ANTI-MALARIAL DRUG DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS

I. INTRODUCTION TO MALARIA

Malaria is a parasite that has plagued the world for centuries. According to the World Health Organization's 2005 report, the annual mortality due to malaria is approximately 2.5 million. The majority of these cases are pediatric deaths in developing countries, which exemplifies the tragedy of the disease caused by this parasite.

There are four species of malaria or the genus Plasmodium, which include Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. The foremost killer; however, is Plasmodium falciparum and is found primarily on the African continent. Malaria is transmitted to and from humans by the female Andopheles mosquito.

Text Box:    The female Andopheles mosquito takes a human blood meal. Image borrowed from http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/spotlights/index_052704.htm Unlike some infectious diseases whose frequency are declining, due to prevention efforts and scientific advances in treatment and vaccines, malaria prevalence continues to rise due to wide-spread resistance to many of the current drugs (Weisman et al. 2006). There are no successful malaria vaccines.

Links to Previous ParaSites can be found at:
http://www.stanford.edu/class/humbio103

Past Malaria ParaSites include:

<http://www.stanford.edu/class/humbio103/ParaSites2003/Malaria/treatment.htm#_Antimalarial_Drugs>
This site offers extensive information on malaria prevention and treatment options. Beginning with a chronological history of malaria treatment, the text moves through anti-malarial drugs and resistance, current treatment options, challenges, areas demanding advances and recent discoveries.

http://www.stanford.edu/class/humbio103/ParaSites2005/Malaria/history.htm
This site offers a thorough history of malaria control, an explanation of drug resistance, paragraphs about both the Roll Back Malaria Campaign and the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria as well as other helpful links to malaria control initiatives.

 


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