Approximately 120 million people worldwide are infected with thread-like parasitic filarial worms causing lymphatic filariasis. This tropical disease, found in regions of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, is spread by mosquitoes and causes episodes of acute and chronic inflammation, including elephantiasis. The standard treatment has been a combination of diethylcarbamazine and albendazole, which are accompanied by significant side effects in about half of the patients, including fever, headache, dizziness, and enlarged lymph nodes.
Doxycycline works by targeting a symbiotic bacterium, Wolbachia, which live inside the filarial worms. When the bacteria are killed by the antibiotic, then the worms also die. Doxycycline has previously been found to be effective against filariasis caused by the Wuchereria species. However, more than half of the filarial cases in Southeast Asia are caused by the Brugia species. Researchers in Indonesia set out to determine whether doxycycline would be effective against this species as well, with fewer adverse reactions than standard treatment.
The authors treated 161 patients with doxycycline plus placebo, diethylcarbamazine and albendazole plus placebo, or both treatments. After 12 months, 77 percent of the patients given doxycycline plus placebo tested negative for the Brugia parasite, compared to just 27 percent of those given diethylcarbamazine and albendazole plus placebo. Those given both treatments fared best: 87.5 percent tested negative for the parasite.
Nearly 43 percent of patients given diethylcarbamazine and albendazole experienced severe adverse reactions including high fevers. None of the patients given doxycycline had severe reactions. Of those receiving both treatments, about 16 percent had severe reactions.
In addition to offering a safer treatment alternative, the authors said the study demonstrates that the symbiotic Wolbachia bacteria in the parasite are a viable target for further anti-filariasis drug discovery.
Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences