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Apr 2, 2012Science and Technology
Compound halts growth of malaria parasite

A drug candidate that has shown promise for neutralizing dangerous bacteria also prevents the parasite that causes malaria from growing, new research by a Yale University team headed by Nobel laureate Sidney Altman shows. The compound created in the labs of Altman and Choukri Ben Mamoun at the Yale School of Medicine penetrates red blood cells and targets molecular machinery that enables the parasite to grow within the cells, according to findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Malaria is caused by fives species of parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. "While we primarily looked at one species of parasite, it is clear the compound also knocks out drug-resistant strains of malaria as well," Altman said. "This compound can wipe out strains that are currently resistant to drugs such as chloroquine and pyrimethamine."

Relevant Locations: New Haven, CT, USA
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