Mario Recker

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The hemoglobinopathies, disorders of hemoglobin structure and production, protect against death from malaria. In sub-Saharan Africa, two such conditions occur at particularly high frequencies: presence of the structural variant hemoglobin S and alpha(+)-thalassemia, a condition characterized by reduced production of the normal alpha-globin component of(More)
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has evolved to prolong its duration of infection by antigenic variation of a major immune target on the surface of the infected red blood cell. This immune evasion strategy depends on the sequential, rather than simultaneous, appearance of immunologically distinct variants. Although the molecular mechanisms by(More)
We have recently proposed a new model for antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum that relies on a network of partially cross-protective immune responses to orchestrate this complex immune evasion process. In addition to exhibiting prolonged oscillations of single variants that resemble the sequential dominance of immunologically distinct antigenic(More)
Long-term epidemiological data reveal multi-annual fluctuations in the incidence of dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever, as well as complex cyclical behaviour in the dynamics of the four serotypes of the dengue virus. It has previously been proposed that these patterns are due to the phenomenon of the so-called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)(More)
Plasmodium falciparum, similar to many other apicomplexan parasites, contains an apicoplast, a plastid organelle of secondary endosymbiotic origin. Nuclear-encoded proteins are targeted to the apicoplast by a bipartite topogenic signal consisting of (i) an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-type N-terminal secretory signal peptide, followed by (ii) a plant-like(More)
Many pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and protozoa achieve chronic infection through an immune evasion strategy known as antigenic variation. In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, this involves transcriptional switching among members of the var gene family, causing parasites with different antigenic and phenotypic characteristics to appear at(More)
For many diseases (e.g., sexually transmitted infections, STIs), most individuals are aware of the potential risks of becoming infected, but choose not to take action ('respond') despite the information that aims to raise awareness and to increases the responsiveness or alertness of the population. We propose a simple mathematical model that accounts for(More)
Neisseria meningitis is a human commensal bacterium that occasionally causes life-threatening disease. As with a number of other bacterial pathogens, meningococcal populations comprise distinct lineages, which persist over many decades and during global spread in the face of high rates of recombination. In addition, the propensity to cause invasive disease(More)
It is commonly believed that influenza epidemics arise through the incremental accumulation of viral mutations, culminating in a novel antigenic type that is able to escape host immunity. Successive epidemic strains therefore become increasingly antigenically distant from a founding strain. Here, we present an alternative explanation where, because of(More)
Dengue, a vector-borne viral disease of increasing global importance, is classically associated with tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Urbanisation, globalisation and climate trends, however, are facilitating the geographic spread of its mosquito vectors, thereby increasing the risk of the virus establishing itself in previously unaffected(More)