Put sleeping sickness bug to sleep

March 9, 2007

An Israeli researcher has found a way to kill the parasite that causes sleeping sickness.

Triggering a pathway in the parasites can shut down production of a crucial molecule, killing the T. burcei parasite, Shulamit Michaeli of Bar-IIan University said in research published online in EMBO Reports.

Sleeping sickness is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, where it's estimated to affect as many as 70,000 people. It can cause skin lesions, fever, blindness and death.

Researchers said the pathway could be used to eradicate other parasites and diseases, including Chagas disease, which effects 16 million to 18 million people, EMBO Reports said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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