FEB 08, 2020 9:11 PM PST

Drug Targets Brain-Eating Amoebas

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Brain-eating amoebas lead to high rates of mortality as a result of encephalitis. In fact, more than 95% of people who develop the infection will die. Unfortunately, there has not been any effective drug that is available to fight off these infections. Now, scientists are bringing renewed hope by designing promising compounds for future treatments—findings were published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

Learn more about brain-eating amoebas:

The two types of amoebae species--Naegleria fowleri and Balamuthia mandrillaris—cause the primary amoebic brain infections. Amoebaes are single-celled microorganisms that survive in water and soil and can enter the body via the nose or open wounds. These pathogenic creatures move to the central nervous system to eradicate brain cells. Only in small cases due antimicrobial treatments given in high doses successfully evade toxifying a patient. Now, researchers have turned into quinazolinones drugs that may offer an alternate pathway. These drugs are known to be effective against a wide spectrum of pathogens including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. However, they have never been tested on brain-eating amoebae.

In the study, researchers synthesized 34 new quinazolinone compounds and they studied their effects on N. fowleri and B. mandrillaris. Some of the compounds were effective at killing the microorganisms and limiting the danger they can cause to human cells in a Petri dish. Some of the compounds when attached to silver nanoparticles to the derivatives enhanced their activity. The most effective drugs contained chlorine, methyl or methoxy groups, and their toxicity was low in human cells. Results conclude that quinazolinones are good drug candidates for future therapeutic studies.

Source: American Chemical Society

 

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
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
NOV 25, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Leprosy-causing Bacteria Generate Healthy Livers in Armadillos
Leprosy-causing Bacteria Generate Healthy Livers in Armadillos
Bacteria that cause leprosy may be able to regenerate liver cells in adult animals without negative side effects. The co ...
NOV 28, 2022
Neuroscience
Modified 'Bath Salts' Hold Potential to Treat Depression
Modified 'Bath Salts' Hold Potential to Treat Depression
Experimental synthetic drugs may treat depression and anxiety-related disorders with few adverse side effects. The corre ...
DEC 01, 2022
Genetics & Genomics
No more manual library preps!
No more manual library preps!
BioQuleTM NGS System - Say ‘goodbye’ to manual library prepping and ‘hello’ to generating librar ...
DEC 06, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Cannabinoids Fail to Improve Measures of Pain Intensity Above Placebo
Cannabinoids Fail to Improve Measures of Pain Intensity Above Placebo
Cannabinoids are commonly prescribed for conditions such as back and cancer pain. However, evidence that it offers an an ...
DEC 11, 2022
Immunology
The First Drug That Can Delay Type 1 Diabetes Onset is Approved
The First Drug That Can Delay Type 1 Diabetes Onset is Approved
About 30,000 people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every year in the United States, and it's a common chronic diseas ...
DEC 12, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Accelerated Removal of the Previous Approval
Accelerated Removal of the Previous Approval
The FDA’s accelerated approval process had attracted criticism from researchers, FDA advisory committee members, a ...
Loading Comments...