues designed with a C5-pyrimidine carbon–carbon bond to ribocation mimics gave Kd values in the range of 80–500 nm. Acyclic inhibitors with achiral serinol groups as the ribocation mimics also displayed nanomolar inhibition against OPRTs. In comparison with the nucleoside derivatives, inhibition constants of their corresponding 5′-phosphorylated transition state analogues are largely unchanged, an unusual property for a nucleotide-binding site. In silico docking of the best inhibitor into the HsOPRT active site supported an extensive hydrogen bond network associated with the tight binding affinity. These OPRT transition state analogues identify crucial components of potent inhibitors targeting OPRT enzymes. Despite their tight binding to the targets, the inhibitors did not kill cultured P. falciparum. PMID:24158442

  11. Malaria vaccines: identifying Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage targets.

    PubMed

    Longley, Rhea J; Hill, Adrian V S; Spencer, Alexandra J

    2015-01-01

    The development of a highly efficacious and durable vaccine for malaria remains a top priority for global health researchers. Despite the huge rise in recognition of malaria as a global health problem and the concurrent rise in funding over the past 10-15 years, malaria continues to remain a widespread burden. The evidence of increasing resistance to anti-malarial drugs and insecticides is a growing concern. Hence, an efficacious and durable preventative vaccine for malaria is urgently needed. Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective tools and have successfully been used in the prevention and control of many diseases, however, the development of a vaccine for the Plasmodium parasite has proved difficult. Given the early success of whole sporozoite mosquito-bite delivered vaccination strategies, we know that a vaccine for malaria is an achievable goal, with sub-unit vaccines holding great promise as they are simple and cheap to both manufacture and deploy. However a major difficulty in development of sub-unit vaccines lies within choosing the appropriate antigenic target from the 5000 or so genes expressed by the parasite. Given the liver-stage of malaria represents a bottle-neck in the parasite's life cycle, there is widespread agreement that a multi-component sub-unit malaria vaccine should preferably contain a liver-stage target. In this article we review progress in identifying and screening Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage targets for use in a malaria vaccine. PMID:26441899

  12. [Plasmodium falciparum malaria: evaluation of three imported cases].

    PubMed

    İnkaya, Ahmet Çağkan; Kaya, Filiz; Yıldız, İrem; Uzun, Ömrüm; Ergüven, Sibel

    2016-04-01

    Among Plasmodium species the causative agent of malaria in Turkey is P.vivax, however the incidence of imported falciparum malaria cases is steadily increasing. P.falciparum may cause severe malaria with the involvement of central nervous system, acute renal failure, severe anemia or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Furhermore most of the casualties due to malaria are related with P.falciparum. There is recently, a considerable increase in malaria infections especially in tropical areas. In this report, three cases, who have admitted to our hospital with three different clinical presentations of falciparum malaria, and all shared common history of travelling to Africa were presented. First case was a 27 years old, male patient who returned from Malawi seven days ago where he stayed for two weeks. He admitted to our hospital with the complaints of sensation of cold, shivering and fever. In physical examination his body temperature was 37.9°C, C-reactive protein level was high, and the other systemic results were normal. The second case was a 25 years old, male patient who returned from Gambia two weeks ago. He was suffering from fever, headache, shivering and unable to maintain his balance. The patient's body temperature was 38°C. Laboratory tests revealed hyperbilirubinemia and thrombocytopenia. Parasitological examination of the Giemsa-stained peripheral blood smear of these two patients demonstrated ring forms compatible with P.falciparum. Treatment was commenced with arthemeter plus lumefantrine, resulting with complete cure. Third case was a 46 years old, male patient who had been working in Uganda, and returned to Turkey two weeks ago. He had sudden onset of fever, headache, nausea and vomiting and impaired consciousness. His peripheral blood smear revealed ring-formed trophozoites and banana-shaped gametocytes of P.falciparum. Arthemeter plus lumefantrine therapy was started, however, he developed severe thrombocytopenia and jaundice under treatment

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Fucosylated chondroitin sulfate inhibits Plasmodium falciparum cytoadhesion and merozoite invasion.

    PubMed

    Bastos, Marcele F; Albrecht, Letusa; Kozlowski, Eliene O; Lopes, Stefanie C P; Blanco, Yara C; Carlos, Bianca C; Castiñeiras, Catarina; Vicente, Cristina P; Werneck, Claudio C; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Ferreira, Marcelo U; Marinho, Claudio R F; Mourão, Paulo A S; Pavão, Mauro S G; Costa, Fabio T M

    2014-01-01

    Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (Pf-iEs) in the microvasculature of vital organs plays a key role in the pathogenesis of life-threatening malaria complications, such as cerebral malaria and malaria in pregnancy. This phenomenon is marked by the cytoadhesion of Pf-iEs to host receptors on the surfaces of endothelial cells, on noninfected erythrocytes, and in the placental trophoblast; therefore, these sites are potential targets for antiadhesion therapies. In this context, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), including heparin, have shown the ability to inhibit Pf-iE cytoadherence and growth. Nevertheless, the use of heparin was discontinued due to serious side effects, such as bleeding. Other GAG-based therapies were hampered due to the potential risk of contamination with prions and viruses, as some GAGs are isolated from mammals. In this context, we investigated the effects and mechanism of action of fucosylated chondroitin sulfate (FucCS), a unique and highly sulfated GAG isolated from the sea cucumber, with respect to P. falciparum cytoadhesion and development. FucCS was effective in inhibiting the cytoadherence of Pf-iEs to human lung endothelial cells and placenta cryosections under static and flow conditions. Removal of the sulfated fucose branches of the FucCS structure virtually abolished the inhibitory effects of FucCS. Importantly, FucCS rapidly disrupted rosettes at high levels, and it was also able to block parasite development by interfering with merozoite invasion. Collectively, these findings highlight the potential of FucCS as a candidate for adjunct therapy against severe malaria.

  15. A molecular mechanism of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Mbengue, Alassane; Bhattacharjee, Souvik; Pandharkar, Trupti; Liu, Haining; Estiu, Guillermina; Stahelin, Robert V; Rizk, Shahir S; Njimoh, Dieudonne L; Ryan, Yana; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Nguon, Chea; Ghorbal, Mehdi; Lopez-Rubio, Jose-Juan; Pfrender, Michael; Emrich, Scott; Mohandas, Narla; Dondorp, Arjen M; Wiest, Olaf; Haldar, Kasturi

    2015-04-30

    Artemisinins are the cornerstone of anti-malarial drugs. Emergence and spread of resistance to them raises risk of wiping out recent gains achieved in reducing worldwide malaria burden and threatens future malaria control and elimination on a global level. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed parasite genetic loci associated with artemisinin resistance. However, there is no consensus on biochemical targets of artemisinin. Whether and how these targets interact with genes identified by GWAS, remains unknown. Here we provide biochemical and cellular evidence that artemisinins are potent inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PfPI3K), revealing an unexpected mechanism of action. In resistant clinical strains, increased PfPI3K was associated with the C580Y mutation in P. falciparum Kelch13 (PfKelch13), a primary marker of artemisinin resistance. Polyubiquitination of PfPI3K and its binding to PfKelch13 were reduced by the PfKelch13 mutation, which limited proteolysis of PfPI3K and thus increased levels of the kinase, as well as its lipid product phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI3P). We find PI3P levels to be predictive of artemisinin resistance in both clinical and engineered laboratory parasites as well as across non-isogenic strains. Elevated PI3P induced artemisinin resistance in absence of PfKelch13 mutations, but remained responsive to regulation by PfKelch13. Evidence is presented for PI3P-dependent signalling in which transgenic expression of an additional kinase confers resistance. Together these data present PI3P as the key mediator of artemisinin resistance and the sole PfPI3K as an important target for malaria elimination.

  16. Fucosylated Chondroitin Sulfate Inhibits Plasmodium falciparum Cytoadhesion and Merozoite Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Bastos, Marcele F.; Albrecht, Letusa; Kozlowski, Eliene O.; Lopes, Stefanie C. P.; Blanco, Yara C.; Carlos, Bianca C.; Castiñeiras, Catarina; Vicente, Cristina P.; Werneck, Claudio C.; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Ferreira, Marcelo U.; Marinho, Claudio R. F.; Mourão, Paulo A. S.; Pavão, Mauro S. G.

    2014-01-01

    Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (Pf-iEs) in the microvasculature of vital organs plays a key role in the pathogenesis of life-threatening malaria complications, such as cerebral malaria and malaria in pregnancy. This phenomenon is marked by the cytoadhesion of Pf-iEs to host receptors on the surfaces of endothelial cells, on noninfected erythrocytes, and in the placental trophoblast; therefore, these sites are potential targets for antiadhesion therapies. In this context, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), including heparin, have shown the ability to inhibit Pf-iE cytoadherence and growth. Nevertheless, the use of heparin was discontinued due to serious side effects, such as bleeding. Other GAG-based therapies were hampered due to the potential risk of contamination with prions and viruses, as some GAGs are isolated from mammals. In this context, we investigated the effects and mechanism of action of fucosylated chondroitin sulfate (FucCS), a unique and highly sulfated GAG isolated from the sea cucumber, with respect to P. falciparum cytoadhesion and development. FucCS was effective in inhibiting the cytoadherence of Pf-iEs to human lung endothelial cells and placenta cryosections under static and flow conditions. Removal of the sulfated fucose branches of the FucCS structure virtually abolished the inhibitory effects of FucCS. Importantly, FucCS rapidly disrupted rosettes at high levels, and it was also able to block parasite development by interfering with merozoite invasion. Collectively, these findings highlight the potential of FucCS as a candidate for adjunct therapy against severe malaria. PMID:24395239

  17. A molecular mechanism of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Mbengue, Alassane; Bhattacharjee, Souvik; Pandharkar, Trupti; Liu, Haining; Estiu, Guillermina; Stahelin, Robert V.; Rizk, Shahir; Njimoh, Dieudonne L.; Ryan, Yana; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Nguon, Chea; Ghorbal, Mehdi; Lopez-Rubio, Jose-Juan; Pfrender, Michael; Emrich, Scott; Mohandas, Narla; Dondorp, Arjen M.; Wiest, Olaf; Haldar, Kasturi

    2015-01-01

    Artemisinins are the corner stone of anti-malarial drugs1. Emergence and spread of resistance to them2–4 raises risk of wiping out recent gains achieved in reducing world-wide malaria burden and threatens future malaria control and elimination on a global level. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed parasite genetic loci associated with artemisinin resistance5–10. However, there is no consensus on biochemical targets of artemisinin. Whether and how these targets interact with genes identified by GWAS, remains unknown. Here we provide biochemical and cellular evidence that artemisinins are potent inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PfPI3K), revealing an unexpected mechanism of action. In resistant clinical strains, increased PfPI3K was associated with the C580Y mutation in P. falciparum Kelch13 (PfKelch13), a primary marker of artemisinin resistance. Polyubiquitination of PfPI3K and its binding to PfKelch13 were reduced by PfKelch13 mutation, which limited proteolysis of PfPI3K and thus increased levels of the kinase as well as its lipid product phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P). We find PI3P levels to be predictive of artemisinin resistance in both clinical and engineered laboratory parasites as well as across non-isogenic strains. Elevated PI3P induced artemisinin resistance in absence of PfKelch13 mutations, but remained responsive to regulation by PfKelch13. Evidence is presented for PI3P-dependent signaling, where transgenic expression of an additional kinase confers resistance. Together these data present PI3P as the key mediator of artemisinin resistance and the sole PfPI3K as an important target for malaria elimination. PMID:25874676

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

  19. Calmidazolium evokes high calcium fluctuations in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Budu, Alexandre; Gomes, Mayrim M; Melo, Pollyana M; El Chamy Maluf, Sarah; Bagnaresi, Piero; Azevedo, Mauro F; Carmona, Adriana K; Gazarini, Marcos L

    2016-03-01

    Calcium and calmodulin (CaM) are important players in eukaryote cell signaling. In the present study, by using a knockin approach, we demonstrated the expression and localization of CaM in all erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Under extracellular Ca(2+)-free conditions, calmidazolium (CZ), a potent CaM inhibitor, promoted a transient cytosolic calcium ([Ca(2+)]cyt) increase in isolated trophozoites, indicating that CZ mobilizes intracellular sources of calcium. In the same extracellular Ca(2+)-free conditions, the [Ca(2+)]cyt rise elicited by CZ treatment was ~3.5 fold higher when the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium store was previously depleted ruling out the mobilization of calcium from the ER by CZ. The effects of the Ca(2+)/H(+) ionophore ionomycin (ION) and the Na(+)/H(+) ionophore monensin (MON) suggest that the [Ca(2+)]cyt-increasing effect of CZ is driven by the removal of Ca(2+) from at least one Ca(2+)-CaM-related (CaMR) protein as well as by the mobilization of Ca(2+) from intracellular acidic calcium stores. Moreover, we showed that the mitochondrion participates in the sequestration of the cytosolic Ca(2+) elicited by CZ. Finally, the modulation of membrane Ca(2+) channels by CZ and thapsigargin (THG) was demonstrated. The opened channels were blocked by the unspecific calcium channel blocker Co(2+) but not by 2-APB (capacitative calcium entry inhibitor) or nifedipine (L-type Ca(2+) channel inhibitor). Taken together, the results suggested that one CaMR protein is an important modulator of calcium signaling and homeostasis during the Plasmodium intraerythrocytic cell cycle, working as a relevant intracellular Ca(2+) reservoir in the parasite.

  20. Purification and characterization of recombinant Plasmodium falciparum adenylosuccinate synthetase expressed in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Jayalakshmi, R; Sumathy, K; Balaram, Hemalatha

    2002-06-01

    Most parasitic protozoa lack the de novo purine biosynthetic pathway and rely exclusively on the salvage pathway for their purine nucleotide requirements. Enzymes of the salvage pathway are, therefore, candidate drug targets. We have cloned the Plasmodium falciparum adenylosuccinate synthetase gene. In the parasite, adenylosuccinate synthetase is involved in the synthesis of AMP from IMP formed during the salvage of the purine base, hypoxanthine. The gene was shown to code for a functionally active protein by functional complementation in a purA mutant strain of Escherichia coli, H1238. This paper reports the conditions for hyperexpression of the recombinant protein in E. coli BL21(DE3) and purification of the protein to homogeneity. The enzyme was found to require the presence of dithiothreitol during the entire course of the purification for activity. Glycerol and EDTA were found to stabilize enzyme activity during storage. The specific activity of the purified protein was 1143.6 +/- 36.8 mUnits/mg. The K(M)s for the three substrates, GTP, IMP, and aspartate, were found to be 4.8 microM, 22.8 microM, and 1.4 mM, respectively. The enzyme was a dimer on gel filtration in buffers of low ionic strength but equilibrated between a monomer and a dimer in buffers of increased ionic strength.

  1. Artemisinin-naphthoquine for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Isba, Rachel; Zani, Babalwa; Gathu, Michael; Sinclair, David

    2015-01-01

    Background The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for treating people with Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Five combinations are currently recommended, all administered over three days. Artemisinin-naphthoquine is a new combination developed in China, which is being marketed as a one-day treatment. Although shorter treatment courses may improve adherence, the WHO recommends at least three days of the short-acting artemisinin component to eliminate 90% P. falciparum parasites in the bloodstream, before leaving the longer-acting partner drug to clear the remaining parasites. Objectives To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the artemisinin-naphthoquine combination for treating adults and children with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; and LILACS up to January 2015. We also searched the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) using 'malaria' and 'arte* OR dihydroarte*' as search terms. Selection criteria Randomized controlled trials comparing artemisinin-naphthoquine combinations with established WHO-recommended ACTs for the treatment of adults and children with uncomplicated malaria due to P. falciparum. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently assessed trials for eligibility and risk of bias, and extracted data. We analysed primary outcomes in line with the WHO 'Protocol for assessing and monitoring antimalarial drug efficacy' and compared drugs using risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Secondary outcomes were effects on gametocytes, haemoglobin, and adverse events. We assessed the quality of evidence using the GRADE approach. Main results Four trials, enrolling 740 adults and children, met the inclusion criteria. Artemisinin-naphthoquine was administered as a single dose (two

  2. Analysis of Breath Specimens for Biomarkers of Plasmodium falciparum Infection

    PubMed Central

    Berna, Amalia Z.; McCarthy, James S.; Wang, Rosalind X.; Saliba, Kevin J.; Bravo, Florence G.; Cassells, Julie; Padovan, Benjamin; Trowell, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the majority of diagnoses of malaria rely on a combination of the patient's clinical presentation and the visualization of parasites on a stained blood film. Breath offers an attractive alternative to blood as the basis for simple, noninvasive diagnosis of infectious diseases. In this study, breath samples were collected from individuals during controlled malaria to determine whether specific malaria-associated volatiles could be detected in breath. We identified 9 compounds whose concentrations varied significantly over the course of malaria: carbon dioxide, isoprene, acetone, benzene, cyclohexanone, and 4 thioethers. The latter group, consisting of allyl methyl sulfide, 1-methylthio-propane, (Z)-1-methylthio-1-propene, and (E)-1-methylthio-1-propene, had not previously been associated with any disease or condition. Before the availability of antimalarial drug treatment, there was evidence of concurrent 48-hour cyclical changes in the levels of both thioethers and parasitemia. When thioether concentrations were subjected to a phase shift of 24 hours, a direct correlation between the parasitemia and volatile levels was revealed. Volatile levels declined monotonically approximately 6.5 hours after initial drug treatment, correlating with clearance of parasitemia. No thioethers were detected in in vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum. The metabolic origin of the thioethers is not known, but results suggest that interplay between host and parasite metabolic pathways is involved in the production of these thioethers. PMID:25810441

  3. Genetic architecture of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Plasmodium falciparum dolichol phosphate mannose synthase represents a novel clade

    SciTech Connect

    Shams-Eldin, Hosam Santos de Macedo, Cristiana; Niehus, Sebastian; Dorn, Caroline; Kimmel, Juergen; Azzouz, Nahid; Schwarz, Ralph T.

    2008-06-06

    Dolichol phosphate mannose synthase (DPM) catalyzes the reaction between dolichol phosphate (Dol-P) and guanosine diphosphate mannose (GDP-Man) to form dolichol-phosphate-mannose (Dol-P-Man). This molecule acts as mannose donor for N-glycosylation and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) biosynthesis. The Plasmodium falciparum DPM1 (Pfdpm1) possesses a single predicted transmembrane region near the N-, but not the C-terminus. Here we show that the cloned Pfdpm1 gene failed to complement a Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant indicating that the parasite gene does not belong to the baker's yeast group, as was previously assumed. Furthermore, Pfdpm1 was unable to complement a mouse mutant deficient in DPM but efficiently complements the Schizosaccharomyces pombe fission yeast mutant, indicating a difference between fission yeast and mammalian DPM genes. Therefore, we reanalyzed the hydrophobicity scales of all known DPMs and consequently reclassify the DPM clade into six major novel subgroups. Furthermore, we show that Pfdpm1 represents a unique enzyme among these subgroups.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Polycyclic amines as chloroquine resistance modulating agents in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Joubert, Jacques; Kapp, Erika; Taylor, Dale; Smith, Peter J; Malan, Sarel F

    2016-02-15

    Pentacycloundecylamines (PCUs) and adamantane amines, such as NGP1-01 (1) and amantadine, have shown significant channel blocking activities. They are postulated to act as chemosensitizers and circumvent the resistance of the plasmodia parasite against chloroquine (CQ) by inhibiting the p-glycoprotein efflux pump and enabling the accumulation of CQ inside the parasite digestive vacuole. Twelve polycyclic amines containing either a PCU or adamantane amine moiety conjugated to different aromatic functionalities through various tethered linkers were selected based on their channel blocking abilities and evaluated as potential chemosensitizers. Compounds 2, 4, 5 and 10 showed significant voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) blocking ability (IC50=0.27-35 μM) and were able to alter the CQ IC50 in differing degrees (45-81%) in the multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum Dd2 isolate. Among them, the PCU-dansyl amine compound (4) displayed the best potential to act as a chemosensitizer against the Dd2 strain at a 1 μM concentration (RMI=0.19) while displaying moderate antiplasmodial activity (Dd2 IC50=6.25 μM) and low in vitro cytotoxicity against a mammalian cell line (CHO, IC50=119 μM). Compounds 2 and 10 also showed some promising chemosensitizing abilities (RMI=0.36 and 0.35 respectively). A direct correlation was found between the VGCC blocking ability of these polycyclic amines and their capacity to act as CQ resistance modulating agents.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  9. Antimalarial quinolines and artemisinin inhibit endocytosis in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Hoppe, Heinrich C; van Schalkwyk, Donelly A; Wiehart, Ursula I M; Meredith, Sandra A; Egan, Joanne; Weber, Brandon W

    2004-07-01

    Endocytosis is a fundamental process of eukaryotic cells and fulfills numerous functions, most notably, that of macromolecular nutrient uptake. Malaria parasites invade red blood cells and during their intracellular development endocytose large amounts of host cytoplasm for digestion in a specialized lysosomal compartment, the food vacuole. In the present study we have examined the effects of artemisinin and the quinoline drugs chloroquine and mefloquine on endocytosis in Plasmodium falciparum. By using novel assays we found that mefloquine and artemisinin inhibit endocytosis of macromolecular tracers by up to 85%, while the latter drug also leads to an accumulation of undigested hemoglobin in the parasite. During 5-h incubations, chloroquine inhibited hemoglobin digestion but had no other significant effect on the endocytic pathway of the parasite, as assessed by electron microscopy, the immunofluorescence localization of hemoglobin, and the distribution of fluorescent and biotinylated dextran tracers. By contrast, when chloroquine was added to late ring stage parasites, followed by a 12-h incubation, macromolecule endocytosis was inhibited by more than 40%. Moreover, there is an accumulation of transport vesicles in the parasite cytosol, possibly due to a disruption in vacuole-vesicle fusion. This fusion block is not observed with mefloquine, artemisinin, quinine, or primaquine but is mimicked by the vacuole alkalinizing agents ammonium chloride and monensin. These results are discussed in the light of present theories regarding the mechanisms of action of the antimalarials and highlight the potential use of drugs in manipulating and studying the endocytic pathway of malaria parasites.

  10. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax specific lactate dehydrogenase: genetic polymorphism study from Indian isolates.

    PubMed

    Keluskar, Priyadarshan; Singh, Vineeta; Gupta, Purva; Ingle, Sanjay

    2014-08-01

    Control and eradication of malaria is hindered by the acquisition of drug resistance by Plasmodium species. This has necessitated a persistent search for novel drugs and more efficient targets. Plasmodium species specific lactate dehydrogenase is one of the potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets, because of its indispensable role in endoerythrocytic stage of the parasite. A target molecule that is highly conserved in the parasite population can be more effectively used in diagnostics and therapeutics, hence, in the present study polymorphism in PfLDH (Plasmodiumfalciparum specific LDH) and PvLDH (Plasmodiumvivax specific LDH) genes was analyzed using PCR-single strand confirmation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and sequencing. Forty-six P. falciparum and thirty-five P. vivax samples were screened from different states of India. Our findings have revealed presence of a single PfLDH genotype and six PvLDH genotypes among the studied samples. Interestingly, along with synonymous substitutions, nonsynonymous substitutions were reported to be present for the first time in the PvLDH genotypes. Further, through amino acid sequence alignment and homology modeling studies we observed that the catalytic residues were conserved in all PvLDH genotypes and the nonsynonymous substitutions have not altered the enzyme structure significantly. Evolutionary genetics studies have confirmed that PfLDH and PvLDH loci are under strong purifying selection. Phylogenetic analysis of the pLDH gene sequences revealed that P. falciparum compared to P. vivax, has recent origin. The study therefore supports PfLDH and PvLDH as suitable therapeutic and diagnostic targets as well as phylogenetic markers to understand the genealogy of malaria species.

  11. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax specific lactate dehydrogenase: genetic polymorphism study from Indian isolates.

    PubMed

    Keluskar, Priyadarshan; Singh, Vineeta; Gupta, Purva; Ingle, Sanjay

    2014-08-01

    Control and eradication of malaria is hindered by the acquisition of drug resistance by Plasmodium species. This has necessitated a persistent search for novel drugs and more efficient targets. Plasmodium species specific lactate dehydrogenase is one of the potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets, because of its indispensable role in endoerythrocytic stage of the parasite. A target molecule that is highly conserved in the parasite population can be more effectively used in diagnostics and therapeutics, hence, in the present study polymorphism in PfLDH (Plasmodiumfalciparum specific LDH) and PvLDH (Plasmodiumvivax specific LDH) genes was analyzed using PCR-single strand confirmation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and sequencing. Forty-six P. falciparum and thirty-five P. vivax samples were screened from different states of India. Our findings have revealed presence of a single PfLDH genotype and six PvLDH genotypes among the studied samples. Interestingly, along with synonymous substitutions, nonsynonymous substitutions were reported to be present for the first time in the PvLDH genotypes. Further, through amino acid sequence alignment and homology modeling studies we observed that the catalytic residues were conserved in all PvLDH genotypes and the nonsynonymous substitutions have not altered the enzyme structure significantly. Evolutionary genetics studies have confirmed that PfLDH and PvLDH loci are under strong purifying selection. Phylogenetic analysis of the pLDH gene sequences revealed that P. falciparum compared to P. vivax, has recent origin. The study therefore supports PfLDH and PvLDH as suitable therapeutic and diagnostic targets as well as phylogenetic markers to understand the genealogy of malaria species. PMID:24953504

  12. Artesunate plus pyronaridine for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Bukirwa, Hasifa; Unnikrishnan, B; Kramer, Christine V; Sinclair, David; Nair, Suma; Tharyan, Prathap

    2014-01-01

    Background The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria are treated using Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT). ACT combines three-days of a short-acting artemisinin derivative with a longer-acting antimalarial which has a different mode of action. Pyronaridine has been reported as an effective antimalarial over two decades of use in parts of Asia, and is currently being evaluated as a partner drug for artesunate. Objectives To evaluate the efficacy and safety of artesunate-pyronaridine compared to alternative ACTs for treating people with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS; ClinicalTrials.gov; the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT); and the WHO International Clinical Trials Search Portal up to 16 January 2014. We searched reference lists and conference abstracts, and contacted experts for information about ongoing and unpublished trials. Selection criteria Randomized controlled trials of artesunate-pyronaridine versus other ACTs in adults and children with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. For the safety analysis, we also included adverse events data from trials comparing any treatment regimen containing pyronaridine with regimens not containing pyronaridine. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently assessed trial eligibility and risk of bias, and extracted data. We combined dichotomous data using risk ratios (RR) and continuous data using mean differences (MD), and presented all results with a 95% confidence interval (CI). We used the GRADE approach to assess the quality of evidence. Main results We included six randomized controlled trials enrolling 3718 children and adults. Artesunate-pyronaridine versus artemether-lumefantrine In two multicentre trials, enrolling

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. In vitro response of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum to mefloquine.

    PubMed

    López Antuñano, F J; Wernsdorfer, W H

    1979-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the application of the in vitro microtechnique system in determining the response of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum to mefloquine.Using isolates of P. falciparum from Boa Vista, Brazil, and Villavicencio, Colombia, mefloquine was more than 7.7, 7.1, 7.1, and 6.4 times more effective than chloroquine in vitro at the ED(90), ED(95), ED(99), and ED(99.9) levels, respectively.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  16. Primaquine or other 8-aminoquinoline for reducing Plasmodium falciparum transmission

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Patricia M; Gelband, Hellen; Garner, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Background Mosquitoes become infected with Plasmodium when they ingest gametocyte-stage parasites from an infected person's blood. Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are sensitive to the drug primaquine (PQ) and other 8-aminoquinolines (8AQ); these drugs could prevent parasite transmission from infected people to mosquitoes, and consequently reduce the incidence of malaria. However, PQ will not directly benefit the individual, and could be harmful to those with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. In 2010, The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a single dose of PQ at 0.75 mg/kg, alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria to reduce transmission in areas approaching malaria elimination. In 2013 the WHO revised this to 0.25 mg/kg due to concerns about safety. Objectives To assess whether giving PQ or an alternative 8AQ alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria reduces malaria transmission, and to estimate the frequency of severe or haematological adverse events when PQ is given for this purpose. Search methods We searched the following databases up to 10 Feb 2014 for trials: the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS; metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT); and the WHO trials search portal using 'malaria*', 'falciparum', and 'primaquine' as search terms. In addition, we searched conference proceedings and reference lists of included studies, and contacted researchers and organizations. Selection criteria Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs comparing PQ (or alternative 8AQ) given as a single dose or short course alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria with malaria treatment given without PQ/8AQ in adults or children. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently screened all abstracts, applied inclusion criteria, and extracted data. We sought evidence of an impact on

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  18. The use of activated protein C in severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Rankin, L G; Austin, D L H

    2007-06-01

    A 56-year-old man presented to a peripheral hospital in New Zealand with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria with cerebral involvement and subsequently developed multi-system organ failure. Activated protein C was used in an attempt to stop the cascade of events into multi-organ failure. Severe infection with P. falciparum is life-threatening and appears to activate a hypercoagulable state similar to that of severe sepsis. Activated protein C is currently used in the treatment of severe sepsis and may provide a new adjuvant therapy for severe P. falciparum malaria.

  19. Peripheral Blood Cell Signatures of Plasmodium falciparum Infection during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Ibitokou, Samad; Oesterholt, Mayke; Brutus, Laurent; Borgella, Sophie; Agbowaï, Carine; Ezinmègnon, Sèm; Lusingu, John; Schmiegelow, Christentze; Massougbodji, Achille; Deloron, Philippe; Troye-Blomberg, Marita; Varani, Stefania; Luty, Adrian J. F.; Fievet, Nadine

    2012-01-01

    Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in placental intervillous spaces causes inflammation and pathology. Knowledge of the profiles of immune cells associated with the physiopathology of pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) is scarce. We conducted a longitudinal, prospective study, both in Benin and Tanzania, including ∼1000 pregnant women in each site with systematic follow-up at scheduled antenatal visits until delivery. We used ex vivo flow cytometry to identify peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) profiles that are associated with PAM and anaemia, determining the phenotypic composition and activation status of PBMC in selected sub-groups with and without PAM both at inclusion and at delivery in a total of 302 women. Both at inclusion and at delivery PAM was associated with significantly increased frequencies both of B cells overall and of activated B cells. Infection-related profiles were otherwise quite distinct at the two different time-points. At inclusion, PAM was associated with anaemia, with an increased frequency of immature monocytes and with a decreased frequency of regulatory T cells (Treg). At delivery, infected women presented with significantly fewer plasmacytoid dendritic cells (DC), more myeloid DC expressing low levels of HLA-DR, and more effector T cells (Teff) compared to uninfected women. Independent associations with an increased risk of anaemia were found for altered antigen-presenting cell frequencies at inclusion, but for an increased frequency of Teff at delivery. Our findings emphasize the prominent role played by B cells during PAM whenever it arises during pregnancy, whilst also revealing signature changes in other circulating cell types that, we conclude, primarily reflect the relative duration of the infections. Thus, the acute, recently-acquired infections present at delivery were marked by changes in DC and Teff frequencies, contrasting with infections at inclusion, considered chronic in nature, that

  20. Risk factors for Plasmodium falciparum hyperparasitaemia in malarious children

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Hyperparasitaemia is a feature of childhood severe malaria but there is little information on the risk factors for hyperparasitaemia in malarious children Methods The risk factors associated with Plasmodium falciparum hyperparasitaemia, defined as asexual parasitaemia > 250,000/μl, at presentation were evaluated in 3338 malarious children enrolled prospectively between 2008 and 2010 in an endemic area of southwestern Nigeria. Results At enrolment, 97 (3%) of 3338 malarious children had hyperparasitaemia. In a multiple regression model, 3 factors were found to be independent risk factors for the presence of hyperparasitaemia at enrolment: an age ≤ 11 years (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.23-6.61, P = 0.014), fever (AOR = 2.02, 95% CI 1.23-3.29, P = 0.005), and enrolment after year 2008 (AOR = 0.42, 95% CI 0.24-0.73, P = 0.002). Duration of illness ≤ 3 d was associated with increased risk of hyperparasitaemia. There was no association between season and hyperparasitaemia. Compared to non-hyperparasitaemia, hyperparasitaemia was associated with an increased risk of progression to cerebral malaria (P < 0.0001). The risk of progression in hyperparasitaemic children was higher in < 5-year olds (P = 0.02). Conclusion Young age and presence of fever are independent risk factors for hyperparasitaemia which is associated with an increased risk of progression to cerebral malaria. The findings have implications for case and community management of childhood hyperparasitaemia and for malaria control efforts in sub-Saharan Africa where severe malaria is relatively common. PMID:21982211

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1991-03-01

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

  3. Erythrocyte Lysis and Xenopus laevis Oocyte Rupture by Recombinant Plasmodium falciparum Hemolysin III

    PubMed Central

    Moonah, Shannon; Sanders, Natalie G.; Persichetti, Jason K.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria kills more than 1 million people per year worldwide, with severe malaria anemia accounting for the majority of the deaths. Malaria anemia is multifactorial in etiology, including infected erythrocyte destruction and decrease in erythrocyte production, as well as destruction or clearance of noninfected erythrocytes. We identified a panspecies Plasmodium hemolysin type III related to bacterial hemolysins. The identification of a hemolysin III homologue in Plasmodium suggests a potential role in host erythrocyte lysis. Here, we report the first characterization of Plasmodium falciparum hemolysin III, showing that the soluble recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III is a pore-forming protein capable of lysing human erythrocytes in a dose-, time-, and temperature-dependent fashion. The recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III-induced hemolysis was partially inhibited by glibenclamide, a known channel antagonist. Studies with polyethylene glycol molecules of different molecular weights indicated a pore size of approximately 3.2 nm. Heterologous expression of recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III in Xenopus oocytes demonstrated early hypotonic lysis similar to that of the pore-forming aquaporin control. Live fluorescence microscopy localized transfected recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged P. falciparum hemolysin III to the essential digestive vacuole of the P. falciparum parasite. These transfected trophozoites also possessed a swollen digestive vacuole phenotype. Native Plasmodium hemolysin III in the digestive vacuole may contribute to lysis of the parasitophorous vacuole membrane derived from the host erythrocyte. After merozoite egress from infected erythrocytes, remnant P. falciparum hemolysin III released from digestive vacuoles could potentially contribute to lysis of uninfected erythrocytes to contribute to severe life-threatening anemia. PMID:25148832

  4. Erythrocyte lysis and Xenopus laevis oocyte rupture by recombinant Plasmodium falciparum hemolysin III.

    PubMed

    Moonah, Shannon; Sanders, Natalie G; Persichetti, Jason K; Sullivan, David J

    2014-10-01

    Malaria kills more than 1 million people per year worldwide, with severe malaria anemia accounting for the majority of the deaths. Malaria anemia is multifactorial in etiology, including infected erythrocyte destruction and decrease in erythrocyte production, as well as destruction or clearance of noninfected erythrocytes. We identified a panspecies Plasmodium hemolysin type III related to bacterial hemolysins. The identification of a hemolysin III homologue in Plasmodium suggests a potential role in host erythrocyte lysis. Here, we report the first characterization of Plasmodium falciparum hemolysin III, showing that the soluble recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III is a pore-forming protein capable of lysing human erythrocytes in a dose-, time-, and temperature-dependent fashion. The recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III-induced hemolysis was partially inhibited by glibenclamide, a known channel antagonist. Studies with polyethylene glycol molecules of different molecular weights indicated a pore size of approximately 3.2 nm. Heterologous expression of recombinant P. falciparum hemolysin III in Xenopus oocytes demonstrated early hypotonic lysis similar to that of the pore-forming aquaporin control. Live fluorescence microscopy localized transfected recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged P. falciparum hemolysin III to the essential digestive vacuole of the P. falciparum parasite. These transfected trophozoites also possessed a swollen digestive vacuole phenotype. Native Plasmodium hemolysin III in the digestive vacuole may contribute to lysis of the parasitophorous vacuole membrane derived from the host erythrocyte. After merozoite egress from infected erythrocytes, remnant P. falciparum hemolysin III released from digestive vacuoles could potentially contribute to lysis of uninfected erythrocytes to contribute to severe life-threatening anemia.

  5. Discovery of Novel and Ligand-Efficient Inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivaxN-Myristoyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    N-Myristoyltransferase (NMT) is an attractive antiprotozoan drug target. A lead-hopping approach was utilized in the design and synthesis of novel benzo[b]thiophene-containing inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and Plasmodium vivax (Pv) NMT. These inhibitors are selective against Homo sapiens NMT1 (HsNMT), have excellent ligand efficiency (LE), and display antiparasitic activity in vitro. The binding mode of this series was determined by crystallography and shows a novel binding mode for the benzothiophene ring. PMID:23170970

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. A non-pharmaceutical form of Artemisia annua is not effective in preventing Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Lagarce, Laurence; Lerolle, Nicolas; Asfar, Pierre; Le Govic, Yohann; Lainé-Cessac, Pascale; de Gentile, Ludovic

    2016-05-01

    Non-pharmaceutical forms of Artemisia annua (a Chinese plant containing artemisinin) are used by some travellers who believe these products are safer than anti-malarial drugs. We report two cases of severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria requiring hospitalization in an Intensive Care Unit following prophylaxis with non-pharmaceutical A. annua in French travellers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  9. A crucial piece in the puzzle of the artemisinin resistance mechanism in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Bozdech, Zbynek; Ferreira, Pedro E; Mok, Sachel

    2015-08-01

    The spread of resistance of malaria infections to artemisinin is a major concern for the future. The Plasmodium falciparum phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PfPI3K) may be a potential target of artemisinin and effector of resistance. This could be mediated by the Kelch13 protein, the molecular marker of resistance that modulates PfPI3K ubiquitination. PMID:26169358

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. A non-pharmaceutical form of Artemisia annua is not effective in preventing Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Lagarce, Laurence; Lerolle, Nicolas; Asfar, Pierre; Le Govic, Yohann; Lainé-Cessac, Pascale; de Gentile, Ludovic

    2016-05-01

    Non-pharmaceutical forms of Artemisia annua (a Chinese plant containing artemisinin) are used by some travellers who believe these products are safer than anti-malarial drugs. We report two cases of severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria requiring hospitalization in an Intensive Care Unit following prophylaxis with non-pharmaceutical A. annua in French travellers. PMID:27432906

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-06-22

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

  15. MicroRNA-regulation of Anopheles gambiae immunity to Plasmodium falciparum infection and midgut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Dennison, Nathan J; BenMarzouk-Hidalgo, Omar J; Dimopoulos, George

    2015-03-01

    Invasion of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae midgut by Plasmodium parasites triggers transcriptional changes of immune genes that mediate the antiparasitic defense. This response is largely regulated by the Toll and Immune deficiency (IMD) pathways. To determine whether A. gambiae microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in regulating the anti-Plasmodium defense, we showed that suppression of miRNA biogenesis results in increased resistance to Plasmodium falciparum infection. In silico analysis of A. gambiae immune effector genes identified multiple transcripts with miRNA binding sites. A comparative miRNA microarray abundance analysis of P. falciparum infected and naïve mosquito midgut tissues showed elevated abundance of miRNAs aga-miR-989 and aga-miR-305 in infected midguts. Antagomir inhibition of aga-miR-305 increased resistance to P. falciparum infection and suppressed the midgut microbiota. Conversely, treatment of mosquitoes with an artificial aga-miR-305 mimic increased susceptibility to P. falciparum infection and resulted in expansion of midgut microbiota, suggesting that aga-miR-305 acts as a P. falciparum and gut microbiota agonist by negatively regulating the mosquito immune response. In silico prediction of aga-miR-305 target genes identified several anti-Plasmodium effectors. Our study shows that A. gambiae aga-miR-305 regulates the anti-Plasmodium response and midgut microbiota, likely through post-transcriptional modification of immune effector genes.

  16. J-dot targeting of an exported HSP40 in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Wiebke; Külzer, Simone; Engels, Sonja; Zhang, Qi; Ingmundson, Alyssa; Rug, Melanie; Maier, Alexander G; Przyborski, Jude M

    2016-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum exports a large number of proteins to its host cell, the mature human erythrocyte, where they are involved in host cell modification. Amongst the proteins trafficked to the host cell, many are heat shock protein (HSP)40 homologues. We previously demonstrated that at least two exported PfHSP40s (referred to as PFE55 and PFA660) localise to mobile structures in the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte (Kulzer et al., 2010), termed J-dots. The complete molecular content of these structures has not yet been completely resolved, however it is known that they also contain an exported HSP70, PfHSP70x, and are potentially involved in transport of the major cytoadherance ligand, PfEMP1, through the host cell. To understand more about the nature of the association of exported HSP40s with J-dots, here we have studied the signal requirements for recruitment of the proteins to these structures. By expressing various exported GFP chimeras, we can demonstrate that the predicted substrate binding domain is necessary and sufficient for J-dot targeting. This targeting only occurs in human erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum, as it is not conserved when expressing a P. falciparum HSP40 in Plasmodium berghei-infected murine red blood cells, suggesting that J-dots are P. falciparum-specific. This data reveals a new mechanism for targeting of exported proteins to intracellular structures in the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte.

  17. Investigating the Roles of the C-Terminal Domain of Plasmodium falciparum GyrA

    PubMed Central

    Nagano, Soshichiro; Seki, Eiko; Lin, Ting-Yu; Shirouzu, Mikako; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki; Heddle, Jonathan G.

    2015-01-01

    Malaria remains as one of the most deadly diseases in developing countries. The Plasmodium causative agents of human malaria such as Plasmodium falciparum possess an organelle, the apicoplast, which is the result of secondary endosymbiosis and retains its own circular DNA. A type II topoisomerase, DNA gyrase, is present in the apicoplast. In prokaryotes this enzyme is a proven, effective target for antibacterial agents, and its discovery in P. falciparum opens up the prospect of exploiting it as a drug target. Basic characterisation of P. falciparum gyrase is important because there are significant sequence differences between it and the prokaryotic enzyme. However, it has proved difficult to obtain soluble protein. Here we have predicted a new domain boundary in P. falciparum GyrA that corresponds to the C-terminal domain of prokaryotic GyrA and successfully purified it in a soluble form. Biochemical analyses revealed many similarities between the C-terminal domains of GyrA from E. coli and P. falciparum, suggesting that despite its considerably larger size, the malarial protein carries out a similar DNA wrapping function. Removal of a unique Asn-rich region in the P. falciparum protein did not result in a significant change, suggesting it is dispensable for DNA wrapping. PMID:26566222

  18. Functional Antibodies against VAR2CSA in Nonpregnant Populations from Colombia Exposed to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax

    PubMed Central

    Doritchamou, Justin; Arango, Eliana M.; Cabrera, Ana; Arroyo, Maria Isabel; Kain, Kevin C.; Ndam, Nicaise Tuikue; Maestre, Amanda

    2014-01-01

    In pregnancy, parity-dependent immunity is observed in response to placental infection with Plasmodium falciparum. Antibodies recognize the surface antigen, VAR2CSA, expressed on infected red blood cells and inhibit cytoadherence to the placental tissue. In most settings of malaria endemicity, antibodies against VAR2CSA are predominantly observed in multigravid women and infrequently in men, children, and nulligravid women. However, in Colombia, we detected antibodies against multiple constructs of VAR2CSA among men and children with acute P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infection. The majority of men and children (>60%) had high levels of IgGs against three recombinant domains of VAR2CSA: DBL5ε, DBL3X, and ID1-ID2. Surprisingly, these antibodies were observed only in pregnant women, men, and children exposed either to P. falciparum or to P. vivax. Moreover, the anti-VAR2CSA antibodies are of high avidity and efficiently inhibit adherence of infected red blood cells to chondroitin sulfate A in vitro, suggesting that they are specific and functional. These unexpected results suggest that there may be genotypic or phenotypic differences in the parasites of this region or in the host response to either P. falciparum or P. vivax infection outside pregnancy. These findings may hold significant clinical relevance to the pathophysiology and outcome of malaria infections in this region. PMID:24686068

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Targeting a Novel Plasmodium falciparum Purine Recycling Pathway with Specific Immucillins

    SciTech Connect

    Ting, L; Shi, W; Lewandowicz, A; Singh, V; Mwakingwe, A; Birck, M R; Taylor Ringia, E A; Bench, G; Madrid, D C; Tyler, P C; Evans, G B; Furneaux, R H; Schramm, V L; Kim, K

    2004-05-19

    Plasmodium falciparum is unable to synthesize purine bases and relies upon purine salvage and purine recycling to meet its purine needs. We report that purines formed as products of the polyamine pathway are recycled in a novel pathway in which 5'-methylthioinosine is generated by adenosine deaminase. The action of P. falciparum purine nucleoside phosphorylase is a convergent step of purine salvage, converting both 5'-methylthioinosine and inosine to hypoxanthine. We used accelerator mass spectrometry to verify that 5'-methylthioinosine is an active nucleic acid precursor in P. falciparum. Prior studies have shown that inhibitors of purine salvage enzymes kill malaria, but potent malaria-specific inhibitors of these enzymes have not previously been described. 5'-methylthio-Immucillin-H, a transition state analogue inhibitor that is selective for malarial over human purine nucleoside phosphorylase, kills P. falciparum in culture. Immucillins are currently in clinical trials for other indications and may have application as antimalarials.

