The El-Sayed Laboratory


Research identifies potential target for strep A vaccine -Laura Wright - April 1, 2019

With the specter of increased resistance to antibiotics, the scientific community is feeling pressure to find new ways to treat bacteria like Group A Streptococcus. And it appears that an international group of scientists has gained some insight into this microbial enemy—and hope of a vaccine.

Zooming in on the linker of bacterial cell wall polysaccharide

Micriobiology Community - February 1, 2022

This story started in 2017 when we discovered that if GAC is released from cell wall by gentle enzymatic digestion, instead of harsher chemical methods, the glycan contains previously overlooked glycerol phosphate modifications, which provide negative charges to the polysaccharides.

Research may lead to new treatments for snail fever

Voice of America News - Malcolm Brown - November 2, 2009

Public health officials are hoping that recent scientific progress will lead to new treatments for a debilitating and potentially deadly tropical disease, which affects more than 200 million people every year. Researchers completed the genetic blueprint of two species of parasite, which cause schistosomiasis; otherwise known as bilharzia, or snail fever.

Scientists decode bilharzia parasite genomes

Voice of America News - November 2, 2009

Researchers have determined the complete genetic composition of the worm that causes bilharzia, a disease that afflicts more than 200 million people throughout the world, especially in Africa.

Schistosomiasis worms sequenced - July 21, 2009

The genomes of two of the parasitic worms that cause schistosomiasis have been sequenced, paving the way for the development of new drugs for the debilitating disease.

Killer parasites' genes decoded

BBC News - July 16, 2009

Scientists have decoded the genetic blueprint of two parasitic flatworms responsible for thousands of deaths worldwide every year.

Genomes of parasitic flatworms decoded

NIH - July 15, 2009
Science Daily - July 16, 2009

Two international research teams have determined the complete genetic sequences of two species of parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a debilitating condition also known as snail fever. Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum are the first sequenced genomes of any organism in the large group called Lophotrochozoa, which includes other free-living and parasitic flatworms as well as segmented roundworms, such as the earthworm.

Experts analyse parasites to find "snail fever" drugs

Reuters - July 15, 2009

Scientists have mapped out the genomes of two parasites that cause snail fever, a disease that afflicts 210 million rural people worldwide and for which there is still no vaccine.

Scientists decode genome of deadly parasitic worm

EurkAlert! AAAS - University of Maryland Press Release - July 15, 2009

Najib El-Sayed, associate professor in the University of Maryland's College of Chemical and Life Sciences, led the transatlantic research team, along with Matthew Berriman of the UK's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Their work is published in the July 16, 2009 edition of Nature and featured on the journal's cover.

Complete fluke? Genome sequencers crack parasite genome

EurkAlert! AAAS - Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Press Release - July 15, 2009

"This genome sequence catapults schistosomiasis research into a new era," says Dr Matthew Berriman of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and first author and co-leader of the study. "It provides a foundation for understanding aspects of the parasite's complex biology as well as a vehicle to immediately identify new targets for drug treatment."

Scientists decode genomes of deadly parasitic flatworms

NIH Research Matters - June 27, 2009

Scientists have sequenced the complete genomes of 2 flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a devastating tropical disease. The accomplishment provides an invaluable resource for developing new tools to treat the disease.

Parasite genome similarities offer hope for new drugs and vaccines

Bloom, S. (2005). Parasite genome similarities offer hope for new drugs and vaccines. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 115(9), 2300–2301. DOI: 10.1172/JCI26469 PMC - September 1, 2015

It took nearly 250 scientists from 47 institutions on 6 continents over 6 years to resolve the genetic makeup of 3 deadly parasites that are responsible for causing hundreds of thousands of cases of disease each year. The information, published in 3 papers in the July 15 issue of Science, provides new opportunities for developing new therapies.

Analysis Identifies Common Genetic Core for Trio of Parasites

Scientific American - July 18, 2005

Scientists have successfully sequenced the genomes of three deadly parasites that together threaten half a billion people annually around the globe. According to reports published in the current issue of the journal Science, the parasites responsible for African sleeping sickness, Chagas's disease and leishmaniasis--illnesses with very different symptoms--share a core of a few thousand genes. Scientists hope that the results will prove useful for identifying novel drug or vaccine targets.

