Plasmodium vivax hypnozoites persist in the liver, cause malaria relapse and represent a major challenge to malaria elimination. Our previous transcriptomic study provided a novel molecular framework to enhance our understanding of the hypnozoite biology (Voorberg-van der Wel A, et al., 2017). In this dataset, we identified and characterized the Liver-Specific Protein 2 (LISP2) protein as an early molecular marker of liver stage development. Immunofluorescence analysis of hepatocytes infected with relapsing malaria parasites, in vitro (P. cynomolgi) and in vivo (P. vivax), reveals that LISP2 expression discriminates between dormant hypnozoites and early developing parasites. We further demonstrate that prophylactic drugs selectively kill all LISP2 positive parasites, while LISP2 negative hypnozoites are only sensitive to anti-relapse drug tafenoquine. Our results provide novel biological insights in the initiation of liver stage schizogony and an early marker suitable for the development of drug discovery assays predictive of anti-relapse activity.
All data generated during the study are submitted as supplementary source files.
Malaria Liver Stages TranscriptomeNCBI Sequence Read Archive, SRP096160.
- Guglielmo Roma
- Clemens H M Kocken
- Thierry Tidiane Diagana
- Sebastian A Mikolajczak
Funders have no role in the design of the study.
Animal experimentation: Ethics statement included in the method section of the manuscript.
- Urszula Krzych, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, United States
© 2019, Gupta et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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Neutrophils are essential for host defense against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The neuro-repellent, SLIT2, potently inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis, and might, therefore, be expected to impair antibacterial responses. We report here that, unexpectedly, neutrophils exposed to the N-terminal SLIT2 (N-SLIT2) fragment kill extracellular S. aureus more efficiently. N-SLIT2 amplifies reactive oxygen species production in response to the bacteria by activating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase that in turn phosphorylates NCF1, an essential subunit of the NADPH oxidase complex. N-SLIT2 also enhances the exocytosis of neutrophil secondary granules. In a murine model of S. aureus skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI), local SLIT2 levels fall initially but increase subsequently, peaking at 3 days after infection. Of note, the neutralization of endogenous SLIT2 worsens SSTI. Temporal fluctuations in local SLIT2 levels may promote neutrophil recruitment and retention at the infection site and hasten bacterial clearance by augmenting neutrophil oxidative burst and degranulation. Collectively, these actions of SLIT2 coordinate innate immune responses to limit susceptibility to S. aureus.