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Nat Microbiol. 2017 Dec;2(12):1600-1607. doi: 10.1038/s41564-017-0025-2. Epub 2017 Sep 25.

Dietary alterations modulate susceptibility to Plasmodium infection.

Author information

1
Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-028, Lisboa, Portugal. vluis@medicina.ulisboa.pt.
2
Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-028, Lisboa, Portugal.
3
EMBO, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117, Heidelberg, Germany.
4
Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-028, Lisboa, Portugal. mmota@medicina.ulisboa.pt.

Abstract

The relevance of genetic factors in conferring protection to severe malaria has been demonstrated, as in the case of sickle cell trait and G6PD deficiency 1 . However, it remains unknown whether environmental components, such as dietary or metabolic variations, can contribute to the outcome of infection 2 . Here, we show that administration of a high-fat diet to mice for a period as short as 4 days impairs Plasmodium liver infection by over 90%. Plasmodium sporozoites can successfully invade and initiate replication but die inside hepatocytes, thereby are unable to cause severe disease. Transcriptional analyses combined with genetic and chemical approaches reveal that this impairment of infection is mediated by oxidative stress. We show that reactive oxygen species, probably spawned from fatty acid β-oxidation, directly impact Plasmodium survival inside hepatocytes, and parasite load can be rescued by exogenous administration of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine or the β-oxidation inhibitor etomoxir. Together, these data reveal that acute and transient dietary alterations markedly impact the establishment of a Plasmodium infection and disease outcome.

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PMID:
28947801
DOI:
10.1038/s41564-017-0025-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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