Both Malaria and Babesia are parasites that live inside red blood cells. Malaria is spread with mosquitoes while Babesia is spread with ticks. We are looking for the mechanism for how the parasites enter the red blood cells to be able to find better medications, but also to understand how immunity against these diseases is formed.
For Malaria we have shown that some antibodies bind with high affinity to their target antigens, and they can also stop invasion of new red blood cells, while other antibodies not are that efficient. We have also created a new method to measure Plasmodium falciparum-specific atypical Memory B-cells, and shown that these cells are very common in malaria endemic areas.
For Babesia we have recently in a study from Skåne shown that almost one fifth of those that had Borrelia also had Babesia. We are now doing a bigger study to try and answer the question of whether donated blood should be screened for Babesia, since it can also spread via blood transfusion.