Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Elucidating the mechanism of reticulocyte-specific invasion by Plasmodium vivax


The goal of this research is to delineate the molecular interactions important for erythrocyte invasion by P. vivax. At present, the Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokine (DARC) is the only demonstrated erythrocyte surface protein that mediates invasion by this parasite. However, recent findings of Duffy-negative erythrocyte infection suggest that an alternative invasion pathway exists and that it likely relies on the parasite's reticulocyte binding proteins (RBPs).

The specific goals are:

  1. To examine the expression repertoire of these RBPs across the population and identify the most widely expressed member,
  2. To characterize RBP binding and identify the host cell receptors, and
  3. To examine whether blocking RBP-reticulocyte binding inhibits invasion. The findings will directly address the role of RBPs in reticulocyte invasion and demonstrate their potential as vaccine targets.

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2013 Aug - 2018 Jul

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