Blocking an essential nutrient inhibits malaria parasite growth

Living organisms often create what is needed for life from scratch.

For humans, this process means the creation of most essential compounds needed to survive. But not every living thing has this capability, such as the parasite that causes malaria, which affected an estimated 249 million people in 2022.

Virginia Tech researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that by preventing the malaria parasite from scavenging fatty acids, a type of required nutrient, it could no longer grow.

“The key to this breakthrough is that we were able to develop a screening method for the malaria parasite and block this process,” said Michael Klemba, associate professor of biochemistry and principal investigator on the project. “While very much in its infancy, the results could open the door to a new way to fight malaria.”

Malaria is caused while the parasite is replicating in human…

Read more…