Hope for new malaria treatment

01 October 2018 | Health

Over the years sub-Saharan Africa has been drastically affected by malaria. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 92% of malaria-related deaths happen in sub-Saharan Africa.

The disease is spread by the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito carrying the Plasmodium parasite.

Researchers from Duke University have recently discovered the mechanism the Plasmodium parasite uses to survive.

When entering the bloodstream of the host, the parasite heads straight to the host's liver. After the initial bite, symptoms only appear after about a week. During this time, the parasite manipulates the liver cells of the host to produce a protein called aquaporin-3 (AQP3).

The protein assists with the transportation of nutrients and water into cells. The parasite uses the protein to assist and nourish its replication process.

The parasite replicates thousands of times over until it is finally released into the bloodstream, which carries it throughout the body.

Existing malaria medication focuses on eradicating the parasite in the bloodstream. Remnants of the parasite left behind in the liver may result in a relapse.

Researchers believe that with a new discovery, they will be able to target the parasite before it replicates and spreads to the rest of the body.

In a Duke University press release, study author and assistant professor Emily Derbyshire, Ph.D., states, “This parasite found a way to manipulate the host's liver cells to make it favourable for this replication event. This suggests that maybe we can develop drugs to try to target the host to prevent malaria.”

According to the WHO, in 2015 there were 212 million cases of malaria around the world.

The development of medication based on recent discoveries made means that millions of lives may soon be saved in malaria-endemic countries.

The development of medication based on the recent discoveries means that millions of lives may soon be saved in malaria-endemic countries.

Nobel Laureate Dr Peter Agre, comments on the study's discoveries: “The liver stage is a checkpoint, a bottleneck, where it goes from a few dozen parasites to many thousands of parasites, which are released from the liver into the blood where it is amplified into hundreds of billions of parasites. If we could put out the forest fire when it is the smallest possible little campfire that would be a potential therapeutic breakthrough”.

NEWS24

Similar News

 

Spread of hepatitis E unique to Namibia

5 days ago - 13 December 2018 | Health

The way in which the hepatitis E outbreak has spread in Namibia is unique in the world, health experts say.Since the first cases were reported...

More villages get toilets

1 week ago - 11 December 2018 | Health

Although two northern villages were declared open-defecation-free (ODF) this week, an estimated 1.15 million Namibians, or half the population, still don't have access to proper...

Know your status

2 weeks ago - 04 December 2018 | Health

Elizabeth Joseph World Aids Day is commemorated on 1 December and although it brings creative awareness campaigns, it also brings a great wave of...

N$390m boost for HIV/Aids battle

2 weeks ago - 03 December 2018 | Health

The American government, through its United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has given Namibia an additional N$395 million under its US President's Emergency Plan...

HIV babies: The shocking truth

2 weeks ago - 30 November 2018 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES Paediatric HIV/Aids treatment is facing the ongoing challenges of a lack of child formulations to fight the...

Pensioner ankle-deep in sewage

3 weeks ago - 26 November 2018 | Health

A 91-year-old kindergarten owner in Katutura's so-called Wambo-lokasie has endured streams of sewage running through her house and yard for months, while City of Windhoek...

Anthrax outbreak in Sesfontein area

1 month - 16 November 2018 | Health

Thirteen people have been infected with anthrax after consuming infected meat in the Sesfontein area. The anthrax outbreak in the Kunene and Kavango-East regions...

Did you know?

1 month - 16 November 2018 | Health

Prostate cancer has been the most diagnosed form of cancer accounting to 23,6 percent of cancers prevalent in Namibian men. According to the Cancer Association...

‘Snakes won’t chase you’

1 month - 16 November 2018 | Health

Henriette Lamprecht - “On the contrary, snakes are shy animals that will only attack in self-defence,” says Francois Theart. He has made it his mission...

No one should die of Malaria – Haufiku

1 month - 13 November 2018 | Health

Health minister Bernhard Haufiku says nobody should die of malaria, which is a preventable and curable disease.Haufiku says shocking statistics of malaria cases and deaths...

Latest News

Police divers search for drowning...

20 hours ago | Crime

Police divers are searching for the bodies of four girls - aged 13, 15, 16 and 17 - who drowned in the Orange River on...

Support your child

20 hours ago | Columns

For many thousands of young Namibians, who wrote their grade 10 and matric examinations this year, it is a time of great uncertainty, as they...

PDM embarrassed by govt

20 hours ago | Politics

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) says 2018 was an embarrassing year, as government leaders failed to address rising labour, social and economic problems. PDM...

Iilonga to be buried in...

20 hours ago | People

President Hage Geingob has accorded liberation veteran, politician and unionist Petrus Iilonga a state funeral.In a media statement, the presidency announced that Iilonga would be...

Mujoro 'excited' about DRC EVMs

20 hours ago | Politics

With elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) slated for 23 December, Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) chief electoral officer Theo Mujuro is currently...

Litterbugs beware

20 hours ago | Environment

Littering and other environmental damage will not be tolerated in Namibia's national parks and protected areas this festive season. The environment ministry, together with the...

Van der Westhuizen tops

20 hours ago | Sports

An 80-year-old golfer, Piet van der Westhuizen, was recently crowned as the winner of the Bank Windhoek Senior Open Golf Championship that took place in...

Legends turn on Mourinho

20 hours ago | Sports

Jose Mourinho came under fire from Manchester United legends after his side's dismal display in a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool that underlined just how far...

Magic to tango with Julinho

20 hours ago | Sports

Tura Magic will clash with Julinho Sporting tonight in the 2018/19 Namibia Premier League (NPL).The match will take place at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at...

Load More