Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genomic warfare to counter malaria drug resistance

Date:
February 18, 2010
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Scientists battling malaria have earned a major victory. According to a new study, an international group of researchers has used genomics to decode the blueprint of Plasmodium falciparum -- a strain of malaria most resistant to drugs that causes the most deaths around the world. The discovery may lead to advanced pharmaceuticals to fight the disease and prevent drug resistance among the 250 million people infected by malaria each year.

Scientists battling malaria have earned a major victory. According to a Nature Genetics study, an international group of researchers has used genomics to decode the blueprint of Plasmodium falciparum -- a strain of malaria most resistant to drugs that causes the most deaths around the world. The discovery may lead to advanced pharmaceuticals to fight the disease and prevent drug resistance among the 250 million people infected by malaria each year.

"Combating malaria resistance is nothing short of an arms race," says lead author Dr. Philip Awadalla, a pediatrics professor at the Universitι de Montrιal, a scientist at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center and scientific director of CARTaGENE. "As the malaria pathogen evolves, researchers must evolve with it to find ways to counter the disease."

The team decoded 200 malaria samples from Asia, Africa, Central America, South America and Papua New Guinea. Their goal was to identify how Plasmodium falciparum strains were becoming resistant to the eight anti-malaria drugs currently available.

"There are substantial genetic differences in malaria around the world," stresses Dr. Awadalla, noting African strains differ from Asia strains. "What has occurred is a combination of genetic drift, where genes segregated over space and time from differential environments, immune pressures and exposures to drugs."

As part of their genomic mapping, the research team found that Plasmodium falciparum recombined fastest in Africa. Dr. Awadalla compares malaria genomes to human genomes. In malaria, however, variation among some genetic material is so high and evolves so rapidly that the parasite can develop drug resistance.

New clues garnered by this study, he says, "will allow pharmaceutical companies to create treatments that target the evolving malaria genome."

Study collaborators included researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories and Pennsylvania State University in the United States, the University of Oxford in England, Mahidol University in Thailand, the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine in China and the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control in Cambodia.

This study was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U.S.A.), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Canada), the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (U.S.A.), the Human Frontiers in Science Program (France), the Wellcome Trust (U.K.) and the National Basic Research Program of China.

About malaria

Malaria is transmitted when people are bitten by infected mosquitoes. According to the World Health Organization, malaria symptoms include fever, headaches, vomiting and appear within 10 to 15 days after an infected mosquito bite. Left untreated, malaria can be life-threatening and kills an estimated five million people yearly.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Mu et al. Plasmodium falciparum genome-wide scans for positive selection, recombination hot spots and resistance to antimalarial drugs. Nature Genetics, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/ng.528

Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Genomic warfare to counter malaria drug resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216140146.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2010, February 18). Genomic warfare to counter malaria drug resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216140146.htm
University of Montreal. "Genomic warfare to counter malaria drug resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216140146.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. 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