Nobel Prize in Medicine: 3 Scientists Honored for Work on Treatments to Fight Parasites

William Campbell and Satoshi Omura developed a new drug to treat river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. Youyou Tu discovered a drug that significantly reduces death rates from malaria.

Three scientists from Ireland, Japan and China have won the Nobel prize in medicine for discoveries that helped doctors fight malaria and infections caused by roundworm parasites.

The judges in Stockholm awarded the prize to William C Campbell, Satoshi Ōmura and Youyou Tu – the first ever Chinese medicine laureate.

Campbell and Ōmura were cited for discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites, while Tu was rewarded for discoveries concerning a novel therapy against malaria.

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

Ōmura made his discovery after collecting soil samples from around Japan and isolating bacteria called Streptomyces. One of them was Streptomyces avermitilis, which became the source for the drug avermectin.




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