Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18447048
Bull. Acad. Natl. Med. 2007 Oct;191(7):1261-70; discussion 1271
Infection by Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, starts when the parasite, injected by a mosquito vector, reaches and invades the liver, where it transforms into a stage that is capable of infecting erythrocytes and that causes the symptoms and complications of the disease. This phase of the infection, called pre-erythrocytic stage, is the most elusive of the parasite’s life cycle, yet it was identified more than fifty years ago as a primary target of vaccine strategies aimed at avoiding erythrocyte infection. Recently in vivo imaging in a rodent model revealed that the pre-erythrocytic phase is unexpectedly complex. In particular, it includes a component of lymphatic infection, thus altering our representation of how an immune response can be mounted against these parasite stages.