Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hybrid Leishmania parasites on the loose

Date:
June 23, 2011
Source:
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
Summary:
What we anxiously fear in the influenza virus – a cross between two strains, resulting in a new variant we have no resistance against – has occurred in another pathogen, the Leishmania parasite. The new hybrid species might not be more dangerous than their parents, but it’s too early to know.

What we anxiously fear in the influenza virus -- a cross between two strains, resulting in a new variant we have no resistance against -- has occurred in another pathogen, the Leishmania parasite. This was uncovered by researchers of the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITG). The new hybrid species might not be more dangerous than their parents, but it's too early to know. Kenian scientist Samwel Odiwuor receives for his discovery a PhD at ITG and Antwerp University.

After malaria, leishmaniasis is the most deadly parasitic disease in developing countries. It is caused by unicellular organisms, Leishmania, transmitted by small mosquitoes (sand flies) while bloodsucking. Yearly the parasite hits two million people worldwide, of which four thousand in Southern Europe. Most victims are poor. Which means not much research is put into it: developing medicines or diagnostics costs more than it ever could bring in.

Biologically spoken, Leishmania is a remarkable organism. It is one of a few disease-causing organisms to adapt in millions of years of evolution to quite diverse environments, without making use of the normal motor of genetic innovation, sex.

During an innovative genetic analysis of Leishmania parasites from Africa and South America, Samwel Odiwuor discovered vestiges of sex between different species of Leishmania, resulting in new, hybrid varieties of the organism. It still has to be sorted out if the newcomers are 'better' at causing disease, as often is the case with hybrids.

If we want to understand how these parasites operate, how they can hide in animals, what they do to a human, which techniques and strategies they use to keep up against our immune system and our medicines (and it looks like they have a few tricks never before seen in biology) -- then we will have to understand how they themselves are built and how they work. This research is a considerable step on that long road.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. "Hybrid Leishmania parasites on the loose." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623133444.htm>.
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. (2011, June 23). Hybrid Leishmania parasites on the loose. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623133444.htm
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. "Hybrid Leishmania parasites on the loose." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623133444.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. 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