Preferential invasion by Plasmodium merozoites and the self-regulation of parasite burden

Kerlin, Douglas, H. & Gatton, Michelle L. (2013) Preferential invasion by Plasmodium merozoites and the self-regulation of parasite burden. PLOS One, 8(2), e57434.

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Abstract

The preferential invasion of particular red blood cell (RBC) age classes may offer a mechanism by which certain species of Plasmodia regulate their population growth. Asexual reproduction of the parasite within RBCs exponentially increases the number of circulating parasites; limiting this explosion in parasite density may be key to providing sufficient time for the parasite to reproduce, and for the host to develop a specific immune response. It is critical that the role of preferential invasion in infection is properly understood to model the within-host dynamics of different Plasmodia species. We develop a simulation model to show that limiting the range of RBC age classes available for invasion is a credible mechanism for restricting parasite density, one which is equally as important as the maximum parasite replication rate and the duration of the erythrocytic cycle. Different species of Plasmodia that regularly infect humans exhibit different preferences for RBC invasion, with all species except P. falciparum appearing to exhibit a combination of characteristics which are able to selfregulate parasite density.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
7 citations in Web of Science®
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110 since deposited on 30 Sep 2013
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ID Code: 62959
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Plasmodium, malaria, mathematical model
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057434
ISSN: 1932-6203
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Deposited On: 30 Sep 2013 01:50
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2014 05:54

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