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.

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 July 24, 2014 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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