Supplement with Transmission Blocking Activity for Vector-Borne Diseases

Tech ID: 29765 / UC Case 2016-146-0

Abstract

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have observed the effects that a plant hormone found naturally in fruits and vegetables has on a host’s immunity and recovery from malaria parasite infection.

Full Description

Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria. Malaria is a disease that is caused by a plasmodium parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Currently available treatments for malaria target the parasite, which results in an increased resistance against those treatments. This means that, in the long run, treatments that target the parasites alone are not ideal for treating malaria. The increasing resistance to current malaria treatments shows that there is a need for a malaria treatment that focuses on increasing the host’s defenses against the parasites.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have observed the effects that a plant hormone found naturally in fruits and vegetables has on a host’s immunity and recovery from malaria parasite infection. To study its effects on malaria, researchers used a mouse model and observed that there was a significant reduction in parasitemia, the quantitative content of parasites in the blood, in the mice supplemented with the hormone. The supplemented mice were also more active and healthier in appearance than the mice that were not given the supplement.The researchers also observed that when mosquitoes fed from a supplemented food source, the transmission of parasites to the mosquitoes was significantly reduced. This means that individuals treated with the hormone are not only better prepared to recover from malaria, but that the mosquitoes feeding from treated individuals are much less likely to receive the parasites and transmit them to a new victim. There is no risk of the parasites gaining a resistance to this treatment, as they are not directly affected by it.

Applications

  • Treats and prevents malaria
  • Most likely able to be modified for many vector-borne disease pathogens

Features/Benefits

  • Does not result in parasite resistance in mosquitos
  • Is tasteless and odorless
  • Is easy to modify to improve its activity
  • Can be used adjunctively with other anti-malarial treatments
  • Naturally occurring plant hormone

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 10,154,974 12/18/2018 2016-146
 

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Inventors

  • Glennon, Elizabeth K.
  • Luckhart, Shirley

Other Information

Keywords

malaria, mosquito, vector-borne diseases, host immunity, transmission blocking

Categorized As