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Dreyer G , Noroes J , Amaral F , Nen A , Medeiros Z , Coutinho A , Addiss D .

DIRECT ASSESSMENT OF THE ADULTICIDAL EFFICACY OF A SINGLE DOSE OF IVERMECTIN IN BANCROFTIAN FILARIASIS.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1995 Jul-Aug;89(4):441-3.

ABSTRACT

Although the potent microfilaricidal activity of ivermectin is well established, its efficacy against adult Wuchereria bancrofti is unknown. We used longitudinal ultrasound examinations for periods of 3-9 months to assess directly the macrofilaricidal effect of a single 400 micrograms/kg dose of ivermectin in 15 men from Recife , Brazil who were infected with W. bancrofti. Before treatment, microfilarial densities ranged from 3 to 3098 microfilariae per mL of blood, and movements characteristic of the living adult worm (the 'filaria dance sign') were observed by ultrasound examination of the scrotal lymphatic vessels in all 15 men. Following treatment, microfilarial density was markedly reduced in all men, but the filaria dance sign remained unchanged in both location and pattern. Eight months after treatment, a dilated lymphatic vessel was surgically removed from one patient at the site of the filaria dance sign, and 3 intact adult worms were released. When given as a single 400 micrograms/kg dose, ivermectin had no observable effect on adult W. bancrofti. Therefore, prolonged suppression of microfilaraemia following treatment with ivermectin cannot be explained by a macrofilaricidal effect of the drug. Ultrasound is a valuable new tool for directly and rapidly assessing the macrofilaricidal efficacy of antifilarial drugs in lymphatic filariasis.