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New anti-Wolbachia drug regimen could reduce treatment times of LF and Oncho to 1-2 weeks

Date:
March 16, 2017
Source:
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Summary:
A new study has explored the development of a shorter anti-Wolbachia strategy, resulting in adult filarial worm death (macrofilaricidal), by using the antibiotic drug rifampicin to target Wolbachia. Unlike doxycycline, this regimen could be safely administered to pregnant women and children.
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Sscientists from the A·WOL Consortium based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have published a paper entitled 'Short-Course, High-Dose Rifampicin Achieves Wolbachia Depletion Predictive of Curative Outcomes in Preclinical Models of Lymphatic Filariasis and Onchocerciasis' in Scientific Reports.

The study explored the development of a shorter treatment regimen, resulting in adult filarial worm death (macrofilaricidal), by using the antibiotic drug rifampicin to target Wolbachia. Unlike doxycycline, this regimen could be safely administered to pregnant women and children.

Professor Mark Taylor, Corresponding Author on the paper, said: "The anti-Wolbachia strategy has proved to be a paradigm changing therapeutic approach to the treatment of onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. The data in this paper shows that a clinically safe dose of rifampicin can elicit the same result as the standard 4-6-week doxycycline therapy when administered over just 1-2 weeks. What's more that fact that it is also safe for children and during pregnancy means that interventions are more likely to benefit the community as a whole, taking us one step closer to the WHO's ambition to control and eliminate these terrible diseases."

Previously published findings by the authors have shown that a 4-week course of the tetracycline antibiotic, doxycycline, depletes Wolbachia populations in onchocerciasis and leads to long-term sterilization and a macrofilaricidal effect, whereas a 3-week course of doxycycline delivers sub-optimal effects.

This treatment regimen would be compatible for use in children and during pregnancy and, because of the shortened duration of administration required, would be more readily deliverable by health care systems in resource-poor community settings.


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Materials provided by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ghaith Aljayyoussi, Hayley E. Tyrer, Louise Ford, Hanna Sjoberg, Nicolas Pionnier, David Waterhouse, Jill Davies, Joanne Gamble, Haelly Metugene, Darren A. N. Cook, Andrew Steven, Raman Sharma, Ana F. Guimaraes, Rachel H. Clare, Andrew Cassidy, Kelly L. Johnston, Laura Myhill, Laura Hayward, Samuel Wanji, Joseph D. Turner, Mark J. Taylor, Stephen A. Ward. Short-Course, High-Dose Rifampicin Achieves Wolbachia Depletion Predictive of Curative Outcomes in Preclinical Models of Lymphatic Filariasis and Onchocerciasis. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00322-5

Cite This Page:

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. "New anti-Wolbachia drug regimen could reduce treatment times of LF and Oncho to 1-2 weeks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316120451.htm>.
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. (2017, March 16). New anti-Wolbachia drug regimen could reduce treatment times of LF and Oncho to 1-2 weeks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316120451.htm
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. "New anti-Wolbachia drug regimen could reduce treatment times of LF and Oncho to 1-2 weeks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316120451.htm (accessed April 24, 2017).