Health-related biotechnologies for infectious disease control in Africa: Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of transfer and development.
ABSTRACT The African continent is disproportionately affected by infectious diseases. Malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and more "neglected" diseases including African trypanosomiasis, Buruli ulcer, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis and trachoma continue to dramatically impact social and economic development on the continent. Health biotechnologies provide potential to develop effective strategies for the fight against the vicious circle of poverty and infections by helping in the development and improvement of novel affordable drugs, diagnostics and vaccines against these diseases. As the prospects of this emerging biotechnology research and deployment of its products become a reality in Africa, there is a need to consider the ethical, legal and social implications of both the scientific and technological advances and their use in the communities. The article provides a short overview of the potential values of biotechnology, issues involved in its transfer and presents the rationale, design and recommendations of the international workshop/symposium held in April 2005 at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Article: A novel high throughput assay for anthelmintic drug screening and resistance diagnosis by real-time monitoring of parasite motility.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Helminth parasites cause untold morbidity and mortality to billions of people and livestock. Anthelmintic drugs are available but resistance is a problem in livestock parasites, and is a looming threat for human helminths. Testing the efficacy of available anthelmintic drugs and development of new drugs is hindered by the lack of objective high-throughput screening methods. Currently, drug effect is assessed by observing motility or development of parasites using laborious, subjective, low-throughput methods. Here we describe a novel application for a real-time cell monitoring device (xCELLigence) that can simply and objectively assess anthelmintic effects by measuring parasite motility in real time in a fully automated high-throughput fashion. We quantitatively assessed motility and determined real time IC(50) values of different anthelmintic drugs against several developmental stages of major helminth pathogens of humans and livestock, including larval Haemonchus contortus and Strongyloides ratti, and adult hookworms and blood flukes. The assay enabled quantification of the onset of egg hatching in real time, and the impact of drugs on hatch rate, as well as discriminating between the effects of drugs on motility of drug-susceptible and -resistant isolates of H. contortus. Our findings indicate that this technique will be suitable for discovery and development of new anthelmintic drugs as well as for detection of phenotypic resistance to existing drugs for the majority of helminths and other pathogens where motility is a measure of pathogen viability. The method is also amenable to use for other purposes where motility is assessed, such as gene silencing or antibody-mediated killing.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 01/2010; 4(11):e885. · 4.69 Impact Factor