June 14, 2010, 8:50 a.m.
Scientists Show Compound Blocks Malaria Parasite From Infecting Blood Cells
In laboratory research, scientists have found molecules that can prevent the malaria parasite from from infecting blood cells, United Press International reports. "Using real-time video microscopy of red blood cell infection, the team showed that heparin-like carbohydrates blocked the ability of the malaria parasite to infect cells," the news service writes. Current malaria drugs work to slow the parasites development once it has already entered the red blood cells (6/2). According to the Australian, lead researcher James Beeson, of Australia's Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, said the discovery could lead to testing new malaria drugs in people within 5-10 years. Beeson added, "Ideally, (our compound) would be used with another anti-malarial drug that inhibits development of the parasite inside cells, a double-whammy" (Dayton, 6/2).