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.


Explore further

Drug-resistant malaria has spread to critical border regions of Southeast Asia

More information: Full Article
Study 1
Study 2
Letter
Editorial
Journal information: New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: Increasing malarial drug resistance a growing threat (2014, July 31) retrieved 23 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-07-malarial-drug-resistance-threat.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

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