Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In infectious diseases, extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from a pathogen or pathogen-infected cells can transfer pathogen-derived biomolecules, especially proteins, to target cells and consequently regulate these target cells. For example, malaria is an important tropical infectious disease caused by Plasmodium spp. Previous studies have identified the roles of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cell-derived EVs (Pf-EVs) in the pathogenesis, activation, and modulation of host immune responses. This study investigated the proteomic profiles of Pf-EVs isolated from four P. falciparum strains. We also compared the proteomes of EVs from (i) different EV types (microvesicles and exosomes) and (ii) different parasite growth stages (early- and late-stage). The proteomic analyses revealed that the human proteins carried in the Pf-EVs were specific to the type of Pf-EVs. By contrast, most of the P. falciparum proteins carried in Pf-EVs were common across all types of Pf-EVs. As the proteomics results revealed that Pf-EVs contained invasion-associated proteins, the effect of Pf-EVs on parasite invasion was also investigated. Surprisingly, the attenuation of parasite invasion efficiency was found with the addition of Pf-MVs. Moreover, this effect was markedly increased in culture-adapted isolates compared with laboratory reference strains. Our evidence supports the concept that Pf-EVs play a role in quorum sensing, which leads to parasite growth-density regulation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Med

Publication Date





Plasmodium falciparum, extracellular vesicles, invasion, malaria, proteomics