Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) In a significant breakthrough, Australian scientists have discovered a new way to destroy the malaria parasite which kills more than 500,000 people every year.
Scientists from the Australian National University (ANU), working with other research groups, have found that certain molecules are capable of disabling a molecular salt pump on the surface of the malaria parasite, and this in turn causes the parasite to fill up with salt and burst.
“The malaria parasite had become resistant to nearly all of the drugs currently available and discovering new ways to kill the parasite was vital,” Xinhua quoted ANU’s professor Kiaran Kirk said
“It is critical that new ways are found to kill the parasite and thereby treat people with the disease. We have discovered what seems to be a fatal weakness in the parasite.”
Kirk said the new treatment has already passed clinical trials and would be available in a few years.