Thursday, December 20, 2012

Drug used to treat HIV might defuse deadly staph infections

We know that, Maraviroc (structure below, brand-named Selzentry, or Celsentri outside the U.S.) is an antiretroviral drug in the CCR5 receptor antagonist class used in the treatment of HIV infection. It is also classed as an entry inhibitor. It also appeared to reduce graft-versus-host disease in patients treated with allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for leukemia, in a phase 1/2 study.

Now  researchers from  NYU School of Medicine  suggests that an existing HIV drug called maraviroc could be a potential therapy for Staphylococcus aureus, a notorious and deadly pathogen linked to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations each year.

The discovery arose from a serendipitous finding that was a part of a collaborative study between Dr. Torres, a bacteriologist, and immunologist Derya Unutmaz, MD, associate professor of microbiology and pathology and medicine, whose laboratories are adjacent to each other. 
They focused on a receptor called CCR5 that dots the surface of immune T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. Sixteen years ago, researchers at NYU School of Medicine discovered that CCR5 is the receptor HIV uses to gain entry into T cells in order to replicate, spread, and cause an infection that can progress into AIDS.
That same receptor has now been found to be critical to the ability of certain strains of Staph to specifically target and kill cells with CCR5, which orchestrate an immune response against the bacteria. The scientists discovered that one of the toxins the bacterium releases, called LukED, latches on to CCR5 and subsequently punches holes through the membrane of immune cells, causing them to rapidly die. The LukED toxin belongs to a family of proteins called leukotoxins, encoded and produced by Staph to fight off the immune system's defenses.
Ref :

Drug used to treat HIV might defuse deadly staph infections

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