Skip to navigation Skip to content

Issue
Eleven

Killer diseases

Professor Graham Coombs has done research on the causative agent of various parasitic diseases, including leishmaniasis and trichomoniasis.…

Killer diseases

Professor Graham Coombs has done research on the causative agent of various parasitic diseases, including leishmaniasis and trichomoniasis.

Leishmaniasis is caused by a parasite called Leishmania, one species of which,L. donovani, claims the lives of several thousand people and infects about half a million people every year in countries such as India and Nepal.  Existing treatments (including antimonial drugs) are becoming less effective because the parasites have developed resistance to them, so it's important to improve our understanding of the mechanisms used by the parasite to adapt to drugs and achieve resistance – using new techniques like metabolomics – in order to develop future treatment strategies.

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection of the urogenital tract which affects an estimated 180 million people worldwide every year, according to WHO.  The most common site of infection is the urethra and the vagina.  Men with the infection rarely exhibit symptoms but recent research suggests a link with prostate cancer.  The complications in women include preterm delivery, low birth weight and increased mortality as well as a predisposition to HIV, AIDS and cervical cancer.

 

"Killer diseases". Science Scotland (Issue Eleven)
Printed from http://www.sciencescotland.org/feature.php?id=127 on 24/04/17 07:59:51 PM

Science Scotland is a science & technology publication brought to you by The Royal Society of Edinburgh (www.rse.org.uk).