Hub members Have many expertise, covering most of the fields in bioinformatics and biostatistics. You'll find below a non-exhaustive list of these expertise
Searched keyword : Plasmodium falciparum
Related people (0)Sorry nobody has this skill yet...
Related projects (4)
Mining the Plasmodium genome to identify novel blood stage antigens for use as malaria vaccine candidates
Malaria remains a major problem in many tropical countries with Plasmodium falciparum accounting for up to 1 million deaths, primarily in infants and children residing in endemic areas of sub-Saharan Africa. P. vivax, the other important species for human malaria is geographically more widespread and causes 80-100 million cases of malaria each year. All the pathology related to malaria is attributed to the blood stage of the parasite life cycle during which Plasmodium merozoites invade and multiply within host erythrocytes. We are interested in understanding the process of RBC invasion by malaria parasites at the molecular level with the goal of blocking their interaction with antibodies to inhibit invasion and kill the parasite. The first generation of recombinant blood stage malaria vaccine candidates based on antigens such as the merozoite surface protein (MSP1) and apical merozoite antigen-1 (AMA01) have been tested in field trials and failed to provide any efficacy against P. falciparum malaria. There is thus an urgent need to identify novel parasite antigens that play a role in invasion and can serve as vaccine candidates that elicit strong antibody responses that block blood stage parasite growth. In this project, we propose to mine the P. falciparum and P. vivax genome databases using bio-informatic tools to identify potential, novel blood stage invasion related parasite antigens that can serve as potential candidates for blood stage malara vaccines. Criteria such as expression profile, presence of conserved domains in orthologs from related plasmodium species, limited polymorphisms in field isolates, interaction with other invasion related proteins and localization to apical organelles or merozoite surface will be used to interrogate P. falciparum and P. vivax genome sequence data and identify potential invasion related antigens that will be selected for validation as vaccine candidates for malaria.
Background: PLA2 is known to regulate vesicle secretion in diverse eukaryotic cells. We are interested in determining the putative role of PLA2 in secretion of apical vesicular organelles called micronemes and rhoptries in P. falciparum merozoites. PLA2 inhibitors such as 4-BPB are known to block growth of the related Apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. There are 3 annotated PLA2 genes in the P. falciparum genome database (Pf3D70209100, PF3D71358000, PF3D70924000). We would like to analyze these putative PLA2 genes using bioinformatics to support our drug development studies.
Prediction of RNA-RNA interactions between a family of GC-rich ncRNAs and nascent transcripts of virulence genes in Plasmodium falciparum
In Plasmodium falciparum a virulence gene family with 60 var genes codes for the PfEMP1 surface proteins, which undergo antigenic variation. This epigenetically controlled mechanism promotes immune evasion of the parasite. As ncRNAs are emerging as relevant regulators of gene expression we are investigating a GC-rich ncRNA gene family consisting of 15 highly homologous members all positioned next to var gene clusters. We recently found that GC-rich ncRNA transcript associates with the distinct nuclear expression site in which a single var gene is transcribed. We hypothesize that GC-rich ncRNAs interact with the nascent mRNA of var virulence genes. We intend to predict potential RNA-RNA interaction with thermodynamic calculation provided by the RNAup software. In silico prediction of potential binding sites and strength of interaction will help to generate hypotheses and inform our further experimental design.
Antimalarial drug resistance in Africa: A comprehensive molecular analysis of the emergence of artemisinin resistant parasites in Africa
We are involved, in collboration with the WHO, in the SaMARA which aims at detecting the emergence of antimalarial drug resistance in Africa. Samples (dried blood spots) are collected from the Nantio