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VOL.438 NO.7071 DATED 22 DECEMBER 2005
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Infectious disease: How malaria wreaks havoc on red blood cells
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 Infectious disease: How malaria wreaks havoc on red blood cells (DOI: 10.1038/nature04443)
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Malaria continues to pose a serious global health threat, with drug-makers
in a race against time to make effective vaccines. The typical symptoms of
malaria arise from the blood stages of infection, in which the parasite
repeatedly attacks human red blood cells. However, the molecular structures
involved in this interaction have been difficult for scientists to describe.
In a Letter published online by Nature this week, Amit Sharma and colleagues
present the atomic structure of one of the parasite proteins that recognizes
human red blood cells and facilitates parasite invasion into host cells. The
authors of the study believe this finding should have a direct effect on
both drug and vaccine development against malaria.
Amit Sharma (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India)
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