Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Snail fever: Scientists pinpoint key defense against parasite infection

Date:
December 17, 2010
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have made a significant discovery about how the body defends itself against snail fever, a parasitic worm infection common in developing countries.

Scientists have made a significant discovery about how the body defends itself against snail fever, a parasitic worm infection common in developing countries.

Researchers studied the immune response in mice infected with snail fever parasites. They found that a particular type of immune cell, known as the dendritic cell, is responsible for triggering the immune system's defence against the invading parasite.

The development, by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, could point towards new avenues of research into treatments for the condition, which causes long-term infection.

Snail fever, also known as bilharzia, is a water-borne potentially fatal disease caused by flukes -- or parasitic worms -- found in freshwater snails in the tropics. Common in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America, the condition causes chronic illness that can damage internal organs and impair growth and brain development in children.

The disease, which commonly affects tourists who kayak or swim in infected waters, is second only to malaria in terms of its devastating social and economic impact.

The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, was carried out in collaboration with the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg and funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

Dr Andrew MacDonald, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the research, said: "Until now, we were unsure which of the many cells found in the immune system were crucial to fighting this parasite. We now know that dendritic cells are key to the process. If we can manipulate this immune response, we stand a chance of targeting the widespread suffering and chronic illness caused by this infection."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Snail fever: Scientists pinpoint key defense against parasite infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108140538.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2010, December 17). Snail fever: Scientists pinpoint key defense against parasite infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108140538.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Snail fever: Scientists pinpoint key defense against parasite infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108140538.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. 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