Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biomolecular Screening
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

New Drug Prospect Offers Hope Against Hookworm Infections

Published: Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Study at UCSF and Yale finds protease inhibitors are potent, single-day cures for disease in hamsters.

A drug candidate that is nearing clinical trials against a Latin American parasite is showing additional promise as a cure for hookworm, one of the most widespread and insidious parasites afflicting developing nations, according to a collaborative study at UCSF and Yale University.

The drug candidate, known by the scientific name K11777, is under development at UCSF and is targeted to enter clinical trials in the next one to two years to treat Chagas disease, a potentially fatal parasitic disease common to Latin America.

In the current study, researchers at the UCSF Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases and the Yale University School of Medicine tested K11777 both in culture and in hamsters against the parasite Ancylostoma ceylanicum, one of several species of hookworm that afflict as many as 1.2 billion people worldwide.

The compound, which works by inhibiting cysteine proteases — key enzymes in the parasite’s gut that help digest its blood meal — proved more than 90 percent effective in a single oral dose and completely cured hamsters of hookworm in two doses, according to a paper being published July 3, 2012 in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Neglected Tropical Diseases.

The studies are the first step in assessing whether this class of drugs could be effective against hookworm in humans, either alone or in combination with current therapies, according to senior author Conor Caffrey, PhD, a senior scientist at the UCSF center and researcher in the UCSF Department of Pathology.

“The harbinger of concern is that for worm parasites of cattle and sheep, there is rampant resistance to the same or similar drugs that are currently being used to treat humans,” Caffrey said. “Up to now, these have performed reasonably well but we’re starting to hear reports of lower effectiveness, so we’re working hard to identify new drug candidates before the inevitable happens.”

Among parasitic diseases, hookworm infection is second only to malaria as a cause of disability worldwide. While not usually fatal, the infection is debilitating, slowing children’s development and causing or exacerbating iron-deficiency anemia, which can be serious in young children and pregnant women, especially in those who already are undernourished.

Hookworm spreads when larvae from human waste penetrate human skin via moist soil, most commonly in underdeveloped areas where children go barefoot.

Among the surprises in the study was the potency of the compound against these worms. After starting with multiple doses, the team steadily cut back until they realized they had 90 percent effectiveness in one dose.

Because the current drugs, mebendazole and albendazole, are generally given as a single oral dose to treat the infection in humans, this level of potency was exactly what the researchers needed to consider it as a possibility for humans, Caffrey said.

If it proves safe and effective in humans, that single-dose therapy could be a potent new tool in the arsenal against hookworm and other worm parasites, providing a new solution that could be delivered using distribution systems already in place in under-developed conditions, according to the paper.

Even if K11777 does not end up as a new therapy, the discovery opens the door to developing cysteine protease inhibitors as a new class of drugs to treat hookworm and, perhaps, other intestinal nematode infections, Caffrey said. This also could have ramifications for treating similar parasites in the animal health industry.

The research and paper were jointly performed by Caffrey and two other researchers: Jon J. Vermeire, PhD, and Lorine D. Lantz of the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Infectious Diseases, at Yale University School of Medicine.

The research was supported by the Sandler Foundation, the Yale Child Health Research Center and by the NIH grant K22A09476. The researchers declare no competing interests in the research.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Simple Technology Makes CRISPR Gene Editing Cheaper
University of California, Berkeley, researchers have discovered a much cheaper and easier way to target a hot new gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, to cut or label DNA.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Delivering Drugs to the Right Place
Thomas Weimbs has developed a targeted drug delivery method that could potentially slow the progression of polycystic kidney disease.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Designing New Pain Relief Drugs
Researchers have identified the molecular interactions that allow capsaicin to activate the body’s primary receptor for sensing heat and pain, paving the way for the design of more selective and effective drugs to relieve pain.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Engineers Crack DNA Code of Autoimmune Disorders
Researchers have identified an unexpectedly general set of rules that determine which molecules can cause the immune system to become vulnerable to the autoimmune disorders lupus and psoriasis.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Genetic Markers for Detecting and Treating Ovarian Cancer
Custom bioinformatics algorithm identifies human mRNAs that distinguish ovarian cancer cells from normal cells and provide new therapeutic targets
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Industry-Sponsored Academic Inventions Spur Increased Innovation
Analysis questions assumption that corporate support skews science toward inventions that are less useful than those funded by the government or non-profit organizations.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Chemical Signature for Fast Form of Parkinson's Found
The physical decline experienced by Parkinson's disease patients eventually leads to disability and a lower quality of life.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Digging Deeper Into Cancer
What a pathologist looks for in a Pap test sample, but hopes not to find, are oddly shaped cells with abnormally large nuclei. The same is true for prostate and lung cancer biopsies.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Discovery Could Lead to Saliva Test for Pancreatic Cancer
The disease is typically diagnosed through an invasive and complicated biopsy.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Biologists Find New Method for Discovering Antibiotics
Biologists have developed a revolutionary new method for identifying and characterizing antibiotics.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Potential Drug Discovered for Severe Form of Epilepsy
UCSF study found effectiveness of antihistamine on zebrafish bred to mimic disease.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Potential New Drug for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Vedolizumab, a new intravenous antibody medication, has shown positive results for treating both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Monday, September 02, 2013
Dentistry School Receives $5M to Study Saliva Biomarkers
Imagine having a sample of your saliva taken at the dentist's office, and then learning within minutes whether your risk for stomach cancer is higher than normal.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Brain Anomolies are Potential Biomarkers for Autism
Brain anomalies may serve as potential biomarkers for the early identification of the neurodevelopmental disorder.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Second Amyloid May Play a Role in Alzheimer's
The study is the first to identify deposits of the protein, called amylin, in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.
Monday, July 01, 2013
Scientific News
Promising Class of New Cancer Drugs Cause Memory Loss in Mice
New findings from The Rockefeller University suggest that the original version of BET inhibitors causes molecular changes in mouse neurons, and can lead to memory loss in mice that receive it.
Electrical Control of Cancer Cells
Research led by scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has revealed a new electrical mechanism that can control these switches.
Signature of Microbiomes Linked to Schizophrenia
Studying microbiomes in throat may help identify causes and treatments of brain disorder.
Inflammation Linked to Colon Cancer Metastasis
A new Arizona State University research study led by Biodesign Institute executive director Raymond DuBois has identified for the first time the details of how inflammation triggers colon cancer cells to spread to other organs, or metastasize.
Structural Discoveries Could Aid in Better Drug Design
Scientists have uncovered the structural details of how some proteins interact to turn two different signals into a single integrated output.
Determining the Age of Fingerprints
Watch the imprint of a tire track in soft mud, and it will slowly blur, the ridges of the pattern gradually flowing into the valleys. Researchers have tested the theory that a similar effect could be used to give forensic scientists a way to date fingerprints.
Genetic Overlapping in Multiple Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Common Therapies
CHOP genomics expert leads analysis of genetic architecture, with eye on repurposing existing drugs.
Surprising Mechanism Behind Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Uncovered
Now, scientists at TSRI have discovered that the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, develops resistance to this drug by “switching on” a previously uncharacterized set of genes.
Tissue Bank Pays Dividends for Brain Cancer Research
Checking what’s in the bank – the Brisbane Breast Bank, that is – has paid dividends for UQ cancer researchers.
Researchers Publish Landmark “Basket Study”
Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) have announced results from the first published basket study, a new form of clinical trial design that explores responses to drugs based on the specific mutations in patients’ tumors rather than where their cancer originated.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!