The mechanism of action of the anti-trypanocidal drugs such as pentamidine, fexinidazole and acoziborole (to mention but a few) and even some natural herbs which are being administered to cases of African trypanosomiasis revealed that they are usually directed to assault and kill the trypanosomes in the body. The red blood cell (RBC) membrane which form the first site of infection are usually unprepared for the first attack and hence the RBCs suffer massive destruction as seen in various anaemic shape the cells assumed after the first wave of parasitaemia. The bilayer membrane of RBCs consist of glycoproteins such as glycophorin A which bound to neuraminic acid (NA) and O-linked oligosaccharide sugar. This conjugate forms the binding site for trypanosome on RBCs. NA can be oxidized or cleaved from glycophorin by neuraminidase or sialidase secreted by the invading trypanosome. The research interest lies in the ability to screen for neuraminidase inhibitors either natural or synthetic compounds which can be used to block the parasite before adhering itself to the surface of RBCs and damage the cells. This will requires designing or screening for compound, its bioavailability, molecular basis and understanding its toxicity as well as its effectiveness.
Nigerian Institute For Trypanosomiasis (& Onchocerciasis) Research (NITR)
Area of expertise:Blackflies Mosquitoes Sandflies
Email: akinseyeroland [at] gmail.com
Early career researcher