Navigation Links
The Plasmodium vivax genome provides new routes and challenges in the global fight against malaria
Date:10/8/2008

Institutions from around the world join forces in the Global Fight Against Malaria. While most research into controlling malaria has focused on the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which is responsible for the most virulent form of the disease, there are other parasites of the same genus which, despite producing a milder form of malaria, are gaining notoriety. This is the case of Plasmodium vivax, to which is attributed almost 300 million cases of malaria each year, severe forms of the disease and resistance to some drugs. In its next issue, the journal Nature publishes a study, led by The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), in which it presents, for the first time, the genetic code of P vivax and draws some conclusions about the biology of this parasite and how to combat it in the future.

Dr. Hernando del Portillo and Dr. Carmen Fernandez-Becerra, the only authors from a Spanish centre, have led the effort to understand and combat P vivax for many years - first from Brazil and now from the Barcelona Centre for Research on International Health (CRESIB), directed by Dr. Pedro Alonso, who is also the head of the International Health Service at Hospital Clnic of Barcelona and Chair of Public Health at the University of Barcelona. The researchers from this centre have contributed their experience in studying the virulence of the parasite in order to validate and analyse the data obtained in the sequencing carried out by the TIGR. They were pioneers in this field when they discovered the largest family of genes controlling the virulence of this parasite in a study also published in Nature in 2001. The principal author of the study is Dr. Jane M. Carlton, Associate Professor of the Department of Medical Parasitology of the New York University Medical Center, and formerly of TIGR. The main institution funding the study was the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (National Institutes of Health), together with other funding institutions such as the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the US Department of Defense and the National Institute of General Medical Science (National Institutes of Health).

The P vivax genome has turned out to be far more similar to that of P falciparum than was expected. The study published in Nature identifies only 150 genes specific to P vivax. Another important result of the research refers to the routes of infection of the parasite, as analysis of the genome indicates that P vivax should have alternative mechanisms for infecting the erythrocytes - the human blood cells in which the parasite resides and multiplies during its complex life cycle. These alternative routes of infection have not been observed in previous research and we now know that the genetic information necessary for this to happen is written in the genome. The scientific community must find the way to make use of these findings to fight the malaria.

Although P vivax has rarely been fatal, an increasing number of published work shows that this is not a benign parasite, since it causes severe disease and even death - something that had previously only been attributed to malaria caused by P falciparum. Furthermore, the larger public health problem in controlling P vivax lies in the fact that this parasite can reside in the liver in latent form and, months or years later, when the primary infection has been overcome, can cause clinical relapses. P vivax therefore has serious consequences for the health and economy of the countries in which it occurs, such as Papua New Guinea, India and Brazil. Despite this fact and despite the 300 million cases it causes each year, there has been a tendency to underestimate the importance of research into this form of malaria. For this reason, the authors of the study published in Nature are arguing for research into P vivax to be included in the funding schedules of the countries leading the global fight against malaria. There are still many questions to be answered and political will is as important as scientific effort in the fight against this disease. The CRESIB represents a clear example of joint effort and its commitment to research into P vivax is firm; it has created a strong group, led by Dr. del Portillo, ICREA Professor (Instituci Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avanats) who, from CRESIB and with the support of the Cellex Foundation and Dr. Alonso, pushed for the creation of an international consortium against malaria caused by P vivax and, with Dr. Clara Menendez, gained the support of the European Union to carry out a multicentre study on malaria due to P vivax and pregnancy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marc de Semir
mdesemir@clinic.ub.es
34-932-275-700
IDIBAPS - Institut d'Investigacions Biomdiques August Pi i Sunyer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Complete Genomics Launches, Becomes Worlds First Large-Scale Human Genome Sequencing Company
2. Human Genome Sciences Invites Investors to Listen to Webcast of Presentation at JMP Securities Conference
3. Human Genome Sciences Invites Investors to Listen to Webcast of Presentation at UBS Conference
4. Sigma-Aldrich Launches Breakthrough Genome-Editing Tools
5. Human Genome Sciences Invites Investors to Listen to Webcast of Presentation at Robert W. Baird Conference
6. Human Genome Sciences Announces Process Development and Manufacturing Alliance With Hospira
7. Human Genome Sciences Invites Investors to Listen to Webcast of Presentation at Thomas Weisel Conference
8. Human Genome Sciences Announces Second Quarter 2008 Financial Results and Key Developments
9. Human Genome Sciences Appoints David P. Southwell to its Board of Directors
10. Human Genome Sciences to Sponsor Conference Call to Discuss Second Quarter 2008 Financial Results
11. Principle of Recursive Genome Function Supersedes Dogmas; By Andras Pellionisz, Online Ahead of Print; (Scientific Visionary Vindicated)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2016)... , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute ... Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experiment and the other ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall by Costco and ... Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for faster and more ... Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... May 19, 2016 ... (OTC PINK: RGBPP) announced today initiation of a ... cord blood based cancer immunotherapeutic product leveraging its ... Regen described a generation of cord blood derived ... gene silencing.  The product in development will be ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking ... and report sexual assault kit processing to help them save time and reduce errors. ... for kits to be processed and victims informed of results. Due to a previous ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/9/2016)... , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... when it comes to expanding freedom for high net ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there is ... conferencing system could ever duplicate sealing your deal with ... obtaining second passports by taking advantage of citizenship via ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... service provider, today announced a global partnership that ... convenient way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... Mobility is a key innovation area for financial services, but ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , April 26, ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys ... announced a partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) ... customers enhanced security to access and transact across ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):