Breakthrough discovery compound may slaughter malaria parasite

By: | Published: August 8, 2015 3:25 PM

In a breakthrough discovery, researchers have revealed a new compound which could be a potential new tool to fight malaria.

In a breakthrough discovery, researchers have revealed a new compound which could be a potential new tool to fight malaria.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown that they can trick malaria-infected red blood cells into building up a volatile chemical stockpile that can be set off by luminol’s glow. To achieve this, the scientists gave infected red blood cells an unusual amino acid and used luminol’s glow to trigger the chemical, killing the parasite.

Senior author Daniel Goldberg said that the light that luminol emits was enhanced by the antimalarial drug artemisinin. The new approach targets proteins made by human red blood cells, which the parasite can’t mutate.

Goldberg said that amino acid, the luminol and artemisinin have been cleared for use in humans individually, adding that they are optimistic that it won’t present any safety problems together.

The study is published in the journal eLife.

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