Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tigecycline treats malaria

"Increasing resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to existing drugs has resulted in the search for new antimalarial therapies" (American). "A new study suggests that tigecycline, the first member of a new class of antibiotics, shows significant antimalarial activity on its own and may also be effective against multi drug-resistant malaria when administered in combination with traditional antimalarial drugs" (ScienceDaily).

"Tigecycline is a novel glycylcycline antibiotic with a broad antibacterial spectrum" (Starzengruber). This drug was "specifically designed to overcome" drug-resistant disease (American). Research showed that it was "up to 6 times more active against P. falciparum than doxycycline," a medication that is commonly used to treat malaria (ScienceDaily). "Tigecycline shows no activity correlation with traditional antimalarials and has substantial antimalarial activity on its own" (Starzengruber). Researchers hope that because of "its clinical efficacy", Tigecycline may be used "in combination with faster-acting antimalarials in the...treatment of multidrug-resistant P. falciparum malaria in seriously ill patients" (American).

There are some side-effects to Tigecycline treatment, and the manufacturers warn that it "may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman" (Wyeth). Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to malaria. Every year, approximately one million people die from malaria, and most of them are pregnant women and children. Nevertheless, the reduction in number of malaria cases in a region will improve the general health and economy of that are and help reduce the likelihood that pregnant women will contract malaria.

American Society for Microbiology. "New Antibiotic Shows Promise in Fighting Malaria." 17 Sept 2009.

ScienceDaily. "New Antibiotic Shows Promise In Fighting Malaria." 11 September 2009. 17 September 2009 .

Starzengruber, P. et al. "Antimalarial Activity of Tigecycline, a Novel Glycylcycline Antibiotic." 6 March 2009. Tygacil. [Photo]

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