Journal article

Multimodal analysis of Plasmodium knowlesi-infected erythrocytes reveals large invaginations, swelling of the host cell, and rheological defects

Boyin Liu, Adam J Blanch, Arman Namvar, Olivia Carmo, Snigdha Tiash, Dean Andrew, Eric Hanssen, Vijay Rajagopal, Matthew WA Dixon, Leann Tilley



The simian parasite Plasmodium knowlesi causes severe and fatal malaria infections in humans, but the process of host cell remodelling that underpins the pathology of this zoonotic parasite is only poorly understood. We have used serial block-face scanning electron microscopy to explore the topography of P. knowlesi-infected red blood cells (RBCs) at different stages of asexual development. The parasite elaborates large flattened cisternae (Sinton Mulligan's clefts) and tubular vesicles in the host cell cytoplasm, as well as parasitophorous vacuole membrane bulges and blebs, and caveolar structures at the RBC membrane. Large invaginations of host RBC cytoplasm are formed early in development..

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