A new type of drug could save millions of lives by targetting the parasite's ability to expel salt.
The new treatment is a culmination of research by both a team of Australian scientists in Canberra and drug companies in the US and Singapore. Dr Natalie Spillman and Professor Kiaran Kirk had been studying the parasite that causes malaria in an effort to find out how it works. During their research they came across a small pump that the parasite uses to expel salt from its body. By using a new type of drug to block this pump the parasite would overload with salt and die, effectively defeating the disease.
"Like water in a boat," said Professor Kirk. "If you've got a leaky boat that's leaking lots of water you need a pump to push the water out of the boat. If you stop that pump working, the boat fills with water and the boat sinks. If you stop the salt pump working, the parasite fills with salt and the parasite sinks."
A team of Australian scientists in Canberra are celebrating a discovery that could potentially save more than 1 million lives every year.
View: Full article | Source: ABC.net.au
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