(Mirror Daily, United States) – A potential breakthrough could be coming, as scientists found the protein behind malaria’s growth which has provided a better understanding of the disease. While we have managed to destroy numerous diseases through the use of medication, hygiene, and better prevention methods, malaria still exits.
The mosquito-borne disease claims the lives of 500,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization. It’s still a widely common infectious illness, with 198 million cases reported in 2013 throughout the world. The disease more frequently affects sub-Saharan countries, and 90% of the cases occur in Africa.
Unfortunately, the remedy is not readily available or affordable for the poorer population.
Symptoms will appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bites. They include fever, headache, vomiting, and it progresses quickly enough into a life-threatening condition. The malaria parasite could disrupt the blood flow to vital organs in the body, which might lead to death. It’s an unfortunate fact that lack of accessibility to medicine results in advice to stay under mosquito nets, or just killing the insects.
However, more and more progress is also being made in the field of investigating and understanding the disease. A team of scientists at the University of Nottingham believe they have found the engine behind the rapid growth of Plasmodium (protozoan). The parasite’s greatest weapon is in its speed of development.
This accelerated growth aids the disease in adapting to anti-malarial drugs. Understanding the reason behind it could be key to destroying the disease altogether.
Researchers believe that the rapid progress of the parasite is due to cyclins, a type of molecule protein. In fact, there are three types of cyclins within Plasmodium, such as P-cyclin, which is closely related to the variant found in plants.
Cyclins are the master controllers behind the cell cycle, crucial for the progression to be successful. And, unlike it does in mosquitoes, the parasite goes through very different kinds of cell cycles within a human host. According to Bill Wickstead, what makes Plasmodium so interesting is that it “contains a really small set of unusual composition”. And this is due to the uncommon cell cycles, prompted by cyclins.
By understanding the cell division within the parasite, there are higher hopes of putting a potential end to the disease. It’s expected that it will efficiently accelerate the development of new therapies and treatments. And, hopefully, see to an end of this infectious disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.