Chloroquine (CQ) resistance is conferred by mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum CQ resistance transporter (pfcrt). Following CQ withdrawal for anti-malarial treatment, studies across malaria-endemic countries have shown a range of responses. In some areas, CQ sensitive parasites re-emerge, and in others, mutant haplotypes persist. Active surveillance of resistance mutations in clinical parasites is essential to inform treatment regimens; this effort requires fast, reliable, and cost-effective methods that work on a variety of sample types with reagents accessible in malaria-endemic countries.
Malaria control programs continue to be threatened by drug resistance. To identify new antimalarials, we conducted a phenotypic screen and identified a novel tetrazole-based series that shows fast-kill kinetics and a relatively low propensity to develop high-level resistance. Preliminary structure-activity relationships were established including identification of a subseries of related amides with antiplasmodial activity.
We applied a set of in silico and in vitro assays, compliant with the CiPA (Comprehensive In Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay) paradigm, to assess the risk of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine-mediated QT prolongation and Torsades de Pointes (TdP), alone and combined with erythromycin and azithromycin, drugs repurposed during the first wave of COVID-19. Each drug or drug combination was tested in patch clamp assays on 7 cardiac ion channels, in in silico models of human ventricular electrophysiology (Virtual Assay® ) using control (healthy) or high-risk cell populations, and in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes.
Malaria is a disease affecting hundreds of millions of people across the world, mainly in developing countries and especially in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths each year and there is an ever-present need to identify and develop effective new therapies to tackle the disease and overcome increasing drug resistance. Here, we extend a previous study in which a number of partners collaborated to develop a consensus in silico model that can be used to identify novel molecules that may have antimalarial properties.
In previous studies, Cassia spectabilis DC leaf has shown a good antiplasmodial activity. Therefore, this study is a follow-up study of the extract of leaf of C. spectabilis DC on its in vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial activity and mechanism as an antimalarial.
The virulence of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is due in large part to its ability to avoid immune destruction through antigenic variation. This results from changes in expression within the multicopy var gene family that encodes the surface antigen P. falciparum erythrocyte protein one (PfEMP1). Understanding the mechanisms underlying this process has been a high-profile research focus for many years. The histone methyltransferase PfSET10 was previously identified as a key enzyme required both for parasite viability and for regulating var gene expression, thus making it a prominent target for developing antimalarial intervention strategies and the subject of considerable research focus. Here, however, we show that disruption of the gene encoding PfSET10 is not lethal and has no effect on var gene expression, in sharp contrast with previously published reports. The contradictory findings highlight the importance of reevaluating previous conclusions when new technologies become available and suggest the possibility of a previously unappreciated plasticity in epigenetic gene regulation in P. falciparum.
Previously, we identified the clinical anticancer drug candidate quisinostat as a novel and potent antimalarial lead compound. To further enhance the antimalarial effect and improve safety, 31 novel spirocyclic hydroxamic acid derivatives were synthesized based on the structure of quisinostat, and their antimalarial activities and cytotoxicity were evaluated. Among them, compound 11 displayed broad potency in vitro against several multiresistant malarial parasites, especially two artemisinin-resistant clinical isolates.
The increasing incidence of multi-antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, coupled with the risk of co-infections in malaria-endemic regions, complicates accurate diagnosis and prolongs hospitalization, thereby increasing the total cost of illness. Further, there are challenges in making the correct choice of antibiotic treatment and duration, precipitated by a lack of access to microbial culture facilities in many hospitals in Ghana. The aim of this case report is to highlight the need for blood cultures or alternative rapid tests to be performed routinely in malaria patients, to diagnose co-infections with bacteria, especially when symptoms persist after antimalarial treatment.
The spread of Plasmodium falciparum parasites resistant to most first-line antimalarials creates an imperative to enrich the drug discovery pipeline, preferably with curative compounds that can also act prophylactically. We report a phenotypic quantitative high-throughput screen (qHTS), based on concentration-response curves, which was designed to identify compounds active against Plasmodium liver and asexual blood stage parasites. Our qHTS screened over 450,000 compounds, tested across a range of 5 to 11 concentrations, for activity against Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stages.
Atovaquone belongs to a naphthoquinone class of drugs and is used in combination with proguanil (Malarone) for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum (including chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum/P. vivax). Numerous quinone-derived compounds have attracted considerable attention in the last few decades due to their potential in antimalarial drug discovery.