A Pathogen's Many Masks

While studying the parasite Trypanosoma brucei that causes sleeping sickness, Monica Mugnier discovered that it could activate more than 100 protein signatures over 30 days of a single infection. She also found it makes new “protein disguises” by recombining elements of previous protein signatures that had been defeated by the host’s immune system.
 
This finding earned Mugnier, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, an NIH Early Independence Award. She hopes “to gain more insight into the mechanisms driving antigenic variation, which might allow us to think about new drug targets.”
 
Sleeping sickness affects 60 million people in sub-Saharan African countries every year.
 
Source: Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine

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