POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES (11.19.2021, 4:50pm CEST, WHO):   India 11,106    Brazil 11,977    United Kingdom 46,858    Russia 37,156    Turkey 22,234    France 19,840    Argentina 1,553    Germany 52,970    Spain 3,932    Columbia 2,257    Italy 10,645    Mexico 3,836    Ukraine 20,050    Poland 23,242    Philippines 1,297    Malaysia 6,380    Netherlands 23,680    Peru 1,370    Thailand 6,855    Czechia 13,374    Canada 2,448    Romania 3,076    Chile 2,611    Serbia 3,219    Sweden 1,210    Portugal 2,398    Vietnam 10,223    Kazakhstan 1,272    Austria 14,212    Hungary 11,289    Greece 7,276    Georgia 4,278    Bulgaria 2,785    Belarus 1,844    Slovakia 7,418    Azerbaijan 2,124    Croatia 7,270    Bolivia 1,119    Ireland 4,646    Lithuania 1,847    Denmark 4,013    South Korea 3,034    Slovenia 3,662    Latvia 1,221    Laos 1,401    China 31    New Zealand 200    Australia 1,302   

New drug effective against malaria

Staff Writer |
Tulane University researchers have developed a new drug that is effective against non-severe cases of malaria, according to results from an FDA-supervised clinical trial published in the latest issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Article continues below






The results are significant as public health experts have long warned that the parasite responsible for most malaria cases, Plasmodium falciparum, is developing resistance to widely used treatments.

New medications are needed to build up secondary defenses against drug-resistant strains of the parasite.

The drug, called AQ-13, was able to clear the parasite responsible for the disease within a week, matching the effectiveness of the most widely used treatment regimen.

"The clinical trial results are extraordinarily encouraging," said Dr. Donald Krogstad, senior author and professor of tropical medicine at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

"Compared to the current first-line recommendation for treatment of malaria, the new drug comes out very well."

Mosquitoes infected by a parasite spread malaria, causing more than 200 million illnesses across the globe and more than 400,000 deaths annually.

For decades, chloroquine was used to treat malaria until Plasmodium falciparum developed resistance.

Now, a drug combination - artemether and lumefantrine- is the primary treatment for malaria although resistance is also developing to the drug combination in some countries.

Researchers recruited 66 adult men in Mali with uncomplicated malaria, which is defined as malaria that isn't life threatening.

Half were treated with AQ-13 and the other half received artemether and lumefantrine. Both drug groups had similar cure rates.

However, five participants in AQ-13 group left the study or were lost to follow-up and two participants in the artemether/lumefantrine group had late treatment failures with recurrence of their original infections.

Researchers hope to expand testing of the drug to more participants, including women and children, before it can be widely recommended as a new treatment.

Krogstad said that the same biotechnology that helped the team develop the new drug has also identified similar drugs that also hold promise against drug-resistant parasites.

"The potential long-term implications are bigger than one drug," he said.

"The conceptual step here is that if you understand the resistance well enough, you may be actually be able to develop others as well. We synthesized over 200 analogues and, of those, 66 worked against the resistant parasites."


What to read next

Key to long-term malaria vaccine unlocked, say Australian researchers
Malaria on the rise in Venezuela, official figures unknown
Travelers bring malaria back to U.S.