Malaria makes relapsing fever more serious

In such cases, the malaria is moderated while the relapsing fever becomes more serious. This is shown in a new doctoral dissertation by Jenny Lundqvist at Umeå University in Sweden.

Malaria is a common disease in tropical Africa, causing between 1.5 and 2.7 million deaths each year. As a rule, only the clinical symptoms are used for quick diagnosis in order to prescribe the proper treatment. However, this type of presumptive diagnosis is problematic, as there are other diseases that have the same symptoms, such as relapsing fever (an infection caused by bacteria of the Borrelia genus).

How the patient is affect by this was previously unknown, and, to study the phenomenon, an animal model was created for this type of double infection. It turned out that when both diseases occur at the same time the malaria is much milder whereas the Borrelia infection in turn is more serious, indeed, fatal. This is because the immune defense focuses on the malaria infection, which means that the relapsing fever can grow unhampered. Mice with double infection develop severe anemia and serious internal damage, above all in the spleen, which is important for the immune defense. Malaria can also revive a dormant Borrelia in the brain and cause the relapsing fever to flare up anew.

This new knowledge about double infection by malaria and relapsing fever will be important for the diagnosis and treatment of both diseases, especially in Africa.

Jenny Lundqvistis a doctoral candidate at the Department of Molecular Biology and can be reached at cell phone: +46 (0)70-3589346 or e-mail jenny.lundqvist@molbiol.umu.se.

Pressofficer Hans Fällman; hans.fallman@adm.umu.se; +46-70 691 28 29

Media Contact

Hans Fällman idw

All news from this category: Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Back to the Homepage

Comments (0)

Write comment

Latest posts

Seawater as an electrical cable !?

Wireless power transfers in the ocean For drones that can be stationed underwater for the adoption of ICT in mariculture. Associate professor Masaya Tamura, Kousuke Murai (who has completed the…

Rare quadruple-helix DNA found in living human cells with glowing probes

New probes allow scientists to see four-stranded DNA interacting with molecules inside living human cells, unravelling its role in cellular processes. DNA usually forms the classic double helix shape of…

A rift in the retina may help repair the optic nerve

In experiments in mouse tissues and human cells, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have found that removing a membrane that lines the back of the eye may improve the…

Partners & Sponsors

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close