Plasmodium vivax Strains Use Alternative Pathways for Invasion

J Infect Dis. 2021 May 28;223(10):1817-1821. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa592.


Plasmodium vivax has 2 invasion ligand/host receptor pathways (P. vivax Duffy-binding protein/Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines [DARC] and P. vivax reticulocyte binding protein 2b/transferrin receptor [TfR1]) that are promising targets for therapeutic intervention. We optimized invasion assays with isogenic cultured reticulocytes. Using a receptor blockade approach with multiple P. vivax isolates, we found that all strains utilized both DARC and TfR1, but with significant variation in receptor usage. This suggests that P. vivax, like Plasmodium falciparum, uses alternative invasion pathways, with implications for pathogenesis and vaccine development.

Keywords: Plasmodium vivax; DARC; TfR1; parasite invasion; receptor blockade.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Duffy Blood-Group System*
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Vivax*
  • Plasmodium vivax* / pathogenicity
  • Receptors, Cell Surface*
  • Receptors, Transferrin*
  • Reticulocytes / parasitology


  • ACKR1 protein, human
  • Antigens, CD
  • CD71 antigen
  • Duffy Blood-Group System
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Transferrin