Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Silencing signals sent by parasite could aid sleeping sickness fight

Date:
December 15, 2013
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Insights into how the parasites that cause sleeping sickness are able to communicate with one another could help limit the spread of the infection.

A new discovery by scientists could help combat the spread of sleeping sickness.

Insights into how the parasites that cause the disease are able to communicate with one another could help limit the spread of the infection.

The findings suggest that new drugs could be designed to disrupt the flow of messages sent between these infectious microorganisms.

Sleeping sickness -- so named because it disrupts sleep patterns -- is transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly, and more than 69 million people in Africa are at risk of infection. Untreated, it can damage the nervous system, leading to coma, organ failure and death.

During infection, the parasites -- known as African trypanosomes -- multiply in the bloodstream and communicate with each other by releasing a small molecule. When levels of this molecule become sufficiently high, this acts as a signal for the parasites to stop replicating and to change into a form that can be picked up by biting flies and spread.

A team led by researchers at the University of Edinburgh were able to uncover key components of the parasites' messaging system. They used a technique known as gene silencing, to identify those genes that are used to respond to the communication signals and the mechanisms involved.

Professor Keith Matthews, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the research, said: "Parasites are adept at communicating with one another to promote their survival in our bodies and ensure their spread -- but by manipulating their messages, new ways to combat these infections are likely to emerge."

The research, carried out in collaboration with the University of Dundee, was published in the journal Nature, and funded by the Wellcome Trust.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Binny M. Mony, Paula MacGregor, Alasdair Ivens, Federico Rojas, Andrew Cowton, Julie Young, David Horn, Keith Matthews. Genome-wide dissection of the quorum sensing signalling pathway in Trypanosoma brucei. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12864

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Silencing signals sent by parasite could aid sleeping sickness fight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131215160935.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2013, December 15). Silencing signals sent by parasite could aid sleeping sickness fight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131215160935.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Silencing signals sent by parasite could aid sleeping sickness fight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131215160935.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
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