Michael K. Chan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in China and his collaborators will use dawadawa, a staple food in western Africa, as the basis of a novel therapeutic for treating and preventing multiple parasitic worm (helminthic) infections, which are prevelant in developing countries. Dawadawa can be produced by fermenting soyabeans with Bacillus bacteria. By engineering Bacillus to produce parasite-killing (antihelminth) proteins, they can make a staple food with therapeutic properties at low cost. The antihelminth proteins will be encapsulated within crystals that both protects them from degradation in the human gut as well as incorporating a chemical trigger for targeting release in the intestine, where most of the parasites reside.
More information about New Approaches in Model Systems, Diagnostics, and Drugs for Specific Neglected Tropical Diseases (Round 10)