The key to malaria’s rampant growth has been explained by scientists.
They say it is down to protein molecules called cyclins which cause cells to divide rapidly in the malaria parasite.
The study, led by a team from the University of Nottingham, could lead to new treatments for malaria, the researchers said.
Malaria is responsible for nearly half a million deaths a year.
A cyclin is one of the most important protein molecules needed for cell division.
They have been well studied in humans, yeasts and plants – but until now, little has been known about cyclins in the malaria parasite and how they affect cell development.
This research, published in the journal PLoS Pathogens, has been able to classify the number and type of cyclins present in malaria parasites.