Scientists synthesize new compound to fight stomach infections

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Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar have synthesized a new compound that may help treat stomach infections caused by common bacteria, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).

The inhibitor is based on an aromatic chemical compound, indole, and may help in treating H. pylori infection which is a cause for gastritis, peptic ulcers and stomach cancers, according to researchers.

(Left to right): Srimadhavi, Gayathri, Dr. Sivapriya, Althaf, Dr. Vijay Thiruvenkatam

” The study also showed that the inhibitor specifically targets the Inosine-5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase protein of the bacterium and not humans making it safe for human use.”

The new inhibitor synthesized by researchers targets a gene known as Inosine-5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) involved in the nucleotide synthesis of H. pylori. In initial studies, the inhibitor has been found to be better than earlier known benzimidazole-based inhibitor which is poorly metabolized in the liver and is therefore not a potent drug.

“Validating IMPDH as a drug target for H. pylori infection would be our ultimate goal. We also want to make the medicine affordable. We are collaborating with clinicians and animal model experts to take this study further,” said Dr. Sivapriya Kirubakaran, Assistant Professor at IIT-Gandhinagar and leader of research team.

It is estimated that about of half of the global population may be infected with H. pylori. While the symptoms of this infection mostly go unnoticed, it is a cause of diseases like gastritis and ulcers. In India, the burden of this infection is almost 80% in rural areas due to poor hygiene and healthcare facilities. Currently, the infection is treated either with clarithromycin-based therapy or by a mix of this therapy and antibiotics.

Besides Dr. Kirubakaran, the study team included Kapil Juvale, Gayathri Purushothaman, Vijay Singh, Althaf Shaik, Srimadhavi Ravi and Vijay Thiruvenkatam. The study has been paper published in journal Scientific Reports.

Image and news credited to India Science Wire

Featured image: Gastritis helicobacter – very high mag cropped, credited to
Nephron , creative commons

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