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The ins and outs of sporozoite biology in the dermis

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Plasmodium sporozoites are inoculated by infected mosquitoes into the dermis of the mammalian host. Once in the skin, sporozoites use gliding motility to move within the dermis and find a blood vessel. They then breach the endothelial barrier, enter the bloodstream and go to the liver. Several mutants that we have generated as well as recent antibody-inhibition studies suggest that the skin is a bottleneck for the parasite and possibly one of our best opportunities to intervene. Using the rodent malaria model, we have begun to analyze sporozoite movement in the skin and the innate immune response to sporozoites delivered by mosquito bite. These data and their relevance to the malaria vaccine effort will be discussed.

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Correspondence to Photini Sinnis.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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  • Immune Response
  • Infectious Disease
  • Blood Vessel
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium


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