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Microbiology Logo Microbiology & Immunology
Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

Professor Bruce Russell

Current research:

Malaria      Cryptosporidium     

Vivax Malaria (or Relapsing Malaria) is the most widely distributed, difficult to diagnose and treat cause of human malaria. 

Our laboratory focuses in of the biology of the parasite Plasmodium vivax (the cause of vivax malaria) and how we can kill it using therapeutics or vaccinations.

To do this we have developed key ex vivo tools and methods to examine P. vivax drug susceptibility and reticulocyte invasion. These methods are optimised for use in malaria endemic regions. We also utilise a continuous culture of P. cynomolgi (an excellent model of P. vivax) to study the molecular mechanisms underlying P. vivax pathobiology.

In addition to vivax malaria we also contend research into the biology and epidemiology of protozoal parasites of importance to human health in New Zealand.

Key laboratory activities


  • Developing effective medical products (antimalarials and antiprotozoal drugs) and research tools (diagnostic and surveillance) for resource poor locations with the view to control vector borne diseases such as malaria and dengue; as well as other parasitic diseases of importance to human health.
  • Better understanding the pathobiology, antimalarial sensitivity profiles and Epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax and other important primate malarias (P. cynomolgi, P. knowlesi and P. coatneyi)
  • Detailed studies of the biomechanical, cytoadhesive and nanostructure changes to red blood cell pre and post Plasmodium spp. infection

2. CRYPTOSPORIDIOSIS (Team Leader Dr Remy Muhsin)

  • Fundamental biology of Cryptosporidium spp.
  • Cryptosporidiosis drug discovery and development 


Parasitology Lab 2021


Current group members

IMG 7109a6x4

Professor Bruce Russell
Principal Investigator
Office: +64 3 479 7082


 Post Doctoral Staff





Dr Noi Suwanarusk
Research Fellow
Parasitology Lab Manager



Dr Remy Muhsin
Postdoctoral Fellow
Head of Cryptosporidium Team



Postgraduate students


Bridget 1

Jessica Matheson
PhD student (Malaria)
Bridget Lamont
PhD student (Cryptosporidium)





Laura Saywell 
BSci(Hons) student
Nik Vasilic 
BBioMed (Hons) Student




Recent publications (2015-2019)

Lee WC, Russell B, Rénia L. (2019) Sticking for a Cause: The Falciparum Malaria Parasites Cytoadherence Paradigm, Frontiers in Immunology 10, 1444.

Chua ACY, Ananthanarayanan A, Ong JJY, Wong JY, Yip A, Singh NH, Qu Y, Dembele L, McMillian M, Ubalee R, Davidson S, Tungtaeng A, Imerbsin R, Gupta K, Andolina C, Lee F, S-W Tan K, Nosten F, Russell B, Lange A, Diagana TT, Rénia L, Yeung BKS, Yu H, Bifani P. (2019) Hepatic spheroids used as an in vitro model to study malaria relapse, Biomaterials 216, 119221.

Rawlinson TA, Barber NM, Mohring F, Cho JS, Kosaisavee V, Gérard SF, Alanine DGW, Labbé GM, Elias SC, Silk SE, Quinkert D, Jin J, Marshall JM, Payne RO, Minassian AM, Russell B, Rénia L, Nosten FH, Moon RW, Higgins MK, Draper SJ. (2019) Structural basis for inhibition of Plasmodium vivax invasion by a broadly neutralizing vaccine-induced human antibody, Nat Microbiol. 27 May 2019.

Han JH, Cheng Y, Muh F,  Ahmed MA, Cho JS, Nyunt  MH, Jeon HY, Ha  KS, Na S, Park WS, Hong SH, Shin HJ, Russell  B, Han ET. (2019) Inhibition of parasite invasion by monoclonal antibody against epidermal growth factor-like domain of Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein 1 paralog, Scientific Reports 9(1), 3906.

Teng WC, Chan W, Suwanarusk R, Ong A, Ho HK, Russell B, Rénia L, Koh HL. (2019) In vitro Antimalarial Evaluations and Cytotoxicity Investigations of Carica papaya Leaves and Carpaine, Natural product communications 14(1).

