Current Parasite News and Events

Current Parasite News and Events, Parasite News Articles.
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Parasitic plants conspire to keep hosts alive
The plant that encourages kissing at Christmas is in fact a parasite, and new research reveals mistletoe has an unusual feeding strategy. When two mistletoes invade the same tree, they increase photosynthesis to get the nutrients they need, essentially sharing the tree and causing it less harm. (2021-02-23)

Parasites' dispersal capacity and rates of genetic introgression--a study
The results, recently published in the journal Communications Biology, have important applications in the field of coevolutionary biology (2021-02-19)

Engineering immunity
University of New Mexico researchers study the use of virus-like particles to create a stable and effective malaria vaccine. (2021-02-03)

New study: Malaria tricks the brain's defence system
Malaria is one of the most common causes of death in children in Africa. When the parasite builds up in the blood vessels of the brain, it develops into one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, cerebral malaria. Though it wasn't certain if the parasite was able to penetrate the brain tissue, now researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found parasites can do that and have mapped the mechanism they utilise. (2021-01-26)

Genetic sequence for parasitic flowering plant Sapria
A team of Harvard-led researchers presented the most complete genome yet assembled of one of the major Rafflesiaceae lineages, Sapria himalayana. (2021-01-22)

Wits University scientists artificially infect mosquitoes with human malaria to advance treatment
Scientists at the Wits Research Institute for Malaria (WRIM) in partnership with the University of Pretoria and colleagues in the US, Spain and Switzerland have identified novel antiplasmodial lead compounds for mass drug administration and vector control to eliminate malaria. (2021-01-14)

A new study identifies possible biomarkers of severe malaria in African children
The analysis identified a series of small molecules called microRNAs that are released as a result of organ damage and are associated with disease severity (2021-01-13)

Scientists reach new milestone in vaccine development for leishmaniasis
Researchers have taken an important step forward in developing a controlled human infection model to test leishmaniasis vaccines. (2021-01-11)

Study identifies exposure to common food-borne pathogen linked to rare brain cancer
A new study suggests a link between toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection and the risk of glioma, a type of brain cancer, in adults. (2021-01-11)

The parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium infects marine crustaceans
The parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium infects marine crustaceans https://doi.org/10.1007/s42995-020-00061-z Announcing a new publication for Marine Life Science & Technology journal. In this review article the authors Caiwen Li, Meng Li and Qian Huang from Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China consider the impact of the parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium on aquaculture of marine crustaceans in China. (2021-01-10)

Risk of extinction cascades from freshwater mussels to a bitterling fish
Reproduction of native and invasive bitterling fishes and their hybridisation was studied in Japan. We collected mussels in which these bitterlings lay their eggs, kept them in aquaria, collected eggs/larvae ejected from mussels, and genotyped them. We found that hybrids occurred when local mussel density was low. The rapid decline of the host mussels and artificial introduction of an invasive congener interacted to cause the rapid decline of a native fish. (2021-01-04)

Multiple mosquito blood meals accelerate malaria transmission
Multiple bouts of blood feeding by mosquitoes shorten the incubation period for malaria parasites and increase malaria transmission potential, according to a study published Dec. 31 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Lauren Childs of Virginia Tech, Flaminia Catteruccia of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues. (2020-12-31)

New mutations in malaria parasite encourage resistance against key preventive drug
In the ongoing arms race between humans and the parasite that causes malaria, Taane Clark and colleagues at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) report that new mutations that enhance resistance to a drug used to prevent malaria in pregnant women and children are already common in countries fighting the disease. The new results are published Dec. 31 in PLOS Genetics. (2020-12-31)

Gut cells sound the alarm when parasites invade
When the parasite Cryptosporidium enters the body, it's cells in the intestines that first recognize the invader, triggering an early immune response, according to a new study led by a team from the University of Pennsylvania. A leading cause of diarrheal disease in young children globally, the parasite generates an inflammatory response beginning in the intestines that exacerbates the effects of malnutrition. (2020-12-28)

