University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Researchers Reveal Genetic Secrets of Devastating Human Parasite  
9/21/2007 6:56:12 AM

PITTSBURGH, September 20, 2007 — An international team of researchers has revealed the genetic secrets of one of the world’s most debilitating human parasites, Brugia malayi (B. malayi), which the World Health Organization estimates has seriously incapacitated and disfigured more than 40 million people around the globe. The study, which appears in the September 21 issue of the journal Science, reveals dozens of potential new targets for drugs or vaccines and should provide new opportunities for understanding, treating and preventing elephantiasis, the disfiguring disease caused by the B. malayi parasite. In addition, understanding how this particular parasite has adapted to humans may help organ transplant researchers, according to the authors.