Antabuse for Malaria!

Dr. Weeks Comment:  Off label but cheap and effective.  Look what happens when the doctors for addiction talk to the infectious disease docs!



Tetraethylthiuram disulfide (Antabuse) inhibits the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum


Plasmodium falciparum in culture grows optimally at 3% oxygen. Oxygen levels down to 0.5% still support growth, but anaerobic conditions do not. These findings, and the absence of the Krebs cycle in Plasmodium, suggested that in this organism oxygen may not function in electron transport but rather may act through metalloprotein oxygenases. Tetraethylthiuram disulfide (Antabuse, disulfiram) and its reduction product diethyldithiocarbamate inhibit many metalloprotein oxygenases and have a lipid/H2O partition coefficient and high binding constant for metal ions, favoring selective toxicity to the malaria parasite. These compounds exhibited active antimalarial effects in vitro in concentrations down to 0.1 microgram/ml, the lowest level tested. Tetraethylthiuram disulfide at a level as low as 1 microgram/ml inhibited parasite glycolysis with no effect on glycolysis of normal erythrocytes. Erythrocytes pretreated with this drug at 10 microgram/ml did not support growth of the parasite.

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