Plasmodium knowlesi is the fifth species identified to cause malaria in humans and is often misdiagnosed as Plasmodium malariae due to morphological similarities. The development of an inexpensive, serological detection method utilizing antibodies specific to P. knowlesi would be a valuable tool for diagnosis. However, the identification of specific antigens for these parasites remains a major challenge for generating such assays. In this study, surface protein containing an altered thrombospondin repeat domain (SPATR) was selected as a potentially specific antigen from P. knowlesi. Its multistage expression by sporozoites, asexual erythrocytic forms and gametocytes, along with its possible role in liver cell invasion, suggests that SPATR could be used as a biomarker for diagnosis of P. knowlesi.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.