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Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Innovative malaria prevention strategy developed by Indian researchers

A parasite that grows and multiplies initially in the liver cells of the body and subsequently in the red blood cells of the blood is what causes malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes.

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) researchers have discovered a fresh strategy to stop the spread of lethal malaria parasites. The Special Centre for Molecular Medicine team discovered a novel substance with significant transmission-blocking potential. A novel cold shock protein of Plasmodium falciparum has been discovered by JNU researchers, and it is crucial for the sexual and asexual growth of malaria parasites. This protein gives the parasite a coat to shield it from the cold since the malaria parasite is stressed by low temperatures in mosquitoes.

A parasite that grows and multiplies initially in the liver cells of the body and subsequently in the red blood cells of the blood is what causes malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes. The parasite multiplies and spreads more as it grows inside the red blood cells. Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae are the four types of malaria parasites that affect people, according to the US-based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

New malaria prevention plan

According to a study in the journal iScience, cold shock proteins, which are expressed in bacteria, plants, and people to counteract the harmful effects of low temperatures, are essential for developing cold tolerance. According to the study, cold shock proteins are known to destabilise secondary structures in target RNA, allowing efficient transcription and translation.

Recent research suggests that blocking the growth and transmission of malaria parasites by targeting this crucial Plasmodium cold shock protein using LI71.

A substantial step forward in the creation of a transmission-blocking anti-malarial drug has been made. The majority of antimalarial medications used to treat P. falciparum’s asexual stages have negligible or no direct impact on P. falciparum gametocytes.

According to a statement from Prof. Shailja Singh, the study’s corresponding author, we have discovered a brand-new candidate protein called “PfCoSP” for creating transmission-blocking drugs. She went on to say that Plasmodium falciparumfCoSP (PfCoSP), a cold shock protein of the malaria parasite, was discovered to be crucial in helping the parasite adapt to cold stress circumstances inside the mosquito host.

Thus, stopping this protein by LI71 would stop the insects’ cycle of transmission.

Anti-malarial drug development research is ongoing since the parasite has evolved defences against them. First author of the study Dr. Ankita Behl, SERB-NPDF continued, “Resistance to currently available anti-malarial drugs urge additional drug lead identification efforts and further research into this deadly disease.”

The researchers is hopeful that their new research will make it possible to target parasites that are drug-resistant. We must use all of the tools at our disposal and create new ones because we are aware that eliminating malaria will remain a serious global health challenge.

By Parvathy Sukumaran

Parvathy Sukumaran is a Content Creator and Editor at JustCare Health. She is an Educator and a Language Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an M.A in English Literature. She is passionate about writing, archaeology, music and cooking.

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