Transcriptomics of malaria host-pathogen interactions in primates
Lee, Kevin Joseph
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Malaria is a pernicious disease that has greatly impacted and continues to affect the human population. While much research has been performed to understand the underlying nature of this disease, gaps in the knowledge-base persist. In order to address these deficiencies, a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional project has been funded to study the systems biology of the host pathogen interaction during malaria infection in both humans and non-human primates. In the course of investigating the transcriptome during two 100-day experiments in Macaca mulatta, this work elucidated many of the underlying molecular pathways of the host and parasite that are affected by antimalarial drugs, as well as through host-pathogen interactions. The malaria-disease-related host pathways are related to, not surprisingly, immune-associated signalling and hematopoesis, and the altered parasite pathways demonstrate an association between disease severity and parasite life stage abundance. Continuing integration of this research with other data-types collected during the course of these experiments will improve our understanding of malaria systems biology and improve targeted malaria therapies.