Genetic engineering without unwanted side effects helps fight parasites
Modified CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing scissors are enabling researchers at UZH to make alterations to the genetic material of single-cell organisms that are indistinguishable from natural mutations. This method is making it possible to develop a (harmless) experimental live vaccine for the widespread parasite Toxoplasma gondii. (2020-12-23)

Enhanced scorpion venom molecules can be used to treat Chagas disease
Brazilian researchers tested the antichagasic properties of VmCT1, obtained from the venom of Vaejovis mexicanus, a scorpion harmless to humans, and synthesized novel analogs to redesign the native molecule (2020-12-21)

Study: Bumble bees lacking high-quality habitat have higher pathogen loads
Bumble bees found in low-quality landscapes -- characterized by a relative lack of spring flowers and quality nesting habitat -- had higher levels of disease pathogens, as did bumble bees in areas with higher numbers of managed honey bee hives, according to research led by Penn State scientists. (2020-12-21)

Cell atlas of tropical disease parasite may hold key to new treatments
The first cell atlas of an important life stage of Schistosoma mansoni, a parasitic worm that poses a risk to hundreds of millions of people each year, has been developed by researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators. (2020-12-18)

A protein has been identified as a potential therapeutic target for leishmaniasis vaccines
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), leishmaniasis causes between 20,000 and 30,000 deaths a year, and there is currently no vaccine for humans. A research team led by the Complutense University of Madrid has described the mechanism by which the Leishmania parasite avoids detection: through the SHP-1 protein, which is responsible for basic cellular functions. The finding positions this protein as a potential therapeutic target for the development of vaccines against the disease. (2020-12-11)

Red propolis could be used to treat schistosomiasis
In vitro studies and experiments with mice show that the natural extract was more effective than the only drug available to combat this parasitic disease (2020-12-07)

Study suggests metabolism influences parasite's resistance to drugs
New insight on how a parasite can resist current therapies has been published today in the open-access eLife journal. (2020-12-01)

Climate warming increases infectious disease risk in cooler-climate species
Accelerated climate warming may increase the risk for infectious disease outbreaks in many species adapted to mild and cooler climates, whereas species from warmer climates could experience reductions in disease risk, reports a new study. (2020-11-19)

Parasite infection discovery could assist mental health treatments
New research into how a common parasite infection alters human behaviour could help development of treatments for schizophrenia and other neurological disorders. T. gondii currently infects 2.5 billion people worldwide and causes the disease Toxoplasmosis. (2020-11-16)

Pesticides commonly used as flea treatments for pets are contaminating English rivers
Researchers at the University of Sussex have found widespread contamination of English rivers with two neurotoxic pesticides commonly used in veterinary flea products: fipronil and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. (2020-11-16)

Parasitic worms offer 'the missing link' on the dual nature of a key immune regulator
By studying two models of parasite infection, the University of Pennsylvania's De'Broski Herbert and colleagues filled in crucial gaps about the activity of the signaling molecule IL-33 that is critical to asthma, allergies, and other diseases. (2020-11-13)

Infection by parasites disturbs flight behaviour in shoals of fish
Shoal behaviour in fish is an important strategy for them to safeguard their survival. Certain parasites are able to manipulate this strategy. Biologists have discovered that infected individual fish disturb the transmission of flight behaviour and, as a result, increase not only their own risk of being eaten, but also that of other - non-infected - members of the group. (2020-11-09)

When malaria parasites trick liver cells to let themselves in
A new study led by Maria Manuel Mota, group leader at Instituto de Medicina Molecular, now shows that malaria parasites secrete the protein EXP2 that is required for their entry into hepatocytes. These findings, published today in the scientific journal Nature Communications, open a new avenue for prophylactic anti-malarial strategies, since blocking or decreasing the infection of the liver can prevent the disease. (2020-11-06)

Malaria parasites adapt to survive the dry season, research shows
The main parasite that causes malaria can alter its gene expression to survive undetected in the human blood stream, new research has shown. (2020-10-30)

Exposure to suboptimal doses of antimalarial drugs could, under certain circumstances, increase mala
Exposure to suboptimal doses of the antiparasitic drug artemisinin could increase the sexual conversion rate of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, thereby increasing the probability of transmission, according to a study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by ''la Caixa'' Foundation. The findings, published in eLife, may have public health implications, particularly in the context of mass antimalarial drug administration campaigns. (2020-10-28)

Preventive drugs halve malaria cases in African schoolchildren
Giving preventive drugs to school-age children in Africa substantially reduces malaria infections and cases of anaemia, according to a new study in The Lancet Global Health. (2020-10-22)

Plants communicate at a molecular level
Working together with researchers from the University of Tübingen, the University of Tromsø, the UC Davis and the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, biologists from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have discovered how tomato plants identify Cuscuta as a parasite. The plant has a protein in its cell walls that is identified as 'foreign' by a receptor in the tomato. (2020-10-20)

Peptides+antibiotic combination may result in a more effective treatment for leishmaniasis
A combination of peptides and antibiotics could be key to eliminating the parasite causing leishmaniasis and avoiding the toxicity to people and animals caused by current drugs. The study, coordinated by researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona opens the door to new, more effective treatments against this disease. (2020-10-16)

How deadly parasites 'glide' into human cells
A group of scientists led by EMBL Hamburg's Christian Löw provide insights into the molecular structure of proteins involved in the gliding movements through which the parasites causing malaria and toxoplasmosis invade human cells. (2020-10-13)

Scientists shed new light on mechanisms of malaria parasite motility
New insight on the molecular mechanisms that allow malaria parasites to move and spread disease within their hosts has been published today in the open-access eLife journal. (2020-10-13)

Building 'ToxAll' -- a smart, self-assembling nano-vaccine to prevent toxoplasmosis
A team of researchers at the University of Chicago are developing a toolbox of self-assembling nanoparticles to be used as vaccines against infections including the parasitic Toxoplasma gondii. (2020-10-13)

Planting parasites: Unveiling common molecular mechanisms of parasitism and grafting
Using the model Orobanchaceae parasitic plant Phtheirospermum japonicum, scientists have discerned the molecular mechanisms underlying plant parasitism and cross-species grafting, pinpointing enzyme β-1,4-glucanase (GH9B3) as an important contributor to both phenomena. Targeting this enzyme may help control plant parasitism in crops. (2020-10-10)

NYUAD researchers discover immune evasion strategy used by Malaria-causing parasite
A team of researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has found that the Plasmodium parasite, which transmits malaria to humans through infected mosquitos, triggers changes in human genes that alter the body's adaptive immune response to malarial infections. (2020-10-09)

Boosting chickens' own immune response could curb disease
Broiler chicken producers the world over are all too familiar with coccidiosis, a parasite-borne intestinal disease that stalls growth and winnows flocks. Various approaches, developed over decades, have been used to control coccidiosis, but the disease remains widespread. Recent research from the University of Illinois supports the use of immunomodulatory and antioxidant feed additives to reduce the effects of coccidiosis. (2020-10-07)

How malaria parasites withstand a fever's heat
The parasites that cause 200 million cases of malaria each year can withstand feverish temperatures that make their human hosts miserable. Now, a Duke University-led team is beginning to understand how they do it. The researchers have identified a lipid-protein combo that springs into action to gird the parasite's innards against heat shock. Understanding how malaria protects its cells against heat and other onslaughts could lead to new ways to fight tough-to-kill strains, researchers say. (2020-10-05)

Repurposed anti-malarial compounds kill diarrheal parasite, study finds
A class of compounds used for malaria treatment also kill the intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium, a leading cause of diarrheal disease and death in children that has no cure, a multi-institution collaboration of researchers found in a new study. (2020-10-01)

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