Gametocytogenesis - the sexy side of malaria
The falciparum malaria parasite undergoes remarkable transformations that allow asexual stage multiplication in a human host and sexual reproduction in a mosquito vector. Inhibition of this process would ablate disease transmission. Despite the importance of this parasite stage, little is known of the mechanisms controlling its shape, form, and function, or of the mechanisms by which gametocytes adhere within the vasculature and then re-enter the circulation. The Tilley laboratory is generating transgenic gametocytes expressing fluorescently labelled proteins to gain an understanding of the host cell modifications required for these processes.
Super-resolution optical microscopy image of a Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte
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