Sporozoite-induced malaria: therapeutic effects of glycolipids in liposomes

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Science  14 Sep 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4411, pp. 1142-1144
DOI: 10.1126/science.382358


Liposomes containing neutral glycolipids with a terminal glucose or galactose, when injected intravenously, prevented the appearance of erythrocytic forms of malaria (Plasmodium berghei) in mice previously injected with sporozoites. Inhibitory glycolipids included glucosyl, galactosyl, or lactosyl ceramide. Inhibition was not observed with liposomes containing ceramide, phosphocholine ceramide, sulfogalactosyl ceramide (sulfatide), or ganglioside GM1. Liposomes containing glycolipids did not inhibit infection transmitted by injecting blood containing erythrocytic stages of malaria. These results may have therapeutic implications in the treatment of malaria. Analysis of the mechanism of interference with the life cycle of malaria by liposomal glycolipids may yield information about the interactions of parasites with cellular membranes.