Melbourne: Scientists have recently found new chemicals with potent anti-malarial properties that could cause parasite to burst and help develop new drugs to fight against the disease.
The group at the Australian National University (ANU) has collaborated with scientists from around the globe to uncover potential ammunition in the fight against malaria.
Dr Natalie Spillman, from the Research School of Biology at ANU studied the mechanism by which the parasites are killed and said that the new molecules block a molecular salt pump at the surface of the parasite, causing it to fill up with salt.
This has the effect of drawing water into the parasite, causing it to swell uncontrollably and burst, she further added.
Although the process of developing the new compounds into clinical drugs is complex and lengthy, Professor Kiaran Kirk, Dean of the College of Medicine, Biology and Environment is optimistic the findings will lead to new treatments.
The paper is published in PNAS.