Probing Parasite-Host Interactions 3

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two worm-like strands colored purple and aqua, on a gray background

Azza H. Idris, David V. Mankus, Meghan Marquette, Margret Bisher, Abigail Lytton-Jean, Sandra March, Robert Seder, Sangeeta Bhatia

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two worm-like strands colored purple and aqua, on a gray background

The image captures a malaria parasite with its outer protein coat being stripped as a result of antibodies binding.  When antibodies bind to this coat protein on the surface of the malaria parasite, they cross-link the protein, which induces the shedding of the outer surface coat.  Similar to a snake shedding its skin, the coat forms a hollow structure which collects at the posterior (back) end of the parasite.  The image was taken to gain understanding of the mechanisms underlying parasite-host interactions.