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A protein called PIMMS43 enables the malaria parasite to evade the mosquito’s immune system and scientists describe a highly conserved protein in the malaria parasite that is essential for the invasion of red blood cells.

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Transcript:

Scientists have found that a protein called PIMMS43 enables the malaria parasite to evade the mosquito’s immune system.  It allows for the development of oocysts, in which sporozoites are formed. Sporozoites are the form of the parasite that are injected into the human during a blood meal; targeting their formation in the mosquito could, therefore, prevent onward transmission. Neutralising PIMMS43 – either by eliminating it from the parasite genome or by preincubating the parasite with relevant antibodies – inhibits parasite development in the mosquito by allowing the mosquito’s immune response to take hold. Interventions that target PIMMS43 could support existing vector control measures, as resistance to insecticides grows. 

And scientists have described a highly conserved protein in the malaria parasite that is essential for the invasion of red blood cells. The protein is associated with the rhoptry, and when knocked down, secretion of rhoptry antigens that coordinate red blood cell invasion is inhibited.

Sources:

PIMMS43 Is Required for Malaria Parasite Immune Evasion and Sporogonic Development in the Mosquito Vector

PfCERLI1 Is a Conserved Rhoptry Associated Protein Essential for Plasmodium Falciparum Merozoite Invasion of Erythrocytes


Image Credits: Imperial College London [PNAS]

Scientific Advisor: Katharine Collins, Radboud University Medical Centre

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