A new drug-resistant malaria parasite has been found

10 Apr 2012, 12:26
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Researchers have found a new evidence about the increase of resistance to the front-line malaria treatment. Resistant strains of the malaria parasite have been found 500 miles away from the previous location on state border between Thailand and Burma. This findings are quite disturbing, experts claimed.


Scientist argued that the rise of malaria parasite resistance is worrying, basically because it virtually eliminated all the previous attempts to fight the disease. The details were presented in the Lancet medical journal.


For decades the Chinese plant Artemisia annua, also known as sweet woodworm was the main source of the most effective anti-malaria drugs.


Recently however, it has been found that the deadliest types of malaria, spread by mosquitos were becoming resistant to the common drugs. In 2009 these malaria parasites were found the western part of Cambodia.


Plasmodium falciparum parasites - the newest type of malaria - have infected thousand in a large area of 500 miles away from the initial area. It is important to note that the further from the initial area people are infected, the stronger and more resistant to the drugs the parasite is becoming.


The Shoklo Malaria Research Unit looked at 3000 patients diagnosed with malaria for nine years between 2001 and 2010. The group of researchers were trying to measure the time artemisinin (used for treating malaria) were able to clear up the blood from the parasites.


Research results reported a 20% increase in parasites resistance to aforementioned drug.


Prof Francois Nosten, thinks that the trend is worrying. According to her point of view, the situation with the increase of malaria drug resistance can trigger the resurgence of malaria epidemic in different places and stopped the successful diseases fighting.

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