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Latest Apicomplexa Stories

2012-01-12 21:53:48

Genome sequencing helps identify essential protein in disease-carrying parasites Researchers from Boston College have discovered a protein that plays a pivotal role in the progression of the deadly diseases toxoplasmosis and malaria and shown that its function could be genetically blocked in order to halt the progress of the parasite-borne illnesses, the team reports in the current edition of the journal Science. The protein, identified as DOC2.1, plays a similar role in the secretion...

2012-01-09 19:58:11

New research shows that infectious disease-fighting drugs could be designed to block a pathogen's entry into cells rather than to kill the bug itself. Historically, medications for infectious diseases have been designed to kill the offending pathogen. This new strategy is important, researchers say, because many parasites and bacteria can eventually mutate their way around drugs that target them, resulting in drug resistance. In this study, scientists showed that using an experimental...

2012-01-09 11:28:02

Because the protein is found in the parasite but not in humans, it is ideal target for an anti-malarial drug A biology lab at Washington University has just cracked the structure and function of a protein that plays a key role in the life of a parasite that killed 655,000 people in 2010. The protein is an enzyme that Plasmodium falciparum, the protozoan that causes the most lethal form of malaria, uses to make cell membrane. The protozoan cannot survive without this enzyme, but even...

2011-12-29 09:59:09

The microbes on your skin determine how attractive you are to mosquitoes, which may have important implications for malaria transmission and prevention, according to a study published Dec. 28 in the online journal PLoS ONE. Without bacteria, human sweat is odorless to the human nose, so the microbial communities on the skin play a key role in producing each individual's specific body odor. The researchers, led by Niels Verhulst of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, conducted their...

2011-12-23 10:16:23

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute have demonstrated that the Anopheles mosquito's innate immune system could be genetically engineered to block the transmission of malaria-causing parasites to humans. In addition, they showed that the genetic modification had limited impact on the mosquito's fitness under laboratory conditions. The researchers' findings are published December 22nd in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens. In this study, Dimopoulos and his team...

2011-12-20 18:10:38

A new candidate malaria vaccine with the potential to neutralize all strains of the most deadly species of malaria parasite has been developed by a team led by scientists at the University of Oxford. The results of this new vaccine independently confirm the utility of a key discovery reported last month from scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who had identified this target within the parasite as a potential 'Achilles' heel' that could hold significant promise for vaccine...

2011-12-19 11:40:59

The link between malaria and salmonella infections has been explained for the first time, opening the way to more effective treatments. Malaria patients are at high risk of developing fatal bacterial infections, especially salmonella infections. This is commonly believed to be due to generalized immunosuppression by malaria, whereby the entire immune system is weakened and compromised. However, researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have discovered that the...

2011-12-13 14:51:49

The largest ever study to assess the effects of malaria and its treatment in the first trimester of pregnancy has shown that the disease significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, but that treating with antimalarial drugs is relatively safe and reduces this risk. In the study, carried out at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU), in Thailand and funded by the Wellcome Trust, researchers examined medical records of women attending the unit's antenatal clinic over the 25 years since...

Only Few Seabird Species Contract Avian Malaria
2011-12-13 04:02:07

Climate differences have less impact on the transmission of blood parasites than expected Seabirds often live in large colonies in very confined spaces. Parasites, such as fleas and ticks, take advantage of this ideal habitat with its rich supply of nutrition. As a result, they can transmit blood parasites like avian malaria to the birds. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell and a team of international colleagues have investigated whether this affects all...

2011-12-12 21:36:11

The findings could point the way to a new approach for treating malaria that does not rely on vaccination and is not susceptible to the parasite's notorious ability to develop drug resistance University of Iowa researchers and colleagues have discovered how malaria manipulates the immune system to allow the parasite to persist in the bloodstream. By rescuing this immune system pathway, the research team was able to cure mice of bloodstream malaria infections. The findings, which were...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.