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Centre d'Immunologie et des Maladies Infectieuses
UPMC UMRS CR7 - Inserm U1135 - CNRS ERL 8255

Molecular Biology and Immunology of Malaria Liver Infection - Olivier SILVIE

Team members

Team Research Program

Our work is dedicated to the study of malaria pre-erythrocytic stages, focusing on the mechanisms of sporozoite entry and regulation of liver stage development. Plasmodium sporozoites are transmitted by a mosquito vector, and first infect hepatocytes, where they develop inside a specialized compartment, the parasitophorous vacuole, into thousands of erythrocyte-infective merozoites.

We have shown that Plasmodium sporozoites can use different pathways to infect hepatocytes. Using a combination of genetic, imaging, biochemical and structural approaches, we are now studying the role of parasite and host factors in the formation of the parasitophorous vacuole, and how candidate sporozoite ligands contribute to the differential usage of host entry pathways.

We are also interested in the regulation of parasite gene expression during transmission from the mosquito vector to the mammalian host. In this context, we investigate the impact of developmental regulation of antigen expression on the induction of protective immunity against liver stages.

Our long-term goal is to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of Plasmodium sporozoite invasion and liver stage development, in order to develop novel vaccine approaches against malaria liver infection.

Technical expertise

Study of Plasmodium pre-erythrocytic stages, gene targeting in Plasmodium, RNA interference, biochemistry, mass spectrometry, structural biology

Main achievements

  • First identification of a host factor required for Plasmodium entry into hepatocytes.
  • Identification by reverse genetics of parasite factors controlling sporozoite conversion to liver stages
  • Identification of post-transcriptional control mechanisms in Plasmodium sporozoites
  • Development of novel malaria vaccine approaches based on live attenuated parasites
  • Development of a novel method for the rapid selection of genetically modified parasites

External funding (current)

  • ANR (2012-2020) : LabEx ParaFrap
  • Région Ile de France (2012-2015) : DIM Malinf
  • FP7 (2012-2016) : CIG Marie Curie Actions
  • FP7 (2012-2016) : Collaborative Project, PathCO consortium
  • ANR (2010-2013) : Retour Post-docs, Projet MaLI

Publications (PDF):

(2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013)


Traductions :


cimi-paris @ upmc.fr

To see

Key words

Malaria, Plasmodium, pre-erythrocytic stages, hepatocyte, experimental genetics, immunity, structural biology

Fields of application

Pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccines.