Israeli researchers decode protection mechanism of deadly intestinal parasite

Published: November 16, 2018 13:50:11 | Updated: November 30, 2018 18:52:35

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Israeli researchers have deciphered the protective mechanisms of the deadly intestinal parasite "Entamoeba histolytica" (EH), which could lead to the development of drugs to prevent related disease outbreak, reported Wednesday by the Israel Institute of Technology "Technion".

EH is a single-celled organism found in the intestines of millions of people. After penetrating the human body through contaminated food and drink, it inhabits colon and liver and feeds on bacteria living there.

In most cases, the parasite lives in the intestines without harming human body, but sometimes it causes amebiasis, an illness that can cause complications and even death of the host. The parasite causes about 100,000 deaths a year worldwide.

This study examined how EH can protect against host defense systems. The researchers found that Escherichia coli, one common bacteria in the intestines, protects the parasite from oxygen deficiency, reports Xinhua from Jerusalem.

The researchers believe that the discovery of the mechanism will lead to the development of drugs that will break this defense mechanism and terminate the parasite.

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