FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016

Scientists identify new way malaria survives in human blood

European scientists recently announced that they have identified a new way in which the malaria parasite survives in human blood.

British and French researchers said that they have identified genes in Plasmodium falciparum, the bacteria that causes malaria, that produce enzymes known as kinases, according to AFP.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, shows that a total of 36 kinases are needed for the parasite to develop in human blood cells. They are a key part of its complicated life-cycle.

"We are now looking for drugs that...stop the protein kinases from working.," Christian Doerig, a French researcher from the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, said, AFP reports. "If we find these drugs then we will have a new way of killing the malaria parasite."

Andre Tobin of Britain’s University of Leicester said the parasite's remarkable ability to build resistance against treatment means the search for new drugs remains vital.

"It seems perfectly realistic to us that we can now develop novel anti-malaria drugs based on the findings that we have made - it certainly is a big moment in our fight against this terrible disease that mainly affects the world’s poorest people," Tobin said, AFP reports.