Methylene Blue Cures Malaria Within 48 Hours And Stops Its Further Spread

haidut

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This study shamelessly presents the findings as something completely novel and groundbreaking. However, methylene blue (MB) has been used as anti-malarial for more than a century, and in fact treating malaria was its first designation as an official drug.
Methylene blue - Wikipedia

Be that as it may, I think it is still encouraging to see new studies with it, since the mechanism of action through which MB kills malarial plasmodium is through the induction of oxidative stress. In fact, the study compared MB effects to another well-known drug for malaria - artemisinin - which also induces of oxidative stress. Given the recent blockbuster studies at University of Arizona Cancer Center showing aretemisinin's success as a ancer drug, I think the same benefits can now be assumed for MB given their same mechanism of action. Finally, MB was shown to work in infections that were resistant to other treatments, including artemisinin. So, MB may be even more effective ROS generator than artemisinin and may thus be a better therapeutic for other conditions such as cancer.
The only downside to the study is that the dose used in humans was very high - 15 mg/kg daily. As that dose, MB is likely to strongly inhibit MAO-A and may raise serotonin to dangerous levels. So, I think a lower dose combined with another quinone like vitamin K, emodin or a tetracycline antibiotics would be a safer approach. Alternatively, MB may be combined with an anti-serotonin like cyproheptadine if the high dose is indeed necessary for maximum benefit.


http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(18)30044-6/fulltext
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180205195624.htm

"...Research shows that the dye methylene blue is a safe antimalarial that kills malaria parasites at an unprecedented rate. Within two days, patients are cured of the disease and no longer transmit the parasite if they are bitten again by a mosquito. This discovery was made by Radboud university medical center scientists and international colleagues during a research project conducted in Mali. The results will be published in The Lancet Infectious Diseaseson February 6th. The pressure is on when it comes to antimalarial medicines, as malaria parasites are increasingly resistant to the artemisinin-based combination therapies that are currently used. In addition, these medicines do very little to stop the spread of malaria, as the parasites remain in the blood for a long time, with the chance that other mosquitos are infected if they feed on the patient. The parasites split in the patient's red blood cells, forming male and female sex cells (gametocytes). If another mosquito bites the patient, it sucks up the sex cells and these are fertilized in the mosquito's stomach. The offspring then find their way to the mosquito's salivary glands, where the cycle starts again."

"...The gametocytes can stay in a person's body for several weeks following treatment for malaria. In the new study in Mali, Radboudumc researchers added methylene blue to the artemisinin-based combination therapy. Methylene blue is a blue dye that is used in laboratories to distinguish dead cells from living cells. Adding the dye to the antimalaria medicine ensured that patients no longer infected other mosquitos, within as little as 48 hours. Patients who were not given methylene blue were able to infect other mosquitos for at least a week. Researcher Teun Bousema (Radboudumc) coordinated the study which was conducted together with the University of California (UCSF) and the Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC). Bousema: "We noted that the male parasites disappeared from the bloodstream more quickly than the female parasites."

"...Encouraged by the promising results of laboratory experiments, Bousema's team has investigated for the first time the effect of methylene blue on the spread of malaria amongst humans. Bousema: "Methylene blue is very promising, because it can prevent the spread of malaria within such a short time following treatment. There are also indications that methylene blue also works well in species that are resistant to certain medicines." The dye is safe and was tolerated well by patients. There is however just one awkward side effect: "I have used it myself, and it turns your urine bright blue. This is something that we need to solve, because it could stop people from using it." Malaria causes 430,000 deaths every year. Infection is caused by the bite of a malaria-carrying mosquito, and 90% of all deaths are in Africa, mostly amongst children. Malaria prevention focuses primarily on the use of mosquito nets, insecticides and medicine and, as a result, the number of deaths due to malaria has almost halved in the last ten years."
 

