The research, conducted by a multinational team of researchers from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (LSHTM), Heidelberg University School of Medicine, the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Germany, and the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya, found that infection with malaria parasites during administration of preventative antibiotics developed a vaccine-like immunity against re-infection.
Approximately half the world's population is at risk of malaria and about one million people (mainly children living in sub-Saharan Africa) die each year from malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease. Malaria parasites are transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Only an estimated 10 to 100 parasites per mosquito bite invade the liver where they replicate. About a week after infection, tens of thousands of parasites are released into the bloodstream where they are responsible for malaria's recurring fevers and cause life-threatening complications.
In this study, the researchers showed that the antibiotics caused a cellular defect in malaria parasites during their passage into the liver of the infected host. This action did not prevent parasite replication in the liver but blocked the malaria parasite's fatal conversion to the disease causing blood stage. The very late arrest of parasites in the liver allowed the immune system to mount a robust defence against subsequent infections, akin to experimental whole organism vaccine strategies using attenuated parasites.
As already established, antibiotics, especially in combination with other anti-malarial drugs, are safe and affordable drugs against an acute malaria infection. The novel concept is to take advantage of the immunological benefit of antibiotic prophylaxis in areas of moderate to high malaria transmission. In these settings, humans are continuously exposed to new malaria infections delivered by natural mosquito transmission that can be prevented by antibiotics. In the liver, a surplus of parasites presented to the immune system results in robust induction of memory immune responses that can recognize and destroy future malaria infections in the liver, when antibiotics are no longer taken.
Dr Steffen Borrman co-author on the paper says that 'this proof-of-principle study attempts to bridge a gap between basic malaria research and a rapid translation to a potential application in malaria-endemic countries. An important follow-up of this work is the validation of our experimental approach by clinical trials in humans. If successful, periodic administration of antibiotics, preferably in drug combinations, in high-risk population groups, particularly young, non-immune children, may provide an additional valuable tool for controlling and/or eliminating malaria in resource-poor settings.'
To contact Julius Hafalla of LSHTM, one of the paper's authors, please call Sally Hall, Media Manager, on 020 7927 2073 / 07790 992797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sally Hall | EurekAlert!
Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2018 | Life Sciences
21.09.2018 | Event News