Oregon researchers develop potential one-pill cure for malaria - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon researchers develop potential one-pill cure for malaria

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PSU researchers Kevin Reynolds, Jane Kelly and Papireddy Kancharla (Photo: Portland State University) PSU researchers Kevin Reynolds, Jane Kelly and Papireddy Kancharla (Photo: Portland State University)
Malaria, which is spread through bites from mosquitoes infected with the Plasmodium parasite, infects nearly 200 million people every year, according to the WHO (Photo: CNN). Malaria, which is spread through bites from mosquitoes infected with the Plasmodium parasite, infects nearly 200 million people every year, according to the WHO (Photo: CNN).
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

People who suffer from malaria could soon be cured of the illness by taking a single pill, according to research by scientists at Portland State University.

A research team led by chemistry professor Kevin Reynolds studied a natural pigment that's made by bacteria in soil.

Reynolds said a research paper from the 1970s originally discussed the potential anti-malarial effects of the pigment, but the researchers never looked into it.

Reynolds and his team found that they were able to make a pill from the pigment that cures malaria in just one dose in animal models.

The compound also appeared to be effective against drug-resistant strains of malaria.

It's an important development in the fight against a disease that continues to affect millions of people every year.

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 200 million people annually are infected with malaria, which is spread through bites from mosquitoes infected with the Plasmodium parasite.

Reynolds said the discovery of a potential one-pill cure is especially promising for developing countries where other medicines can be difficult to keep viable.

"That's huge because it's not an injection that needs to be kept refrigerated and you wouldn't need multiple doses," Reynolds said.

PSU says more research is needed before scientists can begin human trials for the drug. In the meantime, the university is applying for a patent.

The research is published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

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