Researchers from the Department of Infectomics and Molecular Pathogenesis of the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV) work on creating a mutated form of the parasite responsible for amoebiasis that is unable to adhere to the intestine, in order to obtain a vaccine for human and animal use against such a condition.
At the end of 2017, the Ministry of Health registered 220,361 cases of amoebiasis; and it is estimated that between 8 and 10 percent of the population has had contact with the parasite that causes the disease, Entamoeba histolytica, CINVESTAV informed in a statement.
Although there are drugs for amebiasis, they generate secondary damage. In order to obtain an alternative for this treatment, scientists work to generate amoebas unable to adhere to the intestine so that they cannot damage it.
Head of the investigation Esther Orozco said they identified a complex consisting of two proteins: An adhesin (EhADH), which serves the amoeba to stick to the targeted cell; and a protease (EhCP112) that is similar to papain (used as a meat tenderizer), which softens the tissues and separates one cell from another.
“We generate amoebas unable to phagocyte and adhere to the targeted cell, with a simple approach: if the parasite does not adhere to the intestine it cannot damage it, because it is expelled with the intestinal flow and with the peristaltic movements, then the trophozoite that produces the damage dies immediately,” explained Orozco.
This EhCP112- EhADH complex has been tested in experimental animals and vaccine candidates, and it has proven efficient in offering protection, achieving protection of up to 85 percent, explained Orozco.
Currently, there are no conditions in Mexico to bring this knowledge to the commercial vaccine, because more tests should be done to check if these proteins and the genes injected into animals are harmless to humans, said the researcher.
Source: La Jornada