What Does Malaria Do to the Human Body?


Malaria is one of the oldest diseases in human
history, dating back to ancient civilizations in Greece and China. It has even been attributed to aiding the
fall of the Roman Empire. So if we’ve been fighting malaria for so
long, why haven’t we been able to stop it? The name “malaria” comes from “mal aria”
or “bad air,” because early interpretations of the disease came before we could connect the
undesirable symptoms of malaria with a mosquito bite. And later with a tricky little parasite
known as Plasmodium falciparum. My name is Karine Le Roch. I’m a professor at the University of California
Riverside in the department of molecular, cell, and systems biology. And my lab is working on the human malaria parasite. So, trying to identify a new way to combat the disease. I always find that the parasite are extremely
clever. Not to mention impressive, taking down the
Roman Empire is pretty big feat for a tiny parasite. But it had a bit of help from its notorious
host, the mosquito. Though not every mosquito has the ability
to carry or spread the malaria parasite. There is only a very small percentage of mosquitoes that
can get infected and can transmit the disease. These mosquitoes are anopheles and only a
small proportion are anopheles and only female because mosquitoes are usually vegetarian. And the reason they stop being vegetarian
is that females need the proteins in blood to produce and lay eggs. So an infected mosquito
bites a human, it injects sporozoites, these sporozoites are going to be injected to the
blood and reach the liver. The parasite wants to get into a cell fast
to avoid the patrolling immune cells. It heads to the liver first, wrapping itself
in an invisibility cloak of sorts – the liver cell membrane. Since our body doesn’t yet know the parasite
is there, there won’t be any resulting symptoms. The parasite replicates in the liver cells
until it bursts out, setting its sights now on the red blood cells. These red blood cells are another good place
to take shelter from the immune system and are perfectly suited to the parasite’s need
to replicate. As soon as the parasite is inside, it starts
to drastically alter the makeup of the cell. When they get inside the red blood cell, they
will take some time to maybe feel comfortable, to settle down, and then they will start their
differentiation and reproduction processes. As it replicates, the parasite will snack
on hemoglobin in the red blood cells and, by this point, the human immune system knows
that something sketchy is going on. For one thing, this red blood cell looks nothing
like it used to – it’s stiffer, stickier, and is no longer smooth on the outside. So as soon as the parasite gets in, the host
immune system realize that the red blood cells are transformed and that there is strange
things going on inside and the host immune system is going to try to directly target
the infected red blood cells. When a red blood cell is infected, the immune
system will recognize it based on the parasite proteins exported on the outside and destroy
it, but in this case the parasite has found a way to escape this by repeatedly changing
the proteins it expresses. It becomes, essentially, a cat and mouse game
where the immune system simply can’t keep up. As soon as it knows what to destroy, the parasite
puts on a new protein mask on its host cell and gets away unscathed. While its evading detection it uses human
cells to replicate and eventually differentiate into male and female versions of itself, something
that can only happen in the human host. Then it needs to be picked back up by a mosquito
in order for those versions to reproduce, which can only happen in the mosquito host. This cycle… I mean you really need an infected human to
infect mosquitoes and you need an infected mosquito to infect a human. And as if that weren’t enough, when the
red blood cells burst, they release toxins into the blood. The major symptoms of malaria; a nasty fever,
chills, headache, vomiting, are caused in part by these toxins. These can actually cause the patient to get
into coma and and stop the oxygen exchange between your blood and your brain. So how do you treat or vaccinate against a
parasite that is constantly on the move and changing what it looks like? So that’s that’s a big issue. A lot of money and research lab are working
on trying to define a vaccine against malaria. Right now we have a vaccine that can protect
30 to 40 percent against the strongest side effect of the disease but it’s not protection
as we are familiar with. The goal of my lab is really to try to stop
the parasite in its intensive replication steps or to make sure we just inhibit replication
and division of the parasite inside the human host. And as we come up with new treatments, the
parasite itself is always evolving and evading us in new ways. In order to eradicate the disease we really
have to become more clever than they are. The CDC, center for controlled disease, was
actually built to fight malaria and we’ve been they’ve been they have developed an eradication
campaign that have been extremely successful after the second World War where malaria was
eradicated from the US and Europe. The success was really intense because of
the use of DDT to actually kill mosquitoes. Of course, dumping DDT on 6 million homes
isn’t really a viable solution these days so we’re going to need to find to find a
better weapon to combat the disease.

100 thoughts on “What Does Malaria Do to the Human Body?

  1. I'm glad we have winter here in the US only time these a-holes aren't around other countries have them all year

  2. besides god being so devious so as to make a parasite like this…a quasi defense has been to allow humans to develop a genetic disease called G6PDD – Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is a genetic
    disorder that occurs almost exclusively in males. This condition mainly
    affects red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues
    throughout the body. This disease effectively leaves the person that has it immune to malaria and the G6PDD is found throughout the world but mainly in the Mediterranean area…

  3. Well that's the only good thing about having sickle-cell is I don't have to worry about malaria. I could have made a killing during the Panama Canal construction lol..