  1. Spatiotemporal dynamics and demographic profiles of imported Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections in Ontario, Canada (1990-2009).

    PubMed

    Nelder, Mark P; Russell, Curtis; Williams, Dawn; Johnson, Karen; Li, Lennon; Baker, Stacey L; Marshall, Sean; Bhanich-Supapol, Wendy; Pillai, Dylan R; Ralevski, Filip

    2013-01-01

    We examined malaria cases reported to Ontario's public health surveillance systems from 1990 through 2009 to determine how temporal scale (longitudinal, seasonal), spatial scale (provincial, health unit), and demography (gender, age) contribute to Plasmodium infection in Ontario travellers. Our retrospective study included 4,551 confirmed cases of imported malaria reported throughout Ontario, with additional analysis at the local health unit level (i.e., Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto). During the 20-year period, Plasmodium vivax accounted for 50.6% of all cases, P. falciparum (38.6%), Plasmodium sp. (6.0%), P. ovale (3.1%), and P. malariae (1.8%). During the first ten years of the study (1990-1999), P. vivax (64% of all cases) was the dominant agent, followed by P. falciparum (28%); however, during the second ten years (2000-2009) the situation reversed and P. falciparum (55%) dominated, followed by P. vivax (30%). The prevalence of P. falciparum and P. vivax cases varied spatially (e.g., P. falciparum more prevalent in Toronto, P. vivax more prevalent in Peel), temporally (e.g. P. falciparum incidence increased during the 20-year study), and demographically (e.g. preponderance of male cases). Infection rates per 100,000 international travellers were estimated: rates of infection were 2× higher in males compared to females; rates associated with travel to Africa were 37× higher compared to travel to Asia and 126× higher compared to travel to the Americas; rates of infection were 2.3-3.5× higher in June and July compared to October through March; and rates of infection were highest in those 65-69 years old. Where exposure country was reported, 71% of P. falciparum cases reported exposure in Ghana or Nigeria and 63% of P. vivax cases reported exposure in India. Our study provides insights toward improving pre-travel programs for Ontarians visiting malaria-endemic regions and underscores the changing epidemiology of imported malaria in the province.

  2. Spatiotemporal Dynamics and Demographic Profiles of Imported Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax Infections in Ontario, Canada (1990–2009)

    PubMed Central

    Nelder, Mark P.; Russell, Curtis; Williams, Dawn; Johnson, Karen; Li, Lennon; Baker, Stacey L.; Marshall, Sean; Bhanich-Supapol, Wendy; Pillai, Dylan R.; Ralevski, Filip

    2013-01-01

    We examined malaria cases reported to Ontario’s public health surveillance systems from 1990 through 2009 to determine how temporal scale (longitudinal, seasonal), spatial scale (provincial, health unit), and demography (gender, age) contribute to Plasmodium infection in Ontario travellers. Our retrospective study included 4,551 confirmed cases of imported malaria reported throughout Ontario, with additional analysis at the local health unit level (i.e., Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto). During the 20-year period, Plasmodium vivax accounted for 50.6% of all cases, P. falciparum (38.6%), Plasmodium sp. (6.0%), P. ovale (3.1%), and P. malariae (1.8%). During the first ten years of the study (1990–1999), P. vivax (64% of all cases) was the dominant agent, followed by P. falciparum (28%); however, during the second ten years (2000–2009) the situation reversed and P. falciparum (55%) dominated, followed by P. vivax (30%). The prevalence of P. falciparum and P. vivax cases varied spatially (e.g., P. falciparum more prevalent in Toronto, P. vivax more prevalent in Peel), temporally (e.g. P. falciparum incidence increased during the 20-year study), and demographically (e.g. preponderance of male cases). Infection rates per 100,000 international travellers were estimated: rates of infection were 2× higher in males compared to females; rates associated with travel to Africa were 37× higher compared to travel to Asia and 126× higher compared to travel to the Americas; rates of infection were 2.3–3.5× higher in June and July compared to October through March; and rates of infection were highest in those 65–69 years old. Where exposure country was reported, 71% of P. falciparum cases reported exposure in Ghana or Nigeria and 63% of P. vivax cases reported exposure in India. Our study provides insights toward improving pre-travel programs for Ontarians visiting malaria-endemic regions and underscores the changing epidemiology of imported malaria in the province. PMID

  3. Primaquine or other 8-aminoquinoline for reducing Plasmodium falciparum transmission

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Patricia M; Gelband, Hellen; Garner, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Background Mosquitoes become infected with Plasmodium when they ingest gametocyte-stage parasites from an infected person's blood. Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are sensitive to the drug primaquine (PQ) and other 8-aminoquinolines (8AQ); these drugs could prevent parasite transmission from infected people to mosquitoes, and consequently reduce the incidence of malaria. However, PQ will not directly benefit the individual, and could be harmful to those with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. In 2010, The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a single dose of PQ at 0.75 mg/kg, alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria to reduce transmission in areas approaching malaria elimination. In 2013 the WHO revised this to 0.25 mg/kg due to concerns about safety. Objectives To assess whether giving PQ or an alternative 8AQ alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria reduces malaria transmission, and to estimate the frequency of severe or haematological adverse events when PQ is given for this purpose. Search methods We searched the following databases up to 10 Feb 2014 for trials: the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS; metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT); and the WHO trials search portal using 'malaria*', 'falciparum', and 'primaquine' as search terms. In addition, we searched conference proceedings and reference lists of included studies, and contacted researchers and organizations. Selection criteria Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs comparing PQ (or alternative 8AQ) given as a single dose or short course alongside treatment for P. falciparum malaria with malaria treatment given without PQ/8AQ in adults or children. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently screened all abstracts, applied inclusion criteria, and extracted data. We sought evidence of an impact on

  4. Plasmodium falciparum Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric proteins contribute to cytoadherence and anchor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 to the host cell cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Oberli, Alexander; Zurbrügg, Laura; Rusch, Sebastian; Brand, Françoise; Butler, Madeleine E; Day, Jemma L; Cutts, Erin E; Lavstsen, Thomas; Vakonakis, Ioannis; Beck, Hans-Peter

    2016-10-01

    Adherence of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to host endothelium is conferred through the parasite-derived virulence factor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), the major contributor to malaria severity. PfEMP1 located at knob structures on the erythrocyte surface is anchored to the cytoskeleton, and the Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric (PHIST) gene family plays a role in many host cell modifications including binding the intracellular domain of PfEMP1. Here, we show that conditional reduction of the PHIST protein PFE1605w strongly reduces adhesion of infected erythrocytes to the endothelial receptor CD36. Adhesion to other endothelial receptors was less affected or even unaltered by PFE1605w depletion, suggesting that PHIST proteins might be optimized for subsets of PfEMP1 variants. PFE1605w does not play a role in PfEMP1 transport, but it directly interacts with both the intracellular segment of PfEMP1 and with cytoskeletal components. This is the first report of a PHIST protein interacting with key molecules of the cytoadherence complex and the host cytoskeleton, and this functional role seems to play an essential role in the pathology of P. falciparum.

  5. Immune activation during cerebellar dysfunction following Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    de Silva, H J; Hoang, P; Dalton, H; de Silva, N R; Jewell, D P; Peiris, J B

    1992-01-01

    Evidence for immune activation was investigated in 12 patients with a rare syndrome of self-limiting, delayed onset cerebellar dysfunction following an attack of falciparum malaria which occurred 18-26 d previously. Concentrations of tumour necrosis factor, interleukin 6 and interleukin 2 were all significantly higher in serum samples of patients during cerebellar ataxia than in recovery sera and in the sera of 8 patients who did not develop delayed cerebellar dysfunction following an attack of falciparum malaria. Cytokine concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid were also significantly higher in ataxic patients than in controls. These findings suggest that immunological mechanisms may play a role in delayed cerebellar dysfunction following falciparum malaria.

  6. Prevalence and transmission pattern of Plasmodium falciparum infection in Osogbo metropolis, southwest, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Ogungbamigbe, T O; Ojurongbe, O O; Ogunro, P S; Olowe, O A; Elemile, P O

    2007-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria is an endemic disease especially in tropical areas with heavy rainfall that spread round the year. We therefore sought to investigate the prevalence pattern and clinical presentation of falciparum malaria in Oso degrees c were assessed and screened for plasmodium falciparum infection by clinical assessment and microscopy using both thick and thin blood smears over a period of 12 months- August 2004 and July 2005. The prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection was found to be 52.8% with 341/646 of the patients been positive for Plasmodium falciparum parasite based on microscopy. Three hundred and five (47.2%) were aparasitaemic of which 162 (25.1%) had bronchopneumonia, 99 (15.3%) had upper respiratory tract infection, 32 (5.0%) had gastroenteritis and 12 (1.9%) had Otitis media. Between August and November 2004, 250 patients were screened and 160 (57.6%) of these patients were positive, while 180 patients were screened between December 2004 and March 2005 and 51 (28.3%) were positive. Between April 2005 and July 2005, 216 patients were screened and 130 (60.2%) of the patients were positive. When compared, the differences in the percentage of patients with positive microscopy in December to March with April to July and August to November were found to be significant (P < 0.0001), whereas the percentage difference in patients with positive microscopy in August to November and April to July was not significant (P = 0.442). The result of this study clearly shows that there are two distinct peaks of malaria transmission pattern in consonance with the rainfall pattern in the area. PMID:18564645

  7. Comparative ex vivo activity of novel endoperoxides in multidrug-resistant plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax.

    PubMed

    Marfurt, Jutta; Chalfein, Ferryanto; Prayoga, Pak; Wabiser, Frans; Wirjanata, Grennady; Sebayang, Boni; Piera, Kim A; Wittlin, Sergio; Haynes, Richard K; Möhrle, Jörg J; Anstey, Nicholas M; Kenangalem, Enny; Price, Ric N

    2012-10-01

    The declining efficacy of artemisinin derivatives against Plasmodium falciparum highlights the urgent need to identify alternative highly potent compounds for the treatment of malaria. In Papua Indonesia, where multidrug resistance has been documented against both P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria, comparative ex vivo antimalarial activity against Plasmodium isolates was assessed for the artemisinin derivatives artesunate (AS) and dihydroartemisinin (DHA), the synthetic peroxides OZ277 and OZ439, the semisynthetic 10-alkylaminoartemisinin derivatives artemisone and artemiside, and the conventional antimalarial drugs chloroquine (CQ), amodiaquine (AQ), and piperaquine (PIP). Ex vivo drug susceptibility was assessed in 46 field isolates (25 P. falciparum and 21 P. vivax). The novel endoperoxide compounds exhibited potent ex vivo activity against both species, but significant differences in intrinsic activity were observed. Compared to AS and its active metabolite DHA, all the novel compounds showed lower or equal 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)s) in both species (median IC(50)s between 1.9 and 3.6 nM in P. falciparum and 0.7 and 4.6 nM in P. vivax). The antiplasmodial activity of novel endoperoxides showed different cross-susceptibility patterns in the two Plasmodium species: whereas their ex vivo activity correlated positively with CQ, PIP, AS, and DHA in P. falciparum, the same was not apparent in P. vivax. The current study demonstrates for the first time potent activity of novel endoperoxides against drug-resistant P. vivax. The high activity against drug-resistant strains of both Plasmodium species confirms these compounds to be promising candidates for future artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) regimens in regions of coendemicity.

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

    PubMed

    Nakornchai, Sunan; Konthiang, Phattanapong

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Crabb, B S; Cowman, A F

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-01

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

  12. In vitro cytocidal effect of novel lytic peptides on Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Jaynes, J M; Burton, C A; Barr, S B; Jeffers, G W; Julian, G R; White, K L; Enright, F M; Klei, T R; Laine, R A

    1988-10-01

    Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma cruzi were killed by two novel lytic peptides (SB-37 and Shiva-1) in vitro. Human erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum, and Vero cells infected with T. cruzi, were exposed to these peptides. The result, in both cases, was a significant decrease in the level of parasite infection. Furthermore, the peptides had a marked cytocidal effect on trypomastigote stages of T. cruzi in media, whereas host eukaryotic cells were unaffected by the treatments. In view of the worldwide prevalence of these protozoan diseases and the lack of completely suitable treatments, lytic peptides may provide new and unique chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of these infections.

  13. Synergistic Mortality Caused by Plasmodium falciparum during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

    PubMed Central

    Shanks, G. Dennis

    2015-01-01

    At the end of World War I, British medical officers noted that soldiers infected with malaria were more likely to die during the 1918 influenza pandemic than those without malaria. This synergistic mortality appeared to be specific to Plasmodium falciparum and has not been generally noted since 1920. A possible explanation is that a malaria-induced procoagulant state enhanced the activation of influenza virus to increase inflammation and subsequent severe clinical outcomes. Falciparum proteins bind and likely inhibit antithrombin 3 and other factors. Pathogens interact in ways that may inform pathophysiology studies of remote epidemics. PMID:25802427

  14. Investigating the activity of quinine analogues vs. chloroquine resistant Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Dinio, Theresa; Gorka, Alexander P.; McGinniss, Andrew; Roepe, Paul D.; Morgan, Jeremy B.

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malarial parasite species, has developed resistance against nearly all man-made antimalarial drugs within the past century. However, quinine (QN), the first antimalarial drug, remains efficacious worldwide. Some chloroquine resistant (CQR) P. falciparum strains or isolates show mild cross resistance to QN, but many do not. Further optimization of QN may provide well-tolerated therapy with improved activity vs. CQR malaria. Thus, using the Heck reaction, we have pursued a structure-activity relationship study, including vinyl group modifications of QN. Certain derivatives show good antiplasmodial activity in QN-resistant and QN-sensitive strains, with lower IC50 values relative to QN. PMID:22512909

  15. Adaptation of the Panama II strain of Plasmodium falciparum to Panamanian owl monkeys.

    PubMed

    Rossan, R N; Baerg, D C

    1987-09-01

    The Panama II strain of Plasmodium falciparum, acquired at the second passage level in splenectomized Colombian owl monkeys, was adapted to owl monkeys of Panamanian origin. Patent infections were induced in 22 of 27 unaltered and 20 of 21 splenectomized recipients during 19 serial passages. The infections were significantly more virulent in splenectomized than normal Panamanian owl monkeys, however recrudescences in seven normal monkeys achieved peak parasitemias 48 times greater than in the primary attack. These results describe the first reproducible infections of indigenous falciparum malaria in Panamanian owl monkeys. PMID:3310680

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-02-01

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

  17. Two cases of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Netherlands without recent travel to a malaria-endemic country.

    PubMed

    Arends, Joop E; Oosterheert, Jan Jelrik; Kraaij-Dirkzwager, Marleen M; Kaan, Jan A; Fanoy, Ewout B; Haas, Pieter-Jan; Scholte, Ernst-Jan; Kortbeek, Laetitia M; Sankatsing, Sanjay U C

    2013-09-01

    Recently, two patients of African origin were given a diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria without recent travel to a malaria-endemic country. This observation highlights the importance for clinicians to consider tropical malaria in patients with fever. Possible transmission routes of P. falciparum to these patients will be discussed. From a public health perspective, international collaboration is crucial when potential cases of European autochthonous P. falciparum malaria in Europe re considered.

  18. Rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosing uncomplicated non-falciparum or Plasmodium vivax malaria in endemic countries

    PubMed Central

    Abba, Katharine; Kirkham, Amanda J; Olliaro, Piero L; Deeks, Jonathan J; Donegan, Sarah; Garner, Paul; Takwoingi, Yemisi

    2014-01-01

    Background In settings where both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum infection cause malaria, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) need to distinguish which species is causing the patients' symptoms, as different treatments are required. Older RDTs incorporated two test lines to distinguish malaria due to P. falciparum, from malaria due to any other Plasmodium species (non-falciparum). These RDTs can be classified according to which antibodies they use: Type 2 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and aldolase (all species); Type 3 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and pLDH (all species); Type 4 use pLDH (fromP. falciparum) and pLDH (all species). More recently, RDTs have been developed to distinguish P. vivax parasitaemia by utilizing a pLDH antibody specific to P. vivax. Objectives To assess the diagnostic accuracy of RDTs for detecting non-falciparum or P. vivax parasitaemia in people living in malaria-endemic areas who present to ambulatory healthcare facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria, and to identify which types and brands of commercial test best detect non-falciparum and P. vivax malaria. Search methods We undertook a comprehensive search of the following databases up to 31 December 2013: Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; MEDLINE; EMBASE; MEDION; Science Citation Index; Web of Knowledge; African Index Medicus; LILACS; and IndMED. Selection criteria Studies comparing RDTs with a reference standard (microscopy or polymerase chain reaction) in blood samples from a random or consecutive series of patients attending ambulatory health facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria in non-falciparum endemic areas. Data collection and analysis For each study, two review authors independently extracted a standard set of data using a tailored data extraction form. We grouped comparisons by type of RDT (defined by the combinations of antibodies used), and combined in meta-analysis where appropriate. Average sensitivities and

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Zani, Babalwa; Gathu, Michael; Donegan, Sarah; Olliaro, Piero L; Sinclair, David

    2014-01-01

    Background The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. This review aims to assist the decision-making of malaria control programmes by providing an overview of the relative effects of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-P) versus other recommended ACTs. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of DHA-P compared to other ACTs for treating uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in adults and children. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS, and the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) up to July 2013. Selection criteria Randomized controlled trials comparing a three-day course of DHA-P to a three-day course of an alternative WHO recommended ACT in uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently assessed trials for eligibility and risk of bias, and extracted data. We analysed primary outcomes in line with the WHO 'Protocol for assessing and monitoring antimalarial drug efficacy’ and compared drugs using risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Secondary outcomes were effects on gametocytes, haemoglobin, and adverse events. We assessed the quality of evidence using the GRADE approach. Main results We included 27 trials, enrolling 16,382 adults and children, and conducted between 2002 and 2010. Most trials excluded infants aged less than six months and pregnant women. DHA-P versus artemether-lumefantrine In Africa, over 28 days follow-up, DHA-P is superior to artemether-lumefantrine at preventing further parasitaemia (PCR-unadjusted treatment failure: RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.39, nine trials, 6200 participants, high quality evidence), and although PCR-adjusted treatment failure was below 5% for both ACTs, it was consistently lower

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum at the Crossroads of Exchange among Islands in Vanuatu: Implications for Malaria Elimination Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Chim W.; Sakihama, Naoko; Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Idris, Zulkarnain Md; Lum, J. Koji; Kaneko, Akira

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the transmission and movement of Plasmodium parasites is crucial for malaria elimination and prevention of resurgence. Located at the limit of malaria transmission in the Pacific, Vanuatu is an ideal candidate for elimination programs due to low endemicity and the isolated nature of its island setting. We analyzed the variation in the merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1) and the circumsporozoite protein (csp) of P. falciparum and P. vivax populations to examine the patterns of gene flow and population structures among seven sites on five islands in Vanuatu. Genetic diversity was in general higher in P. vivax than P. falciparum from the same site. In P. vivax, high genetic diversity was likely maintained by greater extent of gene flow among sites and among islands. Consistent with the different patterns of gene flow, the proportion of genetic variance found among islands was substantially higher in P. falciparum (28.81–31.23%) than in P. vivax (-0.53–3.99%). Our data suggest that the current island-by-island malaria elimination strategy in Vanuatu, while adequate for P. falciparum elimination, might need to be complemented with more centrally integrated measures to control P. vivax movement across islands. PMID:25793260

  5. Dynamics of multi-drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Rooney, W

    1992-09-01

    Since the initial report of resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine in 1960 in the Thai-Cambodian border resistance to alternative drugs occurred early after their introduction. This development is considered to be the result of population migration and excessive drug pressure along with the presence of a multi-resistance gene within the parasite population. Multi-resistant strains as such have been disseminated throughout the country by returning migrant populations.

  6. Molecular surveillance of antimalarial drug resistance related genes in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Eritrea.

    PubMed

    Menegon, Michela; Nurahmed, Abduselam M; Talha, Albadawi A; Nour, Bakri Y M; Severini, Carlo

    2016-05-01

    The introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy has led to extraordinary results in malaria control, however the recent emergence of partial resistance to artemisinin therapy in Southeast Asia jeopardizes these successes. This study aimed at investigating resistance to the antimalarial drugs by evaluating the polymorphisms in the PfK13, Pfcrt and Pfmdr1 genes in Plasmodium falciparum isolates obtained from patients in Eritrea.

  7. Detection of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells by optical stretching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritz, Jakob M. A.; Tiffert, Teresa; Seear, Rachel; Lautenschläger, Franziska; Esposito, Alessandro; Lew, Virgilio L.; Guck, Jochen; Kaminski, Clemens F.

    2010-05-01

    We present the application of a microfluidic optical cell stretcher to measure the elasticity of malaria-infected red blood cells. The measurements confirm an increase in host cell rigidity during the maturation of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The device combines the selectivity and sensitivity of single-cell elasticity measurements with a throughput that is higher than conventional single-cell techniques. The method has potential to detect early stages of infection with excellent sensitivity and high speed.

  8. Prevalence and risk factors of Plasmodium falciparum infections in pregnant women of Luanda, Angola.

    PubMed

    Valente, Bianor; Campos, Paulo A; do Rosário, Virgílio E; Varandas, Luis; Silveira, Henrique

    2011-10-01

    Pregnant women are at increased risk of malaria, but in Angola, epidemiologic data from this group is almost inexistent. We conducted a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence and risk factors of Plasmodium falciparum infections in 567 pregnant Angolan women living in Luanda province. One in five women had P. falciparum at delivery, diagnosed by PCR assay. Age, residence and history of malaria during pregnancy were significantly associated with P. falciparum infection, but gravidity and use of anti-malarial drugs were not. Placental infections were significantly more common in women ≤18 years old and in primigravidae, but we could not correlate placental infections with poor pregnancy outcomes. These findings are relevant to malaria control policies in Luanda, Angola.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Tao; Glushakova, Svetlana; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2003-01-01

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

  11. Host iron status and iron supplementation mediate susceptibility to erythrocytic stage Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Clark, Martha A; Goheen, Morgan M; Fulford, Anthony; Prentice, Andrew M; Elnagheeb, Marwa A; Patel, Jaymin; Fisher, Nancy; Taylor, Steve M; Kasthuri, Raj S; Cerami, Carla

    2014-07-25

    Iron deficiency and malaria have similar global distributions, and frequently co-exist in pregnant women and young children. Where both conditions are prevalent, iron supplementation is complicated by observations that iron deficiency anaemia protects against falciparum malaria, and that iron supplements increase susceptibility to clinically significant malaria, but the mechanisms remain obscure. Here, using an in vitro parasite culture system with erythrocytes from iron-deficient and replete human donors, we demonstrate that Plasmodium falciparum infects iron-deficient erythrocytes less efficiently. In addition, owing to merozoite preference for young erythrocytes, iron supplementation of iron-deficient individuals reverses the protective effects of iron deficiency. Our results provide experimental validation of field observations reporting protective effects of iron deficiency and harmful effects of iron administration on human malaria susceptibility. Because recovery from anaemia requires transient reticulocytosis, our findings imply that in malarious regions iron supplementation should be accompanied by effective measures to prevent falciparum malaria.

  12. Crystal Structure Analyses of the Fosmidomycin-Target Enzyme from Plasmodium Falciparum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, Tomonobu; Kusakabe, Yoshio; Tanaka, Nobutada

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the death of more than a million people each year. Fosmidomycin has proved to be efficient in the treatment of P. falciparum malaria through the inhibition of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR), an enzyme of the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis, which is absent in humans. Crystal structure analyses of P. falciparum DXR (PfDXR) revealed that (i) an intrinsic flexibility of the PfDXR molecule accounts for the induced-fit movement to accommodate the bound inhibitor in the active site, and (ii) a cis arrangement of the oxygen atoms of the hydroxamate group of the bound inhibitor is essential for tight binding of the inhibitor to the active site metal. We believe that our study will serve as a useful guide to develop more potent PfDXR inhibitors.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Risk factors for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax gametocyte carriage in Papua New Guinean children with uncomplicated malaria.

    PubMed

    Karl, Stephan; Laman, Moses; Moore, Brioni R; Benjamin, John M; Salib, Mary; Lorry, Lina; Maripal, Samuel; Siba, Peter; Robinson, Leanne J; Mueller, Ivo; Davis, Timothy M E

    2016-08-01

    There are limited data on gametocytaemia risk factors before/after treatment with artemisinin combination therapy in children from areas with transmission of multiple Plasmodium species. We utilised data from a randomised trial comparing artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and artemisinin-naphthoquine (AN) in 230 Papua New Guinean children aged 0.5-5 years with uncomplicated malaria in whom determinants of gametocytaemia by light microscopy were assessed at baseline using logistic regression and during follow-up using multilevel mixed effects modelling. Seventy-four (32%) and 18 (8%) children presented with P. falciparum and P. vivax gametocytaemia, respectively. Baseline P. falciparum gametocytaemia was associated with Hackett spleen grade 1 (odds ratio (95% CI) 4.01 (1.60-10.05) vs grade 0; P<0.001) and haemoglobin (0.95 (0.92-0.97) per 1g/L increase; P<0.001), and P. falciparum asexual parasitaemia in slide-positive cases (0.36 (0.19-0.68) for a 10-fold increase; P=0.002). Baseline P. vivax gametocytaemia was associated with Hackett grade 2 (12.66 (1.31-122.56); P=0.028), mixed P. falciparum/vivax infection (0.16 (0.03-1.00); P=0.050), P. vivax asexual parasitaemia (5.68 (0.98-33.04); P=0.053) and haemoglobin (0.94 (0.88-1.00); P=0.056). For post-treatment P. falciparum gametocytaemia, independent predictors were AN vs AL treatment (4.09 (1.43-11.65)), haemoglobin (0.95 (0.93-0.97)), presence/absence of P. falciparum asexual forms (3.40 (1.66-0.68)) and day post-treatment (0.086 (0.82-0.90)) (P<0.001). Post-treatment P. vivax gametocytaemia was predicted by presence of P. vivax asexual forms (596 (12-28,433); P<0.001). Consistent with slow P. falciparum gametocyte maturation, low haemoglobin, low asexual parasite density and higher spleen grading, markers of increased prior infection exposure/immunity, were strong associates of pre-treatment gametocyte positivity. The persistent inverse association between P. falciparum gametocytaemia and haemoglobin during follow

  16. Risk factors for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax gametocyte carriage in Papua New Guinean children with uncomplicated malaria.

    PubMed

    Karl, Stephan; Laman, Moses; Moore, Brioni R; Benjamin, John M; Salib, Mary; Lorry, Lina; Maripal, Samuel; Siba, Peter; Robinson, Leanne J; Mueller, Ivo; Davis, Timothy M E

    2016-08-01

    There are limited data on gametocytaemia risk factors before/after treatment with artemisinin combination therapy in children from areas with transmission of multiple Plasmodium species. We utilised data from a randomised trial comparing artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and artemisinin-naphthoquine (AN) in 230 Papua New Guinean children aged 0.5-5 years with uncomplicated malaria in whom determinants of gametocytaemia by light microscopy were assessed at baseline using logistic regression and during follow-up using multilevel mixed effects modelling. Seventy-four (32%) and 18 (8%) children presented with P. falciparum and P. vivax gametocytaemia, respectively. Baseline P. falciparum gametocytaemia was associated with Hackett spleen grade 1 (odds ratio (95% CI) 4.01 (1.60-10.05) vs grade 0; P<0.001) and haemoglobin (0.95 (0.92-0.97) per 1g/L increase; P<0.001), and P. falciparum asexual parasitaemia in slide-positive cases (0.36 (0.19-0.68) for a 10-fold increase; P=0.002). Baseline P. vivax gametocytaemia was associated with Hackett grade 2 (12.66 (1.31-122.56); P=0.028), mixed P. falciparum/vivax infection (0.16 (0.03-1.00); P=0.050), P. vivax asexual parasitaemia (5.68 (0.98-33.04); P=0.053) and haemoglobin (0.94 (0.88-1.00); P=0.056). For post-treatment P. falciparum gametocytaemia, independent predictors were AN vs AL treatment (4.09 (1.43-11.65)), haemoglobin (0.95 (0.93-0.97)), presence/absence of P. falciparum asexual forms (3.40 (1.66-0.68)) and day post-treatment (0.086 (0.82-0.90)) (P<0.001). Post-treatment P. vivax gametocytaemia was predicted by presence of P. vivax asexual forms (596 (12-28,433); P<0.001). Consistent with slow P. falciparum gametocyte maturation, low haemoglobin, low asexual parasite density and higher spleen grading, markers of increased prior infection exposure/immunity, were strong associates of pre-treatment gametocyte positivity. The persistent inverse association between P. falciparum gametocytaemia and haemoglobin during follow

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Synthesis and potent antiprotozoal activity of mono/di amidino 2-anilinobenzimidazoles versus Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense.

    PubMed

    Karaaslan, Cigdem; Kaiser, Marcel; Brun, Reto; Göker, Hakan

    2016-09-15

    A series of mono and dicationic new 2-anilinobenzimidazole carboxamidines were prepared in a four step process starting from 4-amino-3-nitrobenzonitrile and corresponding o-phenylenediamines. Their antiparasitic activity against Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (T.b. rhodesiense) were evaluated in vitro. Some of the dicationic compounds (10,12,14) showed equal or very close activity against T.b. rhodesiense with melarsoprol and also showed promising activity against P. falciparum as compared to chloroquine. Among the monocationic derivatives compound 21 exhibited best inhibitory activity against P. falciparum. PMID:27387356

  19. Greater endothelial activation, Weibel-Palade body release and host inflammatory response to Plasmodium vivax, compared with Plasmodium falciparum: a prospective study in Papua, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Tsin W; Lampah, Daniel A; Tjitra, Emiliana; Piera, Kim; Gitawati, Retno; Kenangalem, Enny; Price, Ric N; Anstey, Nicholas M

    2010-07-01

    Pathogenic mechanisms underlying vivax malaria are poorly understood, with few studies comparing endothelial and inflammatory responses with falciparum malaria. In adults with uncomplicated vivax or falciparum malaria, we compared plasma measurements of endothelial Weibel-Palade body release (angiopoietin-2) and activation (ICAM-1, E-selectin), as well as selected cytokines. Despite a lower median parasite count, angiopoietin-2 concentrations were higher in patients with vivax malaria, compared with falciparum malaria. Per peripheral parasite, median plasma angiopoietin-2, ICAM-1, E-selectin, interleukin-6, and interleukin-10 concentrations were higher in patients with malaria due to Plasmodium vivax. P. vivax induces greater endothelial Weibel-Palade body release and activation and greater host inflammatory responses, compared with Plasmodium falciparum.

  20. Microscopic Plasmodium falciparum Gametocytemia and Infectivity to Mosquitoes in Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jessica T; Ubalee, Ratawan; Lon, Chanthap; Balasubramanian, Sujata; Kuntawunginn, Worachet; Rahman, Rifat; Saingam, Piyaporn; Heng, Thay Kheang; Vy, Dav; San, Savoeun; Nuom, Sarath; Burkly, Hana; Chanarat, Nitima; Ponsa, Chanudom; Levitz, Lauren; Parobek, Christian; Chuor, Char Meng; Somethy, Sok; Spring, Michele; Lanteri, Charlotte; Gosi, Panita; Meshnick, Steven R; Saunders, David L

    2016-05-01

    Although gametocytes are essential for malaria transmission, in Africa many falciparum-infected persons without smear-detectable gametocytes still infect mosquitoes. To see whether the same is true in Southeast Asia, we determined the infectiousness of 119 falciparum-infected Cambodian adults to Anopheles dirus mosquitoes by membrane feeding. Just 5.9% of subjects infected mosquitoes. The 8.4% of patients with smear-detectable gametocytes were >20 times more likely to infect mosquitoes than those without and were the source of 96% of all mosquito infections. In low-transmission settings, targeting transmission-blocking interventions to those with microscopic gametocytemia may have an outsized effect on malaria control and elimination.

  1. Antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax blood-stage and sporozoite antigens in the postpartum period

    PubMed Central

    McLean, Alistair R. D.; Boel, Machteld E.; McGready, Rose; Ataide, Ricardo; Drew, Damien; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Beeson, James G.; Nosten, François; Simpson, Julie A.; Fowkes, Freya J. I.

    2016-01-01

    During pregnancy a variety of immunological changes occur to accommodate the fetus. It is unknown whether these changes continue to affect humoral immunity postpartum or how quickly they resolve. IgG levels were measured to P. falciparum and P. vivax antigens in 201 postpartum and 201 controls over 12 weeks. Linear mixed-effects models assessed antibody maintenance over time and the effect of microscopically confirmed Plasmodium spp. infection on antibody levels, and whether this was different in postpartum women compared with control women. Postpartum women had reduced Plasmodium spp. antibody levels compared to controls at baseline. Over 12 weeks, mean antibody levels in postpartum women increased to levels observed in control women. Microscopically confirmed P. falciparum and P. vivax infections during follow-up were associated with an increase in species-specific antibodies with similar magnitudes of boosting observed in postpartum and control women. Antibodies specific for pregnancy-associated, VAR2CSA-expressing parasites did not rapidly decline postpartum and did not boost in response to infection in either postpartum or control women. After pregnancy, levels of malaria-specific antibodies were reduced, but recovered to levels seen in control women. There was no evidence of an impaired ability to mount a boosting response in postpartum women. PMID:27558000

  2. Antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax blood-stage and sporozoite antigens in the postpartum period.

    PubMed

    McLean, Alistair R D; Boel, Machteld E; McGready, Rose; Ataide, Ricardo; Drew, Damien; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Beeson, James G; Nosten, François; Simpson, Julie A; Fowkes, Freya J I

    2016-01-01

    During pregnancy a variety of immunological changes occur to accommodate the fetus. It is unknown whether these changes continue to affect humoral immunity postpartum or how quickly they resolve. IgG levels were measured to P. falciparum and P. vivax antigens in 201 postpartum and 201 controls over 12 weeks. Linear mixed-effects models assessed antibody maintenance over time and the effect of microscopically confirmed Plasmodium spp. infection on antibody levels, and whether this was different in postpartum women compared with control women. Postpartum women had reduced Plasmodium spp. antibody levels compared to controls at baseline. Over 12 weeks, mean antibody levels in postpartum women increased to levels observed in control women. Microscopically confirmed P. falciparum and P. vivax infections during follow-up were associated with an increase in species-specific antibodies with similar magnitudes of boosting observed in postpartum and control women. Antibodies specific for pregnancy-associated, VAR2CSA-expressing parasites did not rapidly decline postpartum and did not boost in response to infection in either postpartum or control women. After pregnancy, levels of malaria-specific antibodies were reduced, but recovered to levels seen in control women. There was no evidence of an impaired ability to mount a boosting response in postpartum women. PMID:27558000

  3. Expression and function of pvcrt-o, a Plasmodium vivax ortholog of pfcrt, in Plasmodium falciparum and Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Sá, Juliana Martha; Yamamoto, Marcio M; Fernandez-Becerra, Carmen; de Azevedo, Mauro Ferreira; Papakrivos, Janni; Naudé, Bronwen; Wellems, Thomas E; Del Portillo, Hernando A

    2006-12-01

    Chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium vivax threatens the use of this drug as first-line treatment for millions of people infected each year worldwide. Unlike Plasmodium falciparum, in which chloroquine resistance is associated with mutations in the pfcrt gene encoding a digestive vacuole transmembrane protein, no point mutations have been associated with chloroquine resistance in the P. vivax ortholog gene, pvcrt-o (also called pvcg10). However, the question remains whether pvcrt-o can affect chloroquine response independent of mutations. Since P. vivax cannot be cultured in vitro, we used two heterologous expression systems to address this question. Results from the first system, in which chloroquine sensitive P. falciparum parasites were transformed with pvcrt-o, showed a 2.2-fold increase in chloroquine tolerance with pvcrt-o expression under a strong promoter; this effect was reversed by verapamil. In the second system, wild type pvcrt-o or a mutated form of the gene was expressed in Dictyostelium discoideum. Forms of PvCRT-o engineered to express either lysine or threonine at position 76 produced a verapamil-reversible reduction of chloroquine accumulation in this system to approximately 60% of that in control cells. Our data support an effect of PvCRT-o on chloroquine transport and/or accumulation by P. vivax, independent of the K76T amino acid substitution.

  4. Factors associated with regional bias of pfcrt (plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter) haplotypes in Nepal.

    PubMed

    Banjara, Megha Raj; Imwong, Mallika; Petmitr, Songsak; Sirawaraporn, Worachart; Joshi, Anand B; Chavalitshewinkoon-Petmitr, Porntip

    2011-01-01

    Evidences of reappearance of chloroquine sensitive Plasmodium falciparum haplotypes after cessation of chloroquine in many countries provide a rationale for the search of chloroquine sensitive haplotypes in P. falciparum isolates in Nepal where the use of chloroquine for falciparum malaria treatment has been ceased since 1988. P. falciparum chloroquine resistant transporter gene (pfcrt) haplotypes were determined and the factors associated with pfcrt haplotypes in the Eastern and Central regions of Nepal were identified. Blood samples from 106 microscopy-positive falciparum malaria patients (62 from the Eastern and 44 from the Central region) were collected on filter paper. Pfcrt region covering codons 72-76 was amplified by PCR and sequenced. SVMNT haplotype was predominant in the Central region, whereas CVIET haplotype significantly more common in the Eastern region. In multivariable analysis of factors associated with CVIET haplotype, the Eastern region and parasite isolates from patients visiting India within one month are significant at 5% level of significance. These findings suggest that antimalarial pressure is different between Eastern and Central regions of Nepal and there is a need of an effective malaria control program in the border areas between India and Nepal.

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

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Arnish

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Branch Point Identification and Sequence Requirements for Intron Splicing in Plasmodium falciparum ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaohong; Tolzmann, Caitlin A.; Melcher, Martin; Haas, Brian J.; Gardner, Malcolm J.; Smith, Joseph D.; Feagin, Jean E.

    2011-01-01

    Splicing of mRNA is an ancient and evolutionarily conserved process in eukaryotic organisms, but intron-exon structures vary. Plasmodium falciparum has an extreme AT nucleotide bias (>80%), providing a unique opportunity to investigate how evolutionary forces have acted on intron structures. In this study, we developed an in vivo luciferase reporter splicing assay and employed it in combination with lariat isolation and sequencing to characterize 5′ and 3′ splicing requirements and experimentally determine the intron branch point in P. falciparum. This analysis indicates that P. falciparum mRNAs have canonical 5′ and 3′ splice sites. However, the 5′ consensus motif is weakly conserved and tolerates nucleotide substitution, including the fifth nucleotide in the intron, which is more typically a G nucleotide in most eukaryotes. In comparison, the 3′ splice site has a strong eukaryotic consensus sequence and adjacent polypyrimidine tract. In four different P. falciparum pre-mRNAs, multiple branch points per intron were detected, with some at U instead of the typical A residue. A weak branch point consensus was detected among 18 identified branch points. This analysis indicates that P. falciparum retains many consensus eukaryotic splice site features, despite having an extreme codon bias, and possesses flexibility in branch point nucleophilic attack. PMID:21926333

  7. Evolution of genetic polymorphisms of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein (PfMSP) in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Kuesap, Jiraporn; Chaijaroenkul, Wanna; Ketprathum, Kanchanok; Tattiyapong, Puntanat; Na-Bangchang, Kesara

    2014-02-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a major public health problem in Thailand due to the emergence of multidrug resistance. The understanding of genetic diversity of malaria parasites is essential for developing effective drugs and vaccines. The genetic diversity of the merozoite surface protein-1 (PfMSP-1) and merozoite surface protein-2 (PfMSP-2) genes was investigated in a total of 145 P. falciparum isolates collected from Mae Sot District, Tak Province, Thailand during 3 different periods (1997-1999, 2005-2007, and 2009-2010). Analysis of genetic polymorphisms was performed to track the evolution of genetic change of P. falciparum using PCR. Both individual genes and their combination patterns showed marked genetic diversity during the 3 study periods. The results strongly support that P. falciparum isolates in Thailand are markedly diverse and patterns changed with time. These 2 polymorphic genes could be used as molecular markers to detect multiple clone infections and differentiate recrudescence from reinfection in P. falciparum isolates in Thailand.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Structural polymorphism in the promoter of pfmrp2 confers Plasmodium falciparum tolerance to quinoline drugs

    PubMed Central

    Mok, Sachel; Liong, Kek-Yee; Lim, Eng-How; Huang, Ximei; Zhu, Lei; Preiser, Peter Rainer; Bozdech, Zbynek

    2014-01-01

    Drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum remains a challenge for the malaria eradication programmes around the world. With the emergence of artemisinin resistance, the efficacy of the partner drugs in the artemisinin combination therapies (ACT) that include quinoline-based drugs is becoming critical. So far only few resistance markers have been identified from which only two transmembrane transporters namely PfMDR1 (an ATP-binding cassette transporter) and PfCRT (a drug-metabolite transporter) have been experimentally verified. Another P. falciparum transporter, the ATP-binding cassette containing multidrug resistance-associated protein (PfMRP2) represents an additional possible factor of drug resistance in P. falciparum. In this study, we identified a parasite clone that is derived from the 3D7 P. falciparum strain and shows increased resistance to chloroquine, mefloquine and quinine through the trophozoite and schizont stages. We demonstrate that the resistance phenotype is caused by a 4.1 kb deletion in the 5′ upstream region of the pfmrp2 gene that leads to an alteration in the pfmrp2 transcription and thus increased level of PfMRP2 protein. These results also suggest the importance of putative promoter elements in regulation of gene expression during the P. falciparum intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle and the potential of genetic polymorphisms within these regions to underlie drug resistance. PMID:24372851

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  11. Association of Plasmodium falciparum isolates encoding the p. Falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene K76T polymorphism with anemia and splenomegaly, but not with multiple infections.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Aziz, Inas Z; Oster, Nadja; Stich, August; Coulibaly, Boubacar; Guigemdé, Wendyam A; Wickert, Hannes; Andrews, Kathy T; Kouyaté, Bocar; Lanzer, Michael

    2005-03-01

    The aim of the study was to assess whether infections with Plasmodium falciparum isolates encoding the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) gene K76T polymorphism, a molecular marker for chloroquine resistance, are associated with multiple infections, age, or clinical signs of malaria in a semi-immune population in a holoendemic area of Burkina Faso. The parameters of interest were investigated in 210 P. falciparum-positive inhabitants. Logistic regression analysis showed that pfcrt K76T-carrying isolates are significantly more likely to cause anemia and splenomegaly. Furthermore, we found that infections with P. falciparum isolates encoding pfcrt K76T are dependent on age rather than multiple infections. Our findings suggest that pfcrt K76T might serve as a valuable marker for assessing the long-term clinical effect of chronic infections with chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum isolates in populations, without the need of drug efficacy trials.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  13. A systematic classification of Plasmodium falciparum P-loop NTPases: structural and functional correlation

    PubMed Central

    Gangwar, Deepti; Kalita, Mridul K; Gupta, Dinesh; Chauhan, Virander S; Mohmmed, Asif

    2009-01-01

    Background The P-loop NTPases constitute one of the largest groups of globular protein domains that play highly diverse functional roles in most of the organisms. Even with the availability of nearly 300 different Hidden Markov Models representing the P-loop NTPase superfamily, not many P-loop NTPases are known in Plasmodium falciparum. A number of characteristic attributes of the genome have resulted into the lack of knowledge about this functionally diverse, but important class of proteins. Method In the study, protein sequences with characteristic motifs of NTPase domain (Walker A and Walker B) are computationally extracted from the P. falciparum database. A detailed secondary structure analysis, functional classification, phylogenetic and orthology studies of the NTPase domain of repertoire of 97 P. falciparum P-loop NTPases is carried out. Results Based upon distinct sequence features and secondary structure profile of the P-loop domain of obtained sequences, a cladistic classification is also conceded: nucleotide kinases and GTPases, ABC and SMC family, SF1/2 helicases, AAA+ and AAA protein families. Attempts are made to identify any ortholog(s) for each of these proteins in other Plasmodium sp. as well as its vertebrate host, Homo sapiens. A number of P. falciparum P-loop NTPases that have no homologue in the host, as well as those annotated as hypothetical proteins and lack any characteristic functional domain are identified. Conclusion The study suggests a strong correlation between sequence and secondary structure profile of P-loop domains and functional roles of these proteins and thus provides an opportunity to speculate the role of many hypothetical proteins. The study provides a methodical framework for the characterization of biologically diverse NTPases in the P. falciparum genome. The efforts made in the analysis are first of its kind; and the results augment to explore the functional role of many of these proteins from the parasite that could

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Spatial association with PTEX complexes defines regions for effector export into Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Riglar, David T.; Rogers, Kelly L.; Hanssen, Eric; Turnbull, Lynne; Bullen, Hayley E.; Charnaud, Sarah C.; Przyborski, Jude; Gilson, Paul R.; Whitchurch, Cynthia B.; Crabb, Brendan S.; Baum, Jake; Cowman, Alan F.

    2013-01-01

    Export of proteins into the infected erythrocyte is critical for malaria parasite survival. The majority of effector proteins are thought to export via a proteinaceous translocon, resident in the parasitophorous vacuole membrane surrounding the parasite. Identification of the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins and its biochemical association with exported proteins suggests it performs this role. Direct evidence for this, however, is lacking. Here using viable purified Plasmodium falciparum merozoites and three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy, we investigate remodelling events immediately following parasite invasion. We show that multiple complexes of the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins localize together in foci that dynamically change in clustering behaviour. Furthermore, we provide conclusive evidence of spatial association between exported proteins and exported protein 2, a core component of the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins, during native conditions and upon generation of translocation intermediates. These data provide the most direct cellular evidence to date that protein export occurs at regions of the parasitophorous vacuole membrane housing the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins complex. PMID:23361006

  16. Plasmodium falciparum Adhesins Play an Essential Role in Signalling and Activation of Invasion into Human Erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Tham, Wai-Hong; Lim, Nicholas T. Y.; Weiss, Greta E.; Lopaticki, Sash; Ansell, Brendan R. E.; Bird, Megan; Lucet, Isabelle; Dorin-Semblat, Dominique; Doerig, Christian; Gilson, Paul R.; Crabb, Brendan S.; Cowman, Alan F.

    2015-01-01

    The most severe form of malaria in humans is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The invasive form of malaria parasites is termed a merozoite and it employs an array of parasite proteins that bind to the host cell to mediate invasion. In Plasmodium falciparum, the erythrocyte binding-like (EBL) and reticulocyte binding-like (Rh) protein families are responsible for binding to specific erythrocyte receptors for invasion and mediating signalling events that initiate active entry of the malaria parasite. Here we have addressed the role of the cytoplasmic tails of these proteins in activating merozoite invasion after receptor engagement. We show that the cytoplasmic domains of these type 1 membrane proteins are phosphorylated in vitro. Depletion of PfCK2, a kinase implicated to phosphorylate these cytoplasmic tails, blocks P. falciparum invasion of red blood cells. We identify the crucial residues within the PfRh4 cytoplasmic domain that are required for successful parasite invasion. Live cell imaging of merozoites from these transgenic mutants show they attach but do not penetrate erythrocytes implying the PfRh4 cytoplasmic tail conveys signals important for the successful completion of the invasion process. PMID:26694741

  17. Plasmodium falciparum centromeres display a unique epigenetic makeup and cluster prior to and during schizogony.

    PubMed

    Hoeijmakers, Wieteke A M; Flueck, Christian; Françoijs, Kees-Jan; Smits, Arne H; Wetzel, Johanna; Volz, Jennifer C; Cowman, Alan F; Voss, Till; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G; Bártfai, Richárd

    2012-09-01

    Centromeres are essential for the faithful transmission of chromosomes to the next generation, therefore being essential in all eukaryotic organisms. The centromeres of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most severe form of malaria, have been broadly mapped on most chromosomes, but their epigenetic composition remained undefined. Here, we reveal that the centromeric histone variant PfCENH3 occupies a 4-4.5 kb region on each P. falciparum chromosome, which is devoid of pericentric heterochromatin but harbours another histone variant, PfH2A.Z. These CENH3 covered regions pinpoint the exact position of the centromere on all chromosomes and revealed that all centromeric regions have similar size and sequence composition. Immunofluorescence assay of PfCENH3 strongly suggests that P. falciparum centromeres cluster to a single nuclear location prior to and during mitosis and cytokinesis but dissociate soon after invasion. In summary, we reveal a dynamic association of Plasmodium centromeres, which bear a unique epigenetic signature and conform to a strict structure. These findings suggest that DNA-associated and epigenetic elements play an important role in centromere establishment in this important human pathogen.

  18. Vectored antibody gene delivery protects against Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite challenge in mice

    PubMed Central

    Deal, Cailin; Balazs, Alejandro B.; Espinosa, Diego A.; Zavala, Fidel; Baltimore, David; Ketner, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum kills nearly one million children each year and imposes crippling economic burdens on families and nations worldwide. No licensed vaccine exists, but infection can be prevented by antibodies against the circumsporozoite protein (CSP), the major surface protein of sporozoites, the form of the parasite injected by mosquitoes. We have used vectored immunoprophylaxis (VIP), an adeno-associated virus-based technology, to introduce preformed antibody genes encoding anti-P. falciparum CSP mAb into mice. VIP vector-transduced mice exhibited long-lived mAb expression at up to 1,200 µg/mL in serum, and up to 70% were protected from both i.v. and mosquito bite challenge with transgenic Plasmodium berghei rodent sporozoites that incorporate the P. falciparum target of the mAb in their CSP. Serum antibody levels and protection from mosquito bite challenge were dependent on the dose of the VIP vector. All individual mice expressing CSP-specific mAb 2A10 at 1 mg/mL or more were completely protected, suggesting that in this model system, exceeding that threshold results in consistent sterile protection. Our results demonstrate the potential of VIP as a path toward the elusive goal of immunization against malaria. PMID:25114213

  19. Plasmodium falciparum Na+/H+ Exchanger 1 Transporter Is Involved in Reduced Susceptibility to Quinine ▿

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Maud; Briolant, Sébastien; Zettor, Agnès; Pelleau, Stéphane; Baragatti, Meili; Baret, Eric; Mosnier, Joel; Amalvict, Rémy; Fusai, Thierry; Rogier, Christophe; Pradines, Bruno

    2009-01-01

    Polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum crt (Pfcrt), Pfmdr1, and Pfmrp genes were not significantly associated with quinine (QN) 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) in 23 strains of Plasmodium falciparum. An increased number of DNNND repeats in Pfnhe-1 microsatellite ms4760 was associated with an increased IC50 of QN (P = 0.0007). Strains with only one DNNND repeat were more susceptible to QN (mean IC50 of 154 nM). Strains with two DNNND repeats had intermediate susceptibility to QN (mean IC50 of 548 nM). Strains with three DNNND repeats had reduced susceptibility to QN (mean IC50 of 764 nM). Increased numbers of NHNDNHNNDDD repeats were associated with a decreased IC50 of QN (P = 0.0020). Strains with profile 7 for Pfnhe-1 ms4760 (ms4760-7) were significantly associated with reduced QN susceptibility (mean IC50 of 764 nM). The determination of DNNND and NHNDNHNNDDD repeats in Pfnhe-1 ms4760 could be a good marker of QN resistance and provide an attractive surveillance method to monitor temporal trends in P. falciparum susceptibility to QN. The validity of the markers should be further supported by analyzing more isolates. PMID:19273668

  20. An FtsH protease is recruited to the mitochondrion of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Tanveer, Aiman; Allen, Stacey M; Jackson, Katherine E; Charan, Manish; Ralph, Stuart A; Habib, Saman

    2013-01-01

    The two organelles, apicoplast and mitochondrion, of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have unique morphology in liver and blood stages; they undergo complex branching and looping prior to division and segregation into daughter merozoites. Little is known about the molecular processes and proteins involved in organelle biogenesis in the parasite. We report the identification of an AAA+/FtsH protease homolog (PfFtsH1) that exhibits ATP- and Zn(2+)-dependent protease activity. PfFtsH1 undergoes processing, forms oligomeric assemblies, and is associated with the membrane fraction of the parasite cell. Generation of a transfectant parasite line with hemagglutinin-tagged PfFtsH1, and immunofluorescence assay with anti-PfFtsH1 Ab demonstrated that the protein localises to P. falciparum mitochondria. Phylogenetic analysis and the single transmembrane region identifiable in PfFtsH1 suggest that it is an i-AAA like inner mitochondrial membrane protein. Expression of PfFtsH1 in Escherichia coli converted a fraction of bacterial cells into division-defective filamentous forms implying a sequestering effect of the Plasmodium factor on the bacterial homolog, indicative of functional conservation with EcFtsH. These results identify a membrane-associated mitochondrial AAA+/FtsH protease as a candidate regulatory protein for organelle biogenesis in P. falciparum.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (PfHop).

    PubMed

    Gitau, Grace W; Mandal, Pradipta; Blatch, Gregory L; Przyborski, Jude; Shonhai, Addmore

    2012-03-01

    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium species, whose transmission to vertebrate hosts is facilitated by mosquito vectors. The transition from the cold blooded mosquito vector to the host represents physiological stress to the parasite, and additionally malaria blood stage infection is characterised by intense fever periods. In recent years, it has become clear that heat shock proteins play an essential role during the parasite's life cycle. Plasmodium falciparum expresses two prominent heat shock proteins: heat shock protein 70 (PfHsp70) and heat shock protein 90 (PfHsp90). Both of these proteins have been implicated in the development and pathogenesis of malaria. In eukaryotes, Hsp70 and Hsp90 proteins are functionally linked by an essential adaptor protein known as the Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (Hop). In this study, recombinant P. falciparum Hop (PfHop) was heterologously produced in E. coli and purified by nickel affinity chromatography. Using specific anti-PfHop antisera, the expression and localisation of PfHop in P. falciparum was investigated. PfHop was shown to co-localise with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 in parasites at the trophozoite stage. Gel filtration and co-immunoprecipitation experiments suggested that PfHop was present in a complex together with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90. The association of PfHop with both PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 suggests that this protein may mediate the functional interaction between the two chaperones.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. Identification of the transcription initiation site reveals a novel transcript structure for Plasmodium falciparum maebl

    PubMed Central

    Balu, Bharath; Blair, Peter L.; Adams, John H.

    2011-01-01

    Strict regulation of gene expression is critical for the development of the malaria parasite within multiple host cell types. However, much remains unexplored regarding gene regulation in Plasmodium falciparum with only a few components of the gene regulation machinery identified thus far. Better characterization of transcript structures with precise mapping of transcript ends will greatly aid in the search of conserved regulatory sequences in the genome. Transcript analysis of maebl, a member of the ebl gene family, in P. falciparum intra-erythrocytic stages has revealed a unique transcript structure for maebl. The 5′ untranslated region of maebl transcript is exceptionally long (>2 kb) with a small multi-exon open reading frame, annotated as a putative mitochondrial ATP synthase (PF11_0485) in the Plasmodium database. Northern blot hybridizations and RT-PCR analysis confirmed a bicistronic message for maebl along with PF11_0485. We further identified the minimal maebl promoter to be upstream of PF11_0485 by using transient chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) reporter assays. The occurrence of a bicistronic mRNA in Plasmodium is both novel and unusual for a lower eukaryote and adds on to the complexity of gene regulation in malaria parasites. PMID:18950624

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  6. Efficacy of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in Cambodia, 2008 to 2010.

    PubMed

    Leang, Rithea; Barrette, Amy; Bouth, Denis Mey; Menard, Didier; Abdur, Rashid; Duong, Socheat; Ringwald, Pascal

    2013-02-01

    We describe here the results of antimalarial therapeutic efficacy studies conducted in Cambodia from 2008 to 2010. A total of 15 studies in four sentinel sites were conducted using dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum infection and chloroquine (CQ) and DP for the treatment of P. vivax infection. All studies were performed according to the standard World Health Organization protocol for the assessment of antimalarial treatment efficacy. Among the studies of DP for the treatment of P. falciparum, an increase in treatment failure was observed in the western provinces. In 2010, the PCR-corrected treatment failure rates for DP on day 42 were 25% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 10 to 51%) in Pailin and 10.7% (95% CI = 4 to 23%) in Pursat, while the therapeutic efficacy of DP remained high (100%) in Ratanakiri and Preah Vihear provinces, located in northern and eastern Cambodia. For the studies of P. vivax, the day 28 uncorrected treatment failure rate among patients treated with CQ ranged from 4.4 to 17.4%; DP remained 100% effective in all sites. Further study is required to investigate suspected P. falciparum resistance to piperaquine in western Cambodia; the results of in vitro and molecular studies were not found to support the therapeutic efficacy findings. The emergence of artemisinin resistance in this region has likely put additional pressure on piperaquine. Although DP appears to be an appropriate new first-line treatment for P. vivax in Cambodia, alternative treatments are urgently needed for P. falciparum-infected patients in western Cambodia.

  7. Assessing functional annotation transfers with inter-species conserved coexpression: application to Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum is the main causative agent of malaria. Of the 5 484 predicted genes of P. falciparum, about 57% do not have sufficient sequence similarity to characterized genes in other species to warrant functional assignments. Non-homology methods are thus needed to obtain functional clues for these uncharacterized genes. Gene expression data have been widely used in the recent years to help functional annotation in an intra-species way via the so-called Guilt By Association (GBA) principle. Results We propose a new method that uses gene expression data to assess inter-species annotation transfers. Our approach starts from a set of likely orthologs between a reference species (here S. cerevisiae and D. melanogaster) and a query species (P. falciparum). It aims at identifying clusters of coexpressed genes in the query species whose coexpression has been conserved in the reference species. These conserved clusters of coexpressed genes are then used to assess annotation transfers between genes with low sequence similarity, enabling reliable transfers of annotations from the reference to the query species. The approach was used with transcriptomic data sets of P. falciparum, S. cerevisiae and D. melanogaster, and enabled us to propose with high confidence new/refined annotations for several dozens hypothetical/putative P. falciparum genes. Notably, we revised the annotation of genes involved in ribosomal proteins and ribosome biogenesis and assembly, thus highlighting several potential drug targets. Conclusions Our approach uses both sequence similarity and gene expression data to help inter-species gene annotation transfers. Experiments show that this strategy improves the accuracy achieved when using solely sequence similarity and outperforms the accuracy of the GBA approach. In addition, our experiments with P. falciparum show that it can infer a function for numerous hypothetical genes. PMID:20078859

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  9. Increasing Plasmodium falciparum malaria in southwest London: a 25 year observational study

    PubMed Central

    Williams, J; Chitre, M; Sharland, M

    2002-01-01

    Aims: To identify changes in the presenting number and species of imported malaria in children in southwest London. Methods: A prospective single observer study over 25 years (1975–99) of all cases of paediatric malaria seen at St George's Hospital. Results: A confirmed diagnosis was made in 249 children (56% boys; 44% girls; median age 8.0 years). Of these, 53% were UK residents and 44% were children travelling to the UK. A significant increase was noted in the number of cases over the 25 years (1975–79: mean 4.8 cases/year; 1990–99: mean 13.7 cases/year). Over the 25 years Plasmodium falciparum was seen in 77%, P vivax in 14%, P ovale in 6%, and P malariae in 3% of cases. P falciparum had increased in frequency (1975–79: P falciparum 50%, P vivax 50%; 1990–99: P falciparum 82%, P vivax 6%), associated with an increase in the proportion of children acquiring their infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Median time between arrival in the UK to the onset of fever was: P falciparum, 5 days; P ovale, 25 days; P malariae, 37 days; and P vivax, 62 days. Median time interval between the onset of fever to commencement of treatment was 4 days. This had not improved over the 25 year period. Only 41% of UK resident children presenting to hospital had taken prophylaxis and the overall number of symptomatic children taking no prophylaxis was increasing. Conclusion: Imported childhood P falciparum malaria is increasing in southwest London associated with increasing travel from sub-Saharan Africa. Over the 25 year period there has been no improvement in chemoprophylaxis rates or time to diagnosis. PMID:12023177

  10. A novel Sushi domain-containing protein of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    O'Keeffe, Aisling H; Green, Judith L; Grainger, Munira; Holder, Anthony A

    2005-03-01

    Using bioinformatics analyses of the completed malaria genome sequence, we have identified a novel protein with a potential role in erythrocyte invasion. The protein (PFD0295c, ) has a predicted signal sequence and transmembrane domain and a sequence near the C-terminus of the protein shows significant similarity with Sushi domains. These domains, which exist in a wide variety of complement and adhesion proteins, have previously been shown to be involved in protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions. Orthologous genes have also been identified in the genomes of several other Plasmodium species, suggesting a conserved function for this protein in Plasmodium. Our results show that this protein is located in apical organelles and we have therefore designated the protein apical Sushi protein (ASP). We show that the expression of ASP is tightly regulated in the intraerythrocytic stages of the parasite and that it undergoes post-translational proteolytic processing. Based on our observations of timing of expression, location and proteolytic processing, we propose a role for ASP in erythrocyte invasion.

  11. Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in an Area Where Multidrug-Resistant Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum Infections Are Endemic

    PubMed Central

    Poespoprodjo, Jeanne Rini; Fobia, Wendy; Kenangalem, Enny; Lampah, Daniel A.; Warikar, Noah; Seal, Andrew; McGready, Rose; Sugiarto, Paulus; Tjitra, Emiliana; Anstey, Nicholas M.; Price, Ric N.

    2009-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum infection exerts a considerable burden on pregnant women, but less is known about the adverse consequences of Plasmodium vivax infection. Methods In Papua, Indonesia, where multiple drug resistance to both species has emerged, we conducted a cross-sectional hospital-based study to quantify the risks and consequences of maternal malaria. Results From April 2004 through December 2006, 3046 pregnant women were enrolled in the study. The prevalence of parasitemia at delivery was 16.8% (432 of 2570 women had infections), with 152 (35.2%) of these 432 infections being associated with fever. The majority of infections were attributable to P. falciparum (250 [57.9%]); 146 (33.8%) of the infections were attributable to P. vivax, and 36 (8.3%) were coinfections with both species. At delivery, P. falciparum infection was associated with severe anemia (hemoglobin concentration, <7 g/dL; odds ratio [OR], 2.8; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.0–4.0) and a 192 g (95% CI, 119–265) reduction in mean birth weight (P < .001). P. vivax infection was associated with an increased risk of moderate anemia (hemoglobin concentration, 7–11 g/dL; OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2–2.9; P = .01) and a 108 g (95% CI, 17.5–199) reduction in mean birth weight (P < .019). Parasitemia was associated with preterm delivery (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1–2.0; P = .02) and stillbirth (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.3–4.1; P = .007) but was not associated with these outcomes after controlling for the presence of fever and severe anemia, suggesting that malaria increases the risk of preterm delivery and stillbirth through fever and contribution to severe anemia rather than through parasitemia per se. Conclusions These observations highlight the need for novel, safe, and effective treatment and prevention strategies against both multidrug-resistant P. falciparum and multidrug-resistant P. vivax infections in pregnant women in areas of mixed endemicity. PMID:18419439

  12. The hydration state of human red blood cells and their susceptibility to invasion by Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Tiffert, Teresa; Lew, Virgilio L; Ginsburg, Hagai; Krugliak, Miriam; Croisille, Laure; Mohandas, Narla

    2005-06-15

    In most inherited red blood cell (RBC) disorders with high gene frequencies in malaria-endemic regions, the distribution of RBC hydration states is much wider than normal. The relationship between the hydration state of circulating RBCs and protection against severe falciparum malaria remains unexplored. The present investigation was prompted by a casual observation suggesting that falciparum merozoites were unable to invade isotonically dehydrated normal RBCs. We designed an experimental model to induce uniform and stable isotonic volume changes in RBC populations from healthy donors by increasing or decreasing their KCl contents through a reversible K(+) permeabilization pulse. Swollen and mildly dehydrated RBCs were able to sustain Plasmodium falciparum cultures with similar efficiency to untreated RBCs. However, parasite invasion and growth were progressively reduced in dehydrated RBCs. In a parallel study, P falciparum invasion was investigated in density-fractionated RBCs from healthy subjects and from individuals with inherited RBC abnormalities affecting primarily hemoglobin (Hb) or the RBC membrane (thalassemias, hereditary ovalocytosis, xerocytosis, Hb CC, and Hb CS). Invasion was invariably reduced in the dense cell fractions in all conditions. These results suggest that the presence of dense RBCs is a protective factor, additional to any other protection mechanism prevailing in each of the different pathologies. PMID:15728121

  13. Complete Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage development in liver-chimeric mice.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Ashley M; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Wilson, Elizabeth M; Grompe, Markus; Kaushansky, Alexis; Camargo, Nelly; Bial, John; Ploss, Alexander; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2012-10-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most lethal form of human malaria, replicates in the host liver during the initial stage of infection. However, in vivo malaria liver-stage (LS) studies in humans are virtually impossible, and in vitro models of LS development do not reconstitute relevant parasite growth conditions. To overcome these obstacles, we have adopted a robust mouse model for the study of P. falciparum LS in vivo: the immunocompromised and fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase-deficient mouse (Fah-/-, Rag2-/-, Il2rg-/-, termed the FRG mouse) engrafted with human hepatocytes (FRG huHep). FRG huHep mice supported vigorous, quantifiable P. falciparum LS development that culminated in complete maturation of LS at approximately 7 days after infection, providing a relevant model for LS development in humans. The infections allowed observations of previously unknown expression of proteins in LS, including P. falciparum translocon of exported proteins 150 (PTEX150) and exported protein-2 (EXP-2), components of a known parasite protein export machinery. LS schizonts exhibited exoerythrocytic merozoite formation and merosome release. Furthermore, FRG mice backcrossed to the NOD background and repopulated with huHeps and human red blood cells supported reproducible transition from LS infection to blood-stage infection. Thus, these mice constitute reliable models to study human LS directly in vivo and demonstrate utility for studies of LS-to-blood-stage transition of a human malaria parasite.

  14. The hydration state of human red blood cells and their susceptibility to invasion by Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Tiffert, Teresa; Lew, Virgilio L.; Ginsburg, Hagai; Krugliak, Miriam; Croisille, Laure; Mohandas, Narla

    2005-01-01

    In most inherited red blood cell (RBC) disorders with high gene frequencies in malaria-endemic regions, the distribution of RBC hydration states is much wider than normal. The relationship between the hydration state of circulating RBCs and protection against severe falciparum malaria remains unexplored. The present investigation was prompted by a casual observation suggesting that falciparum merozoites were unable to invade isotonically dehydrated normal RBCs. We designed an experimental model to induce uniform and stable isotonic volume changes in RBC populations from healthy donors by increasing or decreasing their KCl contents through a reversible K+ permeabilization pulse. Swollen and mildly dehydrated RBCs were able to sustain Plasmodium falciparum cultures with similar efficiency to untreated RBCs. However, parasite invasion and growth were progressively reduced in dehydrated RBCs. In a parallel study, P falciparum invasion was investigated in density-fractionated RBCs from healthy subjects and from individuals with inherited RBC abnormalities affecting primarily hemoglobin (Hb) or the RBC membrane (thalassemias, hereditary ovalocytosis, xerocytosis, Hb CC, and Hb CS). Invasion was invariably reduced in the dense cell fractions in all conditions. These results suggest that the presence of dense RBCs is a protective factor, additional to any other protection mechanism prevailing in each of the different pathologies. (Blood. 2005; 105:4853-4860) PMID:15728121

  15. Neutralizing Antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum Associated with Successful Cure after Drug Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Yun Shan; Peng, Kaitian; Chia, Wan Ni; Siau, Anthony; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Gruner, Anne-Charlotte; Preiser, Peter; Mayxay, Mayfong; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Sriprawat, Kanlaya; Nosten, Francois; White, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    An effective antibody response can assist drug treatment to contribute to better parasite clearance in malaria patients. To examine this, sera were obtained from two groups of adult patients with acute falciparum malaria, prior to drug treatment: patients who (1) have subsequent recrudescent infection, or (2) were cured by Day 28 following treatment. Using a Plasmodium falciparum antigen library, we examined the antibody specificities in these sera. While the antibody repertoire of both sera groups was extremely broad and varied, there was a differential antibody profile between the two groups of sera. The proportion of cured patients with antibodies against EXP1, MSP3, GLURP, RAMA, SEA and EBA181 was higher than the proportion of patients with recrudescent infection. The presence of these antibodies was associated with higher odds of treatment cure. Sera containing all six antibodies impaired the invasion of P. falciparum clinical isolates into erythrocytes. These results suggest that antibodies specific against EXP1, MSP3, GLURP, RAMA, SEA and EBA181 in P. falciparum infections could assist anti-malarial drug treatment and contribute to the resolution of the malarial infection. PMID:27427762

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  1. Immunogenicity and in vitro Protective Efficacy of a Recombinant Multistage Plasmodium falciparum Candidate Vaccine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Ya Ping; Hasnain, Seyed E.; Sacci, John B.; Holloway, Brian P.; Fujioka, Hisashi; Kumar, Nirbhay; Wohlhueter, Robert; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Collins, William E.; Lal, Altaf A.

    1999-02-01

    Compared with a single-stage antigen-based vaccine, a multistage and multivalent Plasmodium falciparum vaccine would be more efficacious by inducing "multiple layers" of immunity. We have constructed a synthetic gene that encodes for 12 B cell, 6 T cell proliferative, and 3 cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes derived from 9 stage-specific P. falciparum antigens corresponding to the sporozoite, liver, erythrocytic asexual, and sexual stages. The gene was expressed in the baculovirus system, and a 41-kDa antigen, termed CDC/NIIMALVAC-1, was purified. Immunization in rabbits with the purified protein in the presence of different adjuvants generated antibody responses that recognized vaccine antigen, linear peptides contained in the vaccine, and all stages of P. falciparum. In vitro assays of protection revealed that the vaccine-elicited antibodies strongly inhibited sporozoite invasion of hepatoma cells and growth of blood-stage parasites in the presence of monocytes. These observations demonstrate that a multicomponent, multistage malaria vaccine can induce immune responses that inhibit parasite development at multiple stages. The rationale and approach used in the development of a multicomponent P. falciparum vaccine will be useful in the development of a multispecies human malaria vaccine and vaccines against other infectious diseases.

  2. Fatal Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Causes Specific Patterns of Splenic Architectural Disorganization

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Britta C.; Hien, Tran T.; Day, Nicholas P.; Phu, Nguyen H.; Roberts, Rachel; Pongponratn, Emsri; Jones, Margret; Mai, Nguyen T. H.; Bethell, Delia; Turner, Gareth D. H.; Ferguson, David; White, Nicholas J.; Roberts, David J.

    2005-01-01

    The spleen is critical for host defense against pathogens, including Plasmodium falciparum. It has a dual role, not only removing aged or antigenically altered erythrocytes from the blood but also as the major lymphoid organ for blood-borne or systemic infections. The human malaria parasite P. falciparum replicates within erythrocytes during asexual blood stages and causes repeated infections that can be associated with severe disease. In spite of the crucial role of the spleen in the innate and acquired immune response to malaria, there is little information on the pathology of the spleen in human malaria. We performed a histological and quantitative immunohistochemical study of spleen sections from Vietnamese adults dying from severe falciparum malaria and compared the findings with the findings for spleen sections from control patients and patients dying from systemic bacterial sepsis. Here we report that the white pulp in the spleens of patients dying from malaria showed a marked architectural disorganization. We observed a marked dissolution of the marginal zones with relative loss of B cells. Furthermore, we found strong HLA-DR expression on sinusoidal lining cells but downregulation on cordal macrophages. P. falciparum infection results in alterations in splenic leukocytes, many of which are not seen in sepsis. PMID:15784539

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-09-21

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

  4. Neutralizing Antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum Associated with Successful Cure after Drug Therapy.

    PubMed

    Goh, Yun Shan; Peng, Kaitian; Chia, Wan Ni; Siau, Anthony; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Gruner, Anne-Charlotte; Preiser, Peter; Mayxay, Mayfong; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Sriprawat, Kanlaya; Nosten, Francois; White, Nicholas J; Renia, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    An effective antibody response can assist drug treatment to contribute to better parasite clearance in malaria patients. To examine this, sera were obtained from two groups of adult patients with acute falciparum malaria, prior to drug treatment: patients who (1) have subsequent recrudescent infection, or (2) were cured by Day 28 following treatment. Using a Plasmodium falciparum antigen library, we examined the antibody specificities in these sera. While the antibody repertoire of both sera groups was extremely broad and varied, there was a differential antibody profile between the two groups of sera. The proportion of cured patients with antibodies against EXP1, MSP3, GLURP, RAMA, SEA and EBA181 was higher than the proportion of patients with recrudescent infection. The presence of these antibodies was associated with higher odds of treatment cure. Sera containing all six antibodies impaired the invasion of P. falciparum clinical isolates into erythrocytes. These results suggest that antibodies specific against EXP1, MSP3, GLURP, RAMA, SEA and EBA181 in P. falciparum infections could assist anti-malarial drug treatment and contribute to the resolution of the malarial infection. PMID:27427762

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-11-01

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

  7. Plasmodium falciparum epigenome: A distinct dynamic epigenetic regulation of gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Rawat, Mukul; Bhosale, Madhvi A.; Karmodiya, Krishanpal

    2015-01-01

    Histone modification profiles are predictive of gene expression and most of the knowledge gained is acquired through studies done in higher eukaryotes. However, genome-wide studies involving Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria, have been rather few, at lower resolution (mostly using ChIP-on-chip), and covering limited number of histone modifications. In our recent study [1], we have performed extensive genome-wide analyses of multiple histone modifications including the active (H3K4me2, H3K4me3, H3K9ac, H3K14ac, H3K27ac and H4ac), inactive (H3K9me3 and H3K27me3), elongation (H3K79me3) and regulatory element (H3K4me1) in a stage-specific manner. Furthermore, we used a ligation-based method suitable for sequencing homopolymeric stretches as seen in P. falciparum for next-generation sequencing library amplification [2], enabling highly quantitative analysis of the extremely AT-rich P. falciparum genome. Our recently published study suggests that transcription regulation by virtue of poised chromatin and differential histone modifications is unique to P. falciparum [1]. Here we describe the experiments, quality controls and chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing data analysis of our associated study published in Epigenetics and Chromatin [1]. Stage-specific ChIP-sequencing data for histone modifications is submitted to Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database under the accession number GSE63369. PMID:26981368

  8. [Relapse of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in a patient treated with artesunate].

    PubMed

    Vandenbos, F; Delaunay, P; Del Giudice, P; Counillon, E

    2006-05-01

    Chemoprophylaxis and the curative treatment of malaria are well documented in France. Nevertheless this data is still not accounted for by healthcare professionals and in the global population, and no longer approved treatments may be prescribed. The authors report the case of a 24-year-old female traveler having stayed in Africa where she was used to treat fever with artesunate. Soon after her return, she presented with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria once again treated with artesunate. The evolution was initially favorable but a relapse occurred 3 weeks later. A conventional mefloquine treatment lead to a final cure. This observation confirms that artesunate monotherapy in malaria exposes to a risk of relapse. Artesunate should not be used as monotherapy in P. falciparum malaria. PMID:16697545

  9. Surveillance of Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in India Using the kelch13 Molecular Marker

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Neelima; Prajapati, Surendra Kumar; Kaitholia, Kamlesh; Bharti, Ram Suresh; Srivastava, Bina; Phookan, Sobhan; Anvikar, Anupkumar R.; Dev, Vas; Sonal, Gagan Singh; Dhariwal, Akshay Chandra; White, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Malaria treatment in Southeast Asia is threatened with the emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. Genome association studies have strongly linked a locus on P. falciparum chromosome 13 to artemisinin resistance, and recently, mutations in the kelch13 propeller region (Pfk-13) were strongly linked to resistance. To date, this information has not been shown in Indian samples. Pfk-13 mutations were assessed in samples from efficacy studies of artemisinin combination treatments in India. Samples were PCR amplified and sequenced from codon 427 to 727. Out of 384 samples, nonsynonymous mutations in the propeller region were found in four patients from the northeastern states, but their presence did not correlate with ACT treatment failures. This is the first report of Pfk-13 point mutations from India. Further phenotyping and genotyping studies are required to assess the status of artemisinin resistance in this region. PMID:25691626

  10. A fresh look at the origin of Plasmodium falciparum, the most malignant malaria agent.

    PubMed

    Prugnolle, Franck; Durand, Patrick; Ollomo, Benjamin; Duval, Linda; Ariey, Frédéric; Arnathau, Céline; Gonzalez, Jean-Paul; Leroy, Eric; Renaud, François

    2011-02-01

    From which host did the most malignant human malaria come: birds, primates, or rodents? When did the transfer occur? Over the last half century, these have been some of the questions up for debate about the origin of Plasmodium falciparum, the most common and deadliest human malaria parasite, which is responsible for at least one million deaths every year. Recent findings bring elements in favor of a transfer from great apes, but are these evidences really solid? What are the grey areas that remain to be clarified? Here, we examine in depth these new elements and discuss how they modify our perception of the origin and evolution of P. falciparum. We also discuss the perspectives these new discoveries open.

  11. Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Manske, Magnus; Miotto, Olivo; Campino, Susana; Auburn, Sarah; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Maslen, Gareth; O’Brien, Jack; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Doumbo, Ogobara; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Michon, Pascal; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter; Nzila, Alexis; Borrmann, Steffen; Kiara, Steven M.; Marsh, Kevin; Jiang, Hongying; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Fairhurst, Rick; Socheat, Duong; Nosten, Francois; Imwong, Mallika; White, Nicholas J.; Sanders, Mandy; Anastasi, Elisa; Alcock, Dan; Drury, Eleanor; Oyola, Samuel; Quail, Michael A.; Turner, Daniel J.; Rubio, Valentin Ruano; Jyothi, Dushyanth; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Hubbart, Christina; Jeffreys, Anna; Rowlands, Kate; Sutherland, Colin; Roper, Cally; Mangano, Valentina; Modiano, David; Tan, John C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J.; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V.; Rayner, Julian C.; Rockett, Kirk A.; Clark, Taane G.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.

    2013-01-01

    Malaria elimination strategies require surveillance of the parasite population for genetic changes that demand a public health response, such as new forms of drug resistance. 1,2 Here we describe methods for large-scale analysis of genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum by deep sequencing of parasite DNA obtained from the blood of patients with malaria, either directly or after short term culture. Analysis of 86,158 exonic SNPs that passed genotyping quality control in 227 samples from Africa, Asia and Oceania provides genome-wide estimates of allele frequency distribution, population structure and linkage disequilibrium. By comparing the genetic diversity of individual infections with that of the local parasite population, we derive a metric of within-host diversity that is related to the level of inbreeding in the population. An open-access web application has been established for exploration of regional differences in allele frequency and of highly differentiated loci in the P. falciparum genome. PMID:22722859

  12. Physics-based gene identification: proof of concept for Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Yeramian, Edouard; Bonnefoy, Serge; Langsley, Gordon

    2002-01-01

    The ab initio prediction of new genes in eukaryotic genomes represents a difficult task, notably for the identification of complex split genes. A Physics-Based Gene Identification (PBGI) method was formulated recently (Yeramian, Gene, 255, 139-150, 151-168, 2000a,b) to address this problem, taking as a model the Plasmodium falciparum genome. Here, the predictive power of this method is put under experimental test for this genome. The presented results demonstrate the usefulness of the PBGI as a gene-identification tool for P. falciparum, notably for the discovery of new genes with no homology to known genes. Perspectives opened by this new method for other eukaryotic genomes are also mentioned.

  13. Quantification of female and male Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Petra; Reece, Sarah E; van Schaijk, Ben C L; Bousema, Teun; Lanke, Kjerstin H W; Meaden, Cora S J; Gadalla, Amal; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa C; Babiker, Hamza A

    2015-01-01

    The transmission of malaria parasites depends on the presence of sexual stages (gametocytes) in the blood, making the ratio and densities of female and male gametocytes important determinants of parasite fitness. This manuscript describes the development of reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assays to separately quantify mature female and male gametocytes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and reveals that Pfs25 mRNA is expressed only in female gametocytes. The female (Pfs25) and male (Pfs230p) gametocyte specific RT-qPCR assays have lower detection limits of 0.3 female and 1.8 male gametocytes per microlitre of blood, respectively, making them more sensitive than microscopy. Accurate quantification of the ratio and densities of female and male gametocytes will increase understanding of P. falciparum transmission and improve the evaluation of transmission blocking interventions.

  14. Crystal structure of Plasmodium falciparum proplasmepsin IV: the plasticity of proplasmepsins.

    PubMed

    Recacha, Rosario; Jaudzems, Kristaps; Akopjana, Inara; Jirgensons, Aigars; Tars, Kaspars

    2016-09-01

    Plasmepsin IV from Plasmodium falciparum (PM IV) is a promising target for the development of novel antimalarial drugs. Here, the crystal structure of the truncated zymogen of PM IV (pPM IV), consisting of the mature enzyme plus a prosegment of 47 residues, has been determined at 1.5 Å resolution. pPM IV presents the fold previously described for studied proplasmepsins, displaying closer similarities to proplasmepin IV from P. vivax (pPvPM) than to the other two proplasmepsins from P. falciparum. The study and comparison of the pPM IV structure with the proplasmepsin structures described previously provide information about the similarities and differences in the inactivation-activation mechanisms among the plasmepsin zymogens. PMID:27599854

  15. Nutritional requirements of Plasmodium falciparum in culture. I. Exogenously supplied dialyzable components necessary for continuous growth.

    PubMed

    Divo, A A; Geary, T G; Davis, N L; Jensen, J B

    1985-02-01

    Continuous cultivation of Plasmodium falciparum presently requires the nutritionally complex medium, RPMI 1640. A basal medium of KCl, NaCl, Na2HPO4, Ca(NO3)2, MgSO4, glucose, reduced glutathione, HEPES buffer, hypoxanthine, phenol red (in RPMI 1640 concentrations), and 10% (v/v) exhaustively dialyzed pooled human serum was used to determine which vitamins and amino acids had to be exogenously supplied for continuous cultivation. Supplementation of basal medium with calcium pantothenate, cystine, glutamate, glutamine, isoleucine, methionine, proline, and tyrosine was necessary for continuous growth. This semi-defined minimal medium supported continuous growth of four isolates of P. falciparum at rates slightly less than those obtained with RPMI 1640. Adding any other vitamin or amino acid did not improve growth. Incorporation of several non-essential amino acids, particularly phenylalanine and leucine, into proteins was markedly enhanced in the minimal medium compared to RPMI 1640. PMID:3886898

  16. Adjunctive therapy for cerebral malaria and other severe forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    John, Chandy C; Kutamba, Elizabeth; Mugarura, Keith; Opoka, Robert O

    2010-01-01

    Severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum causes more than 800,000 deaths every year. Primary therapy with quinine or artesunate is generally effective in controlling P. falciparum parasitemia, but mortality from cerebral malaria and other forms of severe malaria remains unacceptably high. Long-term cognitive impairment is also common in children with cerebral malaria. Of the numerous adjunctive therapies for cerebral malaria and severe malaria studied over the past five decades, only one (albumin) was associated with a reduction in mortality. In this article, we review past and ongoing studies of adjunctive therapy, and examine the evidence of efficacy for newer therapies, including inhibitors of cytoadherence (e.g., levamisole), immune modulators (e.g., rosiglitazone), agents that increase nitric oxide levels (e.g., arginine) and neuroprotective agents (e.g., erythropoietin). PMID:20818944

  17. Evidence of promiscuous endothelial binding by Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Esser, Claudia; Bachmann, Anna; Kuhn, Daniela; Schuldt, Kathrin; Förster, Birgit; Thiel, Meike; May, Jürgen; Koch-Nolte, Friedrich; Yáñez-Mó, María; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Schinkel, Alfred H; Jalkanen, Sirpa; Craig, Alister G; Bruchhaus, Iris; Horstmann, Rolf D

    2014-05-01

    The adhesion of infected red blood cells (iRBCs) to human endothelium is considered a key event in the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria and other life-threatening complications caused by the most prevalent malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In the past 30 years, 14 endothelial receptors for iRBCs have been identified. Exposing 10 additional surface proteins of endothelial cells to a mixture of P.  falciparum isolates from three Ghanaian malaria patients, we identified seven new iRBC receptors, all expressed in brain vessels. This finding strongly suggests that endothelial binding of P.  falciparum iRBCs is promiscuous and may use a combination of endothelial surface moieties.

  18. Plasmodium falciparum sulfadoxine resistance is geographically and genetically clustered within the DR Congo

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Steve M.; Antonia, Alejandro L.; Parobek, Christian M.; Juliano, Jonathan J.; Janko, Mark; Emch, Michael; Alam, Md Tauqeer; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Tshefu, Antoinette K.; Meshnick, Steven R.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the spatial clustering of Plasmodium falciparum populations can assist efforts to contain drug-resistant parasites and maintain the efficacy of future drugs. We sequenced single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the dihydropteroate synthase gene (dhps) associated with sulfadoxine resistance and 5 microsatellite loci flanking dhps in order to investigate the genetic backgrounds, genetic relatedness, and geographic clustering of falciparum parasites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Resistant haplotypes were clustered into subpopulations: one in the northeast DRC, and the other in the balance of the DRC. Network and clonal lineage analyses of the flanking microsatellites indicate that geographically-distinct mutant dhps haplotypes derive from separate lineages. The DRC is therefore a watershed for haplotypes associated with sulfadoxine resistance. Given the importance of central Africa as a corridor for the spread of antimalarial resistance, the identification of the mechanisms of this transit can inform future policies to contain drug-resistant parasite strains. PMID:23372922

  19. Epidemic of Plasmodium falciparum malaria involving substandard antimalarial drugs, Pakistan, 2003.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Toby; Kaur, Harpakash; Mohammed, Nasir; Kolaczinski, Kate; Ord, Rosalynn L; Rowland, Mark

    2009-11-01

    Because of instability in eastern Afghanistan, new refugees crossed into the federally administered tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan in 2002. In 2003, we investigated an epidemic of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in 1 of the camps. Incidence was 100.4 cases/1,000 person-years; in other nearby camps it was only 2.1/1,000 person-years. Anopheline mosquitoes were found despite an earlier spray campaign. Documented clinical failures at the basic health unit prompted a drug resistance survey of locally manufactured sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine used for routine treatment. The in vivo failure rate was 28.5%. PCR analysis of the P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase and dihyropteroate synthase genes showed no mutations associated with clinical failure. However, chemical analysis of the drug showed that it was substandard. As global incidence decreases and epidemics become more of a threat, enhanced quality assurance of control interventions is essential. PMID:19891862

  20. Epidemic of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Involving Substandard Antimalarial Drugs, Pakistan, 2003

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Harpakash; Mohammed, Nasir; Kolaczinski, Kate; Ord, Rosalynn L.; Rowland, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Because of instability in eastern Afghanistan, new refugees crossed into the federally administered tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan in 2002. In 2003, we investigated an epidemic of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in 1 of the camps. Incidence was 100.4 cases/1,000 person-years; in other nearby camps it was only 2.1/1,000 person-years. Anopheline mosquitoes were found despite an earlier spray campaign. Documented clinical failures at the basic health unit prompted a drug resistance survey of locally manufactured sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine used for routine treatment. The in vivo failure rate was 28.5%. PCR analysis of the P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase and dihyropteroate synthase genes showed no mutations associated with clinical failure. However, chemical analysis of the drug showed that it was substandard. As global incidence decreases and epidemics become more of a threat, enhanced quality assurance of control interventions is essential. PMID:19891862

  1. Parasitic co-infections: does Ascaris lumbricoides protect against Plasmodium falciparum infection?

    PubMed

    Brutus, Laurent; Watier, Laurence; Briand, Valérie; Hanitrasoamampionona, Virginie; Razanatsoarilala, Hélène; Cot, Michel

    2006-08-01

    A controlled randomized trial of antihelminthic treatment was undertaken in 1996-1997 in a rural area of Madagascar where populations were simultaneously infected with Ascaris lumbricoides and Plasmodium falciparum. Levamisole was administered bimonthly to 164 subjects, randomized on a family basis, whereas 186 were controls. While levamisole proved to be highly effective in reducing Ascaris egg loads in the treated group (P < 10(-3) at all bimonthly visits), subjects more than 5 years of age, treated with levamisole had a significant increase in their P. falciparum densities compared with controls (P = 0.02), whereas there was no effect of anti-helminthic treatment on children 6 months to 4 years of age. The demonstration of a clear negative interaction between Ascaris infection and malaria parasite density has important implications. Single community therapy programs to deliver treatments against several parasitic infections could avoid an increase of malaria attacks after mass treatment of ascariasis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Inhibition of an Erythrocyte Tyrosine Kinase with Imatinib Prevents Plasmodium falciparum Egress and Terminates Parasitemia

    PubMed Central

    Kesely, Kristina R.; Pantaleo, Antonella; Turrini, Francesco M.; Olupot-Olupot, Peter

    2016-01-01

    With half of the world’s population at risk for malaria infection and with drug resistance on the rise, the search for mutation-resistant therapies has intensified. We report here a therapy for Plasmodium falciparum malaria that acts by inhibiting the phosphorylation of erythrocyte membrane band 3 by an erythrocyte tyrosine kinase. Because tyrosine phosphorylation of band 3 causes a destabilization of the erythrocyte membrane required for parasite egress, inhibition of the erythrocyte tyrosine kinase leads to parasite entrapment and termination of the infection. Moreover, because one of the kinase inhibitors to demonstrate antimalarial activity is imatinib, i.e. an FDA-approved drug authorized for use in children, translation of the therapy into the clinic will be facilitated. At a time when drug resistant strains of P. falciparum are emerging, a strategy that targets a host enzyme that cannot be mutated by the parasite should constitute a therapeutic mechanism that will retard evolution of resistance. PMID:27768734

  5. Inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum dihydropteroate synthetase and growth in vitro by sulfa drugs.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Y; Meshnick, S R

    1991-01-01

    The Michaelis-Menten inhibitory constants (Kis) and the concentrations required for 50% inhibition of the Plasmodium falciparum dihydropteroate synthetase were determined for six sulfa drugs. These drugs inhibited the in vitro growth of P. falciparum (50% lethal concentration) at concentrations of 30 to 500 nM; these concentrations were 100 to 1,000 times lower than the concentrations required for 50% inhibition and Kis (6 to 500 microM). The uptake of p-aminobenzoic acid was not inhibited by the sulfa drugs. However, infected erythrocytes took up more labeled sulfamethoxazole than did uninfected erythrocytes. Thus, the concentration of sulfa drugs by malaria parasites may explain how sulfa drugs inhibit in vitro growth of parasites through the inhibition of dihydropteroate synthetase. PMID:2024960

  6. Blood Stage Plasmodium falciparum Exhibits Biological Responses to Direct Current Electric Fields.

    PubMed

    Coronado, Lorena M; Montealegre, Stephania; Chaverra, Zumara; Mojica, Luis; Espinosa, Carlos; Almanza, Alejandro; Correa, Ricardo; Stoute, José A; Gittens, Rolando A; Spadafora, Carmenza

    2016-01-01

    The development of resistance to insecticides by the vector of malaria and the increasingly faster appearance of resistance to antimalarial drugs by the parasite can dangerously hamper efforts to control and eradicate the disease. Alternative ways to treat this disease are urgently needed. Here we evaluate the in vitro effect of direct current (DC) capacitive coupling electrical stimulation on the biology and viability of Plasmodium falciparum. We designed a system that exposes infected erythrocytes to different capacitively coupled electric fields in order to evaluate their effect on P. falciparum. The effect on growth of the parasite, replication of DNA, mitochondrial membrane potential and level of reactive oxygen species after exposure to electric fields demonstrate that the parasite is biologically able to respond to stimuli from DC electric fields involving calcium signaling pathways. PMID:27537497

  7. Blood Stage Plasmodium falciparum Exhibits Biological Responses to Direct Current Electric Fields

    PubMed Central

    Coronado, Lorena M.; Montealegre, Stephania; Chaverra, Zumara; Mojica, Luis; Espinosa, Carlos; Almanza, Alejandro; Correa, Ricardo; Stoute, José A.; Gittens, Rolando A.

