Induction of tachyzoite egress from cells infected with the protozoan Neospora caninum by nitro- and bromo-thiazolides, a class of broad-spectrum anti-parasitic drugs

Esposito, Marco; Moores, Shelley; Naguleswaran, Arunasalam; Müller, Joachim; Hemphill, Andrew (2007). Induction of tachyzoite egress from cells infected with the protozoan Neospora caninum by nitro- and bromo-thiazolides, a class of broad-spectrum anti-parasitic drugs. International journal for parasitology, 37(10), pp. 1143-52. Kidlington, UK: Elsevier 10.1016/j.ijpara.2007.03.007

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Neospora caninum represents an important pathogen causing stillbirth and abortion in cattle and neuromuscular disease in dogs. Nitazoxanide (NTZ) and its deacetylated metabolite tizoxanide (TIZ) are nitro-thiazolyl-salicylamide drugs with a broad-spectrum anti-parasitic activity in vitro and in vivo. In order to generate compounds potentially applicable in food and breeding animals, the nitro group was removed, and the thiazole-moiety was modified by other functional groups. We had shown earlier that replacement of the nitro-group by a bromo-moiety did not notably affect in vitro efficacy of the drugs against N. caninum. In this study we report on the characterization of two bromo-derivatives, namely Rm4822 and its de-acetylated putative metabolite Rm4847 in relation to the nitro-compounds NTZ and TIZ. IC(50) values for proliferation inhibition were 4.23 and 4.14 microM for NTZ and TIZ, and 14.75 and 13.68 microM for Rm4822 and Rm4847, respectively. Complete inhibition (IC(99)) was achieved at 19.52 and 22.38 microM for NTZ and TIZ, and 18.21 and 17.66 microM for Rm4822 and Rm4847, respectively. However, in order to exert a true parasiticidal effect in vitro, continuous culture of infected fibroblasts in the presence of the bromo-thiazolide Rm4847 was required for a period of 3 days, while the nitro-compound TIZ required 5 days continuous drug exposure. Both thiazolides induced rapid egress of N. caninum tachyzoites from their host cells, and egress was inhibited by the cell membrane permeable Ca(2+)-chelator BAPTA-AM. Host cell entry by N. caninum tachyzoites was inhibited by Rm4847 but not by TIZ. Upon release from their host cells, TIZ-treated parasites remained associated with the fibroblast monolayer, re-invaded neighboring host cells and resumed proliferation in the absence of the drug. In contrast, Rm4847 inhibited host cell invasion and respective treated tachyzoites did not proliferate further. This demonstrated that bromo- and nitro-thiazolides exhibit differential effects against the intracellular protozoan N. caninum and bromo-thiazolides could represent a valuable alternative to the nitro-thiazolyl-salicylamide drugs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology

UniBE Contributor:

Esposito, Marco; Naguleswaran, Arunasalam; Müller, Heinz Joachim and Hemphill, Andrew








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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:54

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2014 15:05

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URI: (FactScience: 36368)

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