14. Exploring the Combination of Calorie Restriction and Anthelmintics on C. elegans

Kassie Howard Bethel College
Faculty Sponsor(s): Brian Ellis Bethel College
Parasitic worms affect more than 1.5 billion people each year mostly from developing countries. These worms tend to be soil-transmitted helminths (STH), which are intestinal parasitic nematodes. Symptoms of infected individuals include feeling tired and sluggish, which in turn may prevent them from going to work and keeping the individuals in poverty. The WHO has approved a common method of treatment for these individuals called mass drug administration (MDA). The three main helminths that infects these people are whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), hookworm (Ancylostoma duodenale), and large round worm (Ascaris lumbricoides). The most effective drug against these parasitic worms is albendazole; however, the worms have been showing signs of resistance. Therefore, research is being conducted to investigate new drugs and other ways to stop parasitic worm infection. Caenorhabditis elegans have proven to be good model for these parasitic worms. Previously, Weaver et al. conducted experiments with the Hawaiian strain of C. elegans on albendazole and showed that at day seven, at the 1000 mg/mL concentration level of the drug, the worms appeared that they were dying. This is in contrast to the rest of the concentrations, in both N2 and Hawaiian strains of C. elegans, that showed albendazole caused worms to become sick, but not die. However, this datum point was not significantly different from control. To further investigate this phenomena, experiments using calorie restriction were used, in order to extend the lifespan of the worms, because after 7 days in liquid culture, the control worms also begin to get sick and die. During these experiments a new phenotype was discovered where worms that were calorie restricted and given drug appeared to curl up at a frequency of 80-90% whereas the undrugged worms appeared sick but not curled up. We aim to repeat these results and investigate the phenomena.
Biology
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library 3rd Floor