Host cell invasion by malaria parasites

Parasitol Today. 2000 Oct;16(10):411-5. doi: 10.1016/s0169-4758(00)01756-7.


The complex life cycle of the malaria parasite includes three specialized invasive stages, distinct both in terms of their cellular architecture and in their choice of target host cell. Despite the dissimilarities between these forms, there are clear parallels in the manner by which they enter their respective host cells. Advances in the area of erythrocyte invasion by the malaria merozoite, outlined here by Chetan Chitnis and Mike Blackman and discussed at the Molecular Approaches to Malaria conference, Lorne, Australia, 2-5 February 2000, will undoubtedly impact on our understanding of mechanisms of cell entry by the other invasive forms. Similarly, recent progress in dissecting the functional role of surface proteins expressed by sporozoite and ookinete stages has provided fascinating insights into general aspects of invasion by all invasive stages of apicomplexan parasites.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Erythrocytes / parasitology*
  • Humans
  • Malaria / parasitology*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / parasitology
  • Plasmodium / genetics*
  • Plasmodium / growth & development
  • Plasmodium / pathogenicity*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development
  • Plasmodium falciparum / pathogenicity*
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Virulence


  • Protozoan Proteins