It has been unfolded in a recent report by a team of scientists at the University of Melbourne that a malaria parasite changes its shape into a banana’s form before sexual reproduction. The team has been affirming that the results would be helpful for creating a vaccine against the disease, says a study from Journal of Cell Science.
A 130-year-old puzzle has been finally solved by the team that has found the way malaria parasite changes its shape and sneaks into spleen, thereby causing malarial infection in humans and causing deaths. The shape-shifting is done by the malaria parasite as it becomes easy for it to enter the tiny sinusoidal slits so as to reproduce.
It has been told by the team that when the malaria parasite takes the shape of a banana or crescent, it passes from a human host to a mosquito, thus reproducing in the mosquito gut. The researchers have found that microtubules that are specific proteins form scaffolds are used by parasites, Plasmodium falciparum, to elongate itself to sexual stage banana shape.
On finding the same, the scientists are hoping to develop a drug targeting these scaffold proteins, which would probably be helpful to bring a halt in its reproduction. “As the malaria parasite can only reproduce in its ‘banana form’, if we can target these scaffold proteins in a vaccine or drug, we may be able to stop it reproducing and prevent malaria transmission entirely”, says Dr Matthew Dixon, lead author of the study.
The researchers have thus been aiming at eradicating malaria transmission completely, which is the reason for almost 600,000 people throughout the world. As per the team, the latest findings can prove helpful to find out how the malaria parasite escapes the human immune system.