TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Study: Compound shows promise against malaria

A new study, performed at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, with results recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows promise in defeating malaria.

Researchers were able to develop an anti-malarial compound that compels the immune system into quickly eliminating red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite, while at the same time leavingĀ  healthy blood cells completely intact.

The new compound, (+)-SJ733, was developed from a molecule identified in a previous trial. In the St. Jude study, scientists found that the compound uses a unique mechanism to destroy the malaria parasite by recruiting the immune system to eliminate malaria-infected red blood cells.

The study also used mice to exhibit the effects of the compound, and it was discovered that with a single dose of the compound, 80 percent of the malaria parasites were dead within 24 hours, and in 48 hours, no infection was detected in any of the mice.

Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, and once a person is infected, the parasite travels to the liver, where it infects the red cells and causes health problems.

Plans are now underway for this trial to use healthy humans as the subjects.

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