Babesia Duncani Study to Better Understand Susceptibility & Virulence of Intraerythrocytic Parasites
Anasuya C. Pal, et al., published a study using Babesia duncani as a model to further assess intraerythrocytic parasites in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. The researchers investigated the development, virulence, and susceptibility of the organism in vitro and in vivo to gain a better understanding of its biology and pathogenesis.
B. duncani can be propagated in vitro, both in human erythrocytes, and in mice, which makes it a distinctive Babesia pathogen to examine. An enhanced B. duncani ICIM model was used, combining continual in vitro culture of the organism with a specific model of fatal infections in the mice. Erythrocytes infected with B. duncani, as well as free merozoites, caused lethal levels of infection in the mice.
The scientists speculated that it is possible to determine highly reproducible parasitemia and survival outcomes using certain parasite loads in various mouse genetic backgrounds. By using the ICIM model, the study uncovered two new endochin-like quinolone prodrugs (ELQ-331 and ELQ-468), which when used either alone, or in combination with atovaquone, showed to be very effective against B. duncani and B. microti.