- Safety Profile of Benznidazole in the Treatment of Chronic Chagas Disease: Experience of a Referral Centre and Systematic Literature Review with Meta-Analysis. [Review]
- DSDrug Saf 2018 Jul 13
- CONCLUSIONS: Benznidazole had a poor tolerability profile, with a high incidence of TDs, especially in adult patients and women. Optimised dosing schedules and/or new drugs are urgently needed.
- Preparation and characterization of Poloxamer 407 solid dispersions as an alternative strategy to improve benznidazole bioperformance. [Journal Article]
- JPJ Pharm Sci 2018 Jul 10
- Benznidazole, the first line drug for Chagas disease treatment, presents a low solubility, limiting the possibilities for its formulation. In this work, solid dispersions´ technology was exploited to...
Benznidazole, the first line drug for Chagas disease treatment, presents a low solubility, limiting the possibilities for its formulation. In this work, solid dispersions´ technology was exploited to increase benznidazole kinetic solubility and dissolution rate, seeking for an improvement in its bioperformance. A physical mixture (PM) and a solid dispersion (SD) using Poloxamer 407 as carrier were prepared and characterized. Dissolution tests were performed and data were analyzed with the lumped model, which allowed to calculate different parameters of pharmaceutical relevance. A bioactivity assay was also carried out to probe the SD anti-trypanocidal activity. Among the most relevant results, the initial dissolution rate of the benznidazole SD was near 3, 4 and about 400-fold faster than the PM, a commercial formulation (CF) and an extracted benznidazole, respectivley. The times needed for an 80% of drug dissolution were 3.6 (SD), 46.4 (PM), and 238.7 min (CF); while the dissolution efficiency values at 30 minutes were 85.2 (SD), 71.2 (PM), and 65.0% (CF). Survival curves suggested that using Poloxamer 407 as carrier did not alter the anti-trypanocidal activity of benznidazole. These results allow to conclude that SDs can be an effective platform for immediate release of benznidazole in an oral administration.
- Histone acetylation and methylation marks in chromatin of Panstrongylus megistus (Hemiptera, Reduviidae). [Journal Article]
- AHActa Histochem 2018 Jul 10
- Panstrongylus megistus, a potential vector of Chagas disease, currently occupies a wider geographic distribution in Brazil than Triatoma infestans, another member of the hemipteran Reduviidae family ...
Panstrongylus megistus, a potential vector of Chagas disease, currently occupies a wider geographic distribution in Brazil than Triatoma infestans, another member of the hemipteran Reduviidae family and a vector of the same disease. A small heterochromatic body (chromocenter) formed by the Y chromosome is evident in the somatic cells of P. megistus, differing in size and chromosome type contribution from the well-studied chromocenters present in T. infestans. While the overall distribution of histone epigenetic marks differ when comparing the heterochromatin and euchromatin territories in T. infestans, no similar data have been established for other hemipteran reduviids, including P. megistus. In the present work, histone acetylation and methylation marks were investigated in cells of Malpighian tubules of P. megistus 5th instar nymphs using immunocytochemical assays and compared to previously published data for T. infestans. Although similarities between these species were found regarding absence of acetylated H3K9, H4K8 and H4K16, and H3K9me and H3K9me2 in the chromocenter, presence of these marks in euchromatin, and presence of H3K9me3 in the chromocenter, no intimate association of acetylated H4K8 and 18S rDNA was revealed in the chromocenter of P. megistus. The elevated abundance of H3K9me2 marks at the nuclear periphery in P. megistus cells, differing from data for T. infestans, is suggested to reflect differences in the interaction of lamina-associated chromatin domains with the nuclear lamina, methyl-transferase modulation and/or association with the last DNA endoreplication step in 5th instar nymphs, which is a matter for further investigation.
