We report a series of β-branched acyclic tritylated deoxyuridine analogues as inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum deoxyuridine-5'-triphosphate nucleotidohydrolase (PfdUTPase), an enzyme involved in nucleotide metabolism that acts as first line of defence against uracil incorporation into DNA. Compounds were assayed against both PfdUTPase and intact parasites showing a correlation between enzyme inhibition and cellular assays. β-Branched acyclic uridine analogues described here showed equal or slightly better potency and selectivity compared with previously reported analogues. The best inhibitor gave a K(i) of 0.5 μM against PfdUTPase with selectivity greater than 200-fold compared to the corresponding human enzyme and sub-micromolar growth inhibition of P. falciparum (EC(50) 0.6 μM). A crystal structure of the complex of PfdUTPase with one of the inhibitors shows that this acyclic derivative binds to the active site in a similar manner to that previously reported for a tritylated cyclic deoxyuridine derivative.