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Current projects of the Portugal group

 

Exploring asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum: Targeting the dry season reservoir of infection

The project aims to explore the biology of asymptomatic P. falciparum parasites and its interactions with the human host during the dry season that ensure that the parasite is not cleared and can be transmitted in the next transmission season. The main interests are: 1) Compare the properties and function of P. falciparum parasites from asymptomatic individuals during the dry season versus symptomatic individuals during the malaria season; 2) Determine the kinetics of gametocyte carriage throughout the dry season; and 3) scrutinize internal signals and/or environmental cues promoting proliferation and gametocytogenesis when the mosquito vector returns during the rainy season.

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