Malaria is still estimated to be responsible for 1 million deaths in vast parts of our planet. Within the human host, Plasmodium, malaria´s causative agent, infects very distinct cells types: liver hepatocytes and red blood cells. While in hepatocytes Plasmodium replicates in a single cycle of infection into thousands of new parasites, later in the blood Plasmodium replicates only in 10-20 parasites but in consecutive cycles of infection that are the cause of disease and death. We aim not only to uncover Plasmodium requirements to establish in its host but also to elucidate the major virulence mechanisms used by this parasite to obtain its key needs and how these processes impact human health.
Host-Plasmodium interactions, superinfection and co-infections
Plasmodium requirements and the role of host factors in the establishment and course of malaria infections
The role of host innate immunity in sensing Plasmodium and the mechanisms used by the parasite to evade host´s immune response
The role of Plasmodium sensing pathways in the establishment and course of infection
The development of a novel paradigm for an anti-malaria vaccine and the search for novel anti-Plasmodium liver stage agents