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Scientists find that the EphA2 protein mediates a critical stage of cerebral malaria and data scientists construct a statistical modelling framework of malaria seasonality in Madagascar.
Scientists have identified a molecule that mediates a critical stage of cerebral malaria. The protein, called EphA2, disrupts the ‘blood-brain barrier’, which is responsible for controlling the passage of molecules from the circulatory system to the brain. The disruption of this barrier is a key feature of cerebral malaria, which over half a million people suffer from each year. In laboratory in vivo testing, the deactivation of the protein proved successful in protecting the barrier during infection. EphA2 could potentially, therefore, be a promising target for new malaria treatments.
And data scientists have constructed a statistical modelling framework of malaria seasonality in Madagascar. The model identifies location-specific seasonal variants in disease transmission by examining health facility data. The model found, for example, that while most parts of Madagascar experience transmission peaks between March and April, transmission on the eastern coast peaks around February.
Image Credits: Tracey Lamb, PhD [University of Utah]
Scientific Advisor: Katharine Collins, Radboud University Medical Centre