An Ultrastructural Study of the Effects of Mefloquine on Malaria Parasites

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  • 1 Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
  • | * Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC 20307
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The ultrastructural changes induced by the administration of a recently developed antimalarial drug, mefloquine, were studied in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei and human erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum in vitro. Pronounced changes which occurred in both experiments comprised swelling of the parasites' food vacuoles with gradual loss of pigment granules, which did not form clumps as occurs with chloroquine. These findings suggest that the malarial parasites' food vacuole is the target of this drug.