Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/11/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Parasite that causes mosquito-borne disease developing resistance

A quick-acting blood test to determine the malaria parasite\'s resistance to artemisinin is helping overburdened doctors in developing nations. Regretfully, the parasite that causes the disease is swiftly becoming more resistant to artemisinin, which remains the most effective drug available to treat the disease.

Malaria continues to kill and sicken those across the Third World. More than 200 million people are infected with malaria each year, with a death toll as high as 1.2 million.

Malaria continues to kill and sicken those across the Third World. More than 200 million people are infected with malaria each year, with a death toll as high as 1.2 million.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

9/11/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Malaria, blood test, artemisinin

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Malaria continues to kill and sicken those across the Third World. More than 200 million people are infected with malaria each year, with a death toll as high as 1.2 million. Most of the infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

The greatest hedge against the onslaught of the disease is dwindling. "Now what we are seeing is that patients, like for example in Pursat where I work," Rick Fairhurst, a clinical investigator with the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Maryland says. "We have about 60 percent of people [that] still have parasites at 72 hours, which suggests that these parasites could persist in the patient, which results in them not being cured," he says, noting that most malaria patients used to be cured with three doses of artemisinin administered over a three-day period. Pursat province is an area in western Cambodia.

Fairhurst, working with Cambodian and French researchers developed a rapid blood test that measures how quickly the malaria parasites in blood samples were killed or weakened by the active ingredient in artemisinin.

Survival rates for the parasites were measured 72 hours after exposure to the artemisinin. If the parasite was still active at that point, the researchers determined that it was unlikely to respond to the drug.

Researchers confirmed these findings in patients infected with malaria. It was found that parasites in blood samples taken from people with drug-resistant infections had only a tepid response to artemisinin.

A test such as this could help public health officials find areas of drug resistance and map its spread. Fairhurst notes that the blood test could also be used to follow individuals treated with artemisinin.

"And if eventually we find if parasites are at a certain level of resistance in the laboratory, they have a certain probability of coming back in the patient, we can then say, 'Okay, this person is not likely to [be cured of their infection],' and we can come on top with a second drug," he said.

There are a couple of newer, more expensive anti-malarial agents that could be used. Experts fear that these too would eventually become ineffective against the parasite.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Health

'Switching off' certain genes could extend life - by as much as 60 percent scientists say Watch

Image of The Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and the University of Washington identified 238 genes that, when


Experiments conducted on various strains of yeast have led scientists to believe that the removal of certain genes could actually extend human lifetimes by as much as 60 percent. Researchers found that small, genetic tweaks have made organisms live longer. LOS ... continue reading

Brain 'fingerprint' may lead to medical and psychological diagnosis Watch

Image of


A "brain fingerprint," an individual demarcation of brain activity could be used to determine how a patient would react to medical treatment, as well as possible mental illness, researchers say. Researchers at Yale University say that the findings are ... continue reading

British Ebola survivor suffers relapse, back in hospital Watch

Image of British nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who earlier survived the Ebola virus and survived has returned to the hospital.


Sadly, the world is not out of the woods yet when it comes to the terrifying disease of Ebola. Vaccine or not, many patients that survive the organ-melting disease suffer long-term side effects. British nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who earlier survived the virus ... continue reading

Heart attack risk can be determined through simple blood test Watch

Image of A blood test can determine whether someone is at risk of a heart attack.


Recent research published in The Lancet indicates a simple blood test can determine whether people suffering from chest pains are at risk of having heart attack. According to the study, all doctors need to do is check the amount of troponin -a protein in the blood- is ... continue reading

America drinks less soda: The soda industry sees an all-time-low in sales Watch

Image of The soda industry is changing.


Around five years ago, the soda industry fought back against Mayor Michael A. Nutter's proposal of imposing soda taxes in Philadelphia. Soda lobbyists back then organized protests and came up with campaign contributions to local politicians, with the assistance of ... continue reading

5 things people need to know about breast cancer Watch

Image of


Breast cancer is the most prevalent kind of disease that has been affecting women from all over the world. The World Health Organization estimated around 508,000 women die of this disease every year.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While some women fall prey ... continue reading

Early detection test can lead to breast cancer diagnoses before cancer appears Watch

Image of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


A recent study may make it possible to detect breast cancer before the disease develops. Researchers clarified, however, that the study was based on genetic changes from samples taken from healthy breasts and cancerous breasts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

ACLU sues Catholic hospital over refusal to abort children Watch

Image of The ACLU is insisting that Catholic hospitals abort still-living children.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ACLU is suing Trinity Health Corporation, a Michigan-based Catholic hospital chain, because the organization refuses to perform abortions. The suit is similar to one brought by the ACLU in 2013, that case was dismissed by a Federal court. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Baby born with rare medical mystery thrives Watch

Image of Baby Angelito was born with two tubes for a nose.


Baby Angelito was born with two tubes in place of a nose but his doctors are optimistic about his condition.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported the medical mystery as well as Angelito's doctors' belief the infant will soon appear normal.The ... continue reading

20-million-year old flea carrying bubonic plague may be real reason dinosaurs went extinct Watch

Image of The Black Death plague devastated entire populations (Interfoto/Alamy)


Preserved in amber, a 20-million-year-old flea is believed to contain an ancient form of one of the world's deadliest bacteria: Black Death.  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, the fossilized bacteria is ... continue reading

All Health News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 1:16-25
16 For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:37-41
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 13th, 2015 Image

St. Edward the Confessor
October 13: Edward the Confessor was the son of King Ethelred III and his ... Read More