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 At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>