Drug resistance in African trypanosomiasis: the melarsoprol and pentamidine story

Baker, N., De Koning, H.P. , Mäser, P. and Horn, D. (2013) Drug resistance in African trypanosomiasis: the melarsoprol and pentamidine story. Trends in Parasitology, 29(3), pp. 110-118. (doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2012.12.005)

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Melarsoprol and pentamidine represent the two main classes of drugs, the arsenicals and diamidines, historically used to treat the diseases caused by African trypanosomes: sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in livestock. Cross-resistance to these drugs was first observed over 60 years ago and remains the only example of cross-resistance among sleeping sickness therapies. A Trypanosoma brucei adenosine transporter is well known for its role in the uptake of both drugs. More recently, aquaglyceroporin 2 (AQP2) loss of function was linked to melarsoprol–pentamidine cross-resistance. AQP2, a channel that appears to facilitate drug accumulation, may also be linked to clinical cases of resistance. Here, we review these findings and consider some new questions as well as future prospects for tackling the devastating diseases caused by these parasites.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:De Koning, Professor Harry
Authors: Baker, N., De Koning, H.P., Mäser, P., and Horn, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Trends in Parasitology
ISSN (Online):1471-5007

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