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Parasitol Today. 1993 May;9(5):162-6.

Drug resistance in schistosomes.

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  • 1Institute of Cell Biology of National Research Council, 43 Viale Marx, 00137 Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Drug resistance in schistosomes is confined essentially to compounds of the hyconthone/oxamniquine family, since no documented case of resistance has so far been reported for the widely used drug praziquantel. The availability of strains of Schistosoma mansoni that are resistant to hyconthone and oxomniquine has permitted a detailed genetic and biochemical study of the mechanism of action of these compounds. Drugs must be activated by enzymatic esterification and this ultimately results in the production of an electrophilic moiety capable of alkylating DNA and other parasite macromolecules. As reviewed here by Donato Cioli, Livia Pica-Mattoccia and Sydney Archer, resistance is due to the loss of a drug-activating enzyme that is present in sensitive schistosomes and absent in resistant worms and in the mammalian hosts. Further study of this enzyme may yield valuable clues for drug design and for a basic understanding of parasite metabolism.

PMID:
15463744
[PubMed]
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