A song for the unsung: The relevance of Plasmodium vinckei as a laboratory rodent malaria systemMore about Open Access at the Crick
Rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) allow the study of malaria parasite biology across its entire life cycle through a vertebrate host and a mosquito vector under laboratory conditions. Among the four RMPs originally collected from wild thicket rats in sub-Saharan Central Africa and adapted to laboratory mice, Plasmodium vinckei has the largest geographical range and includes the largest number of sub-species, demonstrating its deep genetic diversity. Despite affording the same advantages as other RMP species and additionally displaying a large degree of phenotypic and genotypic diversity, P. vinckei has seen limited use in the laboratory. Here, we review the contribution of P. vinckei to our understanding of malaria and highlight the areas where it could offer an advantage over other RMP species in future studies.
Journal Parasitology International