Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Malaria Infection Of The Liver And In Pregnancy: Two Key Studies By Igc Researchers

27.03.2008
In two papers published in February and March in the journal PLoS ONE(*), scientists at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), in Portugal, have produced important findings towards better understanding malaria infection of the liver, and during pregnancy.

Carlos Penha-Gonçalves and his team, at the Disease Genetics Laboratory, have developed an authentic mouse model of severe malaria in pregnant women. In a separate study, the group identified a genetic region which makes mice less vulnerable to infection of the liver by malaria parasites.

It is estimated that over 50 million pregnancies occur each year in malaria endemic areas. Indeed, pregnancy-associated malaria is one of the major public health burdens in Africa, leading to 100,000 infant deaths annually. Pregnant women who are infected with the Plasmodium parasite show more critical symptoms of malaria, their pregnancies rarely go to term, the growth of the fetus is delayed, babies have low birth weight and often die during infancy.

Carlos and his team have now developed a mouse model of pregnancy-induced malaria which reliably recapitulates the symptoms of the disease, both in the mother and in the fetus. Using this mouse model, the researchers have already begun to unpick some of the events which may underlie the severity of malaria infection during pregnancy.

Says Carlos, ‘What we have achieved would have been impossible to do in humans, and we hope that our model will now provide clues of key molecules and cells that could be targets for treatment’.

Malaria symptoms occur when the parasite reaches the blood stream. However, before moving to the blood stream, the malaria parasite infects liver cells, where it multiplies manifold. In another key study, Carlos and his team have identified a genetic region on chromosome 17 of mice which appears to make it more difficult for the parasite to expand in the liver cells.

The team noticed that a certain breed of mice that they work with showed poorer expansion of the parasite Plasmodium berghei in the liver, and, subsequently, lower numbers in the blood stream. They used genetic mapping techniques to identify the gene or genes responsible for this effect. They called this region berl1, for berghei liver resistance 1.

Says Lígia Gonçalves, first author of this study, ‘We narrowed it down to a region which contains over 300 genes, and we are now trying to restrict it even further, to test individual candidate genes’.

According to Carlos, the next step will be to look at the human equivalent of the berl1 region in humans, and investigate whether it too is able to convey resistance to liver infection. The researchers will study patients who show asymptomatic liver infections.

This research was supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, in Portugal.

Ana Godinho | alfa
Further information:
http://www.igc.gulbenkian.pt

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive

15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?

15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiency

15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>