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      Malaria Parasites: The Great Escape

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          Abstract

          Parasites of the genus Plasmodium have a complex life cycle. They alternate between their final mosquito host and their intermediate hosts. The parasite can be either extra- or intracellular, depending on the stage of development. By modifying their shape, motility, and metabolic requirements, the parasite adapts to the different environments in their different hosts. The parasite has evolved to escape the multiple immune mechanisms in the host that try to block parasite development at the different stages of their development. In this article, we describe the mechanisms reported thus far that allow the Plasmodium parasite to evade innate and adaptive immune responses.

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          Decisions about dendritic cells: past, present, and future.

          A properly functioning adaptive immune system signifies the best features of life. It is diverse beyond compare, tolerant without fail, and capable of behaving appropriately with a myriad of infections and other challenges. Dendritic cells are required to explain how this remarkable system is energized and directed. I frame this article in terms of the major decisions that my colleagues and I have made in dendritic cell science and some of the guiding themes at the time the decisions were made. As a result of progress worldwide, there is now evidence of a central role for dendritic cells in initiating antigen-specific immunity and tolerance. The in vivo distribution and development of a previously unrecognized white cell lineage is better understood, as is the importance of dendritic cell maturation to link innate and adaptive immunity in response to many stimuli. Our current focus is on antigen uptake receptors on dendritic cells. These receptors enable experiments involving selective targeting of antigens in situ and new approaches to vaccine design in preclinical and clinical systems.
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            Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

            The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 25-40% of the approximately 515 million annual cases of malaria worldwide. Although seldom fatal, the parasite elicits severe and incapacitating clinical symptoms and often causes relapses months after a primary infection has cleared. Despite its importance as a major human pathogen, P. vivax is little studied because it cannot be propagated continuously in the laboratory except in non-human primates. We sequenced the genome of P. vivax to shed light on its distinctive biological features, and as a means to drive development of new drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the synteny and isochore structure of P. vivax chromosomes, and show that the parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, but possesses novel gene families and potential alternative invasion pathways not recognized previously. Completion of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance investigation into this neglected species.
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              Adherence of Plasmodium falciparum to chondroitin sulfate A in the human placenta.

              Women are particularly susceptible to malaria during first and second pregnancies, even though they may have developed immunity over years of residence in endemic areas. Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (IRBCs) were obtained from human placentas. These IRBCs bound to purified chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) but not to other extracellular matrix proteins or to other known IRBC receptors. IRBCs from nonpregnant donors did not bind to CSA. Placental IRBCs adhered to sections of fresh-frozen human placenta with an anatomic distribution similar to that of naturally infected placentas, and this adhesion was competitively inhibited by purified CSA. Thus, adhesion to CSA appears to select for a subpopulation of parasites that causes maternal malaria.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Immunol
                Front Immunol
                Front. Immunol.
                Frontiers in Immunology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-3224
                07 November 2016
                2016
                : 7
                Affiliations
                1Singapore Immunology Network, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) , Singapore
                Author notes

                Edited by: Alexandre Morrot, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

                Reviewed by: Miguel Prudêncio, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Portugal; Giulia Carla Marchetti, University of Milan, Italy

                *Correspondence: Laurent Rénia, renia_laurent@ 123456immunol.a-star.edu.sg

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Microbial Immunology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Immunology

                Article
                10.3389/fimmu.2016.00463
                5098170
                Copyright © 2016 Rénia and Goh.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 250, Pages: 14, Words: 14481
                Funding
                Funded by: Agency for Science, Technology and Research 10.13039/501100001348
                Award ID: Intramural grant
                Categories
                Immunology
                Review

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