Friday 9 December 2016

Genetic breakthrough offers malaria hope

Published 15/01/2010 | 05:00

THE genetic code of the plant that provides the most effective treatment for malaria has been cracked by scientists, raising the prospect of cheaper and more plentiful drugs against a disease that kills about a million people each year, writes Mark Henderson.

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The achievement by British researchers will assist the development of higher-yielding varieties of the sweet wormwood plant Artemisia annua that addresses a global shortage of the drug artemisinin and reduces its cost.

Artemisinin combination therapies, in which the drug is given in combination with older anti-malarial treatments, are recommended by the World Health Organisation. Current levels of artemisinin production are insufficient.

The genetic map was drawn up a team led by Dianna Bowles and Ian Graham, of the University of York in England. (© The Times, London)

Irish Independent

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