Koveras

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Soren

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Fascinating. Perhaps a MB red light combo would be a way to get around the necessity for a such a high dose of MB.
 

haidut

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haidut

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Fascinating. Perhaps a MB red light combo would be a way to get around the necessity for a such a high dose of MB.

Light does help use a lower dose MB. Studies with cells showed that as little as 1 uM/L concentration of MB is enough to have a potent pathogen killing effect when combined with bright red/sun/laser light exposure. That concentration can be achieved with a single dose of 5mg MB, which is not that high and should not affect MAO-A that much.
 

Tarmander

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Could you expand a bit on the oxidative stress component? Are you saying that reactive oxygen species react with the cancer/malaria only...or that the whole system has to deal with this higher stress?
 

haidut

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Could you expand a bit on the oxidative stress component? Are you saying that reactive oxygen species react with the cancer/malaria only...or that the whole system has to deal with this higher stress?

All cells react to the ROS but the "cancer" cells are most vulnerable and die almost immediately if they get exposed to ROS. Normal cells are much more resilient. Since ROS is so deadly to cancer cells, they accumulate GSH and that is their primary protection against ROS - a high GSH/GSSG ratio. Anything that lowers the GSH/GSSG ratio sufficiently can possibly cure cancer on a whim even if the body produces its normal rate of ROS. Obviously increasing ROS even more would be even more effective. Aspirin, sucrose, quinones, tetracyclines, MB, anti-serotonin drugs, thyroid, SFA, etc all lower the GSH/GSSG ratio and thus make both pathological cells and parasites succumb quite quickly to the ROS.
 

GAF

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Why Gin and not Vodka? Or it does not matter from medicinal point of view?
 

Tarmander

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All cells react to the ROS but the "cancer" cells are most vulnerable and die almost immediately if they get exposed to ROS. Normal cells are much more resilient. Since ROS is so deadly to cancer cells, they accumulate GSH and that is their primary protection against ROS - a high GSH/GSSG ratio. Anything that lowers the GSH/GSSG ratio sufficiently can possibly cure cancer on a whim even if the body produces its normal rate of ROS. Obviously increasing ROS even more would be even more effective. Aspirin, sucrose, quinones, tetracyclines, MB, anti-serotonin drugs, thyroid, SFA, etc all lower the GSH/GSSG ratio and thus make both pathological cells and parasites succumb quite quickly to the ROS.

Thank you
 

haidut

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Good question @Koveras @haidut any ideas on this? Could brandy work? Does it need a certain alcohol content?

Tonic has quinine, which is an established malaria drug. If gin does not have quinine then other alcohol types should work as well as long as tonic is added.
 
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lollipop

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Because gin has quinine, which is an established malaria drug. It's right there in Koveras' post.
Thank you @haidut - I read about quinine and missed the fact it is in gin. Urrgh :-/ I do not like the taste of gin - so mostly likely my cognitive bias kicked in with the thought that another alcohol could work.
 

High_Prob

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Because gin has quinine, which is an established malaria drug. It's right there in Koveras' post.

I thought that it was the tonic that has the quinine (unless the gin is made with cinchona bark as one of the botanicals, which is not common)....
 
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haidut

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Thank you @haidut - I read about quinine and missed the fact it is in gin. Urrgh :-/ I do not like the taste of gin - so mostly likely my cognitive bias kicked in with the thought that another alcohol could work.

Crap, it was tonic that has quinine. I am still asleep. For some reason I thought gin also contains quinine.
Sorry about this, I guess other alcohol would work too if you add tonic :):
 

haidut

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I thought that it was the tonic that has the quinine (unless the gin is made with cinchona bark as one of the botanicals, which is not common)....

Correct, thanks for pointing it out. I changed by original statement.
 

Soren

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Are there any other parasites that MB has been shown to combat? I'm assuming that it would be effective for a whole host of different pathogens but I'm specifically thinking of a brain infection of Toxoplasma gondii.
 

bzmazu

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Haidut...need to correct spelling for artemisinin in tag above? Very interesting post.
 
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