Treatment failure in parasite infection tied to virus​

Two new studies explain why some parasite infections, such as those common in developing countries, sometimes can’t be cured with standard treatments. The research shows the parasite Leishmania — which infects 12 million people worldwide — often harbors a virus that helps the parasite survive treatments.

$32 million NIH grant funds study of multipurpose infection fighter

A multi-institutional campaign to harness a newly recognized cellular defense against infection is being led by researchers at the School of Medicine. A $32 million grant from the National Institutes of Health is funding the collaborative, which could lead to drugs with unprecedented versatility in fighting different infections. Washington University’s Herbert W. Virgin IV, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator.

Virus, parasite may combine to increase harm to humans

A parasite and a virus may be teaming up in a way that increases the parasite’s ability to harm humans, scientists at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report this week in Science.

Protein helps parasite survive in host cells

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have learned why changes in a single gene, ROP18, contribute substantially to dangerous forms of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The answer has likely moved science a step closer to new ways to beat Toxoplasma and many other parasites.

Cancer drugs may help stop major parasite

A parasite estimated to afflict as many as 12 million people worldwide relies on a family of genes that should make it vulnerable to compounds developed to treat cancer and other disorders, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.
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