Nobel Prize 2015 in Medicine Honors Pioneers of Malaria and Anti-Parasitic Therapy

Decades after their old findings three scientists William C. Campbell, Satoshi Ōmura, and Tu Youyou have been awarded 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Inventions of William C. Campbell, Satoshi Ōmura, and Tu Youyou led to “revolutionary treatments” for devastating diseases in the developing world while they have been credited lately for their achievements.

nobel prize 2015 awarded to pioneers of anti parasitic theraphy

Three Pioneers of Anti-Parasitic Therapy, Medical Scientists Honored with Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015 Award

William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura who developed a therapy to treat infections from roundworm parasites and Tu Youyou for her discovery of a therapy to treat malaria have been jointly awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015 who will share the award of 8 million Swedish Krona ($946,488) among themselves. Chinese medical scientist Tu Youyou turns out as 12th woman to win the Nobel Prize for medicine.

Discovery of both Campbell and Ōmura contributed the development of new drugs that effectively treated river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis). Campbell and Ōmura discovery had also bestowed other therapies that have proven effective against other parasitic diseases. While the discovered drug Artemisinin by Chinese medical scientist Tu Youyou imparted step-down of mortality rates among patients suffering from malaria significantly.

nobel prize 2015 winners

Announcing the prestigious award, Committee of  Nobel Prize said on Monday “The two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually. The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable.”

William C. Campbell, Satoshi Ōmura Developed Anti-Parasitic Therapy

The Japanese microbiologist Satoshi Ōmura was conferred with this award where he isolated new strains of Streptomyces which are a group of soil-based bacteria that was known to produce antibacterial agents. Ōmura identified 50 strains of Streptomyces as the most promising one while his study was later adopted by Irish scientist William C. Campbell, who discovered a component that was particularly effective against parasites in domestic animals. This discovered component by the William C. Campbell was purified and named as Avermectin. William C. Campbell ascertained component Avermectin was later modified to create a chemical compound called Ivermectin which was shown to wipe out parasite larvae in humans, giving rise to a new class of drugs to treat parasitic infections.

Chinese medical scientist Tu Youyou aged 84 years identified a component using traditional herbal medicine that was later called Artemisinin. Tu Youyou discriminated the component after testing a range of herbal remedies in malaria-infected animals. What makes her discovery a unique one is that she was the first to show that Artemisinin which is an active component extracted from the plant Artemisia annua, was effective in treating the malaria parasite in both animals and humans.

Sweden Nobel Medicine

Discovery of malaria therapy by Tu Youyou was ascertained when she was working at a secret drug development project launched by Mao Zedong during the 1960s and 1970s. In a published profile by The New Scientist in the year 2011, scientist Tu Youyou reported that she was forced to leave her daughter to travel to the province of Hainan and it was at Hainan she discovered the impacts of malaria first-hand

While now her discovered drug is used in all malaria-impacted parts of the world reducing the mortality rates by at least 20 percent overall of adults and more than 30 percent of children. After winning the Lasker Prize for her work in the year 2011 scientist Tu Youyou said “It is scientists’ responsibility to continue fighting for the healthcare of all humans. What I have done was what I should have done as a return for the education provided by my country” to The New Scientist. Hang on with us for more trending news feeds with us by bookmarking us in your web browser for easy navigation.

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