Toshihiro Horii

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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)
Malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) infect all classes of terrestrial vertebrates and display host specificity in their infections. It is therefore assumed that malaria parasites coevolved intimately with their hosts. Here, we propose a novel scenario of malaria parasite-host coevolution. A phylogenetic tree constructed using the malaria parasite(More)
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize malaria parasites or their metabolites; however, their physiological roles in malaria infection in vivo are not fully understood. Here, we show that myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88)-dependent TLR signaling mediates brain pathogenesis of severe malaria infection, namely cerebral malaria (CM). A(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)
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)
The Plasmodium falciparum serine repeat antigen (SERA) is one of the blood stage malaria vaccine candidates. The malaria genome project has revealed that SERA is a member of the SERA multigene family consisting of eight SERA homologues clustered on chromosome 2 and one SERA homologue on chromosome 9. Northern blotting and real time quantitative reverse(More)
We have localized the regions sufficient for autonomous replication on the genomes of the colicin E2 (ColE2) and colicin E3 (ColE3) plasmids and analyzed the replication functions carried by these regions. A 1.3 kb segment of each plasmid is sufficient for autonomous replication. Plasmids carrying this segment retain the replication properties of the(More)
CD40-deficient mice are susceptible to Leishmania major infection while their wild-type littermates can resolve the infection. Upon stimulation with L. major antigens, draining lymph node T cells of the mutant mice and the susceptible mice, BALB/c, secrete comparable amounts of IL-4. The mutant mice produce less IFN gamma than wild-type mice. The expression(More)
Apicomplexan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, pathogens causing malaria, and the genera Babesia and Theileria, aetiological agents of piroplasmosis, are closely related. However, their mitochondrial (mt) genome structures are highly divergent: Plasmodium has a concatemer of 6-kb unit and Babesia/Theileria a monomer of 6.6- to 8.2-kb with terminal inverted(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)