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New Molecular Therapies for Parasitic Helminth Infections

Tim Day and Mostafa Zamanian of Iowa State University in the U.S. will evaluate a new approach for treating parasitic worm infections based on blocking parasite microRNAs. Parasitic worms (helminths), such as Schistosoma, release small vesicles called exosomes containing microRNAs, which are thought to target host genes and aid infectivity. They will test this directly using a mouse model of schistosome infection by identifying the relevant microRNAs, designing anti-microRNAs to block them, and determining if the mice can be made resistant to infection. This approach could be expanded to other parasitic worm infections and ultimately used to develop an effective human therapeutic.

More information about New Approaches for Detection, Treatment, and Control of Selected Neglected Tropical Diseases (Round 11)

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View the Grand Challenges partnership network

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.