Editors' ChoiceHost-Pathogen Interactions

Malaria Cloak and Dagger

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Sci. Signal.  28 May 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 277, pp. ec120
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004365

Mosquitoes have a complex immune system, capable of effective antiparasite responses; however, malaria transmission is still highly efficient. Molina-Cruz et al. (see the Perspective by Philip and Waters) show that Plasmodium falciparum has a gene product, Pfs47, that makes the parasite’s ookinetes “invisible” to the mosquito immune system. Disruption of this mechanism could potentially be used to block malaria transmission.

A. Molina-Cruz, L. S. Garver, A. Alabaster, L. Bangiolo, A. Haile, J. Winikor, C. Ortega, B. C. L. van Schaijk, R. W. Sauerwein, E. Taylor-Salmon, C. Barillas-Mury, The human malaria parasite Pfs47 gene mediates evasion of the mosquito immune system. Science 340, 984–987 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]

N. Philip, A. P. Waters, Unveiling the malaria parasite’s cloak of invisibility. Science 340, 936–937 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]