Malaria is one of the three most deadly infectious diseases in the world and seriously endangers human health and life. To reduce the public health burden of this disease, scientists have focused on the discovery and development of effective antimalarial drugs, from quinine and chloroquine to antifolates and artemisinin and its derivatives, which all play a profound role in the treatment of malaria. However, drugresistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum have emerged due to frequent use of antimalarials and have become increasingly resistant to existing antimalarial drugs, causing disastrous consequences in the world. In particular, artemisinin resistance is of greatest concern which was reported in 2008. Resistance to artenisinins has been a major obstacle for malaria control, and current efforts to curb artemisinin resistance have not been successful. Based on the current situation, it is urgent to develop more effective new antimalarials with distinct targets from conventional antimalarials in the world, which could facilitate to minimize the phenomenon of drug resistance. This review aims to summarize different kinds of antimalarial therapeutic efficacy, mechanisms of action and resistance, and proposes new solutions aiming towards further improvement of malaria elimination.
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