A research study conducted by scientists at the University of Debrecen in Hungary and the Institute of Molecular Medicine and the Gulbenkian Institute of Science in Portugal showed that inhaled carbon monoxide could be a cheap and simple method of preventing cerebral malaria. The study indicates that carbon monoxide imitates the action of a natural enzyme released by the body in response to an infection with the malaria parasite. Carbon monoxide reduces the impact of a toxic molecule called heme, which is released by red blood cells infected with malaria.
A study published in the journal PLoS–Pathogens by the Public Library of Science–elaborates on the new malaria vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Nottingham. The research involved genetic modification of a mouse-related parasite for the production of an antigen that recognized the human immune system. Followed by the production of the antigen, the researchers genetically altered the mouse’s immune system to produce a ‘human molecule’ on its white blood cells. This test resulted in the protection of the human antibodies in the mouse from parasites. “We have made the best possible animal model you can get in the absence of working on humans or higher primates, as well as developing a novel therapeutic entity,” claimed Dr. Richard Pleass, of the Institute of Genetics.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, claimed that the combined therapy of artemether-lumefantrine on malaria leads to a lower rate of treatment failure compared to other combination therapies. The clinical trials conducted between November 2004 and June 2006 involved 601 healthy children, aged 1-10 years, from an urban community in Kampala, Uganda. The children were administered three combination therapies (amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, amodiaquine plus artesunate, or artemether-lumefantrine) in the first phase of uncomplicated malaria. A follow up of 13 to 19 months showed that the risk of treatment failure was the least with 6.7% for artemether-lumefantrine.
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