Mon, Mar 27, 2017 | updated 04:09 PM IST

Protein that offers cure for Malaria

Updated: Aug 18, 2016 11:09 IST

New Delhi, Aug. 18 (ANI): In a recent research scientists have developed a protein that completely cures malaria and protects the patient against re-infection.

The breakthrough could lead to a new and more effective way of treating the deadly disease in future.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the disease killed an estimated 438,000 people in 2015. Most deaths are in young children and unborn babies. It also estimates that nearly half of the world's population is at risk of the disease.

Beginning with typical flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, muscle and joint pain, headache and nausea, the mosquito borne disease can lead to a lethal brain infection and coma.

The team discovered that there is a protein on the surface of a particular immune cell that plays a crucial role in fighting malaria infection.

Wykes , the head of the Molecular Immunology laboratory at QIMR Berghofer said, "Within the immune system, there are dendritic cells, which are the generals of the immune army, and there are T cells, which are the soldiers. The dendritic cells tell the T cells when to attack an infection and when to put down their weapons."

"The dendritic cells have proteins on their surface, which they use to send these orders to the T cells. It's long been known that the job of one of these proteins is to tell the T cells when to switch off and stop fighting. However, contrary to what was previously understood, we found that another protein - called PD-L2 - can override these instructions by telling the T cells to switch on and keep fighting," he continued.

"We found that when humans and mice are infected with severe malaria, levels of PD-L2 decrease and so the T cells aren't being told to keep fighting the parasites.We don't know how malaria manages to block the production of PD-L2. But once we knew how important this protein was for fighting the disease, we developed a synthetic version of it in the laboratory," Wykes added.

The researchers gave three doses of the protein to mice that had been infected with a lethal dose of malaria.

"All of these mice were cured of the malaria," Wykes claimed.

"About five months later, we re-infected the same mice with malaria parasites, but this time we didn't give them any more of the synthetic protein. All of the mice were completely protected and didn't become infected."

He said the findings could form the basis for new ways to treat malaria in future, "This would be a completely new way of treating malaria by stimulating a person's own immune system to destroy the parasites."

The research was funded by Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Attention dog lovers! With just six months of training, a German Shepherd can accurately detect breast cancer, a study finds.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Mar. 27 (ANI): After a heart attack, ask your grandparents to make their bed, do laundry or carry groceries as it may start the road to recovery soon, suggests a study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A recent study has found that a sleepless night impairs your ability to interpret subtle expressions of happiness and sadness.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): When it comes to new moms' workout programs, less is more and so, according to a Kansas State University researcher, new moms may need a bit more flexibility and support to ease back into exercise after giving birth.

Full Story >>

New approach to diagnosing mental disorders

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 10:48 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A consortium of psychiatrists and psychologists has proposed a new approach to diagnosing mental disorders.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat anxiety, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Fecal transplant offers hope for autistic kids

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 09:37 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): In this new era of medical therapy dawning, fecal transplants are poised to help fight a range of conditions, from deadly superbugs to obesity and now, autism is in the firing line.

Full Story >>

Thiruvallur (Chennai) [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): A highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine, Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) has affected Karani village on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu's Tiruvallur district.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): The findings of the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 confirm what we all knew from clinical evidence - that hypertension has become a major health concern among the Indian population, with as many as 22% Indians hypertensive.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A prescription weight-loss medication can decrease the urge to use opiates such as oxycodone, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has discovered a new gene that is associated with Tau accumulation, which is one of the defining features of Alzheimer disease (AD).

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): All it takes is the flip of a protein "switch" within the tiny wire-like capillaries of the brain to increase the blood flow that ensures optimal brain function.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Scientists have found that stem cell therapy repairs damaged lungs - raising hopes of a cure for the crippling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

Full Story >>

New method can cut dental implant failure

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 09:34 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a new method to reduce dental implant failure.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a fluorogenic probe that can detect the activity of multidrug-resistant pathogens in an assay system.

Full Story >>

Virus hydrophobicity can help purify vaccines

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 07:46 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has found that hydrophobic proteins on virus surfaces can help purify vaccines.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has shed light on why survivors of childhood brain tumours may be prone to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and early death.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Continuing its efforts to raise awareness on tuberculosis and its diagnosis, Division of Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Medicine Department of Laboratory Medicine, AIIMS, and BD (Becton Dickinson India) for the third consecutive year organized a symposium today on "challenges in diagnosis and eradication of tuberculosis".

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): On the solemn occasion of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, Members of Parliament, policymakers, TB patients, survivors, and citizens of the civil society gathered at India Gate on Thursday, March 23 to pay tribute to the nearly five lakh lives lost due to this disease last year.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Emergence of multi drug resistant TB and complications aggravated by high rates of co-infection with HIV-AIDS has renewed the threat of TB epidemic in India. With widespread prevalence of the infection, children experience a serious risk of contracting Tuberculosis, especially if they are under-nourished.

Full Story >>