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Trends Parasitol. 2011 Mar;27(3):106-10. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Malaria crystalloids: specialized structures for parasite transmission?

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  • 1Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom.


Malaria parasites possess many unique subcellular structures and organelles that are essential for the successful completion of the complex life cycle of Plasmodium in the vertebrate host and mosquito vector. Among these are the crystalloids: transient structures whose presence is restricted to the mosquito-specific ookinete and young oocyst stages of the parasite. Nearly five decades after they were first described, the crystalloids are back in the spotlight, with recent discoveries pointing to an important role in protein trafficking and sporozoite transmission that could be exploited as new targets for control of malaria transmission.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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