Basigin is a druggable target for host-oriented antimalarial interventions.

Zenon A Zenonos, Sara K Dummler, Nicole Müller-Sienerth, Jianzhu Chen, Peter R Preiser, Julian C Rayner, Gavin J Wright

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Plasmodium falciparum is the parasite responsible for the most lethal form of malaria, an infectious disease that causes a large proportion of childhood deaths and poses a significant barrier to socioeconomic development in many countries. Although antimalarial drugs exist, the repeated emergence and spread of drug-resistant parasites limit their useful lifespan. An alternative strategy that could limit the evolution of drug-resistant parasites is to target host factors that are essential and universally required for parasite growth. Host-targeted therapeutics have been successfully applied in other infectious diseases but have never been attempted for malaria. Here, we report the development of a recombinant chimeric antibody (Ab-1) against basigin, an erythrocyte receptor necessary for parasite invasion as a putative antimalarial therapeutic. Ab-1 inhibited the PfRH5-basigin interaction and potently blocked erythrocyte invasion by all parasite strains tested. Importantly, Ab-1 rapidly cleared an established P. falciparum blood-stage infection with no overt toxicity in an in vivo infection model. Collectively, our data demonstrate that antibodies or other therapeutics targeting host basigin could be an effective treatment for patients infected with multi-drug resistant P. falciparum. © 2015 Zenonos et al.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1145-1151
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of experimental medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2015


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