New drug combo to treat malaria in children

mosquito spreading malaria

A new research has discovered a new drug combination that can treat malaria in children. According to researchers combination of artemisinin and naphthoquine drugs could be used in the treatment of vector borne disease in children. The new combination was particularly effective against the type of malaria where multiple parasite species were involved in spreading the disease, according to Tim Davis from University of Western Australia.

Malaria is caused by several different parasite species in some setting such as Papua New Guinea, two species, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, are responsible for the majority of malaria infections. However, the research found that both the species respond differently to anti-malarial drugs.

For the study, researchers  involved 186 children with Plasmodium falciparum infections and 47 children with Plasmodiu vivax infections. Researchers found that combination of  artemisinin and naphthoquine drugs was effective for treating Plasmodium vivax. However it had insignificant effect on Plasmodium falciparum.

“The efficacy, tolerability, and safety of three daily doses of artemisinin-naphthoquine suggest that this regimen should be considered together with other currently available effective (artemisinin combination therapies) for treatment of uncomplicated malaria in (Papua New Guinea) and similar epidemiologic settings with transmission of multiple Plasmodium species,” researchers said

Malaria is a vector borne disease caused by anopheles mosquito that kills nearly 6,00,000 people every year. The disease hits India every year killing thousands. Especially in rainy season, malaria spreads rapidly, gripping several people including children. The new drug has shown promising results and can be vital in protecting children against the disease.

The research is published in PLOS Medicine.

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