Viagra found to play stiff role in fight against malaria
PRESCRIBING malaria patients Viagra could help stem the spread of the highly infectious disease, scientists have revealed.
Experts in the field believe the “astonishing discovery” could result in a new treatment to prevent spread within a population.
A new study found it is possible to prevent the transmission of malaria parasites from humans to mosquitoes, thereby preventing further spread. The key, researchers noted, was the stiffening powers of Viagra.
By using the erectile dysfunction drug to alter the shape of the parasite cell that triggers the disease, they were able to increase the power of the spleen to filter the virus out from the blood.
Researchers discovered that by using Viagra they were able to affect a molecular signal, which stiffened the shape of the parasite so that the rigid infected blood cells would be detected and trapped in the spleen.
Study co-author, Professor David Baker, at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “We know from previous work in my lab that inhibiting malaria phosphodiesterase enzymes, or deleting the genes that encode them, can disrupt malaria parasite growth.
“In this new study we show that Viagra, a drug shown to be safe in humans, can make the sexual forms of the malaria parasite stiff. This causes them to be inactivated in the spleen and so prevents transmission of the sexual malaria parasites to mosquitoes.” – Daily Mail