Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia have discovered a novel approach to preventing Toxoplasma gondii infection from taking hold. By disabling protein kinase A (PKA), which normally activates parasite replication, the team initiated a mechanism of T. gondii egress from host cells. Unable to replicate, the parasite cannot flourish.
Commonly found in raw meat and cat feces, T. gondii causes a disease called toxoplasmosis, which presents with fever and muscle aches, and poses a risk to pregnant women in particular. The research, published this month (September 12) in PLOS Biology, provides potential targets for a vaccine against the pathogen.
A.D. Uboldi et al., “Protein kinase A negatively regulates Ca2+ signalling in Toxoplasma gondii,” PLOS Biology, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2005642, 2018.