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Trop Med Int Health. 2007 Dec;12(12):1433-41.

Macrofilaricidal effect of 4 weeks of treatment with doxycycline on Wuchereria bancrofti.

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Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.



To evaluate the efficacy of doxycycline as a macrofilaricidal agent against Wuchereria bancrofti.


In the Western Region of Ghana, 18 patients infected with W. bancrofti were recruited and treated with 200 mg doxycycline per day for 4 weeks. Seven untreated patients served as controls. Four months after doxycycline treatment, all patients received 150 mug/kg ivermectin. Patients were monitored for Wolbachia and microfilaria loads, antigenaemia and filarial dance sign (FDS).


Four months after doxycycline treatment, cases had a significantly lower Wolbachia load than controls; and 24 months after treatment, microfilaraemia, antigenaemia and frequency of FDS were significantly lower in cases than controls. Most importantly, 4 weeks of doxycycline killed 80% of macrofilariae, which is comparable with the results of a 6-week regimen. Circulating filarial antigenaemia and FDS were strongly correlated.


A 4-week regimen of doxycycline seems sufficient to kill adult W. bancrofti and could be advantageous for the treatment of individual patients, e.g. in outpatient clinics.

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