Peptides useful for the treatment of pathologies induced by Trypanosoma sp
African trypanosomas are flagellated parasitic protozoa that circulate via the blood flow and the central nervous system of the infected mammal hosts. They are a historical scourge on the African continent and one of the 20 greatest causes of its poverty, as they are responsible for large epidemics of sleeping sickness (or African trypanosomiasis) in humans and interfere in many areas of agriculture development based on domestic animals, upon which it provokes nagana.
To overcome the existing problems in the state of the technique for effective treatment of diseases provoked by 20 parasites from the trypanosoma sp genre, specifically those parasites that infect mammals and that cause sleeping sickness and nagana, the inventors describe the use of bacterial protein, specifically the bacteriocin AS-48 and/or variations or mutations of the same, functionally equivalent to the bacteriocin AS-48, as a tripanocidal drug for the treatment and/or prevention of this type of pathology in individuals, preferably mammals.
The drugs currently in existence are highly toxic (melarsoprol kills 5% of patients), their application requires hospitalisation and they have been used for five decades, to which their effectiveness has been reduced due to the generation of resistant parasites. For their part, the non-toxic peptides under study require micro-molar concentrations to be tripanocidal. Furthermore, their linear structure means that they are not stable either in the organism or during their storage. In contrast, the AS-48 bacteriocin, one of the most effective and promising antibacterial agents, completely inhibits the growth of T. brucei blood stream forms in concentrations as low as 5 nanomolars. Amongst other advantages shown by the AS-48 bacteriocin and its variations or mutations there is specificity, the difficulty for development of resistance in the pathogenic protozoa, the absence of cytotoxicity against various eukaryotic cell lines, the absence of haemolytic activity in blood even at AS-48 concentrations far higher than those necessary to kill the parasite in vitro, and great stability.
Summary of invention applications:
Medical application: drug for combating sleeping sickness (African human trypanosomiasis).
Veterinary application: drug for combating Nagana (trypanosomiasis in livestock).
Biotechnological application: drug for in vitro studies in research laboratories.
Companies interested in licensing the technology for its commercial exploitation.
Sectors of application: Health, pharmacy, veterinary, agriculture
Stage of development: Patent in process.
Priority date: 23/09/2014.
Owner: University of Granada and CSIC.