Researchers at the Thailand's Mahidol University are developing new strategies for effective treatment of Malaria. The approach includes use of new molecules like artesunate, derived from Chinese herb and Combination therapy for combating development of drug resistance in the parasite. But now researchers are optimistic they can eradicate malaria altogether with a new approach to drugs and mosquito control. The hopes coincide with the discovery of the first drug in 400 years to prove more effective than quinine.
There are more than two million deaths around the world due to malaria and most of the dead are children's from tropical countries. Each year there is an increase in the number of deaths from mosquito borne diseases as the patients develop drug resistance to the existing treatment. Researchers have found a new compound which is more effective than quinine, which is used in malaria treatment. The new compound found was Artesunate, which is more effective than quinine; the new compound was derived from the ancient Chinese herb, Sweet Wormwood. This herb, Sweet Wormwood is being used in China from ancient time for the treatment of various diseases. In a trial of about 1,500 people in Asia, with the most deadly form of malaria, artesunate increased the chance of survival by a third.
The researchers feel that novel approaches is required for treatment of malaria, by using combinations of anti-malarial drugs, the same approach which is used in the treatment of AIDS and TB is required for combating malaria. By combining drugs smartly, it becomes very difficult for the parasite to develop resistance, because if the parasite develops resistance to one of the drugs, the other drug kills it.