About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Malaria Cell Atlas Reveals Gene Function, Possible Drug Targets

by Ramya Rachamanti on August 23, 2019 at 3:44 PM
Font : A-A+

Malaria Cell Atlas Reveals Gene Function, Possible Drug Targets

'Malaria Cell Atlas' was identified after performing single-cell RNA sequencing on various malaria parasites, the genomes of which have historically encoded many uncharacterized genes.

It reveals new insights into parasite gene function and regulation that should allow for the "better prioritization of genes for those seeking to develop drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics or for those who seek to understand the spread of drug resistance," writes Elizabeth Winzeler in a related Perspective.


Malaria, a serious and sometimes fatal disease for humans, is caused by single-celled organisms in the Plasmodium genus.

These tiny parasites are unique in that their complex lifecycle carries them through a variety of morphological stages, allowing them to live in cellular environments across both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts.

Although malaria is one of the leading infectious diseases worldwide - responsible for nearly a half-million human deaths and hundreds of millions of infections annually - the parasites remain largely uncharacterized at the molecular level.

Virginia Howick and colleagues profiled the single-cell transcriptomes of 1,787 individual Plasmodium berghei - the rodent model of malaria parasite - across all life-stages, spanning vector mosquito to mammalian host. Howick et al. discovered groups of genes whose function was conserved across lifecycle stages, indicating potential targets for future treatments.

Using droplet-sequencing, the researchers further sequenced more than 15,000 additional cells across three different Plasmodium species, including those isolated directly from infected human patients.

In doing so, they were able to characterize and align the developmental stages across these species, giving them a view into both differences and similarities in gene expression among them.

Source: Eurekalert


Recommended Reading

Latest Tropical Disease News

Oral Cholera Vaccine Launched in India by Pharma Giants
Mumbai's TechInvention Lifecare and South Korean Eubiologics team up to introduce oral cholera vaccine in India after successful phase III clinical trial.
Evolving Threat of Dengue Virus in India
Scientists have found that the dengue virus has become more severe in India, highlighting the urgent need for vaccines that target the strains found in the country.
 Watch Out for Acute Kidney Disease as a Complication of Malaria
It is important to consider malarial infection in cases of acute kidney injury in someone with a travel history from endemic areas to improve treatment outcomes.
India's Malaria Vaccine Gets the Green Light for First Time in Ghana
Ghana approves the use of the University of Oxford's malaria vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), becoming the first country to adopt the new vaccine.
 Deadly Dengue Virus Hijacks Mosquito Saliva to Spread Sickness
The dengue virus combines molecules from its RNA with mosquito saliva to foil the human immune system and spread dengue fever and related diseases.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Malaria Cell Atlas Reveals Gene Function, Possible Drug Targets Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests