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MaHPIC Model Systems

Model systems used by the MaHPIC

The malaria parasite has a complex relationship with its hosts and this complexity makes it very difficult to fight the malaria disease.  To address this problem, MaHPIC scientists are examining the malaria infection in non-human primate models that are susceptible or refractory to different malaria parasites, or that display relapse or recrudescence (blood infections from the activation of dormant liver-stage parasites called hypnozoites, or a rise in a low level of parasites already present in the blood, respectively). 

Three nonhuman primate malaria species have been currently studied: P. coatneyito model P. falciparum, P. cynomolgito model P. vivax, and P. knowlesi, a monkey malaria species that has been causing illness and cases of death in humans in Southeast Asia. The MaHPIC project  also includes New World owl monkeys (Aotus), which are susceptible to infection by the most predominant human malaria species, Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax.  The primates to be studied by MaHPIC investigators are depicted in the image above.