Homidium Bromide (Ethidium)

Photograph of Homidium Bromide (Ethidium) under the microscope.

Homidium bromide, marketed under the name Ethidium, is a trypanocidal drug primarily used in the veterinary arena. Trypanosomosis, a group of parasitic diseases, may affect both humans and domestic livestock. Caused by flagellate protozoa-trypanosomes, the maladies are characterized by anemia, pyrexia, and a progressive worsening of body condition. Trypanosomosis is transmitted by various insects, but mainly by biting flies, and is prevalent in cattle living in Africa. Ethidium, which was first marketed in the 1950s, has been commonly used to treat bovine infections since that time, although is not advised for human consumption. The mutagen is currently being researched in order to discover any toxic effects of exposure, but is frequently used in the research laboratory environment as a nucleic acid stain.

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