Reversible host cell remodelling underpins deformability changes in malaria parasite sexual blood stages

The sexual stages of P. falciparum adopt a unique crescent shape. We showed that a network of microtubules lies under the parasite surface and drives parasite elongation. We showed that shape and deformability changes facilitate survival in the circulation so the sexual stage parasites can be picked up by a mosquito and transmitted to the next victim.