Dr. Zach Suntres

Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Division of Medical Sciences


The ginseng research in my lab deals with the anti-infective activity of Ontario ginseng extracts against Pseudomona  aeruginosa lung infection. P. aeruginosa is a common respiratory tract pathogen that can cause serious infection in mechanically-ventilated patients, individuals who are immunocompromised (i.e. burns, radiation exposure, respiratory diseases), and patients with malignancies, HIV infection or cystic fibrosis.  Both pulmonary and bloodstream infections caused by the microorganism are associated with significant morbidity and with mortality rates of up to 40% to 50%. The anti-infective properties of selected ginseng extracts as determined from microbiological screening tests will be examined in a chronic animal model of Pseudomonas pulmonary infection.  Chronic infection in the lungs of rats will be established following intratracheal administration of P. aeruginosa (ATCC 27853/clinical isolate) embedded in agar beads. Briefly, a suspension of the bacterial strain incorporated into agar beads containing 107 CFU will be administered in a volume of 100 μL by the intratracheal route to anesthetized rats. Three days after bacterial inoculation, infected animals will receive one dose daily, for 10 consecutive days, of either saline or different dosages of ginseng extract(s) with animals being sacrificed 24-h following the last dose.  The experimental end points will include histopathological evaluation of lungs, total pulmonary bacterial loads, and analysis of intracellular signaling pathways and inflammatory responses.  Also, we propose to further enhance the activity(ies) of ginseng extract(s) by delivering them directly to the lungs as a liposomal formulation.

Dr. Suntres


Platform Technology Group: Pre-Clinical
Research Keywords: Drug delivery, oxidative stress, infection, lung injury
Phone: (807) 766-7395
E-mail: zsuntres@nosm.ca
Personal web page: http://www.nosm.ca
Research Projects: Anti-infective activity of ginseng against P. aeruginosa
Trainees: Karina Kachur (GS); not currently accepting applications