The spread of malaria critically relies on the presence of Plasmodium transmission stages - the gametocytes - circulating in the blood of an infected individual, which are taken up by Anopheles mosquitoes. A striking feature of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes is their long development inside the erythrocytes while sequestered in the internal organs of the human host. Recent studies of the molecular and cellular remodeling of the host erythrocyte induced by P. falciparum during gametocyte maturation are shedding light on how these may affect the establishment and maintenance of sequestration of the immature transmission stages and the subsequent release and circulation of mature gametocytes in the peripheral bloodstream.
Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes; cell mechanical properties; erythrocyte remodeling; malaria transmission; parasite sequestration.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.