Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How to still kill a resistant parasite

Date:
October 2, 2010
Source:
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
Summary:
Scientists in Belgium, in collaboration with colleagues from several developing countries, were able to restore a sleeping sickness parasite’s susceptibility to drugs. The parasite causes sleeping sickness in cattle. Because it has become resistant against all currently available drugs, it causes enormous economic losses. Until now, that is.

Scientists from the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp in Belgium, in collaboration with colleagues from several developing countries, were able to restore a sleeping sickness parasite's susceptibility to drugs. The parasite causes sleeping sickness in cattle. Because it has become resistant against all currently available drugs, it causes enormous economic losses. Until now, that is.

Not only people suffer from sleeping sickness. Trypanosoma congolense, a nephew of the human parasite, infects livestock. Millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa depend on their livestock. Nagana, as sleeping sickness in livestock is called, is "a primary cause of rural poverty and food insecurity," according to the FAO. The three existing drugs against Nagana are virtually useless. The parasite has developed a way of eliminating the drug from its body. Development of new drugs would cost the pharmaceutical industry more than they would gain.

For years, the Institute of Tropical Medicine collaborates with partner institutes in developing countries all over the world. Together the scientists searched for substances that could block the drug elimination process. No easy task, because the parasite does not grow in the lab. But eventually they found two substances that reinvigorated one of the old medicines, ISM (isometamidium chloride). Both substances (oxytetracycline and enrofloxacine) are antibiotics that are affordable to poor countries. When used alone they are ineffective, but in combination with ISM they are deadly to the parasite.

The scientists first tested their approach in mice, and then in cattle. They inoculated three groups of six cattle with resistant trypanosomes and then treated them. The cattle that received ISM only, all got Nagana. Half the cattle that received ISM plus an antibiotic were cured. In the other animals, the parasite remained in the blood, but hardly detectable.

Fifty percent cure doesn't seem that much, but with a disease affecting three million cattle per year, often from owners barely surviving anyway, the difference is substantial.

The patent on oxytetracycline has expired, it is available on the African market and the farmers/herders are familiar with the drug. If the findings are confirmed -- always a condition in science -- the treatment can be implemented rapidly. Meanwhile the scientists screen close relatives of both antibiotics. They also test lower dosages and more practical ways of administration (during their study they gave intramuscular injections at two to three days interval during one month, which is unpractical in rural Africa).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kiyoshi Kita, Vincent Delespaux, Hervι Sθna Vitouley, Tanguy Marcotty, Niko Speybroeck, Dirk Berkvens, Krisna Roy, Stanny Geerts, Peter Van den Bossche. Chemosensitization of Trypanosoma congolense Strains Resistant to Isometamidium Chloride by Tetracyclines and Enrofloxacin. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2010; 4 (9): e828 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000828

Cite This Page:

Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. "How to still kill a resistant parasite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928183110.htm>.
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. (2010, October 2). How to still kill a resistant parasite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928183110.htm
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. "How to still kill a resistant parasite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928183110.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. 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