Malaria parasite pre-erythrocytic stage infection: Gliding and hiding

Vaughan A. M. , Aly A. S. I. , Kappe S. H. I.

CELL HOST & MICROBE, vol.4, no.3, pp.209-218, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.chom.2008.08.010
  • Title of Journal : CELL HOST & MICROBE
  • Page Numbers: pp.209-218


In malaria, the red blood cell-infectious form of the Plasmodium parasite causes illness and the possible death of infected hosts. The initial infection in the liver caused by the mosquito-borne sporozoite parasite stage, however, causes little pathology and no symptoms. Nevertheless, pre-erythrocytic parasite stages are attracting passionate research efforts not least because they are the most promising targets for malaria vaccine development. Here, we review how the infectious sporozoite makes its way to the liver and subsequently develops within hepatocytes. We discuss the factors, both parasite and host, involved in the interactions that occur during this "silent" phase of infection.