University of Dundee

Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (CAIR)

Protein discovery could pave way for parasite research

A team of scientists at the School of Life Sciences have identified a protein that makes random decisions to allow parasites to survive in their human hosts. They have been able to identify a complex that allows genes to switch on and off randomly, changing cell surface characteristics and allowing escape from the defences of the host’s immune system. This behaviour is present in genes within parasites known as trypanosomes, and also in the parasite that causes malaria, which claims hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

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