top of page

Cell Biology of Plasmodium-host interactions


Malaria is transmitted to humans by the injection of Plasmodium sporozoites into the skin during the bite of an infectious female Anopheles mosquito. Sporozoites leave the circulation by traversing the sinusoidal cell layer and infect hepatocytes and form liver stages (LS). LS parasites reside in a membrane-bound compartment termed the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), where they differentiate into exoerythrocytic merozoites. Once development within the liver is complete, parasites exit the hepatocyte as packages of merozoites that bud off from the cell (called merosomes) and re-enter the circulation and invade red blood cells leading to clinical symptoms of malaria. We focus on Plasmodium LS infection as this stage is brief, critical and asymptomatic: success would eliminate all initial and relapsing disease and subsequent transmission. 


bottom of page