Navigation Links
Researchers discover surprising drug that blocks malaria

Northwestern University researchers have discovered how malaria parasites persuade red blood cells to engulf them -- and how to block the invading parasites. The malaria marauders hack into the red cell's signaling system and steal the molecular equivalent of its password to spring open the door to the cell. But researchers have found that a common blood pressure medication ?propranolol ?jams the signal to prevent the parasite from breaking in.

Scientists had long been perplexed by malaria's ability to hijack red blood cells, then wildly multiply and provoke its life-threatening symptoms.

"This opens the possibility for important new drugs for malaria that won't become resistant. New drugs are urgently needed because the parasite has evolved resistance against virtually all types of commonly used drugs," said Kasturi Haldar, principal investigator for the study and the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor in the department of pathology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern. Sean Murphy, a Medical Sciences Training Program student, is the study's lead author.

The study was published in PLoS Medicine.

Malaria, one of the top three deadliest diseases in the developing world, is resurging worldwide because of drug resistance and the lack of an effective vaccine, Haldar said. Jamaica recently reported an outbreak of malaria after it had been eradicated in that country for 50 years.

A blood-borne illness, malaria is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The symptoms include high fevers and flu-like symptoms such as chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. The disease kills an estimated 2 million people a year, mostly African children under five. It also poses a risk to travelers. An estimated 500 million cases of malaria were expected in 2006.

Commonly used drugs against malaria attack the parasite, but it rapidly changes its molecular structure to become resistant to those drugs. It would be difficult, however, for the malaria parasite to develop resistance to a drug that acts on a person's red blood cells as the blood pressure medication does, Haldar said.

When Haldar and her colleagues tested propranolol in combination with existing anti-malarial drugs in human cell cultures and mice, it reduced the dose of the anti-malarial drugs needed to kill the parasites by tenfold. That's significant because high doses of anti-malarial drugs ?increasingly necessary as resistance to them builds -- can be toxic. In addition, blood pressure medication like propranolol is cheap and safe for use even in pregnant women, a group particularly vulnerable to malaria.

"We're working on developing a unique drug that would combine anti-malarial drugs with blood pressure medication. We think it has a high likelihood of success," Haldar said. The next step is human clinical trials.


'"/>

Source:Northwestern University


Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
3. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
4. Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon
5. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
6. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
7. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
8. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
9. Researchers add new tool to tumor-treatment arsenal
10. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
11. VCU Researchers Identify Networks Of Genes Responding To Alcohol In The Brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... , June 20, 2016 Securus ... justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections ... the prisons involved, it has secured the final ... (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. ... additional facilities to be installed by October, 2016. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint ... sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening ... ... ... Photo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design company ... as one of the World Economic Forum,s Technology ... companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to manufacture ... the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. The ... Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for their ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and ... and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension ... light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS ... the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, ... proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
Breaking Biology Technology: