Navigation Links
Scientists find Achilles' heel in life-threatening malaria parasites

Scientists have identified a link between different strains of malaria parasites that cause severe disease, which could help develop vaccines or drugs against life-threatening cases of the infection.

Researchers have identified a key protein that is common to many potentially fatal forms of the condition, and found that antibodies that targeted this protein were effective against these severe malaria strains.

The protein has sticky properties that enable it to bind to red blood cells and form dangerous clumps that can block blood vessels. These clumps, or rosettes, can cause severe illness, including coma and brain damage. Presently, between 10 and 20 per cent of people with severe malaria die from it, and the disease which is spread by blood-sucking mosquitoes claims about one million lives per year.

Malaria parasites, once in the bloodstream, are able to alter the protein molecules on their surfaces to evade attack by the immune system. These surface proteins are usually poor targets for treatments or vaccines because they are highly variable between different malaria parasite strains. Now, researchers have found that the surface proteins of rosette-forming parasites share similarities that may allow them to act as a target for treatments to block progress of the disease.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh worked with collaborators from Cameroon, Mali, Kenya and The Gambia to test their antibodies against parasites collected from patients. The study, published in PLoS Pathogens, was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Alexandra Rowe of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: "We knew that clusters, or rosettes, of blood cells were found in many cases of severe or life-threatening malaria, so we looked at rosette-forming parasites and found a common factor that we could target with antibodies. We hope this discovery will inform new treatments or vaccines to block the formation of rosettes and so prevent many life-threatening cases of malaria."


Contact: Catriona Kelly
University of Edinburgh

Related biology news :

1. Scientists find that neurological changes can happen due to social status
2. Scientists discover switch in plants to create flowers
3. Merkin Family Foundation to fund next generation of Broad Institute scientists
4. Scripps Research Institute scientists develop antidote for cocaine overdose
5. Scientists trace evolutionary history of what mammals eat
6. Scientists find neural stem cell regulator
7. Scientists identify FLT3 gene as a valid therapeutic target in acute myeloid leukemia
8. Scientists complete first-ever emperor penguin count from space
9. Scientists count penguins from space
10. Researchers use game to change how scientists study disease outbreaks
11. Salk scientists redraw the blueprint of the bodys biological clock
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. ... to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance ... Gino ... we look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer and recently formed CasZyme, ... into a multiyear collaboration to identify and characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases. The goal ... editing across all applications. , Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer will ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and interpret datasets, ... Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of the double-helix ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for its 4th year. The ... Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA office bearers, regulators, industry ... officials from around the world to address key issues in device compliance, quality and ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and ... lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities ... Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: