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Malaria - Research Paper Example

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Name Surname Supervisor Subject Date Malaria Malaria has been a major cause of global morbidity and mortality and it spreads mostly during rainy season. Humans get affected due to anopheline mosquitos. The gut of mosquito is the place where malaria protozoa develop…
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Download file to see previous pages The paper attempts to explore the type of microbes that cause malaria; symptoms of malaria; the system it affects and the cellular and molecular mechanism of malaria along with the key proteins involved in this process. The paper also aims at exploring the efficacy of drugs for the treatment of various forms of malaria and the challenges ahead due to drug resistance developed by malarial parasites. Microbes Responsible for Malaria As such many microbes are responsible causing malaria; however, the important ones are plasmodium vivax and plasmodium falciparum causing malaria in most part of the world (World Malaria Report). Symptoms of Malaria Usual symptoms of malaria are shivering, fever, vomiting and headache and likely to appear only after a week or two after the mosquito bite. In case of cerebral malaria, clinical symptoms resemble considerably to the symptoms that arise from meningitis and pneumonia and therefore malaria microscopy cannot help there much as a diagnostic tool for clinical management. If not treated in time, malarial parasites can cause death as it disintegrates red cells and disrupts supply of blood to the major organs of the body (World Health Organization). Cellular and Molecular Biology of Plasmodium At cellular level plasmodium performs two major actions. Erythrocyte invasion is the first action that plasmodium finishes at the cellular level. After invasion it modifies erythrocytes to make them fit for habitat (Wiser). Plasmodium is known to have three invasive forms such as merozoite, ookinete and sporozoite. It will be worth pondering on the erythrocyte invasion of merozoites. Merozoites take no time to enter erythrocytes because erythrocyte is the preferred host cell type. The invasion is a complicated process but it passes through four steps and that can be described as Merozoite binding; Erythrocyte deformation and reorientation; Junction formation and parasite entry (Wiser). Though several merozoite surface proteins participate in the action, merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1) is the prominent of all. Moreover, the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) also participates in the whole process of targeting sporozoites. After binding to the erythrocyte is complete, the 'apical end of the parasite' gets aligned with erythrocyte membrane. This also results into erythrocyte deformation. Apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) is involved in the realignment process. Specialized apical organelles called micronemes, rhoptries, and dense granules are involved in the invasive process of parasites. With the invasion of parasite, the apical organelles are spewed out indicating that organelles do play some role in invasion. It has been established that micronemes are spewed out as the contact between the parasite and host takes place. The rhoptries are discharged after the micronemes. Once the parasite completes its entry, dense granules are released modifying the host cell (Wiser). Specific Interactions and Junction Formation Formation of junction, between the parasite and host cell, takes place once microneme discharge is complete. That means microneme proteins play important role in junction formation (Wiser). Key Proteins Involved in the Process a) Duffy-binding protein (DBP) from P. vivax; b) A 175 kDa 'erythrocyte binding antigen' (EBA-175) from P. falciparum; c) Plasmodium sporozoite surface protein-2 (SSP2). It is also called TRAP (thrombospondin-related adhesive protein). The parasite undergoes metamorphosis when it enters erythrocyte. During this time, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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