The Unwanted Guest: Parasites are clever about overstaying their welcome, co-evolving with their unwilling hosts to survive and propagate. Viruses, for example, insert their DNA into the host chromosome, ensuring that they are passed on to the daughter cells.
This clever protozoan, Theileria (in green), aligns itself with the mitotic spindle (shown in red) as if it were a chromosome. When the spindle of the dividing host cell pulls apart to form two nuclei (in blue), the parasite goes along for the ride. Theileria infects cattle via tick bites and resides in white blood cells. Other disease causing protozoan parasites like Plasmodium and Toxoplasma also co-opt microtubules to help in cell invasion. This new finding means that drugs that target microtubules could block parasite spread.
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Image from Dirk Dobbelaere, University of Bern (Switzerland) via BPoD.