River Blindness Worm Develops Resistance to Drugs

Posted on June 15, 2007  Comments (2)

River blindness resistance fears

Resistance could lead to breakouts of the infection in communities where it has been brought under control, a Canadian study in the Lancet reports. Ivermectin, used since the late 1980s, is the only drug available for the mass treatment of river blindness. Experts warned the findings highlighted the urgent need for new treatments. River blindness (onchocerciasis) is caused by a nematode worm which is transmitted by a black fly.

He added that isolated resistance could be controlled by using insecticides or an antibiotic called doxycycline, which is effective but needs to be given every day for a long time.

Professor Taylor’s team have recently received a large grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to search for new drugs or combinations that can have the same effect as a course of doxycycline but delivered in shorter time frame.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding a tremendous amount of important work.

Related: HHMI Provides $600 Million for Basic Biomedical ResearchBringing Eye Care to Thousands in India

2 Responses to “River Blindness Worm Develops Resistance to Drugs”

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