Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Once-maligned malaria drug could get a second chance

The medication sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, or “SP”, is currently used to treat malaria in pregnant women in the developing world. It works by disrupting the malaria parasite’s ability to make folic acid, which is a key component of nucleotide synthesis. It’s inexpensive, too, costing 15 cents for a course of treatment as opposed to $1 for a similar course of artemisin-based therapy. This alone should make it an attractive option for widespread use, but for a not-so-slight problem: up until now, research seemed to show that the most common malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, was rapidly becoming resistant to SP. Now come two 


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