Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Researchers probe parasite's persistance

Shares

Researchers have identified a mutant form of the leishmaniasis parasite that can remain indefinitely in host animals and people without making them ill.

Leishmaniasis infects two million people a year, mainly in the developing world. After initial infection the parasite may persist in the body but can then be reactivated, causing the most severe forms of the disease. But little is known about the factors that enable the parasite to persist in this way.

The researchers say that the mutant form "may provide a new tool for the study of persistent Leishmania infections". So far it has been difficult to carry out such studies owing to the need for lengthy experiments. Their findings could also assist the development of effective vaccines and chemotherapy against the disease.

Link to research paper in Science

Reference: Science 301, 1241 (2003)

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.