The developmental migration of Plasmodium in mosquitoes

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2006 Aug;16(4):384-91. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2006.06.012. Epub 2006 Jun 21.


Migration of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium through the mosquito is a complex and delicate process, the outcome of which determines the success of malaria transmission. The mosquito is not simply the vector of Plasmodium but, in terms of the life cycle, its definitive host: there, the parasite undergoes its sexual development, which results in colonization of the mosquito salivary glands. Two of the parasite's developmental stages in the mosquito, the ookinete and the sporozoite, are invasive and depend on gliding motility to access, penetrate and traverse their host cells. Recent advances in the field have included the identification of numerous Plasmodium molecules that are essential for parasite migration in the mosquito vector.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culicidae / parasitology*
  • Movement
  • Oocysts / growth & development
  • Plasmodium / growth & development*
  • Plasmodium / physiology
  • Salivary Glands / parasitology
  • Sporozoites / growth & development