Cheap Yeast-Based Efficient Screens For Antifilarial Drugs
Stephen Oliver and Elizabeth Bilsland at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom will develop a yeast-based screen to identify compounds inhibiting selected enzymes from parasitic filarial worms, which cause several common and debilitating diseases. Candidate enzymes as potential antifilarial drug targets will be selected based on their importance specifically in the adult stages of the parasite life cycle, against which current drugs are ineffective. Yeast strains will be modified to produce these candidate enzymes and used in medium-throughput screens with the freely-available Malaria Box of compounds, which are active against the malaria parasite. This approach is cheaper and easier than current screening methods, and should identify compounds that are highly specific for adult filarial worms.