Molecular genetic approaches to malaria research

Brendan Elsworth, Mauro F Azevedo, Brendan S. Crabb, Paul R. Gilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Understanding of the basic biology, pathogenesis, and transmission of Plasmodium falciparum at the cellular and molecular levels has dramatically improved since methods to transfect parasites were first developed. Established during the 1990s and refined further ever since, the ability to introduce recombinant DNA into P. falciparum and other Plasmodium species, particularly those infecting rodents, has enabled us to modify endogenous gene loci to study their functions at different stages of the parasite's lifecycle. The ability to modify the expression of essential genes in a controlled manner, the conditional knockdown approach, offers the opportunity to understand the function of essential proteins in the disease-causing blood stage of the lifecycle. These approaches are still being developed, but even as they are they offer a great opportunity to understand the function of proteins that are essential to blood-stage growth, information that will help prioritize these proteins as targets for further drug and vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Advances in Malaria
EditorsDeepak Gaur, Chetan E. Chitnis, Virander S. Chauhan
Place of PublicationHoboken NJ USA
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781118493816
ISBN (Print)9781118493793
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellular levels
  • Drug development
  • Molecular levels
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Recombinant DNA
  • Vaccine development

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