NOV 25, 2018 7:26 PM PST

Advancing Drug Therapies for an Increasing Case of a Parasitic infection Among Displaced Syrians

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Cases of Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), a parasitic disease, has increased dramatically in Syria and neighboring countries as a result of the conflict-related displacement of Syrians.

Drawing depicting family feeling war-torn Syria.

Credit: Jan Birck via Public International Radio (PRI.org)

Now, a recent study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases by Rana El Hajj at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon describes the development of a novel immunomodulatory analog that will seek to advance the treatment of CL.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a parasitic infection with occurrences throughout the Americas from Texas to Argentina, and in the Old World, particularly the Middle East and North Africa. The infection is spread via by a female sandfly and is diagnosed annually in travelers, immigrants, and military personnel. Health care providers in the United States must alert to the diagnosis of leishmaniasis in travelers flying from endemic areas.

Presently, current therapeutics for CL can induce partial or complete cure. But these therapies come with multiple limitations, such as repetitive painful administrations, lack of availability, increased cost, and the emergence of resistant strains. Most importantly, the efficacy of these therapies are effected by the patient's age and immune system.

Learn more about Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL):

In the study, the pre-clinical efficacy of the immunomodulatory drug--Imiquimod and one of its analogs, EAPB0503--on two strains (Leishmania major and Leishmania tropica) were investigated. These strains are known to cause CL in regions of the Middle East. These drugs were also tested on freshly isolated parasites from biopsies that proved their leishmanicidal potency.

The authors note, "Our findings establish Imiquimod as a strong candidate for treating L. tropica and show the higher potency of its analog EAPB0503 against CL."

The study is a promising solution to a current global health crisis and will effectively combat the increasing cases of CL.

Source: American Family Physician, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

 

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 06, 2021
Infographics
Psychedelic Medicine 101
APR 06, 2021
Psychedelic Medicine 101
As clinical trials for psychedelics progress, interest in psychedelics is increasing among pharmaceutical firms, clinici ...
MAR 21, 2021
Microbiology
Potent Drug Rapidly Clears Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea in Mouse Model
MAR 21, 2021
Potent Drug Rapidly Clears Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea in Mouse Model
A mouse model has shown that it's possible to clear a multi-drug resistant gonorrhea with only one dose of antibioti ...
MAR 20, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Weekly Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes Proved Effective
MAR 20, 2021
Weekly Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes Proved Effective
A study found that a new once-weekly basal insulin injection holds similar efficacy, safety and lower rate of low blood ...
MAR 30, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Common Alzheimer's Drugs Reduce Mortality Rate and Cognitive Decline
MAR 30, 2021
Common Alzheimer's Drugs Reduce Mortality Rate and Cognitive Decline
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Umea University in Sweden have found that a commonly recommended group of ...
MAY 03, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Low Dose Radiation May Improve Symptoms of Alzheimer's
MAY 03, 2021
Low Dose Radiation May Improve Symptoms of Alzheimer's
While high doses of radiation are known to be harmful, low doses may be able to help the body protect and repair. And no ...
MAY 12, 2021
Technology
Belkin Laser Completes Enrollment for Trial Studying New Glaucoma Laser Treatment
MAY 12, 2021
Belkin Laser Completes Enrollment for Trial Studying New Glaucoma Laser Treatment
Belkin Laser, a small Israel-based biotechnology company, has announced that it has completed enrollment for its pivotal ...
Loading Comments...