Berry, S, Walker, K, Hoskins, C, Telling, ND and Price, H (2019) Nanoparticle-mediated magnetic hyperthermia is an effective method for killing the human-infective protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana in vitro. Scientific Reports, 9. ISSN 2045-2322

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Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease characterized by disfguring skin lesions. Current chemotherapeutic options depend on toxic, expensive drugs that are both difcult to administer and becoming less efective due to increasing levels of resistance. In comparison, thermotherapy displays greater patient compliance and less adverse systemic efects, but there are still signifcant issues associated with this. The procedure is painful, requiring local anaesthetic, and is less efective against large lesions. Using nanoparticles to controllably generate heat in a localized manner may provide an alternative solution. Here we evaluate magnetic hyperthermia, using iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles, as a localized, heat-based method to kill the human-infective parasite in vitro. We assessed the efectiveness of this method against the diferentiated, amastigote form of the parasite using three distinct viability assays: PrestoBlue, Live/Dead stain and a novel luciferase-based assay. Changes in amastigote morphology and ultrastructure were assessed by immunofuorescence, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Our fndings show that magnetic hyperthermia is an efective method to kill host-infective amastigotes, with morphological changes consistent with heat treatment. This method has the potential to be a step-change for research into new therapeutic options that moves away from the expensive chemotherapeutics currently dominating the research climate.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Nature Publishing Group at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Pharmacy
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 11:12
Last Modified: 23 May 2019 14:51

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