HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 26, Nos. 09 & 10, September & October 2022 – Toxins and Medicines – Two Sides of the Same Coin       » Utilising Metal Nanoparticles as Plant Growth Regulators to Improve Crop Yield       » Remedy or Poison? How Microplastics Influence Copper Ion Toxicity in Aquatic Plants       » Synthesising Schiff Base Antimicrobial Copper Complexes With Unprecedented Speed       » Enhancing the Understanding of Past Infections With Machine Learning       » Mini, Cellular Bioweapons: Understanding the Structure and Mechanism of Stinging in Sea Anemone Nematocysts       » Converting Dead Spiders Into Gripping Tools
NEWS CRUNCH
Genes linked with malaria's virulence shared by apes, humans
Boston, MA — The malaria parasite molecules associated with severe disease and death — those that allow the parasite to escape recognition by the immune system — have been shown to share key gene segments with chimp and gorilla malaria parasites, which are separated by several millions of years, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This new information about the origin and genetics of human malaria virulence factors could aid in basic understanding of the causes of malaria and provide targets for drugs and vaccines.

The study was published online October 12, 2015 in Nature Communications.

"The evolution of these key virulence determinants doesn't occur in the same way as in other pathogens. Instead of gradually changing by mutation, like the flu virus, these malaria parasites exchange intact gene segments, like shuffling a deck of cards," said Caroline Buckee, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study.

Malaria kills more than 500,000 people a year, mostly children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Severe disease syndromes in human malaria — including severe malarial anemia, pregnancy-associated malaria, and cerebral malaria — have been linked with the malaria parasite's ability to cause infected red blood cells to bind to the inner lining of blood vessels. This ability of the infected cells to adhere in this way — which is key to malaria's virulence — is linked with certain genes called var genes.

Looking at hundreds of var sequence fragments using network analysis, the researchers discovered that short segments of these genes are shared across many different malaria parasites affecting humans, apes, and chimps. These segments are not recent adaptations, but rather reflect an ancient genomic structure.

"Astonishingly, we have found the very same shared sequence mosaics in these highly divergent species, implying that these short mosaic sequences, in spite of continual diversification, have an ancient origin," Buckee said. "The origin of human malaria virulence factors is actually much older than previously thought."

Lead author of the study was Daniel B. Larremore, former postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard Chan School and now an Omidyar fellow at the Santa Fe Institute.

Source: Harvard School of Public Health & EurekAlert

About

Ape parasite origins of human malaria virulence genes," Daniel B. Larremore, Sesh A. Sundararaman, Weimin Liu, William R. Proto, Aaron Clauset, Dorothy E. Loy, Sheri Speede, Lindsey J. Plenderleith, Paul M. Sharp, Beatrice H. Hahn, Julian C. Rayner, and Caroline O. Buckee, Nature Communications, October 12, 2015, doi: 10.1038/ncomms9368

https://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/151012/ncomms9368/full/ncomms9368.shtml

FORTHCOMING ISSUE  
What Has Covid Ever Done for Us?
NEWS CRUNCH  
news 2022 PDA Aseptic Processing of Biopharmaceuticals Conference
news Thailand LAB INTERNATIONAL, Bio Asia Pacific, and FutureCHEM INTERNATIONAL are ready to offer the Science and Technology Industry complete solutions this September!
news Better together: registration opens for Vitafoods Asia 2022 co-located with Fi Asia in October
news 2022 PDA Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Quality Conference
SPOTLIGHT  

MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Contribute to APBN
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   [email protected] or Ms Carmen Chan
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   [email protected]
Copyright© 2022 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy