Indexed on: 09 Sep '99Published on: 09 Sep '99Published in: The Journal of infectious diseases
The long-term effect of a single oral dose of 150 microg/kg of body weight of ivermectin on Mansonella streptocerca microfilariae was studied in western Uganda. Before treatment, the geometric mean microfilaria density (mf) in 93 infected persons was 2.4 mf/mg of skin (range, 0.1-42.6). One year after treatment, 43 persons (46%) were microfilaria-negative, and the geometric mean in the remaining persons dropped significantly, to 0.7 mf/mg (range, 0.1-6.9). Thus, ivermectin is highly effective against M. streptocerca, and a single dose leads to a sustained suppression of microfilariae in skin. In Africa, ivermectin is used for mass treatment to control Onchocerca volvulus and Wuchereria bancrofti. Because these filarial parasites are often coendemic with M. streptocerca, the treated population may receive the additional benefit of suppression of M. streptocerca microfilariae.