Navigation Links
Breakthrough research turns the tide on water-borne pathogen
Date:1/25/2008

Waltham, MACryptosporidium parvum is a tiny yet insidious waterborne parasite that wreaks havoc worldwide. This parasite is a major cause of diarrhea and malnutrition in small children in developing countries, and causes severe disease in AIDS and other immune compromised patients in the developed world. Cryptosporidium is resistant to water chlorination and has caused massive outbreaks in the U.S., which has led to the concern that the parasite could be used as a bio-terrorism agent. There are neither vaccines nor effective drugs available to respond to these multiple threats to human health.

In this weeks issue of Chemistry and Biology, researchers at Brandeis University and the University of Georgia report they have identified lead compounds that inhibit Cryptosporidiums parasitic punch, paving the way for an effective antibiotic treatment. In all, scientists identified ten new compounds, four of which are better at fighting Cryptosporidium than the antibiotic paromomycin, the current gold standard for evaluating anticryptosporidial activity.

These are promising new compounds and this research provides an avenue of much needed therapy for this disease, said Brandeis biochemist Lizbeth Hedstrom, whose lab identified the compounds together with parasitologist Boris Striepen of the University of Georgia.

While there are many drugs to treat bacterial infections, it has been very difficult to find drugs against pathogens like Cryptosporidium because the proteins of these parasites are actually very similar to those of their human host. Scientists have been further thwarted because little was known about Cryptosporidium metabolism. This situation recently changed dramatically when genome sequencing provided a genetic blueprint of Cryptosporidium.

In work leading up to the current study, Hedstrom and Striepen used this blueprint to show that Cryptosporidium has a very simple process to produce the building blocks of DNA and RNA. Surprisingly, the researchers also discovered that Cryptosporidium stole a critical gene in this pathway from intestinal bacteria. This unusually large evolutionary divergence between parasite and host proteins provides an unexpected platform for novel drug design.

The stolen bacterial gene encodes a gatekeeper protein, known as IMPDH, which is essential for parasite growth. Hedstrom and her colleagues set out to find compounds that bind to the part of the parasites IMPDH that is most different from human IMPDH. They tested 40,000 compounds using the facilities of the National Screening Laboratory for the Regional Centers of Excellence in BioDefense and Emerging Infectious Disease (NSRB/NERCE) at Harvard Medical School, and identified ten compounds that inhibited the parasite protein, but not the human counterpart. Four of these compounds are effective in stopping Cryptosporidium infection in the laboratory.

The quest to develop drugs to treat this debilitating disease has been almost futile, said Hedstrom. We are still a long way from an actual anticryptosporidial drug, but we are very encouraged by these results.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Gardner
gardner@brandeis.edu
781-736-4204
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Further breakthroughs for breast cancer patients
2. University of Alberta researchers report breakthrough in lowering bad cholesterol, fatty acid levels
3. Genetic breakthrough offers promise in tackling kidney tumors
4. Medical breakthrough for organ transplants and cardiovascular diseases by Flemish researchers
5. Breakthrough technology observes synapse in real time, supporting theory of vesicular recycling
6. Brain-computer link systems on the brink of breakthrough, study finds
7. Oosight microscope enables embryonic stem cell breakthrough
8. Major genetic breakthrough for ankylosing spondylitis brings treatment hope
9. Male contraception breakthroughs to be presented, Seattle Sept. 27-28
10. Breakthrough research identifies how cells from pigs may cure diabetes
11. New technique can be breakthrough for early cancer diagnosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016  Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... solutions, today announced sampling of S1423, its newest ... and small screen applications including smartwatches, fitness trackers, ... round and rectangular shapes, as well as thick ... with moisture on screen, while wearing gloves, and ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... New York , January 13, 2016 ... Market Research has published a new market report titled ... Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to the ... in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 mn ... 2015 to 2023. In terms of volume, the biometric ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... , Jan. 11, 2016  higi, the leading ... 10,000 retail locations, web and mobile, today announced ... million from existing investors. --> ... devoted to further innovate higi,s health platform – ... web portal – including expanding services and programs ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... EDISON, N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016 ... company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted ... BIO CEO & Investor Conference 2016, to be held ... and Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare ... on February 10-11, 2016. James Sapirstein ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , February 4, 2016 ... Laboratories (ABL), Inc. --> Strasbourg, France ... --> PharmaVentures is pleased to announce that it ... its biopharmaceutical manufacturing unit in Strasbourg, France ... --> --> Transgene (Euronext: ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... -- With the growing need for better therapeutics, and ... such as monoclonal antibodies, recombinant protein therapeutics and ... are in high demand. Conventionally expression systems were ... of these therapeutics. However, due to issues with ... approaches and novel expression systems are currently being ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... a new office dedicated to the North American healthcare market. , Aerocom Healthcare, ... healthcare facilities. The company will provide new pneumatic tube systems or expand ...
Breaking Biology Technology: