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Drug repurposing: evaluation of activity, selectivity and mechanism of action of new drug candidates against Toxoplasma gondii


Toxoplasma gondii infects animals and humans, with about 30% of world population carrying the parasite, mostly in its latent form. T. gondii is a common cause of serious congenital infections, resulting in both severe fetal disease and subsequent illnesses in children and adults. Toxoplasmosis also causes serious illnesses in immunocompromised individuals, including encephalitis, chorioretinitis, pneumonitis, and myocarditis. For the drugs currently used to treat toxoplasmosis, long courses of therapy are required, and their use is often limited by side effects. Importantly, there is no available drug with efficacy against the bradyzoite stage of the parasite, which forms tissue cysts in deep organs, such as the brain, and can reactivate years after initial infection. Since the current therapeutic drugs for toxoplasmosis present serious host toxicity, research on effective substances of relatively low toxicity is urgently needed. To support this effort, the present project aims to evaluate the activity, efficacy, toxicity and mechanism of action of synthetic and natural compounds, in order to collaborate in the development of new therapeutic options for toxoplasmosis. From the data generated in this project, we intend to propose a new drug candidate for the treatment of toxoplasmosis. Considering that the proposed drugs have a well-established clinical safety, it is possible that the data obtained in this project may serve as the basis for a clinical pilot study. It is also intended to characterize the activity of synthetic and natural compounds against T. gondii by investigating its mechanism of action and potentially increasing knowledge about the parasite. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
REIMAO, JULIANA QUERO; COSER, ELIZABETH MAGIOLO; LEE, MONICA RAN; COELHO, ADRIANO CAPPELLAZZO. Laboratory Diagnosis of Cutaneous and Visceral Leishmaniasis: Current and Future Methods. MICROORGANISMS, v. 8, n. 11 NOV 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
REIMAO, JULIANA Q.; PEDRO, DEBORA P. PITA; COELHO, ADRIANO C. The preclinical discovery and development of oral miltefosine for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis: a case history. EXPERT OPINION ON DRUG DISCOVERY, v. 15, n. 6 MAR 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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