Life Pattern of Malaria Parasite

The life routine of malaria provides the basis for understanding malaria vaccines. There are numerous strategies for developing malaria vaccines, each concentrating on different stages of the parasite's development. Life cycle of all malaria parasites is more or less the same. It includes 1) an exogenous sexual stage (sporogony) with parasite multiplication in Anopheles mosquitoes and 2) an endogenous asexual stage (schizogony) with parasite multiplication in the gut wall membrane of vertebrate host. The latter period includes 3) two endogenous asexual stages: the phase occurring in the liver skin cells (pre-erythrocytic schizogony) and the development circuit in red skin cells (erythrocytic schizogony).

When girl Anopheles mosquito hauling malaria parasites feeds on the man, it injects the parasites in the form of elongated sporozoites in to the bloodstream of the human. The sporozoites happen to be the liver where they enter liver cells and rapidly split asexually. This asexual division is known as schizogony. Over about one to two 14 days, the sporozoites develop, split, and produce a large number of haploid forms, known as merozoites, for every single liver cell. A number of parasites stay dormant for longer intervals within the liver, resulting in relapses several times later. Merozoites leave the liver cells and invade other liver cells and re-enter the host's blood vessels. Once inside the erythrocyte, the merozoite starts to enlarge as a uninucleate cell known as a ring trophozoite. The trophozoite's nucleus then divides asexually to make a schizont which is made up of several nuclei. The schizont then divides and produces mononucleated merozoites, the erythrocyte ruptures and produces toxins throughout the body of the number repeatedly over 1-3 days and nights. This asexual multiplication can result in numerous parasites afflicted cells in the web host bloodstream, resulting in fever, chills and other difficulties which can persist for most months if left untreated.

Instead of replicating, few merozoite-infected erythrocytes leave the circuit of asexual multiplication and develop into sexual varieties of the parasite, known as gametocytes (cells capable of producing male and female gametocytes) which circulate within the bloodstream. Erythrocytes filled with gametocytes do not rupture. When biting an afflicted human being, the mosquito ingests these gametocytes. The infected man erythrocytes burst within the mosquito's gut, launching the gametocytes which expand further into older sex skin cells known as gametes. Feminine and male gametes are then fused to form diploid zygotes, which become positively moving ookinetes within the mosquito's intestinal wall and differentiate into oocysts. In the oocytes, repeated mitotic divisions happen, producing large numbers of active haploid forms called sporozoites. The oocyst bursts after about 1-2 weeks, which contributes to the discharge of sporozoites in to the mosquito's body cavity, from which they migrate to and invade the mosquito's salivary glands. Following that the sporozoites are injected in to the bloodstream of your human being, thus starting the life span pattern of the malaria parasite again. Enough time from infection to development of the disease often takes about 10 to 15 times. This incubation period can last for longer depending on whether the human coordinator has taken any antimalarial drugs.

Targets for malaria vaccines

There are three specific phases of the parasite's life circuit which are potential goals for both subunit and whole-organism vaccines: a) pre-erythrocytic level, b) asexual erythrocytic or blood level and c) erotic or gametocyte level.

Pre-erythrocytic vaccines

After inoculation, the first stage in the parasite's life circuit is a reasonably short pre-erythrocytic period. A vaccine at this stage must have the ability to stimulate an immune system response that completely stops the problem from producing within the human being coordinator. Pre-erythrocytic vaccines may be designed to action at two separate stages through the parasite's life routine. A sporozoite-stage vaccine can prevent sporozoites from invading hepatocytes, while a liver-stage vaccine focuses on the parasite's development within hepatocytes. These vaccines inhibit the release of merozoites from contaminated liver cells. The essential goal of sporozoite-stage vaccine is to generate humoral immune system response where antibodies will neutralize the sporozites and prevent contamination by blocking their capability to move and migrate through cells. Liver stage is another stage in the parasite's life routine in which the sporozoites invade hepatocytes. This gives rise to an illness avoiding liver-stage vaccine, which will cause sterile immunity. It's been founded in vitro that Compact disk8+ T-cells eliminate hepatocytes which may have been invaded by the malarial parasite. Small peptides or antigens may be prepared and exhibited with MHC class I molecule, for identification by Disc8+ T-cells, producing a cell-mediated response that could kill contaminated hepatocyes.

Blood stage vaccines

These vaccines are targeted to mainly drive back malaria disease, but not against infection. The specific goals of blood-stage vaccines may differ, they could either ruin the merozoites in the small amount of time before they invade red bloodstream cells or target malarial antigens portrayed on erythrocyte surface by invading parasites. These vaccines will suppress the continuous progress of dividing merozoites, therefore reducing the disease.

