Elimination of Hepatic Rodent Plasmodium Parasites by Amino Acid Supplementation

Patrícia Meireles, Daniela Brás, Diana Fontinha, Ângelo F. Chora, Karine Serre, António M. Mendes*, Miguel Prudêncio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Plasmodium parasites, causative agents of malaria, scavenge host nutrients to sustain their intracellular replication. Modulation of the host's nutritional status can potentially help control infection by limiting the parasite's access to nutrients, or by boosting the immune system. Here, we show that dietary supplementation of mice employing a combination of arginine (R) with two additional amino acids, lysine (K) and valine (V), termed RKV, significantly decreases Plasmodium liver infection. RKV supplementation results in the elimination of parasites at a late stage of their development in the liver. Our data employing genetic knockout mouse models and in vivo depletion of specific cell populations suggest that RKV supplementation boosts the host's overall innate immune response, and that parasite elimination is dependent on MyD88 signaling in immune cells. The immunostimulatory effect of RKV supplementation opens a potential role for dietary supplementation as an adjuvant for prophylaxis or immunization strategies against Plasmodium infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101781
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Diet
  • Parasitology
  • Physiology


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