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Parasites Immune To Malaria Drugs Found In Sub-Saharan Africa

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Malaria-Causing Parasites Immune To Malaria Drugs Found By Researchers

PARASITES IMMUNE TO MALARIA DRUGS – A recent report made by the Nature Medicine Journal warned about a malaria-causing parasite being resistant to drugs made to cure malaria.

As if 2020 wasn’t bad already, a new threat was discovered by researchers in sub-Saharan Africa. According to a report from Inquirer, the parasites were immune to artemisinin, the molecule used to cure the deadly infectious disease.

The research was led by the Institute Pasteur in coordination with the National Malaria Control Program Rwanda (Rwanda Biomedical Center). Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Cochin Hospital and Columbia University in New York also joined in the research.

Parasites Immune To Malaria Drugs Found In Sub-Saharan Africa
Image from: Al Jazeera

The presence of these parasites was recorded in several countries within sub-Saharan Africa according to the study. Mutations such as this are usually rare, especially in Africa. However, the parasite was also recently discovered in Guyana and Papua New Guinea.

As per the report, the research team who monitors the parasites at France’s Pasteur Institute measured the occurrence of these parasites carrying the mutations. Moreover, they noted that they were resistant to vitro treatments created from artemisinin.

Additionally, the discovery of such a parasite could have devastating effects as the sub-Saharan region holds 90% of malaria cases concentrated in within its borders.

Previously during the 1980s, a similar event happened with parasites resistant to then used treatments against malaria – chloroquine. This was thought to have caused the deaths of millions of people, especially little kids. Unfortunately, if the same scenario were to happen with artemisinin, experts projected a disastrous 78 million cases and 116,000 deaths.

Malaria is transmitted by parasites that are found in 89 countries across the world. However, there is still no vaccine for the disease.

READ ALSO: Medical Community Now Part Of COVID Panel After 7 Month Lockdown


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