The Malaria Cell Atlas aims to provide a resource of single cell transcriptomic data across the full lifecycle of the parasite. At the Sanger Institute, we are using single cell RNAsequencing to understand parasite developmental decision making in the host and the vector in both lab and natural infections. More widely, we aim for the Malaria Cell Atlas to be beneficial to all malaria researchers, from those focused on particular gene families, to those developing novel drugs and vaccines. Nearly half of the world’s population remains at risk for malaria with 216 million reported cases in 2016 and over 400,000 deaths. Understanding transcriptional diversity across the lifecycle under different disease settings will help in the fight to eliminate and eventually eradicate this disease.
As of August 2019, the Malaria Cell Atlas includes data from our eLife and Biorxiv papers, which describe methods we have used and optimised to generate single cell transcriptomes for malaria parasites. Our Atlas includes single cell RNA-sequencing data covering all stages of the life cycle in both Anopheles vector and mammalian host tissues, spans both cell sorting and droplet-based scRNAseq and includes four Plasmodium species, including three human pathogens. It also includes the first single cell data from parasites isolated directly from clinical samples.