A Reevaluation of the Tolerability and Effects of Single-Dose Ivermectin Treatment on Onchocerca volvulus Microfilariae in the Skin and Eyes in Eastern Ghana

Nicholas O. Opoku, Michael E. Gyasi, Felix Doe, Daphne Lew, Augustine R. Hong, Sithembele Chithenga, Peter U. Fischer, Christopher L. King, Gary J. Weil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mass administration of ivermectin (IVM) has significantly reduced onchocerciasis prevalence, intensity, and morbidity in most endemic areas. Most IVM clinical trials were performed long ago in persons with high-intensity infections that are uncommon in West Africa today. This cohort treatment study recruited participants from a hypoendemic area in eastern Ghana to reevaluate the efficacy and tolerability of IVM with a special focus on the kinetics of microfilaria (Mf) clearance. Mf in the skin and anterior chambers (AC) were assessed by skin snip and slit lamp examinations at baseline and at 3 and 6 months after treatment with IVM 150mg/kg. Most participants (184-231, 79.7%) enrolled were treatment-naïve. The baseline geometric mean skin Mf count was 12.67/mg (range 3-86). Although persons with MfAC at baseline (64/231, 27%) had significantly higher skin Mf counts than people without MfAC, 7 of 39 (15%) of persons with skin Mf counts in the range of 3-5Mf/mg had MfAC. Skin Mf were detected in 14% (31/218) and 45% (96/216) of participants 3 and 6 months after IVM treatment, respectively. MfAC were detected in 12 of 212 (5.7%) study participants at 6 months. 81% (187 of 231) of participants experienced 439 adverse events within 7 days after treatment; all adverse events were mild (96.1%) or moderate. This study has provided new data on the kinetics of Mf in the skin and eyes after IVM treatment of persons with light to moderate intensity Onchocerca volvulus infections that are common in Africa at this time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-745
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume106
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

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