Current Parasite News and Events

Current Parasite News and Events, Parasite News Articles.
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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)

Copycat plant booster improves on nature
A molecular mimic designed to promote plant growth and limit witchweed infestation shows promise in initial trials. (2020-09-28)

Something old, something new combine for effective vaccine against parasitic skin disease
Scientists are planning for Phase 1 human trials of a vaccine they developed by using CRISPR gene-editing technology to mutate the parasite that causes leishmaniasis, a skin disease common in tropical regions of the world and gaining ground in the United States. (2020-09-24)

Invasive shrimp-sucking parasite continues northward Pacific expansion
Researchers have identified an invasive blood-sucking parasite on mud shrimp in the waters of British Columbia's Calvert Island. The discovery represents the northern-most record of the parasite on the West Coast and is likely an indication of its ability to spread without human transport. (2020-09-17)

Massively parallel sequencing unlocks cryptic diversity of eye parasites in fish
Scientists developed a methodology that uses next-generation sequencing technology for fast and efficient screening of genetic diversity of fish eye parasites. (2020-09-07)

Parasitic plants attack crops when defending themselves from microbes
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have discovered a link between defensive responses in plants and the beautiful but devastating crop parasite witchweed. Published in Nature, the new study shows that both parasitic and non-parasitic plants can detect and react to a class of organic compounds called quinones. While parasitic plants sense quinones in their prey and use it to invade, quinones trigger defensive responses in non-parasitic plants that can protect them from bacteria and other microbes. (2020-09-02)

Stealing information from host plants: How the parasitic dodder plant flowers
Recently, researchers led by WU Jianqiang from the Kunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences uncovered the underlying mechanism for dodder flowering. The team first investigated the flowering time of the dodder Cuscuta australis and found that C. australis always synchronizes its flowering time with the flowering time of its hosts. (2020-08-31)

Dodder uses the flowering signal of its host plant to flower
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology have investigated how the parasitic dodder Cuscuta australis controls flower formation. They showed that the parasite eavesdrops on the flowering signals of its host plants in order to activate its own flowering machinery. By synchronizing flowering with its host plant, the parasite makes sure that it can grow on its host long enough to produce the optimal amount of seeds. (2020-08-31)

Mosquito immune system mapped to help fight malaria
Scientists have created the first cell atlas of mosquito immune cells, to understand how mosquitoes fight malaria and other infections. Researchers from the Sanger Institute and collaborators discovered new types of mosquito immune cells, including a rare cell type that could be involved in limiting malaria infection. The findings offer opportunities for uncovering novel ways to prevent mosquitoes from spreading the malaria parasite to humans and break the chain of malaria transmission. (2020-08-27)

In times of ecological uncertainty, brood parasites hedge their bets
Some birds lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species and let the host parents raise their young. A new study finds that in times of environmental flux, these brood parasites 'diversify their portfolios,' minimizing the risks of their unorthodox lifestyle by increasing the number and variety of hosts they select as adoptive parents. (2020-08-21)

Meet hedge fund managers of avian world
New research from Washington University in St. Louis finds that brood parasites living in more variable and unpredictable habitats tend to parasitize -- or squat and drop their eggs in -- the nests of a greater variety and number of hosts. The study is published Aug. 21 in Nature Communications. (2020-08-21)

The flax wilt agent has been sequenced
Researchers teamed up to sequence and assemble genome of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lini, a highly destructive fungal parasite infecting flax. The results of the study were published in the Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. (2020-08-14)

Malaria discovery could expedite antiviral treatment for COVID-19
New research into malaria suggests targeting enzymes from the human host, rather than from the pathogen itself, could offer effective treatment for a range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. (2020-08-11)

First record of invasive shell-boring worm in the Wadden Sea means trouble for oyster
n October 2014, the suspicion arose that the parasite worm Polydora websteri had found its way to the Wadden Sea. Researchers from the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), confirm in a publication in Marine Biodiversity, that they have found the shell-borer in oysters near Sylt and Texel and that it has arrived in European waters. (2020-08-06)

Bird nests attract flying insects and parasites due to higher levels of carbon dioxide
Researchers in Spain have examined bird nests in order to understand how flying insects and parasites detect gases as a way to locate their hosts. The study found that nests that had higher concentrations of carbon dioxide attracted more biting midges, a type of insect that carries a common blood parasite that infects local birds. The findings have implications regarding how diseases spread, which will be affected as carbon levels rise due to climate change. (2020-08-05)

No air, no problem: How parasites switch to life without oxygen inside host
The discovery of unique molecular mechanics allowing parasitic worms to thrive in the guts of one billion people opens the door to new treatments that are safe for the host. (2020-08-05)

New studies show how to save parasites and why it's important
An international group of scientists published a paper, Aug. 1, 2020, in a special edition of the journal Biological Conservation that lays out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites. A separate paper also found that the responses of parasites to environmental change are likely to be complex, and that a changing world probably will see both outbreaks of some parasites and a total loss of other parasite species. (2020-08-01)

NIH researchers discover new set of channels connecting malaria parasite and blood cells
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions have discovered another set of pore-like holes, or channels, traversing the membrane-bound sac that encloses the deadliest malaria parasite as it infects red blood cells. The channels enable the transport of lipids--fat-like molecules--between the blood cell and parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The parasite draws lipids from the cell to sustain its growth and may also secrete other types of lipids to hijack cell functions to meet its needs. (2020-07-30)

Your brain parasite isn't making you sick -- here's why
The new discovery could have important implications for brain infections, neurodegenerative diseases and autoimmune disorders. (2020-07-30)

The big gulp: Inside-out protection of parasitic worms against host defenses
A team of developmental biologists at the Morgridge Institute for Research has discovered a means by which schistosomes, parasitic worms that infect more than 200 million people in tropical climates, are able to outfox the host's immune system. (2020-07-27)

Study identifies spread of bee disease via flowers
One in 11 flowers carries disease-causing parasites known to contribute to bee declines, according to a Cornell University study that identifies how flowers act as hubs for transmitting diseases to bees and other pollinators. (2020-07-23)

More flowers and pollinator diversity could help protect bees from parasites
Having more flowers and maintaining diverse bee communities could help reduce the spread of bee parasites, according to a new study. (2020-07-22)

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