Intracellular amastigotes of the Chagas disease agent Trypanosoma cruzi can spontaneously enter an extended state of replicative dormancy, during which time they are resistant to drug treatment both in vitro and in vivo.
Natural variation for an adaptively important life history trait is largely due to variation at a single, major-effect locus with multiple alleles, demonstrating that not all complex traits are massively polygenic.
This comprehensive transcriptomic resource of dormant and replicating malaria liver parasites highlights the dearth of pathways that operate in the hypnozoites and the need to investigate druggability (i.e. selectivity and safety) of core pathways in malaria parasites.
Transcriptome profiling of malaria liver-stage parasites provides unprecedented knowledge on genes and pathways expressed in truly dormant hypnozoites and indicates that dormancy is associated with a switch in energy metabolism.