Major review on Drug Resistance in Eukaryotic Microorganisms

A major review on drug resistance in eukaryotic microorganisms was published today in Nature Microbiology. It’s a result of a collaboration between researchers into infectious diseases ('Infectious Disease Research In Scotland' consortium) from four Scottish universities.

The review highlights how malaria, trypanosomes and Leishmania, as well as fungi, have evolved resistance to current therapies and suggests steps to understand and mitigate these resistance mechanisms.

With a global focus on the antimicrobial resistance crisis there has been neglect of the significant impact of drug resistance in Eukaryotic microbes. This includes many of the major parasites of low and middle-income countries and opportunistic fungi. In a collaboration between Wellcome Trust supported Centres of Infection Research in Scotland, a major new review has been published in Nature Microbiology detailing the similar and different challenges posed by eukaryotic microbial pathogens compared to bacteria. These challenges are compounded by the sophistication of these pathogens and the geographical regions they afflict, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. This has clear consequences for health care, disease surveillance, drug supply and investment in new therapies.

Professor Keith Matthews, who led the collaboration, said “Eukaryotic microbial pathogens such as malaria, trypanosomes and fungi pose very real threats globally, but particularly in low and middle-income countries. With the world’s attention on antimicrobial resistance these pathogens must not be forgotten. A multi pronged approach is needed to combat them, comprising an understanding of resistance evolution and its underlying mechanisms and the development of innovative new therapies to counteract this.”

The collaboration comprises the Centre for Immunity Infection and Evolution, Edinburgh; the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology Glasgow, the Dundee University Drug Discovery Unit and the Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology consortium in Aberdeen.



Drug resistance in eukaryotic microorganisms - Alan H. Fairlamb, Neil A. R. Gow, Keith R. Matthews & Andrew P. Waters, Nature Microbiology 1, Article number: 16092 (2016), doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.92


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