Science & Technology

Hybrid strains make insidious parasite extra harmful — ScienceDaily

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have mapped how the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi types new variants which are more practical at evading the immune system and inflicting illness. Their findings may give rise to new strategies for diagnosing, stopping and treating Chagas illness, which impacts thousands and thousands of individuals in Central and South America, inflicting 1000’s of deaths yearly. The research is printed within the journal eLife.

Trypanosoma cruzi an infection is power and may result in Chagas illness, which causes extreme signs within the gastrointestinal tract and coronary heart. The parasite has many genes that may fluctuate extensively, which permits it to evade the immune system. How it does this, nonetheless, continues to be largely unknown.

A scientific collaboration involving researchers at Karolinska Institutet has now proven that Trypanosoma cruzi can kind new variants which are mixtures of various strains. These hybrids are sometimes higher at circumventing the immune system and inflicting illness. By mapping the genome of the parental strains and their offspring over time, the researchers have an in depth image of how these hybrids are fashioned. Their outcomes present that the hybrids initially comprise all DNA from each parentals, however that the quantity of DNA is then progressively decreased till it finally ends up on the proper stage. The researchers additionally discovered that there’s frequent reshuffling of genetic materials in a course of often called genetic recombination.

“This knowledge is important since the exchange of genetic material can lead to new gene variants that make the parasite more dangerous,” says principal investigator Björn Andersson, professor of genome evaluation on the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institutet. “A better understanding of how this process works can help us develop new methods for diagnosing, preventing and treating Chagas disease, which is a huge problem in Central and South America.”

The research relies on parasite strains that spontaneously fashioned hybrids within the laboratory. The researchers remoted DNA from each the parental parasites and plenty of of their offspring and mapped the whole genome utilizing large-scale DNA sequencing.

“We’ll now be studying material from nature and from patients to map in greater detail how the parasite goes about varying its genes,” he continues. “We’re also working on improving the diagnosis of Chagas disease in Bolivia.”

The research was a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Brazil and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine within the UK and was supported by grants from, primarily, the Swedish Research Council and CAPES in Brazil.

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Materials supplied by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Content could also be edited for type and size.

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