Drugs which currently treat HIV may one day also target parasites causing diseases like leishmaniasis and malaria.
Colin Berry, a researcher involved in the work from the Cardiff School of Biosciences and colleagues have identified the target of action for some anti-HIV drugs with known abilities to kill serious pathogenic parasites.
They discovered that a particular protein called Ddi 1 from Leishmania parasites is sensitive to anti-HIV inhibitors.
Berry hopes this research could one day significantly change the treatment of parasitic diseases.
"The use of existing anti-HIV agents has indicated that there is a potential target in some parasites and by identifying the protein responsible, we hope to exploit this weakness in the parasite to develop new and effective therapeutics to combat these devastating diseases," he said.
The research was recently published in The FASEB Journal.