Global health R&D at work in Kentucky
Researchers at the University of Tennessee and University of Louisville have discovered that a person’s gut microbes can impact the severity of malaria infection. Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that infects more than 200 million people each year, killing almost half a million, mostly young children. There is currently no completely effective vaccine, and the parasite is growing resistant to available drug therapies. The researchers discovered that the degree of harm caused by malaria is not only a function of the parasite but is also influenced by microbes in the infected organism. This discovery opens new doors for investigation and could lead to new treatments for malaria or new approaches to improve the effectiveness of existing methods.