In vitro screening of the open source MMV Malaria and Pathogen Boxes to discover novel compounds with activity against Balamuthia mandrillaris
Balamuthia mandrillaris, is an under reported pathogenic free-living amoeba that causes Balamuthia amoebic encephalitis (BAE) and cutaneous skin infections. Although cutaneous infections are not typically lethal, BAE with or without cutaneous involvement usually is fatal. This is due to lack of drugs that are efficacious and that can cross the blood-brain barrier. We aimed to discover new leads for drug discovery by screening the open source MMV Malaria and MMV Pathogen boxes (800 compounds total). From an initial single point screen at 1 and 10 μM, we identified 54 hits that significantly inhibited the growth of B. mandrillaris in vitro. Hits were re-confirmed in quantitative dose response assays and 23 compounds (42.6 %) were confirmed with activity greater than miltefosine, the current standard of care.
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