Published online Mar 26, 2016. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v8.i3.88
Peer-review started: August 28, 2015
First decision: December 4, 2015
Revised: January 8, 2016
Accepted: January 27, 2016
Article in press: January 29, 2016
Published online: March 26, 2016
The recent development of stem cell research and the possibility of generating cells that can be stably and permanently modified in their genome open a broad horizon in the world of in vitro modeling. The malaria field is gaining new opportunities from this important breakthrough and novel tools were adapted and opened new frontiers for malaria research. In addition to the new in vitro systems, in recent years there were also significant advances in the development of new animal models that allows studying the entire cell cycle of human malaria. In this paper, we review the different protocols available to study human Plasmodium species either by using stem cell or alternative animal models.
Core tip: To better understand Plasmodium biology, researchers can whether proceed to in vitro studies or use in vivo models. Thanks to recent progresses, stem cells have been extensively employed to study Plasmodium liver and blood cycle in vitro. In parallel, the development of animal models opened new opportunities to study parasite biology in vivo. In this review, I go through and discuss the different available protocols using stem cells for modeling malaria in vitro as well as available animal models. This review has for goal to decipher which system would be the more suitable to study the parasite biology.