Han JH, Cho JS, Cheng Y, Muh F, Yoo WG, Russell B, Nosten F, Na S, Ha KS, Park WS, Hong SH, Han ET. (2018) Plasmodium vivax Merozoite Surface Protein 1 Paralog as a Mediator of Parasite Adherence to Reticulocytes, Infect Immun, 86(9).

Liew JWK, Mahpot RB, Dzul S, Abdul Razak HAB, Ahmad Shah Azizi NAB, Kamarudin MB, Russell B, Lim KL, de Silva JR, Lim BS, Jelip J, Mudin RNB, Lau YL. (2018) Importance of Proactive Malaria Case Surveillance and Management in Malaysia, Am J Trop Med Hyg 98(6), 1709-1713.

Fraschka SA, Filarsky M, Hoo R, Niederwieser I, Yam XY, Brancucci NMB, Mohring F, Mushunje AT, Huang X, Christensen PR, Nosten F, Bozdech Z, Russell B, Moon RW, Marti M, Preiser PR, Bártfai R, Voss TS. (2018) Comparative Heterochromatin Profiling Reveals Conserved and Unique Epigenome Signatures Linked to Adaptation and Development of Malaria Parasites, Cell Host Microbe 23(3), 407-420.

Barber BE, Russell B, Grigg MJ, Zhang R, William T, Amir A, Lau YL, Chatfield MD, Dondorp AM, Anstey NM, Yeo TW. (2018) Reduced red blood cell deformability in Plasmodium knowlesi malaria, Blood Adv 2(4), 433-443.

Cravo P, Machado RB, Leite JA, Leda T, Suwanarusk R, Bittencourt N, Albrecht L, Judice C, Lopes SCP, Lacerda MVG, Ferreira MU, Soares IS, Goh YS, Bargieri DY, Nosten F, Russell B, Rénia L, Costa FTM. (2018) In silico epitope mapping and experimental evaluation of the Merozoite Adhesive Erythrocytic Binding Protein (MAEBL) as a malaria vaccine candidate, Malar J 17(1), 20.

Gruszczyk J, Kanjee U, Chan LJ, Menant S, Malleret B, Lim NTY, Schmidt CQ, Mok YF, Lin KM, Pearson RD, Rangel G, Smith BJ, Call MJ, Weekes MP, Griffin MDW, Murphy JM, Abraham J, Sriprawat K, Menezes MJ, Ferreira MU, Russell B, Renia L, Duraisingh MT, Tham WH. (2018) Transferrin receptor 1 is a reticulocyte-specific receptor for Plasmodium vivax, Science 359 (6371), 48-55.

Basilico N, Parapini S, Sparatore A, Romeo S, Misiano P, Vivas L, Yardley V, Croft SL, Habluetzel A, Lucantoni L, Renia L, Russell B, Suwanarusk R, Nosten F, Dondio G, Bigogno C, Jabes D, Taramelli D. (2017) In Vivo and In Vitro Activities and ADME-Tox Profile of a Quinolizidine-Modified 4-Aminoquinoline: A Potent Anti-P. falciparum and Anti-P. vivax Blood-Stage Antimalarial, Molecules 22(12).

Pang SC, Andolina C, Malleret B, Christensen PR, Lam-Phua SG, Razak MABA, Chong CS, Li D, Chu CS, Russell B, Rénia L, Ng LC, Nosten F. (2017) Singapore's Anopheles sinensis Form A is susceptible to Plasmodium vivax isolates from the western Thailand-Myanmar border, Malar J 16(1), 465.

Russell, B. M., and Cooke, B. M. (2017) The Rheopathobiology of Plasmodium vivax and Other Important Primate Malaria Parasites, Trends Parasitol 33, 321-334.

Rocha, M. V., Francoso, K. S., Lima, L. C., Camargo, T. M., Machado, R. L. D., Costa, F. T. M., Renia, L., Nosten, F., Russell, B., Rodrigues, M. M., and Soares, I. S. (2017) Generation, characterization and immunogenicity of a novel chimeric recombinant protein based on Plasmodium vivax AMA-1 and MSP119, Vaccine 35, 2463-2472.

