Mouse Model for New Drug to Treat Sleeping Sickness


Researchers at the Drug Discovery Unit in Dundee, Scotland have developed a new drug to treat African sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease estimated to kill more than 30,000 people worldwide each year.

The compound rids mice of the parasite, the protozoan Trypanosoma brucei, scientists report in the April 1, 2010 issue of the science journal Nature.

Left untreated, sleeping sickness is almost always fatal, yet the available drugs are considered dangerous and ineffective. The new drug, which can be made cheaply and could be taken orally, kills the microbe by targeting a key protein in T. brucei.


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