Nanovaccine Initiative Seminar

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Date/Time:Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Location:2532 Veterinary Medicine Building
Channel:Centers and Institutes
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"Auranofin as a Lead Candidate for Treatment of Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis) and Onchocerciasis (River Blindness)," Judy Sakanari, parasitologist at the Center for Parasitic Diseases, University of California, San Francisco. Her lab works on a number of parasitic diseases. A reception precedes her seminar at 1:30 pm.

Onchocerciasis or river blindness, and lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, are two neglected tropical diseases that affect millions of people, primarily in developing countries. Currently, there are no drugs available that are effective against adult worms; existing drugs only kill the first-stage larvae (microfilariae). While these drugs can reduce transmission of infections in a population, the adult filarids (macrofilariae) can continue to produce microfilariae and perpetuate the cycle of infection. To identify potential macrofilaricidal drugs, we developed a high throughput screen to test FDA-approved drugs on adult Brugia spp., which cause lymphatic filariasis and serve as a model for Onchocerca volvulus. From this screen we identified a drug called auranofin that kills these adult worms in vitro and in in vivo. Auranofin is known to inhibit thioredoxin reductase, and subsequent testing of auranofin's effects on Brugia's thioredoxin reductase suggests that this may be the target in these filarid worms.