Trymanosomes Genome Sleeping Sickness Chagas Disease Leishmaniasis

Terra Daily - July 18, 2005

"This common core of genes is extremely important because it may provide targets for a new generation of drugs that might fight all three parasites, which threaten millions of people worldwide," says Najib El-Sayed, the first author of two of the parasite papers that appear in the July 15 issue of Science and senior author of a third paper. "At the moment, there are no vaccines and only a few inadequate drugs to fight these devastating and neglected diseases."

Parasites' genetic code 'cracked'

BBC News - July 15, 2005

International scientists say they have sequenced the genomes of three parasites responsible for diseases that kill more than 150,000 people a year.

Genetic codes of three deadly parasites cracked

SciDevNet - Priya Shetty - July 15, 2005

Scientists have decoded the entire genetic sequences of parasites that cause three of the deadliest diseases in the developing world — leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness and Chagas disease.

Scientists decode deadly parasite genomes

New Zealand Herald IOL - Maggie Fox - July 15, 2005

Three parasites that sicken or kill millions of people in the developing world every year have been genetically sequenced and are giving up clues that could be used to fight them, scientists said today.

Three deadly parasites share common genes

China View English EastDay People's Daily Online - July 15, 2005

An international group of scientists reported Thursday to have determined genetic blueprints for parasites causing three deadly diseases--African sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.

Parasite Genomes Sequenced 7/15/05

Bioscience Technology - July 15, 2005

In a series of research studies, scientist sequenced the genomes of three parasites that are a major cause of death in the developing world. Researchers also performed a comparative study of the three genomes that, they say, will help in identifying ways to fight the parasites.

Three deadly parasite genomes sequenced

EurekAlert! AAAS - NIH/NIAID Press Release - Anne Oplinger - July 14, 2005
Medical News Today Innovations Report - July 15, 2005
Biology News Net - July 16, 2005
Kansas City infoZine - July 18, 2005

"Although relatively unfamiliar in the United States, the collective misery caused by these diseases throughout the world is considerable. Having these genomes in hand will give us many new targets for drug and vaccine development," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

Parasites’ genomes may reveal common weak spot

New Scientist - Andy Coghlan - July 14, 2005

"It’s a major milestone for all of us, and the first big step towards finding solutions to these diseases," says Najib El-Sayed of the Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Maryland, US. He is a leading researcher among hundreds worldwide whose sequencing work is published this week in seven papers in Science.

Common genetics key to fighting deadly parasites

Healthy Day - Robert Preidt - July 14, 2005

Three different parasites driving three tropical diseases -- sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis -- have a lot in common, genetically, researchers report.

Scientists unravel genetic material of 3 deadly parasites

Voice of America News - Jessica Berman - July 14, 2005

An international team of scientists has decoded the genetic material of three deadly parasites that strike millions of people in the developing world. Experts say the organisms have thousands of genes in common, and they hope that will make it possible to develop effective drugs to combat all three.

Gene "maps" show way to beat killer disease

Independent - Steve Connor - July 14, 2005

Scientists have decoded the genetic blueprints of the parasitic microbes responsible for African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis, which collectively affect up to 30 million people and endanger the lives of a further 500 million.

Parasite genome sequences offer hope for new drugs and vaccines, Science studies say

EurkAlert! AAAS - AAAS Press Release - Ginger Pinholster - July 14, 2005

Researchers identified about 6,200 core genes that are present in all three parasites in a similar order within each genome. Some of the proteins encoded in these genes could serve as targets for drugs that would be effective against all three parasites, a worthy goal given the fact that there are currently no vaccines for these diseases, and only a few drugs, most of which are inadequate due to resistance, toxicity or expense.

Three deadly parasites have common genetic core; Studies may help target new drugs to fight them

J. Craig Venter Institute - JCVI Press Release - July 14, 2005

Scientists decipher, compare the genomes of parasites that threaten half a billion people, causing Chagas disease, African Sleeping Sickness and Leishmaniasis.

Deadly parasites show common genetic core

EurekAlert! AAAS - The Institute for Genome Research (TIGR) Press Release - Robert Koenig - July 14, 2005
News Medical - July 18, 2005

The three parasites - the culprits behind African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis - cause markedly varying diseases and are carried by different insect vectors. But scientists have found that the pathogens have a core of about 6,200 conserved genes. Their genetic similarities far outweigh their differences.

Codes for Killers: Knowledge of microbes could lead to cures

Science News - Christen Brownlee - July 13, 2005

Scientists have deciphered the DNA of the parasites responsible for three deadly diseases: African sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease, and leishmaniasis. This information could open new routes to preventing and treating these conditions, which collectively kill more than 1 million people worldwide each year.

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