Pathogens secrete factors to manipulate their hosts by diverting host pathways to facilitate infection. Malaria parasites are masters of their own survival, capable of drastic changes during their lifecycle. While it is clear that sophisticated strategies of Plasmodium sensing and manipulation of their hosts exist; their nature and activity remains largely unknown. Our preliminary results suggest that malaria parasites produce “armed exosomes” to deliver molecules harboring potential signals for modulating host target cells.
In our laboratory we begin to unravel the complex mutual interactions between Plasmodium falciparum and their hosts. We use imaging, molecular genetics, biochemistry and cell biology approaches to investigate different host responses.