Gut-resident capsule may offer new weapon against malaria

November 16, 2016

A new capsule can reside in the gut to deliver drugs for weeks and possibly even months, offering a potential weapon against malaria and other diseases for which adherence to long-term therapy remains challenging, researchers say. The capsule's ultra-long-lasting drug delivery, successfully tested here in pigs, could help bolster the success of malaria elimination campaigns, which rely on treatment adherence and cost-effective approaches that reach large, rural populations. Only 50% of people in industrialized countries and about 30% in developing countries take long-term medications as prescribed, according to the World Health Organization. In the U.S. alone, treatment non-adherence is responsible for $100 billion in health care costs each year. Poor adherence poses a major barrier to combating diseases like malaria, which persist despite available effective therapies. To improve treatment adherence, Andrew Bellinger and colleagues have designed an ingestible capsule that expands into a star-shaped form - preventing its exit from the stomach and allowing delivery of the drug for extended periods. Bellinger et al. tested a formulation of ivermectin, a widely used anti-parasitic drug that disrupts malaria transmission by killing infected mosquitoes. In pigs, the device slowly released ivermectin for 10 days without causing injury to the stomach or obstructing the passage of food, before breaking apart and passing safely out of the body. Using mathematical models based on human field data, the scientists showed that long-lasting ivermectin combined with standard anti-malarial drugs boosted the likelihood of achieving local malaria elimination. The star-shaped capsule may be adapted to deliver other therapies, such as for HIV and tuberculosis, the authors emphasize.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Malaria Articles from Brightsurf:

Clocking in with malaria parasites
Discovery of a malaria parasite's internal clock could lead to new treatment strategies.

Breakthrough in malaria research
An international scientific consortium led by the cell biologists Volker Heussler from the University of Bern and Oliver Billker from the UmeƄ University in Sweden has for the first time systematically investigated the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium throughout its life cycle in a large-scale experiment.

Scientists close in on malaria vaccine
Scientists have taken another big step forward towards developing a vaccine that's effective against the most severe forms of malaria.

New tool in fight against malaria
Modifying a class of molecules originally developed to treat the skin disease psoriasis could lead to a new malaria drug that is effective against malaria parasites resistant to currently available drugs.

Malaria expert warns of need for malaria drug to treat severe cases in US
The US each year sees more than 1,500 cases of malaria, and currently there is limited access to an intravenously administered (IV) drug needed for the more serious cases.

Monkey malaria breakthrough offers cure for relapsing malaria
A breakthrough in monkey malaria research by two University of Otago scientists could help scientists diagnose and treat a relapsing form of human malaria.

Getting to zero malaria cases in zanzibar
New research led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Ifakara Health Institute and the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program suggests that a better understanding of human behavior at night -- when malaria mosquitoes are biting -- could be key to preventing lingering cases.

Widely used malaria treatment to prevent malaria in pregnant women
A global team of researchers, led by a research team at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), are calling for a review of drug-based strategies used to prevent malaria infections in pregnant women, in areas where there is widespread resistance to existing antimalarial medicines.

Protection against Malaria: A matter of balance
A balanced production of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines at two years of age protects against clinical malaria in early childhood, according to a study led by ISGlobal, an institution supported by ''la Caixa'' Foundation.

The math of malaria
A new mathematical model for malaria shows how competition between parasite strains within a human host reduces the odds of drug resistance developing in a high-transmission setting.

Read More: Malaria News and Malaria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.