Navigation Links
Researchers gain ground in efforts to fight parasite infection
Date:5/26/2009

DALLAS May 26, 2009 New findings by researchers UT Southwestern Medical Center are accelerating efforts to eradicate worm infections that afflict a third of the world's population.

The new findings, available online and in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrate that a biochemical system that controls development and reproduction of Caenorhabditis elegans, a common research worm, also provides the same function in several parasitic nematodes, including hookworm.

In these parasitic organisms, the activating molecule, called dafachronic acid, sends the necessary signals for the worms to mature from the stage in which they infect a host to the stage in which they start feeding on the host, which is what makes the host sick. In 2006 UT Southwestern scientists led by Dr. David Mangelsdorf, chairman of pharmacology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the new study in PNAS, had made the discovery in C elegans, a nematode about the size of a pinhead.

In the new study, the UT Southwestern researchers treated hookworm parasites pharmacologically at the infective larval stage with dafachronic acid, causing them to pass into the "feeding" larval stage outside a host, where they had no food supply and died. Treatment of other infectious species had similar effects.

"We essentially coaxed them to mature before a food source the host is available," Dr. Mangelsdorf said.

Many infectious nematode larva live in the soil, often in areas where proper sanitation is lacking. According to the World Health Organization, parasitic nematodes infect about 2 billion people worldwide and severely sicken some 300 million, at least 50 percent of whom are school-age children.

The results point to a promising therapeutic target for the infectious nematodes, said Dr. Mangelsdorf, an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UT Southwestern.

"What keeps these parasites infectious is the lack of production of dafachronic acid," he said. "Once they get inside the host, however, something switches them on to begin making this compound. We can interrupt the worm's life cycle just by giving it this compound when it's in the infectious state, before it enters a host."

The nature of that switch is still under investigation. It may be that the parasite itself somehow senses it is inside the host and begins making the compound, or the parasite could receive a signal from the host to begin production, Dr. Mangelsdorf said. There also is the possibility that the parasite receives the dafachronic acid, or its precursor building blocks, from the host, he said.

Whatever the source of dafachronic acid, the researchers are confident that the compound is worth pursuing as a possible therapeutic target. In the study, the researchers present additional details about the nature of different forms of dafachronic acid and how they function in specific nematodes.

Dr. Mangelsdorf said the next step in the research is to screen large libraries of chemicals to search for compounds that behave like dafachronic acid and that could possibly be developed into pesticides that could be spread in high-infection areas.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amanda Siegfried
amanda.siegfried@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Poor attention in kindergarten predicts lower high school test scores, UC Davis researchers find
2. NYU School of Medicine pathology researchers solve another mystery in B lymphocyte development
3. Mayo Clinic Researchers Examine the Psychological Impact of Child Abuse
4. Mayo Clinic researchers examine the psychological impact of child abuse
5. CSI: Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Television Shows Inaccurately Portray Violent Crime
6. Mayo Clinic Researchers Say Triple Drug Combination is Promising Option to Treat Metastatic HER2+ Breast Cancer
7. Two Targeted Therapies Likely Better Than One in Patients with Aggressive Lymphoma, Mayo Clinic Researchers Say
8. Mayo Clinic Researchers Say Agent Provides Treatment Option for Women with Hot Flashes
9. Drug That Targets Vasculature Growth Attacks Aggressive Thyroid Cancer, Mayo Clinic Researchers Report
10. BUSM researchers find gram-negative rods in two Philippine neonatal intensive care units
11. Mayo Clinic researchers say agent provides treatment option for women with hot flashes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers gain ground in efforts to fight parasite infection
(Date:4/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... and laboratory-grade deionized water from the same place. From 101 Water Texas, here ... Satisfaction: Patients and staff can enjoy a continuous supply of pure, fresh, oxygenated ...
(Date:4/23/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 23, 2017 , ... ... solutions and managed services announced the achievement of Cisco Select certification and SMB ... throughout the United States. , In earning the Select Certification, Altura ...
(Date:4/22/2017)... , ... April 22, 2017 ... ... of Eastern Pennsylvania has named PROSHRED® Security of Philadelphia its “Woman-Owned ... PROSHRED® Philadelphia specializes in providing information destruction , recycling, and ...
(Date:4/22/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... April 22, 2017 , ... ... experience to his role as Vice President of Sales and Business Development at ... key GPO/IDN business partner engagements, business development, and strategic planning for the company. ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... An April 10 article in the Daily ... reveal a great deal about prehistoric ice-age dental practitioners and their primitive and, no ... to remove decayed dental matter, and that teeth were then filled with bitumen, a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... Global Prostate Cancer Therapeutics Market: Overview ... cancer therapeutics market analyzes the current and future ... prostate cancer, launch of promising emerging therapies, as ... drugs & therapeutic biological products, and high growth ... side effects are some of the drivers expected ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017  Sorrento Therapeutics, ... antibody-centric, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for ... the closing of its previously announced underwritten public ... at a public offering price of $2.00 per ... estimated offering expenses payable by Sorrento.  The net ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017  Novartis today announced the ... Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the ... of patients with treatment-naïve severe aplastic anemia (SAA) ... with eltrombopag at the initiation of and concurrently ... evaluated three sequential treatment groups, or cohorts. Cohort ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: