Protease inhibitors used to treat HIV-1 infection may also be effective for treatment or prevention of malaria, according to a study published in the December 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online. The study found protease inhibitors inhibited the growth of P. falciparum, the malaria parasite that causes most disease. These findings may also expose a previously unexplored vulnerability in the parasite that could lead to a new class of anti-malarial drug. While the effects of such drugs on co-infection need to be investigated, the study’s findings may be especially significant in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas of the developing world where there are high rates of HIV and malaria co-infection.
Scientists from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research tested the effects of the protease inhibitors saquinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir, amprenavir, and indinavir, as well as the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor nevirapine, on a drug-resistant line of P. falciparum. Saquinavir, ritonavir, and indinavir all inhibited parasite growth in vitro at levels routinely achieved in human patients, with saquinavir and ritonavir showing the most potent effect on the parasite. Saquinavir was most effective in the study and was equally effective on chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasite lines, while nelfinavir and amprenavir did not demonstrate anti-malarial activity. The research builds on a previous study that demonstrated antiretroviral agents can reduce the adhesion of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes to endothelial surfaces.
The authors believe that the antiretroviral protease inhibitors attack the malaria parasite in ways that current antimalarial treatments do not. While the mode of antimalarial action of the drugs was not uncovered in the study, the authors hypothesize that the antiretrovirals inhibit an aspartyl protease, which helps the parasite digest hemoglobin and is located on the food vacuole of the parasite. Further investigation may not only provide a better knowledge of how to treat co-infected patients with protease inhibitors, but could also lead to a new type of malaria drug that would target the parasite in novel ways.
Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology