Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium. If someone is affected by Malaria and no medical treatment is given to him/her within few days, then the affected person may face death. Huge amount of people from child to aged people die due to Malaria. Researches have been trying to find/discover such thing that will be able to tackle Malaria. Now researchers in South Africa claims that they have found a drug that can cure all strains of malaria with a single oral dose.
The parasite Plasmodium is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The parasites reproduce in the liver and then infect red blood cells in the human body. Without medical treatment, the affected person first will become sick and later die. The symptoms of Malaria are like debilitating fever, convulsions, nausea etc.
Researchers at University of Cape Town (UCT) in collaboration with Swiss-based colleagues have found a drug that can cure all strains of Malaria with a single oral dose. The drugs code name is MMV390048. This drug MMV390048 is the compound from the aminopyridine class. It has shown “potent activity against multiple points in the malaria parasite’s life-cycle”.
Professor Kelly Chibale, lead researcher of the collaborative research project have said that they haven’t tested it upon human but the have tested it upon animal. The compound was 100% successful curing malaria in animals. The animal studies showed them a “potent activity against multiple points in the malaria parasite’s life-cycle”.
What makes the MMV390048 unique?
- It is very strong, and displayed a complete cure of animals affect with malaria parasites in a single dose given orally.
- It is active against a wide number of resistant strains of the malaria parasite.
The drug is the first compound researched on African soil to enter preclinical development in partnership with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a not-for-profit public-private partnership, in Switzerland.
Researchers announced that they will try to bring this single anti-malarial pill that blocks transmission of the killer disease soon. The pill has no side effects.
For your kind information :
- People are infected with the malaria parasite through the bite of a mosquito.
- According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 655 000 people died of malaria worldwide in 2010.
- 90% of malaria deaths in 2010 were in African countries.
- A child dies of malaria in Africa every minute, says WHO.
- Mmalaria kills 1 million people in sub-Saharan Africa every year, mostly children under the age of five.
Professor Jim Wells, of Medicines for Malaria Venture, has called the breakthrough drug discovery a “gift of SA to the rest of Africa”.
Pandor said, “I am excited by the role that our excellent scientists have played in finding a potential single-dose cure for malaria. This is evidence both of top science undertaken in South Africa and also the power of continental and international scientific collaboration in addressing the societal challenges of our time.”
Clinical tests of this single anti-malarial pill are scheduled for the end of 2013. For now, it has been sent back to the lab for intensive testing. If the compound achieves a positive result, then the pill is expected to be available on the market by 2020.