Researchers have developed two tests that can discern within three days whether the malaria parasites in a given patient will be resistant or susceptible to artemisinin, the key drug used to treat malaria. The tests were developed by researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, working with French and Cambodian colleagues in Cambodia.
They offer a more rapid, less costly advantage over current drug-responsiveness tests, which require malaria patients to be hospitalized for blood draws every six hours over the course of several days. In both tests, young parasites are briefly exposed to a high dose of artemisinin, mimicking the way parasites are exposed to the drug in people being treated for malaria, and their survival is measured 72 hours later.
The first test is conducted on blood taken from a malaria patient at the same time as the first dose of artemisinin-based combination drug therapy is administered. The test returns results in 72 hours and can predict whether the patient has slow-clearing, drug-resistant parasites. The researchers note that the simple, new test could be used for surveillance studies to monitor and map the emergence or spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites. In the current study, researchers using this test detected artemisinin-resistant parasites at sites in Northern and Eastern Cambodia for the first time.
The second test is conducted on parasites grown in the laboratory. This test requires trained technicians to adapt parasites from a malaria patient to a laboratory culture, synchronize the life-stages of the parasites, and then apply the drug only to those that are three hours old or younger. This test will likely be most useful in future studies designed to elucidate the molecular basis of artemisinin resistance and to screen new malaria drugs.
The study was led by Rick Fairhurst, M.D., Ph.D., of the NIAID Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, and Didier Menard, Ph.D., of the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Cambodia.
B Witkowski et al. Novel phenotypic assays for the detection of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Cambodia: in-vitro and ex-vivo drug-response studies. The Lancet Infectious Diseases DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70252-4 (2013).
NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and Rick M. Fairhurst, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, NIAID, are available to discuss this research.
To schedule interviews, please contact Anne A. Oplinger, (301) 402-1663, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov/.
NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®
Anne A. Oplinger | EurekAlert!
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Separate brain systems cooperate during learning, study finds
22.02.2018 | Brown University
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences