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© Research
Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Scientific reports - 10 Oct 2018

Costa DM, Sá M, Teixeira AR, Loureiro I, Thouvenot C, Golba S, Amino R, Tavares J

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30305687

Sci Rep 2018 Oct;8(1):15101

Plasmodium sporozoites deposited in the skin following a mosquito bite must migrate and invade blood vessels to complete their development in the liver. Once in the bloodstream, sporozoites arrest in the liver sinusoids, but the molecular determinants that mediate this specific homing are not yet genetically defined. Here we investigate the involvement of the thrombospondin-related sporozoite protein (TRSP) in this process using knockout Plasmodium berghei parasites and in vivo bioluminescence imaging in mice. Resorting to a homing assay, trsp knockout sporozoites were found to arrest in the liver similar to control parasites. Moreover, we found no defects in the establishment of infection in mice following inoculation of trsp knockout sporozoites via intravenous and cutaneous injection or mosquito bite. Accordingly, mutant sporozoites were also able to successfully invade hepatocytes in vitro. Altogether, these results suggest TRSP may have a redundant role in the completion of the pre-erythrocytic phase of the malaria parasite. Nonetheless, identifying molecules with paramount roles in this phase could aid in the search for new antigens needed for the design of a protective vaccine against malaria.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30305687