Entity

Time filter

Source Type

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Mbengue A.,University of Notre Dame | Bhattacharjee S.,University of Notre Dame | Pandharkar T.,University of Notre Dame | Liu H.,University of Notre Dame | And 19 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

Artemisinins are the cornerstone of anti-malarial drugs. Emergence and spread of resistance to them raises risk of wiping out recent gains achieved in reducing worldwide malaria burden and threatens future malaria control and elimination on a global level. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed parasite genetic loci associated with artemisinin resistance. However, there is no consensus on biochemical targets of artemisinin. Whether and how these targets interact with genes identified by GWAS, remains unknown. Here we provide biochemical and cellular evidence that artemisinins are potent inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PfPI3K), revealing an unexpected mechanism of action. In resistant clinical strains, increased PfPI3K was associated with the C580Y mutation in P. falciparum Kelch13 (PfKelch13), a primary marker of artemisinin resistance. Polyubiquitination of PfPI3K and its binding to PfKelch13 were reduced by the PfKelch13 mutation, which limited proteolysis of PfPI3K and thus increased levels of the kinase, as well as its lipid product phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI3P). We find PI3P levels to be predictive of artemisinin resistance in both clinical and engineered laboratory parasites as well as across non-isogenic strains. Elevated PI3P induced artemisinin resistance in absence of PfKelch13 mutations, but remained responsive to regulation by PfKelch13. Evidence is presented for PI3P-dependent signalling in which transgenic expression of an additional kinase confers resistance. Together these data present PI3P as the key mediator of artemisinin resistance and the sole PfPI3K as an important target for malaria elimination. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source


Bustamante L.Y.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Bartholdson S.J.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Crosnier C.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Campos M.G.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2013

The lack of an effective licensed vaccine remains one of the most significant gaps in the portfolio of tools being developed to eliminate Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Vaccines targeting erythrocyte invasion - an essential step for both parasite development and malaria pathogenesis - have faced the particular challenge of genetic diversity. Immunity-driven balancing selection pressure on parasite invasion proteins often results in the presence of multiple, antigenically distinct, variants within a population, leading to variant-specific immune responses. Such variation makes it difficult to design a vaccine that covers the full range of diversity, and could potentially facilitate the evolution of vaccine-resistant parasite strains. In this study, we investigate the effect of genetic diversity on invasion inhibition by antibodies to a high priority P. falciparum invasion candidate antigen, P. falciparum Reticulocyte Binding Protein Homologue 5 (PfRH5). Previous work has shown that virally delivered PfRH5 can induce antibodies that protect against a wide range of genetic variants. Here, we show that a full-length recombinant PfRH5 protein expressed in mammalian cells is biochemically active, as judged by saturable binding to its receptor, basigin, and is able to induce antibodies that strongly inhibit P. falciparum growth and invasion. Whole genome sequencing of 290 clinical P. falciparum isolates from across the world identifies only five non-synonymous PfRH5 SNPs that are present at frequencies of 10% or more in at least one geographical region. Antibodies raised against the 3D7 variant of PfRH5 were able to inhibit nine different P. falciparum strains, which between them included all of the five most common PfRH5 SNPs in this dataset, with no evidence for strain-specific immunity. We conclude that protein-based PfRH5 vaccines are an urgent priority for human efficacy trials. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Juliano J.J.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Porter K.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Mwapasa V.,University of Malawi | Sem R.,National Center for Parasitology | And 6 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

Malaria infections commonly contain multiple genetically distinct variants. Mathematical and animal models suggest that interactions among these variants have a profound impact on the emergence of drug resistance. However, methods currently used for quantifying parasite diversity in individual infections are insensitive to low-abundance variants and are not quantitative for variant population sizes. To more completely describe the in-host complexity and ecology of malaria infections, we used massively parallel pyrosequencing to characterize malaria parasite diversity in the infections of a group of patients. By individually sequencing single strands of DNA in a complex mixture, this technique can quantify uncommon variants in mixed infections. The in-host diversity revealed by this method far exceeded that described by currently recommended genotyping methods, with as many as sixfold more variants per infection. In addition, in paired pre-and posttreatment samples, we show a complex milieu of parasites, including variants likely up-selected and down-selected by drug therapy. As with all surveys of diversity, sampling limitations prevent full discovery and differences in sampling effort can confound comparisons among samples, hosts, and populations. Here, we used ecological approaches of species accumulation curves and capture-recapture to estimate the number of variants we failed to detect in the population, and show that these methods enable comparisons of diversity before and after treatment, as well as between malaria populations. The combination of ecological statistics and massively parallel pyrosequencing provides a powerful tool for studying the evolution of drug resistance and the in-host ecology of malaria infections. Source


