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Rapid Diagnostics for Mucormycosis

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AI115907-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI115907
Amount: $151,113.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA14-072
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-02-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-01-31
Small Business Information
Irvine, CA 92620-3440
United States
DUNS: 078843572
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (949) 533-5453
Business Contact
Phone: (949) 533-5453
Research Institution
TORRANCE, CA 90502-2006
United States

 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Mucormycosis most commonly caused by Rhizopus oryzae is a life threatening infection that occurs in patients immunocompromised by diabetic ketoacidosis DKA neutropenia corticosteroid use and or increased serum iron Because of the rising prevalence of these risk factors the incidence of mucormycosis has risen Despite disfiguring surgery and aggressive antifungal therapy the mortality of mucormycosis remains andgt and approaches in patients with disseminated disease and prolonged neutropenia A key factor which contributes to these abysmal mortality rates of mucormycosis is the current lack of rapid diagnostic tests This deficiency often results in delayed therapy Thus a rapid diagnostic test for mucormycosis is likely to improve the outcome of the disease Clinical hallmarks of R oryzae infection include its remarkable angiotropism We recently made the important discovery that the fungal cell surface proteins encoded by CotH facilitate disease progression by allowing R oryzae to invade mammalian cells via binding to Glucose Regulated Protein GRP a heat shock protein expressed on endothelial cells lining blood vessels during mucormycosis Importantly CotH proteins were found to be conserved among Mucorales organisms that cause mucormycosis with amino acid identity ranging from Equally important CotH proteins are unique to Mucorales since they are absent from any other known organisms Finally CotH proteins were found to be expressed in clinically relevant animal models of mucormycosis including the DKA mouse model These features strongly indicate that CotH and their gene products can be utilized for rapid detection of mucormycosis Indeed our preliminary data show PCR related methods using specific primers to CotH can amplify signals in blood samples spiked with different Mucorales but not Aspergillus fumigatus or Candida Moreover anti CotH antibodies can recognize a band similar to the predicted size of CotH proteins in serum samples collected from infected mice We propose to build on these exciting data to further establish CotH and or their gene products as biomarkers for diagnosis of mucormycosis progression of the disease and response to therapy Our goal in this Phase I feasibility study is to use our established and clinically relevant DKA and neutropenic mucormycosis mouse models to develop a PCR based assay and or an antigen detection test targeting CotH in biological samples collected from mice infected with Mucorales Phase II of this STTR application will focus on establishing a PCR based kit sandwiched ELISA and or dipstick assays for the rapid detection of CotH or circulating CotH antigens by testing using human clinical samples Establishing a rapid detection test will improve mucormycosis outcome by early initiation of proper therapy and inform the response to antifungal therapy

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Mucormycosis is a life threatening fungal infection that afflicts patients with weakened immune system Current treatment fail in andgt of patients due to lack of appropriate and rapid detection methods which often results in delayed therapy We propose to develop rapid detection methods using antigens uniquely present in fungi that cause mucormycosis

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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