    2016-01-01

    The development of resistance to insecticides by the vector of malaria and the increasingly faster appearance of resistance to antimalarial drugs by the parasite can dangerously hamper efforts to control and eradicate the disease. Alternative ways to treat this disease are urgently needed. Here we evaluate the in vitro effect of direct current (DC) capacitive coupling electrical stimulation on the biology and viability of Plasmodium falciparum. We designed a system that exposes infected erythrocytes to different capacitively coupled electric fields in order to evaluate their effect on P. falciparum. The effect on growth of the parasite, replication of DNA, mitochondrial membrane potential and level of reactive oxygen species after exposure to electric fields demonstrate that the parasite is biologically able to respond to stimuli from DC electric fields involving calcium signaling pathways. PMID:27537497

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  9. Surveillance of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in India using the kelch13 molecular marker.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Neelima; Prajapati, Surendra Kumar; Kaitholia, Kamlesh; Bharti, Ram Suresh; Srivastava, Bina; Phookan, Sobhan; Anvikar, Anupkumar R; Dev, Vas; Sonal, Gagan Singh; Dhariwal, Akshay Chandra; White, Nicholas J; Valecha, Neena

    2015-05-01

    Malaria treatment in Southeast Asia is threatened with the emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. Genome association studies have strongly linked a locus on P. falciparum chromosome 13 to artemisinin resistance, and recently, mutations in the kelch13 propeller region (Pfk-13) were strongly linked to resistance. To date, this information has not been shown in Indian samples. Pfk-13 mutations were assessed in samples from efficacy studies of artemisinin combination treatments in India. Samples were PCR amplified and sequenced from codon 427 to 727. Out of 384 samples, nonsynonymous mutations in the propeller region were found in four patients from the northeastern states, but their presence did not correlate with ACT treatment failures. This is the first report of Pfk-13 point mutations from India. Further phenotyping and genotyping studies are required to assess the status of artemisinin resistance in this region.

  10. 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.

  11. Gellan sulfate inhibits Plasmodium falciparum growth and invasion of red blood cells in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Recuenco, Frances Cagayat; Kobayashi, Kyousuke; Ishiwa, Akiko; Enomoto-Rogers, Yukiko; Fundador, Noreen Grace V.; Sugi, Tatsuki; Takemae, Hitoshi; Iwanaga, Tatsuya; Murakoshi, Fumi; Gong, Haiyan; Inomata, Atsuko; Horimoto, Taisuke; Iwata, Tadahisa; Kato, Kentaro

    2014-01-01

    Here, we assessed the sulfated derivative of the microbial polysaccharide gellan gum and derivatives of λ and κ-carrageenans for their ability to inhibit Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 and Dd2 growth and invasion of red blood cells in vitro. Growth inhibition was assessed by means of flow cytometry after a 96-h exposure to the inhibitors and invasion inhibition was assessed by counting ring parasites after a 20-h exposure to them. Gellan sulfate strongly inhibited invasion and modestly inhibited growth for both P. falciparum 3D7 and Dd2; both inhibitory effects exceeded those achieved with native gellan gum. The hydrolyzed λ-carrageenan and oversulfated κ-carrageenan were less inhibitory than their native forms. In vitro cytotoxicity and anticoagulation assays performed to determine the suitability of the modified polysaccharides for in vivo studies showed that our synthesized gellan sulfate had low cytotoxicity and anticoagulant activity. PMID:24740150

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

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

  13. A Unique Plasmodium falciparum K13 Gene Mutation in Northwest Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bayih, Abebe Genetu; Getnet, Gebeyaw; Alemu, Abebe; Getie, Sisay; Mohon, Abu Naser; Pillai, Dylan R

    2016-01-01

    Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is the first line to treat uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria worldwide. Artemisinin treatment failures are on the rise in southeast Asia. Delayed parasite clearance after ACT is associated with mutations of the P. falciparum kelch 13 gene. Patients (N = 148) in five districts of northwest Ethiopia were enrolled in a 28-day ACT trial. We identified a unique kelch 13 mutation (R622I) in 3/125 (2.4%) samples. The three isolates with R622I were from Negade-Bahir and Aykel districts close to the Ethiopia-Sudan border. One of three patients with the mutant strain was parasitemic at day 3; however, all patients cleared parasites by day 28. Correlation between kelch 13 mutations and parasite clearance was not possible due to the low frequency of mutations in this study. PMID:26483118

  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. Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Angola show the StctVMNT haplotype in the pfcrt gene

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Effective treatment remains a mainstay of malaria control, but it is unfortunately strongly compromised by drug resistance, particularly in Plasmodium falciparum, the most important human malaria parasite. Although P. falciparum chemoresistance is well recognized all over the world, limited data are available on the distribution and prevalence of pfcrt and pfmdr1 haplotypes that mediate resistance to commonly used drugs and that show distinct geographic differences. Methods Plasmodium falciparum-infected blood samples collected in 2007 at four municipalities of Luanda, Angola, were genotyped using PCR and direct DNA sequencing. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the P. falciparum pfcrt and pfmdr1 genes were assessed and haplotype prevalences were determined. Results and Discussion The most prevalent pfcrt haplotype was StctVMNT (representing amino acids at codons 72-76). This result was unexpected, since the StctVMNT haplotype has previously been seen mainly in parasites from South America and India. The CVIET, CVMNT and CVINT drug-resistance haplotypes were also found, and one previously undescribed haplotype (CVMDT) was detected. Regarding pfmdr1, the most prevalent haplotype was YEYSNVD (representing amino acids at codons 86, 130, 184, 1034, 1042, 1109 and 1246). Wild haplotypes for pfcrt and pfmdr1 were uncommon; 3% of field isolates harbored wild type pfcrt (CVMNK), whereas 21% had wild type pfmdr1 (NEYSNVD). The observed predominance of the StctVMNT haplotype in Angola could be a result of frequent travel between Brazil and Angola citizens in the context of selective pressure of heavy CQ use. Conclusions The high prevalence of the pfcrt SVMNT haplotype and the pfmdr1 86Y mutation confirm high-level chloroquine resistance and might suggest reduced efficacy of amodiaquine in Angola. Further studies must be encouraged to examine the in vitro sensitivity of pfcrt SVMNT parasites to artesunate and amodiaquine for better conclusive data. PMID:20565881

  16. Detection of chloroquine and artemisinin resistance molecular markers in Plasmodium falciparum: A hospital based study

    PubMed Central

    Ramani, S; Parija, Subhash Chandra; Mandal, Jharna; Hamide, Abdoul; Bhat, Vishnu

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Emergence of chloroquine (CQ) resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has increased the morbidity and mortality of falciparum malaria worldwide. Artemisinin-based combination therapies are now recommended by the World Health Organization as the first line treatment for falciparum malaria. Numerous molecular markers have been implicated in the CQ and artemisinin resistance. Materials and Methods: A total of 26 confirmed cases of falciparum malaria (by giemsa stained thick and thin smear, quantitative buffy coat, immunochromatographic test, or polymerase chain reaction [PCR]) were included in the study. About 5 ml of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood sample was collected and stored at −20°C till use. Plasmodium DNA was extracted using QIAamp whole blood DNA extraction kit. PCR was done to amplify pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfserca, and pfmrp1 genes and the amplicons obtained were sequenced by Macrogen, Inc., Korea. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis was done using Bio-Edit Sequence Alignment Editor. Results: Out of the four genes targeted, we noted a SNP in the pfcrt gene alone. This SNP (G > T) was noted in the 658th position of the gene, which was seen in 13 patients. The pfmdr1 and pfserca genes were present in 9 and 14 patients respectively. But we could not find any SNPs in these genes. This SNP in pfcrt gene was not significantly associated with any adverse outcome and neither altered disease progression. Conclusion: Presence of a single SNP may not be associated with any adverse clinical outcome. As the sample size was small, we may have not been able to detect any other known or unknown polymorphisms. PMID:26998436

  17. Genetic diversity of vaccine candidate antigens in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from the Amazon basin of Peru

    PubMed Central

    Chenet, Stella M; Branch, OraLee H; Escalante, Ananias A; Lucas, Carmen M; Bacon, David J

    2008-01-01

    Background Several of the intended Plasmodium falciparum vaccine candidate antigens are highly polymorphic and could render a vaccine ineffective if their antigenic sites were not represented in the vaccine. In this study, characterization of genetic variability was performed in major B and T-cell epitopes within vaccine candidate antigens in isolates of P. falciparum from Peru. Methods DNA sequencing analysis was completed on 139 isolates of P. falciparum collected from endemic areas of the Amazon basin in Loreto, Peru from years 1998 to 2006. Genetic diversity was determined in immunological important regions in circumsporozoite protein (CSP), merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1), apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1), liver stage antigen-1 (LSA-1) and thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP). Alleles identified by DNA sequencing were aligned with the vaccine strain 3D7 and DNA polymorphism analysis and FST study-year pairwise comparisons were done using the DnaSP software. Multilocus analysis (MLA) was performed and average of expected heterozygosity was calculated for each loci and haplotype over time. Results Three different alleles for CSP, seven for MSP-1 Block 2, one for MSP-1 Block 17, three for AMA-1 and for LSA-1 each and one for TRAP were identified. There were 24 different haplotypes in 125 infections with complete locus typing for each gene. Conclusion Characterization of the genetic diversity in Plasmodium isolates from the Amazon Region of Peru showed that P. falciparum T and B cell epitopes in these antigens have polymorphisms more similar to India than to Africa. These findings are helpful in the formulation of a vaccine considering restricted repertoire populations. PMID:18505558

  18. MRP1 mediates folate transport and antifolate sensitivity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Rijpma, Sanna R; van der Velden, Maarten; Bilos, Albert; Jansen, Robert S; Mahakena, Sunny; Russel, Frans G M; Sauerwein, Robert W; van de Wetering, Koen; Koenderink, Jan B

    2016-02-01

    Multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRP) of Plasmodium falciparum have been associated with altered drug sensitivity. Knowledge on MRP substrate specificity is indispensible for the characterization of resistance mechanisms and identifying its physiological roles. An untargeted metabolomics approach detected decreased folate concentrations in red blood cells infected with schizont stage parasites lacking expression of MRP1. Furthermore, a tenfold decrease in sensitivity toward the folate analog methotrexate was detected for parasites lacking MRP1. PfMRP1 is involved in the export of folate from parasites into red blood cells and is therefore a relevant factor for efficient malaria treatment through the folate pathway. PMID:26900081

  19. A four-year surveillance program for detection of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance in Honduras.

    PubMed

    Fontecha, Gustavo A; Sanchez, Ana L; Mendoza, Meisy; Banegas, Engels; Mejía-Torres, Rosa E

    2014-07-01

    Countries could use the monitoring of drug resistance in malaria parasites as an effective early warning system to develop the timely response mechanisms that are required to avert the further spread of malaria. Drug resistance surveillance is essential in areas where no drug resistance has been reported, especially if neighbouring countries have previously reported resistance. Here, we present the results of a four-year surveillance program based on the sequencing of the pfcrt gene of Plasmodium falciparum populations from endemic areas of Honduras. All isolates were susceptible to chloroquine, as revealed by the pfcrt "CVMNK" genotype in codons 72-76.

  20. Crystal structure of phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase from Plasmodium falciparum in complex with amodiaquine

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Soon Goo; Alpert, Tara D.; Jez, Joseph M.

    2012-07-17

    Phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PMT) is essential for phospholipid biogenesis in the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. PfPMT catalyzes the triple methylation of phosphoethanolamine to produce phosphocholine, which is then used for phosphatidylcholine synthesis. Here we describe the 2.0 {angstrom} resolution X-ray crystal structure of PfPMT in complex with amodiaquine. To better characterize inhibition of PfPMT by amodiaquine, we determined the IC{sub 50} values of a series of aminoquinolines using a direct radiochemical assay. Both structural and functional analyses provide a possible approach for the development of new small molecule inhibitors of PfPMT.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

  2. Absolute stability and Hopf bifurcation in a Plasmodium falciparum malaria model incorporating discrete immune response delay.

    PubMed

    Ncube, Israel

    2013-05-01

    We consider the absolute stability of the disease-free equilibrium of an intra-host Plasmodium falciparum malarial model allowing for antigenic variation within a single species. Antigenic variation can be viewed as an adaptation of the parasite to evade host defence [2]. The model was recently developed in [3-6]. The host's immune response is compartmentalised into reactions to major and minor epitopes. The immune response mounted by the human host is delayed, where, for simplicity, the delay is assumed to be discrete. We investigate the resulting characteristic equation, with a view to establishing absolute stability criteria and computing the Hopf bifurcation of the disease-free equilibrium.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. K13-Propeller Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum Isolates from Patients in Mayotte in 2013 and 2014.

    PubMed

    Torrentino-Madamet, Marylin; Collet, Louis; Lepère, Jean François; Benoit, Nicolas; Amalvict, Rémy; Ménard, Didier; Pradines, Bruno

    2015-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum isolates were collected from 29 malaria patients treated with artemether-lumefantrine in Mayotte in 2013 and 2014. Twenty-four cases (83%) consisted of imported malaria. Seventeen percent of the isolates presented mutations in one of the six K13-propeller blades (N490H, F495L, N554H/K, and E596G). A total of 23.8% of the isolates from the Union of Comoros showed K13-propeller polymorphisms. Three of the 18 isolates (16.7%) from Grande Comore showed polymorphisms (N490H, N554K, and E596G).

  5. Efficient CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Jeffrey C; Platt, Randall J; Goldfless, Stephen J; Zhang, Feng; Niles, Jacquin C

    2014-09-01

    Malaria is a major cause of global morbidity and mortality, and new strategies for treating and preventing this disease are needed. Here we show that the Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 DNA endonuclease and single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) produced using T7 RNA polymerase (T7 RNAP) efficiently edit the Plasmodium falciparum genome. Targeting the genes encoding native knob-associated histidine-rich protein (kahrp) and erythrocyte binding antigen 175 (eba-175), we achieved high (≥ 50-100%) gene disruption frequencies within the usual time frame for generating transgenic parasites.

  6. Lack of Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in Uganda Based on Parasitological and Molecular Assays.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Roland A; Conrad, Melissa D; Watson, Quentin D; Huezo, Stephanie J; Ninsiima, Harriet; Tumwebaze, Patrick; Nsobya, Samuel L; Rosenthal, Philip J

    2015-08-01

    We evaluated markers of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum isolated in Kampala in 2014. By standard in vitro assays, all isolates were highly sensitive to dihydroartemisinin (DHA). By the ring-stage survival assay, after a 6-h DHA pulse, parasitemia was undetectable in 40 of 43 cultures at 72 h. Two of 53 isolates had nonsynonymous K13-propeller gene polymorphisms but did not have the mutations associated with resistance in Asia. Thus, we did not see evidence for artemisinin resistance in Uganda.

  7. MRP1 mediates folate transport and antifolate sensitivity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Rijpma, Sanna R; van der Velden, Maarten; Bilos, Albert; Jansen, Robert S; Mahakena, Sunny; Russel, Frans G M; Sauerwein, Robert W; van de Wetering, Koen; Koenderink, Jan B

    2016-02-01

    Multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRP) of Plasmodium falciparum have been associated with altered drug sensitivity. Knowledge on MRP substrate specificity is indispensible for the characterization of resistance mechanisms and identifying its physiological roles. An untargeted metabolomics approach detected decreased folate concentrations in red blood cells infected with schizont stage parasites lacking expression of MRP1. Furthermore, a tenfold decrease in sensitivity toward the folate analog methotrexate was detected for parasites lacking MRP1. PfMRP1 is involved in the export of folate from parasites into red blood cells and is therefore a relevant factor for efficient malaria treatment through the folate pathway.

  8. Theoretical models for near forward light scattering by a Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, S. K.

    2012-12-01

    A number of experimental elastic light scattering studies have been performed in the past few years with the aim of developing automated in vivo tools for differentiating a healthy red blood cell from a Plasmodium falciparum infected cell. This paper examines some theoretical aspects of the problem. An attempt has been made to simulate the scattering patterns of healthy as well as infected individual red blood cells. Two models, namely, a homogeneous sphere model and a coated sphere model have been considered. The scattering patterns predicted by these models are examined. A possible method for discriminating infected red blood cells from healthy ones has been suggested.

  9. K13-Propeller Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum Isolates from Patients in Mayotte in 2013 and 2014.

    PubMed

    Torrentino-Madamet, Marylin; Collet, Louis; Lepère, Jean François; Benoit, Nicolas; Amalvict, Rémy; Ménard, Didier; Pradines, Bruno

    2015-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum isolates were collected from 29 malaria patients treated with artemether-lumefantrine in Mayotte in 2013 and 2014. Twenty-four cases (83%) consisted of imported malaria. Seventeen percent of the isolates presented mutations in one of the six K13-propeller blades (N490H, F495L, N554H/K, and E596G). A total of 23.8% of the isolates from the Union of Comoros showed K13-propeller polymorphisms. Three of the 18 isolates (16.7%) from Grande Comore showed polymorphisms (N490H, N554K, and E596G). PMID:26416865

  10. Lack of Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in Uganda Based on Parasitological and Molecular Assays.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Roland A; Conrad, Melissa D; Watson, Quentin D; Huezo, Stephanie J; Ninsiima, Harriet; Tumwebaze, Patrick; Nsobya, Samuel L; Rosenthal, Philip J

    2015-08-01

    We evaluated markers of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum isolated in Kampala in 2014. By standard in vitro assays, all isolates were highly sensitive to dihydroartemisinin (DHA). By the ring-stage survival assay, after a 6-h DHA pulse, parasitemia was undetectable in 40 of 43 cultures at 72 h. Two of 53 isolates had nonsynonymous K13-propeller gene polymorphisms but did not have the mutations associated with resistance in Asia. Thus, we did not see evidence for artemisinin resistance in Uganda. PMID:26033725

  11. Lack of Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in Uganda Based on Parasitological and Molecular Assays

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Melissa D.; Watson, Quentin D.; Huezo, Stephanie J.; Ninsiima, Harriet; Tumwebaze, Patrick; Nsobya, Samuel L.; Rosenthal, Philip J.

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated markers of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum isolated in Kampala in 2014. By standard in vitro assays, all isolates were highly sensitive to dihydroartemisinin (DHA). By the ring-stage survival assay, after a 6-h DHA pulse, parasitemia was undetectable in 40 of 43 cultures at 72 h. Two of 53 isolates had nonsynonymous K13-propeller gene polymorphisms but did not have the mutations associated with resistance in Asia. Thus, we did not see evidence for artemisinin resistance in Uganda. PMID:26033725

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Continuous culture of Plasmodium falciparum asexual stages in "normal" air atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Mirovský, P

    1989-01-01

    The growth of six strains of Plasmodium falciparum in 5% CO2, 5% O2, 90% N2 and normal air atmosphere was determined daily by microscopical examination of blood films. All strains were able to grow in flasks without additional gas mixture but significantly lower parasitaemia was observed within the first five days of cultivation. Attempt at cultivating in petri dishes without candle jar technique failed but parasites survived in plasticine sealed dishes. The cultivation in air cannot be recommended for cultures initiated from cryopreserved material or low parasitaemia (0.1-0.3%) cultures. PMID:2504654

  14. The potent antiplasmodial calmodulin-antagonist trifluoperazine inhibits plasmodium falciparum calcium-dependent protein kinase 4.

    PubMed

    Cavagnino, Andrea; Rossi, Franca; Rizzi, Menico

    2011-12-01

    Due to their critical involvement in the execution of the malaria parasite developmental pattern both in the mosquito vector and in the human host, Plasmodium calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are considered promising candidates for the development of new tools to block malaria transmission. We report here that the phenothiazine trifluoperazine non-competitively inhibits Plasmodium falciparum CDPK4 in the micromolar range while other calmodulin antagonists only marginally affect the enzyme activity, and we propose the inhibition mechanism. Our results demonstrate that selective enzyme inhibition is achievable by targeting its calmodulin-like domain. This observation could be exploited for the discovery of innovative phenothiazine-based CDPK inhibitors of potential medical interest.

  15. A chimeric Plasmodium falciparum Pfnbp2b/Pfnbp2a gene originated during asexual growth.

    PubMed

    Cortés, Alfred

    2005-02-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum line 3D7-A has an unusual invasion phenotype, such that it can invade enzyme-treated and mutant red blood cells that are resistant to invasion by other parasite lines. 3D7-A has a chimeric Pfnbp2b gene that contains part of the repeat region of the paralogous gene Pfnbp2a. This chimeric gene originated by spontaneous gene conversion during normal maintenance in culture, indicating that ectopic recombination and gene conversion during asexual growth are potentially important mechanisms participating in the evolution of paralogous genes in Plasmodium. However, the presence of the chimeric Pfnbp2b gene in 3D7-A was not associated with its peculiar invasion phenotype.

  16. Rapid detection of Plasmodium falciparum with isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification and lateral flow analysis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Nucleic acid amplification is the most sensitive and specific method to detect Plasmodium falciparum. However the polymerase chain reaction remains laboratory-based and has to be conducted by trained personnel. Furthermore, the power dependency for the thermocycling process and the costly equipment necessary for the read-out are difficult to cover in resource-limited settings. This study aims to develop and evaluate a combination of isothermal nucleic acid amplification and simple lateral flow dipstick detection of the malaria parasite for point-of-care testing. Methods A specific fragment of the 18S rRNA gene of P. falciparum was amplified in 10 min at a constant 38°C using the isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) method. With a unique probe system added to the reaction solution, the amplification product can be visualized on a simple lateral flow strip without further labelling. The combination of these methods was tested for sensitivity and specificity with various Plasmodium and other protozoa/bacterial strains, as well as with human DNA. Additional investigations were conducted to analyse the temperature optimum, reaction speed and robustness of this assay. Results The lateral flow RPA (LF-RPA) assay exhibited a high sensitivity and specificity. Experiments confirmed a detection limit as low as 100 fg of genomic P. falciparum DNA, corresponding to a sensitivity of approximately four parasites per reaction. All investigated P. falciparum strains (n = 77) were positively tested while all of the total 11 non-Plasmodium samples, showed a negative test result. The enzymatic reaction can be conducted under a broad range of conditions from 30-45°C with high inhibitory concentration of known PCR inhibitors. A time to result of 15 min from start of the reaction to read-out was determined. Conclusions Combining the isothermal RPA and the lateral flow detection is an approach to improve molecular diagnostic for P. falciparum in

  17. 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

  18. Role of Different Pfcrt and Pfmdr-1 Mutations in Conferring Resistance to Antimalaria Drugs in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ibraheem, Zaid O.; Abd Majid, R.; Noor, S. Mohd.; Sedik, H. Mohd.

    2014-01-01

    Emergence of drugs resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum has augmented the scourge of malaria in endemic areas. Antimalaria drugs act on different intracellular targets. The majority of them interfere with digestive vacuoles (DVs) while others affect other organelles, namely, apicoplast and mitochondria. Prevention of drug accumulation or access into the target site is one of the mechanisms that plasmodium adopts to develop resistance. Plasmodia are endowed with series of transporters that shuffle drugs away from the target site, namely, pfmdr (Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance transporter) and pfcrt (Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter) which exist in DV membrane and are considered as putative markers of CQ resistance. They are homologues to human P-glycoproteins (P-gh or multidrug resistance system) and members of drug metabolite transporter (DMT) family, respectively. The former mediates drifting of xenobiotics towards the DV while the latter chucks them outside. Resistance to drugs whose target site of action is intravacuolar develops when the transporters expel them outside the DVs and vice versa for those whose target is extravacuolar. In this review, we are going to summarize the possible pfcrt and pfmdr mutation and their role in changing plasmodium sensitivity to different anti-Plasmodium drugs. PMID:25506039

  19. Role of Different Pfcrt and Pfmdr-1 Mutations in Conferring Resistance to Antimalaria Drugs in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Ibraheem, Zaid O; Abd Majid, R; Noor, S Mohd; Sedik, H Mohd; Basir, R

    2014-01-01

    Emergence of drugs resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum has augmented the scourge of malaria in endemic areas. Antimalaria drugs act on different intracellular targets. The majority of them interfere with digestive vacuoles (DVs) while others affect other organelles, namely, apicoplast and mitochondria. Prevention of drug accumulation or access into the target site is one of the mechanisms that plasmodium adopts to develop resistance. Plasmodia are endowed with series of transporters that shuffle drugs away from the target site, namely, pfmdr (Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance transporter) and pfcrt (Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter) which exist in DV membrane and are considered as putative markers of CQ resistance. They are homologues to human P-glycoproteins (P-gh or multidrug resistance system) and members of drug metabolite transporter (DMT) family, respectively. The former mediates drifting of xenobiotics towards the DV while the latter chucks them outside. Resistance to drugs whose target site of action is intravacuolar develops when the transporters expel them outside the DVs and vice versa for those whose target is extravacuolar. In this review, we are going to summarize the possible pfcrt and pfmdr mutation and their role in changing plasmodium sensitivity to different anti-Plasmodium drugs. PMID:25506039

  20. Widespread occurrence of lysine methylation in Plasmodium falciparum proteins at asexual blood stages

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Inderjeet; Zeeshan, Mohammad; Saini, Ekta; Kaushik, Abhinav; Mohmmed, Asif; Gupta, Dinesh; Malhotra, Pawan

    2016-01-01

    Post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications play a major role in Plasmodium life cycle regulation. Lysine methylation of histone proteins is well documented in several organisms, however in recent years lysine methylation of proteins outside histone code is emerging out as an important post-translational modification (PTM). In the present study we have performed global analysis of lysine methylation of proteins in asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum development. We immunoprecipitated stage specific Plasmodium lysates using anti-methyl lysine specific antibodies that immunostained the asexual blood stage parasites. Using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry analysis, 570 lysine methylated proteins at three different blood stages were identified. Analysis of the peptide sequences identified 605 methylated sites within 422 proteins. Functional classification of the methylated proteins revealed that the proteins are mainly involved in nucleotide metabolic processes, chromatin organization, transport, homeostatic processes and protein folding. The motif analysis of the methylated lysine peptides reveals novel motifs. Many of the identified lysine methylated proteins are also interacting partners/substrates of PfSET domain proteins as revealed by STRING database analysis. Our findings suggest that the protein methylation at lysine residues is widespread in Plasmodium and plays an important regulatory role in diverse set of the parasite pathways. PMID:27762281

  1. Rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosing uncomplicated non-falciparum or Plasmodium vivax malaria in endemic countries

    PubMed Central

    Abba, Katharine; Kirkham, Amanda J; Olliaro, Piero L; Deeks, Jonathan J; Donegan, Sarah; Garner, Paul; Takwoingi, Yemisi

    2014-01-01

    Background In settings where both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum infection cause malaria, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) need to distinguish which species is causing the patients' symptoms, as different treatments are required. Older RDTs incorporated two test lines to distinguish malaria due to P. falciparum, from malaria due to any other Plasmodium species (non-falciparum). These RDTs can be classified according to which antibodies they use: Type 2 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and aldolase (all species); Type 3 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and pLDH (all species); Type 4 use pLDH (fromP. falciparum) and pLDH (all species). More recently, RDTs have been developed to distinguish P. vivax parasitaemia by utilizing a pLDH antibody specific to P. vivax. Objectives To assess the diagnostic accuracy of RDTs for detecting non-falciparum or P. vivax parasitaemia in people living in malaria-endemic areas who present to ambulatory healthcare facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria, and to identify which types and brands of commercial test best detect non-falciparum and P. vivax malaria. Search methods We undertook a comprehensive search of the following databases up to 31 December 2013: Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; MEDLINE; EMBASE; MEDION; Science Citation Index; Web of Knowledge; African Index Medicus; LILACS; and IndMED. Selection criteria Studies comparing RDTs with a reference standard (microscopy or polymerase chain reaction) in blood samples from a random or consecutive series of patients attending ambulatory health facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria in non-falciparum endemic areas. Data collection and analysis For each study, two review authors independently extracted a standard set of data using a tailored data extraction form. We grouped comparisons by type of RDT (defined by the combinations of antibodies used), and combined in meta-analysis where appropriate. Average sensitivities and

  2. Genetic diversity and multiplicity of infection of Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

    PubMed

    Saha, Pabitra; Ganguly, Swagata; Maji, Ardhendu K

    2016-09-01

    The study of genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum is necessary to understand the distribution and dynamics of parasite populations. The genetic diversity of P. falciparum merozoite surface protein-1 and 2 has been extensively studied from different parts of world. However, limited data are available from India. This study was aimed to determine the genetic diversity and multiplicity of infection (MOI) of P. falciparum population in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. A total of 80day-zero blood samples from Kolkata were collected during a therapeutic efficacy study in 2008-2009. DNA was extracted; allelic frequency and diversity were investigated by PCR-genotyping method for msp1 and msp2 gene and fragment sizing was done by Bio-Rad Gel-Doc system using Image Lab (version 4.1) software. P. falciparum msp1 and msp2 markers were highly polymorphic with low allele frequencies. In Kolkata, 27 msp1 different genotypes (including 11of K1, 6 of MAD20 and 10 of Ro33 allelic families) and 30 different msp2 genotypes (of which 17 and 13 belonged to the FC27 and 3D7 allelic families, respectively) were recorded. The majority of these genotypes occurred at a frequency below 10%. The mean MOI for msp1 and msp2 gene were 2.05 and 3.72, respectively. The P. falciparum population of Kolkata was genetically diverse. As the frequencies of most of the msp1 and msp2 alleles were low, the probability of new infection with genotype identical to that in pretreatment infection was very rare. This information will serve as baseline data for evaluation of malaria control interventions as well as for monitoring the parasite population structure. PMID:27259367

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Chloroquine resistance and Plasmodium falciparum in Punjab, Pakistan during 2000-2001.

    PubMed

    Rana, Muhammad Saleem; Tanveer, Akhtar

    2004-06-01

    During the years 2000-2001, the rural populations of 5 districts in Punjab were examined for malarial parasites. The incidence of Plasmodium falciparum was more than double (8.98%) that of P. vivax (4.06%). The incidence was higher among male subjects (53.5%) than females (46.9%). The largest number of infected male subjects was found in Sheikhupura district (77.78%). Chloroquine resistance was only checked in the subjects harboring P. falciparum, using in vivo techniques. Overall chloroquine sensitivity was 63.8%. Overall frequency of chloroquine resistance in the 5 Punjabi districts was 35%, with 30.6% RI and 4.4% RII. It is important that RIII was not found in the present study. Among the five districts, maximum RI (35.1%) and RII (5.4%) were noted in Multan. By age, maximum chloroquine resistance was noted in the 1-5 year age group (ie RI, 41%; RII 8%). A similar RI value (41%) was noted for the 6-14 age group, but with a low RII (3%) value. Although, the present finding is an outcome of a survey conducted in only 5 districts of Punjab, it reflects an alarming situation, as not only RI and RII resistance against chloroquine is increasing, but at the same time the incidence of P. falciparum is increasing two-fold that of P. vivax. The findings warrant that top priority be given to determining the exact status of chloroquine resistance among P. falciparum in this region, which is now hosting a heavy influx of refugees from Afghanistan, a country endemic for P. falciparum. PMID:15691126

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

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Arnish

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Genetic Diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in Haiti: Insights from Microsatellite Markers

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Tamar E.; Malloy, Halley; Existe, Alexandre; Memnon, Gladys; St. Victor, Yves; Okech, Bernard A.; Mulligan, Connie J.

    2015-01-01

    Hispaniola, comprising Haiti and the Dominican Republic, has been identified as a candidate for malaria elimination. However, incomplete surveillance data in Haiti hamper efforts to assess the impact of ongoing malaria control interventions. Characteristics of the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum populations can be used to assess parasite transmission, which is information vital to evaluating malaria elimination efforts. Here we characterize the genetic diversity of P. falciparum samples collected from patients at seven sites in Haiti using 12 microsatellite markers previously employed in population genetic analyses of global P. falciparum populations. We measured multiplicity of infections, level of genetic diversity, degree of population geographic substructure, and linkage disequilibrium (defined as non-random association of alleles from different loci). For low transmission populations like Haiti, we expect to see few multiple infections, low levels of genetic diversity, high degree of population structure, and high linkage disequilibrium. In Haiti, we found low levels of multiple infections (12.9%), moderate to high levels of genetic diversity (mean number of alleles per locus = 4.9, heterozygosity = 0.61), low levels of population structure (highest pairwise Fst = 0.09 and no clustering in principal components analysis), and moderate linkage disequilibrium (ISA = 0.05, P<0.0001). In addition, population bottleneck analysis revealed no evidence for a reduction in the P. falciparum population size in Haiti. We conclude that the high level of genetic diversity and lack of evidence for a population bottleneck may suggest that Haiti’s P. falciparum population has been stable and discuss the implications of our results for understanding the impact of malaria control interventions. We also discuss the relevance of parasite population history and other host and vector factors when assessing transmission intensity from genetic diversity data. PMID:26462203

  7. Genetic Diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in Haiti: Insights from Microsatellite Markers.

    PubMed

    Carter, Tamar E; Malloy, Halley; Existe, Alexandre; Memnon, Gladys; St Victor, Yves; Okech, Bernard A; Mulligan, Connie J

    2015-01-01

    Hispaniola, comprising Haiti and the Dominican Republic, has been identified as a candidate for malaria elimination. However, incomplete surveillance data in Haiti hamper efforts to assess the impact of ongoing malaria control interventions. Characteristics of the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum populations can be used to assess parasite transmission, which is information vital to evaluating malaria elimination efforts. Here we characterize the genetic diversity of P. falciparum samples collected from patients at seven sites in Haiti using 12 microsatellite markers previously employed in population genetic analyses of global P. falciparum populations. We measured multiplicity of infections, level of genetic diversity, degree of population geographic substructure, and linkage disequilibrium (defined as non-random association of alleles from different loci). For low transmission populations like Haiti, we expect to see few multiple infections, low levels of genetic diversity, high degree of population structure, and high linkage disequilibrium. In Haiti, we found low levels of multiple infections (12.9%), moderate to high levels of genetic diversity (mean number of alleles per locus = 4.9, heterozygosity = 0.61), low levels of population structure (highest pairwise Fst = 0.09 and no clustering in principal components analysis), and moderate linkage disequilibrium (ISA = 0.05, P<0.0001). In addition, population bottleneck analysis revealed no evidence for a reduction in the P. falciparum population size in Haiti. We conclude that the high level of genetic diversity and lack of evidence for a population bottleneck may suggest that Haiti's P. falciparum population has been stable and discuss the implications of our results for understanding the impact of malaria control interventions. We also discuss the relevance of parasite population history and other host and vector factors when assessing transmission intensity from genetic diversity data.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    The emergence of drug resistance continuously threatens global control of infectious diseases, including malaria caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum A critical parasite determinant is the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT), the primary mediator of chloroquine (CQ) resistance (CQR), and a pleiotropic modulator of susceptibility to several first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy partner drugs. Aside from the validated CQR molecular marker K76T, P. falciparum parasites have acquired at least three additional pfcrt mutations, whose contributions to resistance and fitness have been heretofore unclear. Focusing on the quadruple-mutant Ecuadorian PfCRT haplotype Ecu1110 (K76T/A220S/N326D/I356L), we genetically modified the pfcrt locus of isogenic, asexual blood stage P. falciparum parasites using zinc-finger nucleases, producing all possible combinations of intermediate pfcrt alleles. Our analysis included the related quintuple-mutant PfCRT haplotype 7G8 (Ecu1110 + C72S) that is widespread throughout South America and the Western Pacific. Drug susceptibilities and in vitro growth profiles of our combinatorial pfcrt-modified parasites were used to simulate the mutational trajectories accessible to parasites as they evolved CQR. Our results uncover unique contributions to parasite drug resistance and growth for mutations beyond K76T and predict critical roles for the CQ metabolite monodesethyl-CQ and the related quinoline-type drug amodiaquine in driving mutant pfcrt evolution. Modeling outputs further highlight the influence of parasite proliferation rates alongside gains in drug resistance in dictating successful trajectories. Our findings suggest that P. falciparum parasites have navigated constrained pfcrt adaptive landscapes by means of probabilistically rare mutational bursts that led to the infrequent emergence of pfcrt alleles in the field.

  9. Plasmodium falciparum: genetic diversity and complexity of infections in an isolated village in western Thailand.

    PubMed

    Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Zollner, Gabriela; Vaughan, Jefferson A; Sattabongkot, Jetsumon; Khuntirat, Benjawan; Honma, Hajime; Mita, Toshihiro; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Coleman, Russell

    2015-06-01

    Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum is intimately associated with morbidity, mortality and malaria control strategies. It is therefore imperative to study genetic makeup and population structure of this parasite in endemic areas. In Kong Mong Tha, an isolated village in western Thailand, the majority of P. falciparum infections are asymptomatic. In this study we investigated complexity of infections and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the P. falciparum population of Kong Mong Tha, and compared results with those previously obtained from Mae Sod, in northwestern Thailand, where the majority of infections were symptomatic. Using PCR-based determination of the 5' merozoite surface protein 1 gene (msp1) recombinant types, we found that 39% of 59 P. falciparum isolates from Kong Mong Tha had multiple 5' recombinant types with a mean number of 1.54. These values were much lower than those obtained from Mae Sod: 96% for multiple infections and with a mean number of 3.61. Analysis of full-length sequences of two housekeeping genes, the P-type Ca(2+)-transporting ATPase gene (n=33) plus adenylosuccinate lyase gene (n=33), and three vaccine candidate antigen genes, msp1 (n=26), the circumsporozoite protein gene, csp (n=30) and the apical membrane antigen 1 gene, ama 1 (n=32), revealed that in all of these genes within-population SNP diversity was at similar levels between Kong Mong Tha and Mae Sod, suggesting that the extent of MOI and clinical manifestations of malaria are not strongly associated with genetic diversity. Additionally, we did not detect significant genetic differentiation between the two parasite populations, as estimated by the Wright's fixation index of inter-population variance in allele frequencies, suggesting that gene flow prevented the formation of population structuring. Thus, this study highlights unique features of P. falciparum populations in Thailand. The implications of these finding are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The emergence of drug resistance continuously threatens global control of infectious diseases, including malaria caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. A critical parasite determinant is the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT), the primary mediator of chloroquine (CQ) resistance (CQR), and a pleiotropic modulator of susceptibility to several first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy partner drugs. Aside from the validated CQR molecular marker K76T, P. falciparum parasites have acquired at least three additional pfcrt mutations, whose contributions to resistance and fitness have been heretofore unclear. Focusing on the quadruple-mutant Ecuadorian PfCRT haplotype Ecu1110 (K76T/A220S/N326D/I356L), we genetically modified the pfcrt locus of isogenic, asexual blood stage P. falciparum parasites using zinc-finger nucleases, producing all possible combinations of intermediate pfcrt alleles. Our analysis included the related quintuple-mutant PfCRT haplotype 7G8 (Ecu1110 + C72S) that is widespread throughout South America and the Western Pacific. Drug susceptibilities and in vitro growth profiles of our combinatorial pfcrt-modified parasites were used to simulate the mutational trajectories accessible to parasites as they evolved CQR. Our results uncover unique contributions to parasite drug resistance and growth for mutations beyond K76T and predict critical roles for the CQ metabolite monodesethyl-CQ and the related quinoline-type drug amodiaquine in driving mutant pfcrt evolution. Modeling outputs further highlight the influence of parasite proliferation rates alongside gains in drug resistance in dictating successful trajectories. Our findings suggest that P. falciparum parasites have navigated constrained pfcrt adaptive landscapes by means of probabilistically rare mutational bursts that led to the infrequent emergence of pfcrt alleles in the field. PMID:26908582

  11. Infants' Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte Composition Reflects Both Maternal and Post-Natal Infection with Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Nouatin, Odilon; Gbédandé, Komi; Ibitokou, Samad; Vianou, Bertin; Houngbegnon, Parfait; Ezinmegnon, Sem; Borgella, Sophie; Akplogan, Carine; Cottrell, Gilles; Varani, Stefania; Massougbodji, Achille; Moutairou, Kabirou; Troye-Blomberg, Marita; Deloron, Philippe; Luty, Adrian J F; Fievet, Nadine

    2015-01-01

    Maternal parasitoses modulate fetal immune development, manifesting as altered cellular immunological activity in cord blood that may be linked to enhanced susceptibility to infections in early life. Plasmodium falciparum typifies such infections, with distinct placental infection-related changes in cord blood exemplified by expanded populations of parasite antigen-specific regulatory T cells. Here we addressed whether such early-onset cellular immunological alterations persist through infancy. Specifically, in order to assess the potential impacts of P. falciparum infections either during pregnancy or during infancy, we quantified lymphocyte subsets in cord blood and in infants' peripheral blood during the first year of life. The principal age-related changes observed, independent of infection status, concerned decreases in the frequencies of CD4+, NKdim and NKT cells, whilst CD8+, Treg and Teff cells' frequencies increased from birth to 12 months of age. P. falciparum infections present at delivery, but not those earlier in gestation, were associated with increased frequencies of Treg and CD8+ T cells but fewer CD4+ and NKT cells during infancy, thus accentuating the observed age-related patterns. Overall, P. falciparum infections arising during infancy were associated with a reversal of the trends associated with maternal infection i.e. with more CD4+ cells, with fewer Treg and CD8+ cells. We conclude that maternal P. falciparum infection at delivery has significant and, in some cases, year-long effects on the composition of infants' peripheral blood lymphocyte populations. Those effects are superimposed on separate and independent age- as well as infant infection-related alterations that, respectively, either match or run counter to them. PMID:26580401

  12. Plasmodium falciparum: genetic polymorphism in apical membrane antigen-1 gene from Indian isolates.

    PubMed

    Rajesh, Vidya; Singamsetti, Vijay Kumar; Vidya, S; Gowrishankar, M; Elamaran, M; Tripathi, Jyotsna; Radhika, N B; Kochar, Dhanpat; Ranjan, Akash; Roy, S K; Das, Ashis

    2008-05-01

    A number of stage-specific antigens have been characterized for vaccine development against Plasmodium falciparum malaria. This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the sequence polymorphism in Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 (PfAMA-1) in population samples from the eastern and western parts of India. This is the first study of its kind for the nearly full length PfAMA-1 gene from these regions in India. Our observations confirmed that sequence diversity of PfAMA-1 confines only to point mutations and shows 4-8% variation as compared to the prototypes. As opposed to the previous studies on PfAMA-1, our study revealed a greater degree of polymorphism in the Domain II region of PfAMA-1 protein, though signature for diversifying selection is seen throughout the gene. Our present investigation also indicates a very high degree of variation in the reported T- and B-cell epitopes of PfAMA-1. Few noteworthy and unique observations made in this study are the substitution of Cysteine residues responsible for the disulfide bond structure of the protein and the presence of premature termination after 595 amino acids in 3 of the 13 isolates under consideration. These crucial findings add new perspectives to the future of AMA-1 research and could have major implications in establishing AMA-1 as a vaccine candidate. PMID:18343371

  13. A Plasmodium falciparum S33 proline aminopeptidase is associated with changes in erythrocyte deformability.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Fabio L; Dixon, Matthew W A; Stack, Colin M; Teuscher, Franka; Taran, Elena; Jones, Malcolm K; Lovas, Erica; Tilley, Leann; Brown, Christopher L; Trenholme, Katharine R; Dalton, John P; Gardiner, Donald L; Skinner-Adams, Tina S

    2016-10-01

    Infection with the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. One of the striking features of this parasite is its ability to remodel and decrease the deformability of host red blood cells, a process that contributes to disease. To further understand the virulence of Pf we investigated the biochemistry and function of a putative Pf S33 proline aminopeptidase (PfPAP). Unlike other P. falciparum aminopeptidases, PfPAP contains a predicted protein export element that is non-syntenic with other human infecting Plasmodium species. Characterization of PfPAP demonstrated that it is exported into the host red blood cell and that it is a prolyl aminopeptidase with a preference for N-terminal proline substrates. In addition genetic deletion of this exopeptidase was shown to lead to an increase in the deformability of parasite-infected red cells and in reduced adherence to the endothelial cell receptor CD36 under flow conditions. Our studies suggest that PfPAP plays a role in the rigidification and adhesion of infected red blood cells to endothelial surface receptors, a role that may make this protein a novel target for anti-disease interventions strategies.

