Jet lag found to hinder malaria parasite

The parasite which causes malaria is poor at spreading the disease if it is jet lagged, research has suggested.

Edinburgh University experts gave the parasites "jet lag" by inserting them into mice whose body clocks were different to their own 24-hour cycle.
Some of the mice were awake in the daytime and others active at night.
They found malaria was only half as effective at causing infection and spreading disease in mice which had a different routine to the parasite.

Study sheds light on snail fever

Scientists have identified a key part of the immune response to snail fever, an infection common in developing countries.

Researchers studied this response in mice infected with snail fever parasites.

They found that a particular type of immune cell, known as the dendritic cell, is responsible for triggering the immune system’s defence against the invading parasite.

Strong immunity comes at cost to fertility, sheep study shows

Strong immunity may play a key role in determining long life – but at the expense of reduced fertility, a study suggests.
Scientists studying wild sheep found that those which are less susceptible to infection tend to live longer than their less hardy counterparts – but produce offspring less frequently. Those with weaker immune responses reproduce more often, but die sooner.

Scientists pinpoint gene linked to drug resistance in malaria

Scientists have shed light on how malaria is able to resist treatment with a leading drug.

Researchers have identified a gene that enables the parasite that causes the infection to resist treatment with the plant-based remedy artemisinin.

In many countries where the parasite has developed resistance to previously effective common treatments such as chloroquine, artemisinin remains the only effective treatment against the infection. However, malarial resistance to artemisinin appears to be developing, potentially creating problems in controlling malaria.

CIIE Winter Symposium on Wild Immunology





Human malaria traced to gorillas

The parasite responsible for human malaria originated in gorillas, a study involving an Edinburgh scientist has shown.

Scientists devise strategy in bid to beat viruses

Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.


Instead of attacking the virus itself, the method developed at the University of Edinburgh alters the conditions which viruses need to survive and multiply.


By making the site of infection less hospitable for the virus, it is less likely that viruses will quickly build up resistance to drugs. The researchers were also able to target more than one virus at the same time.


Dan Nussey gets BBSRC David Phillips fellowship

Dan Nussey has recently been awarded BBSRC David Phillips fellowship due to start in September 2010.
It's a prestigious fellowship aimed at scientists who have demonstrated high potential and who wish to establish themselves as independent researchers.

Centre members awarded grants

CIIE members have been recently awarded Wellcome Trust and BBSRC grants.
Judi Allen, Andrew Rambaut and Keith Matthews have all been awarded Wellcome Trust grants and Centre's Advanced Fellow Amy Buck got a BBSRC grant.

Rick Maizels named American Asthma Foundation Senior Fellow

Prof Rick Maizels, Centre's Director, has been named a Senior Fellow of the American Asthma Foundation with the award of a 3-year $750,000 Senior Investigator grant.
He was one of 12 successful applicants in this year's AAF funding round which evaluated 341 applications. 

Mark Woolhouse elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship

Prof Mark Woolhouse is among 40 of the United Kingdom's leading medical researchers who have been recognised for excellence in medical science with their election to the Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship.
These distinguished scientists bring the total Fellowship to 983. The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on Tuesday 22 June 2010 at the Royal Society, London.
More details on Academy's website.

Student in Mutapi lab wins prize at LSHTP Symposium

Claire Bourke, a final year PhD Student in Francisa Mutapi's lab won first prize for her presentation at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's 1st Annual Student Symposium on Global Health last week on July 1st.
The title of her talk was: Whole Blood Cytokine Responses in Urinary Schistosomiasis: from pathway immunology to human disease.

CIIE Director quoted

Rick Maizels, CIIE Director, have recently been quoted in the media.
Read Gurdian article on hookworm in curing allergies and an article in Science News on the role of bacteria in whipworm reproduction.

The Centre

Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, based on a core platform of leading researchers in the areas of microbial and parasite infections, immunology, epidemiology and evolutionary biology aims towards:

'Understanding Bilharzia': natural immunity to Schistosoma haematobium in rural Zimbabwe

Student working under CIIE member's supervision gets their report published in the British Society of Parasitology newsletter: Parasitology News.
Claire Bourke, a PhD student in Mutapi Lab, who has been awarded a travel grant, to conduct  'fieldwork in difficult condictions' went to on to write a report for Parasitolgy News, which sums up the experience of conducting human infectioud disease fieldwork in Zimbabwe.
The article can be found in the latest edition of Parasitology News (under Garnham Expeditionary Report):