Scientists ‘find breakthrough’ in malaria treatment

Scientists ‘find breakthrough’ in malaria treatment

Nov 06
Scientists ‘find breakthrough’ in malaria treatment

People travelling to countries that are affected by malaria usually find themselves buying malarone tablets at to counteract the disease, yet in future they could find alternative treatments for the condition, according to a new report in The Journal.

That’s because a vaccine for malaria, created by scientists at The University of Edinburgh, has been developed following research that discovered a key protein in blood of African children who are naturally exposed to infected mosquitoes.

Senior lecturer for the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research at the institution, Dr David Cavanagh, told the newspaper: “We identified this protein, which is found on the surface of blood stage malaria parasites, as a target of antibody responses in African children naturally exposed to malaria by their exposure to infected mosquitoes.

“Importantly, we observed that the children who had antibodies in their blood to this protein were less likely to become ill with malaria than children who lacked these specific antibodies. Antibodies to other parasite proteins did not correlate with this protection.”

As such, the vaccine targets the malaria parasite that comes from the liver, which infects red blood cells. This is what causes the fever and death in infected children, and what is necessary for the parasite to continue growing in the body.

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