Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural Product Useful In Developing New Drug To Treat Devastating Parasitic Disease

Date:
December 18, 2008
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Compounds derived from a natural product can be used in developing a new drug to treat leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sand flies.

Hundreds of millions of people, mainly in developing countries, are disabled by infectious diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

More than 12 million people in 88 countries are infected with leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sand flies. Nearly 2 million new cases are reported and about 70,000 people die from the disease annually.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered that compounds derived from a natural product can be used in developing a new drug to treat the disease.

Despite a worsening global impact of this disease, little progress has been made toward the development of new chemotherapeutics against it, says Alan Kozikowski, professor and director of UIC's Drug Discovery Program and coordinator of the project.

Drugs compounded from the toxic metal antimony have been the first-line therapeutic option for more than 50 years.

"But antimonials may cause acute pancreatitis and cardiac arrhythmia and can sometimes lead to death," Kozikowski said. Only recently, he said, have novel agents been added to the therapeutic arsenal.

Leishmaniasis can be cutaneus, which causes skin sores that leave ugly scars, or visceral, which is 100 percent fatal if left untreated.

Visceral leishmaniasis has increased in recent years due to emerging co-infections with HIV, spreading the disease to the developed countries in North America and southern Europe, Kozikowski said. The disease is normally found in tropical regions, from the rain forests in Central and South America to deserts in West Asia.

To find a starting point from which to develop a better drug, UIC postdoctoral researchers Suresh Tipparaju and Marco Pieroni synthesized a chemical "library" of more than 100 diverse compounds and screened them for biological activity against the Leishmania parasite. They observed high antiparasitic activity in a compound first isolated from streptomyces bacteria more than 20 years ago. That compound, Tipparaju said, could potentially be modified to treat leishmaniasis. It was already three times more active than miltefosine, a drug in current use, he said.

Miltefosine is the first oral drug to cure both visceral and cutaneus leishmaniasis. Despite the drug's efficacy, Tipparaju said, miltefosine is limited by its persistence in the bloodstream and long-term side effects. It is also not effective when given to patients co-infected with HIV.

The UIC researchers are attempting to develop an antiparasitic agent that is less toxic than miltefosine and that can kill the parasite inside blood cells. In addition, the researchers are investigating the mechanism of action of the new candidate compounds through a collaboration with Manlio Tolomeo of the Center for Parasitic Diseases in Palermo, Italy. Mechanistic studies could lead to further improvement of promising agents, Tipparaju said.

The research appears in the current issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Other authors include Sipak Joyasawal of UIC and Marcel Kaiser and Reto Brun of the Swiss Tropical Institute in Basel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Natural Product Useful In Developing New Drug To Treat Devastating Parasitic Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216161054.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2008, December 18). Natural Product Useful In Developing New Drug To Treat Devastating Parasitic Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216161054.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Natural Product Useful In Developing New Drug To Treat Devastating Parasitic Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216161054.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins