Breaking News
November 15, 2018 - Mass shootings may trigger unnecessary blood donations
November 15, 2018 - From heart disease to cancer: New study tracks shift of county death rates
November 15, 2018 - Preventing falls with new sensor technology
November 15, 2018 - Promising technology could improve detection, diagnosis of fatal ovarian cancer
November 15, 2018 - AAP updates concussion recommendations for children and teens
November 15, 2018 - Two genomic tests help identify most effective treatment for breast cancer patients
November 15, 2018 - Researchers evaluate efficacy of salivary biomarkers for early detection of oral cancer
November 15, 2018 - NIH awards $3.5 million to continue development of robotic system for treating brain tumors
November 15, 2018 - Researchers succeed in building protein nanotubes from tiny scaffolds
November 15, 2018 - Rectal bleeding
November 15, 2018 - Nasal delivery of weight-loss hormone eases breathing problems in sleeping mice
November 15, 2018 - $9.6 million grant to fund research on vascular risk factors for brain aging, dementia | News Center
November 15, 2018 - Gum disease linked with diabetes
November 15, 2018 - Study identifies unique functional brain networks associated with ASD behaviors in infancy
November 15, 2018 - EU and industry-funded project aims to personalize diabetes treatment
November 15, 2018 - NIH researchers shed light on causes of HBV-associated acute liver failure
November 14, 2018 - FDA Alert: Implanted Pumps: Safety Communication
November 14, 2018 - Weight loss & acute Porphyria
November 14, 2018 - Researchers identify three sub-types of depression
November 14, 2018 - The puzzle of a mutated gene lurking behind many Parkinson’s cases | News Center
November 14, 2018 - The mystery viruses far worse than flu
November 14, 2018 - Research highlights physical changes in the brain of self-injuring teen girls
November 14, 2018 - Speed and error rate of DNA synthesis influenced by DNA structure
November 14, 2018 - Cranberry consumption modifies impact of animal-based diet on gut health
November 14, 2018 - £500,000 grant could pave way for new antibiotic to battle against drug-resistant superbugs
November 14, 2018 - Trump Administration Finalizes Birth Control Coverage Opt-Out
November 14, 2018 - Modern life offers children almost everything they need, except daylight
November 14, 2018 - Getting better: A patient is more than a collection of numbers
November 14, 2018 - 20 Americans Die Each Day Waiting For Organs
November 14, 2018 - First bifacial molecule can invade double-stranded DNA or RNA
November 14, 2018 - Study finds lack of safety data for using flowers in cooking
November 14, 2018 - Statistical methods play key role in predicting efficacy of new drugs
November 14, 2018 - Research explores how exercise may help fight drug addiction
November 14, 2018 - Health Tip: Limit Fat, Sugar and Salt in Your Child’s Diet
November 14, 2018 - CA 19-9 Blood Test (Pancreatic Cancer): MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 14, 2018 - Old drug could have new use helping sick premature babies
November 14, 2018 - Surgery, not antibiotics, should remain first-line treatment for appendicitis | News Center
November 14, 2018 - Researchers to develop sports-specific classification system for blind football
November 14, 2018 - Preschool children show awake responses to naptime nonsense words
November 14, 2018 - Researchers develop innovative treatment to repair damaged brain tissues
November 14, 2018 - Survey shows negative effect of vulvovaginal atrophy symptoms on quality of life for women
November 14, 2018 - Study sheds light on mechanisms that prevent autoimmune attack
November 14, 2018 - Sleep quality found to be worse for women who undergo surgical menopause
November 14, 2018 - One-hour cognitive behavioral therapy session reduces insomnia symptoms in prisoners
November 14, 2018 - New study provides deeper insight into chromosome segregation during mitosis
November 14, 2018 - Surgical menopause leads to more disrupted sleep than natural menopause
November 14, 2018 - Inhibition of one protein clears toxic clumps seen in Parkinson’s disease, study finds
November 14, 2018 - Appendix removal is linked to lower risk of Parkinson’s
November 14, 2018 - Lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce cardiovascular disease risk
November 14, 2018 - Pulmonary rehabilitation rarely received by hospitalized COPD patients despite health benefits
November 14, 2018 - New anti-HER2 drug shows promising anti-tumor activity in gullet, stomach and bowel cancers
November 14, 2018 - Regular head circumference assessment of preterm babies can help identify long-term IQ problems
November 14, 2018 - Brigham investigators examine opioid use among Massachusetts adolescents, prescription trends
November 14, 2018 - Study defines biomarker in response to treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer
November 14, 2018 - Study identifies potential therapeutic strategy for patients with clear cell renal cancer
November 14, 2018 - Bausch Health Announces U.S. Launch of Bryhali (halobetasol propionate) Lotion, 0.01%, for Plaque Psoriasis In Adults
November 14, 2018 - Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 14, 2018 - Researchers evaluate controversial treatment for Parkinson’s disease psychosis
November 14, 2018 - AI could help veterinarians code their notes
November 14, 2018 - Pre-schoolers with autism thrive in mainstream classroom settings
November 14, 2018 - Individual and work-related factors may help promote hospital physician engagement, finds study
November 14, 2018 - Complementary and alternative medicine is widely used by general population in England
November 14, 2018 - Study reveals link between tobacco availability and smoking during pregnancy
November 14, 2018 - Purdue researchers develop translucent base for silicon patches to deliver exact doses of biomolecules
November 14, 2018 - New technology based on moths and magnets could help treat genetic diseases
November 14, 2018 - Concussion-Related Biomarkers Vary Based on Sex, Race
November 14, 2018 - One more year of high school may shape waistlines later in life
November 14, 2018 - Dissecting high drug costs – Scope
November 14, 2018 - Study shows novel strategy to reduce breast cancer bone metastasis
November 14, 2018 - Empowering the NHS through Industry Partnerships
November 14, 2018 - One size does not fit all in obesity treatment, study finds
November 14, 2018 - Seeking ways to prevent ‘secondary cataracts’
November 14, 2018 - Change Within the Eye May Be Early Warning for Macular Degeneration
November 14, 2018 - Study of 500,000 people clarifies the risks of obesity
November 14, 2018 - Ultrasound releases drug to alter activity in targeted brain areas in rats | News Center
November 14, 2018 - Umass Amherst researchers battle against youth suicide in rural Alaska Native communities
November 14, 2018 - Cancer stem cells depend on amino acid metabolism, and it’s proving to be their Achilles’ heel
November 14, 2018 - Epigenetic link found between prenatal exposure to maternal smoking and offspring’s cardio-metabolic health
November 14, 2018 - Meditation, music may change biomarkers of cellular aging and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults
November 14, 2018 - Multidisciplinaryresearch teams selected to study age-related brain disorders
Joint research team discovers potential new treatment for severe malaria

