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Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2005 Jul;14(7):871-83

Antimalarial drugs: current status and new developments.

Rathore D, McCutchan TF, Sullivan M, Kumar S


Malaria continues to be a major threat in the developing world, with > 1 million clinical episodes and 3000 deaths every day. In the last century, malaria claimed between 150 and 300 million lives, accounting for 2 - 5% of all deaths. Currently approximately 40% of the world population resides in areas of active malaria transmission. The disease symptoms are most severe in young children and pregnant women. A total of 90% of the disease-associated mortality occurs in Subsaharan Africa, despite the fact that malaria is indigenous to most tropical regions. A licensed vaccine for malaria has not become a reality and antimalarial drugs are the only available method of treatment. Although chloroquine, the first synthetically developed antimalarial, proved to be an almost magical cure for > 30 years, the emergence and spread of chloroquine-resistant parasites has made it virtually ineffective in most parts of the world. Currently, artemisinin, a plant-derived antimalarial, is the only available drug that is globally effective against the parasite. Although several new drugs have been introduced in the past 30 years, widespread or isolated cases of resistance indicate that their window of effectiveness will be limited. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop new therapeutics and regimens for malaria control. This article presents an overview of the currently available antimalarial chemotherapy options and the efforts being undertaken to develop new drugs based on both the recent technological advances and modifications to the old remedies, and on combination therapies.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #16022576
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-04 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29