Hopkins Study Supports Potential for Injectable “Chemical Vaccine” for Malaria Using Atovaquone; Researchers Demonstrate in Mouse Model That Key Mutation That Renders Malaria Parasites Resistant to Atovaquone Also Makes Them Non-Transmissible Via Mosquitoes

Johns Hopkins researchers looking to develop a long-acting, injectable malaria preventive using atovaquone have shown in a new study that resistance may not be the challenge scientists thought it was, particularly when using atovaquone as a malaria preventive. Malaria parasites in infected patients being treated with atovaquone tend to develop a resistance to the drug. Because of this, atovaquone by itself is not used as a malaria treatment nor has not been seen as a strong candidate for use as a preventive. The study, led by a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Liverpool, was published online October 12, 2023 in Nature Communications. The Malaria Research Institute is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The open-access article is titled “Clinically Relevant Atovaquone-Resistant Human Malaria Parasites Fail to Transmit By Mosquito.”

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