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!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.07.2018 | Life Sciences
16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences