Why some people develop antimalarial drug resistance
Washington – Researchers have found genetic and cell biological evidence linking autophagy to resistance to the parasite, which kills the effects of antimalarial drugs.
The study by a Georgetown University professor is the first to explain why drugs designed to fight off malaria stop working in some people with the disease.
Many antimalarial drugs both slow the growth of malarial parasites, and, at higher doses or over longer periods of time, also kill the malarial parasites.
“Until now, no studies have separated how resistance to these two different drug actions might work,’ lead author Paul Roepe said.
Roepe explained Autophagy is the process by which cells remove damaged parts of themselves to restore normal function. In this case, the cell rids itself of the parts damaged by the antimalarial drug.
The professor and his colleagues demonstrated in their study that while resistance to drugs like chloroquine, which works to slow the growth of malaria, has been explored, an explanation of the resistance to the cell-destroying effects of the medication has not been fully understood.
The study is published in journal PLOS ONE.