Host cell deformability is linked to transmission in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (pages 983–993)
Mythili Aingaran, Rou Zhang, Sue KaYee Law, Zhangli Peng, Andreas Undisz, Evan Meyer, Monica Diez-Silva, Thomas A. Burke, Tobias Spielmann, Chwee Teck Lim, Subra Suresh, Ming Dao and Matthias Marti
Version of Record online: 12 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2012.01786.x
Transmission stages of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, sequester during their long development in human red blood cells, before emerging in the blood as transmission-competent mature parasites. Using a combination of 3D imaging and micropipette aspiration assays we demonstrate a reversible decrease in cellular deformability during transmission stage development. Modeling suggest that only the mature parasites are capable to efficiently pass through the spleen while immature stages must sequester to avoid splenic clearance.