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Malaria – Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

A recent article highlights for example the danger of artemisinin-resistant bacteria emerging in Cambodia. Currently, these bacteria have been restricted to the East of the Moei river which separates Burma and Thailand. But once these cross over to India and Bangladesh and then to Africa, the problem will become difficult to contain.

Artemisinin is often the treatment of last resort, since bacterial strains in many countries have developed resistance to more common medications like chloroquine.

There is a perception that the pharma industry is not keen on allocating R&D dollars to development of newer antibiotics, prefering instead to focus on cures to life-style diseases, which lead to a more predictable and long-term cashflow. This is especially true in the case of a disease like malaria, which is seen as a “third-world” disease affecting patients who have a limited ability to pay.

Map of Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand


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