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Parasitol Today. 1992 Apr;8(4):138-40.

Treatment of onchocerciasis with ivermectin in Sierra Leone.

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Tropicol Health Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel St, London WCIE 7HT, UK.


Ivermectin chemotherapy is proving to be a major advance in the management of onchocerciasis. In this article, James Whitworth reviews the work done on onchocerciasis and ivermectin in Sierra Leone and examines the evidence that mass treatment might control the clinical features of the disease and its transmission in West Africa. Ivermectin is safe and effectively reduces microfilarial (mf) loads, with major improvement in some ocular manifestations o f disease. This alone makes mass distribution to communities at risk of blindness worthwhile, even though the impact on other clinical features is less clear cut. Repeated doses have a cumulative effect on adult worms, which may cause more reduction in transmission than hitherto thought likely.

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