The interaction between the malaria parasite and the red cell membrane
Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 17(4): 635-641
The malaria parasite intimately interacts with the host red cell membrane throughout the cycle of invasion and intracellular development. Direct interaction between the merozoite surface and the red cell membrane involves specific binding between the surface components of both cells, which leads to the subsequent endocytotic process still incompletely understood. Intracellular development of the parasite is accompanied by various changes in the structure and function of red cell membrane components. Some changes may benefit parasite survival while others trigger host immune response. An understanding of both the direct interaction between the surface components of the parasite and the red cell during invasion, and the subsequent changes in the red cell membrane following invasion, should lead to better ways of controlling malaria.