Malaria, caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, has a long history as a global health threat. The vector-borne disease causes millions of deaths yearly, especially in developing countries with tropical climates that facilitate transmission. Compounding the problem is the emergence of drug-resistant strains due to overuse of outdated treatments. New compounds with antiplasmodial activity are needed to be developed as effective drugs against malaria. The hypothesis for this project is that marine microorganisms have a high likelihood of yielding novel antiplasmodial chemotypes because of their high diversity, which has not yet been explored for antimalarial development. In this project, microbes harvested and fermented by the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida were explored as sources for antiplasmodial natural products. Using a SYBR Green I fluorescence-based assay, 1,000 microbial extracts were screened for inhibition of the multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strain Dd2. Dose-response analysis was performed on 46 fractions from isolates whose extracts demonstrated greater-than or equal to] 70% inhibition of Dd2 at 1 micro]g/mL. To evaluate cytotoxicity, the MTS cell viability assay was used to calculate IC50 of extracts from active isolates in NIH/3T3 embryonic mouse fibroblasts. Several extracts demonstrated low IC50 in Dd2 and high IC50 in 3T3, suggesting that they contain potential lead antimalarial compounds. Extracts with high selectivity indices (potent plasmodial inhibition with low mammalian toxicity) have been prioritized for dereplication, with the goal of identifying novel active components that can be developed as antimalarial drugs.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Dissertations, Academic -- Medicine;Medicine -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Carbonell, Abigail, "Identification of potential lead antimalarial compounds from marine microbial extracts" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1810.