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Nanoparticles as antimalarial drug carriers could limit parasite resistance

The study has been carried out by researchers of IN2UB, CRESIB (ISGlobal reseach centre) and IBEC.

The study has been carried out by researchers of IN2UB, CRESIB (ISGlobal reseach centre) and IBEC.

27/02/2014

Recerca

A study co-developed by researchers of the Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of UB (IN2UB), the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB, ISGlobal research centre), and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) proves that an antimalarial drug encapsulated in nanoparticles —to be exact, chloroquine salts in polyamidoamine polymers (AGMA1 and ISA23)— is significantly more effective in vivo than free drug, so it could limit the development of drug resistance.

Current malaria therapies require strategies capable of selectively delivering drugs to cells parasitized by Plasmodium. In the study, researchers have explored the usefulness of the polymeric nanosystems AGMA1 and ISA23 as adjuvants for antimalarial drugs that selectively target the pathogen. The antimalarial activity of the polymeric salt AGMA1 was demonstrated by its inhibition of the growth of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. The study showed that both polymers bind preferentially to Plasmodium-infected red blood cells compared to uninfected cells. Moreover, they are capable of recognising widely divergent species, such as P falciparum and Plasmodium yoelii, malaria parasites that infect humans and mice, respectively. Intraperitoneal administration of 0.8 mg/kg of chloroquine as either AGMA1 or ISA23 salts cured P yoelii-infected mice, whereas control animals treated with double doses of free drug did not survive.

Xavier Fernàndez Busquets, researcher at IN2UB and ISGlobal who led the study, explains that “these polymers, which can encapsulate antimalarial drugs, have low toxicity, high biodegradability and selective internalisation into Plasmodium-infected red blood cells targeting species as divergent as human and rodent malarias”. “Therefore —he concludes—, these polymers are promising candidates in the field of antimalarial therapy”.

 

Reference article:

P. Urbán, J. J. Valle Delgado, N. Mauro, J. Marques, A. Manfredi, M. Rottmann, E. Ranucci, P. P. Ferruti, X. Fernàndez Busquets. "Use of poly(amidoamine) drug conjugates for the delivery of antimalarials to Plasmodium". Journal of Controlled Release, January 2014. Doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.12.032 

 

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