The malaria parasite has been shown to require an extracellular supply of several nutrients in order to survive during its intraerythrocytic stage. The mechanisms by which the parasite acquires and utilises these nutrients are potential antimalarial drug targets. We are studying these mechanisms for three water-soluble vitamins, pantothenate (B5) and thiamine (B1) and riboflavin (B2). We are making use of several analogues of each of these vitamins to characterise these pathways in detail and explore the possibility that they are viable drug targets.
Work in this area is carried out in collaboration with Associate Professor Erick Strauss (Stellenbosch University), Dr Carsten Wrenger (Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine), Dr Ingrid Muller (Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine), Professor Matthias Mack and Dr Rudi Marquez (Glasgow University).