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:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released a ... books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture of ... have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is because ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary couple ... From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, Carole ... and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has taught ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... Dr. Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent ... apnea, a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... drug delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a ... lead to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... -- AVACEN Medical , Inc. (AVACEN) announced that Frost ... Product Innovation Award for Its fibromyalgia pain management device. ... device market research by Frost & Sullivan,s industry experts. ... relief product, the AVACEN 100, offers a safe and effective ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  True ... services, has amplified its effort during National Breast ... about hereditary cancer risks. ... of Clinical Oncology calculated that more than 10 ... have inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... , Oct. 5, 2017  In response to ... Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations ... to be used as a first-line therapy to ... Recognizing the value ... White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: