New malaria treatment prevents more cases

A new treatment against malaria, which blocks the transmission of parasites through mosquito bites, has for the first time been successfully tested on people, the Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc) in Nijmegen in the United States said on Thursday. east of the Netherlands.

Malaria is one of the most problematic infectious diseases in the worldwith more than 240 million cases and nearly 630,000 deaths in 2020, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO). Africa is the most affected continent, recording 95% of malaria cases and 96% of deaths from the disease. Children under five are the first victims, forming 80% of all deaths.

Parasites causing the diseasee transmit from one individual to another via the bite of a female mosquito of certain species.

new hope

The new treatment an antibody called TB31F, was discovered and developed by a research team in Nijmegen. A single injection is enough to prevent the transmission of parasites and therefore allows prevent the multiplication of cases.

Administered to healthy volunteers, the drug stopped the reproduction of the parasites in the intermediate host, the mosquito.

“What’s special about this treatment is that the antibody actually works outside the human body,” says microbiologist Matthew McCall, from Radboud University Center. “After the injection, the antibody remains present for several months in the blood, without acting, even in malaria patients. When an infected person is bitten and the mosquito sucks blood containing the malaria parasites but also the antibody, the latter kicks in, preventing the parasites from multiplying in the mosquito. In this way, the parasites cannot spread any further and new cases of malaria are avoided. »