Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Fall 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Blaise Dondji

Second Committee Member

Gil Belofsky

Third Committee Member

Gabrielle Stryker

Abstract

Infecting upwards of a billion people worldwide, hookworm is one of the most prevalent parasitic infections affecting the world today. Those infected experience hookworm disease, characterized by severe anemia, which can lead to malnutrition, low birth weights, and physical and mental impairments. Currently, the benzimidazoles albendazole and mebendazole are used as the primary treatment; however, resistance to these drugs is emerging. Due to this resistance, finding new anthelmintic compounds active against hookworm is a priority. Previously, a pure compound isolated from Dalea ornata was identified as having strong anthelmintic activity when used against the hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum. This project was continued using pure compounds isolated from Dalea pogonathera and D. parryi. The pure compounds were tested for toxicity and anthelmintic properties. The structure of these compounds were determined using NMR. To test toxicity, spleen cells were obtained from Golden Syrian hamsters, Mesocricetus auratus, which were then exposed to 50µg/mL of compound for 24 hours to determine whether the compound induces apoptosis. This was done by analyzing the cells after the 24 hour incubation using flow cytometry to compare cell survival from the experimental cells to the controls. An ex vivo assay was employed to test for anthelmintic properties by exposing adult A. ceylanicum to 50µg/mL of compound for 5 days, monitoring motility and mortality. Unfortunately, none of the pure compounds tested were active towards A. ceylanicum; however, the methods used can be replicated for similar projects.

Available for download on Saturday, December 14, 2019

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