Health Watch - Bites and Stings: Malaria

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about bites and stings and the problems they may cause. Malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes infected with the malaria parasite, is one of the most severe public health threats in the world, affecting about 40 percent of the world’s population and killing about a million people a year.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are among those involved in a study to find new treatments for malaria. One problem in treating malaria is that the parasite becomes resistant to drugs.

Dr. Margaret Phillips, a UT Southwestern pharmacologist, says finding chemicals with anti-malarial properties is key to finding new drugs. Researchers assessed thousands of chemicals to see their effect on malaria. Those that killed the parasite were tested to see how they worked so they might be used to develop drugs. It’s important to have multiple chemicals to fight malaria because giving drugs in different combinations helps slow the development of drug resistance.

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June 2010


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