Modeling malaria in humanized mice: Opportunities and challenges

Evelyn Siu, Alexander Ploss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


About half of the world is at risk for developing malaria, which killed over 600,000 people in 2012 alone. The limited host range of the Plasmodium species that cause malaria in humans poses challenges for studying these parasites in experimentally tractable in vivo systems. To address this challenge, humanized mice have been constructed in which the tissue compartments relevant to the mammalian stages of plasmodial parasites are humanized. The development of human liver chimeric mice, human erythroid chimeric mice, and dually engrafted mice now allows for faithful replication of the entire Plasmodium falciparum life cycle. Although refinements to these models are still needed, humanized mice provide a promising small-animal model to study development of P. falciparum and, conceivably, other human malarial parasite species, and may also aid in drug and vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • History and Philosophy of Science


  • Humanized mice
  • Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum


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