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The invasion of gamma-irradiated Plasmodium berghei sporozoites into cultured hepatoma cells and their transformation into trophozoites was similar to invasion and transformation of non-irradiated sporozoites. However, trophozoites from irradiated sporozoites did not further develop into schizonts, but persisted within the cells for up to 3 days. Sporozoite surface protective antigen was present in trophozoites from irradiated and non-irradiated sporozoites, suggesting that hepatocyte antigen processing may contribute to the induction of anti-malarial immunity.