Research + Discoveries

Derbyshire Lab Targets Malaria Prevention

A recent collaborative effort between the Derbyshire lab at Duke, Benoît Witkowski’s lab at the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, and Dennis Kyle’s lab at the University of Georgia, Athens revealed that Plasmodium vivax, the leading cause of malaria morbidity, co-opts host aquaporin-3 (AQP3). Human AQP3 is recruited to the host-pathogen interface during the infection of liver and blood cells, including elusive dormant liver stage parasites and ex vivo blood isolates. Chemical inhibition of this protein suggests that it is important for dormant and actively replicating malaria parasites. These discoveries uncover a role for host AQP3 in P. vivax liver and blood stages and suggests it may be a target for prevention and treatment of vivax malaria. Learn more about this fascinating work in Cell Chemical Biology, available here.