Group for study of drug resistance and drug interactions

Main areas of interest

Development of drug resistance in helminths

Drug resistance in parasitic worms becomes one of serious worldwide problems, especially in farm and free-living animals. Induction of biotransformation enzymes in parasites and host can play important role in development of drug resistance in helminths. In our projects, we focus on the role of these enzymes in development of resistance in Barber’s pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) which parasitize in sheep (Ovis aries). Goal of our project is to find possibilities how to suppress drug resistance and increase efficacy of treatment.

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Drug interactions with food supplements

Dietary supplements are intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, or amino acids. In addition, dietary supplements contain numerous natural plant constituents and herbal extracts with proposed beneficial effects for individual’s health. Most people believe that supplements are innocuous substances, and they use them for added health benefits. Moreover, herbal supplements are often considered harmless as they are based on “natural plant” extracts and compounds. Therefore, high-dose dietary supplements with natural/herbal constituents are widely used in our population. However, consumption of food supplements can lead to induction or inhibition of some biotransformation enzymes and transport proteins and that can affect pharmacokinetics of simultaneously or subsequently administered drugs. Aim of this project is to study interactions of biologically active substances contained in food supplements (terpenes, polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamins) with simultaneously or subsequently administered drugs. Goal is to point out the possible risks and adverse effects.

Plants and essential oils containing some terpenes (e.g. pulegone), which are often used for flavoring foods and beverages and as components of herbal medicinal products, are known to exhibit liver toxicity in animals and in man. However, their metabolism in humans and mechanism by which these compounds cause hepatotoxicity are not fully understood. Therefore, this project is designed to study the mechanism-based hepatotoxic properties of selected monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes and thus obtain new information about their metabolism and the effects of parent compounds and their metabolites in human liver.

 

Isolation of tissue slices

Anthelmintics in plants

Veterinary anthelmintics, widely used drugs against parasitic worms, represent risk to environment as they may influence non-target organisms including plants. Plants are exposed to veterinary pharmaceuticals in pastures with treated animals, in fields fertilized with dung from treated animals or in aquatic ecosystems. Anthelmintics as well as other xenobiotics enter plant body and can induce stress and consequent response. In addition to increased oxidative stress, xenobiotics can interact with various biomolecules or interfere with endogenous metabolic or signalling pathways. Plants uptake anthelmintics and metabolized them mainly via oxidation, reduction and glycosylation. The biotransformation of anthelmintics could interfere with synthesis of secondary metabolites in plants as the same enzymatic systems is probably used, and anthelmintics in plant could induce changes in antioxidant defence systems via several mechanisms. The aim is to find out new information about the impact of anthelmintics unwantedly occurring in environment on polyphenols synthesis and on antioxidant defence system of plants.

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