Development of humanized mouse models to study human malaria parasite infection

Ashley M. Vaughan, Stefan H.I. Kappe, Alexander Ploss, Sebastian A. Mikolajczak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Malaria is a disease caused by infection with Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted by mosquito bite. Five different species of Plasmodium infect humans with severe disease, but human malaria is primarily caused by Plasmodium falciparum. The burden of malaria on the developing world is enormous, and a fully protective vaccine is still elusive. One of the biggest challenges in the quest for the development of new antimalarial drugs and vaccines is the lack of accessible animal models to study P. falciparum infection because the parasite is restricted to the great apes and human hosts. Here, we review the current state of research in this field and provide an outlook of the development of humanized small animal models to study P. falciparum infection that will accelerate fundamental research into human parasite biology and could accelerate drug and vaccine design in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-665
Number of pages9
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology


  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • animal model
  • blood stage
  • humanized mice
  • infectious disease
  • liver stage
  • malaria


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