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Research on vitamins could lead to the design of novel drugs to combat malaria

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New research by scientists at the University of Southampton could lead to the design of more effective drugs to combat malaria.

The research will enable scientists to learn more about the nature of the enzymes required for vitamin biosynthesis by the malaria causing pathogen Plasmodium. Vitamins are essential nutrients required in small amounts, the lack of which leads to deficiencies. Many pathogenic microorganisms produce vitamins, and these biosynthetic pathways may provide suitable targets for development of new drugs.

A major factor hindering malaria control is the high degree of resistance developed by Plasmodium species against currently available drugs. Hence, there is still an urgent need for the identification of novel drug targets as well as antimalarial chemotherapeutics.

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