Research Highlights

Nanosolids against malignant malaria

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.350 Published online 8 December 2009

Two copper nanohybrid solids have shown promise in inhibiting the parasite that triggers malignant malaria1. The nanosolids could be potential drug candidates to fight malignant malaria.

To find a way around malaria resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum, researchers have zeroed in on plasmepsin, a class of enzymes produced by the malaria parasite that degrade human haemoglobin to usher in malaria.

The researchers designed copper nanohybrid solids of size ranges 5-10 and 60-70 nm. When evaluated against a chloroquine-sensitive isolate of Plasmodium falciparum, the nanohybrids disrupted the activity of plasmepsin II, believed to be a novel drug target.

Both nanohybrids were non-toxic against human liver cancer cells and exhibit anti-malarial activities similar to the standard drug chloroquine, the researchers say.

The authors of this work are from: Department of chemistry, University of Delhi; Protein biochemistry division, National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR); Department of biochemistry, All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and Department of chemistry, N. R. E. C. College, Khurja, India.


  1. Mohapatra, S. C. et al. Antimalarial evaluation of copper (II) nanohybrid solids: inhibition of plasmepsin II, a hemoglobin-degrading malarial aspartic protease from Plasmodium falciparum. J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. doi: 10.1007/s00775-009-0610-9 (2009)