Malaria protozoan parasite, in general referred as Plasmodium falciparum, is among the deadliest organism on the planet and got the majority of its pathogenicity to its novel genomic makeup. The genome in the parasite is hugely angled towards A-T based pairs, which makes it hard to study and intractable with basic molecular biological methods.
A team of researchers headed by investigators of South Florida University has broken this eccentricity in the genetic formation of P. Falciparum to make 38K mutant strains to identify which of the parasite’s genes are required for its development and survival. The complete report of the study was published in Science.
- falciparum emerges as the main culprit in 50% of malaria cases and the cause of around 90% of deaths due to malaria. The data in the report regarding the organism’s critical gene will help the scientists to set the targets for making the antimalarial drug in the future.
The whole genetic pattern of P. falciparum was identified a long ago, but how the majority of genes functioned was a mystery, and yet only a couple of hundreds of mutant strains are successfully made in a lab.
In the recent research, the investigators developed a mutated version of almost all the 6000 genes of the parasite by using a method which specifically focuses in the area rich in thymine and adenine, and helps in finding the cause which was not found in earlier trails of genetic manipulation.
The author wrote, ‘We identified the MFSs (mutagenesis fitness scores) and MISs (mutagenesis index scores) to functionally identify the accumulative aptness cost of interference of 5399 genes.’ In the findings, it is revealed that some basic genes which are focused to Plasmodium parasites in humans are not present in species which are rodent-infective like genes of lipid metabolic which plays a critical part in human infection.
The author ended the report by writing, ‘Mutagenesis of Saturation-scale permits the targeting of intervention regions in a genome which is the major reason for malaria infection. The finding of 2680 genes along with around 1000 genes of Plasmodium-conserved is very crucial for antimalarial drug development study.’
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