Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Major advance in sleeping sickness drug

Date:
September 6, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A new study presents a key advance in developing a safer cure for sleeping sickness. Researchers have created a version of the drug most commonly used to treat sleeping sickness which can be administered orally in pill form.

A new study published in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on September 6th presents a key advance in developing a safer cure for sleeping sickness. Led by Professor Peter Kennedy, researchers at the University of Glasgow's Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation have created a version of the drug most commonly used to treat sleeping sickness which can be administered orally in pill form.

Sleeping sickness -- or human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) -- is a neglected tropical disease of major importance. Transmitted by the tsetse fly and caused by the trypanosome parasite, sleeping sickness is invariably fatal if left untreated. Once the disease has crossed the blood-brain barrier and entered the central nervous system the most commonly used treatment is an intravenous course of the arsenic-based drug melarsoprol. Because melarsoprol has a low solubility in water, it is dissolved in propylene glycol and administered intravenously. The result is a highly-toxic drug that kills five per cent of patients receiving it and leaves many others permanently brain-damaged.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow combined melarsoprol with cyclodextrins -- molecules that surrounded the drug allowing it to be administered orally, increasing its solubility and releasing the drug more slowly in the gut. In laboratory tests the altered drug was shown to retain its ability to kill the infection, and was able to cure mice infected with the parasite after a seven-day daily oral dosing schedule. The drug cleared parasites from the brain and restored normal blood-brain barrier integrity.

According to Prof. Kennedy, "This new research is the most clinically important in the 20 years of our trypanosome research group. It has the potential of a major therapeutic advance and if it is equally effective in humans then it would also have a significant socio-economic impact because the duration of inpatient treatment would be shorter and some patients might even be eventually treated at home."

Prof Kennedy added: "You always have to be very cautious when extrapolating results from mouse models to the human disease but there are several reasons why we are quietly optimistic that this may very well work in humans too.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jean Rodgers, Amy Jones, Stιphane Gibaud, Barbara Bradley, Christopher McCabe, Michael P. Barrett, George Gettinby, Peter G. E. Kennedy. Melarsoprol Cyclodextrin Inclusion Complexes as Promising Oral Candidates for the Treatment of Human African Trypanosomiasis. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2011; 5 (9): e1308 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001308

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Major advance in sleeping sickness drug." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906181538.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, September 6). Major advance in sleeping sickness drug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906181538.htm
Public Library of Science. "Major advance in sleeping sickness drug." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906181538.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. 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