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Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) for malaria are restricted to a few biomarkers and antibody-mediated detection. However, the expression of commonly used biomarkers varies geographically and the sensibility of immunodetection can be affected by batch-to-batch differences or limited thermal stability. In this study we aimed to overcome these limitations by identifying a potential biomarker and by developing molecular sensors based on aptamer technology. Using gene expression databases, ribosome profiling analysis, and structural modeling, we find that the High Mobility Group Box 1 protein (HMGB1) of Plasmodium falciparum is highly expressed, structurally stable, and present along all blood-stages of P. falciparum infection. To develop biosensors, we used in vitro evolution techniques to produce DNA aptamers for the recombinantly expressed HMG-box, the conserved domain of HMGB1. An evolutionary approach for evaluating the dynamics of aptamer populations suggested three predominant aptamer motifs. Representatives of the aptamer families were tested for binding parameters to the HMG-box domain using microscale thermophoresis and rapid kinetics. Dissociation constants of the aptamers varied over two orders of magnitude between nano- and micromolar ranges while the aptamer-HMG-box interaction occurred in a few seconds. The specificity of aptamer binding to the HMG-box of P. falciparum compared to its human homolog depended on pH conditions. Altogether, our study proposes HMGB1 as a candidate biomarker and a set of sensing aptamers that can be further developed into rapid diagnostic tests for P. falciparum detection.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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A genus of protozoa that comprise the malaria parasites of mammals. Four species infect humans (although occasional infections with primate malarias may occur). These are PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM; PLASMODIUM MALARIAE; PLASMODIUM OVALE, and PLASMODIUM VIVAX. Species causing infection in vertebrates other than man include: PLASMODIUM BERGHEI; PLASMODIUM CHABAUDI; P. vinckei, and PLASMODIUM YOELII in rodents; P. brasilianum, PLASMODIUM CYNOMOLGI; and PLASMODIUM KNOWLESI in monkeys; and PLASMODIUM GALLINACEUM in chickens.
A surface protein found on Plasmodium species which induces a T-cell response. The antigen is polymorphic, sharing amino acid sequence homology among PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM; PLASMODIUM CHABAUDI; PLASMODIUM VIVAX; and PLASMODIUM YOELII.
A species of protozoa that is the causal agent of falciparum malaria (MALARIA, FALCIPARUM). It is most prevalent in the tropics and subtropics.
A protozoan disease caused in humans by four species of the PLASMODIUM genus: PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM; PLASMODIUM VIVAX; PLASMODIUM OVALE; and PLASMODIUM MALARIAE; and transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito of the genus ANOPHELES. Malaria is endemic in parts of Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Oceania, and certain Caribbean islands. It is characterized by extreme exhaustion associated with paroxysms of high FEVER; SWEATING; shaking CHILLS; and ANEMIA. Malaria in ANIMALS is caused by other species of plasmodia.
Malaria caused by PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM. This is the severest form of malaria and is associated with the highest levels of parasites in the blood. This disease is characterized by irregularly recurring febrile paroxysms that in extreme cases occur with acute cerebral, renal, or gastrointestinal manifestations.
Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...
Malaria is a serious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. If malaria is not diagnosed and treated promptly, it can be fatal. What causes malaria? Malaria is caused by a type of parasite known as Plasmodium. There are many different types of Plasmod...