Transmission-blocking drugs for malaria elimination

01 May 2022

Birkholtz LM, Alano P, Leroy D

Trends in Parasitology
PMID: 35190283

Doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2022.01.011

Photo: Ugutmen_iStock

Abstract

Preventing human-to-mosquito transmission of malaria parasites provides possible solutions to interrupt the malaria parasite life cycle for malaria elimination. The development of validated routine assays enabled the discovery of such transmission-blocking compounds. Currently, one development priority remains on combinations of dual-active compounds with equipotent activity against both the disease-causing asexual and transmissible, sexual erythrocytic stages. Additionally, transmission-blocking compounds that target gametocyte-specific biology could be used in combination with compounds against asexual parasites. In either case, preventing transmission will reduce the risk of reinfection and, if different processes are targeted, also curb the spread of drug resistance. Here, we provide an updated roadmap to the discovery and development of new antimalarials with transmission-blocking activity to guide drug discovery for malaria elimination.

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