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News (Scientific)

Natural immunity to malaria provides clues to potential therapies

Science Daily - May 3, 2021 - 13:35
Researchers have identified how natural human antibodies can block malaria parasites from entering red blood cells, potentially indicating how new protective therapies could be developed against this globally significant disease. The research provides greater insight into how antibodies block the entry of Plasmodium vivax malaria parasites into young red blood cells called reticulocytes. It builds on an earlier discovery that the P. vivax latches onto the transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) to enter cells.

Malaria vaccine becomes first to achieve WHO-specified 75 percent efficacy goal

Science Daily - April 23, 2021 - 12:57
Researchers reported findings from a Phase IIb trial of a candidate malaria vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, which demonstrated high-level efficacy of 77 percent over 12 months of follow-up.

Certain gut microbes make mosquitoes more prone to carry malaria parasite

Science Daily - April 20, 2021 - 16:15
Dietary sugars and gut microbes play a key role in promoting malaria parasite infection in mosquitoes. Researchers have uncovered evidence that mosquitoes fed a sugar diet show an increased abundance of the bacterial species Asaia bogorensis, which enhances parasite infection by raising the gut pH level.

Simple genetic modification aims to stop mosquitoes spreading malaria

Science Daily - April 13, 2021 - 15:06
Altering a mosquito's gut genes to make them spread antimalarial genes to the next generation of their species shows promise as an approach to curb malaria.

Mysteries of malaria infections deepen after human trial study

Science Daily - March 30, 2021 - 16:12
Scientists have discovered that tracking malaria as it develops in humans is a powerful way to detect how the malaria parasite causes a range of infection outcomes in its host. The study, found some remarkable differences in the way individuals respond to malaria and raises fresh questions in the quest to understand and defeat the deadly disease.

Effective interventions may prevent disease transmission in changing climate

Science Daily - March 18, 2021 - 18:25
Aedes aegypti are the primary vector for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever. However, the effects of climate change-related weather anomalies on mosquito populations is not well understood. A new study suggests that early interventions may prevent disease transmission even as extreme climate events may increase the abundance of Ae. aegypti populations.

Blight may increase public health risk from mosquito-borne diseases

Science Daily - March 15, 2021 - 22:06
Researchers published findings that blight leads to an increased abundance of disease-carrying mosquitoes. The researchers investigated the presence of several mosquito species in two adjacent but socio-economically contrasting neighborhoods in Baton Rouge: the historic Garden District, a high-income neighborhood, and the Old South neighborhood, a low-income area.

Deforestation's effects on malaria rates vary by time and distance

Science Daily - March 9, 2021 - 18:25
Deforestation may cause an initial increase in malaria infections across Southeast Asia before leading to later decreases, a study suggests.

Targeted spraying to prevent malaria in low-transmission setting halves cost of current practice

Science Daily - February 26, 2021 - 15:38
Furthermore, the targeted Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) intervention was safe, less costly, and more cost-effective compared with standard 'blanket' IRS, meaning savings could potentially be reallocated to other malaria control and elimination activities.

Open data on malaria genomes will help combat drug resistance

Science Daily - February 24, 2021 - 14:06
Genome variation data on more than 7,000 malaria parasites from 28 endemic countries is released today. It has been produced by MalariaGEN, a data-sharing network of groups around the world who are working together to build high-quality data resources for malaria research and disease control. This open data release provides benchmark data on parasite genome variation that is needed in the search for new drugs and vaccines, and in the development of surveillance tools for malaria control and elimination.

Magnetic attraction: Breakthrough test for malaria

Science Daily - February 18, 2021 - 16:40
After nearly a decade of research, a new test that detects the magnetic properties of malaria-infected blood could soon be used to help eliminate the mosquito-borne disease.

Cone snail venom shows potential for treating severe malaria

Science Daily - February 18, 2021 - 14:45
Using venom from a cone snail, a new study suggests these conotoxins may potentially treat malaria. The study provides important leads toward the development of new and cost-effective anti-adhesion or blockade-therapy drugs aimed at counteracting the pathology of severe malaria. Similarly, mitigation of emerging diseases like COVID-19 also could benefit from conotoxins as potential inhibitors of protein-protein interactions as treatment. Venom peptides from cone snails has the potential to treat myriad diseases using blockage therapies.

Tap water access linked to dengue risk

Science Daily - February 11, 2021 - 19:44
Dengue virus is among growing number of mosquito-borne viruses that have adapted to spread in urban environments and are spreading with the increasing rate of urbanization. Now, researchers have identified tap water access in densely populated neighborhoods as a strong predictor of dengue risk in the city of Delhi.

New technique rapidly quantifies immune response following vaccination

Science Daily - February 4, 2021 - 17:01
A global team of researchers has developed a new strategy for fast and reliable antibody tests, which can quantify the immune response induced by vaccination and reveal the timeline and stage of pathogen infection. The team's one-step quantitative antibody tests are conducted using (blood) serum and are on a par with the gold-standard, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique.

Malaria threw human evolution into overdrive on this African archipelago

Science Daily - January 28, 2021 - 18:47
Malaria is an ancient scourge, but it's still leaving its mark on the human genome. And now, researchers have uncovered recent traces of adaptation to malaria in the islanders of Cabo Verde -- thanks to a genetic mutation, inherited from their African ancestors, that prevents a type of malaria parasite from invading red blood cells. The findings represent one of the speediest, most dramatic changes measured in the human genome.

Malaria tricks the brain's defense system

Science Daily - January 26, 2021 - 18:40
Malaria is one of the most common causes of death in children in Africa. When the parasite builds up in the blood vessels of the brain, it develops into one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, cerebral malaria. Though it wasn't certain if the parasite was able to penetrate the brain tissue, now researchers have found parasites can do that and have mapped the mechanism they utilize.

Fighting cancer from a chair

Science Daily - January 25, 2021 - 16:31
Cisplatin has been used to treat cancer since the 1970s. Since then, many other platinum-containing cytostatic drugs have been developed, such as triplatinNC, a highly charged complex that contains three ligand-bridged platinum atoms. Unlike cisplatin, this drug also directly inhibits metastasis. The reason for this seems to be modulation of the geometry of a sugar component of heparan sulfate, an important component of the extracellular matrix.

Scientists artificially infect mosquitoes with human malaria to advance treatment

Science Daily - January 14, 2021 - 16:19
Scientists have identified novel antiplasmodial lead compounds for mass drug administration and vector control to eliminate malaria.

Bacteria carried by mosquitoes may protect them against pesticides

Science Daily - January 13, 2021 - 15:08
Mosquitoes are transmitters of several diseases and pesticides are used to control their numbers in many countries. New study finds Wolbachia - a bacteria commonly found in insects - appears to protect them against these pesticides.

Multiple mosquito blood meals accelerate malaria transmission

Science Daily - December 31, 2020 - 19:14
Multiple bouts of blood feeding by mosquitoes shorten the incubation period for malaria parasites and increase malaria transmission potential, according to a new study.

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