Profiling malaria-causing parasites

February 7, 2011

The majority of fatal cases of malaria are caused by infection with the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Most at risk are young children and women who are pregnant. A team of researchers, led by Patrick Duffy, at the National Institutes of Health, Rockville, has now developed an approach to profile P. falciparum parasites in such a way that they are able to identify parasite genes associated with severe infection.

In the study, they identified a distinct subset of genes in infecting , including a gene whose protein product is already known to be important for severe disease in these at risk patients and is a well-established pregnancy malaria vaccine candidate.

They also identified a subset of genes that distinguished parasites infecting children from those infecting pregnant women. The team hopes that this information will provide new understanding of the nature of severe childhood malaria. Future experiments will attempt to validate the protein products of these as biomarkers of disease severity and targets for new intervention strategies.

Explore further: Breakthrough by Danish scientists in preventing maternal malaria

More information: View this article at: www.jci.org/articles/view/43457?key=7ba810e70af4526cbadd

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Atlas of the RNA universe takes shape

December 7, 2016

As the floor plan of the living world, DNA guides the composition of animals ranging from unicellular organisms to humans. DNA not only helps shepherd every organism from birth through death, it also plays an essential role ...

Gene "bookmarking" regulates the fate of stem cells

December 7, 2016

A protein that stays attached on chromosomes during cell division plays a critical role in determining the type of cell that stem cells can become. The discovery, made by EPFL scientists, has significant implications for ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.