Plasmodium falciparum extracellular vesicles in malaria pathogenesis and immunity
Dr Abdirahman Abdi
KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme
Small bubble-like sacs called extracellular vesicles transfer materials from one cell to another, where their contents act as cellular messages that influence the recipient cells. The malaria parasite causes disease by infecting its host’s red blood cells (RBCs). It also damages non-infected RBCs contributing to complications of severe malaria, such as anaemia and inflammation in immune cells and endothelial cells.
I will study this process by describing the molecular contents of malaria extracellular vesicles and investigating the impact of extracellular vesicles on host cells, including non-infected RBCs. I will also investigate whether extracellular vesicles are targets for host immune responses that may protect children against disease.
My findings may help develop novel targets to prevent the transmission of malaria or prevent the ill effects of severe malaria.
This grant was awarded under the scheme's previous name of Intermediate Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.