Toll-like receptor 7 mediates early innate immune responses to malaria. Innate immune recognition of malaria parasites is the critical first step in the development of the host response. At present, Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) is thought to play a central role in sensing malaria infection. However, we and others have observed that Tlr9(-/-) mice, in contrast to mice deficient in the downstream adaptor, Myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MYD88), exhibit few deficiencies in immune function during early infection with the malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi, implying that another MYD88-dependent receptor also contributes to the antimalarial response. Here we use candidate-based screening to identify TLR7 as a key sensor of early P. chabaudi infection.
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