Gametocyte sex ratio: the key to understanding Plasmodium falciparum transmission?

Tadesse, F. G., Meerstein-Kessel, L., Gonçalves, B. P., Drakeley, C., Ranford-Cartwright, L. and Bousema, T. (2019) Gametocyte sex ratio: the key to understanding Plasmodium falciparum transmission? Trends in Parasitology, 35(3), pp. 226-238. (doi:10.1016/j.pt.2018.12.001) (PMID:30594415) (PMCID:PMC6396025)

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Abstract

A mosquito needs to ingest at least one male and one female gametocyte to become infected with malaria. The sex of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes can be determined microscopically but recent transcriptomics studies paved the way for the development of molecular methods that allow sex-ratio assessments at much lower gametocyte densities. These sex-specific gametocyte diagnostics were recently used to examine gametocyte dynamics in controlled and natural infections as well as the impact of different antimalarial drugs. It is currently unclear to what extent sex-specific gametocyte diagnostics obviate the need for mosquito feeding assays to formally assess transmission potential. Here, we review recent and historic assessments of gametocyte sex ratio in relation to host and parasite characteristics, treatment, and transmission potential.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Plasmodium falciparum, commitment to gametocytes, diagnosis, gametocytes, sex ratio, transmission.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ranford-Cartwright, Dr Lisa
Authors: Tadesse, F. G., Meerstein-Kessel, L., Gonçalves, B. P., Drakeley, C., Ranford-Cartwright, L., and Bousema, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Trends in Parasitology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1471-4922
ISSN (Online):1471-5007
Published Online:26 December 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Trends in Parasitology 35(3):226-238
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
743571COSMICMatthias MartiEuropean Research Council (ERC)639776III - PARASITOLOGY
395071Identification of Plasmodium falciparum QTL determining differential infectivity to Anopheles mosquitoesLisa Ranford-CartwrightWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)078749/Z/05/ZIII - PARASITOLOGY