Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
CONTRERAS-OCHOA, Carla and RAMSEY, Janine M. Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte stages are neglected in vaccine development. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2004, vol.46, n.1, pp. 64-70. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342004000100009.
Plasmodium gametocytes are responsible for transmission from the vertebrate host to the mosquito. Plasmodium gametocytes undergo a complex cycle from asexual stages, through a poorly understood process characterized by expression of stage-specific proteins and adhesion molecules. Gametocytes are capable of inducing specific humoral IgG, and cellular responses, which include induction of TNFa, IFNg and gd+ lymphocyte proliferation, in addition to immune responses to other stages of the parasite (sporozoite, exo-erythrocytic stages, erythrocytic stages). Although transmission-blocking vaccines against Plasmodium do not currently include components against the gametocytes (rather they focus on gametes, zygotes or ookinetes, stages which occur in the mosquito), further understanding of the mechanisms underlying gametocytogenesis and immune responses against these stages may provide additional strategies for more effective transmission inhibition.
Keywords : Plasmodium; gametocytes; immune response; vaccines.