  4. I'm a medstud from asia and the answer of why malaria so hard to eradicate, actually more related to the mosquitoes than the abilities of plasmodium to change protein marker.
    Especially in humid area in most of the lower hemisphere like south east asia and most of south part africa, its become mosquito endemic place due to geographical factor. How on earth you eradicate the mosquito without also eradicate ecosystem there.
    So most of us medstud that will be work in endemic area of mosquito just prepare to treat the patient with purpose of destroy and suppress the cycle life of plasmodium in human body.
    FYI most of people that live in endemic malaria area already exposed and some infected by malaria but doesn't show any symptoms whatsoever

  5. Does the parasite display an infinite amount of protein masks, or do they often display the same ones over time? For example, I'd be looking for repetitiveness of the results and then once a computer can learn and log all the versions of it's masks, maybe there would be a way to teach the lymphocytes to have a preemptive attack. I don't know much about how this science works, but I would assume someone has already thought of this and hit a barrier of some sort. I have a feeling this is one of those things an AI is going to help solve.

  6. Can we get a video about what the money is used for when we hear that it takes thousands or millions for a team to possibly find a cure to a disease or virus

  7. I'm sorry but I understood next to nothing when the scientist was speaking…

  8. I wrote a proposal to BG Foundation some years ago to contribute my idea to reduce or eradicate the vectors but did not get accepted perhaps I did not have enough data to support my claim or other reasons. I will try it again to get more data in the future.

  9. Can you talk about the disease called Nagleriasis that is caused by Naegleria fowleri? It would be interesting to know about it.

  10. Even fleas have fleas. Can't we breed, find or build a Malaria Phage (a virus that infects malaria)?

  11. Not sure why bring up DDT rather than genetic mutations that can make mosquito's extinct, but thanks for the video. It was good all in all.

  12. I'll just bathe in anti-bug spray for three weeks straight when I'm on vacation in SE Asia, ain't no mosquitoes biting me then

  13. Seeker I want you to see my comment so I'm going to put a few up but you guys need to make a video about black cumin seed oil I'm tired of there being so much ignorance around the medical community when really the solution for this virus along with HIV and many other problems is black cumin seed oil the most powerful antibacterial antiviral and anti parasitic out there

  14. Pretty sure the image at 0:55 is a male Anopheles, which do not spread malaria since they don't sting.

  15. I applaud this work. We must become more cunning than this malaria parasite.
    Though dumping DDT or any other pesticide is never a viable solution.

    Like a house of cards, kill the lowly mosquito with spraying chems, and also unwittingly kill a host of other creatures. Also losing diversity through starvation, and unable to reproduce because of scarcity.

  16. Malaria, AIDS, Cancer. Truly, worthy challengers to the immense planetary force we have become. Many just see us as "people living lives" but we are far more than that. As of now we are the pinnacle of life and evolution. The apex predator of apex predators on this planet. And yet, these organisms can still cripple us on a cellular level. I say, it will be a true triumph when we eradicate them, and it will speak to our resolve. A round of applause for the human race 👏👏👏👏

    Update:
    Yeah I just read the comments below me. We're fucked

  17. The one thing you can say about DDT is that it was REALLY effective! It did exactly what they wanted it to do, and more!

  18. While I was watching the sympthoms, a mosquito literally flew over my screen. Ain't that timing. Lucky me it was just a regular mosquito

  19. Isn't there adaptions humans have for malaria? Sickle cell and another blood cell condition. Is that not possible to use this natural solution as a guide for an artificial solution?

  20. If there's a symbiotic relationship between mosquitoes and humans, why not just genetically modify the mosquitoes so that they don't get infected? Wouldn't that stop the cycle?

  21. Do you know eating sour things can also cause malaria. I don't know why but it is true for me and my mother.😕😕😕🤔🤔🤔

  22. Am i tje only person in the planet that when I hear the word "suck" i think something dirty LOL😂

  23. If one needs the other to reproduce then what came first..the chicken or the egg?👆😕 either way, send on the nanobotz!

  24. Are we using bacteria injected heart medication to give smaller animals heart attacks? Or virus type hybrid?

  25. Surprised that she did not mention
    ARTEMISIA ,this plant is a natural miracle, used for more than a millennium in China to treat malaria!
    It is way better than the current drugs!
    You guys should research and see by yourself!

  26. How about an older seeker video I saw about genetically modified mosquitoes that kill the offspring of mosquitoes.

  27. I got infected with malaria when I was 5. It was terrible and I was going crazy. I reached a point where I couldn’t move. I hate remembering this memory.

  28. dear Seeker team,
    in health matters we should consider the surprisingly low biological temperature thresholds,
    Please make a video about the temperature threshold, when and why a high fever irreversibly damages our brains,
    and how the same temperature can affect our nutrients,
    [email protected],

  29. Rare proteins collapse earlier | ETH Zurich,
    https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2017/02/rare-proteins-collapse-earlier.html

  30. People without medical degrees will say the government is keeping the secret of the cure with no clue on how the disease even works

  31. EVOLUTION: SICKLE CELL WILL PROTECT ME AGAINST MALARIA.

    SICKLE CELL STARTS KILLING HUMANS

    EVOLUTION: AM I A JOKE TO YOU?

  32. Why can't scientists take the DNA that makes up the disease and manipulate it so it can not reproduce or replicate itself

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