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Single-Dose Of Experimental Malaria Drug Clears Parasites In Mice, Represents Potential New Class Of Drugs To Treat Malaria In Humans

An experimental malaria drug was shown to effectively treat the disease in mice with only a single dose, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science, Reuters reports (Kelland, 9/2). The new drug, known as NITD609, “represents an entirely new class of medicines to treat malaria … Human trials, backed by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG, could begin later this year,” the Wall Street Journal writes (Naik, 9/3).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Several blogs, publications examine the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit: The MDGs serve a dual purpose “helping the poor countries to fight poverty and the rich countries to preserve a sense of social solidarity,” writes Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute in a post on the Guardian’s…

Also In Global Health News: Kenya Votes On Constitution; Global Wheat Prices Soar; HIV And TB In China; Female Condoms In India; Malaria Centers Receive Funding

As Kenya Votes For Constitution, Abortion And HIV Rights Issues Remain Kenyans “voted peacefully” Wednesday on a constitution that most were “expected to vote in favour” of, according to surveys, Reuters reports (8/4). Kenyan officials have supported the constitution but, VOA News reports, “issues of abortion, land, and Islamic courts”…

Researchers Map Malaria Parasite P Vivax; Nearly 3B People At Risk Of Infection In 2009

A new evidence-based map estimates that in 2009 2.85 billion people lived “at risk of infection” with the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax, reports BMJ News. A new study, published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, shows P vivax “is more widespread and potentially represents a greater burden on human health in some parts of the world than P falciparum, the species usually associated with the greatest mortality and morbidity,” BMJ News writes (Moszynski, 8/3).

Nature News Examines How Scientists, Farmers Are Working To Meet The Growing Demand For Artemisinin

“From bust to boom to bust again: artemisinin, the key ingredient of front-line antimalarial drugs, is entering the third chapter of its turbulent history,” Nature News writes in an article that examines the challenges scientists and farmers are facing as they attempt to keep up with the growing demand for the compound just as a “$343-million initiative starts to battle malaria through hugely subsidized medicines.”

Recent Releases In Global Health

Blog: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Remains A ‘Sound Investment’ In view of World Humanitarian Day, a Huffington Post blog discusses the “lessons” of disaster response and the global “proliferation of humanitarian crises.” First, the authors write that “the number of people affected by disasters is on the rise,” mostly due to conflict and…

Donors Announce New Pledges For Pakistan Flood Relief

The U.S. and other donor nations “significantly upped their pledges” of aid for the flooding in Pakistan during a U.N. General Assembly meeting on Thursday, in which the U.N. “appeared to [meet] its target of $460 million in immediate aid for flood-stricken Pakistan,” the Associated Press reports.

Mathematical Model Projects Potential Impact Of Current Tools Fighting Malaria In Africa

Current tools for combating malaria, such as artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT) and increasing coverage of insecticide-treated bednets (ITN) “could dramatically reduce the burden of malignant malaria on parts of Africa if a comprehensive, sustained intervention programme were in place,” according to a study published this week in PLoS Medicine, CORDIS News reports.
“According to the study, half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria infection, and every year it claims the lives of nearly 1 million people in sub-Saharan Africa,” the news service adds. “Plasmodium falciparum, one of the species of Plasmodium that causes malaria in humans, is transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes that normally bite (and inject the deadly parasites) at night,” CORDIS News reports (8/11).