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Competition between strains of malaria increases drug resistance

September 4, 2017 17:44

Scientists first recorded that competition between different strains of malaria can affect the spread of drug resistance. "We found that when the hosts are simultaneously infected with resistant and sensitive strains, they compete with each other" - says Mary Bushman, study's lead author, graduate student in population biology at Emory University.

Antimalarial therapy, killing the drug-sensitive parasites, can lead to the release of resistant strains. Half the world's population is at risk of contracting malaria. It is a complex disease caused by five species of parasites that are transmitted to people of 40 different types of mosquitoes.

Current research is focused on Plasmodium falciparum. It is most common in the African continent and is responsible for most deaths of malaria worldwide. To drugs designed to fight the disease in Southeast Asia in recent years to develop resistance. If it goes on, the world will soon be left without a reliable anti-malarial drugs.

People infected with malaria parasites are often infected with multiple strains of the parasite. This is especially pronounced in countries with a high probability of infection - Africa south of the Sahara. That's where the mosquito bites may be infectious. Many people have developed a partial immunity, which makes the disease is asymptomatic. This further complicates the situation, ie. A. Difficult to control the disease.

The researchers found that the tendency should be to use a universal remedy that would suit all types of strains. "The epidemiology of malaria infection is different for different locations and conditions We hope that our work will stimulate the formation of new solutions that could minimize resistance, but increase the control over the situation,." - says Bushman.

It is necessary to answer a lot of questions to get new policies. As a first step, the scientists want to find out whether there is a medical treatment of people infected with malaria, which eliminates competition between strains and increases resistance to infection.

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