Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

sections

Parasitic diseases

Viagra-like drugs could play a role in blocking malaria transmission

Viagra-like drugs could play a role in blocking malaria transmission, research suggests. In the image, blood films of the malaria parasite

Source: Shutterstock.com

A new approach to blocking malaria transmission harnesses the deformability of gametocyte-infected erythrocytes. In the image, blood films of the malaria parasite

Malaria is transmitted via gametocyte-infected erythrocytes (GIEs) that are taken up when a mosquito bites. Immature, rigid GIEs are sequestered in the bone marrow; upon release into the peripheral blood they show increased deformability, which allows them to pass through the spleen.

A new approach to blocking malaria transmission harnesses this change in deformability, which is regulated by parasite cyclic AMP-dependent kinase signalling. By increasing cAMP levels pharmacologically, researchers were able to turn mature, deformable GIEs into stiff, non-transmissable gametocytes. Conversely, inhibiting the cAMP-dependent kinase rendered immature gametocytes more deformable.

“Our molecular observations have the potential to be translated into therapies for blocking malaria transmission by demonstrating that raising cAMP levels with sildenafil (Viagra) renders mature gametocytes rigid,” the authors write in PLoS Pathogens[1] (online, 7 May 2015). 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068560

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Drugs of Abuse

    Drugs of Abuse

    A concise, easy-to-read guide for healthcare professionals who encounter drug abuse.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutics (An)

    Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutics (An)

    This unique textbook covers the role of basic pharmaceutics in clinical outcomes and in explaining the behaviour of medicines in the body.

    £27.00Buy now
  • Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver assists practitioners in making pragmatic choices for their patients. It enables you to assess liver function and covers the principles of drug use in liver disease.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.