When a malaria parasite invades a host erythrocyte it pushes itself in and invaginates a portion of the host membrane, thereby sealing itself inside and establishing itself in the resulting vacuole. The parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) that surrounds the parasite is modified by the parasite, using its secretory organelles. To survive within this enveloping membrane, the organism must take in nutrients, secrete wastes, export proteins into the host cell, and eventually egress. Here, we review current understanding of the unique solutions Plasmodium has evolved to these challenges and discuss the remaining questions.
- parasitophorous vacuole