Preiser, P., Renia, L., Bozdech, Z., Tan, K., Russell, B., and Cooke, B. M. (2017) Singapore Malaria Network Meeting (SingMalNet) 2016, Int J Parasitol 47, 369-370.

Malleret, B., Renia, L., and Russell, B. (2017) The unhealthy attraction of Plasmodium vivax to reticulocytes expressing transferrin receptor 1 (CD71), Int J Parasitol 47, 379-383.

Kosaisavee, V., Suwanarusk, R., Chua, A. C. Y., Kyle, D. E., Malleret, B., Zhang, R., Imwong, M., Imerbsin, R., Ubalee, R., Samano-Sanchez, H., Yeung, B. K. S., Ong, J. J. Y., Lombardini, E., Nosten, F., Tan, K. S. W., Bifani, P., Snounou, G., Renia, L., and Russell, B. (2017) Strict tropism for CD71+/CD234+ human reticulocytes limits the zoonotic potential of Plasmodium cynomolgi, Blood 130, 1357-1363.

Dembele, L., Ang, X., Chavchich, M., Bonamy, G. M. C., Selva, J. J., Lim, M. Y., Bodenreider, C., Yeung, B. K. S., Nosten, F., Russell, B. M., Edstein, M. D., Straimer, J., Fidock, D. A., Diagana, T. T., and Bifani, P. (2017) The Plasmodium PI(4)K inhibitor KDU691 selectively inhibits dihydroartemisinin-pretreated Plasmodium falciparum ring-stage parasites, Sci Rep 7, 2325.

Claser, C., Chang, Z. W., Russell, B., and Renia, L. (2017) Adaptive immunity is essential in preventing recrudescence of Plasmodium yoelii malaria parasites after artesunate treatment, Cell Microbiol 19.

Chu, T. T. T., Sinha, A., Malleret, B., Suwanarusk, R., Park, J. E., Naidu, R., Das, R., Dutta, B., Ong, S. T., Verma, N. K., Chan, J. K., Nosten, F., Renia, L., Sze, S. K., Russell, B., and Chandramohanadas, R. (2017) Quantitative mass spectrometry of human reticulocytes reveal proteome-wide modifications during maturation, Br J Haematol.

Bancone, G., Malleret, B., Suwanarusk, R., Chowwiwat, N., Chu, C. S., McGready, R., Renia, L., Nosten, F., and Russell, B. (2017) Asian G6PD-Mahidol Reticulocytes Sustain Normal Plasmodium Vivax Development, J Infect Dis 216, 263-266.

Zhu, L., Mok, S., Imwong, M., Jaidee, A., Russell, B., Nosten, F., Day, N. P., White, N. J., Preiser, P. R., and Bozdech, Z. (2016) New insights into the Plasmodium vivax transcriptome using RNA-Seq, Scientific Reports 6.

Zhang, R., Suwanarusk, R., Malleret, B., Cooke, B. M., Nosten, F., Lau, Y.-L., Dao, M., Lim, C. T., Renia, L., Tan, K. S. W., and Russell, B. (2016) A Basis for Rapid Clearance of Circulating Ring-Stage Malaria Parasites by the Spiroindolone KAE609, Journal of Infectious Diseases 213, 100-104.

Russell, B., Renia, L., and Malleret, B. (2016) Reply to "Flow Cytometry for Antimalarial Drug Testing: More than Meets the Eye", Journal of Clinical Microbiology 54, 818-819.

Li, J. L., Lim, C. H., Tay, F. W., Goh, C. C., Devi, S., Malleret, B., Lee, B., Bakocevic, N., Chong, S. Z., Evrard, M., Tanizaki, H., Lim, H. Y., Russell, B., Renia, L., Zolezzi, F., Poidinger, M., Angeli, V., St John, A. L., Harris, J. E., Tey, H. L., Tan, S. M., Kabashima, K., Weninger, W., Larbi, A., and Ng, L. G. (2016) Neutrophils Self-Regulate Immune Complex-Mediated Cutaneous Inflammation through CXCL2, Journal of Investigative Dermatology 136, 416-424.

Cho, J.-S., Russell, B., Kosasaivee, V., Zhang, R., Colin, Y., Bertrand, O., Chandramohanadas, R., Chu, C. S., Nosten, F., Renia, L., and Malleret, B. (2016) Unambiguous determination of Plasmodium vivax reticulocyte invasion by flow cytometry, International Journal For Parasitology 46, 31-39.

Amir, A., Russell, B., Liew, J. W., Moon, R. W., Fong, M. Y., Vythilingam, I., Subramaniam, V., Snounou, G., and Lau, Y. L. (2016) Invasion characteristics of a Plasmodium knowlesi line newly isolated from a human, Sci Rep 6, 24623.

Woodrow, C. J., Wangsing, C., Sriprawat, K., Christensen, P. R., Nosten, F., Renia, L., Russell, B., and Malleret, B. (2015) Comparison between Flow Cytometry, Microscopy, and Lactate Dehydrogenase-Based Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for Plasmodium falciparum Drug Susceptibility Testing under Field Conditions, Journal of Clinical Microbiology 53, 3296-3303.

Suwanarusk, R., Russell, B., Ong, A., Sriprawat, K., Chu, C. S., Pyaephyo, A., Malleret, B., Nosten, F., and Renia, L. (2015) Methylene blue inhibits the asexual development of vivax malaria parasites from a region of increasing chloroquine resistance, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 70, 124-129.

Malleret, B., Li, A., Zhang, R., Tan, K. S. W., Suwanarusk, R., Claser, C., Cho, J. S., Koh, E. G. L., Chu, C. S., Pukrittayakamee, S., Ng, M. L., Ginhoux, F., Ng, L. G., Lim, C. T., Nosten, F., Snounou, G., Renia, L., and Russell, B. (2015) Plasmodium vivax: restricted tropism and rapid remodeling of CD71-positive reticulocytes, Blood 125, 1314-1324.

Leite, J. A., Bargieri, D. Y., Carvalho, B. O., Albrecht, L., Lopes, S. C. P., Kayano, A. C. A. V., Farias, A. S., Chia, W. N., Claser, C., Malleret, B., Russell, B., Castineiras, C., Santos, L. M. B., Brocchi, M., Wunderlich, G., Soares, I. S., Rodrigues, M. M., Renia, L., and Costa, F. T. M. (2015) Immunization with the MAEBL M2 Domain Protects against Lethal Plasmodium yoelii Infection, Infection and Immunity 83, 3781-3792.

Leite, J. A., Bargieri, D. Y., Carvalho, B. O., Albrecht, L., Lopes, S. C., Kayano, A. C., Farias, A. S., Chia, W. N., Claser, C., Malleret, B., Russell, B., Castiñeiras, C., Santos, L. M., Brocchi, M., Wunderlich, G., Soares, I. S., Rodrigues, M. M., Rénia, L., and Costa, F. T. (2015) Immunization with the MAEBL M2 Domain Protects against Lethal Plasmodium yoelii Infection, Infect Immun 83, 3781-3792.

de Cassan, S. C., Shakri, A. R., Llewellyn, D., Elias, S. C., Cho, J. S., Goodman, A. L., Jin, J., Douglas, A. D., Suwanarusk, R., Nosten, F. H., Renia, L., Russell, B., Chitnis, C. E., and Draper, S. J. (2015) Preclinical assessment of viral vectored and protein vaccines targeting the Duffy-binding protein region II of Plasmodium vivax, Frontiers in Immunology 6.

Cho, J. S., Russell, B., Kosasaivee, V., Zhang, R., Colin, Y., Betrand, O., Chandramohanadas, R., Chu, C., Nosten, F., and Renia, L. (2015) Unambiguous determination of Plasmodium vivax reticulocyte invasion by flow cytometry, International Journal for Parasitology IJPara15_241R1.