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New compound may check the growth of malarial parasite

New Delhi, Tue, 03 Apr 2012 NI Wire

A new study has revealed that a specific drug has shown the capability of nullifying the growth of dangerous bacteria also thwarts malarial parasite.

The drug has been developed in the labs of Altman and co-senior author Choukri Ben Mamoun at the Yale School of Medicine penetrated the RBCs and targeted the molecular machinery that enabled the parasite grow within the cells, as per the findings of the study made.

More than 200 million people are affected by malaria every year and it leads to one million death every year. Malaria is maily caused by five species of genus plasmodium that are transmitted to the human body by the mosquitoes as a carrier.

"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."

The study is a development to the discovery by Yale immunobiology professor Alfred L. M. Bothwell of a basic peptide that the team of Yale demonstrated can penetrate the cell walls and membranes.

Moreover, Altman and colleagues also added a piece of RNA to this peptide which got attached to the messenger RNA produced by the parasites within the blood cells activating a molecular response that disables the parasite.

Altman's lab has already shown that the compound has the potential to destroy the dangerous strains of bacteria and presently they are working on its efficiency in treating skin wounds.

The current paper explains the effectiveness of the compound in the red blood cell tissue cultureand has laid emphasis on conducting more tests in order to make sure that it works in both animals as well as humans too.

"It will be some time before this is commercially available," Altman added.

The details of the study have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

-With inputs from ANI

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