  14. A Plasmodium falciparum S33 proline aminopeptidase is associated with changes in erythrocyte deformability.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Fabio L; Dixon, Matthew W A; Stack, Colin M; Teuscher, Franka; Taran, Elena; Jones, Malcolm K; Lovas, Erica; Tilley, Leann; Brown, Christopher L; Trenholme, Katharine R; Dalton, John P; Gardiner, Donald L; Skinner-Adams, Tina S

    2016-10-01

    Infection with the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. One of the striking features of this parasite is its ability to remodel and decrease the deformability of host red blood cells, a process that contributes to disease. To further understand the virulence of Pf we investigated the biochemistry and function of a putative Pf S33 proline aminopeptidase (PfPAP). Unlike other P. falciparum aminopeptidases, PfPAP contains a predicted protein export element that is non-syntenic with other human infecting Plasmodium species. Characterization of PfPAP demonstrated that it is exported into the host red blood cell and that it is a prolyl aminopeptidase with a preference for N-terminal proline substrates. In addition genetic deletion of this exopeptidase was shown to lead to an increase in the deformability of parasite-infected red cells and in reduced adherence to the endothelial cell receptor CD36 under flow conditions. Our studies suggest that PfPAP plays a role in the rigidification and adhesion of infected red blood cells to endothelial surface receptors, a role that may make this protein a novel target for anti-disease interventions strategies. PMID:27373432

  15. Analysis of Quaternary Structure of a [LDH-like] Malate Dehydrogenase of Plasmodium falciparum with Oligomeric Mutants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    L-Malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) from Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent for the most severe form of malaria, has shown remarkable similarities to L-lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH). PfMDH is more closely related to [LDH-like] MDHs characterized in archea and other prokaryotes. Initial sequence a...

  16. Structure and Function of Plasmodium falciparum malate dehydrogenase: Role of Critical Amino Acids in C-substrate Binding Procket

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Malaria parasite thrives on anaerobic fermentation of glucose for energy. Earlier studies from our lab have demonstrated that a cytosolic malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) with striking similarity to lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) might complement PfLDH function in Plasmodium falciparum. The N-terminal g...

  17. Synthesis, biological evaluation and structure-activity relationships of new quinoxaline derivatives as anti-Plasmodium falciparum agents.

    PubMed

    Gil, Ana; Pabón, Adriana; Galiano, Silvia; Burguete, Asunción; Pérez-Silanes, Silvia; Deharo, Eric; Monge, Antonio; Aldana, Ignacio

    2014-02-18

    We report the synthesis and antimalarial activities of eighteen quinoxaline and quinoxaline 1,4-di-N-oxide derivatives, eight of which are completely novel. Compounds 1a and 2a were the most active against Plasmodium falciparum strains. Structure-activity relationships demonstrated the importance of an enone moiety linked to the quinoxaline ring.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Anti-Plasmodium falciparum invasion ligand antibodies in a low malaria transmission region, Loreto, Peru

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum is a complex process that involves two families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins. Antibodies that inhibit merozoite attachment and invasion are believed to be important in mediating naturally acquired immunity and immunity generated by parasite blood stage vaccine candidates. The hypotheses tested in this study were 1) that antibody responses against specific P. falciparum invasion ligands (EBL and PfRh) differ between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals living in the low-transmission region of the Peruvian Amazon and 2), such antibody responses might have an association, either direct or indirect, with clinical immunity observed in asymptomatically parasitaemic individuals. Methods ELISA was used to assess antibody responses (IgG, IgG1 and IgG3) against recombinant P. falciparum invasion ligands of the EBL (EBA-175, EBA-181, EBA-140) and PfRh families (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4 and PfRh5) in 45 individuals infected with P. falciparum from Peruvian Amazon. Individuals were classified as having symptomatic malaria (N=37) or asymptomatic infection (N=8). Results Antibody responses against both EBL and PfRh family proteins were significantly higher in asymptomatic compared to symptomatic individuals, demonstrating an association with clinical immunity. Significant differences in the total IgG responses were observed with EBA-175, EBA-181, PfRh2b, and MSP119 (as a control). IgG1 responses against EBA-181, PfRh2a and PfRh2b were significantly higher in the asymptomatic individuals. Total IgG antibody responses against PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh5, EBA-175, EBA-181 and MSP119 proteins were negatively correlated with level of parasitaemia. IgG1 responses against EBA-181, PfRh2a and PfRh2b and IgG3 response for PfRh2a were also negatively correlated with parasitaemia. Conclusions These data suggest that falciparum malaria patients who develop clinical immunity

  20. A Plasmodium falciparum Homologue of Plasmodium vivax Reticulocyte Binding Protein (PvRBP1) Defines a Trypsin-resistant Erythrocyte Invasion Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Rayner, Julian C.; Vargas-Serrato, Esmeralda; Huber, Curtis S.; Galinski, Mary R.; Barnwell, John W.

    2001-01-01

    Invasion of erythrocytes by Plasmodium merozoites is an intricate process involving multiple receptor-ligand interactions. The glycophorins and an unknown trypsin sensitive factor are all erythrocyte receptors used during invasion by the major human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. However, only one erythrocyte receptor, Glycophorin A, has a well-established cognate parasite ligand, the merozoite protein erythrocyte binding antigen-175 (EBA-175). The involvement of several other parasite proteins during invasion have been proposed, but no direct evidence links them with a specific invasion pathway. Here we report the identification and characterization of P. falciparum normocyte binding protein 1 (PfNBP1), an ortholog of Plasmodium vivax reticulocyte binding protein-1. PfNBP1 binds to a sialic acid dependent trypsin-resistant receptor on the erythrocyte surface that appears to be distinct from known invasion receptors. Antibodies against PfNBP1 can inhibit invasion of trypsinized erythrocytes and two P. falciparum strains that express truncated PfNBP1 are unable to invade trypsinized erythrocytes. One of these strain, 7G8, also does not invade Glycophorin B–negative erythrocytes. PfNBP1 therefore defines a novel trypsin-resistant invasion pathway and adds a level of complexity to current models for P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion. PMID:11733572

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (PfHop).

    PubMed

    Gitau, Grace W; Mandal, Pradipta; Blatch, Gregory L; Przyborski, Jude; Shonhai, Addmore

    2012-03-01

    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium species, whose transmission to vertebrate hosts is facilitated by mosquito vectors. The transition from the cold blooded mosquito vector to the host represents physiological stress to the parasite, and additionally malaria blood stage infection is characterised by intense fever periods. In recent years, it has become clear that heat shock proteins play an essential role during the parasite's life cycle. Plasmodium falciparum expresses two prominent heat shock proteins: heat shock protein 70 (PfHsp70) and heat shock protein 90 (PfHsp90). Both of these proteins have been implicated in the development and pathogenesis of malaria. In eukaryotes, Hsp70 and Hsp90 proteins are functionally linked by an essential adaptor protein known as the Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (Hop). In this study, recombinant P. falciparum Hop (PfHop) was heterologously produced in E. coli and purified by nickel affinity chromatography. Using specific anti-PfHop antisera, the expression and localisation of PfHop in P. falciparum was investigated. PfHop was shown to co-localise with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 in parasites at the trophozoite stage. Gel filtration and co-immunoprecipitation experiments suggested that PfHop was present in a complex together with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90. The association of PfHop with both PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 suggests that this protein may mediate the functional interaction between the two chaperones. PMID:22005844

  3. 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.

  4. Methylerythritol phosphate pathway to isoprenoids: kinetic modeling and in silico enzyme inhibitions in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Singh, Vivek Kumar; Ghosh, Indira

    2013-09-01

    The methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway of Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) has become an attractive target for anti-malarial drug discovery. This study describes a kinetic model of this pathway, its use in validating 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR) as drug target from the systemic perspective, and additional target identification, using metabolic control analysis and in silico inhibition studies. In addition to DXR, 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase (DXS) can be targeted because it is the first enzyme of the pathway and has the highest flux control coefficient followed by that of DXR. In silico inhibition of both enzymes caused large decrement in the pathway flux. An added advantage of targeting DXS is its influence on vitamin B1 and B6 biosynthesis. Two more potential targets, 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 2,4-cyclodiphosphate synthase and 1-hydroxy-2-methyl-2-(E)-butenyl 4-diphosphate synthase, were also identified. Their inhibition caused large accumulation of their substrates causing instability of the system. This study demonstrates that both types of enzyme targets, one acting via flux reduction and the other by metabolite accumulation, exist in P. falciparum MEP pathway. These groups of targets can be exploited for independent anti-malarial drugs.

  5. Targeting protein translation, RNA splicing, and degradation by morpholino-based conjugates in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Garg, Aprajita; Wesolowski, Donna; Alonso, Dulce; Deitsch, Kirk W; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Altman, Sidney

    2015-09-22

    Identification and genetic validation of new targets from available genome sequences are critical steps toward the development of new potent and selective antimalarials. However, no methods are currently available for large-scale functional analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum genome. Here we present evidence for successful use of morpholino oligomers (MO) to mediate degradation of target mRNAs or to inhibit RNA splicing or translation of several genes of P. falciparum involved in chloroquine transport, apicoplast biogenesis, and phospholipid biosynthesis. Consistent with their role in the parasite life cycle, down-regulation of these essential genes resulted in inhibition of parasite development. We show that a MO conjugate that targets the chloroquine-resistant transporter PfCRT is effective against chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasites, causes enlarged digestive vacuoles, and renders chloroquine-resistant strains more sensitive to chloroquine. Similarly, we show that a MO conjugate that targets the PfDXR involved in apicoplast biogenesis inhibits parasite growth and that this defect can be rescued by addition of isopentenyl pyrophosphate. MO-based gene regulation is a viable alternative approach to functional analysis of the P. falciparum genome.

  6. An in vivo transcriptome data set of natural antisense transcripts from Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates

    PubMed Central

    Subudhi, Amit Kumar; Boopathi, P.A.; Garg, Shilpi; Middha, Sheetal; Acharya, Jyoti; Pakalapati, Deepak; Saxena, Vishal; Aiyaz, Mohammed; Orekondy, Harsha B.; Mugasimangalam, Raja C.; Sirohi, Paramendra; Kochar, Sanjay K.; Kochar, Dhanpat K.; Das, Ashis

    2014-01-01

    Antisense transcription is pervasive among biological systems and one of the products of antisense transcription is natural antisense transcripts (NATs). Emerging evidences suggest that they are key regulators of gene expression. With the discovery of NATs in Plasmodium falciparum, it has been suggested that these might also be playing regulatory roles in this parasite. However, all the reports describing the diversity of NATs have come from parasites in culture condition except for a recent study published by us. In order to explore the in vivo diversity of NATs in P. falciparum clinical isolates, we performed a whole genome expression profiling using a strand-specific 244 K microarray that contains probes for both sense and antisense transcripts. In this report, we describe the experimental procedure and analysis thereof of the microarray data published recently in Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) under accession number GSE44921. This published data provide a wealth of information about the prevalence of NATs in P. falciparum clinical isolates from patients with diverse malaria related disease conditions. Supplementary information about the description and interpretation of the data can be found in a recent publication by Subudhi et al. in Experimental Parasitology (2014). PMID:26484136

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-19

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

  8. 1H-NMR metabolite profiles of different strains of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Teng, Rongwei; Lehane, Adele M.; Winterberg, Markus; Shafik, Sarah H.; Summers, Robert L.; Martin, Rowena E.; van Schalkwyk, Donelly A.; Junankar, Pauline R.; Kirk, Kiaran

    2014-01-01

    Although efforts to understand the basis for inter-strain phenotypic variation in the most virulent malaria species, Plasmodium falciparum, have benefited from advances in genomic technologies, there have to date been few metabolomic studies of this parasite. Using 1H-NMR spectroscopy, we have compared the metabolite profiles of red blood cells infected with different P. falciparum strains. These included both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains, as well as transfectant lines engineered to express different isoforms of the chloroquine-resistance-conferring pfcrt (P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter). Our analyses revealed strain-specific differences in a range of metabolites. There was marked variation in the levels of the membrane precursors choline and phosphocholine, with some strains having >30-fold higher choline levels and >5-fold higher phosphocholine levels than others. Chloroquine-resistant strains showed elevated levels of a number of amino acids relative to chloroquine-sensitive strains, including an approximately 2-fold increase in aspartate levels. The elevation in amino acid levels was attributable to mutations in pfcrt. Pfcrt-linked differences in amino acid abundance were confirmed using alternate extraction and detection (HPLC) methods. Mutations acquired to withstand chloroquine exposure therefore give rise to significant biochemical alterations in the parasite. PMID:25405893

  9. Earth Observation, Geographic Information Systems and Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Hay, S.I.; Omumbo, J.A.; Craig, M.H.; Snow, R. W.

    2011-01-01

    This review highlights the progress and current status of remote sensing (RS) and geographical information systems (GIS) as currently applied to the problem of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The burden of P. falciparum malaria in SSA is first summarized and then contrasted with the paucity of accurate and recent information on the nature and extent of the disease. This provides perspective on both the global importance of the pathogen and the potential for contribution of RS and GIS techniques. The ecology of P. falciparum malaria and its major anopheline vectors in SSA is then outlined, to provide the epidemiological background for considering disease transmission processes and their environmental correlates. Because RS and GIS are recent techniques in epidemiology, all mosquito-borne diseases are considered in this review in order to convey the range of ideas, insights and innovation provided. To conclude, the impact of these initial studies is assessed and suggestions provided on how these advances could be best used for malaria control in an appropriate and sustainable manner, with key areas for future research highlighted. PMID:10997207

  10. Metabolic Dysregulation Induced in Plasmodium falciparum by Dihydroartemisinin and Other Front-Line Antimalarial Drugs.

    PubMed

    Cobbold, Simon A; Chua, Hwa H; Nijagal, Brunda; Creek, Darren J; Ralph, Stuart A; McConville, Malcolm J

    2016-01-15

    Detailed information on the mode of action of antimalarial drugs can be used to improve existing drugs, identify new drug targets, and understand the basis of drug resistance. In this study we describe the use of a time-resolved, mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolite profiling approach to map the metabolic perturbations induced by a panel of clinical antimalarial drugs and inhibitors on Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stages. Drug-induced changes in metabolite levels in P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes were monitored over time using gas chromatography-MS and liquid chromatography-MS and changes in specific metabolic fluxes confirmed by nonstationary [(13)C]-glucose labeling. Dihydroartemisinin (DHA) was found to disrupt hemoglobin catabolism within 1 hour of exposure, resulting in a transient decrease in hemoglobin-derived peptides. Unexpectedly, it also disrupted pyrimidine biosynthesis, resulting in increased [(13)C]-glucose flux toward malate production, potentially explaining the susceptibility of P. falciparum to DHA during early blood-stage development. Unique metabolic signatures were also found for atovaquone, chloroquine, proguanil, cycloguanil and methylene blue. We also show that this approach can be used to identify the mode of action of novel antimalarials, such as the compound Torin 2, which inhibits hemoglobin catabolism. PMID:26150544

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-22

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

  12. Efficient site-specific integration in Plasmodium falciparum chromosomes mediated by mycobacteriophage Bxb1 integrase

    PubMed Central

    Nkrumah, Louis J; Muhle, Rebecca A; Moura, Pedro A; Ghosh, Pallavi; Hatfull, Graham F; Jacobs, William R; Fidock, David A

    2010-01-01

    Here we report an efficient, site-specific system of genetic integration into Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite chromosomes. This is mediated by mycobacteriophage Bxb1 integrase, which catalyzes recombination between an incoming attP and a chromosomal attB site. We developed P. falciparum lines with the attB site integrated into the glutaredoxin-like cg6 gene. Transfection of these attB+ lines with a dual-plasmid system, expressing a transgene on an attP-containing plasmid together with a drug resistance gene and the integrase on a separate plasmid, produced recombinant parasites within 2 to 4 weeks that were genetically uniform for single-copy plasmid integration. Integrase-mediated recombination resulted in proper targeting of parasite proteins to intra-erythrocytic compartments, including the apicoplast, a plastid-like organelle. Recombinant attB × attP parasites were genetically stable in the absence of drug and were phenotypically homogeneous. This system can be exploited for rapid genetic integration and complementation analyses at any stage of the P. falciparum life cycle, and it illustrates the utility of Bxb1-based integrative recombination for genetic studies of intracellular eukaryotic organisms. PMID:16862136

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Vaccination with SPf66, a chemically synthesised vaccine, against Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Valero, M V; Amador, L R; Galindo, C; Figueroa, J; Bello, M S; Murillo, L A; Mora, A L; Patarroyo, G; Rocha, C L; Rojas, M

    1993-03-20

    Preclinical and clinical studies have established the safety and immunogenicity of the chemically synthesised SPf66 malaria vaccine. The present study is a phase III randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, efficacy trial completed in La Tola, Colombia. 1548 volunteers over one year of age received three doses of either the vaccine (n = 738) or placebo (n = 810). Active and passive case detection methods were used to document clinical episodes of malaria among the study population. The follow-up period began one month after the third dose and lasted for one year. 168 and 297 episodes of Plasmodium falciparum malaria were documented in the SPf66 group and the placebo group, respectively; this corresponds to a crude protective efficacy of 38.8%. Incidence rates for first or only P falciparum malarial episodes were 22.3% per annum among the vaccinee group and 33.5% among the placebo group (RR = 1.5; 95% Cl 1.23, 1.84). Therefore, the protective efficacy of SPf66 against first or only episodes was 33.6% (95% Cl 18.8, 45.7), being highest in children aged 1-4 years (77%) and adults older than 45 years (67%). The estimated protective efficacy against second episodes was 50.5% (95% Cl 12.9-71.9). Our study shows that the chemically synthesised SPf66 malaria vaccine is safe, immunogenic, and protective against P falciparum malaria in semi-immune populations subject to natural challenge.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1989-01-01

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

  16. Relationship of regulatory T cells to Plasmodium falciparum malaria symptomatology in a hypoendemic region

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Previous data have suggested that regulatory T cells (Tregs) balance protective immune responses with immune mediated pathology in malaria. This study aimed to determine to test the hypothesis that Treg proportions or absolute levels are associated with parasitaemia and malaria symptoms. Methods Treg cells were quantified by flow cytometry as CD4+ CD25+, Foxp3+, CD127low T cells. Three patient groups were assessed: patients with symptomatic Plasmodium falciparum malaria (S), subjects with asymptomatic P. falciparum parasitaemia (AS) and uninfected control individuals (C). Results S, AS and C groups had similar absolute numbers and percentage of Tregs (3.9%, 3.5% and 3.5% respectively). Levels of parasitaemia were not associated with Treg percentage (p = 0.47). Conclusion Neither relative nor absolute regulatory T cell numbers were found to be associated with malaria-related symptomatology in this study. Immune mechanisms other than Tregs are likely to be responsible for the state of asymptomatic P. falciparum parasitaemia in the Peruvian Amazon; but further study to explore these mechanisms is needed. PMID:24642188

  17. Distinct subcellular localization in the cytosol and apicoplast, unexpected dimerization and inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum glyoxalases.

    PubMed

    Urscher, Miriam; Przyborski, Jude M; Imoto, Masaya; Deponte, Marcel

    2010-04-01

    The ubiquitous glyoxalase system removes methylglyoxal as a harmful by-product of glycolysis. Because malaria parasites have drastically increased glycolytic fluxes, they could be highly susceptible to the inhibition of this detoxification pathway. Here we analysed the intracellular localization, oligomerization and inhibition of the glyoxalases from Plasmodium falciparum. Glyoxalase I (GloI) and one of the two glyoxalases II (cGloII) were located in the cytosol of the blood stages. The second glyoxalase II (tGloII) was detected in the apicoplast pointing to alternative metabolic pathways. Using a variety of methods, cGloII was found to exist in a monomer-dimer equilibrium that might have been overlooked for homologues from other organisms and that could be of physiological importance. The compounds methyl-gerfelin and curcumin, which were previously shown to inhibit mammalian GloI, also inhibited P. falciparum GloI. Inhibition patterns were predominantly competitive but were complicated because of the two different active sites of the enzyme. This effect was neglected in previous inhibition studies of monomeric glyoxalases I, with consequences for the interpretation of inhibition constants. In summary, the present work reveals novel general glyoxalase properties that future research can build on and provides a significant advance in characterizing the glyoxalase system from P. falciparum.

  18. Modeling of the Glycolysis Pathway in Plasmodium falciparum using Petri Nets

    PubMed Central

    Oyelade, Jelili; Isewon, Itunuoluwa; Rotimi, Solomon; Okunoren, Ifeoluwa

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the deadly diseases, which affects a large number of the world’s population. The Plasmodium falciparum parasite during erythrocyte stages produces its energy mainly through anaerobic glycolysis, with pyruvate being converted into lactate. The glycolysis metabolism in P. falci-parum is one of the important metabolic pathways of the parasite because the parasite is entirely dependent on it for energy. Also, several glycolytic enzymes have been proposed as drug targets. Petri nets (PNs) have been recognized as one of the important models for representing biological pathways. In this work, we built a qualitative PN model for the glycolysis pathway in P. falciparum and analyzed the model for its structural and quantitative properties using PN theory. From PlasmoCyc files, a total of 11 reactions were extracted; 6 of these were reversible and 5 were irreversible. These reactions were catalyzed by a total number of 13 enzymes. We extracted some of the essential reactions in the pathway using PN model, which are the possible drug targets without which the pathway cannot function. This model also helps to improve the understanding of the biological processes within this pathway. PMID:27199550

  19. Plasmodium falciparum infection rates for some Anopheles spp. from Guinea-Bissau, West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Sanford, Michelle R.; Cornel, Anthony J.; Nieman, Catelyn C.; Dinis, Joao; Marsden, Clare D.; Weakley, Allison M.; Han, Sarah; Rodrigues, Amabelia; Lanzaro, Gregory C.; Lee, Yoosook

    2014-01-01

    Presence of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (CSP) was detected by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in a sample of Anopheles gambiae s.s., A. melas and A. pharoensis collected in Guinea-Bissau during October and November 2009. The percentage of P. falciparum infected samples (10.2% overall; confidence interval (CI): 7.45-13.6%) was comparable to earlier studies from other sites in Guinea-Bissau (9.6-12.4%). The majority of the specimens collected were identified as A. gambiae which had an individual infection rate of 12.6 % (CI: 8.88-17.6) across collection sites. A small number of specimens of A. coluzzii, A. coluzzii x A. gambiae hybrids, A. melas and A. pharoensis were collected and had infection rates of 4.3% (CI:0.98-12.4), 4.1% (CI:0.35-14.5), 11.1% (CI:1.86-34.1) and 33.3% (CI:9.25-70.4) respectively. Despite being present in low numbers in indoor collections, the exophilic feeding behaviors of A. melas (N=18) and A. pharoensis (N=6) and high infection rates observed in this survey suggest falciparum-malaria transmission potential outside of the protection of bed nets. PMID:25383188

  20. The RNA-binding protein Puf1 functions in the maintenance of gametocytes in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Sony; Li, Xiaolian; Ning, Gang; Miao, Jun; Cui, Liwang

    2016-08-15

    Translation control plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, especially in transition stages between the vertebrate host and mosquito vector. Here, we determined the function of the Puf-family member Puf1 (denoted as PfPuf1 for the P. falciparum protein) during P. falciparum sexual development. We show that PfPuf1 was expressed in all gametocyte stages and at higher levels in female gametocytes. PfPuf1 disruption did not interfere with the asexual erythrocyte cycle of the parasite but resulted in an approximately tenfold decrease of mature gametocytes. In the PfPuf1-disrupted lines, gametocytes appeared normal before stage III but subsequently exhibited a sharp decline in gametocytemia. This was accompanied by a concomitant accumulation of dead and dying late-stage gametocytes, which retained normal gross morphology. In addition, significantly more female gametocytes were lost in the PfPuf1-disrupted lines during development, resulting in a reversed male-to-female sex ratio. These results indicate that PfPuf1 is important for the differentiation and maintenance of gametocytes, especially female gametocytes. PMID:27383769

  1. Chemogenomic profiling of Plasmodium falciparum as a tool to aid antimalarial drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Pradhan, Anupam; Siwo, Geoffrey H.; Singh, Naresh; Martens, Brian; Balu, Bharath; Button-Simons, Katrina A.; Tan, Asako; Zhang, Min; Udenze, Kenneth O.; Jiang, Rays H.Y.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Adams, John H.; Kyle, Dennis E.

    2015-01-01

    The spread of Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance highlights the urgency to discover new targets and chemical scaffolds. Unfortunately, lack of experimentally validated functional information about most P. falciparum genes remains a strategic hurdle. Chemogenomic profiling is an established tool for classification of drugs with similar mechanisms of action by comparing drug fitness profiles in a collection of mutants. Inferences of drug mechanisms of action and targets can be obtained by associations between shifts in drug fitness and specific genetic changes in the mutants. In this screen, P. falciparum, piggyBac single insertion mutants were profiled for altered responses to antimalarial drugs and metabolic inhibitors to create chemogenomic profiles. Drugs targeting the same pathway shared similar response profiles and multiple pairwise correlations of the chemogenomic profiles revealed novel insights into drugs’ mechanisms of action. A mutant of the artemisinin resistance candidate gene - “K13-propeller” gene (PF3D7_1343700) exhibited increased susceptibility to artemisinin drugs and identified a cluster of 7 mutants based on similar enhanced responses to the drugs tested. Our approach of chemogenomic profiling reveals artemisinin functional activity, linked by the unexpected drug-gene relationships of these mutants, to signal transduction and cell cycle regulation pathways. PMID:26541648

  2. Activity of a combination of three cinchona bark alkaloids against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro.

    PubMed

    Druilhe, P; Brandicourt, O; Chongsuphajaisiddhi, T; Berthe, J

    1988-02-01

    In vitro studies with quinine, quinidine, cinchonine, and cinchonidine showed that despite a similarity of chemical structure, the effectiveness of these cinchona bark alkaloids against several culture lines of Plasmodium falciparum varied widely. Depending on the strain tested, quinidine and cinchonine were 1 to 10 and 1 to 5 times, respectively, more active than quinine. A combination made of equal parts of quinine, quinidine, and cinchonine was found to have several interesting features; it had activity similar to that of quinine against quinine-susceptible strains but was found to be 2 to 10 times more effective against strains resistant to quinine and had a more consistent effect than any of the alkaloids used singly. The potentiation was found to depend mainly on the presence of cinchonine in the mixtures studied. Synergism was also confirmed in a study of 25 P. falciparum strains isolated from Thai patients. Combinations of cinchona bark alkaloids could thus be of interest in areas where P. falciparum is becoming less susceptible to quinine.

  3. In-vitro response of Plasmodium falciparum to the main alkaloids of Cinchona in northwestern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Knauer, Ariane; Sirichaisinthop, Jeeraphat; Reinthaler, Franz F; Wiedermann, Gerhard; Wernsdorfer, Gunther; Wernsdorfer, Walther H

    2003-01-01

    The blood schizontocidal activity of the four main Cinchona alkaloids against Plasmodium falciparum was compared in 46 fresh parasite isolates, using an in-vitro test measuring the drug-specific inhibition of schizont maturation. The studies were conducted in June-August 2001 at Mae Sot, northwestern Thailand, an area where quinine alone is no longer able to eliminate infections with P. falciparum. Quinidine showed the highest blood schizontocidal activity, followed by cinchonine, cinchonidine and finally quinine, which was identified as the least active compound. The isolates showed marked heterogeneity in their response to the Cinchona alkaloids. There was also high correlation of activity among all four alkaloids. The mean EC50 values for quinine, quinidine, cinchonine and cinchonidine were 144 nM, 80 nM, 104 nM and 225 nM, respectively, and the EC99 values 8040 nM, 861 nM, 1176 nM and 6531 nM. The EC99 values for quinine and cinchonidine are beyond the therapeutic concentration range and those for quinidine within it. For cinchonine, values are likely to be within this range, but toxicological and pharmacokinetic studies on this compound are required for clarifying its potential future role in the treatment of falciparum malaria.

  4. Molecular Surveillance as Monitoring Tool for Drug-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Suriname

    PubMed Central

    Adhin, Malti R.; Labadie-Bracho, Mergiory; Bretas, Gustavo

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this translational study was to show the use of molecular surveillance for polymorphisms and copy number as a monitoring tool to track the emergence and dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance. A molecular baseline for Suriname was established in 2005, with P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance (pfmdr1) markers and copy number in 40 samples. The baseline results revealed the existence of a uniformly distributed mutated genotype corresponding with the fully mefloquine-sensitive 7G8-like genotype (Y184F, S1034C, N1042D, and D1246Y) and a fixed pfmdr1 N86 haplotype. All samples harbored the pivotal pfcrtK76T mutation, showing that chloroquine reintroduction should not yet be contemplated in Suriname. After 5 years, 40 samples were assessed to trace temporal changes in the status of pfmdr1 polymorphisms and copy number and showed minor genetic alterations in the pfmdr1 gene and no significant changes in copy number, thus providing scientific support for prolongation of the current drug policy in Suriname. PMID:23836573

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

    PubMed Central

    Naik, Shankar; Yavin, Eylon; Dzikowski, Ron

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Chemogenomic profiling of Plasmodium falciparum as a tool to aid antimalarial drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Anupam; Siwo, Geoffrey H; Singh, Naresh; Martens, Brian; Balu, Bharath; Button-Simons, Katrina A; Tan, Asako; Zhang, Min; Udenze, Kenneth O; Jiang, Rays H Y; Ferdig, Michael T; Adams, John H; Kyle, Dennis E

    2015-01-01

    The spread of Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance highlights the urgency to discover new targets and chemical scaffolds. Unfortunately, lack of experimentally validated functional information about most P. falciparum genes remains a strategic hurdle. Chemogenomic profiling is an established tool for classification of drugs with similar mechanisms of action by comparing drug fitness profiles in a collection of mutants. Inferences of drug mechanisms of action and targets can be obtained by associations between shifts in drug fitness and specific genetic changes in the mutants. In this screen, P. falciparum, piggyBac single insertion mutants were profiled for altered responses to antimalarial drugs and metabolic inhibitors to create chemogenomic profiles. Drugs targeting the same pathway shared similar response profiles and multiple pairwise correlations of the chemogenomic profiles revealed novel insights into drugs' mechanisms of action. A mutant of the artemisinin resistance candidate gene - "K13-propeller" gene (PF3D7_1343700) exhibited increased susceptibility to artemisinin drugs and identified a cluster of 7 mutants based on similar enhanced responses to the drugs tested. Our approach of chemogenomic profiling reveals artemisinin functional activity, linked by the unexpected drug-gene relationships of these mutants, to signal transduction and cell cycle regulation pathways.

  7. 1H-NMR metabolite profiles of different strains of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Teng, Rongwei; Lehane, Adele M; Winterberg, Markus; Shafik, Sarah H; Summers, Robert L; Martin, Rowena E; van Schalkwyk, Donelly A; Junankar, Pauline R; Kirk, Kiaran

    2014-01-01

    Although efforts to understand the basis for inter-strain phenotypic variation in the most virulent malaria species, Plasmodium falciparum, have benefited from advances in genomic technologies, there have to date been few metabolomic studies of this parasite. Using 1H-NMR spectroscopy, we have compared the metabolite profiles of red blood cells infected with different P. falciparum strains. These included both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains, as well as transfectant lines engineered to express different isoforms of the chloroquine-resistance-conferring pfcrt (P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter). Our analyses revealed strain-specific differences in a range of metabolites. There was marked variation in the levels of the membrane precursors choline and phosphocholine, with some strains having >30-fold higher choline levels and >5-fold higher phosphocholine levels than others. Chloroquine-resistant strains showed elevated levels of a number of amino acids relative to chloroquine-sensitive strains, including an approximately 2-fold increase in aspartate levels. The elevation in amino acid levels was attributable to mutations in pfcrt. Pfcrt-linked differences in amino acid abundance were confirmed using alternate extraction and detection (HPLC) methods. Mutations acquired to withstand chloroquine exposure therefore give rise to significant biochemical alterations in the parasite. PMID:25405893

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Targeting protein translation, RNA splicing, and degradation by morpholino-based conjugates in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Garg, Aprajita; Wesolowski, Donna; Alonso, Dulce; Deitsch, Kirk W.; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Altman, Sidney

    2015-01-01

    Identification and genetic validation of new targets from available genome sequences are critical steps toward the development of new potent and selective antimalarials. However, no methods are currently available for large-scale functional analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum genome. Here we present evidence for successful use of morpholino oligomers (MO) to mediate degradation of target mRNAs or to inhibit RNA splicing or translation of several genes of P. falciparum involved in chloroquine transport, apicoplast biogenesis, and phospholipid biosynthesis. Consistent with their role in the parasite life cycle, down-regulation of these essential genes resulted in inhibition of parasite development. We show that a MO conjugate that targets the chloroquine-resistant transporter PfCRT is effective against chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasites, causes enlarged digestive vacuoles, and renders chloroquine-resistant strains more sensitive to chloroquine. Similarly, we show that a MO conjugate that targets the PfDXR involved in apicoplast biogenesis inhibits parasite growth and that this defect can be rescued by addition of isopentenyl pyrophosphate. MO-based gene regulation is a viable alternative approach to functional analysis of the P. falciparum genome. PMID:26351679

  11. Targeting protein translation, RNA splicing, and degradation by morpholino-based conjugates in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Garg, Aprajita; Wesolowski, Donna; Alonso, Dulce; Deitsch, Kirk W; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Altman, Sidney

    2015-09-22

    Identification and genetic validation of new targets from available genome sequences are critical steps toward the development of new potent and selective antimalarials. However, no methods are currently available for large-scale functional analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum genome. Here we present evidence for successful use of morpholino oligomers (MO) to mediate degradation of target mRNAs or to inhibit RNA splicing or translation of several genes of P. falciparum involved in chloroquine transport, apicoplast biogenesis, and phospholipid biosynthesis. Consistent with their role in the parasite life cycle, down-regulation of these essential genes resulted in inhibition of parasite development. We show that a MO conjugate that targets the chloroquine-resistant transporter PfCRT is effective against chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasites, causes enlarged digestive vacuoles, and renders chloroquine-resistant strains more sensitive to chloroquine. Similarly, we show that a MO conjugate that targets the PfDXR involved in apicoplast biogenesis inhibits parasite growth and that this defect can be rescued by addition of isopentenyl pyrophosphate. MO-based gene regulation is a viable alternative approach to functional analysis of the P. falciparum genome. PMID:26351679

  12. Safety and efficacy of a recombinant DNA Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite vaccine.

    PubMed

    Ballou, W R; Hoffman, S L; Sherwood, J A; Hollingdale, M R; Neva, F A; Hockmeyer, W T; Gordon, D M; Schneider, I; Wirtz, R A; Young, J F

    1987-06-01

    A recombinant DNA Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite vaccine produced in Escherichia coli (FSV-1) was tested in doses of 10 micrograms to 800 micrograms protein in fifteen volunteers. No serious adverse reactions occurred. Antibodies that reacted with P falciparum sporozoite antigens by enzyme-linked immunoassay developed in twelve of the volunteers. The highest antibody titres induced were similar to those resulting from lifelong natural exposure to sporozoite-infected mosquitoes. Postimmunization serum samples from a majority of volunteers mediated the circumsporozoite (CS) precipitation reaction and inhibited sporozoite invasion of hepatoma cells in vitro. Serum from the three volunteers who received 800 micrograms doses reacted with the surface of sporozoites in an immunofluorescence assay. Six immunised volunteers receiving a fourth dose of FSV-1 and two non-immunised controls were challenged by bites of mosquitoes infected from cultured P falciparum gametocytes. Parasitaemia did not develop in the volunteer with the highest titre of CS antibodies, and parasitaemia was delayed in two other immunised volunteers. This study confirms that human beings can be protected by CS protein subunit vaccines and provides a framework for the further development and testing of more immunogenic sporozoite vaccines.

  13. Structure of Plasmodium falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase with autologous inhibitory protein–protein interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Shiva; Krishnamoorthy, Kalyanaraman; Mudeppa, Devaraja G.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K.

    2015-04-21

    P. falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, a potential target for antimalarial drugs and a conduit for prodrugs, crystallized as a structure with eight molecules per asymmetric unit that included some unique parasite-specific auto-inhibitory interactions between catalytic dimers. The most severe form of malaria is caused by the obligate parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRTase) is the fifth enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine-synthesis pathway in the parasite, which lacks salvage pathways. Among all of the malaria de novo pyrimidine-biosynthesis enzymes, the structure of P. falciparum OPRTase (PfOPRTase) was the only one unavailable until now. PfOPRTase that could be crystallized was obtained after some low-complexity sequences were removed. Four catalytic dimers were seen in the asymmetic unit (a total of eight polypeptides). In addition to revealing unique amino acids in the PfOPRTase active sites, asymmetric dimers in the larger structure pointed to novel parasite-specific protein–protein interactions that occlude the catalytic active sites. The latter could potentially modulate PfOPRTase activity in parasites and possibly provide new insights for blocking PfOPRTase functions.

  14. Interferon regulatory factor-1 polymorphisms are associated with the control of Plasmodium falciparum infection

    PubMed Central

    Mangano, Valentina D; Luoni, Gaia; Rockett, Kirk A; Sirima, Bienvenu S; Konaté, Amadou; Forton, Julian; Clark, Taane; Bancone, Germana; Akha, Elham Sadighi; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Modiano, David

    2010-01-01

    We describe the haplotypic structure of the Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 (IRF-1) locus in two West African ethnic groups, Fulani and Mossi, that differ in their susceptibility and immune response to Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Both populations showed significant associations between IRF-1 polymorphisms and carriage of P. falciparum infection, with different patterns of association that may reflect their different haplotypic architecture. Genetic variation at this locus does not therefore account for the Fulani-specific resistance to malaria while it could contribute to parasite clearance's ability in populations living in endemic areas. We then conducted a case-control study of three haplotype-tagging Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (htSNPs) in 370 hospitalized malaria patients (160 severe and 210 uncomplicated) and 410 healthy population controls, all from the Mossi ethnic group. All 3 htSNPs showed correlation with blood infection levels in malaria patients, and the rs10065633 polymorphism was associated with severe disease (p=0.02). These findings provide the first evidence of the involvement in malaria susceptibility of a specific locus within the 5q31 region, previously shown to be linked with P. falciparum infection levels. PMID:18200030

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Radicicol Confers Mid-Schizont Arrest by Inhibiting Mitochondrial Replication in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Chalapareddy, Sureshkumar; Bhattacharyya, Mrinal Kanti; Mishra, Seema

    2014-01-01

    Radicicol, an antifungal antibiotic, was previously identified as a compound having antimalarial activity. However, its mechanism of action in Plasmodium falciparum was not elucidated. While characterizing its antimalarial function, we observed that radicicol manifested two distinct developmental defects in cultured P. falciparum in a concentration-dependent manner. At a low concentration of radicicol, a significant percentage of drug-treated parasites were arrested at the schizont stage, while at a higher concentration, the parasites were unable to multiply from schizont to ring. Also, the newly formed rings and trophozoites were extremely delayed in development, eventually leading to cell death. We intended to characterize the potential molecular target of radicicol at its sublethal doses. Our results demonstrated that radicicol specifically impaired mitochondrial replication. This decrement was associated with a severalfold increment of the topoisomerase VIB transcript as well as protein in treated cells over that of untreated parasites. Topoisomerase VIB was found to be localized in the organelle fraction. Our docking study revealed that radicicol fits into the Bergerat fold of Pf topoisomerase VIB present in its ATPase domain. Altogether, these data allow us to conclude that P. falciparum topoisomerase VIB might be one of the targets of radicicol causing inhibition of mitochondrial replication. Hence, radicicol can be suitably employed to explore the mitochondrial physiology of malaria parasites. PMID:24841259

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Artemisinin-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum Parasites Exhibit Altered Patterns of Development in Infected Erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Hott, Amanda; Casandra, Debora; Sparks, Kansas N.; Morton, Lindsay C.; Castanares, Geocel-Grace; Rutter, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    Artemisinin derivatives are used in combination with other antimalarial drugs for treatment of multidrug-resistant malaria worldwide. Clinical resistance to artemisinin recently emerged in southeast Asia, yet in vitro phenotypes for discerning mechanism(s) of resistance remain elusive. Here, we describe novel phenotypic resistance traits expressed by artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. The resistant parasites exhibit altered patterns of development that result in reduced exposure to drug at the most susceptible stage of development in erythrocytes (trophozoites) and increased exposure in the most resistant stage (rings). In addition, a novel in vitro delayed clearance assay (DCA) that assesses drug effects on asexual stages was found to correlate with parasite clearance half-life in vivo as well as with mutations in the Kelch domain gene associated with resistance (Pf3D7_1343700). Importantly, all of the resistance phenotypes were stable in cloned parasites for more than 2 years without drug pressure. The results demonstrate artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum has evolved a novel mechanism of phenotypic resistance to artemisinin drugs linked to abnormal cell cycle regulation. These results offer insights into a novel mechanism of drug resistance in P. falciparum and new tools for monitoring the spread of artemisinin resistance. PMID:25779582

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  2. Use of a colorimetric (DELI) test for the evaluation of chemoresistance of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax to commonly used anti-plasmodial drugs in the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax resistance to available anti-malarial drugs represents a major drawback in the control of malaria and its associated morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemoresistance profile of P. falciparum and P. vivax to commonly used anti-plasmodial drugs in a malaria-endemic area in the Brazilian Amazon. Methods The study was carried out in Manaus (Amazonas state), in the Brazilian Amazon. A total of 88 P. falciparum and 178 P. vivax isolates was collected from 2004 to 2007. The sensitivity of P. falciparum isolates was determined to chloroquine, quinine, mefloquine and artesunate and the sensitivity of P. vivax isolates was determined to chloroquine and mefloquine, by using the colorimetric DELI test. Results As expected, a high prevalence of P. falciparum isolates resistant to chloroquine (78.1%) was observed. The prevalence of isolates with profile of resistance or decreased sensitivity for quinine, mefloquine and artesunate was 12.7, 21.2 and 11.7%, respectively. In the case of P. vivax, the prevalence of isolates with profile of resistance for chloroquine and mefloquine was 9.8 and 28%, respectively. No differences in the frequencies of isolates with profile of resistance or geometric mean IC50s were seen when comparing the data obtained in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, for all tested anti-malarials. Conclusions The great majority of P. falciparum isolates in the Brazilian malaria-endemic area remain resistant to chloroquine, and the decreased sensitivity to quinine, mefloquine and artesunate observed in 10–20% of the isolates must be taken with concern, especially for artesunate. Plasmodium vivax isolates also showed a significant proportion of isolates with decreased sensitivity to chloroquine (first-line drug) and mainly to mefloquine. The data presented here also confirm the usefulness of the DELI test to generate results able to impact on public health

  3. Detection of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax subclinical infection in non-endemic region: implications for blood transfusion and malaria epidemiology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In Brazil, malaria is endemic in the Amazon River basin and non-endemic in the extra-Amazon region, which includes areas of São Paulo state. In this state, a number of autochthonous cases of malaria occur annually, and the prevalence of subclinical infection is unknown. Asymptomatic infections may remain undetected, maintaining transmission of the pathogen, including by blood transfusion. In these report it has been described subclinical Plasmodium infection in blood donors from a blood transfusion centre in São Paulo, Brazil. Methods In this cross-sectional study, representative samples of blood were obtained from 1,108 healthy blood donors at the Fundação Pró-Sangue Hemocentro de São Paulo, the main blood transfusion centre in São Paulo. Malaria exposure was defined by the home region (exposed: forest region; non-exposed: non-forest region). Real-time PCR was used to detect Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Subclinical malaria cases were geo-referenced. Results Eighty-four (7.41%) blood donors tested positive for Plasmodium; 57 of these were infected by P. falciparum, 25 by P. vivax, and 2 by both. The prevalence of P. falciparum and P. vivax was 5.14 and 2.26, respectively. The overall prevalence ratio (PR) was 3.23 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.03, 5.13); P. falciparum PR was 16.11 (95% CI 5.87, 44.21) and P. vivax PR was 0.47 (95% CI 0.2, 1.12). Plasmodium falciparum subclinical malaria infection in the Atlantic Forest domain was present in the mountain regions while P. vivax infection was observed in cities from forest-surrounded areas. Conclusions The presence of Plasmodium in healthy blood donors from a region known as non-endemic, which is important in the context of transfusion biosafety, was described. Infected recipients may become asymptomatic carriers and a reservoir for parasites, maintaining their transmission. Furthermore, P. falciparum PR was positively associated with the forest environment, and P. vivax was

  4. A Multidomain Adhesion Protein Family Expressed in Plasmodium falciparum Is Essential for Transmission to the Mosquito

    PubMed Central

    Pradel, Gabriele; Hayton, Karen; Aravind, L.; Iyer, Lakshminarayan M.; Abrahamsen, Mitchell S.; Bonawitz, Annemarie; Mejia, Cesar; Templeton, Thomas J.

