Culture of exoerythrocytic stages of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.
The two most prevalent human malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, cause the majority of malaria-related morbidity and mortality. Compared with our knowledge about the erythrocytic stages, we understand little about the liver exoerythrocytic (EE) stages of the human malaria parasites. Our recent development of a hepatocyte line from normal human liver tissue is crucial for successful culturing of the liver stages of both P. falciparum and P. vivax. This technical advancement should be an important tool for directly studying developmental biology of the EE stages of the human malaria parasites and developing drugs against parasite liver stages.