Malaria is still one of the major human health burdens in developing countries. We analyse the apathogenic liver stage of the malaria parasite Plasmodium in order to identify approaches to eliminate infection before development of the pathogenic blood stage. Our main goal is to understand how the parasite multiplies and survives within hepatocytes. This includes the molecular analysis of parasite-host cell interactions as well as the interaction of immunocompetent cells with the infected hepatocyte. The knowledge will be used to generate attenuated parasites for use as live vaccine strains or to develop drug-based approaches to interfere with infection.
Malaria, Plasmodium, liver stage, merosome, signal transduction, parasite-host cell interaction