    2004-01-01

    The recent sequencing of several apicomplexan genomes has provided the opportunity to characterize novel antigens essential for the parasite life cycle that might lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic markers. Here we have screened the Plasmodium falciparum genome sequence for genes encoding extracellular multidomain putative adhesive proteins. Three of these identified genes, named PfCCp1, PfCCp2, and PfCCp3, have multiple adhesive modules including a common Limulus coagulation factor C domain also found in two additional Plasmodium genes. Orthologues were identified in the Cryptosporidium parvum genome sequence, indicating an evolutionary conserved function. Transcript and protein expression analysis shows sexual stage–specific expression of PfCCp1, PfCCp2, and PfCCp3, and cellular localization studies revealed plasma membrane–associated expression in mature gametocytes. During gametogenesis, PfCCps are released and localize surrounding complexes of newly emerged microgametes and macrogametes. PfCCp expression markedly decreased after formation of zygotes. To begin to address PfCCp function, the PfCCp2 and PfCCp3 gene loci were disrupted by homologous recombination, resulting in parasites capable of forming oocyst sporozoites but blocked in the salivary gland transition. Our results describe members of a conserved apicomplexan protein family expressed in sexual stage Plasmodium parasites that may represent candidates for subunits of a transmission-blocking vaccine. PMID:15184503

  5. Selective inhibition of apicoplast tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase causes delayed death in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Pasaje, Charisse Flerida A.; Cheung, Vanessa; Kennedy, Kit; Lim, Erin E.; Baell, Jonathan B.; Griffin, Michael D. W.; Ralph, Stuart A.

    2016-01-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum relies on efficient protein translation. An essential component of translation is the tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (TrpRS) that charges tRNAtrp. Here we characterise two isoforms of TrpRS in Plasmodium; one eukaryotic type localises to the cytosol and a bacterial type localises to the remnant plastid (apicoplast). We show that the apicoplast TrpRS aminoacylates bacterial tRNAtrp while the cytosolic TrpRS charges eukaryotic tRNAtrp. An inhibitor of bacterial TrpRSs, indolmycin, specifically inhibits aminoacylation by the apicoplast TrpRS in vitro, and inhibits ex vivo Plasmodium parasite growth, killing parasites with a delayed death effect characteristic of apicoplast inhibitors. Indolmycin treatment ablates apicoplast inheritance and is rescuable by addition of the apicoplast metabolite isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP). These data establish that inhibition of an apicoplast housekeeping enzyme leads to loss of the apicoplast and this is sufficient for delayed death. Apicoplast TrpRS is essential for protein translation and is a promising, specific antimalarial target. PMID:27277538

  6. Allelic Diversity of MSP1 Gene in Plasmodium falciparum from Rural and Urban Areas of Gabon.

    PubMed

    Mawili-Mboumba, Denise Patricia; Mbondoukwe, Noé; Adande, Elvire; Bouyou-Akotet, Marielle Karine

    2015-08-01

    The present study determined and compared the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum strains infecting children living in 2 areas from Gabon with different malaria endemicity. Blood samples were collected from febrile children from 2008 to 2009 in 2 health centres from rural (Oyem) and urban (Owendo) areas. Genetic diversity was determined in P. falciparum isolates by analyzing the merozoite surface protein-1 (msp1) gene polymorphism using nested-PCR. Overall, 168 children with mild falciparum malaria were included. K1, Ro33, and Mad20 alleles were found in 110 (65.5%), 94 (55.9%), and 35 (20.8%) isolates, respectively, without difference according to the site (P>0.05). Allelic families' frequencies were comparable between children less than 5 years old from the 2 sites; while among the older children the proportions of Ro33 and Mad20 alleles were 1.7 to 2.0 fold higher at Oyem. Thirty-three different alleles were detected, 16 (48.5%) were common to both sites, and 10 out of the 17 specific alleles were found at Oyem. Furthermore, multiple infection carriers were frequent at Oyem (57.7% vs 42.2% at Owendo; P=0.04) where the complexity of infection was of 1.88 (±0.95) higher compared to that found at Owendo (1.55±0.75). Extended genetic diversity of P. falciparum strains infecting Gabonese symptomatic children and high multiplicity of infections were observed in rural area. Alleles common to the 2 sites were frequent; the site-specific alleles predominated in the rural area. Such distribution of the alleles should be taken into accounts when designing MSP1 or MSP2 malaria vaccine.

  7. Febrile temperatures induce cytoadherence of ring-stage Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Pipitaporn, Busaba; Silamut, Kamolrat; Pinches, Robert; Kyes, Sue; Looareesuwan, Sornchai; Newbold, Christopher; White, Nicholas J

    2002-09-01

    In falciparum malaria, the malaria parasite induces changes at the infected red blood cell surface that lead to adherence to vascular endothelium and other red blood cells. As a result, the more mature stages of Plasmodium falciparum are sequestered in the microvasculature and cause vital organ dysfunction, whereas the ring stages circulate in the blood stream. Malaria is characterized by fever. We have studied the effect of febrile temperatures on the cytoadherence in vitro of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Freshly obtained ring-stage-infected red blood cells from 10 patients with acute falciparum malaria did not adhere to the principle vascular adherence receptors CD36 or intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). However, after a brief period of heating to 40 degrees C, all ring-infected red blood cells adhered to CD36, and some isolates adhered to ICAM-1, whereas controls incubated at 37 degrees C did not. Heating to 40 degrees C accelerated cytoadherence and doubled the maximum cytoadherence observed (P < 0.01). Erythrocytes infected by ring-stages of the ICAM-1 binding clone A4var also did not cytoadhere at 37 degrees C, but after heating to febrile temperatures bound to both CD36 and ICAM-1. Adherence of red blood cells infected with trophozoites was also increased considerably by brief heating. The factor responsible for heat induced adherence was shown to be the parasite derived variant surface protein PfEMP-1. RNA analysis showed that levels of var mRNA did not differ between heated and unheated ring-stage parasites. Thus fever-induced adherence appeared to involve increased trafficking of PfEMP-1 to the erythrocyte membrane. Fever induced cytoadherence is likely to have important pathological consequences and may explain both clinical deterioration with fever in severe malaria and the effects of antipyretics on parasite clearance. PMID:12177447

  8. Parasitostatic effect of maslinic acid. I. Growth arrest of Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic stages

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Natural products have played an important role as leads for the development of new drugs against malaria. Recent studies have shown that maslinic acid (MA), a natural triterpene obtained from olive pomace, which displays multiple biological and antimicrobial activities, also exerts inhibitory effects on the development of some Apicomplexan, including Eimeria, Toxoplasma and Neospora. To ascertain if MA displays anti-malarial activity, the main objective of this study was to asses the effect of MA on Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in vitro. Methods Synchronized P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte cultures were incubated under different conditions with MA, and compared to chloroquine and atovaquone treated cultures. The effects on parasite growth were determined by monitoring the parasitaemia and the accumulation of the different infective stages visualized in thin blood smears. Results MA inhibits the growth of P. falciparum Dd2 and 3D7 strains in infected erythrocytes in, dose-dependent manner, leading to the accumulation of immature forms at IC50 concentrations, while higher doses produced non-viable parasite cells. MA-treated infected-erythrocyte cultures were compared to those treated with chloroquine or atovaquone, showing significant differences in the pattern of accumulation of parasitic stages. Transient MA treatment at different parasite stages showed that the compound targeted intra-erythrocytic processes from early-ring to schizont stage. These results indicate that MA has a parasitostatic effect, which does not inactivate permanently P. falciparum, as the removal of the compound allowed the infection to continue Conclusions MA displays anti-malarial activity at multiple intraerythrocytic stages of the parasite and, depending on the dose and incubation time, behaves as a plasmodial parasitostatic compound. This novel parasitostatic effect appears to be unrelated to previous mechanisms proposed for current anti-malarial drugs, and

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Malaria antifolate resistance with contrasting Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) polymorphisms in humans and Anopheles mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Mharakurwa, Sungano; Kumwenda, Taida; Mkulama, Mtawa A. P.; Musapa, Mulenga; Chishimba, Sandra; Shiff, Clive J.; Sullivan, David J.; Thuma, Philip E.; Liu, Kun; Agre, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Surveillance for drug-resistant parasites in human blood is a major effort in malaria control. Here we report contrasting antifolate resistance polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum when parasites in human blood were compared with parasites in Anopheles vector mosquitoes from sleeping huts in rural Zambia. DNA encoding P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (EC 1.5.1.3) was amplified by PCR with allele-specific restriction enzyme digestions. Markedly prevalent pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were evident in human P. falciparum infections—S108N (>90%), with N51I, C59R, and 108N+51I+59R triple mutants (30–80%). This resistance level may be from selection pressure due to decades of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine use in the region. In contrast, cycloguanil-resistant mutants were detected in very low frequency in parasites from human blood samples—S108T (13%), with A16V and 108T+16V double mutants (∼4%). Surprisingly, pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were of very low prevalence (2–12%) in the midguts of Anopheles arabiensis vector mosquitoes, but cycloguanil-resistant mutants were highly prevalent—S108T (90%), with A16V and the 108T+16V double mutant (49–57%). Structural analysis of the dihydrofolate reductase by in silico modeling revealed a key difference in the enzyme within the NADPH binding pocket, predicting the S108N enzyme to have reduced stability but the S108T enzyme to have increased stability. We conclude that P. falciparum can bear highly host-specific drug-resistant polymorphisms, most likely reflecting different selective pressures found in humans and mosquitoes. Thus, it may be useful to sample both human and mosquito vector infections to accurately ascertain the epidemiological status of drug-resistant alleles. PMID:22065788

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Mutation in the Plasmodium falciparum CRT protein determines the stereospecific activity of antimalarial cinchona alkaloids.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Carol E; Hoke, Jonathan M; Samarakoon, Upeka; Duan, Junhui; Mu, Jianbing; Ferdig, Michael T; Warhurst, David C; Cooper, Roland A

    2012-10-01

    The Cinchona alkaloids are quinoline aminoalcohols that occur as diastereomer pairs, typified by (-)-quinine and (+)-quinidine. The potency of (+)-isomers is greater than the (-)-isomers in vitro and in vivo against Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. They may act by the inhibition of heme crystallization within the parasite digestive vacuole in a manner similar to chloroquine. Earlier studies showed that a K76I mutation in the digestive vacuole-associated protein, PfCRT (P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter), reversed the normal potency order of quinine and quinidine toward P. falciparum. To further explore PfCRT-alkaloid interactions in the malaria parasite, we measured the in vitro susceptibility of eight clonal lines of P. falciparum derived from the 106/1 strain, each containing a unique pfcrt allele, to four Cinchona stereoisomer pairs: quinine and quinidine; cinchonidine and cinchonine; hydroquinine and hydroquinidine; 9-epiquinine and 9-epiquinidine. Stereospecific potency of the Cinchona alkaloids was associated with changes in charge and hydrophobicity of mutable PfCRT amino acids. In isogenic chloroquine-resistant lines, the IC(50) ratio of (-)/(+) CA pairs correlated with side chain hydrophobicity of the position 76 residue. Second-site PfCRT mutations negated the K76I stereospecific effects: charge-change mutations C72R or Q352K/R restored potency patterns similar to the parent K76 line, while V369F increased susceptibility to the alkaloids and nullified stereospecific differences between alkaloid pairs. Interactions between key residues of the PfCRT channel/transporter with (-) and (+) alkaloids are stereospecifically determined, suggesting that PfCRT binding plays an important role in the antimalarial activity of quinine and other Cinchona alkaloids.

  14. Mutation in the Plasmodium falciparum CRT Protein Determines the Stereospecific Activity of Antimalarial Cinchona Alkaloids

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, Carol E.; Hoke, Jonathan M.; Samarakoon, Upeka; Duan, Junhui; Mu, Jianbing; Ferdig, Michael T.; Warhurst, David C.

    2012-01-01

    The Cinchona alkaloids are quinoline aminoalcohols that occur as diastereomer pairs, typified by (−)-quinine and (+)-quinidine. The potency of (+)-isomers is greater than the (−)-isomers in vitro and in vivo against Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. They may act by the inhibition of heme crystallization within the parasite digestive vacuole in a manner similar to chloroquine. Earlier studies showed that a K76I mutation in the digestive vacuole-associated protein, PfCRT (P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter), reversed the normal potency order of quinine and quinidine toward P. falciparum. To further explore PfCRT-alkaloid interactions in the malaria parasite, we measured the in vitro susceptibility of eight clonal lines of P. falciparum derived from the 106/1 strain, each containing a unique pfcrt allele, to four Cinchona stereoisomer pairs: quinine and quinidine; cinchonidine and cinchonine; hydroquinine and hydroquinidine; 9-epiquinine and 9-epiquinidine. Stereospecific potency of the Cinchona alkaloids was associated with changes in charge and hydrophobicity of mutable PfCRT amino acids. In isogenic chloroquine-resistant lines, the IC50 ratio of (−)/(+) CA pairs correlated with side chain hydrophobicity of the position 76 residue. Second-site PfCRT mutations negated the K76I stereospecific effects: charge-change mutations C72R or Q352K/R restored potency patterns similar to the parent K76 line, while V369F increased susceptibility to the alkaloids and nullified stereospecific differences between alkaloid pairs. Interactions between key residues of the PfCRT channel/transporter with (−) and (+) alkaloids are stereospecifically determined, suggesting that PfCRT binding plays an important role in the antimalarial activity of quinine and other Cinchona alkaloids. PMID:22869567

  15. Plasmodium falciparum Genotype Diversity in Artemisinin Derivatives Treatment Failure Patients along the Thai-Myanmar Border

    PubMed Central

    Hoonchaiyapoom, Thirasak; Inorn, Kornnarin

    2014-01-01

    Genetic characteristics of Plasmodium falciparum may play a role in the treatment outcome of malaria infection. We have studied the association between diversity at the merozoite surface protein-1 (msp-1), msp-2, and glutamate-rich protein (glurp) loci and the treatment outcome of uncomplicated falciparum malaria patients along the Thai-Myanmar border who were treated with artemisinin derivatives combination therapy. P. falciparum isolates were collected prior to treatment from 3 groups of patients; 50 cases of treatment failures, 50 recrudescences, and 56 successful treatments. Genotyping of the 3 polymorphic markers was analyzed by nested PCR. The distribution of msp-1 alleles was significantly different among the 3 groups of patients but not the msp-2 and glurp alleles. The allelic frequencies of K1 and MAD20 alleles of msp1 gene were higher while RO33 allele was significantly lower in the successful treatment group. Treatment failure samples had a higher median number of alleles as compared to the successful treatment group. Specific genotypes of msp-1, msp-2, and glurp were significantly associated with the treatment outcomes. Three allelic size variants were significantly higher among the isolates from the treatment failure groups, i.e., K1270-290, 3D7610-630, G650-690, while 2 variants, K1150-170, and 3D7670-690 were significantly lower. In conclusion, the present study reports the differences in multiplicity of infection and distribution of specific alleles of msp-1, msp-2, and glurp genes in P. falciparum isolates obtained from treatment failure and successful treatment patients following artemisinin derivatives combination therapy. PMID:25548414

  16. Tracing the origins and signatures of selection of antifolate resistance in island populations of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Resistance of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) has evolved worldwide. In the archipelago of São Tomé and Principe (STP), West Africa, although SP resistance is highly prevalent the drug is still in use in particular circumstances. To address the evolutionary origins of SP resistance in these islands, we genotyped point mutations at P. falciparum dhfr and dhps genes and analysed microsatellites flanking those genes. Methods Blood samples were collected in July and December 2004 in three localities of São Tomé Island and one in Principe Island. Species-specific nested-PCR was used to identify P. falciparum infected samples. Subsequently, SNPs at the dhfr and dhps genes were identified through PCR-RFLP. Isolates were also analysed for three microsatellite loci flanking the dhfr gene, three loci flanking dhps and four loci located at putative neutral genomic regions. Results An increase of resistance-associated mutations at dhfr and dhps was observed, in particular for the dhfr/dhps quintuple mutant, associated with clinical SP failure. Analysis of flanking microsatellites suggests multiple independent introductions for dhfr and dhps mutant haplotypes, possibly from West Africa. A reduced genetic diversity and increased differentiation at flanking microsatellites when compared to neutral loci is consistent with a selective sweep for resistant alleles at both loci. Conclusions This study provides additional evidence for the crucial role of gene flow and drug selective pressures in the rapid spread of SP resistance in P. falciparum populations, from only a few mutation events giving rise to resistance-associated mutants. It also highlights the importance of human migration in the spread of drug resistant malaria parasites, as the distance between the islands and mainland is not consistent with mosquito-mediated parasite dispersal. PMID:20534146

  17. Cortisol, prolactin, cytokines and the susceptibility of pregnant Sudanese women to Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Bayoumi, N K; Elhassan, E M; Elbashir, M I; Adam, I

    2009-03-01

    Understanding the hormonal and cytokine interactions that underlie susceptibility to the disease should be helpful in elucidating the pathogenesis of malaria during pregnancy. The current study was conducted in the Wad Medani hospital, in an area of central Sudan that is characterised by unstable malarial transmission. Its aims were to investigate the roles and interactions of cortisol, prolactin, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) in pregnant women with Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The 82 pregnant subjects who were enrolled either had uncomplicated, P. falciparum malaria (the 47 cases) or were apparently uninfected and healthy women (the 37 controls) who were similar to the cases in terms of their mean age, weight, gravidity, gestational age and haemoglobin concentration. Compared with the controls, the cases were found to have significantly higher serum concentrations of total cortisol and IL-10 and significantly lower levels of prolactin and IFN-gamma (but similar concentrations of IL-4). The hormone and cytokine concentrations measured in the infected primigravidae were similar to those recorded in the infected multigravidae. Among the cases, there was a significant positive correlation between serum cortisol and IL-10 (r=0.188; P=0.025) and significant negative correlations between prolactin and both IL-4 (r=-0.175; P=0.038) and IL-10 (r=-0.186; P=0.027) but no significant correlation between prolactin and cortisol. During pregnancy, immune responses appear to be influenced by P. falciparum infections, irrespective of parity. Cortisol, prolactin and some cytokines appear to be key mediators in the host response to P. ?falciparum infection, although further research on this subject is clearly needed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Plasmodium falciparum Thioredoxin Reductase (PfTrxR) and Its Role as a Target for New Antimalarial Discovery.

    PubMed

    McCarty, Sara E; Schellenberger, Amanda; Goodwin, Douglas C; Fuanta, Ngolui Rene; Tekwani, Babu L; Calderón, Angela I

    2015-01-01

    The growing resistance to current antimalarial drugs is a major concern for global public health. The pressing need for new antimalarials has led to an increase in research focused on the Plasmodium parasites that cause human malaria. Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), an enzyme needed to maintain redox equilibrium in Plasmodium species, is a promising target for new antimalarials. This review paper provides an overview of the structure and function of TrxR, discusses similarities and differences between the thioredoxin reductases (TrxRs) of different Plasmodium species and the human forms of the enzyme, gives an overview of modeling Plasmodium infections in animals, and suggests the role of Trx functions in antimalarial drug resistance. TrxR of Plasmodium falciparum is a central focus of this paper since it is the only Plasmodium TrxR that has been crystallized and P. falciparum is the species that causes most malaria cases. It is anticipated that the information summarized here will give insight and stimulate new directions in which research might be most beneficial.

  20. Estimating the Global Clinical Burden of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in 2007

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Simon I.; Okiro, Emelda A.; Gething, Peter W.; Patil, Anand P.; Tatem, Andrew J.; Guerra, Carlos A.; Snow, Robert W.

    2010-01-01

    Background The epidemiology of malaria makes surveillance-based methods of estimating its disease burden problematic. Cartographic approaches have provided alternative malaria burden estimates, but there remains widespread misunderstanding about their derivation and fidelity. The aims of this study are to present a new cartographic technique and its application for deriving global clinical burden estimates of Plasmodium falciparum malaria for 2007, and to compare these estimates and their likely precision with those derived under existing surveillance-based approaches. Methods and Findings In seven of the 87 countries endemic for P. falciparum malaria, the health reporting infrastructure was deemed sufficiently rigorous for case reports to be used verbatim. In the remaining countries, the mapped extent of unstable and stable P. falciparum malaria transmission was first determined. Estimates of the plausible incidence range of clinical cases were then calculated within the spatial limits of unstable transmission. A modelled relationship between clinical incidence and prevalence was used, together with new maps of P. falciparum malaria endemicity, to estimate incidence in areas of stable transmission, and geostatistical joint simulation was used to quantify uncertainty in these estimates at national, regional, and global scales. Combining these estimates for all areas of transmission risk resulted in 451 million (95% credible interval 349–552 million) clinical cases of P. falciparum malaria in 2007. Almost all of this burden of morbidity occurred in areas of stable transmission. More than half of all estimated P. falciparum clinical cases and associated uncertainty occurred in India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Myanmar (Burma), where 1.405 billion people are at risk. Recent surveillance-based methods of burden estimation were then reviewed and discrepancies in national estimates explored. When these cartographically derived national

  1. Long-term persistence of sterile immunity in a volunteer immunized with X-irradiated Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites.

    PubMed

    Edelman, R; Hoffman, S L; Davis, J R; Beier, M; Sztein, M B; Losonsky, G; Herrington, D A; Eddy, H A; Hollingdale, M R; Gordon, D M

    1993-10-01

    Three volunteers were immunized by repeated exposure to the bites of Plasmodium falciparum-infected, X-irradiated mosquitoes to characterize immunologic responses and duration of protective immunity. A primary series of immunizations had been shown previously to induce sterile immunity in these volunteers against sporozoite-induced P. falciparum malaria. In the current study, antibodies to sporozoites circulated at high levels for at least 9-12 months after the volunteers were administered booster bites from X-irradiated infective mosquitoes. One volunteer challenged a second time with P. falciparum 9 months after his last immunization was again shown to be protected, whereas all 5 control subjects developed patent infections. These results set a new standard for persistence of sterile immunity against experimental P. falciparum infection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Suggestive evidence for Darwinian Selection against asparagine-linked glycans of Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Bushkin, G Guy; Ratner, Daniel M; Cui, Jike; Banerjee, Sulagna; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Jennings, Cameron V; Dvorin, Jeffrey D; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Robertson, Seth D; Steffen, Martin; O'Keefe, Barry R; Robbins, Phillips W; Samuelson, John

    2010-02-01

    We are interested in asparagine-linked glycans (N-glycans) of Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii, because their N-glycan structures have been controversial and because we hypothesize that there might be selection against N-glycans in nucleus-encoded proteins that must pass through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) prior to threading into the apicoplast. In support of our hypothesis, we observed the following. First, in protists with apicoplasts, there is extensive secondary loss of Alg enzymes that make lipid-linked precursors to N-glycans. Theileria makes no N-glycans, and Plasmodium makes a severely truncated N-glycan precursor composed of one or two GlcNAc residues. Second, secreted proteins of Toxoplasma, which uses its own 10-sugar precursor (Glc(3)Man(5)GlcNAc(2)) and the host 14-sugar precursor (Glc(3)Man(9)GlcNAc(2)) to make N-glycans, have very few sites for N glycosylation, and there is additional selection against N-glycan sites in its apicoplast-targeted proteins. Third, while the GlcNAc-binding Griffonia simplicifolia lectin II labels ER, rhoptries, and surface of plasmodia, there is no apicoplast labeling. Similarly, the antiretroviral lectin cyanovirin-N, which binds to N-glycans of Toxoplasma, labels ER and rhoptries, but there is no apicoplast labeling. We conclude that possible selection against N-glycans in protists with apicoplasts occurs by eliminating N-glycans (Theileria), reducing their length (Plasmodium), or reducing the number of N-glycan sites (Toxoplasma). In addition, occupation of N-glycan sites is markedly reduced in apicoplast proteins versus some secretory proteins in both Plasmodium and Toxoplasma.

  7. Geographic differentiation of polymorphism in the Plasmodium falciparum malaria vaccine candidate gene SERA5.

    PubMed

    Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Arisue, Nobuko; Palacpac, Nirianne M Q; Yagi, Masanori; Tougan, Takahiro; Honma, Hajime; Ferreira, Marcelo U; Färnert, Anna; Björkman, Anders; Kaneko, Akira; Nakamura, Masatoshi; Hirayama, Kenji; Mita, Toshihiro; Horii, Toshihiro

    2012-02-21

    SERA5 is regarded as a promising malaria vaccine candidate of the most virulent human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. SERA5 is a 120 kDa abundantly expressed blood-stage protein containing a papain-like protease. Since substantial polymorphism in blood-stage vaccine candidates may potentially limit their efficacy, it is imperative to fully investigate polymorphism of the SERA5 gene (sera5). In this study, we performed evolutionary and population genetic analysis of sera5. The level of inter-species divergence (kS=0.076) between P. falciparum and Plasmodium reichenowi, a closely related chimpanzee malaria parasite is comparable to that of housekeeping protein genes. A signature of purifying selection was detected in the proenzyme and enzyme domains. Analysis of 445 near full-length P. falciparum sera5 sequences from nine countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, Oceania and South America revealed extensive variations in the number of octamer repeat (OR) and serine repeat (SR) regions as well as substantial level of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in non-repeat regions (2562 bp). Remarkably, a 14 amino acid sequence of SERA5 (amino acids 59-72) that is known to be the in vitro target of parasite growth inhibitory antibodies was found to be perfectly conserved in all 445 worldwide isolates of P. falciparum evaluated. Unlike other major vaccine target antigen genes such as merozoite surface protein-1, apical membrane antigen-1 or circumsporozoite protein, no strong evidence for positive selection was detected for SNPs in the non-repeat regions of sera5. A biased geographical distribution was observed in SNPs as well as in the haplotypes of the sera5 OR and SR regions. In Africa, OR- and SR-haplotypes with low frequency (<5%) and SNPs with minor allele frequency (<5%) were abundant and were mostly continent-specific. Consistently, significant genetic differentiation, assessed by the Wright's fixation index (Fst) of inter-population variance in allele frequencies

  8. Cloning and characterization of bifunctional enzyme farnesyl diphosphate/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase from Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Isoprenoids are the most diverse and abundant group of natural products. In Plasmodium falciparum, isoprenoid synthesis proceeds through the methyl erythritol diphosphate pathway and the products are further metabolized by farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS), turning this enzyme into a key branch point of the isoprenoid synthesis. Changes in FPPS activity could alter the flux of isoprenoid compounds downstream of FPPS and, hence, play a central role in the regulation of a number of essential functions in Plasmodium parasites. Methods The isolation and cloning of gene PF3D7_18400 was done by amplification from cDNA from mixed stage parasites of P. falciparum. After sequencing, the fragment was subcloned in pGEX2T for recombinant protein expression. To verify if the PF3D7_1128400 gene encodes a functional rPfFPPS protein, its catalytic activity was assessed using the substrate [4-14C] isopentenyl diphosphate and three different allylic substrates: dimethylallyl diphosphate, geranyl diphosphate or farnesyl diphosphate. The reaction products were identified by thin layer chromatography and reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography. To confirm the product spectrum formed of rPfFPPS, isoprenic compounds were also identified by mass spectrometry. Apparent kinetic constants KM and Vmax for each substrate were determined by Michaelis–Menten; also, inhibition assays were performed using risedronate. Results The expressed protein of P. falciparum FPPS (rPfFPPS) catalyzes the synthesis of farnesyl diphosphate, as well as geranylgeranyl diphosphate, being therefore a bifunctional FPPS/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS) enzyme. The apparent KM values for the substrates dimethylallyl diphosphate, geranyl diphosphate and farnesyl diphosphate were, respectively, 68 ± 5 μM, 7.8 ± 1.3 μM and 2.06 ± 0.4 μM. The protein is expressed constitutively in all intra-erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum, demonstrated by using transgenic

  9. 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

  10. A novel 70-kDa Triton X-114-soluble antigen of Plasmodium falciparum that contains interspecies-conserved epitopes.

    PubMed

    Ma, H W; Ray, P; Dhanda, V; Das, P K; Paliwal, S; Sahoo, N; Patra, K P; Das, L K; Singh, B; Kironde, F A

    1996-08-01

    In order to identify novel conserved integral membrane and other membrane-associated proteins of Plasmodium falciparum, lambda gt11-P. falciparum DNA library phages were immunoscreened with convalescent-phase mouse sera and rabbit antiserum against Triton X-114-soluble proteins of P. falciparum. One recombinant phage clone, L857, reacted with both of the antibody probes. Insert DNA (857 bp long) in L857 was 69% dA+dT rich and hybridized to a fragment of 1800 bp from mung bean nuclease-digested P. falciparum genomic DNA. The cloned parasite DNA did not show notable sequence homology with any known protein gene. The L857-encoded polypeptide, p34 (M(r) 34 kDa) was expressed in bacteria, fused to glutathione S-transferase (GST). The fusion peptide, GST-p34 (M(r) 62 kDa), was recognized by immune serum against Triton X-114-soluble antigens of P. falciparum and was reactive with anti-P. falciparum, anti-Plasmodium yoelii, and anti-GST sera. Rabbit antiserum raised against the fusion peptide recognized a 70-kDa protein from lysates of P. falciparum cells and a putative homologous 100-kDa protein from lysates of P. yoelii. The rabbit serum anti-fusion peptide antibodies bound to acetone-fixed P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes and, in immunofluorescent antibody tests, produced a punctate pattern of fluorescence suggesting that the 70-kDa native protein is associated with an apical organelle of the parasite.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-05-01

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

  13. Annual Plasmodium falciparum entomological inoculation rates (EIR) across Africa: literature survey, internet access and review

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Simon I.; Rogers, David J.; Toomer, Jonathan F.; Snow, Robert W.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an extensive search of the formal and informal literature on annual Plasmodium falciparum entomological inoculation rates (EIR) across Africa from 1980 onwards. It first describes how the annual EIR data were collated, summarized, neo-referenced and staged for public access on the internet. Problems of data standardization, reporting accuracy and the subsequent publishing of information on the internet follow. The review was conducted primarily to investigate the spatial heterogeneity of malaria exposure in Africa and supports the idea of highly heterogeneous risk at the continental, regional and country levels. The implications for malaria control of the significant spatial (and seasonal) variation in exposure to infected mosquito bites are discussed. PMID:10897348

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Active site coupling in Plasmodium falciparum GMP synthetase is triggered by domain rotation.

    PubMed

    Ballut, Lionel; Violot, Sébastien; Shivakumaraswamy, Santosh; Thota, Lakshmi Prasoona; Sathya, Manu; Kunala, Jyothirmai; Dijkstra, Bauke W; Terreux, Raphaël; Haser, Richard; Balaram, Hemalatha; Aghajari, Nushin

    2015-11-23

    GMP synthetase (GMPS), a key enzyme in the purine biosynthetic pathway performs catalysis through a coordinated process across two catalytic pockets for which the mechanism remains unclear. Crystal structures of Plasmodium falciparum GMPS in conjunction with mutational and enzyme kinetic studies reported here provide evidence that an 85° rotation of the GATase domain is required for ammonia channelling and thus for the catalytic activity of this two-domain enzyme. We suggest that conformational changes in helix 371-375 holding catalytic residues and in loop 376-401 along the rotation trajectory trigger the different steps of catalysis, and establish the central role of Glu374 in allostery and inter-domain crosstalk. These studies reveal the mechanism of domain rotation and inter-domain communication, providing a molecular framework for the function of all single polypeptide GMPSs and form a solid basis for rational drug design targeting this therapeutically important enzyme.

  17. Analyses of Interactions Between Heparin and the Apical Surface Proteins of Plasmodium falciparum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Kyousuke; Takano, Ryo; Takemae, Hitoshi; Sugi, Tatsuki; Ishiwa, Akiko; Gong, Haiyan; Recuenco, Frances C.; Iwanaga, Tatsuya; Horimoto, Taisuke; Akashi, Hiroomi; Kato, Kentaro

    2013-11-01

    Heparin, a sulfated glycoconjugate, reportedly inhibits the blood-stage growth of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Elucidation of the inhibitory mechanism is valuable for developing novel invasion-blocking treatments based on heparin. Merozoite surface protein 1 has been reported as a candidate target of heparin; however, to better understand the molecular mechanisms involved, we characterized the molecules that bind to heparin during merozoite invasion. Here, we show that heparin binds only at the apical tip of the merozoite surface and that multiple heparin-binding proteins localize preferentially in the apical organelles. To identify heparin-binding proteins, parasite proteins were fractionated by means of heparin affinity chromatography and subjected to immunoblot analysis with ligand-specific antibodies. All tested members of the Duffy and reticulocyte binding-like families bound to heparin with diverse affinities. These findings suggest that heparin masks the apical surface of merozoites and blocks interaction with the erythrocyte membrane after initial attachment.

  18. Fluxes in ;Free; and Total Zinc Are Essential for Progression of Intraerythrocytic Stages of Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Marvin, Rebecca G.; Wolford, Janet L.; Kidd, Matthew J.; Murphy, Sean; Ward, Jesse; Que, Emily L.; Mayer, Meghan L.; Penner-Hahn, James E.; Haldar, Kasturi; O; Halloran, Thomas V.

    2012-10-23

    Dynamic fluxes in the concentration of ions and small molecules are fundamental features of cell signaling, differentiation, and development. Similar roles for fluxes in transition metal concentrations are less well established. Here, we show that massive zinc fluxes are essential in the infection cycle of an intracellular eukaryotic parasite. Using single-cell quantitative imaging, we show that growth of the blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasite requires acquisition of 30 million zinc atoms per erythrocyte before host cell rupture, corresponding to a 400% increase in total zinc concentration. Zinc accumulates in a freely available form in parasitophorous compartments outside the food vacuole, including mitochondria. Restriction of zinc availability via small molecule treatment causes a drop in mitochondrial membrane potential and severely inhibits parasite growth. Thus, extraordinary zinc acquisition and trafficking are essential for parasite development.

  19. Purification of mature schizonts of Plasmodium falciparum on colloidal silica gradients*

    PubMed Central

    Saul, Allan; Myler, Peter; Elliott, Thomas; Kidson, Chev

    1982-01-01

    The density of human erythrocytes infected in vitro with Plasmodium falciparum has been measured by isopycnic centrifugation in colloidal silica gradients. The densities of uninfected cells, rings, trophozoites, young schizonts, and mature schizonts were approximately 1.110, 1.110, 1.106, 1.097, and 1.090 g/ml, respectively. This information has been used to design a simple procedure for the separation of schizonts from other parasite stages and uninfected erythrocytes. By using synchronized cultures it is possible to obtain essentially pure schizonts after two centrifugations using a bench centrifuge. Such preparations are an excellent source of parasite antigen for immunological studies. ImagesFig. 2 PMID:6758971

  20. No Polymorphism in Plasmodium falciparum K13 Propeller Gene in Clinical Isolates from Kolkata, India

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Moytrey; Ganguly, Swagata; Saha, Pabitra; Bankura, Biswabandhu; Basu, Nandita; Das, Madhusudan; Guha, Subhasish K.; Maji, Ardhendu K.

    2015-01-01

    Molecular markers associated with artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum are yet to be well defined. Recent studies showed that polymorphisms in K13 gene are associated with artemisinin resistance. The present study was designed to know the pattern of polymorphisms in propeller region of K13 gene among the clinical isolates collected from urban Kolkata after five years of ACT implementation. We collected 59 clinical isolates from urban Kolkata and sequenced propeller region of K13 gene in 51 isolates successfully. We did not find any mutation in any isolate. All patients responded to the ACT, a combination of artesunate + sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. The drug regimen is still effective in the study area and there is no sign of emergence of resistance against artemisinin as evidenced by wild genotype of K13 gene in all isolates studied. PMID:26688755

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. A barcode of organellar genome polymorphisms identifies the geographic origin of Plasmodium falciparum strains

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Mark D.; Campino, Susana; Assefa, Samuel A.; Echeverry, Diego F.; Ocholla, Harold; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Stewart, Lindsay B.; Conway, David J.; Borrmann, Steffen; Michon, Pascal; Zongo, Issaka; Ouédraogo, Jean-Bosco; Djimde, Abdoulaye A.; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Nosten, Francois; Pain, Arnab; Bousema, Teun; Drakeley, Chris J.; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Sutherland, Colin J.; Roper, Cally; Clark, Taane G.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria is a major public health problem that is actively being addressed in a global eradication campaign. Increased population mobility through international air travel has elevated the risk of re-introducing parasites to elimination areas and dispersing drug-resistant parasites to new regions. A simple genetic marker that quickly and accurately identifies the geographic origin of infections would be a valuable public health tool for locating the source of imported outbreaks. Here we analyse the mitochondrion and apicoplast genomes of 711 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from 14 countries, and find evidence that they are non-recombining and co-inherited. The high degree of linkage produces a panel of relatively few single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that is geographically informative. We design a 23-SNP barcode that is highly predictive (~92%) and easily adapted to aid case management in the field and survey parasite migration worldwide. PMID:24923250

  4. A barcode of organellar genome polymorphisms identifies the geographic origin of Plasmodium falciparum strains.

    PubMed

    Preston, Mark D; Campino, Susana; Assefa, Samuel A; Echeverry, Diego F; Ocholla, Harold; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Stewart, Lindsay B; Conway, David J; Borrmann, Steffen; Michon, Pascal; Zongo, Issaka; Ouédraogo, Jean-Bosco; Djimde, Abdoulaye A; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Nosten, Francois; Pain, Arnab; Bousema, Teun; Drakeley, Chris J; Fairhurst, Rick M; Sutherland, Colin J; Roper, Cally; Clark, Taane G

    2014-01-01

    Malaria is a major public health problem that is actively being addressed in a global eradication campaign. Increased population mobility through international air travel has elevated the risk of re-introducing parasites to elimination areas and dispersing drug-resistant parasites to new regions. A simple genetic marker that quickly and accurately identifies the geographic origin of infections would be a valuable public health tool for locating the source of imported outbreaks. Here we analyse the mitochondrion and apicoplast genomes of 711 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from 14 countries, and find evidence that they are non-recombining and co-inherited. The high degree of linkage produces a panel of relatively few single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that is geographically informative. We design a 23-SNP barcode that is highly predictive (~92%) and easily adapted to aid case management in the field and survey parasite migration worldwide. PMID:24923250

  5. Population structuring of multi-copy, antigen-encoding genes in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Artzy-Randrup, Yael; Rorick, Mary M; Day, Karen; Chen, Donald; Dobson, Andrew P; Pascual, Mercedes

    2012-01-01

    The coexistence of multiple independently circulating strains in pathogen populations that undergo sexual recombination is a central question of epidemiology with profound implications for control. An agent-based model is developed that extends earlier ‘strain theory’ by addressing the var gene family of Plasmodium falciparum. The model explicitly considers the extensive diversity of multi-copy genes that undergo antigenic variation via sequential, mutually exclusive expression. It tracks the dynamics of all unique var repertoires in a population of hosts, and shows that even under high levels of sexual recombination, strain competition mediated through cross-immunity structures the parasite population into a subset of coexisting dominant repertoires of var genes whose degree of antigenic overlap depends on transmission intensity. Empirical comparison of patterns of genetic variation at antigenic and neutral sites supports this role for immune selection in structuring parasite diversity. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00093.001 PMID:23251784

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

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Christopher D.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

  8. A comparison of the antimalarial activity of the cinchona alkaloids against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro.

    PubMed

    Wesche, D L; Black, J

    1990-06-01

    The effects of four major cinchona alkaloids: (-) quinine, (+) quinidine, (-)cinchonidine, and (+)cinchonine against Plasmodium falciparum FCQ-27/PNG were studied. The alkaloids were tested in vitro as either single alkaloids, racemic mixtures of stereoisomers, or as an equimolar combination of all four alkaloids. Results indicate (+)quinidine to be most effective and both (+)stereoisomers were more potent than the (-)stereoisomers. Inhibitory concentrations 50% (Ki) of racemic mixtures of stereoisomers were similar to those of the (+)stereoisomers alone. The Ki of four alkaloids in equimolar combination were similar to that of the (-) cinchonidine/(+)cinchonine racemic mixture. A total alkaloidal extract of Cinchona sp. was tested and compared with the pure alkaloids. HPLC analysis indicated that (+)cinchonine, (-)cinchonidine and (-)quinine were present in a ratio of approximately 1:1:2, respectively. The total alkaloid extract, with (-)stereoisomers predominating, was less effective than the four alkaloids in combination. The nature of the interaction between stereoisomers was investigated and appears to be one of addition.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

  11. Potential antimalarial candidates from African plants: and in vitro approach using Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Khalid, S A; Farouk, A; Geary, T G; Jensen, J B

    1986-02-01

    Twenty-one compounds isolated from nine medicinal plants used in traditional medicine in the Sudan and other African countries were examined in vitro for antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum, the major human malaria parasite. Compounds tested include alkaloids, lignans, triterpenes, coumarins, limonoids and flavonoids. Most were relatively inactive; one limonoid, gedunin, had an IC50 value of about 1 microM after 48 h exposure (0.3 microM after 96 h), roughly equivalent to quinine. In this protocol, the flavonoid quercetin purified from Diosma pilosa was found to have the same activity as a commercially obtained preparation. Simple radiometric assays for antimalarial activity can thus be used to rapidly screen purified plant material or secondary plant metabolites. The high potency and efficacy of quinine and the Chinese herbal antimalarial quinghaosu (artemisinine) illustrate the merit of this approach. PMID:3520157

  12. Active site coupling in Plasmodium falciparum GMP synthetase is triggered by domain rotation

    PubMed Central

    Ballut, Lionel; Violot, Sébastien; Shivakumaraswamy, Santosh; Thota, Lakshmi Prasoona; Sathya, Manu; Kunala, Jyothirmai; Dijkstra, Bauke W.; Terreux, Raphaël; Haser, Richard; Balaram, Hemalatha; Aghajari, Nushin

    2015-01-01

    GMP synthetase (GMPS), a key enzyme in the purine biosynthetic pathway performs catalysis through a coordinated process across two catalytic pockets for which the mechanism remains unclear. Crystal structures of Plasmodium falciparum GMPS in conjunction with mutational and enzyme kinetic studies reported here provide evidence that an 85° rotation of the GATase domain is required for ammonia channelling and thus for the catalytic activity of this two-domain enzyme. We suggest that conformational changes in helix 371–375 holding catalytic residues and in loop 376–401 along the rotation trajectory trigger the different steps of catalysis, and establish the central role of Glu374 in allostery and inter-domain crosstalk. These studies reveal the mechanism of domain rotation and inter-domain communication, providing a molecular framework for the function of all single polypeptide GMPSs and form a solid basis for rational drug design targeting this therapeutically important enzyme. PMID:26592566

  13. The molecular basis of antifolate resistance in Plasmodium falciparum: looking beyond point mutations.

    PubMed

    Heinberg, Adina; Kirkman, Laura

    2015-04-01

    Drugs that target the folate-synthesis pathway have a long history of effectiveness against a variety of pathogens. As antimalarials, the antifolates were safe and well tolerated, but resistance emerged quickly and has persisted even with decreased drug pressure. The primary determinants of resistance in Plasmodium falciparum are well-described point mutations in the enzymes dihydropteroate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase targeted by the combination sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Recent work has highlighted the contributions of additional parasite adaptation to antifolate resistance. In fact, the evolution of antifolate-resistant parasites is multifaceted and complex. Gene amplification of the first enzyme in the parasite folate synthesis pathway, GTP-cyclohydrolase, is strongly associated with resistant parasites and potentially contributes to persistence of resistant parasites. Further understanding of how parasites adjust flux through the folate pathway is important to the further development of alternative agents targeting this crucial synthesis pathway.

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

    PubMed

    Straimer, Judith; Gnädig, Nina F; Witkowski, Benoit; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Duru, Valentine; Ramadani, Arba Pramundita; Dacheux, Mélanie; Khim, Nimol; Zhang, Lei; Lam, Stephen; Gregory, Philip D; Urnov, Fyodor D; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Benoit-Vical, Françoise; Fairhurst, Rick M; Ménard, Didier; Fidock, David A

    2015-01-23

    The emergence of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia imperils efforts to reduce the global malaria burden. We genetically modified the Plasmodium falciparum K13 locus using zinc-finger nucleases and measured ring-stage survival rates after drug exposure in vitro; these rates correlate with parasite clearance half-lives in artemisinin-treated patients. With isolates from Cambodia, where resistance first emerged, survival rates decreased from 13 to 49% to 0.3 to 2.4% after the removal of K13 mutations. Conversely, survival rates in wild-type parasites increased from ≤0.6% to 2 to 29% after the insertion of K13 mutations. These mutations conferred elevated resistance to recent Cambodian isolates compared with that of reference lines, suggesting a contemporary contribution of additional genetic factors. Our data provide a conclusive rationale for worldwide K13-propeller sequencing to identify and eliminate artemisinin-resistant parasites.

