22 May 2013

NZ researcher gets $120,000 to fight parasites

10:17 pm on 22 May 2013

A researcher has received a $120,000 grant to fight drug-resistant gastrointestinal parasites in the developing world.

Stephen Sowerby from the University of Otago has been given the money by American-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to adapt a method he developed for identifying parasite infections in livestock for use on people.

Dr Sowerby says his method will allow health workers to identify infected people so treatments can be targeted more efficiently.

He says that reduces the risk of the parasites developing resistance to the drugs.

Dr Sowerby says parasites are a particular problem for malnourished people because they prevent them absorbing nutrients.