A multi-center research team has discovered how to deliver antimicrobial medications directly to the infectious parasites that cause diseases such as toxoplasmosis, even when the parasites lay hidden and inactive within cysts, where they have been untreatable by any available medicines.
The study, to be published online Nov. 17 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates the first effective, non-toxic method of transporting drugs across multiple membrane barriers and even into cysts of Toxoplasma gondii, the single-celled microorganism that causes toxoplasmosis. It also describes a new therapeutic target within this common parasite.
"This is a major step forward in developing ways to treat one of mankind’s most common chronic infections," said Rima McLeod, MD, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Chicago, who led the study. "For the first time, we have access to this microbe in its latent stage, a part of its life cycle that was previously inaccessible. We also have a better means of delivering medicines to its active stage, as well a new target for treatment."
John Easton | University of Chicago Hospitals
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