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Imaging Motile Malaria Parasites

How an Ancient Eukaryote can Serve as a Motile Model Cell

Nov. 02, 2011
Fig. 1: (A) Cartoon of the malaria parasite life cycle. The parasite causes disease in the blood, where it replicates in erythrocytes. Invasion of erythrocytes depends on an actin-myosin motor of the parasite. Sexual stages can be transmitted to the mosquito during a bite and after fertilization a motile egg (the ookinete) is generated which again relies on an actin myosin motor to penetrate the gut of the mosquito. Within cysts hundreds of Plasmodium sporozoites develop that ultimately invade salivary glands of the mosquito. From there they can be injected into the host, where they use the actin-myosin motor to move in the skin, enter and exit blood vessels and invade liver cells. Sporozoites also migrate through cells in the skin and liver. (B) Simplified tree of life modified after Simpson and Roger, Current Biology 2004. Animals and fungi belong to the Opisthokonta, Plasmodia to the Chromalveolata.
Fig. 1: (A) Cartoon of the malaria parasite life cycle. The parasite causes disease in the blood, ... more
Fig. 1: (A) Cartoon of the malaria parasite life cycle. The parasite causes disease in the blood, ... Fig. 2: (A) Cartoon (top) and rendered tomogram (right) of the Plasmodium sporozoite [10]. Note the ... Fig. 3: (A) Reflection interference contrast microscopy of migrating sporozoites reveals individual ... Fig. 4: Trajectories of sporozoites moving (A) in two different sites of the skin of a mouse after ... 

Authors
Dr. Friedrich Frischknecht
Janina Kristin Hellmann
Mirko Singe
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University of Heidelberg Medical School
Parasitology, Department of Infectious Diseases
Heidelberg, Germany
www.klinikum.uni-heidelberg.de

 

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Keywords: Cell Motility Friedrich Frischknecht Imaging Light Microscopy Malaria Parasitology Plasmodium Plasmodium berghei Sporozoites TRAP Protein Family

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