Cape Town scientists make malaria breakthrough

Researchers at the University of Cape (UCT) have made a major breakthrough in the battle against malaria, after discovering a compound with the potential to cure the disease in a single dose.

Scientists at the university's Drug Discovery and Development Center (H3-D) found that one dose of the compound was 100 per cent successful in curing malaria-infected animals. It also proved effective against strains of the parasite that are resistant to current malaria medicines.

This leads researchers to believe that the compound may be able to block the transmission of malaria from mosquitoes to humans, and even eradicate the disease completely. The next stage in their research is to prepare the compound for human trials.

It is estimated that malaria is responsible for the deaths of one million people in sub-Saharan Africa annually, mostly infants under the age of five.