Ultrastructure of the erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium malariae.
Atkinson CT., Aikawa M., Rock EP., Marsh K., Andrysiak PM., Campbell GH., Collins WE., Howard RJ.
This report describes the fine structure of the erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium malariae. Erythrocytic parasites from a naturally acquired human infection and an experimentally infected chimpanzee were morphologically indistinguishable and structurally similar to other primate malarias. New findings included observations of highly structured arrays of merozoite surface coat proteins in the cytoplasm of early schizonts and on the surface of budding merozoites and the presence of knobs in the membranes of Maurer's clefts. Morphological evidence is presented suggesting that proteins are transported between the erythrocyte surface and intracellular parasites via two routes: one associated with Maurer's clefts for transport of membrane-associated knob material and a second associated with caveolae in the host cell membrane for the import or export of host- or parasite-derived substances through the erythrocyte cytoplasm.