The surface proteins of merozoites can be the vaccine target by enhancing antibody production against these surface protein which can prevent infection of red blood cells by rousing increased humoral immune respond to merozoites circulating in the blood vessels. However, this approach is manufactured difficult due to the lack of Major histocompatibility (MHC) molecules expressed on the top of erythrocyte.

Instead of MHC antigens, potential blood-stage vaccines can aim for specific ring-infected surface antigens (RESA) that are portrayed on the top of infected erythrocytes. There is less opportunity of damaging already contaminated erythrocytes by increasing a cellular immune system response than by targeting circulating merozoites, but effective blood-stage vaccines that are in development add a combo of both types of antibodies. Thus the goal of blood-stage vaccines is to reduce the parasitic insert in the bloodstream after an infection.

Hence, protection offered by these vaccines will be both antibody reliant and cell mediated immunity.

Anti-disease vaccines:

Anti-toxin vaccines

During the asexual bloodstream stage when the schizont ruptures, a number of malarial poisons such as glycosylphosphatidyl inositol (GPI) are released, an integral mediator of malaria pathogenesis. Studies show the GPI anchor, which binds numerous Plasmodium antigens to the membrane, are highly harmful in mouse models. Administeration of GPI into mice shaped features of severe malarial disease, e. g. hypoglycaemia and severe anaemia. The damaging effects of malarial GPI are associated with its ability to encourage a pro-inflammatory response through cytokines such as TNF-alpha. Hence, malaria contaminants signify another possible focus on for anti-disease vaccines, where these vaccines may induce immune system response by the production of human antibodies which neutralize unsafe soluble parasite poisons.

Anti-cytoadhesion vaccines

P. falciparum is the sole species associated with cytoadhesion, the binding of infected erythrocytes to vascular endothelium. This process is mixed up in pathogenesis, virulence and success of P. falciparum, which is induced by several adhesins that are encoded by the parasite, P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane proteins 1 (PfEMP1) members of the family. PfEMP1 binds to CD36 receptor on endothelial skin cells and will be the only surface antigens on contaminated erythrocytes that present the parasite using its ability to adhere and stay sequestered. Cytoadhesion can cause parasitic sequestration in brain microcapillaries, which contributes to neurological deficits or even coma. Studies show that naturally attained antibodies against PfEMP1 during malarial contamination seem to be to be protective. Thus these substances are another potential aim for for anti-disease vaccines, where in fact the antibodies take action against surface antigens on the afflicted erythrocytes and could agglutinate the erythrocytes and prevent cytoadherence by inhibiting receptor-ligand interactions (CD-36 receptor), thus preventing any deadly results.

Transmission-blocking vaccine (TBVs)

These vaccines can be used to block transmission of the parasite to the mosquito by focusing on against the sexual-stage Plasmodium gametocyte or ookinete. Unlike other classes of malaria vaccines, the aim of transmission-blocking vaccines is to prevent onwards transmitting of the parasite through contaminated mosquito vectors. These TBVs are termed altruistics, because they mediate their action within the mosquito and would not offer any protective benefits to the vaccinated person, but would prevent that each from transmitting chlamydia to malaria vectors, i. e. avoid the next person from being beaten by that mosquito.

TBVs can inhibit the development of gametocytes by inducing an immune system response to the surface antigens of gametocytes by the use of real human antibodies that the mosquito takes up when it bites, in that way neutralizing the intimate phases. The anti-gametocytes antibodies block the introduction of zygote, whereas anti-ookinete antibodies inhibit the power of the ookinete to migrate. This sort of vaccine is probably very important as it can be used to locally get rid of the parasite from low endemic transmission regions or for avoiding the get spread around and development of vaccine-resistant parasites.




Vaccine Stage

Protect against infection

Protect against disease

Prevent onwards transmission


Sporozoite stage

Liver stage


Malarial toxins

Malarial adhesions




Prevent sporozoites from invading hepatocytes by inducing antibody-mediated immune response.

Decrease parasite density;

Prevent disease pathology

Inhibit zygote development


Prevent parasite's development within hepatocytes by inducing T-cell-mediated immune system response

Inhibit cytoadhesion by inducing antibody-mediated immune response

Inhibit ookinete movements by inducing antibody-mediated immune system response

Table 1. Evaluation of the several strategies which is often utilized by potential malaria vaccines to focus on each of different levels of the malaria life circuit.

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