  15. Quantitative non-invasive intracellular imaging of Plasmodium falciparum infected human erythrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edward, Kert; Farahi, Faramarz

    2014-05-01

    Malaria is a virulent pathological condition which results in over a million annual deaths. The parasitic agent Plasmodium falciparum has been extensively studied in connection with this epidemic but much remains unknown about its development inside the red blood cell host. Optical and fluorescence imaging are among the two most common procedures for investigating infected erythrocytes but both require the introduction of exogenous contrast agents. In this letter, we present a procedure for the non-invasive in situ imaging of malaria infected red blood cells. The procedure is based on the utilization of simultaneously acquired quantitative phase and independent topography data to extract intracellular information. Our method allows for the identification of the developmental stages of the parasite and facilitates in situ analysis of the morphological changes associated with the progression of this disease. This information may assist in the development of efficacious treatment therapies for this condition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Plasmodium falciparum: A novel method for analyzing haplotypes in mixed infections

    PubMed Central

    Certain, Laura K.; Sibley, Carol H.

    2007-01-01

    Studying the population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum is necessary for understanding the spread of drug resistance. However, these studies are hampered by the inability to determine haplotypes from patient samples that contain multiple parasite populations. Therefore, we have developed a method for separating for genetic analysis the individual strains in a mixed infection. We amplified a 6 kb region of chromosome 4, including the dihydrofolate reductase gene and upstream microsatellite markers. This PCR product was inserted by recombination into a gapped yeast shuttle plasmid containing both selectable and counter-selectable markers. Because each plasmid contains only one insert and each yeast colony contains only one plasmid, the individual strains are now separate. We analyzed mixtures of 3D7, K1, and Dd2 DNA and correctly identified a haplotype in each case. PMID:17049516

  18. Stage specific activity of synthetic antimalarial endoperoxides, N-89 and N-251, against Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Morita, Masayuki; Koyama, Takahiko; Sanai, Hitomi; Sato, Akira; Hiramoto, Akiko; Masuyama, Araki; Nojima, Masatomo; Wataya, Yusuke; Kim, Hye-Sook

    2015-02-01

    We have reported that two endoperoxides, N-89 and N-251, synthesized in 2001, possess potent antimalarial activities. Aiming at their eventual use for curing malaria in humans, we have been investigating various aspects of their antimalarial actions. Here we show that N-89 and N-251 inhibit the growth of Plasmodium falciparum within human erythrocytes in vitro at its lifecycle stage 'trophozoite' specifically. It is known that artemisinin compounds, which are currently used for curing malaria, have other stage-specificities. Therefore, it is likely that the antimalarial mechanism of N-89 and N-251 differs from those of artemisinin compounds. As malaria parasites resistant to artemisinin-based combination therapy are currently emerging in some tropical regions, N-89 and N-251 are candidates for overcoming these new problems. PMID:25449979

  19. Genetic profiling of the Plasmodium falciparum population using antigenic molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Purva; Singh, Ruchi; Khan, Haris; Raza, Adil; Yadavendu, Veena; Bhatt, R M; Singh, Vineeta

    2014-01-01

    About 50% of malaria infections in India are attributed to Plasmodium falciparum but relatively little is known about the genetic structure of the parasite populations. The molecular genotyping of the parasite populations by merozoite surface protein (msp1 and msp2) and glutamate-rich protein (glurp) genes identifies the existing parasite population in the regions which help in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the parasite's drive for survival. This study reveals the genetic profile of the parasite population in selected regions across the country with varying degree of endemicity among them. We also report the prevalence of Pfcrt mutations in this parasite population to evaluate the pattern of drug resistance development in them. PMID:25405214

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

    PubMed

    Straimer, Judith; Gnädig, Nina F; Witkowski, Benoit; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Duru, Valentine; Ramadani, Arba Pramundita; Dacheux, Mélanie; Khim, Nimol; Zhang, Lei; Lam, Stephen; Gregory, Philip D; Urnov, Fyodor D; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Benoit-Vical, Françoise; Fairhurst, Rick M; Ménard, Didier; Fidock, David A

    2015-01-23

    The emergence of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia imperils efforts to reduce the global malaria burden. We genetically modified the Plasmodium falciparum K13 locus using zinc-finger nucleases and measured ring-stage survival rates after drug exposure in vitro; these rates correlate with parasite clearance half-lives in artemisinin-treated patients. With isolates from Cambodia, where resistance first emerged, survival rates decreased from 13 to 49% to 0.3 to 2.4% after the removal of K13 mutations. Conversely, survival rates in wild-type parasites increased from ≤0.6% to 2 to 29% after the insertion of K13 mutations. These mutations conferred elevated resistance to recent Cambodian isolates compared with that of reference lines, suggesting a contemporary contribution of additional genetic factors. Our data provide a conclusive rationale for worldwide K13-propeller sequencing to identify and eliminate artemisinin-resistant parasites. PMID:25502314

  1. Exploring systems affected by the heat shock response in Plasmodium falciparum via protein association networks

    PubMed Central

    Lilburn, Timothy G.; Cai, Hong; Gu, Jianying; Zhou, Zhan; Wang, Yufeng

    2015-01-01

    The heat shock response is a general mechanism by which organisms deal with physical insults such as sudden changes in temperature, osmotic and oxidative stresses, and exposure to toxic substances. Plasmodium falciparum is exposed to drastic temperature changes as a part of its life cycle and maintains an extensive repertoire of heat shock response-related proteins. As these proteins serve to maintain the parasite in the face of anti-malarial drugs as well, better understanding of the heat shock-related systems in the malaria parasite will lead to therapeutic approaches that frustrate these systems, leading to more effective use of anti-malarials. Here we use protein association networks to broaden our understanding of the systems impacted by and/or implicated in the heat shock response. PMID:25539848

  2. Molecular Markers and In Vitro Susceptibility to Doxycycline in Plasmodium falciparum Isolates from Thailand.

    PubMed

    Gaillard, Tiphaine; Sriprawat, Kanlaya; Briolant, Sébastien; Wangsing, Chirapat; Wurtz, Nathalie; Baragatti, Meïli; Lavina, Morgane; Pascual, Aurélie; Nosten, François; Pradines, Bruno

    2015-08-01

    Determinations of doxycycline 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) for 620 isolates from northwest Thailand were performed via the isotopic method, and the data were analyzed by the Bayesian method and distributed into two populations (mean IC50s of 13.15 μM and 31.60 μM). There was no significant difference between the group with low IC50s versus the group with high IC50s with regard to copy numbers of the Plasmodium falciparum tetQ (pftetQ) gene (P = 0.11) or pfmdt gene (P = 0.87) or the number of PfTetQ KYNNNN repeats (P = 0.72). PMID:26055380

  3. Molecular Markers and In Vitro Susceptibility to Doxycycline in Plasmodium falciparum Isolates from Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Gaillard, Tiphaine; Sriprawat, Kanlaya; Briolant, Sébastien; Wangsing, Chirapat; Wurtz, Nathalie; Baragatti, Meïli; Lavina, Morgane; Pascual, Aurélie; Nosten, François

    2015-01-01

    Determinations of doxycycline 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) for 620 isolates from northwest Thailand were performed via the isotopic method, and the data were analyzed by the Bayesian method and distributed into two populations (mean IC50s of 13.15 μM and 31.60 μM). There was no significant difference between the group with low IC50s versus the group with high IC50s with regard to copy numbers of the Plasmodium falciparum tetQ (pftetQ) gene (P = 0.11) or pfmdt gene (P = 0.87) or the number of PfTetQ KYNNNN repeats (P = 0.72). PMID:26055380

  4. Independent Emergence of the Plasmodium falciparum Kelch Propeller Domain Mutant Allele C580Y in Guyana.

    PubMed

    Chenet, Stella M; Akinyi Okoth, Sheila; Huber, Curtis S; Chandrabose, Javin; Lucchi, Naomi W; Talundzic, Eldin; Krishnalall, Karanchand; Ceron, Nicolas; Musset, Lise; Macedo de Oliveira, Alexandre; Venkatesan, Meera; Rahman, Reyaud; Barnwell, John W; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-05-01

    Suspected artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum can be explored by examining polymorphisms in the Kelch (PfK13) propeller domain. Sequencing of PfK13 and other gene resistance markers was performed on 98 samples from Guyana. Five of these samples carried the C580Y allele in the PfK13 propeller domain, with flanking microsatellite profiles different from those observed in Southeast Asia. These molecular data demonstrate independent emergence of the C580Y K13 mutant allele in Guyana, where resistance alleles to previously used drugs are fixed. Therefore, in Guyana and neighboring countries, continued molecular surveillance and periodic assessment of the therapeutic efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapy are warranted. PMID:26690347

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. Identification and validation of tetracyclic benzothiazepines as Plasmodium falciparum cytochrome bc1 inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Carolyn; Urgaonkar, Sameer; Cortese, Joseph F.; Gamo, F. Javier; Garcia-Bustos, Jose F.; Lafuente, Maria J.; Patel, Vishal; Ross, Leila; Coleman, Bradley I.; Derbyshire, Emily R.; Clish, Clary B.; Serrano, Adelfa E.; Cromwell, Mandy; Barker, Robert H.; Dvorin, Jeffrey D.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.; Wirth, Dyann F.; Clardy, Jon; Mazitschek, Ralph

    2012-01-01

    Summary Here we report the discovery of tetracyclic benzothiazepines (BTZ) as highly potent and selective antimalarials along with the identification of the Plasmodium falciparum cytochrome bc1 complex as the primary functional target of this novel compound class. Investigation of the structure activity relationship within this previously unexplored chemical scaffold has yielded inhibitors with low nanomolar activity. A combined approach employing genetically modified parasites, biochemical profiling, and resistance selection validated inhibition of cytochrome bc1 activity, an essential component of the parasite respiratory chain and target of the widely used antimalarial drug atovaquone, as the mode of action of this novel compound class. Resistance to atovaquone is eroding the efficacy of this widely used antimalarial drug. Intriguingly, BTZ-based inhibitors retain activity against atovaquone resistant parasites, suggesting this chemical class may provide an alternative to atovaquone in combination therapy. PMID:22195562

  7. Independent Emergence of the Plasmodium falciparum Kelch Propeller Domain Mutant Allele C580Y in Guyana.

    PubMed

    Chenet, Stella M; Akinyi Okoth, Sheila; Huber, Curtis S; Chandrabose, Javin; Lucchi, Naomi W; Talundzic, Eldin; Krishnalall, Karanchand; Ceron, Nicolas; Musset, Lise; Macedo de Oliveira, Alexandre; Venkatesan, Meera; Rahman, Reyaud; Barnwell, John W; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-05-01

    Suspected artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum can be explored by examining polymorphisms in the Kelch (PfK13) propeller domain. Sequencing of PfK13 and other gene resistance markers was performed on 98 samples from Guyana. Five of these samples carried the C580Y allele in the PfK13 propeller domain, with flanking microsatellite profiles different from those observed in Southeast Asia. These molecular data demonstrate independent emergence of the C580Y K13 mutant allele in Guyana, where resistance alleles to previously used drugs are fixed. Therefore, in Guyana and neighboring countries, continued molecular surveillance and periodic assessment of the therapeutic efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapy are warranted.

  8. Effect of carrier selection on immunogenicity of protein conjugate vaccines against Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoites.

    PubMed Central

    Que, J U; Cryz, S J; Ballou, R; Fürer, E; Gross, M; Young, J; Wasserman, G F; Loomis, L A; Sadoff, J C

    1988-01-01

    Conjugate vaccines against the sporozoite stage of Plasmodium falciparum were synthesized by covalently coupling the recombinant protein R32 [with the one-letter amino acid code of MDP-[(NANP)15NVDP]2LR] to tetanus toxoid, cholera toxin, choleragenoid, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin A. Conjugates were produced by using adipic acid dihydrazide as a spacer molecule and carbodiimide as a coupling agent. The molar ratio of R32 to carrier protein ranged from 2.5:1 to 8.4:1. These conjugates were found to be stable, nontoxic, and nonpyrogenic. When adsorbed onto Al(OH)3, all conjugates were capable of inducing anti-R32 antibody. Conjugates made with either cholera toxin or Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin A were significantly more immunogenic than those constructed with tetanus toxoid or choleragenoid. However, the magnitude of the immune response to the R32 moiety was not governed by the antibody response to the carrier protein. Images PMID:3047062

  9. Molecular Epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Outbreak, Tumbes, Peru, 2010-2012.

    PubMed

    Baldeviano, G Christian; Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Arrospide, Nancy; Gonzalez, Rommell V; Sánchez, Juan F; Macedo, Silvia; Conde, Silvia; Tapia, L Lorena; Salas, Carola; Gamboa, Dionicia; Herrera, Yeni; Edgel, Kimberly A; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Lescano, Andrés G

    2015-05-01

    During 2010-2012, an outbreak of 210 cases of malaria occurred in Tumbes, in the northern coast of Peru, where no Plasmodium falciparum malaria case had been reported since 2006. To identify the source of the parasite causing this outbreak, we conducted a molecular epidemiology investigation. Microsatellite typing showed an identical genotype in all 54 available isolates. This genotype was also identical to that of parasites isolated in 2010 in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon and closely related to clonet B, a parasite lineage previously reported in the Amazon during 1998-2000. These findings are consistent with travel history of index case-patients. DNA sequencing revealed mutations in the Pfdhfr, Pfdhps, Pfcrt, and Pfmdr1 loci, which are strongly associated with resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, and deletion of the Pfhrp2 gene. These results highlight the need for timely molecular epidemiology investigations to trace the parasite source during malaria reintroduction events.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-12

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

  12. A novel Plasmodium falciparum rhoptry associated adhesin mediates erythrocyte invasion through the sialic-acid dependent pathway

    PubMed Central

    Anand, Gaurav; Reddy, K. Sony; Pandey, Alok Kumar; Mian, Syed Yusuf; Singh, Hina; Mittal, Shivani Arora; Amlabu, Emmanuel; Bassat, Quique; Mayor, Alfredo; Chauhan, Virander Singh; Gaur, Deepak

    2016-01-01

    Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites is central to blood-stage infection and malaria pathogenesis. This intricate process is coordinated by multiple parasite adhesins that bind erythrocyte receptors and mediate invasion through several alternate pathways. P. falciparum expresses 2700 genes during the blood-stages, of which the identity and function of many remains unknown. Here, we have identified and characterized a novel P. falciparum rhoptry associated adhesin (PfRA) that mediates erythrocyte invasion through the sialic-acid dependent pathway. PfRA appears to play a significant functional role as it is conserved across different Plasmodium species. It is localized in the rhoptries and further translocated to the merozoite surface. Both native and recombinant PfRA specifically bound erythrocytes in a sialic-acid dependent, chymotrypsin and trypsin resistant manner, which was abrogated by PfRA antibodies confirming a role in erythrocyte invasion. PfRA antibodies inhibited erythrocyte invasion and in combination with antibodies against other parasite ligands produced an additive inhibitory effect, thus validating its important role in erythrocyte invasion. We have thus identified a novel P. falciparum adhesin that binds with a sialic acid containing erythrocyte receptor. Our observations substantiate the strategy to block P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion by simultaneously targeting multiple conserved merozoite antigens involved in alternate invasion pathways. PMID:27383149

  13. Epidemiological and clinical features of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in united nations personnel in Western Bahr el Ghazal State, South Sudan.

    PubMed

    He, Dengming; Zhang, Yuqi; Liu, Xiaofeng; Guo, Shimin; Zhao, Donghong; Zhu, Yunjie; Li, Huaidong; Kong, Li

    2013-01-01

    Western Bahr el Ghazal State is located in northwestern South Sudan, which is a tropical area subject to Plasmodium falciparum malaria epidemics. The aim of this study is to explore the epidemiological and clinical features of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in United Nations personnel stationed in this area. From July 2006 to June 2009, epidemiological data and medical records of 678 patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria at the U.N. level 2 hospital were analyzed. The U.N. personnel were divided into individuals not immune to Plasmodium falciparum and individuals semi-immune to Plasmodium falciparum. The patients were divided into a chemoprophylaxis group (non-immune individuals who complied with the chemoprophylaxis regimen, 582 cases) and a no/incomplete chemoprophylaxis group (non-immune individuals who either did not fully comply with chemoprophylaxis or did not use it at all and semi-immune individuals who did not use chemoprophylaxis, 96 cases). Overall morbidity was about 11.3%. There was a significant difference in the morbidity of semi-immune and non-immune individuals (1.3% vs. 15.1%, P<0.001). Out of the total, 82.9% of cases occurred during the rainy season. The incidence of fever in the chemoprophylaxis group was significantly lower than in the no/incomplete chemoprophylaxis group (36.8% vs. 96.9%, P<0.001). Significant differences were observed between the two groups with respect to all other malaria-like symptoms except gastrointestinal symptoms, serum glucose level, platelet count, and alanine aminotransferase level. The incidence of complications was 1.2% (chemoprophylaxis group) and 44.8% (no/incomplete chemoprophylaxis group).The most common complication was thrombocytopenia, which was seen in 40.6% of the no/incomplete chemoprophylaxis group. In summary, Plasmodium falciparum malaria mainly occurred in rainy season. Gastrointestinal symptoms are an important precursor of malaria. Blood smears and rapid diagnostic tests should be performed

  14. The Nonartemisinin Sesquiterpene Lactones Parthenin and Parthenolide Block Plasmodium falciparum Sexual Stage Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Balaich, Jared N.; Mathias, Derrick K.; Torto, Baldwyn; Jackson, Bryan T.; Tao, Dingyin; Ebrahimi, Babak; Tarimo, Brian B.; Cheseto, Xavier; Foster, Woodbridge A.

    2016-01-01

    Parthenin and parthenolide are natural products that are closely related in structure to artemisinin, which is also a sesquiterpene lactone (SQL) and one of the most important antimalarial drugs available. Parthenin, like artemisinin, has an effect on Plasmodium blood stage development. We extended the evaluation of parthenin as a potential therapeutic for the transmissible stages of Plasmodium falciparum as it transitions between human and mosquito, with the aim of gaining potential mechanistic insight into the inhibitory activity of this compound. We posited that if parthenin targets different biological pathways in the parasite, this in turn could pave the way for the development of druggable compounds that could prevent the spread of artemisinin-resistant parasites. We examined parthenin's effect on male gamete activation and the ookinete-to-oocyst transition in the mosquito as well as on stage V gametocytes that are present in peripheral blood. Parthenin arrested parasite development for each of the stages tested. The broad inhibitory properties of parthenin on the evaluated parasite stages may suggest different mechanisms of action between parthenin and artemisinin. Parthenin's cytotoxicity notwithstanding, its demonstrated activity in this study suggests that structurally related SQLs with a better safety profile deserve further exploration. We used our battery of assays to test parthenolide, which has a more compelling safety profile. Parthenolide demonstrated activity nearly identical to that of parthenin against P. falciparum, highlighting its potential as a possible transmission-blocking drug scaffold. We discuss the context of the evidence with respect to the next steps toward expanding the current antimalarial arsenal. PMID:26787692

  15. Targeting the cell stress response of Plasmodium falciparum to overcome artemisinin resistance.

    PubMed

    Dogovski, Con; Xie, Stanley C; Burgio, Gaetan; Bridgford, Jess; Mok, Sachel; McCaw, James M; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Kenny, Shannon; Gnädig, Nina; Straimer, Judith; Bozdech, Zbynek; Fidock, David A; Simpson, Julie A; Dondorp, Arjen M; Foote, Simon; Klonis, Nectarios; Tilley, Leann

    2015-04-01

    Successful control of falciparum malaria depends greatly on treatment with artemisinin combination therapies. Thus, reports that resistance to artemisinins (ARTs) has emerged, and that the prevalence of this resistance is increasing, are alarming. ART resistance has recently been linked to mutations in the K13 propeller protein. We undertook a detailed kinetic analysis of the drug responses of K13 wild-type and mutant isolates of Plasmodium falciparum sourced from a region in Cambodia (Pailin). We demonstrate that ART treatment induces growth retardation and an accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, indicative of a cellular stress response that engages the ubiquitin/proteasome system. We show that resistant parasites exhibit lower levels of ubiquitinated proteins and delayed onset of cell death, indicating an enhanced cell stress response. We found that the stress response can be targeted by inhibiting the proteasome. Accordingly, clinically used proteasome inhibitors strongly synergize ART activity against both sensitive and resistant parasites, including isogenic lines expressing mutant or wild-type K13. Synergy is also observed against Plasmodium berghei in vivo. We developed a detailed model of parasite responses that enables us to infer, for the first time, in vivo parasite clearance profiles from in vitro assessments of ART sensitivity. We provide evidence that the clinical marker of resistance (delayed parasite clearance) is an indirect measure of drug efficacy because of the persistence of unviable parasites with unchanged morphology in the circulation, and we suggest alternative approaches for the direct measurement of viability. Our model predicts that extending current three-day ART treatment courses to four days, or splitting the doses, will efficiently clear resistant parasite infections. This work provides a rationale for improving the detection of ART resistance in the field and for treatment strategies that can be employed in areas with ART

  16. Thrombin Cleavage of Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 Inhibits Cytoadherence

    PubMed Central

    Gillrie, Mark R.; Renaux, Bernard; Russell-Goldman, Eleanor; Avril, Marion; Brazier, Andrew J.; Mihara, Koichiro; Di Cera, Enrico; Milner, Danny A.; Hollenberg, Morley D.; Smith, Joseph D.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains one of the most deadly infections worldwide. The pathogenesis of the infection results from the sequestration of infected erythrocytes (IRBC) in vital organs, including the brain, with resulting impairment of blood flow, hypoxia, and lactic acidosis. Sequestration occurs through the adhesion of IRBC to host receptors on microvascular endothelium by Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), a large family of variant surface antigens, each with up to seven extracellular domains that can bind to multiple host receptors. Consequently, antiadhesive therapies directed at single endothelial adhesion molecules may not be effective. In this study, we demonstrated that the serine protease thrombin, which is pivotal in the activation of the coagulation cascade, cleaved the major parasite adhesin on the surface of IRBC. As a result, adhesion under flow was dramatically reduced, and already adherent IRBC were detached. Thrombin cleavage sites were mapped to the Duffy binding-like δ1 (DBLδ1) domain and interdomains 1 and 2 in the PfEMP1 of the parasite line IT4var19. Furthermore, we observed an inverse correlation between the presence of thrombin and IRBC in cerebral malaria autopsies of children. We investigated a modified (R67A) thrombin and thrombin inhibitor, hirugen, both of which inhibit the binding of substrates to exosite I, thereby reducing its proinflammatory properties. Both approaches reduced the barrier dysfunction induced by thrombin without affecting its proteolytic activity on PfEMP1, raising the possibility that thrombin cleavage of variant PfEMP1 may be exploited as a broadly inhibitory antiadhesive therapy. PMID:27624125

  17. Linking Murine and Human Plasmodium falciparum Challenge Models in a Translational Path for Antimalarial Drug Development

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, James S.; Marquart, Louise; Sekuloski, Silvana; Trenholme, Katharine; Elliott, Suzanne; Griffin, Paul; Rockett, Rebecca; O'Rourke, Peter; Sloots, Theo; Angulo-Barturen, Iñigo; Ferrer, Santiago; Jiménez-Díaz, María Belén; Martínez, María-Santos; Duparc, Stephan; Leroy, Didier; Wells, Timothy N. C.; Baker, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Effective progression of candidate antimalarials is dependent on optimal dosing in clinical studies, which is determined by a sound understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD). Recently, two important translational models for antimalarials have been developed: the NOD/SCID/IL2Rγ−/− (NSG) model, whereby mice are engrafted with noninfected and Plasmodium falciparum-infected human erythrocytes, and the induced blood-stage malaria (IBSM) model in human volunteers. The antimalarial mefloquine was used to directly measure the PK/PD in both models, which were compared to previously published trial data for malaria patients. The clinical part was a single-center, controlled study using a blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum challenge inoculum in volunteers to characterize the effectiveness of mefloquine against early malaria. The study was conducted in three cohorts (n = 8 each) using different doses of mefloquine. The characteristic delay in onset of action of about 24 h was seen in both NSG and IBSM systems. In vivo 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) were estimated at 2.0 μg/ml and 1.8 μg/ml in the NSG and IBSM models, respectively, aligning with 1.8 μg/ml reported previously for patients. In the IBSM model, the parasite reduction ratios were 157 and 195 for the 10- and 15-mg/kg doses, within the range of previously reported clinical data for patients but significantly lower than observed in the mouse model. Linking mouse and human challenge models to clinical trial data can accelerate the accrual of critical data on antimalarial drug activity. Such data can guide large clinical trials required for development of urgently needed novel antimalarial combinations. (This trial was registered at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry [http://anzctr.org.au] under registration number ACTRN12612000323820.) PMID:27044554

  18. Targeting the cell stress response of Plasmodium falciparum to overcome artemisinin resistance.

    PubMed

    Dogovski, Con; Xie, Stanley C; Burgio, Gaetan; Bridgford, Jess; Mok, Sachel; McCaw, James M; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Kenny, Shannon; Gnädig, Nina; Straimer, Judith; Bozdech, Zbynek; Fidock, David A; Simpson, Julie A; Dondorp, Arjen M; Foote, Simon; Klonis, Nectarios; Tilley, Leann

    2015-04-01

    Successful control of falciparum malaria depends greatly on treatment with artemisinin combination therapies. Thus, reports that resistance to artemisinins (ARTs) has emerged, and that the prevalence of this resistance is increasing, are alarming. ART resistance has recently been linked to mutations in the K13 propeller protein. We undertook a detailed kinetic analysis of the drug responses of K13 wild-type and mutant isolates of Plasmodium falciparum sourced from a region in Cambodia (Pailin). We demonstrate that ART treatment induces growth retardation and an accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, indicative of a cellular stress response that engages the ubiquitin/proteasome system. We show that resistant parasites exhibit lower levels of ubiquitinated proteins and delayed onset of cell death, indicating an enhanced cell stress response. We found that the stress response can be targeted by inhibiting the proteasome. Accordingly, clinically used proteasome inhibitors strongly synergize ART activity against both sensitive and resistant parasites, including isogenic lines expressing mutant or wild-type K13. Synergy is also observed against Plasmodium berghei in vivo. We developed a detailed model of parasite responses that enables us to infer, for the first time, in vivo parasite clearance profiles from in vitro assessments of ART sensitivity. We provide evidence that the clinical marker of resistance (delayed parasite clearance) is an indirect measure of drug efficacy because of the persistence of unviable parasites with unchanged morphology in the circulation, and we suggest alternative approaches for the direct measurement of viability. Our model predicts that extending current three-day ART treatment courses to four days, or splitting the doses, will efficiently clear resistant parasite infections. This work provides a rationale for improving the detection of ART resistance in the field and for treatment strategies that can be employed in areas with ART

  19. Targets and Mechanisms Associated with Protection from Severe Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Kenyan Children.

    PubMed

    Murungi, Linda M; Sondén, Klara; Llewellyn, David; Rono, Josea; Guleid, Fatuma; Williams, Andrew R; Ogada, Edna; Thairu, Amos; Färnert, Anna; Marsh, Kevin; Draper, Simon J; Osier, Faith H A

    2016-04-01

    Severe malaria (SM) is a life-threatening complication of infection with Plasmodium falciparum Epidemiological observations have long indicated that immunity against SM is acquired relatively rapidly, but prospective studies to investigate its immunological basis are logistically challenging and have rarely been undertaken. We investigated the merozoite targets and antibody-mediated mechanisms associated with protection against SM in Kenyan children aged 0 to 2 years. We designed a unique prospective matched case-control study of well-characterized SM clinical phenotypes nested within a longitudinal birth cohort of children (n= 5,949) monitored over the first 2 years of life. We quantified immunological parameters in sera collected before the SM event in cases and their individually matched controls to evaluate the prospective odds of developing SM in the first 2 years of life. Anti-AMA1 antibodies were associated with a significant reduction in the odds of developing SM (odds ratio [OR] = 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.15 to 0.90; P= 0.029) after adjustment for responses to all other merozoite antigens tested, while those against MSP-2, MSP-3, Plasmodium falciparum Rh2 [PfRh2], MSP-119, and the infected red blood cell surface antigens were not. The combined ability of total IgG to inhibit parasite growth and mediate the release of reactive oxygen species from neutrophils was associated with a marked reduction in the odds of developing SM (OR = 0.07; 95% CI = 0.006 to 0.82;P= 0.03). Assays of these two functional mechanisms were poorly correlated (Spearman rank correlation coefficient [rs] = 0.12;P= 0.07). Our data provide epidemiological evidence that multiple antibody-dependent mechanisms contribute to protective immunity via distinct targets whose identification could accelerate the development of vaccines to protect against SM. PMID:26787721

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Linking Murine and Human Plasmodium falciparum Challenge Models in a Translational Path for Antimalarial Drug Development.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, James S; Marquart, Louise; Sekuloski, Silvana; Trenholme, Katharine; Elliott, Suzanne; Griffin, Paul; Rockett, Rebecca; O'Rourke, Peter; Sloots, Theo; Angulo-Barturen, Iñigo; Ferrer, Santiago; Jiménez-Díaz, María Belén; Martínez, María-Santos; Hooft van Huijsduijnen, Rob; Duparc, Stephan; Leroy, Didier; Wells, Timothy N C; Baker, Mark; Möhrle, Jörg J

    2016-06-01

    Effective progression of candidate antimalarials is dependent on optimal dosing in clinical studies, which is determined by a sound understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD). Recently, two important translational models for antimalarials have been developed: the NOD/SCID/IL2Rγ(-/-) (NSG) model, whereby mice are engrafted with noninfected and Plasmodium falciparum-infected human erythrocytes, and the induced blood-stage malaria (IBSM) model in human volunteers. The antimalarial mefloquine was used to directly measure the PK/PD in both models, which were compared to previously published trial data for malaria patients. The clinical part was a single-center, controlled study using a blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum challenge inoculum in volunteers to characterize the effectiveness of mefloquine against early malaria. The study was conducted in three cohorts (n = 8 each) using different doses of mefloquine. The characteristic delay in onset of action of about 24 h was seen in both NSG and IBSM systems. In vivo 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) were estimated at 2.0 μg/ml and 1.8 μg/ml in the NSG and IBSM models, respectively, aligning with 1.8 μg/ml reported previously for patients. In the IBSM model, the parasite reduction ratios were 157 and 195 for the 10- and 15-mg/kg doses, within the range of previously reported clinical data for patients but significantly lower than observed in the mouse model. Linking mouse and human challenge models to clinical trial data can accelerate the accrual of critical data on antimalarial drug activity. Such data can guide large clinical trials required for development of urgently needed novel antimalarial combinations. (This trial was registered at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry [http://anzctr.org.au] under registration number ACTRN12612000323820.). PMID:27044554

  2. Targets and Mechanisms Associated with Protection from Severe Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Kenyan Children

    PubMed Central

    Sondén, Klara; Llewellyn, David; Rono, Josea; Guleid, Fatuma; Williams, Andrew R.; Ogada, Edna; Thairu, Amos; Färnert, Anna; Marsh, Kevin; Draper, Simon J.; Osier, Faith H. A.

    2016-01-01

    Severe malaria (SM) is a life-threatening complication of infection with Plasmodium falciparum. Epidemiological observations have long indicated that immunity against SM is acquired relatively rapidly, but prospective studies to investigate its immunological basis are logistically challenging and have rarely been undertaken. We investigated the merozoite targets and antibody-mediated mechanisms associated with protection against SM in Kenyan children aged 0 to 2 years. We designed a unique prospective matched case-control study of well-characterized SM clinical phenotypes nested within a longitudinal birth cohort of children (n = 5,949) monitored over the first 2 years of life. We quantified immunological parameters in sera collected before the SM event in cases and their individually matched controls to evaluate the prospective odds of developing SM in the first 2 years of life. Anti-AMA1 antibodies were associated with a significant reduction in the odds of developing SM (odds ratio [OR] = 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.15 to 0.90; P = 0.029) after adjustment for responses to all other merozoite antigens tested, while those against MSP-2, MSP-3, Plasmodium falciparum Rh2 [PfRh2], MSP-119, and the infected red blood cell surface antigens were not. The combined ability of total IgG to inhibit parasite growth and mediate the release of reactive oxygen species from neutrophils was associated with a marked reduction in the odds of developing SM (OR = 0.07; 95% CI = 0.006 to 0.82; P = 0.03). Assays of these two functional mechanisms were poorly correlated (Spearman rank correlation coefficient [rs] = 0.12; P = 0.07). Our data provide epidemiological evidence that multiple antibody-dependent mechanisms contribute to protective immunity via distinct targets whose identification could accelerate the development of vaccines to protect against SM. PMID:26787721

  3. Targeting the Cell Stress Response of Plasmodium falciparum to Overcome Artemisinin Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Dogovski, Con; Xie, Stanley C.; Burgio, Gaetan; Bridgford, Jess; Mok, Sachel; McCaw, James M.; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Kenny, Shannon; Gnädig, Nina; Straimer, Judith; Bozdech, Zbynek; Fidock, David A.; Simpson, Julie A.; Dondorp, Arjen M.; Foote, Simon; Klonis, Nectarios; Tilley, Leann

    2015-01-01

    Successful control of falciparum malaria depends greatly on treatment with artemisinin combination therapies. Thus, reports that resistance to artemisinins (ARTs) has emerged, and that the prevalence of this resistance is increasing, are alarming. ART resistance has recently been linked to mutations in the K13 propeller protein. We undertook a detailed kinetic analysis of the drug responses of K13 wild-type and mutant isolates of Plasmodium falciparum sourced from a region in Cambodia (Pailin). We demonstrate that ART treatment induces growth retardation and an accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, indicative of a cellular stress response that engages the ubiquitin/proteasome system. We show that resistant parasites exhibit lower levels of ubiquitinated proteins and delayed onset of cell death, indicating an enhanced cell stress response. We found that the stress response can be targeted by inhibiting the proteasome. Accordingly, clinically used proteasome inhibitors strongly synergize ART activity against both sensitive and resistant parasites, including isogenic lines expressing mutant or wild-type K13. Synergy is also observed against Plasmodium berghei in vivo. We developed a detailed model of parasite responses that enables us to infer, for the first time, in vivo parasite clearance profiles from in vitro assessments of ART sensitivity. We provide evidence that the clinical marker of resistance (delayed parasite clearance) is an indirect measure of drug efficacy because of the persistence of unviable parasites with unchanged morphology in the circulation, and we suggest alternative approaches for the direct measurement of viability. Our model predicts that extending current three-day ART treatment courses to four days, or splitting the doses, will efficiently clear resistant parasite infections. This work provides a rationale for improving the detection of ART resistance in the field and for treatment strategies that can be employed in areas with ART

  4. Cells and mediators of inflammation (C-reactive protein, nitric oxide, platelets and neutrophils) in the acute and convalescent phases of uncomplicated Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum infection.

    PubMed

    Lima-Junior, Josué da Costa; Rodrigues-da-Silva, Rodrigo Nunes; Pereira, Virgínia Araújo; Storer, Fábio Luiz; Perce-da-Silva, Daiana de Souza; Fabrino, Daniela Leite; Santos, Fátima; Banic, Dalma Maria; Oliveira-Ferreira, Joseli de

    2012-12-01

    The haematological changes and release of soluble mediators, particularly C-reactive protein (CRP) and nitric oxide (NO), during uncomplicated malaria have not been well studied, especially in Brazilian areas in which the disease is endemic. Therefore, the present study examined these factors in acute (day 0) and convalescent phase (day 15) patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria in the Brazilian Amazon. Haematologic parameters were measured using automated cell counting, CRP levels were measured with ELISA and NO plasma levels were measured by the Griess reaction. Our data indicate that individuals with uncomplicated P. vivax and P. falciparum infection presented similar inflammatory profiles with respect to white blood cells, with high band cell production and a considerable degree of thrombocytopaenia during the acute phase of infection. Higher CRP levels were detected in acute P. vivax infection than in acute P. falciparum infection, while higher NO was detected in patients with acute and convalescent P. falciparum infections. Although changes in these mediators cannot predict malaria infection, the haematological aspects associated with malaria infection, especially the roles of platelets and band cells, need to be investigated further.

  5. Marked Rise in the Prevalence of Asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum Infection in Rural Gabon

    PubMed Central

    Pegha Moukandja, Irène; Biteghe Bi Essone, Jean Claude; Sagara, Issaka; Kassa Kassa, Roland Fabrice; Ondzaga, Julien; Lékana Douki, Jean-Bernard; Bouyou Akotet, Marielle; Nkoghe Mba, Dieudonne; Touré Ndouo, Fousseyni S.

    2016-01-01

    Control strategies implemented a decade ago led to a marked reduction in the prevalence of malaria in many countries. In Dienga, southeastern Gabon, the prevalence of microscopic P. falciparum infection was 7% in 2003, close to the pre-elimination threshold of 5%. The aim of this work was to determine the prevalence of P. falciparum infection in the same community a decade later. A cohort of 370 individuals aged from 3 to 85 years living in Dienga was investigated for P. falciparum infection; during six passages (P) in 15-month period. Demographic data were collected, along with behaviors and attitudes towards malaria. Plasmodium infection was diagnosed by microscopy (ME), followed by PCR to detect submicroscopic infection. The prevalence of P. falciparum infection in P1, P2, P3, P4, P5 and P6 was respectively 43.5% (25.1% ME+, 18.4% PCR+); 40.9% (27.0% ME+, 13.9% PCR+), 52.7% (26.1% ME+, 26.6% PCR+); 34.1% (14.1% ME+, 20% PCR+), 57.7% (25.4.% ME+, 32.3% PCR+); and 46.2% (21.4% ME+, 24.8% PCR+) with an overall average of 45.9% (95%CI [37.0–54.7], 23.2% ME+ and 22.7% PCR+). P4 and P5 prevalences were statically different throughout the six passages. Microscopic prevalence was significantly higher than that observed ten years ago (23% [n = 370] vs 7% [n = 323], p < 0.001). Asymptomatic infections were the most frequent (96%). Gametocytes were detected in levels ranging from 5.9% to 13.9%. Insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual insecticides, and self-medication were used by respectively 33.2% (95%CI [29.0–37.4]), 17.7% (95%CI [15.5–19.9]) and 12.1% (95%CI [10.6–13.6]) of the study population. A near-threefold increase in P. falciparum infection has been observed in a rural area of southeastern Gabon during a 10-year period. Most infections were asymptomatic, but these subjects likely represent a parasite reservoir. These findings call for urgent reinforcement of preventive measures. PMID:27228058

  6. Marked Rise in the Prevalence of Asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum Infection in Rural Gabon.

    PubMed

    Pegha Moukandja, Irène; Biteghe Bi Essone, Jean Claude; Sagara, Issaka; Kassa Kassa, Roland Fabrice; Ondzaga, Julien; Lékana Douki, Jean-Bernard; Bouyou Akotet, Marielle; Nkoghe Mba, Dieudonne; Touré Ndouo, Fousseyni S

    2016-01-01

    Control strategies implemented a decade ago led to a marked reduction in the prevalence of malaria in many countries. In Dienga, southeastern Gabon, the prevalence of microscopic P. falciparum infection was 7% in 2003, close to the pre-elimination threshold of 5%. The aim of this work was to determine the prevalence of P. falciparum infection in the same community a decade later. A cohort of 370 individuals aged from 3 to 85 years living in Dienga was investigated for P. falciparum infection; during six passages (P) in 15-month period. Demographic data were collected, along with behaviors and attitudes towards malaria. Plasmodium infection was diagnosed by microscopy (ME), followed by PCR to detect submicroscopic infection. The prevalence of P. falciparum infection in P1, P2, P3, P4, P5 and P6 was respectively 43.5% (25.1% ME+, 18.4% PCR+); 40.9% (27.0% ME+, 13.9% PCR+), 52.7% (26.1% ME+, 26.6% PCR+); 34.1% (14.1% ME+, 20% PCR+), 57.7% (25.4.% ME+, 32.3% PCR+); and 46.2% (21.4% ME+, 24.8% PCR+) with an overall average of 45.9% (95%CI [37.0-54.7], 23.2% ME+ and 22.7% PCR+). P4 and P5 prevalences were statically different throughout the six passages. Microscopic prevalence was significantly higher than that observed ten years ago (23% [n = 370] vs 7% [n = 323], p < 0.001). Asymptomatic infections were the most frequent (96%). Gametocytes were detected in levels ranging from 5.9% to 13.9%. Insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual insecticides, and self-medication were used by respectively 33.2% (95%CI [29.0-37.4]), 17.7% (95%CI [15.5-19.9]) and 12.1% (95%CI [10.6-13.6]) of the study population. A near-threefold increase in P. falciparum infection has been observed in a rural area of southeastern Gabon during a 10-year period. Most infections were asymptomatic, but these subjects likely represent a parasite reservoir. These findings call for urgent reinforcement of preventive measures. PMID:27228058

  7. Bisbenzylisoquinolines as modulators of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum and multidrug resistance in tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Frappier, F; Jossang, A; Soudon, J; Calvo, F; Rasoanaivo, P; Ratsimamanga-Urverg, S; Saez, J; Schrevel, J; Grellier, P

    1996-06-01

    Ten naturally occurring bisbenzylisoquinolines (BBIQ) and two dihydro derivatives belonging to five BBIQ subgroups were evaluated in vitro for their ability to inhibit Plasmodium falciparum growth and, in drug combination, to reverse the resistance to chloroquine of strain FcB1. The same alkaloids were also assessed in vitro for their potentiating activity against vinblastine with the multidrug-resistant clone CCRF-CEM/VLB, established from lymphoblastic acute leukemia. Three of the BBIQ tested had 50% inhibitory concentrations of less than 1 microM. The most potent antimalarial agent was cocsoline (50% inhibitory concentration, 0.22 microM). Regarding the chloroquine-potentiating effect, fangchinoline exhibited the highest biological activity whereas the remaining compounds displayed either antagonistic or slight synergistic effects. Against the multidrug-resistant cancer cell line, fangchinoline was also by far the most active compound. Although there were clear differences between the activities of tested alkaloids, no relevant structure-activity relationship could be established. Nevertheless, fangchinoline appears to be a new biochemical tool able to help in the comprehension of the mechanism of both chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum and multidrug resistance in tumor cells. PMID:8726022

  8. Bisbenzylisoquinolines as modulators of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum and multidrug resistance in tumor cells.

    PubMed Central

    Frappier, F; Jossang, A; Soudon, J; Calvo, F; Rasoanaivo, P; Ratsimamanga-Urverg, S; Saez, J; Schrevel, J; Grellier, P

    1996-01-01

    Ten naturally occurring bisbenzylisoquinolines (BBIQ) and two dihydro derivatives belonging to five BBIQ subgroups were evaluated in vitro for their ability to inhibit Plasmodium falciparum growth and, in drug combination, to reverse the resistance to chloroquine of strain FcB1. The same alkaloids were also assessed in vitro for their potentiating activity against vinblastine with the multidrug-resistant clone CCRF-CEM/VLB, established from lymphoblastic acute leukemia. Three of the BBIQ tested had 50% inhibitory concentrations of less than 1 microM. The most potent antimalarial agent was cocsoline (50% inhibitory concentration, 0.22 microM). Regarding the chloroquine-potentiating effect, fangchinoline exhibited the highest biological activity whereas the remaining compounds displayed either antagonistic or slight synergistic effects. Against the multidrug-resistant cancer cell line, fangchinoline was also by far the most active compound. Although there were clear differences between the activities of tested alkaloids, no relevant structure-activity relationship could be established. Nevertheless, fangchinoline appears to be a new biochemical tool able to help in the comprehension of the mechanism of both chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum and multidrug resistance in tumor cells. PMID:8726022

  9. Circulating concentrations of soluble granzyme A and B increase during natural and experimental Plasmodium falciparum infections.

    PubMed

    Hermsen, C C; Konijnenberg, Y; Mulder, L; Loé, C; van Deuren, M; van der Meer, J W M; van Mierlo, G J; Eling, W M C; Hack, C E; Sauerwein, R W

    2003-06-01

    Release of soluble Granzymes (sGranzymes) is considered to reflect activation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and NK cells. sGranzymes and a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines were measured in plasma of malaria patients with natural or experimentally induced Plasmodium falciparum infections. Concentrations of sGranzyme A and B, IL-10, IL-12p70 and CRP were significantly increased in African children presenting with clinical malaria; IL-10 and CRP concentrations were significantly correlated with disease severity. In nonimmune Dutch volunteers which were experimentally infected by P. falciparum-infected mosquitoes, sGranzyme A increment started 1-2 days prior to clinical symptoms and microscopically detectable parasitaemia. This coincided with increases in IFNgamma, IL-12p40 and IL-8, while sGranzyme B and IL-10 levels increased 24-48 h later. The elevation of sGranzyme A and IFNgamma in nonimmune volunteers suggests that NK cells are activated upon release of parasites by infected liver cells and subsequently during blood stage infection; thus, NK cells are likely involved innate immune human host resistance in the early phase of a malaria infection.

  10. The physics of DNA and the annotation of the Plasmodium falciparum genome.

    PubMed

    Yeramian, E

    2000-09-19

    A gene identification procedure is formulated, based on large-scale structural analyses of genomic sequences. The structural property is the physical - thermal - stability of the DNA double-helix, as described by the classical helix-coil model. The analyses are detailed for the Plasmodium falciparum genome, which represents one of the most difficult cases for the gene identification problem (notably because of the extreme AT-richness of the genome). In this genome, the coding domains (either uninterrupted genes or exons in split genes) are accurately identified as regions of high thermal stability. The conclusion is based on the study of the available cloned genes, of which 17 examples are described in detail. These examples demonstrate that the physical criterion is valid for the detection of coding regions whose lengths extend from a few base pairs up to several thousand base pairs. Accordingly, the structural analyses can provide a powerful and convenient tool for the identification of complex genes in the P. falciparum genome. The limits of such a scheme are discussed. The gene identification procedure is applied to the completely sequenced chromosomes (2 and 3), and the results are compared with the database annotations. The structural analyses suggest more or less extensive revision to the annotations, and also allow new putative genes to be identified in the chromosome sequences. Several examples of such new genes are described in detail.

  11. Standardization of the antibody-dependent respiratory burst assay with human neutrophils and Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Llewellyn, David; Miura, Kazutoyo; Fay, Michael P; Williams, Andrew R; Murungi, Linda M; Shi, Jianguo; Hodgson, Susanne H; Douglas, Alexander D; Osier, Faith H; Fairhurst, Rick M; Diakite, Mahamadou; Pleass, Richard J; Long, Carole A; Draper, Simon J

    2015-09-16

    The assessment of naturally-acquired and vaccine-induced immunity to blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria is of long-standing interest. However, the field has suffered from a paucity of in vitro assays that reproducibly measure the anti-parasitic activity induced by antibodies in conjunction with immune cells. Here we optimize the antibody-dependent respiratory burst (ADRB) assay, which assesses the ability of antibodies to activate the release of reactive oxygen species from human neutrophils in response to P. falciparum blood-stage parasites. We focus particularly on assay parameters affecting serum preparation and concentration, and importantly assess reproducibility. Our standardized protocol involves testing each serum sample in singlicate with three independent neutrophil donors, and indexing responses against a standard positive control of pooled hyper-immune Kenyan sera. The protocol can be used to quickly screen large cohorts of samples from individuals enrolled in immuno-epidemiological studies or clinical vaccine trials, and requires only 6 μL of serum per sample. Using a cohort of 86 samples, we show that malaria-exposed individuals induce higher ADRB activity than malaria-naïve individuals. The development of the ADRB assay complements the use of cell-independent assays in blood-stage malaria, such as the assay of growth inhibitory activity, and provides an important standardized cell-based assay in the field.

  12. Prolonged neutrophil dysfunction after Plasmodium falciparum malaria is related to hemolysis and heme oxygenase-1 induction.

    PubMed

    Cunnington, Aubrey J; Njie, Madi; Correa, Simon; Takem, Ebako N; Riley, Eleanor M; Walther, Michael

    2012-12-01

    It is not known why people are more susceptible to bacterial infections such as nontyphoid Salmonella during and after a malaria infection, but in mice, malarial hemolysis impairs resistance to nontyphoid Salmonella by impairing the neutrophil oxidative burst. This acquired neutrophil dysfunction is a consequence of induction of the cytoprotective, heme-degrading enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in neutrophil progenitors in bone marrow. In this study, we assessed whether neutrophil dysfunction occurs in humans with malaria and how this relates to hemolysis. We evaluated neutrophil function in 58 Gambian children with Plasmodium falciparum malaria [55 (95%) with uncomplicated disease] and examined associations with erythrocyte count, haptoglobin, hemopexin, plasma heme, expression of receptors for heme uptake, and HO-1 induction. Malaria caused the appearance of a dominant population of neutrophils with reduced oxidative burst activity, which gradually normalized over 8 wk of follow-up. The degree of neutrophil impairment correlated significantly with markers of hemolysis and HO-1 induction. HO-1 expression was increased in blood during acute malaria, but at a cellular level HO-1 expression was modulated by changes in surface expression of the haptoglobin receptor (CD163). These findings demonstrate that neutrophil dysfunction occurs in P. falciparum malaria and support the relevance of the mechanistic studies in mice. Furthermore, they suggest the presence of a regulatory pathway to limit HO-1 induction by hemolysis in the context of infection and indicate new targets for therapeutic intervention to abrogate the susceptibility to bacterial infection in the context of hemolysis in humans.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  14. A Computational Approach towards the Understanding of Plasmodium falciparum Multidrug Resistance Protein 1

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Saumya K.; Prasanth Kumar, Sivakumar; Highland, Hyacinth N.; Jasrai, Yogesh T.; Pandya, Himanshu A.; Desai, Ketaki R.

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum tremendously affected the chemotherapy worldwide while the intense distribution of chloroquine-resistant strains in most of the endemic areas added more complications in the treatment of malaria. The situation has even worsened by the lack of molecular mechanism to understand the resistance conferred by Plasmodia species. Recent studies have suggested the association of antimalarial resistance with P. falciparum multidrug resistance protein 1 (PfMDR1), an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter and a homologue of human P-glycoprotein 1 (P-gp1). The present study deals about the development of PfMDR1 computational model and the model of substrate transport across PfMDR1 with insights derived from conformations relative to inward- and outward-facing topologies that switch on/off the transportation system. Comparison of ATP docked positions and its structural motif binding properties were found to be similar among other ATPases, and thereby contributes to NBD domains dimerization, a unique structural agreement noticed in Mus musculus Pgp and Escherichia coli MDR transporter homolog (MsbA). The interaction of leading antimalarials and phytochemicals within the active pocket of both wild-type and mutant-type PfMDR1 demonstrated the mode of binding and provided insights of less binding affinity thereby contributing to parasite's resistance mechanism. PMID:25937947

  15. Whole-Genome Scans Provide Evidence of Adaptive Evolution in Malawian Plasmodium falciparum Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Ocholla, Harold; Preston, Mark D.; Mipando, Mwapatsa; Jensen, Anja T. R.; Campino, Susana; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Alcock, Daniel; Terlouw, Anja; Zongo, Issaka; Oudraogo, Jean-Bosco; Djimde, Abdoulaye A.; Assefa, Samuel; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Borrmann, Steffen; Nzila, Alexis; Marsh, Kevin; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Nosten, Francois; Anderson, Tim J. C.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Craig, Alister; Clark, Taane G.; Montgomery, Jacqui

    2014-01-01

    Background Selection by host immunity and antimalarial drugs has driven extensive adaptive evolution in Plasmodium falciparum and continues to produce ever-changing landscapes of genetic variation. Methods We performed whole-genome sequencing of 69 P. falciparum isolates from Malawi and used population genetics approaches to investigate genetic diversity and population structure and identify loci under selection. Results High genetic diversity (π = 2.4 × 10−4), moderately high multiplicity of infection (2.7), and low linkage disequilibrium (500-bp) were observed in Chikhwawa District, Malawi, an area of high malaria transmission. Allele frequency–based tests provided evidence of recent population growth in Malawi and detected potential targets of host immunity and candidate vaccine antigens. Comparison of the sequence variation between isolates from Malawi and those from 5 geographically dispersed countries (Kenya, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cambodia, and Thailand) detected population genetic differences between Africa and Asia, within Southeast Asia, and within Africa. Haplotype-based tests of selection to sequence data from all 6 populations identified signals of directional selection at known drug-resistance loci, including pfcrt, pfdhps, pfmdr1, and pfgch1. Conclusions The sequence variations observed at drug-resistance loci reflect differences in each country's historical use of antimalarial drugs and may be useful in formulating local malaria treatment guidelines. PMID:24948693

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Alterations in Plasmodium falciparum Genetic Structure Two Years after Increased Malaria Control Efforts in Western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Vardo-Zalik, Anne M.; Zhou, Guofa; Zhong, Daibin; Afrane, Yaw A.; Githeko, Andrew K.; Yan, Guiyun

    2013-01-01

    The impact of malaria intervention measures (insecticide-treated net use and artemisinin combination therapy) on malaria genetics was investigated at two sites in western Kenya: an endemic lowland and an epidemic highland. The genetic structure of the parasite population was assessed by using microsatellites, and the prevalence of drug-resistant mutations was examined by using the polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Two years after intervention, genetic diversity remained high in both populations. A significant decrease in the prevalence of quintuple mutations conferring resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine was detected in both populations, but the mutation prevalence at codon 1246 of the Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance 1 gene had increased in the highland population. The decrease in sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine–resistant mutants is encouraging, but the increase in P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 gene mutations is worrisome because these mutations are linked to resistance to other antimalarial drugs. In addition, the high level of genetic diversity observed after intervention suggests transmission is still high in each population. PMID:23166196

  18. Molecular basis of differential resistance to cycloguanil and pyrimethamine in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, D S; Milhous, W K; Wellems, T E

    1990-01-01

    Proguanil and pyrimethamine are antifolate drugs with distinct chemical structures that are used commonly in the prophylaxis and treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Clinical reports and field studies have suggested that some parasites refractory to proguanil can be treated with pyrimethamine, and vice versa. Analysis of the P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from different parasites reveals the structural basis for differential susceptibility to these antifolate drugs. Parasites harboring a pair of point mutations from Ala-16 to Val-16 and from Ser-108 to Thr-108 are resistant to cycloguanil (the active metabolite of proguanil) but not to pyrimethamine. A single Asn-108 mutation, on the other hand, confers resistance to pyrimethamine with only a moderate decrease in susceptibility to cycloguanil. Significant cross-resistance to both drugs occurs in parasites having mutations that include Ser-108----Asn-108 and Ile-164----Leu-164. These results reflect the distinct structures of pyrimethamine and cycloguanil and suggest fine differences in binding within the active site cavity of DHFR. Alternative inhibitors, used alone or in combination, may be effective against some strains of cycloguanil- or pyrimethamine-resistant malaria. Images PMID:2183222

  19. Plasmodium falciparum var genes expressed in children with severe malaria encode CIDRα1 domains.

    PubMed

    Jespersen, Jakob S; Wang, Christian W; Mkumbaye, Sixbert I; Minja, Daniel Tr; Petersen, Bent; Turner, Louise; Petersen, Jens Ev; Lusingu, John Pa; Theander, Thor G; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Most severe Plasmodium falciparum infections are experienced by young children. Severe symptoms are precipitated by vascular sequestration of parasites expressing a particular subset of the polymorphic P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesion molecules. Parasites binding human endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) through the CIDRα1 domain of certain PfEMP1 were recently associated with severe malaria in children. However, it has remained unclear to which extend the EPCR-binding CIDRα1 domains epitomize PfEMP1 expressed in severe malaria. Here, we characterized the near full-length transcripts dominating the var transcriptome in children with severe malaria and found that the only common feature of the encoded PfEMP1 was CIDRα1 domains. Such genes were highly and dominantly expressed in both children with severe malarial anaemia and cerebral malaria. These observations support the hypothesis that the CIDRα1-EPCR interaction is key to the pathogenesis of severe malaria and strengthen the rationale for pursuing a vaccine or adjunctive treatment aiming at inhibiting or reducing the damaging effects of this interaction. PMID:27354391

  20. Impact of trehalose transporter knockdown on Anopheles gambiae stress adaptation and susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum infection

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Kun; Dong, Yuemei; Huang, Yuzheng; Rasgon, Jason L.; Agre, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Anopheles gambiae is a major vector mosquito for Plasmodium falciparum, the deadly pathogen causing most human malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Synthesized in the fat body, trehalose is the predominant sugar in mosquito hemolymph. It not only provides energy but also protects the mosquito against desiccation and heat stresses. Trehalose enters the mosquito hemolymph by the trehalose transporter AgTreT1. In adult female A. gambiae, AgTreT1 is predominantly expressed in the fat body. We found that AgTreT1 expression is induced by environmental stresses such as low humidity or elevated temperature. AgTreT1 RNA silencing reduces the hemolymph trehalose concentration by 40%, and the mosquitoes succumb sooner after exposure to desiccation or heat. After an infectious blood meal, AgTreT1 RNA silencing reduces the number of P. falciparum oocysts in the mosquito midgut by over 70% compared with mock-injected mosquitoes. These data reveal important roles for AgTreT1 in stress adaptation and malaria pathogen development in a major vector mosquito. Thus, AgTreT1 may be a potential target for malaria vector control. PMID:24101462

  1. Generalized immunological recognition of the major merozoite surface antigen (gp195) of Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, S.P.; Hui, G.S.N.; Kato, A.; Siddiqui, W.A. )

    1989-08-01

    The antibody response to the Plasmodium falciparum major merozoite surface antigen (gp195) of congenic mouse strains differing in H-2 haplotype has been examined. All seven strains of mice were capable of producing gp195-specific antibodies. Generalized immune recognition of gp195 by mice of diverse H-2 haplotypes distinguished gp195 from the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein and the 230-kDa and 48/45-kDa gamete surface antigens. However, the H-2 genetic locus appeared to influence the specificity of gp105-specific antibodies. Immunoblot patterns of mouse sera with parasite antigens revealed a complex pattern of reactivity with terminal and intermediate processing fragments of gp195. The majority of immunoblot bands observed were similar for all of the mouse strains; however, there were several strains that additionally recognized a few unique fragments or displayed more intense reactivities with specific processing fragments. These results suggest that while individuals of diverse major histocompatibility complex makeup are capable of recognizing the gp195 antigen, the recognition of specific gp195 B-cell and T-cell epitopes may be under control of the major histocompatibility complex.

  2. Genome-wide regulatory dynamics of translation in the Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stages

    PubMed Central

    Caro, Florence; Ahyong, Vida; Betegon, Miguel; DeRisi, Joseph L

    2014-01-01

    The characterization of the transcriptome and proteome of Plasmodium falciparum has been a tremendous resource for the understanding of the molecular physiology of this parasite. However, the translational dynamics that link steady-state mRNA with protein levels are not well understood. In this study, we bridge this disconnect by measuring genome-wide translation using ribosome profiling, through five stages of the P. falciparum blood phase developmental cycle. Our findings show that transcription and translation are tightly coupled, with overt translational control occurring for less than 10% of the transcriptome. Translationally regulated genes are predominantly associated with merozoite egress functions. We systematically define mRNA 5′ leader sequences, and 3′ UTRs, as well as antisense transcripts, along with ribosome occupancy for each, and establish that accumulation of ribosomes on 5′ leaders is a common transcript feature. This work represents the highest resolution and broadest portrait of gene expression and translation to date for this medically important parasite. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04106.001 PMID:25493618

  3. Protective value of elevated levels of gamma interferon in serum against exoerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Deloron, P; Chougnet, C; Lepers, J P; Tallet, S; Coulanges, P

    1991-09-01

    In vitro experiments suggested that gamma interferon, CD8+ T cells, and anticircumsporozoite antibodies inhibited the exoerythrocytic stages of malaria parasites. To assess the role played in vivo by these factors, we conducted a prospective study in Madagascar. Forty individuals with a negative blood smear were followed for 8 weeks to detect the appearance of parasites in blood. Nineteen subjects remained negative for malaria, whereas 21 individuals became positive during follow-up. Among these, seven presented with blood parasites within the first 2 weeks and were excluded, as they probably were infected by sporozoites at enrollment. When measured at enrollment, antibodies to the synthetic peptide (NANP)5, lymphocyte proliferation with (NANP)5, and various lymphocytes subsets were similar among individuals that later presented with a Plasmodium falciparum blood infection or were not infected. Conversely, the level of gamma interferon in serum was higher in individuals that did not present with a P. falciparum infection during follow-up. These data suggest that gamma interferon may inhibit the malaria exoerythrocytic stages of development under in vivo conditions, as it does in vitro.

  4. Protective value of elevated levels of gamma interferon in serum against exoerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed Central

    Deloron, P; Chougnet, C; Lepers, J P; Tallet, S; Coulanges, P

    1991-01-01

    In vitro experiments suggested that gamma interferon, CD8+ T cells, and anticircumsporozoite antibodies inhibited the exoerythrocytic stages of malaria parasites. To assess the role played in vivo by these factors, we conducted a prospective study in Madagascar. Forty individuals with a negative blood smear were followed for 8 weeks to detect the appearance of parasites in blood. Nineteen subjects remained negative for malaria, whereas 21 individuals became positive during follow-up. Among these, seven presented with blood parasites within the first 2 weeks and were excluded, as they probably were infected by sporozoites at enrollment. When measured at enrollment, antibodies to the synthetic peptide (NANP)5, lymphocyte proliferation with (NANP)5, and various lymphocytes subsets were similar among individuals that later presented with a Plasmodium falciparum blood infection or were not infected. Conversely, the level of gamma interferon in serum was higher in individuals that did not present with a P. falciparum infection during follow-up. These data suggest that gamma interferon may inhibit the malaria exoerythrocytic stages of development under in vivo conditions, as it does in vitro. PMID:1774292

  5. Recycling factors for ribosome disassembly in the apicoplast and mitochondrion of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Ankit; Mir, Snober S; Jackson, Katherine E; Lim, Erin E; Shah, Priyanka; Sinha, Ashima; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran; Ralph, Stuart A; Habib, Saman

    2013-06-01

    The reduced genomes of the apicoplast and mitochondrion of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are actively translated and antibiotic-mediated translation inhibition is detrimental to parasite survival. In order to understand recycling of organellar ribosomes, a critical step in protein translation, we identified ribosome recycling factors (RRF) encoded by the parasite nuclear genome. Targeting of PfRRF1 and PfRRF2 to the apicoplast and mitochondrion respectively was established by localization of leader sequence-GFP fusions. Unlike any RRF characterized thus far, PfRRF2 formed dimers with disulphide interaction(s) and additionally localized in the cytoplasm, thus suggesting adjunct functions for the factor. PfRRF1 carries a large 108-amino-acid insertion in the functionally critical hinge region between the head and tail domains of the protein, yet complemented Escherichia coli RRF in the LJ14frr(ts) mutant and disassembled surrogate E. coli 70S ribosomes in the presence of apicoplast-targeted EF-G. Recombinant PfRRF2 bound E. coli ribosomes and could split monosomes in the presence of the relevant mitochondrial EF-G but failed to complement the LJ14frr(ts) mutant. Although proteins comprising subunits of P. falciparum organellar ribosomes are predicted to differ from bacterial and mitoribosomal counterparts, our results indicate that the essential interactions required for recycling are conserved in parasite organelles.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Schistosomiasis Coinfection in Children Influences Acquired Immune Response against Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Antigens

    PubMed Central

    Gaayeb, Lobna; Schacht, Anne-Marie; Charrier, Nicole; De Clerck, Dick; Dompnier, Jean-Pierre; Pillet, Sophie; Garraud, Olivier; N'Diaye, Abdoulaye A.; Riveau, Gilles

    2010-01-01

    Background Malaria and schistosomiasis coinfection frequently occurs in tropical countries. This study evaluates the influence of Schistosoma haematobium infection on specific antibody responses and cytokine production to recombinant merozoite surface protein-1-19 (MSP1-19) and schizont extract of Plasmodium falciparum in malaria-infected children. Methodology Specific IgG1 to MSP1-19, as well as IgG1 and IgG3 to schizont extract were significantly increased in coinfected children compared to P. falciparum mono-infected children. Stimulation with MSP1-19 lead to a specific production of both interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), whereas the stimulation with schizont extract produced an IL-10 response only in the coinfected group. Conclusions Our study suggests that schistosomiasis coinfection favours anti-malarial protective antibody responses, which could be associated with the regulation of IL-10 and IFN-γ production and seems to be antigen-dependent. This study demonstrates the importance of infectious status of the population in the evaluation of acquired immunity against malaria and highlights the consequences of a multiple infection environment during clinical trials of anti-malaria vaccine candidates. PMID:20856680

  8. Deciphering the principles that govern mutually exclusive expression of Plasmodium falciparum clag3 genes.

    PubMed

    Rovira-Graells, Núria; Crowley, Valerie M; Bancells, Cristina; Mira-Martínez, Sofía; Ribas de Pouplana, Lluís; Cortés, Alfred

    2015-09-30

    The product of the Plasmodium falciparum genes clag3.1 and clag3.2 plays a fundamental role in malaria parasite biology by determining solute transport into infected erythrocytes. Expression of the two clag3 genes is mutually exclusive, such that a single parasite expresses only one of the two genes at a time. Here we investigated the properties and mechanisms of clag3 mutual exclusion using transgenic parasite lines with extra copies of clag3 promoters located either in stable episomes or integrated in the parasite genome. We found that the additional clag3 promoters in these transgenic lines are silenced by default, but under strong selective pressure parasites with more than one clag3 promoter simultaneously active are observed, demonstrating that clag3 mutual exclusion is strongly favored but it is not strict. We show that silencing of clag3 genes is associated with the repressive histone mark H3K9me3 even in parasites with unusual clag3 expression patterns, and we provide direct evidence for heterochromatin spreading in P. falciparum. We also found that expression of a neighbor ncRNA correlates with clag3.1 expression. Altogether, our results reveal a scenario where fitness costs and non-deterministic molecular processes that favor mutual exclusion shape the expression patterns of this important gene family.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Summary The widespread use of chloroquine to treat Plasmodium falciparum infections has resulted in the selection and dissemination of variant haplotypes of the primary resistance determinant PfCRT. These haplotypes have encountered drug pressure and within-host competition with wild-type drug-sensitive parasites. To examine these selective forces in vitro, we genetically engineered P. falciparum to express geographically diverse PfCRT haplotypes. Variant alleles from the Philippines (PH1 and PH2, which differ solely by the C72S mutation) both conferred a moderate gain of chloroquine resistance and a reduction in growth rates in vitro. Of the two, PH2 showed higher IC50 values, contrasting with reduced growth. Furthermore, a highly mutated pfcrt allele from Cambodia (Cam734) conferred moderate chloroquine resistance and enhanced growth rates, when tested against wild-type pfcrt in co-culture competition assays. These three alleles mediated cross-resistance to amodiaquine, an antimalarial drug widely used in Africa. Each allele, along with the globally prevalent Dd2 and 7G8 alleles, rendered parasites more susceptible to lumefantrine, the partner drug used in the leading first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy. These data reveal ongoing region-specific evolution of PfCRT that impacts drug susceptibility and relative fitness in settings of mixed infections, and raise important considerations about optimal agents to treat chloroquine-resistant malaria. PMID:25898991

  11. Population genetic structure of Plasmodium falciparum across a region of diverse endemicity in West Africa

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Malaria parasite population genetic structure varies among areas of differing endemicity, but this has not been systematically studied across Plasmodium falciparum populations in Africa where most infections occur. Methods Ten polymorphic P. falciparum microsatellite loci were genotyped in 268 infections from eight locations in four West African countries (Republic of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia and Senegal), spanning a highly endemic forested region in the south to a low endemic Sahelian region in the north. Analysis was performed on proportions of mixed genotype infections, genotypic diversity among isolates, multilocus standardized index of association, and inter-population differentiation. Results Each location had similar levels of pairwise genotypic diversity among isolates, although there were many more mixed parasite genotype infections in the south. Apart from a few isolates that were virtually identical, the multilocus index of association was not significant in any population. Genetic differentiation between populations was low (most pairwise FST values < 0.03), and an overall test for isolation by distance was not significant. Conclusions Although proportions of mixed genotype infections varied with endemicity as expected, population genetic structure was similar across the diverse sites. Very substantial reduction in transmission would be needed to cause fragmented or epidemic sub-structure in this region. PMID:22759447

  12. Hypothesis: Dynamics of Classical Malaria Epidemics Show Plasmodium falciparum's Survival Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Shanks, G. Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Areas of marginal transmission can generate enormous lethal falciparum malaria epidemics when factors favoring the parasite shift only slightly. Although usually described in terms of vectorial capacity, medical scientists working in India in the early 20th century came to the conclusion that “an epidemic of relapses” was the key triggering event of malaria epidemics. This explanation has been largely discarded, because the biology of Plasmodium falciparum recrudescence has since been differentiated from P. vivax relapse. Using data from the Punjab in 1908 and Ceylon in 1934–1935, the genesis of malaria epidemics has been re-examined to inform current control efforts. The epidemics were focused geographically depending on recent rainfall or drought. Epidemics arose very suddenly and simultaneously in several places. Malaria spleen surveys indicated very little recent malaria transmission, and blood smears showed very few gametocytes just before the epidemic. Population stress as indicated by high grain prices because of a poor harvest caused by drought the previous year was a risk factor for malaria epidemics. Although increased female Anopheline survival because of increased humidity played an important part in the magnification of the epidemic, it does not explain its genesis. Human population stress triggering a shift toward gametocytogenesis is hypothesized as the key initiation factor for malaria epidemics. Its evolutionary significance may be that it allows the parasite to match the tropical agricultural cycle. PMID:25624407

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. A microfluidic system to study cytoadhesion of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes to primary brain microvascularendothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Herricks, Thurston; Seydel, Karl B; Turner, George; Molyneux, Malcolm; Heyderman, Robert; Taylor, Terrie; Rathod, Pradipsinh K

    2011-09-01

    The cellular events leading to severe and complicated malaria in some Plasmodium falciparum infections are poorly understood. Additional tools are required to better understand the pathogenesis of this disease. In this technical report, we describe a microfluidic culture system and image processing algorithms that were developed to observe cytoadhesion interactions of P. falciparum parasitized erythrocytes rolling on primary brain microvascularendothelial cells. We isolated and cultured human primary microvascular brain endothelial cells in a closed loop microfluidic culture system where a peristaltic pump and media reservoirs were integrated onto a microscope stage insert. We developed image processing methods to enhance contrast of rolling parasitized erythrocytes on endothelial cells and to estimate the local wall shear stress. The velocity of parasitized erythrocytes rolling on primary brain microvascularendothelial cells was then measured under physiologically relevant wall shear stresses. Finally, we deployed this method successfully at a field site in Blantyre, Malawi. The method is a promising new tool for the investigation of the pathogenesis of severe malaria.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    The widespread use of chloroquine to treat Plasmodium falciparum infections has resulted in the selection and dissemination of variant haplotypes of the primary resistance determinant PfCRT. These haplotypes have encountered drug pressure and within-host competition with wild-type drug-sensitive parasites. To examine these selective forces in vitro, we genetically engineered P. falciparum to express geographically diverse PfCRT haplotypes. Variant alleles from the Philippines (PH1 and PH2, which differ solely by the C72S mutation) both conferred a moderate gain of chloroquine resistance and a reduction in growth rates in vitro. Of the two, PH2 showed higher IC50 values, contrasting with reduced growth. Furthermore, a highly mutated pfcrt allele from Cambodia (Cam734) conferred moderate chloroquine resistance and enhanced growth rates, when tested against wild-type pfcrt in co-culture competition assays. These three alleles mediated cross-resistance to amodiaquine, an antimalarial drug widely used in Africa. Each allele, along with the globally prevalent Dd2 and 7G8 alleles, rendered parasites more susceptible to lumefantrine, the partner drug used in the leading first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy. These data reveal ongoing region-specific evolution of PfCRT that impacts drug susceptibility and relative fitness in settings of mixed infections, and raise important considerations about optimal agents to treat chloroquine-resistant malaria.

  17. Fighting drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum: the challenge of artemisinin resistance.

    PubMed

    Wongsrichanalai, C; Sibley, C H

    2013-10-01

    Following a decade-long scale up of malaria control through vector control interventions, the introduction of rapid diagnostic tests and highly efficacious Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) along with other measures, global malaria incidence declined significantly. The recent development of artemisinin resistance on the Cambodia-Thailand border, however, is of great concern. This review encompasses the background of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum, its situation, especially in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), and the responses taken to overcome this resistance. The difficulties in defining resistance are presented, particularly the necessity of measuring the clinical response to artemisinins using the slow parasite-clearance phenotype. Efforts to understand the molecular basis of artemisinin resistance and the search for molecular markers are reviewed. The markers, once identified, can be applied as an efficient tool for resistance surveillance. Despite the limitation of current surveillance methods, it is important to continue vigilance for artemisinin resistance. The therapeutic efficacy "in vivo study" network for monitoring antimalarial resistance in the GMS has been strengthened. GMS countries are working together in response to artemisinin resistance and aim to eliminate all P. falciparum parasites. These efforts are crucial since a resurgence of malaria due to drug and/or insecticide resistance, program cuts, lack of political support and donor fatigue could set back malaria control success in the sub-region and threaten malaria control and elimination if resistance spreads to other regions.

  18. Plasmodium falciparum var genes expressed in children with severe malaria encode CIDRα1 domains.

    PubMed

    Jespersen, Jakob S; Wang, Christian W; Mkumbaye, Sixbert I; Minja, Daniel Tr; Petersen, Bent; Turner, Louise; Petersen, Jens Ev; Lusingu, John Pa; Theander, Thor G; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Most severe Plasmodium falciparum infections are experienced by young children. Severe symptoms are precipitated by vascular sequestration of parasites expressing a particular subset of the polymorphic P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesion molecules. Parasites binding human endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) through the CIDRα1 domain of certain PfEMP1 were recently associated with severe malaria in children. However, it has remained unclear to which extend the EPCR-binding CIDRα1 domains epitomize PfEMP1 expressed in severe malaria. Here, we characterized the near full-length transcripts dominating the var transcriptome in children with severe malaria and found that the only common feature of the encoded PfEMP1 was CIDRα1 domains. Such genes were highly and dominantly expressed in both children with severe malarial anaemia and cerebral malaria. These observations support the hypothesis that the CIDRα1-EPCR interaction is key to the pathogenesis of severe malaria and strengthen the rationale for pursuing a vaccine or adjunctive treatment aiming at inhibiting or reducing the damaging effects of this interaction.

  19. Large Variation in Detection of Histidine-Rich Protein 2 in Plasmodium falciparum Isolates from Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Pava, Zuleima; Echeverry, Diego F.; Díaz, Gustavo; Murillo, Claribel

    2010-01-01

    Most rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) available use histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) as a target. However, it has been reported that sequence variations of this protein affects its sensitivity. Currently, there is insufficient evidence for HRP2 variability in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Colombia and its relationship with RDT performance. To determine possible geographic differences and their effects on the performance of RDTs, 22 blood samples from patients with P. falciparum malaria from Tumaco and Buenaventura, Colombia were assessed by measurement of HRP2 concentration by an HRP2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, RDTs, and thick blood smear. Statistical analysis showed an association between RDT performance and HRP2 concentrations. No significant difference was found between locations. A large variation of antigen concentration in samples was found at same parasitemia. In contrast to previously reports, there was no correlation between initial parasitemia and HRP2 concentration. Our results indicate that antigen quantity should be studied more carefully because the sensitivity of the RDT is affected more by antigen concentration than by parasitemia. PMID:20889875

  20. Transcriptomic evidence for modulation of host inflammatory responses during febrile Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Tuan M.; Jones, Marcus B.; Ongoiba, Aissata; Bijker, Else M.; Schats, Remko; Venepally, Pratap; Skinner, Jeff; Doumbo, Safiatou; Quinten, Edwin; Visser, Leo G.; Whalen, Elizabeth; Presnell, Scott; O’Connell, Elise M.; Kayentao, Kassoum; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Chaussabel, Damien; Lorenzi, Hernan; Nutman, Thomas B.; Ottenhoff, Tom H. M.; Haks, Mariëlle C.; Traore, Boubacar; Kirkness, Ewen F.; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Crompton, Peter D.

    2016-01-01

    Identifying molecular predictors and mechanisms of malaria disease is important for understanding how Plasmodium falciparum malaria is controlled. Transcriptomic studies in humans have so far been limited to retrospective analysis of blood samples from clinical cases. In this prospective, proof-of-principle study, we compared whole-blood RNA-seq profiles at pre-and post-infection time points from Malian adults who were either asymptomatic (n = 5) or febrile (n = 3) during their first seasonal PCR-positive P. falciparum infection with those from malaria-naïve Dutch adults after a single controlled human malaria infection (n = 5). Our data show a graded activation of pathways downstream of pro-inflammatory cytokines, with the highest activation in malaria-naïve Dutch individuals and significantly reduced activation in malaria-experienced Malians. Newly febrile and asymptomatic infections in Malians were statistically indistinguishable except for genes activated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. The combined data provide a molecular basis for the development of a pyrogenic threshold as individuals acquire immunity to clinical malaria. PMID:27506615

  1. In vitro sensitivity of Plasmodium falciparum field isolates to extracts from Cameroonian Annonaceae plants.

    PubMed

    Kemgne, Eugénie Aimée Madiesse; Mbacham, Wilfred Fon; Boyom, Fabrice Fekam; Zollo, Paul Henri Amvam; Tsamo, Etienne; Rosenthal, Philip J

    2012-01-01

    In a search for new plant-derived antimalarial extracts, 19 fractions were obtained from three Annonaceae species, Uvariopsis congolana (leaf, stem), Polyalthia oliveri (stem bark), and Enantia chlorantha (stem, stem bark) with yields ranging from 0.33% to 4.60%. The extracts were prepared from 500 g of each plant part, using organic solvents to afford five methanolic fractions (acetogenin rich), five water fractions, five hexane fractions, and four interface precipitates. Evaluation of the activity of fractions in vitro against field isolates of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum showed that acetogenin-rich fractions and interface precipitates were the most potent, with IC(50) values ranging from 0.05 to 8.09 μg/ml. Sensitivity of parasite isolates to plant extracts varied greatly, with over 100-fold difference from isolate to isolate in some cases. The active acetogenin-rich fractions and interface precipitates were assessed in combination with chloroquine in the same conditions, and showed additive interaction in the huge majority of cases. Synergistic interactions were found in some cases with acetogenin-rich fractions. Acute toxicity of promising fractions was evaluated through oral administration in Swiss albino mice. Tested fractions appeared to be safe, with LD(50) values higher than 2 g/kg. In summary, acetogenin-rich fractions from Annonaceae species showed high potency against P. falciparum field isolates and safety by oral administration in mice, supporting their detailed investigation for antimalarial drug discovery.

  2. From the genome to the phenome: tools to understand the basic biology of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Webster, Wesley A J; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2014-01-01

    Malaria plagues one out of every 30 humans and contributes to almost a million deaths, and the problem could worsen. Our current therapeutic options are compromised by emerging resistance by the parasite to our front line drugs. It is thus imperative to better understand the basic biology of the parasite and develop novel drugs to stem this disease. The most facile approach to analyse a gene's function is to remove it from the genome or inhibit its activity. Although genetic manipulation of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a relatively standard procedure, there is no optimal method to perturb genes essential to the intraerythrocytic development cycle--the part of the life cycle that produces the clinical manifestation of malaria. This is a severe impediment to progress because the phenotype we wish to study is exactly the one that is so elusive. In the absence of any utilitarian way to conditionally delete essential genes, we are prevented from investigating the parasite's most vulnerable points. This review aims to focus on the development of tools identifying essential genes of P. falciparum and our ability to elicit phenotypic mutation.

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

    PubMed

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

    1985-11-01

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

  4. How Reliable Are Hematological Parameters in Predicting Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in an Endemic Region?

    PubMed Central

    Muwonge, Haruna; Kikomeko, Sharif; Sembajjwe, Larry Fred; Seguya, Abdul; Namugwanya, Christine

    2014-01-01

    Background Malaria remains endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hematological changes that occur have been suggested as potential predictors of malaria. This study was aimed at evaluating the diagnostic relevance of hematological parameters in predicting malaria. Methods A cross-sectional study involving 370 patients with signs and symptoms of malaria was conducted at Mulago Hospital, Kampala, from May, 2012 to February, 2013. Thin and thick blood films were prepared for each patient and stained with Giemsa to aid the detection of malaria parasites. Patients’ hematological parameters were determined. Results Out of the 370 patients, 61 (16.5%) had malaria. Significant differences in the hematological parameters between P. falciparum malaria parasitemic patients and nonparasitemic patients were only observed in mean (±SD) of the differential monocyte count (10.89 ± 6.23% versus 8.98 ± 5.02%, p = 0.01) and the platelet count (172.43 (± 80.41) ×103 cells/μl versus 217.82 ± (95.96) ×103 cells/μl p = 0.00). The mean (±SD) values of the red blood cell indices (hemoglobin count, MCV, MCH, and MCHC), the differential neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, and the mean platelet volume (MPV) did not significantly differ between the two groups. Conclusion Hematological changes are unreliable laboratory indicators of malaria in acute uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. PMID:25285308

  5. Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing.

    PubMed

    Manske, Magnus; Miotto, Olivo; Campino, Susana; Auburn, Sarah; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Maslen, Gareth; O'Brien, Jack; Djimde, Abdoulaye; Doumbo, Ogobara; Zongo, Issaka; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco; Michon, Pascal; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter; Nzila, Alexis; Borrmann, Steffen; Kiara, Steven M; Marsh, Kevin; Jiang, Hongying; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Fairhurst, Rick; Socheat, Duong; Nosten, Francois; Imwong, Mallika; White, Nicholas J; Sanders, Mandy; Anastasi, Elisa; Alcock, Dan; Drury, Eleanor; Oyola, Samuel; Quail, Michael A; Turner, Daniel J; Ruano-Rubio, Valentin; Jyothi, Dushyanth; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Hubbart, Christina; Jeffreys, Anna; Rowlands, Kate; Sutherland, Colin; Roper, Cally; Mangano, Valentina; Modiano, David; Tan, John C; Ferdig, Michael T; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V; Rayner, Julian C; Rockett, Kirk A; Clark, Taane G; Newbold, Chris I; Berriman, Matthew; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P

    2012-07-19

    Malaria elimination strategies require surveillance of the parasite population for genetic changes that demand a public health response, such as new forms of drug resistance. Here we describe methods for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum by deep sequencing of parasite DNA obtained from the blood of patients with malaria, either directly or after short-term culture. Analysis of 86,158 exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms that passed genotyping quality control in 227 samples from Africa, Asia and Oceania provides genome-wide estimates of allele frequency distribution, population structure and linkage disequilibrium. By comparing the genetic diversity of individual infections with that of the local parasite population, we derive a metric of within-host diversity that is related to the level of inbreeding in the population. An open-access web application has been established for the exploration of regional differences in allele frequency and of highly differentiated loci in the P. falciparum genome.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Transcriptomic evidence for modulation of host inflammatory responses during febrile Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    PubMed

    Tran, Tuan M; Jones, Marcus B; Ongoiba, Aissata; Bijker, Else M; Schats, Remko; Venepally, Pratap; Skinner, Jeff; Doumbo, Safiatou; Quinten, Edwin; Visser, Leo G; Whalen, Elizabeth; Presnell, Scott; O'Connell, Elise M; Kayentao, Kassoum; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Chaussabel, Damien; Lorenzi, Hernan; Nutman, Thomas B; Ottenhoff, Tom H M; Haks, Mariëlle C; Traore, Boubacar; Kirkness, Ewen F; Sauerwein, Robert W; Crompton, Peter D

    2016-01-01

    Identifying molecular predictors and mechanisms of malaria disease is important for understanding how Plasmodium falciparum malaria is controlled. Transcriptomic studies in humans have so far been limited to retrospective analysis of blood samples from clinical cases. In this prospective, proof-of-principle study, we compared whole-blood RNA-seq profiles at pre-and post-infection time points from Malian adults who were either asymptomatic (n = 5) or febrile (n = 3) during their first seasonal PCR-positive P. falciparum infection with those from malaria-naïve Dutch adults after a single controlled human malaria infection (n = 5). Our data show a graded activation of pathways downstream of pro-inflammatory cytokines, with the highest activation in malaria-naïve Dutch individuals and significantly reduced activation in malaria-experienced Malians. Newly febrile and asymptomatic infections in Malians were statistically indistinguishable except for genes activated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. The combined data provide a molecular basis for the development of a pyrogenic threshold as individuals acquire immunity to clinical malaria. PMID:27506615

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-16

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

  9. Treatment uptake by individuals infected with Plasmodium falciparum in rural Gambia, West Africa.

    PubMed Central

    von Seidlein, Lorenz; Clarke, Sian; Alexander, Neâl; Manneh, Fandingding; Doherty, Tom; Pinder, Margaret; Walraven, Gijs; Greenwood, Brian

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To find out what proportion of Plasmodium falciparum infections are treated in rural Gambia. METHODS: Subjects from four villages in the Gambia were followed over nine months through visits to village health workers. Monthly cross-sectional malaria surveys measured the prevalence of P. falciparum infection. Linked databases were searched for treatment requests. Treated cases were individuals with parasitaemia who requested treatment during narrow or extended periods (14 or 28 days, respectively) before or after a positive blood film was obtained. FINDINGS: Parasite prevalence peaked in November 1998, when 399/653 (61%) individuals had parasitaemia. Parasite prevalence was highest throughout the study in children aged 5-10 years. Although access to treatment was better than in most of sub-Saharan Africa, only 20% of infected individuals sought medical treatment up to 14 days before or after a positive blood film. Within two months of a positive blood film, 199/726 (27%) individuals with parasitaemia requested treatment. Despite easy access to health care, less than half (42%) of those with parasite densities consistent with malaria attacks (5000/ l) requested treatment. High parasite density and infection during October-November were associated with more frequent treatment requests. Self-treatment was infrequent in study villages: in 3/120 (2.5%) households antimalarial drugs had been used in the preceding malaria season. CONCLUSION: Many P. falciparum infections may be untreated because of their subclinical nature. Intermittent presumptive treatment may reduce morbidity and mortality. It is likely that not all untreated infections were asymptomatic. Qualitative research should explore barriers to treatment uptake, to allow educational interventions to be planned. PMID:12471399

  10. The methylerythritol phosphate pathway is functionally active in all intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Cassera, María B; Gozzo, Fabio C; D'Alexandri, Fabio L; Merino, Emilio F; del Portillo, Hernando A; Peres, Valnice J; Almeida, Igor C; Eberlin, Marcos N; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Wiesner, Jochen; Jomaa, Hassan; Kimura, Emilia A; Katzin, Alejandro M

    2004-12-10

    Two genes encoding the enzymes 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase and 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase have been recently identified, suggesting that isoprenoid biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum depends on the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway, and that fosmidomycin could inhibit the activity of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase. The metabolite 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate is not only an intermediate of the MEP pathway for the biosynthesis of isopentenyl diphosphate but is also involved in the biosynthesis of thiamin (vitamin B1) and pyridoxal (vitamin B6) in plants and many microorganisms. Herein we report the first isolation and characterization of most downstream intermediates of the MEP pathway in the three intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum. These include, 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate, 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate, 4-(cytidine-5-diphospho)-2-C-methyl-D-erythritol, 4-(cytidine-5-diphospho)-2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-2-phosphate, and 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-2,4-cyclodiphosphate. These intermediates were purified by HPLC and structurally characterized via biochemical and electrospray mass spectrometric analyses. We have also investigated the effect of fosmidomycin on the biosynthesis of each intermediate of this pathway and isoprenoid biosynthesis (dolichols and ubiquinones). For the first time, therefore, it is demonstrated that the MEP pathway is functionally active in all intraerythrocytic forms of P. falciparum, and de novo biosynthesis of pyridoxal in a protozoan is reported. Its absence in the human host makes both pathways very attractive as potential new targets for antimalarial drug development.

  11. The evaluation of a dipstick test for Plasmodium falciparum in mining areas of Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Caraballo, A; Ache, A

    1996-11-01

    A field trial comparing a dipstick test, an antigen-capture test detecting trophozoite-derived histidine-rich protein-II, and the quantitative buffer coat (QBC) (acridine orange staining technique) assay for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum was carried out on a population of 1,398 suspected malaria patients in gold mining areas of Venezuela. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive values were higher for the dipstick test than for the acridine orange staining compared with the thick blood smear. The sensitivity for the dipstick method was 86.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 82-90%), the specificity was 99.3% (95% CI = 98.5-99.7%), and the positive predictive value was 97.1% (95% CI = 94-98%) as compared with the thick blood smear. The sensitivity for acridine orange staining was 82.2% (95% CI = 77-86%), the specificity was 98.5% (95% CI = 97.6-99.1%), and the positive predictive value was 94.1% (95% CI = 90-97%); with a P. falciparum asexual parasitemia higher than 21 parasites/microliter, the dipstick was 100% sensitive, when parasitemia was 10-20/microliter, sensitivity was 88%, and when parasitemia was less than 10/microliter, it was only 13.4%. The dipstick assay meets the criteria for an appropriate, rapid, and reliable test for the diagnosis of P. falciparum and has advantages over the acridine orange staining method. Nonetheless, its effectiveness seems limited in areas with low prevalence and among patients with low levels of parasitemia. PMID:8940977

  12. Sustained activation of Akt elicits mitochondrial dysfunction to block Plasmodium falciparum infection in the mosquito host.

    PubMed

    Luckhart, Shirley; Giulivi, Cecilia; Drexler, Anna L; Antonova-Koch, Yevgeniya; Sakaguchi, Danielle; Napoli, Eleonora; Wong, Sarah; Price, Mark S; Eigenheer, Richard; Phinney, Brett S; Pakpour, Nazzy; Pietri, Jose E; Cheung, Kong; Georgis, Martha; Riehle, Michael

    2013-02-01

    The overexpression of activated, myristoylated Akt in the midgut of female transgenic Anopheles stephensi results in resistance to infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum but also decreased lifespan. In the present study, the understanding of mitochondria-dependent midgut homeostasis has been expanded to explain this apparent paradox in an insect of major medical importance. Given that Akt signaling is essential for cell growth and survival, we hypothesized that