JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Disifin (sodium tosylchloramide) and Toll-like receptors (TLRs): evolving importance in health and diseases

Okom Nkili F C Ofodile
Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology 2007, 34 (12): 751-62
17876621
Disifin has emerged as a unique and very effective agent used in disinfection of wounds, disinfection of surfaces, materials and water, and other substances contaminated with almost every type of pathogenic microorganism ranging from viruses, bacteria, fungi and yeast, and, very possibly, protozoan parasites, as well. The major active component of Disifin is tosylchloramide sodium (chloramine T). However, the mechanism by which Disifin suppresses the activities of pathogenic microbial agents remains enigmatic. The molecular mechanisms, and the receptors and the signal transducing pathways responsible for the biological effects of Disifin are largely unknown. Despite considerable advances, enormous investigative efforts and large resources invested in the research on infectious diseases, microbial infection still remains a public health problem in many parts of the world. The exact nature of the pathogenic agents responsible for many infectious diseases, and the nature of the receptors mediating the associated inflammatory events are incompletely understood. Recent advances in understanding the molecular basis for mammalian host immune responses to microbial invasion suggest that the first line of defense against microbes is the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by a family of transmembrane pattern-recognizing and signal transducing receptor proteins called Toll-like receptors (TLRs). The TLR family plays an instructive role in innate immune responses against microbial pathogens, as well as the subsequent induction of adaptive immune responses. TLRs mediate recognition and inflammatory responses to a wide range of microbial products and are crucial for effective host defense by eradication of the invading pathogens. Now, recent updates demonstrated the ability of Disifin-derived products, Disifin-Animal and Disifin-Pressant to effectively suppress the progression and activities of Chikungunya fever and that of avian influenza A virus [A/cardialis/Germany/72, H7N1: the agent of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)] infection, respectively. Overall, the above findings led me to suggest that Disifin and TLRs may mechanistically overlap in the processes of executing their functions against pathogenic microbial organisms. Thus, elucidating and better understanding of the molecular underpinnings responsible for the biochemical effects of Disifin-products, and the nature and mode of the interaction(s) of Disifin with TLRs in the process of exerting their biological effects may open a novel dimension in the research of infectious diseases, which may provide novel therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of a wide range of infectious diseases.

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