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Cellular signaling on host-malaria parasite interactions
Published on October 31, 2012 26 min
A selection of talks on Biochemistry
The ERK1/2 MAPK cascade
- Prof. Melanie H. Cobb
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, USA
Amino acid conjugation: mechanism and enzymology
- Dr. Kathleen Knights
- Flinders University, Australia
Hello! My name is Celia Garcia, I'm a professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the title of my talk is "Cellular Signaling on Host-Malaria Parasite Interactions."
Malaria is a devastating disease and often lethal infection, with a mortality of up to a million people per year, and is transmitted by a parasite of genus Plasmodium.
In vertebrates, malaria infection's initiated by the bite of the Anopheles mosquito, when she draws three to four microliters of blood while injecting saliva containing a few sporozoites. Once in the bloodstream, the sporozoites invade the hepatocytes and develop into asexual merozoites within 10 to 12 days. During this period, the infection is asymptomatic.
The pathogenicity becomes apparent after the parasite cycle, when parasites enter blood stream and develop inside the red blood cells through a stage known as ring, to a more mature form-- throphozoite and the schizont-- up to the moment of the rupture of the host cells, when merozoites were free to invade new red blood cells. Some merozoites differentiate into gametocytes the mosquito infective form of the parasite. Unlike mammalian cells, where we have a more clear picture of cellular signaling and the molecular machinery involved, we do not know the vast majority of cellular molecular mechanisms that control the parasites outside in development. Therefore, the focus of our work is to investigate cellular signaling of host Plasmodium interactions during red blood cell stages.