Causing almost half a million death worldwide yearly, malaria is a serious medical concern. However, scientists found what drives the growth of malaria parasite, aiming towards developing a treatment that could halt the process.
According to the findings published in the PLOS Pathogens journal, scientists with the University of Nottingham have found the mechanism driving the growth of the malaria parasite known as Plasmodium both in human hosts and the vector mosquitoes carrying it.
The main driver is a protein molecule known as cyclin. Cyclin manifests in different ways in the organisms that have been studied until now. It is a complex set the purpose of which is to sustain and push cellular division and cell growth.
Until now, cyclin has been observed in humans, plants and other animals. Nonetheless, the research carried out by Doctor Bill Wickstead, Doctor Magali Roques and Professor Rita Tewari is the first to look at the role of cyclin in the development of the malaria parasite in its two hosts. Malaria is a potentially deadly mosquito-borne disease. Scientist found what drives the growth of malaria parasite, hoping that their breakthrough findings will lead to a treatment which could one day eradicate this threat.
The stud holds significant value particularly for developing countries where malaria makes most victims each year. Mosquitoes known as the Anopheles mosquitoes act as a vector for the malaria parasite. Once a female reaches adulthood it will infect a mammal host which, in lack of treatment will succumb to the blood disease. Recovery from malaria is a long process and may leave permanent marks on the patient.
Cyclin sets are very particular in the the development of Plasmodium and its growth through the body. Plasmodium also has a very peculiar cell cycle, which was pinned in the research to the particularity of the cyclin sets.
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