Abdi is molecular biologist with special interest in malaria. Abdi worked with the Programme between 2005-2006 as an intern, then research assistant investigating antimalarial drug resistance. He was then awarded a Ph.D. studentship by the AntiMal International Ph.D. Programme where he joined Prof Christian Doerig's laboratory at the University of Glasgow working on P. falciparum protein Kinases. He rejoined the Programme in 2010 as Post Doc to work with Dr Peter Bull on PfEMP1 and it is role in the pathogenesis of severe malaria. In 2014 he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship to study the secretome of malaria parasites.
My current work focuses on understanding the role of P. falciparum secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) in malaria immunity and pathogenesis. EVs consist of two main types: 1) exosomes formed within the endosomal network, housed in multivesicular body (MVB) and released into the extracellular environment upon fusion of MVB with the plasma membrane, and 2) microvesicles formed by budding of the plasma membrane. Exosomes and microvesicles have a diameter between 30-150 nm and 100-1000 nm respectively. The biological importance of EVs lies in their ability to transfer information from one cell to another through bioactive molecules such as proteins, lipids, RNA, and DNA packaged within EVs thereby influencing the function of the recipient cells. EVs can travel long distance without their content degrading or diluting and are present in all body fluids, making them potential targets for diagnosis. P. falciparum EVs (PfEVs) have been shown to mediate genetic exchange between parasite isolates and induce sexual commitment. My current work aims to comprehensively describe the RNA and protein content of P. falciparum extracellular vesicles using clinical isolates and study their role in malaria immunity and pathogenesis of severe malaria.
Warimwe, G. M., Abdi, A. I., Muthui, M., Fegan, G., Musyoki, J. N., Marsh, K., Bull, P. C.
Infection and Immunity. 2016; :
Tan, J., Pieper, K., Piccoli, L., Abdi, A., Foglierini, M., Geiger, R., Tully, C. M., Jarrossay, D., Ndungu, F. M., Wambua, J., Bejon, P., Fregni, C. S., Fernandez-Rodriguez, B., Barbieri, S., Bianchi, S., Marsh, K., Thathy, V., Corti, D., Sallusto, F., Bull, P., Lanzavecchia, A.
Nature. 2016; : 105-9
Abdi, A. I., Warimwe, G. M., Muthui, M. K., Kivisi, C. A., Kiragu, E. W., Fegan, G. W., Bull, P. C.
Sci Rep. 2016; : 19882
Abdi, A. I., Fegan, G., Muthui, M., Kiragu, E., Musyoki, J. N., Opiyo, M., Marsh, K., Warimwe, G. M., Bull, P. C.
BMC Infect Dis. 2014; : 170
Mwai, L., Ochong, E., Abdirahman, A., Kiara, S. M., Ward, S., Kokwaro, G., Sasi, P., Marsh, K., Borrmann, S., Mackinnon, M., Nzila, A.
Malar J. 2009; : 106