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How the Parasite Gets Its Food

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Science  16 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5315, pp. 1031
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5315.1031

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Summary

By hiding in red blood cells, the Plasmodium parasite helps protect itself from attack by the body's immune system and by many drugs. But its sequestered location is a problem when it comes to getting nutrients, because the red blood cell is little more than a sack of hemoglobin. Now, results published in this issue (p. 1122) are helping explain how Plasmodium imports its food. As previously suspected, the parasite acquires at least some of its nutrients through a series of tubules and vesicles it constructs throughout the red blood cell.