A novel in vitro image-based assay identifies new drug leads for giardiasis

27 Jan 2017

Hart, C. J., T. Munro, K. T. Andrews, J. H. Ryan, A. G. Riches and T. S. Skinner

International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance

doi: 10.1016/j.ijpddr.2017.01.005


Giardia duodenalis is an intestinal parasite that causes giardiasis, a widespread human gastrointestinal disease. Treatment of giardiasis relies on a small arsenal of compounds that can suffer from limitations including side-effects, variable treatment efficacy and parasite drug resistance. Thus new anti-Giardia drug leads are required. The search for new compounds with anti-Giardia activity currently depends on assays that can be labour-intensive, expensive and restricted to measuring activity at a single time-point. Here we describe a new in vitro assay to assess anti-Giardia activity. This image-based assay utilizes the Perkin-Elmer Operetta® and permits automated assessment of parasite growth at multiple time points without cell-staining. Using this new approach, we assessed the "Malaria Box" compound set for anti-Giardia activity. Three compounds with sub-μM activity (IC50 0.6-0.9 μM) were identified as potential starting points for giardiasis drug discovery.

Read the full article on Science Direct.