Yeast used as surrogate model
New biochemical studies may hold clues to more powerful malaria and pneumonia treatments that could save more than 2 million lives worldwide. Using bakers yeast as a surrogate disease model, researchers led by Dartmouth Medical School are exploring why enzymes in organisms that cause pneumonia and malaria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. This work could provide the answer to testing a new generation of drugs to combat these prevalent diseases.
Investigators used genetically modified yeast enzymes to pinpoint the mutations responsible for the antibiotic resistance of Pneumocystis jirovecii, which causes a type of pneumonia that is the most serious and prevalent AIDS-associated opportunistic infection and a threat to other immunocompromised patients, such as those undergoing therapy for cancer and organ transplantation. Pneumonia was responsible for more than 61,000 deaths in the US in 2001, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Andy Nordhoff | EurekAlert!
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