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Pb22, a protein expressed by Plasmodium berghei, may play an important role in the transmission of malaria, and review on the use of tafenoquine finds that the drug is well-tolerated and effective.
Pb22, a protein expressed by the mouse malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei, may play an important role in the transmission of malaria. In parasites without the protein, less exflagellation was recorded in vitro, and the ability of the parasite to form ookinetes and oocysts – critical stages of its life cycle in the mosquito – was prevented. And antibodies from mice immunised with the protein almost completely blocked transmission to mosquitoes. The Pb22 homologues in human malaria parasites could, therefore, be an important target for transmission-blocking therapies and warrant investigation.
A review on the use of tafenoquine in preventing malaria has found that the drug is well-tolerated and effective for both P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria, with adverse events comparable to other drugs. Patients must be tested for G6PD-deficiency beforehand, however, as the drug can cause anaemia for those with the condition.
Image Credits: CDC/ Dr. Mae Melvin 
Scientific Advisor: Katharine Collins, Radboud University Medical Centre