Context: A team of researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has developed a new drug molecule against amoebiasis by attacking the protozoa which causes the disease.
More on News:
- As per the World Health Organization (WHO), Entamoeba histolytica is the third-leading cause of morbidity and mortality due to parasitic disease in humans.
- It causes amoebiasis or amoebic dysentery, which is highly prevalent in developing countries.
- A parasitic infection of the colon (Large intestine) with the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica.
- The disease is most common in tropical areas with untreated water.
- It spreads through drinking or eating uncooked food, such as fruit, that may have been washed in contaminated local water.
- Symptoms: It can be present with no, mild, or severe symptoms. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, or bloody diarrhea.
About Entamoeba histolytica:
- It is an anaerobic parasitic amoebozoa, part of the genus Entamoeba.
- The protozoa can’t survive high concentrations of oxygen.
- However, during infection, it faces a high surge of oxygen inside the human body.
- The organism synthesizes large amounts of cysteine to counter oxidative stress.
- This pathogen deploys cysteine as one of the essential molecules in its defence mechanism against high oxygen levels.
- Entamoeba expresses two crucial enzymes for synthesizing cysteine.
Findings of Research:
- Researchers from JNU have characterized and determined the molecular structures of both these crucial enzymes.
- They have successfully screened for potent inhibitors for one of the enzymes, O-acetyl L-serine sulfhydrylase (OASS).
- Some of these inhibitors can check the growth of this organism with high efficacy.
- The identified molecules can lead to the development of drug molecules as Cysteine biosynthesis is crucial for the survival of E. histolytica and may be similar protozoan parasites.
- It is a type of cell or unicellular organism which has the ability to alter its shape, primarily by extending and retracting pseudopods.
- It is a protozoa and not a bacteria.
- It is a genus of single-celled amoeboids in the family Amoebidae.
Image Source: Pixabay