Joint research team discovers potential new treatment for severe malaria

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have discovered a potential treatment that could be effective against severe malaria and even drug-resistant malaria.

The joint research team discovered a new molecular pathway (a new series of interactions among molecules in a cell) and various compounds that could boost human immune cells’ ability to identify and attack malaria-infected red blood cells (iRBCs). This could improve an infected patient’s chances of recovery and lower the risk that they develop a more serious infection, which could lead to organ failure.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasite which affects over 216 million people worldwide and could be fatal in serious cases. It is still a huge problem in developing countries because there is no vaccine for malaria while antimalarial drugs are losing their efficacy with drug resistance on the rise, especially in Africa and South-east Asia. In 2017 alone, there are 445,000 malaria-induced deaths globally.

For decades, doctors and scientists have been baffled why some people are more vulnerable to malaria than others. This latest discovery by the joint research team which was published in the peer-reviewed academic journalPLOS Pathogenslast week has shed light into this mystery.

Boosting the body’s Natural Killer cells to fight malaria infection

During the initial phase of an infection by the malaria parasite, the first-line-of-defence cells known as Natural Killer (NK) cells will destroy the infected red blood cells if they detect them. Due to human genetic variation, some people have more responsive NK cells, while others do not.

By analysing responsive and non-responsive NK cells, the joint research team has discovered through their lab experiments the pathway used by NK cells to detect infected red blood cells.

Firstly, infected red blood cells secrete small microvesicles from their surface, which are extremely tiny sacs containing biomolecules such as ribonucleic acid (RNA) which are genetic instructions needed to produce proteins.

These microvesicles are then detected by the pathogen recognition receptor MDA5 located inside NK cells. The role of these receptors is to identify bacteria and viruses, thus triggering the NK cells into attacking and killing infected red blood cells.

Having established that NK cells with higher levels of MDA5 respond better to a malaria infection, the scientists were able to improve non-responding NK cells by activating MDA5 artificially with a synthetic drug compound in their lab tests.

Dr Ye Weijian, the lead author of the study said understanding this pathway that primes the NK cells to attack is important for developing novel strategies in boosting people’s own immune system to fight malaria.

“Our discovery underpins future studies in immunotherapy and may hold the key to addressing multi-drug resistant diseases,” said Dr Ye who is an NTU graduate under the SMART Graduate Fellowship.

SMART PhD candidate, Marvin Chewwho is the co-first author, said, “Our four-year research findings bring a new level of insight into NK cell and disease severity. The identified drug target and synthetic compounds could form the basis for an effective treatment for malaria.”

Professor Peter Preiser, Chair of NTU’s School of Biological Sciences, a senior scientist in the research team with extensive experience in malaria biology, said this breakthrough could only have been achieved through interdisciplinary research.

“Moving forward, the possibility of applying the same concept for other infectious diseases is boundless. We know that MDA5 is a sensor for infected red blood cells, so we can use synthetic drugs to improve MDA5 and improve NK cell function against other infectious diseases such as dengue, TB or even cancer.”

Leader of the research group, Professor Chen Jianzhu, Professor of Biology at MIT and SMART Lead Investigator of the Infectious Diseases Interdisciplinary Research Group (ID IRG) said, “With no viable vaccine for malaria in sight, coupled with increasing loss of efficacy in antimalarial drugs and prophylaxis as anti-malarial drug resistance, making this breakthrough discovery will open up new avenues for targeted approaches in our fight against malaria.”

Source:

http://media.ntu.edu.sg/NewsReleases/Pages/newsdetail.aspx?news=1e30fade-90c3-47a6-b9ab-544531e5d90e

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles