A novel high-content phenotypic screen to identify inhibitors of mitochondrial DNA maintenance in trypanosomes

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2021 Dec 6;AAC0198021. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01980-21. Online ahead of print.


Kinetoplastid parasites cause diverse neglected diseases in humans and livestock, with an urgent need for new treatments. Survival of kinetoplastids depends on their uniquely structured mitochondrial genome (kDNA), the eponymous kinetoplast. Here we report development of a high-content screen for pharmacologically induced kDNA loss, based on specific staining of parasites and automated image analysis. As proof-of-concept we screened a diverse set of ∼14,000 small molecules and exemplify a validated hit as a novel kDNA-targeting compound.