Search for: "parasite " - 47 articles found

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Tropical parasite

Treating leishmaniasis with natural compound 2HF

Current treatment options for the parasitic disease leishmaniasis are largely ineffective, expensive, and tend to be plagued by resistant parasites and side effects. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have showed that a natural flavonoid is effective at treating Leishmania amazonensis infections. Leishmaniasis is endemic to 98 countries and affects more than 12 million…

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“Jumping Gene” Mystery

Grabbing a parasite by the tail

Deep within your DNA, a tiny parasite lurks, waiting to pounce from its perch and land in the middle of an unsuspecting healthy gene. If it succeeds, it can make you sick. Like a jungle cat, this parasite sports a long tail. But until now, little was known about what role that tail plays in this dangerous jumping. Now, scientists report that without a tail, this parasitic gene can’t jump…

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Antimalarial drugs

Kill a Malaria parasite with Cholesterol

Drexel University scientists have discovered an unusual mechanism for how two new antimalarial drugs operate: They give the parasite’s skin a boost in cholesterol, making it unable to traverse the narrow labyrinths of the human bloodstream. The drugs also seem to trick the parasite into reproducing prematurely.

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Tropical diseases

Investigating schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis, a disease that is common in sub-Saharan Africa, is particularly widespread in Madagascar. The Schistosoma mansoni parasite responsible for the disease is linked to fibrotic changes in the liver which can be detected using point-of-care ultrasound. Junior doctor Hannah Russell described how point-of-care ultrasound was put to the test in remote locations during an expedition to…

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Diagnostics

Heat it and read it

You’re sweating and feverish and have no idea why. Fortunately, Sandia National Laboratories scientists have built a device that can pinpoint what’s wrong in less than an hour. Unlike most medical diagnostic devices which can perform only one type of test — either protein or nucleic acid tests — Sandia’s SpinDx can now perform both. This allows it to identify nearly any cause of…

In vitro tests to detect malaria

Inverness Medical has produced the Clearview Malaria rapid test range for rapid in vitro detection of malarial antigens in whole blood. The test comes in two different formats: Clearview Malaria P.f. is a qualitative test for detecting the most common, virulent and deadly malaria causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum; Clearview Malaria Combo detects and differentiates between the Plasmodium…

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Nomen est omen?

Sleeping sickness – more than just a sleeping disorder

Sleeping sickness could use a more encompassing moniker. An international study from the O’Donnell Brain Institute shows one of Africa’s most lethal diseases is actually a circadian rhythm disorder caused by the acceleration of biological clocks controlling a range of vital functions besides sleep. By understanding which clock genes are affected by the parasitic disease, scientists hope the…

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Infections

‘Open Science’ paves pathway to develop Malaria drugs

Malaria remains one of the world’s leading causes of mortality in developing countries. Last year alone, it killed more than 400,000 people, mostly young children. An international consortium of researchers unveiled the mechanics and findings of a unique “open science” project for malaria drug discovery that has been five years in the making.

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'Self-Sabotage' prevents immune protection against Malaria

Australian scientists have for the first time revealed how malaria parasites cause an inflammatory reaction that sabotages our body's ability to protect itself against the disease. The discovery opens up the possibility of improving new or existing malaria vaccines by boosting key immune cells needed for long-lasting immunity. This could even include vaccines that have previously been ineffective…

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Altering the ‘flavor’ of humans could help fight Malaria

A new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that a specialized area of the mosquito brain mixes tastes with smells to create unique and preferred flavors. The findings advance the possibility, they say, of identifying a substance that makes “human flavor” repulsive to the malaria-bearing species of the mosquitoes, so instead of feasting on us, they keep the disease to themselves,…

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Infection

Trial pitches MGB-BP-3 against clostridium difficile

Scientists at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have been working to identify compounds with important anti-infective activity and suitable for treating serious infectious diseases caused by bacteria and parasites, such as Clostridium difficile. Their work has led to the creation of the new drug known as MGB-BP-3 (MGB = minor groove binder). Report: Mark Nicholls

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Personalized medicine could help to save 100 billion Euros

Despite huge increases in spending over the last three decades, progress in dealing with the most frequent and burdensome diseases is appalling. The EU Flagship Pilot IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) could remedy that. The flagship‘s investments of 1 billion euros in the course of the next decade are expected to save up to 100 billion euros per year in health expenditures in the future.

