Biochemistry and discovery research
We use high-resolution mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and proteomics approaches to identify cellular markers of infectious diseases and pathways involved in the metabolism of the drugs used for their treatment. The anti-helminth drug, ivermectin, was shown to exhibit substantial sporontocidal effects against Plasmodium vivax in the South American vectors An. aquasalis and An. darlingi (PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018;12(2):e0006221).
We used a metabolomics approach to evaluate in-vitro samples and clinical patient samples to identify several metabolites of ivermectin, with potentially higher mosquito lethal activities than the parent compound. We plan to synthesise these metabolites in order to confirm their activity and pharmacokinetic properties. Furthermore, using a lipidomic approach, we were able to identify Orientia-specific Cardiolipins that could be potential novel drug targets.