The Scientists at Sunway University, Malaysia have discovered a new way to kill brain eating amoebae using Silver nanoparticles coated with anti-seizure drugs during their research.
The research was published in the journal Chemical Neuroscience on October 15, 2018. According to the study, brain-eating amoebae which are also known as Naegleria Fowleri can be killed by silver nanoparticles.
It has been reported that the treatment will not affect human brain cells.
The lead researchers of the study, Ayaz Anwar and his colleagues were uncertain about the effects of three anti-seizure drugs - diazepam, phenobarbitone, and phenytoin on amoebae. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved these drugs.
During the research, three anti-seizure drugs were attached to silver nanoparticles. While examining the capability of the combination, it was analyzed that the drug worked better with silver nanoparticles.
It has been proposed by the researchers that the three drugs in combination with silver could kill amoebae. The single-celled membrane of an organism could be invaded by protein receptors or ion channels.
Dr. Ayaz Anwar led this new study at Sunway University in Malaysia. He said, “The biggest challenge is finding a drug that can actually reach the right region of the brain.”
He further added, “We need a drug that can trick the body into letting it through - and we know that anti-seizure drugs can overcome that barrier.”
Dr. Edward T. Ryan, the director of the global infectious diseases division of Massachusetts General Hospital said, “Here is a nasty, often devastating infection that we don’t have great treatments for. This work is clearly in the early stages, but it’s an interesting take.”
Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba, a species of its kind that infects people. This single-celled living organism is found in warm freshwaters such as rivers, lakes, dirty hot springs and soil.
Usually, it enters the body through the nose while swimming or diving in freshwater places. It then paces up to the brain and affects its tissues. The infections of brain-eating amoebae are occasional, but these are deadly.
In order to prevent yourself from such deadly bacteria, you must reduce its risk. You can avoid taking bath in freshwater or dirty places. At the same time, make sure that your nearby places do not have such conditions to become home to such bacteria.
Nowadays, while treating the patients infected from brain-eating amoeba, antimicrobial drugs are usually prescribed in very high doses. Though it helps to halt through its development in the brain, the treatment brings many side-effects.
When amoebae feed the brain, it leads to swelling of the brain tissues. It is often misdiagnosed as per the records.
Looking forward to such in-effective treatment of the infection, this study was conducted. During testing the drugs in the laboratory, it was observed that all three drug-silver combinations reduced the cells of amoebae. While Diazepam drug showed much better effects after combining with silver.
Dr. Anwar has now strategized to examine their research on animal replicas like mice, crickets, or cockroaches.
The infections of brain-eating amoebae are life threatening. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the year 1962, only 4 out of 143 patients survived.
The conclusions drawn from the study are yet to take its final shape as many tests will be conducted to analyze its effect. But this research has proved to be the first step for enhanced treatments of this fatal disease in the future.