New malaria discovery may lead to better vaccine and treatment

Friday, January 17, 2014

Washington University School of Medicine said on Thursday that researchers have discovered how a form of malaria common in India, Southeast Asia and South America attacks blood cells.

The strain, Plasmodium vivax, attacks human red bloods cells by clamping down on the blood cells with a pair of proteins. The new information will help researchers develop better vaccines and treatments.

“More people live at risk of infection by this strain of malaria than any other,” Niraj Tolia, an assistant professor of molecular microbiology and of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, said. “We now are using what we have learned to create vaccines tailored to stop the infectious process by preventing the parasite from attaching to red blood cells.”

Source: Vaccine News Daily (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, vaccines