Parasite sheds light on sleeping sickness
Fresh insight into the survival strategy of the sleeping sickness parasite could help inform treatments for the disease.
University scientists have found that the parasite, which can transform itself into either of two physical forms, has developed a careful balance between these.
One of these types ensures infection in the bloodstream of a victim, and the other type is taken up by the tsetse fly and spread to another person or animal.
Researchers used a combination of biological and mathematical techniques to show how the parasite balances production of each of the forms.
Their results enable fresh understanding of how the parasite reacts to its surroundings to ensure its survival in the short term as well as the long-term spread of the disease.
Millions at risk
Sleeping sickness, which is spread by the bite of the tsetse fly, affects some 30,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa. Many millions more are considered to be at risk.
The disease affects people and animals and without treatment is considered fatal.
The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, was published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.
"Sleeping sickness parasites alter their form in order to ensure their survival and spread. We hope that, having discovered more about how these parasites behave, we will be able to develop ways of interfering with their survival strategy and interrupt the spread of this disease," said Professor Keith Matthews, School of Biological Sciences.
Provided by University of Edinburgh
- Sleeping sickness study offers insight into human cells Jun 14, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Insight into parasite family planning could help target malaria Mar 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Put sleeping sickness bug to sleep Mar 09, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Revealing secrets of 'African sleeping sickness' Oct 27, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers make breakthrough in the fight against African sleeping sickness Apr 15, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(AP)—Government health officials are investigating several health problems reported with potentially contaminated medications made by a Tennessee specialty pharmacy.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Comorbid conditions often accompany alopecia areata, according to a study published online May 22 in JAMA Dermatology.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—As a world-class golfer, Stacy Lewis' accomplishments are remarkable. But it was a physical challenge in her childhood that defined her ascent to the top of her sport.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 17 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Saudi Arabia said Friday it would send samples taken from animals possibly infected with a deadly SARS-like virus to the United States for testing in a bid to find the source of disease.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The World Health Organization voiced deep concern Thursday over the SARS-like virus that has killed 22 people in less than a year, saying it might potentially spread more widely between humans.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
21 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
15 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
18 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Ernie Pyle – an iconic war correspondent in World War II – reportedly said "There are no atheists in foxholes." A new joint study between two brothers at Cornell and Virginia Wesleyan found that only ...
21 hours ago | 2.5 / 5 (4) | 2
How can healthy people who hear voices help schizophrenics? Finding the answer for this is at the centre of research conducted at the University of Bergen.
21 hours ago | 4 / 5 (2) | 2
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |