Development of Specific Inhibitors of Parasitic Enzymes [ 2000 - 2002 ]

Also known as: New drug treatment strategies for parasitic infections

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: John Abbenante (Principal investigator)

Brief description Parasitic diseases such as malaria, schistosomiasis, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and american trypanosomiasis (Chaga?s disease) are a significant public health issue, especially in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In children, they cause death or impaired growth and in adults debilitating chronic illness. These parasitic infections are increasingly being recognized as responsible for chronic illness in many industrialized countries as well. There are no vaccines currently available for the treatment of any of the human parasitic infections. In addition, the drugs that are currently used are becoming less effective because of the spread of drug resistant strains. Schistosomiasis, is the second most prevalent parasitic disease, after malaria, and is a leading cause of severe morbidity and death in many parts of the world. The disease is caused by flatworms or blood flukes, the eggs of which indirectly cause damage to the liver and spleen of infected individuals. These parasites feed on human red blood cells and use hemoglobin as their major food source. Our collaborative team (Brindley, Abbenante, Fairlie) has identified two enzymes that these flatworms need to use to eat red blood cells. This project aims to develop compounds that will stop these enzymes from functioning. These compounds will be tested to see whether they can cause the parasites to die of starvation. If successful these new compounds can be used as drugs to treat the disease and the general strategy can be applied to other blood-feeding parasites.

Funding Amount $AUD 199,413.38

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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