Changes in circulating parasite antigen levels after treatment of bancroftian filariasis with diethylcarbamazine and ivermectin
Filariasis is a disease that is caused by filarial nematode worms. Wuchereria bancrofti (W. bancrofti) is a filarial nematode that is found in tropical climates; it can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Once inside the body, the worms can travel in the blood to various body tissues and to the lymph vessels. While the worms are alive they do not pose a serious threat and may not produce any symptoms. However, when the adult worms die they clog or plug blood and lymph vessels. This can cause inflammation and tissue damage (scaring). In severe cases, elephantiasis (elephant leg) may occur as blood and lymph vessels become clogged with dead worms. Ivermectin and diethylcarbamazine (DEC) have been used to treat patients with filariasis. Both drugs cause fever and muscle pain. While some studies have reported that a single dose of ivermectin may be as effective as 12 days of treatment with DEC, other studies have suggested that DEC may be more effective than ivermectin in treating filariasis. This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of both drugs in treating filariasis. Thirty adult Haitians with filariasis were given a single dose of ivermectin, followed by either one dose of ivermectin, two doses of ivermectin, or 12 days of treatment with DEC. The effectiveness of the drugs was determined by measuring the amount of parasite antigen present in the blood before and after each treatment. DEC reduced the amount of parasite antigen by 75 percent, while ivermectin produced a 34 percent reduction. These results demonstrate that a single dose of ivermectin, followed by a 12-day course of DEC, is the most effective treatment for filariasis. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Journal of Infectious Diseases
Live imaging of lymphatic development in the zebrafish
Zebrafish having a lymphatic system that shares many of the morphological, molecular and functional characteristics of the lymphatic vessels found in other vertebrates is used as a model for imaging and studying the lymphatic development. The migration and lineage of individual cells incorporating into the lymphatic endothelium is traced and results show lymphatic endothelium cells of the thoracic duct arise from primitive veins through a novel and unexpected pathway.
Publication Name: Nature Medicine
Issues concerning the occurrence and treatment of lymphatic filariasis transmited by tropical insects are discussed. Particular attention is given to the manifestations of the disease which involves worms in particular body locations and to methods of treatment.
Publication Name: Nursing Times
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