Plasmodium sporozoite-host interactions from the dermis to the hepatocyte

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2009 Aug;12(4):401-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2009.06.006. Epub 2009 Jul 14.


Sporozoites are the infective stage of the malaria parasite. They are deposited in the skin by infected Anopheles mosquitoes and must penetrate cell barriers in the skin and liver sinusoid to reach their target cell, the hepatocyte, where they enter in a vacuole and begin development into the next life cycle stage, the exoerythrocytic form. Recent advances in our understanding of sporozoite biology in the dermal inoculation site, the role of cell traversal and the mechanism by which sporozoites productively invade hepatocytes will be highlighted in this review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dermis / parasitology*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Liver / parasitology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Plasmodium / growth & development*
  • Sporozoites / growth & development*