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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 201617, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/201617
Research Article

Macrofilaricidal Activity in Wuchereria bancrofti after 2 Weeks Treatment with a Combination of Rifampicin plus Doxycycline

1Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, UPO, PMB, Kumasi, Ghana
2Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, UPO, PMB, Kumasi, Ghana
3Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, University Clinic Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Straβe 25, D-53105 Bonn, Germany
4School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, UPO, PMB, Kumasi, Ghana

Received 6 December 2010; Accepted 2 March 2011

Academic Editor: C. Genchi

Copyright © 2011 Alexander Yaw Debrah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Infection with the filarial nematode Wuchereria bancrofti can lead to lymphedema, hydrocele, and elephantiasis. Since adult worms cause pathology in lymphatic filariasis (LF), it is imperative to discover macrofilaricidal drugs for the treatment of the infection. Endosymbiotic Wolbachia in filariae have emerged as a new target for antibiotics which can lead to macrofilaricidal effects. In Ghana, a pilot study was carried out with 39 LF-infected men; 12 were treated with 200 mg doxycycline/day for 4 weeks, 16 were treated with a combination of 200 mg doxycycline/day + 10 mg/kg/day rifampicin for 2 weeks, and 11 patients received placebo. Patients were monitored for Wolbachia and microfilaria loads, antigenaemia, and filarial dance sign (FDS). Both 4-week doxycycline and the 2-week combination treatment reduced Wolbachia load significantly. At 18 months posttreatment, four-week doxycycline resulted in 100% adult worm loss, and the 2-week combination treatment resulted in a 50% adult worm loss. In conclusion, this pilot study with a combination of 2-week doxycycline and rifampicin demonstrates moderate macrofilaricidal activity against W. bancrofti.