January 29, 2010
Research Breakthrough Could Lead To New Treatment For Malaria
Multinational team of researchers focuses on how parasites use enzymes to survive and spread disease
Malaria causes more than two million deaths each year, but an expert multinational team battling the global spread of drug-resistant parasites has made a breakthrough in the search for better treatment. Better understanding of the make-up of these parasites and the way they reproduce has enabled an international team, led by John Dalton, a biochemist in McGill's Institute of Parasitology, to identify a plan of attack for the development of urgently needed new treatments.
"By blocking the action of these critical parasite enzymes, we have shown that the parasites can no longer survive within the human red blood cell," Dalton explains. The discovery will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and is the result of collaboration including Australia's Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Monash University and the University of Western Sydney, Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland and the University of Virginia in the U.S. The team is putting their findings into action immediately and is already pursuing anti-malarial drug development.
On the Net: