Navigation Links
Blood-thinning copycat enters malaria fight

New treatments for malaria are possible after Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists found that molecules similar to the blood-thinning drug heparin can stop malaria from infecting red blood cells.

Malaria is an infection of red blood cells that is transmitted by mosquitoes. The most common form of malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum which burrows into red blood cells where it rapidly multiplies, leading to massive numbers of parasites in the blood stream that can cause severe disease and death.

At the moment, all anti-malarials licensed for use in humans block the development of the parasite within the red blood cell.

But Dr James Beeson, Ms Michelle Boyle and Dr Jack Richards from the institute's Infection and Immunity division, along with colleagues at the Burnet Institute and Imperial College London, have identified a new approach that could stop the parasite infecting red blood cells in the first place.

Using real-time video microscopy of red blood cell infection, the team showed that heparin-like carbohydrates blocked the ability of the malaria parasite to infect cells, Dr Beeson said.

"The malaria parasite needs a protein called MSP1 if it is to infect red blood cells as MSP1 is involved in the initial attachment of the parasite to the cells," Dr Beeson said.

"We have shown that heparin-like carbohydrates bind to MSP1 which stops the parasite from properly attaching to the red blood cell and, therefore, from invading."

The findings are published today in the international journal Blood and have raised the prospect of developing new anti-malarials that are based on the structure and activity of heparin-like molecules.

Although humans produce heparin-like molecules naturally, they do not occur at high enough levels in the blood to have anti-malarial activity, Dr Beeson said. "Heparin itself wouldn't be suitable as an anti-malarial as it prevents blood clotting. However, we have identified related compounds that are more potent against malaria than heparin but do not prevent blood clotting- these could form the basis of new antimalarial drugs."

Each year more than 400 million people contract malaria, and around one million people, mostly children, die from the disease.


Contact: Penny Fannin
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Related biology news :

1. New blood-thinning drug safer than rat poison
2. NHGRI funds new Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research
3. DFG to establish 10 new collaborative research centers
4. US and UK research centers launch major collaboration on atmospheric research, technology
5. AMBER Alert Safety Centers to Provide Child Safety Precautions at the New Jersey State Fair at the Meadowlands
6. Weight Watchers vs. fitness centers
7. Zebra Technologies Enters Into Revolving Credit Agreement to Support Company Growth
8. NSF and EPA establish 2 centers for environmental implications of nanotechnology
9. Sicilian word enters British genetic language
10. From sheet metal elements to host cells: DFG launches 10 new collaborative research centers
11. Tellme Enters Automotive Market
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Blood-thinning copycat enters malaria fight
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., ... U.S. distribution of its DNA library preparation products, ... Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has ... preparation of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis ... and prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... the growing mobile commerce market and creator of ... leading marketplace to discover and buy innovative technology ... on StackSocial for this holiday season.   ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 In the ... issues of concern for various industry verticals such as ... due to the growing demand for secure & simplified ... various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, misuse ... electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... - Zenith Epigenetics Corp. ("Zenith" or the "Company") today announced ... to its Board of Directors to replace Dr. Peter ... of experience as co-founder of Resverlogix, with expertise in the ... --> Dr. Wong remarked, "I am very ... long standing expertise in epigenetics and the advanced stage of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR), engaged in ... personalize the development and use of oncology drugs, today ... will be presenting at the LD MICRO Investor Conference ... Time (PST).  The conference, held at the Luxe Sunset ... , will feature 200 small/micro-cap companies and is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  HUYA Bioscience International, the leader in accelerating ... innovations, today announced it has signed a Memorandum of ... foster collaboration between KDDF and HUYA with the ultimate ... products for the global market. ... new innovative preclinical and clinical stage compounds. The company ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... and MAGDEBURG, Germany , November 30, ... (ECNR) in Vienna, Austria to ... Congress of NeuroRehabilitation (ECNR) in Vienna, Austria ... NovaVision, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vycor Medical, Inc. ... of its Internet-delivered NovaVision Therapy Suite at the 3rd ...
Breaking Biology Technology: