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The critical first step in the clinical development of a malaria vaccine, based on live-attenuated Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites, is the guarantee of complete arrest in the liver. We report on an approach for assessing adequacy of attenuation of genetically attenuated sporozoites in vivo using the Plasmodium berghei model of malaria and P. falciparum(More)
BACKGROUND The flagellate protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, is a causative agent of Chagas disease that is transmitted by reduviid bugs to humans. The parasite exists in multiple morphological forms in both vector and host, and cell differentiation in T. cruzi is tightly associated with stage-specific protein synthesis and degradation. However, the(More)
Trypanosoma cruzi dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD), the fourth enzyme of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway, is localized in the cytosol and utilizes fumarate as electron acceptor (fumarate reductase activity), while the enzyme from other various eukaryotes is mitochondrial membrane-linked. Here we report that DHOD-knockout T. cruzi did not(More)
One of the bottlenecks in the development of a whole sporozoite malaria vaccine is the route and method of sporozoite administration. Immunization and challenge of human volunteers by mosquito bites is effective, but cannot be used as a vaccine. Intravenous immunization with sporozoites is effective in rodents and non-human primates, and being studied in(More)
The 10 Plasmodium 6-Cys proteins have critical roles throughout parasite development and are targets for antimalaria vaccination strategies. We analyzed the conserved 6-cysteine domain of this family and show that only the last 4 positionally conserved cysteine residues are diagnostic for this domain and identified 4 additional "6-Cys family-related"(More)
Research on the biology of malaria parasites has greatly benefited from the application of reverse genetic technologies, in particular through the analysis of gene deletion mutants and studies on transgenic parasites that express heterologous or mutated proteins. However, transfection in Plasmodium is limited by the paucity of drug-selectable markers that(More)
Many variant proteins encoded by Plasmodium-specific multigene families are exported into red blood cells (RBC). P. falciparum-specific variant proteins encoded by the var, stevor and rifin multigene families are exported onto the surface of infected red blood cells (iRBC) and mediate interactions between iRBC and host cells resulting in tissue(More)
Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, replicates in mammalian cells and relies on the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway that supplies essential precursors for nucleic acid synthesis. The protozoan dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD), the fourth enzyme of the pathway catalyzing production of orotate from dihydroorotate, markedly(More)
Most studies on malaria-parasite digestion of hemoglobin (Hb) have been performed using P. falciparum maintained in mature erythrocytes, in vitro. In this study, we examine Plasmodium Hb degradation in vivo in mice, using the parasite P. berghei, and show that it is possible to create mutant parasites lacking enzymes involved in the initial steps of Hb(More)
The genes encoding orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT) and orotidine-5'-monophosphate decarboxylase (OMPDC), the fifth and sixth enzymes in the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway, are fused as OPRT-OMPDC in most eukaryotic groups. On the other hand, the inversely linked OMPDC-OPRT fusion is present in trypanosomatids, belonging to kinetoplastids(More)