Biology of Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte sex ratio and implications in malaria parasite transmission

Noëlie Béré Henry, Samuel Sindié Sermé, Giulia Siciliano, Salif Sombié, Amidou Diarra, N'Fale Sagnon, Alfred S. Traoré, Sodiomon Bienvenu Sirima, Issiaka Soulama, Pietro Alano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


While significant advances have been made in understanding Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte biology and its relationship with malaria parasite transmission, the gametocyte sex ratio contribution to this process still remains a relevant research question. The present review discusses the biology of sex determination in P. falciparum, the underlying host and parasite factors, the sex specific susceptibility to drugs, the effect of sex ratio dynamics on malaria parasite transmission and the development of gametocyte sex specific diagnosis tools. Despite the inherent differences across several studies and approaches, the emerging picture highlights a potentially relevant contribution of the P. falciparum gametocyte sex ratio in the modulation of malaria parasite transmission. The increasing availability of molecular methods to measure gametocyte sex ratio will enable evaluation of important parameters, such as the impact of drug treatment on gametocyte sex ratio in vitro and in vivo as well as the changes of gametocyte sex ratios in natural infections, key steps towards elucidating how these parameters affect parasite infectiousness to the mosquito vectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 12 2019


  • Antimalarial drugs
  • Gametocyte
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Sex ratio
  • Transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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