Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cat Parasite May Help Cure Malaria

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cats may hold the key to a Malaria vaccine

A very common type of parasite in cats is coccidia, which includes the dreaded toxoplasmosis. Part of the life cycle of these types of parasites is an egg, also called a cyst because of its ability to withstand all types of environments for up to two years. It turns out that malaria is also in this general type of parasite and coccidia cysts might be able to be used to make a vaccine that can help prevent malaria. "The mosquito-borne malaria, on the other hand, kills one to three million people each year. Most victims are young children in Africa." In order to work with the coccidia parasite, which usually causes very mild symptoms if any, microbiologist Laura Knoll digs through a lot of cat litter boxes. Who knew scooping litter boxes could be a beneficial thing to so many people??

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