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
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.