CorA as anthelmintic – Natural product as antibiotic for the treatment of dirofilariasis

Dirofilariasis is caused by Dirofilaria immitis and D. repens, parasitic nematodes, which are transmitted by blood sucking mosquitoes. The heartworms harbour the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia, which is essential for worm development, fecundity and survival.

Corallopyronin A (CorA) has efficacy against the intracellular Wolbachia of filarial nematodes. Experiments in mice show that all worms were depleted of more than 98% of their Wolbachia, resulting in blocked larval development and phenotypically altered worms. The results indicate the potential of CorA to effectively kill filarial nematodes in the larval stages as well as adult worms. No toxicity against eukaryotic cells was detected. Preliminary pharmacokinetic data show that the antibiotic is amenable to oral administration. CorA is a non-competitive inhibitor of bacterial DNA-dependent RNA polymerase.

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