Key Points About The Parasite Host Interactions Biology Essay


In this article, the scientists were researching the various ways that the parasite, malaria, interacted with the hosts. They thoroughly explained the different processes that were needed to inject the host and also explained what was being affected in the body. They talked on key points about the parasite-host interactions, which was the main question in the article. Genetic research that was new and advanced also allowed scientists to get a better understanding of the parasite-host relationship.

Malaria is a very harmful disease that can be detrimental. This study explained how the use of rodents as vivo models gave a clear understanding on the malaria disease. One important experiment that was done portrayed Plasmodium sporozoites that infect the skin and the liver. After the mosquito has injected the Plasmodium sporozoites it can then infect the blood vessels, but some do not even affect the blood vessels or the liver and just stay on the skin. The study showed that others could enter the lymphatic system and cause problems to the lymph node. As the skin and the liver are affected by malaria they both have different means by which they are affected. Sporozoites move through the cells in the skin, while in the liver they enter through the blood vessels. SPECT-1, SPECT-2, and a phospholipase are the parasite proteins that were involved in the sporozioite cell. These proteins infected cells that did not rupture the host. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans on the liver cells helped determine if an infection was caused or not. The experiment helped come to conclusion that sporozoites are involved when invaded on the skin, which then cause malaria (Silvie, et al.2008).

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The next set of data showed the liver stage development. The Plasmodium sporozoites are formed into merozoites, which is released into the bloodstream (Silvie, et al.2008). The relationship between the liver stage and the Plasmodium is not really clear therefore causing the liver stage to survive on its own. CSP is in favor for the parasites because it allows the ability to grow. It is shown that parasites can do just fine or even better without some genes. Parasites that lack UIS3 genes, UIS4 genes and Pb36p genes are said to, "display arrested intraphepatocytic development and, more importantly these genes, are able to confer long-lasting, sterile protection against re-infections" (Silvie, et al.2008). The merozoites that are formed by the Plasmodium sporozoites are then in the vesicle called the merosomes. In some rodents, the liver was still present and the merozoites were protected even after they had been infected. However, the scientists concluded that more data needed to be obtained to actually get full knowledge of the Plasmodium.

As the experiment continued, studies of the merozoites entry into the erythrocyte were done. The main objective for the scientists in this part of the experiment was the biochemical and structural data that needed to be obtained. The erythrocyte is invaded by the merozoites. This experiment entails an alternate way to invade the host. The erythrocyte binding antigens bind to other reagents to give an alternative pathway. The scientists give an example of a study done in Kenya to gain a better understanding of all of this. They describe that individuals that have been exposed to malaria have antibodies that block other invasions (Silvie, et al.2008).

Next, they determined that because it was being transferred through the blood vessels the Plasmodium was affecting the red blood cells and becoming detrimental. They state that erythrocytes are not the major role causing this, but rather the absence of endocytic and secretory pathways that cause a problem. Because of this, the parasite is not able to gain its nutrients that it needs. The parasite solves this problem by finding a new home in the host and by expanding their "surface area through formation of a tubovesicular network and by considerable export of a range of remodeling and virulence factors" (Silvie, et al.2008). The Plasmodium export element overlooks the protein export by the parasite in the host's red blood cells. Moving along in the experiment, the scientists gave an example of proteins as a class of kinases. These studies are expected to explain why the host resists some proteins and not others. The scientists also compared this science to cell biological science and observed how the infected red blood cells can affect the host. They came to conclusion that many proteins were needed in this process. Also, for them to get a better understanding on the parasite-host relationship they had to do studies of the PVM. Even though the scientists thought they had a full understanding on the parasite-host interaction, they are now "beginning to understand the level of complexity" (Silvie, et al.2008).

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As stated above, malaria is a detrimental disease. Not only does malaria cause many deaths across the world, but it also causes other diseases such as anaemia. The scientists are still not very clear as to why these diseases are caused by malaria. In this experiment, rodent usage of malaria pathology was very successful and helped the scientists understand the mechanisms behind malaria. It helped them get a better idea on the development of cerebral malaria. They haven't solved all the outcomes of cerebral malaria in mice, such as the requirement of the host complement casades and histamine-mediated signaling but they think they will be solved soon (Silvie, et al.2008). Inhalation of CO and catabolism of HO-1 however, both showed no harm to the mice. "It has been shown that HO-1 and CO play a major role in preventing neuroinflammation in CM" (Silvie, et al.2008). The scientists concluded the study by stating that the host-Plasmodium interactions are dealt with many molecules that play different roles in the life cycle.

I personally believe that the data and research that was done on the mice was thoroughly accomplished. Coming to a conclusion as to where and how the Plasmodium from a mosquito comes about is not easy work. The scientists had many valid points, which led them to a better understanding of the Plasmodium interactions between the host and the parasite. Malaria is a very deadly protozoan and needs to be studied very carefully. The research done in this experiment could possibly go further by extracting it to other animals other than mice and seeing their reactions to all of the tests. Overall, the study that was conducted was very informational and beneficial to future studies that may come.