Several years ago, when Austin MacInnis was Editor, he did an ISI search to find which 10 papers published in the Journal of Parasitology were the most frequently cited. Among these was a publication by Roger Ladda, Masamichi Aikawa, and Helmuth Sprinz, Journal of Parasitology (1969) 55:633–644, entitled “Penetration of erythrocytes by merozoites of mammalian and avian malarial parasites”. Whereas merozoite penetration previously had been described using phase-contrast microscopy by Trager in 1956 and then by Huff et al. in 1960, the 1969 paper by Ladda et al. was significant because these authors used transmission electron microscopy (EM) to accomplish the task.

In the Ladda et al. study, several important findings emerged regarding the nature of Plasmodium/host interactions. Two of these observations were paramount. First, the investigators clearly established that the merozoite must become oriented in a very precise way against the host's...

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