Researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) have claimed that they have developed a way to prevent human cell invasion of Mucorales fungi and are able to treat mucormycosis in disease models using antibodies that block the CotH protein, a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals.
"There are no vaccines or effective therapies available today to halt the highly fatal mucormycosis infection, and there is an urgent need for these strategies to protect patients with weakened immune systems," said Ashraf S. Ibrahim, PhD, an LA BioMed lead researcher and corresponding author for the study. "Our research lays the groundwork for developing the antibodies to prevent and treat mucormycosis in high-risk patients. These findings also could lead to diagnostic tests for the disease."
Patients with weakened immune systems, malnutrition or acidosis (hyperglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis) are at increased risk of infection. Dr Ibrahim's group found treatment with anti-CotH antibodies or CotH-targeted RNAi blocked the cell invasion and protected against mucormycosis. In a commentary accompanying the research, J. Andrew Alspaugh, MD, professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at Duke University Medical Center, discusses how these findings could contribute to the development of mucormycosis therapies.