Increasing malarial drug resistance a growing threat

Increasing malarial drug resistance a growing threat
The parasite that causes malaria is growing increasingly resistant to the drugs commonly used to fight it, according to new surveillance reports. But several new drugs are in development, and at least one in early clinical trials may offer new hope.

(HealthDay)—The parasite that causes malaria is growing increasingly resistant to the drugs commonly used to fight it, according to new surveillance reports. But several new drugs are in development, and at least one in early clinical trials may offer new hope.

"Although there has been considerable progress in in the past decade, the battle against malaria is far from won, and there is still much more to do," Brian Greenwood, M.D., professor of at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who wrote a commentary accompanying the new research, told HealthDay. All of the new research, along with Greenwood's editorial, appears in the July 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Especially worrisome is the growing power of malaria parasites to survive the drugs that are designed to kill them, Greenwood said. One study reported widespread resistance to the drug artemisinin across mainland Southeast Asia. A second study found resistance to a drug combination—dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine—in Cambodia. Resistance to this drug is particularly concerning because this combination is often used in the most difficult-to-treat malaria infections.

Fortunately, even those who show resistance may get well when given longer courses of medication. "Many of these patients will get better eventually if they are treated for many days or treated with an additional effective drug," Greenwood said, adding that the focus must remain on controlling the spread of , treating those who are sick with existing medications, and developing new drugs to control the disease.

More information: Full Article
Study 1
Study 2
Letter
Editorial

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

One route to malaria drug resistance found

Jul 24, 2014

Researchers have uncovered a way the malaria parasite becomes resistant to an investigational drug. The discovery, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, also is relevant for other infectious ...

Recommended for you

A look at latest Ebola developments

25 minutes ago

No African countries are on the United Nations list of contributors to fight Ebola. With few exceptions, African governments and institutions are offering only marginal support as the continent faces its ...

Liberia opens one of largest Ebola treatment centers

56 minutes ago

Liberia's president opened one of the country's largest Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia on Friday, remembering the days when "the dying, the sick, the dead who could not picked up on time" as officials ...

WHO issues new guidance on Ebola protective gear

4 hours ago

The U.N. health agency is updating its guidelines for health workers dealing with the deadly Ebola virus, recommending tougher measures such as doubling up on gloves and making sure the mouth, nose and eyes ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.