Humanized mice for investigating sustained Plasmodium vivax blood-stage infections and transmission

Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 15;13(1):4123. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31864-6.


Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread human malaria parasite. Due to the presence of extravascular reservoirs and relapsing infections from dormant liver stages, P. vivax is particularly difficult to control and eliminate. Experimental research is hampered by the inability to maintain P. vivax cultures in vitro, due to its tropism for immature red blood cells (RBCs). Here, we describe a new humanized mice model that can support efficient human erythropoiesis and maintain long-lasting multiplication of inoculated cryopreserved P. vivax parasites and their sexual differentiation, including in bone marrow. Mature gametocytes were transmitted to Anopheles mosquitoes, which led to the formation of salivary gland sporozoites. Importantly, blood-stage P. vivax parasites were maintained after the secondary transfer of fresh or frozen infected bone marrow cells to naïve chimeras. This model provides a unique tool for investigating, in vivo, the biology of intraerythrocytic P. vivax.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles* / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Vivax* / parasitology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Sporozoites