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Eye (Lond). 2005 Oct;19(10):1057-66.

Ivermectin and onchocerciasis: is it all solved?

Author information

1
CBM Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya. ahopkins@cbmi-nbo.org

Abstract

The donation of ivermectin by Merck and Co. Inc. has led to one of the most effective private-public partnerships controlling a disease of major public health importance particularly in Africa. The up scaling of ivermectin distribution during the last 15 years has been remarkable with almost 40 million people treated in 2003, many already on their regular annual dose. The tools that have been developed particularly by the APOC programme have been instrumental in this increase. However, ivermectin is a microfilaricide and does not kill the adult worms. Distribution will be needed for at least 25 years and latest estimates indicate that 90 million people need annual treatment if onchocerciasis is to be eliminated as a public health problem. In spite of this incredible progress it is difficult to see how the programme will be sustained, especially after the closure of APOC in 2010. A macrofilaricide destroying adult worms and safe for mass distribution would solve the problem of onchocerciasis.

PMID:
16304585
DOI:
10.1038/sj.eye.6701962
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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