Unveiling the malaria parasite's cloak of invisibility?

Philip, N. and Waters, A. P. (2013) Unveiling the malaria parasite's cloak of invisibility? Science, 340(6135), pp. 936-937. (doi:10.1126/science.1239146)

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Abstract

Several insects, particularly mosquitoes, are responsible for the transmission of many viral, protozoan, and even worm infections. Previously, insects were considered passive pathogen carriers. But sophisticated cross-talk exists between the pathogen effectors and the immune system of the insect vector. As in vertebrates, the insect's first line of defense is a sophisticated innate immune response (IIR), employing pattern recognition molecules to detect pathogens and shape the antipathogen response. IIR involves humoral and cellular responses (1), including phagocytic cells and complement-like systems, which result in the activation of effector molecules—for example, thioester-containing protein 1 (TEP1) (2)—that cause lysis or encapsulation of the parasite through melanization. IIR may also trigger free-radical release, causing lethal damage to the pathogen. Despite a fairly detailed picture of how a mosquito responds to pathogen infection (3, 4), parasite targets and mechanisms of mosquito immune evasion by parasites are largely unknown. On page 984 of this issue, Molina-Cruz et al. (5) identify a gene in the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, that mediates evasion of the mosquito IIR.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:No
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Waters, Professor Andy and Philip, Dr Nisha
Authors: Philip, N., and Waters, A. P.
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Science
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:0036-8075
ISSN (Online):1095-9203

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
466861Conditional translational repression: a core regulatory mechanism of gene expression during development of the malaria parasite.Andrew WatersWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)083811/Z/07/ZIII - PARASITOLOGY
541371Redefining roles of epigenetic regulators: ALBAs in translational controlNisha PhilipEuropean Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)ALTF 1115-2009III - PARASITOLOGY