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Tu Youyou's team resolves artemisinin resistance in malaria treatment

2019-06-17 09:13

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BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Nobel Laureate Tu Youyou announced Monday that her team has proposed solutions to the problem of artemisinin resistance, providing new evidence that artemisinin is still "the best weapon" against malaria, the world's No. 1 insect-borne infectious disease. 

As the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize for the discovery of artemisinin, Tu said that the drug resistance has remained a big challenge to fighting alaria. 

Tu's team has been devoted to the study of the resistant mechanism since 2015 and discovered that partial artemisinin resistance is actually a delay in the clearance of malaria parasites from the bloodstream following treatment with combination therapy. 

The 89-year-old scientist explained that plasmodia can enter a state of dormancy during the three-day Artemisinin Combination Treatment (ACT), while they also develop a resistance to partner drugs. 

But if the treatment period is extended to five to seven days and the partner drugs are replaced, the artemisinin resistance can be solved and plasmodia can be killed. 

​A paper on the study was published on the April issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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