- Molecular bloodmeal analyses reveal that Trypanosoma cruzi-infected, native triatomine bugs often feed on humans in houses in central Brazil. [Journal Article]
- MVMed Vet Entomol 2018 Jul 12
- The identification of bloodmeal sources in triatomine bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) is important in understanding vector-host associations and in measuring the risk for Chagas' disease transmission. T...
The identification of bloodmeal sources in triatomine bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) is important in understanding vector-host associations and in measuring the risk for Chagas' disease transmission. The bloodmeal sources of triatomines infected with Trypanosoma cruzi (Trypanosomatida: Trypanosomatidae) caught in houses in central Brazil (Goiás State and the Federal District) were investigated during 2012-2014. Mitochondrial cytochrome b amplicons were used to identify bloodmeals through high-resolution melting and DNA sequencing. Most bugs were found to have fed on either humans (45.7%) or chickens (43.1%). Human blood was detected in Triatoma sordida (n = 22/50 bugs), Triatoma pseudomaculata (n = 7/11 bugs), Panstrongylus megistus (n = 10/24 bugs), Panstrongylus geniculatus (n = 1/3 bugs) and Rhodnius neglectus (n = 18/28 bugs) (all: Hemiptera: Reduviidae). Sequencing identified Necromys (Rodentia: Cricetidae) mouse blood in P. geniculatus and Tropidurus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) lizard blood in T. pseudomaculata and T. sordida. These findings reveal new vector-host associations. The present results suggest frequent contact between humans and T. cruzi-infected triatomines in central Brazil and indicate that Chagas' disease transmission by native vectors is an ongoing threat.
- Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [BOOK]
- BOOKNational Library of Medicine (US): Bethesda (MD)
- Limited information indicates that maternal doses of nifurtimox up to 15 mg/kg daily produce do not cause any adverse serious effects in breastfed infants. Breastmilk levels and a computer simulation...
Limited information indicates that maternal doses of nifurtimox up to 15 mg/kg daily produce do not cause any adverse serious effects in breastfed infants. Breastmilk levels and a computer simulation found that the dose that an exclusively breastfed infant would receive through breastmilk would be much less than the dose given to treat Chagas disease in newborn infants. Other authors consider that breastfeeding is not contraindicated during the use of nifurtimox.
- Development of Trypanosoma cruzi in vitro assays to identify compounds suitable for progression in Chagas' disease drug discovery. [Journal Article]
- PNPLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018 Jul 12; 12(7):e0006612
- Chagas' disease is responsible for significant mortality and morbidity in Latin America. Current treatments display variable efficacy and have adverse side effects, hence more effective, better toler...
Chagas' disease is responsible for significant mortality and morbidity in Latin America. Current treatments display variable efficacy and have adverse side effects, hence more effective, better tolerated drugs are needed. However, recent efforts have proved unsuccessful with failure of the ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitor posaconazole in phase II clinical trials despite promising in vitro and in vivo studies. The lack of translation between laboratory experiments and clinical outcome is a major issue for further drug discovery efforts. Our goal was to identify cell-based assays that could differentiate current nitro-aromatic drugs nifurtimox and benznidazole from posaconazole. Using a panel of T. cruzi strains including the six major lineages (TcI-VI), we found that strain PAH179 (TcV) was markedly less susceptible to posaconazole in vitro. Determination of parasite doubling and cycling times as well as EdU labelling experiments all indicate that this lack of sensitivity is due to the slow doubling and cycling time of strain PAH179. This is in accordance with ergosterol biosynthesis inhibition by posaconazole leading to critically low ergosterol levels only after multiple rounds of division, and is further supported by the lack of effect of posaconazole on the non-replicative trypomastigote form. A washout experiment with prolonged posaconazole treatment showed that, even for more rapidly replicating strains, this compound cannot clear all parasites, indicative of a heterogeneous parasite population in vitro and potentially the presence of quiescent parasites. Benznidazole in contrast was able to kill all parasites. The work presented here shows clear differentiation between the nitro-aromatic drugs and posaconazole in several assays, and suggests that in vitro there may be clinically relevant heterogeneity in the parasite population that can be revealed in long-term washout experiments. Based on these findings we have adjusted our in vitro screening cascade so that only the most promising compounds are progressed to in vivo experiments.
