Transcriptomic approaches for identifying potential transmission blocking vaccine candidates in Plasmodium falciparum: a review of current knowledge and future directions

Gutthedhar Varijakshi, Mallya Divya, Akshay Pramod Ware, Bobby Paul, Abdul Vahab Saadi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Utilizing transcriptomics, promising methods for identifying unique genes associated with Plasmodium gametocyte development offer a potential avenue for novel candidate targets in transmission blocking vaccine development. In this review, we identified 40 publicly available transcriptomic datasets related to parasite factors linked with sexual stage transmission, from which we analyzed two RNA-Seq datasets to identify potential genes crucial for the transmission of P. falciparum from humans to mosquito vectors. Differential expression analysis revealed 3500 (2489 upregulated and 1011 downregulated) common genes differentially expressed throughout sexual stage development of P. falciparum occurring in both humans (gametocyte stage II, V) and mosquitoes (ookinete). Among which 1283 (914 upregulated and 369 downregulated) and 826 (719 upregulated and 107 downregulated) genes were specific to female and male gametocytes, respectively. Also, 830 potential transition associated genes were identified that may be involved in the adaptation and survival of the parasite in between human and mosquito stages. Additionally, we reviewed the functional aspects of important genes highly expressed throughout the sexual stage pathway and evaluated their suitability as vaccine candidates. The review provides researchers with insight into the importance of publicly available transcriptomic datasets for identifying critical and novel gametocyte markers that may aid in the development of rational transmission blocking strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number344
Journal3 Biotech
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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