Hormones that regulate cardiovascular function have been discovered to influence malaria infection. As a consequence, beta-blockers, which are safe, inexpensive and commonly prescribed drugs used worldwide to treat high blood pressure, are effective against the deadliest and most drug-resistant strain of malaria parasites.
These findings, by Kasturi Haldar, Jon Lomasney, Travis Harrison and colleagues at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, were reported in an article in the Sept. 19 issue of the journal Science.
Rather than targeting the parasite that causes malaria, an approach that has resulted in mounting resistance to a variety of antimalarial drugs, Haldar and co-researchers focused instead on identifying and blocking the process by which red blood cells allow parasite entry.
Haldar is Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor in Pathology and professor of microbiology-immunology at the Feinberg School.
Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
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