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Home Industry News Cholesterol therapies ‘could help to tackle infectious diseases’

Cholesterol therapies ‘could help to tackle infectious diseases’

22nd August 2017

Common cholesterol-lowering therapies could be useful in helping to fight off certain infectious diseases, according to a new study.

Research from Duke University has indicated that cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins may be effective in protecting against pathogens whose entry into host cells is regulated by cholesterol.

Looking at human cells, it was found that higher levels of cholesterol were associated with genetic vulnerabilities that made the cells more susceptible to infection with salmonella typhi, the pathogen responsible for typhoid fever.

In tests using zebrafish, it was noted that cholesterol-lowering drugs such as ezetimibe or Zetia made the treated animals more likely to clear the bacteria out of their system and survive.

Researchers believe this method could be used to protect against a number of infectious diseases, including chlamydia, malaria and Ebola.

Dr Dennis Ko, senior author of the study and assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke University School of Medicine, said: "What's so exciting is that our study provides a blueprint for combining different techniques for understanding why some people are more susceptible to disease than others, and what can be done about it."

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