Blue Pill and Malaria

There has been negative publicity recently about that ubiquitous blue pill because some people feel that taking it could lead to susceptibility of getting melanoma. Of course, some lawyers are very excited about this and are busy bringing lawsuits even though there is no definitive answer yet one way or the other. But that hasn’t stopped them from going ahead with lawsuits.

However, the big news is about the blue pill and how it can fight against malaria. It is almost like it creates a fence to block the malaria parasite. It seems to be particularly effective against one of the worst strains of malaria which has become good at evading the immune system. There are many articles about this all over the internet, such as one from CNBC.

This strain, Plasmodium falpicarum, is particularly deadly because it produces a chemical that makes the red blood cell look as if it is not infected. The blue pill (begins with a V) prevents it from producing that compound so the body can identify the infected cells.

Malaria is transferred to a person from an infected mosquito. The parasite then moves to the person’s liver and multiplies and goes back in the blood stream. (It is more complicated than this, but this basic outline is all that is needed to get the idea of what is going on.) When another mosquito bites the infected person, the new mosquito becomes infected and can then pass on the parasite to other people.

Strangely, because of what V is famous for, it also makes the red blood cell stiff, but only if it is infected. That means the infected cells can be filtered out more easily and the infected red blood cells aren’t flowing through the capillaries and therefore the malaria parasite can’t be passed on to the next mosquito that bites the person. Over time, this will halt the spread of malaria.

It is very important, because malaria can potentially infect half the world’s population and kills about 500,000 per year and makes many more sick.