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New hope for malaria TB combination drug

Scientists at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi have developed a new synthetic molecule that prevents both the microbes of tuberculosis and malaria from attacking human cells.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2015 02:04 IST
Scientists-have-developed-a-synthetic-molecule-that-prevents-both-the-microbes-of-TB-and-malaria-from-attacking-human-cells-Virendra-Singh-Gosain-HT-File-Photo
Scientists-have-developed-a-synthetic-molecule-that-prevents-both-the-microbes-of-TB-and-malaria-from-attacking-human-cells-Virendra-Singh-Gosain-HT-File-Photo

Scientists at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi have developed a new synthetic molecule that prevents both the microbes of tuberculosis and malaria from attacking human cells.

“This work forms the framework for the development of a single drug for combating two deadly infectious diseases, namely malaria and tuberculosis, where wide-spread drug resistance is rampant,” says Dr Pawan Malhotra, the lead author and collaborating scientist of this study.

While there may be some time before such peptide-based drugs are widely seen in the market, the study paves the way to identifying and targeting host-specific molecules for treatment of infectious diseases.

“What we have tried to do is to target human proteins to fight deadly infectious diseases. We have discovered a completely synthetic polypeptide that interacts with human protein called ICAM-1 and its homologue ICAM-4 and inhibits infection by as much as 80%, of pathogens that cause tuberculosis and malaria,” one of the authors of the study Dr Anand Ranganathan said.