Tag Archives: parasitic worms

Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites

In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual’s infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal’s ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success. Reported in the journal PLoS Biology, the finding could provide the groundwork for boosting the resilience of humans and livestock to infection. (more…)

Read More

Spurring Sweet Success

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Thanks to Michigan State University, a sweet partnership has helped resurrect Michigan’s $444 million sugar beet industry.

In 1996 the industry was in peril. Yields hit an all-time low due to pest, disease and production issues that greatly reduced crop health. Farmers were looking to get out of sugar beet farming and switch to more profitable crops. Industry representatives reached out to MSU to help solve the problem. (more…)

Read More

Researchers Discover How Key Drug Kills Worms in Tropical Diseases

Charles Mackenzie, a professor of veterinary pathology, works with elephantiasis patients in Tanzania. Image credit: Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. — In a major breakthrough that comes after decades of research and nearly half a billion treatments in humans, scientists have finally unlocked how a key anti-parasitic drug kills the worms brought on by the filarial diseases river blindness and elephantitis.

Understanding how the drug ivermectin works has the potential to lead to new treatments for the diseases, in which the body is infected with parasitic worms, said Charles Mackenzie, a professor of veterinary pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and researcher on the project. The diseases afflict about 140 million people worldwide, doing much of their damage in equatorial Africa.

“Ivermectin is one of the most important veterinary and human anti-parasitic agents ever,” Mackenzie said. “Knowing specifically how it interacts with the body’s own immune system and kills parasitic worms opens up whole new treatment avenues.”

The research appears in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (more…)

Read More