Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malaria, toxoplasmosis: Toward new lines of research?

Date:
October 10, 2013
Source:
University of Glasgow
Summary:
A study could redefine part of the present lines of research toward a treatment against the parasites responsible for malaria and toxoplasmosis.

This work, published on 10th October on the website of Nature Communications, concerns the role of one protein which is common to these parasites. Called AMA1, it has been at the heart of many years' research on upgrading treatments, such as trying out vaccination against malaria. However, the present authors have reservations about the success of therapeutic strategies which rely solely on the blockage of AMA1, by demonstrating that the malaria and toxoplasmosis parasites, without the protein, can develop normally.

With 1 million victims every year, malaria is the most dangerous parasitic disease in the world, while Toxoplasmosis, often asymptomatic, represents a danger to pregnant women and those with weak immune systems.

Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii, the parasites responsible respectively for malaria and toxoplasmosis, belong to the group of Apicomplexa. This group, wholly composed of parasite organisms, share a common protein called AMA1. This protein is described in many studies as being indispensable for entry into the cells they infect. As a result, since its discovery, many research teams have made AMA1 a major therapeutic target in the improvement of treatments.

However, a collaboration between the teams of Robert Mιnard at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, Isabelle Tardieux at the Institut Cochin, and Markus Meissner at the University of Glasgow, has just shown that Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii can survive and multiply in the infected cells totally without the action of AMA1. This discovery will have an important impact on the search for a treatment for malaria and toxoplasmosis.

The team generated parasites totally lacking AMA1 thanks to a technique of "reverse genetics," never before used in the field. The scientists thus made the following observations: in the absence of AMA1, Plasmodium falciparum, at all human stages (blood and liver), is capable of invading the host cells. The same is true of one of the two human stages of Toxoplasma gondii. On the other hand, for both parasites, the attachment to the host cells, which precedes cellular invasion, is affected.

As a result, the scientists have deduced that AMA1, short of being indispensable to the process of cellular invasion, is in fact a protein implicated in the adhesion to host cells.

As a result of their observations, the researchers are recommending ways of optimising research which targets AMA1 with a view to improving treatments. In particular, they suggest that therapeutic strategies should be based on the blockage of other proteins complementary to AMA1.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Y. Bargieri, Nicole Andenmatten, Vanessa Lagal, Sabine Thiberge, Jamie A. Whitelaw, Isabelle Tardieux, Markus Meissner, Robert Mιnard. Apical membrane antigen 1 mediates apicomplexan parasite attachment but is dispensable for host cell invasion. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3552

Cite This Page:

University of Glasgow. "Malaria, toxoplasmosis: Toward new lines of research?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010105044.htm>.
University of Glasgow. (2013, October 10). Malaria, toxoplasmosis: Toward new lines of research?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010105044.htm
University of Glasgow. "Malaria, toxoplasmosis: Toward new lines of research?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010105044.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) — Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. 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