McGill UniversityMalaria is quite a dangerous disease as it is said to be the reason for over two million deaths annually. But individuals can heave a sigh of relief for a study attempting to combat the worldwide transmission of drug-resistant parasites seems to have made a breakthrough in the quest for an improved treatment.

Better comprehension of the make-up of these parasites and the manner they replicate appear to have facilitated the scientists to discover a plan of assault for the development of urgently required new treatments.

The study was led by John Dalton, a biochemist in McGill’s Institute of Parasitology.

Apparently, malaria parasites survive within our red blood cells and nourish on proteins, breaking them down in order to utilize the proceeds i.e. amino acids as building blocks for their own proteins. When they have attained an adequate size, they split and rip open the red cell and enter another, thereby replicating the procedure until acute disease or death takes place.

Dalton and his colleagues supposedly discovered that particular ‘digestive enzymes’ in the parasites may allow them to take on this procedure. Significantly, the scientists have apparently now found out the three-dimensional structures of two enzymes and illustrated how drugs may be intended to immobilize the enzymes.

Dalton explained that by blocking the action of these critical parasite enzymes, they have shown that the parasites can no longer survive within the human red blood cell.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.