Newly-discovered bacteria could prevent malaria


Research published in Science shows that a naturally occurring bacterium discovered by GSK scientists – Delftia tsuruhatensis Tres Cantos 1 (TC1) – could be the basis for new anti-malarial interventions.

Studies done in collaboration at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute show that the bacterium can significantly reduce the malaria parasite load in both the mosquito midgut and salivary glands indicating the potential of TC1 to inhibit transmission of the parasite to humans via the mosquito.

The research, which also includes data from preliminary semi-field studies conducted with Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS) in a contained ‘MosquitoSphere’ facility in Burkina Faso, suggest that laboratory findings could be successfully translated to the field for malaria control.

“We hope to provide a viable solution that can be readily adopted in field settings.”

Thomas Breuer, Chief Global Health Officer, GSK, said: “An additional tool, Delftia tsuruhatensis Tres Cantos 1 (TC1), as an entirely novel approach for malaria control, has potential to further reduce the huge burden of malaria in endemic countries and is more evidence that through deploying a range of prevention approaches, we may be able to finally eradicate this terrible disease.”

The results suggest TC1 has potential to inhibit the development of all malaria parasites which affect humans (P. vivax, P. ovale and P. malariae in addition to P. falciparum).

Dr Abdoulaye Diabaté, Director of Medical Entomology and Parasitology, IRSS, said: “Discoveries such as TC1 bacterium hold huge potential for Africa. We hope to provide a viable solution that can be readily adopted in field settings to control and prevent malaria transmission which could have a profound impact on public health, ultimately helping to save the lives of millions of children and fostering sustainable development in malaria endemic regions.”

Edited by: Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, Drug Discovery World

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