Israel-Jordan Parasitic Disease Project
Researchers from Israel and Jordan are seeking a treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis in a new project, initiated by Israeli research company Pharmaseed. The project brings together a consortium of parties from Israel, Jordan, and Switzerland for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis, a variant of the parasitic disease leishmaniasis, also known as “Jericho buttons.” Leishmaniasis, which is transmitted by sandflies, is common in the Middle East. The mild manifestation of the condition causes sores that leave scars, while its more serious manifestations damage internal organs, and can cause death in patients with weakened immune systems. Four partners have been recruited for the project: the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, which has identified 70 plant extracts that may be relevant for fighting the parasite; the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, which will test the efficacy of the extracts on leishmaniasis samples; Pharmaseed, which is coordinating the project and is responsible for safety tests, and for assessing the potential efficacy of the extracts being tested; and Jordan University of Science and Technology Prof. Nabil Hailat, who will carry out advanced live and clinical trials (on humans) in Jordan, should these tests yield results.