Scientists from IIT Gandhinagar Build A New Compound To Fight Stomach Infections

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, have synthesised a new compound that may help treat stomach infections caused by a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori, also called H. Pylori. This bacteria is also a risk factor for stomach cancer and causes many other deadly outcomes.

About The Compound

Gastrointestinal infections are among the most common infections in the country. They often begin suddenly and, in most types, last for a couple of days, even in healthy adults. Many suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. At times, its effect lasts for more than a couple of days, and ends up causing long-term negative effects.

The inhibitor developed by the research team at IIT Gandhinagar is based on an aromatic heterocyclic chemical compound called indole. This new research, published in Scientific Journal, promises the possibility of treating H. Pylori infection. This infection is a cause for gastritis and peptic ulcers as well, apart from stomach cancers.

The inhibitor synthesised by researchers targets a gene known as Inosine-5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase, or IMPDH involved in the nucleotide synthesis of H. Pylori. There has previously been an inhibitor synthesised known as the benzimidazole-based inhibitor. This inhibitor is found to be poorly metabolised in the liver and is therefore declared as not a powerful and effective drug. In the process of synthesizing this newly formed incubator, the team had isolated the IMPDH gene from the H. Pylori.

The new inhibitor was tested on the protein and was found to restrict its enzyme activity. The study also showed that the inhibitor specifically targets the Inosine-5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase protein of the bacterium and not humans, making it safe for human use.

How it is Going To Help

This is a serious issue in not just India, but the world. The symptoms of this infection generally go unnoticed among the majority and is the cause of stomach diseases like gastritis. It is also the cause of peptic ulcers, which is prevalent in India. According to a study regarding the prevalence of peptic ulcer disease in a community in northern India and its relationship with the infection H. Pylori infection, out of the two hundred and fifty four individuals tested, H. Pylori was positive in 56.7% asymptomatic and 61.3% symptomatic individuals. The point prevalence of active peptic ulcer was 3.4% and the lifetime prevalence was 8.8%.

(Left to right): Srimadhavi, Gayathri, Dr. Sivapriya, Althaf, Dr. Vijay Thiruvenkatam, from the IIT Gandhinagar team behind the new compound.

“Validating IMPDH as a drug target for H. pylori infection would be our ultimate goal. We also want to make the medicine affordable. We are collaborating with clinicians and animal model experts to take this study further,” said Dr. Sivapriya Kirubakaran, Assistant Professor at IIT-Gandhinagar and leader of research team while speaking to India Science Wire.

Looking Ahead

According to a research, approximately 50%, which is over 3 billion, of the world populations are known to be infected with H. Pylori, mainly in the developing countries. Among those, hundreds of millions of people develop peptic ulceration during their lifetime and still tens of millions might progress to gastric cancer.

Currently, the infection is treated either with clarithromycin-based therapy or by a mix of this therapy and antibiotics. This new research by Indian scientists will pave a way to help with curing this dreadful stomach infection, affecting the world.

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