Upon entering their host, Plasmodium sporozoites travel directly to the liver. Once there, they migrate through several hepatocytes before they infect a final one. During migration, sporozoites breach the plasma membrane of traversed hepatocytes, but to infect they must form a parasitophorous vacuole, in which the intra-hepatic form of the parasite grows and multiplies. During this period there is a remarkable parasite multiplication, but little is known about the requirements and strategies that are developed to be successful. Hepatocyte growth factor and its receptor on hepatocytes might enhance early Plasmodium development within these cells. We anticipate that this might be the basis for further studies on host-cell requirements for Plasmodium development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas