Related topics: malaria

Study upends 'dogma' on malaria drug component

Mosquitoes won't fly anywhere near the sweet wormwood herb (Artemisia annua), so it makes perfect sense that a chemical compound produced by the plant has become the first line of treatment against malaria.

New method for producing malaria treatment at large scales

Compared to smallpox or typhoid, malaria is proving one of the most challenging human diseases to eradicate - and so remains a real and constant danger to nearly half the world's population. Twenty years ago, two million ...

Detecting bloodstains—with an antimalarial compound

As seen on crime shows, investigators use a combination of luminol and other substances to light up bloodstains at crime scenes. But now, researchers report in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry that combining luminol with ...

Transgenic plants against malaria

Scientists have discovered a gene that allows to double the production of artemisinin in the Artemisia annua plant.The artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the standard treatment for malaria worldwide, endorsed ...

Genetics underpinning antimalarial drug resistance revealed

The largest genome-wide association study to date of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum unveils a complex genetic architecture that enables the parasite to develop resistance to our most effective antimalarial drug, ...

New chemistry technique reproduces nature's elusive complexity

(—Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have shown how to synthesize in the laboratory an important set of natural compounds known as terpenes. The largest class of chemicals made by living organisms, terpenes ...

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Artemisinin ( /ɑrtɨˈmɪsɨnɨn/), also known as Qinghaosu (Chinese: 青蒿素) , and its derivatives are a group of drugs that possess the most rapid action of all current drugs against falciparum malaria. Treatments containing an artemisinin derivative (artemisinin-combination therapies, ACTs) are now standard treatment worldwide for falciparum malaria. The starting compound artemisinin is isolated from the plant Artemisia annua, a herb described in Chinese traditional medicine.

Chemically, artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone containing an unusual peroxide bridge. It is believed that this peroxide is responsible for the drug's mechanism of action. No other natural compound with such a peroxide bridge is known.

Use of the drug by itself as a monotherapy is explicitly discouraged by the World Health Organization as there have been signs that malarial parasites are developing resistance to the drug. Therapies that combine artemisinin with some other anti-malarial drug are the preferred treatment for malaria and are both effective and well tolerated in patients. The drug is also increasingly being used in vivax malaria as well as being a topic of research in cancer treatment.

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