Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Insight On Therapy For Devastating Parasitic Disease

Date:
July 2, 2009
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Researchers have discovered an important new insight into how a commonly prescribed drug may work to treat those infected by a parasitic flatworm.

University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have discovered an important new insight into how a commonly prescribed drug may work to treat those infected by a parasitic flatworm.

Related Articles


The Schistosomasis parasite infects about 200 million people in tropical areas worldwide and is endemic in more than 70 countries, where people become infected simply by bathing, drinking, or cooking water contaminated with the flatworm. Although not immediately deadly, left untreated, the disease can permanently damage the lungs, kidney, liver, and intestines and ultimately lead to death.

A drug called praziquantel has been used as the main treatment for Schistosomiasis for several decades, but surprisingly, scientists have never understood how this drug works to kill the parasitic worms that cause this disease. Deciphering how this drug works is important because scientists could design new drugs that work in similar ways should the parasites develop resistance to praziquantel.

While working in a different species of flatworm widely used to study the basic principles of regenerative biology, researchers in the Pharmacology Department discovered that praziquantel caused a simple, striking effect: the drug subverts normal regeneration to produce two-headed organisms. This simple observation was then used to screen for genes required to control this effect, leading to the identification of molecules that control the effects of praziquantel within a flatworm model.

"Our discovery of this new biological activity of praziquantel provides a foundation for defining the relevant in vivo targets of a very important clinical drug," said Jonathan Marchant, M.A. Ph.D., principal investigator of the study. "Using drugs to make organisms grow two brains may seem bizarre, but the knowledge we gained illustrates the importance of basic scientific research."

The study is published in the June 23 issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

"Discoveries by researchers working in diverse animal models not linked with disease frequently provide insight into long-standing clinical problems," Marchant said. "Basic science feeds into the therapeutic pipeline in unpredictable ways and it is important to foster such diversity."

This work was funded by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "New Insight On Therapy For Devastating Parasitic Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623112112.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2009, July 2). New Insight On Therapy For Devastating Parasitic Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623112112.htm
University of Minnesota. "New Insight On Therapy For Devastating Parasitic Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623112112.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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