- Field evaluation of a real time loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay (RealAmp) for malaria diagnosis in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil. [Journal Article]
- PlosPLoS One 2018; 13(7):e0200492
- Conventional molecular methods, such as nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), are very sensitive for detection of malaria parasites, but require advanced laboratory equipment and trained personnel....
Conventional molecular methods, such as nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), are very sensitive for detection of malaria parasites, but require advanced laboratory equipment and trained personnel. Real-time loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RealAmp), a loop-mediated isothermal amplification-based molecular tool (LAMP), facilitates rapid target amplification at a single temperature setting, reducing the need for sophisticated equipment. We evaluated the performance of a field-adapted RealAmp assay for malaria diagnosis in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre State, Brazil, a remote area in Brazil with limited laboratory capabilities. We enrolled 1,000 patients with fever (axillary temperature ≥ 37.5 C) or history of fever in last 24 h presenting for malaria diagnosis from February through June 2015. DNA was extracted from dried blood spots using a boil and spin method (heat treatment) at the sample processing site, and also using commercial kits at a Brazilian national reference laboratory. RealAmp was performed for Plasmodium genus, P. falciparum, and P. vivax identification. In addition, Giemsa-stained blood smears were prepared and examined by two independent well-trained study microscopists. A combination of Real-time PCR and nested PCR was used as reference test. The sensitivity and specificity of RealAmp in the field site laboratory were 94.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 90.1-96.8) and 83.9% (95% CI: 81.1-86.4), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of local microscopy were 87.7% (95% CI: 82.6-91.7) and 98.9% (95% CI: 97.8-99.4), respectively, while study microscopy showed sensitivity of 96.4% (95% CI: 93.0-98.4) and specificity of 98.2% (95% CI: 97.0-99.0). None of the three tests detected 20 P. falciparum and P. vivax mixed infections identified by the reference test. Our findings highlight that it is possible to implement simple molecular tests in facilities with limited resources such as Cruzeiro do Sul in Brazil. RealAmp sensitivity was similar to that of microscopy performed by skilled professionals; both RealAmp and study microscopy performed poorly in detection of mixed infection. Attempts to develop and evaluate simpler molecular tools should continue, especially for the detection of malaria infection in remote areas.
- First Nonphosphorylated Inhibitors of Phosphoglucose Isomerase Identified by Chemical Library Screening. [Journal Article]
- SDSLAS Discov 2018 Jul 01; :2472555218787468
- Human African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis are human infections caused by kinetoplastid parasites of the genera Trypanosoma and Leishmania. Besides their severity and global imp...
Human African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis are human infections caused by kinetoplastid parasites of the genera Trypanosoma and Leishmania. Besides their severity and global impact, treatments are still challenging. Currently available drugs have important limitations, highlighting the urgent need to develop new drugs. Phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) is considered a promising target for the development of antiparasitic drugs, as it acts on two essential metabolic pathways, glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Herein, we describe the identification of new nonphosphorylated inhibitors of Leishmania mexicana PGI ( LmPGI), with the potential for the development of antiparasitic drugs. A fluorescence-based high-throughput screening (HTS) assay was developed by coupling the activities of recombinant LmPGI with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and diaphorase. This coupled assay was used to screen 42,720 compounds from ChemBridge and TimTec commercial libraries. After confirmatory assays, selected LmPGI inhibitors were tested against homologous Trypanosoma cruzi and humans. The PGI hits are effective against trypanosomatid PGIs, with IC50 values in the micromolar range, and also against the human homologous enzyme. A computational analysis of cavities present on PGI's crystallographic structure suggests a potential binding site for the proposed mixed-type inhibition mechanism.
- In vitro and in vivo trypanocidal activities of 8-methoxy-3-(4-nitrobenzoyl)-6-propyl-2H-cromen-2-one, a new synthetic coumarin of low cytotoxicity against mammalian cells. [Journal Article]
- CBChem Biol Drug Des 2018 Jul 11
- Natural and synthetic coumarins have been described as prototypes of new drug candidates against Chagas' disease. During a typical screening with new compounds, we observed the potential of a new syn...
Natural and synthetic coumarins have been described as prototypes of new drug candidates against Chagas' disease. During a typical screening with new compounds, we observed the potential of a new synthetic nitrobenzoylcoumarin (1) as trypanocidal against T. cruzi epimastigotas. Then we decided to prepare and evaluate a set of analogues from 1 to check the major structural requirements for trypanocidal activity. The structural variations were conducted in six different sites on the original compound and the best derivative (3) presented activity (IC50 28 ± 3 μM) similar to that of benznidazole (IC50 25 ± 10 μM). The enhancement of trypanocidal activity was conditioned to a change in the side chain at C6 (allyl to n-propyl group) and the preservation of coumarin nucleus and the nitrobenzoyl group at C3. Exposure of 3 to H9C2 cells showed low toxicity (CC50 >200 μM) and its activity on T. cruzi amastigotes (IC50 13 ± 0.3 μM) encouraged us to perform an evaluation of its potential when given orally to mice infected with trypomastigote forms. Derivative 3 was able to reduce parasitemia when compared to the group of untreated animals. Taken together, these results show the potential therapeutic application of the synthetic coumarins. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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- Stress-Induced Proliferation and Cell Cycle Plasticity of Intracellular Trypanosoma cruzi Amastigotes. [Journal Article]
- MBIOMBio 2018 Jul 10; 9(4)
- The mammalian stages of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, exhibit a wide host species range and extensive within-host tissue distribution. These features, coupled...
The mammalian stages of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, exhibit a wide host species range and extensive within-host tissue distribution. These features, coupled with the ability of the parasites to persist for the lifetime of the host, suggest an inherent capacity to tolerate changing environments. To examine this potential, we studied proliferation and cell cycle dynamics of intracellular T. cruzi amastigotes experiencing transient metabolic perturbation or drug pressure in the context of an infected mammalian host cell. Parasite growth plasticity was evident and characterized by rapid and reversible suppression of amastigote proliferation in response to exogenous nutrient restriction or exposure to metabolic inhibitors that target glucose metabolism or mitochondrial respiration. In most instances, reduced parasite proliferation was accompanied by the accumulation of amastigote populations in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, in a manner that was rapidly and fully reversible upon release from the metabolic block. Acute amastigote cell cycle changes at the G1 stage were similarly observed following exposure to sublethal concentrations of the first-line therapy drug, benznidazole, and yet, unlike the results seen with inhibitors of metabolism, recovery from exposure occurred at rates inversely proportional to the concentration of benznidazole. Our results show that T. cruzi amastigote growth plasticity is an important aspect of parasite adaptation to stress, including drug pressure, and is an important consideration for growth-based drug screening.IMPORTANCE Infection with the intracellular parasite Trypanosoma cruzi can cause debilitating and potentially life-threatening Chagas disease, where long-term parasite persistence is a critical determinant of clinical disease progression. Such tissue-resident T. cruzi amastigotes are refractory to immune-mediated clearance and to drug treatment, suggesting that in addition to exploiting immune avoidance mechanisms, amastigotes can facilitate their survival by adapting flexibly to diverse environmental stressors. We discovered that T. cruzi intracellular amastigotes exhibit growth plasticity as a strategy to adapt to and rebound from environmental stressors, including metabolic blockades, nutrient starvation, and sublethal exposure to the first-line therapy drug benznidazole. These findings have important implications for understanding parasite persistence, informing drug development, and interpreting drug efficacy.