New malaria drug cures with one dose

A new study in mice has identified a promising drug that targets bits of blood cells the parasite relies on
05 August 2021
Presented by Chris Smith
Production by Chris Smith.


Although Covid-19 is dominating the headlines perpetually at the moment, it's very important not to lose sight of other significant diseases that don't yet have vaccines and do have a higher cumulative death toll. Malaria is one of them and kills half a million people, mostly children, every year. One serious problem is that the parasite that causes the disease is rapidly becoming resistant to the remaining antimalarial drugs we're using, so scientists have been searching for new ways to treat the disease. So far, more than 7 million chemical compounds have been screened to try to discover new leads, but now a team at Columbia University have used a new, targeted approach to focus the search on drug molecules that hit very specific components in blood cells that malaria relies on. They think they've homed in on a very promising substance that's both safe and can cure a case of malaria with a single dose. David Fidock spoke to Chris Smith...


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