Cyclophilins in Echinococcus granulosus [ 2002 - 2004 ]

Also known as: Investigation of new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of hydatid disease

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Marshall Lightowlers (Principal investigator)

Brief description Hydatid disease is caused by a parasitic infection that is transmitted to people by animals. The disease causes substantial human morbidity and mortality worldwide, and is endemic in Australia. Currently available drugs are poorly effective against the parasite and treatment of the disease relies mainly on surgical removal of often large parasitic cysts, where this is possible. Blood tests to identify people who are infected rely on the use of parasite samples obtained from animals, which leads to difficulties with adequate supply of material and quality control. Research in this laboratory discovered that the hydatid parasite produces a protein that binds the drug cyclosporin A and that specific antibodies are made to this protein in hydatid patients. Preliminary research by others found that cyclosporin A had anti-parasitic effects on hydatid disease in an animal model system. This research project will examine in detail the characteristics of the cyclophilin protein and related proteins, in the hydatid parasite, their interaction with cyclosporin A, the effects of cyclosporin A on the parasite in defined culture conditions, the mechanism by which cyclosporin A exerts anti-parasitic effects and the prospects for use of cyclophilin in tests for the diagnosis of human hydatid disease. The research will contribute to a better understanding of the basic biology of this pathogen and may identify improved methods for the chemotherapy and diagnosis of infection.

Funding Amount $AUD 211,320.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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