HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
One gene 90 percent responsible for making common parasite dangerous

More than a decade of searching for factors that make the common parasite Toxoplasma gondii dangerous to humans has pinned 90 percent of the blame on just one of the parasite's approximately 6,000 genes.

The finding, reported in this week's issue of Science by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and elsewhere, should make it easier to identify the parasite's most virulent strains and treat them. The results suggest that when a more harmful strain of T. gondii appears, approximately 90 percent of the time it will have a different form of the virulence gene than that found in the more benign strains of the parasite.

Infection with T. gondii, or toxoplasmosis, is perhaps most familiar to the general public from the widespread recommendation that pregnant women avoid changing cat litter. Cats are commonly infected with the parasite, as are some livestock and wildlife. T. gondii's most infamous relatives are the parasites that cause malaria.

Epidemiologists estimate that as many as one in every four humans is infected with T. gondii. Infections are typically asymptomatic, only causing serious disease in patients with weakened immune systems. In some rare cases, though, infection in patients with healthy immune systems leads to serious eye or central nervous system disease, or congenital defects or death in the fetuses of pregnant women. Historically, scientists have found strains of T. gondii difficult to tell apart, heightening the mystery of occasional serious infections in healthy people.

"Clinically it may be helpful to be able to test the form of the parasite causing the infection to determine if a case requires aggressive management and treatment or is unlikely to be a cause of serious disease," says senior author L. David Sibley, Ph.D. professor of molecular microbiology. "This finding will advance us toward that goal."

ROP18, the T. gondii virulence gene identified by researcher
'"/>

Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
14-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
2. Pollution causes 40 percent of deaths worldwide, study finds
3. Nearly 90 percent of babies receive recommended newborn screening tests
4. A compound from olive-pomace oil gets 80 percent slowing down of HIV spread
5. Noninvasive screening in early pregnancy reduces Downs births by 50 percent
6. Nexavar significantly extends overall survival by 44 percent in liver cancer patients
7. New multiple myeloma treatment induced total remission in 33 percent of patients
8. 100 percent of pregnant women have at least one kind of pesticide in their placenta
9. 100 percent juice not associated with overweight in children
10. APS President-Elect Carey urges 6.7 percent increase for biomedical research
11. Global study concludes attack rate of flu in kids is 55 percent lower with nasal spray vaccine

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/11/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 11, 2017 ... "Company"), a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent ... John Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the ... ... behalf of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT ... North America , today announced a ... the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition ... of tools to transform population health activities through the ... data. higi collects and secures data today ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro ... of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give it exclusive global access ... developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Additionally, an ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Parks Associates announced today that Tom Kerber , Director ... , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona . Kerber will ... safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase Driver ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, and the introduction of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and ... 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: