Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Major advance in the treatment of severe malaria in our region

29.08.2005


A drug derived from an ancient Chinese herb has been shown to reduce the risk of death from severe malaria by a third, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of lives in nations on our doorstep.



A trial in malaria patients from four countries has shown a clear benefit over standard treatment with quinine, says Professor Nicholas Anstey of the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, Australia, which participated in the trial in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Health.

The regional collaboration between the Indonesian Ministry of Health and Darwin’s Menzies School of Health Research has a joint research facility in Timika in Papua province, eastern Indonesia. Hospitals in Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), and India also participated in the study, which was coordinated by the Wellcome Trust Unit in Bangkok, Thailand.


The results of the trial are reported in the latest edition of the international medical journal, Lancet, which is published today.

Quinine has been the standard drug for the treatment of severe malaria in most countries, Professor Anstey said. This new trial clearly shows that artesunate, derived from sweet wormwood, or Artemisia annua, has fewer side effects and is more effective than quinine in preventing death in adults with severe malaria.

In total, 1461 patients with severe malaria were treated with either quinine or artesunate. Of these, 20% were enrolled at the Indonesian Ministry of Health/Menzies field site in Papua province.

There were a third fewer deaths among those receiving artesunate: 15% of seriously ill patients died compared to 22% of those treated with quinine.

"Falciparum malaria, the most severe form of the infection, is a major cause of death in our region. At least 120 million cases of falciparum malaria occur in South East Asia each year," Professor Anstey said.

"The reduction in mortality from severe malaria associated with artesunate therapy is excellent news for the poorest communities of the region," he said. "This is the first time that any drug has been demonstrated to be better than quinine at saving lives since the latter was first introduced into Europe nearly 400 years ago."

As a result of this study the Indonesian Ministry of Health has already decided to change national drug policy for treatment of severe malaria from quinine to artesunate.

"The major aim of our collaborative studies in Papua with the Indonesian Ministry of Health is to improve the treatment of malaria and to provide information to policy makers," Professor Anstey said. "We were pleased that the participation of the Indonesian Ministry of Health/Menzies field site in this multi-centre study has contributed to national policy change."

Professor Anstey said a key feature of the trial was the collaboration of dozens of investigators in the four Asian countries, coordinated by Dr Arjen Dondorp and Professor Nick White at the Wellcome Trust Unit at Mahidol University in Bangkok.

The Principal investigator from the Indonesian Ministry of Health was Dr Emiliana Tjitra. The Indonesian Ministry of Health and Menzies School of Health Research contributed a joint team of 13 staff at their research site in Papua Province.

The trials, conducted between June 2003 and May 2005, were funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust and coordinated as part of the Wellcome Trust-Mahidol University-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Programme funded by the Wellcome Trust of Great Britain.

Alison Ellis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.researchaustralia.com.au/
http://www.menzies.edu.au

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Camouflage apples
22.03.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>