Highly Sensitive and Rapid Characterization of the Development of Synchronized Blood Stage Malaria Parasites Via Magneto-Optical Hemozoin Quantification

Biomolecules. 2019 Oct 7;9(10):579. doi: 10.3390/biom9100579.


The rotating-crystal magneto-optical diagnostic (RMOD) technique was developed as a sensitive and rapid platform for malaria diagnosis. Herein, we report a detailed in vivo assessment of the synchronized Plasmodium vinckei lentum strain blood-stage infections by the RMOD method and comparing the results to the unsynchronized Plasmodium yoelii 17X-NL (non-lethal) infections. Furthermore, we assess the hemozoin production and clearance dynamics in chloroquine-treated compared to untreated self-resolving infections by RMOD. The findings of the study suggest that the RMOD signal is directly proportional to the hemozoin content and closely follows the actual parasitemia level. The lack of long-term accumulation of hemozoin in peripheral blood implies a dynamic equilibrium between the hemozoin production rate of the parasites and the immune system's clearing mechanism. Using parasites with synchronous blood stage cycle, which resemble human malaria parasite infections with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, we are demonstrating that the RMOD detects both hemozoin production and clearance rates with high sensitivity and temporal resolution. Thus, RMOD technique offers a quantitative tool to follow the maturation of the malaria parasites even on sub-cycle timescales.

Keywords: Plasmodium vinckei; Plasmodium yoelii; hemozoin; malaria; rotating-crystal magneto-optical diagnostic; synchronous blood stage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Chloroquine / administration & dosage
  • Chloroquine / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Hemeproteins / drug effects
  • Hemeproteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Malaria / diagnosis*
  • Malaria / drug therapy
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Polarization
  • Parasitemia / diagnosis*
  • Parasitemia / drug therapy
  • Plasmodium / classification
  • Plasmodium / drug effects
  • Plasmodium / metabolism*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Hemeproteins
  • hemozoin
  • Chloroquine