Discipline: Chemistry and Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: Biochemistry (not Cell and Molecular Biology and Genetics)
Room: Park Tower 8219
Kori Quillin - Tuskegee University
Co-Author(s): Daniel Abugri, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a ubiquitous parasite that affects both humans and animals. The CDC estimates that approximately 40 million people in the United States may be infected with T.gondii. The parasite can live in the human body for many years without showing any symptoms of infection, if the human is immunocompetent. However, if a person is immunocompromised, it can cause fatal clinical symptoms. The people most commonly afflicted are pregnant women and their fetus, as well as HIV/AIDS and cancer patients. Today, pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine are the primary drugs used in combination to manage the infection. These drugs have been shown to have adverse side effects, ineffectiveness against disease cyst, and expensive market prices. Caffeic acid is a polyphenol, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics, that can be found in abundance within the human diet. The compound is found in foods and beverages such as coffee, wine, and strawberries. Azithromycin is an antibiotic most commonly used to treat bacterial infections. It was hypothesized that the use of caffeic acid and Azithromycin, in combination, would be a more effective alternative for killing the T. gondii parasite. Thus, this study was carried out to determine the anti-Toxoplasma gondii activity of caffeic acid, azithromycin and their combination, in vitro. The concentrations of the two drugs ranged in potency from 5 mg/mL to 0.156 mg/mL. The preliminary data suggests that the effectiveness of azithromycin and caffeic acid in combination are effective in inhibiting T. gondii growth in vitro. Our future studies will decipher the mechanism of action of caffeic acid against T.gondii.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): he following reagent was obtained through BEI Resources, NIAID, NIH: Vero, Kidney (African green monkey), Expressing Luciferase (Luc2p), NR-10385. The RH-(YFP)2 was kindly provided by Dr. William Witola from the University of Illinois, Urbana, Champaign, USA. Dr. Daniel Abugri, Tuskegee University, Biology Department, Chemistry Department
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daniel Abugri, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I assisted in cell culturing, cell seeding, drug delivery, and cell maintenance. Throughout this experiment, I also performed background research and gained knowledge about the natural drug compounds, as well as the Toxoplasma gondii parasite itself.