Chinese researcher Tu Youyouyou, awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine for her contribution to the fight against malaria, announced today that her team has found a solution to the problem of artemisinin resistance (also known as qinghaosu), an antimalarial compound obtained through a type of Chinese Bush.
Researchers have presented new evidence collected by The “New England Journal” in which they also claim that this compound remains “the best weapon” against infectious disease, the official Xinhua agency published Monday.
The Tu team has been dedicated to the study of the resistant mechanism since 2015 and discovered that partial resistance to artemisinin is actually a delay in eliminating malaria parasites from the bloodstream after treatment with combination therapy, the information adds.
The 89-year-old scientist explained that plasmodium may enter a state of latency during the combined treatment of artemisinin, which lasts three days, while it also develops resistance to Associated drugs.
But if the treatment period extends to five to seven days and associated drugs are replaced, artemisinin resistance can be resolved and plasmodium can be eradicated.
The Chinese scientist has stated on several occasions that drug resistance, which is naturally obtained, is the great challenge for malaria researchers.
Your, the only chinese woman who has achieved by now the Nobel prize and the first scientist that nationality awarded by the Swedish Academy, was recognized in 2015 by the discovery in the years 70 of artemisinin, an active principle against malaria, which have saved millions of lives in the last few decades.
Tu also received in 2017 the State Award for Science and technology, the highest scientific award in the Asian country, from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The scientist also comes from traditional Chinese medicine, not conventional medicine practiced in the West, so his award was used by China as a back-up to promote that ancient discipline and initiate legal reforms to give him the same support as Western medicine.
Farm recruited by mao and the Artemisinin
At the age of 84, Tu Youyouyou became, in 2015, the first woman of this nationality to win a Nobel Prize in medicine for her discoveries in the fight against malaria.
The farmacóloga was recruited for a secret project ordered by Mao in the 60’s, when malaria would tithe to the allies of North Vietnam rather than the u.s. bombs, you needed a cure urgently.
The team led by you found the solution in a traditional Chinese ancient herbal recipe book. From these herbs they discovered artemisinin, the most effective drug against the disease.