Witkowski B.,Institute Pasteur in Cambodia | Amaratunga C.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Khim N.,Institute Pasteur in Cambodia | Sreng S.,National Center for Parasitology | And 16 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum lengthens parasite clearance half-life during artemisinin monotherapy or artemisinin-based combination therapy. Absence of in-vitro and ex-vivo correlates of artemisinin resistance hinders study of this phenotype. We aimed to assess whether an in-vitro ring-stage survival assay (RSA) can identify culture-adapted P falciparum isolates from patients with slow-clearing or fast-clearing infections, to investigate the stage-dependent susceptibility of parasites to dihydroartemisinin in the in-vitro RSA, and to assess whether an ex-vivo RSA can identify artemisinin-resistant P falciparum infections. Methods: We culture-adapted parasites from patients with long and short parasite clearance half-lives from a study done in Pursat, Cambodia, in 2010 (registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00341003) and used novel in-vitro survival assays to explore the stage-dependent susceptibility of slow-clearing and fast-clearing parasites to dihydroartemisinin. In 2012, we implemented the RSA in prospective parasite clearance studies in Pursat, Preah Vihear, and Ratanakiri, Cambodia (NCT01736319), to measure the ex-vivo responses of parasites from patients with malaria. Continuous variables were compared with the Mann-Whitney U test. Correlations were analysed with the Spearman correlation test. Findings: In-vitro survival rates of culture-adapted parasites from 13 slow-clearing and 13 fast-clearing infections differed significantly when assays were done on 0-3 h ring-stage parasites (10·88% vs 0·23%; p=0·007). Ex-vivo survival rates significantly correlated with in-vivo parasite clearance half-lives (n=30, r=0·74, 95% CI 0·50-0·87; p<0·0001). Interpretation: The in-vitro RSA of 0-3 h ring-stage parasites provides a platform for the molecular characterisation of artemisinin resistance. The ex-vivo RSA can be easily implemented where surveillance for artemisinin resistance is needed. Funding: Institut Pasteur du Cambodge and the Intramural Research Program, NIAID, NIH. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Yeung S.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Patouillard E.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Allen H.,Population Services International | Socheat D.,National Center for Parasitology
Malaria Journal | Year: 2011

Whilst some populations have recently experienced dramatic declines in malaria, the majority of those most at risk of Plasmodium falciparum malaria still lack access to effective treatment with artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) and others are already facing parasites resistant to artemisinins. In this context, there is a crucial need to improve both access to and targeting of ACT through greater availability of good quality ACT and parasitological diagnosis. This is an issue of increasing urgency notably in the private commercial sector, which, in many countries, plays an important role in the provision of malaria treatment. The Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) is a recent initiative that aims to increase the provision of affordable ACT in public, private and NGO sectors through a manufacturer-level subsidy. However, to date, there is little documented experience in the programmatic implementation of subsidized ACT in the private sector. Cambodia is in the unique position of having more than 10 years of experience not only in implementing subsidized ACT, but also rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) as part of a nationwide social marketing programme. The programme includes behaviour change communication and the training of private providers as well as the sale and distribution of Malarine, the recommended ACT, and Malacheck, the RDT. This paper describes and evaluates this experience by drawing on the results of household and provider surveys conducted since the start of the programme. The available evidence suggests that providers' and consumers' awareness of Malarine increased rapidly, but that of Malacheck much less so. In addition, improvements in ACT and RDT availability and uptake were relatively slow, particularly in more remote areas. The lack of standardization in the survey methods and the gaps in the data highlight the importance of establishing a clear system for monitoring and evaluation for similar initiatives. Despite these limitations, a number of important lessons can still be learnt. These include the importance of a comprehensive communications strategy and of a sustained and reliable supply of products, with attention to the geographical reach of both. Other important challenges relate to the difficulty in incentivising providers and consumers not only to choose the recommended drug, but to precede this with a confirmatory blood test and ensure that providers adhere to the test results and patients to the treatment regime. In Cambodia, this is particularly complicated due to problems inherent to the drug itself and the emergence of artemisinin resistance. © 2011 Yeung et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Discover hidden collaborations