Protecting Livestock. Improving Human Lives

Anti-parasitic benzoxaboroles are ineffective against Theileria parva in vitro

Author: Steketee PC, Paxton E, Barrett MP, Pearce MC, Connelley TK, Morrison LJ

Year: 2023

About this Publication:

East Coast Fever (ECF) is a disease affecting cattle in sub-Saharan Africa, caused by the tick-borne Apicomplexan pathogen Theileria parva. The disease is a major problem for cattle farmers in affected regions. There are few methods of control: a complex infection and treatment vaccine, expensive chemotherapy and, most commonly, tick control using acaricides. New intervention strategies are needed. Benzoxaboroles are a versatile class of boron heterocyclic compounds with demonstrable pharmacological activity against a diverse group of pathogens, including those related to T. parva. In this study, in vitro efficacy of three benzoxaboroles against the intracellular schizont stage of T. parva was investigated using a flow cytometry approach. Of the benzoxaboroles tested, one showed potency, albeit at high concentrations. This finding suggests that benzoxaboroles currently of interest for the treatment of African animal trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis and malaria may not be suitable for the treatment of ECF. We conclude that testing of more benzoxaborole compounds is needed to fully determine whether any lead compounds can be identified to target T. parva.

Subject Areas: Research and Development

Diseases: Trypanosomosis



Benzoxaborole, Theileria parva, drug, Apicomplexan parasites, protozoa, drug target


Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic Of, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, United Republic Of, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

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