Scientists have found the key to malaria growth during a study focusing on the specificities of the disease. The parasitic disease is transmitted to people through the parasitic protozoan that enters the human by mosquito bites from insects carrying the disease. Because of the nature of the protozoan known as Plasmodium the disease has the ability to evolve at an alarming rate and become immune to the anti-malarial drugs that are usually used to treat it.
- A recent study has identified the cause behind malaria growth.
- The cyclin protein in the parasite causes the fast paced evolution of the disease as it causes cell division.
- New treatments can now be developed that can adapt to the disease’s ability to become imune to drugs.
Researchers have now discovered important information concerning a cyclin protein which is now believed to be responsible for the rapid progress of the disease because it causes the parasitic cells to multiply at a very fast pace. The discovery of this protein may help scientists rapidly develop new courses of treatment for malaria and allow them to adapt future drugs used to combat the disease to the fast pace at which it becomes resistant to medication used to stop its progress.
Scientists conducting the study have identified and analyzed three different types of cyclin protein in the parasite and have focused specifically on the P-type cyclin as this particular protein was found to be closely related to the cyclins typically found in plants.
But the researchers have managed to the type and the amount of cyclins that the malarial parasite contains and were then able to also analyze what these cyclins do as part of the organism and why. The cyclin protein discovered was found to enable the development of malaria in mosquitoes and to affect the way that the cells develop within the organism.
Studies on cyclins have been conducted before in order to identify the function that cyclins generally fulfill in humans, plants and even yeasts as cyclin proteins are some of the most important protein molecules needed in the process of cell division. However these proteins have never been studied in the malaria parasite until now.
The new information gathered by leas researchers Rita Tewari, Bill Wickstead and Magali Roques will enable the rapid and efficient development of new treatment courses to tackle the disease and its ability to adapt and become immune to most of the drug treatments available at the moment.
New, more potent treatments of malaria will be a huge achievement as, despite the preemptive vaccines and treatment courses that doctors have available at the moment, the disease is still responsible for more than half a million deaths every year.
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