New malaria ACT treatment requires single dose

A new treatment for malaria is reportedly twice as effective as current medicines and may only require a single dose.

The most effective medicine currently in use against the mosquito-borne illness is known as artemisinin combination therapy. ACT requires patients to take several pills daily. Patients often fail to correctly follow the regimen, and, as a result, fail to get better, according to

Sporadically conforming to ACT treatment also increases the risk that the malaria parasite will develop a resistance to the drugs. The new treatment is similar to ACT, but its developers believe it can stop the illness in a single dose.

A recent report in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Medicinal Chemistry describes a series of new compounds that are combined with mefloquine that successful against malaria in a study conducted on mice. Mice given a single dose of the combination were capable of surviving twice as long as those treated with conventional ACT, reports.

According to the research team, which is being led by Johns Hopkins University Professor Gary Posner, the study received funding from a variety of sources, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and the Bloomberg Family Foundation.

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