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Profiling malaria-causing parasites

Date:
February 7, 2011
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
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. Researchers have now developed an approach to profile P. falciparum parasites in such a way that they were able to identify parasite genes associated with severe infection, information that they hope will lead to the characterization of biomarkers of disease severity and targets for new intervention strategies.

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 parasites infecting pregnant women, 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 genes as biomarkers of disease severity and targets for new intervention strategies.

The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. marissa Vignali, Christopher D. Armour, Jingyang Chen, Robert Morrison, John C. Castle, Matthew C. Biery, Heather Bouzek, Wonjong Moon, Tomas Babak, Michal Fried, Christopher K. Raymond and Patrick E. Duffy. NSR-seq transcriptional profiling enables identification of a gene signature of Plasmodium falciparum parasites infecting children. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI43457

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Profiling malaria-causing parasites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207122011.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2011, February 7). Profiling malaria-causing parasites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207122011.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Profiling malaria-causing parasites." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207122011.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

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