Special Seminar: Charles Cunningham, “Schistosomes, schistosomiasis, and praziquantel”
Apr 21, 2017
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
|Where||CUNY ASRC Main Auditorium|
|Contact Name||Lauren Gohara|
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Schistosomiasis is a chronic parasitic disease affecting 260 million people caused by sexually dimorphic blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma. After penetrating the skin of its mammalian host, Schistosoma mansoni schistosomula migrate via the bloodstream to the liver and mesenteric veins where males and females mature and pair to produce fertile eggs. While many of these eggs are excreted in the feces, a number become lodged in the liver where they drive granuloma formation that causes much of the pathology associated with the disease. Praziquantel (PZQ) is the only drug available for treatment of schistosomiasis, however, it is unable to cure infection as it is ineffective against sexually immature juvenile worms. Also problematic, as annual mass treatment campaigns dispense increasing amounts of PZQ there are significant concerns that the single drug in the anti-schistosomal armamentarium will be lost to resistance. In this seminar, I will present our most recent work on understanding both the mechanism of action of PZQ and the molecular basis of juvenile resistance to the drug. A knowledge of both will be one key to designing the next generation of anthelmintic drugs.