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Malaria infection can cause bone loss, researchers say

India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi 03 Jun 2017, 18:09:42 PM IST
India TV Lifestyle Desk

Malaria infection may cause bone loss as a result of chronic inflammation by gathered by-products in the bone marrow left by the parasite that causes the disease, said by researchers. Plasmodium parasite is a parasite responsible for life threatening infectious disease. This infection kills over half a million people annually and causing infection to 200 million people. Chances of severe respiratory distress, anemia and even death is increased by this parasite. Though, some patients survive this deadly disease.  However, there are a number of evidences to suggest that patients are getting prone to long-term hidden diseases because of infection which is not yet explained. The new research uses mouse malaria model to show that healthy immune activation and invasion of parasite by-products into the bone marrow during and after malaria infection causes bone loss.

"Even after a one-time malaria infection (it does not matter if the disease is fully restored or chronic low-level infection continues), substantial chronic bone loss occurs," said Caviar Coban, Professor at Osaka University in Japan and corresponding author of the study. It’s been found that plasmodium parasite continuously stimulates and results are harsh, patient’s bone marrow will turn into black colour and it’s further results are ‘being eaten’ up by bone resorbing cells known as osteoclasts, eventually disrupting bone homeostasis," said by- first author of Osaka university Michelle lee.

One may think that the infection has been completely cured by anti-malarial treatment, and be feeling fully recovered, however, sustained long-term accumulation of parasite by-products leaves the bone in a state of chronic inflammation, leading to long term bone loss, according to the study published in the journal Science Immunology.

"We found that Plasmodium products continuously accumulate in the bone marrow niche which turns the bone noticeably black in colour, and results in it being 'eaten-up' by bone resorbing cells known as osteoclasts, eventually disrupting bone homeostasis," first author of the study Michelle Lee from Osaka University said.

"Although chronic inflammatory conditions are known to facilitate bone disorders, our study -for the first time- shows that malaria can do the same thing, with hallmark 'signatures' left in the bone tissue, a very unique feature of malaria infection," Coban explained.

The findings suggest that anti-malarial treatment coupled with bone therapy may be beneficial in improving bone health in malaria-infected individuals.