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Plasmodium oocysts respond with dormancy to crowding and nutritional stress

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Title: Plasmodium oocysts respond with dormancy to crowding and nutritional stress
Authors: Habtewold, T
Sharma, A
Wyer, C
Masters, E
Nikolai, W
Christophides, G
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Malaria parasites develop as oocysts in the mosquito for several days before they are able to infect a human host. During this time, mosquitoes take bloodmeals to replenish their nutrient and energy reserves needed for flight and reproduction. We hypothesized that these bloodmeals are critical for oocyst growth and that experimental infection protocols, typically involving a single bloodmeal at the time of infection, cause nutritional stress to the developing oocysts. Therefore, enumerating oocysts disregarding their growth and differentiation state may lead to erroneous conclusions about the efficacy of transmission blocking interventions. Here, we examine this hypothesis in Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes infected with the human and rodent parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei, respectively. We show that oocyst growth and maturation rates decrease at late developmental stages as infection intensities increase; an effect exacerbated at very high infection intensities but fully restored with post infection bloodmeals. High infection intensities and starvation conditions reduce RNA Polymerase III activity in oocysts unless supplemental bloodmeals are provided. Our results suggest that oocysts respond to crowding and nutritional stress with a dormancy-like strategy, which urges the development of alternative methods to assess the efficacy of transmission blocking interventions.
Issue Date: 4-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance: 8-Jan-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/86580
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-81574-0
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 11
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 3090
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences

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