Severe anaemia, respiratory problems and encephalopathy are common and life-threatening consequences of serious malaria infection. The diseases are caused when the malaria bacteria P.falciparium infects the red blood cells, which then accumulate in large amounts, blocking the flow of blood in the capillaries of the brain and other organs.
The reason that the blood cells conglomerate and lodge in the blood vessels is that once in the blood cell the parasite produces proteins that project from the surface of the cell and bind with receptors on other blood cells and on the vessel wall, and thus act like a glue. The challenge facing scientists has been to break these bonds so that the infected blood cells can be transported by the blood stream into the spleen and destroyed.
The research group, which is headed by Professor Mats Wahlgren, has now developed a substance that prevents infected blood cells from binding in this way. The substance also releases blood cells already bound. Using this method, scientists have been able to treat severe malaria in rats and primates effectively; it now remains to be seen whether these results can be replicated in people.
“There’s often a lack of ability to treat people suffering from severe malaria,” says Professor Wahlgren. “We’ve developed a substance that might be able to help these patients.”
Previously, an anti-coagulant called heparin was used in the treatment of severe malaria. Heparin was able to release the blood cells, but it was soon withdrawn when it was shown that the substance caused internal bleeding. The new substance is a development of heparin, and has the important difference of having no effect on normal blood coagulation.
The study, which is jointly financed by SIDA and Dilafor AB, is to be presented on 29 September in PLoS Pathogens.
For further information, please contact:Professor Mats Wahlgren
Katarina Sternudd | alfa
Speed data for the brain’s navigation system
06.12.2016 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering