New insight into parasite’s reproduction paves way for new therapies

March 17th, 2011 - 6:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 17 (ANI): A recent study has shed light on how parasite that causes malaria reproduces and it could lead to new treatments to help curb the spread of the disease.

Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford have found that upsetting the parasite’s reproductive strategy could prevent infections from transmitting from person to person.

They examined the parasite at a stage of its development in which it produces male and female forms in the bloodstream of its victims.

These parasites then breed inside mosquitoes to produce fresh offspring that are transmitted when the insects feed on other people or animals.

The study showed that killing either the male or female forms was ineffective at stopping the spread of the disease, because the parasites replace those which are lost.

However, the researchers were able to overcome this by damaging the male and female forms instead of killing them. This meant that although the parasites were able to reproduce, their offspring did not survive.

The study has been published in PLoS Pathogens. (ANI)

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