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Sphingomyelinase (SMase) is one of the principal enzymes in sphingomyelin (SM) metabolism. Here, we identified a Plasmodium falciparum gene (PfNSM) encoding a 46-kD protein, the amino acid sequence of which is approximately 25% identical to that of bacteria SMases. Biochemical analyses of the recombinant protein GST-PfNSM, a fusion protein of the PfNSM(More)
Malaria parasites within red blood cells digest host hemoglobin into a hydrophobic heme polymer, known as hemozoin (HZ), which is subsequently released into the blood stream and then captured by and concentrated in the reticulo-endothelial system. Accumulating evidence suggests that HZ is immunologically active, but the molecular mechanism(s) through which(More)
Although whole-parasite vaccine strategies for malaria infection have regained attention, their immunological mechanisms of action remain unclear. We find that immunization of mice with a crude blood stage extract of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum elicits parasite antigen-specific immune responses via Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 and that the(More)
Plasmodium falciparum is distributed throughout the tropics and is responsible for an estimated 230 million cases of malaria every year, with a further 1.4 billion people at risk of infection. Little is known about the genetic makeup of P. falciparum populations, despite variation in genetic diversity being a key factor in morbidity, mortality, and the(More)
Mitochondrial (mt) genomes from diverse phylogenetic groups vary considerably in size, structure, and organization. The genus Plasmodium, causative agent of malaria, of the phylum Apicomplexa, has the smallest mt genome in the form of a circular and/or tandemly repeated linear element of 6 kb, encoding only three protein genes (cox1, cox3, and cob). The(More)
Poor health and malnutrition in preschool children are longstanding problems in Bangladesh. Gut microbiota plays a tremendous role in nutrient absorption and determining the state of health. In this study, metagenomic tool was employed to assess the gut microbiota composition of healthy and malnourished children. DNA was extracted from fecal samples of(More)
It is widely believed that human malaria parasites infect only man as a natural host. However, earlier morphological observations suggest that great apes are likely to be natural reservoirs as well. To identify malaria parasites in great apes, we screened 60 chimpanzees imported into Japan. Using the sequences of small subunit rRNA and the mitochondrial(More)
UNLABELLED BACKGROUND The diverse bacterial communities colonizing the gut (gastrointestinal tract) of infants as commensal flora, which play an important role in nutrient absorption and determining the state of health, are known to alter due to diarrhea. METHOD Bacterial community dynamics in children suffering from cholera and during recovery period(More)
SERA gene sequences were newly determined from 11 primate Plasmodium species including two human parasites, P. ovale and P. malariae, and the evolutionary history of SERA genes was analyzed together with 7 known species. All have one each of Group I to III cysteine-type SERA genes and varying number of Group IV serine-type SERA genes in tandem cluster.(More)
With the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic of 2003 and renewed attention on avian influenza viral pandemics, new surveillance systems are needed for the earlier detection of emerging infectious diseases. We applied a "next-generation" parallel sequencing platform for viral detection in nasopharyngeal and fecal samples collected during seasonal(More)