Optimizing Chloroquine to Make a Better Drug to Fight Malaria Essay

Optimizing Chloroquine to Make a Better Drug to Fight Malaria Essay

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Optimizing Chloroquine to Make a Better Drug to Fight Malaria

Abstract: Malaria has haunted man for centuries. Humanities experiments in drugs
allowed for the discovery of chloroquine, perhaps the most successful cure against the
parasitic infection. However, a new strain of malaria, plasmodium falciparum, has
proven to be resistant against chloroquine and other cures we have for this virulent
disease. Should man then cast aside this antique drug? Not before trying to optimize it
to once again combat malaria.
There has been a disease that has never been completely assessed nor
understood, yet it has been a scourge to humanity for centuries. Consequently, it has
never quite been fought off. Malaria has haunted man for millennium, and even today
we are really unable to claim conquest over it, as it still infects millions of victims every
year, killing close to a million each year (WebMed). How then has malaria been nearly
eradicated in North America and Europe? There are drugs that fight malaria, the most
famous of which is probably chloroquine, one of the oldest drugs made by man.
Chloroquine is one of now several drugs that have fought malaria to the tropics, but now
has become almost useless against a new, drug resistant strain of malaria, Plasmodium
falciparum. P. falciparum has perhaps come to claim the title of the most virulent strain
of malaria as well. Today it is certainly the deadliest, requiring specialized treatment that
might not exist in the poorer tropic regions where it is most rampant. Even now,
research against this strain of malaria is ongoing, in the hope to find a cure. Where can
this be found? One of the most explored methods is optimizing the drugs we have,
particularly chloroquine. I...

... middle of paper ...

... I made in GaussView should not be considered the only or
even the best changes. For instance, replacing all the nitrogens with oxygens, I
completely changed how it would react to acidic conditions. The extra rings I added
increased the molecular weight, in some cases to huge proportions that violated
lipinskis rules. By changing the way this molecule bonds, very likely I made this drug
very poisonous. It could take years, but eventually this drug could be optimized to fight
plasmodium again. Perhaps humanity’s defense against malaria will again come from
this nearly antique drug.
Plasmodium in the blood.

WebMed. Malaria. July 12, 2008
Westerfield, Scott. Peeps. Razorbill, 2006.
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Chloroquine. July 16, 2008.
Zimmer, Carl. Parasite Rex. Simon and Schuster, 2000.

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