Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Evaluation of a fluorescence-based method for antibabesial drug screening.

PMID 24914124


In vitro evaluation of chemotherapeutic agents against Babesia and Theileria parasites has become routine, and the effectiveness of these chemicals is usually determined by comparing the parasitemia dynamics of untreated and treated parasites. Although microscopy is widely used to calculate parasitemia, several disadvantages are associated with this technique. The present study evaluated a fluorescence-based method using SYBR green I stain (SG I) to screen antibabesial agents in in vitro cultures of Babesia bovis. The linearity between relative fluorescence units (RFU) and parasitemia was found to be well correlated with a 0.9944 goodness-of-fit (r(2)) value. Subsequently, 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values were calculated for 3 antiprotozoan agents, diminazene aceturate, nimbolide, and gedunin, by this method. For diminazene aceturate and nimbolide, the IC(50)s determined by the fluorescence-based method (408 nM and 8.13 μM, respectively) and microscopy (400.3 nM and 9.4 μM, respectively) were in agreement. Furthermore, the IC50 of gedunin determined by the fluorescence-based method (19 μM) was similar to the recently described microscopy-based value (21.7 μM) for B. bovis. Additionally, the Z' factor (0.80 to 0.90), signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio (44.15 to 87.64), coefficient of variation at the maximum signal (%CVmax) (0.50 to 2.85), and coefficient of variation at the minimum signal (%CVmin) (1.23 to 2.21) calculated for the fluorescence method using diminazene aceturate were comparable to those previously determined in malaria research for this assay. These findings suggest that the fluorescence-based method might be useful for antibabesial drug screening and may have potential to be developed into a high-throughput screening (HTS) assay.

Related Materials