Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Ivermectin is causing genetic selection in river blindness parasite

Ivermectin, the standard drug for treating river blindness (onchocerciasis), is causing genetic changes in the parasite that causes the disease, according to a new study by Roger Prichard (McGill University, Canada) and colleagues, published on August 30, 2007 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. These genetic changes have previously been linked with parasites becoming resistant to ivermectin.

The study is being published as a “sneak preview” research article ahead of the official launch of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases later this year.

Recent reports of patients failing to respond to ivermectin treatment have suggested the emergence of drug-resistant Onchocerca volvulus (the parasite that causes river blindness), and recent studies have associated ivermectin resistance with certain genetic markers, particularly the ß-tubulin gene. In Prichard and colleagues’ study, genetic changes in ß-tubulin were seen in parasites obtained from patients exposed to repeated ivermectin treatment when compared with parasites obtained from the same patients before any exposure to ivermectin. Furthermore, the researchers found that the extent of the genetic changes was dependent on the level of ivermectin treatment exposure.

Ivermectin has been used for mass treatment of river blindness for up to 18 years and is currently the only safe drug available for mass treatment of the estimated 37 million people infected with the O. volvulus parasite. According to this study, the genetic selection shown “could have implications for the development of ivermectin resistance in O. volvulus and for the ongoing onchocerciasis control programmes.”

In a related commentary article, publishing the same day in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sara Lustigman (New York Blood Center) and James McCarter (Washington University School of Medicine), who were not involved in Prichard and colleagues’ study, say that the study is “a wake-up call for onchocerciasis control programs to select their treatment regimens carefully and to develop plans for detecting ivermectin resistance and the associated genetic markers.”

These two articles are the first to be released by PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the Public Library of Science’s newest journal. The journal will be the first publication devoted entirely to neglected tropical diseases such as elephantiasis, Chagas disease, leprosy, hookworm, schistosomiasis, and African sleeping sickness. All papers published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases will be freely available online, and published under a license that allows readers to freely distribute and translate them and create derivative works.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Ivermectin Neglected PLoS blindness genetic marker parasite

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>