LYSIS OF TRYPANOSOMA BRUCEI BY HUMAN SERUM

Summary

Principal Investigator: Stephen Tomlinson
Abstract: Trypanosoma brucei brucei, unlike the human pathogens Tau beta rhodesiense and Tau gambiense, is lysed by human serum. Sensitivity to human serum is the only method which allows distinction between the cattle and human African trypanosomes. We have identified two distinct trypanolytic fractions in normal human serum (NHS) which differ physically, biochemically and with regard to their inhibition by serum factors. Significantly, an HDL-like trypanolytic factor (TLF1) described by others is not active in NHS, and only becomes lytic upon inhibitor removal during isolation procedures. It is proposed to characterize the more physiologically relevant lytic factor in human serum, and to determine the mechanism(s) by which parasites are killed by both factors. Data indicates that a mechanism of lysis may involve oxidative stress and subsequent programmed cell death, and these possibilities will be tested directly. This work may open new perspectives for the chemotherapy of trypanosomiasis. Understanding of the mechanisms of cytotoxicity and the affected metabolic pathways may provide new approaches for development of specific drugs.
Funding Period: 1998-04-01 - 2002-03-31
more information: NIH RePORT