Stepwise dissection of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite invasion of the human erythrocyte

BioMed Central
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Riglar David et al. 2010, 'Stepwise dissection of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite invasion of the human erythrocyte', Malaria Journal, BioMed Central, on-line
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A critical step in establishing malaria parasite infection is the ability of the blood stage merozoite to invade erythrocytes. However, much of our understanding about the cell biology of this process has remained unchanged since seminal work, more than 30 years ago, defined the steps of entry by light and electron microscopy. These studies were, however, only possible using merozoites from simian and avian malaria parasite species, given the poor viability of merozoites from human parasites, specifically Plasmodium falciparum. In contrast, critical invasion proteins have been best described for human or mouse parasite species. Thus our understanding about the molecular and cellular coordination of the entire process of invasion is still largely unknown. Towards addressing this gap, we recently developed a method for harvesting viable P. falciparum merozoites, permitting detailed investigation of the molecular events of merozoite invasion
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