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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Malaria drug potency is restored

Scientists have found a way to breathe new life into an old anti-malarial drug which had been rendered almost useless.
Chloroquine was hugely successful in combating the disease when launched in the 1950s - but the malaria parasite gradually became resistant.

Now Australian researchers have found combining the drug with another preparation, Primaquine, seems to restore its effect.

New Scientist magazine reports that new malaria drugs are needed badly.

The parasite which causes the disease - Plasmodium falciparum - has proved extraordinarily adept at evolving to combat many of the drugs currently on the market.

And those that are in use, known as artemisinin-based combination therapies, are expensive - and thus not readily available in the poorest countries where need is greatest.

Read more: Malaria drug potency is restored


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