Two common compounds found in laboratory proved to be effective in preventing the spread of malaria. First one is a previous common drug used for treating malaria while the second one is laboratory dye having anti-malarial properties. This was a good initiative taken in Africa.
P. Falciparum malaria is a type of malaria caused by unicellular protozoa parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The new treatment can be effectively used to treat this type of protozoa. Roly Gosling, a professor at UC San Francisco said, “These two drugs were introduced and used for inhibiting the transmission of malaria from several years but this is the first study where the two were found to be more effective.”
Malarial transmission occurs from mosquitoes to humans and vice versa. When malarial parasite-infected mosquito bites, the parasite is transmitted to humans that travel through the bloodstream, replicate and finally bursts. This causes spreading of infection to all other body parts and sometimes hits back into mosquitoes’ body through gametocytes when it bites an infected person.
The anti-malarial drug fails to treat these gametocytes. Hence, mosquitoes that are infected back continue to spread the disease among people in Africa. Hence, treating gametocytes is of prime importance to block its transmission.
Researchers tested the effect of primaquine, a drug used for treating malaria from years along with methylene blue, a common laboratory dye to distinguish live cells from the dead ones. Researchers conducted a try-out on 80 male individuals suffering from malaria.
They have injected 3 doses of blue methylene with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine. Results were promising. They observed complete blockage of transmission of malarial infection from humans to mosquitoes within 48 hours. Alassane Dicko, a professor at University of Sciences, Techniques, and Technologies of Bamako in Mali said, “Patients without this treatment continued to infect mosquitoes in future.”