A recent study conducted on March 9, 2018 suggests that malaria infections can be controlled by managing meal times of infected people or animals.
According to the researchers, eating habits play a major role in enabling the disease to develop. This was observed when tests were conducted on infected mice. The rhythm of parasites were associated to changes in level of blood sugar in the mice. Severity and spreading of malaria infection can be reduced by interfering with the biological pathways associated with eating and parasite rhythms.
The timing of parasite rhythms in mice’s were observed and analyzed by a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh. Many alterations such as changing feeding time of the animals, allowing them to eat during the day instead of at night, and changing the timing of parasite multiplication from night to day were made by the researchers. This would help the scientists to examine the impact of changing eating habits on parasites and biological mechanisms controlling their rhythms.
In collaboration with the University of Surrey, Stanford University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, this study was published in PLoS Pathogens. Dr. Kimberley Prior, who led the study said, “We were surprised by how strongly malaria infection responded to changes in the eating times of the mice they were infecting. This offers a new avenue for research. If we can disrupt the link, it could reduce both the impact and the spread of malaria infection.” This study gives scope for developing new treatment methods for malaria infection.