Background: Several electroporation protocols exist to transfect exogenous DNA into Plasmodium falciparum. To date, however, only a subjective analysis of their relative efficiencies has been reported.
Methods: A time-course of luciferase reporter expression is used to provide an objective quantitative analysis of the absolute efficiency of three electroporation techniques; direct electroporation of ring stage infected erythrocytes, preloading of erythrocytes and a novel "double-tap" protocol that combines both approaches.
Results: Preloading of erythrocytes shows a mean efficiency of 9.59 x 10(-6), some 5-180 fold more efficient than matched experiments utilizing the "double-tap" and direct electroporation of ring stage infected erythrocytes alone, respectively.
Conclusion: Evidence presented here provides the first quantitative assessment of both the absolute and relative efficiencies of a key molecular tool used to study the biology and pathogenesis of this important human pathogen.