Malaria pp 507-522 | Cite as

Screening Inhibitors of P. berghei Blood Stages Using Bioluminescent Reporter Parasites

  • Jing-wen Lin
  • Mohammed Sajid
  • Jai Ramesar
  • Shahid M. Khan
  • Chris J. JanseEmail author
  • Blandine Franke-Fayard
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 923)


We describe two improved assays for in vitro and in vivo screening of inhibitors and chemicals for antimalarial activity against blood stages of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei. These assays are based on the determination of bioluminescence in small blood samples that is produced by reporter parasites expressing luciferase. Luciferase production increases as the parasite develops in a red blood cell and as the numbers of parasites increase during an infection. In the first assay, in vitro drug luminescence (ITDL) assay, the in vitro development of ring-stage parasites into mature schizonts in the presence and absence of candidate inhibitor(s) is quantified by measuring luciferase activity after the parasites have been allowed to mature into schizonts in culture. In the second assay, the in vivo drug luminescence (IVDL) assay, in vivo parasite growth (using a standard 4-day suppressive drug test) is quantified by measuring the luciferase activity of circulating parasites in samples of tail blood of drug-treated mice.

Key words

Malaria Plasmodium berghei Blood stages, drug screening Luciferase Luminescence Mice 



Jing-wen Lin was supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing-wen Lin
    • 1
  • Mohammed Sajid
    • 1
  • Jai Ramesar
    • 1
  • Shahid M. Khan
    • 1
  • Chris J. Janse
    • 1
    Email author
  • Blandine Franke-Fayard
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands

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