There is a pressing need to improve the efficiency of drug development, and nowhere is that need more clear than in the case of neglected diseases like malaria. The peculiarities of pyrimidine metabolism in Plasmodium species make inhibition of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) an attractive target for antimalarial drug design. By applying a pair of complementary quantitative structure-activity relationships derived for inhibition of a truncated, soluble form of the enzyme from Plasmodium falciparum (s-PfDHODH) to data from a large-scale phenotypic screen against cultured parasites, we were able to identify a class of antimalarial leads that inhibit the enzyme and abolish parasite growth in blood culture.
Emergence of resistant Plasmodium species makes drug efficacy testing a crucial part of malaria control. Here we describe a novel assay for sensitive, fast and simple drug screening via the magneto-optical detection of hemozoin, a natural biomarker formed during the hemoglobin metabolism of Plasmodium species. By quantifying hemozoin production over the intraerythrocytic cycle, we reveal that hemozoin formation is already initiated by ~ 6-12 h old ring-stage parasites.
Ionic liquids derived from classical antimalarials are emerging as a new approach towards the cost-effective rescuing of those drugs. Herein, we disclose novel surface-active ionic liquids derived from chloroquine and natural fatty acids whose antimalarial activity in vitro was found to be superior to that of the parent drug.
Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite of the genus Plasmodium, and the emergence of parasites resistant to all current antimalarial drugs highlights the urgency of having new classes of molecules. We developed an effective method for the synthesis of a series of β-modified acyclonucleoside phosphonate (ANP) derivatives, using commercially available and inexpensive materials (i.e., aspartic acid and purine heterocycles).
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In the light of its rapid global spreading, on 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic. Interestingly, the global spreading of the disease is not uniform, but has so far left some countries relatively less affected. The reason(s) for this anomalous behavior are not fully understood, but distinct hypotheses have been proposed.
A mass drug administration trial was carried out in Southern Province, Zambia, between 2014 and 2016, in conjunction with a standard of care package that included improved surveillance, increased access to malaria case management, and sustained high levels of vector control coverage. This was preceded by mass test and treatment in the same area from 2011 to 2013. Concordant decreases in malaria prevalence in Southern Province and deaths attributed to malaria in Zambia over this time suggest that these strategies successfully reduced the malaria burden.
The majority of Plasmodium falciparum infections, constituting the reservoir in all ages, are asymptomatic in high transmission settings in Africa. The role of this reservoir in the evolution and spread of drug resistance was explored.
Antimalarial drugs have long half-lives, so clinical trials to monitor their efficacy require long periods of follow-up to capture drug failure that may become patent only weeks after treatment. Reinfections often occur during follow-up, so robust methods of distinguishing drug failures (recrudescence) from emerging new infections are needed to produce accurate failure rate estimates. Molecular correction aims to achieve this by comparing the genotype of a patient’s pretreatment (initial) blood sample with that of any infection that occurs during follow-up, with matching genotypes indicating drug failure.
The unique physicochemical properties and chemical diversity of organofluorine compounds have remarkably contributed for their wide utility in the area of pharmaceuticals, materials and agrochemicals. The noteworthy characteristics of fluorine include high electron affinity, lipophilicity and bioavailability, extending the half-life of the drugs. The incorporation of fluorine substituents, particularly trifluoromethyl groups, into organic molecules has led to their high potency against various diseases, including malaria. Hence, organofluorinated molecules offer valuable avenues for the design of new drug candidates against malaria.
We report detailed susceptibility profiling of asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to clinical and experimental antimalarials, combined with metabolomic fingerprinting. Results revealed a variety of stage-specific and metabolic profiles that differentiated the modes of action of clinical antimalarials including chloroquine, piperaquine, lumefantrine, and mefloquine, and identified late trophozoite-specific peak activity and stage-specific biphasic dose-responses for the mitochondrial inhibitors DSM265 and atovaquone.