Despite numerous efforts to eradicate the disease, malaria continues to remain one of the most dangerous infectious diseases plaguing the world. In the absence of any effective vaccines and with emerging drug resistance in the parasite against the majority of anti-malarial drugs, the search for new drugs is urgently needed for effective malaria treatment.
Artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites have emerged and have been spreading, posing a significant public health challenge. Antimalarial drugs with novel mechanisms of action are therefore urgently needed. In this report, we exploit a "selective starvation" strategy by inhibiting Plasmodium falciparum hexose transporter 1 (PfHT1), the sole hexose transporter in P. falciparum, over human glucose transporter 1 (hGLUT1), providing an alternative approach to fight against multidrug-resistant malaria parasites. The crystal structure of hGLUT3, which shares 80% sequence similarity with hGLUT1, was resolved in complex with C3361, a moderate PfHT1-specific inhibitor, at 2.3-Å resolution.
The rapid and aggressive spread of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum carrying the C580Y mutation in the kelch13 gene is a growing threat to malaria elimination in Southeast Asia, but there is no evidence of their spread to other regions. We conducted cross-sectional surveys in 2016 and 2017 at two clinics in Wewak, Papua New Guinea (PNG) where we identified three infections caused by C580Y mutants among 239 genotyped clinical samples. One of these mutants exhibited the highest survival rate (6.8%) among all parasites surveyed in ring-stage survival assays (RSA) for artemisinin.
The emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum poses a threat to malaria eradication, including China’s plan to eliminate malaria by 2020. Piperaquine (PPQ) resistance has emerged in Cambodia, compromising an important partner drug that is widely used in China in the form of dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-PPQ. Several mutations in a P. falciparum gene encoding a kelch protein on chromosome 13 (k13) are associated with artemisinin resistance and have arisen spread in the Great Mekong subregion, including the China–Myanmar border. Multiple copies of the plasmepsin II/III (pm2/3) genes, located on chromosome 14, have been shown to be associated with PPQ resistance.
A small library of "half-sandwich" cyclopentadienylruthenium(II) compounds of the general formula [(η5-C5R5)Ru(PPh3)(N-N)][PF6], a scaffold hitherto absent from the toolbox of antiplasmodials, was screened for activity against the blood stage of CQ-sensitive 3D7-GFP, CQ-resistant Dd2, and artemisinin-resistant IPC5202 Plasmodium falciparum strains and the liver stage of Plasmodium berghei.
The emergence of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites highlights the need for novel drugs and their targets. Alkylation of purine bases can hinder DNA replication and if unresolved would eventually result in cell death. DNA-3-methyladenine glycosylase (MAG) is responsible for the repair of those alkylated bases. Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) MAG was characterized for its potential for development as an anti-malarial candidate.
Quiescence is an unconventional mechanism of Plasmodium survival, mediating artemisinin resistance. This phenomenon increases the risk of clinical failures following artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) by slowing parasite clearance and allowing the selection of parasites resistant to partner drugs.
Multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum undermines the efficacy of currently deployed antimalarial therapies in southern Viet Nam.
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are the recommended first-line antimalarials for uncomplicated malaria and comprise a short-acting artemisinin-based component for rapid reduction of Plasmodium parasite burden partnered with a longer-acting drug to eliminate surviving parasites.
Spreading antimalarial resistance threatens effective treatment of malaria, an infectious disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. We identified a compound, BCH070, that inhibits asexual growth of multiple antimalarial-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum (half maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50] = 1–2 µM), suggesting that BCH070 acts via a novel mechanism of action.