Tuesday June 18, 2019

High Immunity Protein at Birth Cuts Childhood Malaria Risk

For the study, published in the Journal of Scientific Reports, the team examined 349 Mozambican pregnant women and their newborn babies up to two years of age

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A teenager caressing the newborn. Pixabay

Newborn babies who are born with a high level of an immune-related protein in their blood cells are less likely to develop malaria throughout their early childhood, a study revealed.

The research showed that babies born with a high level of a certain type of immunity proteins cytokine, known as IL-12, in their umbilical cord blood had a higher resistance to the development of malaria in the first two years of their life.

“The finding suggests that there is a strong link between levels of this IL-12 protein obtained from the umbilical cord blood and the development of malaria in early childhood,” said lead author Yong Song, from Curtin University in Australia.

With more than 90 per cent of malaria infections occurring in sub-Saharan Africa, childhood malaria remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, resulting in 500,000 deaths annually.

Malaria is caused by parasites that are spread to people through mosquito bites.
Malaria is caused by parasites that are spread to people through mosquito bites. (VOA)

The team also investigated how newborn babies develop high levels of IL-12 in the cord blood.

“We found that the inbred quantity of these small proteins was not only influenced by children and mother’s genetic variation, but was also dependent on the immune system conditions of the mother during pregnancy,” Song noted.

Also Read: FDA Approves Drug to Stop Some Malaria Relapses

For the study, published in the Journal of Scientific Reports, the team examined 349 Mozambican pregnant women and their newborn babies up to two years of age.

“The study could have significant implications for future vaccine design techniques that could assist with the prevention of malaria in high-risk countries such as Mozambique,” said co-author Brad Zhang, Associate Professor from Curtin’s School of Public Health. (IANS)

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Adversity During Childhood Increases Risk of Mental Health Disorder

Both poverty and traumatic stressful events were associated with abnormalities across measures of brain anatomy, physiology, and connectivity

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If your workplace is supporting its employees by reducing their job strain, it may boost in preventing new cases of common mental illness from occurring up to 14 per cent, a new study suggests.
Mental illness can be reduced by reducing the job pressure. Pixabay

Kids who grow up in poverty and face adverse experiences are at a greater risk of suffering from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, warn researchers.

Low socioeconomic status and the experience of traumatic stressful events are also linked to accelerated puberty and brain maturation, abnormal brain development, and greater mental health disorders, said the study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

“The findings underscore the need to pay attention to the environment in which the child grows. Poverty and trauma have strong associations with behaviour and brain development, and the effects are much more pervasive than previously believed,” said study lead author Raquel E. Gur, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

For the study, the researchers analysed data of over 9,000 participants aged 8 to 21 years and found specific associations of low socioeconomic status and traumatic stressful events with psychiatric symptoms, cognitive performance, and several brain structure abnormalities.

The findings revealed that poverty was associated with a small elevation in the severity of psychiatric symptoms, including mood/anxiety, phobias, externalising behaviour and psychosis, as compared to individuals who did not experience poverty.

Elderly women beg money at a pavement in Calcutta on 11 September 2012. India’s official poverty rate as per Planning Commission, stands at 29.8 per cent, or near to 350 million people using the 2010 population figures. EPA/PIYAL ADHIKARY

The magnitude of the effects of traumatic stressful events on psychiatric symptom severity was unexpectedly large.

The research found that even a single traumatic event was associated with a moderate increase in severity for all psychiatric symptoms analysed, and two or more events showed large effect sizes, especially in mood/anxiety and in psychosis. Additionally, these effects were larger in females than in males.

Also Read- Incidence of Hepatitis-B Virus Higher Among the Tribals in India

Both poverty and traumatic stressful events were associated with abnormalities across measures of brain anatomy, physiology, and connectivity.

They also found evidence that adversity is associated with earlier onset of puberty. Both poverty and experiencing traumatic stressful events are associated with the child physically maturing at an earlier age, said the study. (IANS)