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Diagnostics with birefringence

Nothing could be simpler: a drop of blood is placed on a special carrier substance; after a wait of a few minutes, the slide is placed on a device that emits polarised light thanks to an inexpensive polarisation filter. It is covered with a lid containing a second polarisation filter, which blocks the light from all materials except crystalline or materials with directional properties.

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Tempting, but...

Noshing on raw cookie dough? Not such a good idea

The holiday season just wouldn't be the same without delicious Christmas cookies. Impatience in the bakery, however, might be penalized with some unpleasant or even dangerous side-effects. Bruce Ruck, managing director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers University Medical School, talks about the risks associated with eating raw cookie dough: “It’s a potential recipe for food…

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Diagnostic lab system

DxM MicroScan WalkAway System now available on the market

Beckman Coulter announced commercialization of its DxM MicroScan WalkAway system, a diagnostic solution for bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing for microbiology laboratories. The DxM MicroScan WalkAway system uses direct minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) for detection of antimicrobial resistance, offering greater confidence in results through gold-standard…

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Epidemics

Animal health drug could stop outbreaks of malaria and Zika virus

Medicines given to household pets to kill fleas and ticks might be effective for preventing outbreaks of malaria, Zika fever and other dangerous insect-borne diseases that infect millions of people worldwide, according to a new study led by scientists at Calibr, a non-profit drug discovery institute closely affiliated with Scripps Research and TropIQ Health Sciences, a Dutch social enterprise.

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Study

Sepsis cases are rising

Sepsis kills around a hundred and thirty patients daily In Germany alone. This systemic disease is mostly caused by bacterial pathogens, and less frequently by fungal organisms or parasites. The delayed diagnoses result in high mortality. Professor Dr Frank M Brunkhorst of the Centre of Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), at Jena University Hospital, Germany, is seeking strategies to combat such…

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Delayed diagnoses result in high mortality

Sepsis kills around 130 patients daily In Germany alone. This systemic disease is mostly caused by bacterial pathogens, and less frequently by fungal organisms or parasites. Professor Dr Frank M Brunkhorst of the Centre of Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), at Jena University Hospital, Germany, is seeking strategies to combat such scary figures.

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Mystic reptile

This green-blooded lizard could help fight malaria

Green blood is one of the most unusual characteristics in the animal kingdom, but it's the hallmark of a group of lizards in New Guinea. Prasinohaema are green-blooded skinks, or a type of lizard. The muscles, bones and tongues of these lizards appear bright, lime-green due to high levels of biliverdin, or a green bile pigment, which is toxic and causes jaundice. Surprisingly, these lizards…

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Freaky new role

Immune system controls social interaction

In a startling discovery that raises fundamental questions about human behavior, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the immune system directly affects – and even controls – creatures’ social behavior, such as their desire to interact with others. So could immune system problems contribute to an inability to have normal social interactions? The…

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Disaster areas

Winners on the firing line

Jens Hahn MD is an Internal Medicine and Intensive Care Specialist who works with the international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF in English: Doctors Without Borders). Here he describes his work in Afghanistan and South Sudan, and the use of rapid diagnostic tests in the field.

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The role of the microbiota in preventing allergies

The human body is inhabited by billions of symbiotic bacteria, carrying a diversity that is unique to each individual. The microbiota is involved in many mechanisms, including digestion, vitamin synthesis and host defense. It is well established that a loss of bacterial symbionts promotes the development of allergies. Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, at the Technical University of Munich…

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Politics

Antibiotic resistance is a threat to global health

Within 15 years effective antibiotics will run out and, far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, a world in which common infections and minor injuries can kill is a very real possibility for the 21st Century. Geoff Sussman, one of the world’s foremost wound experts has warned that antibiotic resistance is posing the biggest single threat to global health. Report: Mark Nicholls

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Health Apps

Can medical apps replace conventional medical diagnostics?

The question as to whether or not there is a point in using medical apps on private smartphones is being asked more frequently. Issues around medical diagnostics are among the key points here. We asked Prof. Dr. Dr. Norbert Gässler, Head of the Centre for Laboratory Diagnostics at the St. Bernward Hospital, Hildesheim, for competent advice. Interview: Walter Depner

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World Conference Examines Impact of Social Inequities on Health

High-level representatives from more than 100 countries are meeting this week in Rio de Janeiro for the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative aimed at building support for policies and strategies that seek to improve health by reducing social inequities.