New way to trap malaria parasites – The Times of IndiaPosted: January 21, 2013
Researchers from Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins Universities led by Doron Greenbaum, assistant professor of pharmacology at Penn have identified the cell signaling pathway used by these parasites to escape from and destroy their host cells and infect new cells pointing toward possible new strategies to stop these diseases.
The Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii parasites (which infect cats) invade a host cell, they take up residence inside a “parasitophorous vacuole” (PV), growing and replicating themselves for about 48 hours, the journal Cell, Host and Microbe reports.
Then they burst out of the PV, completely destroying and dissolving the protein-based cytoskeleton of their host, freeing themselves to seek out and infect new host cells, according to a Penn and Johns Hopkins statement.
The current study took the next step of identifying which host signaling pathway was involved, with the aim of derailing the parasite’s escape route, trapping it inside the host cell and preventing it from spreading infection.