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Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2012 Mar;7(3):195-205. doi: 10.1517/17460441.2012.660479. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Simple and efficient model systems of screening anti-Toxoplasma drugs in vitro.

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Department of Infection Biology, Zoonosis Research Center, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Jeonbuk, South Korea.



A lot of in vitro technologies have been developed to screen drugs for toxoplasmosis, which is caused by Toxoplasma gondii and is one of the most serious infectious diseases in the world. However, developed screening methods still have limitation such as inaccuracy, labor-intensive and time-consuming procedure. Therefore, the development of simpler, more efficient and accurate high-throughput screening assay is needed.


The present review gives the overview of in vitro screening technologies described in literatures so far including morphological assay, incorporation of [(3)H]uracil assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), colorimetric microtiter assay (β-galactosidase assay), flow cytometric quantification assay, yellow fluorescent protein assay and cell viability assay. The authors discuss how these methods are efficient and/or limited for screening anti-T. gondii drugs. The authors further suggest brand-new technologies which are faster, simpler, more effective and available for high-throughput screening.


Options for clinical treatment of toxoplasmosis are currently very limited. Thus, more accurate in vitro screening methods must be established to identify the most effective anti-T. gondii drugs from random screening of compounds. At the same time, based on genome information, combination of an appropriate screening technology, combinatorial chemistry and computational biology may increase the efficiency of target-based drug discovery against T. gondii.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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