Navigation Links
GUMC researchers hone in on new strategy to treat common infection
Date:10/27/2008

Washington, DC -- Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) have successfully tested a genetic strategy designed to improve treatment of human infections caused by the yeast Candida albicans, ranging from diaper rash, vaginitis, oral infections (or thrush which is common in HIV/AIDS patients), as well as invasive, blood-borne and life-threatening diseases.

Their findings confirm that inhibiting a key protein could provide a new drug target against the yeast, which inhabits the mucous membranes of most humans. The research was presented today at the 48th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy/46th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (ICAAC/IDSA) in Washington, DC.

"This is a genetically intelligent approach to target identification and drug design," says the study's lead author, Richard Calderone, PhD, professor and chair of the department of microbiology and immunology and co-director of the PhD program in the global infectious disease program at GUMC.

"Candida infections are often treatable, however, in patients that are immunocompromised following cancer chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantation, or surgery, diagnosis is often delayed, postponing therapy," he says. "Also when drug-resistant yeast pathogens cause the infection, clinical management of the patient becomes a problem."

Candida invasive, blood-borne infections are the fourth most common hospital-acquired infection in the United States, costing the healthcare system about $1.8 billion each year, Calderone says.

"More drug resistance is being seen clinically, so there is significant room for improvement in the therapies used today," he says

This study continues research in which Calderone and his colleagues identified a protein, the product of the Ssk1 gene that Candida needs to infect its host. To date, this protein has not been found in humans or in animals, which means it could be "targeted" with a novel drug without producing toxicity because such an agent should only attack the fungus.

The researchers found that if the Ssk1 gene is deleted from Candida albicans, the "triazole" drugs that are now used to treat these diseases are much more effective in the laboratory. "This allows the triazole drugs to do their job," Calderone says. "We propose that this finding might lead to other, possibly more effective, treatment options."

In this study, the researchers used a gene microarray analysis to further understand what knocking out the Ssk1 gene does to the organism, and they discovered that the gene is critical to the pathogenic nature of the fungi.

What this means is that an Ssk1 inhibitor might work in synergy with a triazole or perhaps as an effective stand-alone drug to treat Candida infections, the researchers say. If it works in Candida, it may have broader activity in other pathogens because Ssk1p is found in other fungi.

"Using the genome of the organism to find genes to target is a logical approach to drug design," he says. The researchers are now working with other groups to find the right agent to target the Ssk1protein.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Mallet
mallet.karen@gmail.com
414-312-7085
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers help find that hypnosis can induce synesthesia
2. National Jewish Health researchers evaluating treatment to help emphysema sufferers breathe easier
3. Researchers at National Jewish Health evaluating a treatment
4. European researchers harness unique properties of boron to develop new drugs and diagnostics
5. RSV may hide in the lungs, lead to asthma, UT Southwestern researchers report
6. Johns Hopkins researchers detect sweet cacophony while listening to cellular cross-talk
7. Researchers identify Achilles heel of common childhood tumor
8. Waste from gut bacteria helps host control weight, UT Southwestern researchers report
9. Salk researchers successfully reprogram keratinocytes attached to a single hair
10. Researchers identify promising gene target for neuroblastoma therapy
11. Researchers continue to find genes for type 1 diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/16/2017)...  Genos, a community for personal genetic discovery ... Laboratory Accreditation from the College of American Pathologists ... that meet stringent requirements around quality, accuracy and ... "Genos is committed to maintaining the highest ... to be receiving CAP accreditation," said Jill ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... WASHINGTON , Feb. 13, 2017 Former ... U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Janice Kephart of ... regarding President Donald Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting ... States" (Jan. 27, 2017):  "As President Trump,s ... 9th Circuit has now essentially banned the travel ban, ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 8, 2017 About Voice Recognition Biometrics Voice ... it against a stored voiceprint template. Acoustic features ... and tone are compared to distinguish between individual ... as most PCs already have a microphone and ... recognition biometrics are most likely to be deployed ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... During HIMSS 2017, CloudMine, a secure, cloud-based ... partnership with Redox, a leader in cloud-based healthcare integration and API services. The ... data secure in the cloud. , The digital health developers, and various healthcare ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... IL (PRWEB) , ... February ... ... of the Life -Sciences division, Treximo will pair its $200M operational capacity ... results-based consulting and project management in areas affecting quality and operational management. ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , Feb. 21, 2017   Logicalis Healthcare ... international IT solutions and managed services provider ( www.us.logicalis.com ... Service Desk for Epic. The new service will help ... Epic resources by giving physicians, nurses and other clinicians ... for tier-one support. This will allow hospital IT staff ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... BIOA ) announced today that Jean-Francois Huc has ... has been named President, effective immediately.  In his ... the construction, start-up and operation of the manufacturing plant in ...  Fabrice has also been extensively involved in the negotiations with CJ ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: