New Study Blueprints How Malaria Parasites Invade Human Cells

Published By : 28 Jun 2018 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Via cryo-EM (cryo-electron microscopy), a Nobel Prize-winning technology, a group of scientists in Melbourne may have potentially paved a way to the development of new vaccine for malaria, by showcasing atomic stage of exactly how parasites breach into healthy human cells. The researchers have managed to map or unravel undiscovered contact between young red blood cells, which get invaded by Plasmodium vivax and starts to get spread across the body.

Collaborating with Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Dr. Zhiheng Yu and Dr. Rick Huang, Professor Dr. Jakub Gruszczyk and his associate Wai-Hong Tham from Melbourne seems to have solved the secret behind molecular machinery that a parasite latches on to transform and infect red blood cells. It must be noted that his infection of the cells is the first stage in the lifecycle of malaria and generally shows signs such as chills, fever, diarrhea, malaise, and vomiting. These signs often last a few weeks before worsening.

Towards the beginning of 2018, this same team had identified P.vivax parasites as the culprit for the transferrin receptors to gain access into the RBCs. And now, with the help of novel cyro-EM technology, this group of researchers are able to negotiate the technical difficulties in order to visualize interaction at the atomic state. The next stage in the research is to potentially develop a new antimalarial drug and pertaining vaccines, and Cryo-EM is expected to open further doors.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost half of the World’s population is susceptible to malaria, with nearly 212 million malaria cases reported as of 2015.

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