About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Soon, Safer and More Effective Treatment for Parasitic Infections

by Kathy Jones on April 17, 2011 at 12:46 PM
Font : A-A+

 Soon, Safer and More Effective Treatment for Parasitic Infections

The mechanisms behind a drug used to treat infections caused by trypanosome parasites have been uncovered by scientists from Queen Mary, University of London.

The drug nifurtimox is commonly used to treat African sleeping sickness and Chagas disease, which result in 60,000 deaths each year.

Advertisement

Their study investigated how nifurtimox works to kill off the trypanosome.

"Hopefully our research will lead to the development of anti-parasitic medicines which have fewer side effects than nifurtimox and are more effective," said Shane Wilkinson, co-author of the study.
Advertisement

"What we've found is that an enzyme within the parasites carries out the process nifurtimox needs to be converted to a toxic form. This produces a breakdown product, which kills the parasite.

"This mechanism overturns the long-held belief that nifurtimox worked against the parasites by inducing oxidative stress in cells," he said.

Wilkinson and his colleagues Belinda Hall and Christopher Bot from the University's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences focused their research on the characterisation of the breakdown product from nifurtimox.

"The backbone of nifurtimox contains a chemical group called a nitro linked to a ring structure called a furan," explained Wilkinson.

"When the parasite enzyme reacts with nifurtimox, it converts the nitro group to a derivative called hydroxylamine. The change effectively acts as a switch causing a redistribution of electrons within the compounds chemical backbone.

"The upshot of this redistribution of electrons causes a specific chemical bond in furan ring to break resulting in formation of a toxic product (called an unsaturated open chain nitrile).

"Understanding how nifurtimox kills trypanosomes may generate new and safer compounds which utilise the bioreductive activity of this parasitic enzyme," he added.

The study appeared in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
H1N1 Influenza Prevention in Children: What Parents Need to Know
Dietary Factors Responsible for Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Production and Hair Loss
Test Your Knowledge About Chromosomes?
View all
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Most Popular on Medindia

Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) The Essence of Yoga Blood - Sugar Chart Indian Medical Journals Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Daily Calorie Requirements Find a Hospital Drug - Food Interactions Blood Pressure Calculator Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam)
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

Soon, Safer and More Effective Treatment for Parasitic Infections Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests