Humanized Mice Are Instrumental to the Study of Plasmodium falciparum Infection

Front Immunol. 2018 Dec 13:9:2550. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02550. eCollection 2018.


Research using humanized mice has advanced our knowledge and understanding of human haematopoiesis, non-adaptive and adaptive immunity, autoimmunity, infectious disease, cancer biology, and regenerative medicine. Challenges posed by the human-malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum include its complex life cycle, the evolution of drug resistance against anti-malarials, poor diagnosis, and a lack of effective vaccines. Advancements in genetically engineered and immunodeficient mouse strains, have allowed for studies of the asexual blood stage, exoerythrocytic stage and the transition from liver-to-blood stage infection, in a single vertebrate host. This review discusses the process of "humanization" of various immunodeficient/transgenic strains and their contribution to translational biomedical research. Our work reviews the strategies employed to overcome the remaining-limitations of the developed human-mouse chimera(s).

Keywords: FRG mice; NSG mice; TK/NOG mice; clodronate loaded liposomes; huHep; huRBCs; humanized/chimeric mice; malaria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chimera
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Humans
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID / physiology*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / physiology*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical