As 'Flesh-Eating' Leishmania Come Closer, a Vaccine Against Them Does, Too - Dream Health

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Friday, 22 September 2017

As 'Flesh-Eating' Leishmania Come Closer, a Vaccine Against Them Does, Too

Leishmania – Second-Deadliest Parasite in the World

 
Parasites which affect the skin and can mutilate the face; tend to seriously damage the internal organs, have been coming nearer to the southern edges of the United States. Though no vaccines are available against Leishmania, researchers have almost come close in bringing about a change.

 An innovative experimental vaccine complete with proprietary biological particles established at the Georgia Institute of Technology tends to have immunized laboratory mice which had been genetically changed to imitate the human immune system. As per a new research, the vaccine is said to exploit a weakness which the tricky chemical mask in Leishmania tends to generally hide from the disease fighting cells of the victim to activate a forceful immune response against the parasite.

According to the World Health Organization, Leishmania is said to be the second-deadliest parasite in the world surpassed only by malaria. There are around 30 strains of Leishmania. They are said to be transmitted mostly through the bit of a phlebotomine sand fly that tends to feed on the blood. The global warming has been expanding the potential habitat of the insect towards the north of Latin America. The epidemic regions nearest to the United States of leishmaniasis, the disease affected by the parasite has come now almost to 300 miles of the border.
 

Leishmania –Different Symptoms

 
With those who contract Leishmania, the parasite is said to cultivate leishmaniasis and the disease tends to have different symptoms or probably also shows no outwards indication of the disease. However when it tends to break out, it could cause grave skin boils as well as some types of severely eat away at the nose and lips and also removal of some parts of them. If another type of the parasite tends to get into the bloodstream it could also injure the liver as well as the spleen in the most dangerous way of the disease known as the visceral leishmaniasis which is also called black fever.

A professor in the parasitology department of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil and also one of the lead researchers on the new experimental vaccine, Alexandre Marques had commented that `if it is not treated within 20 to 40 days, visceral leishmaniasis often tends to kill the victim’. However conventional treatment generally effective could leave small numbers of the parasite that could lead to relapse in the patient or act as a carrier in a likewise manner as in the case of malaria. A vaccine would prove to be helpful in preventing epidemics.

Leishmania are said to be single-cell organisms which are the size of large bacteria that have been a menace in around 90 countries in South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia together with southern Europe. Researchers have been working to discover a vaccine against them and identical parasites with much success for years.

 M. G. Finn leading the work on the new vaccine had commented that in comparison to viruses and bacteria, there seems to be much more complex organisms and more tough to crack. Finn is said to be a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Biological Sciences and in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry which he also heads.

The innovative vaccine leverages intimate knowledge which the team of Marques had obtain living as well as working on the edge of leishmaniasis epidemics areas. Finn had informed that one of the students of Marques, Alex had gathered the sand flies and then extracted the parasites in the lab to do complex mass spectrometry together with the other tests to research the molecular makeup in impressive detail. The team had discovered minute details on the exterior surface of Leishmania which tends to make it susceptible to human immune reaction.
 

New Vaccine Employs Fake Virus

 
The prospective of the new vaccine, designed at Georgia Tech tends to employ a fake virus as an inducement to draw major immune systems forces to these faults to attack them. The replica virus or virus-like particles does not seem to be infectious and the body terminates it after usage. Several variations of such particles in recent years had been developed at the lab of Finn together with other products comprising of the same have already been through phase II human clinical trials.

The results of their vaccination development as well as testing had been published by Marques and Finn on September 13, 2017 in the journal ACS Central Science. It is said that the research had been financed by the National Institutes of Health, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as well as Brazil’s National council for Scientific and Technological Development. The following queries and answers would be beneficial in comprehending how the vaccine could influence the chemical facade of Leishmania:

What is so tricky regarding chemical façade of Leishmania?

The parasites are said to cover themselves in carbohydrates that seem like food and also tend to cover the other cells in the body. To the body, the Leishmania cells seem inoffensive and the immune system has a tendency to leave them alone.

What is the crack in the facade? 

Some of these carbohydrates tend to truly generate a mild human immune response which is not adequately strong to actually combat Leishmaniasis. However it gave Marques and Finn’s vaccine some headway. It is fortunate that humans as well as some other primates tend to have this precise immune reaction, since the other mammals do not and hence this vaccine would not work on them. To test the new vaccine, the laboratory mice had to be genetically changed to make their immune system react to the carbohydrates the way it tends to do for humans.

How does the fake virus tend to function? 

Finn had informed that they used the virus-like particles to enhance a key carbohydrate on the surface of Leishmania clearly to the body. This tends to persuade its immune system in reacting strongly against it like a foreign structure.

The immune system tends to go after the false virus like guard dogs after an intruder. The researchers had attacked the odd carbohydrate to the false virus which made the immune system recognize that carbohydrate as a severe risk. Immune cells then hunt it down and in this process tend to eliminate the parasite which creates it.

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