Drugs derived from Ivermectin, which makes human blood deadly to mosquitoes, could be available within two years

Quote Originally Posted by The Guardian
Human trials of new antimalarial drugs are in the pipeline after Kenyan scientists successfully used bacteria to kill the parasite that causes the disease.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) and global health partners say the breakthrough could potentially lead to the development of a new class of drugs in less than two years.

The promise of a new treatment comes after vaccine trials in Burkina Faso proved that Ivermectin, a conventional drug used for parasitic diseases including river blindness and elephantiasis, reduced transmission rates. The medication worked by making the blood of people who were repeatedly vaccinated lethal to mosquitoes.

The study also found that Ivermectin can kill plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite carried by female mosquitoes, when administered to humans.

The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will now perform human trials using new drugs derived from the bacteria after extensive lab research.

The initiative was prompted by studies conducted by the World Health Organization and several international health agencies warning of resistance to existing antimalarial drugs.

“Resistance is always a problem and the parasite always finds a way to get away with it. That is why a new line of treatment is a must. It has to be made available soon,” said Dr Simon Kariuki, head of Kenya’s malaria research programmes at Kemri.

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