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Hormones and drugs that control blood pressure also control malaria infection

ction of P. falciparum, while beta-blockers, which are antagonists, prevented the P. falciparum parasite from entering red blood cells.

The use of beta-receptor antagonists, such as those already used to treat high blood pressure, may provide new approaches for treating malaria. Since beta-blockers are directed against a host target, there is low chance of rapid emergence of resistance to these drugs. Moreover, they may be used in combination therapy with existing drugs against parasite targets, Lomasney and Haldar said.

This finding offers the opportunity to use well-characterized, inexpensive drugs for a new, much-need application and the impetus for the development of new beta-blockers and other drugs to be tested for effectiveness against malaria, they said.

Haldars co-authors on this study were Travis Harrison, Benjamin U. Samuel, and Thomas Akompong, departments of pathology and of microbiology-immunology, Feinberg School of Medicine; Heidi Hamm, Vanderbilt University, Nashville; Narla Mohandas, New York Blood Center, New York; and Jon W. Lomasney professor of pathology, Feinberg School of Medicine.


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Contact: Elizabeth Crown
e-crown@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
18-Sep-2003


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