Research Topic

Molecular Basis of Stage Conversion in Apicomplexan Parasites

About this Research Topic

The Apicomplexa comprise a large phylum of parasitic protozoa of medical and veterinary importance, causing deadly diseases such as malaria, cryptosporidiosis, neosporosis and toxoplasmosis, among others. While all the parasites in this phylum are obligate intracellular, they transition through multiple life forms allowing them to adapt to different host niches such as different cell and tissue types, nutritional environments and temperature changes. Many parasites in the phylum require definitive hosts for sexual admixing and may require vectorial transmission to complete their life cycles, while others are able to survive entirely within the same host.

Apicomplexa switch from intra- to extracellular environments, encysted slow-dividing forms, inaccessible to the immune system, to fast-dividing forms exposed to immunity, motile to non-motile, accompanied both by morphological and metabolic changes. A relatively small gene repertoire provides the parasites with the flexibility required for survival, persistence, and transmission, byways of complex and redundant systems. Our understanding of the molecular basis of stage transition regulation has only recently begun to emerge providing new avenues for intervention. In this Research Topic, we welcome articles related to molecular aspects of stage conversion in Apicomplexans.


Keywords: Apicomplexa, Stage transition, Genetics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The Apicomplexa comprise a large phylum of parasitic protozoa of medical and veterinary importance, causing deadly diseases such as malaria, cryptosporidiosis, neosporosis and toxoplasmosis, among others. While all the parasites in this phylum are obligate intracellular, they transition through multiple life forms allowing them to adapt to different host niches such as different cell and tissue types, nutritional environments and temperature changes. Many parasites in the phylum require definitive hosts for sexual admixing and may require vectorial transmission to complete their life cycles, while others are able to survive entirely within the same host.

Apicomplexa switch from intra- to extracellular environments, encysted slow-dividing forms, inaccessible to the immune system, to fast-dividing forms exposed to immunity, motile to non-motile, accompanied both by morphological and metabolic changes. A relatively small gene repertoire provides the parasites with the flexibility required for survival, persistence, and transmission, byways of complex and redundant systems. Our understanding of the molecular basis of stage transition regulation has only recently begun to emerge providing new avenues for intervention. In this Research Topic, we welcome articles related to molecular aspects of stage conversion in Apicomplexans.


Keywords: Apicomplexa, Stage transition, Genetics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

19 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

19 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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