Increasing malarial drug resistance a growing threat

July 31, 2014
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.

Explore further: $450 mn needed to tackle 'grave' malaria threat, WHO says

More information: Full Article
Study 1
Study 2
Letter
Editorial

Related Stories

Malaria treatment could improve in children

December 3, 2013

An analysis of patients from across the malaria endemic world suggests that a key antimalarial treatment could be improved by better dosing in young children.

One route to malaria drug resistance found

July 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 diseases including ...

Recommended for you

Cellphone data can track infectious diseases

August 20, 2015

Tracking mobile phone data is often associated with privacy issues, but these vast datasets could be the key to understanding how infectious diseases are spread seasonally, according to a study published in the Proceedings ...

0 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.