Deadly Malaria Parasites Can Invade Your Cells
Mosquitoes are major killers. In fact, they are the most deadly types of creatures on the planet. Some people are more aware of that fact than others depending on where you live in the world. In just the past decade we have experienced multiple panics related to mosquito-borne disease. West Nile virus and the Zika virus are just a couple of bug-borne diseases that have pestered Americans. However, we here in America do not have to be on our guards as much against the mosquito-born virus known as malaria. However, many other nations in the world do have to worry about this virus, and to make it worse, researchers are learning that the malaria parasite is capable of using proteins to penetrate cell walls.
This knowledge on the nature of the malaria disease has only been recently discovered. Entomologists have recently constructed an insectarium in order to monitor the effects that bugs, or a lack of bugs, is having on the state of the planet, and various ecosystems. This institute grows malaria parasites in order to see how such parasites invade the human body, as well as other animals.
Once the researchers took note of how two separate parasites invaded a cell wall, they took samples of the proteins present during the cell invasion. Researchers had no idea that healthy cell walls could be invaded by parasites in this way, and for this reason, researchers are referring to this ability to invade cells as a “superpower”. Researchers believe that these two parasites could be targeted in order to develop more successful malaria vaccines and treatments.
The deadly parasites start their journey at the site of the bite, then the proteins are released. The proteins quickly make their way down to an infected individual’s liver cells, and this is the first major step towards infection. Eventually, the parasites will burst out of the liver only to infect the host’s blood. This could all be avoided if researchers could find some way of interrupting the process of parasitic cell invasion in an infected person’s liver.
Have you ever traveled to a country where you had to take special precautions as a result of the dangers of malaria?