Host-cell invasion by malaria parasites: insights from Plasmodium and Toxoplasma

Trends Parasitol. 2008 Dec;24(12):557-63. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Oct 1.


Recent years have seen tremendous progress in our understanding of malaria parasite molecular biology. To a large extent, this progress follows significant developments in genetic, molecular and chemical tools available to study the malaria parasites and related Apicomplexa, in particular Toxoplasma gondii. One area of major advancement has been in understanding parasite host-cell invasion, a process that utilizes several essential molecular mechanisms that are conserved across the different lifecycle stages. Here, we summarize some of the most recent experimental data that shed light on the events underlying preparation and execution of malaria parasite invasion and how these insights might relate to the development of new antimalarial drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / drug effects
  • Malaria / drug therapy
  • Malaria / parasitology*
  • Plasmodium / drug effects
  • Plasmodium / physiology*
  • Toxoplasma / drug effects
  • Toxoplasma / physiology*


  • Antimalarials