Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein Plays Key Role In Transmitting Deadly Malaria Parasite To Humans

Date:
June 2, 2008
Source:
University of South Florida Health
Summary:
The transmembrane MAEBL is critical for completing the life cycle of malaria parasites in mosquitoes, allowing the insects to transmit the potentially deadly infection to humans, researchers have shown.

Microscopic view of an Anopeheles mosquito infected with malaria parasites.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of South Florida Health

The protein MAEBL is critical for completing the life cycle of malaria parasites in mosquitoes, allowing the insects to transmit the potentially deadly infection to humans, a University of South Florida study has shown. The research may ultimately help provide a way to better control malaria by blocking development of the malaria parasite in the mosquito.

Researchers with the USF Global Health Infectious Diseases Research team found that the transmembrane protein MAEBL is required for the infective stage of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to invade the mosquito’s salivary glands. Their findings were published May 28 in the online journal PLoS One.

“The mosquito is the messenger of death,” said the study’s principal investigator John Adams, PhD, professor of global health at the USF College of Public Health. “If we could eliminate the parasite from the mosquito, people wouldn’t become infected.”

Plasmodium falciparum causes three-quarters of all malaria cases in Africa, and 95 percent of malaria deaths worldwide. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, which injects the worm-like, one-celled malaria parasites from its salivary glands into the person’s bloodstream.

The study was done by genetically modifying the malaria parasites and feeding them in a blood meal to uninfected mosquitoes. Parasites in which MAEBL was deleted were not harbored in the salivary glands of mosquitoes, even though an earlier form of these parasites was observed in the gut of the mosquitoes. The researchers concluded that the transmembrane form of MAEBL is essential for the parasite to enter the mosquito’s salivary glands.

While more studies are needed, lead author Fabian Saenz, PhD, said the finding suggests that silencing the receptor for MAEBL in the mosquito salivary gland might block passage of the parasite through the mosquito, thereby preventing human infection through mosquito bites.

“Our study shows that MAEBL is a weak link in the parasite’s biology,” Dr. Adams said. “This could provide a potential way to block transmission in the mosquito, before the parasite ever has a chance to infect a new person. It is better to prevent the malaria infection from occurring in the first place than having to kill the parasite already inside humans with vaccines or drugs.”

The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Other study authors were Dr. Bharath Balu, Jonah Smith and Sarita Mendonca.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of South Florida Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of South Florida Health. "Protein Plays Key Role In Transmitting Deadly Malaria Parasite To Humans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528140231.htm>.
University of South Florida Health. (2008, June 2). Protein Plays Key Role In Transmitting Deadly Malaria Parasite To Humans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528140231.htm
University of South Florida Health. "Protein Plays Key Role In Transmitting Deadly Malaria Parasite To Humans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528140231.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins