New Drug Shows High Efficacy in Treating Parasitic Worm Infections
For decades, Albendazole and Mebendazole have been the only available treatments for parasitic worm infections. However, these drugs have limited efficacy against certain types of worms, with a single dose of these drugs only curing 17 percent of people infected with whipworm. Moreover, drug resistance is on the rise, and new alternative treatments are urgently needed.
Recently, researchers have been testing the efficacy of a new drug, emodepside, on people infected with soil-transmitted helminths, such as whipworm, hookworm, and roundworm. Emodepside is an anthelmintic drug that is licensed for use in cats against gastrointestinal roundworms and hookworms. The study conducted in Tanzania found high cure rates for all three soil-transmitted helminths, with the lowest dose tested, 5mg of emodepside, curing 83 percent of people infected with whipworm. An increase in dosage to 15mg resulted in complete cure of all people infected with whipworm.
According to the study lead, Emmanuel Mrimi, “curing people infected with whipworm has never been achieved with the current anthelminthic treatments. In addition, high efficacy was also observed against roundworm and hookworm.” The drug was found to be well-tolerated, with most adverse events in the trial being mild.
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, which conducted the study, says that the veterinary drug showed potential in laboratory studies to treat patients infected with soil-transmitted helminths. The institute will join forces with the life science company Bayer on the further development of the drug to have it approved for use in humans.
Worldwide, more than 1.5 billion people are infected with at least one soil-transmitted helminth, with most of the infected population living in low- and middle-income countries. The development of emodepside could be a huge milestone towards controlling and eliminating soil-transmitted helminthiases, which often lead to malnutrition, anemia, and impaired cognitive development in children.
Drug repurposing is a key strategy in research for anthelmintic drug discovery and development that is neglected and underfunded, according to Jennifer Keiser, head of the Helminth Drug Development unit. “Most repurposed drugs come from veterinary medicine,” she said. The recent results of the clinical trials are important and good news in the field of neglected tropical diseases. No new anthelminthic has been developed in the past decades. So, this is a huge milestone towards controlling and eliminating soil-transmitted helminthiases.
In conclusion, the development of emodepside is a significant breakthrough in the treatment of parasitic worm infections. It offers hope for people living in low- and middle-income countries who are most affected by these infections. The drug’s high efficacy against whipworm, hookworm, and roundworm could help in the control and elimination of soil-transmitted helminthiases, which have been neglected for far too long. The collaboration between the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and Bayer is a positive development that could lead to the approval of emodepside for use in humans.
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News Source : PAULINE KAIRU
Source Link :Cat medication proves promising in treating parasitic worms in humans/