Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery Could Help Stem Infections of Parasitic Roundworms

11.08.2009
Working with researchers in China, biologists at UC San Diego have discovered how a Chinese drug effective in killing parasitic roundworms works.

Their discovery of the drug’s biological mechanism provides important new information about how to combat parasitic roundworms, which infect more than a billion people in tropical regions and are one of the leading causes of debilitation in underdeveloped countries.

The researchers detail their findings in the current issue of the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Parasitic intestinal roundworms, such as hookworms—estimated to affect as many as 740 million people worldwide—and whipworms, which infect an estimated 795 million people, are considered by public-health officials to have a combined debilitating impact on human populations that is equal to or great than malaria or tuberculosis. But few drugs have been developed to effectively combat their infection.

“For practical reasons, only one drug, albendazole, is now widely used in administering single-dose treatments to large populations,” said Raffi Aroian, a professor of biology at UCSD who headed the research effort. “But because of the enormous numbers of people that need to be treated and the necessity of repeated treatments due to high re-infection rates, the development of resistance to albendazole is a serious threat to large-scale de-worming efforts.”

“We are studying this Chinese drug, tribendimidine, that clinically appears to be as good as albendazole,” he added.

Developed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Shanghai, tribendimidine has not yet been approved for human use. Recent clinical trials in China and Africa have found the drug to be effective in humans against some roundworm parasites, such as hookworms. But not much is known about the biological mechanisms by which the drug kills roundworms or the biochemical pathways through which roundworms can develop resistance to tribendimidine.

“This information is important for preventing, detecting and managing the resistance that some organisms can evolve to drugs,” said Aroian. “It’s also important in order to safely administer the drug to large populations and for knowing how to combine tribendimidine with other drugs.”

Yan Hu, a postdoctoral fellow from China working in Aroian’s laboratory, contacted Shu-Hua Xiao, a professor at the Chinese CDC in Shanghai, and began a two-year series of studies with the laboratory roundworm C. elegans that allowed her to determine tribendimidine’s mechanism of action.

She did this by first developing genetic mutants resistant to tribendimidine and later analyzing another set of mutants to two other drugs used to treat roundworms—levamisole and pyrantel. Hu then determined that all of the mutants had the same genetic abnormalities, meaning that the biochemical pathways used to develop drug resistance in the animals were similar in all three. Mutants that develop resistance to albendazole, meanwhile, have a totally different set of genetic abnormalities.

Because levamisole and pyrantel are substantially less effective as albendazole in killing roundworms, these drugs are not the first choice for mass administration of drugs. But the results from Hu and her collaborators suggest that tribendimidine could be effectively used in areas instead of albendazole where parasites are likely to or have already developed a resistance to albendazole. Tribendimidine could also be combined with albendazole, the researchers said, to increase the effectiveness of killing parasitic roundworms, since both drugs have different biological killing mechanisms.

“Tribendimidine is not just a little bit different from albendazole,” said Aroian. “It’s in an entirely different class of drugs. The fact that tribendimidine is different from albendazole, but has the same level of effectiveness, and is in the same class as pyrantel and levamisole should increase people’s comfort level in using this new drug.”

A video of Aroian and Hu describing their results can be found at: http://wormfreeworld.org/worms.mp4 The researchers were supported in their study by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Comment: Raffi Aroian, 858-822-1396, raroian@ucsd.edu

Kim McDonald | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond
21.11.2017 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht The main switch
21.11.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>