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Extracellular vesicles in the regulation of host-pathogen interactions during malaria pathogenesis.

Director of thesis Pierre-Yves Mantel
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

Malaria remains one of the major global health challenges, drug resistance to treatment is on the rise and no vaccine is in sight. It is therefore urgent to further investigate the fundamental biological mechanisms that govern parasite physiology to develop new therapeutics. A novel and promising approach are to focus on cellular communication, which mainly takes place using extracellular vesicles. Plasmodium parasite causing malaria has developed ways to communicate as a group, to sense its microenvironment and tailor it. Efficient cellular communication is mandatory for successful infection and understanding this communication can allow us to develop new detection methods and cures that interfere with it. Yet how the parasite “talks” in real conditions remains a mystery. Do iRBC EVs target specific tissues and organs? What are the cellular targets of iRBC EVs? How does this communication contribute to the development of the disease? we would like to address the functions of Ev's role in cellular communication under physiological conditions. In malaria, it is believed that EVs are important in immune regulation and in parasite to parasite signaling. However, so far, the biological function of EV transfer is mainly studied by characterizing EVs isolated from cell cultures in vitro. Unfortunately, this does not reflect the localization, concentration and continuous nature of EV release in an in vivo setting, and it cannot discriminate individual cells that have or have not received functional EV cargo.

Status middle
Administrative delay for the defence 2023