Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chloroquine makes comeback to combat malaria

Date:
October 3, 2012
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
Malaria-drug monitoring over the past 30 years has shown that malaria parasites develop resistance to medicine, and the first signs of resistance to the newest drugs have just been observed. At the same time, resistance monitoring shows that the previously efficacious drug chloroquine is once again beginning to work against malaria. In time that will ensure cheaper treatment for the world's poor.

Child being tested for malaria in Senegal.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Copenhagen

Malaria-drug monitoring over the past 30 years has shown that malaria parasites develop resistance to medicine, and the first signs of resistance to the newest drugs have just been observed. At the same time, resistance monitoring at the University of Copenhagen shows that the previously efficacious drug chloroquine is once again beginning to work against malaria. In time that will ensure cheaper treatment for the world's poor.

Scientists and healthcare personnel the world over fear that the malaria parasite will develop resistance to the current frontline treatment against malaria, Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs). Therefore, it is especially good news that resistance monitoring at the University of Copenhagen shows that in several African countries, malaria parasites are succumbing to the formerly used drug chloroquine. The results have just been published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

"70% of the malaria parasites we found in Senegal are reacting once again to chloroquine. This is a trend we have also seen in Tanzania and Mozambique, and which other researchers have shown in Malawi. Our choice of drugs against malaria is limited and related, so when the malaria parasite once again reacts to a substance, it influences several treatment methods," explains Michael Alifrangis, associate professor at the Center for Medical Parasitology at the University of Copenhagen. He and Magatte Ndiaye, PhD student at Universitι Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, are keeping an eye on the malaria parasite's sensitivity to drugs by analyzing the parasites' DNA.

Cheaper treatment for the poor in Africa

If healthcare personnel in developing countries can begin using chloroquine again, it will open up some promising perspectives. It will be possible to protect the currently used medicine and delay the reappearance of resistance, and it will also give a large group of patients access to cheaper treatment.

"Chloroquine costs only 25 US cents for a four-day cure, while the current and corresponding ACTs cost two dollars. Chloroquine was a fantastic malaria drug that lasted for 50 years. However, it was misused for malaria prevention and ordinary fever, and even mixed with cooking salt, so it can come as no surprise that the malaria parasite became resistant to the active ingredient," explains Professor Ib Bygbjerg, M.D. He also points out that reuse will require correct drug use and the training of healthcare personnel to make more accurate diagnoses.

Correct use of drugs paralyzes the development of resistance

According to Professor Ib Bygbjerg, three factors determine the extent to which a malaria drug will work: 1) the size of the dose, 2) how sensitive the parasite is to the drug, and 3) the extent to which the patient has developed a natural immunity to malaria.

"In the near future, chloroquine and other malaria drugs not currently on the market will presumably be able to be used again, if we use them correctly. This means that the drug must be given in combination with other medicine and only to patients who have already developed a certain immunity to malaria and are therefore not at high risk. At the same time, we must reserve ACTs for the most exposed non-immune groups such as children. Chloroquine is one of the few drugs that can be given to pregnant women at the beginning of their pregnancy," points out Ib Bygbjerg, adding that the patient can be treated with a high dose for a short period, another benefit.

In order to maintain the positive development with chloroquine, it is therefore also important that -- with the exception of pregnant women -- travellers to malaria areas refrain from taking the drug. Otherwise the parasites will quickly develop resistance once again.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Copenhagen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Ndiaye, B. Faye, R. Tine, J. L. Ndiaye, A. Lo, A. Abiola, Y. Dieng, D. Ndiaye, R. Hallett, M. Alifrangis, O. Gaye. Assessment of the Molecular Marker of Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Resistance (Pfcrt) in Senegal after Several Years of Chloroquine Withdrawal. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2012; DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0709

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Chloroquine makes comeback to combat malaria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082931.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2012, October 3). Chloroquine makes comeback to combat malaria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082931.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Chloroquine makes comeback to combat malaria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082931.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) — Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins